Sunday, June 17, 2007

Global Warming Idiot

This kind of guy is dangerous. He has coherent logic but comes up with a conclusion thats as far off as it could be because he lacks the ability to link logic/probability with the real world. Watch his video and then scroll down to see how he is completely wrong.

Interesting Argument About Global Warming - Watch more free videos

The key part he leaves out is an estimated probability for each scenario. The grid is completely useless without it. He is using Pascal's wager basically - but Pascal had infinite damage values in some of his cells. Best case scenario for theist = infinite goodness worst case scenario for atheist = infinite badness ... It works with Pascal's wager because it doesnt matter what the probability is. Infinity x .000000001 is still infinity.

Unfortunately in this guy's argument - a p value would be absolutely necessary since even by his own admission, none of the scenarios result in an infinite value. So it very much depends on the p value. The expected damage for each cell would be the p value (probability of it happening) multiplied by the the damage value (of course this would have to be subjective). So let's look at a very possible scenario to disprove his theory. Let's take another example, in this case we are examining whether or not we should spend $5000 on personal protection. The problem is, there is a chance (however slim it may be) that we may be kidnapped tomorrow and brutally tortured for the rest of our lives by a gang of angry circus clowns who were laid off because of (of course) Bush. So... we have entertained the question - should we spend the remainder of our life savings - $5000 on personal protection - karate lessons, gun classes, personal highpowered rifle, gun permits, pistol, knives and a few other things....

According to that guy's logic - the sensible choice could only be to spend the money right? Of course we all instantly recognize that as completely ridiculous. But what's missing? In this case it is the P Values. We know instantly that he's wrong because we know without pulling out a calculator that the probability of such a thing happening is so low that it certainly isn't worth our time or money to invest in the defense. So, it is EXTREMELY relevant to discuss the issue on a 'row basis' as he incorrectly argued against. It is absolutely vital to our final decision what the row probability is. Take this scenario which would completely contradict his conclusion where the probability of no global warming is 99% and the probability of Global warming being a real phenomenon is 1% Damage value will be on a scale from 1 to 10 and assuming worst case scenario (all things considered I dont think that's too unreasonable - and I'll get to all things considered later):
Since we're trying to minimize our expected damage, we would of course choose no action in this scenario. Now of course, the p values may be wrong and they may be way wrong.. Fine.. But we cant make a decision without knowing them unlike he said.

As I mentioned before, this over simplification of the process also leaves out some other very real possibilities on each axis - on the Y - Global warming is happening but its not caused by us on the (the greatest increase in global temperature in the last century was between 1930 and 1940, long before there were any serious carbon 14 issues) X - We take action but it's too late, we've already caused too much damage.

Finally - anyone who thinks regulations are going to do ANYTHING about global warming has obviously never been to Asia. The amount of pollution caused by any of the hundreds of major metro areas in developing nations probably equals America's entire pollution output. That being said, one visit to Manila would make a tree hugger out of Rush Limbaugh - but being responsible with our planet is one thing, making catastrophically uneducated decisions is another.

This is another glorious example of why liberals don't do well with radio talk shows, blogs or pretty much anything else that exposes their thought process.

To the creator of the video - Hey bro, the "hole has been poked". Nice try.

1 comment:

Kacy said...

I like all the empty soda cans in the background. I wonder if he plans on recycling them.