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Monday, February 4, 2008

Global Warming, Warming Up

Quick post now. Hopefully more later. For my sins, Glenn Knight responded to a comment I made on one of his "global warming" posts.

I'm not interested in the subject per se. The earth has been much hotter than it is now, and much colder. Greenland used to be, well, green, and woolly mammoths used to walk across North America. It seems to me the planet's temperature is within normal range. More to the point, since it seems the planet's temperature obviously is within normal range, a person would have to convince me there is a dangerous change occurring.

Glenn did not mention the "reasonable man" standard but I think most of us believe we apply it. If groups of people demand government policy initiatives that everyone agrees will have significant, detrimental impact on our economy, such people have the burden of proof to justify the demand. Given that the subject is highly complex and the evidence is far less than conclusive, application of the "reasonable man" standard leads me to dismiss the issue as alarmist.

On the other hand, what I am interested in, in this debate, is what the debate itself shows us about current standards of debate. Glenn quite rightly makes important points about that and such a discussion can be instructive.

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