Sunday, December 11, 2011

Let me try again...

I got a call that I didn't really answer Kate's question about what would convince me that there is really man-made global warming. So I will try again.

Kate, the answer is "nothing." Here's why.

I don't think anything could convince me that anything is true with absolute certainty. I have a lot of suspicions about how things are as we all do. We sense that OJ might have done the deed or not. But are we certain? Imagine that he confessed and DNA evidence confirmed his confession. Would we then be certain? We all know of situations where people confessed to crimes that they didn't do, and also that evidence is sometimes planted. This is one of the reasons I'm not for the death sentence.

Is it really 74° in my house? The thermometer says so. The temperature actually probably varies in every room. Does my thermometer really say it is 74°, or is that just my belief about what I'm seeing when I look at it?

When I was a kid I had a big argument with my friend Mark about whether or not Altman's camera store was across the street from Marshall Fields in Chicago. I was sure it was, and he was sure it wasn't. Finally we went downtown to see who was right. I appeared to be wrong... but even after standing in front of Altmans and seeing what was across the street, would I give someone 1,000,000 to 1 odds that it was where it was? Or would there still be some doubt?

Also when I was a kid Damon sold me a two-headed nickel. I ran home to my mom to get a dollar or two for it. I told my mom that we'd be rich with this rare nickel. When I returned home with the nickel, I looked at it more closely and saw the seam where it was soldered together. I'd been had.


Anonymous said...

This is like the bumper sticker "God said it. I believe it. That settles it." Saying that we can't know any thing for certain is just intellectually bankrupt. Both stances admit of no discussion and require no thought.

Anonymous said...

Hyper-sceptical arguments require little intellectual capacity to construct - and have little value for those whose aim is to seriously discuss rather than just mindlessly oppose. (See:

Anonymous said...

I have a lot of suspicions about how things are as we all do. --- Mr. Kim


I understand that nobody knows anything for absolute certain. We all just have our suspicions. I am a child of that school of thought more than you might know. So I will simply rephrase my question.

What evidence or reasoning would move you to suspect that indeed humanity has an effected climate by increasing the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere? What would one have to present to you in order to make you feel that climate change is more likely reality than not?

And. . . Just out of curiosity. . . At this point, what do you feel would seem like the most appropriate response to the issue of climate change; personally and/or politically?


Anonymous said...

It is the nature of climate to change. Where I grew up used to be an ocean floor.