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rolan's Avatar Joined about 3 years ago
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Go to: From where should atheists draw their "comfort"?

rolan's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by rolan

Comment 16 by Robert Howard

Surely I can't have discovered the proof that Heaven and Hell don't exist........

Not for the religious.

I am sure that those who justify the appalling morality of religious texts and the hypocrytical, contradictory, and malfeasant behaviour of religious organisations in terms of a bigger moral picture beyond our mortal comprehension (a.k.a 'God's plan') will likewise couch heaven as something we mere mortals cannot understand (but which will make blissful, perfect sense for those who get there).

Mon, 05 Sep 2011 00:23:18 UTC | #867299

Go to: Why the laws of physics make anthropogenic climate change undeniable

rolan's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by rolan

Comment 23 by Alan4discussion What billions of dollars? - Another gross exaggeration.

I was referring to the Carbon Tax legislation which is currently before parliament in Australia. It is a multi-billion dollar cost which due to the nature of the inbuilt compensations and allowances will ultimately line the pockets of multinationals and direct funds offshore for the purchase of carbon credits. (Actually an independent report released today has shown that, due to the structure of the tax, the steel industry will receive a net windfall and the coal industry has no need to change current practices).

Ironically, you may not have noticed, but for the rest of your post we are in agreement about funding policy and technology which directly addresses emissions. The Australian Government is not doing this.

Comment 24 by billzfantazy - thanks

Comment 25 by Jos Gibbons Perhaps I did utter opinions as fact - for that i apologise. The bull number of 1K was actually from the lecture as I was trying to differentiate between the 'raw' effect of CO2 doubling (well understood) and that indicated by estimates of climate sensitivity (arguably - but lets not go there again - less well). I guess I failed in making myself clear. I'd like to find out more about the predictive models - I only seem to be able to find conflicting, divergent ones - but maybe I'm looking in the wrong places. Any pointers appreciated.

Wed, 31 Aug 2011 10:29:59 UTC | #865821

Go to: Why the laws of physics make anthropogenic climate change undeniable

rolan's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by rolan

Comment 21 by Ignorant Amos

I honestly don't know how I managed to rub people up the wrong way with my posts, or are you looking for an argument?

You seem to be questioning the term negligible and linking it to a claim that I found Jos's posts informative. This isn't even a climate change argument.

Australia contributes a little over 1.3% of the worlds greenhouse emissions (though it has the highest per-capita emissions - largely due to the disproportionate size of the agriculture and resource industries). The reduction of Australia's emissions by 23% per annum by 2020 (estimated by the Government in the new multi-billion dollar tax plan) will not have a significant affect on global atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

I am being a bit disingenuous here. Of course it may give us the higher-moral-ground from which we can convince others to effect change - do-as-I-do and all that. However, it seems to me that there are several things to do (stop selling coal to China, close the dirty brown-coal-fired power plants, use our abundant coastline and sunny hinterland areas for alternative energy, go nuclear etc. etc. ) that would still cost, but have a more direct impact on reducing emissions and bring other benefits.

And, if you must know, Applied Physics/Computer Science double major, though this line of inquiry is starting to sound rather like an ad-hominem attack.

Wed, 31 Aug 2011 07:29:24 UTC | #865793

Go to: Why the laws of physics make anthropogenic climate change undeniable

rolan's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by rolan

Well Jos (Comment 10), consider me suitably slapped down.

I though this to be a forum for discussion. Obviously my moaning and lies have no place here.

(takes a breath)

I feel Comment 10 was unnecessarily vitriolic and adversarial - though I understand it is frustrating dealing with people who just don't listen or think. However, I am not sticking my fingers in my ears and going 'la la la la' - just voicing an observation. Perhaps if a commenter is just plain wrong, it's OK to say "no, that's wrong, in fact...", rather than use terms like "load of bull etc". Anyway, I did learn from your post and comment, so for that, thank you.

Also Comment 11 by Alan4discussion - Sure, at any cost may be an exaggeration, but in Australia the billions of dollars that will be taken out of the economy to mitigate the negligible contribution (on a global scale) to greenhouse emissions seems disproportionate. (Mind you, the whole approach of the Government in this area is all over the place, so perhaps it's just the implementation not the intention which is flawed).

Finally my mention of my science degree was not some sort of claim to authority, but to indicate that I am a rationalist and understand the way science is done.

Wed, 31 Aug 2011 01:08:46 UTC | #865723

Go to: Why the laws of physics make anthropogenic climate change undeniable

rolan's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by rolan

I must say that I find the term denier and the general condescending tone rather offensive. I have a science qualification, am skeptical regarding unfounded claims of various flavors, and resent the characterization of any critical analysis of the popular position on climate change as being some sort of Luddite, reactionary response.

I do think that the "reduce carbon dioxide emissions at any cost" position to be flawed.

1) The material posted above is really great and a great boon to the discussion. The physics is well understood. There is no argument that a doubling of CO2 concentrations should give rise to a temperature increase of about 1 degree K.

But I would point out that Lecture 7 - Forcing, feedbacks, and the climate response explains the uncertainties in trying to estimate the climate sensitivity to this change from models and the difficulty (the lecture says that it cannot be done) in trying to use experimental data for such an estimation. It also states that the precise effect on and by various actors in the system (e.g. cloud cover) is currently unknown. It's the climate sensitivity which is unknown.

This is a big deal as most of the IPPC predictions are predicated on multi-degree changes in temperature.

2) It is unclear that a 1 (or 2 or 3 or whatever) degree change in global temperature is significant in relation to long-term cyclic, global temperature variation. This is a pulling-signal-out-of-noise problem, and so far, the experimental data doesn't seem to have matched model predictions.

We just don't know enough to make accurate predictions - and as scientists, that's OK. We're comfortable about having challenges and things to learn about our universe.

We can make hypotheses and discuss their relative likelihoods. We can undertake risk analyses and act on them appropriately. Just don't tell me that the science is settled, blather on about scientific consensus, and pull out numbers from somewhere within the error bars as definitive fact.

I don't think I'm denying anything, I think that's the way science is done. (Faith, on the other hand, is a whole other kettle of fish).

Tue, 30 Aug 2011 01:48:44 UTC | #865395

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