Global Warming: They're Doing it Again

It bugs me when people speak half-truths or worse when it comes to the defense of their position on a controversial issue. The issue that is perhaps most spoken of in less than a forthright way is global warming. The Deseret News jumped to its own erroneous conclusion about Global Warming yesterday.

Why is it so easy to speak in false platitudes about Global Warming? The only other issue that appears to me to be so falsely spoken of is stem cell research. When the media talks about stem cells, they invariably refer to embryonic stem cells, avoiding completely the fact that adult stem cells exist, and that adult stem cells are the only stem cells with which cures have been effected, of which there have been several. When it comes to global warming, it's hard for the media to admit that although global warming exists, and that although we should clean up our environment, that not everyone thinks we need to clean up the environment because it will reduce global warming.

I'll admit it's easy to make assumptions. I do it more than my fair share of the time. However, I want, anyway, to point to an egregious example of the Deseret Morning News having done just that. Here is the thesis statement of the DesNews article.

By enormous margins, Utahns want alternative fuels developed in a fight against global warming.

I say Hogwash! Bull-chicken!

Utahns want alternative fuels developed because it makes sense to have a cleaner environment and to be less dependent on foreign fuel sources. It's an interesting logical jump to think that they only want it because they are afraid that the sky is falling.

Here were the poll questions.

1. Do you agree or disagree that Utah should be looking for alternative fuels and or energy technologies?

90% agreed somewhat or strongly that we should be. Of course we should. I'm surprised it wasn't 99% or so.

2. Will making major changes in our energy sources and use be good or bad for the economy?

The graphic shows the same percentages for the responses to this question as to question #1, so I'm not sure if it was a mistake, but I think most people would agree that it would be good for the economy. Then, after asking those two innocuous questions, the third question was:

3. A number of energy alternatives have been proposed as possible solutions to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases. Do you support or oppose government incentives and investments to encourage the following. (Several alternative energy sources are then listed. All of them receive at least majority marks in favor.)

Global warming is a fact. Greenhouse gases are a fact. The problem is the linkage of the two. Many scientists think that man has very little to do with global warming, but you wouldn't know that with all the propaganda going around.

Poll questions are strange sometimes, and sometimes strangely worded on purpose. Since the question was loaded in such a peculiar way, the response must be given with focus on (a) the reduction of greenhouse gases, or (b) that we find alternative energy sources.

I think Utahns were responding to the (b) part of the poll question. This is why their numbers were an affirmative majority in all cases. Because it makes sense to have cleaner, more reliable energy. But it does not make sense to infer that they want it because they think the sky is falling in 50 or 100 or however many years.

I wish the pollsters would have asked a more forthright question: "Do you think that man is causing global warming?" (They would have gotten an answer containing much different percentages). I think they probably want you to think that that was the question they asked, when it wasn't even nearly so.


  1. Isn't the Deseret News the "Conservative" paper in Utah?

  2. To paraphrase "The Princess Bride": "[We'd] like to think that, wouldn't [we]."

  3. Please provide a reference to back up this statement: "Many scientists think that man has very little to do with global warming."

  4. I refer you to previous posts that I have written under the label "Global Warming" for an answer to that question.

  5. Global warming is a fact. It is also true that carbon dioxide and other "greenhouse" emissions are increasing into the atmosphere. Scientists would also concede that correlation doesn't necessarily equate to causation.

    From what I've read, our climate can be affected by alot of factors. However, even small variances within the variables that determine our climate can have multiplier affects.

    For example, a small increase in temperature will cause glaciers to recede and a mean reduction in ice over the poles. This reduces the amount of solar radiation being reflected back to space, increasing temperature even more.

    Most scientists who study climate, armed with the best available climate models at their disposal are very concerned about man's contribution to global warming. I think their alarm is genuine. It is true that not all scientists agree, especially scientists who work for thinktanks funded by the energy industry.

    Sorry for the long post.

  6. I agree that small changes in temperature have a large effect. But I also think that solar radiation has a lot to do with that.

    I think scientists who work with the IPCC are more suspect in their allegiances and biases than are the ones who supposedly work for the energy industry.

    I don't discount the possibility of man's contribution to it, but it's much more mature to clean up the environment because it makes sense rather than because a computer model scares the crap out of somebody.

  7. I read the SL tribune, and the editorials have lead me to believe that, so I was just wondering what you had to say about it.


Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting. If you have a Google/Blogger account, to be apprised of ongoing comment activity on this article, please click the "Subscribe" link below.

Popular posts from this blog