- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Skewering Frenchy; not skewing data.

Posted by: Farinata ( L'inferno ) on December 20, 1999 at 14:35:27:

In Reply to: Isn't it odd... posted by Frenchy on December 20, 1999 at 13:48:53:

: that scientists starting with the same data come up w/ different conclusions?

Not really. It's called 'scientific debate'; it's the normal process of science. The classic example of this is the wave/particle debate over the nature of light; which was finally resolved this century after 200 years of debate.

However, there comes a point at which you have to say that the experimental evidence favours one theory or another; the evidence is considered so compelling that the theory can be acted on as probable truth.

Which is why no-one today champions Fred Hoyle's 'steady state' theory of the Universe; the evidence for the Big Bang is considered sufficiently compelling to be close to the actuality.

The evidence for global warming is sufficiently compelling; global warming is measurable in any one of 30 to 35 key environmental indicators; from vector-borne disease, to Polar ice thickness, to dendrochronological records, to chemical composition of peat bogs; to fish stocks in the oceans, to increased atmospheric attenuation of EM radiation in the absorption lines of CO2.

The question is not now if global warming is happening; it's a matter of public record; it is thus important that things are done about it; since it is not merely a matter of academic curiosity; billions of lives could depend upon action now.

It can be noted that the anti-global warming camp have retreated from their initial positions of flat denial of global warming; and are now instead saying that global warming *will* happen, but it won't be as bad as all that, since forests will act as carbon sinks and the countries worst-hit will only be poor African countries anyway; no economically vital areas are under major threat (with the exception of the Netherlands and New York).

: How much of their 'forecasting' is politically driven?

The forecasting is done by computer, Frenchy; computers don't indulge in politics. Would it be political to say that the weather was likely to be sunny on an election day?

(Answer: yes, by your yardstick. Sunny weather makes people more likely to vote; and the vast majority of non-voters are the poor and disenchanted; thus a summer election in the US is more likely to be bad for the Republicans; whereas an autumn or winter election is more likely to be bad for Democrats.)

Yet the forecasting itself is not political; it is merely the use made of data acquired. The vast majority of the accurate forecasts by internationally-renowned research centres like the Max Planck Institut and the Hadley Research Centre agree that global warming has serious implications.

: Once again, I say that the left will stop at nothing, including skewering data, creating data, intentionally misinterpreting data, suppressing data to bolster their cause, in this case the advancement of Socialism/Communism.

You say this without actually backing up your data with any secondary sources, without any knowledge of the subject under question, without even the attempt to do any reading around the sources or subject; you merely picked the side that agreed with your own rather narrow views and argued that everyone else was wrong. Unimpressive, Frenchy.

I mean, it's not hard to read books; it's not hard to start taking weather observations of your very own; or keep up on continental weather reports; you can amass a fair store of knowledge just by cluing up a bit; I am in no way preventing you from becoming an amateur climate scientist; but you are currently trying to debate a subject I am qualified in based on nothing more than your own ignorance.

You are in exactly the same position as the lifelong smoker puffing away whilst exclaiming that doctors don't really know anything about medicine anyway.

Care to cite some raw data, Frenchy; or do all your views have to be spoonfed to you through various columnists?

Are you actually capable of fighting a scientific argument on your own two feet; or will you simply try to cover up your vast lack of background by insisting that I must be lying because I don't think as you do?

And finally, a joke...

A capitalist went on a balloon flight for his birthday. Unfortunately, he'd neglected to check the weather forecast before he went; which resulted in his becoming lost in the fog. So he started flying low to try and find out exactly where he was. As luck would have it, he saw a person on the ground, so he called out to the person below;

"Can you tell me where I am?"

To which the person replied "Yes; you're in a balloon!"

On hearing that, the capitalist shouted down "You must be a scientist!".

To which the scientist replied "How did you know?"

The capitalist said "You gave me an answer that was utterly correct and totally unhelpful to me."

The scientist replied "Ah. I see. You must be a capitalist then."

To which the man in the balloon replied "I am, but how did you know?"

The scientist replied; "You don't know where you are or where you're going. You're going in exactly the same direction as you were before you asked me for guidance, but now it's my fault..."


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