I'm not convinced that Global Warming is anthropogenic--that is, I'm not sure that there is a link between man-made pollution and climate change. I guess that makes me a Global Warming denier. In today's world, that's like admitting you're a Holocaust denier.
Once you're branded a Global Warming denier, those that are convinced that we are on the brink of destroying the world with our industrial activities immediately write you off as someone not worthy of debating. I must be incredibly stupid--or perhaps I am a tool of the polluting corporations. Otherwise, if I was rational I'd come to the "obvious" conclusion that almost everyone else has.
For any Progressive that is curious, let me offer a glimpse into how a Global Warming denier thinks.
First, we don't really deny that there is Global Warming--or at least we don't deny that the climate is changing. Progressives want to cast us as people so stupid that we can't see that the weather is different. It's in the moniker, after all--Global Warming denier.
It's a bit more complicated in that. I, for one, believe the climate is changing. I tell people that it seems all the seasons have shifted on step to the right. Summer is now a mild spring. Fall is now a hot summer. Where I live, the hottest week of the year seems to occur in October now. I remember when June seemed like the hottest month of the year.
I differ with the Progressives on the cause of the changing. I'm well aware that climates change historically before civilization existed. The earth cooled and we had an Ice Age. It warmed and it went away. And so on to this very day.
Progressives point to evidence collected over the last hundred years that show that a) greenhouse gas emissions are increasing, and b) the temperature is increasing.
Even if the data is accurate--and I'm skeptical that data collected a hundred years ago is--it does not show a causal relationship. It may show that one might have to do with the other, but the data is far from showing cause. And that's what the debate is really about.
It may simply be that our pollutants are increasing at the same time the earth is going through one of its natural changes, fooling people into believing there is a relationship. I'd like to settle that matter before we enact climate change laws that throttle the global economy.
Today, I read an article on CNN's website entitled, "Case for man-made warming increased in 2010, scientists say." Oh good, I thought, I can finally see some proof to convince me of what's oh-so-apparent to everyone else.
The UK's Met Office Hadley Center says data from a range of climate indicators continues to make an "overwhelming" case for long-term man-made global warming.
Overwhelming! I couldn't possibly be a rational person and still not be convinced by this article, right?
"As well as a clear increase in air temperature observed above both the land and sea we see observations which are all consistent with increasing greenhouse gases."
But here it is again. Essentially, the Met Office gathered data from 20 institutions worldwide and concluded that temperatures are increasing and so are greenhouse gases.
I still don't see proof of a causal relationship--I'm right back at the beginning. I see a potential relationship--but how can anyone reasonably say that when two graphs coincide it's because of a causal relationship?
In statistics, there exists a thing called a spurious relationship. Let's say we find a correlation between variable A and variable B. Now, most people assume that there are two possible outcomes: A caused B, or B caused A.
However, statisticians and logicians know that it is possible that neither of those maybe true. There could be an intervening third variable C that causes both A and B. In Latin, this logical fallacy is called "cum hoc ergo propter hoc," and it's a common trap that people fall into. [continue reading]