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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5210

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GT--I thought you would appreciate this note, made at the end of "Private Empire" by Steve Coll, the book on the Exxon-Mobil empire. Very well written and balanced, by the way. He notes that Nicholas Stern, in 2006 predicted that
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Quote:
...reducing carbon dioxide emissions enough to avert potentially catastrophic global warming would cost 1 to 2 percent of global gross domestic product now, while failing to act may eventually cost five to twenty times that amount.


The economic stakes are huge. In California, simply dealing with the loss of the Sierra snow pack as, in effect a reservoir to store water for our dry summers, is a huge expense. Many billions, if not upwards of a half a trillion. So even if I think the costs will be on the low side of what Stern may have projected, it still amounts to a huge transfer of wealth. The benefits of under-regulated burning of carbon accrues to an industry, while the costs are transfered to the public and private sectors which garner little or not benefit from the unrestrained activity of big coal and big oil.

An interesting commentary on the economics of warming and politics by Stern can be found here:


http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/52f2709c-20f0-11e1-8a43-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2EZozC1bq
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NickB



Joined: 30 Jun 2009
Posts: 498
Location: Alameda, CA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.chasingice.com

In select theaters now. Have not seen the full feature yet, but the trailer footage is beautiful! Might bring the kid this weekend.

Interesting reading in:
http://www.chasingice.com/learn/is-climate-change-real/ and couple of subsequent pages
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1345

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having now checked the latest climate research data, (and thought about it), it seems logical to draw certain conclusions:

1) Global warming HAS been taking place for some time, IS still taking place despite apparent pauses and anomolies, and, in the absence of credible research which can convincingly demonstrate that mitigating factors will halt it, WILL conbtinue to do so. ( No credible source that I can see states that increased cloud cover or atmospheric moisture will be sufficient brake, on their own.)

2) It is PROBABLE, though as yet not conclusively proven, that human activity and atmpospheric CO2 pollution is playing an increasingly major part in a warming that may otherwise have just been a natural cycle.

3) If this was trial by jury (composed of 12 SANE and UNBIASSED members) the majority verdict after checking all the evidence would be case proven, though the rider would be future severity of warming open to doubt. The majority would say that it was now up to the doubters to present compelling evidence to prove otherwise.

4) Politicians and those with conflicting interests in telling the truth cannot be cited as credible witnesses!

So for me, guilty as charged!
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14163

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to break it to you lefties so close to Xmas, but at http://tinyurl.com/ctc4qvh , the pendulum swings yet again.
Matt Ridley: Cooling Down the Fears of Climate Change
Evidence points to a further rise of just 1°C by 2100. The net effect on the planet may actually be beneficial.

Bottom line:
Given what we know now, there is almost no way that the feared large temperature rise is going to happen ... "Taking the IPCC scenario that assumes a doubling of CO2, plus the equivalent of another 30% rise from other greenhouse gases by 2100, we are likely to experience a further rise of no more than 1°C. [This] will actually do net good—that much the IPCC scientists have already agreed upon in the last IPCC report. Rainfall will increase slightly, growing seasons will lengthen, Greenland's ice cap will melt only very slowly ... [other hard evidence] also estimate 1.6°C.

The big question is this: Will the lead authors of the relevant chapter of the forthcoming IPCC scientific report acknowledge that the best observational evidence no longer supports the IPCC's existing 2°-4.5°C "likely" range for climate sensitivity? Unfortunately, this seems unlikely—given the organization's record of replacing evidence-based policy-making with policy-based evidence-making, as well as the reluctance of academic scientists to accept that what they have been maintaining for many years is wrong.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5210

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iso can't find anyone of repute. Here is a brief commentary on the credibility of Matt Ridley: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2010/jun/18/matt-ridley-rational-optimist-errors

Just a taste to give you a touch of what happens when a right wing libertarian, paid by right-wing libertarian sources, ie. the carbon industry, tries to write a book about climate science:


Quote:

We desperately need talented writers to help explain science to a greater lay audience, and for a while Ridley could be counted on discuss evolution and genetics. So, it is with both sadness and dismay that I report the Matt Ridley recent book “The Rational Optimist: how prosperity evolves” is a terrible book.

The book is not badly written, one can’t deny Ridley can string a sentence together.

It’s terrible in the sense that it is horribly misleading on climate science. In fact, it’s so bad that it qualifies as this year’s most dishonest piece of denialist propaganda. His butchering of science ranks up there with the efforts of Christopher “Lord” Monckton’s crude propagandistic attempts to mischaracterize science. In his discussion of climate science Ridley betrays a staggering incompetence.

That bad you ask?

Ridley’s arguments aren’t even sophisticated. He repeats the crudest pieces of denialist propaganda, which anyone with a genuine interest or understanding of science knows are factually incorrect:
•Polar bear populations are rising
•That Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” is broken
•The hoary old “scientists in the 1970s used to believe an ice age was immanent” myth
•Average temperatures during the Medieval Warming Period were higher globally than today

His text is so bad it makes me want to get on a plane, fly to England, track down Ridley and shake him by the collar and say “For ****’s sake man, have you actually read the science?”

Ridley: the new Bjorn Lomborg?

Ridley’s book is a paean to progress and optimism. He takes the long, historical view and argues that everything is getter better. Over the last 5000 years cities have grown, commerce has boomed, we live longer and we now have iPods. Says Ridley:


“This book is about the rapid, continuous and incessant change that human society experiences in a way that no other animal does. To a biologist this something that needs explaining…” (pg.2)

He then goes on in his infectious, bubbly manner for almost 400 pages explaining why everything is so much better and thus will get even better. I wish I could share Ridley’s optimism, but he has built his edifice of “Gosh isn’t it grand!” enthusiasm on a foundation of rotten, misleading denialist propaganda.

The book is a breezy read, but once you start to dig into the references you find serious issues with his arguments. Indeed, Ridley the “Rational Optimist” adopts the same techniques as the “Sceptical Environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg in cherry picking data and misrepresenting science.

For those not familiar with Lomborg, he is a noted climate “sceptic” whose work has been roundly debunked. Lomborg’s tactic is to cite lots of references, but either misrepresent their actual findings our use dubious sources.

It would seem that building your argument on a mountain of misinformation is the new fashion for pro-market ideologues like Ridley and Lomborg. Pro-market ideologue you hear me call Ridley? Indeed, he is one record saying “government is the problem not the solution” (pace Ronald Regan):


Government is a very dangerous toy. It is used to fight wars, impose ideologies and enrich rulers. True, nowadays, our leaders do not enrich themselves (at least not on the scale of the Sun King), but they enrich their clients: they preside over vast and insatiable parasitic bureaucracies that grow by Parkinson’s Law and live off true wealth creators such as traders and inventors.

Sure, it is possible to have too little government. Only, that has not been the world’s problem for millennia. After the century of Mao, Hitler and Stalin, can anybody really say that the risk of too little government is greater than the risk of too much? The dangerous idea we all need to learn is that the more we limit the growth of government, the better off we will all be.

Ridley was also a non-executive director of the Northern Rock, the UK bank that collapsed and had to be nationalised by the UK government during the global financial crises. Indeed, Ridley was criticised for failing to see the warning signs.


Northern Rock, the British lender that last month was the target of the country’s first bank run in 140 years, said Friday that its chairman, Matt Ridley, had resigned…

Northern Rock’s management had asked Ridley to remain in his role at the bank until new funding arrangements were in place but said Friday that “the time is right to accept his resignation.”

Members of parliament had blamed Ridley, 49, and other Northern Rock directors for harming the reputation of the British banking industry by failing to recognize any risks built into the bank’s strategy.

Ridley failed to see warning signs. It would seem he has made a habit of that, facts do tend to dent one’s unimpeachable optimism.


Further on you find this rebuttal:

Quote:
Real Climate has pulled this apart:


With the hype surrounding the manuscript, one would think that the article provides a sound, rock solid basis for a reduced climate sensitivity. However, our examination of the study’s methods demonstrates that this is not the case. In an article in press (Trenberth et al. 2010 (sub. requ.), hereafter TFOW), we show that LC09 is gravely flawed and its results are wrong on multiple fronts.

Ridley picks just one paper to support his argument that is fashionable amongst the denial community, but has been shown to be badly flawed by the science community.

For his contention that the average global temperature was warmer during the Medieval Warming Period, her relies upon papers from the dubious journal Energy & Environment. Again, for those not familiar with E&E, it is journal whose editor is a known sceptic and has been involved in numerous controversies over publishing flawed research:


“My political agenda is simple and open; it concerns the role of research ambitions in the making of policy. I concluded from a research project about the IPCC – funded by the UK government during the mid 1990s – that this body was set up to support, initially, climate change research projects supported by the WMO and hence the rapidly evolving art and science of climate modeling…. From interviews and my own reading I concluded that the climate science debate WAS BY NO MEANS OVER AND SHOULD CONTINUE…”

The paper in question is A 2000-year global temperature reconstruction based on non-treering proxies by Craig Loehle. The denial movement loves this paper, I’ve seen it trotted out many times. However, John Cook over at Skeptical Science has taken a very hard look at it:


“The other day I happened upon the Popular Technology blog that has a list of “700 peer reviewed papers supporting skepticism of man-made global warming.” This was news to me so I started to look into the first paper on the list. Loehle 2007 titled A 2000-Year Global Temperature Reconstruction Based on Non-Treering Proxies published in Energy & Environment. I’m sure many Skeptical Science readers are familiar with this paper and Loehle’s 2008 correction. I was not.

I decided to email Dr. Loehle with some questions and got a very prompt response from him. This was followed by a number of back and forth emails. What I got from him was that he believes himself to be one of the scientists whose work is blocked from publication for political reasons…”

Cook notes Loehle excludes critical data:


“The other critique of Loehle’s paper has been that the data ends in 1935. This, from my position in the bleachers of the kung-fu match, is much more problematic for Loehle. I know the paper is not about current warming. I know it’s about treering proxy errors but that is sort of missing the forest for the trees (pun is definitely intended). I understand why the data ends at 1935. But I just can’t buy NOT making the attempt to concatenate this data with the past 150 year of recorded temperature readings. Even if the modern temperature records are not central to the topic of the paper to not add the blade to his hockey stick is a mistake..”

Cook did ask Loehle to provide more up-to-date data, but noted that in comparison with other reconstructions you get a strange mish-mash of “home-mage” hockey sticks:


“What a bizarre, almost absurd, cacophony. What I see in this is a battle of home made hockey sticks. Some straight, some crooked, some short, some long. But I see all our kung-fu masters each beating the other with their own hockey sticks. What’s most strange to me is that it seems like the MWP battles are all about the shape of their hockey sticks and miss the rather more important question of NOW.”


And while Ridley is a zoologist, it may not qualify him to comment on climate science--even if he were accurate. Another source that considers him a hack--although getting rich selling books trying to calm us all down:

http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2010/05/28/the-rational-optimist-matt-ridley%E2%80%99s-regurgitation-of-denialist-propaganda/

Then there is sourcewatch, who notes that he works mostly for Murdoch newspapers--a sure way to burnish your zoology credentials when attacking global warming: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Matt_Ridley
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14163

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops ... I didn't make one factor clear: my post immediately above all came from the author and the scientists he referenced, not from me. Those bottom lines are theirs, not mine, so calling me a racist doesn't dispel the facts. You guys will have to find another counter to the piece.

The same goes for the people and facts in the article; try countering their data, not their parentage or politics, for a change.
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1345

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote; 'my post immediately above all came from the author and the scientists he represented, not from me.'

But you endorsed it (and apologised for ruining our Christmas) so you clearly, desperately, wanted to believe it. Why so gleefully post it otherwise?

It's interesting how those with no scientific integrity ( I refer to those who have staked their reputation on having taken a clear stance)) feel unable to change their views in light of later and more accurate research, and admit they got it wrong!

Shouldn't such a character flaw bar such a person from being quoted as a credible research scientist?
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nw30



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 1698
Location: The eye of the universe, Cen. Cal. coast

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I rarely come to this thread because it's such a merry-go-around, so I apologize if this has been posted before (I don't feel like going thru 160+ pages).

Perhaps the Earth is growing, that would explain many things, and throw many things out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oJfBSc6e7QQ
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3360

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The idea requires the earths mass to increase a lot.
Where do we get more mass?
Lucky for us we can measure with satellites the growth of the earth these days. Some mountains have grown several centimeters because of continental drift but mostly the earths size has remained the same.
This was the nail in the coffin for that 19 th century idea.
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nw30



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 1698
Location: The eye of the universe, Cen. Cal. coast

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

keycocker wrote:
The idea requires the earths mass to increase a lot.
Where do we get more mass?
Lucky for us we can measure with satellites the growth of the earth these days. Some mountains have grown several centimeters because of continental drift but mostly the earths size has remained the same.
This was the nail in the coffin for that 19 th century idea.

Pishaaaa, think about it, seems to me that it shouldn't be that hard to prove IF they have somewhat accurate Earth measurements that go fairly far back.
But we are just a bit more than a dot on the line of Earth's history, so even if we did, eeh, it wouldn't mean diddly-squat.
We may in fact be growing.
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