Poll

What's your stance on climate change?

Climate change is real, and humans are entirely responsible for it.
Climate change is real, and while humans are largely responsible for it, this is part of a natural cycle.
Climate change is real, but humans are not all that responsible for it; there's a natural pattern that humans are simply aiding.
Climate change is real, but it's a natural cycle; humans are in no way responsible for it.
Climate change is not real.
Other.

Author Topic: What's your stance on climate change?  (Read 752 times)

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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #58 on: September 11, 2014, 06:58:23 PM »
1.  Examining the past (through ice cores and the like) indicates that Earth has gone through a fairly consistent cycle of long glacials averaging about 90 K-years and short interglacials averaging about 10 K-years.  Furthermore, the current interglacial known as the Holocene is already over 10 K-years long.  In short, based on that, we should be entering a cooling period.

My bold.

I have seen you make this observation twice. I remember reading or hearing about the coming Ice Age back in the 80's early 90's. I assume that the proclamation was made based on the cycles but something unexpected happened. We are apparently causing a delay in the coming of the next Ice Age. Ice ages generally lasting 90k years or so. Since we don't know for sure how long these periods last or how long the transition from one to the next normally takes. Why are we getting so worked up about this as if it's already too late to "fix" the problem?

Seems to me like we have about another 80k years to enjoy stable weather before we come out of the next coming Ice Age which may be so mild that when things start heating up at that point THEN we might see the catastrophic destruction predicted by certain people.

The argument that I have heard by some people is that plants crave CO2 and warm weather. So why would we want to stop the next deep freeze?

Why is an Ice Age preferable to what we are experiencing now?
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #59 on: September 11, 2014, 07:40:45 PM »
^Maybe you should have read the whole post instead of responding to what amounts to a single sentence of it.  Because I don't really understand why you thought your post was an effective response to mine.

By the way, we don't have to go into an actual ice age, or have dramatic warming, to have catastrophic problems relating to climate.  For example, Europe had climate-related famines for dozens of years during the 1300s.  All it took was severe winters and cold, rainy summers to cause millions of people to starve over those same decades.

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #60 on: September 11, 2014, 08:07:28 PM »
^Maybe you should have read the whole post instead of responding to what amounts to a single sentence of it.  Because I don't really understand why you thought your post was an effective response to mine.

Sorry, I'll go back and respond to each point you made in a little bit....it may end up being tomorrow.

Quote
By the way, we don't have to go into an actual ice age, or have dramatic warming, to have catastrophic problems relating to climate.  For example, Europe had climate-related famines for dozens of years during the 1300s.  All it took was severe winters and cold, rainy summers to cause millions of people to starve over those same decades.

I don't know what point you are trying to make here. As far as I am aware...there is absolutely nothing we can do to prevent catastrophic weather.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #61 on: September 11, 2014, 08:26:10 PM »
And...instead of participating in the topic, Tero is simply smiting people who post things that he disagrees with, with the pretense that his disagreement is based on anything but his own blatantly uninformed opinions.  Even though chaos theory is a major field of study and the butterfly effect[1] has been conclusively demonstrated and in fact is a fundamental part of chaos theory and fractal mathematics.

If he wants to pretend that those things I stated aren't actual facts, I can't stop him.  If he wants to smite me for stating them, I can't stop that either.  But I will call him out for his cowardice and bias with regards to this topic.
 1. the sensitive dependency on initial conditions where a small change can cause drastic differences down the line

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #62 on: September 11, 2014, 08:47:04 PM »
The problem is that climate science is horrendously complicated, not political stunts and the like.  I don't doubt that some people, politicians included, have latched onto one or another side of it and attempted to push that particular bit as hard as they can, but if chaos theory can describe anything in the world, it's climate.

So, here's some facts relating to climate change:

1.  Examining the past (through ice cores and the like) indicates that Earth has gone through a fairly consistent cycle of long glacials averaging about 90 K-years and short interglacials averaging about 10 K-years.  Furthermore, the current interglacial known as the Holocene is already over 10 K-years long.  In short, based on that, we should be entering a cooling period.


We are apparently causing a delay in the coming of the next Ice Age.

Quote
2.  However, average temperatures during the Holocene have remained fairly constant - neither rising nor falling beyond certain points.  This is fairly abnormal for an interglacial period.

Maybe it is fairly abnormal but is it unprecedented?

Seems to me like we have about another 80k years to enjoy stable weather before we come out of the next coming Ice Age...The argument that I have heard by some people is that plants crave CO2 and warm weather.

Quote
3.  Since agriculture was developed during the Holocene, it is reasonable to presume that there is some sort of a relationship between agricultural practices and the abnormal temperature averages of this epoch.  How strong of one is open to debate.

Sure, it is reasonable to draw a connection but the connection isn't necessarily proof. Evidence maybe, but not conclusive.

Quote
4.  Finally, the current trend over the past several decades appears to be towards increasing average temperatures.

Trends are also not conclusive and there have been studies which indicate that the trend is not leaning towards increasing average temperatures. So it boils down to what? The sources you trust? That is my inherent problem, I don't trust anybody when it comes to something so complicated as the weather.

Quote
Okay, so, climate is chaotic, as I've said more than once.  What that means is that small changes in conditions can result in large divergences down the line from predicted behavior.  This is often popularized as the butterfly effect.  I think the effects on climate due to agriculture (and other, later human practices) are just such a thing; small changes that result in large divergences.  It is a fair bet that if it weren't for agriculture and those other practices, the average temperatures would already have started to slip.  So in a way, we can thank our ancestors for the fact that we have a relatively stable climate which allowed us to develop technologically.  However, as we know from other fields of science, small changes tend to compound themselves over time.  Evolution is a prime example of this.

So, we cannot ignore the probability that those compounded changes in climate from human activity might cause it to destabilize.  It does not matter whether the result is warming, cooling, or something else; all of those will result in serious problems, sooner or later.

So what shall we do? If we can't accurately predict something so chaotic as the weather and we don't have the power to prevent natural disasters from happening and we have no idea what level of impact our actions may cause in the future...what are we to do? The only solution I have seen put forward is to generate money from  CO2 emissions.


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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #63 on: September 11, 2014, 08:57:53 PM »
Okay, that makes more sense, Blackwell.  My answers are, "I don't know if it's unprecedented", "I'm aware it isn't conclusive, thus why I said it was reasonable to presume", "it's based on the data compiled by organizations such as NASA", and "we can at least prepare for the likely outcomes and in the meantime work on getting better data and better modeling techniques".

Online One Above All

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #64 on: September 12, 2014, 03:51:44 AM »
Tero, why did you lie about the butterfly effect? Or did you not lie, but are simply ignorant of physics yet still decided to act like you knew what you were talking about anyway?[1]
As a student of Engineering Physics, I can assure you that the butterfly effect has, in fact, been proven. You've probably heard of the weather, right? Why do you think weather forecasts are unreliable a couple of days after the calculations were made? Is it just a big conspiracy? Or is it because the calculations required to get a completely accurate prediction are impossible to make, due to the chaotic nature of the weather?
EDIT: I want to note that the weather is just one example. I used it because it's probably the one you're most familiar with.
 1. And no, there are no other options. You made a claim. Either you lied, or you didn't know what you were talking about and pulled "facts" out of your ass.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2014, 04:39:01 AM by One Above All »
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #65 on: September 12, 2014, 05:48:29 AM »
Another good example of the butterfly effect, more visually obvious, is Conway's Game of Life.  Tiny variations in starting conditions can have enormous effects on the outcome.
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Offline Tero

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #66 on: September 12, 2014, 06:59:19 AM »
Yes yes, warming, god, all that dogma. I know how you guys think. That is why the discussion went noplace. But in case there is someone that needs to know more, here is s writer who is so unlike Al Gore, you may get thru his book:
http://www.amazon.com/Earth-Operators-Richard-B-Alley/dp/0393081095/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410522962&sr=1-1&keywords=richard+alley

I found a used copy for 8 dollars. Very nice package of dogma and lots of earth history.

Offline Mrjason

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #67 on: September 12, 2014, 07:03:11 AM »

Okay, so, climate is chaotic, as I've said more than once.  What that means is that small changes in conditions can result in large divergences down the line from predicted behavior.  This is often popularized as the butterfly effect.  I think the effects on climate due to agriculture (and other, later human practices) are just such a thing; small changes that result in large divergences.  It is a fair bet that if it weren't for agriculture and those other practices, the average temperatures would already have started to slip.  So in a way, we can thank our ancestors for the fact that we have a relatively stable climate which allowed us to develop technologically.  However, as we know from other fields of science, small changes tend to compound themselves over time.  Evolution is a prime example of this.

So, we cannot ignore the probability that those compounded changes in climate from human activity might cause it to destabilize.  It does not matter whether the result is warming, cooling, or something else; all of those will result in serious problems, sooner or later.

Probably a dumb question but wouldn't all life throughout its entire existence have been capable of creating a butterfly effect, yet the cycle of warming/cooling has remained the same?

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #68 on: September 12, 2014, 07:10:41 AM »
Probably a dumb question but wouldn't all life throughout its entire existence have been capable of creating a butterfly effect, yet the cycle of warming/cooling has remained the same?

First of all, "butterfly effect" doesn't literally mean "inhale here and a planet is destroyed elsewhere". There are other factors to take into account, such as distance, time, influence from other particles, dissipation of energy, and so on.
Second, has it really? The farther back we go into the geological record, the smaller the "resolution". We know the dinosaurs went extinct about 65 million years ago. Can't narrow it down to an exact decade, century, or even millennium. The way the composition of the atmosphere is studied is "worse". AFAIK, the only (or perhaps best) method is by digging ice cores and analyzing the ice's composition, since, with the ice, impurities from the atmosphere were buried as well.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #69 on: September 12, 2014, 07:39:53 AM »
Yes yes, warming, god, all that dogma. I know how you guys think. That is why the discussion went noplace.
The only reason I can think of for why you'd say such a thing is that you're responding not to what people actually say, but to the things you imagine they're thinking based on your interpretation of what they said.  Because your response makes no sense whatsoever when it comes to responding to OAA or Azdgari, never mind anyone else in the thread.  OAA, for example, called you out on the butterfly effect, which has been demonstrated countless times in various fields, yet your response didn't make sense based on his.

So I'll be blunt.  You don't have the slightest clue of how the people here think, and thus your responses to us are way off-base and tend to make very little sense.  So here's a thought for you.  Instead of simply assuming that you know what people are thinking, why not try asking us what we're thinking?  It certainly can't work worse than your previous responses.

Offline screwtape

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #70 on: September 12, 2014, 09:31:43 AM »
Tero, why did you lie about the butterfly effect?

OAA,
Can you please demonstrate how you know he lied?  If not, please do not call other members liars.
Thanks.
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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #71 on: September 12, 2014, 09:47:21 AM »
Tero, why did you lie about the butterfly effect?

OAA,
Can you please demonstrate how you know he lied?  If not, please do not call other members liars.
Thanks.


I offered the alternative for my claim and even specified in a note why those were the only two possibilities. I realize that the perceived tone of the question you quoted may have been one of accusation, but it wasn't my intention.[1]
 1. Reading it now, even I see that tone, although I know it wasn't what I meant, so I get where you're coming from.
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Offline Tero

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #72 on: September 12, 2014, 09:55:34 AM »
It was a smite. See his posts.

Please correct it to:
The butterfly effect is irrelevant to the topic as well as to the recorded data and conclusions. It is just not climate. More like weather.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #73 on: September 12, 2014, 11:25:50 AM »
It was a smite. See his posts.

Please correct it to:
The butterfly effect is irrelevant to the topic as well as to the recorded data and conclusions. It is just not climate. More like weather.
It is completely relevant; for you to state that it is not demonstrates a lack of knowledge and understanding of just what chaos theory and the butterfly effect really are.

His position (or at least, so I presume) is based on sites such as http://www.skepticalscience.com/chaos-theory-global-warming-can-climate-be-predicted.htm which claim that "climate is not weather, and modeling is not predictions" and base their positions on that opinion, rather than on an understanding of how chaos theory actually does apply to climate.

http://www.aip.org/history/climate/chaos.htm - This is a far better explanation of how chaos theory actually impacts climate science - it acknowledges that some parts of it are predictable but points out why many of the smaller details are largely unpredictable.  And the details matter when you're dealing with something as complex as the climate.  Not drawing a distinction between climate and weather, and stating that we model climate while we predict weather and thus chaos theory doesn't really apply to the former.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #74 on: September 12, 2014, 01:23:47 PM »
Even in a huge-scale system such as plate tectonics, chaos applies to long-term predictions.  All that needs to be present is a feedback loop.

Did human activity just prevent a long-term coral reef from forming offshore?
Did that part of the plate thus not contain carbonates when it got subducted under the nearby continent?
Did that mean that that particular bit of plate doesn't have as much volatile material (CO2, H2O) with it as it descends into the mantle?

If so (a very plausible scenario) then that would affect the location and timing of specific volcanic activity in a few million years.  Which in turn would have a very real effect on the lives of organisms nearby.  Big differences by our standards of scale.  And it would be all because of some pollution offshore.

There is no reason to believe that the Earth's climate is immune to similar chaotic tinkering.  There are a plethora of feedback loops that interact with climate.
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Offline Zankuu

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #75 on: September 12, 2014, 03:04:14 PM »
Tero, since you're participating in this thread again, can you please provide any sources to support your assertion that "the JoNova site is well known crap"?
Leave nothing to chance. Overlook nothing. Combine contradictory observations. Allow yourself enough time. -Hippocrates of Cos

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #76 on: September 12, 2014, 03:15:19 PM »
Tero, since you're participating in this thread again, can you please provide any sources to support your assertion that "the JoNova site is well known crap"?

Doubtful, since he keeps talking about chaos theory as if he understood the basic principle behind it, even though he has already demonstrated that he doesn't.
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Offline Dante

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #77 on: September 12, 2014, 03:34:00 PM »
I'm all for global warming. Longer summers, less clothing, more hedonism. I don't see a downside!![1]
 1. well, except for a lack of food supply, which would affect alcohol supply, which would affect hedonists supply
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #78 on: September 12, 2014, 03:50:06 PM »
I'm all for global warming. Longer summers, less clothing, more hedonism. I don't see a downside!![1]
 1. well, except for a lack of food supply, which would affect alcohol supply, which would affect hedonists supply

Extremely obese people?

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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #79 on: Today at 01:09:02 AM »
Well, after we got all of this stuff sorted out, along comes this article, which tells me that I've completely misunderstood the science and the issues of the climate change debate. But that's better than I usually do, so no biggie. However, you might be interested in this:

http://online.wsj.com/articles/climate-science-is-not-settled-1411143565

(Isn't life supposed to be simple, so that folks like me can understand it?)
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #80 on: Today at 04:24:37 PM »
The article seems no more than I have said. In future I will have my responses to this thread published in 'Nature'.
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #81 on: Today at 04:46:15 PM »
The part that fascinated me is where it said this:

Quote
Even though human influences could have serious consequences for the climate, they are physically small in relation to the climate system as a whole. For example, human additions to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the middle of the 21st century are expected to directly shift the atmosphere's natural greenhouse effect by only 1% to 2%. Since the climate system is highly variable on its own, that smallness sets a very high bar for confidently projecting the consequences of human influences.

Either I've been reading highly biased, pro-human caused articles, or I just misunderstood the processes we humans use to muck things up. I assumed that we were doing more damage than that. Not that what we're doing isn't serious, but it sure seems like such small numbers should be reversible, if we would all put in a bit of effort. I was seeing the human-caused damage tot he environment as bigger blows to the planet than that. And vermin on hopeless.

You may have already known, GB, but I guess I didn't. Perhaps I was reading over your words without paying attention or something. I don't know. But I will no longer be quite so smug about thinking I'm right about things without doing a bit more research.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: What's your stance on climate change?
« Reply #82 on: Today at 06:07:15 PM »
That article isn't far from what I was trying to get across, although I was trying to emphasize the fact that human-caused change could have a greater impact than we'd expect from the degree of change we cause.