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Global Warming-- do you think it is a problem?


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It's funny, my ds is taking an Environmental Science class at a university this term, studying global warming and other environmental issues. Yesterday in Pittsburgh it was 62 degrees, another record high for our area. And then my son started talking about his class to his homeschooled math club friends, and they all seemed to deny that there was any evidence of global warming and all. Amazing! This was a group of middle school kids who I would have thought were reasonably well-educated about current events. I wonder if they resist the idea of global warming as a problem, since many politicians (Al Gore) who talk about it are more liberal than they are...

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different parts of the earth will respond differently. For example, if the Gulf Stream is shut down because of melting ice caps, Ireland, England and Western Europe will lose the warm weather that the ocean current currently provides. Instead their climate will more closely resemble that of their latitude counterparts in Canada -- Labador and Newfoundland. So mislabeling the phenomena adds credibility to the naysayers, they can always point to this spot or that spot.

 

But I think the biggest problem is three-fold. 1) Most people don't like change and will fight it. By denying climate change some can deny their need to change their habits and lifestyle. 2) There is a distinctive anti-intellectual bent in many segments of the population so many won't accept scientists' findings and opinions if they go against the individual's wants (see #1) 3) As the evidence mounts, I think a lot of the denial is because it's associated as a liberal cause combined with "they're out to take my rights away"

 

The funny thing is, that now as the evidence mounts, the naysayers are starting to say that it's natural and nothing anyone does (ie not burning fossil fuels) will make an impact. Once again, they don't need to change.

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He doesn't think the data is that strong or well researched and besides, the earth is very old (even if you're a young earth creationist) and global warming is based on only about 50 years of data. We don't know all the cycles of earth's global climates. It does seem to have long term cycles of warming & cooling. So warming is most likely a normal earth global cycle. Seems like there are plenty of scientists out there who also don't go along with man made global warming theory: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,22029942-28737,00.html

 

My take is that meteorologists can't even quite accurately predict the weather a week in advance. The forecasts constantly change. How do we think we can predict global climate 100 years down the road? We were told in the 70's of the impending Ice Age...

Jacqui

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different parts of the earth will respond differently. For example, if the Gulf Stream is shut down because of melting ice caps, Ireland, England and Western Europe will lose the warm weather that the ocean current currently provides. Instead their climate will more closely resemble that of their latitude counterparts in Canada -- Labador and Newfoundland. So mislabeling the phenomena adds credibility to the naysayers, they can always point to this spot or that spot.

 

But I think the biggest problem is three-fold. 1) Most people don't like change and will fight it. By denying climate change some can deny their need to change their habits and lifestyle. 2) There is a distinctive anti-intellectual bent in many segments of the population so many won't accept scientists' findings and opinions if they go against the individual's wants (see #1) 3) As the evidence mounts, I think a lot of the denial is because it's associated as a liberal cause combined with "they're out to take my rights away"

 

The funny thing is, that now as the evidence mounts, the naysayers are starting to say that it's natural and nothing anyone does (ie not burning fossil fuels) will make an impact. Once again, they don't need to change.

 

There are many scientists who are experts in their fields who doubt the global warming hype. Read the brief article below:

 

UN Conference

 

It's no wonder that people may be confused, but the great majority of the masses will believe the mainstream hype.

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Ahem....

 

Yes. We are in some kind of mistake waiting to happen. February used to be so cold (for Florida) and I'm here to tell you that it is freakin 80** out right now--830 in the MORNING!!

 

Do I believe Al Gore's Global Warming? No...but well, all I can say while being nice is Yes, something is happening. I don't think most of us will be here to witness the afteraffects of it, but our kids will and that's enough for me.

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The Farmers Almanac do not believe in Global Warming. They said it is Earth going through its cycles. Remember back in the 30's to 50's they thought there was going to be an ice age coming.

 

Remember who is presenting the Global Warming ideas. The very people that are presenting are wanting to tax us for breathing carbon dioxide into the air. I have heard some really wacky stuff from the global warming people on how they want to tax people due to global warming. YIKES!

 

My belief is Earth is going through cycles as it always have done. Let's let it take its course.

 

Holly

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Guest Amy in MS

RE:

Central Asia is hitting a record low this winter--is not evidence against "global warming"

 

Sticking your finger out the window and saying "it feels cooler this year than last year" is weather, not climate change.

 

There is a difference!

 

But, I tend to agree with you re: listening to the messenger and not the message. A majority of folks who pooh-pooh global warming are right-wingers and religious folks. A majority of "CC believers" are lefties believe in it. And I think this has to do with preconceptions and fear because there are intelligent people on both sides.

 

And, frankly, it's the reason I'm becoming less "religious" every day. And I used to be a conservative Christian missionary! But the response of the US Christian community to taking care of the world has me really down.

 

Amy

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I don't doubt we are going through cycles, but even as early as 5 years ago, February was "colder" (being a relative term for Florida) than it is now.

 

I've had ONE day of COLD (30's) ONE... Cycles, maybe... Al Gore, he's a dumbarse... but that doesn't mean we arent' going through something.

 

We are all gas hogs, energy hogs, we waste, we don't recycle anything (we being the general and not necessarily anyone on this board). We drive big honking SUV's when there is no need to. We don't consolidate our trips, we waste everything. We spend on junk and then throw it out instead of recycling it.

 

Of course a lot of this is the governments fault--there's no education on how to do these things, no GOOD recycling programs, no incentive to not buy that big honkin' SUV. But we don't help the situation either.

 

But, I tend to agree with you re: listening to the messenger and not the message. A majority of folks who pooh-pooh global warming are right-wingers and religious folks. A majority of "CC believers" are lefties believe in it. And I think this has to do with preconceptions and fear because there are intelligent people on both sides.

 

And, frankly, it's the reason I'm becoming less "religious" every day. And I used to be a conservative Christian missionary! But the response of the US Christian community to taking care of the world has me really down.

 

Amy

 

I wanted to let you know, Amy, that you are not alone in this belief. I do believe and agree with you. I was just trying to avoid bringing those things up. :)

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Yet we're still being bombarded with how we need to change... I'm all for decreasing pollution in localities where it is bad but to think humans can control the climate one way or the other seems unreasonable. We can't control the weather. We can't always accurately predict the weather. We have been told over 10 years ago how the oceans would be dead in 10 years. We were told that global warming would cause hurricanes seasons to be worse and more Katrinas would happen, but last year the hurricane season was mild. Now global warming theorists say that the warming may actually cause hurricanes to have the tops sheared off them so the seasons will be less severe. Okay... which is it?:confused::confused:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070417182843.htm

 

I think rushing in to try to make huge changes to national economies & industries is a mistake when we DON'T have all the information straight nor do we know the effects of the changes we would make.

Not all scientists agree on global warming causes including my FIL, a respected atmospheric physicist:

http://www.newstatesman.com/200712190004

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No, I don't. The groups that are pushing the issue know that most people aren't buying it, hence the shift in language from"global warming" to "climate change". Remember, it wasn't long ago that global cooling was issue. I think the global warming craze will eventually go the way of phrenology. Please no tomatoes--I know this is a controversial issue, and I mean no disrespect to those who believe wholeheartedly in global warming;this is just my opinion.

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The Farmers Almanac do not believe in Global Warming. They said it is Earth going through its cycles. Remember back in the 30's to 50's they thought there was going to be an ice age coming.

 

Remember who is presenting the Global Warming ideas. The very people that are presenting are wanting to tax us for breathing carbon dioxide into the air. I have heard some really wacky stuff from the global warming people on how they want to tax people due to global warming. YIKES!

 

My belief is Earth is going through cycles as it always have done. Let's let it take its course.

 

Holly

 

Yeah, what she said!;)

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There are many scientists who are experts in their fields who doubt the global warming hype.

 

My dh, a scientist through and through, would count himself in this number. In his mind (and the rest of our family's 'cause he's been our mentor on this subject!), the earth is just doing what it's been doing for a very long time - cycling.

 

FWIW,

Sharon

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I read many studies firsthand while at University, and I do believe there is manmade Global Climate Change going on. Of course the Earth goes through cycles, but not so quickly as we have seen in just our lifetime. There's tons of evidence for it, and lots of "scientists" being paid off by some groups :rolleyes: to say what people want them to say so the propaganda against is coming from "experts".

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My FIL, who lives with us, (and is a scientist) has reached the same conclusion as your DH, Sharon. And no one is paying him to say it either.

 

He maintains that the prediction models are flawed.

 

I, personally, find a lot of it over my head... and while I can read and understand a research paper, I couldn't point out flaws in the research itself without more study. So I am deferring to my FIL on this one at this time.

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not vs if we don't act and it is man induced. Unfortunately I can't do a formal decision tree here but I can do a pro-con chart.

 

Act to reduce greenhse but no effect on climate

 

PRO

walk & bike instead of using car - healthier people, less dependence on foreign oil, less particulate matter to breath in.

 

develop new industries (solar and wind) - can bring industry and income to less prosperous parts of the country

 

less money leaving the country for oil

 

CON

negative affect on auto industry, steel industry, oil industry and parts of the country and world where oil and steel are a large part of the economy

 

people give up the pleasure of auto travel and big vehicles.

 

 

You can add more to each side.

 

Don't act and human induced climate change is real

 

PRO

 

no major economic impact today

 

people don't need to change their habits today

 

CON

 

coastal areas possibly wiped out in the future

 

possible future problems with finding and developing new agricultural lands.

 

possible future problems with feeding and housing the world's population

 

Once again you can add more to each side.

 

To this you need to add a sheet on "we act, but it doesn't stop climate change" and "we don't act and the climate doesn't change" To further refine the process you can estimate the % chance of each scenario.

 

But for me, I look at the potential consequences of not acting if global warming is real vs the consequences of acting and it's not real. I think the potential danger is worth making the changes now. And I know that the some of these changes would benefit me now.

 

You can also draw an analogy to the Surgeon General's announcement in the 60's that smoking might be hazardous to your health. Many at that time said the science wasn't there yet. But what would happen if someone decided not to smoke because of the possibility and he was wrong? They wouldn't spend money on cigarettes, they wouldn't reek of cigarette smoke, they would reduce the chance of burn holes in their furniture, clothes and homes. The down side was many communities relied on the tobacco industry and state gov'ts relied on the taxes tobacco sales brought in. But if the Surgeon General was right, the non-smoker had also reduced his chances of developing lung cancer or other respiratory illnesses. At the same time, his family and the economy as a whole was saved a lot of money caring for tobacco related illnesses.

 

Sometimes we need to act before all the data is in. Personally I think that climate change is one of those issues.

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It's troubling to read on this board the oversimplified generalizations about this subject. I'm hesitant to embrace politically correct lifestyle changes in favor of a Global Warming world view. When I read the literature, the non-global warming scientists convince me. The global-warming scientists don't. BTW I am a conservative Christian. With a brain that I try to use from time to time.

 

Obviously, I have biases, too. I just wanted to tip-toe in here and remind some of you that some of your biases are coming thru a little too loud and clear. :D

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I think we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the world we have...QUOTE]

 

Yes. Let us not forget that we can believe the earth is simply going through another cycle of warming/cooling and still carry ourselves, environmentally, similarly to someone else who happens to believe that what we are experiencing is man induced. Irregardless of our views on "Global Warming", we definitely accept the responsibility of not being wasteful of our resources!

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and like others have said, I think some people have a strong feelings about the issue because of who is presenting it and what Al Gore's and other politicians' remedy for it is. And I believe there simply isn't enough data out there. I laugh when I hear meteorologists say "This is the warmest summer ever!!!" Sometimes they remember to add "uh, on record." Umm, haven't we only been keeping records for just over 100 years? If the Earth really is billions of years old (or even 10,000 years old), I think we need to keep records just a little longer to know what we are talking about.

 

If the climate is changing, and it probably is, I don't believe we can do much about it. I think it is natural cycles the Earth goes through and not man-made. There is evidence that the Vikings used to farm in Greenland, in many places that today are covered with ice. There are fossils of ocean animals found in the middle of Minnesota. We will always have hurricanes in the southeast and sometimes they will be severe. I tend to shrug my shoulders at it and figure future generations will deal with it by moving, changing their lifestyles and farming habits, whatever. Nothing ever remains the same. Isn't that the one constant in life?

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Passenger pigeons were thought to be the most numerous bird in the world in the 1800's. I've read accounts about how one flock would take a day or longer to fly overhead. People would just massacre flocks and let the hogs eat them. When number's started dropping, a lot of theories were made to blame the drop on things other than human interference. (both hunting and habitat destruction) My favorite was that the passenger pigeons had flown to Australia and would be back next year. BTW, the last passenger pigeon died in 1914, less than a hundred years after they first started being shot in large numbers.

 

Wholesale cutting of trees alter the local climate, and possibly regional climates. If you take a tree in the middle of a field and measure the temperature and humidity day and night, you'll notice that under the tree it's cooler in the day and warmer at night. The humidity is higher around the clock under the tree. This is marked enough that scientists are urging the replanting or trees on the borders of the Sahara to stop the desert's growth. So imagine the effect if you cut down half a continent's forests.

 

There are many, many more examples of how man has changed the local and regional environment. I have no problem in visualizing how man could make global changes.

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He doesn't think the data is that strong or well researched and besides, the earth is very old (even if you're a young earth creationist) and global warming is based on only about 50 years of data. We don't know all the cycles of earth's global climates. It does seem to have long term cycles of warming & cooling. So warming is most likely a normal earth global cycle. Seems like there are plenty of scientists out there who also don't go along with man made global warming theory: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,22029942-28737,00.html

 

Jacqui

 

I second you Jacqui and your FIL.

My dh is a current chemist with a masters in atmospheric science. He has never encountered ANY other peer in his field that subscribes to man-made GW--including the PhD's he studied under.

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Wow, lots of interesting opinions and views! Fascinating subject that really deserves more in-depth analysis. Thanks for everyone's comments and links! My son will be heading to Switzerland next month over spring break to look at some of the disappearing glaciers there, so that will also be a very informative look at global climate changes in the past decades. Very interesting!

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The Farmers Almanac do not believe in Global Warming. They said it is Earth going through its cycles. Remember back in the 30's to 50's they thought there was going to be an ice age coming.

 

Remember who is presenting the Global Warming ideas. The very people that are presenting are wanting to tax us for breathing carbon dioxide into the air. I have heard some really wacky stuff from the global warming people on how they want to tax people due to global warming. YIKES!

 

My belief is Earth is going through cycles as it always have done. Let's let it take its course.

 

Holly

 

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that these *rates* of change have occured before in the Earth's cycles. It is the *rate* of change, documented by scientists in a wide variety of areas, that is so alarming.

 

Global warming is not about a belief system. The trends in the *rate* of change that is taking place are well-documented in research articles that are accessible to even lay people. I just wonder how many people who don't believe in global warming have read even a few issues of Scientific American in the last three years.

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I'd be interested to hear if folks can come up with statistics that bear out that all these wild thermometer swings are part of a "trend" that has happened before, 'cause I don't think they are. I know that some argue against the idea because they don't want to accept that we are doing anything to cause it. They want to believe that it is just part of a global climate trend that sweeps back and forth over time like a pendulum. But I don't think we can really continue to believe forever that we can dump the amount of toxic stuff we do into our air, water, and land and not suffer some consequences from it. As we continue to waste time arguing about whether or not we're causing it, it's getting worse.... Shouldn't we just try to DO something about it and at least SEE if that works? Can it really hurt? At the very least, we'd save money, better our own health, etc. Seems like a win/win, overall, to me. I think getting caught up in the politics of it is really dumb. Who cares who promotes it (I'm NOT a Gore fan, by the way, but....)? Continuing to Ignore the issue is like cutting off our nose just to spite our face....

 

Regena

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It's no wonder that people may be confused, but the great majority of the masses will believe the mainstream hype.

 

Sorry, but I consider myself highly educated and well-informed on science issues and I believe the "mainstream hype". Not because it's hype but because from all the evidence I've encountered, it's based on sound science and not hype. And yes, I believe Al Gore but I've done a lot of my own research.

 

And I have a huge pet peeve with saying "well it's very cold here today" or "it's very hot here today" as evidence against/for global warming. The trends they review are much longer than a day, week, month, or year. There will always be minor variations, but the trends are real.

 

Now, can someone please tell me the motivation to deny that this is happening? That's honestly what I'm most confused about. I enjoyed the book "The Republican War on Science" that I read over a year ago, but I can't remember the main arguments presented for denying man-made global warming.

 

Let the negative rep points roll in!

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I'd be interested to hear if folks can come up with statistics that bear out that all these wild thermometer swings are part of a "trend" that has happened before, 'cause I don't think they are. I know that some argue against the idea because they don't want to accept that we are doing anything to cause it. They want to believe that it is just part of a global climate trend that sweeps back and forth over time like a pendulum. But I don't think we can really continue to believe forever that we can dump the amount of toxic stuff we do into our air, water, and land and not suffer some consequences from it. As we continue to waste time arguing about whether or not we're causing it, it's getting worse.... Shouldn't we just try to DO something about it and at least SEE if that works? Can it really hurt? At the very least, we'd save money, better our own health, etc. Seems like a win/win, overall, to me. I think getting caught up in the politics of it is really dumb. Who cares who promotes it (I'm NOT a Gore fan, by the way, but....)? Continuing to Ignore the issue is like cutting off our nose just to spite our face....

 

Regena

 

Thank you thank you! This is what I was getting at with my last point...why the utter denial? Why NOT try to be a little earth friendly? Who does that hurt?

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But for me, I look at the potential consequences of not acting if global warming is real vs the consequences of acting and it's not real. I think the potential danger is worth making the changes now. And I know that the sum of these changes would benefit me now.

 

You can also draw an analogy to the Surgeon General's announcement in the 60's that smoking might be hazardous to your health. Many at that time said the science wasn't there yet. But what would happen if someone decided not to smoke because of the possibility and he was wrong? They wouldn't spend money on cigarettes, they wouldn't reek of cigarette smoke, they would reduce the chance of burn holes in their furniture, clothes and homes. The down side was many communities relied on the tobacco industry and state gov'ts relied on the taxes tobacco sales brought in. But if the Surgeon General was right, the non-smoker had also reduced his chances of developing lung cancer or other respiratory illnesses. At the same time, his family and the economy as a whole was saved a lot of money caring for tobacco related illnesses.

 

Sometimes we need to act before all the data is in. Personally I think that climate change is one of those issues.

 

That is so well-stated!

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been in the past. Where do we have the sophisticated equipment of the past to make the statement that ..."There is no scientific evidence to suggest that these *rates* of change have occured before in the Earth's cycles. It is the *rate* of change, documented by scientists in a wide variety of areas, that is so alarming."...?

 

Worldwide warming may have even stopped:

"Looking at the global temperatures as used by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the UK’s Met Office and the IPCC (and indeed Al Gore) it’s apparent that there has been a sharp rise since about 1980.

The period 1980-98 was one of rapid warming – a temperature increase of about 0.5 degrees C (CO2 rose from 340ppm to 370ppm). But since then the global temperature has been flat (whilst the CO2 has relentlessly risen from 370ppm to 380ppm). This means that the global temperature today is about 0.3 deg less than it would have been had the rapid increase continued. "

 

http://www.newstatesman.com/200712190004

 

 

The data that the last 10 years as being the hottest on record in the U.S. is faulty.

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=/Culture/archive/200708/CUL20070816b.html

 

I just don't presume to think we know enough about the earth's atmosphere, the weather, and the interaction of the sun to make such dire predictions. We can't predict weather 10 years from now, we can't predict volcanoes or earthquakes reasonably, we can't predict global climate, & we can't predict what the results of any global changes we try to make would be.

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I'm glad Kathy in MD has been posting to this thread so I can simply say, "Ditto" to her offerings. Global climate change, effected in large part by man, is a problem. I am not even going to couch that with "I think" because there is no question in my mind; that is, I don't consider it a matter of opinion.

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My son will be heading to Switzerland next month over spring break to look at some of the disappearing glaciers there, so that will also be a very informative look at global climate changes in the past decades.

 

It's stunning, how many Alpine ski areas now rely on snow-making machines (which themselves are of course environmental disasters). Where specifically will your son be going?

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I'll just say that Mcconnellboys, OH Homeschooler and Colleen said it better than I could, especially the bit about finding it hard to believe that we couldn't make an impact.

 

And I also want to know why all the denial that something is happening? Is it a faith thing? What? I want to know why you honestly think we are not damaging our planet and why we shouldn't be doing something about it?

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I am not convinced. Sorry. :o This is not to say that I don't believe the planet goes through various phases and major changes. I just don't believe it's a world ending type of catastrophe that is taking place. My across the street neighbor who is a science teacher in a public school is unconvinced as well. This is *not* to say that I don't believe in taking superb care of the environment. I think it is our responsibility to take the best care of the earth as possible as we are stewards of it and were put here to tend the earth -- both to live off of it and to give back to it.

 

So, while I don't buy into the politicization of the environment, I believe we each are responsible to take care of it as best we can.

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I don't believe in that "end of the world catastrophe" stuff, but I do believe we are heading there. Not soon, in fact, not within the next 100 yrs. But I would like to leave something for my kids and my kids kids and so on. The rate we are going now, there won't be much left.

 

Are we going to have a "Thundar the Barbarian" scenerio (or more recently, I am Legend--same concept), doubtful (especially if zombies are involved). But it's not going to be pretty either.

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For all the criticisms of those who believe Al Gore, I think it's strange to see all the people who deny the existence of global warming based on the fact that it's Al Gore's pet cause. That's seems like politicizing the environment to me.

Unless the naysayers tell me otherwise, I think it is **because** it is Al Gore's pet cause that they don't believe it. Look at those who don't believe in it, I know of at least one of them that would never vote for Al Gore and based on past conversations, thinks he's an "idiot".

 

So maybe that's why some don't believe--simply because it's Al Gore?

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I am not convinced. Sorry. :o This is not to say that I don't believe the planet goes through various phases and major changes. I just don't believe it's a world ending type of catastrophe that is taking place.

 

will be a major jolt to the status quo. It might even be a civilization destroyer. But it won't spell the end of the earth.

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