[ExI] Global Warming Skeptics as Interview Subjects?

James Clement clementlawyer at hotmail.com
Mon Oct 1 04:16:48 UTC 2007

In his discussion on the "Proactionary Principle" at the TransVision 2007
conference, Max More alluded to his acceptance of Global Warming, based on
his own reading of the evidence.  I would like to hear more about his
thoughts, or read any papers he's written on this subject, since he has
represented the Libertarian side of the Transhumanist movement for many
years.  If I'm mistaken about his remarks or the portrayal, then I apologize
in advance.

Can this be arranged Natasha?

James Clement 

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Lee Corbin
Sent: Sunday, September 30, 2007 9:06 PM
To: 'ExI chat list'
Subject: Re: [ExI] Global Warming Skeptics as Interview Subjects?

James writes

> Lee;
> Like any issue, there are those whose motives are unimpeachable (whether
> they're factually right or wrong), and those whose motives are biased.
> is the sole point of my posting - that neither side is completely free
> bias, and we should avoid making sweeping statements that try to paint
> everyone on one side with a single brush.  Maybe the media and the
> politicians can make use of such mud-slinging, but anyone who has the
> of critical thinking should be more concerned with uncovering and
> the facts for themselves.

Very good.  I can hardly ask for more.

But I can, actually.  While it is great to participate in discussions
where people (i) admit their biases when they are able, (ii) sincerely
wish to know the truth, (iii) are willing to expend a modicum of
effort,  THEN some progress can be made. 

I'm after further ideas and further information. Scanning lists of 
skeptics or believers does some help, but this thread has so far
exposed some weaknesses of relying merely on this. But we
can do more.

1. we can give narratives of the formation of our own beliefs;
    any asymmetries can be revealing
2. we can search for well-pedigreed pundits on this issue
    (well-pedigreed amounting to having a history of non-
    ideological and non-political serious inquiry)

That's all I've been able to think of right now. I strongly welcome
any testimonials of the form (i) and will write one myself.  And we
(collectively) must surely be able to point to *some* examples of (ii).
I suppose that libertarians and conservatives may tend to be on
the same side here, because there is a strong and on this issue
very relevant common denominator of opposing large government
and being very skeptical of programs to be executed by government.
(People doubting my bonafides should appreciate that last, just as
I explicitly appreciated several of James' points that did not help my
own case.)


> -----Original Message-----
> From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
> [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Lee Corbin
> Sent: Sunday, September 30, 2007 3:29 PM
> To: ExI chat list
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Global Warming Skeptics as Interview Subjects?
> James writes
>> you're not suggesting that there are no financial incentives for
>> those who write research papers against Global Warming, are you?  See
> d5453101bbc950&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss
> Thanks.  Indeed I was not aware that any outside agencies were paying
> any scientists who did not support the view that global warming was
> being oversold. But you should wince a little at the tone of that article,
> which begins
> Utilities Pay Scientist Ally on Warming
>> Published: July 28, 2006
>> WASHINGTON, July 27 - Coal-burning utilities are contributing money to
>> one of the few remaining climate scientists openly critical of the broad 
>> consensus that fossil fuel emissions are intensifying global warming.
> The bias of this lead sentence is large and obvious. The writer is
> apparently
> someone who would find it somewhat painful to complete any full
> sentence without pushing the point of view he personally believes in.
> Everything from "few remaining..." to "broad consensus".  Now 
> explain *why* a journalist, indeed writing for the Associated Press,
> would have such an agenda?    Of course, we do or should be able
> to individually acknowledge the general overt bias of western media in 
> politically related questions, of which this is a sample.
>> There are tremendous amounts of money to be made and lost by corporations
> as
>> a result of environmental decisions by governments, which under our
> current
>> structure leads to tremendous pressure by some to retain the status quo,
> and
>> by others to push for changes and punish their competition.
> Yes (and thank you for admitting that last phrase; we must strive for
> objectivity).  But you haven't said whether you agree with the point
> that the traditional left seems to have a horse in this race that's not
> simply scientific.
> The bigger question I'm addressing is the bias itself, from both sides,
> and why we think what we think. On a number of occasions, I have
> to brag, a desire to explain *this* phenomenon in unbiased terms
> has always seemed to be coming much more from my side of the
> political spectrum. 
> No one has yet addressed either way my contention that the social
> idealism (quite apart from literally saving the Earth) of many on the
> left---idealism that manifests itself in wanting bigger government
> and greater regulation---is behind a great deal of the support for
> global warming and a very great amount of support for the belief
> in catastrophic global warming.
> One way to address this might be if anyone has attempted to poll
> scientists who are entirely unpolitical or ideological (I understand
> the difficulty of this). But we may ourselves have some success in
> soliciting opinion from well-known extropians who have never
> voiced a political opinion.
> Lee
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
>> [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Lee Corbin
>> Sent: Sunday, September 30, 2007 11:04 AM
>> To: ExI chat list
>> Subject: Re: [ExI] Global Warming Skeptics as Interview Subjects?
>> BillK writes
>>> On 9/30/07, Lee Corbin wrote:
>>>> Be sure to see
>>>> Global Warming scientist skeptics list is growing...
>>>> ... to the absolute chagrin of the kool-aid drinking members of the
>> Church of Chicken
>>>> Little.  Stumbled across this today and thought it worthy of our
>> attention:
>>> As the last reader comment on that item notes...
>>> He also notes that this opposes the thousands of scientists who
>>> support the theory that humans are a major part of the cause of global
>>> warming.
>>> You can probably find more 'scientists' that deny the theory of
> evolution.
>>> Some even still deny that smoking causes cancer.
>> There are a number of differences. One is to check if you can be
>> suspicious of some prior crackpot element.  Clearly in the case
>> of evolution we have ample explanation of the motives of some
>> of the creationists and so on---religion is a huge force in human
>> thinking and motivation. So what would be the analogy here?
>> Do a lot of the names on these list jump out at you as being bought
>> and paid for by people who can somehow make money if global
>> warming is false?
>> Another is the incredible yet obvious, amazing yet not-so-perplexing
>> political component of this scientific issue.
>> Political component?  Now, how could that be?  I ask seriously, but
>> especially if anyone wishes to make an unbiased stab at answering,
>> i.e. answering in such a way that the writer's own biases or political
>> allegiances are not patent (though of course all comments welcome).
>> But being political, one may ask (just as one does in tobacco cases) who
>> does the funding?  In this case, it's almost entirely governments and
> those
>> who hope for government grants.  Thus we instantly see the especially
>> harmful effects of funding that is partly or mainly politically or
>> ideologically motivated.
>> The iron law of government bureaucracies is growth, growth, and more
>> growth.  A "crisis" real or imagined is damn, damn fine for government
>> growth, and is a very convenient truth for those who believe that
>> governments ought to be actively improving our lives a lot more than
>> they supposedly are already.
>> Lee
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