Showing posts with label global warming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label global warming. Show all posts

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hey, Global Warming Deniers! We Need to Have a Little Chat!

For you Global Warming deniers out there, I have a few things to say to you:

-Be wary of any research coming out against GW/GCC/AGW/AGCC. Check where it's coming from. Is it peer reviewed, and published in an accredited scientific journal? Or is it not (careful too, as now people in the denier communities for both global warming and evolution are starting to catch on to this and are forming their own journals, and claiming to be accredited and peer reviewed, so always, always look the journal up if it's not instantly recognizable). There's a huge difference between a study published in Nature and one published in some no name journal with author publishing and no peer review. Or ones coming from a think tank. A think tank that, if you do a bit of digging, you will find out is funded by Exxon Mobil and Sean Hannity.

-Be very skeptical of anyone in the media speaking out against global warming, and listen carefully to their arguments/claims. If they are making any that aren't obviously fallacious upon first hearing/reading/seeing them (like Limbaugh's argument from incredulity) look them up. Also, look the person up. Find out who's funding them. Who they work for.

-If any scientists speak out against global warming, pay attention to what discipline of science they are experts in. When a biologist or a chemist expresses doubt about global warming, appealing to that in an argument is nothing but an appeal to authority. Their expertise is not in climatology. Being as smart as they may be, and knowing what they know about their area of science affords them NO special bonuses when it comes to climatology. They're just a layman like myself, and can easily be wrong.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

'Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future'

There is a book, released last year, entitled 'Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future' It's about the disconnect between scientists and the general public. The book's homepage: talks about the issue.

Here is an excerpt:

Some of our gravest challenges—climate change, the energy crisis, national economic competitiveness—and gravest threats--global pandemics, nuclear proliferation—have fundamentally scientific underpinnings. Yet we still live in a culture that rarely takes science seriously or has it on the radar.

For every five hours of cable news, less than a minute is devoted to science; 46 percent of Americans reject evolution and think the Earth is less than 10,000 years old; the number of newspapers with weekly science sections has shrunken by two-thirds over the past several decades.

The public is polarized over climate change—an issue where political party affiliation determines one's view of reality—and in dangerous retreat from childhood vaccinations. Meanwhile, only 18 percent of Americans have even met a scientist to begin with; more than half can't name a living scientist role model.

The situation is pretty bad down there in the US (not sure how we're faring overall here in Canada, but I do know we're experiencing a fundamentalist uprising, and the asociated antiscientifc sentiments are rearing their ugly heads as well). Biased news media outlets pick up a story that conforms to their preconceived notions (say, Anthropogenic Global Warming is false) and gladly report it ad nauseum, hammering home the message for the viewers....all without bothering to either wait for things to come clear, or do some honest appraisal and fact checking.

And once the people hear it on's gospel. They don't think critically. They don't do the research themselves. Look at the whole 'climategate' thing. And, as the old saying goes, the lie spreads quickly and sticks, so even if the truth eventually gets out, it's too late (or something like that).

Another example was the supposedly suppressed EPA analysis of a climate change bill. Fox news was all over it, saying that the EPA did not include in its report a 98 page document generated within the agency that questioned the science of global warming.

Of course, if anyone had bothered to do any, you know, reporting, they would have found that the report was written by two non-climate scientists working for the NCEE, who relied heavily on the work of a leading figure of an industry front group to write their report, which was actually nothing of the sort. They regurgitated pseudoscientifc nonsense from the front group's website. But the damage had already been done, and the science of global warming was further undermined in the public's eye.

So, what the hell do we do? Do scientific establishments need to hire full time PR firms to counter this bullshit before it does the damage it so often does?

Do we revamp the education system so it puts more focus on critical examination and less on blind acceptance and submissiveness to authority?

WHAT? What can we do? Are people too far gone? Is everyone too busy with their ipods and such that they don't have time for the science anymore? Are we too accustomed to having our knowledge delivered to us in quick 3 minute soundbites? I mean, how many people actually refer to the actual science? I love asking deniers of AGW or Evolution,
How much of the actual research have you read, or even glanced over? Hell, how many abstracts have you read?
The answer is usually none.

People deny decades, and even centuries worth of multidisciplinary scientifc evidence, and all they have to go on is some biased news stories, a couple of articles on the internet, and most importantly, selfish reasons for wanting to deny these things, religious, political, financical, or otherwise.

It's incredibly sad, and it threatens our actual futures. Yes, no hyperbole. It threatens our very future.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Atheist Experience: Global Warming Denial and God Belief

The Atheist Experience: Global Warming Denial and God Belief

The Atheist Experience blog has been updated with a post regarding Rush Limbaugh, who, after identifying himself as a creationist, stated, "I simply cannot accept the fact that we would be created to do things that would destroy our environment..."  (apparently he has never heard of pollution, industrialization, holes in the ozone layer, forced extinctions, and the (egregiously!) fallacious nature of arguments from incredulity)

Don, who posted the blog, went on to postulate why it is he feels that the religious are the most vocal when it comes to global warming denial. For me, the issue is not one of motivating factors in the denial (one of which religion may be) but rather, the denial itself, and how it comes to pass. The unfortunate thing here, is, religious or non, most people seem to come to decisions regarding these sorts of issues based not on the actual science, but what they hear in the media and read on the internet/hear from friends.

A few convincing soundbytes and it's over, which is really sad, and must be inordinately frustrating for those hard at work on these issues.

Sadly, I was one of these people for a while I can understand how it easy it to fall into the trap. The important thing to remember is that the science should speak for the science. Analyze the data yourself, be critical of the methodology and the concluisons but go to the data itself, not an intermediary.

Go the the source, folks, go to the source.