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Author Topic: Climate change deniers  (Read 3138 times)

LesPalenik

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #40 on: April 22, 2017, 10:33:55 PM »

Hopefully, something will come out of all the science marshes and awakenings of scientists and wide masses.
Here is an interesting CBC interview (9 min. video) with Lucky Tran, a Washington based scientist and an organizer of science protest activities.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/thenational/lucky-tran-and-the-march-for-science-1.4081167

kikashi

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #41 on: April 23, 2017, 03:58:55 AM »

Scott Adams writes well, as you'd expect, but I think his hypothesis misses the bigger picture.

David, I didn't want, and I read Adams as not wanting, to get involved in the actual issue. I did find the concepts he discussed to be interesting, and of wider application. Received wisdom is sometimes not very wise.

I don't pretend to understand the details of the climate change arguments, or how natural change over time can be distinguished from anthropogenic change. I do have a scientific background, though, which I like to think allows me to appreciate the limits of my understanding. I'm not sure that all others in the argument have such humility.

Jeremy
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David Sutton

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #42 on: April 23, 2017, 05:29:02 AM »

David, I didn't want, and I read Adams as not wanting, to get involved in the actual issue. I did find the concepts he discussed to be interesting, and of wider application. Received wisdom is sometimes not very wise.

I don't pretend to understand the details of the climate change arguments, or how natural change over time can be distinguished from anthropogenic change. I do have a scientific background, though, which I like to think allows me to appreciate the limits of my understanding. I'm not sure that all others in the argument have such humility.

Jeremy

Yes, I understand and don't disagree.
I studied computer meteorology at university, but that was almost fifty years ago. I think that rules me out discussing the science in detail.
I do enjoy reading about whether a link between two factors is causative or associative. But I've noticed it's often poorly understood and years before an issue like that is thrashed out.
David

Completely and totally off topic: We students were allowed access to the faculty's desktop computer. It was the size of a small car and used punch tape. Tape was a blessing as the alternative was using a bent paper clip to punch holes in cards. You never got it right and the printout came back the next morning with a list of errors. When I got my first windows machine in 2006 I was horrified at how little progress had been made in writing an operating system.
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LesPalenik

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #43 on: April 23, 2017, 06:30:37 AM »

Yes, I understand and don't disagree.
I studied computer meteorology at university, but that was almost fifty years ago. I think that rules me out discussing the science in detail.
I do enjoy reading about whether a link between two factors is causative or associative. But I've noticed it's often poorly understood and years before an issue like that is thrashed out.
David

Completely and totally off topic: We students were allowed access to the faculty's desktop computer. It was the size of a small car and used punch tape. Tape was a blessing as the alternative was using a bent paper clip to punch holes in cards. You never got it right and the printout came back the next morning with a list of errors. When I got my first windows machine in 2006 I was horrified at how little progress had been made in writing an operating system.

When it comes to essentials, hardly any more progress was made 10 years later in Windows 10. If anything, the OS got more bloated and slower. The only things which hide how little progress was made, have been the advances in the CPU and graphics chips.

Alan Klein

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #44 on: April 23, 2017, 09:20:48 AM »

When it comes to essentials, hardly any more progress was made 10 years later in Windows 10. If anything, the OS got more bloated and slower. The only things which hide how little progress was made, have been the advances in the CPU and graphics chips.
I think the people who write programs are also the same people who you speak to when you have a problem with a piece of equipment or an app and need technical guidance to explain how to get it to work properly.  These people think they speak to technical users and just lose you.  And I say this as a technically savvy person who worked in the computer and electronic industry all my life.  They don't write simple and clear instructions regarding use of the equipment or app either and just assume you know what they mean.  So one has to assume that if the same type people don't think clearly enough to express themselves clearly to you then their program writing skills will be just as inept. 
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #45 on: April 23, 2017, 10:43:48 AM »

When it comes to essentials, hardly any more progress was made 10 years later in Windows 10. If anything, the OS got more bloated and slower. The only things which hide how little progress was made, have been the advances in the CPU and graphics chips.
The WinOS (never used a Mac so can't comment) is far more stable today.  I've not had a BSOD since Win7 was introduced.  Desktops can access far more RAM than before.  Also don't ignore the advances that have been made in programming languages.  I learned CS back in 1969 doing Fortran on an IBM mainframe with punch cards.  Don't ever want to revisit that time again!!
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kikashi

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #46 on: April 23, 2017, 02:39:11 PM »

Completely and totally off topic: We students were allowed access to the faculty's desktop computer. It was the size of a small car and used punch tape.

Ah, I remember using punched tape when I was at Cambridge. We had a PDP-7, which was ancient even then but had exciting peripherals such as a graphics screen, a light pen and a trackball, none of which was available on the University's IBM/370. The PDP sat in two 7-foot filing cabinets and had 8k of core memory. I entered my first program by toggling the switches to write the 18-bit words one by one. Later, someone wrote a BCPL compiler which ran on the /370 and made life an awful lot easier.

Nostalgia. Not what it used to be.

Jeremy
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #47 on: April 23, 2017, 05:48:31 PM »

Ha! A PDP-7. That's positively modern. I programmed on a PDP-1.

P.S. Maybe we need a new thread about "Computer Change Deniers." 

(For a long time after Windows was on the scene I asserted that MS-DOS 3.1 was Microsoft's last stable operating system. Now I don't bother any more.)
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #48 on: April 23, 2017, 05:59:53 PM »

Ha! A PDP-7. That's positively modern. I programmed on a PDP-1.

Ultramodern!  For me, IBM 360.  Magnetic core memory, FORTRAN and punch cards.
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David Sutton

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Re: Climate change deniers
« Reply #49 on: April 23, 2017, 10:39:08 PM »

Thank you folks for your contributions. It has been educational.
I feel the purpose of this thread has been fulfilled and now is a good time to close it. As you may have guessed, it was not about the arguments of climate change deniers.  ;)
Closing it also allows me to go completely off topic again and express my own views as a layman on the climate change discussion. Here goes.

There are two types of religious fundamentalists: those who believe nothing in the bible is true and those who believe everything in it is true. Both do err.
We've seen the same thing in the climate change debate. That's not surprising that it borders on a religious debate. People naturally look for final and definitive answers where the reality may be quite different. I tend to avoid discussions with both groups of true believers.

There is no doubt that there is a link between human activity since the industrial revolution and a rise in greenhouse gasses. There is no doubt of a link between a rise in greenhouse gasses and global warming. There is no doubt of a link between global warming and climate change. This is very basic research.
The question is whether the links are causal and whether climate change will be catastrophic.
In the case of the link between human activity and greenhouse gas the answer is yes, it's causal. CO2 levels over centuries are relatively easy to measure both directly and indirectly, and to attribute a source. Other gasses such as CH4 are a little more difficult I believe. How do you measure the amount of cow farts from industrial-scale farms?
To keep this short, I'm lumping global warming and catastrophic change together when looking at their link to the rise in greenhouse gasses.
There may be several ways to establish a causal link. One is to look for answers in the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere. Another may be to establish a model with a proven predictive ability.
The problem with the latter is that it may be too conservative. You will know as photographers that side effects from editing an image in Photoshop are both cumulative and multiplicative. The same for the climate. Example: we don't know the effect of the release of CH4 from melting permafrost. We believe there is a huge amount locked up but we don't know. We aren't sure about the effect on the planet's albedo from human activity such as aircraft exhausts. In the USA scientists were able to measure that when air traffic was shut down after the Twin Towers attacks. From memory I think it was in the order of one to two degrees C cooling.
Another option is observation. We are doing that now and I find that approach convincing. I'm not looking for ironclad proof. That's a waste of time IMO.

So I'm in the camp of a likely catastrophic change. But nasty as that experience may be, I hold some hope for the outcome. Hope however is more religious than scientific, so if you are uncomfortable with that stop reading now (I'm influenced by the work of Thomas Berry).

Violence is part of the natural order from the beginning of the universe, but not its main purpose. As far as I can tell the main aim of the universe is beauty, perhaps along with an evolving awareness of justice, mercy etc. Example: the emergence of carbon and its spread throughout the universe over billions of years would not have been possible without the cataclysmic implosion of countless stars.
Chaos and cataclysm seem built into the DNA of the universe in order for new forms to emerge, and its creative energy to continue.

Apart from the climate, we are seeing the breaking down of our cultural institutions: the economy, religions, education etc.
Many of our institutions are incompatible with life on Earth. Example: free market capitalism and the beliefs of our religions about our place in the universe. What is our place in the universe? I'll take a stab at that. Every species has something unique. Humans seem to have the unique ability of reflective consciousness. The ability of creation to look at itself. That humans are now capable of destroying all life on Earth is evidence of their importance here.
So my hope is that this destructive period is a process of emergence that will end in something better for our world. However it's just that, a hope.
It would be usual to end with some fancy quote on the nature of hope. Google is your friend here.  :)

David



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