Scientific community takes credibility hit

It may already be too late Bubba.

The weight of evidence now suggests that the tundra in both north america and siberia have now changed from a net carbon sink to a net carbon source.

One-third of the research today will be proven wrong tomorrow …


Again, the warming thing, there is so much over whelming evidence.

i don’t know many people who would argue otherwise… the foundation of many arguments is simply “is it our fault?”… again, i raise the point that the warming could be a natural trend…

not that it matters, we’re all slated to die in a meth lab explosion anyway…


Yes, it seems like the general public does not seem to realize that the advance of science takes time and also that besides the corrupting influence of money, scientists are human in many other ways - holding on to pet theories… many have invested large amounts of time and have staked reputation on their theories and they want to be right. The idea of the dispassionate analytical scientist in his/her white lab coat is a myth - science is done by human beings who have many other shortcomings beside simple greed.

OTOH the foundation of well tested, basic physical science has never been larger. This coupled with the staggering power of high speed computers gives us the ability to attempt to observe and simulate complex environmental and biological systems in a way that could never be imagined a generation or two ago.

The major hurdle is to make sure that our measurments and models of such complex systems are accurate as possible, our analysis thorough and results repeatable. This is where that “old fashioned” scientific method comes back into the picture, fancy equipment or no, desire to publish etc - the nmethod is what keeps things on the up and up.

During my career in medically related engineering fields, I watched staggering advances in technology, especially in the fields of medical imaging and molecular chemistry be used to prove and disprove theories that had been hotly debated for decades. Sometimes opposing theories were proven to both be at least partially true depending on other circumstances. The complexity of the systems that we are attempting to understand, especially within the human body itself is simply staggering but the advances have been huge.

AFA our enviornmental situation goes, I believe we are in deep soup just because of what I have observed travelling through this country - watching clear-cut developments and logging tearing their way through our fragile mountain forests - land that I considered purchasing (some years back when I had a job and money) had, upon investigation, been
found to have been clear cut several times over the last couple of generations, erosion leaving only a thin veneer of topsoil over clay that would no longer support hardwoods - only stunted scrub pine and bushes - not even enough soil over the clay to support a small septic system for a single cabin anywhere on the multi-acre parcel and that whole chain of mountains was mostly in the same situation. Anyway this is only on small part of an equation and I have no hard numbers only my own observation of a situation that seems alltoo common everywhere that I have travelled.

BTW- wanna see something scary, check out a coal mining method called Mountain Top Removal…make you think thice before you think about turning on that air conditioner ( I love fans - simple cheap and so much more efficient …).

BTW: I have a Cold Fusion Reactor and a Piltdown Man’s skull sitting in the closet if anyone is interested.


Quote (idover @ July 15 2005,10:20)
the foundation of many arguments is simply “is it our fault?”… again, i raise the point that the warming could be a natural trend…

It could be, but compare the emissions of India and SE Asia and that of volcanic activity. The “brown cloud of Asia” as it is called and the fact that the US produces 25% of the greenhouse emissions in the world (5% of the population, 25% of the emissions…) are much more viable culprits than natural sources as there is no measurable increase in CO2 emissions from natural sources. If you call “all the forests are gone to store the excess carbon” or “the million cows and pigs in the US farting cause methane”, well I suppose that is a natural thing… but man caused that situation none the less. Either we need a way to store the carbon (more forests) or reduce the amount being pumped into the air. To deny this is a real head in the sand position. We have multiple ice core samples illustrating the past 10,000 years and CO2 emissions and warming did not start to increase until the industrial revolution. That is a very direct correlation. It’s like denying evaporation causes rain fall.


…reduce the amount being pumped into the air

in some earlier thread, i agreed with you…

We have multiple ice core samples illustrating the past 10,000 years…

and what if this is a natural cycle that is on a 10,001 year pattern?..

It’s like denying evaporation causes rain fall.

well, evaporation doesn’t cause rain fall… gravity does :D


Well, gravity AND condensation. :D

As for 10,001 years, I suppose we’ll know next year then. :p

Bubba, you posted a good example research that’s not consistent. Evidence from ice cores indicates that warming periods precede build of CO2 in the atmosphere and that CO2 levels remain high thousands of years into the start of subsequent ice age periods. This would hardly support a direct effect of CO2 levels on warming temperatures if ice ages still occur.

Isaac, it’s not natural, there is in fact no way to use the word “natural” in a way that means anything here anyway (everything we do is part of the system), so the word raises a red herring. The most probable conclusion given the evidence we have is that we are doing things that will harm us, and much of what we are doing is preventable. Like I said, just wait till Michigan is like Arkansas and half of Florida is in the ocean.

BTW, this is nothing new - humans have been engaging in climate- and environment-altering activities for a long, long time. Consider deforestation in ancient Greece, or the effect of extending rice cultivation in China.

So…do you want to bet that it’s “natural” and that we can’t do anything about it? My kids will thank you very much, indeed.

We’ll be moving to Canada so future generations of my family will be able to enjoy the mild, southern climate of Toronto.

“I see no elephants, but that doesn’t mean my belt buckle is an elephant repellant”.

Pretty original bubba (bye the way, you took the name that I always wanted to use on the internet from way back when, still use it on X-box with the kids, I AM ALWAYS BUBBA)

As an engineer, we can document leaking of greenhouse gases and their effect, we can document leaking of chlorined refrigerant gases ( and have finally outlawed them in Europe, but not USA). As an air-conditioning engineer who has been following this for 20 years, I have to weigh in here. There is no excuse for not following the Kyoto protocol. I’m not sure I support the USA govmnt’s decision to not follow or support it, and dont understand the reasoning here. We were a supporter of it in the past, but for some reason (I do not know why) we as USA do not support it anymore. It is simply a protocol for using less chlorine based refrigerants, that escape into the air periodically during normal air-conditioning . We definitely have transition refrigerants that are not needed anymore. We now have refrigerants that are totally Chlorine-free (.HFC134a, R-407c) that should be used in residential and commercial buildings.
Why should Bush avoid this? Not sure?

Well, money, of course, Chiller. The business costs are seen as too great to force the change.


humans have been engaging in climate- and environment-altering activities for a long, long time.

how cleverly you included “climate” in that statement… what proof exists that the requirement of 4000 oak trees per ship built altered the climate?.. keep in mind that in the scientific sense, “climate” is only meterological patterns… although, i can agree that tree harvesting would have changed their “environment”… i saw this first hand with paper mills ownership of land that bordered with my family’s… even then, if i go outside and spit on the grass, i’ve “altered my environment”…

i am one of those people that are ridiculed for conserving judgement in this argument… i’ve stated at least twice now that i do certainly believe that the internal combustion engine should be replaced with something far cleaner… but when it comes to the warming of the earth, i’m not ready to point fingers at my fellow man and decry their activity as murdering mother earth… i don’t think we need to sign any “treaty” to enact these things either…

much of what we are doing is preventable

i suppose that we could also stop breathing to prevent the release of more carbons into the atmosphere?.. what would be in this list of “what we are doing”?.. many things affecting our planet cannot be prevented… how will anyone stop the interaction of tectonic plates?.. we saw on december 25 last year the power of those things to which we must cede…

would it be acceptable to engineer plants to be more effective at toxin removal?.. one of interest to me is the speculation that poplar trees may be engineered to more quickly remove tetra… terat… you know, that stuff from dry cleaners!.. from groundwater…

my ramblings are keeping me from work… :D


Quote (idover @ July 16 2005,13:56)
i suppose that we could also stop breathing to prevent the release of more carbons into the atmosphere?.. what would be in this list of “what we are doing”?.. many things affecting our planet cannot be prevented… how will anyone stop the interaction of tectonic plates?.. we saw on december 25 last year the power of those things to which we must cede…

Right, but there are many things that are very preventable that produce far more CO2 than our breathing. Not being a relisious type, there is a lot of truth in that AA prayer… Change the things you can and know the difference. Here we have something we can change and can control. You might as well say you aren’t going to mow your grass becuase your hillbilly neighbor doesn’t. Just becuase the earth has it’s destrutive abilities doesn’t mean we should sit on our hands. I see that as either lazy or nihilist.

As for enginerring plants, well, perhaps that is an answer. However, keep in mind this is a real house of cards. We made super tree that removes the stuff from ground water, then they die and pollute in even higher concentrations the soil. Food chain my man. That is a total out of my butt example, but hopefully you cna see my point. Technology can’t save everything. Some times not playing tennis is the best way to keep your elbow from hurting. (Patient: Doc, it hurts whenever I do this… Doc: Then don’t do that.) My point is not that we shouldn’t pursue such things, but that we should do it with open eyes as well as not always believe some technology or pill will save us from ourselves.

ksdb, sure there is some conflicting evidence. But the evidence is over whelmingly leaning towards the fact that we are indeed the reason for warming in modern times. We can always find the one guy that doesn’t respond to diuretics, but that doesn’t negate the other tried and true experiments… It is cause for further study, but the odds are you’re gonna pee yourself.

I find it interesting what people pick and choose to believe in science. I can fully understand taking some of the junk you see on the news with a grain of salt. But there are some things that researchers everywhere regardless of nationality, bias, etc, agree on… The carbon cycle, the Krebs cycle, DNA, most of physics, chemistry, etc. But for whatever reason, other things that they almost all agree on that have similar universal acceptance from over whelming evidence, we still have a few folks seemingly unreasonably refuting. I just don’t get it. Sure, science is very much skepticism, but let’s not cut off our nose to spite our face. Aresenic is most likely gonna kill you, so let’s not experiment with it in Cheerios too much. We’re pretty certain in how it will behave.

If we as Americans didn’t have such a vested interest in fossil fuels, I can almost guarantee that this would not be an issue. Kind of like the old church… As soon as you prove the world is round, they lose all credibilty and subsequently their power.

the analogometer is clipping, bubba… :D


I went to the Ross Perot school… :D

About 25 % of Co2 emissions comes from coal and natural gas burning - easily controllable - the latest Sci American oddly enough has a piece on it.

As for climate and environment-changing activities - the deforestation changed the local environment, but “local environment” and “global climate” are merely useful categories for human analysis, and the distinction rests on the assumption that one can affect one (local environment) without affecting the other in a way signficant to humans. That is, the distinction is a pragmatic one, and like all pragmatic distinctions, when human purposes and needs change, then the distinction must change as well, or it will cease to be useful. NOw, lots and lots of science has shown that what we take to be merely local events have in fact system wide effects that are easily measurable. Think about the period during which planes were grounded in the US following 9/11 - it showed that con trails seed clouds. Now imagine years and years of such changes, interacting with other parts of the system, and you get environemtnal change.

isaac, think of it as a risk assessment - look at the probability that the science is correct, and the harms that will follow if it is. Set that against the cost of action. If you had to bet, and you stood to win a million dollars, which way would you bet? Well, you are not just wagering money, you are wagering our children’s, indeed all of humanty’s, futures. Pretty dumb (or perhaps just ignorant) to reserve judgment at this point. :)

darn, this type of stuff is bullshit when it comes to the Bush admin,…the Kyoto Protocol has been around for awhile, and the US should be backing it…it is one of the “world policing, refrigerant policies” that should be in effect to help eliminate global warming.

Why the US is backing off (Bush) from this makes no sense. The European market has totally endorsed this, and has gotten rid of the refrigerants we use in the US that add to global warming.
Bush seems to think that he should not endorse or back this global policy, and has backed out the US from the Kyoto policy act.

I’m totally pissed at this US action,=== and I think it will cause problems down the line with global warming.

I am an engineer involved with air-conditioning in large scale buildings, so this makes a difference to me, and should to you!<br>

There’s none so blind as those who will not see,

there’s none so deaf as those who will not hear,

and there’s none so much in denial as those with Exxon shares and a 9 MPG SUV! :D

See! Poetry! LOL