Climate Change skeptics? [ot]

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wilbeer

Mountain climber
Terence Wilson greeneck alleghenys,ny,
Jan 26, 2015 - 03:40pm PT
You say that as if you HAVE.

Deny everything,why be responsible.......man child.

Go ahead call me names.
Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Jan 26, 2015 - 03:56pm PT
At this stage, only assholes deny the science.

As DMT asks, the real topic is what we do about it.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Jan 26, 2015 - 04:03pm PT
At this stage, only as#@&%es deny the science.

Yet they seem to be driving the bus.

As DMT asks, the real topic is what we do about it.

In a better world, that would be true. In this world many people deny the science because they don't want to do anything about it, so as JE notes that conversation barely gets off the ground. Note all the loud cries here (mostly from people who do deny the science) to skip that reality and risks stuff and come up with some magical solutions.
EdwardT

Trad climber
Retired
Jan 26, 2015 - 04:16pm PT
Put in really simple terms, we've got something like these three questions:

1. Is there a problem?

2. If so, what can we do about it?

3. Do I like the answer to 2?

A huge amount of good science answers "yes" to point 1. However, many people who can't read science reason backward to declare that since they don't like the solution (point 3), the problem (point 1) must not exist. This way of thinking has a name in psychological research, solution aversion.

So that's been studied, but on this thread you see some variations on solution aversion that I don't think have a name yet. One of them is for the solution-averse posters to proclaim things like "if you can't answer 2 then shut up about 1!" That's another way of saying nahnahnahnah, and just like that child's trick it does not make reality go away. Physics doesn't care whether we've got a solution or not.

The other variation I see here is that solution-averse people who reason backwards from "no" on 3 to "no" on 1 imagine that other people, scientists for instance, must be equally dishonest but in reverse: those scientists are saying "yes" on 1 because they have some solution they want to push, some version of "yes" on 3. Just as childish as nahnahnahnah, but now with the nastier edge of hate and conspiracy ranting.

What scientists for the most part are doing instead is reporting what they see, such as warming oceans. That's alarming enough that many are trying to make the transition to 2, at least by trying to explain how they know there's a problem. Seen through solution-averse dark glasses that confirms their conspiratorial intentions, but so would their silence, it's truly a closed cognitive system.

You do a nice job summarizing the state the issue. In essence, it's a closed loop. The Deniers' constant harping keeps climate researchers focused on proving themselves, allowing them to avoid dealing the unpleasantness of tangible, achievable solutions.
wilbeer

Mountain climber
Terence Wilson greeneck alleghenys,ny,
Jan 26, 2015 - 04:19pm PT
True ,Edward.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
Jan 26, 2015 - 04:38pm PT
So, tangible, achievable solutions....

cap and trade is a bullshit paperwork scheme, as are carbon credits leveraging existing forests. I can't believe people tout that sh#t as a tangible, achievable solution.

Tangible and achievable would start with trade sanctions but the world is not ready for that. Green energy is not even a remotely achievable [i[solution.

So what to do? Given that the oil is going to get burned come hell or highwater, what are tangible and achievable solutions?

Pour money into nuclear energy research. Build more reactor power plants?

Wasting billions and trillions on ill-advised bullet trains to nowhere? See, this is why people get cynical; Gov. Brown is willing to sham global warming climate change debate to fund his Amazing Legacy of Public Service.

Politics are politics, right? Is there any reason NOT to be cynical, about 'just-in-time' solutions? I mean, we the people ARE GOING TO WAIT, right? Will we say no to oil-intensive high-carbon imports?

The solution involves replacing the energy source, not choking off the economies that will fund those energy replacements.

Stop the carbon cap shams. They are ludicrous.

DMT
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 26, 2015 - 04:55pm PT
Well Chiloe, what you got to start fixing this. Post it up. Or are you one of those that is warm and cozey in the problem banging the drum of CAGW and how the science is good.

I don't get it, why is it Chiloe's, or Ed's, or my problem to solve? Why don't you do some reading on your own and come to the table with some viable solutions.

The truth is, whether you want it or not, this problem will change the status quo, like it or not. The question is, are we going to control part of that change, or not.

How about this for a start--stop planned obsolescence, stop wasting oil on importing crap, nationalize all oil reserves and use the oil only for very specific needs, etc, etc.

I've posted radical ideas such as these before. But nobody responds to them because they seem so unrealistic--way too far out, too much out of the status quo. Capitalism must live on, ya know. It's the only way we know!

But keep denying that radical change will be needed to get things working, and you might as well be looking at your kids while saying "We're choosing the Easy Bake Oven for you because I don't want to change my ways too much."
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 26, 2015 - 05:02pm PT
How can there be global warming when there's a Huge Blizzard on the east coast? What, are you folks daft or something?


Just sayin' ...
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Jan 26, 2015 - 05:18pm PT
Hang on The Chief. Are you giving up calling climate change a big hoax designed to fill the pockets of all the unscrupulous scientists and switching to complaining that those same scientists are doing nothing about this looming catastrophe? That's a whole new thread isn't it?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
Jan 26, 2015 - 05:24pm PT
I don't get it, why is it Chiloe's, or Ed's, or my problem to solve?

Its not.

The truth is, whether you want it or not, this problem will change the status quo, like it or not. The question is, are we going to control part of that change, or not.

Well, yeah, in part. Another, equally valid question: CAN WE control part of that change? That is not a scientific question, its a socio-economic-political question.

How about this for a start--stop planned obsolescence, stop wasting oil on importing crap, nationalize all oil reserves and use the oil only for very specific needs, etc, etc.

What does any of that mean? What is 'imported crap', specifically and what is the economic impact of stopping such imports? And how are these imports to be stopped? Nationalize all oil reserves? Why? I mean, specifically, why? To stop them from being consumed? If so, what is the economic impact, do you guess?

I've posted radical ideas such as these before. But nobody responds to them because they seem so unrealistic

Well there you go. So how about a nuclear energy development superfund? How about we avoid the feel-good, do-nothing ideas like 'ctop importing crap' and focus on the real issue : replacing the fuel source.

Because you know what? That oil is going to get burned, come hell or highwater, literally. I think the current handful of proposed 'solutions' aren't even remotely solutions and I don't think any of their proponents really think they represent solutions, either.

DMT

ps. btw, criticizing capitalism is not a useful solution.
Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Jan 26, 2015 - 05:46pm PT
That oil is going to get burned, come hell or highwater, literally
Nope. Not all of us are that stupid.


Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
Jan 26, 2015 - 05:48pm PT
Nope. Not all of us are that stupid.

Just can't help yourself.

DMT

ps. Ed? Chiloe? These are your spokespeople. So no, you don't have to propose anything. Just leave it up to the malemutes. They are winning hearts and minds all over the place!
TLP

climber
Jan 26, 2015 - 06:00pm PT
Finally some actual discussion! My 2c is:

There is no "Solution" any more than there's a "Solution" to the problem of poor food distribution.

The best short term thing to do is some achievable incremental changes that will reduce total GHG emissions. Realistically, public acceptance of any such changes will not happen unless there's some level of international cooperation. In the U.S., if acceptance is too low, we'll vote in a different government and away go any changes. All good, but that means broad acceptance is vital.

Not necessarily in China, they can go about things totally differently. As in, no, you cannot have a car, period, unless you are a crony of some high official. End of topic.

So, you are right DMT that it is a sociopolitical matter, more than a scientific one. But different countries can go about making incremental changes differently, and change can still happen IF there is a means of enforcement via the system of international trade.

These reasons are part of why decidedly-right-wing (but fairly pragmatic and rational) folks like the editors of Economist mag. favor just a carbon tax. It's inherently totally capitalistic: let industries and individuals figure out what the means will be, once faced with a financial incentive (disincentive). And it is practical because once it's in place it can go up or down easily, kind of tightening the thumb screws if there isn't enough reduction. And it's much easier to apply across borders.

The one key aspect of such an approach is the necessity of ensuring that the money realized from it goes somewhere useful, specifically, to adaptations like flood control, food security, etc. That's by far the hardest thing but is essential, otherwise that acceptance goes away and we're back to square one.

The biggest useful change the U.S. could make quickly would be to change the system of land use planning. We spend a lot of carbon emissions on transportation, and that is largely due to a planning regime that encourages sprawl. Unfortunately, it's a state matter, so that carbon tax might have to get awfully high before backward-thinking states change their tune.

Flame away, gents!
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 26, 2015 - 06:01pm PT
The way I see it, capitalism will end one way or the other. We can either change it on our own free will, or not. The idea of continuous growth is ill-conceived, and that is one of the founding principals of our current economic system.

Tell a CEO that in order to survive, they have to cut profits by 10% year over year. Will it fly? Many will say no. I say it has to.

What if we lived in a world where the people who worked at a company were part of decision-making process (egads, what a crazy thought!), in that they decided "what they were going to make, where they were going to make it, and how they made it."

I could go on, but the truth is, radical change is coming our way. The Chief says we have to learn to adapt. But when we talk about some of the adaptations that will need to be made, there is only resistance. Simply, folks don't want to change their status quo.

So what do you say. Do you live for today, or do you prepare for tomorrow? If you want to prepare, then we're going to have to take some serious steps now.
Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Jan 26, 2015 - 06:12pm PT
For too many years, we failed to rein in the excesses building up in the nation’s financial markets. When the credit bubble burst in 2008, the damage was devastating. Millions suffered. Many still do.

We’re making the same mistake today with climate change. We’re staring down a climate bubble that poses enormous risks to both our environment and economy. The warning signs are clear and growing more urgent as the risks go unchecked.

This is a crisis we can’t afford to ignore. I feel as if I’m watching as we fly in slow motion on a collision course toward a giant mountain. We can see the crash coming, and yet we’re sitting on our hands rather than altering course.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/22/opinion/sunday/lessons-for-climate-change-in-the-2008-recession.html?_r=0
I was secretary of the Treasury when the credit bubble burst, so I think it’s fair to say that I know a little bit about risk, assessing outcomes and problem-solving. Looking back at the dark days of the financial crisis in 2008, it is easy to see the similarities between the financial crisis and the climate challenge we now face.
ibid

Damages from storms, flooding, and heat waves are already costing local economies billions of dollars—we saw that firsthand in New York City with Hurricane Sandy. With the oceans rising and the climate changing, the Risky Business report details the costs of inaction in ways that are easy to understand in dollars and cents—and impossible to ignore.
http://riskybusiness.org/reports/national-report/executive-summary

Texas Likely to Have Among the Nation's Highest Death Tolls from Extreme Heat
http://riskybusiness.org/reports/fact-sheets/texas

Without action, climate change will lock in extreme temperature increases across the Midwest, bringing severe risks to the southern states’ economies, and potentially some moderate temperature and agricultural benefits to states in the northern part of the region
http://riskybusiness.org/midwest-report/pdf
TLP

climber
Jan 26, 2015 - 06:14pm PT
In practical terms, you're right K-man, capitalism as presently practiced in the U.S. is doomed, because one of these days, the screwees will wake up to that fact, it will lose its current broad acceptance, and it will get changed. (Doesn't matter whether people are being stupid in that acceptance: like it or not, it's broadly accepted to the chagrin of some.)

But diverting off to what one thinks the endgame might be (endlessly debatable) delays making meaningful changes for the better. Our health care system is going to be toast too someday soon, but waiting to make any improvements until it totally collapses is not a good idea.

So, in the interim, why not take advantage of some of the tools that exist within the current system?
Splater

climber
Grey Matter
Jan 26, 2015 - 06:15pm PT
"Ed? Chiloe? These are your spokespeople."

No one and everyone is a spokesperson. You listen to who you want to.
It's very easy to get sidetracked into tangents, special interests, blaming someone else, and ingrained (wrong) beliefs. Which will just continue denialism. Faux news would have you believe that there is a climate no-go zone near every shining newsstand.

But progress only results when policy makers focus on the main points of what is necessary and reasonable and what will work, and don't waste time dealing with every little nitpick.

A good spokesperson is the entire IPCC, and broad reports such as Malemute posted this morning.

For example, Gore is not the one true climate expert anymore than sarah palin is the one true wise conservative thinker.
Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Jan 26, 2015 - 06:17pm PT
here's the whole op-ed:

THERE is a time for weighing evidence and a time for acting. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout my work in finance, government and conservation, it is to act before problems become too big to manage.

For too many years, we failed to rein in the excesses building up in the nation’s financial markets. When the credit bubble burst in 2008, the damage was devastating. Millions suffered. Many still do.

We’re making the same mistake today with climate change. We’re staring down a climate bubble that poses enormous risks to both our environment and economy. The warning signs are clear and growing more urgent as the risks go unchecked.

This is a crisis we can’t afford to ignore. I feel as if I’m watching as we fly in slow motion on a collision course toward a giant mountain. We can see the crash coming, and yet we’re sitting on our hands rather than altering course.

We need to act now, even though there is much disagreement, including from members of my own Republican Party, on how to address this issue while remaining economically competitive. They’re right to consider the economic implications. But we must not lose sight of the profound economic risks of doing nothing.

The solution can be a fundamentally conservative one that will empower the marketplace to find the most efficient response. We can do this by putting a price on emissions of carbon dioxide — a carbon tax. Few in the United States now pay to emit this potent greenhouse gas into the atmosphere we all share. Putting a price on emissions will create incentives to develop new, cleaner energy technologies.

It’s true that the United States can’t solve this problem alone. But we’re not going to be able to persuade other big carbon polluters to take the urgent action that’s needed if we’re not doing everything we can do to slow our carbon emissions and mitigate our risks.

I was secretary of the Treasury when the credit bubble burst, so I think it’s fair to say that I know a little bit about risk, assessing outcomes and problem-solving. Looking back at the dark days of the financial crisis in 2008, it is easy to see the similarities between the financial crisis and the climate challenge we now face.

We are building up excesses (debt in 2008, greenhouse gas emissions that are trapping heat now). Our government policies are flawed (incentivizing us to borrow too much to finance homes then, and encouraging the overuse of carbon-based fuels now). Our experts (financial experts then, climate scientists now) try to understand what they see and to model possible futures. And the outsize risks have the potential to be tremendously damaging (to a globalized economy then, and the global climate now).

Back then, we narrowly avoided an economic catastrophe at the last minute by rescuing a collapsing financial system through government action. But climate change is a more intractable problem. The carbon dioxide we’re sending into the atmosphere remains there for centuries, heating up the planet.
Continue reading the main story

That means the decisions we’re making today — to continue along a path that’s almost entirely carbon-dependent — are locking us in for long-term consequences that we will not be able to change but only adapt to, at enormous cost. To protect New York City from rising seas and storm surges is expected to cost at least $20 billion initially, and eventually far more. And that’s just one coastal city.

New York can reasonably predict those obvious risks. When I worry about risks, I worry about the biggest ones, particularly those that are difficult to predict — the ones I call small but deep holes. While odds are you will avoid them, if you do fall in one, it’s a long way down and nearly impossible to claw your way out.

Scientists have identified a number of these holes — potential thresholds that, once crossed, could cause sweeping, irreversible changes. They don’t know exactly when we would reach them. But they know we should do everything we can to avoid them.

Already, observations are catching up with years of scientific models, and the trends are not in our favor.

Fewer than 10 years ago, the best analysis projected that melting Arctic sea ice would mean nearly ice-free summers by the end of the 21st century. Now the ice is melting so rapidly that virtually ice-free Arctic summers could be here in the next decade or two. The lack of reflective ice will mean that more of the sun’s heat will be absorbed by the oceans, accelerating warming of both the oceans and the atmosphere, and ultimately raising sea levels.

Even worse, in May, two separate studies discovered that one of the biggest thresholds has already been reached. The West Antarctic ice sheet has begun to melt, a process that scientists estimate may take centuries but that could eventually raise sea levels by as much as 14 feet. Now that this process has begun, there is nothing we can do to undo the underlying dynamics, which scientists say are “baked in.” And 10 years from now, will other thresholds be crossed that scientists are only now contemplating?

It is true that there is uncertainty about the timing and magnitude of these risks and many others. But those who claim the science is unsettled or action is too costly are simply trying to ignore the problem. We must see the bigger picture.

The nature of a crisis is its unpredictability. And as we all witnessed during the financial crisis, a chain reaction of cascading failures ensued from one intertwined part of the system to the next. It’s easy to see a single part in motion. It’s not so easy to calculate the resulting domino effect. That sort of contagion nearly took down the global financial system.

With that experience indelibly affecting my perspective, viewing climate change in terms of risk assessment and risk management makes clear to me that taking a cautiously conservative stance — that is, waiting for more information before acting — is actually taking a very radical risk. We’ll never know enough to resolve all of the uncertainties. But we know enough to recognize that we must act now.
Continue reading the main story

I’m a businessman, not a climatologist. But I’ve spent a considerable amount of time with climate scientists and economists who have devoted their careers to this issue. There is virtually no debate among them that the planet is warming and that the burning of fossil fuels is largely responsible.

Farseeing business leaders are already involved in this issue. It’s time for more to weigh in. To add reliable financial data to the science, I’ve joined with the former mayor of New York City, Michael R. Bloomberg, and the retired hedge fund manager Tom Steyer on an economic analysis of the costs of inaction across key regions and economic sectors. Our goal for the Risky Business project — starting with a new study that will be released this week — is to influence business and investor decision making worldwide.

We need to craft national policy that uses market forces to provide incentives for the technological advances required to address climate change. As I’ve said, we can do this by placing a tax on carbon dioxide emissions. Many respected economists, of all ideological persuasions, support this approach. We can debate the appropriate pricing and policy design and how to use the money generated. But a price on carbon would change the behavior of both individuals and businesses. At the same time, all fossil fuel — and renewable energy — subsidies should be phased out. Renewable energy can outcompete dirty fuels once pollution costs are accounted for.

Some members of my political party worry that pricing carbon is a “big government” intervention. In fact, it will reduce the role of government, which, on our present course, increasingly will be called on to help communities and regions affected by climate-related disasters like floods, drought-related crop failures and extreme weather like tornadoes, hurricanes and other violent storms. We’ll all be paying those costs. Not once, but many times over.

This is already happening, with taxpayer dollars rebuilding homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy and the deadly Oklahoma tornadoes. This is a proper role of government. But our failure to act on the underlying problem is deeply misguided, financially and logically.

In a future with more severe storms, deeper droughts, longer fire seasons and rising seas that imperil coastal cities, public funding to pay for adaptations and disaster relief will add significantly to our fiscal deficit and threaten our long-term economic security. So it is perverse that those who want limited government and rail against bailouts would put the economy at risk by ignoring climate change.

This is short-termism. There is a tendency, particularly in government and politics, to avoid focusing on difficult problems until they balloon into crisis. We would be fools to wait for that to happen to our climate.

When you run a company, you want to hand it off in better shape than you found it. In the same way, just as we shouldn’t leave our children or grandchildren with mountains of national debt and unsustainable entitlement programs, we shouldn’t leave them with the economic and environmental costs of climate change. Republicans must not shrink from this issue. Risk management is a conservative principle, as is preserving our natural environment for future generations. We are, after all, the party of Teddy Roosevelt.

THIS problem can’t be solved without strong leadership from the developing world. The key is cooperation between the United States and China — the two biggest economies, the two biggest emitters of carbon dioxide and the two biggest consumers of energy.

When it comes to developing new technologies, no country can innovate like America. And no country can test new technologies and roll them out at scale quicker than China.

The two nations must come together on climate. The Paulson Institute at the University of Chicago, a “think-and-do tank” I founded to help strengthen the economic and environmental relationship between these two countries, is focused on bridging this gap.

We already have a head start on the technologies we need. The costs of the policies necessary to make the transition to an economy powered by clean energy are real, but modest relative to the risks.

A tax on carbon emissions will unleash a wave of innovation to develop technologies, lower the costs of clean energy and create jobs as we and other nations develop new energy products and infrastructure. This would strengthen national security by reducing the world’s dependence on governments like Russia and Iran.

Climate change is the challenge of our time. Each of us must recognize that the risks are personal. We’ve seen and felt the costs of underestimating the financial bubble. Let’s not ignore the climate bubble.

Henry M. Paulson Jr. is the chairman of the Paulson Institute at the University of Chicago and served as secretary of the Treasury from July 2006 to January 2009.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/22/opinion/sunday/lessons-for-climate-change-in-the-2008-recession.html?_r=0
Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Jan 26, 2015 - 06:21pm PT
Nobody here gives a damn about Florida, right?
Florida is likely to be among the states hit hardest by the impacts of climate change, with sea level rise likely to destroy billions of dollars' worth of coastal property. Under a "business as usual" scenario—in which business and political leaders maintain the status quo of carbon emissions—extreme heat resulting from climate change is also likely to drive up electricity costs and take a heavy toll on workers and vulnerable communities.

http://riskybusiness.org/reports/fact-sheets/florida
Malemute

Ice climber
great white north
Jan 26, 2015 - 06:30pm PT

http://riskybusiness.org/reports/national-report/understanding-risk


The Extremes Become the Norm
http://energyinnovation.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/extremesbecomenorm_finalupdate1.pdf
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