Thursday Throughput: I Just Didn’t Want It To Be True Edition

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Michael Siegel

Michael Siegel is an astronomer living in Pennsylvania. He is on Twitter, blogs at his own site, and has written a novel.

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26 Responses

  1. Avatar DensityDuck
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    says:

    You won’t get much of an argument on “the climate has measurably changed since we started measuring it”.
    The issue is the chain of reasoning that goes:
    Climate change is real and occurring at an unprecedented level.
    Climate change of this magnitude is caused by humans.
    Climate change is caused by humans who mostly live in the United States Of America, a little bit in Western Europe, and absolutely nowhere else.
    Climate change is caused by white Westerners and the only possible solution is for white Westerners to adhere to the Puritan ideal of extreme temperance, of self-denial to the point of self-harm, the same ideal that Puritans have considered vital to Earthly salvation since they were run out of England four hundred years ago and people burned individual lumps of coal for heat let alone do anything on an industrial scale.

    Not everyone follows you down that hill.Report

  2. Avatar Michael Siegel
    Ignored
    says:

    “Climate change is real and occurring at an unprecedented level.”

    Overwhelmingly supported by the scientific evidence.

    “Climate change of this magnitude is caused by humans.”

    Also overwhelmingly supported by the scientific evidence.

    “Climate change is caused by humans who mostly live in the United States Of America, a little bit in Western Europe, and absolutely nowhere else.”

    No one is claiming that but much of what we were experiencing now has been driving by first world countries. That is changing with China and India moving up economically.

    “Climate change is caused by white Westerners and the only possi..”

    This is not the logical endpoint of the debate. There are numerous ways to deal with the climate crisis that don’t necessitate burning that particular straw man.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Michael Siegel
      Ignored
      says:

      “No one is claiming that but much of what we were experiencing now has been driving by first world countries. ”

      lol

      “no one is saying this!” (goes on to say this)

      “There are numerous ways to deal with the climate crisis that don’t necessitate burning that particular straw man.”

      Sure there are! But we aren’t hearing them! We’re hearing “ban plastic straws”, we’re hearing “force people to move into cities”, we’re hearing “cars are INHERENTLY IMMORAL”. We aren’t hearing “let’s reconsider our decision to not pursue short-term biodegradable plastics”, we aren’t hearing “let’s encourage uptake of telecommuting”, we aren’t hearing “let’s develop distributed nuclear generation systems so that the charging issues of electric cars aren’t as much of a problem for power grids”.Report

      • Avatar CJColucci in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        There is a big difference between what “we’re hearing” and what’s being said. The first is a function of the listener’s limitations, the second is a verifiable fact about the world.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to CJColucci
          Ignored
          says:

          There is also a big difference in what is being said, and what (and how) the media likes to report on. Take, for instance, the whole ’12 years until doom’ bit. That’s not what the report actually said, and a whole lot of context is ignored for a hyperbolic headline.

          I mean, I’ve pretty much stopped listening to the media on climate change, because they can’t stop presenting things except in the most catastrophic manner.Report

          • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Oscar Gordon
            Ignored
            says:

            The same dynamic I pointed out to DD about what “we’re hearing” in general applies to what one “hears” in the media and what is actually in it.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to CJColucci
              Ignored
              says:

              You are letting ‘hears’ do some pretty heavy lifting.

              The other night I was listening to a Christmas concert that was being held in a public space, but it was very difficult to ‘hear’ that concert because there was a doom and gloom Jesus freak standing right behind me shouting loudly about how we need to accept Greta into our hearts and repent our environmental sinsJesus into our hearts and repent our mortal sins.

              All that noise made it very difficult to enjoy the concert.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        Climate change isn’t real because some people are saying dumb things about it.

        Corollary: Nothing is real.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Mike Schilling
          Ignored
          says:

          Didn’t say climate change wasn’t real.

          Did say that there’s “climate change is real”, and then there’s “climate change is real and it really was caused by white Westerners and it really is something that only white Westerners need to change their lifestyles to fix and it really is only fixable by to starving in the cold dirty darkness”, and these are two different statements, and if you’re going to tell me how inspiring Greta Thurnberg is then you very much subscribe to the latter.

          Someone is going to point to acid rain, and I’m going to point to catalytic convertors, and say “if we handled acid rain the way people want us to deal with carbon emissions then gas would cost ten dollars a gallon but there’d still be lead in it.”Report

          • Avatar Philip H in reply to DensityDuck
            Ignored
            says:

            considering that its white westerners who keep trying to sabotage the Kyoto and Paris agreements and not the other 147 countries who signed them . . . . then yeah I’d say as a first order approximation white westerners have the greater obligation.

            And Frankly anyone telling you you have to starve in the cold darkness to address it isn’t serious. Aeons ago I did a blog post about this which did some basic math and concluded that most cities could become self generating electricity wise if they just put PV racks on the roofs on every building. As an example, New York City has painted roughly 9.2 Million square feet of roof white to reflect solar heat and try to cool the city. the normal solar panel is roughly 17.3 square feet and generates 265 watts per panel. doing the beverage napkin math, if NYC put solar panels on all those roofs (a boost to employment as well as a green energy alternative), they’d generate 140.9 megawatts. Sure, that’s not enough to run the whole city, but there’s way more then 9.2 million square feet of roof there to cover.

            My point here is white westerners made the problem; white westerners can significantly solve the problem, and we can start now n ways that aren’t economically disruptive.

            Or we can sit back and keep throwing stones until citizens of drowned island nations show up on our doorstep on the heals of more South American refugees who are fleeing the deserts their countries are already becoming. We have a choice now – we won’t later.Report

  3. Avatar Mark
    Ignored
    says:

    Wine production is important in my state. The vineyards around here have been picking about two weeks earlier in the past few years than the traditional dates. It is warmer; the grapes have no politics.
    If I see someone throwing a used wrapper from a car, I resent them dirtying up my street. I get upset when other forms of garbage get thrown into our streets, our rivers, our air; does this make me a bad person? I want access to the same seats of power as the garbage producers.
    Water on other planets! Any trout in those waters?Report

  4. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    When our universe was young, the galaxies within it were small. Over the last ten billion years, those galaxies have merged to form the vast galaxies we see today.

    It’s gotten to where the business plan for every young galaxy is to be acquired by one of the big ones.Report

  5. Avatar Richard Hershberger
    Ignored
    says:

    Style guide: This works in the liberal arts as well. When contemplating a paper written in High Academic, I will pick out a paragraph and painstakingly translate it into plain English. If the result is longer, and juggles lots of moving parts, then the jargon is probably justified: technical language used by and for specialists to concisely convey complicated ideas. If the plain English translation is shorter and simple, then the paper is bullshit and can safely be ignored. Sadly, the bullshit variety is not uncommon.Report

  6. Avatar Richard Hershberger
    Ignored
    says:

    ” the linkage of global warming to left wing policy”

    This is, and always was, a huge logic fail. It doesn’t even rise to the level of being an ad hominem argument, unless one supposes scientists to all be a bunch of lefties (what with reality’s notorious liberal bias…)Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Richard Hershberger
      Ignored
      says:

      Its like the way any solution to homelessness is derided as leftism.

      Its true, only in the sense that any possible solution will necessarily involve massive amounts of government power and money which triggers conservatives.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        Paying people fair market wages for their labor, wages enough to actually live on and prevent homelessness, also seems to trigger conservatives.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        We’ve had plenty of discussions on the many, many ways government stymies the development of affordable housing because of the preferences of powerful interests. Solving homelessness DOES not necessarily involve massive amounts of government power and money. Hell, telling government to get out of the way will probably do more to relieve homelessness than anything else.

        But NIMBY’s gotta NIMBY…Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Oscar Gordon
          Ignored
          says:

          Increasing affordable housing (by whatever mechanism you choose) will help the easy cases of homelessness, those people who are able to work and live independently.

          Which is a good thing, and should be pursued!

          But the hard cases, the homeless people that we all see on the streets are not those. Most are addicts or mentally ill or otherwise unable to live independently.

          They require massive amounts of public resources and government power in order to get off the streets.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        “We should build more buildings.”

        “Leftism!”Report

        • Avatar JoeSal in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          person in LA: there sure is a big problem with homeless people, addicts, the mentally ill

          other people: Sure wouldn’t want to live in LA

          Wang Chung: I can’t get away…..To live and die in LAReport

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Richard Hershberger
      Ignored
      says:

      But scientists aren’t. Lots of scientists have proposed a large number of market based and government backed approaches to improving the climate picture that routinely get ignored because they don’t align with some idealist (or entrenched) preference.Report

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