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Thread: Fooling with Mother Nature

  1. #1381
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange Magic View Post
    I repeat: what would be the prudent decision on the part of a concerned non-scientist citizen--attend to the consensus view and declaration of the organized body of professional meteorologists? Or instead to an isolated iconoclast? DrMike constantly and correctly warns us to pay no attention to the ravings and mutterings of the anti-immunization crowd and instead to rely upon the consensus expertise of the immunological and public health communities. You should take a leaf from his book.
    Not quite. I appeal to the overwhelming evidence of the record on immunizations. I don't have to say, "believe in vaccines because someday they may save your life," when I can say, "look at how much disease and death from disease has actually plummeted because of vaccinations." There is a difference there. And I can actually point to real data - not extrapolations - that show no link between vaccines and autism.

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    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrMike View Post
    Not quite. I appeal to the overwhelming evidence of the record on immunizations. I don't have to say, "believe in vaccines because someday they may save your life," when I can say, "look at how much disease and death from disease has actually plummeted because of vaccinations." There is a difference there. And I can actually point to real data - not extrapolations - that show no link between vaccines and autism.
    We both know the data showing both a secular rapid warming of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans and also an unprecedented spike in CO2 and methane releases and levels, and showing the links between these phenomena. Extrapolation into the future via modeling numerous scenarios slightly altering variables is what predictive sciences do, especially those that impinge directly upon human (and environmental) welfare. What you appear to propose, always, in these situations that directly involve public policy, is to abandon extrapolation and instead wait quietly "to see what happens", lest some pet political or economic or ''philosophical" enthusiasm is endangered. That, I submit, is folly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange Magic View Post
    We both know the data showing both a secular rapid warming of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans and also an unprecedented spike in CO2 and methane releases and levels, and showing the links between these phenomena. Extrapolation into the future via modeling numerous scenarios slightly altering variables is what predictive sciences do, especially those that impinge directly upon human (and environmental) welfare. What you appear to propose, always, in these situations that directly involve public policy, is to abandon extrapolation and instead wait quietly "to see what happens", lest some pet political or economic or ''philosophical" enthusiasm is endangered. That, I submit, is folly.
    I know what the data shows - unprecedentedly high carbon dioxide levels, higher than the highest levels we have seen in ice core samples going back hundreds of thousands of years. My question is are we now at unprecedentedly high temperatures, much higher than the records suggest for the past several hundreds of thousands of years? The highest sea levels going back hundreds of thousands of years? I don't think those things track.

    But it is a different way of doing science. We have direct studies to show actual observational data that if you give vaccines, you get protection from disease. Not extrapolations. Not predictions. The predictions occurred much earlier in the experimental phase, before anything was done large scale. Experiments are done on small scale, and then a vast series of clinical trials must be conducted before a vaccine gets introduced to the general public. What you are asking for here are vast alterations to infrastructure and the economy based on extrapolations. That is not the same thing.

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    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    DrMike: "I know what the data shows - unprecedentedly high carbon dioxide levels, higher than the highest levels we have seen in ice core samples going back hundreds of thousands of years. My question is are we now at unprecedentedly high temperatures, much higher than the records suggest for the past several hundreds of thousands of years? The highest sea levels going back hundreds of thousands of years? I don't think those things track".
    Is that, in your opinion, what we must see now--much higher temperatures, much higher sea levels--right now--than we have seen in the paleoclimatotological record for the past several hundreds of thousands of years? Do you understand that there will be a time lag in the imposition of these new levels as the heat sink of the oceans continues to absorb and buffer both the increasing CO2 levels and the rising temperature? These are some of the sorts of scenarios that predictive climate science are modeling. Your reply demonstrates the need to rely upon the consensus of the scientists actually working in the fields relating to heat flows, chemistry of atmospheres and oceans, climate, and links between biological processes and longterm changes in land use. Waiting to see what happens, as a choice, I repeat, guarantees the selection of the worst path forward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange Magic View Post
    Is that, in your opinion, what we must see now--much higher temperatures, much higher sea levels--right now--than we have seen in the paleoclimatotological record for the past several hundreds of thousands of years? Do you understand that there will be a time lag in the imposition of these new levels as the heat sink of the oceans continues to absorb and buffer both the increasing CO2 levels and the rising temperature? These are some of the sorts of scenarios that predictive climate science are modeling. Your reply demonstrates the need to rely upon the consensus of the scientists actually working in the fields relating to heat flows, chemistry of atmospheres and oceans, climate, and links between biological processes and longterm changes in land use. Waiting to see what happens, as a choice, I repeat, guarantees the selection of the worst path forward.
    Sure, ocean levels would lag. But temperatures? Are we at record high temperatures much higher than anything that has been seen in the past several hundreds of thousands of years?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrMike View Post
    Sure, ocean levels would lag. But temperatures? Are we at record high temperatures much higher than anything that has been seen in the past several hundreds of thousands of years?
    Do you understand that the global ocean is a heat sink? The polar ice sheets and all glaciers are also heat sinks. By ocean levels, it is not clear whether you refer to sea level or to the level (amount) of CO2 so far absorbed by the global ocean. In all cases, the results of increased atmospheric CO2 are being felt in the slow rise of both sea level and of oceanic acidity.

    I find that the prudent path is to rely upon the consensus judgement of the actual experts in these fields.
    Last edited by Strange Magic; Nov-22-2019 at 23:15.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrMike View Post
    Sure, ocean levels would lag. But temperatures? Are we at record high temperatures much higher than anything that has been seen in the past several hundreds of thousands of years?
    What does it matter how things were in the distant past? Humans weren't here during the most terrifically hostile climate and couldn't have survived then. We're here now and we have to continue.

    If your obsession with the past is to prove the climate changes we are experiencing are entirely natural just because harsh climate has precedent, that's merely a hope of yours. Climate experts would know if the changes were completely natural.

    The same thing gets said to justify apathy about biological extinctions. "There have been mass extinctions in the past". So what? Human weren't here then, so it didn't affect us when the dinosaurs died (what killed them would have killed us, too). Extinctions today do affect us. And they are overwhelmingly man-made, unlike in the past.

    If it's man-made and it's doing harm, we need to control it.
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    Senior Member Bwv 1080's Avatar
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    Looks like Greenpeace has failed in its valiant 20 year fight to keep the population of third world children in check:

    Approval of golden rice could finally end vitamin A deficiency deaths
    Genetically modified golden rice finally seems set for approval where it is needed to address vitamin A deficiency, but anti-scientific misinformation campaigns continue
    https://www.newscientist.com/article...ciency-deaths/

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reports that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases once again reached new highs in 2018. Some excerpts from the BBC story:

    “Using data from monitoring stations in the Arctic and all over the world, researchers say that in 2018 concentrations of CO2 reached 407.8 parts per million (ppm), up from 405.5ppm a year previously.
    This increase was above the average for the last 10 years and is 147% of the "pre-industrial" level in 1750…

    “Methane is now at 259% of the pre-industrial level and the increase seen over the past year was higher than both the previous annual rate and the average over the past 10 years…

    “What concerns scientists is the overall warming impact of all these increasing concentrations. Known as total radiative forcing, this effect has increased by 43% since 1990, and is not showing any indication of stopping.

    “ ‘There is no sign of a slowdown, let alone a decline, in greenhouse gases concentration in the atmosphere despite all the commitments under the Paris agreement on climate change,’ said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas… ‘It is worth recalling that the last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of CO2 was three to five million years ago. Back then, the temperature was 2-3C warmer, sea level was 10-20m higher than now,’ said Mr Taalas.”


  11. #1390
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    Quote Originally Posted by Open Book View Post
    What does it matter how things were in the distant past? Humans weren't here during the most terrifically hostile climate and couldn't have survived then. We're here now and we have to continue.

    If your obsession with the past is to prove the climate changes we are experiencing are entirely natural just because harsh climate has precedent, that's merely a hope of yours. Climate experts would know if the changes were completely natural.

    The same thing gets said to justify apathy about biological extinctions. "There have been mass extinctions in the past". So what? Human weren't here then, so it didn't affect us when the dinosaurs died (what killed them would have killed us, too). Extinctions today do affect us. And they are overwhelmingly man-made, unlike in the past.

    If it's man-made and it's doing harm, we need to control it.
    No. My point is this: we are at historically high carbon dioxide levels, higher than anything in the ice core record going back hundreds of thousands of years. We are told this will lead to disastrous things. But what else is actually at unprecedented levels? I know there will be some lag, but are we at or anywhere near the highest temperature levels in the last several hundreds of thousands of years? The highest sea levels? Is anything, other than carbon dioxide levels, at unprecedentedly high levels? Is it possible that the actual outcomes might not be as dire as you all seem absolutely certain of?

    "Climate experts would know if the changes were completely natural." I've never argued otherwise. When will you all be honest about my claims? I'm not arguing with the record, I'm skeptical of the predictions. Climate experts may very well know a lot about the past and present. But if history has taught us anything, it is that mankind is stupendously bad at predicting the future.

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    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Why carbon dioxide matters

    [quote] Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas: a gas that absorbs heat. Warmed by sunlight, Earth’s land and ocean surfaces continuously radiate thermal infrared energy (heat). Unlike oxygen or nitrogen (which make up most of our atmosphere), greenhouse gases absorb that heat and release it gradually over time, like bricks in a fireplace after the fire goes out. Without this natural greenhouse effect, Earth’s average annual temperature would be below freezing instead of close to 60°F. But increases in greenhouse gases have tipped the Earth's energy budget out of balance, trapping additional heat and raising Earth's average temperature.

    Carbon dioxide is the most important of Earth’s long-lived greenhouse gases. It absorbs less heat per molecule than the greenhouse gases methane or nitrous oxide, but it’s more abundant and it stays in the atmosphere much longer. And while carbon dioxide is less abundant and less powerful than water vapor on a molecule per molecule basis, it absorbs wavelengths of thermal energy that water vapor does not, which means it adds to the greenhouse effect in a unique way. Increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide are responsible for about two-thirds of the total energy imbalance that is causing Earth's temperature to rise. [unquote]
    ---
    These increases are human-produced greenhouse emissions. So without our natural greenhouse effect, Earth’s average annual temperature would be below freezing instead of close to 60°F. "But increases in greenhouse gases have tipped the Earth's energy budget out of balance, trapping additional heat and raising Earth's average temperature."

    This strongly suggests that this aspect of climate change is not natural at all. Through the continuing insane addiction and dependency on fossil fuels, humans are seriously harming their own eco-systems now and for future generations.

    https://www.climate.gov/news-feature...carbon-dioxide
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Nov-26-2019 at 14:08.
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    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrMike View Post
    No. My point is this: we are at historically high carbon dioxide levels, higher than anything in the ice core record going back hundreds of thousands of years. We are told this will lead to disastrous things. But what else is actually at unprecedented levels? I know there will be some lag, but are we at or anywhere near the highest temperature levels in the last several hundreds of thousands of years? The highest sea levels? Is anything, other than carbon dioxide levels, at unprecedentedly high levels? Is it possible that the actual outcomes might not be as dire as you all seem absolutely certain of?

    "Climate experts would know if the changes were completely natural." I've never argued otherwise. When will you all be honest about my claims? I'm not arguing with the record, I'm skeptical of the predictions. Climate experts may very well know a lot about the past and present. But if history has taught us anything, it is that mankind is stupendously bad at predicting the future.
    Despite several explanatory posts, the Good Doctor still entirely fails to grasp the concept of the time lag between the introduction of greenhouse gases (especially CO2) into the atmosphere, and the concomitant much slower rise of global temperatures and of oceanic uptake of CO2. The latter phenomena are being observed, advancing ominously year by year, but they are not at the fantastic levels The Doctor insists we should be seeing right now if the phenomenon of AGW is real. The literature on this issue (global oceanic and ice sheet buffering of temperature and CO2 levels) is ubiquitous on the Internet--he needs only to examine it.

    https://www.iucn.org/resources/issue.../ocean-warming
    Last edited by Strange Magic; Nov-26-2019 at 14:20.

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    [QUOTE=Larkenfield;1734846]Why carbon dioxide matters

    Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas: a gas that absorbs heat. Warmed by sunlight, Earth’s land and ocean surfaces continuously radiate thermal infrared energy (heat). Unlike oxygen or nitrogen (which make up most of our atmosphere), greenhouse gases absorb that heat and release it gradually over time, like bricks in a fireplace after the fire goes out. Without this natural greenhouse effect, Earth’s average annual temperature would be below freezing instead of close to 60°F. But increases in greenhouse gases have tipped the Earth's energy budget out of balance, trapping additional heat and raising Earth's average temperature.

    Carbon dioxide is the most important of Earth’s long-lived greenhouse gases. It absorbs less heat per molecule than the greenhouse gases methane or nitrous oxide, but it’s more abundant and it stays in the atmosphere much longer. And while carbon dioxide is less abundant and less powerful than water vapor on a molecule per molecule basis, it absorbs wavelengths of thermal energy that water vapor does not, which means it adds to the greenhouse effect in a unique way. Increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide are responsible for about two-thirds of the total energy imbalance that is causing Earth's temperature to rise. [unquote]
    ---
    These increases are human-produced greenhouse emissions. So without our natural greenhouse effect, Earth’s average annual temperature would be below freezing instead of close to 60°F. "But increases in greenhouse gases have tipped the Earth's energy budget out of balance, trapping additional heat and raising Earth's average temperature."

    This strongly suggests that this aspect of climate change is not natural at all. Through the continuing insane addiction and dependency on fossil fuels, humans are seriously harming their own eco-systems now and for future generations.

    https://www.climate.gov/news-feature...carbon-dioxide
    Why is it an insane addiction? That's like saying in the 1700s we had an insane addiction to horse-powered travel. As if we had numerous options and picked the worst one. Honestly, how recent had it been that we have actually had alternatives that are viable for the energy needed to sustain a modern life? Should we have remained at a pre-industrial stage indefinitely until we were able to technologically simply leap frog over carbon-based energy and jump to advanced technology? It isn't an insane addiction. In fact, it was a very logical fuel source, and it had made life infinitely better. In addition to the amazing amount of energy trapped in such a small volume, consider also just how important plastics are. And yes, when entire countries are set up to run on one type of energy, it takes a long time and an insane amount of money to completely convert. And let's not pretend the alternatives are completely risk free panacaeas. Again, it's not like we had numerous choices and simply picked the wrong one. Quit judging the past based on today's technology.

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  16. #1394
    Senior Member Luchesi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrMike View Post
    No. My point is this: we are at historically high carbon dioxide levels, higher than anything in the ice core record going back hundreds of thousands of years. We are told this will lead to disastrous things. But what else is actually at unprecedented levels? I know there will be some lag, but are we at or anywhere near the highest temperature levels in the last several hundreds of thousands of years? The highest sea levels? Is anything, other than carbon dioxide levels, at unprecedentedly high levels? Is it possible that the actual outcomes might not be as dire as you all seem absolutely certain of?

    "Climate experts would know if the changes were completely natural." I've never argued otherwise. When will you all be honest about my claims? I'm not arguing with the record, I'm skeptical of the predictions. Climate experts may very well know a lot about the past and present. But if history has taught us anything, it is that mankind is stupendously bad at predicting the future.
    Feedbacks take time. We'll probably get there.
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  17. #1395
    Senior Member Open Book's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=DrMike;1734891]
    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    Why carbon dioxide matters



    Why is it an insane addiction? That's like saying in the 1700s we had an insane addiction to horse-powered travel. As if we had numerous options and picked the worst one. Honestly, how recent had it been that we have actually had alternatives that are viable for the energy needed to sustain a modern life? Should we have remained at a pre-industrial stage indefinitely until we were able to technologically simply leap frog over carbon-based energy and jump to advanced technology? It isn't an insane addiction. In fact, it was a very logical fuel source, and it had made life infinitely better. In addition to the amazing amount of energy trapped in such a small volume, consider also just how important plastics are. And yes, when entire countries are set up to run on one type of energy, it takes a long time and an insane amount of money to completely convert. And let's not pretend the alternatives are completely risk free panacaeas. Again, it's not like we had numerous choices and simply picked the wrong one. Quit judging the past based on today's technology.
    I understand your resistance to certain rhetoric but you shouldn't let the hysterical rhetoric color your your judgment. I don't like the way certain things are expressed either, and I don't like the idea of heedless, headlong plunging into quick fixes. Nor the fact that the issue has been used as a political football (by both sides). I don't think any young people should be committing suicide over global climate change as if we have no future at all. The effects are probably not going to kill us all, at least not right away, but they will make life much harder and will shorten life expectancy. Maybe you won't feel it, but some people will. Life has always been hard - technology has improved our lives, as you keep pointing out, but that doesn't mean certain technologies can't have nefarious side-effects. When they do, we've got to change them or try to develop new technologies.

    I don't understand your contentedness to simply wait to see what happens despite the predictions rather than err on the side of caution. Do you do this with other aspects of your life? If there are warnings that an activity is unsafe do you let your kids participate in it and just see what happens or do you err on the side of caution and keep them away from it? Waiting on this issue is a bad idea, things can happen that will be hard to undo the more time that passes.
    Last edited by Open Book; Nov-26-2019 at 18:57.
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