05 February, 2007

Global Warming Denier!!! - Get a rope

Pretty good post at ComputerDefense on Global Warming

He does a good job at voicing one side of the argument that I often think gets short shift.

Anyone who has read me for a while will know that I take the Global Warming discussion pretty seriously. I have several posts on the topic and like to advocate bio fuels and other environmental causes.

There is a comment on his blog that I think portrays a huge flaw in the current nature of the conversation primarily from the Government mandated change crowd.

Angela says "Although you do try to consider material from both believers and non-believers in global warming"

The first sentence portrays exactly what is wrong in the whole global warming discussion as it exists right now. People divide the groups into "believers" and "non believers". This ideologically faith based approach is what the entire debate has turned into. Unfortunately people have been burning others at the stake for thousands of years because they "made the drought happen by killing a pig" or by "giving the evil eye" . What is the difference between roasting them in a bronze idol to appease Marduk or Al? The real discussion cannot exist if the only mechanism of argument is to classify then dismiss.

The second stage of this argument is "that research must be excluded because it was funded by the oil companies (or Greenpeace take your pick)". This method of argument is slightly more legitimate but it cannot be used to discard information only to increase the scrutiny of it.

I'll restate that. The only valid use of the second argument is to identify potential biases and require a more thorough review of the data. They cannot legitimately be used to disprove the data directly. Both sides are guilty of having ulterior motives for their arguments. Professors have trouble getting grants and promotions if they don't jump on the Global Warming is killing the planet bandwagon. Oil companies are making a lot of money but their already paper thin margins will be even smaller if they have to start pumping CO2 back into the earth. For that matter we are not truly sure what pumping it back into the ground will do.

Hey I am all for (actually strongly for) bio fuels and CO2 reduction tech. I think that anything we can do to reduce our footprint on the world around us has some value. The real question is how much value in comparison to what we trade off for it. If we didn't have an environmental movement we would literally be choking to death on coal smog like we were in the 1800's. We wouldn't have the automobile (which in the early days was marketed as a way of reducing the number of rotting horse and cow carcass and manure in the cities).

Right now I have seen a lot of evidence pointing to the fact that Global Warming is occurring. Enough to convince me that it is happening until proven otherwise at least for the short term (next century or so).

Despite the recent findings advocated by the UN

Or Detailed counterpoint here (sorry about the popups it is a Canadian Rag)

I have not seen an overwhelming set of evidence to support Global Warming being an anthropomorphic event. I think we have a lot of hubris when we assume that our .1% of the Biomass and 3% of total global energy use that we create or even the 2% of total greenhouse gases on the planet that are due to humans have that great of an effect. There are certainly models that show that it does but we do not have a large enough data pool to know. In all of these models the contribution of greenhouse gases is an exponential function (which it is). Anyone who plays with math knows how easily misunderstandings of the role of an exponential variable can really skew the outcome of a model. Neither do we have a good data set to draw on. 200 years out of 4 billion isn't that big of a data set.

I am also not much of an advocate of the precautionary principle. Anyone who really is should never get in a car. For that matter they should never leave their house... Actually that is faulty as well since most accidents occur at home... Whoopie we're all gonna die.

You get my point.

None of these counter arguments should be construed to mean we shouldn't do anything. On the contrary we should be aggressively pursuing more data and debate. We can't do that by disregarding the points and arguments of either side of the conversation. We should also constantly be working for more efficient and renewable energy sources and means of doing what ever we do daily. This provides us other advantages as well. Reduced reliance on energy sources controlled by questionable entities, reduced costs, and operational streamlining. We wouldn't have moved to coal if wood didn't have problems or oil if coal or Natural Gas if oil...

Besides in the long run this is probably the answer. Got it from Here

Digg It

3 comments:

Alex said...

Hi Jim,


I can say that I'm with you here. There are plenty of very good arguments for moving off fossil fuels apart from "Global Warming." In a sense, I'm even willing to turn a blind eye to those who blame mankind. But what I can't approve of is money influence and political (university) badgering.

In infosec land we bitch and moan about our lack of data and the fact that we can't trust our sources. Meanwhile we get studies like these: http://www.usablesecurity.org/emperor/

And headlines like this:

http://it.slashdot.org/it/07/02/05/1323243.shtml

We need better sources of interpretation than a paragraph from some 24 year old kid.

In the same way, we need more than the CNN soundbites and Drudge sensationalism for the Climate Change discussion.

treguly said...

Hey Jim,

Thanks for the trackback and I'm to see I've spurred some legit discussion... Hopefully my post isn't being interpreted as being Anti-save the environment... Bio-fuels and saving energy is great... (recycling is still questionable though)...

Alex,
I'm glad to see you make mention of the emperor study... I've actually written on that subject recently as well -- http://www.computerdefense.org/?p=242

Tyler.

Dan said...

喔 i am with you too. global warming is real. so real, we will perish in future. read my blog essay to find out why. it's for real

http://climatechange3000.blogspot.com

would love to hear your reax too...

Charles Commons