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Opinions on Climate Change Opinions — 1 Comment

  1. An opinion’s worth depends on the evidence supporting it, not on the trustworthiness, honesty, or smarts of the person holding that opinion. I am a physician and this so-called climate debate (as gleefully portrayed in the media) reminds me of arguments and reports in the media concerning topics in medicine that I am quite familiar with. Sadly, and more often than not, both sides get it wrong because they don’t go to primary sources, I E research evidence. I don’t mean cherry picking in a study here or there but looking at an entire body of work. It is easy to find a single study or two that says some medical treatment is effective but it is more important to know that the overwhelming bulk of the research on that particular treatment showed it to be ineffective.

    There is an enormous body of work, spanning more than 100 years, of peer reviewed scientific research about the role of CO2 in climate change. Instead of referring to that entire body of knowledge, what I often see are claims are being made based on a couple of cherry picked studies. “Gotcha!” arguments abound as opposed to deep critical examinations of the scientific literature. Of course, that would require honesty and work, especially for someone unfamiliar with how research actually works. Nevertheless, anyone who feels that the issue of climate change is an important one will add immensely to their knowledge and understanding.

    Although I am not a climate scientist I have been able to see primary references about how CO2 helps regulate climate and the effects of human activity on atmospheric CO2 levels. Although it takes time and effort, it allows me to better formulate a fact based opinion rather than rely upon the opinion of someone else, no matter how much I may admire that person. I believe the best way to change one’s opinion is wth good evidence, not clever arguments. The best evidence we have comes from well conducted research, not from pundits, politicians, or public intellectuals.

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