Friday, February 12, 2010

Howard Dean - 'Republicans Do Not Believe in Science'

The correct observation would be to say that Republicans do not blindly believe scientists enough to fundamentally change our whole system while they intentionally hide data.

Video embedded below.


  1. right, they just blindly believe politicians, policy institutes and radio entertainers in the pocket of the energy industry.

    You know that asking someone to definitively "prove" global warming is related to human activity is like asking someone to definitively prove santa clause doesn't exist. You can't, all you can do is present evidence that it may or may not be true.

    Your posts on science are far and away the most interesting on your site, you obviously know alot more about physics then most people. So Why do you let your political agenda convince you that any kind of effort to do something about the effects of this on our enviroment or economy is a "fundemental change to the system"? what does that even mean? Is there a conspiracy by scientists (who happen to be the people who know what they're talking about, not james inhofe) to push the U.S. government left?

    Also as if "the system" is working out so great for us to begin with...

  2. I understand why politicians and lobbyists who get paid by energy interests to push denialist crap do what they do. I understand why media blowhards who have staked their credibility in right-wingism do what they do.

    Like how tobacco interests used to fund "science" trying to show that there is no conclusive link between smoking and cancer, I understand that its hard to convince someone of something if they are being paid not to be convinced of it.

    But why you yourself personally feel the need to push this kind of garbage too is really beyond me.

  3. @Ian Spencer Dubrowsky - the modern world is predicated on fossil fuels. It may not be that way in a few years/decades, but our system would collapse if you removed them now. Global Warming / Climate Change / Climate Instability (or whatever it is being referred to now) says that the burning of these fuels is negatively impacting the environment in a serious global manner. If we do not cut back significantly right now it will be to late.

    Dramatic cutbacks that are being purposed will had a major impact on the world economy and people's standard of living. Before committing to them we should know that our predictions of doom and gloom are correct. That is the rub. The predictions they have made about the doom and gloom have not come true. In fact a few decades ago the fear was Global Cooling. Trying to get past the failed predictions you run into the problem, and frankly disturbing practice, of Global Warming proponents hiding, fudging, and deleting data.

    Your set up is backwards; it would be like convincing someone that Santa does exist. If you believe that humans are impacting the environment you are responsible to show evidence/proof of that. Your logic would let me say that you specifically are the cause of of war, and you have to prove me wrong. That is not how it works; if I say you are the cause of a war I need to back up my thesis with sound reasons.

    You may be convinced enough to condemn a billion plus people in Africa/Asia to abstract poverty and lower standards of living for people across the world, but I am not.

    I would encourage you to check some of the past posts on this topic and refute the counters individually (can email you some links if you would like).

    Also, there are people on both sides of the issue making money and have money at risk should their side lose; so do not pretend that the people pushing Global Warming are all doing it out of altruism while all the opponents are money grubbers. I think it is safe to say that there are both types on both sides.

  4. Can you show me the scientist, organization of them? or even prominent politicans saying the world should, or could practically just flat out "stop useing fossil fuels,", or a even a practical "proposal" to do such a thing? uh no you cant. Isn't your own house retro-fitted to be "green"? has it diminishd your standard of living? the weak ass "cap and trade" idea is hardly a "dramatic" cutback

    Of course the "system" would collapse, no serious person is advocating a sudden stopping of the use of fossil fuels. I've definetly read people say that it would desireable for people to stop doing so, but based on that strawman of an argument i can see how youd draw the equally ludicrous conclusion that the mysterious and somehow always prevelant "otherside" to conservative conventional wisdom in your belief system is condeming a billion people to die.

    Of course what is ironic about a statement like that coming from you to me, is that the effects of man-caused changes in the enviroment aren't likely to be felt so much by you or me. But more likely by poor disadvantaged people. Such as those in the pacific islands whose entire nations are under an observable threat from rising sea levels. Or by people where we live in new york affected by the fact that west nile virus can now be carried by mosquitos capable of living in new york which werent able to just 20 years ago.

    You have bitten the conservative canard that "global warming" nessesarily means a rise in global tempertures. (the last ten years were the hottest on record btw). But like climate change or climate instabilty, these terms mostly refers to the many hard to predict affects of melting polar ice caps (yes, we can actually see them melting) has on the world climate and economy. the most compelling work on this i have seen says that major economic costs will likely be sunk due to things related to this phenomenon. But thats where there is something to be said for scientists feeling the need to defend years of work they put their lives into, maybe at times in a sloppy way, because essentially you can draw a direct line from a convinced activist like your self- the heritage foundation- oil interests- the republican party.

    In a similair vain it was hardliners in the Chinese Communist Party who vetoed china commiting to an agreement at copenhagan. What they say publicaly is alot like what you say to me now, but the reality is China is investing alot in newer energies, the elite is certaintly convinced of the threat. But Hardliners within the party nixed the idea because of things like "This is part of a pattern by the west of controlling the economy of china" and similair right-wing rhetoric.

    No, your wrong about comparing "santa" with "who started a war". this is analytic philosophy 101 or statistics 101. "Santa" or "god" are concepts that cannot be definitvly proven or disproven, you at the end of the day make your mind about what concepts you want to believe or not. "Who started a war" is a historical question reliable upon presentation of facts and evidence. All the evidence in the world can exist that you "started a war", but that doesn't nessesarily dictate its acceptance as a fact by people. Just like a huge body of observable evidence exists suggesting that there is some kind of link between the chemicals we send into the air, and it impacting our enviroment. It doesn't stop right-wingers in china and the united states from letting their political agenda get in the way. You can only prove a cause and effect relationship with a hypothesis, such as "when we burn fossil fuel, it effects the enviroment". If you are going to demand that scientists somehow conduct that expieirment, then you win the argument because its impossible to do. Too bad everyone loses.

  5. @Ian Spencer Dubrowsky - Cap and Tax (I mean Cap and Trade) will significantly increase energy prices. As does not letting us use our own resources. Who do you think will be impacted the most by increasing energy costs?

    My analogy was just meant to say that if you believe something that is contrary to what is/was currently accepted it is on you to prove your thesis not on others to disprove you. That is part of the problem with with the shifting titles; Human caused global cooling, to human caused global warming, to human caused climate change, to now human caused climate instability. When you set it up in a way in which no matter what happens you win that is not science. It is the scientific equivalent of saying heads I win, tails you lose (and just for good measure I win if it lands on its side).

    As for the 'hottest on record' comment; assuming that it is, do you know exactly how long that record stretches back? Now how about how far back it stretches accurately. I am referring to measured temperatures, not proxies which was the subject of the 'hide the decline' controversy. Now compare that to the age of the world. How can you possibly know this is not at least in some part a natural cycle.

  6. Cap and trade is a system where the government reimburses industries for not useing fossil fuels, its like weening. Even if they do shift costs onto consumers, powerful industries are then liable to be held responsible. Even take that your premise is correct (which its not), its a far cry from what you were characterizing as a dramatic change in the economy. "not letting us use our own resources"? who are you talking about? a few nominally "liberal" politicians? Obama like other right-wingers, favors drilling, nuclear energy etc.

    If thats your analogy then it is equally ridiculous and logically fallacious. "contrary to what is currently accepted"? It was "currently accepted" 40 years ago that black people were of an inferior race (by william buckely for instance), you think people changed their minds about that because it was incumbent on black people to prove to racists "their thesis" that skin color is as artificial a genetic trait as hair color? of course not. No one owes you or James Inhofe anything at this point. Truth is truth, you can either accept it ( or for the sake of your own political agenda) or not accept it.

    Your last paragraph is like the games "scientists" used to play who were paid to question the link between smoking and cancer. its acutally quite impressive how much you can really throw questions at something quite simple until it becomes obscure. I took enviromental science, if you were intellectualy honest about those questions you can easily find answers yourself, and better answers then what you'll probably end up accepting.

    even just take your premise at face value, its you with the thesis that is "not currently accepted", what is widely accepted in the world is not your point of view. so it would be imcumbent on you to conclusively prove that our pollution in no way affects the enviroment. again no one owes the american conservative movement anything here.

  7. @Ian Spencer Dubrowsky - "weening" you say. What you mean is another tax on energy; a tax that they have admitted would necessarily raise the price of energy. If energy prices rise the standard of living will decrease.

    Obama is not a right winger, not matter how many times you say it.

    If you think it is on people to disprove the new theory then I say the temperature fluctuation are caused by aliens living in caves on the dark side of the moon. Now I think if I was to make such a claim I would need to show some pictures or intercepted messages, or how they were doing it... but no; 'truth is truth' you have to prove me wrong. Of course, saying 'truth is truth' does not actually make my side correct; nor does it make yours.

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  9. actually thats not true. The research on this suggests that demand for certain types of energy such as oil, unlike cigarrettes, are elastic. That is that when oil prices are high, people are incentivised to use alternative forms of energy or public transporatation instead of being willing to pay whatever for oil. I think what your dad did with your guyses house is a good example of this (its good business on his part) .The united states has the lowest gas prices in the industrialized world yet, compared to western europe (where gas prices are high) the average standard of living for the american citizen is lower. you learn this in econ 101, unfortunatly its a common misconception thats used by the oil industry very often to threaten the public that any effort to decentivise oil use is a threat somhow, theres just no compelling reasons to believe that. This is kind of a non-sequiter anyway as cap and trade is just the government buying up industries carbon emissions so its a tad obscure how these kind of dots get connected in the public mind....

    I know it must pain you, but within the very narrow american ideoloigcal spectrum (which compared to the rest of the world is very right-wing) Obama is still a pretty right-wing guy. Yeah he takes labor union money, but he hasn't given them any of their priorites: EFCA, or health reform. Its not surprising you can pretty much predict a politicians agenda by looking at what proportion certain industries give to their campaigns, If bankers are unhappy with their purchase then thats a different story. besides what kind of argument is that? I don't think there is much that is actually conservative about the so-called "conservative" movement but that doesn't stop you guys from referring to yourselves as such.

    I read your last paragraph a couple of times. I couldn't really understand what your substantive point was. So i asked some people smarter then us and the consensus was that its gibberish and you may want to revise it so it makes sense within the context of this discussion. If you have a theoery about aileans or whatever yes you would have to show evidence, kind of like the impressive body of evidence that exists suggesting a link between carbon emissions and melting polar ice caps. Yes, truth is indeed truth, two human beings can look at a chair and recognize it as the same thing. This gives us the ability to amass scientific data and form conclusions from this data. if theres compelling reasons not to belive this hypothesis besides that scientists may have some kind of political agenda, then good for you i'm sure that would feel validating.

  10. @Ian Spencer Dubrowsky - are you really saying that increasing or decreasing the supply of oil will not have an effect on the price? I really hope not, but that seems to be what you are getting at.

    My point was that it is the people making the claim that have to prove it. When scientists claimed humans were causing the world to cool it was not on others to prove them wrong. They had to prove their thesis. Now the the same scientists are claiming that humans are causing the world to warm, it is on them to prove that. Hiding data, deleting data, losing data, fudging data, and constantly changing their benchmarks after they turn out to be wrong does not qualify as proof.

  11. No, im not saying that all and the only way i think you can conceivably draw that conclusion is if you don't know what you're talking about. In fact that seems to be alot closer to what you are saying when you posit the idea that if the price of oil goes up (i.e. supply goes down) then demand would stay the same (it wouldn't), again this is a basic economic principle, that credible economists are in broad consensus about and that I first read in Greg Mankiw's (an economic advisor to george bush) textbook in ap macro my junior year of high school. I had to learn it again when i took econ 101 freshman year at penn, and in fact i saw it in reality when Oil prices skyrocted in 2008, and though and behold the use of oil went down! If i'm the ceo of an oil company, and my institutional interests dictate that in order to stay in business i have to keep oil prices at a certain point so that people keep useing my stuff- then from there is where they enter the political realm. Its the same economic principle that a drug dealer uses to keep clients, keep the drugs cheap enough, addictive enough and they'll keep coming back.

    as to your non-"point", its so full of strawmen and distractions like the "climategate" controversy that I don't even know what world your living in sometimes. I could basically respond the same way i have in post number 5 on this thread, but instead of re-trying to teach you analytic principles, (because it seems im failing at that), I will tell you an interesting story recently from Texas. Where Texas’s own state climatologist can find no scientific basis in his state’s effort to roll back the Environmental Protection Agency’s finding that greenhouse gases endanger the public. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed paperwork to challenge the EPA endangerment finding yesterday, with the approval of Gov/boob Rick Perry Dismissing threats like sea level rise, droughts, and floods that global warming poses to Texas, the petition calls for the finding to be reconsidered, based on the argument that the EPA relies primarily on the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an institution guilty of “serious misconduct“. Of course their opposition, and yours is not based in any kind of rational understanding of the issue but by political agendas and intestingly enough their own experts know it. Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon utterly dismissed the attacks on climate science in Attorney General Abbott’s petition. After explaining that natural concentrations of greenhouse gases are essential to life on this planet, Dr. Nielsen-Gammon says:

    "However, it is also apparent that if atmospheric concentrations of the six greenhouse gases continue to rise due to human influence, the Earth would eventually reach a point where there would be massive disruptions of ecosystems, changes in sea level, decreases in air quality, and so forth that would, in particular, substantially harm the public welfare of those generations forced to experience them. So anthropogenic increases of greenhouse gas concentrations clearly present a danger to the public welfare, and I agree with the EPA’s findings in that sense...Do I think that the EPA based its assessment on sound science? I think, by basing its assessments on the IPCC, USGCRP, and NAS reports, it was basing its assessments on the best available science. I have the expertise to independently evaluate the quality of these reports, and on the whole they constitute in my opinion the most comprehensive, balanced assessments of climate change science presently available."

  12. @Ian Spencer Dubrowsky - I said that as supply goes down price would increase. The fact that demand may fall as well after does not negate the point.

    As for my other point, you pretty much just ignored it.

  13. That was never the point for anyone to negate, read the thread again. That's not what the contention was.

    I ignored your other point because its a non-point and they are getting exausting frankly. To say there should be a serious re-evaluation because of the manufactered "climategate" controversy , is like saying that we should revaluate whether the earth is round because Inhofe doesn't believe it. In a world where enviromental degredation is visible, and then because some scientists were sending e-mails which they say were meant to challenge each other, is just a distraction and a waste of time. There are serious issues in the world.

    if you want to actually read my post don't take my word for it, take Texas's climateologist (no marxist).


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