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Author Topic: Skepticism about Climate Change  (Read 23328 times)

Alan Klein

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2017, 09:25:40 PM »

It's not about science as a religion, science is rather the opposite. Axioms are not dogmas.

The trouble with it is that lots of people are doubting science, and are more willing to 'belief' stuff that suits their agenda. To them, facts do not matter much, but their believe (e.g. in conspiracies, or flat earth, or ...) is deciding their actions. When those with political power, or teachers, are led by beliefs/dogmas rather than (and in the presence of) scientific observations and models that help to better understand the mechanisms at work, then we're back at the middle-ages when the sun still was thought to revolve around the earth.

Cheers,
Bart
Religion is based on faith, so its unchangeable.  Science however, is the opposite.  It's based on doubt, so it's changeable. What we think is true today, might not be true tomorrow.   When you make a statement about "...people doubting science..." then you are conferring science to a religion because you're faith is saying it is true and unchangeable.  In order for science to remain science, you have to allow room for doubt.  The moment you say there is no doubt, you have become a religious convert.  And like religions, climate change apostates should be sacrificed, lose their funding, even jailed as some global warmists have recommended.  The doubters have become the witches who must be burned at the stake.  Nature becomes the idol God.  Science is the religion. 
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JoeKitchen

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2017, 09:33:50 PM »

It's not about science as a religion, science is rather the opposite. Axioms are not dogmas.

Cheers,
Bart

Come on Bart, axioms are assumed truths, not proven truths, just like dogmas, and can be changed without consequence. 

All mathematical fields, and forms of logic, have a set of base axioms where the negating of one will not effect any of the others and produce an entirely new field.  Euclidean Geometry vs. Non-Euclidean Geometry, the latter being discovered because Gauss attempted to prove the 5th axiom through contradiction but was never actually able to find one, thus, not only creating a new form of geometry, but furthering our understanding of base axioms. 

Truism would be the better word. 
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Joe Kitchen
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Ray

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2017, 07:16:59 AM »

Thanks, Ray. Every once in a while I get the writing bug -- usually because I disagree strongly with something I've read, like Brooks Jensen's editorial in the current issue of LensWork, which led to "The Horror of Technical Excellence."

"Snowscape" came from frustration at being separated from my wife and family for a couple years by Uncle Sam's Air Force. I'd love to plunge into fiction, but as you can see if you read "Short Stories from Thai Seeds" at http://www.russ-lewis.com/asia/Shorts/S-preface.html, I'm a long way from a great fiction writer. There are a couple good stories in there, especially "The Klong," and perhaps "Sunday Morning" and "One More for the Ditch," but most of the rest arose out of sheer frustration with the situation after we shut down in Cambodia and the guys who were under my command started finding alternatives to war in the "local economy." Some of the results were funny; some were sad; some were downright tragic. I tried to capture it. Reading what I wrote, I don't think I really succeeded. People who write abut writing recommend getting close to your subject. I think I was too close.  :(

Thanks Russ, I find your writings interesting. You have the makings of a great novelist. I now understand why your main focus in photography is on street scenes, to capture that emotional reaction between people.

I lived in Thailand for about 14 months from 1963 to 1964. I had my 21st birthday there. I taught English for a living. It was the best time of my life.

When I've returned to Thailand in recent years, I've been dismayed at the masses of tourists, mostly Chinese. I feel it's a paradise lost.

What initially impressed me about Thailand was the fact that desperately poor people, by English standards, appeared to be so happy; in fact much happier than the much wealthier people in England.

In those days I had  one of the first Pentax Spotmatics. Here's a shot of a lovely lady drenched in mud, 1963 or maybe 1964.


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Ray

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2017, 07:44:50 AM »

Russ, I also visited Cambodia in those days, before the Pol Pot disaster.

That was also a charming place, relatively free of tourists, especially Siem Reap. Here's a couple of shots from 1964.


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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2017, 08:26:45 AM »

Science is made up of a methodology and a resulting set of hypothesis whose only quality is that they have not yet been replaced by better ones.

Claiming that the evolving nature of science makes decision making impossible is ignoring the obvious fact that the same science has been enormously successful in the past to help predict various phenomemon.

So yes, there is no certainty that Co2 is a major contributor to climate change, but the best in class science currently tells us that it is very likely it does, for me it is as good as anything else as a basis for decision making.

It is for sure currently better than the opposite theories claiming that it doesn't. May this change? It sure could.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Ray

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2017, 09:08:19 AM »

So yes, there is no certainty that Co2 is a major contributor to climate change, but the best in class science currently tells us that it is very likely it does, for me it is as good as anything else as a basis for decision making.
Cheers,
Bernard

You're confused, Bernard. Climatology is not the 'the best in class science'. It's a soft science, like biology, human evolution, sociology, economics, psychology and so on. There are many uncertainties because of the complexity of the issue and the lack of data. True and objective scientists understand that.
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RSL

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2017, 09:44:30 AM »

Thanks Russ, I find your writings interesting. You have the makings of a great novelist. I now understand why your main focus in photography is on street scenes, to capture that emotional reaction between people.

I lived in Thailand for about 14 months from 1963 to 1964. I had my 21st birthday there. I taught English for a living. It was the best time of my life.

When I've returned to Thailand in recent years, I've been dismayed at the masses of tourists, mostly Chinese. I feel it's a paradise lost.

What initially impressed me about Thailand was the fact that desperately poor people, by English standards, appeared to be so happy; in fact much happier than the much wealthier people in England.

In those days I had  one of the first Pentax Spotmatics. Here's a shot of a lovely lady drenched in mud, 1963 or maybe 1964.

Hi Ray,

The girl in that picture is a living illustration of sanouk. (I see it written as "sanuk," but the only proper way to write it is "สนก.") I can't read or write Thai, though I did learn enough of the spoken language to get around town. I once used some of my up-country Thai on a Bangkok cab driver who laughed and said, "You speak hillbilly Thai." Of course the fact that almost all Thai kids are taught some English helped. If you taught there, I'd assume you're fluent in Thai. On my second Thai tour in 73 and 74 I had a captain working for me who'd been through the Air Force language school and was fluent. I envied him. He also was both young and single. Wow! You can imagine the result.

It's interesting that you shot that picture in 63 or 64. I got to Ubon in December, 64, and six months later I was off to Can Tho, Vietnam. I came back to Thailand, this time to Udon Thani, in 73. Things already had started changing. From what you're telling me I don't think I'd want to go back. I'd like to remember it the way it was then -- especially the way it was in 64. See the last paragraph in http://www.russ-lewis.com/Poetry/Preface.html. If you're interested, you can read about my two SEA tours at http://www.russ-lewis.com/history/index.html, which is a memoir I wrote for my grandkids.

To this day I'm sorry I didn't make it down to Angkor Wat when I was at Ubon. I could have taken a week's leave and gone down, but I got busy and put off the trip. Suddenly one night I got hauled out of bed to go downtown and pick up a top secret frag order. The next morning Rolling Thunder started. That was the end of any plans for Angkor Wat.

Love the picture of the Cambodian kids, probably on their way to school. I look at a picture like that, of beautiful, easy-going people, and think of what happened to them later with Pol Pot, and it breaks my heart.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 10:22:23 AM by RSL »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2017, 09:59:07 AM »

You're confused, Bernard. Climatology is not the 'the best in class science'. It's a soft science, like biology, human evolution, sociology, economics, psychology and so on. There are many uncertainties because of the complexity of the issue and the lack of data. True and objective scientists understand that.

It is about leveraging models of the world, built from experiments, to compute reasonable forecast.

It is most definitely science.

Every science is uncertain, this is the very point of my post.

The only science that is "certain" is mathematics since it is about manipulating objects that have been designed on top of deterministic rules.

You seem to confuse science and mathematics, which may be why you see uncertainty as unscientific.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2017, 10:48:37 AM »

It is about leveraging models of the world, built from experiments, to compute reasonable forecast.

It is most definitely science.

Every science is uncertain, this is the very point of my post.

The only science that is "certain" is mathematics since it is about manipulating objects that have been designed on top of deterministic rules.

You seem to confuse science and mathematics, which may be why you see uncertainty as unscientific.

Cheers,
Bernard
Bernard, you are totally correct but are also going down a road that has already been litigated on two other threads.  I would suggest not wasting any time on this one as all you will get are the same tiresome arguments from Ray.  As with the other two threads, I think I'll cease my commentary with this post unless Ray has a startling revelation that science is indeed valid.
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Ray

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #29 on: April 26, 2017, 10:53:24 AM »

It is about leveraging models of the world, built from experiments, to compute reasonable forecast.

It is most definitely science.

Every science is uncertain, this is the very point of my post.

The only science that is "certain" is mathematics since it is about manipulating objects that have been designed on top of deterministic rules.

You seem to confuse science and mathematics, which may be why you see uncertainty as unscientific.

Cheers,
Bernard

Don't you understand, Bernard, how impossible it is to create a model of the world, with it's enormous complexity and it's interface with the vacuum of outer space?

The planet is  even more complex than human biology. Studying human biology has the advantage that effects can be observed in a few months or years. Climate changes occur over a far greater period.

We can gather groups of people to test the efficacy of new drugs. We cannot gather groups of planet earth to test the effects of CO2 on climate. Can't you see that?
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #30 on: April 26, 2017, 11:07:01 AM »

You're confused, Bernard. Climatology is not the 'the best in class science'.

You are dodging the evidence, and Bernard didn't say that Climatology is the best in class science (although it does use Chemistry, Math, Geology, etc.). Why do you need to distort what people say? Hope to sidetrack a discussion? Lack of real arguments?

Quote
There are many uncertainties because of the complexity of the issue and the lack of data.

Which are managed with confidence intervals in Statistics.

Quote
True and objective scientists understand that.

Not sure what you are trying to convey here. That you are not a scientist, or that only real Scientists can understand the difference between rhetoric and observations? That some Scientists lack objectivity, or that some are liars?

Denial of scientific evidence does not make someone a skeptic ...

Cheers,
Bart

P.S. here are some (194, although partly overlapping) scientifically based rebuttals to the most used arguments (that try to create doubt) about what is clearly observable:
https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php
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RSL

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #31 on: April 26, 2017, 11:10:03 AM »

Don't you understand, Bernard, how impossible it is to create a model of the world, with it's enormous complexity and it's interface with the vacuum of outer space?

The planet is  even more complex than human biology. Studying human biology has the advantage that effects can be observed in a few months or years. Climate changes occur over a far greater period.

We can gather groups of people to test the efficacy of new drugs. We cannot gather groups of planet earth to test the effects of CO2 on climate. Can't you see that?

Forget it, Ray. It's a religious thing for people like Bernard. You can't change a person's mind about religion with logic. It's a matter of faith. Those who believe science supports "global warming" need to check for the opposite "scientific" point of view. Here's one: http://www.winningreen.com/site/epage/59549_621.htm. There's a world of others in the same vein, many of which are listed here. The data are pretty much the same, but the assumptions (religious views) are different.

BartvanderWolf

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #32 on: April 26, 2017, 11:18:01 AM »

Those who believe science supports "global warming" need to check for the opposite "scientific" point of view. Here's one: http://www.winningreen.com/site/epage/59549_621.htm.

It's an old (debunked) argument, a scenario which is much less likely than global warming continuing its current trend:
https://www.skepticalscience.com/heading-into-new-little-ice-age.htm
Edit: Note that there is a 'basic' and 'intermediate' level of information on that page.

Cheers,
Bart
« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 11:22:44 AM by BartvanderWolf »
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Alan Klein

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #33 on: April 26, 2017, 11:34:41 AM »

Science is made up of a methodology and a resulting set of hypothesis whose only quality is that they have not yet been replaced by better ones.

Claiming that the evolving nature of science makes decision making impossible is ignoring the obvious fact that the same science has been enormously successful in the past to help predict various phenomemon.

So yes, there is no certainty that Co2 is a major contributor to climate change, but the best in class science currently tells us that it is very likely it does, for me it is as good as anything else as a basis for decision making.

It is for sure currently better than the opposite theories claiming that it doesn't. May this change? It sure could.

Cheers,
Bernard

Even if the climate is changing, you still have to decide if you can do anything about that and what it will cost and what other things are effected by spending all that money.  Do you take money from cancer research, the military, your Social Security and Medicare, etc.?  What about those people in third world nations that will be denied heating, electricity and other modern conveniences to help their lives because we cut back in carbon fuels?  I'm also reminded of when we banned DDT because it was killing eagles and other wild animals over here only to condemn million of people in Africa who then died of malaria because mosquitos were no longer controlled.  Also, what about the advantages of a warmer climate?  Why do we believe that the climate as it was a hundred years ago was the optimum in the 4.5 billion year history of the earth?  Wouldn't that be an amazing coincidence?  You have a better change of winning the lottery.  It could be that adding 3 degrees of temperature might be better for most things.  After all, hasn't it been warming up generally anyway since the ice age of 12000 years ago? 
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Ray

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #34 on: April 26, 2017, 11:35:33 AM »

You are dodging the evidence....

You're wrong, Bart. I'm not dodging the evidence at all. I'm open to all points of view.

As I've written before, I used to believe in the climate change scare until I began investigating the issue for myself and discovered so much very relevant information about climate which was never mentioned by the alarmists.

It became very clear to me, as a result of my own investigations,  that the presentation of the effects of CO2 on climate were very one-sided, and biased.

That's my personal interpretation, based upon my general understanding of the methodology of science.

My gripe has always been about the fabricated certainty that CO2 is the main cause of our current warming.
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RSL

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #35 on: April 26, 2017, 11:37:16 AM »

It's an old (debunked) argument, a scenario which is much less likely than global warming continuing its current trend:
https://www.skepticalscience.com/heading-into-new-little-ice-age.htm
Edit: Note that there is a 'basic' and 'intermediate' level of information on that page.

Cheers,
Bart

You're right, Bart. It's been debunked the same way global warming will be debunked. But fifty years ago it was "settled science," just as global warming is now. Both my geology PhD aunt who was head of the geology department at University of Houston, and my geophysicist uncle were convinced we were on the verge of a new ice age. So were all the geologists teaching at University of Michigan when I was there in 1950.

BernardLanguillier

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #36 on: April 26, 2017, 06:20:59 PM »

Forget it, Ray. It's a religious thing for people like Bernard. You can't change a person's mind about religion with logic.

No, it is not.

You either have not read me, have not tried to understand me or have and are simply denying the obvious.

My argument is purely based on logic and probabilities.

Since it is, the "religious" argument that you are applying on me must be fitting you better. ;)

Please go read me once again and tell me what exactly isn't undeniable in what I wrote?

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 07:02:41 PM by BernardLanguillier »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #37 on: April 26, 2017, 06:30:17 PM »

Even if the climate is changing, you still have to decide if you can do anything about that and what it will cost and what other things are effected by spending all that money.  Do you take money from cancer research, the military, your Social Security and Medicare, etc.?  What about those people in third world nations that will be denied heating, electricity and other modern conveniences to help their lives because we cut back in carbon fuels?  I'm also reminded of when we banned DDT because it was killing eagles and other wild animals over here only to condemn million of people in Africa who then died of malaria because mosquitos were no longer controlled.  Also, what about the advantages of a warmer climate?  Why do we believe that the climate as it was a hundred years ago was the optimum in the 4.5 billion year history of the earth?  Wouldn't that be an amazing coincidence?  You have a better change of winning the lottery.  It could be that adding 3 degrees of temperature might be better for most things.  After all, hasn't it been warming up generally anyway since the ice age of 12000 years ago?

Alan,

I agree that decisions must be taken with a variety of factors in mind. That's totally reasonnable.

Still, the fact that some people here and elsewhere preempt this discussion by denying the scientific nature of the hypothesis according to which man activity most probably has an effect on climate warming remains a problem. Why? Because it contributes to delaying this discussion we need to be having.

Taking measures against climate warming can and will have very positive effects on economy, just like the regulation against fossil fuel pollution by cars is one of the reason why Tesla is now booming with a market capitalization that has been skyrocketing.

The position of trad republicans about ecology is one of the most puzzling aspect of the politics in the US seen from outside. I totally fail to see how this political movement, grounded in ethics and the reward for hard work, got into this side track where the ethical aspect of our relationship with nature has been defined as opposing religion and economics. If there ever was one intellectual kidnapping this is it. And I am saddened to see many smart people follow like their unable to think by themselves. I am not speaking about you here.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 06:38:28 PM by BernardLanguillier »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #38 on: April 26, 2017, 06:41:15 PM »

You're right, Bart. It's been debunked the same way global warming will be debunked. But fifty years ago it was "settled science," just as global warming is now. Both my geology PhD aunt who was head of the geology department at University of Houston, and my geophysicist uncle were convinced we were on the verge of a new ice age. So were all the geologists teaching at University of Michigan when I was there in 1950.

Right, so the fact that the best in class models of the time weren't correct means that we should never again use best in class science to take decisions?

It doesn't take much knowledge of logic to understand that proving one statement in a class wrong isn't logical evidence that all the statements in the class are wrong, does it?

Cheers,
Bernard
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RSL

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Re: Skepticism about Climate Change
« Reply #39 on: April 26, 2017, 08:24:29 PM »

That really got to you didn't it Bernard? Sort of like somebody questioning the Pope if you're Catholic.
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