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Climate change

If it's news, but not politics, then it goes here.

Re: Climate change

Postby DCB » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:03 am

Sandi wrote:Kurt has done some nice work that shows climate change, but it doesn't show the cause. It simply can't.

Actually, that's not true.
"Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperature since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic [human-caused] greenhouse gas concentrations," the report reads.

The phrase "very likely" translates to a 90 percent probability, the report's authors note. This is a significant departure from previous reports.


http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... rming.html

The increase in global temperature is close to predictions based on CO2 emissions from humans. In order to claim the rise in temperature is NOT from humans, you'd have to prove that a) the model is wrong, and b) there is another, 'natural' force that just happens to have the same forcing as predicted from CO2 emissions.

Twenty years of intense study shows the models are correct.

Or you could just stick your fingers in ears and say "I CAN"T HEAR YOU".
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Re: Climate change

Postby Galoot » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:23 am

The right-wing response is, as we can see, "the earth has warmed and cooled in the past, and that's just what it is doing now, and us puny humans can't possibly effect the climate of an entire planet". That is akin to saying that there were natural fires in the past, so it is impossible for humans to start forest fires.

And it also doesn't really say what the cause of the warming is. "Natural cycles" is telling a story, it is not pointing to a cause. We know what caused warming and cooling in the past--mainly Milankovic cycles. And that cause is not in effect over the last 50 years.

Others will claim that the CO2 we're seeing is caused *by* the warming, that CO2 always lags the temperature. Well, we know this isn't true, because the extra CO2 in the atmosphere has a different isotopic ratio than the CO2 that comes from the natural cycle. It is most definitely CO2 from fossil fuels. It's us. We're causing the warming, and there is really no doubt about this at all in the scientific community.
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Re: Climate change

Postby pjbogart » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:22 am

Sandi wrote:Another problem is the politicizing of the grant system, and that goes for all fields of science, and it is even worse in medical science. If you want a grant, your research needs to find this or that political view. Bring in the wrong results, and you can forget about future grants.


That's quite an assertion, Sandi. I'd be curious to see your evidence. What kinds of political considerations do you mean?
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Re: Climate change

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:23 am

Galoot wrote:The right-wing response is...
I loved Stephen Colbert's comment recently that he never used to believed in global warming but since An Inconvenient Truth made money, he does now, since "the free market has spoken."
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Re: Climate change

Postby Stebben84 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:52 am

pjbogart wrote:
Sandi wrote:Another problem is the politicizing of the grant system, and that goes for all fields of science, and it is even worse in medical science. If you want a grant, your research needs to find this or that political view. Bring in the wrong results, and you can forget about future grants.


That's quite an assertion, Sandi. I'd be curious to see your evidence. What kinds of political considerations do you mean?


I'd like to know as well. I know people who write grants in various fields of science(including computer science) and I really have no idea what you're talking about. And yes, boring as it sounds, we do talk about grant writing. Sure it might occur sometimes, but I'd like to see some evidence that this is a widespread problem.
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Re: Climate change

Postby Stella_Guru » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:36 am

Why would our champion of the environment express respect for "science" and pledge to somehow "respond to the threat of climate change" kill the Kyoto Agreement?
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Re: Climate change

Postby snoqueen » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:39 pm

re grants:

While it doesn't make sense to state as blanket assertion grants have be rigged to prove predetermined points if they hope to receive funding, the source of the grants is hardly neutral. For instance, many people think drug companies offer grants more readily to labs or studies that will prove their drugs work, not the opposite. An example is the way Prozac and related drugs were supposedly cure-alls fifteen or twenty years ago based on studies that made them look positively supernatural, but today the same drugs are regarded with much more skepticism and caution.

Similarly, when we look at political polling (applied social science) we look at the funding for the poll, the stated and known leanings of the pollster, or the source of the money that paid the polling companies, and we see pretty much the effects you'd expect: the results show money talks, if nothing else.

Is this just a belief of ignorant prejudiced laypersons, or a description of the facts of the matter? I'm asking, not fishing for validation here.
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Re: Climate change

Postby Stebben84 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:57 pm

snoqueen wrote:For instance, many people think drug companies offer grants more readily to labs or studies that will prove their drugs work, not the opposite. An example is the way Prozac and related drugs were supposedly cure-alls fifteen or twenty years ago based on studies that made them look positively supernatural, but today the same drugs are regarded with much more skepticism and caution.


I believe there is a difference between "funding your own study" as you have suggested and getting a government grant which is what I believe Sandi to be talking about.

snoqueen wrote:Similarly, when we look at political polling (applied social science) we look at the funding for the poll, the stated and known leanings of the pollster, or the source of the money that paid the polling companies, and we see pretty much the effects you'd expect: the results show money talks, if nothing else.


I think we need to look mainly at the company conducting the poll and not who paid for it. If we looked at both then every single poll out there is biased. I think there are legitimate polling organizations who can conduct an objective poll without the influence of who paid for it.

Then again, maybe I'm having an optimistic day.
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Re: Climate change

Postby Detritus » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:40 pm

snoqueen wrote:re grants:

While it doesn't make sense to state as blanket assertion grants have be rigged to prove predetermined points if they hope to receive funding, the source of the grants is hardly neutral. For instance, many people think drug companies offer grants more readily to labs or studies that will prove their drugs work, not the opposite. An example is the way Prozac and related drugs were supposedly cure-alls fifteen or twenty years ago based on studies that made them look positively supernatural, but today the same drugs are regarded with much more skepticism and caution.

My understanding, based on reading Ben Goldacre, among others, is that while Big Pharma does fund studies, the big problem is not so much that they only fund studies with positive results. Rather, they fund real studies, but then deep-six any studies that don't show positive results, preventing the researchers from reporting them. This is a problem and should be illegal, but it is not quite the same problem that Sandi imagined wrt gobal climate change.
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Re: Climate change

Postby Sandi » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:10 pm

The United Nations IPCC publishes a report on the subject of climate change, which the United Nations contends is “authored” by about 600 scientists. However unlike as the custom in other ordinarily science, these scientists are not permitted power of approval or disapproval of the final drafts of their work. They can comment on the draft text, but are useless because those comments are not included in the final text. What the final text does conform to is UN's objective of garnering support for world taxation and rationing of energy. Hence we have opposing groups of scientists with opposing views on anthropogenic global warming.

Here are some excerpts from an article of a summary of peer-reviewed research ( pdf ). Information cited in this linked article is referenced at the end by 132 references.

First lets take a look at surface temperatures over a 3000 year period in a two million square mile region of the Atlantic Ocean in the Sargasso Sea.

Image

Nothing looks alarming with a change over the entire 3000 year period of about 3C. In fact it appears we are just getting back to normal from the effects of the "Little Ice Age" which ended about 1800. The results are determined by isotope ratios of marine organism remains in sediment at the bottom of the sea. In fact if you look at the Medieval Warm Period we are not anywhere close, and the world obviously came through that. In fact, a warmer climate will bring an earlier timing of spring events and a later arrival of fall events, or in other words a longer growing season with bumper crops: although Asian rice crops may suffer.

World glaciers regularly grow and melt in a delayed correlation with climate cooling and warming trends, with the melting lagging temperatures by about 20 years. Lets look at the length of 169 glaciers from 1700 to 2000 before and after the introduction of CO2.

Image

As we can see the melting is on the same trend today as it has been since the end of the Little Ice Age. There is melting yes, but no increase in the rate of glacial melting at all since CO2 has increased drastically. Yet alarmists will look at the melting and say: "Oh my gosh are we to do? The polar bears are doomed!" Well there are no polar bears. If you look at the chart below you will see that they all had to die out in the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Periods. Just kidding of course.

Image

More here and better display of the above images.
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Re: Climate change

Postby Mad Howler » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:25 pm

Sandi-nista,
Something seems out of context regarding "your" efforts. It "seems" you are a former farm boy/gal of Janesville with a great deal invested in arguing around this issue.
MH
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Re: Climate change

Postby Sandi » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:07 pm

Mad Howler wrote:Sandi-nista,
Something seems out of context regarding "your" efforts. It "seems" you are a former farm boy/gal of Janesville with a great deal invested in arguing around this issue.
MH


How so?

Or is this a case of can't challenge the thought, so challenge the messenger?

BTW I am retired, and don't work for anyone, other than unpaid php and MySQL internet programming.
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Re: Climate change

Postby DCB » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:01 pm

Wow. A petitition signed by over 30,000 "scientists"! That's about how many signed a Whitehouse petition to build a Death Star.

These clever scientists are standing behind an article co-authored by Willie Soon:
Willie Soon is a name that pops up every so often in climate ‘debate’. He was the lead author on the Soon and Baliunas (2003) paper (the only paper that has ever led to the resignation of 6 editors in protest at the failure of peer-review that led to its publication).


Regarding the polar bears:
While the paper's central claims have already been disproven, the remaining issue is what appears to be Soon's willing disregard for data. RealClimate found that Soon had cherry picked data showing the highest level of Arctic Oscillation (AO), a natural variability that he blamed for any increases in temperature in the Hudson Bay area:

Desmogblog (http://s.tt/19hzU)

I suppose the temperature of the Sargasso Sea might be of interest to the eels, but its hardly representative of the planet as a whole.

Mike Powell looked at the article in detail:
The data at the left-most end of the plot (showing a rise from 24 to 25 oC) do not appear in their earlier paper (Robinson et al. 1998), nor does it appear in the Keigwin (1996) paper they reference for this figure. It’s not clear why this additional data would’ve been added to the figure.
....
Further, the argument that the “historical record does not contain any report of ‘global warming’ catastrophes” is off the mark. First of all, historical records do show that climate changes contributed to the demise of societies throughout history (see Collapse by Jared Diamond).


and so on, point by point. This is pretty funny:
Similarly, the “Earth Day-Night & Seasonal” bar is the difference between the hottest spot on the earth in Summer and the coldest spot on the Earth in Winter. But why stop there? Why not have a bar showing the difference in temperature between the temperature at Earth’s core (6500oC) with the temperature in central Antarctica during winter (-100oC), thereby making the U.S. Temperature increase bar look really small? I’m surprised they didn’t think of that.


I'm still waiting for an explanation from the denial crowd as to why exactly CO2 isn't really a greenhouse gas.
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Re: Climate change

Postby Mad Howler » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:58 pm

Sandi wrote:
Mad Howler wrote:Sandi-nista,
Something seems out of context regarding "your" efforts. It "seems" you are a former farm boy/gal of Janesville with a great deal invested in arguing around this issue.
MH


How so?

Or is this a case of can't challenge the thought, so challenge the messenger?

BTW I am retired, and don't work for anyone, other than unpaid php and MySQL internet programming.


I am kind of confused. I thought you were trying argue that the notion of anthropomorphic influence is fantasy? I have a funny notion as well. It goes something like this: people are funny animals and like to believe a good deal of silly things that make our collective feel better about the inevitable. The thing is where are those notions coming from? And who, really, benifits from this propaganda? Very old story and it definitely funny world.

I appreciate your "challenge", the thing is that your position represents the dominant narrative and ignores deeper exploration. People do accept being lied to when it gives comfort, but I suspect there is a limit.

MH
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Re: Climate change

Postby Sandi » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:27 am

snoqueen wrote:While it doesn't make sense to state as blanket assertion grants have be rigged to prove predetermined points if they hope to receive funding, the source of the grants is hardly neutral.


Correct, and I don't expect grants to be neutral, but when going towards research ( rather than say to a city for street repairs ) I do expect it to be given without strings to produce a certain result. This isn't a blanket problem, but does exist.

How much it is hard to say, however one researcher in medicine was stripped of all grants because of his views, and ostracized by researchers in the same field with opposing views ( Nobel Prize winner Peter Duesberg, professor of molecular and cell biology Berkley, CA ). After 30 some years he has received an apology and some of his credibility returned.
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