Over the last week, more documents from the global warming movement came public, casting more and more doubts on the sincerity and accuracy of the scientists who are pushing the anthropogenic global warming theory. My colleague Rodney covered it pretty well.
I didn’t bother. I’ve avoided the whole topic, generally. It’s because I don’t see the point. I’ve been in a lot of similar arguments, and they end up going nowhere.
Those arguments? With pushy religious people about their faith. Poking through the excerpts, and listening to the arguments, it’s clear to me the global-warming advocates have a hell of a lot more in common with pushy religious bozos than scientists.
Scientists like being challenged. They welcome dissent and disagreement. They understand that their ideas are theories, and need to be proven — and re-proven. They are constantly reassessing their beliefs in the face of new evidence. Hell, even Einstein’s greatest theories are being challenged today, and there are aspects of Newton’s Laws that are being re-evaluated. And these are modified, changed, adapted, or outright discarded as necessary.
With the global warming folks, though, its’ just the opposite. The conclusions are sacrosanct. Evidence MUST support them, or be “adjusted,” adapted, refined, massaged, fixed, corrected, or buried. Challengers to the established dogma must be shunned, punished, excommunicated from the Faithful.
Here’s a little test I came up with a while ago: ask a global warming advocate what sort of evidence they would accept as disproving of their theory. Ask them, “what would you consider as proof that your theory is wrong?”
Real scientific theories have good answers to that question. For example, if you wanted to challenge the theory of gravity, one way would be to take a cannonball and a soccer ball of roughly the same size to the top of a building and drop them off. If they fall at the same speed, our understanding of gravity is affirmed. If the cannonball falls faster, then we’ve got a problem.
Alternately, you can test if light travels faster than sound. Stand about a mile away from an explosive, and set it off. If you see the explosion before you hear it, then yup — light’s faster.
Just try that with global warming advocates. Ask them how they would test their theories, what kind of evidence would disprove their theory. They won’t answer you.
It’s like arguing with religious people over their beliefs. As the old saying goes, “you can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into.”
The average global warming believer doesn’t have the scientific background and education to properly assess the arguments. So they are operating on nothing more than faith. And their faith is based on how anthropogenic global warming reinforces their prejudices — that man and technology are causing harm to the earth, that our polluting ways are dooming us, how the evil polluting corporations are killing us all, and how nature is benevolent and kind and merciful.
And that is the core principle that fuels their belief. The scientific evidence is just rationalizing to cover that up. And challenging — even successfully — the scientific evidence is like treating the symptoms of a disease; it doesn’t actually resolve the underlying situation. It’s like refuting Biblical history to a die-hard fundamentalist; it does no good whatsoever. (Believe me, I’ve tried.)
So I, by and large, don’t bother getting excited over these releases. They’re interesting, and have the potential to possibly sway some who have open minds on the topic, but in the end they won’t change the hard-core believers. They’ll dismiss it as fake, or irrelevant, and talk about how it’s all a conspiracy by Big Oil to hide The Truth.
And I really don’t enjoy fighting with irrational fanatics.