Monday, August 14, 2017

Diary 8/14/17 - Where do we go from here?

Historically science has been about learning stuff and better understanding the functioning reality in front of us.  It has always been a constructive dialogue, and even a contact sport between intellectual adults.  That’s because science demanded dedicated nonstop learning and often new information would conflict with long standing beliefs.  Still scientists adhered to rules of honesty, not just honesty in their own scientific work and reports but representing other’s position and evidence honestly, even when debating contentious issues.

Deviants and demagogues would appear from time to time, but given that they were embedded within a skeptical community of informed all-around skeptical experts, the occasional frauds found themselves exposed, while the wheels of science returned to the solid ground of allowing verifiable facts to dictate what people ‘believed’ (though always provisional, knowing that new information could modify and enhance the more simplistic established understanding.

As it turned out, none of that was ever a problem so long as scientific learning was tied to increasing earnings and profits and riches, all was well.

Then during the course of the twentieth century something fundamental and unavoidable changed.  Our science facilitated human population explosion came face to face with the reality of our finite Earth’s limits on growth which then came face to face human’s avaricious appetites.  

Scientists being at the forefront of understanding our living planet, were the first one’s to appreciate the Faustian Bargain our fast paced fossil fuels driven society had locked all of us humans into.

By the 70s the reality was clear,

Friday, August 11, 2017

Diary 8/11/2017 - Center for Inquiry Forum, Cracking the Contrarians' Code.

Due to obligations and commitments crowding my reading and writing time down to the bottom of my get-it-done list it has remained scattered and lately mostly confined to commenting over at the Center for Inquiry forum.  Recently conversations have gotten a bit livelier and occasionally even constructive since a few more people are getting involved.   

Check it out sometime.  Faith based vs Fact based.  Climate skeptical challenges add some spice, civility and feigned civility, facts and fiction, devious rhetoric and touche's, sometimes genuine learning, insults and ruffled feathers, usually for effect, occasionally heart felt, sturm und drang and all that fun stuff.

Still, at the end of the day we’re left with the same challenge that started long ago with the first strategic attacks on the scientific understanding of tobacco smoke dangers - though at the time no one realized it, too many still don’t.  ( For those details see: http://www.merchantsofdoubt.org It's all been documented, though contrarians prefer to dismiss the book as meaningless ad hominem attacks {on their right to lie I presume}, all the while ignoring all evidence presented.)

The challenge is: How to engage in a constructive intellectual dialogue with characters who are dedicated to disparaging and dismissing serious science with what ever words and tactics are required at the moment, merely because it’s what their jobs depend on?

Good faith learning holds no interest.  Sowing doubt and confusion is the goal and it’s such an easy thing to achieve if one possesses no scruples and limitless chutzpah.

Resentment towards and dismissal of evidence is a given. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Eye popping Global Temperature visualization by Antti Lipponen (1900 - 2016), plus supporting info.

While too many scared scientists* seem to be watering down their reports and pronouncements regarding their findings, (To save themselves confrontations with the ruthless champions of climate science denial and hardball political disinformation, I imagine.), others are striving to bring today's global reality into stark focus.  

Antti Lipponen (from the Finnish Meteorological Institute ) has put together a visualization who's overall impact is astounding.  At least if you have the slightest empathy for people and appreciation of this planet's biosphere, as we've always known her.


Published on YouTube, Aug 2, 2017 by Carbon Brief
How has temperature changed in each country over the last century?
This data visualisation shows temperature anomaly – the departure from the long-term average – by country from 1900 to 2016. 
Visualisation by Antti Lipponen (@anttilip) of the Finnish Meteorological Institute based on GISTEMP data (CC BY 2.0).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Why else would everyone at Project Midas continue ignoring my entreaties?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm having a dialogue with some smooth climate science contrarians over at the CFI forum which got me to thinking I should add this other simple video which explains where all that heat is coming from.  I specially liked this one because of its reminder of pioneering papers that turned out to be quite accurate about what was coming our way.