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Censorship Science

Expert Wants to Decertify Global Warming Skeptics 926

Posted by samzenpus
from the believe-it-or-else dept.
Penguinisto writes "Apparently in the Senate, at least one scientist wants to put a permanent stop to any arguments over Global Warming. The Weather Channel's most prominent climatologist is advocating that broadcast meteorologists be stripped of their scientific certification if they express skepticism about predictions of manmade catastrophic global warming."
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Expert Wants to Decertify Global Warming Skeptics

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  • Wrong Way (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 18, 2007 @04:43AM (#17660270)
    No scientific discussion can be made without questioning theories. Censorship is no solution.
  • Um (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Umbral Blot (737704) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @04:46AM (#17660288) Homepage
    But what if they are right? Sure it seems unlikely, but if we ban offering an opposing opinions we trap ourselves. Besides shouldn't we be focusing on censoring intelligent design first? (note to stupid people: I am not serious about censoring intelligent design advocated). Oh yeah, and what about the Bill of Rights. It's so annoying sometimes.
  • by Omnifarious (11933) * <eric-slash&omnifarious,org> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @04:48AM (#17660294) Homepage Journal

    The idea of doing this is just as ridiculous as Bush forcing all scientific papers produced by scientists employed by the government to go through political censors before being.

    But, the linked to article is a horribly biased hatchet job that contains such gems as:

    Intimidating scientists with calls for death trials, name calling and calls for decertification appears to be the accepted tactics of the climate alarmists. The real question is: Why do climate alarmists feel the need to resort to such low brow tactics when they have a compliant media willing to repeat their every assertion without question.

    This is a ridiculous and disingenuous assertion, especially given the well documented policies of the Bush administration to do everything they can to supress research that doesn't support their view.

    I find that entire site rather apalling. And the fact that it appears to be the website for a Senate committee concerned with the environment makes the blatant and obviously one-sided bias all the more awful.

    But, the focus of this Slashdot article is on the person calling for decertification. And, as awfully disingenuous and biased as that site is, they have the guy dead to rights. That is not a reasonable thing to do. Calling for censorship of honest opinions is not something anybody of any political stripe should be doing and severely lowers the credibility of the person who asks that it be done.

  • As a liberal (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Travoltus (110240) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @04:48AM (#17660298) Journal
    I cringe at behavior like this.

    Why not just expose who the source of funding is for these critics, or who they're affiliated with? Quite often that's just as devastating, and it's far less chilling as far as free speech is concerned.
  • by Flying pig (925874) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @04:50AM (#17660308)
    The blog cited is in such extreme form that I wonder how much truth there is in the story. It looks like someone has set up this Heidi Cullen as a straw person to claim massive discrimination against anti-Global warming advocates. The blog gets more and more extreme as it goes on until Godwin's Law is invoked. I wonder what Cullen really said, in what context.
  • All Theories (Score:2, Insightful)

    by EraserMouseMan (847479) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @04:52AM (#17660318)
    The fact is, theories about global warming are just that, Theories. So when people start teaching manmade global warming as fact - they are in the wrong. It's not fact. Skeptics of manmade global warming are merely saying, "You can't promote manmade global warming as fact."

    That's the issue here.
  • whoa! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dave1g (680091) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @04:53AM (#17660332) Journal
    whoa whoa whoa, if anyone should be scolded its this guy. While I truly believe the evidence points towards man made global climate change it would be dumb o make skeptics into outcasts. This is science not religion, we shouldn't be excommunicating scientists, at best we should drown out "bad" research with more "good research". its the same argument of censorship of bad speech versus offering more good speech
  • Thoughtcrime (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 18, 2007 @04:54AM (#17660338)
    Censorship is no solution.

    Censorship is a solution, just not one you use in a free society. People define thoughtcrimes to make their jobs easier because it doesn't force them to debate items in question (from Holocaust denial to questioning state history to global warming).

    It is alarming how many people object to diversity in thought. I do not understand where they think they have derived the right to force everyone to think the same way they do.
  • Re:So what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by iangoldby (552781) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:01AM (#17660390) Homepage
    I'm fully convinced by the arguments and evidence for climate change, but it is important to understand that a single abnormal year doesn't provide credible evidence. There are fluctuations in temperature every year. You have to look at the bigger picture.

    Regarding silencing those who still think climate change is a myth: Ignorance flourishes when debate is stifled. This is one reason why we have religious extremists, and why seemingly ordinary people join their numbers. As a general rule, if religion is taught in schools at all, it is taught very badly. (Here in the UK most schools do have religious education classes, but my opinion of them is that they could be done a lot better.) This leaves people ill-equipped to make informed decisions later in life about whether they are being told the truth or lies about a particular religion.

    The same argument could be applied to climate change and science in general. Teach people how to think, question, and evaluate ideas, and they will start to make better decisions.
  • by Grey Ninja (739021) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:01AM (#17660392) Homepage Journal
    It's very simple.

    1) Greenhouse gases create a greenhouse effect. What this means is that if you have a lot of C02 in the air, it will trap the heat, creating higher temperatures in the area. Our sister planet, Venus, has a runaway greenhouse gas problem. There are so many greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, that the planet keeps getting warmer and warmer. This in turn, creates more greenhouse gases. The place isn't very hospitable.

    2) People create a lot of greenhouse gases, and pump them directly into the atmosphere. This comes by way of car exhaust, factory air pollution, power plants, and a host of other things. Automobile pollution is probably the single biggest cause though.

    3) This has been going on for a very long time. Accordingly, the Earth has shown a HUGE spike in global temperatures since the Industrial Revolution.

    To deny that this is going on is quite insane.
  • Firm but fair (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CmdrGravy (645153) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:02AM (#17660394) Homepage
    It's obviously wrong to stop anyone contributing to any side on the Global Climate Change debate but just because Weatherfolk aren't allowed to do forecasts on TV doesn't mean they can't contribute papers on the subject and join in the debate.

    The aim here seems to be to stop Weather presenters pretending that Global Climate Change isn't happening, the consequence weather presenters putting forward this point of view is that the viewing public will most likely believe them rather than all the "boffins predicting climate chaos" with the result that the public may have a very skewed view of what the current real scientific thinking on the matter is.

    If weather presenters claimed that rain was in fact Gods tears and this had been scientifically proven then you'd expect him or her to lose their job or at least be removed to doing something where they are not in contact with the public and this is similar to what seems to be going on here.
  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:04AM (#17660408)
    That pushes some of us towards more skepticism. I'm not a climatologist or anything like it so I've had little success with my own research. There's a lot of scientists that say it's a man made phenomena and its' dire, but then consensus means nothing and many of them are basing their research off of things that are not that empirically valid, overstating their conclusions, or both. Regardless, it's just something I can't disambiguate*. I have just said "screw it" and continue to support conservation for it's own sake (use less, have more).

    However one thing that really makes me skeptical is the religious zeal with which it is pushed. In most science it seems to be that when you have a theory you know is right and plenty of proof, you've no need to shout down your skeptics. You welcome the skepticism, and welcome the chance to show it's wrong. After all, that's how we prove theories, is by thinking of every possible way they could be false and testing that. The more times the tests don't come out false, the more sure we are the theory is right. That's the whole doctrine of falsifiability and it's the cornerstone of modern empiricism.

    But that's not how it goes with GW. If you are a skeptic you are shouted down as an idiot, an industry shill, someone not to be listened to, and now even threatened with stripping them of rank. It looks like a religious inquisition, not like science. That makes me worried. The reason religions do that is because there's NOT proof so it is dangerous to them when people start claiming something other than what they believe. That kind of attitude has absolutely no place in science.

    More than any of the actual skeptical papers, this makes me wonder about the GW argument. If your position is so tenuous that it must be defended with ad hominem attacks and threats, I have to wonder about how correct it really can be.

    * Please note: Don't bother posting some diatribe trying to convince me on GW. I've read plenty of papers, plenty of arguments by people who do it for a living. It's very unlikely you'd find something to change my mind, at least given the normal pro-GW post I see on Slashdot.
  • The source (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lars T. (470328) <{moc.liamelgoog} {ta} {regearT.sraL}> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:08AM (#17660440) Journal
    "Posted by Marc Morano [sourcewatch.org]"
  • Re:Wrong Way (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bakana (918482) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:10AM (#17660450)
    I'd first have to ask everyone who believes in a man made global warming to watch the global warming episode of BULLSHIT! by Pen and Teller. In that show, they have both experts for and against global warming. That would be a good place to start. Secondly, let me point out that sometime in the 70's early 80's, can't remember, there were scientist crying about global COOLING! I don't know if everyone else remembers that, but I do. I don't agree that we should censor anyone. Let everyone's ideas flow free and keep this quote from Aristotle in mind: "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it" -- Aristotle
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:11AM (#17660456)
    Great. Now explain why the same thing is happening on Mars [nasa.gov], Triton [scienceagogo.com], and Pluto [space.com].

    Go ahead, I'll wait.
  • Oh, Heidi... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by foandd (629361) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:11AM (#17660458)

    I love you babe. But seriously, have a sandwich or something; body fat above 2% is a good thing, you know?

    So who the hell wrote that article? The knee-jerk totally uninformed spew driven by complete ignorance which shows up in my son's high school newspaper is less sensationalist and pejorative (as well as more fact-based) than that crap. Based purely on the language used I'd have to rate its veracity at just below OJ's intent to find the real killer.

    Is this really what it's come to? Quote people out of context, paraphrase them in a manner which completely changes the actual meaning of what they said, all to drive an agenda which seems to consist entirely of a desire to make yourself seem important by disagreeing with people who actually have triple digit IQs... it's true, isn't it? We have to avoid learning about ourselves by studying chimpanzees not because it's an offense against God, but because we look so bad by comparison.

    I so seriously fear for this country.

  • by jgaynor (205453) <jonNO@SPAMgaynor.org> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:13AM (#17660482) Homepage
    I was incensed when I heard that a 24 year old political appointee was altering [badastronomy.com] Nasa publications on the big bang.
    I was incensed when global warming was dismissed [badastronomy.com] as even a possible cause for climate change.
    But any researcher or rational thinker should be equally as incensed at this attempt to arbitrarily close off an avenue of inquiry - it's the same tactic, only in the opposite direction, and it stinks just as much.

    Seeking to politically silence ANY side of a scientific issue is a slippery slope. The above-mentioned examples are probably repulsive to most slashdotters. De-certifying climatologists would simply be turnabout - and equally as invalid as when the tactic was employed by the existing anti-science administration. Should we seek to eliminate a theory completely because it's not our theory? No. If we want to be sure that we're moving forward with a solid theoretical foundation, each theory must be tested and discarded based on merit and evidence alone. While the circumstantial evidence for global warming is strong, there will be a time in the future when we can either prove or disprove it. Should the improbable happen and human-influenced global warming be disproved, do we want to be seen as the proverbial church that silenced Galileo?
  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:19AM (#17660534)
    Science requires it. We have to accept that you can't prove a theory true in the same was things can be proved in mathematics. There's not a one step, now this is true and we know that, kind of thing. The way it works is scientific theories must be falsifiable, that is a proposition which is able to be proven false. If they aren't they are a hypothesis at best and just aren't scientific theories. That's why creationism isn't a theory, there's no way to falsify it.

    Thus the very essence of doing science is entertaining ways your theory could be wrong, even if you don't believe them. If someone gives an alternate theory for your observations, you need to test it. You have to try and prove your theory false. That's how good science is done. You entertain all the ways you can come up with that your theory could be wrong.
  • by cliffski (65094) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:22AM (#17660554) Homepage
    There's a difference between the global warming debate and other scientific debates, and that's timescale. We can argue for the next thousand years if evolution or creationists are right, it really doesn't matter apart from proving a point. We can argue for ten million years about whether or not string theory is right, or how black holes are formed, or how gravity really works etc etc etc.

    The problem with the man made climate change theory is that it predicts a catastrophic outcome that *can be avoided or mitigated heavily* in the *SHORT* term.
    The climate change scientists *might* be wrong.
    But I don't want to take the risk. The thought of coming over all smug in 20 years because I was right and climate change *is* caused by us, will be little comfort if my house is under water at that point.

    It might be academically a bit awkward, but we have actually run out of time for further debate on this one. Some may say we ran out of time 20 years ago. This may make debating societies angry, but I suspect we are going to have to just deal with that.
  • Re:Censorship (Score:3, Insightful)

    by phayes (202222) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:24AM (#17660564) Homepage
    10 to 1 the guy is trying to protect his own grant money by drying up grants to people with competing projects. It's an international game that hasn't changed from the time of Louis Pasteur who had to defend against entrenched interests in the 1850's.
  • by mpe (36238) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:29AM (#17660598)
    However one thing that really makes me skeptical is the religious zeal with which it is pushed. In most science it seems to be that when you have a theory you know is right and plenty of proof, you've no need to shout down your skeptics.

    Indeed a need to censor skeptics itself looks highly suspicious. The implication is that your claims are unsupported and you know it. (Possibly even you believe that some of the skeptics have better theories but cannot accept "losing face".)

    But that's not how it goes with GW. If you are a skeptic you are shouted down as an idiot, an industry shill, someone not to be listened to, and now even threatened with stripping them of rank.

    About the only good point is that there isn't (yet) a call to start jailing skeptics.

    The reason religions do that is because there's NOT proof so it is dangerous to them when people start claiming something other than what they believe.

    A skeptic dosn't have to actually claim any alternative theories. Simply pointing out holes in the claims of the "faithful" is usually sufficent to invoke a hostile response in these kind of situations.
  • by airos4 (82561) <{changer4} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:32AM (#17660614) Homepage
    And yet that, sir, is a theory that explains observable phenomena. Theories are the basis of science, and one of the principles of science is that theories are also questionable and sometimes fallible. For many years, it was held that the theory of the Sun and all other objects revolved around the Earth was also infallible and it took someone challenging it and being excommunicated to fall.

    The truth is that we don't know. The system of climate on this planet is massively complex, and reacting to it with simplistic attitudes will result in knee-jerk reactions that will probably, in the grand scheme of things, have very little effect on the overall outcome. Several truths that we can debate, though, are in your points.

    Point 2 - "Automobile pollution is probably the single biggest cause though." Says who? This is a matter of debate, as industry and power plants pump more than a little into the atmosphere. Further, CO2 - which is a greenhouse gas - is largely produced by Mother Nature herself through the process of life. It's something like 29:1 in favor of Mother Nature pumping it out. Water vapor is also a greenhouse gas, and there's a lot of that in the air. Human effects are arguably minimal.

    http://www.caranddriver.com/columns/2502/patrick-b edard.html [caranddriver.com]

    Note page 2 of this article, in which the numbers are discussed - and references are provided.

    Point 3 - "This has been going on for a very long time." Again, climatology is a trending process. Humanity has only had the power to emit pollution on any scale for around 200 years, give or take, while the planet is several billions of years old.

    So, sorry, but I'm a skeptic about people who think that 1mpg or a recycled plastic bag will save the planet. Call me a fatalist, but I think the planet will outlive you, me, and probably our species just fine without any misguided reactions at all.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:35AM (#17660630)
    1) It's not necessarily a vicious circle. Lots of people think that global warming will lead to faster/worse ice ages. Lots of other people say those people are crazy. Earth != Venus.

    2) We also create a lot of other gasses. And affect the environment in 1000 other ways. Some of them destroy greenhouse gasses and other lead directly to global cooling.

    3) Part I: No it hasn't, we've only been producing noticeable amounts for a couple hundred years. Part II: No it hasn't. That's not a huge spike, and the Industrial Revolution was meaninglessly recent on a geological timescale. Earth has seen average temps higher than now, and those were *good* times. The Sahara was lush and inhabitable. Greenland was farmable. It was different, not better or worse. Ice ages are what we should be concerned with. Ice ages suck.

    Temps over the last 160,000 years (long live global warming!):
    http://www.clearlight.com/~mhieb/WVFossils/PageMil l_Images/image161.gif [clearlight.com]

    To think that you know what is actually happening is quite insane.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:38AM (#17660648)
    1) Greenhouse gases create a greenhouse effect. What this means is that if you have a lot of C02 in the air, it will trap the heat, creating higher temperatures in the area.

    Theoretically, yes. Just as pouring a glass of water into a swimming pool will theoretically raise the water level.

    I have yet to see any evidence that our tiny levels of CO2 (we are still somewhere around 0.3% total, compared to the 90% back when life appeared) are going to make any measurable difference.

    Our sister planet, Venus, has a runaway greenhouse gas problem. There are so many greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, that the planet keeps getting warmer and warmer. This in turn, creates more greenhouse gases. The place isn't very hospitable.

    They tried that one years ago. Noone took them seriously back then, and noone does now. The problem with that argument is that it fails to account for Venus being closer to the sun. When you sit on the electric heater, CO2 is not the reason your ass gets hot.

    2) People create a lot of greenhouse gases, and pump them directly into the atmosphere. This comes by way of car exhaust, factory air pollution, power plants, and a host of other things. Automobile pollution is probably the single biggest cause though.

    Agreed, we to create a lot (on a human scale, not on planetary scale) of CO2, and should cut down where we can. But still no evidence that we are changing anything.

    3) This has been going on for a very long time. Accordingly, the Earth has shown a HUGE spike in global temperatures since the Industrial Revolution.

    Not only that, but average temperature has been going up since the last ice age. Maybe that's why the ice melted in the first place? Also, average temperature goes up after every ice age, and goes down before every ice age. Just like it goes up during spring, and down during autumn, just over thousands of years.

    My argument basically boils down to: Global warmin exists. The planet has gotten warmer for thousands of years. We do produce lots of CO2, and it can theoretically increase the temperature. We just haven't seen any evidence at all, that the CO2 we create is enough to make a difference.
  • by Moraelin (679338) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:42AM (#17660666) Journal
    It's still the wrong way, because it's one more step towards blurring the distinction between science and bullshit in the minds of Jack Sixpack and Jane Housewife.

    You can't say that proper science and skepticism should be limited to an ivory tower clique of chosen ones, and everyone else should just get dogma, because:

    1. Even those scientists got there from being Joe Schoolkid and Cecilia Nerdygirl who liked to discover how things really worked, and apply critical thinking the quick fairy-tale explanations their parents gave them to "why is the sky blue?" or "what _is_ the rainbow?" The more you dumb society down and teach more people to not use their brains, the less of a recruiting pool you have for that chosen ones gang. If you actually managed to get everyone to stop using their brains, stop questioning the dogma, discourage everyone from being skeptics or debating anything unless they're a cardinal (or whatever other badge of "ok, now you can discuss the dogma" badge), and persecute everyone who dares step out of line, etc, well, you can already know how much scientific progress that produced in the middle ages.

    2. Because those scientists will need funding and other support from the likes of Tom CEO, Dick Marketeer and Harry Journalist. Once you taught _those_ and their customers/readers/etc that science is just about enforcing a dogma, what's to stay in the way of them just funding pseudo-science by PR. Not that it doesn't already happen, but going that way full time is not an improvement.

    If anything I'd remind more that you _can't_ do science by PR, or in the words of Feynman, "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled." Teaching more people that science is just about who gets to set the official dogma, is just as step towards more thinking "fuck you, I have the money, so I'll set my own dogma by PR." And more down the pyramid accepting it, because if they're going to accept one dogma unthinkingly anyway, hey, they might as well go for the one with more marketting behind it.
  • by CmdrGravy (645153) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:43AM (#17660680) Homepage
    Since you're the one pushing this theory why don't you explain first of all how you have determined that these planets and moons have been experiencing climactic warming events and secondly what your explanation for this is ?
  • by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:49AM (#17660708) Homepage
    Excuse my language, but what the fuck is that?

    I have been working in the scientific community my whole professional life, and I have never heard of a "certified scientist" before. There are various academic degrees and awards you can have (like Ph.D or Nobel prize), and there are positions you can hold (like associate professor). You don't lose the first, and losing the second means you get fired. No "certification". And you don't need either to be considered a scientist by the community.

    If you want to establish a pecking order among scientists, you look at how many publications he has, the rating of the journals the publications appear in, and how many other scientist quote your results.

    And you don't have to agree with the consensus to be considered a scientist, take Fred Hoyle for example. He never accepted Big Bang, and had various controversial opinions on other areas as well, he won his last major scientific award in 1997, four years before his death.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:49AM (#17660710)
    We are in an i-n-t-e-r-g-l-a-c-i-a-l period. Which direction do you want temperatures to go? DOWN? No, you don't. Really. You don't want the next ice age to start. Trust me on this. Temperatures were this high in the Holicene period (actually higher) and mankind wasn't doing anything. Enjoy global warming while it lasts. You didn't do it, you can't stop it, you don't want to stop it, and if you are alive when it goes away you'll be trying to bring it back. Or, maybe you'll still be trolling on Slashdot....
  • Re:All Theories (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:55AM (#17660746)
    The fact is, theories about global warming are just that, Theories. So when people start teaching manmade global warming as fact - they are in the wrong. It's not fact. Skeptics of manmade global warming are merely saying, "You can't promote manmade global warming as fact."
    I disagree. The issue is the (alleged) suppression of scientific discourse. Since your perception may be manipulated, you can't prove anything about the outside world. You can only prove your own existence (cogito ergo sum). Therefore everything beyond that is "just a theory" meaning a rule backed with empirical evidence. You can't prove to me that gravity won't stop working after a while. The only thing you can do is show evidence that, so far, there is no evidence of gravity instantly stopping so far and therefore it's not likely it will in the future. True, the empirical evidence on gravity is probably stronger than the one on global warming, given its more obvious effects but it can never become more than a theory.
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rm0ny (722443) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:57AM (#17660752) Journal

    Absolutely right! This scientist should bear in mind the old Nietzche quote: "He who fights monsters must be careful, lest he himself become one." Or something very much along those lines. What distinguishes the "good guys" from the bad is how they behave, nothing else. Adopting your opponents methods to defeat them, doesn't work in the larger picture.
  • by Ihlosi (895663) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:59AM (#17660766)
    your position is so tenuous that it must be defended with ad hominem attacks and threats,

    What if the other side's insistence on their position is so strong that even the most conclusive evidence of the contrary cannot get them to even consider that they might be wrong ?



    What if you have some guy who inssists that pi = 3.5, and you show him ten different proofs that pi != 3.5, and all he says after that is "Yes, but pi = 3.5" ?



    What I would do is make a mental note that he's a nutjob and should never ever hold any engineering positions, because he'd be a danger to himself and others.

  • Re:All Theories (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tehcyder (746570) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:00AM (#17660772) Journal
    The fact is, theories about global warming are just that, Theories. So when people start teaching manmade global warming as fact - they are in the wrong. It's not fact. Skeptics of manmade global warming are merely saying, "You can't promote manmade global warming as fact."
    Oh yes, and of course the theory of evolution is only a theory, so not only shouldn't we teach it as fact in schools, but we should also give equal time to creationism, intelligent design and the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    This stupid argument comes up time after time on slashdot, people here should be ashamed of themselves for repeating it if they have any pretense to being well scientifically educated.

  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arker (91948) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:02AM (#17660790) Homepage
    The problem is that the moment you outlaw dissent, you have completely and formally abandoned science. Of course, a lot of people (including ones that claim to be scientists!) wouldn't care, they never made the distinction between science and the religion of scientism, so they wouldn't notice the difference.

    This proposal isn't really all that radical either - it would simply formalise the situation. Any scientist that makes public his reservations with the global warming dogma is already dealing severe damage to his career.
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Hobbled Grubs (651827) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:07AM (#17660822)
    The problem is not censorship, the problem is misrepresentation by the press. The press seem to take a single dissenting voice among hundreds as an excuse to give equal time to both sides of the argument. It is not acceptable to compare hard fact and research with some crank scientist on the petrol payroll.
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:1, Insightful)

    by DCFC (933633) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:09AM (#17660852)
    That's a valid point.
    Holocaust denyers, climate change rubbishers , creationists et al do us a service by making themselves easy to spot.
    We risk falling into Al Gore's stupidity of "facts are a kind of pollution" if we censor those who don't emit politically correct statements. To me, the whole point of tax funded science is to find new and interesting ways of showing that what most people believe is wrong. If it's nice warm fuzzy confirmations of our world view, then it's more suitable for the Discovery Channel or a corporate R&D lab.

    I guess the odds are 99% that it's humans that are causing all this stuff we see. But what of the other 1% ? What if we spend some vast amount of money changing the global economy to find that it's a subtle change in the Sun's output, a random downturn in Vulcanism, or somehow to do with deep sea bacteria ? I don't believe any of those ideas much, but I don't 100% believe they are wrong either.
    America is now paying the price of having the highest relgious observance in the developed world. The damage is not the general superstious attack on evolution, or even the rape of thousands of children by priests, but a more insidious view that there is a SINGLE TRUTH, and EVERYONE WHO SAYS ANYTHING ELSE IS EVIL.
    Such is the invasive nature of religion that even poeple with scientific training are prey to the condition.
  • Re:So what? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by misanthrope101 (253915) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:10AM (#17660854)
    Actually, we have data extending over hundreds of thousands of years. [wikipedia.org] Even so, saying it's the warmest year "ever recorded" still says that all the data we have supports the global warming thesis. You can always posit that x amount of data isn't enough, that a wee bit more data would totally freak everyone out and prove the total obverse of the original idea. That caveat is true whether you have 10 years or 3 billion years of data, because you never have absolutely all the data, ever. If we suspended science until we had enough data to satisfy the "scientists" churning out studies for the oil companies, we'd be waiting about as long as it would take tobacco company "scientists" to overcome their skepticism about the link between smoking and cancer.

    Science isn't about Definitive Truth, devoid of all possible error, but about finding the best mental model we have to explain the data we have. That would be global warming. Do I think "critics" should be silenced? No, though I wish that people would recognize that a particular political movement is behind global warming "skepticism," just as the same movement is behind "skepticism" over the old age of the earth or evolution.

  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Professor_UNIX (867045) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:15AM (#17660892)
    I do not understand where they think they have derived the right to force everyone to think the same way they do.
    They're probably Slashdot or Digg users. Group-think is very strong in both of these online communities and you will get moderated down if you disagree with the accepted collective doctrine. It is understandable, and frankly human nature, that this problem extends to communities of practice outside our simple online technical groups. You can find similar situations in the "real world" all the time. Try taking a political science course with a liberal professor and then express your neo-conservative viewpoints during discussions. I'd bet 90% of the time you would come out of the class with a lower grade than your liberal classmates even though you showed the same amount of enthusiasm and willingness to participate in class discussions as they did. There are perceived notions among our communities that the collective is "right" and anyone who dares go against the collective group-think is inherently wrong. As we've seen time and time again though, advancements in culture and technology occur when people are brave enough to break away from the collective and tread down new paths even at the risk of being ridiculed or persecuted.
  • by ReallyEvilCanine (991886) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:18AM (#17660914) Homepage
    Penn & Teller are great when it comes to con men, but on other subjects they fail it. Hard. They were wrong about glass recycling. They were wrong about second-hand smoke, using as their sole sources of information a "think tank" run by a woman whose reports echo whatever her tobacco and oil companies want them to as well as to a court case which was vacated by a higher court. They were also as wrong about global warming as Michael Crichton in his horrible passion play, State of Confusion which was wrong [columbia.edu], wrong [csicop.org], wrong [nrdc.org].

    This doesn't mean that anyone challenging a popularly held idea or even accepted theory should be silenced. Far from it. Science needs theories questioned. However, when the questions are being raised by shills in order to confuse and are based in fallacy and reference already disproven works, that's when such "scientists" should have their credentials stripped.
  • Re:All Theories (Score:4, Insightful)

    by misanthrope101 (253915) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:21AM (#17660938)
    Yes, anthropocentric global warming is a theory, the way that the germ theory is a theory, or quantum mechanics. When you're talking about science, "theory" doesn't mean "baseless conjecture." It's a mental model that explains the facts, and has been supported by experiment, validation, etc. They didn't just make it up. This is the same scientific method that gave you antibiotics and air conditioning, and put people on the moon. You can say "I don't believe it!" just as you can say you don't believe in plate tectonics or the atomic theory.

    Science is the only tool we have to understand the world around us. This method has shown that global warming is happening, and is being exacerbated by human activity. No one is saying that mankind "caused it all," only that our actions are going to cause negative consequences for ourselves. If you don't trust science, I can respect that worldview--assuming you never take medicine again, turn off your electricity, don't use sanitized food/water, and so on. If you don't trust science, don't trust the fruits of science.

  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:4, Insightful)

    by richie2000 (159732) <rickard.olsson@gmail.com> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:21AM (#17660944) Homepage Journal

    I guess the odds are 99% that it's humans that are causing all this stuff we see.But what of the other 1% ?
    What of it? Even if the root cause to global warming is sun cycles, we need to both adapt to the change and make efforts to stop or slow it down. Since we can not clean the sun's spots we will have to make the changes we can. It's like you discover your basement is flooded. You are 99% sure it's a leak in your water mains but it COULD be leaking in from the nearby river so instead of turning the water off and getting a drainage pump, you blame the city council for not shoring up the riverbanks enough.
  • by fredmosby (545378) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:33AM (#17661000)
    The evidence for human caused global warming is pretty strong. But hypothesis about the effect of global warming on the environment are not nearly as strongly supported.

    The claims are that global warming will cause: ocean levels to rise, droughts, flooding, stronger storms, ect. These changes will be such a catastrophe for the human race that we must prevent global warming from happening at all costs. People who disagree with these catastrophic predictions are labeled deniers even if they believe global warming is anthropogenic. People who argue that adaption rather than prevention would be a better way of dealing with warming are labeled deniers even if they believe global warming is anthropogenic. There needs to be debate and discussion about how best to deal with global warming.

    P.S. Your post reminds me of a quote from the movie Canadian Bacon:
    "Gentlemen there is a time to think and there is a time to act...and this is no time to think."
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:2, Insightful)

    by FredThompson (183335) <fredthompson@min ... m minus language> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:34AM (#17661008)
    "Even if the root cause to global warming is sun cycles, we need to both adapt to the change and make efforts to stop or slow it down. Since we can not clean the sun's spots we will have to make the changes we can."

    That's beyond stupid.

    Why is there a "NEED" to "stop or slow...down" global warming caused by sun cycles? What empowers you to decide all of humanity "will have to make the changes we can."?

    What gives YOU the authority to decide how the Sun and Earth must interact?

    How do you suppose puny human beings, even if they somehow turn into a borg, to change the effect of the sun upon a planet?!?!

    Actually, I'm not sure if your post is more stupid or more arrogant. It's certainly overwhelming in its ability to meet both adjectives.
  • by cliffski (65094) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:35AM (#17661018) Homepage
    what waste of scarce resources? most solutions to man made climate change require us to become more efficient in our resource usage. surely "Collosal waste of scarce resources" means driving a hummer to walmart to do grocery shopping?
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr@nOspAm.mac.com> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:36AM (#17661032) Journal
    It is alarming how many people object to diversity in thought

    It's even more alarming how many people who do so purport to be liberals.

    -jcr

  • Re:Wrong Way (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MyNameIsFred (543994) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:37AM (#17661038)
    Your source explicitly excludes popular media, because it does not support his case. I personally believe in global climate change. HOWEVER, I distinctly recall articles in the popular media during the 70s clearly stating that an ice age was coming. One of the points raised by those articles was whether global warming due to CO2 production would offset the coming ice age.
  • by misanthrope101 (253915) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:38AM (#17661040)
    Meaningless to the scientific community, yes. But conservative commentators would present them as the suppressed vanguard of science, the only ones brave enough to say "the emperor has no clothes." Consevatives don't actually like science or scientists, because they don't fit well into the populist worldview where the man in the street is about as smart as anyone needs to be. They don't like the idea of someone going to school for decades, learning a lot, and expecting us to hold her opinion on the subject of her expertise in higher regard than our gut-feeling, seat-of-the pants assessment.
  • by elmo1618 (955720) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:40AM (#17661050)
    How nice! A modern secular Inquisition. Isn't progress wonderful?
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gormanly (134067) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:42AM (#17661056)

    More like you're running the water into your washing machine in the corner of the basement; it's spilling out and the whole floor is covered. You've known the floor's wet for ages, and you're 99.9% sure it's due to the washer thing, but there's some guy from the water company outside with a megaphone telling everyone it's groundwater rising up, which it does every 1500 years or so, and there's nothing you can do about it. (You have a pay-per-gallon water meter in your house.)

    The water is up to your crotch. Do you:

    1. turn the washing machine off, bail out the floodwater, and fix it so it doesn't flood your basement again;
    2. think it's okay because in "the future" washing machines will be better designed and not flood your basement;
    3. keep on going with it, because you need to get that laundry done and it's not your fault you're going to drown?
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:51AM (#17661104)
    Liberals like the IDEA of diversity. They just don't like all the nasty details. Sort of like the old adage about racism...

    In the South, they hate the race but love the individuals of the race. In the North, they love the race but hate the individuals of that race.
  • Re:Wrong Way (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ErroneousBee (611028) <neil:neilhancock@co@uk> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:55AM (#17661128) Homepage

    Secondly, let me point out that sometime in the 70's early 80's, can't remember, there were scientist crying about global COOLING!

    Bullshit [wmconnolley.org.uk]

    Welcome to the latest round of FUD from the petro-chemical/creationist/right-wing cabal.

    Recently they've been taking quotes from articles on milankovitch cycles [wikipedia.org] wildly out of context [washingtonpost.com]. They are also now 'finding' evidence for milankovitch cycles in the fossil record, and presenting them as new evidence [bbc.co.uk] of past non-anthropogenic global warming.

    We know there have been past episodes of warming and cooling [wikipedia.org]. We also have evidence that periods marked by a rapid tripling of CO2 levels are associated with mass extinctions (but I dont think Ive seen anything concrete on whether the die-off caused the CO2 rise or vice versa).

  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:4, Insightful)

    by baldass_newbie (136609) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @07:03AM (#17661178) Homepage Journal
    "Battle ye not with monsters, lest ye also become a monster. And remember that when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you."

    But I would question your straw man about "adopting your opponents methods to defeat them." Every time anyone even hints that they have been silenced, it makes the front page of every newspaper. Like, say, this example [nytimes.com] from last year.
    Boy, not only did they not muzzle Hansen and McCarthy, they let them interview for a front page story on the New York Times.
    Way to shut 'em up, eh?

    Deutsch, of course, resigned (as he should have) but that's hardly stifling dissent. And Scientists should not be dictating policy, unless they hold office. If they feel that strongly, they have every right to run and set policy.
    But the consistent anti-Bush screed smacks of its own ignorance and imbalance.

    *awaits modbombing, starting in 3....2....1...*
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 18, 2007 @07:08AM (#17661218)
    "Your source explicitly excludes popular media,"

    So your saying that if Lindsay Lohen says that Global Warming is not real then that counters scientific studies that say it's happening?

    If todays popular media can't be used to counter todays scientific studies, then how does 1970's popular media counter todays scientific studies?

    Is global warming not real because Brigitte Bardot said so in the 1970s???
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TapeCutter (624760) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @07:18AM (#17661262) Journal
    Not picking on you personally, I just want to throw in a bit of dissent on the censorship assumption. :)

    Quoth TFA: "The Climate Code," is advocating that the American Meteorological Society (AMS) revoke their "Seal of Approval" for any television weatherman who expresses skepticism that human activity is creating a climate catastrophe. "If a meteorologist can't speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn't give them a Seal of Approval"."

    Now correct me if I'm wrong but nobody screams "censorship" when an incompetent doctor is kicked out of the AMA. What this guy is saying is that a malpracticing meterologist sould not be given a "seal of approval" from a meterological society. Getting kicked out of the AMA makes one unemployable as a doctor, I don't know of any law that says a weatherman must be qualified in any way to broadcast their interpretation of public weather data.

    Censorship is removing ones right to speak freely, it has nothing to do with a scientific body maintaining standards amoungst the people to whom it lends credibility. I belive it comes under "freedom of association" but I don't pretend to be a lawyer.
  • by mpe (36238) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @07:22AM (#17661278)
    I have no problem with people discussing anything they like, anywhere.
    I think it's ridiculous to believe that sort of thing advances science. It doesn't. There's exactly one place where scientific discussion advances, and it's in peer reviewed scientific journals. Period.


    It isn't that simple, given that it is equally possible for "peer reviewed journals" to promote dogma and "political correctness".
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @07:33AM (#17661338) Homepage Journal
    But the consistent anti-Bush screed smacks of its own ignorance and imbalance.

    I would suggest it shows not "ignorance and imbalance" but good judgment and love of country. Remember, we are fighting an evil, well-entrenched enemy. In the White House, I mean.

    On the subject of decertification of broadcast meteorologists, we're not really taking away their ability to dissent, it's more like saying that if you're a faith healer, you're not going to do surgery. You are still free to practice your "faith" but not... operate on patients in a licensed facility.

    And if you're going to say the earth is 6000 years old you can still profess your insanity, but you're not going to get recognized as a geologist by the Royal Academy.
  • by Moraelin (679338) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @08:07AM (#17661496) Journal
    Let me remind you that this topic isn't about reminding Tom, Dick and Harry that their coffeetable (or slashdot) discussion isn't proper science, up to academic standards. It's about an idea as stupid as outright de-certifying anyone who dares think otherwise.

    Pray tell, once that is achieved, _what_ value do peer reviews serve any more? Once you've decreed that the only peers are those who have complete faith in the dogma and know it's not their place to question it, peer-review becomes little more than a self-perpetuating system to ensure that future work toes the party line too.

    "Peer review" just doesn't work in a closed dogmatic system. Remember Galileo being "reviewed" by the true believers of the Aristotelian system. Did they really prove him wrong or contributed anything to the progress of science.

    _All_ that science is about at any level is accomodating a multitude of views, including that your pet theory might be false. Everything is and should be judged only by their experimental data and error bar. And if you think you've found new data, a better theory, or whatever, that invalidates it, please do say so. We'll judge your hypothesis too by the same standards.

    Science is not religion, it's not about authority figures telling you what to believe and what's punishable heresy. That's the domain of religion. Science is just a _method_.

    And this guy proposing to basically introduce heresy and excommunication in science (if you dare question the dogma, we'll de-certify you) is contrary to that whole method. It just shows that it's he who has no fucking clue what science is all about. Maybe someone should start by de-certifying him.
  • by asuffield (111848) <asuffield@suffields.me.uk> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @08:18AM (#17661546)
    The evidence for something-caused global warming is pretty strong. The evidence for humans as the cause of it? There isn't really any. It's not the sort of thing that offers much in the way of evidence - what on earth would such evidence look like? A giant signpost in the sky saying "Hey morons, you did this"?

    We know the planet's getting a little bit hotter. We know what we're doing. The only thing we have connecting the two, so far, is a pile of theories, most of which disagree with each other. This isn't something you can set up a lab experiment to prove - the best we have are computer models which start out by saying "IF MY THEORY IS CORRECT... this is what's going on".

    Many scientists in the field think that it's likely that human actions are responsible, which is why they're working on the subject (very few people ever set out to try and prove something which they did not originally think was true). That's a long, long way from having any evidence to back it up. Almost all of them will tell you this, if you bother to ask them (which the media usually doesn't).

    We desperately need a better understanding of climate science - and I mean real understanding of what actually happens, rather than theories about what might be happening.

    (What should we do about all this? Damned if I know. But it certainly won't help to lose perspective on just how little we really know about what's going on here.)
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bhiestand (157373) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @08:22AM (#17661562) Journal

    More like you're running the water into your washing machine in the corner of the basement; it's spilling out and the whole floor is covered. You've known the floor's wet for ages, and you're 99.9% sure it's due to the washer thing, but there's some guy from the water company outside with a megaphone telling everyone it's groundwater rising up, which it does every 1500 years or so, and there's nothing you can do about it. (You have a pay-per-gallon water meter in your house.)

    The water is up to your crotch. Do you:

    1. turn the washing machine off, bail out the floodwater, and fix it so it doesn't flood your basement again;
    2. think it's okay because in "the future" washing machines will be better designed and not flood your basement;
    3. keep on going with it, because you need to get that laundry done and it's not your fault you're going to drown?
    I'll go with "4. Run and check the water meter real quick. If it's flying, I'll go outside and kill the guy with the megaphone, then proceed to turn off my water main and fix the problem, hire a lawyer, refute the water bill, and sue for whatever reasons the lawyer can help me find. If the water meter isn't moving, and I look around and see everyone else panicking because their houses are flooding, I'll grab all of the valuables I can out of my house and do what I can to minimize my losses."
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wasted (94866) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @08:23AM (#17661570)
    On the subject of decertification of broadcast meteorologists, we're not really taking away their ability to dissent, it's more like saying that if you're a faith healer, you're not going to do surgery. You are still free to practice your "faith" but not... operate on patients in a licensed facility.

    I think your analogy is a little flawed. Broadcasts meteorologists do not have to consider global warming when making short-term local forecasts, so their beliefs concerning global warming won't affect their product, and decertification would make the meteorological association appear to be acting as a religion. Your analogy would be closer if it said surgeons who believed faith healing was possible were barred, regardless of their ability to conduct surgery.

    That said, I doubt the meteorological associations would revoke certifications/seals. The associations would lose revenue (since members have to pay for a membership) and scientific credibility (for stifling dissenting opinions).

  • Re:Wrong Way (Score:2, Insightful)

    by caffeined (150240) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @08:24AM (#17661580) Homepage
    Actually, it's not entirely bullshit. There was a lot of talk about this at the time.

    Here's a link that contains the text of the Newsweek article that talks about this.
              http://denisdutton.com/cooling_world.htm [denisdutton.com]

    (The text doesn't contain the graphs that were included in the original article, but they are interesting in that they could be criticized for much of the same sorts of things that graphs in use today are being criticized for - i.e., they carefully choose their starting/ending points to support the argument, etc.)

    Here's an example of one sentence from the article:
              "The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it."

    Even if it were true that the concern over a coming Ice Age were not widespread among scientists at the time, a reasonable layman reading this article would believe it to be so. If there really were no scientists predicting this, was the journalist just making stuff up? (It does happen, but I haven't heard that in this case.) Or was the journalist talking to at least *some* scientists who thought that this might happen?

    Global warming is clearly happening - it's not hard to see. I have lived almost all my life in the north of the US and the winters now are noticeably wimpier - I don't need a degree in meteorology to see it.

    However, I don't think you are right to simply dismiss the "Ice Age" mini-scare of the 70s as not having happened.

  • by golodh (893453) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @08:34AM (#17661664)
    Yes, very sure.

    The line you boldfaced: "If a meteorologist can't speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn't give them a Seal of Approval." basically says:

    "A Meteorologist should be knowledgeable about the evidence about climate change. It's his subject after all. If he isn't, he's incompetent and should be de-certified."

    Well, that's something I agree with.

    The fact that we are witnessing Climate Change in itself is pretty uncontroversial. What is controversial is to what extent this climate change we are witnessing was caused by man (specifically our carbon dioxide output as opposed tp e.g. an upwards cycle in the sun's energy output) and to what extent we can hope to halt or reverse climate change by reducing our carbon dioxide output.

    Nowhere do I read anything about a proposed decertification of meteorologists who argue against climate change being caused by man. What I do read is a proposal to decertify people who call themselves Meteorologists and haven't kept up to date with evidence on climate change.

    That's why I'm so certain that the issue of silencing opponents hasn't surfaced. Cullen's blog talks about de-certifying people who pose as experts but who are incompetent in their claimed area of expertise because they haven't kept up with the literature.

  • by mdsolar (1045926) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @08:49AM (#17661810) Homepage Journal
    The link comes from the minoirity in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

    In other words, Sen. James Inhofe who's support comes from the coal and oil lobby. He as written some amazingly lapdogish stuff and this could be more of the same. Comments further down appear to bebunk what he's saying here. Better check those out before being stirred to outrage as he intends.
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cfulmer (3166) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @08:54AM (#17661864) Homepage Journal
    That's not a good analogy. A better one would be "Nobody screams censorship when a doctor gets kicked out of the AMA for suggesting that leeches have legitimate medical uses." (Which, of course, they do.)

    The more problematic question is "Why?" What is motivating her to suggest this? You kick doctors out of the AMA because you're concerned about patients. These are TV weathermen -- how on earth does a view on climate change affect whether you can accurately predict tomorrow's weather?
  • by gd23ka (324741) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @08:55AM (#17661890) Homepage
    The Weather Channel's most prominent man-made global warming evangelist is
    advocating that broadcast meteorologists be excommunicated for heresy if
    they express skepticism about the gospel of man-made catastrophic global warming.

    They're all sorts of religions on the planet and only few deal with spiritual matters.
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 18, 2007 @08:59AM (#17661930)
    I would suggest it shows not "ignorance and imbalance" but good judgment and love of country. Remember, we are fighting an evil, well-entrenched enemy. In the White House, I mean.

    This should be modded funny. 10 years ago, the Republicans were fighting the exact same war against the Clinton administration (you remember Mr. "I did not have sex with that woman", don't ya?). The sides have changed but the same old tired arguments are still used. Both sides are the same in this race, and the vast majority of the American people know that and really don't care which party in in power because the results are the same. Now the Democrats are trying to be the "party of financial responsibility" because they want to become like the Republicans. The Republicans took up a lot of "tax and spend" ideas to be like the Democrats and try to keep them out of power. That backfired on them and so will the current Democrat idea because it's just all seen as posturing by mainstream Americans. The real battle is for the minds and wallets of the fringe elements of either party. It's sad to realize that few Americans care about politics because attempts at change are so futile.

    So while you're off spewing whatever radical stupidity your party had come up with for today, the rest of America is just going along enjoying living in a country that is still mostly free because neither party can gain enough political power to shut down our rights. I welcome change because it provides the check on power that our 2 equally corrupt parties need. I dream about term limits for every elected office, it's just stupid that our officials spend so much of their resources trying to stay in office that they can't see the problems of real Americans. If we could add an entry for "none of the above" to every election ballot, I bet that choice would win almost every race, because of the general level of disgust we have for our elected officials.

    Oh, and all lawyers should be banned from running for any office higher than Dog catcher, because they've already proven their poor judgement by their career choice.

    (posting AC so I don't get sued)

  • by Z00L00K (682162) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @09:00AM (#17661942) Homepage
    In any discussion of a theme you should always allow some headroom. There is no absolute truth about climate! The earth has had a lot warmer as well as a lot colder climate than we have today. Even the oxygen level has been varying throughout the millenia.

    When it comes down to the climate we are still running probabilities and it is known that the sun-spot cycle has a considerable effect as well as various gases. Some cools the climate down others makes it warmer.

    The current winter is (at least here in northern Europe so far) the warmest and wettest for a long time, but last winter was a rather cold one. What we actually are missing is reliable detailed weather data for the last million years, which we would need if we are to make a detailed prognosis. Unfortunately we don't have that so we will need to go for the second best alternative by doing estimations of trends of various curves.

    Some analysis even estimates that if it weren't for the greenhouse gas emissions that we have today we would have had a new ice age. If that's the truth or not - hard to tell but it's an interesting thought.

    So many factors are involved that it's not easy, and there is a difference between short-time trends, long-time trends and threshold switches. For example the El Niño is a typical threshold switch effect with considerable results in weather change.

    By all means, this doesn't mean that we shouldn't cut down our emissions - of course we should, even it it's only for the reason that we are working on finite resources of uranium, oil and coal.

    So in the end - let meteorologists have different views, this will keep the general public alert. A single-headed view will just cause disinterest in a question. Or maybe that's what the actual idea is? Let the general public be so disinterested in a question so that the question will self-die.

    "Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.", quote claimed to be by Mark Twain. - This is still true.

  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:2, Insightful)

    by slughead (592713) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @09:06AM (#17662004) Homepage Journal
    Now correct me if I'm wrong but nobody screams "censorship" when an incompetent doctor is kicked out of the AMA.

    Doctors RARELY have their licenses revoked these days, but that's beside the point.

    Doctors are "kicked out" for felonies and acts of malice, such as intentional mal-practice. They're never kicked out for what they believe, even if it's more obviously false than global warming denial.

    Doctors can believe ALL KINDS of crazy crap from homeopathy to astral projection. That's why if you ever see a doctor on TV ranting about a product, feel free to call them full of it. They're just people with fancy degrees.

    I'm pre-med myself, but I have no illusions about the profession.

    Besides, there's plenty of evidence to show global warming isn't doing what was advertised [independent.org]. Doctors claiming magnet therapy works have much less of a leg to stand on.
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aplusjimages (939458) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @09:07AM (#17662018) Journal
    It's not stupid or arrogant. It's simply stating that we need to stop bitching about who is causing global warming, nature or humans, and think of ways to not die from it. That's all we have is debate about global warming, but no solutions to fix it or to adjust our living conditions to live in it better.
  • by McGurk (661578) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @09:38AM (#17662370) Homepage
    Yes, it is very simple.

    1) Without global warming, the earth would be a big ball of ice. I don't like icy balls; life, in general, doesn't. Whether or not the earth, on average, will warm a few degrees over the next 100 or so years isn't cause for panic.

    2) People make greenhouse gasses. True dat. And because of this we will be seeing milder winters, longer growing seasons, and increased vegetation in areas that were inhospitable back when we were freezing our asses off.

    3) Huge is relative. An inch is huge when you're talking about pecker size.
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pink Tinkletini (978889) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @09:47AM (#17662454) Homepage
    Because if we don't, we die. Yes, our resistance to change might suck for all the unborn tropical fruit trees that would presumably thrive in a climate ten degrees warmer than what we humans can tolerate comfortably. But if you doubt that every human act of natural conservation has as an ultimate goal, stated or not, preservation of the status quo for human comfort, you need to rethink things.
  • by Viol8 (599362) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @09:49AM (#17662484)
    "They held the chancellorship (under Figl) and majority in Parliament until the "Socialist revolution" under Kreisky in 1970."

    And the socialists didn't repeal it? So much for free speech.

    "We have a lot of problems right now, especially in Vienna, because so many Turkish people are coming and certain far-right parties are using it as the new scapegoat to gain support. The last thing Austria needs is some douche like David Irving fanning the flames. "

    Perhaps the proper solution might be to restrict the amount of turks entering the country. Only an idiot would see jailing people for expressing a point of view as the solution. Anyway , what the f*ck have turks got to do with Jews? Please tell us.... Or is it that ANY right wing view should be suppressed?

    Idiot.
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:3, Insightful)

    by prelelat (201821) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @09:52AM (#17662516)
    I don't think he was saying we should stop sun cycles. Honestly I can't tell if your trying to be funny or not. I think he was saying even if it was the sun cycles we should still curb our emmsisions because its not helping the matter. There are other things to consider when you look at the emissions from industry, look at smog filled cities [livescience.com] where it just stinks, or the sun is getting blocked out.

    Especially where we are right now where there is no proof that the CO2 Emmsions are not causing the problem. Most people believe they are, the smog isn't helping anyone. There for it would seem logical to you know maybe cut it down a little bit.

    So ignoring the leaky basement metaphore I think you missed, emmisions should be cut down regardless. Lack of sun from haze from emmisions can have devistating effects on vegitation which will lead to wildlife. I think one thing we can say is that most of these gasses are trapped in our atmosphere and its causing adverse effects one way or anouther.
  • by nathanh (1214) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @09:57AM (#17662554) Homepage
    If you are a skeptic you are shouted down as an idiot, an industry shill, someone not to be listened to, and now even threatened with stripping them of rank.

    Except that's not what Dr Cullen asked for. That's what the Slashdot summary says, and what the right-wing blogger says, and it's entirely not what Dr Cullen said.

    Dr Cullen asked that meteorologists refrain from speaking with authority about climate change until they first put in the effort to learn the science of climate change. Uninformed and uneducated meteorologists who continue to mislead the public by speaking with authority about climate change should have their AMS certification revoked, lest the public thinks that the AMS is in the business of training climate change scientists. That's hardly an unreasonable request; if a nurse started giving out medical advice beyond his/her level of training then she/he would lose his/her nursing certificate. It's the same deal with a meteorologist pretending to be a climate change scientist. I think the same reasoning should be extended to all fields of expertise and all professions; it might reduce some of the uninformed noise that currently permeates our newspapers and TV channels.

    More than any of the actual skeptical papers, this makes me wonder about the GW argument. If your position is so tenuous that it must be defended with ad hominem attacks and threats, I have to wonder about how correct it really can be.

    However the ad hominem attacks weren't coming from Dr Cullen but rather from the right-wing blogger. I find it fascinating that you chose to believe the right-wing blogger because it reinforced your own disagreeable opinion of climate change, despite the fact that the right-wing blogger fabricated the whole thing.

  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cfulmer (3166) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @10:00AM (#17662590) Homepage Journal
    If this were somebody attacking, say, the heliocentric view of the solar system, I'd agree with you. But, climate change is still subject to legitimate scientific debate; we still don't really understand either the extent to which it's happening or its causes.

    Your surgeon analogy still overstates the case for two reasons (1) the existence of germs is much better proven than humans causing significant climate change, and (2) the surgeon's error may cause somebody to die, but the weatherman's is harmless (except, perhaps, to somebody else's agenda).
  • You know, in an argument, "I'm right, shut up" is not a valid postulate. In fact, in arguments, the more standoffish, brash, and assertive the person is in pushing their point with little or no evidence to back it up, the more often they are found to be completely in the wrong.

    Seriously people, threatening to strip someone of their credentials if they disagree with you is the last act of a desperate man. The truth is, the global warming zealots know they don't have a leg to stand on, and the only thing they will actually come out and claim evidence for is that the earth is warming (which it is, due at least in part to a ~7W/m^2 increase in solar flux density that correlates very well with recent increases in global surface temperature). They still cannot produce any proof that global warming is a man-made problem. For a while there, I actually started to believe the hype, but the more and more outlandish the eco-movement has become, the less and less credibility they have earned.

    DISCLAIMER (and I need to put this here because I know the global warming zealots are going to put words in my mouth): This post and the contents herein are not to be construed as an argument against sound environmental policy, clean air, clean water, nor as an argument for SUVs, burning down rain forests, funding terrorists by buying their oil, or clubbing baby seals. Furthermore, no one who drives a car may post any arguments about fossil fuels in response to this post, because the poster lives a mostly fossil-fuel-free lifestyle. The poster rides a bike to work, pays extra for 100% wind electricity, and uses B100 bioheating oil in his furnace, all at terrific expense to stay as much within the carbon cycle as possible.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 18, 2007 @10:07AM (#17662696)
    Ah yes there can be no argument that the leftest have won in the United States, force bloggers to register and now attempting to ban the expression of opposing view points...
    If you didn't vote Libertarian then you are getting what you deserve.
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:4, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday January 18, 2007 @10:12AM (#17662770)
    I'm a liberal Democrat and even *I* am skeptical of the claims made by many global warming researchers. Their scenarios always remind me of a radical environmentalist I once knew who could preach a fire and brimstone apocalypse as good as the best religious zealot.

    Any time people start predicting the end of the world, you'd better watch them carefully. It doesn't matter what "religion" they represent, millenialists seem to share a lot in common. And one of the things they share is a desire to silence those voices of reason who would urge caution.

    -Eric

  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mr. Slippery (47854) <tms@infamo[ ]net ['us.' in gap]> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @10:22AM (#17662904) Homepage
    But the press should give unbiased representation to both sides, so that people can draw their own conclusions - it's their job.

    "Unbiased representation" means calling things like they are.

    Religious crackpots who believe the Earth is only 6,000 years old, or people who believe that the "Face on Mars" [space.com] is an artifical construct, or conspiracy theorists who claim the moon landings were fake, or modern geocentrists [wikipedia.org], or industry shills paid to create confusion about climate change: calling these people "experts" or "skeptics", representing their ideas as anything but fringe beliefs well outside the mainstream of scientific thought, is biased representation.

  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rho (6063) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @10:23AM (#17662924) Homepage Journal

    Diversity of thought is nice and all that, but I certainly don't want someone who hasn't discarded the flat earth theory, for example, to be predicting the weather for me and would want the American Meteoroligcal Society to pull their seal of approval. I live in Florida, and hurricane prediction is serious business.

    You'd probably be surprised at what wacky things people you trust believe. These are usually things outside of their immediate area of expertise, and although meteorologists deal with weather, they are not necessarily experts on global climate. Just what they read in the trade journals, I imagine. Hurricane prediction has nothing to do with global warming.

    A silly example: every time I use a sextant for celestial navigation, I believe that the Earth is the center of the Universe and the stars move around it. Doesn't make it less of a useful tool.

  • by night_flyer (453866) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @10:29AM (#17663042) Homepage
    back in the 80s that were yelling about an ice age is on the way? What about the assertion that we havent seen teperatures like this SINCE... um Since? that means it happened before? what caused the Ice age, and the medieval warm period? are we warming up? probbably, though the people in Malibu may disagree at the moment. Is it man made? doubtful. Scientists are OFTEN wrong, and silenceing those that they do not agree with is not the answer, a scientists job is to PROVE them wrong.
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kabocox (199019) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @10:33AM (#17663076)
    This proposal isn't really all that radical either - it would simply formalise the situation. Any scientist that makes public his reservations with the global warming dogma is already dealing severe damage to his career.

    How many topics or fields do we have that could be like this. Off the top of my head there is global warming, stem cell research, any research into human cloning, evolution/creationism/intelligent design, we have dicussions on bad things that could happen with nano tech that might mean laws to limit it or drive the more useful parts under ground and out of oversight, genetic enginnering, and human drug experimention. The main stream scientic community thinks one thing and those that go a different route have always been blasted. I'm not really thrilled with listing the whole evolution thing, but its the next science topic that comes to mind after and sometime before global warming. Real scientists most likely all side along one side, but tradional religious views have forced the other sides. I'm strongly against this mainly because I'm still just plan undecided.

    I watched Al Gore's little movie expecting to see things that would make change my mind. His images just didn't come across to me. I felt sorry for the guy for losing, but also got pissed because half the movie was about him rather than global warming info. I was told from slashdot that it was crammed fill with charts and graphs. I'd need to go back and count, but like 5-10 charts isn't crammed full to me. It seemed like that he just focused on pictures of ice melting. Um, I need more. The ocean current bit was worrying and the potential flooding areas was slightly alarming. I just wasn't convinced. I'm undecided mainly because I don't trust the political bent of all those that suddenly have come out infavor of global warming. I actually went into the movie wanting to be informed. I felt like I was being prepared for his next run for President with global warming as his single issue with "massive industrial/economic changes."
  • Scary (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dlhm (739554) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @10:33AM (#17663100)
    This sounds like a government organization is telling me what to think. I don't like it one bit. This "weatherman" is expressing communist views and trying to assert his "truth" over mine. The true meaing of this article is not too discuss global warming but to discuss people loss of free thinking and speach. Shame!
  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:15AM (#17663740)
    Seriously, this is middle age thinking. Skepticism, even if it's politically motivated (and I'm not syaing it all is in this issue), is a good thing for science. Skepticism is what makes science work in the long run.
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TapeCutter (624760) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:16AM (#17663750) Journal
    "But, climate change is still subject to legitimate scientific debate"

    Agreed, and "higher resolution" observations and models are essential to that debate!

    "we still don't really understand either the extent to which it's happening or its causes."

    This is what is understood [realclimate.org], it is 5-6yrs out of date and will be updated this year, anecdotely it appears that the 2001 IPCC underestimated the extent and rate of change in many areas but we will have to wait and see. The margin of error for cause and effect is "beyond doubt" in much the same way as germ theory is "beyond doubt".

    "(1) the existence of germs is much better proven than humans causing significant climate change"

    I call bullshit, re: link above.

    "(2) the surgeon's error may cause somebody to die, but the weatherman's is harmless (except, perhaps, to somebody else's agenda)."

    And raise you another bullshit [bom.gov.au], this year Australia's grain crop was down 62% (~17M tons), we are the world's 3rd largest producer. Frost and snow in the middle of a record heat wave killed of our fruit crops in much the same way as California's crops were recently damaged by frost after unseasonal warmth.

    Yet it is still true nobody can prove any one of the myrid examples across the globe is caused by AGW anymore than a doctor can prove smoking caused a particular lung tumor. But if the recent back to back hurricane seasons in the US is not an example of extreme climate variability I don't know what is? To wait for unobtainable certainty is a dogmatic failure to adapt to our surroundings. A surefire path to extinction unless of course the basic premise of evolution is also "just a theory".
  • Re:Wrong Way (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mdsolar (1045926) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:24AM (#17663872) Homepage Journal
    I also remember those articles. They were based on the idea that ice ages are cyclic and we are due for another. I don't remember if any of them suggested the ice age would hit maximum glaciation any time soon, but if they did they were out of sync with the model they were discussing.

    Astronomers have been pointing out for quite some time that the Sun is going to evolve into a red giant in about 4 billion years. This is not alarmist, it's just a reflection of our understanding of stellar evolution. It does mean that the Earth will become unihabitable.

    Holding up the ice age articles and saying that science can't make up it's mind is pretty disingenous. Similarly, when people bring up nuclear winter and say the same sort of thing, it is more talking points. It is important to look at the source of these memes. In the present case (top article), it is Oil, Coal and Gas lapdog Sen. James Inhofe.
    ------
    Discolsure: I have a personal finacial interest in ending global warming (see my home page).
  • by mseidl (828824) * on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:32AM (#17663970) Homepage
    Ok... This isn't quite the same because our scientific knowledge is much greater but...

    Remember back in the day... Everybody thought the world was flat? And a few people disagreed and where "frowned" upon?

    We know infinitely more about science, but doesn't our understanding of climate models still lack? I'm just saying...

    My final opinion though, before people think I'm a witch or something: We are causing harm, we need to back off. Even if it isn't our fault, we should follow our understanding. Maybe at a later date will we truly understand, or we may be right now.(Which I hope we are)
  • Scientist? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by januth (1000892) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:53AM (#17664280)
    No scientist worthy of the name would suggest any such thing. To stifle debate and dissension of opinion is the realm of religion, not science.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 18, 2007 @11:59AM (#17664370)
    ...the minoirity (sic) in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. In other words, Sen. James Inhofe who's support comes from the coal and oil lobby.

    As opposed to (former) Sen. Al Gore, who's directly paid by the extreme environmental lobby, and who continues to promote the discredited work of the likes of Mann, et. al.

    The environmental alarmist establishment and its lapdogs in the National Academy of Sciences fund only research on anthropogenic greenhouse gases as a cause of the current warming trend. If you only ask one question, you only get one answer. When that answer is then used to vilify the people who produce the energy that all our lives depend on, it's only natural they would fight back, and get some of the rest of the data out there. Wouldn't you?
     
    Stop worrying about who is supporting whom, and look at the actual science and the actual supporting evidence.
  • by Viol8 (599362) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @12:14PM (#17664616)
    >That's exactly the solution the neo-Nazis--the people who are saying Irving should come here--support

    And whats wrong with immigration limits? Most countries in the world have it FYI.

    >But I think the main reason it hasn't been repealed is simply because of the symbolic effect i

    You either believe in free speech or you don't. If you pick and choose what you'll allow its called censorship.
  • by j_zero (248085) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @12:18PM (#17664686)
    This is ridiculous. Silence the debate?!?! Skepticism leads to debate, and ultimately leads to innovation and truth. Case: The world is flat. No it is not. Rabble Rabble. A journey is made to prove it. Truth is known.
    Case: The heavenly bodies revolve around the earth. Really?! I think not! Rabble Rabble. Innovations are made; telescopes, physics....And guess what happens? The truth: That the heavenly bodies revolve around the sun.

    These scientists are just an example of a problem with the scientific community being over run by zealots, as in religious zealots. Difference? I think not.
  • Two Things (Score:2, Insightful)

    by steak (145650) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @12:29PM (#17664848) Homepage Journal
    1. If you shut up every scientist who disagreed with conventional wisdom we would still be learning about the Ptolemaic solar system; we wouldn't know about these crazy forces that keep making things fall on our heads; and smelly grad students wouldn't be able to buy that picture of Einstein with his tongue sticking out; and possibly the worst Stephen Hawking wouldn't have that awesome mac voice that I use on my voice mail so people think I'm smart. You never know when some "crazy" guy who is a black sheep in his discipline will come up with the next mind blowing episode of nova.

    2. Why doesn't /. have a dedicated global warming section yet? There always so many stories on the subject and so many people respond to them that global warming could easily make its own section.
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @12:41PM (#17665060) Journal
    > But if the recent back to back hurricane seasons in the US is
    > not an example of extreme climate variability I don't know what is?

    Keep in mind these same people drew the conclusion that therefore this year would be a horrific one as well, and it was a dud.

    From a scientific standpoint, it's perfectly reasonable random variance, even with global warming you'd expect dud seasons. You'll still get "once every five hundred years" floods -- once every five hundred years. That scientists don't understand this variance when advocating policy is what scares the hell out of me.
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AusIV (950840) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @12:48PM (#17665140)
    Back in the 70's, the climatologists thought the world was going into an ice age. If we had actively tried to prevent an ice age, we could have done something to contribute to global warming, not realizing it was right around the corner anyway. Likewise now, if we try to prevent global warming, without really knowing the causes or what may be around the corner, we may get ourselves into more trouble than we'd have had otherwise.
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sumdumass (711423) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @01:17PM (#17665662) Journal
    But if the recent back to back hurricane seasons in the US is not an example of extreme climate variability I don't know what is?
    Umm those have been explained by normal natual occurances. Or at least they say it was. Nobody that I know of is acrediting the last two hurricane seasons to global warming.

    The one is the because of the currents in the atlantic which makes a rotational cycle and the latest was because of the El Mino's effect on it. We had plenty of storms, they just didnt' hit land of the warmer shallower water in the gulf areas wich cintribute enoumously to the intensity of the storm.

    To wait for unobtainable certainty is a dogmatic failure to adapt to our surroundings. A surefire path to extinction unless of course the basic premise of evolution is also "just a theory".
    The problems is the cause and effect combined to the solution. We don't fully understand the causes or the solutions to the causes. A prime example of this is your reference to the US hurricane seasons. You attributed something other then the real cause to the effect. Now anything you do to corect it might cause an even worse problems or just be as useless as sacrificing a virgin to the volcano. So yes, we need to understand it better and determin if our action will actualy have the desired effect.

    But we are allowed to have people that claim "global warming caused everything" and now we aren't allowed to have people say it didn't cause this. We are allowed to have someone say man aused everything in global warming but not discuse Natures impact or even the fact that water vapor is the single most potent effect on the "green house effect". mand made green house gasses (Co2 specificly) anly account for around 2% of the total greenhouse effect. I don't hear anyone claiming we should stop using water though.

    Carbon emisions alone are not likley going to be enough to stop global warming. So in limiting them, what are we really trying to achive? Well, If you have asked that question enough, you will find answers hinting of global redistribution or wealth. Every purposal that suggest anything other then limiting GHG emisions either doesn't effect develpoing countries or has some provision were develpoed countries can pay develpoing countries for unused air quality. So we look at the political enviroment when one of the most impacting global warming solution was being made (the kyoto acord) and we find a movment to forgive the debt of the third world countries. Simularities here aren't coincident by any means. So now we are touting Kyoto as an end all to the dooming disaster that has everyone scared into doing what? Stoping develpoed countries from develpoing or paying third world countries for not developing. Either way, it lets third world countries catch up. And this is achived under the premise of less green house gasses that will cure what everyone has made you afraid of.

    This has been a massive "the boogy man will get you if you wander off in the dark" campain designed to get certain behavior from certain people. Are you afraid of the boogyman? The problem with this is that it has scewed the probability of if anthing meaningfull could be done and to what effect it will have.
  • by Kidbro (80868) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @01:25PM (#17665850)
    If you want me to say "I trust you", I get to decide what's gibberish.
    If I want you to say "I trust you", you get to decide what's gibberish.
    And, logically, if anybody wants AMS to say "we trust you", clearly AMS gets to decide what's gibberish.

    The only possible room for confusion is who, within AMS, gets to make this decision on their behalf - but that's an internal organisational issue for AMS. And it's hardly a unique problem. Any organisation needs to appoint people with the authority to make certain decisions on the organisation's behalf. That's not really rocket (or, as it were, climate) science.

  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:3, Insightful)

    by maiden_taiwan (516943) * on Thursday January 18, 2007 @01:46PM (#17666236)

    10 years ago, the Republicans were fighting the exact same war against the Clinton administration (you remember Mr. "I did not have sex with that woman", don't ya?).

    Oh definitely. Ten years ago, the president was lying about having sex, whereas the current president launched a war based on lies that has killed more Americans than 9/11 and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. For starters.

    Yeah, these sound like "the exact same war" to me! :-/

  • by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @02:07PM (#17666630)

    "Scientific consensus"? Are you joking? There is no such thing in the real world. Even without political dickering it's never a reality.
    Yeah, like there's no scientific consensus over the validity of quantum mechanics.

    There's plenty of debate about specific details in climate science, but "the Earth is warming" and "it's mostly because of us" are indeed the consensus; the debate has moved on, to what will happen in the future.

    Could it have anything to do with opposing theories being squelched and the presenters labeled as cranks?
    If they had good arguments, they'd be published. Opposing theories are found everywhere in science, it's just that they're the good theories.

    Let's face facts, that's exactly what they're trying to do in this case on a very formal level.
    Let's face facts, nobody has proposed anything of the kind. The original blogger merely said that certified broadcast meteorologists have a professional obligation to be informed about climate science. She didn't advocate removing their certification. And even if she did, that has squat to do with "squelching opposing theories". Certification just means you get to be a TV weatherperson, it has nothing to do with whether your can publish in scientific journals.

    Is that why so many others in this "community" are allowed to run wild screaming "the sky is falling" while anthropogenic global warming is still just a theory?
    Is anthropogenic global warming "just a theory" like evolution and the Big Bang?

    Everything in science is a "theory". Some theories have enough evidence in their favor that they are regarded as established. AGW is one of them.
  • Re:Thoughtcrime (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ArcherB (796902) * on Thursday January 18, 2007 @02:39PM (#17667302) Journal
    I find it very telling that you refer to the twice-elected highest official in America as an evil, well-entrenched enemy. I'm a Republican, mainly because I've never heard Republicans call Clinton or Carter an evil, well-entrenched enemy. Nor did I hear them compared to Hitler, referred to as a "regime" nor wished for the defeat of our armed forces just to prove that they were wrong. Funny how the party opposite the Democrats the "evil enemy" and those opposite Republicans are "the idealogical opposition". I don't know if this hyperbole is a sign of immaturity or just a raw hatred of all those who have a different point of view. I guess it's both since one causes the other.

    You should take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Go to any university when someone who doesn't spout "group-think" and see how their views will not be heard over those who shout them down. Ironic that it happens at an institution that is supposed to be encouraging freedom of thought and speech.

    I guess I'm not surprised that you agree with silencing those scientist who don't march in lock-step with the your current line of thinking.

  • by c_forq (924234) <forquerc+slash@gmail.com> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @04:25PM (#17669566)
    If you think there is no money in the environmental lobby you are dead wrong. Some of it comes from conservationists, some from alternative energy companies, and some of it is even funded by the oil/coal/nuclear lobby (i.e. Exxon gives money to environmental group to protest coal hoping to encourage use of oil in power generation, while GE gives money to a different environmental group to protests air pollution hoping it will help nuclear reactors, etc.).
  • by Vitriol+Angst (458300) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @05:45PM (#17671254)
    The nutty assertions that people are not exacerbating Global Warming, conveniently ignore that Human sources are as a result of human practices. For instance; I've heard many say that "it isn't people, it's cows that burp up more methane then all the cars." I agree. But does anyone know why we have so many cows around to burp up methane? Um, for hamburgers. We could reduce our use of fresh water, grasslands, and improve our collesterol levels by moving to another animal like Ostrich or even Eel. Hence, we do NOT need to have billions of cows burping up all this methane. The population of cows has increased to provide for a population of larger populations of people.

    There is also a convenient "forgetting" that just releasing stored carbon dioxide is the only problem. When we destroy wetlands, or change the chemistry of the water, we reduce the ability of natural systems to re-absorb Carbon Dioxide. Hundres of miles of swamp have been destroyed in Louisiana for developments, and this has reduced the storm protection and the conversion of wastes. So the Gulf area absorbs less Carbon Dioxide and produces more organic run-off for the oceans on top of whatever effects humanity has added.

    In short; 6 Billion+ people on the earth are having an impact, and to try and pretend there is no way that many people using so many resources and who change the landscape with thousands of square miles of black asphalt is incredibly abtuse. Global Warming is debateable (you will lose, of course), but human impact on the environment is not, and we ignore that at our peril.

    Time to grow up as a people, and realize we can't just do what we want, and that we have a responsibility to our environment and other people. We cannot continue the corporate greed policy of pissing in the punch bowl. We are now all "down stream" of our effluent.
  • by emilper (826945) on Friday January 19, 2007 @07:01AM (#17678682)
    If industry weren't inherently geared against the environment, they wouldn't have to be so agressive.

    Please, explain this to me: is the industry making money out of purposefully damaging the environment? Is somebody paying the industry to damage the environment ? Otherwise, what you wrote does not make sense. What do you mean by aggressive? Aggressive as in repeating that they do not destroy the environment on purpose? that they do not hate Gaia? that they are not in the pay of Captain Pollution?

    Please, remember that before coal was exploited, forests were cut everywhere. England got to using coal when was left without exploitable forests. Remember that oil is used in so many products that replacing it with "sustainable" sources of hydrocarbons would mean cultivating every inch of available farmland, and turning every acre of forest into a tree farm. Remember that in Europe and US the trend towards complete deforestation, and terminal poisoning of rivers and arable land happened only after oil and coal began to be exploited on a large scale. We are better off because we use oil and coal.

    CO2 emissions seem to be a problem. [ I used the word seem because I an not qualified enough to ascertain if this is true, and while their arguments seem to have value, the AGW activists employed argumentum ad hominem way to often in the past to hold any credibility with me. ] If the AGW witch hunters keep asking for money (and complain loudly not enough is given to them), and propose outlandish schemes such as seeding the ocean with iron or putting sun-shades in space, the energy industry seems to be already investing in research on carbon sequestration.

    The human population that can survive in the naive green "sustainable" way most AGW activists support is about 0. What do you propose to do with the excess population?

    Let's wait now for the Un-Environmental Activities Committee, lead by Joseph McGore. They might have solutions.

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