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Leaders in step on climate

Richard Black | 17:02 UK time, Monday, 14 September 2009

Last week's survey of UK attitudes towards climate change has been making a bit of news in the blogosphere - and why not, with a UN conference less than three months away that could commit countries including the UK to spending billions of dollars on the issue?

The headline numbers suggest (as my colleague Sudeep Chand wrote): "The British public has become more sceptical about climate change over the last five years."

Jack_Hughes_NZ wasn't the only person to suggest on this blog that political leaders are now the ones out of touch as they aim for a new UN climate deal.

"(Quoting Sudeep's article:) 'The survey, by Cardiff University, shows there is still some way to go before the public's perception matches that of their elected leaders'.

"Let's get this the right way round, please.

"There is some way to go before the leaders' perception matches that of the public."

OIl_refineryAs always with opinion polls, it's worth digging down into the small print.

Firstly, the proportion of what researcher Lorraine Whitmarsh describes as "hardened sceptics" has not changed between the two study years (2003 and 2008), remaining roughly constant at 20%.

What has grown (from 15% to 29%) is the proportion agreeing that "claims that human activities are changing the climate are exaggerated".

In fact, that's the only number that did change.

"There is too much conflicting evidence on climate change to know whether it's actually happening" - 35% in 2003, 33% in 2008.

"Climate change is just a natural fluctuation in Earth's temperature" - 21% in 2003, 23% in 2008.

"I am uncertain about whether climate change is really happening" - 20% in 2003, 20% in 2008.

And both of the numbers on the "climate exaggeration" issue are dwarfed by the proportion of the population (half in both years) agreeing with the statement on media exaggeration in general: "The media is often too alarmist about issues like climate change".

So one reasonable conclusion might be that half of the UK public thinks the media is too often sensationalist, and that what has increased is the proportion of the population feeling that climate change has become one of the issues that the media routinely sensationalises.

Among the emails that arrive in my inbox regularly on climate change, one sentiment expressed regularly is that the language of climate catastrophism is getting shriller and shriller as the arguments for the phenomenon collapse.

It's one that I disagree with.

I think the language of catastrophism, chaos, doom - whatever you like to call it - has actually sobered up, in the UK at least, having peaked about three or four years ago when newspapers such as The Independent ran dramatic front pages on a regular basis, a new umbrella body for activists called Stop Climate Chaos came into existence, Roland Emmerich had the Atlantic Ocean freezing in an instant in The Day After tomorrow, and a leading thinktank lambasted a portion of the British press for indulging in "climate porn".

Some long-time observers warned at the time that this would "turn people off"; the Cardiff study suggests they may have been right.

In comments on this blog and others, a different thesis is regularly proposed.

The precise words vary - the wheels are falling off the climate bandwagon, people are seeing the world's getting colder not warmer, climate change is being exposed as the tax-raising scam it really is - but the basic argument is that man-made climate change isn't happening and people are realising it.

Heathrow_airport_protestHowever, as I think I've shown above, the Cardiff study shows that the majority of the UK public did not agree with this analysis in 2003 and does not agree with it now.

The survey threw up a fascinating little social vignette by correlating people's attitudes on this issue with other facts about themselves.

So people who are older, more politically conservative or higher-earning are on average more "climate sceptical" than those who are younger, more left-wing or in greater penury.

On a recent thread, Jack_Hughes_NZ (nothing personal, Jack, you just keep saying interesting things) referred to this in a comment about how psychologists identify various personality types, including the "urban-eco" - the suggestion being that peoples' attitudes towards climate change stem from their core psychology.

(A couple of years ago, social anthropologist Benny Peiser and sociologist Kari Norgaard reflected on the psychology of catastrophism and what I'll call "climate ostrich-ism" for this website, which might be worth re-visiting in the current context.)

If this is right, you wouldn't logically expect climate attitudes to change much in a society where information about the issue is everywhere and has been everywhere for a long time, as in the UK - unless there are changes to the underlying facts and people take them on board, or unless somehow the social mix alters over time.

In general, the UK public is more "climate sceptical" than the rest of Europe. Several polls have shown still greater concern over climate change in the developing world, and - interestingly - a greater willingness to make lifestyle changes to deal with it.

A poll commissioned by BBC World Service two years ago showed 90% support globally for climate curbs.

The last few months have seen a number of reports hinting that the pace of global temperature rise may have abated, for now at least, meaning that the picture of inexorably rising temperatures depicted in the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, would turn out to be incorrect in the short-term before the overall warming trend kicked back in in future decades.

I wondered if this was being reflected in the intensive negotiations leading up to Copenhagen's UN summit. After all, if governments were sensing a reason not to pledge difficult and potentially expensive transformations to their economies, you would expect them to take it.

Last week I had the chance to ask someone intimately involved in those negotiations. "No" was the answer - not reflected at all - in fact, what was being reflected were fears that the picture would be worse than the IPCC painted.

None of this categorically proves the case for man-made climate change. But it does show, I think, that the publics' and their leaders' perceptions of climate change, in the UK and elsewhere, are not significantly out of step.


Comments

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  • 1. At 6:36pm on 14 Sep 2009, CComment wrote:

    Sorry but your statement : "None of this categorically proves the case for man-made climate change. But it does show, I think, that the public's, and their leaders', perceptions of climate change, in the UK and elsewhere, are not significantly out of step" is typical of the wooly sophistry surrounding this issue, especially from those with a vested interest in whipping up concern.
    The perceptions on climate change are totally out of step : the public have a range of varied views from complete climate change convert to complete disbeliever. On the other hand, leaders are all united in seeing the issue as an excuse to raise taxes. Caledonian Comment


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  • 2. At 7:46pm on 14 Sep 2009, MackemEd wrote:

    This is my reply to Doncaster North MP Ed Milibands request for my support via his Twitter feed.

    ED
    It is safe to assume that many people have started to become sceptical concerning the dynamics of so called man made climate change. In recent years there have been many inconsistencies in the proposition that we have changed the Earth's climate with our pollution.
    The World's Governments' solution to apply green taxation as a cure in the light of an unscientific philosophy of climate change is starting to fall apart, CO2 output has continued to rise and yet global temperatures have started to fall!
    There is no doubt whatsoever that there has been a climate change in the last 50-60 years. Just because I view myself as a climate realist, I’m not in some sort of denial about this change. The climate alarmists and global warming alarmists will point out that this change is due to man made CO2 as it fits in with modern day industrialization.
    Global climate data clearly shows that there has been an increase in world temperatures in the past few decades. If you look at recent global temperature anomaly graphs you will notice that temperatures peaked in 1998, and have been in general decline ever since, however unlike the temperature figures you will see that CO2output is still increasing. Being a climate realist does not mean that you’re against being green or that you’re ignorant about environmental issues such as recycling or objecting to the burning of fossil fuels that poison and contaminate the atmosphere in which we live and breathe. As far as I’m concerned a Climate Realist is someone who believes there is a more logical explanation to the increase in global temperatures that we have experienced in the last few decades.
    I believe that political global warming alarmists have named the recent changes to the Earth's climate with "Man Made" descriptions purely out of ignorance while using it as a means to increase taxation. The real cause of "Climate Change" can be attributed to "Solar Variation" and it wouldn’t surprise me if terms like "Natural Forcing", "Solar Climate Change" and "Solar Climate Forcing" become common place phrases to use in the future to correctly describe the changes in the Earth's Climate.

    The aims and objectives of my letter is to draw attention to the real explanations as to what has made our climate change and also to voice my opinion against the unscientific and unsubstantiated reasoning behind "green taxation". A Green Tax on pollution is one thing but not in the name of reducing climate change, that is something we have no control over and simply have to learn how to adapt to.
    As a climate realist I actively support the proposition that there is no such thing as Man Made Climate Change, until the World's Governments recognize that Climate Change and Man Made Pollution are two separate issues and not part of the same problem as currently promoted by Climate Change Journalists from the AGW Media. Government funded scientists who make up and exaggerate climate research for the sole purpose of obtaining large grants will undoubtedly come unstuck as the world becomes cooler and CO2 continues to rise.

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  • 3. At 7:52pm on 14 Sep 2009, JunkkMale wrote:

    I am usually hugely underwhelmed by the published results of any poll, from any quarter, especially when a media who depend and thrive on attention and ratings sink their teeth into them.

    However, based purely on how reported here, a few things occur...

    The British public has become more sceptical about climate change over the last five years, according to a survey.

    Twice as many people now agree that "claims that human activities are changing the climate are exaggerated".


    Not, exactly, a glowing endorsement of the abilities or trust held in most high-profile politico-media messengers, irrespective of the validity of their message. And, speaking as the parent of teens, not the best basis to go on to effect further change (correction?) in behaviour, be it perceived as 'wrong' or just 'apathy'. But I am guessing, from 'But it does show, I think, that the publics' and their leaders' perceptions of climate change, in the UK and elsewhere, are not significantly out of step." that a change of tack is unlikely any time soon, so carry on. It's worked/working gangbusters so far.

    'What we have to get across is that residual uncertainty in science is normal'. And such as this Mondeo Man-engaging phrase is just what's needed to do it.

    But, 'A third said there was too much conflicting evidence to know what is actually happening,' which suggests to me that there is still hope, as there are some as smart as they are honest.

    Which is why both these sentences are a bit of a worry: "We need to make it clear to people what is due to climate change and what is not. "It is time we made it real to people." This would be 'clarity' according to whom? Made real by whom, and how? Bearing in mind 'Twice as many people now agree that "claims that human activities are changing the climate are exaggerated'. Rather requires a sea change in thinking on the persuasion front from now on, which seems unlikely if the same folk are still dishing it out. And the same public are seeing the next effort coming from those they didn't buy it from before. Trust is tricky to regain.

    On current form, I rather worry that 'there is still some way to go before the public's perception matches that of their elected leaders' comes across as less of an observation and more of a challenge to overcome, and not necessarily in a good way, bearing in mind the public's faith in the competence or honesty of those at the helm to date. Especially when a few other 'for your own good' efforts of late have gone down like the proverbial lead balloon, undoing decades of hard fought, sincere and positive efforts.

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  • 4. At 10:06pm on 14 Sep 2009, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Let us just call it Clean Coal. The coal and oil industries do a very good job of pretending that science is not science and their science says things that no other science would. It is all about delaying and wringing the most profit out of their current investments. As they said for many years, Smoking does no harm....oh, it does...you mean they lied and the governments were not able to tell that they were lying, or was it that the governments collecting taxes found it profitable to believe the lies.
    Interesting discussions and not a lot of concern about total pollution and the great number of places where great harm has been done when industries abondon sites and citizens die or have higher rates of cancer or children with disabilities are born in greater numbers. No need to worry, your governments are looking out for your well-being...like they did with your retirement.
    Industries with large profits can afford mass media advertisements and reports and commericals. All has the ring of Neville Chamberlain and "peace in our time." The cost projections are nonsence and just posturing to make more profits just in case they may be forced to do the right thing. Latest trend is to blame the individul citizens for waste of energy and to foretell of lower standards of living if we try to make any positive changes. This is really about the relationship between big business and governments and neither really care what the average citizen thinks.

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  • 5. At 10:21pm on 14 Sep 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    As a scientist and someone who lives in a very rural part of the world, I can say, from my own unscientific survey, that at least 90% of the people around here believe that man-made global warming is a load of tosh. Farmers in particular have no time for such talk - they have always lived with a changing climate. I'm sure most urban dwellers have no clue about the climate and just believe the propaganda given out by the BBC about drowning polar bears and melting icecaps and we're all doomed.

    With no scientific evidence to support the theory of man-made global warming (and that's all it is - a theory with no proof) and most people in this country preferring a bit of warmth, it's amazing that anybody beleieves in man-made global warming. Unless that is you're a politician who can see a way to increase taxation and control, a government employee paid to "prove" global warming, or an ignorant greenie.

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  • 6. At 10:22pm on 14 Sep 2009, Jack Frost wrote:

    Well The Telegraph are still pumping out the shock/scare monger stories. Shame they didn't use the well known debunked photograph of the precarious bears perched on the last thin remaining icebergs.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/6167819/Polar-bears-face-extinction-in-less-than-70-years-because-of-global-warming.html

    The amount of if's/could's/may's is extraordinary.

    ___________________________________________

    I honestly think that it will all turn full circle when the truth finally comes out, and that the whole climate religion will turn circle and that the Global Warming advocates will be clased as 'deniers'.





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  • 7. At 10:29pm on 14 Sep 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    Richard's summing up bothers me.

    Richard said "None of this categorically proves the case for man-made climate change."

    Well of course not. You were talking about opinion polls. There was never any question then proving "man-made climate change".

    Richard said "But it does show, I think, that the publics' and their leaders' perceptions of climate change, in the UK and elsewhere, are not significantly out of step."

    I saw no reason for drawing such conclusions from the information presented.

    Such comments are just begging to be criticised.

    Better in by view, to think about that comment...
    "the suggestion being that peoples' attitudes towards climate change stem from their core psychology."

    Given that we are all laymen in the field of climate science, we cannot "know" what is right or wrong. So who do we "trust", and why?

    /davblo2

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  • 8. At 10:39pm on 14 Sep 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    Re #5

    Thanks Dr Pangloss, I feel so much better now!

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  • 9. At 10:54pm on 14 Sep 2009, spectrum wrote:

    But it does show, I think, that the publics' and their leaders' perceptions of climate change, in the UK and elsewhere, are not significantly out of step.
    ***
    That is what we polite English speakers refer to as propaganda Mr Black. Less polite people have other words.
    ******
    BBC opinion poll in which the vast majority of recommendations were for sceptical comments. Many of them thought it was a scam.

    http://tinyurl.com/ktrva9

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  • 10. At 11:00pm on 14 Sep 2009, spectrum wrote:

    It's the finance industry who are pushing for the incredibly profitable carbon trading scheme and the massive infrastructure investment required. That's why politicians support it, their banker masters demand it.
    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/sealed/gw/business.htm

    Tony Blair now promotes global warming for JP Morgan Chase and Zurich Insurance.
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article3266329.ece

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  • 11. At 11:00pm on 14 Sep 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    PAWB46 #5: "I'm sure most urban dwellers have no clue about the climate and just believe..."

    Agreed, but you have to trust someone...

    PAWB46 #5: "Farmers in particular have no time for such talk - they have always lived with a changing climate."

    Are these the farmers who couldn't accept that we didn't actually need all the milk they were producing and couldn't adapt to changing market needs?
    Not really "on the ball" when it comes to "change" are they.

    /davblo2

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  • 12. At 11:00pm on 14 Sep 2009, kouroi wrote:

    I didn't realize that the workings of science and scientific endeavour are to be subjected to the democratic process. Believing in something doesn't make it necessarily true. While some would like to wish out of existence the evolutionism or maybe newtonian physics or the discovery ov DNA, this doesn't mean these facts are not there.

    About 1000 years ago western europe were ready to embrace apocalyps based on the scriptures. That came to pass.

    Even if 100% of british people would think that climate change is bogus, wishfull thinking doesn't bend reality (assuming that the physical and chemical principles of real world hold). Matrix is a neat movie but reality is not bending to the power of thought.

    There are many studies that oppose what people (including scientists) believe is risky and what actually is risky. In all cases people either underestimate risk (like driving) or overestimate risk (like nuclear power plants).

    My point is that polls dont reflect reality, they just reflect people's beliefes.

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  • 13. At 11:12pm on 14 Sep 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To davblo2:

    I agree with your statement:

    "Better in by view, to think about that comment...
    "the suggestion being that peoples' attitudes towards climate change stem from their core psychology."
    -----------------------------------

    We seem to be getting nowhere fast. I felt that way in 1996/97, just before I went climbing mountains for seven years.

    Despite the scientific evidence, despite the concensus of the climate science community, James Hansen's comment remains true - that there is a large gap between what science knows and what the public knows about climate change.

    As Richard Black has shown, the only significant change in five years appears to be that more of the public think the media is hyping global warming too much. I think this is a case of psychological overload.

    Science is not the purvue of the majority of the public, plain and simple, and never will be. That is no reason to give up, it is something to be aware of and accomodated.

    Hence the idea of another authoritive voice - perhaps a high court of the environment, with 'legs' if Christopher Stone's 'Global Commons Trust Fund' and legal standing for natural objects comes to pass.

    One might say that the reason it has not come to pass is because it would work, and big business knows this, just as they know that James Hansen's 'carbon tax at source' and dividend return to the energy efficient taxpayer would work, and has not come to pass.

    'Business as usual' is derailing both ideas, if one accepts this line of reasoning.

    I ask the blog - is that too cynical?

    - Manysummits -

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  • 14. At 11:19pm on 14 Sep 2009, manysummits wrote:

    I have just obtained a library copy of Freeman Dyson's book,

    "The Sun, the Genome and The Internet," (1999)

    - Manysummits -

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  • 15. At 11:46pm on 14 Sep 2009, Swedishjim wrote:

    "Given that we are all laymen in the field of climate science, we cannot "know" what is right or wrong. So who do we "trust", and why?"
    davblo2, the closest we can get to a trustable source is the IPCC. But the problem is that even they don't even have a complete picture of what is right and wrong! They are being forced to push through premature conclusions based on patchy science.
    If you read their 2007 report it becomes painfully evident that climate science is STILL very much in its infancy. All credit to the IPCC, they've done the best with the research they have. But really, given the numerous uncertainties (summarised with the "robust findings" at the end of the report) you have to ask yourself how on Earth could THIS be used to drive government policy?!
    Jim

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  • 16. At 11:53pm on 14 Sep 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    I shouldn't feel depressed by this latest post but I do. What is it all about Richie? How is anyone or any group SERIOUSLY going to know what the public thinks verses what the leaders think? A few silly, leading, meaningless questions to a disproportionately small sample of the population, is not going to give an accurate picture. I know people have got to sound important and knowledgeable at the Copenhagen UN summit but making out that they know what joe public really thinks is ludicrous because I doubt that any of the leaders have had a good heart to heart conversation with any group of us lot. Anyway, if you questioned the majority of us lot you would only get answers that fit with the general propaganda of the moment. People will only respond to what they think they know from the newspaper, TV and popular film, which is immediately bias.
    Take me for instance, at first I believed the Al Gore message because I was told it was true. It is only after looking more deeply than the average reader that I realised the hidden agenda. My gut instinct tells me that global warming is something that we cannot 'control' because it is a natural cycle of the planet orbiting the sun.
    However, that does not mean that I do not agree with the idea of 'event' planning, to have protocols in place to mitigate the effects of these changes, especially in places known to have the most severe consequences from the effects of global change. As I said before, it is time that armies changed their primary role from destruction to strategic construction and reconstruction.

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  • 17. At 00:00am on 15 Sep 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    manysummits #13: "We seem to be getting nowhere fast"

    A little googling led me to...

    Thought for the day?

    Maybe there's hope for us yet...

    From Altruism’s Bloody Roots

    "Only humans routinely care for total strangers, with no expectation of reward."

    All the best; davblo2

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  • 18. At 00:02am on 15 Sep 2009, poitsplace wrote:

    The public has every reason to be skeptical of the catastrophism in the media. Despite the people saying "big oil" and "big coal" are in a propaganda war, 99% of all media stories are just regurgiquoting the most outlandish alarmist "studies". One only has to look at this site to see the utter lack of ANY sort of balance.

    The fact remains that the leveling off of temperatures was predicted by anyone that knew about the natural climate cycles. After factoring in those cycles the remaining warming rate (which may or may not be from CO2) falls to an anemic .5C-.7C per century. Even if CO2 is causing 100% of the remaining warming, the rate of increase for the amount of fuel used shows it will be physically impossible to even hit that anemic .5C figure.

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  • 19. At 00:22am on 15 Sep 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Many summits,
    You are not too cynical, just suffering from News fatigue. This environment conundrum could become boring unless it appears to be making progress in the right direction.

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  • 20. At 00:42am on 15 Sep 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    Swedishjim #15: "the closest we can get to a trustable source is the IPCC. ... how on Earth could THIS be used to drive government policy?"

    What else would you suggest?

    /davblo2

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  • 21. At 00:52am on 15 Sep 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To kouroi #12:

    You said:

    "My point is that polls dont reflect reality, they just reflect people's beliefes."
    ----------

    An interesting point! We are used to political polls, I suppose, where what people believe elects governments.

    But you are right - a poll on science is a realistic indication of what people believe, but need not bear any resemblance to the truth.

    That's an interesting blogging name you have chosen??

    - Manysummits -

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  • 22. At 01:20am on 15 Sep 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To sensibleoldgrannie #19:

    You hit the nail right on the head - an artistic aptitude!

    Yes, I am finding the routine of reading the denial blogs extremely fatigueing. I turn to Freeman Dyson for his eclectic and humanitarian thoughts.

    Davblo has posted a link on altruism at #17, but I am a little sceptical of psychological pronouncements, unless they are made by artists.

    I keep thinking of Robert Pirsig's "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," how much that book reveals of our society and civilization.

    I am actually waiting for the light to dawn, to tell me what to do next.

    I see from your previous post that you are sceptical of human induced global warming.

    Al Gore is a politician, and a wealthy man, and has been all his life. But that's just anecdotal. What really bothered me was when he wouldn't take the time to meet his Nobel Prize co-winner. Just like what really bothered me About President Obama was the way he sacrificed his good friend the minister on the altar of power.

    Try as I might, I cannot dismiss these as trivial or insignificant, but rather just the opposite.

    - Manysummits -

    PS: For what it's worth, Al Gore's "Earth in the Balance" was very good up until the sections where he proposed how to fix things up.

    PS #2:

    You might like Richard Alley and his views:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Alley

    His book, "The Two Mile Time Machine," is excellent, but heavy on science.

    You might find his 2007 testimony before the US Congress more interesting and much shorter and easier to read. You will have to go to the link posted below, and click for the pdf version (house rules)

    http://science.house.gov/publications/Testimony.aspx?TID=8658

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  • 23. At 01:22am on 15 Sep 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    Worth a look:

    http://en.cop15.dk/blogs/climate+thinkers+blog

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  • 24. At 01:33am on 15 Sep 2009, kouroi wrote:

    self mokery combined with vanity. plus I think I used the plural form of the word. I think it should have been kouros

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  • 25. At 01:47am on 15 Sep 2009, Kev wrote:

    A word of warning.
    Once upon a time, the clergy would climb their ivory towers and dish out tales of the end of the world. The end of the world is coming, it says so in the bible.
    The clergy no longer do this. Some would say it is because the scientist now do this for them, however I believe there is another reason. If the Pope were to appear on television and tell us all the world will end in year 20xx then his credibility would be destroyed. Especially if 20xx turned up and the world was still going strong.

    This is a lesson the scientist need to learn because I fear, that if 20xx turns up and the world hasn't ended then science will become a laughing stock. And not just climate science, all science will be deemed as foolishness.

    This will be hugely damaging as science is already witnessing a massive down turn of interest in the classroom.

    We may even find ourselves in a time without science, where scientists are regularly derided as figures of fun, and no right thinking person would entertain such a career. We think that way of alchemy today, but most modern chemistry came from early alchemists.

    Interestingly I posted a comment about Ozone that got a few people riled. I have an parallel:

    I am a computer programmer and worked at the time of the great y2k. We all worked very hard to make y2k pass without incident. In fact programmers were regularly demanding £1000 a day such was the demand for people to fix the issue, and a lot of the people I know were working on the night the clocks changed.
    Meanwhile the media got wind of what we were doing and predictably blew the whole thing out of proportion. Suddenly it wasn't just a few banking systems that were going to fail, it was the end of the world.

    Due to our efforts Y2k passed without incident, and the world didn't come to an end.

    Imagine my horror after all the work we did to hear the media say, that it was all just a scam, it was apparently them who had been conned by the whole y2k thing!!

    I can tell you, y2k was not a false alarm, and a lot of people worked very hard to make sure things passed without incident.

    OK the world was never going to end, but there could have been a few people without bank accounts / insurance policies / telephone accounts / etc come Jan 1st.

    If you cry wolf and work hard to kill the wolf, then people still assume your a liar.

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  • 26. At 02:03am on 15 Sep 2009, mhfisher wrote:

    As an environmental studies student I guess my main question is how can people be skeptical of climate change. With all the evidence staring you in the face how can you possible believe it’s not true? You say that wealthy, conservative, older people are skeptical of climate change but my question is why. Are they not reading the same reports and articles that I am. I admit I fall into the category Black describes as being less skeptical, a young liberal but when faced with learning that sea levels are rising and as glaciers and sea ice are disappearing, weather is becoming more temperamental giving rise storms, hurricanes, flooding and tsunamis. We will be looking at mass migrations of people and more famine just to name a few problems. With knowing what climate change can cause how can we not take action? The fact that 23% of the population believes that climate change is just a natural fluctuation in Earths temperature is mind boggling to me. Another 20% is uncertain if climate change is even happening. Is it possible and if so how do we get that statistic down to 0?
    When reading Black’s blog he talks about the media. To some extent I understand the need for fanatical media coverage of climate change. At the same time I see the need for controlled media coverage so that it doesn’t turn people off. I feel like the media coverage needs to change but continue. In what capacity I am not sure. It’s unfortunate that the media has the power to take something serious and turn people off from it.

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  • 27. At 02:08am on 15 Sep 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To Sceptic_Kev #25:

    "Fear is the only darkness." (Caine)

    "People are like sheep Charlie Brown, they follow each other." (Schultz)

    - Manysummits -

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  • 28. At 02:55am on 15 Sep 2009, karl150 wrote:

    Healthy Soils Equal’s Water Health
    We are having the Carbon pulled over our eyes. Is the Climate change due to Carbon or are there other more sinister gases which we breath that are causing Global Warming . Google what’s in the air we breath .We all breath in : Argon 0.93%, Oxygen 20.95%,Nitrogen @ 78.08% and Carbon dioxide @ only 0.038%

    So I ask the Question Carbon at so low a rate .038% why is this being targeted as the Source of all the Worlds problems . Look at Nitrogen 78.08% and a Green house GAS 310 times worse than CO2 and our intensified Farming practices are pouring on 10,000's kg per year on to pasture that doesn't need it or either can't coup with it so over 50% of applied N ends up in the Air we Breath as Nitrous oxide and the rest passes through our over supplied soils as Nitrates into our Water ways which we Drink. When the soil is over supplied with Nitrogen Nature Shuts Down and doesn't do it's job , Earth Worms die off and Bacteria changes when we loose EARTH Worms we end up with Very HIGH Counts of E-Coli in out Drinking Water and Food Chain . Lack of Large Colonies of Healthy Earth Worm’s Means Fertilisers get Locked up in the Soil so Farmers keep needing to pore more on to get, the same results as what Nature can give them for far Less Cost or Pollution . Worm Cast’s gives your Pasture 7 Times more soil Nutrients.
    Other sources of Nitrous Oxide are also coming from burning of Auto Fuel’s in car’s etc

    Wake up (is it Carbon) which is doing the Deed to our Climate or is it the Chemical Industries feeding our Farmers the Poison’s of there Mind's . Nature doesn't need all this added Nitrogen and Super Phosphates Acid based Fertilisers ,Won’t Grow Healthy Soils and Crop's and Live Stock ! Healthy Soils will store (Sink) 3 Times more Carbon than the Atmosphere can .
    So Why are We Letting them do it ?

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  • 29. At 07:30am on 15 Sep 2009, PAWB46 wrote:

    Davblo2 @ 11: You wrote "Are these the farmers who couldn't accept that we didn't actually need all the milk they were producing and couldn't adapt to changing market needs? Not really "on the ball" when it comes to "change" are they." The point here is that farmers can respond to the climate, but when government policies change from subsidising butter mountains to subsidising set-aside, farmers do not find it easy to suddenly sell their milking herds and associated infrastructure, stop producing food and become guardians of the environment. Only to find a few years later that set-aside is gone and they have to plant bio-fuel crops instead. You try living under random government edicts.

    mhfisher @26: Your trouble is that you are studying environmental studies (I'm sure it is a trendy subject; has it replaced media studies?) If you studied science you would realise that natural climate change has always occurred and will continue to occur. You need to study the physics of heat and mass transfer. You say "learning that sea levels are rising and as glaciers and sea ice are disappearing, weather is becoming more temperamental giving rise storms, hurricanes, flooding and tsunamis". I don't think you are learning anything other than propaganda. Do you not realise that sea levels have risen for hundreds, nay thousands of years, glaciers and sea ice are not disappearing, weather is not becoming more temperamental and what do tsunamis have to do with the climate? Have you never heard of the Medieval Warm Period or the Little Ice Age? Do you not realise that in the past there have been great floods, droughts, storms, blizzards etc? These aren't new phenomena (unless history has been rewritten). Your comments cause me to despair about the current education system. Do they not teach you to think for yourself, or do they just fill you with propaganda?

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  • 30. At 07:59am on 15 Sep 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    #29

    Gee Dr Pangloss, it's amzing how it just keeps on getting better and better!!

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  • 31. At 08:21am on 15 Sep 2009, Swedishjim wrote:

    davblo2 #20:
    "
    Swedishjim #15: "the closest we can get to a trustable source is the IPCC. ... how on Earth could THIS be used to drive government policy?"

    What else would you suggest?
    "

    Given that we are such a long way from understanding - let alone modelling/predicting/projecting - the climate, I would suggest that we have patience.

    Let the scientists get on with their research. Let them develop their models. And most importantly: Let them test their models.

    It is not the case that the IPCC are proposing just a single theory.

    The climate scientists/IPCC are attempting an incredibly complex task. Climate science is a combination of many theories in different physical domains. And, as is made clear in the current IPCC reports, we still require countless breakthroughs to get a complete picture of how it all works.

    This will take years, if not decades. And after that the models have to be tested and validated against reliable measurements over an acceptable sample size.

    But the media and the politicians don't want us to know that there are such gaping holes in the science. That complicates things and reduces the sense of urgency. Urgency which sells news and drives policy.

    Some might argue that it is better to err on the side of caution and reduce our emissions, just in case humans are causing warming. And while that has admirable indirect side-effects (reduction in reliance on fossil fuels, development of alternative energy technology, reduced pollution, improved efficiency of processes, etc.) it misses the point that we have allowed ourselves to be strung along...

    FIRST let the science prove itself. THEN let the media and politicians do their worst.

    Jim

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  • 32. At 08:28am on 15 Sep 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @mhfisher #26

    All the things you list as evidence of AGW are evidence of global warming (except tsunamis!), but they are not evidence of man made global warming.

    Ask your teachers how these things show evidence that the warming is caused by man made emissions (but please don't ruin your chances of passing your course by not complying with the current dogma)

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  • 33. At 08:34am on 15 Sep 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    There are obviously a few well informed people regularly posting on his blog and there are those who are just dipping their toes in, with a thirst for understanding and knowledge.
    mhfisher,
    I see you have just joined the debate, don't be put of if someone slaps a wet kipper in your face, just plod on, but don't believe everything you read or hear at face value, always look for the hidden agenda. I personally am not interested in what you have learned so far but I am interested in what your questions might be. Give 3 relevant questions for us to chew over, because we might run out of alternative views and your views could refresh the debate. Also give the debate the source of your understanding because there are clever people here who could direct you into filling in the gaps.
    karl150
    Your post troubles me in the fact that there does appear to be a problem with fertilizer application. It doesn't seem possible with the strict training and certificates that sector have to achieve before they can work in the trade. Perhaps there are farmers who slip through the net and don't follow the current regulations?
    Sceptic-kev
    We are all going to dieeeeeee in 2012, the actual date is set, the new world era will begin (according to the Aztecs calendar) It may be true, it may not be true, you don't know, I don't know and surely the cat doesn't know either.

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  • 34. At 08:39am on 15 Sep 2009, jon112uk wrote:

    Whatever convoluted way you dress this up, substantial numbers of people think some level of scam is going on - either complete fabrication or some level of exageration.

    Is the government going to take any notice of the increasing uprising against 'environmental' policies?

    Not likely.

    The government can see massive opportunities for the justification of taxation (petrol tax raised in the middle of a recession just last week). What other way can they camouflage tax increases at a time when they are all talking about spending cuts?

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  • 35. At 09:24am on 15 Sep 2009, Maurizio Morabito wrote:

    "the language of catastrophism" has "sobered up" chiefly because there has been nothing to report. Check out The Independent's "A Triumph for Man - A Disaster for Mankind" full-colour Sep 12 cover...

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  • 36. At 09:34am on 15 Sep 2009, JunkkMale wrote:

    Some great input here. Especially on matters of communication and perception (which I believe can be changed and worth discussing) beyond the 'science' (which seems to have been bogged down between two dogmatic extremes, often charmingly encapsulated by the words 'deniers' and 'warmists', and pretty much dead in the water as regards rational debate). Just a pity one depends on the other to a significant degree (or two).

    25. At 01:47am on 15 Sep 2009, Sceptic_Kev wrote:
    If you cry wolf and work hard to kill the wolf, then people still assume your a liar.


    I am struggling to recall Y2K, but one thing I do is that on that night I was not in a bunker with my tin foil hat on, so somewhere along the line I either ceased to be bothered or chilled out. And a possibly significant aspect is that I do not recall much, or at least the same level of 'official' headless chicken running then. This seemed mainly a media construct and, as pointed out, perhaps inspired or at least accelerated the public's faith failing with 24/7, over-staffed, under-qualified, excessively narrative enhanced, any-pundit-in-a-storm events interpretation.

    Suddenly it wasn't just a few banking systems that were going to fail, it was the end of the world.

    And when the likes of me realised that reporters seemed to be flying hither and thither to report on 'the end of the world' from nicer venues untroubled that their planes' clocks might be a bit fast, we tended to err more on the side of those who cautioned it was just a few banking systems. QED.

    Not a scientific parallel at all here, in fact dangerously so (potentially), but in terms of our faith in media-driven warning systems based on science....

    26. At 02:03am on 15 Sep 2009, mhfisher

    Another great, telling post. The media love pigeon holes. And adversarial stances. So you are either old, smart and cynical or young, inexperienced and idealistic. Er... how about none of the above, which I rather suspect the average of the silent majority are.

    And it also is pretty critical how the questions are put. From surveys to the way they get reported, the anthropomorphic qualifier pops in and out like a Labour senior minister (it will be the same for Conservative ones if they gain power) from the bunker depending on whether they need to explain a howler or be photographed beside David Beckham.

    It may be shorthand, and may be implicit to some, and even be properly applied in the professional research, but that word does not appear, for instance, in the first para of this blog post. I know the climate is changing, and it seems not in a good way. I also think ever more humans are not helping anything much by releasing ever more consequences of their daily business. Just... not so sure yet about the the link, and scale of influence being claimed, and used as excuses for pretty scary stuff by some. Especially those who see cutting back as what others do and some need not (oddly, one set being those they think they 'rule', and another those who treat them with distain but might still fund the odd pension if sucked up to correctly).

    I feel like the media coverage needs to change but continue. In what capacity I am not sure. It’s unfortunate that the media has the power to take something serious and turn people off from it.

    Bingo, if for different reasons and possibly from different ends of the quaint demographic divide (if by age at least) suggested.

    But one last thing to bear in mind. Just because I am proving a harder sell does not mean I don't care, or want to understand. Don't know how many of our passionate youth are parents, but when you are middle aged with kids, with almost none of the suggested consequences in one's lifetime to worry about, the suggestions of some that the likes of me don't have the best interests of my children at heart is at best scientifically silly, and at worst foolishly insulting. That is, if reaching consensus for sensible, practical, action on the part of the total population is really what those more vocal in their 'concerns' really want.

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  • 37. At 09:49am on 15 Sep 2009, Gates wrote:

    For once I think the opinions of the public is not the important issue here. The public are ill informed on climate change. We are not a reliable source to make decisions, we only know what we have heard from others, none of us know for sure what is happening because we are not doing the research. The same goes for politicians. It's easy for us in the UK and the US to see all this ranting about climate change, but we don't see the effects here yet, which makes it easy for us to believe it's not happening.

    The only people who can truly depict what is happening are those actually doing the research. These are the only people who know the "facts" first hand. It's no longer the opinion of climate scientists that man made climate change is a reality, it's proven fact.

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  • 38. At 10:21am on 15 Sep 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    Is climate change really such a special case? Reading this blog, one gets the impression that we are venturing into completely unknown territory and nothing similar has ever being done like this before. I don't see it that way. Climate change may pose challenges in terms of its complexity and the temporal-spatial scales we need to consider, but decision-making in the face of scientific uncertainty and political controversy is hardly a new thing for our societies. Difficult yes, challenging yes, but something so strange and immense that it is intractable - I doubt it.

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  • 39. At 10:42am on 15 Sep 2009, jon112uk wrote:

    37. At 09:49am on 15 Sep 2009, Gates23 wrote:
    "The only people who can truly depict what is happening are those actually doing the research. These are the only people who know the "facts" first hand."
    ===================================

    Don't forget these academics are paid for by the same governments who are using this as an excuse to raise taxes. It's not cheap to sit on a glacier in Greenland for six months.

    Would anyone uncritically trust research on smoking funded by a tobacco company?

    Even if people accept the basic message (world is heating up, we caused it, we are all going to die) there is still a lot of scepticism about the way (some) governments are responding. How come every response seems to involve a new tax?

    How would our current rulers have justified an increase in petrol tax, in the middle of a recession, if they did not have the pretext of 'global warming' to rely upon?

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  • 40. At 10:52am on 15 Sep 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    JunkkMail,
    Gates 23, your comment popped up just as I was about to post and I have to agree that we, the public are ill informed however, we can still see things at ground level that those with loftier views may miss. Nothing can be proven, only interpreted with the tools currently available to do the job. When we look into the skies we see a criss -cross scarring of vapor trails. When we look at our children we see the effects of continuous pollution by carbon monoxide, toxic chemicals and unnatural environments. When we look at the 'natural' countryside, we see that it is man planned, man manufactured and manicured to please the eye, as real nature is a bit more chaotic and scary.
    Sensible practical world action would be on my christmas wish list.
    Get politicians to read the blogs and the useful links that these clever, well read bloggers have taken the time and trouble to find for us, would be next on the list.
    More really good questions formulated here for our politicians to take to the UN summit. If the ideas of some of the clever people here were seen to be cherry picked and taken to the conference, it would give heart to the budding young environmentalists and scientists and ordinary folk who also read this blog.
    To know that ideas are listened to and acted upon, that altruism is celebrated and not sneered at, that visible signs of change for the better are reported.
    What is going to work better for change, raising people's hopes and dreams up or dragging everyone down into hopeless apathy?
    by by for now
    PS (I am sorry if I am a bit vocal but this platform is my only chance to have a say and be heard as a member of the public)

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  • 41. At 11:45am on 15 Sep 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    Just a reminder for concerned bloggers about next Monday...

    "Peace Day 21 September is a day of non-violence and ceasefire, a 24 hour-long platform for life-saving activities around the world."

    Peace One Day

    UN Resolution 55/282. International Day of Peace

    Peace Day Supporters

    All the best; davblo2

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  • 42. At 11:59am on 15 Sep 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To sensibleoldgrannie #40:

    You wrote:

    "PS (I am sorry if I am a bit vocal but this platform is my only chance to have a say and be heard as a member of the public)"
    ---------

    100%. The blogosphere is a special place, isn't it? I do read the papers, but not like I used to. Frankly, they have lost my interest, except for the few well-written, well thought our articles which I still can find with diligent searching.

    I see in the internet and such venues as Wikipedia a new future with new possibilities.

    But it is all so fragile!

    It has occurred to me that our court systems, and our science, our institutions - they are all dependent upon stability and in-excess-of-necessities money.

    What if this stability and extra money were to fail?

    Missing from the debate on global warming is usually history. It is not just models which indicate the future, in fact, they are in many ways the least important.

    But just as we talk of learning from our historical past, but seldom do, so with climate science and paleo-climatology.

    As ghostofsichuan so aptly pointed out in another blog, we are just "a half step out of the cave."

    We are designed to live in the moment, and are neurotic in civilized society because we are out of tune with nature's rhythms.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 43. At 1:05pm on 15 Sep 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Some of you have been so kind and so supportive of my little bit of input. I really appreciate it and the effects of the support are like ripples on a pond, spreading out through me, through others reading the blogs and, to our leaders and decision makers and perhaps even further through time and space. The flap of a butterfly wing, the kind word, the thoughtful idea must all gather in the ether to be collected, saved and reflected upon by thinking, understanding entities.

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  • 44. At 1:30pm on 15 Sep 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @gates23 #37

    It's no longer the opinion of climate scientists that man made climate change is a reality, it's proven fact.

    Really? So it should be very easy to present those facts. Please do.

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  • 45. At 1:35pm on 15 Sep 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @sensibleoldgrannie #40

    you seem like you are a little sceptical on this issue, but care a great deal about the world we live in, as many of our most vocal sceptics do too.

    There's no need to apologise for being vocal, your contribution is very welcome, even if we (collective "we") disagree on issues. Personally, i like to read what you have to say (even when you seem to mock me ;) ), as I do with most others (since yeah_whatever left the arena, things are much nicer even when we disagree), so please post as much as you like, but agree with me! ;)

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  • 46. At 1:36pm on 15 Sep 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @davblo2 #41

    thank you, sincerely

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  • 47. At 1:59pm on 15 Sep 2009, workrestandplay wrote:

    With fuel duty going through the roof at a time of recession, and with traffic lights being engineered to keep motorists waiting longer and therefore burning more fuel (and raising more money for the treasury), is it any wonder that people are becoming more jaded about the whole thing ?

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  • 48. At 2:01pm on 15 Sep 2009, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    The causes of climate change are only important to address mitigation. Spewing millions of tons of chemicals and particles into the atmosphere on a regular basis being viewed as a passive or neutral act seems a bit difficult to comprehend. The phschological approach has been to tie higher costs and lower standards of living to climate change mitigation. I would think that as most people are motivated by self-interest that this approach would place climate change in more disfavor. As individuals have been adopting to the issue with greater care of waterways and runoff from argicultural lands, using reuseable shopping bags, more efficient transport, lower energy lights, etc, the general trend appears to be positive. When you enter the political arena you enter the land of profits and contributions. Politicians will take opposite sides of any issue as this promotes themselves and they are always careful to leave an opportunity to be "taken out of context" or "not having the information", as a fallback position. A more friendly relationship with the planet should be considered a positive goal. If the sealevel raises there are two choices: 1. mitigation by reducing man made impacts or 2. Move major cities and ports worldwide. The first option appears to be the less expensive of the two. The policy concerns relate to the process of collapse. In nature, there can be a cumulative process whereby a process that has been gradual can suddenly reach a point where rapid demise of a system occurs. Our past success of re-routing rivers, building dams and sealwalls may not be an adequate indicator of our potential success with a much larger system. The impact on food supplies, distribution and economic well-being could shift downward in a short timeframe. Nature never ask for permission.

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  • 49. At 2:10pm on 15 Sep 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    MangoChutneyUKOK #46: "thank you..."

    You're welcome.

    /davblo2

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  • 50. At 2:58pm on 15 Sep 2009, brossen99 wrote:

    If only Pinocchio's nose had been cut for timber then we could have built " Jerusalem " in Englands green and pleasant land ?

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  • 51. At 3:23pm on 15 Sep 2009, Gates wrote:

    @ #39

    What is the with the whole "global warming is made up by the government to increase taxes" argument?

    Other than fuel tax and road tax (down on many vehicles) what other taxes have gone up due to global warming? Lets face it we are in the poorhouse so more money has to come from taxes.

    It's such a flawed argument because what does the government spend our tax money on?? Us! They don't pocket it for themselves (at least not after the expenses reform) it comes back to us in our national services.

    Arguing about climate change is as big a problem as the real thing, because now everyone has an 'opinion' that no one knows who really has the 'facts'

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  • 52. At 4:32pm on 15 Sep 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    #50

    Except that Pinocchio was made in Italy from local pine....

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  • 53. At 4:52pm on 15 Sep 2009, Chris in Baildon wrote:

    Gate23

    What other taxes are up due to global warming:

    Electricity costs have risen due in silly rush to unproven renewables (ie wind turbines).
    Once Carbon Cap and Trade comes fully online - a whole host of new taxes.
    Lots of new "flight taxes" dressed up as green ones.

    The argument that the "government spends money on us" is very silly. I would prefer the government to allow me to spend my own money, in my own way - alot more efficient.

    This Labour government has created a monster of State, that is unsustainable and needs to be reduced in size.

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  • 54. At 5:08pm on 15 Sep 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Mango, I do not mock you, I think you are a smart cookie, don't ever forget that.x

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  • 55. At 5:17pm on 15 Sep 2009, SamuelPickwick wrote:

    #51 Gates, it is your argument that is flawed. Just look at Richard Black's last blog post. Carbon Taxes are being introduced and the money raised given away to developing countries. Plus of course being wasted on research into loony schemes to 'fight climate change'.
    And you are misquoting Jon112. He didn't say it was invented by governments - he said governments use it as a convenient excuse.

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  • 56. At 6:19pm on 15 Sep 2009, Swedishjim wrote:

    PAWB46 #29:
    "mhfisher @26: Your trouble is that you are studying environmental studies (I'm sure it is a trendy subject; has it replaced media studies?) If you studied science you would realise that natural climate change has always occurred and will continue to occur."

    To be fair to mhfisher, I think the BBC have contributed to the science/environmental confusion by marrying the two rather inappropriately in the "Science & Environment" section of the news website.

    It makes me cringe that single-issue environmental headlines are being reported on the same page as proper science. It's no wonder people are confused!

    Didn't it used to be "Science & Technology"? Couldn't they just leave it at that?

    Jim

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  • 57. At 6:21pm on 15 Sep 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @simon-swede #52

    good job it was Italian pine, bristlecone pine would have made pinocchios nose more of a hockey stick shape ;)

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  • 58. At 8:49pm on 15 Sep 2009, rossglory wrote:

    i recall a fascinating youtube video about our inability to comprehend exponential growth, and this is what is triggering the current global environmental catastrophe (and i choose that term in a very measured way having weighed up what i believe to be the evidence). there was some nonsense about environmental studies being the new media stidies, well i've studied meteorology, biology, statistics, ecology, atmospheric chemistry, oceanography, climatology, geology.....in fact i'm sick of the science and virtually all of it points to a human induced disaster.

    whether we have the psychology to understand this and deal with it is a moot point to the natural world that is being ravaged. i have no issue with being called an alarmist but to me it shows a complete and utter lack of understanding of the scale of what is happening.

    like manysummits i also tire of much of the nonsense and denial. the science is as settled as it possibly can be, the evidence is there, the only uncertainty is when things will turn really smelly and the more evidence that is amassed the sooner it seems to be. the psychology that prevents rapid action is the psycology of laziness, self-interest, greed and to a large extent ignorance.

    i have made significant changes in my life and i feel i can look my children/grand-children in the eye and say i tried.

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  • 59. At 9:44pm on 15 Sep 2009, TJ wrote:

    Swedishjim #56:

    You say: "To be fair to mhfisher, I think the BBC have contributed to the science/environmental confusion by marrying the two rather inappropriately in the "Science & Environment" section of the news website.

    It makes me cringe that single-issue environmental headlines are being reported on the same page as proper science. It's no wonder people are confused!

    Didn't it used to be "Science & Technology"? Couldn't they just leave it at that?"
    =====================

    Yes, it did used to be called "Science & Technology". I very much agree that this has created much confusion for the reasons you state. I have brought this to Richard Black's notice a couple of times in the past and he personally acknowledged that there has been considerable internal BBC debate on the very subject.

    I cannot think for the life of me that it was based on practical sense. One is only left with the option to make suspicious judgments as to why this happened.

    Maybe Richard's can give us the latest views on continuing with this division????

    Tim

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  • 60. At 10:42pm on 15 Sep 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    rossglory
    Phew! I bet you feel better getting that lot off your chest.
    I know a lot of you hate religion and I almost feel ashamed of admitting this but I was brought up with it from birth and all of my aunties and uncles including my mother, were brought up by nuns or brothers. Actually, my family dislike religion too. HOWEVER, the one thing I can say about them all is that they are frugal, good, hard working, honest, polite, quiet and take pride in each other. My parents have stayed with each other through thick and thin for their lifetime and have always worked hard at everything, including helping their community of older people.

    Values have to come from somewhere and if there is no community it is difficult to instill common beliefs and goals. If the new 'religion' is work in harmony with nature and obey natural laws and stop being greedy, then how is that going to be achieved when 'community' is the Archers on the radio or some awful soap on TV. Where are people going to get community from, I haven't seen it on the shelf at the supermarket, next to bananas or next to booze. Community was destroyed along with Sunday as a day of rest. Bring back Sunday as a day of community and repair.

    Yep, really, I can see now, that we, the human race are messing things up and now it is payback time. I still believe that some of the things that are happening are naturally occurring though. I wish I could with hand on heart say that I have been good and done everything right but I haven't and I don't think many of our generation have either. We were not educated to care for the planet by schooling or by anyone else. We were part of some nasty social experiment called the baby boomers. We have stuffed up our own children's lives with selfish values that should never have been allowed. Enlightenment has come a bit late for our generation but we can still learn if you can teach us.

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  • 61. At 11:50pm on 15 Sep 2009, manysummits wrote:

    To rossglory #58:

    Amen!

    But you know, I'm looking around at the people. My family, the people I work with, and in general the world community, some of whom I've met personally, most of whom I know only indirectly.

    We are together 'Voyageurs of Starship Earth,' to borrow and modify a line from Star Trek, in the most real sense, both scientific and poetic.

    And we are going to sail into unknown and warmer waters together.

    Maybe we're not going to get our act together in time to avert a crash. It doesn't look like it, not from where I stand.

    OK - it's engine out, and despite a few restart attempts, there appear to be other problems. (one of them is not a lack of gasoline!)

    Time to look down, and find a place to land. That's our job, as pilots. Bring her down in one piece if possible, and figure a way back home.

    We're going to look like heroes, or high priests, or whatever, after advanced global warming takes hold.

    You and I appear to have made significant lifestyle changes already. Maybe more important now is to become more understanding. I think I was on to something a few posts ago when I blurted out that most people are not scientists, nor will they ever be. Thank goodness, what a lack of diversity we would have!

    I was thinking of my mountaineering partner of years ago. He used to talk of 'outdoor people,' as if they were a separate species. In a sense, I think he was right. We are all so similar, and so different. Different aptitudes.

    Maybe ghostofsichuan is on the right 'path' - never mind the AGW, all of us can sense that industrial civilization is a mass destroyer of not just the environment, but also our psyches.

    I read the comments about separating 'Nature' and 'Science.' There's a clue there?

    To you and I, the two are inseparable - a scientist studies nature. But to many, this is not so clear.

    Isn't it possible that science to many is alien, not part of everyone's aptitude, but that the natural world is? Even our most staunch denialists seem committed to a cleaner and healthier world.
    ---------------

    To sensibleoldgrannie #60:

    What are the Songlines of the Human Race - that we can all gather around as the future approaches?
    -------------

    To davblo2:

    Thanks for the reminder about September 21. I think whatever the underlying reasons for altruism, I'm glad they are a part of our makeup.
    ----------

    To timjenvey et al:

    An olive branch?

    - Manysummits -

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  • 62. At 03:56am on 16 Sep 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    The International Energy Agency (IEA) has just published a report “Sectoral Approaches in Electricity – Building Bridges to a Safe Climate”, which attempts to show how the international climate policy framework could effectively support a transition towards low-CO2 electricity systems in developing countries by addressing sectors that require urgent actions, without waiting for countries to take nationwide commitments.

    Essentially the IEA is arguing for a two-pronged sectoral approach in the medium-term - a strong signal to investors in power generation to promote less carbon-intensive technology; and new policies to push for a more efficient use of electricity.

    Under sectoral market mechanisms, credits for emission reductions would be issued once a country's performance exceeded an agreed sectoral emission baseline. Baselines could differ across countries, reflecting the different generation mixes, resources and access to technology in different regions. Sectoral crediting would allow investors to seek credit revenues at the individual project level. The IEA argues that this would be more effective than existing clean development mechanism (CDM) objectives in which credits from CDM projects are used to offset emissions in countries exceeding their emission targets – a situation the IEA describes as a "zero-sum game."

    --------

    On the 'environment' and 'science' debate - I have no strong feelings about how the BBC labels or categorises this material on its web-site. What I do think is important, however, is that it addresses 'environment' in a way that goes beyond 'environmental science' (I use the latter term to refer to scientific aspects of processes resulting from or impacting on the environment). One of the things I enjoy/value about the BBC's environmental reporting and commentary, is that it seeks to cover the scientific, technical, legal, political, and socio-economic aspects of environmental issues.

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  • 63. At 04:54am on 16 Sep 2009, TJ wrote:

    Manysummits #61. You say:
    "To timjenvey et al:
    An olive branch?"

    No need for an olive branch my friend. We have defended and supported each other on many occasion when tensions have run high. I read and appreciate your posts. It's just that we do not agree on everything. What could be more human?!!!

    You say:
    "I read the comments about separating 'Nature' and 'Science.' There's a clue there?"

    For me you are close to understanding a large part of the answer. I encourage you to think back on this when you post to deniers.

    The way I was taught science and how it is used today are totally different. I know that my science teacher is turning in his grave. Science should be always attempting to disprove it's self. As new data becomes available the old paradigms and pet theories have to be put aside and start afresh with new approaches. The art of science as I understand it is to achieve this.

    Now we have media and governments entering on the scene proclaiming science for all its certainties and consensus. THIS IS NOT SCIENCE as I know it. My science master would have used "Inconvenient Truth" as an example in how NOT to do science. A total anathema to his teaching.

    Nature is about the unfathomable. Science is about what we currently pigeon hole of our understanding and make useful. Chalk and cheese. To combine the two IMO is to lose the insight of unfathomable depths of nature and turn science towards arrogance and over selling in trying to say we have understanding.

    I hope this helps. And please carry on blogging my friend. I'll be back for more.

    Night, night.


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  • 64. At 08:13am on 16 Sep 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @rossglory #58

    As i have stated many time i don't think anybody here, sceptic or alarmist, would disagree that we need to take better care of the world we share, but the sceptics just don't accept co2 is a pollutant or the cause of global warming, beyond an insignificant amount due to climate sensitivity - see here for my comment on a previous thread please:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/09/can_climate_spending_save_mone.html#P85761823

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  • 65. At 08:48am on 16 Sep 2009, Simonm wrote:

    In general, the UK public is more "climate sceptical" than the rest of Europe.

    That's because our "weather" is more evident than our climate, on the continent they have "climate" of which their weather is a subset. In the UK, in summer it could be hot, cold, windy, wet, foggy, in extreme cases it might hail or even snow! In Italy in summer it is hot and sunny, it is hotter now than 10 years ago. In the Alps it used to be invariably very cold and snowy. Increasingly it is not so cold and not so snowy.

    This trend is just not experienced in the UK unless you are interested, look hard and perhaps live in the country. Less snow isn't a clue, but Swallows arriving early means Africa is hotter earlier. Bluebell walks increasingly seeing the flowers on their way out rather than in full bloom and Daffodils now blooming in late February !!!

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  • 66. At 10:09am on 16 Sep 2009, jon112uk wrote:

    51. At 3:23pm on 15 Sep 2009, Gates23 wrote:
    "What is the with the whole "global warming is made up by the government to increase taxes" argument? Other than fuel tax and road tax (down on many vehicles) what other taxes have gone up due to global warming? "
    ===========================

    What other taxes? - congestion charge, workplace parking charge, tax on airflights on the way, 'carbon tax' on the way, plastic bag tax (!) on the way....watch the news for the next one.

    I'll repeat the question I made earlier - if the 'global warming' pretext did not exist, how would Brown have been able to get away with an increase in petrol/diesel tax in the middle of a recession with 2.5 million people unemployed?

    Whether all this 'end of the world' stuff is true, I have no way of knowing. But I know for sure it has become a convenient gravy train for politicians, academics, business and the media.

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  • 67. At 11:14am on 16 Sep 2009, U14137704 wrote:

    Two things stick out of Richard's analysis.

    1. That climate porn is less evident than it was.
    2. That the Cardiff study shows that the government is in step with the public on climate change.

    The only good reason I can think of to explain Richard's perception that climate alarmism has somehow dampened over the years is that he has become desensitised to it. You can see why he might want to ignore it. 'The Age of Stupid', emerged this last year, bringing with it its directors' pointless exchanges with Ed Miliband, the 10:10 campaign, and the hype in the Independent and the Guardian.

    More cases of climate porn at http://www.climate-resistance.org/2009/09/has-climate-porn-already-tipped.html

    Climate porn has not gone away.

    It is possible to argue forever about the raw statistics produced by polls, and what their significance is. The crucial point is that whether or not these polls show that the public and political leaders are 'in step'; the ideas that inform our leaders have not been tested at the only poll which counts: the general election. Yet huge changes are being made to our laws and to our future that really ought to be the subject of democratic contest.

    Furthermore, what is interesting about the Cardiff survey is not that it produces a statistic to say that the country is or isn't happy with the direction it's being taken in, but that it produces a study which discusses how the public can be made to think it's the right direction through public education initiatives, by a psychologist.

    In this respect, what the Cardiff study represents is a transformation of the relationship between academia, the government, and the public. The principle of democratic engagement ought to be that the public are sufficiently equipped to make decisions about the ideas that affect them. That is the basis of democratic legitimacy. But what studies such as this do is in fact speak about ways that the public can be engaged with an idea that the government has already made a decision about.

    This transformed relationship goes some way to explaining the existence of climate porn. This mutual lack of confidence between the public and the political establishment means that the latter has to search harder for ways of establishing a legitimate basis for their policies. Climate porn serves as means through which the politicians can claim to have a purpose that is more pressing than the interests and ambitions of the voting public. Climate porn is the bluntest expression of an establishment which is out of step with the public, seeking desperately hard to re-connect. Hence the psychologist is also able to create a role for herself in facilitating an understanding of the public.

    Richard thinks that the government might want to avoid 'difficult and potentially expensive transformations to their economies'. But the reality is that it's much easier to sign up to international agreements to reduce emissions than it is to negotiate the construction of civil infrastructure in the 21st Century. Rather than building roads, conventional power facilities, water distribution and refuse disposal systems, by locating the authority of climate policies in supra-national organisations and institutions (IPCC/UNFCC, Kyoto, Copenhagen, EU) the government can switch its role from overseeing or directing such development, to monitoring and regulating behaviour in order to prevent such development becoming necessary: we are told to travel less, to consume less, to recycle more, to expect less.

    More at http://www.climate-resistance.org/2009/09/tipping-point-for-the-climate-porn-industry.html

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  • 68. At 11:31am on 16 Sep 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    This part of the debate is really interesting. What is wrong with mixing science and nature? It is time we did as perhaps it is part of the old dogma to separate ideas into different camps. Our super computers will be taking information and ideas from all disciplines and mixing and matching, so we had better keep up.
    My ignorant blogger idea of science is:
    Notice a phenomenon, see if it happens again naturally, form a hypothesis, see if you can artificially create the conditions for the phenomenon to happen again, record the observations with whatever means you have at your disposal, repeat the experiment x number of times to check that the phenomenon happens again in the same way, get bored, try getting the phenomenon to occur under different conditions, find a use for the artificial way of creating the phenomenon, get published, get recognised, make money if someone buys your idea.
    Treadmill science is where you are repeating the same experiment day after day to maintain the quality of a product made by scientific methods. Done it, got the T shirt.
    Bioengineering is a bit like cookery, similar techniques, much smaller scale, long wait between each stage a bit boring (so my daughter said after doing a summer holiday of it while at school)
    Inspection science is much more fun if you are in charge. You are given a budget to get the technology you think will do the job. You find out what is causing a particular problem using your new toys, save the company millions and enjoy yourself at the same time then hire a science graduate when you retire.
    There will be lots of inspectors testing for C02 and if they are lucky enough to be in charge, they get to choose the technology.

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  • 69. At 11:39am on 16 Sep 2009, manysummits wrote:

    Leaders in the News

    Racism has reared its ugly head - again!

    Former President Carter has publicly stated that there are racial overtones in the current United States debate over health care reform. Jimmy Carter is from the South - he knows about what he speaks. I have travelled extensively in the States - and he is right.

    I have seen racism in the Canadian oilpatch - I presume it is to be found everywhere, in various guises.

    What has this to do with climate science?

    Well, human beings are involved, with their own prejudices and aptitudes.

    We should, I think, bear the psychology of the human being in mind, at all times, whatever the subject.
    -------

    "Those kind of things are not just casual outcomes of a sincere debate on whether we should have a national programme on healthcare," Mr Carter said at a public meeting at his Carter Center in Atlanta held prior to the Congress vote on Tuesday.

    "It's deeper than that."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8258011.stm
    -----------------------------------------

    To timjenvey:

    Nice to hear!

    In science, our job is not specifically to overturn paradigms, but always to be vigilant, and open to new information, which sometimes does overturn paradigms. But some paradigms work for longer periods of time than others. Celestial mechanics, for example.

    And some get better and better over time - historical geology and paleoclimatology, for example.

    So!!! One doesn't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
    ---------------------

    To simon-swede #62:

    This would be the same International Energy Agency interviewed by George Monbiot, when a minor paradigm shift occurred, the IEA recognizing officially that peak oil is a nearer term reality than had previously been acknowledged.

    http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2008/12/15/at-last-a-date/
    ----------------------------------------------------------

    - Manysummits -

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  • 70. At 12:02pm on 16 Sep 2009, U14137704 wrote:

    I've just seen this in the Guardian, which I think puts to rest Richard's claim that the days of climate porn are over.

    --------------------------------------
    "If Obama can't defeat the Republican headbangers, our planet is doomed.
    Jonathan Freedland. The Guardian. Wednesday 16 September 2009.

    One year on, the world still looks to the US and holds its breath. The fate of a global climate treaty rests in American hands.

    [...]

    The science is now clear that if we do not manage to keep the increase in the earth's temperature below 2C, we risk facing the effects of catastrophic climate change – with all the flooding, drought, mass migration and human suffering that it would entail. The experts tell us that the only way to stay below that 2C limit is for global emissions to peak in 2015 – and then start falling. In other words, we have set ourselves up at a nice corner table in the last chance saloon.

    Copenhagen is that last chance.
    --------------------------------------
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/sep/15/obama-healthcare-climate-change-copenhagen

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  • 71. At 12:17pm on 16 Sep 2009, U14137704 wrote:

    Moderator. Please explain via email:

    ------------------------
    Your Nickname 'Climate_Resistance' has been changed back to
    '14137704', since it contravenes the House Rules –
    Nicknames will be failed if they:
    * Contain website or email addresses
    >>> 'Climate_Resistance' is not a URL, nor an email address.

    * Appear to impersonate someone else
    >>> 'Climate_Resistance' isn't someone else. Or is not intended to appear to be anyone else, anymore than 'John Smith' intends to use his own name to appear to be anyone else.

    * Contain swearwords or other words which may cause offence
    >>> The term 'Climate_Resistance' is not in any way a profanity

    * Contain no character breaks, so distort the page
    >>> 'Climate_Resistance' contains no character breaks.

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  • 72. At 12:28pm on 16 Sep 2009, Borisnorris wrote:

    I thought the tax on plastic bags was because of a lack of landfill sites to put them in and nothing to do with global warming!

    Whatever the arguments, surely the precautionary principle should prevail. To curb the use of fossil fuels can only be a good thing, whatever the effect on climate change - conserving a finite resource can only be good, and the burning of oil and gas is a waste of too valuable a resource.

    And if anthropomorphic climate change is real, then to do nothing will really be a disaster for our economy and 'civilisation'. Mind you, the elimination of the Homo sapiens would appear to be a 'good thing' from the planet's ecology's point of view. It is the only species whose contribution is wholly negative.

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  • 73. At 12:42pm on 16 Sep 2009, KennethM wrote:

    You are ignoring the damaging effect the BBCs own output has had on this debate. It’s not all the fault of BBC News. Have a look at children’s tv and some features broadcasts you may be alarmed at the propaganda surrounding environmental issues coming out of the BBC.

    I do not think the BBC should be putting out propaganda nor should it be campaigning. What it surely should be is a beacon of unfettered facts. BBC News is very much at fault here where it mixes its own opinions in with factual output.

    If the message is that people are confused then the state broadcaster, with 50% of broadcast media in the UK is surely to blame.

    Worst still, it cried wolf when it shouldn’t have been 'crying' at all. It should have stuck to facts.

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  • 74. At 12:59pm on 16 Sep 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @simonandlesley #65

    Less snow isn't a clue, but Swallows arriving early means Africa is hotter earlier. Bluebell walks increasingly seeing the flowers on their way out rather than in full bloom and Daffodils now blooming in late February !!!

    "One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day;"

    Aristotle

    A swallow arriving earlier than normal gives an indication that the world may have warmed, but doesn't tell us what caused the warming

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  • 75. At 2:00pm on 16 Sep 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @manysummits #69 (racism)

    What has this to do with climate science?

    Well, human beings are involved, with their own prejudices and aptitudes.


    lol - i'm sorry manysummits, but that statement is laughable

    surely the hypothesis that man made co2 induced global warming should be based solely on fact without any prejudice from either side otherwise it's opinion

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  • 76. At 2:53pm on 16 Sep 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    #74

    When he mentioned swallows, Aristotle was not trying to make a point about the weather or the seasons, he was making an observation about the human condition. The full quote is:

    One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.

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  • 77. At 3:02pm on 16 Sep 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    #75

    Mango: 'fact without any prejudice'.

    However, as the Talking Heads memorably said in “Crosseyed & Painless”:

    Facts are simple and facts are straight
    Facts are lazy and facts are late
    Facts all come with points of view
    Facts don’t do what I want them to
    Facts just twist the truth around….




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  • 78. At 3:40pm on 16 Sep 2009, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    There is the science of climate change and the politics of climate change. Science tends to rely on results from tests where as politics tends to rely on illusion based on polls. The issue of climate change is much bigger than CO2. Extreme weather patterns, heat centers, sea level rise, vector borne diseases and food production in concert with the exisitng and continuing degradation of the enviornment though industrial and chemical pollution. Recent reports have shown that in China the number of children born with disabilities far exceeds other countries and that these issues are centered in large cities surrounded by industrial zones and the cause of very poor air quality. The coal burning power plants are the primary source of this pollution. The other industries simply dump chemicals into waterways and make the water dangerous to drink. While people argue the impact of CO2, people continue to die and children are born with disabilities due directly to the pollutants from coal fired electrical plants. Seems like a better argument for alternative fuels. There is science in public health too. It has been like automobiles, where societies accept that some figure of highway deaths are acceptable in exchange for independent transportation. We are now accepting a certain number of deaths because of polluants from power plants in exchange for production of electricity using coal. When we as "societies" make decisions that does not free us from our personal responsbilities.

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  • 79. At 4:31pm on 16 Sep 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @ghostofsichuan #78
    I think you are mostly correct in what you are saying, but I think you need to separate our need to stop polluting our planet and the climate change issue. I don’t think anybody would disagree on cleaning up our collective act in terms of pollution and I certainly don’t have a problem with viable alternatives to fossil fuels. We certainly need to ensure clean water and sanitation is made available to the millions who die ech year from the lack of these precious commodities, but where I would depart from what you say is the whole business of AGW.

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  • 80. At 5:32pm on 16 Sep 2009, TJ wrote:

    sensibleoldgrannie #68

    I agree with your 'ignorant' blogger idea of science. You express it very well I might add.

    This is not my issue.

    Science and Technology are tools/methods which are used in many disciplines. It is a tool/method that is used in stdying the enviornment and nature. It is also used in sport, business, art etc. This is where confusion is created.

    No problem either with mixing ideas but science is not an idea it's a tool to help understand and study those ideas.

    And on mega computers I’ll hand over to the Hitch Hikers Guide where a race of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings who built a computer named Deep Thought to calculate the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. When the answer was revealed to be 42, Deep Thought had predicted that another computer, more powerful than itself would be made and designed by it to calculate the question for the answer. (Later on, referencing this, Adams would create the 42 Puzzle, a puzzle which could be approached in multiple ways, all yielding the answer 42.)

    Tim





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  • 81. At 6:16pm on 16 Sep 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Thanks timjenvey,
    A light hearted approach works for me, pi in the sky.

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  • 82. At 6:29pm on 16 Sep 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    timjenvey #80: "Science and Technology are tools/methods..."

    Sorry to trip you up (again?) but in #63 you said...

    "...The art of science as I understand it is to achieve this."

    Art form, tool or both?

    All the best; davblo2

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  • 83. At 6:30pm on 16 Sep 2009, SamuelPickwick wrote:

    Listen to KennethM #73.
    It is the relentless bias, exaggeration and propaganda from the BBC and the rest of the media that is responsible for the increase in scepticism.

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  • 84. At 6:54pm on 16 Sep 2009, TJ wrote:

    'pi in the sky'

    LOL

    Not bad for a scientifically ignorant old granny.......

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  • 85. At 7:38pm on 16 Sep 2009, TJ wrote:

    davblo2 #82:

    'Art' as in: knack, talent, skill etc.

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  • 86. At 8:11pm on 16 Sep 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Art as invention. I invented the elastic tape measure, a time map and a jelly map.

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  • 87. At 9:45pm on 16 Sep 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    timjenvey
    #80: "Science and Technology are tools/methods...used in many disciplines"
    #85: "'Art' as in: knack, talent, skill etc"

    Science is not the tools or methods. Science involves the skill and talent (as you said in #85) of deriving and verifying rules which can then be used as tools by others, including non-scientists, in everyday engineering and the like.

    Working in science can give much more insight into the nature of things than the "tools" which are passed on to others as a result.

    All the best; davblo2

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  • 88. At 11:24pm on 16 Sep 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    sensibleoldgrannie #86: "the elastic tape measure, a time map and a jelly map"

    Well of course, if you make elastic tape you need something to measure it with.

    ...and if you are visiting the Jelly Belly Candy Comapny you would need a Jelly map.

    But as for a time map, I think some one else beat you to it.

    All the best; davblo2

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  • 89. At 04:54am on 17 Sep 2009, TJ wrote:

    Davblo2 #87:

    Not sure I'm following you.

    Let's swop science with something I consider to be very similar; Project Management. Project Management is a METHOD for delivering projects on time, in scope and on budget. It has TECHNOLOGY in the form of knowledge (IP), tools (S/W apps) and craft (skill). A Project Manager applies all of these in a balanced and appropriate way (what I called ART) to the project. i.e. The ART of Project Management.

    Are you seeing science as something different?

    Night, night.........

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  • 90. At 05:06am on 17 Sep 2009, TJ wrote:

    Elastic tape measures:

    How about a device that knows the coefficient of elasticity and measures the stress when stretched and can compute the distance. Provided the yield point is not exceeded of course. Maybe I should file a patent double quick in the morning on this!!!

    And this really is night, night. My brain just exploded thinking this post..........

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  • 91. At 08:31am on 17 Sep 2009, Jack Hughes wrote:

    Anyone else seen the doco about a sustainable community ?

    They really do 'live the dream' - a low-carbon lifestyle with low-carbon food, low-carbon transport, low-carbon jobs, low-carbon homes.

    They have strict monitors to make sure no-one is cheating: a secret car parked round the corner or an illegal chocolate bar smuggled in - possibly a child's birthday present from an unthinking relative.

    They were not Amish - they had all kinds of modern gadgets around. Computer games and TVs that worked when there was enough wind - and when no-one wanted to do some washing. One guy needed to do some welding - so everything was switched off for about 2 hours. The children ran round telling people when the all-clear was sounded and they could switch appliances on.

    They were home-schooling the children - and they could help to grow vegetables. One lady was a nurse - they allowed a doctor to drive in when they had emergencies. Not sure what plans they had if a child got appendicitis or a lady needed a caesarian.

    I missed the start and the end so I have no idea what the program was called or even the country.

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  • 92. At 09:00am on 17 Sep 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    My wacky time map was drawn out and explained to a history prof, way back in 2000. I know it would work and computer technology has moved on considerably. If I had been able to get my head around the technology at the time, the map would have been developed and published.
    A version of the elastic tape measure is already used to test strain limits on metals and it is the principle behind the spring weight. Mine was just a tape measure printed on elastic. It represented an idea that linear measurement is a concept that we have come to accept because it seems practical, it is universal and components can be made to fit using that system. We rely on the metric system which is based on a piece of metal, the original measure (which incidently stretches and shrinks according to temp) There may be a time when linear measurement will not work and a new method of measurement will be needed to explain distortion or movement through time.
    The jelly map explore an idea about the raw nature of human design and implementation as an organised, evolving group activity. If you take an ordinary map, remove the signs and symbols, remove the flat structure of the paper, you are left with an organic looking form that looks like blood vessels.

    conceptual art is fun ;o) try it and improve your thinking. I have always wanted science and art to make friends.

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  • 93. At 09:43am on 17 Sep 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Pi is my favorite measurement because it follows natural laws.

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  • 94. At 10:21am on 17 Sep 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    sensibleoldgrannie #92:

    Thank you for elaborating on your ideas.
    Sorry for my "tongue in cheek" #88.
    You may like to see the latest definition of the metre which is no longer just a piece of metal.
    "In 1983, the metre was redefined as the distance travelled by light in free space in 1⁄299,792,458 of a second."

    All the best; davblo2

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  • 95. At 10:34am on 17 Sep 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    sensibleoldgrannie #93: "Pi is my favorite measurement because it follows natural laws."

    Is is also a Transcendental number which in simple terms means some things are physically impossible.

    "The transcendence of Pi allowed the proof of the impossibility of several ancient geometric constructions involving compass and straightedge, including the most famous one, squaring the circle."

    All the best; davblo2

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  • 96. At 10:56am on 17 Sep 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    timjenvey #89: "A Project Manager applies all of these [tools] in a balanced and appropriate way (what I called ART) to the project."

    ...and then he's done his job. The goal is set, "project on time within budget".

    A scientist does all that, and more; the outcome is most often not set, it's open ended. It will involve analysis of results and creation of new concepts, relationships and descriptions of the world.

    But my main point was that in #80 you said...
    "Science and Technology are tools/methods...used in many disciplines"
    ...and I said that science is more than just "tools".

    All the best; davblo2

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  • 97. At 10:58am on 17 Sep 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    #92

    Hi grannie! I have a feeling that davblo2 already may have responded in his messages at 94 & 95 (which are not yet visible as I write).

    The lump of metal reference for a metre was correct, but is no longer (it was dropped in 1960). The standard was changed again in 1983, and is now the distance travelled by light in a vacuum in a time interval of 1⁄299,792,458 of a second. While retaining the standard, a further recommendation was made in 2002 to take account of effects predicted by relativity theory.

    All the other base standards have followed a similar path, with the one exception being the kilogram. Work is ongoing to develop a new standard, but for now we still have a lump of metal.

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  • 98. At 12:32pm on 17 Sep 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    simon-swede #97:

    :-)

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  • 99. At 4:14pm on 17 Sep 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    You are giving the kids who read this blog something they can understand now ;o)
    er...well... pi and a few tweeky bits
    Anyway circles are easy to create and the golden section is quite cute for art work. Fibonacci we use for spirals and imitation of natural form. I have never had trouble squaring the circle, perhaps I am going wrong somewhere. I certainly can't create an accurate square without using circle arcs.
    (This conversation is getting more daft by the minute but it is amusing)
    davblo2
    Can you direct me to a link to explain your gobbledegook so that us ordinary mortals can understand your transcending pies and physically impossible bubbles ;o)

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  • 100. At 4:41pm on 17 Sep 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    David and Simon
    If I have a bit of transcendental measuring to do, I chuck away the ruler and use a bit of non elastic string to measure the diameter and then fold the string in half to get my transcendental measurement for the square so that it sits accurately on the circumference of the circle (after doing a couple of other bits with a straight line through the center point of the circle and some arcs to find the 90 degree perpendicular).
    If you get bored one day try to create the full lotus pattern with just a compass, a pencil and a ruler, that should keep you busy for 30 minutes let me know how you get on ;o)

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  • 101. At 4:45pm on 17 Sep 2009, TJ wrote:

    Then you say:
    "It will involve analysis of results and creation of new concepts, relationships and descriptions of the WORLD."

    I think we all have an input in shaping our understanding of the WORLD. Most disciplines especially project management do all the items you mention above. I'm sure a scientist working on ladies bra’s does it in a similar fashion.

    I think you are touching on what I have said before about science as being arrogant and oversold.

    Best
    Tim

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  • 102. At 5:16pm on 17 Sep 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    timjenvey #101: "I think you are touching on what I have said before about science as being arrogant and oversold."

    Now you're touching on my sensitive nerves.

    I don't know about "oversold", my experience is "underrated".

    Since I reached the peak of my official qualifications (ok, long time ago), the fact that I achieved that level received virtually no respect at all from anyone bar my mum and wife and a couple of close friends. Everyone else seemed to think I was arrogant just for trying to reach that level of education let alone use it. They seem to be afraid of anyone who can potentially "look down" on them.

    There's something about our society that killed off the respect for education.

    Jumps down off soap-box; davblo2

    PS. Sorry sensibleoldgrannie #99. Have to dash... (later)...

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  • 103. At 8:33pm on 17 Sep 2009, TJ wrote:

    sensibleoldgrannie #99 You ask:

    "Can you direct me to a link to explain your gobbledegook so that us ordinary mortals can understand your transcending pies and physically impossible bubbles ;o)"

    We had some posts a few weeks ago on this very topic of base standards and measurements. I suggested that we all used the length of a cricket pitch as our standard. You would then have for instance: 80 cricket pitches to the mile. Etc.
    Seemed totally reasonable to me as I can test (22 steps) and visualize it easily.

    So with your lump of metal and my cricket pitch we are all set for adventures galore!!
    Are you up for it granny?

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  • 104. At 8:45pm on 17 Sep 2009, TJ wrote:

    Davblo2 #102:

    Whoops: Not meaning intentionally to step on sensitivities. Apologies my friend.

    I never really got an education outside the basic and my mum routed for me and still does. Mum’s (and wife's) are great. Don't know how any of us would get through life without them.

    Best
    Tim


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  • 105. At 08:18am on 18 Sep 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Some people are very vertically challenged like me. Your man steps and my woman steps won't match. If the thing I want to build is based on step measurement, as the universal scale, we immediately have a problem. My measurement would be based on need. Work out how much space is needed and the area to be used. Bash an arrow, stick or metal pole into the ground (roughly in the centre). Use tool of choice, vine, rope, wire string and tie the end to the pole. Walk outwards from the central pole with your tool of choice string until the group of people who are working with you say stop. The consensus is the measure. Create your circle to define the space. To mark the circle you can use different coloured dust, chalk, etching stick. To get a fine trickle of dust, use a hand fashioned funnel (based on pi) and as a group decide the thickness of the stream of dust, so that everyone can see it while keeping it thin enough to be a measuring line. From that circle proportional, consensus measure, it is possible to create your design. My design would be a cathedral, the measurement of man and soul. Some people practice these ideas in precious food crops, not an environmentally friendly thing to do. However, the designs could be done after the crop has been harvested, as a treat for helping bring in the crop.

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  • 106. At 08:23am on 18 Sep 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    "vertically challenged"

    shouldn't your name be "sweetoldgrannie"?

    ;-*

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  • 107. At 08:27am on 18 Sep 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    sensibleoldgrannie #100: "If I have a bit of transcendental measuring to do,..."

    I think you are drawing your square "outside" the circle. The "squaring the circle" problem actually involves creating a square with the same area as the circle. If the circle has radius 1, then its area is Pi. So you need to create a square with sides "square-root" of Pi; and that is what can't be done (apparently). There is a picture at top right here... "Squaring the circle"

    All the best; davblo2

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  • 108. At 08:58am on 18 Sep 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Take a look at the fresco painting by Raphael Sanzio, 'School of Athens', 1510-11. Here we have a representation of the debate between Plato and Aristotle, which is what this measurement debate is all about really. This is my favorite work because of the technical feat and the visual content of the picture. You can find a description of this painting in 'Annotated Art by Robert Cummings or you could check it out on the Internet. This is the archetypal starting point for this discussion. The Pope was clever, he came from a wealthy background and therefore had access to knowledge. While the 'School of Athens' is in this room, not far away is the more primitive idealism (one sided view) of Michelangelo's Sistine chapel ceiling, again in this book with annotation. The catholic church was the power. It had absolute authority because it had access to all written knowledge. It could deny or allow others access to learning as it wished, choosing specific personality types to continue collating and developing information.

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  • 109. At 09:08am on 18 Sep 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    sensibleoldgrannie #99: "davblo2 Can you direct me to a link to explain your gobbledegook so that us ordinary mortals can understand your transcending pies and physically impossible bubbles ;o)"

    I'm not sure if you are still interested, but one thing about transcendental numbers is that they are "irrational" and can never be written down "exactly" as fractions or decimals (or hexadecimal or octal or binary). So no matter how hard you try with 22/7, 355/113, ... or 3.1415926535897932384626433832795... you can never actually state the exact value.

    In everyday life, when we measure things we only need a "reasonable" level of accuracy. eg. one cricket pitch, give or take and inch or two.

    The impossibilities only become important if you want absolute accuracy.
    In practice no one ever does, but it's an interesting concept.

    One example is that if you draw your circle with diameter "1" (whatever unit you like), then it is impossible to measure the circumference exactly, with the same unit. You can divide your unit down into smaller parts, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64ths... etc, but no matter how hard you try the "end" of the circumference will always lie between two marks on your scale. Even if you "zoom" in with a microscope, (until you get down to the "atoms" when you'll have to give up).

    The diameter and circumference are "incommensurable"; which means there is no common unit of size which can measure them both exactly, not millimeters, inches, cricket pitches, or bunny-hops.

    There are other examples but I'll stop boring you now...

    All the best; davblo2

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  • 110. At 09:11am on 18 Sep 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @sensibleoldgrannie #108

    The catholic church was the power. It had absolute authority because it had access to all written knowledge. It could deny or allow others access to learning as it wished, choosing specific personality types to continue collating and developing information.

    Should I be looking for hidden meaning in this statement, such as the similarities with the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming?

    ;)

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  • 111. At 09:15am on 18 Sep 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    davblo2,
    Thank you very much for filling in gaps in my knowledge and understanding and giving me a link to a site where I can contemplate the problem. Bubbles in theory, can't exist but they do. The fact that we have not understood the mathematics doesn't prove non-existence, as every child knows.

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  • 112. At 09:16am on 18 Sep 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    sensibleoldgrannie #108: "Take a look at..."

    You can see it here... The fresco painting by Raphael Sanzio, 'School of Athens'

    /davblo2

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  • 113. At 09:37am on 18 Sep 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    quadrature, the girlie way, thought out while eating my home-made marmalade sandwich.
    Create a square first with 3-D edges so that it can hold fluid.
    Use a known weight/volume/level of fluid of choice to fill in the area of the square.
    Because pi is flexible, create your circle with 3-D edges to take your previously measured squared liquid. Could be fun with bubble mix.

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  • 114. At 09:43am on 18 Sep 2009, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    refining the idea further,
    pixels and vectors.
    Vectors can create fill-shapes whereas pixels are a bit stubborn. Try the experiment with vector shapes.

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  • 115. At 09:53am on 18 Sep 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    sensibleoldgrannie #113: "Use a known weight/volume/level of fluid..."

    A really smart idea; but unfortunately the rules of the problem are to use only "Compass and straight edge"

    "Compass-and-straightedge or ruler-and-compass construction is the construction of lengths, angles, and other geometric figures using only an idealized ruler and compass."

    They liked to make their challenges difficult in those days.

    All the best; davblo2


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  • 116. At 7:30pm on 18 Sep 2009, JunkkMale wrote:

    91. At 08:31am on 17 Sep 2009, Jack_Hughes_NZ wrote:
    Anyone else seen the doco about a sustainable community ?


    Doubt it was here. Prescott (or his heirs... he is now the Green Grandad, well, except come holiday times), would have an affordable housing eco-ish town in their back gardens before you could say 'vote buying'.

    "Buy land, they're not making it anymore" Mark Twain (maybe... and he evidently hadn't been to Hong Kong or Singapore)

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  • 117. At 8:02pm on 18 Sep 2009, mhfisher wrote:

    After reading post number 67 by U14137704, I agree with the fact that Black must have become desensitized to climate porn. Perhaps it’s the fact that I go to an environmental friendly school but the evidence of climate change in papers, on the web, and in the news is still just as fanatical to me. You say the “age of stupid” has occurred with campaigns the lights of 10:10 but at the same time, many positive campaigns have emerged in the climate change world. Organizations such as Greenpeace and the WWF and Oxfam America are drawing in the attention of youth and really inciting activism into its followers. Climate change has become the issue for my generation and I see it reflected every day on my campus. So while certain campaigns may be drawing negative attention to the spotlight I don’t think its fair to ignore all the wonderful work students are doing to draw attention to the issue.

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  • 118. At 08:55am on 19 Sep 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @mhfisher #117

    Climate change has become the issue for my generation and I see it reflected every day on my campus

    How will your generation feel when this issue is exposed for the nonsense it really is?

    Don't believe me? Do your own research and don't rely on your teachers telling you that it must be CO2. Search for "missing hotspot" and try to understand the logarithmic curve of CO2 absorption bands. Ask your teachers about these subjects.

    Good luck with the studies

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  • 119. At 12:16pm on 19 Sep 2009, Jack Hughes wrote:

    @mhfisher #117

    When I was at Uni in the 1980s we didn't even have a climate.

    But we did have the Committee to Save the Gay Whales. We had meetings, marches, demos. We did a lot of 'awareness' stuff. Everyone on campus knew about the plight of these gay whales. How noble we felt. How open-minded. It achieved nothing for the whales - it was empty posturing.

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  • 120. At 08:57am on 22 Sep 2009, Jack Frost wrote:

    Its good to know the Artic ice extent has exceeded 2005 levels

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

    Also its interesting that all these documentaries, world leader visits, and general TV fact finding missions always visit at the peak of the Arctic summer when the ice is obviously in retreat. I suppose that makes good visuals to film bare rock instead of whiteouts.

    As the graph shows ice retreats and extends quite naturally between summer and winter. (Well I never!)

    Below is another intersting timelapse of ice data.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6j8SGs_gnFk&feature=related



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  • 121. At 10:27am on 22 Sep 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    #120

    A better measure is the volume, not the area, of sea-ice.

    The Arctic ice cap grows each winter as the sun sets for several months and intense cold ensues. In the summer, wind and ocean currents cause some of the ice naturally to flow out of the Arctic, while much of it melts in place. But not all of the Arctic ice melts each summer; the thicker, older ice is more likely to survive. Seasonal sea ice usually reaches about 2 meters (6 feet) in thickness, while multi-year ice averages 3 meters (9 feet).

    In July 2009 NASA reported that Arctic sea ice thinned considerably between the winters of 2004 and 2008, with thin seasonal ice replacing thick older ice as the dominant type for the first time on record.

    Previously, scientists relied only on measurements of area to determine how much of the Arctic Ocean is covered in ice, but it is now possible to monitor ice thickness and volume changes over the entire Arctic Ocean. The results give scientists a better understanding of the regional distribution of ice and provide better insight into what is happening in the Arctic.

    NASA's scientists found that overall Arctic sea ice thinned about 0.17 meters (7 inches) a year, for a total of 0.68 meters (2.2 feet) over four winters. The total area covered by the thicker, older "multi-year" ice that has survived one or more summers shrank by 42 percent.

    For details, see: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2009-107

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  • 122. At 1:04pm on 22 Sep 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    #120

    Ice volume is considered a more useful measure than sea-ice area, as it allows calculation of annual ice production and an inventory of the freshwater and total ice mass stored in Arctic sea ice. This requires measurement of both teh area and the thickness of the ice.

    In July 2009 NASA reported that Arctic sea ice thinned dramatically between the winters of 2004 and 2008, with thin seasonal ice replacing thick older ice as the dominant type for the first time on record.

    See: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2009-107

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  • 123. At 09:06am on 24 Sep 2009, Jack Frost wrote:

    The news of the MET office and Climate Research Unit's 'lost data' debacle is starting to spread its wings.

    'The Dog Ate Global Warming'

    The plot thickens.

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZTBiMTRlMDQxNzEyMmRhZjU3ZmYzODI5MGY4ZWI5OWM=&w=MA==

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  • 124. At 09:31am on 24 Sep 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    To avoid catastrophic environmental change humanity must stay within defined 'planetary boundaries' for a range of essential Earth-system processes, argue Johan Rockström and his co-authors in a feature printed in this week’s edition of Nature. If one boundary is transgressed, then safe levels for other processes could also be under serious risk, they caution.

    The feature and seven commentaries on it from leading experts that can be accessed at Nature Reports Climate Change (FREE internet access, see http://tinyurl.com/planetboundaries).
    Here there is also a link to a longer article from the Stockholm Resilience Centre on which the Nature feature is based.

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  • 125. At 09:33am on 24 Sep 2009, davblo2 wrote:

    colonelAgentEnigma #123: "...news..."

    I assume you accept simon-swede's explanation (and link) #121 & #122 of changes in the Arctic ice; since you are moving on to another form of attack.

    /davblo2

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  • 126. At 09:40am on 24 Sep 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    The rate of thinning of the Pine Island Glacier, which is the largest stream of fast-moving ice on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, quadrupled from 1995 to 2006. The changes inland are consistent with the effects of a prolonged disturbance to the ice flow, such as the effects of ocean-driven melting.

    Wingham, D. J., D. W. Wallis, and A. Shepherd (2009), Spatial and temporal evolution of Pine Island Glacier thinning, 1995–2006, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L17501.

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  • 127. At 12:59pm on 24 Sep 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    Following on from colonelAgentEnigma #123 post and because i know some of you won't read the link:

    One of the principles of science is replication. Any experiment or theory must be capable of being reproduced by others in order to try and find something wrong. This principle is based on the objective of science to do things so well that nothing is wrong.

    If there were no records of temperature for the last 150 years, we simply wouldn't know that the earth had warmed. Whilst the accuracy of these records are open to question (see www.surfacestations.org and Microclimate Exposures of Surface-Based Weather Stations by Davey and Pielke Sr, published in the the April 2005 edition of American Meteorological Society), they are essentially all we have as a record of temperatures over the last 150 years. There are proxies and reconstructions of temperature that take us back further than 150 years, but these reconstructions have been shown to be flawed and unreliable.

    The records of temperature for the last 150 years are not all they seem however. The Met Office and others take the raw data, adds a bit here and there to simulate the effects of a growing population and urbanisation, which seems fair, although they don't adjust for instances such as car parks being tarmacked or air conditioning being installed next to the weather station. The adjusted record forms the backbone of any claims temperatures have risen due to mans CO2 emissions over the last 150 years. The raw data is the only part of the temperature record that can be examined to check for errors in adjustments and the validity of the adjusted temperature record, so the data is very important.

    The University of East Anglia established the Climate Research Unit (CRU) to produce the world’s first comprehensive history of surface temperature and it served as the primary reference standard for the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) until 2007. It was this record that prompted the IPCC to claim a “discernible human influence on global climate”. In 2005, an Austalian scientist, asked the Met Office for the original raw data. The Met Office’s documented response to a fellow scientist attempting to replicate his work was, “We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”

    Going back to my opening paragraph, isn't trying to find something wrong with it a principle of replication and isn't it a duty of scientists to try to find something wrong with it?

    In 2009, an American scientist requested the raw data and the Met Office gave it to him. This was followed by a Canadian researcher, who had been invited by the National Academy of Sciences to present an analysis of temperatures over 1000 years, requesting the raw data under the Freedom of Information Act. The Canadian was told he couldn't have the data because he wasn't an academic, so a colleague of his, at the University of Guelph, asked for the data, but was turned down too. More requests for the raw data followed and the Met Office refused them all stating there were confidentiality agreements with the suppliers of the raw data. A small campaign was started and individuals in the countries where a confidentiality agreement existed began requesting the agreements. Unfortunately, only a few of these agreements existed.

    A professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado then requested the raw data from the Met Office, who responded:

    Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e., quality controlled and homogenized) data.

    Essentially the Met Office is telling us that they adjusted the original raw data and then lost or destroyed them over twenty years ago. This means we can no longer go back to the original data and replicate the “warming” that has been recorded over the last 150 years and we are being asked to trust the very people who started this whole doom and gloom circus.

    Read the full story here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/23/taking-a-bite-out-of-climate-data/

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  • 128. At 1:00pm on 24 Sep 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    ice melting is a possible indication of warming, but doesn't tell us what caused that warming

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  • 129. At 1:23pm on 24 Sep 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    just thought

    what would the judge have to say about the missing data in manysummits court?

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  • 130. At 3:00pm on 24 Sep 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    Mango at #127

    It’s not actual “replication” but “reproducibility” which is one of the main principles of the scientific method. It refers to the ability of a test or experiment to be accurately reproduced, by someone else working independently. Simply taking someone else’s data seems to me to be taking something of a short-cut to working independently?

    You also refer to a “theory” being capable of being reproduced. I am not quite sure what that is meant to mean, but anyway I would have thought that it is rather the ability to reproduce experiments to test a hypothesis on which a theory is based?

    You state the purpose of seeking to reproduce the results as being “to try and find something wrong”. The other more positive side to that is surely to verify the findings. Or do you really see the application of the scientific method as being limited to trying to pick holes in someone’s work?

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  • 131. At 3:08pm on 24 Sep 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    Mango at #128

    I guess that you would agree that what the authors describe as being consistent with the effects of a prolonged disturbance such as the effects of ocean-driven melting, is unlikely to be an indication of prolonged ocean-driven cooling?

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  • 132. At 3:32pm on 24 Sep 2009, simon-swede wrote:

    In addition to #126, more reports about disappearing ice in the Arctic and Antarctic.

    A letter which appears in Nature today reports change along the entire grounded margins of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. The authors found that dynamic thinning of glaciers now reaches all latitudes in Greenland, has intensified on key Antarctic grounding lines, has endured for decades after ice-shelf collapse, penetrates far into the interior of each ice sheet and is spreading as ice shelves thin by ocean-driven melt. The authors infer from their results that grounded glaciers and ice streams are responding sensitively not only to ice-shelf collapse but to shelf thinning owing to ocean-driven melting.

    See: Pritchard et al, Extensive dynamic thinning on the margins of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, Nature, published online 23 September 2009.

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  • 133. At 5:29pm on 24 Sep 2009, MangoChutney wrote:

    @simon-swede #130

    Is it wrong of the Met Office to discard / lose / destroy / mis-lay the raw data and thus prevent anybody from checking their adjustments?

    #131

    I haven't read the article, like i said ice melting is a possible indication of warming, but doesn't tell us what caused that warming

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  • 134. At 9:09pm on 16 Oct 2009, bowmanthebard wrote:

    aving praised Richard Black quite a bit on this blog, I find I have to backpedal a bit:

    In his "Leaders in step on climate" article

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2009/09/in_step_on_climate.html

    Richard Black wrote:

    "None of this categorically proves the case for man-made climate change. But it does show, I think, that the publics' and their leaders' perceptions of climate change, in the UK and elsewhere, are not significantly out of step."

    I find the use of the phrase 'categorically proves' rather hard to understand. Would Richard care to explain? The phrase 'categorically proves' seems like the sort of thing a person who hasn't had any real experience of any sort of science would say.

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  • 135. At 8:54pm on 27 Oct 2009, astrocougarwoman wrote:

    It is absolutely true that there are parts of the ocean that are dead. It is absolutely true that we are headed for catastrophe and that the poles are melting. There is no way that people would make that up to make people come up with carbon tax; a tax I don't agree with by the way. I think that getting people away from financial stress regardless of climate change is the answer. I think that we all just have to slow down and change anything that we do that isn't eco friendly. I thought it would be a good idea if people pick a town or city to turn green to make things faster. That would be really fun. A lot of people can donate their time so that governments are not stressed.

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  • 136. At 04:48am on 02 Mar 2010, simpleman wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

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