More on global warming

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by timojin, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Yazata Valued Senior Member


    That's why I'm hugely skeptical about the whole global warming subject. So we have a situation where, if somebody doesn't sign on unquestioningly and without reservation to a grand political program, then that individual is supposedly a science denier, a moral reprobate and the worst kind of person.

    Factual issues are clearly being smeared together with political views and with moral judgments. And at the very least, that raises questions about the objectivity of the whole enterprise.

    It's even worse when you consider that 99+% of the population are in no position to evaluate the factual claims for themselves. They can't judge the accuracy of the raw data, the nature of whatever 'adjustments' that the data is subjected to before it is published, the accuracy of the (almost always untested) models that the data is then plugged into, or the often apocalyptic conclusions that are then derived. People are told to just believe, just accept, that we are living in the 'last days'.

    That seems dangerously medieval to me, so I've chosen to preserve my intellectual integrity and reserve judgement.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
    sculptor likes this.
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  3. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    If you ain't got a skeptical mind: Congratulations, you've stagnated.
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    That's because much of politics these days is not evidence-based. Arguments are made on the basis of emotion and appeals to self interest, or on ideological grounds. Politics would do well to touch base with reality a bit more often.

    Real action on climate change requires cooperation and communitarianism. It can come at the expense of individualism and profit. There are many vested interests in play, too, and those have had a very large influence over the political debate about climate change, particularly in the United States. The result has been the political polarisation you mention.

    It is precisely because most people are are not equipped to make an independent judgment about climate change that the issue is easily politicised. Instead of a question of evidence, it becomes a question of who you trust.


    Which parts of it? That global warming is occuring at all? That humans are contributing to it? That we can do something about it if we act collectively? All of the above?

    It's not an all-or-nothing proposition, you know. There is much debate about how best to address the problems raised by human-caused climate change. But we should be able to agree on the basic scientific facts - and they are basic when it comes down to it. There's zero scientific doubt that global warming is happening due to human activities. What to do about it is the moral and political question that we need to address urgently.

    Unfortunately, many people are currently fiddling while Rome burns. The window in which we can make a meaningful difference is rapidly closing, while we argue back and forth.

    One correction: the models are not "almost always untested".

    Of course, we don't need the models to accept the reality of climate change. Just look at the data, watch the news etc.

    There is some overblown rhetoric out there, no doubt. We're not heading for an apocalypse in which all human beings will die. But if we do not take decisive action, extreme weather events will become more frequent. Some nations will be inundated by the rising sea levels. There will be widespread migrations of climate refugees who are forced to move away from their homes because the climate will no longer allow them to live where they live. In the longer term there will likely be famine and wars. A lot of people will die from the direct or indirect effects of climate change, but not everybody.

    We are already on track for all of this. Some of these things are starting to happen now. You only have to open your eyes and look.

    I'm not sure what, exactly, you're "reserving judgment" about. I hope you're not sticking your head in the sand and hoping that climate change isn't real, but just some Democrat plot or something.
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  7. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    This may be true in the USA but in most of the world it is false.

    Governments of a wide variety of political complexions agree it is a real issue, posing enough of a risk to require action at the geopolitical level. Now you may choose to think they have all been suckered by a bunch of leftie scientists, but that starts to get a bit close to a conspiracy theory, doesn't it? You know, the sort of thing Myron Ebell might think.

    It is not just a fringe belief by a lot of people on the left in bobble hats.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
  8. karenmansker HSIRI Banned

    I agree! Skepticism is an innate quality for being a true scientist - being falsifiable is a root requirement for the Scientific Method that reveals truth and evolves progress. A scientific skeptic is NOT a denier, but simply a truth seeker. The truth will 'out' - IMO, of course!
  9. karenmansker HSIRI Banned

    I agree! . . . . 'curious, that' . . . . cuts both ways, amigo!
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Not just AGW.
    Darwinian evolution. Relativity theory. The physical existence of angels. The birthplace of the last President. The age of the Grand Canyon. The causal relationship between homosexuality and hurricanes, earthquakes, needed rainfall, or major floods. The physical and temporal origin of the white "race". Whether WMDs were discovered in Iraq. The timing, sequence of events, and major issues involved in the launching and fighting and ending of the following American wars: Revolutionary, Civil, WWI&II, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq. The financing. support, and American political associations, of the act of terrorism on 9/11. The year and budgeting administration of the first two trillion dollar budget deficits run by the US government.

    And so forth. A very long list of physical circumstances, historical events, and established sequences of cause and effect, are viewed "differently" by one particular American political "leaning". AGW is just one of many.
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    A little more skepticism regarding the "intellectual" output of the American Heritage Foundation would be a start - for the education of the "true scientist", naturally.
    Time for some skepticism toward the professional bullshit purveyors who sold you that pile.
    Their track record, for example - have you checked out what they were selling ten years ago? What else they are selling you this week?
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    What it could also raise is political hostility toward the people who have been lying to you, and rejection of those who have been manipulating your political views by deceiving you in matters of physical reality and moral judgment.

    But it doesn't. Why is that?
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member


    Nope. If they are skeptical about something they are skeptics. If they deny science, they are a science denier.
    Well, that's your mistake right there. Don't do that. Your credentials as a conservative is not affected by the science you understand (or deny.)
    No, they are not.

    In fact, people who claim "the climate change alarmists claim you are going to DIE TOMORROW! These are the LAST DAYS!" are the worst sort of political hacks, because not only are they denying the science, they are lying about it.
    I think people who intentionally lie about the issues are generally not worth listening to.
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member


    Of course, skepticism on things that are well proven (special and general relativity, whether we really visited the Moon, whether animals evolve) has to be VERY well supported, since such theories have stood the test of time. Too many people are "skeptics" just because they want to sound daring and edgy, or their political party/investments would be harmed by the science, or their religion cannot accept a certain conclusion that comes from science.

    On the other hand, there are plenty of true deniers, whose defining characteristic is denial. The science isn't really important to them; what is important is the principle behind the science is vilified and invalidated.
  15. deepslate Registered Member

  16. timojin Valued Senior Member

    Well . Some relief is coming for global warming, the volcano in Bali, that will blank the sun penetration for a while.
  17. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    I am not in the least worried about global warming the nuclear winter will sort the problem out.

    The irony would be if the war broke out because of countries breaking a treaty to clean up the act.

    As an astronomer (amt) I want all public lights to go onto motion sensors so they only come on when in use...late at night so much could be switched off.
    Roads even, parks, parking lots can make a list.

    Frankly I dispair I don't have faith that anything can be done to stop the growing consumption of humans.

    Just bought four solar panels so I am trying to help.
  18. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    I remain unconvinced that we need fear a warmer world.(see mis 11)
    I do know that the primary producers (autotrophs) prefer an atmosphere richer in CO2.(see the face studies)

    I suspect that anytime someone tries to sell you something using fear as a sales pitch, it is best to keep your wallet in your pocket.
  19. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    What do you mean? Like helmets or safety glasses?

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  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    The street lamps in my neighborhood are largely like that (motion sensors). A few stay on all the time or at a lower level. All are sodium. There are designs that largely keep the light reflected down as well.

    None of it is enough to help astronomers in or near large metropolitan areas though.
  21. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Like seat belts?
  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Any kind of change on a massive scale is much more likely to put people and wildlife in grave danger than not.
    Not defending that in any way specific, just the law of averages.

    It's not a zero sum game. And it's not a balanced playing field.

    Constancy almost always leads to improved survival rates of any animal, vegetable or person.

    Change (rapid change) tends to lead toward extinction - rarely toward the creation of new species.

    Entropy moves in one direction; self-organization of life can temporarily offset entropy (in a closed environment), but it's a delicate system. Too great a disruption can very well lead a given biosphere (or even the whole biosphere) to collapse.
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    mis 11 is irrelevant.
    It's not a warmer world we fear. It's this warming - its cause, size, pattern, and rate, are potentially (almost certainly) disastrous, and unprecedented in geological (let alone anthropological) history.
    So you regard the researchers warning you about AGW as salesmen trying to sell you something.
    Why and from where did you get that idea?
    That's not always true, and often not in the presence of rapid greenhouse warming (or even generally warmer temperatures, for many species and geographical ranges).
    1) All autotrophs have a profile of tradeoffs in nutrient supply rates, and the different profiles often establish the results of competition between them. Any change in them changes the competition results. So even in cases of general benefit, differential benefit will predominate in structuring the results - autotrophs such as poisonous algae (red tides, freshwater blooms of cyanobacteria), weeds and toxic plants (poison ivy, sumac), parasites and freeloaders (vines, mistletoes), and the like, will often benefit the most from a rapid CO2 boost, and take over ecological systems.
    2) What autotrophs "prefer" is not always - or even generally - what humans prefer from them. CO2 boosting often lowers the nitrogen content of enhanced growth in leaves and stems, for example - this handicaps browsers. You get faster growing alfalfa, - but the cows have to eat more of it, it's more vulnerable to disease, insects and other feeders eat more of it for the same reason the cows have to, etc. You might get faster growing and taller maize, but find it's all stems and leaves - the cobs remain the same, and the extra fertilizer needed just makes more work for the combine.
    4) et al

    And then the warming effects kick in.

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