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 Global Warming: The Burden of Proof

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specfiction Posted - 07/16/2007 : 10:34:14
There has been a lot of wrangling over the validity of Global Warming and whether the activity of people is responsible for it. Most of the time skeptics (and being skeptical is good, being dogmatic is not) of the Global Warming theory (it is a theory, but so is gravity) cite things like James Hansens' simulation being 300% wrong in predicting current global average temperatures, something wrongly promoted in Micheal Crichton's novel State of Fear; MIT Richard Lindzen's piece in the Wall Street Journal that GW was not man induced, but a natural variation; and finally that there were periods of Global Cooling between 1940 and 1970.

All of these contrary examples are either completely wrong, like Crichton's critique of Hansen's model (Hansen produced three models, each with different forcing functions. Crichton selected the one that Hansen said was probably wrong, Hansen then stated that his model B was the most likely due to the particular assumptions on forcing. In fact, that model has an amazing accuracy of 30% on current average temperature more than twenty years later--he missed the right warming by a few tenths of a degree.) or incomplete, like the periods of global cooling during parts of the 20th century (between 1940 and 1945, for example, there was a "world war" throwing a lot of soot and smoke into the atmosphere).

There are many such mistakes, misleading statements, and urban legends associated with GW. Here is an article compiled by a science historian at UCSD giving the overwhelming consensus by climate scientist's published papers on the theory (models) and data of GW over the last few years:

Global Warming: Best Evidence

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specfiction Posted - 07/25/2007 : 19:22:51
Originally posted by Chuck

So many of my friends have been in denial, but that is changing!
Thanks for a great website.

Charles Lee Lesher

You know Charles, I really don't get it. There are very many things that have large doubt associated with them: how high to build levees, any diagnosis anyone has ever had at the doctor's office, how much to exceed maximal loading on structures such as bridges and buildings. In fact, all of science is qualified by calculable and some incalculable error--no scientific prediction or model is legitimate without one-sigma errors associated with a result. But that doesn't mean that best evidence and consensus among experts should be ignored--especially in light of the consequences of cataclysmic disaster.

It must be that those with money at stake have done a tremendous job of passing off doubt as if it were something outside the sphere of first class science rather than at the heart of it.

The Jarillion Posted - 07/25/2007 : 18:05:39
I tend to think that the nature of climate change is still a mystery. We have obviously polluted the planet and upset the natural balance of the weather systems. But the chaotic nature of weather leaves a large blank for the long term, in all directions. Whether we can repair the damage done I find dubious. The dice have been rolled and the consequences are to be seen.

Chuck Posted - 07/25/2007 : 11:51:04
So many of my friends have been in denial, but that is changing!
Thanks for a great website.

Charles Lee Lesher

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