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wanna-b-fanboy

The Anthropogenic Climate Change Thread

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In recall hearing as a young lad, ideas for terra forming Venus. Let's get on that. Im sure a focused effort at space exploration will lead to a lot more technological advances than gathering a bunch of elites to spout a lot of hot air in Paris. I wonder what Trudeau has done to decrease his carbon footprint. Well, I heard he recently got two nannies off his payroll....

Dude, if we could terraform Venus then Terran climate change would be ... simple. Venus is a nasty place. It'd be easier to terraform the Marianas Trench.

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In recall hearing as a young lad, ideas for terra forming Venus. Let's get on that. Im sure a focused effort at space exploration will lead to a lot more technological advances than gathering a bunch of elites to spout a lot of hot air in Paris. I wonder what Trudeau has done to decrease his carbon footprint. Well, I heard he recently got two nannies off his payroll....

Dude, if we could terraform Venus then Terran climate change would be ... simple. Venus is a nasty place. It'd be easier to terraform the Marianas Trench.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terraforming_of_Venus

 

Seems simple enough.  :P

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Is it the apocalyptic ****-storm that those being paid a lot of money to "study" this problem say it is?

You've said this several times, KBF -- that climate change alarmism is lucrative and will continue so long as people can get paid to study it. And I don't think this is unreasonable. People will do things to get paid, and people get invested in the things they get paid for.

However, this argument has never been convincing to me because action on climate change will cause significant disruption to moneyed interests. If you say that climate change science is fueled by greed and avarice, surely you must also acknowledge that opposition to climate change action is motivated by greed and avarice as well, and not by ivory-pure devotion to the preponderance of scientific evidence.

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In recall hearing as a young lad, ideas for terra forming Venus. Let's get on that. Im sure a focused effort at space exploration will lead to a lot more technological advances than gathering a bunch of elites to spout a lot of hot air in Paris. I wonder what Trudeau has done to decrease his carbon footprint. Well, I heard he recently got two nannies off his payroll....

Dude, if we could terraform Venus then Terran climate change would be ... simple. Venus is a nasty place. It'd be easier to terraform the Marianas Trench.

 

No kidding, Venus is the poster child planet for the greenhouse effect gone insane. It rains acid there for gods sake and is too hot for people to live there. 

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Is it the apocalyptic ****-storm that those being paid a lot of money to "study" this problem say it is?

You've said this several times, KBF -- that climate change alarmism is lucrative and will continue so long as people can get paid to study it. And I don't think this is unreasonable. People will do things to get paid, and people get invested in the things they get paid for.

However, this argument has never been convincing to me because action on climate change will cause significant disruption to moneyed interests. If you say that climate change science is fueled by greed and avarice, surely you must also acknowledge that opposition to climate change action is motivated by greed and avarice as well, and not by ivory-pure devotion to the preponderance of scientific evidence.

 

 

If I haven't stated it before, I will say it now.  You are right, both sides are fueled by this, as is all mankind.  It's our nature.  What I object to is muck-raking by these stupid websites against organizations like Friends of Science, without any attention being paid to the other side.  The Tides Foundation funds all kinds of disinformation, and the high cancer lie completely fabricated about Fort Chipewyan was a prime example of that.  Yet when Tides was exposed when one of their numbered companies was found to be paying people from Fort Chip to fly around and give anti-oil sands speeches, when their cancer rates weren't higher than anywhere else, none of that seemed to interest all of these websites that have these Orwellian names like "Center for Democracy and Truth" or whatever.  I firmly believe that these websites themselves are just front groups for big Green in the USA.  Why else would they attack any and all skeptic scientists so viciously?

 

I don't get these websites, but they sure have the potential to do harm.  A website called "Canadaland" went after broadcaster Amanda Lang because she had the audacity to speak at an RBC event, calling it a conflict of interest because she was dating a director for the RBC.  If you've ever watched Amanda Lang you'd know she's about as left wing as it gets.  Her relationship with the RBC guy was so new, neither had even told their kids about it, and yet these guys just embarrassed her and called her out for no reason, and now she's had to leave the CBC.  These sites do a lot of damage, and I don't get why they do it, but it seems cruel and mean.

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In recall hearing as a young lad, ideas for terra forming Venus. Let's get on that. Im sure a focused effort at space exploration will lead to a lot more technological advances than gathering a bunch of elites to spout a lot of hot air in Paris. I wonder what Trudeau has done to decrease his carbon footprint. Well, I heard he recently got two nannies off his payroll....

Dude, if we could terraform Venus then Terran climate change would be ... simple. Venus is a nasty place. It'd be easier to terraform the Marianas Trench.

 

No kidding, Venus is the poster child planet for the greenhouse effect gone insane. It rains acid there for gods sake and is too hot for people to live there. 

 

 

and the atmospheric pressure is so high that walking on Venus would be like walking at the bottom of Marianas trench.  Actually not quite true - the pressure on Venus is equivalent to being only 1 km under the ocean, or 90 atmospheres.  At the bottom of the Marianas trench the pressure is 1000 atmospheres.  Slightly higher. :)

 

Anyway, I've seen a lot of alarmists use Venus as an "example" of runaway climate change, but their atmospheric pressure also plays a role in why Venus is unsuitable for mankind to terra-form.

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KBF, I hear you about partisan polarization. I'm pretty lefty by nature and I'm constantly shaking my head at the bullshit antics on my side. I hate it when people lie about important things, and I hate when the imposition of doctrinal purity trumps the good that the doctrine is actually trying to achieve. I'm the kind of guy who loves socialism but isn't super fond of a lot of socialists, y'know.

But, back to the matter at hand. Yes, there are profiteers and liars on all sides of the climate debate. America in particular is a land of opportunistic entrepreneurs.

When I think about these things, I keep coming back to the massive scientific consensus assembled around climate change -- fewer than five in a hundred climate scientists dispute human-driven climate change. Why is that? The simplest explanation is that climate change observations and conclusions are made in good faith. What are the other explanations? If this is a conspiracy -- Schmitt suggests climate scientists communists -- its one with ironclad discipline. Is climate change just a marketing strategy for research grants? I can buy that on some level, but that research has to survive peer review. If it's ****, it'll be flagged as **** -- unless there's a conspiracy.

Yes, this is an appeal to authority. I'm just an internet idiot, I can't argue climate science and I won't just copy words from a friendly website. But if you're going to have an authority, science is a pretty good one to trust -- its batting average is pretty high.

Sure, when I was a kid we were told we were moving into an ice age. When I was a kid I was also told that smoking was super bad for me, that computers were going to double in power every eighteen months, that CFCs were burning a hole in the ozone layer, that HIV caused AIDS -- all of those things turned out to be true.

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I thought I'd wade in here with a few thoughts, just to discuss a few points people have made (WARNING: very long post). First off, I have a doctorate degree in Earth Sciences, have worked as an active researcher for a number of years, and have published a number of papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. I'm NOT a climate scientist, so I don't have any credentials/expertise in that field. What I do have is an extensive background in Earth Science and I know how the scientific process works from a research perspective. I also have friends/colleagues who are climate scientists and actively involved in leading research in the field. If you really want to understand the topic of climate change you need to go to the original source which is peer-reviewed scientific publications - not blogs, magazine articles, CNN, etc. The problem is that most people don't have access to the publications, and they're highly technical and require an appropriate background to really understand them.

 

As far as the debate goes there are two very important things where the debate is pretty much over among people with the credentials necessary to really understand the topic. First, since the beginning of the industrial revolution humans have pumped unprecedented amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere and CO2 is very efficient at trapping heat. No debate there. Second, there is almost no debate about whether Earth's climate is getting warmer. The real debate is over what the connection is between human produced CO2 and warming, and whether there are other significant natural factors that also come in to play. Given the first two points, there really is no debate that humans have had a significant effect on global warming. The question is what the contribution is of natural causes, what steps (if any) can be taken to mitigate the effects, and what the cost-benefit is (i.e. is it worth taking any steps).

 

One topic that has been brought up in this thread is that the Earth naturally goes through variations in climate. True. In fact, the Earth's average temperature throughout its geologic history has actually been several degrees warmer than it currently is, and this is not even including the first few hundred million years when Earth was essentially a ball of molten rock. A well known example is the 135 million years when dinosaurs ruled the Earth - the average temperature was at about 5 degrees warmer. In fact, we are currently in a cool period in Earth's history with alternating cycles of ice ages and warmer periods (our current state). Why the ice ages first started is still unclear - one theory is that the rapid rise of the Himalaya's disruputed global climate patterns and changed the climate. That doesn't change the fact that human society is optimised for our current climate state, and any significant changes in climate would have significant effects on human society. Human society would likely adapt, but the time-scale to adapt will be on the order of decades, not centuries.

 

It's been mentioned in this thread that increasing output from the Sun is the cause for warming. Variations in output from the Sun of even a few percent can have a significant impact; however, actually measuring the variations accurately is surprisingly difficult. It's only been possible to get accurate measurements since we've been able to launch satellites which has only been in the last few decades. It's not really possible to establish any type of long-term pattern in solar output in that amount of time. So people who state that increasing solar output is the cause of warming, and basically state it as fact, really have little data to base it on.

 

Another topic that has been mentioned is how climate scientists flip-flop - how 40 years ago we were told we were entering an ice age and now it's the opposite. During the mid-20th century there was a global cooling - I certainly remember some pretty brutal Winnipeg winters in the 70's, and those were by Winnipeg standards. However, the idea that we were entering an ice age was pretty much a media creation - there are no scientific publications where any climate scientist claimed that. As I mentioned above, we are in a current warm period between ice ages, and it's highly likely that in a few thousand years the Earth will enter another ice age. But it's not imminent and no climate researcher ever said it was.

 

Someone in this tread said that the people mostly concerned with climate change are left-wing liberals. The many scientists I know run the full range of left-wing liberal to right-wing conservative (including climate scientists), so to catagorise everyone concerned with climate change as left-wing liberal is wrong. Just published in the Washington Post is an article about ExxonMobil executives who believe that climate change is real and a serious problem. I'm going to go on a limb and say that most of those executives are probably right-wing conservatives. And this is a multi-billion dollar company whose business relies on pumping CO2 into the atmosphere.


 

On a positive note, the first helium-plasma fusion device has commenced operation in Germany. This could be a crucial step towards finally achieving the holy grail of nuclear fusion, which has always been 50 years away from being 50 years away. The next step is to do it with hydrogen-plasma. A controlled hydrogen nuclear fusion reactor would essentially solve all of Earth's energy and emission problems.

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Yes, this is an appeal to authority. I'm just an internet idiot, I can't argue climate science and I won't just copy words from a friendly website. But if you're going to have an authority, science is a pretty good one to trust -- its batting average is pretty high.

Pretty much exactly my take on the issue.

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I thought I'd wade in here with a few thoughts, just to discuss a few points people have made (WARNING: very long post). First off, I have a doctorate degree in Earth Sciences, have worked as an active researcher for a number of years, and have published a number of papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. I'm NOT a climate scientist, so I don't have any credentials/expertise in that field. What I do have is an extensive background in Earth Science and I know how the scientific process works from a research perspective. I also have friends/colleagues who are climate scientists and actively involved in leading research in the field. If you really want to understand the topic of climate change you need to go to the original source which is peer-reviewed scientific publications - not blogs, magazine articles, CNN, etc. The problem is that most people don't have access to the publications, and they're highly technical and require an appropriate background to really understand them.

 

As far as the debate goes there are two very important things where the debate is pretty much over among people with the credentials necessary to really understand the topic. First, since the beginning of the industrial revolution humans have pumped unprecedented amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere and CO2 is very efficient at trapping heat. No debate there. Second, there is almost no debate about whether Earth's climate is getting warmer. The real debate is over what the connection is between human produced CO2 and warming, and whether there are other significant natural factors that also come in to play. Given the first two points, there really is no debate that humans have had a significant effect on global warming. The question is what the contribution is of natural causes, what steps (if any) can be taken to mitigate the effects, and what the cost-benefit is (i.e. is it worth taking any steps).

 

One topic that has been brought up in this thread is that the Earth naturally goes through variations in climate. True. In fact, the Earth's average temperature throughout its geologic history has actually been several degrees warmer than it currently is, and this is not even including the first few hundred million years when Earth was essentially a ball of molten rock. A well known example is the 135 million years when dinosaurs ruled the Earth - the average temperature was at about 5 degrees warmer. In fact, we are currently in a cool period in Earth's history with alternating cycles of ice ages and warmer periods (our current state). Why the ice ages first started is still unclear - one theory is that the rapid rise of the Himalaya's disruputed global climate patterns and changed the climate. That doesn't change the fact that human society is optimised for our current climate state, and any significant changes in climate would have significant effects on human society. Human society would likely adapt, but the time-scale to adapt will be on the order of decades, not centuries.

 

It's been mentioned in this thread that increasing output from the Sun is the cause for warming. Variations in output from the Sun of even a few percent can have a significant impact; however, actually measuring the variations accurately is surprisingly difficult. It's only been possible to get accurate measurements since we've been able to launch satellites which has only been in the last few decades. It's not really possible to establish any type of long-term pattern in solar output in that amount of time. So people who state that increasing solar output is the cause of warming, and basically state it as fact, really have little data to base it on.

 

Another topic that has been mentioned is how climate scientists flip-flop - how 40 years ago we were told we were entering an ice age and now it's the opposite. During the mid-20th century there was a global cooling - I certainly remember some pretty brutal Winnipeg winters in the 70's, and those were by Winnipeg standards. However, the idea that we were entering an ice age was pretty much a media creation - there are no scientific publications where any climate scientist claimed that. As I mentioned above, we are in a current warm period between ice ages, and it's highly likely that in a few thousand years the Earth will enter another ice age. But it's not imminent and no climate researcher ever said it was.

 

Someone in this tread said that the people mostly concerned with climate change are left-wing liberals. The many scientists I know run the full range of left-wing liberal to right-wing conservative (including climate scientists), so to catagorise everyone concerned with climate change as left-wing liberal is wrong. Just published in the Washington Post is an article about ExxonMobil executives who believe that climate change is real and a serious problem. I'm going to go on a limb and say that most of those executives are probably right-wing conservatives. And this is a multi-billion dollar company whose business relies on pumping CO2 into the atmosphere.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/even-exxonmobil-says-climate-change-is-real-so-why-wont-the-gop/2015/12/06/913e4b12-9aa6-11e5-b499-76cbec161973_story.html?utm_source=hootsuite

 

On a positive note, the first helium-plasma fusion device has commenced operation in Germany. This could be a crucial step towards finally achieving the holy grail of nuclear fusion, which has always been 50 years away from being 50 years away. The next step is to do it with hydrogen-plasma. A controlled hydrogen nuclear fusion reactor would essentially solve all of Earth's energy and emission problems.

 

Thanks for the post, and taking the time.

 

A few misconceptions though.  I don't think that anyone is saying that any one factor is responsible for whatever climate change might or might not be occurring.  So no one is saying "it's just the sun".  They are saying "Hey, what about the sun, why are you guys just ignoring that glowing ball"?  Secondly, the comment "However, the idea that we were entering an ice age was pretty much a media creation - there are no scientific publications where any climate scientist claimed that" is inaccurate. 

 

There were plenty of climate "scientists" who jumped on board the 1970's global cooling scare/fear-mongering schtick.  Some of whom are now part of the current global warming fear-mongering team.  Steven Schneider was one of the more famous ones who "flip flopped" from stating that we were all doomed to freeze to death in the 1970's, and now was saying (before he died) that we were all going to burn to death.  He even appeared on a Leonard Nimoy TV show talking about the global cooling theory.

Here's a link to a paper that Schneider wrote in 1971, along with another climate scientist, in support of the global cooling fear theory:

http://www.john-daly.com/schneidr.htm

He figured out if injected enough fear into the discussion, you could basically say anything, and people would believe it, be it cooling or warming.

 

 

The+Big+Freeze.jpg

 

Here's the opening of the Nimoy "science" show on the coming ice age that was broadcast in 1978:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kGB5MMIAVA

 

Packed with fear.  "Climate experts believe the next ice age is on its way".  I do like how Nimoy talks about "sea coasts long free of summer ice are now frozen year round".  Those coasts froze because of the global cooling that "climatologists" told us was happening, and now those same coasts are now becoming ice free again. But now "climatologists", David Suzuki and Al Gore all say that they must be ice free because of man-made warming.  So the coasts were once ice free in summer (according to Leonard Nimoy in 1978 anyway), long before the man-made climate change theory existed or CO2 levels were at the levels they are now, then they iced up in the 1970's, and it was because of global cooling caused by man, and now they are melting again, and it must be because of global warming caused by man.  How can anyone be anything but skeptical given this track record?  Sea coasts in the north ice up.  Then they melt.  Then they ice up again.  It's what they do.

 

How about this?  Mankind has only been documenting various weather trends accurately for what, about 80 years?  In our total existence?  And we've only been able to even remotely monitor via satellite, to any degree of accuracy, the ice levels of the north and south poles for what, 30 - 35 years?  Before that, who knows what was going on up in the North Pole.  There are stories from the 1920's of coasts being ice free back then, that are now still frozen.  But that's all we have, anecdotal evidence, up until the mid 1980's.  Maybe, just maybe, there are cycles to earth's climate, that we don't even understand or get just yet.  Like, why were the "dirty thirties" so dirty?  Now, if there is a drought, it must be "man made climate change" that is causing it.  But what caused the drought in the 30's?  It wasn't man-made climate change.  Perhaps, just perhaps, climates change naturally.  But there's no $4 billion funding grants, and no fancy Paris parties to attend, if that's the case.  So fear-mongering it is.

 

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Yes, this is an appeal to authority. I'm just an internet idiot, I can't argue climate science and I won't just copy words from a friendly website. But if you're going to have an authority, science is a pretty good one to trust -- its batting average is pretty high.

 

 

Except when they are predicting ice ages! :)

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James Hansen is another example of a cold-monger turned warm-monger.  As I said, these guys learned that if you tell big enough whopping stories of impending doom, it's amazing how many people will believe it.  So no, the global cooling scare was not just "media generated".  Actual "climate scientists" were involved in created that sham.  Just like actual climate scientists are creating the current fear-fest about global warming, and other are saying "not so fast".  One things for sure, if in 40 years we're 60 years into the current "pause" there will be a lot of stuff to put on Youtube to laugh at, just like I was laughing at Nimoy's "science" show from 1978.

 

By - The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Cold yet?

NASA scientist James E. Hansen, who has publicly criticized the Bush administration for dragging its feet on climate change and labeled skeptics of man-made global warming as distracting “court jesters,” appears in a 1971 Washington Post article that warns of an impending ice age within 50 years. U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming,” blares the headline of the July 9, 1971, article, which cautions readers that the world “could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age, a leading atmospheric scientist predicts.”

 

The scientist was S.I.Rasool, a colleague of Mr. Hansen’s at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The article goes on to say that Mr. Rasool came to his chilling conclusions by resorting in part to a new computer program developed by Mr. Hansen that studied clouds above Venus.

 

The 1971 article, discovered this week by Washington resident John Lockwood while he was conducting related research at the Library of Congress, says that “in the next 50 years” — or by 2021 — fossil-fuel dust injected by man into the atmosphere “could screen out so much sunlight that the average temperature could drop by six degrees,” resulting in a buildup of “new glaciers that could eventually cover huge areas.”

If sustained over “several years, five to 10,” or so Mr. Rasool estimated, “such a temperature decrease could be sufficient to trigger an ice age.”

 

 

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Maybe, just maybe, there are cycles to earth's climate, that we don't even understand or get just yet.  Like, why were the "dirty thirties" so dirty?  Now, if there is a drought, it must be "man made climate change" that is causing it.  But what caused the drought in the 30's?  It wasn't man-made climate change.  Perhaps, just perhaps, climates change naturally.  But there's no $4 billion funding grants, and no fancy Paris parties to attend, if that's the case.  So fear-mongering it is.

 

I can answer this one:

 

The Dirty 30's happened because of poor farming practices. When you're farming, dry/wet years are just part of the natural order of things. They busted up the prairie sod and then put very little back into it for decades. Whatever straw wasn't needed for livestock was burned, almost all stubble was burned. When a drier period (dirty thirties) came long, their top soil just disappeared. Moisture retention was almost zero, top soil retention was non-existent.

 

Today we have practices such as zero tillage, crop rotation, shelter belts, crops that add more organic matter to the soil, and combines that chop the straw so it decomposes more readily.  

 

Basically, the dirty thirties happened because people didn't quite understand how to farm the prairies yet.  When I see neighbours still burning stubble (unless it's because of disease) I wonder how much we've actually learned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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James Hansen is another example of a cold-monger turned warm-monger.  As I said, these guys learned that if you tell big enough whopping stories of impending doom, it's amazing how many people will believe it.  So no, the global cooling scare was not just "media generated".  Actual "climate scientists" were involved in created that sham.  Just like actual climate scientists are creating the current fear-fest about global warming, and other are saying "not so fast".  One things for sure, if in 40 years we're 60 years into the current "pause" there will be a lot of stuff to put on Youtube to laugh at, just like I was laughing at Nimoy's "science" show from 1978.

 

By - The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Cold yet?

NASA scientist James E. Hansen, who has publicly criticized the Bush administration for dragging its feet on climate change and labeled skeptics of man-made global warming as distracting “court jesters,” appears in a 1971 Washington Post article that warns of an impending ice age within 50 years. U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming,” blares the headline of the July 9, 1971, article, which cautions readers that the world “could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age, a leading atmospheric scientist predicts.”

 

The scientist was S.I.Rasool, a colleague of Mr. Hansen’s at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The article goes on to say that Mr. Rasool came to his chilling conclusions by resorting in part to a new computer program developed by Mr. Hansen that studied clouds above Venus.

 

The 1971 article, discovered this week by Washington resident John Lockwood while he was conducting related research at the Library of Congress, says that “in the next 50 years” — or by 2021 — fossil-fuel dust injected by man into the atmosphere “could screen out so much sunlight that the average temperature could drop by six degrees,” resulting in a buildup of “new glaciers that could eventually cover huge areas.”

If sustained over “several years, five to 10,” or so Mr. Rasool estimated, “such a temperature decrease could be sufficient to trigger an ice age.”

 

 

 

And thanks for your reply KBF. I don't want to spend a lot of time on this thread as I'm not trying to convince anyone about whether or not climate change is real (you can probably guess which side I'm on). This thread could be 100 pages and no one will change their mind. I just thought I'd address your points. You're correct that even over the 20th century that there have been large decadal variations in the climate, and that the observable climate record is quite short. These are significant issues, a valid criticism, and not easy to address.
 
About the sun, I realise that there are other potentially natural causes that could be related to climate change. I only discussed that particular one because had been mentioned earlier, not because it's the only possible cause.
 
Regarding Stephen Schneider, you're right that he did publish a paper in the journal Science in 1971 projecting global cooling. And the media latched on to it and ran with it. He also soon realised that he was wrong and published a retraction a couple years later. Now, you might call that "flip-flopping", but in the world of scientific research we call that collecting the best available you can and deriving the best possible model to explain it. And then, if more data becomes available that shows your model is wrong, you admit it's wrong and revise or discard your model. It's how science works and how scientific progress is made. It's a lose-lose situation - if scientists stick to their guns they are rigid, dogmatic and resistant to change; however, if they revise their theories then they can't make of their minds and don't actually know anything. The link you posted didn't go to Schneider's paper but to the website of John L. Daly. I've never heard of him so I googled him. According toWikipedia he was a "teacher and self-declared Greenhouse skeptic". As far as I can tell he doesn't appear to have had any scientific qualifications related to climate science so I would consider his views to be highly suspect. I did attempt to find Schneider's original paper to look at it, but the library at my institute doesn't have issues of Science dating back to 1971.
 
I also wouldn't put a lot of stock into Nimoy's "science" show, and I don't think you do either since you also said "science" show. I remember watching that show a long, long time ago with one episode where they talked about how plants grow better when exposed to classical music compared with heavy metal. Not the best source of information.
 
On a personal note, I have to say that I find it somewhat irksome and insulting when you refer to scientists as fear-mongers, telling whopping stories and creating scams. It's nothing like that - it's simply attempting to come up with the best theories based on the best currently available data. I don't want to go too much into what I do personally, but in my field I face the same criticism. I'm a seismologist and one thing we do is develop the best seismic hazard and risk models based on all of the current and past data. We use that to determine how at risk a particular area is from earthquakes based on what is likely the largest possible earthquake in that area and how often they occur. Every 10 years or so, as more data is collected and more research is done these models are updated. Sometimes the models change significantly, often because improved technology (more powerful computers, improved methods of collecting/analysing data). People then sometimes accuse us of using scare tactics and fear-mongering (literally the words that they use). We're not trying to scare anyone - we're trying to produce the best possible science and present the facts, and present it to policy makers so they can be informed on what the risk is.
 
As a specific example I'll use the Cascadia subduction zone (and  no, I don't work for the Canadian government). Living in Kelowna you've probably at least heard of it. Prior to the early 1990's it was thought that it wasn't capable of producing magnitude 9 size earthquakes like the 2004 Indian Ocean or 2011 Japanese earthquake. That was based on the best available evidence at the time. However, in the early 1990's new techniques such as highly accurate GPS measurements along with more powerful computer modelling techniques showed that it was capable of producing magnitude 9 earthquakes. In addition, field research showed that these earthquakes had happened a number of times in the past. As a result, seismologists changed their thinking and now know another earthquake like that will happen again - not if, but when. Some of these seismologists had careers which spanned both era's and changed their thinking based on the data. Does that mean they should be ridiculed and scorned for changing their minds? If you watched a show from the 70's/80's where they said an earthquake like that wasn't possible would you post a video and use that as evidence that you can't believe anything they say? Are they fear-mongers for realising that this is a serious threat to the Pacific Northwest? A good scientist is open-minded and quite willing to change their thinking when new data/results warrant it.
 
Anyways, I don't want to get into any big arguments as no one is going to change their minds, so I am now going to bow out of this discussion gracefully. I'll just add that I do respect your opinions KBF as you are clearly knowledgeable about the subject of climate change and backup your statements with sources instead of simply stating your opinion as fact.

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"We're not trying to scare anyone - we're trying to produce the best possible science and present the facts, and present it to policy makers so they can be informed on what the risk is."

This is what matters and what should matter. The rest is all window-dressing and name calling, from one side or the other.

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How about this? Mankind has only been documenting various weather trends accurately for what, about 80 years? In our total existence? And we've only been able to even remotely monitor via satellite, to any degree of accuracy, the ice levels of the north and south poles for what, 30 - 35 years? Before that, who knows what was going on up in the North Pole.

Are you seriously telling me that because we didn't directly observe an event, we can't know anything about it? Evolutionary biologists, astronomers, murder detectives, and airplane crash investigators will be very disappointed to learn this.

I welcome correction from the earth sciences people on all this, but we do have ways of measuring the evolution of glaciers by examining the sediments found within them. For instance, if you find a linear layer of ash from Krakatoa in your ice sample, you know that ice has been frozen in place since 1883.

Also, you can examine the rock around the glacier and boulders that were transported and deposited by the glacier. When rock is exposed to the sun, it's struck by cosmic rays, which react to create very convenient isotopes that have known rates of decay. So by examining the prevalence of these isotopes in the rock, you can estimate how long the rock has been out in the open.

Unless this is all a dirty lie, we can chart the rise and fall of glaciers.

I am out of time and can't google it, but I suspect that we can know about how sea ice has evolved by examining its effects on coastlines.

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"We're not trying to scare anyone - we're trying to produce the best possible science and present the facts, and present it to policy makers so they can be informed on what the risk is."

This is what matters and what should matter. The rest is all window-dressing and name calling, from one side or the other.

And I really believe that is what the scientists studying things are doing... the media however, they like to whip people into a frenzy because alarm sells better than calm. 

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How about this? Mankind has only been documenting various weather trends accurately for what, about 80 years? In our total existence? And we've only been able to even remotely monitor via satellite, to any degree of accuracy, the ice levels of the north and south poles for what, 30 - 35 years? Before that, who knows what was going on up in the North Pole.

Are you seriously telling me that because we didn't directly observe an event, we can't know anything about it? Evolutionary biologists, astronomers, murder detectives, and airplane crash investigators will be very disappointed to learn this.

I welcome correction from the earth sciences people on all this, but we do have ways of measuring the evolution of glaciers by examining the sediments found within them. For instance, if you find a linear layer of ash from Krakatoa in your ice sample, you know that ice has been frozen in place since 1883.

Also, you can examine the rock around the glacier and boulders that were transported and deposited by the glacier. When rock is exposed to the sun, it's struck by cosmic rays, which react to create very convenient isotopes that have known rates of decay. So by examining the prevalence of these isotopes in the rock, you can estimate how long the rock has been out in the open.

Unless this is all a dirty lie, we can chart the rise and fall of glaciers.

I am out of time and can't google it, but I suspect that we can know about how sea ice has evolved by examining its effects on coastlines.

 

You absolutely can learn things by studying glaciers, a ton of climate research is done by examining ice cores from glaciers. There are all sorts of ways to learn about the past without being there. It's not just sediments either, you can determine what the composition of the atmosphere was at the time the ice was formed. The beauty of science, especially stuff like this is that every piece of data you collect allows you to make a better theory. Science is always changing as new information is discovered and that is how we know science is right, because it is never rigid in it's thinking. Research will always lead to incorrect ideas being removed and new correct ones taking their place. Climate study all in all is pretty new, which is why there was a lot of inconsistency at first, but a more clear picture is being formed. 

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There was tree core studies done as well to learn about climate over long periods of time.  But ofcourse, both sides believe the results serve as evidence to their claims.  Someone made the point that we only have concrete weather studies for a pretty brief period of time.  I think thats an important point.  And KBF's links to the "Ice Age" stuff from the 70's....its exactly what we were taught in school.  I was very young and terrified.  I remember going home and asking my parents if we were really going to all die in an ice age and could we please move south.

 

I think we all agree we should be kind to the earth and attempt to develop better technology to this end.  But Im still on the side that the Climate Change guru's accept speculation as fact and we should temper the zeal a bit.

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There was tree core studies done as well to learn about climate over long periods of time.  But ofcourse, both sides believe the results serve as evidence to their claims.  Someone made the point that we only have concrete weather studies for a pretty brief period of time.  I think thats an important point.  And KBF's links to the "Ice Age" stuff from the 70's....its exactly what we were taught in school.  I was very young and terrified.  I remember going home and asking my parents if we were really going to all die in an ice age and could we please move south.

 

I think we all agree we should be kind to the earth and attempt to develop better technology to this end.  But Im still on the side that the Climate Change guru's accept speculation as fact and we should temper the zeal a bit.

and when there are two sides arguing about what the data means and one side has 90% of the support then you simply write off the 10% as quacks. Science isn't opinion, if the 10% had valid interpretations they would be taken more seriously. This is how science works. For a hypothesis, test hypothesis and data either confirms or refutes hypothesis, other scientists try and replicate the data gathered and determine if your experiment was good or bad. Science is always questioning everything and it's always adapting. That's why the ice age stuff from the 70s disappeared. Not because science is wrong, but because science is always searching for the correct answer. Always. Your arguments really do sound a lot like the creationists, which is arguing from a point of not understanding the scientific process. 

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There was tree core studies done as well to learn about climate over long periods of time.  But ofcourse, both sides believe the results serve as evidence to their claims.  Someone made the point that we only have concrete weather studies for a pretty brief period of time.  I think thats an important point.  And KBF's links to the "Ice Age" stuff from the 70's....its exactly what we were taught in school.  I was very young and terrified.  I remember going home and asking my parents if we were really going to all die in an ice age and could we please move south.

 

I think we all agree we should be kind to the earth and attempt to develop better technology to this end.  But Im still on the side that the Climate Change guru's accept speculation as fact and we should temper the zeal a bit.

and when there are two sides arguing about what the data means and one side has 90% of the support then you simply write off the 10% as quacks. Science isn't opinion, if the 10% had valid interpretations they would be taken more seriously. This is how science works. For a hypothesis, test hypothesis and data either confirms or refutes hypothesis, other scientists try and replicate the data gathered and determine if your experiment was good or bad. Science is always questioning everything and it's always adapting. That's why the ice age stuff from the 70s disappeared. Not because science is wrong, but because science is always searching for the correct answer. Always. Your arguments really do sound a lot like the creationists, which is arguing from a point of not understanding the scientific process. 

 

Well I suppose we could employ the "he who yells loudest is right" or the "I say you suck so Im right" methods.  But realistically, there is science on both sides.  if you're saying you'd write off 10% of scientific study or result, I'd say you're simply being very closed minded.

 

Scientists can certainly tie lay people up in knots.  But there has been plenty of easy to understand opinion and information in this thread that makes it pretty silly to swallow the Global Warning stuff without a second thought.  By that token, if we were able to have this discussion in the 70's you'd be telling dismissing me and others when we questioned if we really were entering an Ice Age.  You'd say ofcourse we are, the "scientists" say so.

 

The world warms and cools.  What is very disingenuous is the information provided to the general public does not generally include this information.  It doesnt say "at some point, the ice caps will melt no matter what humans do, at sea levels will rise, and coastal cities will be under water.  It is inevitable that this will happen at some point in the life of the planet.  So anyway...we sill think we can hold that off for awhile by doing this...."  they dont frame it like that.  They frame it like "we can stop this from happening."  You cant stop it from happening. 

 

So at what point do you think there is a limit to the expense of trying?  Especially versus (as others have pointed out) saving lives right now at a fraction of the cost?

 

Do you really think all life on earth will end due to man-made global warming in the next 100 years?  I dont.  I hope I live for another 100 years and you do too...so I can say I told you so. 

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