Being getting into some interesting debates lately about Climate Change. Anonymous (what's your name, Anon?) - commenting in an earlier post - seems to think that the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere will make something happen. Marcus W, in an email exchange, thinks that something bad is bound to happen at sometime in the future, he's just not sure what, when, or where. He writes:
What level of potential catastrophe is a reasonable risk?
a) Sure, Anonymous, the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere might have some effect. About as much effect as sunspot activity, the sun, the moon, the effects of other planetary bodies, comets, asteroids, the occasional volcanic eruption which pumps thousands of tons of sulphur gases into the atmosphere, the normally variable weather patterns of the earth (which lurch from ice-age to temperate age with little warning), the movement of the earth's magnetic poles, the effect of the earth's biosphere, and about a thousand other things which also affect the weather. That is, on their own, they probably won't have much of an effect at all.
b) Marcus, if all the Theory of Climate Change does is say that Something Really Bad will Happen to Someone Somewhere, then it isn't a real theory. Make some specific predictions!
Okay, so here's the deal: Marcus mentions some possible occurences like:
- The flooding of Nauru and Bangladesh.
- A change in temperature in some areas.
If you think that global warming is happening, then you must be willing to commit yourself to these statements. Put your money where your mouth is! I tried to make a bet with Marcus, and I'm making another one now:
MAKE A CLEAR, VERIFIABLE PREDICTION ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE. IF I ACCEPT, I'M WILLING TO LAY $500.00 ON THE LINE!
Some proposed bets:
- That Bangladesh will be flooded in 30 years time.
- That the polar ice-caps will have melted in 50 years time.
- That the Sahara desert will be covered in snow, all year round, by 2040.
Don't like them? Mail other suggestions through to me, or leave them in comments. My point is that if you really believe in climate change, if you really believe that it's going to make a difference to the way of life of everyone on this planet, then you must be willing to back up your claims with STRONG EVIDENCE. And, in a weather system as large and complicated as the Earth's, this is the sort of evidence that is required.
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