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Global Heating: Buy a Bathing Suit

 
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:53 am    Post subject: Global Heating: Buy a Bathing Suit Reply with quote

The book the "Chilling Stars" is to be released this month and it makes a very strong case that global heating is entirely based on natural activity. I am a strong believer in this theory. It stems from my observation that the history of science has always been one which removes Man from his central place and puts him in his place (wow, I'm sounding like Jesse Jackson).

At one time Man thought his world was the center of the Universe and the stars and Sun revolved around him. He thought his land was flat and that it simply dropped off at the point where he had not been. Over the centuries Man was disabused of his notions of centrality. And this has happened in every field. In biology we learn just how much of our DNA is shared with other organisms. In behavior we see other species having language and mimetic learning. In physics even our dimension, the 3rd, is not sacrosanct as it's been theorized there maybe 11 of them.

So, with all this focus on anthropomorphic global heating, I just kept thinking, I wonder if this will end up with us seeing just how unimportant we are...or, rather than focusing just on Ourselves, we might better focus on our relationships with the Nature around us. Saying that "we're responsible" gives us the notion that we have the power to fix it. Saying it's a natural cycle means that we have to adapt, change, move with the times. The latter is much, much harder, as anyone who's ever had to change careers will testify.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John-

I don't know how the larger debate about the causes of global warming
will turn out. I *can* say, based on my understanding, that the degree
of confidence in the scientific community that gasses released by human
activity are a significant contributor to global warming is in the 67-95
percentile, which I would say is less confidence than one would expect
from just reading headlines, but more than enough confidence to begin
to assess alternatives and to take some of the easy steps that are
available to us. It is likely when taking this stance that there are other
good reasons for taking a good many of those steps.

Global warming is a form of pollution, and pollution is only one of the
limiting factors on human society on earth. Population, standard of
living, consumption of food and energy, other pollutants, ozone
depletion, carrying capacity of earth, all these come to bear when
looking at hazards to humanity (leaving out politics for the moment).
It doesn't take much reading in the field of world dynamics a la
Forrester to see that some simple steps can begin to address multiple
hazards. You've mentioned compact fluorescent light bulbs in another
post, and there are many good reasons to switch to this technology.

I'll leave aside other arguments along these lines, because I think
we've already discussed them at some length elsewhere.

What I want to examine in more detail is your view that belief in
global warming is a form of hubris, and that your intuition is that
it is probably incorrect, because we've always been proven wrong
before when we assumed we were special, powerful, at the center
of the universe, etc.

I find this a very strange argument. I don't relish arguing against
the use of intuition, because my personal belief is that it is a
powerful technique when confronted by choices, but I wonder if
you don't see that it falls prey to the same objections you pose
about global warming, humans being center of the universe, etc.

In particular, humans have been fooled by their intuitions on a near
constant basis since the beginning of recorded time. A few examples
from the history of science should illustrate what I say. Who, besides
a giant like Gallileo would've argued against the intuition that heavier
objects fall faster than light ones? Pioneers of science find themselves
arguing against the inherited intuitions of their peers throughout
history. Once light's wave-like nature is established, who could
argue against the intuition that there must be an ether that light waves
are propagated through? The notion of the interior of an atom as
being like the solar system is so powerful that it persists even
among moderately well educated peoples still. Yet if electrons
were like planets orbiting a nucleus "sun", all the energy in the
system would collapse into the nucleus within a fraction of a second.
The Bohr atom and quantuum mechanic's biggest impediment to
popular acceptance is that it is difficult to fit them into an intuitive
framework.

Likewise, one could take a counter-intuition to yours. Humans like
to think that when they've solved a problem, that that is the end of it;
we can go on to the next one. Unintended consequences? Well,
there may have been one or two in the past, but this solution will
solve the problem once and for all. We need energy and flood
protection, and water for irrigation? We'll build a dam and solve
all three problems! What could be wrong with that? Even Woody
Guthrie sang about it, after all. Only later do we discover that
dams inevitably silt up, becoming ineffective. They block fish
migration patterns. As they age, they become, ironically, more of
a hazard for catastrophic flooding than was ever the case before
they were built.

The point is that, as you say of the history of thinking that humans
are powerful, unique, and at the center of the universe has been
replaced by more a more modest place for humanity, the same
kind of argument could be made that says that
we needn't bother about unintended consequences also falls flat.
Coal and natural gas, and petroleum are a great way to heat our
homes and drive our industry. Right? A sober view leads to
the conclusion that our 19th century view is inadequate.

I suppose you could take my argument one step further if you wanted.
We don't know, for instance, that attempts to reduce greenhouse
gasses and their probable effect on climate might not lead to other
unpleasant unintended consequences. For instance, there is some
evidence that the earth is actually in a cooling trend now, and
greenhouse gasses might be helping to postpone a terrible ice age.
It's possible, I suppose. And of course, there is the opportunity
cost of doing something about GW at the expense of doing something
else, like curing cancer, for instance, or putting a human outpost
on Mars. But these are the arguments of someone who is already
accepting the GW/CC hypothesis and is looking for what to do.

So, I suggest you consider the limitations of your intuition that
humanity is probably too small to have much of an effect on the globe
and I'll close with just one more example. Perhaps humanity is
too inconsequential to have an effect directly, but perhaps cows
are not. I've seen a figure that cows contribute about 1/5 of the
gasses associated with the greenhouse effect. Of course, it is
unlikely that cows would've had this effect all on their own. It is
because we like their meat that they have become so "successful"
a species.

-Brian
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is not a matter of intuition...it's mounting scientific fact that Global Heating is not manmade.

More evidence comes from a recent presentation to the AAAS in San Franciso:

http://physorg.com/news90782778.html

Quote:
David Bromwich, professor of geography and researcher with the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University, reported on this work at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at San Francisco.

“It’s hard to see a global warming signal from the mainland of Antarctica right now,” he said. “Part of the reason is that there is a lot of variability there. It’s very hard in these polar latitudes to demonstrate a global warming signal. This is in marked contrast to the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula that is one of the most rapidly warming parts of the Earth.”

Bromwich says that the problem rises from several complications. The continent is vast, as large as the United States and Mexico combined. Only a small amount of detailed data is available – there are perhaps only 100 weather stations on that continent compared to the thousands spread across the U.S. and Europe. And the records that we have only date back a half-century.

“The best we can say right now is that the climate models are somewhat inconsistent with the evidence that we have for the last 50 years from continental Antarctica.


The books I'm waiting to read is:

"The Chilling Stars"
http://www.amazon.com/Chilling-Stars-Henrik-Svensmark/dp/1840468157

Where all the cosmic ray research is laid out in detail.
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You wrote ( BTW -- I'm not ignoring all your arguments, I'm just digesting them in little bits ):

Quote:
Global warming is a form of pollution, and pollution is only one of the
limiting factors on human society on earth. Population, standard of
living, consumption of food and energy, other pollutants, ozone
depletion, carrying capacity of earth, all these come to bear when
looking at hazards to humanity (leaving out politics for the moment).
It doesn't take much reading in the field of world dynamics a la
Forrester to see that some simple steps can begin to address multiple
hazards. You've mentioned compact fluorescent light bulbs in another
post, and there are many good reasons to switch to this technology.


Well, no one denies that one should fight pollution. But what one can question is the cause and effect of that pollution. I see that now that the Svensmark evidence has come out, many are now using the "well we should do something anyway" argument. Remember, we only cause 3% of all CO2.

But the issue is where should the focus be and who gets the investment and funding. To me, the IPCC report is merely a request for taxation...to fight a natural process! It's the ultimate irony -- Government wants to tax us because the Sun, apparently, is what's responsible for heat! Maybe some day they'll tax the wind, rain and snow, but right now I just don't feel like paying the bureacrats.
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jabailo



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Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 10:24 am    Post subject: Not the End of the World as We Know It Reply with quote

Not the End of the World as We Know It
By Olaf Stampf

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,481684,00.html

Quote:
But how bad is climate change really? Will global warming trigger plagues of Biblical proportions? Can we look forward to endless droughts and catastrophic floods?

Or will Arrhenius end up being right after all? Could rising temperatures lead to higher crop yields and more tourism in many places? In other words, is humanity actually creating new paradises?

The truth is probably somewhere between these two extremes. Climate change will undoubtedly have losers -- but it will also have winners. There will be a reshuffling of climate zones on earth. And there is something else that we can already say with certainty: The end of the world isn't coming any time soon.
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