Monday, May 28, 2007

Debate proposition: Global Warming is Not a Crisis

The organization Intelligence2 US hosted a debate in March on the proposition: Global Warming is Not a Crisis.

Speaking for the proposition were Michael Crichton, Richard S. Lindzen and Philip Stott. Speaking against the proposition were Brenda Ekwurzel, Gavin Schmidt and Richard C.J. Somerville.

Crichton has spoken eloquently in the past about the absurdity of consensus-driven science; I will likely devote a separate post to his arguments. Of the others, I know of Lindzen of MIT, one of the more prominent AGW heretics in the scientific community. I don't know Brenda Ekwurzel, but I have definitely heard of her employer, the Union of Concerned Scientists -- supposedly impartial, but actually an agenda-driven front for the environmental left. I have only recently become aware of Schmidt's website,; I will withhold comment on that site until I've had a chance to investigate it more fully.

The debate was held before a live audience in New York City. Prior to the debate, audience opinions on the proposition were as follows:
For: 30%
Against: 57%
Not Sure: 13%
After the debate, debaters in favor of the proposition had clearly swayed much of the audience:
For: 46%
Against: 42%
Not Sure: 12%
You can read the complete debate transcript (79 page PDF) here.

Of course, the opinions of laypeople do not determine truth (for that matter, neither do the opinions of scientists), but perhaps this demonstrates that the case for AGW is not the slam-dunk that its proponents would have you think.