"It's winter where I am and cold, thus disproving global warming."
Best. Argument. EVER.
I can't wait to hear the one about how ocean tides are magic and can't be explained.
Because I don't want to look like a fool, I withhold opinion with reserved skepticism.
My luck is I'd go full-bore for global warming, only to have scientists say, "We've found new evidence to suggest that global warming was actually not what we thought! We now suspect that <insert new theory here>."
I'll just wait it out.
I think it's normal for the earth to go through temperature changes. It was hot when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, cold when the mammoths were here, and now it's warming up again. One day in the distant future, humans (if we exist at that time) will be panicking because of global cooling.
Image created by Brienna
Plus, we need to be clear about what we're talking about. "Global warming", or more accurately, "global climate change"? That's a fact. It's observed, and it's happening all over. Storms are getting worse, climates are going out of whack, etc. It gets a bit more squirrely when we debate why it's happening, which is why there's a lot of yak over "anthropogenic climate change", meaning "shit we did" rather than "shit that just happened", basically. There's definitely environmental factors, too. The issue is, it's difficult to draw firm lines between them. For instance, if we raised the global temperature slightly from anthropogenic reasons, this will cause some ice melt, raising sea levels and increasing the surface area of the oceans, leading to greater precipitation in general. It also leads to icecaps receding, which darkens the planet, and this means more heat energy from the sun is absorbed by polar waters rather than being reflected by the highly reflective icecaps (that's why they're white. I'm not talking mirrors, just why black clothes feel "warmer" in the sun than white clothes; they absorb the sun's heat better.)
A lot of those are natural processes, but we may have tipped the scale anthropogenically. It's like a bear on a tightrope. You might not be able to throw the bear, but you can poke him and make him fall. Saying "there's no way you could throw a bear to its death" doesn't mean you didn't cause it.
The data on this is conclusive. Figuring out precisely and exactly how and why is a bit more uncertain, but we still can't predict weather with any concrete certainty, either. A lot of science is about saying "well, it could be as low as X, or as high as Y". That's not being uncertain, it's recognizing that we don't have access to every variable, but even given those variables we haven't identified and controlled, we can still identify a range that we're statistically confident in.
Like I said, the image you lifted is from a skeptical article which attempted to cast aspersion on both The Met and its modeling. Since you weren't specific or clear enough in your post, you give readers the impression that you were trying echo the content of the (crappy) article, even though your language was milder. That's a bad move.
I mean, it's not like it affects Dacien in any day-to-day way, right? Me accepting global warming will have 0% impact on my behavior.
Edit: Plus I drive a hybrid, so I'm doing my part for a less-hot, safer-for-our-grandchildren planet.
Last edited by Dacien; 2013-01-14 at 01:46 AM.
I've done academic reviews in the field and I've got a working paper published by an international climate change adaptation group, which is why I feel comfortable being this firm on this subject. I'm not a scientist, though; I was working as a research associate in both cases, but you don't need a doctorate to read through several hundred papers and see the general consensus.
Nor do I expect the average Joe to have read hundreds of scientific papers. Hence my posting :P
Incidentally, these debates inevitably make me think of this comic;
I think the most common misconception about the terminology (thanks to Fox News and other right swinging news organizations...) is that because it's now called Global Climate Change and not global warming DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE WARMING HAS STOPPED. I see a lot of people who are very obviously confused about what Global Climate Change means (again, thanks to right swinging media) and what they don't seem to know is that GCC refers to the fact that the climate is changing drastically in many ways. There are more severe weather events such as more flooding from heavy rains, more violent hurricanes, larger drought areas (expanding deserts).
There is still warming, and no, there being snow on the ground outside your house in the middle of January does not mean that global warming is fake. It means it's winter.
This is the problem with the global warming cult... What better world are you creating? How is enviro-terrorism going to create a better world?
The only thing actually proposed is more taxes and more government. If that's your creed, you're giddy about it... but if you aren't exactly enamored with the demagogues of the world rabble rousing their way to power and more taxes, giddy isn't exactly the word to use. The enslavement of the rural to benefit the urban is what they really are on about, which is fine if your urban I suppose.
The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities.