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High School Teacher's YouTube Global Warming Video

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by The Big Ragu, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Amazingly, with all the stupid stuff on YouTube, this guy's video has been the most popular on YouTube this month. He argues for making policy changes to account for the possibility of Global Warming, and makes a fairly common sense argument--presented as only your best high school teacher could--that if you start with the assumption that we don't know whether global warming is a myth or reality, by weighing the various pros and cons, the rational choice is to do something preventative anyhow.

    It's a bit simplistic, in a way, so I could actually argue with him. The two biggest holes are 1) You actually can assign somewhat reasoned probabilities to whether various things are going to happen, which would skew the grid he makes ,and possibly influence your conclusions, and 2) Even if his conclusions are correct, we still don't know what the right preventative things to do are. Concluding that we should do something is a long a way from knowing the proper things to do. For example, let's say we decide we have to take action, as he suggests. Does the U.S. then put in regulatory restrictions that attempt to reduce carbon emissions? How useful is that course of action, though, when China, India and the rest of the developing world with its huge populations and double-digit economic growth continues spewing the stuff into the air? It more than likely makes our token gesture moot, but stifles our economy in the process.

    He's probably right that logically the world is better off doing something, than not doing something. Getting the world to band together and agree and do the right things is the issue.

    But it's definitely food for thought. I love when people throw out the hyperbole and discuss things in rational terms. This guy did a great job.
  2. SigR

    SigR Member

    If I had to label him, I'd label him a charismatic socialist. The easy way to refute his argument is through analogy:

    Instead of having "climate change yes" and "climate change no", change those rows to "extinction-level meteor hitting earth yes" and "extinction level meteor hitting earth no". Keep the columns the same.

    The significant flaw which should come to light if you think about an extinction-level meteor hitting earth is the actual probability of it happening. It's so small that we probably shouldn't spend trillions of tax dollars coming up with a solution (that may or may not work). What the guy glosses over at the beginning, but the key to the flaw in his solution, is that we don't know the probability of global warming being a problem for earth. He makes a huge and erroneous assumption that it is 50-50, which is what allows him to make his argument.

    The solution right now is to be calm and to think. To encourage scientests to be scientists, to stop believing every news story you hear about global warming, and to really encourage honest intellectual pursuit toward understanding the issues.

    That video makes me sad b/c it is going to influence a lot of people to stop thinking about the issue. He solved the problem for us, and did so convincingly, if you rely on a little trickery when setting up the dynamics of the problem of course.
  3. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    And in the meantime, while we're thinking calmly ... it probably wouldn't be terrible if we turned the lights off when we left the room and maybe didn't use our cars so much. Little things like that, you know, while the scientists are being scientists.
  4. Thinking calmly, I find what's happening in the Arctic worrisome.
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