During the meanwhile ...
BLT on homemade bread & aoli washed down with homebrewed IPA for Supper.
Get back to me when you have facts, not speculation.
An international group of climate scientists warns that a "tipping point" in the earth's life-support systems may be rapidly approaching, and that should we step over that as-yet-undetermined threshold, it may be too late to reverse course. "The science tells us that we are heading toward major changes in the biosphere," UC …
BLT on homemade bread & aoli washed down with homebrewed IPA for Supper.
Get back to me when you have facts, not speculation.
...but not the dessert.
I take it you didn't bother to actually read the Nature article, which is pretty heavy on the facts, and pretty light on speculation.
For God's sakes, man, while there are plenty of perfectly valid controversies surrounding anthropogenic global warming, *none* of them are scientific: they all have to do with what political, societal, and ideological/religious responses are most appropriate in the face of human-caused climate change. Science does a pretty good job of telling us *what* is happening (and what is likely to happen if we do nothing), but certainly isn't the whole authority on *what* we should do about it.
Nah, you wake me up when you can be arsed to listen to anything which doesn't chime with your pre-fixed point of view.
The point of the article is: "We need to go get the facts".
Hence the use of the pejorative "Deniers". Is it helpful, in an article calling for facts, to do that?
A little less hot air and a little more respect on both sides would improve the debate and the science.
>Hence the use of the pejorative "Deniers".
The article was at least acknowledging their viewpoint, and even gave a brief rationalisation of what might have informed it (i.e a suspicion that climate change researches are driven by grants or 'Green' ideologies). Though the author could have used the term 'Sceptic', that would suggest that they would be cautiously accepting of the thesis given evidence, and so couldn't be applied to views such as Jake's.
But I do agree with you, respect for both sides is what is needed.
This: "if fertility rates remain at the rate they were at from 2005 to 2010, population projections for 2100 top off at a staggering 27 billion" is not only speculation but fairly thinly-disguised scaremongering wrapped around a huge hypothetical. Fertility rates are dropping all throughout the world, the best UN projections are for 9 billion global pop around 2050 and an eventual stabilisation around 12 billion. Sure, that's still a huge amount of people to feed, a lot of resources being used etc etc, but still less than half of the population that's being used a s a baseline here.
Did *you* read the paper. It's whole point was that not enough it known. Go read David Deutch's Beginning of Infinity and get back to me. The earth and it's climate is a chaotic system and, like all chaotic systems, cannot be predicted. Your assertion that "Science does a pretty good job of telling us *what* is happening" does not lead to it being able to make valid forecasts therefore has nothing except speculation about "*what* we should do about it".
"Get back to me when you have facts, not speculation."
AKA: Lalalala I'm not listening!
That's a daft approach. I hope that you don't work in DR, or similar. Your mindset seems to be that as long as there is only POSSIBLY a planet-wide disaster that will totally butt-fuck the entire human race looming, we do nothing.
If you are driving too fast in the rain towards a brick wall and you MIGHT hit the brick wall, do you wait until you know for sure one way or another prior to taking avoidance action?
I completely agree with you, we don't *know* what will happen, but we can come up with hypotheses on what *might* happen. Of all the ones I've seen, "nothing" is the most optimistic and "global warming/destruction of a large part of the ecosystem" is the most pessimistic.
I completely agree that the agenda (any of them) has been stolen by the political, economic, and "green" lobbies in order to further their goal, but that doesn't disprove the science (but obviously should cast doubt over some of the findings).
Whatever the "truth" is, I can understand no argument against doing more research (hopefully unbiased) and suggesting ways to reduce our impact on our environment - we rely on the whole ecosystem and we are clearly "straining" (possibly a poor word choice) it in a way it probably has never been before.
We live in a fine balance between ice age and global warming, either of which will have a devastating effect on our species. And we're definitely not in control of what happens in a geological time-scale sense, but maybe we have some ability to control it in the short term?
Of course, in the Beginning of Infinity David Deutsch also wrote that we _shall_ need to do something about it because of the underlying greenhouse effect. He also dismisses the approach of deciding what to do based on economic analysis, since that just trades science for "prophecy".
It felt like he was repeating himself a lot, but it was worth reading and the Sustainability chapter shifted my thinking a bit.
So we are going to use questionable science and even more questionable assumptions based on historical data (not taking into account advances in several fields) to make some over-blown predictions that we are not calling predictions so that nobody calls us on our load of crap. Sounds about right.
Don't need to when one of the key driving factors is listed in this article and is demonstrably false. If you didn't spot it, you're either not smart enough to engage or already have your mind cast in re-enforced concrete against facts.
No the point of the article was to spread FUD and gin up research grants. It's obvious from one of their known false assumptions. Particularly galling since elsewhere in the article they use the means by which we know that assumption is false to gin up more fear.
Dammit! You let the cat out of the bag. It's more fun to toy with their alleged scientific reasoning when they can't find the big hole with the flashing neon lights saying "Here the hole! Here's the hole!"
...it would behoove you to make sure you're actually about to hit a brick wall first, before you take the risk of swerving blindly into another lane that might contain anything from a blue-haired granny in a Mini to an articulated truck with a driver tweaked to the nipples on meth. After all, it's rainy out and you're driving too fast. How can you be sure of what you're seeing up ahead?
(Or: it's possible that having too many humans will result in Malthusian catastrophe, so, to ensure we don't overrun the planet's carrying capacity, we will establish death camps and institute a program of daily mass executions. It'd be nice, just every once in a while, if you lot would consider the potential consequences of your plans for a shiny new future -- but, contra your endlessly self-serving propaganda, there's precious little evidence on offer that any of you have that kind of foresight.)
Then you are a moron. Try this on for size:
You have $1 million available to invest. You have the following choices to spend it on:
1) El Run Hibbard Climatology FUD that claims we'll destroy the human race in 100 years for $250,000
2) El Run Hibbard Killer space asteroids from Mars FUD that will destroy the planet in 100 years for $250,000.
3) El Run Ponzi's Solar research that will generate affordable electricity FUD for $250,000
4) El Run Sagan's Mars astronaut scheme for $250,000 dollars
5) El Run Gadzooks commercial orbital station scheme for $250,000
6) Las Betty Cumin breast cancer cure research for $250,000
7) El Heffner's little blue pill replacement research for $250,000
8) Juan Quixhoatie's new improved plan for Middle East peace for $250,00
9) Mr. Freeze's cold fusion research for $250,000
10) Bonn Hovie's Aids research that will cure the beastie for $250,000
11) Improved medical care for British citizens for $1,000,000
12) Total email spam elimination for $500,000
13) An actual workable replacement for AV software for $500,000
14) Finally deliver the Year of the Linux Desktop for $1,000,000
What do you fund? Yeah, that's right you never have enough money to fund everybody's fantasy, so when it is public money being spent you damn well better make sure there is a real, near-term payoff for it. Personally I'd fund 2, 5, and 13 but YMMV.
Nice strawman argument, but why swerve when you can just slow the car down and turn on your headlights?
And population control doesn't require death camps, just education. I doubt it'll happen in my lifetime (at least, not a world scale), but that doesn't mean it isn't a good idea in principle.
Ad hominems aside, let's assume that the paper discussed in the article is correct and we're decades away from an irreversible climate problem, which we were unaware of because you spent half your research budget on AV software: how long do you get to enjoy editing your anti-asteroid footage before you run out of food?
In case my stance wasn't clear: I'm pro-understanding what we as a species are doing to our planet and how it will affect us in the future (and if we can do something to improve our time here).
If the option was to spend the money terraforming Mars or building a space ark, I'd be all for it: eggs and baskets, etc. But we only have one planet and one ecosystem.
12) Total email spam elimination for $500,000
13) An actual workable replacement for AV software for $500,000
Sorry, but if you're going to put forth hypotheticals, you could at least make them somewhat plausible.....
"The article was at least acknowledging their viewpoint,"
Er, no it wasn't. I've never met anyone who denies that the climate changes. I was learning about that in the 1970s, during geography lessons.
The term "Climate Change Deniers" means I have no useful label for myself. I'm quite happy to believe that climate change exists. What I disagree with is the whole politicisation of the science of anthropogenic climate change. There are facts buried deep inside a thick, dark layer of bullshit.
On both sides.
However, the article reported on by Rik Myslewski's piece proposes solutions that—contrary to Rik's assertion—are EXACTLY what I thought. Specifically:
* reducing world population,
* reducing per-capita resource use,
* reducing the role of fossil fuels,
* improving energy efficiency,
* increasing the efficiency of food production and distribution,
I've copied that first item in bold for a good reason: there are undeniably too many humans on this planet. That is the source of all our major problems. Cut back the population and the other items on that list will happen automatically: fewer humans = lower resource use, less use of fossil fuels and less energy used overall. Job done.
But humans are selfish, religions are dogmatic, and many adults want their own families, so that's a very, very difficult problem to solve. Much easier to just pretend to "solve" it.
My preference is to focus on space exploration before the shit hits the fan—assuming it actually does so; the jury's still out on exactly how and when it'll happen, let alone what fresh forms of hell it'll come in—and get seriously into colonisation. We used to be very good at that, and at least we'd have some insurance.
Bollocks to CO2 emissions and all that ignorant rot: it's just a kludge. A political bit of sticky tape and string wrapped around the "too hard" problem of telling our fellow members of this Homo Sapiens clan to fuck less.
Come back to me when you have a "scientific consensus" that actually agrees with the above, because anything else, barring massively disruptive new discoveries in science and technology, is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
Hence the use of the pejorative "Deniers".
I'm not sure I'd call it pejorative so much as convenient. Seriously, what else are you going to call them? People who disagree about climate change? Those who believe climate change is natural or not occuring at all? Can you imagine how ponderous it would be to use something like that everywhere that we see 'deniers'? The term 'climate deniers' neatly bundles up these ideologies without the need to define who they are every single time they're mentioned, just as 'Greens' does for the other side of the debate.
Did you raise the pig on crops you had grown yourself, make your own flour from your own crops and grow all the bits that make the IPA? If you did I hope you didn't use anything but compost you had made yourself on the soil? If not then you have used some of the vastly inefficient system of getting energy into humans that is our current farming system.
"We live in a fine balance between ice age and global warming, either of which will have a devastating effect on our species. And we're definitely not in control of what happens in a geological time-scale sense, but maybe we have some ability to control it in the short term?"
Agreed. I like the idea of looking for ways to control it in the short term. Maybe it's time for the engineers of Earth to get the creative mental juices flowing about possible technological solutions to the potential problems. Maybe we can "have our cake and eat it, too" so to speak.
Before we can get the necessary conversations going to start this process on a global scale, we must build upon a foundation of respect for one another (as was previously suggested). This begins with understanding:
- The scientists are correct that we will hit an environmental tipping point at some time in the future (whether man-made, completely natural, or a bit of both) and the human species probably will be greatly impacted by it.
- On the other hand, the "skeptic" / "denier" (or whatever you want to label them) crowd has a good point that the solutions proposed thus far appear untenable and could very well cause more death, destruction, and general human misery than the environmental catastrophes they are intended to avert.
- The vast majority of both sides are honestly concerned and truly want what's best for themselves and for humanity in general.
- There are evil elements on both sides who are interested only in advancing an agenda that benefits themselves or something they care about at the expense of all others.
At the heart of this discussion will two essentially conflicting viewpoints: The anthropocentric philosophy and the Gaia philosophy. The anthropocentric philosophy holds that the advancement of humanity is the highest goal. To this philosophy all other things, including nature, are only important in so far as they help support and advance humanity. The Gaia philosophy holds that nature is the highest goal, and to most adherents it has a "holy" status that is defiled by human contact (hence the phrase "unspoiled nature"). To this philosophy humanity is only important in so far as it helps to support and protect nature.
Really? The fact that CO2 emissions are "worse than we thought" and yet HadCrut temps show no statistically significant warming for the past decade is not scientific? The fact that global temps are running at or below the lower ensemble model confidence limit predictions is not science? Just where do you get your science? Ocean acidification? Seriously?! You do understand that many of the coral species around today evolved when atmospheric CO2 levels were 10 times their present value, don't you?
We have absolutely have to get away from this Garden of Eden/Mother Gaia/Panglossian nonsense that the Earth's climate of the 1700's was perfect and the best of all possible climates. Ice ages kill. Cold kills. We're a long way from thermageddon.
Well, don't stop there; tell us what "facts" would be relevant to the existence of tipping points in the global warming process? Other than "oops, we should have done something earlier, we're screwed now". which of course will be denied by all the usual suspects even after the fact, but I won't prejudge you on that.
what part of "not screwing with the climate randomly as a byproduct of the need to oxidize as much fossil fuel as possible as quickly as possible" reminds you of "swerving into another lane"?
> I take it you didn't bother to actually read the Nature article, which is pretty heavy on the facts, and pretty light on speculation.
I take it YOU did not read the paper, which is really heavy on (admitted) speculation and states that the available facts are pretty light. Which is a good summary of the whole field, socio-political and industrial agendas notwithstanding.
"The fact that CO2 emissions are "worse than we thought" and yet HadCrut temps show no statistically significant warming for the past decade is not scientific?"
HadCRUT also showed no statistically significant warming from 1977-1987 and no statistically significant warming from 1987-1997. But it still warmed. If you just focus on a short period why do you expect to see statistically significant warming?
"Seriously?! You do understand that many of the coral species around today evolved when atmospheric CO2 levels were 10 times their present value, don't you?"
I don't think you are correct. Species that far back were probably different than ones around now. Also ocean acidification isn't just about corals.
"We have absolutely have to get away from this Garden of Eden/Mother Gaia/Panglossian nonsense that the Earth's climate of the 1700's was perfect and the best of all possible climates."
That isn't the issue. The issue is change itself - changing conditions quickly is historically proven to result in extinction events. It doesn't matter where we start or where we end just so long as the difference is large enough and fast enough.
"Seriously, what else are you going to call them? People who disagree about climate change? Those who believe climate change is natural or not occuring at all? Can you imagine how ponderous it would be to use something like that everywhere that we see 'deniers'?"
So you believe that using a blatantly inaccurate term to label every opposing viewpoint, despite the sheer complexity of the subject, is fine? So you won't mind if I call your side a bunch of Tree-hugging Hippy Alarmists? I mean, that's just as valid a label as yours, and no less misleading.
You've heard of abbreviations and acronyms, right? There a handy technique for applying a complex label in a quick and easily typed way. I'm an Anti Climate Alarmist. That's "ACA". How fucking hard is that to write down or type?
Stop inventing excuses. If you want to have a proper debate, it really, really helps if you stop beginning each attempt at intelligent discourse with a massively childish and utterly idiotic insult every bloody time.
"Did you raise the pig on crops you had grown yourself,"
Pigs. Plural. And yes.
"make your own flour from your own crops"
Yes, occasionally, when we're teaching kids where food comes from.
"and grow all the bits that make the IPA?"
Yes. Always. My beer is home grown. It's the only way.
"If you did I hope you didn't use anything but compost you had made yourself on the soil?"
Yes. Horseshit makes for really good compost, when you know how.
"If not then you have used some of the vastly inefficient system of getting energy into humans that is our current farming system."
You have issues. I have a self-sufficient ranch.
So you won't mind if I call your side a bunch of Tree-hugging Hippy Alarmists?
Actually I'm neutral in the debate. I, like most people, simply don't have the time -- or resources for that matter -- to weed through all the competing claims and properly research them myself in order to discover the truth. What I'm left with, as with most scientific journalism, is a dependance upon the media.
That said, a lot of the measures proposed by Greens make sense even without climate change being factored in. Fossil fuels are a finite and increasingly expensive resource, so it makes no sense to perpetuate our dependence on them. Increasing energy efficiency across the board would save us all money, not to mention that it's probably our quickest route to breaching the barrier and becoming a type 1 civilization. We can't feed the humans already on the planet, so why the heck would we not want to work towards reducing, or at least stabilizing, the population? You don't need climate change for these things to be good ideas.
Now as far as 'massively childish and utterly idiotic insults', which of us resorted to swearing at the other? I'd think it clear from my previous post that I've never run across the term 'anti-climate alarmist' before, and it does provide a good answer to the valid question I posted, so thank you for that.
I would apologize if you found my last post offensive, but frankly after taking a second look at it to make sure, I'm fairly certain that you found it offensive mostly because you chose to.
Lets find out what might make things happen,
That way if those things aren't something we like we can stop them.
"The paper reports that if fertility rates remain at the rate they were at from 2005 to 2010, population projections for 2100 top off at a staggering 27 billion."
Yeah. And if my new puppy continues to put on weight at his current rate, he will be the size of my house in five years time.
According to less panicky sources, "By 2100 there is an 80% chance that global population will number between 6.2 and 11.1 billion"; and a 95% confidence that the population will be below 13 billion.
The most likely peak population for planet Earth is around 9 billion people, sometime in the middle of this century, tailing off slowly to about eight and a half billion by 2100.
Any study that starts with such a blatant piece of inaccuracy, with no obvious motive other than to instill panic and fear, needs to be taken with a very large grain of salt. Either these guys haven't done their homework, or they are deliberately attempting to misinform their readers. Neither possibility fills me with confidence in the value of their conclusions.
I'm sure that the authors of the report don't expect the population to be 27 billion by 2100, but are rather stressing the point that our current rate of growth is unsustainable.
Though it would be nice to think that population growth will plateau for the same reasons as in some Western countries (female education, good health care) there aren't the resources for these factors to be applicable across the world. The reason why we won't come near 27 million is a lack of food, a lack of water, and no doubt some old fashioned genocide as well. Malnutrition, death, and horror.
"I'm sure that the authors of the report don't expect the population to be 27 billion by 2100, "
Then why say so?
Are you suggesting they included it just to scaremonger?
I'm sure you're right about "Malnutrition, death, and horror" in some parts of the world. That's basically the same view Thomas Mathus espoused.
I'm also sure that you're wrong about large other parts of the world. 50 years ago, you'd surely have predicted the worst for Latin America: poor, run by dictators, and overwhelmingly Catholic, a religion that opposes birth control. Since then, population growth has slowed dramatically. The best extrapolation has it reaching zero by 2050.
There's also the Chinese approach, where having more than one child was criminalized. We can never know whether the Chinese would have curbed their fertility voluntarily, given female education and access to birth control. Also we will never know whether it saved (or will save) China from population control by famine.
I tell you which stats I believe. The fact is, as unbelievable as it sounds, there are more people alive on the surface of the planet today, than people who have lived and died from the start of human history all added together. Yes that's right, uninterrupted exponential growth. We human's are simply a very successful organism and the only reason we haven't reached plague population densities as quickly as locusts do is because we are mammals and the reproduction/population growth cycle has a different order of magnitude. But our population is growing exponentially. Don't believe me, do a few simple searches to check the truth of it.
So just what mechanisms does the EU report state will bring about the radical deceleration from the currently accelerating trajectory? Really. Think about it. Population grows because people want to have sex and reproduce. It aint gonna decelerate unless there are highly intrusive factors.
So don't panic, they are probably just being professional by missing out the bit about civil war, mass starvation and genocide. No doubt it's been authored by equally sensible people in the pocket of EU bureaucracy as those who were claiming fragmentation of the Eurozone would never happen and was only a scare story produced by swivel eyed loons.
One thing screams out of this report and that it that it is mis-titled and most likely deliberately so. The big issue it covers isn't climate change, but population pressure leading to the exhaustion of the earths resources. Only saying there are too many people and the number is growing at an unsustainable rate and there's naff all we can do about it apart from buying a mountain top retreat with a large basement larder, a sniper rifle and a lifetime supply of bullets isn't a politically correct message.
Thick, eh? Well, we all do our humble best, don't we? Certainly you've got the 'humble' part down pat. Wipe the dribble off your face, tighten your helmet liner, and try again.
Yes, we will, and the answer is the cure is worse than the disease. The results of the Chinese policy are that because they want boys instead of girls for kids, they have a huge population imbalance that is growing larger. It WILL result in war somewhere. If we get lucky, it's a civil war and only kills Chinese with collateral economic affects on the rest of the world. More likely we all wind up involved in a land war in Asia. And everybody knows how that will turn out.
How can you be so sure? The traditional attitude that girl children are worth less will fade in the face of girls being highly desirable. The same technology that allows selection of a male child allows selection of a female one.
It's also possible that we'll see the evolutionary reason for male homosexuality in action. That's highly speculative, and not intended in any way as endorsing any moral viewpoint. Evolution doesn't appear to have a moral viewpoint, any more than the law of universal gravitation does.
there's still a generation of young Chinese men angry about not getting laid. Historically speaking, if you want a civil war, that's a great way to make one more likely.
And one other thought. If too many unsatisfied males causes wars, then the massive excess of females in the European population after ther carnage of WW1 should have prevented WW2.
Because the only thing that can cause a war -- not just a civil war, any war -- is having too many un-laid young men around. Do you think much, ever?
The fact is, as unbelievable as it sounds, there are more people alive on the surface of the planet today, than people who have lived and died from the start of human history all added together.
Speaking of hyperbole...
According to Wikipedia:
"As of today, [world population] is estimated to number 7.018 billion by the United States Census Bureau."
"An estimate of the total number of humans who have ever lived was prepared by Carl Haub of the nonprofit Population Reference Bureau in 1995, and was subsequently updated in 2002; the updated figure totalled approximately 106 billion."
Now these numbers are from Wikipedia, which is not a primary source, but the good thing about Wikipedia is that they provide references: you can validate the numbers at the US Census Bureau and the Population Reference Bureau. You can check their methodologies, assumptions, etc. But I'm pretty sure you won't be able to find a plausible estimate which is significantly different. So I'm pretty confident in saying that current population is only roughly 7% of the total past populations.
> Because the only thing that can cause a war -- not just a civil war, any war -- is having too many un-laid young men around.
Historically speaking, the very reason why The Mighty British Army had a very, very hard time conquering the Zulu Empire despite the fact that it was "modern" rifles against sagaies is supposed to be that young Zulu warriors were not allowed to mate until they had killed an ennemy*.
Don't underestimate the sex drive!
> Do you think much, ever?
* That, and they were fitter and accustomed to the land ("faster than horses", according to some reports).
For most of human history, world population has been flat. For those at the back who aren't paying attention, that's "flat" as in "Malthusian".
Just after the second world war, we had the green revolution which vastly increased the food supply. *So far*, the effects of this have been 3 generations of uninterrupted exponential growth. Big surprise, but no-one who has tracked world population back before, oooh, 1950 or so is expecting it to continue.
In fact, I'd recommend that anyone (who hasn't already done so) go away and find a respectable graph of world population against date for the past few thousand years and mark in the moments when food production technology (in any region of the planet) took a jump forwards. It's very instructive and slightly unnerving when you think there are people out there seriously advocating back-tracking on some of these innovations.
"Increased CO2, the paper contends, contributes to "a higher rate of global warming than occurred at the last global-scale state shift,"
Apparently, they missed the other paper that says the exact opposite.... http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/06/07/warmth_and_carbon_decoupled_miocene/
Scientology states the earth supported a 65 Billion population. A mere 27 Billion isn't so bad (unless the last 65 Billion used up all those good "supportive" resources....burn them).
And American Evangelical premillennial dispensationalists claim that the world will end and every True Christian will be raptured within the next few decades, so global warming doesn't matter. What's your point? Personally, I'd rather take a somewhat longer, scientifically-informed view.