Monthly Archives: October 2010

1970 Redux

In case anyone is interested, in 1970, there were some claims made similar to this one I saw here:

4. If human CO2 emissions stopped abruptly, it will still take thousands of years for CO2 to return to Base CO2.

1970. . . It was the run up to the Clean Air & Water Act.  I lived in the Cleveland, OH area.  The claim then was this, and it was trumpeted over and over in the local press and news media:

If we didn’t put one drop more of pollution into Lake Erie, it will still take ten thousand years for the lake to clean itself up.

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Tom Fuller has a moment of sanity, on all our behalf

Tom Fuller posted this at WUWT: The League of 2.5 in which he argues that we start being honest about what we know about what temperatures are going to be doing in the next 90 years.

My reaction is:  We should have been stating it this way all along.  Scientists should be stating openly that all their caveats that are usually deep within MSM articles aren’t just them being cautious.  Those caveats are real: All the claims being made ARE just “the best we can figure out now.”  Since day one on the global warming issue what he has said is exactly true.  Models are not reality; they are simulating reality “the best we can do right now.”  Projections out to 2100 in and of themselves are NOT going to torch the Earth.

So far one of the real realities is that if the average temps have only varied by a degree or so, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?  Humans will adapt.  There is not one person present on either side that can tell the difference between (Average) and (Average+0.5C).  And 75% of us can barely tell the difference between (Average) and (Average+2.5C).

Claims that we need to do something NOW are not based on anything but conjecture.  So Tom’s suggestion about the error bars would at least tell people, “This is how much confidence we have in what projections we can make.”  And then we should let people go on with their lives.
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Creeping Totalitarianism is a Mirage

Quoted in How Democracy Dies: Lessons from a Master, by Chris Hedges

at Information Clearing House

“For a considerable length of time the normality of the normal world is the most efficient protection against disclosure of totalitarian mass crimes,” Hannah Arendt  wrote in “The Origins of Totalitarianism.” “Normal men don’t know that everything is possible, refuse to believe their eyes and ears in the face of the monstrous. … The reason why the totalitarian regimes can get so far toward realizing a fictitious, topsy-turvy world is that the outside non-totalitarian world, which always comprises a great part of the population of the totalitarian country itself, indulges in wishful thinking and shirks reality in the face of real insanity. …”

This is completely wrong. She simply does not know what she is talking about.   Show me one totalitarian regime that came in gradually, as a result of an eroding of a democracy over some long gradual period of time.  Historically it has never happened.  The Greek nation changed over time, yes.  The Roman Republic?  Anybody ever heard of Julius Caesar?  “Crossing the Rubicon”?  Julius Caesar SEIZED power.  Adolf Hitler SEIZED power.  Joseph Stalin SEIZED power.  Idi Amin SEIZED power.

Do you see anyone seizing power in the US?

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On puzzles, science and Real Reality

In a comment at WUWT, Roger Carr wrote on October 10, 2010 at 8:41 pm…

feet2thefire says: (October 10, 2010 at 7:50 pm) I’ve also asked quite a few questions here without getting very many responses.

I do read your questions, Feet, and puzzle; but I do not have the science which would give my answers any value — so your musings do have an effect (and I read timeline left to right…).</blockquote>

Thanks, Roger, for the feedback.

Roger, I am a generalist mostly, with a lot of off-topic info that I meld into my thinking processes.  I very much appreciate the more focused folks here, and know enough to ask them what I hope are decent and thought-expanding questions.  With a wide array of info sitting around in my head, sometimes non-obvious questions come to mind.

All the scientists of old that I look up to were also metaphysicians and natural philosophers.  Most of them were seeking answers to the wider questions of reality.  To be that way they had to have taken a “liberal education” quite seriously, to have been able to take up the baton handed them by their forebears and run with it.  So, while the narrow focus of most of these posts and comments are on AGW and specifics of scientific progress, discoveries, surprises and skepticism among factions, there is a broader picture that a Newton or a Hooke or a Franklin or a Laplace would have brought to the fray.  I think the greatest development of Western Society was the Scottish Enlightenment, which began with the first universal education in the world.  Our world would not have been possible without the concept of “every person is entitled to be educated.”  (They included adult education in that, beginning in 1700 – and many, many adults began studying Greek and Latin so they could read the ancient books in their original tongues.)

Education is not about acquiring PhDs and then attaining tenure and the admiration of academic peers.  Education is about people acquiring understanding of the real world around them – and having a perspective that incorporates that knowledge into a populace of good and decent people.  Part of that is the assumption that educated people live more productive and happier lives.
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