General / Off-Topic Recycle or Die! (the elite environmental thread)

Status
Thread Closed: Not open for further replies.
Thanks Wecomeinpeace, that article pretty much made my case that I've been arguing for the last three weeks or so, every since you guys started promoting thought policing as a means to combat climate change. I especially like the part where he calls those who are either skeptical or moderate in their beliefs "evil R-words." The climate change narrative thrives on casting blame castigating bad guys and promoting a "doomsday-ish" approach, doesn't it?

Anyway, thanks for the share.
I don't recall "promoting thought policing"? You can't police what people think. Only what they say and write, and doing that is wrong. It's not that I can't see the fanatics acting stupid among the climate activists too:

142542
 
I don't recall "promoting thought policing"? You can't police what people think. Only what they say and write, and doing that is wrong. It's not that I can't see the fanatics acting stupid among the climate activists too:

View attachment 142542
To be fair I don't remember whether you specifically were part of that or not, possibly wrong to lump you in. I'll check my post history when I get back from killing the Earth....oops, I mean "working." The subject matter at the time was that Youtube and big tech should ban skeptical viewpoints on their platforms.
 
To be fair I don't remember whether you specifically were part of that or not, possibly wrong to lump you in. I'll check my post history when I get back from killing the Earth....oops, I mean "working." The subject matter at the time was that Youtube and big tech should ban skeptical viewpoints on their platforms.
I'm a strong believer in freedom of speech. Some Chinese hackers working for their government could tell you about that, but they're not allowed to ;)
 
Jonathan Franzen is neither a scientist expressing the views of his peers, nor a policy maker pushing legislation, he's a novelist writing opinion pieces for The New Yorker. He's selling magazines.

His exaggerated use of 'apocalyptic' and pessimism surrounding his salient points nearly drown out the more rational points buried in the article. I feel he's making many of the same mistakes regarding the use and interpretation of data that I've been critical of some posters here doing for the last dozen pages of this thread.

Even if there is a "point of no return", even if there are no practical ways to avert eventual changes well in excess of a 2C global temperature increase, we still have much control over how fast and how extreme that change is. Reversing or stalling climate change is not practical, but I see far more value in mitigating changes, so that populations, economies, and infrastructures have time to adapt.

While I agree that imposing draconian measures to avert even radical climate change is not going to fly with most people (especially myself), and probably couldn't be done in a way that would actually help (we have the same low opinion of the abilities of government in this regard), the idea that the choices are so binary doesn't jive.

This is a decent summation of everything that is wrong in this topic. The second paragraph is suggesting cataclysmic climate-related outcomes within ~ 20 years of now - which is complete and utter balderdash and simply can not be substantiated.

@Morbad - take note for the next time you say that these claims aren't being made. Because they patently are.
I certainly think WeComeInPeace and Patrick_68000 are exaggerating an exaggerated headline.

I'd still call this level of exaggeration far below the degree of exaggeration used by the climate change denial camp, including some members of this forum, over what will happen if climate change advocates' views are taken too seriously.

The climate change narrative thrives on casting blame castigating bad guys and promoting a "doomsday-ish" approach, doesn't it?
Only, if you selectively pick out the stories based purely on how much they fit that narrative.

In my view, the only climate change narrative worth concerning one's self with is the scientific consensus; the facts and how those with the ability to interpret them. How those facts are colored by lay interpretations, or worse, media that depends upon sensationalism to exist, just confuse the issue.

Franzen's article isn't a very good archetype for your counter narrative anyway. Ironically, he'd probably be your political ally with regard to climate change.
 
Jonathan Franzen is neither a scientist expressing the views of his peers, nor a policy maker pushing legislation, he's a novelist writing opinion pieces for The New Yorker. He's selling magazines.

His exaggerated use of 'apocalyptic' and pessimism surrounding his salient points nearly drown out the more rational points buried in the article. I feel he's making many of the same mistakes regarding the use and interpretation of data that I've been critical of some posters here doing for the last dozen pages of this thread.

Even if there is a "point of no return", even if there are no practical ways to avert eventual changes well in excess of a 2C global temperature increase, we still have much control over how fast and how extreme that change is. Reversing or stalling climate change is not practical, but I see far more value in mitigating changes, so that populations, economies, and infrastructures have time to adapt.

While I agree that imposing draconian measures to avert even radical climate change is not going to fly with most people (especially myself), and probably couldn't be done in a way that would actually help (we have the same low opinion of the abilities of government in this regard), the idea that the choices are so binary doesn't jive.



I certainly think WeComeInPeace and Patrick_68000 are exaggerating an exaggerated headline.

I'd still call this level of exaggeration far below the degree of exaggeration used by the climate change denial camp, including some members of this forum, over what will happen if climate change advocates' views are taken too seriously.



Only, if you selectively pick out the stories based purely on how much they fit that narrative.

In my view, the only climate change narrative worth concerning one's self with is the scientific consensus; the facts and how those with the ability to interpret them. How those facts are colored by lay interpretations, or worse, media that depends upon sensationalism to exist, just confuse the issue.

Franzen's article isn't a very good archetype for your counter narrative anyway. Ironically, he'd probably be your political ally with regard to climate change.
Franzen seems pretty well informed, and I still haven't seen anyone pointing to errors in what he wrote. I've seen climate activists saying that he is white, privileged and male, but I don't think that has anything to do with the matter. I've also heard several scientist say exactly what he wrote, but very rarely in public. That would be a professional suicide.

Also I think that people miss the point of what he wrote. It is highly unlikely that we can change the way the World is developing, and there is no major doubt about the consequences of a business as usual scenario. That does not mean that we should just sit down and quit caring, but it would maybe, just maybe, be a good idea to start thinking about plan B. I don't believe in prepping, but we might as well start talking about how we will deal with the future, if the predictions come true. At least put it into our considerations. On the other hand, considering that IPCC is 31 years old and considering the progress in that period, that might also be overly optimistic.

Btw. There was a sentence I heard a scientist say to me recently, that has popped up in my memory several times since: "When you understand science, isn't it funny to realize how many things we don't know?". I honestly don't think it's funny, because the non-scientific population has this feeling that scientists either know everything, or that they can figure it out quickly on demand. Not really.
 
Franzen seems pretty well informed, and I still haven't seen anyone pointing to errors in what he wrote.
He is well informed and he hasn't, as far as I could tell, misrepresented anything as fact that is not. I even agree with ninety-percent of what he's said beyond that.

However, I would still consider the following statements, and others like it, to be erroneous, or at least sufficiently subjective to raise eyebrows:

In the long run, it probably makes no difference how badly we overshoot two degrees; once the point of no return is passed, the world will become self-transforming.

...
In fact, it would be worth pursuing even if it had no effect at all. To fail to conserve a finite resource when conservation measures are available, to needlessly add carbon to the atmosphere when we know very well what carbon is doing to it, is simply wrong.

There may well be tipping-points, beyond which nothing we do will forestall a given change, and some points that will degrade the impact future conservation could have, but implying there is any apocalyptic tipping point, or that we aren't going to continue to having a significant impact on global climate for the foreseeable future, is misleading.

The second quote is mostly opinion and an appeal to morality. While opinion in an opinion piece is precisely what one would expect, it's easy to conflate the author's opinion with a broader one.

As something directed at those who already accept the consensus on climate change and have been open to the idea that something can and should be done about it (most of the New Yorker's readership, I'd imagine), maybe it will be beneficial. Frazen does bring up a lot of good points about some of the more questionable ideas earmarked into Green New Deal style legislation that might cause some to consider more beneficial uses of funding.

However, a climate change denier looking at this article is going to get to the title, read 'apocalypse', and be that much more dismissive of it's contents, if they even deign to read it.

Ultimately, it's the 'apocalypse' terminology itself. It works to draw attention, but cannot really be seen as anything other than an exaggeration by most people, because the term implies near total destruction. Things are going to get bad, they might even be the end of some groups of people, but the coming changes aren't going to be the apocalypse for humanity, or civilization, or whatever the use of the term was intended to conjure up.

Btw. There was a sentence I heard a scientist say to me recently, that has popped up in my memory several times since: "When you understand science, isn't it funny to realize how many things we don't know?". I honestly don't think it's funny, because the non-scientific population has this feeling that scientists either know everything, or that they can figure it out quickly on demand. Not really.
People, by and large, don't even know what science is. If science education was more of a priority, and focused more on the scientific method as a way to formulate good questions and rule out bad answers, people would be that much more able to come to their own conclusions, instead of needing hyperbolic appeals to morality to spur them to action.
 
He is well informed and he hasn't, as far as I could tell, misrepresented anything as fact that is not. I even agree with ninety-percent of what he's said beyond that.

However, I would still consider the following statements, and others like it, to be erroneous, or at least sufficiently subjective to raise eyebrows:

In the long run, it probably makes no difference how badly we overshoot two degrees; once the point of no return is passed, the world will become self-transforming.
...
In fact, it would be worth pursuing even if it had no effect at all. To fail to conserve a finite resource when conservation measures are available, to needlessly add carbon to the atmosphere when we know very well what carbon is doing to it, is simply wrong.

There may well be tipping-points, beyond which nothing we do will forestall a given change, and some points that will degrade the impact future conservation could have, but implying there is any apocalyptic tipping point, or that we aren't going to continue to having a significant impact on global climate for the foreseeable future, is misleading.

The second quote is mostly opinion and an appeal to morality. While opinion in an opinion piece is precisely what one would expect, it's easy to conflate the author's opinion with a broader one.

As something directed at those who already accept the consensus on climate change and have been open to the idea that something can and should be done about it (most of the New Yorker's readership, I'd imagine), maybe it will be beneficial. Frazen does bring up a lot of good points about some of the more questionable ideas earmarked into Green New Deal style legislation that might cause some to consider more beneficial uses of funding.

However, a climate change denier looking at this article is going to get to the title, read 'apocalypse', and be that much more dismissive of it's contents, if they even deign to read it.

Ultimately, it's the 'apocalypse' terminology itself. It works to draw attention, but cannot really be seen as anything other than an exaggeration by most people, because the term implies near total destruction. Things are going to get bad, they might even be the end of some groups of people, but the coming changes aren't going to be the apocalypse for humanity, or civilization, or whatever the use of the term was intended to conjure up.



People, by and large, don't even know what science is. If science education was more of a priority, and focused more on the scientific method as a way to formulate good questions and rule out bad answers, people would be that much more able to come to their own conclusions, instead of needing hyperbolic appeals to morality to spur them to action.
I do not agree with Franzen on everything he writes, but I miss more people like him, not trying to wrap a turd in cellofane. I think that way too many people trust that science (technology) is the solution to climate change. In that, they both overlook that the technology we need now isn't there, and probably also that even IPCC has to deal with politics and spin whenever they write new reports.

The tipping point(s) is real, we just don't know exactly where it is. Once, say the albedo tipping point is reached, it won't result in a sudden jump in temperature. It's more like passing the event horizon of a large black hole. You won't notice passing it, but there is only one way from that point. A tipping point is defined by that mechanism.

Rhetoric is always debatable, but I honestly think the real magnitude of the problem hasn't dawned even on the climate activists. Apocalypse also sounds wrong to me. It indicates something like Armageddon, meaning that Bruce Willis can go and fix it, or that there will be a sudden event. That is not the case. We see the effects of climate change right now, and the descent is still so slow that people hardly notice it.

Franzen isn't the first to "tell it like it is". This article caused a similar stir:

 
Epistemology would help people understand why science is sometimes wrong and what is looked for in it.
True! Even in science philosophy is somewhat frowned upon for mysterious reasons. Metaphysics is almost taboo, which is ridiculous. It's not that scientists haven't realized the Problem of Induction, but they typically call it something else, using some sort of statistic term they can calculate, but often don't understand the deeper implications of.

Shooting back from the scientific trench though, I could point out that philosophers themselves still have a few unsettled matters in epistemology. One of the last subjects I picked from the basket when I tried to look at all the different disciplines of science and philosophy (getting an overview) was philosophy of science. That is really interesting once you dig into it, and I've yet to meet a scientist that doesn't look completely baffled if you mention Feyerabend. :D
 
True! Even in science philosophy is somewhat frowned upon for mysterious reasons. Metaphysics is almost taboo, which is ridiculous. It's not that scientists haven't realized the Problem of Induction, but they typically call it something else, using some sort of statistic term they can calculate, but often don't understand the deeper implications of.

Shooting back from the scientific trench though, I could point out that philosophers themselves still have a few unsettled matters in epistemology. One of the last subjects I picked from the basket when I tried to look at all the different disciplines of science and philosophy (getting an overview) was philosophy of science. That is really interesting once you dig into it, and I've yet to meet a scientist that doesn't look completely baffled if you mention Feyerabend. :D
I've certainly never heard of him(her?). What's the deal?
 
@Talarin

Where exactly is it that you read "cataclysmic climate-related outcomes within ~ 20 years of now "?!?

Cataclysm:
A sudden, violent event.
A sudden and violent change in the earth's crust.
A great flood.
OED: Used to emphasize the extent of something bad or unwelcome.
Miriam: broadly : an event that brings great changes

Don't be a prat. You knew perfectly well the meaning behind the word.

Jonathan Franzen is neither a scientist expressing the views of his peers, nor a policy maker pushing legislation, he's a novelist writing opinion pieces for The New Yorker. He's selling magazines.

His exaggerated use of 'apocalyptic' and pessimism surrounding his salient points nearly drown out the more rational points buried in the article. I feel he's making many of the same mistakes regarding the use and interpretation of data that I've been critical of some posters here doing for the last dozen pages of this thread.
That's precisely my point - but you give him too much the benefit of the doubt. Exactly what data is he referring to when he says: "If you’re younger than sixty, you have a good chance of witnessing the radical destabilization of life on earth—massive crop failures, apocalyptic fires, imploding economies, epic flooding, hundreds of millions of refugees fleeing regions made uninhabitable by extreme heat or permanent drought. If you’re under thirty, you’re all but guaranteed to witness it."?

It's nothing but hysteria and utterly undermines the objective; which is (I presume) to take some sort of sensible action.

I'd still call this level of exaggeration far below the degree of exaggeration used by the climate change denial camp, including some members of this forum, over what will happen if climate change advocates' views are taken too seriously.

...

In my view, the only climate change narrative worth concerning one's self with is the scientific consensus; the facts and how those with the ability to interpret them. How those facts are colored by lay interpretations, or worse, media that depends upon sensationalism to exist, just confuse the issue.
Well, that's a dose of "whataboutism". And the salient point is buried in there somewhere. I don't disagree with you that people should really only pay attention to what the science says and draw their own conclusions, but reality isn't like that. They read these articles. Their politicians read these articles - and then they start to proscribe policy responses based on them. And if the article is clearly bunkum and they see the rights and services they consume being curtailed that's what they remember. The other dozens of far more reasonable descriptions of the problem and potential solution pathways are lost in a sea of sensationalism, fear-mongery and corresponding knee-jerk reactions.

Btw. There was a sentence I heard a scientist say to me recently, that has popped up in my memory several times since: "When you understand science, isn't it funny to realize how many things we don't know?". I honestly don't think it's funny, because the non-scientific population has this feeling that scientists either know everything, or that they can figure it out quickly on demand. Not really.
It's precisely because I know how little science actually understands climate that I advocate against radical actions. Much of the basis for calls to action fail to acknowledge our lack of understanding.

Runaway "Tipping point" feedbacks are a prime example. If we genuinely were on the cusp of a tipping point, someone needs to explain why that tipping point wasn't triggered previously. The Holocene Optimum was at least 2-3c degrees warmer than today - and yet here we are coming out of the coldest period in the last 2'000 years. No tipping point in evidence. Why?

Do you know that we simply cannot model cloud-based forcings in GCMs? The error bars when you run them are hundreds of times more than the forcings due to all other GHG. And that's only one set of uncertainties in a massively complex, non-linear responsive chaotic non-coupled system. At some point, someone really needs to accept that GCMs are not as comprehensive as you'd like to believe - and they're demonstrably nonsense at a regional level.

That doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to minimise our footprint on the global - of course we should. But proper cost/benefit work should be done. We've spent vast sums of money on decarbonisation thus far and achieved the sum of naff all - money that could have been spent far more wisely in my opinion. Upping the level of spend for uncertain results is unwise.
 
Runaway "Tipping point" feedbacks are a prime example. If we genuinely were on the cusp of a tipping point, someone needs to explain why that tipping point wasn't triggered previously. The Holocene Optimum was at least 2-3c degrees warmer than today - and yet here we are coming out of the coldest period in the last 2'000 years. No tipping point in evidence. Why?
Probably has to do with the fact that the Holocine Optimum didn't coincide with dramatic rises in human produced greenhouse gasses. Once the period of greatest orbital forcing passed, temperatures began to fall. It's not likely that would have been the case with today's CO2 concentrations, let alone where they are headed.

It's been what, at least a million, possibly more than twenty million, years since CO2 concentrations have been this high?
 
Probably has to do with the fact that the Holocine Optimum didn't coincide with dramatic rises in human produced greenhouse gasses. Once the period of greatest orbital forcing passed, temperatures began to fall. It's not likely that would have been the case with today's CO2 concentrations, let alone where they are headed.

It's been what, at least a million, possibly more than twenty million, years since CO2 concentrations have been this high?
But CO2 is a sideshow in the tipping point conversation. CO2 levels are, in themselves, actually not hugely important. ECS and TCR are clearly lower than originally projected even 20 years ago, something which seems to get lost in the hullabaloo.

All of the theorised tipping points are (at least as far as I'm aware) temperature dependent. How the temperature got to that point is irrelevant - the question remains.
 
Runaway "Tipping point" feedbacks are a prime example. If we genuinely were on the cusp of a tipping point, someone needs to explain why that tipping point wasn't triggered previously. The Holocene Optimum was at least 2-3c degrees warmer than today - and yet here we are coming out of the coldest period in the last 2'000 years. No tipping point in evidence. Why?
Earth is at an equilibrium temperature wise. Energy goes in (sunlight), and energy goes out (IR). The internal energy of the closed (not isolated) system has been roughly constant on longer time scales, even though the temperature has varied considerably more than it has done the last 100 years. If fx. the ice sheet reaches the Albedo tipping point, it will not necessarily cause Venus like runaway climate. Likewise if the permafrost releases the methane. The temperature will always reach a new equilibrium, but if the new equilibrium is 10 deg K higher than the old one, then it takes a long time for the biosphere to adapt. Through Earths history life has adapted, but not at the present rate of change.
 
But CO2 is a sideshow in the tipping point conversation. CO2 levels are, in themselves, actually not hugely important. ECS and TCR are clearly lower than originally projected even 20 years ago, something which seems to get lost in the hullabaloo.

All of the theorised tipping points are (at least as far as I'm aware) temperature dependent. How the temperature got to that point is irrelevant - the question remains.
Even though CO2 itself doesn't cause much warming, the little warming it does cause produces more warming on other processes like the decrease of albedo by the melting of glaciars and the release of methane from the tundra.
 
It's kind of like saying a match didn't burn the house because it's flame is tiny even though you threw it to the open oven full of gas. Of course this is an exaggeration but the gist is the same.
 
According to Greenpeace, all the vehicles sold by the major car manufacturers in 2018 will pollute as much as all the inhabitants of the European Union in one year.

With 86 million vehicles sold in 2018, it is estimated that the entire automotive industry is responsible for 4.8 gigatonnes of carbon emissions, or 9% of greenhouse gas emissions.

Each SUV sale condemns us to higher CO2 emissions over its entire lifetime because they produce more greenhouse gases than other types of vehicles.

142583
 
Through Earths history life has adapted, but not at the present rate of change.
Exactly. That is the challenge facing us in dealing with AGW. If we carry on allowing those that seek short term profits (or want to protect investments etc) to confuse the debate, or slow down the global changes we need, then we simply will have a world changing too fast for life to adapt too, extinctions and the eventual total collapse of what we know as human civilization.

'Climate change: 'Invest $1.8 trillion to adapt':


Investing $1.8 trillion over the next decade - in measures to adapt to climate change - could produce net benefits worth more than $7 trillion.

This is according to a global cost-benefit analysis setting out five adaptation strategies.

The analysis was carried out by the Global Commission on Adaptation - a group of 34 leaders in politics, business and science.

They say the world urgently needs to be made more "climate change resilient".
And off course i would add that not changing how we do business (ie carrying on as before) will actually be an 'end game' scenrio for modern human civilization over the next few centuries. It probably is better to start the changes required to reduce the hit the world economy and environment is starting to feel due to AGW.
 
Last edited:
Status
Thread Closed: Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom