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How 's your summer going? - Page 3 - Dhamma Wheel

How 's your summer going?

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
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Kim OHara
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Re: How 's your summer going?

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:09 am

Hi, Octathlon,
Okay, in general knowledge is always potentially useful and the more of it we have, the better.
But some knowledge is more useful than other knowledge.
In this case, the evidence that life can drastically change global climate is just about the only relevant point I can see in the GOC. As against that, the time-scales are so vastly different that saying, "Hey, what we're going through happened before," is completely misleading, and the organisms responsible (unlike us) had no way of knowing what was happening, let alone doing anything about it, which is not our situation today. Finally, the GOC all turned out all right in the end for the most important creatures alive (i.e. us) so the implicit lesson of that event is that we don't need to worry about this one - which is what most of us want to hear but not what we need to hear.
If you can draw any more useful lessons from the GOC than I can then, sure, make it part of your understanding of AGW. For me, though, the last 150 years provides perhaps 50% of the most useful knowledge; the previous 10 000 years provides maybe another 35-40%; and all our earlier history adds up to no more than 10-15%. It's like working out what caused a car smash: the last 10 seconds is probably more important than the previous minute, which is probably more important than the previous hour, and so on back to when the car was made or the driver was born.
:namaste:
Kim

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octathlon
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Re: How 's your summer going?

Postby octathlon » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:21 pm


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Kim OHara
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Re: How 's your summer going?

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:42 am

I'm sorry, Octathlon, but here comes a very back-handed compliment: Of all the intelligent people I know, geologists are by far the most likely to get AGW completely wrong. (The two poster-boys for climate change deniers in Australia, Ian Plimer and Bob Carter, are both geologists but I'm not just talking about them. My city is a major base for the mining industry and I know more geologists than, say, dentists.)
I have been looking for an explanation of this anomaly every since I noticed it, several years ago, and I think the most likely reason is that geologists habitually think in time-scales which mislead them when they get to climate change.
Geological change, i.e. the environmental changes in which they are professionally interested, take place over thousands of years (e.g. a river carving out its valley), millions of years or hundreds of millions of years. Any significant geological change on a shorter time scale is usually on the same scale as our daily life - minutes for an earthquake, days for a volcanic eruption. There is nothing in between, on the decades to centuries scale.
So what happens when they/you look at AGW: "It isn't happening on the short daily-life scale, so it must be happening on the geological scale," OWTTE.
The trouble is, that's wrong.
Previous large climate swings did occur over the thousand-year scale but this one is unique. It is happening on a scale of decades. (The magnitude of the changes is greater, too, but that's not the point I'm making here.) That's why Gore was able to do his famous fork-lift stunt: on geological time scales, the current increase in CO2 is a vertical line on the graph.
And this quantitative difference in rate of change becomes a qualitative difference in impact. To get back to our car smash: if a car drives into a really solid brick wall at one mile per hour, the driver probably won't even get a bruise and the car can drive away afterwards. If it drives into the same wall at 100 mph, the driver is jam and the car is scrap metal. And that is what we are facing.
Can you revisit your "Global climate change has happened many times, it's always happening in fact," in the light of what I've just said?
Thanks,
Kim

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octathlon
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Re: How 's your summer going?

Postby octathlon » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:47 pm

Hi Kim,
After I posted the link about the great oxygen catastrophe, I sensed a bit of a negative reaction in your response, but I didn't think anything about my post might be offensive or provoke anger. It was just what I thought was some interesting info about a little-known event in Earth's history, posted in a spirit of friendliness. But things seemed to go downhill from there. It feels like there is some kind of argument going on here and I don't even know what it is supposed to be about. I don't think it's wise to make assumptions about a person's beliefs based on their occupation, especially when it's geologist since there are so many different kinds of geologists and types of work in the field. Anyway, I doubt there can be any benefit for us to continue discussing this subject, so I won't. I also hope there is not actually any real hostility happening here; how about we just move on and I'll see you in the other threads and we'll talk about other things, ok?

:anjali:

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Kim OHara
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Re: How 's your summer going?

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:20 pm


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octathlon
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Re: How 's your summer going?

Postby octathlon » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:37 am


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Kim OHara
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Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: How 's your summer going?

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:06 am


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Kim OHara
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Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: How 's your summer going?

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:28 pm


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Annapurna
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Re: How 's your summer going?

Postby Annapurna » Sat Aug 07, 2010 6:29 am

As for me, I'm wishing the hotter days back.

It's been chilly over a week now, and yesterday it rained cats and dogs.

Hot tea the preferred drink.

15° C in August, where you would expect at least 25 at this time.
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/


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