Archive for the ‘belief’ Category

Neither ‘belief’ nor ‘debate’

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Thanks to Brian Thomas, whose <a href="">Carbon Based blog</a> keeps me informed on many fronts about the many stories in a complex global field, for pointing out this <a href="—why-dont-we-treat-is-like-other-/">post</a> in the L<a href="">awrence Journal, which addresses the use of the word belief, in relationship to climate change, or the more commonly term- global warming.

In it, Vicky Lytle shares "I am frustrated that when people learn what I do, they often ask– ‘do you believe in climate change?’ Climate change is not a religion. It is a science. There are a lot of things we know about climate change, and there is a lot we still do not know. But, just because we have not solved everything does not mean the rest of it should be ignored."

In the over 40 interviews I did with scientists in researching the issue, not one ever used the word ‘belief’. They talk about the data first. Then they reference ways to test ideas that might help us understand the actual mechanics of climate. And then they reference the theory that is based upon the physics and chemistry that we know.

There was no theory of gravity until Newton came along, yet no one had any doubt about gravity. Once there was a theory, it helped us to engage the physical world with better understanding, and permitted us to exercise some power in relationship to gravity. Yet Newton’s theory was insufficiently sophisticated to say send a rocket to the moon. His theory, and the math related, would have caused you to miss the moon. Yet his theory was incredibly useful, and helped others understand, and then expand that understanding so that the theories of physics and thus gravity got better. Good enough to send large hunks of complicated machinery to other planets much further away.

So in the area of climate, there is the same process today. The question I get asked when people learn about my work in the subject, is ‘what side of the debate are you on?’ Well to have a debate today is just to argue about the veracity of the only theory we have. Given that this one dominant paradigm has the vast majority of data that is coming in verifying it, the debate isn’t. And in fact to really have a debate, we would need another theory to put up against this one. Since we don’t have a competing theory, we don’t have a debate either.

What we have is one good tool to use to predict a large number of complex conditions that loom large for our food and water supply, to say nothing of our planning for energy, transportation, housing etc. The fact that there are some inconsistencies in the data in a very complex system that we live in, and need to understand, does not suggest that we should ignore the theory much less the data.

The science describes a wide range of possibilities, and in keeping with scientific standards, offers a bell curve of probabilities about those. Unfortunately today, the public discourse is still dominated by two extreme points of view that represent the two narrow aspects of that bell curve, and thus the least likely outcomes. In telling the NOAA climate story, we focused on the middle, and what is suggested by those most likely outcomes, as well as the most positive and beneficial actions that can be taken based upon those outcomes. We hope, as the nation politically moves toward a unity, that there will also be a corresponding shift in the discourse that looks to the middle of the bell curve of prediction of climate, and builds policy upon the most probable, most beneficial actions first. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;p class=&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;wppp&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;div style=&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;display:none&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href=&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;vnewoomauz&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;br /&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/div&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;p class=&amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;wppp&amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;div style=&amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;display:none&amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href=&amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;;amp;amp;amp;quot;&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;ublaukneibrai&amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;br /&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/div&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;p class=&amp;amp;amp;quot;wppp&amp;amp;amp;quot;&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;div style=&amp;amp;amp;quot;display:none&amp;amp;amp;quot;&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;a href=&amp;amp;amp;quot;;amp;amp;quot;&amp;amp;amp;gt;itaiphoudoit&amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;br /&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;/div&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;lt;p class=&amp;amp;quot;wppp&amp;amp;quot;&amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;lt;div style=&amp;amp;quot;display:none&amp;amp;quot;&amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;lt;a href=&amp;amp;quot;;amp;quot;&amp;amp;gt;download&amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;lt;br /&amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;lt;/div&amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;gt;&amp;lt;p class=&amp;quot;wppp&amp;quot;&amp;gt;&amp;lt;div style=&amp;quot;display:none&amp;quot;&amp;gt;&amp;lt;a href=&amp;quot;;quot;&amp;gt;vloogichob&amp;lt;/a&amp;gt;&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;&amp;lt;a href=&amp;quot;;quot;&amp;gt;enovusloz&amp;lt;/a&amp;gt;&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;&amp;lt;a href=&amp;quot;;quot;&amp;gt;gnaurairyf&amp;lt;/a&amp;gt;&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;&amp;lt;/div&amp;gt;&amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;&lt;p class=&quot;wppp&quot;&gt;&lt;div style=&quot;display:none&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Dating Service Personal&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Woman Naked Dating&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Woman Dating Online&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Jhoos Dating Network&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Princess Bride Script&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Beyonce Single Lady Album&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Big Beautiful Woman Dating Site&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Karen Miller Mother Of The Bride Dress&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;College Money Mother Single&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Single Christian Woman&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;/p&gt;<p class="wppp"><font style="height:1px;position:absolute;overflow:hidden;width:1px;"><a href="">Meet The Twin 11</a><br /><a href="">Corpse Bride Costume</a><br /><a href="">Free Sims And Dating Game</a><br /><a href="">Pink Mother Bride Dress</a><br /><a href="">Web Site For Dating</a><br /><a href="">Single Mexican Woman</a><br /><a href="">Online Dating Service Review</a><br /><a href="">Mistreated Bride Download</a><br /><a href="">Dating Free Internet Site Web</a><br /><a href="">Big Black Woman Dating Site</a><br /></font></p>

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