I guess I am a “smart idiot”

The ugly delusions of the educated conservative
Better-educated Republicans are more likely to doubt global warming and believe Obama’s a Muslim. Here’s why

I have talked about my ‘skeptical’ thoughts on global warming before (and talked many other times on the subject as well). I have followed the subject of ‘global warming’ for nigh on 20 years and long before it became controversial. It is undeniable that levels of CO2 are rising. There is also very compelling evidence that we are experiencing a relative rise in global temps (where you pick your start date has a huge impact on how significant our current temps are). I think there is very undeniable evidence that the human species has had a dramatic and often drastic impact on the biosphere through deforestation and harvests from the sea. However to say that because of the observed rise in CO2 our failure to drastically cut back the use of fossil fuels is the only solution is a leap I think has no scientific merit. There are lines of research that indicate that the rise in levels of CO2 are actually not due to burning fossil fuels at all, but are due to converting land into agriculture. There are also lines of research that indicate the transoceanic movements of ships has put enough sulfur in our atmosphere that the subsequent reflection of sunlight has ameliorated heating we might otherwise have experienced (ditto with airplane contrails), so reducing the use of fossil fuels could exacerbate the warming. To me these uncertainties are so great that it is impossible for me to lend any credence to people who insist the _only_ ‘solution’ to global warming is to destroy the global economy by eliminating the use of fossil fuels. Yes, we will eventually run out and yes we will eventually need replacements of some sort and yes the adaptation is likely to be painful and better if started sooner rather than later, but those are not reasons to prematurely kick ourselves back to the stone age. Perhaps that is where we are destined to wind up (though I have lots of faith in the power of nuclear fission, though unfortunately that provides no solution for the needs of airplanes, the loss of which would make our planet so much larger), but we should not hurry the situation.

I was a bit skeptical that the author claimed that liberals are more opened minded about nuclear energy than conservatives are about global warming, I find a huge amount of resistance to the idea of nuclear energy and based on my rather extensive experience working with it in the lab coupled with my decades of research on the topic (I was going to do a term paper on how to build a nuclear bomb back in high school, but the teacher told me she didn’t have the knowledge to grade it if I did) I know that it can be done at least as safe as the alternatives (there are HUGE problems associated with ALL other forms of energy (fossil or otherwise) that are often totally ignored) and has the capacity to supply us with nearly all of our (non-transportation, its big weakness) needs.

By this author’s measures I must be the smart idiot, though I can’t stand Fox News, Rush or any of those other blowhards. I am not terribly fond of MSNBC and over the last couple of years have lost respect for CNN. I actually go to Salon to get a lot of news (am a big fan of their Glenn Greenwald), but in the case of global warming and in particular the case of the ‘only’ solution being destroying our economy, I am very much the smart idiot.

Author: Tfoui

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