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I don’t mean to be unkind to you, BarbieJ…

As I tried to point out to you in my previous response, in the scientific world, opinion is not worth much. What counts are verifiable facts, and analysis based on those facts. When an hypothesis is put forth to explain a set of facts, like the currently popular anthropogenic global warming hypothesis, it needs to address ALL the facts, not just a specific set of the facts. If the hypothesis cannot address ALL the facts, then it has little value. This is the problem with the currently popular, politically sensitive explanation for global warming. Since there is an hypothesis that fully explains ALL the known facts, there is no reason for all scientists (and regular folks as well) not to embrace it – at least for the time being. Until facts come along that can’t be explained by the solar hypothesis, there is no need for any other.

Nonscientific people, especially people used to debating everything, tend to believe that “everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.” I don’t have any quarrel this concept in every area of human endeavor except the scientific realm. In science, opinion counts for nothing. Facts rule. When you hear about scientific consensus, you are dealing with one of two things. Either scientists are debating the merits of several hypothetical explanations to a set of facts, and a consensus is emerging about which hypothesis may offer the best explanation, or you are hearing the opinion of a non scientist about the ongoing debate within the scientific community – such as Al Gore’s statement that the “debate is over” regarding global warming. That’s his opinion, and it carries no scientific weight whatever. Since scientists are human, sometimes, scientists will do the same thing that Gore did, and in that venue, their opinion is worth no more than Gore’s.

In the post that triggered this discussion, a scientist wrote very clearly that the debate within the scientific community is not over, that the global warming facts are not explained by the currently popular explanation, but that there is another hypothesis that offers a much more complete explanation. The public and politicians should just sit back and let the debate take its course. There is absolutely no pressing reason to take any immediate action anywhere within the climate change venue. There is plenty of time to gain a more complete understanding before doing anything drastic.

Human contribution to global warming is a matter of scale – it’s a bit like spitting in the ocean. No matter how much you spit, about all you really can affect is the small patch of water directly in front of you. As soon as you look at the larger picture of the entire ocean, your contribution, although real, becomes insignificant. The simple fact is that human beings are not having any measurable effect on the overall global climate.

I don’t mean to quarrel with you about the level of disease in the world today, but the FACT is that there is FAR LESS disease now than ever before. It really seems rather silly for you to claim otherwise. One of the reasons we hear about some diseases that we have not known about before is two-fold: (1) World-wide communications are so much better, that we simply are able to get more information than during earlier times; and (2) with the demise or significant control of many of the older diseases, we the public, are now becoming aware of what used to be lesser known diseases. You should understand, however, that in every absolute measureable way there is far less disease in the world today that in any time past, period! It is true that with the start of the industrial revolution, humans did a lot to bring about industry-related diseases and trauma. With few exceptions, however, despite what you read on the Internet, we really know very little about any connection between industry and cancer or other so-called industry-related diseases. Coal dust can give you lung problems, certain kinds of exposure to certain kinds of asbestos can cause certain kinds of cancer, tobacco (and other) smoke can cause certain cancers, and there are other relationships. But during the last 50 years, we have virtually brought all this under control. It simply is no longer a big problem, and in most cases, is only something to worry about on a local basis.

posted by arGee on November 12, 2007 at 8:38 AM | link to this | reply

A little knowledge hurts
You obviously like to tear apart things, as all scientists should...but less disease?  Not really.

We have so many young people dying of cancer now, although not the plague or similar, the pollution we have created  is mainly the cause of this.  As  I said,  we have never had a situation as  we do now,  to create the problems we humans have created since the industrial revolution.  Sure, there are other factors involved in the warming of the planet, but our  human input  is causing it to  escalate faster  in the past 50 years.  And yes, there were many more scientists  working on the IPCC, your opinion is only one of lecturers  have also spent  20+ years  volunteering their services to it.  You have good analytical skills,  but can't  accept someone  disagreeing with everything you say.

posted by barbiej on November 11, 2007 at 10:00 PM | link to this | reply

I still wonder, Kayzzaman...
I you make these responses just to ring up as many clicks as possible?

posted by arGee on November 10, 2007 at 9:43 AM | link to this | reply

Thank you for your good writing

posted by Kayzzaman on November 10, 2007 at 9:03 AM | link to this | reply

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