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noggin

Do the members think......

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Jethro/SF.. While I can see what you are both saying, I do feel you are both being a little unfair with the wording of your posts.. I know frustrations are running a little high on both sides of the coin but I have to draw a line.. Sorry..

I don't see any evidence that says anthropogenic CO2 is the only flavour of this gas capable of causing this warming. It is a logical choice to focus on though considering we have monitored it's increase and noting temperature increase.. How much is natural and how much is man made? I don't think anyone can answer that with any great confidence. What we do know is, there are people out there making feasible estimates based on what we know about the nature of the gas. It can't all be natural because we are adding to it.

There may be an element of bad luck/bad timing as far as man pushing out more and more CO2. There could be little understood cycles at play and we are interfering at a bad time for the planet. The trend may or may not reverse. We just don't know. If past changes in climate is anything to go on then we are due a major rapid cool down. What then? We will be all prepared for warming up.

In a situation where we are unsure what is about to happen, isn't it a tad daft to be putting all your eggs in one basket so to speak?

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The point in my essay the other morning is that people like you, arguing the toss about whether man is 20% responsible, or 30% responsible, are missing the point. Whilst the boat is sinking you're arguing about who didn't rivet the panel properly. And I KNOW you'll say you agree with good husbandry of the planet, which is fair enough, but so long as C-B and the like ride on your coat tails, and others who perhaps read but don't comment, then I'm sorry, I shall continue to be concerned.

This kind of nonsense is exactly why I don't tend to post on these boards any more. I am not riding anyone's coat tails - in fact I think you'll find that I started debating against AGW before Jethro did. Still, it's not a competition, but there you go once again trying to lump all skeptics together as though there's a ringleader and a bunch of mindless automatons who blindly follow (which I find kind of ironic, but perhaps that's just me).

And there was me thinking that Hadley and co were modelling from first principles. Are you suggesting that all they're doing is taking the trend line from the early 80s to the 90s, and with a 6" rule extending it up the page? I can't tell you what to consider natural. And therein lies the risk for all of us, like I said on Saturday morning, you can smell the bacon frying and tell yourself that it won't be too crisp for a few minutes yet, but once it's burned it's burned I'm afraid.

What I do know is that Hadley is well above the upper limits of the previously measured record, and that in a cold year globally we're still not getting down anywhere near 10C on the rolling 12. Twenty five years ago 10C seemed like the stuff of another part of the universe, somewhat closer to the sun, or else a latitude a good few degrees equatorwards of where we are now. How much higher Hadley before you'd accept it's unnatural? Go on, commit yourself.

And there you go neatly evading my question. I was not suggesting deception on the part of Hansen (not necessarily, anyway), but the point was that Hansen's prediction is not something that could only have been predicted by virtue of the theory - anyone with an eye for extrapolation could have made the same prediction and been right, though their reasons for being right may not have been so apparently robust.

Your continued insistence on me (and others) having to state a number is ridiculous - it's like asking me to say how many Full Houses a poker player can get in a game before I know they're cheating. Statistically they can get quite a few, and if the deck is continuously shuffled then there is no way of being sure if they are cheating at all. Demanding a number displays more ignorance than refusing to state one, because it is just not that simple.

If you really want a number then how about this: if the global average temperature reaches 23C then I shall reconsider (I will reconsider far earlier than this point if there is other significant evidence that comes to light). Why 23C, you ask? Well, if we look back over the past couple of billion years then we can see that the average global temperature tends to flip-flop (on extremely long scales) with a high of 22C. The Earth has spent far more time at 22C than it has at 10C (and this doesn't include when the Earth was a ball of molten rock, by the way). So if we hit a peak above and beyond the historic maxima then we'll know with some degree of certainty.

There you go - I've given you a figure. Now, do you think you can answer my question and point me in the direction of some predictions that AGW theory has given us that have proven true?

CB

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This kind of nonsense is exactly why I don't tend to post on these boards any more. I am not riding anyone's coat tails - in fact I think you'll find that I started debating against AGW before Jethro did. Still, it's not a competition, but there you go once again trying to lump all skeptics together as though there's a ringleader and a bunch of mindless automatons who blindly follow (which I find kind of ironic, but perhaps that's just me).

And there you go neatly evading my question. I was not suggesting deception on the part of Hansen (not necessarily, anyway), but the point was that Hansen's prediction is not something that could only have been predicted by virtue of the theory - anyone with an eye for extrapolation could have made the same prediction and been right, though their reasons for being right may not have been so apparently robust.

Your continued insistence on me (and others) having to state a number is ridiculous - it's like asking me to say how many Full Houses a poker player can get in a game before I know they're cheating. Statistically they can get quite a few, and if the deck is continuously shuffled then there is no way of being sure if they are cheating at all. Demanding a number displays more ignorance than refusing to state one, because it is just not that simple.

If you really want a number then how about this: if the global average temperature reaches 23C then I shall reconsider (I will reconsider far earlier than this point if there is other significant evidence that comes to light). Why 23C, you ask? Well, if we look back over the past couple of billion years then we can see that the average global temperature tends to flip-flop (on extremely long scales) with a high of 22C. The Earth has spent far more time at 22C than it has at 10C (and this doesn't include when the Earth was a ball of molten rock, by the way). So if we hit a peak above and beyond the historic maxima then we'll know with some degree of certainty.

There you go - I've given you a figure. Now, do you think you can answer my question and point me in the direction of some predictions that AGW theory has given us that have proven true?

CB

The earth could get far hotter than that, and in time will, but would life be worth living?

You would know pretty much for sure if someone was cheating very quickly in a game of poker, or any other game of chance. If somebody won the lottery jackpot three weeks on the bounce off a single purchase it would certainjly raise eyebrows. All these things can be determined by simple maths, the question is whether one believes that because something staistically isn't likely, it still isn't occurring just by chance, and that's where the law of very large numbers kicks in; hence my oft used point about codes hidden in the bible (apparently).

So C-B, I assume you know as relatively little about the workings of a plane as you do about the workings of a climate system. You get on a plane and it attempts to take off, but is veering all over the runway, making weird noises, and emitting unusual smells - all events that can happen mind; I fly a lot and have certianly experienced all of those and more. The pilot aborts the take off and tries again, and then again, before returning to the stand. At that point you are given the opportunity to get off the plane, and several pasengers do despite reassurances from the pilot that everything is okay. Out of interest what do you do at that point?

...it's not a competition...

...

If you really want a number then how about this: if the global average temperature reaches 23C then I shall reconsider (I will reconsider far earlier than this point if there is other significant evidence that comes to light). Why 23C, you ask? Well, if we look back over the past couple of billion years then we can see that the average global temperature tends to flip-flop (on extremely long scales) with a high of 22C. The Earth has spent far more time at 22C than it has at 10C (and this doesn't include when the Earth was a ball of molten rock, by the way). So if we hit a peak above and beyond the historic maxima then we'll know with some degree of certainty.

There you go - I've given you a figure. Now, do you think you can answer my question and point me in the direction of some predictions that AGW theory has given us that have proven true?

CB

I never said it was a competition: you're the one getting competitive.

...

In earth's history there must have been a period when radiation levels were far higher than they are now. Therefore, if coincident to some future accident like Chernobyl or Three Mile Island there is a furore over radiation, will you be playing the "it might be natural" card, on the basis that no amount of radiation from a nuclear processor would match levels on an earth unshielded by a strong magnetic field, ozone and the good fortune to be well away fromn the Van Allen belt?

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The earth could get far hotter than that, and in time will, but would life be worth living?

Any suggestions as to how the Earth could get hotter than that (a theory), when it might (a projection), and you could also throw in an explanation for why it hasn't got far hotter than that before. (I concede that Earth is likely to get extremely hot in a few billion years' time when it is engulfed by the Sun, but I'm assuming that you don't mean that...)

You would know pretty much for sure if someone was cheating very quickly in a game of poker, or any other game of chance. If somebody won the lottery jackpot three weeks on the bounce off a single purchase it would certainjly raise eyebrows. All these things can be determined by simple maths, the question is whether one believes that because something staistically isn't likely, it still isn't occurring just by chance, and that's where the law of very large numbers kicks in; hence my oft used point about codes hidden in the bible (apparently).

The lottery analogy is pointless - obviously there are occasions when cheating is indisputable - but how would you really know if someone was cheating at Poker (unless they got five of a kind, or afull house with kings and aces in two consecutive hands without an interim shuffle), especially if the cards are shuffled after each hand? I do agree that the Bible Code is utter tosh.

So C-B, I assume you know as relatively little about the workings of a plane as you do about the workings of a climate system. You get on a plane and it attempts to take off, but is veering all over the runway, making weird noises, and emitting unusual smells - all events that can happen mind; I fly a lot and have certianly experienced all of those and more. The pilot aborts the take off and tries again, and then again, before returning to the stand. At that point you are given the opportunity to get off the plane, and several pasengers do despite reassurances from the pilot that everything is okay. Out of interest what do you do at that point?

Why, thank you for your faith in my cognitive abilities (would it really hurt to say "I assume you know as much about the workings of a plane as you do about the workings of a climate system..."? Talk about "Glass-Half-Empty"!). However, there are serious differences between aircraft and climate. For a start, we know everything about an aircraft's engines - we built it, we know how exactly it works, we know exactly what can go wrong with it, and we know exactly how to fix it (once the problem has been diagnosed, at any rate). In answer to your question, though, if the pilot is competant to make an engineering diagnosis then I would probably stay on the plane, though I would weigh up his assurances against my own understanding of jet engines (which is, I suspect, significantly greater than you give me credit for).

I never said it was a competition: you're the one getting competitive.

Sigh. I didn't say you called it a competition - I was attempting to make an amusing remark with regards to my "I said it first" comment. I'm not getting competitive in the slightest - I am merely arguing my position.

In earth's history there must have been a period when radiation levels were far higher than they are now. Therefore, if coincident to some future accident like Chernobyl or Three Mile Island there is a furore over radiation, will you be playing the "it might be natural" card, on the basis that no amount of radiation from a nuclear processor would match levels on an earth unshielded by a strong magnetic field, ozone and the good fortune to be well away fromn the Van Allen belt?

If I may be so bold (and even if not), that is one of the most pathetic remarks I've ever heard. Straw Man anyone? It is not worthy of further response.

CB

PS - You still haven't answered my question with regards to verifiable predictions...

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Just an observation.

Does it matter what members think?

Do we really think that ,if AGW is real (as real if not more than the current majority scientific stance on it that is) anything can be done to offset it's impacts on the 6.5 billion of us trying to exist on our planet?

I'd venture to say that nothing at all can be done (especially without the global political will to invest trillions of dollars to offset the worst impacts .......in a time of us teetering on the edge of a very large global recession).

Whether the wheels are coming off the AGW 'bandwagon' or not means little in reality as there is nothing that can be realistically done for the global population in the changing times it faces over the next few years.

The squeamish had better look away now...................

Ho Hum. http://www.inthenews.co.uk/news/science/au...036;1197131.htm

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Just an observation.

Does it matter what members think?

Do we really think that ,if AGW is real (as real if not more than the current majority scientific stance on it that is) anything can be done to offset it's impacts on the 6.5 billion of us trying to exist on our planet?

I'd venture to say that nothing at all can be done (especially without the global political will to invest trillions of dollars to offset the worst impacts .......in a time of us teetering on the edge of a very large global recession).

Whether the wheels are coming off the AGW 'bandwagon' or not means little in reality as there is nothing that can be realistically done for the global population in the changing times it faces over the next few years.

The squeamish had better look away now...................

Ho Hum. http://www.inthenews.co.uk/news/science/au...036;1197131.htm

Hi GW,

I'm going to agree with you here - partially at least! It really doesn't matter what we think. Our stances on the issue are irrelevant in the grand scheme of things (and, as I said earlier, I don't see how they are relevant within the confines of the debate either). On the other hand, what we think is what drives us to continue debating, and there really is nothing wrong with debating the issue. Most members on here would agree that they are happy to recycle, use their car less and generally live more environmentally-friendly lifestyles whether they agree with AGW or not, so where's the harm in our little discussions? :)

I also agree that, if AGW were really happening, there is slightly less than naff-all we can do about it. If it's really as bad as some people say then nothing we do is going to stop it - we might as well try to stop a high speed train by firing peas at it. Again though, there's still nothing wrong with generally cleaning up our act and debating the issue. If there really is nothing we can do then we're all just along for the ride anyway. As for me, well I'm going to stay positive and keep searching for the answer, debate the issue till I'm blue in the face (!) and carry on as I always do...

:D

CB

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The squeamish had better look away now...................

Ho Hum. http://www.inthenews.co.uk/news/science/au...036;1197131.htm

Hi Gray-Wolf - do you have a link to the actual research quoted in the above link. The article itself doesn't and I couldn't find anything in PNAS for the last four weeks' issues that has anything in it that paints the picture in the article above.

I know that PNAS is subscription but some of the articles and all of the abstracts are freely available.

Tks in advance

Wysi :)

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The squeamish had better look away now...................

Ho Hum. http://www.inthenews.co.uk/news/science/au...036;1197131.htm

I'm not being flippant, G-W, but the end of the World has probably been nigh more times than I've had hot dinners.

NB I suppose I should reiterate my view that mankind is a dirty beast and should clean up it's act, just in case anyone thinks that I don't care.

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I'm going to agree with you here - partially at least! It really doesn't matter what we think.

It makes me ineffably sad to read such catastrophist remarks being written not by the general public but by educated and knowledgable individuals such as yourself. Indeed, what strikes me most as odd is the sheer inability to acknowledge a need for extreme precaution in this issue - even by those for whom global warming is entirely natural. Even though the greenhouse effect can be demonstrated in a testube, there will always be people who either deny such evidence or cannot reconcile themselves to admitting it; that is simply human nature. However, whether we are in control of it or not, the world is undeniably warming and will produce the same effects as if it were being created by ourselves. Surely this very fact should lead everybody - if human beings truly are reasonable creatures, which is another debate entirely - to commit themselves wholly to preventing global warming whether it be in our power or not. There is disagreement over AGW, and therefore one party must be correct. Naturally, we do not know which party is correct, and so two logical absolute possiblities follow:

  • We more or less ignore global warming and behave as we are currently

  • We do all in our power to try and stop global warming as a result of assuming that the AGW hypothesis is correct

Exacting option one would mean that one of two things could happen:

  1. Life continues as it is (or better) with more economic growth and better living standards, with perhaps a slight natural warming peaking to a non-catastrophic level

  2. A severe warming occurs due to human activity, leading to super-mass extinction, potential loss of millions/billions of lives (depending on severity)

Exacting option two would produce the following:

  1. Temporary slight economic decline for industialised nations due to costs invested in renewable energy etc. with perhaps a slight natural warming peaking to a non-catastrophic level but no severe AGW

This is perhaps where the discrepancy lies: to me it seems common sense to follow the second option if only out of fear for the first. If, however, one is so utterly blinded by one's own opinion then there seems to be little wrong with option one. Bear ever in mind, however, the previous paradigm shifts in science and the need for precaution becomes glaringly apparent. In my opinion it is in everybody's interest to do all we can to prevent a global warming even if man's footprint is small (with which, of course, I disagree entirely). Breaking down each argument into its logical causative consequences reveals a choice between either a small cost or potentially too large cost which could never be repaid.

For the people of my (i.e. the youngest) generation, the future lies chiefly in the hands of adults like yourselves (as well as ourselves). To read comments such as "It doesn't matter what we think" seems either logically incorrect or simply careless.

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It makes me ineffably sad to read such catastrophist remarks being written not by the general public but by educated and knowledgable individuals such as yourself.

Hi Yeti,

Just a few quick clarifications (and thanks for the compliment!).

First of all, in respect of my remark about carrying on as I always do, what I meant was that I would continue to recycle, keep my personal pollution down and generally attempt to lead an environmentally friendly lifestyle. Regardless of whether or not AGW is actually occurring it is quite clearly insane to poop in our own drinking water - just as socialising is more pleasant if we treat others with kindness and respect, so is life more pleasant if we treat our surroundings with the same.

Secondly, with regards to the "there's nothing we can do about it" comment, if AGW is indeed occurring, and it is occurring at the rate of knots that we are led to believe, then none of the measures thus far suggested are going to help a jot. Perhaps other options will become available somewhere down the line. Perhaps we could follow through with some of the more extreme ideas, such as seeding cloud formation or filling the ocean with CO2-consuming organisms (both of which run a real risk of backfiring drastically, or so it seems to me). Certainly, though, a concerted effort to reduce our CO2 emissions isn't going to do a whole heck of a lot in the grand scheme of things.

Thirdly, with regards to the "it doesn't matter what we think" comment, what I meant was that our personal opinions and views that we bring to this debate on Netweather are irrelevant. As I say, I think pretty much everyone on here is happy to live a "greener" lifestyle (in fact most of us on here already live a greener lifestyle than the average person, or so it seems). Whether we believe in AGW or not we are all doing our bit for the planet simply by not treating it as a dustbin. This being the case, what each of us thinks is beside the point. At the end of the day, if the majority won't behave more responsibly then they will be made to behave more responsibly (by taxation largely). And if taxation doesn't work there is still the inevitable necessity of forcing the producers of consumer goods to clean up their act - it shouldn't be the responsibility of the end user to make up for the wastefulness and dirtiness of the organisations that provide us with everything.

I hope that's cleared some things up, and that you can see that I was not being a catastrophist but a pragmatist. I confess that my last post could, and indeed should, have been worded far better. I shall go and write "Must Try Harder" a hundred times on the blackboard! :lol:

:(

CB

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I've been reading this thread since the start, and have left off replying, so at least I can see what many have to say.

It now seems I have come to my own conclusion...No!

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For the people of my (i.e. the youngest) generation, the future lies chiefly in the hands of adults like yourselves (as well as ourselves). To read comments such as "It doesn't matter what we think" seems either logically incorrect or simply careless.

THANK YOU.

This is the best post in the thread IMO.

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I hope that's cleared some things up, and that you can see that I was not being a catastrophist but a pragmatist. I confess that my last post could, and indeed should, have been worded far better. I shall go and write "Must Try Harder" a hundred times on the blackboard! :(

If most people on here are responsible, which I suppose they are, then their opinions make no personal difference in how they treat the environment - agreed. However, wrt not being able to do anything significant enough to salvage our planet, I have to disagree :lol: . I think that argument is one used by many to justify not doing anything; we are not brave enough to tackle the problem. I suppose to use a Stratos-esque analogy it's rather like weighing fifty stone and then saying it's too late to lose weight before that heart attack. Drastic measures are certainly needed - I would propose (controversially) countrywide nuclear powerplants, vast solar farms in sunny countries and wind farms in windy countrys, hydroelectric and tidal power. The nuclear would buy time while renewables are developed. If that was still insufficient, 1,000,000 pipes in the pacific could draw up colder waters to the surface which can absorb more CO2. The equivalent intake per year would be similar to the Earth's total rainforests!

Speculations aside, I still believe it is possible to avoid the worst effects of climate change if we act now and we act drastically. I also believe that this will never happen until somebody realises that the monsoon has disappeared or equivalent - by which time it will probably be too late. Now I'm the catastrophist!

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If that was still insufficient, 1,000,000 pipes in the pacific could draw up colder waters to the surface which can absorb more CO2. The equivalent intake per year would be similar to the Earth's total rainforests!

I agree with all of what you said apart from the above - surely the above would have a far more immediate impact on the climate than the potential carbon sink that it creates due to the cooling effect on the atmosphere. Also it's only temporary and ultimately that CO2 would eventually released back into the atmosphere. We are apparently creating enough of a problem with a gradual increase in carbon in the atmosphere so a potential 'impulse' of this nature could be very dangerous and unpredictable given what little we currently know about the ocean/climate interface.

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I don't think CB's position on this issue is that bad in the catastrophist sense, at least while stating the view that we won't be able to do anything of consequence (which might be correct, but it might not), suggesting that we should nonetheless try to clean up our act anyway.

The sort of catastrophist attitude that annoys me is "we can't do anything of consequence, therefore it isn't worth doing anything about it, because that's life, therefore we should continue business-as-usual" kind of thing, which is where a lot of social inertia comes from. Or "it's meant to be, because everything happens for a reason", thus blaming fate for AGW and saying we shouldn't try to tackle it because fate decided we should have AGW and we should go with the flow.

I do think we're better off at least attempting to address the issue- because if we try, we might be able to address it, or we might not. If we don't bother, it is certain that it won't be addressed.

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I would say that I am convinced by the AGW to an extent of about 90% to 95%. However the 5% to 10% of me that points to uncertainty should not in my opinion be ignored. If anything the theories that and AGW-sceptic or AGW neutral shuold be given greater priority. Until we are 100% sure then there is a chance that we are gonig to blow an awful lot of money and effort on a problem that either doesn't exist or is going to be balanced in some way naturally at some point in the future.

I agree that we should clean up are act as a species and we should look for non polluting energy options for the future (it's good manners and practice, that's all), but we should do that whatever the eventual truth with AGW

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Why does scepticism meet with the argument that we don't want to do anything? I am not sure I have seen even the staunchest denier on here ever suggest we should not at least try and limit our emissions.

Scepticism does not have to mean being a down right non believer in fact when I read even some of the most pro AGW views on here the reality is that nearly everyone is a sceptic in some form to some degree. We can be both sceptical about aspects of AGW without being litter happy, carbon burning devil worshipers. Science and scepticism go hand in hand they drive each other and scientists are some of the biggest sceptics of all.

Emotion and bickering are common place in this argument as humans get very upset when they cannot nail the otherside down and neither can, because there are just too many unknowns. The probability argument may enable an initial response but in the case of AGW/GW the probability can not be calculated or demonstrated.

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Why does scepticism meet with the argument that we don't want to do anything? I am not sure I have seen even the staunchest denier on here ever suggest we should not at least try and limit our emissions.

Very true. Careful use of the word sceptic is needed. Without scepticism on both sides of the argument the science would be open to obscene abuse by those in and seeking power. Thank our stars for free speech!

The last few posts have shown a very interesting trend on here to me. Regardless of individual standpoints with respect to AGW it is clear to me that everyone who posts here is very concerned and very passionate about the issues faced by our planet. That in a way is heartening - if only a few more people would take the same attitude.

In a way this relates to the original question of the post. In reality, imho I think the 'bandwagon' is set to roll for quite some time yet as selfish people see opportunities to make gains in wealth and power (a la Y2K bandwagon). So in essence the wheels are still on and it's gaining speed. However, I do believe that this is the first time in the digital age that a so called 'bandwagon' has been prevented from rolling unchecked because people have much more information and opportunity to debate it. I get the feeling that people in general are getting a bit fed up of being told what is what by politicians and slowly but surely are starting to make up their own minds. Lets just hope that enough of this translates into action and desire for political change that puts us on a more even keel and rather than derailing the bandwagon it derails the obscene and obsessive consumerism that imho is the root cause of this whole debate in the first place.

A bit idealistic I know but again if we do something that saves a few lives and protects livelihoods in the future it's surely better than doing nothing at all and accepting the inevitability of what is going to happen.

Without hope you cannot start the day.

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...

Speculations aside, I still believe it is possible to avoid the worst effects of climate change if we act now and we act drastically. I also believe that this will never happen until somebody realises that the monsoon has disappeared or equivalent - by which time it will probably be too late. Now I'm the catastrophist!

I completely agree with all of those points, and would add that I would be fairly surprised if there weren't technological breakthroughs to sort some of the problems with GHGs; the critical thing will be whether they occur in time. If not, for all that I tease Stu for his doom-mongering, it's not too wild an extrapolation to envisage a degree of social strife as the planet re-equilibrates.

...

PS - You still haven't answered my question with regards to verifiable predictions...

To be honest CB Hansen's point strikes me as weak. As I see it he's suggesting that anyone holding a ruler to the trend curve in the late 80s could have projected the ongoing warming by simple extension of the line at that time. I don't see his point. Furthermore anyone suggesting that climate models don't pick up the oscillations in the upwards climb is also making a basic error. I know the trees in my field will be bigger in ten years than they are now, but I don't know by exactly how much, nor do I know the increment each year. Yet the basic science is known; the trees will surely grow so long as no catastrophic forcing comes along. Climate models predict climate, not weather, and anyone arguing that they are flawed for that fragility might as well complain that diamonds aren't red. Rubies are red, diamonds aren't. Climate models don't predict weather.

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To be honest CB Hansen's point strikes me as weak. As I see it he's suggesting that anyone holding a ruler to the trend curve in the late 80s could have projected the ongoing warming by simple extension of the line at that time. I don't see his point. Furthermore anyone suggesting that climate models don't pick up the oscillations in the upwards climb is also making a basic error. I know the trees in my field will be bigger in ten years than they are now, but I don't know by exactly how much, nor do I know the increment each year. Yet the basic science is known; the trees will surely grow so long as no catastrophic forcing comes along. Climate models predict climate, not weather, and anyone arguing that they are flawed for that fragility might as well complain that diamonds aren't red. Rubies are red, diamonds aren't. Climate models don't predict weather.

Actually it's my point that strikes you as weak, not Hansen's. Hansen (et al) made the predictions (his scenario A, B and C predictions), but I am saying that even though his prediction apparently "came true" it does not necessarily validate the models he used. If we are in a warming trend then the temperature is going to increase, so by following trends on a graph we can extrapolate where those trends might go and we would likely arrive at a similar conclusion to Hansen's prediction - his models worked insofar as they were able to extrapolate the warming trend, but it doesn't actually prove anything.

What I am looking for is a prediction that could only come true if such-and-such a phenomenon could only be caused by man's influence. (In much the same way, Einstein's Relativity "predicted" orbital paths of the planets, but Newton's theory explained this (mostly) anyway - it was the specific predictions of gravitational lensing and the curious movement of Mercury around the Sun that validated his theory over Newton's: things that could only be explained if Einstein was right and Newton was wrong.)

So, any predictions?

CB

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Actually it's my point that strikes you as weak, not Hansen's. Hansen (et al) made the predictions (his scenario A, B and C predictions), but I am saying that even though his prediction apparently "came true" it does not necessarily validate the models he used. If we are in a warming trend then the temperature is going to increase, so by following trends on a graph we can extrapolate where those trends might go and we would likely arrive at a similar conclusion to Hansen's prediction - his models worked insofar as they were able to extrapolate the warming trend, but it doesn't actually prove anything.

What I am looking for is a prediction that could only come true if such-and-such a phenomenon could only be caused by man's influence. (In much the same way, Einstein's Relativity "predicted" orbital paths of the planets, but Newton's theory explained this (mostly) anyway - it was the specific predictions of gravitational lensing and the curious movement of Mercury around the Sun that validated his theory over Newton's: things that could only be explained if Einstein was right and Newton was wrong.)

So, any predictions?

CB

Yes, I predict that you will be sat there watching the product of events pass you by as you sit there looking for an absolute explanation.

IF I turn on the ring under a pan of water, the water will boil. I feel as if you're asking me / us to say which bubbles of vapour will appear where and when, as if this is THE determinant of accurate prediction. We're never going to achieve that in a world where we cannot model the weather more that 12 hours out, if that.

And this was my point in the essay the other day. Arguing for a proof that can never be realised is simply not pragmatic in the context of the risk we face. If this were a game of bridge or chess, and we were debating opening gambits or bid theory, then fine, but on this point CB you are simply missing, isn your search for affirmatory detail, the much more vital big picture.

If this were a criminal trial with GHG in the dock, I think we'd be in a position where there was no witness or evidence putting the accused at the scene of crime at the time of the crime, however there is shed loads of evidence pointing consistently to that fact.

Perhaps you'd better define just how certain you want to be.

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If this were a criminal trial with GHG in the dock, I think we'd be in a position where there was no witness or evidence putting the accused at the scene of crime at the time of the crime, however there is shed loads of evidence pointing consistently to that fact.

Nice analogy SF - I love analogies being the empirical engineering type that I am. :yahoo:

To extend it a little - If the penalty was death, I would be unwilling to convict on the strength of the circumstantial evidence that you are alluding to. Particularly given the case that there are other potential 'suspects' that we also don't have enough evidence about - in particular solar activity and cosmic ray incidence.

However, if it was the human race in the dock then this would be another matter altogether with enough lasting concrete (no pun intended) evidence to convict on multiple counts of ecological actual bodily harm with the sentence being consecutive life sentences. No need for the death penalty - that will take care of itself with the victim being given free reign.

Wysi ;)

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Mmm, circumstantial evidence, tricky one really, you'd surely have to prove the evidence couldn't possibly have any other cause wouldn't you. Not convinced the science has progressed far enough to prove that one yet.

Under the legal definition:

However, there is sometimes more than one logical conclusion inferable from the same set of circumstances. In cases where one conclusion implies a defendant's guilt and another their innocence, the 'benefit of the doubt' principle would apply.

Also:

Science

Circumstantial evidence is normally used in science only to support other forms of evidence.

http://www.answers.com/topic/circumstantia...nce?cat=biz-fin

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Actually it's my point that strikes you as weak, not Hansen's. Hansen (et al) made the predictions (his scenario A, B and C predictions), but I am saying that even though his prediction apparently "came true" it does not necessarily validate the models he used. If we are in a warming trend then the temperature is going to increase, so by following trends on a graph we can extrapolate where those trends might go and we would likely arrive at a similar conclusion to Hansen's prediction - his models worked insofar as they were able to extrapolate the warming trend, but it doesn't actually prove anything.

What I am looking for is a prediction that could only come true if such-and-such a phenomenon could only be caused by man's influence. (In much the same way, Einstein's Relativity "predicted" orbital paths of the planets, but Newton's theory explained this (mostly) anyway - it was the specific predictions of gravitational lensing and the curious movement of Mercury around the Sun that validated his theory over Newton's: things that could only be explained if Einstein was right and Newton was wrong.)

So, any predictions?

CB

Tbh CB extrapolation is useless when discussing the Earth. We are not talking of simply two variables - changes in CO2 concentrations could slow down ocean currents, release the oceans' methane hydrates (or both) - and we do not know at all which concentration would be the tipping point for such scenarios. Therefore we can only know that these things are possible, rather than knowing the detail. Arguing from an AGW viewpoint by extrapolation is very basic and therefore should only be used to show a trend - up. In the words of David Hume, it is "too big a leap in logic" and in my opinion unlikely to persuade the academic but sceptical scientists, if indeed there are many left given the AGW evidence.

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Yes, I predict that you will be sat there watching the product of events pass you by as you sit there looking for an absolute explanation.

IF I turn on the ring under a pan of water, the water will boil. I feel as if you're asking me / us to say which bubbles of vapour will appear where and when, as if this is THE determinant of accurate prediction. We're never going to achieve that in a world where we cannot model the weather more that 12 hours out, if that.

And this was my point in the essay the other day. Arguing for a proof that can never be realised is simply not pragmatic in the context of the risk we face. If this were a game of bridge or chess, and we were debating opening gambits or bid theory, then fine, but on this point CB you are simply missing, isn your search for affirmatory detail, the much more vital big picture.

If this were a criminal trial with GHG in the dock, I think we'd be in a position where there was no witness or evidence putting the accused at the scene of crime at the time of the crime, however there is shed loads of evidence pointing consistently to that fact.

Perhaps you'd better define just how certain you want to be.

SF.

Your first sentence is pathetic.

Your second paragraph shows a complete lack of understanding of the question and my justification for it.

Your third paragraph is irrelevant - I was not asking for proof: I was asking for a verifiable prediction, which is a rather different thing.

Your fourth paragraph's analogy has been used by me numerous times in the past in the context of "not enough evidence to convict" (as wysiwyg says in his reply).

Your final question...how many times do I have to repeat myself? I have stated what would sway or convince me, and nobody has given me what I have asked for - I am not being irrational or asking the impossible.

CB

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