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Old 09-09-2010, 21:46   #121
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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post

I would say if the only way to go is to spend the money anyway ... then why not spend it smart?

And once we do know the answer then choosing between act and non-act becomes a non-brainer.

The video is a scam.

b.
That's the way the entire insurance industry operates. People spend money because something really bad might happen. So, they happily spend $250. per month because that is less onerous than being statistically unlucky enough to lose your $250,000. home to fire or flooding. The whole premise of insurance is that you have to spend money before the event and regardless of whether it happens. I thought this would be fairly axiomatic?

It's not a scam. It's actuarial science.
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Old 09-09-2010, 21:54   #122
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The crux of the problem seems to be that the public is hearing more and more studies that come from those with an agenda or from those who were paid by someone with an agenda. It is becoming impossible for most people to sort fact from fiction.

Most people know better than to believe everything they hear coming from the media or public figures because those people are not well enough educated to know when they are being lied to. Either that or they have their own agenda. I think it's usually the latter.

The sniff test is probably the most accurate indicator for the public to use in order to discern fact from fiction. If it smells like BS, chances are that it is.
Absolutely, but that goes to either side of the argument, for or against. You need to do a little research, find credible sources, and then see what they are saying.

After doing a fair bit of poking around at the evidence I have been convinced that human activity is doing a fair amount of harm to our plant ecosystems in general and the climate in particular. That is my considered opinion.
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Old 10-09-2010, 05:19   #123
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Interestingly enough Craven's general approach to hazard analysis is routinely done in most systems engineering and is, IIRC, a milspec process.

But I digress, and I didn't watch the video, I read the book. So there may be more clarity in the later.

If you think that the resultant actions are the same for a killer asteroid and climate change, then there is either something seriously wrong with the video explaining the process, or your understanding of the process. They are very, very different hazard scenarios. One you may be able to plan for, the other, not so much.
a. In the engineering profession the analysis is significantly more detailed with more degrees of freedom and reasonable assessment of probabilities.

b. In Craven's analysis probability of global warming occuring and probability that mankind would be able to do anything about it were not considered. His analysis would have us spending the money even if global warming had a 1 in 100 million chance of happening.
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Old 10-09-2010, 05:22   #124
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After doing a fair bit of poking around at the evidence I have been convinced that human activity is doing a fair amount of harm to our plant ecosystems in general and the climate in particular. That is my considered opinion.
IT's not helping insect/bird life either

Is light pollution killing our birds......???????? - Light Pollution dot Org
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Old 10-09-2010, 05:49   #125
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I think that Craven was inadvertently right, in concluding that we should take action against AGW; even though his reasoning is wrong.

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
a. In the engineering profession the analysis is significantly more detailed with more degrees of freedom and reasonable assessment of probabilities ...
Indeed.

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Originally Posted by muskoka View Post
That's the way the entire insurance industry operates. People spend money because something really bad might happen ...
Indeed, but we don’t generally insure against any conceivable risk, at any cost.
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Old 10-09-2010, 06:12   #126
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a. In the engineering profession the analysis is significantly more detailed with more degrees of freedom and reasonable assessment of probabilities.

b. In Craven's analysis probability of global warming occuring and probability that mankind would be able to do anything about it were not considered. His analysis would have us spending the money even if global warming had a 1 in 100 million chance of happening.

I didn't watch the video..............READ THE BOOK

A. Correct, book was written for public consumption, a simple analytic technique.

B. Not by the books methodology.

But, out of curiosity, what do you think the chances are of climate change happening? Rough order of magnitude would do fine. 1:1, 1:10, 1:100
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Old 10-09-2010, 06:15   #127
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Food for thought ...

I wonder if the scientist that noted the reduction in plankton have moved to the next step in the calculation...

If plankton are responsible for production of half our oxygen supply and they have been reduced by 75 percent over all - then they are only producing 25 percent of the oxygen they used to.

The math required to calculate the quantity of oxygen remaining on the planet should be fairly simple for the phd's to calculate.

Along with an estimated consumption rate (animals and combustion).

With estimates for production and consumption - it should be fairly easy to predict when the oxygen levels will begin to drop ( if consumption exceeds production).

If all production of oxygen ceased today - how long would our current supply last with our current rate of consumption?

Or... as cheif Ponatagu said on Easter Island - if we burn two date palms a day - how long before we have to start eating long pig?
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Old 10-09-2010, 06:51   #128
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The crux of the problem seems to be that the public is hearing more and more studies that come from those with an agenda or from those who were paid by someone with an agenda. It is becoming impossible for most people to sort fact from fiction.

Most people know better than to believe everything they hear coming from the media or public figures because those people are not well enough educated to know when they are being lied to. Either that or they have their own agenda. I think it's usually the latter.

The sniff test is probably the most accurate indicator for the public to use in order to discern fact from fiction. If it smells like BS, chances are that it is.
Probably the most relevant of all the posts. Doubt is growing in the concerned populations because there are too many chicken-little predictions of "maybe absolute doom." If you read the actual studies and reports you will find a lot of qualifying adverbs, adjectives and verbs like "might, may, could, possibly," and so forth. So any questionable or possibly outrageous conclusion can not be classified as a lie or false - e.g. "an asteroid might wipe us all out next week." (there are two passing by inside the moon's orbit). However, the news media ignore the qualifiers and publish the statement as positive fact.
- - Next there is a growing trend towards "science on the cheap." As world population grows so also grows the academic population. However, the funds available for research does not grow proportionately but instead is pressured down by governments wanting to use the money more effectively in other places, like buying votes. So scientists have to find cheaper and more "cost effective" ways to do their science and the science has to be slanted towards "sound bites" that will get the public's eye/ears which will get the politicians eye/ears and result in more funds being available.
- - "Science on the cheap" is exemplified by using old databases and computers instead of hiring survey ships and going out and getting thousands of real samples of ocean water and analyzing them and a lot of other "time/labor cost saving" techniques. Actual expeditions are very expensive and may or may not have the results desired.
- - The use of "super-computer modeling" is highly suspect as somebody had to write the "model software" and that person's prejudices and perceptions color and slant the model towards one result or another. E.g. look at the weather modeling and automatically computer generated charts put out by NOAA. "Science on the cheap" is unfortunately the only way available in these days of tight money and as you know buying a cheap bilge pump can cause serious problems later on.
- - "Agenda or bandwagon science" is tightly associated with the preservation of the lifestyle of the scientist/institution and has a negative impact on the veracity of the product. Nothing new here, the Renaissance scientists were stymied/thwarted by the religious/political environment of their time. Academics/scientists must publish or perish and getting published is very difficult when there are now thousands of applicants versus hundreds in years past. Competition is fierce and most generally only "popularly
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Old 10-09-2010, 06:53   #129
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But, out of curiosity, what do you think the chances are of climate change happening? Rough order of magnitude would do fine. 1:1, 1:10, 1:100
Climate change - absolute certainity. It has never stopped changing and the Earth has been a lot hotter than it is now.

Is mankind the sole source of climate change? No. It was changing BEFORE mankind evolved.

Is mankind contributing to climates change? Yes

Is mankind the MAJOR contributor? No one knows....
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:15   #130
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. . .
Is mankind the MAJOR contributor? No one knows....
Sorry, can't resist - - The answer has got to be Yes! Just imagine the mega billions of cubic feet of hot air coming out of politicians and academics on this subject. Then add to that the mega-joules of heat from all the cooling fans on the PC computers and super computers grinding out reports and studies and forum discussions on the subject.
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Old 10-09-2010, 08:44   #131
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I've enjoyed reading this thread. I spent the early part of my life working as a marine biologist and ecologist (scientific, not crackpot). I decided that there was in fact no hope of stopping the coming ecological catastrophe caused by human beings, so I got out of that field and decided to make some money to do what I enjoyed. As a few people have pointed out the earth is essentially a closed system and the resources available to us are finite. We (people in general) are consuming these resources at an ever increasing rate as the population grows and people try to increase their standard of living. Consuming those resources is the only thing that enables the planet to support nearly 7 billion people. The waste products produced are poisoning our environment and will continue to do so. For those with any training at all in microbiology you would recognize the growth curve of a colony of bacteria on a Petri dish. The colony grows on an exponential curve slowly at first then the growth curve goes vertical. This goes on until one of two things happens, the colony runs out of resources (food) or the colony's waste products poison the individuals and the population suddenly crashes to a very low level. The human population curve entered this vertical growth phase about 100 years ago. Human ingenuity has the ability to delay the crash, but it cannot prevent the crash. The human population crash will of course take a lot of species with it.

For those who might not think that these curves apply to higher animals I would point to an incident in the early 80s in Florida. There was a section of the everglades cut off by man made structures that prevented the local deer population from migrating, thus creating a closed system that was resource limited. Since there were essentially no deer predators in this area the population began to explode. Professional wildlife biologists decided to save most of the population the deer herd needed to be culled from 4500 individuals to about 2500. The Florida fish and game commission decided to allow hunters into the area to kill about 2000 of the deer. This had to be done before the middle of July of that year or the resources would be consumed beyond the ability of the area to support even the 2500 number. In early June a bunch of self appointed animal lovers and ecological do gooders with no knowledge, led by author Cleveland Amory managed to get a court injunction against the hunt, while they tried to capture and relocate the deer. They managed to capture 4 deer by the beginning of August all of which died from the shock of the capture process. By then of course the window for saving the majority of the population had passed and over four thousand deer died a slow and painful death from starvation. By then of course the do gooders were no where to be seen and the news media decided not to cover the consequences of their actions.

So which one will get us, lack of resources or pollution? I haven't got a clue; there are simply too many factors to consider. In the grand scheme of things global warming is just an inconvenience to people living along the coasts. Is there a man made component, probably? Are the oceans being destroyed by human activity? No, but they are being changed. The oceans will survive human beings and they will be different after we're gone. Coral scientists claim that global warming and ocean acidification will wipe out coral reefs and make corals extinct. Nonsense, corals have survived far worse than what humans are throwing at them and are still here. CO2 levels have been historically much higher (and the oceans much more acidic) than current predicted by GW scientists and we still have corals.

What most scientists are unwilling to say publically is that there is only one way to prevent an eventual ecological catastrophe. About 6 billion people have to get off the earth now. The problem is a lack of volunteers, and since we have a moral issue with culling people, there is no viable solution. Of course all of this presupposes that an asteroid or super volcano doesn't get us first.

So how am I going to handle this? I'm going sailing and I'm going to enjoy what we have while we have it.
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:59   #132
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What most scientists are unwilling to say publically is that there is only one way to prevent an eventual ecological catastrophe. About 6 billion people have to get off the earth now.
Indeed. That is the major cause - too many people, but it is a problem that has its own solution just like the bacteria in the petri dish. Fortunately we also have other solutions too. We can reduce the impact of people on the planet by something as simple as better recycling of metals, glass and plastics and better distribution of existing food (of which there is more than enough).

If we encourage WOMEN to be better educated and employed then they automatically have less children. This effect is seen over and over again. We need to make the birth rate drop dramatically. People also have smaller families when healthcare improves to the point that childhood mortality drops substantially.

Oddly enough, it may be better to encourage more people to live in cities as the benefit from economies of scale, better healthcare, more jobs locally and (generally) female emancipation - all the elements that cause a reduced birth rate and in 2008 more than half the world's population lived in cities for the first time in history.
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Old 10-09-2010, 10:54   #133
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What most scientists are unwilling to say publically is that there is only one way to prevent an eventual ecological catastrophe. About 6 billion people have to get off the earth now. The problem is a lack of volunteers, and since we have a moral issue with culling people, there is no viable solution. Of course all of this presupposes that an asteroid or super volcano doesn't get us first.

So how am I going to handle this? I'm going sailing and I'm going to enjoy what we have while we have it.
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Indeed. That is the major cause - too many people, but it is a problem that has its own solution just like the bacteria in the petri dish. Fortunately we also have other solutions too. We can reduce the impact of people on the planet by something as simple as better recycling of metals, glass and plastics and better distribution of existing food (of which there is more than enough).

If we encourage WOMEN to be better educated and employed then they automatically have less children. This effect is seen over and over again. We need to make the birth rate drop dramatically. People also have smaller families when healthcare improves to the point that childhood mortality drops substantially.

Oddly enough, it may be better to encourage more people to live in cities as the benefit from economies of scale, better healthcare, more jobs locally and (generally) female emancipation - all the elements that cause a reduced birth rate and in 2008 more than half the world's population lived in cities for the first time in history.
Malthus I and Malthus II. Sorry, both of these statements are pretty ridiculous. While I think everyone would agree that the number of kids a woman has should be correlated to the ability to care for them, I do think that both of you are being rather short sighted as to how well our ingenuity can solve the problems our ingenuity has created.

FWIW, the "exponential" expansion in population has been slowing for at least the past 20 years and IIRC with improvements in genetically modified crops we could conceivably sustain somewhere in the neighborhood of 16-20 billion.

As to resources, what's needed is dependent on the then current technology. There might be a need for oil now but 50 years from now it may be primarily uranium, or hydrogen or who knows.

Even with presently known technology, for example, if all the planet's electrical requirements were supplied by fast breeder reactors (wiki it if you're not familiar) we have enough known and proven reserves to power everything, with a 3% per year growth rate, for the next 6500 years. (and no greenhouse gases)

Time to think outside the box.
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Old 10-09-2010, 12:26   #134
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FWIW, the "exponential" expansion in population has been slowing for at least the past 20 years and IIRC with improvements in genetically modified crops we could conceivably sustain somewhere in the neighborhood of 16-20 billion.

And so the expansion become linear instead of geometric. At some point in time the population will exceed 16-20 billion, then what? More technology?? At some time in the future we will exceed a sustainable population or at least a sustainable comfort level. Does it happen when the oceans are covered by floating villages??

The only comfort is each successive generation becomes used to a reality that previous generations would find intolerable. That reality could be the end of cruising as we know it. Look at how much cruising has changed both positive and negative in our lifetimes.

I think it is time to think logically.
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Old 10-09-2010, 13:13   #135
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I think it is time to think logically.
The World is a very big place.

Most "Cruisers" tend to congregate in the easier places to live (no criticism of that - it's what people do. including on land). but a squillion miles of coastline to choose from just not all (yet) with a nearby Volvo Agent. or a 7-11

Was looking at a Map of Africa recently and thinking that a few Marinas on the west coast might have potential. and before those are built it's moorings..........and a 7/11
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