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Mexico climate change conference finishes ...


West is Best

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    The Conference has now concluded, and scientists noted the gap between the scientific and political communities. Scientists were unanimous about AGW. The same cannot be said for the politicians:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/5408798.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4969772.stm

    Political will is not yet behind the scientific community's urgent appeal for AGW to be tackled. Some countries, such as Russia, did not send a delegate in the belief that a warmer climate will help their economy.

    The planet is heading into totally unchartered territory. Not since the earth span out of the sun and cooled down into its present form has the planet seen such a rise in CO2 levels, and with it such a fast rise in global temperatures.

    I'm encouraged though that the last vestiges of scientific scepticism are disappearing. Science historian and founder of The Skeptics Society Michael Shermer wrote in Scientific American that Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth 'shocked me out of my doubting stance', based, that is, on the hard scientific evidence.

    The real battle now is not with the scientific community, for that battle is over. The war is with the economic and industrial powers, who are largely behind the insidious infiltration of the sceptic fringe.

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    Posted
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
    The war is with the economic and industrial powers, who are largely behind the insidious infiltration of the sceptic fringe.

    :D :o :D B) :o

    Can I sue for that!

    That is an outright lie, a total distortion of facts aimed purely at discrediting anyone with half a brain :(

    Poor Brave New World - when those who seek the truth are so slandered...

    Edit: btw since when did the truth become 'fringe' anyway?

    Edit 2 : Sorry West, I thought that was a quote from someone at the conferance, was it your personal comment? In which case, I won't sue :p , just politely point out that a sceptic is one who does not automatically accept what he is told, but seeks to determine the facts for himself before drawing any conclusion. And since climate change is a bl**dy conplicated subject some of us will remain sceptics for a long, long time ...... Doesn't mean we dismiss AGW though ;) And most of us make not a penny from it either. Unlike those politicians - who spend more per person on their latest junket that most of us here earn in a year. Or even a decade .....

    I would hope that most scientists are sceptics .....

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
    :angry::angry::angry::angry::angry:

    Can I sue for that!

    That is an outright lie, a total distortion of facts aimed purely at discrediting anyone with half a brain :(

    Poor Brave New World - when those who seek the truth are so slandered...

    Edit: btw since when did the truth become 'fringe' anyway?

    Edit 2 :_ Sorry west, I thought that was a quote from someone at the conferance, was it your persanl comment? In which case, I won;t sue, just politely point out that a sceptic is one who does not automatically accept what he is told, but seeks to determine the facts for himself before drawing any conclusion. And since climate change is a bl**dy conplicated subject some of us will remain sceptics for a long, long time ...... Doesn't mean we dismis AGW though ;) And most of us make not a penny from it eoither. Unlike those politicians - who spend more per person on theor latest junket that most of us here earn in a year. Or even a decade .....

    Andy, I know you have your doubts, and will not be easily swayed, but I have to confess that my skepticism has more or less vanished, over most of the issues, in recent weeks; if you can bear to itemise one or two of your reasons for doubting, I'll do my best to offer a reasonable counter-argument.

    The reference to the skeptic fringe is, I am sure, a reference to the scientific fringe; Steve Milloy, Pat Michaels, Inhofe, et. al., and their backers, such as Exxon, rather than a claim that anyone who has doubts is somehow involved in a conspiracy.

    :)P

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    Posted
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion

    I'm little concerned about CO2 to be honest. I long ago realised that no-one wanted my lifestyle and therefore nothing short of a nuclear war will bring CO2 emssions down. I don't believe anyone on this planet knows what impact that increase on CO2 will have on future climate though. So far as I know, hu7mans aren;t omnipotent.

    Therefore anyone who says CO2 emissions will result in this or that are no better than those who say they won't.

    PS don't really know why I'm starting this argument cos I'm actually in a pretty good mood this afternoon :angry:

    Essan ... simple question. Have you been to see An Inconvenient Truth yet?

    If not, do me a favour. I'm not saying it's perfect, but go and see it. Then we can debate.

    No, I wouldn't pay to see political propagander - besides which I couldn't afford atm to get the train to Worcester to see it :angry:

    I do know that you should not believe everything in it without question. But obviously I cannot specify actual examples of minsinterpretations.

    I also know that Gore claims to have been campaigning about GW for 30 years. Think about that for a minute. And then tell me if you believe he's totally sincere.

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    Posted
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    I'm little concerned about CO2 to be honest. I long ago realised that no-one wanted my lifestyle and therefore nothing short of a nuclear war will bring CO2 emssions down. I don't believe anyone on this planet knows what impact that increase on CO2 will have on future climate though. So far as I know, hu7mans aren;t omnipotent.

    Therefore anyone who says CO2 emissions will result in this or that are no better than those who say they won't.

    I'm not sure that's the point of argument at the moment Essan. We know we're in deep doggy-do, but exactly how deep and how nasty the effects of the C02 surge are going to be isn't really our primary concern right now.

    Anyway, check out my question above ...

    It's not a perfect film but it has changed many sceptics. Well worth seeing it if you are truly a believer in debate?!

    I also know that Gore claims to have been campaigning about GW for 30 years. Think about that for a minute. And then tell me if you believe he's totally sincere.

    It's irrelevant to the film. For the record (and I thought it instantaneously) I thought it somewhat revisionist. That having been said, he did study under Professor Roger Revelle at Harvard and there's some footage of him campaigning on the topic down the years.

    No, I wouldn't pay to see political propagander - besides which I couldn't afford atm to get the train to Worcester to see it :angry:

    I do know that you should not believe everything in it without question. But obviously I cannot specify actual examples of minsinterpretations.

    You really really should see it. Shame on you if you can't see through the Al Gore politics (who cares?!) to the science beneath. I'm tempted to say that no-one has the right to debate the topic unless they've seen it because it does collate evidence together in a persuasive manner. However, I've thought better of that and I'll offer to pay your train fare to Worcester to see it. Seriously. If that's the reason you can't see it, I'll pay. Accept the challenge? PM me your address, time, and I'll send tickets from trainline. It's a film that really ought to be seen by everyone debating the topic. If you come away and disagree, that's fine.

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
    I'm little concerned about CO2 to be honest. I long ago realised that no-one wanted my lifestyle and therefore nothing short of a nuclear war will bring CO2 emssions down. I don't believe anyone on this planet knows what impact that increase on CO2 will have on future climate though. So far as I know, hu7mans aren;t omnipotent.

    Therefore anyone who says CO2 emissions will result in this or that are no better than those who say they won't.

    PS don't really know why I'm starting this argument cos I'm actually in a pretty good mood this afternoon :angry:

    No, I wouldn't pay to see political propagander - besides which I couldn't afford atm to get the train to Worcester to see it :angry:

    I do know that you should not believe everything in it without question. But obviously I cannot specify actual examples of minsinterpretations.

    I also know that Gore claims to have been campaigning about GW for 30 years. Think about that for a minute. And then tell me if you believe he's totally sincere.

    Hopefully not an argument; more of a 'forum' ?

    In essence, then, your doubts revolve around whether or not CO2 is 'driving' the recent warming trend, and how reliable the GCMs are - would that be right?

    No doubt that 'An Incovenient Truth' is having an impact on public perceptions, including WIB's, :angry: but we can probably stick to the main issues without depending on it...

    :)P

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    Posted
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    No doubt that 'An Incovenient Truth' is having an impact on public perceptions, including WIB's, :angry: but we can probably stick to the main issues without depending on it...

    :)P

    A good point Parmenides3. My defence would be 1. public perception is the ground of debate and therefore important 2. it collates much of the scientific argument in one place 3. I have this nagging suspicion that most of the sceptics actually can't bring themselves to read or listen to or watch the mainstream view. And I find that "interesting" ...

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    Posted
  • Location: Rochester, Kent
  • Location: Rochester, Kent
    Have you been to see An Inconvenient Truth yet?

    If not, do me a favour. I'm not saying it's perfect, but go and see it. Then we can debate.

    Are you implying that Al Gore can convince where others cannot? Are you stating that a multimedia presentation is a better tool for the dissemination of science than actually learning to read a scientific paper?
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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
    A good point Parmenides3. My defence would be 1. public perception is the ground of debate and therefore important 2. it collates much of the scientific argument in one place 3. I have this nagging suspicion that most of the sceptics actually can't bring themselves to read or listen to or watch the mainstream view. And I find that "interesting" ...

    This is definitely the blog for you, WIB; http://www.climatedenial.org/

    :)P

    But Wilson; this is our problem; most of the 'public' don't read scientific papers; they (we?) read newspapers, or watch TV...

    Popularisation is not the most rigorous way to make a point, but, for many, it is the only way. :)P

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    Posted
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
    In essence, then, your doubts revolve around whether or not CO2 is 'driving' the recent warming trend, and how reliable the GCMs are - would that be right?

    Dunno whether doubts is quite the right word.

    But I am highly cynical of the whole AGW circus - I don't believe we'll cut emissions in time to make any great difference, if the predictions are correct. And I think it's a convenient scapegoat for other misdemeanours.

    It's a lot easier to fly around the world telling Westerners to stop flying, than it is to stop the destruction of the Amazon and Indonesian rainforests. For example.

    My suspicion is that we're seeing a sequence of regional climate changes caused by a number of different things.

    Whether these changes will result in more extremes of wether than have been experienced in the past 12,000 years I don't know. I suspect most who claim it will, have little understanding of just how the climate has changed since the start of the Holocene. Try asking Gore when the Arctic last had less extensive sea ice cover than it has today :angry:

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    Are you implying that Al Gore can convince where others cannot? Are you stating that a multimedia presentation is a better tool for the dissemination of science than actually learning to read a scientific paper?

    Obviously.

    If you think you can persuade the general public to read scientific papers you're 'aving a larf'. I'm an academic and I know the pitfalls of academia only too well.

    I still have this suspicion that actually the sceptics don't rlisten to the other point of view. I wonder why I think this?

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    Posted
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
    . I have this nagging suspicion that most of the sceptics actually can't bring themselves to read or listen to or watch the mainstream view. And I find that "interesting" ...

    I'm sceptical of any idea whereby I'm expected to accept what I'm told, and not encouraged to seek the answer myself.

    And as a cynic, I have to ask why people don't want me to be an sceptical enquirer? What might I find out ....

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    Whether these changes will result in more extremes of wether than have been experienced in the past 12,000 years I don't know. I suspect most who claim it will, have little understanding of just how the climate has changed since the start of the Holocene. Try asking Gore when the Arctic last had less extensive sea ice cover than it has today :angry:

    He's pretty clued up actually so I wouldn't be too disdainful, though I'm no Gore apologist. As I say, you should see the film :angry: As you know, CO2 levels are now higher (massively so) than at any time in the last 650,000 years. The speed of global temperature increase is without measurable comparison. The arguments linking those two phenomena are 'persuasive' to me, and the science of GW therefore conclusive!

    I'm sceptical of any idea whereby I'm expected to accept what I'm told, and not encouraged to seek the answer myself.

    And as a cynic, I have to ask why people don't want me to be an sceptical enquirer? What might I find out ....

    If this were true you'd go and see the film. Then you could come back and tell me all about how you don't agree with it, and why. You could achieve the useful task of persuading me to change my mind, whilst I hope being open to the possibility that you might have yours changed ...?

    In reality, of course, we never really arrive at answers entirely of ourselves. Or if we did they'd be balderdash. We rely on weighing up the evidence and usefully set opposing views against one another before arriving at our own conclusion.

    For what it's worth, 5 years ago I was a sceptic. My mind was changed by studying the evidence as best I could.

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    Posted
  • Location: Coventry,Warwickshire
  • Location: Coventry,Warwickshire

    There is two seperate things being talked about here. Firstly an excellent report on the Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere a report by the Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research, Washington, DC. It really does go into some detail about statistics , measurements and different forcings. It is also interesting to note how the lower stratospheric cooling reflects tropospheric warming.

    If you really want to know about the current state of Environment Changes Science then I thoroughly recommend you read the report.

    Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere

    Secondly is the G8+5 Gleneagles Dialogue on Climate Change being held in Monterey Mexico. This is more of a political arena and seems to be focused on the economics of Climate change. Some of the quotes coming out are a real disappointment from a scientists point of view and have a flavour of making money from climate change.

    Some of the proposed ideas to be unveiled in Monterrey are more disturbing than others. Friends of the Earth International condemned as 'tequila-induced delirium' an eccentric plan

    Mr Miliband said over 200,000 jobs had been created in the UK in the environmental industries since 2001.

    I hope these reports will demonstrate clearly that action to combat climate change is economically viable – in fact, that climate change projects can actually stimulate economic activity said Margaret Beckett.

    The Russians - who hope they will benefit from a warmer world - did not turn up to Monterrey.

    Go read the report it is excellent.

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    Posted
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
    He's pretty clued up actually so I wouldn't be too disdainful, though I'm no Gore apologist.

    I am cynic. A really, really, cynically cynical cynic.

    I see Gore as a failed Presidential candidate and former Vice President whose main interest in the environment is to maintain publicity for himself.

    I bet he even things windfarms are good :angry:

    However, it's not practical for me to see the film until it comes on TV. And I doubt there is anything in it I don't already know. There will be things I know which aren't in it.

    For what it's worth, 5 years ago I was a sceptic. My mind was changed by studying the evidence as best I could.

    5 years ago I didn't believe in AGW. Now I'm not entirely sure what's going on. Which means I'm a sceptic - as opoposed to believer or disbeleiver :angry:

    I don't think it's as simple as some like to imply.

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    Go read the report it is excellent.

    I already did BF. As you know, a variety of data pertain to this debate, of which that report and the associate lower atmospheric survey is but one in an overall picture. No-one ever claimed linear progression across all fields (take for example the surface ocean temp variabilities). The overall scientific argument is (in my opinion and in that of almost every proper scientist) now conclusive. I think you're obfuscating - a tactic used by the sceptical lobby.

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    However, it's not practical for me to see the film until it comes on TV.

    I thought you couldn't afford the train fare? So I offered to pay. But now "it's not practical" i.e. you don't want to watch it. At least be honest!

    There's nothing wrong with being cycnical, especially about politicians. And I share some of your sentiments about Gore to be honest. But this is primarily about the present and future of our planet and I do think the time for sitting on the fence is over. We have to act - all of us - or we're in real trouble. Well we already are.

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    Posted
  • Location: Thame, Oxfordshire
  • Location: Thame, Oxfordshire
    I thought you couldn't afford the train fare? So I offered to pay. But now "it's not practical" i.e. you don't want to watch it. At least be honest!

    There's nothing wrong with being cycnical, especially about politicians. And I share some of your sentiments about Gore to be honest. But this is primarily about the present and future of our planet and I do think the time for sitting on the fence is over. We have to act - all of us - or we're in real trouble. Well we already are.

    What are you doing to help ? (Serious question)

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
    Dunno whether doubts is quite the right word.

    But I am highly cynical of the whole AGW circus - I don't believe we'll cut emissions in time to make any great difference, if the predictions are correct. And I think it's a convenient scapegoat for other misdemeanours.

    It's a lot easier to fly around the world telling Westerners to stop flying, than it is to stop the destruction of the Amazon and Indonesian rainforests. For example.

    My suspicion is that we're seeing a sequence of regional climate changes caused by a number of different things.

    Whether these changes will result in more extremes of wether than have been experienced in the past 12,000 years I don't know. I suspect most who claim it will, have little understanding of just how the climate has changed since the start of the Holocene. Try asking Gore when the Arctic last had less extensive sea ice cover than it has today :angry:

    Hmm... No, I didn't get it right first time, then.

    Assuming AGW & warming in the future, can we make a difference? Yes, we can make some difference - a 2C rise in global temperatures would have consequences (we'll come to that point later) - a 4C rise would be a whole bucketful and then some worse. Ironically, when the Indy were waffling on about the drought warnings at the Conservative party conference, they clearly missed the presentation by Mark Lynas (check his blog) which preceded it. I'm not suggesting that Lynas is omnipotent either, but his central tenet, that the more the temperature rises, the greate the danger to all of us, is, at least, common sense.

    I am not sure about the other misdemeanours - I assume this is a political point - but if you are saying that AGW helps divert public attention away from more pressing or more relevant real world problems, of course you have a point. but there are now a substantial number of scientist, politicians and others who will stand up and argue that, in the face of what we may have to face from AGW, this should be the most pressing issue of our time. I suppose this depends rather on how convinced we are of the problem, though, so it is a bit of a circular argument. This one might have to go on hold for a while (in our discussion).

    I agree with you, telling other people to mend their ways, telling us to buy 'better' cars and taxing us (again and again) for consuming, is almost certainly avoiding the main issue. Energy generation is the source of most of the CO2 output in the world. Making the end-user pay for the sins of the producer makes no sense, unless it is to price most of us out of our current lifestyles. But this is an argument about policy, not about AGW.

    There is no question that we are seeing a lot of regional climate changes. Some of these changes are probably connected to regional mechanisms which are separate to GW. Sometimes, there is a desire to attribute changes to GW when they, perhaps, shouldn't be. The main response to this idea is; the current generation of global climate models can replicate past and recent changes by varying the values of the forcings acting on different regions, but only when they incorporate the CO2 forcing. Without adding CO2-induced warming, they do not replicate the patterns. The models may be, somehow, 'wrong'; alternatively, there must be connection between the two phenomena, of CO" forcing and regional changes.

    I have several papers I can post on whether these changes will result in more extremes of weather; this is one of the most researched topics of the past few years. Finally, of course an understanding of the past helps us to understand the present and consider the possibilities for the future, but, the last 12,000 years aside, the level of understanding of what has happened to our climate in the last 500 years is probably now very good. Again, there are plenty of sources of information on this.

    That's enough for now. Please comment. :)P

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    Posted
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
  • Location: Evesham, Worcs, Albion
    I thought you couldn't afford the train fare? So I offered to pay. But now "it's not practical" i.e. you don't want to watch it. At least be honest!

    Okay, I just don't want to see it.

    I haven't been to the cinema since Aliens (the 2nd film) and am not about to change that now. Especially since I like to have a drink and a smoke whilst watching TV :angry:

    Doesn't matter though, as I said, I doubt there is anything in it I don't already know and I'm sure I know a lot more that isn't in it.

    I do think the time for sitting on the fence is over. We have to act - all of us - or we're in real trouble. Well we already are.

    I think the time to act may have passed. There will be slow changes but probably too little too late. Better hope the predictions are wrong or that mankind does what it does best: adapts.

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    Posted
  • Location: Thame, Oxfordshire
  • Location: Thame, Oxfordshire
    Okay, I just don't want to see it.

    I haven't been to the cinema since Aliens (the 2nd film) and am not about to change that now. Especially since I like to have a drink and a smoke whilst watching TV :angry:

    Doesn't matter though, as I said, I doubt there is anything in it I don't already know and I'm sure I know a lot more that isn't in it.

    I think the time to act may have passed. There will be slow changes but probably too little too late. Better hope the predictions are wrong or that mankind does what it does best: adapts.

    Don't worry , the Gleissberg minimum will see us right :angry:

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    Posted
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    I think the time to act may have passed. There will be slow changes but probably too little too late. Better hope the predictions are wrong or that mankind does what it does best: adapts.

    Well, dreadful though it is another part of me thinks we're over-populated and a mass human cull is due. It's the planet's way of restoring the balance. But I don't really want to go there ...

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    Posted
  • Location: Rochester, Kent
  • Location: Rochester, Kent
    Well, dreadful though it is another part of me thinks we're over-populated and a mass human cull is due. It's the planet's way of restoring the balance. But I don't really want to go there ...
    Why do you say we're overpopulated? Do you think there is not enough space on the Earth to house 6 billion people?
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