The Instigator
sam.roth
Pro (for)
Winning
36 Points
The Contender
1Historygenius
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Global warming is real

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
sam.roth
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/8/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,266 times Debate No: 35399
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (22)
Votes (7)

 

sam.roth

Pro

Research has led to an overwhelming consensus among climate scientists that climate change, a result of increased greenhouse gas concentrations, is a real, anthropogenic phenomenon being driven by fossil fuel emissions.

Data from multiple sources seem to point to the same conclusion. Average temperature indicators since the Industrial Revolution as well as increasing intensity of weather patterns in recent years, and historical trends in levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have convinced well over 90% of the scientific community that global warming is happening now and, if left unchecked, could be catastrophic for the biosphere.

The main objections to this theory have been made by skeptics who tend to be unqualified or biased; most of these "scientists" have financial interests in the oil industry or their research was funded by oil executives such as the Koch brothers. In fact, even some of this oil-subsidized research has concluded that, in fact, this is a real issue. Many people, particularly conservatives in the US, tend to deny climate science, however these objections are almost entirely self serving and should be rejected: they are simply wrong.
1Historygenius

Con

Burden of proof is on Pro to prove that global warming is anthropogenic.

My Refutations

Here we go.

"Data from multiple sources seem to point to the same conclusion. Average temperature indicators since the Industrial Revolution as well as increasing intensity of weather patterns in recent years, and historical trends in levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have convinced well over 90% of the scientific community that global warming is happening now and, if left unchecked, could be catastrophic for the biosphere."

My opponent has provided no proof here. The Center for Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change have concluded that a rise temperatures precedes the rise in CO2. Those who propose CO2 as a cause of global warming have failed to decide what came first. It is clear that the rise in temperature caused it as the Center for Study of Carbon Dioxide says and thus global warming is not likely man-made. [1]

Similarly, a study found that the oceans play a huge role to global warming. While the atmosphere may contain 720 billion tons of CO2, the oceans on Earth contain 36 trillion tons and they are the largest contributing factors to the temperature increase. [2]

My opponent goes on some rant about scientists, but the study here was correct. Also, he has provided no sources that some scientists have done this. We need proof.

Conclusion

I have easily refuted my opponent's argument global warming is likely man-made.
Sources

1. http://www.co2science.org...
2.
Watts, Anthony. "A Study: The Temperature Rise Has Caused the CO2 Increase, Not the Other Way Around." Wattsupwiththat.com. Watts Up With That?, 9 June 2010. Web.
Debate Round No. 1
sam.roth

Pro

The use of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change as a source is almost worse than having no sources at all. First of all, the page my opponent links to was written in 1998. But more importantly, this is an organization run by Craig and Keith Idso, both skeptics whose research has been funded by the oil-backed Heartland Institute: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com...
Hardly the most trustworthy source, but even if you don't think their questionable motivations are making them biased towards denial of climate science, I think a more reasonable way to determine how likely it is as laypeople would be to examine the consensus on the issue among scientists. Admittedly this is anecdotal evidence, but I actually predicted my opponent to cite the Idso family, because they are among only a small handful of actual scientists who try to convince the public that global warming isn't real. Why is this the case? Well, there is in fact an overwhelming scientific consensus on the issue: http://iopscience.iop.org...
Several studies of this kind have been done, and they invariably find that somewhere in the range of 97% of climate scientists not only say that warming is real, but that it is anthropogenic.

I think I have made my point abundantly clear that if we take into account what actual scientists say on this issue in the aggregate, it is no contest. But if you are inclined to believe my opponent's study, I'd like to point out that there is no real warrant to the claim that is made. My opponent gives the claim of his evidence, and then says "it is clear that the rise in temperature caused it as the Center for Study of Carbon Dioxide says"-this is clearly a logical fallacy. If we are to place so much value on this study, there has to be a better reason than "my source is clearly correct as my source says, thus I'm right." This is the equivalent of saying it is correct because it said so, and he later repeats this by saying that I went on a rant about scientists "but the study here was correct." No, I simply said that these are marginal voices, and there are specific reasons to think the study was not correct. Just keep in mind that 97% of scientists think that what it said is false. I won't really address the oceans claim because it isn't really explained to the level of being an argument, but as far as I can tell it is about how much carbon the oceans contain which is utterly irrelevant as the greenhouse effect is driven by gases in the atmosphere, and the only source that has increased significantly within the last couple centuries has been human pollution.
1Historygenius

Con

My Refutations

"The use of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change as a source is almost worse than having no sources at all. First of all, the page my opponent links to was written in 1998."

My opponent needs to explain himself better. I have no idea why its bad and he has no source to support him. Instead, he has a source to attack the owners of the organization, but that does not refute the data given and the fact that most proponents of global warming have no decent refutation themselves. This means refutation here holds. In fact, one could say that this idea that "big oil is making lies" is completely a myth.

The main proponent that this corruption exists is environmental journalist Ross Gelbspan who accused the these companies lying about global warming:

"This is the only accusation there is, and it spirals back in each case to one source. Ross Gelbspan. Nobody else independently confirms or corroborates it, they just repeat it. Endlessly. And just like Gelbspan and Gore, not a shred of physical evidence is shown to prove money was given in exchange for demonstratively false fabricated science assessments.

If multiple easily found problems with the ‘skeptic scientists receive corrupt fossil fuel industry funding’ narrative give a clear indication of how the whole accusation is in danger of total collapse, then we have a major problem with the long-held idea that there is no credible science-based opposition to the idea of man-caused global warming." [1]


My opponent's "consensus" is really nothing but a bunch of people who have not looked too deeply into the issue or their liars and frauds. My opponent has also provided absolutely no data on the issue. If my opponent cannot provide counter data.

Conclusion

The debate here is clearly in my favor. My opponent goes on about how corrupt some people are in one organization, but this is simply not true. In addition, he has provided no counter data.

Sources

1. Cook, Russell. "The First, the Last, and the Only Accusation Against Skeptics. Repeat It Often, Inexplicable Errors Are Optional." Gelbspanfiles.com. Gelbspan Files, 8 June 2013. Web.
Debate Round No. 2
sam.roth

Pro

The first problem with my opponent's response is his failure to address one big concern, which is that the only piece of evidence he has referenced was written in 1998. In the intervening 15 years, not only has scientific consensus moved even more towards acceptance of anthropogenic cglobal warming, but climate and weather patterns have more starkly revealed the ongoing changes. Temperatures have been increasing more rapidly even just over the past 5 or so years, as record heat waves would suggest. This calls into question his authors' outdated assumption that increases in temperature have caused or are simply correlated with levels of carbon dioxide.

I did a Google search for "hottest years global warming." The three first results were:
http://www.guardian.co.uk...
http://www.slate.com...
http://www.nytimes.com...

All of these respected sources verify that the earth is warming. Of the first 12 relevant results, 11 supported the idea that the earth is growing warmer. It also indicates that NOAA and NASA scientists, whose motivations are far less questionable than scientists who admit they receive funding from oil companies, say that this is independent, empirical verification of a conclusion they had already reached based on modeling theories. Additionally, the ten hottest years since 1880 were all after 1998-the year in which my opponent's only evidence was written.

The claim that Ross Gelbspan is the only one accusing the companies of lying is a semantic trick. My implication wasn't that the Idso family is lying, however they have ideological and financial biases here, which is why you should be skeptical of their work given that they are joined by less than 3% of the scientific community.

My opponent seems to accuse me of not having sufficient data. Here's another source that explains the study I linked to in the last round: http://www.slate.com...
This article also states that most of the people who disagree are not actually climatologists. You should prefer a consensus of people qualified to be writing on the topic. Additionally, it documents some of the relevant information. Carbon dioxide is at the highest levels in 3 million years, which is contributing to the fastest rate of warming in at least 11,000 years. This is no coincidence; only massive human pollution has the potential to create these changes in such a brief timeframe. Here is another method that was used to validate different measurements of temperatures: http://www.scientificamerican.com...

Finally, my opponent is far too dismissive of the paper I linked to in the last round. He says the consensus is "a bunch of people who have not looked too deeply into the issue or their (sic) liars and frauds." He says this after accusing me of not providing a reason as to why his authors are biased. The scientists he cites clearly have a vested interest in the matter. He has not provided a reason why my authors must be liars or frauds. In fact, he is actually making the accusation that the meta-analysis I cited, which reviewed 1,000s of papers written on the subject by scientists who have devoted their careers to this field (including many employed by agencies of the government) is invalid, and that you should prefer one family of scientists over these data. He is making the claim that two people are more trustworthy because 97% of the scientific community are frauds or liars. I ask the voters, what is more likely? That two people linked to oil companies are biased/simply mistaken and outdated, or that almost every climate scientist on earth is engaged in a conspiracy? I think it's clear that my opponent's position is absurd.
1Historygenius

Con

My Refutations

The problem here is that my opponent has never given a reason why information dated from 1998 is a problem. It is recent data after all, it is just a mere 15 years old. It's not the most recent, but it is not incredibly old either.

My opponent then said he Google searched the hottest years and global warming and put up the three first results, but he does not explain much. It looks far too recent and we must look and longer historical trends.

In fact, climate change has occured all through the history of the Earth. It will continue like this and it has both been very warm before and very cold. It has been quite warm at the moment, but a cooling trend is expected. [1]

Yes, the Earth is warming, but it will likely cool in the future.

"The claim that Ross Gelbspan is the only one accusing the companies of lying is a semantic trick. My implication wasn't that the Idso family is lying, however they have ideological and financial biases here, which is why you should be skeptical of their work given that they are joined by less than 3% of the scientific community."

You are skeptical, but just because only 3% disagree does not mean it is wrong. That is likely saying most economists were correct to predict massive economic growth in the 1930s after seeing what happened in the 1920s (and this is true). Only a small amount of economists predicted the Great Depression. Also, this "consensus" thing is more of a myth than a reality. As said here:

"It is a strange claim to make. Consensus or near-consensus is not a scientific argument. Indeed, the heroes in the history of science are those who challenged the prevailing consensus and convincingly demonstrated that everyone thought wrong. Such heroes are even better appreciated if they take on not only the scientific establishment but the worldly and godly authorities as well."

I can bring more of my own studies proving that man-made global warming is likely incorrect. In fact, my third source will give you over 1,100 different peer-reviewed papers. [3]

Conclusion

I am very sorry I cannot expand my arguments but something personal as come up, but I do think I have been able to respond to everything. If I had more time, I assure you I would give a longer refutation.

Sources

1. http://www.skepticalscience.com...
2. http://wattsupwiththat.com...
3. http://www.populartechnology.net...
Debate Round No. 3
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RussellCook 3 years ago
RussellCook
@sam.roth ... One more thing: Did you actually read the entire DotEarth article you cited about skeptics' "ulterior" motivations? Quoting Craig Idso's reply to Andy Revkin's question about industry funding,

" ... Your e-mail implies that whatever I say or write about the CO2-induced global warming debate is the product of my funding, that somehow I am beholden to the views of others who are behind the scenes and pulling the strings. Such an insinuation is offensive and wholly incorrect. ... believe it or not, some of us are actually motivated by what we truly believe, not fame or fortune. If I wanted either of these I would have sold myself and departed to the alarmist side many, many years ago " science be damned!"
Posted by RussellCook 3 years ago
RussellCook
@sam.roth You have now repeated the headcount fallacy for the 3rd time in your 'final' comment. Irregardless of what percentage of 'consensus' you assign to it, what part of that wipeout do you not understand? In the Scientific Method, a "show of hands" has never been any kind of validation for science conclusions. I find it baffling how you still seem to have no comprehension of this, even after offering the concrete example of the PBS NewsHour reporting how a single report had the potential of undermining a hundred years of 'consent' on a quantum mechanics conclusion.

Next, whether or not global warming is "real" is not under debate, your opening remarks suggested it was man-caused and skeptic scientists questioning it were "unqualified or biased [...having] financial interests in the oil industry or their research was funded by oil executives". If your position now is that they did not fabricated any data, or receive illicit funding, then why even mention it in the first place, particularly in light of your subsequent failure to prove any sort of funding influenced the skeptics viewpoints in any way? You claim to cite proof of "ulterior" motives, yet your DotEarth link does no more than point out a guilt-by-association accusation with not a shred of evidence to prove there was anything 'ulterior' in the motives of skeptics.

When changes in weather patterns have already caused human and economic damage, but are not otherwise proven to be caused by human activity, I think it is safe to conclude that it is unwise to dismiss skeptic scientists out-of-hand because of unsubstantiated advice to do so from people and institutions who are unable to engage in discussion of what renders skeptics' science assessments unworthy of debate.
Posted by sam.roth 3 years ago
sam.roth
This is the last comment I'm going to post because I'm really too busy to keep going, so go ahead and respond if you really want the last word but I'm not going to go further into it. I think you're misinterpreting my largest point; when it comes to logical fallacies it's not quite so black-and-white as "either a conclusion is logically proven or it must be false." This is the false dichotomy implicit in your response. At no point have I asserted, and in fact if you read my statements I've been very careful to qualify this point, that the fact of a scientific consensus means that it is 100% certain. Almost no scientific principle is certain to that degree. However, given the records we do have, and the fact that the most qualified experts on the subject (not just a majority, but an overwhelming number, as my original source showed) have pointed to a significant body of data over the course of decades, it is reasonable to come to the conclusion that global warming is probably real. Even more compelling is the fact that data that have been observed since these models were created have confirmed the warming trend, and at no point has my evidence about increasing temperatures been disputed. The simple fact that it is not certain (which I never claimed) does not disprove these findings. Additionally, given that neither of us are experts, we should be inclined to believe that some outlying studies that have been refuted are not conclusive proof. And on the subject of the skeptics' papers, I never once made the claim that they fabricated any data, or received "illicit" funding. That is a complete strawman argument. My point was about how these authors have multiple ulterior motives to come to the conclusions they do, which I did cite, and which has not been refuted. When changes in weather patterns have already caused human and economic damage, I think it is safe to conclude that now is not the time to dismiss a large body of science out of hand because it may be wrong.
Posted by RussellCook 3 years ago
RussellCook
@sam.roth: I would respectfully suggest that you are the one who needs to read through what you said in respect to my challenge that skeptics "have financial interests in the oil industry or their research was funded by oil executives". You provided NOT. ONE. IOTA. of evidence to back that up, no link, citation, or reference to prove illicit funding prompted demonstratively false fabricated science papers, reports, assessments, or viewpoints. I further submit you are literally unable to do so.

Additionally, you claim to know what logical fallacies are, and yet in saying the "vast majority of people qualified to speak on the matter have reviewed the same information as the small group of skeptics, and rejected their conclusions", you have repeated the headcount fallacy. What part of that wipeout do you not understand?

Worse, you claim a 'consensus' - as irrelevant as it may be in validating the existence of what we see - is proven. Numerous inquiries into this say otherwise: http://opinion.financialpost.com... http://www.populartechnology.net... http://wattsupwiththat.com... Piling on, not even a major mainstream media news outlet actually believes in their heart of hearts that 'consensus' is what rules the day on validating science phenomena ("PBS NewsHour: Against scientific consensus before they were for it" http://ow.ly... ).

And in the end of it all, what assurance do you possibly have that we will end up dead because of 'global warming', when past instances of it like the Medieval Warm Period were as warm or warmer than the current time or that the situation will heat up beyond control? That the 'headcount fallacy' says this must be so?
Posted by sam.roth 3 years ago
sam.roth
I'm not sidestepping my original point; that was the conclusion reached by the sources I cited, however it was not the original resolution of the debate. Before asserting that I didn't have a source for the evidence indicts I made, I would ask you to actually read through what I said, because I did provide a link. This is factually verifiable, not an opinion issue. On the issue of people refuting this issue, you are pretending that there are two equally valid scientific perspectives on the issue. The vast majority of people qualified to speak on the matter have reviewed the same information as the small group of skeptics, and rejected their conclusions. But here is the key point: I am not saying that this consensus (which, by the way, has not been disputed at any point-it's a fact) means that there is a 110% chance they're right, but in the face of so much evidence, with significant doubt about the motivations of many of the skeptics, and with so many experts disagreeing specifically with these outliers, it is not rational to come to the opposite conclusion. Of course being an expert doesn't make you right, that's why I would err on the side of the vast majority of experts vs. a small group (even if these people are credible sources). I know this wasn't the subject of the debate, but in terms of policymaking I would rather take the pro side and be proven wrong (in which case we might build an economy based on something other than Middle Eastern oil) than take the con side and end up wrong (and very likely dead).
Posted by RussellCook 3 years ago
RussellCook
@sam.roth: Now I'm really lost. If you know what a logical fallacy is, and by default, how it implodes any given debate point, then why did you employ one right at the outset of your introduction?

Worse, why do you now appear to be sidestepping your introductory sentence here about 'it is more likely than not that global warming is real' - which is not actually in dispute by any scientists that I know of - when you were saying in your original bit that the situation is a "real, anthropogenic phenomenon being driven by fossil fuel emissions." Consensus has literally nothing to do with the validation of that conclusion, and skeptic scientists offer highly detailed assessments saying this conclusion has never been conclusively made.

Regarding skeptics, you go on to say "most of these "scientists" have financial interests in the oil industry or their research was funded by oil executives". Such a statement is irrelevant when it is not followed up by, or ever actually supported by, evidence to prove it. Why would you make such a statement right after a logical fallacy?

Strangest of all, you concluded by saying, "Many people, particularly conservatives in the US, tend to deny climate science". This is inexplicable, when conservatives are readily able to cite material from both sides of the issue when pointing out the faults of the IPCC, whereas people like you seem to demonstrate a decidedly anti-science stance when you dismiss skeptics out-of-hand via some worn out old unsupportable talking point about them being 'corrupted by industry funding'.

I'd respectfully submit that if this debate had been seen among a very large audience fully informed about the issue, you'd have lost in a landslide.
Posted by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
Holy hell this debate was so bias lol. Con should have at least won grammar for structure
Posted by 1Historygenius 3 years ago
1Historygenius
Nevertheless Sam it was a fun debate.
Posted by sam.roth 3 years ago
sam.roth
@RussellCook I'm well aware of logical fallacies, but my argument wasn't that this means it is indisputably the truth, but rather that as laypeople who do not have a lot of expertise in the field, the only logical conclusion for us to come to is that it is more likely than not that global warming is real. While an argument's popularity doesn't make it true, the reverse isn't true either-we shouldn't conclude the theory is false when almost every expert on the subject thinks it isn't. Of course we can examine the scientific evidence on the subject, but ultimately we are not qualified to definitively interpret it, so I defer to the judgment of the experts.
Posted by 1Historygenius 3 years ago
1Historygenius
@Cook yes, but it appears that I made the mistake of misinterpreting the debate. Had it been about man-made global warming we have a different story, but this was about global warming in general.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by HostileBelief 3 years ago
HostileBelief
sam.roth1HistorygeniusTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Everyone should know by now that global warming is real. I really wanted to see a good side from con but if the Reagan pic isn't a sign to tell how bad he presents his side in the debate, Then the terrible references and terrible arguments will
Vote Placed by sweetbreeze 3 years ago
sweetbreeze
sam.roth1HistorygeniusTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro wins.
Vote Placed by MrJosh 3 years ago
MrJosh
sam.roth1HistorygeniusTied
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Vote Placed by Enji 3 years ago
Enji
sam.roth1HistorygeniusTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's argument rested upon the findings of co2science.org - claiming that the data doesn't support anthropogenic global warming. Pro addressed this by noting the bias of Con's source (which receives funding from oil companies) and citing a peer-reviewed source showing that papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals overwhelmingly support AGW. Con criticises this claiming that Pro's consensus is "nothing but a bunch of people who have not looked too deeply into the issue" and accuses them of being liars and frauds; however he doesn't provide any support for this absurdly false claim (which constitutes calling all of science fraudulent unless it supports his beliefs). Arguments and sources to Pro.
Vote Placed by Subutai 3 years ago
Subutai
sam.roth1HistorygeniusTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I don't think con understood the subject being debated. The resolution not only considered whether or not mankind is the main cause of global warming, but also whether or not the Earth is warming. Con never touched on the latter topic, preferring instead to stay with refuting the former. Con even said, "Yes, the Earth is warming...", and that was enough to give the debate with the resolution "Global warming is real" to pro.
Vote Placed by ModusTollens 3 years ago
ModusTollens
sam.roth1HistorygeniusTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con used one of the most discredited studies in climate science-that of the Idsos-as a major source. S/he also failed to overcome the anthrogenic argument; at best, s/he demonstrated that humans are not the sole cause of global warming.
Vote Placed by imabench 3 years ago
imabench
sam.roth1HistorygeniusTied
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Reasons for voting decision: con gave tremendously bad arguments that were barely on topic to begin with. Con seemed more hellbent on proving that global warming wasnt man-made whereas the debate is about the existence global warming in general. Arguments to the pro since cons fell well short of defeating pro's BoP and sources to the pro as well since half of con's sources couldnt even be verified while others were questionable in their bias as well