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Re: Global Warming?

At 04:05 PM 2/15/01 -0500, Eugene Mosca wrote:

Does anyone know the basis for his claim that "Seventeen thousand scientists
have signed a statement saying that global warming is not happening?"

The claim is, of course, false.

The "basis" for this false claim can presumably be found at
which is a "petition project" that purports to have collected 17,000 names.
1) These are just names, not signatures.
2) There is no reason to believe that they represent the names
of scientists.
3) Presumably some fraction of the naems represent scientists, but
there is no reason to believe thay are experts in the field.
4) The petition does not say that "global warming is not happening".
It takes an incomparably more modest position, namely "no
convincing scientific evidence ... _catastrophic_ heating ...."
Read it yourself.
5) A non-expert might take a rather egocentric view of what
constitutes "catastrophic" heating. A rise in sea-level is
more noticeable in Bangladesh than it is in Peoria.

HOWEVER --- bear in mind that the person making this claim is being
completely illogical, and answering him with a logical argument will
accomplish nothing.

We are trained to look at facts. The letter-writer asked about "beliefs".

We are trained that one good argument outweights a million weak arguments.
The letter writer counted "names" on a petition.

We are trained to consider all options impartially. The petition project
collected "names" for one point of view, without any attempt to account for
competing points of view.

We are trained to focus on the facts. The letter writer made a sly
ad-hominem argument ("scientists ... on the government dole") impugning the
motives of those he saw as supporting an opposing view.

We are trained to report the facts objectively. The letter writer grossly
distorted the facts.

I don't claim to know the facts on global warming -- but I know I'm not
going to learn them from this letter writer in Reading.