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  #1701  
Old 22.01.2015, 16:43
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Re: Death By A Thousand Cuts: Earth Enters The ‘Danger Zone’

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Old 22.01.2015, 16:46
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Re: Death By A Thousand Cuts: Earth Enters The ‘Danger Zone’

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2. The earth's population is increasing exponentially?
This is false and please stop perpetuating this myth. The increase in population is slowing down and is projected to decelerate until population peaks at one point. The developed world is more or less stagnating already, with the developing world providing the population growth right now. As education and standards of living increase, their growth will taper off too.

The myth mostly comes from muppets taking a chart from like 10000 BC to 2000 and extrapolating the exponential growth visible in it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populat...tion_curve.svg

There are two reasons why one would do it: deliberate misinformation or lacking basic analytic knowhow.

Check out this population growth chart from wikipedia (if you need stronger sources go and google):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populat...%80%932050.svg

As you see, there is no exponential population explosion. I don't believe we'll see one until (if) humanity enters a post-scarcity era which I'd assume would come only with widescale spacefaring capability.

Edit: sorry for the harsh tone of the post but people continue perpetuating that somehow we are going to envelop the earth in humans.

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  #1703  
Old 22.01.2015, 17:09
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Re: Death By A Thousand Cuts: Earth Enters The ‘Danger Zone’

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I merely pointed out that climate change over a period of time that fails to represent even an infinitesimal fraction of just the rounding error on current scientific estimations of the age of the planet could not possibly be said to be statistically significant.
crazygringo,

Sorry if I've misunderstood something, but surely changes happening over a short time doesn't make them less significant? If anything, happening over a shorter time period would make it more significant as any rates of change would be higher, right? Think of changes which could be brought about over much shorter periods (big asteroid, big volcano or big war) -- these effects don't become insignificant because of the short period, do they?

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[...]we have observed a relatively negligible warming of the planet over the last 100-150 years.[...]
Could I humbly suggest that it's small but not negligible. Around half a degree.

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Obviously if there is a decent arguement backed up by a similar amount of evidence to counter the scientists who claim the global warming is happening, then I'm all ears.
Lasers pew pew pew,

Try to get away from the dichotomous notion of a yes camp and a no camp, of being for it or against it. Instead, try thinking of there being lots and lots of parallel statements (some hypotheses amenable to science, some political or economic or philosophical in nature) that can be reasoned about on their own.

For example, to take a very non-extensive list:
  • carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas
  • carbon dioxide levels have risen by a third since the industrial revolution
  • humans have been the main factor in this carbon dioxide level increase
  • mean temperatures have risen around half a degree since industrial revolution
  • the temperature increase was mainly caused by the increased carbon dioxide
  • an increase in temperature by several degrees will have both costs and benefits for humanity
  • sea levels have been rising by around 1.5mm per year since the industrial revolution
  • the sea level rises are primarily due to the temperature increase
  • we are getting more extreme weather events because of this temperature increase
  • earth's climate is a chaotic system, and many macro phenomena (including some temperature trends, and many extreme weather events) arise from the chaos, and can not meaningfully be attributed to particular system inputs
  • continued emissions will cause accelerated and catastrophic temperature increases
  • continued emissions will cause accelerated and catastrophic sea level rises
  • continued emissions will lead to a runaway positive feedback effect, leading to an uninhabitable planet with an atmosphere similar to Venus
  • models which can reconstruct past trends should be automatically believed on future predictions, with no requirement for empirical validation of the future predictions they make
  • there is a single "scientific consensus" about every item in this list, and most other important questions in this vast area
  • if someone disagrees with the "scientific consensus" about something, they should be persuaded to conform to the "scientific consensus" by reference to the "scientific consensus", not by dealing in the underlying science
  • we need close down industrial society and abandon our high quality of life, to an extent we no longer have clean clothes, wash in hot water every day, eat well, travel extensively, and many other basic things
  • climate denial should be criminalised / they should be branded on their forehead

So it's not about "evidence to counter the scientists who claim the global warming is happening", it's about applying some healthy scepticism to everything someone tells you on the topic. The very fact that you frame this in terms of countering people ("the scientists") rather than dealing in the underlying science (hypotheses; predictions; repeatable, well-documented experimentation; theorising), shows you are taking an un-sciency approach to the whole thing.

Science isn't where some people ("scientists") are privileged and get to tell everyone else what the truth is. That is just a priesthood with priests replaced by scientists, an arbitrary system of authority. Science is an epistemology where anyone should be able to question and check anything.

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I kind of think of any enclosed system and imagine pumping hot gas into it. It stands to reason that this system will warm up. The earth can be considered a much larger closed system in my opinion.
Okay, I can tell this isn't a specialist area of yours. The greenhouse effect is not to do with pumping hot gas! It's to do with reflection of infrared. Earth constantly emits radiative heat; some gets sent back by stuff in the atmosphere instead of escaping to space. This happened already, or the earth would be very cold. It's the same effect as in a glass greenhouse: the glass reflects infrared that would otherwise escape. You can measure the effect on a small scale for something like carbon dioxide with a spectrometer. If you've done much camping, you'll know that all else being equal, you'll be warmer with cloud cover than on a clear night. That's a really simple example of the greenhouse effect in action: the water droplets / crystals in the clouds are reflecting the infrared back down.

Where it gets difficult (in my view) is attributing cause and effect, saying that adding this much carbon dioxide causes (or has caused) this much temperature response and so on. The system's really complex, noisy, and chaotic and we only have one. It's really hard to come up with good experiments. It's almost a cliche but people still need to be reminded all the time: correlation is not causation.

Where it gets obscene is when people start advocating radical policy changes that involve discarding industrial society, inevitably leading to everyone being cold, hungry, bored, and disease-ridden as a result. With hippies as the self-appointed moral arbiters of everyone's actions. Or whatever other mad ideologies other groups want to impose based on whatever fear and panic they can induce.
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Old 22.01.2015, 17:16
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Re: Death By A Thousand Cuts: Earth Enters The ‘Danger Zone’

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crazygringo,

Sorry if I've misunderstood something, but surely changes happening over a short time doesn't make them less significant? If anything, happening over a shorter time period would make it more significant as any rates of change would be higher, right? Think of changes which could be brought about over much shorter periods (big asteroid, big volcano or big war) -- these effects don't become insignificant because of the short period, do they?
Well, it isn't about the change, or the time period itself. It becomes about that we don't have a frame of reference against which to base our assumption of the meaning of these changes. We don't know if this change is more or less significant, because we don't have any other similar point of comparison before the modern measurement era; everything before is less precise, or based on reasonable, but possibly inaccurate extrapolation.


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Could I humbly suggest that it's small but not negligible. Around half a degree.
Yes, but half a degree is either inside or extremely near the MOE for many of these studies, and often inside the level of precision we have for datasets stemming from measurements prior to the modern era, or from extrapolation. So, again, it comes to the point that the most apparent statement is that we just don't know yet. Which means it is reasonable to continue researching and asking questions, but to perhaps be less aggressive about making absolute conclusions.
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Old 22.01.2015, 17:24
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Re: Death By A Thousand Cuts: Earth Enters The ‘Danger Zone’

I'm not sure I can buy too much into weather trends since we've been recording them for a short time and can't predict tomorrow's weather that accurately yet.

And yes I know there are some indicators of historic weather but it's not a precise as modern records
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Old 22.01.2015, 17:37
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Re: Death By A Thousand Cuts: Earth Enters The ‘Danger Zone’

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This is false and please stop perpetuating this myth. The increase in population is slowing down and is projected to decelerate until population peaks at one point. The developed world is more or less stagnating already, with the developing world providing the population growth right now. As education and standards of living increase, their growth will taper off too.

The myth mostly comes from muppets taking a chart from like 10000 BC to 2000 and extrapolating the exponential growth visible in it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populat...tion_curve.svg

There are two reasons why one would do it: deliberate misinformation or lacking basic analytic knowhow.

Check out this population growth chart from wikipedia (if you need stronger sources go and google):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populat...%80%932050.svg

As you see, there is no exponential population explosion. I don't believe we'll see one until (if) humanity enters a post-scarcity era which I'd assume would come only with widescale spacefaring capability.

Edit: sorry for the harsh tone of the post but people continue perpetuating that somehow we are going to envelop the earth in humans.
The chart in your second link refers to rates of growth. The charts that I am now providing will show you that the actual number of people in the world (the population) is in fact growing at a very rapid rate:

Despite the fact that the growth rate might be slowing and/or continue to slow, the actual number of people in the world is projected to continue to increase. The first chart begins at 1950, and yes the second chart begins at 500 BC, but you can see that the biggest leap in population occurred around the time of the Industrial Revolution.

I don't think it's that people are saying that the world is going to be overrun by humans (at least not yet), but they are saying that the rapidly increasing number of people on the planet will be difficult to accommodate in the face of a major shift in climate (e.g. resulting in mass migrations due to droughts, etc.).
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Old 22.01.2015, 17:41
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Re: Death By A Thousand Cuts: Earth Enters The ‘Danger Zone’

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I'm not sure I can buy too much into weather trends since we've been recording them for a short time and can't predict tomorrow's weather that accurately yet.

And yes I know there are some indicators of historic weather but it's not a precise as modern records
This, and we haven't had all the data points for the whole 150-ish years. In the last 20-30 years scientists have added many more weather recording stations across the planet in previously unrecorded remote areas.
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Old 22.01.2015, 17:44
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Re: Death By A Thousand Cuts: Earth Enters The ‘Danger Zone’

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The chart in your second link refers to rates of growth. The charts that I am now providing will show you that the actual number of people in the world (the population) is in fact growing at a very rapid rate:

Despite the fact that the growth rate might be slowing and/or continue to slow, the actual number of people in the world is projected to continue to increase. The first chart begins at 1950, and yes the second chart begins at 500 BC, but you can see that the biggest leap in population occurred around the time of the Industrial Revolution.

I don't think it's that people are saying that the world is going to be overrun by humans (at least not yet), but they are saying that the rapidly increasing number of people on the planet will be difficult to accommodate in the face of a major shift in climate (e.g. resulting in mass migrations due to droughts, etc.).
Still not the "exponential" growth you were claiming. And you are still assuming that climate change will bring about insurmountable difficulties, something that is still up for debate. It just comes back to fearmongering.
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Old 22.01.2015, 17:46
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Re: Death By A Thousand Cuts: Earth Enters The ‘Danger Zone’

Well, I think the (obviously) melting ice caps are proof enough for me that there is some kind of change going on. Perhaps we won't witness the drastic effects of it in our own lifetimes, but I do believe there is a very real chance that future generations will. I'll take the "better safe than sorry" stance on this one.
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Old 22.01.2015, 17:48
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Re: Death By A Thousand Cuts: Earth Enters The ‘Danger Zone’

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crazygringo,

So it's not about "evidence to counter the scientists who claim the global warming is happening", it's about applying some healthy scepticism to everything someone tells you on the topic. The very fact that you frame this in terms of countering people ("the scientists") rather than dealing in the underlying science (hypotheses; predictions; repeatable, well-documented experimentation; theorising), shows you are taking an un-sciency approach to the whole thing.

Science isn't where some people ("scientists") are privileged and get to tell everyone else what the truth is. That is just a priesthood with priests replaced by scientists, an arbitrary system of authority. Science is an epistemology where anyone should be able to question and check anything.

.
I think your point is misleading and or not relevant to the discussion to be honest.

I would be the first to admit, this topic is not my speciality but similarly I don't think anyone that has posted on this thread is a so called expert. So naturally we will refer back to other sources. I would have thought with a little bit of common sense it would be clear that I am making points in "broad strokes" as opposing preaching some blind religious faith.

The gist of my arguement is that, I believe the vast majority of climate change experts believe we are a factor in global warming.

Maybe they are wrong.

I think they are probably right.

And on balance, if they are right and if temperatures keep going up, life will be more difficult.
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Old 22.01.2015, 17:48
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Re: Death By A Thousand Cuts: Earth Enters The ‘Danger Zone’

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Excuse me while I don't panic and join your apocalyptic cult.

0.01 degrees higher, with a 0.05 degree error margin. Not really meaningful to talk about it as the hottest year on record then. I conclude anyone who does to be pushing an agenda. People need to understand error and uncertainty better, but so many, including many wearing the "scientist" badge, do not.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/01...record_claims/

It's really hard to work out what is going on when the whole field is infested with activists pushing an agenda, with disdain for the scientific method, and other activists try to browbeat everyone else in to bowing to the authority of the activists wearing the "scientist" badge, rather than engaging directly with the science.
I agree with you.

BTW the US Govt. centers that published the warmest year statistics also published the following
Temperature increase over last highest temp = 0.04C,
2014 anomaly = 0.69C + 0.09

The theory of global warming is that the more carbon dioxide in the air so the less sunlight is reflected back into space and consequently the earth warms up.
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=84499
This NASA US Govt. study used satellite technology to measure the changes in the amount of sunlight reflected; over an 11 year period there was no trend; hence no warming?
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Old 22.01.2015, 17:51
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Re: Death By A Thousand Cuts: Earth Enters The ‘Danger Zone’

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Well, I think the (obviously) melting ice caps are proof enough for me that there is some kind of change going on. Perhaps we won't witness the drastic effects of it in our own lifetimes, but I do believe there is a very real chance that future generations will. I'll take the "better safe than sorry" stance on this one.
Umm...ahem...we have established that there is climate change going on, ice caps or no. The climate is and will be dynamic (changing) with or without us. We haven't come close to understanding exactly what this change means, what will happen because of it, and what, if anything, we should do about it. But, you're panicked, Chicken Little.

I'll take the not-rushing-into-the-latest-fad-scare direction.
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Old 22.01.2015, 17:53
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Re: Death By A Thousand Cuts: Earth Enters The ‘Danger Zone’

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Well, I think the (obviously) melting ice caps are proof enough for me that there is some kind of change going on. Perhaps we won't witness the drastic effects of it in our own lifetimes, but I do believe there is a very real chance that future generations will. I'll take the "better safe than sorry" stance on this one.
Looking out the window tells me the climate is different every day.

There are not enough data points to convince me of anything else.

I do agree than Man is having an impact on the planet but so are many things.

And last summer was crap.
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Old 22.01.2015, 18:00
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Re: Death By A Thousand Cuts: Earth Enters The ‘Danger Zone’

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Well, I think the (obviously) melting ice caps are proof enough for me that there is some kind of change going on. Perhaps we won't witness the drastic effects of it in our own lifetimes, but I do believe there is a very real chance that future generations will. I'll take the "better safe than sorry" stance on this one.
Have you checked the size of the ice caps recently?
If you do you will find they are not shrinking as fast as some people forecast!

At 2014 year’s end, Antarctic sea ice extent was again at a record high.
For December 2014, the Artic sea ice was 500,000 square kilometers (193,051 square miles) above the record low for the month observed in 2010.

Anyway for most of the Earth's history the Poles were not ice covered
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Old 22.01.2015, 18:07
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Re: Death By A Thousand Cuts: Earth Enters The ‘Danger Zone’

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The chart in your second link refers to rates of growth. The charts that I am now providing will show you that the actual number of people in the world (the population) is in fact growing at a very rapid rate:
Congratulations, you just fell into the analysis trap I highlighted. You can't just extrapolate a chart that shows wildly different magnitudes because you'll completely ignore any sort of trend outside the exponentiality that is in fact already behind us. These charts would need to be log-scaled to show a more accurate picture of the trends in the growth.

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Despite the fact that the growth rate might be slowing and/or continue to slow, the actual number of people in the world is projected to continue to increase.
Alas, you are having a blinding flash of the obvious here. Yes, as long as the growth is positive, the number of people in the world is going to increase. That's really enlightening, right?

You claimed exponential growth, for that, the percentage rate of change either needs to be constant or growing. A declining rate of change inherently results in a growth that is more linear and eventually stops.

Looking at the charts you posted and people like to show, one would get the feeling that there is indeed an exponential growth going on currently, but this is patently false. Exponential growth happened in the past and it is no longer the case. The population is projected to peak at around 9 billion and then possibly even start declining.
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Old 22.01.2015, 18:08
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Re: Death By A Thousand Cuts: Earth Enters The ‘Danger Zone’

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Have you checked the size of the ice caps recently?
If you do you will find they are not shrinking as fast as some people forecast!

At 2014 year’s end, Antarctic sea ice extent was again at a record high.
For December 2014, the Artic sea ice was 500,000 square kilometers (193,051 square miles) above the record low for the month observed in 2010.

Anyway for most of the Earth's history the Poles were not ice covered

are you for real? oh wait that was in the Daily Mail too.

Let's have a look at some more reliable sources:

http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

http://ecowatch.com/2014/09/01/green...limate-change/

http://www.epa.gov/climate/climatech...ice/index.html
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Old 22.01.2015, 18:11
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Re: Death By A Thousand Cuts: Earth Enters The ‘Danger Zone’

incidentally, believe it or not got a negative reputation thingie from one of the moderators, for posting this thread that, if nothing else, has the undoubted merit of keeping quite a few people interested and busy - the comment is "utter nonsense".

honestly, you'd think it was forbidden. what a nonce.
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Old 22.01.2015, 18:12
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Re: Death By A Thousand Cuts: Earth Enters The ‘Danger Zone’



I believe in aliens, by the way.
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Old 22.01.2015, 18:17
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Re: Death By A Thousand Cuts: Earth Enters The ‘Danger Zone’

Ok, so I took the world population data over time on wikipedia here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population

And plotted it with logarithmic Y axis scaling. This shows you the true trends in the growth:

global-warming-what-s-behind-pops.png

The Y axis shows population in millions.
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Old 22.01.2015, 18:24
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Re: Death By A Thousand Cuts: Earth Enters The ‘Danger Zone’

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Umm...ahem...we have established that there is climate change going on, ice caps or no. The climate is and will be dynamic (changing) with or without us. We haven't come close to understanding exactly what this change means, what will happen because of it, and what, if anything, we should do about it. But, you're panicked, Chicken Little.

I'll take the not-rushing-into-the-latest-fad-scare direction.
Why is it that anyone who even considers the possibility of climate change and its effects on a growing population is labeled as "panicked" or accused of scare-mongering?

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Have you checked the size of the ice caps recently?
If you do you will find they are not shrinking as fast as some people forecast!

At 2014 year’s end, Antarctic sea ice extent was again at a record high.
For December 2014, the Artic sea ice was 500,000 square kilometers (193,051 square miles) above the record low for the month observed in 2010.

Anyway for most of the Earth's history the Poles were not ice covered
For most of earth's history, there were not 7+ billion people dependent upon its ecosystem.

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The population is projected to peak at around 9 billion and then possibly even start declining.
But any significant drop in population is most likely going to occur slowly (that is of course unless it is due to climate change or some other natural disaster).

This all reminds me of the time when people doubted that the earth revolved around the Sun, even long after there was evidence proving otherwise. You'd think that, by now, we would have learned to trust Science over our own biased "intuitions."
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climate change, climategate, co2, global warming




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