How to Discuss Global Warming
The Science and Pseudoscience of Global Warming by Steven Dutch should be a model for anybody trying to convince us reactionary crackpots of the seriousness of the Global Warming Crisis. A typical pro-GW article will frequently involve a liberal congratulating himself on being “reality-based” combined with exhortations to trust the consensus of the experts and complaints that the experts aren't hysterical enough. Steve Dutch reminds us that there is a there there.
I think he misses the point of many skeptics. He states that skeptics must "Show conclusively that an increase in carbon dioxide will not result in global warming. Pointing to flaws in the climate models, possible alternative explanations, and unanswered questions won't cut it. We know carbon dioxide traps infrared and we know climate is getting warmer. There's a plausible cause and effect relationship there. You have to show there is not a causal link. You can do that either by identifying what is the cause ("might be" or "possible alternative" isn't good enough) or by showing that somehow extra carbon dioxide does not trap solar heat."
But it misses the point that that there is an enormous difference in policy alternatives between "its going to warm 1 degree" and "its going to warm 8 degrees." Both have a causal link to CO2, but one justifies horrendously expensive and coercive CO2 abatement legislation and one does not.
1. Define "global warming". I don't actually care if you define as "the Earth will be covered in glaciers a mile deep" (although definitions at odds with the use of "global" and "warming" in common parlance will require more selling), but explicitly adopt a definition.
2. When it is agreed upon that "global warming" is taking place, do not change the definition and then demand that the agreement extend to your new definition.
Also he seems to assume a causal link between the CO2 levels and industry. There's more CO2 in the atmosphere, and temperatures are increasing. We know that CO2 traps heat, therefore...
Another thing we know about CO2 is that temperature increases cause CO2 increases. So the correlation between temperature increases and CO2 level increases mean that the CO2 produced by industry is having some kind of trigger effect leading to a runaway greenhouse, or it could mean that warming is being driven by something else, and in turn increasing the CO2 levels, leading to more warming and so on.
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