Trevor
Lv 7
Trevor asked in EnvironmentGlobal Warming · 8 years ago

Why the disparity between climate change skeptics and believers in their approach to weather events?

At the moment there are parts of the world that are cooler than usual (Russia for example) and other parts that are warmer (Australia for example).

There seems to be a significant number of questions and answers from climate change skeptics who are citing the cold weather as evidence against the global warming theory. But at the same time, I have seen little reference to the hot weather as being proof of global warming.

Why do you think this might be? Please be rational and stay on-topic.

24 Answers

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  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Because "skeptic" in this context normally means stupid. Some "skeptics" are not stupid, and realize that most others are, but they won't ever admit that, because -though not stupid themselves- they are liars and deniers. These sub-categories are not mutually exclusive, and there are more a few examples of posts that are stupid, in denial, AND based on deliberate disinformation.

    Edit: I would agree with "Mr Blob" that "skeptics" are "clever."....up to a point:

    Up to and through, "first copy, then paste."

    Source(s): Scores of thousands of "resolved" "questions" in this category of this website. http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technolog...
  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Hopefully, "the believers" are believers based on what science can tell us. Since science tells us that the seasons will continue and that anomalous weather will still happen then no single weather related event is evidence of anything. The best that could be shown is that any single weather related event is more apt to happen under a warming climate. The believers will not just look at hot or cold events and try to make a determination from this. They will look at what weather related records have been broken during these events. High/low temps, duration and intensity.

    There are true skeptics to the science of the AGWT. As often as not their skepticism will be less based on the theory itself but more on aspects of how humans acquire and use the data obtained. Richard Muller is a prime example of such a skeptic. He did not question the theory itself. He questioned the accuracy of the temperature data. His leading of the BEST study laid to rest his skepticism that the temperature data was unreliable.

    The "deniers", on the other hand, are not concerned with the science at all. Many probably have no understanding of even the basic sciences. This allows them the "freedom" to look at any single weather related event and try to somehow shape into something that is in line with their ideology.

    Chem Flunky - Excellent post!

    Norm - "What I would really like to see is for the scientists on both sides to get together and have an open discussion/debate on the issue." - A scientist follows the scientific evidence. When looking at the AGWT they look to see if violates any of the known Laws of Physics. Should it not do so then they look at the observational data to see if it violates the AGWT. The "scientist" on the other side of the discussion cannot be considered scientist is they refuse to look at the evidence that not only supports the theory, but, also, refuse to notice that there is no observational evidence that violates the theory. So, what you really ask for is a discussion between the scientist and the anti-scientist.

    Ottawa Mike - " I need a thesaurus and a new Miriam-Webster's just to keep up." - Should you have any real desires to "keep up", you will need a basic understanding of science and how it works. "Google" does not help, if you cannot comprehend what you are reading.

  • Gary F
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Norm ---

    We have known about the heat island effect for 50 years and it is not a factor.

    >>Have you been following meteorological trends as well, just so you can rule out some other cause for decreased temperatures in these areas?<<

    Since climate is based on meteorological statistics, that is already built into the system.

    >>What I would really like to see is for the scientists on both sides to get together and have an open discussion/debate on the issue.<<

    That process took place and was resolved - by the data and the science more than a decade ago.

    >>The problem is the pro-global-warming crowd basically bashes anyone who doesn't agree with their opinion.,,

    That is simply a Bullshit statement based on ignorance and/or denial.

    ======

    Moe --

    >>while most skeptics still firmly believe natural variations are the primary cause.<<

    Since the "natural" causes Deniers talk about do not exist in the real physical universe, they are more correctly referred to as supernatural causes.

    >> I don't find weather to be influenced by man and warmons do<<

    You are either saying that man does not influence climate or that climate does not influence weather.

    If you were more clear in stating your position, it would be easier to know if you are just 'natural' stupid or 'supernatural' stupid.

  • Jesse
    Lv 4
    8 years ago

    "Skeptics" and "believers" make this sound like a religious issue, which it is not. It's a scientific issue which should be based upon evidence and reason. Scientists understand that climate is different from weather, and they can only say that the weather event may or may not have been more probable because of climate change.

    Skeptics have little scientific evidence to support their arguments, so sometimes they seize upon any weather event that makes the Earth cooler and wetter as proof they are right, while ignoring any weather event which might prove they are wrong. I believe the term for that is called "cherry picking". Often the skeptics know better, but their goal is just to confuse the general public and cast doubt on climate science.

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  • Norm
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    I think the global warming issue has a lot of people sounding off without seeing the big picture.

    Here's an example: Global warming supporters point to rising temperatures throughout the world as evidence of global warming. But here's the problem: 95% or better of the areas where the temperature has been tracked are urban areas; almost all of which have seen population increases over the past 2-3 decades. As cities grow, you get more people driving more internal-combustion-engine vehicles (which put out HEAT) and more roads and buildings made of cement and concrete (which absorb HEAT). When the temperature in, say, downtown San Antonio is 105 degrees but you drive less than 15 miles to Loop 1604 and the temperature drops 10 degrees, that's a pretty clear illustration that a claim for global warming based on increased temperatures in urban areas is simply not accurate.

    The same principle applies for those who say global warming isn't happening because many parts of the world are colder than usual. OK, so how long have you been observing the temperature trends in this area? Have you been following meteorological trends as well, just so you can rule out some other cause for decreased temperatures in these areas?

    What I would really like to see is for the scientists on both sides to get together and have an open discussion/debate on the issue. The problem is the pro-global-warming crowd basically bashes anyone who doesn't agree with their opinion. The message from them is clear: "Global warming is happening, mankind is causing it, you should believe it because we say so, and if you don't believe that then you're an idiot." OK, if global warming really IS happening and manking really IS causing it, then your evidence should be able to show that, correct? If you're so sure you're right, then your evidence and conclusions shouldn't fear examination...

  • 8 years ago

    I think it comes down to scientific literacy. There is no scientific literacy among the regular denialists here. A few of them have a better understanding than others (eg Mike, Caliservative) but still don't have enough knowledge to have an informed opinion. The realists on the other hand appear to be better educated overall and many of us hold degrees in science. I'm wondering now about those questions Chem was making a year or so ago asking about education and opinion on the issue, but of course people can lie and say they are a scientist or even a "true scientist" but if they post regularly it is pretty easy to see if they are being truthful or not.

  • 8 years ago

    I have seen huge numbers of people, both for and against cite the weather as "proof". Why you have not I cannot say.

    In point of fact, the weather is irrelevant as evidence of climate behavior save over the long term. Climate, by definition, is long term and moves in swings measured in centuries to millennia.

    I am as quick to dispute the meaningfulness of the weather for those citing cold as I am hot. My usual argument against AGW does not depend on such things, instead:

    "If man-made global warming was taken seriously by its supporters they would advocate genuine solutions such as adding small amounts of iron to the oceans to cause the microscopic plants to multiply and absorb the carbon dioxide back into the biosphere whence it originally came.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_fertilization

    A solution both practical and inexpensive.

    Failing that, they would advocate replacing the base load electrical power generation with mass produced nuclear power plants as one of the quickest, cheapest and most effective means of reducing carbon emissions.

    If its supporters don't take it seriously, why should anyone else?"

  • 8 years ago

    Honestly? Because the "skeptics" will latch onto any argument they can if they think it can be used against AGW. They neither have to understand, nor agree with the argument. Cold weather is something they can at least understand.

    Unfortunately the media feeds into this whole argument, by asking that every weather event be interpreted in terms of global warming. That's why people have silly discussions about whether global warming caused Hurricane Sandy (or Katrina or the Joplin tornado or a blizzard or heat wave etc.), when the real question should be would expect more or fewer storms like Sandy on a warmer planet.

    EDIT: Veidt repeats the same stuff in every one of his answers, but ignores that people have responded to what he says about iron fertilization and nuclear energy more than once. The results from iron fertilization experiments have been equivocal, at best.

  • 8 years ago

    Skeptics pick and choose the bits of science they want to accept. They choose the bits that conform to their exisiting view rather than the bits that contradict it.

    This is why we train scientists for years. It allows them to determine the significance of data and which bits to form a conclusion on.

  • 8 years ago

    I suspect it mostly has to do with which side has more people that think like scientists.

    As I'm sure you know, science is about evidence, not proof--a subtle, but important distinction.

    Warmer-than-usual weather is evidence. Colder-than-usual weather is also evidence. Someone who thinks like a scientist will look at both, and add them both to their picture of how the world is (and is not) changing. Someone who does not think like a scientist will look at the evidence that supports their previous views, and treat it as proof that they're right (usually while ignoring or dismissing the evidence that does not support their previous views).

    Also, well, scientifically literate people understand concepts like "variability" and "baseline", and if you understand those concepts, you know to look for the baseline, not the peaks and valleys. If you don't, then every peak or trough looks like rather more than it actually is.

    Source(s): Please check out my open questions.
  • The reason is that those of us who accept and understand the science of AGW know whats going on. The denialist dolts are dumbfounded and slack-jawed as usual

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