Deniers and skeptics.

By on December 18, 2009 7:50:25 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

lifekatana

Join Date 05/2008
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 I think we should be clear with this:

 

Denier: doesn't buy the entire premise of global warming, usually citing the data to be wrong. Conspiracy between scientists and politics.

 

Skeptic: Doubts that global warming is human made, or that CO2 is the issue.

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December 18, 2009 9:39:07 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Since in practice every denier I have seen in the last ten years has tried to dress as a skeptic, and everyone dressed as a skeptic has been a former denier that was forced to reluctantly admit there was warming but no claiming "It exists, but it's not caused by us" (Which always strikes me as like claiming building should only be designed to withstand earthquakes if you prove humans caused them. It's *still* a disaster.), ah

What exactly are we distinguishing here?

 

Pug

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December 18, 2009 11:25:03 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

You know, since the start of this subject, I never realised how annoying I found the American spelling of sceptic. Using a 'k' really grates on my nerves...

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December 18, 2009 11:55:32 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

How about the 'z' in organizations as opposed to the 's' in organisations?

I guess the MS word spellchecker must really piss you off then.

As far as denier versus skeptic goes I think people that live in glass houses either shouldn't throw stones or shouldn't throw a nutty if someone breaks their window.

In other words mostly it's just a matter of terminology with an added amount of derisiveness. So if you're a ‘proponent’ and use the term skeptic and denier relatively interchangeably then you shouldn't get upset if someone interchangeably calls you a proponent, believer or alarmist. And vice versa.

In actuality there is that one extra level of derision of 'alarmist' that 'skeptics' can apply to 'proponents' that is otherwise unavailable to 'proponents'.

The bottom line is that you can call me anything as long as you don't call me late for dinner.

In a similar manner I've seen folks take great pains to make the distinction between 'conservative', 'right wing' or 'republican'. The point is that when in the heat of an argument of a thread no one is going to try to remember each of their individual opponent’s predilections as to what to be called. It's just a handy label, otherwise you end up referring to "conservative, right wing, republican, libertarian or whatever else you want to be called.” It gets kind of unwieldy.

Certainly there are times when the distinction is important but otherwise cut the other guy a break if he happens to refer to you a label you don’t appreciate, feel free to respond in kind but realize that they may simply be responding to the collective group of opponents in a thread by what they feel is an appropriate label.

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December 18, 2009 1:17:20 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I guess the MS word spellchecker must really piss you off then.

Yes, it does. As does any installer which says "English (US)"
...and offers no other English option, such as "English (English)

In a similar manner I've seen folks take great pains to make the distinction between 'conservative', 'right wing' or 'republican'. The point is that when in the heat of an argument of a thread no one is going to try to remember each of their individual opponent’s predilections as to what to be called. It's just a handy label, otherwise you end up referring to "conservative, right wing, republican, libertarian or whatever else you want to be called.” It’s gets kind of unwieldy.

I still don't know what it means when someone says a particular view is conservative or liberal. I don't see how a scientific opinion can be interpreted as a political viewpoint. If for example, I don't agree with the current theories about stellar internal gas pressures, how does that make me either right or left wing?

As for words like sceptic, denier, believer, alarmist etc., are there no such things as 'realists'? I guess that would be too much to hope for.
A realistic viewpoint? Why, the very idea...

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December 18, 2009 1:57:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes, it does. As does any installer which says "English (US)"
...and offers no other English option, such as "English (English)

Word has an English (United Kingdom) option. It's just stupidly hard to find in the 'intuitive interface' ribbon crap if you were used to finding options before they threw out an entire UI for no good reason...

Wait, is that me being in denial about the inevitablity of change?

I still don't know what it means when someone says a particular view is conservative or liberal. I don't see how a scientific opinion can be interpreted as a political viewpoint. If for example, I don't agree with the current theories about stellar internal gas pressures, how does that make me either right or left wing?

The c- and l-words usually say more about the speaker's beliefs than they do about the person or policy being discussed. As for scientific opion, it is most definitely political if it is still at the opinion stage. Left-right has little or nothing to do with most of those debates, but they are still debates, and include a host of 'non-rational' components linked to career aspirations, personal animosities, budget worries, etc. It isn't 'politics-free' until it can be rendered in repeatable, empirical results, which is impossible to do with something like climate change because we don't have a way to build planetary biospheres in labs. The real problem is that the scientific method is kinda like horshoes and hand grenades: "close enough" can win the point or kill the enemy despite the fact that a given analysis is incomplete or partially incorrect.

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December 18, 2009 2:31:01 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

I still don't know what it means when someone says a particular view is conservative or liberal.
are there no such things as 'realists'?
I understand where you're coming from but the problem is that these issues are not just scientific discussions. If they were then I would agree that a person's politics probably don't come into it. Not very many people get all that excited if the topic is string theory because no one's being asked in any way to pay for it.

However when a scientific issue involves potentially large expenditures of public money then politics will inevitablly come into play. And it's just as inevitable that those that favor less governement and believe that the role of government is basically to keep an armed forces and otherwise stay out of people's lives will be against anything that requires more government expenditures and those that believe the proper role of government includes providing a minimal "safety net" for its citizens or simply that government can indeed be a help and not just a hinderance will tend to favor government expenditures that are perceived to be in the common good.

Given that you're in the UK and have the benefits of civilized society like universal health care it's not surprising that it would be difficult for you to understand the concept.

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December 18, 2009 2:35:49 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

No GW Swicord. You don't like the outcome of climate science. And therefore you say it's not testable. 

Climate science is a soft science but most definitly a science.

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December 18, 2009 3:17:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting lifekatana,
No GW Swicord. You don't like the outcome of climate science. And therefore you say it's not testable. 

Climate science is a soft science but most definitly a science.

Heh, know me that well do you? No, you don't. I'm a radical tree-hugging nutbar of a quasi-luddite with a perverse love of computers and people whose politics I despise. I don't like the politics surrounding climate change debates, mainly because we here in the US have just recently rejected a political party that not only hates hearing about things like the possiblity of steadily rising sea levels in the near future, but were happy to deliberately suppress scientific analysis in much more well-comprehended areas like the safety of pharmeceuticals.

As for 'soft science,' that's more or less gibberish to me. I say that in part because I have a fancy bachelor's in "political science" and a master of arts in "government." My undergrad degree taught me far more than my grad degree did, but the latter was more correctly named. I'm almost religiously fond of serious science, but I'm more than a bit disgusted by how much the word has been appropriated to become the modern world's version of magic/the-will-of-the-gods.

But, to try to sound a bit more calm, climate research is an important undertaking that has apparently yielded a significant mass of data that is worth systematic analysis, and the ongoing results of those analyses need to be a part of environmental policy-making world wide.

p.s. I should also probably confess that I'm a non-recovering postmodernist and have never gotten over the etymology of the English word "fact" having Latin roots that mean "a made thing."

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December 18, 2009 5:16:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I should also probably confess that I'm a non-recovering postmodernist and have never gotten over the etymology of the English word "fact" having Latin roots that mean "a made thing."

  for this. And, well, more or less everything that comes before it. 

Out of curiosity, why do you reflexively use single quotation marks (but with the punctuation inside) but Americanized spellings?

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December 18, 2009 7:01:00 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Denier: doesn't buy the entire premise of CO2 being a necessary and harmless gas even at ten times current concentrations, usually citing the data to be wrong. Conspiracy between meteorologists, geologists, and oil companies.

 

Skeptic: Doubts that humans can't be having an affect, but isn't blind to the possibility that the swiss cheese "science" might turn out to be a complete crock of shit in the end.

 

There I fixed your post for you.  After they prove a cascade effect from a gas with a half-life in the several years range and a severely localized range of effect, I'll stop ignoring all the conclusions they've come up with.  Until then, they look a lot more like liars than anything else, at the least they know CO2 can't stay in the atmosphere for centuries.  If not, what kind of scientists are they to have completely missed it?

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December 18, 2009 7:47:32 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

oil companies? lol.

 

also: neccesary? wtf?

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December 18, 2009 8:13:42 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

You're shitting me right?

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December 18, 2009 9:03:35 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

You're shitting me right?
I wouldn't shit you, you're my favorite turd.

Sorry, it's an oldie but a goodie.

Feel free to pass it on.

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December 18, 2009 9:14:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Despite the frequency of usage, I don't believe I've ever gotten that response before.  All good insults are welcome though, thanks.

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December 18, 2009 9:35:54 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I am neither denier nor skeptic, I'm just a realist who realizes that the world is full of lies, liars, and stupid people who can't think for themselves.  I side with neither liberals nor conservatives on anything (rather, I just side with the correct side), and I never vote for a major party.  Furthermore, as a disclaimer, I will state that I hate corporations and big money more than most any "liberal."

These are the facts as I see them.  If you pay attention, you will notice that they don't all come down on one side or the other:

- There has always been a lot of junk "science" with global warming claims.  I will not cite chapter and verse, because I've studied it for years, and wouldn't know where to start.  But the point I'm making is, junk science makes me suspicious of the claims the junk science makes.

- The earth has always gone through natural warming and cooling cycles.  What the hell do you think ice ages were?  Global cooling.  What the hell do you think the retreat of ice ages were?  Global warming.  You can't get any more no-brainer than that.

- There is now a huge amount of blatant hysterical lies and propaganda being pumped into the zeitgeist by the major tv news stations on "global warming."  I can't count the number of "documentaries" I've seen the past few weeks by either CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, etc. showing some poor island off in the pacific somewhere (Maldives?), or showing some island off of Bangladesh which is now being threatened by rising sea levels.  The claims aren't that rising sea levels will affect these places in the future.  The claim is, THE RISING SEA LEVELS ARE AFFECTING THESE PLACES RIGHT NOW!  But the undisputed fact is, THERE IS NO MEASURABLE INCREASE IN SEA LEVEL AT THE MOMENT!  When I see blatant lies and propaganda, being backed by big money (there has to be big money involved in such a media full-court press), again I get suspicious.

- Corporations have an interest in polluting, and have an interest in denying global warming (whether it is true or false) and their involvement in it.  Corporations don't care about the planet, or me and you.  They care about one thing, and only one thing: their profits.

- Some powerful corporations, and Wall Street investment banks (Goldman Saks), have the opposite interest.  Their interest is in the world believing in global warming (whether it truly exists or not), because they stand to make big bucks trading carbon credits, etc.

- I am reserved in my claim here, because of the hiddeous amount of junk science and lies out there, but the earth at this point does seem to be warming.  Glaciers seem to be in retreat everywhere, the polar ice caps seem to be shrinking, etc.  Could be lies, or selective showing of photographs and evidence, but at this point I believe it unless its proven wrong.

- The wholesale digging up of millions of years old remains of dead prehistoric plant material (coal and oil) and burning it all to get energy is just a bad idea.  It does pollute.  It does use up oxygen and pump God knows how much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  It's just something that isn't smart, and it's just something I'd rather not do.

My conclusions are that there are lies and junk science and propaganda that global warming is occuring and is manmade, but ironically, it might actually be occurring despite the lies and propaganda, and either way digging up and burning all this stuff just isn't good.  There are liars and interests and big money on both sides that want me to believe one way or the other.  Nothing good will come out of these global warming conferences, because it is all being done for the benefit of big money and big corporations.  I think we should stop burning all this stuff we dig up out of the earth's crust.  I was for nuclear decades ago, and still am.  I think it would have solved a lot of our problems.  Unfortunately, the idiot liberals opposed it, and thus shot themselves and everyone else in the foot.

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December 18, 2009 10:25:04 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

I don't care if CO2 output, or the output of other gases, is causing the moderate increase in average tempretures that have been recorded, or the measured - albeit minute - increase in sea levels. As far as I'm concerned, anything that promotes a cleaner environment is a better thing. The renewable energies and cleaner living have additional benefits besides lessening the effects of 'Global Warming', and it's a massive, systemic shake down that is long over-due. Sure, it's probably 90% bullshit, but if it gets shit done, I'm all for it.

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December 19, 2009 2:51:22 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

That would require that CO2 actually be pollution, as opposed to a life cycle product that is created and consumed on a massive scale regardless of our existence.  Cutting sulfer emissions is one thing, but CO2 is irrelevant to the pollution argument.  It's food.

 

If you'll volunteer to be in the third of the world that starves, I'll stop thinking you're an idiot though.

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December 19, 2009 3:54:59 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I think we should stop burning all this stuff we dig up out of the earth's crust. I was for nuclear decades ago, and still am. I think it would have solved a lot of our problems. Unfortunately, the idiot liberals opposed it, and thus shot themselves and everyone else in the foot.

So then, what is your answer to the radioactive waste that is produced by nuclear fission - how do we dispose of it?

And please... something better than 'shoot it into outer space, or into the sun'!

 

Anything we do to create energy, at this point, will cause problems of one sort or another.

With a huge and constantly growing population, and with more nations becoming industrialized and so needing more and more energy, the only hope is a far more advanced (cleaner and cheaper) energy source.

Wind and solar are far too limited, in too many ways. Fusion is probably the best bet, but that is still a ways off.

 

Unless we want to reduce ourselves back to the days of pre-industrial (and stay there), we have to take-it-on-the-chin with a little AGW. Sure, it is a race to the finish line. Can we, by using our intelligence, produce a power supply that will allow us to go to the next level of advancement - before our need for dirty power overcomes us?

 

Which will it be?

Do we apply ourselves fully to advancement? Or, do we apply ourselves fully to devolve ourselves to pre-advancement?!

I guess a case could be made, either way. (it actually is being made, right now, in Copenhagen)

 

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December 19, 2009 4:28:33 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Fuzzy Logic,
You know, since the start of this subject, I never realised how annoying I found the American spelling of sceptic. Using a 'k' really grates on my nerves...

 

Yes, certainly the Queen's English is more appealing to those whom have learnt it. However, for Americans, we have grown accustom to the spelling of sceptic with a "k". Since the proper spelling of sceptic is alien to most in America, we do not initially read sceptic with the same meaning as our spelling of skeptic, but rather it is quite easy to mistakenly read "sceptic" as "septic".

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December 19, 2009 5:38:32 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Agent kharma:

 

I'm so neutral blablabla. What's your stance on health care, abortion, guns and foreign policy?

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December 19, 2009 12:15:19 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

In theory, a denier and a skeptic are two different things. In practice however, a skeptic is nothing more than a denier who puts forward some illogical excuses to avoid admitting the truth.

Just look at creationists for instance, despite the wealth of experimental data proving that there *is* such thing as evolution with flies and other short-lived species, they'll either deny it with a vague handwaving of "humans are different", "that's not evolution, that's adaptation/natural selection/speciation/whatever" or start off-topic strawman attacks against evolution being merely a "theory" (evolution is like gravity: the phenomena is a fact, our explanation for them are the theories, which have a different definition in scientific contexts in any case).

Global Warming is pretty much the same thing these days. Hard to take a skeptic seriously when the 'conditions' he offers to accept it are either wholly unrealistic (accurate weather data from everywhere around the globe for the past 500 years, knowing full well Columbus didn't bring a weather station with him to the New World) or simply subjective. Besides, whether Global Warming happens or not is completely irrelevant by this point, with regards to decisions outside the scientific context: there's more than enough data already, completely unrelated to GW, proving that pollution is harmful for the enviroment, for us, and for our way of life and so it *must* be stopped. If it also stabilizes the globe's climate as well and give us all our own personal pony, it's simply a bonus.

 

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December 19, 2009 12:19:39 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

So then, what is your answer to the radioactive waste that is produced by nuclear fission - how do we dispose of it?

I don't understand why it should be so big of a problem.  For one thing, the stuff we are digging up to stick in reactors (Uranium) is radioactive.  Is the stuff that comes out - the waste - any more radioactive?  Why can't we just stick the waste where we found the original stuff to begin with, or dig some big hole somewhere?  I don't see why its such an impossible problem to solve.  The stuff is already here on the earth with us anyway.  The core of the earth is radioactive, that's where all the heat comes from, that's why you have lava spurting out of volcanos.

Let's just go with the assumption that it will be difficult to dispose of the stuff.  Still, which would you rather have?  Burning of fossil fuels, or nuclear power?  The problem with some people is that they will accept NO solution.  I guess they want us living in caves or something.

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December 19, 2009 12:25:43 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Agent kharma:  I'm so neutral blablabla. What's your stance on health care, abortion, guns and foreign policy?

Oh, you seriously misunderstood or misread what I said and what I'm about.  I not neutral on anything.  I just said I don't automatically buy into the claims of the big establishment political parties on both sides, the corporations, etc.

Abortion?  100% against.  It is murder.

Guns?  100% for.  I have many.

Foreign policy?  That's quite a general question.  To give you a general answer, I largely disagree with all of our foreign policy, going back quite a ways, certainly back to vietnam, korea, ww2, ww1, etc.  What about you?

Just look at creationists for instance, despite the wealth of experimental data proving that there *is* such thing as evolution with flies and other short-lived species, they'll either deny it with a vague handwaving of "humans are different", "that's not evolution, that's adaptation/natural selection/speciation/whatever" or start off-topic strawman attacks against evolution being merely a "theory" (evolution is like gravity: the phenomena is a fact, our explanation for them are the theories, which have a different definition in scientific contexts in any case).

You're like everybody else.  You don't know a damn thing about what you are talking about.  There is no wealth of experimental data proving jack shit about evolution.  It doesn't exist.  All that exists are people like you saying that it exists, out of fiat.  And NO, I am not religious, nor am I a "creationist."

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December 19, 2009 12:25:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

With a huge and constantly growing population

Ah, the real problem pops up again. We need a much smaller, stable population. Being a pacifist who also hates seeing people die in disasters and plagues, I'm left with one Fundamental Policy Position: Sired or birthed a child? Have yourself neutered, and stay that way. Want more than one kid in the family? Adopt 'em.

Overbreeding is animalistic primitivism, vanity, or both. It will take a long while, but if you breeders would just be moderate, we'll get there eventually.

... Out of curiosity, why do you reflexively use single quotation marks (but with the punctuation inside) but Americanized spellings?

I try to use single quotes as shudder-quotes (the written version of that air-quote gesture denoting scepticsm, ambiguity, or deliberate irony in the use of a term). Double quotes I try to limit to real quotes and to mark out specific words or phrases for discussion. Punctuation outside of either type of quote mark just seems wrong, so I don't do it unless I'm obliged to follow a style manual that says otherwise. Re spellings, I'm Floridian but I've read lots of UK English and I like to spread the occasional rumour if its colourful enough. (I also pronounce schedule in that Britty way if I'm drinking in the right company.)

Edit: Rassa-frassa-wonky-quoting...

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December 19, 2009 12:33:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

ITT: Everyone is wrong.

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