Why do people not believe in climate change?


[quote=“Icon, post:19, topic:158975, full:true”]
Think of the planet as your house. Is the house dirty? Do you feel fine living in a dirty house? If you do not give teh house maintenenca, what happens when it falls apart? If you throw the garbage in your own water supply, will it affect your health? If you put decomposing matter in the fridge, will that make you sick when you eat fresh food?

This has to do with clean energy. It has been on the table since people started questioning if the supply of fossil fuel was infinite and/or harmless.Then, the realization that our bubble of Earth does not clean itself as fast as we humans make it dirty. That is one of the problems.

Just acknowledging that we are responsible for contamination that won’t go away, from plastic to nuclear, is indeed a big step…even though the evidence is right there everywhere we look, taking that step is harder each day. [/quote]
This is a separate issue from global warming. Everyone and political parties pretty much agree on cleanliness, rivers, air. Polluting our local environment affects us locally and not so much people across the globe, so we endeavor to keep our own environment intact.

Global warming concerns itself strictly with warming gases that can float up in the atmosphere and its effects across the globe, which only sometimes correlates with local pollution. Even carbon dioxide we exhale is a warming gas, but I would hardly call it pollution.


As I said, it depends how you use it. Rooftop (household) PV is probably the dumbest possible way of installing PV. For applications like transport and space heating, solar is 50,60,70% cheaper than fossil fuels, even with government subsidy of the fossil-fuel industry, or would be if it were properly engineered. You can easily do these calculations for yourself.

The problem is that people expect to drop PV into an existing infrastructure that was build around, and for, fossil fuels, and that simply isn’t going to work. Similar kind of thing with electric cars. That’s why it’s best not to have politicians involved in engineering decisions about which they know less than nothing.

The problem with solutions based on unobtainium, or which will be ready “real soon now”, is that we don’t have them NOW. Can you imagine what would have happened if JFK has challenged the American people to go to the moon, like, not right now, but, you know, when we’re good and ready?


[quote=“finley, post:18, topic:158975, full:true”]

[quote=“jotham, post:17, topic:158975, full:true”]
No, I didn’t say science is like a court case, I said the issue of climate change is. [/quote]
What’s the difference? Isn’t climate science supposed to be science?[/quote]
Science is a tool. Anthropogenic warming isn’t proven, there is much debate about it, and fine lines and shades of opinions between scientists. This wouldn’t be the case if it were a strictly scientific phenomena obvious to all. Moreover, the UN isn’t the end-all of what the science is. The UN is a political body.

No. This is precisely how science does not work. The sifting of evidence etc are preliminaries to the development of a hypothesis. Once a hypothesis is solid enough to become a theory (as in “the AGW theory”) then the only thing that can displace it is a competing hypothesis that explains observed facts better. The various alternatives you mention have been examined and discarded, because they simply don’t explain the observed facts very well.[/quote]
This is a matter of rhetoric, like I said before “analyzed,” which you explained well what we all know about science.

[quote]Certainly. But the problem is 90% of the general public - including 90% of politicians - have no scientific education. They know literally nothing about science. And that’s how they end up either being deceived, or deceiving others.[/quote]That’s because textbooks and teachers are teaching politics for science and telling students what to think instead of how to think; this applies to science as well. We don’t leave our logic behind when we approach scientific problems.

Not really. Science is never “correct” or “incorrect”. Instead, a theory either works or it doesn’t. We don’t really care if the formulae representing the behaviour of electrons is “true”. All we care about is whether it works: whether the theory accurately reflects what electrons do. [/quote]
Of course it can be wrong. Scientists thought the sun revolved around the earth at one time, and it worked for them, but it was false, and it certainly wasn’t science, even though it was the best “science” they were capable of at the time of their sophistication. And even when Galilee and Kepler showed a better way, they didn’t want to believe it; they had their science.


…and the gases come from?..

Cows. Our overfarming.
Vehicles. Factories. Our overdependence on fossil fuel.

It is like that cartoon: what if we do create a better world, cleaner, to comabt glabal warming, and we find out it is for nought? Well, you end up with a cleaner house and a better life.

Ask about cleaning to a housewife. You clean the house, it becomes dirty again. You cook, you clean teh dishes, you cook again. It is a cycle. We are breaking teh cycle by nailing the garbage to the floor and the leftovers to the dishes. Even if we throw away teh dishes, they are still thrown in our house. Whether they can become a toxic mold that kills us or a chemical that eats through our roof because of teh stacked pile, is our choice.

Local pollution travels, it des not dissolve that much. The problem is that it is taking us too much to calculate how much pollution can we put out until we all end up covered it it and surpass nature’s ability to clean it… especially if we manage to destroy nature, which we are doing very well.

Warming climate is also about air currents and water currents. About the dissappearing forests, mostly because they do not produce that much air nor absorb heat and excess water. it si about floods being more and more catastrophic. More and more draughts. More and deadlier storms. We are helping teh heat by removing trees, digging where we shouldn’t and in te worst possible way.

I do think that our hubris with the environment does come to bite us in teh behind more frequently than we want to admit.


There is concern about local pollution, such as smog, chemicals in the ground contaminating our water, or in the the air coming down as rain. And warming gases do go up in the air increasingly, these are not debating points.

What the debate is whether these gases are mostly responsible for the warming occurring in the last 100 years, or the sun.

In just the last 18 years, however, the gases keep increasing, but the earth hasn’t warmed that is statistically significant.


Not exactly. So far we’ve been able to clearly prove that climate is changing and the average temperature has been slowly increasing. This has been a negative effect for some areas of the world (less water), but a good one for others (slighty higher temperature -> better crops).

The issue is that we still don’t know if the natural feedback systems will balance everything out or not. So far, the feedback theory is the one that matches data recorded during the last 30 years.
If (and that’s a big IF) this theory turns out to be correct, then investing enormous amounts of money attempting to reduce the global warming would be one the greatest wastes of resources ever.

While some of the solutions for reducing pollution and reducing global warming are similar and go hand-in-hand, if we could have more funds sent to the scientists who are researching the effect of feedbacks and confirm that theory is correct, then we could focus all efforts in reducing pollution.


Do we really need all that protocol to reduce pollution?


They’re two different issues, and even though some of the solutions overlap, if climate change is bound to self-balance itself there would be no need to invest into fixing it, funding research etc etc, ad all the money could go towards reducing pollution.


Only that pollution is what is causing climate change among other stuff…Ckimate research overall should be enhanced, and human influence balanced. I do not see why one thing would negate the other.

If, let’s say, every 10 thousand years we have an Ice Age, ten we should know, in order to prepare for it. Having a clean house prepares you better for such an event, in teh same way as having somre tree coverage may prevent your home being washed away in a flood. Whetehr teh flood is caused by leprehausn, gay marriage or cow farts, it is important to know the paterns, the facts. Good science doe snot go out to “prive there is climate warming”. Good science observes and draws conclusions with open experimentation, as watching bacteria may reveal something about outer space and vice versa.


Which is exactly why, if earth is a selfbalancing system that doesn’t really care about humans, there would be no need to invest money into researching and fixing human effects on climate change, and we could focus them on studying natural climate change and the reduction of pollution.


If one is saying we shouldn’t invest to reduce carbon emissions beacuse there may be some unaccounted for negative feedback effect, then surely the opposite holds too, we should be investing more because there may be unaccounted positive feedback loops, and time is more urgent now than ever.

It’s always fascinating how climate change belief falls down political belief lines- ten years ago I recall my right-leaning friends outright denying AGW, among them there now seem to be the acceptance that it exists but we don’t know the the effects or the effects may not be so bad, I see this still as a form of denial. I believe the scientific consensus is AGW exists and needs to be resolved.


If it is a self balancing system, we are in deep trouble. Karma is against us.

Problem is: we are like that little ant marching on a leaf among water droplets. When the leaf flips and turns ariound in teh wind, what can we do to avoid falling? If we had the means to tell when it would flip, why don’t we? Can we improve our odds of surviving disasters, instead of being carried away like a leaf on the wind? And most importantly, in this case, the ant poisoned the tree where the leaf is.

I fear religion because of that. If humans care about humans, then we cover our backs. But if religio teaches us taht thsi world is us to use, and anyways next life is more important, and anyways we cannot undestand it and God is the ultimate authority, then we do not care what happens here. It is not worth it. God will fix things. He set up a system you do not understand. If something bad happens to you, it is because it is God’s will. People are evil, so they deserve to die. Poor and sick people must have sinned, so they must die. So when thsi attitude goe sto teh environmemnt and Earth in general, that is when we become killers, not its stewards.


Healthy skepticism is a good thing. I have never denied the science, am definitely right wing, but prefer a very slow and cautious approach. This approach has led me to believe that most government-led climate change initiatives are a severe waste of money (e.g., cap and trade, subsidies etc.) with the exception of a carbon tax, which can be used to promote green procurement (as long as it is done onside of trade agreements etc.). I would rather have the skepticism that you seem to frown upon than the religious fervour of people that think it is the challenge in a world filled with them.:grin:


Look no global warming for 18 years.

It says it in big letters on the graph!!! :wall:

Warmest years on record.


From what I understand the drop in solar panel prices per KW produced is nothing short of astounding.
It is predicted to continue to drop for the foreseeable future.
Now the limiting factor is energy distribution and storage in many regions. If one can capture almost all the energy produced by solar the economics improve even further for both the panels and the batteries in a virtuous circle.

I’m confident that we can crack this nut with similar industrial might and economies of scale applied even though as mentioned already there are significant issues regarding pollution from battery production and recycling.

There are a few changes that we could all make in our lives that could seriously cutdown emissions (eat meat once a week is one) but only if we changed our behavior en masse and if the upcoming billions in South Asia , China and Africa dont adopt AC and fossil powered vehicles and energy production en masse we are still in big trouble!

That’s why it is IMPERATIVE we drive down the energy production and storage costs now to prevent the new middle class causing an acceleration in global warming. They should choose non fossil power as a no brainer. To drive this subsidies and market incentives have proven their worth in many countries. Tarriffs on imports of ‘dirty’ products and services would also be a great push factor.

We see that data storage and cloud services are a huge up and coming user of energy, many of the companies are focused on using non fossil fueledpower although not all (google in Changhua…coal powered mostly I would guess).

Energy use in Taiwan is not a typical national profile, it is heavily weighted towards industry not residential usage. To reduce CO2 emissions in Taiwan it would need to change its economic profile completely or add in nuclear power, neither seem likely anytime soon!


We don’t really have time to be slow and cautious. Global warming is accelerating.

Warmest years on record


Well it’s sometimes difficult to differentiate scepticism with denial or conservatism, are you more sceptical of the science or the political processes to address the (potential) issues? If it’s the science what would it take to convince you?

I think if there was more vocal support for acceptance of the existence AGW from the right then we may see political solutions faster, and I think the drive has to come from the wealthiest and most polluting nations (read US), but what we’re seeing with the current right wing administration is a return to denial and a resurgence of support for this way of thinking.

The risk with a slow and cautious approach is that (according to some) we may not have much time before we start to see major effects, and we know that we need to be factoring in the time to get political consensus on-top of any time for a proposed solution to take effect.


We are already seeing effects all over the world.

More powerful storms, more storm surges, more precipitation, less ice cover in north and south polar regions, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, disappearing permafrost, warmer temperatures, changing seasonal patterns, mass coral bleaching.

Places like Fort Lauderdal and Miami in Florida are already convinced and investing in protecting themselves now and for the future.


Yes, of course, but it may be net beneficial for the Scottish highland vineyards, you have to factor that into the big picture.


Well yes there may be some beneficial effects. But as most people live in hot crowded and fairly poor and water stressed countries and also on coastlines we are going to see massive global impacts. Look at Bangladesh, where are those people going to go?

Some say the Syria war was precipitated by climate change and we see over population combined with climate change could result in more massive migrant waves and further destabilized regions and wrenching political changes.