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  #11  
Old Aug 24th 2011, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
Will the creek rise and make getting to the cabin impossible or will it dry up and actually make it easier?
Both will occur, but with greater frequency and variation than in the past. Wetter winters will flood the creek and irregular wet/dry patterns in spring and summer will cause random patterns of flood and drought. I base this on the cycles of the past decade and not just memorable freak storms and droughts. The problem is that freak storms and droughts are coming with far greater frequency than ever before.
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Old Aug 24th 2011, 12:38 PM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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I'd say the problem is in the delivery of the message. I understand the complexity of causality in the climate. In terms of the mathematical, the climate is a chaotic system. So, I understand that saying "we used a lot of CO2 spewing cars, and it caused X to happen" is difficult to impossible, to say nothing of proving that.
The message was delivered just fine before industry/corporations started spending hundreds on millions of dollars deliberately garbling the message. It is pretty hard to get a message out there when every joe on the street now considers himself a climate expert because he has repeatedly heard a pretend climate scientist on the TV explaining how CO2 cannot possibly warm the climate. Absurd, but that is what is happening.

http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/0...tardi-science/

So it is really hard to for me to blame the messaging, rather than the people who deliberately spread a false message and have way more money and influence and air time in which to do it.


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But, in light of that, I'd say that those raising awareness of the issue and trying to do something about it should back off the predictions and focus instead on what we're observing only. I don't know whether that would lend credibility or not, but it would at least stop the hemorrhaging of credibility.
How are policy makers supposed to plan for adaptation without scientists making forecasts on what the impacts are likely to be? Keep in mind that the forecasts have been generally accurate, indeed, they have erred on the conservative side when it comes to CO2 emissions projected into the future, sea level rise, ice melt, and how quickly we would see more extreme weather. One could make the case that they need to be more dire in their warnings, and less cautious. Why would they back off predictions when their predictions have matched or exceeded the worst case scenarios?
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Old Aug 24th 2011, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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The message was delivered just fine before industry/corporations started spending hundreds on millions of dollars deliberately garbling the message. It is pretty hard to get a message out there when every joe on the street now considers himself a climate expert because he has repeatedly heard a pretend climate scientist on the TV explaining how CO2 cannot possibly warm the climate. Absurd, but that is what is happening.

http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/0...tardi-science/

So it is really hard to for me to blame the messaging, rather than the people who deliberately spread a false message and have way more money and influence and air time in which to do it.




How are policy makers supposed to plan for adaptation without scientists making forecasts on what the impacts are likely to be? Keep in mind that the forecasts have been generally accurate, indeed, they have erred on the conservative side when it comes to CO2 emissions projected into the future, sea level rise, ice melt, and how quickly we would see more extreme weather. One could make the case that they need to be more dire in their warnings, and less cautious. Why would they back off predictions when their predictions have matched or exceeded the worst case scenarios?
I'm talking about the message marketed to raise general awareness with the public as opposed to the data that policy makers will use for making policy. The message to the general public has been, over the course of my lifetime at least, hysterical, fickle and non-predictive. Better no information than cries of wolf.

If, say, scientists have credible reason to believe that a plain is going to become a flood plain, urban planners or local builders should be made aware of that with actual, predictive data. But, there's no need for the planner and the scientists to tell the public that unless we all drive hybrids, the world is going to flood. That prediction will probably turn out to be wrong and, even if it doesn't, it isn't as though the populace is going to spontaneously organize and fix the problem -- half of them will get out religious books or something and assert that there's no such thing as water.
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Old Aug 24th 2011, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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The message was delivered just fine before industry/corporations started spending hundreds on millions of dollars deliberately garbling the message. It is pretty hard to get a message out there when every joe on the street now considers himself a climate expert because he has repeatedly heard a pretend climate scientist on the TV explaining how CO2 cannot possibly warm the climate. Absurd, but that is what is happening.

http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/0...tardi-science/

So it is really hard to for me to blame the messaging, rather than the people who deliberately spread a false message and have way more money and influence and air time in which to do it.
The message has certainly been garbled, but I'd say that's as least as much by the supporters of climate change theory as the detractors. That ignorant "joe on the street " who "considers himself a climate expert" is just as often babbling nonsense in support of the climate changing as against it.
Ignorance abounds. And given the complexity of the issue, that's hardly surprising.

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How are policy makers supposed to plan for adaptation without scientists making forecasts on what the impacts are likely to be? Keep in mind that the forecasts have been generally accurate, indeed, they have erred on the conservative side when it comes to CO2 emissions projected into the future, sea level rise, ice melt, and how quickly we would see more extreme weather. One could make the case that they need to be more dire in their warnings, and less cautious. Why would they back off predictions when their predictions have matched or exceeded the worst case scenarios?
Well, the accurate forecasts have been accurate. The ones about the ozone layer and global cooling (which drgoodtrips mentioned and which I also remember) were not.
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Old Aug 24th 2011, 12:59 PM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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Originally Posted by drgoodtrips View Post
I'm talking about the message marketed to raise general awareness with the public as opposed to the data that policy makers will use for making policy. The message to the general public has been, over the course of my lifetime at least, hysterical, fickle and non-predictive. Better no information than cries of wolf.

If, say, scientists have credible reason to believe that a plain is going to become a flood plain, urban planners or local builders should be made aware of that with actual, predictive data. But, there's no need for the planner and the scientists to tell the public that unless we all drive hybrids, the world is going to flood. That prediction will probably turn out to be wrong and, even if it doesn't, it isn't as though the populace is going to spontaneously organize and fix the problem.
I very much disagree with what you are saying. Just look at the US southwest. Scientists have been warning that GW would cause massive drought, and this was based on data. This was ignored by policy makers. but it is happening quicker than even the forecasts suggested.

Predictions were conservative - not fickle or hysterical or non-predictive. It was too cautious by orders of magnitude. Here is one example of how the forecasts were wrong by being way too cautious, not by being hysterical.


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Old Aug 24th 2011, 01:07 PM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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I very much disagree with what you are saying. Just look at the US southwest. Scientists have been warning that GW would cause massive drought, and this was based on data. This was ignored by policy makers. but it is happening quicker than even the forecasts suggested.

Predictions were conservative - not fickle or hysterical or non-predictive. It was too cautious by orders of magnitude. Here is one example of how the forecasts were wrong by being way too cautious, not by being hysterical.


dilettante's last post, second part, is basically my response to this. You're citing a prediction that turned out to be accurate. The prediction that humans would get burned if they walked outside in 2010, not so much. That was clearly hysterical.
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Old Aug 24th 2011, 01:16 PM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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The message has certainly been garbled, but I'd say that's as least as much by the supporters of climate change theory as the detractors. That ignorant "joe on the street " who "considers himself a climate expert" is just as often babbling nonsense in support of the climate changing as against it.
Ignorance abounds. And given the complexity of the issue, that's hardly surprising.
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.

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Well, the accurate forecasts have been accurate. The ones about the ozone layer and global cooling (which drgoodtrips mentioned and which I also remember) were not.
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
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Old Aug 24th 2011, 01:20 PM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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dilettante's last post, second part, is basically my response to this. You're citing a prediction that turned out to be accurate. The prediction that humans would get burned if they walked outside in 2010, not so much. That was clearly hysterical.
No, I'm citing a prediciton that was way too conservative/cautious, it was not accurate at all, it dramatically underestimated ice melt in the arctic. How could you look at that graph and say it was accurate??? BTW, that is only one example. The 2007 IPCC report section of the impacts of global warming is now widely considered to be far too conservative almost across the board.

Also, i never heard any prediciton that people would get burned if they walked outside in 2010.... where are you getting that from?

See my response to Dilettante.
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Old Aug 24th 2011, 01:30 PM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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No, I'm citing a prediciton that was way too conservative/cautious, it was not accurate at all, it dramatically underestimated ice melt in the arctic. How could you look at that graph and say it was accurate??? BTW, that is only one example. The 2007 IPCC report section of the impacts of global warming is now widely considered to be far too conservative almost across the board.
I didn't pay any attention to the graph. I was just taking whatever point you were making at face value and conceding that it was true. Looking back, I had your point wrong, so, since I was blindly conceding the point anyway, I'll amend my concession to concede that the prediction you cited was, in fact, wrong. I'm not sure that helps your point about predictions being accurate, but it doesn't have any impact on the point that I'm trying to make, which is that there has been no shortage of inaccurate predictions (to which your graph can, apparently, be added).

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Also, i never heard any prediciton that people would get burned if they walked outside in 2010.... where are you getting that from?
From being told that as a kid in science class. I might be misremembering the year, but I'm not misremembering the gravity of the prediction -- that's the kind of thing that tends to stick with you when you're a child.

As for the point about the Ozone layer getting fixed because the predictions of doom and gloom spurred actions to fix it, what were the actions and how did they fix it. And, if it was just that easy, why all the hullabaloo in the first place? Why didn't whoever fixed the problem just quietly fix it?

Edit: My recollection of this was that the issue spurred changes to some alternative from CFC's in aerosols. Beyond that, I don't know a lot of details.

Last edited by drgoodtrips; Aug 24th 2011 at 01:41 PM.
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Old Aug 24th 2011, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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I didn't pay any attention to the graph. I was just taking whatever point you were making at face value and conceding that it was true. Looking back, I had your point wrong, so, since I was blindly conceding the point anyway, I'll amend my concession to concede that the prediction you cited was, in fact, wrong. I'm not sure that helps your point about predictions being accurate, but it doesn't have any impact on the point that I'm trying to make, which is that there has been no shortage of inaccurate predictions (to which your graph can, apparently, be added).
Perhaps this would be easier if you would grant me the courtesy of actually reading my posts....

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.

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From being told that as a kid in science class. I might be misremembering the year, but I'm not misremembering the gravity of the prediction -- that's the kind of thing that tends to stick with you when you're a child.
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.

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As for the point about the Ozone layer getting fixed because the predictions of doom and gloom spurred actions to fix it, what were the actions and how did they fix it. And, if it was just that easy, why all the hullabaloo in the first place? Why didn't whoever fixed the problem just quietly fix it?
Seriously? I can't believe you don't know.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_Protocol
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