Author Topic: The Official Climate Change Thread  (Read 17510 times)

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Offline Stadler

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #420 on: January 23, 2017, 08:34:15 AM »
'Clean coal' is like saying 'slightly pregnant.'

Obama's two DOE heads:  Nobel prize winning physicist, and a nuclear physicist.

DT's:  Rick, uh, gee this is more difficult than I thought, Perry

(btw, the page on LGBT rights disappeared today as well.)

Be fair, please, and do your homework.  As I understand it, the "removal" was not by Trump (or his administration) and was not in any way "policy related", but was a part of a pre-planned migration of ALL content from under the Obama Administration to a separate website.  This is part of the normal transition process.

http://www.snopes.com/white-house-web-site-trump-changes/

Online Chino

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #421 on: January 23, 2017, 08:39:59 AM »
'Clean coal' is like saying 'slightly pregnant.'

Obama's two DOE heads:  Nobel prize winning physicist, and a nuclear physicist.

DT's:  Rick, uh, gee this is more difficult than I thought, Perry

(btw, the page on LGBT rights disappeared today as well.)

Be fair, please, and do your homework.  As I understand it, the "removal" was not by Trump (or his administration) and was not in any way "policy related", but was a part of a pre-planned migration of ALL content from under the Obama Administration to a separate website.  This is part of the normal transition process.

http://www.snopes.com/white-house-web-site-trump-changes/

I understand the whole transition between administrations thing, but historical global temperatures and climate data are the same today as they were two weeks ago. Why isn't climate change included on the new site for Trump?

Offline Stadler

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #422 on: January 23, 2017, 08:49:16 AM »
By far my biggest concern about Trump's presidency is the environment and climate change. I think he's going to be a disaster in these areas. I can live with most of the rest of his policies, though I don't agree with most, but this is the one area he has the ability to make permanent impact on our country and planet.

It's not only the environmental impact that concerns me too. Economically if Trump's administration doesn't put money into R&D on renewable energy, we're going to end up behind the rest of the world and that will hurt our economy. Fossil fuels are the past, not the future. Everyone with half a brain understands this. Fossils fuels have a place in our society now as we're slowly making the transition to renewal energy, but to go all-in on fossil fuels is a very short sighted stance to take.

That statement also means they'll even go through Sacred Tribal lands to get it. Which is what we are trying to stop still.

That's one of the things that I despise Trump for, but I won't give up and cry about it like a lot of people are doing ("Noooooooooo!")

Let's be concerned, but let's not panic.   If the movement away from fossil fuels is the right move (and I feel it is) then industry will get behind it in one form or another.    This myth that the only way this can happen is by an activist President is crap.  The most stringent emissions regulations ever promulgated - and promulgated without the technology even EXISTING - was implemented by GEORGE BUSH.   And rather than artificially force people to revamp everything immediately, at supreme cost and tremendous disadvantage to American business, it was a phased approach, and - not surprisingly - about a year or so before the deadline, an AMERICAN company unveiled brand spanking new technology - in the form of the most emissions-efficient engine ever produced for mass production - that met the requirements.   

And there's nothing in that statement that either a) says that they will "even go through tribal lands" or that any of the protections currently in place - including our court systems - will be miraculously abolished.   

There are an infinite number of places where the technology we need to be fossil fuel free can be used, and companies that want to stay cutting edge and stay profitable (like, for example, GE and BMW) will create the new technology, and when it becomes cheaper to use those technologies they WILL be implemented, and no one or even five or ten companies can stand in the way.  In fact, I have no doubt that once these technologies become viable, companies like Exxon Mobil will sprain their ankles hopping on the band wagon.

Nuclear is in this boat; they have smaller, cleaner, SAFER "skid mounted" (it's called "packaged nuclear") technologies that don't require the level of investment that everyone thinks about when they think "Three Mile Island"-type installations.   There was a push a couple years ago to put "packaged nuclear" at each of our military installations, and it was shot down (inexplicably, I might add) though some of that was a reaction to the already-treacherous going facing by the various military installations around the country and things like "BRAC" (the mechanism for closing down underutilized military facilities; if your base is facing closure, putting a nuclear plant on it isn't really a recipe for creating neighborhood support.   

Offline Stadler

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #423 on: January 23, 2017, 08:52:44 AM »
'Clean coal' is like saying 'slightly pregnant.'

Obama's two DOE heads:  Nobel prize winning physicist, and a nuclear physicist.

DT's:  Rick, uh, gee this is more difficult than I thought, Perry

(btw, the page on LGBT rights disappeared today as well.)

Be fair, please, and do your homework.  As I understand it, the "removal" was not by Trump (or his administration) and was not in any way "policy related", but was a part of a pre-planned migration of ALL content from under the Obama Administration to a separate website.  This is part of the normal transition process.

http://www.snopes.com/white-house-web-site-trump-changes/

I understand the whole transition between administrations thing, but historical global temperatures and climate data are the same today as they were two weeks ago. Why isn't climate change included on the new site for Trump?

It may well be and it might not.    When the complete Trump platform is up, we'll see, and we can comment on that.  That's not what was said above.  There was the implication that on "DAY ONE" Trump "removed references to climate change and LGBT" from the White House website, and that is a patent lie.  It's not accurate.   

Offline CableX

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #424 on: January 26, 2017, 10:18:40 PM »
By far my biggest concern about Trump's presidency is the environment and climate change. I think he's going to be a disaster in these areas. I can live with most of the rest of his policies, though I don't agree with most, but this is the one area he has the ability to make permanent impact on our country and planet.

It's not only the environmental impact that concerns me too. Economically if Trump's administration doesn't put money into R&D on renewable energy, we're going to end up behind the rest of the world and that will hurt our economy. Fossil fuels are the past, not the future. Everyone with half a brain understands this. Fossils fuels have a place in our society now as we're slowly making the transition to renewal energy, but to go all-in on fossil fuels is a very short sighted stance to take.


Me too. Probably one of my biggest concerns at this point, if not the largest.  Yet I feel like wheels are being spun, going no where fast which is what is needed.
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Online Podaar

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #425 on: March 04, 2017, 06:50:07 AM »
A buddy of mine is an atmospheric scientist and astrobiologist. Not only has he worked for years on climate science for Earth, he is an expert on the climate and atmospheric phenomenon on Mars and other planets in our solar system. Over the years he's been pretty patient with lay people, who for whatever reason, have strong opinions about climate change. Apparently, no more.

Perusing Facebook this morning, I ran into this post and thought y'all might enjoy it.

Quote
Is Science Communication Always a Good Thing?

tl;dr. No, it isn't. It can be catastrophically damaging.

The full length version:
As scientists, we are constantly encouraged, persuaded, and sometimes coerced into distilling complex results into a format that can be digested by the general public. We are told, and most if not all scientists I talk to, believe this form of public science communication is a good thing. Rather than accepting this dogmatic proposition, a critical look at important and recent scientific concepts, notably global warming/climate change, strongly suggest that the universally accepted belief (and Iíll call it belief, because as far as I can tell, there is little data to support the idea) that communicating simplified science to the public is a good thing can actually be catastrophically wrong.

Iíve given a lot of thought as to why some scientific topics attract strong opinions by those who are least prepared, educated or skilled to exercise any personal judgement whatsoever. Why is it that the topic of global warming has legions of adamant arm chair supporters and deniers who have no training in climate or atmospheric science, while other scientific topics receive little or no attention from the same legions of the uneducated? For example, most people would find it rather odd and even inappropriate to argue about the details of neuroscience, string theory, or black hole physics. Yet, armed with exactly the same level of ignorance, these same people hold strong and almost immovable beliefs about Global Warming.

It must be something about the topic. My original explanatory hypothesis was that Global Warming elicits strong opinions, because everyone is familiar with weather and climate. We are surrounded by the atmosphereówithout it we would die. Our experience is shaped by the weather and seasons from the moment we become aware of our surroundings. We become especially familiar with the weather and climate where we spend most of our life. We start to recognize patterns, and in that sense, we feel as we have not just familiarity but some level of knowledge about the atmosphere. This, I hypothesized, is the secret ingredient: Familiarity, experience and the false sense of knowledge those two things impart. We have zero personal experience about strings (if they exist) or black holes or neuroscience. Those topics are left to the experts. But when you feel like you have familiarity with a process operating in the world, that can be mistaken for expertise and knowledge of how that process works, and this in turn provides an unjustified confidence in personal knowledge about the actual process.

Lately, Iíve come to accept that my original hypothesis may not be complete. It does a reasonable job at explaining which topics end up in the realm of non-expert opinionators, and false knowledge via familiarity may be a necessary condition. But it may not be sufficient. An additional element may be needed to trigger the realization of latent hubris.

A major trigger that releases the beast of uninformed opinion against the necessary backdrop of familiarity may very well be the sacred but dogmatic cow of public science communication. The very thing it is held to be universally beneficial and important may actually be not only unhelpful but fiercely malevolent. That communication may be harmful is partly predicated on the idea that ďa little knowledge can be dangerousĒ. The more important element is that when scientists engage with non-experts in a discussion about complex scientific topics using watered-down and sterilized concepts, they validate the non-expert's unfounded belief in expertise and further inflate the bubble of hubris. Furthermore, the discussion can magnify the belief that strong, resolute opinions may be generated without having to invest the time that dedicated experts have. Stated differently, the conversation fuels the notion that not only is intellectual laziness acceptable, it is on par with intellectual diligence.

When Iíve engaged with arm chair climate change deniers, I have in the past done so at their level. I donít speak with them as I would with colleagues, because they donít possess the knowledge or expertise to communicate at the level of an expert. I spend what seems like eternity trying to explain complex concepts using simplified explanations in an attempt to get them to understand why their position is incorrect. And, youíre never going to win, because the lack knowledge base of the general denier will never be sufficient for them to understand why they are wrong. Iíve now come to understand that arguing with simplified science is, in many cases, precisely the wrong approach, because it gives the false impression that they have something meaningful and useful to contribute to the discussion. They donít. All this time Iíve been validating their false sense of expertise. And hereís the bigger problem, this doesnít happen on just an individual basis, it occurs en masse when scientists try to simply their science on blogs, or in popular science articles, or in other mass media like popular science television features. This is all thatís needed to trigger that latent hubris among the primed and predisposed public.

In the future, I will likely no longer engage people that have gone down the Dunning-Kruger path of false expertise. Instead, when I hear someone say something like, ďit makes no sense that a change in a trace gas like CO2 can have such a noticeable effect. I donít buy it.Ē, Iíll respond with something like,
"The roto-vibrational absorption lines determined as the eigenvalues of the quantum oscillator model of atmospheric molecules like CO2 interact with specific wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation emitted from the surface and isotropically from the atmosphere. The envelope of actual emission follows the black body planck function, but with spectral features corresponding to the lines of the emitting gas and surface, collisionally broadened. For radiation emitted from the surface, Wienís displacement law dictates that the bulk of the emitted energy falls within a few micrometers on either side of about 10 microns. CO2 absorbs in this wavelength and following from Kirchoffís law also reemits at that same wavelength, resulting in an increase of downward infrared flux convergence. The resultant radiative heating is a function of the local atmospheric density and volumetric heat capacity at constant pressure, assuming a collisionally-equilibrium gas with a Maxwellian velocity distribution, and this energy is radiated isotropically, including the the 2π steradian solid angle towards the ground. Some of that radiation often makes it to the surface, where it may be absorbed, but the precise value of heating, must be determined by solving the Schwarzchild equation of radiative transfer given known spectral properties of all gases and taking into account Doppler broadening of the quantum emission line. Which part of this do you disagree with?"

The above should do a few things. First, it should make them immediately aware that they are out of their element. Secondly, it should chip away at the notion that have the knowledge and expertise to discuss the problem at any sort of technical level. Third, it will convey that lazy intellectualism isnít going to cut it. If you want to have a discussion, youíre going to have to crack the books and actually invest the time to truly understand the problem and the underlying physics. Iím not going to argue a complex problem with you at the level of a 3rd grader.

I am not advocating for a discontinuation of public science discourse, but I am advocating for a recognition that communicating simplified science can be devastatingly counterproductive. Itís important to recognize when that might be. If you are an expert encountering an arm chair expert, rather than validating their inflated sense of expertise, you may be better served by just shutting them down by un-distilling, un-simplifying, and un-watering down your conversation. Speak as you would to your colleagues or as you would argue in a peer reviewed journal submission.

(C) Scot Rafkin

Offline lonestar

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #426 on: March 04, 2017, 08:58:10 AM »
Love it. :clap:
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So should lonestar and I have babies or something now, is that how this works?
Dang, you're easily the coolest fogey I know of

Offline CableX

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #427 on: March 04, 2017, 10:55:10 AM »
^ I'm really mixed on this. I get part of his intent, in that using more common terms can harm complex things. His third paragraph exactly states however why lay people become involved. Further, climate science is much more impactful to everyone as he states than neuroscience, and certainly more than string theory and black hole physics. Therefore, many more will be interested. My education has nothing to do with atmosphere science, but that doesn't mean I cannot weigh climate change as my most important interest outside of my professional field.

I also think he is running up against just uneducated people. Don't take this too far; I mean that regarding the scientific method that is learned at higher levels of high school (primary school overseas?). More so at the university level, as it is practiced. If I got anything out of undergraduate studies, it was how to look at research in my field, how to create it at a basic level as an undergrad, and how to be critical of it. As a result of this, it made me value *anything* that is created at this same level of rigor. So no, I cannot read a research article on quantum physics and know basically anything that is stated. However, that is what the abstracts are kind of for. I can sure as heck see the structure, know what went into it, and therefore hold it up as an attempt at scientific truth.

However, part of being a teacher is being able to explain in more common terms complex topics. By citing DunningĖKruger, and stating that conversations with lay people will contain nearly all field jargon, he is failing at this. Further, a lot of this sounds condescending.

This all being said, I'm sure he is beyond frustrated. And encounters with deniers, who often may ignorantly pass off science would probably not yield any beneficial conversations anyway.  :biggrin: I know I get frustrated with co-workers who couldn't navigate a research article, let alone have a meaningful conversation on the science behind my profession. And one's who mail in continuing education.  :facepalm:
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Offline Stadler

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #428 on: March 04, 2017, 02:47:52 PM »
^ I'm really mixed on this. I get part of his intent, in that using more common terms can harm complex things. His third paragraph exactly states however why lay people become involved. Further, climate science is much more impactful to everyone as he states than neuroscience, and certainly more than string theory and black hole physics. Therefore, many more will be interested. My education has nothing to do with atmosphere science, but that doesn't mean I cannot weigh climate change as my most important interest outside of my professional field.

I also think he is running up against just uneducated people. Don't take this too far; I mean that regarding the scientific method that is learned at higher levels of high school (primary school overseas?). More so at the university level, as it is practiced. If I got anything out of undergraduate studies, it was how to look at research in my field, how to create it at a basic level as an undergrad, and how to be critical of it. As a result of this, it made me value *anything* that is created at this same level of rigor. So no, I cannot read a research article on quantum physics and know basically anything that is stated. However, that is what the abstracts are kind of for. I can sure as heck see the structure, know what went into it, and therefore hold it up as an attempt at scientific truth.

However, part of being a teacher is being able to explain in more common terms complex topics. By citing DunningĖKruger, and stating that conversations with lay people will contain nearly all field jargon, he is failing at this. Further, a lot of this sounds condescending.

This all being said, I'm sure he is beyond frustrated. And encounters with deniers, who often may ignorantly pass off science would probably not yield any beneficial conversations anyway.  :biggrin: I know I get frustrated with co-workers who couldn't navigate a research article, let alone have a meaningful conversation on the science behind my profession. And one's who mail in continuing education.  :facepalm:

I'm with CableX, if not a little more towards the negative side.  As a lawyer, an engineer (licensed civil engineer) and someone with an MBA, I'm more than used to dealing with people who don't have the vocabulary I do.  Note how I said that:  DON'T HAVE THE VOCABULARY.  Doesn't mean they're "dumb", or "ignorant" or "less smart" than I am.   They just don't have the vocabulary.   It's my job, if I want to communicate with them, to put my thoughts and ideas in a context they can understand.   

I find Scot - with one t (that strikes me as somewhat pretentious) - to be rather arrogant and condescending.   It's not their failure that his point is not getting across, it's his.   

Offline XJDenton

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #429 on: March 05, 2017, 06:41:04 AM »
Sometimes there isn't a simple explanation, or at least one that still encompasses the truth of the matter. At that point, simplifying just becomes telling lies people understand.

Online Podaar

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #430 on: March 05, 2017, 07:17:07 AM »
^ I'm really mixed on this. I get part of his intent, in that using more common terms can harm complex things. His third paragraph exactly states however why lay people become involved. Further, climate science is much more impactful to everyone as he states than neuroscience, and certainly more than string theory and black hole physics. Therefore, many more will be interested. My education has nothing to do with atmosphere science, but that doesn't mean I cannot weigh climate change as my most important interest outside of my professional field.

I also think he is running up against just uneducated people. Don't take this too far; I mean that regarding the scientific method that is learned at higher levels of high school (primary school overseas?). More so at the university level, as it is practiced. If I got anything out of undergraduate studies, it was how to look at research in my field, how to create it at a basic level as an undergrad, and how to be critical of it. As a result of this, it made me value *anything* that is created at this same level of rigor. So no, I cannot read a research article on quantum physics and know basically anything that is stated. However, that is what the abstracts are kind of for. I can sure as heck see the structure, know what went into it, and therefore hold it up as an attempt at scientific truth.

However, part of being a teacher is being able to explain in more common terms complex topics. By citing DunningĖKruger, and stating that conversations with lay people will contain nearly all field jargon, he is failing at this. Further, a lot of this sounds condescending.

This all being said, I'm sure he is beyond frustrated. And encounters with deniers, who often may ignorantly pass off science would probably not yield any beneficial conversations anyway.  :biggrin: I know I get frustrated with co-workers who couldn't navigate a research article, let alone have a meaningful conversation on the science behind my profession. And one's who mail in continuing education.  :facepalm:

I'm with CableX, if not a little more towards the negative side.  As a lawyer, an engineer (licensed civil engineer) and someone with an MBA, I'm more than used to dealing with people who don't have the vocabulary I do.  Note how I said that:  DON'T HAVE THE VOCABULARY.  Doesn't mean they're "dumb", or "ignorant" or "less smart" than I am.   They just don't have the vocabulary.   It's my job, if I want to communicate with them, to put my thoughts and ideas in a context they can understand.   

I find Scot - with one t (that strikes me as somewhat pretentious) - to be rather arrogant and condescending.   It's not their failure that his point is not getting across, it's his.

I think you would both benefit from re-reading Scot's post. The subject is the failure of current methods of 'science communication' and how they may be increasing the number of arm chair experts by presenting a false narrative that climate science is easily understood. He's not commiserating on the state of lay people but on the dumbing down of the issues.

I have to say, Stadler, that your last paragraph is so unlike you that I'm half convinced someone hacked your account or you were perhaps over indulging in Monoplowa.  :lol   The first sentence is a perfect, textbook ad hominem! By the logic of the second sentence it is completely your fault that everyone on this forum isn't a Trump supporter.

Offline XJDenton

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #431 on: March 05, 2017, 08:38:48 AM »
I find Scot - with one t (that strikes me as somewhat pretentious)

Scot is a given name, Scott is a surname.

Offline CableX

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #432 on: March 05, 2017, 09:33:53 PM »


I think you would both benefit from re-reading Scot's post. The subject is the failure of current methods of 'science communication' and how they may be increasing the number of arm chair experts by presenting a false narrative that climate science is easily understood. He's not commiserating on the state of lay people but on the dumbing down of the issues.



I get that, and agree with that. It's just the way it was presented was arrogant.

And believe me, I have no comfort debating climate science because I know virtually nothing. And this is due to being a lay person. Therefore why it has become political makes it even worse. But arm-chair science seems to be a common thing. Even my field, which seems easy gets destroyed by people trivializing serious disorders via saying "I'm OCD with ____, I'm bipolar today. Don't go schizo" and so on, which also makes that worse.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: The Official Climate Change Thread
« Reply #433 on: March 13, 2017, 09:22:01 AM »

I have to say, Stadler, that your last paragraph is so unlike you that I'm half convinced someone hacked your account or you were perhaps over indulging in Monoplowa.  :lol   The first sentence is a perfect, textbook ad hominem! By the logic of the second sentence it is completely your fault that everyone on this forum isn't a Trump supporter.

You know, fair point.   I meant it with better intentions - I have a problem with the notion that "if you were just smart enough, you'd get my point" - and took a shot I shouldn't have taken.   The whole post struck me as arrogant and that was my - admittedly poor - way of commenting on that.  I shouldn't have said that.