Code Purple

  1. J.Stern
    2010/05/27 at 15:57

    Sorry for being insufficiently clear. I’m one of those, presumably “lunatics” in your view, who believe in the preposterous contention that our planet is not an endless frontier, but finite, that ancient Egyptian mathematicians thousands of years ago were right estimating it’s circumference as roughly 40’000km, or 25’000 miles, and that when you smoke in your garage with closed windows, there will be an accumulation of smoke in your garage, if you like it or not. Just to make it clear, i swear i would prefer the world to be otherwise and that a yearly global consumption of 30 billion barrels of oil would simply magically annihilate from the atmosphere, or be transformed into beautiful snow flakes or would fall as manna on the people walking through the desert.
    I could crack cynical jokes, but let’s stay serious. Of course, not all climate phenomena are understood nor all causal details settled.(1) Lindzen is fun for his spirit of contradiction, i’ve a soft spot for that, if only these were not so deadly matters. It’s correct that from a theoretical point of view, a hundred little feed-forward mechanisms could in principle be conceived to be kept in check, at least within certain bounds, by one overwhelmingly powerful mechanism of negative feedback. So if only Lindzen were factually right that increased cloud-formation was a macroscopically relevant process overturning things like the Albedo effect, the decreased co2-buffering-power of increasingly acidified oceans, etc. etc, I’d weep with joy. But dammit, the empirical data tell a different story.
    Just look at the temperature data from the 70s and you will see why for a short period people could vaguely begin to hope for “global cooling”.

    I don’t quite understand what’s at the heart of your “skepticism”. If the skyrocketing empirical data on global warming don’t move you and you denie that something’s rotten pretty much at the core, then let’s look at the even bigger picture of environmental devastation and consider the heritage of the 20th century in that respect(2).
    But if all that kind of evidence doesn’t bother you, and i assume you’re a smart guy, then please refer me to your key arguments. Or put it the other way round, what on earth would it take, in your opinion, to make you subscribe to the following statement: “we’re on a catastrophic economic-ecological track, if there is anything at all we can still do to prevent further comprehensive destruction on that unprecedented scale, we have to find a thoroughly, completely new mode of economic existence.” ?

    My hunch is that ecological disaster deniers, “skeptics”(3) often lack not just the guts to face an unflattering truth, but the imagination that in fact, some meaningful shifts of direction are actually conceivable and partially practically realized already (4). Of course, i’m not sure whether even those radical measures will suffice, but they seem at least the rational thing to attempt.(4)

    1) eg.
    2) Jackson
    Gus Speth, etc. etc.
    3) There’s a fine essay by Max Horkheimer on the changing functions of skepsis, but i’m not sure it has been translated into English. It talks about the mixed, partially arch-reactionary pedigree of skepticism.
    4), etc.

  2. J.Stern
    2010/05/24 at 12:02

    see: “If It’s That Warm, How Come It’s So Darned Cold? Revised essay on recent cold temperature anomalies.”

    Click to access 20100127_TemperatureFinal.pdf

    from here:

    • 2010/05/27 at 00:37

      J. Stern: please help me understand the logic of your comment…

      I have posted an ironic blog about the ability of way too many AGWers, even scientists, to rationalize anything that happens as “compatible with global warming”. You reply with a link to one of those rationalizations. And??

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