[Please visit my List of Arguments for the complete list of global warming issues and talking points.]
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is a naturally occurring gas, as well as a by-product of burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, natural gas, gasoline, and other industrial processes. Unlike Nitrogen and Oxygen which make up much of our atmosphere, CO2, even in small amounts, has the ability to retain heat. It is one of the principal greenhouse gases that affect the earth’s temperature.
With the arrival of the industrial revolution, around 1760, we began burning more and more fossil fuels releasing CO2 into the atmosphere. It was a tiny amount at first, not affecting our climate, but it accumulated in the atmosphere as more and more industry was created. It was inevitable that our temperatures would finally begin to go up with resulting changes to our weather systems.
Courtesy of Science Clarified
Scientists have been studying the progression of our warming and its current impact on us. They have also made studies on how global warming is going to affect us in the future.
There is cause to be alarmed.
Contrary to what many would think, civilization is a fragile thing that can only exist when there is stability in our climate. Too much instability and our civilization suffers and can even fail.
More intense droughts will cause crops to start failing on a regular basis leading to skyrocketing food prices and famine throughout the world.
Intensified flooding will damage homes and destroy city infrastructures such as roads, bridges, and power lines. When this starts happening on a regular basis, it will lead to a lower standard of living even among well-off first world nations.
There are those who take exception to what scientists have been saying about global warming for the past few decades. They refer to themselves as “Skeptics.”
Skeptics take a contrarian view on anything related to global warming. They are always in agreement with each other on the minutest of details and never have meaningful discussions amongst themselves except to reinforce their positions.
They are vitriolic against those with opposing views and engage in name calling and personal attacks. Then they complain that scientists are doing the same thing.
On the other hand, even though they agree that there is global warming, scientists are more critical of each other in a professional manner. It is built into their methodology as part of the scientific process. By so doing, they correct themselves until certainty is reached.
Skeptic organizations and individuals are well funded by oil and coal corporations with an estimated 558 million dollars, from 2003 to 2010, having been spent on the denial of global warming. Much of that money goes to Conservative ‘think tanks’ which create dozens of talking points and pass this information on to conservative websites and their viewers. They also invite well paid professional speakers to speak at political ‘grassroots’ events. Yet Skeptics accuse those who believe in global warming of having lucrative careers at the expense of taxpayers’ money.
Essentially, this issue has turned out to be a propagandized event with little understanding by the public of its critical points. The purpose of this website is to communicate the essentials of human-caused global warming and respond to the multitude of arguments that have been made by Skeptics.
When reading through their arguments, there are a few points to keep in consideration:
Political ideology is very important to Skeptics. They tend to be radical conservatives.
The reason for this is that oil and coal corporations, who feel financially threatened by alternative methods of producing electricity, finance conservative think tanks. These think tanks create propaganda to influence conservative media who in turn influence conservatives in general.
Big picture, little picture
Also referred to as taking out of context or “cherry picking”. This is usually done by picking a select date from a temperature chart or a specific region from a portion of the earth in order to give a false impression about the evidence. The big picture must first be taken into account before the little picture can be understood.
Skeptics habitually state the exact opposite of what scientists say. When scientists say “white” Skeptics do not say “yellow” or “orange”, they say “black”. When scientists say “A” Skeptics do not say “G” or “P”, they say “Z”. There is nothing so minor that scientists say that they won’t contradict.
Most Skeptics tend to be politically conservative and thus, they tend to adopt the habits that they have in argumentation. Conspiracies are a common theme amongst conservatives and Skeptics are no exception.
In the imagination of most Skeptics, there is a conspiracy among scientists to bring about a global Socialist dictatorship and that somehow the solutions to human-caused global warming are part of that agenda.
A Gish Gallop is a tactic famously used by creationist Duane Gish in his debates with those who believe in evolution. A Gish Gallop involves making so many statements in such a short period of time that the opponent cannot respond to all of them.
In principle, it takes only 5-10 seconds to utter a falsehood but it may take 2-3 minutes or more to make a complete rebuttal. It would thus be easy to state half a dozen falsehoods in a minute’s time, which means it would take perhaps half an hour to respond to them all. Since this is impractical, it prevents the other party from responding to all the points that were made.
Thus, the advantage always goes to the incorrect party unless the other debater is given sufficient time to respond.
Skeptics oftentimes accuse scientists of the same thing they themselves are guilty of. For example, they accuse scientists of lying just to get money from the government. Yet many Skeptics have been getting funding, directly or indirectly, from the fossil fuel industry.
They also accuse scientists of readjusting their charts with intent to deceive even though they themselves readjust them.
Often times, when presented with evidence that they do not like, Skeptics slander the motives of the scientists who produced it.
They accuse them of wanting to make money from the government, therefore, everything they say, and any evidence they produce is false. This is both slanderous and illogical. To make an analogy, the United States put a man on the moon 50 years ago. The Apollo space program cost around $150 billion in today’s money.
So then imagine a person arguing that the Moon landing was a hoax because thousands of scientists, engineers, and technicians made billions of dollars in government salaries.
Everyone, no matter how truthful and accurate they are, eventually makes a mistake. Scientists own up to any error they make and apologize for it. Skeptics do not, no matter how big and obvious their mistake may be.
Experience has shown all of this to be an effective means of indoctrination.
In short, this issue is a war of words and ideas; propaganda versus rebuttals. Well-funded think tanks, websites, and individuals, versus scientists paying out of pocket for their educational websites.
History stands ready to judge us.
[Please visit my List of Arguments for the complete list of global warming issues.]