The Instigator
HandsOff
Pro (for)
Losing
97 Points
The Contender
TheRaven
Con (against)
Winning
111 Points

Scientists have no proof that humans are responsible for a significant amount of global warming.

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Started: 6/15/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 11,319 times Debate No: 4421
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (241)
Votes (39)

 

HandsOff

Pro

There, I said it. And it's true. Even scientists who "believe" humans are largely repsonsible for recent temperature changes will admit they do not have definitive proof. The PR campaign of the left claiming scientists "have reached" a consensus implies the research is finally complete. However, a "consensus" is only 51 percent, and no one is stopping to consider that legitimate science is a product of fact and not popularity or speculation in the absence of conclusive evidence. The liberals and environmentalists have swallowed the global warming theory hook, line and sinker, and accept it as though it were an undeniable truth. They even call opponents (who would rather rely on traditional standards of proof before making momentus policy decisions) "flat earthers." That is not a very good analogy considering flat earthers were the ones who relied on popular opinion ("consensus") versus real science.
TheRaven

Con

Now, I'll be the first to admit that liberals and environmentalists have run away with global warming a bit, and it is becoming very political. However, that doesn't change the fact that its true. And not because a "consensus" has been reached about it either. I mean, a majority does not dictate what is right, history has shown us that time and time again.

HOWEVER, there is conclusive evidence that man is creating significant global warming. It has been proven that CO2 causes a heating effect in the environment, by absorbing and radiating heat onto earth! Man is releasing massive amounts of.....CO2! From those two facts alone, we can deduce that man is creating global warming. It also helps that no natural effects for the heating have been given. There has always been opposition to new theories and ideas, as people naturally are resistant to change.
Debate Round No. 1
HandsOff

Pro

"It has been proven that CO2 causes a heating effect in the environment, by absorbing and radiating heat onto earth!"

This statement is debatable in the scientific community, but I will let it stand as true since it has nothing to do with my argument.

"Man is releasing massive amounts of.....CO2"

I agree, but in comparison to what? Certainly not in comparison to the amounts of CO2 that is created naturally on this planet. This is where we disagree. There are no scientist that have proved humans contribute a significant amount of CO2 in comparison to that which is created naturally. For example, if we could prove that humans and human activity give of 2% of the world's CO2, then we would have some information to act (or not act depending on whether one considers that a significant amount). So far no one has been able to prove to what degree we contribute to global warming.

"It also helps that no natural effects for the heating have been given."

Well, since it can be proved that earth has gone through many large temperature swings, and long before humans were around, there would be a very strong case for "natural" global warming (and cooling).
TheRaven

Con

"Certainly not in comparison to the amounts of CO2 that is created naturally on this planet."

Well, the major natural emissions of CO2 come from volcanoes. Volcanoes are estimated to be releasing 200 million tons of C02 annually.

Now, compare that to the estimated 26.8 BILLION TONS released by humans annually. That is about 130 times greater than the amount emitted by volcanoes.
(http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov...- the US Geological Survey.)

Since the start of the industrial revolution, there has been a climb in carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere of about 280 ppm to 364 ppm.

This clearly is larger than what is created naturally.

"For example, if we could prove that humans and human activity give of 2% of the world's CO2, then we would have some information to act (or not act depending on whether one considers that a significant amount)."

Well, as I have just shown that humans are the greatest contributers to CO2 output, now we have some information to act on. 27 billion tons annually is definitely a significant amount.

"So far no one has been able to prove to what degree we contribute to global warming. "

To what degree? How far does it need to go before it is considered a "degree"? 400,000 miles of the Arctic ice sea have melted, roughly the size of Texas. If we continue current projections, by 2030, there will be no glaciers left in glacier national park. Hurricanes and tropical storms have increased estimated 75% increase in category 4 and 5 hurricanes since 1970 according to a study done by MIT. ( http://www.nature.com... )

"Well, since it can be proved that earth has gone through many large temperature swings, and long before humans were around, there would be a very strong case for "natural" global warming (and cooling)."

Well, it would be a strong case for "natural" global warming....except for the fact that no natural causes have been found, and humans are emitting enough CO2 into the air to cause a definite and serious heating effect.
Debate Round No. 2
HandsOff

Pro

Since it looks like we're starting to throw around data, figures and historical graphs (all of the things that suck the life out of a good philosophical debate) let me just leave you with one link: http://www.speroforum.com... It is a list of the many respected scientist who disagree with much of the data you cite.

You say CO2 (whatever its source) has increased a WHOPPING 37 PERCENT over the last 100 years. Since this last 100 years coincides with only a .6 degree celius temperature increase (well within the range of naturally occuring temperature changes), it could be easily argued that CO2 has a much more mild effect on temperature changes than claimed. And again, since this .6-degree change is well within historic levels, it could be argued that we do not even know if the increase in CO2 is reponsible.

But let's get back on track. I am not hear to debate whether there is a good argument for global warming. There are very convincing arguments for and against it by many esteemed scientists. I am just submitting that a valid debate continues because neither side can (as of yet) conclusively prove its case. There is simply no definitive proof that humans make a significant contribution to global warming. There are only opposing viewpoints based on inconclusive evidence.
TheRaven

Con

Well, I do apologize for "sucking the life" out of this "philosophical" debate on a scientific theory. Wait, aren't scientific theories usually based on reality and facts?
Also HandsOff, you opened that door, not me, when you made the resolution "scientists have no proof"!

"It is a list of the many respected scientist who disagree with much of the data you cite."

Well, this is a very, ah, interesting speech given by the far-right conservative, global warming and liberal basher, Marc Morano. (Who, by the way, has been accused more than once of offering unsubstantiated claims or false statistics.) Well, there was a report similar to it issued a while ago, known as the "Heartland Issue" Go to this link to see how scientists reacted to it. http://www.desmogblog.com...

Anyway, for every scientist he offers, there are dozens more who disagree. He even stated at the beginning of this that over 51% of scientists agree with global warming. Also, go to this link that discusses those who don't. http://www.thedailygreen.com...

"CO2 (whatever its source) has increased a WHOPPING 37 PERCENT over the last 100 years. Since this last 100 years coincides with only a .6 degree..."

First off, the source is clearly humans, my opponent didn't respond to what I said earlier, so he must find no fault with it.
Ok, my opponent seems to not understand the frailty of life. A human will DIE if its temperature increases 1.8%. Global temperatures need to decrease 1 degree in order for it to be considered an ice age.
37% is a HUGE amount in the environment, as is .6 degreed celcius. Keep in mind, that .6 degrees is causing the polar ice caps and all glaciers to melt! 15-37% of plant and animal species could be wiped out by global warming by 2050 at current rates. I ask again, how far must we go before it is considered a "degree"?

"And again, since this .6-degree change is well within historic levels, it could be argued that we do not even know if the increase in CO2 is reponsible."

It COULD be argued, but where is proof that any natural things are occurring to heat the climate? Its happened in the past, yet now its heating when humans are dumping 26.8 billion tons of CO2 into the air each year. Coincidence? I think not.

"I am not hear to debate whether there is a good argument for global warming."

Hmm..then what are you here to debate for? Because I'm pretty sure your resolution said there was "no proof offered" Based on the resolution, I should win right now because I've offered enormous proof that my opponent has not responded to.

"I am just submitting that a valid debate continues because neither side can (as of yet) conclusively prove its case. There is simply no definitive proof that humans make a significant contribution to global warming. There are only opposing viewpoints based on inconclusive evidence."

This is not a reason to vote for my opponent. In fact, my opponent really says nothing here because scientific debates never really end. However, there is definite evidence supporting the con in this debate.

Some Voting Issues:

1) My opponent never even responded to any of the facts I gave. This alone should be the reason to vote for me, as I have clearly shown that scientists do have proof, contrary to the resolution.
2) I have clearly shown the impact of humans on the environment. (More here http://www.edf.org...)
3) My opponent has offered no reason to vote for him.
Debate Round No. 3
241 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 11 through 20 records.
Posted by wjmelements 5 years ago
wjmelements
Defining proof could have turned this debate in either direction.
Posted by Derek.Gunn 5 years ago
Derek.Gunn
Roy,
I'm glad you agree.
There are two factors that come to mind in varying the temperature of the hemispheres:
1) Aerosols. Mostly generated in the NH, their reflectance is said to be keeping temperature down by 1-2 deg C.
Were they to disappear, we would rapidly move into positive feedback disaster.
2) Ocean currents. There is far more heat held in the oceans than the atmosphere. Variations in the currents can produce large differences in the measured global (air) temperature.

They will both have a part to play.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
Derek, Your second graph has convinced me, indeed the two hemispheres do not have equal CO2. The Northern Hemisphere has slightly more. I will use your reference from now on. Recall that you were explaining why the Southern Hemisphere is warmer than the Northern Hemisphere. Since the Northern Hemisphere has more CO2 than the Southern Hemisphere, whatever it is that counteracts CO2 induced heating is stronger than previously thought.
Posted by Derek.Gunn 5 years ago
Derek.Gunn
Roy,
Heheh, you're fighting every step of the way, but we're going anyway ;-)

The Stern Report advocates 550ppm because the IPCC have said that:
"If the atmospheric concentration is to remain below 550 ppm, the future
global annual average emissions cannot, during the next century,
exceed the current global average and would have to be much lower
before and beyond the end of the next century."
To achieve what the Stern Report's target, we must reduce current emissions somewhat now and continue reducing.
This is not "nothing". As you saw yesterday, carbon emissions have more than doubled since 1970; so in 91 years...?

You strain both ways:
Yesterday - you want too much, you'll destroy the economy!
Today - you want so little, we might as well do nothing!
Is there no possibility of a happy median?

For a sustainable world I believe we must ultimately return to =<280ppm CO2 and make even greater relative reductions of the other GHGs and carbon soot.
This is not incompatible with the Stern Report.
As I pointed out yesterday, we have immense reserves of carbon left with which to destroy the living world, far more than the amount that got us into the current state. Do you doubt this?

"... 'proper cure' at 8 trillion dollars."
A little over $1000/person. How long this could be spread over?

"You have made no showing that CO2 causes global warming."
I provided a link covering this. You really should read it.

China and India are not bound by the Kyoto Protocol (classed as developing nations) so the carbon tax "stuff" isn't hurting them at all.

China produces 1/3rd the CO2 per capita that the US does and India considerably less.
Both are building nuclear power stations about at fast as they can.
Beijing knows exactly what it will take to reproduce the nice "Olympic atmosphere".

We are hypocritical to demand they reduce emissions while we produce >3 times as much.
Another reason to act, and soon.
Posted by Derek.Gunn 5 years ago
Derek.Gunn
Sadolite,
anyone who claims (as I do) to believe in science, must adhere to its rigours.
If Man-made global warming didn't fit with the evidence, it would have been washed away by science many years ago, just like for example, cold fusion was.
I can only think you didn't bother to read the critique of Jaworowski's claim.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
I did not say that there were no "people" who denied that there was any warming. I said that the guy who studied scientists who were "Deniers" did not find any scientists in that category. It is a very uncommon.

I made the argument that the reason the Stern report makes the cost to low is that they are basically advocating doing almost nothing to treat the problem. They say it is OK to let CO2 rise to 550 ppm. I'm glad you are fine with that, but that is not remotely like what most CO2 crisis theory people want. I agree, that if almost nothing is done to reduce CO2, then it will cost very little. I am taking it only slightly further. If we do nothing at all, then CO2 use will drop anyway, because we will run out of carbon fuels in about the same time frame as the Stern report projects.

A study published in 2000 put the cost of a "proper cure" at 8 trillion dollars.

You have made no showing that CO2 causes global warming. You are restating your believe that you believe it. I'm sure you do. I'm also sure that qualified scientists believe it too, about 60% of them.

You have made no response to my contention that India and china will pay no attention carbon limitations. china will take over from the US as the leading CO2 producer in a few years. Therefore, the carbon tax stuff will serve no purpose other than to hurt the developed economies.
Posted by sadolite 5 years ago
sadolite
As I always expect from a global warming alarmist Their research is the word of god and any research that contridicts it is pure garbage.
Posted by Derek.Gunn 5 years ago
Derek.Gunn
Roy,
There are, of course people who do not believe in global warming:
- http://www.americanpolicy.org...
- http://www.washingtonpost.com...
- http://www.prisonplanet.com...
Just as there are people who do not believe in evolution despite lots of evidence.
Did you not know this?

As I've shown you, CO2 is a major contributor to global warming. http://www.realclimate.org...
Even some of the oil companies acknowledge this:
e.g. BP: http://www.bp.com... (headline)
and Shell: http://www.shell.com... (page 10)
I reckon even Exxon knows this, why else spend money promoting corrupt science?

The Stern Report is perhaps the only thorough study of the economic effect of trying to stop global warming.
As you know, it suggests that the World's economy will not be destroyed.
As you know, it suggests much of the problem can be largely solved with 1% of GDP.
*** 1% ***!!!
Do you have any comparable study or evidence to the contrary?
I wonder how long before you'll say "destroy the economy" again, anyway?

I never said Climate models are "no good".
I said that they are unnecessary to see the trend we're on.
There's nothing wrong with people having confidence in accurate climate models.
"Good on them" I say! ;-)

Cheers
Posted by Derek.Gunn 5 years ago
Derek.Gunn
Roy,
Re the 3D graph.
If half the time it is 10ppm higher in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) than the Southern Hemisphere, (winter heating demands) and the rest of the time it's the same or greater... it MUST be higher on average.

This graph is what one would expect of a Man-made phenomenon:
a) the waves are more predominant in the Northern Hemisphere (as our industry & population is)
b) it is very seasonal (as our energy demand is)
c) it is ever increasing (as our fossil fuel consumption is)

However, if Man burning everything is the cause, then shouldn't atmospheric oxygen be decreasing?
We are in a chemically closed system; a spherical bottle.

Turns out... that's exactly what's happening. From the IPCC's ar4-wg1-chapter2.pdf pg 138:
http://gunn.co.nz... In the top graph, we have the sawtoothed Keeling Curve showing CO2 increase (black=NH, dark blue = SH) and its counterpart the O2 decrease (pink=NH, cyan=SH).

In the bottom graph, the black line shows Man-made fossil-fuel/Cement manufacture carbon emissions.
4 billon tonnes of carbon in 1970, to more than DOUBLE that today. Doesn't include other Man-made sources. This is from what we are estimated as burning (apart from scrub etc).
The red line shows carbon isotope ratios over time. This shows the fossil fuel carbon now airborne as CO2.

Pay attention HandsOff, this is Man's CO2 signature.

Cheers
Posted by Derek.Gunn 5 years ago
Derek.Gunn
HandsOff,
Yes, borrowed money does not equate with wealth, quite true.
The point of my comments was to try to give you some perspective of the wealth of the USA compared to nearly everywhere else at nearly every other time.
I don't appeal to the US to ignore its situation, I appeal to the US to change its situation.
39 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Wylted 3 months ago
Wylted
HandsOffTheRavenTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Cons job was to prove humans are responsible for a significant amount of global warming. This was not done con only showed humans contributed a significant amount of co2s but never did a good job of connecting co2 to global warming. A vague connection was made but not sourced or proven. Con had better sources.
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro made ridiclous arguments
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