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Thread: Climate debate as Comedy?

  1. #1 Climate debate as Comedy? 
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    From the Union of Concerned Scientists:

    UCS Climate Scientist, Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel will go head to head with a skeptical meteorologist during "couples counseling" tonight on the Colbert Report. It should be funny and informative. We hope you tune in, tonight, April 6 on Comedy Central at 11:30 p.m. EDT.

    Both sciences are indeed "married" through their focus on the atmosphere, but they differ when it comes to identifying short-term trends, such as storms, versus long-term trends, such as human-induced climate change. Brenda will set the record straight: Global warming is real and its consequences are becoming increasingly apparent as sea levels rise, glaciers melt, and extreme weather events become more prevalent.


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  3. #2  
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    Yes, that ought to be real comical. Trying to still justify the AGW scare.

    Sure the time is right? It's at 7:30 PM here on the left coast.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra
    Yes, that ought to be real comical. Trying to still justify the AGW scare.
    For the love of Thor, man... would you please give it a rest already?


    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra
    Sure the time is right? It's at 7:30 PM here on the left coast.
    The time is accurate. 11:30 eastern, 10:30 central. Then, there is a delay, and the west coast sees it a few hours later.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    11:30 eastern, 10:30 central. Then, there is a delay, and the west coast sees it a few hours later.
    Well it looks like it's on at half past midnight mountain time so I won't be seeing it.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    11:30 eastern, 10:30 central. Then, there is a delay, and the west coast sees it a few hours later.
    Well it looks like it's on at half past midnight mountain time so I won't be seeing it.
    It'll be available online at colbertnation.com by morning... or, you can get to the same video from comedycentral.com, too, I'm sure. Each night's episode is viewable.

    Also, you might want to check your schedule. These shows are on in the 10-11 time frame regardless of where in the country you're located.
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  7. #6  
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    I just watched it on line and it was a waste of time. I suppose Colbert's thing is to use comedy to bring serious issues to wider audience, but in the process of making it funny he gives the impression that the denier guy has some credibility, while spouting the usual garbage.

    I doubt if UCS will bother doing this again.
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    Perhaps your disappointment is because the skeptics (this one or others) do have some credibility and you don't find that situation entertaining. Is it funny when your opponents are treated as if they are foolish but a waste of time when they are on a more balanced playing field?
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    No, cypress... That's not it, at all. It was a disappointment in the fact that it was hardly the quality we've come to expect from Colbert. It was a weak segment, regardless of context. I give you credit for sticking to your denialist narrative and rhetoric, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Perhaps your disappointment is because the skeptics (this one or others) do have some credibility
    But they - your idea of "skeptics" - don't.

    So - - - .
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Perhaps your disappointment is because the skeptics (this one or others) do have some credibility
    Er, no, that's not the reason.
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  12. #11  
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    I saw this at another site. Liked how it pulls the pieces together and summarizes the situation.


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    I have heard that there are only two things that come out of Texas.
    Have a look at this if you will.
    http://www.rocketscientistsjournal.c...acquittal.html
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  14. #13  
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    Wow. A website with a bunch of fallacious claims presented as fact yet never passing the review of experts on the topic. What did you want me to look at, specifically? The fact that you were able to successfully google for a website which matched your preconceived mind set on an issue yet failed to provide any useful information which accurately reflects reality? If so... job well done.



    http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/twimber...SciCaseAGW.pdf

    Since 1960, many new people have entered the field of climatology, and people with technical backgrounds but little experience in climatology have investigated this issue. People who are new to the field are prone to repeat the same mistakes that climate scientists were making in the 1950s and earlier. Cockburn found one PhD, a retired aerospace engineer, Dr. Jeffrey Glassman, who calculated a lifetime of 1.5 to 2.0 years. Judged by his Web site, Glassman’s thinking is based on solubility.

    As just mentioned, this is a transient problem, not a solubility problem. And, of course, if the lifetime were that short, then the CO2 would not be accumulating in the atmosphere, which it clearly is.
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    [mudrunner's comments removed as trolling]

    Oh, my God, do we have someone else in denial here ? Surely the AGW Fascists can silence such people before it is too late.
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  16. #15  
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    [mudrunner's comments removed as trolling]

    Oh, my God, do we have someone else in denial here ? Surely the AGW Fascists can silence such people before it is too late.[/quote]


    The problem with denialist sites is that they misinterpret the scientific process itself. Scientist isn't concerned with giving you absolute certainty of anything, so there are very few examples of a scientific claim that leaves no wiggle room at all for a skeptical person to say "it's still possible you're wrong!!!"

    It's always possible. The only pertinent question is whether it is probable, and site you mentioned doesn't establish a higher than 50% probability of error. It's best to simply ignore people who argue "there is maybe a 10% chance my opponent could be wrong, therefore I am right."
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Quote Originally Posted by mudrunner
    [mudrunner's comments removed as trolling]
    Oh, my God, do we have someone else in denial here ? Surely the AGW Fascists can silence such people before it is too late.

    The problem with denialist sites is that they misinterpret the scientific process itself. Scientist isn't concerned with giving you absolute certainty of anything, so there are very few examples of a scientific claim that leaves no wiggle room at all for a skeptical person to say "it's still possible you're wrong!!!"

    It's always possible. The only pertinent question is whether it is probable, and site you mentioned doesn't establish a higher than 50% probability of error. It's best to simply ignore people who argue "there is maybe a 10% chance my opponent could be wrong, therefore I am right."
    It does amaze me how anyone in denial of AGW misinterprets scientific data, whether they be scientists or laymen. Yes, I know the drill, just shut up and keep paying Carbon taxes, reduce my " Carbon Footprint " blah blah blah. Well, I will have you know that for quite a number of years now, I walk or run whenever I can, thus leaving the car at home. I told everyone ( very gleefully ) that I was decreasing my Carbon footprint and increasing my Nike footprint. "Not so", said the great learned, I was told that my Nike shoes were probably made in China ( where they do not give a toss about Co2 emissions ) and the Co2 generated in shipping them to the UK, would far outweigh the Co2 I was saving by not driving.
    If the Human Race just rolled over and died tomorrow, would that save the planet ?
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Quote Originally Posted by mudrunner
    [mudrunner's comments removed as trolling]
    Oh, my God, do we have someone else in denial here ? Surely the AGW Fascists can silence such people before it is too late.

    The problem with denialist sites is that they misinterpret the scientific process itself. Scientist isn't concerned with giving you absolute certainty of anything, so there are very few examples of a scientific claim that leaves no wiggle room at all for a skeptical person to say "it's still possible you're wrong!!!"

    It's always possible. The only pertinent question is whether it is probable, and site you mentioned doesn't establish a higher than 50% probability of error. It's best to simply ignore people who argue "there is maybe a 10% chance my opponent could be wrong, therefore I am right."
    It does amaze me how anyone in denial of AGW misinterprets scientific data, whether they be scientists or laymen. Yes, I know the drill, just shut up and keep paying Carbon taxes, reduce my " Carbon Footprint " blah blah blah. Well, I will have you know that for quite a number of years now, I walk or run whenever I can, thus leaving the car at home. I told everyone ( very gleefully ) that I was decreasing my Carbon footprint and increasing my Nike footprint. "Not so", said the great learned, I was told that my Nike shoes were probably made in China ( where they do not give a toss about Co2 emissions ) and the Co2 generated in shipping them to the UK, would far outweigh the Co2 I was saving by not driving.
    If the Human Race just rolled over and died tomorrow, would that save the planet ?
    I think you're raising the question of what is an appropriate response, if we accept CO2 as a danger, right?

    A few years ago I was working on a construction site where my boss had me throw away several hundred kg of aluminum tiles rather than put them in the recycle bin, because we were short on time. Later that week, I saw my mother religiously taking care to make sure and recycle all of her used aluminum foil she used when cooking. I had a good laugh about it.

    I think it is absurd for us to try to save the Earth one person at a time. It should be done in bulk, by those institutions that have economy of scale, or not at all.
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Yes, I know the drill, just shut up and keep paying Carbon taxes, reduce my " Carbon Footprint " blah blah blah. W

    <...>

    "Not so", said the great learned, I was told that my Nike shoes were probably made in China ( where they do not give a toss about Co2 emissions ) and the Co2 generated in shipping them to the UK, would far outweigh the Co2 I was saving by not driving.
    As kojax alluded to, you're using your disdain on the response options and your desire for conservative small government to dismiss the facts and the science describing objectively the current reality.

    The current reality is firm. We're impacting the climate in a significant way. We can quibble over appropriate response, and how that is contradictory to our preconceived governing ideologies (government always bad, lower taxes, blah blah blah), but not about the facts themselves.




    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    If the Human Race just rolled over and died tomorrow, would that save the planet ?
    The planet is gonna be fine. The question is how we as humans will need to adapt to changing climate conditions, more difficult growing seasons, and how wars will be fought over water during droughts, and how mass migrations will strain infrastructure as flooding changes where people can live, and how the decline in biodiversity will impact other lifeforms and our own ability to resist disease and all kinds of other crap.

    Making fun of climate change, or focusing solely on how much you despise a coordinated central response changes none of the facts, and addresses none of the concerns, only a small handful of which I mention above.
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  20. #19  
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    Clearly there is nothing comical about climate change. Regardless of the cause it's always bad news for the existing life in the biosphere. Even the species that seem to come out of extinction events the winners don't have it easy. No matter how adaptable man is at surviving, do we really want to live through a major climate change event?

    Clearly humans are having a negative impact on Earths biosphere of which climate change is just one part. As population grows and more of the major population areas of the world start raising their standard of living the more negative the impact is going to get at an increasing pace. Anybody that wants to argue that point is a fool, if not a dangerous fool.

    The real problem as I see it is we have a world problem, but nobody is responsible for fixing and regulating it. No one's in charge and there isn't much agreement or cooperation from the world governments at least in any meaningful way.

    Given that humans are slow to respond, meaning the disaster has already happened, before laws are passed and people learn to do things differently. Just how do you expect us to do better at the world level, with no one in charge?

    I am truly sorry that I can't see an optimistic outlook for human life on this planet. But once the disaster starts all of our current knowledge and technology won't be much help, Because we will all be to busy trying to stay alive and it only gets worse over time.

    So to those of you that are able to live in your cloud of optimism, enjoy it while you can.
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  21. #20  
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    While it is a huge challenge before us, that is (I'm sure you agree, Lance) not a reason to avoid trying to tackle it, to face it collectively, and ultimately to solve it.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    While it is a huge challenge before us, that is (I'm sure you agree, Lance) not a reason to avoid trying to tackle it, to face it collectively, and ultimately to solve it.
    I do agree that we should try. I just don't see it happening in time to prevent a great deal of pain and suffering. It's one of the main reasons I would like to see some form of effective world government. Even a bad one might be better than what will happen without it. But I don't see that happening any time soon either.

    I do think hoping for the best is for fools, but I'm not in any position to do more than that. This is one time I would very much like to be wrong.
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  23. #22  
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    Whether one believes that Co2 generated by mankind, is the root cause of Global Warming remains to be seen. However the non believers have to pay Carbon taxes, just the same as the believers, there is not an opt out clause. The present UK Government ( as well as the previous ) are pressing ahead with many Green Initiatives, like it or not, everyone is on board.Having said that, I think that filtering out potentially dangerous gasses and liquids from industrial processes, and recycling where we can is just good housekeeping.
    AGW to World Government is a massive leap of faith. I reckon, regardless of the outcome, optimists always have a better timer of it than pessimists.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Whether one believes that Co2 generated by mankind, is the root cause of Global Warming remains to be seen.
    No, actually it doesn't. It's quite well established.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    I think that filtering out potentially dangerous gasses and liquids from industrial processes, and recycling where we can is just good housekeeping.
    Agreed.
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  25. #24  
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    [quote="inow"]
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Whether one believes that Co2 generated by mankind, is the root cause of Global Warming remains to be seen.
    No, actually it doesn't. It's quite well established.

    Here is a list of scientists from around the world who are skeptical of AGW.
    They fall into four groups that hold different positions on Global Warming, and a fifth group of deceased scientists who fell into one of the mentioned positions.
    Position: Accuracy of IPCC climate projections is questionable
    Position: Global warming is primarily caused by natural processes
    Position: Cause of global warming is unknown
    Position: Global warming will have few negative consequences


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...global_warming
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    Notice how few on the list are active atmospheric scientist; Lindzen might be the only one. Meanwhile tens of thousands of current atmospheric scientist studying climate and virtually every major science organization about atmospheric science has statements supporting the conclusion that Co2 as the primary reason for Earth's recent rising surface temperatures. The scientific debate, (if you want to call it that) effectively ended about 20 years ago in the climate research community. It boils down to one simple explanation, that of continually rising green house gases in combination with not one other explanation that results in the observed warming at the surface and lower troposphere and cooling in the mid-upper atmosphere in recent decades when put under scientific scrutiny. Other hypothesis which have failed: cosmic ray changes to clouds; direct solar input changes; ocean circulation changes; emission of other gases and aerosols to name a few.

    Of course there's a lot more detail. And don't let the fact that science isn't perfect dupe us into gross exaggerations by the desperate fossil fuel disinformation industry of the impact of those imperfections. We've known about this potential problem for more than 40 years (President Johnson warning American's about it in 1965!). By the late 70's our foremost scientific agencies were warning American's about it. By the mid 80s virtually every global group of climate researchers was doing the same. Their arguments, successful modeling and detailed observations since have made those early concerns become far more robust.

    There's nothing wrong with being a skeptic, in fact science depends on it for continued progress when the arguments and questions supporting that skepticism are well made--that's not the case here.

    It is very frustrating that the unified voice of the scientific community hasn't been able to compete with the mouth pieces that continue to sow doubt on this issue.

    Meanwhile NASA calculates 2010 as the warmest year in the past 130.
    HADCRU results will be out in a few weeks but almost looks certain to calculate 2010 to be in the top 3 years.
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Here is a list of scientists from around the world who are skeptical of AGW.
    Lynx_Fox already noted above that most are not even climatologists. It's like providing a list of alchemists who don't accept the germ theory of illness and thinking that is somehow important or relevant to the discussion. It's not. It's complete nonsense and a waste of time.

    Further, I simply don't get people like you, Dave. It's like you've taken your child to 100 doctors, and 98 of them say she is ill, yet you are deciding to listen to the other 2 who say, "Nope... she's just fine... Carry on."

    The mind just boggles. The issue has been understood for decades, it's the details about severity and speed which are under question, not whether or not it's happening at all. Then, we have all of these asshats around the world who sow enough doubt using one single sentence something which takes a scientist 3 paragraphs to rebut, and all that time is wasted correcting misconceptions instead of being mature, accepting the validity of the risk, and coming together to address it.

    It's the same damn thing the tobacco industry did when they were trying to say that smoking didn't lead to increased cancer incidence (and the same people involved in trying to confuse people about climate change quite often, ta boot).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXyTpY0NCp0
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  28. #27  
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    My argument is not about climate change, climate change is happening now, as it has in the past and will in the future. AGW is the PC way to go, nothing else will do.
    Many people when seeing a physician about a problem, do not doubt that they have a problem, but they doubt the initial analysis and ask for a second opinion.
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    My argument is not about climate change, climate change is happening now, as it has in the past and will in the future. AGW is the PC way to go, nothing else will do.
    Many people when seeing a physician about a problem, do not doubt that they have a problem, but they doubt the initial analysis and ask for a second opinion.
    Argument? Have you made an argument? I must have missed it.
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  30. #29  
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    Ditto that, Bunbury.

    Dave - You talk about getting a second opinion... We've had thousands and thousands of second opinions, and they have all confirmed the original diagnosis. I'm sorry you don't grasp this.


    Here's another video which discusses the tobacco increases cancer incidence denial I referenced earlier:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T4UF_Rmlio
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  31. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    My argument is not about climate change, climate change is happening now, as it has in the past and will in the future. AGW is the PC way to go, nothing else will do.
    Many people when seeing a physician about a problem, do not doubt that they have a problem, but they doubt the initial analysis and ask for a second opinion.
    True...but there are thousands of opinions in this case. And they all conclude the same thing. I encourage you to watch the vid posted above. She's not a climatologist, but an historian who correctly points out based on research of peer-review scientific publications going back to the 50', that AGW has been known about long before it was a political hot potato and PC was even a term. Casting this as just another PC issue is another form of the dispersion the fossil fuel industry has used to shape this issue that goes along with other attempts to associate the entire issue with hippies, liberals, anti-US international bodies when the reality is most of the research supporting AWG has been funded by non-biased government researchers.
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