Disappearing glaciers NYT article - Page 4 - Spey Pages
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post #46 of 86 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 02:31 AM
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I agree with the theory of better being safe than sorry. So why not take action? However what are the lost opportunities from acting? Has this been calculated? Billions of additional dollars to government, that is one big lost opportunity cost. What technological developments will not occur if all that capital is diverted to government?
Well of course there has been a lot of thinking about economic models, mitigation mechanisms, and the economic tradeoffs in transition to non-carbon energy sources. One of the problems is, economic models are much less reliable than physical science models (like climate models). It's very hard to do some sort of cost-benefit analysis because the answer depends to on how much value one puts on avoiding future problems by incurring political and economic costs in the near term, and also to a great deal on what value one puts on the lives of people not alive today. It is really question of moral judgment.

In my opinion this is sort of a false choice. On the one hand, the risk of some very bad things happening in a worse-case climate scenario is not zero, the potential consequences are severe enough to outweigh any economic argument. On the other hand, transition away from fossil fuels looks to be difficult but achievable. And partial transition is not really very hard. The drawdown project referenced earlier is an excellent example of thinking out the problem in detail, and makes a plausible case this is a problem that is feasible to solve in a way that is not free, but certainly very do-able.

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I would like to see a panel of an equal number of climate scientists from both sides debate the issue head on so we can all become more educated.
Well, please, no. First, scientists, while they are entitled to their own politics, aren't the ones to lead an economic/political discussion at least not any more than anyone else. They have no special authority/place there. What they can do is lay out the constraints we have to operate under : "if emissions are kept to a certain level the most likely scenarios are X and Y, but we also have to consider Z if things go poorly. " Second the "debate" over scenarios occurs, and is occurring, all the time, in the open literature. You can read that, and you can read the various summaries of it (for example here: https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uplo...er11_FINAL.pdf) as well are more easily accessible materials such as the ones referenced in previous post.
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post #47 of 86 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 07:31 AM
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Well of course there has been a lot of thinking about economic models, mitigation mechanisms, and the economic tradeoffs in transition to non-carbon energy sources. One of the problems is, economic models are much less reliable than physical science models (like climate models). It's very hard to do some sort of cost-benefit analysis because the answer depends to on how much value one puts on avoiding future problems by incurring political and economic costs in the near term, and also to a great deal on what value one puts on the lives of people not alive today. It is really question of moral judgment.

In my opinion this is sort of a false choice. On the one hand, the risk of some very bad things happening in a worse-case climate scenario is not zero, the potential consequences are severe enough to outweigh any economic argument. On the other hand, transition away from fossil fuels looks to be difficult but achievable. And partial transition is not really very hard. The drawdown project referenced earlier is an excellent example of thinking out the problem in detail, and makes a plausible case this is a problem that is feasible to solve in a way that is not free, but certainly very do-able.



Well, please, no. First, scientists, while they are entitled to their own politics, aren't the ones to lead an economic/political discussion at least not any more than anyone else. They have no special authority/place there. What they can do is lay out the constraints we have to operate under : "if emissions are kept to a certain level the most likely scenarios are X and Y, but we also have to consider Z if things go poorly. " Second the "debate" over scenarios occurs, and is occurring, all the time, in the open literature. You can read that, and you can read the various summaries of it (for example here: https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uplo...er11_FINAL.pdf) as well are more easily accessible materials such as the ones referenced in previous post.


Thank you for that link. So I read the Executive Summary and then I looked up the 2 Coordinating Lead Authors. Ben Kirtman (USA) and Scott B. Power (Australia). It didn't seem like much of a debate. It appears both Kirtman and Power are very much on the side of humans causing the majority of the problems. Regarding Ben Kirtman - Here is a quote from the New York Times on 9/11/2017 - "Dr. Kirtman and Dr. Berry are among a group of Florida scientists who confronted Governor Rick Scott in recent years for his refusal to acknowledge that human-made greenhouse gases are driving climate change." Regarding Scott B. Power - Here is a quote from Nature Communications volume 8, Article number: 14368 (2017) - "Third, further increases in the risk of major disruption during the remainder of the 21st century can be strongly moderated if major and sustained cuts to global emissions of greenhouse gases are madeóas they are in RCP2.6."

So, if the 2 lead authors of that report agree on the same things about human caused climate change then how can that be a good debate? I would love to read a report where each side is represented equally. Proper science asks questions and keeps asking questions. It encourages being challenged, yet all too often the climate debate is based upon dogma, that's not science.
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post #48 of 86 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 09:33 AM
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Rick,
It appears to me that you are suggesting that without equal representation of scientists who do not believe in climate change those discussions and debates are unfairly skewed. Would you suggest the same for a debate about whether the earth is flat or not? Opinions of dissent are of tremendous value, and most scientist types that I know tend to welcome challenges to scientific theory. At the same time I think it would be highly skewed to give those opinions a disproportionate level of representation. I donít think itís hard at all to find those with questions, doubts, or flat out denial relating to all aspects of climate change; they are out there, and are usually passionate about making their opinions known. If you feel they are not getting the same amount of exposure thatís just basic math; in that there are far, far more scientists who are convinced of the realities of climate change, and are very concerned about the potential ramifications we face. There is still a lot to learn, and questions are being asked, but there are pretty compelling reasons for concern.
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post #49 of 86 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 10:25 AM
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the video is claiming climate is being affected by both factors, solar and human.
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post #50 of 86 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 04:49 PM
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Rick,
It appears to me that you are suggesting that without equal representation of scientists who do not believe in climate change those discussions and debates are unfairly skewed. Would you suggest the same for a debate about whether the earth is flat or not? Opinions of dissent are of tremendous value, and most scientist types that I know tend to welcome challenges to scientific theory. At the same time I think it would be highly skewed to give those opinions a disproportionate level of representation. I donít think itís hard at all to find those with questions, doubts, or flat out denial relating to all aspects of climate change; they are out there, and are usually passionate about making their opinions known. If you feel they are not getting the same amount of exposure thatís just basic math; in that there are far, far more scientists who are convinced of the realities of climate change, and are very concerned about the potential ramifications we face. There is still a lot to learn, and questions are being asked, but there are pretty compelling reasons for concern.
Jason I'm not suggesting anything. I originally stated I would like to see a debate with both sides represented. Then I was directed to link by Troutless - "Second the "debate" over scenarios occurs, and is occurring, all the time, in the open literature. You can read that, and you can read the various summaries of it (for example here: https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uplo...er11_FINAL.pdf) as well are more easily accessible materials such as the ones referenced in previous post.

So Jason I was merely commenting on the fact that the "open literature" I was directed to is one sided. Not looking to raise any ones hackles (pun intended) just commenting that I would love to see the subject debated by both sides. Also Jason, I don't believe your analogy is all that relevant, science has already proven that the earth is round.

I was watching a special last night on the late Charles Krauthammer. I looked up on of his Op-Ed's on Climate Change from 2008. An interesting read. Here is the link: Charles Krauthammer - Carbon Chastity
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post #51 of 86 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 07:18 PM
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Krauthammer is a political pundit, not an expert on climate. He does make an excellent point about those who adhere to dogma not being worthy directors of sound policy, if applied equally.
Having a debate among scientists on both sides of the climate issue in which one side consists of those that don't believe that it's happening or that don't believe human input is exacerbating the problem can't happen because in the scientific community there is general agreement on those two things. They could argue about the timing or ability of the planets water to absorb heat or CO2, and the chemistry of that absorbtion, or hundreds of other topics, but the core issue is not up for debate among those that understand the science.
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post #52 of 86 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 08:23 PM
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No hackles harmed here Rick, so far I’ve been surprised and impressed at the civility of this thread on what can be such a charged topic. Your comments specifically are fair and reasonable, and I do hope my response indicated my respect for such. I do have a different perspective, but I enjoy the rare opportunity to debate with those who are able to do so in productive manner.

As far as my analogy, I think it’s quite relevant, though far from an even comparison. It wasn’t intended to be. The comparison is that there are still folks who believe (vehemently) that the earth is flat... and I’d have no issues if one or more of them wished to debate their perspectives. I don’t think that it would be accurate or representative to go to extra efforts to ensure that “both sides” have equal representation in such a debate. That can, and is being used as a tool to misrepresent extremist positions as simply another perspective or “side”. Everyone is free to voice their opinions in whatever formats they wish of course, so it’s not like dissenting opinions are missing from the overall societal debate... nor should they be.

Believe it or not, I am very open minded to changing my opinions and views if/when compelling evidence shows that they are wrong. I’m also very skeptical about the motives and integrity that is behind most climate change denial (so far). I know exactly 1 person, with the knowledge and credibility I’d trust, who has been skeptical and unsure about our consensus on climate change; as a highly educated and intelligent scientist I’ve always respected his opinions. In recent years his own doubts have been changing as well; though he remains a dyed in the wool skeptic of nearly everything and everyone, he IS very concerned about what he views as “extremely plausible scenarios”. I share his concern!
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post #53 of 86 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 11:55 PM
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"I comment on this climate change every chance I get but other than sorting my plastic rubbish [to prevent local council fines] I'm not doing a damn thing to reverse it."

-said (five, no...) six billion+ people



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post #54 of 86 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 12:32 AM
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"I comment on this climate change every chance I get but other than sorting my plastic rubbish [to prevent local council fines] I'm not doing a damn thing to reverse it."

-said (five, no...) six billion+ people



action man is a fictional character from the past.



cheers,
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The truth of this should get our attention. I went to a talk by Cliff Mass, who if you aren't familiar is a Phd. of atmospheric sciences at UW. He said he works with many people who understand fully the problem, and what it takes to change the path we're on, and sees most changing their behavior not at all.
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post #55 of 86 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 01:06 PM
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Me too, Shawn. But I'm also fighting the local proposal to build the world's largest methanol plant at the mouth of the Kalama River. The intent is to use Canadian fracked gas piped to the area to make the methanol that will then be shipped down the Columbia River to China... where they say they intend to use it to make plastic products. Lots of reasons to oppose. The usual short term economic benefits for a few being the voice of advocates that can ignore the long term damages they'll inflict on the area. Slightly off topic, but still relevant.
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post #56 of 86 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 11:26 AM
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Releasing CO2 into the atmosphere has adverse effects other than GW. My greatest concern is the increasing acidification of the ocean. Due to buffering effects of carbonates, the actual change in pH is small, but the effect on organism that have calcareous exoskeletons (zooplankton) is large. Combined with anomalous water temperature conditions over the past decade, survival of juvenile salmon in the ocean has declined substantially, leading to poor returns. I happen to believe Ben Davidson is mostly right - that climate science has largely ignored solar, space, and volcanic effects and that these likely play a larger role in global temperatures than most climate experts believe. But that does not mean that burning fossil fuels has no effect, or that that effect is small. I posit that the effect of CO2 is multifaceted and our ongoing arguments over climate change mask the problem of ocean acidification, which may have larger implications for human survival than global warming. https://www.noaa.gov/education/resou...-acidification

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post #57 of 86 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 02:36 PM
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Releasing CO2 into the atmosphere has adverse effects other than GW. My greatest concern is the increasing acidification of the ocean. Due to buffering effects of carbonates, the actual change in pH is small, but the effect on organism that have calcareous exoskeletons (zooplankton) is large. Combined with anomalous water temperature conditions over the past decade, survival of juvenile salmon in the ocean has declined substantially, leading to poor returns. I happen to believe Ben Davidson is mostly right - that climate science has largely ignored solar, space, and volcanic effects and that these likely play a larger role in global temperatures than most climate experts believe. But that does not mean that burning fossil fuels has no effect, or that that effect is small. I posit that the effect of CO2 is multifaceted and our ongoing arguments over climate change mask the problem of ocean acidification, which may have larger implications for human survival than global warming. https://www.noaa.gov/education/resou...-acidification
Here is another point of view on Ocean Acidification:

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/04/...mate-alarmism/
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post #58 of 86 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 03:20 PM
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Some of written stories are for children and self proclaimed scientists.....

My dear, earth is flat, look at the horizon and do not believe what others told you.......... And my dear, "do not even believe what you see and what you hear"......
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post #59 of 86 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 03:21 PM
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I happen to believe Ben Davidson is mostly right - that climate science has largely ignored solar, space, and volcanic effects and that these likely play a larger role in global temperatures than most climate experts believe.
This is not true. Solar and volcanic effects are used to explain long-term climate and CO2 records. A textbook by William Ruddiman, Earth's climate: past and future, does a very nice job of laying this out. Variation in solar radiation due to the Milankovitch Cycles are especially noted as causing variation in past climate. What is different is that the changes we are seeing have occurred in decades, while variation caused by solar cycles occurs over 20,000 to 400,000 year time periods.
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post #60 of 86 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 03:49 PM
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Here is another point of view on Ocean Acidification:

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/04/...mate-alarmism/

This article is very biased. It draws primarily from a scientific review of ocean acidification research written by Howard Browman, in which Browman calls for more rigor in the science. Even though it draws from a legitimate scientific review of ocean acidification, it is very biased (#1 is most interesting, read on below)

1. https://climatefeedback.org/evaluati...the-spectator/
2. https://news-oceanacidification-icc....atally-flawed/

What's really interesting about (1) is that Howard Browman - a scientist who calls for more rigorous ocean acidification research - was asked to comment on the article, and he said:

"it is a story built upon selective back-grounding, based upon dubious sources, and presented in support of the authorís own predetermined storyline and conclusion."

----

And that's exactly the problem with having a 50-50 pro-con debate on a complex scientific issue. In a 1 hr debate, anyone can say anything they want, outright lies, with no fact checking.
Debates are about getting a "gotcha" moment that sways the audience, not about truth and honesty. Real analyses of scientific issues occur in writing, are carefully thought out, and independently reviewed. They are reviewed and fact checked before release. Like the IPCC reports.

This country and the world would be in much better shape if "fact checking before release" was applied. We can't let science be dragged down to the level of reality TV and politics, to be decided in 1 hr televised debates. Doing so is merely a ploy to destroy the credibility of science, following in the steps reality TV stars and politicians who have gone completely off the rails.
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