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The debate over climate change is..

Displaying poll results.
Entirely scientific
  425 votes / 2%
Mostly scientific and partly political
  1140 votes / 7%
Evenly scientific and political
  1108 votes / 6%
Mostly political and partly scientific
  4304 votes / 26%
Entirely political
  3677 votes / 22%
Mostly idiots yelling
  4597 votes / 28%
Debate? I hadn't noticed..
  975 votes / 6%
16226 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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The debate over climate change is..

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  • n/t (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spune (715782) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @07:54PM (#47462687)
    the *debate* is entirely political
    • Re:n/t (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Todd Palin (1402501) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @08:49PM (#47463001)

      The science is undebatable. Politicians and idiots are the only ones debating, but I guess that is redundant.

      • Re:n/t (Score:5, Insightful)

        by billstewart (78916) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @02:45AM (#47464421) Journal

        There's lots of actual scientific debate, at least when it can get funding and doesn't get censored by the governments that fund it. It's not about "Is the climate changing, in ways that will get us in trouble, because of things humans have been doing?"; that's all settled. It's more about "Precisely how fast is it changing, and in what ways, and who's going to bake first or freeze first, and whose coastline is going to get flooded how fast, and how does agriculture have to adapt to keep us from starving in a few decades or a century, and how much of the ecology can we save while we're at it?"

        So laws like North Carolina's ban on considering any global warming effects beyond 30 years? Pretty much criminal, and obviously written by a bunch of 70-year-olds who don't think they'll need a beach house after that, plus some 50-year-olds who think they'll be retired from politics by then. I used to live in Delaware and New Jersey, both states with beach industries constantly affected by erosion and flooding, and North Carolina's coastline is the same way. If the sand washes away your property values drop and then your house washes into the ocean, and when the barrier islands are gone, the mainland starts to go pretty fast also.

        • by Zocalo (252965)
          Pretty much my sentiments too. There's plenty of debate (albeit sometimes less than lucid) on both the political and scientific sides of the fence, the issue is that the press is mostly focussed on the political side of things and that then skews people's opinions of what is going on. On the non-biased scientific side, it's pretty much a done deal; real, on-going and that we are partly to blame - with much of the remaining debate surrounding just how big a part we play, since that is what we can possibly
        • by geekoid (135745)

          Except it's not.

          Some people are still screaming that it isn't happening.
          Some have said OK, but humans aren't doing it!

          If politicians were just talking about the best way forward, then we would be having an actual debate.

          • Re:n/t (Score:5, Insightful)

            by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @01:36PM (#47468225)

            Well, on the other side you have the guys who claim *everything* is caused by climate change, even when people in the field say there's no evidence global warming should have any impact - like, say, with hurricane strength and severity.

            And when one points this out, one is branded a "denier". It's like critical thinking goes out the window once someone chooses a position.

            • by castle (6163) *

              My main issue is that the overall issue suits the agenda-politics of authoritarian progressives. Carbon taxation being the solution for instance, laughable solution, is merely a means of attacking some industries to benefit other industries, and rake in money for companies that politicians and elites favor at the expense of their political enemies.

              Also, the revealed internal attitudes of the 'scientists' that are in the faction that calls anyone who finds fault with their conclusions 'deniers' don't help.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by rgmoore (133276)

            Some people are still screaming that it isn't happening.
            Some have said OK, but humans aren't doing it!

            And a lot of the people saying those things are the same people. They go through the same series of denials:

            1. The climate isn't changing.
            2. The climate is changing but it's natural.
            3. Humans are causing climate change, but it's no big deal
            4. It's a big deal, but the suggested changes to deal with it are acceptable.

            The worst part is that they'll concede points through the list of denials in one argument, and th

            • Your thinking is perfectly correct, except:

              1- You add steps to your debate that aren't in debate. Everyone accepts that there is climate change, and everyone accepts that it is due to natural causes (e.g. ice ages).

              2- In order for a person to be in denial, he must first be presented with the truth. No one has yet proven that the human-caused climate change is significant: no one knows what it really is because it is very difficult to prove. Reliable science has shown a less than 1 degree rise in average

              • People who express what you have just expressed are demonized and shouted down in the same way that Tumblr feminists and religious zealots attack their opponents: tons of fallacy, anger, shocked disbelief, ad hominem, and parroting of illogical talking points that provoke strong emotions yet mean nothing. Very few have actual arguments to present in a discussion, so they fall back on religious fanaticism. When they realize that science is never "settled" and present real information consistently, perhaps th
                • by dywolf (2673597)

                  see wha tyou just wrote?
                  see that?
                  that right there!
                  THAT'S WHY YOU GET LABELED AS DENIERS.

                  you're as stupid as the other guy. it has been REPEATEDLY SHOWN TIME AND AGAIN.
                  and yet you still say things like "science is never settled" (bullspit...yes it is)..."we dont know yet" (yes, we do)..."no proof has been shown" (again, there's plenty of it)

                  Because you are denying obvious facts and conclusions from thousands of data points covering hundreds of lines of consistant evidence. You are not rational, you are not r

              • by dywolf (2673597)

                1) Nope, everyone most certainly does NOT accept that it's natural. quite the opposite. The entire relevant scientific community specifically. the overwhelming majority people even trying to "debate" it are non-expert non-scientists. the scientific community that actually studies it have already made up their mind (the 3% is irrelevent; there's always cranks who reject the scientific consensus, even for relativity and the such, and frequently in larger numbers).

                2) Bullspit.

                3) Again. Bullspit.

                but then we don

        • by Wootery (1087023)

          So laws like North Carolina's ban on considering any global warming effects beyond 30 years?

          I'd not heard of this. It's discussed here [dailykos.com] and here [scientificamerican.com]. Every bit as insane as it sounds.

      • Re:n/t (Score:5, Informative)

        by Spy Handler (822350) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @04:56AM (#47464819) Homepage Journal

        No, all of science is debatable. Even Newton and Einstein.

        The ones insisting that science is "settled" and undebatable are the same old religious authority figures dressed in new clothes.

        • Re:n/t (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ibwolf (126465) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @07:23AM (#47465251)

          No, all of science is debatable. Even Newton and Einstein.

          The ones insisting that science is "settled" and undebatable are the same old religious authority figures dressed in new clothes.

          Newton is a good example. We know for a fact that his 'laws' (or more accurately, models) of motion are wrong. We've known that for a very long time (that is why relativity was needed, Newton's model, for example, failed to predict the orbits of the planets accurately).

          Now suppose you are building a bridge. It needs to withstand certain strains. Plugging the details of your plans into Newton's models shows that it will not withstand them. Claiming that since Newton's models are wrong, you can safely ignore this result and build your bridge anyway, is clearly nonsense.

          The reason it is nonsense is because the limitations (or inaccuracies) of Newton's models are irrelevant to its application in this scenario. To wave away Newton, in this instance, you'd need to present extremely compelling evidence that we've been wrong these past 300 years in believing Newton's laws held any value at 'human' scale.

          This would be an extraordinary claim, requiring extraordinary proof. Given how unlikely that is, we say that Newton is 'settled'. In that we know the limits of his models and have a mountain of evidence to back them up where we believe they do apply. You can't just point at the known limitations of his models and in a handwavy manner extrapolate that since his models aren't perfect, they are useless. You must provide extraordinary proof they Newton's models are wrong.

          So lets move over to climate science.

          Its a younger field, but it does rely on a number of fairly simple and testable models. Including that carbon dioxide (CO2) traps heat in the atmosphere. This can be easily tested (and has been repeatedly). Claiming that this is false, requires extraordinary proof and this can generally be considered settled.

          The claim that us humans are releasing immense amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere and have been doing so to an ever greater degree for over 200 years is also easily proven and can be viewed as 'settled'. That is to say, you'd need extraordinary proof to claim otherwise.

          There is a mountain of these small, 'settled' issues that, when taken together, lead to a fairly unassailable (barring extraordinary evidence to the countrary) conclusion; We are having an effect on the global climate.

          The exact effects are what is left for (real) scientific debate. But even there we know that the overall temperature of the planet will rise by some amount due to the presence of more CO2 in the atmosphere (claiming otherwise requires, again, extraordinary proof, although the exact amount of heating is still subject to some debate).

          TL;DR Climate science is far from settled. However, the fact that we are having an impact on the climate is settled and arguing otherwise requires extraordinary proof.

          • Now suppose you are building a bridge. It needs to withstand certain strains. Plugging the details of your plans into Newton's models shows that it will not withstand them. Claiming that since Newton's models are wrong, you can safely ignore this result and build your bridge anyway, is clearly nonsense.

            The reason it is nonsense is because the limitations (or inaccuracies) of Newton's models are irrelevant to its application in this scenario. To wave away Newton, in this instance, you'd need to present extremely compelling evidence that we've been wrong these past 300 years in believing Newton's laws held any value at 'human' scale.

            This would be an extraordinary claim, requiring extraordinary proof. Given how unlikely that is, we say that Newton is 'settled'. In that we know the limits of his models and have a mountain of evidence to back them up where we believe they do apply. You can't just point at the known limitations of his models and in a handwavy manner extrapolate that since his models aren't perfect, they are useless. You must provide extraordinary proof they Newton's models are wrong.

            It's just reminded me of an Asimov's piece ("The Relativity of Wrong" [tufts.edu]) that explains that the theory of plain Earth is rather inaccurate than wrong. If your bridge is short (only a couple of miles, I guess), you can ignore Earth's curvature entirely.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Princeofcups (150855)

            Newton is a good example. We know for a fact that his 'laws' (or more accurately, models) of motion are wrong. We've known that for a very long time (that is why relativity was needed, Newton's model, for example, failed to predict the orbits of the planets accurately).

            That statement is one of the problems. Scientific laws are never right or wrong. That implies an absolute truth. Physics is just looking for math to accurately describe repeatable physical phenomena. Measurement is never absolute, so there is always an implied N decimal points of accuracy. And Newtons laws work 100% in the realm in which the experiments are performed. That's why we call them laws. If you want to set up experiments in other realms, e.g. high speed atomic particles, of course you might

            • Scientific laws are never right or wrong. That implies an absolute truth.

              The absolute truth that scientific laws are trying to describe is "what will happen if we do X". In this sense they absolutely can be wrong. Newton's laws most definitely DO NOT work 100% even in the realm to which they are applied. They work 99.99...% which is usually "good enough" for most things but not always e.g. GR corrections to GPS satellite clocks, police radar guns etc.

              However if you used relativity it would always be right for any situation we have managed to encounter or create. The only rea

          • Re:n/t (Score:5, Informative)

            by AthanasiusKircher (1333179) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @02:54PM (#47469009)

            Newton is a good example. We know for a fact that his 'laws' (or more accurately, models) of motion are wrong. We've known that for a very long time (that is why relativity was needed, Newton's model, for example, failed to predict the orbits of the planets accurately).

            I think you missed one of the major points of Newton's contributions to the Scientific Revolution. Before Newton (and especially before Descartes and other scientists of his generation), science was concerned with "causes" and "truth" and whether explanations were "right" or "wrong." But Descartes and others tried to move toward mechanical explanations of the universe, which didn't require the same rigid definitions of "cause" in scientific theories like Aristotle's physics did.

            Newton's physics required an even stronger break: he asked people to accept his purely mathematical model as a scientific explanation. He postulated unseen "forces" like gravity to make the universe work. These were very weird ideas to scientists of the time, who associated the influence of unseen "forces" acting at a distance with occult traditions -- NOT science.

            But Newton changed the entire goal of science. It was NOT to come up with an ultimate explanation or cause for observed effects, but to provide predictive models, regardless of whether those models carry any formal "explanation" for what is observed. The idea of "right" or "wrong" assumes that there's some sort of absolute "truth" which science is uncovering about the universe. But it's not.

            Therefore, as you rightly note, we still teach Newton's laws as the first physics most students learn. They are not "wrong" at all, since that concept doesn't apply. They are simply known now to be a mathematical model which is approximate and only works best at certain scales. For other scales (extreme speeds, extreme gravity, etc.), we need to use another model for accuracy. But, as we know, there are plenty of places where Einstein's "laws" seem to lack explanation too -- hence all of the discussion about dark matter and dark energy, which are needed in the models to keep the math working out.

            That's part of the problem with those who find concepts like "dark matter" and "dark energy" to be suspicious. People often act like these are somehow flaws or show that our physical laws are "wrong." But right now they are just other mathematical correctives to help create accurate predictions -- that's mostly what science is. It is not concerned with "ultimate causes." However, there does seem to be an emphasis on "elegant theories," so if the math of dark matter and dark energy can be incorporated into some other mathematical model in an "elegant" way, that will probably be seen as "progress."

            Newton's laws were never proven "wrong" -- they just lost sufficient predictive power under extreme circumstances.

            • They are not "wrong" at all, since that concept doesn't apply.

              Yes they are wrong and it is easy to prove: just accelerate an electron to a high speed and the prediction of Newton will vary widely from that of Einstein. Hence Newton's laws are wrong as a fundamental model of the universe. As you say the aim of science is to come up with a mathematical model that predicts the behaviour of a system and under those precise criteria Newton is wrong and his model was most definitely proven wrong.

          • by danbert8 (1024253)

            Yes, but people use these undisputed facts to shut down any dissent to the projection that the human caused warming will be catastrophic. If there isn't a catastrophe looming, no one can use climate change to push their political agenda...

          • by Squeak (10756)

            Yes, CO2 does increase the heat capacity of the atmosphere. Yes, industrial processes release CO2.
            HOWEVER, if that was all there was to it, the global temperature increase would pretty small. (Probably measurable over a long enough period, but not enough to have a serious impact.) It is the supposed secondary effects that are claimed to produce the large changes. e.g. A slight increase in temperature increases the water evaporation rate faster than it increases the rainfall rate, so leads to an increase in

        • Re:n/t (Score:5, Insightful)

          by WillKemp (1338605) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @07:52AM (#47465397) Homepage

          No, all of science is debatable. Even Newton and Einstein.

          Only if you don't understand science. If you do understand science, you know it's not debatable – but it is falsifiable (i.e., it can be proved wrong, if it is wrong, by reproducible experiment).

          You can debate things you don't understand, of course, if you must – and a lot of people do – but it's entirely meaningless.

          • by danbert8 (1024253)

            Except in this case, we don't have an experiment where we can reproduce the earth and any falsifications or confirmations will happen when we are all dead... Hence the need for debate.

        • by geekoid (135745)

          It's not debatable without new scientific data; which there is none.
          Some minutia is debatable. Really, to say man isn't driving climate change is to LITERALLY deny basic physics.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by lgw (121541)

            Does man have some effect on climate? How could we not?

            Does the effect overwhelm the natural feedback mechanisms? Certainly not, at a long enough time scale. So tiny details matter here, and we have a serious lack of understanding of the feedback mechanism that drives the 100K year cycle, or of why we're late for a return to glaciation. The climate was unnaturally stable for the past 10K years, and no one knows why. That's important. We don't have models that make better predictions than the null hypo

        • by dywolf (2673597)

          this right here is the single most popular yet single most IGNORANT statement non-scientists make time and again.

          It's "settled" because not only has no one ever come up with a better idea yet, but every observation being made only further proofs the currently accepted science.
          That's what makes it settled.
          That's why there's a consensus.

          You are more than welcome to try and upend all of newtonian physics, or Einstein's relativity.
          But you're chances of success as an obviously unqualified and ignorant layperson

      • actually all science is debatable, but in a debate you are supposed to say something other than "the science is settled" or "nearly all climate scientists agree" in order to support your argument
        • by riverat1 (1048260)

          I refer you to the IPCC AR5 Working Group 1 report [www.ipcc.ch] to support my argument. If you want to debate the science of climate (rather than the political questions that arise from its implications) you need to do it in a scientific manner with an awareness of the science that's already been done. Bringing up the same old arguments that have been repeatedly refuted doesn't cut it.

          • Cool, thanks for the link, but pretty much all that report gives is CO2/greenhouse emmision rates, mitigation, and economics. Where is the temperature date?
            • by riverat1 (1048260)

              WoodForTrees [woodfortrees.org] is a good accessible source for temperature from several different datasets.

              • So you turn to a guy who is writing code and asking for money to give you "good accessible" datasets? Really?

                You wouldn't be that guy, would you?

                • by riverat1 (1048260)

                  No, I would not be that guy. You can go straight to the data sources and get the data and plot it on your own. It's going to take a lot more work though so I doubt you'll do that. You probably don't have the knowledge to use most of them. Here's some links:

                  Raw data:
                  ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/da... [noaa.gov]
                  http://rda.ucar.edu/datasets/d... [ucar.edu]
                  http://amsu.cira.colostate.edu... [colostate.edu]
                  http://www.argo.net/ [argo.net]

                  Processed data:
                  http://hadobs.metoffice.com/ha... [metoffice.com]
                  http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/monit... [noaa.gov]
                  http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/tcc/t... [jma.go.jp]
                  http://be [berkeleyearth.org]

                  • Well, I don't have the experience with these particular datasets, and I haven't had (and won't have) the time to run through all of this. But looking at what seems the most comprehensive one used on the woodfortrees.org website, I see some problems:

                    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/HadCRUT4.pdf (this apparently attempts to use historical data from stations around the globe to yield a global average temperature on not less than an annual time frame)

                    This data shows essentially a flat average g

                    • by riverat1 (1048260)

                      Your expectation that if what climate scientists are saying is true then temperatures should rise in lockstep with changes in CO2 levels is unrealistic. Over the short run (less than around 30 years) other factors can override the slow but steady underlying signal of warming from CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

                      For instance during and after WW II there was a massive increase in industrialization with little in the way of pollution controls. That dumped a lot of aerosols into the atmosphere which reflected

                    • Now, now - you need to do better than that. All you've done is declare to me that the evidence is in there somewhere for me to find.

                      Mt. Pinatubo erupted in the southern hemisphere in 1991. Why don't I see a corresponding dip in the temperature data (in either of the Hadcrut4 data or the IPCC report)?

                      If pollution causes cooling, then the warming trend between 1910 and 1943 would have been a cooling trend. Again, there's no correlation between your theory and either the Hadcrut4 data or the IPCC report.

      • by tompaulco (629533)
        Any science that is not debatable is no longer science but politics.
      • The science is undebatable. Politicians and idiots are the only ones debating, but I guess that is redundant.

        Please tell me that your being intentionally ironic with: "the science is undebatable".

        Here are some more:
        The math is incalculable.
        The geometry is unmeasurable.
        The philosophy is unfathomable.


        The point at which any scientific study, especially one concerning complex systems with so many variables, is deemed "undebatable" by the masses is the point that politics have beat that area of study into submission and is a sad day indeed.

        This is the point where replies (in subtext) compare me to holocos

      • Disagree (Score:4, Insightful)

        by DarthVain (724186) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:57AM (#47474391)

        It isn't really the science that is being debated, but the economics. They might make a show about it being about the science, but it is really a political debate on economic development. This is the same as "environmental groups" debating wind power citing bird strikes, when really it is about preserving real estate values on cottages.

        It is a political debate, because political lines are crossed by climate change. Meaning any meaningful action also *requires* significant change from all parties. However the folks proposing the change, are also those that caused most of the issue by burning fossil fuels to enhance economic and industrial growth over the last 100 years. The same that are now trying to tell booming growth centers like China and India, that they are not allowed to do the same? Yeah, that's going to go over well. Add to that any plan going forward that doesn't include such large producers, is pointless, not to mention politically impossible domestically.

        So ya, the debate is entirely political, only the debate isn't really about the actual science at all.

      • The science is undebatable. Politicians and idiots are the only ones debating, but I guess that is redundant.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org]

        So falsifying data and results make the science undebatable? I don't recall the pulling numbers out of your ass step in the scientific method.

      • There is lots of good, extremely complex science being done. What you see in the media though is almost entirely idiots yelling about politics.

    • Re:n/t (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Artifakt (700173) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @09:02PM (#47463079)

      That depends - are we talking about the basic claims (the climate is changing rapidly, it's going to have many negative consequences, and humans are creating the things that make that happen)?
      Or are we talking about the exaggerated versions of these claims (Hollywood's the Day after Tomorrow. Extinction of everything above the bacterial range. That sort of thing).
      I regard it as scientifically proven that humans are releasing tremendous amounts of Carbon Dioxide, and the climate is changing rapidly because of that. I think we are very close to saying that the increased average temperatures will definitely make weather more violent, but those theories need a bit more work. I think specific senarios are mostly speculation - for example, if AGW has an effect on hurricanes, it might mean storms starting before the usual season or continuing after it, or it might mean bigger storms on average, or more total storms on average, or various mixtures of any of the above. There's some pretty good science for the idea that higher temperatures will have some specific effects on hurricanes, but much less on just what.
      I think we are looking at significant sea level rise that will totally swamp several island nations, but if we don't at least do more to separate out data from areas where the land seems to be locally sinking (i.e. Norfolk VA,), we don't have a truly solid scientific prediction just yet.
      Predictions that existing warming will trigger mass release of other sequestered gasses such as Ocean Subfloor Clathrate Contained Methane? Not much of either real evidence, or solid conclusions from what little we have, as yet. it's not totally rediculous, but it's not compelling either.
      Mutant Mesons from the film 2012, or a stopping of the planetary core (from "The Core" of course)? Not science at all, but those films both made references to Global Warming, Climate Change, and similar, and some people on the pro AGW side have gotten that sort of claptrap mixed up with their scientific arguments, just like some people on the Anti-AGW side are all mixed up about whether Mars or Venus are warming or not.

      • by tylikcat (1578365)

        And just as there are a lot of people who dismiss claims of global warming - often because it makes a nicer story to them than otherwise - there are people who really like the idea of some kind of apocolyptic scenario. This is distressingly common. Don't see much of that getting past peer review. (I don't pretend peer review is a perfect process, but it's a somewhat workable coarse filter.)

        (The data on ocean acidification, BTW, is pretty well documented, and pretty major. Taking a peak at what's been going

    • by X10 (186866)

      ... while the issue is entirely scientific.

    • In academic circles the debate is scientific.

      As in: is it getting warmer on average?, can we say that's a climate change or is it another kind of structural change in our average weather situation?, and if so, what part of it is man-made? Arguments are based on data and backed up by models; datasets are being questioned, data filtering is being questioned, models are being questioned. Things work as they should, and the current majority opinion among scientists is: yes, global warming is most definitely h

  • All of the above (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gargleblast (683147) on Tuesday July 15, 2014 @08:38PM (#47462945)
    It is mostly idiot politicians yelling at scientists.
  • But many people don't realise this, and are still causing problems.
  • I forget which one is hot today....
    Oh oh I know its climate change... how stupid can they get.... climate is always changing and will always change.

  • by Nimey (114278) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @09:46AM (#47466101) Homepage Journal

    There is no scientific debate about whether warming is happening or what is causing it. The debate is caused by idiots chasing the votes of other idiots who don't want to change their lifestyles or pay extra taxes.

  • The poll choices frame the question as a simple science vs. politics issue. It's a bit more complex than that. On the anthropomorphic global warming/climate change side, you have both evidence-based scientific thinkers and non-scientific wishful thinkers. On the anti-AGW/anti-climate change side you have some very smart cynical people with a vested interest in the current energy economic status quo and a group ideological, unthinking wing-nuts.

    The problem for the AGW/CC scientists is that they are not ju

  • This since too many politicians tries to score cheap points by putting guilt on the opponents and voters for not doing enough - and at the same time imposing additional local regulations on emissions and promoting "impossible" alternatives all while countries like China just goes full throttle with full emissions. (OK, they have actually acknowledged that they have a problem now, but improving the situation there will give a lot more effect than trying to improve the situation in the western world.

    However t

  • 1) Is climate change occurring? Scientific debate

    2) Is the climate change due to human activity? Scientific debate

    3) What will be the impact of climate change? Evenly political/scientific debate

    4) What should be done in response to climate change? Entirely political debate

  • I don't think there is much debate that we impact the climate by some amount but even I have serious doubts as to how much of an impact we might have when it comes to CO2 and if it is in fact all that negative. The models keep predicting catastrophic scenarios and they keep not happening... I'd be lying if I said I was really all that concerned about a 1 degree change that can be said to "mostly" be attributable to global warming or "climate change". I just don't care and don't follow it. Too many alarmi
    • I'd be lying if I said I was really all that concerned about a 1 degree change [...]

      Well, that can depend on where the change happens. Here in Southern California, 1 degree isn't going to even be noticeable. But take a place where it's usually right around 31 degrees F and make it 32 degrees F and the locals will certainly notice the difference between rain and snow.

      • Actually it goes much further than slightly warmer summers: the interesting question is about polar ice melting and how it will effect sea levels. You WILL care if you live in SF and your house drowns in the ocean :)
    • by JustNiz (692889)
      >> I don't think there is much debate that we impact the climate by some amount

      It really does appear that pretty much the whole world has already reached this inevitable conclusion a long time ago, with the notable exception of a surprisingly large group of particularly bone-headed US citizens that refuse to accept any of the overwhelming amount of scientific evidence that humans are damaging the climate. Many of them are apparently even living in denial of any climate change happening at all.

      I really
  • What we know (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blue9steel (2758287) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @07:08PM (#47471233)
    1) CO2 is definitely being released into the atmosphere, no question on that one
    2) CO2 does have an energy retaining effect so higher levels definitely increase global energy retention
    3) A 10% smoothed exponential moving average of the NOAA land + ocean temperature anomaly data looks pretty convincingly positive to me, so I think we can safely say temperatures are going up, at least for the period 1977 to present.

    There are really only three points of legitimate contention:

    1) Are the human caused effects larger than the natural variability of the system, the evidence is strong but not yet irrefutable
    2) If something bad is happening and we're causing most of it, are the costs of mitigating it less than the costs of enduring it? This one seems poorly explored so far, I have yet to see a really good analysis. I happen to think the tail risks are high enough it's worth it, but not everyone agrees.
    3) If we are going to do something, what should we do? I don't think there is any consensus on this at all. My personal opinion is put a carbon tax into place and let the market sort it out but that's not exactly uncontroversial.
    • 2) If something bad is happening and we're causing most of it, are the costs of mitigating it less than the costs of enduring it? This one seems poorly explored so far, I have yet to see a really good analysis. I happen to think the tail risks are high enough it's worth it, but not everyone agrees.

      Who decides what is bad and what isn't bad?

      This is interesting from a nationalistic point-of-view. Consider Siberia. Warm it up, get rid of the permafrost, and there's some nice arable land there that could feed a lot of people. That would be a pretty good thing for Russia. Consider America's wheat belt, where lots of food is grown for people in the US and abroad. If that were to, say, dry up, that would be bad for the United States.

      Right now, you're seeing trade routes open up in the arctic ocean. Th

      • Again, higher temperatures (no matter who caused them) = polar ice melting = higher sea levels.

        You won't have more land. You will have a lot less land.

  • by chromaexcursion (2047080) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @09:02PM (#47471823)
    Rather than investing in possible solutions, the idiots pay shills to muddy the waters.
    Since the idiots are billionaires, or groups of millionaires, they can afford it.
  • by GrantRobertson (973370) on Thursday July 17, 2014 @09:17AM (#47474081) Homepage Journal

    ...just rich people who want to keep stealing from the commons and "useful idiots" who are desperate to believe they are on the same "team" as those rich people.

  • In this world there are real conspiracies. Tobacco executives hid the bad effects. One of G.W Bush's ancestors tried to take over through the US government just before WWII. US doctors gave black men STDs. North Korea News services, well, they just are one giant conspiracy.

    But some people are lunatics and believe obviously false conspiracies.

    So, how do you tell the sane from the insane?

    1) Sane people realize that amateurs are NOT smarter than all the experts. If you can think of it, then the experts

    • by Sarius64 (880298)
      According to Factcheck.org, Obama and Bush are 11th cousins, both descended from Samuel Hinckley, who lived in Massachusetts in the 17th century. So, Obama is a relative to someone who tried to take over the government just before WWII.

"For the man who has everything... Penicillin." -- F. Borquin

 



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