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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Look, we have just over 100 years of good data on weather patterns. The Earth has been around for, what, billions of years? And we think that just because it is hot now, that it is the hottest summer on record, that we didn't have a hotter summer 500 years ago? Maybe a period of 20 years of increased heat in the 1500s? We can only assume we didn't. That's not good science.
    • AFAIK the study of ice at poles and at higher mountains gives good hints about the wheather for the last few dozens of centuries.
      • Yes, that is what I meant to imply by my use of the phrase "good data." We do have hints. But nothing of the level of -- to use darobin's comparison -- the wide array of hard data that we have for a study of smoking vs. lung cancer.
        • The trouble with running a climate experiment is that we can only run it once.
          Hopefully we will like the outcome: by the time we have hard data, it will be
          very difficult to do anything about it.
          • And it is for this reason that I support many efforts to curb pollution. However, it doesn't make it acceptable, to me, to state as fact that cars are destroying the ozone layer, or whatever.
            • If one adopts an empirical (as opposed to religious) worldview, then nothing is
              ever certain -- everything is open for refutation by new information. At the
              same time, though, it is always clear to one which theories are "really really
              probably" the case. Many of use like to call these theories "facts." Exactly
              where the cutoff is between a "theory" and a "fact" varies from person to person
              (Is evolution via natural selection a "fact", or just a "theory" supported by
              lots of evidence? How about string theory?
              • At the same time, though, it is always clear to one which theories are "really really probably" the case. Many of use like to call these theories "facts."

                Sloppy people or poor scientists, yes. OK, I am being a bit facetious, I suppose, but I refuse to call something a fact unless I am absolutely convinced of it. YMMV.

                However, this is all fine and good, but it has nothing to do with the subject, because in no sense is it '"really really probably" the case' that CO2 emissions are causing global warming.
                • >> At the same time, though, it is always clear to one which theories are
                  >> "really really probably" the case. Many of use like to call these theories
                  >> "facts."
                  >
                  > Sloppy people or poor scientists, yes. OK, I am being a bit facetious, I
                  > suppose, but I refuse to call something a fact unless I am absolutely
                  > convinced of it. YMMV.

                  I think we're on the same page. What some call a "respect for reality."

                  > However, this is all fine and good, but it has nothing to do with the su