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I say that not in a rigid faith based sense, but more in a realization that I have no way of judging the data accurately, while you indeed have an elevated level of understanding, and consequently your superiors have even a greater grasp of the subject. Conversely, the opponents of AGW are far better versed (rightly or wrongly) in their understanding and criticism of the theory, and thus it is their findings I compare to the findings of the elite in your circle.
My 'country' (finding that anarcho capitalism is the only valid application of the NAP, I use the term 'country' as an invalid abstract) is currently engaged in two aggressive and immoral wars that are no doubt primarily motivated by oil dependency.
One of my main problems with AGW is that is stands in the way of 'clean coal', which I understand only releases CO2 and water vapor into the atmosphere.
I *desperately* yearn for the day when we no longer need to kill strangers in the name of our energy needs.
on a principled level, anything the state ferociously advocates, to me, is automatically suspect.
This week the Montreal Gazette reported on a leaked document showing that the information restrictions brought in by the Harper government have severely restricted the media’s access to government researchers.
“Scientists have noticed a major reduction in the number of requests, particularly from high-profile media, who often have same-day deadlines,” said the Environment Canada document. “Media coverage of climate change science, our most high-profile issue, has been reduced by over 80%.”
The leaked document came to light through research done by the Climate Action Network for a scathing report on the laundry list of restrictions on climate researchers since the Harper regime came to power.
According to Dr. David Schindler at the University of Alberta: “It is clear that muzzling under the Harper government is the most oppressive in the history of federal government science. Incredibly, some of the most eminent scientists in Canada have been forbidden to speak publicly on scientific matters where they are recognized as world experts.”
Not apparently content restricting the flow of existing climate information, the Harper government also cancelled funding for a decade-long climate research project that was recognized around the world for its importance.
Hey sorry for the delay, every now and then I need a mental holiday from ATS lol
Anyway there's a lot of good stuff in your post, so I think I'll work in stages -
Although I'm sure certain people here will try to tell you otherwise, believe it or not I'm actually pretty damn cool with dissent. Different or even opposing viewpoints are vital to maintaining some grounded perspective. The only thing I actually have a problem with is the sort of extremist dissent that makes people refuse to so much as re-evaluate their position when faced with opposing facts, reason, evidence, etc.
That's when dissent is no longer healthy and simply becomes it's own brand of ideology. And I find myself constantly running into that when discussing the global warming thing unfortunately, especially around here.
I mean - I don't care what "side" you're on, the fact that there is more than one side to this story though also means there is more than one side that can be corrupted by lies, politics, phony science and especially brainwashing.
Yet so many people here don't even just forget that - they refuse to so much as acknowledge it. They become so wrapped up in thinking they have everything already figured out, and invest so much time laughing at the other side for it, that they then reeeeeally can't handle the tables turning and the skeptical shoe on the other foot.
The problem I see is clearly ego, and it corrupts this debate more than anything else.
So I don't care how far apart we are on the details, the fact that you can simply take a step back and be one of the very few people to acknowledge and say "whoa whoa, I have my opinions - but I may not know everything here" is enough to earn my respect, no matter how much we ultimately agree to disagree.
I come to ATS much more to discuss conspiracies than I do science. I find myself having to constantly delve into the science because I see so many people misquoting and misrepresenting it, but trying to correct them is a pretty thankless task unfortunately, and because of that I'd actually rather stay away from it to be honest.
But I think there are also plenty of ways to make informed judgments here without even having to consult the science. In many ways the science is actually the biggest minefield for getting to the truth because it is so complicated. You mention there are people out there far better than us at grasping it - but that also makes them far better at spinning it into whatever they want you to think it says.
So I'd rather discuss the conspiracy in fact. But that discussion has been so thoroughly hijacked by one side that I don't even know how to get most people around here to consider the other, without having them go into some hysterical identity crisis. Again, the ego thing creates a huge barrier.
For a lot of people, considering the possibility that it's actually the skeptics that were lying and making **** up, means also considering the possibility that they were the ones actually being lied to in the end. And from what I've seen around here - these proudly self-professed "skeptics" absolutely CANNOT handle that!
I have a ton of evidence - and by evidence I mean HARD evidence: leaked memos, court documents, paper trails, admissions of guilt - on how far the denial industry has gone to completely manufacture doubt and skepticism over the scientific consensus on global warming.
I believe this evidence would make tons of people's heads explode around here. But that's exactly the problem - it will make their heads explode. And I can't figure out a way to get them to put the pieces back together thoughtfully, instead of just shrieking in defensive terror as a result.
So instead I just get lectured constantly on how bad the science is with rebuttals forged by bad (skeptical) science. I have to listen to people repeatedly tell me to "follow the money" when they apparently have no idea that money flows in both directions. I get told about how global warming is nothing but sensationalist alarmism while they make all sorts of sensationalist alarmist claims about email scandals and carbon taxes. It just goes on and on...
I am Canadian too, so I hear ya. This is the dangling thread I would suggest you pull on more if you want to explore some of my claims on why there is actually a conspiracy to deny anthropogenic global warming. It's more than just oil money, it involves the complete control of people and resources. Everyone seems to think carbon taxes are just another means to control and enslave us, but they completely forget those taxes are designed to get us off carbon - i.e. the tool that is ALREADY used to control and enslave us.
If you don't use fossil fuels then you aren't dependent on "them" AND you don't pay carbon taxes.
Meanwhile our entire economy is a giant scam as is, because it's designed to keep everyone chained to, and obsessed with, the sort of material devices that foster mindless little wage slaves devoted to obtaining them. The global warming problem, if it's real, means restructuring our collective priorities (and thus our whole economy) in a way that suits the best interests of the planet before the interests of the people exploiting it for personal profit. Obviously some of them recognize that, and have a HUGE problem with it.
Clean coal is a total farce if you ask me. It's not any different than regular coal, it mainly just refers to capturing the resultant carbon emissions and trying to sequester them in the Earth (quite literally sweeping everything under the rug!) which has all sorts of pitfalls and environmental problems of it's own.
It's also very expensive itself, so why spend that money trying to sweep the problem under the rug when you can just use it to eliminate it altogether right?
When I was referring to the dangers of coal mining I meant both the human cost and the environmental. I appreciate the fact that you know some coal miners personally, and thus have some direct insight there, but I would also imagine they are telling you (or being told themselves) the things that help them keep their jobs, not what's necessarily best for the environment.
I can't imagine anyone looking at current mountain top removal practices:
Or coal ash spills like this: And declaring it unintrusive.
And there's also the human impact as well of course. People can say it's getting safer, but it's still subject to the same corruptions as everything else:
So trying to rationalize all this by comparing it to something like oil is basically like saying Stalin wasn't such a bad dude next to Hitler
And it's not like wind and solar are perfect either of course - they still require resources and materials to build and set up themselves, you have to be careful where you place them - but when you weigh all the pros and cons out there, I think it's ultimately kind of a no-brainer. This cartoon says it pretty well:
Firstly, I know that your aware of Enrons crucial role in developing the ridiculous cap and trade madness (as was Al Gore of Blood and Gore associates) and Im sure you havent missed BPs heavy investment in the direction of such regulation.