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Debates Forum

  1. 11 Dec '12 09:47 / 3 edits
    I will go with science over Republican right-wing ideology. Below are excerpts from an article by a rare moderate Republican, a diminishing breed in the freak Republican Party.

    The Danger in Republican Climate Denial
    by GOPLifer

    . . . Republicans can’t be blamed for harboring skepticism, but we must realize that our strategy of blind blanket denial is developing into a political suicide pact. We must find a smarter approach to this problem while we still have time. The Earth’s climate is getting warmer and our carbon emissions are a factor in that heating. There is no credible scientific consensus that questions those two facts.

    We must stop wheeling in crank “scientists” who wield tactics borrowed from the tobacco industry to “debunk” the credible research on climate change. Once we accept those two undisputed realities there is an absolute wonderland of authentic uncertainty waiting beyond those them. That is the realm where real uncertainty lies and where the policy response to climate change can still be shaped. For example how much, exactly, of the Earth’s warming can be attributed to human activity? Certainly a lot, but no precise figure can be agreed on. How much warmer will it get and under what circumstances? . . . Let’s not forget the most troubling unanswered question: how much do we need to reduce our carbon output to achieve a specific decline in warming? . . . Some scientists expect that regardless what action we take, it may take centuries to mitigate the impact of human-influence climate change.

    So how do we address policy questions like whether to implement a carbon tax? Conservatives will lose the credibility required to even participate in that and other policy debates if we continue to tolerate the ridiculous notion that climate change is a hoax. On a political level, Republicans must not confuse climate change with other science vs. belief issues. On this issue public opinion will eventually move in the direction of established facts regardless of how much distortion we generate. . . . When public opinion comes into line with the established science, our denialist position will cost us our opportunity to participate in shaping policy. We are setting ourselves up for a sudden, catastrophic political collapse which could spread beyond this single issue.

    Ironically, conservatives are probably in the best position of anyone to shape sensible responses to this problem. America over the past decade scored a shocking, yet hardly noted achievement which hard-core climate activists in the 90’s would have thought nearly impossible. We slashed our carbon emissions by nearly 10%. In fact, by 2020 we are on track to meet all of the emissions reductions envisioned by the cap and trade program that we did not implement.
  2. 11 Dec '12 09:48
    The largest factor in the reduction of US greenhouse gas emissions has been an aggressive natural gas drilling campaign sparked by fracking. That’s right. If you love Mother Earth and worry about climate change you should come down from that tree and hug a roughneck. This shift toward natural gas will not be enough by itself to achieve the kind of carbon reductions that are probably necessary over the long term, but it points to a reality forgotten in this debate. As in most cases, cautious conservative approaches to this problem will likely be more successful than heavy-handed central planning.

    Instead of chaining ourselves to denialism, conservatives could be promoting solid science, calming the alarmists, and shaping climate policies that harness the power of private enterprise and respect property rights. If Democrats are free to define the response to climate change purely in terms of energy austerity and central planning, the world will be poorer and we will suffer much more from the effects of warming.

    Real solutions are much more likely to emerge from technology and markets than from centrally imposed want, but conservatives cannot participate in shaping these alternatives if the party allows itself to be defined politically by a pack of ridiculous cranks. Categorical climate denial might be the single greatest threat to the long term future of the conservative movement.

    For the Republican Party in the U.S., denial is a river that is rapidly running dry.


    http://blog.chron.com/goplifer/2012/12/the-danger-in-republican-climate-denial/
  3. 12 Dec '12 00:55
    Check out this pie chart regarding the deniers.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2012/12/11/climate_change_denial_why_don_t_they_publish_scientific_papers.html
  4. 12 Dec '12 01:10
    Interesting take. Can't say I disagree with it. My question for the greenies has always been: "So what if the climate is changing?"

    I'd actually like to hear a good response to this. Why does it matter if the climate is changing and we are causing it?
  5. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    12 Dec '12 01:15
    Originally posted by blaze8492
    Interesting take. Can't say I disagree with it. My question for the greenies has always been: "So what if the climate is changing?"

    I'd actually like to hear a good response to this. Why does it matter if the climate is changing and we are causing it?
    Lots of flooded beachside property. Sea lions lounging in Malibu living rooms. Increased hurricanes. Russians might get the ever elusive warm water port they eternally quest for. Florida marshes expand. Antarctica might become slightly less useless. Los Angeles summers apparently become even milder.
  6. 12 Dec '12 01:17
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Lots of flooded beachside property. Sea lions lounging in Malibu living rooms. Increased hurricanes. Russians might get the ever elusive warm water port they eternally quest for. Florida marshes expand. Antarctica might become slightly less useless. Los Angeles summers apparently become even milder.
    So then the argument is less about the damage we are doing to the earth, and more about what might happen to us and our livelihood if we don't stop?
  7. 12 Dec '12 01:20
    Originally posted by blaze8492
    Interesting take. Can't say I disagree with it. My question for the greenies has always been: "So what if the climate is changing?"

    I'd actually like to hear a good response to this. Why does it matter if the climate is changing and we are causing it?
    Actually in totality a warmer climate could be very beneficial.

    In reality, there is no scientific agreement on this.
  8. 12 Dec '12 01:21
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Lots of flooded beachside property. Sea lions lounging in Malibu living rooms. Increased hurricanes. Russians might get the ever elusive warm water port they eternally quest for. Florida marshes expand. Antarctica might become slightly less useless. Los Angeles summers apparently become even milder.
    In other words, the same variations that have happened throughout the life of this planet.
  9. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    12 Dec '12 01:23
    Originally posted by blaze8492
    So then the argument is less about the damage we are doing to the earth, and more about what might happen to us and our livelihood if we don't stop?
    No there would be lots of extinctions too. I assumed you didn't care about that. Polar Bears, penguins, and some that get outcompeted. There is some tropical starfish or algae or something that is thriving and wiping out keystone species. Less biodiversity overall.
  10. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    12 Dec '12 01:25
    Originally posted by normbenign
    In other words, the same variations that have happened throughout the life of this planet.
    Yep but it still preferable to avoid such dramatic changes in the environment when possible.
  11. 12 Dec '12 01:36
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Yep but it still preferable to avoid such dramatic changes in the environment when possible.
    Is it possible? The folks who scream the loudest have no practical suggestions which would change things.
  12. 12 Dec '12 05:53
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    No there would be lots of extinctions too. I assumed you didn't care about that. Polar Bears, penguins, and some that get outcompeted. There is some tropical starfish or algae or something that is thriving and wiping out keystone species. Less biodiversity overall.
    Not necessarily. I'm looking for someone to explain why extinctions of animals would be a bad thing. I consider it natural, having taken place many times over the history of this earth, so I'm looking for someone to explain to me how humans, being a naturally occurring species on earth, can cause something unnatural. Since we are naturally occurring, why are our actions unnatural? We originated within nature, can our actions then truly be unnatural?

    To provide some context:

    When plants began to produce oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis, hundreds of species were killed off because of oxygen's toxicity. Yet, billions of years later, the earth still turns and life goes on.

    If this considered natural, the manipulation of the elements to the extent available for the furthering of one's species, then why is it that human actions regarding the resources available to them are considered unnatural? Since we come from nature, can anything we do really be considered unnatural?
  13. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    12 Dec '12 06:38
    Originally posted by blaze8492
    I'd actually like to hear a good response to this. Why does it matter if the climate is changing and we are causing it?
    Concerted action has not really worked, so it's time to put that behind us. The priority now is anticipation of climate change's impacts and adapting and/or reacting to them as and when necessary.
  14. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    12 Dec '12 15:42
    Originally posted by blaze8492
    Not necessarily. I'm looking for someone to explain why extinctions of animals would be a bad thing. I consider it natural, having taken place many times over the history of this earth, so I'm looking for someone to explain to me how humans, being a naturally occurring species on earth, can cause something unnatural. Since we are naturally occurring, wh ...[text shortened]... ed unnatural? Since we come from nature, can anything we do really be considered unnatural?
    Because we don't want to be constrained and eventually doomed by the natural course of events. Even assuming all human activities are merely the natural product of evolution, perhaps the next natural step is for us to screw up our biosphere and cause ourselves a slow, painful decimation or extinction. If that is the case, we don't want it. We want instead to do what we can, natural or unnatural, to preserve our safety and comfort. Therefore, whether our activities are natural or not, their consequences must be considered.
  15. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    12 Dec '12 15:59
    Originally posted by blaze8492
    Since we come from nature, can anything we do really be considered unnatural?
    I am a big music fan, but I find most techno I've heard to be rather unnatural.