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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1367

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was pointing out that their conclusion that WE (mankind) have raised ocean acidity FAR BEYOND the range of natural variation, may be just a little presumptuous, and not a fact.

There is a tendency nowadays to think that our powers exceed those of nature. I don't share that degree of arrogance.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1960

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GURGLETROUSERS wrote:


There is a tendency nowadays to think that our powers exceed those of nature. I don't share that degree of arrogance.


I live in a caldera, surrounded by 13000 ft peaks. It is impossible to not see how small mankind is compared to geology.

However, I also see no snow on the peaks this year. A result of blowing dust due to overgrazing on the Indian reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. It is not arrogance to suggest this sort or human activity could have profound effects on the environment we need for sustenance.

These mountains will be here long after humans are gone. No question. Mother Nature will, eventually, kick the sht out of us one way or another. Why give her a head start?
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1367

PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I take your point C.B., and of course I'm not against taking prudent action to limit our impact on the environment.

On a philosophical note, it appears to me that while the laws of physics which strictly and unwaveringly govern the evolution of the universe, and which came into force with the singularity of the Big Bang, allow for the curious formation of life forms, we are just a by product akin to spots on a teens face.

As you say, mother nature will one day spank our backsides. A physicist friend is most concerned about an asteroid impact, which, on the geological time scale is now long overdue. A hefty wallop would certainly sort us out!
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5391

PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GT--I guess you read the Guardian. Pretty funny from a Texas Republican starting to worry about the natural environment. Here's a little about his commitment to science from his seat in the House:

Quote:
WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the House Science Committee on Tuesday defended his controversial draft legislation that would subject the National Science Foundation's peer review process to politics as necessary to "improve" science.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) floated a proposal last week that would require the U.S. agency that supports non-medical research to certify that its grants were only funding research that is groundbreaking, important, and original. Legitimate scientists said those conditions can't be guaranteed and contradict basic scientific method.


and:

Quote:
Last month, as Phil Plait has also discussed in Slate, Texas Republican Lamar Smith, the chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, proposed legislation that would effectively undermine the peer-review process for prioritizing research at the nation’s prime supporter of fundamental research, the National Science Foundation, and ultimately at all federal science agencies. It follows on an earlier successful effort by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., to attach language to a 2013 spending bill that prohibits the NSF from funding political science research for the rest of the year unless the NSF director certifies that it pertains to economic development or national security.

Smith also accompanied his proposed bill with a letter to the NSF acting director Cora Marrett asking to see the documentation on five specific NSF
grants that he suggested might not meet the criteria his bill demanded.

Smith’s bill is also probably motivated by the effort to restrict social science research, but it is written much more broadly. It would require the NSF director to certify that a research project meets three criteria before awarding a grant to fund the project:

“(1) is in the interests of the United States to advance the national health, prosperity, or welfare, and to secure the national defense by promoting the progress of science;
(2) is the finest quality, is ground breaking, and answers questions or solves problems that are of utmost importance to society at large, and;
(3) is not duplicative of other research projects being funded by the Foundation or other federal science agencies.”

This proposed legislation, misleadingly called the High Quality Research Act, effectively requires the NSF director to predict which research will be groundbreaking and which will most benefit society.

But that is impossible. The history of science is replete with unexpected discoveries with profoundly important effects. The World Wide Web was not developed to address a public need but to help physicists communicate at a high-energy physics laboratory engaged in esoteric studies of the fundamental structure of matter. Theoretical studies of the nature of light emitted by hot objects ended up leading to the development of quantum mechanics, which describes the weird behavior of electrons in atoms. In the process, it led to the development of transistors and all the modern electronics on which modern computers and our information economy is based.

And speaking of transistors, computers at the time were largely mechanical devices. If the scientists at Bell Laboratories who won the Nobel Prize for developing the first transistor had instead been assigned the goal-oriented task of directly building a faster computer, they perhaps would have developed better flywheels and gears.


Meanwhile, while those on the far right chant that government can't do anything, the reality is that over 1800 patents for private inventions have been granted--stemming from basic research done by NASA. Much of our modern world is a result of that basic research. The facts, though interesting, aren't of much relevance to the knuckle draggers like Lamar Smith.
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1367

PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cannot comment on the political scene in America. It is alien to me, and neither do I eat, drink, or sleep politics.

I am aware of the importance of pure research, wherever it may lead. Contrary to Hollywood, and general belief, English scientists remain at the forefront of research.

Alan Turing, working at Bletchley Park during the second world war designed and had built a pioneer computer to help crack the German Enigma machine code. (Which he did do.) He is credited as the originator of modern computing.

Neither are we short of particle scientists, and physicists such as Stephen Hawking, a worthy successor to Albert Einstein who has contined work on relativity, and time.

Perhaps politics plays less part in research over here, wherever that research may lead. I can't imagine people such as Hawking doing anything but following where his mind leads, and nor has he ever been deprived of funding to do so. We recognise true ability.
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pueno



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 2708

PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GURGLETROUSERS wrote:
...English scientists remain at the forefront of research.

That goes way back.

Watson, Crick, Wilkins, Franklin.

Too bad she died when she did.
.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1960

PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

boggsman1 wrote:
Tesla scored the highest safety rating EVER in the history of the automobile industry. The car is a dream. And guess what? You can't buy one in Texas...I wonder why???? Hint: its not because they dont play by the same rules as other auto companies.


Boggsman...you gonna buy one? Big question...will it have enough range to make it to Squaw and back? Even with a $13k tax credit, that could be the deal breaker!
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1367

PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting developments.

In the wake of the NASA satellite images of Arctic ice sheet cover (Aug 2012 at lowest on record - Aug 2013 ice cover grown by 920,000 square miles in just a year) predictions are dividing.

Quote newspaper, ' Leaked documents show that governments which support and finance the IPCC, are demanding more than 1,500 changes to the report 'summary for policy making'. They say its current draft does not explain the PAUSE.'

(To continue.)
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1367

PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(continued.)

The tide appears to be turning against the IPCC claims (certainty of effect of atmospheric CO2) with growing support for the cooling predictions of the Russians, and others. (Imminent, relatively speaking, with clear indications in progress.)

To quote just one climate expert; professor Judith Curry said, ' In fact, the uncertainty gets bigger. It's now clear that models are too sensitive to CO2. I cannot see any basis for the IPCC increasing its confidence level.@

There are far too many others to quote in full. A snippet from professor Anastasios Tsonis (University of Wisconsin) who investigates ocean cycles, 'We are already in a cooling trend. There is NO DOUBT the warming of the 1980's and 1990's has stopped!'

(To continue.)
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1367

PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are way too many quotes detailing the work on the cyclical nature of the Arctic ice sheets, from the MASSIVE melts of the 1920's and 1930's ( my mother always used to insist the the summers were far far hotter in those days - perhaps I wronged her after all) followed by the intense re-freezes which only ended in 1979.

Curry, amongst others, states that 'the ice behaviour over the next 5 years will be crucial.' Though why she picks on 5 just years is not explained. Perhaps the Russian researchers have got it right after all. Support does appear to swinging their way!
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