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Author Topic: Climate Change: Science and Issues  (Read 46562 times)

Alan Goldhammer

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Climate Change: Science and Issues
« on: October 26, 2017, 01:05:02 PM »

Climate change will affect us as photographers by ending some opportunities (disappearance of Arctic and Antarctic photo sites) and open up some new ones (lots of documentary opportunities).  We had a previous thread on this topic in The Coffee Corner that was shut down because the ad hominem attacks got out of hand.  This is a second attempt to focus the topic on science and key issues.  Ray and I posted on the existing thread about Changes in the Coffee Corner and are willing to give this another shot.  Personal attacks won't be tolerated and if we cannot lock the thread, we will contact Chris.

Let's keep this civil and focus on the research and issues that are coming forward.

As the first post, let me point you to an interesting article in The Guardian from researchers at the University of Melbourne (Ray's country!!!) who project a 1.3 meter rise in sea level unless coal burning for energy is phased out.
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LesPalenik

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Re: Climate Change: Science and Issues
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2017, 01:33:50 PM »

Thanks for restarting the debate, Alan. Although the discussion alone, as Rob pointed out, won't change much directly, various posters contributed a lot of useful and interesting information which may serve as a valuable reference to a wide audience.

Recently, there was an interesting article about water evaporation, a powerful process in nature that affects ecosystems, water resources, weather, and climate. The natural evaporation from open water surfaces as a renewable resource could provide power densities comparable to current wind and solar technologies while cutting evaporative water losses by nearly half. It is estimated that up to 325 GW of power would be potentially available just in the United States.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-00581-w

Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Climate Change: Science and Issues
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2017, 01:42:49 PM »

Thanks for that reference Les.  There is a huge amount that can be done in improving the use of renewable energy resource systems.  The trouble is sifting through what is doable.  Other than ethanol and diesel fuel production we don't utilize plants biomass much at all.  A lot of the projects involving non-corn enzymatic conversion and fermentation seem not to be financially viable.
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Ray

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Re: Climate Change: Science and Issues
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2017, 09:49:04 PM »

Climate change will affect us as photographers by ending some opportunities (disappearance of Arctic and Antarctic photo sites) and open up some new ones (lots of documentary opportunities).  We had a previous thread on this topic in The Coffee Corner that was shut down because the ad hominem attacks got out of hand.  This is a second attempt to focus the topic on science and key issues.  Ray and I posted on the existing thread about Changes in the Coffee Corner and are willing to give this another shot.  Personal attacks won't be tolerated and if we cannot lock the thread, we will contact Chris.

Let's keep this civil and focus on the research and issues that are coming forward.

As the first post, let me point you to an interesting article in The Guardian from researchers at the University of Melbourne (Ray's country!!!) who project a 1.3 meter rise in sea level unless coal burning for energy is phased out.

Alan,
That's an excellent example of 'alarmist' news. One of the effects of 'alarm' is that it reduces our ability to think clearly about an issue.
My impression of this new paper mentioned in The Guardian (which is a very 'Pro-AGW newspaper), is that the research is again heavily based upon computer models.

To quote from the article:

"The new paper by Alexander Nauels from the University of Melbourne and colleagues uses simplified physical models............. "

"Nauels said his team’s work assumed that Antarctica would contribute to sea level rise as was suggested by the 2016 paper by DeConto, but more work was needed to confirm those findings."

“We still have to find out what’s going on in Antarctica,” he told the Guardian. “We can’t base all future sea level rise projects on just one paper. And the Antarctic ice sheet community are frantically working on the new insights.”


What we should be doing, for the benefit of all humanity, is address the issues that are known with a high degree of certainty, rather than divert money, energy and resources towards tackling an imaginary scenario in the future based upon an incomplete and sometimes erroneous understanding of a very complex subject.

The argument is often presented, by the alarmists, that it's better to do something, when there's a perceived risk, than do nothing. However, this is a false dichotomy. No sensible, organised and developed society does 'nothing' to protect its citizens.

Floods, droughts, hurricanes, heat waves and cold spells, are not new. They are a natural part of climate and have been occurring throughout history. To successfully tackle the very real risks of harm from such extreme events, that have occurred frequently in the past, way before the beginning of the industrial revolution, requires massive amounts of energy in order to build flood-mitigation dams, elevate roads and buildings above previous flood levels, strengthen homes to resist hurricanes (in regions that are subject to hurricane activity), build dykes or levees to protect cities from either rising sea levels or natural sinking due to the weight of the infrastructure, and so on.

Making energy more expensive, and/or less reliable, by imposing a ban on all CO2-emitting forms of energy, will no doubt result in less attention and resources being directed towards solving the real problems of protecting ourselves from the expected repetition of previously recorded, extreme weather events.

However, I can appreciate that demonizing CO2 can be politically popular. It can create a false sense of security, and can also be used to counteract any blame of incompetence which could be directed at a government as a result of flood or hurricane damage which could have been avoided if the government had paid attention to the history of extreme weather events in the area and organized its building codes and approvals accordingly.

The first comment in the news media whenever there's a devastating storm, is often to suggest that such an event is yet another example of climate change, thus reinforcing the meme that mankind's emissions of CO2 are to blame, and if we stop such emissions, our climate will become benign and our children, and their children, will live happily and securely forever after.
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Farmer

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Re: Climate Change: Science and Issues
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2017, 12:43:33 AM »

Ray - I would ask you to moderate your post.

Instead of calling people or things by names ("alarmist") and making inferences about poor understanding or logic, you should instead be presenting facts or discussing the facts to show why they're wrong or how they're misinterpreted and so on.

All you've done here is essentially call those you disagree with by a name and dismissed their views without any supporting evidence.

At least start by not using inflammatory language or, if you insist, moderate yourself out of the discussion.
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Phil Brown

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Re: Climate Change: Science and Issues
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2017, 04:37:35 AM »

Alan, I appreciate this is an important subject and I acknowledge what you are doing.
Having watched the previous thread and seeing how this has developed so far, I get this feeling:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUE2qgx-xpM
I would like to take part but I don't have Phil's politeness and patience.
Kind regards.
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: Climate Change: Science and Issues
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2017, 05:30:49 AM »

Ray - I would ask you to moderate your post.

Instead of calling people or things by names ("alarmist") and making inferences about poor understanding or logic, you should instead be presenting facts or discussing the facts to show why they're wrong or how they're misinterpreted and so on.

All you've done here is essentially call those you disagree with by a name and dismissed their views without any supporting evidence.

At least start by not using inflammatory language or, if you insist, moderate yourself out of the discussion.

+1 (unless that's not allowed by the moderators here).

Cheers,
Bart
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Rob C

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Re: Climate Change: Science and Issues
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2017, 07:06:12 AM »

Alas, it simply shows the impossibility of having things fair, cold and as emotionally charged as a dead fish.

Ideal doesn't equate with Internet chat for very long periods of time...

Rob

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Climate Change: Science and Issues
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2017, 08:30:09 AM »

Ray - I would ask you to moderate your post.

Instead of calling people or things by names ("alarmist") and making inferences about poor understanding or logic, you should instead be presenting facts or discussing the facts to show why they're wrong or how they're misinterpreted and so on.

All you've done here is essentially call those you disagree with by a name and dismissed their views without any supporting evidence.

At least start by not using inflammatory language or, if you insist, moderate yourself out of the discussion.

Indeed.

What could possibly go wrong when the OP starts with a quite moderate, balanced, and non-controversial statement?

So, it is ok to call others "deniers," "skeptics," but not "alarmist"!? Or to ask those you disagree with to shut up?

Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Climate Change: Science and Issues
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2017, 08:52:26 AM »

"A plague on both your houses."
Ray - I would ask you to moderate your post.

Instead of calling people or things by names ("alarmist") and making inferences about poor understanding or logic, you should instead be presenting facts or discussing the facts to show why they're wrong or how they're misinterpreted and so on.

All you've done here is essentially call those you disagree with by a name and dismissed their views without any supporting evidence.

At least start by not using inflammatory language or, if you insist, moderate yourself out of the discussion.
+10.
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LesPalenik

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Re: Climate Change: Science and Issues
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2017, 09:14:30 AM »

I don't see anything alarming in Ray's post.

As much as I am against all CO2, and even more about the exceedingly high methane production, it is shortsighted to hide behind the CO2 rhetoric and ignore all other pollution kinds - in air, water, and in the food. The ever increasing amount of plastics and other toxic materials in the lakes and oceans is much more damaging and alarming than the CO2.

Ray

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Re: Climate Change: Science and Issues
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2017, 09:15:47 AM »

Ray - I would ask you to moderate your post.

Instead of calling people or things by names ("alarmist") and making inferences about poor understanding or logic, you should instead be presenting facts or discussing the facts to show why they're wrong or how they're misinterpreted and so on.

All you've done here is essentially call those you disagree with by a name and dismissed their views without any supporting evidence.

At least start by not using inflammatory language or, if you insist, moderate yourself out of the discussion.

Phil,
Every thing, concept or person has a name. Without using descriptive names it's not possible to have any discussion or communication using a language.

If you don't think the term 'alarmist' is appropriate to describe someone who attempts to create a sense of fear about the increased devastation of future weather events that are claimed to be caused by miniuscule amounts of CO2, which at the current rate of 400 parts per million in the atmosphere are no more than a trace element (or compound), then please suggest a more appropriate name, and explain your reasons for the more appropriate name.

For example, I would object to the name 'climate change denier', which is often used to describe anyone who expresses doubt about the claimed detrimental effect on climate, of mankind's emissions of CO2.

I see a clear distinction between 'denial' and 'skepticism'. Denial is a psychological state of mind whereby some deep-seated emotion, perhaps suppressed in the subconscious, prevents a person from perceiving and understanding incontrovertible facts, such as the persecution of the Jews by the Nazis.

The effects on climate, of increased levels of CO2, at the current rate of increase, are not known with certainty. However, we do know with certainty that past changes in climate, in the absence of any significant anthropogenic CO2 emissions, have destroyed entire civilizations.

Such civilizations were not able to adapt. Modern civilizations have the technology and energy supplies to adapt. What we might not have is the political nous to make the right decisions to adapt.


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RSL

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Re: Climate Change: Science and Issues
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2017, 09:25:50 AM »

Can someone specify a point in geologic history when the world wasn't experiencing "climate change?"

Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Climate Change: Science and Issues
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2017, 09:28:28 AM »

Ray - the problem that you are seeing from others who are reading your post is the language that you used.  We are focusing on science and results.  You may think The Guardian's tone is 'alarmist' in nature but that may or may not reflect the underlying information in the scientific publication.  I have not read that paper yet but have seen reports in several other newspapers beside The Guardian.  We don't know if the projections of the Melbourne scientists will come true or not (and many of us likely will not be around by the end of this century).  It was my hope that by continuing this discussion that we could post links to articles and discuss them in terms of what the possible implications might be.

I know that you believe that increases in CO2 might mitigate a lot of the climate change issues by increasing plant growth.  That might happen.  However there is a lot of concern from coffee growers that climate change is real and will have a negative impact -https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/business/the-race-to-save-coffee/?utm_term=.24ba8dd20dc4  Most of us savor that first cup of coffee in the morning (and perhaps more throughout the day) and don't want to see climate change adversely impact that.

I would ask you to tone down the rhetoric if this thread is to continue.  You can certainly find better language to convey your thoughts.
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Climate Change: Science and Issues
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2017, 09:35:24 AM »

Can someone specify a point in geologic history when the world wasn't experiencing "climate change?"
Of course climate change takes place every day and within a year we go from season to season.  I think what you want to know is within larger time spans what types of changes have been observed.  Precise measurements of climate such as mean temperature, rain fall, and other physical parameters have only been carried out for a 100-200 years.  Indirect observations such as tree ring, geological events, etc. are in the scientific literature and point to things such as the ice age.  What we have today is a lot of data coming out regarding atmospheric concentrations of C02, images of both the Arctic and Antarctic, various weather patterns (storms, hurricanes, drought) and temperature increases.  The difficulty is what to make of all this in terms of whether this is something short term that will be self-correcting or long term, requiring some type of adaptation.  Certainly there may be concerns in areas lying close to sea level if ocean levels rise leading to flooding.
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RSL

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Re: Climate Change: Science and Issues
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2017, 09:59:52 AM »

Thanks, Alan, for the thumbnail review of the semesters of historical geology I took at University of Michigan. Yes, the current wild-eyed panic boils down to the shaky and mostly disproved, but still assumed disastrous effects of CO2. Maybe the rapid growth of sea ice in Antarctica is the result of CO2. Maybe the Arctic melt balanced against the increase in Antarctica will cause the planet to flip upside down. There's no end of possible scenarios.  Anyone wanting to panic is quite free to do so. But I'd appreciate it if they'd panic on their own time and not try to change my world to fit their theories.

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Climate Change: Science and Issues
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2017, 10:08:49 AM »

You can’t possibly have a debate if you want Ray et al to shut up. You might have an orgy of self-congratulating, pat-each-other-on-the-back, +10, thinking-the-same crowd instead.

Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Climate Change: Science and Issues
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2017, 10:16:18 AM »

On another topic entirely, John Beardsworth provided a link to a Monty Python sketch.
I think it may be quite appropriate here.

Monty Python
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Farmer

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Re: Climate Change: Science and Issues
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2017, 10:24:30 AM »

I don't want Ray to shut up, but if he wants to have a science-based discussion, he can do it by presenting science and logical discussion of the science, without starting the discussion off by using derogatory terms for those with whom he disagrees.

There is no need to use "alarmist" or "denier", and when you remove those terms and using them to diminish someone's position or argument (which is an actual ad hominem - it is literally saying someone is wrong because they are "insert name" instead of addressing their point) you have a chance of reasoned discussion where the quality of sources, the weight of sources, and so on comes into play.

If he's not prepared to do that, then he's not an acceptable moderator, and frankly no one should bother engaging with him else it will just be a repeat of the previous thread.
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Phil Brown

Alan Klein

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Re: Climate Change: Science and Issues
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2017, 10:40:05 AM »

Ray more than anyone else had presented in the previous thread a counter-balance to most of the supporter's views here about CO2 and global warming.  He's spent more time giving specific data than anyone else on both sides.   Everyone telling him to "shut-up" now because they think his words aren't politically correct is just more of same PC stuff we get from the left to shut up people they don't agree with.  Frankly, Ray, if they don't like what you have to say, I'd recommend you don't post anything and let the choir sing to themselves. 
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