A few posts in this thread are basically proof that we need diversity of opinion. There are folks out there who are incapable of nuanced thinking and go straight black and white. See YogSosoth as an example.
Since the real world is complicated, black and white thinking is rarely correct. If you have non-nuanced thinking and no diversity of thought then there is no challenge to bad policy or incorrect ‘facts’.
For example, Yososoth brings up Global Warming as a fact. Ok, which piece? Do humans affect the climate? Certainly. How much? That is a huge question and the estimates of TCR are all over the place that the real answer isn’t clear.
For example, TCR is Transient Climate Response. That means the transient temperature rise due to a doubling of CO2 at the time of the release. The IPCC has moved this number around quite a bit,it started at 1.5 to 4.5 °C in the Third Assesment Report (TAR), went to 2 to 4.5 °C for the Fourth Assesment Report (FAR) and then back down to 1.5 to 4.5 °C for the Fifth Assesment Report. However, Idso (1998) found a TCR of 0.4 °C in 1998, Andronova found TCR of between 1 and 10 °C in 2001, Forest et al. found TCR of 1.4 to 7.7 °C in 2002, Shaviv found 1.6 to 2.5 °C in 2005, Royer, et al. found TCR at 1.5 to 6.2 in 2006, Lizden and Choi found TCR at ~.07 °C in 2011, Ring at al. found TCR at 1.04 to 2.01 °C in 2012, Skeie found TCR at TCR at 1.8 °C, Fasullo and Trenberth found TCR of 4.0 °C in 2012, etc. So we have a range from 0.4 to 7.7°C.
So a very important number isn’t known and there is wide disagreement between scientists on this number. This number has a huge impact on what, if anything, we need to do about emissions. If Idso is correct, we don’t need to do shit. If Trenberth is correct, we need to bring down CO2 emissions. The policy implications of TCR are huge. If it is low then we don’t have to do much. If it is high, we need to do some stuff. Since addressing this issue is going to cost huge amounts of money and impact the poorest people the most, we really ought to have a damned good idea of what is going on.
Yet, according to Yososoth, questioning anything in this area is bad because Global Warming is a fact.
Push back is good. It should make everyone involved actually back up what they believe with hard numbers.
At the same time, I see a giant balkinzation of politics in the U.S. where both sides refuse to listen to each other and run to ‘safe’ places (like the SD for the more liberal minded or Breitbart for the more conservative) to gloat about how smart they are and how dumb the other guys are.