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Nate Silver over at 538 is pushing a new phase of Global Warming denialism which I believe could end the final chance we have to save the planet based on moral grounds.

I've always believed that Global Warming denialism, because it is so laughably based on pseudoscience and not real science, is in reality based on good ole fashion greed.  The rich Oligarchs don't want more costly regulations to effect their profit margins, and their Tea bagger/country club puppets simply don't want to pay any more taxes, even if it means a hellish future for their children.

Have you noticed that over the last 3 decades that the face of Global Warming denialism has changed?  First it was pure and simple in denying that the earth was even warming.  But when it got too hard to argue with a thermometer, the story changed to, sure the earth is warming, but it's due to natural causes; too many sunspots, not enough sunspots, the sun getting brighter, volcanoes, the distance from the sun... or just wrap it all up in one phrase, "it's natural".

There's even a bit of truth to some of the "natural causes" the current phase of Global Warming denialism is pushing.  But science is about facts!  And everyday, a new flood of facts shows that "natural causes" are microscopic concerns compared to the tsunami of man made greenhouse gases we dump into the atmosphere every day.

Since the 2nd wave of denialism is now losing traction and is beginning to fall apart, it looks like Nate Silver has decided to help push the 3rd wave of global warming denialisim.

Update: Laurence Lewis who wrote a great diary linked to below, has just informed us that Michael Mann has just had a twitter discussion with Sahra Laskow and others about her latest 538 article about evolving to climate change.  He refers to it as the NoahsArk approach to climate change.  The article is discussed below, and he apparently had the same reaction as I did to the article.  Nate isn't doing himself any favors with these articles.

more below the fold.

Here's some excerpts from a 538 article titled: Can Evolution Outrace Climate Change?

In the face of climate change, scientists like Shaw have begun to measure how effective evolution might be as a survival strategy.

...

But in the past 50 years, studies of evolution have shown that adaptation can happen much faster than anyone imagined.

...

If experiments like Shaw’s could predict how likely a particular population was to survive on its own, we would have another set of tools to help deal with the mess we’ve made. The better we can predict which species are likely to adapt to climate change, the more we’ll be able to focus on moving the ones that otherwise have no chance.

...

As the predictive power of evolutionary rescue models increases, though, scientists could be able to boost that capacity. Understanding how evolutionary rescue works can help us “take steps to make sure those conditions are in place for species that we’re concerned about,” Shaw said.

Combined with field data, these models could identify the populations that aren’t big enough or genetically varied enough to stage their own rescue, but could get there with a little help. In that case, the models could guide human interventions that are less dramatic than airlifting a population to a more suitable climate. Maybe a small influx of new individuals from nearby could raise a population’s numbers and its gene pool over the tipping point. Or they could simply tell us when we can leave a population be and trust it will survive on its own.

I've handpicked excerpts from the article that support the point of the article, which is that evolution may help the planet adapt to Global Warming.  Of course the article never mentions that having a very few rapidly reproducing species evolve to adapt to Global Warming has a slim to none chance of keeping many entire ecosystems from collapsing as many keystone species have absolutely 0 chance of "adapting".

An article published several days ago at 538 by the denialist Roger Pielke Jr. was titled Disasters Cost More Than Ever — But Not Because of Climate Change .  This article was covered very nicely by Laurence Lewis who states this in his Dkos diary.

In the comments of Pielke's post, it is being pointed out that Pielke (yet again) cherry-picked data, citing a study by the German reinsurance company Munich Re, while using the data from 1990 onward, even though the study itself compiled data starting 10 years earlier, in 1980. There is no reason to omit the first 10 years of data, except that doing so is the only possible means of pretending the data prove what Pielke wants them to prove. Munich Re itself, using all the data, came to the exact opposite conclusion of Pielke, an inconvenient truth that Pielke somehow neglects to mention.
Last night on Jon Stewart's show, Nate Silver said he was sensitive to the criticisms that the Pielke BS column created, and that he would offer a rebuttal to the column.  A rebuttal? Really?  This is supposed to be the science section of 538, and you're going to offer a rebuttal to the deliberately misleading article you let get published?  Are you going to be the "fair and balanced" statistical website that allows rebuttals to bigfoot claims, or perpetual motion machines, or maybe a biblical statistical analysis of when the rapture is coming?  60 minutes suspended Lara Logan for sloppy and questionable reporting, but Pielke has a long history of misinformation.  Either you publish about REAL science, or you become just another whacko pseudoscience denialist website.

The 3rd wave of Global Warming denialism is going to be the ADAPTATION/GEO-ENGINEERING phase.  This is not going to be the bat-shit craziness of denying what a thermometer says, or it's cold outside my door today so the rest of the world must be cold too, or the sun doesn't have the right number of spots...  The Oligarchs and their supporters who don't give a damn about our future and want us to do absolutely nothing about the fast train coming at us, are going to be much more sophisticated with the 3rd wave of denialism.

Roger Pielke outright says he believes in man made Global Warming, but then goes on to deny all the horrendous consequences that doing nothing will have on our children.  Sarah Laskow, who shows no sign of being a denialist but knows the audience she is writing for, writes a fairly balanced article, but leaves the reader with the impression that many species may simply adapt to Global Warming.

It's the "don't worry be happy" approach to Global Warming.  Sure Global warming is happening, but we'll simply build thousands of miles of giant sea walls to protect our coastal cities, genetically alter our corn and wheat crops against biblical droughts, floods, and pests, dump some iron into the oceans, and every country around the world will join hands with their neighbors and sing kumbaya when their rivers run dry, their forests die, and their croplands turn to desert.

But will this, we can adapt message, play with the public and cause the public to give up trying to stop the suicidal dumping of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere?  Here's what The Gallup Organization found out about how seriously American's view Global Warming.

Now you've got to ask yourselves, what in the world are these people thinking?!  With scientists issuing dire warnings about the future, why are people choosing to ignore the warnings?  My guess?  It's greed again.  Solutions from carbon taxes to cutting off fossil fuel supplies is going to cost people a pretty big chunk of money.

How do you think the 65% of the population is going to react to, don't worry it's not as bad as they say and a few walls here, a few drainage ditches over there, and a couple of extra wells in the corn fields and we'll "adapt"?  Once the public believes we can "adapt" and it won't be as bad as they say, we will have absolutely 0 chance of preventing every gallon of oil and every pound of coal from being pulled from the ground.

Is there a way to prevent civilization from going over the Global Warming cliff?  Yep, there sure is!  The Koch brothers rely on the public's greed to keep them pumping oil and to keep their politician buying, propaganda producing machine in business.  And we can turn that public greed into a tool to put an end to the insane path we're on.  When Alternative renewable energy becomes cheaper than fossil fuels, the era of fossil fuels comes to and end, that's the ball game, no mas, hit the road...!  Nobody is going to put $40.00 worth of gas in their car when they can put $15.00 worth of electricity in their car and go the same distance.  But, but, that's way in the future, right?

First Solar Inc. panels to drop in half by 2018 to $.035/watt.

Unique Flow Battery Powers New E-Sportlimousine

For more than 3 decades we have tried to stop greenhouse gas emissions by cutting fossil fuel supplies with things like cap and trade schemes and carbon taxes, and we've gotten nowhere.  But now we are on the edge of a new Alt-E era, but we need a massive push of our Democratic congresspeople and president to get us across the threshold where Alt-E becomes cheaper than fossil fuels.  Push them at every town hall meeting, in emails and phone calls, in letters and in blogs.  As FDR said, "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it."  If we want to save civilization for us and our children, we have to transition from fossil fuels to Alternative renewable energy sources and we have to do it NOW!  We don't have another 3 decades to wait.

Originally posted to pollwatcher on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 05:12 AM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (128+ / 0-)
  •  Nate's Always Been a Conservative, Conservatives (31+ / 0-)

    no matter how reality bound in any narrow endeavor always are free to dive into a topic of no competence of theirs and lie their asses off for ownership.

    We have never had a chance to turn climate change around, working politely within our systems.

    Our global economies and political systems evolved during a thousand years of great surpluses, and accordingly they all accord maximum liberty to individual pursuit of gain with minimal responsibility to society and recognizing minimal powers to government to impose on the individual for the benefit of society.

    Nate's not hurting anything that wasn't already broken in the Enlightenment and the Renaissance.

    What these people are thinking is that there are plenty of resources and security for ownership to make it through the looming crisis bottlenecks in fine condition. And because of that, they're thinking about where they can earn another billion.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 05:18:39 AM PDT

    •  another billion will be earned in ALT-E (14+ / 0-)

      Once we get the government to push us over the threshold to make ALT-E cheaper than fossil fuels, the 1% is going to jump all over ALT-E and leave the oil and coal companies in the dust.  Once we cross the threshold, we may very well have to worry about Oligarchs trying to monopolize ALT-E, but at least we'll survive to do it.

      •  Govt. developed the internet and a whole lot of (10+ / 0-)

        other innovations.  There was an opening for Uncle Sam to push ALT-E in 2009.  Instead, Sam bailed out the banksters.  Oh well.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:48:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Petrol killed the whaling industry. (7+ / 0-)

        Internal combustion engine killed steam, killed the horse, and killed the city rail car.

        Changes to markets have consequences.

        ALT-E will kill the modern oil company, and they have been on a strategic binge of unbridled power since, well since they came into existence.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 10:46:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thomas Drake poked the first hole (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          k9disc

          in Oil Creek Pennsylvania, 1853. The first gusher was Spindletop, TX 1901. Now we're scraping the bottom of the barrel.

          Oil companies require higher prices than most countries can afford in order to produce technically complex (interestingly complex if you're a petroleum engineer or seismic geologist) resources like tar sands and ultra-deep water fields.

          That means the oil is becoming un-economic to produce.

          Fertilizer generated from ammonia produced by the Haber process is estimated to be responsible for sustaining one-third of the Earth's population.
          Ruh-roh Raggy. Believe you me. I'm not as cavalier as I sound.

          Reaganomics noun pl: blind faith that unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources. Synonyms: trickle-down; voodoo economics. Antonyms: common sense. Related Words: Laffer curve.

          by FrY10cK on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 02:16:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That is what classical economics says about the (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FrY10cK, Just Bob, dewtx

            situation, but in a crony capitalist system, this is the time of exponential profits. Think of how many cuts that can be made and middlemen who can be paid.

            Why do you think they have sponsored so many politicians and think tanks?

            Inefficiency and unsustainability are keys to modern day economic growth, IMHO. Physics and real world economics need not apply.

            I hear you, but they will burn the planet to a cinder before giving up their dirty profits and they have the economic and political clout, globally, to pull it off. It's our current reality.

            peace~

            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

            by k9disc on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 02:25:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I suspect you're right. (0+ / 0-)

              bummer.

              Reaganomics noun pl: blind faith that unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources. Synonyms: trickle-down; voodoo economics. Antonyms: common sense. Related Words: Laffer curve.

              by FrY10cK on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 02:27:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It sucks, doesn't it? I hate it when that happens. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FrY10cK, petral

                A dash of hope sitting there plain as day amidst conventional wisdom: that's it. That will do it. At least it's a foothold.

                And a little unpacking of some unconventional wisdom, and it's just a blip on the screen - another inconvenient truth that is easily papered over or drowned out  via the torrent of conventional wisdom trope.

                That stuff drives me bonkers.

                Peace~

                Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                by k9disc on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 02:33:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Our last chance to address this problem (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  k9disc

                  was offered to the TV-viewing public in April 1997. It was squandered in an obscene way.

                  The Obscene gesture occurred four years later in January 1981. I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader to figure out but it involved every middle finger Reagan could possibly raise without offending the viewers of "Family Ties."

                  Reaganomics noun pl: blind faith that unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources. Synonyms: trickle-down; voodoo economics. Antonyms: common sense. Related Words: Laffer curve.

                  by FrY10cK on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 03:13:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  For clarity's sake, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            k9disc

            Haber-Bosch relies on natgas more than liquids. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

             Got beef? Only until the ammonia-fed corn crop dwindles.

            Reaganomics noun pl: blind faith that unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources. Synonyms: trickle-down; voodoo economics. Antonyms: common sense. Related Words: Laffer curve.

            by FrY10cK on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 02:25:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ugh, I just really read that part of your comment (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FrY10cK

              again...

              Wasn't even thinking about petroleum based farming and reliance of food production on cheap and ubiquitous energy.

              I'm pretty much considered a Doomer around here, so I'm well familiar with lots of the nuts and bolts, but I didn't catch the whole point of your comment.

              Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

              by k9disc on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 06:20:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  It is already happening (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pollwatcher

        For example, Goldman Sachs advised last year not to invest in coal for generating electricity and not to invest in coal export terminals. We are at or near Grid Parity in much of the world, soon to be all. The financial press is starting to recognize these facts, because there is real money at stake, with trillions of dollars to be made in renewables or lost in fossil carbon.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 10:52:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Libertarians HATE the environment... (16+ / 0-)

      ... because the environment, to them, is just an inconvenient truth standing in the way of their Randian no-government fantasies.

      So they deny, deny, deny, and they do a lot of hippie-punching.

      Nate Silver is a libertarian, so he's hired Pielke and other professional hippie-punchers to be the "science" team on 538.

      Please help to fight hunger in the U.S. by making a donation to Feeding America.

      by MJB on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 06:59:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nate is not a denier at all. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pollwatcher, patbahn, Mostserene1, GAS, dewtx

        If you read S & N chapter 12, you will see that he is mostly on the right track but it's not surprising to me that he's attracted to Pielke-style do-nothing-cuz-it-costs-too-much thinking.  He reminds me of his former colleague, Andy Revkin, of dotEarth (who is also a Pielke fan).

        There's so much to climate science so for a lay person (e.g.; Nate) it's expected that his views would not fully take into account current science and that he would underestimate the loony-ness of Pielke, Anthony Watts, the denier community, etc., and then adopt some of their thinking because it lines up with his political/philosophical underpinnings.

        This said, Nate (as evidenced on TDS last night) is not a dope and is not closed minded. I would not be at all surprised if the tone of the climate related posts at 538 shifts toward a stronger pro-CO2 mitigation, pro-alternative energy stance over time.

        •  "do-nothing-cuz-it-costs-too-much" (12+ / 0-)

          I like that.  I called it greed in the diary, but this is a good way to put it.

          And you're right about Nate not being a dope, and one purpose of this diary is to try and remind Nate that he's acting like a dope and he needs to inform himself.  I'm trying to do what I can to criticize him enough where he'll run away from the denialist community.

        •  Agree. Climate science is extremely complex... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kickbass, PatriciaVa, 6412093, AlexDrew

          and frankly, IMO, some of the climate changers are overly dramatic in their cataclysmic predictions.  These are the articles that the deniers grab onto.

          It is extremely difficult to predict the future using statistics and observation.  Two examples:

          1. When AIDs was in all the news in the 1980's, the consensus of scientists was that by the year 2000 over 50% of the population would have Aids or HIV.  Period. It was on the cover of an '80's Newsweek magazine that I still recall.  They did not, and could not, factor in the impact of education, research, and human innovation.

          2. During the 60's and 70's, bestselling books were written about how lack of food would cause massive starvation by the year 2000 (a favorite year for dire predictions).  These books were hailed by liberals and scientists and used to solicit donations for Africa, etc.   But they could not predict Norman Borlaug (the Nobel prize winner) who developed a weather and disease resistant wheat that fed millions if not billions. http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          I have other examples, but the point is that predictors (scientists) may be correct with the information they possess at the time, and their linear mathematical equations are technical accurate, but big problems bring out human genius, which cannot be predicted.  And these problems are not linear.

          I hope that the climate studies are inspiring scientists to develop unique solutions that we are unable to see, just as we could not see the above solutions.  

          •  one important difference (12+ / 0-)

            between the examples cited and AGW; the data has only strengthened the case for AGW over more than thirty years. The AIDS and food shortage predictions were much more based on a snapshot of a newly discovered phenomenon, and within a few years, the new information had shown those snapshots to be less than representative.
            In the case of climate change, the new data only confirms the dnager to many species and ecosystems.
            We do not have, nor will we serendipitously invent, supertechnology that can undo the byproducts of the entire world's GDP.

            Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

            by kamarvt on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:19:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  How do you know in advance? (0+ / 0-)

              New data and research will tell the tale but until time passes and newer data and research are shown to be reliable or you see a certain result, you don't know which way these things will go.

              Ehrlich had lots of data in 1968 when he predicted that "In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate..." More recent data still supports that there will be mass starvation at some point in time but good luck predicting exactly when this will happen.

              •  because this is systemic (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                petral

                I  read "The Population Bomb". I remember the hype, and it was a real possibility until we learned how to get more food calories out of an acre, and make it affordable for farmers worldwide (exacerbating climate change as a little side effect). Likewise, the existing technology of contraception brought very low birth rates to many parts of the world (though not enough).
                Those were essentially solvable issues with existing and emerging technologies of the time.
                This is not. This is systemic, and it threatens far more than just our species, it undercuts the very food chain and water supply for all living things.

                ocean acidification
                sea level rise
                catastrophic weather
                melting permafrost and methane release
                rainfall pattern disruption
                species extinction accelerating
                river-feeding glaciers disappearing
                migratory disruption
                fisheries collapsing
                ecosystems unstable on all levels
                These are all underway, and are accelerating.

                Without something very, very impressive to point to, dismissing that major factor is magical thinking. There's nothing like a workable terraforming technology anywhere outside of science fiction.

                Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

                by kamarvt on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 04:23:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yeah but... (0+ / 0-)

                  I think the predictions of the Population Bomb are going to be born out at some point in the future. I also study climate science and the effects of AGW/climate change and am certain that big (likely catastrophic) changes are coming.

                  This said, it seems clear that people are, in general, not good at predicting the future. Ehrlich is a reputable, talented, professional scientist at a major university but he went out on a limb and made a very specific predictions that were crap because there were major factors that he didn't take into account.

                  If you make some very specific predictions for 2024 about climate or extreme weather and how people will be affected, I'd bet that most of them will be wrong.

                  Let's consider sea level rise. It's certainly going to rise but (obviously) how much exactly will determine the severity of the problems that result. The history of IPCC projections so far is that they've been on the low side, with observed sea level rise being at the very extreme high end of what is predicted and this is without factoring in a possible "rapid ice" situation. I'd say that the projections are low, will likely continue to be low, that if the predictive models were good, that we'd see observed SLR in the middle of their model projections but if you look here you see the caveat:

                  Note that the IPCC AR4 states that "larger values cannot be excluded, but understanding of these effects is too limited to assess their likelihood or provide a best estimate or an upper bound for sea level rise.
                  So here we have experts prudently pointing out that there are major factors affecting sea level rise about which we currently are not able to make accurate predictions.

                  Ehrlich should have tempered his predictions, though, again, I think his views are fundamentally correct. He also lost his bet with Julian Simon, which he could have won if the time frame would have been most any other decade. He could kept things simple by sticking to bugs I guess.

            •  On one hand, the reality has been consistently (0+ / 0-)

              worse than predicted by any climate model. So that part of the comparison falls down.

              On the other hand, we are at Grid Parity, when renewables have a fully-loaded cost less than any form of fossil carbon. A major problem is that financial markets do not account for that fully-loaded cost. But even with fossil fuel subsidies and other preferences and no accounting for externalities, renewables are less expensive than coal or oil for generating electricity, and closing in on gas, even cheap fracked gas. Electric cars will displace a great deal of liquid fuel with further technology development. Solutions such as biofuels  for trucks and airplanes, and electrifying rail lines using renewables, are further off, but the R&D required is fairly well understood.

              So no, we don't need any magic, unforeseen technology.

              Grid Parity is the prerequisite for achieving Peak Carbon and then cutting back with a combination of conservation, efficiency improvements, shuttering old polluting coal-fired power plants, and building out renewables for all new generation capacity.

              The remaining problem, even if we could have a better-than-carbon-neutral economy in a few decades, is that further temperature rises are baked [sic] into the system unless we can find ways of extracting gigatons of CO2 from the atmosphere and oceans.

              Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

              by Mokurai on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 11:08:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I agree. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mostserene1, engine17

            Ehrlich 1968 predictions seemed believable at the time if you were predisposed to accepting that sort of reasoning. In reality, world hunger, climate change, projected future extinctions, etc. are very, very complex subjects with moving parts that aren't weighted sufficiently when making long term predictions. Some of those moving parts, for all we know, may not have yet been thought of or discussed.

            Some things that I can think of right off the top of my head that may change the discussion suddenly:
            -New carbon sequestration technology (CW is now that it can't work.)
            -Peak oil. Who knows how this will manifest?
            -An unprecedented, extremely severe weather event could scare the shit out of everyone.
            -Breakthroughs and/or improvement in solar/wind/battery technologies.

            •  Shoulda wrote.... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mostserene1, engine17

              ....head that may change the discussion about climate change suddenly:

            •  Discussion changers (0+ / 0-)
              -Breakthroughs and/or improvement in solar/wind/battery technologies.
              -New carbon sequestration technology (CW is now that it can't work.)
              My documentary-in-progress, A Most Convenient Convergence, features ARPA-E-sponsored technology with enormous disruptive potential in both of these areas.

              Makani Power, just acquired by Google, is going to remake the wind industry - http://www.google.com/... .

              Carbon sequestration is dead. Industrial biology makes carbon dioxide a valuable feedstock rather than trash to throw into the atmosphere. See Dr. Robert Kelly at about 45 seconds into my trailer - http://www.youtube.com/...

              •  There's also some rather cool non-biological (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JeffW, engine17
                Industrial biology makes carbon dioxide a valuable feedstock rather than trash to throw into the atmosphere.
                things that can be done to convert electricity into fuel.  I'm rather partial to this one: http://www.nrl.navy.mil/... , which converts CO2 and hydrogen extracted from sea water to jet fuel and methane.  To the Navy, the methane is a waste product, but the same process done on shore could use the methane as a substitute for natural gas.  

                "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

                by Calamity Jean on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 03:32:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Don't hold your breath. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JeffW
              -An unprecedented, extremely severe weather event could scare the shit out of everyone.
              You could faint and fall over.  

              Australia has been having record hot years several years running recently and has not been scared into cutting back on coal exports.  

              The world may be in for an El Nino in 2014-15 that will smash temperature records and reveal "Global warming has stopped" as the lie that it is.  That might scare the world into doing something, but I fear it won't.  People will be frightened while it's happening, and then when the El Nino subsides in 2016 the fossil fuel barons will crank up the lie machines again.  

              "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

              by Calamity Jean on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 02:36:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  basics of climate science are not so complex. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Calamity Jean

            that line: "Climate science is extremely complex" is a tell-tale of a certain stripe of denierism.

            An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

            by mightymouse on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:50:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am not a denier. And I have read.... (0+ / 0-)

              some of the papers.  They are complex.  And I have an analytic mind.  Sometimes complexity is not a Right Wing code word, FYI.  

              But I am not a true believer either.  Climate change is not a belief system, at least for me.   I judge the facts.  And the facts support anthropogenic climate change.  But some climate change ideologues harm our cause by exaggeration.   Let the science do the talking.

              •  basics are not complex (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                petral, Just Bob, Calamity Jean

                1) gases in the atmosphere trap heat.

                2) changing amounts of these gases changes the ability of the atmosphere to trap heat.

                3) people are changing these amounts dramatically.

                4) earth's surface temperature and climate are changing as a result.

                An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

                by mightymouse on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 12:26:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Please proceed, Mostserene1 (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                petral, Just Bob, mightymouse
                Climate change is not a belief system, at least for me.   I judge the facts.
                Which significant participants in the debate do you know of who do profess CC to be a belief system, and do not profess to judge the facts? For that matter, what facts are you judging?
                But some climate change ideologues harm our cause by exaggeration.
                Who are these ideologues, and what sorts of exaggerations are they guilty of? How do you know these statements to be exaggerations?

                Just as an aside: Those who come here claiming to be objective and to judge the facts do themselves a disservice. We all believe ourselves to be objective fact-judges. The fact is that few of us are. Paradoxically, it often seems that the less you profess your own objectivity, the more objective you are likely to be.

                Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

                by Nowhere Man on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 01:40:42 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You can't face the fact that (0+ / 0-)

                  there are extremist liberals and conservatives who believe based on their faith in a cause.  If you deny that you deny human nature.  You obviously are a climate denier, stealthily attempting to obfuscate the truth of climate change.

                   Critical thinking will bring you to the facts, that the overwhelming consensus of scientists accept.  Unbiased analysis of the fats will show that climate change is genuine: hysterical extremism and faith-based belief is not required.

                  But you can try your act on Redstate.  They welcome hysterical extreme views based on emotion and ideology.

            •  Not at all. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              k9disc

              Which basics are you referring to?
              If it were so simple, everyone would get it right.

              Many enviro types couldn't hold their own in a debate about the need for CO2 mitigation now with Pielke or Andy Revkin or even Anthony Watts. Many smart people with ample science training reach the wrong conclusions; the discussion at wattsupwiththat is often technical and not easily debunked by the non-expert.

              Silver for example, has studied the topic extensively and is clearly a smart guy but he's still missing some important stuff.

              •  basics are not so complex (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                nosleep4u, rhetoricus, petral

                1) gases in the atmosphere trap heat.

                2) changing amounts of these gases changes the ability of the atmosphere to trap heat.

                3) people are changing these amounts dramatically.

                4) earth's surface temperature and climate are changing as a result.

                An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

                by mightymouse on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 12:26:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Many are also very Hypocritical (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            k9disc, Chi, petral

            One minute a certain oligarch castigates the "Climate Change Deniers".

            The next minute this same oligarch is championing a business venture that will enable fellow oligarchs to embark upon a carbon-emitting joyride into subspace.

            Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

            by PatriciaVa on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:51:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  We can expect to see more arguments of this nature (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jbsoul

            He's echoing Dr. Tol, the gentleman who asked that his name be removed from the latest IPCC summary.

            http://www.bbc.com/...

            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

            I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

            by Just Bob on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 05:08:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I'm sick to death of people saying (0+ / 0-)

            "If you ask me, climage changers are overly dramatic in their cataclysmic predictions."

            No they aren't. They are overshooting. Everybody leans in the direction of thinking that it sounds so bad it can't be true. If you read the evidence, you come to the conclusion that the scientists have been undershooting.

            The examples you site are utterly ridiculous. A couple people made predictions which people latched onto for book sales. Thus, the massive evidence and consensus of data developed by scientists up to this point is meaningless. Comparing this with on the spot predictions about AIDS is stupid, and frankly disgusts me. Its despicable that this far into the problem, people are stills aying stuff like this.

            I hope someday, somebody remembers you saying stuff like this well enough to hold it against you.

            Ignorance more frequently begets confidence then knowledge. Charles Darwin

            by martianexpatriate on Sun Mar 30, 2014 at 08:09:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Do nothing cuz it costs too much? (7+ / 0-)

          Do nothing and it'll cost VASTLY more!

          What fools these libertarians are.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 10:12:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  unfortunately (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maryabein, SCFrog, petral

      we don't have that amount of time.

      There are real climate feedbacks starting to happen now that are going to become a dominant force in the next 10 years.

      next year's El Nino will be the harbinger of things to come.

      I am expecting Australia to become significantly less inhabitable than it already is in the next 10 years.

      current economic damage projections are under estimated by over 100%.

      •  Not next year...El Nino is much closer (9+ / 0-)
        In the above ocean temperature anomaly measure for March 23, 2014, we can see a hot pool in the range of 1 to 2 C above average beginning to emerge between 120 and 100 West Longitude. It is a heat pulse that has eliminated all but the closest near-shore cool upwelling along the west coast of South America.

        Should the rest of the Kelvin wave follow, temperature anomalies in this region will spike well above 4 C and possibly has high as 5-6 C. Such an event would be even stronger than the one seen in 1997-98, drive global temperatures about .05 to .2 C hotter than previous records in a single year, and set off a series of extreme weather that, when combined with the already severe conditions set in place by human-caused warming, may well be far in excess of those seen during past events.

        Source

        100 degrees West is off the coast of South America and runs northward through Mexico and the middle of Texas.

        Whether this will be completely convincing is rhetorical, but there will be a hell of an impact whether classically predictable or not in its episodic nature...and there could be some longer duration with this El Nino to extend the dire circumstances.  

        The truth is we are tortured by the truth.

        by walkshills on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 10:45:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A Super El Nino?! this is going to hurt (6+ / 0-)

          Holy crap!  I live in the Mnts on an unimproved road.  This years La Nada (neutral) conditions have allowed us to get in and out with just a few problems.  During the 2010 moderate El nino, we had about 23 feet of snow and it was a nightmare.  We had a 2' snowstorm in Oct, then a 3' snowstorm in Jan, then a 3 1/2' snowstorm in April which caused a local extinction of a ground squirrel which is a keystone species up here.  It changed the ecology, which is just now getting back to normal.

          •  Normal is now a variable. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pollwatcher, Nowhere Man, Sunspots, dewtx

            The report indicates that this may be equal or greater than the most powerful El Nino on record, the '97-'98 event. Jeff Masters has been echoing this possibility in his wunderground blog.

            While we in Texas and the Southwest welcome the rain El Nino normally brings, there are certainly going to be associated phenomena across the world that will not be beneficial.

            If the oceans (particularly the Pacific) have been storing the excessive heat, events like this El Nino have the capacity to impact and reshape the lower atmospheric balance for the short term - and where it resets is anyone's guess. You would like to think it will come back to 'normal' but normal is now a variable within the current context.

            I would guess that the best case scenario is that when this Kelvin wave is exposed at the surface and depleted, then the process of heat absorption by the Pacific may mediate some of the extreme conditions for the short term. The worst case in my mind if this particular Kevin wave is an 'engine' just getting started in terms of faster processing of absorbed Pacific heat.

            The truth is we are tortured by the truth.

            by walkshills on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 12:01:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I suspect that some of them don't know (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      financial capital is not the same as real capital: the sweat off your back, the work of your brain, or the animals, minerals, and vegetables of the Earth.

      They think capital on paper or on a computer screen guarantees security. At some point, it won't. But I'm not entirely pessimistic. IMHO, the planet will continue to support life but not nine billion humans.

      There are too many monkeys in the tree but no one will say that. Bloomberg TV will keep saying, "What's wrong with this tree?"

      Reaganomics noun pl: blind faith that unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources. Synonyms: trickle-down; voodoo economics. Antonyms: common sense. Related Words: Laffer curve.

      by FrY10cK on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 01:51:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Alt-E goes with Alt-Politics (15+ / 0-)

    The decentralization of energy goes with the decentralization of wealth.  
    The 1% is too blinded by greed to grasp the needs of the planet.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 05:46:36 AM PDT

  •  Evolution outpace climate change? Morons. (39+ / 0-)

    And by morons I mean... well... morons. Too rapid of a change in climate will spur evolution, but not like they think. Most species won't be able to adapt rapidly enough and will die out. The few remaining species will then have before unavailable niches to fill and they will eventually get filled through speciation events over time. Current diversity will be lost. Look throughout the earth's biological history and you see it happening over and over again. Extinction events followed by bursts of evolution as life finds finds a way to fill in the ecological niches available to it.

    Evolution won't outpace climate change. Climate change will drive evolution by killing off species and creating niches for others to fill.

  •  I don't think the Evolution article is a good (10+ / 0-)

    example for your case.  I whole-heartedly agree that the material Pielke has published on 538 is another form of denialism and should be roundly criticized.  However the article you link on evolution and climate change is a fairly decent piece of science reporting on an important and I thank you for drawing my attention to it.

    It does have the typical sensational title and some stupid sentences like this one (it is stupid because of the much lamented survival of the fittest phrase but the sentence as a whole is not really inaccurate).

    If we think of evolution as survival of the fittest, in a tough environment what matters is how quickly a population can get fit in order to survive.

    And just from reading the abstract I can tell that this statement is mischaracterizing its source.

    One of the best ideas that anyone currently has for saving the world’s species from climate change is to move them from their current homes to other, potentially more suitable places.

    However as any scientist can tell you, these kinds of errors are not at all unusual in science journalism.  And this comment by Ruth Shaw is spot on.

    “Natural selection is a hugely powerful process. But even Darwin thought — and a lot of the thinking since Darwin has been — that it’s excruciatingly slow,” Shaw said. But in the past 50 years, studies of evolution have shown that adaptation can happen much faster than anyone imagined. The question now, Shaw said, is “how fast can these changes happen?”

    Shaw and the other scientists quoted are very well known prominent evolutionary biologists.  There is widespread recognition in the scientific community that climate change is happening and will continue to happen no matter what actions humans take (of course human action will determine the eventual magnitude of climate change).  So we had better understand how organisms are responding to it.  And gathering this information may help us mitigate the extent of the damage.

    So as an evolutionary biologist and someone who is uber-concerned about climate change I am really glad to see this kind of science reporting anywhere.

    "To see both sides of a quarrel, is to judge without hate or alarm" - Richard Thompson

    by matching mole on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 06:17:09 AM PDT

    •  It's not the science, it's the reporting. (9+ / 0-)

      As I mentioned in the diary, there's nothing wrong with the science Laskow reports on, and for the most part, the article is pretty fair.  I even went back and looked at some of Laskow's previous writings and they're pretty good.

      But why the sensational title and that closing statement that leaves an uninformed person with the impression that we'll be fine because species are going to evolve around global warming?

      The reason, I believe, is because 538 wants to push a skeptical attitude of the consequences of Global Warming.  If you want to be sophisticated about it, you take real science and put a happy face on it.

      Laskow is a freelance writer and her other articles don't have the happy face spin.  If you're a freelance writer, you better know the audience the publisher is trying to reach.

      •  I agree that is a bad title (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Remembering Jello, kickbass, BMScott, FG

        however in my experience that is pretty typical of science journalism titles even on extremely non-controversial topics.  They overstate the findings of research so consistently I don't even notice it any more.

        Personally  don't see that last paragraph the way you do - I don't see 'every thing will be OK' - I see 'these tools might help'

        "To see both sides of a quarrel, is to judge without hate or alarm" - Richard Thompson

        by matching mole on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 06:57:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why doesn't the report mention (10+ / 0-)

          that the VAST majority of species have a snowballs chance in hell of evolving to a rapidly changing climate.  Isn't that a pretty important piece of information if you're talking climate change and it's effect on species?

          If I sell you a car, and tell you the engine is one of the best engines ever made, it has great suspension, and the interior is immaculate, and all of this is absolutely true, but I don't tell you there aren't any gears in the transmission, have I truthfully informed you?

          The article is true enough, but in the context of climate change, it is deceptive by omission.

          •  Eh- IMHO this pretty much covers it (5+ / 0-)
            Together, these models outline the conditions under which evolution can come to the rescue, and the limits of that power. To beat extinction, according to Gomulkiewicz and Holt’s models, a population should start out large, not decline too quickly, not need to transform too dramatically and have ample genetic variation to make that transformation. In addition, Lynch’s models show that the environment can’t be changing too fast.
            That's a bunch of caveats. Ya start stacking if statements, a reasonable person knows that probability is decreasing.
          •  That point is implicit and obvious (4+ / 0-)

            I just went and read the article -- and btw, thank you for bringing it to our attention  here, because I have not been visiting the new 538 site and would have not seen this otherwise, and I found it interesting reading.

            I also read your diary and I don't see this article the way you did. I do not see any "denialism" in it, but rather a full acceptance of the future -- that the planet is getting warmer, that will continue to happen, and scientists are now looking at what that means, how it will change everything, and what if anything we can do to mitigate the pain of the inevitable changes that are coming. It's a stark acceptance of it as a done deal.

            It seems like maybe that is your problem with it, actually. That it takes it as a given, and is looking past the idea of "stopping" the warming trend. I will say I found your concept of stages of denialism to be interesting... but it also occurred to me that perhaps there is another type of denial in play in this whole issue, and that is the denial that this will happen and we cannot stop it.

            I did not take away from that article on 538 any idea that "all will be fine" -- not even close. They are saying "it's going to be very bad" -- by even asking the question "can evolution outpace it" obviously means there's doubt. Of survival at all! How much more dire can you get?

            What life will survive? And what are the factors that contribute to that? And in what ways can we use that knowledge to increase survival?

            These are the very questions that I think scientists need to be researching now. Because this is the future. The denial is in the idea that humans can control and stop the process, and somehow 'save us all' from the realities of what we have already done, and continue to do, to the environment. You said:

            Is there a way to prevent civilization from going over the Global Warming cliff?  Yep, there sure is!
            And what I want to know is, where is the research showing this to be true? So much effort has been spent proving that our species' effects on the environment have caused rapid changes, but now we want to leap to the assumption that we have the power to stop these forces that have been set in motion -- in the face of all evidence to the contrary.

            I think alternative energy and other technology will be developed to help mitigate some of the damage, and I also think that overall, the climate is changing, warming will continue. I have seen no convincing data to suggest that human beings have the power to stop this from happening, and as you said the evidence is strong that humans fully intend to continue their industrial activities for the foreseeable future.

            So getting ready for it, and scientists researching how it will impact various living things, trying to discover ways we might mitigate the harm, are not denialism. They are reality-based responses to what is happening.  

    •  I would like to see better reporting (7+ / 0-)

      I try to do it myself when I find the time. I have learned from this community and from my mistakes by blogging here. Unfortunately, many reporters don't know enough science to report on it effectively.

      “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. " Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

      by FishOutofWater on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:16:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe we can evolve the whole complex (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sunspots

      ecosystem into which these newly evolved critters will fit.

      I mean that stuff can't be that hard, right?

      Meh, silly argument.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 10:56:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nate offers Hope, You offer Despair (0+ / 0-)

    Everyone can see that climate change is happening so why keep trying? Your answer leads to despair. Nate's answer says to keep trying, there may be hope.

    So I totally and utterly disagree with you. I think you are the one trying to trash what little chance we have by making everyone despair.

  •  cover the earth (0+ / 0-)

    with solar panels

    other species will adapt

    you were saying what about denialism?

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 06:30:36 AM PDT

    •  FWIW (5+ / 0-)

      China is working on thorium fueled power.

      “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. " Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

      by FishOutofWater on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 06:47:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  they have also grasped the nettle (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pollwatcher, Calamity Jean

        of controlling population growth.  We can't cover the earth with people, either . . .

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:30:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No such thing as thorium power (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FG, offgrid, Lily O Lady, sacrelicious

        Thorium is not fissile. This meme is frankly ridiculous.
        If you mix thorium with plutonium you breed U-233 uranium. It is the same old nuclear fission with the same old products of fission and same old nuclear waste.
        The original reason to look at thorium is that there is 4 times as much thorium as uranium and the global supply of uranium is quickly drying up and the useful grade of uranium ore (containing fissile U-235) is dropping to nothing.
        You could breed thorium into U-233 in a heavy water reactor but it would be a lot more expensive than plutonium.
        You could also turn thorium into U-233 by bombarding it an accelerator but that would cost 100 x heavy water reactor bred U-233.

        This thorium meme has become a really weird urban legend.

        •  I know the nuclear reactions (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          petral

          I'm telling folks about recent news from China

          “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. " Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

          by FishOutofWater on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 11:38:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The US could get enough solar power (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pollwatcher

      from a portion of the Mojave Desert for all of its needs. (Probably not a good idea, because of radical changes to the desert ecology. But not a huge area, as these things go.) Or from our rooftops, except for a few power-hungry industries such as aluminum smelting, which currently occurs mostly right beside big hydroelectric dams.

      Similarly we could get enough wind power from the plains states for all of our needs.

      What is particularly missing is the smart grid to get the power to where it would be used. Unfortunately such a grid has to run through several deep Red Republican-led states with politics dominated by huge fossil fuel interests.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 11:28:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not required. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pollwatcher, JeffW
      cover the earth with solar panels
      Covering every sunny roof would just about do it.  Covering the whole dry surface of all the continents would be vastly too much.  

      "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

      by Calamity Jean on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 03:46:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mass extinction is a form of rapid evloution (21+ / 0-)

    so it is true that climate change and evolution will walk hand in hand. Obviously, it is idiotic to propose that evolution can take place more rapidly than the force that is driving it.

    No. evolution cannot outrace climate change.

    How stupid can Nate & Co get?

    “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. " Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

    by FishOutofWater on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 06:42:18 AM PDT

  •  I, for one, welcome our new bacterial overlords (9+ / 0-)

    Adapt or die. In a hundred generations, we will be smart enough to fall for disinformation from shills like Pielke… or not.

  •  Climate change is the first real test of (12+ / 0-)

    …globalism in the realm of future anticipation. Generally globalism is about current humanitarian crisis, geopolitics and conflict, capitalism and trade, or an array of treaties

    But in terms of the future -- humans-as-world-citizens are too tribal and nationalistic to make real sacrifices in the present for the survival of the future.

    The larger the pool of evidence of a future catastrophe -- the greater the denial grows.

    It's not the same -- over time -- across all nations and issues. After all, people dealt with acid rain and ozone holes. But the gross over-population of humans coupled with the awareness of the scarcity of resources shrinks people's vision of the better world -- or even a world that can survive.

    People are of a mind to live in the present.

  •  Electricity from Nuclear Fusion is the Only Way (0+ / 0-)

    Nuclear fusion generated electricity would be ridiculously cheap and completely safe.  We are close technologically to achieving practical ways of doing it.  

    Since coal and nat gas can undercut the price of other sources of green electricity, there is no way they will be displaced except by nuclear fusion energy.  Windmills and solar will never generate enough electricity to displace coal and nat gas even if the price per KW were competitive.

    If the operating cost of electric cars was essentially zero, then they would displace gasoline and diesel powered cars. So reducing the cost of electricity is the key to everything along with generating enough of it to supply all the demand that would result from eliminating fossil fuels.

    Nuclear fusion generated electricity would do that.

    •  We're not close. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pollwatcher, sacrelicious

      We can ignite short term reactions.  Sometimes.  That take more total energy to keep running than they produce.

      Fusion's eventually the answer.  Realistically, it won't happen in our lifetimes unless there's a "moonshot" push from the government, which is more likely to be ignited on a regular basis at this rate than fusion fuel.

      Everyday Magic

      Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
      -- Clarke's Third Law

      by The Technomancer on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:31:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fusion is right around the corner and has been for (2+ / 0-)

      40 years.  Fusion is so far away it has virtually no chance of saving us from global warming.  We may very well be forced to go back to fission electricity because of our failure to act in time, but hopefully it will be transitional.

    •  Capital costs of fusion plants (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      as they are presently envisioned, are huge. While the fuel would be 'to cheap to meter', the cost of electricity accounting for the amortizing of the plant costs over its liftetime would be roughly comparable to what we have now.

      And at present funding levels, we're not likely to see commercial fusion in our lifetimes, no matter how old you are.

    •  Electricity is already cheap enough (0+ / 0-)

      Don't need fusion, which is still probably 50 years away anyway.  Good ol' fission works just fine to charge electric cars.  All those nuclear plants keep on humming at night, when electric cars in garages all across America could be recharging.  Recharging an electric car is already ~1/4 the cost of gasoline.  About $0.70/gal equivalent, when I just filled up for $3.80/gal.

      Solar is good for one thing mainly, running air conditioning, which is a massive chunk of our power bill.  Lighting and electronics are so much more efficient, not worth worrying about.  Focus solar on the peak loads of AC, let nuclear/wind handle the rest.

      Nuclear for baseload, throw in as much wind as possible, solar for daytime peaks.  Lots of electric cars with Tesla's new battery.

    •  Fusion energy is thirty years away (0+ / 0-)

      and always has been.

      Wind and solar can easily supply all of the needs of the US. What denialist have you been reading?

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 11:31:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe Nate should visit (9+ / 0-)

    Bangladesh and ask them if they've evolved yet.

  •  I think we need to work on our framing. (7+ / 0-)

    I'm more of a fan of using the phrase "Climate disruption science" than "global warming" or even "climate change".

    Global warming is subjected to FUD every time there's a snowstorm. Sure the FUD is horseshit, but the FOX-watching mouthbreathers eat it up every time.

    Even "climate change" is a frame I'm not a fan of - sure it acknowledges that the climate is changing, but then it leaves the deniers suggesting that it's due to natural causes, or that we can cope by "adapting to the change."

    Climate disruption science implies that the climate isn't just gradually changing, it's being fucked up suddenly, which makes it look as urgent as it actually is. And I throw the word "science" in there to emphasize that those of us raising the alarm aren't just making shit up.

  •  adaptation is not equivalent to evolution (8+ / 0-)

    There is a fundamental, Lamarckian disconnect here: evolution is ex post facto, the survival of gene types that were randomly favored by surviving the environment presented to them.  Adaptation, as in the tachycardia you get at high altitudes settling down over a period of weeks, is an adjustment, like a resetting of a thermostat (a thermostat absolutely constrained by the body housing it--you can't turn your house temperature to 105, for example).  Adaptation is individual, evolution happens at a higher level.  Adaptations are not inheritable.  A baby does not come with muscles because its mother worked out.  Doesn't work that way.

    Silver should stick to statistics, because he very plainly is out of his depth in this science.

    •  Of course it is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FG

      First, those individuals which adapt best pass their genes on best.  Yes evolution is a higher level, but it is all driven by individuals.

      Second, those that adapt faster likely have a genetic ability to do so, and that is passed on.  The ability to adapt is inheritable.

      Before a species can pick up beneficial mutations, it must first be able to adapt and survive long enough to do so.

      •  Not all adaptation is due to a genetic ability to (6+ / 0-)

        adapt. Sometimes it's literally a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Individuals wiped out by a catastrophe aren't around to reproduce, which significantly impacts their role in overall adaptation. This is why diversity in a culture is one of the most protective factors for long-term viability of a species. If all the members of a species are located in one small area, they are highly vulnerable to extinction before they'd ever get the option to evolve. This is why so many common crops are endangered: for example, coffee grows in very specific ecological conditions in a small number of regions. The insolation, temperatures, and soil type all combine to make it very, very hard to cultivate anyplace but those few locations - and certainly not in volume. Coffee will not be able to adapt to climate change, beyond what it's doing right now - moving uphill - but eventually the amount of "up" runs out in the mountains, and then there's nowhere left to go.

  •  the apocalypse is 100 years away (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    forgore

    our brains are just not built to conceive of time on a generational scale.

    The sky is falling! No, not today. not next week. Not next month. Not next year. Not next decade. Maybe not even in our lifetimes. But it is falling.

    How do you expect people to react to that information?

    •  It *was* 100 years away, under old models (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sunspots, petral, Mokurai, Calamity Jean

      The only thing that's been consistent in the science of warming is the recognition that each prior year's model under-estimated the rate of change.

      As more data comes in, via more changes to things like surface temps, ocean acidification, water temps, movements of weather systems, etc., we learn, always, that change is happening faster than expected.  I won't be surprised if that 100 years is really 50 years, and that non-apocalyptic, but nonetheless catastrophic change is going to be the reality in 20 years or less.

      •  uncertainty doesn't help either (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        radical simplicity

        If we knew that in 50 years, on an exact day, the planet was going to suffer a catastrophic comet impact, I guarantee that no substantive action to forestall that event (other than "studying" the problem) would take place for at least 30 of those years.

        It only exacerbates the problem that the case for global climate change is a range of 50-100 years and the entire gamut of potential impacts (from catastrophic to merely disastrous to completely manageable).

        •  Global climate change (0+ / 0-)

          has already happened. The extinctions have already begun. The even worse consequences due in 50-100 years are already baked into the system, unless we find a way to extract CO2 from the atmosphere at least as fast as we put it in. But at present we continue to make things worse.

          Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

          by Mokurai on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 11:38:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I see no denial of climate change (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG

    in Nate's article. He's posting about how some scientists hypothesize that we will adapt to live with the consequences of climate change. That's the opposite of denying it will happen. He's not even denying the consequences will be severe even if we do adapt in terms of effecting our way of life.

    Just because he isn't going for the "WE ARE ALL DOOMED!" story line in this instance doesn't mean he's some denialist shill for those who deny that climate change is real.

    •  It's the 3rd wave of denialism (10+ / 0-)

      They lost the round that said the temperature is rising, now they're losing the round that it's man made, so the new denialism is denying the consequences of Global Warming are going to be very harmful.  We can adapt and we can geo-engineer anything bad.

      The only way we're going to adapt is by a population collapse which will lead to a civilization collapse.  History is filled with situations far less stressful than climate change that has led to devastating wars.

    •  The big question: who is "we" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias, petral, Calamity Jean

      Sure, some very small percentage of humanity may well be able to live in carefully constructed, protective structures in the few places with somewhat less chaotic weather, but that's going to be a tiny percentage of the current population. In addition, they're going to be living in that constricted world for many hundreds of generations, because it's going to take thousands of years for the climate to re-stabilize.

      There is no immunity from lack of food and there is no immunity from sulfuric acid (which is what the vast, vast majority of water on the planet will be, for all practical purposes if we let runaway warming happen.

  •  The 538 piece on evolution is the most idiotic (19+ / 0-)

    thing I've ever read masquerading as science journalism.  It conflates the potential adaptability of a single species in an ecosystem with the adaptability of the entire ecosystem. In fact marginal differences in climate adaptability between species in an ecosystem is a powerfully disruptive force in itself.

    In a nutshell, Ms. Laskow has apparently never heard of weeds or invasive pests.

    Near my house there is a magnificent grove of tall Tsuga canadensis -- the Eastern Hemlock -- on the north slope of a hill. When I moved here twenty-five years ago you couldn't see the sky through the grove's canopy, and walking into it was like stepping into a meat locker.  Sometimes I'd find drifts of snow under its eaves as late as June.

    No more.  If you look up you see more sky than foliage, because of the hemlock woolly adgelid, an aphid-like insect that was previously kept in check by long, cold winters.  Now if you turn over the branches of a sapling you'll see it is entirely covered in what looks like fine cotton threads. Those are egg sacks, and the underside every twig of every tree is literally coated with them. The sheer biomass of insect within this one grove is staggering.

    The trees in that grove are hundreds of years old, but in fifteen or twenty years the grove will be dead. A tree that grows to the height of a six story building over five hundred years can't adapt to an insect that hatches two broods every year and can reproduce parthenogenically in a pinch.

    Within an ecosystem, the successful adaptation of a single species to a warmer climate can spell disaster.  Sure: over a hundred thousand or a million years it won't matter if the world is a degree or two warmer.  Evolution and population movements will establish new equilibria that will be just as good as the old ones.  But as John Maynar Keynes once quipped, "In the long run we're all dead." If the world becomes a degree or two warmer within our lifetimes it will matter a great deal within our lifetimes.

    I've lost my faith in nihilism

    by grumpynerd on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 07:44:53 AM PDT

    •  Very good points (2+ / 0-)

      I won't be so hard on the reporter.  I'm guessing she knew what kind of articles Nate wanted, and put the spin on it so she could sell the article.

      I think her failure to cover what you've described happening in the ecosystem makes the article too deceptive.

      •  The problem is that the article is bad journalism. (4+ / 0-)

        Good journalism isn't just a matter or getting the facts right; you have to give enough context that the reader can understand the significance of the facts.

        For example, you can write quite truthfully that we'll never finish pumping all the oil there is out of the ground. That's a completely true fact, but utterly misleading without context. You need to explain the distinction between "oil reserves" (the oil that can be recovered for less energy than it yields) and "oil in place" (all the oil that's actually there).  Explaining that sort of thing is the difference between blogging as journalism and blogging as copywriting.

        Likewise, it's critical in an article like this one to explain the distinction between extinction of a species and widespread extinctions of local populations.  The bison, the chestnut and the elm were once defining features of the American landscape, but very few Americans have seen one of these in the last fifty years. None of these species are actually extinct; they're just extinct in the wild for all practical purposes. You can't go buffalo hunting or chestnut picking unless it's on a bison farm or in an arboretum.

        The article talks about scientists intervening to prevent extinctions, which is true but misleading.  It gives the impression of science and nature working hand-in-hand to preserve the status quo; but if such interventions are undertaken it will be because the status quo has been irrevocably lost.  You may never have a chance to see that coral in the wild or to eat an American chestnut roasted on an open fire.

        I've lost my faith in nihilism

        by grumpynerd on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:56:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  She took the lead from Pielke's paper (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pollwatcher

      …is my guess.

      Check his 2008 paper titled:

      Rethinking the role of adaptation in climate policy

      http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/...

  •  we need net-metering and feed in tariffs. (6+ / 0-)

    right now solar panels are getting so cheap the utilities
    are at war with them.

    It's a pity because we still need utilities, but, it's a matter
    of changing their business models.

    Lookat hawaii.  Electricity is 35c/KWH, it's driving people to
    put in big arrays and batteries and go off grid entirely.

  •  all Nate did was pull a Ezra Klein: he needs to (5+ / 0-)

    walk this back

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 08:07:25 AM PDT

  •  The question has never been whether or not (4+ / 0-)

    Some species can evolve, it has been what will the impact be on human civilization. If only Silver were willing to look at the big, scary (terrifying) statistics related to the impacts of not doing anything, he'd be much less likely to sit in the "don't-do-anything-because-it-costs-too-much" camp. As a numbers guy, you know the fact that those numbers exist must be hanging around in the back of his mind, somewhere. If he ever lets himself look them squarely in the eye, and see them for what they are, he'll probably change his mind about the need for action.

    Unfortunately, people are really, really good at choosing to ignore the monster under the bed.  

  •  Don't think we can adapt fast enough (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, Sunspots

    to counter Fukashima. Not many people are talking about it these days, and the media seems to mostly ignore it. Climate change plus radiation devastation. A hard, nuclear rain is gonna fall. Is already falling.

    Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War: The Unspoken Crisis of Worldwide Nuclear Radiation

  •  So we're going to be better people? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, jan4insight

    Wow, global warming is da bomb!  Gonna be a real problem for a lot of the deniers because evolution doesn't actually exist but they're  pretty sure that the creator favors conservatives anyway so things get even better.  
    Methinks Nate has created a monster.

  •  The denialism game plan is a common theme. (7+ / 0-)

    A good read about this is Donald R. Prothero's book; "Reality Check; How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future."  The strategies are common and widespread when people encounter findings in science that are inconvenient to their damaging conduct.

    Rather than take ownership and tell the public; "fuck you, we are going to continue to exploit you and damage the quality of your life" the industry of science denialism provides cover by appealing to the public's fundamental ignorance.

    I do not think that we will make any headway as a society as long as the work of scientists is held in such low esteem compared to the dumbed-down cult of celebrity and the circus of sports that we now live with.

    But, y'know, sometimes I also see arguments from people who do know about the scientific endeavor that are half truth's to the point where it feeds into denialism.  One argument I've encountered recently is that the techniques for producing GMO crops and selective breeding that people have done for thousands of years are equivalent.  A half-truth at best and a canard at worst.  How things are used matters whether the raw material is GMO or hybrid seed.  Too long of an argument for here, but once science devolves into mere technology, the uses can be positive or negative depending on the motives of the user.

  •  My Own Prediction (8+ / 0-)

    Messieurs Silver and Klein will merge their new pundit sites into a whole new site called:

    The Suck.

    Seriously, though, Silver is risking losing his brand and fast.

    The problem here is simple:

    He is moving from the realm of statistic analysis, which is very easy to defend -- to punditry, which requires expertise and is very easy to expose when false.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 08:42:20 AM PDT

  •  Nate Silver is beginning to really piss me off. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight

    * * * DONATE/VOLUNTEER: Marianne Williamson for CA-33 * * * #CampaignFinanceReform is the lynchpin of our democracy. #AIKIDOPROVERBMoveSoonerNotFaster ~

    by ArthurPoet on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 08:51:06 AM PDT

  •  My feeling is that Nate has bitten... (10+ / 0-)

    off more than he can chew with his new site.

    The reason Nate did so well in the past with both baseball stats and electoral analysis is that both of these fields were already filled with rich data sets that were ripe for solid, predictive model building and testing.  

    In addition, those fields were already short on folks who could do exactly the type of modeling that Nate has been so go at.

    In other words, low hanging fruit for Nate to come in and make an impact.

    Here's an excellent critique from economist Noah Smith about how Nate's new venture is not playing to his core strengths.

    With that said, I have been a big fan of Nate's analysis since he was a regular here.  However, irrespective of his political views, I have been greatly disappointed with the quality of writing and analysis at his new site.

    It was easy for him when his main competition was a bunch of undereducated journalist goofballs who probably couldn't even remember how to do middle school algebra.  His venture into climate science and economics is a vastly different proposition, however.

    Those fields are filled with extremely bright PhDs that are at least as good at analysis as Nate, if not better.

    It's like a dude who sets his High School rushing record at running back thinking he can now play in the NFL.

    The level of competition is completely different.

    Nothing worth noting at the moment.

    by Bonsai66 on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 08:58:29 AM PDT

  •  Nate, desperate for content filling with ignorance (2+ / 0-)

    is no way to go through life son. Er, business life.

    Clearly the website is run by an idiot more concerned with filling the page with something, than with maintaining Nate Silver's name and reputation for competence.

    Sounds like time for a boost in the unemployment rate, if you know what I mean.

  •  Who cares if it's man made or a natural occurrance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, Calamity Jean

    if we can do something about it? It's like saying you won't use an umbrella if it rains, only if someone tries to piss on your head.

    I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

    by jhecht on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:05:50 AM PDT

  •  I haven't read much Pielke (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, lgrabowski

    but it seems very odd to label a person that agrees that mankind is causing the earth to warm as a denier.   This almost makes it seem like a purity test amongst people who accept AGW.

    Regardless, amongst the people that accept science we should be discussing the possible solutions more instead of mostly focusing on our opponents.  So we should have more debates on cap and trade vs carbon tax and dividend.  

    To help get the ball rolling here is an interesting article over at Grist that goes over the success of the BC tax and dividend approach that was actually put in place by the center right government there and opposed by the center left opposition.  Please note that there is also a paper linked in the comments section that somewhat refutes what the author is saying in his post.

    http://grist.org/...

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

    by theotherside on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:06:51 AM PDT

    •  Claiming you believe, than denying the results (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight, Sunspots

      Is exactly what the 3rd wave of denialism is about.  It's like saying I believe the surgeon general when he says cigarettes are bad, but I don't believe they cause cancer or heart disease... or anything else that's serious.  

      That would be absurd and dishonest.

  •  The four stages of climate denial (14+ / 0-)

    1. It's not happening
    2. It's not us
    3. It's not bad
    4. It can't be fixed

    Fivethirtyeight is at Stage 3. Expect to see Stage 4 in a few years.

    We are all in the same boat on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty. -- G.K. Chesterton

    by Keith Pickering on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:11:45 AM PDT

  •  Human nature (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Choco8, pollwatcher

    Any rational analysis of our current situation would result in a prediction that we should be seeing a wholesale drop in value of coastal properties.  This doesn't seem to be happening.  The explanation is that man is not a truly rational species.  There will be a turning point in the future, maybe after the third or fourth hurricane Sandy, when the general population takes note of the consequences of climate change.  The future is hard to predict.  After Lindbergh landed in Paris, anybody who predicted that within 100 years there would be mass airline transportation with aircraft cruising at more than 500 mph would have been regarded as a lunatic.  I'm 71 years old, so I won't be around to see how humanity deals with the issue.

  •  I think you are right. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Choco8, pollwatcher

    I wish they were honest and just come and say it. GW is happening, but it's too late so fuck it. Now go away and enjoy what's left of our world while we suck up more of the "wealth."

  •  adaptation and evolution are secondary (4+ / 0-)

    The whole discussion of adaptation and evolution just skips right by the most relevant issue. Will Homo Sapiens adapt to climate change and survive as a species for a long, long time to come? Yes, I certainly think so.

    The more pressing issue is that the entire pattern of human habitation in the modern era is predicated on a particular set of environmental parameters, which are now rapidly changing. You have patterns of settlement, e.g.: cities being built, established over hundreds of years that could be upended in a matter of decades. The scope of economic and social disruption will transform civilization as we know it long before humankind faces fundamental threats to its survival.

    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

    by Joe Bob on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:18:37 AM PDT

    •  It's not our survival, it's civilizations survival (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight, Joe Bob, ferg, Calamity Jean

      I fully agree and try to use the word civilization as much as possible.  Humans will survive without a doubt.  But a 50% or maybe 90% collapse in population, much of it due to the outbreak of regional wars over resources and population migrations, will mean the current concept of civilization will not survive.  Who knows what tribal/regional populations will form, but I would bet it isn't going to be pretty.

      •  It really is incredible to contemplate (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pollwatcher, ferg, Calamity Jean

        As a basis for comparison look at the upheaval caused by the war in Syria. It has a population of about 21,000,000 and between internal and international refugees about 11,000,000 people are displaced. It’s a regional crisis that has extended into Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey plus people scattered throughout Europe and North Africa. It’s the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today.

        Worldwide, something like 650,000,000 people live less than 30 feet above sea level. Imagine even 10% of them being displaced. That would be like the entire populations of California and Texas having to leave and find a new place to live. Take Syria and multiply the magnitude of the problem 5x and extend the duration of the crisis indefinitely.

        Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

        by Joe Bob on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 11:22:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  That is very similar to Koch related arguments! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, jan4insight

    I seem to recall some Koch funded attempts to argue that we'll evolve. Hey, kids, it is okay, we'll just evolve new photosynthesis pathways, functioning at higher temperatures. Maybe a chemist, could clarify, but I don't believe that the base biochemistry works at those temperatures. Temperature and energy are strong forces in the functioning of these reactions.

  •  video of the car (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, offgrid, Sunspots

  •  I actually don't think it's based on greed (6+ / 0-)

    To the billionaires like the Koch Brothers it probably is.

    But to the low level typical Republican voter I think they probably don't care either way. Climate Change has been presented to them as a hoax by "egghead liberals," and I think they like to deny it just because it makes liberals upset.

    Their arguments typically aren't "Climate Change regulations are killing jobs." It's Climate Change is a scam perpetrated by the liberal media and scientists looking to make money off it.

    That's the power of right wing talk radio and Fox News.

    When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

    by PhillyJeff on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:25:08 AM PDT

  •  It's been long known that technology alone (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, offgrid, Sunspots

    cannot keep the environment stable.

    So, now they are talking about religion: i.e., faith in evolution to come along and make something human-oriented in purpose and intent, which saves the ability of wealthy, powerfully-connected polluters and their government supporters from actually shifting public monies and attitudes away from those areas of investment.  Religion won't save us, either.

    Only through changing public policy and the way businesses are run can we hope to address the impact of human-made destruction of our current environment, IMHO.  Technology will play a part, but only in substituting one set for another.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:26:55 AM PDT

  •  michael mann and laskow (9+ / 0-)

    are having an interesting conversation via twitter:

    https://twitter.com/...

    but this part of the article is embarrassing:

    One of the best ideas that anyone currently has for saving the world’s species from climate change is to move them from their current homes to other, potentially more suitable places.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:34:54 AM PDT

  •  Nate Silver = John Stossel v2.0 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, petral, NoMoreLies

    The conversion has begun.

  •  Rebuttal to the Pielke piece (6+ / 0-)

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 10:01:23 AM PDT

  •  A bit too dramatic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher

    with this sentence:

    sing kumbaya when their rivers run dry, their forests die, and their croplands turn to desert
    One of my biggest problems with how we approach global warming is that we don't put it in a selfish context.  Instead, we get a 'ZOMG THE PLANET IS GOING TO DIE' message, which your quote plays into.  Yes, some places will become deserts when the experience less rainfall.

    But we need to be realistic here: 'the planet' will be just fine no matter what we do.  Even the worst projections pale in comparison to some of the mass extinctions in the past, esp the Permian extinction.  Life will go on, as it always has.

    HOWEVER, human society and human beings specifically are in grave danger.  We've built our technology and our world from pretty much nothing over the past 20,000 years, and a rapid change in climate would likely erase all that FOR US.  We'd just go back to being cavemen for another 100,000 years.

    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it... unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." -The Buddha

    by Brian A on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 10:05:26 AM PDT

    •  Think the middle east. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean, Brian A

      I never meant to imply the planet was going to die, of course it won't.  I was thinking of the middle east.  There are areas of the world where things are so politically unstable, that if one country cuts off a river to another country because the river is flowing way below normal, very very bad things could happen.  Or if a mass migration of refuges from a Global Warming impacted area moves across a boarder to a country that can barely take care of itself, more bad things are going to happen.

      I actually expect many regional and local wars to break out long before the worst of the natural effects of Global Warming happen.

      •  Thats a great way to look at it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pollwatcher

        Regional wars will certainly become a problem.  Heck, imagine if Northern and Southern California were two separate countries, I could imagine a war between them in 50-100 years.

        "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it... unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." -The Buddha

        by Brian A on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 04:55:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No, it won't. (0+ / 0-)

      It won't have fish in the ocean. It won't have coral reefs. It won't have arable land and it won't have clean water.

      What we are going to do to this planet, if we do nothing, is not be 'just fine'.

      Do you think Mars is fine?

      I mean it is for a dead, lifeless planet, but is that fine for the Earth?

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 08:27:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem with people like Silver (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, petral, k9disc, Calamity Jean

    is that they live almost entirely in their heads and in the safe and comfortable theoretical worlds that they created. Everything is either an abstraction to them, or separated from their reality by layers of abstraction. A demographic cohort to them is basically a number, or variable, or something to plug into a statistical or predictive model, not a representation of action human beings. And when you see the world this way, it's easy, if not likely, that you'll be unable to relate to it on a human level. And once that happens, I don't care if you've won the Nobel Prize or are the greatest statistician since Pascal, you're a danger to humanity and need to be carefully watched. You've adopted an amoral and essentially sociopathic view of humanity, in which numbers matter but people don't, and you're not on our team anymore.

    I'm guessing that he has Aspergers and thus can't help this and is not being deliberately and knowingly dickish, but he's being dickish nonetheless.

    We need technocrats like Silver, but they're not sufficient.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 10:10:56 AM PDT

  •  Nate should stick to what he knows best... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, pollwatcher, ferg

    ...predicting an Obama win in 2012.

    "Democrat" is a noun. "Democratic" is an adjective. "Republican" is an idiot. Illigitimi non carborundum. Regardless of Party.

    by TheOrchid on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 10:22:24 AM PDT

  •  So glad you mentioned The (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher

    Rapture, pollwatcher. I was beginning to worry. Phew!

    /snark

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 10:27:16 AM PDT

  •  My Problem with all This is: (3+ / 0-)

    Nate has spent years building credibility as a rational statistician.  Then he hires a known extremist who has been caught in lies numerous times and presents him as a SCIENTIST - which he is NOT.  Ezra Klein did the same thing hiring an extremist Homophobe.  Both should never have been hired in the first place and given a cloak of legitimacy to spout such BS.  Not likely I will trust Nate or Ezra for a long time.

  •  What an ignorant understanding of evolution (6+ / 0-)

    they are putting forth. Sure, the bacteria will evolve rapidly enough. Perhaps a few multicellular organisms and even some arthropods, like a few insect species. Good grief.

  •  Pielke seems like a useful idiot, (3+ / 0-)

    not unlike Chomsky's characterizations of wartime intellectuals.

    Speaking of adaptation, I wonder if Laskow was borrowing anything from a 2008 "paper" by Pielke titled "Rethinking the Role of Adaptation in Climate policy."

    http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/...

  •  1) It's an ecoSYSTEM; and 2) Tipping points (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, petral, NoMoreLies

    1)  We know lifeforms interact and depend on each other, but we're a long way from understanding all the interconnections and all the implications of individual disruptions, let alone to the system.  For instance, gut micro-organisms appear to provide about 70% of our immune system.  They turn DNR switches on and off.  Soil microorganisms determine what's available to plants, etc.  We don't even know what we would need to save, and I doubt that it's only a few species.  

    2)  There have been sudden tipping points in ecological and weather systems in the past, and doubtless will be in the future.  Some of the massive extinctions turn out to have been much more sudden than had been believed before.  We're pushing it.

  •  So, wait, we hate Nate Silver now? (0+ / 0-)

    Just trying to keep up.

    We are a fickle bunch.

    Why do I have the feeling George W. Bush joined the Stonecutters, ate a mess of ribs, and used the Constitution as a napkin?

    by Matt Z on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 02:52:33 PM PDT

  •  Nate Silver is an arrogant asshole who does not... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    ...know his limitations.

    He's good at one thing and that has made him believe he is good at things he isn't good at. Like climate science. And journalism.

    I, on the other hand, don't pretend to be an expert on statistics.

    Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

    by expatjourno on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 03:30:22 PM PDT

  •  A chance to help (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    petral, jbsoul, pollwatcher

    http://climatesciencedefensefund.org/

    The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund was established to make sure that legal actions are not viewed as an attack against one scientist or institution but as attacks against the scientific endeavor as a whole. Our goal is simple: let scientists conduct research without the threat of politically motivated attacks.

    I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

    by Just Bob on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 04:01:54 PM PDT

  •  Nate's site also wrote a piece on AZ (0+ / 0-)

    that claimed the right wing nuttiness is due to clean elections.  

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/...

    Immediately debunked by democratic Diva.
    http://www.democraticdiva.com/...

    What's the matter with Nate?

    It is ridiculous to pretend that firing teachers based on student test scores, starting charter schools, giving out vouchers or implementing merit pay will overcome the challenges facing a child living in poverty. -Jersey Jazzman

    by Desert Rose on Sat Mar 29, 2014 at 08:55:12 AM PDT

  •  Nate figured out (0+ / 0-)

    that statistically, he makes more money as a conservative.

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