J Thomas wrote:It shows how much you've thought it out. The only alternative I see to making explicit models is to go by your gut feel, to work out the interactions in your head.
It's possible to build models based on first principles. Like, you could build economic models based on your ideas about how people act in free markets. See how the models work out, and notice whether the results surprise you. You might get results you didn't expect, which would show that you had not completely thought out the implications of your assumptions. That's worth doing, but of course it only helps you improve your thinking. You can't expect it to result in predictions for the real world, any more than a gedanken experiment will predict lab results.
Better when you can have quantitative models. Use whatever you know about real physics and chemistry, use whatever experimental data you have. See what results you get from modeling that. It always seems to turn out that there are hidden variables, things that are very important which you haven't managed to measure. You can use the models to predict those variables, but of course when you have N equations in 2N variables you get a lot of leeway at predicting the missing parameters. One really good result from this sort of model is it can give you a clear idea of what needs to be measured that has not been measured.
Computer models are tools for thinking. They don't turn into great tools for predicting the future until the models are refined so far that you don't need to think about them any more. They don't make good predictions until after you are modeling a solved problem.
Well, no, make a very simple model, a ramp, a stationary ball, and a ball rolled down the ramp into the stationary ball.
There are very few variables, surface friction, ball weight, air resistance, and you can reduce these all in various ways.
Perform the experiment directly and perform an arbitrary number of model runs, even a basic system like this is unlikely to correspond exactly from run to run just with itself, much less with the experimental runs.
Sure, but you can get it very close and you likely won't find any additional variables to measure and control that improve your results. It's a known system and the engineering has been worked out, starting I think with Galileo.
See, you know about the talking points against one of their models. If I picked some part of the model at random could you talk so clearly about it? Here's how it looks to me. Probably every climate science specialist who looks at how some particular IPCC model handles his specialty, can point out details they got wrong. He can suggest improvements, and he can suggest research to clear up unknowns that they have assumed answers for. In each case their motive is to improve the model. On the other hand you are quoting denier talking points, things that deniers claim are proof the model is no good. That makes it look to me like you got your talking points from deniers, without actually studying the models.
I get all of my points from the IPCC reports or general scientific study. I deliberately avoid anything from any skeptic/denier/etc sites.
Interesting. What a surprising coincidence!
It only makes sense that more faster plant growth is better, right? Who could argue with that? If plants grow faster than they ever have since before primates existed, that's got to result in a world human beings will do better in! Just because we evolved to survive in something else doesn't matter, we'll be even more competitive in a world with more plant growth and faster plant growth, it just stands to reason, right?
And of course it stands to reason that if the oceans are bigger then there won't be as many deserts or droughts. More water in the oceans has to result in more rain on the land, it's just obvious. Different weather patterns, more water and less land means less drought. How could it be otherwise?
Ah, give me a moment to get the irony taste out of my mouth.
Actually what I said was less water locked up in ice caps means a less arid climate overall, ice ages are the driest most arid periods. Given how much land we use for agriculture, I don't think jumping to a night of the trifids conclusion is warranted, even if you're just being ironic.
You have made a nice generalization but I don't think it's workable to apply it to specific cases like the future of this particular world.
?? We've already added a lot of carbon -- about as much as the total biomass of the planet. We're getting ready to add more than twice as much more. This is a big change that's happening in only one direction. All the other drivers appear to be fluctuating around stable values, or taking random walks. Something else could change things faster than the carbon will. But the carbon is the one that's continuing to push in one direction -- more carbon. What are you saying is a lie?
All of the carbon dioxide we're adding was once biomass.
Sure, but it was biomass that got taken out of the system before the rise of the angiosperms. Mostly before the dinosaurs. When we add it back there's no reason to think things will go back to being the way they were before. Instead we will get something new, because we've had hundreds of millions of years of evolution since the last time that stuff was loose.
Btw, your math is wonky, roughly 25% of the mass of CO2 is carbon, humans have added 250 gigatons of carbon in the form of roughly 1 teraton of CO2, the oceans contain another 30 to 40 teratons of CO2, and the total biomass is in the area of 1 teraton.
I never talked about the mass of CO2, I kept it all in terms of carbon. There's room for argument about all the figures. Total biomass has not been measured very well, estimates vary some. It's understandable that you would use the high-end value. Carbon from fossil fuels burned so far ought to be more precise but probably is not, you say 250 gigatons and it's understandable that you would use the bottom-end value. Current reserves of fossil fuels are also estimates that are not very good. OPEC gives member nations strong reason to lie that their reserves are higher than reality, while it's unclear how much of our coal reserves can actually be extracted. And we keep discovering more. But we should count all the reserves because we fully intend to burn all of them within the next generation or so.
I'm not saying that CO2 isn't increasing, I'm saying temperatures should have been increasing more than they have if the climate was driven by CO2, as far as other drivers fluctuating or being random, there was something which reduced the global temperatures for a couple centuries between 1400 and 1800~, that the planet began warming up after a prolonged cool period should come as no surprise.
You keep repeating the denier talking points you say you haven't seen. You bring them up one after another with no indication you have done any critical thinking about them. Just saying....
It's been a long time since CO2 levels were this high, and our crops did OK without it. We don't want to get CO2 levels to what's best for the crops because first, that would be bad for us, and second, it would produce acids that would tend to destroy our soil. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laterite
Any idea how to cut CO2 emissions from hydrocarbons and coal?
Stop burning hydrocarbons and coal? I'm all for that for other reasons though, I'd be more worried about the uranium and shit in coal ash than CO2.
OK, I'd support that. I don't like the little bits of ash in the coal either. (Of course it's possible we might find some cheap way to collect that stuff before it blows away, and store it somewhere. But I'll gladly align with you on finding ways to leave a lot of it unburned.) How would you suggest we arrange to burn less fossil fuel? Should we do some sort of politics?
Not sure what laterite has to do with acids destroying our soil, it's a chemical weathering result, but in order for it to be a worrying outcome you need to first agree with me that it will be wetter if it warms up more.
Get atmospheric CO2 levels up to 1000 or so, where you say the plants like it best, and enough CO2 comes down in the rain to dissolve away the Ca, Mg, K etc and leave laterite behind. No uniformity there, different soils would give different results. That would presumably work faster with more rain, but it happens with whatever rain you get.
One of the tragedies from this stuff getting politicized is that it got turned into a yes/no question. If we get warming provably caused by human-produced CO2, then the AGW guys were right. Any other outcome including any other disaster doesn't count. But increased temperature caused by atmospheric CO2 is only one of the potential problems, and likely not the biggest of them. We don't begin to understand the consequences of our actions.
Indeed, we also don't know what the outcome of the sorts of drastic geoengineering programs to try and counter the planet warming would be.
Yes. "There was an old woman who swallowed a fly...." Speaking facetiously, if we killed 3/4 of the world population and reduced the amount of human action by 3/4 or more, it's predictable that we would have less effect on the world than we do now. But realistically this is not feasible. We would be creating a horrible disaster in the hope that we could prevent a worse one, when there's no ironclad guarantee a worse disaster is coming or that this would prevent it. We won't do that, unless it's an unintended side effect of something we do for some other purpose.
Similarly, we could tell the whole third world that development will not be allowed, and do things to reduce the first world to third-world status. We won't do that either.
The idea of reducing our use of fossil fuels in any significant way is just politically a non-starter. The only thing that might help us with that is some other energy source that's cheap and plentiful. But that's just my opinion. I'd welcome ideas.
You have made this claim before. But first, funding for the anti-science lobby often does not have to get reported. And second, most of the science budget goes to actually, you know, doing science. Very little can be spared for propaganda and hiring experts on how to mold public opinion etc.
And consider this -- 38% of Americans believe that there is no global warming, even today, when there is no rational basis for that belief. That's an impressive result! Tobacco supporters had the advantage of defending a highly addictive drug and lots of addicts strongly wanted to believe it was OK. These guys don't have that. If they are fooling 38% of Americans with a low budget, disorganized conspiracy that's even more impressive!
That 38% number has been going down in the last few years, but that's not really related to my point.
I simply don't find the claims of CO2 driving the climate convincing.
I know you don't. You selectively pick up arguments that imply it doesn't happen and ignore research indicating that it does. I don't say you're a terrible person for that -- it's what individual human beings do. We tend to come up with mindsets and then selectively notice things that fit our preconceptions and reject things that don't. It's like we're part of a great big genetic algorithm experiment, and we come up with simple clear unified points of view and try them against the environment to see which of them can be viable. Different people latch onto different ideas, and we get farther testing out the different mindsets than we would if we were more open-minded.
I say that releasing thousands of gigatons of carbon from fossil fuels is very likely to have some big effects, and I can't predict very well what those effects will be. It is a great big change and it is unprecedented
. We have no data what to expect because it has never been done before, in the geological history of the earth. This carbon got sequestered largely in the carboniferous period and before. We cannot know what to expect by looking at the geological record since then, because for all the geological ages since then that carbon stayed underground.
You can use whatever evidence you like to be convinced or unconvinced by. We simply do not have much hard data to go on. You'd do better to predict horse races. With them you know nothing too unexpected will happen. A horse you never noticed won't suddenly get big enough to see and eat some of the other horses. A swarm of deerflies won't start biting the horses and blind some of them. An earthquake won't reshape the course during the race. For that matter the racetrack owner won't suddenly change the length or the direction of the course. And the race will be over soon and you will have won or lost. If you get good at predicting horse races you can make money.
Is that 1 or 2 degrees K? Yes, sure, that's unlikely to drive humanity extinct. We could lose billions of people, but we could adapt to that fine in the long run. But we don't know what's coming. It might be 2 degrees warmer without a lot of other changes. It might be something else. The best current scientific estimates are for slow changes that we can adapt to, but the best estimates are not very good. We do not know what to expect.
Yeah, I dislike Celsius, Kelvin ftw.
Losing billions of people though, that's part of the catastrophic fearmongering, there is no reason to actually think that is likely, and most of those claims seem to hinge on the idea of people just sitting slackjawed on the coast for 80 years until the water rises up and drowns them, if there are billions of people that dumb, we don't need to worry about them, do we?
If anything seriously interferes with our agriculture our poorest billions will starve. We have no basis to decide what's likely. It's a brand new situation.
I want to consider the possibility there was a hi-tech society before that, which has left few traces. The question was asked whether humans might have changed the climate on a large scale before. When I think about it, I see little reason to think it happened, and some reason to think it didn't. It doesn't seem plausible to me.
Eh, the closest I get to this line of thought is that I am curious about the portion of indonesia which was above sea level during the last ice age. We know humans went through there because they reached australia. We know homo erectus lived in the region for most of a million years.
As for a society more advanced than hunter gatherers, that's a rather extraordinary claim with a dearth of extraordinary evidence unfortunately.
I agree. It's worth reconsidering the possibility occasionally, as new evidence arises. Currently it looks unlikely to me. So I think humans have probably never had as much influence on their environment as they do now.
Temperatures vary a lot more than that across the globe on a given day.
Well, yeah, weather and day/night cycles cause large changes on top of the variation between equator and poles. Over long periods of time though the planet tends to remain between 285 and 295 K on average.
I've seen those figures before and to me they look vastly oversimplified. What does it even mean? It's supposed to represent some sort of global average, and it comes from a mishmash of different experimental techniques that get extrapolated to global temperature. It could be good for something but you have to be very careful how the measurements it's based on fit into your uses.
There is naturally some controversy about that. The genetics more-or-less coincide with the history. But it doesn't fit the archeology etc. I don't have an opinion myself.
Yeah, same, we know Toba happened and it would have sucked but some research pushed the Y-chromosome Adam back around 120~140 kiloyears ago, so the bottleneck is difficult to support now.
I haven't looked at that in any detail. Population genetics is notorious for giving complicated results that are hard to interpret into simple answers to simple questions. A ways up in the comments I was using a possible bottleneck as something compatible with a former civilization. Hard to figure a complex high-tech civilization with only a few people. If there was one with a lot of people, and then for some reason it failed and a lot of people died, that could give you a population bottleneck. If there definitely wasn't one then there probably wasn't an ancient advanced civilization. I don't see that the bottleneck is established or disproven, but neither of us has much riding on it. _________________________
Hawkinsssable wrote:I tidied it up quite a bit a while ago, but actually fixing it is too exhausting a job. The citations are all rubbish, and none of the relevant legal, medical or anthropological literature is mentioned, nor is any of the highly relevant (and easy to access) stuff from the WHO, MESOT, ESOT and every transplantation society ever is missing. It gets a bunch of facts wrong (re: liver transplants, 'legal trade' in the Philippines, Iran's actually massive waiting list - some evidence of which is hinted at in the very source used to back up the opposite claim, ffs - the role of CASKP in Iran and the way the whole system works, the weird, incoherent and false stuff on Illich, and a bunch more little errors found all the way through.) The 'debate' section is biased - it doesn't even do justice to the case for and only mentions one source even remotely noteworthy, but the 'case against' (insofar as there's even anything on it) doesn't even resemble anything said on the issue. It's also missing highly relevant information on Pakistan, Israel, Turkey, Brazil, Moldova and a bunch of other places. Anybody happening across the page would learn more wrong information than right.
Now I want to ask you to speculate. Why did this happen? Is it "political", with people who want to spread lies and prevent truth? Is it just that there are people who think they know what's going on but they don't, while you know the truth? If you did find the energy to fix it, would they come back and claim you're wrong?
I have found that Wikipedia is often a good way to find out the common wisdom on a topic. It can quickly tell you what some people believe that isn't strongly disputed.
This sort of thing is ultimately unconvincing. You have given somebody's conclusions for what's likely to happen. You don't say why we should believe those conclusions, or even who said it. People who already believe that's plausible will tend to accept it, while people who already deny it will go right ahead and deny some more.
Still, I like the Hedonists' Creed for this sort of thing.If it feels good, do it.
Until it stops feeling good. Then quit.
Do any internet debates actually resolve themselves with one side admitting the other was right all along?
Seldom. Usually, if somebody actually learns something important he'll slink off to think about it. He's likely to get all surly. He might go through all his old arguments again, asserting them vigorously, while he tries to see what went wrong with them and why they stopped working. Looking desperately for a way to patch them up and make them work.
And if, just at the point he's thinking, somebody crows that he's wrong and they won, he's likely to stop thinking and start screaming, or try to forget the whole thing.
I figure if somebody actually stops to think it's a victory for him. If I stop to think it's a victory for me. People who stop to think tend to be too busy to tell other people they were right all along. Particularly since the guy who's thinking doesn't know yet what's right and wrong. He used to think he
was right and he learned better. That doesn't make some random arguer right, just because that was the one he was arguing with when he saw he didn't have it all thought out. That guy is probably just as wrong as everybody else.
The Law of Fives is true. I see it everywhere I look for it.