Global warming forecast ... from 1981

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kurt_w
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Re: Global warming forecast ... from 1981

Postby kurt_w » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:03 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Civilizations come and go, but progress has never ceased, and in fact seems to be growing at an ever-more-rapid rate. And I mean that in the most general terms: Progress in science and technology, progress in human rights, progress in overall living conditions.


Yeah, that's my opinion on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays I'm convinced that we're all going to hell in a handbasket.

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Re: Global warming forecast ... from 1981

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:06 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Do you disagree?
Yeah, I do. But so what?

My point was that those who opposed Yucca Mountain were being shortsighted. I stand by that. In lieu of even a temporary solution, YM opponents forced the government to return to doing nothing. And they did so with NIMBY politicking and fearmongering about the transport of waste and possible problems hundreds (if not thousands) of years down the road. It was and remains, to my mind, an illogical position, the consequences of which the rest of us all have to live with.

So unless you're also against nuclear medicine and atomic research, your positioning power plants as the only problem in need of tackling comes off as extremely narrow-minded. "Nuclear Power Bad" is a fine position to take, but you might wanna flesh out the details with some information you didn't acquire as an undergrad in 1966.

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Re: Global warming forecast ... from 1981

Postby Marvell » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:10 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
Marvell wrote:And to put the onus on finding a better solution on 'future clever engineers' is, to my thinking, no less fatuous than thinking future Jesus will be coming along any minute now to kick everyone into shape.

It's pretty silly to compare an imaginary mythological being with real people we can assume with a high degree of certainty will be born in the near future. Or are you seriously staking out the position that the world will never see another Archimedes, Galileo, or Einstein, and science is grinding to a halt?


I am seriously staking out the position that, as the deleterious effects of anthropogenic climate change / massive overpopulation / environmental degredation become more and more advanced, the entire trajectory of human 'progress' will enter a retrograde motion that will make the fall of the Roman Empire look like an elementary school bake sale.

Note that I'm not happy about this. But that is what I think is going to happen. Hell, it's already happening.

Prove me wrong, people. I'll never be more happy to concede that I was full of shit.

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Re: Global warming forecast ... from 1981

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:11 pm

Prof, this discussion is about global warming (and how to amerliorate its effects). Nuclear medicine has nothing to do with it.

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Re: Global warming forecast ... from 1981

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:18 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Prof, this discussion is about global warming (and how to amerliorate its effects). Nuclear medicine has nothing to do with it.

It's amazing that someone who so regularly chides others for not answering questions so often refuses to answer simple questions themselves. (How many times did I ask if you opposed Yucca Mountain? I was trying not to assume what your position was, but even asking for a simple yes or no is something you've been unwilling to do.)

The issue of waste arose organically from the surrounding discussion (and I was not the one who introduced it.) Pretending it's off topic isn't gonna make it go away, and pretending the only source of it is those big bad power plants is just willful ignorance. Have fun with your blinkered existence, Hank. Meanwhile, here in the real world, some of us will continue to have adult conversations.

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Re: Global warming forecast ... from 1981

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:22 pm

Marvell wrote:I am seriously staking out the position that, as the deleterious effects of anthropogenic climate change / massive overpopulation / environmental degredation become more and more advanced, the entire trajectory of human 'progress' will enter a retrograde motion that will make the fall of the Roman Empire look like an elementary school bake sale.

That's a perfectly cromulent position to take, but it doesn't really speak to your claim that future human engineers are equally as mythical as the Second Coming of Christ.

Also, how much for a degradation brownie?

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Re: Global warming forecast ... from 1981

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:23 pm

Just because you want to go off on tangents doesn't require me to follow.

Maybe that reply isn't adult enough for you.

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Re: Global warming forecast ... from 1981

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:29 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Just because you want to go off on tangents doesn't require me to follow.

I guess I just forgot that the only tangents allowed are those involving oft-repeated stories of conversations you had 45 years ago. If you made a single post in this thread addressing the topic of forecasts about global warming, I must have missed it.

Graphic with a platitudinous slogan? Check.
Ad hominem directed at Meade? Check.
Irrelevant anecdote? Check.

What do you think your contributions to this discussion have been?
And what if I started a dedicated thread about the problem of nuclear waste? What would your excuse for dodging questions be then?

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Re: Global warming forecast ... from 1981

Postby kurt_w » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:32 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:I was also perplexed by Meade's chastisement about plagiarism in a post where he clearly copied and pasted a huge list of names that he couldn't have generated all by himself (well, not without hours of careful research).

I think Meade was trying to pull some kind of "gotcha" after I referred to Dick Cheney's infamous "personal virtue" comment as "sneering". It's true, I'm not the first person to use that descriptor. In fact, as a few seconds with Google will show, "sneering" is pretty much the standard adjective that everyone uses to describe that remark. It's part of our shared cultural heritage.

It seemed like a pretty weird thing to complain about, especially as y'all noted in the context of a post where he himself had just copied and pasted a large amount of material verbatim without attribution. I wasn't going to comment on it, figuring that not all of Meade's silliness needs to be replied to, but since several of you have wondered what he was getting at, that's my best guess.

On an unrelated note, Henry & Wagstaff should probably go sit in opposite corners of the room and have a time-out.

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Re: Global warming forecast ... from 1981

Postby Marvell » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:35 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:[I]tdoesn't really speak to your claim that future human engineers are equally as mythical as the Second Coming of Christ.

Also, how much for a degradation brownie?


Well, if all they have to engineer with is pre-bronze age technology, I don't think they're going to be able to come up with an effective technique for storing / neutralizing nuclear waste - no matter how ingenious they are.

And the degredation brownies are on the house. I hope that makes the prospect of our hideously dystopian future a little easier to take.

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Re: Global warming forecast ... from 1981

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:38 pm

Marvell wrote:And the degredation brownies are on the house. I hope that makes the prospect of our hideously dystopian future a little easier to take.
That all depends on the fate of the post-apocalypse cows. 'Cuz what's a degradation brownie without a tall glass of ice cold milk?

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Re: Global warming forecast ... from 1981

Postby Marvell » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:25 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
Marvell wrote:And the degredation brownies are on the house. I hope that makes the prospect of our hideously dystopian future a little easier to take.
That all depends on the fate of the post-apocalypse cows. 'Cuz what's a degradation brownie without a tall glass of ice cold milk?


Not to keep being Mr. Bringdown, but I'm not sure how many of the larger mammal species will survive the catastrophic collapse in biodiversity that's already well underway.

Ice cold rat milk, maybe. And it's gonna take a lot of milked rats to fill a tall glass.

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Re: Global warming forecast ... from 1981

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:42 pm

Marvell wrote:...it's gonna take a lot of milked rats to fill a tall glass.
Luckily I won't need that much. As I've already demonstrated, when it comes to the future of humankind, I'm a the-glass-is-half-full kinda guy.

Also: I would prefer chinchilla milk over rat milk. Please don't ask me how I know this. {shudder}

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Re: Global warming forecast ... from 1981

Postby DCB » Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:03 pm

Marvell wrote:
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:It's pretty silly to compare an imaginary mythological being with real people we can assume with a high degree of certainty will be born in the near future. Or are you seriously staking out the position that the world will never see another Archimedes, Galileo, or Einstein, and science is grinding to a halt?


I am seriously staking out the position that, as the deleterious effects of anthropogenic climate change / massive overpopulation / environmental degredation become more and more advanced, the entire trajectory of human 'progress' will enter a retrograde motion that will make the fall of the Roman Empire look like an elementary school bake sale.

Note that I'm not happy about this. But that is what I think is going to happen. Hell, it's already happening.

Prove me wrong, people. I'll never be more happy to concede that I was full of shit.

I'm with Marvell. I don't think another Einstein is going to help. Look at persecution of our leading lights in climatology: Michael Mann, James Hansen.

The problem isn't technological, its cultural. Consider how long it took to convince doctors to wash their hands.

I used to be pessimistic. I thought the only way to fix global warming was the radical, primitive solution.

But as I followed the debates, I became optimistic. I'm pretty sure we could solve the global warming problem with some fairly moderate solutions: a carbon tax, some global treaties, investment in new technologies.

But now I'm pessimistic. The pinnacle of human progress that is the USA is being undermined by reactionaries who are hostile to the idea of either science or shared sacrifice.

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Re: Global warming forecast ... from 1981

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:32 pm

DCB wrote:The pinnacle of human progress that is the USA is being undermined by reactionaries who are hostile to the idea of either science or shared sacrifice.
As long as the rest of the modern world does not follow suit -- and there's no evidence to suggest they will -- I'm not too worried. I also don't see any reason to believe this trend, as disheartening as it is, will indefinitely continue. It's hardly the first time our just-over-200-year-old country has taken a few steps backward before making great leaps forward. I remain cautiously optimistic, even in the face of Tennessee's continued existence.


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