Global Warming Slam Dunk



We all know that the science of global warming—that is to say anthropogenic global warming—is controversial. It’s controversial because some people do not believe in anthropogenic global warming. And that’s what makes it controversial. When some people don’t believe in a thing, then the thing becomes controversial. And that’s what makes anthropogenic global warming so controversial.

Scientists who study this stuff back the notion that anthropogenic global warming is going on, but others say that is just not so. And these people contrary to anthropogenic global warming give us a variety of arguments to support their position. I have looked at a number of these arguments, and I find that on the main the fall quite flat. Then there is one.

Congressman Jeff Miller, representing Florida District 1, has put forth what may likely be the best argument against global warming, unfortunately for those who deny anthropogenic global warming. Here is what Congressman Miller had to say:

In a recent interview with MSNBC, Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) argued that human activity can’t be causing climate change because there were no humans around when the dinosaurs went extinct.

“But then, why did the dinosaurs go extinct?” Miller asked. “Were there men that were causing – were there cars running around at that point that were causing global warming? No. The climate has changed since Earth was created.”

While I support the science behind anthropogenic global warming, I have to admit that I have nothing in response to Congressman Miller’s argument. If ever there were a slam dunk, this is it.

But maybe some skeptical analysis is due. Examine what Congressman Miller has told us.

Supposedly dinosaurs went extinct due to a global change in climate. But some scientists claim there were no people around when the dinosaurs went extinct. If that’s the case, then people could not have possibly caused the extinction. People exist now, and some scientists (possibly the same ones) claim that people, by altering the climate, will cause other species to go extinct. But Congressman Miller has just successfully demonstrated that species go extinct even when no people are around. A slam dunk case.

Maybe not.

Remember, there are some scientists who claim there were people around when the dinosaurs went extinct. These scientists have a point, and it must be respected. These are, after all, scientists.

But there is an answer to that, as well. Suppose these young Earth creation scientists are wrong. Suppose there really were no people around when the dinosaurs went extinct. Then what caused the climate change?

Some scientists conjecture that the climate change that extincted the dinosaurs was caused by the impact of an asteroid. Really? Really!

I am sure Congressman Miller has a response to that ridiculous argument: If there were no people back when the dinosaurs went extinct, then what caused the asteroid impact?

Game over.

Neil deGrasse Tyson and all you other high highfalutin scientists, you’re going to have to just go away for awhile and scratch your heads over that one.

The science of global warming is clearly under dire threat from these and equally plausible arguments. Such as this one:

In a condemnatory speech last week against the Obama administration’s new Environmental Protection Agency carbon emission regulations, Kentucky state Sen. Brandon Smith (R) claimed that man-made climate change is scientifically implausible because Mars and Earth share “exactly” the same temperature.

Smith, the owner of a mining company called Mohawk Energy, argued that despite the fact that the red planet doesn’t have any coal mines, Mars and Earth share a temperature. Therefore, Smith reasoned, coal companies on Earth should be exempt from emission regulations.

Senator Smith appears to be onto something. While some would poke fun at this argument, they do so at their own risk. A look at the facts show that Senator Smith is not far from the mark. Here’s how the average surface temperature of Earth compares with that of Mars:

  • Earth: 57 F
  • Mars: -81 F

Pretty darn close I would say, considering the surface temperature of the sun is about 9941 F.

For myself, I’m going to have to head back and re-examine my position. Maybe some voters will need to do the same.

One thought on “Global Warming Slam Dunk

  1. Pingback: Political Science | Skeptical Analysis

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