Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Unstoppable Global Warming

In case you're tired of the quiet and need something to occupy your time until I pay more attention to this thing, I heard another interesting radio show from the Powerline guys. This time, they interviewed the author of a new book, Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years.

It sounds like it's worth reading. Honestly, I don't know enough about the science to say, "Oh, this guy's full of it!" Where "this guy" is either the book's author, Al Gore, etc. Take your pick. However, given the level at which I trust the major media outlets to present the issue (or any other science story) intelligently, a little outside reading wouldn't hurt.

If you decide to read it, let me know what you think.


Dr. Church said...

Here's my only objection. You say you don't trust the media to present a scientific issue. Fine. But then you admit to not knowing enough on the issue to know who is right/wrong. And yet the book you have recommended has made its agenda/stance clear in the title! It seems unfair to give this author any special privilege and refer to him as "outside reading". It doesn't seem an even-handed approach to a topic you are unsure of.

Hal said...

I say it mainly because the media tends to present only one side of the story: That mankind is destroying the globe and the only solution is to declare Al Gore emperor of earth for life.

This guy wrote a book about the opposite perspective. The radio interview was interesting. No, I don't know who is right. But I like to highlight the opposite perspective because I don't think you'll ever really hear much about it from the traditional media outlets.

Dr. Church said...

I guess I just disagree that because (you feel) you are only hearing one side from the media that that one side must likely be false.

If you claim they are not credible, you might consider looking to see if there are credible resources to back their claims. In this instance, you will find many.

Hal said...

It's not that I automatically assume the media side is false (though I am skeptical). It's just that I don't trust this kind of "media blitz" kind of story.

The media loves a good "Oh noes we're doomed!" science story. Think about all of the things that we've been told would give us cancer: powerlines, cell phones, SweetNLow, etc. Those stories alwasy materialized with some study (sometimes half-baked, but not always) showing a link between this or that, followed with quotes by a "concerned" scientist that the government needed to come in and save the day by outlawing/taxing/regulating whatever the culprit was.

But those stories always seem to fade away after a while, either because the science was never really there or a solution gets worked out and the end of the world is averted.

The point of that entire rambling nonsense is that I just don't have much faith in the media to write about science. It's not that their sources are liars or anything that extreme. The media outlets act as "gatekeepers," so to speak, and they can have a lot of influence depending on how they cover (or don't) a story. It's there that their credibility hinges, and to me it's just not good enough to accept the global warming "story" just yet.

Dr. Church said...

You and I are arguing different things though. I don't really have a problem with your distrust of the media in reporting such stories. I think you have a valid claim. I am saying however to look past them and to the sources. I believe there is a great deal of reliable, credible, good science being done by honest scientists that gives weight to the "story". I'm saying you might be better served by looking at these resources than following a knee-jerk reaction to a story the media might have cause to needlessly blow up.