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Is it possible to discuss Climate Change?


Paul

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Posted
  • Location: Aviemore
  • Location: Aviemore

    As you know, there have been a few issues within the debates on here about climate change, agw etc etc and I know that this is often the case on internet forums when it comes to this discussion, so it leaves me to wonder how we can take this discussion forward?

    I'm not for a minute suggesting we ought not to have this discussion as it's clearly an important subject which sits well within the remit of this site, but with the amount of circular debates which continue going over the same ground over and over I think we need to look at why this is and what can be done about it.

    To put my two penneth worth in to start the debate, I think part of the problem is that it's possible to present 'facts' from opposite ends of the climate change debate and since a lot of discussion is about what will happen in the future, it's also impossible to prove anything conclusively.

    Nailing my colours to the mast, I personally can't see a reason not to go along with what that IPCC has to say and am more than happy to attempt to make changes in my life which not only will save me money but will also reduce the waste my lifestyle produces. I can see why people do want to sing to a different tune though, and have no issues with them doing so.

    Question is though, how does all this fit in with healthy debate, just from myself (someone who isn't particualrly 'into' the ins and outs of climate change), I struggle to think of a situation within a discussion on here where I would change my view - my opinion is that the IPCC are formed of the leading minds on the subject so I'll go with their opinions. So I really struggle to see how many circular discussions between the '2 camps' on this forum is ever going to change anyone's view as everyone is entrenched within their own particular viewpoint. My thoughts on this are backed up by the evidence of the various topics within this forum over the years - I can't actually recall anyone ever having changed tack (apart from la nina, but he doesn't count :) )

    If within a discussion peoples views aren't going to change, all of a sudden we hit a hitch - where can the discussion go but round in circles? Add to that the fact that there are some very passionate people within this forum when it comes to this subject it again illustrates where the problem lies.

    I don't have the answers as to where to take things, hence throwing it open to the floor, but as a start I think we ought to be able to find areas within the subject that we can get broad agreement on, surely this is a better place to be rather than concentrating on what people clearly aren't agreeing on so much?

    What other ideas/thoughts/suggestions do you all have?

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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    Well at least a big 'thanks' from me to hear you agree that this area is , though difficult to 'police/administer' is a worthwhile asset to the site.

    I would think that most of the ' accepting' side of these discussions (those who are willing to trust the majority scientific viewpoints) are often at a loss to understand those who find such a level of 'acceptance' difficult to accept themselves.

    Over the years you come to accept that no matter where the science is taking us there are those who will say ''t'aint so' and argue (apparently) just for the sake of it (like being the blue team in a balloon debate) so we persist for the sake of those 'lurking' in the sidelines in the hope that our clarifications will enable them to be able to form a more rounded view of climate change/AGW and not just one of 'picking sides'.

    In that respect the people who wish to try and nit-pick even the most sound science that current research can give us we, the adherents, are given the opportunity to 'fill out' the science with the oh so many cross references within some of the more 'circular' arguments that we constantly engage in.

    We may never agree to agree but we ( both sides of the discussions) may well be helping to educate others to the point that they feel better able to make their own 'informed' decisions on the subject and not feel brow beaten into accepting the loudest voice.

    I think I speak for all of us here when I offer you our thanks ,Paul, for the blood ,sweat and tears it must take to keep our site so special!

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon

    Short term these debates don't add much. Long term, semi climate lengths of time so far, and we'll see. Over such scales places like this do, rather pointlessly 'tis true, keep the pot boiling, but they also keep those of us following the science up to date and, through the noise, little gems of insight and knowledge still get through. For that at least they're worth while, and I'm sure those here sceptical about the anthro effect also get to keep up to date and learn what they think is right.

    Besides, I don't think I'll change my mind unless, well, the evidence changes (and that's several years of cooling away, and I honestly can't see it) and I don't think four score years and ten will change some sceptic minds, so expect more of the same I'm afraid.

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    Posted
  • Location: Hanley, Stoke-on-trent
  • Location: Hanley, Stoke-on-trent

    I doubt it is possible. I read the threads & occasionally feel moved to post but rarely. There is far more heat than light generated. On here it seems to have become almost a quasi-religious thing. People argue with such certainty & refuse ever to acknowledge that someone who disagrees or challenges may have a point. I'm afraid we just end up with claim, counter-claim & then a yah boo sucks.

    Please keep the threads going though, just occasionally, we get a genuine head-scratching moment, that makes those of us who are open to argument think.

    Dave

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    Posted
  • Location: Sydney, Australia
  • Location: Sydney, Australia
    so we persist for the sake of those 'lurking' in the sidelines in the hope that our clarifications will enable them to be able to form a more rounded view of climate change/AGW

    I used to do the same. Until recently I was one of the most vocal pro-AGW arguementors on another website. I had the same logic - I must at all cost correct any misinformation that is posted. I did so thinking that a) if somebody truly didn't know then I'd be helping and :D if it was a deliberate attempt by a sceptic then I was duty bound to foil it.

    Slowly I realised that there was nobody lurking, nobody new was visiting the pages. It was the same crowd going around and around in circles. Never was one side going to influence the other. A new study would come out that seemed to solve one small part of the argument and the other side would just ignore it. 6 months later a new study emrges to refute it and suddenly it's all happening in reverse (clouds, water vapour feedback or forcing for example).

    Nobody wins. You take part for your own self gratification. It keeps 'us' - the sceptics and and pro warmers - away from the rest of the website. I no longer take part inless I identify a real question.

    So, take part only if you want to, maybe to practice and refine your arguments. But don't expect to make any ground against one another.

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    Guest Shetland Coastie

    Trouble is, I think most people who participate in forums such as this are, on the whole, of the type who are not shy about their opinions, they hold those opinions strongly and are unlikely to change those opinions no matter how much you debate.

    I use the term "debate" loosely, however, as much of what is said in this particular area doesn't really constitute proper debate and is often just a serious of "ya boo sucks" type responses and a veritable smorgasbord of every conceivable logical fallacy and syllogistic reasoning, of which the "ad-hominem" and "poisoning the well" seem to be the most favoured.

    For some people it seems to be their favoured vehicle for a spot of "one-upmanship" and frankly I think it adds nothing to the site and indeed often encourages unpleasant "spats" and the like and, as you say Paul, the discussion seems to continually spiral into pointless circular arguments, the pointlessness and absurdity of which often remind me of the Monty Python "argument" sketch.

    I do agree with Dev, however, that you do sometimes get some good information out of the thread so how about a thread where links, articles etc could be posted on the latest scientific developments so that folk could follow them up and decide for themselves what they believe, but without any option to comment?

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    Posted
  • Location: Colchester, Essex, UK (33m ASL)
  • Location: Colchester, Essex, UK (33m ASL)

    No, dont close it, let me think on it over the weekend, not all of us are at one extreme or the other, we realise that we are dealing with a subject which is very long term, very open to debate, covers such a wide area of disciplines, studies, sciences and research, has politics and economics involved as well and right now could go so many ways.

    Lets ALL think on it over the weekend actually, and on Monday post our thoughts and ideas for a way forward. Initially I want to see no more silly sniping, name calling and ridiculing of those who hold views which are in conflict of others, more interest in studies which, even if they do seem way out, may hold valuable information on this vast subject, and respect....total respect for all other posters in the section, something I have seen lacking on many occasion.

    All the best to all

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    Posted
  • Location: Rossland BC Canada
  • Location: Rossland BC Canada

    I don't believe that anyone posting on these threads should mock or ridicule other views, because different people have different tolerances for this. In my own case, I am highly resistant to it and don't really take offense, in fact I rather expect it so it's just part of the landscape. I realize that this is not the view that many would take.

    I also find some are perhaps too sensitive -- someone who has taken a lot of time and effort to look at the studies, the data and everything else, and come to a different conclusion than me, has my respect because I know what that level of commitment is like.

    Probably the proponents are more sensitive than the skeptics because the proponents genuinely sense a crisis in the making that can be addressed through human activity, so they feel frustrated with skeptics who they think are delaying this activity. In reality, skeptics are more or less ignored by the media and the vast majority of governments or even political parties, so I'm not sure why they feel that way. Skeptics on the other hand tend to have some barely suppressed anger because they have come to the opposite conclusion, that activity is about to be launched at a phantom target with possible negative consequences, and also that some basic truth is being distorted for ulterior motives (somewhere, probably not here on NW in these forums).

    And I am saying this somewhat dispassionately because I don't really think of my own position as either mainstream proponent or skeptic, I am more of a mix and match observer trying to get a sense of how much of the theory is valid and how much is not valid, and suspecting that it may be a finely balanced sort of thing in the long run.

    So I would suggest people just agree on one basic condition, not to "go at it" so much, but stick to opinions about the relevant climate details with their reasoning appended as far as is possible. We all need to realize, I think, that the situation is playing out on a slow time scale where you could comment daily but new facts or perspectives come along perhaps two or three times a year if that. So it's sort of like a bunch of relatives in the waiting room of a hospital arguing about who started the fire that burned old Grandpa who is still fighting for his life and will be for the rest of the week.

    There are political forums elsewhere on the internet where people can get into the politics more usefully; here, I think, brief reference to the political context is probably all that's needed and we all get it by now, the issue has become a dividing point between left and right, which is interesting but not something that can really be usefully discussed on a weather forum.

    As long as there are this many people wanting to say yes or no to the question, even if the final answer is some sort of maybe, then it's a sign that the issue is not clearly settled in the minds of intelligent onlookers. And that goes to a point that Paul made originally about the "best minds" in the discipline all agreeing on this theory -- I find this a common misconception, the "best minds" may be more split than is suggested by this very common observation, and political pressures within the science may be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy in that regard ("you must believe this to have a sound mind" has been suggested to more than one skeptic by more than one proponent, and the next step is of course black-listing, ostracism or sacking. I believe that the former director of the Dutch Met Institute was among the victims of this practice, so we need to be very careful about such assumptions.)

    One final observation, robust debate is not always a bad thing, the alternatives to it are generally worse. Both in Britain and Canada, as I said elsewhere, we seem to be living in an age of growing fear of intellectual diversity and conflict, and a search for the comfort of groupthink. The results of groupthink in historical terms have almost always been bad news, and Netweather can do the society around it a favour by continuing to have lots of robust discussion. When people can leave a robust discussion feeling like they have both learned something and held up their opinion under pressure, then you have a stronger and more tolerant society. When everyone wants to grab their ball and go home, then mutual suspicions and antagonisms can grow. I don't want to sound offensive, but if it came down to a choice, I would rather see more robust debate than more well-fed polar bears.

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    Posted
  • Location: Brixton, South London
  • Location: Brixton, South London

    Paul whilst I can readily understand that this area is probably the most burdensome to moderate (save for model discussions in winter where a model indicates a vague possibility of snow), and whilst I agree with Paul (member no.2) that discussions tend to wards circularity and entrenched positions I think that this discussion is important for the reasons given by Devonian. I rarely post on Climate Change because I know too little and feel that I have nothing useful to contribute. However by reading the more intelligent posts and in particular links to abstracts of technical papers I am rather less ignorant than before (and less doctrinaire as to AGW).

    By debating, however imperfect, the protagonists should at least understand their own position better and might be able to test that position against those with contrary views.

    An attempt was made by the saintly/gentlemanly/ever patient and courteous P3 (where is he now?) to draw together some common ground between the two camps. He failed and no-one else is likely to suceed.

    One simple suggestion to improve the tone: avoid childish/inflammatory terms such as 'warmist' or 'deniers' in favour of supporters/opponents of AGW theory?

    regards

    ACB

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincolnshire coast
  • Location: Lincolnshire coast

    Paul, I don't think you should worry overmuch. You post a sticky 'Here be Dragons' warning at the top and then take a very light touch, allowing us to use all the sophisticated arguement and manners found in a pub on a Friday night. Those who don't like it, or more likely are bored with it, can go elsewhere so their complaints should not be taken too seriously.

    There will always be lurkers who don't contribute, and importantly, lurkers who really don't know much about the issues yet. For their benefit it is important that rubbish is countered and contradicted. That isn't about changing people's minds (some are a lost cause) but guiding opinions for those who have none. There is a place for moderation - I knew of one US based climate site that was ruined by a handful of people who flooded the board with nonsense when the mods stayed asleep. But that hasn't happened here and although we have a few posters here who persistently post rubbish, at least it is quite challenging rubbish that makes one think about how it is to be countered, that process honing the arguements in a useful way.

    Keep up the good work, Paul et. al..

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    Posted
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks

    yes it should be kept Paul and for those that post in here, again my plea, by all means disagree with another poster but not in a personal way. Take that posters arguments and give your answer backed up by links to reliable sites to counter what they have said.

    robust discussion is what most scientists thrive on but I have never personally been in one face to face where anyone has resorted to the rather childish name calling that happens at times on here.

    it is also, as has already been commented on or should be, a place where anyone trying to learn more about such a complex subject can drop in and read constructive arguments for and against the ideas of GW and AGW.

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    Posted
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey

    I have had discussions about Climate Change with people face to face and I've always found it a completely different kettle of fish from discussing climate change on this, or any other, forum. When talking in person the discussion rarely becomes as heated as on the internet, despite the arguing parties' passion about the subject.

    I think the problem is language. Everyone is capable of talking, expressing themselves and getting their point across to an extent in a spoken conversation - some people are more eloquent than others, but thoughts can be communicated relatively clearly when spoken.

    When it comes to writing an argument or a response, though, the degree to which a person can express those thoughts varies far more wildly. Written English can be an absolute pig, and while a wrong word here or there can be cleared up in no time in a face to face discussion, in a written, non-instantaneous form such as a message board wrong words can become real fighting points.

    A person's grasp of grammar and spelling and syntax can seriously affect the way in which their views are expressed and can lead to misunderstandings, misinterpretations and sometimes even quite vitriolic arguments. How many times has someone jumped on a poster's spelling of a particular word rather than discussing the content of the post? And then the debate becomes an argument over semantics rather than science.

    Another problem with the written word is the way in which the same sentence can be interpreted by different people because of their preconceptions of the writer. If a particular poster winds you up then you start to read all of their posts as if they are intended sarcastically or aggressively when quite often they are actually quite neutral in intent. This kind of misunderstanding doesn't happen often in spoken conversations because the speaker is incontrol of how their words are expressed. In a written post though there is little that one can do to show their intended inflexion. Italics and smileys can sometimes help to show the poster's intent, but even these can be misinterpreted as being sarcastic or aggressive.

    Basically, the distance between posters on a message board makes the conveying of ideas an absolute nightmare. I hate telephones but I'd far rather speak to someone on a 'phone than send a text message. In an ideal world we could all get together in a room face to face and try and sort out our differences and express ourselves more clearly, but that isn't going to happen (unless we can set up a massive video-conference!). Perhaps it would be best if we all tried to ignore our preconceptions and prejudices, started from scratch and read every post in as neutral a manner as possible.

    :rolleyes:

    CB

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
    I have had discussions about Climate Change with people face to face and I've always found it a completely different kettle of fish from discussing climate change on this, or any other, forum. When talking in person the discussion rarely becomes as heated as on the internet, despite the arguing parties' passion about the subject.

    I think the problem is language. Everyone is capable of talking, expressing themselves and getting their point across to an extent in a spoken conversation - some people are more eloquent than others, but thoughts can be communicated relatively clearly when spoken.

    When it comes to writing an argument or a response, though, the degree to which a person can express those thoughts varies far more wildly. Written English can be an absolute pig, and while a wrong word here or there can be cleared up in no time in a face to face discussion, in a written, non-instantaneous form such as a message board wrong words can become real fighting points.

    A person's grasp of grammar and spelling and syntax can seriously affect the way in which their views are expressed and can lead to misunderstandings, misinterpretations and sometimes even quite vitriolic arguments. How many times has someone jumped on a poster's spelling of a particular word rather than discussing the content of the post? And then the debate becomes an argument over semantics rather than science.

    Another problem with the written word is the way in which the same sentence can be interpreted by different people because of their preconceptions of the writer. If a particular poster winds you up then you start to read all of their posts as if they are intended sarcastically or aggressively when quite often they are actually quite neutral in intent. This kind of misunderstanding doesn't happen often in spoken conversations because the speaker is incontrol of how their words are expressed. In a written post though there is little that one can do to show their intended inflexion. Italics and smileys can sometimes help to show the poster's intent, but even these can be misinterpreted as being sarcastic or aggressive.

    Basically, the distance between posters on a message board makes the conveying of ideas an absolute nightmare. I hate telephones but I'd far rather speak to someone on a 'phone than send a text message. In an ideal world we could all get together in a room face to face and try and sort out our differences and express ourselves more clearly, but that isn't going to happen (unless we can set up a massive video-conference!). Perhaps it would be best if we all tried to ignore our preconceptions and prejudices, started from scratch and read every post in as neutral a manner as possible.

    :rolleyes:

    CB

    You are right about the written word. Otoh I'm quite sure I know what (completely wrong - which is why we debate I guess) messages (I can see three) this short and thus rather clever (if hair tearing) quote from higher up "Everyone must agree that a tiny increase in CO2 will destroy the Earth." is intended to convey...

    That said, it's my impression the hasn't been much personal stuff recently? Perhaps I've missed it.

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    Posted
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
    You are right about the written word. Otoh I'm quite sure I know what (completely wrong - which is why we debate I guess) messages (I can see three) this short and thus rather clever (if hair tearing) quote from higher up "Everyone must agree that a tiny increase in CO2 will destroy the Earth." is intended to convey...

    That said, it's my impression the hasn't been much personal stuff recently? Perhaps I've missed it.

    I'm not saying that nobody ever makes snarky comments on here - I think most of us have written some kind of barbed or pointed comment at some point in our time on this forum. I do think that that attitude is brought on, initially, by misunderstanding of others' posts or inappropriate use of words.

    I agree that the actual intentional personal snipes have decreased recently, though there's obviously still quite a lot of sour grapes lurking around (I've got my own bunch right here beside me!).

    Perhaps we could all be grown up and think about what we post before we post it. Think carefully about the words we use in our posts, and consider how those words could be interpreted by others - if they could be interpreted negatively when no negative intent exists then choose a different word...English is such an enormously varied language that there's always an alternative wording. Let's proofread our stuff before we post, eh?! We've got the "Preview Post" button right next to the "Add Reply" button, so why not use it?

    :rolleyes:

    CB

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincolnshire coast
  • Location: Lincolnshire coast

    The problem remains, when you see someone who you believe to be endangering the very survival of humankind on the planet by the ideas they are trying spread, how do you tell them politely?

    ;):rolleyes:

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    Posted
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
    The problem remains, when you see someone who you believe to be endangering the very survival of humankind on the planet by the ideas they are trying spread, how do you tell them politely?

    ;):rolleyes:

    The polite way to tell them is to explain why you think they are wrong, by debating the science, rather than making a confrontational comment. The idea of a debate is to sway other people to your viewpoint, not to effectively accuse them of being horrible selfish people - people rarely respond positively to such comments.

    Besides, as you say yourself, you believe that they are endangering the very survival of humankind. They believe that they are not. A comment such as that rapidly devolves into an "I'm right, you're wrong" circular shouting match. And it's always possible to be polite if words are chosen carefully enough.

    :)

    CB

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    Posted
  • Location: Western Isle of Wight
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, Storm, anything loud and dramatic.
  • Location: Western Isle of Wight

    Perhaps the over 40's method could be used ;)

    Driving turns people into very inconsiderate so and so's.

    Discussion about emotive subjects can do the same for some people.

    But now I have passed 40 I have noticed that I drive more politely and argue less vehemently about emotive subjects, in fact I don,t hardly ague at all now, I just let them get on with it, most of the time, there is still a little pride and testosterone left, that shows through occasionally :) Basically I prefer life that is peaceful, trying to change peoples opinions is like hard work, you know the phrase "too much like hard work" discussion should be relaxing when out of work IMO.

    Time and tide wait for no man, memories are better without them being clouded by argument, better memories are care free ones :rolleyes:

    Russ

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    Posted
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks

    Biffy

    as has been said you argue from a scientific point of view not personal and I agree with much of what Cap B writes, it is difficult to get across how you feel on the web whilst face to face it is so much easier and its instant so that a misunderstanding about any inflection or word can be rectified before any personal comments start being issued.

    yes, all of us, write what you think, hope fully in a constructive way, but then put it to one side, copy and paste into our own pc, look at it a bit later before posting it in here.

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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    Suffer the little children to come unto me............

    Maybe the 'old dog, new tricks' is the way with folk who have held an opinion in the subject for a while (and it becomes 'old') but again the young readers are the key and, of course, our future.

    When that Nazerean offered up his plea maybe he too knew there was no changing the minds of those set in their ways but he stood a chance by bringing up the youngsters into the 'new mindset'.

    I've often mooted that we owe a great duty of care to the young folk and ,as such, we must seek to be as accurate in our posted information as we can. In the way of youth they may choose to shun the 'oldies' viewpoints (for a while whilst youth burns) but if they have all the facts when their youthful rebellion dies down they will and can form their own informed opinion.

    Sadly we have no way (apart from self declaration) of knowing posters ages and thus tempering our replies to the most impressionable (or taking less offence from a youngies trying out their new found Independence) ......of course I'm 21....... ;)

    EDIT: The forum is also a place to improve your writing skills, and I'm sure many of us here have done just that over the years!

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    The problem is that people don't change their mind, some will not change it no matter the evidence. Some people have views that are based in emotion rather than science and this applies to both sides. People argue and argue and debate and debate and nothing ever changes. Now this is hardly unique to this forum or this subject, in happens with any subject- people take a stance and dig in their heels no matter what, which is why I don't bother debating much on the internet anymore, I've been on it for 8 years or so now and I have learnt that arguing here is a waste of time. One can tell very quickly if someone is the sort to change their mind but they seem few and far between.

    But it's an important subject and there is still a lot of uselful stuff here so it's certainly a useful place nonetheless.

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    Posted
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks
  • Location: just south of Doncaster, Sth Yorks

    for anyone not involved in the for and against arguments by any individual on here there is a list of links, see below, to the major arguments for and against in this discusion,

    http://www.netweather.tv/forum/index.php?showtopic=32794

    do read it as the inputs are almost all first class, whichever viewpoint you have.

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    Posted
  • Location: Colchester, Essex, UK (33m ASL)
  • Location: Colchester, Essex, UK (33m ASL)

    Just as a side note here, in the psychology of debates and arguements, if it happens that a person needs to turn personal, and make derogatory remarks, they are actually usually losing the arguement and trying to direct the attention from the original issue and win points in other ways. A point to remember in your debating ;)

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    Posted
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
    Suffer the little children to come unto me............

    Maybe the 'old dog, new tricks' is the way with folk who have held an opinion in the subject for a while (and it becomes 'old') but again the young readers are the key and, of course, our future.

    When that Nazerean offered up his plea maybe he too knew there was no changing the minds of those set in their ways but he stood a chance by bringing up the youngsters into the 'new mindset'.

    I've often mooted that we owe a great duty of care to the young folk and ,as such, we must seek to be as accurate in our posted information as we can. In the way of youth they may choose to shun the 'oldies' viewpoints (for a while whilst youth burns) but if they have all the facts when their youthful rebellion dies down they will and can form their own informed opinion.

    Sadly we have no way (apart from self declaration) of knowing posters ages and thus tempering our replies to the most impressionable (or taking less offence from a youngies trying out their new found Independence) ......of course I'm 21....... ;)

    EDIT: The forum is also a place to improve your writing skills, and I'm sure many of us here have done just that over the years!

    One must be careful, though, when teaching the youngsters not to brainwash them. This is one of my concerns with schools these days - especially with regards to "Eco-Friendliness", as they define it. The children are taught all about Eco-Friendliness, but they have no concept of what it actually means. They're not taught why they should take care of the planet, they are just told that they must. My children come home from school espousing social and environmental viewpoints that they don't understand and, more to the point, don't even adhere to - they tell me and my wife that it's not Eco-Friendly to leave lights on all the time, but they still leave lights on all the time, and the TV's on all the time, and the windows are open in winter letting the heat escape...

    Of course it is extremely sensible to turn off lights and electrical items and keep the doors shut in Winter from a purely financial perspective, to say nothing of environmentalism. But children must be told why they should do things and not just simply to that they must.

    The idea that skeptics shouldn't be allowed to "corrupt" the impressionable youngsters is wrong for two reasons. Firstly there are many skeptics who have at least as much knowledge of the debate as the "Pros" but have reached opposite conclusions. They are just as sure and just as passionate as the Pros, but have an alternative viewpoint - I don't think that skeptics just argue against climate change for the sake of it. I certainly don't argue for the sake of it. Secondly, if the youngsters are going to make an informed decision then they have to be informed. Being given half the argument is tantamount to brainwashing. Just like in a court of law, they have to decide who makes the most compelling case.

    :)

    CB

    PS - if everyone filled in their date of birth in their profile then we'd be able to find out how old everyone is! ;)

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  • Location: Western Isle of Wight
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, Storm, anything loud and dramatic.
  • Location: Western Isle of Wight

    GW, I think people who are younger than 35 should be "seen and not heard" ;)

    Quite serious now, I actually believe in life after death. That belief stretches to heaven and hell too.

    All I can say is be kind to gods* creatures and her demesne, tend this demesne well and love life.

    Youngsters are at the mercy of the either of life, now't anybody can say or do will alter the way they live their lives.

    If some spoil the world that's their problem. If some want to save it, good for them IMO ;)

    *(I am what is generally termed pagan, but actually as pagan is an offensive word used by the Romans to group any non Christians together. I prefer to be called a worshiper of naturally occurring electromagnetic energy)

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