Thursday, April 26, 2012

Global Warming, Pro or Con?

I went to a lecture tonight called "How to avoid the truth about climate change". It was being given by a Dean at the University of Utah, I think in Geology and Geophysics.  A few years back, he hadn't paid that much attention to the Climate Change debate, but had read enough to confirm his thoughts that it probably wasn't as big a deal as was being presented.  He shared that view in what he taught his students.

They kept pushing back and asking questions, so he started reading a lot more and digging deeper.  Now he is a firm believer that climate change is real, it's big, it's serious, and it's being driven primarily by humans generating CO2,

The presentation was explaining how you can have 97-98% of the climate scientists in agreement, and yet still have a lot of the media explaining that there isn't consensus. My favorite question of the evening was "If you saw an ad that said 1 out of every 33 dentists recommend Trident, would you chew it?"

I won't drag you through all the issues, but one statistic was really interesting. They did a big survey and asked: Is global warming happening?  There was nothing about whether it was caused by humans.  Just a question of whether the earth was warming up.  They looked at people's responses and there was one great predictor of your answer.  Not gender.  Not age.  Political party.
  • Democrats - 78% said yes
  • Republicans - 53%
They asked if you considered yourself a Tea Party person.  Of those, only 34% said yes.

I understand political party being a huge swing for questions like "should we spend $x dollars to help group y", but this question was "is the thermometer reading going up?" How much closer to hard, non-subjective science can we get?

I think they got it right in the movie (now 50 years old) It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
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