Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Lukewarmers

I had tried to figure out where I sat on AGW spectrum. I'm an agnostic on most things that cause internet flame wars, including this one.

Most probably had assumed that when I felt things weren't adding up, I was an evil Republican troll who worked for an oil company and I hated the environment. This, of course, is hyperbolic, stupid, and illogical.

I've no doubt the Earth has warmed since 1850. I have serious doubts about the catastrophism that will befall us anyday. I have a psychological theory that the post 9/11 times have made pretty much everything dark, from TV to science fiction to the proliferation of catastrophe porn shows on The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel and elsewhere. We've become obsessed with our own ends.

I suspect there's more then enough evidence that the world doesn't work that way.

I drew this chart for myself:


}-denial---------skeptic---------|-----lukewarmer--------|--believer-------------G&D---{


I'm a lukewarmer, closer to the 'believer' side but fairly skeptical on a lot of things . G&D stands for Gloom and Doom.


Lucia, at The Blackboard, has a post about just that.

I wrote this post to explain why certain blogs appear on my blogroll. They run a wide spectrum: from Anthony Watts who clearly falls in the skeptic range, to Dr. Pielke Sr who I suppose I'd classify as a 'Lukewarmer' to his son who is most definitely a believer, but feels the debate needs to move toward adaptation in addition to mitigation. These are people who more or less fit my views.


As an aside it wasn't always like this. I more or less took An Inconvienent Truth at face value. Katrina settled it for me then---but recent research indicates Katrina wasn't all that unusual a storm. I still think An Inconvienent Truth is a decent film and Katrina was a terrifyingly excellent wake-up call for coastal residents everywhere (and will lead to needed reforms in emergency management and the Army Corps.)

In closing, my answer is "we'll see." The pipeline warming may turn out to be real and the world will end before 2100. Or, it won't. That said, it's time we got off of petroleum and began the construction of a new energy infrastructure that involves wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear, and hydrogen fuel. Or gas from air---as the scientists at Los Alamos believe is possible.

2 comments:

e said...

Any links to some summaries of studies? As one who thinks I ought to care more about the environment, who feels that I should be more than a believer, but can't summon up the will to believe, I'd like to add some facts/theories to my luke warm support for things green.

terry "hussein" pinder said...

I would recommend you read the links over on the blogroll---Prometheus, Climate Science, The Blackboard and Climate Audit. Many of these are quite techinical. They fall between Lukewarmer and Skeptic.

Also, I'd be remiss in not pointing anyone toward Real Climate (www.realclimate.com), who fall between Believer and Gloom and Doom. Despite their stance it's a decent, scientific blog written by actual scientists. Dot Earth, the NY Times's blog, is also pretty good and I like them too.

Also, The Breakthrough is also very good. They fall between Lukewarmer and Believer.

Watts Up With That falls between Lukewarmer and Skeptic.

CO2Science is a denial blog, but they only link to actually published data. I like them for some reasons, but they DO cherry pick what they want to hear and report. To be honest, most do, that's why the debate has become so shrill and confusing on the blogosphere.

I'm one of the very few openly skeptical liberals there are and more then a few sites are conservative sites. But at the same time, believe it or not, there are lots of conservative believers and Gloom and Doomers. NASA's Dr. James Hansen, who is the Chief of all the Gloom and Doomers (and a decent scientist, I just think he's developed a Messiah Complex) is actually politically conservative except on this issue. He'd have to be, considering that I believe he lives in Adams Co. There are no liberals down there, lol.

This is what both sides on the extremes want--they want unthinking people who don't bother looking for their own information. Something may come out tomorrow that I'll read and I may just change my stance again, but I think lukewarmer fits pretty well. I have no doubt the Earth is warming, I just do not see the evidence anymore that it's the End of All Life.

Climate Audit is what sort of "opened my eyes" so to speak. But with any subject if you get the chance do some research and then figure out where you sit.