Climate Change: We're Doomed

Alleviating worldly suffering along the way.

Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Zhen Li » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:40 pm

Where did you get the idea that AGW activists believe that we are doomed whatever we do?

According to the IPCC projections, if the world chooses to immediately start to cut emissions from fossil fuels and gradually reduce emissions by 80 percent over a roughly forty-year period from now to 2050 (which is unlikely), this would approximately put another 40 ppm of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. With an atmospheric CO2-equivalent of 420 ppm, a global warming of about 3 degrees, a trajectory which also would mean, under the IPCC model, the complete disappearance of the Arctic’s summer sea ice by between 2013 and 2030. Just to stabilize the atmospheric CO2-equivalent at the current level would require the removal of 6 billion tons of extra carbon emissions, or an immediate reduction of fossil fuels emissions by 80 percent and the reduced emissions must be held indefinitely. If the world immediately ceases its consumption of fossil fuels completely, then other human activities (such as agriculture and land development) will continue to emit about 2.5 billion tons of carbon a year. Taking into account the carbon sinks, the net effect will be to draw down the carbon in the atmosphere by about 1.5 billion tons a year, reducing the atmospheric CO2-equivalent by about 0.5 ppm a year. If the goal is to stabilize the atmospheric CO2-equivalent at 350 ppm (to prevent a long-term global warming of more than 2 degrees relative to the pre-industrial level), then the world must immediately stop the use of fossil fuels altogether and refrain from any use of fossil fuels for 60 years. Since that would require an economic collapse tomorrow, that would destroy modern agricultural practices, it would more or less mean culling the human population to less than a billion. Moreover, if that doesn't happen and we gradually wind down, the IPCC projects that summer arctic sea ice will be completely gone between 2013 to 2030, which would mean a sealevel rise of several metres. This would devastate existing trade infrastructure such that only basic, shallow-water sea travel will be possible, meaning, once again, an economic collapse that would cull most of the world's population. If the IPCC is correct, there is nothing you can do without being doomed.

I don't think that'll happen. In which case AGW activists should do something else. Otherwise, they can try to get a house at high altitude and stock up on ammo and baked beans. :guns:
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:42 pm

dharmagoat wrote:This is a serious issue and we each need to do whatever we can. Future generations will thank us.

Kim in particular is doing an extremely good job of warning of the dangers while keeping hope afloat. We need more Kims!:


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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:49 pm

Zhen Li wrote:
Where did you get the idea that AGW activists believe that we are doomed whatever we do?

According to the IPCC projections, if the world chooses to immediately start to cut emissions from fossil fuels and gradually reduce emissions by 80 percent over a roughly forty-year period from now to 2050
... meaning, once again, an economic collapse that would cull most of the world's population. If the IPCC is correct, there is nothing you can do without being doomed.

I don't think that'll happen. In which case AGW activists should do something else. Otherwise, they can try to get a house at high altitude and stock up on ammo and baked beans. :guns:

Zhen Li,
You are overstating - I nearly said "wildly exaggerating" - the IPCC's position.
Also, you have taken an all-or-nothing approach, which is wildly unrealistic.
What the IPCC - and everyone else with a good understanding of the subject - says is that we are heading for trouble and if we don't do anything about it we will be in very serious trouble but (hey, that word needs to be bigger) but we can ameliorate each and every problem incrementally. If this, then that; if that, then the other ... sounds very like Dependent Origination, actually.
Right Action, then, is to act (and encourage others to act) as early as possible in ways which will reduce the harm.
The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago; the next best time is now.

... and the same goes for acting on climate change.
We can all do our little bit and as for politicians and the multinationals, well ...
If you get them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.

:jedi:

Please go back and read what I said about defeatism near the start of this thread - page 3 onwards.

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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:52 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:This is a serious issue and we each need to do whatever we can. Future generations will thank us.

Kim in particular is doing an extremely good job of warning of the dangers while keeping hope afloat. We need more Kims!:


:good:

Thanks, folks :bow: but you, too, can be a Kim! :twothumbsup:

This is probably a good time to tell you I'm going away on holidays on Saturday. You may need to become Kims a bit earlier than than you expected. Play nice! :smile:


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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Zhen Li » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:10 pm

Well, it has to stop somewhere. I don't think anyone is going to be convincing anyone else these days.

I hope you enjoy your holiday. :twothumbsup:
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Zhen Li » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:57 pm

I just came across this lovely quote from Feynman. I wonder what he'd think of this if he were still around, I certainly agree with him on Quantum mechanics.
The Character of Physical Law, chapter 7, “Seeking New Laws,” page 156 wrote:In general we look for a new law by the following process. First we guess it. Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right. Then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is. It does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is – if it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. That is all there is to it.

Just for the record, since it was overlooked by repliers, my argument depends on assumptions made about the effects of feedbacks, such as how increased cloud coverage influences temperatures.
http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/06/sti ... ear-means/
http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-art ... ence-shows
http://joannenova.com.au/2012/01/dr-dav ... tics-case/

Since the thread isn't going anywhere, I won't reply. Unless anyone seriously defends AGW. I'm willing to be swayed.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby dharmagoat » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:50 pm

I think you will find that the majority of posters on this thread seriously defend AGW, as do the vast majority of climatologists.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:35 am

Zhen Li wrote:I just came across this lovely quote from Feynman. I wonder what he'd think of this if he were still around, I certainly agree with him on Quantum mechanics.
The Character of Physical Law, chapter 7, “Seeking New Laws,” page 156 wrote:In general we look for a new law by the following process. First we guess it. Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right. Then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is. It does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is – if it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. That is all there is to it.


That's great, and Climate science has always applied the same procedures and tests. :smile:

You have also been talking about science in terms of predictive power and falsifiability. Here's something which is highly relevant to those points and to your Feynman quote. Please read it. It finishes thus:
“To conclude, a projection from 1981 for rising temperatures in a major science journal, at a time that the temperature rise was not yet obvious in the observations, has been found to agree well with the observations since then, underestimating the observed trend by about 30%, and easily beating naive predictions of no-change or a linear continuation of trends. It is also a nice example of a statement based on theory that could be falsified and up to now has withstood the test. The “global warming hypothesis” has been developed according to the principles of sound science.”

See it all at http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/04/evaluating-a-1981-temperature-projection/
There’s a more technical discussion of the same paper at http://skepticalscience.com/lessons-from-past-predictions-hansen-1981.html if that isn’t enough.
More famously - and far more publicly - Hansen testified to the US House of Reps in 1988. His predictions there are compared to subsequent developments here: http://www.skepticalscience.com/Hansen-1988-prediction.htm

So much for looking backwards.
Climate science, like all science, is an ongoing project. For a great overview of the current state of play, go to http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/12/the-global-temperature-jigsaw/
Its conclusion is:

Global temperature has in recent years increased more slowly than before, but this is within the normal natural variability that always exists, and also within the range of predictions by climate models – even despite some cool forcing factors such as the deep solar minimum not included in the models. There is therefore no reason to find the models faulty. There is also no reason to expect less warming in the future – in fact, perhaps rather the opposite as the climate system will catch up again due its natural oscillations, e.g. when the Pacific decadal oscillation swings back to its warm phase. Even now global temperatures are very high again – in the GISS data, with an anomaly of + 0.77 °C November was warmer than the previous record year of 2010 (+ 0.67 °), and it was the warmest November on record since 1880.


ZL wrote:Just for the record, since it was overlooked by repliers, my argument depends on assumptions made about the effects of feedbacks, such as how increased cloud coverage influences temperatures.

Just for the record, you're shifting ground by saying that. It isn't very long since you said,
Where I differ [from AGW believers] is that I don't believe in treating CO2 as a problem.

Not that I mind, so long as you're shifting towards a more accurate perception. :smile:
As for feedbacks, they are addressed in the overview I have just referred you to. In support of your (new) position, yes they are an area of uncertainty. On the other hand, the limits of the uncertainty are such that no conceivable combination of cooling feedbacks is strong enough to counterbalance the CO2-driven warming.

ZL wrote:http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/06/still-epic-fail-73-climate-models-vs-measurements-running-5-year-means/
http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-art ... ence-shows
http://joannenova.com.au/2012/01/dr-dav ... tics-case/

Wow! Jackpot! Old material (2007), the most notorious fossil-fuel-funded "thinktank" of all, one of the high priests of denialism and a totally unqualified Aussie who is one of the few youngish public denialists!
For the benefit of anyone who doesn't know them:
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Heartland_Institute
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Jo_Nova
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Roy_Spencer

(BTW, Sourcewatch is worth bookmarking.)

:namaste:
Kim

[edit: fixed formatting]
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Lindama » Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:57 am

Actually, I don't believe for a second that doing our little bit will change much at all.

Then, we could ask how we can serve in the face of the unknown... how can we respond to the needs of others?
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:37 am

Lindama wrote:Actually, I don't believe for a second that doing our little bit will change much at all.

Then, we could ask how we can serve in the face of the unknown... how can we respond to the needs of others?

Hi, Lindama,
In a thread this long there is bound to be repetition. Here are three posts I wrote a year ago in response to a "we can't do anything" position.

:namaste:
Kim

We do have problems but we're not doomed:
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Meade


http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=6973&start=40#p138031

http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=6973&start=60#p138754
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Lindama » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:46 am

Kim,
I share your concern and love... but I can't subscribe to turning off the light in the next room as a solution.

Margaret Meade was a hero of mine back in the day. The world has moved on and there is a growing number that wonder if the tide can be reversed. That is why I ask.... how can we be of service in unpredictable times.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Kim O'Hara » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:16 pm

Lindama wrote:Kim,
I share your concern and love... but I can't subscribe to turning off the light in the next room as a solution.

Margaret Meade was a hero of mine back in the day. The world has moved on and there is a growing number that wonder if the tide can be reversed. That is why I ask.... how can we be of service in unpredictable times.

No matter who we are or where we are, we have a finite amount of time and energy for practical compassion - "good works", "doing good in the world", "dana", whatever we call it. To me, that raises the question of how to get the most benefit for most people from that time - the most bang for the buck, in fact - and one part of the answer is that prevention is always better than cure. (Gee - doing well on the platitudes and cliches, aren't I? :tongue: ) It's better because it's more cost-effective, effort-effective.
On that basis, doing anything we can do now to mitigate the inevitable impacts of climate change is a good use of our time. We may also choose to send food aid to victims of Haiyan or the Queensland floods or Sandy or … there are plenty to choose from, unfortunately, and all are due in part to climate change.
For whatever combination of reasons, my own focus is climate change. I still applaud and encourage any and all action which expresses concern and compassion for other living beings.

:namaste:
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Zhen Li » Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:49 pm

For the record, I linked to those sources more of as a tease. I thought you'd realise that you keep making arguments by referring to secondary sources. Let's keep this scientific and use primary sources only, okay? Similarly, third party refutations of third party refutations are... well... I think you see the problem, and it begins with an H. :P

As for the sourcewatch, I don't see how they specifically refute what I was referring to. They also don't give a very detailed background information, and is all cherry picked info and just a sentence or two on each topic. How can a sentence sufficiently reply to a book length study? It doesn't mention Spencer's awards and commendations by NASA or the Nat. Meterological Assoc., and seems to try to downplay the fact that he's an IPCC contributor and lead author on UN reports. He has hundreds of peer reviewed articles in journals such as Science and Nature and yearly sits on climate change panels, and has testified over a dozen times in the US House and Senate. The presence of one's name on such a biased website is more a testament to the fear of actual argumentation by distinguished and well cited scientists than a refutation of any claims made by the individuals. Also, if you look at the citations you'll have a laugh - they just refer to other secondary and tertiary sources. So let's just focus on the facts okay?
Kim O'Hara wrote:Here's something which is highly relevant to those points and to your Feynman quote. Please read it. It finishes thus:
“To conclude, a projection from 1981 for rising temperatures in a major science journal, at a time that the temperature rise was not yet obvious in the observations, has been found to agree well with the observations since then, underestimating the observed trend by about 30%, and easily beating naive predictions of no-change or a linear continuation of trends. It is also a nice example of a statement based on theory that could be falsified and up to now has withstood the test. The “global warming hypothesis” has been developed according to the principles of sound science.”

There’s a more technical discussion of the same paper at http://skepticalscience.com/lessons-from-past-predictions-hansen-1981.html if that isn’t enough.

See it all at http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/04/evaluating-a-1981-temperature-projection/

Well, as you will probably know Hansen actually dropped this model in 1988. But to give you the benefit of the doubt, so I had a look at the article on JSTOR. It's actually quite cute how he thought we could phase out fossil fuels by 2000. I wonder whether the review you posted bothered to read the article at all.

His low-range prediction was a 0.3C increase by 2010. But averages from satellite and balloon data show that we have had a 0.22C increase (Jansen et al., Ch. 6, Palaeoclimate, Section 6.6.1.1: What Do Reconstructions Based on Palaeoclimatic Proxies Show?, pp. 466–478, in IPCC AR4 WG1 2007) (Goddard Institute Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP)) (GISTEMP 2011 Analysis: Global Temperature, Trends, and Prospects). Which disproves the main thesis, that "the anthropogenic carbon dioxide warming should emerge from the noise level of natural climate variability by the end of the century." (957)

Note that the key isn't at all anything to do with predicted temperature rises or models, but the question of whether CO2 "causes" a rise in temperature in the real atmosphere. The assumptions on how this works are found if you follow citation 6 to: National Academy of Sciences, Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment (Washington, D.C., 1979). There you will see the source of the first claims about the 2-3.5C increases at surface temperature, with greater increases at high latitudes, due to CO2. You will also see that the argument is based upon these premises: that 50% of CO2 emissions in 1979 are man made,that temperature increases are due to CO2 emissions, the CO2 increase is manmade (since 1800s levels were 290ppm and now they are 334ppm), and that cloud coverage will not vitiate the predictions.

For the 1st claim, it's quite funny, but maybe reliant upon old data. Of course, we assume to know how much CO2 was produced in the 19th century based upon the increase. According to David J. C. MacKay, Sustainable Energy —Without the Hot Air (Cambridge: UIT, 2008), the burning of fossil fuels sends seven gigatons (3.27 percent) of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year, while the biosphere and oceans account for 440 (55.28 percent) and 330 (41.46 percent). So, the roughly 45% increase in ppm since 1800 is probably due to natural causes. This explanation is consistent with ice core data from 1980-2011, as per Global and Planetary Change, Volume 100, January 2013, Pages 51–69. "Ice cores show atmospheric CO2 variations to lag behind atmospheric temperature changes on a century to millennium scale, but modern temperature is expected to lag changes in atmospheric CO2, as the atmospheric temperature increase since about 1975 generally is assumed to be caused by the modern increase in CO2. ... The maximum positive correlation between CO2 and temperature is found for CO2 lagging 11–12 months in relation to global sea surface temperature, 9.5-10 months to global surface air temperature, and about 9 months to global lower troposphere temperature."

As for the cloud coverage claim, they do, to be fair, evaluate quite even handedly the data they had at the time in 1979 - which was almost nothing. But despite admitting possible negative feedback, and that "the modeling of clouds is one of the weakest links in the general circulation modeling efforts," they now have that data. (JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 115, D16109, doi:10.1029/2009JD013371, 2010)

As for the Hanson 1988 model, it doesn't differ immensely from 1981, he lowers his lowest estimate to 0.29, and gives a wild high estimate of 0.9. What more do I need to say? Temperatures showed a natural deviation from CO2 levels. (Dr. Pieter Tans, NOAA/ESRL and Dr. Ralph Keeling, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/).) CO2 has increased at a constant rate.
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Global temperature has in recent years increased more slowly than before, but this is within the normal natural variability that always exists, and also within the range of predictions by climate models – even despite some cool forcing factors such as the deep solar minimum not included in the models. There is therefore no reason to find the models faulty. There is also no reason to expect less warming in the future – in fact, perhaps rather the opposite as the climate system will catch up again due its natural oscillations, e.g. when the Pacific decadal oscillation swings back to its warm phase. Even now global temperatures are very high again – in the GISS data, with an anomaly of + 0.77 °C November was warmer than the previous record year of 2010 (+ 0.67 °), and it was the warmest November on record since 1880.


ZL wrote:Just for the record, since it was overlooked by repliers, my argument depends on assumptions made about the effects of feedbacks, such as how increased cloud coverage influences temperatures.

Just for the record, you're shifting ground by saying that. It isn't very long since you said,
Where I differ [from AGW believers] is that I don't believe in treating CO2 as a problem.

Not that I mind, so long as you're shifting towards a more accurate perception. :smile:

Firstly, 30 year monthly GISS anomalies have an average of 0.22. I am not sure why AGW proponents do exactly what they don't like to hear in opponents. Whenever there's a hot anomaly, they claim it's global warming, but whenever AGW opponents claim that a cold anomaly is a contradiction to global warming they say that they don't understand the fact that global warming is an average trend. Well, AGW opponents only do that to tease AGW proponents about this -- just take 1998 for instance. How many times have in 1998 did you hear the AGW proponents take this as their proof? Of course, having a warmest year on record means nothing for the AGW case. I will argue in averages, if you argue in averages too.

As for the absence of the deep solar minimum in the models, yes, granted. But I think you know well that it's unscientific to say that there's "no reason to find the models faulty." And also, "There is also no reason to expect less warming in the future." I thought this was science? Shouldn't we say "let's wait and see?" if it is a matter of evaluating a model that one is claiming will balance back out? Of course, I don't blame them for this. Everyone wants to make their argument look more believable.

As for not treating CO2 as a problem, I don't see how this is a shifting position. This is based on my conclusion. Don't mistake conclusion for the theory. We can talk more about conclusions another time, but CO2 shouldn't be treated as a problem, it's beneficial as a whole to life on earth to have more CO2 - but we really don't have the power to increase it significantly.
Kim O'Hara wrote:As for feedbacks, they are addressed in the overview I have just referred you to. In support of your (new) position, yes they are an area of uncertainty. On the other hand, the limits of the uncertainty are such that no conceivable combination of cooling feedbacks is strong enough to counterbalance the CO2-driven warming.

I think this opinion is dealt with sufficiently in what I have written before. Perhaps you misunderstand 'how' they calculate what the feedbacks are.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:32 pm

The climate change counter-movement is lavishly funded by dark money to prevent policies limiting carbon pollution that drives man-made climate change

http://www.ecobuddhism.org/science/cover_up/1bycdm
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Zhen Li » Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:45 pm

Ah yes, prima et ultima ratio radix.

That methodology is hopelessly inaccurate. It's like a grade 1 student created it. "An important caveat, as Brulle notes, is that many of the organizations are multi-purpose, so not all of the income was devoted to anti-climate change initiatives." So, if organisations publish something against the consensus, just lump them into this category "climate change counter-movement" and add up all of their donations together and say that the CCCM receives $1 billion a year.

What on earth does that tell anyone? Nothing!

Et tu quoque: The tax-payer offset for global warming research each year is $2.5 billion, and in 2014 will be $2.6 billion. (Federal Climate Change Expenditures Report to Congress, August 2013) Tax-payer offsets for global warming specific political action is $22.2 billion. Not to mention the billion dollar industry that is Greenpeace. And you question whether there is serious money to be made off promoting AGW? WHAT COULD THEIR MOTIVATION POSSIBLY BE? :shrug:

If the government is funding AGW $22.2 billion, it's no surprise that people will go elsewhere for funding. This is why government is a hopeless manager of scientific research. A bureaucratic democratic regime will fund what feeds back into itself - it's a perpetual self-building monster because everyone in it, like everyone else otherwise, is self-interested. The fundamental and foundational principles which organise it are flawed, and can only lead to hopeless disaster.

And the sad thing about all this is, how much will that $22.2 billion prevent global warming? Unfortunately, there's no science that says that any of that spending will actually save any lives. If they can't even run the country properly, how can they save the world? If you want to save lives, modernise the third world. Promote rather than hinder the building of carbon-based energy sources that these countries can actually afford. If the climatic disaster which is predicted will come, then the primary determinant of survival will be wealth and economic infrastructure - not how carbon free your country is. Compare disaster relief in Haiti and Japan for instance.

Of course, my thoughts on the matter are in fact balanced (I believe). There is nothing wrong with mentioning what one's potential biases are as a first argument before investigating the opponent's case more deeply, but too often it's both the first and final argument.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:39 pm

Zhen Li wrote: This is why government is a hopeless manage...
:cheers:



Your libertarianism is showing. In reality, publicly funded research is far more productive than private funded research. The caveat is that it doesn't necessarily produce results which can be capitalized. Private sector research is at the mercy of the same sorts of people that public sector research is: the only difference is their name -- in the private sector they are called "managers"; in the public sector they are called "bureaucrats". On the other hand, publicly funded research does not need to demonstrates short term results to continue. There may a lot of waste, but so what? Compared to how much money is spent on means to kill people, it is nothing.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Zhen Li » Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:10 am

Malcolm wrote:Your libertarianism is showing.

Well no, I've already explained why my logic is fundamentally anti-libertarian.

Actually, I don't think you noticed it, since when you replied to that post you seemed to skim over my argument and contend with some side points. Understandable perhaps.

Libertarians look at government growth as a result of the wrong people being elected year after year. My position, call it reactionary if you must, looks at it as a necessary consequence of democracy.

If L1 is the classical liberalism of 1789, L2 is social liberalism that probably began to gestate around 1861. L3 is neoliberalism, a kind of mix of the two, whereas L1.2 is libertarianism, or zombie L1.

All you need to know to understand why L1.2 won't work, is that it's just a version of L1. I.e. a model whose own foundations are fundamentally mythological and based in fantasy. L1 is utopian because it depends upon a populace with a value system that never existed in any populace, nor ever can exist in any single populace that calls itself human. The advantage of L1 is only that has deep roots in the American value system, but it's impossible to transplant the values of L1 from their time of origin to the present, and its also impossible to believe they existed at that time at all and maintain historical credibility.
Malcolm wrote:In reality, publicly funded research is far more productive than private funded research.

I'd agree with that. Publicly funded research is also mostly uniform, whereas think tanks are a bit diverse in party line - comparing the Manhattan Instant to, for instance, the Cato institute.

Compared to the university system, the think tank system is tiny and weak, and is laughable and pathetic when compared to the intellectual cosmos of previous periods in western history. Not even the most fanatical proponent of anything from the Heritage Foundation would compare to Oxford.

This is why you'll never really see anything more than a polemical essay out of these institutes on the topic of, for instance, climate change. The only real data for both AGW proponents and opponents can come from NASA or meteorological association data.
Malcolm wrote:The caveat is that it doesn't necessarily produce results which can be capitalized.

Well they do, otherwise no one would do it.

But when the debt ceiling is infinite, as is the source of value in taxation, you don't have any incentive to make the capital flow in direction than into the pockets of bureaucrats in black coats and bureaucrats in white coats.

Don't get me wrong, I do believe in government funded research to a certain extent, with a number of preconditions...
Malcolm wrote:Private sector research is at the mercy of the same sorts of people that public sector research is: the only difference is their name -- in the private sector they are called "managers"; in the public sector they are called "bureaucrats".

I'm not sure we can really say that there's any significant private sector research outside of engineering and technology.
Malcolm wrote:On the other hand, publicly funded research does not need to demonstrates short term results to continue. There may a lot of waste, but so what?

So you are suggesting a model which drones on forever with low output.

Research needs to demonstrate results, that's the point. If your model is inaccurate to the level of Hansen, you would be fired in the private sector because it could mean the survival of the firm. In the public sector, you have people like that who simply say "more research is needed" whenever they come up without being able to confirm their own theory. This is the fundamental flaw in their understanding of the scientific method. You don't say more research is needed if your expected dataset isn't found to fit your theory - you change the theory. Science is pretty simple in this regard - you take what data exists, and you explain how it first together, that is your theory. Then you have positive results no matter what data you find! Problem solved - but the public sector doesn't allow this to happen. If you are saying to the public, "we need 30 more years of observation and funding," you're saying that your current theory is unfalsifiable, and therefore unscientific. Collecting data and making measurements is fundamentally not science, that's data collection. Science is the explanation of the data, and your opinion of that explanation. That doesn't take a 30 year project, if it does, you haven't learned anything in university.

And fundamentally these kinds of attitudes are just immoral. You can't justify taking the money of productive labour to fund standstill results. Paying for waste can't be justified, that's just the kind of lazy and immoral mentality that one would expect from a Marxist, not a deep ecologist. Why don't they just take that $22.2 billion each year by collecting those bank notes and then burning them? At least then they might end up getting a grip on inflation.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:41 pm

Zhen Li wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The caveat is that it doesn't necessarily produce results which can be capitalized.

Well they do, otherwise no one would do it.


The operative word is "necessarily".


I'm not sure we can really say that there's any significant private sector research outside of engineering and technology.


What kind of research are we talking about?

Malcolm wrote:On the other hand, publicly funded research does not need to demonstrates short term results to continue. There may a lot of waste, but so what?

So you are suggesting a model which drones on forever with low output.

Research needs to demonstrate results, that's the point. If your model is inaccurate to the level of Hansen, you would be fired in the private sector because it could mean the survival of the firm.


Not necessarily -- look at Microsoft -- worst operating system every invented.


In the public sector, you have people like that who simply say "more research is needed" whenever they come up without being able to confirm their own theory. This is the fundamental flaw in their understanding of the scientific method. You don't say more research is needed if your expected dataset isn't found to fit your theory - you change the theory. Science is pretty simple in this regard - you take what data exists, and you explain how it first together, that is your theory. Then you have positive results no matter what data you find! Problem solved - but the public sector doesn't allow this to happen. If you are saying to the public, "we need 30 more years of observation and funding," you're saying that your current theory is unfalsifiable, and therefore unscientific. Collecting data and making measurements is fundamentally not science, that's data collection. Science is the explanation of the data, and your opinion of that explanation. That doesn't take a 30 year project, if it does, you haven't learned anything in university.


Science ought to be an open ended inquiry.

And fundamentally these kinds of attitudes are just immoral. You can't justify taking the money of productive labour to fund standstill results.


Sure you can. People take that kind if money and sink it into luxury commodities all the time.

Paying for waste can't be justified, that's just the kind of lazy and immoral mentality that one would expect from a Marxist, not a deep ecologist.


We, Joe Public, pay for waste constantly. Waste is one of the principal externalities of modern capitalism.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Zhen Li » Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:00 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Zhen Li wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The caveat is that it doesn't necessarily produce results which can be capitalized.

Well they do, otherwise no one would do it.
The operative word is "necessarily".

I doubt anyone will run multi-year studies without a wage.
Malcolm wrote:
I'm not sure we can really say that there's any significant private sector research outside of engineering and technology.

What kind of research are we talking about?

All kinds.
Malcolm wrote:
Malcolm wrote:On the other hand, publicly funded research does not need to demonstrates short term results to continue. There may a lot of waste, but so what?

So you are suggesting a model which drones on forever with low output.
Research needs to demonstrate results, that's the point. If your model is inaccurate to the level of Hansen, you would be fired in the private sector because it could mean the survival of the firm.

Not necessarily -- look at Microsoft -- worst operating system every invented.

The computing equivalent would be, not just a computer that can't turn on, but a computer that can't do binary operations.
Malcolm wrote:
In the public sector, you have people like that who simply say "more research is needed" whenever they come up without being able to confirm their own theory. This is the fundamental flaw in their understanding of the scientific method. You don't say more research is needed if your expected dataset isn't found to fit your theory - you change the theory. Science is pretty simple in this regard - you take what data exists, and you explain how it first together, that is your theory. Then you have positive results no matter what data you find! Problem solved - but the public sector doesn't allow this to happen. If you are saying to the public, "we need 30 more years of observation and funding," you're saying that your current theory is unfalsifiable, and therefore unscientific. Collecting data and making measurements is fundamentally not science, that's data collection. Science is the explanation of the data, and your opinion of that explanation. That doesn't take a 30 year project, if it does, you haven't learned anything in university.

Science ought to be an open ended inquiry.

That doesn't address my claim, which allows for open ends.
Malcolm wrote:
And fundamentally these kinds of attitudes are just immoral. You can't justify taking the money of productive labour to fund standstill results.

Sure you can. People take that kind if money and sink it into luxury commodities all the time.

This isn't equivalent. Most luxury commodities, except in the homes of millionaire bureaucrats, are not bought by tax dollars. Moreover, in the one you have an exchange based in supply and demand, serving to improve everyone through the economy's overall health, and in the other you have a sink hole of no supply, infinite demand, into which money will pour as sure as day is light, because there's no incentive to have any basic moral scruples - after all, most politicians are sociopaths.
Malcolm wrote:
Paying for waste can't be justified, that's just the kind of lazy and immoral mentality that one would expect from a Marxist, not a deep ecologist.

We, Joe Public, pay for waste constantly. Waste is one of the principal externalities of modern capitalism.

No one pays for waste. That's why it's an externality. You are suggesting making it the product you buy.
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Re: Climate Change: We're Doomed

Postby Malcolm » Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:16 pm

Zhen Li wrote:Sure you can. People take that kind if money and sink it into luxury commodities all the time.

This isn't equivalent. Most luxury commodities, except in the homes of millionaire bureaucrats, are not bought by tax dollars. [/quopte]

That's what you think.


Malcolm wrote:No one pays for waste. That's why it's an externality. You are suggesting making it the product you buy.


We taxpayers pay dearly for waste all the time-- that is what you claim is immoral. You claim that endless research is wasteful and immoral. So is externalizing the cost of the pollution of a massively polluting industry, for example, tar sands, onto governments.
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