Joined: Jan. 2006
Ok, So... This is an edit of the original post. Perusing the news last night, I found 2 sites which made me laugh at the irony of placement.
| Dr Serreze's concern was underlined by new computer modelling which concludes that the Arctic may be free of all summer ice by as early as 2040. |
The new study, by a team of scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the University of Washington, and McGill University, found that the ice system could be being weakened to such a degree by global warming that it soon accelerates its own decline.
"As the ice retreats, the ocean transports more heat to the Arctic and the open water absorbs more sunlight, further accelerating the rate of warming and leading to the loss of more ice," explained Dr Marika Holland.
"This is a positive feedback loop with dramatic implications for the entire Arctic region."
Eventually, she said, the system would be "kicked over the edge", probably not even by a dramatic event but by one year slightly warmer than normal. Very rapid retreat would then follow.
| Global warming is a hoax, invented in 1988, that combines old myths including limits to growth, sustainability, the population growth time bomb, the depletion of resources, pollution, anti-Americanism and anti-corporate sentiment and, of all things, fear of an ice age. Those that espoused and supported the old myths have joined forced into a new group called “Environmentalists.”|
Most environmentalists have no technical or scientific credentials whatsoever. What they have are major news outlets ready and willing to publicize their every utterance regardless of whether or not they are backed up by scientific proof. Atmospheric science requires highly technical knowledge and skills, not possessed by the vast majority of the so-called environmentalists, who yet feel qualified to demand that human activity subjugate itself to the whims of their new deity, Mother Nature.
Environmentalists claim that the Earth’s atmosphere is getting hotter. They claim that the polar icecaps and glaciers will melt and sea levels will rise over two hundred feet, flooding most coastal cities. They claim that many areas of the Earth will turn into deserts. They make all these claims but cannot substantiate them with real scientific evidence. Parts of the polar icecap and glaciers are melting but other areas of the polar icecaps and glaciers are thickening. The environmentalists base their “proof” of the existence of global warming on the melting areas but are strangely silent, even militant to the point of violence, if anyone mentions the areas that are thickening, and those thickening areas are many.
2 friends I went through grad school with are now "climate scientists" (A marine biologist and an oceanographer actually), one in New Zealand and one in BC. I don't talk to them often but occasionally they send me interesting snippets from work. Because we went to school together and because we speak a common language of marine science, they don't have to translate information into english. To make a long story short, the "state of the art" of climate science is exceptionally technical and sophisticated. It is also exceptionally good. When pundits go about denying climate science, it reminds me of the afdaves of the world denying geology ot biology. I have yet to meet someone working in the field who is "blinded by the data" and makes bold claims without presenting the reasons and allowing a scientific challenge. Perhaps that's because science isn't religion.
I am fascinated by the instant responses by laymen to science papers that make news. What makes them so vitriolic? They feel threatened I suppose. So then this following item appeared in the news as I scrolled. Fascinating. These numbers tell an interesting story. Totally different issue but same root. It turns out that drugs just plain aren't very dangerous. This guy did this research using gov't data that is freely available.
|We have no legitimate reason to attempt to change drug taking behavior through force of law. The drugs simply aren't as dangerous as we have been led to believe, and the majority of the users of the drugs are not causing significant problems...The alleged impacts of drug use on society are laughably minuscule, but the effects of waging a war against our own citizens has been profoundly destructive.|
Link Brian Bennet's website.
Contrast that with this:
|MARIJUANA IS DANGEROUS TO THE USER AND OTHERS|
Legalization of marijuana, no matter how it begins, will come at the expense of our children and public safety. It will create dependency and treatment issues, and open the door to use of other drugs, impaired health, delinquent behavior, and drugged drivers.
This is not the marijuana of the 1970’s; today’s marijuana is far more powerful. Average THC levels of seized marijuana rose from less than one per cent in the mid-1970’s to a national average of over eight per cent in 2004.19 And the potency of "B.C. Bud" is roughly twice the national average – ranging from 15 per cent to as high as 25 per cent THC content.20
Dependency and Treatment:
Adolescents are at highest risk for marijuana addiction, as they are "three times more likely than adults to develop dependency."21 This is borne out by the fact that treatment admission rates for adolescents reporting marijuana as the primary substance of abuse increased from 32 to 65 per cent between 1993 and 2003.22 More young people ages 12-17 entered treatment in 2003 for marijuana dependency than for alcohol and all other illegal drugs combined.23
"[R]esearch shows that use of [marijuana] can lead to dependence. Some heavy users of marijuana develop withdrawal symptoms when they have not used the drug for a period of time. Marijuana use, in fact, is often associated with behavior that meets the criteria for substance dependence established by the American Psychiatric Association."24
Of the 19.1 million Americans aged 12 or older who used illicit drugs in the past 30 days in 2004, 14.6 million used marijuana, making it the most commonly used illicit drug in 2004.25
Among all ages, marijuana was the most common illicit drug responsible for treatment admissions in 2003, accounting for 15 per cent of all admissions -- outdistancing heroin, the next most prevalent cause.26
In 2003, 20 per cent (185,239) of the 919,833 adults admitted to treatment for illegal drug abuse cited marijuana as their primary drug of abuse.27
Marijuana as a Precursor to Abuse of Other Drugs:
Marijuana is a frequent precursor to the use of more dangerous drugs, and signals a significantly enhanced likelihood of drug problems in adult life. The Journal of the American Medical Association reported, based on a study of 300 sets of twins, "that marijuana-using twins were four times more likely than their siblings to use cocaine and crack cocaine, and five times more likely to use hallucinogens such as LSD."28
Long-term studies on patterns of drug usage among young people show that very few of them use other drugs without first starting with marijuana. For example, one study found that among adults (age 26 and older) who had used cocaine, 62 per cent had initiated marijuana use before age 15. By contrast, less than one per cent of adults who never tried marijuana went on to use cocaine.29
If you go through the graphs on the previous website, you see that these statements are NOT statistically bearing out. It's bullshite. Pure.
If you understand climate modeling, if you know what is being studied and how the samples are obtained, it is next to impossible to be on the denial side. You might understand that there are sets of probabilities and so forth but you don't doubt the science or the data. If you look at the actual data on drug use, it is next to impossible to justify the "war on drugs". If you actually look at information, you get a picture of reality that is 180' from the afdave, gwb type of point of view. So how come we bite when these stupid challenges are issued? I think because we implicitely get the implications for letting people be misled in this specific kind of way.
How many political issues are being pursued "in spite of" the data? The war on science is old news but the implications are scary. This is along the lines of what I think richard dawkins means when he points out how difficult it is to believe you are napoleon because so few people will go along with you but it is easy to believe in environmentalist scare tactics or the sky daddy or the evils of drugs or whatever when you have a group of people helping you create your unreality.
One big part of the problem is the sheer complexity of the issues. Individual examples used by opposing groups tend to point out "critical flaws" right at the fulcrum where you need advanced understanding to move on. For those used to using advanced understanding of a topic, recognizing expertise might be easier. Or maybe there is simply a critical amount of knowledge necessary to be able to evaluate complex claims. The examples above show how a group of people can make bold statements that are not born out by actual data and that, distubingly, do not need to be. The audience will never look. If you are good enough, you might be able to get your audience to buy your unreality and help you argue for it. Religious folk would be fertile grounds to look for such people. They are used to perpetuating a view of reality that is opposed to the data and evidence. Anyone who has ever studied dynamic systems has seen the concept of "Fall Off" or "Crash" play out in numbers. If you have been more specific and studied ecosystems or population dynamics you understand the idea of sudden, dramatic change. What if you haven't? Is it harder to believe? Is that what the impediment is? I think it is specifically a lack of experience. I think Dawkins is on to something.
Ignorance is dangerous. Dogma intensifies the danger. The war on drugs, while not justified by statistics, at least only ruins lives one at a time. The war on science has broader implications. Whatever motivation pushes this behavior, it's effects are to get into our personal lives, make a society totally engrossed in the individuals among it and clutter up the brain/air waves too much to see the society as an individual. Global warming is far away and has "experts" refuting it anyway. Evolution is "Dogma". Drugs are the "scourge" of society. Acid rain is a "local problem". Peak oil is a "Fairy Tale" . Malthus was wrong. Rachel Carson has been "proved wrong". The club of rome was also "proved wrong". Wild fish stocks can be managed. That's it. No data needed. No studies needed. Shut up the people who are ruining the party. Iraq is linked to Al Quaida. They have WMD's. Desertification can't happen in a rain forest, are you crazy? Why do you think it's called a rain forest! Etc.
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far
The Daily Wingnut