Social Question

Blackberry's avatar

Why are evolution and climate change controversial, while other theories are not?

Asked by Blackberry (29064 points ) October 5th, 2011

What’s the deal, man?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

58 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Different reasons.

1. Evolution is seen by some as contradicting their religious beliefs.

2. Climate change has a whole fossil-fuel-based group of industries that have a vested financial interest in limiting emissions controls.

Mariah's avatar

I agree with @marinelife and want to add that evolution is also controversial because some people like to believe that man is “special” and not really an animal and therefore isn’t related to apes.

Climate change is also controversial because those who do not believe it is happening see it as fear mongering, and the proposed solutions involve vastly changing our lifestyles.

Ron_C's avatar

It is very simple, the two theories don’t fit into the fundamentalists bible. Everyone knows that science is demonically inspired. Didn’t the devil tempt Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge? I guess all fundamentalists are ignorant of science or blind to logic.

TexasDude's avatar

1. Religion.
2. Economics.

Blackberry's avatar

I would at least understand if one said “We need to make money, so don’t spread this information around” instead of “This is pseudo science and isn’t true.”

Lightlyseared's avatar

Because some people don’t agree with the results.

tinyfaery's avatar

Because there is no political maneuvering or profit to be made from gravity.

Jaxk's avatar

Because both are theories. Evolution while quite well developed has explained how life started nor how it made the leap to humans. In other words there are still a few holes. Climate change is even less proven. We simply don’t know enough about how the climate works to make that leap. Temperatures have been higher and lower over time. We emerged form the ‘Little Ice Age’ a little over 150 years ago. How the hell did that happen? And why did it start? Pretty hard to blame fossil fuels for either event. Temperature changes have been linked to Sun Spots, Cloud cover, Planet orbits, and a variety of other natural occurrences. Both ice ages and warming have been predicted every 30 years for over a century. A populous movement to be sure but not one that is remotely proven.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@tinyfaery which is funny because the theory of gravity is the shakiest of the lot of them. We have literally no idea how stuff falls to the earth when you drop it.

DominicX's avatar

Evolution is problematic because it contradicts what is written in religious texts and thus seems to go against many people’s religions, which are central to their lives. (Now, of course, I have met people who believe in evolution and religion but they’ve been called “not true Christians” by one side and “wishy washy” by the other side, so it seems a problematic position to take).

Climate change is controversial because it involves changing policies and affecting companies and buying habits. No one is going to spend money differently because of theories of gravity or thermodynamics, etc. But climate change puts blame on specific people and products for environmental damage.

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, the word “theory” means something quite different in science than it does in layman’s usage.

Also climate change is not even considered a scientific theory by scientists; it’s not unifying.

See here:
http://wilstar.com/theories.htm

Also, virtually everything you’ve described about climate change has been interalized by climate scientists. It’s like arguing that, because your living room gets hotter in the summer and colder in the winter, burning a fire in the middle of your living room won’t raise its temperature. You’re also mischaracterizing the “holes” in the theory of evolution (abiogenesis is not part of evolutionary theory; there are no holes in the evolution of ape to human)

MissAusten's avatar

I think @marinelife succinctly hit the nail on the head right from the start. Growing up in the Bible belt, it was extremely common for people to dismiss evolution for religious reasons. It’s not hard at all to find people who believe dinosaurs are extinct because they didn’t get on Noah’s Ark. I’ve been told by many of the same people that global warming or climate change isn’t possible because “it’s arrogant to believe people can have any affect on the planet.” I think many fundamentalists, but not all, parrot what they hear from the pulpit when it comes to controversial issues. Or any issues, for that matter.

Also, I completely believe that in order to make a difference in Washington you need to be a multimillion dollar corporation with huge lobbying power. If you are an oil company, pharmaceutical company, or an agricultural company, your opinion will be listened to and acted upon. If you’re a regular citizen with just your vote and not billions in your pocket, well, good luck and all but don’t hold your breath waiting for anyone in any political party to make decisions based on your best interest.

Aethelflaed's avatar

It shows God as less powerful, or at least, not using as much power in a direct way. A God who lets human evolve and lets the planet change (possibly killing off humans, which are God’s greatest creation) seems more the type of God who’s just sorta going “yeah, yeah, I’ll get to your prayers in a minute, right now, I’m playing Ultimate Chess against Me”. A God who is directly and frequently involved in human affairs (both big and small), and who sees humans as his greatest creation is very “in” right now in Christian theology.

gasman's avatar

It’s clear why evolution offends Christian fundamentalists, especially young-earth creationists who believe the Earth is only 6000 years old, because it contradicts biblical Genesis.

Global warming—especially the suggestion that it’s a consequence of human activity—offends christian fundamentalists because the Bible asserts that man has “dominion” over the natural world. If human-induced global warming is true, then man’s special designation as God’s appointed stewards of our environment is contradicted.

Yes, there are (or will be) huge economic consequences to many corporate interests associated with controlling global warming—what Al Gore wryly refers to as “an inconvenient truth.” But nothing rankles American conservatives more than threatening their phony-baloney value system based on slavish adherence to religious dogma. This, more than corporate greed, is the poison that pervades American politics and culture.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@marinelife nailed it. I would add that, for exactly these reasons, very few of those who refuse to accept evolution and/or climate change as facts are likely to be swayed by logical arguments.

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu

Since this is hardly a scientific community, I would think the colloquial use is appropriate. Since this seems to be turning to a religion bashing session I’ll leave it at that.

Mariah's avatar

@Jaxk But it doesn’t make sense to interpret “theory” in the phrase “the theory of evolution” the colloquial way just because Fluther isn’t a scientific community. In the phrase, it refers to the scientific definiton.

Nullo's avatar

Because of their implications. Particularly if they end up being wrong. We get one shot at this sort of thing, and we all want to get it right.

Mariah's avatar

@Nullo, if I’m understanding you correctly, are you saying that choosing to believe they are wrong is the safer choice? With climate change in particular, I’m wondering why you’re more eager to risk making the mistake of assuming it’s wrong than risk making the mistake of assuming it’s right. Wouldn’t assuming climate change is wrong, if it is actually right, have dire consequences (massive flooding and death in coastal areas, extinction of species, etc.) compared with the potential consequences of assuming it’s right even if it’s not (having to switch to a more frugal lifestyle and the economic turmoil that might come with having to make such a change)?

Soupy's avatar

Because evolution and climate change both go against the interests of two very powerful groups. Evolution upsets religious myths, and climate change has the potential to upset the profit margins of coal and oil companies.

Both the resource companies and the religious groups have consequently launched smear campaigns against climate change and evolution. It’s not in their interests for the common people to be informed of these facts.

CWOTUS's avatar

I have a theory that all theories are controversial.

Wanna step outside and settle this like men, Bub?

Blackberry's avatar

@CWOTUS I have a theory that being punched in the face may cause pain. So, no.

CWOTUS's avatar

No argument. I’ve signed onto that one since forever. So that shoots my theory in the ass.

ETpro's avatar

Let’s recall that the heliocentric solar system was controversial and heritical for a very long time. Religious zealots don’t want to accept facts like Evolution or Climate Change because they conflict with cherished beliefs they cling to. Also, climate change means that certain business segments that contribute very heavily to right-wing political causes would be hurt. For noth these reasons, Republicans like @Jaxk have developed a (it’s just a theory) defense. That’s a pretty absurd dismissal of mountains of evidence. After all, E=MC^2 is just a theory. But would you want to be at ground zero during a nuclear test because it’s just a theory? Such statements indicate either wilfull ignorance or a complete lack of understanding of what it takes to rise to the level of an accepted scientific theory.

RocketGuy's avatar

Very few politicians have a scientific background.

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk nope. The “it’s just a theory not a fact” argument is BS no matter what audience you’re saying it to.

And I feel like you’re intelligent enough to realize this. Are you going to admit that this isn’t what the word “theory” means in the context it’s being used by scientists? Or are you going to repeat this same argument the next time it comes up for debate?

Qingu's avatar

@Nullo, as you are no doubt aware, Pascal’s wager is not binary. If evolution is wrong, that doesn’t automatically mean that random religious myth X, i.e. “a Mesopotamian sky god named Yahweh personally crafted all the animals from clay” is right and we’d all better worship the dude.

I’m also unsure as to what trouble you think we’re in for if it turns out humans aren’t contributing to potentially disruptive climate change. Oh no, now we have all these damn windmills and efficient batteries in our cars instead of polluting coal plants and 12mpg cars?

Nullo's avatar

@Mariah I was aiming for an all-parties answer; I ought to have been clearer.

Because of their implications. Particularly if [the beliefs about evolution and God and global warming climate change] end up being wrong; no matter how you dice it, someone’s going to be very disappointed. We get one shot at this sort of thing, and we all want to get it right.

CWOTUS's avatar

@Nullo

Regarding the “one shot”: The Hindus may be right after all, and we get “shot after shot” at this sort of thing “until we get it right”.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Nullo I’m finding it difficult to understand what you are referring to by “one shot” in the context of climate change denial. What are you saying, exactly?

Ron_C's avatar

Referring to global warming, no matter which side you are on wouldn’t it be best to take a no-harm approach? Reasonable carbon emission and air quality limits can do no harm and improve life, regardless if it causes global warming.

I remember the big red clouds when there was a small mistake loading the Bessemer Furnaces. The steel industry in my home town is long gone to India and China all because the industry refused investing in modernization and the unions got greedy and stupid.

It’s time to bring sustainable, environmentally neutral industry back home. You can’t run a country where your choices are working at McDonald’s or acting as a rich man’s serf.

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu & @Mariah

Sorry but when all is said and done, it is just a theory. As far as I can tell Darwin’s theory has been called a ‘theory’ since it was introduced in the 1850s. Highly controversial at the time. I have to problem accepting evolution as fact in that organisms and species evolve over time. That does not preclude the possibility of outside involvement in directing some of that change. Nor does it preclude the possibility of life being inserted with a predictable outcome on this planet. Hell, it doesn’t even preclude Eric Van Daniken’s, Chariots of the Gods. They all use available facts to support thier theory.

Same with Global Warming. I have no problem accepting the temperature has increased from 500 years ago, as fact. Hell I don’t even have a problem believing that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. But the effect of man made CO2 is minuscule. And most of those 500 years were during the Little Ice Age. Planet orbits, sun spots, cloud cover, CO2, etc. all play a role in temperature changes. The arguments center on how much a role and which causes what.

If your argument is that by calling these theories, they can’t be disputed, then I fear you’ve missed the point. Even Einstein’s ‘Theory of Relativity’ is being questioned. If you want me to call these theories, I did in my first post.

@Qingu – to answer your question, yeah, I probably will.

Qingu's avatar

“Sorry but when all is said and done, it is just a theory.”

What part of this do you not understand? “Theory” does not mean “just a theory” in science.

You sound as dumb as a person arguing “Sorry but the law of gravity is just a legislative act voted upon by elected members of congress.”

And no, I am not saying that because they are scientific theories (i.e. “considered proven” by scientists) they can’t be disputed. Anything can be disputed. If your point is “science can be wrong,” congratulations, you’re correct.

But: pointing out that the theory of evolution does not preclude aliens uplifting Earth’s organisms, however, is not actually “disputing the theory’s claim.” Likewise, pointing out other factors that affect climate does not actually dispute the science that has proven that greenhouse gases cause significant warming.

As usual, you are making very confident assertions over topics you demonstrably know very little about. Are you familiar with the Dunning-Kruger effect?

Qingu's avatar

And about the goddamn neutrinos: (1) it’s not remotely clear that the result is valid, (2) if they do move faster than light it’s not at all clear this would “invalidate relativity”; Einstein’s field equations would still be true, (3) we actually have no idea what gravity is (it might not exist at a quantum level); (4) we actually have very little idea what neutrinos are (they shapeshift among different flavors/masses as a quantum effect); (5) we’ve known for a long time that the theory of relativity has limits and does not intersect with what we know about QM… just like the theory of evolution has limits and does not necessarily intersect with the unknown processes that account for abiogenesis.

And for god’s sake, maybe you’d realize half of this if you read better scientific sources than The Times Record Falls of Wichita Kansas, which hilariously concludes its scientific reporting with the following: “Either time travel was not, is not, and never will be possible, or it was, is, and will be possible — but is regulated by the federal government.”

RocketGuy's avatar

@Qingu – I didn’t know there was a name for that effect.

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu

Sorry, theory is theory no matter how much you want it to be fact. Calling me names doesn’t change that. But it does explain why you would know all about the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, have you ever actually spoken to a scientist?

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk Gravity is a theory. It isn’t even an accurate theory. Relativity shows that in the presence of huge mass such as a star or a black hole, Newtonian gravity breaks down. In fact, due to the Earth’s mass, Newtonian gravity isn’t accurate enough even to allow GPS satellites to work. We have to correct for the theory of relativity to keep GPS accurate over time.

None of that would lead you to walk off the top of a tall building certain you could tread on thin air because “gravity and relativity are only theories.” Get real. To make it to theory in science, a postulate must predict phenomena that we then check by observation and find to be true. It must have no holes. It can’t predict things that fail to prove true, nor can it fail to accurately predict things it should predict. Finally, it must be published in a peer reviewed journal, complete with how it was tested, and it must then survive the attempt of scientists all over the world to disprove it. The tests used in proving its predictions must be explicable over and over by scientist all around the world. Then and only then is it a theory.

To a layman, theory means hunch. The History channel blathers on about Ancient Astronaut Theorists and does irreparable harm to the US populace and their understanding of what theory means in scientific terms. But ask any scientist. Saying “It’s only a theory.” about something that truly has achieved theory status through peer review is stupid or willfully ignorant. In your case, I’m guessing its the later. You want business as usual for financial reasons and who cares what that means for future generations. That’s the attitude of most of the Republican leadership, who are definitely well educated enough to know what theory means. They are also greedy enough to do the bidding of the $37 trillion a year fossil fuel industry regardless of who it kills in the future.

Just look at how the tobacco industry put profits before human lives for so very long, and how politicians defended them in doing it. They knew for more than a decade that cigarettes killed, but they pushed advertising showing actors dressed as doctors, and claiming that a survey showed doctors preferred Camels. The exact same right-wing PR firms that defended big tobacco are now pushing the “It’s only a theory” BS to defend killing people with polution and global warming.

Qingu's avatar

I actually think it’s more of a personal problem. Look at any of the discussions we’ve had with Jaxk where we’ve pointed out his views are factually incorrect. He always keeps on repeating them. Another egregious example is his assertion that there is not a demand slump in our economy.

If Jaxk were interested in an honest debate he would be capable of admitting when he was wrong and changing his views accordingly. He’s obviously somewhat intelligent, and I’d like to think he’s capable of being reflective. But unfortunately he’s just here to spew partisan talking points and hope enough of them stick to sympathetic onlookers.

@Jaxk, if you would like to prove me wrong, can you at least acknowledge that you are mistaken about abiogenesis being part of the theory of evolution? Because that’s a really basic error.

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu & @ETpro

Let’s reset here for just a second. The original question asked “Why are evolution and climate change controversial, while other theories are not?”. I responded with a short explanation that they were theories. I stand by that. Since then we’ve gone to defining a ‘theory’ in scientific terms. All well and good. I have no problem with the scientific definition but do have a problem with the way your using it to reinforce your argument.

Generally science would be open to questioning a theory. Hell, even questioning a law. That hasn’t happened in the global warming debate. It has become politicized and science is now vested in their theory to the extent that data has been manipulated. Such as the Himalayian Glacier Report. The Hacked Emails imply that dissenters shouldn’t be allowed to be peer reviewed. When Scientific theory is sound it should be predictable but the ‘Climate Models’ from the IPCC are not only unsupported, but flat out wrong.

Now I’m not sure whether the Theory put out by the IPCC is a bonafide ‘Theory’ or not. They certainly present it as such and they are a body of scientists. The kind of blatant abuse of the scientific method, politicization of the process, and vested interest in the outcome, all call into question the the idea of ‘Scientific Theory’. If science can be misused in this fashion, it becomes, ‘Just a Theory’. Once that happens, other disputed theories suffer from guilt by association.

I stand by my original statement that they are questioned by average people because they are ‘theories’. I don’t have a random ‘insult generator’ as you guys do, so I’ll leave the insults to you.

Mariah's avatar

@Jaxk “Generally science would be open to questioning a theory. Hell, even questioning a law. That hasn’t happened in the global warming debate.”

You have a point there; it’s very important in science to test and retest and avoid making assumptions. The main difference here, that I perceive, is that usually scientific theories don’t have a sense of urgency attached to them. We have all the time in the world to study, test, and retest relativity. Climate change, however, is one of those rare situations in which the theory has immediate real-world implications that we have to act upon, if they are true. I’d say we’re less inclined to test and retest when repairative action is required on our part.

Jaxk's avatar

@Qingu

Not stated but implied. I’ll give you that one.

Jaxk's avatar

@Mariah

The problem is, it has real world implications either way. The actions suggested have very dramtic impacts on our economies and our way of life. This is not a simple ‘Shut down carbon emmisions’, just in case.

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk,

“I responded with a short explanation that they were theories.”

But in scientific terms, a “theory” is considered proven. The word does not mean “guesswork,” which is the point of your so-called explanation. Also climate change is not even considered a theory. So your explanation is both pointless and ignorant of how scientists actually characterize these ideas.

“Generally science would be open to questioning a theory. ... That hasn’t happened in the global warming debate.”

Absolute nonsense. Every point you have brought up—sunspots, climate cycles/ice ages, orbit distance—has been dealt with by climate scientists. It’s been questioned and answered; you are simply ignorant of the fact that it’s been answered.

“Such as the Himalayian Glacier Report. The Hacked Emails imply that dissenters shouldn’t be allowed to be peer reviewed.”

Peer review is what found the glacier report was inaccurate. The hacked e-mails are a faux scandal and have nothing whatsoever to do with the underlying science.

When Scientific theory is sound it should be predictable but the ‘Climate Models’ from the IPCC are not only unsupported, but flat out wrong.

Hence why anthropocentric climate change is not generally considered a “theory.” A theory is a very broad idea that unifies a large number of observed facts and scientific laws. Anthropocentric climate change is a description of what is happening now and, per IPCC, a model of what might happen if it continues. Likewise, “smoking causes cancer” is not considered a scientific theory.

You are correct to point out that climate models make fuzzy predictions; of course climate is a textbook example of a complex system (please read the link if you are unfamiliar with the term) and this speaks to absolutely nothing about the underlying physics that govern climate change. To put it another way: the fuzziness of climate models does not imply that greenhouse gases do not trap significant heat. To put it another way: we may not be able to predict exactly how the fire will travel and exactly what damage it will cause if you start a fire in your living room… nevertheless, we know that starting a fire in your living room will be “bad.”

“They certainly present it as such and they are a body of scientists.”

No they don’t, and you’re hardly in a position to judge how scientists present anything since you’re demonstrably ignorant of basic scientific ideas.

And I’m not insulting you. Ignorant means you don’t know something. For example, not knowing the difference between evolution and abiogenesis. Still waiting to hear an acknowledgement that you were totally wrong about this, @Jaxk. What’s stopping you, exactly?

Qingu's avatar

I should do a better job explaining the difference between a theory and a model like IPCC’s forecasts.

The theory of relativity tells us how and why mass, energy, movement, space, and time interact with each other on a macro-scale. It unifies countless observations we’ve made about large bodies and the universe as a whole. Its equations have been tested over and over again and make valid predictions.

Nevertheless, if we try to use these equations to model a complex event—like the formation of a planetary system out of a nebula—guess what? The model is not going to correspond exactly to reality. It might not even correspond very close to reality at all. This is because we do not have supercomputers remotely capable of modeling each and every interaction in a vast complex system like a nebula over millions of years in our lifetimes. Until recently we couldn’t even accurately model the orbits of three bodies in space over an extended period of time.

Does our inability to perfectly model how planets form out of nebulae over millions of years cast doubt on the underlying theory of relativity? No, it does not.

Likewise, the IPCC’s inability to perfectly model how the complex system of Earth’s climate will react to huge increase in global warming mean that the known physics and chemistry that governs how greenhouse gases trap heat are not true? No, it does not.

Mariah's avatar

I wrote my previous post in a rush; I should add that it’s not entirely accurate to say that questioning of global warming hasn’t occurred. A lot of the “questioning” part of the process happened before you probably started hearing about global warming. It became widely publicized after scientists were already pretty sure it was happening. This isn’t a new issue.

Jaxk's avatar

@Mariah

You’re right about that. I could drag up headlines about this starting from the 1890s. Prior to that it was primarily the purview of the research scientists. In the 1980s the Global Warming idea became popular and and since we were entering a warm cycle anyway, it gained popular support. Unfortunately, it has become so politicized that too many people are vested in proving they are right rather than being right. Unfortunate but that’s the world we live in.

Qingu's avatar

98% of climate scientists are politicized, Jaxk?

Funny how you keep on making statements like this without actually demonstrating how it’s been politicized or what those 98% of climate scientists have actually gotten wrong. I also don’t really need to point out how outrageous it is to hear the ignorant arch-conservative on here whining about how “politicized” the climate science he knows nothing about and has only ever repeated Fox News talking points about has become.

Still waiting to hear an acknowledgement that you were wrong about evolution/abiogenesis, too. Are you actually capable of admitting you’re wrong?

RocketGuy's avatar

You know that 68% of statistics are pulled out of thin air, right? (including this one)

Aethelflaed's avatar

@RocketGuy That’s bullshit, I’ve heard it was 78.964% of statistics that were pulled out of thin air!

Qingu's avatar

Actually statistical mechanics forms the very basis of fundamental reality. Quantum particles behave the way they do because of the rules of statistics.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk It’s rather ridiculous to claim that newspaper speculation from the late 1800s is causing the rise in CO2 concentrations we see happening over the past 60 years. Atmospheric CO2 has rissen sharply in that time period, and is now at levels far higher than they have ever been in the past 650,000 years, as this image from GoddardScience.org clearly shows. How can you rationally claim that politicization is causing this? How can you rationalize that we can keep deforesting the earth, ALLOW slash and burn farming and thus pouring an extra 29 gigatopnnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year, 29 gigatonnes more than the Earth’s reabsorption system can remove, and it will have no effect?

At the current rate of increase, global CO2 levels will double in 150 years. That will push atmospheric CO2 to more than twice the level it has reached in the past 650,000 years. The warming that causes will trigger a massive release of frozen methane from the earth’s tundras and from methane clathrates in the oceans. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 20 times as effective at trapping heat as CO2 is. Such a release will cause a runaway temperature spike that will wipe out nearly all of the current life on Earth.

I encourage you to read the science insdtead of listening to the politicization, which is actually coming not from the world’s scientists, but from the $37 billion a year fossil fuel industry pouring out massive amounts of disinformation to protect their profits, putting profits above people, even their won children. Again, the coal and pil industries are pouring hundreds of millions into lobbying and PR firms—the very same PR firms using the very same PR methods that Big Tobacco used for several decades to defend tobacco smoking when they knew that it was killing 350,000 consumers a year who unwittingly used their products exactly as directed. Who is really playing politics here, the world’s scientists who have nothing to gain from telling the truth, or the fossil fuel industry who have #37 trillion a year to defend by lying and politicization?

RocketGuy's avatar

@Aethelflaed – your are right, my bad! I didn’t reach high enough in the air.

Jaxk's avatar

@ETpro

The problem is the prediction. They’re simply not coming true. Temperatures are declining, Ice pack is increasing, Ocean temperatures are declining. Science is also becoming skeptical of the predictions. More and more International scientists are breaking from the crowd.

I thought your article was quite good but it didn’t change anything. The alarmist view from Al Gore and the IPCC is just too much and the modeling they used, isn’t working.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk that’s just more disinformation from the $37 trillion fossil fuel industry and their water carriers. NAOA keeps accurate, non-politicized redords on global temperatures. 2005 and 2010 nearly tied for the two warmest years since weather records began being kept globaly in 1850. This August was the the warmest August on record..

The warmest years since 1850, in order, were:
1—2010
2—1998
3—2005
4—2002
5—2003
6—2009
7—2004
8—2006
9—2007
10 —2001
11—1997
12—2008
13—1995
14—1999
15—1990
16—2000
17—1991
18—1983
19—1987
20—1994

Notice a trend? 9 of the warmest years since records began being kept in 1850 have occurred in the past 10 years. All 20 have occurred in the last 3 decades. By what possible logic do you support the claim that we are in a cooling trend?

Qingu's avatar

@Jaxk, the arctic sea ice cover is also clearly decreasing:

http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20111004_Figure3.png

And ocean temps are increasing:

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cmb-faq/anomalies.php
ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/anomalies/annual.ocean.90S.90N.df_1901–2000mean.dat

What the hell are you talking about?

ETpro's avatar

@Qingu The citation @Jaxk chose to “prove” that the vast majority of the world’s climatoligists are simply politicized was a partisan GOP paper issued by Big Oil’s darling, Senator Inhofe’s staff. It claims that 900 of the world’s scientists dissent on global warming. Guess who those scientist happen to work for. Only a couple are climatologists. The rest are all chemists or geologists who know next to nothing about climatology and who are employed by the fossil fuel industry either directly or in right-wing think tanks they fund. Some proof that it’s the scientific community that is politicizing things. It’s utterly laughable.

Qingu's avatar

I think I’ve seen that list.

I recall quite a few Psychology PhDs.

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