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Profiting from nature's portfolio

Richard Black | 08:29 UK time, Friday, 4 June 2010

We've had a fair bit of chat here in recent months about diversity in the natural world, and why it matters - with some regular posters asking whether in fact it matters at all.

Bear eating salmonI've tried to lay out some of the evidence - there is quite a lot - showing that diverse ecosystems tend to be more robust and also inherently more productive, which leads to real human benefits when we're talking about an ecosystem that provides something we need, such as food.

This week the journal Nature places another brick in the wall.

Ray Hilborn and colleagues from the University of Washington (the one in Seattle) looked at records from one of the most valuable fish in US waters - the sockeye salmon, sales of which fetched the somewhat mind-boggling sum of $8bn over the last half a century.

(That's just the value of the landed fish - when you take into account other aspects such as tourism revenues associated with recreational fishing, the true value to the US economy is presumably higher.)

Sockeye salmon are especially plentiful in the waters around Bristol Bay on the western coast of Alaska - a large expanse of sea into which nine major rivers empty their waters - and their salmon.

Each of those rivers is fed by tributaries, and some feature topographically tortured sequences of lakes along their length.

What this translates into is a subtly diverse range of habitats for the sockeye salmon. And with their famous homing instincts, the fish have thus segregated themselves into over 100 more or less discrete populations (presumably there is a bit of interbreeding between them) that lead subtly different lives, including coming downstream at different times.

The researchers asked a simple question. Supposing you didn't have all this diversity - suppose you just had one batch of homogenous salmon - what then?

Now, any perturbation (a rough winter affecting something that fish eat, for example, or a big storm on a certain day) is going to affect the entire batch pretty much across their range.

Sockeye salmon in streamThe homogenous population would see much more see-sawing in output, culminating in a ten-fold increase in the number of fisheries closures, the university team concluded.

Because all the salmon would "run" at the same time, the fishing fleet would have to be bigger in order to catch the same total number of fish - a less economic endeavour.

Among the non-economic impacts the team enumerates, salmon diversity improves prospects for predators such as bears, which can get around from stream-to-stream taking advantage of the seasonally-varying abundances.

Would you invest all your money in a single stock (assuming you dabble in such things at all)?

The wise answer would probably be no, and certainly not over an extended period. Unsurprisingly, the extra robustness of the output from the diverse salmon stock is termed here the "portfolio effect".

However, the other conclusion from the paper is that reducing nature's portfolio is exactly what has been going on further south along the Pacific coast.

More populated as these regions are, more altered by the needs of cities and industry and agriculture, nearly a third of the pre-industrial-era 1,400 Pacific salmon populations have been wiped out since the arrival of European settlers.

It doesn't translate into a species extinction or even close, so it raises but small signals in the conservation community; but on the fishing industry, it's probably had a big effect already, simply through reducing the portfolio.

Bristol Bay is not immune from the spread of development and the growing need for resources.

Whether or not there should be oil drilling there has been a live issue for years, and there are proposals on the drawing board for a big multi-mineral mine - Pebble Mine - which opponents fear could pollute local waters, to the detriment of the fish and all that stems from the fish.

Quantifying the economic benefits of the sockeye salmon's ecological portfolio won't guarantee the mine won't be built or that the area won't see vast oil and gas extraction in the coming years - nor should it, you might say, because the world needs oil and gas and copper and molybdenum, just as it needs fish.

But it should make for more rational decision-making, enabling local people and the authorities to factor in more accurately the costs of development as well as the benefits.

And on the broader stage, it provides one more argument for ecological diversity - and why the current loss of it is concerning many policymakers, even as they struggle to find ways of containing that loss.

Comments

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  • 1. At 09:47am on 04 Jun 2010, John_from_Hendon wrote:

    Richard wrote:

    "We've had a fair bit of chat here in recent months about diversity in the natural world, and why it matters - with some regular posters asking whether in fact it matters at all."

    I object to your slandering of your regular posters in this way. A great many of us do care about diversity and the planet. It is a gross misrepresentation to say that just because we see CO2 based Anthropogenic Global Warming as bad science that we do not care about our planet. Your assertion that we do not care more properly demonstrates your own view!

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  • 2. At 10:29am on 04 Jun 2010, LabMunkey wrote:

    erm, for once i'm actually going to have to defend richard here... i don't think he actually said- or implied that- he certainly didn't seem to be 'targeting' any specific group.

    It'a a no-brainer really, diversity matters hugely.

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  • 3. At 10:35am on 04 Jun 2010, SR wrote:

    @john_from_hendon

    You may protest, but Richard is right. There *are* some regular posters who maintain that biodiversity is irrelevant or insignificant, and whether they accept AGW or not is a different matter.

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  • 4. At 10:44am on 04 Jun 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    We know biodiversity matters, we all do. Richard is clearly taking a swipe at those who do not share his views on AGW, implying that those us who don't buy this nonsense are planet hating monsters who revel in the prospect of species dying out.

    I expect better of a BBC journalist (at least, I used to) and I expect an apology.

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  • 5. At 10:53am on 04 Jun 2010, Mubbers wrote:

    So now the Pacific Islands are not sinking. Is the government of Tuvalu going hold a cabinet meeting up a tree to apologise for all the recent scare mongering?

    Since now Islands are not sinking, hymalayan glaciers are not retreating and climate data is generally all fabricated would the BBC care to concentrate on the real news that climate change scientists and dogma is now completely discredited?

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  • 6. At 11:19am on 04 Jun 2010, Richard Black (BBC) wrote:

    #1 John_from_Hendon - by definition, a slanderous statement must be one that isn't true. Therefore my comment is, by definition, not slanderous. And my use of the word "some" clearly means that I'm referring to some regular posters, not all.

    #4 Brunnen_G - you are attempting to mind read, and it isn't working.

    But I'll accept both of your apologies when offered - what the heck, it's a lovely sunny day here.

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  • 7. At 11:29am on 04 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    I don't remember any poster saying that diversity doesn't matter at all. I certainly said that it isn't of value in itself -- I probably used the term 'per se'.

    "Per se" is different from "at all"!

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  • 8. At 11:35am on 04 Jun 2010, SR wrote:

    Let us put this pacific island paper into context.

    Some of the islands are growing because winds and ocean currents are pushing coral debris from the surroundings reefs onto the shore. So even though the relentless march of sea level rise is occuring, some reef islands are responding by getting larger.

    How can anyone see this as a satisfactory situation? If you lived on one of these islands, would you be happy that the only thing keeping you afloat is washed up coral debris? Now, the paper says that only 27 out od 20,000 islands were studied, so if you extrapolated the results, about 3,000 islands would eventually go under at the current rate of sea level rise, however the authors warn that increases in the rate of sea rise (which are widely predicted) would mean the response of the islands would be too slow, and they'd drown anyway. Nonetheless, this research is welcome because it may lead to a better understanding of which islands are best for relocation as sea levels rise even further.

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  • 9. At 11:48am on 04 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Richard: - with some regular posters asking whether in fact it matters at all.

    For the interests of clatiry, could you confirm that this was not directed at me....

    As, this was how I might have perceived it, I don't reacall anybody saying bio-diversity does not matter at all. see other comments above


    As I completely agree with Richard here:

    "I've tried to lay out some of the evidence - there is quite a lot - showing that diverse ecosystems tend to be more robust and also inherently more productive, which leads to real human benefits when we're talking about an ecosystem that provides something we need, such as food."

    ie
    My point has been , chopping down rainforests, to grow fuel crops for bio-ethanol production (which has of course put up world food prices)
    which when tyou burn them still produces as much CO2, this is ludicrous..

    People mixing up sustainability issues, or alternative fuels (ie growing it vs drilling for oil) with the 'man made global warming' issue

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  • 10. At 12:07pm on 04 Jun 2010, Freeman wrote:

    #6 Thank you for that Richard....even if I just got some funny looks for laughing out loud. :)

    Interesting how you two thought he was referring to you. Tad defensive there.

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  • 11. At 12:27pm on 04 Jun 2010, Duncan wrote:

    @ #5 Mubbers ..... please explain how growing = not sinking? This is a completely false dichotomy

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  • 12. At 1:07pm on 04 Jun 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    #10 Freeman wrote: "Interesting how you two thought he was referring to you. Tad defensive there."

    I know trolling when I see it. Or when I read it in an article.

    I'll offer an apology on the day I sail to the north pole. On the body of the last polar bear.

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  • 13. At 1:18pm on 04 Jun 2010, Freeman wrote:

    If you are not diverse, you are specialised. Over specialise and you breed in weakness. No matter how good your cards are something will come along with something better.

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  • 14. At 1:22pm on 04 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    As far as I can see, no one has said that diversity is not of value at all. I have argued that it is not of value in itself, and I stand by my assertion.

    Diversity has decreased where habitats have shrunk, but there has been some expansion of habitats and increase of diversity in cities. The wide range of plants nowadays featured in urban gardens attracts its own wider range of animals. Some of these animals are not welcome, of course, such as the harlequin ladybird and the New Zealand flatworm. But that just illustrates my point that diversity is not valuable in itself.

    While Richard Black is relaxing in the Sun waiting for apologies from John_from_Hendon and Brunnen_G, he might while away the time penning his own. Unless he can find someone who said that diversity doesn't matter AT ALL.

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  • 15. At 1:24pm on 04 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    With the BBC, if you are sceptical, you need to be defensive, because to quote Fiona Fox on Newswatch:23/04/2010

    "On Climate change there has been a real change..
    People like Richard Black and Roger Harrabin, fighting internally to say we DON’T have to have a sceptic every time we have a climate story.”

    “to have a sceptic in every interview is misleading the public about ‘climate science’”

    I just burst out laughing when people say the BBC is impartial and does not have an agenda. I have no doubt they are sincere... That is not trhe issue.

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  • 16. At 1:58pm on 04 Jun 2010, Richard Black (BBC) wrote:

    #9 Barry - confirmed.

    But in any case, it's not a sin to raise the issue - it's a perfectly reasonable question, and fortunately one to which science has some answers.

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  • 17. At 2:10pm on 04 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    It will be great to be talking about the science...

    unfortuanetly in the last 10 years or so lobby/pressure groups have forced people into 'two tribes' advocates and sceptics..

    They have unchallenged, made all sorts of scaremongering catastrophic claims, to further their agenda. which takes scientists years of research and observation to disprove, debunk or pronounce very unlikely.

    Do you recall the BBC program where a senior greenpeace figure, when challenged on the validity of a certain meting ice pronouncement, he looked a bit suprised to be even questioned, but the bbc interviewer pushed on the issue and eventually he conceded that the pronouncement was 'shall we be kind' say incorrect.

    Similarly, the 'gulf stream ' shutting down, was an AGW poster child, for years.. Recently, preported on the BBC as, as strong as ever, no reason to be concerned, some natural variability observed, after a number of years of ACTUAL scientific study..

    Most of the doom and gloom has proved (like sea level) to be at least premature or just plain wrong

    I welcome a scientific debate.

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  • 18. At 2:24pm on 04 Jun 2010, John_from_Hendon wrote:

    #6 Richard,

    I still object to the way that you implied that we don't care about the planet if we don't agree with your entirely, when a good number of us do, and care passionately.

    The fact that you put the word 'some' in is rather like inserting the word 'alleged'. Your intent was quite clear. I would have been a lot happier if you had written 'some agree and some disagree' or some such phrase.

    If your first paragraph had read :

    "We've had a fair bit of chat here in recent months about diversity in the natural world, and why it matters - with some regular posters asking whether in fact it matters at all, and some regular posters taking the view that global diversity is the issue, whether or not they fully or partly subscribe to Global Warming or even Anthropogenic Global Warming."

    If you apologise to the majority of your collaborating blog posters then I will apologise to you, and even share a beer!

    The fact is that I have perceived that in recent months you have been straying nearer to being an apologist for the AGW religious lobby rather than acting as an independent journalist and I read your opening paragraph in this context and it made me quite angry. I expected better from you.

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  • 19. At 2:29pm on 04 Jun 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Once anything is sought as a commerical enterprise that becomes the driving force. Almost every conservation effort is confronted with the issue of jobs. These discussion begin when populations are greatly reduced but those still seeking economic benefit always say that jobs will be lost if conservation is enforced. Even when conservation increased population the jobs issues tends to persue commerical interest until this is no longer profitable. The unwillingness to attend to diversity and the impacts within an eco-system always has more dire consequences. For populations to be adaptive to changing environments there must be diversity in order that selections can be made in the process of adaptation. Single minded, closed minded, field/stream to table mentalities care little about the continuation of a population but only the short term gradififcation that they gain. No matter be the issue of foreign policy or environmental conservation...might makes right.

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  • 20. At 2:34pm on 04 Jun 2010, Freeman wrote:

    I have to say.... It is a real pleasure to see a BBC blogger who actually responds to his comments like this.

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  • 21. At 3:41pm on 04 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #17 Barry Woods wrote:

    "Most of the doom and gloom has proved (like sea level) to be at least premature or just plain wrong"

    More (factually mistaken) doom and gloom on last night's Springwatch on BBC2:

    It is getting too warm in southern Europe for the Dartford Warbler. It was suggested that its narrow band of territory is in danger of getting squeezed out of existence.

    But wait. The BBC neglected to mention the obvious fact that if it's getting "too hot" in southern Europe for the Dartford Warbler, then it's probably getting "warm enough" in northern Europe. If the warming continues, the Dartford Warbler may become the Brentwood Warbler... or the Cambridge Warbler... possibly even the Grimsby Warbler.

    Or is it too posh to move into Essex?

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  • 22. At 3:47pm on 04 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To Richard Black - (& JaneBasingstoke); re 'denial'

    "But it should make for more rational decision-making, enabling local people and the authorities to factor in more accurately the costs of development as well as the benefits." (Richard Black)

    ===============================

    Yes, of course.

    But note the defensive turn of the posters I collectively term 'the lobby,' which is a term I coined for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was to avoid using the term 'denier', or 'denialist.'

    I was attempting to be both politically correct and empathetic, for there are surely members of the lobby who are not paid by Exxon et al, and believe what they say.

    However, after giving all of this 'oblique thinking' (Hartwell Paper) a try, I have reverted to my old self - "Tell it like it is."

    The May 15 2010 issue of New Scientist was a cover special on 'Denial' in all its aspects, and I have actually gone out and bought the magazine, cut out the articles, encased them in plastic (mea culpa), and have them in front of me, because I think the psychology of denial is absolutely crucial to our collective futures.

    Nothing rationally sound is working Richard, and unless we find a solution - well, you know the mantra!

    I have several times stated that 'the lobby' were collectively 'disturbed personalities.'

    This was not meant as an ad hominum - please believe that. It was my 'logical' conclusion based on my life experience and my year and a half on this blog.

    In the New Scientist issue cited above, there is another article which backs this conclusion fully:

    Living in denial: Why sensible people reject the truth
    - by Debora MacKenzie
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627606.100-living-in-denial-why-sensible-people-reject-the-truth.html

    Excerpt:

    "Kalichman, however, feels that everyday reasoning alone is not enough to make someone a denialist. "There is some fragility in their thinking that draws them to believe people who are easily exposed as frauds," he says...

    He believes the instigators of denialist movements have more serious psychological problems than most of their followers...

    "They display all the features of paranoid personality disorder...

    Ultimately, their denialism is a mental health problem."

    - Seth Kalichman, a social psychologist at the University of Connecticut at Storrs

    =============================

    Richard and Jane et al...

    There is a book which speaks to 'denialism' which is one of my favorites, but which I never thought of in this regard until now - trying to put as broad a perspective on denialism as I can.

    "Three Men of the Beagle," by Richard Lee Marks, (1991)

    Year 1831 - Captain Robert FitzRoy, "devoutly religious and emotionally tormented young captain," Charles Darwin, scientist; Jemmy Button, a Yahgan Indian drought from Tierra del Fuego as a youngster and 'civilized,' later to revert to naturalism!

    Here indeed is a study in human nature and psychology which bears directly on the state we are collectively in today.

    Here are the themes still present as we speak of denial as a human coping mechanism:

    1) Religious Belief

    2) Ideology

    3) Science vs Conservatism

    4) The Psychology of Fear

    Fear - everywhere - like the Greenhouse Blanket enveloping the Earth, keeping us warm since the beginning, and yet threatening our very existence.

    Doesn't 'Balance' really mean managing Fear?

    - Manysummits -

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  • 23. At 4:04pm on 04 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To Ghost (personal note)

    My mountain trip was canceled by the guy with the car - so one could say I have been victimized by AGW (We don't have a car), and FEAR (It would have 'gone'.)

    Regards,

    Manysummits

    PS: Your #19:

    "... might makes right."

    ===================================

    In the Arthurian Legend, Arthur's answer to the world's problems:

    Might \\\ for /// Right!

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  • 24. At 4:31pm on 04 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    I hope the BBC and team don't perceive that I am critically of them personally. I hope they percieve the distinction of being very critical of the 'message' vs 'the messenger'

    As I think the AGW message is wrong. I am merely trying to engage, hoping that the BBC will listen, as I believe that the lobby groups/man made climate change bandwagon has never really been critically looked at.

    "We are saving the planet" - Why do you deny?",
    tends to close down any scientific debate...

    I have sent the BBC and sceptic websites lots of emails, both Roger Harrabin(BBC) and Andrew Montford (Bishop Hill) have been kind enough to respond a number of times.

    Andrew even allowed me to make ONE guest post on his blog.
    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/4/19/skeptic-alerts.html

    As the sceptics/advocates don't interact (ie know each other socially!) it is all to easy for them to confuse disagreements about the 'message' with the messanger, they do not understand each other (many 'sceptics' are scientists and passionate about the environment)

    I have no doubt the BBC is sincere on its AGW stance,
    I just think they are totally wrong and have attempted in my small part, to explain why.

    I'd like to ask Richard Black and Roger Harrabin (and BBC) have you read, or have started to read Andrew Montford's 'The Hockey Stick Illusion' which demonstrate the flaws (to be kind) in Michael Mann's et al, iconic temperature graph used in the IPCC reports, and to great effect in Al Gore's 'The Inconvenient Truth'. Which show the flaws and the politicisation of science and 'behaviour behind the scenes at the IPCC, in part Steve Mcintyre (climate Audits) story.

    This and similar graphs have been totally discredited, and Dr Judith Curry asked at Real Climate, that they need to look at this book.

    I use this as an example of why it is not personal to me, because if you have been reading 'The Hockey Stick Illusion' you may have noticed on the backcover of the book the actual graph itself, used in the IPCC report.

    If you have been reading that book at the weekend, or in the evening, there is a very good chance you have been doing so, at the same time as my family has been sitting down to a meal with a friend and their family.

    This friend of mine worked for the IPCC actually coedited the IPCC Working Group 1 report, "The Scientific Basis" that the 'the hockey stick' graph appeared in, and remains a part of 'climate science'

    So it would be inappropiate for me to criticise Roger and Richard personally as they are mere observers ( all though ones with a powerful voice) vs a friend that is at the heart of it (science - NOT the politics)

    It is the politicians simplistic demands for simple yes/no answers that pushed the IPCC scientists into their bunker mentality, observed when the trend (temperature) went against them.

    My friend and I know where each other lives.......

    Unlike Greenpeace - whose communications director Gene,
    that made the 'we know where you live' comments regarding sceptics..

    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/04/greenpeace-are-coming-we-know-where-you-live/

    Richard, you might spot me in the above articles comments section (and a MEP,)- I commented on the greenpeace website, but they removed the whole article, and left a mere ('incomplete') summary

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/03/climate-craziness-of-the-week-greenpeace-posts-threats/

    My IPCC scientist friend, just brings a bottle of wine (or 3) and three small children.

    What would Greenpeace's or others more 'enthusiastic' activists bring?!

    Probably - for Gene - just empty rhetoric to encourage activists, but that sort of language, can of course incite a nutter, but mainly completely closes down any chance of scientific debate...

    As for sceptic vested interests, AGW ones dwarf these, government and big business...

    Richard ask Roger to show the the email I sent him, with my copy of my JPMORGAN Chase Manhattan Bank CarbonCare (carbon offest) certificate attached....
    The bankers are very exicted about the huge trillions of dollars carbon trading economy envisaged (despite huge carbon frauds coming to light allready)

    The bbc questions sceptics TINY funding real or imagined by activists, yet ignores the biggest case of emperors new clothes ever.

    I would have been considered 'lukewarm' with respect to catastrophic man made global warming, prior to climategate and copenhagen..

    Probably thought appropriate to do something, but not believing the catastrophic AGW stuff from the environmentalist activists..

    Not now though.... (everthing else environmental, YES)

    Lets have that scientific debate at last.

    That has been closed down by the AGW lobby/IPCC/politicians/activists and the main stream media that swallowed it whole for the last 20 years.

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  • 25. At 4:46pm on 04 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Manysummits quotes this:

    Excerpt:

    "Kalichman, however, feels that everyday reasoning alone is not enough to make someone a denialist. "There is some fragility in their thinking that draws them to believe people who are easily exposed as frauds," he says...

    He believes the instigators of denialist movements have more serious psychological problems than most of their followers...

    "They display all the features of paranoid personality disorder...

    Ultimately, their denialism is a mental health problem."

    -----------------------------------

    Would manysummitys like to comment whether he/she? (anonymous) thinks I show these symptoms?

    I'm a grown up, I can take it...

    If you are even a little bit sceptical of the science, this is the sort of rubbish you come up against. (from the scientific establishmnet and the politicians - Gordon Brown - PHD history - flatearther - 50 days to save the planet - rhetoric)

    Compare and contrast my comments, Bishop Hill, Climate Audit, etc tone and content (and others peoples) with the methods used bythe advicates/activists for AGW.. (ie Real climate, Campaign Against Climate Change, WWf, greenpeace, etc)

    I know, if I saw any evidence that there was a real and serious AGW problem, I would be the first to change my stance.

    I just see, trillions wasted, real pressing environment concerns ignored, and millions in food poverty, thanks to bio fuels replacing food crops (and chopping down rainforests to grow them) that when burnt-STILL produce CO2, but makes the private jet owners feel good about there massive carbon footprint.

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  • 26. At 5:01pm on 04 Jun 2010, Richard Black (BBC) wrote:

    #18 John - my opening paragraph didn't come with the intention that you ascribe to it. The issue isn't whether you or anyone else cares or doesn't care for nature, or any part of it - it's whether it matters in some quantifiable way whether nature is diverse, in terms of species or populations or mixtures of species or whatever. I apologise indeed if you took it in an offensive way.

    5pm London time, sun streaming through my window - a beer sounds good.

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  • 27. At 5:07pm on 04 Jun 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    @Manysummits #22

    So, those of us in 'the lobby' have mental health problems, and you don't think that, that is an ad hominem attack.... Well, I for one am glad that your conscience is clear - rational debate should never be allowed to impinge on a good witch hunt.

    You seem a little anachronistic to me.

    Regards,

    One of the (apparently mentally impaired) Lobby

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  • 28. At 5:11pm on 04 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Richard Black:

    Please think seriously about Manysummist comments above and the side of the debate that the BBC is perceived to heavily favour,

    ie amongst others,

    Manysummits:

    "Nothing rationally sound is working Richard, and unless we find a solution - well, you know the mantra!"

    And Manysummits again:

    "I have several times stated that 'the lobby' were collectively 'disturbed personalities.'

    This was not meant as an ad hominum - please believe that. It was my 'logical' conclusion based on my life experience and my year and a half on this blog."

    But of course, like 'allege' it was of course meant as an ad hominum..

    Must dash, got pick my son, and IPCC's friends son up from half term football....

    shhh, I'll show them this blog, just to check that, given manysummits (anonymous) analyis, that it is ok for their son, to be seen with the son of a denialist - or someone part of this 'fantasy' lobby...

    Steve Mcintyre is a retired mining engineer, Anthony Watts is a weatherman, Bishop Hill is a science publisher, Jo Nova is a journalist amongst other things, Christopher Booker (Telegraph)is a veteran journalist, Andrew Delingpole and Lord Monckyton are amusing indiduals.

    David Bellamy, really confronted 'big oil/industry' decades ago and helped start conservation/environmentalism.

    Now George Monbiot and wwf, guardian and others have turned him and others into deniar...

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gallery/2009/mar/09/climate-change-deniers-monbiot-cards?picture=344343776

    http://www.campaigncc.org/hallofshame

    nice activists to be associated with


    Shame on them

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  • 29. At 5:24pm on 04 Jun 2010, LarryKealey wrote:


    Dateline Gulf of Mexico Day 46

    Well, Obama is [finally] furious. Well, I am too - and I have been. BP's latest attempt is underway - the 'top-cap'. The COO of BP was on the news this morning stating that even with a 'successful top-cap', there would still be oil leaking into the water at the wellhead, this is because they don't want to suck water into the 'production string'. They are actually calling it 'production now'.

    Am I missing something here? Which is better for the environment - some water getting into the oil being pumped from the leaking well - or oil continuing to leak into the Gulf waters?

    Lets turn it around - what is better for BP - nice 'pure oil' coming up their 'production string' ready to be refined - or some water mixed with the oil - which would then have to be processed before being refined? Essentially, a distillation column would have to be configured specially for this process - expensive, but do-able...

    I personally am disgusted by the fact that all attempts save one thus far have involved 'recovering the oil' rather than sealing the leak. I suppose that I am sounding like a 'broken record' at this point - and I don't care. I am just dumbfounded by BP.

    It was also announced this morning that BP would launch a major advertising program in the US to help 'restore confidence' in the company - well good luck with that. People here are disgusted by Tony Haywood and with good reason, he can say whatever he wants, but people ain't gonna buy it.

    The oil is now within a few miles of the beautiful beaches of Northwest Florida. Within a day or two, oil will be washing up on those beautiful beaches.

    New projections show that once oil is caught in the Gulf 'loop current' - which feeds the Gulf Stream, we can expect oil to flow up the East Coast of the US, then head Eastward toward Europe. All this while BP is trying to 'recover' as much as they can, rather than a serious focus on sealing the well.

    Anyone want to bet the once the first relief well is complete and the leaking well sealed that the second relief well will become 'production'?? I sure hope the Obama administration does not let that happen.

    Google has a new application out on their map site, where you can place the spill anywhere in the world and see how far it stretches. If placed over Houston Texas, it stretches from Beaumont (on the Louisiana Border) all the way to San Antonio - half way across Texas - and Texas is a very very big state.

    It seems to me that BP's primary concerns are production of oil from the leak and doing PR 'damage control'. Their priorities seem way out of line to me.

    A last note, Obama canceled his planned trip to Asia and is returning to the Gulf coast today.

    I think that is enough - I have had enough. I want to see the Sr. Execs of BP in JAIL - and like I said before, not the cozy 'club Fed' where rich white collar criminals usually go - let him go into one of the regular medium security prisons where we put rapists and the like. I won't discuss what would happen to him in such a place because I would be moderated - but use your imagination.

    Kealey

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  • 30. At 5:28pm on 04 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    "Profiting from nature's portfolio"

    "... “coal” provided 87.20 per cent of the world’s energy in 1998,

    and 88.17 per cent in 2008.

    But, based on the trends of the past decade, coal itself will surpass oil, and become again the world’s most important energy source, as early as 2015."

    - "History of ‘peak coal’ is guide for our oil quandary"
    by Neil Reynolds, June 4, 2010, Globe and Mail
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/history-of-peak-coal-is-guide-for-our-oil-quandary/article1591533/

    ================================================

    Here is reality - and there is nothing logical about it.

    ================================================

    And here is the reason, according to New Scientist writer Deborah MacKenzie:

    "... the systematic rejection of a body of science in favour of make-believe."

    ================================================

    The Arthurian Legend; Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader; Clint Eastwood and Dirty Harry; Peter Fonda and 'Easy Rider'; 'Avatar';

    and all the world's religions.

    The big brain costs - I think in a sense all of us are disturbed personalities, trying to wrest meaning from an inexplicable Universe.

    This is small comfort in the face of the perfect storm now breaking over our heads.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 31. At 5:29pm on 04 Jun 2010, LarryKealey wrote:


    @Richard #26

    Almost noon on the Gulf Coast, and while the sun is shining again, we need something a lot stronger than beer.

    I think we are in agreement that natural habitat is the key to diversity - at this moment, great swaths of very important natural habitat is being lost because of oil in the salt marshes in Louisiana and soon to be in the estuarine and fresh water swamps and bogs.

    This habitat is breeding ground for about 30% of the species living in the Gulf of Mexico and is also the winter home for a great many birds of North America who migrate to the area every year.

    Make it a shot - no a double, please.

    Kindest.

    Kealey

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  • 32. At 5:31pm on 04 Jun 2010, LarryKealey wrote:

    27. At 5:07pm on 04 Jun 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    @Manysummits #22

    So, those of us in 'the lobby' have mental health problems, and you don't think that, that is an ad hominem attack.... Well, I for one am glad that your conscience is clear - rational debate should never be allowed to impinge on a good witch hunt.

    You seem a little anachronistic to me.

    Regards,

    One of the (apparently mentally impaired) Lobby

    -----------------------------------------------------


    @blunderbunny

    Well spoken.

    Kealey

    PS - Did you get your check from Exxon this week? Mine was late...

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  • 33. At 5:36pm on 04 Jun 2010, John_from_Hendon wrote:

    #26 Richard,

    I too apologise to you for thinking that you may have meant it in the way I interpreted it.

    Beer - slight problem tonight I've just left town for the day (5:30), but I'll catch up at a later date.

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  • 34. At 6:01pm on 04 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To Barry Woods #25 re: "Would manysummitys like to comment whether he/she? (anonymous) thinks I show these symptoms?...

    ================================

    1) Male

    2) Yes, I think so:

    "I know, if I saw any evidence that there was a real and serious AGW problem, I would be the first to change my stance." (Barry Woods)

    ================================

    "The first thing to note is that denial finds its most fertile ground in areas where the science must be taken on trust...

    Similarly, global warming, evolution and the link between tobacco and cancer must be taken on trust, usually on the word of scientists, doctors and other technical experts who many non-scientists see as arrogant and alien."

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627606.100?full=true

    ==========================

    I'm a trained geologist, with a Bachelor's degree in science, and I worked the best part of twenty years in the oilpatch of western Canada, where I helped develop new techniques for sampling.

    I am also a true geologist, in that I believe in science, and have followed it all my life, both before and after University. As a true geologist, my inclination has always been to the history of our planet and the solar system and finally the Universe, and this includes the written, oral and archaeological history of Man, a part of the natural world.

    It is certain that most people on Earth have little understanding of science, and this matters little if one can launch a Saturn Five Rocket to the Moon - which is easily seen and understood - conclusive proof to most, that science and engineering work.

    But global warming and AGW are not easily seen - unless you trouble yourself to visit the Greenland Ice Sheet, or a mountain glacier, and further if you compare measurements of past times and present. This requires further 'belief' in the methodology of such measurements, frankly beyond the understanding of all but the specialists.

    Since almost none of us are specialists in this sense - it boils down to belief - including for myself.

    You do not choose to believe the opinions of every national academy of science on Earth - I not only do believe, but my own experience in university and in the field of science outside the Ivory Towers has always confirmed my justification in this belief.

    How are we to reconcile these different life-paths, especially when credentialled scientists are seen on occassion to support the skeptical AGW position?

    We all know, or should know, that in this age of disbelief, figuring out who to believe and who not to believe is an almost fruitless task.

    When was the last time you believed a politician, or a businessman, or your local priest?

    And why did you believe - or not believe?

    In the final analysis, your position and that of your fellow skeptics? denialists? is simply untenable, and the delay you and others are causing is unconscionable, because of the consequences, which though dimly perceived, are yet large enough to know that delay is the enemy.

    If you are a small group of minimally-armed soldiers sitting in a foxhole, isolated and alone, you don't have to know how many tanks are coming over the hill - one is enough.

    In my opinion you are not a skeptic but rather a denialist, because of all of your past posts, and your complete resistance to evidence and appeals to authority - classic trademarks of denial.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 35. At 6:10pm on 04 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #22 manysummits wrote:

    Living in denial: Why sensible people reject the truth
    - by Debora MacKenzie


    This is a poorly-informed article. We all hope that our beliefs/theories are true, and if we're lucky some of them actually are true. But we cannot directly check to see whether they are true. To do that, we'd have to "step outside of our own skins", but none of us can ever do that. The best we can have are various indirect hints that our theories are true -- they pass tests, they have great predictive power, they explain a lot, they mesh well with what we already believe, they are simple -- and various other "positive indicators" of that sort.

    When someone who thinks a theory is true gets into a disagreement with someone who doubts it is true, it won't do to simply presume that the theory is true, as if there is no argument about it. One has to point to some of those "positive indicators" -- the reasons for thinking the theory is true. By neglecting to do so, the writer of this article commits two errors. First, she "begs the question" at issue -- in other words, she simply assumes what she is arguing for, so she is "arguing in a circle". Second, by assuming that reasons are superfluous, that the theory has been conclusively established as true, she confuses truth and certainty.

    Like many present-day Westerners, I have a great respect for science. But over the course of history, most -- nearly all -- scientific theories have been shown to be false when they were superseded by newer theories. That ought to give anyone pause for thought. Furthermore, some types of scientific theorizing are distinctly better than other types. Some (such as phrenology) hardly deserves the name "science" at all, although it trumpeted its own supposedly scientific credentials at high volume for many years.

    For the sake of its own credibility, the New Scientist ought to be aware of -- and publicly acknowledge -- the uncertainty and tentative nature of all genuinely scientific theorizing. By publishing what amounts to a poorly-argued and "shouty" polemic, it reveals how low its standards really are. This magazine is the mouthpiece of a political agenda, not a serious commentator on science.

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  • 36. At 6:12pm on 04 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To Barry Woods re ad hominum (disturbed personalities)

    No, it wasn't meant as an ad hominum.

    I would know, since I said it.

    And there it is again. You will not believe me -

    As you will not believe in appeals to authority, no matter how many, how diverse (from countries so different they are virtually at war), no matter the credentials of the scientists, often spanning 40 years, i.e., before the 'debate' over AGW.

    You choose not to believe - according to New Scientist, because of religious belief or ideology.

    Let me ask you Barry Woods - when does a skeptic become a denialist?

    What is your view on evolution?

    On the Holocaust?

    On Religion?

    - Manysummits -

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  • 37. At 6:26pm on 04 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To LarryKealey:

    You have considerable 'exposure' to the wheels on Wall Street - that is my understanding.

    I have made strange acquaintances at coffee shops.

    One is a man whom I have chatted with since before my son was born, i.e., over six years. He is a gazillionaire - an investor in the oil business. A very nice chap, a runner, his wife and daughter always come together to the local java shop.

    He really is what you would call a mover and a shaker, so I flippantly asked him as he was leaving the other day:

    "Do you think BP is going under?"

    His answer, virtually verbatim (I don't have an eidetic memory):

    "Oh no. In fact I'm buying BP shares this morning - I think they will do very nicely."

    So Obama is furious!

    At what?

    He is the Commander in Chief of your armies in Iraq and Afghanistan, whose main purpose is to maintain control over oil.

    He opened up the US coast to further offshore drilling - and now finds that intolerable.

    I suppose I am a type of denialist myself on these counts - I don't believe a word.

    Actions speak louder than words.

    When the rigs are told to pack up and leave the Gulf of Mexico, when the entire Arctic Basin is closed to exploration and drilling, when the US moves decisively to alternate energy, which necessarily implies a working carbon tax -

    Then I will believe.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 38. At 6:32pm on 04 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Larry Kealy:

    Totally agree with:

    "I personally am disgusted by the fact that all attempts save one thus far have involved 'recovering the oil' rather than sealing the leak. I suppose that I am sounding like a 'broken record' at this point - and I don't care. I am just dumbfounded by BP."

    totally stupid behviour, chief execs have not got a clue outside their little bubble, surprised not all, big corporations get like this...

    BP are being monumentatlly stupid, in not trying , or at the very least BE SEEN to be trying to minimise every single extra drop of oil pollution.... (and more Importantly POLITICALLY - remember BP guys - Obamas is now mad with nasty foriegn english oil company - doesn't even have to blame any Texans on this one))

    absolutely dumb...

    BP - 'Beyond Petroleum' on their website,,

    beyond crazy

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  • 39. At 7:29pm on 04 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    manysummits 37#... WOW

    I have repeatably said, CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas, that the physics suggests that man made co2 could contribute 0.5 - 1.0C warming.
    I just question the use of computer models that are making alarmist pronouncements of doom and gloom ( the models range from 1 - 12 C projections, as James Lovlock as stated who knows, if any are correct)

    Yet I am a denialist? with only idealogy, religion to support me?

    I will deal the rest of the vitriol later...

    Seriously wow!!

    You remain anonymous, you don't work at UEA do you?

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  • 40. At 7:45pm on 04 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #37 manysummits wrote:

    "You have considerable 'exposure' to the wheels on Wall Street - that is my understanding."

    I don't want to censor anyone, but I think this is a dirty, cowardly, stupid and dishonest personal attack. Shame on you, you idiot.

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  • 41. At 8:41pm on 04 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    Barry Woods #39:

    What vitriol?

    CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas only in your mind, which is why you qualify as an outright 'denialist.'

    ==============================

    Bowman #40:

    Larry has a resume on line, which he invited everyone to view. Did you not?

    Perhaps Larry is the best person to answer. I am frankly surprised that you would consider 'exposure' to Wall Street a sign of:

    "a dirty, cowardly, stupid and dishonest personal attack." (Bowman)

    I have exposure to Wall Street - I was a stockbroker for a year.

    I was a businessman for years.

    I was in the oil business.

    However, it is unfortunately instructive - your response.

    I am sorry Bowman that you feel this way. It is further evidence of your insecurity. Can you not see that?

    - Manysummits -

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  • 42. At 9:04pm on 04 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    Charles Darwin upset the applecart - didn't he?

    There is a test I think, a simple one.

    For every AGW skeptic - what is your position on evolution?

    I will answer as a warmist:

    Evolution is real, supported overwhelmingly by the evidence of science.

    AGW is real, supported overwhelmingly by the evidence of science.

    Obviously I have hit pay-dirt with these New Scientist articles on 'DENIAL.'

    Strangely, it doesn't feel good, not entirely.

    I would much rather have believed you were all paid up members of the Big Oil Lobby. Greed I can understand.

    Obviously many of you skeptics/denialists are not doing this for money.

    Simon-swede: I think that conversation we had so long ago about the influence of religion on this whole issue of AGW and other like-issues which are not easily visible needs more study. What is the percentage of the population, sometimes referred to as 'the innumerate,' that has to be contacted in some other way than facts and evidence, especially of the kind which relies heavily on expert statistics and abstruse scientific technique?

    Ghost - what do you think?

    - Manysummits -

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  • 43. At 9:09pm on 04 Jun 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    I do love that manysummits routinely makes backhanded personal attacks and then, when called to task on it, says 'Who? Me?'

    Speaking of insecurity, how's life on the AGW bandwagon these days? The Himalayan glaciers aren't melting, the seas aren't rising, the polar bears aren't dying and now the islanders aren't drowning.

    Things must be getting pretty shaky up there...

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  • 44. At 9:14pm on 04 Jun 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    #42 manysummits wrote:

    "Evolution is real, supported overwhelmingly by the evidence of science.

    AGW is real, supported overwhelmingly by the evidence of science."

    Oh no you don't. I see what you're trying to do here, and it won't work.

    You can't borrow credibility from evolution to support AGW.

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  • 45. At 9:27pm on 04 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    manysummits... WOW

    Vitriol, or a number of other words may describe it better. Attempting to put a link in people minds that anybody that disagrees with your view of AGW are likely to have similar daft views on the holocaust, or creationism.

    Or the phsycological linkage attempted earlier, tactics of smear and inuendo...

    Or comments like this to Bowman:
    "I am sorry Bowman that you feel this way. It is further evidence of your insecurity. Can you not see that?"

    I have repeatably said, CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas,
    that the physics suggests that man made co2 could contribute
    0.5 - 1.0C warming.

    I just question the use of computer models that are making alarmist pronouncements of doom and gloom (the models range from 1 - 12 C projections, as James Lovelock as stated who knows, if any are correct)
    The BBC interview with Bob Ward demonstrated this same range of models...

    If any one model was deemed to be more correct than the other we would ONLY have ONE computer model.
    The science would be on firmer ground.

    Whilst the observable evidence (ie negative not +ve feedback) would seem to reject the alarmist temperature ranges.

    So I am a DENIALIST, for daring to debate what many other scientists are doing, investigating the observable evidence for feedbacks, sensitivities what values should be used, based on real world evidence.

    So that a definitive computer model can be used, and IT is MY area of expertise, plus time spent in research labs devloping and understaning the complexities and limitations of complex non linear computer models

    How about dealing with I'm saying rather than me...
    You are anonymous, I use my real name...

    I to have science degrees, BSC Chemistry, and MSC Cybernetics..

    A decade in more in IT, large real time banking/telco projects.
    I have actually developed complex computer models

    Darwin was worried about his theories, because the scientifc consensus (the consensus amongst physicists - Lord Kelvin, included) said he was wrong, the sun could not be as old, as his theories demanded..

    Several decades later, Einstein demonstrated Lord Kelvin and all the other consensus scientists to be wrong..

    Creationism is just (imho) a sneaky attempt at sneaking religion into science lessons in the USA.

    Holocaust, well that link is beneath contempt, but for clarity, I do belive several million people died in Europe because of their personal beliefs.

    What would a future IPCC consensus do with children of 'denialists'

    Reeducate them?

    Teach them to monitor their parents behaviour?

    To right I am worried, worried about human nature, running of on another witch (denialist) hunt.

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  • 46. At 9:37pm on 04 Jun 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    @Manysummits

    Still, busily digging yourself a hole I see...... Personally, I think it may be time for you to step away from the keyboard - Why not go and climb something, it is the weekend afterall?

    Failing that, I'm told you can make quite fetching little hats out of tin foil.

    Regards,

    One of the (still waiting for his cheque) Lobby

    Actually, now that you mention it Exxon/Esso did once give me a set of poorly made tumblers - I honestly didn't realise that I was that cheap!!!!

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  • 47. At 9:45pm on 04 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    Although I have only been a regular here for a short time, I do not recall a single case of "some regular posters asking whether in fact it [biodiversity] matters at all."

    This article makes complete sense to me, overall. But, as usual, the mantra overcomes the details. For example:

    "More populated as these regions are, more altered by the needs of cities and industry and agriculture, nearly a third of the pre-industrial-era 1,400 Pacific salmon populations have been wiped out since the arrival of European settlers."

    Most of these runs have been wiped out by dams... which produce 'green' energy. Little more complicated, as usual.

    How about discussing the salmon runs of the UK Richard? You could even talk about introducing the beaver.

    But then you might also have to talk about how some (most?) rivers there, like the Thames, are actually much cleaner now... which might not fit THE view.


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  • 48. At 9:52pm on 04 Jun 2010, Dr Brian wrote:

    Speaking as a mentally ill denier I would pay good money to see our own AGW brainwashed MPs donning aqualungs and sitting at the bottom of the Thames pontificating.
    Open politics!

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  • 49. At 10:03pm on 04 Jun 2010, molamola wrote:

    Unfortunately, I think the fact that the bay has so many slightly diversified and discrete salmon populations, giving it increased natural stability, will be used as an argument that the area will cope better with whatever commercial designs are planned.
    Why do I have to keep going back to the top of the blog to read what it is about? It's difficult to get any idea from the majority of comments.
    These guys should meet up and have a few beers (or a fist fight) and see who comes out on top.
    All the best, Max.

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  • 50. At 10:15pm on 04 Jun 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    Richard Black.

    "..evidence - there is quite a lot - showing that diverse ecosystems tend to be more robust and also inherently more productive.."

    this is the 'natural' world though, and in stark contrast to 'our' own aims and objectives.

    for instance, here in the UK (and elsewhere) an increasingly vocal minority demands less social/cultural diversity; in farming/industry/most economic spheres we prefer monocultures/single product lines/global corporations to the smaller, more diverse alternatives -- all in the name of profit.

    no way will "..more rational decision-making.." along established lines of thinking (aka 'business as usual') result in more diversity.

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  • 51. At 10:16pm on 04 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #41 manysummits wrote:

    I am frankly surprised that you would consider 'exposure' to Wall Street a sign of:
    "a dirty, cowardly, stupid and dishonest personal attack."


    I don't consider 'exposure' to Wall Street a sign of that. Your "flagging it up" is a sign of that. You have no ideas, apparently so instead you use Stalinism. Followed by confusion. Have you been starved of oxygen somewhere?



    "I have exposure to Wall Street - I was a stockbroker for a year.

    I was a businessman for years.

    I was in the oil business."

    In that case everything you think counts against his ideas count against yours as well.

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  • 52. At 10:43pm on 04 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    Brunnen_G: (#43 44)

    What is your position on evolution; on the Bible?

    - Manysummits -

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  • 53. At 10:51pm on 04 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To Bowman; Blunderbunny; DrBrianS; CanadianRockies; Barry Woods:

    Your position please:

    1) On evolution as it is taught in science.

    2) The Bible?

    These are not trick questions. I need to know who you are.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 54. At 10:54pm on 04 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    Bowman #51:

    I got 100% in Logic Bowman - one hundred percent.

    Your logic is more than fuzzy - it is non-existent.

    You and the lobby amy or may not be hirilings of Big Oil.

    Without a doubt you are as dangerous as a tiger loose on the streets of a big city.

    I'm not here to be a nice guy, and I care not one whit what you think of me.

    Answer the questions.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 55. At 11:12pm on 04 Jun 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    #52 manysummits wrote: "What is your position on evolution; on the Bible?"

    1. Evolution is proven, testable science. It doesn't rely on supposition and conjecture, it relies on facts.

    2. None of your business. How DARE you assume that my religious beliefs (or lack therof) are in some way tied to my opinions on AGW?

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  • 56. At 11:35pm on 04 Jun 2010, SR wrote:

    There are a few on the 'sceptic' side of the debate who are attempting to claim that the IPCC and the 'pro' AGW community are somehow part of a sinister Orwellian brainwash exercise. This for me is the lowest common denominator of attacks directed from the anti to the pro-AGW debate.

    Let's get real. There are thousands of climate experts plying their trade in a genuine and trustworthy way. They have come to a conclusion that you disagree with. You are entitled to disagree with them, but please refrain from the nonsense idea that there is a conspiracy. The consensus is flexible enough to change if the evidence pointed the other way. But it doesn't, it is what it is and you really need to do more of a detailed study in the human condition if you think an entire field (made up of thousands) would conspire to push a theory that has no foundations. My advice to genuine sceptics is to concentrate on the contentious issues, but you need to accept first that there is a battery of strong and varied evidence in favour of AGW.

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  • 57. At 11:39pm on 04 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    "I need to know who you are."

    I suggest you need to know what our ideas are.

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  • 58. At 11:44pm on 04 Jun 2010, oldterry2 wrote:

    in 41. manysummits wrote:
    "CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas only in your mind, which is why you qualify as an outright 'denialist.'"

    Nope - CO2 IS a minor greenhouse gas, if you are talking about its contribution to global warming. Depending on which source of information you choose, the 'natural' CO2 level (280ppm) contributes between 10% and 20% of global warming. which means 80-90% is due to something else. Now to my way of thinking 10-20% has to be considered 'minor', compared to the majority.


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  • 59. At 11:49pm on 04 Jun 2010, oldterry2 wrote:

    in 39. Barry Woods wrote:
    "I have repeatably said, CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas, that the physics suggests that man made co2 could contribute 0.5 - 1.0C warming."

    I think that's a severe overestimate, the CO2 rise since 1760 of 280 to 380ppm, can only give a temperature rise to about 0.3C (anything higher implies breaking the laws of physics)

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  • 60. At 00:01am on 05 Jun 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    @Manysummits

    Okay, I'll bite.

    Bible - Aethist, so really not applicable, but it's an interesting piece of social engineering and many take comfort in it. So I’m not about to burn it or start calling those that do believe in it, oblivion-deniers.

    Evolution - Seems to work in general - It's definitely better science with more support for it, than AGW and climate studies. So, I really hope you're not trying to compare yourselves with those involved in evolutionary biology.

    BTW - How's the hat making coming along(I hear that foil might be in this summer)?

    Regards,

    One of the (Sadly, all of my Esso tumblers are now broken) Lobby

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  • 61. At 00:18am on 05 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    Brunnen_G #55:

    It's not a darat all. One's position on the Bible should be very straightforward to answer, unless you've something to hide.

    One of your anti-AGW leaders, a former NASA climatologist, I forget his name just now, was put forward by a skeptic as proof that scientists with credentials did indeed hold the view that AGW was not proven.

    So I checked up on this man.

    He was indeed a credentialed scientists, he had been with NASA, and he was now a creationist.

    Your views do matter.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 62. At 01:35am on 05 Jun 2010, TJ wrote:

    Richard says: "with some regular posters asking whether in fact it matters at all."

    After reading these posts I guess I must be the only one that falls into this category.

    Nature will carry out her plan whatever. Humans are only part of the complex cycle that she weaves. We cull, pollute, enrich like every other life form on this planet. When our time has come we will perish as she moves her world forward. Our claim to fame may be discovered in the fossil history by future beings. Whatever they may turn out to be.

    Do as much naval gazing as takes your fancy. Whether we class ourselves as good, bad or indifferent it makes no difference to the outcome. We are all part of the master plan in whatever form we individually assign.

    Diversity will take care of itself. In the mean time let’s live.

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  • 63. At 01:39am on 05 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    Oldterry2 #58 & 59 re: CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas.

    Hmm!?

    I think you had better contact the World Meteorological Organization, the United Nations, and all of the national academies of science.

    You have obviously hit on something here.

    Good - now I can go out any buy that gas-guzzling Ford half-ton I used to drive.

    Whew! I was worried there for this last year and a half.

    Thank you so much oldterry2, for clearing things up.

    Would you re-post this please, and inform all of my warmist compatriots?

    I'm sure they will be as relieved as me.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 64. At 01:41am on 05 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    Blunderbunny #60: re Bible and evolution

    Thanks for the reply - it helps.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 65. At 01:58am on 05 Jun 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    @manysummits

    I have nothing to hide, it's just none of your concern.

    You know, in Europe it's actually considered rude to ask someone you don't know what their religious views are. It's frankly considered snooping.

    Your insistence shows not only your boorishness, but your lack of cultural awareness.

    That said, for the record I'm an athiest, and have been for years. I realise this takes some of the wind out of your sails as you can no longer pigeonhole me with creationists, but I'm sure you'll find some other way to cause offence before too much time has passed.

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  • 66. At 02:07am on 05 Jun 2010, TJ wrote:

    Richard says: "with some regular posters asking whether in fact it matters at all."

    After reading these posts I guess I must be the only one that falls into this category.
    Nature will carry out her plan whatever. Humans are only part of the complex cycle that she weaves. We cull, pollute, enrich like every other life form on this planet. When our time has come we will perish as she moves her world forward. Our claim to fame may be discovered in the fossil history by future beings. Whatever they may turn out to be.

    Do as much naval gazing as takes your fancy. Whether we class ourselves as good, bad or indifferent it makes no difference to the outcome. We are all part of the master plan in whatever form we individually assign.

    Diversity will take care of itself. In the mean time let’s live.

    Bible (creation) and evolution are both theories. Neither has been proved or dissproved.

    Therefore both require belief.

    Let's live a little and keep the wheels turning and keep doing our bit. We are all important in the scheme of things. Whatever that may be.

    The veil on this life is very, very thick.....

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  • 67. At 02:45am on 05 Jun 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    @Manysummits

    Well you could at least go to the bother of googling him. The name you're looking for is Dr. Roy Spencer and regardless of his religious beliefs, I'd still listen to him more than I’d listen to you mate.

    Seriously, you guys sit there trying to tie us in with holocaust deniers and implying that were bigoted, stupid, mentally impaired, without any hint of irony.

    If you’re looking for a closed/troubled mind then I think you want to start your search a little closer to home.

    One of the Lobby

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  • 68. At 03:04am on 05 Jun 2010, LarryKealey wrote:



    52. At 10:43pm on 04 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    Brunnen_G: (#43 44)

    What is your position on evolution; on the Bible?

    - Manysummits -

    ----------------------------------------------------

    Ah, Manysummits - just what does his position or views on topics completely irrelevant to the discussion, nor relevant to any of the topics at hand.

    So are we going to judge what everyone says regarding any topic on their religious belief?

    So, if we don't believe what you believe on EVERTHING - we have mental issues - is that what you think??

    I am disappointed.

    Kindest.

    Kealey

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  • 69. At 03:40am on 05 Jun 2010, TJ wrote:

    Bible (creation) and evolution are both theories. Neither has been proved or dissproved.

    Therefore both require belief.

    Let's live a little and keep the wheels turning and keep doing our bit. We are all important in the scheme of things. Whatever that may be.

    The veil on this life is very, very thick.....

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  • 70. At 05:32am on 05 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    56. SR wrote:

    "There are a few on the 'sceptic' side of the debate who are attempting to claim that the IPCC and the 'pro' AGW community are somehow part of a sinister Orwellian brainwash exercise."

    What is happening at wikipedia re this topic is definitely Orwellian. Specifically, The Ministry of Truth in his 1984.

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/12/19/lawrence-solomon-wikipedia-s-climate-doctor.aspx

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/12/23/lawrence-solomon-wikipedia-s-hockey-stick-wars.aspx

    And the constant barrage of AGW doomsday stories we had on the media until recently was a "brainwash exercise."

    As for the groupthink that still rules too much of the AGW research, the better word is Lysenkoism.

    All humans are political and economic animals, including the ones who happen to work in science. Most have mortgages or the like, and this AGW 'crisis' has created untold numbers of jobs and contracts, and faculties, etc.... for those who believe.

    Now, in all fairness to the majority of researchers, they did not realize that the basic data they were working from had been 'adjusted.' Just like the soldiers who invaded Iraq did not know that there were no WMDs.

    Sooner or later, even the most ardent 'por-AGW' researchers will realize that they have been used, and recognize what profound harm this has done to real science. Or they will just learn to love Big Brother, and go with the flow.

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  • 71. At 08:38am on 05 Jun 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    It was so nice to have a holiday away from TV and tedium. The sun shone, and a wide variety of birds twittered, and the only sounds were from the wind blowing through the wild grasses. I could hear a cock pheasant calling through the dense undergrowth, and all was well. Mind you, this is a place where conservation is highly prized. Not saying where I went as it would be good for the place to remain relatively undisturbed. Back to reality today. Ugg!

    I believe that making a profit to maintain nature's diversity, would at least keep some diversity. Horrible though it may sound, 'nature' industry might be the only way to maintain 'natural' ecosystems. Fight fire with fire.

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  • 72. At 08:59am on 05 Jun 2010, MangoChutney wrote:

    @manysummits #too many to list

    I was going to answer all of your posts, but I think I can sum up my response in just a few words of advice:

    seriously, manysummits, take a break -your wife and kid will thank you for it

    all the best

    /Mango

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  • 73. At 09:25am on 05 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #70 CanadianRockies wrote:

    in all fairness to the majority of researchers, they did not realize that the basic data they were working from had been 'adjusted.'

    But they should have realized -- are culpable for not realizing -- that what they were doing did not resemble anything we normally understand as "science". They started off with "data" and tried to get their models to fit this "data" that they already had. That is the work of a tailor, not a scientist.

    If a model is to be used for predictive purposes, our confidence in its ability to predict depends on how well it predicts things. That means tests. But there have been no real tests. There has been fakery (such as "retrodiction", or whatever they call it) and evasion ("You expect us to wait 100 years?" etc.). But obviously, you don't have to go all the way to the Moon to test a Moon-rocket. You can test the parts individually. You can start off with modest tests and then get less modest as confidence increases.

    The general public were given to believe that global warming was set to continue in a more-or-less upward path. It didn't happen. I'm reluctant to call that informal but widely-disseminated assumption a short-term "prediction", but if we do treat it that way -- as a test -- then it failed the test, spectacularly.

    The "game is up" with the general public in most of the English-speaking world. My guess is the rest of the world will follow, as it usually does.

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  • 74. At 09:55am on 05 Jun 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Titus at post 66

    'The veil on this life is very, very thick......"

    Nope!

    If you stop rushing around the place, stay completely still and contemplate for a while, the veil becomes quite thin in places.

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  • 75. At 10:21am on 05 Jun 2010, lens wrote:

    Very interesting. And the species that is rushing towards lack of diversity as fast as it can with interbreeding, global migrations and uniform behaviors is ... humanity.

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  • 76. At 10:27am on 05 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #66 Titus wrote:

    "Diversity will take care of itself. In the mean time let’s live."

    Many people -- such as me -- enjoy life more by looking at the living world, marveling in its intricacy -- which includes diversity -- and even contributing to that diversity on a modest scale by leaving out niger seeds for goldfinches, letting sunflowers and teasel run their natural course, and so on.

    It is interesting to hear someone say that diversity doesn't matter at all. I've only said it isn't valuable in itself, and is sometimes a bad thing. I value some forms of diversity but not others.

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  • 77. At 10:55am on 05 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #75 lens wrote:

    "the species that is rushing towards lack of diversity as fast as it can with interbreeding, global migrations"

    The concept of "diversity" is vaguer than is generally supposed, but don't interbreeding and global migrations usually add to diversity rather than diminish it?

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  • 78. At 1:49pm on 05 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To Mango re 'take a break - family'

    You might have a point there Mango.

    ====================

    To Brunnen_G: cultural manners

    Agreed, but this forum is world wide by definition, and so the rules must be relaxed.

    To the skeptics/denialists:

    It was the New Scientist (May 15, 2010) writers on denial and their quotes from professional psychologists, one of whom had infiltrated a HIV denialist lobby, which produced the conclusion that the many lobbys of denial all shared much in common.

    The best short summation - FROM THE NEW SCIENTIST MAGAZINE ARTICLES was that ideology and religious belief were two of those common bonds.

    So I decided to investigate.

    When a politician runs for high office - one of the losses is privacy.

    If you choose to deny that every national academy of science on Earth is wrong about AGW - I for one will want to know a lot about you.

    Now I am off for a coffee, and possibly a break?

    - Manysummits -

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  • 79. At 2:12pm on 05 Jun 2010, SR wrote:

    @70 canadianrockie
    "Now, in all fairness to the majority of researchers, they did not realize that the basic data they were working from had been 'adjusted.' Just like the soldiers who invaded Iraq did not know that there were no WMDs."

    Do you accept that large statistical datasets REQUIRE adjustment? The climate scientists knew this and were under no illusions. Adjustments of large datasets like the instrumental record is bread and butter fot those working with them.

    Now if you accept this first point, you must prove that the datasets were adjusted in a way that emphasised AGW. Where is the evidence for this? I don't just mean a paranoid blogger with no idea why the adjustments are made in the first place, but evidence from a statistician who has audited the data and found foul play. This, to my knowledge, has never happened, and for the record, the statistical techniques they use on the large datasets are based on established statistics you'd find in any postgraduate textbook.

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  • 80. At 2:15pm on 05 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #78 manysummits wrote:

    "If you choose to deny that every national academy of science on Earth is wrong about AGW - I for one will want to know a lot about you."

    Sounds vaguely threatening, Stalinist, and logically third-rate. Do you check someone's race first to judge whether what he is saying has merit?

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  • 81. At 2:55pm on 05 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #79 SR wrote:

    "Do you accept that large statistical datasets REQUIRE adjustment?"

    Please Sir, I don't!

    Large statistical datasets, when used as the basis for inductive generalization, are in my opinion THE intellectual fraud of the present age.

    I accept that I'm being pretty "radical" here, as it means dismissing large swathes of medical science (such as the latest "studies" we read about in the newspapers that seem to contradict each other each successive week). It also means dismissing almost all of psychology, sociology, etc. -- well, good riddance to both as far as I'm concerned.

    There have been some great advances in medical science, but none of them were achieved by merely noting some statistical correlations and extrapolating from them. That's just not science. Ironically, the misguided assumption that science is essentially a process of rigorous "generalization" is a philosophical misunderstanding. Like most philosophical misunderstandings, those who fall victim to it are mostly dismissive of philosophy, as if they are magically immune to errors that even the greatest minds have committed.

    Statistics can be very useful for testing statistical hypotheses -- I'm not dismissing all statistics by any means. But in those applications the hypotheses come first, then the predictions that the hypotheses yield, then the observations to see whether the predictions are accurate, and only then, finally, are statistical methods applied to check whether the observed results are close enough to the predictions of the hypotheses.

    In those situations, it is OK to dismiss some "data" as "aberrant". (Maybe there was something wrong with the equipment, or whatever -- that's standard.) But to "adjust" data -- sorry, that sounds completely wonky to me!

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  • 82. At 2:56pm on 05 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    ManySummits 61:

    "So I checked up on this man.

    He was indeed a credentialed scientists, he had been with NASA, and he was now a creationist.

    Your views do matter."

    -------------------------------------
    As do yours Manysummits (still anonymous - are you a christian?)

    Darwin was a christian, he annoyed christianity on an issue that at the time raise serious questions about christian teaching, far more a devisive issue (to Christians) issue to than an 'alarmist' version of AGW theory.

    I raise you an evangelical AGW believing Christian......

    Sir John Houghton
    Founder Hadley Centre
    Cheif exec Met office
    and LEAD Editor for the first THREE IPCC reports..
    Very much a very powerful voice of authority amongsts AGW science.

    Another AGW believing evangelical christian wrote this:

    "Although I have yet to see any evidence that climate change is a sign of Christ's imminent return, human pollution is clearly another of the birth pangs of creation, as it eagerly awaits being delivered from the bondage of corruption (Romans. 19-22).

    Tim Mitchell works at the Climactic Research Unit, UEA, Norwich, and is a member of South Park Evangelical Church."
    http://www.e-n.org.uk/p-1129-Climate-change-and-the-Christian.htm

    Now that sort of thinking to a secularly minded person, might raise the question, is the person really looking at the null hypothesis seriously..

    Ie they have gone into 'climate science' to save the planet, are they really open to evidence that nothing is actually wrong?

    He of course is the missing Tim, in the Harry_read_me.txt climategate file.

    That demonstrated the code behind the various HADCRUT and others world (and best) temperature datasets , was absoulutley awful, could not reproduce own published results, huge issues with data sets and data integrity...

    of course there were the emails as well(widely covered)-shh

    Now a sceptic minded person could argue quite convincingly, that subconciously, with those views of human pollution and corruption, he is perhaps as not open to something that goes against those beliefs above, as he probably even thinks he is.

    Agw advocates could EQUALLY be very open to attack on this as any sceptic.

    (but I'd like to leave that aside - I'm just trying to neutralise any for/against AGW religious arguments)

    I have PERSONALLY see no reason, myself to think that he was not a good scientist, but every reason to think,(with evidence - Climategate - whistleblowing - FOIA2009.zip)) that he was NOT a good programmer...

    Lots of thoughts and evidence around about the quality (lack of ) science/academia generated code.

    Can we call it a score draw on religion and stick to the science...

    Sir Isaac Newton was a pretty good physicist on one issue...!

    BUT he spent most of his time and energy on ALCHEMY...

    It doesn't matter if Ghengis Khan comes up with a scientific theory...
    It only matters if the theory can stand on its own merits...

    What we are really failing to discuss, is the degree of AGW anyway....

    Most of the so called 'denialists' you disparage, are merely saying the effect is small, negative feedback, vs SOME more alrmist people saying +ve feedbacks in the climate (unproven) and various projections based on various assumptions in various computer models..

    As I have described above intelligent people can be brilliant on one issue, but completely off the ball on another...

    Trying views on one thing, to demonstrate views on another subject are wrong just doesn't stand up, on the examples described above.

    One of the Royal Societies other infamous pronouncements,(right on form vs there recent AGW position consensus) was that heavier than air flight was impossible!!!

    And that was, guess which powerful voice of scientific authority again:

    "Lord Kelvin, an extremely noted scientist and technologist said in 1895 that "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible."

    Lord Kelvin was an exceptional scientist and being wrong about airplanes doesn’t disqualify him from having made contributions to science."

    http://www.firstscience.com/home/perspectives/editorials/metal-planes-are-impossible_34406.html

    And that was arguable another branch of physics, which they were good at!!!


    Lobby Groups, environmental groups, poltyicians, IPCC, UN, etc have latched onto this theory nad hyped it up beyond all physics.

    And distorted the scientifc complexities/uncertainties of the multi-discilplinary sciences, with complex poorunderstood mechanisms into yes/no soundbites... for politicians.

    As Polticians know they would not get away with.. raising trillions of dollars in taxes, changing economies for ever, create carbon trading, etc,etc...

    On a maybe, we don't really know for sure...........

    By the way, I'm having a barbeque this evening with one of Sir John Houghtons IPCC reports co-editors (and family)

    I'll ask them as a friend, to be honest with me,

    "Do you think I'm a phsycologically damaged creationist, AIDS denying, tobacco funded (never smoked)Holocaust denying, 9/11 truther, deniar?"

    Cold beer at the ready! Richard

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  • 83. At 3:44pm on 05 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Is Dr Judith Curry a 'DENIAR" ManySummits for saying this:

    "I am no longer substituting the IPCC’s judgment for my own judgment on this matter. So if the readers here assess that this constitutes going over to the “dark side” then so be it; my conclusion will be that the minds seem to be more open on the “dark side”. "


    Dr Judith Curry
    2002- Chair, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology
    1992-2002 Professor, University of Colorado-Boulder,
    Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences
    Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
    Environmental Studies Program
    1989-1992 Associate Professor, Department of Meteorology, Penn State
    1986-1989 Assistant Professor, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Purdue University
    1982-1986 Assistant Scientist, Department of Meteorology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

    AND:


    "I don’t care very much about credibility with my peers, if my peers are objecting to my attempts at open and honest dialogue on this topic.

    I am too senior and sufficiently well established in my position that I don’t need any credibility from my peers.

    So, my peers won’t elect me to the National Academy of Science or whatever?

    Big deal, seems like that is about the worst they can do to me. Clobber me in peer review? So what, I can get funding from the private sector and publish on the blogs. So I won’t easily be intimidated by my peers, or anyone else for that matter. See, the reactions of the “warmists” to my activities have created a monster "

    "I have actually found the people who habituate the technical skeptical blogs and their proprietors to be much more open minded than most of the “warmist” blogs."

    AND:

    I don’t care very much about credibility with my peers, if my peers are objecting to my attempts at open and honest dialogue on this topic.

    I am too senior and sufficiently well established in my position that I don’t need any credibility from my peers.

    So, my peers won’t elect me to the National Academy of Science or whatever?

    Big deal, seems like that is about the worst they can do to me. Clobber me in peer review? So what, I can get funding from the private sector and publish on the blogs. So I won’t easily be intimidated by my peers, or anyone else for that matter. See, the reactions of the “warmists” to my activities have created a monster


    The historical temperature record and the paleoclimate record over the last millennium are important in many many aspects of climate research and in the communication of climate change to the public; both of these data sets are at the heart of the CRU email controversy. In my opinion, there needs to be a new independent effort to produce a global historical surface temperature dataset that is transparent and that includes expertise in statistics and computational science. Once "best" methods have been developed and assessed for assembling such a dataset including uncertainty estimates, a paleoclimate reconstruction should be attempted (regional, hemispheric, and possibly global) with the appropriate uncertainty estimates.


    AND:

    The public has lost confidence in the data sets produced by CRU, NASA, Penn State, etc. While such an independent effort may confirm the previous analysies, it is very likely that improvements will be made and more credible uncertainty estimates can be determined. And the possibility remains that there are significant problems with these datasets; this simply needs to be sorted out. Unfortunately, the who and how of actually sorting all this out is not obvious. Some efforts are underway in the blogosphere to examine the historical land surface data (e.g. such as GHCN), but even the GHCN data base has numerous inadequacies. Addressing the issues associated with the historical and paleo temperature records should be paramount.


    And a lot more at RealClimate and other blogs:

    http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/04/23/an-inconvenient-provocateur/

    lots of believers though that an imposter Judith Curry was posting at Bishop Hill, watts up, etc

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/04/second-cru-inquiry-reports/comment-page-8/#comment-171284

    And then there are people questioning many aspects of climate research and the IPCC process and making arguments based upon evidence (e.g. Steve McIntyre, Andrew Montford). To dismiss all criticisms of the climate establishment (e.g. IPCC, RC, etc) as the “dark side” and to be dismissed is hampering scientific progress and diminishing the credibility of climate science. So yes, I talk to people that many RC readers would classify as the “dark side”: the skeptical bloggers, “mainstream” skeptical scientists, and even some people from the libertarian think tanks. Regarding my personal opinion on where I stand regarding climate science as presented by the IPCC. I place little confidence in the WG2 and WG3 reports; these fields are in their infancy. With regards to the WG1 report, I think that some of the confidence levels are too high. During the period Feb 2007 – Nov 2009, when I gave a presentation on climate change I would say “don’t believe what one scientist says, listen to what the IPCC has to say” and then went on to defend the IPCC process and recite the IPCC conclusions.


    Dr Judith Curry
    2002- Chair, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology
    1992-2002 Professor, University of Colorado-Boulder,
    Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences
    Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
    Environmental Studies Program
    1989-1992 Associate Professor, Department of Meteorology, Penn State
    1986-1989 Assistant Professor, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Purdue University
    1982-1986 Assistant Scientist, Department of Meteorology, University of Wisconsin-Madison


    Dr Judith Curry's CV...
    http://curry.eas.gatech.edu/currycv.html
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    So which scientists should I believe (technically for Roger ;) ), Judith might be described I suppose as a lukewarmer).

    Or do I need protecting from this 'deniar' who has criticised both CRU for sloppy work and the IPCC for it's politicisation and much more...

    Help me on this BBC

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  • 84. At 4:20pm on 05 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Judith Curry Again
    .
    http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/04/17/some-spicy-curry/
    comment 48:
    "One element of scientific integrity is when to speak up vs when to stay silent."

    "The Georgia Tech students and alumni expected me to speak out on this issue"

    When others failed to speak up, I felt that I needed to step up to the plate.

    Not a sceptic:

    "I guess the problem is that i am a “moderate warmist” without a policy agenda. My lack of a policy agenda regarding CO2 mitigation means my focus is on worrying about the quality, integrity and uncertainty of the science than about saving the planet based on this highly uncertain scientific research. I seem to lack the hubris of some of my peers in this regard."


    Roger Harrabin was asking a while back on sceptic blos, to try and locate some sceptical scientists

    2 answers:
    They were scared to speak up (career, etc wise)

    We have been breeding only AGW believers, CRU, Met, Tyndall, etc...
    You have NOT been able to get any funding for a Phd, in anything that might be considered sceptical in climate science for the last 20 years, as the professors all believe in it.
    Human nature, academic poltics, etc,

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  • 85. At 4:53pm on 05 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    67. At 02:45am on 05 Jun 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    @Manysummits

    "Well you could at least go to the bother of googling him. The name you're looking for is Dr. Roy Spencer and regardless of his religious beliefs, I'd still listen to him more than I’d listen to you mate." (blunderbunny)

    \\ Yes, that's the name, Dr. Roy Spencer. I will remind you that I am the one often accused? of appeals to authority - an 'accusation' that I will readily admit to. I see no reason you should listen to me on matters of science - I have a Bachelor's Degree in Science, and I am a geologist. My specialty was control drilling heavy oil wells for sample quality - in this I am an expert - in fact it was myself and one other who pioneered the technique and habitually used it to resounding success for some twenty years. In climatology and all other branches of science I am an interested amateur.

    You 'listen' to Dr. Spencer - this is defacto an appeal to authority - and I do not criticize you for this. Here is common ground.

    Conclusion:

    I cite my sources - you cite yours - we can talk. //

    ==================================================

    "Seriously, you guys sit there trying to tie us in with holocaust deniers and implying that were bigoted, stupid, mentally impaired, without any hint of irony.

    If you’re looking for a closed/troubled mind then I think you want to start your search a little closer to home." (blunderbunny)

    \\ First, there is no 'you guys.' I speak for myself alone.

    Second, I cite New Scientist's psychologists who proclaim a commonality between various types of denial - it's all there in the articles, which I provided links to, and will again if asked. You commit a logical fallacy blunderbunny - it is not you that is being 'lumped in' with Holocaust deniers - it is the minset of denialists in general - a finding of psychological research. There is a difference. //

    "One of the Lobby" (blunderbunny)

    \\ I chose the monicker 'the lobby' precisely because I thought it a LEAST OFFENSIVE TERM. Skeptic is better - BUT IN MY OPINION, THIS IS NOT A CORRECT USAGE WHERE MOST OF THE MEMBERS I REFER TO AS THE LOBBY ARE CONCERNED, BECAUSE THE LOBBY DISPLAYS ALL OF THE CHARACTERISTICS PSYCHOLOGICALLY OF 'DENIAL', AS DEFINED IN NEW SCIENTIST MAY 15, 2010. //

    Lastly, I would ask you why you chose the name 'blunderbunny'?

    I will begin - Manysummits is not a name I selected. When I began climbing full time in 1998, I was unfamiliar with the Internet and I did not even have an email account. One of my climbing partners, whom I will call 'JM', disgusted at my internet illiteracy, brought me to the library and set me up with an email account. In doing so 'JM' gave me the epithet manysummits, because in 1999 I climbed a rather large number of mountains, accumulating some 85,000 meters of vertical gain that year. 'JM' was the best natural climber I have ever climbed with.

    Regards,

    Manysummits

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  • 86. At 5:14pm on 05 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    60. At 00:01am on 05 Jun 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    @Manysummits

    Okay, I'll bite.

    "Bible - Aethist, so really not applicable, but it's an interesting piece of social engineering and many take comfort in it. So I’m not about to burn it or start calling those that do believe in it, oblivion-deniers.

    Evolution - Seems to work in general - It's definitely better science with more support for it, than AGW and climate studies. So, I really hope you're not trying to compare yourselves with those involved in evolutionary biology." (blunderbunny)

    =========================

    1) Athiest: OK - you are not beholden to religious doctrine, but admit to its wisdom in certain areas, shall we say?

    Fair enough.

    I am not an atheist, nor religious in the conventional sense, though I was born and raised Catholic. On my fist summer's bush work, there were no churches in the Quebec forest we inhabited, and I found I missed it not. I was then 19 years old, and I have never seen any reason to go back, save nostalgia.

    I think the position of atheist as untenable as devout conventional religious belief. The truth as I see it is that no one knows, perhaps even 'can know,' why we are here or to what purpose. Some things seem logical - for example - it's an awfully big Universe to have 'no meaning.'

    In short - the Universe to the human being with the big brain is probably best described spiritually as an 'eternal mystery.' That being said, modern science, powered by human ingenuity and curiosity, has found out amazing things - awesome in the very act of their discovery by an upright ape. There is absolutely no condescension implied in being an ape - just the opposite -

    "There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."

    — Charles Darwin (Origin of Species)

    As you imply from your general acceptance of the findings of evolutionary biology that you accept science as practiced - again there is common ground.

    As for comparing warmists with evolutionary biology - I disagree with your contention.

    It is the same science, practiced in the same way, using the same scientific methodology, that unites all science, from sub-atomic physics to evolutionary biology to climate science.

    With climate science however, the public is more than usually engaged, and the politicians, because of the implications of the science, i.e., the possibility of dire consequence to life on Earth, most certainly the two legged kind.

    Regards,

    Manysummits

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  • 87. At 5:23pm on 05 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To Barry Woods #'s 82 & 83 ...

    My views on religion I have made known in my responses to blunderbunny.

    There is a world of difference between a Christian and a Creationist, as you are I am sure aware.

    I have a book on my shelves by Brother Guy Consolmagno, a Jesuit priest who is the curator of the meteorite collection at Castel Gondalpho, The Vatican's summer residence and astronomical observatory. Brother Consolmagno is also an astrophysicist, and was well known if the circles of astrophysics before he entered the Jesuits. He points out the many contributions to modern science, in particular astronomy and astrophysics, by members of the Catholic Clergy.

    A Creationist such as Roy Spencer denies not just AGW, but evolution. This is not an enviable position, as the evidence for both is overwhelming. He could of course be right, and everyone else wrong.

    What do you think the chances of that are?

    - Manysummits -

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  • 88. At 5:44pm on 05 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    83. At 3:44pm on 05 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Is Dr Judith Curry a 'DENIAR" ManySummits for saying this:

    "I am no longer substituting the IPCC’s judgment for my own judgment on this matter. So if the readers here assess that this constitutes going over to the “dark side” then so be it; my conclusion will be that the minds seem to be more open on the “dark side”.

    ================================

    No opinion at this time. This is my first acquaintance with her, and your quotes of her are the only record I have of what she is all about.

    I would remind you that the Royal Society is at present conducting their own review of their position on AGW, and this will be available in September I believe.

    The United States National Academy of the Sciences has already concluded their two year review of AGW at the bequest of Congress, and has found the science robust, AGW real, and the threats it implies real as well.

    Much of the problem with the IPCC was political - why are we surprised at this????

    James Hansen never liked the IPCC process, as I understand it from reading between the lines - I never did - that's my opinion - and now we all know why. Too much interference by politicians.

    For me personally, and for Dr. Hansen as I understand it, the paleoclimatic record going back hundreds of thousands of years, and now through new methods, many more millions of years, is the most important piece of evidence for concern - i.e., the climate system is demonstrated repeatedly and going back as far as we can discern, to be a non-linear system, subject to drastic change following prolonged 'small' climate forcings, either Milankovitch orbital forcings or 'flood-basalt- CO2 forcings of what is called 'deep-time' by geologists. (last 700 million years and even further back)

    Second in importance is the instrumental temperature record, which does not go back very far at all.

    And last in importance are models - which so far are linear extrapolations - which everyone in climate science knows are by definition inaccurate in detail, if you believe, as virtually all climate scientists do, that the climate is non-linear.

    This is why the US National Academy of Sciences has requested work on more modeling - reading between the lines - 'we need some non-linear models of high quality.'

    - Manysummits -

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  • 89. At 5:49pm on 05 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To blunderbunny re my 'further consideration' post #85:

    This was a detailed response to you - I have no idea why this was referred?

    - Manysummits -

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  • 90. At 6:07pm on 05 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Professor Ian Plimer - author Heaven and Earth -

    is a well known AGW sceptic and he is scathing about Creatioists (he is geologist)

    But because he is involvedin mining , he is labelled a deniar..
    Which is silly, because mining engineers, geologists are raking it in hunting the earth for rare earth metals to be used in all that new green technology (currently china has access to most of these deposits, and is actually stockpiling them for own use/supply)

    But you missed my point and examples, it is easy for intelligent people do be brilliant on one issue, and in la la land on another.

    saying because someone believes this, therefore must be wrong on this, is not an accurate reflection.

    I'm sure we both wish the planets future well, and my childrens future on it especially. But this is a case of the emperor has no clothes..

    Dr Judith Curry, is quite well known, proof of that.

    She is important enough, well known enough not be be blocked/banned out of hand at Real Climate (Michael 'hockey stick' Manns Climate science pr machine webiste) as it would be a bit too obvious shutting her out.. Many have been totally blocked/banned for much milder things than anything she has criticised the IPCC or CRU about.

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  • 91. At 6:21pm on 05 Jun 2010, SR wrote:

    @bowmanthebard #81

    Ok then, if you did not previously know that large datasets like the instrumental record required adjustment, you really need to look into it a bit more. They DO require adjustment, it's a fact of life. I'm surprised you don't know already know this. The reality is, and I say this loud and clear, raw data from large datasets like the instrumental record require adjustment and there are all sorts of valid reasons for doing it - including the filtering of inhomogeneities.

    Now any objective onlooker should be aware that every serious expert review of the adjustment process has come out in favour of the view that there is no warming bias in the procedure and the methods do what they say on the tin: filter our inhomogenueties, discontinuties, outliers...etc. If the raw dataset was used, it would be plagued with errors. There are many naturally occuring analogies to this process, for instance, our ears and brain can filter out noise and amplify the 'signal', the brain itself acts as a filter, getting rid of unimportasnt informationa nd retaining the important stuff.

    So in conclusion, this 'adjustment' is nothing more than a filtering of the raw data to remove the noise (biases, changes in instrument practice, urban heat effect..etc) and retain the signal (the actual response of the thermometer to the temperature.

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  • 92. At 7:05pm on 05 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To Barry #90:

    "But because he [Professor Ian Pilmer] is involved in mining , he is labelled a deniar.." (Barry)

    I wish you would stop saying things like that, i.e., unsubstantiated allegations!

    I don't visit real climate; I don't visit climate audit - I go to the sources - to the science.

    There isn't a snowball's chance in Hades that Ian Pilmer is being banned from anywhere because he is involved in mining, of that I am sure.

    Cite actual quotes, in context, and back them up if required with sources.

    In reading over your quotes on Judith Curry, I believe she described herself as a 'lukewarm warmist.'

    Fair enough. So what is your point?

    Lots of people are luke-warm warmists.

    That is an entirely different proposition to the usual comment here, from many of the lobby - and you know that - you read these comments from others I presume.

    Davblo complied a long list of the most egregious statements by the lobby - and guess what - as soon as the list disappears, and davblo too, the exact same type of comment reappears - WHY?

    Who can say - on one end of an anonymous blog?

    Coincidentally - doubt is introduced, without valid sources - for the umpteenth time - from the very same posters or their clones.

    Coincidentally, this is how the campaigns of disinformation have been revealed by the Courts to proceed to dumbfound the public.

    Try and tighten up your posts - make a point, back it up - no one can deal effectively with many issues on a blog of this nature.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 93. At 7:15pm on 05 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #91 SR wrote:

    Ok then, if you did not previously know that large datasets like the instrumental record required adjustment, you really need to look into it a bit more.

    If I did not previously know? -- Where do you get this from?

    I did previously know that, but you need to re-read what I wrote. Please do me the courtesy of seeing what it is I reject. I reject all forms of inductivism.

    Please try to grasp how much more radical my objection really is than merely objecting to the sort of adjustment you want to defend. Inductivism is completely out as any sort of science as far as I am concerned. I am well-aware that inductivist "sciences" routinely adjust "datasets", but to me that is like saying that astrologers swing a dead chicken around their heads three times every Thursday afternoon. Maybe they do, maybe they don't -- it's a matter of supreme indifference to me, because I completely reject astrology on other grounds.

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  • 94. At 7:39pm on 05 Jun 2010, TJ wrote:

    sensibleoldgrannie @ #74 wrote:

    "If you stop rushing around the place, stay completely still and contemplate for a while, the veil becomes quite thin in places."

    Not for me!! The opposite works. When I rush around and the adrenaline is pumping everything is crystal clear and there is no veil. When I sit and reflect the veil over our existence gets thicker and thicker with every thought I contemplate.

    Interesting how we can be so different!!

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  • 95. At 7:56pm on 05 Jun 2010, TJ wrote:

    bowmanthebard @76 wrote:

    "It is interesting to hear someone say that diversity doesn't matter at all."

    To be accurate I said that "diversity will take care of itself". We are an intrinsic part of that diversity.

    I get the feeling from reading many of these posts that we are some how removed or in an elevated position of power that is outside of being part of this intrinsic diversity.

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  • 96. At 8:41pm on 05 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    79. SR wrote:

    "@70 canadianrockie

    "Now if you accept this first point, you must prove that the datasets were adjusted in a way that emphasised AGW."

    You must be trying very hard not to look for this. ALL the adjustments uncovered just happen to emphasize The Warming. The most common trick is to push earlier temperatures down and later temperatures up to creat the 'alarming' rise. Another trick is to use a selective time span which always conveniently begins in a cool dip. Madoff material.

    And then there's Mann's trick of making the MWP disappear... quite the revisionist adjustment.

    Of course, while the so-called 'scientists' conveniently missed all this some 'paranoid bloggers' didn't.

    No time to dig a bunch up but here's just ONE example and much more here:

    http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2010/06/scientists-got-it-wrong

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  • 97. At 8:48pm on 05 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    92. manysummits wrote:

    "Try and tighten up your posts - make a point, back it up"

    Toooo funny.

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  • 98. At 9:06pm on 05 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:



    Manysummits are you being deliberately obtuse

    Real Climate team:
    The current permanent contributors to content on this site are:

    •Gavin Schmidt
    •Michael Mann
    •Caspar Ammann
    •Rasmus Benestad
    •Ray Bradley
    •Stefan Rahmstorf
    •Eric Steig
    •David Archer
    •Ray Pierrehumbert
    •Thibault de Garidel

    the guys at RealCLiamte ARE scientists right at the heart of the IPCC, Gavin Shmidt for example workds with James Hansen at Nasa.

    Michael Mann, - that IPCC graph, (debunjed by steve mcintyre (climate audit) so much that the IPCC no longer use that graph...
    Al Gore's inconvenient truth had done it's propaganda damagage..

    That list of scientists are the peer reviewed scientists, at the heart of the controversy..

    If you know amything about climate science in the last 15 years you would know this, so either you donot (so why profess to) or it is an intent to distract..


    With resect to the differences between different types of christianity, they both believe in imaginary men in the sky as far as I'm concerned, so small other details about their slight differences in belief, doed not really make me take on board, that one is potentially scientist than the other - IF you use the religious argument.

    let us attempt to stick to the science..

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  • 99. At 9:08pm on 05 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    Ian Plimer has not been banned, he is merely the sunject of extreme amounts of abuse from the advocates of alarmism..

    look up monbiot (Guardian) articles about him and many other lobby groups.

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  • 100. At 9:29pm on 05 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    97. At 8:48pm on 05 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:
    92. manysummits wrote:

    "Try and tighten up your posts - make a point, back it up"

    Toooo funny.

    ================================

    Here, I'll demonstrate:

    \\\ ENSO (El Nino/La Nina) & Global Land?Sea Temperature (GISS) ///

    Item One:

    (from 'The Climate Prediction Center - National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, i.e., NOAA - June 3, 2010)

    "The majority of models predict ENSO-neutral conditions (between -0.5oC to +0.5oC in the Niño-3.4 region) through early 2011 (Fig. 6). However, over the last several months, a growing number of models, including the NCEP Climate Forecast System (CFS), indicate the onset of La Niña conditions during June-August 2010."

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/ensodisc.html

    Item Two:

    James Hansen & GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies, i.e., NASA's Land/Sea Temperature Analysis /w graphs)

    "The past year, 2009, tied as the second warmest year in the 130 years of global instrumental temperature records. A paper "Global Surface Temperature Change" [available as 'pdf' on link below] has been submitted to Reviews of Geophysics."

    http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/Temperature/

    Item 3:

    From the "Global Surface Temperature Change" (above), a 37 page 'pdf' currently under review and available as well by the public - just click on it at the link 'above'):

    "global warming on decadal time scales is continuing without letup...

    we conclude that there has been no reduction in the global warming trend of 0.15-0.20°C/decade that began in the late 1970s."

    Source: page 30 of the "Global Surface Temperature Change", which is available at:

    http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/Temperature/ (click on "Global Surface Temperature Change" - top right of the page)

    - Manysummits -





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  • 101. At 9:32pm on 05 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    98. At 9:06pm on 05 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:


    Manysummits are you being deliberately obtuse
    ===============================================

    No, not at all.

    See #100 for my methodology, i.e., citing original sources.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 102. At 9:39pm on 05 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To Barry #99 re Ian Pilmer''s "Heaven and Earth"

    You mean this Ian Pilmer?

    "It is not 'merely' atmospheric scientists that would have to be wrong for Plimer to be right. It would require a rewriting of biology, geology, physics, oceanography, astronomy and statistics.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jul/10/ian-pilmer-climate-change-spectator

    - Manysummits -

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  • 103. At 9:42pm on 05 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    And now I will return to my family.

    Hasta Luego,

    Manysummits

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  • 104. At 11:49pm on 05 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #100. Congratulations manysummits - You didn't just ramble on and quote Al Gore or Ehrlich this time. Good googling.

    But you might want to visit WUWT about this one: James Hansen & GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies, i.e., NASA's Land/Sea Temperature Analysis /w graphs)

    "The past year, 2009, tied as the second warmest year in the 130 years of global instrumental temperature records. A paper "Global Surface Temperature Change" [available as 'pdf' on link below] has been submitted to Reviews of Geophysics."

    Yes. It has been submitted... but not peer reviewed or published yet. Hmmm. 'Science' by press release, again. And in the meantime the media pumps it as though it was the real thing...

    That also applies to your item #3, from the same DRAFT paper.

    As for your item #1, one doesn't need a model to tell us that La Ninas follow El Ninos... and this is old news in any case... so...

    What exactly was the 'point' you were allegedly backing up again?


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  • 105. At 00:08am on 06 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    Dr. Roy Spencer, climatologist (satellite measurement specialist), University of Alabama in Huntsville -

    whom blunderbunny believes more than me.

    Not that I am offended - I am not. Why should anyone believe an anonymous blogger.

    To Wit:

    "Satellite Research Refuted

    According to an August 12, 2005 New York Times article, Spencer, along with another well-known "skeptic," John Christy, admitted they made a mistake in their satellite data research that they said demonstrated a cooling in the troposphere (the earth's lowest layer of atmosphere). It turned out that the exact opposite was occurring and the troposphere was getting warmer...."

    http://www.desmogblog.com/roy-spencer

    ============

    On Roy Spencer's blogsite, it is stated that he has not recieved money from "even Exxon..."

    "Dr. Spencer’s research has been entirely supported by U.S. government agencies: NASA, NOAA, and DOE. He has never been asked by any oil company to perform any kind of service. Not even Exxon-Mobil."

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/about/

    ==============

    "Spencer is listed as an author for the Heartland Institute, a US think tank that has received $561,500 from ExxonMobil since 1998." (desmogblog - see link above)

    "Spencer is listed as an "Expert" with the George C. Marshall Institute, a US think tank that has received $630,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998." (ibid)

    ===============

    Background - Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Spencer_%28scientist%29#Views_on_global_warming

    - Manysummits -

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  • 106. At 00:24am on 06 Jun 2010, oldterry2 wrote:

    in 63. manysummits wrote:
    " "Oldterry2 #58 & 59 re: CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas." "
    "Hmm!?
    I think you had better contact the World Meteorological Organization, the United Nations, and all of the national academies of science. etc"

    such a waste of sarcasm. One assumes they already know. It is just little old you who has the fixation that CO2 has the majority effect. The majority effect is due to good old water vapour as even the IPCC acknowledge in their reports. Fyi CO2 comes second, but it is a VERY POOR second.


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  • 107. At 00:26am on 06 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    Professor of Geology Ian Plimer, University of Adelaide, Australia

    whom Barry Woods seems to think a lot of, especially his tremendously popular book, "Heaven and Earth: Global Warming — The Missing Science."

    Unlike Dr. Roy Spencer, Ian Plimer is not apparently a Creationist:

    Background: (I don't see any articles on climatology in his list of publications)

    http://www.ecms.adelaide.edu.au/civeng/staff/iplimer01.html

    More background: (Wikipedia)

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

    ===================

    "Heaven and Earth..." (reaction from scientists - Wikipedia)

    "Canadian broadcaster John Moore said it was "widely criticised by fellow scientists as just another collection of denier hits."[26] The Adelaide Advertiser stated that among other scientists, "Plimer is all but out in the cold"."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven_and_Earth_%28book%29#Reactions_from_scientists

    ===================

    From 'desmogblog':

    "Listed as an "Allied Expert" as an "Allied Expert" for a Canadian group called the "Natural Resource Stewardship Project," (NRSP) a lobby organization that refuses to disclose its funding sources. The NRSP is led by executive director Tom Harris and Dr. Tim Ball. An October 16, 2006 CanWest Global news article on who funds the NRSP, it states that "a confidentiality agreement doesn't allow him [Tom Harris] to say whether energy companies are funding his group...

    DeSmog recently uncovered information that two of the three Directors on the board of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project are senior executives of the High Park Advocacy Group, a Toronto based lobby firm that specializes in “energy, environment and ethics."

    http://www.desmogblog.com/ian-plimer

    =======================

    As it is supposed to be in a true democracy, with its free press, it is the citizen who will decide on the merits or infamy of the two scientists Roy Spencer and Ian Plimer.

    No doubt this is confusing?

    - Manysummits -

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  • 108. At 02:23am on 06 Jun 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    @Manysummits

    First:

    “1) Atheist: OK - you are not beholden to religious doctrine, but admit to its wisdom in certain areas, shall we say?”
    Nope, that’s not my definition of atheism. There is no wisdom in god or in any definition of a God - quite the opposite in fact.
    Some people choose to believe in one and they find comfort in that, whilst I think that this is quite unnecessary, I would not deprive them of this or the comfort that it brings them.
    If they feel the world is that scary that it requires there to be a god, then they feel that the world is that scary - it’s a purely a subjective valuation and a personal choice.

    Then we’ve got:

    “I think the position of atheist as untenable as devout conventional religious belief. The truth as I see it is that no one knows, perhaps even 'can know,' why we are here or to what purpose. Some things seem logical - for example - it's an awfully big Universe to have 'no meaning.'”

    I would normally describe myself using the oxymoronic phrase of a “Devout Atheist”.

    Those that seek meaning need, in my humble opinion, look no further than life itself. i.e. The meaning to life is inherent.

    The simple fact that a bunch of chemicals, sub atomic particles, ripples in probability, mathematical equations can sit and converse with another set of those things, contemplating their own existences, is wonder enough for any that choose to look for it.

    Religion in all of it’s forms and guises is an anathema to properly understanding universe, it provides a host of non-answers to often meaningless questions, it fills in all those annoying blanks and niggles that would otherwise pique your curiosity, “the opiate of the masses”, perhaps?

    And again, whilst I might pour scorn on it, I would not seek to deprive people of the comfort that this brings them. It’s a choice and People make trillions of choices everyday. I’m sure that on average I would not agree with trillions of those choices, but that’s just one of the things that makes life interesting.

    And, just because someone chooses to believe in something, which I deem unnecessary, doesn’t mean that they can never again have a good or a valid idea. Some people like Marmite for instance, does that mean that those that don’t can never listen to their (the Marmite lovers) opinions on anything else?

    The problem that I have with this sort of thing, religion that is, is when they try to impose these views and choices on others. You can, in my opinion, see similarities between religious pogroms of the past and the cult of the AGW theory.

    The irony of all of this is that you lot try and call us the deniers!

    I seek simple truth (and possibly marmite), nothing more. I don’t even care what that truth is, only that it is true for a given value of true, at the point in time during which it is being considered (not much to ask really).

    Science and its practice is a simple journey of discovery, one can hardly complain about where it takes you. You can choose to embark on a particular journey, you can choose not to or you can choose to stop. What’s important about that journey, apart from its eventual end point, is how you travel (ethics and the scientific method)!!!

    Unfortunately, many of your lot don’t seem to practice “science” like the rest of us. Instead, you would seem to be embarked on more of a political/spiritual journey.

    Regards,

    One of the (Everyone needs one) Lobby

    Now, where did I put that toast…… all of this talk of Marmite is making me hungry!!!

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  • 109. At 03:21am on 06 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    Oldterry2, CanadianRockies; Blunderbunny;

    I have evaluated your answers - thank you.

    No discussion of my posts on Ian Plimer, Roy Spencer, or the ENSO forecast, save a slur!

    You are all officially added to my growing list of 'denialists.'

    - Manysummits -

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  • 110. At 03:57am on 06 Jun 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    @manysummits

    That's fine mate, you're on my list too ;-)

    Proud Regards,

    One of the (How much can we annoy you) Lobby

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  • 111. At 04:56am on 06 Jun 2010, LarryKealey wrote:


    @manysummits

    What happened to some family time? I'm headed down to snuggle up with my lady, we just had dinner and star trek and planted some vines we cut into pots... - nice evening...

    You are spending too much time on here posting.

    Kindest.

    Kealey

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  • 112. At 04:58am on 06 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    I have been evaluated by manysummits and found to be a "denier." I finally made the list!

    This is a serious. As a mountaineer, stockbroker, businessman, "trained geologist," expert on the writings of Gore and Ehrlich, accomplished googler, and now probably a self-described a "BBC correspondent," manysummits has a resume longer than Pinnochio's nose. If he says it is so, it must be so.

    If only I had gone to the Marxist Mother Earth Summit in Bolivia, perhaps I could have been saved. Oh well. Too late.

    P.S. I almost forgot. An expert on Peter Fidler too. Toooo funny.

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  • 113. At 07:28am on 06 Jun 2010, TJ wrote:

    Reading over the recent posts I muse that I have just taken a walk through of what it must have been like under the past few centuries of biblical religious fervor. Science is now finally established as the new religion.

    We have the institutional bodies of The Royal Society and IPCC. AKA the Vatican and C of E who funnel and use the fervor to the favor of the political and powerful elites ends.

    We have the blogs of BBC, WUWT, RC and all. AKA the Methodists, Baptist, Pentecostal and every and which ever denomination rallying the masses and proffering their wares to their particular cult of truth and route to salvation.

    We have the blog posters. AKA the zealots and evangelists supporting and attending to regular worship.

    We have the treatment of deniers. AKA the Inquisition and Eco police.

    We have the Tele Evangelists and Snake Oil Salesmen. AKA the Al Gore’s and Panache’s.

    Hey folks. Science has just turned into another religion. It's done us all very well to help us progress in the use of technology. It's also opened up our absolute dearth in understanding of what this universe is all about.

    But hey, politics and power go forward as ever. Some things never change!!

    Night, night.

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  • 114. At 08:57am on 06 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #112 CanadianRockies wrote:

    As a mountaineer, stockbroker, businessman, "trained geologist," expert on the writings of Gore and Ehrlich, accomplished googler, and now probably a self-described a "BBC correspondent,"

    Don't forget "ace logic student":

    manysummits #54: "I got 100% in Logic Bowman - one hundred percent."

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  • 115. At 09:03am on 06 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #113 Titus wrote:

    "Science has just turned into another religion."

    I would say instead that religion has just adopted another guise -- that of science.

    "It's also opened up our absolute dearth in understanding of what this universe is all about."

    Science explains things; religion expects people to accepts what authorities say without explanation.

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  • 116. At 09:37am on 06 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Err, biodiversity anyone?

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  • 117. At 09:47am on 06 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #109 manysummits wrote:

    "You are all officially added to my growing list of 'denialists.'"

    Do you not realize how terrible this sounds? -- It sounds like the secret police "enforcer" of some violent dictatorship that does not tolerate dissenting voices.

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  • 118. At 09:49am on 06 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #108 blunderbunny wrote:

    I don’t even care what that truth is, only that it is true for a given value of true, at the point in time during which it is being considered (not much to ask really).

    Liar, liar, pants on fire!

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  • 119. At 12:25pm on 06 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Also in this week's edition of Nature, an Editorial under the headline "Wanted: an IPCC for biodiversity". The focus is the suggestion that there is a need for an independent, international science panel that would coordinate and highlight research on biodiversity.

    Nature, vol 465, Page: 525, published online: 02 June 2010.
    Hopefully the links is: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v465/n7298/full/465525a.html

    Nature also invites comments from readers...

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  • 120. At 1:01pm on 06 Jun 2010, Badger wrote:

    Let's try to remember that science is defined as the systematic study of nature, and that it is absoluetly rooted and founded in observations.

    There has never been a more powerful way of knowing and understanding the world than through proper scientific examination. And yet science in any particular sphere is only as good as the evidence upon which it stands. No scientific 'fact' can be proven; but any scientific belief can be disproved by a single counterexample. That it has not so far been so disproved is the live demonstration of its strength.

    This is all a million miles from what is normally understood by the term 'religion'. Religions are defined as faith-based, not evidence based. They are fundamentally inflexible when it comes to core beliefs, regardless of the (lack of) evidence for those beliefs.

    Anyone claiming science is the 'new religion' simply doesn't comprehend what is different about science.

    That high levels of biodiversity is valuable can surely be taken as a given. The case that heads this thread is a very good example of, and explanation for, the reasons for that standpoint. And we don't need scientific studies to tell us this - common sense is perfectly sufficient - although the understanding of the mechanisms by which greater biodiversity supplies a better likelihood of future ecological vitality only adds to that.

    As to global warming; lets stick to the topic.

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  • 121. At 1:10pm on 06 Jun 2010, Borisnorris wrote:

    The complexity of ecosystems means we really don't know too much about the inter-relatedness of species, so we cannot safely predicts what species it would be 'safe' to lose.

    In my view the only species it might be safe to lose is Homo sapiens; seemingly the only species that only takes from the ecosystem and puts nothing back!

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  • 122. At 1:23pm on 06 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #120 Badger wrote:

    "rooted and founded in observations"...

    "upon which it stands"

    Observation is absolutely crucial to science, but the idea that scientific theories "rest" on observations like a building stands on its foundations is mistaken. So compelling is the imagery of "foundations" that I'm inclined to call it an intellectual "poison".

    Mathematical theorems rest on axioms in the sense that the theorems can be derived from the axioms using rules of inference -- that's fine, but mathematics isn't really a science. Scientific theories cannot be derived from observations in any similar way. The supposition that they can be so derived is the gross error of climate science, psychology, and much medicine (i.e. the stuff of statistical "studies").

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  • 123. At 3:14pm on 06 Jun 2010, Barry Woods wrote:

    I wonder what the bbc environment team think of the 'qulaity' of the debate..

    And whether the 'side' they are perceived to be on by many, is really that credible anymore.

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  • 124. At 4:10pm on 06 Jun 2010, TJ wrote:

    bowmanthebard @115 says:

    "I would say instead that religion has just adopted another guise -- that of science."

    Much better said. Totally agree.

    "Science explains things; religion expects people to accepts what authorities say without explanation."

    I would say science 'describes' rather than explains. It describes a body falling to earth as gravity, it does not explain. It describes light as a wave, particle etc., it does not explain it.

    Thanks for input.

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  • 125. At 4:12pm on 06 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To 'Badger' #120:

    "That high levels of biodiversity is valuable can surely be taken as a given." (Badger)

    ================

    Nice post!

    I take it you are not a 'denialist!!

    Just kidding. Kealey and Mango are right - I've been spending too much time as a climate crusader.

    That's an interesting stance, that high levels of biodiversity are valuable, and that this can be taken "as a given."

    Of course that is very unscientific, n'est pas?

    It is also true, and all thinking sentient beings can intuit this.

    I agree that science is an extremely powerful method of knowing, but I wonder if your very unscientific assertion on biodiversity is not equally as powerful?

    I will leave the blog to others for a bit on this note from "Moby Dick," by Herman Melville, a 'Dark Mountain Project' writer long before the concept:

    From Chapter 57:

    "Long exile from Christendom and civilization inevitably restores a man to that condition in which God placed him, i.e. what is called savagery. Your true whale-hunter is as much a savage as an Iroquois. I myself am a savage, owing no allegiance but to the King of the Cannibals; and ready at any moment to rebel against him."

    - Manysummits -

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  • 126. At 4:47pm on 06 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #124 Titus wrote:

    I would say science 'describes' rather than explains. It describes a body falling to earth as gravity, it does not explain.

    All scientific theories have to take some things as given. For example, Newton's law of gravity described rather than explained the force between two objects. However, although that force was an unexplained "given", Newton's theory did explain a very great deal of other stuff -- such as why planets travel in ellipses, why they sweep our equal areas in equal times, and so on -- stuff that Kepler had had to take as an unexplained "given" in his earlier theory.

    Darwin had to accept the emergence of life on Earth and the mechanisms of inheritance as unexplained "givens" too, but used them to genuinely explain other stuff -- how life diversifies and new species emerge.

    There is no escaping the fact that all theories have to take some things as "given"; but given those things, they usually go on to explain a great deal of other stuff.

    It describes light as a wave, particle etc., it does not explain it.

    Eventually, new developments in physics may explain wave-particle duality clearly. For now, quantum theory explains some things, and it has great predictive power, so it has been tested innumerable times (in fact practically every time an electronic device is switched on).

    Prediction and explanation are the two great abilities of science, I would still say, even though some theories run a bit short on one or the other. Evolution doesn't have much predictive power, but it has great explanatory power; with quantum theory it's the other way around. Personally, I put the emphasis on explanation rather than prediction, because that's where it works its real magic.

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  • 127. At 5:01pm on 06 Jun 2010, SR wrote:

    To bowmanthebard

    Let us examine the transcript:
    SR:"Do you accept that large statistical datasets REQUIRE adjustment?"
    #81 bowmanthebard: Please Sir, I don't!
    #81 bowmanthebard: But to "adjust" data -- sorry, that sounds completely wonky to me!
    SR: Ok then, if you did not previously know that large datasets like the instrumental record required adjustment, you really need to look into it a bit more.
    #93 bowmanthebard: If I did not previously know? -- Where do you get this from?
    #93 bowmanthebard: I did previously know that, but you need to re-read what I wrote. Please do me the courtesy of seeing what it is I reject. I reject all forms of inductivism.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    Please confirm your position because it's very confusing. You have a large dataset like the historic instrumental record and we want to use it to see how mean global temperature has changed. Do you advocate 1) Not bothering to use it all 2) Use just the raw data 3) Use the adjusted raw data (as statistics tells us we should filter out the 'noise').

    The bottom line of your way of thinking is the concept that nothing can be known with absolute certainty. I agree with this, but don't think it should stop us using the scientific method: the theories that result are capable of being useful to explain phenomena and solve problems. So, I think you'll find that most reasonable people share your belief that inductivism is faulty logic, but where you and most of the rest of the world differ is whether we can develop useful theories from observations. i.e, you choose to reject a theory because it has no hope of being definitely correct, whereas science accepts this limitation but still develops theories because they can be excellent at explaining phenomena. Do you think theories can be useful?

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  • 128. At 5:18pm on 06 Jun 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    #78 manysummits wrote: "To Brunnen_G: cultural manners
    Agreed, but this forum is world wide by definition, and so the rules must be relaxed."

    That's just not good enough. In a world wide forum one should take more care not to cause offence. Not simply hope that your crass American lack of manners will be overlooked because you can't be bothered to understand that your boorish behaviour causes to those of us not raised under the stars and stripes.

    You'll notice I don't ask you what religion you are. Mainly it's because I couldn't care less if you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim or have given your soul to the Thundercats. Your lack of understanding of climate and gullibility regarding Al Gore and his ilk speak for themselves.




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  • 129. At 5:44pm on 06 Jun 2010, TJ wrote:

    Getting back to the subject does anybody have a definition of a good or bad eco system to work from. What do we need more or less of. Can we define that? Nature seems a continuous cycle of destruction and renewal. Is there a definition of a best practice in diversity?

    When oil is leaked naturally or accidentally old environments are destroyed. Armies of microbes are unleashed and new environments are created and bloom. Should we keep leaking oil to maintain diversity?

    Plants grow and locusts, fire and floods demolish. New environments are created from the destruction and bloom again. Should we breed locust, build dams and burn to maintain diversity?

    Personally I love diversity but I do struggle with these questions.



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  • 130. At 6:30pm on 06 Jun 2010, TJ wrote:

    bowmanthebard @126

    Thank you for that incitful post. Got me thinking on this beautiful lazy Sunday.

    I still go more with the "describe" rather than "expalin". We describe gravity and put a load of numbers and definitions around it. We can then take these numbers and definitions and use them to describe something else which is associated with it. This is a powerful method of developing the natural usefullness of the universe around us for our own ends of enjoyment/survial etc.

    We have built some basic concepts about evolution that we use in similar ways. We use it because it currently works for our purposes. It does not come close IMO to any explanations.

    My lazy day just got busier!! Thanks.....

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  • 131. At 6:37pm on 06 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #127 SR wrote:

    "Please confirm your position because it's very confusing."

    Your confusion is simply the result of your not seeing beyond inductivism -- in other words, you have yet to see science as something other than extrapolation from prior "data". Once you get beyond that, the scales will fall from your eyes.

    "Do you advocate 1) Not bothering to use it all"

    What you call "data" should indeed be used -- to suggest hypotheses about how the climate changes. So should the use of LSD, excessive alcohol, and ouija boards. These are all legitimate ways of coming up with new hypotheses. However, none of them provides a reliable reason for believing a new hypothesis. We get that when the new hypothesis is tested -- by which I mean genuinely tested, by getting it to yield an observational prediction and then checking whether the prediction is true.

    I am assuming a well-known distinction here between the "context of discovery" and the "context of justification". What you call "data" is useful in the context of discovery -- just as Kekule's dream of snakes biting their own tails was useful for suggesting the shape of the benzene molecule. But it is no use in the context of justification, which is what we should be moving on to.

    You want to treat mere "suggestions" for future hypotheses as the evidential support for the same hypotheses. That just won't do. We should limit the word 'data' to test results, i.e. numbers etc. that genuinely count for or against the hypothesis in question.

    By "adjusting" what you call "data", you do nothing but re-write history. That's not science, that's (bad) history.

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  • 132. At 8:23pm on 06 Jun 2010, TJ wrote:

    bowmanthebard:

    In thinking about our discussion on 'desribe' and 'explain' IMO this is an important distinction. For example: gravity does not work with our current observations and current needs for calculating how objects move. To address this we have come up with the additional concept (description) of something we call Dark Matter.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=dark-matter-modified-gravity

    This is the sort of thing I'm driving at. I suppose it depends on our definition of 'explains' and 'describes'.


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  • 133. At 8:25pm on 06 Jun 2010, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    There is a lot of religion being bandied about on this blog. We all have our beliefs and denials. How about suspension of disbelief. Every time we discuss observations of graphs; objects; critters etc, we are discussing things that relate more to numbers. Isn't an atom just a number or an equation? All of our descriptions are only a human approximation of the reality of our being. None of us have the right to say that our observation is better than the next person's observation because we are all being subjective but using different language to describe.

    Probably turn out that we are mere parts of some super computer, way beyond our comprehension.

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  • 134. At 9:55pm on 06 Jun 2010, Brunnen_G wrote:

    " There is a lot of religion being bandied about on this blog."

    You have manysummits to thank for that. Everyone else was happily discussing science, he had to go play the Jebus card.

    "Isn't an atom just a number or an equation?"

    No. It isn't. It REALLY isn't.

    "How about suspension of disbelief."

    How about no?

    "None of us have the right to say that our observation is better than the next person's observation..."

    Yes we do. If the better observation is supported by fact rather than speculation, of course we do.

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  • 135. At 10:08pm on 06 Jun 2010, rossglory wrote:

    i find it very hard to rationalise my response to biodiversity loss. i've always enjoyed nature but it was only when i studied ecology that the gestalt element really struck me, the system is much, much more than its individual parts. imho virtually all parts of the system have to be protected in some way (with maybe a few exceptions like typhoid etc).

    discussing which bits are worth protecting, to me, sounds a bit like arguing over which notes from beethoven's 5th are worth keeping...lose any and you've lost something of the whole, lose enough and the whole thing is worthless.



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  • 136. At 10:30pm on 06 Jun 2010, Robert Lucien wrote:

    Newtons theory of gravity might not be a total explanation but it was the first time we ever had a real explanation at all. Without science the best you have is mystisicm. Science has one ultimate rule that reality must be its ultimate measure, from that extends the scientific method which distinguishes between objective and subjective observation and experience and so on. The most important thing is that science throws away things if they are proved wrong and tries to work from a basis of proof not belief. (I am a technocrat which means I believe in science as a philosophy even as a religion.)

    Science really does explain the world, it can even explain the most difficult things like feelings and emotions and logic. Scientific philosophy can also be used to roughly define the world in terms of levels of truth. The strongest level is direct existence, the next is through repeatable verifiable experiment and prediction, the next by untestable cumulative extrapolations, then by non-cumulative extrapolations, then by arbitrary extrapolations.

    Anything that involves uncertain extrapolations generated by cumulative theory is untestable and has the status of a guess, though of course some are far stronger than others. - Such predictions / extrapolations include climate change prediction theory, but also evolution of life, existence of black holes, the big bang theory, and tectonic plate theory and so on.
    The reason we should trust the scientific communities extrapolation of climate and global warming is that science is based on truth, on finding truth and on following truth. If they find they are wrong they change the answer that is the way with science, and it has to be the way with science - any other guarantees failure sooner or later. Science isn't perfect but it really is the best we have.

    The problem with the deniers (generalization here) is that when they try to talk about science they stand out like a man in a fluorescent top on a battlefield. On forums like this they often drown out any competing voices in a hail of criticism and attack that stops any reasoned argument. This certainly isn't all deniers but it is most, mud slinging and name calling and belittlement.
    -Many summits from my studying I know how to spot the patterns of mental illness in many peoples words and writing and have to say that some here are definitely well over that edge. Worse many although they call themselves 'skeptics' they are in fact 'true believers', totally convinced of their own ideas - even seeing climate change happen wont convince them. I'm sure they will now say the same about me - I suppose I am. :) Like it says on the gates of Hell 'Hypocrisy is the mirror at the surface of the pool of truth.'

    Like a bunch of five year olds fighting in the playground.

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  • 137. At 11:52pm on 06 Jun 2010, LarryKealey wrote:


    71. At 08:38am on 05 Jun 2010, sensibleoldgrannie wrote:

    It was so nice to have a holiday away from TV and tedium. The sun shone, and a wide variety of birds twittered, and the only sounds were from the wind blowing through the wild grasses. I could hear a cock pheasant calling through the dense undergrowth, and all was well. Mind you, this is a place where conservation is highly prized. Not saying where I went as it would be good for the place to remain relatively undisturbed. Back to reality today. Ugg!

    I believe that making a profit to maintain nature's diversity, would at least keep some diversity. Horrible though it may sound, 'nature' industry might be the only way to maintain 'natural' ecosystems. Fight fire with fire.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Grannie,

    It does not sound horrible to me - oceans full of fish at population levels of several hundred years ago are much more valuable than oceans with totally collapsed fisheries.

    The same can be said of the rain forests, the forests, the wetlands, any environment you care to name is worth more if managed properly and sustained - rather than raped and destroyed.

    It is making those who own and control these resources understand this simple fact that becomes difficult - but compound interest adds up fast - a standing forest produces economic benefit forever - a razed one is worthless...

    Cheers.

    Kealey

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  • 138. At 00:10am on 07 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    136. Robert Lucien - You might want to note the profound difference between real science and the new “Post-Normal Science” which is discussed here:

    http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/climate-change-and-the-death-of-science/

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  • 139. At 00:13am on 07 Jun 2010, oldterry2 wrote:

    in 109. manysummits wrote:
    "Oldterry2, CanadianRockies; Blunderbunny;
    ......
    You are all officially added to my growing list of 'denialists.' "

    How splendid - to be classed as a denialist for saying that CO2 is not the most important greenhouse gas. That must mean that manysummits would also think the same of the authors of the IPPC report - I quote: "Water vapour is the most abundant and important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere." IPCC report Chapter 2 pg 135.

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  • 140. At 02:39am on 07 Jun 2010, LarryKealey wrote:


    @Richard

    I just caught your posts in response to me - thank you.

    Also, many thanks for your congradulations. We are very excited - the big day is July 3rd, if you should find yourself in the area (perhaps covering the leak...) you would be very welcome at the wedding.

    I am a bit too disappointed with the disaster in the Gulf today to write about it - more tomorrow.

    Kindest.

    Kealey

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  • 141. At 03:38am on 07 Jun 2010, TJ wrote:

    Robert Lucien @136 you say:

    "I am a technocrat which means I believe in science as a philosophy even as a religion."

    And there IMO is the root of it all.

    Science - a method or process. Started in Genesis 1 when Adam gave a name to everything.

    (Natural) Philosophy - the interpretation of the ‘science’. Started when the first bit of science became available (Genesis 2 onwards)

    Religion - the belief, or 'truth' is the word you use. Started when folks wanted some certainty with which to control and feel comfort.

    This is now all encompassed in what we now call "Science". And we wonder why we have a problem.

    CanadianRockies @138 directs use to “Post Normal Science”. Check it out.

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  • 142. At 03:49am on 07 Jun 2010, TJ wrote:

    rossglory @ 135.

    We appear to have a similar conundrum. How did your studies lead you to rationalize/deal with it?

    This afternoon I thought about the beaver that can build a dam and totally alter the course of mighty rivers and deltas and destroy the eco system which can never be recreated.

    Of course a new eco system will be created. However, the question is: are beavers to be culled or encouraged?

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  • 143. At 03:54am on 07 Jun 2010, TJ wrote:

    Robert Lucien @136 you say:

    "Like a bunch of five year olds fighting in the playground."

    Out of the mouths of babies and suckling’s..... Long may that eternal gathering be supported and not directed by those "that know better".

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  • 144. At 06:36am on 07 Jun 2010, Dros wrote:

    There are people who do genuinely ask what the point of conservation is, and yet those same people often enjoy walks in the countryside and wildlife documentaries. I find it quite disturbing that people feel the need to find economic justification to encourage the continued existence of the greatest gift humanity has been given. I ask myself, 'Where is the soul of these people and, assuming they have one, why do they think it isn't important?' This obsession with economics is what has ruined humanity and the World. If the case must be put forward, then there are very good economic incentives for conservation, such as tourism and antibiotic research (heck, we are running out of useful antibiotics as fast as we are destroying their natural sources!). As for the critics of anthropogenic global warming, although the consequences of this warming and its extent remain unclear, there is no doubt that we are changing the Earth's atmosphere - do people really want to let this global 'experiment' run its course? Common sense dictates that we err on the side of caution. People also criticise the computer models that scientists use, but let us not forget that models predicted the damaging effects of CFCs on ozone long before the ozone hole became a reality. Now, should we have dismissed this and said, 'Prove to us that the ozone hole will get bigger and that it matters to us?' The proof may well have been your deaths. Let us not be complacent and overly-cynical when we have only one planet to fool around with! The economic really is a lower priority!!!

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  • 145. At 08:55am on 07 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #136 Robert Lucien wrote:

    "The most important thing is that science throws away things if they are proved wrong and tries to work from a basis of proof not belief."

    Science neither proves nor disproves anything conclusively. I think that idea deserves to be called "cod Popper". The idea that science works "from a basis of proof not belief" is completely wrong.

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  • 146. At 09:11am on 07 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #132 Titus wrote:

    gravity does not work with our current observations and current needs for calculating how objects move.

    Newton's laws work extremely well for almost all of our current needs -- from balls rolling down inclined slopes to the trajectories of projectiles, even for getting to the Moon and back. Einstein's theory of gravity works even better for the very large scale. As far as I know, postulating "dark matter" doesn't contradict Einstein's theory, but instead changes the "initial conditions" so as to make it more consistent with the apparent expansion of the universe.

    Einstein himself unwittingly posited dark matter, in effect, by introducing his "fudge factor" in general relativity. This was once considered his "greatest mistake", but is now considered yet another of his "deep insights" -- a typical re-assessment as science progresses.

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  • 147. At 09:17am on 07 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #144 Dros wrote:


    I find it quite disturbing that people feel the need to find economic justification to encourage the continued existence of the greatest gift humanity has been given.

    I admire your honesty for putting it in explicitly religious terms. But as Titus and others have noted, diversity isn't an unambiguously positive thing. Some of it's good, but some of it's bad (such as polio and smallpox, wolves or even foxes that attack sleeping children, etc.).

    Forget economic justification for a moment -- we have to weigh the good against the bad. We have to consider the good of insect life against the bad of malaria, and so on.

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  • 148. At 09:43am on 07 Jun 2010, JunkkMale wrote:

    109. At 03:21am on 06 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    You are all officially added to my growing list of 'denialists.'


    At risk of invoking Godwin's Law...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0V3SqxUomwk

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  • 149. At 10:11am on 07 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    JunkkMale at #148

    Not sure if that one counts for the purposes of Godwin's Law... anyway, I love the clip!

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  • 150. At 12:32pm on 07 Jun 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    @JunkkMale #148
    @manysummits
    @simon-swede

    Re: "You are all officially added to my growing list of 'denialists.'"

    "Don't tell him your name......'Pike'" ;-)

    Excellent Clip....... Thanks for that

    It's nice to be on someone's list - Maybe there'll be a card or something at Christmas?

    Regards to All,

    One of the Lobby

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  • 151. At 12:48pm on 07 Jun 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #142 Titus

    i wish i had the confidence that some posters appear to have in our ability to manipulate the biosphere.....without destroying it that is. trying to decide what is 'good' and 'bad' in nature apart from a few obvious candidates like typhus is not possible (and i think it's ironic that some diseases were 'locked up' inside large areas of untouched wilderness and only became human diseases when we decided to exploit them).

    fortunately i don't think we need to think about those sorts decisions at the moment (if at all), we just need to stop destroying biodiversity at the current rate and quite often for no real material gain to anyone.

    protection is the key, and not just protecting good/nice/pretty bits and destroying bad bits. those types of decisions are impossible.

    a simple example from my perspective might be a woods/grass dilemma. woods could harbour bad foxes that attack children, but i'm allergic to grass pollen which gives me asthma. so i say conserve as much of each as if possible and del with the consequences.

    wrt beavers, i would say if the ecosystem was large enough there would be an eventual balance and although dams may destroy terrestrial habitats they create aquatic ones.

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  • 152. At 1:01pm on 07 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #151 rossglory wrote:

    "i wish i had the confidence that some posters appear to have in our ability to manipulate the biosphere.....without destroying it that is."

    Out of interest, what's your opinion on the re-introduction of the beaver into Scotland?

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  • 153. At 1:22pm on 07 Jun 2010, blunderbunny wrote:

    @rossglory

    Not that often that I agree with you, but in this particular case I am in wholehearted agreement. Protect as much of the remaining habitats as possible and leave nature and biodiversity to it's own devices. Choosing good and bad, is almost impossible - One species loss, is another’s gain.

    There are a few notable highly pathogenic exceptions to all of this, but even eradicating these may have other unintended consequences. Recent work has suggested that the eradication of smallpox, may have led to the rapid rise in HIV infections that we've seen over the last few decades.

    I guess, with particular regard to these sorts of pathogens, we just have to do the best that we can at the time. Sadly, given the complexity of these potential interactions there can be no absolutes, so we just have to accept that we might later have to live with the occasional painful unintended consequence.

    Regards,

    One of the Lobby

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  • 154. At 2:09pm on 07 Jun 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #152 bowmanthebard

    "Out of interest, what's your opinion on the re-introduction of the beaver into Scotland?"

    afraid i'm agnostic. once we've slowed the destruction of biodiversity hotspots around the world and are satisfying our food, water and energy needs without further biosphere damage i could turn my attention to it....perhaps i could let you know then.

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  • 155. At 2:11pm on 07 Jun 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #153 blunderbunny

    glad we can agree on something :o)

    warmist regards

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  • 156. At 3:17pm on 07 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #154 rossglory wrote:

    "satisfying our food, water and energy needs without further biosphere damage"

    Unfortunately that's just impossible. To illustrate, suppose wind farms do everything they're supposed to do. There's still quite a bit of damage involved to local flora and fauna.

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  • 157. At 4:06pm on 07 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    119. At 12:25pm on 06 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Also in this week's edition of Nature, an Editorial under the headline "Wanted: an IPCC for biodiversity". The focus is the suggestion that there is a need for an independent, international science panel that would coordinate and highlight research on biodiversity.

    Nature, vol 465, Page: 525, published online: 02 June 2010.
    Hopefully the links is: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v465/n7298/full/465525a.html

    Nature also invites comments from readers...

    ============================================

    I read this link with great interest - and misgivings!

    Yes, it is a good idea at first blush.

    Upon consideration - here is an idea:

    \\\ Inter-governmental Panel on the Environment (IPE) ///

    This umbrella organization might be headed up by the United Nations, and funded by a world carbon tax.

    It would be a government umbrella, answerable to the United Nations General Assembly. Thus its statements would necessarily be political, and action oriented - i.e. knowing realistically what can and cannot be done, and as the United Nations is our only truly global organization, and is already doing much (UNICEF, WHO, etc...), it would be in the proper position to co-ordinate activities and try and reduce duplication of effort and wasting of manpower and money.

    The sub-committees would be the IPCC, one on biodiversity, one on eutrophication of our waterways, etc..., in short, the idea and promise of the "Planetary Boundaries" paper of Joham Rostrum at the Stockholm Resilience Center would be incorporated into this new UN Body.

    ======================

    Bolivia's World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth is still in business - I receive reports almost daily from them.

    A new "Declaration of Human Rights and the Rights of Mother Earth" might eventually emerge from this initiative.

    And another Bolivian initiative, an "International Court for the Environment," might at long last fulfill the expectations of Christopher Stone's groundbreaking 1972 classic:

    "Should Trees Have Standing?"

    ========================

    Inter-governmental Panel on the Environment;

    Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Rights of Mother Earth;

    International Court for the Environment (headquartered in Bolivia?)


    What do you think?

    - Manysummits, Calgary, Alberta, Canada -

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  • 158. At 4:18pm on 07 Jun 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Economic value, by that is meant profit to be made.
    Nations were once a sense of culture and a particular political institution and even a majority religion. All these worked, for good or bad, to balance the national interest.
    Today, there is only economic interest and everything is placed with a costs and/or benefit. Nothing has any other value. It is a sad state of affairs but it is what happens when there is no other purpose than to make money. Politicans are bought, and everyone accepts that, there is no outraged when an elected person misuses the position, profits from the position or lobbys for their campaign doners. Culture has been defined by products, fashion and personal technologies. Natural processes and habitats are discussed as comerical investments and even the air is sold or taxed by governments. Industries spoil entire environments and walk away with no responsbilities and often complaining that attempts to preserve an animal or plant has caused their decline.
    Religion has been diminished to a occasional attendance and not some guide to live by or treat others by. Society bascially has become the business model. It is when societies begin to die.

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  • 159. At 4:26pm on 07 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    To Robert Lucien, re #136:

    "-Many summits from my studying I know how to spot the patterns of mental illness in many peoples words and writing and have to say that some here are definitely well over that edge. Worse many although they call themselves 'skeptics' they are in fact 'true believers', totally convinced of their own ideas - even seeing climate change happen wont convince them. I'm sure they will now say the same about me - I suppose I am. :) Like it says on the gates of Hell 'Hypocrisy is the mirror at the surface of the pool of truth.' " (Robert Lucien)

    =============

    When I engage with the lobby, as I term them, and do so intensely, as I just did, it feels like a losing battle at times.

    I know the power of ideology and religious fervor, having experienced it closely with friends and acquaintances from my past and present who have been gripped by this need to make sense of a seemingly uncaring and at times terrifying world. For some I expect it is a nightmare which has only brief respites.

    I read Karen Armstrong. She is my portal into the world of comparitive theology and its interface with secular life - she having experienced both. (once a Catholic Nun)

    Karen advise compassion - an attempt to understand the other point of view - as Kennedy once said:

    "We are all mortal."

    But the lobby, who may consist primarily of true believers, as you put it, are also aided and abetted, knowingly or unknowingly, by the Fossil Fuel Industry and Big Business.

    Noam Chomsky ("Hegemony or Survival") would possibly lump them together.

    All have a vested interest in keeping the consumer consuming.

    All would rather we not think deeply - and they own most of the media.

    Sometimes I wonder if blogs like this are not merely tolerated - a relief valve - while 'business as usual' continues to destroy our world.

    Regards,

    Manysummits

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  • 160. At 4:46pm on 07 Jun 2010, peakbear wrote:

    @SR #127
    "Do you advocate 1) Not bothering to use it all 2) Use just the raw data 3) Use the adjusted raw data (as statistics tells us we should filter out the 'noise')."

    2) - There isn't any noise in the data it's someone reading a thermometer every day.
    You can only extrapolate from the data you have collected. Can you not understand how wrong it is to derive a value (North Pole temperature for example) and use that derived value in your final answer (Global temperature for example).
    That is totally circular reasoning. You need to understand how data analysis and statistics are used better as statistics don't tell you to do anything. Once you have a clear set of raw values it is then
    possible to extrapolate some conclusions for certain scenarios but the calculation 'must' be derived from the base (raw) data otherwise it isn't science.

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  • 161. At 5:20pm on 07 Jun 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #156 bowmanthebard

    of course it depends how you define 'biosphere', 'damage', 'needs', .......

    technically windfarms (and other structures) may alter local habitats but not necessarily 'damage' them. for example offshore windfarms can create artificial reefs and create no-take zones for fishers.

    imho, priority no 1 is (as has been debated before) to reduce our food, water and energy needs significantly.

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  • 162. At 6:16pm on 07 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    rossglory 151: "i wish i had the confidence that some posters appear to have in our ability to manipulate the biosphere.....without destroying it"


    rossglory 161: "technically windfarms (and other structures) may alter local habitats but not necessarily 'damage' them."

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  • 163. At 6:23pm on 07 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    Ghost #158:

    "Religion has been diminished to a occasional attendance and not some guide to live by or treat others by. Society bascially has become the business model. It is when societies begin to die." (Ghost)

    =============

    Yes, we all need something to believe in.

    Robert Lucien characterizes himself a 'technocrat,' - a religion as it were. (Belief in science)

    I am sometimes close to that view myself, but intuition is as powerful, and infinitely more generally accessible.

    I suppose that would make me a dual personality?

    I am increasingly seeing civilization as a cultural adaptation to the life of farm and city, with complex hierarchy a necessary result.

    But in mind, body and heart we are all still what we are - hunters (and gatherers). The hunting part is key, however. It enables dominion.

    Institutional democracy is a further expansion in complexity then - and prone to the inevitable Achilles Heel of very complex systems, which we are manifestly currently experiencing.

    I think the financial world will soon implode - again -

    We are in need of some very very good ideas.

    - Manysummits -

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  • 164. At 6:34pm on 07 Jun 2010, manysummits wrote:

    Here is what I am trying to say, as we 'brunch' on our sunny balcony, Underacanoe, Cloudrunner and I:

    If America defaults, China suffers.

    If China does not lend us money - we suffer.

    Etc... everywhere.

    Suppose we helped each other out, not according to the devious workings of the business model, but because we all needed each others help.

    We should help Africa - because if we don't they will suffer.

    Etc...

    - Manysummits -

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  • 165. At 7:29pm on 07 Jun 2010, rossglory wrote:

    #162 bowmanthebard

    "rossglory 151: "i wish i had the confidence that some posters appear to have in our ability to manipulate the biosphere.....without destroying it"


    rossglory 161: "technically windfarms (and other structures) may alter local habitats but not necessarily 'damage' them.""

    strewth, a new bowman game....repost other's post in an attempt at....well i'm not sure.

    let me point out a word you 'MAY' have missed.....have you spotted it yet.....MAYbe i should give you a little longer....oh never mind.

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  • 166. At 7:41pm on 07 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #152. bowmanthebard wrote:

    "Out of interest, what's your opinion on the re-introduction of the beaver into Scotland?"

    This topic could be the topic of a whole blog discussion.

    The simple answer is: it depends. Depends on precisely where they do this, and how far they will let the populations increase. They certainly change local habitats so some species will benefit while others lose out.

    My guess, given how things are in the UK, is that once these rodents are established, and people see how 'cute' and intelligent they are - they are remarkably intelligent for rodents - there will be some kind
    irrational Beaver Protection Society formed and things will get out of hand. Expect riversides stripped of most large deciduous trees, and flooded roads and farm fields... though I can't imagine anyone would let them onto salmon streams, would they?

    These kind of problems are entirely predictable. Happens all over the place in Canada, and its happening in Switzerland where they reintroduced them.

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  • 167. At 06:48am on 08 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    CanadianRockies at #166

    Beavers reintroduced to Switzerland. Ummm, really?

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  • 168. At 06:58am on 08 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Re my #167

    My bad! Indeed there was a beaver reintroduction into Switzerland between 1956 and 1977. The present population is estimated at 350+ individuals.

    The following site has a table showing when various reintroduction programmes were undertaken and teh current population estimates.
    http://www.scotsbeavers.org/Duncan%20Halley%20Report.html

    Elsewhere on the site, there are observations on the impact of beaver reintroductions on other wildlife which are rather contrary to that implied by CanadianRockies. For example, on fish, it is noted:

    "The increase in aquatic and semi-aquatic invertebrates results in greater feeding opportunities for fish, particularly non-salmonid species that feed on bottom dwelling invertebrates which prefer slower moving sections of a stream. However, the deeper water of beaver ponds can provide important habitat for salmonids during the winter and in times of drought. In addition, the ponds offer good holding areas in streams lacking similar features for migrating adult salmonids and large resident trout. Far more large trout in Russia are found in watercourses inhabited by beavers. Studies from the US with North American beavers show that warm water fish such as minnows increase in beaver ponds while pike numbers rose in larger ponds with shallow grassy areas. The state of Oregon is devising new ways to encourage beaver dam building activity precisely because of the positive effects beaver ponds have for migratory fish. Coho salmon, which for all practical purposes are very similar to our Atlantic salmon, will be one of the main beneficiaries and this leads us to believe that salmon in Scotland will benefit from the presence of beavers. This is born out by the Russian example where salmon thrive in great numbers in a landscape that contains thousands of beavers."

    Clearly this site is "pro" beaver-reintroduction, but nevertheless perhaps CR has a rather too jaundiced view?

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  • 169. At 08:01am on 08 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    I don't have strong feelings or opinions on the Scottish beaver issue per se. I like beavers, but re-introducing them will surely changes the ecology of the region, possibly quite a dramatic one as beavers are known as architects. And beavers have to eat stuff -- stuff that would have remained uneaten or would have been eaten by other animals.

    I suspect that most of those who were in favor of re-introducing beavers were guided by the vague idea that beavers are "natural" for Scotland in the same way as red squirrels are "natural" for the UK and grey squirrels are "unnatural".

    Every human act has bad, good and unforeseen consequences, which means that judging any act is always a matter of balancing things up as best we can with less than complete information.

    When people such as rossglory (#161) claim that their own proposed changes (such as making more windfarms) might not cause any 'damage' [sic -- note inverted commas] at all, they're trying to alter the meaning of the word 'damage' so that they are incapable of causing it. I suspect something similar is going on with the beaver. Since the beaver is "natural" for Scotland, this thinking goes, any damage it causes can be safely disregarded as not really 'damage' at all.

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  • 170. At 08:31am on 08 Jun 2010, logo wrote:

    Its amazing that every one wants to be curiosity to know the updated information . I am waiting for updated information , up to now i really happy thank you very much.

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  • 171. At 08:42am on 08 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Bowman at #169

    "And beavers have to eat stuff..."

    True. But once again you are ignoring inter-dependancies that actually exist in the real world. In ecology, it's not necessarily a zero-sum game.

    Look again at the excerpt from post #168, on the impact of beavers on other species...

    "The increase in aquatic and semi-aquatic invertebrates results in greater feeding opportunities for fish, particularly non-salmonid species that feed on bottom dwelling invertebrates which prefer slower moving sections of a stream. However, the deeper water of beaver ponds can provide important habitat for salmonids during the winter and in times of drought. In addition, the ponds offer good holding areas in streams lacking similar features for migrating adult salmonids and large resident trout. Far more large trout in Russia are found in watercourses inhabited by beavers."

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  • 172. At 08:49am on 08 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    168. simon-swede - We had a beaver colony on part of our land until it ate itself out of food - and in the process dramatically changed the surrounding forest structure and composition. I like them. Fun to watch, and quick learners. And I am very familiar with them and their impacts from many, many other areas.

    I don't think anything that you posted is contrary to what I stated. Indeed, some of it is nonsensical if not explained, and some of it looks like stretched facts designed to sell beaver reintroduction.

    If you read that blurb you posted you will notice two key points. They deliberately switch from "non-salmonid species" and "resident" fish to salmon, with no consideration for the migration needs of the salmon. That is either stupidity or dishonest sales tactics.

    This suggests the latter: "The state of Oregon is devising new ways to encourage beaver dam building activity precisely because of the positive effects beaver ponds have for migratory fish."

    The value of beaver ponds in a WHOLE watershed - stabilizing streamflows and clarifying water by settling out silt in spring runoffs - is what can benefit salmon. But nobody wants beaver dams on actual spawning streams. How will impassable beaver DAMS help migrating salmon. They cannot. And you can't make fish-ladders over beaver dams because the beavers respond to the sound of running water by damming the 'leak.'

    Similarly, this is utterly absurd: "However, the deeper water of beaver ponds can provide important habitat for salmonids during the winter and in times of drought."

    How does the salmon get there? A beaver dam blocks the passage of salmon. You don't find salmon in beaver ponds.

    Moreover, if they build a dam below a spawning bed, the spawning gravel becomes silted and the reduction of water flow reduces the flow of oxygen (potentially to the eggs) and no spawning is possible.

    Beaver cut down most large deciduous trees along stream banks. (And when desperate beaver even cut down conifers to keep their teeth sharp). That can eliminate shade and heat up the water, more bad news for fish like salmon, including the young fry and smelts, which need cool water. That is one big reason why logging along salmon streams is not permitted. And its not good for most trout species either.

    Similarly: "This is born out by the Russian example where salmon thrive in great numbers in a landscape that contains thousands of beavers."

    See my fourth paragraph (above). These beavers are not building dams on the rivers where the salmon spawn. Any beavers on these spawning rivers are 'bank beavers' which do not build dams because they do not need to. There is already enough water in the river... e.g. the rivers are large and deep enough already (and they build their lodges on the bank or just dig burrows into them).

    Thus they bring none of the stated beneficial effects, while 'logging' the streamside forests.

    So, this thing you posted is rather misleading. Nonetheless, and as I first stated, if the population and distribution of a reintroduced beaver population is strictly controlled there can be the other benefits from their impacts on the whole watershed.

    But there will also be lots of big trees chopped down, plus lots of shrubs, plus flooded stream valleys and farmlands, plus flooded roads when they dam culverts (which they do all the time).

    So in a place as populated as Scotland it is essential to be prepared to control their populations and pay plenty of compensation to landowners.

    And good luck with that, given how 'cute' beavers are, and how fanatical some UK animal lovers are!

    P.S. I have relatives in Switzerland, very serious conservationists, who wish there were no beavers there. After decades of working to save, restore, and replant nice riparian areas with large trees and nice thickets - great habitat for some rare birds and other species - beavers moved in 'logged' them. Only takes a beaver one night to chop down a tree that may have taken 50+ years to grow. And after the big trees are used up they move onto the smaller ones, then the thickets. And they go a long way from the water. They don't eat all deciduous tree and shrub species but...

    Beavers are rodents. Be prepared for that.


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  • 173. At 09:23am on 08 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    bowmanthebard #169: "And beavers have to eat stuff..."

    simon-swede #171: "True. But once again you are ignoring inter-dependancies that actually exist in the real world. In ecology, it's not necessarily a zero-sum game."

    "Once again"?! -- I'm not even doing it this time! -- I'm taking into account the fact that what beavers eat would probably be eaten by something else, which is an example of inter-dependency!

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  • 174. At 09:26am on 08 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Presumably, when beavers were resident in Scotland in earlier times something preyed on beavers. Perhaps it was just humans. But presumably something will have to prey on beavers again. Did humans re-introduce beavers so that humans could kill them?

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  • 175. At 09:37am on 08 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    CanadianRockies at #172

    Points taken! I did point out that the site was pro-reintroduction...

    One of the things you note is the potential value over an entire watershed. I think that flags a very valuable point - it is important to consider impacts at the ecosystem level.

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  • 176. At 09:48am on 08 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    CanadianRockies at #172

    I don't claim to be an expert on beaver/salmon interaction, but some of what I have read is at variance with what you say about the impact of beaver on spawing grounds.

    You may want to consider the following...

    In seeking to explore the population-level effects on coho salmon resulting from the widespread removal of millions of beaver and their dams from Pacific Coast watersheds, a team of researchers looked ta the current and historic distributions of beaver ponds and other coho salmon rearing habitat in the Stillaguamish River, a 1,771 km2 drainage basin in Washington.

    They found that the greatest reduction in coho salmon smolt production capacity originated from the extensive loss of beaver ponds.

    They estimated the current summer smolt production potential (SPP) to be 965,000 smolts, compared with a historic summer SPP of 2.5 million smolts. Overall, current summer habitat capacity was reduced by 61% compared with historic levels, most of the reduction resulting from the loss of beaver ponds. Current summer SPP from beaver ponds and sloughs was reduced by 89% and 68%, respectively, compared with historic SPP. A more dramatic reduction in winter habitat capacity was found; the current winter SPP was estimated at 971,000 smolts, compared with a historic winter SPP of 7.1 million smolts. In terms of winter habitat capacity, they estimated a 94% reduction in beaver pond SPP, a 68% loss in SPP of sloughs, a 9% loss in SPP of tributary habitat, and an overall SPP reduction of 86%.

    They found that most of the overall reduction resulted from the loss of beaver ponds. The analysis suggests that summer habitat historically limited smolt production capacity, whereas both summer and winter habitats currently exert equal limits on production.

    They concluded that watershed-scale restoration activities designed to increase coho salmon production should emphasize the creation of ponds and other slow-water environments; increasing beaver populations may be a simple and effective means of creating slow-water habitat.

    Source: The Importance of Beaver Ponds to Coho Salmon Production in the Stillaguamish River Basin, Washington, USA (Michael M. Pollock et al., IN: North American Journal of Fisheries Management 2004; 24: 749-760).

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  • 177. At 09:52am on 08 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Bowman at #173

    But you are assuming it is a simple beavers "+", then it is necessarily others "-" relationship. Ecology is not that simple, and you need to take into account the inter-dependancies in a more realistic (not abstract) manner.

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  • 178. At 10:04am on 08 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    CanadaianRockies at #172 again

    I guess I find your description as problematic as the "pro-reintroduction" web-site, in that it is too emphatic. For example, in contrast with what you describe as an inevitable consequence of beaver dams, another review states: "in SOME cases dams are obstructions to upstream migration, and sediment may be deposited in former spawning areas." (empahsis added)

    However I would wholeheartedly agree with you that the practicality and benefits of introducing or restoring beaver populations will vary according to location, and should be considered in conjunction with a management plan to control their densities. Large-scale reintroduction of any species will have an impact on the existing ecosystem, and so one is really talking about seeking a managed change rather than a reinstatement of the status quo ante.

    By the way, that review mentioned was co-written by researchers from Canada (Gibson, from Newfoundland) and Scotland (Collen)...! ("The general ecology of beavers (Castor spp.), as related to their influence on stream ecosystems and riparian habitats, and the subsequent effects on fish – a review", IN: Review of Fish Biology and Fisheries, Volume 10, Number 4 / December, 2000).

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  • 179. At 10:34am on 08 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #177 simon-swede wrote:

    But you are assuming it is a simple beavers "+", then it is necessarily others "-"

    Not at all. Obviously, other animals live inside the beavers' pools and lodges, so it is probably good for many aquatic species. But on the whole it is probably worse for trees and living things that depend on trees.

    Note the word 'good' in what I explicitly said: "Every human act has bad, good and unforeseen consequences, which means that judging any act is always a matter of balancing things up as best we can with less than complete information."

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  • 180. At 11:18am on 08 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Bowman at #179

    You wrote: "But on the whole it is probably worse for trees and living things that depend on trees."

    Not necessarily. It is not that linear! At best you could say that it is bad for those particular trees that the beavers eat.

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  • 181. At 11:20am on 08 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Bowman at #179.

    You wrote: "Note the word 'good' in what I explicitly said".

    I did. And also that it indicates a very anthropocentric perspective. Unsuprising really.

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  • 182. At 11:50am on 08 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    bowmanthebard #179: "Note the word 'good' in what I explicitly said".

    #181 simon-swede #181: "I did. And also that it indicates a very anthropocentric perspective. Unsuprising really."

    What on Earth are you talking about now? Explain.

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  • 183. At 12:09pm on 08 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    The words 'good' and 'bad' express values. They would normally be values of the person writing, or, if spoken in oratio obliqua, the values of some other sentient creature. One might "vicariously" adopt the values of another sentient creature as one's own values -- morality would seem to require it. I certainly intend to express the values of other sentient creatures when I say that every act has good and bad consequences. Killing beavers, for example, is a bad consequence for beavers, even if it yields furs (or whatever) that some humans regard as valuable.

    Where on Earth do you get the idea that when I use the words 'good' or 'bad' I am thereby expressing an "anthropocentric" perspective? Beyond the fact that I happen to be human, I mean?

    By all means disagree for the sake of disagreement -- that is a good habit. But please give it a moment's reflection while you're at it -- otherwise it's a waste of time.

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  • 184. At 12:54pm on 08 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Bowman at #183

    You wrote: Where on Earth do you get the idea that when I use the words 'good' or 'bad' I am thereby expressing an "anthropocentric" perspective?

    Let's see, you also wrote: "The words 'good' and 'bad' express values. They would normally be values of the person writing..."

    Indeed. I wonder where I got that impression then?

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  • 185. At 12:56pm on 08 Jun 2010, Robert Lucien wrote:

    Many summits When one talks about things like science and religion one must remember Arthur C Clark's great maxim "Any sufficiently advanced science is indistinguishable from magic". On the subject of spirituality one must remember that just because someone does not believe in the big god doesn't mean one cannot believe in the little ones. (After all science provides pretty absolute proof of the non-existence of the big one in the form of the size of the universe.)

    In Victorian times rationality ('common sense') and physics coexisted happily but relativity and quantum mechanics changed all that.
    In physics there is one part of the map labeled "here be dragons" - the FTL part of the light cone, but unfortunately for rationalists the whole universe is in the FTL part of the light cone. Depending on the size of point time even the other people reading this blog are in the FTL part of my light cone and I'm in the FTL part of their light cones.

    I could explain what all that means but in short point time is probably a simultaneous variable - what that shows is that at a fundamental level we still don't have a complete map of ultimate reality. My point is that everyone who's so certain about the world is wrong wrong wrong...
    =====================================================

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  • 186. At 2:29pm on 08 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #184 simon-swede wrote:

    Let's see, you also wrote: "The words 'good' and 'bad' express values. They would normally be values of the person writing..."

    Indeed. I wonder where I got that impression then?


    You need to look up the word 'anthropocentric'! It has to do with a specifically human-centered perspective.

    Perhaps you're suggesting that any time any person expresses a value, he adopts an anthropocentric perspective because he is a human. In that case, you have to explain why you think it applies to me more than other humans!

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  • 187. At 5:34pm on 08 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Bowman at #186

    I know what anthropocentric means, and yes in expressing your opinion on biodiversity matters I think you have that perspective.

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  • 188. At 6:43pm on 08 Jun 2010, bowmanthebard wrote:

    #187 simon-swede wrote:

    "in expressing your opinion on biodiversity matters I think you have that perspective"

    But why? -- Because I don't appeal to a spooky Higher Power?

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  • 189. At 7:17pm on 08 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #176. simon-swede - I'm baffled by that research. So I'm thinking out loud here... How do the coho get upstream of beaver dams to spawn, thereby allowing the smolts to be in beaver ponds later? And how do the smolts get downstream from the beaver dams to return downstream to the ocean?

    I'm not familiar with that particular watershed. But since it consistently says "beaver ponds and sloughs," that suggests that the area studied is some large flat area... and this would suggest that it may be impacted by the seasonal flooding of large areas... in which case these beaver ponds would not be created by high dams blocking running water.

    I just found this watershed on a map. I guessed right. The lower part is in the flat Puget Sound lowlands where that would have made some sense, historically. So in an area like this, beaver ponds would predictably be on the small tributaries, or on areas where there seasonal floodwaters were retained, and the smolts could reach them and leave them during spring flooding and high water...

    Since coho have various seasonal runs... and I have no idea when the run or runs on this particular river occur or did occur, that would also be a factor.

    In any case, this only emphasizes the need for looking at the specifics and details of a watershed versus making broad generalizations. Are there areas like this is Scotland, or do the salmon there spawn in watersheds where beavers would be more of a problem... if not a disaster for them?

    And this study is a good example of overgeneralization when it seeks to "explore the population-level effects on coho salmon resulting from the widespread removal of millions of beaver and their dams from Pacific Coast watersheds."

    If you look at a map you will see that north of the Fraser delta there are very few similar watersheds with large flat areas along the coast like this one... so a study of this one cannot be extrapolated as implied.

    And this looks specifically at coho salmon.

    Finally, these "historic" smolt production estimates must be based on models and extrapolation since the beaver population was effectively reduced to semi-extirpation by the 1850s, and nobody was counting salmon back then. So what these statistics are actually worth is another question.

    Anyhow, my very first comment on this blog a few months back was a complaint about overgeneralizations, which are almost always false or misleading when it comes to ecology and species - as Richard's topics consistently do because he routinely starts with big UN statements. So this discussion just fits that.

    And as I noted in my first comment on this beaver reintroduction, this topic alone could be the subject of a blog with comments galore to emphasize how complex things can be.

    So, thanks for getting into the details. Unfortunately, most people don't do that.

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  • 190. At 7:21pm on 08 Jun 2010, CanadianRockies wrote:

    185. Robert Lucien wrote:

    "My point is that everyone who's so certain about the world is wrong wrong wrong... "

    Couldn't agree more.

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  • 191. At 7:53pm on 08 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    Bowman at #187

    Nope. Guess again.

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  • 192. At 05:32am on 09 Jun 2010, simon-swede wrote:

    CanadianRockies at #189

    I agree - "... this only emphasizes the need for looking at the specifics and details of a watershed versus making broad generalizations."

    However while by definition "OVERgeneralisations" are misleading as you say, I still think there is a role for studies that try assess the big picture without getting bogged down by all the nitty-gritty detail. Taking a step back and looking at something in a larger context can be very useful to gettig thinking going in new directions. Of course, the devil is in the detail, and the details need to be worked through eventually if one wants to make a shift towards specific actions. Moreover, I must confess that I find it enjoyable to get into detail now and again, rather than rehash some abstract notions that sometimes have no grounding in reality.

    What Richard mostly does well in my opinion is present a basic description and some highlights and also provides the links to let people determine the merits or otherwise of the studies he describes, if they are so interested (in other words, letting those studies speak for themselves). Wish others did the same...

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  • 193. At 7:03pm on 19 May 2011, Victor wrote:

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

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