[asa] Re: GW

From: j burg <hossradbourne@gmail.com>
Date: Sun Jan 27 2008 - 14:23:33 EST

On 1/26/08, Wayne Shelton <wdshel@yahoo.com> wrote:
> ... I'm lost in the discussion.
> Is the general consenses that global warming is real
> and we can prevent it or is it the other way around? ...

My take is that there are fourmain issues:

1. Is GW "real?" The consensus is that it is. There are "contrarians," such
as Janice, who argue otherwise but contrarian arguments have generally been
refuted. A recent study of peer-reviewed scientific papers on the subject
(about 2,000 papers, I believe) found none that seriously questioned this

Is the "fact" that GW is "real" of the same level of certainty as -- say --
the "fact" of evolution? Probably not -- but that is because it is so
recent. That means (to me) that the arguments of the contrarians (even
Janice) need to be taken seriously and honestly debated. All those arguments
have not yet been fleshed out.

2. Is humanity's civilization a major contributor? Again, the consensus is
-- yes. But I suspect the level of certainty on this point is a little less
than of issue #1. I hasten to add that although I have training and have
worked as a physicist, I can claim no particular expertise on the subject.
But I can read.

3. Given that the answer to #1 and #2 is positive, are the likely effects
positive, neutral or negative? What I have seen is a mix of all three of the
above, with negative results far exceeding the positive ones. A holder of
real estate in Greenland is likely to benefit. A resident of the Florida
Keys is not likely. There are lively debates on this issue, and I don't see
a consensus emerging.

4. Given that #1 and #2 are "yes" and #3 is "largely negative," Can we
prevent it? No consensus that I see here. "Mitigate it" is certainly
possible, but given the political polarization that has occurred (at least
in the USA) a convincing argument can be made that we will be fighting about
it long after that point of no return. I hold no brief for AL Gore as a
person or politician, but his point that this is an issue that ought NOT be
one of political dissension is spot on. And it does no good for the
contrarians to speak of "tree huggers" or "global whining" or to us "algore"
as a pejorative. Such tactics only tend to mask their points in smarmy


(my 2c worth. And worth every penny)


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Received on Sun Jan 27 14:24:52 2008

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