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  #581  
Old 07.09.2008, 08:17
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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...
inspired these.
...
Public Opinion and Climate: Part II

From the first part "First, the media have not communicated the basics of climate science well enough. Second, they have caused confusion about what scientists agree upon and what they don’t by relying on he-said/she-said reporting; when no context or weight is given to the relative merits of each argument, such reporting can create a false sense of balance in the minds of readers and viewers."
...

The UK Environment Minister, Sammy Wilson describes the Green Party's view on Global Warming as "hysterical pseudo religion":

Wilson row over green 'alarmists'

Also, the republican Vice President nominee, Sarah Palin, does not believe global warming is a man made phenomenon.

Some of the measures suggested for combatting "global warming" implies radical changes to our way of life. In due diligence, one finds the evidence inconclusive. It is true that the public is not "getting it". Not only is the case not adequately explained, but to merely say "Trust us! We're scientists." is not sufficient enough reasoning for many to take it hook, line and sinker.
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Old 07.09.2008, 08:48
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

I went to a presentation in Locarno last week. An IPCC climatologist was speaking and the panel included a gov't member (Marco Borradori) along with other qualified technicians.

The discussion quickly went from the "warming" bit to the "change" - and generally to what kind of measures can be enacted to counter the impact of climatic events.
That is the only possible manner of advancing the discussion.
Keeping it "frozen" put in the "warming-yeah-nay" format will just create a lot of noise, hype, frustration, resentment, conflict.

And yes - I too believe that in order to better cope with (not "combat") this state of things a radical change in lifestyle will be called for whether we like it or not.

Just for starters radical climate swings in one direction or another will make our comfortable life generally more expensive.

For example large scale damage will impact the bottom line of the reinsurance co's, which will mean that insurance premiums will have to rise and certain compensations might be curtailed. There is evidence in the US that insurance co's are already in the process of throttling those who are awaiting compensation, usually by severely reducing (50%) the compensation for damages (Bloomberg ran an excellent article some months ago).

The impact on agriculture will bring about higher prices, as more crops are at risk of being wiped out by a combination of permanent change and extreme events. Import of goods might not work in the future as countries start to reassess the strategic value of their best crops (it's already happening, BTW).

These are just two points that spring immediately to my mind - I'm sure you can find other ones. So wether we like it or not we will end up paying more.
My point is that we can be proactive and choose to spend for infrastructure and plans that help counteract the impact of climate change - both as far as heating and cooling are concerned.

Paul
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  #583  
Old 07.09.2008, 09:19
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

We seem to be stuck on the question of whether or not climate change is man-made. And even if it is, whether or not it is man-reversible. And if it is, what to do about it. A lot of proposed measures have a tinge of political agendas that imply increased government control.

What may be the biggest impact of climate change is the mass migration of the population. This will certainly cause conflicts. There isn't much talk of solutions for such scenarios, only talk of increasing taxes and licensing carbon emissions.

I think resources and breath would be better spent preparing for such catastrophes rather than advancing political agendas. But one has to wonder if we are smart enough to do that now.
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  #584  
Old 07.09.2008, 12:07
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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The UK Environment Minister, Sammy Wilson describes the Green Party's view on Global Warming as "hysterical pseudo religion":

Wilson row over green 'alarmists'
Politicians denouncing other politicians. Anyone apart from me not surprised?

This underlines the all-too-common problem where people discuss Climate Change in the context of the media, and what so-and-so says about what so-and-someone-else said. Maybe it belongs on the current thread about mass media.

Here's a direct link to the News Letter article that was referred to in the BBC article that was referred to in my quote of the post in this thread. How many levels of indirection was that?

In this case, on the political level, one should at least read the newsletter article. And then, I suppose, go and read the Green Party's official position on Climate Change. Ignore the BBC article unless it explains long words you don't understand. Even then, double check them in a dictionary. But I am not interested in politics, just facts. I use facts, not opinion (and certainly not the opinion of a politician who only holds a degree in Economics and Politics - which is not a technical or rigorous subject), to make my decisions.

At least Mr Wilson makes some clear statements. But in these he repeats some repeatedly debunked mis-statements about CC:

"First of all can I make it clear I accept that we are experiencing climate change. Indeed climate change has been a feature of the history of our planet. The most modern history of the earth shows that these changes occur in regular cycles."

OK. States his position, and then proceeds to give arguments to support it. He does it so concisely I just broke the rest of the paragraph down, sentence by sentence, into bullet points.

Many of the claims below, if intended to give the view that current warming is not anomalous, are contradicted in the abstract of this paper alone, published in June this year: Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia. Don't be scared by the title. The abstract is written in plain English. Full peer-reviewed paper is here (PDF alert).
  • "From 200BC to 600AD we had what was known as the Roman warming when grapes grew in the open as far north as Scotland."
I couldn't find a scholarly reference (historical, scientific or otherwise) to this period by that name. I did find posed the question "Are grape vines a good proxy for temperature"? I think not. Bear in mind that today you can buy wine made from grapes grown in Alaska. I quickly found these advertised on the Web. Maybe they are good, maybe they leave as bad a taste in your mouth as Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's "belief" in CC.

Merlot | Chardonnay | Cabernet Sauvignon | Ice Wine | Pinot Noir | Riesling
  • "The Dark Ages between 600 and 900AD was a cold period."
  • "Then came the Mediaeval warming period from 900 to 1300AD"
  • "followed by the Little Ice Age between 1300 to 1850 AD when the Thames regularly froze over and fairs were held on the ice."
  • "From 1850 to 1940 we had another period of warming followed by a period of cooling from 1940 to 1975."
All the points above are contradicted by the chart on page 13256 of the paper (reproduced at realclimate.org). The zero baseline is calculated from the period 1961 - 1990.
  • "When I was at school, scientists were confidently predicting that we were entering another ice age."
No. See table 1 of "THE MYTH OF THE 1970S GLOBAL COOLING SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS" (PDF alert).
  • "From 1976 we have experienced gradual warming again."
Anomalous warming has been in progress from before 1976. See the chart at realclimate.org again.
  • "Significantly the most progressive and prosperous periods in world history were during the periods of global warming."
I am not so sure of this one. Maybe he is right. What does that have to do with CC?

At this point I confess I gave up. But if you accept that his statements of fact above are either irrelevant (the first one), or wrong, then most of what follows does not hold water either. Therefore his arguments are relegated to opinion, and opinion based on incorrect facts and assumptions.

Wait a minute though. He's Environment Minister for the Northern Ireland Assembly!

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Also, the republican Vice President nominee, Sarah Palin, does not believe global warming is a man made phenomenon.
A United States Republican politician, who is the running mate for the Republican Party's Presidential Candidate, publicly states that she "does not believe global warming is a man made phenomenon"? I don't think she spends much time in Alaska, despite being governor. Or maybe that Alaskan wine is really bad. I wonder if she "believes" that drilling in The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would achieve energy independence for the USA as well.

Last edited by BeastOfBodmin; 08.09.2008 at 19:03. Reason: Corrected "He's The UK Government's Minister for The Environment"
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  #585  
Old 07.09.2008, 12:36
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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I wonder if she "believes" that drilling in The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would achieve energy independence for the USA as well.
Palin, drilling advocate, spars with oil companies
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  #586  
Old 07.09.2008, 15:32
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

I think most people agree climate change is taking place. The points of contention are; 1) cause, and 2) remedy. The panic reaction is to try to stop burning fossil fuel, at the cost of radically manipulating the economy. This is an attractive proposition for those on the left side of the political spectrum, but is held with suspicion by those on the right side. Scientists have financial interests in this debate. Afterall, they benefit from the research grants. But the evidence is admittedly insufficient to form even a consensus.

In the meantime, I think resources are better spent studying how large populations can be relocated when their habitats can no longer support their lives.
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  #587  
Old 07.09.2008, 16:46
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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I think most people agree climate change is taking place. The points of contention are; 1) cause, and 2) remedy.
Good. Agreed so far. Does that mean there is a "consensus"? I suspect that the remedy will depend on the cause. But then I am convinced that AGW is happening through CO2, CH4, NO2, etc emissions. So for me, a remedy would include a reduction of emissions.

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The panic reaction is to try to stop burning fossil fuel, at the cost of radically manipulating the economy.
There is currently no panic reaction at all from governments in terms of changes to Business As Usual. Can you provide some facts and figures supporting your argument please? Perhaps you have been taken in by government greenwashing, if you think governments are panicking about anything other than looking to be doing the right thing to the electorate, while reassuring their corporate masters that there will be no change to business as usual.

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Scientists have financial interests in this debate. Afterall, they benefit from the research grants.
In my opinion, that is a very widely cast aspersion. In the first instance, most scientists are not climatologists. Academic scientists' funding is usually to the tune of their salary for a few more years, and funding for research projects. Not much scope for largesse there. I think you have regurgitated that comment without having done "due diligence" first.

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But the evidence is admittedly insufficient to form even a consensus.
I think you are setting up a straw man here. And again, I don't think you've delved very deeply into the issue. But I'll ask anyway: what is your definition of consensus? Where is the evidence you have considered to come to this conclusion?

And how does your use of the word "consensus" tally with what you said in your first sentence?

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In the meantime, I think resources are better spent studying how large populations can be relocated when their habitats can no longer support their lives.
I agree with this statement also. Although I'd go a little further and look at getting people away from the tropics and coastlines a little sooner than waiting for more Darfur-type scenarios to actually occur (Darfur is a conflict over resources).
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Old 07.09.2008, 17:33
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Good. Agreed so far. Does that mean there is a "consensus"? I suspect that the remedy will depend on the cause. But then I am convinced that AGW is happening through CO2, CH4, NO2, etc emissions. So for me, a remedy would include a reduction of emissions.

There is currently no panic reaction at all from governments in terms of changes to Business As Usual. Can you provide some facts and figures supporting your argument please? Perhaps you have been taken in by government greenwashing, if you think governments are panicking about anything other than looking to be doing the right thing to the electorate, while reassuring their corporate masters that there will be no change to business as usual.
Yeah, panic is not the word for it, but knee-jerk reactions like this one:
UN says eat less meat to curb global warming

Really, now. The more statements like these are issued, the more ridiculous the discussion gets.


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I agree with this statement also. Although I'd go a little further and look at getting people away from the tropics and coastlines a little sooner than waiting for more Darfur-type scenarios to actually occur (Darfur is a conflict over resources).
We need mass transport vehicles that can move hundreds of thousands of people at a time, and also, designated places for sheltering them.
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  #589  
Old 07.09.2008, 18:04
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Yeah, panic is not the word for it, but knee-jerk reactions like this one:
UN says eat less meat to curb global warming

Really, now. The more statements like these are issued, the more ridiculous the discussion gets.
A back of the envelope calculation tells me doing that saves of the order of 1% of current emissions. It's a worthwhile measure, but on its own it's not enough.
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Old 07.09.2008, 18:38
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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A back of the envelope calculation tells me doing that saves of the order of 1% of current emissions. It's a worthwhile measure, but on its own it's not enough.
Even if it was substantially more, can you really conceive some central government issuing a mandate such as that and be followed by all the people of the world? That would be absurd, let alone miraculous. As it is now, we can't even get people to stop killing each other. Have you figured that into your calculations?
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  #591  
Old 07.09.2008, 23:37
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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I think most people agree climate change is taking place. The points of contention are; 1) cause, and 2) remedy. The panic reaction is to try to stop burning fossil fuel, at the cost of radically manipulating the economy. This is an attractive proposition for those on the left side of the political spectrum, but is held with suspicion by those on the right side. Scientists have financial interests in this debate. Afterall, they benefit from the research grants. But the evidence is admittedly insufficient to form even a consensus.

In the meantime, I think resources are better spent studying how large populations can be relocated when their habitats can no longer support their lives.
I second the idea that there are no "panic reactions" going on at the moment.
Only some very "interesting" soundbites aired on this or that not-so-unbiased netowrk.
Moreover I don't see how the scientist can have any sort of financial interest in the debate.
As the climatologist succintly put it the other night
"I have 2 daughters. It is difficult for me to look at these numbers and not feel concerned".

The consensus will always be missing because part of the population is in denial and does not want to even begin to contemplate the idea of having to give up "something" and therefore is histerically clinging to whatever idea or plan to find a technological fix to the issue.
There is something we can't purchase.
That is survival. It calls for us to get down'n'dirty and to have to accept some degree of discomfort, just like when you have to board the tender when your yacht starts to flounder.
Sorry - it's orange, it's rubber, no teak, no comfy bunks, no sundeck. But it'll keep you alive.

YMMV

Peace

Paul

Last edited by Uncle GroOve; 08.09.2008 at 09:28. Reason: bad inglish'
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Old 08.09.2008, 08:55
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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The UK Environment Minister, Sammy Wilson describes the Green Party's view on Global Warming as "hysterical pseudo religion":

Wilson row over green 'alarmists'

Also, the republican Vice President nominee, Sarah Palin, does not believe global warming is a man made phenomenon.

Some of the measures suggested for combatting "global warming" implies radical changes to our way of life. In due diligence, one finds the evidence inconclusive. It is true that the public is not "getting it". Not only is the case not adequately explained, but to merely say "Trust us! We're scientists." is not sufficient enough reasoning for many to take it hook, line and sinker.
Just to point out, Sammy Wilson is NOT the UK environment minister, he is the Environment Minister for the Northern Ireland Assembly. Hilary Benn is the UK Governemnt Minster for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
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Old 08.09.2008, 11:01
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Moreover I don't see how the scientist can have any sort of financial interest in the debate.
Well, every scientist needs funding for his research. If more people and especially governments are concerned about global warming, it's much easier for scientists to receive said funding. The more the government gets concerned the more it's likely to spend more money on further research.
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Old 08.09.2008, 18:26
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Well, every scientist needs funding for his research. If more people and especially governments are concerned about global warming, it's much easier for scientists to receive said funding. The more the government gets concerned the more it's likely to spend more money on further research.
Is this a Machiavellian trick or what?

Right, oil business doesn't want "funding".
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  #595  
Old 09.09.2008, 06:34
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Well, every scientist needs funding for his research. If more people and especially governments are concerned about global warming, it's much easier for scientists to receive said funding. The more the government gets concerned the more it's likely to spend more money on further research.

Hmmm. I dunno.
The climatologist @ the conference was paid to perform research of the climate of the alpine region and develop more accurate models to to forecast the local/regional events.
He doesn't need to have an "outcome bias". He doesn't need to prime the pump of whatever catastrophe - God only knows how many instances of flooding, etc have been witnessed by all the population.
The pay and tenure of this team at MeteoSuisse, from what I understand, has really all to do with accuracy, first and foremost.

Unless there is something that eludes my rational observations...

Paul
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Old 09.09.2008, 11:14
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

Well, I didn't say that all scientists are biased because of financial interests. I simply answered your question what kind of financial interest they might have.
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Old 10.09.2008, 12:46
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Well, I didn't say that all scientists are biased because of financial interests. I simply answered your question what kind of financial interest they might have.
Gotcha - but in the case of the swiss gov't and MeteoSuisse, the jobs aren't secured because of the govt's concerns re. global warming.
Concern or fear have nothing to do with the mandate they've received.

Given the complexity of the alpine climate - and the damages that have been heaped on the affected regions - the gov't wants to have the best possible forecast models for the various time horizons , which IMHO is the wisest thing to do, as it keeps the project "neutrally out" of any IPCC and politically motivated ****-contest

Paul
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Old 11.09.2008, 20:02
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

NASA Study Illustrates How Global Peak Oil Could Impact Climate

This links to a post on another thread, which links to the article.
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Old 20.09.2008, 09:37
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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Well, every scientist needs funding for his research. If more people and especially governments are concerned about global warming, it's much easier for scientists to receive said funding. The more the government gets concerned the more it's likely to spend more money on further research.
This is actually not true if one looks at the funding situation in the US for atmospheric science under republican governments and democrat run governments.

More research funding typically comes from Republican run governments, with the idea being that actually doing something about climate change is more expensive than saying "we don't understand climate change" and throwing a little extra money into research so that they're "doing something".

Democrat run governments would rather try to fix the problems, and this usually means less money going to research since "we understand the problem well enough that we know something needs to be done." With the result that funding is diverted from research into mitigation policies. In that situation there is usually less money for research.

So making people concerned about Climate Change can, in some cases reduce research funding for scientists which would be completely the opposite of what is being implied in the quote above.
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Old 22.09.2008, 17:03
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Re: Global Warming - what's behind it?

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More research funding typically comes from Republican run governments, with the idea being that actually doing something about climate change is more expensive than saying "we don't understand climate change" and throwing a little extra money into research so that they're "doing something".

Democrat run governments would rather try to fix the problems, and this usually means less money going to research since "we understand the problem well enough that we know something needs to be done." With the result that funding is diverted from research into mitigation policies. In that situation there is usually less money for research.

So making people concerned about Climate Change can, in some cases reduce research funding for scientists which would be completely the opposite of what is being implied in the quote above.
Hmm I'm not sure where you're getting your facts. The past 15 years, as is well documented in the US science community, the Democrat-run government provided vastly more money for research than the Republican-run government. Just ask any current prof about their funding in the past 8 years vs. the 8 prior. The same is true for almost all government funding of science research, except where it pertains to the military. The main trick that the current (and thankfully outgoing) administration has pulled is increasing budgets, but decreasing the percentage of successful grants because of inflation and the growth in the number of professors who are applying for grants. Here's one example of this.

As far as the specifics of global warming funding, I'd be interested to see more, if you have a source...It could play a role in future grants I might write...
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