How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic
Arguments from Global Warming Skeptics and what the Science really says
I found them to be helpful. They contain refutations of many popular climate skeptic arguments.
Let me make the following non-argument. It seems to be that many libertarians, including Molyneux in the video above, does not like the science behind global warming because liberals tend to argue that more government intervention is needed. This, however, seems to be rejecting a position because it (on the surface) has unpleasant or immoral consequences. This seems like a logical fallacy. Molyneux admitted in a later video that he does accept that temperatures are rising on the have global warming and that humans contribute to it. However, he tends to include the liberal political agenda and mix it up with the science into what he calls "global warming", and I think that may be a mistake.
Most of us here accepts that if one genuinely cares about the environment, authoritarian states should be one of the first institutions that you get rid off. Even if we just look at war and the war industry during the 20th century, governments have harmed the environment significantly. What if there could be free market or voluntarist solutions to climate issues?
The arguments in this post actually supports the science behind global warming, since an increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere contributes to acidification of the ocean. The problem with that graph is that things like the medieval warm period and the little ice age where primarily regional, not global, events.
Calling people who deny well-establish scientific theories is perfectly legit in an epistemological sense. Obviously, no one thinks that climate "skeptics" really are Holocaust deniers. The comparison is strictly in methodology, because many climate "skeptics" (although none here I think) likes to quote things out of context, conflate debate about how X is occurring with if X is occurring etc. This general methodology can be found a cross the board for anti scientific movements, such as creationism, quantum mysticism, homeopathy, the anti-vaccination movement etc. and it is this that one tries to emphasize, so it is not an attempt at a guilt by association argument. Now, if something corresponds well with this general methodology of pseudoscience, it seems fair to call this something for what it is, no?
If you think that there is life on mars, despite the fact that it has been demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubt that it there is not, and if you make large political pressure groups with the sole intent of pushing the notion that life on mars is a scientific fact, if you ignore evidence and reason time and time again, it is suitable to call this person a "denier".
It is fine to disagree in science, but there comes a point where the disagreeing forces one to deny massive amounts of scientific data, and then it has just gone of the deep end. Sure, Galileo was a rebel, but not all rebels are Galileos, as Norman Levitt so poignantly put it.
As for the "700 scientists who are skeptical about global warming" lists: none here would take protest lists such as A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism seriously, despite the fact that this has more signatures. A couple of hindered scientists is nothing compared to several million working in the field.
Ah, the Meteorologists can't even predict the weather canard.
Scientists can't even predict the weather next week, so why should we believe what some climate model tells us about 100 years from now?
Climate and weather are really very different things and the level of predictability is comparably different.
Climate is defined as weather averaged over a period of time, generally around 30 years. This averaging over time removes the random and unpredictable behaviour of weather. Think of it as the difference between trying to predict the height of the fifth wave from now that will come splashing up the beach versus predicting the height of tomorrow's high tide. The former is clearly quite a challenge, as your salty, wet sneakers will bear witness to, but the latter is routine and reliable.
This by no means says that it is necessarily easy to predict climate changes, but clearly seizing on the weather man's one week failure to cast doubt on a climate model's 100 year projection is an argument of ignorance.
Yes, clouds are not completely understood in terms of effect on climate, that is why climate scientists have error bars and different prognosis. This can be seen just by opening the first few pages of the WG1 of the 4th assessment report from 2007.
See, the models do include clouds and the estimations and error bars: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_dat ... s-2-5.html
As for computer models, they have had many predicts confirmed, such as the warming at the surface should be accompanied by cooling of the stratosphere, surface temperatures warming, models expect warming of ocean surface waters as is now observed, models predict an energy imbalance between incoming sunlight and outgoing infrared radiation. This has been detected.
4.I noticed that they changed 'global warming' to 'climate change', and I cannot support a movement which rallies against 'climate change'. Climate is ALWAYS changing, and this sudden change in position makes their movement appear dishonest to me. Obviously the climate is changing, but if your position is that the climate is changing, then it is completely unfalsifiable.
Actually, the idea to change from "global warming" to "climate change" was the idea of a republican politician, since "climate change" does not sound as threatening as "global warming". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T4UF_Rmlio The name of course has little to do with the content. Surely, you would not say that a specific evolutionary relationship is nonfalsifiable because "life is always evolving"? You have to look at the specific models and what they claim and see if they make any testable predictions.
Yes, you froze your ass off and so did I (I probably had way worse), but again, weather =/= climate and no one claimed that fluctuations in weather does not occur. Computer models model trends, not weather fluctuations.
You then claim that "the sun spot activity correlates to climate better than CO2, which is true", which of course is incorrect. Neither sun spot activities or CO2 on their own correlates that well with climate on their own, but when you put them together with many other factors, voila!
It is true that "more CO2 is produced naturally than humans have contributed", but you have to look at net gain or loss. Generally, the atmosphere takes up and gives away about the same amounts of carbon dioxide. However, when you dig up fossil fuels that contains carbon that is not actively being circulated around the carbon cycle as the carbon dioxide in the air previously, you are adding a net contribution to the atmosphere. A net contribution that will of course eventually over time, maybe hundreds or thousands of years get absorbed into the ocean, but it will still have an effect. That argument is like saying that "the net intake of calories I take every day is way less than the total amount of energy I take in and spend, so obviously I cannot get fat by having a net intake of calories". Both are mistaken in the exact same way.
Carbon dioxide is a pollutant and necessary for life. It all depends on concentration. The same goes for water by the way. All organisms need water to survive, but humans can suffer drowning or water intoxication. It is really a question of dose.
I do not think any scientist believes that the temperature will increase in a cataclysmic fashion and produce a the day after tomorrow situation. In fact, only a few degrees, on average, is enough to seriously hurt plant and animal life in many environments if enzymatic activity in plants goes down. You can toss as much carbon dioxide on it as you want, but if it is limited by enzymatic activity or, say, nitrogen, you won't get more growth.
There is probably someone that needs to be done about global warming, but that is a political and ethical issue, not an issue that falls on the laps of climate scientists.
No one is claiming that CO2 is the main driver of temperature. What is being claimed is that anthropogenic CO2 emissions is a significant contributor to the current warming trend.
It has been warmer before indeed, but this does nothing to undermine the theories and data that indicate that anthropogenic CO2 emissions is not a significant contributor to the current warming trend. The problem is that when climate changes "rapidly", organisms do not have enough evolutionary time to adapt. Historically, climate change has been the main driver of extinctions. It is estimated that some 99% of all species that has ever lived have gone extinct.
Please let me know if someone wants to discuss as specific topic in detail.