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  Topic: The Global Warming Thread, Featuring Rep. Sheila Butt (R-TN)< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Dale_Husband



Posts: 118
Joined: April 2008

(Permalink) Posted: July 02 2011,22:41   

Or maybe this will do:

 
Quote (Robin @ June 28 2011,12:11)
 
Quote (Dale_Husband @ June 28 2011,11:51)
I have a request. Can there be a thread somewhere  that we can debate the connections, if any, between anti-evolutionism and global warming denialism? I see such a connection but I'd like to know what others think.


I'd be all for it, mostly because I don't get global warming denial and would love to read a succinct explanation for the argument and mindset.

Near as I can tell though, it appears the same style of "logic" is used in each groups' arguments. They may well be made up of the same people for all I know, but if so I can't figure out why.


Quote (OgreMkV @ June 28 2011,12:26)

I personally think that global warming denial is exactly like creationism.

There is a small group of 'leaders' (Fred Singer is one) who knows that they are spreading lies, but have a good reason for doing so (related to finances).

Then there are the 'unwashed masses' who believe them for whatever reason: Republicans who have full trust in what their GOP leaders say, people who hate any form of government intrusion, industry workers who view it as a threat to their jobs, etc.

These guys are in full thrall to the leaders who know they are peddling lies.  Just like the denzions of UD are in thrall of Dembski, Behe, and Meyer who are smart enough to know better.


Quote (fnxtr @ June 28 2011,21:50)

One of the authors of "Merchants of Doubt", whose name escapes me, was on Mothercorp (CBC) this morning. She pointed out that many of the climate change deniers are the same people who were previously ozone-hole deniers, tobacco->cancer deniers, and so on. Not just the same "fog up the science window" tactics, the very same people.  I was waiting for her to add evolution-deniers to the list, but maybe it's in the book.


Quote (sledgehammer @ June 29 2011,00:27)

Seems to me that the common theme here is science denial:
"It's those know-it-all, arrogant scientists trying to tell us what's what. They are the source of all our problems, and the reason the world is going to Hell on a Harley. Life was so much simpler when we were all ignorant and easily manipulated by those in power, and it's so much more comforting to be sheep, and place our trust in the anointed shepherds."


Quote (Erasmus @ FCD, June 29 2011,01:49)

i propose a clear demarcation standard (it might prove insufficient, yet)

ahem.  

"hoax", "fraud", "IPCC are godless homocommies", "Algoremanbearpig is fat and flies huge planes around between his empty climate controlled manbearpigcaves", "didn't you hear they made it all up" or "Climategate" is grounds for dismissal and hurling of insults with preening nerd justificationisms


how does that sound?  muuuah


Quote (Badger3k @ June 29 2011,08:46)


Most of those who are in the Denier camp seem to advocate that humans are not doing anything that can affect the environment and cause any warming.  That is the most common usage of the term, since to most people "global warming" = "anthropogenic global warming".  Thus your first choice would be a Denier, while the other two are more in the "accept that AGW is real, and we're trying to figure out how to respond to it".  

At least, that's the way I see it.  Could be wrong, tho'.


Quote (OgreMkV @ June 29 2011,09:31)

I agree with this.  No sane person disagrees that the Earth is getting warmer.  The ten hottest years on record have all occurred in the last 13 years.

When 'global warming' is bandied about, it is most commonly meant to be 'human-caused global warming'.  Which, strangely is not up for debate either, by any climate scientist that I'm aware of (Singer doesn't count).

As far as the rest, if human activity is causing global warming, then we have two choices

1) Stop causing it
2) Continue causing it and live with the consequences

Much too much to get into right now though.


Quote (Robin @ June 29 2011,09:35)



Quote (Trubble @ June 29 2011,00:19)
Mind if I ask for a definition of terms here?


Have at it!

 
Quote
What exactly constitutes a global warming denier?


An excellent question! Let's see what our options are:

 
Quote
Are you a denier if you agree global warming is occurring, but that various natural causes are more to blame than human activity?


Mmm...probably not.

 
Quote
How about if you agree global warming is real, but that the impact in future will be less catastrophic than suggested by some? Is that denial?


I'd say no.

 
Quote
How about if you agree global warming is occurring, and human activity is the main driver, but reversing it is impractical and we'd be better off finding ways to adapt?


Ummm...still no.

 
Quote
And before any of you zealots...


Yep, THAT would be it!

 
Quote
...jump on me, I'm not advocating any of those positions. I just find it strange that such a sharp demarcation is drawn on an area of research that is really still in its early stages.


See...this kind of defensiveness is a real clue that you have an agenda. People without agendas merely ask, "what's a global warming denier?" and then discuss the concept. By immediately distancing yourself from the issue ('no really...I don't have a dog in this fight!!!') and at the same time calling use "zealots", you've tipped your hand.

The demarcation is easy - anyone who denies the reality of the data suggesting that the planet is warming and the contribution to said warming by human activity is a pretty straight forward demarcation. Oh...and the area of research isn't in the early stages; it's been going on for quite some time.

Tsk tsk...


Quote (Tracy P. Hamilton @ June 29 2011,12:08)



 
Quote (Trubble @ June 29 2011,00:19)
Mind if I ask for a definition of terms here? What exactly constitutes a global warming denier?

Are you a denier if you agree global warming is occurring, but that various natural causes are more to blame than human activity?


Yes.

 
Quote
How about if you agree global warming is real, but that the impact in future will be less catastrophic than suggested by some? Is that denial?


It depends on the specifics.  Mealy mouthed claims of "less catastrophic" Yes.

Some things are quite clear, such as sea level rise, melting of arctic sea ice, increased extremes in recipitation / drought. If someone will acknowledge that these will increase but not be catastrophic I would like to see them tell the victims that the effects were not catastrophes, just mild inconveniences.

 
Quote
How about if you agree global warming is occurring, and human activity is the main driver, but reversing it is impractical and we'd be better off finding ways to adapt?


No.  

 
Quote
And before any of you zealots jump on me, I'm not advocating any of those positions. I just find it strange that such a sharp demarcation is drawn on an area of research that is really still in its early stages.



Quote (midwifetoad @ June 29 2011,12:34)

I agree that warming is happening, that humans are a primary cause, and that it could be unpleasant and expensive to protect (or abandon) coastal cities.

I simply think the only way to mitigate or reverse the trend is to move toward nuclear power, preferably thorium, which produces no byproducts with military applications, and which is well understood, and has been for 50 years.

I am sad that the people who are concerned with warming are mostly opposed to the only viable solution.

I think fusion energy is a fantasy, maybe centuries away.

Solar and wind have so many undesirable side costs that I think they will never compete with nuclear.

Nuclear can be used to produce alcohol and hydrogen, which are the only fuels likely to replace gasoline.


Quote (Kristine @ June 29 2011,12:57)

While we're on the subject of global warming denial:
 
Quote (kevinmillerxi @ June 23 2011,15:31)
Two new docs for you guys to check out:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpOILed-The-Movie/216288371729865

http://www.facebook.com/sexandmoneyfilm


"SpOILed" is just another "drill-baby-drill" tome. "This film will change the way you think!" We can't drill here or there, while China laughs at us, etc. Same old crap. I used to be a film critic before I entered grad school, and am not easily fooled by naifs.

I have not been able to find out much about "Sex and Money," so I cannot say anything about it, but Kevin's films have really been tanking on iMDb, including "After..." which was the one effort of his which did intrigue me.
 
Quote
Kevin has written, co-written, and edited over 40 books, both fiction and non-fiction.

"Both fiction and nonfiction." :)

ETA - "We need your prayers and YOUR MONEY to fund 'Doctor Dino'." :D Hey Walt Ruloff! Why didn't you help these poor people out?


Quote (Henry J @ June 29 2011,13:28)

I deny that my globe is any warmer than anything else in my living room!


Quote (OgreMkV @ June 29 2011,13:35)

Nuclear is dead.  Whether or not is a viable technical solution, it is economically and socially dead tech.

1) It is not economic.  I have compared the various techs and nuclear is about half the cost of solar and ten percent more expensive than wind power.  

For the same price as a new (current technology, no future tech) nuclear plant, a utility can build an equivalent capacity (not name plate, but actual production capacity) of wind power AND a multi-megawatt storage system for base load production.

Plus, the wind farm can be completely on-line in less than a year.  The nuclear plant will not even begin production once construction has started for between 6-16 years.  

The cost of nuclear based electricity has remained the same over the last 30 years, while the cost of wind and solar have dropped considerably.

2) Solar and Wind with storage can provide baseload power, so that's a non-issue.  Spain has several molten salt solar thermal plants.  The most current is only 20MW, but can also provide power for 15 hours with zero sunlight.

You don't mention 'so many undesirable side costs', but I've been studying this subject for 2-3 years now and I haven't found any 'undesirable side costs'.

3) Any electricity source can be used to make hydrogen.  But hydrogen is not the only thing that could conceivably replace gasoline.  Top of the line (still expensive) pure electric vehicles can currently achieve 300 miles per charge (at highway speeds).*  There are electric semi-trucks that can pull standard trailers for in-town delivery purposes.  If you eliminate cross-country trucks, then fossil fuel vehicles would no longer be needed.


Like, I said, I've been looking at this for years.  If it's a choice between nuclear and fossil.  Then I'm all for nuclear.

If you throw renewables (wind and solar) into the choices, then forget nuclear and go for wind and solar.


*Personally speaking, I haven't driven more than 250 miles in one day in over 7 years.  If you skip one driving vacation, then I haven't driven over 250 miles in over 17 years).


Quote (Glen Davidson @ June 29 2011,15:07)


Quote (midwifetoad @ June 29 2011,12:34)

  I simply think the only way to mitigate or reverse the trend is to move toward nuclear power, preferably thorium, which produces no byproducts with military applications, and which is well understood, and has been for 50 years.


Not so.  The US has made and exploded a U-233 bomb.  Its critical mass is somewhat greater than plutonium, much less than U-235.

Nevertheless, due to radiation issues, making U-233 weapons is considered to be difficult, and thus the thorium cycle by itself is likely to impede proliferation.  

Of course there are other issues, like the fact that fairly highly enriched uranium (although far less than weapon-grade, something like 25% enriched) would be needed to begin the fuel cycle, and, due to relatively poor U-233 breeding, enriched uranium would necessarily continue to be input, at least in any reactors made thus far.  So the whole uranium issue isn't exactly gone, but perhaps would be manageable (weapons grade U-235  or plutonium never needing to be involved, at least).

Since transuranic elements would be little made, the thorium cycle itself would create only fairly short-lived isotopes (order of centuries at most), although the uranium inputs would continue to produce some of the longer-lived transuranics--unless very highly enriched uranium were in fact used (actually, via U-236 even HEU would produce some transuranics, but relatively little).  Still, less of the long-term radiation poisons would result.

I can't detail why, but it's thought that thorium reactors would operate more inherently safely than, say, pressurized uranium reactors (which can be quite safe, IMO).  So there's another plus.

There are worthwhile advantages to thorium--especially the quantity available--and so it's probably worth pursuing. I just wonder why it gets such glowing press.  Worst of all in that respect is that people will say that thorium was ignored because it doesn't produce plutonium, when in fact lightwater reactors are not very good producers of it either--one of the reasons why they are pushed in this world.  True, reprocessing can yield useful plutonium, but it's still expensive, and the yield isn't nearly as good as natural uranium reactors using graphite or heavy water as moderators (the Soviets did use power reactors to breed plutonium, in fact, one reason Chernobyl was unsafe and used graphite as moderator).

   
Quote
I am sad that the people who are concerned with warming are mostly opposed to the only viable solution.


It's far from perfect, but yes, nuclear actually works, and could help transitionally.  I'd rather it not be the long-term "solution" for power production.

   
Quote
Solar and wind have so many undesirable side costs that I think they will never compete with nuclear.


Never?  Why not?  Thin-film solar might someday be fairly cheap (nothing is known to prevent this), and storage might come down as well.  Wind will never be cheap compared to non-capture coal, but should be useful as a supplement--not a bad price when warming is factored in, yet it's limited and incapable of reasonable baseload generation.

But it's very annoying to get the hand-waving "costs are coming down" when nuclear vs. solar is being discussed.  Who cares?  Costs have always been coming down, and they're still high even without the heavy added cost of storage, which isn't even slightly realistic at present.  

No one who says solar is competitive explains how it is.  They don't bother with our pathetic level of detail, because, well, the details aren't friendly to such claims.

   
Quote
Nuclear can be used to produce alcohol and hydrogen, which are the only fuels likely to replace gasoline.


Yes, but we're still far from that being affordable.  Interestingly, though, nuclear using electrolysis at high temperatures (which nukes can provide quite readily) boosts efficiency clear up to 50%, from 30%.  50% isn't anything very impressive either, however.

Glen Davidson


Quote (Dale_Husband @ June 30 2011,00:59)

I've always been opposed to nuclear power. It's too damned expensive, and too dangerous! People have died because of it! How many people have been killed by wind farms or solar panels? None that I know of! Sure, some birds may be killed by wind farms. Cats also kill birds, but you don't consider that reason to never have them around, do you?

If we could have nearly the entire Sahara Desert covered by wind farms and solar panel stations, Africa would probably be freed from depending on any other energy source. And that must scare the fossil fuel companies $#itless!


Quote (Dale_Husband @ June 30 2011,01:04)

Robin, my admiration for you just shot up 100 points! Bravo!



Quote (Trubble @ June 30 2011,15:55)

 
Quote (Robin @ June 29 2011,09:35)
See...this kind of defensiveness is a real clue that you have an agenda. People without agendas merely ask, "what's a global warming denier?" and then discuss the concept. By immediately distancing yourself from the issue ('no really...I don't have a dog in this fight!!!') and at the same time calling use "zealots", you've tipped your hand.


Great. That's the very reaction I wanted to preempt. My fault, I probably should have approached the counter with more care, like George placing his order with the Soup Nazi.*

I used "you zealots" as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the kind of person who would immediately see my questions as masking some kind of anti-science agenda. In retrospect, perhaps a bad choice of words, but I didn't actually think people here would be that sensitive.

My "agenda" was to try to elaborate the denier label. It seems to be thrown around pretty carelessly at times, so I was curious where people here draw the line. I gave specific examples in order to get specific answers, instead of generalities. Several people provided thoughtful answers. To them, thanks.

My own view is that global warming is real, is serious, and is at least largely caused by human activity. But I also think drastic action is impractical right now, so we should be looking at what is realistically doable. I know some would label that view as "denial", which is why I asked.

Also for the record, I've been coming to this site almost daily for about five years, mainly for the funny and to keep up with the creationism issue, which I find fascinating. I just don't make posts, because I don't have any particular expertise in science, just a layman's interest and an undergrad anthro degree.

   
Quote
Oh...and the area of research isn't in the early stages; it's been going on for quite some time.


Well, I guess it's all relative. If you're sitting in a doctor's waiting room, an hour is "quite some time." Genetics research has been going on for about a century. It seems to me global warming research didn't get serious attention until the 1980s, making it a relatively new field (my stereo speakers are older than that). Yes, I misspoke to say it's in its early stages, but I still think there's a lot more work needed on some critically important questions.

   
Quote
Tsk tsk...


Do I feel chastened? Hmmmm... No.

* For the humour-impaired or terminally suspicious, no, I'm not comparing anyone here with Nazis. It's just a Seinfeld reference. You could look it up.


Quote (Dale Husband @ June 30 2011,23:38)

Actually, the foundations for global warming research extend all the way back to the end of the 19th Century. It actually started with this scientist:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius

Read more here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_climate_change_science


Quote (Louis @ July 01 2011,04:23)

Ah, one of those. No worries!

However people here throw the denier label around (rightly, wrongly or indifferently) denialism itself is a topic of study in its own right. The commonalities between creationist anti-science denialism and the anti-science denialism that is involved in AGW denial are stark. The same applies to any anti-science denialism I can think of. I used to have some proper resources around here somewhere, I'll see if I can dig them up.

Like anything, there's a spectrum of denial, and I don't think mere ignorance falls on it. Most people I encounter who are pro/anti AGW are pretty ill informed about it, and seem to hold those positions for other reasons. I realise anecdote =/= data, but I can hardly count my parents (for example) as AGW deniers because they simply know nothing about it, and the tiny about they do claim to know is derived solely from their choice of newspaper (The Daily Mail.....yes, it is that bad, feel my pain!). They engage in some denialist type behaviour, but they aren't informed enough to be denialists proper. This applies to the majority of creationists and other species of denialists too. They simply haven't given the subjects they are denying the effort and study they require to even engage in denialism.They might be resistant to evidence initially, but the majority of people are open to some form of new information. Obviously! Otherwise bugger all would ever change, and change it does! ;-)

A couple of initial thoughts on denialism can be found
here, here, here, here, and here.

Those aren't proper references, just a few things to wet your beak! Enjoy!

Louis


--------------
If you need a man-made book to beleive in a God who is said to have created the universe, of what value is your faith? You might as well worship an idol.

   
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