Thursday, June 22, 2006

Global Warming

I was looking around the internet to see what I could find as far as scientific opinion regarding global warming. I found this article interesting. It is written by a professor of Meteorology from MIT. His basic argument is that the scientific community is not unified in a belief that global warming is a fact. An interesting point he raised was that there are now so many special interest groups and individuals commited to fighting global warming that they depend on it for their livelyhood. He makes lots of other good arguments. Although it is a little long, I urge you to read it if you are interested in that sort of thing.


Blogger Hilary Golston said...

I agree that Lindzen does have several convincing arguments. I’m slowly starting to change my opinion about the imminent doom theory of global warming, but I still have a lot of reading to do before I make up my mind. The section entitled “Consensus and the Current popular visions”, talks about the history of how global warming became labeled as a crisis. The fact that it was basically Al Gore’s committee on Science, Technology and Space that started the hysteria is sort of funny, because it seems that Al Gore has been credited with starting other things (the internet). Ok, well that’s all jokes, but it got me thinking about how government or government officials have probably been responsible for starting what could perhaps be hysteria about an unverifiable legend. I’m not ready to admit that Global Warming is all hysteria, as I mentioned before, but it’s possible that other government officials might be responsible for creating or perpetuating unverifiable legend. I think the threat of nuclear annihilation in Cold War might be an example of government created hysteria related to an unverifiable threat. Let me know what you think about this because, of course we know that Russia had nuclear weapons and we also know that we had nuclear weapons. But, I think the question that many scholars like Graham Allison and Philip Zelikow have tried to figure out is whether or not Russia or the US (and other nations loyal to either side) would ever have used them in that context. Allison and Zelikow wrote about the Cuban Missile Crisis and its resolution in the “Essence of Decision, Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis.” I think that most political scientists agree that the Cuban missile crisis was the pinnacle of nuclear threat between Soviet Russia and the US, but was the threat ever real? One member of Kennedy’s cabinet during the crisis, Robert McNamara, basically argued that neither side would ever act as long as there would be Mutually Assured Destruction. He called the program MAD. Others argue that you can apply the Nash Equilibrium to the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War. Neither side will act aggressively because they can basically cooperate (note: I’m not an expert in the Nash equilibrium…but this is what I basically understand about its application to conflict resolution). I’m not sure if this example works, but it’s food for thought. There’s a section on the Cuban Missile Crisis at GW in the National Archives. Here’s the link the site. Check it out. Let me know what you think about that idea. Sorry I could't figure out how to post a link in a response.

6:16 PM  

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