Nothing But Rants
Telling you why things suck since 2012. A Cliff Reinitz blog.

Why I’m a Global Warming Skeptic

So it happens that I don’t believe the full story about global warming, or climate change, or whatever the hell it’s being called this week.  Apparently this makes me a “skeptic.”

And I see no reason not to be.  In fact, I see a fairly good reason to be one.

Just so we’re clear:  I’m not a scientist.  I don’t understand how the climate works.  But y’know what, the odds are really good that you aren’t either, and you don’t either.  We just take the words of people who are supposed to know way more about it than we do.

Which is sort of my point.

See, a while back, somebody (we don’t know who) hacked into the e-mail servers of the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia.  They released a bunch of e-mails that, to the layman’s eye, indicated collusion to hide evidence opposed to the cause of the scientists.  Now the scientists in question have explained those e-mails to their own satisfaction, and it’s clear that there was some editing and exaggeration going on with the release.  Nevertheless, it’s pretty hard to explain words like “trick” and phrases like “hide the decline.”

Very recently, somebody obtained documents from the Heartland Institute suggesting that they were up to all manner of confidential nefarious business attempting to destroy the consensus position on global warming.  Except it turns out that most of what was released was fairly innocuous (well, except for all the personal information that suddenly found itself on the Web), and obtained fraudulently by a scientist named Peter Gleick.  And the worst document on the list is most likely a forgery.

Not knowing anything about the details of climate science, here’s how I score this:

Skeptics 2, Mainstream 0.

See, when somebody hacks into your system and reveals a bunch of weird lingo that looks like you’re hiding shit, and your best response is about how if they just knew the way you guys talked, they’d understand…well, frankly, I don’t buy that.  And then when your side has to resort to duplicitous means to get comparable dirt on the other side, after you said that was totally unfair before, and the worst thing you “found” you had to make up…dude, you’ve lost.

And this is without bringing up the whole “hockey-stick graph” battle that’s been going on for years now.  Again, I don’t know enough about either climate science or statistical modeling to discuss it in detail.  But I can say that one side (the skeptics) consistently shows a willingness to debate, and the other side (the mainstream) doesn’t.  At the very least, that’s an unwise decision, even if they’re right — because we the public don’t know shit about this issue, and they should know that.  So even as experts, it’s their job to get out ahead of the story and debunk the skeptics loudly, publicly, and often if what they’re saying is false.  And after a while, it starts to look like they know they’re lying, and that’s why they don’t want to debate.  Which, for all we know, might actually be true.

I may not be a scientist by trade, but I know this much:  science is about provable empirical truth.  If what you’re saying is true, and you can prove it through observation or experiment, you’re doing science.  The problem is that both sides claim to speak the truth.  So in the absence of any knowledge about the specific subjects they’re talking about, what’s left for us peons to do but to fall back on judgments of character and behavior?  The first scenario is rough in that accord, since one side unambiguously did something bad, even if they may have revealed a lie in the process.  But the second isn’t rough at all.

You should never have to lie in defense of the truth.

Am I saying this is proof that global warming isn’t real?  Hell, no.  Am I saying you shouldn’t be skeptical of the skeptics?  Hell, no.  I’m saying that, like with most things in life, you ought to be skeptical of everybody, and that includes the skeptics in this case, who claim to know more than you know you know.*  Especially when the stakes are that if one side is right, their opponents winning would cripple the fucking economy, and if the other side is right, their opponents winning would cripple the fucking biosphere.  You don’t know anything about either of those things, and really, neither do I.  So let’s just all agree to shut up about it and see how things play out.

And no, asshole, I don’t care if you did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

—————————————-

* Some people who claim to know things use that to their advantage, by giving arguments to the ignorant that they can use on the ignorant in conversation.  So don’t send me pages like this one as a rebuttal. I’ll just laugh at you, because that’s how you treat a parrot that thinks it knows shit.  Polly want a cracker?

I said “cracker.”  I’m a racist bastard.

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3 Responses to “Why I’m a Global Warming Skeptic”

  1. Yep, the vast majority of scientists agree that man made polution is contributing to global warming, and a conservative (in the traditional meaning of the word) would want to err on the side of caution. But don’t let that influence your opinion. 🙂

    • I won’t, thanks, condescending fake-friendly dude.

      The vast majority of scientists have agreed on many things in the past. They have agreed that the earth was flat, and at the center of the universe. They have agreed that the four basic elements were earth, water, fire, and air. They have agreed that the heavier an object was, the faster it fell. They had what they considered to be excellent evidence for those positions. And they were wrong as shit on every one of those, and dozens of other things besides.

      A smart (in the traditional meaning of the word) person knows enough to know that when it comes to science, what is actually true is not determined by consensus. Perhaps taking that into consideration is another way to err on the side of caution.

      But thanks for playing our home game.

      Also, BTW, here are some other questions for you. How much are humans contributing to the problem of global warming? More basic, would a little global warming be such a terrible thing? More basic yet, is the globe actually warming? There seem to be varying answers to all those questions. The difference between you and me is that not only do I recognize that I don’t know what the answers are, I know enough to know that the so-called authorities on either side might not either.

      • The vast majority of scientists have agreed on many things in the past. They have agreed that the earth was flat, and at the center of the universe. They have agreed that the four basic elements were earth, water, fire, and air.

        No, those weren’t scientists.


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