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  #21  
Old Aug 24th 2011, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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Originally Posted by andrewl View Post
How come the only people on TV babbling nonsense are the ones denying the science? The whole idea that the message has been absurd on both sides is not correct.
There may be more nonsense on one side than the other, but I don't agree that there's been a complete dearth of silliness coming from climate change alarmists. I heard no shortage of people (on TV and off) stating as fact that Katrina was the result of global warming.
I also recall the hubbub around the movie "The Day After Tomorrow", with various talking heads worrying that it was an accurate depiction of what awaited us at any moment. Were these people scientists? I have no idea. But they were voices on TV.

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Except policy makers stepped up to the plate and did something about the ozone layer, and the ozone layer has responded in kind as predicted. Had they not done anything about the ozone layer it is probable that the worst predictions would have become reality. (it is really just basic physics and chemistry). Using an example where policy makers actually responded is not a good argument, IMO. In fact, it is better used as an argumetn for policy makers to do something about GW.

As for global cooling being predicted in the 70's - that is just a myth. climate scientists in the 70's were overwhelmingly publishing studies warning about the impact of global warming. There were a couple studies that suggested sulfates the the atmosphere could more than cancel out CO2 warming and lead to cooling, but they were very quickly proven to be wrong.

http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/Myth-1...-BAMS-2008.pdf
Not having been a climate scientist in the 70s, I can't attest to what that community was thinking. I can attest, however, that the threat of "global cooling" still had good currency among the public in the 80s, enough that even a little kid such as myself picked up on it.

And I definitely remember the horrific threats of solar radiation frying us like bacon after the ozone layer was depleted. Aerosol spray cans were going to kill us all.

Anyway, the point isn't really whether the scientists were right or not, but that the public has been repeatedly confronted with horrible catastrophic scenarios so often that they're somewhat cynical and jaded now as a result. If you've personally been blessed to have only ever heard accurate scientific predictions regarding the climate, that's great for you, but I believe that makes you quite exceptional.
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  #22  
Old Aug 24th 2011, 01:58 PM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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Originally Posted by andrewl View Post
Perhaps this would be easier if you would grant me the courtesy of actually reading my posts....
My apologies. I'm posting between test runs of a software install at the office, so you have my divided attention.

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I was not making a point about predictions being accurate, i have been making a point that predictions were too cautious. i.e., you were saying prediciton were hysterical and i was saying they are not hysterical enough when we look at predictions from models 10 years ago and compare them to observations today.
So, if the point is that predictions of doom and gloom are actually too cautious, doesn't that sort of run the risk of an attitude like "we should just take whatever the data tells us and tell everyone that what's going to happen will be much, much worse?" Whether predictions about the climate are too 'alarmist' or not 'alarmist' enough doesn't alter the fact that they're not predictive and therefore of limited to no value (not environment climate predictions in general -- just the ones that prove inaccurate).

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Wow, that is insane. That is certainly not something i have ever heard of. When the issue was talked about in science when i was i a kid in school in the 80's they pretty much nailed the science, for the tiny bit it was mentioned. It was always something that was 200-300 years out is how i remember the debate from the 90's and prior.
I'm not sure where you went to school, but I can tell you that in the US and in the region I grew up, one thing that is never lacking in any kind of activism is hysteria. In retrospect, I recognize the sensationalist nature of these types of warnings that we'd get. They were not limited to the climate, but also extended to other things like diseases and health issues (I still know what an illness caused Rye's Syndrome is and what causes it because when I was 9, my class had to watch this video of a girl getting sick and dying after taking Asprin).

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Seriously? I can't believe you don't know.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_Protocol
Interesting. I wish I was old enough to have a better recollection of the political realities of this. It seems to me that this was a regulatory issue that could have been handled without much in the way of interest on the part of the average citizen. That is, I don't think too many people care what molecule is used in their aerosol cans or air conditioners. Also interesting is that the solution apparently contributes to global warming, at least according to the wiki site.

In the end, that seems like an easier issue to solve then trying to stop the Earth's climate from changing. I'd imagine that the chemical reaction between CFC's and O3 particles is a fairly predictable and demonstrable one, even on a large scale. So, in one case, you have a relatively controlled, predictable system, and a problem with that system was detected. The cause and effect relationship could be predicted, demonstrated, and reproduced, and the same with the proposed solution. The solution was then adopted, and the problem was solved.

It seems to me that if more environmental concerns could be reduced to cut and dry, scientific outcomes, a lot more problems would be solved.
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  #23  
Old Aug 24th 2011, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
Anyway, the point isn't really whether the scientists were right or not, but that the public has been repeatedly confronted with horrible catastrophic scenarios so often that they're somewhat cynical and jaded now as a result. If you've personally been blessed to have only ever heard accurate scientific predictions regarding the climate, that's great for you, but I believe that makes you quite exceptional.
Yes, and that's exactly what I'm talking about in terms of the delivery of the message of climate/environment issues. At some point, it doesn't matter how accurate the message may be. If you tell someone they're going to die enough times they either stop believing your or resign themselves to their fate, and go on with whatever life they have left. I think the average person only has so much panic and hand-wringing and like any non-renewable resource, it can get depleted.
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Old Aug 24th 2011, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
There may be more nonsense on one side than the other, but I don't agree that there's been a complete dearth of silliness coming from climate change alarmists. I heard no shortage of people (on TV and off) stating as fact that Katrina was the result of global warming.
I also recall the hubbub around the movie "The Day After Tomorrow", with various talking heads worrying that it was an accurate depiction of what awaited us at any moment. Were these people scientists? I have no idea. But they were voices on TV.
Katrina could have been a bigger/stronger storm because of global warming, that is very consistent with the science.

As far as the day after tomorrow is concerned i remember climate scientists coming on TV and ridiculing it. And yes, i also remember the TV juxtaposing it with global warming, irresponsibly, but not from somebody they would introduce as as "expert". This is my point, conservative media often takes somebody who is not an expert, introduces them as an expert, and they spread their misinformation. Millions of people believe it, and then rational intelligent people for whatever reason blame it on the messaging from those who advocate to do something instead of blaming the deliberate attempt to misinform people coming from those who advocate that GW is just a big hoax... its all backwards man!!

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Not having been a climate scientist in the 70s, I can't attest to what that community was thinking. I can attest, however, that the threat of "global cooling" still had good currency among the public in the 80s, enough that even a little kid such as myself picked up on it.
Yes, the idea was sensationalized briefly in Time Magazine or someplace, so it stuck for awhile, especially in the minds of children. I just do not think it is a fair comparison because there was never any scientific consensus on it in the 70's like there is now a scientific consensus on global warming.

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And I definitely remember the horrific threats of solar radiation frying us like bacon after the ozone layer was depleted. Aerosol spray cans were going to kill us all.
Had governments not regulated the use of of CFCs and other ozone depleting chemicals, i.e. had they listened to industry, there would certainly be some very nasty effects. The ozone layer does protect us from UV radiation, without the ozone layer life could not exist on the surface of this planet. And it is a fact of chemisty that CFCs destroy the ozone layer.

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Anyway, the point isn't really whether the scientists were right or not, but that the public has been repeatedly confronted with horrible catastrophic scenarios so often that they're somewhat cynical and jaded now as a result. If you've personally been blessed to have only ever heard accurate scientific predictions regarding the climate, that's great for you, but I believe that makes you quite exceptional.
I agree that the public is often cynical and jaded, but the science is pretty clear on the fact that business as usual in terms of land use and GHG emissions does put us on a very catastrophic path.

Do you have any examples of where scientists have made overly doom and gloom predictions regarding global warming? I honestly have not seen them. Quite seriously, the only ridiculous doom and gloom predictions i have seen regarding this issue are coming from those on the wrong side of the debate who say that doing something about global warming will destroy the worlds economies as part of some grand centuries old leftist conspiracy. There is no basis at all for such predictions.... if anything is hysterical that is.
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Old Aug 24th 2011, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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Originally Posted by drgoodtrips View Post
My apologies. I'm posting between test runs of a software install at the office, so you have my divided attention.
lol No problem.



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So, if the point is that predictions of doom and gloom are actually too cautious, doesn't that sort of run the risk of an attitude like "we should just take whatever the data tells us and tell everyone that what's going to happen will be much, much worse?" Whether predictions about the climate are too 'alarmist' or not 'alarmist' enough doesn't alter the fact that they're not predictive and therefore of limited to no value (not environment climate predictions in general -- just the ones that prove inaccurate).
Yes, that does pose a problem for policy makers. I would expect that as models become more sophisticated the predictions will become more and more accurate, in both time and space. Ultimately the cause is known and it makes more sense to address that in terms of policy.

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I'm not sure where you went to school, but I can tell you that in the US and in the region I grew up, one thing that is never lacking in any kind of activism is hysteria. In retrospect, I recognize the sensationalist nature of these types of warnings that we'd get. They were not limited to the climate, but also extended to other things like diseases and health issues (I still know what an illness caused Rye's Syndrome is and what causes it because when I was 9, my class had to watch this video of a girl getting sick and dying after taking Asprin).
Wow. Canada is not like that at all. Well, i guess they did show us reefer madness in junior high... I remember some of us kids with experience of the reefer actually arguing with the teachers about it and disrupting the entire screening.... but that was the most activist thing i remember.

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Interesting. I wish I was old enough to have a better recollection of the political realities of this. It seems to me that this was a regulatory issue that could have been handled without much in the way of interest on the part of the average citizen. That is, I don't think too many people care what molecule is used in their aerosol cans or air conditioners. Also interesting is that the solution apparently contributes to global warming, at least according to the wiki site.
Yes, some of the alternatives turned out to be GHG's... more unintended consequences from industry. We should really operate more on a precautionary principle, IMO. If we don't what a chemical will do in the natural world, we should not dump into the natural world. For me the Montreal Protocol is an example of how the international community can cooperate and actually effect change. We could use that now. The world is a different more hostile and divisive place now it seems.

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In the end, that seems like an easier issue to solve then trying to stop the Earth's climate from changing. I'd imagine that the chemical reaction between CFC's and O3 particles is a fairly predictable and demonstrable one, even on a large scale. So, in one case, you have a relatively controlled, predictable system, and a problem with that system was detected. The cause and effect relationship could be predicted, demonstrated, and reproduced, and the same with the proposed solution. The solution was then adopted, and the problem was solved.
By the same token we know that CO2 is a GHG, we know that the extra CO2 in the atmosphere is from fossil fuels, we know that clear cutting primary forests removes a carbon sink and we know that the Greenhouse effect has been enhanced (via satellite observation), and we know that the earth is warming. The cause is just as well known as it was with CFC's. The difference of course is that oil and gas companies are far more entrenched into the political system than was Dupont back in the day. The interesting parallel with dupont was their total denialism in the face of scientific fact.

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It seems to me that if more environmental concerns could be reduced to cut and dry, scientific outcomes, a lot more problems would be solved.
And less deliberate misinformation from media and industry would help as well.

In reality we have already delayed way too long. If the governments cannot address this i am convinced we are going to see widespread acts of civil disobedience militant violence against corporations, governments and industry. It will be called terrorism, and then we will have policy that nobody wants, left or right.
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  #26  
Old Aug 29th 2011, 12:38 AM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

Here is a comic i think is relevant to this discussion.

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  #27  
Old Nov 7th 2013, 02:21 PM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

I've heard Bill Maher say that over 90% of scientists agree that there is man-made climate change.
Should we put our faith in the professional scientists?
On the one hand, who else have we got to listen to?
On the other hand, scientists sometimes change their mind.

I personally feel that we should trust the scientists on this one, but I'd also like to hear arguments against, even if you agree with me, you may know some arguments against our point of view.
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Old Nov 7th 2013, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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Originally Posted by NickKIELCEPoland View Post
I've heard Bill Maher say that over 90% of scientists agree that there is man-made climate change.
Should we put our faith in the professional scientists?
On the one hand, who else have we got to listen to?
On the other hand, scientists sometimes change their mind.

I personally feel that we should trust the scientists on this one, but I'd also like to hear arguments against, even if you agree with me, you may know some arguments against our point of view.
You don't need faith or trust when the topic is science. The data and equations are what establish science, not the people. Climate change is an application of fluid dynamics and chaos. Any claim of any scientist on the subject can be evaluated with those tools.
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Old Nov 8th 2013, 12:06 AM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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You don't need faith or trust when the topic is science. The data and equations are what establish science, not the people. Climate change is an application of fluid dynamics and chaos. Any claim of any scientist on the subject can be evaluated with those tools.
Yes, I agree with that.
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Old Nov 11th 2013, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

Climatology is a statistical science. As such, the individual data points (e.g. storms such as Katrina or Sandy or Haiyan) are indeed no proof of anything. To evaluate climate change one needs the data of all the storms on the entire globe for at least several decades. If that data shows an increase in the number of storms and/or the intensity and/or the size then one can say that the data is consistent with the models that predict the effects of climate change but only inasmuch as it's also consistent with the specific parameters that have been implemented into the model. For instance, if the model predicts an increase in storms in function of an average temperature rise of the oceans and the increase of storms happens but the predicted increase in ocean temperature doesn't, then the model is still dysfunctional.

Having said that, it's a bit disingenuous to ask for conclusive and irrefutable proof in this context. Given that the whole system of the earth's atmosphere is a complex of interacting chaotic systems which as we all know are characterized by a sensitive dependency on initial conditions, it's as good as certain that no model will ever be designed which has the predictive powder of e.g. quantum physics. One would need a sensor grid measuring a whole number of variables on almost molecular level to incorporate every conceivable chaotic effect. Can't be done.

So while the models are being refined it would be disastrous to play ostrich and ignore the preliminary results altogether even if they are subject to frequent changes. Scientifically speaking the discrepancies in e.g. the graph that Andrewl posted in post #15 are a Good Thing in the sense that they allow for refinement and recalibration of the models.

Other than that, the models aren't the only thing to be considered. There is a lot of evidence which is circumstantial and constitutes no proof but it still is evidence. Fact is that e.g. Spain, southern Italy and North Africa are already experiencing an alarming level of desertification to name just one issue. Even less politically controversial are the observed migrations of many species who are now in regions they haven't spread to since before the Ice Age if ever.

I've looked into this subject a lot over the last ten years but I rarely discuss it because the well is poisoned politically beyond all redemption. The public debate about this, even from the IPCC and such, is moronic. The science of it should be discussed entirely distinct from any political or economical repercussions. This is practically impossible except on dedicated scientific technical forums (if any).
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