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Old 01-01-2016, 12:42   #871
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
Not quite.

Lots of room for discussion and disagreement. But there's at least a little hubris and anti-intellectualism in thinking that a single non-specialist possesses a scientific argument that is equal or superior to the work of a great many specialists who've spent years working fulltime at this.

I fully appreciate that significant scientific breakthroughs have been made by individuals working alone, and sometimes in the face of current scientific consensus. But climate science and the details of AGW aren't simple clear "eureka!" concepts, it's a huge slog through mountains of data requiring a large, coordinated effort.

[I'm using the collective 'you', not you personally]

If you are advancing arguments for how the current findings could be improved or refined, I'm all ears. If you're using your individual nugget of original or borrowed insight to simply dismiss or downplay the combined opinion of so many experts... that's not a worthy argument. Attacking the integrity and professionalism of an entire branch of science doesn't pass the sniff test either.

If you're dismissing AGW because you don't like the solutions you imagine are necessary... that's a bit like saying 'it's not snowing' because you don't feel like shovelling. Not a scientific argument, surely. So, why not just make that argument - that you're concerned about what might be required and whether it's justified by the expected harm? It's honest and constructive. That's the discussion that should be happening now.

Anyway, disagree all you like, (free country, open forum, etc) but it's not 'elitist' to hold you responsible for the quality of your argument. We all have to meet that standard, to be taken seriously.

I will continue to use that spelling in this context, because it seems that in the US, the only concept of socialism is as some sort of watered-down Communism that's only out to steal your wealth and freedom. It seems like no-one can use the words "we" and "should" in the same sentence without someone else hissing "...soshulism!!".

[edit] heh. the sailblogs beside this thread have something relevent. Might be something else for us to fight about
It would be amusing to hear the "quality of your argument" if you had it with the many scientists who don't necessarily reject AGW but who disagree with "what might be required and whether it's justified by the expected harm." Thus far we haven't heard much from you except intolerance for those who deviate from what you believe is the overwhelmingly accepted "consensus" on the expected harm and what to do about it, even though I suspect you don't what that consensus really is.
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Old 01-01-2016, 12:46   #872
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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I frankly never knew that science never actually supported the harmful effects of certain fats & cholesterols, and that it had been falsely supported by the pharma cos. Are you certain about this?
The history of counter-indicative research goes back almost as long as the support for statins. I became aware of it through my work as a science journalist, and have loosely followed the research for over a decade now. The story behind statins is almost a case study in financial interests driving junk science.

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As for following the money, the same argument you made is also levied against the CC consensus scientists. There is certainly public & private money going to those challenging the CC consensus, but the overwhelming bulk of it seems to be going the other way.
Who has the most to lose if the planet turns away from fossil fuels? Now, who are the prime supporters of all the private think tanks that support the small (but loud) voices of opposition to the scientific consensus around climate change? This is the money to follow.

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How do you equate America's founding by religious people fleeing oppression with "anti-intellectualism?" It is axiomatic that one can be both a religious person and an intellectual, right? I think I better understand your reference to so-called "anti-rationalism inherent in religious belief." Perhaps those who favor "creationism" vs. "evolution" might be what you're getting at. But if you sincerely hold such religious beliefs, is believing in creationism not rational for such a person?
The last thing I want to do is start a truly religious debate. Let me first say it's not me who is equating America's religious founding with anti-intellectualism. I'm pointing out there is a long scholarship on the subject. I'm trying to interject some facts.

As for the connection between religion and rationalism, surely we can agree that by definition a religious belief is not rational. It is "a leap of faith." Certainly within the structure of this belief there flows a certain logic: If you believe God created heaven and Earth, then it's perfectly rational to praise him... or whatever. But the first step of any religious belief is fundamentally irrational.

Again, I'm not intending to annoy or inflame. I'm trying to state some dispassionate facts.
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Old 01-01-2016, 12:55   #873
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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Just splitting a hair here. It would be internally rational, yes. But the foundation of this internal system - that the Bible is literal truth - is a pure article of faith (and acknowledged as not provable) - and this of course is irrational in a strictly logical sense, which kind of wipes out anything that builds on it.
You have it backwards. If you believe that the bible is literal truth, then it is perfectly rational and logical to believe in creationism, for example. But it doesn't necessarily follow that believing in evolution is irreconcilable with believing in the bible. There are many people, both within & without the scientific and religious communities, that believe that the theory of AGW is "a pure article of faith." Your intolerance is showing itself again.

But more to the point, citing peoples' religious beliefs or lack of intellectual acumen as a rationale for why they don't accept the currently prevailing "wisdom" is a highly counterproductive way of achieving political consensus on the issue of global warming. You have to choose b'twn fixing what you perceive to be a serious problem, or just being "right."
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Old 01-01-2016, 13:00   #874
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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Not really a science background, though I ponder parts of physics and astro-physics a bit. I grok some bits of engineering.

Having worked with engineering models for some many years, I know that ahydraulic model of say a large chilled water or condenser water system, only approximates the actually losses and flows in a complex piping system.

The actual flows and losses are at best close to that calculated. Two different engineers may come up with two difference answers. Mine turned out to be the right answer...;-). That is for a fairly simple system to model with known properties for both the fluid, metals and equipment. Just a few hundred variables. Easy-peasy compared to climate modeling

Climate and in theory climate models are millions of times more complex then a simple 10,000 ton chiller system. Yet, people take the models as the gospel truth, even though some of the data is nothing more then assumptions, which is to say a guess.

Solar output is one example. The sun varies by just 0.1 percent over the 11 year solar cycle. Yet only recently have we found that different wavelengths of solar output vary far more, 20 fold more. I am waiting for additional data from newer satellites launching in the next few years which should help shed light () on the subject.
I loved that 70's song that had the refrain... let the sunshine in lalala. What did the Aztecs know about the sun that we are yet to learn? Funny thing with science. The more we learn the more we realize we don't know. Dogma in all of its nasty forms is the enemy of science in my opinion. But try and open the mind of a dogmatist is harder than opening a clam shell without a knife.

Love your open minded approach and desire to question and look deeper. Have a wonderful 2016
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Old 01-01-2016, 13:07   #875
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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The history of counter-indicative research goes back almost as long as the support for statins. I became aware of it through my work as a science journalist, and have loosely followed the research for over a decade now. The story behind statins is almost a case study in financial interests driving junk science.



Who has the most to lose if the planet turns away from fossil fuels? Now, who are the prime supporters of all the private think tanks that support the small (but loud) voices of opposition to the scientific consensus around climate change? This is the money to follow.



The last thing I want to do is start a truly religious debate. Let me first say it's not me who is equating America's religious founding with anti-intellectualism. I'm pointing out there is a long scholarship on the subject. I'm trying to interject some facts.

As for the connection between religion and rationalism, surely we can agree that by definition a religious belief is not rational. It is "a leap of faith." Certainly within the structure of this belief there flows a certain logic: If you believe God created heaven and Earth, then it's perfectly rational to praise him... or whatever. But the first step of any religious belief is fundamentally irrational.

Again, I'm not intending to annoy or inflame. I'm trying to state some dispassionate facts.
Respectfully Mike, I think your views on all three of these topics are heavily influenced by your personal perspective. That's true for all of us to a degree, of course, but regardless of whether I agree or not, I wouldn't label any of these statements as objective or dispassionate.
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Old 01-01-2016, 13:23   #876
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

I read most of this thread. I am not a scientist. But I realize that the earth like a sailboat out in the ocean is a "closed system". The only input to the earth is solar energy as far as I know and some meteors.

Humans are terra formers... we ARE changing our habitat... no different than termites devouring a house and having it fall down.

There are various natural cycles which "replenish" if you will resources... we have trees and grasses and so on re generating from seeds and so on.

The variables which are at work in this closed system are vast and understanding it is extremely complex. We seem to be trying to extrapolate trends and are trying to understand what is driving them. The magnitude / scale of things is such that it would be hard to see what changing a few variables would do... and changing them by a small amount at that.

If the average temps go up... so will the oceans... and humans will adapt. Maybe there will even be a "die off" and population reduction and a more sustainable size will establish. We know we can't just keep growing.

It feels like we humans are driving some of this CC... but these are models... Should we err on the side of caution? Considering how wasteful humans are... changing that can't be a bad thing.

Thanks for those who contributed to this thread... it has been very instructive.
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Old 01-01-2016, 13:26   #877
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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OK what foods have been proven that won't be able to adapt to the " higher co2 " expected 2050?
Also what foods that I need to feed me could not survive in a greenhouse environment? ( BTW I have canine teeth just like all humans as well as other carnivorous mammals. )
It was fashionable in England to have a greenhouse on your manor estate. It was used for growing exotic plants, flowers and useful food things such as tomatoes, lettuce etc. Those greenhouses certainly proved highly effective plant growing environments.
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Old 01-01-2016, 14:03   #878
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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Respectfully Mike, I think your views on all three of these topics are heavily influenced by your personal perspective. That's true for all of us to a degree, of course, but regardless of whether I agree or not, I wouldn't label any of these statements as objective or dispassionate.
Yes, I should not have said dispassionate, although I'm going to cling to my self-delusion regarding being objective . It is a simple matter of empirical evidence regarding the fact of counter-indicative research on statins, on the funding of anti-climate change researchers coming largely from those with fossil fuel financial interests, and on religious beliefs being foundational faith-based.

I'm not trying to disparage anyone's religious beliefs here. It's certainly empirically true for religious people to believe in what science discovers. Heck, many great scientists have been religions people. I was simply trying to point out that there is a well-studied history of anti-intellectualism in America, and this is linked to some of the founding groups. There is also a well-studied history of leading intellectualism in the USA as well. That is also an empirical and objective fact .
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Old 01-01-2016, 14:39   #879
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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I will continue to use that spelling in this context, because it seems that in the US, the only concept of socialism is as some sort of watered-down Communism that's only out to steal your wealth and freedom. It seems like no-one can use the words "we" and "should" in the same sentence without someone else hissing "...soshulism!!".

[edit] heh. the sailblogs beside this thread have something relevent. Might be something else for us to fight about

As long as you're being picky about spelling, take another look at the spelling in your suggested link. I believe you mean relevant, no?
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Old 01-01-2016, 15:19   #880
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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It would be amusing to hear the "quality of your argument" if you had it with the many scientists who don't necessarily reject AGW but who disagree with "what might be required and whether it's justified by the expected harm."
Any point of view can usually find at least one "expert" or datapoint to support it. The plural of anecdote is not data.

We haven't yet begun to discuss how to address AGW in a serious way, so rejecting the finding because of anticipated disagreement with a possible solution is kind of premature, no?

Quote:
Thus far we haven't heard much from you except intolerance for those who deviate from what you believe is the overwhelmingly accepted "consensus" on the expected harm and what to do about it, even though I suspect you don't what that consensus really is.
I haven't weighed in on the harm/remedy side, and as you know there isn't a single clear "consensus" on the extent and nature of possible harm. It's the sort of thing that we need to study further.

The "consensus" that I'm defending is what's been presented by the IPCC - that human activity is releasing extra CO2, at a rate much faster than any previous similar natural buildup, and that this buildup, if it continues unabated, is expected to materially alter the climate, and there may be bad consequences from this. They recommend we should reduce the amount of CO2 we are putting into the atmosphere. Period.

Once we do have some plans to consider, then I will either say I agree with that, or no I don't agree with that, and state my reasons. I wouldn't go ostrich and deny the problem, which seems to be the argument you're making.

As long as someone refuses to acknowledge who's saying what to us about climate change, and the extent of work behind it, and the preponderance of scientists both within and outside of climate science who have reviewed and accepted it... and that any counter-argument needs to get over that hill to be credible... then yes I'm mostly scornful of the anti-CC arguments that simply ignore that.

DO you really think the US, Canadian, Australian and European governments have been duped, or have some unspoken agenda around AGW? Cos they seem convinced... [yes, appeal to authority, but authorities that we've democratically elected to represent and protect our best interests. They must be useful for something, right?]
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Old 01-01-2016, 15:31   #881
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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As long as you're being picky about spelling, take another look at the spelling in your suggested link. I believe you mean relevant, no?
Only if it's relevent

Y'know, for all the shots we've exchanged (and I kind of regret; I'll try to be less of a d1ck in future), if we met over, say, working on an electrical problem, and stayed clear of politics, I bet we'd get along like a house on fire.

I'll try to hang on to that if when we disagree again.
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Old 01-01-2016, 15:54   #882
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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You have it backwards. If you believe that the bible is literal truth, then it is perfectly rational and logical to believe in creationism, for example.
... um that's exactly what I said. Creationism is internally rational or consistent, given the proposition that the Bible is literal truth.

Quote:
But it doesn't necessarily follow that believing in evolution is irreconcilable with believing in the bible.
Believing in evolution IS inconsistent with believing that the Bible is literal truth.

But we know that most moderate religious people have a less literal more metaphorical reading of their respective scriptures, and that they do not reject the findings and results of modern science and technology, seeing it as merely the nuts and bolts of the world that was created for us.

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There are many people, both within & without the scientific and religious communities, that believe that the theory of AGW is "a pure article of faith." Your intolerance is showing itself again.
I don't have much tolerance for irrational beliefs, no.

Quote:
But more to the point, citing peoples' religious beliefs or lack of intellectual acumen as a rationale for why they don't accept the currently prevailing "wisdom" is a highly counterproductive way of achieving political consensus on the issue of global warming. You have to choose b'twn fixing what you perceive to be a serious problem, or just being "right."
Hey, I don't think it was me saying or defending that religion was the reason for anti-CC sentiment. I'm just referreeing that part from the sidelines. I do think that there's a defiant anti-elite, anti-intellectual streak in many people's objection to AGW. It's something fostered and encouraged by those with commercial objections to addressing AGW.

Regarding the main debate (AGW) and fixing a problem vs being right: because this issue has been successfully ensnared in a pointless debate about whether it's even a thing... we're nowhere near discussing serious action, let alone taking serious action. So I have nothing to lose by being 'right', even if it pisses people off. I wish it were otherwise, and we were simply debating solutions.
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Old 01-01-2016, 16:01   #883
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

But there is 1 major political partie in the US, who claims they are the religious party, that completely denies climate change. In fact they believe it is a conspiracy from the other political party. These same people do not believe in evolution but rather in creationism.
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Old 01-01-2016, 16:08   #884
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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Only if it's relevent

Y'know, for all the shots we've exchanged (and I kind of regret; I'll try to be less of a d1ck in future), if we met over, say, working on an electrical problem, and stayed clear of politics, I bet we'd get along like a house on fire.

I'll try to hang on to that if when we disagree again.
I agree 100% to that
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Old 01-01-2016, 16:19   #885
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Re: Why Climate Change Won't Matter in 20 Years

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Yes, I should not have said dispassionate, although I'm going to cling to my self-delusion regarding being objective . It is a simple matter of empirical evidence regarding the fact of counter-indicative research on statins, on the funding of anti-climate change researchers coming largely from those with fossil fuel financial interests, and on religious beliefs being foundational faith-based.

I'm not trying to disparage anyone's religious beliefs here. It's certainly empirically true for religious people to believe in what science discovers. Heck, many great scientists have been religions people. I was simply trying to point out that there is a well-studied history of anti-intellectualism in America, and this is linked to some of the founding groups. There is also a well-studied history of leading intellectualism in the USA as well. That is also an empirical and objective fact .
I don't doubt that pharma cos. advocated & lobbied for statins, etc. as a remedy for what they claimed were the dangerous health risks of high cholesterol, but convincing the entire medical establishment, presumably worldwide, of bogus science in order to sell more of their product? And for how many decades has this gone on? It sounds like you were right in there researching the matter as a professional journalist, so I'm happy to take your word for it until/unless proven otherwise. But I'm not sure which way this cuts on the CC issue. To the extent you suggest an analogy with private fossil fuel interests, they certainly haven't been as effective convincing the scientific community as the pharma cos. Again, weren't certain types of high cholesterol and fats considered dangerous, and statins & other drugs an effective remedy? It seemed for a long time like another case of "settled science" based on an "overwhelming consensus." Now apparently debunked, at least in part. In the meantime, how many people were negatively affected by taking statins?

I don't know the actual proportions, but also don't know why it's a surprise that fossil fuel interests are part of the funding for anti-CC or at least anti-MMCC research. This is for the same reason that I'm not surprised that most of the public funding for pro-CC research is coming from a US administration that has an anti-capitalist & an anti-fossil fuel agenda, along with plenty of private funding from universities, think tanks & industries that have a pro-AWG agenda. Some of this private funding is from the millionaires & billionaires who believe in the science, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of it comes from private interests that stand to gain should some of the proposed solutions be implemented. Perhaps industries involved in alternative energy, environmental clean up, maybe even nuclear. Unless it can be shown that the actual research on either side is being manipulated or corrupted by this funding, this is just the way a society not bound by absolute gov't. control operates, and I would suggest that it's healthy.

I'm sure you're not trying to disparage anyone's religious beliefs, but suggesting studies that try and label such beliefs as irrational or anti-intellectual has a taint of condescension, something that has become one of the features of America's increasingly polarized political discourse. I looked at your link and still failed to make the connection btwn. anti-intellectualism and America's early founders, but that may just be my fault. I did come across the concept in a Wiki that discusses Richard Hofstadter and his popular book from 1964 titled "Anti-intellectualism in American Life." I am assuming that this has influenced recent comments from you & Jack, but correct me if I'm wrong.

But here's what Wiki had to say about Hofstadter's background & political orientation:

-- Hofstadter "was a member of the Young Communist League in college, and in 1938 he 'unenthusiastically' joined the Communist Party of the USA; he quit in 1939;"

-- Hofstadter wrote that "'my fundamental reason for joining is that I don't like capitalism and want to get rid of it.' He remained anti-capitalist, writing: 'I hate capitalism and everything that goes with it' . . . ." (he wasn't too keen on communism under Stalin or socialism either);

-- Hofstadter "was profoundly influenced by the political Left of the 1930s... The philosophical impact of Marxism was so intense and direct during Hofstadter's formative years that it formed a major part of his identity crisis... The impact of these years created his orientation to the American past . . . .;"

-- "By the 1950s and 1960s Hofstadter had a strong reputation in liberal circles" . . . .


In response,

Conservative commentator George Will in 2008 called Hofstadter "the iconic public intellectual of liberal condescension", who "dismissed conservatives as victims of character flaws and psychological disorders—a 'paranoid style' of politics rooted in 'status anxiety', etc. Conservatism rose on a tide of votes cast by people irritated by the liberalism of condescension."

So while I absolutely respect your personal perspective and political orientation Mike, I have to stand by my previous statement that it is neither dispassionate nor objective. And in theory, none of this should have anything to do with actual CC research, but of course scientists are just like everyone else when it comes to their own backgrounds and predispositions. But hey, this is just a sailing forum and none of it is exactly subject to peer review.
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