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  #1  
Old Aug 22nd 2011, 11:21 PM
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Default Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

....gives a stern lecture to the heartland institute climate change denial conference.

it is worth the 15 minutes

http://www.viddler.com/explore/heartland/videos/369/
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Old Aug 23rd 2011, 06:37 PM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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Originally Posted by andrewl View Post
....gives a stern lecture to the heartland institute climate change denial conference.

it is worth the 15 minutes

http://www.viddler.com/explore/heartland/videos/369/
Suffice it to say that US rightwing has consistently denied human-made climate change despite mountains of scientific evidence, scientific papers and scientific consensus.

Why do you think this event is special given that rightwingers have been ignoring this same data for decades now?

Heck, even Exxon gives a few million dollars to the scientific community to study the issue. It just gets drowned out by the hundred million they will spend to strangle it.

Fact is, the US rightwing doesn't deny global climate change because they don't agree with the science, or haven't seen enough data. They reject global climate change because it is in conflict with their ideology. That's all there is to it. Pouring more data on the pile isn't going to change that.
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Old Aug 23rd 2011, 09:53 PM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Suffice it to say that US rightwing has consistently denied human-made climate change despite mountains of scientific evidence, scientific papers and scientific consensus.

Why do you think this event is special given that rightwingers have been ignoring this same data for decades now?

Heck, even Exxon gives a few million dollars to the scientific community to study the issue. It just gets drowned out by the hundred million they will spend to strangle it.

Fact is, the US rightwing doesn't deny global climate change because they don't agree with the science, or haven't seen enough data. They reject global climate change because it is in conflict with their ideology. That's all there is to it. Pouring more data on the pile isn't going to change that.
Too much focus on climate change could threaten the placid attitude of the addicted consumer base Big Oil is dependent on. The masses might support additional taxation on preferred dividends and change how expenses are booked. Nah, they just ain't that smart or interested.
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Old Aug 23rd 2011, 09:57 PM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Suffice it to say that US rightwing has consistently denied human-made climate change despite mountains of scientific evidence, scientific papers and scientific consensus.

Why do you think this event is special given that rightwingers have been ignoring this same data for decades now?

Heck, even Exxon gives a few million dollars to the scientific community to study the issue. It just gets drowned out by the hundred million they will spend to strangle it.

Fact is, the US rightwing doesn't deny global climate change because they don't agree with the science, or haven't seen enough data. They reject global climate change because it is in conflict with their ideology. That's all there is to it. Pouring more data on the pile isn't going to change that.
They don't believe because they believe their god created the earth for us and he will fix it if we fuck it up.

I spent the weekend with a friend who just graduated law school. He's in the process of buying a nice little cabin out in the middle of nowhere. To reach the cabin, you must ford a creek. When I asked him how he planned on visiting the cabin as the weather becomes more extreme, he gave my a look of incredulity and asked, "You don't really believe that shit do you?" I replied, "We've been living it for the past decade. How can you not believe it?"

I just don't understand how people can be so caught up in their politics that they can't see the truth of things. Kentucky has been hit by more ice storms in the past few years than the entire century before, yet they look at the snow and ice and say, "Where's all that heat, Al Gore?"

We're all fucked, so we better just get the lube out.
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Old Aug 23rd 2011, 11:55 PM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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When I asked him how he planned on visiting the cabin as the weather becomes more extreme
Get a bigger truck, obviously.
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Old Aug 24th 2011, 08:55 AM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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Originally Posted by The Drunk Guy View Post
I spent the weekend with a friend who just graduated law school. He's in the process of buying a nice little cabin out in the middle of nowhere. To reach the cabin, you must ford a creek. When I asked him how he planned on visiting the cabin as the weather becomes more extreme, he gave my a look of incredulity and asked, "You don't really believe that shit do you?" I replied, "We've been living it for the past decade. How can you not believe it?"
Will the creek rise and make getting to the cabin impossible or will it dry up and actually make it easier?

I'm willing to accept the reality of human-caused climate change on the authority of the vast majority of scientists, but aside from that argument (which is a good one) I can understand people thinking that global warming advocates, as a group, haven't done a bang-up job of making their case. I think there are two reasons for this:

1) There are too many people, mostly non-scientists who don't really know what they're talking about, who immediately refer to climate change when some unusual weather pattern appears, especially if its destructive. Hurricane Katrina is perhaps the best example of this based on my personal experience.
The problem is that people know that weather sometimes does crazy stuff and that it always has. And while climate scientists can theorized about how climate change may increase the likelihood of certain natural disasters, they seem willing to admit (or at least did admit in the case of Katrina) that it's impossible to say whether a specific natural disaster was the result of climate change or not.
So, as in the story of the boy who cried wolf, when people start to see 'proof' of climate change everywhere, those around them begin to disbelieve in it altogether, even when the proof is real.

2) For most people who do not deeply familiarize themselves with the science of it, climate change has been presented as a non-falsifiable position. You alluded to those who point out blizzards and ice-storms as evidence against 'global warming.' It's true that they're misunderstanding what climate change means, but it's difficult to blame them for being cynical and distrusting when they're told that heat-waves AND blizzards, floods AND droughts, are ALL evidence that climate change is happening. They might reasonably ask, "What is the evidence, that I can personally observe, that climate change is NOT happening?" And there really isn't a good answer to that except for 'constantly unexceptional weather,' which they all know would, itself, be very usual.
In short, climate change is often presented as a phenomena such that, on the level of personal observation, almost everything can be evidence for it and almost nothing can be evidence against it. It's not surprising that people balk at this.

EDIT: I haven't actually watched the video in the OP, so none of these criticisms are directed at anything in there; they're just general observations.
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Old Aug 24th 2011, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

Quote:
Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
Will the creek rise and make getting to the cabin impossible or will it dry up and actually make it easier?

I'm willing to accept the reality of human-caused climate change on the authority of the vast majority of scientists, but aside from that argument (which is a good one) I can understand people thinking that global warming advocates, as a group, haven't done a bang-up job of making their case. I think there are two reasons for this:

1) There are too many people, mostly non-scientists who don't really know what they're talking about, who immediately refer to climate change when some unusual weather pattern appears, especially if its destructive. Hurricane Katrina is perhaps the best example of this based on my personal experience.
The problem is that people know that weather sometimes does crazy stuff and that it always has. And while climate scientists can theorized about how climate change may increase the likelihood of certain natural disasters, they seem willing to admit (or at least did admit in the case of Katrina) that it's impossible to say whether a specific natural disaster was the result of climate change or not.
So, as in the story of the boy who cried wolf, when people start to see 'proof' of climate change everywhere, those around them begin to disbelieve in it altogether, even when the proof is real.

2) For most people who do not deeply familiarize themselves with the science of it, climate change has been presented as a non-falsifiable position. You alluded to those who point out blizzards and ice-storms as evidence against 'global warming.' It's true that they're misunderstanding what climate change means, but it's difficult to blame them for being cynical and distrusting when they're told that heat-waves AND blizzards, floods AND droughts, are ALL evidence that climate change is happening. They might reasonably ask, "What is the evidence, that I can personally observe, that climate change is NOT happening?" And there really isn't a good answer to that except for 'constantly unexceptional weather,' which they all know would, itself, be very usual.
In short, climate change is often presented as a phenomena such that, on the level of personal observation, almost everything can be evidence for it and almost nothing can be evidence against it. It's not surprising that people balk at this.

EDIT: I haven't actually watched the video in the OP, so none of these criticisms are directed at anything in there; they're just general observations.
That's always been my biggest issue with the notion as well.

When I was a kid growing up, the first vehicle for environmental doom was the Ozone layer, which, by all scientific projections was going to be completely wiped out by the year 2010. We wouldn't be able to go outside without getting severe burns and mankind was going to have to live underground.

After a while, that went away, and the next big thing was the rainforests all being killed off, resulting in my death somehow or another. I forget the exact vehicle for it, but I was doomed.

Somewhere mixed in there was the notion that human activity was going to bring about the next ice age. I was in big trouble because Illinois and my home were going to be buried by a glacier, ala the creation of the Great Lakes Flood Basin.

As I got to be in high school, we realized that the Ozone was not really a problem in the way we thought. It was now a problem because, instead of an ice age, the Ozone layer was going to trap greenhouse gases and cause global warming. Everything was going to melt, sea boards were going to flood, species would be annihilated, etc.

Now, it isn't global warming, but climate change. That is, the biggest problem that confronts us today is the notion that the Earth's climate is changing. It could be warming or cooling, the Ozone may be coming or going, we may need rain forests or not, but whatever it is, we're all doomed.

..............

Please note, this isn't my commentary on the science. This post is not a denial that some kind of climate change is occurring or that humans are causing it. It's an anecdotal recount of the history of environmental Armageddon predictions to which I've been exposed. I've been alive for 30 years, and it seems that every 3-5 years, some new calamity is revealed that's going to spell my destruction. Every 3-5 years, I'm still fine. After 6-10 cycles of this, it's easy to start tuning it out.

If there is some kind of desire to lessen humanity's impact on the Earth, I'd say a better way of going about it would be to pick out the things that (1) are demonstrably caused by what we're doing (2) are repeatable and (3) are clearly detrimental. Basically, show that a concrete, solvable problem exists and enlist people to help fix it. Vague predictions of eventual doom aren't the stuff of science and engineering as much as they are the stuff of religion and superstition.
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Old Aug 24th 2011, 11:13 AM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

Quote:
Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
Will the creek rise and make getting to the cabin impossible or will it dry up and actually make it easier?

I'm willing to accept the reality of human-caused climate change on the authority of the vast majority of scientists, but aside from that argument (which is a good one) I can understand people thinking that global warming advocates, as a group, haven't done a bang-up job of making their case. I think there are two reasons for this:

1) There are too many people, mostly non-scientists who don't really know what they're talking about, who immediately refer to climate change when some unusual weather pattern appears, especially if its destructive. Hurricane Katrina is perhaps the best example of this based on my personal experience.
The problem is that people know that weather sometimes does crazy stuff and that it always has. And while climate scientists can theorized about how climate change may increase the likelihood of certain natural disasters, they seem willing to admit (or at least did admit in the case of Katrina) that it's impossible to say whether a specific natural disaster was the result of climate change or not.
So, as in the story of the boy who cried wolf, when people start to see 'proof' of climate change everywhere, those around them begin to disbelieve in it altogether, even when the proof is real.

2) For most people who do not deeply familiarize themselves with the science of it, climate change has been presented as a non-falsifiable position. You alluded to those who point out blizzards and ice-storms as evidence against 'global warming.' It's true that they're misunderstanding what climate change means, but it's difficult to blame them for being cynical and distrusting when they're told that heat-waves AND blizzards, floods AND droughts, are ALL evidence that climate change is happening. They might reasonably ask, "What is the evidence, that I can personally observe, that climate change is NOT happening?" And there really isn't a good answer to that except for 'constantly unexceptional weather,' which they all know would, itself, be very usual.
In short, climate change is often presented as a phenomena such that, on the level of personal observation, almost everything can be evidence for it and almost nothing can be evidence against it. It's not surprising that people balk at this.

EDIT: I haven't actually watched the video in the OP, so none of these criticisms are directed at anything in there; they're just general observations.
Dilettante/Dr. Goodtrips,

If global warming is real it is necessarily superimposed on top of natural variability. In essence this means that in a world where every square meter of the surface has warmed up by a few W/M2 and there is ~4% more water vapor in the atmosphere you cannot point at any climatic event or feature and say this is climate change and this is not climate change. The entire globe has warmed so everything that is happening in the atmosphere/oceans and on the surface is effected to some degree or another by global warming. I.e., El Nino is a naturally recurring weather pattern, the job of a climate scientist at present is to figure out what impact global warming will have on this recurring pattern now and in the future as global warming accelerates.
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  #9  
Old Aug 24th 2011, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Suffice it to say that US rightwing has consistently denied human-made climate change despite mountains of scientific evidence, scientific papers and scientific consensus.

Why do you think this event is special given that rightwingers have been ignoring this same data for decades now?

Heck, even Exxon gives a few million dollars to the scientific community to study the issue. It just gets drowned out by the hundred million they will spend to strangle it.

Fact is, the US rightwing doesn't deny global climate change because they don't agree with the science, or haven't seen enough data. They reject global climate change because it is in conflict with their ideology. That's all there is to it. Pouring more data on the pile isn't going to change that.
Oh, i don't think it will have any impact on the political situation unfortunately. I mainly just thought it was a wonderfully simple explanation of the what is happening to the climate and it was very entertaining to watch this climate scientist expose how ridiculous they are.
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Old Aug 24th 2011, 11:31 AM
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Default Re: Climate Scientist Scott Denning....

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Dilettante/Dr. Goodtrips,

If global warming is real it is necessarily superimposed on top of natural variability. In essence this means that in a world where every square meter of the surface has warmed up by a few W/M2 and there is ~4% more water vapor in the atmosphere you cannot point at any climatic event or feature and say this is climate change and this is not climate change. The entire globe has warmed so everything that is happening in the atmosphere/oceans and on the surface is effected to some degree or another by global warming. I.e., El Nino is a naturally recurring weather pattern, the job of a climate scientist at present is to figure out what impact global warming will have on this recurring pattern now and in the future as global warming accelerates.
I'd say the problem is in the delivery of the message. I understand the complexity of causality in the climate. In terms of the mathematical, the climate is a chaotic system. So, I understand that saying "we used a lot of CO2 spewing cars, and it caused X to happen" is difficult to impossible, to say nothing of proving that.

But, in light of that, I'd say that those raising awareness of the issue and trying to do something about it should back off the predictions and focus instead on what we're observing only. I don't know whether that would lend credibility or not, but it would at least stop the hemorrhaging of credibility.
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