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Expert Wants to Decertify Global Warming Skeptics

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the believe-it-or-else dept.

Censorship 926

Penguinisto writes "Apparently in the Senate, at least one scientist wants to put a permanent stop to any arguments over Global Warming. The Weather Channel's most prominent climatologist is advocating that broadcast meteorologists be stripped of their scientific certification if they express skepticism about predictions of manmade catastrophic global warming."

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926 comments

Wrong Way (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660270)

No scientific discussion can be made without questioning theories. Censorship is no solution.

Thoughtcrime (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660338)

Censorship is no solution.

Censorship is a solution, just not one you use in a free society. People define thoughtcrimes to make their jobs easier because it doesn't force them to debate items in question (from Holocaust denial to questioning state history to global warming).

It is alarming how many people object to diversity in thought. I do not understand where they think they have derived the right to force everyone to think the same way they do.

Re:Wrong Way (3, Insightful)

bakana (918482) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660450)

I'd first have to ask everyone who believes in a man made global warming to watch the global warming episode of BULLSHIT! by Pen and Teller. In that show, they have both experts for and against global warming. That would be a good place to start. Secondly, let me point out that sometime in the 70's early 80's, can't remember, there were scientist crying about global COOLING! I don't know if everyone else remembers that, but I do. I don't agree that we should censor anyone. Let everyone's ideas flow free and keep this quote from Aristotle in mind: "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it" -- Aristotle

Re:Wrong Way (3, Informative)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660518)

Secondly, let me point out that sometime in the 70's early 80's, can't remember, there were scientist crying about global COOLING!

Bullshit [wmconnolley.org.uk]

And it's more than just an educated mind (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660534)

Science requires it. We have to accept that you can't prove a theory true in the same was things can be proved in mathematics. There's not a one step, now this is true and we know that, kind of thing. The way it works is scientific theories must be falsifiable, that is a proposition which is able to be proven false. If they aren't they are a hypothesis at best and just aren't scientific theories. That's why creationism isn't a theory, there's no way to falsify it.

Thus the very essence of doing science is entertaining ways your theory could be wrong, even if you don't believe them. If someone gives an alternate theory for your observations, you need to test it. You have to try and prove your theory false. That's how good science is done. You entertain all the ways you can come up with that your theory could be wrong.

Re:Wrong Way (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660542)

No scientific discussion can be made without questioning theories. Censorship is no solution.

Yeah, but if your idea of scientific discussion consists of quick one way comments during the TV weather segment, then you have a bigger problem than censorship.

Coffee table talk about global warming is not scientific debate. But then again, I'm posting this on slashdot....

Still the wrong way (4, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660666)

It's still the wrong way, because it's one more step towards blurring the distinction between science and bullshit in the minds of Jack Sixpack and Jane Housewife.

You can't say that proper science and skepticism should be limited to an ivory tower clique of chosen ones, and everyone else should just get dogma, because:

1. Even those scientists got there from being Joe Schoolkid and Cecilia Nerdygirl who liked to discover how things really worked, and apply critical thinking the quick fairy-tale explanations their parents gave them to "why is the sky blue?" or "what _is_ the rainbow?" The more you dumb society down and teach more people to not use their brains, the less of a recruiting pool you have for that chosen ones gang. If you actually managed to get everyone to stop using their brains, stop questioning the dogma, discourage everyone from being skeptics or debating anything unless they're a cardinal (or whatever other badge of "ok, now you can discuss the dogma" badge), and persecute everyone who dares step out of line, etc, well, you can already know how much scientific progress that produced in the middle ages.

2. Because those scientists will need funding and other support from the likes of Tom CEO, Dick Marketeer and Harry Journalist. Once you taught _those_ and their customers/readers/etc that science is just about enforcing a dogma, what's to stay in the way of them just funding pseudo-science by PR. Not that it doesn't already happen, but going that way full time is not an improvement.

If anything I'd remind more that you _can't_ do science by PR, or in the words of Feynman, "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled." Teaching more people that science is just about who gets to set the official dogma, is just as step towards more thinking "fuck you, I have the money, so I'll set my own dogma by PR." And more down the pyramid accepting it, because if they're going to accept one dogma unthinkingly anyway, hey, they might as well go for the one with more marketting behind it.

Re:Wrong Way (2, Informative)

tscoreninja (918920) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660572)

You make the issue look way too simple. Please read the quote of the original statement of that meteorologist:

"The subject of global warming definitely makes headlines in the media and is a topic of much debate. I try to read up on the subject to have a better understanding, but it is complex. Often, it is so politicized and those on both sides don't always appear to have their facts straight. History has taught us that weather patterns are cyclical and although we have noticed a warming pattern in recent time, I don't know what generalizations can be made from this with the lack of long-term scientific data. That's all I will say about this."

Do you call this scientific discussion? I don't. The guy admits he has no understanding of the scientific issues, but feels free to add his comments nevertheless. Also note that the American Meteorolgical Society is actually endorsing someone by its AMS Seal of Approval. Should they be allowed to withdraw that, because that guy does not understand the issue, but still feels the need to question AMS's position on air? Do consider, for example, that guy stating: "I believe Bush attacked Iraque soley for control over its oil" as part of the news. I guess that would get him in trouble, if he could not back it up by facts. Would you call that censorship? While I do not agree with Dr. Cullen's call, IMNO this is not an issue of censorship in climate science, but of work ethics for TV journalists.

Re:Wrong Way (1)

adam31 (817930) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660618)

Clearly you didn't read the blog this "story" links. Its rhetoric is simply the possum argument... defend by being overly attacked, by exaggerating the overness of the attack.


The goal is to make arguing against Climate Change sound like censorship. Scientists are opinionated (even in the face of astounding evidence, unfortunately), so copy-paste one phrase to the web and watch!

The blog linked is just a blog. Just another blogger, 15 minutes and done. To be honest, if there's one number you should listen to, it's your insurance premium. If it goes up, worry more. If it goes down, rest at ease. How do you feel this year?

Re:Wrong Way (1)

SamSim (630795) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660628)

But on the other hand, no deep and detailed scientific discussion can be had while people who don't know anything and have no place in the discussion challenge you endlessly over the basic, universally accepted axioms. It's like trying to fix a broken spark plug in your car engine, while surrounded by people who claim repeatedly that your car is a bicycle. Though I agree that outright censorship is not the solution.

Re:Wrong Way (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660724)

On the other hand, the article talks about "broadcast meteorologists", who are better positioned to influence public opinion. If they are pushing a view which is against the scientific consensus, then that can cause problems. I guess he has someone in mind here, I have always wondered why the general public (and government) of US have been so slow to accept global warming as a man made phenomenon, if one or more of the major network's weather presenter has been pushing the oil industry view over the scientific view, that might explain it.

you sir.. (1, Offtopic)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660274)

"You sir are a fucking nutjob!" is what I would say to that man if I ever met him.

People need to believe fictional things are real just as much as we need to believe the truth. While we may not like people pointing it out things only advance through ignorant, debate and insightful driven by these debates. With these debates we currently discuss if global warming is real, what's making it happen and how we fix it. If we get rid of the nay-says we end up with "It's real guys, humans did it, we must stop doing EVERYTHING because we're not sure what the hell is going on".

It may take a genius to invent the wheel, but it takes an idiot with a square wheelbarrow to inspire him.

Re:you sir.. (0)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660306)

Hrm. Well, I did RTFA, and it appears that the guy who wrote the article was the complete nutjob. WTF is the deal with not going to the source of this commentary in the first place? I mean, I read the article and immediately thought, "Gee, so.... Um... This is the side of the guy who might get his certification revoked. Where's the other side?"

I can't tell who you're calling a nutjob here because it's obvious to me that anyone who thinks / cares that weathermen have their climatologist certificate or not is already a complete nutjob. In fact, there's a whole bunch of nutjob to go around here, and I don't know why I wrote this comment, except possibly because I've caught it... Oh noes.

It was inevitable, I guess. And suddenly I've written the most disjointed comment I've written in weeks. I think reading that article actually managed to make me stupider.

Re:you sir.. (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660432)

With these debates we currently discuss if global warming is real, what's making it happen and how we fix it.

Fix it? What on Earth makes you believe that a warming climate means that something is broken? The climate gets warmer, and colder, and warmer again. The Earth turns into a giant snowball, then goes all tropical.

And it was all happening before Homo Sapiens came on the scene and began thinking that he was in supreme command or something.

Sometimes the climate warms because that's what the climate does.

Maybe what we need to fix is our temporal parochialism.

KFG

Re:you sir.. (1)

silkenphoenixx (1040190) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660626)

Sometimes the climate warms because that's what the climate does.

That's true, and while the evidence is hardly conclusive either way, there's no reason to censor either party just for saying so.

Global warming or no, the fact remains that we do dump a lot of rubbish in the air, which may not affect the temperature of the planet, but it is affecting the lungs of its inhabitants. Global warming is just a theoretical "side effect" of all this pollution.

So if we look at the root of the problem, (i.e. stop all the pollution) then if the "Global Warming" goes away, then we'll know that we caused it, whereas if it doesn't then it's a pretty good indication that we had nothing to do with it and nature is just taking its course as it usually does.

Re:you sir.. (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660642)

yes, climate changes, but that doesn't mean we can't have an effect on that. In fact, it would be absurd to think we can't have an impact on our planet, we are changing the composition of the air, how can that NOT make an impact ?

Re:you sir.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660654)

At last someone with sense well done

Of course the problem is that if everyone thought along those line then there would be a few less JOBS FOR THE BOYS so to speak
less for the various governments of then world to try and control and in turn control us .

well done that man

Re:you sir.. (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660526)

If you RTFA, you would have found out that Heidi Cullen is a woman.

Um (3, Insightful)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660288)

But what if they are right? Sure it seems unlikely, but if we ban offering an opposing opinions we trap ourselves. Besides shouldn't we be focusing on censoring intelligent design first? (note to stupid people: I am not serious about censoring intelligent design advocated). Oh yeah, and what about the Bill of Rights. It's so annoying sometimes.

It's also the kind of thing (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660408)

That pushes some of us towards more skepticism. I'm not a climatologist or anything like it so I've had little success with my own research. There's a lot of scientists that say it's a man made phenomena and its' dire, but then consensus means nothing and many of them are basing their research off of things that are not that empirically valid, overstating their conclusions, or both. Regardless, it's just something I can't disambiguate*. I have just said "screw it" and continue to support conservation for it's own sake (use less, have more).

However one thing that really makes me skeptical is the religious zeal with which it is pushed. In most science it seems to be that when you have a theory you know is right and plenty of proof, you've no need to shout down your skeptics. You welcome the skepticism, and welcome the chance to show it's wrong. After all, that's how we prove theories, is by thinking of every possible way they could be false and testing that. The more times the tests don't come out false, the more sure we are the theory is right. That's the whole doctrine of falsifiability and it's the cornerstone of modern empiricism.

But that's not how it goes with GW. If you are a skeptic you are shouted down as an idiot, an industry shill, someone not to be listened to, and now even threatened with stripping them of rank. It looks like a religious inquisition, not like science. That makes me worried. The reason religions do that is because there's NOT proof so it is dangerous to them when people start claiming something other than what they believe. That kind of attitude has absolutely no place in science.

More than any of the actual skeptical papers, this makes me wonder about the GW argument. If your position is so tenuous that it must be defended with ad hominem attacks and threats, I have to wonder about how correct it really can be.

* Please note: Don't bother posting some diatribe trying to convince me on GW. I've read plenty of papers, plenty of arguments by people who do it for a living. It's very unlikely you'd find something to change my mind, at least given the normal pro-GW post I see on Slashdot.

Re:It's also the kind of thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660436)

what's global warming? O_o

Re:It's also the kind of thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660546)

I hereby predict that you will be shouted down and harassed for your views (or at least modded as such).

Btw, you would probably get a kick out of the philosopher who writes for Grist who wants to have Nuremberg style trials for those who oppose global warming (you know, for the damage that they have caused). It is curious that those who don't have degrees in atmospheric sciences or meteorology are so confident in their abilities to condemn others about climate change (note: I consider global warming probable, but then again I have degrees in physics and engineering and can at least understand the reasoning, experimental procedures, and statistical analysis used in papers on global warming, yet I am not condemn critics--why a philosopher thinks he has the ability I do not know).

Re:It's also the kind of thing (4, Insightful)

cliffski (65094) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660554)

There's a difference between the global warming debate and other scientific debates, and that's timescale. We can argue for the next thousand years if evolution or creationists are right, it really doesn't matter apart from proving a point. We can argue for ten million years about whether or not string theory is right, or how black holes are formed, or how gravity really works etc etc etc.

The problem with the man made climate change theory is that it predicts a catastrophic outcome that *can be avoided or mitigated heavily* in the *SHORT* term.
The climate change scientists *might* be wrong.
But I don't want to take the risk. The thought of coming over all smug in 20 years because I was right and climate change *is* caused by us, will be little comfort if my house is under water at that point.

It might be academically a bit awkward, but we have actually run out of time for further debate on this one. Some may say we ran out of time 20 years ago. This may make debating societies angry, but I suspect we are going to have to just deal with that.

Re:It's also the kind of thing (1)

woksta (895150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660570)

In most science it seems to be that when you have a theory you know is right and plenty of proof, you've no need to shout down your skeptics.
evolutionary theory is one.

Re:It's also the kind of thing (3, Insightful)

mpe (36238) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660598)

However one thing that really makes me skeptical is the religious zeal with which it is pushed. In most science it seems to be that when you have a theory you know is right and plenty of proof, you've no need to shout down your skeptics.

Indeed a need to censor skeptics itself looks highly suspicious. The implication is that your claims are unsupported and you know it. (Possibly even you believe that some of the skeptics have better theories but cannot accept "losing face".)

But that's not how it goes with GW. If you are a skeptic you are shouted down as an idiot, an industry shill, someone not to be listened to, and now even threatened with stripping them of rank.

About the only good point is that there isn't (yet) a call to start jailing skeptics.

The reason religions do that is because there's NOT proof so it is dangerous to them when people start claiming something other than what they believe.

A skeptic dosn't have to actually claim any alternative theories. Simply pointing out holes in the claims of the "faithful" is usually sufficent to invoke a hostile response in these kind of situations.

Re:Um (0, Offtopic)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660498)

I have a hard time believing that the above was modded up to 4 given all the typos I made in my rush to say the obvious first.

Re:Um (0, Offtopic)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660544)

Gah. I have so much karma to burn that it's amazing, and I like to think it has nothing to do with how fast I post. I'm delusional, yes, but if you really want to get that 'first actually well prepared post' in, you might as well just shell out twenty bucks and do it for a while until it gets old. Eventually, you just shrug it off and say, "Man, someone's gonna say THAT."

I only karmah0 when I'm really tired or bored, now. Which is good, I shouldn't be doing it I should be doing the physics lab I'm avoiding.

Censorship (3, Interesting)

it0 (567968) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660290)

How can a scientist be al for censoring?? That said, all the manipulation, lobbying ,etc against known facts should be stopped. So I guess they want to fight corruption with censorship... only in the USA...

Re:Censorship (2, Insightful)

phayes (202222) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660564)

10 to 1 the guy is trying to protect his own grant money by drying up grants to people with competing projects. It's an international game that hasn't changed from the time of Louis Pasteur who had to defend against entrenched interests in the 1850's.

Re:Censorship (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660596)

possibly its a knee jerk reaction to the ever increasing attempts at censoring real scientific debate by the Bush administration, which has even extended to the big bang and black holes, quite apart from global warming.

Plus this whole intelligent design vs evolution thing. It's a genuine concern that america might fall behind in scientific and technological advances if too many of it's population beleive a fantasy creation myth instead of reality just because the reality has not yet been fully understood.

I'm not for censoring, mostly because I want to be able to call any creationist I meet a fool if I feel like it, or ignore their writings if I want to. I'm happy for them to write stuff and talk among themselves, that's what free speech is about, but it of neccesity includes my right to say how stupid it sounds if they try to convince me.

PC? Probably not, but I have never claimed to be such.

Global warmin (5, Funny)

ThanatosMinor (1046978) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660292)

When global warming is outlawed, only outlaws will be warm...er, globally

Re:Global warmin (1)

TheUz (675711) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660398)

Dammit, i wanted to mod this thread too. That, sir, is fucking hilarious. = )

OT: I cannot believe a scientist would advocate censorship of opposing ideas, rather than refute them with logic. Unsound means without even a mitigating end. Your AMS card pulled if you express *doubt* about global warming or its cause? Come on fellows, we're smarter than this, aren't we? = (

Re:Global warmin (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660560)

I cannot believe a scientist would advocate censorship of opposing ideas, rather than refute them with logic.

I sometimes think about this when dealing with ID crapflooders - after seeing the same tired arguments for the hundredth time or seeing someone gritch about free markets and then condemning another for opposing some large corporation, I stop caring about the argument and just want them to shut up.

Stripping their license for spouting the wrong dogma is too far, though.

This is ridiculous, but... (5, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660294)

The idea of doing this is just as ridiculous as Bush forcing all scientific papers produced by scientists employed by the government to go through political censors before being.

But, the linked to article is a horribly biased hatchet job that contains such gems as:

Intimidating scientists with calls for death trials, name calling and calls for decertification appears to be the accepted tactics of the climate alarmists. The real question is: Why do climate alarmists feel the need to resort to such low brow tactics when they have a compliant media willing to repeat their every assertion without question.

This is a ridiculous and disingenuous assertion, especially given the well documented policies of the Bush administration to do everything they can to supress research that doesn't support their view.

I find that entire site rather apalling. And the fact that it appears to be the website for a Senate committee concerned with the environment makes the blatant and obviously one-sided bias all the more awful.

But, the focus of this Slashdot article is on the person calling for decertification. And, as awfully disingenuous and biased as that site is, they have the guy dead to rights. That is not a reasonable thing to do. Calling for censorship of honest opinions is not something anybody of any political stripe should be doing and severely lowers the credibility of the person who asks that it be done.

Re:This is ridiculous, but... (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660320)

If you go back and read the report you would find out that Bush placed a requirement to remove non-proven and hyperbole from government scientific papers. There was no political cleaning.,

Re:This is ridiculous, but... (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660576)

Yeah, they do their politicizing by hiring based on political allegience rather than competence in the field.

Re:This is ridiculous, but... (1)

Carrot007 (37198) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660652)

> If you go back and read the report you would find out that Bush placed a requirement to remove non-proven and hyperbole from government scientific papers. There was no political cleaning.,

There is no proven in science, there is only the current theory. SO you are pretty much saying bush wants to ban science. Pretty much figures given his track record.

Re:This is ridiculous, but... (1)

mondoterrifico (317567) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660528)

True, but science isn't a democracy.

Weatherchannel (4, Interesting)

Dr. Cody (554864) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660296)

Where exactly in the meterologist pecking order does the "Weather Channel's most prominent so-on and so-forth" go?

Re:Weatherchannel (4, Funny)

carpe_noctem (457178) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660486)

They definitely rank above your local newsman, but they are still required to make awkward jokes at the end of each segment...

Re:Weatherchannel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660686)

For that matter, what is this "certification" that is being talked about?

I thought "real" scientists just get Ph.D's, do research, and gain credibility as their body of work accumulates. Scientists don't get "certified" as real or not based on simple, dogmatic, guidelines.

No, certifications are given out by certain special interest groups who desire to impose limits to its membership. If this certain group is some kind of professional guild society for, say, TV meteorologists, then that sucks for TV meteorologists who don't agree with the guild (if the guild has complete control of the industry).

But real scientists don't work as one huge homogeneous guild. Thus, there is no threat of "suppressing scientific dissent" by revoking "certifications", because "certifications" don't mean anything to science. (In theory)

im switching to the Nude Weather Channel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660730)

I welcome global warming +10c, and freeing up of laws letting women be topless anywhere they like as per men, no 19century stupidity, if they have massive
jugs, then let them free, its not like their invisible clothed.

Rise up women, freedom to be topless, banish those old farts to the graves who dont like it.

As a liberal (2, Insightful)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660298)

I cringe at behavior like this.

Why not just expose who the source of funding is for these critics, or who they're affiliated with? Quite often that's just as devastating, and it's far less chilling as far as free speech is concerned.

Re:As a liberal (1)

abscissa (136568) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660374)

As another liberal, I find it appealing that you have to identify yourself as "a liberal" in order to identify yourself as someone who believes in global warming.

Re:As a liberal (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660442)

I believe that global warming is caused in part by humans, not because I'm a liberal, but because I have a brain.

Having a brain also makes me adverse to yanking a scientist's certs for anything other than cheating, plagiarism, etc.

Re:As a liberal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660466)

As an even more liberal liberal, I find it appalling that a self-identified 'liberal' would make such a blatant grammatical mistake. Unless you really found the post appealing, in which case I stand corrected, and I'm appalled at my poor manners. Besides, I think the parent was identifying as a liberal to protest against the censorship, not as a slight against global warming detractors.

So what? (2, Interesting)

davFr (679391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660300)

2006 was the warmest year ever, and in Europe the snow level in ski stations is close to the lowest level (a.k.a. nada/nichts/nothing/rien!).
You can raise doubt about how much more degrees we will have in 2050, but I would certainly remove certification to people who still claim there is no problem with the evolution of climat.

Re:So what? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660366)

. . .the evolution of climat.

Climate does not evolve. It changes.

KFG

Re:So what? (3, Insightful)

iangoldby (552781) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660390)

I'm fully convinced by the arguments and evidence for climate change, but it is important to understand that a single abnormal year doesn't provide credible evidence. There are fluctuations in temperature every year. You have to look at the bigger picture.

Regarding silencing those who still think climate change is a myth: Ignorance flourishes when debate is stifled. This is one reason why we have religious extremists, and why seemingly ordinary people join their numbers. As a general rule, if religion is taught in schools at all, it is taught very badly. (Here in the UK most schools do have religious education classes, but my opinion of them is that they could be done a lot better.) This leaves people ill-equipped to make informed decisions later in life about whether they are being told the truth or lies about a particular religion.

The same argument could be applied to climate change and science in general. Teach people how to think, question, and evaluate ideas, and they will start to make better decisions.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660454)

Pardon me but you got this all wrong! There is a huge difference between questioning the evidence for global warming being caused by emissions - and claiming that the evolution of the climate is not a problem.

Science is very seldom able to prove that something is true. In most cases there is a hyphothesis set up that as time goes by gets accepted as "truth" since nobody has been able to prove it wrong.

The problem for me is feeling confident that the lack of evidence for the opposite (that global warming is NOT caused by emissions) necessarily means that global warming IS caused by emissions.
I AM really questioning whether global warming is caused by man - still I think all measures possible to reduce emissions should be taken. Just to make sure.

Needless to say - censorship within science is just plain stupid.

Re:So what? (5, Informative)

davmoo (63521) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660460)

2006 was the warmest year ever

Not quite. You left out an important part of the sentence...2006 was the warmest year ever recorded. We only have records of weather data for approximately 400 years...not even the blink of an eye in terms of climatic change.

I'm not saying there isn't global warming taking place. I'm merely saying neither side needs to be exagerating to either extreme. And censorship is censorship, and is equally offensive and unscientific regardless of which side it comes from. A scientist who wants to censor or punish other scientists for their views is just as bad as any group of rabid "intelligent design" supporters.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660472)

2006 was the warmest year ever
I see that the Minitrue certified reporters have done a good job on you. :)
No, 2006 was not the "warmest year ever". It was, however, one of the warmer years of the latest heating-cycle of the Earth. That is, 2006 was one of the warmest years of the last 2 decades or so. Come back in 50 years or so when the cycle has turned again, and the temperature has dipped by a few degrees, and then whine about "2057 is TEH COLDEST YEAR EVAR!!!!" and all that horrible "anthropogenic cooling".

but I would certainly remove certification to people who still claim there is no problem with the evolution of climat.
I'm sure you would.

Since you don't need to be a scientist, nor ever have studied anything at a university, nor have even a basic understanding of scientific processes to become an "expert member" of the political boards, committees, organisations, corporations and media that thrive on uneducated alarmism, I think there's an actual risk that you, davFR, might one day have the authority to "de-certify" the doubleplusbadthinking academia and other counter-revolutionaries.

- "OMG!!! My wife is bleeding to death from between her legs!!! It's the fault of people breathing! Everyone stop breathing! This graph shows a correlation between breathing and the colour red! Buy my DVD about the dangers of breathing! Vote for me to stop the filthy breathers!"

- "Er, it's called menstruation, it has happened every month for every woman for millions of years and is fully natural and harmless."

- "YOU'RE DECERTIFIED!!!"

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660556)

2006 was the warmest year ever, and in Europe the snow level in ski stations is close to the lowest level (a.k.a. nada/nichts/nothing/rien!).
You can raise doubt about how much more degrees we will have in 2050, but I would certainly remove certification to people who still claim there is no problem with the evolution of climat.
I'm sorry to break your RDF here but that's isn't due to global warming. Have a nice day :)

(PS: Yes, global warming is happening.)

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660696)

you ever heard of the GULF STREAM ...? i suggest you read up on it a little then come back with a comment that makes sense .

How distorted is this blog? (5, Insightful)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660308)

The blog cited is in such extreme form that I wonder how much truth there is in the story. It looks like someone has set up this Heidi Cullen as a straw person to claim massive discrimination against anti-Global warming advocates. The blog gets more and more extreme as it goes on until Godwin's Law is invoked. I wonder what Cullen really said, in what context.

Re:How distorted is this blog? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660500)

So, why not go to her blog? It says:
In an interesting follow-up blog on the reason for this all too common global warming contrarianism within the broadcast meteorology community, journalist Andrew Freedman suggests local TV meteorologist may want to look to the American Meteorological Society for guidance. Freedman goes on to point out that the AMS has in fact, issued a statement on climate change that reads:

"There is convincing evidence that since the industrial revolution, human activities, resulting in increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and other trace constituents in the atmosphere, have become a major agent of climate change."


I'd like to take that suggestion a step further. If a meteorologist has an AMS Seal of Approval, which is used to confer legitimacy to TV meteorologists, then meteorologists have a responsibility to truly educate themselves on the science of global warming. (One good resource if you don't have a lot of time is the Pew Center's Climate Change 101.)

Meteorologists are among the few people trained in the sciences who are permitted regular access to our living rooms. And in that sense, they owe it to their audience to distinguish between solid, peer-reviewed science and junk political controversy. If a meteorologist can't speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn't give them a Seal of Approval. Clearly, the AMS doesn't agree that global warming can be blamed on cyclical weather patterns. It's like allowing a meteorologist to go on-air and say that hurricanes rotate clockwise and tsunamis are caused by the weather. It's not a political statement...it's just an incorrect statement.

I agree with every meteorologist who says the topic of global warming has gotten too political. But that's why talking about the science is so important!


I agree with the second part I bold-faced. If a scientist doesn't know the fundamental aspects of the subject s/he is supposed to be an expert of, then s/he should not get any sort of certification. However, she mixed that part with the science of global warming (the first part I bold-faced). The science of global warming is still relatively new and untested. Any good scientist knows that a little doubt is good and should be inquisitive when talking about untested theories. In her zealousness, she already made her mind up about global warming as if it's as certain as wind going from high pressure to low pressure areas and sees that as a fundamental knowledge.

So, all in all, it's not as bad as it sounds, but it's not all good either. As a scientist, she should have known better. Shame on her.

Manmade being key here... (2, Interesting)

DescentToCocytus (1004224) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660310)

I thought there still was quite a bit of legitimate controversy on this issue. My understanding is that, while it is generally accepted that global warming is real, it is not nearly as accepted that the warming is "manmade" as the article puts it. The other leading claim is that it is merely part of the normal warming and cooling cycle of the earth, similar to what takes place at the end of each ice age. To strip meteorologists of their certifications is irresponsible abuse of power, and moreover highly damaging to the very basic fundaments of science.

Re:Manmade being key here... (5, Insightful)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660392)

It's very simple.

1) Greenhouse gases create a greenhouse effect. What this means is that if you have a lot of C02 in the air, it will trap the heat, creating higher temperatures in the area. Our sister planet, Venus, has a runaway greenhouse gas problem. There are so many greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, that the planet keeps getting warmer and warmer. This in turn, creates more greenhouse gases. The place isn't very hospitable.

2) People create a lot of greenhouse gases, and pump them directly into the atmosphere. This comes by way of car exhaust, factory air pollution, power plants, and a host of other things. Automobile pollution is probably the single biggest cause though.

3) This has been going on for a very long time. Accordingly, the Earth has shown a HUGE spike in global temperatures since the Industrial Revolution.

To deny that this is going on is quite insane.

Re:Manmade being key here... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660456)

Great. Now explain why the same thing is happening on Mars [nasa.gov] , Triton [scienceagogo.com] , and Pluto [space.com] .

Go ahead, I'll wait.

Re:Manmade being key here... (2, Insightful)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660680)

Since you're the one pushing this theory why don't you explain first of all how you have determined that these planets and moons have been experiencing climactic warming events and secondly what your explanation for this is ?

Re:Manmade being key here... (1)

andymar (690982) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660548)

It's not that simple. Earth has experienced warm climate many times, without there being any humans to pollute.

Re:Manmade being key here... (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660592)

So which of #1 or #2 do you have a problem with? #3 is just very convincing evidence that the processes illustrated in #1 and #2 are not complete nonsense.

Re:Manmade being key here... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660710)

We are in an i-n-t-e-r-g-l-a-c-i-a-l period. Which direction do you want temperatures to go? DOWN? No, you don't. Really. You don't want the next ice age to start. Trust me on this. Temperatures were this high in the Holicene period (actually higher) and mankind wasn't doing anything. Enjoy global warming while it lasts. You didn't do it, you can't stop it, you don't want to stop it, and if you are alive when it goes away you'll be trying to bring it back. Or, maybe you'll still be trolling on Slashdot....

Re:Manmade being key here... (1, Insightful)

airos4 (82561) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660614)

And yet that, sir, is a theory that explains observable phenomena. Theories are the basis of science, and one of the principles of science is that theories are also questionable and sometimes fallible. For many years, it was held that the theory of the Sun and all other objects revolved around the Earth was also infallible and it took someone challenging it and being excommunicated to fall.

The truth is that we don't know. The system of climate on this planet is massively complex, and reacting to it with simplistic attitudes will result in knee-jerk reactions that will probably, in the grand scheme of things, have very little effect on the overall outcome. Several truths that we can debate, though, are in your points.

Point 2 - "Automobile pollution is probably the single biggest cause though." Says who? This is a matter of debate, as industry and power plants pump more than a little into the atmosphere. Further, CO2 - which is a greenhouse gas - is largely produced by Mother Nature herself through the process of life. It's something like 29:1 in favor of Mother Nature pumping it out. Water vapor is also a greenhouse gas, and there's a lot of that in the air. Human effects are arguably minimal.

http://www.caranddriver.com/columns/2502/patrick-b edard.html [caranddriver.com]

Note page 2 of this article, in which the numbers are discussed - and references are provided.

Point 3 - "This has been going on for a very long time." Again, climatology is a trending process. Humanity has only had the power to emit pollution on any scale for around 200 years, give or take, while the planet is several billions of years old.

So, sorry, but I'm a skeptic about people who think that 1mpg or a recycled plastic bag will save the planet. Call me a fatalist, but I think the planet will outlive you, me, and probably our species just fine without any misguided reactions at all.

Re:Manmade being key here... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660630)

1) It's not necessarily a vicious circle. Lots of people think that global warming will lead to faster/worse ice ages. Lots of other people say those people are crazy. Earth != Venus.

2) We also create a lot of other gasses. And affect the environment in 1000 other ways. Some of them destroy greenhouse gasses and other lead directly to global cooling.

3) Part I: No it hasn't, we've only been producing noticeable amounts for a couple hundred years. Part II: No it hasn't. That's not a huge spike, and the Industrial Revolution was meaninglessly recent on a geological timescale. Earth has seen average temps higher than now, and those were *good* times. The Sahara was lush and inhabitable. Greenland was farmable. It was different, not better or worse. Ice ages are what we should be concerned with. Ice ages suck.

Temps over the last 160,000 years (long live global warming!):
http://www.clearlight.com/~mhieb/WVFossils/PageMil l_Images/image161.gif [clearlight.com]

To think that you know what is actually happening is quite insane.

Re:Manmade being key here... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660648)

1) Greenhouse gases create a greenhouse effect. What this means is that if you have a lot of C02 in the air, it will trap the heat, creating higher temperatures in the area.

Theoretically, yes. Just as pouring a glass of water into a swimming pool will theoretically raise the water level.

I have yet to see any evidence that our tiny levels of CO2 (we are still somewhere around 0.3% total, compared to the 90% back when life appeared) are going to make any measurable difference.

Our sister planet, Venus, has a runaway greenhouse gas problem. There are so many greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, that the planet keeps getting warmer and warmer. This in turn, creates more greenhouse gases. The place isn't very hospitable.

They tried that one years ago. Noone took them seriously back then, and noone does now. The problem with that argument is that it fails to account for Venus being closer to the sun. When you sit on the electric heater, CO2 is not the reason your ass gets hot.

2) People create a lot of greenhouse gases, and pump them directly into the atmosphere. This comes by way of car exhaust, factory air pollution, power plants, and a host of other things. Automobile pollution is probably the single biggest cause though.

Agreed, we to create a lot (on a human scale, not on planetary scale) of CO2, and should cut down where we can. But still no evidence that we are changing anything.

3) This has been going on for a very long time. Accordingly, the Earth has shown a HUGE spike in global temperatures since the Industrial Revolution.

Not only that, but average temperature has been going up since the last ice age. Maybe that's why the ice melted in the first place? Also, average temperature goes up after every ice age, and goes down before every ice age. Just like it goes up during spring, and down during autumn, just over thousands of years.

My argument basically boils down to: Global warmin exists. The planet has gotten warmer for thousands of years. We do produce lots of CO2, and it can theoretically increase the temperature. We just haven't seen any evidence at all, that the CO2 we create is enough to make a difference.

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660690)

Sums it up nicely.

Re:Manmade being key here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660566)

My spouse is a research scientist whose work is directly related to climate change issues. She is not a climatologist, but she is well published and her work is used by climatologists.

I thought there still was quite a bit of legitimate controversy on this issue.

Its a broad issue. Be more specific. If you are referring to AGW (anthropogenic global warming) as I suspect, you are wrong. It is pretty settled that AGW is happening and to a large degree. The extent of which is not completely clear, but it is happening.

My understanding is that, while it is generally accepted that global warming is real, it is not nearly as accepted that the warming is "manmade" as the article puts it.

See above, your understanding is not right. There certainly is a cyclical component to the current warming trend, however, there is nothing in the historical record (~>100,000 years) compares to the current rate of warming.

The other leading claim is that it is merely part of the normal warming and cooling cycle of the earth, similar to what takes place at the end of each ice age.

How many times does this have to be debunked before people will quit saying it? Seriously.

To strip meteorologists of their certifications is irresponsible abuse of power

There are qualifications to get a certification. How can modifying those qualifications, according to what scientific research shows be irresponsible? Irresponsible is people like Geogre Taylor, Oregon's state "climatologist" who is a skeptic. He does not have a PhD in the field, has not published any scientific, peer-reviewed research. Yet he cherry-picks data points that fit is pre-concieved notion of what is happening and he has enormous influence on public policy. THAT is an irresponsible abuse of power.

The debate is over folks. Its all about mitigation at this point.

The first volume of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Fourth Assesment Report is to be released on February 2nd (URL: http://www.ipcc.ch/ [www.ipcc.ch] )

Also check out (url: http://www.realclimate.org/ [realclimate.org] )

As to if decertification is extreme? Possibly, but essentially what you have is people that have been certified, providing misleading information to the public under the banner of that certification. This is a legitimate grief.

**disclaimer: I know of Heidi Cullen, I have never met her and until now didn't even know she had a blog. My wife has had professional contact with her, but I have not spoken with her on this issue yet.....its news to me.

I would certainly do this in the case of... (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660314)

biologists, in the case of evolution, but to be honest even though the evidence towards man made global warming is very solid, the evidence is still new. Maybe after a decade or two, after global warming passed the rigor of time and the environmental effects are starting to stack up so noone denies it any more, maybe then these people should be decertified, but I think it is premature now.

Re:I would certainly do this in the case of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660670)

>the evidence is still new.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'new'.

We first noticed the changes during the International Geo-Physical Year of 58/59 and the Greenhouse Effect (the old name for Global Warming or Climate Change) was a term in common usage in the mid-70's.

Not long enough? Perhaps you want a century or so. We have tempreture records for most of the world going back about a century (so we know the weather conditions)

Still not long enough? How about tree rings in bristle cone pines showing warm and cold years back 4-5,000 years?

Not good enough? How about ice-cores and the like showing CO2 concentrations and average tempretures going back nearly 800,000 years?

I don't think a decade or two extra is going to make any significant difference to the basic question.

The evidence is already in. There is no debate. It is real.

All Theories (2, Insightful)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660318)

The fact is, theories about global warming are just that, Theories. So when people start teaching manmade global warming as fact - they are in the wrong. It's not fact. Skeptics of manmade global warming are merely saying, "You can't promote manmade global warming as fact."

That's the issue here.

Re:All Theories (1)

Zorque (894011) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660364)

Actually, quite a few of them flat out say "There's no such thing."

Re:All Theories (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660386)

And the points you had taken from you and the troll label you were branded with show the hateful, liberal, anti-science bias of the moderators here. They hate it when people expose the global warming fraud. Yes temperatures has risen at many airports around the world due to heat pollution but the measurements at higher altitudes, on the ocean, and in rural areas show a decrease. That is why scientists have talked about global warming for over 30 years, but the politicians keep pushing their warming agenda despite the facts.

whoa! (4, Insightful)

dave1g (680091) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660332)

whoa whoa whoa, if anyone should be scolded its this guy. While I truly believe the evidence points towards man made global climate change it would be dumb o make skeptics into outcasts. This is science not religion, we shouldn't be excommunicating scientists, at best we should drown out "bad" research with more "good research". its the same argument of censorship of bad speech versus offering more good speech

Re:whoa! (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660416)

This is science not religion, we shouldn't be excommunicating scientists,...

Linky: [ronaldbrucemeyer.com]
The interests of the Roman Church in the 17th century lay in unquestioning acceptance of the official, biblical cosmology, as expanded and bolstered by that of Ptolemy. The compulsory belief, the "safe science," of the day was in a stationary earth...

Unsettling this settled dogma came Galileo and his telescope,...

Blasphemy! cried the clerics.

Sounds exactly like religion to me.

HA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660336)

Global warming, what bunkam.

Godwin's law (1)

Bob_Geldof (887321) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660342)

This guy loses. Global warming is obviously a lie.

He's right in a way (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660344)

He's right that people of all professions who do put across a dangerous view for personal gain from bribes or whatever should be stripped of any accreditation they have but you'll always have the problem of who decides what "right" is. Furthermore you'll always run the risk of people using it as a way of suppressing minority views, whilst I do not believe climate skeptics have a leg to stand on and they are mostly just corporate puppets being paid a fortune to shed doubt (or hoardes of uneducated muppets who enjoy rebelling against climate change proof in a dire attempt to make themselves look, well, rebellious) there are other places where this could be abused.

If we had a sure fire way of finding out people who are casting doubt abusing their accreditation for personal gain with no care of the consequences then I'd agree with this guy, but as we don't and likely never will then sadly, I have to disagree - still, it's good someone's bringing corrupt scientists into the spotlight again such that people are aware that it happens.

Your Forecast Is.... (2, Funny)

Cbs228 (596164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660362)

.... advocating that broadcast meteorologists be stripped of their scientific certification....
That's funny. I always thought that predicting the weather around here was about as scientific as predicting the lotto numbers.

There is no global warming (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660372)

Now pardon me while I go back to my ice bath.

Firm but fair (3, Insightful)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660394)

It's obviously wrong to stop anyone contributing to any side on the Global Climate Change debate but just because Weatherfolk aren't allowed to do forecasts on TV doesn't mean they can't contribute papers on the subject and join in the debate.

The aim here seems to be to stop Weather presenters pretending that Global Climate Change isn't happening, the consequence weather presenters putting forward this point of view is that the viewing public will most likely believe them rather than all the "boffins predicting climate chaos" with the result that the public may have a very skewed view of what the current real scientific thinking on the matter is.

If weather presenters claimed that rain was in fact Gods tears and this had been scientifically proven then you'd expect him or her to lose their job or at least be removed to doing something where they are not in contact with the public and this is similar to what seems to be going on here.

What next? Thought Police? (1)

w3woody (44457) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660404)

Tracing back to what she actually wrote:
If a meteorologist can't speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn't give them a Seal of Approval. Clearly, the AMS doesn't agree that global warming can be blamed on cyclical weather patterns. It's like allowing a meteorologist to go on-air and say that hurricanes rotate clockwise and tsunamis are caused by the weather. It's not a political statement...it's just an incorrect statement.
Ex-friggin'-cuse me?

While this is not as extreme as the originally linked article makes it sound like, and while it is clear that this is being expressed as a personal opinion rather than as a serious proposal to be carried out by the American Meterological Society, is it reasonable for scientists or even television meterologists to tow the party line or else have one's "seal of approval" revoked?

There is a rather dangerous trend here, where people seem to want to force consensus by shutting down anyone who doesn't spout out the party line. This sort of shutting people down by going after their livelihoods (the AMS "Seal of Approval") in order to force a consensus does not help strengthen the competition in the arena of ideas--it only shuts people up by threatening their pocketbooks if they don't spout the desired group-think du-joir.

What's next? Memory Holes to erase all previous dissent from the party line of Global Warming as a man-made phenomina? Thought Police? Reworking the language to introduce Newspeak, so even the idea that mankind is not responsible or that Global Warming may not be happening is impossible to frame as a coherent sentence?

It's a bad idea.

But thank goodness it's just that--an idea, blithly suggested undoubtedly without a lot of reflection on a personal blog.

No need (1)

vga_init (589198) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660418)

Seriously, this is business as usual in the scientific community.

I'm not a skeptic of global warming. I can't tell you every little detail, but my own personal view is that society does do things that really would make the planet hotter.

My personal views aside, science is full of competing ideas. Scientists disagree. That's what they do. They've always done this, and if they didn't, we'd have lost a lot of valuable research. Yeah, there are a lot of crackpots running around, but that is a real small price to pay for progress. After all, let the crackpots have their fun, as long as science continues.

It seems to me, as other posters have mentioned, that creating a standard by which to oust scientists who believe a certain thing is repressive to science itself. Don't forget also that people who believe crazy things still provide valuable data and research, or at the very least help motivate people who are less crazy to prove that the other guy really is crazy.

I once met a girl in college that tried to prove to me that evolution was false because not all scientists agreed on the same theory. That's crazy. I've seen people post on Slashdot just now that they didn't think global warming was happening because there were multiple theories. Phenomena such as light has multiple theories, but that doesn't stop it from being light.

Re:No need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660662)

I'm not defending the call to strip certifications, however...

My personal views aside, science is full of competing ideas. Scientists disagree. That's what they do.

Yes, that's what they do. But when you have volumes of evidence that show as close to iron-clad evidence that that AGW is happening, then without serious peer-reviewed, scientific evidence to the contrary then all you are doing is giving out misinformation. This is why there is an established scientific method to these things.

There are a lot of unknowns. These systems are insanely complicated and intertwined..which is why it is so easy to pick specific data points of established research and say "Hey! this doens't make sense!" You have to watch the trends, not the individual events.

Its funny when you have about 98% of the scientific community telling you that this is very serious business but the 2% is getting about 30% to 40% of the print/air-time. I'd be screaming loud too (wait.. I am).

Being connected to the climate science community, I can tell you with absolute certainty that these scientists take this issue very seriously and if anything are reserved in what they are releasing to the public because of signal to noise ratio is so flippin' poor.

It's silly (2, Funny)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660430)

Why the need of stripping titles. Simply put them on a melting iceberg :)

Is it just me... (1)

Jace Harker (814866) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660438)

...or is anyone else uneasy that such a sarcastic, cynical, biased-sounding, unjournalistic writer is being published on the offical webpage of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment?

It seems to me that this is the first place we would like to see calm, rational debate and the last place we'd like to see partisan name-calling and rabble-baiting, which is what this writer seems to be doing.

There are extremists on both sides of the issue who have no understanding of the science behind it, and it shows in their writing. The scientists who actually do understand these subjects do not write like this to make their point, nor do they need to.

The source (3, Insightful)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660440)

"Posted by Marc Morano [sourcewatch.org] "

If the right wing exhibit fascist tendencies ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660452)

then on the other hand the left wing exhibit totalitarianism. We have to be careful of both. One side wants to shut everyone up for the sake of business, the other for the sake of ideology. I had a feeling this was coming. There is a concept in social psychology called a matched reaction. Push a social group for long enough in one direction and you'll get a matched reaction. In this case, if you get a bunch of extremist politicians (fascist oil and war hungry neo-cons) pushing the political elites further and further to their limits you are going to get a matched reaction from the other side of the political spectrum (lunatic totalitarian leftists).

Oh, Heidi... (2, Insightful)

foandd (629361) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660458)

I love you babe. But seriously, have a sandwich or something; body fat above 2% is a good thing, you know?

So who the hell wrote that article? The knee-jerk totally uninformed spew driven by complete ignorance which shows up in my son's high school newspaper is less sensationalist and pejorative (as well as more fact-based) than that crap. Based purely on the language used I'd have to rate its veracity at just below OJ's intent to find the real killer.

Is this really what it's come to? Quote people out of context, paraphrase them in a manner which completely changes the actual meaning of what they said, all to drive an agenda which seems to consist entirely of a desire to make yourself seem important by disagreeing with people who actually have triple digit IQs... it's true, isn't it? We have to avoid learning about ourselves by studying chimpanzees not because it's an offense against God, but because we look so bad by comparison.

I so seriously fear for this country.

Editors, RTFA (4, Informative)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660474)

WTF does "Apparently in the Senate, at least one scientist wants to put a permanent stop.." mean? The scientist isn't in the Senate. It looks like the blog linked is by a Senator. How about linking to the actual person who made the suggestion, and not this inflammatory shit?

No one suggested a "permanent stop to any arguments over Global Warming" as the summary says.

The original article is JUNK CONTROVERSY NOT JUNK SCIENCE [weather.com] , posted a month ago actually.

If a meteorologist has an AMS Seal of Approval, which is used to confer legitimacy to TV meteorologists, then meteorologists have a responsibility to truly educate themselves on the science of global warming. (One good resource if you don't have a lot of time is the Pew Center's Climate Change 101.) Meteorologists are among the few people trained in the sciences who are permitted regular access to our living rooms. And in that sense, they owe it to their audience to distinguish between solid, peer-reviewed science and junk political controversy. If a meteorologist can't speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn't give them a Seal of Approval. Clearly, the AMS doesn't agree that global warming can be blamed on cyclical weather patterns. It's like allowing a meteorologist to go on-air and say that hurricanes rotate clockwise and tsunamis are caused by the weather. It's not a political statement...it's just an incorrect statement.

Contrary to the goals of scientific exploration (4, Insightful)

jgaynor (205453) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660482)

I was incensed when I heard that a 24 year old political appointee was altering [badastronomy.com] Nasa publications on the big bang.
I was incensed when global warming was dismissed [badastronomy.com] as even a possible cause for climate change.
But any researcher or rational thinker should be equally as incensed at this attempt to arbitrarily close off an avenue of inquiry - it's the same tactic, only in the opposite direction, and it stinks just as much.

Seeking to politically silence ANY side of a scientific issue is a slippery slope. The above-mentioned examples are probably repulsive to most slashdotters. De-certifying climatologists would simply be turnabout - and equally as invalid as when the tactic was employed by the existing anti-science administration. Should we seek to eliminate a theory completely because it's not our theory? No. If we want to be sure that we're moving forward with a solid theoretical foundation, each theory must be tested and discarded based on merit and evidence alone. While the circumstantial evidence for global warming is strong, there will be a time in the future when we can either prove or disprove it. Should the improbable happen and human-influenced global warming be disproved, do we want to be seen as the proverbial church that silenced Galileo?

Apparently (5, Informative)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660510)

Apparently on Slashdot neither the Slashdotters, nor the editor, nor the submitter bother to actually RTFA. The only relation to the Senate is that the author of that BLOG entry is does PR work for the majority chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

The Earth is flat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660524)

It's a paradigm shift that has to happen sooner or later. Everyone used to believe the Earth was flat but we all know today that the Earth is round/oval/star/hexagonal shaped just not flat! People saying that there isn't a climate problem to me are just like those same people saying the Earth is flat. There is plenty of hard scientific evidence to suggest major changes in our climate caused by the modern human race. Also, just to add, we all know prevention is the best cure. So to any nay sayer even if the climate issues do not exist, we should still take a moral stance to actively protect and monitor our planet's health and well being.

One last point for those who think that the earth is really 14,000 years old, I think you really need to look beyond your, lonely unreferenced, unscientific, fictional book for all your answers on what to accept and what to reject.

This slashdot post is a mess (2, Interesting)

blazespinnaker (967724) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660536)

Marc Morano (the Senate blog poster) http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Marc_Mo rano [sourcewatch.org] , is an outspoken right wing aide to republican senator. He is complaining, clearly, about the anchor at the weather channel, certainly not encouraging her. This is *not* coming from the Senate, but rather from the Weather Channel.

THE WEATHER CHANNEL IS TREACHEROUS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660610)

What we need is a fair and balanced weather channel. One where the photos of clouds and suns have smiley faces on them and wave to children. Also, the earth is in a perpetual state of donut rain showers, and for those that don't like donuts, you can subscribe to a 24/7 internet feed that gives you the shower, and food, of your choice. Severe weather like Tsunamis and hurricanes would never happen. In fact, they'd have to be renamed. Tsunamis would now be called an "Ocean Hug" because the ocean loves the earth so much that they run towards it and hug it. Hurricanes would be called "Mr Blowy" because this big happy rain cloud called Mr Blowy likes to travel the Earth blowing stuff like in imagery of those really old maps.

And yet much of California is freezing...umm? (1)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660692)

Interesting to see an article here discussing "global warming" when much of the United States (slashdot content is U.S.-centric) is in the deep-freeze.

Regardless of whether it's real or not, "global warming" sure beats "global cooling" based on data of past ice ages.

The billions of losses experienced by orange growers in California highlights all too well the immediate destructive effects of cooling to humankind.

Humans are part of nature ... our collective actions may actually be staving off the next ice age; scientists should research that more.

And finally, while many people worry about human-made pollutants and seek way to reduce the global temperature, a few massive volcanic eruptions will likely make much of that effort for naught; people will be wishing for "global warming".

Ron

We all know it: (1)

eMbry00s (952989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660700)

We have always been at war with global warming.

Certified scientidst? Seal of Approval? (4, Insightful)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660708)

Excuse my language, but what the fuck is that?

I have been working in the scientific community my whole professional life, and I have never heard of a "certified scientist" before. There are various academic degrees and awards you can have (like Ph.D or Nobel prize), and there are positions you can hold (like associate professor). You don't lose the first, and losing the second means you get fired. No "certification". And you don't need either to be considered a scientist by the community.

If you want to establish a pecking order among scientists, you look at how many publications he has, the rating of the journals the publications appear in, and how many other scientist quote your results.

And you don't have to agree with the consensus to be considered a scientist, take Fred Hoyle for example. He never accepted Big Bang, and had various controversial opinions on other areas as well, he won his last major scientific award in 1997, four years before his death.

Misrepresenting things. (5, Informative)

Trestran (715384) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660716)

Let's take a look at what she actually said, shall we?
I'd like to take that suggestion a step further. If a meteorologist has an AMS Seal of Approval, which is used to confer legitimacy to TV meteorologists, then meteorologists have a responsibility to truly educate themselves on the science of global warming. ... Meteorologists are among the few people trained in the sciences who are permitted regular access to our living rooms. And in that sense, they owe it to their audience to distinguish between solid, peer-reviewed science and junk political controversy
That's a pretty darn reasonable point of view, and very much pro science. It just so happens that scientific consensus does in fact support anthropogenic global warming. Just look at the rigorously peer reviewed reports of the IPCC, and the endorsements of a vast number of scientific institutes in the world out there, and pretty much all the climatological and meteorological organizations in the US. And when looked at peer reviewed science, no real opposing scientific theory can be found at this point, see a study published by Nature, "Beyond the ivory tower: The scientific consensus on climate change [sciencemag.org] ".

Now, the part of her statement this controversy is about, which is making just speaking on the actual scientific work out there part of the requirements of the seal of approval, rather then spreading misinformation not based on peer reviewed science. But what is the purpose of this seal. Well, let's check their site [ametsoc.org] :
The AMS Seal of Approval was launched in 1957 as a way to recognize on-air meteorologists for their sound delivery of weather information to the general public.
And they now have a specific certificate for broadcast meteorologists, which states its purpose as:
In January 2005, the AMS introduced a new program called the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) program, intended to raise the professional standard in broadcast meteorology and encourage a broader range of scientific understanding, especially with respect to environmental issues. The goal of the CBM program is to certify that the holder meets specific educational and experience criteria and has passed rigorous testing in their knowledge and communication of meteorology and related sciences needed to be an effective broadcast meteorologist.
Hey, how about that. It's about giving accurate information on the actual scientific understanding out there, and communicating this in an accurate and effective way. Not at all about "censoring", this call is merely suggesting that people who are certified under this hold themselves to the peer reviewed science out there on climate change. Which matches remarkably well with the stated purpose of the certification.

I'm not exactly sure if it is a good idea though, but this blogger linked by the /. write up is misrepresent things and has pulled the statements out of context.

It's certification not censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17660718)

This is not about censorship.

This is about the American Meteorlogical Association de-certifying members who act unprofessionally, and is therefore just as valid as the medical professional associations de-certify doctors promoting quack cures - especially dangerous quack cures. Happens all the time.

Someone who acts unprofessionaly harm their clients *and* their fellow professionals. Unlike free speech, the benefits of professional recognition have to be earned and are not a basic right.

Even with that said, it is not censorship. Anyone de-certified would still be able to speak, just not (presumably) practice.
Nor would they have the benefit of the implied endorsement that comes with the phrase "certified member of the AMA"

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