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Author Topic: The balanced opinions of a highly reputed intellectual about AGW (and more)  (Read 29257 times)

notjonathon

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Doom, you have the right of it.

seattlerocks, who should advocate for solutions to problems more than those who are most knowledgeable about the subject?  No attacks (sorry, I was tired), but the main reason your argument fails is that there is no time!
There is no time to sit in one's cluttered academic office and ruminate on the perfection of one's climate model, the model that failed to predict the date of the typhoon bearing down on the city where I live, even though the model did predict that the warmer atmosphere would hold more water, and certain areas of Japan are going to get more than a meter of rain, on top of the 1100 mm they received from the previous typhoon last week, whose record-breaking downpours were not predicted by the model, but are consistent with the greater quantity of water in the atmosphere now available to tropical storms. That's two hundred-year weather events in ten days. Gee, why didn't my model predict that these two storms would arise in the first week of August? Better go back and tinker with it.

I see you posted while I was composing this.

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Consider the following, Michael Mann and his team, in 2018, run some extremely advanced simulations that project that global temperatures are likely to fall below pre-industrial levels. Because solar radiation falls below certain threshold and these simulations are precise enough to capture several negative feedbacks that kick in, which will lead to the beginning of an Ice Age.

Really. Sure, several negative feedbacks, like ten super volcanic explosions or twenty 40-megaton thermonuclear explosions, perhaps? The latter I can actually imagine, especially if we continue on this path. Once more, there is no time.

That is not a realistic hypothesis. We don't need hypotheticals, we need action.

Tor Bejnar

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For the record, I basically concur with Xulonn and notjonathon's perspectives.  But when I try to write like they wrote, I take forever and 'always' write things I later regret!
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

Xulonn

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That might lead to bad science.

Bad science, even if it gets past peer review (which happens upon occasion) will eventually be exposed by other scientists. 

Your concern trolling for Michael Mann's possible future embarrassments is laughable and the suggestion that he hide in a hole to prevent future embarrassment is a strange concept. 

There are tens of thousands of climate / earth systems scientists around the world, and they will pick up the slack when someone dies or goes over to the "dark side" of AGW/CC denialism like a scientist equivalent of Darth Vader. 

if a scientists earlier work is overturned, that's reality and the way life sometimes happens.  If people cannot deal with setbacks and failures, that's unfortunate.  Some scientists recover and move on, and others go to their grave defending their early work. 

Michael Mann is a brilliant scientist with excellent communication skills, apparently a tough fighter with a thick skin, and I find it strange that you are sooo.. concerned about his mental health and fear for his ability to do objective science. 

I know the world of science quite well, and I am not worried about such possibilities.  The scientific community will support Mann or criticism him as appropriate, and the AGW/CC denialist community/industry will continue to attack him. 

I am a veteran of countering anti-AGW/CC denialist trolling at Dr.Ricky Rood's blog at the Weather Underground, and I see many similarities with past trolls in your comments.  I don't know your motivations in this thread, but it very clearly contains elements of classic denialist troll techniques.  It may be that you have boxed yourself in and are simply being defensive, but your arguments are weak and quite frankly, a bit strange with little apparent grounding in logical and critical thinking.   

DoomInTheUK

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Notjonathon,

To be fair, Seattlerocks was engaging in a thought expirment. Just as you need to suspend belief for most Hollywood films, so we need to put ourselves in that point and say OK -  what if....

Indeed, based on our current understanding, we don't have time. I find it almost impossible to think that there is any way out, based on the current weight of evidence. But I must conceed that an as yet unfathomed feedback will sudenly kick in and save our asses. I think a better bet is on winning the lottery twice in a row, but it's unscientific to not allow for the possibilty.

As for "activism might lead to bad science", well that sounds like a statement that in itself requires proving. Personally I highly doubt it as I feel that the peer review process should catch any bad science, but I'm not aware of it being tested one way or the other. It currently resides in my 'beliefs' bucket, along with my sex appeal.

Xulonn

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For the record, I basically concur with Xulonn and notjonathon's perspectives.  But when I try to write like they wrote, I take forever and 'always' write things I later regret!
Tor, I'm a retired expat living in the mountains of western Panama.  My education was in conservation/ecology at U.C. Berkeley in the mid 1970's.  I trained and worked as a psychiatric technician in the early 1960's.  I recently took an online course in climate science from the University of British Columbia to help understand AGW/CC science. 

I visit Neven's blog and forum daily, and am impressed by the high level of scientific knowledge and critical thinking here.  This place can be a bit intimidating, so I haven't participated much here, but this thread is one which is more familiar in content and purpose to me. 

I participate more at Dr. Ricky Rood's climate blog, where a couple of years ago, I joined the discussion of science and the battles against AGW/CC denialism there.  They recently stepped up moderation to reduce trolling to a minimum, so I will spend moretime here and learn more about the cryosphere. 

This thread includes denialist rhetoric ("Michael Mann should shut up and do science"), so I jumped in.  Being retired, I have the luxury of taking time to write, read, and edit my posts multiple times before hitting the "post" button.  I do sometimes regret things I say at climate blogs and forums, but not often. 

David van Harn
a.k.a. Xulonn
Boquete, Panama

 

seattlerocks

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Seattle,
... I would imagine that he would indeed feel conflicted being in the middle of that problem. The science though would still be peer reviewed...

Agreed

"I care more about restoring trust in science than about calling people to action"[/i]

Quote frankly, that is a call for inhumanity. . .
I think that your perspective is immoral and invalid from a humanistic perspective...
 
It is harsh, but I welcome the directness because it is substantiated with arguments, and I don't feel you insulting me even with those radical words. I can't discuss this beyond what we discussed because I think our positions are very clear. Still, I just wanted to make sure that you know those words are not mine but from Tamsin Edwards, she has very controversial opinion about this issue, which happened to be similar to what I brought here. I am not a climate scientist.

...
One person likes what Tamsin Edwards writes, another likes how Michael Mann behaves.  "Careers and social standing is mearly a problem for the scientist involved."

I don't think that is the case. Both are adopting an active stance (if that makes sense in English  :-\ ).


seattlerocks, who should advocate for solutions to problems more than those who are most knowledgeable about the subject?  No attacks (sorry, I was tired), but the main reason your argument fails is that there is no time!

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Consider the following, Michael Mann and his team, in 2018, run some extremely advanced simulations that project that global temperatures are likely to fall below pre-industrial levels. Because solar radiation falls below certain threshold and these simulations are precise enough to capture several negative feedbacks that kick in, which will lead to the beginning of an Ice Age.

Really. Sure, several negative feedbacks, like ten super volcanic explosions or twenty 40-megaton thermonuclear explosions, perhaps? The latter I can actually imagine, especially if we continue on this path. Once more, there is no time.

That is not a realistic hypothesis. We don't need hypotheticals, we need action.

Ok, no problem, we all sometimes get carried away. So to make sure, it was just an example to illustrate some situation.

There is no time: OK. But why should some scientists continue taking the responsibility of accelerating policy changes? It defeats the purpose. It is so easy for deniers to discredit scientists that take this position. Because whatever paper they publish will be discredited "oh, this guy that has been so active in favour of carbon taxing  is now trying to scare us with sea level accelerating its rise. Don't believe him, he is agenda driven" Feeding arguments for people like Fox News when they shouldn't. And sadly, so many people buy those arguments. Have you seen O'Reilly audience numbers over the years?A t the end of the day, this is helping the paralysis of good politics.


seattlerocks

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This thread includes denialist rhetoric ("Michael Mann should shut up and do science")


That is not denialist rhetoric. Denialist rhetoric is "Michael Mann should shup up and go to hell" because the science that Michael Mann does is ultimately what the denier denies.

I am not a denialist.

Edit: actually the denialists are more than happy that Michael Mann doesnt shut up. Otherwise, what would they have to try discredit? No, the denialist rhetoric is "Michael should stay around and not do science"
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 06:41:13 PM by seattlerocks »

SteveMDFP

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...

There is no time: OK. But why should some scientists continue taking the responsibility of accelerating policy changes? It defeats the purpose. It is so easy for deniers to discredit scientists that take this position. Because whatever paper they publish will be discredited "oh, this guy that has been so active in favour of carbon taxing  is now trying to scare us with sea level accelerating its rise. Don't believe him, he is agenda driven" Feeding arguments for people like Fox News when they shouldn't. And sadly, so many people buy those arguments. Have you seen O'Reilly audience numbers over the years?A t the end of the day, this is helping the paralysis of good politics.

Because intelligent, thoughtful activism is a civic responsibility in any democracy.  It's like voting, paying taxes, not dumping your trash on the street.  If one is particularly qualified to speak about a matter of public policy, one is especially responsible to speak up.

I find your position bizarre.  If activism by scientists is bad, that makes your hero Mr. Dyson a villain.  His work on the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was to further a policy publication, not a research publication.  His commentary on global warming wasn't a contribution to science, it was the work of an activist. 

If activist scientists shouldn't do activism because it takes time away from doing science, then by your argument they shouldn't raise families, take vacations, pursue hobbies, or take naps.  Pretty plainly "Seattlerocks" has no business trying to tell scientists how to use their time.

If activism brings controversy to the general pursuit of science by society, that may be a bad consequence.  But it's a stupid rationale for discouraging activism, for many reasons.  The dominant reason in this case is that the status of science will be ZERO if Homo sapiens is extinct in 200 years or society has merely collapsed. 

Most of us here believe those are the stakes we're looking at.  If science takes a hit in prestige by scientists acting to prevent those outcomes, that's a TRIVIAL cost for the benefit.

seattlerocks

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I find your position bizarre.  If activism by scientists is bad, that makes your hero Mr. Dyson a villain.  His work on the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was to further a policy publication, not a research publication.  His commentary on global warming wasn't a contribution to science, it was the work of an activist. 


Ok, you may be right about Mr Dyson. I didn't know that. But still, he is a scientist with outstanding achievements, reputation, and intellect who happens to have a vision with respect to activism and AGW that I agree with (that does not mean he is my hero   ::) )

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If activist scientists shouldn't do activism because it takes time away from doing science, then by your argument they shouldn't raise families, take vacations, pursue hobbies, or take naps.  Pretty plainly "Seattlerocks" has no business trying to tell scientists how to use their time.


Ok, nobody here has business trying to tell anybody how to use their time, sure. Nobody here has business trying to tell climate scientists to use their time being active advocates either. We are all free people (at least those who live in free countries).

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If activism brings controversy to the general pursuit of science by society, that may be a bad consequence.  But it's a stupid rationale for discouraging activism, for many reasons.  The dominant reason in this case is that the status of science will be ZERO if Homo sapiens is extinct in 200 years or society has merely collapsed. 


Beats me


EDIT: Hansen retired in 2012 or so. Mann is not retired.
Mr Dyson retired officially in the 90's.  That does make a difference don't you think? His advocacies and activisms won't conflict with his scientific work anymore. Hansen is also retired, but he was a climate change activist long before retiring.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 08:22:13 PM by seattlerocks »

SteveMDFP

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I find your position bizarre.  If activism by scientists is bad, that makes your hero Mr. Dyson a villain.  His work on the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was to further a policy publication, not a research publication.  His commentary on global warming wasn't a contribution to science, it was the work of an activist. 


Ok, you may be right about Mr Dyson. I didn't know that. But still, he is a scientist with outstanding achievements, reputation, and intellect who happens to have a vision with respect to activism and AGW that I agree with (that does not mean he is my hero   ::) )

Then you're agreeing with a contradictory and inconsistent position.  He was very much an activist in nuclear issues in his working days.  But he would seem to criticize climate scientists for being activists in their own field.  How, exactly, do you (or he) reconcile this hypocrisy?

Defending a position by relying on authority is a piss-poor excuse for intelligent debate.


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Quote
If activist scientists shouldn't do activism because it takes time away from doing science, then by your argument they shouldn't raise families, take vacations, pursue hobbies, or take naps.  Pretty plainly "Seattlerocks" has no business trying to tell scientists how to use their time.


Ok, nobody here has business trying to tell anybody how to use their time, sure. Nobody here has business trying to tell climate scientists to use their time being active advocates either. We are all free people (at least those who live in free countries).


I would mildly disagree.  I think intelligent, thoughtful activism is a civic duty for every citizen, to the extent they feel able to do so.  I'd criticize the same people for not voting or not picking up their trash after themselves, if they behaved this way, for the same reason.

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If activism brings controversy to the general pursuit of science by society, that may be a bad consequence.  But it's a stupid rationale for discouraging activism, for many reasons.  The dominant reason in this case is that the status of science will be ZERO if Homo sapiens is extinct in 200 years or society has merely collapsed. 


Beats me


EDIT: Hansen retired in 2012 or so. Mann is not retired.
Mr Dyson retired officially in the 90's.  That does make a difference don't you think? His advocacies and activisms won't conflict with his scientific work anymore. Hansen is also retired, but he was a climate change activist long before retiring.

So it's fine for a retired scientist to be an activist, but bad for a working scientist to be one?  Why, exactly?  The scientists who ran and contributed to The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists were potent activists for caution in public policy of nuclear matters. In doing so, they enhanced the prestige and trust of science in the minds of most thoughtful citizens.

Society needs more activist scientists, not fewer, for entirely parallel reasons.

seattlerocks

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Your concern trolling for Michael Mann's possible future embarrassments is laughable and the suggestion that he hide in a hole to prevent future embarrassment is a strange concept. 
...
I am a veteran of countering anti-AGW/CC denialist trolling at Dr.Ricky Rood's blog at the Weather Underground, and I see many similarities with past trolls in your comments.  I don't know your motivations in this thread, but it very clearly contains elements of classic denialist troll techniques.  It may be that you have boxed yourself in and are simply being defensive, but your arguments are weak and quite frankly, a bit strange with little apparent grounding in logical and critical thinking.

Here we go again with the trolling thing.

I just opened this thread to expose some opinions, which happen to be not of the taste of many here.

So giving opinions and arguments is trolling? To whom am I trolling, to myself?

Maybe it is you who is trolling this thread, attacking me with accusations that you can't demonstrate and so diverging the attention of this discussion towards me personally.

Are you a troll? I don't give a damn as long as you stop attacking me personally.

seattlerocks

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Then you're agreeing with a contradictory and inconsistent position.  He was very much an activist in nuclear issues in his working days.  But he would seem to criticize climate scientists for being activists in their own field.  How, exactly, do you (or he) reconcile this hypocrisy?

Defending a position by relying on authority is a piss-poor excuse for intelligent debate.

Right I give you that. Maybe I picked the wrong authority. However Steve, I still have my own opinions. I said I agree with him, not that I follow him blindly.

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Ok, nobody here has business trying to tell anybody how to use their time, sure. Nobody here has business trying to tell climate scientists to use their time being active advocates either. We are all free people (at least those who live in free countries).


I would mildly disagree.  I think intelligent, thoughtful activism is a civic duty for every citizen, to the extent they feel able to do so.  I'd criticize the same people for not voting or not picking up their trash after themselves, if they behaved this way, for the same reason.


Steve, I think we fully agree. it was you who said, see your original post (sorry I removed the text inadvertedly), "Pretty plainly Seattlerocks has no business trying to tell any scientist how to use their time"

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So it's fine for a retired scientist to be an activist, but bad for a working scientist to be one?  Why, exactly?  The scientists who ran and contributed to The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists were potent activists for caution in public policy of nuclear matters. In doing so, they enhanced the prestige and trust of science in the minds of most thoughtful citizens.

Society needs more activist scientists, not fewer, for entirely parallel reasons.

I gave already four of five reasons why I think a climate scientists in active (or scientists in general) should better avoid becoming activists. Let me collect them and I don't have a problem to edit this post later with the complete list

SteveMDFP

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Here we go again with the trolling thing.

I just opened this thread to expose some opinions, which happen to be not of the taste of many here.

So giving opinions and arguments is trolling? To whom am I trolling, to myself?

Maybe it is you who is trolling this thread, attacking me with accusations that you can't demonstrate and so diverging the attention of this discussion towards me personally.

Are you a troll? I don't give a damn as long as you stop attacking me personally.

I may as well comment here.  The term "troll" has been bouncing around the internet for a long time, and it's poorly-defined and often mis-used, to my consternation.

I think an example of trolling might be what the otherwise esteemed Jim Hunt often does over at "Steven Goddard"'s blog.  I liken it to gleefully poking a snake with a stick.  He annoys the snake, but doesn't necessarily illuminate the third-party readers.

I think the term should be reserved for insincere or intentionally aggravating posts.  I don't think you're a troll or engaged in trolling at all.  Your sincerity is palpable.  I didn't appreciate that earlier.  So I, for one, would like to apologize to you for having raised the term in reference to you.

I would point out, though, that calling out an un-intelligent assertion or position as being "dumb" or "stupid" is considered vigorous debate, and is generally considered acceptable in academic discussions, if it is combined with an explanation of how the contribution is non-contributory.

I've made some stupid assertions in this community, and have promptly been corrected, sometimes quite firmly.  I consider that good academic behavior, not rude.

However, the effect of repeated un-intelligent contributions in a conversation is often indistinguishable IN EFFECT on a conversation or community from trolling.  Being accused of being a troll is an inevitable consequence of repeatedly making such un-intelligent assertions in an online community.

seattlerocks

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Steve,

Thank you very much, for that great amount of time you took to explain me these things.

Yes I wanted to stop yesterday, because I was basically repeating the same arguments, and it didn't make sense. But then I was carried away by Neven's post, that I still didn't answer properly because I did not know what "touting" is (pretty derogative word). But anyway he was talking to his parish, not to me, and opening a bin of already dismissed arguments, and then closing again.

Still, I think we have elaborated a few some enriching ideas from some sides.

Nice to talk to you guys.

David

Buddy

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- GW is evident, and, with almost all probability, is mainly caused by CO2 from burning fossil fuels

I'm a SKEPTIC.  And I mean a REAL SKEPTIC.  Not the kind that believes most everything from one side.....and bashes the other side.  But someone who looks for the truth.....and looks for FACTS AND SCIENCE to back it up.

But my skepticism led me to SEVERAL realizations:

1)  There has been.....for a VERY LONG TIME......a lot of money poured into the "anti AGW" campaign by the oil and gas industry.

2)   The fact that our planet has been warming......and that fossil fuels have been causing it are CLEAR.

3)  Why ANYONE would want to slow down the movement AWAY FROM FOSSIL FUELS....is almost criminal because of the growing negative effects of climate change.

4)  There will be a day.....sometime WITHIN the next 5 years......that people who "poo pooed" the idea of AGW will be "close lined" by the public.  Individuals and company's such as FOX news, who continues to lie about climate change, while pretending to be a news organization, will be held accountable.

You see....you should have stopped after your first point.  Man is causing the earth to warm by burning fossil fuels.  And the burning of fossil fuels is screwing up the planet not only from a GW point of view....but also from a pollution point of view.

Fast forward 100 years from now......and people will be thinking:  "What the hell WERE they doing...and thinking.....by continuing to drill and mine for fossil fuels that (1) were going to run out anyway....and become more and more expensive along the way, (2) cause global warming...which causes all kinds of bad things related to the additional CO2 and the feedback effects it triggered, and (3) pollutes the environment with all kinds of other nasty chemicals to boot!

What WERE they thinking?   And why did it take them so long to change?
FOX (RT) News....."The Trump Channel.....where truth and journalism are dead."

seattlerocks

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Buddy,
I cannot agree more in with what you say point by point, except for science rushing into conclusions and scientists to become activists. I will answer no more, or I be out of line now because I'd been repeating my arguments once and again.

I am just reading your motto about Fox News, so I ask you please, read my reasoning in the following post and I hope you find it reasonable. No need to answer, Buddy, because I can't go further with this. Thanks a lot for taking your time in answering me.


There is no time? OK. But why should some scientists continue taking the responsibility of accelerating policy changes? It defeats the purpose. It is so easy for deniers to discredit scientists that take this position. Because whatever paper they publish will be discredited "oh, this guy that has been so active in favour of carbon taxing  is now trying to scare us with sea level accelerating its rise. Don't believe him, he is agenda driven" Feeding arguments for people like Fox News when they shouldn't. And sadly, so many people buy those arguments. Have you seen O'Reilly audience numbers over the years?A t the end of the day, this is helping the paralysis of good politics.




Edit: I realise now you don't talk directly about scientists, but about movement in general. So maybe this is not valid response anyways, sorry
« Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 11:28:46 AM by seattlerocks »

Buddy

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But why should some scientists continue taking the responsibility of accelerating policy changes? It defeats the purpose. It is so easy for deniers to discredit scientists that take this position. Because whatever paper they publish will be discredited "oh, this guy that has been so active in favour of carbon taxing  is now trying to scare us with sea level accelerating its rise. Don't believe him, he is agenda driven" Feeding arguments for people like Fox News when they shouldn't. And sadly, so many people buy those arguments. Have you seen O'Reilly audience numbers over the years?A t the end of the day, this is helping the paralysis of good politics.

One only has to look at the tobacco industry and the lies they spread to realize why scientists are becoming more and more involved in policy.

"Scientists" in 1978 Congressional hearing as they lie to Congress:


CEO's of tobacco company lie to Congress in 1994:


Fast forward to today.....and you may understand why scientists are getting more involved in policy.  You see....the fossil fuel companies WANT YOU TO SIT BACK AND WAIT.

Anyone old enough to understand what the tobacco companies did......aren't going to sit back and allow the fossil fuel companies to do the same.

I for one.....will NEVER knowingly buy another Koch Industry product in my lifetime (I ENCOURAGE others to do the same):

http://climatechangegraphs.blogspot.com/2013/04/boycott-koch-brothers-products.html

I also encourage others to get out and vote......and also to expose those who lie.  The freedom of speech is a very special right that we have in democracies.  But I believe it comes with obligations:  (1) an obligation to tell the truth, (2) an obligation to expose those who lie.

A very intelligent AND wise Albert Einstein said:

"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything."

FOX (RT) News....."The Trump Channel.....where truth and journalism are dead."

Xulonn

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Seattlerocks, you should perhaps separate the distinct types of activism as in warning of an impending disaster vs. activism as in promoting a carbon tax.  (However, as a citizen, anyone - including scientists - has a right, at least in the U.S. to do that.  Good luck in finding a way to silence those with a passion for truth and justice.) 

Yielding to the desires of the polluters will not solve the problem - and they would love it if people like Michael Mann and James Hansen would shut up which would allow their propaganda to be unopposed.

Activism in the form of simply saying that carbon pollution (e.g., increasing a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere) is an externality that should be "internalized" into the economic systems is less direct than promoting policy, although almost every university program on climate science encourages and promotes the recommendation of policies. 

You seem to be arguing from a personal perspective and your own "feelings" without having done any homework.  That will get you sarcasm and hard rebuttals here at a science-based forum - and this forum even intimidates me. 

May I suggest that you actually research the subject of climate change communication? 

In addition to Google searching, read the works of science historian and climate communication expert Dr. Naomi Oreskes.   

Visit some websites of the rapidly growing set of climate change communication centers at universities such as the Yale University  http://environment.yale.edu/climate-communication/ and the George Mason University http://www.climatechangecommunication.org/welcome

Your weak and poorly articulated reasons for stifling climate policy activism by scientists goes against recommendations of the majority of university-level academia research and recommendations and academic the entire.  Like AGW/CC itself, there is a growing consensus about climate change communication.  Find some recommendations at these sites with which you disagree, and then reference them.  Finally, articulate your arguments about how and why you disagree with them.   

When you come here with your "feelings" and try to argue with those who are familiar with the current academic positions on the subject, you are not going to have fun.  And it's part of the reason why your position was called "bizarre" in one reply.


« Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 05:58:21 PM by Xulonn »

seattlerocks

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Thank you. I agree about the poor articulation and that I should read further and not start just with what I feel. My linguistic limitations didnt help either. And i couldnt agree with u more about the intimidating nature of rushing to post a thread here. Next time Ill do my homework first, I hope it will help. Thx again

Xulonn

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Thank you. I agree about the poor articulation and that I should read further and not start just with what I feel. My linguistic limitations didnt help either. And i couldnt agree with u more about the intimidating nature of rushing to post a thread here. Next time Ill do my homework first, I hope it will help. Thx again.
Participating at a forum frequented  and dominated by hard-core science types is different than hanging out at a site where only laypersons participate. 

There was good evidence that you thought a bit about your posts, but knowing what the experts in the field say, and what their disagreements are can give you a better foundation for your arguments.  You referenced one publication without knowing the general positions of other professionals.  That can get you boxed into a corner. 

Don't give up - I'll look for your next thread, and see how you do.  In addition to my interest in the science (psychology and sociology) of AGW/CC denial, I am also interested in the academic involvement in climate change communication.  Your posts had a lot to do that second listed interest.

Csnavywx

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There isn't anything that Dyson has said that hasn't been addressed or rebutted in some manner in the literal avalanche of climate science literature. He's made a great contribution to physics, but that doesn't make him a good assessor of climate science.

He's got Nobel disease. Unfortunately, (and perhaps unfairly), he never got a Nobel.

seattlerocks

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Very intelligent observation, thx

seattlerocks

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Participating at a forum frequented  and dominated by hard-core science types is different than hanging out at a site where only laypersons participate. 

There was good evidence that you thought a bit about your posts, but knowing what the experts in the field say, and what their disagreements are can give you a better foundation for your arguments.  You referenced one publication without knowing the general positions of other professionals.  That can get you boxed into a corner. 

Don't give up - I'll look for your next thread, and see how you do.  In addition to my interest in the science (psychology and sociology) of AGW/CC denial, I am also interested in the academic involvement in climate change communication.  Your posts had a lot to do that second listed interest.

Your condescending and patronizing tone ignited me again.

I am not sure if you have had read this article.

http://www.theguardian.com/science/political-science/2013/jul/31/climate-scientists-policies

If not, I recommend you read it from top to bottom given your interest on the issue.
It has very rich and well articulated arguments, and it is not from somebody that recently took an online course in climate science, or from what you call a layperson. I just wanted to give you some reading that might be on par with your lofty intellect.

Another thing: posting here does not intimidate me because of the high level of this "science-based" forum, as you describe it. It is because by now I know the kind of irrational and agressive responses that I may end up receiving (including Neven's aloof disdaining comment).

My English is very good when I take my time. I certainly don't embellish my arguments with words like "troll, goalpost, gish Gallop, lukewarmist, touting, the famous straw man argument, the hair-splitting". Some of them are common English, but I see them here too frequently and I wonder if they serve the purpose of embellishing irrational rethoric void of rational content.

Not only I have found irrationalism these days. Furthermore I percieve that a few contributors might even be close to fundamentalism, even when disguised of moderation. A few days ago I read in Neven's blog the comment of a clearly perturbed person about "crushing Russians". Then somebody instead of telling him "Man you need some rest and ask for help" said "if you're going to crush anyone, better crush the people who are very happy to see this Us vs Them mentality"

It may just be my perception, but that sounded like a blogger pushing somebody with clear symptoms of delusion towards a dangerous direction.

Will somebody show true colors and remove this post?

Edit: link corrected
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 01:15:13 PM by seattlerocks »

Laurent

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Hello Seattlerocks and others

Your link does not work for me.



Michael Hauber

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Late to the argument, I don't visit this corner of the forum much.

One point I feel very strongly about is that the scientific debate needs its heretics.  It needs its Lindzens and Spencers trying their hardest to prove that cloud feedbacks may be substantially negative.  It needs its Svensmark's exploring the possibility that solar activity may powerfully modulate cloud activity through gamma ray effects.  If these ideas aren't considered and explored, then perhaps we'll miss something important.

It also needs its Hansen's exploring the possibility that the ocean may boil away in a runaway feedback, or that the greenland ice sheet melt may increase exponentially to result in metres of sea level rise later this century.  It needs the Sharpova's exploring the possibility of a huge methane burp from the Arctic.

All of these 'heretics' are given their chance and many have published peer reviewed papers in the literature.  All of these heretics have been ridiculed by some one or another.  If their results are useful then many may still ridicule and ignore, and groupthink may result in many scientists being slow to accept their results.  But as we can see there is always a supply a scientists ready to challenge prevailing wisdom, and if something from the fringes is important, someone will pick up on it, expand on it, and publish further results to build on the initial result.  But there just is not one single person to say 'hang on Lindzen's iris hypothesis has been attacked several times, but I've found some good evidence to support and expand on it and I'm going to publish this as a new paper adding to and expanding on this hypothesis'

While we need people to challenge the conventional status quo, we have so many stupid people saying so many stupid things about climate science, which makes it difficult to challenge conventional wisdom in a constructive manner.
Climate change:  Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, expect the middle.

Xulonn

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Your condescending and patronizing tone ignited me again.

I am not sure if you have had read this article.
Your link is not to an "article", but rather an opinion piece by a contrarian climate scientist. 

I thought you had a shot at objective, rational postings, but now my "opinion" is that I was wrong.  An obscure climate scientist / climate modeler with an point of view that is not balanced believes that scientists should not advocate for policy, and you agree with her. 

Tamsin Edwards positions herself with her contrarian cohorts such as Dr. Judith Curry, Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr., Dr. Roy Spencer (who puts creationist religious beliefs above scientific evidence and), and others.  These people have done some good science in their time, but have recently been soundly criticized for their bad science, and non-science-based political opinions that support the FF industries and AGW/CC denialist entities.

Your arguments have nothing to do with science, but are rather about silencing scientists, which you don't deny.  You are criticizing people who chose to be good citizens and do what they see as their civic duty to stand against what is ultimately an extremely harmful level of global CO2 emissions by the "maximize profit at any cost" FF industry and their bought and paid for politicians.  The scientist advocates are brave citizens who choose to try to counter the propaganda of the transnational fossil fuel companies, the very villains who would destroy human civilization for greed and profit, and facilitate and fund the AGW/CC denialist industry to try to crush those who resist them.

Try reading some of Dr. Naomi Oreskes work if you really want to see what these denialist industry is up to.   It is my opinion that Dr, Tamsin Edwards and her supporters are unwittingly aiding the attempts of the FF industry to silence their critics. 

Michael Hauber

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So Tamsin Edwards is arguing that climate scientists should not discuss policy as arguing a position on political issues would be a mis-use of their authority which is in the field of climate science and not political issues. 

So does Tamsin Edwards have qualifications in communication strategy?  Or is Tamsin misusing her authority in the field of climate science to advocate for a position on communication strategy?
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Neven

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I wouldn't say it's wrong to argue that climate scientists mustn't ever advocate some policy or other (it also depends if they're transparent about it), but it's definitely not wrong for scientists either to say: "If we don't radically curb greenhouse gas emissions, there might be very big and expensive trouble ahead, now you guys find a policy, whatever policy, to mitigate the risks." Absolutely nothing wrong with that, and this is what most climate scientists who speak up, do.

What bothers me about people who argue that scientists should just do science and not be civilians looking  out for their fellow human beings, is that they never seem to mention the climate science denial industry. As if it doesn't exist or doesn't have an influence or doesn't need to adhere to some standard or other (like scientists have to). That's either naive, stupid or insincere.
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Glenn Tamblyn

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Some criticisms of scientists supposedly advocating policy often involves a confusion or failure to distinguish between advocacy for policy outcomes and for policy methods.

Arguing for an end to fossil fuel burning is advocating for a policy outcome. Advocating for a tax on carbon to achieve that is advocating for a policy method.

In my experience it is relatively uncommon for scientists to actually advocate for policy methods - the likes of Jim Hansen supporting Nuclear Power being an example of an exception.

However what does seem too common is that those who may not want the outcome, or more commonly not want the particular method, will blur the distinction, wittingly or otherwise.

If they oppose a carbon tax for example for whatever reason, the easy thing to do is to construct arguments against the goal as a way of getting the disliked method off the table.

By painting a scientist as being an 'activist' for the method when actually they are only an 'activist' for the goal they can create an inflated sense of the scientists supposedly excessive activism and then attack this inflated description - essentially a strawman argument.

Sadly too much of supposed 'debate' is about rhetoric rather than logic. The above technique is blatantly bad logic. But it is brilliant rhetoric.

Xulonn

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Some criticisms of scientists supposedly advocating policy often involves a confusion or failure to distinguish between advocacy for policy outcomes and for policy methods.

Thanks Glenn, for clarifying that distinction. I believe that anyone should speak out (raise the alarm?) when they see danger ahead - especially danger of the magnitude of AGW/CC.  I see advocating for the mitigation of that danger as an ethical action and a moral duty. 

Whether someone involved in formally studying the source of that danger should advocate for specific policy is debatable, and will always end up as an opinion with no "absolute" and "correct" outcome. 

Philosophy and ethics are not subjects where absolutes and certainties are ultimate goals, but they are intertwined with science and the lives of the people who work in the sciences.   

Of course, science, even though it is evidence-based, is not always "certain" of outcomes,and particularly the details of outcomes.  Science-speak is full of probabilities and likelihoods, but the results of scientific research should ultimately be evaluated based on evidence and not beliefs and feelings.  And separating evidence from emotional reactions can be a very big challenge. 

I don't "believe in" or "promote" AGW/CC, but rather I accept the evidence that science provides.

OTOH, I "believe" that scientists have a moral obligation to raise the alarm about the dangers of AGW/CC. 

F.Tnioli

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...
- Existing numerical models are very limited in describing clouds, dust, farms, forests, turbulence. Chemical models and sensitivities must also be adjusted in order to reproduce measurements. This makes impossible the development of a substantial scientific theory.
...
Does he _really_ think so? If he does, then i'd question his - how you said? - intellectual stature (was it?).

In case you are interested why, then i can clarify:
 - yes, models are limited; not reliable; often "tinkered with" to produce desired/expected results; etc;
 - sensitivities - yep, no question about, lots of them are very far from being any precise, Earth is a big and complex creature (not a wrong term, see James Lovelock's Gaia theory - and it is a theory, not a hypothesis, nowadays);
 - but, insufficient correctness of models and lots of uncertain sensivities are both not required to create a "substantial scientific theory" about climate change or tightly related to it (thus allowing to draw some conclusions about climate change). If you want an example - it is already given: the Gaia theory. Didn't (and doesn't) need sensivities to exist (and to be highly useful to lots of currect research); yes, it makes use of some simple models (Lovelock's own "daisy world", for example), - yet those are used not to define the theory itself, but only as arguments to apply the theory (and defend it from incorrect attacks of those few who, for some reason (agenda?), are actively trying to "disprove" Gaia theory).

« Last Edit: August 22, 2014, 04:03:17 PM by F.Tnioli »
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F.Tnioli

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...
- "[m]y objections to the global warming propaganda are not so much over the technical facts, about which I do not know much, but it’s rather against the way those people behave and the kind of intolerance to criticism that a lot of them have."
He also stated about Hansen: "The person who is really responsible for this overestimate of global warming is Jim Hansen. He consistently exaggerates all the dangers... Hansen has turned his science into ideology." (that comes in Hansen's wikipedia entry and many other sites, it is a pretty famous opinion).
...
Ok, this is quite a diagnosis, - IF the person whom we discuss here actually said all the part i quoted.

Think, what exactly he admitted? What facts about himself are here? I see those:

1. He does not know "much" about "technical facts"
2. Because of the p.1, he - by his own words, - is unable to make a qualified expert opinion - not even half of it, - about how correct or wrong Hansen's conclusions are. And yet, he then states: "Jim Hansen ... consistently exaggerates all the dangers".
3. "Hansen has turned his science into ideology". This statement means that the speaker has a certianty that there is no more proper science left - it was "turned" to ideology. Meanwhile, as far as i know, Hansen did not do that. Instead, he "added" ideology to his science. Any person who bothers to actually read - in full - some of Hansen's papers (including rather recent ones - i think i've read one made by him in 2013 in full, speaking of most recent), - will clearly see: Hansen does science, and quite sound science, on a regular basis. Perhaps our hero is unable to imagine that one single man _can_ present information in much "ideological" form to some people/audiences, but in the same time present information on only strictly scientific basis to other people/audiences, - picking "which to use" (and even sometimes mixing both) based on Hansen's own estimate which would be the most effective to make those whom he addresses to get at least some understanding (whatever way and on whatever level they are able to do so)?


Overall, myself, i am not Jim Hansen's fan. He said lots of wrong things, and i am sure that at least sometimes, he lies on purpose. But, who doesn't? I mean it. Who? And as far as i know, Jim Hansen is much, much more able scientist and much better person than most people who pretend to achieve any significant results in science and/or in trying to popularize the issue of climate change (and more broadly - of human civilization survival long-term). Yep, he's no saint, but he's not mad scientist at all, and he's DAMN able mind, too.

P.S. I never - EVER - seen a Jim Hansen's quote such incosistent within itself as the one i bring by this very post. If you did, please show it to me. I'd then eat my... ... naah, i won't, but i'd apologize at least. Promise! :)

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Thank Goddess we've got a separate thread for this  crap.