Nuclear Winter may be what you're talking about, Threadbear; is it? As opposed to global warming? Do you feel that there are two different theories showing two different things, so that they both may be false, is that it? Not being a scientist myself, I couldn't say with any certainty, but I do believe the two things talk about different phenomena. I certainly may be wrong, but the way I understand it is this way.
Nuclear Winter talks about what may happen after a large scale nuclear exchange. Following large scale volcanic events, such as the east indian eruption of Krakatoa in the 1880's, enormous clouds of dust and debris were thrown into the atmosphere. For two or three years following, because of the dust clouds, the amount of light that came through from the sun was cut down drastically world wide. These were years that were essentially without summers. Crop cycles were thrown off and world temperatures plummeted. Because it was fairly short term, the damage passed fairly quickly, but there was some serious climatological disturbance. The theory is that a serious nuclear exchange using 100 megaton devices would throw up significant amounts of dust that would stay in the atmosphere for quite possibly longer than the two or three years that came after the incident in the east Indies. The shift might be enough to reset the set point of the earth's temperature reading for a significant amount of time leading to an actual Nuclear Winter. At a minimum, it would create a spectacular bunch of sunsets for quite a long time, and it may well put enough radiation into the air and water to make it difficult if not impossible for humans to maintain their position in the earth's ecological structure. The next top of the line might be roaches. Perhaps this is over-estimating the effects, perhaps not; in any case, it would be an extremely foolish guy who'd want to put the matter to any sort of test.
Global warming is still the best theory we have to explain the consequences of continued use of fossil fuels at the level we are now maintaining them. American Conservatives such as yourself maintain that the theory is wrong, but on the whole offer exactly the sort of data that you do. Little of it is peer-reviewed scientific data, and much of it data produced by folks who work for people who institutions controlled by petroleum and fossil fuel producing companies. Almost all the of information appeals to the pocket-book — which is very important indeed — without much effort to actually base itself in research. It does make an effort to smear researchers and spread stories about the research without necessarily offering solid sources for the stories, or giving the full stories involved.
As in your case, the stress is often on how everybody's opinions are equal.
Everyone's opinions, alas, are not equal. Your doctor's opinion about what your blood test says and means and your opinion of what your blood test says and means have different values that vary with the amount of information and understanding that each of you has about what the blood test measures and means, and with how honest each of you wishes to be about what you understand, and with how much reality either of you can tolerate for whatever your various reasons.
How this differs on subjects such as global warming, nuclear winter or ecological disaster is something I don't understand. My understanding is that it doesn't. I don't assume that this cuts in my favor or yours if I look at it in principle; but of course, each of us will disagree as to the validity when it comes to actual practice, won't we? I would hardly suggest that this is something that calls for addressing me as "Bob Bob Bob," under those circumstances, although you seem to disagree. I think that's a pity.
I don't think your political position should matter very much, any more than mine should, in the face of the need to look at the best as opposed to the most convenient evidence. I have no particular wish to be under a larger burden of governmental controls than you do; nor do I, in actuality, believe that I do wish such a thing.
My belief is that part of our difference is in where those controls should be. I want controls off of personal rights and freedoms, you seem to want them off of economic options for change and growth. Again, if I misunderstand, I would appreciate your correction in the matter. The actual amount of control appears to me to be about the same. Both of us would wish for a resilient and strong military, though I suspect we would wish it used differently.
I believe that the planet is in danger from population growth and scarcity of strategic resources that needs be addressed before it spills over into a predictable open global warfare. Too many people, not enough resources. My perception is that you see these coming conflicts as ideological. Again, I await your corrections; I want to understand what you're saying.
I have a lot of differences with you and Huan Yi and Mike, but I think that on these areas we see a lot of things in common — at least the need to address some of these conflict areas. I think we have more to contribute to each other's ability to look at and understand problem than otherwise, and that we have become enmeshed in looking at petty side struggles rather than looking at what needs to be done to help our country and our world survive. But I really think that putting efforts on figuring out what we need to do as a whole rather that what we need to get the other folks to stop doing is the better way to go.
Of the people, by the people and for the people, oddly enough, works better for me. For my own personal taste, the President is too far to the Right, but that shouldn't be the issue. The issue should be, how do we keep breathing and eating, and raising kids, and having potable water and trying to treat each other with some sort of mutual respect. That wouldn't be so bad, would it? hen, maybe, how can we get Guatemala that power plant without worrying that the Guatemalans aren't going to blow us up in the process?