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  #231  
Old 07-01-2009, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by DammitJim View Post
I was just pointing out that scribbler was not the poster who was able explain his views in reasonable and mannerly way (that was Akula2ssn)

when you say the link leads to plenty of "evidency looking text", do you mean it is of no real value?? because that is what "evidency looking text" actually means
I have a question which I'd like some help with as I genuinely don't have the answer to it.

I went to a book shop and tried to buy a book with some kind of sensible background on climate change. I did this because people on this good forum made me think. All I was able to buy (I was advised by staff at a very large London book shop) was highly politicised books with polarised views either for or against the environmental movement's ideas.

Can anyone help?

Where does one go for objective evidence?
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  #232  
Old 07-01-2009, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Scribbler View Post
I have a question which I'd like some help with as I genuinely don't have the answer to it.

I went to a book shop and tried to buy a book with some kind of sensible background on climate change. I did this because people on this good forum made me think. All I was able to buy (I was advised by staff at a very large London book shop) was highly politicised books with polarised views either for or against the environmental movement's ideas.

Can anyone help?

Where does one go for objective evidence?

University for a degree would be my guess.
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  #233  
Old 07-01-2009, 09:54 PM
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I have stumbled over a site with decent data: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/



I observed two things.
First, the data is very noisy and thus climate-change deniers can pick out a time period of about 10 year, which seems pretty long, and show that average temperatures indeed fell during these 10 years.
Second, despite the short-run fluctuations, there is a clear upward trend. With the naked eye, I'd say about +0.1°C / 30 years.

Last edited by horatio : 07-01-2009 at 11:09 PM.
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  #234  
Old 07-01-2009, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scribbler View Post
I have a question which I'd like some help with as I genuinely don't have the answer to it.

I went to a book shop and tried to buy a book with some kind of sensible background on climate change. I did this because people on this good forum made me think. All I was able to buy (I was advised by staff at a very large London book shop) was highly politicised books with polarised views either for or against the environmental movement's ideas.

Can anyone help?

Where does one go for objective evidence?
I guess it is pretty hard to find a decent book, especially in such a heated political atmosphere.

I'd rather first read what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has to say.
Here is a direct link to their last report: http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-re...yr/ar4_syr.pdf
On a quick glance, it seems to be understandable to a layman like me without being dumbed down. Above all, it clearly deals with and reports uncertainty, which is rarely the case in popular-scientific publications.

Last edited by horatio : 07-01-2009 at 11:25 PM.
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  #235  
Old 07-02-2009, 03:17 AM
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(graphic is from Gregory Clark's "A Farewell To Alms")

To get away from climate change and back to science in general, this graphic neatly sums up the usefulness of scientific process.
The Malthusian trap, named after Thomas Malthus, describes a situation of a subsistence economy where every increase of output just leads to a roughly equal population increase, where any tiny bit of extra prosperity is virtually eaten up.

"Technological takeoff was the product of a newly inquisitive, empirically-minded, scientific culture — the kind of culture that could produce people like Malthus."

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/200...re-on-malthus/
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  #236  
Old 07-02-2009, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by DammitJim View Post
University for a degree would be my guess.
Yes but I can't quit my job every time I'm curious about something. I don't want to be a professional, I just want to find out a bit more.

By the way, thankyou to everyone who's answered with suggestions. Please keep 'em coming!

Last edited by Scribbler : 07-03-2009 at 11:53 AM.
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  #237  
Old 07-02-2009, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horatio View Post
I observed two things.
First, the data is very noisy and thus climate-change deniers can pick out a time period of about 10 year, which seems pretty long, and show that average temperatures indeed fell during these 10 years.
Second, despite the short-run fluctuations, there is a clear upward trend. With the naked eye, I'd say about +0.1°C / 30 years.
Yes, it is quite noisy. In fact the charts that show estimated average temperatures back for the past few hundred thousand years looks just as noisy. The sources of all the noise is quite numerous and includes things like El Nino events, some fluctuations in solar activity like flare activity, volcanic events, etc and some fluctuations are a bit harder to account for. And as you have already noticed, despite these different sources of fluctuations, there is an upward trend, particularly starting at the peak of the Cold War.

The only thing I'm worried about is how smart will people in leadership positions be. Back in the 70s Boeing tried to get into producing wind turbines. The aerospace industry was hurting and there was a bit of an energy crunch. Given Boeing background in aerodynamics, it seemed logical to use that knowledge into building wind turbines. But that was put to a stop when the US Government basically told Boeing that it was an aircraft company and thus should not be allowed to go into the business of energy production. On top of that, environmentalists at the time were against building wind turbines because they altered the local environment and endangered birds. So I wonder, are we going to be smarter in how we make environmental decisions, or are we going to follow the flavor of the month knee jerk reaction. As my climate change professor told us in class, we can probably summarize the history of environmental policy as trading one environmental problem for another. I think it's not just a question of whether or not we do something, but also whether or not the other environmental impacts of the solution are manageable.

From my own experience, it's not just political opponents of climate legislation that don't have a clue about the science. Back at the university I studied at, and a fairly liberal campus I might add, plenty of activists didn't even have a clue about the science.
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Last edited by Akula2ssn : 07-02-2009 at 01:55 PM.
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  #238  
Old 07-03-2009, 11:24 AM
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I know these kind of lefties, Akula (and I may say lefty here because I consider myself a lefty too) . These are the people who protest against free trade for the sake of poor countries, not realizing that it is a lack of free trade, protection of our markets, which contributes to the poverty in the Third World.

Dogma and ideology are sadly often more powerful than reason.
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