manas wrote:I have hesitated to 'come out' properly here, but I think I can safely do so, and not get pilloried for it. We are all friends in the Dhamma after all, and that surely overrides any difference of opinion we might have regarding AGW.
Thanks for making your position clear.
manas wrote:But over the years I also began to read some disturbing things.
(1) That the measuring stations are in locations where one would expect higher temperatures, for example, thus skewing the data.
(2) That most of the climate research is basically computer modelling and not 'hard' science at all. [and later: These are verifiable concerns, not just based on computer modelling. ]
(3) Plus the way that the mainstream media taints anyone who expresses doubt about it with the emotive term, 'denier' with it's implications - we all know what they are hinting at with that term, I think.
(4) And does everyone remember how there was this incident where scientists did not get the data that they wanted, and so simply changed it to suit themselves? And we trust these people?
All well-known memes!
(1) Dan addressed this but if you want more detail try http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/02/urban-heat-islands-and-u-s-temperature-trends/
. The issues are known and have been exhaustively analysed, and the real numbers are out there but basically the trend
is what is important, anyway.
(2) Computer modelling is especially important in climate science because we only have one world and we can't run a series of experiments - especially in real time. But the models have been improving even faster than the hardware they run on. See http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models.htm
. And computer models are tested every which way, constantly checked against each other and (as much as possible) against the real world. They really are pretty accurate and reliable and in many cases are the only
way of obtaining data. And in other cases, scientists do get out into the real world and collect all the available data - there are even teams of people combing old ships' logs for weather observations.
(3) You're getting the "emotive" and (unspoken) "Nazi" implications straight from the denialists. They don't like the term because their whole campaign depends explicitly on maintaining there is "reasonable doubt" about AGW. There isn't any - see http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=16568&start=20#p236121
. See also "Merchants of Doubt" for what is really going on - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchants_of_Doubt
. The denialists would prefer to be called "skeptics" but anyone who now denies the basics of AGW does so from ignorance or in an attempt to deceive, and calling them "skeptics" is lying. I won't do that, as you may have noticed.
I do regret having to be offensive but I can't come up with a better name for them.
(4) Climategate was a smear campaign based on a crime. Many separate independent enquiries cleared the scientists of any wrong-doing but the mud seems to have stuck. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_email_controversy
or (more briefly) http://climatecrocks.com/2011/08/23/climategate-debunked-again-climate-deniers-mike-mann-born-in-kenya/
manas wrote:I still live as sustainably I can, by the way. I try to organise life so there is as little driving as possible, I buy organic when I can afford it, and I would love some solar panels (if only I could afford them).
manas wrote:But I think that the real issues are the destruction of forests and ecosystems, the erosion of the topsoil, pollution of the biosphere with pesticides, nanoparticles, and genetically modified organisms, the destruction of clean underground water by fracking...take your pick, we have a lot of real issues to work on, and these are the things I will continue to try to raise awareness of. As for CO2, we've had periods in Earth's history when the concentrations were MUCH higher than they are today; it's being used as a 'scapegoat' to distract the masses from those other, truly urgent issues I mentioned, I believe. Where is the alarm about GMO's here? Anyone concerned about the growing land-mass made of plastic in the Pacific? Did the 'water' coming out of your tap catch on fire lately, due to nearby fracking?
So many problems, so little time!
And that is a genuine, serious problem. All we can do is put our efforts where we see the greatest need.
Some can only be addressed locally so it's good to get out and join (e.g.) a riverbank cleanup. Others can be addressed politically - Get-Up, Avaaz, Earth Hour, etc. Go for it!
But we can't ignore AGW. It is already driving extreme weather events - hurricane Sandy and others, Pakistan floods, etc - and the slower changes are driving species to extinction regardless of pollution, GMO's, etc.