Originally Posted by JimSmith
It is a presumption that has not been validated that those who believe the evidence for humans affecting the earth's climate are disregarding any evidence of events elsewhere in our solar system.
We have been down this path already, and it is tiresome to hear nothing but a chant of "humans can't cause climate change" as a response, even if Bot finds it a good rebuttal. Once the climate change process has started on a path to warm the planet, for whatever reasons, it seems more logical that adding industrial and other man made discharges to the environment that have been shown to change the Earth's albedo in the direction of retaining more of the Sun's energy and reflecting less, will add to the problem. There is no scientific evidence being brought forward to suggest that these emissions from human activities will change the albedo to make more of the Sun's energy reflect from the Earth, and less of it stay. Just as there is no evidence that we can continue to increase the rate of our emissions as populations grow, and there will be no change in the albedo.
But, I guess you guys have a lot invested in your personal lives in the continued acceleration of fossil fuel consumption, worldwide. I agree the issue at hand is money, and there is a lot more money behind "your side" of this argument than there is behind the side that says we need to react before we can no longer affect the outcome. Just like the tobacco industry told us all smoking was not hazardous to human health. It took decades of evidence to sway Congress to allow warnings to be put on cigarette packs by the Surgeon General. Decades of unnecessary human sacrifices for tobacco company profits. In this case the stakes are much higher if the consensus of climate scientists is correct. But we all understand, you won't live long enough to actually see the chaos that will ensue, and, you would much rather be allowed to continue on your present path, unperturbed. In fact, you believe it is your right, and when the shit hits the fan, somehow the free market will fix the problem for us.
My skepticism of the outcomes being predicted by the alarmist faction and the media are based on the knowledge that observation alone has NEVER produced so much as a theory that could withstand scrutiny.
I think the following text from the Abiogenesis article on Wikipedia sums it up very well for me.
Classical notions of abiogenesis, now more precisely known as spontaneous generation, held that complex, living organisms are generated by decaying organic substances, e.g. that mice spontaneously appear in stored grain or maggots spontaneously appear in meat.
According to Aristotle it was a readily observable truth that aphids arise from the dew which falls on plants, fleas from putrid matter, mice from dirty hay, and so forth. In the 17th century such assumptions started to be questioned; such as that by Sir Thomas Browne in his Pseudodoxia Epidemica, subtitled Enquiries into Very many Received Tenets, and Commonly Presumed Truths, of 1646, an attack on false beliefs and "vulgar errors." His conclusions were not widely accepted, e.g. his contemporary, Alexander Ross wrote: "To question this (i.e., spontaneous generation) is to question reason, sense and experience. If he doubts of this let him go to Egypt, and there he will find the fields swarming with mice, begot of the mud of Nylus, to the great calamity of the inhabitants."
However, experimental scientists continued to decrease the conditions within which the spontaneous generation of complex organisms could be observed. The first step was taken by the Italian Francesco Redi, who, in 1668, proved that no maggots appeared in meat when flies were prevented from laying eggs. From the seventeenth century onwards it was gradually shown that, at least in the case of all the higher and readily visible organisms, the previous sentiment regarding spontaneous generation was false. The alternative seemed to be omne vivum ex ovo: that every living thing came from a pre-existing living thing (literally, from an egg).
Then in 1683 Antoni van Leeuwenhoek discovered bacteria, and it was soon found that however carefully organic matter might be protected by screens, or by being placed in stoppered receptacles, putrefaction set in, and was always accompanied by the appearance of myriad bacteria and other low organisms. As knowledge of microscopic forms of life increased, so the apparent realm of abiogenesis increased, and it became tempting to hypothesize that while abiogenesis might not take place for creatures visible to the naked eye, at the microscopic level, living organisms continually arose from inorganic matter.
In 1768 Lazzaro Spallanzani proved that microbes came from the air, and could be killed by boiling. Yet it was not until 1862 that Louis Pasteur performed a series of careful experiments which proved that organisms such as bacteria and fungi do not appear in nutrient rich media of their own accord in non-living material, and which supported cell theory.
Science takes a very, very long time to understand something - even today. Relying on observation alone - no matter how sophisticated the tools for observation - never results in a valid precept. It results in the starting point for tests that can be conducted in an effort to disprove the precept. Some of those tests are being (and have been) carried out, others are overwhelmingly difficult to perform. And so here we are, the irresistable force vs. the immovable object. Questions that cannot be answered, observations that cannot be ignored.
The answer is ultimately very simple. Should mankind endeavor to live a cleaner life? Yes, absolutely. Does that mean we all need to drive hybrids? No, absolutely not. There's PLENTY of fruit on this tree, in far easier reach - that's what we should be harvesting. It's idiotic to take sides. It's idiotic to assume we have as much influence over something we don't begin to fully grasp as it's said we do. It's idiotic to argue against making companies take cost-effective measures to operate cleanly. It's idiotic to clamor for renewable energy and oppose nuclear power plants. We're all on the same frickin' side here. It's time to drop the guilt, drop the argumentation, and put that energy into finding solutions with which we can all live...because it's the right thing to do, not because Al Gore says so.