Blast From The Past: A Conversation About Global Warming

Disclaimer: Internet arguments are not fun for anyone to read. But, because I’m narcissistic enough to have my own blog, I’m going to post sections that I think are interesting and probably edit them so I appear more clever. This is easily the most self-indulgent, masturbatory post on this blog. 

In 2007, Josh from my high school posted this as a facebook note:

If you want to believe in global warming then go for it. Just let those of us who choose not to believe it live our lives. You can’t force us to believe it nor can you say that we are stupid for not believing it because scientists haven’t even truly figured it out.

I wish I had gotten into the argument at that time, even though I am very much not an environmentalist (seriously, I use a ridiculous amount of plastic water bottles each week). I didn’t get involved until Josh posted this comment in late 2010:

For one, scientists have asked these people who have studied and found that global warming is the most accurate description to weather trends what experiments they did to find this out so they could see if they could reproduce it and these people would not give them any info. Furthermore there was a leak that scientists hand selected 3 specific trees and used their rings as support for the theory of global warming. This is not the scientific process, you do not make the facts fit the theory, you make the theory fit the facts. Besides that, they make incorrect alterations in their scientific model. They change the effect, i.e. global climate change, but with the new effect they have no new cause. They still say that CO2 is the cause, but from a chemistry stand point that does not make any sense. Furthermore I am still right, the fact that the theory of Global Warming is constantly changing shows that we do not know enough about it. Tell me, how often has the theory of gravity been altered? 

And you’re right, people observe a phenomenon and make a hypothesis. Other scientists have observed that CO2 actually increases as a result of warmer temperature. As far as best explanation, Global warming is not one of them. One that works a lot better and actually fits the observed phenomenon is that the sun has cycles it goes through that changes how much heat it is radiating. This is consistent with observed trends. 50 years ago, scientists were saying that there would be a global freeze, and scientists now are saying global warming. That is a complete 180 of the original prediction, but attributing this change to cycles in the suns radiant heat fits this observation. You can say you don’t let misinformed people go unchallenged, but you yourself are misinformed.

Theres just so much in there, that I had to jump in:

There are a few problems with your response, Josh. But grammar and punctuation aside, lets just discuss CO2 and its role in our atmosphere. Any basic environmental textbook can explain how CO2, along with greenhouse gasses, is a big reason our planet isn’t perpetually frozen. We can back that up by observations of other planets, like Venus and Mars, and with experiments that show how these gases keep energy in our atmosphere. It is very clear to scientists that there is a strong correlation between the presence of greenhouse gases and the temperature of a planet. In the past years, our CO2 emission has significantly increased, and scientists have linked that with the climate change we’re going through.

But lets not try to argue that now, the better argument is your problems with science. If the scientific community bands together and explains a theory, its a goddam justified theory. To snuff PhD’s and top scientists on science topics using talking points given to you by some clearly biased pundit isn’t right. If you want to argue this global climate change, take an environmental class and educate yourself. Between you and a guy who has dedicated his whole life to learning about climate, I’m going to have to trust his expertise more.

And one more thing, please don’t assume that just because one scientist was’t honest with his results, the whole community is dishonest. Its easy to say how these scientists are corrupt and full of crap, but they are the reason you don’t have any friends who have died of polio.

That was pretty awesome, right? Josh comes back into the ring, arms a-swingin’!

Mike, you completely missed my argument. First off, other PhD scientists have notice the opposite, that CO2 levels go up when the globe gets warmer. So what, because you choose to listen to the one side, they’re clearly not bias and the one I see makes more sense clearly is biased? I like how you sluff off the things I have brought forth as the majority says this, but when I show that one of these groups that are “Credible” are a joke, oh it’s only a small group or just one scientist. Yeah, you’re the open minded ones….. Secondly, I know how they try to explain greenhouse gas effects, my question was how did it go to having a warming effect, to cause extreme warms or extreme colds? Thirdly, I can say just as easily that your sources are biased as well. In fact I’ll take Cameron’s excuse of an argument for him to remain ignorant. Give me a link posting the findings on Global warming, that also gives the procedure for the tests they ran or the process they used to gather data, how they are able to determine that CO2 is the exact cause, and what they used to come to that conclusion, or else it didn’t happen. And mike, bringing polio into this just shows me you are so biased for global warming that you don’t even hear my argument. With something like finding a cure to polio, you can actually watch actual effects of the substance you inject into it. It’s called control experiment. You take a sample of polio, split it in two, then in 1 you inject the hypothesized cure, and the other you don’t, then you watch what happens. You can’t do that with global warming. What, did these people inject one city’s atmosphere with more CO2 and then had another city close by they left alone, and then observed the effects of CO2 on temperature? Furthermore, if CO2 increases in levels, that means that H2O must be increasing in levels as well because to produce CO2, you have to produce H2O as well. H2O has a much higher heat capacity than CO2, that’s why it takes liquid farm at room temperature and CO2 doesn’t, so if anything it should be H2O that’s more of a concern.

My problem isn’t with science Mike, to say so is ignorance on your part. And yes they can agree on it Mike, just like scientists agreed there would be a global freeze by now, we see how right they were…. My problem is with people like you who don’t understand science, and assume that when someone who is a scientist says something, it must be true. Mike, your “PhD unbiased” scientists have been agreeing upon global warming, that may be true. Well guess what, they have to keep changing what it is that they agree upon because all their theories have been proven wrong thus far by nature itself. That’s why it shifted from global warming, to global climate change. In all honesty, don’t even bother responding to this. If you do i’ll just delete the whole thread because I’m tired of people like you guys who think by ignoring the other argument and sluffing anything they say as just some “clearly biased source” or “didn’t happen unless there’s a link”, that somehow your argument becomes more valid. If you wanna take an arrogant viewpoint that man can destroy the environment that God has made to support him living, then have that argument, but to come on here and call me ignorant or misinformed and then spew nonsense all over is just obnoxious. I don’t go on your profile and attack everything you say, even though I would have better arguments than just calling you ignorant or misinformed 

Me again:

Hey Josh, I didn’t mean to sluff your arguments. I just came here for an honest conversation about how I’m worried about the environment. You can call me arrogant for believing its possible for the Earth’s temperature to be rising. Thats fine! My post was plenty arrogant because I feel sure of my views and I’d just love to talk about ’em. Let’s just keep the conversation open and the wine coolers cool!

Now, this is where the conversation goes off the rails because Josh’s brother Nate comes in. I’ll let it speak for itself (but its totally hilarious)[he often posted multiple times in a row or more; so I’m going to combine them into one post]:

hahahaha worried about the environment? move to china and tell them how bad they are for destroying our God given resources, or better yet, you could move to some third world country where they’re too poor to afford cars and other luxuries that you think are destroying the environment

this clowns got the biggest moron in the white house pushing us to the next great depression, and he’s worried about the environment? the environment? are you kidding me? i’m not against getting cleaner, i’m against government forcing cleaner down our throats while they legislate garbage to make everyone poorer. not only that, but while that rat kennedy was still alive, he supported windmill construction until he realized it would mess his view

have you seen china, compared to china we’re the garden of edan

here’s an idea, how about all those worried about carbon emission, STOP BREATHING. how does this help you ask? if all the idiots that believe in global warming stopped breathing, we could cut down on a lot of needless carbons and hot air coming from them. also, we would effectively be partially ridding this world of stupid people

Ok, me again, I realized I couldn’t really argue with this kid, so I just started having fun!

Calm down buddy. Please stop putting words in my mouth (which is kinda like jamming something down my throat, but oh well). All I’m saying is that global warming is happening. Just because we are in the middle of a recession that our muslim, socialist president singlehandedly caused, does not mean we can’t worry about the environment too. The first step is admitting we have a problem. Once we move past that, we can solve all kinds of problems!
All together now!
“I believe that children are our future.
Teach them well and let them lead the way.
Show them all the beauty they possess inside.
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier.
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be!”

Nate:
oh the beauty of relativity, what’s true to you aka the hoax called global warming, isn’t true to me. and i never put words in you’re mouth, or shoved them down you’re throat, but obama shoved his legislation up our collective butt holes, and all you’re worried about is global warming hahahahaha hahahahahaha hahahaha hahaha and besides you’re the one that was trying to suggest that josh was wrong, so you were forcing you’re belief down josh’s throat hahahahaha moron logic hahahahahahaha
I love it! Val’s boyfriend decided to contribute:
it’s a good thing that rat kenedy was shot. he started that peece core thig. I mean, really, why would we sends Americans over seas for a thing like that. wasteful wasteful wasteful. pls, what is america doing voting in a catholic? I’m just gld that the American butthole has been saved by the latest ellection i just holpe now that the tea party can go ahead and repeal the sevententh amendmnt. it’s time that the states have more rights to protect against the atheis nationl government and their “pro-environmental’ policies. Honestly, wat can old uncle sam do that god cant. anyway, the science stuff is total crap. i saw this stat once that showed how all those scientists are just funded by the dems anyway totaly biassed. theres no way to show any conection between carbon and temp. i just hope we can get these dems and their baby killing out of congress.
Josh:
I am sorry too if i was too harsh. Here’s my thing, i did a bad job portraying this in the original note, but this is really my main point. Why are people trying to force us to live a certain way when the fact of the matter is that the theory of global warming is not very consistent. [someone earlier] made the point that quantum mechanics is constantly changing. Though i am unaware of the changes i will say that the explinations probably change, because light going through a diffraction grating will always have interference pattern, but that is different than the changes i speak of with global warming. Global warming didn’t just change their explinations, they changed the theory as well to global climate change. If people want to believe that global warming is true so be it, but what right do they have to force that belief on me and what right does the government have to tell me what car i can or can’t drive or how much energy i am allowed to use. My brother brings up an excillent point, America is not the world. Even if we change, that’s not going to stop Carbon emmissions or even reduce them a notable amount since China emits more than we do. unless all of the world changes, our change won’t make much of a difference. For one thing, just the change to these “environmentally friendly” energy sources or utilities such as cars 1)aren’t sustanable cost wise, 2) emit more carbon to make than to keep the stuff we have now. Besides that energies such as windmills take away the energy within the air. If enough windmills are put up, it could slow down the wind enough that temperatures would go up. Like i said, if people want to believe in global warming that’s fine, the problem is there is evidence for not believing in it as well and to pass that off as bias is in and of itself bias. In short, my note should read “why should I live a certain way just because you think something may possibly happen?”. I am a Christian and I believe God has already revealed how the world is going to end, and it’s not going to be global warming, so to think that we mere men could change how the world is going to end is nonsense. If you disagree with my belief, that’s fine, but you cannot tell me i’m wrong unless you can prove that there is no God, and seeing as you can’t prove that, no one on earth can tell me i’m wrong for choosing not to believe in global warming
Me:
Well then, I certainly cannot disagree with your arguments Josh. But… your premises are kinda off.
Firstly, I am not saying that we must reduce our carbon emissions or drive less or anything of the sort. I’m simply stating that the temperature on Earth is going up. The government is working on possible solutions. Relax. It’d be nice if we all tried to conserve more, but if you don’t want to, no big deal. Personally, I think that the most realistic cure for global warming is geoengineering. Its really cool stuff. Like iron fertilization. Check it out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_fertilization
No one shoving stuff down your throat, just scientists being badasses and solving problems. Just like in Armageddon, all you have to do is let Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck do science while Aerosmith rocks out and the planet continues to thrive.
So in short, luckily, the guys that DO believe in global warming are the same guys who have the smarts to fix global warming. I don’t want to shove anything down your throat, other than sweet, delicious nuggets of knowledge.Now secondly, I know in Revelations, God clearly explained how the world will end. The righteous will rise up and there will be raining of hellfire and there shall be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. I humbly await this inevitable end of times. This completely destroys my global warming argument…
except that I never said that global warming would destroy the Earth. All I’m saying is that global warming could wipe out some animal/plant species, increase extreme weather events, lower crop yields, possibly raise rates of infectious disease, and, ya know, make me endure sweaty ball itch for even longer during the summer. So don’t think that I’m saying that global warming is going to bring about the extinction of humans. No way! We’re a resilient species and overall, we’ll be fine. Its just like cancer, bubonic plague, and hurricanes: we don’t think its going to kill all of us, but it needs to be dealt with swiftly to prevent extraneous deaths and permanent damage to the planet. So lets get God off the ol’ argument table and just focus on what we can measure with thermometers, telescopes, and triangle graphs.So just to recap for your rebuttal:
1. I’m not trying to shove any global warming cures down your throat. Scientists will think of practical fixes and implement them without hopefully needing any of your effort, other than possibly some of your tax dollars.
2. I’m not claiming that global warming will bring about the end of the world. I’m just saying that the effects of global warming totally suck and it’d be best for everyone on the planet if we didn’t have to deal with the shitty repercussions of it.

Josh:
Well i apologize, when i made those points of global warming being the end and people wanting to reduce carbon emissions, i didn’t specifically mean you guys, but i know that some people have used such things like lowering carbon emissions as reasons for “cleaner” energy and i’m pretty sure that the original theory of global warming is that the earth would just keep getting warmer until it was too hot to live on because the original theory said that the CO2 was creating a hole in the ozone layer and this was going to be a big problem. Please realize, my points weren’t necessarily arguing against you guys, it was voicing my frustrations with these people that act like it is an ABSOLUTE MUST to get “clean” energy because we are killing our planet and we’re going to destroy it. Here’s my thing, and this isn’t directed at you but the people who act like coal is evil and wind energy will be the savior of the planet. I feel like for the most part, with some exceptions, we are simply using the resources God put on this planet and not abusing them. God gave us everything on the planet to use, and so it doesn’t make sense that He would punish us for using the resources that He gave us, that’s not the nature of God. If people were bringing cases where we were simply testing bombs on forrests or something like that, i would be more understanding. However my problem comes in where people like Al Gore and Barrack Obama are preaching to us about how we need to lower our carbon emissions. The guy who flies around to give his little speeches in a private jet and the man who treats air force 1 like its his own person taxi service with no expenses.
And Mike, when you say extreme weather conditions, i sure hope you don’t mean like what al gore talked about in his documentary, whiched used film from a movie to represent that scenario. Like a stated earlier, i wasn’t saying scientists were shoving these energies down our throats, i meant the polititians and green movement advocates. I also suggest you check out the link I posted for Cameronhttp://www.aproundtable.org/tps30info/globalwarmup.htmlI don’t care if you or Cameron refuse to accept this as proof and still want to believe in global warming. That’s fine, you have your things that are evidence to you, but atleast know that for those of us who don’t believe in it, we too can come up with evidence. But just know that IF you choose to reject it AND start trying to argue more for global warming, you will show me that you’re close minded and not worth arguing with
Then Josh and some other kids threw around links from a variety of political magazines for a while. Me:
Okay guys, we’re at the point in the argument where we throw links and evidence at each other; isn’t that boring?
Lets take a step back from this argument and really look why we are on these certain sides. It comes down to our presuppositions.
I believe that science is a great process from which we can better understand the world, so i have faith that the scientific consensus will lead me to the correct beliefs in physical matters.
Josh, you’ve stated that you believe in a mighty sky deity and you’ve interpreted his teachings such that you think the rising of global temperature and any ill effects of it is a logical and physical impossibility.
So! We both have our faith in different institutions. My faith is based on induction (which is kinda philosophically shaky) but I can defend it using reason and modern, published, and extremely reliable evidence. I’m assuming you’re going to challenge it in your next post, so go ahead! I’m willing to defend my beliefs.
Now, on the other paw, we have your faith. I think that a personal relationship with a deity is a great thing to have and can offer a person many wonderful, transcendent experiences and helps people deal with the big questions like “whats the meaning of life?” “why am I here?” and so on. So my problem isn’t with the simple observing of a higher power, its taking one’s personal beliefs about this higher being, thinking that you correctly understand its intentions, and then trying to enforce those beliefs on the rest of the world.
Go ahead and think that some will go to hell for not believing in the correct god, but the mindset that “its impossible for us to run out of oil because god wouldn’t let that happen” and “its impossible for the global temperature to rise because god wouldn’t let that happen” is hurting the future of the America and the rest of the world.
Lets try two alternative ways of thinking that could lead to an agreement.
1. Think of the children! And their children! And their children! And so on… I want humans to continue to be fruitful and multiply. But if we ignore problems with the earth, that could be difficult. Even if you don’t believe that, why not take a chance and respect the earth? You get to live for eternity and heaven, thats totally awesome. I admire your belief, wish you well, and will do nothing to try to stop that belief from coming to fruition. So do the same for me! Don’t be a dick to the environment and let our offspring have awesome lives.
That kinda leads to my next point…
2. Respect the environment! If you believe that god made this earth so that humans could live happily on it, then would it be crazy to think that he wants us to respect it? I think god would appreciate if we returned the earth in a nicer condition. Lets not treat it like some cheap motel and peoria. So stop the thoughts of “god made this planet for us to party on, so lets fuck shit up” and lets think ” god made this planet for us to party on, so everybody be cool. don’t throw anything out the windows and lets clean up tomorrow morning so we can party again on saturday.”
PEACE
Yeah, that really sums up everything I think about science, nature, and religion. Well heres Josh with the last word:
Quite personally, you want to talk about forcing beliefs? You are the one forcing your belief on me. i have stated very clearly that you can believe what you want and do what you want about it. But I have my beliefs, and I live by them. Aside from that, your comments about my beliefs probably reflect your comments of Global warming, something you have very little understanding of. Quite honestly you being an astrophysics major just tells me you’ve been loaded down with this garbage for a while now. I believe science gives us an understanding of how things work, you and [other kid arguing] don’t seem to get that. You have this false presupposition that Christians don’t believe in science. I believe in science, but unlike you two, probably because of your lack of knowledge about science, I know that science can be biased based on your own personal views. Lets sidetrack for a little bit and discuss the rock layers. If you ask a scientist who believes in evolution, he’ll tell you it’s from millions of years worth of flooding. If you ask a christian scientist, he’ll tell you it can be explained by their being a world wide flood, such as one described in the bible or to those of us who know it, Noah’s flood.
http://www.answersingenesis.org/contents/379/am/v4/n2/rock-layers.pdf
I couldn’t find one that supports the otherside but I’m sure you know about it. But basically scientists will explain things differently based on their views. Why don’t you watch expelled by Ben Stein. It doesn’t have to do with global warming, but it has to do with science and the belief of evolution versus intelligent design and how those beliefs impact both sides. Maybe then you’ll also realize why you don’t hear of any scientists that disagree with global warming. The fact of the matter is the only thing if even that the scientists can tell you is that temperatures have been rising, and and there are higher levels of CO2. However, if you actually look into it, there are scientists (ones who believe in global warming since you guys don’t find them credible otherwise) who say that CO2 actually lagged the rise in earth’s temperature. You somehow act like science proves global warming, well then tell me, how does global warming explain Texas having a record snowfall just this past december? I thought the globe was supposed to be getting warmer. That’s what all of your “all knowing scienctists” reported concerning green house gasses effect on the earth.You accuse me of believing we can abuse this world because God gave it to us, but I’ve already explained that’s not how i view it. Besides you say “think of our kids, and their kids” and all that. Then tell me, what is your side going to do to “fix carbon emmisions”? Use all these expensive alternatives? Ones that will 1) not supply us with enough or even reliable energy, and 2) emit a lot of carbon just to make? yeah that will help our kids out a lot and do nothing to “lower carbon emissions”. And if you want to say that me driving a car, living in a house with running water, electricity, a refrigerator, and other basic necessities and conveniences is me abusing this world, then you better not have ANY of those things. If you wanna get mad at anyone that is needlessly emitting CO2, why don’t you talk to al gore. He has a private jet and several houses, all of which they keep heated/cooled to counteract the outside climate. Or since you mentioned partying, why don’t we look at alcohol. You have to brew it and heat it which means you have to emit CO2, you also have to make cans for it, boxes for that, you have to deliver it places, all these things that emit CO2. What does it do for us? People abuse it, drive under the influence and kill other people, they kill themselves if they drink too much, not very much good. I don’t support drinking, none of my brothers, parents, or my sister do either. We have never purchased an alcoholic beverage. So for you to say my lifestyle which doesn’t acknowledge global warming is the one destroying this earth is illogical. Like i said, unless you don’t have anything like a fridge, airconditioning, heating, or a car, then don’t tell me my view and people like me are destroying this world.
Well, yeah. There you go. And to play us out, here’s a series of comments that Nate wrote:
besides it shouldn’t be getting colder, it should be getting warmer, hence global WARMING
global warming hahahahahaha global warming hahahahaha global warming hahahahaha people that believe in global warming hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Yes, he actually wrote that. I couldn’t help but double check:
Is this some kind of joke? You actually thought that stuff in your brain, typed it out, read it over, said to yourself “that sums up my thoughts excellently”, and pushed send?
If this is for real, you are invincible. If its a joke, than you totally tricked me.
Either way dude, you win. Bravo.
And then, he responded perfectly [this is an actual, real quote]:
yes i thought it was pretty good myself, perfect way not only to sum up my thoughts, but global warming as a topic, it’s a joke, global warming hahahahahah oh and the best joke was the last one, people that believe in global warming hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah
ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah
ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha gets me every time
I love it! Well, I’m sick of arguing now.
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