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Old 12-11-2010, 07:15 PM   #201 (permalink)
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Neil - I watched it all - did I mention we have been snowed in . I noted Santer next to Michaels and was not tempted to violence as his emails suggested. I watched it all, including Lindzen, Curry, Santer. The whole lot.

Here in the UK we have a great institution - the BBC. OK it has its faults and it is taxpayer funded but in its past it has produced some truly superb factual TV - science, politics, history - superb stuff - world class. I chose my career based on the Horizon documentary called 'Now The Chips Are Down' which was about the coming world if IT.

But on this subject they have just decided to cover their ears to any dissenting voices. No investigation, no challenge, no in depth analysis.

Even their latest scientific star Brian Cox says anything that challenges this stuff is 'polemic cack' - even when it includes quite a few scientists. (BTW you can work out what 'cack' might mean in your own vocabulary...). So they look away and never challenge it.

Where is the investigative zeal that exposes tyrants, corruption and at the same time explained scientific discovery, technological developments and the possible future to the puplic ? It is too busy making 'cack' TV of dancing celebreties, soap operas and poor comedy - which is just as well made by the commercial channels.

The BBC is not all bad - if you get a chance to watch Ancient Worlds do so, it is superb.

But back to my core point.

There are lots of scientists who DO earnestly believe we are doomed. There are also loads who do not. It is a debate. It should be had in the open and it should have light shone on it. It should not be seen as settled, it is not a proven fact, it is not a law. It is a theory.

To explain where I am let me describe an event recently on the BBC. Andrew Montford (aka Bishop Hill) appeared on their Newsnight programme just after the Pakistan floods hit - a terrible tragedy for all concerned.

The BBC wanted to pin this on AGW and did their best to link it in the report before his interview, they wanted him to be a frothy mouthed madman saying this is all nonsense. His response was not a flat out denial (nearly a 'denier ?') - his response was a clear "we just don't know". The UN 'scientist' they had on to debate with him just nodded and agreed.

And that is where I think we are - we just don't know.

Sentra - I agree with your point - that deserves investigation - although one author did point out that it would seem strange that there was no warming at all as the rest of the world was warming too at the same time. Mind you according to the trees in the 'trick' to 'hide the decline', er, trick did show a coolling. Maybe someone should tell them.

The main point of my including this was that it is an example of where non-scientists have gone the extra mile (or kilometre) and expanded (and in some cases corrected) the original to come up with a new, different and better result. I'm glad the author of the original paper, an AGW supporter, has said he also likes it. Its open science, a debate, analysis.

In historical context I seem to recall that Isaac Newton made sure that an opponent's papers that challenged his own were published to encourage that debate and challenge.

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Last edited by Arragonis; 12-11-2010 at 07:17 PM.. Reason: Before the apostrophe police jail me
 
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Old 12-11-2010, 07:45 PM   #202 (permalink)
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PS - coming back to the "why we should not challenge professionals theme".

If we subscribed to that then Basjoos would not have made the best thing I've seen on four wheels since the original Mini Cooper S, the Lancia Stratos and the Lambo Miura.

And Neil would not be designing his own (very impressive) leccy car.

Anyway, I'm off to bed.
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:26 PM   #203 (permalink)
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The increase of intense storms is attributable to global climate change -- the water is warmer, the air is warmer, and there is about 5% more evaporation, and there is more heat energy driving the weather. There is significantly more lightening, and there are more intense rains and more intense snows, more intense droughts -- and droughts that have become the norm. The tundra has been on fire from lightening strikes, and it burned all around Moscow this summer; where they saw temperatures above 100F for the first time in history.

Last winter, there was a snow storm where the trailing edge was in Iowa, and it started snowing here in eastern Massachusetts. That is close to 1,000 miles of one single storm system. This fall, there was a storm that spanned from Alabama to Alberta (more or less) and it set a new all time record for the lowest pressure every recorded.

Now we hear about super-cyclones -- there was one this past summer that had sustained winds about 180MPH and top gusts just shy of 200MPH. There were more massive floods all over the USA where they have almost never been. Downtown Memphis Tennessee was under 10 or 15 feet of water. Oklahoma got severe floods, as did Wisconsin and Michigan; along with many more tornadoes than are usual. While I was at the X-Prize in June, there were many tornadoes all around during that weeks and before and after.

It used to be pretty amazing to hear about 1/2" of rain in an hour, and 1" per hour was an utterly staggering amount of rain. Now, we pretty regularly hear about 3 1/2" in one hour.

And yes, places like Pakistan and Vietnam get 30+ inches of rain in a few days. The Pakistan flood was about one years of rain (in an average year) in a few days. One fifth of the country is utterly devastated, with virtually every bridge, road and building destroyed, in the affected areas. About 20 million people are homeless. Entire crops were wiped out, and they will not be able to plant those lands for at least several years.

Have you ever heard of such a thing before?

++++++

Edit: how much snow so far there in merry old green UK?
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:37 PM   #204 (permalink)
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Even if we didn't see more intense storms and all that, because humans tend to settle where the weather is favorable, a change will probably be somewhat detrimental.
 
Old 12-12-2010, 01:22 AM   #205 (permalink)
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Aragonis: Never try to ameliorate a zealot or paid propagandist. In attempting a reasoned discussion you only afford him greater opportunity to crank out more long-winded propaganda, culled from a playbook, ad nauseam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post

Have you ever heard of such a thing before?
Neil: Yes, I have. Here is the blueprint for "Eaarth" the latest screed of environmentalist activism. It is not only 'old hat', it is actually ancient: AKA "The sky is falling!"

(Entire reference found here.)

The basic motif and many of the elements of the tale can also be found within Buddhist scriptures as the Daddabha Jataka (J 322).[1] In this a hare disturbed by a falling fruit believes that the earth is coming to an end and starts a stampede among the other animals. A lion halts them, investigates the cause of the panic and restores calm. The fable teaches the necessity for deductive reasoning and subsequent investigation.

There are several western versions of the story, but the best-known concerns a chick that believes the sky is falling when an acorn falls on her head. She decides to tell the King and on her journey meets other animals who join her in the quest. After this point, there are many endings. In the most familiar, a fox invites them to his lair and there eats them all. Alternatively, the last one, usually Cocky Lockey, survives long enough to warn the chick and she escapes. In still others all are rescued and finally speak to the King.
Illustration for the story "Chicken Little", 1916

In most retellings the animals all have rhyming names, commonly:

* Chicken Licken / Chicken Little
* Henny Penny
* Drakey Lakey
* Cocky Locky
* Ducky Lucky or Ducky Daddles
* Goosey Loosey or Gander Lander or Goosey Poosey
* Turkey Lurkey
* Foxy Loxy or Foxy Woxy

In the most common version, Henny Penny is the only character whose last name does not begin with the letter L. (In another version, the character is named Hen Len.)[2]

The moral to be drawn changes, depending on the version. Where there is a 'happy ending', the moral is not to be a 'Chicken' but to have courage, which is the conclusion of the film "Chicken Little" (2005). In other versions the fable is usually interpreted to mean do not believe everything you are told, as in the first version of the film (1943). This was one of a series of four produced by the Walt Disney Studios at the request of the U.S. government during World War II for the purpose of discrediting totalitarianism in general and Nazism in particular. Its dark comedy is used as an allegory for the idea that fear-mongering weakens the war effort and costs lives.[3] The Chicken jumps to a conclusion and whips the populace into mass hysteria, which the unscrupulous fox manipulates for his own benefit.

*****

This is the entire thesis of the book titled Eaarth: that the earth will come to an end or at least be irreparably, irreversibly changed. Once you accept that premise, deductive reasoning and subsequent investigation is deemed unnecessary - just as in the old fable, of which it is essentially a modern day restatement.

Those who subscribe to this foolhardy fable will have been hoodwinked by one of the oldest expressions of fear mongering known to mankind. The author of the book Eaarth will be laughing all the way to the bank.

And the people who bought and believed the poppycock spouted in the book Eaarth were known as the followers of Chicken Little. "Cluck, cluck, cluck." They joined the sheeple who went "Baa, Baa, Baa!" Together these ignorant creatures became part of the new social order known as "Animal Farm".

George Orwell certainly was prophetic.
 
Old 12-12-2010, 09:48 AM   #206 (permalink)
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Nobody said it is irreversible. We are already seeing the amplifying / accelerating effects (lowered albedo, death of forests, methane release, etc). so the average global climates will continue to get warmer, even for a while after we stop / lower our carbon output.

But eventually, after an unknown period of time, things could stabilize and hopefully return to "normal". This will probably take a lot longer than it took to destabilize it, though?

We can do things much better than we are, and we don't have to return to some more primitive time. It will be turbulent and difficult.

Charles Darwin was "prophetic". He figured out the mechanism by which life can change, and he figured out plate tectonics, as well. Many people feared the apparent implications of what he said (and some are still resisting the truth); but he was (largely) totally correct. The science he started is now completely integrated into all even remotely related fields of science.

And yes, Charles Darwin was also correct about plate tectonics. The land and sea floor are in constant state of change. These cause earthquakes, and they cause mountains to form. It has moved the Earth from one continent to seven.

One thing I learned from watching the videos: Richard Alley mentioned the 41,000 year cycle of the changing of the angle of the rotational axis of the Earth. So the amount of sun that directly hits the north pole and the Arctic Circle varies over time.

And the plate tectonics has a more random affect on the global climate -- when we get a lot of volcanic activity, then we get temporary cooling. And the ocean currents, the jet stream winds, etc. all are affected by a greater or lesser amount of heat energy. Colder ocean water absorbs more carbon dioxide than does warmer water, and along with the make up of the land nearby, the pH level of the ocean affects many things including the life that live there.

The Earth is an amazing place and a very complicated place and as far as we know, it is unique. As Richard Alley said -- if this was all a video game, he would push the button to test to see what happens -- but it is the only place where all of us live.

Science gave us this picture of our Earth:

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Old 12-12-2010, 11:18 AM   #207 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Downtown Memphis Tennessee was under 10 or 15 feet of water. Oklahoma got severe floods, as did Wisconsin and Michigan; along with many more tornadoes than are usual. While I was at the X-Prize in June, there were many tornadoes all around during that weeks and before and after.

And yes, places like Pakistan and Vietnam get 30+ inches of rain in a few days. The Pakistan flood was about one years of rain (in an average year) in a few days. One fifth of the country is utterly devastated, with virtually every bridge, road and building destroyed, in the affected areas. About 20 million people are homeless. Entire crops were wiped out, and they will not be able to plant those lands for at least several years.

Have you ever heard of such a thing before?

++++++
Before I would consider a flood "unusual", I would first have to see if it extended beyond the flood plain into the hillier areas surrounding the plain. The problem is people like to build and grow crops on flat land and in hilly regions the only flat land lies next to rivers and creeks. This land is flat because it floods occasionally, depositing rich sediments that is the reason that it is flat and so fertile. It may not flood every year or even every 100 years, but that flat land next to the river eventually will be underwater as the river deposits yet another layer of sediment on the flood plain to make it flat. All of the photos I've seen of the Memphis, Nashville, and Pakistan flooding (and of the big Mississippi floods back in the 1990's) all showed flat land underwater, which meant that the river had just swollen to cover its floodplains. It may have been a 1000 year flood, but if that flood was limited to the floodplains, then it is nothing unusual and well within the usual vagaries of the climate for that region if you are looking at more than just a few decades of climate.

The current crop might have been wiped out, but I don't see why they wouldn't be able to replant to winter crops as soon once the land dries out as they enter their fall dry season. And the land will be richer thanks to the new layer of sediment just deposited. After all, in Egypt before the Aswan Dam was built, the Nile would flood like clockwork every summer and the people would plant their crops on the newly en-richened soils each fall. The reason this flood hit the Pakistanis so hard was that it is a fairly dry region dependent on irrigation from the Indus, so the bulk of their towns and fields lie within the Indus floodplain.

One reason we seem to have more tornadoes than in the past is that many tornadoes used to appear in lightly populated rural areas where no one would see them and their damage was not noticed. Today, thanks to suburban sprawl, many of those formerly lightly populated areas are now covered with housing and the appearance of a tornado is seen by many eyes and damage they cause reported to many insurance companies. And any tornadoes not spotted by humans are captured and counted by Doppler radar, so every one is counted, which wasn't the case as recently as the 1960's.

I don't consider tree rings to be a good indicator of climate since the tree's annual growth rate is responding to many different factors including spring/summer temperatures, winter/spring/summer rainfall, late spring frosts, insect feeding, and herbivore feeding pressure. How can you know many thousands of years later which of these factors accounted for a good or poor ring growth year?
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:31 AM   #208 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Stuff about weather.
We had very bad winters in 1948 and 1963 - I was discussing these with my elderly neighbour only yesterday. He had a harder time in those days he was saying.

We had a heat wave in 1976 which included droughts, broke lots of records. Its been colder since then and sometimes warmer.

We have had floods as well. Ooh doom. Except we have had floods in the past to, including more than a few disasters caused by them.

Unusual weather happens.

We know far more about it now than we did before, but then again I know far more about daily life in North Vietnam now than I have ever done.

That interweb, wonderful thing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Edit: how much snow so far there in merry old green UK?
I haven't seen a figure for that yet, I'm sure the Met Office will come up with an estimate. Oh hang on, they said it was going to be a mild winter

Again to compare snow, when I first moved to Scotland in 1999 there was snow in January 2000, so much my car actually beached itself on the stuff and couldn't move.

For the next 5 years I saw very little. Last year we had heavy snow and we have just had this lot. Next year, who knows - certainly not the Met Office - who BTW are the same scientists predicting doom.

Now were is the evidence of warming ? There hasn't been any since 1998.
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Old 12-12-2010, 03:05 PM   #209 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arragonis View Post
Now were is the evidence of warming ? There hasn't been any since 1998.
The average temperature of the earth has gone down since 1998 but climate change doesn't just mean that the temperature is going up everywhere uniformly. It's getting warmer is some places, colder in others, wetter in some places and dryer in others. The warming is most pronounced at the poles which is why the arctic, antarctic, and greenland ice has continued to melt since 1998, though the northeast passage being open has been great for shipping and greenland is going to start serious mining operations now that that pesky ice is gone, so not everyone is complaining. Of course if you live in Bangladesh you have a more serious problem...

Debate is great there should be debate you can't solve a problem that you don't understand and scientists that do bad science should be accountable. But, debate shouldn't be an excuse for inaction, which it often is. The same actions that combat climate change also combat other serious problems like acid rain, smog, deforestation, etc.
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Old 12-12-2010, 03:51 PM   #210 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arragonis View Post

Now were is the evidence of warming ? There hasn't been any since 1998.
Have you noticed that the movement no longer calls it 'global warming'? Back in the '60s the big scare (that sold books similar to "Eaarth") was about global cooling. Of course it never happened and people eventually forgot the scare that sold the books. The author laughed all the way to the bank. Prognostication is a profitable racket, about the same as weather forecasting: the weatherman gets paid even when he is wrong.

Now they're trying to cover all their bases by calling it "climate change". That way they can deem it to be either too hot or too cold, and claim they still have a case for such nonsense, or that it somehow 'proves' they are always 'right': that no matter what statistics are presented, humans must be to blame for changing the climate. They will have a rationalization to blame mankind, no matter what we do. Their recommended 'cure' is to call for us to go back to a primitive existence. It's the ultimate guilt trip. Sadly, some fools will buy into it.

P.T. Barnum knew how effective such stuff can be. So did Aal Gore. Go buy the book! A fool and his money are soon parted.

 
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