Jump to content



Photo

Question for Global Warming theorists...


  • Please log in to reply
41 replies to this topic

#11 Rogerdodger

Rogerdodger

    Member

  • TT Member*
  • 24,789 posts

Posted 21 August 2006 - 09:00 PM

Weatherstreet.com
2006 Tropical Storm Season Now Below Normal
"In a research paper being published next month in Geophysical Research Letters, scientists will show that between 2003 and 2005, globally averaged temperatures in the upper ocean cooled rather dramatically, effectively erasing 20% of the warming that occurred over the previous 48 years."

#12 Entropy3.0

Entropy3.0

    Member

  • TT Member*
  • 2,207 posts

Posted 22 August 2006 - 11:32 AM

As I say Roger this is a misunderstanding of science. If I searched google for evolution, big bang, planet formation, plate tectonics or just about any scientific issue, I would find a bunch of 'scientific looking' articles claiming the consensus is wrong. That is the nature of science that is challenges itself.

Here is a good summary of the debate -

http://en.wikipedia....ing_controversy

But no science is deemed of value in science until its been peer reviewed by governing bodies, remember cold fusion?

What is an irrefutable fact is every single major scientific body in the world says global warming is real, and also says the evidence strongly supports it being man made.

So regardless of searching google for skeptics, whatever these skeptics arguments are they haven't swayed a peer review by all these scientific groups, which includes the American acadamy of sciences.

So I guess this is a conspiracy theory that all the worlds goverment scientific bodies and indepedent scientific bodies are falsely claiming global warming for some reason? I don't buy into that conspiracy.

America 'the one skeptic nation' ..all its main scientific bodies have now endorsed the consensus view:
The US National Academy of Sciences, both in its 2002 report to President George W. Bush, and in its latest publications, has strongly endorsed evidence of an average global temperature increase in the 20th century and stated that human activity is heavily implicated in causing this increase. <LI>The American Meteorological Society (AMS statement). <LI>The American Geophysical Union (AGU statement). John Christy, who is usually placed in the skeptics camp, has signed the AGU statement on climate change. <LI>The American Association for the Advancement of Science



The global warming conspirators main argument is that the consensus is wrong. Yep, could be, I mean everyone thought the earth was flat once. But as I said its all a question of odds. What are the odds of eaither side is wrong? I put it 50:50 which seems fair.


So what the skeptics must answer is why take such a big gamble with millions of lives by doing nothing with a 50% chance they are wrong ? Its seems an unbelievably irresponsible attitude towards our children.

What happens if the skeptcis are wrong( or is that impossible>), and in 20 years we discover global warming is actually faster, and that its now too late to use simple means to prevent it - thats another gamble I'm not prepared to take.

Why is it we must take these gambles with our planet? to avoid spending some moeny. We humans seems were able find boatloads of money to fight wars easily enough and thats supposed to be good for the economy, so can't we fight a 'war on man made pollution', it will cost less, and at worst will improve everyones quality of life.



Mark.

Edited by entropy, 22 August 2006 - 11:46 AM.

Pick a system, follow the system, ignore everything else.

#13 stocks

stocks

    Member

  • Traders-Talk User
  • 4,550 posts

Posted 22 August 2006 - 12:24 PM

How best to spend money is an economic question, not an environmenal question. Bjorn Lomborg was the first the address the subject in his book 'The Skeptical Environmentalist.' Since environmentalism is a religion, he has been attacked as a heretic, but he has prevailed. This is from wikipedia: After the release of The Skeptical Environmentalist in 2001, Lomborg was subjected to intense scrutiny and criticism in the media, where his scientific qualifications and integrity were both attacked and defended. The verdict of the Danish Committees for Scientific Dishonesty fueled this debate and brought it into the spotlight of international mass media. By the end of 2003 Lomborg had become an international celebrity, with frequent appearances on radio, TV and print media around the world.[3] * Scientific American published strong criticism of Lomborg's book. Lomborg rebutted on his own website, quoting the article at such length that Scientific American threatened to sue for copyright infringement. Lomborg eventually removed the rebuttal from his website; it was later published in PDF format on Scientific American's site.[9] The magazine also printed a response to the rebuttal.[10] * The Economist defended Lomborg, claiming the panel of experts that had criticised Lomborg in Scientific American was both biased and did not actually counter Lomborg's book. The Economist argued that the panel's opinion had come under no scrutiny at all, and that Lomborg's responses had not been reported.[11] * Entertainment media took notice. The US Showtime program manure! featured an episode entitled "Environmental Hysteria" in which Lomborg criticised environmentalists' refusal to accept a cost-benefit analysis of environmental questions, and stressed the need to prioritise some issues above others.[12] Rolling Stone stated, "Lomborg pulls off the remarkable feat of welding the techno-optimism of the Internet age with a lefty's concern for the fate of the planet."[13] * On the Web, the Union of Concerned Scientists strongly criticised The Skeptical Environmentalist, claiming it to be "seriously flawed and fail[ing] to meet basic standards of credible scientific analysis", accusing Lomborg of presenting data in a fraudulent way, using flawed logic and selectively citing non-peer-reviewed literature.[14] Lomborg countered that some of the scientists involved in this report were also named and criticised in The Skeptical Environmentalist, and thus had a vested interest in discrediting it and its author.
-- -
Defenders of the status quo are always stronger than reformers seeking change, 
UNTIL the status quo self-destructs from its own corruption, and the reformers are free to build on its ashes.
 

#14 Entropy3.0

Entropy3.0

    Member

  • TT Member*
  • 2,207 posts

Posted 22 August 2006 - 04:31 PM

How best to spend money is an economic question, not an environmenal question.


Its an economic question you can't answer without answering a scientific question. You can't talk about spending money, until you perform a risk/reward cost benefit calculation. So as I said its an economic insurance issue. We need to assess the potential damages, and then offer premiums to cover it. How do Insurance companies decide on premiums and pay outs? they have to study science and historical data to make those determinations, they don't just make them up, so that is why the science debate matters.

In the case of global warming the same has been done. We can list the potential damages and costs, but what we can't do is accurately assess the risk( probabilities). For example, here are some of known risks -

1. Global drought - a global version of the dust bowl, cost in lives and $ incalculable.

2. Flood damage to worldwide coastal cities

3. Increased intensity of storms - Katrina demonstrates those costs.

4. Increased risk of pandemics due to all above.

5. increased risk of mass famine due to all above.

6. Increased risk of war due to above.


As a 'global warming insurance company' we are now have to assess the probability that 1-6 will occur on either a small, medium or catastrophic scale. We have to try to assess the risks, otherwise we can't perform a risk/reward calculation can we?

But as I've outlined, science is not capable of accurately identifying the probabilties of 1-6. By the time it is( if ever), it might be too late to avoid any effects. But the consensus of scientific opinion has given very rough estimates of the risks of each.

If you had to run that insurance company, how would you make the assess of risk -
Do you -
1. Listen to a favourite expert
2. Listen to Govt scientific bodies.
3. Listen to Mass opinion.
4. Make their own guess.

Most of us do one of the above, but most insurance companies who are good at risk assessment would do a combination of 1&2. They would look at the consensus view, but modify it with the view of their own trsuted experts. But they would not poll mass opinion or just guess themselves.

IF we do that for our global warming insurance company, where would the risk probabilties come out on damages being small, medium or catastrophic? Hard to say, here's my best guess -

Small - probably higher 80%
Medium - 50%
Catastrophic - 5%

But lets ask then, what is our risk threshold - 1%, 10%, 90%? i.e. if there is only a 1% chance of catastrophic damages, would you bother taking out insurance?

Personally given the astronomic costs ( $ and lives) I would take out insurance even with a 1% risk.

Now our insurance company must decide what premium to charge to cover potential damages pay outs.[ how much govt' want to spend to cover potential risk of small, medium or catastraphic damanges]

There is one difference to most insurance, we get to decide how to spend it. This would be like getting your flood insurance premium to buy sandbags or whatever you deemed necessary.



Well, that's were the real arguments begin ( if we ever get past all the b.s). The bottom line of the issue is we need a way to replace worldwide use of fossil fuels, and in particular for the developing world. So I favour investment in alternative energy, but it has to be focussed on big scale. I also favour use of nuclear energy now as a stop gap measure.


I repeat my questions above so I can better understand the skeptics who say basically do nothing -


1. Is it that you assess the risks opf major costs lower than 1%? if so, what is the risk level and how do you assess that.

2. Is it that you don't think its worth spending any $ for a 1% risk? if so why not?

3. Is it that you don't believe $ spend can make any difference? if so why not?

4. Some other reason not to take out any 'insurance'?

This is one case where I just don't get the logic, so I would love to hear the explanation. To be clear, my positions is that -

1. I assess the risk of major global warming costs at least 1%, and I base that on the fact that every major scientific body on earth assesses the risk about 80%. So I'm knocking off 79% to allow for the fact that consensus science can be wrong. These figures aren't meant ot be 'exact', i'm illustrating orders of magnitude otherwise we can't even discuss this.

2. I believe its worth spending the largest % of GDP possible that doesn't cause major economic distruption.

3.Yes I think the $ spend will make a big difference to at least avoid catastrophic outcomes, because they will at least buy us TIME, to allow new technologies to solve the problem toward the end of the century.



Mark.

Edited by entropy, 22 August 2006 - 04:45 PM.

Pick a system, follow the system, ignore everything else.

#15 stocks

stocks

    Member

  • Traders-Talk User
  • 4,550 posts

Posted 22 August 2006 - 06:46 PM

Mark,
You make some great points in your post.

I would add that there are competing interests for spending large sums of money on insurance.

75,000 years ago the super volcano Toba erupted in the Indonesian Pacific; the world's population of homo sapiens decreased from over one hundred thousand to less than two thousand.

65 million years ago a bolide strike wiped out most animal life on Earth.


How much money should we spend preparing for these two catastrophic events?
(we are spending some money looking for asteroids headed our way)



A risk-reward or cost/benefit analysis must be performed for all competing interests for
spending large sums of money and that includes global warming insurance.

There are cost/benefit models for global warming. You must come up with a number or else
there is no basis to make a decision.

Lomborg concludes the best ways to spend money are:

fighting AIDS in Africa
adding micronutrients to the diets of Africans.

Global warming was far down on the list.

The question that must be answered is why spend money on global warming insurance when
we could be spending that money to fight AIDS in Africa.

Lomborg explains it here: http://observer.guar...1810738,00.html

Mike
-- -
Defenders of the status quo are always stronger than reformers seeking change, 
UNTIL the status quo self-destructs from its own corruption, and the reformers are free to build on its ashes.
 

#16 Rogerdodger

Rogerdodger

    Member

  • TT Member*
  • 24,789 posts

Posted 22 August 2006 - 06:54 PM

Hi Mark.
Recently I was discussing world events with a young man.
He made a point about what he thought was going on.
I responded with a fact which totally destroyed his agrument.
His reply was simply: "I don't believe that."
Much of this debate really comes down to personal "BELIEFS" as we filter out what we don't "believe."

You BELIEVE:

What is an irrefutable fact is every single major scientific body in the world says global warming is real, and also says the evidence strongly supports it being man made.


I BELIEVE:
"Climate experts" is the operative term here. Why? Because what the "majority of scientists" think is immaterial when only a very small fraction of them actually work in the climate field.
Even among that fraction, many focus their studies on the impacts of climate change; biologists, for example, who study everything from insects to polar bears to poison ivy. "While many are highly skilled researchers, they generally do not have special knowledge about the causes of global climate change,"
Source Link

That's why some view environmentalism as religion.
We all get to choose what we "BELIEVE."

Amen Brother.

Edited by Rogerdodger, 22 August 2006 - 06:54 PM.


#17 Entropy3.0

Entropy3.0

    Member

  • TT Member*
  • 2,207 posts

Posted 24 August 2006 - 12:50 PM

I BELIEVE:
"Climate experts" is the operative term here. Why? Because what the "majority of scientists" think is immaterial when only a very small fraction of them actually work in the climate field.


Even among that fraction, many focus their studies on the impacts of climate change; biologists, for example, who study everything from insects to polar bears to poison ivy. "While many are highly skilled researchers, they generally do not have special knowledge about the causes of global climate change,"
Source Link

That's why some view environmentalism as religion.
We all get to choose what we "BELIEVE."




This is such an important point, of why I absolutely disagree, and why like so many scientitists I am very concerned and frankly frigtened by the scientific illiteracy of the population [which has been 'allowed' to happen through poor education] that its worth spending my time on, so I have tried to explain my concern below.

Back in the day people decided 'what is true' by mysticism, witch burning etc.

It wasn't until the enlightment that 'rationalism' came along, and as a result we got the 'Scientific method'. This was an attempt to say 'hey soceity, how are we going to decided what to believe?'

That process is very simple -

Step 1 - Develop a Theory

Step 2 - Peer Review

Present a paper of your findings to a peer review body of your equals in your field.

If accepted, have paper published and deemed ''science'.



If we look at Global warming, has the scientific method been followed?

Yes, both steps 1 and 2 have been done. Its been not done not just a couple of peer reviews but every single government appointed body on earth, and every meteorological society who ARE climate experts.

So if a person rejects that 'science', what they are saying is they REJECT SICENTIFIC METHOD and RATIONALISM .

Anyone who refuses to accept those judgement is rejecting that process known as 'science'.. THAT is the act of making it 'religion and believes', because once you reject this process, its just a bunch of people shouting and arguing, which is why the process was created in the first place, what and to avoid burnig people at the stake!


Am I saying the scientific process is perfect? Heck no.

It makes lots of mistakes, and often rejects valid science for too long.


But this is the same as the 'democracy is crap, but its better than the alternatives' point. Yep, mistakes can be made, but its the best process we have for making scientific judgements, and if you reject that YOU REJECT SCIENCE PERIOD.


-->This is why the rest of the world has been so appalled at the Bush adminstration, because they were rejecting science. i.e. not global warming ( because of course we can all be wrong on that), but rejecting the process/method agreed to make decicions, with no alternative to rationalism in place.


In which case how is society to operate? Are we all free to pick and choose what to believe, to argue picking our favourite 'expert'. Heck yes, that precedent is EXACTLY what is starting to happen, and that's why we got the 'Intelligent design' movement and it will end up back at witch burning and mysticism.

What surely CAN be done, is improve the process of peer review etc. This is like democracy, we don't throw it out just because we get a bad leader. We can say, how can we do better - get more people to vote, have people more educate on the issue's etc.

-->Same true for this. Schools need to find a few hours in 10+ years to have people undestand HOW scientific decisions are made, and the dangers of abanding the system.


So by accepted definition of 'science and religion', it IS science and not religion or belief. Now, dO I believe the science is right? I said, I'm giving it a very large margin for error, I gave it only 1 in 100 chance of being right but I explained why I would STILL take action.


Mark.

Edited by entropy, 24 August 2006 - 12:57 PM.

Pick a system, follow the system, ignore everything else.

#18 Entropy3.0

Entropy3.0

    Member

  • TT Member*
  • 2,207 posts

Posted 24 August 2006 - 01:30 PM

Mark,
You make some great points in your post.

I would add that there are competing interests for spending large sums of money on insurance.

75,000 years ago the super volcano Toba erupted in the Indonesian Pacific; the world's population of homo sapiens decreased from over one hundred thousand to less than two thousand.

65 million years ago a bolide strike wiped out most animal life on Earth.


How much money should we spend preparing for these two catastrophic events?
(we are spending some money looking for asteroids headed our way)



A risk-reward or cost/benefit analysis must be performed for all competing interests for
spending large sums of money and that includes global warming insurance.

There are cost/benefit models for global warming. You must come up with a number or else
there is no basis to make a decision.

Lomborg concludes the best ways to spend money are:

fighting AIDS in Africa
adding micronutrients to the diets of Africans.

Global warming was far down on the list.

The question that must be answered is why spend money on global warming insurance when
we could be spending that money to fight AIDS in Africa.

Lomborg explains it here: http://observer.guar...1810738,00.html

Mike



Mike you also make a good point here I agree with. We do live in a world of limited resources, so choices have to be made. But resources are not so limited that we cannot BOTH help Africa AND take some actions on global warming at the moment.



As reagrds Lomborgs choices, they only make sense if we assume very low risk of catastrophic globel warming effects

- does he give his estimate of that risk? 1 in100, 1 in 1000, 1 in millions?



As I say, peer review consensus is quite high of the risk, I'm not sure the exact figure but orders of magnitude about 1 in 100. Of course, and discussed above, individuals are free to reject that consenses, and they maybe right, but its unlikely its wrong by factors of thousand.



So this is why I see Lomborg and others as gamblers, because at 1 in 100 risk of catastrophic effects, it would make no sense to spend money on his choices. He could spend his money on Aids and nutrients, and global warming will then kill them 10fold through famine and wars induced by economic choas.



This also ignores an important reality. If the west is impact economically by severe global warming effects, it will be less able to assist the 'poorer nations' costing vast numbers of lives.



Without doubt though its a complex issue. Personally as I say, I would focus efforts on large scale clean energy production, because there's little point the West reducing emissions with China/India etc pumping it out as they are. So I don't support Kyto, but I don't support this 'head in sand' do nothing approach either.



The market will find the solution IF it is directed by Goverments to do so. That is a key role I see for gvt' and which its not taking. They can 'direct' the market by offering tax breaks, interest free loans etc etc to assist companies in clean energy field.



It is likely also necessary to sponsor a large Govt projects that gathers experts in field ( like Manhattan projet and man on moon). SO I want to see huge investment in clean energy, if the west can take a lead the upfront R&D costs will pay back in the future, so it won't COST anything summed over time.



This is a no brainer, since this would also remove our dependency on oil, and the necessity to spend 100's billions on 'geopolitical manouverings' to secure future oil.




Mark
Pick a system, follow the system, ignore everything else.

#19 Entropy3.0

Entropy3.0

    Member

  • TT Member*
  • 2,207 posts

Posted 24 August 2006 - 03:01 PM

I want to make sure i'm absolutely clear on this science versus 'expert belief' point, I and many believe this is one of the most important issues of our time, yet so few are aware of is importance. To be clear, my personal views on many issue's vasty differ to accepted science. I'm into alot of alternative medicine, I actually don't believe evolution theory is correct based on new science from genetics, and yes call me a wacko I think it highly likely we are not alone. I am by no means a 'conventional thinker', infact quite the opposite - -->but I recognise the difference between 'accepted science' and my own ( or someone elses) expert opinion. Let me illustrate the point. I have twin boys who are 8. They've ask me - Is evolution true/right a 'fact'..did we evolve from monkeys? I say that it is the accepted science so you must understand it. I then say, of course, all of our job is to find fault/flaws in any idea it so we can IMPROVE it ( rarely does science reject something that is widely accepted, usually it iteratively improve it like we've done with 'model of the atom'). What about Intelligent Design? I say it cannot be taught as science, because it doesn't meet the criteria of scientific method I gave above. Study this, and any other thoeries and see if you can use them to improve the accepted one's. Science welcome challenge, that's how it improves. But Who is RIGHT in the evolution versus ID issue is different to asking 'what is the accepted scientific view'. Science can never say 'who is right', It can just say 'this is sciences best guess ' - its important to understand the difference. Unfortuately many scientists fail to get this and start thinking science is 'absolute truth' which it never can be...so I often say 'science in the new religion' for that reason. Right is about 'absolute truth', and as yet no human has discovered how to perceive that, though many a deluded man think's he had. -->Like democracy for choosing leaders, society has chosen a system to decide 'what is an scientific truth' and make collective decisions based on that system e.g. what to teach, what foods to allow as safe, what policy actions to take etc etc If we don't like that sysytem, we can change the system but in the meantime we need to make decisions with the system we are, or we have anarchy.Just like if you don't like the result of democracy you don't refuse to accept the President, instead you need to fight to change that system, the alternative is anarchy. The same with Global warming, the accepted scientific view is clear. Anyone is free to have an 'expert' view that disagree's, but they must recognise it is just that, and not peer reviewed science. SO I absolutely agree the Global warming science is shaky, and many good experts disagree on aspects of Global warming. ==>But the system we have is very clear that global warming is the 'accepted science' - for right or wrong, Govt is supposed to take action based on it or it sets a dangerous precedent. I hope its clear why that is dangerous? just look at the results in history on allowing 'experts' to guide leaders into actions - witch hunts, hitler and eugenics to exterminate non-arians etc I am seeing the seeds of this dangerous rejection of science taking hold already. In our personal lives we can choose to ignore alot of 'conventional science', I do, I think medical science is mostly bogus, not even a science. But If I were in Govt', I would tell people to go to medical professionals because that is its collective responsiblity, or else I am responsible for the anarchy that will result from rejecting the system. I hope all these words make this point is clear, its such an important point, because without doubt were moving backwards on scientific literacy and its always lead to human catastrophe in the past. Mark.

Edited by entropy, 24 August 2006 - 03:09 PM.

Pick a system, follow the system, ignore everything else.

#20 stocks

stocks

    Member

  • Traders-Talk User
  • 4,550 posts

Posted 24 August 2006 - 04:56 PM

Mark,
The US Senate has voted more than once to do nothing about global warming. The US public
doesn't believe in it. They think it's just another environmental scare story.
Europe is the opposite. The people push the politicians to do something.
Democracy in action two different ways.

I think global warming is 'anti-science'
Michael Crichton makes the case here:

http://www.crichton-...es_quote04.html

Here are come quotes:


re Lomborg: "The scientific community responded in a way that can only be described as disgraceful."


"Nobody believes a weather prediction twelve hours ahead. Now we're asked to believe a prediction that goes out 100 years into the future? And make financial investments based on that prediction? Has everybody lost their minds?

Look: If I was selling stock in a company that I told you would be profitable in 2100, would you buy it? Or would you think the idea was so crazy that it must be a scam?

Let's think back to people in 1900 in, say, New York. If they worried about people in 2000, what would they worry about? Probably: Where would people get enough horses? And what would they do about all the horsesh*t? Horse pollution was bad in 1900, think how much worse it would be a century later, with so many more people riding horses? "


Mark, this will be my last post on this thread. Thanks for the debate, I learned a lot.

Mike
-- -
Defenders of the status quo are always stronger than reformers seeking change, 
UNTIL the status quo self-destructs from its own corruption, and the reformers are free to build on its ashes.