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Opinion is the Failure of Division of Labor

hey sankara, i know you are more than busy, and you have your own educated opinions but there is an interesting interview with the guy who wrote "climategate": by brian sussman here; happens somewhere in the middle of the show

It's always easy to find right-wingers saying whatever they want to say. I don't want to second guess anybody, but you google him and one of the first links is American Thinker, which is run by conservative "thinkers," assuming that isn't entirely a contradiction in terms at this stage of the political game. I'm sorry, but when thousands of scientists claim something, I'm going to be a little skeptical when a meteorologist tries to debunk it.

And whether it is caused by humans burning oil or not, the oil is running out anyway, again according to scientists. So, if not for the pollution then to save our skins we out to start thinking in terms of renewable energy.

i totaly agree with you sankara about the renewable energy thing very much; and for that matter polution issues -- so not trying to be argumentive. and you are truly one of the very few whom are walking the walk and living as you believe and that's why i respect you sooo much.

personaly, i don't use lables like right-wingers, conservative -- they may serve a purpose for meaningful conversation -- a shortcut, but i don't use them. the same way you don't want to second guess this guy but kind of are -- I believe, with every fiber of my being, that we must second guess the elite class when they start proping up something from all angles -- such as is happening with global warming -- gore and the elite are hoping to use global warming to create a world tax -- which will then accomplish 2 objectives: #1. more control over you in many ways; #2. funding for world government which will then create more of #1.

and let's remember: thousands of archeologists (scientists) believe the Egyptians created the pyramids (i don't -- they are, in my opinion -- far older and created by unknown technology); thousands of scientists believe man evolved straight through from monkey to man (i don't -- i believe there was DNA manipulation), millions of doctors don't believe there is a cure for diabetes, cancer, etc (i disagree).

Sure, question everything, especially those in power, but neither you nor I (or Sussman) are experts at environmental science. Neither you nor I have the actual tools to question scientists. We can question policies, but questioning science without the training will naturally result in the wrong questions.

For that matter, there can be global warming AND there can be a cabal of people who want to exploit it. Just because someone made money off of a world war doesn't mean there wasn't a world war. I am not all that interested in the Bilderberg's or the Illuminati. I am more concerned about good old fashioned bankers than about any secret society. There are enough enemies of freedom right own in the open to start worrying about the supposedly secret ones.

A meme: Opinion is the failure of division of labor. I don't recall the work you are in, but I am pretty sure it wasn't archeologist or egyptology or expert in DNA splicing or researcher into cures for cancer. Having the right to an opinion doesn't mean it serves any useful purpose. What you believe is not relevant. What you are really saying is that some supposed expert believes something and you believe what he believes. And that's fine, but it wasn't you personally figuring out the manipulation in the genes of humans to make them more than monkeys or the slaves of some super intelligence. And since you are basically on the second or third or nineteenth step away from the front lines of science and research, why bother holding onto a point of view when you personally have no real evidence?

For that reason, I pretty much let the chorus of experts determine what is likely to be true, what is probable knowledge. They don't determine what is absolutely true, but the good scientists don't claim to be doing that anyway. Sure, anyone can look at a coming calamity and figure out a way to gain more power over people. Well, maybe not anyway, but anyone with some money and brains. But that is a FAR cry from manufacturing the calamity out of thin air.

I follow the science, whether about global warming of 9/11. The latter was a controlled demolition. That is what the science says. The former is real and happening. That is what the science says. Now, if you have some evidence of E-mails or letters or taped meetings between ultra rich people that speaks to how they plan to use it to their financial advantage, great. I wouldn't doubt it a bit if that was happening, even without that evidence, but I'm not going to absolutely believe it without the evidence either.

If you have evidence that tens of thousands of environmental scientists have been paid off to manufacture data, great. Let's see it. Because that is what it would take to prove that global warming is a hoax. You can't fight it on the science level itself because the science says it is real. You can only fight it on the social level and show the science itself is fabricated. Basically, you'd have to show a MASSIVE conspiracy among THOUSANDS of scientists.

Good luck with that.

You’re saying that my opinion and what I believe has no value or relevance. That I’m just believing fairy tales with no science. Not true. As I sent to you before, there are plenty of real scientists that believe that the man made carbon calamity global warming affect is nonsense. You’re going to find scientists on either side. You seem to be someone who champions intuition; no one can be a scientist or an expert in everything -- everyone reads opinions -- yes, sometimes second hand or third or whatever from scientists; you do the same -- and then they use their analytical mind and hopefully their intuition -- or feeling and try to make a decision on what they believe. I’m believing that scientist on the one hand and you are believing those on the other.

Since you wrote that I personally have no real evidence -- why bother holding on to a point of view? That doesn’t make any sense. You didn’t explore all the scientific avenues and personally figure out all science either -- so why point that finger at me? We all take the science we read and mix it together with our understanding of other sciences and issues and intuition and come to conclusions. See, a lot of Egyptologists, for example, just follow the herd. They don’t necessarily do fresh research nor think of alternatives to what has been grandfathered in. Take doctors -- they go to college and are taught what is and what isn’t in the medical world but take very little thought to anything that doesn’t involve surgery nor drugs. I had a health condition a while back that was thought to need surgery -- I cured it with eating raw organic -- but that never crossed my doctors mind although millions of doctors would have agreed with him.

I believe that Gore has done more than see a calamity and try to make a few bucks. The proof I have? The same proof that anyone whom believes his story has: facts (or possible facts) that they have read and came to a conclusion. I believe he omitted facts as to heat waves in the past as part of a natural cycle, for example. I believe that if he truly believed in what he talked about -- he would be living like you instead of in a mansion and going around the world in a fleet of limos. But you are right, there might be a coming calamity and he’s just an ass. But anyway, I side with the scientists whom don’t agree based on my understanding of the evidence and my opinion is worth the same as the guy next door; my voice matters.

You aren’t interested in the Bilderberg or the Illuminati because you say there are enough enemies of freedom right in the open but that’s because, perhaps, you aren’t connecting the dots that the “good old fashioned bankers”, along with world elite make up the Bilderbergs, etc. whom are manipulating events, false flags, recessions, inflation, the banking system, that contribute or create or strengthen the enemies of freedom that are right in the open.

You wrote that you follow the evidence that 9/11 was a controlled demolition. Well, whom do you suppose caused this -- there has been a lot of cover ups, consequences, and people involved in covering that up and using the lie -- you could call that conspiracy by definition -- to what end? It isn’t just about getting more oil and again -- in my opinion -- it certainly wasn’t just because Bush was a bad guy and now that he is gone we are going to have cooler heads prevailing in gov. As far as I can see, the basic way the gov runs stays the same and as far as Obama, he hasn’t done any better. If you want evidence of secret societies or such then you can find evidence and theories in books and DVDs. They claim they do have evidence but you’ll have to listen to sources outside of the box, listen to the facts and use your own intuition.

The general consensus of science is on the side of global warming as human-made. In fact, not just the general, the overwhelmingly vast majority. Why is it every "real" scientist against global warming turns out to be funded by the oil industry or corporate interests?

Gore is not a scientist. He didn't invent the science. He wasn't in the ice collecting pillars of ice, taking it to the lab, and analyzing the carbon content in the gas bubbles. The fact that the anti-global warming believers constantly attack him personally only shows me a lack of seriousness. If anyone is to be attacked, it is the people that were in the field.

The fact is that the science points to this, and the science is based on data garnered out in the field. Neither of us was there. Gore wasn't either. If you want to deny it, you have to believe that the people out in the field, every one of them, consistently made the same errors or were all paid to create a false reading. No one has evidence of this. Evidence that Gore is an ass or idiot means nothing, and no, neither does our opinions since opinions don't create science or data in relation to global warming. They are only figuratively "hot air." :)

So, the finger is pointed at you because I accept that neither I nor you nor the "experts" opposed to the science were there, but for some reason your disbelief in the science ignores this. Name me one opposing expert that was out in the field and collected the data himself or herself. That is someone that belongs in the discussion, not all the "experts" sitting around and attacking the conclusions of the data, which anyone can do. The data are clear. The real challenge is, again, to question the data collection. And that means questioning the ethics of the people that did it because ALL OF IT points to global warming.

No, your voice and the voice of the guy next door doesn't matter when it comes to science. That's the way science works. Gore's doesn't either. What matters is the data. Anyone against global warming who thinks they can fight it with opinions or even scientific analysis is in WAY over their heads. The data unanimously points to it, so the only real battlefield is in investigating the people who collected the data. Either the data is corrupted, or there is global warming. It pretty much boils down to that.

I personally question everything, but there are limits largely based on the breadth of knowledge. I questioned AIDS in my first radio program, even though it might have sunk the show right there. My researcher by the end was convinced there was no AIDS as it is commonly believed. I am not a scientist in the field and while I see a lot of problems with the conclusions, I have to remain an agnostic. The same is true for the pyramids or the Sphinx. It appears to be 9000+ years old, but I remain an agnostic. Technically, I am an agnostic when it comes to global warming science, but there comes a point where we have to practically act in the world. I can theoretically say I am an agnostic when it comes to the existence of China, since I've never been there, but we have to be reasonable.

I consider myself a scientist, as in I use the scientific method to come to general and specific conclusions. But then, epistemology dictates that our conclusions cannot be set in stone. It also points out the degrees of separation between what we think we know, what we believe, and what is empirically accurate, not to mention what is phenomenologically real.

I am not an environmental scientist, but I have made efforts according to the tenets of yoga to develop intuition. I do not feel that the intuition of a larger self has much to do with one's gut instincts about things, but then developing a larger self also means being free to question anything. So in a sense, while intuiting a larger self provides no scientific data or knowledge, it does open the door for a person to be a true scientist, free of the limitations of bias and opinion and ego and assumptions, unafraid to ask anything.

But we have only so much time in the day. I personally don't have the time to ask if global warming is real in the way it deserves to be asked, i.e. as a scientist. There are millions of little and big things we all can safely take for granted because we can't personally attest to it. For all most people know, there is a little gremlin in smart phones waving a magic wand, and without direct knowledge of the technology behind the phones, the gremlin might as well remain. We can use our common sense and gut instinct to widely disregard the gremlin theory, but that is a long way from positively knowing how cell phones operate.

Being a scientist, itself, doesn't mean you are qualified to chime in on just any scientific field. There may be "scientists" that don't agree with the science behind global warming, but how many of them are environmental scientists? Anyone trained in science can look at the data and challenge the conclusions, as monumental a task as it would be, but those kinds of serious challenges would not be casual reading for general public. It would be a highly technical paper that only scientists trained in the field would understand, and the scientists of any field would likely have to become experts in environmental science during the process of challenging the conclusions of the scientists that point to global warming.

The only step after that is to challenge the data themselves since the vast majority of environmental scientists, having looked at the data, conclude unanimously that global warming is real and is caused by human activity. Yes, there have been ups and downs in human history in relation to temperature and carbon levels in the air, but this is the mother of all ups and very much parallels the industrial revolution and the population explosion. Even if we would be on an up anyway because of the sun or the earth itself or the cracks in the crust of the planet or the popularity of hot air balloons, the up we are on cannot be accounted for by any of these things alone or even in tandem. The sound conclusion is that we are doing something incredibly destructive to the ecosphere.

So that leaves serious skeptics with only one logical avenue, and that is to go to the data collection itself, and perhaps collect new and more data. The data, as we have them, has been analyzed by hundreds of specialists, and the conclusions are for the most part the same. The only recourse is to challenge not the analysis but the data and the methods of collection.

Few people not trained in science appreciate how easy it is to reinterpret data and come to a very different conclusion than what the data is really saying, or more likely to be saying. It is so easy, it is scary. A person trained in science but with an agenda (narrow self, little intuitive capacity, funded by Exxon, etc.) can make a very scientific-sounding case, using the same data that other scientists are using, that the earth is cooling from human activity. Only the trained scientists familiar with the data will see through the errors and nonsense. So, for you to say that "scientists" are on both sides of the argument is meaningless.

There are two sides to the evolution debate, and to the 9/11 debate, and to the creation debate. The right-wing in this country has caused untold destruction to our national discourse by framing issues as if there are two sides when often there are not two sides to the issue anymore than there are two sides to what is real. It is actually rare for there to be so much consensus in science, especially when a new idea is put forward.

In a matter of speaking, the global warming scientists are like the Egyptologists that point to the 9000+ year old water erosion on the Sphinx. They are in the same category as the scientists that point to the presence of thermite being used in the Twin Towers. The conventional, the conservative, and the "obvious" are against 9/11 as a demolition, a different peoples and technology behind the Sphinx, and global warming science. Exxon is against global warming science, and I think Exxon can buy and sell quite a few people who sit in on the Bilderberg cabal. And if the bankers sit on the Illuminati Board, then again who needs to pay attention to the Secret Society when there isn't anything secret about them.

If I have a bias, it's against the easy "science" and evidence supplied by the mass media noise machine. If you want to know what is not going on, watch Fox News. Unsurprisingly, Sussman appears to be a talking head on it.

1. i agree with you that I'm never really 100% positive on anything and am willing to change based on what I understand.

2. Your reasoning doesn't make total sense to me. You are saying that that for some reason my disbelief in the science ignores that I wasn't there nor you nor the "experts" whom disagree. This makes no sense. It's a way of solidifying your point with something that is obvious -- that I wasn't there, so it follows the experts against this idea were not there; so somehow your point is to be reinforced by those truisms. It goes without saying that I wasn't there collecting data. Most scientists making their opinions known aren't collecting data either -- they are interpreting data. The data itself is information collected but of little value until someone deciphers it and then it must be interpreted whether it is all attributed to man's carbon emmisions or not. I'm not saying that there isn't some global warming -- I'm saying that it's, for the most part, a natural cycle and not attributable to man. The date also shows that other planets go through heat cycles -- is that attributable to man also?

3. The nature of Gore doesn't matter to you because you, as you claim, only look at data and make your determination -- well, you are still getting your data from other sources. If I think that this man-made global warming is an issue and will bring undesirable world laws and taxes then the nature of a self-serving powerful guy bringing his agenda filled films all over the world and it being forced down the school system as "fact"; then it becomes an issue. I'm guessing that if he was bringing a film around the country, and it being shown in schools as "fact" about an issue you feel strongly against that mattered to you -- then suddenly his "opinion" and what he says would be an issue to you; maybe not to you on a personal mental/moral stance because you tend to look beyond the surface and dig up "data" but it might matter to you that the masses were being convinced by someone powerful's opinions at that point. just a thought.

One of the strongest arguments for global warming as a human-made event is that our planet and all planets go through cycles. If this was just another cycle, then the changes in temperature would follow the past changes. Today's graphs would look like past graphs. But that is nowhere near the case.

These kinds of pseudo-scientific conclusions, when popularized get people angry and riled, but they faze scientists. Here is how it goes: Heat cycles existed in the past. Heat cycles take place on other worlds. We are in a heat cycle now. Ergo, the cycle we are in now is not human-made. This is a perfect example of a logical fallacy, and it is the bread and butter of the right-wing noise machine.

Everything may be correct up until the conclusion, but the conclusion is far from the true state of affairs. It requires a non-sequitur, namely that the presence of past heat cycles requires that our current one can be fully explained by them. It can't be, and that is because the data say so.

The point about the data collection is that the data have been analyzed and points to global warming of a degree that cannot be explained by naturally occurring cycles. That is already a done deal. If you want to challenge the overwhelming consensus of scientists, then you aren't going to get anywhere by reinterpreting the data. You have to start to question the data collection and the choice of data used to arrive at the conclusions arrived at. Am I making better sense?

The masses are routinely convinced of things that aren't true. Gore has a LONG way to go to compete with the religions of the world. And since religion is my field of expertise, I know how and why people are routinely brainwashed by belief systems. In fact, you've made my point, which is that it isn't the Evangelist, whether he believes or not in what he preaches, that is the problem facing society. It is that people believe the Evangelist without going directly to the history of the religion. I put the Evangelist in the same category as the hack scientist funded by Exxon to misinform the public. The history and psychological data are against Christianity as a belief system that can serve humanity. I sought in my work to provide the data so readers could stop blindly believing and start asking educated questions.

The difference is that the data against Christianity is much more easily accessed than the data against those that deny global warming as a human phenomenon. One doesn't need training in science to debunk Christianity, though it certainly would help. One certainly needs training in science in general and environmental science in particular to understand why science has concluded that global warming is real and is caused by humans. But the general strokes are understandable, nevertheless, even though a general knowledge is easily upset by scientific sounding people that want to sow doubt and confusion.

The claim that other planets warm too is just a facile attempt to sow confusion. Sure they do, but they don't as fast as ours has been warming.

It is really amazingly hubristic to think that all these incredible thinkers who have spent decades analyzing global warming didn't think about the general trends of heating on our planet and in the solar system. As if you and I heard of it but they overlooked it, when it fact we know that our planet has gone through such cycles because..... of the scientific research of people who then became experts on global warming!

It would be laughable were it not so sad that people actually buy this tripe.

you can go on believing that i'm sad and with that statement -- seemingly hint that i'm too naive or perhaps unintelligent to believe this "tripe" and that's ok, really and I won't say the same about you because I do think you are intelligent and care about things and put your money where your mouth is. there's not much else i can add, the data that i'm getting through sources is showing that man made global warming is "tripe" and more than that there is an agenda to push world taxes which wouldn't fix the problem at all to begin with. the "data" you are getting is different. you like to use right wing and terms like that -- that's ok too; terms like that are no different than me calling gore an ass -- and if he is part of the "left" wing then that's a wing I dont want any part of it. it's very unlike you but suddenly things are very black and white in the world when you are talking about things that you believe in; not every scientist who "denies" man made global warming is a hack funded by exxon. yes, data is data and opinions are just opinions but most data gets filtered through opinionated people -- yes, even scientists whom interpret it this way and that way.

Like I said, neither you nor I are in positions to know with any direct and absolute certain whether global warming as caused by humans is real or not, but that it is or isn't is pretty certain. There isn't much gray area because the warming being claimed by the pro side is nothing short of catastrophic. With claims like that, there is no room for sorta kind maybe.

I don't "believe" in this anymore than I believe in evolution. When it comes to scientific determinations, I have as much respect for near universal scientific consensus -- unless I get direct and clear evidence otherwise -- as I would expect from people toward me for my educated and trained views on religion and yoga. Respect doesn't mean blind authority, but it does mean a clear respect for division of labor. Anything less than that and I'm not only a hypocrite, but out in terrain where I have no place. Neither of us can scientifically defend our "side" of the argument. That being the case, neither of us have a place in the argument.

I'm reminded of the story PY tells of his disagreement with a broker, who claimed to know everything about Indian sadhus and brokerage. So, PY played his game and started mouthing off about brokerage, as if he knew about what he was speaking. The broker became angry and shouted, "What do you know about brokerage!?!" "Nothing," replied PY, "But what do you know about sadhus?!" Opinions are the failure of division of labor.

So what am I arguing in the last several thousand words? Just that. I am arguing against not your opinion, per se, but opinions in general. I am arguing against the modern predilection of people to form scientific views without the capacity to scientifically check them. The information age is wonderful in many ways, but it creates the illusion of knowledge.

Calling Gore an ass and referencing the right-wing are not comparable in my mind. The right-wing is a definite movement of thought(lessness) with very specific champions: Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, the neoconservatives, the dozens of think tanks, etc. The Tea Party is now a manifestation of a more extreme right-wing that is responding to economic woes and the first black president. Referencing it isn't in the spirit of name-calling, or at least I don't mean it in that way. But I admit, it may sound that way because it is at this point a shambles of a political movement that heavily relies on mendacity. But for the record, I do not consider Gore left wing. If you want left wing, read Noam Chomsky.

Another side benefit to respecting division of labor, besides not getting ourselves into too much trouble, is that we safely avoid serious consequences of ignoring sound warnings. The threat of global warming is so great that even if the chances of it were less than 50%, or less than 10%, the necessity to act with haste is present because of the potential gravity of the situation. In a matter of speaking, people who argue against the science ignore the fact that the science is merely stating that we need to reduce our pollution. Who but polluters argues against that? We need to find renewable resources for our energy consumption. Who but the current suppliers of non-renewable energy argues against that? We need to act quickly or else the human race may not be able to survive within a few centuries. The margin of error in this science is not plus or minus 50%, but even if it were 50/50, don't you think we ought to not take the chance?

And what do we lose if the science is wrong? Coal burning, oil burning, Exxon stock value? The only people that will miss these things are the people making money from these things. No wonder they are funding the anti-global warming campaign. And why do they do it? Because you and I can't clean the environment unless millions of us gather and refuse to drive our cars to work, and that's not going to happen. This is way too big an issue for a focus group. It requires the governments, every government, to take a stand against the moneyed interests and enforce new regulations. Without the political will, and specifically without the will of the people in this country, it won't happen here or globally.

So as far as I am concerned, and especially when the science is entirely on the side of global warming as a human-created event, being for renewable energy but being against the global warming science is like putting the right candidate on the ballot when voting, but then flushing the ballot down the toilet.

I say we focus on the possibility of utter doom, and act accordingly, rather than where Gore lives or what he drives. If the price for the world to change its habits in regard to energy is that Gore becomes a billionaire, it's a very very very small price to pay.