You're graph is deceptive. The area at the top and bottom is distorted to the projection you have chosen. Please select a map with representative proportions. After all, Africa is actually bigger than the U.S., Europe, and and China combined. By area, you pictures shows if not much bigger than the U.S. (including Alaska).
Bruce, I don't think doone actually drew the diagram! The projection chosen is the standard one, used in atlases around the world. You are correct that it is not proportionate, but the Peter projection, which I think you are advocating, is rarely used. I agree that it would give a better world view if it were, but we have to work with the standards in current usage.
The current experiment we are conducting -- raising CO2 over 350 ppm for a considerable length of time -- is not reversible and we are at risk of not surviving the results.
I too remember the impact of Paul Erlich's "The Population Bomb" and the fear of the effects of explosive overpopulation. But this was an entirely necessary early phase of the science -- an intermediate form. In this vein you could say "the first car was not superior to the average horse so we should have skipped building it".
I think the religious crowd aggregates scientific positions like this:
Evolution -- wrong on direct conflict with faith
Abortion -- wrong on conflict with morality only weakly tied to faith from dogma
Stem Cell -- wrong on conflict with morality very weakly tied to faith through dogma
Climate Change -- wrong on conflict with personal economics.
In the last sense "science deniers" especially and "science skeptics" are in the same boat as "religious deniers".
Here is Francis Collins on global warming; especially note Bloviator Limbaugh's comment.
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WASHINGTON POST: Barbara, thank you so much. I now realize that I have completely misunderstood the G-spot all these years. Alas, my first question is for Dr. Collins. You may have answered this somewhat in your discussion of evolution, but if there is a God outside of nature and time, it would seem he’s almost as smart as you are and he would have made some provision for global warming. I wonder if you would just speak briefly on how you see the current debate in light of your scientific outlook?
COLLINS: It does seem that our universe and our planet are remarkably stable in general. For things that you would think might throw equilibrium off, there seems to be a tendency to regain it. But obviously we’re threatening that statement now with really dramatic changes in the nature of our planet by human activity. God, for whatever reason, apparently was interested in giving humans free will. That’s the story of the Garden of Eden. That’s something familiar to all of us.
I think it’s pretty hard to make the case that free will is an illusion. I don’t think of it as that at all. And that carried with it some expectation that we might screw up, which we did from the very first moment that we had the chance to do so, and continue today. I don’t think God necessarily expected to come and be like a kindly grandfather and clean up after the children every time we did something wrong.
So this is our responsibility, I think, to perceive the ways in which free will can, either on an individual basis or on a basis that extends to the whole planet, be misused to cause trouble and then be used to try to find solutions, as we are increasingly now beginning to realize we have to do. I don’t think we can turn this around and say, God just isn’t powerful enough because God hasn’t solved global warming. If you want to postulate a circumstance where humans do not have free will, you could come up with that kind of model. It wouldn’t be very interesting.
PARKER: A lot of people on the far right, now being represented by Rush Limbaugh almost exclusively, claim that global warming is – that God is too great and we are too minor to actually have affected Earth to that extent, and so we ought to just back off and let things resolve themselves. But you would refute that, clearly?
COLLINS: I think God gave us intelligence and curiosity and the ability to develop tools to study our environment, whether it’s the universe or whether it’s our own planet. I think we’re supposed to use those tools, and when those tools give us evidence, which is rigorously determined and leads to a conclusion that we’re on a course that can’t be sustained, then to simply dismiss that as saying, God wouldn’t have allowed that, doesn’t seem like the act of a rational person.
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You will find the "skeptic" sites and "Institutes" are funded by the oil and automobile industries.
I've followed one of them, the libertarian Cato Institute for years. They used to go on and on about how tobacco wouldn't hurt you until the people who funded them at the time, the tobacco industry, released their own science about how it was harmful.
Now Cato is funded by Exxon and Exxon funds their onboard expert on climate science. I've been saying what you did for years. It's economic policy leading tho their beliefs about climate change. No science whatsoever will ever change a libertarian groups mind. Science has to agree with their preconceived economic beliefs. Same mindset as creationists.
Libertarians are also why I haven't been a part of local secular groups. They take them over and think every other secular person is supposed to accept their ideology.
I think there is a correlation and I think it's due to a few factors - one that religious people tend to be skeptical of scientists (because of the whole evolution thing), and also that it's easier for us to believe that global warming isn't happening, that line of thinking goes right along with believing in God. It's easier to believe in God in a lot of cases for deeply religious people than to investigate reality. Lastly, I think it might just have to do with global warming deniers having a base in the republican party, and so do religious people, so that might just be a coincidental thing.
I would suggest that those fundamentalists are probably better characterised as deniers, rather than sceptics.
Certainly rapture Christians seem to have no interest in the issue at all, as they believe their rapture is imminent. Some of the "heaven on earth" crowd do seem interested on the basis of their having been given " dominion" over the earth, and God might be a little pissed if they've made a total mess of it! However, I think that this is largely a North American phenomenon, as many Christians in Europe are pretty active on this issue ( just because you are deluded in one respect doesn't necessarily make you so in all respects).
A recent BBC article on Copenhagen suggested that the relative lack of impact in North America so far may account for the relative scepticism there.
Yeah it seems that it's more that the way some people's minds tend to want to think lead to things like religion and global warming denial. They have the same cause, but don't really effect each other. A hidden variable in statistical terms.
You've hit on a lot of the main reasons for a correlation, but I think you've also left out a major one. For many of the most fundamentalist minded people, they believe that the increases in extreme weather events is a sign of the end times, and hence is brought about by God in fulfillment of what they consider to be Biblical prophesy. The problem is, if we can explain these events in terms of human behaviour, then maybe all those Biblical prophesies are just hot air (no pun intended).
Certainly there is. They refuse to believe that they are the cause of climate change. They believe that God is the only one capable of anything, and the fact that there have been ice ages in history doesn't help. They don't want to look at the fact that it is extreme change this time and we need to do something about it. I am very worried about what will happen if people continue to believe that they are doing no harm to the climate and to the earth in general.
Here in Sweden the "Truthers" are very good at getting the attention of people between 18 to 30. Was it some 40% that thought Bush Administration was neglectant to stop the 9/11 and there are even people here that believe the Nobody has walked on Moon conspiracy.
They made interview with the guy who was most influential and he was an Anti-globalist Left Wing politician. I thought they would be intelligent enough to see through conspiracies but it seems that if one live with Left Politicians then they are so biased by their hate against anything American that they buy the conspiracies even when they come from Right wing extremists. Very sad situation.
Conspiracy Truthers behave very much like religionists do. They feel what is the truth.
this is why religion will not go away. It only shift into secular wild conspiracies like David Icke and similar conspiracies.