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does anyone really care about global warming?

Enter here to explore ethical issues and discuss the meaning and source of morality.
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animist
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Re: does anyone really care about global warming?

#181 Postby animist » October 4th, 2013, 7:14 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Tetenterre wrote:
animist wrote: and I must say I am amazed that TT seems to thinks that warmists are mysteriously unaware of the natural changes in the past
How the hell did you work that out, animist? I never asserted that they are unaware of the natural changes, so please don't try to associate me with something that you have made up: it is a cheap and unpleasant debating trick, and I really did not think you would stoop to it.
I will have to read the rest of your latest post for a full response, but for this bit - well haha! And thanks so much for a backhanded insult which (to spell out my inversion) is a kind of compliment; you are a fantastic opponent, TT (no irony here). To predict (wrongly? or did you just project?) that I would never "stoop" implies a certain "stature" on the part of "moi" which "je" certainly does not know of! No, you did not assert this, viz that warmists are unaware of these natural climate changes, but rather than being a "debating trick" on my part (I have never done debating and am not interested in it), this guess of mine (note the word "seems") simply indicates that I have barely the faintest idea what you really think, so that I can only hazard guesses. I can only say that your sarky reference to the MWP apparently not existing is a reasonable justification for my guess, along with the fact that many sceptics do keep on about the MWP, which IMO implies that they think there is some killer argument against AGW that the other side is too stupid or artful to acknowledge.

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Re: does anyone really care about global warming?

#182 Postby animist » October 4th, 2013, 7:22 pm

Tetenterre wrote:
As for the MWP apparently not existing, this just confirms what I said about sceptics apparently being under a misapprehension about what warmists know -
Like the Overpeck email to David Deming?
I have no idea about what this email is

Tetenterre wrote:
who has denied the existence of this warm period?
Loads of people. Lemonick, for example. I'm pretty sure Mann did as well, but I can't find the reference and I really can't be arsed to dig. Use Google if you really want to know.
well, good for Lemonick, whoever that is :hilarity:. The trouble with what you say about Google is that one can find anything on it, pretty well. My basis for what I said is that most of the mainstream warmist stuff that I have read (a tiny proportion of the whole, no doubt) is perfectly well aware of the MWP

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Re: does anyone really care about global warming?

#183 Postby animist » October 4th, 2013, 8:44 pm

Tetenterre wrote:
animist wrote:
Tetenterre wrote:a tenet of science is that all relevant stuff is published
yes, but this is not pure science.
It's either science or it isn't
that again - I can't be bothered to repeat the stuff about applied science as you can't be bothered to address it. But in fact what I said was not too clever. Of course all serious parties to a discussion should be open, and yes, I have already agreed that the Steve Jones team were at fault - for understandable reasons maybe, but still. But this has nothing to do with science per se, but with all academic or other serious debate - for instance, history.
Tetenterre wrote:
I agree that lthe debate has been politicised, but that is the fault of the deniers and the vested interests they represent.
Oh please! Both sides have politicised it. We're not in the KG sandpit, so can we please stop doing the equivalent of, "But, Miss, they started it."
well, I certainly cannot prove that the sceptics started politicising it. All I can do is to challenge you to name vested interests behind the warmist campaign which compare - in age, clout and number - with those behind the denialist campaigns
Tetenterre wrote:
animist wrote:Great, we managed to invent agriculture in the last 8K years - so what? No doubt, if the climate had been different in some way or other, we might have done better or worse. Who cares from a practical POV that civilisations may have evolved mainly in hot climates?
You have contrived to miss the point. Again. It is not the heat, but the stability that permitted agriculture and civilisation to develop. Before that period of stability started 8 k years ago, humanity was essentially, by necessity, nomadic.
point conceded pro tem, as that is not something I had thought about. Yes indeed, it is reasonable to believe that agriculture, along with civilised life in general, does depend on reasonable climatic stability - which is after all why the problem of climate change is so important. Probably my point was more about its significance to the argument than its accuracy: was your point that the recent past was fairly stable, so why think that the very recent past was not also pretty stable?
Tetenterre wrote:
And your guess about a possible link <snip>, shall I say, somewhat unscientific.
Of course it is! Nowhere did I assert that it was scientific, so why are you pretending that I did? I said that I found it interesting. I still do.
I was not stating that you had claimed it was scientific, merely guying what seems to me to be your obsession with a rather narrow concept of science. But there has to be a reasonable attempt at accuracy, whether you wish to call it "scientific" or not, for some conjecture to be genuinely interesting. On the basis of the examples you gave, I do not feel that this attempt has been made. Actually, though, this is not really the point. Even if some reliable correlation (historical in nature, please note, not scientific) could be found between periods of high temperatures and what appeared to be innovative eras in human endeavour, this would be of no practical significance compared with the moral imperative to save lives and livelihoods from an impending temperature increase; ultimately, some climate regime of much higher temperature might benefit mankind, but the transition to it would be disastrous to all the populations faced with inundation, drought and so on.

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Re: does anyone really care about global warming?

#184 Postby animist » October 5th, 2013, 10:53 am

http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/ ... ility.html

this is a brief account of the falsifiability theory of Karl Popper (is it itself falsifiable I wonder? And it it is certainly not accepted by all philosophers of science as a requirement for a theory to count as scientific). Anyway, I think the most relevant bit for the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) debate is the distinction between falsifiability in theory and in practice. The AGW theory is I think falsifiable in principle (like the statement "it will be raining in this place in a thousand years time") but not in practice, which is we have to rely on probabilistic assessments based on measurements over time of temperatures, greenhouse gas emissions, solar activity and so on

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Re: does anyone really care about global warming?

#185 Postby animist » October 7th, 2013, 10:28 pm

I think - and this is probably repeating what I've said already - that confusion about what the terms "models" and "simulation" mean are at the basis of much AGW scepticism. The assumption seems to be made by many sceptics that these models or simulations are something divorced from actual measurement of climatic variables like temperature. But if one just looks at the Wiki article on simulation one sees this at the beginning: "Key issues in simulation include acquisition of valid source information about the relevant selection of key characteristics and behaviours, the use of simplifying approximations and assumptions within the simulation, and fidelity and validity of the simulation outcomes." So "acquisition of valid source information", ie scientific measurement, is fundamental to simulation in any field.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulation

Now, here is a possibly typical sceptic blog I happened on by googling on "verification" and "global warming": http://peacelegacy.org/articles/global- ... ppositions
The author, a computer programmer called Ron House who calls himself "a trained scientist", criticises two articles in something called "ScienceDaily", one on measuring atmospheric temperatures by measuring the associated wind changes, and the other one, treated more briefly by House, is a simulation of particles in clouds which the researchers claim disproves any claim that cloud changes might cause warming by allowing in more sunlight.

At first sight I can see his point in each case: in the first article which House examines, the researchers Allen and Sherwood rejected direct thermometer temperature measurement as "problematic" and substituted a method which in fact confirmed their belief in the AGW model, and House concludes that this is a deliberately circular procedure. What he deliberately leaves out of his citation of the original article is that Allen and Sherwood - and other scientists - do really believe that thermometers are not well designed for the job eg because of instrument changes (note that the changes being measured go back to 1970). And his desire to totally discredit their integrity is made clear by how he construes the word "problematic": he takes it to refer to Allen and Sherwood's regarding it as a "problem" that the thermometers did not do what they wanted them to, but I would guess that in fact they saw the "problem" as one of unreliable instruments.

The second article is more obviously relevant to my initial point about the terms "model" and "simulation". House takes to task another article from "ScienceDaily", this time featuring researchers Adams and Pierce's study of the hypothesis that lower cloud cover lets in more solar and cosmic radiation and thereby warms the atmosphere. The original article refers to the "first atmospheric simulations of changes in atmospheric ions and particle formation resulting from variations in the sun and cosmic rays", but House calls this simulation a "program" and says at the end of his blog "Here's what I know, as someone who has taught computer science for near thirty years: computer programs embody whatever knowledge, prejudices, and outright mistakes that their programmers put into them. Only if the assumptions are correct will the output be." But this shows only that House (who seems to think that we need more carbon not less) does not know what computer simulation, as opposed to programming, actually is.

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Re: does anyone really care about global warming?

#186 Postby etoile » October 8th, 2013, 11:14 am

Will get round to reading more of the thread so if I'm repeating past comments apologies. Main concern with the whole issue of climate change is that humans are characterised as a corrosive harming the planet. It concerns me when I hear environmentalists say that carbon fuels must stay in the ground for the sake of the planet (it's a rock with no feelings and doesn't care) or for the sake of future generations. The second bothers me more because that disregards current populations with little or no access to electricity or a means to stay warm with clean fuel.

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Re: does anyone really care about global warming?

#187 Postby Dave B » October 8th, 2013, 2:02 pm

etoile wrote:Will get round to reading more of the thread so if I'm repeating past comments apologies. Main concern with the whole issue of climate change is that humans are characterised as a corrosive harming the planet. It concerns me when I hear environmentalists say that carbon fuels must stay in the ground for the sake of the planet (it's a rock with no feelings and doesn't care) or for the sake of future generations. The second bothers me more because that disregards current populations with little or no access to electricity or a means to stay warm with clean fuel.
Difficult one there, etoile, I have to agree - who has the greater right, today's people or tomorrow's?

We are doing a lot to make sure fewer and fewer people die each year, improvements in medicine, nutrition etc. etc. Yet are we doing enough to ensure that the near desert parts of Africa are made sufficiently fertile again to support all those extra people who are surviving each year? Are we investing in technology that will supply them with adequate water? Or will we allow them into the more fertile parts of the world, Europe for example? But are there not theories that Europe might, itself, be less fertile as the climate changes?

Do we, globally, have the funds and resources to carry out these tasks whilst still maintaining a lifestyle that we have grown used to? The cake is not infinite, an extra slice there means a slice less here.
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Re: does anyone really care about global warming?

#188 Postby animist » October 8th, 2013, 5:49 pm

etoile wrote:Will get round to reading more of the thread so if I'm repeating past comments apologies. Main concern with the whole issue of climate change is that humans are characterised as a corrosive harming the planet. It concerns me when I hear environmentalists say that carbon fuels must stay in the ground for the sake of the planet (it's a rock with no feelings and doesn't care) or for the sake of future generations. The second bothers me more because that disregards current populations with little or no access to electricity or a means to stay warm with clean fuel.

future generations include our own children, so I guess in theory their interests should count for at least something, and I am afraid we humans are "corrosive" whether you like it the idea or not; there are too many of us, and global warming is not the only result of overpopulation - there is also pollution, loss of biodiversity and resource depletion. There are plenty of ways to generate power and fuel without continuing the present levels of fossil fuel burning, but of course this takes agreement, decisions and investment

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Re: does anyone really care about global warming?

#189 Postby etoile » October 8th, 2013, 9:17 pm

animist wrote:future generations include our own children, so I guess in theory their interests should count for at least something, and I am afraid we humans are "corrosive" whether you like it the idea or not; there are too many of us, and global warming is not the only result of overpopulation - there is also pollution, loss of biodiversity and resource depletion. There are plenty of ways to generate power and fuel without continuing the present levels of fossil fuel burning, but of course this takes agreement, decisions and investment


I think if you and your off spring are freezing in the dark with no way to keep medicines or food chilled or fresh, the long term equates to the here and now. There can't be long term planning or solutions without redressing current inequalities. Renewables don't adequately fill the gap yet and fossil fuels seem to be the most reliable, easiest to access and cheapest for some.
All very pie in the sky but maybe rationing of carbon emissions based o population would be fairer. And rationing holiday flights and the like so the rich and famous who like to ironically fly around the world lecturing on global warming were grounded after using their allowance or would have to negotiate to buy flight/holiday rights from people who don't have the money to use theirs and bank them. :smile:

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Re: does anyone really care about global warming?

#190 Postby Dave B » October 8th, 2013, 9:30 pm

...maybe rationing of carbon emissions based o population would be fairer.
Well, perhaps the Chinese would agree with that, etoile! :wink: They seem to be carrying that policy out in any event.
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Re: does anyone really care about global warming?

#191 Postby etoile » October 8th, 2013, 10:02 pm

Dave B wrote:
...maybe rationing of carbon emissions based o population would be fairer.
Well, perhaps the Chinese would agree with that, etoile! :wink: They seem to be carrying that policy out in any event.


I'm ignorant ,will have to look into that. Wasn't it something like twice as much energy per head for Australia and USA as the UK and China was a quarter per head compared to USA but India was just a fraction compared?
If it was to be levelled out it would pretty much devastate our 'western' way of life.

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Re: does anyone really care about global warming?

#192 Postby Dave B » October 8th, 2013, 10:54 pm

etoile wrote:
Dave B wrote:
...maybe rationing of carbon emissions based o population would be fairer.
Well, perhaps the Chinese would agree with that, etoile! :wink: They seem to be carrying that policy out in any event.


I'm ignorant ,will have to look into that. Wasn't it something like twice as much energy per head for Australia and USA as the UK and China was a quarter per head compared to USA but India was just a fraction compared?
If it was to be levelled out it would pretty much devastate our 'western' way of life.
Didn't say that the Chinese had achieved any kind of kilowatts/person ratio that equated to the West, just that they have the largest population and complete a new power station every few days according to some sources, mostly coal fired.
The UK frets over replacing nuclear power stations and there is dedicated opposition to a new coal-fired station. China completes a new power station every four days.

So, their ration of carbon/head of population is also on the up!
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Re: does anyone really care about global warming?

#193 Postby jaywhat » October 9th, 2013, 7:41 am

Over geological time, whatever that is, the world has frozen and sweated to a huge degree(!) So what. It will happen again and there is nowt we can do about it.

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Re: does anyone really care about global warming?

#194 Postby Dave B » October 9th, 2013, 8:29 am

jaywhat wrote:Over geological time, whatever that is, the world has frozen and sweated to a huge degree(!) So what. It will happen again and there is nowt we can do about it.
Almost certainly not now anyway.

Thought should be being put into how to survive any threatening changes - in the form of strategies at least. It may be a case where the more "primitive" cultures have the better chance.
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Re: does anyone really care about global warming?

#195 Postby animist » October 9th, 2013, 10:24 am

jaywhat wrote:Over geological time, whatever that is, the world has frozen and sweated to a huge degree(!) So what. It will happen again and there is nowt we can do about it.

yes but the point of the global warming concern is that it appears that, since we are causing warming, there is something we can do to stop this

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Re: does anyone really care about global warming?

#196 Postby animist » October 9th, 2013, 10:30 am

etoile wrote:I think if you and your off spring are freezing in the dark with no way to keep medicines or food chilled or fresh, the long term equates to the here and now. There can't be long term planning or solutions without redressing current inequalities. Renewables don't adequately fill the gap yet and fossil fuels seem to be the most reliable, easiest to access and cheapest for some.
All very pie in the sky but maybe rationing of carbon emissions based o population would be fairer. And rationing holiday flights and the like so the rich and famous who like to ironically fly around the world lecturing on global warming were grounded after using their allowance or would have to negotiate to buy flight/holiday rights from people who don't have the money to use theirs and bank them. :smile:

I find this a bit too incoherent to make a clear response to, but here goes. "Freezing in the dark" would imply that food and medicines would remain fresh. Obviously there is no conflict between planning and addressing immediate needs. Yes, fossil fuels are easy to access, but that's why attitudes need to change. Rationing in some form might make sense, but of course there is no agency for this, and your comment implying hypocrisy on the part of GW campaigners is not really worth an answer

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Re: does anyone really care about global warming?

#197 Postby animist » October 9th, 2013, 12:31 pm

animist wrote:
etoile wrote:I think if you and your off spring are freezing in the dark with no way to keep medicines or food chilled or fresh, the long term equates to the here and now. There can't be long term planning or solutions without redressing current inequalities. Renewables don't adequately fill the gap yet and fossil fuels seem to be the most reliable, easiest to access and cheapest for some.
All very pie in the sky but maybe rationing of carbon emissions based o population would be fairer. And rationing holiday flights and the like so the rich and famous who like to ironically fly around the world lecturing on global warming were grounded after using their allowance or would have to negotiate to buy flight/holiday rights from people who don't have the money to use theirs and bank them. :smile:

I find this a bit too incoherent to make a clear response to, but here goes. "Freezing in the dark" would imply that food and medicines would remain fresh. Obviously there is no conflict between planning and addressing immediate needs. Yes, fossil fuels are easy to access, but that's why attitudes need to change. Rationing in some form might make sense, but of course there is no agency for this, and your comment, which could be taken as implying hypocrisy on the part of GW campaigners, is not really worth an answer

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Re: does anyone really care about global warming?

#198 Postby etoile » October 9th, 2013, 12:50 pm

animist wrote:I find this a bit too incoherent to make a clear response to, but here goes. "Freezing in the dark" would imply that food and medicines would remain fresh


All I can say is 'HUH?' Not too difficult to imagine a climate , oh I dunno a desert maybe where a person can freeze at night but food and medicine can go off in heat by day.

animist wrote:there is no conflict between planning and addressing immediate needs. Yes, fossil fuels are easy to access, but that's why attitudes need to change. Rationing in some form might make sense, but of course there is no agency for this,


No there shouldn't be but yes there are. By asserting ( not you personally by the way, I'm not claiming to know your views ) that we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground and curtail demand regardless of the harm that does to impoverished populations I would say IS tipping the balance in favour of planning and disregarding some immediate needs. Also characterising humans as dirty, poisonous, irresponsible consumers rather than IN need does that job too.
I think it is disingenuous to boil the issues down to a disagreement between 'warmists' and 'climate skeptics' as if once a concord is reach on the causes of climate change we would ever be able to positively control the mechanisms involved (sea temperature, rainfall etc).
What is coming out of the debate is a strong move towards a kind of move to austerity and an impoverished outlook for all. It's demand 'for things', better communications, warm homes, cheap clothes and food that power development and improve the human experience (greater crop yield, new fabric, medicine) not doing without.
I'm obviously not a scientist, but a passive consumer I suppose. If I can make a difference in the choices I make and not contribute to waste, I will, all within cost restraints.
I might agree that our fuel bills have to be higher than cost to invest in renewables but then of course we get the paradox (minor you might say) that raising those costs contributes to a throw away society. It's cheaper to buy a new duvet than get one cleaned at the laundrette and generally to buy new and bin old so on a day to day basis current policy doesn't get the message across, makes life difficult for those in difficulty and is unbalanced.
Why should the National grid be warning of rolling power cuts? People with medical equipement at home would have to go into hospitals and what would happen to the elderly? Instead prohibit unoccupied buoldings from lighting up like Christmas trees, and ban outdoor heating appliances.

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Re: does anyone really care about global warming?

#199 Postby animist » October 9th, 2013, 1:16 pm

etoile wrote:
animist wrote:I find this a bit too incoherent to make a clear response to, but here goes. "Freezing in the dark" would imply that food and medicines would remain fresh

All I can say is 'HUH?' Not too difficult to imagine a climate, oh I dunno a desert maybe where a person can freeze at night but food and medicine can go off in heat by day.
true, and I would certainly not put action on climate change above providing decent living standards for the poor of the world, but then, is it really one or the other? We seem to have the poor with us despite using energy in the profligate way we do, that is what I am trying to say. BTW, thanks for not reacting more strongly to my tone - I am very interested in this topic (but am not a scientist either) and get a bit carried away sometimes :laughter:. I will come back to your other points later

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Re: does anyone really care about global warming?

#200 Postby Tetenterre » October 9th, 2013, 3:20 pm

Dave B wrote:Didn't say that the Chinese had achieved any kind of kilowatts/person ratio that equated to the West, just that they have the largest population and complete a new power station every few days according to some sources, mostly coal fired.
... and which produce energy for industries that make consumer goods that are largely for consumption by "the West".

This is typical of incoherent UK government policy: the so-called "Climate Change Levy" has effectively shifted jobs from the UK, where energy is produced relatively cleanly, into countries where energy production is far more polluting. And they tell us it's purpose is to reduce CO2 emissions: it increases them!
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

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Re: does anyone really care about global warming?

#201 Postby Dave B » October 9th, 2013, 5:22 pm

Tetenterre wrote:
Dave B wrote:Didn't say that the Chinese had achieved any kind of kilowatts/person ratio that equated to the West, just that they have the largest population and complete a new power station every few days according to some sources, mostly coal fired.
... and which produce energy for industries that make consumer goods that are largely for consumption by "the West".

This is typical of incoherent UK government policy: the so-called "Climate Change Levy" has effectively shifted jobs from the UK, where energy is produced relatively cleanly, into countries where energy production is far more polluting. And they tell us it's purpose is to reduce CO2 emissions: it increases them!

Yup!
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