Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Fact Finding and Global Warming (LLama)

I had commented earlier about how folks tend to find facts to support deeply held beliefs. I found another good example. Here's an article from Media Matters that discusses a misleading report from DuPont about global warming; Media Matters shows how DuPont cherry-picked information from scientific papers while ignoring other results from the same papers, including the conclusions of the authors.

I think this is an example of DuPont being delibrately deceitful; someone had to read the research and thus someone must have delibrately chosen to exclude information that doesn't support their assertion that petrol emissions are unresponsible for rising temperatures.

At the same time, MM quotes Rush Limbaugh claiming that an event that supports the global warming theory, the thickening of the Antarctic ice sheet's interior, actually refutes it. Limbaugh is an idealogue and I doubt seriously he read the study that he cites; therefor it seems likely that Limbaugh is not being delibrately deceitful but is simply parotting evidence that supports his belief: that human-caused global warming is a fiction.


pacatrue said...

I think this debate is very similar to the supposed evolution debate. Scientists genuinely debate something like gradual evolution versus punctuated equilibrium, all within an accepted framework that specied adapt to their environment over time. People simply take that there is debate about the exact path of evolution and declare evolution unfounded.

Actually, I think John Stewart summed up the debate pretty well with a mock-debate on the Daily Show. He brought in an evolutionary scienctist, an Intelligent Design proponent, and, well, someone obviously just making crap up. He asked the ID guy which came first: his evidence for ID or his conversion to evangelical Christianity. The man cringed and confessed. "Well, the conversion." I think that's the whole story.

kristybox said...

If Rush Limbaugh and I were the last of the human race, the race would end. I know that's an irrelevant thought, but the man is icky!