The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Perspectives and studies

I came across a couple of interesting articles today (Monday) about belief in global warming (aka "global climate change").

The first was at Foxnews... and was headlined

Global warming skeptics as knowledgeable about science as climate change believers

The other was at USA Today and was headlined

Culture splits climate views, not science

Both articles are reports on the same study, of course. They show how editing decisions affect the slant of an article in a way few others have.

They do not contradict each other, they simply emphasize different aspects of the study.

But the show one more thing in both cases, belief in anthropomorphic (man made) global warming is more about cultural desires and attitudes than about science.

Or maybe just peer pressure....

"...what an ordinary member of the public believes -- or does, as consumer or voter -- has no practical impact on climate change, and hence no impact on the risk he or she faces. So any mistake that individual makes on the science is really immaterial to his or her personal well-being. What matters a lot more is having a belief that fits in with her group -- it can really ruin your life to hold a position that is at odds with your peers on a controversial issue. So it makes sense that people will pay more attention to "getting it right" relative to their group. It doesn't take a lot of sophisticated thought to be pretty good at that. But if you are capable of technical reasoning -- and you know a lot about science (we measured that too) -- you can do an even better job finding support for his or her group's position and rationalizing away evidence that challenges that position. If that is how things work, then people who are good at quantitative reasoning will be even more polarized."

Here is one more article... a letter headlined as
No Need to Panic About Global Warming

Myself, I do not worry (much less panic) about global warming. After all, it may be a good thing in the long term. We have no way of knowing what is the ideal temperature range for the earth and for human beings. It could be as beneficial as it is disastrous or more beneficial or more disastrous. In any event, it seems inevitable. I think we should spend more time and money figuring out how to adapt to climate change than on trying to stop it or reverse it.


Sightings said...

You make a very important point abt. social pressure. Another example: over the wknd. the Times had an article about a guy in North Carolina and the difficulties he experienced when he came out in favor of gay marriage, b/c of course most of his family and friends are against. The opposite would be true if you live in NY -- you'd get a lot of criticism, and no doubt lose some friends, if you came out against gay marriage.

As for climate change, I'm sure the same group pressure applies. Myself, I believe the preponderance of evidence indicates man does contribute significantly to greenhouse gases and global warming. I admit I'm neither an expert nor a technician. I just go by the old rule -- don't foul your own nest.

Douglas4517 said...

 I like to think I am pragmatic. We need to address the symptoms, deal with the results, prepare for a warmer future and not worry about what caused it so much. I do agree with you about "don't foul your own nest" do you not clean it out because you haven't decided who messed it up?