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Global Warming's Faulty Logic

I think it's safe to say EPonline readers are passionate individuals. Many of our articles receive a lot of comments from readers who enthusiastically announce their resounding agreement or staunch opposition. In order to have balance in our editorial coverage, I feel this is as it should be.

In my opinion, the news topic that has always caused the greatest furor has to be the global warming/climate change issue. In the interest of full disclosure, I wish to make it clear that I am undecided as to where I stand on this issue; I neither support nor oppose the theory. I think there is more to learn on this issue before a determination can be made; therefore, call me an agnostic as far as this issue is concerned.

Regardless of where you stand, this particular topic seems to bring both sides up in arms. One prominent, recent example of this is the news item "EPA Rejects 10 Endangerment Challenge Petitions." In addition to attracting the usual string of scathing comments, this news item spurred one reader to also send us this commentary: Commentary: Little Objectivity on Climate Change.

But the purpose of this blog entry is not to debate the validity of global warming, but call out the confusing logic employed by both sides to support their arguments. Without naming names--you're welcome to search out the comments among the many news items on our Global Climate Change news page--many times a commenter, often in the same paragraph, will espouse with unwavering certainty that global warming does or does not exist and then, as further proof or his or her stance, immediately follow up that affirmation with a sentence stating that there is more going on in our environment than we can completely understand.

This strikes me as akin to someone declaring that without a doubt the world is flat or round, period, but then assuring us that he or she is correct because we don't possess a ship that can carry us beyond the horizon.

Can we at least agree that the issue deserves more study before we support or denounce it? Let's take a cue from Shakespeare and concede the fact that "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Posted by Marc Barrera on Aug 09, 2010