Is it reasonable to be a global warming skeptic?


#241

I can believe that a bureaucracy can try to control what the scientists working under them say. What I cannot believe is that they can manage to be so fantastically successful at doing that, given all I know about scientists, their temperaments, and motivations.

They sure aren’t going to get fame by being one of many drones that go along with what their bosses dictate. Your narrative doesn’t make sense. There are just too many to control that way, and many of them don’t even work for the IPCC. It still sounds like tin hat time.

Scientists in history have notoriously resistant to running with the herd.

If so, there are a lot more carrots waiting for them in the fossil fuel industry, which loves to sponsor scientists who say everything is just fine the way it is. If a scientists wants to say anything against global warming he surely won’t starve, but will probably be rewarded even more.

I do not watch youtube videos as a replacement for supporting evidence.

I did. It makes no more of a compelling argument against global warming than yours. It makes arguments of possible bias in the IPCC leadership, but does not explain how that bias can be so effective in convincing scientists who are not under their control to do their bidding.


#242

Let me give you an example of how this can happen. Leading up to the 2001 report IPCC folks met in Tanzanania (or someplace else in Africa) to talk about the upcoming report. After they returned home the scientists working on the paleo chapter for Working Group I received an email from Chris Folland, one of the honchos. He wanted to use three temperature reconstructions in graph so as to show how three different measurements all told the same story. The problem was that Keith Briffa’s reconstruction showed temps as measured from tree rings as declining in the latter part of the 20th century when thermometer records all showed it increasing. The committee wanted Briffa to truncate his data and cut off the troublesome decline. Briffa, acting like a proper scientist, balked. The climategate emails show him telling colleagues that he knew that they wanted to present a “nice tidy story” about the 1000 year temp history, but the data showed it wasn’t that simple. No matter, that is what they wanted and Briffa eventually caved, unlike a proper scientist. He wanted to keep his job at UEA. That is how it works with the IPCC.


#243

The Michaels lecture is a good introduction to problems plaguing science in general, not just climate science. Verbal testimony is evidence.


#244

Maybe so, but of all the media sources, I trust stuff that gets posted on youtube the absolute least. Serious evidence is published textually with citations that can be quickly checked. But if I have to sit through a speech laced with propaganda just to get to the guy’s claim, well, my time is more valuable than that. If you want to cite the exact minute and second when a video presents the claims and citations, I might look at that.


#245

Global warming is a fact. It is completely unreasonable to question that.
The only issue is the degree to which we are speeding it up and making it worse. This is what the debate is about.


#246

Hi thistle,

Why do you mean by “global warming is a fact”?


#247

Not recently.

Sometimes global cooling is a fact. Climate changes. It always has


#248


#249

Global warming has happened many times in Earth’s history. That is a fact.
We are in another period of global warming. That is a fact.
The part that is disputed is if we caused this period of warming or at least have speeded up and made worse a natural cycle of warming.


#250

Thank you for reading the Lindzen article, but I don’t think you grasped its essential points. Here is the abstract for anyone else who is interested:

Lindzen’s article does not, by itself, destroy the scientific case for global warming, but it sure destroys the credibility of American institutions and scientific culture which, along with the IPCC, are promoting such “knowledge.”


#251

Let’s discuss the science, not the personalities.


#252

Hi Jamie5,

Where did your hockey stick come from?

It certainly presents a nice tidy story, but is it true?


#253

Mornin LBN,

What do you mean?


#254

The Lindzen article is an attack on people’s personalities, not an attack on scientific theory. Science is not decided based on personalities.


#255

Which of the following is an attack on peoples’ personalities?

  1. Observing that there is a paradigm shift from “dialectic opposition between theory and observation to an emphasis on simulation and observational programs.”

  2. Pointing out the deleterious effects of an “inordinate growth of administration in universities and the consequent increase in importance of grant overhead.”

  3. Citing the “hierarchical nature of formal scientific organizations whereby a small executive council can speak on behalf of thousands of scientists as well as govern the distribution of ‘carrots and sticks’ whereby reputations are made and broken.”

  4. Showing “how political bodies act to control scientific institutions, how scientists adjust both data and even theory to accommodate politically correct positions, and how opposition to these positions is disposed of.”

Apart from Lindzen’s article, people’s personalities can become relevant in the climate debate. Take Michael Mann as an example. He has been described as “ambitious,” “brash,” and “pompous.” Such personality traits aren’t relevant to the debate. However, allegations that he lacks the character for telling the truth go directly to his credibility as a scientist.

Another example: The hide the decline scandal. Richard Muller, in one of his class lectures (video on youtube!), explains what Phil Jones et al did and why it was dishonest and deceptive. He then concludes, quite rightly, “that he now knows whose papers he doesn’t have to read anymore.”


#256

This one certainly.

This one even more so.

The science trumps personalities every time. It doesn’t care what people believe, or how moral they are. It just is.

As for all the so-called “scandals,” have you taken the trouble to read what Phil Jones et. all has to say in defense of the “hide the decline” accusations?


#257

LBN,

So if Professor Hintermeister publishes a paper which confidently proclaims he has definitively proved that human CO2 emissions are not causing CO2 levels to rise, I am not justified in doubting his claims, even if he has been caught in the past fabricating data, he habitually misrepresented his data and methods in previous studies, he habitually lies about his research, he has a reputation for being a sloppy researcher who cuts corners just so he can get published…? Such concerns are about “personality” and are not relevant to evaluating scientific research?


#258

No it is not reasonable. When 97% of scientists all say something is happening, then you should trust them.

It would be like being an Afterlife Skeptic despite every Priest you talk to confirming that there is an afterlife.


#259

Now I’m confused. 97% of the scientists tell me there is no afterlife. So I should believe them? Huh?


#260

Sorry, let me clarify. You should trust experts in the field that they are an expert in. Trust theologians in theology, trust scientists in science, and so on.

And scientists don’t all think that there is no afterlife; not even most of them think that way. Francis Collins, Georges Lemaître, and Gregor Mendel are all examples of scientists who believe in God.


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