In response to “Proposed AZ bill hinders scientific advancement in global warming fight” (by Dan Desrochers, Feb. 7):
Most reasonable people who are not educated in the subject matter defer to those with specific training/knowledge. When you seek info on something as complex as climate change, it makes sense to seek the best info you can get — info from those with lots of education, publications, experience, references, etc. relative to the subject matter — right?
And where do you suppose the best info can be found? Maybe from experts in climate science.
It’s strange that when it comes to something as serious as climate change, people choose to seek info from those not specifically trained in climate science. Do you really want to trust Fox News for climate science info regarding possible catastrophe and mass extinctions? No!
Illegitimate appeals to authority appeal to an authority outside the field of expertise — merely because that person is an “authority” in something. Legitimate appeals to authority rightly point out that people with specific training are generally in a better position to be familiar with the subject matter, data, theories, etc., so as to make informed decisions on let’s say — whether anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is real or not. And how do we determine the legitimate experts from the bunk? There is a very well-known process used to determine credibility of experts used across the spectrum of sciences. You check publication and citation records of everyone claiming to be an expert. Those actively involved in climate research will understandably have the most publications/citations. When you do the check, those that deny AGW, have a very low publication/citation record regarding climate science … hmm?
The check reveals that 97-98 percent of actively publishing climate scientists understand that man is very likely responsible for the recent global average temperature increases — not to mention the National Academy of Science and every reputable scientific organization on the planet. There is a reason for such support; it’s because the evidence is overwhelming!
Now, one can certainly challenge any authority, on any matter, even in his own specialty. But that just puts the burden on whoever does so to be able to prevail in proving their case over that expert — something the climate change denial crowd has utterly failed to do.
If you feel that the frequency of publication is evidence of fact, I could simply publish more papers stating that the sun is blue than the people that say that the sun is yellow. I will go with your argument that reputable scientific journals state that global warming is happening if you are willing to admit that those same scientists feared global cooling in the 1970s, global warming in the 1990s and climate change in the 2000s. The 52 UN IPCC experts that released the “Summary for Policy Makers” in 2007 were rebutted by more than 700 published scientists, stating that the science for AGW is out of hand and has gone awry.
The fear of AGW in modern times is questionable, especially when compared to the Medieval Warming Period (950-1300 A.D.) and the Roman Warming (200 B.C. – 600 A.D.). These periods happened without carbon emissions and increased human activity. To place the blame squarely on human carbon activity (CO2 represents a fractional amount of warming, especially when compared to water atmospheric water vapor, methane and ocean cycles, etc), is a fallacy. It has been proven that carbon emissions do not contribute to global warming in the levels expressed. The great engineer Burt Rutan published a rebuttal to climate change alarmists. He approached the problem as an engineer, not a scientist. A scientist identifies a problem and forms a hypothesis and then experiments in order to prove his hypothesis. An engineer uses available data to arrive at a conclusion.
Another great book to read is “Unstoppable Global Warming, Every 1,500 years” by S. Fred Singer, Ph.D., Physics. Global warming is a cycle that will happen whether or not I drive a Prius or a Hummer. I do feel that humans have a responsibility to be good stewards to the environment, but I reject the push to get us back to hunter/gatherer days in order to keep the temperature down.
As far as the claim that Fox News is the source that AGW deniers use for their main source of information, if that’s where they get it, so be it. Ultimately the responsibility to follow up and find out the truth for oneself remains with the person. We have seen with the “Sandy Hook Truthers” and the “9/11 Truthers” that any available conspiracy theory can be portrayed in such a way that lazy people that don’t want to research will be convinced by a YouTube video.
— Brian (in response to Matt)