Are Scientists Right About Global Warming? (November 28, 2010)

Posted: November 28, 2010 by Mike Hubbartt in Academia, Environmental Posts, Rants and Raves
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By Mike Hubbartt, © Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved.

This post is my response to some of the supposed experts that claim scientists are wrong about global warming. I lack the credentials to speak with authority on global warming, however I trust experts from the scientific community more than ignorant politicians or political movements or big coal/oil.

The past 4 years I’ve heard a lot of things about global warming that surprise and concern me. Being skeptical is fine, but changing or ignoring information that disproves a position is wrong. This is an informal top ten list of reasons I heard or read by people who claim “Scientists use falsified or modified data about global warming, because scientists…”

  1. just want to continue to get research grants.
  2. lack the ability to interpret data as well as regular people.
  3. don’t really believe in G-d because he wouldn’t let us wreck our planet.
  4. really only have temperature data since the 1950s, and tree and ice cores don’t mean anything, so how would they know?
  5. at “my” church don’t believe it, so those other scientists are wrong!
  6. want to look important and attract members of the opposite (or same) sex.
  7. are out to get big coal/oil. Anti-business, plain and simple. Drill baby drill.
  8. actually believe in evolution and refuse to accept the earth is less than 10,000 yrs old. Carbon dating is just wrong!
  9. really faked the moon landings.
  10. are tools of them liberal democrats!

Based on my own experiences with them, this is my top ten list to respond to the list above: “Scientists…”

  1. are ethical people and well aware their papers are subject to peer review. Credibility is everything to a scientist, and not many would continue to get grants if most or all of their peers continually reject and refute their findings.
  2. are better equipped (and more knowledgeable) to interpret scientific data than people lacking a scientific background. Please, child!
  3. have and lack religious beliefs, just like other professions. I believe there have been things like the black death plague in the middle ages, the holocaust in the 1940s, the proliferation of nuclear and chemical weapons for the 50s to today – G-D did not prevent them. Being a scientist does not mean one must deny the existence of G-d.
  4. use tree cores and ice cores that date back hundreds and thousands of years to track and interpret weather data.
  5. are not proven wrong because one or two people with a similar background disagree with the entire scientific community. I’ve known people who claimed to be Christians that were horrible and mean-spirited – I do not interpret that to mean all Christians are bad (or wrong) because of the behavior of a few of them. I’ve also met a number of nice people who were Hindus and Muslims – that does not mean there are no bad Hindus or Muslims.
  6. are not attention-seekers. They seek verifiable answers to questions, not pick-up lines to use at a local bar.
  7. understand the need our society has for power systems. I’m not saying some members of the scientific community dislike big oil/coal. I’m saying the position of a few does not dictate the position of every one of that profession. And I believe that many people living on the Gulf coast do not agree with the political byline of “Drill Baby Drill.”
  8. believe in evolution, a 4.54 billion year old earth, and G-D. And yes, carbon (and potassium/argon) dating is quite accurate. I agree with those positions. There is not an inherent incompatibility of scientists and religious beliefs. I’ve met some scientists that had strong religious beliefs as well as scientists that were atheists – the job does not dictate religious affiliation or the lack of.
  9. believe America had the technology and desire to send astronauts to the moon in the 60s and 70s. I agree. Those men were brave to undertake such a dangerous flight, and it is an insult to them and their families for people to deny their accomplishments.
  10. are democrats, republicans, independents, and none of the above. Just as with other professions, some scientists have liberal-leaning while others are politically conservative. Political orientation should not be used to change science or history.

There are a few more posts on this site about global warming doubters – if that subject interests you then check out this post.

The list of global warming doubters has dropped over the past 5 years, but there are still some that want to voice their opinions that they know better than people with the education and credentials to discuss the topic.

I apologize if I offended anyone, because that is not my intention or desire. I get tired of hearing or reading opinions of people who fear conspiracies “they alone are smart enough to recognize.

In an open society, people are free to have their opinions, but that does not mean spreading false material because the truth conflicts with a political agenda or religious beliefs. An open society does not mean people are free to attempt to intimidate or insult others that disagree with cherished/uninformed notions or religious beliefs.

And finally, the tactic of not stating your position and trying to use half-truths and internet innuendo to undermine the opinion of another person is not the act of a smart, kind, wise person. It is the act of someone who realizes their own position is undefendable. It is the act of someone that fails to see that their approach alienates and does not convince another of the validity of their opinion. When one desires that they or their opinions be shown respect, they better be willing to show the same respect to people that do not agree with them. Respect is a two-way street.

To sum it up. Free speech and open discourse – good. Distorting data, lying about data, or stifling inconvenient truths – bad.

Just my 2 bits.

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