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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
I work in a lab in the field of tribology.
The problem with the global warming debate is there are TWO polarized, powerful lobbies using it for agendas. One being industry and the other being government. When either entity pays the bills for "research" the results are due proper skepticism, and arriving at consensus based on such "research" is dangerous territory on which to make a stand.
A questionable study contends climate skeptics are lousy scientists
the advocates have used bad social science to show that the science of climate change is sound.
Hyping this paper ... simply reinforces the dangerous perception that climate activists will credulously push any news that might further their case. For those who care about this issue, that's tragic.
Originally posted by Astyanax
Things become even worse when, as in the climate change debate, a powerful and influential lobby - made up mostly of people who want to keep on consuming and polluting without let or hindrance - does its best to present the facts in a light favourable to its own agenda.
Most people in the Green lobby are there for unselfish reasons.
The same cannot, of course, be said for the other side. They're in it for the money, every one of them.
Sadly, in the greater interest of the world and future generations, action against climate change must create some losers today. The task of governments here is to mitigate the pain, and spread it fairly.
given the danger, given the number of unknowns in climate science and given what we already know, how can it make sense not to do anything about it? How can it make sense to go on blithely spewing filth into the sky?
The comparison between the tobacco debate and the climate-change debate is, to my mind, very close.
Shouldn't you have quoted Mr. Mandeville here? If you are going to 'borrow' from his philosophy of government magnanimity, doesn't he at least deserve some credit? I studied his reasoning as well, and agree for the most part. But I do not agree that government is inherently magnanimous.
In this context it must not be forgotten that the function of governments is to govern.
In this instance, it is important that governments take the hard decisions about climate change now, instead of waiting for some conclusive proof of human agency that may never come. The future of humanity depends upon it.
Originally posted by Astyanax
So it is not really Industry vs. Government. It is more a case of ordinary voters against special-interest groups. For the most part, all that's in it for the Greens is a cleaner and fairer world for everybody's children.
The AGW push is a U.N. funded agenda based on scientific ideas in order to ultimately achieve a political goal. This was not initiated in order to being about a cleaner world, but I'll agree it's in part to bring about a "fairer" one. We have consistently cleaned up industry after industry without the U.N. funding biased "research".
Things become even worse when, as in the climate change debate, a powerful and influential lobby - made up mostly of leftist people and institutions who want to maintain their public and private funding, redistribute wealth, impose their social constructs, and reinforce beholden constituencies - does [their] best to present the facts in a light favourable to [their] own agenda.
So, it goes both ways, no?
Originally posted by Astyanax
You appear to be an anti-global-warming zealot. I have no interest in derailing this thread, which is about the trustworthiness of scientific 'consensuses', by debating climate change with you. There are other threads on ATS for that.
Even without the scandal, the very idea of scientific consensus should give us pause. “Consensus,” according to Merriam-Webster, means both “general agreement” and “group solidarity in sentiment and belief.” That pretty much sums up the dilemma. We want to know whether a scientific consensus is based on solid evidence and sound reasoning, or social pressure and groupthink.
Anyone who has studied the history of science knows that scientists are not immune to the non-rational dynamics of the herd. Many false ideas enjoyed consensus opinion at one time. Indeed, the “power of the paradigm” often shapes the thinking of scientists so strongly that they become unable to accurately summarize, let alone evaluate, radical alternatives. Question the paradigm, and some respond with dogmatic fanaticism.
(1) When different claims get bundled together.
(2) When ad hominem attacks against dissenters predominate.
(3) When scientists are pressured to toe the party line.
(4) When publishing and peer review in the discipline is cliquish.
(5) When dissenting opinions are excluded from the relevant peer-reviewed literature not because of weak evidence or bad arguments but as part of a strategy to marginalize dissent.
(6) When the actual peer-reviewed literature is misrepresented.
(7) When consensus is declared hurriedly or before it even exists.
(8) When the subject matter seems, by its nature, to resist consensus.
(9) When “scientists say” or “science says” is a common locution.
(10) When it is being used to justify dramatic political or economic policies.
(11) When the “consensus” is maintained by an army of water-carrying journalists who defend it with uncritical and partisan zeal, and seem intent on helping certain scientists with their messaging rather than reporting on the field as objectively as possible.
(12) When we keep being told that there’s a scientific consensus.
Consider the overwhelming consensus among researchers that biotech crops are safe for humans and the environment—a conclusion that is rejected by the very environmentalist organizations that loudly insist on the policy relevance of the scientific consensus on global warming.