What do professional skeptics say about global warming?

May 11, 2007 | By | 2 Replies More

I listen extra closely whenever an organization dedicated to skeptical inquiry investigates a claim that is characterized as bogus by a loud minority.  A new detailed report on global warming was published in the May/June issue of Skeptical Inquirer Magazine.   Here’s the primary conclusion:

This paper will offer compelling evidence from a large body of researh that gloabal climate change caused by global warming is already underway and requires our immediate attention.

These following additional conclusions are raised at the site of the Center for Inquiry:

Convincing evidence that the Earth’s climate is undergoing significant, and in some cases alarming, changes has accumulated rapidly in recent years, especially during the past three decades.

The conclusion that there is significant warming of the Earth’s surface is not based primarily on theoretical models, although these models do succeed in replicating the existing database with growing success. Instead, global warming is a fact confirmed by an enormous body of observations from many different sources. Indeed, the focus of research has now shifted from attempts to establish the existence of global warming to efforts to determine its causes.

Although the exact extent of harm from global warming may be difficult to predict now, it can be said with confidence that the harmful effects of global warming on climate will significantly outweigh the possible benefits.

The probability is extremely high that human generated greenhouse gases, with carbon dioxide the major offender, are the primary cause of well documented global warming and climate change today.

Much can be done now to mitigate the effects of global warming and the associated climate change. Difficulties in addressing the problem are not caused primarily by unavailable technology, but by the lack of sufficient incentives to implement the new technologies more aggressively.

Here’s one more thought on global warming.   That human activities are at fault for warming the earth is being denied mainly by conservatives, many of whom state that the claims are most likely incorrect.   They avoid talking about the horrific consequences of being wrong (and having thus done nothing to prevent global warming).   Most of these conservatives are religious, though, and many of them commonly invoke Pascal’s wager as a reason for being religous.   In other words, these are the same people who believe in insurance, in being safe rather than sorry, when it comes to their own soul.  But when it comes to the planet itself, they suddenly become reckless. 

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Category: Environment, global warming, Science

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Ben says:

    Happened upon this at Skeptical…

    "Third, and perhaps most important, skeptics must always appreciate how hard it is for people to have their beliefs challenged. It is, quite literally, a threat to their brain's sense of survival. It is entirely normal for people to be defensive in such situations. The brain feels it is fighting for its life. It is unfortunate that this can produce behavior that is provocative, hostile, and even vicious, but it is understandable as well."

    http://www.csicop.org/si/2000-11/beliefs.html

    "Finally, it should be comforting to all skeptics to remember that the truly amazing part of all of this is not that so few beliefs change or that people can be so irrational, but that anyone's beliefs ever change at all. Skeptics' ability to alter their own beliefs in response to data is a true gift; a unique, powerful, and precious ability. It is genuinely a "higher brain function" in that it goes against some of the most natural and fundamental biological urges. Skeptics must appreciate the power and, truly, the dangerousness that this ability bestows upon them. They have in their possession a skill that can be frightening, life-changing, and capable of inducing pain. In turning this ability on others it should be used carefully and wisely. Challenging beliefs must always be done with care and compassion."

    Garsh.

  2. Jarett says:

    It's still not science! You keep concluding that it is a "fact". It's not concluded. And I'll say that it's concluded that this is false. And you won't believe me. Though you're argument has more faith behind it than science. That point must seem irritating because you are having your feeling tugged on with statements that we must save the earth! Do you not find it interesting the the major backers of science behind this are financially invested in companies that are set to make huge profits on green energy?

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