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Stark warning emerges from science summit - Comments

Hume's Razor's Avatar Comment 1 by Hume's Razor

Call me a misanthrope, but the idea that our future survival depends on the reasonableness of the kind of [expletive deleted] that make up most of humanity is simply too horrible to contemplate. (And I used to be such a nice guy... :( )

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 17:32:16 UTC | #924097

Helga Vieirch's Avatar Comment 2 by Helga Vieirch

I doubt that most people, at conception, are destined to be (expletive deleted). Something happens to a lot of them that causes this, don't you think? Maybe we might consider what this might be, and change it?

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 18:29:08 UTC | #924108

SomersetJohn's Avatar Comment 3 by SomersetJohn

It's about time we all stopped talking about saving the planet. The planet will go on quite happily no matter what we do.

The biosphere now, that's another matter. I am persuaded that we are doing terrible damage to the biosphere, possibly even more than the most vociferous environmentalists believe. Even if we do remove ourselves from the scene (regrettably probably along with the majority of other species) the planet, and in all probability life, will go on.

What we really need to save is ourselves, which will likely have the unintended consequence of saving lots of other species.

Here's hoping!

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 18:36:35 UTC | #924109

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 4 by Border Collie

Thank you Ronald Reagan, Georges Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Carl Rove, Ron Paul, That Mormon Guy and the rest of you religioconservatard ignorant sluts ...

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 18:38:09 UTC | #924110

aroundtown's Avatar Comment 5 by aroundtown

Comment 4 by Border Collie Thank you Ronald Reagan, Georges Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and the rest of you ignorant sluts ...

+1 Thank you for stating some of the obvious roadblocks. Can't slow that wagon down before it goes over the cliff.

They said few people are aware of the present condition regarding the dangers of climate change and I have felt like a man screaming in the wilderness in my alarm so I guess I am one of the few then.

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 18:46:27 UTC | #924114

Hume's Razor's Avatar Comment 6 by Hume's Razor

Comment 2 by Helga Vierich :

I doubt that most people, at conception, are destined to be (expletive deleted). Something happens to a lot of them that causes this, don't you think? Maybe we might consider what this might be, and change it?

I hope you are right, and we shouldn't stop trying, but the the literature on the topic is not encouraging.

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 19:34:41 UTC | #924123

Daniel Williams's Avatar Comment 7 by Daniel Williams

Comment 5 by aroundtown :

Comment 4 by Border Collie Thank you Ronald Reagan, Georges Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and the rest of you ignorant sluts ...

+1 Thank you for stating some of the obvious roadblocks. Can't slow that wagon down before it goes over the cliff.

They said few people are aware of the present condition regarding the dangers of climate change and I have felt like a man screaming in the wilderness in my alarm so I guess I am one of the few then.

Totally agree with you. I just can't understand why people don't see how serious this is. Why aren't we building huge co2 scrubbers or planting vast forrests to make sure we survive.

I also found this ever so well said:

"I get angry when I hear people say: 'In the rainforest people live in ecological balance.' They don't. They die in ecological balance,"

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 19:38:38 UTC | #924124

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 8 by Peter Grant

I get angry when I hear people say: 'In the rainforest people live in ecological balance.' They don't. They die in ecological balance.

-Hans Rosling

Excellent point.

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 19:42:06 UTC | #924125

gordon's Avatar Comment 9 by gordon

If a lot of us do a little we will achieve......... a little. We need to change the way our governments and paymasters (in their eyes) think. This is revolutionary talk. Militant if you like. We can 'demand' change. Not by killing or bombing but by changing the way people think. The 'left' (I hate using left and right) is too accomodating, multiculture, no nuc power, beans will save the planet; the 'right, off the scale on religion and ecology. Somehow, the people how think need to offer a solution. Oh, and we need to own some media outlets!

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 19:58:04 UTC | #924126

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 10 by Neodarwinian

I see the usual suspects are blamed, but don't forget humanities and social science incoherence, new age nonsense, anti-vaccine idiocy, alternative medicine and a host of other anti-science positions that have nothing to do with either creationism or climate change denial.

PS: Empiricism, romanticism and dualism are still with us.

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 20:09:04 UTC | #924128

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 11 by Schrodinger's Cat

Never mind. Maybe one of the 3 billion more people born in the next 50 years will come up with a solution.

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 20:14:28 UTC | #924131

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 12 by Premiseless

Comment 11 by Schrodinger's Cat :

Never mind. Maybe one of the 3 billion more people born in the next 50 years will come up with a solution.

Which is the answer to the question, "Whose listening?"

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 20:37:54 UTC | #924136

Duff's Avatar Comment 13 by Duff

Stop worrying. Jesus will be back before the year is out - I'm predicting the day after the Mayan Calender comes to an end, Dec 22, or something like that - and everything will be ok.

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 21:30:15 UTC | #924149

quarecuss's Avatar Comment 14 by quarecuss

I've just arrived in the door from an eco-conference at a suburban university campus in Toronto. About 100-150 people attended. The one session on "climate action" that I was in on was a kind of brainstorming session about "how to proceed". It felt like pissing in the wind. The vast majority of the people in this particular city couldn't care less about climate change. Most of us say, "We're all going to die anyway ... what does it matter how we die?" If you point out that it's the human species that may die out in the next few generations, there are many who will answer, "So?"

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 21:51:20 UTC | #924154

nok's Avatar Comment 15 by nok

"It's about persuading people to believe in science."

Why do people in this position talk about "believing" in science, as if it's in the same sphere as religion? What about getting people to understand and trust science?

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 22:13:15 UTC | #924159

Metamag's Avatar Comment 16 by Metamag

Sorry but this is not going to happen if you don't ban corporate political organizations from pretending to be fair news organizations like Fox News.

Science PR simply can't compete with that.

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 00:00:33 UTC | #924196

M69att's Avatar Comment 17 by M69att

Comment 2 by Helga Vierich :

I doubt that most people, at conception, are destined to be (expletive deleted). Something happens to a lot of them that causes this, don't you think? Maybe we might consider what this might be, and change it?

Wonderfully put.

It strikes me that it is worth asking the question, is the overwhelming tendency of our species to in group/out group thinking perhaps one of those things that does happen to people which enhances their 'unreasonabilty' and turns them into deleted expletives? Or to go one further that most of us are, it seems, quite deeply deluded about ways in which we ourselves differ from others. There are many well known experiments that show how people so frequently overestimate their own performance in certain circumstances and how many of us succumb to peer group pressure against our own better judgement; even in obvious situations. Equally, we all know how easily we can become hung up on our own defects be they small penises, flabby bottoms or concerns about our shortcomings of personality.

We all have blind-spots and issues over which we are unreasonable. It seems possible or even probable that in any community, even a community dedicated to reason and science, emerging cultural blind-spots can very quickly develop and start to become almost invisible to community members whilst representing a red flashing light to 'out-groupers'. Thus the reason and science community becomes unreasonable. Unless we continually remind ourselves of what the science tells us; that we are an innately unreasonable species and given to serious errors of judgement. We should never be complacent and claim that we are the reasonable ones. Our position maybe, and I believe is, much more reasonable than many but that is not the same thing as immunity to 'unreason' nor is it the same as having a sole claim to 'the' reasonable position.

And finally, back on topic...

I like your point of view SommersetJohn.

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 00:02:04 UTC | #924197

Pitchguest's Avatar Comment 18 by Pitchguest

Comment 15 by nok

"It's about persuading people to believe in science."

Why do people in this position talk about "believing" in science, as if it's in the same sphere as religion? What about getting people to understand and trust science?

Believing in something is trusting. The disconnect with religion is that their 'belief' is not so much 'trust' as it is 'hoping.' Whereas we know science exists and know it works, the religious only hope their god does which is vastly different. But I get your point.

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 00:16:13 UTC | #924202

Ranting Socrates's Avatar Comment 19 by Ranting Socrates

I feel so depressed now.

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 01:22:26 UTC | #924224

nancynancy's Avatar Comment 20 by nancynancy

What if it's already too late?

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 01:55:17 UTC | #924234

Quine's Avatar Comment 21 by Quine

Comment 20 by nancynancy:
What if it's already too late?

It is too late to have no bad results. It is not too late to avoid the worst of all bad results.

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 02:06:55 UTC | #924236

rjohn19's Avatar Comment 22 by rjohn19

I loved the line in their topic title, "Flattening the earth..." Maybe that is the approach. "Yes, yes, you're quite right children. The earth is flat after all but we're effing it up just the same." Compromise might work.

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 03:18:51 UTC | #924244

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 23 by drumdaddy

Fossil fuels! Wow, what a fun ride our last few generations have had, eh? What a ride! Weeeeeee....

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 05:04:33 UTC | #924251

Reckless Monkey's Avatar Comment 24 by Reckless Monkey

I wonder if people ever understood science. I accept that at one point people thought science was good, I'm not sure how much they understood it. They were happy to accept penicillin, polio vaccines, electric light, rockets to the Moon, but did they understand it?

Post modernism has undoubtedly caused massive harm to science and humanity as a whole but I think science's problem has been that its benefits were self evident, Having particularly the last 60 years or so of easy living in the West and poor science teaching (certainly when I was at school, I have Attenborough, Brownowski and Sagan to thank for my love and early education in science).

Science is seen by the public as inaccessible (Geeky/Brainy) enterprise that is beyond them but they often worry about motives (atheistic, tinkering with gods works kinda thing or alarmist). I think we spend too much time trying to cover every little area of science in our curriculum in too little depth. The result is kids get basically a bunch of facts (which they will forget a few weeks latter - if they listened in the first place). What we need is less covered in far more detail with an aim to connect them to how science came by this knowledge what are the implications and how important it is to our society as a whole. The whole process of peer review - which is not covered in the Australian schools at least (we write up experiments and teach them to fill in the blanks Aim, Hypothesis etc. but there is too little emphasis on why it is important). Standardised testing discourages teachers going into depth in things that are not going to be tested. I'll give an example I have never seen a science test ask this question "Why do scientists publish their findings in peer review journals?". Result, bored kids, frustrated teachers and Naturopaths, and AGW denialists flourish.

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 08:35:50 UTC | #924259

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 25 by Alan4discussion

Comment 24 by Reckless Monkey

I'll give an example I have never seen a science test ask this question "Why do scientists publish their findings in peer review journals?".

I wonder what % of the public have ever seen a peer-reviewed journal, or could actually read and comprehend one if they found it?
These are usually read by specialist groups, and (mis)reported in sensationalised form by journalists.

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 11:54:00 UTC | #924285

notany's Avatar Comment 26 by notany

Teaching children how to be well rounded critical thinkers would be a good start. Teaching how the media works and how to determine facts in a sea of misinformation, in a logic format, could open doors to scientific curiosity.

Yes, its puzzling how to hook children on learning!

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 13:13:38 UTC | #924300

guwest's Avatar Comment 27 by guwest

It was ironic that one of the google ads in the middle of this article on physorg was for the bible bashers' end time. Are the creationists targeting science websites for their ad campaigns more now?

Comment 25 by Alan4discussion :

Comment 24 by Reckless Monkey

I'll give an example I have never seen a science test ask this question "Why do scientists publish their findings in peer review journals?".

I wonder what % of the public have ever seen a peer-reviewed journal, or could actually read and comprehend one if they found it? These are usually read by specialist groups, and (mis)reported in sensationalised form by journalists.

Check potholer54 on youtube for this. He's great at debunking Monckton.

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 16:56:14 UTC | #924337

Hariseldonsays's Avatar Comment 28 by Hariseldonsays

I'll second that concerning potholer54. Outstanding.

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 17:17:58 UTC | #924342

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 29 by aquilacane

Perhaps a massive fish stock collapse or other food stock will kill off most of the problem. Net food importers might fail first? When we start dealing in the true economy, we'll see who's rich. I'm with Canada, we can still absorb a couple hundred million.

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 17:21:11 UTC | #924344

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 30 by Alan4discussion

Comment 29 by aquilacane

I really is stupid to exhaust stocks, food supplies and resources by greed and stupidity, when they could be well managed by scientific methods like this one:- to give high quality production!

Space Based Services to Improve Water Use Efficiency of Vineyards in South Africa (GrapeLook) http://iap.esa.int/projects/water/grapelook
The objective of this project is to assist grape farmers and governmental authorities with the management of scarce irrigation water resources and on-farm nitrogen applications in order to promote sustainable optimal resource utilization, reduce input costs, protect the environment, and ultimately increase water use efficiency by means of operational satellite technologies. In other words: the development, integration and validation of sustainable end-to-end services for optimal utilization of water and fertilizers in vineyards in Western Cape, South Africa. The services will be based on the integration of established techniques and methods relying on space (satellite earth observation, satellite communication and satellite navigation) as well as terrestrial technologies. These services will provide governmental authorities such as the Ministry of Agriculture, related Water Users Associations (WUAs), and individual farmers, with information on the overall consumption and optimal utilization of water and fertilizers. Consequential they will be empowered to achieve optimal resource utilization, reduce input costs, reduce the environmental impacts, and increase the yield and quality of grapes and wine.

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 18:23:17 UTC | #924360