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Skepticism

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Postby KatyBr » Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:09 am

Spiff wrote:
A couple of points the article makes indicate that the real purpose of the Kyoto Accords is something other than influencing "greenhouse" emissions.
There is also evidence that the Accords would have a negative impact on the U.S. economy


In other words: 'The Kyoto Accords would have a negative impact on the U.S. economy', therefore 'The real purpose of the Accords is to hurt the U.S. economy.'

This reasoning is in the same league as: 'You say Bush is bad', therefore 'You think Saddam is/was good.' (Couldn't find the exact quote right away and lack time to search for it, sorry.)


If that's how the writer put it, and I hadn't seen that exact construct, it's called :
fallacious argument
Equivocation:
using a word to mean one thing, and then later using it to mean something different. For example, sometimes "Free software" costs nothing, and sometimes it is without restrictions. Some examples:

"The sign said 'fine for parking here', and since it was fine, I parked there."

All trees have bark.
All dogs bark.
Therefore, all dogs are trees.

"Consider that two wrongs never make a right, but that three lefts do."
- "Deteriorata", National Lampoon

I believe mostly what's being said was that the Kyoto protocol is based on what they feel is flawed science and since it would drastlically affect our economy they don't feel it's good for us to sign it.

Keep in mind that many of us here feel the rest of the world (no, not every country) has it's hand out all the time, "Feed me Seymour"
always wanting from us, and perhaps they feel this is just another example.


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Postby uncronopio » Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:28 pm

I feel that our respective positions have been stated at length and that any agreement is dependent on the personal evaluation of the available evidence. So I will not continue this discussion and I will give an skeptical rest to skepticism.
"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest." -- Mark Twain
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Postby M. Henri Day » Tue Jun 21, 2005 6:44 am

I must agree with uncronopio that our positions on climatic change have been stated at length. This notwithstanding, I thought it might be of interest to hear, once again, the postions of (a large majority) of those who professionally work with the analysis of the phenomenon. The source from which the article below is taken is not appreciated by all of us, but I hope our spaceman's recent posting has helped to clarify what is or is not legitimate argument in this regard....

Henri

Scientists critical of Bush on climate change

Polly Curtis, education correspondent
Tuesday June 21, 2005

Guardian Unlimited


British scientists today condemned the Bush administration for apparently attempting to undermine efforts to tackle climate change by challenging scientific evidence of the impact of global warming ahead of the G8 summit.
Leaked documents last week showed that the White House had attempted to delete suggestions that global warming had started from greenhouse gas emissions from submissions to be discussed at next month's conference in Gleneagles. References to the threat climate change poses to human health and ecosystems and evidence linking global warming to human activity were also deleted from the communiqué drafts.

Today, scientists will mount a last ditched attempt to persuade all G8 leaders to accept the evidence on climate change.

In a speech to MPs, Stephen Cox, the executive secretary of the Royal Society, will warn: "A communiqué that does anything other than clearly accept the strength of the scientific evidence that greenhouse gas emissions are causing climate change, and offers a firm commitment to long-term substantial cuts in those emissions, will be regarded as a failure by the scientific community and a missed opportunity of historic proportions."

He will tell participants at the annual Parliamentary Links Day, organised by the chemistry society: "The costs of avoiding the worst effects of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions today will be far lower than the cost of tackling the consequences of climate change tomorrow.

"That is why the current position of the US government makes such little sense. But there are signs that the ground may be moving under its feet. This week, the US senate will be debating an energy bill, with a tabled provision that calls for a mandatory 2.4% annual cut in greenhouse gas emissions."

He will add: "And three weeks ago, governor Schwarzenegger committed the state of California to cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, declaring, 'I say the debate is over. We know the science, we see the threat and we know the time for action is now'. Let us hope that the Terminator's words are ringing in the ears of President Bush and the other G8 leaders as they prepare to meet in Gleneagles."

Earlier this month, a group of science academies from across the G8 nations, including the US National Academy of Science, issued a statement saying that evidence of climate change was clear enough to compel their leaders to take action. "There is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring," they said.

EducationGuardian.co.uk © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005
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Postby M. Henri Day » Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:46 am

tcward wrote:Speaking of sticklers...

...

Of course, we all know you mean "...for the English articles 'a' and 'an'." ... ;)


Nit-picking aside, would it not be best to regard «a» and «an» as two phonetic variants of one and the same indeterminate article in English ?...

Henri
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Postby Brazilian dude » Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:48 am

Sure, I'll back you up all the way.

Brazilian dude
Last edited by Brazilian dude on Thu Jun 23, 2005 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
Languages rule!
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Postby M. Henri Day » Thu Jun 23, 2005 10:05 am

The obituary reproduced below provides some background to our discussion on CO[sub]2[/sub] emissions and global warming....

Henri

June 23, 2005

Charles D. Keeling, 77, Who Raised Global Warming Issue, Dies

By
KENNETH CHANG

Dr. Charles D. Keeling, who set off current concerns of global warming through measurements beginning in the 1950's that showed steadily rising amounts of carbon dioxide in the air, died Monday at his home in Montana. He was 77.

The cause was a heart attack after a short hike, said the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, where Dr. Keeling had long worked.

Carbon dioxide, which traps heat in the atmosphere, is one of the greenhouse gases. But when Dr. Keeling began his work, most scientists did not think that emissions from cars and factories could have a measurable effect on the earth's climate, assuming that nearly all the carbon dioxide would be absorbed by plants or the oceans.

In 1955, Dr. Keeling camped out at Big Sur State Park in California, collecting samples of air in flasks to measure their carbon dioxide content. Three years later, he lugged the instrument for measuring carbon dioxide to a weather station, two miles up, on Mauna Loa in Hawaii.

Carbon dioxide levels rise and fall over the course of a day, and his first measurement at Mauna Loa showed an average concentration of 315 parts per million. His measurements also showed that carbon dioxide levels rise and fall with the seasons, following the ebb and flow of vegetation in the Northern Hemisphere.

But his measurements also showed that carbon dioxide levels were rising year after year. That upward trend of carbon dioxide, known as the Keeling Curve, has now reached nearly 380 parts per million and is continuing to rise.

Dr. Keeling's work to establish long-term monitoring of carbon dioxide concentrations in a way that provided a running global average was simple in concept but profound in its impact, according to many climate experts.

"It became clear very quickly that his measured CO2 increase was proportional to fossil fuel emissions and that humans were the source of the change," said Dr. James E. Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. "He altered our perspectives about the degree to which the earth can absorb the human assault."

The current debate over global warming centers on how much warming the increased carbon dioxide will generate, but few have disputed Dr. Keeling's underlying carbon dioxide data.

"I don't think I'm aware of any controversy about Dave's measurements, and that's really kind of remarkable," said Dr. Walter Munk, an oceanographer and colleague of Dr. Keeling at Scripps for three decades. "Dave was a stickler for every detail in connection with his experimental work."

A small gap in the carbon dioxide data from February through April 1964 tells of Dr. Keeling's tenacity in fighting for his experiment.

"His government funding sources told him in effect that 'You have shown that atmospheric carbon dioxide is increasing, now find some other interesting science to do,' " said Dr. F. Sherwood Rowland, a professor of chemistry at University of California, Irvine. "He fought to continue his measurement series, with support from many other scientists, and was back taking data in May of 1964."

Born in Scranton, Pa., Charles David Keeling received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois in 1948 and his doctorate in chemistry from Northwestern University in 1954.

The director of Scripps then, Roger Revelle, was among the first to become concerned about the possible warming effects of carbon dioxide and recruited Dr. Keeling, who had already begun his measurements of carbon dioxide at Big Sur, to Scripps in 1956.

More recently, in 1996, Dr. Keeling and colleagues showed that seasonal swings of carbon dioxide levels in the Northern Hemisphere were becoming larger, possibly a sign that the growing season is beginning earlier because of global warming.

Dr. Keeling was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1994 and received the National Medal of Science in 2002.

Dr. Keeling is survived by his wife, Louise; four sons, Andrew, of Zurich; Ralph, of San Diego who followed in also doing atmospheric research at Scripps; Eric, of Missoula, Mont.; and Paul of Vancouver, British Columbia; a daughter, Emily, of Boulder, Colo.; and six grandchildren.

Andrew C. Revkin contributed reporting for this article.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
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Postby William » Fri Jun 24, 2005 7:44 pm

Spiff, the statements made by Jacques Chirac and the official of the European Union, both of whom are major supporters of the Kyoto Accords, quoted in the article I posted earlier are pretty convincing proof that the purpose of the control of global warming is not the sole purpose of the Accords. This is further supported by the weakness of the Accords themselves. Many on both sides of the debate believe the Accords would be ineffective in controlling greenhouse emissions. Many political analysts assert, and some of Jacques Chirac's own actions indicate, that he at least regards the United States as an economic and political rival. To believe that he does not would frankly be laughable. There is certainly clear evidence that implementation of the Accords in the United States would have a negative impact on the U.S. economy.

As for the "faulty logic" in accusing those who perceive President Bush as "bad" and as seeing Sadam Hussein as "good", you apparently didn't recognize the sarcasm in my message. The fact is that the left, as represented by such publications as mentioned in my previous post, in its eagerness to discredit Bush, seem extrememly reluctant to report the positive things that have been accomplished in Iraq since the invasion. They have thus distorted the "picture" of what has actually happened in Iraq. Though the "flushing of the Koran" incident reported by Newsweek did not take place in Iraq, Newsweek's report is nevertheless evidence of this eagerness. In case you missed it, Newsweek ended up with egg on their face over that issue, just as CBS did with its use of "fake but accurate" documents to discredit Bush during the election campaign.
Reason leads me to believe that Bush is probably neither as bad as his detractors make him out to be, nor as good as his supporters perceive him.

As for global warming, I do not accept your assertion, Henri, that a large majority of those scientists who study the phonomenon of global warming support the theory that it is caused by an increase in greenhouse gases.
The article that you posted from the Guardian certainly does not support that assertion. And even if a large majority did support the theory, why do they support it? Are politics involved, or are scientists totally objective and apolitical? How many times in history has the "majority" of scientists been wrong?

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Postby M. Henri Day » Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:04 am

William wrote:...

As for global warming, I do not accept your assertion, Henri, that a large majority of those scientists who study the phonomenon of global warming support the theory that it is caused by an increase in greenhouse gases.
The article that you posted from the Guardian certainly does not support that assertion. And even if a large majority did support the theory, why do they support it? Are politics involved, or are scientists totally objective and apolitical? How many times in history has the "majority" of scientists been wrong?


William, as you seem to like cartoons, let me respond to your query by proving you with a link to [url=http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/24/politics/24gitmo.html?pagewanted=allTom Toles' latest[/url]. Enjoy !...

Henri
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Postby Apoclima » Tue Jun 28, 2005 2:39 am

Did you mean this cartoon you meant to link to, Henri?

Tom Toles by Tom Toles

Apo
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Postby M. Henri Day » Tue Jun 28, 2005 7:34 am

M. Henri Day wrote:
William wrote:...

As for global warming, I do not accept your assertion, Henri, that a large majority of those scientists who study the phonomenon of global warming support the theory that it is caused by an increase in greenhouse gases.
The article that you posted from the Guardian certainly does not support that assertion. And even if a large majority did support the theory, why do they support it? Are politics involved, or are scientists totally objective and apolitical? How many times in history has the "majority" of scientists been wrong?


William, as you seem to like cartoons, let me respond to your query by proving you with a link to Tom Toles' latest. Enjoy !...

Henri

[Edit : PS : Not quite, Tim - while both are relevant to the present situation, it was rather the one from the succeeding day, i e, yesterday, that I had in mind....]
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Postby William » Thu Jun 30, 2005 4:59 pm

Henri, what makes you think I like cartoons? I admit as a teen I was fond of "Rocky and Bulwinkle". Well, not the Moose and the Squirrel particularly, but I did enjoy "Fractured Fairy Tales", "Boris and Natasha", and "Mr. Peabody" (can't remember his boy's name). I always thought that the Bugs Bunny cartoons had a lot to offer as well.

As for political cartoons, I haven't paid much attention to them since my college days because just three short years after I graduated, Jimmy Carter became President of the United States. It was during his term that I lost almost all of my sense of humor, though there was enough remaining to get a chuckle from the clownishness of Jimmy's brother, Billy.

The only political cartoon I remember from that era was one that portrayed Jimmy Carter as having a computer for a brain and his opponent in the election of 1976 as being a knuckle dragging ape. The cartoonist's meaning was clear enough, Carter was a genius and Gerald Ford an idiot. Though I whole heartedly agree that Ford was (and still is) an idiot, since Fidel Castro suckered Carter into the "Mariel Boatlift", I have had trouble thinking of Carter as a genius.
The "political" prisoners that Castro was supposed to release to the U.S. turned out to be some of the worst criminals in Cuba. Carter naively accepted them with open arms. I believe that most of these "marielitos" are now either dead or in U.S. or Mexican prisons.

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Postby KatyBr » Thu Jun 30, 2005 5:55 pm

It was Sherman, Peabody's boy's name.

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Postby Apoclima » Fri Jul 01, 2005 4:36 pm

Yes, Sherman, good memory, Katy, and he was a nerd-type! I loved "Fractured Fairy Tales," too.

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Postby KatyBr » Fri Jul 01, 2005 4:38 pm

lol, my memory is Google, lol

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Postby M. Henri Day » Tue Sep 20, 2005 2:12 pm

As skepticism seems to be more active as a suggested rather than as an accomplished GWotD, I thought it best to post this link here. It goes to an article highlighting Papa Benedetto's recent address to the national convention of Italian exorcists in which, according to the article, they were encouraged to «carry on their important work in the service of the Church». One may doubt global warming, but the work of the Prince of Darkness - never !...

Henri
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