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Global Warming To Be Put On Trial?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the break-out-the-popcorn dept.

Businesses 1100

Mr_Blank writes to mention that the United States' largest business lobby is pushing for a public trial to examine the evidence of global warming and have a judge make a ruling on whether human beings are warming the planet to dangerous effect. "The goal of the chamber, which represents 3 million large and small businesses, is to fend off potential emissions regulations by undercutting the scientific consensus over climate change. If the EPA denies the request, as expected, the chamber plans to take the fight to federal court. The EPA is having none of it, calling a hearing a 'waste of time' and saying that a threatened lawsuit by the chamber would be 'frivolous.' [...] Environmentalists say the chamber's strategy is an attempt to sow political discord by challenging settled science — and note that in the famed 1925 Scopes trial, which pitted lawyers Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan in a courtroom battle over a Tennessee science teacher accused of teaching evolution illegally, the scientists won in the end."

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Really... (5, Funny)

Mister Transistor (259842) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199575)

They'll be trying the existence of Manbearpig. Really, I'm serial!

Just what we need (4, Insightful)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199577)

3 million businesses pressuring 1 judge to decide whether or not the work of millions of scientists is trustworthy.

Re:Just what we need (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29199635)

Well, when their work has been tainted by politics and is increasingly being shown to be wrong, one has to wonder how trustworthy this body of work is.

On a separate note, it's finally time for that fat fuck Ted Kennedy to face the music for what he did to Mary Jo Kopechne. Good luck, Teddy! You'll finally get the justice you so artfully dodged for decades!

They are NOT Denying Global Warming (5, Insightful)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199887)

The Board of Businesses is not trying to get the courts to decide whether or not Global Warming is a reality. They are not even trying to get the courts to decide whether or not Global Warming is caused by human-created emissions. They are trying to get the courts to rule on whether Global Warming will be _harmful_ to humans.

EPA spokesman Brendan Gilfillan said the agency based its proposed finding that global warming is a danger to public health "on the soundest peer-reviewed science available, which overwhelmingly indicates that climate change presents a threat to human health and welfare."

The EPAâ(TM)s endangerment finding for greenhouse gases, as proposed in April, warned that warmer temperatures would lead to "the increased likelihood of more frequent and intense heat waves, more wildfires, degraded air quality, more heavy downpours and flooding, increased drought, greater sea level rise, more intense storms, harm to water resources, harm to agriculture, and harm to wildlife and ecosystems." Critics of the finding say it's far from certain that warming will cause any harm at all. The Chamber of Commerce cites studies that predict higher temperatures will reduce mortality rates in the United States.

What's basically happening here is that the EPA is trying to get "Greenhouse Gases" to be covered under the "Clean Air Act," which currently only regulates the amount of toxic emissions that industries and products are allowed to produce.

My question is this: What is the EPA _really_ trying to accomplish with this? Covering CO2 under the Clean Air Act would completely hamstring American businesses, forcing them to severely cut CO2 emissions. At this point, that is barely even technologically feasible, much less cost-effective, much less profit-producing. So what, are they _trying_ to bankrupt America businesses? Are they _trying_ to return us to the Stone Age? Are they _trying_ to give American companies as much of a handicap as possible in the global market, such that they will now have to compete with now even cheaper alternatives made in countries that don't have such off-the-wall regulations?

I hate to resort to calling the EPA malicious, because I want to believe that they think that what they are doing is right, but, seriously, that's the only alternative. They certainly aren't trying to _actually_ clean up the air, since worse offenders than the USA already exist and won't be affected by this law at all. In fact, I would speculate that these countries are simply going to grow and gobble up whatever materials we're no longer able to use under this law, and completely take over what little markets American products still have a place in.

This only effect of this law will be to hurt businesses, and they know it, and they're fighting back. And make no mistake, this isn't just Large Evil Corporations, either, this includes literally millions of "little guys."

Re:They are NOT Denying Global Warming (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29200061)

True. I think that's something that's hugely overlooked---energy is becoming not only a hammer for the big corps to put the hurt smaller businesses, but the regulations are also suited that way such that only large corps are either getting paid or will meet or be excluded from the energy regs.

Also from the article summary:

"and note that in the famed 1925 Scopes trial, which pitted lawyers Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan in a courtroom battle over a Tennessee science teacher accused of teaching evolution illegally, the scientists won in the end."

Umm, no. Scopes lost in the trial. That said, the public perception of the trial was that the claims made against Scopes were ridiculous. But saying scientists won is wrong from a historical perspective, the judicial decision standpoint, and even the current, modern day standpoint where (the extent of) evolution is still debated today.

Re:Just what we need (4, Informative)

jcochran (309950) | more than 5 years ago | (#29200015)

I'd suggest reading a bit of:

Kicking the Sacred Cow
by James P Hogan.

You would be rather surprised and intrigued by what you'll read.

In a nut shell, the evidence via ice core samples, tree growth rings, etc do show a correlation between increased global temperatures and carbon dioxide levels.
However, it seems that the carbon dioxide levels increase about 40 to 50 years *after* the temperature increase.

Additionally, the archeological evidence coming to light now isn't that the naming of of Greenland by the vikings wasn't a propaganda triumph, but instead a quite literal statement. Interestingly enough, *farms* are being discovered under the glaciers.

First post ? (0)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199587)

Maybe its a good thing in a way, it wastes a lot of money though, are the businesses that are lobbying prepared to pay all the lawyers and then some ?

"Scientific Consensus Over Climate Change" ? (1, Flamebait)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199595)

Did I miss a meeting?

Re:"Scientific Consensus Over Climate Change" ? (2, Insightful)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199615)

Common typo, what they meant to type was "popular opinion over climate change".

Re:"Scientific Consensus Over Climate Change" ? (1)

nomad-9 (1423689) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199931)

Common typo, what they meant to type was "popular opinion over climate change".

No, they mean the scientific consensus.

The "popular opinion" is quite different. Since it is spread by the mass media, it contains de facto exaggerations, and hence has not much to do with the science.

Re:"Scientific Consensus Over Climate Change" ? (5, Funny)

david.negrier (1199497) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199853)

I think you missed this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intergovernmental_Panel_on_Climate_Change#IPCC_Fourth_Assessment_Report:_Climate_Change_2007 [wikipedia.org] . Yes, there seems to be a scientific consensus.

Re:"Scientific Consensus Over Climate Change" ? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29199971)

And I think you missed this one: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2007/08/10/un-s-ipcc-accused-possible-research-fraud [newsbusters.org]

The minutes of a meeting of scientists cherry-picked by the UN for their universal agreement with the man-made global warming hypothesis hardly counts as a credible source. "Everyone agrees with us" is not a scientific argument. Saying it over and over again doesn't make it true.

Re:"Scientific Consensus Over Climate Change" ? (1, Flamebait)

swanriversean (928620) | more than 5 years ago | (#29200021)

what does an *Intergovernmental Panel* have to do with science?
more, what *should* it have to do with science?
what was that about "fool me twice"? Shame on anyone who accepts a political consensus without a large bag of side walk salt.

As to the idea of having a judge decide on science ... BAD IDEA!
For you Americans, use the courts to challenge the Constitutional legitimacy of the EPA.
Generally, look at what's been going on in Australia wrt their cap-and-trade scheme (they actually call it a *scheme* ;-) ):
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/06/24/could_australia_blow_apart_the_great_global_warming_scare_97148.html [realclearpolitics.com]

Re:"Scientific Consensus Over Climate Change" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29199893)

No, you did not. This is simply a political talking point.

There are many in both camps who present compelling evidence for both sides of the issue. Unfortunately, politics have swayed the media to typically present only one side of the issue. And following that, supporting anything green, eco-friendly, or anti-climate change is the "chic" thing to do.

Unfortunately, popularity and politics are overriding solid scientific inquiry, study, and examination.

Re:"Scientific Consensus Over Climate Change" ? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29199915)

Exactly. There is still very little _EVIDENCE_ of mankind-created global warming.

You have Al Gore and his people making money by owning companies that sell exhaust rights.

You have oil companies making money out of ignoring or pushing the issue forward.

What we don't have is a consensus, as the OP points out.

For example, right now (since 2000) we have global cooling (around 0.5 degrees). We are also heading towards a small ice age, our eliptical orbiting around the sun is about to change as it does "frequently" leading to us being further away from the sun in the coming millennias.

The IPCC still refuses to provide either the data from which they created their apocalyptic graphs from, or the models they used to do the predictions. This goes massively against the scientific standpoint of providing an open view into research to allow valid verification or falsification.

And what most people are forgetting: There is a climate change going on, it has always been going on and it will always do so. The question is how we are to adopt to it, not if we are disillusioned enough to think we can stop the planets natural processes and freeze it in something that we right now think is a global optima.

Great... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199609)

...an old fashioned monkey trial will assist in exposing the roach [wikipedia.org] nest [wikipedia.org] to the harsh light of public scrutiny.

Science? in my court? (1)

Neuroelectronic (643221) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199613)

Because courts have such a great track record of staying scientific. /s

Absurd (1, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199623)

I'm pretty sick of people who won't listen to science. A judge? There no precidence afaict, wtf? Is there one single scientist who isn't employed by greenhouse gas emmitters who thinks global warming isn't real, and that we aren't contributing?

Re:Absurd (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199711)

They largely moved on to questioning whether the long term consequences are as dire as Al Gore would have us think.

No one serious is questioning increasing CO2 levels, or that CO2 levels have some impact.

Re:Absurd (2, Interesting)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199851)

Except that saying CO2 levels increasing is about as vague as it gets and nebulous regarding real world effects. So let's say it's increasing, is it really caused by man? Is it really causing global warming or is it some other factor(s)? This list of questions that I don't believe can be proven in a complex system like that (not with our minuscule level of knowledge anyway) is endless.

Re:Absurd (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199989)

You have to be a lunatic to compare present CO2 levels to pre-industrial revolution levels and think that man isn't behind some of it.

Re:Absurd (5, Insightful)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199721)

Once again we see an over simplification. Why are those who don't believe GW is caused by man referred to as not thinking it's real? They're not the same. I can accept that global temperatures are rising without being convinced that a) it's mankind's fault and b) we have to throw money at it. The debate has been politicized and therefore forever tainted. The science has been lost and those involved pushed to their respective sides so much so that the truth is getting lost. We're all citing our science celebs in some kind of battle royale of evidence. The scientific debate will hopefully go on, as it should. Let's hope the political debate is stifled until some meaningful consensus can be reached.

That said, this trial idea is stupid and a judge who would take this case would be a fool.

Re:Absurd (3, Informative)

pastafazou (648001) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199967)

So, I guess you're pretty sick of the APS [openletter...rming.info] then? They're members of the American Physics Society, and they're not employed by greenhouse gas emitters.

Re:Absurd (2, Interesting)

gadget junkie (618542) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199975)

I'm pretty sick of people who won't listen to science. A judge? There no precidence afaict, wtf? Is there one single scientist who isn't employed by greenhouse gas emmitters who thinks global warming isn't real, and that we aren't contributing?

Strangely enough, I am still convinced that the evidence behind the causes and effects of global warming is much less than watertight.
For one thing, there is abviously no chance to have a double blind experiment, since we only have one earth. Second, on the timescales we are arguing about, we are trying to extrapolate judgements from a very small data set. The EPA has squashed some internal opinions that went against the common belief, as has been reported on Slashdot (sorry, I could not find the link).

I am also concerned about the amount of public money being thrown about. the issue of wether what I would call "exotic renewable energy", like solar or wind, is likely to become viable in the future is obscured by the massive amount of incentive schemes, fiscal offsets etc. that cloud the issue. finding an honest assesment of energy costs per Kwh before incentive schemes is very difficult, and to my knowledge none of these calculations ever made the manistream media.
Having said that, i'd be content with the judge saying "not enough data", and relaunching the issue in the public domain.

Re:Absurd - oh really? (1, Informative)

bradley13 (1118935) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199999)

Yes, me too: sick of people who won't listen to science, and instead listen to the media and the so-called scientists who support the consensus so that they can get their grant money.

For an overview of the overwhelming evidence against the so-called consensus, see this presentation [rps3.com] by Burt Rutan. Pay particular attention to the part where he talks about the deliberate falsification of data by the "scientists" who support the global warming consensus.

Of course, a trial only makes sense if the objectivity of the judge could somehow be assured.

This is not a troll. If you haven't even looked into the science, or even read that presentation, then maybe you should...

Neat (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29199625)

A problem I have been working on is pretty dicey. I think the problem is polynomially solvable (and not NP-hard), and a colleague of mine thinks that it is NP-hard. I am thinking of just getting a judge to rule on that.

Ah Good 'ol United States (0, Troll)

arcite (661011) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199629)

So you have ruined the global economy through frivolous waste and fraud, perpetrated wars that have caused the deaths of over a million people in recent years, and now just when you elect someone to be your leader who has the semblance of common sense, there is a push by "the usual suspects" to push back human progress by decades. It is true that the US is the last best hope of humanity, for China builds the equivalent of a coal plant every week. If the US does not act to reduce the 'carbon footprint' of humanity, we are all going to be fucked. The atmosphere will be un-breathable, the trees will be gone, desertification will take the rest of our water, and the oceans will be reduced to vast life-less voids of acid. Will Americans overcome their innate fear and ignorance to reclaim leadership of the free world? Stay-tuned.

Re:Ah Good 'ol United States (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199733)

If the US does not act to reduce the 'carbon footprint' of humanity, we are all going to be fucked.

I fear we will be whether or not they act. Well, not "we", I doubt I'll live long enough to see the worst, as I've already lived more than half my life. I think these people who say they don't believe in global warming are like my ex-brother in law, who had the attitude "I don't care, I'll be dead anyway."

The sad thing is he has grandchildren. How can these people not care about their own flesh and blood?

Re:Ah Good 'ol United States (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29199735)

USA! USA! USA! I'M NOT HEARING YOU OVER THE SHOUTING HOW AWESOME I AM! USA! USA!

Wouldn't it be great? A single judge will decide whether global warming exists or not. All these years of scientific debate could have been avoided if we would have done that in the beginning. Capitalism is such a great system; let's just pay politicians to "encourage" judges to define reality. Awesome!

Re:Ah Good 'ol United States (-1, Troll)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199747)

Wow! You're just a wealth of leftist propaganda.

Re:Ah Good 'ol United States (4, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199787)

It is true that the US is the last best hope of humanity, for China builds the equivalent of a coal plant every week.

I fail to see how any action by the USA short of nuclear devastation of China will stop China from building a coal plant equivalent every week.

And I still fail to see how limiting CO2 emissions in SOME countries will actually solve the Climate Change problem....

Re:Ah Good 'ol United States (1)

navygeek (1044768) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199885)

It is true that the US is the last best hope of humanity

We're Babylon 5 now? Seriously people, my Inbox is broken, I'm not getting memos...

The goal of the chamber (5, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199631)

Is to try to overrule the verdict of the scientific community because they don't like what it says. The climate change battle is over, and it is now a conclusive scientific consensus that it is happening and that human action is contributing to it. We need to slash our emissions dramatically, these guys just want other people to do it.

Re:The goal of the chamber (5, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199725)

and it is now a conclusive scientific consensus that it is happening and that human action is contributing to it

Even the Bush administration admitted these things before they left the building. The idea of suing for scientific consensus is about the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard... no, wait, being forced to give creationism equal time in class is a more ludicrous idea. But this is close...

Re:The goal of the chamber (1, Troll)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199923)

Creationism is ok in the classroom, but not in a science class. It's not science, it's philosophy.

Re:The goal of the chamber (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29199727)

I have yet to see a model which correctly predicts the consistent temperature declines from 2002-2009. Based on our ever skyrocketing emissions, where is the theory that explains the temperature behavior over the past 8 years (since publication of 'An Inconvenient Truth')?

Re:The goal of the chamber (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199803)

(since publication of 'An Inconvenient Truth')

Clearly, Al Gore saved the world! ;)

Re:The goal of the chamber (5, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199927)

OK, here are the reasons why you are a retarded fuckwit:

1. You are engaging in a straw man fallacy, because no model of man made climate changes predicts an increase in global temperatures every single year; there will be fluctuations

2. You are opening your idiotic noise hole without citing any evidence of 'consistent temperature declines from 2002-2009'. You expect us to just take the word of some AC wanker.

3. You are in fact, plain wrong about there being a 'consistent temperature decline from 2002-2009' :
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080418112341.htm [sciencedaily.com] - 2008 was the second warmest year after 2002, meaning that it was hotter than 2003-2007 and thus there cannot possibly have been 'consistent temperature declines'

So you've opened your mouth, spouted off something factually incorrect, the admonished scientists for not predicting your factually incorrect information despite the fact that, even if it were true, it wouldn't actually impact on the correctness of their real life models.

You, sir, are a complete retard.

Re:The goal of the chamber (2, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199769)

Is to try to overrule the verdict of the scientific community because that verdict is going to reduce many business's profit margins and put some of them out of business.

Let's not beat around the bush and cut straight to the chase: they want the court to rule in favor of either economic well being or environmental well being. It's no coincidence to me that this hand is being forced as our country comes out of a lengthy and somewhat painful recession and the people in power now many nod toward the environment unlike the people in power for the past eight years. It's not that the commerce people "don't like it" ... it's more so that it has a very measurable effect on them and everyone knows it.

Re:The goal of the chamber (2, Insightful)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199779)

The battle isn't over. There is no scientific consensus. The "everybody knows" argument should rightly be shunned in this debate or it isn't scientific at all.

Re:The goal of the chamber (0)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29200011)

What is and is not scientific is far better defined by a global consensus of scientists than some conservative twat ranting on Slashdot. Science accepts man-made climate change as being as much a reality as quantum mechanics at this point. Just because it doesn't fit your bullshit ideology (whatever that might be) does not mean that it isn't scientific.

Re:The goal of the chamber (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29200069)

If you really believe that, I suggest you read peer reviewed science journals rather that pissing contests in web forums. The consensus of the scientific community, those that actually publish their findings for all the world scrutinize, has well and truly been over for several years. You probably can't afford Nature or Science magazines, so visit your local library and pick up just about any issue from the last decade. There'll be at least one related article.

Re:The goal of the chamber (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29199799)

maybe, but what about the Sun? Did you notice that we just had 45 blank sun days in a row? You global warming might have to fight it out with an ice age at this rate.

Re:The goal of the chamber (3, Insightful)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199875)

it is now a conclusive scientific consensus that it is happening and that human action is contributing to it

Science does not go hand-in-hand with majority opinion - neither does science require consensus, nor does consensus imply any connection to reality.

Re:The goal of the chamber (3, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29200063)

As a follower of Objectivism (more properly called Opinionism, unless you can explain the method by which you guys are sure your view on the world corresponds directly to the reality of it...) you obviously think that a minority opinion is better than a majority opinion.

However, in the real world scientists require a basis of consensus to build the next level of research on. Physics would get nowhere if we constantly had to prove the laws of gravity to retarded cranks such as yourself in the name of inclusiveness.

Re:The goal of the chamber (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29199891)

Your first assumption loses.
Sorry, the scientific community doesn't buy global warming, especially the part about man's involvement.
What the US government has been doing is pure lunacy based on the political aspirations of a few nut cases claiming to be scientists who happen to be the ones who get airtime (because of course civilization and especially the United States MUST be evil).
Critical thinking needs to be taught in schools again.

Re:The goal of the chamber (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199977)

Assumption? No, it is not an assumption, it is science, boy!

http://www.ipcc.ch/index.htm

Just because you don't like the scientific consensus, doesn't mean you get to pretend it doesn't exist.

Re:The goal of the chamber (1)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 5 years ago | (#29200029)

The climate change battle is over, and it is now a conclusive scientific consensus that it is happening and that human action is contributing to it.

If, as you say, the evidence is conclusive - then the trial shouldn't last very long, should it?

Re:The goal of the chamber (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29200049)

There is no scientific consensus, there is a "mass media hysteria consensus".

http://www.cato.org/special/climatechange/alternate_version.html

And what people are forgetting is also that global warming may be good for us. I saw a report a while ago saying that global femine may be prevented with higher amounts of co2 in the atmosphere as plants/crops will grow significantly faster without the need for pesticides or fertilisers.

Takesies Backsises? (1, Troll)

navygeek (1044768) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199643)

Assuming this is done fairly (insert groan of 'yeah right' - I doubt either side will play fair) and this goes against the 'Global Warming' crowd - I wonder what impact, if any, this would have on Al Gore's Nobel Prize for all the work on 'Global Warming'. I, personally, believe *most* of the 'Global Warming' rhetoric is nonsense and there simply isn't enough data to support Humans are the primary cause of any major changes and that the 'science' fails to take a lot of other things into account. But that's just my opinion, I'm not an expert nor do I claim to be. That does *not* mean I support destroying the environment!

Re:Takesies Backsises? (4, Interesting)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199903)

What is 'Global Warming' crowd you're speaking of?

It's not like climate science consist of two scientists who decided to agree that there's a global warming.

On the other hand, 'No Global Warming' crowd is really a crowd - _almost_ _all_ anti-AGW publications can be traced to a few conservative "think-tanks": http://scienceblogs.com/framing-science/2008/06/ninety_percent_of_enviro_skept.php [scienceblogs.com]

So if you're betting on a global conspiracy, then which one is more plausible:
1) Thousands of scientists nearly unanimously coming to conclusion of AGW.
2) Several tens of writers (mostly NOT climate-scientists) funded by money directly linked to fossil fuels.
?

Re:Takesies Backsises? (1)

navygeek (1044768) | more than 5 years ago | (#29200067)

*sigh* I'm not getting into a debate with you. Sure, feel free to think "oh, he won't debate me, I'm right, I win", I don't care. I posted my view of 'Global Warming' in a calm, concise way to, hopefully, make it clear that the question/thought I posed about Gore's Nobel Prize was a legitimate one and that I wasn't simply trolling and hating on Gore.

However, in the context of my original post the " 'Global Warming' crowd" is whomever shows up at the "trial" in favor of 'Global Warming' and opposes the group of businesses that is, quite clearly, only pulling this stunt as a poor attempt to save face and skew perceptions to their benefit - it's almost purely for economic gain. I think it's a joke and something like this has no place in a court of law.

I'm suing gravity! (5, Funny)

professorguy (1108737) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199651)

This gravity thing is turning out to be a pain in the ass. There's no end of constructions required to keep everything from falling down. I'm sick of it. I'M SUING GRAVITY.

I assume after a judge rules in my favor, I'll be free to float around all day long. Objective reality? That's for people without lawyers. See you in orbit, suckers!

Re:I'm suing gravity! (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199673)

Yeah .. gravity sucks.

Re:I'm suing gravity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29199767)

Gravity doesn't suck, everything else blows.

des (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29199655)

the green movement is really hinged on the earth warming. that's a nice double edged sword they've taken up. the day this world sees a global cooling trend, the green movement will suffer great harm.

Re:des (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29199739)

Um, we HAVE been seeing this cooling trend for a few years now, which is why misanthropic environmental hate groups have been trying to scrub the phrase "Global Warming" from the public lexicon and replace it with "Global Climate Change." See how clever that is? It now covers BOTH warming and cooling.

Re:des (1)

slim (1652) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199823)

It's not very clever to talk about "the green movement" as if it's homogenous.

Some "greens" are focussed on global warming, and campaign for wind farms.

Some "greens" are focussed on nice bucolic scenery, and strongly oppose wind farms.

Bah "science" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29199657)

I don't think anyone would rightly argue that pollution is bad, but as I sit here in August ... enduring September/October weather I have to question if this "global warming" crap is happening. And you will just say "aha, that's weather, not climate". And I'll say "aha! those few warmer years are just weather, not climate."

So yeah, cut down pollution but not because of global warming but because putting shit into our air/water is bad (e.g. particulates, metals, etc...).

Ahh... here is your problem. You are stupid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29199961)

Yup. That's it.

We weren't really sure about it until you have pointed out that you equate "global warming" with "hotter".
I suppose you also expect buildings to turn green due to "green-house effect"?

See... there is this thing where, when things get hotter on one end there is a lot of evaporating there, and then it gets a lot cooler and wetter at another end.
But I do see what you mean. Weather at the end of a hotter month resembling weather at the end of the next, colder month.
Clearly that indicates that there is no global warming going on. If anything, it is global cooling, right?

Like the FUCKING CHANGE OF SEASONS AND THE COMING OF AUTUMN!
Or is that Fall? From here it seems like it may be Fall.

Why do conservatives believe in various myths? (0, Troll)

Ex-Linux-Fanboy (1311235) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199671)

A question for conservatives out there:

Why is it that conservatives believe in these kinds of myths? Why is it that conservatives, even congressmen believe in myths like the Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories [wikipedia.org] , Young earth creationism [wikipedia.org] , Climate change denial [wikipedia.org] , and what not. I can't think of a single conspiracy theory mainstream democrats subscribe to; while some fringe liberals believe in the 9/11 attacks being faked [wikipedia.org] , this is a definite liberal fringe in the US (just as Holocaust denial [wikipedia.org] is a fringe with the right-wing).

I mean, to me, I understand the "big tent" thinking of Republicans, but it has to be embarrassing to be associated with a party with senators and house members who acknowledge the above fringe theories as being established fact, instead of looking at facts and evidence in an objective manner.

Re:Why do conservatives believe in various myths? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29200001)

THere are plenty on the left: Gore won the election (Bush got more votes no matter how you count it), Bush was a draft dodger (volunteered to go to Vietnam), Bush was stupid (MBA from Harvard). There are others: Government operates better than the private sector, spending a trillion dollars on health care will "lower costs", people are greedy and need the government to take their money and spend it on the correct things...

As for global warming, science does not operate by "consensus". The scientific "consensus" used to be that the world was flat. In any event, more scientists have signed a petition denying global warming than have signed any document supporting it.

For any global warming supporter please answer this: the earth has warmed and cooled many times in its history; what are the mechanisms that cause global cooling after a warming period, and why won't those mechanisms operate now?

Judicial Activism (4, Insightful)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199687)

So an organization that loves to complain, loudly and vocally, about "judicial activism," now wants judges to rescue it from the policies of the Congress of the United States and the unary Executive that they helped to create? Now that's a rich vein of hypocrisy.

Perversity of the Business Community (1)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199689)

Here we sit on this earth with all kinds of evidence that we are polluting the crap out of this planet and here the business lobby--just so their members can get a little bit richer before the world comes crashing down--are doing everything they can to prevent the inevitable. Crazy.

Re:Perversity of the Business Community (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199911)

I quietly wonder whether they think they can buy a new world with their money...

Corporeal Punishment (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199697)

As presiding judge over Slashdot Court and after hearing the above testimonies from expert witnesses, I hereby order the environment to remain at least three hundred feet away from all businesses and places of commerce. Failure to do so will result in a one hundred dollar fine to mother nature and her related entities.

*bangs gavel*

okay.... (1)

Gnaythan1 (214245) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199699)

So the idea here is that a judge will decide what is and is not empirical scientific evidence? Isn't that a lot like asking a pastry chef to fix a design flaw on a mechanical blueprint for a helicopter fuel injector?

     

King Canute tried and failed (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199705)

Canute [wikipedia.org] tried and failed, so now some judge will be asked to let water lap round his heels.

I don't want global climate change, I don't want to have to change my ways, but but unless I change my kids & grand kids will have a hard time. You can't legislate against nature.

And if they lose? (5, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199713)

The 'business community' wants to put Climate Change on trial to test the veracity of the data. However this really means that the don't believe the data is true and just want someone powerful to side with them

But if the trial goes through and the judge supports the climate change data, will this actually convince these people that the data is correct? I'm guessing not.

Re:And if they lose? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29199955)

No they just want to go the "innocent until proved guilty way", and hope that the proofs will not be conclusive, due to scientific theories opposing each other. Or they hope to win due to some "formality error" in the jurisdiction :-)

Re:And if they lose? (1)

LordAndrewSama (1216602) | more than 5 years ago | (#29200055)

will this actually convince these people that the data is correct? I'm guessing not.

Didn't RTFA, but I'm guessing they don't care whether the data is correct or not, they care about money. They just don't want to have to foot the cost of being environmentally friendly, so they're trying to get the judge to say it's not their fault.

Oh for goodness sake (2, Insightful)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199715)

Are they serious? A fucking *law court*?

What a wonderful idea, perhaps it can be extended to other areas. Perhaps I, as a scientist, could try criminal cases, I'm sure I'd be perfectly qualified since apparently science and law are the same thing now.

Not here in the USA (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#29200053)

Here, you have to be able to bend and twist logic and out and out lie about it. While some scientists are liars, the majority of trial lawyers are liars.

Not quite Scopes level (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29199719)

I think it's worth taking a look at the data and the evidence to see whether the claims really do stand up to scrutiny. Global climate change is happening on some level, there is no doubt. However, it is still up for a debate whether human activity is responsible for it. I'm a geek and a strong believer in the scientific method, but I feel that in this particular case the political noise is taking precedence over hard data and climate models where reliability is concerned.

In other words, there is too much bullshit from both sides. I feel like global warming debate has crossed the threshold from being a science-driven topic into string theory and evolutionary psychology realm. Lots of unprovable data is being tossed around. For example, the claim "Florida will be submerged in 2250's due to industrial development" is utterly unhelpful and downright unscientific. We still can't predict earthquakes, the weather, or 1000's of other natural disasters with accuracy in a given year or a decade, let alone centuries.

Re:Not quite Scopes level (4, Interesting)

slim (1652) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199953)

We still can't predict [...] the weather, [...] with accuracy in a given year or a decade, let alone centuries.

I'm often reminded of an article I once read in which a scientist was discussing turbulence. He explained how if he poured some cold milk into a hot cup of coffee, without stirring, the currents and turbulence meant that it would be all but impossible to predict the temperature at a specific point, 30 seconds or a minute from now.

"Of course", he said, "we can very accurately predict its temperature one hour from now".

Not a direct analogy, but while I can't get an accurate prediction of whether it will rain in my garden one month from today, I have a much better chance of predicting the mean temperature of the whole planet, over the whole of 2012.

Umm, what? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199745)

Is this merely a cynical ploy, or does the overabundance of lawyers and the legally trained in political and lobbying circles actually affect their epistemology?

Trials aren't a bad method(or, like democracy, they are at least the best of bad methods) for the purposes to which they are put, namely deciding criminal and civil matters; but they have no efficacy, or even history, on scientific ones. Even in the context of, say, criminal cases, the trial process is forced to bring in scientific expertise to testify about how it used scientific methods to solve particular scientific questions(DNA equivalence or nonequivalence, cause of death, etc.)

Is this just a PR ploy, or does the Chamber of Commerce actually subscribe to some sort of quasi-postmodern notion that truths about the empirical world can be decided by a trial process?

Wrong question (5, Insightful)

Psychophrenes (1600027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199755)

Who cares if global warming is caused by humans or not? Do we actually need to prove that to reach the conclusion that polluting its own environment is a rather stupid behavior for any living being?

Re:Wrong question (1)

dafz1 (604262) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199847)

Exactly. Whether or not global climate change is happening, we should try to "leave no trace behind" pollution-wise.

Re:Wrong question (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199979)

we should try to "leave no trace behind"

... for whom? Jesus? Future unborn generations? Or some other ill-conceived "common goal" contradictory to the goals and values of present, living individuals?

Re:Wrong question (1)

LordNor (605816) | more than 5 years ago | (#29200007)

Does anyone care that it can be proved that the changes in CO2 we are seeing and calling "global warming" is a cyclical event that has happened a lot longer than we've been around? Do some research into the ice core samples they've pulled from the artic that show different co2 levels throughout the years going many thousands of years ago. Also, if you watch the precious global warming community... things are starting to cool and they don't know how to deal with it. It's just part of the normal cycle. Everyone forgets that they were ready to seed the sky in the 70's because they were worried about a global cooling that was going on. How soon we forget!

Re:Wrong question (1)

pegr (46683) | more than 5 years ago | (#29200045)

Who cares if global warming is caused by humans or not? Do we actually need to prove that to reach the conclusion that polluting its own environment is a rather stupid behavior for any living being?

Why, yes, it is important. If GW is caused by humans, we might be able to change our behaviour and eliminate the threat. If not, we're boned, just like the dinosaurs.

Personally, I feel the whole concept has been politicized to the point where no one's "facts" are trustworthy.

Cimate change (3, Interesting)

nomad-9 (1423689) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199795)

A judge might not be the best person to rule on scientific evidence. Specially when the science is complex. The consensus should do. Some orgs endorsing AGW:
  • National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
  • National Academy of Sciences
  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Institute of Physics
  • National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies
  • American Meteorological Society
  • National Research Council
  • American Physical Society
  • US Geological Survey
  • Academia Brasileira de Ciéncias,Brazil
  • Académie des Sciences, France
  • Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy
  • Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
  • Royal Society of Canada, Canada
  • Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina,ï Germany
  • Indian National Science Academy
  • Indonesian Academy of Sciences
  • Royal Irish Academy
  • Academy of Sciences Malaysia
  • Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand
  • Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
  • Royal Society (UK)
  • etc...

On a side note, regarding the AGW debate, a decent attempt at objectivity here, with a few interesting links in the info section: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVi0QSDcFQQ [youtube.com]

Re:Cimate change (1)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199939)

Well if the evidence is so overwhelming then it shouldn't be a problem for it all to be presented in court, under the threat of perjury, and be evaluated in the light of day. And the thought that scientific conclusions couldn't be understood by a mere judge is about the most pompous, egotistical thing I've heard. It would be hard to take any profession seriously if they constantly thought all others were beneath them intellectually.

So sad... (0, Troll)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199837)

It's ridiculous that a supposedly rational, enlightened society would permit the existence of these kinds of these blatently political star chambers.

Sadly, there is a certain part of American society, particularly on the pro-business, conservative side of politics, which is yet to move beyond the Inquisition or the Salem Witch Trials. This is an example of that kind of medieval, irrational mindset.

What's so galling for me, is the existence of people, particularly on the political Right, who think they can change reality for their own benefit, by wishing for it hard enough.

This kind of violent, wilful irrationality will be the death of America.

What burden of proof? (1)

AB3A (192265) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199859)

Is there global warming? It depends on the level of assurance you require. If your only standard is a preponderance of evidence, then yes, the earth is probably warming. If you're aiming at beyond all reasonable doubt I don't think we'll ever know the answer well enough to say that.

Remember that we're talking about weather and climate. We still discovering new features. We still don't have credible models for cloud cover. There is much about the ocean currents that we still do not understand. And now we have a court of law trying to decide if global warming is real.

Which ever way they rule, it's should never be considered a precedent. And if the judge has any sense, this whole damned case should be thrown out of court on the grounds that nobody has the expertise to make a determination with any accuracy.

Facts vs Truths (0, Troll)

gx5000 (863863) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199863)

People will believe what they need to believe..
It's sad and unfortunate, but with all the evidence from the Garbage islands to the fact
that the Ozone holes shrunk massively the two days after 9/11 and the US saw almost no flights, Big
biz will tell the gov to tell you what is correct to think, otherwise you "hate America".
Bush might be out of the White house but at some point we're going to have to admit publicly that
big biz runs the show, PERIOD. Money is king and damn the masses since they'll cut off their own chance at health care if we tell them "Socialism" is coming.

Whether or not humanity is helping "Global Warming" is a wild goose chase.
We need to curb our actions now. But since our lifespans are so short, we seem to choose
short term solutions that make the long term worse.
If you had to choose between being relatively comfortable doing what you want, and scarifying for the future, what would you do ?
Humanity is doomed and I think many people are starting to understand this, and choose to make the bucks as opposed to trying to save a planet they'll only be spending 78 years on.

Who will select the Judge? (1)

I_Voter (987579) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199879)

Who will select the Judge?
... and will it be a jury trial?

I_Voter
Citizen's Political Power in the U.S. [google.com]

Reason is as reason does (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29199889)

The issue is not so cut and dry as a lot of people seem to think.

Even if people are contributors to global warming, should the EPA be given unchecked license to force the business sector to conform to strict rules that more often than not yields a product that the customer invariably doesn't want? Companies cannot stay profitable for long if they pursue that model, especially when they have foreign competition that doesn't have to abide by the same rules.

Unless a mandate is enforceable globally, it shouldn't be a law, because it puts localized businesses at a competetive disadvantage, and often forces them to relocate or go out of business.

Furthermore, since when has the debate been considered closed? It is a fallacy of pride to think that all angles of an issue are ever considered, or that an optimal solution has already been reached. For example, if an efficient and cost-effective (or even profitable) means to mitigate greenhouse gases is found that exceeds the rate at which they are produced, wouldn't the need for emissions regulation become moot?

Humourous part is (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199899)

that even if the judge is honest and say that yes, man is warming the planet, then business will STILL appeal and if won all the way through, they will still deny that man can make an impact. And it the "trial" is lost, then what? Absolutely nothing.

Close Minded (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199901)

I hate it when scientists do this. They declare something as widely accepted then refuse to reconsider. Many great innovations came from the choice of not following the accepted norm at the time and we praise them for their courage. So let them scrutinize the research and comment on it, maybe something interesting will happen. That said though it should not be a court decision. Judges are trained in the law not scientific concepts. A panel of worldly people solely interested in seeking the truth, would be ideal (if possible).

When you can't debate logically... (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199907)

... send in the clowns to take science to court. This is going to end up in Springfield with Judge Snider ordering a 500 yard restraining order between business and science.

Anyone read the HR2454 Bill? (2, Interesting)

Neptunes_Trident (1452997) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199921)

I'll tell you, there is a reason why this Global Warming or Climate Change is up for debate.
Never mind the fact that polar bears DO know how too swim or that this is the coolest summer on record. Temperatures have been cooling since 1998/99.
Never mind the fact the fact that this planet and other planets have warmed and cooled throughout the centuries.
Never mind the fact that The Inconvenient Truth is actually refuted by thousands of scientists throughout the world.
Never mind that Al Gore stands to make Billions if this Cap n Trade, Climate Change Bill HR2454 passes in the Senate and gets signed into law.
Never mind that this same Bill not only tax business but tax EVERYONE, from real estate restrictions on your home, to making you pay for renovations before you can sell your home.
Never mind that all this media spin is meant too whip support for the most invasive tax bill ever brought upon all the people of this country.
Never mind that they rushed this bill in the house, and did not even read through it, but still passed it anyhow.
All I will ask of YOU is too do the research behind the science of climate change and draw your own conclusions, before you are sway by ANY mass public opinion.
And please we have already taken such a huge debt with these bailouts, again please read the HR2454 Cap n trade Climate Change Bill. This is all incremental folks. The trial of Climate change/Global Warming and this HR2454 Cap n Trade Carbon Tax Bill is all relevant. Just trying to give a heads up. Tired of the "end of the world" fear mongering.
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h2454pcs.txt.pdf [gpo.gov]

Question for the CC pundits (3, Interesting)

kheti (1469383) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199949)

What is the ideal temperature for the planet? Without human intervention the planet has been warmer (ice-free poles) and the planet has been cooler (glaciers covering much of North America, Europe and Asia). The "catastrophe scenario" of high average temparature is and what should be on trial, not that warming has taken place.

Peer review (1)

jamesl (106902) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199973)

No longer will the proponents be able to hide behind "peer review." It takes more than peer reviewed scientific papers to build something really big and important like an A380 or a $500 million server farm or a Channel Tunnel. Before spending $trillions to prevent computer-model-predicted-CO2-induced-catastrophic-global-warming we should at the very least have a transparent and open examination of the facts.

I hate the word "consensus" (2, Interesting)

m0s3m8n (1335861) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199991)

Please define "Consensus". GW is almost purely political and socially driven. This reminds me of the Super-Gravity vs String theory debate of the 80 and 90's. No one would work on Super-Gravity as only string theory was in style (I read "Consensus" here). Turns our the Super-Gravity people had a lot right too (11 dimensions of spacetime). People don't get study grants for research into anti-GW work. Who do I sue when GW is shown to be caused by variations in this unshielded thermo-nuclear reactor we orbit?

Re:I hate the word "consensus" (0, Troll)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 5 years ago | (#29200037)

Typical irrational, truthy conservative shit talk.

I think I know how this will go... (0, Offtopic)

Heed00 (1473203) | more than 5 years ago | (#29199993)

Your supposed honour, our industries do not cause global warming. Think about this:

Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it; that does not make sense!

Why would a Wookiee, an eight-foot tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of two-foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with this case? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense! Look at me. I'm a lawyer defending a major record company, and I'm talkin' about Chewbacca! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you're in that jury room deliberatin' and conjugatin' the Emancipation Proclamation, [approaches and softens] does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chewbacca_defense#Origin [wikipedia.org]

State of fear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29199997)

Just read a book by Michael Chrichton about something very similar: State of Fear....

volker

QOTD (1)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 5 years ago | (#29200017)

"You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts."

â" Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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