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Old 04-04-2011, 09:06 PM   #1
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The Truth, Still Inconvenient

You can read a lot about this testimony, but I post Krugman because he injected some amount of humor in his column.

Quote:
So the joke begins like this: An economist, a lawyer and a professor of marketing walk into a room. What’s the punch line? They were three of the five “expert witnesses” Republicans called for last week’s Congressional hearing on climate science.

But the joke actually ended up being on the Republicans, when one of the two actual scientists they invited to testify went off script.

Prof. Richard Muller of Berkeley, a physicist who has gotten into the climate skeptic game, has been leading the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, an effort partially financed by none other than the Koch foundation. And climate deniers — who claim that researchers at NASA and other groups analyzing climate trends have massaged and distorted the data — had been hoping that the Berkeley project would conclude that global warming is a myth.

Instead, however, Professor Muller reported that his group’s preliminary results find a global warming trend “very similar to that reported by the prior groups.”

...

His climate-skeptic credentials are pretty strong: he has denounced both Al Gore and my colleague Tom Friedman as “exaggerators,” and he has participated in a number of attacks on climate research, including the witch hunt over innocuous e-mails from British climate researchers. Not surprisingly, then, climate deniers had high hopes that his new project would support their case.

You can guess what happened when those hopes were dashed.

Just a few weeks ago Anthony Watts, who runs a prominent climate denialist Web site, praised the Berkeley project and piously declared himself “prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong.” But never mind: once he knew that Professor Muller was going to present those preliminary results, Mr. Watts dismissed the hearing as “post normal science political theater.” And one of the regular contributors on his site dismissed Professor Muller as “a man driven by a very serious agenda.”

Of course, it’s actually the climate deniers who have the agenda, and nobody who’s been following this discussion believed for a moment that they would accept a result confirming global warming. But it’s worth stepping back for a moment and thinking not just about the science here, but about the morality.

For years now, large numbers of prominent scientists have been warning, with increasing urgency, that if we continue with business as usual, the results will be very bad, perhaps catastrophic. They could be wrong. But if you’re going to assert that they are in fact wrong, you have a moral responsibility to approach the topic with high seriousness and an open mind. After all, if the scientists are right, you’ll be doing a great deal of damage.

But what we had, instead of high seriousness, was a farce: a supposedly crucial hearing stacked with people who had no business being there and instant ostracism for a climate skeptic who was actually willing to change his mind in the face of evidence. As I said, no surprise: as Upton Sinclair pointed out long ago, it’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

But it’s terrifying to realize that this kind of cynical careerism — for that’s what it is — has probably ensured that we won’t do anything about climate change until catastrophe is already upon us.

So on second thought, I was wrong when I said that the joke was on the G.O.P.; actually, the joke is on the human race. 
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/04/op...gman.html?_r=1
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:37 PM   #2
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Evidence against interest is a very strong thing. It makes no difference to the "sceptics" who will deny regardless of the evidence and it's true that the joke is on all of us.

There are a lot of people who simply don't care about the truth or reality and will follow their ideology to very nasty places. Simply looking at any climate change threads on this forum highlights that mentality.
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:43 PM   #3
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Climate change is something that should only enter the purview of politics in a bipartisan manner. Legislation should be enacted based upon the scientific consensus.
I don't understand what the purpose of denying climate change is if you are a pundit! What is the endgame? To try and slow innovation? To give people a (possibly false) sense of security? To promote bad habits?

Even if current climate change models were proven incorrect, would that mean that we should all breath a sigh of relief and scrap all the progress made over the past couple decades? No! Obviously not. Regardless of how much scrutiny these predictions and theories can withstand, we still need to proceed with cleaning up our act.

Now, it is the obligation of those in the scientific community to challenge peers. People get mad cred for debunking and disproving the results of a study. The end results are more robust theories. But, I get the feeling that some people get the wrong impression from these intra-scientific debates.
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:59 PM   #4
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Profit from the status quo until nothing can be done and then keep profiting until you're dead and don't have to deal with the consequences.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by A_Wanderer View Post
Profit from the status quo until nothing can be done and then keep profiting until you're dead and don't have to deal with the consequences.
Exactly.

And preserve your God-given right to drive a Hummer in an urban setting.
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Prof. Richard Muller of Berkeley, a physicist who has gotten into the climate skeptic game, has been leading the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, an effort partially financed by none other than the Koch foundation. And climate deniers — who claim that researchers at NASA and other groups analyzing climate trends have massaged and distorted the data — had been hoping that the Berkeley project would conclude that global warming is a myth.

Instead, however, Professor Muller reported that his group’s preliminary results find a global warming trend “very similar to that reported by the prior groups.”
The Republican Party are going to put satirists out of work.

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Old 04-05-2011, 06:43 AM   #7
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I just think it's hilarious that the GOP's star witness (climate change skeptic) researcher for those hearings had to bail on them because his data came back as very similar to the work of many other teams.

So many people don't understand how science works, that it's a continual process of review and revision of the work of others.
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:17 AM   #8
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and science doesn't really care what the data means. It either is or isn't what it's trying to prove and will keep testing when new data comes in.

the problem is when humans come along and see the data they have a habit of twisting the data to fit their own needs or beliefs.

This article is great and proves how great science really is. And of course this scientist is now going to be discredited and nothing will get done.
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:02 AM   #9
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Oil & Gas: Long-Term Contribution Trends | OpenSecrets


Is anyone reaaaaallly surprised, though? nah. Keep electing these assholes to protect your "moral values", guys, while they rape your country.
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Old 04-05-2011, 03:56 PM   #10
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I have lost all hope. I watched a documentary about natural gas today.

We can do this dance for decades, but in the end, the Koch Industries GOP® will win.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:46 AM   #11
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Warning about climate change is like Jor-El warning Kryptonians about the destruction of Krypton.

Nobody believed Jor-El, Krypton blows up, and everyone dies... so on and so forth, as the story goes... everybody knows.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:56 AM   #12
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Look at the up side, we can observe a mass extinction in progress, an opportunity that only comes around every hundred million years or so.
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:03 AM   #13
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... or the apocalypse of our own doing ...
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:33 AM   #14
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lets not get carried away here.
I do accept the consensus on climate change, but I do not not think talk of mass extinction or apocalypse is warranted just yet.

(besides, in a sense the history of life has been one of extinctions. i.e. 99% of all species extinct)
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:25 AM   #15
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But the rate of extinction is the issue. The rate of extinction since the holocene is consistent with that observed in the fossil record for what we declare mass extinctions.
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