Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sen Inhofe Denounces Alarmism

The Huff has a discussion of Sen. James Inhofe's passionate campaign to protect us from the Global Warming myth.

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At Wednesday, September 27, 2006 8:33:00 AM, Blogger mal said...

Does it matter whether Global Warming is the problem some experts think it is or not? Where is the harm in becoming more efficent in our resource conumption and reducing our emissions? Or even just closing our carbon cycle?

Interestingly, I stumbled across an article from the 50's discussing how the Cuyahoga River really was not the problem some alarmists were making it out to be....yup, uh, huh, no problem Mon!

At Wednesday, September 27, 2006 5:13:00 PM, Blogger jj mollo said...

The Cuyahoga River did finally inflame the the public passion, so to speak. Conservatives continually complain about any and all environmental and public health measures that don't involve putting poor people in jail.

They are right, however, about alarmism. Most of the time, when an alarm goes off, it is a false alarm. A lot of people get tired of false alarms and eventually pull the batteries so that they don't get any alarms. Supposing Inhofe is right, and this is a false alarm. Then what are the consequences of taking collective actions that may turn out to be unnecessary. In fact, any such program could cost the economy a lot, especially if it's done ineptly as most things are done in the government. OTOH, if he is wrong the cost of delay may be catastrophic. He knows this, which is why he is so adamant about his assertions that the alarm must be false. When you positively, absolutely have to be right, it is important to shout louder.

At Sunday, October 01, 2006 7:20:00 PM, Blogger blogagog said...

It's unwise to make a decision based upon the statement that "It may be wrong, but if it's right we're all going to die."

Furthermore, to approve of stifling opponents of the theory as this Congressman says they are (and they are definitely intellectually browbeating critics) is simply irresponsible. There is too much at stake here no matter which side is right.

At Saturday, October 07, 2006 2:23:00 AM, Blogger jj mollo said...

Blogalog, What is intellectual browbeating? I know what you mean, but think about it. How are intellectual questions to be resolved except by superior knowledge? If you are a professor in climate modeling, I will probably defer to your judgment regarding that subject. If not, I will wait until such time as I have superior knowledge regarding your assertions or a powerful posse of intellectual browbeaters to back me up.

If, however, you are a member of Congress, I will certainly defer to your judgment in what your constituents think and how the government really works. You have proved your theories by getting elected. I may also defer to your judgment regarding restaurants in Washington, DC, and how to get a rider into a bill before Congress.

When it comes to asking questions, Congress also has a lot of power and some expertise. Moreover Congress has a lot of resources. Congress can subpoena anybody to answer their questions. If they don't like the answers, or if they refuse to call the appropriate realm of witnesses, then I have to wonder whether they have political reasons for their expressed opinions.

Perhaps Inhofe is acting on his years of experience with outrageous claims. Skepticism is good and certainly, such claims require extraordinary evidence. Even Al Gore has been able to summon such evidence in a pretty convincing package.

You remain unconvinced? Then you need to follow the evidence and convince yourself or find the logical or scientific faults with such arguments. Short of that, recruit your own posse of intellectual browbeaters who disagree with the panicking crowd. But it is your duty to follow up on those arguments. If all the arguments put forth by your posse are refuted by appropriate argument and evidence, don't assume that it's due to some sort of conspiracy.

At Saturday, October 07, 2006 2:31:00 AM, Blogger jj mollo said...

That may be a train you hear coming 'round the bend, or it may just be the wind in the trees. Should you take the trouble to remove yourself from the tracks? I submit to you that such a question is valid, relevant and may lead to wise action, depending of course, on the Darwinian fitness of the one who ponders it.

It all comes down to the relative costs of false positives and false negatives.


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