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  1. #11
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haight View Post
    Unless you are a scientist, with knowledge applicable to this subject, and, you have access to the primary source, scientific documents held by both sides of this issue . . . the truth will remain hidden from you/us and buried below the political objectives of each group, or party concerned with this issue.
    What is a scientist exactly? Someone with a certificate? Someone in a lab coat? Someone practicing the scientific method? I am a scientist, depending on what you mean by "scientist."

    Furthermore, the truth is always hidden, the point is not to uncover the truth, but to discover it. The difference is that you can discover the truth, even without method of certifying that the truth has been discovered i.e. uncovering. Thus, the truth is always hidden, though not unobtainable.

    The only method with any hope of discovering the truth is the critical method, and so if we hope to learn anything we need to enter into critical discussion. There is certainly wisdom to be had in recognising the difficulty of wading through such politically sensitive quagmires, but that doesn't mean we cannot proceed, only that we must keep our critical instincts sharper than ever.

    I am also fully aware of my own ignorance surrounding such controversies, so I am attempting to keep any substantial comments to my areas of interests, or to more obvious facts, such as that polar bears must have survived similar great meltings in their evolutionary past (indeed, how do you think they evovled into such strong swimmers?), or that wine was grown in many parts of Britain during Medieval times.

    Thank you for you words of warning, but they are quite unecessary.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  2. #12
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Last edited by JivinJeffJones; 09-12-2007 at 03:33 PM.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Langrenus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    such as that polar bears must have survived similar great meltings in their evolutionary past (indeed, how do you think they evovled into such strong swimmers?), or that wine was grown in many parts of Britain during Medieval times.
    The problem with keeping to 'obvious facts' is that you're then jumping to less than obvious conclusions

    Polar bears are strong swimmers - I don't understand how this automatically leads to the conclusion that they "must" have experienced 'similar great meltings.' The fact that they can swim could also be explained by the fact that a small proportion of the ice cover has probably melted every year for thousands of years, and they have evolved to cover the relatively short distances between ice sheets.

    Ditto the facts about English vineyards - the NOAA say that:

    the idea of a global or hemispheric "Medieval Warm Period" that was warmer than today however, has turned out to be incorrect. (link)
    Europe may have experienced a regional increase in temperature, and us Brits might have squeezed out a few second-rate bottles of plonk, but extrapolating this onto a global scale might not necessarily be right.
    On the other hand, maybe it is correct. I don't know - but just pointing out that applying any kind of logic to these statements requires an analysis of more than one data set.

    I think this is the point Haight was driving at. Or not.
    January has April's showers
    And 2 and 2 always makes a 5

  4. #14
    Senior Member meshou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    What is a scientist exactly? Someone with a certificate? Someone in a lab coat? Someone practicing the scientific method? I am a scientist, depending on what you mean by "scientist."
    Oh, please, you are not out there compiling primary source data or acting as a primary source. You're not sticking probes in oceans, you're not pouring over the temperature records to find patterns. I imagine you already have a full time job. This is a difficult enough question that even real, non-politically motivated scientists are coming to different conclusions on.

    What you are doing is agreeing with any viewpoint your particular political party's glomming onto at the moment. "Global warming isn't real 'cause I don't like Al Gore," is one of them.

    I'm sure you may have spent a couple hours reading articles at some point, but you have no doctorate in any relevant field, you do not conduct research. You are not a scientist.
    Let's do this thing.

  5. #15
    Senior Member kuranes's Avatar
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    I read a book by Michael Crichton which turns Nocturne's arguments ( along with others ) into a global action/suspense story where the "bad guys" are the Environmentalists. He makes some good points in it about misapplying statistics and other things.

    Here is a negative review of the book, with some very interesting links embedded in it. Bad Science, Bad Fiction (Doubt and About)

    If this is an issue important to you then you may want to read the book first, as the critique has some "spoilers". Crichton goes so far as to say elsewhere that the people who currently endorse the prevention of "global warming", as it is popularly understood, will someday be as embarrassed by their ( former ) positions as were the people endorsing Eugenics.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    You misunderstand my intent. I'm not attempting to rebut the theory so much as suggest variables which would have to be taken into account in considering the claims of the documentary. Langrenus' point about the sulphate aerosols gives a concrete example of such a temperature-affecting variable the documentary apparently didn't take into account
    You misunderstand my point. I was not trying to imply that you were attempting to rebut the theory, nor am I sure what theory you are referring to here. That doesn't matter. The point I was trying to make is that proposing some unknown variable to account for a recalcitrant fact is not good scientific procedure, since if we permit such conventionalist strategems we will find that all theories are irrefutable. In other words, if you posit some unknown variable to account for the temperature drop from 1940 to 1975, then I could do the same for any evidence contradicting my own theory, potentially indefinitely.

    The appeal to bare possibilities is to be avoided, though I stress may not always be false. For example, Neptune was discovered after irregularites in Uranus' orbit were observed, rather than refuting Newtonian physics, an unknown variable was hypothesised to be influencing Uranus. That unknown variable is today known as Neptune. This may be a parallel to your previous post, and perhaps sulphate aerosols are your neptune; but my intention was not to argue the specific case, but instead to drive home the point that such ad hoc speculations are bad scientific practice, since they can very easily render a theory untestable.

    What I meant though was that the steps taken to reduce our environmental impact as a species would be mostly positive ones.
    Positive for whom? Why is reducing our "environmental impact" as a species an inherently good thing? I am not entirely sure what our "environmental impact" is supposed to be exactly, but I get the sense that it is used to refer those activities unique to humans, such as constructing buildings, air conditioning, computing, cars, trains, planes, processed foods, mass produced goods, books, modern medicine etc. The thing is, I am very fond of all of them, and so to, I believe, are most people. Sure, there are downsides to all these activities, but everything in life is a tradeoff, what in economics is called opportunity cost.

    The point is this. If we redirect time and resources toward reducing such "environmental impacts," then we are not using those resources toward doing something else which we may find, according to our own lights, a better tradeoff. The tradeoff from enecting such environmentalist policies will be felt, even if the consequences are not focused in a single place or time, there will be less wealth available to research cures for diseases, conduct scientific experiments, manufacture medicine, transport and distribute life saving technology, adequate heating for the elderly, quality schooling and so on. The number of people who will die, whereas they otherwise would not, due to such policies, over the course of decades and dispersed worldwide are practically almost unmeasurable, yet they are also an undeniable and unavoidable logical consequences of such policies.

    Developing renewable energy resources technology etc can only be a good thing, and if popular alarm is what it's going to take for this to go ahead then so be it.
    There is nothing categorically "good" about developing renewable energies, as mentioned above, everything here is a matter of tradeoffs. The entire fallacy behind your argument is that it ignores tradeoffs, and the unintended consequences of well-intended policy. There is a particular point when developing alternative energy sources becomes "good," and even then, that point is relative to individual circumstances.

    I think you're drawing a worst-case scenario here, and one which would be unlikely from what I know of human behaviour. Can you really see governments taking such drastic action that billions of people would die as a result?
    Look back on the 20th Century. If there is one thing governments are good at, and they aren't good at very much, they are good at killing people, their own people and others. To make matters worse, they often do this behind heedy rhetoric, and may sometimes do so with good intentions. The particular argument I am making here is that the governments of the world might just do that, with the best intentions, enact policies which needlessly kill millions over the course of decades. That is the path they are currently charting.

    That is quite aside from the problem of politicised incentives. This is crippling to many government bureaucracies, which while founded with the best intentions, become corrupted by the political system. In the end, the already bumbling and inefficient institutions are directed toward goals irrelevent to those with which they were founded. I can't see how this can be avoided with any panels, organisations or enforcement agencies set up to prevent global warming. The chances are that they'll simply become another tool with which special interest groups can manipulate through concentrated voter power.

    I think measures taken to address man-made global warming would be extremely conservative at best, and woefully inadequate at worst. Added to this, fossil fuels are not an unlimited resource. If measures aren't taken to develop renewable energy technology now, we're simply postponing the catastrophic consequences you propose, from what I understand. Better to start addressing this issue early rather than late.
    If you are referring to peak oil, then we might ironically find two hyped up disasters cancelling each other out, without the need for any governmental intevention at all. However, I wouldn't bet on it happening that way, because as meshou inadvertantly demonstrated in her response to me on this thread, many see global warming as a good opportunity to push a political agenda, and would likely be disappointed to find a nonpolitical solution to the problem.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Langrenus View Post
    Polar bears are strong swimmers - I don't understand how this automatically leads to the conclusion that they "must" have experienced 'similar great meltings.' The fact that they can swim could also be explained by the fact that a small proportion of the ice cover has probably melted every year for thousands of years, and they have evolved to cover the relatively short distances between ice sheets.
    Polar bears can swim for hundreds of miles, such strong swimming ability is not something you'd expect to find in a bear, so it does indicate an adaptation to a reoccuring evolutionary problem. Furthermore, environmentalist campaigns, and documentaries like David Attenborough's Life on Earth, frequently suggest that this is a peculiar and novel behaviour, forced on the bears by unique circumstances associated with global warming. If this is so, then it is doubly surprising that they so darn good at it, since evolution is nothing if not an economic process, tending not to furnish organisms with developed abilities which bear (excuse the pun) little or no relation to any adaptive problem.

    I suggest that the evolutionary history of polar bears has involved such great melts before, possibly many times. The heightened selection pressures during such periods has mad epolar bears what they are today, remarkably strong swimmers so that they can find land during such "big melts." In fact, the article you linked regarding the (unimaginatively named) "medieval warm period" hints at this itself, "In summary, it appears that the 20th century, and in particular the late 20th century, is likely the warmest the Earth has seen in at least 1200 years." Polar bears have been on this earth substantially longer than 1200 years.

    Europe may have experienced a regional increase in temperature, and us Brits might have squeezed out a few second-rate bottles of plonk, but extrapolating this onto a global scale might not necessarily be right.
    On the other hand, maybe it is correct. I don't know - but just pointing out that applying any kind of logic to these statements requires an analysis of more than one data set.
    Please understand, I am making no such extrapolation, and it would be clearly illogical to do so. No, my argument is purely deductive, since I am hypothesising that medieval Europe was warmer than today, the fact that we grew vineyards here in England during those times is just a test for my hypothesis, one it seems to pass.

    The problem, as I see it, is this. The current climate of England is unsuitable for me to have a vineyard, but we have convincing evidence from Medieval times that they could have vineyards in England. This seems to be in direct contradiction to the charts which claim that the "medieval warm period" was not as warm as the modern day. In other words, one of these premises is false, since they can't all be true together.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  8. #18
    Senior Member darlets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    3. The alternative theory that changes in global temperature are predominantly caused by variations in solar activity corresponds to the facts as good, if not better than, the standard manmade global warming theory.
    The report this is based on was massively discredited when it was peered reviewed. They had large gaps in their data series and just inserted the data they needed for correlation, also when the data stopped correlating after 1980 they just stop the graph.

    I'll post a link to it later when I'm not at work.

    INTPcentral had a thread on this and the main points in this doco were all discredit.

    Some of the scientist interviewed in this doco were unhappy in the way what they said was used. The oceanographer was very adament what he said was taken entirely out of context and he was told the doco was about showing how global warming is occuring.

    Their coverage of Solar power was emotive and irrational. I've got a blog with news article about solar (see sig) and it's massively different to what they portray.

    The question we should be asking is should we go to renewable energy or should we continue with coal/nuclear.

    The advances in this area have been amazing to say the least. We are rapidly closing in on the point where solar becomes more commerically viable than the rest.

    Governments that talk about the future of energy without Solar being the dominate player are misguided.

    There is a global swindle going on based around the sun, but it's of the solar energy variety.
    "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
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  9. #19
    Senior Member darlets's Avatar
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    blog on the doco
    The paper the blog references
    link to paper

    A point by point review of what was covered in the doco

    link
    "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
    Bertrand Russell

    http://rayofsolar.blogspot.com/
    http://zeropointseven.blogspot.com/

  10. #20
    Junior Member Krill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    Polar bears have been on this earth substantially longer than 1200 years.
    And more importantly: so have humans.

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