Archive for Thursday, July 6, 2006

Casting doubt

July 6, 2006

Advertisement

To the editor,

After reading George Gurley's column on the Sunday, July 2, opinion page, I keep returning to a basic question: What is Gurley trying to accomplish with this column? Apart from what the column's title might suggest, much of it is spent casting doubt on Al Gore's credibility, the facts, and even science itself. Gore may not be a scientist, but when a Harvard scholar studies a subject for several decades, shouldn't society grant them some level of credibility?

When Gore says there is a consensus among leading scientific experts about global warming, Gurley says, "is that the way science works - the scientists get together, vote and majority rules?" When a majority of experts in a field come to a consensus, we should use that information to base decisions and actions upon, not simply consider it an abstraction of majority rule.

Gurley tries to further his point by providing information from a group of economists stating that fighting global warming would "cost a colossal amount." I suggest Gurley take this issue up with the 43 prominent economists in California who gave a letter to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last week alleging "the most expensive thing we can do is nothing."

Gurley says, "They (people of Gore's mindset) have little faith in human ingenuity." I say human ingenuity is spurred by need, and if Gurley's goal is to eliminate, and cast doubt, on that need, I sincerely hope he fails.

Jered Nunn,

Lawrence

Comments

xenophonschild 8 years, 9 months ago

Good. The local contingent of ignorant conservative troglodytes need to have "a consensus among leading scientific experts about global warming" stapled to their foreheads.

They blithely ignore that 22 billion tons of carbon are released by burning fossil fuels - annually. If these guys were any dumber, they'd have to plant them in the ground to keep them alive.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 9 months ago

Life needs water, too, but global warming will mean that a whole lot of it drowns.

devobrun 8 years, 9 months ago

Movies, magazines, newspapers, TV and radio are designed to motivate you.

Laugh, cry, scared, buy a cell phone, buy a notion.
Its all about motivating you, making you feel.

And so it is with Al Gore's movie.

Modern society is so dominated by external stimuli, that people feel and confuse their feelings with thinking.

Lemme ask you this, John Q. Public:

Have you evaluated the computer models that are being used by the "scientists" to predict global climate demise?

The models rely on positive feedback to achieve the temperature increases. Jimmy Hendrix used positive feedback to create crazy sounds with his guitar. The models can give similar crazy results.

The models have a rather poor estimate of the albedo of clouds. In fact, the model has sketchy estimates of ocean currents, solar output, and other stuff.

We're talking about a few kelvin out of a few hundred kelvin. 1% uncertainty in the model is very likely.

You guys want to believe the models. You guys have been motivated by a media blitz. You bought it.

Sheep.

devobrun 8 years, 9 months ago

75X55: "No. Their findings are what gives them credibility"

So they find what you want them to find, so they are credible. I can make a computer program sing "Bringing in the Sheaves". Does that make Christianity true?

devobrun 8 years, 9 months ago

So, if not Gore, then W. If not W or Gore, then the UN. If not any politician, then the scientists who use the politicians for social and economic benefit. Who ya gonna trust?

Most people who use modern technology never see the massive junk pile at the engineering facility. Most people don't realize that theoretical models for cell phones, computers, MRI machines, etc are just a starting point.

If the models used to design these fairly simple gadgets (simple compared to the climate) are within 10%, the engineers are really happy.

The chances that climate models are within 1% are really small. And Al wants us to modify our lives a lot to transfer power to the government. The global government at that.

Answer to my q in the first paragraph. Learn about climate models yerself and decide for yerself. Trust yerself. Don't trust "the man" even if he is a hippie.

When the man tells you what to do, tells you what to think, tells you what to feel, tells you what to believe.......lookout.

Think for yourself.

Oh, and when "the man" says that you can't do this yourself because the models are too sophisticated.....lookout.

When all else fails, sophisticate. Sophisticate until obfuscation is complete.

boltzmann 8 years, 9 months ago

Devobrun said "We're talking about a few kelvin out of a few hundred kelvin. 1% uncertainty in the model is very likely"

What the models are predicting is the temperature change due to anthropomorhic causes, not the absolute temperature in Kelvin, as you imply. Your argument is a misuse of statistics to set up a straw man.

Alfred_W 8 years, 9 months ago

thanks, devobrun you just made my life simpler. I don't need to vote because I'll never have all the information necessary to make the most correct choice. I also will begin to treat myself for all medical conditions since it would be foolish to make medical decisions based on someone else's opinion (Shoot, who needs doctors - I'm sure I can figure out what to do with the tightness in my chest on my own).

The point being, you have to have trust somewhere in your life. Are politicians high up on the list of trustworthiness? Not in my book. However, people who have dedicated their career to the study of a topic really ought to get a smidgen of the benefit of the doubt.

Oh, and "consensus among leading scientific experts" does not mean a popularity contest. It means an overwhelming percentage of those that have looked at the evidence agree upon the conclusion(s).

Emily Hadley 8 years, 9 months ago

Anyone remember what happened to fuel efficiency in the 80s? I didn't think I'd ever see a new Honda get less than 30 MPH, but new Accords do about as well as an old Chevy van these days.

I say human ingenuity in the US is often spurred by lobbying, subsidies, and legislation.

It is thus hard to enlighten people who have already been educated under the political system in power, even more difficult to arouse their passion and expose the connectivity of money, laws, subsidies, and the greater good.

It then still takes a hell of a lot of grassroots outcry, enough to amount to political damage or brownie points, to result in laws that are truly in the best interest of the public.

If you are siding with any group, just try to do it based on your research, not theirs.

Jamesaust 8 years, 9 months ago

"When a majority of experts in a field come to a consensus, we should use that information to base decisions and actions upon, not simply consider it an abstraction of majority rule."

Yes, but by the same token alarmists continually insist on distorting, extrapolating, or manipulating the narrow nature of most consensuses (consensi?). All extremists do this, regardless of the subject, regardless of their political motivations.

In this manner, guestimates about the number of civilian dead in Iraq are inflated into six figures, surveys showing a 30% decline in the number of bagels eaten by Americans lead to a conclusion that in 3.33 years no one will eat bagels anymore, a consensus of temperature warming that center on 1-2C but range up to 10-11C invariable are quoted at the upper limit, studies indicating that people do not gain full adult judgment until on average the age of 24 are taken to mean that young adults are incapable of self-judgment, etc., etc.

Just as we cannot (as is alledged) take action against terrorist threats when Dick Cheney believes there is even a 1% chance of occurance, neither can we take action against environmental threats that exist only at the upper ranges of outcomes. Overstating risks only leads the public to find pooh-pooh columns like Gurley's to be credible.

Emily Hadley 8 years, 9 months ago

And once again, we are not saving the planet for the planet's sake. Perhaps I can put this in terms that liberals, conservatives, independents, and others can all understand:

When you don't pay your mortgage and the bank forcloses on your house, you do not feel bad for your house. You feel bad because you lived in it, it gave you one of the most basic protections, shelter from natural elements and predators, and without that, you can not survive.

When a credit counselor tells you that you can do something (lower your spending, consolidate, work more efficiently) to save your house, this person is not literally trying to save your house. They are trying to save the place you live in so that you can survive and thrive and help continue the species.

Just like the enemy of an American who wants to save his house, but spends too much on unnecessary items, believes what he learned in high school and on TV about economics and self-sufficiency, stays on at a minimum-wage job rather than go through the headache of finding something more productive, buys a house with more square footage than they need, and avoids opening bills because they are depressing,

"... the enemy we must go out to meet to "save the planet" is.....??"

US.

xenophonschild 8 years, 9 months ago

None of the trog lollipops have focused on 22,000,000,000 tons of carbon dumped in the atmosphere - annually - from burning fossil fuels.

"Positive feedback." Try 22 billion of 'em, you damned twit.

We can remove the carbon from the atmosphere ourselves, here in America, for a surpisingly modest amount of money and effort.

BrianR 8 years, 9 months ago

The cheeze and carbon thickburger is to die for.

ASBESTOS 8 years, 9 months ago

XENO:

"None of the trog lollipops have focused on 22,000,000,000 tons of carbon dumped in the atmosphere - annually - from burning fossil fuels.

"Positive feedback." Try 22 billion of 'em, you damned twit.

We can remove the carbon from the atmosphere ourselves, here in America, for a surpisingly modest amount of money and effort."

If you truly understood what was going on in the Global Climatic Cycle you would also insist on the issue of water vapor, on which you would be right. There are far more tons of H2O in the air and a better greenhouse gas than CO2.

Why don't you wake up and smell the science?

devobrun 8 years, 9 months ago

Alfred,

Its been a busy day. Sorry I'm late answering you, if yer still there.

"The point being, you have to have trust somewhere in your life. Are politicians high up on the list of trustworthiness? Not in my book. However, people who have dedicated their career to the study of a topic really ought to get a smidgen of the benefit of the doubt."

Trust yourself to evaluate the advice that you receive. Learn about your disease when the doctor diagnoses it. Be an advocate for yourself. Don't just sign away your care to the system. My wife is a doctor.

The medical system has lots of problems with it. Like doctors forced into medical procedures and treatments that come from a protocol. Diabetes patients who respond well to a particular medicine, but are forced by the insurance or medicare clerk to get a cheaper medicine. When it doesn't work, its months until the right med is finally approved.

Politicians aren't helping the medical system. Again, trust yourself. Ask questions. Listen carefully. Consult other docs, medical folks, internet, journals. Become an expert on your medical situation. Converse with the doc on the level that he/she is thinking.

The difference between researchers and implementers is that the implementers (engineers, mechanics, doctors, etc) show results. That is, if the doc, or mechanic does you wrong, go somewhere else. If the researcher fudges the data a smidge, nobody knows. Will the modeler of the climate admit to a highly sensitive piece of the model which renders the model useless?

Yes, but only if it suggests more research and more $ are forthcoming.

I've seen people enough to know that every mechanic, engineer, doc, or researcher tries to do the right thing. Sometimes, it gets very difficult. Sometimes it gets a bit sketchy. Some decisions made are , well, stretchin' things a bit.

What if the guys who wrote the programs to model the climate try to tell their boss that their models are probably wrong by + or - 5%? 5% of 300K is 15K. Can they tell the boss that there is a whole industry based on bogus software?

I am old enough to have seen lots of b/s/ coming from mechanics, docs, engineers, and researchers. In general, I find death and destruction predictions to be as real as nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 9 months ago

The real probllem confronting civilization is fundamentalist christianity. They wont be happy until the USA is the CTSA, the Christian Taliban States of America.

Fundy chrisitianity is a sham and a joke perpetrated on our citizens by corrupt, immoral deviants who are only interested in money, sex, and power.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 9 months ago

Good argument, d-bag. You can do better than "Not!".

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 9 months ago

The real problem confronting civilization is fundamentalist christianity. They wont be happy until the USA is the CTSA, the Christian Taliban States of America.

Fundy chrisitianity is a sham and a joke perpetrated on our citizens by corrupt, immoral deviants who are only interested in money, sex, and power.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 9 months ago

The US military needs to be directed to flush the christian taliban out of their lairs on the plains of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Smoke 'em out and destroy em, just like in Afghanistan.

Ban the Christian Taliban. It is every American's duty to resist them.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 9 months ago

One Nation Under (My) God. May the Crosses and Stripes wave proudly forever!

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 9 months ago

Yes, and it was a glorious patriotic display. It should be done more often to put an end to the christian taliban. Child molesters and deviants need to be dealt with, and Clinton did the patriotic thing.

When christian talibaners hold God above their country, they refuse to be citizens and deserve to be abolished.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 9 months ago

The Crosses and Stripes! Long may she wave! NOT!

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 9 months ago

The burning Branch Davidian compound had a 4th of July feel to it. Beautiful.

Unfortunately, it caused a member of the christian taliban, Tim McVeigh, to attack the USA. Too bad he was not in the compound with the other immoral christian deviants. He got his, though.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 9 months ago

The christian taliban won't be happy until women are servants, science is illegal, and everyone is forced to worship their god.

The x-tian taliban must be resisted and destroyed.

bisky1 8 years, 9 months ago

another circle jerk in lawrence this was all settled two days ago by asbestos

xenophonschild 8 years, 9 months ago

In ten short years, that means 2.2 trillion tons of carbon dumped into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels.

Two-point two trillion. Gore is right; you wobble-heads are wrong.

Conservatives are a curse on us all - past, present, and future. yourworstnightmare is absolutely correct; they must be destroyed . . . with kindness, of course.

ASBESTOS 8 years, 9 months ago

HGA if computers are your thing I would say stay with that. Your posts are raging psycosis with no common thought process or rationality other than "I hate Bush" or "I hate Republicans". That is fine, however it makes you not even close to a joke as understanding global climatic processess.

The crapola you just posted has no relationship at all BU ANY SCIENTIST!

AND would you for the love of Pete, STOP POSTING THAT ANNOYING:

AHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA

HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

IT is NOT WITTY, INTELLIGENT, COGENT, SOPHISTICATED, NOR VERY FUNNY.

IT makes you appear as the psycho that you are.

Wilbur_Nether 8 years, 9 months ago

Arminius wrote: "the man closest to what we might call a Christian Taliban has a mural painted of him in the capitol building...."

Please tell me this doesn't refer to the Franciscan, Father Juan de Padilla.

ASBESTOS 8 years, 9 months ago

AND would you for the love of Pete, STOP POSTING THAT ANNOYING:

AHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA

HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

IT is NOT WITTY, INTELLIGENT, COGENT, SOPHISTICATED, NOR VERY FUNNY.

IT makes you appear as the psycho that you are.

ASBESTOS 8 years, 9 months ago

Look you psycho, You know NOTHING of the Sciences, you may kjnow a little about computers. But knowledge about computers means exactly SQUAT in the environmental sciences. Yes we use computer modeling, and have been using it for a long time for a lot of things. But underlying that is application of Biology, Geology, Physics, and Chemistry. THose are more important in understanding the environment than a computer degree.

Why do you believe that we are all to bow down to your superior intellect....when that intellect is absent?

OH and BTW,

AND would you for the love of Pete, STOP POSTING THAT ANNOYING:

AHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA

HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

IT is NOT WITTY, INTELLIGENT, COGENT, SOPHISTICATED, NOR VERY FUNNY.

IT makes you appear as the psycho that you are.

Why do you believe that we are all to bow down to your superior intellect....when that intellect is absent?

ASBESTOS 8 years, 9 months ago

HGA:

"So explain to me again how 68000s were in Intel based boxes, especially at a time in your life when you were "really into it"."

Explain to me how this has any relevence at all with the thread topic. HOw does computer arcchitecture hafe ANYTHING REMOTELY to do with GOLBAL CLIMATIC CHANGE??

HOW??

Your ego is HOW.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 9 months ago

You all are missing the point. The gravest danger to society are fundy christians, the x-tian taliban.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 9 months ago

Hey Holygrailale,

I saw a beer called "holygrailale" at Cork and Barrel. Had it?

Keep on keepin' on, HGA.

hottruckinmama 8 years, 9 months ago

Posted by conservativeman (anonymous) on July 6, 2006 at 8:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"It has always been my dream to be a receptionist"

lol conservativeman. finally showing your feminine side i see.

and if she didn't work and did nothing but get welfare you conservatives would b!tch about that too. you people are never happy.

ASBESTOS 8 years, 9 months ago

SO how many degrees do you have Oh learned one. You said you were working on computers in 1975 in college, so you are around 57 years of age. Funny you don't reason like it. Your posts are much more infantile than your aged years that you purport to be. ' I think you are just full of it.

ASBESTOS 8 years, 9 months ago

Let's see, expert in computers, science, religion, political thought, philosophy and beer.

Also holding honary degrees in being annoying, unsophisticated, off topic, self centered, and obviously a very disgraced and unfulfilled human being.

I think I get you know HGA.

You are what you um consume.

ASBESTOS 8 years, 9 months ago

AGAIN, another blog thread taken ENTIRELY OFF TOPIC BY HGA in order to call anttention to UNFULFILLED life goals, who then wraps all the discussion around their beer soaked ego.

Sad, very Sad.

OH, I'll bet you hold a psycology degree too, don't you HGA?

ASBESTOS 8 years, 9 months ago

Good HGA, you tag things like "typing" accuracy on a blog about "Casting Doubt" on the Climatic Change.

Good Very Good.

Chasing me off, That what You want?

Why do you post in this incoherent off topic way.

Just what the hell is wrong with you, you are such an expert at every other GD thing on the face of the earth.

You want me outta here?

You want to stifle free speech?

YOu want to take up endless threads about YOU instead of the discussion topic?

What the hell do you want?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.