Morning Links

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

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104 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  divadab | 

    @Elliot – no need to accuse me of lying – I’m finding your position difficult to pin down. You say you believe in AGW but attack 1) any attribution of climate change currently occurring to AGW and 2) any prediction of future AGW-caused climate events. Forgive me if I find this incoherent and, frankly, perverse.

    Now to your specific (non-insulting) points:

    1) “Are you asserting that refugees of war are to be counted as “climate change refugees”?”
    -Yes. What is the cause of the war but conflicts over scarce resources getting scarcer? Just as the Viking expansions were motivated by a cold period that made their nordic homeland less able to support their population. You’re confusing cause and effect. War is an effect, not a cause.

    2) “The Sahara Desert has been expanding and contracting for thousands of years, well before the start of AGW.”
    -It’s been expanding and contracting for millions of years. No argument. But AGW is causing it to expand FASTER. This is the key point about AGW – it’s speeding up and exacerbating global warming and related climate change. DO you assert that refugees from the Sahara’s expansion are not climate change refugees? Or that because the Sahara has been expanding and contracting over the eons that somehow makes it ok that millions of humans are moving to greener pastures?

    Your arguments are EXACTLY the same as climate change deniers. Asserting that you believe in AGW, and then arguing that AGW is not causing mass human movements is IMHO an incoherent position.

    3) I don;t disagree that there are a lot of alarmist predictions that are frightening the ignorant. MOst of these predictions are based on faulty perceptions of time. We humans live in our own time, not geologic time. So climate changes that unfold over generations are not well understood by people who when told that climate is changing, expect it to happen next year. I hope I don;t see most of the terrible effects in my lifetime that I believe are inevitable over the next few thousand years. But we are loading the dice in horrendous ways that are only increasing the speed of change.

    Franky, I think the human species is doomed. Ot may take 500 years, it may take 500,000 years, but until we overcome our ignorance and disrespect for the living planet that we are part of, we are fouling our own nest and only home.

    There is no Planet B.

  2. #2 |  Bob | 

    #101: Divadab

    Franky, I think the human species is doomed. Ot may take 500 years, it may take 500,000 years, but until we overcome our ignorance and disrespect for the living planet that we are part of, we are fouling our own nest and only home.

    There is no Planet B.

    Well, I wouldn’t use the word “Doomed” per se… but “Screwed”? Yeah. That’s the word I would use. And within a few thousand years, too. Our abuse of the soil will result in the mass die-off of most of humanity.

    But at the same time? There is another dynamic going on… The Technological advancements we’re seeing allow for the same production levels with far fewer workers. Back in the day? You needed hundreds or thousands of workers to push buttons and turn valves. Today? A microprocessor and a motor can do that cheap. Back in the day? You needed an army of typists and draft persons to create documents. Today? Computer Software does that with ease.

    The droids are here, and they are taking the jobs of all the people that will be rendered useless in the ongoing manufacturing revolution.

    Society just doesn’t need all these people anymore. You see it happening now… people are taking “Service Sector jobs” because they can’t get jobs in their trained professions.

    Manufacturing? CNC machines blast out parts for super cheap. This technology has completely supplanted “manual” machining. And it will just snowball from here.

    The result? The earth just doesn’t need all these people. They won’t be able to get jobs. They will have to all be supported with tax dollars in the form of welfare, or be supported by their families.

  3. #3 |  Elliot | 

    divadab (#101):@Elliot – no need to accuse me of lying – I’m finding your position difficult to pin down. You say you believe in AGW but attack 1) any attribution of climate change currently occurring to AGW and 2) any prediction of future AGW-caused climate events.

    The word “any” in both of those is completely your invention.

    CO2 and other greenhouse gases have dramatically increased since the industrial revolution. That increase has raised global temperatures beyond the increase due to natural cycles. As emerging nations like China, India, etc. accelerate the addition of CO2, the increase in these gasses will have an additional warming effect, all other factors being equal.

    The serious skeptics will agree to this, because it is based upon the relationship between CO2 and temperature, as measured and verified in laboratory experiments.

    Note that this relationship is logarithmic, which means it tapers off. If you double the CO2 in the atmosphere, you get 1C of warming. To get 2C of warming, you need to quadruple the CO2 content. To get 3C warming, you need to increase CO2 eight fold.

    When alarmists call the science “settled”, all they can honestly attach that word to is the logarithmic CO2 to global temperature function. However, many dishonestly pull the bait and switch tactic of starting with what is actually settled by scientific experimentation and substituting wild predictions which are not. Attempting to quash discussion by shouting “settled” or “consensus”, to drown out discussion of matters which are most assuredly not “settled” is anti-scientific. It’s the argument by authority (orthodoxy), the argument by popularity, or, eventually, the argument by force: agree or not, we will use political force to get what we want.

    Forgive me if I find this incoherent and, frankly, perverse.

    Your lack of clarity is not my fault.

    1) “Are you asserting that refugees of war are to be counted as “climate change refugees”?”
    -Yes.

    So, this is just made-up stuff and actual, concrete facts don’t matter?

    2) “The Sahara Desert has been expanding and contracting for thousands of years, well before the start of AGW.”
    -It’s been expanding and contracting for millions of years. No argument. But AGW is causing it to expand FASTER.

    Cite?

    This is the key point about AGW – it’s speeding up and exacerbating global warming and related climate change. DO you assert that refugees from the Sahara’s expansion are not climate change refugees? Or that because the Sahara has been expanding and contracting over the eons that somehow makes it ok that millions of humans are moving to greener pastures?

    I don’t know that the Sahara is, in fact, expanding. My trivial google search yielded a mixed bag of answers on that question, including the Nat Geo News cite I gave you that global warming may increase rainfall in the Sahara.

    I’d like to know more. Since, as you acknowledge, the Sahara has been growing for centuries, but in a cyclic manner, well before the onset of AGW, attributing a particular crisis of people in a given region to anthropogenic causes seems problematic.

    The key point is that the UN predicted millions of refugees by two years ago, and they haven’t materialized. Their prediction was wrong and no one seems to be holding them accountable for their false information, nor giving them less credence for further predictions.

    Your arguments are EXACTLY the same as climate change deniers.

    The term “climate change denier” is a meaningless one. Nobody asserts that the Earth’s climate is fixed, that there have never been ice ages, warming periods, and the like. Well, maybe some people who believe the Earth is a few thousand years old have such ignorant beliefs, but anyone with a serious scientific approach not only accepts that climate varies, and has varied for billions of years, but that human industry has affected temperatures.

    The crux of the matter is: how much does human industry impact global temperatures?

    Just calling people names like “deniers” when you don’t even specify what they deny is meaningless name calling.

    When I call people “alarmists”, it’s specific. They raise the alarm, predicting catastrophic consequences which are not based upon solid scientific inquiry. Computer programs are not data. They may be a useful tool to help understand, a means to creating a metric by which to compare real, observed data. But they are not observations.

    Asserting that you believe in AGW, and then arguing that AGW is not causing mass human movements is IMHO an incoherent position.

    This is part of the “bait and switch”. We know there is AGW. We know that changing regional conditions, such as droughts, can cause famines and refugees. But you’re insisting, without making a rational argument, that any and all weather-related problems must be the fault of anthropogenic factors. So, the droughts and famines before 1900 were what? Divine punishments?

    Sorry, but I need solid data to connect the dots.

    Franky, I think the human species is doomed. Ot may take 500 years, it may take 500,000 years, but until we overcome our ignorance and disrespect for the living planet that we are part of, we are fouling our own nest and only home.

    Long before the sun becomes a red giant and boils away the Earth, an asteroid, gamma-ray burst, or other similar catastrophe will likely devastate the Earth enough to exterminate human life. A caldera eruption, like Yellowstone, or the collapse of La Palma island generating a megatsunami, could wipe out hundreds of millions of lives within hours or days. No environmental conservation, nor WMD disarmament/containment, will matter at all when any of these completely natural events occur.

    How arrogant to think that our factories have the power to destroy this massive world, or that our relatively puny efforts will ever avert extermination.

    There is no Planet B.

    Probably not, unless the problem of interstellar travel is ever overcome. Unless there are fantastic leaps in physics, the resources necessary to travel to other solar systems with enough living organisms and materials to colonize will always be extremely expensive, to the point of being impossible.

    I don’t think humans will kill themselves off. Nature will likely settle that–and not out of some Gaia fantasy of a vindictive spirit, but simply through unfeeling random chance. Such events occur all the time in the universe, so why should we expect the Earth to be immune once humans become sentient?

  4. #4 |  Elliot | 

    Here’s another example of an alarmist engaging in the bait-and-switch tactic.