Saturday, January 20, 2007

Global Waming

I have written little about this subject on this blog because I think that it really requires a great deal of time to do it justice. It is such a multi-faceted issue, with regard to the challenges to science as well as the public debate.

During the past week, Heidi Cullen of The Weather Channel, reflecting a position held by many on the political left including Al Gore, attempted to discredit anyone who disagrees that there is such a thing as human-induced global warming. She went so far as to assert that any meteorologist who does not believe in human-induced global warming should be stripped of their license.

This has caused quite a firestorm of backlash among the public and from within the meteorological community. My favorite weather blog, was swamped with visitors and comments when James Spann spoke out against this radical point of view.

Here are some of the major questions to consider:

Can the scientific method be used to answer any of the following questions?

Does global warming exist?

If so, to what degree?

Can global tempreatures be measured reliably, over time?

How can the potential results of global climate change be predicted reliably?

If we conclude global warming is occuring, is it induced by human activity?

How can that be verified?

If it is caused by human activity, to what degree?

If global warming is occurring, and it is caused primarily by human activity, and the results of global warming can be predicted reliably, is it possible to effectively change human behavior?

What are the costs versus benefits of such changes?

To what degree does money and political ideology influence the scientific research and conclusions?

Should some scientists be silenced by stripping their license if they present dissenting views?

I will attempt to answer some of these questions in upcoming days. Comments are welcome!

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