Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Global Warming?

Take a look at that chart.

This issue is fascinating to me, and highlights the problems of ferreting out truth in the midst of the information age glut. What is clear, even from a cursory Google search, is that both sides of the Is Global Warming Real? debate can marshal their statistics, can call upon an army of scientific experts, and can form convincing arguments to buttress their case. So who is right? And how do we know? And what are the possible consequences if we think we're right, and it turns out that we're wrong?

The religious component of the Pew poll is fascinating as well. Why is it that white evangelicals are disproportionally skewed in the direction of disbelieving in global warming? What might be behind such views? Is it because they have greater access to scientific data that is not available to other segments of the population? Is it because they tend to be Republican, and they can't stand the thought that the despised Al Gore might be right? I really don't know. But it's very curious.


gar said...

I don't know but it was 103 yesterday in San Diego. Roughly 30 degrees above the normal.....

Toronto Realtor said...


It was snowing in April in most of Canadian cities. Unusually cold and long winter this year.
I wonder how old that chart is. Because I don't believe that more than 47% still believe this hoax. There has been hundreds of climate changes before but yet this one is human made. I wonder why? Sometimes it crosses my mind whether in 30 or 40 years back we will look back and talk about how stupid we were for thinking that the world will end just because one climate change.

Take care, Elli

Brother-in-law Bill said...

The phrasing of the question is important here. The question is, "Is there solid evidence the earth is warming?" If the question were phrased, "Is there evidence of climate change?" I suspect all of the categories would answer more affirmatively. Solid evidence of warming really narrows it, and the choices of whether or not it is caused by human action is even more speculative. Given the phrasing and the choices of answers, I would be in the category of some evidence, where 11% of white evangelicals landed.

Some evidence of climate change? Yes. Do I suspect at least some of it might be caused by humans? Yes again. Do I think we should take steps to counter this? Yes. Do I think we should risk further wreckage to the economy to do this? No. Let's proceed cautiously, pick the low hanging fruit, and continue to gather evidence.

Full disclosure: I don't believe Al Gore has the credentials to make a solid case, and I don't believe he invented the internet either.

Jim K said...

Climate is not weather. I encourage anyone interested in this stuff to read up on some basic geologic history to understand what's happening. This is a terrific book about earth history, short and awe-inspiring:


But for me it goes back to the book of Genesis and what happens when we eat of the Tree of Knowledge. What we've done to the planet in the last 200 years is incredible. But ain't nothing is free.

nancy (aka moneycoach) said...

A poll I'd be interested in (not to suggest I wasn't interested in this one) would be the extent to which these various segments (protestant, white-protestant, etc.) would assent to "we are responsible to ensure our personal and public policy practices are ones that respect and do no harm to creation".

Natsthename said...

What confounds me is the way in which we are being herded into the "green" mentality, even though scientists cannot agree on this. I've no problem with taking care of earth and its inhabitants, but I'm not willing to go to extremes. My son is afraid to throw ANYTHING away (or eat over a certain number of calories, for fear of obesity, even though he is under the watch of his pediatrician and needs to gain weight.)
We're freaking our kids out, and I'm sure it's going to mess them up.