© 2019 by Henry Thornton. 

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Climate change - hypothetical conversation

December 16, 2016

 

Socrates meets Mr Smith, a strong believer in Climate Change

 

The philosopher, Socrates, sought truth through asking questions.  He might have employed the following line of questioning to explore the subject of global warming.

 

Socrates

Nice to meet you Mr Smith.  I hear you are very concerned about dangerous global warming.

 

Mr Smith

Yes, we are facing an alarming prospect of a global warming catastrophe.

 

What gives you such concern?

 

Mr Smith

Emissions of CO2 from burning fossil fuels.

 

Socrates

How were these fossil fuels formed?

 

Mr Smith

Plants grew, died and formed fossil fuels during the Carboniferous Period.

 

Socrates

Was there dangerous global warming prior to the Carboniferous Period?

 

Mr Smith

No.  There is no evidence of dangerous global warming prior to the Carboniferous period.

 

Socrates

So where did the carbon in fossil fuels originate?

 

Mr Smith

Plants absorbed CO2 from the atmosphere prior to the formation of fossil fuels.

 

Socrates

So the CO2 absorbed by plants at that time is now being released from burning fossil fuels.

 

Mr Smith

It must be so.

 

Socrates

You have observed there was no dangerous global warming prior to CO2 being absorbed to form fossil fuels, so how could the same CO2 now being released cause dangerous global warming?

 

Mr Smith

I find the implication of your question provocative and disturbing.  You should know there is a move to bring charges against you for corrupting youth with your philosophical questions.

 

Socrates

I am well aware that people are disturbed by my philosophical enquiries which reveal the truth with compelling logic and facts which refute long held beliefs.  Our conversation has been no exception.

 

Mr Smith

I have to go now.

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