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Soubresaut's avatar

Scientists can now determine which weather events were caused by, or made worse by, human-produced emissions. Will this finally put to rest the political partisanship over Climate Change -- something which should be matter of science?

Asked by Soubresaut (13714points) August 25th, 2017

Here is the World Weather Attribution program’s website. I’ve linked to their “about” page for convenience, but their other pages are easy to access, too, including their “analyses,” where they look at specific weather events and determine the extent to which human activity played a role.

One of the things they are able to do is compare the likelihood of an event occurring with or without human-produced emissions—which means they can measure the impact humans are having, not just on a nebulous, intangible concept of “climate change,” but on specific weather events that we experience and remember.

This allows them to make definitive statements, such as: “there is at least a 175 times increase in likelihood of hot March months because of the human influence on the climate. [. . .] As the seas warm because of our effect on the climate, bleaching events in the Great Barrier Reef and other areas within the Coral Sea are likely to become more frequent and more devastating.” (See their Great Barrier Reef Bleaching analysis; I included this example because it was the one I first heard about in relation to their work.)

Or consider: “we find that the chances of seeing a February as warm as the one experienced across the Lower 48 [States of the USA] has increased more than threefold because of human-caused climate change. The record-warm February of 1954 was, at the time, a very rare event (probability about 0.5% per year) but similar events should now be expected every few years.” (See their U.S. Heat analysis).


As these studies continue to be published, and as we are increasingly able to point to specific weather events as being directly, measurably, influenced by human activity, will we be able to finally get the US’s climate change politics to side with the science? Or are certain interests too deeply entrenched to let go of their lobbying hold? (Or a third option? Fourth?) What’s your take?

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14 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

No. Because the non-science types (the deniers, the creationist, the god-wills-it types, and the republicans) won’t accept the science, because they think it will be tainted.

That population never lets facts get in the way of a belief, no matter how erroneous the belief.

ragingloli's avatar

Of course not. Right wingers believe that all science is satanic lies spewing forth directly from the devil’s anus.

Soubresaut's avatar

I know that there has been a shift by some in the Republican party from “climate change does not exist” to “climate change exists, but is not human-caused,” where people are willing to acknowledge the data indicating climate change, but still resist associating that change with human activity. I’ve also heard claims that there is significant scientific disagreement on the issue (which is already demonstrably untrue, the overwhelming majority of scientists are in consensus, but oh well.) Would “Extreme Climate Attribution” at least help to counter those stances?

stanleybmanly's avatar

As you’ve said the shift is underway to “the climate goes through cycles. We have nothing to do with it.”. When Ohio and Kentucky are on the Atlantic coastline and Oklahoma and Arizona are gulf states the argument will be “oh well, it’s too late to do anything”.

PullMyFinger's avatar

Oh, society is just getting warmed-up, I’m sure.

From now on, just use “fake news”, “fake science”, or “fake (fill-in the blank)”, and you can’t possibly lose the argument. Truly wise people recognize authentic fakery when they may (or may not) see it.

If my wife walks into a bar and sees me chatting-up some pretty woman, I’m already prepared to tell her that she just has “fake eyesight”. And my charm attempts towards the woman were fake, and her interest in what I was saying ??.......of course…....also fake….

Both women just look confused, shrug, and everybody goes home happy….

Tropical_Willie's avatar

If you are talking about the USA ==== >Trump and his followers don’t believe in anything; science, religion, freedom, foreign policy or public opinion (he only has a 32% approval rating and he treats like 98%)
Therefore if it puts money into a Trump Company it is GOOD, if it cleans up air, water or earth it is BAD.

LuckyGuy's avatar

~ I heard somewhere that God sent the eclipse across America as a sign to impeach Trump.
Start passing that around.

Coloma's avatar

I’m with @elbanditoroso on this one. Those that wish to deny facts will continue to deny the facts regardless. You can lead an ass to water but you can’t make it drink.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

No. We need a cure for stupid first for global human climate change to be accepted.

JLeslie's avatar

No. I don’t see why it would.

I still hold that people need to stop wasting their breath trying to convince people man is warming the earth, and start telling these people to stop polluting the earth and air and diminishing our oxygen levels.

Does anyone deny forrests and jungles contribute oxygen, certain gases are bad for us, and that pollution cause a number of illnesses? I don’t think so. Most people understand that. For the very religious, remind them God created the earth and all life, and we are charged with taking care of this world he has given us. Speak their language and stop hitting your head against the wall.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@JLeslie Logic, science, truth itself—all must bow to the profit motive.

JLeslie's avatar

@stanleybmanly Absolutely, that is a huge factor. However, many of the people who deny the human contribution to climate change aren’t business owners, they are pawns of big business.

All of us have trouble sifting through all the information marketed to us.

Also, all of us, even the experts, don’t usually know how things will roll out if changes are made. Progress/change is scary to everyone in some ways. Climate change can be a push towards less pollution and less raping the earth and less dependency on foreign nations. It’s something we all want, we slowly have been headed towards that anyway on an imperfect track, but is a struggle, primarily because of money.

stanleybmanly's avatar

money and habit.

Soubresaut's avatar

Thanks everyone.

I think I was partly hoping for someone who still considers themself skeptical about climate change to chime in… But looking at my question, I don’t think I phrased it to invite that kind of discussion. Climate change is just such a non-question to me (scientists have been studying it for decades and all arrows point to “we gotta fix this”) that I have a hard time stepping back from it enough to welcome the voices I want to better understand… Of course, I what I really want is to “understand” the best ways to get them to see the mountain of evidence in front of everyone—which is why I got excited by the “attribution” that can point to climate change’s influence on specific events, and maybe simplify the discussion… But as I think all of you touched on in one way or another, deniers’ rejection of climate change is more complex than simply looking or not looking at a “mountain of evidence.”

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