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  1. #1
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    Default #ScienceNotSilence

    Following from my posts in the Trump Administration page here, here, and here I decided to create a SciComm thread to aggregate everything. In my first post, I outlined my reasons for speaking up and becoming an advocate, and I quote:
    I'm heeding Rush Holt's call and speaking here as a young scientist, one who is deeply worried and has seen similar happen in Canada and Australia. This affects everyone - research is collaborative and international. Both Canada and Australia's research communities are still struggling to recover from Harper and Abbott. Research literally takes years to re-build, and once people are "lost", few ever come back. Many, many of my friends/colleagues permanently left science because there were no more jobs and research programs/institutes closed down.

    I am not an alarmist. I have only ever protested once in my life - that was against a cut for biomedical research funding. I don't often sign petitions or pledges, and tend to be of the type to suck it up and deal. But this is important, and I need to stand with my colleagues. I signed this yesterday.

    If there's anyone else who wants to support scientific research (particularly on climate science), you can either donate to the union of concerned scientists, or contact your local representative.

    I'm also willing to take questions that people have, and provide answers to the best of my ability. Scientific communication is very very important, and though my colleagues and I would generally prefer to be left alone to do our research, I've come to realise that it's this attitude that creates a disconnect with citizens and introduces misunderstandings about what we do on a daily basis.
    I've committed 30 minutes per day to summarising the news items that I feel are important, and will address any questions if I can answer them. I encourage other scientists (and I know there are a few on this board) to join me in posting information and clarifying, explaining and emphasising the importance of fact/evidence-based decision making.

    A follow-up on the topic of silencing scientists:
    But when Badlands National Park sent four climate change-related tweets into the internet universe, its behavior was widely labeled as “rogue.” A captivating angle, to be sure, but it would have been more accurate to call this behavior “normal.” Park rangers have written and spoken about natural phenomena like bears, forests, volcanoes, and climate for decades. In this case, the park claims that a former employee hijacked the account and disseminated climate facts. If true, it’s fortunate for the park that this mischievous operative simply tweeted uncomplicated, sensible science.

    Soon after the tweets were posted, Badlands National Park deleted them—perhaps fearing repercussions, given that the government had temporarily banned the National Park Service from tweeting for an unrelated incident earlier that week. But to scientists—and, I'd wager, most park rangers—the idea that the tweets were somehow inappropriate is baffling.

    “Questioning this science is comparable to questioning gravity,” says Jason Briner, a glacial geologist who visits and studies the Arctic each summer.

    On January 11, the park encouraged the public to “Learn more about #climatechange in the Midwest. #ParkScience.” And on January 9, the park posted “In the last 100 years, the Earth’s surface temps have risen an average 1.33°F. More than 20% of this change been since 1996. #Climate.”

    But then came the post-inauguration climate tweets.

    "Today, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than at any time in the last 650,000 years. #climate."

    This tweet would cause few, if any, scientists to raise an eyebrow. The precise carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere over the past hundreds of thousands of years are not controversial. (The record actually goes back to 800,000 years ago). This ancient air is preserved in Earth’s oldest ice, found in the Antarctic highlands, and it's pretty simple to study it.

    “It’s the easiest thing one can do. There’s no room for interpretation. It’s a direct observation of what greenhouse gas concentrations used to be,” says Briner.
    [...]
    This reality was expressed in another tweet offered by the Badlands National Park Twitter account:
    “The pre-industrial concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 280 parts per million (ppm). As of December 2016, 404.93 ppm."

    These factual messages are consistent with the climate change messaging already promoted by the agency: It has a climate change webpage and climate-specific twitter account.

    When it comes down to it, the Park Service and its rangers aren’t in the business of sharing myths. Park rangers preserve local and cultural histories, safeguard lands, and explain what we know about the evolving world. The tweet stating December 2016’s carbon dioxide part-per-million concentration isn’t a whimsical, partisan notion, spun to promote some esoteric park ranger agenda. It’s a measurable fact obtained by simple, careful observation. But with signs that climate-related science is set to be stifled in the current administration and reports that government environmental scientists may be kept from sharing all of their work with the public, individuals tasked with defending the land may find themselves "going rogue" by doing the jobs they've done for years.

    So don't be surprised by the secretive Twitter accounts blasting out data. The facts of our nation's climate cannot be considered partisan.

    “There’s an overwhelming amount of scientific data on climate change,” says Briner. “They are real facts, not alternative facts.”
    Science matters. Facts matter. Communication of facts is paramount to science and policy.
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  2. #2
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    From the folks at Alt-NOAA(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration):


    From Politico last May: Donald Trump acknowledges climate change — at his golf course - POLITICO
    Donald Trump says he is “not a big believer in global warming.” He has called it “a total hoax,” “bullshit” and “pseudoscience.”

    But he is also trying to build a sea wall designed to protect one of his golf courses from “global warming and its effects.”

    The New York billionaire is applying for permission to erect a coastal protection works to prevent erosion at his seaside golf resort, Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland, in County Clare.

    A permit application for the wall, filed by Trump International Golf Links Ireland and reviewed by POLITICO, explicitly cites global warming and its consequences — increased erosion due to rising sea levels and extreme weather this century — as a chief justification for building the structure.

    [...]

    For years, owners of seaside assets, investors, and industries like reinsurance have been busily adapting to and hedging against climate change – a reality widely acknowledged by the world’s top business leaders.

    “If you’re being responsible you are protecting your property and investing in these things,” said Cynthia McHale, director of the insurance program at Ceres, a nonprofit that works with businesses and institutional investors to promote sustainability. “It’s certainly best practice.” But McHale added that many commercial developers of seaside properties fail to account for climate change in their decisions because they are focused on short time horizons.

    Trump snatched up the golf resort from a distressed buyer in February 2014, after a winter in which an unusual number of severe storms hit the west coast of Ireland. The businessman immediately took an active hand in advancing and promoting his Irish investment.

    [...]

    Earlier this month, after failing to win special approval from the national government for the structure, Trump re-submitted a planning application with the Clare County Council seeking permission to build the wall, which would consist of 200,000 tons of rock distributed along two miles of beach. As part of the application, Trump International Golf Links submitted an environmental impact statement — prepared by an Irish environmental consultancy — which argues that erosion is likely to accelerate as sea levels rise more quickly.

    The statement acknowledges one Irish government study that assumes a steady rate of erosion through 2050, but argues that the study fails to account for the effects of climate change: “If the predictions of an increase in sea level rise as a result of global warming prove correct, however, it is likely that there will be a corresponding increase in coastal erosion rates not just in Doughmore Bay but around much of the coastline of Ireland. In our view, it could reasonably be expected that the rate of sea level rise might become twice of that presently occurring. … As a result, we would expect the rate of dune recession to increase.”

    The bigger problem, though, according to the impact statement, will be the erosion caused by larger, more frequent storms. “As with other predictions of global warming and its effects, there is no universal consensus regarding changes in these events,” it states. “Our advice is to assume that the recent average rate of dune recession will not alter greatly in the next few decades, perhaps as far into the future as 2050 as assumed in the [government study] but that subsequently an increase in this rate is more likely than not.”

    Later, the statement argues that rising sea levels make taking action unavoidable. “A Do nothing/Do minimum option will have the least impact on [natural] processes but the existing erosion rate will continue and worsen, due to sea level rise, in the next coming years, posing a real and immediate risk to most of the golf course frontage and assets,” states the conclusion of an analysis of various options for responding to the erosion.

    Trump’s company has warned not only the county council of the perils of climate change, but also local residents. An appendix to TIGL’s planning application includes a scan of a brochure that the company has distributed to residents to make the case for building the proposed coastal protection works. The heading of one page — emblazoned with a “Trump Doonbeg” logo — is “Need for Coastal Protection.” The page lists four bullet points, the last of which is, "Predicted sea level rise and more frequent storm events will increase the rate of erosion throughout the 21st century."

    The statements in the filings contradict positions publicly held by Trump, who has weighed in repeatedly on climate change in recent years – mostly to dismiss it outright. In 2012, he tweeted, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” though he has since insisted the tweet was a joke. In 2013, he tweeted, “We should be focused on clean and beautiful air-not expensive and business closing GLOBAL WARMING-a total hoax!” In January 2014, he tweeted, “This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps, and our GW scientists are stuck in ice.”
    ..and this week the Trump administration has issued a blanket ban on communications to the public and congress from govt agencies, told the EPA to delete its climate change site, said that they will limit information released by the EPA to reflect the administration's stance, frozen the EPA's contracts and grant funding and delayed 30 pre-approved environmental regulations that were due to come into effect.

    The dems have already protested. Doubt the letter will have much effect though.

    There's more stuff about de-funding law enforcement in national parks and changing the law so that there's no consequences for selling federal land. I'll post about that later.
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  3. #3
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    Guess he believes in it just fine, he just doesn't care to combat it. Fuck. There goes another attempt to actually *DO* something worldwide down the drain. Makes sense, I guess, he seems to be simplifying and tossing out a lot of rules that get in the way of business. I take it it is all the shit that bothered him as a business owner, and that kept him from exploiting certain opportunities.

    Never mind what the long term effects for everyone else are.

    ★ڿڰۣ✿ℒoѵℯ✿ڿڰۣ★





    "Harm none, do as ye will”

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    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Interesting fact.

    The last time the earth was bombarded by super high super crazy amounts of co2 was 650 million years ago, incidentally spawning the conditions for the birth of multicellular life.

    It's not that I don't deny climate change, and fully concede that artificial co2 creation heats up the atmosphere. But for some reason I just can't be bothered about it. The earth will be fine. I bet that the warmer the earth gets the faster forests grow, the more plankton thrives and the more co2 will be consumed and more oxygen for all of us.

    If we can help it, we probably shouldn't help the earth along, fair enough, but the earth will still be fine.
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  5. #5
    Sheep pill, broster asynartetic's Avatar
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    The earth will indeed be "fine" in that it will adapt, of course that could mean it adapts to the point humans and some animals can no longer survive.

    I have zero data to back this up but I feel we're on the verge of a new mass extinction. Those events typically occur over the course of several hundred thousand to several million years, and I'm not sure how far into the current one we are, but it's the somewhere near the beginning.
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    Oh well, leave it to Norway to temporarily regulate climate change while ^^^^ happens...

    Norway says could achieve full carbon capture and storage by 2022
    | Reuters

    Norway - Climate Action Tracker

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    Interesting fact.

    The last time the earth was bombarded by super high super crazy amounts of co2 was 650 million years ago, incidentally spawning the conditions for the birth of multicellular life.

    It's not that I don't deny climate change, and fully concede that artificial co2 creation heats up the atmosphere. But for some reason I just can't be bothered about it. The earth will be fine. I bet that the warmer the earth gets the faster forests grow, the more plankton thrives and the more co2 will be consumed and more oxygen for all of us.

    If we can help it, we probably shouldn't help the earth along, fair enough, but the earth will still be fine.
    I presume that you're talking about the Cambrian explosion that drove evolution from protists. You're right, the earth will probably survive man-made global warming driven climate change. It's survived without humans for a long time, it'll continue to survive after us. Eventually, there will be a new equilibrium. The question is whether we will be able to survive it, and whether things that currently exist in the natural world (many species of plants, parks, animals, entire ecosystems) will still be around.

    What kind of world will we be leaving to our decendents? That is the question.

    Let's talk about phytoplankton. Between 1899 and 2008, phytoplankton declined by approx. 1% on average globally per year. That's about a 40% drop between 1950 and 2008. An increase in temperature by 6 degrees C (which we could reach as soon as 2100) can disrupt photosynthesis by phytoplankton, which would be catastrophic for oxygen production.

    With increased CO2 in the atmosphere, ocean acidification takes place, leading to coral bleaching. Last year, unprecedented bleaching was observed all over the world.

    Coral reefs and phytoplankton support huge ecosystems that include the fish that we eat. This is just one small aspect of the many, many aspects of our lives that are dependent on nature right now.

    Yes, some trees grow faster when temperatures are warmer. However, the nature of the tree/forest determines whether the effect is to act as a carbon sink or contribute further to warming. Tropical forests act as sinks and boreal forests (located in temperate regions) contribute to warming. The trees that grow faster (in the study cited) belong to the latter group, they were from Harvard Forest - a temperate region. On the other side, tropical deforestation is getting worse all over the world.

    This is absolutely something that everyone needs to care about because it impacts so many aspects of our lives. We might not be here long enough to see the worst effects, but this is the legacy that we will be leaving behind.
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    Gone waaaay beyond my 30min commitment.

    But I still haven't said the other thing I needed to say. So very shortly, this is the source: New House Bills Aim to Sell Off Public Lands and to "Get Rid of the BLM and US Forest Service Police” - Men's Journal

    On Tuesday, Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced two bills (H.R. 621 and H.R. 622) with the explicit aim to sell Federal lands and "terminate the law enforcement functions of the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management." While 622 never made it further than its introduction last year — a time when Secretary Sally Jewell ran the Department of Interior under the Obama administration — the chances of this bill going further are much more likely, given the Republican control of the House, Senate, and, now, the Executive branch of the U.S. government.

    We'll be seeking comments and responses to these bills as the full text comes available, but for now, here's what's available:

    On his website, Chaffetz details the two bills:

    H.R. 622, Local Enforcement for Local Lands Act, first introduced last year, removes the law enforcement function from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service. Instead, the bill calls for deputizing local law enforcement, combined with block grant funding, to empower existing duly elected law enforcement offices to carry out these responsibilities. The bill, jointly sponsored by Utah’s Rep. Mia Love and Rep. Chris Stewart, also establishes a formula to reimburse local law enforcement based on the percentage of public land in each state. The resulting cost savings will reduce the BLM budget by five percent and the Forest Service by seven percent.

    H.R. 621, Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act, calls for the responsible disposal of 3.3 million acres of land identified by the Clinton Administration as being suitable for sale to non-federal entities. Encompassing just over one percent of total BLM land and less than half of one percent of all federal lands, these lands have been deemed to serve no purpose for taxpayers. In Utah, some 132,931 acres of land are eligible for disposal.

    And from Congress.gov:

    H.R.621 - To direct the Secretary of the Interior to sell certain Federal lands in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming, previously identified as suitable for disposal, and for other purposes.

    H.R.622 - To terminate the law enforcement functions of the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management and to provide block grants to States for the enforcement of Federal law on Federal land under the jurisdiction of these agencies, and for other purposes.
    That follows from this:
    Though recreation on public lands creates $646bn in economic stimulus and 6.1m jobs, Republicans are setting in motion a giveaway of Americans’ birthright.
    [...]
    Republican lawmakers have quietly laid the foundation to give away Americans’ birthright: 640m acres of national land. In a single line of changes to the rules for the House of Representatives, Republicans have overwritten the value of federal lands, easing the path to disposing of federal property even if doing so loses money for the government and provides no demonstrable compensation to American citizens.
    This change was passed in the house on first day in session.

    What the advocates in the House would say is that the state governments could manage the land better. State governments are closer to relevant interest groups — ranchers, miners, and loggers. State governments might also be more sensitive to spillover effects between what happens on federal lands and neighboring tribal lands or state lands.

    But most environmental groups see it as a way to avoid federal environmental review for leases. A lot of this land is under “multiple-use mandate,” so it’s not to be just used for mining or logging — it’s also supposed to be used for its wildlife and recreational values. A lot of environmental groups see this as a way to cut off those values: The fear is that the state and counties will be less sensitive to that, and they won’t be under the same federal mandates. It’s mostly to the benefit of the state governments — they now have a revenue source. And it also is probably intended to limit the environmental arguments for limiting leasing.
    H.R.621 has been referred to the House natural resources committee. H.R.622 is also now in committee. You can call anyone on the committee of natural resources to oppose this, regardless of the state that you live in. There is also a script against 621 shared by the Alt-National Parks people, just in case you don't know what to say. They'll post one for 622 tomorrow, and I'll edit this post to update then.

    *edit: Here's the script for 622.
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  9. #9
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    The thing about many of these 'studies' is that they are so hard to take serious. There is so much mis information about global warming that it gets increasingly hard to really understand the mechanics at work.

    Take this for example.

    Just seeing this headline is enough to discredit the validity of this study. Assume you would accurately measure population of plankton, you would literally need to test it in every part of the ocean at relatively the same time to get a decent enough understanding to be able to measure anything accurately around the scale of a single procent. Currents change, temperatures shift, there will be places with decreasing plankton and places with increasing plankton, there will be differences based on amount of sunlight, there will be differences on season. There are so many variables that make it unable to get an accurate picture of plankton in the world. Even though we have the technology now, a fair and accurate test of the plankton population would require a research operation costing in the billions to do so properly. And 1899? Sorry but I can't take that study seriously. This doesn't neccesarily mean they are wrong, it just doesn't mean they are right either.

    Also, what I'd be interested in is
    -What are the methods the 'scientists' used for testing.
    -What is the base information on which the 'scientists' base their hypothesis and conclusions.

    Everywhere you look though you see "doom here" and "distaster there" and every time you try to delve deep into any of these studies, you hit a wall or find so many inconsistencies and assumptions based on such small-scale 'scientific' methods it's hard to get behind it.



    I'm all for stopping using fossil fuels, there is absolutely no reason not to stop burning oil and use clean energy as we have the technology for it. There are so many long term benefits from this even without regarding global warming that the best future is certainly found there, and even the possibility of negative effects of global warming is enough to work towards a cleaner environment. But I'm not one to believe what he reads without proper explanation or testing and there's so much bullshit around that if anyone asks me if I believe in global warming, my short answer is: Yes, but probably not in the capacity you do. And if anyone asks me what course we should take it is: We should absolutely invest in clean energy, for the advancement of science and because it doesn't run out. And the sooner we do it the earlier I can reap the benefits of new technology. But do I believe it should be done because otherwise we're gonna die in 100 years? Then no, I don't believe that will happen, because out of the thousands upon thousands of articles about it on the net, I've yet to run into a study where I'm like "Yeah, this is good science.".
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf
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  10. #10
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    Rep. Lamar Smith, the chair of the House Science Committee, said to congress that it's better to get your news directly from the president," and that "In fact, it might be the only way to get the unvarnished truth".

    Put this in the context of the gag order on government science agencies talking to congress and the press.

    Science matters. Facts matter. We need to talk about this.
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