More denial of global warming.......

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Wallingford
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More denial of global warming.......

Post by Wallingford » Thu Jul 12, 2007 1:10 pm

Deniers of global warming harm us
By JOEL CONNELLY
P-I COLUMNIST


AS THE WORLD'S scientists near consensus on human causes of climate change, even Exxon is cutting contributions and distancing itself from the global warming denial industry.

The deniers haven't conceded defeat, and lately have found a substitute for the "sound science" they once demanded. Their new tactic is the drive-by shooting.

The objective is distraction, to be achieved by demeaning the oracles, particularly the "Goreacle," of global warming.

We've had a Tennessee think tank give exaggerated estimates of energy use at Al Gore's home in Nashville.

Prince Charles took heat for flying across the Atlantic to receive an environmental award.

Rock musicians get faulted for jet travel to gigs at last weekend's "Live Earth" concerts.

The right-wing "Drudge Report" Web site ran every bad review it could find on "Live Earth." It loves winter cold snaps in Washington, D.C., and has taken to publicizing freak snowstorms in warm places.

The deniers' fallback position is to argue that what is happening is due not to human intervention but some sort of natural cycle.

A rightist Canadian paper, the National Post, ran a recent story claiming that solar output drives climate change, and that sunspots point to global cooling.

The "climate crud" would be an annoyance were it not distracting -- and dangerous.

The latest report from Britain's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds can't get the same press as an attack on a pop singer.

The society found that warming of the North Sea has caused baitfish to move north in search of colder water.

The great shorebirds of Scotland -- the guillemots, Arctic terns and kittiwakes -- are having difficulty feeding their young.

Bluntly put, climate change deniers pose a greater danger than the lingering industry that denies the Holocaust.

Holocaust deniers look backward, arguing over things that happened. They do damage in terms of racism and relations between peoples.

For instance, Iran's Holocaust deniers raise the ante on Middle East tensions -- and pressure on Israel to strike if and when Iran is on the verge of building nuclear weapons.

What makes the global warming denial industry so dangerous?

It has the potential to preclude or delay necessary actions -- caps on carbon emissions, development of new energy sources -- that will assure human civilization's future on the planet.

Nobody is certain what will happen.

So far, however, change has proceeded at a faster pace than even pessimistic scientists predicted a few years ago.

Who could have forecast a 2-degree rise in Antarctica's temperature in just 35 years? Nobody forecast the breaking off of giant Antarctic ice shelves. The rapid shrinking of the Arctic ice pack has surprised researchers as well as political leaders.

We don't know how bad it will get. The globe desperately needs what is, at worst, an insurance policy. And we must act quickly, within a decade.

Just consider recent news from the National Academy of Sciences: "The annual rate of increase for emissions of the main greenhouse gas in 2004 was 3 percent, triple the 1 percent during the 1990s."

Or look to the Arctic. The melting of permafrost is faster than predicted, raising the potential release of vast amounts of methane, which would further accelerate climate change.

Anything that slows us down from acting quickly is a potential cause of future peril.

Recently, a United Nations committee meeting in Brussels resulted in a joint declaration, signed by more than 100 countries and based on the work of 2,500 scientists.

It went to the core of the issue. Climate change is occurring because of human intervention.

The U.N. assessment split findings into various categories: What was nearly certain to happen, what was likely to happen and what might happen.

A few things may even improve: Warmer mountain regions could get more trees, causing timber production to go up.

In British Columbia, however, the pine bark beetle -- no longer controlled by winter cold -- has killed millions of acres of forests.

In high-elevation "islands" of the Southwest, trees are burning up and dying.

What will happen to the Northwest's energy-agricultural economy, and aquatic life, as our winter snowpacks shrink and glaciers disappear?

Across the Pacific, what will be the consequences if China runs short of water in the face of rising demand and higher living standards?

It's happening, of course.

Our local deniers need only look around ... at the shrinking South Cascades Glacier and Chikamin Glacier in the Glacier Peak Wilderness, or the rapidly receding glacial tongues of Canada's Columbia Icefield -- a vital water source for the Columbia and other great North American rivers.

Or go to the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center outside of Anchorage, built to give visitors vistas of the Portage Glacier. The glacier has retreated so far that it can no longer be seen.

One can argue that any country in which a large percentage of people believe that planet Earth was created in six days -- and do not accept evolution -- will believe anything.

But that debate doesn't affect the future of their children, or everybody else's children and grandchildren.

A belief that blocks or delays action is dangerous. No one will save us. We must save ourselves.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

Corlyss_D
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Re: More denial of global warming.......

Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Jul 12, 2007 2:19 pm

Wallingford wrote:Deniers of global warming harm us
By JOEL CONNELLY
P-I COLUMNIST


AS THE WORLD'S scientists near consensus on human causes of climate change, even Exxon is cutting contributions and distancing itself from the global warming denial industry.

The deniers haven't conceded defeat .
Nor should they with what is at stake. The science for human causation is so bogus it would never be allowed in a court of law. Before we do anything that will hurt the only world-class economy that matters, we better have a damn sight more data than these scare-mongers can produce.
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Werner
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Post by Werner » Thu Jul 12, 2007 3:31 pm

Not to worry, Wallingford! The global warming deniers are frozen in their narrow and complacent view that nothing can upset their happy and accustomed habits. They'll come around, but they'll be the last to do so.

But things are stirring in the multitude of independent enterpreneurs and industries who see a chance to do well by doing good - i. e. by pioneering products and policies that will ameliorate the problem before the deniers realize it exists.

And bit by bit users such as you and me will buy the products that reflect the need for saving energy. There is hope!
Werner Isler

Holden Fourth
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Post by Holden Fourth » Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:22 pm

Two things bother me about the "global warming' issue.

Yes, the planet is warming up but no scientist has conclusively proved that greenhouse gas emissions are the culprits. Now, before you jump down my throat, what scientists have done is use the concept of analogous coincidence to make their pronouncements - the climate is changing, greenhouse gas emissions are on the rise; ergo greenhouse gas emissions must be the cause! Any mathematician will tell you how flawed this methodology is. How about this analogy. Mobile phones have been prevalent for the last decade, mobile phones emit EMFs, the climate has warmed considerably since the mass use of mobile phones; ergo - mobile phone use is responsible for golbal warming. Ridiculous huh? No more so than the previous analogy is without conclusive proof.

Now I'm NOT saying that increased greenhouse ISN'T responsible for increased planetary temperatures but nobody has come even to close to proving that the two are linked. Today's hysterical media haven't helped the situation either.

The other 'bother' is that it has been proved that our planet has been much warmer in the past (and much colder too) than it currently is and the concept of 'natural cycles' doesn't seem to be taken into account. So, until some glaringly brilliant piece of research or whatever definitively proves the link without using flawed analogies, I choose to remain somewhat skeptical.

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:48 pm

As The Great Global Warming Swindle showed on TV last night, it is now more of a religious issue than even political activism. Say ye Shibboleth. "Global warming denial" - what a lame and sorry insult for reasonable skepticism (which is the basis of genuine science) in the face of hysterical polemic.

The climate has always changed, and there is no denying the earth was once warmer than it is now without the world ending.

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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:16 pm

Brendan wrote: The climate has always changed, and there is no denying the earth was once warmer than it is now without the world ending.
And colder.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Werner
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Post by Werner » Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:28 pm

There seems to be enough reason to believe that something of importance is happening, and coincidentally or not, there is the unprecedented volume of carbon products being spewed into the atmosphere - stratosphere, or what have you.

THE GREAT GLOBAL WARMING SWINDLE is one view of the argument, and, from what in the unscientific and un-lawcourt like way I look at it, the opposite seems more realistic to me. If Al Gore's emphatic attitude is to be seen as one extreme of the argument, THE GREAT GLOBAL WARMING SWINDLE seems, to me, the obverse of Gore, with the added factor of defamatory rhetoric weakening the argument. And let's have a bit less of the "no scientist has proven that global warming does (this or that)" and let the skeptics tell me who has proven that it doesn't?

In the nmeanwhile indusries have seen the challenge and begun to develp products to save energy, produce less contamination of the atmosphere. One example, small in itself, is the replacement of incasndescent lamps with compact fluorescents which cost more to buy but last much longer and consume much less energy. Over time, this will become a factor. I have begun to switch where I can - it's not an option for lights that have no ventilation, for instance, but the new fluorescents produce an excellent, even light.

Much more of this sort is in works. Even the big oil companies are developing their answers to the challenge. I'm sue hat there will be more to come - we'll spew less carbon, have better products for the uses we have for them, and survive the challenge.
Last edited by Werner on Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Werner Isler

piston
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Post by piston » Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:19 pm

The climate has always changed, and there is no denying the earth was once warmer than it is now without the world ending
I can already hear the new ad: "Goat! That's what for dinner."
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:07 pm

Proving a negative is futile. Prove that a giant invisible star-moster undetectable to our science won't eat the Sun in forty years time (the computer models are amazing! Anyone seeing the star-monster eat the sun wouldn't be so flippant . . .). The onus is on the doom-sayers to prove that we should spend vast fortunes warding off the invisible star-monster or wait until we can detect it, observe its characteristics and deal with it appropriately rather than just howling at the moon or spending money in ineffective ways.

The sky has been falling ever since I was born. The new Ice Age, Nuclear Winter, Cowboy Ronnie was going to nuke the world, comets are going to wipe us out before xmas and all the rest. The End is Nigh has been true for every human ever born. I guess some folk miss the guilt trip of Judgement Day when we answer for our sins.

The precautionary principle, to do anything rather than nothing 'coz we're all doomed unless we act now, has caused all sorts of tragedies down the years. No one is saying that we can pollute the planet without consequence forever. That the alarmism and proposed "solutions" are tripe is a reasonable position to adopt given the hysteria and dubious political activism bordering on religiosity observed every day in the MSM.

Any solution resides with industry and capitalism, IMHO, not the dismantling of such structures and thought.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:35 am

Werner wrote: They'll come around, but they'll be the last to do so.
Don't bet on this one "coming around." You guys think just because a lot of people think human causation is a fact based on the supporters' decible level that the rest of us are going to roll over and play dead. You don't think a popular vote could eliminate gravity. Why would you think a popular vote could make junk science true?
But things are stirring in the multitude of independent enterpreneurs and industries who see a chance to do well by doing good - i. e. by pioneering products and policies that will ameliorate the problem before the deniers realize it exists.
Entrepreneurs can do whatever they damn well want if they can persuade the public to pay for it. They think they will get brownie points for swallowing this junk science from the people who think they can vote changes to scientific laws. They probably include many of the same people who believe in ID on the theory that if they believe it hard enough, they can make it true.
And bit by bit users such as you and me will buy the products that reflect the need for saving energy.
Be sure and tell us when you do.
Corlyss
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Corlyss_D
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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:52 am

Holden Fourth wrote: Any mathematician will tell you how flawed this methodology is. *** nobody has come even to close to proving that the two are linked. Today's hysterical media haven't helped the situation either.
The human causation of global warming has become a scientific article of faith, lead by scientists with a political agenda, who are not interested in the science but in their ability to rally world-wide support to restrain the American economy. Why? Because the American economy is the engine of globalization that is knocking the comfortable, complacent middle class on their butts all over the world, especially in Europe. The junk science is just a weapon in the economic struggle against the philosophically liberal notion of open and free markets generally favored by the US. The media, among the transnational cosmopolitan elites who believe in human causation, don't give a damn about the facts; they are well-disposed to any critics of the US and to any argument that permits them to join in.
The other 'bother' is that it has been proved that our planet has been much warmer in the past (and much colder too) than it currently is and the concept of 'natural cycles' doesn't seem to be taken into account.
They have considered natural cycles and dismissed them since they can't wring any hysteria out of them. Thirty years ago, these same scientists were up in arms about global cooling. In point of fact, this warming spell is a slight uptick in the temps against a persistent decline in temps over the last 400 years.
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jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:57 am

Werner wrote:There seems to be enough reason to believe that something of importance is happening, and coincidentally or not, there is the unprecedented volume of carbon products being spewed into the atmosphere - stratosphere, or what have you.
The irony is that we do not have the slightest clue how to bring this under control, but we would if it were in the other direction. If scientists knew that we were in danger of heading into another ice age, the solution would be obvious (paint the Antarctic with soot to reduce the Earth's albedo).

I'm going off into left field here, but I am reminded of the remark of General George Patton: "Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man. If oceans and mountains can be breached, so can they." The flip side of that is, if the climate changes, not all the piety or wit of all the sages shall lure it into a more manageable state.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:28 am

jbuck919 wrote:The irony is that we do not have the slightest clue how to bring this under control, but we would if it were in the other direction. If scientists knew that we were in danger of heading into another ice age, the solution would be obvious (paint the Antarctic with soot to reduce the Earth's albedo).
I'm holding out for a Supervolcano blow like Santorini. It was 115 in Saint George (southern Utah) last week. We've been breaking records all over the state this year.
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lmpower
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Post by lmpower » Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:59 am

There are clearly some profound and serious climate changes on the planet at present. It is much less clear what the causes are. There have always been huge swings in climate for various reasons. There is an opinion piece in today's Los Angeles Times about "La Nina on steroids." It tells about the possibility of a perfect drought in the American Southwest similar to one in the twelfth century, which lasted sixty years. I can clearly see this on my wilderness retreat at the 4500 foot level. Ancient pinon pines are dying in great numbers. I favor drastically cutting petroleum consumption even if only for geopolitical reasons. Our current habits greatly benefit Hugo Chavez. Ahmadinejad and Putin are also flourishing off high oil prices. We will eventually have to find alternative energy sources, so let's start now even if a little early. Depending on oil for our prosperity makes us hostage to some very evil people.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:12 pm

lmpower wrote:I favor drastically cutting petroleum consumption even if only for geopolitical reasons. Our current habits greatly benefit Hugo Chavez. Ahmadinejad and Putin are also flourishing off high oil prices. We will eventually have to find alternative energy sources, so let's start now even if a little early. Depending on oil for our prosperity makes us hostage to some very evil people.
The rock upon which this founders is the lack of a substitute as cheap and readily available as oil. That is unlikely to change for a hundred years no matter what the climate does.
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Haydnseek
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Post by Haydnseek » Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:59 pm

For some interesting speeches and essays on this subject by the novelist Michael Crichton visit his website:

http://www.michaelcrichton.com/speeches.html

In particular "The Case for Skepticism on Global Warming," "Environmentalism as Religion" and "Aliens Cause Global Warming"
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

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Post by anasazi » Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:54 am

Haydnseek wrote:For some interesting speeches and essays on this subject by the novelist Michael Crichton visit his website:

http://www.michaelcrichton.com/speeches.html

In particular "The Case for Skepticism on Global Warming," "Environmentalism as Religion" and "Aliens Cause Global Warming"
Yes, Michael Crichton, one of the most impartial observers anywhere. :)
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints" - John Muir.

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Post by Kevin R » Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:00 pm

I remember when the scientific "consensus" of the 1970s was that earth was cooling. How things have changed.

And for all global warming mavens, consider the following from Café Hayek:

“Earth got about 0.7 degrees Celsius warmer in the 20th century while it increased its GDP by 1,800 percent, by one estimate. How much of that 0.7 degrees can be laid at the feet of that 1,800 percent is unknowable, but let’s stipulate that all of the warming was the result of our prosperity...

That’s still an amazing bargain. Life expectancies in the United States increased from about 47 years to about 77 years. Literacy, medicine, leisure and even, in many respects, the environment have improved mightily over the course of the 20th century, at least in the prosperous West.

Given the option of getting another 1,800 percent richer in exchange for another 0.7 degrees warmer, I’d take the heat in a heartbeat.”
"Free trade, one of the greatest blessings which a government can confer on a people, is in almost every country unpopular."

-Thomas Macaulay

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:12 pm

anasazi wrote:
Haydnseek wrote:For some interesting speeches and essays on this subject by the novelist Michael Crichton visit his website:

http://www.michaelcrichton.com/speeches.html

In particular "The Case for Skepticism on Global Warming," "Environmentalism as Religion" and "Aliens Cause Global Warming"
Yes, Michael Crichton, one of the most impartial observers anywhere. :)
Well, he is a trained scientist and his independent wealth from his novels permits him a freedom that scientists who live and die by peer-reviewed publications and grants cannot afford.
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anasazi
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Post by anasazi » Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:53 pm

Kevin R wrote:I remember when the scientific "consensus" of the 1970s was that earth was cooling. How things have changed.

And for all global warming mavens, consider the following from Café Hayek:

“Earth got about 0.7 degrees Celsius warmer in the 20th century while it increased its GDP by 1,800 percent, by one estimate. How much of that 0.7 degrees can be laid at the feet of that 1,800 percent is unknowable, but let’s stipulate that all of the warming was the result of our prosperity...

That’s still an amazing bargain. Life expectancies in the United States increased from about 47 years to about 77 years. Literacy, medicine, leisure and even, in many respects, the environment have improved mightily over the course of the 20th century, at least in the prosperous West.

Given the option of getting another 1,800 percent richer in exchange for another 0.7 degrees warmer, I’d take the heat in a heartbeat.”
Although I'm not familiar with your source, I will hazard that .7 celsius is probably an average increase, correct?. Some places may have gotten a bit cooler, some places around .7 higher, other places even much much higher.

So it does matter where the temperature changes occur. Much higher increases in the arctic or antartic can cause changes along the coast of every continent and island on the planet.

Also, I doubt very much that the GDP of, say, India rose 1,800 percent. Japan, Western Europe, America, maybe. You have to be careful when using averages for the entire planet in trying to make a case either for or against climate change.
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints" - John Muir.

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Post by Kevin R » Sun Jul 15, 2007 12:18 am

anasazi wrote:
Kevin R wrote:I remember when the scientific "consensus" of the 1970s was that earth was cooling. How things have changed.

And for all global warming mavens, consider the following from Café Hayek:

“Earth got about 0.7 degrees Celsius warmer in the 20th century while it increased its GDP by 1,800 percent, by one estimate. How much of that 0.7 degrees can be laid at the feet of that 1,800 percent is unknowable, but let’s stipulate that all of the warming was the result of our prosperity...

That’s still an amazing bargain. Life expectancies in the United States increased from about 47 years to about 77 years. Literacy, medicine, leisure and even, in many respects, the environment have improved mightily over the course of the 20th century, at least in the prosperous West.

Given the option of getting another 1,800 percent richer in exchange for another 0.7 degrees warmer, I’d take the heat in a heartbeat.”
Although I'm not familiar with your source, I will hazard that .7 celsius is probably an average increase, correct?. Some places may have gotten a bit cooler, some places around .7 higher, other places even much much higher.

So it does matter where the temperature changes occur. Much higher increases in the arctic or antartic can cause changes along the coast of every continent and island on the planet.

Also, I doubt very much that the GDP of, say, India rose 1,800 percent. Japan, Western Europe, America, maybe. You have to be careful when using averages for the entire planet in trying to make a case either for or against climate change.
Yes, “Earth got about 0.7 degrees Celsius warmer in the 20th century while it increased its GDP by 1,800 percent, by one estimate.”

The point is that the world grew wealthier at a time when warming increased by a modest amount. And, as you state, some nations did grow faster than others, but even the poorest sections experienced some growth. According to the heroic work of Angus Maddison, Africa increased its per capita GDP (in 1990$) from $420 in 1820 to $1,489 in 2001.
"Free trade, one of the greatest blessings which a government can confer on a people, is in almost every country unpopular."

-Thomas Macaulay

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Re: More denial of global warming.......

Post by absinthe » Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:15 am

Wallingford wrote:Deniers of global warming harm us
By JOEL CONNELLY
P-I COLUMNIST


The deniers' fallback position is to argue that what is happening is due not to human intervention but some sort of natural cycle.
Except that human intervention is part of the natural cycle. How scientific is "Some sort" of natural cycle? Trouble is, scientists usually aren't systems engineers, they link cause and effect by the simplest of links rather than see everything as (a pretty complex) set of functionally interrelated components.

We used to talk about this in the late 80s. It started with the industrial revolution and, well, it'll all crash when oil runs out in about 15 years. According to reports in our media (which one thus treats with caution) the forecast of it lasting another 15 years is a tad optimistic.

People are still looking through the wrong end of the telescope. World population doubles around every 30 years. When I was born it was about 3 billion. In 1999 it hit 6 billion....

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Re: More denial of global warming.......

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Jul 15, 2007 4:44 pm

absinthe wrote:Except that human intervention is part of the natural cycle.
Regionally, I agree. Globally, I say there's insufficient evidence of that. 70% of the earth's surface is covered by water; much of the earth's land mass is uninhabited. Weather comes from the water, less so from the land. It seems inconceivable to me that humans could possibly influence the oceans' sufficiently to cause anything like the reactions that scientists' models ascribe to them.
How scientific is "Some sort" of natural cycle?
I don't attribute knowledge to scientists sufficient to understand the extent of the forces they play with in climate modeling. Some decade ago a young fresh-out geologist measured the CO2 released by plate techtonics and found that it was in the millions greater than that caused by human activity, which accounted for less than 1/10th a per cent. However, that was inconsistent with the received wisdom from the climatologists whose grants depend on their aping the pseudoscience of the hysterical global warming mongers. The research was deep-sixed. It was on Nova, and now I can't even find a single reference to it.
Trouble is, scientists usually aren't systems engineers, they link cause and effect by the simplest of links rather than see everything as (a pretty complex) set of functionally interrelated components.


Amen! The results are only as good as the models; the models are only as good as the data on which they are based. Bad data, insufficient data = untrustworthy models. Yet, rather than argue for improved data and modeling, which would take time, the majority stampede world governments into dubious action.
People are still looking through the wrong end of the telescope. World population doubles around every 30 years. When I was born it was about 3 billion. In 1999 it hit 6 billion....
That's true only if population affects global climate. I am not convinced at this point that that is the case.
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Post by piston » Sun Jul 15, 2007 5:57 pm

A distinction: the topic of climate change, in itself, has a very positive outcome around the planet. People everywhere are paying more attention, informing themselves, tapping into sources of information they would never have thought of consulting before. There is no reason to dismiss this positive outcome as some swindlers' political agenda to weaken America's economic might.

The foremost laboratory and scientifically most rewarding region of the earth for researchers is Antartica. It holds over seventy percent of the world's fresh water, ninety percent of its ice mass. Its thick ice cover has long been studied by scientists who can ascertain, without any doubt, that the ice's content of carbon dioxide is the highest level in 800,000 years (that's a pretty long cycle :wink: ) Some Antartic stations, like the Palmer research center are open all year round. These researchers are interested not simply in climate change, which they can document systematically by digging deep into the ice, both along the shore and far inland, but in any other topic of scientific interest.

If people read more about this scientific research in Antartica, as I have begun to do, then the purely rhetorical, completely unsubstantiated, and totally unqualified positions one hears both from the left and the right will yield to more informed arguments. Apparently, we're not there yet, so let's continue to read...

http://www.antarcticconnection.com/anta ... ndex.shtml
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:22 pm

If you ask the 15million people who are going to die from easily curable infectious diseases next year, the idea that climate change is our top priority seems to be massively overblown. What’s even more important is that you ask: ‘Where can we actually do some good?’ The answer is overwhelmingly: we can do very little good if we focus on climate change policies, whereas we can do immense amounts of good if we focus on some of the many other problems in the world.

From http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php? ... icle/3568/

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Post by piston » Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:30 pm

I'm referring to research and information, Brendan, not to political agendas. You will find, in the African thread, that I, too, am concerned with how preventable diseases are killing two to three children out of ten in many African countries. But that's a completely different research field along with some hefty ideological issues such as whether the rest of the world cares as much about Africa as it cares about other continents (I don't think so). Unless you are suggesting to cut funding for research in Antartica the very year the ozone hole reached a record proportion, then I don't see your point as a valid one. Researchers there wouldn't know much about malaria and how to prevent child mortality in the Central African Republic.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:32 pm

piston wrote:A distinction: the topic of climate change, in itself, has a very positive outcome around the planet.
According to a report few weeks ago, global warming has pushed almost every other environmental issue and effort off the table. People who could be working on regional environmental issues are being dragooned into the global warming activism movements.
People everywhere are paying more attention, informing themselves, tapping into sources of information they would never have thought of consulting before.
Zero times zero is still zero. If they are getting all excercised about a monstrous fiction, and prepared to make public policy decisions based on nonsense, I don't consider that a plus. Ignorance about a falsehood is vastly preferable than universal public action that is bound to produce anything from no effect on the problem to disasterous economic consequences or, the perfect storm of action: both, i.e., disasterous economic impact that has no effect on the problem.
There is no reason to dismiss this positive outcome as some swindlers' political agenda to weaken America's economic might.
I beg to differ. I look at who's behind the movements all over the world and I see the usual suspects: extreme left wingers, international socialist movements, and less extreme politicians who have long tried to disable the American economic engine because they don't want to compete with it or they can't compete with it.
I'm referring to research and information, Brendan, not to political agendas.
Naive to think you can separate them. Public policy demands data to support it or implementation is a fool's errand. People are always trying to spin their policies with data. The trick is to let the data shape the policy. Too often politicians want to shape the data to fit the policy.
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Post by piston » Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:42 pm

No disrespect either, Corlyss, but it was rather revealing to me, this week, that you never made a single reference to what would have been on most people's mind in Utah: a record fire in your own home state. I stick to my guns: people who discourage others from acquiring more information, from a variety of sources, are the "usual suspects."
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:42 pm

piston wrote:I'm referring to research and information, Brendan, not to political agendas. You will find, in the African thread, that I, too, am concerned with how preventable diseases are killing two to three children out of ten in many African countries. But that's a completely different research field along with some hefty ideological issues such as whether the rest of the world cares as much about Africa as it cares about other continents (I don't think so). Unless you are suggesting to cut funding for research in Antartica the very year the ozone hole reached a record proportion, then I don't see your point as a valid one. Researchers there wouldn't know much about malaria and how to prevent child mortality in the Central African Republic.
The point is how much money we are wasting on killing the invisible star-monster while people die of malnutrition and poor water quality that are much more easily affordable and do-able right now. If you read the article, no one is saying we should ignore global warming forever or should not work to improve things. The point is priority and the leftist pseudo-religious propaganda frenzy that just doesn't ring true - and has caused so much damage in the past and into the future already. Why would anyone trust that mob of howling idiots?

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:50 pm

piston wrote:but it was rather revealing to me, this week, that you never made a single reference to what would have been on most people's mind in Utah: a record fire in your own home state.
Revealing of what? There's huge fires in Nevada and routinely in California. So what?

I'll stick to my guns too: lots of noise about a non-fact doesn't equal actionable information, nor does it lead to good public policy.
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weather

Post by Agnes Selby » Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:09 pm

This has been our coldest winter in many, many years. Perhaps Australia
is on another planet. Here we are entering another Ice Age and the skiing is terrific. :lol:

I have a solution which would cost governments not a penny in funding research into climate change. We could all become suicide bombers, every one of us and then there would be no humanity left to polute the earth. Alternatively, let's just say goodbye to our economies and sink
happily back into the 15th century and be happy, remembering, of course, that the manufacturing of appropriate medicines went bye-byes with our economies. wink:

So sorry to be a spoil-sport.
---------------------------

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Post by piston » Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:21 pm

I have read your previous posts about weather in Australia, Agnes, and you have to admit that they are anecdotal. While you had the coldest winter, as you say, scientists in Antartica were recording the "hugest" and deepest ozone hole at a time when they were hoping for some kind of recovery for the ozone layer. Australia is a fascinating country, cycle wise. I remember when I went to Sydney (don't recall if it was the '88 or '93 trip, the southeastern part of the country was overrun by rabbits! Central Australia, during certain months, could make the 115F of Phoenix, Arizona, feel like a breeze! It has been my very superficial impression that the envinronmental cycles in Australia exceeded in range many other parts of the world, i.e., droughts, floods, fires, etc., seem to exceed in impact what one observes elsewhere. But I would worry about that ozone layer. Are there some good data on skin cancer in Australia?
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Climate change.

Post by Agnes Selby » Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:17 pm

piston wrote:I have read your previous posts about weather in Australia, Agnes, and you have to admit that they are anecdotal. While you had the coldest winter, as you say, scientists in Antartica were recording the "hugest" and deepest ozone hole at a time when they were hoping for some kind of recovery for the ozone layer. Australia is a fascinating country, cycle wise. I remember when I went to Sydney (don't recall if it was the '88 or '93 trip, the southeastern part of the country was overrun by rabbits! Central Australia, during certain months, could make the 115F of Phoenix, Arizona, feel like a breeze! It has been my very superficial impression that the envinronmental cycles in Australia exceeded in range many other parts of the world, i.e., droughts, floods, fires, etc., seem to exceed in impact what one observes elsewhere. But I would worry about that ozone layer. Are there some good data on skin cancer in Australia?
---------------

Dear Piston,

I do not know the exact data but we are somewhere there with Florida.
Of course, a bit of Aborigine DNA would help but seeing that we are mostly European on the whole and many are British, Irish and Slav, there is little hope for a bit more melanin.

I have lived in this country for many years and have experienced heat waves, draught and months and months of rain. I do hope that ultimately technology will deliver a solution. It will not happen through conservation.

Is the aim of Gore and his ilk to destroy industry altogether? Does the idea of unployed multitudes ever enter his mind or is a man whose mansion in Nashville consumes more electricity in a month than the average US household uses in a year impervious to the disasters that await ordinary men? Ditto for Prince Charles who in a princely manner generated a carbon footprint of 1600 tonnes of carbon dioxide as he and his entourage flew around the world with their message of global warming.

The Global Warming concert in Sydney was an ecological disaster. It took cleaning crews 5 days to clean up the venue. The number of cars arriving at the venue were so numerous that they could hardly fit into the Olympic parking lot. The footprint of emissions on that one night alone equalled the emissions generated by a flight by two people from England to Australia and back.

The media have something to write about, any budding scientist asking for a grant will get one when it concerns global warming as opposed to the scientist asking for money to research childhood cancers. Robert Kennedy Jnr. made a statement on Fox News that global warming is a greater threat than terrorism and suicide bombers.

Forgive me, Piston if I see all this as unprecedented hype and I fear terrorism in Australia during the forthcoming APEC summit more than global warming.

Regards,
Agnes.
--------------

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Re: Climate change.

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:27 pm

Agnes Selby wrote:Forgive me, Piston if I see all this as unprecedented hype and I fear terrorism in Australia during the forthcoming APEC summit more than global warming.
You're not being realistic, Agnes. England is a police state, the US is the greatest threat to peace since the Nazis, and Bush is Hitler. If we just start cutting back on our trash, our oil consumption, and our carbon output, Utopia will be at hand.
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Post by piston » Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:29 pm

I wish to first state that I have the utmost respect for you and, yes, I will get a hold of your book eventually not simply because you are a member but mainly because I enjoy all biographies pertaining to classical composers. Clearly, I would not pretend either to know more about Australia and its distinguished past than you do because that would be the joke of the month :D

I think, Agnes, that environmental matters, not unlike the nuclear threats of the fifties, sixties, etc, are processed differently in everybody's mind. My perspective, rather than being some indigenous environmental ethos which I think you allude to, is very much my children and grand children. It's pretty easy for us "old folks" (sorry for all youthful members) to assess the situation on a personal basis, with all sort of skepticism built up like tartar over the years, but we're not going to be here forever and we do have a responsibility to the younger folks, if it's only to keep abreast of what's being found by researchers. I have six children (only two grand children) and, whether or not I can do anything about climate change, I want to know if I need to convey some knowledge to them. There's a tremendously dismissive attitude about climate change here, truly anti-intellectual, which I simply cannot agree with. What's wrong with keeping abreast with scientific research such as the ozone layer and people's relative exposure to skin cancer?
yours,
respectfully
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:53 pm

piston wrote:There's a tremendously dismissive attitude about climate change here, truly anti-intellectual, which I simply cannot agree with. What's wrong with keeping abreast with scientific research such as the ozone layer and people's relative exposure to skin cancer?
I disagree. The skeptics are far more in line with scientific tradition than the scaremongers who insist on shutting off debate and demonizing their critics. There's no solid data on whether humans are the cause of the global warming. There's only correlation data. There's no appreciation among the scaremongers for whether this is a cyclical phenomenon or unique because that would take time to prove and they are interested in their own self-important roles right here and right now. You can tell your kids and grandkids whatever you want. You'll probably tart it up as science too, but it's politics, not science.
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Post by piston » Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:59 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
piston wrote:There's a tremendously dismissive attitude about climate change here, truly anti-intellectual, which I simply cannot agree with. What's wrong with keeping abreast with scientific research such as the ozone layer and people's relative exposure to skin cancer?
I disagree. The skeptics are far more in line with scientific tradition than the scaremongers who insist on shutting off debate and demonizing their critics. There's no solid data on whether humans are the cause of the global warming. There's only correlation data. There's no appreciation among the scaremongers for whether this is a cyclical phenomenon or unique because that would take time to prove and they are interested in their own self-important roles right here and right now. You can tell your kids and grandkids whatever you want. You'll probably tart it up as science too, but it's politics, not science.

I'm an educator, Corlyss. If I lose faith in scientific research, then I lose faith in my profession. You can presume what you want with respect to what information I will convey to my progeny. The first "law" as far as I'm concerned is to have an open mind; the second, to learn and verify knowledge as it becomes available. You, on the other hand, can teach your folks what you wish.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Jul 15, 2007 9:02 pm

piston wrote:The first "law" as far as I'm concerned is to have an open mind; the second, to learn and verify knowledge as it becomes available.
:lol: Said without the slightest trace of irony.
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Post by piston » Sun Jul 15, 2007 11:27 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
piston wrote:The first "law" as far as I'm concerned is to have an open mind; the second, to learn and verify knowledge as it becomes available.
:lol: Said without the slightest trace of irony.
I have to yield to the moderator,
who has staked the last word.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Post by Werner » Sun Jul 15, 2007 11:32 pm

And the moderator has just switched positions, if we're to go by her new thread, "Speaking of Oil...."

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Post by piston » Mon Jul 16, 2007 8:04 am

With respect to skin cancer, specifically (and not necessarily to draw a connection with climate change but only for the sake of knowledge). The World Health Organization offers the following map, pointing to New Zealand and Australia as the two countries where people are most prone to malignant melanoma. Historically, Queensland has reported the highest incidence of skin cancer per capita in the world. It's far from Antartica, I know, but skin pigmentation (such as with the Scandinavians), latitude, relative exposure to certain UV rays, all contribute to such an outcome. The data I have found further indicates that, notwithstanding greater awareness and prevention, the incidence of melanoma per capita is increasing.
http://www.nationmaster.com/red/graph/m ... ta&b_map=1
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Mon Jul 16, 2007 6:41 pm

Hate to tell you, but Aussies were getting melanomas before global warming was a blip on the radar, and has little or nothing to do with climate change. We get lots of sunshine, particularly in populous Queensland that promotes itself as tropical or sub-tropical holiday paradise. Skin cancer has been decreasing there since 30+ sunblock became available and used regularly, at least according to our health departments. The folk getting the cancers now didn't have the sunblock when they were frying in the sun as kiddies (my dad has about five, and two operations to cut malignant ones out already), so statistical jitter is not indicative of climate change or a hole in the ozone layer zapping us under a magnifying glass.

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Post by piston » Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:04 pm

I can always count on you to keep a conversation going :D That's fine with me. From what I have read, Australian researchers have contributed tremendously to our current understanding of melanoma, partly because, as you say, Queensland has been so much on the melanoma map for so long. But let's not disregard global facts, though: all scientific evidence clearly shows an annual increase of 3% in the incidence of skin cancer, inclusive of melanoma. It's a revealing bit of information because many other forms of cancer began to show lower incidence in the early 1990's. But skin cancer has not shown a similar trend; just the opposite. Again, I'm stating a fact here, Brendan, and I did indicate in the melanoma post that I would not venture to suggest a direct correlation between this trend and the ozone layer. But as of 2005, three Australians per day died of skin cancer. Is that comparable to the average American daily fatality in Iraq? The median age of these skin cancer fatalities is in the mid-40s for men, younger for women. So, it would be inaccurate to suggest that the problem has been resolved down under.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:14 pm

That the fatalities occur in 40+ men and so forth is more indicative of the way we fried without sunscreen in our childhood and tans were mandatory for beach bunnies, IMHO. Nor did I say or imply that the problem is 'resolved' anywhere. I expect Queensland will remain very high in melanoma stats for a long time yet - not something to applaud, but it doesn't indicate much on the global scale concerning greenhouse effects, as far as I can see. Just another example of folk misusing unrelated phenonema to confirm their beliefs in something else.

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Post by piston » Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:22 pm

To keep track of trends does not amount, in my mind, to a misuse of information. We've gone there before. I'd appreciate some acknowledgment of that simple quest to know. I really don't have an agenda (believe it or not!). Can we agree on a single point: rather than being a question of direct causation, the current "environmental" picture is a most complex 10,000-piece puzzle. Many would like to explain everything with direct causation but it's in the interrelatedness of countless different trends that some better conception of reality is bound to emerge. Clearly, though, advocates of the status quo are in for a shock. At the present time, there exists a 90% scientific consensus about major environmental changes currently in the making. Nine out of ten scientists are saying so. So why are these particular forums, not particularly visited by scientists, not reflecting this consensus?
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Jul 17, 2007 2:31 am

piston wrote:To keep track of trends does not amount, in my mind, to a misuse of information. We've gone there before. I'd appreciate some acknowledgment of that simple quest to know.
Simple observation would lead one to believe that the sun rises and sets, too. It doesn't of course, and it took some time and a little more sophisticated analysis to prove it doesn't.
I really don't have an agenda (believe it or not!). Can we agree on a single point: rather than being a question of direct causation, the current "environmental" picture is a most complex 10,000-piece puzzle. Many would like to explain everything with direct causation but it's in the interrelatedness of countless different trends that some better conception of reality is bound to emerge.


No question. However, scaremongers with an agenda that is not scientific are not willing to wait for the data to clarify.
Clearly, though, advocates of the status quo are in for a shock.


Well, your conclusion assumes the scaremongers are right. What will shock me is if they turn out to be right.
At the present time, there exists a 90% scientific consensus about major environmental changes currently in the making. Nine out of ten scientists are saying so. So why are these particular forums, not particularly visited by scientists, not reflecting this consensus?
PC has infected the scientific community with political activists. In order to keep their jobs and their research grants, skeptics would at the very least remain silent, at the worst, they would agree that lead could be turned into gold. I don't know how much more clearly I can state it: the scaremongers have found political power in their tactics and they have made dissent within the scientific community untenable. For you to keep asking the same nonsensical question, i.e., what's wrong with the 10% and the naysayers here, over and over beggars the imagination. That's what's wrong with the naysayers: they understand the operation of politics masquerading as science.
Last edited by Corlyss_D on Tue Jul 17, 2007 3:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by jbuck919 » Tue Jul 17, 2007 2:44 am

Corlyss_D wrote: PC has infected the scientific community with political activists. In order to keep their jobs and their research grants, skeptics would at the very least remain silent, at the worst, they would agree that lead could be turned into gold. I don't know how much more clearly I can state it: the scaremongers have found political power in their tactics and they have made dissent within the scientific community untenable. For you to keep asking the same nonsensical question, i.e., what's wrong with the 10% and the naysayers here, over and over beggars the imagination. That's what's wrong with the naysayers: they understand the operation of politics masquerading as science.
As you know, I agree with you on this, but at least we don't have to deal with Lysenkoism. :roll:

As someone who had to deal with documents of a very technical nature in his previous existence, I would go even farther than you have and invoke our famous shared interest in overblown bureaucracy. Let me go no further--"principal investigator." Enough said, no?

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