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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

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Author
OT: Skeptics vs Alarmist Cage Match unSpectacular!

nmonteith
22-May-2009
11:04:45 AM
Very interesting! Chockstone has became quite a lively little political debating site recently!

cruze
22-May-2009
11:22:25 AM
Having witnessed someone very dear to me be struck down by WHO Grade IV glioblastoma multiforme (ie v nasty brain cancer) having spent a lifetime eating better than anyone else I know, exercising more than anyone their respective age I know, never smoking, and rarely drinking I can say that lifestyle choices might reduce the incidences of certain forms of cancer (most obviously lung and bowel) but it is almost inevitable that these other very nasty and very very difficult to treat let alone cure forms of cancer will increase in prevalance over time. "Cancer" is an almost ridiculously large umbrella which has been thrown over a raft of extremely disparate diseases ranging from simple to prevent and simple to cure to presently impossible to prevent and presently impossible to cure. I point this out only to make sure people don't read the above posts and think that cancer wont happen to them because they do everything "right". Cancer research provides fundamental knowledge about how our cellular machinery functions. The flow on effects to other areas of biology, medicine, chemistry, physics, etc should not be discounted. Continuing to invest in Cancer research as well as allied health care such as palliative care is imperative. Anyway there's my little rant about that one.

As for cc, I couldn't care what the statistics say. Now that we are slowly exiting the age of economic rationalism and entering the age of environmental responsibility it is refreshing to see that there is substantial economic gain (ie it makes sense from a business perspective) to act responsibily towards the environment. It is win-win in a great number of industries the way I see it. Maybe the implementation of carbon trading schemes etc can be debated about. They are all moves in the right direction at least in getting industry thinking about their impact. the details will work themselves out over time. I also reckon there is a lot to be said for the warm fuzzies you get by acting morally and ethically towards a shared resource. My hope is that the economic catastrophe of the last 6-9 months will give those that are greedy, self-serving and short-sighted a massive kick up the backside.

GravityHound
22-May-2009
11:24:46 AM
On 22/05/2009 TonyB wrote:
>As I said, I can post my plotting macro for the IPCC data if anyone is
>interested in the facts,

i dont want an excel macro. if you want to offer some independent analysis then offer up some hardcore stats using up to date statistical techniques and show me the variables that are or are not making a difference to any temperature trends that are occuring. model your own temperature trends and tell us what the future will look like. shows us how and why the people who are paid to do this stuff, like the IPCC, are wrong.
>
>Oceans ... sorry, they are alkaline. The oceans pump out 20 times as
>much CO2 as man does (you'll find this hidden in the IPCC reports).

wow! did you even think before you posted a comment to wipe away scientific enquiry with the swipe of the hand. perhaps if you actually sit down and read this review for the Royal Society http://royalsociety.org/displaypagedoc.asp?id=13314 on ocean acidification we might see a shift in your current opinion on the topic.

>Crops ... sorry again. CO2 is the world's cheapest fertilizer (assuming
>growth is not limited by other factors, such as water etc). Since 1950
>CO2 has increased crop yields by an estimated 15%.

did you search and see the negative impacts of yield that i mentioned. doubt it. i cant post links to articles on the topic unless you have access to journals through uni or similar. assuming growth isnt limited by other factors is a pretty big assumption. a lot of our farmers cant afford nutrients for their plants at the current prices so how the hell will developing nations ensure there are no limiting factors, especially nitrogen.

>"The financial side" ... Yes ! Clearly that's what the CO2 scam is all
>about. Al Gore's $100,000,000 that he has scammed is tiny. Global carbon
>taxes are estimated at $2,000,000,000,000 per annum to stop a claimed warming
>of 0.006 degrees per annum ... that isn't happening. Of course there's
>also the billions of research dollars ... such as "the effects of climate
>change on the blue tit".

well there you go. the research i have done on the effect of elevated co2 and water stress on crops as well as grasslands ecosystems has been a right waste of time and money then. dang. what have i been doing with my life?

Each to their own but as was written in an article in todays SMH "We live in a world where people are prepared to see entire countries wiped out rather than disrupt their own pleasures." http://www.smh.com.au/news/entertainment/books/americas-century-like-it-or-lump-it/2009/05/21/1242498868913.html.




evanbb
22-May-2009
11:45:00 AM
On 22/05/2009 cruze wrote:
>Having witnessed someone very dear to me be struck down by WHO Grade IV
>glioblastoma multiforme

Yeah Cruze, I do actually agree with you mostly, I didn't word my response very well. My point was, that i forget to mention, was that cancer is a BIG topic, and chucking money at it invariably leads to trying to sole one obscure little disease. From a population health perspective, prevention is heaps cheaper, but as you say, that doesn't help in any way the poor buggers that actually end up with something horrible.

As always, I'm looking at this from the engineering/efficiency side of things, and totally blindsided by the softer issues.



But none of this changes the fact that we should change our relationship with the environment. Anyone who disagrees is pointlessly obstructionist, probably for their own benefit. The thing that pisses me off most about it is that the obstructionists will never pay for their mistake, if they are wrong, others will pay. For them I suspect it's a self-interest call, an odds balance. Assume that they probably won't feel the effects, so protect yourself and let the other buggers wear the carnage.

nmonteith
22-May-2009
11:49:23 AM
(being the devils advocat ehere)

Another thing i ponder about global warming is the impact it would have on the colder parts of the world. Wouldn't the Poms, Russians, Scandinavians and Canadians want it to be warmer? Some places will get hotter and more arid - but doesn't this then open up other places which were always too cold?

evanbb
22-May-2009
12:17:34 PM
On 22/05/2009 nmonteith wrote:
>(being the devils advocat ehere)

It's called Global Warmning, cos in general, the averages are warmer. Not everywhere will get warmer, and some areas will get colder. Cold areas might be worse off, as more energy in the system what do they call it, Radiant Forcing or some such, means not just a little increase overall, but bigger differences between the highs and lows, PLUS a shift to a higher average. So it might mean more warmth in Sydney (and hopefully less humidity), but every now and then they'll get thrashed by a hail storm.

Also, 'a little bit warmer' in some places could be a disaster. It changes the timing of water run off from snow melts, changes snow patterns completely, causes glacial melt and associated carnage. Can't remember where, but some hydro projects have had to be mothballed because the snow above them doesn't fall anymore, because it's a little bit warmer. The crux of the issue (climbing link right there) is that the outcomes will most likely be unpredictable, and severe. If you're bored and want to get scared, check out the Greenland icesheet collapse and stopping the Gulf Stream current. A possible, however unlikely, outcome of some slightly warmer weather.

The IPCC doc puts it a little more succinctly than I do: (Note, the terms 'very likely', likely etc have a special statistical support, which is referenced in the document)

It is very likely that over the past 50 years: cold days, cold
nights and frosts have become less frequent over most land
areas, and hot days and hot nights have become more frequent.
It is likely that: heat waves have become more frequent over
most land areas, the frequency of heavy precipitation events
has increased over most areas, and since 1975 the incidence
of extreme high sea level has increased worldwide.
Wendy
22-May-2009
12:39:49 PM
Cruze, I didn't mean to belittle anyone's experience, and sadly some people will devlope nasty conditions for unknown reasons no matter what they do, but that in general, changes in lifestyle would make an enormous difference to health outcomes, it's something we can do now and we don't need to do any more research to actually do it.

cruze
22-May-2009
12:50:12 PM
Hey Wendy and Evan, I didn't take your comments personally at all. You are right in some ways, we can prevent a range of diseases (certain form of cancer being some of them) from making good decisions. The point which I was trying to make was that we are all complex organisms programmed to die. Preventing one form only means that another less preventable form will get us eventually.

All this debate is absolutely awesome!

Personally I don't think that arguing over the statistics of whether we are or aren't, will or wont affect the planet will achieve anything in the short to medium term. I think that education over a course of several generations may acheive that. We need to convince people right now to look inside themselves and appreciate that being greedy and exploiative is morally and ethically wrong. It just doesn't feel right does it? We are far too capable as a species to destroy this planet. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

evanbb
22-May-2009
1:13:46 PM
On 22/05/2009 cruze wrote:
>All this debate is absolutely awesome!

I'm glad you are appreciating it. I was feeling a bit self conscious about my zealotry. But, as you say, 'it just doesn't feel right', describes my stance pretty accurately. I can't honestly sit here and let ill-informed/dangerous ideas get any traction. This sort of nonsense is, in my opinion, as dangerous and degrading as homophobia or racism; misplaced ideas to protect one's fragile world view, and totally damaging to others.

I'll get on to crafting a proper response to Tony's last post in a bit.


pmonks
22-May-2009
1:51:06 PM
Regardless of which side of the argument you fall on, this clip is worth watching. Be patient for the first minute or so as the good stuff doesn't start until about a minute and a half in.
Wendy
22-May-2009
2:11:11 PM
On 22/05/2009 pmonks wrote:
>Regardless of which side of the argument you fall on, this clip is worth watching. Be patient for the first
>minute or so as the good stuff doesn't start until about a minute and a
>half in.

This is an earlier version of the work by the guy who did the clip linked to a few pages ago.

this is it again so you don't have to go looking for it

ajfclark
22-May-2009
2:13:04 PM
On 22/05/2009 pmonks wrote:
>Regardless of which side of the argument you fall on, this clip is worth watching. Be patient for the first minute or so as the good stuff doesn't start until about a minute and a half in.

As he mentions in the comments to the right of the video, his argument is incorrect and you should watch his new video that I linked to a few pages back: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mF_anaVcCXg

evanbb
22-May-2009
2:17:03 PM
My response to Tony keeps breaking something, so I'll break it in 2:

On 22/05/2009 TonyB wrote:
>Have you plotted this data for yourself ? It shows :

No, I haven't. And I never will. Do you not see, this is the fundamental problem with your argument? A simple model on someone's computer in Australia can not capture all the data; your analysis is of no more value than any other individual's; probably less because you don't have the error bars in it. The IPCC report is the 'synthesis' (combination and filtering) of an incredible amount of scientist's input.

>1. Warming since the Little Ice Age (the data doesn't go back the full
>180 yrs)
Not relevant

>2. No recent "alarming" increased warming due to increased industrialisation.
Wrong.
>3. No warming in the past 12 years
Nonsense. Yes, if you start your baseline from the hottest year on record, well, blow me down, the next year wasn't hotter! This view shows a grave misunderstanding of chaotic systems. Because the globe is warming it doesn't mean that it will get warmer every single year. Christ, I hopes it doesn't mean that.
More, and better, detail on this point here

>4. A cooling trend of about -0.2 degrees per decade since IPCC2001 (Southern
>hemisphere data shows even greater cooling). This is about the rate that
>IPCC 2001 predicted it was supposed to warm !
Not useful, again, for the same reasons noted above. Of course, if you pick a single, high, end point with no statistical analysis, you can generate a data set that shows cooling. However, the 50 year, rolling average trend is unequivocal.

>As I said, I can post my plotting macro for the IPCC data if anyone is
>interested in the facts, rather than Hollywood movies.
Hollywood movies? I don't think the Federal Government, the EU, Japan, the US, Canada and China are making policy decisions based on "an inconvenient truth". Like me, they're getting their information from the IPCC, the international body established to give reasoned, conservative analysis of the issue. I very much doubt there is anything even remotely Hollywood about their meetings. In fact, I think they would be breathtakingly boring, trying to find scientific consensus in, what, 150 member nations?

>Oceans ... sorry, they are alkaline. The oceans pump out 20 times as
>much CO2 as man does (you'll find this hidden in the IPCC reports).
Would you mind posting a link to that part of the document Tony? I had a good look through the Synthesis Report, and could only find the below reference, which states the opposite.
Page 9, bottom right, Ocean Acidification

>Crops ... sorry again. CO2 is the world's cheapest fertilizer (assuming
>growth is not limited by other factors, such as water etc). Since 1950
>CO2 has increased crop yields by an estimated 15%.

Are you advocating here that we should start pumping out more CO2 as quickly as possible, so the plants might grow faster, but without taking pesky water and nutrients into account? Seems a bit risky to me. What if that CO2 that increases the growth of SOME plants, also leads to less rainfall? Or, different seasonal rainfall events? Or more severe unseasonal rainfall events? I note with some interest that Frog Buttress became a DWS crag this week.

evanbb
22-May-2009
2:17:34 PM
>"The financial side" ... Yes ! Clearly that's what the CO2 scam is all
>about. Al Gore's $100,000,000 that he has scammed is tiny. Global carbon
>taxes are estimated at $2,000,000,000,000 per annum to stop a claimed warming
>of 0.006 degrees per annum ... that isn't happening. Of course there's
>also the billions of research dollars ... such as "the effects of climate
>change on the blue tit". There is BIG money in this nonsense. Anyone who
>thinks carbon trading is going to help the environment is naive.
Naive? That's a strong word. Al Gore has 'scammed' $100M? That's a lot of money.
Sure, if you come from the view that Global Warming doesn't exist, and wouldn't be related to CO2 even in the off chance that it DID exist, then no, carbon trading is not going to help the environment. I, on the other hand, think it's pretty naive to think that you can continue pumping pollutants into a finite holding area (let's chose Earth as an example) without there being some repurcussions.
>>>evanbb
>Yes, IPCC2007 ...does not provide a single shed of evidence that man's CO2 is >responsible for any of the observations.
Ah, but you've missed the point again. The observations show that the Earth is warming. That is irrefutable. The link between CO2 and heat capture was established 100 years ago.
Here's a discussion of this point for you to digest.

>There is far better correlation of global temperatures with solar cycles.
More wrongness, but at least you're sticking to the sceptic script.
But I thought there was no evidence of warming anyway? So the warming that is not happening, would be caused by the sun if it was?
>Those wishing to track the progress of the possibility of another Little
>Ice Age might want to follow:
>http://www.solarcycle24.com/
Don't know about you, but this page is totally beyond my skill level.

>The earth is also overdue for another major ice age. We are currently
>at the end of a 10,000yr interglacial period. If another Ice Age (large
>or small) does occur, it will have devasting effects, far worse than any
>warming. History tells the story.

Unsure as to why this was raised. Are you saying that because there will be another ice age in the future, we should not do anything about CO2 levels or global warming now?


Before continuing with this thrilling debate Tony, which I'm enjoying immensely, I'd like you to answer a couple of questions.
1. What prompted you to ignore the advice of the IPCC? How did you, as an individual, decide that the IPCC were wrong?
2. What's your employment background?
Wendy
22-May-2009
4:04:15 PM
On 22/05/2009 TonyB wrote:

>"The financial side" ... Yes ! Clearly that's what the CO2 scam is all
>about. Al Gore's $100,000,000 that he has scammed is tiny. Global carbon
>taxes are estimated at $2,000,000,000,000 per annum to stop a claimed warming
>of 0.006 degrees per annum ... that isn't happening. Of course there's
>also the billions of research dollars ... such as "the effects of climate
>change on the blue tit". There is BIG money in this nonsense. Anyone who
>thinks carbon trading is going to help the environment is naive.

More immediately, I need a cure for my cold and my naff shoulder so I can get a life again, but in the meanwhile, I found a collection of responses pointing out the general nonsense of the claim that climate change is a conspiracy of scientists to get more $$$.

http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2009/05/the_baptist_and_the_bootlegger.php#more


wombly
22-May-2009
7:07:08 PM
I've done quite a bit of research into how the climate system works (i.e. a phd and a
couple of years as a postdoc researcher. I've mostly studied ice sheets and their
response to past climate change, based on field evidence). From what seen/heard/found
out/read evan is pretty much on the money, but i thought it's worth adding a few
comments.

#1 most of the researchers i've met that are directly involved with the IPCC are some of
the brightest scientists I know. They would have absolutely no problem getting funded
for whatever sort of research they might want to do. that they are focussing on climate
change indicates that they see it as a problem.

#2.the projections of the IPCC are based on models, which might not be 100%
accurate. However, to paraphrase one of the guys who puts them together (Andy
pitman, of UNSW if you want to hear from the source) 'of all the global climate models
that have been generated by any of the major groups around the world, not one of them
shows that pumping a smegload of CO2 into the atmosphere will either cool the globe or
have little or no effect'

#3. As evan has mentioned, the findings of the IPCC are really, really, really
conservative, as they are watered down by the various interest groups. in the field that i
have some authority on (i.e. ice sheet melting/sea level change) there are a whole lot of
instabilities that we see in the real world that aren't well captured by the models, and
have simply been left out of the final findings and summaries because of the
uncertainties involved. My understanding is that this is also the case in many other
fields, so it's likely that we already have some idea that CC will be a whole lot worse
than the IPCC is predicting.
TonyB
23-May-2009
11:17:01 AM
For all the true believers, followers of the railway engineer chief of the IPCC, and those incapable of plotting data, here's temperatures since IPCC2001 ... using IPCC data.

IPCC itself says that recent data can be used to validate its models ... oops !

PCC gives no evidence whatsoever that man's CO2 is causing warming (or the observed cooling) ... anyone whio claims it does, please give a page number and ref.

lacto
23-May-2009
12:42:25 PM
On 23/05/2009 TonyB wrote:
>For all the true believers, followers of the railway engineer chief of
>the IPCC, and those incapable of plotting data, here's temperatures since
>IPCC2001 ... using IPCC data.
>

To try to belittle the truth and relevance of a report because of it's "railway engineering chief " is in itself probably the greatest admission by TonyB of his lack of valid arguments. Ziggy was a nuclear scientist yet head of telstra his basic qualifications had little relevence to his ability to do his job. Maybe if TobyB were to add to his cv "determined murder of mosquitos " would that change the validity or acceptance of his arguments !!!. How about showing the graph he is in rapture about, over a period from say 1950 s to present . The old saying of figures dont lie but ...... may well be very true .
tastybigmac
23-May-2009
8:46:01 PM
do you hang out with ian plimer?

evanbb
24-May-2009
8:10:34 AM
On 23/05/2009 TonyB wrote:
>For all the true believers, followers of the railway engineer chief of
>the IPCC, and those incapable of plotting data, here's temperatures since
>IPCC2001 ... using IPCC data.

Sigh.

I had some hope this would turn out to be a reasoned debate, and at some stage the weight of evidence would convince you that you'd missed something or been unintentionally ignorant.

Clearly your understanding of science is different to mine, and despite my attempts at helping you along, you're just not listening at all, and clearly have some other agenda. If you think, that plotting a graph of 7 years data is going to disprove the findings of the IPCC; further, you think that a railway engineer shouldn't be listened to, depsite refusing to disclose your own profession; and not once rebutting directly any one of my points or any of the science, then clearly we are way out of the scope of science as I understand it.

Then it is purely a question of personal ethics and values. And this is where I disagree fundamentally and simply can not tolerate the notion.

To summarise your point:
Because you've got some conflicting data, there must be doubt surrounding the climate change question. Further, this doubt is so severe, that we should do nothing at all, because the perceived consequences of acting far out weight the risks of not acting.

To distill further. The threat of not acting, is that we will destroy the climate, and probably a lot of ecosystems along with it. The threat of acting is that we will damage the economy. I'll come back to the actual threat to the economy in a sec. You have chosen to value economic growth, which is essentially a question of personal comfort, over a possible threat to the lives of many and an enormous part of the world. And it is this view that I have to step in.

This clashes with 2 of my personal values. You are of course entitled to have your own. The first is that any risk to life, however remote, should generally be avoided if possible. Standing on a 1m wide belay ledge, 200m above the Grosse Valley, do you disconnect your safety because the chance of jumping off the edge is remote? I clearly can't make that decision for you, but I certainly would leave the safety on and mitigate the chance of a horrible death.

And we're not talking about doing much. It's not the doom and gloom of 4 times higher electricity prices, or killing the whole population that right wing lunatics like Piers Akerman go on with, or that nut from the Minerals Council of Australia Michael Hooke. All that is being proposed is a reduction of the amount of CO2 being regularly put into the atmosphere. This will require about 20-30% renewable energy on the grid, and lower emissions coal and nat gas for the rest. That's it. The only personal pain you'll feel is an increased electricity cost, of maybe 30%, in your Time Of Use charges, not even the total bill, which includes all the network charges as well. Note that electricity prices in Sydney are about to go up 30% of the total bill, in one year, to pay for a network upgrade.

So, what you're left defending is the risk that your electricity prices will go up, vs the risk that we will wreck the ecosystem.

The second personal ethic that this clashes with, is that if I can take a small personal hit for the sake of helping a lot of other people, I'll do it. This is why I, and others, donate blood, give to charities, such as the bushfires or give clothes to Vinnies. If you don't value that, well I'm hardly going to be able to convince you of it here am I. As I said, these are your ethics, and I can't offer direct comment on how you reached them, or how you feel about them.

But, I can have my own opinion of them. Funnily enough, you might have figured that I already do.

I think it is incredibly selfish and absolutely intolerable on a number of levels. As I mentioned earlier, I feel the same way about this obstructionist and prevaricating idea as I do racists, homophobes, slave-drivers, Holocaust-deniers, and pedophiles, yes even pedophiles, who's ethics differ fundamentally with mine in that they believe that a child's life is not sacred, and can be used in ways which please them. I don't associate with these sorts of people, and climate-change obstrucionists have just entered that list, extreme as it may sound to you.

Let me know if you change your mind though, and we can have a beer and chat about it some day. Until then Tony, thanks for being a sparring partner, I've certainly sharpened some skills that had been dormant, and I look forward to bumping into one of your mates in the future.

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