Re: Arctic Sea Ice


Another blog out there posted an entry that was very critical of the original Daily Tech and Boing Boing stories about Arctic Sea Ice levels that I posted about the other day. Among other charges, the post claims that:

You can see that there might be a downward trend, and any idiot (well, apparently not any idiot) can see that connecting two data points and drawing a conclusion about the trend, or what we might expect the future to bring, is … you get the idea.

In response to this article I posted a comment asking where the author got their graphs and information. The author responded by writing that:

[Response: I made the graphs myself using data available from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (there’s a link on the Climate Data Links page).

The stories reproduce a graph from Cryosphere Today, which shows the same trend. It’s just as significant statistically but not as evident visually, because the y-axis is on a much smaller scale so they can include more information on a single graph.


And there is a concensus on the issue — among those who know!]

This is exactly the problem that I have with any debates about climate change or global warming. The two extremes are just so set in their beliefs that they consider anyone who disagrees with their stance as an “idiot.” Each side picks some data composed of measurements, graphs, and “indisputable facts” that come from various organizations, etc. What neither one seems to realize is that they are picking the data that matches their viewpoint. With the multitude of sources out there for “facts” about global warming each side uses those that match their opinion and then decry everything else for being misleading and untrustworthy.

Furthermore, what gives either side the confidence that they can accurately predict what the climate and the Earth will do in 50 to 100 years? We got into this whole mess because those in control of industry believed that they could control and harness the power of nature to do their bidding without suffering consequences. Well, isn’t it just as misguided and egotistical to believe that we can predict the course of events in the natural world through computer models and an assemblage of “facts”? To me this falls into the same trap as the industrial greed that led us here.

Why does change need to be forced down people’s throats? I would like to see each side advocate for just living conscious and sustainable lives for the social and personal benefits that it brings and not feel the need to force this stuff upon people with tales of doom and gloom. If cutting carbon emissions and becoming more environmentally-friendly is truly as rewarding a change as some people claim then why can’t they argue for their position through positive claims? Instead of propounding the benefits each side resorts to threats and pessimistic proclamations as to why we must change now.