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Old 30-07-2010, 19:57   #46
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well, I certainly don't share your cynicism. Ask yourself why so many scholars spend seven or eight years of grad school and then maybe a year or two of post-doctoral fellowships to prepare for a career where they make a fraction of the salary of persons in industry with similar levels of education. The fact is, they enjoy the life of the mind and the pursuit of knowledge. Yes, you could call that "an agenda," but it's an agenda that supports the common good.

I just spent two years researching and writing a paper that has been accepted for publication in a prestigious peer-reviewed journal next spring. Know what I'll be paid for that? Not a dime. Know how much grant money I got in support of the research? Not a dime. But no complaints because I consider it part of the job. I'm an educator. My job is to make the world a better place. I do that with my teaching, and I do that with my research.

And I have every reason to believe that my colleagues who just published the paper on plankton decline feel the same way about what they do.
Flysci and Bash..Thanks!
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Old 30-07-2010, 20:26   #47
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Just thought I thank everyone for their input before this gets shut down, it really shows just how much education that needs to happen for both sides of the discussion ( the "we are fine" side or the "we are in trouble" side).
Cheers,
Erika
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Old 30-07-2010, 20:34   #48
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Actually phytoplankton produces most of the planets oxygen (not vegetation). The percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere has not dropped so I don't know what gives.
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Old 30-07-2010, 20:46   #49
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This has been a very interesting discussion. Not from the perspective that either side has illustrated their views particularly well (however, the scientists in the group have done a fine job defending their calling). It is interesting from the vantage point that every one views the tragedy from only a human perspective.

In reality, "Mother Earth" could give give a rat's arse because she will continue to morph and adjust. Eventually, she will bring herself into a new balance, probably ridding her body of the parasites that are causing problems. That would be us of course.

To bring it to a more personal level, if cruisers truly cared so much about the ocean, they would ban together, invest in moorings in the favorite locations, and discontinue destroying reefs and bottom growth with each new anchorage, much as the divers have done in major dive areas such as Belize. This is of course just one example. We find it quick to condemn data and opinions that affect our lifestyle and blame it on the habits and lifestyle of others.

I do agree with David that overpopulation is a major problem, but nature will eventually take care of that just like in any other animal population. Oh my, did I just call us animals. The more we tinker with nature, them more likely it is that we will upset the balance and wipe out our species. Whether it be through some superbug from using too many antibiotics or destruction of our agriculture by a genetically altered plant that was supposed to feed more of us, but would not die from traditional herbicides. I am sure each of those scientist were objective in their research as well, just not looking at it with a wide enough lens to see the whole picture.

Everything is relative to the time and experiences we know, but the reality is that the ability to reason and understand will ultimately be our greatest failure. This whole discussion illustrates the human condition at its best. We argue about the problem with much more effort than we put into solving it. The ocean, land and air are changing. They have since the start of time. We have the honor or horror as it is to claim the greatest effect to our own sustainability than any other species. The "dumb" species just get wiped out from volcanoes, earthquakes, and humans.

A million years from now, the earth will be in its next stage and still oblivious to the fact that humans ever soiled her dress. We on the other hand will be the next layer of petrochemicals waiting for the next intelligent beings to harvest.

By the way, I have no facts or links to support this finding. Only personal observation and logic (possibly flawed, but it is my reality).

Okay....sorry....the discussion hit a nerve
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Old 31-07-2010, 05:05   #50
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... I was able to read the study through the university library where I work. It's quite disconcerting. For those who don't have access to a university library, you can read the editor's summary here: Phytoplankton in retreat : Nature
Did you notice whether the authors considered a possible resurgence of fish stocks, as a partial cause of recent plankton decline (more fish eat more plankton)?
Did the authors speculate on causation at all, or just examine effect?
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Old 31-07-2010, 06:27   #51
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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
well, I certainly don't share your cynicism. Ask yourself why so many scholars spend seven or eight years of grad school and then maybe a year or two of post-doctoral fellowships to prepare for a career where they make a fraction of the salary of persons in industry with similar levels of education. The fact is, they enjoy the life of the mind and the pursuit of knowledge. Yes, you could call that "an agenda," but it's an agenda that supports the common good.

I just spent two years researching and writing a paper that has been accepted for publication in a prestigious peer-reviewed journal next spring. Know what I'll be paid for that? Not a dime. Know how much grant money I got in support of the research? Not a dime. But no complaints because I consider it part of the job. I'm an educator. My job is to make the world a better place. I do that with my teaching, and I do that with my research.

And I have every reason to believe that my colleagues who just published the paper on plankton decline feel the same way about what they do.
Bash,
My brother has chosen the same path as you. I know he enjoys the research and learning/discovering things that will help people. You sound a lot like him and that is some thing to be admired.

That being said, every profession has some members with less than honorable intentions. I believe that it is good to question results. Researchers are just human and results can be misinterpreted. .

For example this is why science is sometimes viewed with skepticism:
45 days ago some scientist were saying how the Gulf of Mexico was going to be dead, but now:

Gulf oil spill: Where has the oil gone? - CSMonitor.com

Please do not misinterpret my point. I do not personally believe that the Gulf is healed, that is not my point. My point is that perceived results can be wrong.

Another problem is theories seem to be amplified and misrepresented by the media

The worst thing that can happen to research results is politics. I like to use the following formula to figure out what you get when you combine anything with politics:
anything + politics = bull**it (scientifically proved to be 100% accurate )
The above formula works with religion also.
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Old 31-07-2010, 07:16   #52
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Margo and Bash

Yes im cynical and with good reasons. Scientists arnt an independant group of victorian old boys living in their insular royal institutuion club. They are brought together and funded by governments, oil giants and mon*anto to put their spin into what we are to be told, irrrespective of truth.
Take the East Anglian uni report into climate change which was recently exposed as being biased. Add to that, giants like mon*anto (Yes, I was threatened with legal ruination once by their lawyers for telling my farmers we couldnt accept crops which were treated by a certain mon*anto chemical) who have the legal clout to litterally kill people.
Our own gov saw an opportunity several years ago to intorduce yet another reason to tax us - the carbon tax. Its to raise more funds to spend putting the environment right. Last year in the UK, our gov raised over 40 Billion uk sterling from motoring, yet less than 12 billion was spent on the road and transport infrastructure. The rest was syphoned off for other things.

Ive lost the trust i never even had, i hate the lies, the spin and I dont believe a word anyone says, EVERYONE has a vested interest.

Now, im not saying all scientists are in on some mass conspiracy, im sure most are honourable, but they wont be the ones who are being asked to spin the research findings to present to joe public so we can be told to pay more for something or we all die.
Wanna know what I mean? - religion - believe in this and pay up or you all go to hell where your gonna burn for eternity.
Millions of people we so scared they believed. Thank god (hahaha) times have changed and we can see through that one.
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Old 31-07-2010, 08:09   #53
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...(1) Take the East Anglian uni report into climate change which was recently exposed as being biased...
...(2) EVERYONE has a vested interest ...
1.That's just plain UNTRUE, as has been previously revealed on this forum.

2. What's your interest?
I assure you that my only interest is accuracy & truth. I don't expect you to believe me.
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Old 31-07-2010, 09:41   #54
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This has been a very interesting discussion. Not from the perspective that either side has illustrated their views particularly well (however, the scientists in the group have done a fine job defending their calling). It is interesting from the vantage point that every one views the tragedy from only a human perspective.

In reality, "Mother Earth" could give give a rat's arse because she will continue to morph and adjust. Eventually, she will bring herself into a new balance, probably ridding her body of the parasites that are causing problems. That would be us of course.

To bring it to a more personal level, if cruisers truly cared so much about the ocean, they would ban together, invest in moorings in the favorite locations, and discontinue destroying reefs and bottom growth with each new anchorage, much as the divers have done in major dive areas such as Belize. This is of course just one example. We find it quick to condemn data and opinions that affect our lifestyle and blame it on the habits and lifestyle of others.

I do agree with David that overpopulation is a major problem, but nature will eventually take care of that just like in any other animal population. Oh my, did I just call us animals. The more we tinker with nature, them more likely it is that we will upset the balance and wipe out our species. Whether it be through some superbug from using too many antibiotics or destruction of our agriculture by a genetically altered plant that was supposed to feed more of us, but would not die from traditional herbicides. I am sure each of those scientist were objective in their research as well, just not looking at it with a wide enough lens to see the whole picture.

Everything is relative to the time and experiences we know, but the reality is that the ability to reason and understand will ultimately be our greatest failure. This whole discussion illustrates the human condition at its best. We argue about the problem with much more effort than we put into solving it. The ocean, land and air are changing. They have since the start of time. We have the honor or horror as it is to claim the greatest effect to our own sustainability than any other species. The "dumb" species just get wiped out from volcanoes, earthquakes, and humans.

A million years from now, the earth will be in its next stage and still oblivious to the fact that humans ever soiled her dress. We on the other hand will be the next layer of petrochemicals waiting for the next intelligent beings to harvest.

By the way, I have no facts or links to support this finding. Only personal observation and logic (possibly flawed, but it is my reality).

Okay....sorry....the discussion hit a nerve

You say it better than I.
Thanks.
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Old 31-07-2010, 10:55   #55
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anything + politics = bull**it (scientifically proved to be 100% accurate )
This might meet the Q.E.D. test Gord....Q.E.F. for sure
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Old 31-07-2010, 11:37   #56
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Another thread all gone to pot.
The Commercial Scientist works hardest at justifying his job. Great headlines mean more grants to whatever puddle he's dipping in.
Sensible scientist gave up long ago.
Green Scientists are as bad as the Commercial vermin, just distorting and selecting facts that suit themselves.
We know WE took the mature fish stocks. The mature whales. The stuff that keeps the oceans in balance. The surprise is that the plankton haven't zoomed as they're predators have reduced. But, just maybe, that's because the little fishes eat the plankton, and the big fishes aren't culling them quick enough, so it's all their fault.
Still, they'll grow up in five years, and everything will go back to normal. Or start another sequence.
The Scottish fishing stocks have recovered remarkably quickly, faster than the scientists predicted. Perhaps the oil in the water is actually a fishy aphrodisiac?
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Old 31-07-2010, 18:13   #57
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I don't know anything about plankton, but I do know that the amount of biomass that the oceans can support is related to temperature. According to the BBC radio programme Home Planet (IMHO one the BBC's very best science programmes, in which a panel of experts from various scientific fields answer questions from listeners), the reason the Southern Ocean is teeming with life compared to the tropics is simply because cold water can hold more dissolved oxygen than warm water. That being so, if the oceans are warming, the amount of life that they can support will be diminishing, and it should be possible to calculate the size of the decline per degree of warming. I wonder if anyone has done this?
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Old 31-07-2010, 21:05   #58
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Once scientists get into politics...it's all aboot the $$$

Mother Earth will heal herself....despite man.............

How many diseases have been cured?
























None.





There are treatments....not cures.
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Old 31-07-2010, 21:37   #59
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According to the BBC radio programme Home Planet (IMHO one the BBC's very best science programmes, in which a panel of experts from various scientific fields answer questions from listeners), the reason the Southern Ocean is teeming with life compared to the tropics is simply because cold water can hold more dissolved oxygen than warm water.
Ask yourself why the gray whales, after birthing and mating in the warm waters of Baja California Sur, swim all the way back up to Alaska. Plankton. They'd starve if they didn't get back to cold waters where there's enough biomass to support their dietary needs.

And that's a looooooong swim. They wouldn't do it if they didn't have to.
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Old 01-08-2010, 00:07   #60
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plankton has been around for millions of years and has survived periods hotter than now and with higher CO2 levels, plankton levels in the pacific wax and wane with El Nino, La Nina oscillations always have done always will do.
The Earths Climate has been in a warming phase since the last Ice age and if long term trends are right we will go back too another ice age in the future, always has done in the past. So bring on Global Warwing enjoy it while it lasts
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