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24-05-2012, 08:09 AM
Climate Science/Resources Thread
Ok, I'll kick it off.

A new series "How to talk to an Ostrich" is available here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/Etheoperatorsmanual/videos
It's a collection of short videos addressing one point at a time.

Today's CO2 is nothing Special

“Forget Jesus, the stars died so you could be born.” - Lawrence M. Krauss
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02-08-2012, 10:30 AM
RE: Climate Science/Resources Thread
And I'll kick in some interesting information... about information. Wink



A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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02-08-2012, 10:44 AM
RE: Climate Science/Resources Thread
Whatever you watch or read, keep in mind the following:

1. CO2, CH4, and H2O are greenhouse gases.

2. Human activities pump thousands of tons of these gases into our atmosphere daily.

3. We are currently experiencing a warming trend.

If anything you read denies any of these proven facts, you are reading pseudoscience or political crap.

The only scientific question is "Is the anthropogenic contribution significant?".
That's it, the only question.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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02-08-2012, 12:04 PM (This post was last modified: 02-08-2012 12:25 PM by Jeff.)
RE: Climate Science/Resources Thread
I'm an active skeptic, and skeptical about many climate claims. I've wanted to have a reasoned discussion with someone about climate change, and I wonder if we can do it here without resorting to ad hominems, questioning motives, etc. I'm on this forum primarily to discuss atheism, and if this discussion becomes unpleasant I'm just going to bow out. But if others are up for a good mutual investigation of our collective understanding of the science, let's have a go at it.

For openers, the term "deniers" is, I think, a deliberate slur, meant to raise the spectre of Holocaust denial. If you'll avoid the term, I'd appreciate it.

I follow the climate skeptic blogs closely, and no credible skeptic denies any of the three points Chas raised. So let's just stipulate that #1, #2 and #3 statements are true. I find that the "warmist" (let me know if there's another term you prefer) community repeatedly claims that those three statements are a point of disagreement - a tactic that seems to be about making skeptics appear unreasonable, when those facts are not in contention.

I depart slightly from Chas' statement that the only scientific question is whether anthropogenic contribution is significant, or re-stated, does statement #2 significantly cause statement #3. While I think that's probably a key bottom-line question, there are other important questions:

#4 Are there really, as claimed, positive feedbacks in the climate system such that we can get into a "runaway" situation?

#5 Is the level of warming we've experienced a positive or negative for the majority of mankind?

#6 Are the huge costs proposed to mitigate only a very small percentage of CO2 emissions sensible or are they better avoided, or spent on infrastructure disruptions or other fixes for the results of a warmer climate?

#7 Do we really understand the climate system well enough to be certain that CO2 is the driver of recent warming, and not that it's a result of natural variability or some other factor we don't yet understand?

#8 Are the measurement techniques used to document the historical temperature record and today's temperature record really comparable and accurate? As an aside, for example, a recent headline http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capi..._blog.html spoke of shattering an all-time temperature record as measured at National Airport outside of Washington DC. The previous record was set in 1874. 1874! What did National "Airport" look like in 1874, some 30 years prior to the Wright Brothers first flight. Do the buildings and runways that bake in the heat contribute to making it hotter as a local point of measurement today as compared with the forest that was there in 1874? Does Crystal City, a large area of office buildings adjacent to the airport, with their air conditioners blasting hot air outside on a scalding day in July, contribute to making the temperature measurement hotter than the forest in 1874? Is this really a reasonable basis for comparison?

Putting my cards on the table, I am also skeptical as a result of indicators that don't lend themselves to a direct cause and effect analysis, but which raise my skeptical hackles:

- the first thing I ever heard about climate change was that the discussion is over and it's settled. I consider that to be a special pleading argument since I've never seen it accepted on another scientific topic.

- our lives are brief in the context of geologic time periods, and human beings are pre-disposed to overreact to short-term trends as a survival instinct. I believe that's contributed to a level of panic on this topic, which gets in the way of reasoned scientific discussion.

- my experience with environmental activists has demonstrated that they consider it to be ethical to exaggerate in order to scare you into doing what they think is right. These groups have already made it clear that they oppose our energy-dependent lifestyles, and would oppose carbon-fuels for some new reason, even if we learned that the earth entered a cooling phase and more CO2 would counteract it.

- Politically this is a great topic for anyone predisposed to want to extend the control of government. If you control CO2 there's almost nothing else you can't control, including population, energy, cars, homes, lifestyles, etc. Therefore I'm wary of this as a political tool.

- the fact that so many people believe in global warming as presented to them does not impress me any more than knowing that the majority of people are religious believers. In much the same way that many religious believers have never really read the bible or understand how it was put together, most global warming believers have never read an IPCC report or understand how it was put together.

OK, that's my stand, thanks for reading.
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02-08-2012, 12:16 PM
RE: Climate Science/Resources Thread
(02-08-2012 12:04 PM)Jeff Wrote:  I'm an active skeptic, and skeptical about many climate claims. I've wanted to have a reasoned discussion with someone about climate change, and I wonder if we can do it here without resorting to ad hominems, questioning motives, etc. I'm on this forum primarily to discuss atheism, and if this discussion becomes unpleasant I'm just going to bow out. But if others are up for a good mutual investigation of our collective understanding of the science, let's have a go at it.

For openers, the term "deniers" is, I think, a deliberate slur, meant to raise the spectre of Holocaust denial. If you'll avoid the term, I'd appreciate it.

I follow the climate skeptic blogs closely, and no credible skeptic denies any of the three points Chas raised. So let's just stipulate that #1, #2 and #3 statements are true. I find that the "warmist" (let me know if there's another term you prefer) community repeatedly claims that those three statements are a point of disagreement - a tactic that seems to be about making skeptics appear unreasonable, when those facts are not in contention.

I depart slightly from Chas' statement that the only scientific question is whether anthropogenic contribution is significant, or re-stated, does statement #2 significantly cause statement #3. While I think that's probably a key bottom-line question, there are other important questions:

#4 Are there really, as claimed, positive feedbacks in the climate system such that we can get into a "runaway" situation?

#5 Is the level of warming we've experienced a positive or negative for the majority of mankind?

#6 Are the huge costs proposed to mitigate only a very small percentage of CO2 emissions sensible or are they better avoided, or spent on infrastructure disruptions or other fixes for the results of a warmer climate?

Putting my cards on the table, I am also skeptical as a result of indicators that don't lend themselves to a direct cause and effect analysis, but which raise my skeptical hackles:

- the first thing I ever heard about climate change was that the discussion is over and it's settled. I consider that to be a special pleading argument since I've never seen it accepted on another scientific topic.

- our lives are brief in the context of geologic time periods, and human beings are pre-disposed to overreact to short-term trends as a survival instinct. I believe that's contributed to a level of panic on this topic, which gets in the way of reasoned scientific discussion.

- my experience with environmental activists has demonstrated that they consider it to be ethical to exaggerate in order to scare you into doing what they think is right. These groups have already made it clear that they oppose our energy-dependent lifestyles, and would oppose carbon-fuels for some new reason, even if we learned that the earth entered a cooling phase and more CO2 would counteract it.

- Politically this is a great topic for anyone predisposed to want to extend the control of government. If you control CO2 there's almost nothing else you can't control, including population, energy, cars, homes, lifestyles, etc. Therefore I'm wary of this as a political tool.

- the fact that so many people believe in global warming as presented to them does not impress me any more than knowing that the majority of people are religious believers.

OK, that's my stand, thanks for reading.

I agree there are other questions, but they largely depend on whether anthropogenic greenhouse gas is a significant contributor.

I reserve the right to use the word "denier" for those who deny facts.
I am opposed to the deniers on the right and the loonies on the left. Both are driven by ideology and not science. The right doesn't want it to be true, the left wants it to be true. The right is pro-business, the left is anti-business. I'm sure it's more complicated than that, but not much.

I like your other questions. Maybe we will decide that a certain amount of warming is a plus. But if we aren't controlling it, is there a meaningful choice?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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02-08-2012, 12:41 PM
RE: Climate Science/Resources Thread
Earth is currently following a warming trend. How long it will last and how hot it will level out to, might be questions bering discussion... not to mention a discussion of the possible "mini ice age" which followed the previous warming trend.

Unfortunately, finding out with any certainty if humans do or do not effect climate, may only be realized far after the fact. My main concern is more the accuracy of information and how it's become manipulated for anyone's particular agenda.

Without substantial, credible information, no one will be able to make any proper decision; everything will simply be opinion and/or belief. This is unreliable... uh... in my opinion. Dodgy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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02-08-2012, 08:43 PM
RE: Climate Science/Resources Thread
The only problem is, who can you trust that has no hidden agenda?
With the amount of greed and corruption in this troubled world it doesn't seem possible to get reliable information.

Humankind Dodgy (a total misnomer)
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02-08-2012, 08:54 PM
RE: Climate Science/Resources Thread
I will be following this one closely.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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03-08-2012, 06:28 AM
RE: Climate Science/Resources Thread
(02-08-2012 08:43 PM)aurora Wrote:  The only problem is, who can you trust that has no hidden agenda?

I agree that it is difficult. I try to assess each source individually. For example, I found the recent assessment by James Lovelock (author of the Gaia concept of a living earth) to be credible and agenda-free. Here's the source, what do you think?

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/...ate-change
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03-08-2012, 08:06 AM
RE: Climate Science/Resources Thread
(02-08-2012 08:43 PM)aurora Wrote:  The only problem is, who can you trust that has no hidden agenda?
With the amount of greed and corruption in this troubled world it doesn't seem possible to get reliable information.

You have to find scientific papers from reputable sources, or summaries/digests from reputable sources.

Science is a human endeavor, so everyone has bias or agenda, but peer-reviewed journals minimize these.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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