I think some of you might have heard the show on the radio today, most probably did not. I am certain it will be posted online at some point. So today, there were three panelists, and the topic was supposed to be fire prevention in the Northwest USA. The panelists were: Sue Lani Madsen, Cody Desautel, and Peter Goldmark. The discussion quickly devolved from how to better combat and prevent forest fires to a heated debate over global warming. Looking at Sue Lani Madsen's site, it appears that she viewed the whole thing as a setup for a global warming debate. The debate that it turned into was a complete clusterfuck. Ms. Madsen kept making vague references to scientific studies that were wrong (none of which I could find, simply because the reference was too vague to track down anything at all specific), and she kept referencing how the reference point for glacial melting was from the ice age (?!). She argued that the sea level is not rising because the liquid level in a glass of ice water does not increase as the ice melts, and some other things that might have been interesting if they had any organization whatsoever in their presentation. My issue here isn't so much that someone disagreed with the conventional way of thinking. I encourage challenges to that, as it's the best way to grow new scientific knowledge. My concern is the way this entire thing was handled. Once Ms. Madsen expressed her disdain for climate science in general, the entire thing turned into a circus. Not only was her presentation very vaguely combative, but she offered no alternatives to anything, which is just becoming the new status quo in politics. Anyone who says "I know you are wrong, but I have no idea how I know that or how to go about proving it" should shut his or her mouth until he or she has something definite to say. Otherwise it just pisses people off. A lot of people in the field of climate science spend years, or even decades, studying the Earth's climate. To blanketly accuse all of them publicly of pandering to the the zeitgeist in order to fraudulently gain access to a meal ticket, and then have zero evidence whatsoever to back that up, and no interest in even researching how or where they went wrong, is despicable. For people who have legitimate reasons to question the popular conceptions of climate science, good for you. But also, good luck ever debating anyone in any sort of public forum, as a bunch of people who have no idea what they are talking about are likely to crash your party and make your cause look like the most idiotic thing since New Coke™.