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To: Right Wing Professor
Y'know, I'm kinda glad you got here first.

I saw this:

Rush: "They cannot prove that the current warming cycle that I admit we're in, can be proved to be manmade and even man-caused. There have been too many global heating and cooling cycles long before man came along and industrialized the planet, and there have been way too many volcanoes spewing pollution that doubles the amount of the total of all the automobiles ever invented and manufactured in the world."

One: There's a BIG difference between "proving that the current warming cycle is "manmade... man-caused" and establishing with considerably certainty that human activities are partly responsible for the currently observed warming (which is what has been done). Scientists can make that distinction; it's more difficult to explain it to non-scientists, and I suspect it would be difficult to explain it to Rush.

Two: "Volcanoes spewing pollution" is so vague. I suspect Rush is tabbing volcanoes as a major CO2 source, given his reference to automobile emissions. If he is, he's stating something that I, with my interests in both environment and geochemistry, have politely corrected numerous FReepers about -- volcanoes are not a major CO2 source compared to fossil-fuel energy emissions. If, on the other hand, he was so nuanced to be considering sulfur dioxide, volcanoes are a significant source -- about 1/4 of the emissions from coal burning (unfiltered) or underground coal fires.

I truly agree with you, RWP, that Rush has frequently demonstrated considerably misunderstanding of scientific knowledge related to the environment. My problem is not with his level of knowledge, but that he passes on his misconceptions to his listeners, many of whom don't have the ability to realize where he is erroneous, so Rush's errors are transformed into their own state of perceived factual knowledge. Misinformation breeds mis-knowledge, i.e., people don't understand why what they have been told is incorrect. (If they were computers, it would be GIGO.)

31 posted on 09/06/2005 8:43:26 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator

Thanks for the additonal criticism or the original post. I didn't want to touch anthropogenic global warming, becuase it has until recently been somewhat scientifically controversial (I should have pinged you, though). But the ozone hole is not controversial. Even Fred Singer admits it's there and it's man-made - what he disputes is that the UV levels have increased as a result, that they are anything we should worry about, or that the Montreal Protocol has effectively helped - all of which are indeed legitimate criticisms. But the existence of the ozone hole itself is a closed issue.


33 posted on 09/06/2005 8:50:47 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: cogitator

Rush doesn't seem to realize that in this instance, at least, he's no better than the dunderhead Hollywood types who peddle equally specious enviromental arguments (from the other side, of course). Similarly, someone like James Inhofe who denies the existence of climate change and other very real environmental dangers is no better than the Paul Ehrlichs or Stephen Schneiders who not only exaggerate actual problems, but deny the existence of known facts in economics and avoid (dare I say it?) nuanced policy solutions.


41 posted on 09/06/2005 9:15:06 AM PDT by RightWingAtheist (Creationism is not conservative!)
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