the polar bear climate change photo

Started Mar 24, 2007 | Discussions thread
kessler Contributing Member • Posts: 909
Re: False Argument

Ryan McDaniel wrote:

I am a scientist in a related field to climate sutdies and I don't
recall ever speaking personally to a scientist that argued there is
not global warming. I've never seen a talk at a conference in
which anit-global warm was pesented either.

All I'm saying is that it smacks of bias to present this as if
there is no general consensus.

It smacks of bias to consider your personal experience as
representative of anything. Maybe you live in the boondocks, or
maybe you avoid the conferences where you would meet and talk to
the dissenters. How should I know?

This is a difficult issue to get to the facts on and in that sense I think it is helpful to hear the personal experience of people who are in or close to the scientific fields that are relevant. Honestly, I ask my collegues for their opinions because I put stock in the opinions of scientists I know. If you don't want/like my opinion/experience then ignore it.

as for talking to dissenters, I have not sought them out on this topic, but I can't think of anything I would like more then to sit down and listen to them. Believe me or not, but talking with people with different ideas, particularly if they have data to back up those ideas, is something I really enjoy.

One think I do know, and you should know this to if you're in a
field of science: the scientific method is NOT ABOUT CONSENSUS.

It's fine to say this, but unfortunately the politics of the issue have forced the idea of concensus onto the scientific community. Scientists will always continue to study the loose ends, that's what they do. They also like to keep an open mind. Taking this attitude has given opponents of clime change the opportunity to claim the jury is still out. Maybe it is, but that's not the impression I get. What politicians and lay people want to know is if there is general consensus on the issue. You're right, consensus is not how science works, but it is part of how political decisions are made based upon sound science.

Second, please don't shout at me.

The Catholic church had a consensus on Earth being the center of
universe. That didn't make them scientific or right.

that's right, and as a scientist I remain sceptical about climate change, but as a rational decision maker I think we need to act upon the best information we have.

BTW, I consider myself an environmentalist, but I would rather spend every penny of the tax dollars that might go toward climate change initiatives on world poverty. I am just trying to freely contribute my personal experience on this topic.

-m

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