How does one converse with a denier of human-induced climate change?

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by ecodharmamark, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    You can't seriously think that chopping down as much forest as humans have has no effect on climate or environment? Do you seriously believe that dumping billions of tonnes of waste where ever we feel like has no effect? or that burning fossil fuels at such a rate does nothing to the balance of things? I mean get serious man, who gives a crap about what this scientist said or what that scientist said. I mean come on man, this planet is going to hell in a hand basket and to say that anything other than human activity is the most profoundly devastating thing driving that is just, well, I dunno, what that is.

    Surely we can all agree that if we keep going like this, then its gonna be a pretty bleak place to live in the not to distant future? So no matter what the consciousness of science or the consciousness of politics is doing, those of us who are aware of our own actions need to move forward in the permaculture consciousness. No matter what happens those paradigms will all fall away and be replaced by new ones, because if there is one thing that is clear it is that things change, the world changes, and those who change with it will survive, those who stick their heads in the sand will be left behind and preserved as fossils.

    I am all for healthy debate, and a good measure of healthy scepticism, but do we really need a debate about whether climate change is real, human-induced, or cow-fart driven here in the permaculture forum?
     

  2. Graham, i think you are putting multiple subjects/issues into one job lot. Probably not the best thing to do in this case, i.e., reference the thread title.

    Just as an aside, re putting ones head in the sand... an outsiders take on the Oz environment -

    Via Griffith Review 27 a memoir, In the apple orchard with Win and Petal by Melissa Sweet. (extract, pg 158)


    “…When I look out over our green hills, whose largest use is to keep the roos, wallabies, wombats and other wildlife well fed, I sometimes hear other mutterings. Bloody tree-changers, they grumble, making hobbies of what was once productive farmland. Once we bought a tall, gentle man from Nigeria here for a recuperative spell away from the trails of asylum-seeking. We took him for a walk in the bush along the back of our property, expecting he would be delighted by the friendly wildlife, which generally impresses visitors. He was impressed, but not in the way we had expected. He charged after the wombats, roos and wallabies, doing his utmost to knock them out with large rocks. He thought us awfully wasteful to have all these animals around without making use of them. We were pleased his aim was bad…”






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  3. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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  4. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    OK thanks for your non-reply FB. In answer to the question posed in the thread heading. "Generally I don't bother, I don't see the point of banging my head against a brick wall." But in order to finish off my involvement in this thread I will answer your advice visa-vis not putting multiple subjects into my post. Lets see...

    Let us then assume that human activity is not responsible for climate change. So, what changes for us today? What do we do different today? Does it actually change the impetus for permaculture in any way? Or are the other environmental and social issues not a strong enough reason to bother?

    A more considered response to the question Marko has asked is. We converse with climate change denalists in much the same way as we converse and treat all others - treat them as though they are us, as though we are one. With respect and compassion. And perhaps ask them to look beyond the rhetoric. What does it really mean to them either way and what difference does it really make to their everyday lives...

    That is my two cents on this and I am not willing to deposit any more into an account that has too many charges and fees.
     
  5. RichardM

    RichardM Junior Member

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    OK, I'll bite.....the answer to that, assuming the current changes (like all the other previous documented cases of climate change in the historical/archaeological/geological record) are NOT anthropogenic, then one of three things are going to happen:

    1. The warming trend will either stop and level out, or
    2. It will stop and then start to reverse, as apparently happened between after WW2, or
    3. It will continue warming for the forseeable future.

    If 1 or 2 - there's bugger all we can do but also little to worry about although if 2, then life here in Tasmania will become a bit disappointing, although the trout and cray-fishing might improve again.

    If 3, there's bugger all we can do apart from direct our efforts into adaptation; saying we can't adapt is a nonsense, the human race has been adapting to climate change (Ice Ages & Interglacials) one way or another for the last 100+ millenia. If 3, then scaring off major manufacturing employers to China & India with new taxes is a double whammy - those of us still here pay the extra taxes off a reduced employment & economic base and we score a massive own goal for no good reason and export those industries to countries with next to no control on industrial emissions of any kind, not just CO2 but SO2, NOx etc etc.

    I hear a lot of people saying that we should do all these things anyway, because it will be of benefit in a world of Peak Oil etc - well that's fine but using a policy calibrated to address one issue and hoping it will fix another one seems like poor policy to me at best.

    Lastly - "Climate Change Denier" is a perjorative label designed to incite ridicule; I think sceptic is more polite and more considered. Climate Change is a reality and it always has been, you only have to look at the dead tree stumps in some alpine areas now above the treeline to answer that one, drive along the road past Hobart Airport that is on a coastal plain which was under 6m of seawater during the last interglacial or visit the remains of Viking settlements in Greenland whose inhabitants died out in the Little Ice Age; the question in the minds of many people is whether or not you can safely stand the word "Anthropogenic" in front of it.
     
  6. springtide

    springtide Junior Member

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    I'm well sited to watch the airport flood but i might have to wait a while, as for the "Anthropogenic" stamp hasn't anyone heard of "hedging your bets" or "don't put all your eggs in one basket"?

    Why shouldn't climate change be human induced? there are more of us now than ever before - seven billion and something (only 12 letters but they really means much more).
    We can kill off every species on the planet except cockroaches and some bacteria with the push of a button.
    The oceans and forests which soaked up CO2 and first cooled our planet are going to be dead in the next hundred years or so.
    Around 50% of the oil they turned into has already been burnt and returned to the atmosphere.

    So if you ignore the science because some of it has been faulty you should at least accept that
    1. money will change hands either way.
    2. carbon trading for 1 in 333 (odd) people won't make much difference (aust. pop vs global)
    3. I can't hand my childeren this future without trying.
    ............................................................
     
  7. Dreamie

    Dreamie Junior Member

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    Grahame I think you need to understand the difference between
    1. Climate change caused by mans actions.
    2. Climate change that is natural and
    3. Climate change that is caused by man made CO2 emissions.
    They are 3 distinct different issues.

    The whole climate change debate revolves around point 3 and wether or not man made CO2 pollution is the cause of the warming.

    I ask you the following question;
    If we were to reduce CO2 emission but the earth had 50 billion people what would be the result?

    The believers who have release reviewed documents and all the scientists believe that in this situation the world would be saved and would get cooler. We would be able to live forever.

    The sceptics believe that the earth would still keep warming and be destroyed.

    I am classified as a sceptic because I believe man is causing major problems due to man’s disrespect for the environment. I believe that we need to fix the environment otherwise we are in trouble. No amount of CO2 reduction will make any difference.

    Believers believe that the world will be fixed by simply reducing CO2 emission.
     
  8. RichardM

    RichardM Junior Member

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    I was answering the question asked about what difference it would make if climate change isn't anthropogenic and it is a very important question. Just because there's 7 billion of us isn't reason in itself - anymore than if you'd asked the question in the 18-19th Century along the lines of "this Cholera thing, why shouldn't it be caused by bad smells, after all, there's always bad smells around in places where people catch Cholera." It's basically saying that even if we cant prove it, there's no other explanation............so that's the explanation. - About 40 yrs ago, my younger brother fell into this trap when he was convinced that our father made the car reverse down the driveway by looking over his shoulder, because every time he did this, the car went backwards.

    The Hobart Airport thing is an interesting question; in the previous interglacial, before the last Ice Age, the climate was warmer, the ice caps were smaller, the sea level was much higher, we know it was higher because if you dig down there, you find marine deposits covering over beach sands - yet there was less CO2 around then (we are told it's higher now than the last 2 million/200,000 yrs - can't remember which) and yet no one was driving SUVs, burning coal, flying to Europe or using air conditioning. That's why the land around Hobart is flat - it's the only place in the south of the State big enough & flat enough to host an airport but even then, its a very short runway if you are flying a 747)

    I'm not a "denier" as such, in fact up until 12 months ago, I was a rusted on Warmist but these days, more and more, I have my doubts; there is IMHO a climate change industry at work to some extent (the more people who I know have no scientific background scream, the more cynical I get) and in my own work, I'm seeing all sorts of things blamed on climate change by pseudo-experts, or being offered as evidence for the same, with no consideration of any other possible causes given.

    I certainly think the place is warming up; my own experience supports this - they've just come through a winter in the UK which is pretty similar to the sort of winters I remember as a kid - the fact that it was such a huge shock suggests that the populace aren't used to that any more.

    I'm more concerned about the whole idea of modeling to predict future changes - I am yet to be convinced of its veracity, I use computer modeling all the time and it doesn't take much in the way of dodgy data to give completely erroneous results and that assumes that the models are a perfect portrayal of the climatic system - I'm not convinced of it's accuracy looking decades into the future, I believe that there are just too many variables to consider.

    What interests me, is the approach of geologists - yeah yeah, a geologist isn't a climate scientist (well half the people on the IPCC aren't either) but the key to modern geology (ie the last 150 years or so) is that the key to the past is the observation of processes in play today and vice versa. The recent geological record appears to indicate vastly different climates to what we have today and CO2 doesn't appear to have a bearing in many cases. It's interesting to note that in terms of anthropogenic warming sceptics, many of them are geologists and I think that this is significant.

    Like many, I was pretty worried when I saw Manne's hockey stick but I did wonder about what it showed in the relatively recent past; the Little Ice Age was common knowledge to us students of British history, with regular ice fairs on the Thames etc, when it froze over for months every Xmas, yet the last time it did this was in the early 19th Century, well before fossil-fuel C2 emissions became significant; and there's evidence elsewhere of this warming starting earlier than the 1850s shown by Manne; he also left out the Medieval Warm Period, again common knowledge back in the 1980s, Vikings in Greenland etc, yet no major sources of CO2 emissions etc.

    Honestly, I don't know, I don't think anyone does; yes I've read the stuff on the BoM website, temperature trends, etc, although I notice, if you look at sea surface temp changes, it's actually got colder off NZ and to the south of us. I also notice that if you look at rainfall trends per decade since the 1900s, many parts of the country, in fact most parts, are now wetter than they were back then - but that was coming off the Federation Drought - again evidence that Aus has been much dryer than now - past that, I'm not sure how much climate data we have for Aus prior to white settlement.

    We have to adapt to climate change, one way or another and as world populations and reliance on stable rainfall etc gets more difficult, of that I have no doubt. My concern is that if it's not anthropogenic and we waste $$billions on duplicating our existing highly expensive (but mainly paid for) infrastructure, with new, less reliable energy sources then that's money we can't spend on climate change adaptation, which is going to be very very expensive and if it's Anthropogenic, well the fact that 2.5 Billion Indians and Chinese aspire to a Western lifestyle and their govts have firmly said that reducing CO2 footprints aint their problem, so if so, it's gonna happen anyway, so we are better off devoting scarce resources to adaption.
     
  9. RichardM

    RichardM Junior Member

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    On the subject of modelling - where's The Hotspot?
     
  10. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    OK Dreamie, I said I was getting out of this discussion but since you have directed some comments directly to me and since it seems I have grossly misrepresented myself I thought it best to have one more crack...

    I'm not sure why your comments were directed at me or why you think it is important for me to understand your representation of climate change. I don't really see the difference between your 1. and 3.

    To me, the point is that humans are doing stupid, greedy things and it is causing serious environmental vandalism, climate change being (possibly) only one of those. How ever you package things up it is clear that we can't go on this way! Society as we know it is unsustainable and I challenge anyone to disagree with that. So, all there is left to do is PERMACULTURE.
     
  11. permasculptor

    permasculptor Junior Member

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    How does one converse with a denier of human-induced climate change?

    ;Dude look there is a truck coming.
    :I know what's coming I always cross here.
    ;Yes but turn your head man you gotta get outa the way.
    :Shell be right if it was that close I,d hear it.
    ;Mate get off the road now or your gonna get hit.
    :I owned a truck once.
    ;Goodbye!
     
  12. springtide

    springtide Junior Member

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    Thanks RichardM for a constructive response,
    I have worked as an enviro for a few years and saw a few arguments similar to the ones in this thread (discussions that turned into child like arguments) - that is to say that it is easy to draw different conclusions from the same sets of data based on the fact that people would zero in on different points and dismiss others due to pre concieved ideas. When i come across a "denier" they often think that we people and their V8 couldn't possibly ruin the planet often based on the"planet = big, people = small" - on the other hand the "we caused it" camp often want a mission or a cause for just about anything to give their lives some meaning and saving the planet ticks more boxes than most. It's a bit like watching the atheists and christians arguing over easter eg. "christ rose on easter sunday - a whole religion based on 1 (mostly) event so there has to be some truth in it" vs "yes but easter was a celebration of eostre a pagan goddess held on the first sunday after the full moon before christ - thats why easter is not held on a fixed date like christmas (lunar calendar)", etc, etc, etc.
    My point is that this is not a pointless thread but i don't expect it to bear much fruit in the seach for an answer.

    I don't have a fixed belief on climate change (or easter) but just in case i try not to use the lords name in vain and i try to keep my carbon footprint small.
    :)
     
  13. Just been having a re-visit to the blog referenced by smartymarty66 #31.

    Came across this gem from John Cook - "... I always make it a point to address the science and avoid making personal comments about a person I disagree with. Ad hominem attacks are a form of mental laziness. It's always easier to attack a person than the argument they're making. It's also an indication that the arguer is more interested in winning the debate than finding the truth. I encourage both sides to exercise restraint and stick to the science - it makes for more constructive dialogue and you never know, both sides might learn something..." Cook then goes on an Ad hominem attack using the word denialists ....

    ...yep, the old do as i say thingy ... ;)




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  14. Grahame, i were a sceptic of the climate change ice age scare of the 60/70s era .... did that make me a denialist then ?
    i were sceptical of the Y2K scare...did that make me a computor denialist ?
    i were sceptical of Bernie Maddoff... did that make me an investment denialist ?
    i'm sceptical of the Al Gore carbon trading scam......




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  15. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    I find it interesting that some people feel that the term 'denialist', particularly when applied to one who is 'in denial', is offensive. It is a term that has been in regular use across a wide band of literature for the past century:

    1914 A. A. BRILL tr. Freud's Psychopathol. Everyday Life vii. 149 Certain denials which we encounter in medical practice can probably be ascribed to forgetting. 1927 O. RANK in Mental Hygiene XI. 187 Freud is obliged to refer to special mechanisms, in particular the ‘procedure of making a thing as if it had not happened’a circumlocution by which he avoids using the simpler and more natural terms proposed by others. (For a long time I have used the term ‘Verleugnung’, denial.) 1930 W. HEALY et al. Structure & Meaning Psychoanalysis VII. 457 On the basis of his theory of ‘denial’, Rank demands that there be an emotional reproduction rather than intellectual recollection... The fact that denial has occurred is, he says, often more important than the content of the corresponding memory. 1950 R. P. BISSELL Stretch on River xxi. 207 It's a transferral of intent. It's a result of childhood trauma. It's Oedipus denial. 1959 Jrnl. Personality XXVII. 364 The opposite syndrome, composed of high Admission, low Denial, and high Anxiety scores describes the other end of the repression continuum. 1979 H. SEGAL Klein x. 127 The denial of his mourning is also apparent in his running away. 1992 Village Voice (N.Y.) 8 Apr. 25/1 ‘You're living in denial. Abortion is killing your baby.’ He sounds the prolifers' warning of never-ending guilt, as if morality were mere avoidance of pain.

    What is more, it is a definition, I believe, that is perfectly apt for the topic in question:

    ...7. Psychoanal. The suppression (usu. at an unconscious level) of a painful or unacceptable wish or of experiences of which one is ashamed. Now also in more general use, esp. in phr. in denial (orig. and chiefly U.S.).

    Source: Oxford English Dictionary (by subscription)

    In the future, when and/or if I need to discuss denialist tactics on this forum, I would be more than happy to use the full phrase: 'one who is in denial of human-induced climate change' (or, the acronym: OWIIDOHICC)? This way, there can not be any confusion between one who is in denial of human-induced climate change, and the myriad of other psychopathological disorders that have been associated with denialism in the literature.

    Cheerio, Marko.
     
  16. Hmmm, the insults continue - Looks like Al Gores flunky is trying to justify himself..... :D


    Seems we have a new 'denier' on the block
    -

    "...problem is that the correlation between the respective increases of GHGs and temperatures, which has always been poor, has become non-existent in the past 15years. Whilst CO2 emissions have rocketed since 1995, Phil Jones confirms there has been no detectable increase in global warming.

    The real value of the Harrabin/Jones interview is the fact that straight questions received straight answers, for the first time in recent memory.

    Professor Jones, as co-inventor of the modern climate change hypothesis, principal archivist of global temperature records, co-author of the IPCC’s AR4, Nobel laureate, and former CRU director, is the most authoritative source imaginable. He received written notice of the questions from a long-sympathetic interviewer, and his responses were pre-vetted by his lawyers and by the University of East Anglia media office. There will be no retractions.

    Even if humans have in fact been responsible for the “unexplained” warming of 0.051C per decade over 35 years, it is comforting to note that allowing this rate to continue will produce only 0.5C by the end of the century. As only about half of the human-caused warming is attributed to CO2, the valuation of any net benefit from abandoning fossil fuels is becoming very obscure indeed.

    Five-hundredths of a degree Celsius per decade produces extra nocturnal warmth at about the same rate as we grow toenails. It is far too insignificant to be detected by human sensors or even by standard weather thermometers - which are usually rounded up to the closest whole degree. It is a statistical fiction, created by computer-splicing of incompatible datasets, derived from averages of averages of inconsistent instruments.

    The controversy continues. But with the imprimatur of Phil Jones to the key fact that recent warming is not unusual, the debate will never be the same..." https://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2010/03/end-phase-of-the-climate-wars



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  17. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    Round and round the mulberry bush... the above is a classic example of the projection defense, number three on the list of The Denialists' Defense:

    1. Simplest of all, just deny that they're a denialist. This is the plugging your ears defense.

    2. Make out that they are part of a long line of "hero" denialists that changed the scientific consensus, like Pasteur or Einstein (Orac calls this the Galileo Gambit). This is the changing the definition defense or ego defense.

    3. Accuse the accuser of being a denialist. This is the projection defense.

    4. Accuse the accuser of making a black-list. This is the McCarthy defense.


    Source: Hoofnagle, M (2007) The Denialists' Defense

    Then of course there is the tactic of repeating outright fallacies:

    Did Phil Jones really say global warming ended in 1995?

    A headline in the Daily Mail has spread like wildfire, claiming that Phil Jones, ex-director of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, said "there has been no global warming since 1995". Not only did Phil Jones not say these words, this interpretation shows a poor understanding of the scientific concepts behind his words. To fully understand what Phil Jones was saying, one needs to read his actual words and understand the science discussed. Here is the relevant excerpt from the BBC interview:

    BBC: Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

    Phil Jones: Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.

    BBC: How confident are you that warming has taken place and that humans are mainly responsible?

    Phil Jones: I'm 100% confident that the climate has warmed. As to the second question, I would go along with IPCC Chapter 9 - there's evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity.


    Source: Cook, J (2010) Did Phil Jones really say global warming ended in 1995?

    Well folks, there is nothing more I can do to expose the tactics employed by the deniers of human-induced climate change, and I really must get back to more important areas of research. I realise that for some of you this thread may have seemed like it was a waste of time - I can relate to that - however if it has done nothing other than encourage people to question the rhetoric and seek accurate facts, rather than rely upon the trash media driven by the vested interests of the Greenhouse Mafia, then it has not all been in vain.

    Once again, thanks for your time, Markus.
     
  18. permasculptor

    permasculptor Junior Member

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    thank you Markus
    you are a very patient man.
     
  19. Rob Windt

    Rob Windt Junior Member

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  20. Thoght ah would get a bite... ;)

    Lets see if we can get past the Al Gore flunkys abuse and look at some facts -

    Via UEA, "as for the (now notorious) word ‘trick’, so deeply appealing to the media, this has been richly misinterpreted and quoted out of context"

    And for the full story from the man who denied the honesty of the hocky stick graph - https://climateaudit.org/2010/03/31/tricking-the-committee/

    ............:)







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