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Aaron
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PostSubject: How Now Brown Cloud   Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:32 pm

Quote :
U.N. sees new peril in Asia's huge brown cloud

By Tini Tran, Associated Press Writer
BEIJING Thick brown clouds of soot, particles and chemicals stretching from the Persian Gulf to Asia threaten health and food supplies in the world, the U.N. reported Thursday, citing what it called the newest threat to the global environment.

The regional haze, known as atmospheric brown clouds, contributes to glacial melting, reduces sunlight, and helps create extreme weather conditions that impact agricultural production, according to the report commissioned by the U.N. Environment Program.

The huge plumes have darkened 13 megacities in Asia including Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok, Cairo, Mumbai and New Delhi sharply "dimming" the amount of light by as much as 25% in some places.



Caused by the burning of fossil fuels, wood and plants, the brown clouds also play a significant role in exacerbating the effects of greenhouse gases in warming up the Earth's atmosphere, the report said.

"Imagine for a moment a three-kilometer-thick (1.8-mile-thick) band of soot, particles, a cocktail of chemicals that stretches from the Arabic Peninsula to Asia," said Achim Steiner, U.N. undersecretary general and executive director of the U.N. Environment Program.

"All of this points to an even greater and urgent need to look at emissions across the planet because this is where the stories are linked in terms of greenhouse emissions and particle emissions and the impact that they're having on our global climate," he said.

Some particles within the pollution cloud, such as soot, absorb sunlight and heat the air. That has led to a steady melting of the Himalayan glaciers, which are the source of most of the major rivers on the continent, the report said.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences estimates the glaciers have shrunk by 5% since the 1950s. At the rate of retreat, glaciers could shrink by as much as 75% by the year 2050, posing a major risk to the region's water security.

The pollution clouds also have helped reduce the monsoon season in India. The weather extremes may have also played a part in reduced production of key crops such as rice, wheat and soybean, the report said.

At the same time, the brown clouds have also helped mask the full impact of global warming by helping to cool the Earth's surface and tamp down rising temperatures by between 20% to 80%, the study said. That's because some of the particles that make up the clouds reflect sunlight and cool down the air.

The latest findings, conducted by an international collaboration of scientists over seven-plus years, are the most detailed to date on the brown cloud phenomenon, which is not unique to Asia. Other hotspots are seen in North America, Europe, South Africa and South America.

The enormous cloud masses can move across continents within three to four days, illustrating the fact that the phenomenon is not just a regional urban issue but a global one, said lead scientist, Veerabhadran Ramanathan, with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California in San Diego.

"The main message is that it's a global problem. This is not a problem where we point fingers at our neighbors. Everyone is in someone else's backyard," said Ramanathan.

The report also noted that health problems associated with particulate pollution, which include cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, are linked to nearly 350,000 premature deaths in China and India every year, said Henning Rohde, a University of Stockholm scientist who worked on the study.

The value of the study is that scientists looked at the effect of the brown clouds on multiple levels, said Ankur Desai, assistant professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"Quantifying the impact on people, ice, agriculture, etc., is certainly going to be useful," he said. "The study also brings together scientists who don't traditionally work together into thinking together about the impact, mitigation and fundamental science on how this works."

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/environment/2008-11-13-asia-huge-brown-cloud_N.htm?csp=34

And they say that oil is cheaper than solar energy. I wonder if anyone is figuring in the cost of the atmospheric brown clouds or the other negative externalities?

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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:26 pm

Yeah, read that too today.
I think some climate change disbelievers, and I can see where they're coming from, are skeptical that one species could make much of a dent in old mother nature.

But in the past, certain lifeforms have incredibly altered the earth. Wasn't there a plant species in early earth, for instance, that effectively helped establish ozygen in the atmosphere.

And all around us we see the impact that our species can have, including that particle cloud.

Climate change disbelieverws that I have talked to 'round these parts generally accept some of the massive affects our species has had in regards to certain species extinction, for instance, but sometimes remain strangely hesitant to concede to our roll in climate change.

The other subset of climate change disbelievers that I've talked to previously 'round these parts are in a subset where they now agree the affect that we're having, but don't see what the problem is. After all we are mother nature. So therefore whatever we do, by definition, has to be perfectly natural, since we're a natural part of mother nature, if you know what I mean.
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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:45 pm

I would really like to know how much of this is caused by improper agriculture? Many of these nations have yet to implement effective soil conservation techniques, and they are doomed to repeat the mistakes we committed back in the 20s. I hope, for the sake of the many poor farmers just trying to get by, that the PRC and India will step up.
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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Sat Nov 15, 2008 6:42 pm

zjl56 wrote:
I would really like to know how much of this is caused by improper agriculture? Many of these nations have yet to implement effective soil conservation techniques, and they are doomed to repeat the mistakes we committed back in the 20s. I hope, for the sake of the many poor farmers just trying to get by, that the PRC and India will step up.

The article didn't specifically mention the contribution of topsoil blowing in the wind. National Geographic magazine devoted a major part of its previous issue to the problem of soil depletion around the world. The un-natural amounts of chemicals. soot, and soil in the atmosphere are all signs of "progress". Technological expansion fueled by fossil energy, and population growth---fertilized, in part, by technological advances---work together to upset the balance of nature. And balance is the key to restoring the health of the planet.

The magazine discussed several proposals to reverse the trend toward extinction of fertile soils. One technique is no-tillage agriculture, which minimizes traditional plowing-up of the organic layers of soil where it dries-out and blows or washes away. But the downside of that method is that it currently requires the use of petroleum-derived fertilizer. In any case, we will have to significantly modify millennia of agricultural practices in order to feed the un-balanced population expected in this coming century without further erosion of the quality of life.

Apparently, the next "green" revolution will also have to be a "brown" revolution.
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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:49 am

And one volcanic eruption can dwarf all the pollution we can pump out for decades. The smoke from a single forest fire started by lightning is a completely natural phenomenon, but it can create a cloud just as nasty. The oil that seeps out of natural fissures in the ocean floor dwarfs all man-made spills these days. Yet life goes on. Nature recovers.

Brown clouds like this are a blight on us all, but they do not signify the end of the world. Cherry-picking phenomena like this to support the notion of global warming is science with an agenda.

I strongly support environmental responsibility. Islamists will cut your head off for insulting God, but treating nature like this is a greater blasphemy than any imagined insult to the Koran. Polluting on this scale is irresponsible. It does us real harm.

But we can also be responsibly productive. Bear in mind that there is a political agenda at work here too. And the news media thrive on negativity. That's what sells.
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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:38 pm

There are some very real issues that mankind will be forced to deal with in the coming generations, we simply cannot go on in blissful ignorance for too much longer. We are on the backside of the Bell Curve and the descent will continue to get faster until we wake up and realize the paradigm needs to be replaced. Or, we will simply go the route of the Wooly Mammoth.
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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:00 am

I dunno CC, bit to me like you're trying to have your cake and eat it too, talking a bit out of both sides of your mouth, suggesting we have to be responsible about pollution but at the same time insinuating that global warming is a croc, shoved down our throats by scientests who for some reason have a "political agenda" and just "cherry pick" facts to support a baseless armageddon thesis, God knows why, and that the press backs this up cause they're eiether in on the conspiracy theory or just love the whole negativity of it all.
Sorry in advance for this, but I'm a reporter-editor in the news media.

And Uriah, of course you're right, as always, the end is sure to come. Indeed!

Again sorry for the grumpiness. Hey, it's Monday morning ya know Hello
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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:59 am

Helium wrote:
I dunno CC, bit to me like you're trying to have your cake and eat it too, talking a bit out of both sides of your mouth, suggesting we have to be responsible about pollution but at the same time insinuating that global warming is a croc, shoved down our throats by scientests who for some reason have a "political agenda" and just "cherry pick" facts to support a baseless armageddon thesis, God knows why, and that the press backs this up cause they're eiether in on the conspiracy theory or just love the whole negativity of it all.
Sorry in advance for this, but I'm a reporter-editor in the news media.

And Uriah, of course you're right, as always, the end is sure to come. Indeed!

Again sorry for the grumpiness. Hey, it's Monday morning ya know Hello
It's Monday here, too. I have just watched too many Chicken Littles cry wolf for too many years (how's that for mixed metaphors? Very Happy )

I do believe global warming is a crock. Real scientific theories are not so full of holes. Consensus science is faith-based science. Any solid scientific theory must stand up to the nay-sayers at any time. The climate change theories I read about cannot. Some are so extreme that they declare we are doomed no matter what we do. Should I believe these? If so, what's the point of changing anything? The end will certainly come, but not by the hand of man, and not soon.

I think we should be environmentally responsible because reason tells me we should never waste anything. Earth's resources are finite, and no one has the right to trash the commons. That's the way I live, but I don't insist everyone else be like me or live like I do. My mouth has only one side. Pollution can do real harm, but global climate change is an extreme view that I do not believe is supported by the evidence. We can be environmentally responsible without reverting to pre-industrial technology.

As for the UN having a political agenda, yep, I'm a believer. Follow the money. That will tell you where the truth lies.
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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:43 am

Quote :
I think we should be environmentally responsible because reason tells me we should never waste anything. Earth's resources are finite, and no one has the right to trash the commons. That's the way I live, but I don't insist everyone else be like me or live like I do.

Well I agree with you 100 per cent on that, and especially on your assertion that "no one has the right to trash the commons."

So it would seem that we probably have a lot of common ground on our views on pollution.

A lot of the things one could do to stop pollution, such as spewing out all that auto exhaust into our cities when there's an inverted air mass over head would also stop global warming.

So what we then disagree on is whether global warming is, in effect, "trashing the commons."

Like me you agree pollution has the ability to trash the commons.

But you think "global warming is a croc."

I definitiely have a very, very open mind about it.

I think the trap you've fallen into is that the reverse of what you say is probably equally true, maybe even moreso.

Let me explain my logic.

It's the same argument that I would use on atheists.

There is no proof of God, so atheists say there is no God.

But the reverse holds true, there is no definitive proof that there is no God.

But we have existence.

How did it come to be?

There are two choices.

Either existence came into existence by accident or by design.

So when you look at it that way, suddenly being an atheist entails a positive assertion, i.e., that existence came into being by accident. And atheists can no more prove that than can theists prove it came into existence by design.

And what's my point in all this.

Ah yes, global warming.

So, it seems to me you are falling into the same logical trap that the atheists can sometimes fall in if they resort to the lack of proof of God.

So now to translate that metaphor into global warming.

Scientists track info, such as ice caps, mean temperatures, CO2 levels in atmosphere, etc.

And I have to tell ya, I'm not particularly knowledgeable in this field even on layman's terms.

I assume you don't dispute the raw info coming in., such as ice pack diminishing, etc.

So here's where I'm questioning strictly your logic.

From my point of view there does seem to be a perponderance of data on the subject.

And my take on it, is that scientists say it could be adding up to global warming.

Okay, that's cool, I can take that under advisement.

It's interesting to me that not only do you dispute assertions of global warming made with this raw data, but - and this is what I have the most trouble with - you seemingly suggest a conspiracy theory with vague and ominous aspersions regarding the United Nations.

But certainly lots of data has come in independent of the United Nations or left wing groups, and certainly global warming data and theories have come in from reputable scientists not particularly connected with United Nations or left wing groups.

And two ...

And this gets back to my long and rambling side tracking to the atheist metaphor.

It's logically unfair of you to require scientists who theorize a global warming scenario to present you an iron clad definitive smoking gun.

Anymore than it is for scientists who theorize there is no global warming scenario to present me an iron clad definitive smoking gun.

You see what I mean?

This isn't a precise science like the theory of relativity or the theory conservation of momentum.

This is reasoned speculation by experts which we as deists should be able to relate to often using raw data, however, that can be iron clad and indisputable. Again it's what the raw data adds up to that is the $64,000 question.

So bottom line, there is no more onus on scientists who deduce global warming than there is onus on scientists who deduce negligible impact.

The onus is the same.

To defend their data and defend their thesis.
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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:34 am

I don't think accident and design are the only two options. That's all very mechanistic, Aristotelean.

It could simply be that the universe exists for no purpose other than to exist, and that this is no accident. Instead of creation being perceived as the divine manufacture of a precise cosmic machine I would suggest we look at it like a fractal cascading into infinity. Much like that Buddhist concept of a leaf on a river - in fact, exactly like that.
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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:47 pm

Quote :
I do believe global warming is a crock. Real scientific theories are not so full of holes. Consensus science is faith-based science.

From my perspective, the theory of Global Warming is just as solid as the early theory of Evolution. Really radical ideas in science often require generations to reach a consensus. For example, Quantum Theory was a querulous quandary for many years, until the experts in the field gathered in Copenhagen, and voted on a consensus definition of Quantum Mechanics. That consensus was not a final truth---it has been modified over the years---but it allowed the scientists to quit quarreling over minor points, and to get on with the essential project of refining their understanding of the invisible, mysterious, sub-atomic world. Yes, they had to take certain things on "faith", but it was a skeptical faith: searching to disprove it's own tenets.

Global Warming is a theory, not a fact. But when a majority of experts in various fields, each with his own ax to grind, reach a tentative consensus on the existence and cause of a disturbing trend in climate, us non-experts may be skeptical, but should be respectful. If the public perception of Global Warming is an intended consequence of scientific work, then it has been spread by the most insidious conspiracy the world has ever known: the corruption of Enlightenment Science by authoritative faith and sectarian politics. Instead, I suspect that it's a routine case of corruption by sensationalist media and pervasive folk-fears.

So, it is also true that Global-Warming-the-disaster-movie is a fictional product, not of pragmatic Scientific theory, but of mundane Conspiracy Theory---feeding on public anxieties and ignorance. That's why in discussions like this, we need to make clear whether we are talking about a rational scientific consensus, or a fearful public panic.
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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:18 pm

Global Warming is a crock. Climate Change, however, is very real and takes place all the time, everywhere, and has been since the dawn of time. It's not a static system.
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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:46 am

Quote :
Global Warming is a crock.

Hopefully you're right, but I think Gnomon summed up my own personal position on the subject far better and in far fewer words than myself.
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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:57 am

Quote :
I don't think accident and design are the only two options. That's all very mechanistic, Aristotelean.

It could simply be that the universe exists for no purpose other than to exist, and that this is no accident.

If the universe does not exist by accident, then it must exist by design. And in that latter category, I would grant you that it would be logically possible to have a designed universe in which our own existence is completely inconsequential to the design or the designer.
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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:13 am

I disagree - I wouldn't call a fractal set "designed" - ordered, perhaps, but not designed. Design implies eschatology, and the teleological argument has been shown to be fallible.

I'm simply asserting a much less mechanistic perception of the universe.
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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:57 am

Yes I think there are other possibilities other than design or accident like existence through epiphenomena or emanation which are more neutral in character than the other two possibilities.

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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:39 am

Helium wrote:
...
A lot of the things one could do to stop pollution, such as spewing out all that auto exhaust into our cities when there's an inverted air mass over head would also stop global warming.

So what we then disagree on is whether global warming is, in effect, "trashing the commons."
Not quite. I think what we disagree on is whether the globe is warming at all, whether it is due to the activities of man or whether claimed global warming is just part of a natural cycle or other natural reasons that we can't do anything about or if it is worth being really alarmed about.
Quote :


Like me you agree pollution has the ability to trash the commons.

But you think "global warming is a croc."
Certainly man-made pollution can trash the commons when we discharge large quantities of substances that do not occur in large quantities naturally. But discharging carbon dioxide, a completely natural substance that is spewed out naturally in huge quantities, is not a large concern for me.
Quote :


I definitiely have a very, very open mind about it.

I think the trap you've fallen into is that the reverse of what you say is probably equally true, maybe even moreso.
Oh, no! Not the briar patch! :-)

Quote :

Let me explain my logic.

It's the same argument that I would use on atheists.

There is no proof of God, so atheists say there is no God.

But the reverse holds true, there is no definitive proof that there is no God.

But we have existence.

How did it come to be?

There are two choices.

Either existence came into existence by accident or by design.

So when you look at it that way, suddenly being an atheist entails a positive assertion, i.e., that existence came into being by accident. And atheists can no more prove that than can theists prove it came into existence by design.

And what's my point in all this.

Ah yes, global warming.

So, it seems to me you are falling into the same logical trap that the atheists can sometimes fall in if they resort to the lack of proof of God.

So now to translate that metaphor into global warming.

Scientists track info, such as ice caps, mean temperatures, CO2 levels in atmosphere, etc.

And I have to tell ya, I'm not particularly knowledgeable in this field even on layman's terms.

I assume you don't dispute the raw info coming in., such as ice pack diminishing, etc.
But of course I do. What I do not dispute is that if the evidence supports global warming, it is reported widely. If the evidence contradicts the theory, it is largely suppressed or ignored. It is not politically correct to dispute global warming. Uncle Al says so, and he won a Nobel Prize.

Here's the strongest proof I've seen so far:


I could point to dozens and dozens of sources, but here are a few:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/05/060524-global-warming.html
http://www.dailytech.com/Researcher+Basic+Greenhouse+Equations+Totally+Wrong/article10973.htm
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19926634.800-cleaner-skies-explain-surprise-rate-of-warming.html?feedId=online-news_rss20
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/2008/oct/01_10_2008_DvTempRank_pg.gif

I don't really bookmark these things, so I cannot quickly come up with a long, comprehensive list. The only point I am attempting to make is that we get stories almost daily that support the notion of global warming, but stories that go against get very little fanfare.

Quote :

So here's where I'm questioning strictly your logic.

From my point of view there does seem to be a perponderance of data on the subject.
This is not a civil trial. Preponderance of evidence does not a scientific theory make. A theory is supposed to fit the observable facts. If facts contradict the theory, you either need a new theory or new facts. I think the former is more intellectually honest.

Quote :

And my take on it, is that scientists say it could be adding up to global warming.

Okay, that's cool, I can take that under advisement.

It's interesting to me that not only do you dispute assertions of global warming made with this raw data, but - and this is what I have the most trouble with - you seemingly suggest a conspiracy theory with vague and ominous aspersions regarding the United Nations.
Actually, government in general. Governmental bodies always want more power. It is a natural phenomenon. Regulating global warming through cap and trade, heavy regulation, etc. puts more power into the hands of government. The UN wants more global control and oversight. This is not vague. Government imposing more control to combat global warming is not vague. It is fact. What I question is the motives.

Quote :

But certainly lots of data has come in independent of the United Nations or left wing groups, and certainly global warming data and theories have come in from reputable scientists not particularly connected with United Nations or left wing groups.
Scientists, reputable and otherwise, live and die based on the availability of research and grant money. Going against popular belief will not get you more money. Remember to follow the money.

Quote :

And two ...

And this gets back to my long and rambling side tracking to the atheist metaphor.

It's logically unfair of you to require scientists who theorize a global warming scenario to present you an iron clad definitive smoking gun.

Anymore than it is for scientists who theorize there is no global warming scenario to present me an iron clad definitive smoking gun.

You see what I mean?
No, I do not see what you mean at all. The status quo before the infamous (and discredited) hockey stick graph was that climate, not weather, follows cycles. Man has an impact, but not on a global scale. The global warming theory, however, says we are pretty much doomed, and it is all man's fault. Yes, I demand iron-clad proof when those who push this chicken-little theory are demanding that we return to the Bronze Age. Consensus science is bad science. Theories have to be iron-clad or they are not worth a flip. When they explain all the phenomena, you have a solid theory. Is there warming? Yes, sometimes, some places. How long is the cycle? I don't know, but it does not always trend warmer globally. Is man the cause? Of local problems, certainly. Of global problems? Not on a cataclysmic scale. Why is there also global warming on Mars. Did man do that? Or does the sun perhaps have an influence?

Quote :

This isn't a precise science like the theory of relativity or the theory conservation of momentum.

This is reasoned speculation by experts which we as deists should be able to relate to often using raw data, however, that can be iron clad and indisputable. Again it's what the raw data adds up to that is the $64,000 question.
No, it is the $64,000,000,000,000 question. The proposals I have seen for cap and trade and draconian measures to reduce carbon emissions will have a devastating impact on the global economy, and I think they will have almost zero effect on the climate.

Quote :

So bottom line, there is no more onus on scientists who deduce global warming than there is onus on scientists who deduce negligible impact.

The onus is the same.

To defend their data and defend their thesis.
I could go on for hours, but I don't have hours. Sigh.

I think the jury is still out, or at least the jury should still be out, but what I see is a kangaroo court. Much inconvenient evidence is being ignored, and power is being consolidated into fewer hands. I have a natural tendency to resist that. The clergy of the Church of Global Warming are telling us what to think. We are supposed to put our faith in them and let them make the decisions. We are to ignore the facts when they contradict the Church's dogma. Heretics are to be denounced. Indulgences (carbon credits) are available at nominal prices. We WILL do penance! The end of days are upon us! Bow to the great God of Carbon.
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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:23 am

Quote :
I think what we disagree on is whether the globe is warming at all, whether it is due to the activities of man or whether claimed global warming is just part of a natural cycle or other natural reasons that we can't do anything about or if it is worth being really alarmed about.

I'm just going to quote Gnomon here ...
the theory of Global Warming is just as solid as the early theory of Evolution. Really radical ideas in science often require generations to reach a consensus. For example, Quantum Theory was a querulous quandary for many years, until the experts in the field gathered in Copenhagen, and voted on a consensus definition of Quantum Mechanics. That consensus was not a final truth---it has been modified over the years---but it allowed the scientists to quit quarreling over minor points, and to get on with the essential project of refining their understanding of the invisible, mysterious, sub-atomic world. Yes, they had to take certain things on "faith", but it was a skeptical faith: searching to disprove it's own tenets.

Global Warming is a theory, not a fact. But when a majority of experts in various fields, each with his own ax to grind, reach a tentative consensus on the existence and cause of a disturbing trend in climate, us non-experts may be skeptical, but should be respectful. If the public perception of Global Warming is an intended consequence of scientific work, then it has been spread by the most insidious conspiracy the world has ever known: the corruption of Enlightenment Science by authoritative faith and sectarian politics. Instead, I suspect that it's a routine case of corruption by sensationalist media and pervasive folk-fears.

Quote :
What I do not dispute is that if the evidence supports global warming, it is reported widely. If the evidence contradicts the theory, it is largely suppressed or ignored. It is not politically correct to dispute global warming. Uncle Al says so, and he won a Nobel Prize.
Ah, the conspiracy theory.
And do you believe the lunar landings to be a conspiracy theory.

Part of my problem with your above arugment IS that you could input willy nilly any conspiracy theory.
For instance

What I do not dispute is that if the evidence supports A LUNAR LANDING, it is reported widely. IIf the evidence contradicts the theory, it is largely suppressed or ignored. It is not politically correct to dispute THE LUNAR LANDINGS. Uncle NEIL says so, and he won a Nobel Prize.

I'm not mocking you here, but to me that logic template is suspect for the reason that my above example shows.

Plus I'd again like to refute your statement, with Gnomon's response.

"when a majority of experts in various fields, each with his own ax to grind, reach a tentative consensus on the existence and cause of a disturbing trend in climate, us non-experts may be skeptical, but should be respectful. If the public perception of Global Warming is an intended consequence of scientific work, then it has been spread by the most insidious conspiracy the world has ever known: the corruption of Enlightenment Science by authoritative faith and sectarian politics."

Quote :
This is not a civil trial. Preponderance of evidence does not a scientific theory make. A theory is supposed to fit the observable facts. If facts contradict the theory, you either need a new theory or new facts. I think the former is more intellectually honest.

Again, I'm going to quote Gnomon.
"From my perspective, the theory of Global Warming is just as solid as the early theory of Evolution. Really radical ideas in science often require generations to reach a consensus. For example, Quantum Theory was a querulous quandary for many years, until the experts in the field gathered in Copenhagen, and voted on a consensus definition of Quantum Mechanics. That consensus was not a final truth---it has been modified over the years---but it allowed the scientists to quit quarreling over minor points, and to get on with the essential project of refining their understanding of the invisible, mysterious, sub-atomic world. Yes, they had to take certain things on "faith", but it was a skeptical faith: searching to disprove it's own tenets.

"Global Warming is a theory, not a fact. But when a majority of experts in various fields, each with his own ax to grind, reach a tentative consensus on the existence and cause of a disturbing trend in climate, us non-experts may be skeptical, but should be respectful."

And again I would have to add my own point, which I somehow failed to make, is that your own theory based upon known data that trends are strictly cyclical and not unduly caused by one species, and not necessarily of any import, have NOT met your own stringent terms of "iron clad proof", listed in the above quote.

Quote :
Governmental bodies always want more power. It is a natural phenomenon. Regulating global warming through cap and trade, heavy regulation, etc. puts more power into the hands of government. The UN wants more global control and oversight. This is not vague. Government imposing more control to combat global warming is not vague. It is fact. What I question is the motives.
Okay back to conspiracy theory, this one of world hegemony. You're repeating yourself, and that's why I'm repeating Gnomon's rebuttal.

"when a majority of experts in various fields, each with his own ax to grind, reach a tentative consensus on the existence and cause of a disturbing trend in climate, us non-experts may be skeptical, but should be respectful."

So I guess you're saying they (scientists) are all in on it?

Quote :
Scientists, reputable and otherwise, live and die based on the availability of research and grant money. Going against popular belief will not get you more money. Remember to follow the money.

Yeah, but that's back to my own point that any conspiracy theory can use that point. Again someone who thinks the lunar landings were a conspiracy theory could use that EXACT same paragraph.
Yet I don't believe in that conspiracy theory, why should I beleive in yours?

Quote :
Yes, I demand iron-clad proof
Okay then so do I. Give me iron-clad proof that the observed data is in keeping with normal cyclical changes as opposed to man-made that could alter the earth.

Quote :
The proposals I have seen for cap and trade and draconian measures to reduce carbon emissions will have a devastating impact on the global economy, and I think they will have almost zero effect on the climate.

Okay but that has nothing to do with the science of global warming. Science, as I'm sure Gnomon would agree, is quite unemotional, unbiased and plays no favourites. What to do about Global Warming would also have a scientific and political response, for sure.
One question though, is our welfare really dependent on spewing out endless amounts of carbon? Is this the only paradigm possible? Have ya seen the big cities in a heat inversion? Still think endless carbon spewing is a great idea when you're in it, breathing it?

Quote :
what I see is a kangaroo court. Much inconvenient evidence is being ignored, and power is being consolidated into fewer hands. I have a natural tendency to resist that. The clergy of the Church of Global Warming are telling us what to think. We are supposed to put our faith in them and let them make the decisions. We are to ignore the facts when they contradict the Church's dogma. Heretics are to be denounced. Indulgences (carbon credits) are available at nominal prices. We WILL do penance! The end of days are upon us! Bow to the great God of Carbon.
Again you talk of wanting iron clad theories and yet you again introduce your vague, armageddon-like conspiracy theory, that is definitely more vague than the climate change theory you challenge. At least climate change is based on data and scientists that can be challenged just as you are challenging, as is your right.
How I do I challenge an assertion that the Global Warming crises is being precipitated to consolidate power into fewer hands, destroying national borders, with all the scientists already on board, or at the very least coerced.

Quote :
I could go on for hours, but I don't have hours. Sigh.
Yeah, I hear ya. I should have been off to bed an hour ago.
Cheers! Cheers!
Cheers mate, and good night to ya.
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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:10 pm

Quote :
The status quo before the infamous (and discredited) hockey stick graph was that climate, not weather, follows cycles. Man has an impact, but not on a global scale.

I suspect that cc is talking about the panicky public perception of Global Warming, while Helium is talking about the calmly considered consensus on accelerating cycles of Climate Change.

Predicting the future of climate is just as much an exact science as predicting the future of the economy. The farther-out you forecast, the more likely you'll be really, really wrong. But people still peer into their crystal balls, because the consequences of unforeseen Outliers* can be disastrous for the unprepared.

Regardless of whose fault it is, an accelerated upswing of "Global Warming" would sink some major cities of the world. Within your lifetime, at present rates, Venice and New Orleans could be inundated, just like Atlantis. Perhaps DisneyWorld can make an undersea theme park out of them, but the current residents would prefer to take steps now to find the proximate cause of rising sea levels, and to fix it.

Back when the ultimate cause of Ice Ages and Desertification was the whimsical "will-of-God", there was not much mankind could do about it, except submit. But now that our modern technology has, in some cases, trumped God's will, we may have no choice but to use more technology to fix the unintended consequences of "improving" on Nature. It's part of our learning curve, as we take-on god-like powers and responsibilities for controlling Nature.


PS---Remember the Tower of Babel. Human hubris will be recompensed. Wink

PPS---"Man has an impact, but not on a global scale". Perhaps true---up until the 20th century. Now adolescent Man is learning to pilot Spaceship Earth. Houston, we have . . . we predict a problem. Shocked

* MathWorld: An outlier is an observation that lies outside the overall pattern of a distribution (Moore and McCabe 1999). Usually, the presence of an outlier indicates some sort of problem. This can be a case which does not fit the model under study, or an error in measurement.
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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:23 pm

Gnomon wrote:
...
PS---Remember the Tower of Babel. Human hubris will be recompensed. Wink
...
Remember Chicken Little. The interesting thing is that the predictors of doom say the end is coming soon, so we will get to find out before long, right?

And I may end up with beachfront property if I'm wrong!
sunny
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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:25 pm

Quote :
Man has an impact, but not on a global scale.

I think this statement of belief is the crux of the debate here. Does Homo Sapiens have the power to---deliberately or accidentally--- upset the balance of nature?

Until very recently, the answer was : yes, but only on a local scale. Easter Island is a typical example of "trashing the commons" with the best of intentions, yet with ignorance of ecological consequences. But can the tropical forest to desert island transformation---within a few generations---happen on a global scale? In theory, yes. In fact, we don't know for sure. Like Evolution, "it's just a theory". But it's human nature to over-react to implied threats. Better to be safe than sorry.

The world has a natural thermostat that has kept temperatures within livable limits for millennia---but early Earth has seen fire and ice. The potential for artificial changes to the natural cycles has manifested only since cave-men started fiddling with the thermostat by using fire to modify their micro-climate. Now the city-men live in air-conditioned comfort by pumping the heat wherever they want it, regardless of natural patterns. Human culture is no longer local, it's global, and growing exponentially. The natural checks & balances on population and climate are upset because Man has his thumb on the scale. God help us! Oh, wait . . .the Deist God is deaf. Think

Climatologists are concerned primarily about one little-known "fact" of nature that has been learned only recently from their study of Chaos and Complexity. The Butterfly Effect : small changes in local weather can have large consequences in global climate. So the implication is that Man's puny powers can be leveraged by the statistical Power Law* into the earth-shaking proportions.of a threatening hockey-stick. Natural cycles are usually stable, but they can be destabilized by millions of small pushes in one direction.

Actually, in my part of the world, Global Warming has been good to me. We no longer have snow in the winter, and the summer droughts are not so bad, except for the cross-state legal battles over water rights. So I'm not worried about my personal comfort or safety, but based on my layman's assessment of the trends, I do what I think is reasonable to protect the welfare of future generations. "If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down." Cool



* Wiki : Power Law
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_law
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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:39 pm

cclendenen wrote:

Remember Chicken Little. The interesting thing is that the predictors of doom say the end is coming soon, so we will get to find out before long, right?

And I may end up with beachfront property if I'm wrong!
sunny

Doomsayers, Chicken Little, and the Boy-Who-Cried-Wolf make it difficult for rational scientists to be heard over the yelling back and forth.

Engineers had been calmly and rationally---with charts and graphs---predicting "doom" for New Orleans for decades. But it took a hundred year storm to get the point across to the placid politicians. "Ooops! If only we had spent the billions of clean-up and restoration dollars on the dikes---before the predicted tidal wave." It was just a natural weather cycle, but it was very expensive and inconvenient for a lot of people who now own swamp-front property. Peace
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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:50 pm

Gnomon wrote:
cclendenen wrote:

Remember Chicken Little. The interesting thing is that the predictors of doom say the end is coming soon, so we will get to find out before long, right?

And I may end up with beachfront property if I'm wrong!
sunny

Doomsayers, Chicken Little, and the Boy-Who-Cried-Wolf make it difficult for rational scientists to be heard over the yelling back and forth.

Engineers had been calmly and rationally---with charts and graphs---predicting "doom" for New Orleans for decades. But it took a hundred year storm to get the point across to the placid politicians. "Ooops! If only we had spent the billions of clean-up and restoration dollars on the dikes---before the predicted tidal wave." It was just a natural weather cycle, but it was very expensive and inconvenient for a lot of people who now own swamp-front property. Peace
The catastrophe in New Orleans wasn't chance; it was an absolute certainty. Much of the city is below sea level, and it sits in a place where a hurricane had to hit it. The devastation was merely a matter of time. And they are building back in the same place, or at least many are trying. The same applies to the Galveston area. It happens all over in flood plains. I'm originally from a town just north of Grafton, IL. Grafton has been flooded out more times than I can count. Yet they still build there.

I'm not sure of the relevance to global warming, but it is an interesting comment.

Smile
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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:50 am

Helium wrote:
Quote :
I think what we disagree on is whether the globe is warming at all, whether it is due to the activities of man or whether claimed global warming is just part of a natural cycle or other natural reasons that we can't do anything about or if it is worth being really alarmed about.

I'm just going to quote Gnomon here ...
the theory of Global Warming is just as solid as the early theory of Evolution. Really radical ideas in science often require generations to reach a consensus. For example, Quantum Theory was a querulous quandary for many years, until the experts in the field gathered in Copenhagen, and voted on a consensus definition of Quantum Mechanics. That consensus was not a final truth---it has been modified over the years---but it allowed the scientists to quit quarreling over minor points, and to get on with the essential project of refining their understanding of the invisible, mysterious, sub-atomic world. Yes, they had to take certain things on "faith", but it was a skeptical faith: searching to disprove it's own tenets.
But the theories you quote didn't face dozens of instances of contradictory evidence every year. They were radical theories at first, but controlled experiments and observations validated those theories. New data encouraged minor adjustments until those theories became stronger. I don't think that is at all the trend with the theory of global warming. I could probably post two or three stories like this every week. That's not what makes the news, and that is my point.

Quote :

Global Warming is a theory, not a fact. But when a majority of experts in various fields, each with his own ax to grind, reach a tentative consensus on the existence and cause of a disturbing trend in climate, us non-experts may be skeptical, but should be respectful. If the public perception of Global Warming is an intended consequence of scientific work, then it has been spread by the most insidious conspiracy the world has ever known: the corruption of Enlightenment Science by authoritative faith and sectarian politics. Instead, I suspect that it's a routine case of corruption by sensationalist media and pervasive folk-fears.
I have absolutely no problem with reasonable people disagreeing, but when unreasonable people, especially politicians, want global and sweeping change that could have a devastating effect on all our lives, then the phenomenon has gone beyond an interesting theory. It is regarded as iron-clad fact by many. I have heard people calling for presidents of companies to be imprisoned because they think the company has too large a carbon footprint.

Quote :

Quote :
What I do not dispute is that if the evidence supports global warming, it is reported widely. If the evidence contradicts the theory, it is largely suppressed or ignored. It is not politically correct to dispute global warming. Uncle Al says so, and he won a Nobel Prize.
Ah, the conspiracy theory.
And do you believe the lunar landings to be a conspiracy theory.
That particular rhetorical tactic is a logical fallacy called "The Appeal to Ridicule", a type of "Appeal to Emotion". No, I do not. I suppose I could show you dozens of tear-jerking stories that show up on CNN weekly that support global warming. MSNBC went so far as to create a special where this young girl trekked across the ice near the North Pole to show the devastating effects of global warming. They had nearly a full minute of shots of penguins up there. When "respectable" media outlets stoop to pure fabrication, I start calling BS. Conspiracy? Probably not, but not even remotely balanced. What I read and what I personally observe is a preponderance of stories touting local weather phenomena as evidence of global warming. When I find stories from good credible sources that run counter to the theory of global warming, I do not see them show up with the same fanfare in the mass media. Could I be blind and biased? Certainly. I submit that the reverse is also a distinct possibility.

Quote :

Part of my problem with your above arugment IS that you could input willy nilly any conspiracy theory.
For instance

What I do not dispute is that if the evidence supports A LUNAR LANDING, it is reported widely. IIf the evidence contradicts the theory, it is largely suppressed or ignored. It is not politically correct to dispute THE LUNAR LANDINGS. Uncle NEIL says so, and he won a Nobel Prize.

I'm not mocking you here, but to me that logic template is suspect for the reason that my above example shows.
Perception is everything. It feels like mocking. Only fair I guess. I was mocking His Eminence the Al of Gore. (Sorry, I couldn't resist doing it again.) I am taking a position based on observable facts. I am not fabricating or making baseless claims. I can pull out just as many charts and graphs debunking as other folks can pull out charts and graphs in support. (No, I do not want to do charts at twenty paces.)

Quote :

Plus I'd again like to refute your statement, with Gnomon's response.

"when a majority of experts in various fields, each with his own ax to grind, reach a tentative consensus on the existence and cause of a disturbing trend in climate, us non-experts may be skeptical, but should be respectful. If the public perception of Global Warming is an intended consequence of scientific work, then it has been spread by the most insidious conspiracy the world has ever known: the corruption of Enlightenment Science by authoritative faith and sectarian politics."
I have no problem with good science. I am certain that many good people believe these theories. Good people here do. I don't have the same faith in the data. I see too much conflicting data. We look at the data and reach different conclusions.
Quote :

...And again I would have to add my own point, which I somehow failed to make, is that your own theory based upon known data that trends are strictly cyclical and not unduly caused by one species, and not necessarily of any import, have NOT met your own stringent terms of "iron clad proof", listed in the above quote.
I fail to follow your logic here, which is perhaps my fault. I am suggesting that any current climate change is minor and cyclical, i.e. status quo. Fluctuations? Yes, just like it has been for a long, long time. Gloom and doom with drastic changes? End of the world? Coastal cities flooded? I don't see the proof for that at all. You want me to prove a negative? That the climate will not change dramatically? I am not the one suggesting that the world is about to go through a cataclysmic change. I don't think I need to accept the burden of proof. I am not suggesting a huge change is going to devastate the Earth.

Quote :

Quote :
Governmental bodies always want more power. It is a natural phenomenon. Regulating global warming through cap and trade, heavy regulation, etc. puts more power into the hands of government. The UN wants more global control and oversight. This is not vague. Government imposing more control to combat global warming is not vague. It is fact. What I question is the motives.
Okay back to conspiracy theory, this one of world hegemony. You're repeating yourself, and that's why I'm repeating Gnomon's rebuttal.
Well, at least I'm consistent. Smile But I'll delete the rebuttal. I am not sure why you are posting it again. What is your point? Posting it three times does not make it more valid. I am not ignoring it. I am just reading it and disagreeing with it. I do not need it repeated.

I am absolutely very anti-UN (because they are very anti-U.S. and do not act in our best interests), so let's get that right out front. Cap and trade is spreading. That cannot be denied. It is widespread in the European Union, and noises are being made here. In fact, after seeing the election results I fully expect it to be inflicted on us. Cap and trade requires some strong central authority to enforce it, usually government, and the private sector must comply with what some bureaucrats dictate or they will be punished severely. Are you suggesting that this practice does not put more power into the hands of government? Please explain how it does not. I am a strong advocate of individual freedom who is in favor of a weak federal government with stronger local control. I am pretty much a laissez-faire capitalist, although I do think there should be severe penalties for damaging the environment (in ways I have described multiple times here). IMO, government interference in the marketplace should be limited to ensuring a level playing field, protecting consumers, fighting fraud, etc. Cap and trade runs directly against my idea of the proper balance of power. Europe can cap and trade all they want. I am not interested in the same for the U.S. And again, I would very much like to see the U.S. withdraw from the UN and ask that the organization be relocated somewhere else. So these form the basis for my statement above. This is not a conspiracy theory. This is my response to the observable facts. And again I remind you, follow the money. Who gets the money under cap and trade?

Quote :

...
Quote :
Yes, I demand iron-clad proof
Okay then so do I. Give me iron-clad proof that the observed data is in keeping with normal cyclical changes as opposed to man-made that could alter the earth.
Prove a negative? The burden of proof is not on me. Do I need to prove that what we accept as normal is going to continue in order to disprove some other drastic and out-of-the-ordinary thing might happen based on some other unproven theory? I submit that the burden of proof is not on me. Submit some proof that I cannot immediately counter, and I'll drop my argument. Saying scientists have reached consensus is not proof. Pointing to a melting ice cap in one place (while ice cover is growing in another) is not proof.

Quote :

Quote :
The proposals I have seen for cap and trade and draconian measures to reduce carbon emissions will have a devastating impact on the global economy, and I think they will have almost zero effect on the climate.

Okay but that has nothing to do with the science of global warming. Science, as I'm sure Gnomon would agree, is quite unemotional, unbiased and plays no favourites. What to do about Global Warming would also have a scientific and political response, for sure.
It has everything to do with the theory of global warming. People with power are taking dramatic steps to interfere in our lives and our economies and justifying their actions based on a theory that I submit is immature and unproven. For many the theory is gospel, every bit as much as the Old Testament is gospel. And the people wielding the power and influence are quite emotional and biased. The whole thing is being taken to extremes. I look at this whole carbon credit fraud and wonder how it is actually taken seriously by anyone. I compared it to selling indulgences. I ran across another analogy I like: it's like Bill Clinton paying some single guy to remain celibate so he won't feel guilty about his philandering.

Quote :

One question though, is our welfare really dependent on spewing out endless amounts of carbon? Is this the only paradigm possible? Have ya seen the big cities in a heat inversion? Still think endless carbon spewing is a great idea when you're in it, breathing it?

Too much of anything in a relatively small space is usually bad. I am not in favor of spewing out anything, but I am more concerned about the spewing of actual harmful substances: sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxides, a lot of ozone, nasty chemicals that do not occur naturally in high concentrations. These can be introduced into the air and water by industry and other sources. I fully support frog-marching large-scale polluters to the nearest prison. I just don't support worldwide panic over carbon per se. I am much less concerned about carbon dioxide or simply counting carbon. The heat inversions you are talking about are normal phenomena that are not caused by pollutants, but they can trap pollutants at ground level. So the effect is just what you describe, but the pollutants don't [i]cause[/] the inversions. The pollutants do have a more harmful effect because of inversions, so I am not trying to minimize how bad it is. Carbon has been declared evil because of the alleged greenhouse effect, not for causing local thermal inversions.

Frankly, I am very much in favor of reducing pollution for nature's sake, not for some some politician. And I am not in favor of shutting down our economy.

Quote :

...
Again you talk of wanting iron clad theories and yet you again introduce your vague, armageddon-like conspiracy theory, that is definitely more vague than the climate change theory you challenge. At least climate change is based on data and scientists that can be challenged just as you are challenging, as is your right.
How I do I challenge an assertion that the Global Warming crises is being precipitated to consolidate power into fewer hands, destroying national borders, with all the scientists already on board, or at the very least coerced.
Destroying national borders? I am anti-UN, but I never said a word about destroying national borders. Please critique what I actually say. I'll try to do the same. Call me on it if I don't.

The scientists don't bother me so much. They can theorize as they wish. Time will tell which theory is accurate. It is those with power and influence who are calling for drastic measures to curb or reverse the theoretical effects who concern me. That governments are imposing strict rules on the private sector is NOT vague. Bureaucrats are NOT scientific. Governments ARE asserting more control over private industry to combat global warming.

Are scientists coerced? You don't get much grant money when you go against the status quo. Perhaps influenced is a better word. We look at the same evidence, and we reach different conclusions.

Quote :

Quote :
I could go on for hours, but I don't have hours. Sigh.
Yeah, I hear ya. I should have been off to bed an hour ago.
Cheers! Cheers!
Cheers mate, and good night to ya.
But beware. I will be putting a turkey in the smoker this coming week and will be spewing out all kinds of carbon: tasty, tasty carbon. Rolling Eyes I can still get away with that in Texas. Maybe I should start a business selling carbon debits!

Once again, I must trot off to beddy-bye. Thanks for the conversation.
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PostSubject: Re: How Now Brown Cloud   Sat Nov 22, 2008 3:10 am

Quote :
Prove a negative? The burden of proof is not on me.

Ah, yeah, I've really failed obiously to state my view. The burden is absolutely on you to prove that the data you interpret leads to a theory of cyclical warming as opposed to your belief that you think I should have to prove that global warming is strictly a man-made phenomenon.

Hope your turkey comes out good! I'll give ya a more complete reesponse later, but had too much to drink at my neighbourhood poker game.
Had to lend my lame duck neighbour $20 so accounting for that probably an even kind of night.
Cheers!

Cheers!
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