Al Gore wins Nobel Peace Prize

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by JackDodge, Oct 12, 2007.

  1. miscrms

    miscrms Plug Envious Member

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    I really don't get it. Since when is a movie expected to be scientific truth? For that matter, what exactly is scientific truth? I think one of the major problems we have in this country at the moment is a fundamental misunderstanding of science, and a general lack of ability for independent thought.

    Case in point, the whole fiasco in Kansas with evolution. Because scientists require proof to accept truth, and there is no such thing as absolute proof/truth, evolution like all scientific concepts is deemed a theory. Because the non-scientist (religious or otherwise) requires no proof, only belief, they call their beliefs fact. This gives them a very strong position to argue from in the eyes of anyone who can't be bothered to think for themselves. There is virtually no chance that evolution did not happen, but there is still raging debate in scientific communities about exactly how, or why it happened/happens. That makes the "theory" of evolution appear weak. Science is at a fundamental disadvantge when arguing with the "believers" because it acknowledges that it may be wrong. The believers know they are right, regardless of whether they are or not.

    So now, here we are for round 2. Debating the "theory" of global warming. Because every scientist on the planet does not agree exactly how, when, why or if the planet is warming, the theory has an air of weakness. If you could get them all to shut up for a minute about their own personal hypothesis and answer a simple question, 99% would probably say of course the earth is warming and we're probably part of the problem. This is basically what the IPCC report is. An attempt to reduce the problem to its most basic level, so that a large number of scientists can agree on it. Basically its saying, ok we can all agree its going to be at least this bad. Due to the nature of the scientific method, thats all you can really say. This situation has never happened before, and we all have different ideas about what might happen, but based on the evidence we can all agree the outcome will be at least this bad. With the scientific requirement of proof/observation, the only way to know for sure is to sit back and wait to see what happens. Of course, the outcome of that could be in 50-100 years, "Oh sorry, civilization as we know it is about to end and its too late to do anything about it. Well, I guess now we know."

    The illustrated court case simply proves this fundamental paradox. Science cannot be proven in a court of law, because it refuses to deal in absolutes. Should AIT be presented as absolute truth, of course not. Should it be presented as a thought provoking, educated exploration of an important issue, absolutely. What Mr. Gore has done in my opinion, is set aside the requirements of rigorous scientific proof to explore an educated best guess of what _could_ happen. In my mind this is appropriate and necessary, as we need to consider not just what we can "prove" will happen, but what is likely to happen. As big a disciple as I am of the modern scientific method, we have in a way largely lost the Pythagorean art of scientific thought. To take known scientific principles and theories, and extrapolate beyond what we know. Einstein was obviously a master of this practice, as I would say was the late Carl Sagan. He had a unique gift for taking what is known and projecting that toward things that really matter and relating it back to the rest of us. I find AIT an exploration in a very similar vein.

    Given that, I think it makes perfect sense that these two were given this award. They show the bounds of the problem. With the cold, conservative scientific consensus on the one side, and the educated emotional plea on the other.

    Rob
     
  2. scargi01

    scargi01 Active Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(TimBikes @ Oct 12 2007, 10:31 AM) [snapback]524639[/snapback]</div>
    Careful, you'll only confuse them with the facts.
     
  3. malorn

    malorn Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Alric @ Oct 12 2007, 12:12 PM) [snapback]524696[/snapback]</div>
    I don't think you would get a "consensus of scientists" to agree with any of the "science" used in the movie.
     
  4. miscrms

    miscrms Plug Envious Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(TimBikes @ Oct 12 2007, 10:31 AM) [snapback]524639[/snapback]</div>
    This is certainly a worst case sort of scenario, and I think that is pretty much how it is painted in the film. Given that it would pretty much be the end of civilization as we currently know it, its probably worth talking about even if its not very likely to happen
    AIT may go a little too far in implying that this data proves CO2 causes warming. What is clear, is that temperature and CO2 concentration are highly correlated. Laboratory experiments show that increased CO2 promotes warming, they also show that warming increases natural CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. To me, this is the most frightening prospect, the idea of an "feed forward" mechanism. We put CO2 into the air, temps go up. CO2 is released from the soil and ocean, and temps go up. This is a potentially unstable condition that would change the climate much more dramatically than the IPCC predictions.
    Assuming this is the report:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article767459.ece
    Seems to me to say that the bears were caught out in the storm in open water because they are being forced to spend a lot of time in open water due to shrinking ice shelves. On top of that it says that polar bear popluation is down 22%, and record ice melts are in progress. Obviously has nothing to do with global warming.

    I find it amusing that this judge has presumed he has some sort of authority/qualifications to decide scientific truth for the rest of the country. Sounds more like someone with a political axe to grind than anything else.

    Rob

    Incidently, I agree with the outcome that this movie should not be presented as absolute fact. Like anything else, it should be considered discussed and thought about.
     
  5. Lywyllyn

    Lywyllyn New Member

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    I suggest that you consider the message of the movie and the movement as an inspiration to either:

    * confirm that *you* are not contributing to negative environmental changes

    * that *you* practice what you preach, rather then preach about others practices

    * that *you* make an earnest and honest effort to have this particular celebrity serve as an example on what you can do better.


    Lastly, I think that the message and the work for the awareness is to be commended. You may not agree with the messenger or the publicist, but the message of profound concern for the environment, as it provides our only living arrangement on this planet, is good and noble.

    Now have some fair trade, organic, free range, shade grown vanilla, cocoa butter nut crunch ice cream and PEACE OUT!



    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Rob Smith @ Oct 12 2007, 01:07 PM) [snapback]524721[/snapback]</div>
    Nicely put! Isn't if funny how on the one hand you demand absolute and undeniable scientific fact and on the other hand you simply take things on faith and your conviction and demand it is accepted as fact. The world is a funny place, no wonder she is mad at us .. we can't even agree to agree ;)
     
  6. priusFTW

    priusFTW Gen III JBL non Nav

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Devil's Advocate @ Oct 12 2007, 12:55 PM) [snapback]524691[/snapback]</div>
    From that article:

    "Despite his finding of significant errors, Mr Justice Barton said many of the claims made by the film were supported by the weight of scientific evidence and he identified four main hypotheses, each of which is very well supported "by research published in respected, peer-reviewed journals and accords with the latest conclusions of the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change]."
     
  7. miscrms

    miscrms Plug Envious Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(priusFTW @ Oct 12 2007, 02:23 PM) [snapback]524774[/snapback]</div>
    I hadn't had time to read the article, I'm glad to hear this wasn't just a political smackdown. Sounds like he made a good faith effort. From how it was presented, one would have believed that that was not the case.

    Rob
     
  8. IsrAmeriPrius

    IsrAmeriPrius Progressive Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(TimBikes @ Oct 12 2007, 08:31 AM) [snapback]524639[/snapback]</div>
    According to the Fox News website, the court held that the film was accurate in "four main scientific hypotheses, each of which is very well supported by research published in respected, peer-reviewed journals."

    In particular, the judge agreed "that climate change is mainly attributable to man-made emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide ('greenhouse gases')." The the judge also agreed "that global temperatures are rising and are likely to continue to rise, that climate change will cause serious damage if left unchecked, and that it is entirely possible for governments and individuals to reduce its impacts."
     
  9. Birdums

    Birdums You, me, and da Pri

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    About inaccuracies and scientific reports...

    A couple of years ago, Philip Cooney, the chief of staff to the White House Council on Environmental Quality, altered several scientific reports on global warming. His changes, such as inserting the words "significant and fundamental" before the word "uncertainties", were to soften the report's findings and create a greater sense of scientific uncertainty about climate change.

    Keep in mind that he has no scientific training; he's a lawyer. His last position before being selected by Bush was as a lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute. A couple of days after his editing work was revealed, he resigned. The next day he got a new job... at ExxonMobil. <_<

    Now, after this little fiasco, I do admit that I am more inclined to believe Al Gore's scientist friends than the nay-sayers about global warming. Besides, what harm does it do to believe in global warming? What harm is there in polluting less and making an effort to clean the place up a little?

    Oh, yeah, I forgot... the oil companies may not continue to make record-setting profits. Pardon me if I don't cry about that ;)
     
  10. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(hill @ Oct 12 2007, 09:32 AM) [snapback]524592[/snapback]</div>

    Oh, gawd. Are we dredging up that FAUX dead horse again?

    note to Swiftboaters: Al Gore is NOT running for president.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Ichabod @ Oct 12 2007, 10:12 AM) [snapback]524621[/snapback]</div>
    What do you teach? Are you elementary, middle or high school? What are your credentials in? Did you get your masters in curriculum development? Are you National Board Certifiied?

    Or did you just stay at a Holiday Inn Express?
     
  11. apriusfan

    apriusfan New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Godiva @ Oct 12 2007, 07:25 PM) [snapback]524963[/snapback]</div>
    Well, that was the whole premise of the Swiftboaters - attack the messenger; then the debate shifts from the message to being about the messenger. Best way for someone who never saw combat to avoid the entire issue of qualifications to order troops into combat - get a third party to do your dirty work....

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Godiva @ Oct 12 2007, 07:25 PM) [snapback]524963[/snapback]</div>
    Would staying at a Mariott Courtyard qualify? What about hands-on experience planning Sunday school curricula?
     
  12. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    The plaintiff in the UK case was Stewart Dimmock, a truck driver.

    [​IMG]

    Hardly an authority on climate change. Do you really think he thought all of this up himself? No, he's shilling; someone fed him his "facts". His attorney's fees were paid for by an un-named group. Wonder who is bankrolling Stewart? The Scientific Alliance (The Scientific Alliance is a British industry-friendly organization that promotes biotechnology, genetically modified food, and climate change skepticism) and Straight Teaching (A website Stewart Dimmock launched). And when you follow the money....there's Exxon.

    Dimmock and Dimmer

    And in New Zealand, a right wing think tank has written a letter to the Motion Picture Academy demanding they take back Al Gore's Oscar based on the UK ruling. They say, based on the ruling, the film is no longer a documentary and the Oscar should be rescinded. They base their viewpoint on athletes who have to return their olympic medals based on doping. Yeah, it's a right-wing thinktank all right. (But it's apparently OK for the Australian government to produce a propaganda film targeted at Japanese children and post it on YouTube.)

    Do they really think all of this is going to stop the artic ice from melting? Newsflash: we have a Northwest Passage now. Where do you think that came from?
     
  13. amped

    amped Senior Member

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    Digressing a bit, full credit to Gore for stimulating debate about man-made global warming. I've seen thoughtful discussion on many forums that has changed convinced minds into skeptical minds re: man-made global warming.

    Though I don't agree that there is or has ever been 'consensus science' later proven valid, the issue as I see it is whether the aims of an international peace prize (begun by the inventor of dynamite) were fulfilled here or were corrupted by politics. I tend to think the later.

    If Gore were truly interested in world peace, wouldn't he have said or done anything while 800,000 Rwandans were slaughtered during his term in office? Wouldn't he have said a word about the ongoing slaughter and imprisonment of thousands of Buddhist monks in Myanmar today, the same monks he solicited for campaign contributions while in office (the image deleted by Google, on whose board Gore sits)?

    Honestly, I think the Nobel committee abandoned principles when they recently awarded the inventor of 'Suicide Bomb Belts For Kids', Yassar Arafat (though he did use Nobel's creation), and noted anti-Semite and ex-president who helped to expand the influence of radical Islam, Jimmie Carter.

    No doubt this will occupy a few news cycles and talk shows over the weekend. And that, it seems to me, is the point: Gore is a media creation with absolutely no background, education or scientific creds to discuss much beyond politics. Sad, but that's the state of analytical thought today after 40+ years of liberal public school education.

    However, should Brittany screw up again this weekend, Gore would be relegated to page 6 due to another, though unpaid, media prostitute.
     
  14. Alric

    Alric New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(malorn @ Oct 12 2007, 01:48 PM) [snapback]524743[/snapback]</div>
    Its called the IPCC report. They shared the prize with Gore.
     
  15. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    As was stated in relation to this award....the next wars will be about water.

    I think preventing a war is better than brokering a peace after 30 years of war.
     
  16. apriusfan

    apriusfan New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Alric @ Oct 12 2007, 11:05 PM) [snapback]525017[/snapback]</div>
    You are missing the point - IPCC are not the 'right' scientists (hint: as in neocon).


    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Godiva @ Oct 12 2007, 11:16 PM) [snapback]525022[/snapback]</div>
    Well, not really. War is an instrument of politics by other means. War can be very handy for spreading democracy.... Look at Iraq; they have democracy where previously, they didn't. The other argument that I absolutely love is that by fighting the jihadis over there, they are preoccupied and can't come over here.
     
  17. Jack Kelly

    Jack Kelly New Member

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    Thanks to nerfer and Rob Smith for excellent, informed posts. EFusco scored some strong philosophical points, too.

    As for amped's assertion that Carter is an anti-Semite who has helped advance radical Islam, I can't let it go unchallenged; it's crap. Care to lay out your facts? On another thread?

    Wonder which humanitarian causes V-P Cheney will champion after he leaves office?
     
  18. apriusfan

    apriusfan New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Jack Kelly @ Oct 13 2007, 12:31 AM) [snapback]525031[/snapback]</div>
    Continued immunity from prosecution for Blackwater staff in Iraq? Rehabilitation of Scooter's reputation? Lobbying for an attack on Iran (on the theory that democracy needs to be spread through war)?
     
  19. amped

    amped Senior Member

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    JK, as Evan said, don't shoot the messenger. Dozens of books and articles have been written detailing his flawed positions, including Carter's own plagiarized work attempting to redefine history that resulted in mass staff resignations from the Carter Center.

    A small sample from the first page of Google hits, selected for their left-leaning bias, are:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?.../cstillwell.DTL

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...7011901541.html

    Anyway, this is a red herring, no? What about the Buddhist monks? What about the Rwandans? What about the Sudan? Why is Gore silent about actual, immediate, humanitarian crises? Why is a peace prize being given for narcissism and fairy tales (i.e., the theory of man-made global warming)?
     
  20. MegansPrius

    MegansPrius GoogleMeister, AKA bongokitty

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(amped @ Oct 13 2007, 12:29 PM) [snapback]525163[/snapback]</div>
    Wait...you found a couple of opinion columns that didn't like Carter's last book? Wow. And you want to change the subject from global warming to [insert tragedy here]? Boy, that's a convincing argument. ;)

    And I love the way, in the reporting on this -- from such spendid sources as the Daily Mail, which also told us about Toyota's Arid Wilderness -- that the comment most ignored is:

    "Al Gore's presentation of the causes and likely effects of climate change in the film was broadly accurate."--Justice Burton
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2007/10/an..._same_thing.php
     
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