Monday, June 26, 2006

Global warming and Bush.

It's bizarre to have to keep saying this, but perhaps it is necessary. There is no reasonable scientific debate left (barring some miraculous new evidence, of course) on three issues:
  1. Global warming is happening.
  2. It's our fault.
  3. It's going to change the way we live, if not destroy any hope for our continued civilization.
Anyone who isn't incredibly scared about what's happening to our weather, to our resources, and to our air -- and, particularly, the total inaction on the part of our elected officials -- is an idiot. It's just that simple. (Hence, no surprise that Bush doesn't even seem to care.)


undergroundman said...

There is still scientific debate.

I disagree with them, but the fact is that we don't know to what extent carbon dioxide is causing the global warming. Some new evidence suggests that methane is contributing even more, and water vapor is the main greenhouse 'gas'.

ADHR said...

Scientists, yes; relevant scientists, no. Science isn't a monolith, after all; as with all academic disciplines, it splits into specialities and sub-specialities. The list of scientists who oppose global warming includes physicists, biologists, and so on, but very few climate scientists. It's like going and asking epistemologists if they agree with consequentialist ethics: they may not, but unless they have some arguments to make that have traction in the actual debates, there's no reason to take them seriously -- even though they, too, are trained philosophers.

It's also important to note that the few climate scientists who deny global warming are just that -- a few. A few naysayers does not undercut the strength of the consensus. That is, the consensus must be taken to be true until such time as it is sufficiently undermined that it ceases to be a consensus. (The replacement of the geocentric model with the heliocentric model is the classic example.) Calling it a "debate" elevates the naysayers to a position they have yet to earn.

I'm not sure why you focus on CO2. FWIW, methane is produced by human activity (factory farms, for example, tend to accumulate vast quantities of animal waste in small areas, which AFAIK generates methane).