The Instigator
ReaganConservative
Pro (for)
Losing
48 Points
The Contender
sethgecko13
Con (against)
Winning
99 Points

"Global Warming" is a hoax

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/11/2007 Category: Science
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,171 times Debate No: 213
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (49)

 

ReaganConservative

Pro

"Global Warming" is one of the biggest scams in history. To go to the extreme of saying our planet is "melting" and man is the main cause, is utter foolishness and complete ignorance. I feel bad for anyone who takes Al Gore seriously. According to Accu-Weather, the world's leading commercial forecaster, global air temperatures, as measured by land-based weather stations, show an increase of about 0.45 degrees Celsius over the past century, yet CO2 output continued to rise at an extremely fast pace throughout the 20th century. From the 1940's-1970's, temperatures dropped, yet CO2 output continued to rise. About 80% of the CO2 from human activities was added to the air after 1940, which cannot account for the pre-1940 warming trend. The trend, therefore, had to be largely natural. Then, as the air's CO2 incrased most rapidly, temperatures dropped for nearly 40 years. Crops were damaged during the summers of that time period due to frost on plants. Studies show that 420,000 years ago, temperatures were warmer than they are today. Evidence of a cooling trend debunks the theory of global warming. The snow-covered continent of Antarctica has cooled over the past 35 years, according to scientists with the National Science Foundation's Long Term Ecological Research project.
sethgecko13

Con

While a healthy sense of skepticism is always recommended, it is unfortunately the case that the issue of Global Climate Change has become politicized and that the small amount of skepticism on GCC has been over-hyped by the various well-funded industries that don't want the government to take action with pollution and efficiency controls. When surveyed, the vast majority of climate scientists (from organizations such as the National Academies of Science) believe that human activity is to blame for the recent climate changes, though some may disagree on the severity.

First, it's inaccurate to characterize the position of the pro-Global Warming/Global Climate Change crowd as believing that the earth is "melting." It is their contention that human activity has finally reached the capacity (through our advanced industrial state) of being able to influence the planet's climate by throwing off-kilter the self-regulating mechanisms that keep our climate stable.

Second, the sentence beginning with "According to Accu-Weather" is an unattributed secondhand quote from the anti-Global Warming website globalwarming.org (maintained by the "Cooler Heads Coalition" which is an anti-global warming front group backed by a variety of conservative think tanks and carbon industry proponents). Further, the quote does not come from AccuWeather (as it is attributed), which does not take a position on the issue of Global Climate Change; rather they provide a forum for various persons on either side of the aisle to present their cases. It's likely that the quote should be attributed to one or another of those individuals.

Ignoring the source of the AccuWeather quote, measuring temperature and carbon output over the past few decades is insufficient as a much larger sample size is required to draw accurate conclusions about the nature of the climate changes we're currently experiencing.

When one expands the record over millions of years (with the data we have available from ice cores and other data collection forms), it becomes apparent that we are experiencing an unprecedented warming trend, and that carbon output levels are at an all-time high. When combining instrumental temperature records for the past 150 years with "proxy indicators" like ice cores and tree rings, we can construct a picture of the global temperature that shows a marked increase in temperature beginning in the 19th century (Jones et al., 1998; Mann et al., 1999; Crowley and Lowery, 2000). These findings are verified by nearly a dozen other model- and proxy-based reconstructions of the Northern Hemisphere.

The quote "about 80% of the CO2 from human activities was added to the air after 1940" is also an unattributed secondhand quote pulled from a source I can't identify. The simplest refutation of it is the fact that the rise of industrialism pre-dates 1940. It's not as though 1940 was the first year a coal-fired power plant went into operation; quite the contrary – coal, for example, has been mined and burned for industrial operations since the end of the 18th century. Assuming the statistic is true; it should stand as an alarming example of how rapidly CO2 output has increased in recent decades.

The period of cooling between the 40s and the 70s is attributed by many to sulphate aerosols. Not only that, but it's important not to focus too closely on CO2 given that it is estimated to be responsible for only about 25 percent of the greenhouse effect at most – there are plenty of other influential greenhouse gases and other factors that weigh in. Ironically, the period of cooling is a superb example of how much human activity can affect the climate: when chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were banned virtually worldwide in the 1980s – it had a striking observable effect on the phenomenon of ozone depletion.

The claim about Antarctica warming is patently false. Quoting from NASA's article "Two Decades of Temperature Change in Antarctica" on its Earth Observatory site: "Across most of the continent and the surrounding Southern Ocean, temperatures climbed." The British Antarctic Survey concluded likewise, saying that the Antarctic Peninsula is "one of the fastest warming parts of the planet" in its article "Climate Change."

It's possible (given the other unattributed statistics and quotes) that the claim about Antarctica was taken from fiction author Michael Crichton's shoddily-researched book "State of Fear" in which Crichton (a global warming skeptic) misappropriated research by Peter Doran to make a similar claim. Doran publicly rebuffed Crichton (and all other Global Warming skeptics misusing his data) by saying "...our results have been misused as "evidence" against global warming by Crichton in his novel 'State of Fear'...".

With respect to the final claim, I can find zero evidence that the National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research Project has found that Antarctica has cooled. Quite the contrary – instead of being Global Climate Change skeptics, the NRS's LTER recognizes the significant consequences of Global Warming, stating on its website:

"The study of Global Change is particularly important as it is now clear that human social and economic activities around the world are having an impact that can be measured at the level of the entire Earth and its atmosphere, oceans, and land surface. Human activities are probably the most rapidly changing component among the major regulators of the Earth system, and may—in the future—play a dominant role in the regulation of global climate, global biogeochemistry, and the diversity and stability of global ecosystems."
Debate Round No. 1
ReaganConservative

Pro

A well-researched response sethgecko13. I praise you for your efforts. Here is something I would like you to read:

"It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; It is a SCAM. Some dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long term scientific data to create an illusion of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental whacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the "research" to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus.

Environmental extremists, notable politicians among them, then teamed up with movie, media and other liberal, environmentalist journalists to create this wild "scientific" scenario of the civilization threatening environmental consequences from Global Warming unless we adhere to their radical agenda. Now their ridiculous manipulated science has been accepted as fact and become a cornerstone issue for CNN, CBS, NBC, the Democratic Political Party, the Governor of California, school teachers and, in many cases, well informed but very gullible environmental conscientious citizens.

...There is no run away climate change. The impact of humans on climate is not catastrophic. Our planet is not in peril. I am incensed by the incredible media glamour, the politically correct silliness and rude dismissal of counter arguments by the high priest of Global Warming.

In time, a decade or two, the outrageous scam will be obvious. As the temperature rises, polar ice cap melting, coastal flooding and super storm pattern all fail to occur as predicted everyone will come to realize we have been duped. The sky is not falling. And, natural cycles and drifts in climate are as much if not more responsible for any climate changes underway. I strongly believe that the next twenty years are equally as likely to see a cooling trend as they are to see a warming trend."
--John Coleman, Founder of the Weather Channel

Scientists have no proof that CO2 output has any effect on the climate. If that were true, that wouldn't explain the cooling trend from the 40's-70's because CO2 output was rising. The National Academy of Sciences report stated there is no conclusive link to human activity and "global warming."

The idea that global warming would melt the ice caps and flood coastal cities seems to be mere science fiction. A slight increase in temperature--whether natural or human induced--is not likely to lead to a massive melting of the earth ice caps, as sometimes claimed in the media.
sethgecko13

Con

While John Coleman is entitled to his opinion, he's not an expert in climate science. He's a television performer and an entrepreneur, not a researcher or a scientist (does he even have a Master's degree, let alone a doctorate?). He has only the veneer of credibility on this issue. I notice it's not mentioned that he only was with the Weather Channel for one year and left in 1983 (which is ancient history in terms of global warming science). This conclusion he's reached not on research he's done himself.

Since you've gone on auto-pilot, letting the writings of others speak for you – I hope you won't mind when I do the same for a while. Here are excerpts from a solid rebuttal of the John Coleman rant you posted. In it he points out that Coleman is writing for ICECAP, which is an anti-Global Warming organization with shadowy funding sources. He also notes that both the Weather Channel and the American Meteorological Society contradict Coleman:

No Need For Climate Change Conspiracy Theories
Andrew Freedman | November 11, 2007 | CapitolWeather.com

… Coleman's piece is notable because it lays bare the predicament of the climate change contrarianism movement 2.0. Whereas the first generation of climate change contrarians during the 1980s and much of the 90s wielded enormous political influence when the science was more uncertain, contrarians today have been largely relegated to boisterous backbenchers who air their views in online forums.

Their marginalization to the fringe of the debate is what drives people like Coleman stark raving mad. Yet Coleman's piece actually helps the arguments of those who are seeking action on global warming by making those on his side look desperate and foolish.

For example, rather than citing peer reviewed scientific research to back up his claims, Coleman instead provides no evidence at all to back up his viewpoint. None. Zip, zero, zilch.

… In claiming to understand climate change, Coleman blatantly ignores the differences between meteorology (and TV meteorology at that) and the numerous climate science disciplines, which encompass multiple complex fields from atmospheric physics to oceanography. Considerably more complex than Mr. Coleman is used to in his current position as a TV weather forecaster in sunny San Diego.

… Coleman's rhetoric contrasts sharply with that of former American Meteorological Society President (AMS) and D.C. television weather forecasting institution Bob Ryan, who along with NBC Telemundo Miami meteorologist John Toohey-Morales wrote a recent guest editorial in the Bulletin of the AMS.

According to them, the public is looking to television weathercasters to provide them with information and guidance on climate change rather than personal views. "When we stray from objectivity in communicating the latest scientific findings, we do the public a disservice," they wrote.

Coleman's piece is an example of precisely the kind of communication that Ryan and Toohey-Morales single out as particularly troubling. "Alarmingly, many weathercasters and certified broadcast meteorologists dismiss, in most cases without any solid scientific arguments, the conclusions of the National Research Council (NRC), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and other peer-reviewed research," Ryan and Toohey-Morales wrote.

… The Weather Channel issued a statement in response to Coleman's blog post that reiterated the network's stance on global warming, which holds that there is "strong evidence that the majority of the warming over the past century is a result of human activities. This is also the conclusion drawn, nearly unanimously, by climate scientists. Any meaningful debate on the topic amongst climate experts is over."

With respect to CO2 output and climate change – there is indeed a well-documented impact, which I can cite a variety of sources for if you like. What is subject to debate is WHERE and HOW CO2 impacts climate, and in what proportion to all of the myriad other factors that impact climate.

This argument you're raising about the period between the 40s and the 70s is likely another one lifted from Crichton's poorly-researched book "State of Fear." It, too, is incorrect and is easily refuted. In the first place (as I already noted) CO2 is only one of the many factors contributing to Global Climate Change. Second, the data that claims the Earth warmed during that period is based ONLY on data from the Northern Hemisphere. It's perfectly possible for the overall temperature of the Earth to be rising even if it's declining in certain areas (another great illustration of this fact was the Antarctic data you referenced; PARTS of Antarctica are cooling – but on the whole the continent is warming, and alarmingly-so in those areas). Third, as I previously noted, "forcings" (through things like land use changes – a great many of which happened during the period you cite as the US became much more environmentally / ecologically conscious, solar radiation, sulphate and nitrate aerosols, and volcanic activity) can temporarily override the effects of CO2 production.

As for your claim about the National Academy of Sciences, you again could not be more wrong. The NAS has concluded that human activity does contribute to global warming AND that the phenomena is responsible for the negative environmental consequences we're experiencing now (droughts, fiercer storms, etc.). The only thing that the NAS has said that resembles what you're presenting is that some of the conclusions drawn from proxy sources are fuzzier, and that we need to do a lot more research. This is from the NAS' book "Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions":

"Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. Temperatures are, in fact, rising. The changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities, but we cannot rule out that some significant part of these changes is also a reflection of natural variability. Human-induced warming and associated sea level rises are expected to continue through the 21st century. Secondary effects are suggested by computer model simulations and basic physical reasoning. These include increases in rainfall rates and increased susceptibility of semi-arid regions to drought. The impacts of these changes will be critically dependent on the magnitude of the warming and the rate with which it occurs."

Not only that – but they echo the same things I've been saying about the period of slight cooling from 1940-1970 elsewhere in the book when they talk about the effects of industrialization on climate:

"The Northern Hemisphere as a whole experienced a slight cooling from 1946–75, and the cooling during that period was quite marked over the eastern United States. The cause of this hiatus in the warming is still under debate. The hiatus is evident in averages over both Northern and Southern Hemispheres, but it is more pronounced in the Northern Hemisphere. One possible cause of this feature is the buildup of sulfate aerosols due to the widespread burning of high sulfur coal during the middle of the century, followed by a decline indicated by surface sulfate deposition measurements."

To your final point, melting ice caps (and glaciers) is no less fiction than regions of the world drying out. It's not "someone in the media" making arguments that the ice caps are melting; it's the scientists literally watching thousands of miles of ice shelves dropping into the water and melting. Search any news search engine and you'll find thousands of reports, photos and videos from scientists attesting to the serious decline in ice masses on the earth. I can link to reams of satellite photos illustrating the dramatic decline of glaciers, ice shelves, and polar ice packs.
Debate Round No. 2
ReaganConservative

Pro

You bring a very well-researched argument to the table. I am out of ammunition and I have said what I needed to say. I believe the earth goes through natural warming and cooling trends, without having humans being the number one cause. You believe humans are slowly destroying the planet and the planet will eventually melt and feel we need to stop driving SUV's and need to start riding our bikes to work...or so I assume you believe that. However, if you don't necessarily believe that, then more power to you. We can agree to disagree. Take care man.
sethgecko13

Con

sethgecko13 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ericjpomeroy 9 years ago
ericjpomeroy
In 1978 wasn't the mass hysteria about global cooling?
Posted by rshortman 9 years ago
rshortman
Way to go and make us look like asses Raegan. Global Warming exists, it's just not the apocalpytic event liberals think it will be and there's plenty of viable evidence to prove it.

Your argument did nothing to help stop the hysteria.

and Sethgecko13, As much as I admire a person who does their homework, you haven't really said anything I haven't heard before and didn't already have a better counter-argument to. Even if Al Gore is right (which he's not) he doesn't deserve the Nobel Peace Prize for making a movie. Not when so many others have sacrificed so much for the betterment of humanity and have made a much bigger impact in the long run.
Posted by Masterworks 9 years ago
Masterworks
My take on it: Global warming's fake. Kthxbai.
Posted by AREA 9 years ago
AREA
a four paragraph quote by the founder of the weather channel.
Why rely on one quote for the majority of your round, and only cap it with 5 lines?
All the massive quote said was "it's a scam" without adding content for the next 30 lines. I'd have preferred to have heard more reasoning from you, Reagan Conservative. Same with you, sethqecko13.

Instead of voting for one of you two, I must choose between Coleman and Freedman.
Posted by C-Mach 9 years ago
C-Mach
I agree with ReaganConservative on this one. I mean, come on. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration "normalized" (meaning "manipulated to promote an agenda" or "fudged up") some graph about how much energy the Sun puts out. In the comments (this has of course been deleted to make sure skeptics to the Neo-Environmentalist religion have no credibility whatsoever), it gave the reason why NOAA normalized the graph:

"...For fear it would be attributable to anything other than human activity."

Neo-Environmentalism at work.
Posted by Korezaan 9 years ago
Korezaan
RFD: CON

Because PRO forfeited.

And I was about to vote for you too.
Posted by Karoz 9 years ago
Karoz
Wrap your mouth around the exaust pipe of a car, and try to tell me humans have nothing to do with global warming.
Posted by Darth_Grievous_42 9 years ago
Darth_Grievous_42
While I don't personally agree with con, I found he made a superior arguement, therefore, he has my vote.
Posted by TeaandScarves 9 years ago
TeaandScarves
Reagan, with all personal beliefs I have on the topic aside, two (which are kind of combined into one) of your arguements concern me. While you personally continually repeat that there can be no such thing as global warming and bring about quotes of those who believe you, you bring no evidence as to what it could be instead that everyone is talking about. You mention a natural climate change with heating OR cooling, yet you bring no evidence that this is possible or has ever been the case. I would also like you to cite your source that 80% of CO2 emissions came after 1940 since CO2 largely comes from coal, which was first used in the industral revolution in the 1800s. But besides your lack of an alternative for global warming, you cited a source, Mr. John Coleman, who shared your views, but also gave no alternative to the idea and used words in his arugements such as "bogus", "wacko", and other what I consider immature words of arguement. I thank you, however, for your viewpoint. Both sides of every arguement are valueble to know.
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