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Trump: 'Nobody Really Knows' If Climate Change Is Real

Forums - Politics Discussion - Trump: 'Nobody Really Knows' If Climate Change Is Real

Illusion said:
I'm skeptical on man made global warming purely because I feel that no true scientific debate has occurred. Anybody who questions the topic of man-made global warming gets lambasted publicly and called a "denier." This is so incredibly anti-scientific. Why does Al Gore actively dodge questions from skeptics? A true scientist would invite dissent because it's through detached debate that the truth can be found. The problem is that detached debate on this topic isn't possible because this is a political issue with the left using it as a crutch to justify government taxation and control while the right lashes back. Scientists are being used as political fodder and politicians never see their view as being one of a multiple possible answers, it's always their way or the highway.

It will only be when this issue dies politically and nobody has anything to lose one way or the other that the truth will finally come out. I personally believe that man-made global warming is likely a partial truth with humans having some effect but not enough to cause a global catastrophe but not so little as to not be worth studying objectively to understand.

You're ignoring oil companies will billions and billions of dollars at stake in this debate. The oil industry is not just "kinda an industry", it an industry which has caused full blown wars over, it is the most precious available resource in many aspects. 

So there is a huge incentive to discredit any global warming study, because there are very rich people who stand to lose a lot of money and that as you can expect does not go over well. 



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Illusion said:

That's the wrong attitude to have right out of the starting gate.  Science is never settled just like every year we learn new things about our universe that completely blow away theories from even just 20 years ago.  The science is only "settled" because it has become politically incorrect to question it.

Nonsense on stilts. While science is as a matter of principle considered provisional in nature, it's foolish to think that because it's provisional that we should never accept the general consensus. All or nearly all of the big theories in science have been confirmed to such a ridiculous degree that it's hard to think of anything that might overturn them entirely. While a lot of the details are frequently in flux due to new discoveries, the general ideas don't change much if at all. Stephen Jay Gould once said "In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.' I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms." And in science, every theory has cranky detractors who "perversely" withhold provisional assent. Despite how well general and special relativity are confirmed and how some of our technology (GPS, nuclear energy) are based on them, there are some cranks who claim that relativity theory is false and that essentially every practicing physicist is knowingly lying to everyone.

But most cranks don't get any traction with the general public, because most theories in science don't have any immediate and obvious public policy implications. Global warming does have such implications. If all the world's climatologists (save a vanishingly few contrarians) are corrent, then that means that our current energy economy is inflicting what could be the single largest negative externality in history. The consequences of this are obvious: negative externalities almost invariably invite new government regulations. Because government regulation of economic activity is anathema to most conservatives and libertarians, they are faced with two choices: 1) admit that, at least on occasion, their belief that "government is always the problem, never the solution" is wrong and that regulation is necessary in this instance, or 2) reject the science out of hand. They've chosen option #2, and instead of coming up with solutions that are more palatable to them, they just wilfully ignore the very existence of the problem and proclaim that scientists are in cahoots with "left-wing elites" to defraud the American public.

Political conservatives and big businesses have always had this knee-jerk reaction whenever scientists discover something that could invite new regulations and thus potentially impact a corporation's bottom line. In decades past we saw it with tobacco, leaded gasoline, and CFCs (funnily enough, there are some that are so intransigent that they still claim smoking and CFCs are harmless). Now we're seeing it with global warming, though this time the pushback against science is far larger and more aggressive because we're dealing with a far larger problem that will require far larger and more expansive changes to fix. But just because you don't like the implications of science doesn't give you a moral right to ignore the science. If your beliefs contradict physical reality, then your beliefs are wrong, period. I don't give a damn how strongly you believe in lower taxes and small government. In reality, continents drift, matter is made of atoms, the universe is expanding, stars are powered by nuclear fusion, microorganisms are the cause of infectious diseases, vaccines do not cause autism, and, buddy, the world is warming and anthropogenic GHG emissions are the primary cause. Trump, James Inhofe, the Heartland Institute, and every other right-winger that rejects that claim simply doesn't know what the fuck they're talking about.

The left-wing elites have grown in political power over recent decades and now it is academic suicide to speak out against climate change in any university.  Heck, they are even talking about making it illegal to question man-made global warming in the public forum:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jun/2/calif-bill-prosecutes-climate-change-skeptics/

In my opinion, Anthropogenic Global Warming has more in common with a man-made religious inquisition then it does with real science.  Men like Dr. Roy Spencer are modern day Galileo's for questioning AGW and he (and people like him) have been severely persecuted as a result.  If the science behind AGW was sound, then there would be no need for this kind of barbarism and opression of free thought.  Climate Change justifies carbon taxes and government control over people's lives and that is why it is being forced on people.  It is a vehicle to take away personal freedom and empower elites such as Goldman Sachs who control the government and most big corporations.  I believe that the real motivation behind AGW has nothing to due to with true science.

Oh, dear lord, not the "Galileo gambit." You know how many cranks, frauds, and denialists have trotted that out over the decades? Too many to count, but astronomy cranks have called Halton Arp a "modern-day Galileo," Glenn Beck has compared anti-vaxxers to Galileo, and now AGW denialists are making the same claims. It's always "establishment science is trying to suppress the truth like the Vatican did to heliocentrism." It's a load of horse shit. There is a consensus for various theories, including anthropogenic global warming, for a very good reason, and it's not political bias or conspiracy or whatever some crank wants others to believe. Scientists come to consensuses because the theory in question is the one with the best fit to the evidence at hand.

Carl Sagan once said "
The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown." Global warming deniers like Trump are the clowns in question. They claim their arguments have merit, but they are always found lacking any real support for their claims.



Illusion said:
SpokenTruth said:

It was scientific long before it was political.   The reason you don't see a debate now is because that happened already.  It's done.  The concensus from the scientific community has been made.  And it was made long before politics came into play.

That's the wrong attitude to have right out of the starting gate.  Science is never settled just like every year we learn new things about our universe that completely blow away theories from even just 20 years ago.  The science is only "settled" because it has become politically incorrect to question it.  The left-wing elites have grown in political power over recent decades and now it is academic suicide to speak out against climate change in any university.  Heck, they are even talking about making it illegal to question man-made global warming in the public forum:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jun/2/calif-bill-prosecutes-climate-change-skeptics/

OK, then lets have that debate.  With 99% of field relevant scientists on one side and...what, the fossil fuel industry on the other side?   Who exactly is in this debate?  The overwhelming majority that are part of the debate have already come to a conclusion.  And most new evidence only corroborates their claims.

As for your link, did you read it?  It's not about making it illegal to question anthropogenic global climate change, it's about the fossil fuel industry being held liable for intentionally lying.   Are you saying you're against that?

 

And finally, your historical religion/science analogy.  What fails is the church had no evidence for their claims while the scientists did.  Now the scientists still have the evidence and the lone dissenters do not. 

And before you go there, let's talk the money and birbery angle to get it out of the way.  What sounds more realistic?  The green renewable industry paying off thousands upon thousands of scientists around the world or the fossil fuel industry paying off a couple in politically charged nations?



Massimus - "Trump already has democrat support."




Shadow1980 said:

Nonsense on stilts. While science is as a matter of principle considered provisional in nature, it's foolish to think that because it's provisional that we should never accept the general consensus. All or nearly all of the big theories in science have been confirmed to such a ridiculous degree that it's hard to think of anything that might overturn them entirely. While a lot of the details are frequently in flux due to new discoveries, the general ideas don't change much if at all. Stephen Jay Gould once said "In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.' I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms." And in science, every theory has cranky detractors who "perversely" withhold provisional assent. Despite how well general and special relativity are confirmed and how some of our technology (GPS, nuclear energy) are based on them, there are some cranks who claim that relativity theory is false and that essentially every practicing physicist is knowingly lying to everyone.


But most cranks don't get any traction with the general public, because most theories in science don't have any immediate and obvious public policy implications. Global warming does have such implications. If all the world's climatologists (save a vanishingly few contrarians) are corrent, then that means that our current energy economy is inflicting what could be the single largest negative externality in history. The consequences of this are obvious: negative externalities almost invariably invite new government regulations. Because government regulation of economic activity is anathema to most conservatives and libertarians, they are faced with two choices: 1) admit that, at least on occasion, their belief that "government is always the problem, never the solution" is wrong and that regulation is necessary in this instance, or 2) reject the science out of hand. They've chosen option #2, and instead of coming up with solutions that are more palatable to them, they just wilfully ignore the very existence of the problem and proclaim that scientists are in cahoots with "left-wing elites" to defraud the American public.

Political conservatives and big businesses have always had this knee-jerk reaction whenever scientists discover something that could invite new regulations and thus potentially impact a corporation's bottom line. In decades past we saw it with tobacco, leaded gasoline, and CFCs (funnily enough, there are some that are so intransigent that they still claim smoking and CFCs are harmless). Now we're seeing it with global warming, though this time the pushback against science is far larger and more aggressive because we're dealing with a far larger problem that will require far larger and more expansive changes to fix. But just because you don't like the implications of science doesn't give you a moral right to ignore the science. If your beliefs contradict physical reality, then your beliefs are wrong, period. I don't give a damn how strongly you believe in lower taxes and small government. In reality, continents drift, matter is made of atoms, the universe is expanding, stars are powered by nuclear fusion, microorganisms are the cause of infectious diseases, vaccines do not cause autism, and, buddy, the world is warming and anthropogenic GHG emissions are the primary cause. Trump, James Inhofe, the Heartland Institute, and every other right-winger that rejects that claim simply doesn't know what the fuck they're talking about.

Did you consider that the "pushback against science" might be far larger in this case because the "science" supporting AGW is far weaker than it was for issues such as the ozone depletion?  In the case of the CFC emissions there was a clear problem, a solution was identified and implemented and now the issue has been largely rectified.  With regards to climate change, however, Al Gore told us in 2008 that there would be no ice in the arctic in 2016 and it turns out that up in Canada it is winter as usual here.  Climategate emails in 2009 showed clear falsifying of data to support AGW.  The word "global warming" has been dropped in favor of the more vague term "climate change."  The hockey-stick curve that was once used to convey global warming to the masses has been completely falsified and wierd explanations about the ocean absorbing surplus heat has been used to explain the global warming hiatus we have been seeing for the past two decades.  Honestly, if your side had truth you wouldn't need to ban all contrarions, the power of your argument would be strong enough to silence the vast majority of your detractors exactly like what it is for factual science like general relativity.  What I see for the topic of AGW, however, is a poorly defined problem with those in power acting as though it is 100% certain with the convenient solution being massive taxation and government regulation.  Half of the American public doesn't even buy the science behind AGW and yet US governments are moving to make it illegal to even question AGW.  This isn't science, this is a tyranny.

If you want to people to believe that AGW is science fact to the same degree that people are convinced about the truth of general relativity then you first need to admit the possibility that you are wrong.  I need to be willing to do the same.  And the funny thing about truth is that it doesn't have a need to force itself down people's throats, it has a way of speaking for itself.  Until people on both sides are willing to do this, even discussing this topic is a complete waste of time.



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Soundwave said:
Illusion said:
I'm skeptical on man made global warming purely because I feel that no true scientific debate has occurred. Anybody who questions the topic of man-made global warming gets lambasted publicly and called a "denier." This is so incredibly anti-scientific. Why does Al Gore actively dodge questions from skeptics? A true scientist would invite dissent because it's through detached debate that the truth can be found. The problem is that detached debate on this topic isn't possible because this is a political issue with the left using it as a crutch to justify government taxation and control while the right lashes back. Scientists are being used as political fodder and politicians never see their view as being one of a multiple possible answers, it's always their way or the highway.

It will only be when this issue dies politically and nobody has anything to lose one way or the other that the truth will finally come out. I personally believe that man-made global warming is likely a partial truth with humans having some effect but not enough to cause a global catastrophe but not so little as to not be worth studying objectively to understand.

You're ignoring oil companies will billions and billions of dollars at stake in this debate. The oil industry is not just "kinda an industry", it an industry which has caused full blown wars over, it is the most precious available resource in many aspects. 

So there is a huge incentive to discredit any global warming study, because there are very rich people who stand to lose a lot of money and that as you can expect does not go over well. 

I will not defend the oil companies.  They are a part of the problem.  That said, just don't forget that some of the richest people in the world: groups like the Rockerfeller foundation, men like George Soros, and rich bankers at Goldman Sachs are all massive supporters of the green agenda.  I can promise you that, just like the oil companies, their concern is not for the planet either.



Illusion said:

Did you consider that the "pushback against science" might be far larger in this case because the "science" supporting AGW is far weaker than it was for issues such as the ozone depletion?  In the case of the CFC emissions there was a clear problem, a solution was identified and implemented and now the issue has been largely rectified.  With regards to climate change, however, Al Gore told us in 2008 that there would be no ice in the arctic in 2016 and it turns out that up in Canada it is winter as usual here.  Climategate emails in 2009 showed clear falsifying of data to support AGW.  The word "global warming" has been dropped in favor of the more vague term "climate change."  The hockey-stick curve that was once used to convey global warming to the masses has been completely falsified and wierd explanations about the ocean absorbing surplus heat has been used to explain the global warming hiatus we have been seeing for the past two decades.  Honestly, if your side had truth you wouldn't need to ban all contrarions, the power of your argument would be strong enough to silence the vast majority of your detractors exactly like what it is for factual science like general relativity.  What I see for the topic of AGW, however, is a poorly defined problem with those in power acting as though it is 100% certain with the convenient solution being massive taxation and government regulation.  Half of the American public doesn't even buy the science behind AGW and yet US governments are moving to make it illegal to even question AGW.  This isn't science, this is a tyranny.

If you want to people to believe that AGW is science fact to the same degree that people are convinced about the truth of general relativity then you first need to admit the possibility that you are wrong.  I need to be willing to do the same.  And the funny thing about truth is that it doesn't have a need to force itself down people's throats, it has a way of speaking for itself.  Until people on both sides are willing to do this, even discussing this topic is a complete waste of time.

Counter-claims exist for, well, pretty much every fact out there, though, from whether the Earth is round or flat to the harmful effects of sugar, tobacco, etc. Everyone agrees that smoking can lead to serious, even fatal health complications, except for a few who come forth and proudly proclaim it's overblown malarky, even as they coincidentially profit from it. (Mike Pence being one of those, back in 2000ish.)

And yes, the conclusions drawn by scientists can change as new data is introduced and new conclusions are drawn from them. Something as massive as a climate model is inevitably going to have holes in it, given there are countless factors either unknown or not measured in sufficient detail to study their impact. So while it's much easier to predict overall trends, and even form solid theories on their causes based on surrounding evidence, saying 'The World Is Going To End On March, 2024' isn't really doable. Predictions are, at best, a guesstimate.

Actually meteorology is a great example. Predicting specifics for the weather can be a bit, er, hit and miss sometimes; the temperature might not be quite what one anticipated, a storm might not hit til a few hours after it was expected to, or miss a predicted town entirely. It's why the terms used as '80% chance of rain' rather than just 'It's Going To Rain, Y'all!'

But the overall trends, the 'big stuff' can still be tracked and anticipated. The trajectories of major storms and other significant phenomenon, we've even learned to predict tornadoes to a reasonable degree by leaning about the conditions that form them.

******

As for the 'We could both be wrong' standpoint, while it's a fair enough thing to suggest, it's also something industries tend to prey on.

Let's be clear here. When someone like Trump's incoming administration seeks to undercut the idea of climate change, the idea here isn't to ACTUALLY take a scientific standpoint. It isn't even necessarily to try and convince anyone that climate change is totally, absolutely false, as even when they expressly state it their goal isn't to get you fully on 'their side.' Be great if they managed it, but that isn't the 'Victory' condition they have in mind.

Instead, the idea is to create reasonable doubt. A sense of 'Well... scientists CAN be wrong about some things... so they MIGHT be wrong about this thing... so I suppose there might not be anything wrong with the government removing these regulations and letting our carbon output spike. I mean, Galileo, right?'

They don't care what people believe either way, they just want folks to stop getting in their way with protests, regulations and other things that impact their bottom line.

The strength of the push against the idea of climate change comes from two things; the first is that while tobacco, sugar, and all those other lobbyists certainly have large, successful enterprises, fossil fuels are a cornerstone in the development of modern society in the same way agriculture and the written word helped form early societies. The amount of energy we needed to build factories, design technology, ferry goods across and between different countries just wouldn't have been possible without fossil fuel. The industry is inexorably linked in manufacturing, logistical transportation, personal transportation, heating, power generation... which means that regulations against oil will also impact ALL these different industries.

The second is that climate change demands a solution with a strong, immediate consequence- largely economic, as companies see higher costs from meeting various regulations, and by extension lower profits and overall economic stimulation- in order solve a problem whose major consequences are going to be... well, eventual. =P A lot of businessmen in positions to directly profit, and see their companies directly profit, from lax or absent regulations are being told by a bunch of people, (via charts, graphs and other complicated science-y stuff,) that because of the things in the charts, graphs and other complicated science-y stuff, this company has to spend thousands, tens of thousands or even more on meeting a series of guidelines that, to the businessman, just seem arbitrary and expensive. And all on a disaster that, since it hasn't technically happened yet, could be chalked up as a 'maybe' rather than an inevitability. In other words, "Well, you say smoking can lead to lung cancer, but I don't have any tumors yet, soooo why should I believe you?"

The Dakota Access Pipeline is an even more extreme example of this kind of thinking. ETP's most financially sound strategy- basically, least money in for most money out- was to run the pipeline under some sources of drinking water. Now, IF the pipeline leaked there, (which does happen, more often than the industry would like you to believe, and sometimes without anyone noticing for waaaay too long,) it would contaminate the water, which some people actually relied on for, well, drinking and living and stuff. But trying to find an alternative route- one that wouldn't put people at risk- would feature astronomical costs in construction, planning, permits, etc. For example, it was suggested back when the pipeline was originally delayed that it would cost ETP 80 million dollars every month the project was delayed, and that's assuming they didn't have to 'change course' on it at all.

So ETP, unsurprisingly, opted for 'Eh, pfffft, probably won't break. And we'll, like, clean it up if it does, so all good, whatever.' because ultimately the strong possibility of people's lives and health being impacted sometime in the future, even the very near future, was preferable to the CERTAINTY that the company would impact their profits right now. Even if it did leak, and they were fined and had to clean it up, it would still cost them far less money than moving the pipeline here and now would.

So how gung-ho do you think said people are about the certainty of losing millions of dollars to help avert something that, if it does happen, won't be for decades?

Timetables aside, while it could be argued that the End isn't quite as Nigh as some have purported, it's a significantly further stretch to declare the End Is Totally Never Coming, All Will Be Well, Buy A Chevy!' By the time the reality of climate change becomes obvious enough for the layman to agree with in the same way smoking's health perils now are, it'd quite literally be too late to do anything about it.

But until then, the industry and anyone financially connected to them would deny it. Of course they would. Because even when facing another issue that nobody on the planet could, reasonably or otherwise, deny is an INEVITABLE problem, the reaction is 'All Will Be Well, Buy A Ford!' That problem being...

******

...what happens when we run out of oil?

Because the flipside to this is that, even if we say that climate change is entirely fabricated, that the Earth is fine and we can pump as much carbon as we want into the air... well, sooner or later, we're simply going to run OUT of oil, at least in the vast quantities we as a society need to function. o_O There's a reason wars were fought over this shit in the first place; beyond simple monetary motivation, our society relies on it to an insane degree to survive. If we tried to go cold turkey, if all the oil simply vanished tomorrow, we'd be royally screwed. Anyone with an ounce of sense would agree we need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels LONG before we risk hitting the limits of our production capabilities, let alone expending our supply.

And yet, if anything, the push in favor of oil- and against alternative sources- is going to be even stronger with this upcoming administration. The President Elect regularly said wind farms were monstrous, we have people directly tied to the oil industry entering office, and every indication is that our attachment to oil might INCREASE as they loosen regulations and possibly defund programs like NASA's climate monitoring. Rather than pushing away from oil, goverment and business seems to be tugging it in all the more tightly. So why?

Well, because right NOW, we have the supply. Which means that the ones supplying us are still making an absolute fortune. The gravy train is still running, and few if any of them want to get off before it's dried up.

Except if they wait that long, if our ability to supply fossil fuel falters when our economy is still tied to it, then that whole disasterous 'Cold Turkey' thing I mentioned is going to happen pretty definitely. Any industry that relies on fossil fuels for manufacturing, transportation, etc is going to go through a meat grinder, and trying to transition to other sources is going to be ten times harder, like stopping smoking to avoid cancer when you already HAVE cancer.

The kicker is... the oil industry KNOWS this. Everybody does. Nobody's crazy enough to claim that fossil fuels can function as a renewable source of energy.

But at the end of the day, that's another 'Deal With It Later' thing. Right now, companies are making lots and lots of money by making sure we rely on oil as much as humanly possible. The earlier we begin to turn to other sources of energy, and the more we as a society wean ourselves off fossil fuel, the less money flows into their business.

The oil industry has an expiration date, but what's more, it's a company that is 'Too Big To Fail,' in that if it does fail before we're ready, we're all completely fucked.

******

So that was a longer drift from the topic than I intended, but the point is that even facing an inevitability even the uneducated layman can fully grasp and agree with here and now, today- We'll Run Out Of Oil, If We Don't Stop Needing It Before Then Shit Will Go South FAST- the industry looks to their own profits first. Now, this is so fundamental a truth they can't even pretend to deny it, so instead it's just kind of something nobody talks about.

But right now climate change is still just nebulous enough for someone to deny it, in the same way the shape of the Earth was just nebulous enough in the 19th and early 20th century for some to push in favor of it being flat.



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Or It Involves Moving Furniture, in Which Case Zanten, F*** You.

SpokenTruth said:
Illusion said:

That's the wrong attitude to have right out of the starting gate.  Science is never settled just like every year we learn new things about our universe that completely blow away theories from even just 20 years ago.  The science is only "settled" because it has become politically incorrect to question it.  The left-wing elites have grown in political power over recent decades and now it is academic suicide to speak out against climate change in any university.  Heck, they are even talking about making it illegal to question man-made global warming in the public forum:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jun/2/calif-bill-prosecutes-climate-change-skeptics/

OK, then lets have that debate.  With 99% of field relevant scientists on one side and...what, the fossil fuel industry on the other side?   Who exactly is in this debate?  The overwhelming majority that are part of the debate have already come to a conclusion.  And most new evidence only corroborates their claims.

As for your link, did you read it?  It's not about making it illegal to question anthropogenic global climate change, it's about the fossil fuel industry being held liable for intentionally lying.   Are you saying you're against that?

 

And finally, your historical religion/science analogy.  What fails is the church had no evidence for their claims while the scientists did.  Now the scientists still have the evidence and the lone dissenters do not. 

And before you go there, let's talk the money and birbery angle to get it out of the way.  What sounds more realistic?  The green renewable industry paying off thousands upon thousands of scientists around the world or the fossil fuel industry paying off a couple in politically charged nations?

the universe must revolve around us. All people believed this at one point in time. it must be true. Science is now a majority vote not based on facts and reason but on the community agreeing to it. Very Democratic and all. But what a load of BS. Science comes from the dissenters who question. By your standards there would be no advancement as we should just agree with the consensus and not look at or question things our selves, because the majority must be right.  They took a vote, listen to that, consensus, listen to that. Where are the facts? why have their climate models been so wrong so far? Why is it so bad to question them?



Maybe he should inform himself better.

Theres a nice documentary about it with Leo di Caprio that may not be complicated enough for Trumps feeble mind.



You won't get any kind of rational response from them. You have to keep in mind that Trump voters are these sorts:

     



I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.