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Reasons for Climate Change Skepticism

Updated on February 6, 2013
The debate over whether or not climate change poses a significant threat is often intense and emotionally charged.
The debate over whether or not climate change poses a significant threat is often intense and emotionally charged.

A quote worth considering

Don’t overrate science.” Blaise Pascal, Scientist

First things first...science is not consensus, it is about being right

Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right. … The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.”-Michael Crichton

There are many reasons to be skeptical


There are many reasons for you to consider that climate change isn’t real. Before getting into a discussion of the reality of climate change, it is important to define what you are talking about in referring to climate change. When climate change is referring to seasonal changes in weather, most people acknowledge that that type of climate change exists. The weather changes with the seasons. Some winters are more severe than others. Some summers are more extreme that others. There are not only seasonal differences, there are differences in the intensity of seasons from year to year. When ‘climate change’ refers to either one of these tow types of change, there is great agreement that such change occurs. You can review data on temperature, rainfall and other variables and see that such changes occur.

Where skepticism occurs is when the term climate change is used in referring to either global warming or global cooling as a man-made, long term trend. Some of this skepticism comes from experience. Those who lived through the seventies know that the claims of ‘global cooling’ that were made at that time, starting with the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 (which just happens to be Vladimir Lennin’s birthday) have proved unfounded. They know that the predictions made in the headlines of the Washington Post that “Colder Winters Held Dawn of New Ice Age” and all the predictions of massive crop failures and starvation which were supposed to happen in the 1980’s did not occur.

There are also some skeptics among students of history. Those who know European history are aware that the earth was warmer during the Roman empire and the Viking periods. They know from their studies that wheat and other crops were once grown in Greenland, which is now covered with ice. Having such a knowledge of historic events makes them less susceptible to climate change alarmism about global warming. It is hard to sound the global warming alarm bells when they know that the earth has been warmer before.

Another possible source of skepticism occurs with the politicizing of science. Much like mixing apples and oranges, political and scientific terms and techniques are being used and presented to the public. The term ‘consensus’ is often used heard among climate change proponents. A consensus occurs when there is a need for a forced agreement among a group of people. A scientist who examines facts and patterns looks at data and statements that are proven by data rather than by consensus, even a consensus of 'experts'. When you tell the public that there is a scientific consensus, you are mixing a political technique with scientific word. The term sounds impressive, yet has little meaning. Besides misleading the public by mixing political methods and scientific assessments, using consensus makes the public lazy. By using consensus as their authorities, they are not thinking for themselves. You are not looking at the scientific data or even the findings. Instead you are letting others do your thinking for you.

Since much of the climate change hype has occurred with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations, which is a political body, the results will be political in nature. By its very nature, political bodies use political tools. Claiming that a political group has scientific credibility is misleading. If the climate change news came from a non-political group of scientists with experience and notoriety in climate change, then the material they present would have more credibility. What makes matters worse is that many of the policies suggested and implemented by the IPCC starting in 1994, were based on a climate change paper written or edited by a 25-year old (Sari Kovats) without any scientific credentials.Although the reports were presented as 'authoritative' and scientifically sound, they were being assembled and supervised by someone who at the time had not published an academic paper. (Her first academic paper was published three years after she assumed the position with the IPCC). So although she was editing the chapters that became the basis for the IPCC addressing the effects of climate change on human health, at the time she did not have the academic or scientific credentials to qualify her as an expert.

It is also hard to accept climate change as 100% credible when some of their spokespersons are not the leading expert in their field. For example, Dr. James Hansen was trained as an astronomer and wrote his doctoral thesis on the atmosphere of Venus. Having someone who is trained in studying stars and Venus does make them an expert on climate change on earth. Had his training been in the study of glaciers, or the study of air quality on Earth, or how volcanoes have changed weather, he would be more of an expert. Dr. Richard Lindzen who is an atmospheric physicist at MIT asked a pertinent question along these lines, “Why are the opinions of scientist sought [about global warming] regardless of their fields of expertise? Biologists and physicians are rarely asked to endorse some theory of high energy physics. Apparently when it comes to global warming, and scientist’s agreement will do. The answer most certainly lies in politics”. Another good observation and quote is by Patrick Burns, of the Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE). He examined the 2600 ‘scientists’ cited by the Clinton administration on the climate change issue. He found one climatologist in the group and stated, “Among these so-called experts on global warming are a plastic surgeon, two landscape architects, one hotel administrator, a gynecologist, seven linguists, and even one person whose person whose academic background is in traditional Chinese medicine”. When the so-called experts are not the most highly trained and qualified in the field to which they are making comments, it raises concerns of skepticism.

A final key reason concerns the attitude taken among climate change alarmists that the ‘science is settled’ on the issue of global warming. The attitude that the science is settled offers little room for debate and thus creates a situation filled with conflict and animosity. The climate change camp claims that carbon dioxide is a major contributor to global warming. Although the claim is made, when the scientific data is examined, the CO2 levels increase after warming begins, not before. All the hysteria about CO2 levels makes the climate change group look extreme, given that natural phenomena like volcanoes, trees and other items contribute more greenhouse gases than does man and man-made items. The data also shows that the temperature has only risen on average of 1 degree Fahrenheit in 100 years. It is hard to alarm people when they know that the actual change is only 1 degree. Even if the Kyoto protocol was enacted world wide, it would only slow climate change by .07 degrees centigrade, which is minimal.

What do you think causes skepticism?

Why do you think some people are skeptical about climate change?

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  • profile image

    Mtbailz 4 years ago

    As someone who acquired a history degree at University, I knew about the higher temperatures during the late Roman Empire and the Middle Ages, but what's different now is the speed in which earth is warming. Like you said, all you have to do is look at the temperature increase, precipitation decrease

  • Admiral Murrah profile image
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    Admiral Murrah 4 years ago from Texas

    Many researchers find the Medieval warming period a challenge for them. I am glad that they taught you about that. That was included in the original UN report, but later removed since it since it was 'inconvenient' for the political agenda, and was replaced with the famous 'hockey stick' graph championed by the team headed by Micheal Mann of the University of Virginia. The hockey stick graph removes the warming period and is often cited as 'proof positive' how climate change is man-made with the industrial age. Even though the hockey stick has been debunked and discarded by many, some zealots continue waving it as certain.

    There is also some debate about present warming. Although some data suggest it is occurring the tree ring data does not support the same amount of warming as the hockey stick claims.

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 4 years ago

    This was an excellent hub. I am no expert, but I use to work for the oil and gas industry, which at one time or the other has been blamed for everything.

    From my limited knowledge, and I do have a history minor, it seems that the earth undergoes changes frequently and without a real explanation. I watch my local television weather forecast and they give the records high and lows for the day. It seems like 1921-23 was a very warm period and somewhere in the late sixties we had a rather cool period. I have not check the data on each date, but there does seem to be a pattern.

    I concur with your assessment about people without the proper training are asked to write about things that they know little about. A PhD does not make you an expert in everything. We had a state official in Louisiana who had a PhD in marine biology and became head of the environmental agency. After that he started calling himself an economic environmentalist. I was at a meeting with him and asked him how many economic courses he had taken--it was the same number as me--none. I urged some of our media to question his new-found area of expertise and he could not produced any papers that met the peer review standard. He had a theory, that was flawed, and lately he has been very quite.

  • Admiral Murrah profile image
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    Admiral Murrah 4 years ago from Texas

    Larry,

    Thank you for adding your comments. There was a very hot period in the 1930's where record highs were recorded throughout the United States. These cycles happen. The heat did not stay, the ice caps did not melt, polar bears did not drown (they swim anyway), etc.

    Your account of the 'economic environmentalist' is great. That is very typical occurrence. It seems that if you call yourself an 'expert' you need to have training in that field. Too many times, people look at the PhD and not the training or experience behind it, which would expose their knowledge base. Everyone has opinions about every topic under the sun, but that does not mean that their opinion should be regarded as that of an expert.

  • joer4x4 profile image

    joer4x4 4 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

    "Although the claim is made, when the scientific data is examined, the CO2 levels increase after warming begins, not before"

    Bingo! Not only that, but examining core data, the Earth absorbs any excess CO2.

    It's pretty hard to blame man when he wasn't here for most of it or when man was driving around horses and chariots/buggies. Even harder when when all the planets are warming at the same time.

    Politicians and scientists have been throwing crap against the wall for a long time. Look at the Ozone scare of the 70's that brought us more expensive products that replaced the ones that really worked. Years later the holes are bigger than ever and they found it it is due to weather patters around the poles and the creation of vertical ice cold wind shear.

    To me most scientists don't have a clue (or they know but withhold) and come up with wild card theories that need every other theory to make it fit. They can never explain anything that actually fits the universe (most of the time). But hey, that's what they're taught and so they believe.

    At one time science was owned by the church, now it is owned by government and special interest think tanks.

  • Admiral Murrah profile image
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    Admiral Murrah 4 years ago from Texas

    joer4x4,

    Thank you for your fascinating comments. I found your statement "At one time science was owned by the church, now it is owned by government and special interest think tanks" fascinating. I had never thought it through to that degree.

    I never addressed many of the CO2 issues and how little of it is man-made, since the focus was on skepticism. I remember the ozone scare and how it forced us to change refrigerants, propellants and other things. Modern vehicles still do not cool like the old ones did. It was all a scam to sell more new products. Sadly, mixing popular science and government policy is volatile and poisonous for the public.

    We need an independent science community, along with honest fact based debates, rather than the groupthink pop science that is often forced upon us. -You made some great points!

  • swordsbane profile image

    William Grant 4 years ago from Wisconsin

    The "Global Cooling" predicted in the 70's was media hype. Climate scientists were not claiming that another ice age was coming. What they said was that there was a period of cooling, and it was uncertain what was causing it.

    The "warming period" in Roman and Viking eras doesn't contradict man-made GCC. Those warming periods do not come as shockers and have been known for a while by scientists. They are apparently NOT well known by the media and Climate Change Deniers because they have only recently been used for flag waving. Those warming periods were created by specifically a lack of volcanic activity and an increase in solar activity. The current warming trend is both faster and has no correlating increase in solar activity or reduction in volcanic activity to explain it.

    http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/2682-tree-ring...

    Politicizing Global Climate Change didn't come until the deniers began hinting at a "conspiracy" Before that it was just science, and the Climate scientists have been trying to keep it that way. The fact that Al Gore or Imhoff jumps on a bandwagon to argue for or against it doesn't have any bearing on the science. If you ignore everything but the science, the conclusions are obvious. When Climate change was still called Global Warming and the government thought it was bogus, scientists could have their careers stunted or ended by supporting GW. They were not making money from it or were they getting any fame or good publicity from it. Only the fact that they continued REAL science has the world finally started coming around to accepting GCC, but supporting GCC is FAR from a lucrative endevor, even today. You can still get more money and a better job by denying it. Any accusation that climate scientists are milking GCC for their own benefit is totally unfounded, but no one has gone broke denying it. In any case, what Al Gore says has no bearing on the science being true just because he gets the science wrong, anymore than it makes deniers right when they refute something that isn't claimed. Politics has no bearing on the science, and using a political argument for GCC falling apart as a reason the science MUST be wrong is dishonest at best.

    And as far as CO2 emissions lagging temperature, that is only half true and not the whole story.... Climate scientists accept the fact that temperature often lags CO2 emissions, and have for some time, but most people stop there and claim victory over the "lie that is GCC" Learning the WHOLE truth seems to be beyond some people

    http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/02/co2-...

    excerp: "But what it is not correct, is to say the temperature rose and then hundreds of years later the CO2 rose. These warming periods lasted for 5,000 to 10,000 years (the cooling periods lasted more like 100,000 years!) so for the majority of that time (90% and more) temperature and CO2 rose together. This means that this remarkably detailed archive of climatological evidence clearly allows for CO2 acting as a cause for rising temperatures while also revealing it can be an effect of them."

    Admiral Murrah: The Medieval warming period was removed because it has no bearing on GCC one way or the other, not because it was inconvenient, and the "hocky stick" graph has been corroborated by dozens of independent studies that have found the same temperature record. It has only been debunked by deniers and only in their own minds.

    Larry Wall and Admiral Murrah: "I concur with your assessment about people without the proper training are asked to write about things that they know little about. A PhD does not make you an expert in everything. We had a state official in Louisiana who had a PhD in marine biology and became head of the environmental agency. After that he started calling himself an economic environmentalist." Deniers do the same thing. Some of the leaders in trying to debunk GCC have no credentials whatsoever, yet people believe them.

    joer4x4: The ozone problem is real. The reason Ozone is a worse problem now is because those chemicals released in the 70's and 80's are STILL in the stratosphere and will take CENTURIES to cycle out. It doesn't mean that because we stopped using them the Ozone should return to normal. It highlights the danger of ignoring a threat just because you don't see one right in front of you. Climate Change is like that, there is such a lag in cause and effect that even if we stopped burning all fossil fuel tomorrow, their effects will be around a LONG time. It also means that at a certain point, it won't matter what we do. We will have lost control of the process.

    Admiral Murrah: I applaud you for a well-put together hub, even though you are wrong. I hope you take what I have said and consider it before just turning around and saying "No.. YOU'RE the one who's wrong." My aim is to educate, not belittle. Please address as many of my points as you can. If it turns out that I AM the one who's wrong, then I wish to know that as well.

  • Admiral Murrah profile image
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    Admiral Murrah 4 years ago from Texas

    Swordsbane,

    Thank you for your comments. I was surprised at your stance, “even though you are wrong”. That is a strong statement for disagreement. The approach I took with the hub was one of providing the reasons for people being skeptical of climate change. The only way I could be wrong in taking that approach is by not correctly presenting some of the reasons for skepticism of climate change. I understand that you do not agree with skepticism. Given the current state of science with the influence of post-modernism, all science is up for grabs and everything depends on one’s perspective. Since all viewpoints are a matter of perspective, a modernist scientist can prove any position, especially those using consensus rather than traditional science where theories and data are scrutinized and debated. In modernist science, when one does not agree, they are dismissed rather than considered.

    You brought up several points needing attention. You said, “Any accusation that climate scientists are milking GCC for their own benefit is totally unfounded..” It is hard to deny that people claiming GCC are not benefiting from it. The UN’s IPCC wants $200 Billion/year to fight against climate change (even though we are talking less than 5 degrees). When $200 Billion a year is at stake, someone is making money. Even the lobby industry for environmental concerns is now a $1.6 billion industry. When you talk about billions, to me, someone is making serious money with serious benefits. When that much money is at stake, someone is benefiting.

    You also stated, “Climate scientists accept the fact that temperature often lags CO2 emissions, and have for some time, but most people stop there and claim victory over the "lie that is GCC" Learning the WHOLE truth seems to be beyond some people.” I agree that learning the WHOLE truth seems to be beyond some people. I do not agree with the idea that all climate scientists agree on climate change. In fact, Dennis Bray, a climate analyst from Germany found that only one in ten climate scientists believes “climate change” is principally caused by human activity. So although things are going on, people do not cause it.

    I also have concerns about the ‘hockey stick’ statement. You stated, “and the "hockey stick" graph has been corroborated by dozens of independent studies that have found the same temperature record. It has only been debunked by deniers and only in their own minds.” Although you claim that it has been corroborated, by dozens of independent studies, many scientists have not been able to replicate Michael Mann’s results. The hockey stick was disproved by Stephen McIntyre and by Ross McKitrick of the University of Guelph in 2003. Mann has been reluctant to share his data and methods with others. By refusing to share his data and methods, the ‘true’ scientist have not been able to either corroborate or refute his findings and conclusions. He is being ‘unscientific’. He wants the prestige of claiming that his results are ‘scientific’ yet does not allow others to scrutinize his date which ‘true’ science allows.

    I can understand that you disagree, yet have some concerns with claiming that I am ‘wrong’ in presenting some of the reasons for climate change skepticism. You may not agree with my conclusions or adhere to other scientific findings, but that does not mean that I am wrong. You can consider it unproven, or unsupported, or not want to accept it, but that still does not mean, I am wrong.

  • swordsbane profile image

    William Grant 4 years ago from Wisconsin

    A Murrah: I apologize for stating you were "wrong" I believed that the tone of the hub inferred that you agreed with the skeptics. Although it seems that you do. You have explained you reasons, but those reasons do not withstand scrutiny.

    To begin with, in point of fact, I said nothing about the scientific consensus. I was talking about the scientific data itself. The data speaks for itself regardless of how many people (scientists or non scientists) "believe" the data or not. The data does not change because of someone's opinion. But since you went there: Bray and Storch sent surveys to scientists in 34 countries. 373 responded and from that they deduced their findings of the 1 in 10 ratio. It is the only study so far that says so. There are at least five other studies that say the opposite, that most of the scientific world accepts GCC. There is no scientific organization in the world that refutes GCC. Even scientific organizations that work for the oil industry have been convinced.

    Surveys and inquiries:

    In 2004, geologist Naomi Oreskes

    In 2007, Harris Interactive surveyed 489 randomly selected members of either the American Meteorological Society or the American Geophysical Union

    A poll performed by Peter Doran and Maggie Kendall Zimmerman at University of Illinois at Chicago received replies from 3,146 of the 10,257 polled Earth scientists, a far wider sample than Bray and Storch. 90% agreed that temperatures have risen compared to pre-1800 levels, and 82% agreed that humans significantly influence the global temperature.

    Next: So what if scientists are making money off of GCC now (and I think you'll find that the political organizations and the universities are the one's making the money) that doesn't explain what kept scientists believing in GCC back in the 70's and 80's when their careers suffered because of it. If their motivations were monetary, they would have been bought off my the oil companies, who were sinking billions of $$ to try to come up with successful research refuting Global Warming... research they were unable to produce. Tobacco companies were more successful at producing dissenting research than the oil companies were, yet we still know today that cigarettes are bad for you. All the money in the research in the 70's and 90's was on the other side of the fence from the Climate scientists. If they were interested in fame and fortune, we'd be ignorant of GCC today and people like Michael Mann would be living in a mansion somewhere fat and rich, and they'd be keeping their mouths shut about Climate Change.

    The "hocky stick" graph wasn't disproven by McIntyre and KcKitrick. They brought up questions about the way data was gathered, questions that have since been resolved. In addition, Mann DID release his data and the methodology he used to arrive at his conclusions. It was claimed that he withheld data that suggested he was wrong, when those emails were leaked, but it turned out that all of those email were taken out of context and the data that was claimed to have been withheld didn't even exist. The gist of it was Mann's reference to a "trick" allegedly used to manipulate data. This was incredibly misleading. Unfortunately when he says he used a "trick" to plot data, that doesn’t mean he was doing something to fool people. It means he used a method that may not be obvious, or a step that does something specific. Plotting data logarithmically instead of linearly is a "trick", and it’s a valid and useful method of displaying data (your senses of sight and hearing are logarithmic, for example, so it’s even a natural way to do things). In fact, numerous scientific papers, using various statistical methods and combinations of proxy records (with and without those "tricks" by the way), produced reconstructions broadly similar to the original hockey-stick graph. More than 14 reconstructions, 10 of which covered 1,000 years or longer, support its strengthened conclusion that it was likely that Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the 20th century were the highest in at least the past 1,300 years. Eight or more subsequent reconstructions, including Mann himself in 2008, have supported his original general conclusions. Not one scientific paper has been produced to show any significantly different findings. Not one.

    I understand skepticism. I am an Atheist. I don't trust politicians,but all things being equal, I trust scientists, and you should too. Everything you see around you that is not organic (and some of that too) was created by a scientist, and by the scientific method. If you're going to disagree with them when they step to the microphone and say the world is in grave danger. You better come up with something better than this.

    It's not what I consider that is the point here. It is what you can prove. So far, your reasons for being skeptical are misinformed. I have explained how each of your points is wrong. If you can refute what I'm saying, I eagerly await your arguments.

  • Admiral Murrah profile image
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    Admiral Murrah 4 years ago from Texas

    swordsbane,

    I enjoyed your thoughtful comments. You have definitely done your homework. I have done enough to know that the debate is not going anywhere.

    Recently a physicist and rocket scientist told me 'There is no such thing as science, there are only scientists". I was initially taken aback by their comment. The more I thought about it, the more sense it made to me.

    In today's science milieu, the modernist paradigm has made rational discussion on many topics hard to accomplish. When each 'expert' or scientist makes discoveries and has their own take on them and each with equal validity in terms of perspective, it leaves the public with just the appearance that there is a 'body of fact' that exists which we call science. Instead of a body of fact that can be depended on for solid answers, it is always changing. What was true five years ago is not true now. What is true now will not be three years from now. That is not a very solid foundation. I like foundations that are solid, proven and consistent. As I child, I assumed science provided that foundation. Now, as I am older and have studied some science, I realize that I was lied to. The body of knowledge called science is not solid, it is always changing and is not stable enough to use as a foundation.

    I suspect that if we discussed the matter further, we would each march out a scientist whose findings support our assertions. I doubt that there would be many areas of agreement other than the weather is always changing.

    Like the science debates of old where people debated such topics as whether light was a particle or a wave, we would likely not convince each other to change their positions. It is unfortunate that you consider the reasons presented for skepticism as being 'misinformed'. I see it as a matter of which scientists and their findings are each of us willing to accept.

  • profile image

    Larry Wall 4 years ago

    Global warming or climate change, may have some actual evidence, but there is a tremendous political portion of the argument that cannot be ignored. The credentials of the scientists have to be questioned. I was in a meeting once where a person with a BS degree in Chemistry said he was a scientist. I have a BA. I am not an artist. I knew an engineer, who called himself a scientist. He was a mechanical engineer. I mentioned the person with the PhD in marine biology turning himself into an Environment Economist, without the benefit of peer review.

    There is other evidence that is ignored. A late scientist, who had a PhD in geology, had determined that the coastal area of Louisiana was sinking, not because of erosion or a rise in the Gulf of Mexico, but because of the tremendous amount of silt that was accumulating at the mouth of the Mississippi River.

    I do not know how we can compare data taken today to that which was collected 100 years ago. The technology for measuring temperature, carbon dioxide content and other data streams. The protocols for collecting the data are more stringent than they use to be. Are we putting more carbon in the atmosphere, yes we are. It is causing a climate change. I am not convinced. I am 61. Things seem to be pretty much the same as when I was a youngster, but that is certainly an unscientific observation. Industry and automakers have taken tremendous steps to reduce emissions. A core sample taken at the North Pole and broadcast on one of the major networks (ABC, NBC or CBS) showed that there have been temperature changes over the centuries.

    I do not believe there is enough evidence to prove or completely disprove the issue of climate change. We are living longer. Overall health, other than obesity is better in industrialized countries. Poorer countries have health problems because of inadequate sanitation, food and drinking water.

    There is no consensus because too many people are going in too many directions. People holding PhDs have to publish or perish. Others like to create controversy others put their heads in the sand. All the disciplines involved in studying this have not come together.

    In summary, climate change may exist, but the case for it has not been proven.

  • swordsbane profile image

    William Grant 4 years ago from Wisconsin

    Unfortunately, this is another area where we disagree. I do not believe that if we discussed the matter further we would each march out a scientist who's findings support our assertions.

    Science is not fair. Not all points of view are valid. Only those that have support are considered valid. The goal of any debate is to learn if your position is valid or not, not to convince the other person. I enter into any debate with the full knowledge that I may well come out of the debate with an entirely different view. On the other hand, you present arguments, I refute them and your answer is that we can agree to disagree. If all you try to do is convince others that you are right, you won't accomplish anything. Your assertion that we won't convince each other means that you have made up your mind ahead of time not to be convinced. That isn't logical either. That is religion.... faith.

    It is not true that science doesn't exist, only scientists. Yes, science is always changing, but that doesn't mean that what is true now won't be true in three or five years. Science builds on itself. It doesn't start over every few years. Science is the process. Scientists are the people who use the process to uncover truth, and for the most part, they have a very good track record. If the body of knowledge that has been compiled supporting mad-made GCC turns out to be wrong, it will be the first time in scientific history something like that has happened...... ever. I wouldn't care to lay money on that.

    The reason I characterize your skepticism as misinformed is because the public record contradicts you. You can read the scientific papers. you can go look up the data. If you find anyone refuting Global Climate Change that has scientific papers to back them up, then I'm right there with you. However, you have quoted other people who have said things that aren't true and can be shown to be not true. You have said that data doesn't exist when it does. You have said that people have said things that they haven't said. There is nothing else I can do but say that your conclusion: That skepticism of man-made GCC is valid... is false. That's how debates are resolved. Simply saying that we should agree to disagree after one and a half exchanges is inferring that your position is untenable, or that you don't believe in it enough to defend it properly. I will make no speculation as to which is most likely, as I do not know you well enough, but I would hope that you think that GCC, a potentially civilization-ending issue and something you at least thought was worthy of making a hub.... is that important.

    Examine your position. Investigate the links I gave you, actually try to refute your own position by looking for the rebuttals to the arguments you made here. THEN come back and you will be ready to debate me.

  • Admiral Murrah profile image
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    Admiral Murrah 4 years ago from Texas

    Swordsbane,

    At this point in the GCC debate, things are still not settled. One of the areas is that climate change has not been proved to be man-made. Sure the climate changes. Many things impact that from solar activity to weather cycles. What there is reason for skepticism in is that man made climate change is as destructive as the GCC people claim. Many of the claims regarding the number of hurricanes, and other horror stories have not proved true.

    Even Michael Mann's hockey stick which is the golden calf of GCC has not be proved. He is now suing Mark Steyn for libel since he dared disagree with him and call him a 'climate fraud'. When a so-called scientist sues those who disagree with them, rather than prove them wrong with data he is using the courts rather than science to bolster his claims. That does not sound like a strong way to 'prove' oneself. Einstein never used the courts to silence his critics.

    Science does not always have the answer. Prior to the detonation of the atomic bomb, the scientists assumed that the bomb would destroy all the oxygen on earth, killing all living things. It was proven false. Scientists of the United States Geological Services were also proven false when they made the claim that there would be no oil found west of the Mississippi. They were proven false again over the years when each of their projections on when Texas would run out of oil proved false. They had a body of knowledge behind them, they just interpreted it wrong. Scientists have been proven wrong many times in history.

    Perhaps I am misinformed since I believe scientists need to rely on data and facts. Since they are in the field of science, it is expected that they will have to share data and prove their findings with science rather than resort to courts in silencing their critics and using consensus rather than facts. I have little use for the public record, I prefer provable, verifiable scientific observations and data.

  • swordsbane profile image

    William Grant 4 years ago from Wisconsin

    Admiral Murah: Scientists did NOT assume the bomb would destroy all the oxygen on Earth. If they had, they never would have set one off. There was a story floating around that the atomic bomb would ignite the atmosphere and destroy all life on Earth, but that was unfounded hysteria at the time. The scientists knew it and went ahead with the test, and guess what?? The Earth was not rendered lifeless. The scientists were right. They thought that a black hole would destroy the Earth when the LHC was finished at Cern. It wasn't scientists that thought this. It was rumor that took off and scared people in SPITE of what scientists said. Guess what, they've been using it for some time now with no world-destroying black hole.

    The USGS did NOT say that there would be no oil found west of the Mississipi. They said NEW oil would be harder to find and very little USABLE oil would be found for future fields. In that they have been proven right.

    Michael Mann is not suing Steyn for claiming climate fraud. He is suing him for comparing him to a child molester and he's suing under libel laws because comparisons such as those can ruin someone's career without any legitimate, provable allegations being brought. Steyn is the one using underhanded legal tactics instead of science to try to silence his critics. Manns data is already published. If Steyn had any evidence that the conclusions Mann had arrived at were wrong, then it would be readily apparent through the data HE had collected. There would be no need for name calling and defamation of character.

    There is a big difference between what SCIENTISTS say and what the media says that scientists say. The same thing happened in the 80's when the Media claimed scientists said we were headed for a new ice age. They said nothing of the sort. The media took what a few scientists said about the North Atlantic Conveyor and blew it out of proportion. Periodic cooling of the North Atlantic became "We're heading for a global ice age."

    You SHOULD pay attention to the public record. This is how you would have found out that scientists have not said what you believe they have said. It is how we separate rumor from fact. It sounds like you're only listening to the GCC skeptics and not looking behind the heresay to what scientists actually claim and what proves true. If you prefer provable, verifiable scientific observations and data, then please present some, throw out some studies that refute Global Climate Change. I really would like to see what you come up with, but all there is from the GCC deniers is dishonest attacks on climate scientists character. At least tell me how the two links I posted are wrong.

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    Admiral Murrah 4 years ago from Texas

    Swordsbane,

    I will respond to your items. First on the atomic bomb.

    I have to disagree with you on the atomic bomb issue. The historic documents indicate that Enrico Fermi, an imminent Italian physicist was taking side bets from his fellow scientists on whether the bomb would destroy the atmosphere. I recognize that there are always concerns and hysteria concerning scientific breakthroughs such as CERN, the atomic bomb, and possibly GCC (It was Global cooling, then Global Warming, now just climate change)! There has been a lot of hype regarding this issue rather than discussion of the science.

    Then there is the matter of science not being proven at the USGS. Scientists can be in error as they have shown, repeatedly.

    The scientists at the USGS have repeatedly been wrong. Being a Texan, my favorite is how the USGS 1891 they said that there would be little chance of discovering oil in Texas. In 1909, they predicted that the US would exhaust its oil supplies by 1935. In 1922, the figure was revised to 1942 at the latest. The ‘expert’ scientists have been in error many times. They even said that 1885 that there would be little or no chance of finding oil in California, now over 8 billion barrels later, they are in error.

    I read the articles you recommended. In terms of the amount of carbon, the finding is that carbon goes up after global warming. Providing a finding is not an explanation or even the best explanation. The correlation between solar activity and carbon is much greater than the rise of carbon subsequent to global warming periods.

    I am still researching the topic of tree rings. Since I am not an expert in that area, the jury is out and I am looking into it. I do know that tree rings are highly sensitive to local conditions which are not a great indicator of global activity. The writer also starts into his material based with some pre-conceived suppositions which he did not prove. That makes me a little leery of the interpretive spin he may place on other items.

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    Larry Wall 4 years ago

    Admiral Murrah and Swordsbane:

    I have stated my views on this subject and really have nothing to add. However, the two of you have talked about science, scientists, data, how the data is viewed, conclusions, etc., etc. I would like for each of you to state your qualifications for your apparent expertise on this subject. I have always disagreed with the Hub Pages idea of allowing people to use aliases and to provide incomplete biographies. My name really is Larry Wall. You can read about my education and experience on my profile page. If you have a question about me, ask and I will answer.

    The point is that I do not think any of us have the expertise to offer definitive conclusions. We can only offer our opinions and I believe both of you and I have stated our opinions. It is now up to the scientific community to come up with a real conclusion about the issues surrounding climate chagne/global warming.

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    William Grant 4 years ago from Wisconsin

    Larry: My "view" on the subject is to trust the scientists unless you have reason not to. So far, most scientists agree with man-made GCC, and the only thing I get from the other side is innuendo, mistrust and no hard evidence of wrong doing or indications that the science is wrong. I keep asking people to provide some evidence that GCC is a hoax or wrong or something and all I get is people pointing me at other people who don't have any scientific credentials, or they show me media articles that misconstrue or are flat wrong about what some scientist or scientists said. I do not claim science credentials for myself. I merely ask over and over again for someone qualified to refute what real scientists are saying or to be pointed towards someone who is qualified who refutes man-made GCC. To date, no one has been able to do that. This discussion is no different.

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    Admiral Murrah 4 years ago from Texas

    LarryWall,

    Thank you for your comments. I appreciate your concern for the use of aliases and incomplete biographies. There is a reason for my alias that I am not able to go into on a public forum like this. In terms of credentials, I am NOT a scientist. I have taken some college level science courses (more than Al Gore). I am also an educator who has worked with understanding how people think and have over 30 years of experience with that area. Although not a scientist, I have done extensive reading in some areas.

    I believe that science, like medicine and law should not be areas where only the 'experts' can address or talk about matters. If it impacts us, we can address those issues. I like the model used by enlightenment era scientists where there were discussions and debates regarding the findings made and what they meant. Many of those addressing science issues these days use name calling and other rhetorical ploys to avoid dealing with what the researcher found and what it means.

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