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Modeling the Earth Expand / Collapse
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Posted Sunday, April 14, 2013 3:54 AM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Modeling the Earth






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Post #1442096
Posted Monday, April 15, 2013 7:55 AM
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Steve Jones - SSC Editor (4/14/2013)
Comments posted to this topic are about the item <A HREF="/articles/Editorial/98168/">Modeling the Earth</A>

Steve,

I am not sure I agree with this being a cool thing to work on given today's proprensity for dictating what data is acceptable to share. The UN manipulated data in an attempt to solidify support for the GW theories being pushed on all of us. If they really cared about this "science" why are they pushing more controls on wealthier nations, which leads to creation of more pollutants in poor nations as manufacturing is shifted to those areas? The US and Europe have some of the most stringent controls on the planet. China and India have almost none. Yet the goal is to fine the first nations for polluting, and not the others. The UN and GW theorists are simply engaged in an effort that leads to shifting pollution from one area to another, and where the area it is being shfited to ends up creating far more pollution than the area it was shifted from.

While I do strongly agree that we should do more to decrease the effect we have on the environment, especially when it comes to pollution, I have to think it would be extremely frustrating to work in any endeavor which has been shown to not allow for true research. Every attempt to provde facts, that show the entire GW theory to be BS, leads to those who are pushing this so called science attacking the presenter. The only thinking that is acceptable to these groups is that which supports their ideas, even if it requires outright lies.

When I present data to management that shows there are numerous choices that can be made, I only expect them to review the information and make a choice. If I had to work for someone that would instead tell me to change my data until it matches what they need to support their decision, I can only imagine how frustrating that would be. I think that is why so many true scientists refuse to engage in any work in this area. They recognize the futility.



Dave
Post #1442309
Posted Monday, April 15, 2013 10:01 AM
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One of the difficulties involved in discussion of this topic is the idea of 'science', which for the layperson has strong connotations of 'truth'. In fact, 'science' as it is used here is shorthand for 'the scientific method', which does not make any claim to truth at all. It is simply an agreed upon method of experiment, data analysis, and --critically important-- the open sharing of all this information so that others may critique, replicate, disprove, and improve the investigation. Any conclusion may be later shown to be inaccurate, false, or may be refined or broadened. Unfortunately, the way these investigations are reported gives the impression that scientists are claiming to know the truth, and in fact they are not, at least not the good ones. They may, though, be claiming that the data overwhelming point towards x, y or z.

Another problem is that climate change is a classic example of a 'wicked problem', which as the name implies are basically impossible to solve. From wikipedia:

...
Conklin later generalized the concept of problem wickedness to areas other than planning and policy. The defining characteristics are:[4]
1.The problem is not understood until after the formulation of a solution.
2.Wicked problems have no stopping rule.
3.Solutions to wicked problems are not right or wrong.
4.Every wicked problem is essentially novel and unique.
5.Every solution to a wicked problem is a 'one shot operation.'
6.Wicked problems have no given alternative solutions.


There is little chance of anything as complex as this being sensibly discussed and dealt with by the crowd, or the media.



Post #1442385
Posted Monday, April 15, 2013 10:12 AM


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The point isn't that climate change/warming/whatever is true or not, but rather that MS Research is trying to tackle the difficult problem of building models, and providing tools that can work with data provided by different groups.

I'm not trying to debate whether this science leads us one way or the other. I just thought the idea of trying to work with data and build a massive model of the earth is an interesting problem. With debate and discussion, MSR can help scientists work towards finding some concensus.







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Post #1442393
Posted Wednesday, April 17, 2013 2:26 PM
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djackson 22568 (4/15/2013)
Steve Jones - SSC Editor (4/14/2013)
Comments posted to this topic are about the item <A HREF="/articles/Editorial/98168/">Modeling the Earth</A>

Steve,

I am not sure I agree with this being a cool thing to work on given today's proprensity for dictating what data is acceptable to share. The UN manipulated data in an attempt to solidify support for the GW theories being pushed on all of us.

Theres no doubt that advocates on both sides of the issue are willing to spin and manipulate the data, clearly private industry has a big vested interest in dismissing any evidence of human impact on the planet, but their interest could be limited strictly to profit and continuing to externalise environmental costs, and this is a powerful interest indeed. Since I can acknowlege that both sides are spinning this issue, I can also admit that I'm less clear on what the motivations for the folks advocating that GW is indeed a problem, unless its actually altruism and a concern for humanity's welfare and the future of our planets inhabitability.

Now, I'm willing to play devils advocate for either side, so I'm curious about what alternative motivations for each side we can think of? Obviously big measures taken against GW run counter to simple economic performance, and these same measures might be positive to green investors. But remember, simple economic measures also point to unlimitted growth in economic activity, and this doesn't seem sustainable, especially given the growth in human population, and if GW is a real issue to be concerned about, we REALLY DO need to be investing in alternative green technologies.

Speaking about unsustainable economical growth, what about the decline in fossil fuels? You know, peak oil for instance? I almost feel schizophrenic sometimes, like I feel I have two conversations, one involves what we've been used to during our modern lives, and one that spans the history of humanity. I reach drastically different conclusions based on which of these viewpoints I feel my fellow debaters are interested in basing their discussions on.
Post #1443490
Posted Wednesday, April 17, 2013 2:33 PM
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Steve Jones - SSC Editor (4/15/2013)
The point isn't that climate change/warming/whatever is true or not, but rather that MS Research is trying to tackle the difficult problem of building models, and providing tools that can work with data provided by different groups.

I'm not trying to debate whether this science leads us one way or the other. I just thought the idea of trying to work with data and build a massive model of the earth is an interesting problem. With debate and discussion, MSR can help scientists work towards finding some concensus.

I know your intention, and I agree with the point you are making, up until we actually try to implement it. The issue is that I don't believe you can trust that you would be free to actually work towards a goal using scientific method. We all know that companies dismiss the employee experts when the information they provide doesn't fit management's narrow viewed desire to do something different. This is all too common - why would working in an area that is so confrontational be any different?

No, I will stay working where I am knowing the limitations of the people I work with. No need for that kind of stress. I applaud anyone who wants to, though, and hope they can prove what is true, rather than what is politically correct.


Dave
Post #1443492
Posted Wednesday, April 17, 2013 4:19 PM


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patrickmcginnis59 10839 (4/17/2013)

Now, I'm willing to play devils advocate for either side, so I'm curious about what alternative motivations for each side we can think of? Obviously big measures taken against GW run counter to simple economic performance, and these same measures might be positive to green investors. But remember, simple economic measures also point to unlimited growth in economic activity, and this doesn't seem sustainable, especially given the growth in human population, and if GW is a real issue to be concerned about, we REALLY DO need to be investing in alternative green technologies.


Well I'll let you do the pro/con research into Agenda 21.

But as far as simple things like the CFL light bulbs. The old regular light bulbs pretty much anyone could make and were cheap and disposable. Some how GE and Phillips were the first one's to market when the CFL were being shoved on us. It was done for the environment -- right? So how does saving $0.75 of electricity a month lower the carbon foot print? How much more money is GE making off the CFL bulbs?

Then there are all these wind and solar farms. For the windmill to recoup it's cost takes about 17 years. The expected life time of a windmill is about 15 years.

Then there is Solyndra. They had $535,000,000 in loan guarantees from the federal government. When they went belly up the U.S. taxpayer is on the hook for it and the CEO's walked away with millions.

When there are billions of dollars at stake for "green" energy, the altruism gets mighty powerful.




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Post #1443534
Posted Wednesday, April 17, 2013 6:44 PM
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Jim P. (4/17/2013)
patrickmcginnis59 10839 (4/17/2013)

Now, I'm willing to play devils advocate for either side, so I'm curious about what alternative motivations for each side we can think of? Obviously big measures taken against GW run counter to simple economic performance, and these same measures might be positive to green investors. But remember, simple economic measures also point to unlimited growth in economic activity, and this doesn't seem sustainable, especially given the growth in human population, and if GW is a real issue to be concerned about, we REALLY DO need to be investing in alternative green technologies.


Well I'll let you do the pro/con research into Agenda 21.
This is a nice link, and seems to describe a desire for positive change, and this seems to fit into the altruistic motivations described earlier. Thats not obviously my final conclusions, there could be real downsides to the topics this seems to address, but my first impression is that its a net drive for positive change on a world level.

But as far as simple things like the CFL light bulbs. The old regular light bulbs pretty much anyone could make and were cheap and disposable. Some how GE and Phillips were the first one's to market when the CFL were being shoved on us. It was done for the environment -- right? So how does saving $0.75 of electricity a month lower the carbon foot print? How much more money is GE making off the CFL bulbs?

Law of big numbers of course. One lightbulb saving energy means little, and I'll let you extrapolate the rest on your own.

Then there are all these wind and solar farms. For the windmill to recoup it's cost takes about 17 years. The expected life time of a windmill is about 15 years.

Then there is Solyndra. They had $535,000,000 in loan guarantees from the federal government. When they went belly up the U.S. taxpayer is on the hook for it and the CEO's walked away with millions.

These I do give you. However its not unheard of that governments have taken risky investments when driving change, look at the arpanet etc... Also, its expected that the earlier the efforts are in the processes of change, the riskier they are. Do we give up?

When there are billions of dollars at stake for "green" energy, the altruism gets mighty powerful.

Change isn't free. Neither is staying in place. Absolutely agree however that theres money in green energy and this does (and rightly should) motivate these efforts.

None of this seems to fit as a reasonable motivation or reason against these efforts, the first computers were tremendously expensive, flight was pretty inefficient, heck the first steam engine to lift water out of mines was absolutely pathetic, and one should expect failures when searching for change, sort of the nature of the thing.
Post #1443563
Posted Wednesday, April 17, 2013 8:52 PM


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Thats not obviously my final conclusions, there could be real downsides to the topics this seems to address, but my first impression is that its a net drive for positive change on a world level.


world level being the operative words. But at a local level they are doing things such as forcing the property owner to permanently deed restrict their development rights on at least 50 percent or more of their land.

Law of big numbers of course. One lightbulb saving energy means little, and I'll let you extrapolate the rest on your own.


Yes, the laws of big numbers as annotated here


These I do give you. However its not unheard of that governments have taken risky investments when driving change, look at the arpanet etc... Also, its expected that the earlier the efforts are in the processes of change, the riskier they are. Do we give up?


No. But the government shouldn't be involved unless there is a true national stake. And even then it should either be done with regulation or incentives. Not with your or my money.

The government should set the CAFE standards and let industry get to compliance. As far a the first computer -- ENIAC was built as the computer industry replying to a bid for a reprogrammable computer. The primary purpose was ballistic charts. But your cell phone is now more powerful than all the computers in 1963.

Change isn't free. Neither is staying in place. Absolutely agree however that there's money in green energy and this does (and rightly should) motivate these efforts. None of this seems to fit as a reasonable motivation or reason against these efforts, the first computers were tremendously expensive, flight was pretty inefficient, heck the first steam engine to lift water out of mines was absolutely pathetic, and one should expect failures when searching for change, sort of the nature of the thing.


What is or was the incentive prior to to the GW starting. But look at the advent of HDTV. When the first flat screen TV's they cost thousands of dollars. But the incentive of the consumer market brought the price down. I've been looking at 50" flat screens. The cost was over $1000 18 months ago and are now getting to the $500 range. The reason is because of willing adoption by consumers. If consumers thought solar or wind was better, they would be asking for more of it. There isn't any incentive there for popular adoption.




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Post #1443575
Posted Thursday, April 18, 2013 4:52 AM
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Jim P. (4/17/2013)
Thats not obviously my final conclusions, there could be real downsides to the topics this seems to address, but my first impression is that its a net drive for positive change on a world level.


world level being the operative words. But at a local level they are doing things such as forcing the property owner to permanently deed restrict their development rights on at least 50 percent or more of their land.

I couldn't draw a direct link from the UN initiative to this case. I also don't agree with the mechanisms of that local action. But in a general case, we can't privatize the entire planet, or we'll get all the poor outcomes that the environmentalists do describe.

Law of big numbers of course. One lightbulb saving energy means little, and I'll let you extrapolate the rest on your own.


Yes, the laws of big numbers as annotated here
I didn't see any description of what I'm talking about, so I guess you weren't able to extrapolate what I was talking about, so let me put a bit more effort into it. One lightbulb has little effect. When you mulitply the effect of one lightbulb by the instances of its expected use by the population of anticipated users, this is where you make changes, and thats the intent of the laws.

Back to what you did reference, you won't get new lightbulbs out of nowhere, they actually do come from industry, so I do agree with that part.

These I do give you. However its not unheard of that governments have taken risky investments when driving change, look at the arpanet etc... Also, its expected that the earlier the efforts are in the processes of change, the riskier they are. Do we give up?


No. But the government shouldn't be involved unless there is a true national stake. And even then it should either be done with regulation or incentives. Not with your or my money.

Government is fundamentally funded by your and my money. And we don't live on independent planets, we share one. Collectivism is truly a dirty word, but unfortunately, we don't own our own little planets, so this really is a national issue as well as a world issue.

The government should set the CAFE standards and let industry get to compliance. As far a the first computer -- ENIAC was built as the computer industry replying to a bid for a reprogrammable computer. The primary purpose was ballistic charts. But your cell phone is now more powerful than all the computers in 1963.
I agree, regulating industry is a big part of environmentalism.

Change isn't free. Neither is staying in place. Absolutely agree however that there's money in green energy and this does (and rightly should) motivate these efforts. None of this seems to fit as a reasonable motivation or reason against these efforts, the first computers were tremendously expensive, flight was pretty inefficient, heck the first steam engine to lift water out of mines was absolutely pathetic, and one should expect failures when searching for change, sort of the nature of the thing.


What is or was the incentive prior to to the GW starting. But look at the advent of HDTV. When the first flat screen TV's they cost thousands of dollars. But the incentive of the consumer market brought the price down. I've been looking at 50" flat screens. The cost was over $1000 18 months ago and are now getting to the $500 range. The reason is because of willing adoption by consumers. If consumers thought solar or wind was better, they would be asking for more of it. There isn't any incentive there for popular adoption.

Well if industry and the free market would help with environmental causes, the environmental lobby wouldn't have any basis for what they're pushing for. But honestly much of industry tends toward externalizing environmental costs if they can get away with it rather than managing them as a cost of doing business.

Theres no doubt we've developed into a resource hungry world society. I guess the bottom line is whether we're simply doomed to outgrow the carrying capacity of our world, or rather as a species able to manage what resources we have in a sustainable fashion. Maybe there are those who believe we could never outgrow our environment and that GW is actually a hoax, to be honest I have to include that possibility.
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