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Everything posted by brian0918

  1. No, without an expert, you can't say anything either way. Your preconception about how temperatures work on a local scale must be discarded before even looking at a graph of global temperatures. It would be like an atheist trying to argue with a theist, and the theist says "What does your God do? Nothing? He can't even Exist? That's pretty weak, my God can do Anything. *yawn*"
  2. Hypothetical situation (I am not saying it is not currently the case) Let's say every expert was in agreement that global warming is caused by man and it is going to get worse unless everyone does something about it. Let's say the evidence, analysis, and conclusions were all incontrovertible. How would a free market system bring about increased fuel efficiency in cars, homes, etc? I want to believe in the abilities of the free market, but I am an extreme cynic when it comes to the mob. Alternatively, what if most of the population chose not to believe the incontrovertible claims and refused to modify their lifestyles accordingly?
  3. Have you read Atlas Shrugged? I'm only halfway through, but everytime someone says "at least nobody will be able to blame me" the main character gets pissed off. I want to take action because I can alter my lifestyle without much difficulty, and if the observed trend continues, it will impact my and future generations' livelihoods. If a car crashes into yours, do you refuse to any medical attention if you are not to blame for the accident?
  4. The slope only seems slight because you are applying your vast experience with local temperature change to a global scale. They are not relatable.
  5. I am not in the position the prove global warming. I am simply saying that I am influenced by the amount of attention this has gotten from experts and governments worldwide, and am asking you why I should go against this. I am not inclined to believe in global conspiracies in science. Yes, but that graph cites all of its sources. Or are these sources also part of the conspiracy? What do you mean by "the truth"? If you mean "whether or not man is the cause", that again does not matter. If you get in a bad car accident, do you wait until the fault has been assigned before letting them use the jaws of life to get you out of the car?
  6. Yes, but what is your evidence that they are systematically omitting data, besides the fact that it is a possibility, albeit extremely remote considering the size of the community and the nature of scientific progress? It would not simply have to be true that one group is omitting data. This one group would have omit data, publish their results, and other groups would also have to test the original group's claims, also omit data, and publish their results. I didn't say "I", I said "we". In any case, that's a pretty defeatist attitude and Dagny Taggart would likely slap you for that. Again, it is a matter of trust which pervades all of science. You trust your physician, I trust the engineer who built my car. We are left to either trust that climate scientists are doing their job and know what they're talking about, or we breed distrust of all science. Distrust of the peer review process in climate science leads to distrust of the process in all other fields. I know people are probably sick of the Atlas Shrugged references but I'm reading it now so here goes: when Wyatt says he knows of a method of getting oil out of shale, does Dagny Taggart say "I don't believe you, and I won't until I've got a degree in chemistry and fully studied everything involved in this alleged process". No, she trusts him to do his job. Anyways, continuing... Clearly knowledge is obtained from YouTube, Wikipedia, and websites with agendas.
  7. Relatively mild... compared to what? What order of magnitude of human deaths are we talking about if we reach the maximum temperature we've seen in the last 10,000 years? Are you saying peer reviewed conclusions in the top climate journals have overlooked this obvious fact of yours? The entire world is freaking out about global warming but nobody bothered to look at the balloon data? Or maybe, just for now, I will not be able to accept your analysis as both you and I are clueless when it comes to climate science. Again, I don't care about the source of the temperature change, I only care about how bad it will get and what we can do about it. What is their reason for "calling for the destruction of our freedoms and economy"? Is it a conspiracy? For what purpose? Couldn't they just as easily be calling it like it is? I don't care who caused it. If it's really happening, it's going to affect us regardless of who caused it. All that matters is what we do about it. Two youtube videos? My Wikipedia graph tops that anyday! Clearly we are both clueless about the issue and are simply taking sides based on our preconceptions.
  8. How are you deciding who is and isn't a "radical"? Can you be more specific about this conspiracy? Who is involved? Experts in the field of research related to the subject of the journal article review the tests, analysis, results, and conclusions of the proposed article, and return it to the author for further clarification. When they are satisfied, and the journal believes the article to be of enough significance to be published, it is published. These journal articles are the sources for all the data. Nothing is considered scientific without going through enough peer review and replication. For there to be a conspiracy would require experts from all over the country to be in on it, to weed out unfavorable articles and only allow favorable articles to pass through. I again point to the graph linked above, which shows a clear trend in the last several decades. What is the mechanism by which this upward trend will cease to continue? Who supports the view that this trend will not continue? What is your source for this information?
  9. So what is it, a big conspiracy? Are all the leaders of the world acting on bad analysis? Are journals publishing bad information? How is it you can believe you have the understanding necessary to deduce who is correct in their analysis?
  10. Thanks for the suggestion. Where is this coming from? I'm not making up data. I'm going based on what I'm hearing the experts overwhelmingly say, as I would regarding any other statement in science, medicine, engineering, etc. Just as it would be irrational for me to ignore the advice of my doctor, it would be irrational for me to ignore the advice of the climate science community, right? Where does this argument go bad? Can you also please address the scenario I specifically mentioned (even if in your opinion it is not realistic), as the answer in general interests me:
  11. The temperature today is of no concern - the observed trend over time is the only thing that matters. Nor does the supposed temperature 8000 years ago matter, as we don't have the corresponding data on how that past temperature affected the people and environment of the time. Saying "it was N degrees warmer 10000 years ago and we're still here" is like saying "there was a Great Flood 10000 years ago and we're still here" (only thanks to the few that survived). I linked to a graph above showing a continuing increase since approximately 1950, all the way to 2006. Yes, the statement "warmest year on record" is a joke and anyone who uses it as evidence for global warming is clueless. However if the number of recent "warmest years on record" continues to increase, that statement can be used effectively. Again, I know nothing about climatology, just as I know nothing about medicine or engineering. I trust the experts - my physician, the bridge-builder, the car-builder, etc - to do their job and tell me what I'm supposed to do to help the situation and my livelihood.
  12. I don't believe this reply adds value to the discussion. Every viewpoint has its extremists, and scientific theories are constantly replaced as better data is gathered. Please try to address the questions at the end of my reply.
  13. Maybe on CNN or Fox News it means that, but I've never considered it to be that way. Whether or not it's man's fault doesn't matter. What does matter is that the data indicates a trend that could be detrimental and that we could potentially do something about. The problem is that if global warming is real and the trend continues, the only way it can be counteracted is through the help of everyone, not just individual people. If other people reject the data, and refuse to help alleviate the situation (or worse, potentially help global warming along), am I left to sit back and say, "hey, it's their right"? Aren't they intruding on my and everyone else's survival? If Person B sees the situation as "your life of excess is contributing to the destruction of the planet, and thus violating my right to life" and Person D sees the situation as "your global warming laws prevent my living however I want, and thus violate my freedom of choice", what does Objectivism say about what to do in this situation? Whose right/freedom trumps the other's? [note: I did not realize until after writing this that I used the phrases "freedom of choice" and "right to life" in the same example ]
  14. I thought it was deleted. My post is a separate issue from that other one, which is more about the details: the research, scientist polls, whether man is the cause, etc. I wanted to examine the fundamentals of Objectivism that deal with this issue.
  15. Great reply! In the Lexicon they do quote Leonard Peikoff in some places, so I thought maybe he would have a stance that could be quoted there. For me, it is simpler than that. Whether or not it is due to the activities of man does not matter to me. We'd still be screwed regardless of the origins of the warming - so we would still want to do something about it in any case (unless our goal in the end is simply to say "we were not to blame"). So I agree with your statement, minus the phrase "due to the activities of man". Does that make sense? This oft-cited graph shows the global surface temperature anomally since 1850, relative to the average temperature from 1961-1990. So there seems to be data supporting a trend. Whether it is reliable or not, I don't know, but I am left at the mercy of the climatologists to do their job well, as I know nothing about climatology - just as I am left at the mercy of my physician, or the engineer designing a bridge, etc. Until better data from experts says otherwise, I can't come to any other conclusion. As in my first statement, for me it's of no concern whether or not man is causing the warming. I don't even care whether this is part of some natural periodicity. A naturally-occurring asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs. We would want to stop another such asteroid from wiping us out, just as we would want to stop some naturally-occurring warming that could put whole countries underwater, or generally screw with life on earth. The planet/sun don't care about us or the rest of life. They were just as apathetic before the first single-celled organisms came about, and won't notice our departure. So should we do nothing unless and until we correctly deduce the cause and correct solution? And what if that never happens, or we are too late? Unless the goal is simply to say "we weren't to blame" or "we couldn't figure it out in time", I would think we would want to do something about it even if it is not the best solution. I agree that there are groups misusing the data for political purposes. However, the consequences of global warming, if the predictions are accurate and the trend continues, are cause for alarm. If I have a tumor and my physician predicts that it will spread if I don't do X, Y, and Z, I will want to do all of these suggestions even if the end result is that they did not stop the spread, and even if it later turns out he was looking at someone else's x-rays when he diagnosed the existence of the tumor.
  16. *** Mod's note: Merged into an earlier thread - sN *** If there is one, what is the Objectivist view on global warming? I found a section on ecology in the Ayn Rand Lexicon but nothing dealing specifically with this. Searching through the forums, most seem to believe it does not exist or is grossly exaggerated - is this correct, and if so, what rationale are leading to this conclusion?
  17. I've looked around these forums and found something interesting - Objectivists don't seem to believe in global warming. Now normally philosophies don't hold particular stances on the existence of wholly natural weather phenomena , and assuming that the majority of Objectivists are not climatologists, one would not expect to see them as a group lean in any particular direction. So what is the underlying explanation for this statistic? Is there some common principle being applied? (note: I am only half-way through Atlas Shrugged - maybe this is something covered in the 50-page speech I've heard about )
  18. Nice post! So where's the limit? Get rid of the fire service, emergency services, public schools, public libraries, public roads, etc. Get rid of government altogether? We all pay a little toward those services so that we all get the benefits from them. I think the thing I'm finding hardest to believe is that it would be cheaper to pay for a private fire service than for my town to have its own fire service, paid for through taxes. The same is true for a 911 service, libraries, roads, etc. I'm all for getting rid of bloated federal services supported simply so that politicians can get reelected, but I'm not sure the solution works on the smaller (ie more local) scale. <rambling> It might not be possible to gradually move the country in the direction you're wanting, to where everyone sees things the way you do. And until we reach that goal, politicians are going to get elected by people who want to be cradled, and laws will be made to support that. Religion is a similar disease. </rambling>
  19. If you would like to suggest a serious alternative, please let me know.
  20. I don't know that I can be made to believe that, at least with respect to the local government, without supporting numbers. Are there real examples of fee-based fire services? What would be done about fires on public lands, such as forest fires, which can spread to multiple communities, each of which are made up of numerous neighborhoods/houses, each with different competing fire services? I don't see how that model would work in this situation. That is basically what I was getting at. We watch Dagny get stuck in various situations, ask the question "What Would Ayn Do?", and Dagny's response is the answer to that question. The problem is that Rand has full control of the situation, so it may not be realistic - that was the source of my concern with the apparent omission of certain details, such as how Dagny can simultaneously not care about others' opinions of her, but then put on makeup, buy expensive clothes, get her hair... did..., etc.
  21. I was generalizing based on the Rand quotation at the beginning/end of Atlas Shrugged: "To all the readers who discovered The Fountainhead and asked me many questions about the wider application of its ideas, I want to say that I am answering these questions in the present novel and that The Fountainhead was only an overture to Atlas Shrugged."
  22. Haven't several presidential candidates grounded their entire campaigns on everyone's favorite fiction book?
  23. What is the alternative? Private companies providing competing emergency services for a fee? How would that work in an apartment or condo complex, where it is easy for a fire to spread from one building to another. Would company A be allowed to put out only the fire as it spreads to condos that are its clients, and leave the other condos ablaze while those owners wait for their company B service to arrive (if they even have a fire service)? What happens if these other condos don't have a fire service, and the fire spreads from their condos back to the original condos covered by company A? Isn't it cheaper (in terms of taxes) for everyone to pay a little towards a local public fire department service, than to have to pay some (likely exorbitant) monthly fee to a company? What about forest fires? I'm just not understanding how this would work, and any clarification would be great.
  24. I think I understand what you're getting at and I'll read these parts more carefully. What about my last question, regarding other public services such as libraries, schools, 911, and the fire department? Would Rand eliminate these latter emergency services? What alternative would there be?
  25. I read The Fountainhead a couple years ago and liked it. The film was alright too, although not nearly as in-depth or relatable. I'm about a third of the way through Atlas Shrugged and like it so far. However, as was the case with The Fountainhead, Rand rarely ever mentions them eating, and you never read about them going to the bathroom, or buying clothes, or putting on makeup. While these minor details are left out of most books, the goal of the book for Rand is to explain her philosophy. With that in mind, I ask the question: given the intense purposefulness of their every action, do Dominique Francon and Dagny Taggart wear makeup? How about perfume? If so, for what purpose? I guess my general question is what is the Objectivist stance on personal aesthetic beauty. It's of minor concern, but has been bugging me. Another random question: what is the Objectivist stance on the so-called "universal healthcare" practiced in Canada, for example? What alternatives are suggested by Objectivists? I've been reading the Ayn Rand Lexicon but couldn't find anything specific to that. If they are against universal healthcare, are they also against other public services like the library, 911, or the fire department? Thanks!
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