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Making sense of Climate Science Denial edX

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by nwdiver, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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  2. RichardC

    RichardC Cdn Sig & Solar Supporter

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  3. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    #3 nwdiver, Feb 23, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    There is a shift of focus now from understanding global warming to trying to figure out why there is such a broad schism between science and the general public.

    The Free Speech thread missed a couple steps IMO. First you need to accept AGW (I understand that ~95% of TMC is here)... then you need to understand why people reject it... Hopefully removing the sensitive issue of free speech will produce a more tempered and more productive discussion.

     
  4. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    I love the video, it attempts to deflect and rationalize onto others the failures of the passionate.

    The video jumps to "how do we get people to act?" Yet, it refuses to acknowledge that while over 6 in 10 (it's more, I'm sure) would agree that a) the CO2 level is rising, and b) higher CO2 levels cause global warming, there is far less consensus among the "scientific community", much less the public, on the effects of that warming. The models have consistently gotten it wrong, and in order to make it fit, scientists have been guilty of systematic data manipulation and/or specific framing to make the data fit the desired result. Then, you have to take it one step further -- you have to assess the potential, offered solutions and the costs to society versus the QUANTIFIED benefits to society (not just the strawman "think of the future children!").

    *That* is why the average person doesn't want to act... the minute that you come back with a scientific model of impact based on unaltered, raw data that looks like it have a smidgeon of a foothold in reality, then people will begin to ask the next step, which is the cost and benefit of solutions... where would our negative GDP impact in other sectors of $x trillion over y years provide benefits? And how large are those benefits, and when will they be realized? What happens if we don't take that hit? Given that energy is heavily laden in carbon-based industry today, how does it affect the average energy bill for those in various portions of the US? How does that translate to cost of living and way of life?

    None of these questions are getting attention from the screamers, who are still shouting "but we must do something! think of the children!"
     
  5. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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  6. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    The resistance to the U.S. or even states' governments taking action on climate change appears to me to have much more to do with people's views of the appropriate role and scale of government, and less to do about their views on climate change or human's role therein. Americans don't like having things pushed down on them from above. Even if it's good and sensible, like buying health insurance or replacing your 20-year-old refrigerator, as soon as you tell some people that they must do such a thing, they balk.

    I'm part of the Sierra Club's "Climate Action Team" here in Portland. The premise of the team is that we can accomplish a huge amount at a grassroots level, without needing to involve the state or federal government at all. People are excited about what similar teams are doing elsewhere in the country, because (I believe) it's about neighbors working together, rather than Big Brother telling us what to do.

    Although there are many actions that have really short payback periods or are relatively easy to change, my concern is that in the end these actions simply aren't enough. At least they get things moving in the right direction and help people to understand that reducing their carbon footprint doesn't mean making big—or often any—sacrifices.
     
  7. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    The predicted rise in thermal energy has been nearly dead on... it's was just underestimated how much the oceans would absorb.

    What do you think the rise in average global temps would be if CO2 doubles? IYO... should we just do nothing?
     
  8. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    You keep saying that. But I don't agree. The models may not have been 100% accurate, but they're models! They have certainly got the bulk of the predictions right. Whereas the "do nothing" model, that says the climate isn't changing, or is only changing because of solar cycles, are clearly very far from the realities of today.
     
  9. tigerade

    tigerade Member

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    This claim needs substantiation.
     
  10. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    The one thing I don't get is this - regardless if people agree that climate change is man's doing or not, the only solution is going to come from man so why are we wasting time arguing?
     
  11. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    If I understand the counter-point of the denier side correctly... which I'm not sure that I do because it doesn't appear to make much sense... but if the cause of global warming isn't CO2 then reducing CO2 won't help.

    It's a sad fact that solving the apathy problem is going to be a larger hurdle than the problem itself... we know how to cost effectively address global warming... getting enough people to act is an entirely different matter...

    This is where distrust of science really comes from and it’s not just your politics - The Washington Post
     
  12. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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  13. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    National Geographic ran an excellent article by Washington Post reporter Joel Achenbach about a broader "war on science," of which climate change denialism is only the most recent battle. Diane Rehm interviewed Mr. Achenbach last Wednesday in her show about Why We Doubt Science. Also on that segment were Kathleen Hall Jameson, the director of the Annenberg Policy Center, and Marcia McNutt, editor-in-chief of Science.

    Basic take-aways:

    • People reject science that they believe conflicts with their values. Evolution was perceived as being anti-theist, so if you believe in God, you can't believe in evolution.
    • You have to replace an entrenched, incorrect belief, with a better model to explain the world. Telling people that they're wrong doesn't work.
    • People may accept every step along a chain of evidence but still reject the ultimate conclusion when the perceived cost of changing your mind (and your actions) is too high.
     
  14. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    #14 nwdiver, Mar 12, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    I thought this was mildly applicable to this thread....

     
  15. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    Please reread Flasher's point (a) and (b) and see if you still think that is what he said.
     
  16. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    You're absolutely right... my apologies... allow me to rephrase...

    What do you think the cost to society would be if CO2 doubles? IYO... what action should we take?
     
  17. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    Right, and this is where Flasher ended his point where even the scientific models get really complicated, and really inaccurate. Although there are a lot of good models to predict CO2 levels, temperature rise etc. there isn't anywhere near consensus on the expected effect, nor the cost.

    The very public past models that have tried to predict what will happen short term has unfortunately also been wrong (e.g. Kilimanjaro wasn't supposed to have snow anymore by now, which it still does, and even the snow that melted had to do with local deforestation rather than global climate).

    It's very tricky to convince people to pay for something when you can't tell them what it is they're paying for. Elon's model of: "Can we afford to take the chance?", doesn't do a lot to mobilize the average voter.

    And even if you do tell them, dire models on one side says that 150 million people will be displaced if we do nothing, and on the other side, the cost of moving off fossil fuels is $44 trillion. But geez, that's $300'000 per person that is displaced in order to fix the problem... One would have to think the cost of displacement is lower.

    Sure it will totally suck and be the ultimate monument to human stupidity if we lose Miami, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Portland, Seattle (hey, Redmond becomes waterfront property...), but it's not the end of the world - literally.
     
  18. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    OK.... first, that $44T counts stranded capital... to which I say 'tough sh*t' that's Shells or BP or Arch Coals fault for counting the 'two birds in the bush' as 'a bird in the hand'. Second... the VAST majority of actions we can take are cost NEGATIVE over <10 years. My Solar PV system will cost me -$3k over 10 years... not counting subsidies... it's more like -$10k if you count those. Saying that renewables are more expensive than fossil fuels is mathematically ~3x dumber than saying buying a house is more expensive than renting...

    PLUS; burning the '$TRILLIONS$' worth of fossil fuel reserves is the gift that keeps on giving... the 150M people displaced is only the beginning. What's the value of Earths biodiversity? What's the value of a human life? The DOT assumes ~$6M for risk assessment. What's the value of our coastal infrastructure? What's the military cost due to increase civil unrest? What's the insurance cost due to stronger storms? This is what's known as the precautionary principle... the capital investment required to shift to renewables is known... the cost of NOT acting... and it is a COST... that's blood, sweat and lives that we NEVER get back could be astronomical.

    In the end you're not 'paying' for anything. You're making an investment in your future. Our society needs to come to the realization that burdening future generations with our ignorance is simply not acceptable. The shift to renewables is inevitable anyway.... there is little benefit and MUCH risk in procrastinating.
     
  19. ggies07

    ggies07 Active Member

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    ~ +1
     

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