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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 4 of 6. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 100 | 101 to 111
Author
OT - new carbon tax

Gavo
3/03/2011
3:37:06 PM
On 3/03/2011 evanbb wrote:
>If you want the deets, get your teeth into AR4 or something. There are
>bucket loads of reports available on the IPCC website.

That is exactly right.

There are 50,000 scientists who actually DO work in the exact field stating "yes, this is us, and it is happening"

And there are barely any, most who are not even properly in the field, stating no, its not.

And that is supposedly enough justification to stop taking action, and discuss it.

If some moron on the street stops me and tells me that eating vegetables will actually increase my risk of heart attack, in spite of all the evidence against this claim and teh sheer number of actual professionals telling me otherwise, I certainly dont stop it to open the topic to group discussion between the street urchin and people who actually know their stuff.

This really does fire me up. We are looking at a massive loss of species alone in barely 100 years because of the current state of warming, and all evidence points to us being the cause.

It doesnt take a genius to work it out when you look at the basic numbers of carbon taken from outside of the carbon cycle and pumped into what is an extremely thin atmosphere, in combination with a large scale destruction of regions that cycle the carbon. Its bloody obvious.

The discussion is literally over, the evidence is absolutely overwhelming. And all of this evidence has been peer reviewed and scrutinised across the board as per the scientific method. Its real.

billk
3/03/2011
3:42:40 PM
On 3/03/2011 ajfclark wrote:
>On 3/03/2011 billk wrote:
>>"The oceans provide an absolutely enormous sink for carbon dioxide. They
>will soak up anything we put into the atmosphere."
>
>Isn't that causing the acidity of the sea to rise?

Such a pity my chemistry teacher was satisfied with making the blanket statement - "This stuff about the Greenhouse Effect is BS!" - instead of looking at the predictions we could come up with using basic Year 12 chemistry. Acidification of the oceans would surely have been one of them.

My chemistry teacher wasn't the only one trying to steer us away from being concerned about the environment. My biology teacher told us that uranium mining was going to be an economic boon for Australia and only wimps worried about nuclear accidents. He also told us that renewable energy was a load of rubbish and more people would die from falling off roofs installing stupid solar water heaters than would ever be killed by nuclear power. This was around about the time of the Three Mile Island accident.

Hendo
3/03/2011
5:03:50 PM
On 3/03/2011 Gavo wrote:
>The discussion is literally over, the evidence is absolutely overwhelming.
>And all of this evidence has been peer reviewed and scrutinised across
>the board as per the scientific method. Its real.


I find these types of discussions quite interesting because it seems part of the conflict stems from people assuming that everyone has the same concept of science. From my casual observations this doesnít seem to be the case. Certainly philosophers of science (including many practicing scientists who have an interest in such things) have not reached any kind of consensus as to questions like what is science and what distinguishes science from non-science? Nobody seems to be able to come up with a satisfactory scientific method that fits with what scientists actually do and have done, excludes things which people donít want to be included in science (religion, astrology, creationism etc) as well as being philosophically acceptable. Ideas like falsification alluded to here just donít cut it.

So given that there is such disparity in interpreting what to make of science, there is bound to be disagreement and frustration that other people Ďcanít see the scienceí etc. Claiming that there is near complete consensus amongst scientists in a field probably also isnít enough to those that are sceptical, big advances in science can come through overturning consensus.

So to some there isnít enough faith in science to be convinced of making serious changes to lifestyle, the economy etc, not that people do or should make decisions based purely on science anyway. Believing that science tells us that humans are warming the planet does not imply that anything should be done, I would say that is outside of science. You have to have other non-scientific ideas to take it to this next step, like believing things will be/are worse for other people/species, humans will become extinct, life will never recover, whatever, and have some moral/ethical problems with that. Perhaps if you view the science as complete you should promote your related ethics and morals to argue reasons to act upon it instead.
Wendy
3/03/2011
5:21:09 PM
Mungo Maccallum on sceptics:

"Ah yes, the sceptics, Given the state of the science, it is about time we stopped dignifying them with that name, which suggests some sort of commitment to rationality. Even the alternative - deniers - implies they have given the question some serious thought. Let us call them what they are: mendacious, stupid or at best delusional.

Some may sincerely believe the science is still not settled, or that it is all a vast conspiracy; many others are feeding the doubters out of sheer self-interest in search of commercial or political advantage. But their opinions are important only to each other. Their views should no longer be part of any rational discussion and they must not be considered at all by Gillard and her fellow decision makers.

The misguided will, of course, be among those compensated; it is to be hoped that they spend at least some of the windfall on catching up with the science or, if that is too much effort, securing long-term accommodation in homes for the terminally bewildered along with their fellow flat earthers. Clowns are all very well in their place, but in the words of the immortal Stan Cross cartoon, itís time to stop laughing - this is serious."

Gavo
3/03/2011
5:38:17 PM
Interesting argument. But I simply do not agree that people do not agree on "what science is". Of course, there will be exceptions to any consensus. One person will always argue the sky is not blue.

But noone I know, and beside the climbing community my circle of friends are almost exclusively scientists or work in the field of science, debate "the scientific method". That is, a hypothesis based on evidence generated to date... experimentation to TRY AND DISPROVE THE HYPOTHESIS, and then analysis of the data. After this, an article is created, and REAL science journals will circulate the article amongst peers (other scientists in the field) who review the method and try to find flaws.

This method is not perfect, sometimes flaws exist in the method and a keen-witted reviewer of an article might pick up on this. Someone who knows their stuff will not read the discussion section of an article and instantly agree with the author/s, but rather draw their own conclusions from the data and this SHOULD match the author.

But many MANY people have a distorted view on the scientific method and view scepticism, which is the entire foundation of science, as a negative attribute whereas it is entirely positive and necessary for the method.

The idea of trying to disprove a theory is also logical. A theory is never entirely proven, it cant be by the very definition of "real" science. However it can be so substantiated beyond a reasonable doubt, that a person would have to have the iq of a coconut to believe otherwise.

Creationism, religion (creationism being a sub-topic of a religious group), astrology... all NON-SCIENCE. There is ABSOLUTELY NO DEBATE THERE. There absolutely is consensus. Consensus amongst those who PRACTICE THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD. By that I mean, that those who argue that astrology or creationism are valid arguments, either do not submit genuine articles for peer review, or they outright disregard the findings of others and practice pseudo-science.

I understand your point, but your examples are incredibly flawed as I tried to illustrate above. For example. using the scientific method, you can very simply disprove something like astrology, as well as creationism. In fact, we do it all the time! Especially for creationism I mean even C14 dating well surpasses their idea of the age of the earth! But watch a debate with a creationist and see what they say... "show me the data".. and you do.. and they literally ignore it.

Science is not perfect, but it is the absolute best we have and many orders-of-magnitude better than anything else available. And when you have a statistically overwhelming number of people generating completely unique and independent experiments that all point to a single general endpoint, the coconut factor comes into play again.

I do agree with your final point though, that perhaps I put too much weight on the data and argue that point when people might need a different argument presented to them.

OR.. perhaps people can grow the hell up, stop being friggin lazy about matters of paramount importance, and do some damned reading. On an evolutionary level we are getting "smarter" but on a social level, I do not believe we are keeping up. The health of the planet, I believe, should be the concern of every person, not just climate scientists, or other scientists with an interest in the area.

People only seem to give a shit when it directly affects them. Well if you live in certain seaside low lying regions, it does directly affect you. It is beginning to effect everyone but they are not opening their eyes to it because there is not fire streaking across the sky and mass extinctions happening instantaneously.

Yes, this will affect everyone and yes, one might assume the position of arguing the effects, rather than the cause.... Yes, someone should be doing that as well I suppose. Me, I hope people are mature enough to see what is right in front of them if they make the effort to look.

And all this convincing, all this arguing... where does it get us? Another year will pass, our position will remain stationary.

Why is science alone not enough to act on? I think that is utter crap. Certainly at times, it might not. But when your home is at risk, you act. And we have masses upon masses of evidence all pointing to a big, ongoing ouchie coming our way. Why not then act on it? Let the politicians debate it? Crap. If there were piles and piles of scientific evidence indicating that you were about to spontaneously combust, would you not go get a fire-extinguisher or sit in a bath?

I argue the point that science alone should not dictate certain things. I dont think it should rule everything but on matters of paramount importance, i.e. the health of the planet, your damn right I believe it should

nmonteith
4/03/2011
8:52:15 AM
For those who wish to do nothing because other countries aren't doing anything then this diagram is an interesting one. It shows the per person output of co2 for each country. Australia is right up there near the top of the list - and places like China and India are way down. So we need to take some personal responsibility to reduce our own emissions to have any credibilry in the eyes of developing countries.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4b/CO2_per_capita_per_country.png

Hans
4/03/2011
9:55:29 AM
Initially I was going to post something in this thread that actually contributed. Then i was just going to quote all of Gavo's posts and say +1. Now I'm just gonna say that i agree with him, and i like his style.
maxdacat
4/03/2011
9:57:17 AM
On 3/03/2011 Wendy wrote:
>Mungo Maccallum on sceptics:
>
>"Ah yes, the sceptics, Given the state of the science, it is about time
>we stopped dignifying them with that name, which suggests some sort of
>commitment to rationality. Even the alternative - deniers - implies they
>have given the question some serious thought. Let us call them what they
>are: mendacious, stupid or at best delusional.
>

it's possible also to be sceptical about whether or not a solution to a problem will actually be effective. I don't think this makes one delusional.
martym
4/03/2011
10:08:39 AM
On 3/03/2011 Hendo wrote:
>So given that there is such disparity in interpreting what to make of
>science, there is bound to be disagreement and frustration that other people
>Ďcanít see the scienceí etc. Claiming that there is near complete consensus
>amongst scientists in a field probably also isnít enough to those that
>are sceptical, big advances in science can come through overturning consensus.

To quote my other favourite source of brain fat:
[citation needed]

Gavo
4/03/2011
10:15:40 AM
On 4/03/2011 maxdacat wrote:
>it's possible also to be sceptical about whether or not a solution to
>a problem will actually be effective. I don't think this makes one delusional.

Higher carbon output = warming.

Warming = reduced ice stability, increased oceans.

Carbon output increasing = ???

Carbon output decrease = ???

Seems pretty damned obvious
maxdacat
4/03/2011
10:42:09 AM
more warming = more ice melting

higher temps = more of this evaporating into the atmosphere

= sea levels not rising by much.

i don't necesarily believe this but it's as good an argument as yours is.

To put it another way - if you're so sure of what you're saying, based on current trends when will i need gumboots to get around the cbd?

Gavo
4/03/2011
10:49:29 AM
come on, are you serious?

3mm a year rising is NOT to be scoffed at.

That attitude is the absolute proof of the problem... people think "Im not in immediate danger, its ok".

There are loads of people who will loose everything in as little as 20-30 years. People are already being displaced in Sri Lanka, India, and various islands in the pacific.

You think this is ok because you live higher?

Come on, thats not an argument.

Additionally, its not purely about sea level rising. There will be raised ocean acidity, raised ocean temperatures, shifts of the currents (already occuring) resulting in dramatic changes in regional climatic trends, mass-level extinctions of species having unpredictable effects on the ecosystems locally and globally...

No, these do not affect you directly. But none of this is acceptable to me. I actually give a shit about the future of the planet for future generations and just because I care.

You dont care because... you wont actually be up to your ankles in water?

Are you also someone who throws rubbish out the car window because its not where you live? Seems like a similiar attitude.

EDIT: also, it was not remotely as good an argument as mine is. Mine is backed by masses of data, yours was stated with no backing whatsoever.

nmonteith
4/03/2011
10:56:59 AM
On 4/03/2011 maxdacat wrote:
>To put it another way - if you're so sure of what you're saying, based
>on current trends when will i need gumboots to get around the cbd?

Well, if you're talking about Brisbane...

tnd
4/03/2011
11:23:32 AM
On 4/03/2011 Gavo wrote:
>...I actually give a shit about the future of the planet for future
>generations and just because I care.

The planet will be fine. What you are actually expressing is the typical selfish human attitude that we have some entitlement to perpetual life here. But our species has existed for a mere blink in the life of Earth and like many others before may just fade away when the ecosystem outgrows us.

Gavo
4/03/2011
11:29:52 AM
On 4/03/2011 tnd wrote:
>The planet will be fine. What you are actually expressing is the typical
>selfish human attitude that we have some entitlement to perpetual life
>here. But our species has existed for a mere blink in the life of Earth
>and like many others before may just fade away when the ecosystem outgrows
>us.

Crap. I do not believe that in the least. You think the extinction of many MANY species is acceptable as well? They go hand in hand. If we stay, and we keep this up, we wipe out a plethora of species. Yes, others will go if we stay anyway but what we are doing right now is altering the entire ecosystem in an unsustainable way.

And I am aware of how little time we have spent on the planet. Do you not then find it ludicrous to accept drastic changes to the planet itself in such a short time?

My attitude is not selfish in the least. I do not believe we have a right to be here. But we are, and we can continue to be if we did things sustainably.

"the ecosystem outgrows us"... how do you figure that? We are destroying it.. its kind of the whole bloody point! The ecosystem wont outgrow us. It will be altered by us, eventually leaving an ecosystem in which we, and many other species cannot survive. Those that can, will thrive.

And Im the selfish one for wanting to allow us to live more harmoniously with the ecosystem the present ecosystem.
maxdacat
4/03/2011
11:36:03 AM
On 4/03/2011 Gavo wrote:
>come on, are you serious?
>
>
>Additionally, its not purely about sea level rising. There will be raised
>ocean acidity, raised ocean temperatures, shifts of the currents (already
>occuring) resulting in dramatic changes in regional climatic trends, mass-level
>extinctions of species having unpredictable effects on the ecosystems locally
>and globally...

if all this might happen then are you sure that an Oz carbon tax will have any impact on future temp and sea level rises? won't a more effective mechanism, at least for moving to alternative sources of energy be the finite nature of what we are currently using ie coal and oil?

and no i don't chuck my rubbish out the car.....i don't even have a car!

Hendo
4/03/2011
11:41:51 AM
On 3/03/2011 Gavo wrote:
>Interesting argument. But I simply do not agree that people do not agree
>on "what science is". Of course, there will be exceptions to any consensus.
>One person will always argue the sky is not blue.

Have a look into the philosophy of science, in particular the demarcation problem, I think it is quite interesting. Given your comments about falsification you might like to start with Karl Popper.

>But noone I know, and beside the climbing community my circle of friends
>are almost exclusively scientists or work in the field of science, debate
>"the scientific method".

They probably never really stopped to think about it critically. Like many things, when you look closer you discover it isn't what you had assumed.

>The idea of trying to disprove a theory is also logical. A theory is never
>entirely proven, it cant be by the very definition of "real" science. However
>it can be so substantiated beyond a reasonable doubt, that a person would
>have to have the iq of a coconut to believe otherwise.

Or perhaps the IQ of an Einstein, Newton, Darwin etc to come up with a better idea...

>Creationism, religion (creationism being a sub-topic of a religious group),
>astrology... all NON-SCIENCE. There is ABSOLUTELY NO DEBATE THERE. There
>absolutely is consensus. Consensus amongst those who PRACTICE THE SCIENTIFIC
>METHOD. By that I mean, that those who argue that astrology or creationism
>are valid arguments, either do not submit genuine articles for peer review,
>or they outright disregard the findings of others and practice pseudo-science.
>
>I understand your point, but your examples are incredibly flawed as I
>tried to illustrate above. For example. using the scientific method, you
>can very simply disprove something like astrology, as well as creationism.

One of the problems is actually that in defining your scientific method it seems very difficult to make one which excludes things that you wish to exclude while at the same time including all the things you want to include. Can you really develop a method that every person considered a scientist past and present has used to create their scientific ideas? Or will you need to relegate chunks of the history of science to something else?

>Why is science alone not enough to act on? I think that is utter crap.
>Certainly at times, it might not. But when your home is at risk, you act.
>And we have masses upon masses of evidence all pointing to a big, ongoing
>ouchie coming our way. Why not then act on it? Let the politicians debate
>it? Crap. If there were piles and piles of scientific evidence indicating
>that you were about to spontaneously combust, would you not go get a fire-extinguisher
>or sit in a bath?

Large sections of the population do things like this, eg smoking.

The science points toward a prediction and a cause. I guess it depends on what you consider science but to me the fact that you want people to reduce warming because it will change the current state of life on earth is some kind of a moral/ethical, economic, financial etc decision. You might like the idea of changing life, wiping out humanity, own some kind of business that will profit, think you will die before anything serious happens and want to live out your life as is etc etc. If you think like this, from merely believing the science it does not follow that a person would agree with your course of action.

Gavo
4/03/2011
11:43:31 AM
Sorry I should be clear here.

I have no opinion on the carbon tax. Honestly Im only going on about all this because of someone earlier essentially denying AGW. Thats all. Because the situation is that its happening, there is solid evidence and science backing it, and a couple of people have managed to stir up debate, when there is none. And I just cant stand people propagating disinformation.

Carbon tax... economics.. Not my field.

Yes, moving forward with alternative fuels is something that needs to be done, and isnt. I think largely because of what I said I hate before.. disinformation being spread and debates being undertaken when there is no real argument against it.

Having said that, I suppose making people think twice about something because its expensive might work, I dont know. I suppose its kind of similiar to speeding fines. I hate the things but fact is, I dont speed now because I really cant afford to waste money on a ticket. So I guess it works.. making people pay for things.

But to continue that, it would be harsh of the government to slap taxes on people for things (like fuel etc) when they do not give an alternative.. the PT sucks, and we dont have any alternative energies.. research in the area is pathetic in terms of funding right now. They certainly need to crank that up.

Also, now I dont know if this is true, but I was told that Australias carbon emissions include coal that is exported. If thats the case, or even if not, the carbon tax should be passed onto the countries receiving the coal... It seems extremely unfair to charge Australians a tax when theyre not even actually outputting the carbon. But like I said I have no valid source of this, its just what I heard. Not sure if its true.

evanbb
4/03/2011
11:47:59 AM
On 4/03/2011 maxdacat wrote:
>To put it another way - if you're so sure of what you're saying, based
>on current trends when will i need gumboots to get around the cbd?

This is the problem right here. This is a matter of uncertainty, risk and chaotic systems. There is no definitive answer to this question, but because of the chaos of the system there is a risk it could be soon. For fun, go and read up on the likely failure mechanism of the Greenland ice-sheet. There's a decent chance that it won't release water slowly, but thaw from the middle out, dammed in by the frozen edges. This is already happening. Then a seismic event or a few really hot days could cause the dam to break. Then the action of the flowing water increases the ice sheets ability to transfer heat and the thing might fall to bits in a matter of months.

But that's the thing, we don't know when that might happen, any more than we know when and where the next earthquake will be.

gordoste
4/03/2011
11:50:59 AM
I think he was being sceptical about whether the tax would reduce carbon output.

I don't think it will actually reduce carbon output on global scale, but our aim should be to ensure China and India. As everybody knows, those are the countries that will drive carbon emissions in the coming decades and if China and Europe both put pressure on the U.S. it will be very hard for them to resist doing anything.
If we don't do anything, China and India can say "We are devoting our resources to improve our people's quality of life, and fully developed countries like Australia who use much more carbon per person aren't doing anything. Why should we?" If we take strong steps then our chances of getting India and China to do something are much improved.

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