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  1. #1
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    Default Why this forum was closed

    I fear great minds and energy are being wasted here.

    The anthropogenic climate change argument cannot be resolved.

    The planet is not a petri dish and the atmosphere around it cannot be managed like an incubator to produce definitive data by experimentation.

    We can accurately measure the outputs of the complex system that produces them but not all of the inputs that produced them.

    We do not understand the system between the inputs and the outputs.

    We do not know which inputs or combination of inputs is producing the outputs.

    With respect to CO2 concentrations and temperatures we can prove correlation but not causation.

    We know that global temperatures can change dramatically without human activity.

    We can speculate that pumping millions tons of effluents into a tiny shell atmosphere around our earth is likely to produce a change in the environment through the system.

    We can speculate that the change is unlikely to be beneficial to the balance of the ecosystem that developed over the eons preceding.

    Back when I was a natural resource studies major in college in the late 1970s the trends at the time appeared to be alarming.

    I firmly believed in the scripture of the Club of Rome.

    Limits to Growth.

    But then over time I came to respect Mother Nature.

    I have spent enough years on Her mountains and Her oceans and in Her skies, and seen what She does to a plot of unattended earth to reclaim it from man in the infinitesimal span of a human life that I can imagine what She can do in a million or 100 million years.

    I know with no uncertainty that we do not stand a chance of causing any meaningful change in the planet in Her timeframe.

    We can explode every nuclear weapon we have and within a few minutes in Her lifespan it will be but a blip too insufficient to recall.

    Anything we as humanity do She can undue.

    The Climate Change debate is a yearning for human significance in an era of loss of faith.

    It is a religious debate but who is the protagonist?
    Last edited by EJ; 11-10-14 at 10:20 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Why this forum may be deleted

    Quote Originally Posted by EJ View Post
    I fear great minds and energy are being wasted here.

    The anthropogenic climate change argument cannot be resolved.

    The planet is not a petri dish and the atmosphere around it cannot be managed like an incubator to produce definitive data by experimentation.

    We can accurately measure the outputs of the complex system that produces them but not all of the inputs that produced them.

    We do not understand the system between the inputs and the outputs.

    We do not know which inputs or combination of inputs is producing the outputs.

    With respect to CO2 concentrations and temperatures we can prove correlation but not causation.

    We know that global temperatures can change dramatically without human activity.

    We can speculate that pumping millions tons of effluents into a tiny shell atmosphere around our earth is likely to produce a change in the environment through the system.

    We can speculate that the change is unlikely to be beneficial to the balance of the ecosystem that developed over the eons preceding.

    Back when I was a natural resource studies major in college in the late 1970s the trends at the time appeared to be alarming.

    I firmly believed in the scripture of the Club of Rome.

    Limits to Growth.

    But then over time I came to respect Mother Nature.

    I have spent enough years on Her mountains and Her oceans and in Her skies, and seen what She does to a plot of unattended earth to reclaim it from man in the infinitesimal span of a human life that I can imagine what She can do in a million or 100 million years.

    I know with no uncertainty that we do not stand a chance of causing any meaningful change in the planet in Her timeframe.

    We can explode every nuclear weapon we have and within a few minutes in Her lifespan it will be but a blip too insufficient to recall.

    Anything we as humanity do She can undue.

    The Climate Change debate is a yearning for human significance in an era of loss of faith.

    It is a religious debate but who is the protagonist?
    I agree completely, thanks

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Why this forum may be deleted

    Agreed. Let's stick to Economics.

    Energy, The Fed, Technology, and the markets. Those alone will take all our brain power and then some.

    Transforming FIRE into TECI will need a special kind of economic chemistry.

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    Default Re: Why this forum may be deleted

    Thanks EJ,

    Another sage position, beautifully put in words.

    Let's get to work on the stuff we can all agree is productive!

  5. #5
    Raz is offline iTulip Ambassador, Select Premium Member
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    Default Re: Why this forum may be deleted

    Quote Originally Posted by EJ View Post
    I fear great minds and energy are being wasted here.

    The anthropogenic climate change argument cannot be resolved.

    The planet is not a petri dish and the atmosphere around it cannot be managed like an incubator to produce definitive data by experimentation.

    We can accurately measure the outputs of the complex system that produces them but not all of the inputs that produced them.

    We do not understand the system between the inputs and the outputs.

    We do not know which inputs or combination of inputs is producing the outputs.

    With respect to CO2 concentrations and temperatures we can prove correlation but not causation.

    We know that global temperatures can change dramatically without human activity.

    We can speculate that pumping millions tons of effluents into a tiny shell atmosphere around our earth is likely to produce a change in the environment through the system.

    We can speculate that the change is unlikely to be beneficial to the balance of the ecosystem that developed over the eons preceding.

    Back when I was a natural resource studies major in college in the late 1970s the trends at the time appeared to be alarming.

    I firmly believed in the scripture of the Club of Rome.

    Limits to Growth.

    But then over time I came to respect Mother Nature.

    I have spent enough years on Her mountains and Her oceans and in Her skies, and seen what She does to a plot of unattended earth to reclaim it from man in the infinitesimal span of a human life that I can imagine what She can do in a million or 100 million years.

    I know with no uncertainty that we do not stand a chance of causing any meaningful change in the planet in Her timeframe.

    We can explode every nuclear weapon we have and within a few minutes in Her lifespan it will be but a blip too insufficient to recall.

    Anything we as humanity do She can undue.

    The Climate Change debate is a yearning for human significance in an era of loss of faith.

    It is a religious debate but who is the protagonist?
    Although I believe mother nature has a Father, I agree completely.

    Well said,
    EJ. Very well said.

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    Default Re: Why this forum may be deleted

    Quote Originally Posted by EJ View Post
    The anthropogenic climate change argument cannot be resolved...
    We can't resolve it among ourselves because a strident minority have a mission to make these ideas increasingly difficult to discuss. And while I can't say why some have chosen to make opposition to science into a merit badge and loyalty test, it is clear to me that their world-view is so permanently fixed that confrontation with even the best available evidence only strengthens it.

    Fortunately for us, we don't need to resolve a thing. The question has been effectively resolved among the community of people with the requisite knowledge, skill and experience to do so. 1) The climate is getting warmer 2) human activity drives it 3) and it will result in a 1.5 to 5.8C increase in temperature. Among scientists trained in this field, there no meaningful dispute but as with all things, a few disagree and are disagreeable about it.

    This question was resolved through a process of peer reviewed study and scholarly publishing and this is far more reliable a process than what we can hope to ever accomplish here. Least of all because debates outside of the scientific framework are mediated by the interests of those engaged in it. Those interests are plain for us to see and far more significant than any grant or award a scientist could ever dream of receiving.

    Delete it, please. Then perhaps create some algorithm that hunts down the phrase "global warming" and automatically kills future posts, too. The reality of AGW will remain unscathed as will the views of those who deny it.
    Last edited by Woodsman; 11-11-14 at 07:46 AM.

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    Raz is offline iTulip Ambassador, Select Premium Member
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    Default Re: Why this forum may be deleted

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodsman View Post
    We can't resolve it among ourselves because a strident minority have a mission to make these ideas increasingly difficult to discuss. And while I can't say why some have chosen to make opposition to science into a merit badge and loyalty test, it is clear to me that their world-view is so permanently fixed that confrontation with even the best available evidence only strengthens it. ...
    It must be another attack by the dastardly "right wing".
    There's never a strident minority (or majority) from the altruistic, compassionate, erudite, reasonable and always tolerant left wing.

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    Default Re: Why this forum may be deleted

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz View Post
    It must be another attack by the dastardly "right wing".
    There's never a strident minority (or majority) from the altruistic, compassionate, erudite, reasonable and always tolerant left wing.
    Have it your way, Raz.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Why this forum may be deleted

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodsman View Post
    We can't resolve it among ourselves because a strident minority have a mission to make these ideas increasingly difficult to discuss. And while I can't say why some have chosen to make opposition to science into a merit badge and loyalty test, it is clear to me that their world-view is so permanently fixed that confrontation with even the best available evidence only strengthens it.

    Fortunately for us, we don't need to resolve a thing. The question has been effectively resolved among the community of people with the requisite knowledge, skill and experience to do so. 1) The climate is getting warmer 2) human activity drives it 3) and it will result in a 1.5 to 5.8C increase in temperature. Among scientists trained in this field, there no meaningful dispute but as with all things, a few disagree and are disagreeable about it.

    This question was resolved through a process of peer reviewed study and scholarly publishing and this is far more reliable a process than what we can hope to ever accomplish here. Least of all because debates outside of the scientific framework are mediated by the interests of those engaged in it. Those interests are plain for us to see and far more significant than any grant or award a scientist could ever dream of receiving.

    Delete it, please. Then perhaps create some algorithm that hunts down the phrase "global warming" and automatically kills future posts, too. The reality of AGW will remain unscathed as will the views of those who deny it.
    Here's my view at this time and as it is my site I get the final word.

    I believe that most of the arguments made on this site are valid.

    I think it is obviously a bad idea to dump thousands of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere for decades on end.

    A preponderance of the evidence indicates that this activity is causing the earth to warm up.

    However this part of the argument that the current anthropogenic climate change is bigger and faster than naturally occurring changes in the past is incorrect and leads to invalid conclusions.

    The following scientific paper on climate history was written in 1997 before the global warming debate became politicized and the motives of scientists involved in the debate started to be questioned.


    The time span of the last 130,000 years has seen the global climate system switch from warm interglacial to cold glacial conditions, and back again. This broad interglacial-glacial-interglacial climate oscillation has been recurring on a similar periodicity for about the last 900,000 years, though each individual cycle has had its own idiosyncrasies in terms of the timing and magnitude of changes. As is usually the case with the study of the past, data are in short supply, and only a few sketchy outlines are known for the earliest cycles (Winograd et al. 1997). Even for the most recent oscillation beginning around 130,000 years ago there is still too much ambiguity in terms of the errors in geological dating techniques, in the gaps in the record, and in the slowness of responses by indicator species, to know precisely when certain events occurred and whether the climate changes were truly synchronous between different regions. The general picture summarized here (and in the separate map sections below) roughly reflects the present consensus gained from ice cores, deep ocean cores, and terrestrial and lake sediments around the world.

    [snip] (The best data are of the most recent events)

    Warming, then a cold snap. Around 14,000 years ago (about 13,000 radiocarbon years ago), there was a rapid global warming and moistening of climates, perhaps occurring within the space of only a few years or decades. In many respects, this phase seems to have resembled some of the earlier interstadials that had occurred so many times before during the glacial period. Conditions in many mid-latitude areas appear to have been about as warm as they are today, although many other areas - whilst warmer than during the Late Glacial Cold Stage - seem to have remained slightly cooler than at present. Forests began to spread back, and the ice sheets began to retreat. However, after a few thousand years of recovery, the Earth was suddenly plunged back into a new and very short-lived ice age known as the Younger Dryas. Although the Younger Dryas did not affect everywhere in the world, it destroyed the returning forests in the north and led to a brief resurgence of the ice sheets. This map by D. Peteet shows the possible distribution of Younger Dryas cooling around the world. The main cooling event that marks the beginning of the Younger Dryas seems have occurred within less than 100 years, according to Greenland ice core data (Alley et al. 1993). After about 1,300 years of cold and aridity, the Younger Dryas seems to have ended in the space of only a few decades (various estimates from ice core climate indicators range from 20 - 70 years for this sudden transition) when conditions became as warm as they are today. Around half of the warming seems to have occurred in the space of a single span of 15 years, according to the latest detailed analyses of the Greenland ice core record (Taylor et al. 1997).


    Point #1: Earth's climate can change drastically and rapidly independent of human activity.

    Point #2: The scale of climate change in the recent past, at least in geologic time, has been so drastic as to make the worst-case Global Warming scenario pale to insignificance.



    Last Ice Age, one of many, approximately 40 thousand years ago.
    At the maximum of the cycle most of the northern hemisphere was covered in glaciers up to 1.5 miles thick.
    Ocean levels fell by 120 meters. Now that's climate change.
    Humans survived.

    Point #3: China and other developing countries account for 51% of CO2 emissions and for the largest increases over the past 20 years. The largest and fastest growing CO2 emissions producers are going to increase not decrease CO2 emissions over the next 20 years. Here is the official word on China's long-term policy regarding economic growth and CO2 emissions:

    Energy Economics: CO2 Emissions in China

    10.1 Main driving forces of CO2 omissions in the procedure of urbanization and industrialization in China (page 304)

    In accordance with the development goal of "quadrupling the per capita GDP of the year 2000 by 2020 on the basis of structure optimization, economic performance improvement, consumption reduction and environmental protection", people`s living standards will be improved substantially, the urbanization process will speed up, household electric appliance consumption will grow rapidly,and the automobile will become affordable for more and more families, hence resulting in the increase in energy consumption by households. “To fundamentally realize industrialization in China by 2020" implies that the manufactural scale will still go on expanding. Meanwhile the booming development of urbanization will also greatly drive the development of service and transportation industry. Therefore, energy consumption from production will also increase dramatically in this period, and CO2 emissions from energy consumption will increase unavoidably.







    Data from World Bank

    China plans to catch up with the West.

    Conclusions:

    1) Asking China to reduce CO2 emissions is asking them to cancel their 2000 to 2020 plan to quadruple per-capita GDP and they are not going to do that.

    2) The scale worst-case anthropogenic climate change scenario is minor in comparison to the scale of naturally occurring climate changes that may occur at any time independent of human activity so it's not logical to ask China to cancel growth plans in the first place.

    3) Eventually fossil fuels will become too expensive to burn in volumes that produce climate change. Hopefully this occurs before the impact of climate change is too disruptive to the ecosystem.

    Bottom line: I think anthropomorphic climate change is unfortunate but given the above I think the planet is going to have to live with it and can.

    All of the above said, I reserve the right to modify this view if new evidence demands it.

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    Default Re: Why this forum may be deleted

    Quote Originally Posted by EJ View Post
    The Climate Change debate is a yearning for human significance in an era of loss of faith.
    Very well said.

    This pattern can be routinely recognized in the "important causes" being championed today and in recent history.

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    Default Re: Why this forum may be deleted

    Quote Originally Posted by EJ View Post
    Bottom line: I think anthropomorphic climate change is unfortunate but given the above I think the planet is going to have to live with it and can.

    All of the above said, I reserve the right to modify this view if new evidence demands it.
    Yes, the planet can handle it, Mother Nature can handle it, but how will our grandchildren handle it?

    Two years ago, the climate change forum represented only one viewpoint. I remember feeling uneasy, and wishing I had more time to study the subject. I really appreciate and learn from the recent posts from people with solid backgrounds in science.

    My impression is that over the past decade, posts from iTulip members have introduced new ideas that broadened the key themes discussed on this website. I was hoping this current discussion on climate change would also add to our long-term analysis.

    At the same time, it's true that
    Quote Originally Posted by EJ View Post
    great minds and energy are being wasted here.
    Perhaps both sides will be relieved to drop the debate and focus on other topics that are more productive for the present.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Why this forum may be deleted

    Quote Originally Posted by ej
    2) The scale worst-case anthropogenic climate change scenario is minor in comparison to the scale of naturally occurring climate changes that may occur at any time independent of human activity ...
    i think that this is true, but misleading. to exaggerate, it is comparable to saying that because there are tidal waves, there's no point in having lifeguards. the scale of naturally occurring climate changes to which you refer, such as a mini-ice age with onset over only 100 years, would be devastating, global catastrophes, likely involving the deaths of billions of people. we could never compensate adequately for such an occurrence. but i don't think that relieves us of responsibility to address as best we can smaller catastrophes - of whatever cause - that we have the capacity to ameliorate.

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    Default Re: Why this forum may be deleted

    I understand and agree with your reasoning EJ, I really should get back to economics and stop hanging out at the climate change candy counter. This will be my last post in this section and I will limit my posts referencing climate change on iTulip. I would request that you only close this section to further posting and not delete it. There is reference material here I like to review and it will give you a bore hole for any other conversation that fly off the road of economics to again try to resolve this issue.

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    Default Re: Why this forum may be deleted

    Quote Originally Posted by santafe2 View Post
    I understand and agree with your reasoning EJ, I really should get back to economics and stop hanging out at the climate change candy counter. This will be my last post in this section and I will limit my posts referencing climate change on iTulip. I would request that you only close this section to further posting and not delete it. There is reference material here I like to review and it will give you a bore hole for any other conversation that fly off the road of economics to again try to resolve this issue.
    I'll also stop posting here now. I did, however, just want to second this request.

    There have been productive moments in the past, even if those appear scarce today. And it is usually not a good thing to pretend past discussions didn't exist. For one thing, it reduces the feeling of accountability in present discussions, and thereby helps them devolve.

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    Default Re: Why this forum may be deleted

    Quote Originally Posted by jk View Post
    i think that this is true, but misleading. to exaggerate, it is comparable to saying that because there are tidal waves, there's no point in having lifeguards. the scale of naturally occurring climate changes to which you refer, such as a mini-ice age with onset over only 100 years, would be devastating, global catastrophes, likely involving the deaths of billions of people. we could never compensate adequately for such an occurrence. but i don't think that relieves us of responsibility to address as best we can smaller catastrophes - of whatever cause - that we have the capacity to ameliorate.
    True, the possibility of a once-in-10,000-years climate event is not the strongest element of the "So what?" and "Why bother?" argument but in combination with the others bears mentioning.

    The most compelling part of the argument is that "we" do not have the capacity to ameliorate climate change because "we" does not include those countries that are having the greatest impact by rapidly increasing their emissions. They have no intention even of slowing the rate of increase.

    • From 2005 through 2009 China added the equivalent of the entire U.S. fleet of coal-fired power plants: 510 new 600-megawatt coal plants
    • From 2010 through 2013, it added half the coal generation of the entire U.S. again
    • China will add yet another U.S. worth of coal plants over the next 10 years, or the equivalent of a new 600-megawatt plant every 10 days for 10 years


    "But the reality is that China, because of its sheer size, is in a position to do more than any other country to stop the world from going off the proverbial climate cliff. With the current coal trajectory of China, all the windmills in the world won’t deliver our children a climate they can depend on."

    - Eric Larson, senior scientist for Climate Central and a research engineer with the Energy Systems Analysis Group at the Princeton Environmental Institute

    China and other growing nations have not and will not allow developed countries to lecture them that their citizens cannot enjoy the same living standards as we do and without the cooperation of these nations there is nothing that developed countries can do about climate change that is of any significance.

    The good news, in my view, is that on the scale of a Global Warming worst-case scenario to a Younger Dryas level event the impact of CO2 emissions is bad but not dire. I say this as a someone with a degree in Natural Resources Economics and who considers himself an environmentalist. However, that conclusion will not keep me from driving a fuel efficient car and otherwise trying to minimize my personal carbon footprint.

    My household carbon footprint is currently estimated at a mere 32 tons of CO2 per year, 38% below the 52 ton U.S. national average for two people. The world average is 11 tons and they are all shooting for 52. If we had two kids, all other factors being equal our household number jumps to 58 tons.

    I think we've all learned something from this thread. I have. We will close this forum but leave the threads on it for reference as requested.
    Last edited by EJ; 11-11-14 at 08:04 PM.

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