Dan74: Suppose there is a giant meteorite on a collision course with the Earth. Some scientists says it should break up and burn up before impact, others disagree. Would people be content to sit idly and hope that the first lot was right? To me Global Warming is similar. It is a real risk. Do we do something, especially when unlike with protecting ourselves against the meteorite, there is a lot of benefit in switching to cleaner energy and diminishing our consumption? Or do we do nothing because we are skeptical regarding the gravity of risk?
Hi, Dan. Kudos for excellent logic.
However, suppose as well that there was a construction group that wanted to sell bunkers as in the 1950's when the concern was nuclear attack. Would you think them a reliable, unbiased source of information regarding prediction of planetary strikes from meteors?
That is why some here on this board and elsewhere are prone to ignoring and/or debating scientists representing such clearly biased groups as "The Coal Industry", "The Oil Industry", and etc. By the same token solar power groups, wind mill manufacturers, and the nuclear community have axes to grind as well.
So, instead, we suggested earlier in the thread that we stick to staying in touch with, reviewing "the latest data" and findings put forth by independent and credentialed organizations such as NASA and others.
And, as you said, many of us are not experts, but many of those parroting data from groups with questionable biases are not either. So, that is why I suggested sticking to reading the data, studying the associated sciences which led to the production of the data, and then making up our own minds. This does not mean that we should ignore what they report, but, realizing their potential for bias, should take what they have to report with a grain of salt. Remember that scientists studying the effects of tobacco smoke made it sound like smoking was good for us fifty years ago. But some of these same scientists became defectors reporting information later that was very beneficial to understanding the real risks associated with smoking and the secret manipulation of addictive components in cigarettes by tobacco companies, which allowed gov. health organizations to finally regulate appropriately.