Friday, January 30, 2015

What's Up With This "GLOBAL WARMING" Thing?

Despite the scientific nature of the beast, global warming is a seemingly silly contest of opinions and can be filed away with conversations about politics and religion. Go figure. Be it as it may, in recent times I was in a quick conversation with a peer of mine about the issue. He is a fervent believer that global warming is a myth. (As you will see later, despite statistical evidence.)

This is my quickie experience in trying to understand his side of the situation. He kept quoting a website that seems looked upon as a debunking site with some credibility among those who disbelieve.

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The other day I followed a friend's link to a site he believes in. He supports or references the site often because he doesn't believe that global warming exists.  Now I know we all have our own perspectives on this issue, each one, personal in nature or motivated by whatever premise or resource has inspired your perspectives the most.

So I decided to follow a link or two to this website of my buddy's to find out what they have to say.  The site's all the rage among the nay-sayers of global warming.

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I landed on the site and it sure looked intelligent and appeared to be well put together throughout and presented pretty intelligent looking articles.  I get why folks like it.  I also noticed how they reference their information via a multitude of links quoting NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and NCDC (National Climatic Data Center) site pages and charts as often as possible.  The site is very focused as they support their own perspectives by picking out small data sets to prove a point.

A lot of their links go off to specific charts and such that are placed in the middle of various reports.  Funny thing was that that in one of their debunking pieces, of the 13 links they provided to supply supportive evidence to their point, six of the links actually had statements buried in the text that state that global warming exists.  But in each instance, only singular charts or paragraphs are called out in the references, ignoring the rest.

Because you know, they are making their point as they only linked to things they found supporting the argument in that particular moment. It's like referencing police car issues, ignoring that they're Fords. (Or what ever brand is used in your city.)

But this isn't a big shock that fervent believers tend to grasp onto the obvious and miss other details. It happens and it happens quite often, even in the corporate world where statistics are quoted that support the flow of whatever talk is being given.

A great example would be when the lowest paid employee in a work group is told they get the largest percentage pay raise. (If you don't get it, ask in the comments, I'll explain it.)

Then there are the scientists I work with who are unfettered by outside influence and quite in touch with the data and they say that all numbers they see support that the planet is getting warmer, but on a sad note, they also say that it's too late to do anything about it except deal with it as best we can.