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Old 26-09-2010, 03:03   #346
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the results of this survey are interesting (particularly when you remember most of these folks make a living off global warming/climate change/climate disruption):

http://coast.gkss.de/staff/storch/pd...0_9.CLISCI.pdf
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Old 29-09-2010, 18:40   #347
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Thanks for the post. I skimmed through it and it is easy to see why people misunderstand scientific works. It would have been nice to see some kind of conclusion or summary on top of the raw data.

None the less what I observed was that scientists:
1 - Don't think much of the web
2 - Are not being tapped by either side for their opinion
3 - Are more worried than they want to tell the public.

In the comments section many identified over population or the related issue of resource depletion as the greatest threats. Yet a significant number are stuck on things such as "Aids." So even scientist have their own hobby horse to ride at times and can't see what is obvious.
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Old 29-09-2010, 18:47   #348
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Originally Posted by TaoJones View Post
It has become apparent that many participants in this thread have long-since lost sight of the OP's original point - phytoplankton are reportedly dieing-off at an alarming rate. Unless this thread somehow gets back on that topic, and soon, it will be closed; unless all of the political commentary is omitted from posts, it will be closed; unless posters conform to the Be Nice rule, it will be closed.

Thank you for your cooperation.

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Tao,

After reading your admonition I looked back to see who the OP was and refresh myself on the post. Imagine my surprise to find it was myself.

I do hope you keep this tread open for I believe it serves a valuable purpose. It is not just the folks that stray into the pit but those that lurk on the side lines, however many that is, that benefit from the ebb and flow of the argument.

Clearly this is a topic on many minds. We will ALWAYS find a few who wish to take things to extremes, to fight to the end, the bitter end. They muck it up for those who are trying to sort out these difficult issues for themselves. Perhaps a bit of applied pressure would serve the greater good than a simple 'kill' even though it is more work.

In any event, I appreciate your work here. This is a great forum.
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Old 29-09-2010, 18:54   #349
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Just so I can get my head straight on what we are and are not saying:

The original articles talked about loss of photoplankton.

The argument now seems to have devolved into the trust worthiness of scientist.

Am I correct is assuming that many folks here who do not believe in global warming also do not believe in the loss of photophankton?

It would seem to be the obvious conclusion since both topics are studied by scientists.

Then, by further extrapolation, are we to believe that we should believe NOTHING from a scientist as they are inherently at someones pocket?
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Old 29-09-2010, 20:31   #350
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. . . The argument now seems to have devolved into the trust worthiness of scientist. . .
Then, by further extrapolation, are we to believe that we should believe NOTHING from a scientist as they are inherently at someones pocket?
I think that your statements above address the core issues these days. And they are not something new. Scientists have always been "paid" or financially sponsored by somebody with significant money all the way from Leonardo da Vinci up to the present. And few, if any, of the sponsors kept their hands off the scientists work or field of study. There has always been an underlying agenda influencing the work.
- - Because the cost of modern scientific research is getting more and more expensive, scientists have come to learn where the "bread" is and what they have to do to feed their families and put their kids through school. These are the harsh realities for all occupations.
- - What is discouraging now is the need for mass media attention to get the "sponsor's" attention and keep the money flowing. Since private sponsor's are pretty much a thing of the past with a few exceptions, governments are the prime source now of money for research. And obviously that leads to politicians controlling who, what and where the money is given.
- - Look at NASA and the Space Program, every 4 or 8 years they have to dramatically alter their long range objectives to appease this group of politicians or that group. NIH has the same problems with politicians sticking their fingers into what can be researched and what cannot be researched for political/religious reasons.
- - It is a wonder that any significant research is getting done anywhere. Serious research is scuttled by politicians boasting about ending funding for study of the sex life of this frog or that bug, when the underlying research objective is to find life saving chemicals, hormones, medicine, whatever to better treat human diseases/conditions.
- - Climate change is a fact, as it has been going on for billions of years. What is up for discussion is are humans having any significant or long lasting effect on the natural processes of the planet. Evolution is a fact, but what is up for discussion is the motivating/causal factors by which evolutionary changes happen in organisms.
- - One problem with modern research is it is being done by "proxy" rather than direct controlled experiments and observations. Computers, satellites, etc., are cheap when compared to putting scientists out in the field to do significant data gathering. Then everything is fed into a super-computer with a modeling program written by a human who has personal biases (every human has personal biases). If you look carefully through the cited survey you will find that nearly 80% are involved in computer climate modeling. If you look at the survey response rate chart you will that on average only 1 in 5 who received the survey returned it. Only 375 scientists responded out of probably many, many thousands in the field world-wide.
- - Be that as it may, looking through the actual data in the survey there are text book patterns of bell curve responses to questions that rarely shift off the center - "I don't really know or care" - other-wise known as the "average" position.
- - So as to your questions - are scientists trustworthy? These days not anymore than I would trust economists, politicians, or used-car salesmen.
- - "we should believe NOTHING from a scientist as they are inherently at someones pocket" - That's a little too extreme, there are some good scientists out there, but the ones screaming doom and disaster and making claims that defy common sense are pushing an agenda most usually related to their sources of funding.
- - It is extremely sad that in today's mass media, instant polling, and hyperbolic claims of this and that, that real science has been forgotten. Even the term "scientist" has been debased and used as a "buzz word" to try to legitimize fringe religious and political purposes. There are a lot of old oxymorons - one is "military intelligence" and now they can add "social scientist," "political scientist" and "climate scientist."
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Old 29-09-2010, 21:00   #351
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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
- - "we should believe NOTHING from a scientist as they are inherently at someones pocket" - That's a little too extreme, there are some good scientists out there, but the ones screaming doom and disaster and making claims that defy common sense are pushing an agenda most usually related to their sources of funding.
Your answer seems to imply that we only trust that science which does not defy our "common sense."
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Old 30-09-2010, 06:59   #352
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- - Look at NASA and the Space Program, every 4 or 8 years they have to dramatically alter their long range objectives to appease this group of politicians or that group. NIH has the same problems with politicians sticking their fingers into what can be researched and what cannot be researched for political/religious reasons.
Speaking of NASA...

(sorry for off topic but there doesn't seem to be a lot of on-topic left in this thread...)
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Old 30-09-2010, 09:39   #353
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- - Climate change is a fact, as it has been going on for billions of years. What is up for discussion is are humans having any significant or long lasting effect on the natural processes of the planet.
I'd go with that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
- - It is extremely sad that in today's mass media, instant polling, and hyperbolic claims of this and that, that real science has been forgotten. Even the term "scientist" has been debased and used as a "buzz word" to try to legitimize fringe religious and political purposes. There are a lot of old oxymorons - one is "military intelligence" and now they can add "social scientist," "political scientist" and "climate scientist."
And yet, it is easy to do good science. Recently in the UK, the BBC held a competition for the public to come up with a real experiment that anyone could do that added new knowledge to the field in question.

BBC - Radio 4 - So You Want To Be A Scientist? - The Experiments - Homing Snails Experiment - Snail Swapping Instructions

It turns out that snails are aware of their neighbourhoods for distances of up to 100 metres or so. No one knew this. OK, it is not ground breaking science but it shows what people have forgotten - that science is a METHODOLOGY for investigating the physical world and anyone can do it anywhere

We need to recapture that attitude and relearn that science is not some fiendishly complicated black art that can only be interpreted by the acolytes in white coats.
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Old 30-09-2010, 09:53   #354
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Just so I can get my head straight on what we are and are not saying:

The original articles talked about loss of photoplankton.

The argument now seems to have devolved into the trust worthiness of scientist.
That is because the figures quoted were so large that people find them hard to believe. This then leads to discussion of "are we being lied to in order to force us into action?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Am I correct is assuming that many folks here who do not believe in global warming also do not believe in the loss of photophankton?
It's not that I do not believe in the plankton loss, but I find the methods use to calculate that loss questionable. I also find the size of the loss staggering and wonder why it took some scientists with an obscure measuring device to notice that half the ocean's supply of food had disappeared.
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Old 30-09-2010, 09:55   #355
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I'd go with that!

We need to recapture that attitude and relearn that science is not some fiendishly complicated black art that can only be interpreted by the acolytes in white coats.

Yes, one can become a member of the Society of Concerned Scientist for $25.00
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Old 30-09-2010, 10:40   #356
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The complete Nature magazine paper
Global phytoplankton decline over the past century
by Daniel G. Boyce, Marlon R. Lewis & Boris Worm

Here ➥
http://wormlab.biology.dal.ca/ramweb..._etal_2010.pdf
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Old 30-09-2010, 12:25   #357
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Thanks GordMay - an interesting read. I am now considerably less concerned than I was. The data in the paper is considerably less "certain" than how the media presents it and a lot of the data presented in the paper is open to other interpretations. I was particularly interested in the measurements of ocean transparency vs. in-situ measurements which seemed to me to suggest very little correlation between the two (graph "a", top left of page 2). The lines and trends in other graphs are based on data so scattered that you could draw almost any line through them.

This paper says one thing to me - that a *lot* more data needs collecting to capture meaningful trends. To be fair to the authors they state that "Estimated changes in marine phytoplankton using satellite remote sensing (1979–86 and 1997–present) have been variable, with reported global decreases and increases, and large interannual and decadal- scale variability. Despite differences in scale and approach, it is clear that long-term estimates of phytoplankton abundance are a necessary,but elusive, prerequisite to understanding macroecological changes in
the ocean
." (my emphasis)
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Old 30-09-2010, 12:41   #358
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Can't hurt to drive less and not pour crap down the drain in the meantime.We do know we have raped the planet,emptied her oceans then filled them with toxic waste.
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Old 30-09-2010, 12:46   #359
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Thanks GordMay - an interesting read. I am now considerably less concerned than I was. The data in the paper is considerably less "certain" than how the media presents it and a lot of the data presented in the paper is open to other interpretations. I was particularly interested in the measurements of ocean transparency vs. in-situ measurements which seemed to me to suggest very little correlation between the two (graph "a", top left of page 2). The lines and trends in other graphs are based on data so scattered that you could draw almost any line through them.

This paper says one thing to me - that a *lot* more data needs collecting to capture meaningful trends. To be fair to the authors they state that "Estimated changes in marine phytoplankton using satellite remote sensing (1979–86 and 1997–present) have been variable, with reported global decreases and increases, and large interannual and decadal- scale variability. Despite differences in scale and approach, it is clear that long-term estimates of phytoplankton abundance are a necessary,but elusive, prerequisite to understanding macroecological changes in
the ocean
." (my emphasis)
Yep.

It's always been interesting to me that when I read the actual scientific papers, I sometimes only understand 1 to maybe 10% of what they say. But I always learn more from that than from the "expert, professional" reporter's synopsis. And almost every time I find the conclusions from the papers don't match the headlines or conclusions from the reporters.

I haven't read this one yet (I'm at work), but I got it bookmarked to read at home.

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Old 30-09-2010, 13:23   #360
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Can't hurt to drive less and not pour crap down the drain in the meantime.We do know we have raped the planet,emptied her oceans then filled them with toxic waste.
It doesn't take much calculation to understand we have to drastically reduce oil consumption. Most nations have long past peak oil and not slowed consumption. Canada is expected to continue increasing oil production for a long time based on the oil sands. There is an estimated 1.7 trillion barrels there but current technology allows for 170 billion to be recovered and this is at a terrible environmental (and subsequent human) cost. As oil costs rise it will likely become ever more feasible to remove the oil if a massive disaster continues to seem feasible. The world uses about 90 million barrels per day at a growth rate of 1.79% which means 170 million barrels will be used over the next 4 years. Of course the oil sands aren't the only game in town though they are second largest based on 170 billion and largest in potential should someone figure it out.

With the NW passage opening arctic reserves we are seeing an oil rush there as well. Given our species record in these matters I'd say there will an exchange of healthy environment for oil in the arctic.

Churches sometimes talk about a crisis of faith. I think that's what we have here. There is just too damn much faith that it's going to work out. I have a son who's just shy of thirty. I'd like him to grow old with more then a bankrupt world to call home but as things stand now I'm not sure he'll get that.
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