EirinnMoChroi, on 27 March 2012 - 04:07 PM, said:
How is that besides the point? You are arguing with a doctor of Chemistry about gases...something that she specialized in and is considered a credible source in the field. You think you know more than she does?
No, I think the subject of chemistry is largely irrelevant to the discussion.
ChotooMotoo, on 27 March 2012 - 04:22 PM, said:
Why does consensus make you skeptical? There is consensus on evolution. There is consensus on the Big Bang. There is consensus on gravity. There is consensus that smoking cigarettes significantly increases your risk for developing lung cancer. The consensus about global warming is that it's real, either caused by or exacerbated by the human consumption of fossil fuels, and is only going to get worse. There are other details for which there is no consensus. Amount of sea level rise, for instance, as a result of global warming does not have a consensus, that's still being debated. There are high and low predictions. How much of the current warming is human caused, how much of it is due to the last 100 years vs. the last 200 years, how much of the current trends will exacerbate existing natural trends (trapped frozen methane could be released, methane is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2) meaning, where is the tipping point for uncontrollably greenhouse effect? Where is it and how much do current activities contribute towards reaching that point? At current consumption levels based on the models are we 50 years away, 100 years away? What does the future hold?
I'm skeptical of scientific consensus in general, because in a way, it seems to put the issue beyond reproach, which seems unscientific. However, the consensus on global warming seems to have appeared only after it was politicized, so I am even more skeptical of those claims in particular and needless to say, the recent "Climategate" scandal didn't help. Before the politicization of global warming in the early 2000s there was no consensus and I was actually more receptive to it then as well. However, the climate data correlates better with other trends than it does with the greenhouse gas levels of anthropogenic CO2.
Don't let the word "consensus" lure you into a false sense of security Kamsatti. There is still a LOT to be debated on the subject of global warming, even for those who believe the most extreme models. There are still many to discover, models to tweak, lots of lively debate to have, lots of "consensus" still to form. In a very real way the consensus on global warming is actually very narrow, which should I think make you feel a little better about it.
My skepticism of "consensus" does not mean that I view the assertions in it as unscientific. I'm just not keen on agreeing with them just because there is a consensus. In this case, even though it is narrow, and there is a lot that isn't agreed on, I still disagree with the basic assumption that humans have significantly contributed to climate change.
I don't like the politicization of it either, I think climate issues should be decided on the facts (I happen to be in the other camp from you so I support things like the Kyoto accords and green energy exploration rather than pushing an exclusively carbon based energy economy) and that politicians wouldn't try to play scientist to their constituents. I also don't like it when politicians try to play doctor and politicize health issues. Politicians should to politicking. THey should do things like take the advice of experts and decide things like taxes and foreign policy and stuff. They should let actual scientists and doctors regulate science and medicine.
Then we are more or less agreed on that issue. However, I have nothing against green energy exploration. If industrial civilization can run on an energy source that is cheaper, cleaner, more convenient and more abundant, then why not? However, that really should be left up to the individual countries to decide for themselves what works best for them.