Homepage Forums Scientific Method, Skepticism Denialism vs Skepticism

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  • #6776
    AvatarPhil’s Dad
    Member

    Rezwan wrote: If this is the alternative, I prefer the “man-made” concept. Human culpability at least means human control. Responsibility is empowering.

    Hammer – Nail-head – wallop!
    (or, depending on your paradigm, hook – line – sinker)

    We actually want to be responsible for this mess. It makes us feel significant. It also explains why people get so upset if their little bit of control is threatened by alternative explanations.

    #6777
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    Phil’s Dad wrote: We actually want to be responsible for this mess. It makes us feel significant. It also explains why people get so upset if their little bit of control is threatened by alternative explanations.

    That’s one way to look at it. Another is to say we’re problem solvers. Tamers. We’ll stop at nothing to shape this world into something comfortable for us.

    I think it’s perjorative to call the Global warming crowd “environmentalists”, because an environmentalist might have said, let the C02 go crazy and throw us all into chaos, and let the next order emerge from the chaos.

    The global warming crowd should actually be called “Global Air Conditionalists”. Because they are actually trying to have a climate controlled earth, trying to regulate C02 to keep it within a certain range that we happen to be comfortable at right now. (And this seems natural enough. Every creature tries to shape its environment. Fir trees spitting toxins into the dirt to keep other trees off, or, more to the metaphor, Redwood forests regulating temperature.)

    Air conditioning the earth is a pretty ambitious activity.

    Meanwhile, what do the denialists actually want? I suppose as a counterpoint to your statement above, Denialists DON’T want to feel responsible. They DO want to feel insignificant. And they get upset when…their little bit of helplessness is threatened by alternative explanations?

    No, that can’t be it. Well, they don’t want the guilt associated with the responsibility (rather than seeing it as control). And the often state they want to prevent the expenditure of a lot of human resources to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.

    I don’t know if you see the irony here.

    The global air conditionalists wanted to be responsible for something they thought was at least manageable. At least they have confidence in our air conditioning abilities. But this all hinged on it being a C02 problem, which is easy to solve (once you allegedly arrest and murder all the denialists in the totalitarian regime that you establish).

    This cosmic ray thing will be a bit tougher to solve.

    Speaking of hooks and lines, do you see the can of worms this opens? Most of humanity was in happy denial of the larger, uncontrollable issues. But by trying to calm global warming c02 fears, this just creates newer, more dramatic and less controllable fears.

    Just because they’re more dramatic and less controllable, doesn’t mean air conditionalists won’t try to control them. It will just cost a lot more.

    Well, really, time to stockpile the AK47s and MREs. Things could get ugly at some random date that we have no idea about.

    Public relations nightmare.

    #6778
    Avatarmsmith
    Member
    #6784
    BreakableBreakable
    Keymaster

    I don’t mind any alternative explanations as long as they conform to science. Still co2 forcing is well established where cosmic rays are not:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henrik_Svensmark#Debate_and_controversy

    #6786
    BreakableBreakable
    Keymaster

    I also wonder where would the cosmic rays be on this chart?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Climate_Change_Attribution.png

    #6787
    BreakableBreakable
    Keymaster

    Also I would love to ask exactly what are you skeptical of msmith?

    #6795
    AvatarPhil’s Dad
    Member

    Rezwan wrote:
    That’s one way to look at it. Another is to say we’re problem solvers. Tamers. We’ll stop at nothing to shape this world into something comfortable for us.

    Accepting your premise I would caution that (I believe) we evolved over millions of years during which time there have been some quite significant shifts in what might have been thought comfortable (or normal). (Not to mention, for now, the dangers of run-away geoengineering). Where do you set the thermostat? Who sets it? What if I like it warmer/cooler than you do? Which bit of the world are you setting it for?

    Meanwhile, what do the denialist actually want? I suppose as a counterpoint to your statement above, Denialists DON’T want to feel responsible…No, that can’t be it.

    Oh yes it can, in part. There is no doubt that some feel that way. However, in my (tiny) experience, most denialist (while we are using “perjorative”(sic) terms) are simply not convinced.

    And the[y] often state they want to prevent the expenditure of a lot of human resources to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.

    Again true of genuine denialist but the broader category of skeptics on the other hand may simply want to avoid applying a fix which turns out to be worse than the original problem. This is where the generalised use of the term denialist to describe “any who take issue with the scientific cannon” clouds the issue.

    I don’t know if you see the irony here.

    Indeed I do. Non dubito there are some who will not leave well enough alone. They have to find a problem to solve (and if one is not readily to hand…)

    [While they believed it was CO2] Most of humanity was in happy denial of the larger, uncontrollable issues.

    Should we leave them there? No uncomfortable arguments with entrenched views. No risk of being on the recieving end of name calling. Ignorance is bliss.

    #6796
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    Phil’s Dad wrote:
    Accepting your premise I would caution that (I believe) we evolved over millions of years during which time there have been some quite significant shifts in what might have been thought comfortable (or normal). (Not to mention, for now, the dangers of run-away geoengineering). Where do you set the thermostat? Who sets it? What if I like it warmer/cooler than you do? Which bit of the world are you setting it for?

    It has been argued that those significant, uncomfortable shifts are what led to human civilization because they forced human beings to be far more resourceful and to yearn for more control. Ever raging against the gods. It’s turned us into air conditionalists. People who seek to dampen fluctuations. Anti-rollercoasters.

    Basically 2 types of skills are required here: adaptation (to fluctuations), and the more challenging – climate control (show the fluctuations who’s boss).

    The argument here isn’t really about the science, it’s about the response to the capriciousness of weather. It’s about confronting the gods. The climate control group is quite arrogant, in a fascinatingly human way that I appreciate.

    Even if the GW group is off on the science, and it’s not CO2, their activities are helping to develop mass scale response skill sets which might come in handy for other emergencies. They’re getting people to learn how to make do with less, to live in harsher climates, to reduce their footprint of carbon or waste or anything – which will translate handily to a future living in space where resources truly are limited.

    The AGW-ers try to argue this problem away – but are they arguing all such possibilities away? Are they advocates for helplessness – for just letting chips fall where they may? Do they have a lot of faith that we live on an inherently stable planet? Or are they worried we’re not seeing the bigger menaces behind GW and not nearly prepared enough for what might befall us?

    Inherently unstable planet. Preparation drills. That’s what this is about.

    [While they believed it was CO2] Most of humanity was in happy denial of the larger, uncontrollable issues.

    Should we leave them there? No uncomfortable arguments with entrenched views. No risk of being on the recieving end of name calling. Ignorance is bliss.

    Well, yes. It’s enough of a threat to rally people to take the development of appropriate emergency skill sets seriously, to not be lulled.

    Anything more would be overkill.

    Are you saying the GW crowd doesn’t go far enough in alarmist rhetoric? You’re unhappy with GW because it doesn’t raise the scarier arguments? Are you taking issue with people getting entrenched in only one particular form of doom?

    You spend a lot of time arguing the specifics of the emergency that will face people. Does it matter what the impending catastrophe is going to be? Even the GW-ers don’t know if a big shift will result in more warming, or a sudden onset of an ice age.

    No harm in getting people on their toes.

    You can’t really control the uncontrollable. I’m reminded of the story of the …was it Hopi Indians? Some group. Used to do human sacrifice because it would prevent the end of the world. Then one day a hero showed up to tell them they didn’t need to do this. So they didn’t – and none of the dire things they were worried about occurred. The world didn’t end.

    Then, 50 years later, Chris Colombus landed in Hispaniola.

    Don’t you bet they wished they had built bio-domes and advanced weaponry and anything they could develop?

    Fear and doom are important components of human creativity. AGW-ers are missing the point of the global warming rallying exercise. People are spending all kinds of creative energy right now trying to figure out how to strain energy out of turnips or leap over mines with fancy shoes or grow food in chimneys. This frenzy of activity will all come in handy one day.

    Sure, a lot of it seems wasteful now – but it’s not.

    #6798
    AvatarPhil’s Dad
    Member

    Without doubt learning to live with less (material resource) can be a good thing but it seems to me the banking crisis did more to achieve that than AGW.

    #6851
    Avatarmsmith
    Member

    Breakable wrote: I don’t mind any alternative explanations as long as they conform to science. Still co2 forcing is well established where cosmic rays are not:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henrik_Svensmark#Debate_and_controversy

    The criticisms of Svensmark’s CRF/Cloud formation theory have been rebutted.
    The wikipedia article you posted has links to some but not all of these replies.

    Some replies may be found here: http://www.sciencebits.com/SloanAndWolfendale

    The “CLOUD” experiment at Cern is currently underway to further test his theory and hopefully provide a detailed explanation of this cloud formation mechanism.
    Time will tell.

    #6860
    BreakableBreakable
    Keymaster

    msmith wrote:
    The criticisms of Svensmark’s CRF/Cloud formation theory have been rebutted.
    The wikipedia article you posted has links to some but not all of these replies.
    Some replies may be found here: http://www.sciencebits.com/SloanAndWolfendale
    The “CLOUD” experiment at Cern is currently underway to further test his theory and hopefully provide a detailed explanation of this cloud formation mechanism.
    Time will tell.

    Well good luck to him developing his theory. It is appropriate that scientific measurements are being used to look for evidence.
    I prefer better established explanation of co2, but if evidence would suggest otherwise I could even believe in cosmic rays, gravitational waves, sunspots or whatever…
    I am not a physicist to evaluate whatever evidence can be available, so probably would have trust what most of scientific community thinks about it.
    One thing that does not bare well with me is global conspiracy. Of course there is a lot underwater currents, but only in North Korea a contrarian position is always right.

    #6862
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    Happy Monday!

    This thread is now officially capped, per our new GW Policy.

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