Reducing greenhouse gases might be a good thing, a bad thing, or neither. We can’t say one way or another. It’s all so complicated, so complex, so confusing. You figure it out. Just leave us alone.

Max_OK entertaining a lukewarm recommendation from the APS.

[I]f I turn a dial on my radio to tune in a different station, was it the mere rotation of the dial that did the job or is the dial merely a means of controlling a variable capacitor that does the real work?

Vaughan Pratt, explaining how CO2 is a control knob.

Vote for Reason

[Michael P. Lynch offers an incredible thought experiment:]

Suppose I offer, at no charge, to drop a drug in the water supply that would cause almost everyone in the country to vote like you this November. You would probably feel at least a little bit tempted to take the deal. Presidential politics is a matter of grave import, after all. Still — many of us would hesitate, and rightly so. There seems to be something really wrong with manipulating people to believe things even when the stakes are high. We want to convince our opponents, yes, but we want them to be convinced by our reasons.

(Source: The New York Times)

What is the difference between a police crime-scene photograph and a photograph by, say, Diane Arbus of a crime scene?

Michael Brady, , trying to distinguish Art and Truth. (My own answer is that truth is sexier.)

If we keep believing that responsibility is directly linked to causation, that we are more responsible for the results of our actions than the results of our omissions, and that if we share responsibility for an outcome with others our individual responsibility is lowered or removed, then we will not be able to solve modern problems like climate change, where each person’s actions contribute imperceptibly but inevitably.

Julian Savulescu and Ingmar Persson argue that artificial moral enhancement Moral Enhancement is now essential if humanity is to avoid catastrophe

You would think, if we play along with this conspiracy theory and imagine politicians want to raise taxes, that just pointing to the deficit would give them ample reason to do so, without the complexity and expense of faking 200 years of atmospheric science.

Robert would think.

Do you think you might get a little further along if you concentrated on completing your criticism of one paper before moving on to the next? Your answer does rather depend on whether you’d like to look back on a set of important publications in this area or some nice blog readership statistics.

Tom P, with a point.

Ship of State

[Jean Goodwin formulates a suggestion that appeals to our holist stringencies, as it’s reminiscent of Neurath’s boat:]

Instead of thinking about policy making and politics as “construction on a firm foundation,” why don’t we go back to the old “ship of state” metaphor, a commonplace of political oratory and philosophy for a couple of millenia now?

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A beggar shivers on a dark and cold night. I give him my coat and he soon feels warmer. Did my coat cause warming?

Arthur Smith, experimenting with physical charity.
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