(Image H/T: The Editors)
I know what’s going through your mind right now: “What? Liberals think?” As much as this might sound like an oxymoron, how liberals and conservatives come to certain conclusions is instructive. I might as well get this out of the way. I don’t have any special insight as to how liberals really think. I can tell you how I came to my conclusions and I have learned a lot based on responses to my earlier post on the topic of global warming.
For me it started in 2006. Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth came out and well, pretty much anything that Al says has got to be true, especially after all the work that he did programming the internet. I don’t think anything that anyone can say after that can convince me otherwise.
Did you actually believe that? If you did, there’s no point in reading any further. For those of you that didn’t and I sincerely hope that is all of you, read on. As ridiculous as that sounds that is exactly the rhetoric that the deniers of global warming put out and tell each other. I’ll be honest. I like Al Gore and think he does good work, but I’m not going to listen to a politician for science. Would you? Are you?
I couldn’t tell you when I first became aware of global warming but it was well before I ever heard of Al Gore and even before physical evidence of it was obvious. I’m guessing in the late 70’s to early 80’s. The physics of it has been around for a hundred years. Scientific American offers a short history that is very well worth the read. The physics makes it a necessity that the increase in CO2 will impact the climate. So even before Al wrote the internet, I had a pretty clear idea that added CO2 would do something even if I didn’t know exactly what. I learned a little from Al’s show, but most everything I was well aware of by the time it was released. Unless someone can provide an explanation of the physics, I find it difficult to change my mind especially given the current evidence. I’ll get into the science of it in part 2 and evidence after.
What is the explanation of the deniers? Well, it is actually an incredible failure of logic inside a total vacuum of science and facts. There seem to be 4 arguments that conflict with each other and in this case the same person actually forwarded all 4 arguments!
1 – Global warming isn’t happening.
2 – Warming is part of a natural cycle and nothing to do with CO2 – note that this argument refutes number 1.
3 – We may be warming the planet but it’s hardly noticeable which refutes number 1 and 2.
4 – Finally they get to yes, but no amount of taxes will fix it. And this one is the tell. Almost every response was a knee-jerk ‘taxes’. Even though my original post mentioned nothing about taxes in the US.
And after proposing 4 contradictory arguments the deniers propose that it is the rest of us who are being duped by politicians! By the rest of us, I mean virtually all climate scientists around the world as well as all other nations.
When you have 4 contradictory theories on what is happening, maybe it’s time to admit that you don’t have a clue.
It happens that we’re moving into an era where the evidence is catching up to the science and it is getting more difficult to refute. We’ve moved past the era where serious denial really works. Exxon-Mobil has long said that their studies confirm global warming theories. Even the Koch Brothers have acknowledged it. Politicians out of fear of looking stupid and out of respect for their donors have gone past denial and use the phrase “I’m not a scientist.”
But for me, even if the evidence weren’t convincing, the physics can’t be explained away. No denier has ever provided an explanation, let alone a satisfactory explanation of the science. Most of the arguments are an attempt to obfuscate the issue with misleading facts or outright lies.
Finally why I think it is important: I don’t want to be saddled with exorbitant taxes paying for the mess of others am seriously worried about the possibility of the largest transfer of wealth in human history and the serious threat to our national security…. Wait a minute! Those are supposed to be values of the deniers! How can that be? This will be a topic for a future post.
As to how I think: I look at the science and the supporting evidence. I even look at the seemingly contradictory evidence. As to the deniers: I have evidence that deniers don’t seem to be curious to even discover the truth and that is a terrible shame.
I’ll end it with this. When I told my son where I was making these posts, he told me that I’d never convince them (the deniers). And, well, I don’t want to convince you. That’s not how science works. I want you to convince yourself based on facts, science and logic. Why would you believe me? But then why would you believe your local politician or another blogger who would simply re-inforce what you either want to believe or previously believed. Instead I invite you to study the science. Then look at the facts. If you do that honestly and truly understand it, you really can’t come to any other conclusion no matter how much you want to. You may discover that the truth doesn’t always fit with your desires. Why do I care if you understand? Because conservatives can help solve the problem. It was a conservative solution that solved the acid rain problem. More solutions will be put into play over the coming years and if you want a say in those solutions you need to come around. If not, the adults will take care of it without you.