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Mark Lipton

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Re: Climate change poses growing threat to Napa/Sonoma

by Mark Lipton » Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:49 pm

James Roscoe wrote:
Yes, but it's still science, and if us regular morons can't trust the scientists to come up with an accurate forecast for Detroit's weather for tomorrow, let alone the DC area, how are we going to trust the scientists with forecasts for weather 50 years from now?


That's like asking why, if we can predict that the average life expectancy of an American male in 2006 will be 75 years, we can't tell you how many more years you've got left. Predictions dealing with large numbers of events are amenable to statistics, with a predictable average and standard deviation; individual outcomes are not. Does that make sense?

It all sounds like weather forecasting to me no matter how much you say it's apples to oranges.


If you're not willing to trust the opinions of people who do understand the subject, nor to make the effort to educate yourself so that you don't have to, then you're living in denial and are abdicating your responsibility to future generations.

Too often, as the Stossell article adeptly points out, there have been warnings that have been overdrawn by the news media for its own benefit. I am not necessarily disagreeing with anyone, I would just like an honest answer rather than pompous posturing from Al Gore and John Stossell.


Why do you think that my answer wasn't honest? That's pretty harsh language. My single point was to take issue with the "why should we trust climate models when you can't forecast the weather?" Actually, it seems to me that that's akin to asking "Why should I take this anti-cancer drug when you haven't cured the common cold?" Sometimes, things that are apparently simple are far more complicated than may be obvious. Weather forecasting is a case in point.

Regarding your issue with media hype: it's out of control on both sides of the issue. No one can say for certain what the consequences of a 2°C rise in global temperatures will do to the world. My view, as a scientifically literate person, is to acknowledge that global temperatures are rising at an alarming rate and ask what we can do to mitigate that rise and/or ameliorate its likely consequences. That seems to me to be the least that we owe to future generations.

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James Roscoe

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Re: Climate change poses growing threat to Napa/Sonoma

by James Roscoe » Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:37 am

Mark,
"Why should I take this anti-cancer drug when you haven't cured the common cold?"

I actually have that question, or one similar to it. It's a good question, and the failure to give a rational answer is why so many people ignore these types of issues. I'm sorry if you found my statements harsh, they weren't meant to be, at least not directed at you. I do find Al Gore to be a pompous windbag, but that's a different issue. Remember that there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. I'm afraid I'm too much of a skeptic.
Cheers!
James
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CraigW

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Re: Climate change poses growing threat to Napa/Sonoma

by CraigW » Wed Jul 12, 2006 11:39 am

So rather than resting on your disappointment for the argument, what conclusions are you drawing for yourself, James?

I understand you aren't being fed sufficient answers to accept either side of the argument, but doesn't it at least make you curious when the number of tropical storms are increasing, and paid professionals are telling you why they think that is happening? Do you consider the possibility of a change in the environment when you get consecutive record snowfalls along the eastern seaboard? Does it perk your interest when you hear someone say that Cailfornia may not be able to grow grapes for very much longer, or do you automatically dismiss it as rhetoric and hearsay?

I'm just wondering what your response is. I understand when you hear an argument and don't react because you don't believe it, but I'm wondering what your own thoughts are on the matter and what you do about them.
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Re: Climate change poses growing threat to Napa/Sonoma

by James Roscoe » Wed Jul 12, 2006 11:52 am

We haven't had any record snowfalls here. I also am not to worried about the ups and downs of hurricane seasons. There seem to be long-term patterns to these sorts of things that science is just beggining to understand. I read a great book called Isaac's Storm about the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. It made anything we've seen lately look small. The point is it put the hubris of science in a great deal of perspective. I take these predictions with more than a grain of salt.
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Re: Climate change poses growing threat to Napa/Sonoma

by CraigW » Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:02 pm

Hmm... I really find this interesting, honestly.

Just out of curiosity, what would it take to say, hypothetically, convince you that something irreversible is happening? What would be the point where you say, "wow, I see what you mean," or "maybe I should pay more attention to that."?

What to you constitutes irrefutable evidence? Is it a matter that you need to be convinced, or that the information needs to come from a different or alternate specific source? Until you are convinced of something, do you ignore it?

Really - I'm not demeaning your argument - just trying to relate.

What is your perspective on the deforestation of the world's great forests? What do you think when you fly over a landscape scarred by clear cutting? What do you think about the holes in the ozone layer and increased risk of getting cancers?
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Sam Platt

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Re: Climate change poses growing threat to Napa/Sonoma

by Sam Platt » Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:48 pm

The challenge is in being able to define the contribution of human impact (CO2) versus natural variation to the climate change issue. Frankly, deforestation, ocean warming, and ice cap melting are antecdotal, though not unimportant, evidence at best of the role that man may be playing. For instance ice has only been on the poles about 20% of the time throughout the planet's history. Given all that, the risk of inaction could be quite high, so it makes sense to me to minimize our impact as much as we can.
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Re: Climate change poses growing threat to Napa/Sonoma

by James Roscoe » Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:49 pm

CraigW wrote:What is your perspective on the deforestation of the world's great forests? What do you think when you fly over a landscape scarred by clear cutting? What do you think about the holes in the ozone layer and increased risk of getting cancers?


I think people are idiots. Believe me when I tell you i'm coming at this from a completely different perspective.
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Re: Climate change poses growing threat to Napa/Sonoma

by CraigW » Wed Jul 12, 2006 1:25 pm

Yeah, I'm with Sam. I think that while there's a ton of speculation, it's no skin off my back to make an effort to minimize my impact. There's no problem, no stress, no sacrifice involved in recycling, buying green products or limiting the amount you drive your car, or how much garbage you throw out.

I just find it so ironic, shortsighted and ignorant to be skeptical of science, which is by its very nature, proven fact, just so people can maintain their over indulgent lives.

The inaction that people show, using the excuse of unproven science so they can turn a blind eye is completely ridiculous. I mean, people that don't dig the climate change thing don't ignore other parts of their lives until it slaps them in the face. You don't continue to drive down a highway with poor tires or brakes because you have no proof they're going to fail. You pull over or slow down. It just sucks that some of us have to crash before we figure this out. But they ignore the climate debate so they can maintain a life of consumption and laziness. They like their Cadillac SUVs for commuting, they like their styrofoam containers for eggs and they like everything wrapped in plastic. They like their wines produced from grapes which have been sprayed with pesticides so they all survive the growing season.

Only when the lake you swim in becomes polluted do you scream and shout for it to be cleaned up. And until something drastic happens with their particular environment, people won't give a damn. But if and when something drastic does happen - to California, to Calgary, to Washington DC - well-paid, highly educated people are saying it will be too late to fix it. I guess we'll see what happens...

It's only too bad that some of us are doing what we can to make a difference so that we can provide our lazy friends with more time and opportunity to continue their lifestyles. The people that are making a difference are providing disbelievers with more ammo. Maybe we should all just pack it in and over consume so we'll screw this place faster and harder. Then we'll make our point.

It's funny - I think people are idiots too! We agree on something at least...
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Re: Climate change poses growing threat to Napa/Sonoma

by James Roscoe » Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:00 pm

CraigW wrote:Yeah, I'm with Sam. I think that while there's a ton of speculation, it's no skin off my back to make an effort to minimize my impact. There's no problem, no stress, no sacrifice involved in recycling, buying green products or limiting the amount you drive your car, or how much garbage you throw out.

I just find it so ironic, shortsighted and ignorant to be skeptical of science, which is by its very nature, proven fact, just so people can maintain their over indulgent lives.

The inaction that people show, using the excuse of unproven science so they can turn a blind eye is completely ridiculous. I mean, people that don't dig the climate change thing don't ignore other parts of their lives until it slaps them in the face. You don't continue to drive down a highway with poor tires or brakes because you have no proof they're going to fail. You pull over or slow down. It just sucks that some of us have to crash before we figure this out. But they ignore the climate debate so they can maintain a life of consumption and laziness. They like their Cadillac SUVs for commuting, they like their styrofoam containers for eggs and they like everything wrapped in plastic. They like their wines produced from grapes which have been sprayed with pesticides so they all survive the growing season.

Only when the lake you swim in becomes polluted do you scream and shout for it to be cleaned up. And until something drastic happens with their particular environment, people won't give a damn. But if and when something drastic does happen - to California, to Calgary, to Washington DC - well-paid, highly educated people are saying it will be too late to fix it. I guess we'll see what happens...

It's only too bad that some of us are doing what we can to make a difference so that we can provide our lazy friends with more time and opportunity to continue their lifestyles. The people that are making a difference are providing disbelievers with more ammo. Maybe we should all just pack it in and over consume so we'll screw this place faster and harder. Then we'll make our point.

It's funny - I think people are idiots too! We agree on something at least...


We just disagree on who they are.
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Agostino Berti

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Re: Climate change poses growing threat to Napa/Sonoma

by Agostino Berti » Wed Jul 12, 2006 8:12 pm

I think this can all be made very easy. Just put your mouth on the end of an exhaust pipe and see how long you live, then calculate how many cars are in the world.
Do you drink a bottle of Jack Daniels every night and think you'll live to see 80?
Do you pour a bottle of vinegar on your plants every day and still expect them to be healthy and grow?
I don't think it takes much science to figure this stuff out.
Are you doing something bad?
Are you making poison and putting it in rivers?
Why are we doing this stuff in the first place?
Why aren't we working to make good things?
Have you ever asked yourself why your protecting someone's right to shit in your food?
How much money is enough money?
How much are you influenced by people who say money is everything?
There's people, good intentioned or not, who are trying to protect nature. How bad can that be? Last thing I heard, we are part of nature.
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Re: Climate change poses growing threat to Napa/Sonoma

by James Roscoe » Wed Jul 12, 2006 9:03 pm

Agostino and Craig,
What's the deal with the second person pronoun? It all sounds so personal and pointed. Am I supposed to take this personally? Does this really get you that upset? I am sorry ifmy answers get you upset. I do not think this issue has the same priority to me as it does to you. It's pretty much that simple. I understand that people have emotional issues to which they are passionately attached. I have a few myself. Fortunately they aren't discussed on this forum. I apologize if I have offended you. It was not my intention.
Cheers!
James
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Re: Climate change poses growing threat to Napa/Sonoma

by CraigW » Wed Jul 12, 2006 9:18 pm

You = 'people', not you, per se. Although I can see why you might take it personally, because you seem to fit into the mould we're casting.

I'm not upset, well, actually change that, I am upset. It upsets me that some people out there take for granted completely the world they live in and the air they breathe. Do you not look around at the sky and trees and parks and lakes and care just a little bit about them? It's not just your world, by the way, but also the world I live in and the air I breathe. It's like second hand smoke in a bar - I may not be smoking, but your cigarettes kill me too. And your indifference has an impact on my life.

So there we go James - if you don't mind answering, and I'm asking this objectively, so I'd appreciate a thoughtful answer (beyond "people are idiots"), why doesn't this issue take any priority for you?
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Re: Climate change poses growing threat to Napa/Sonoma

by James Roscoe » Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:17 pm

Craig, you and I seemed to have a pretty good understanding. I'll reply by PM.
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