Climate Change and Copenhagen

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: Climate Change and Copenhagen

Postby Lampang » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:39 am

The warming predictions that have been driving the "global warming" debate...a 3-6 degree F warming over this century, are quite mild when compared to warming periods found in the geological record and in ice core samplings which show repeated warming periods, some as high as 27 degree fahrenheit within the previous approx. 10,000 years (a nano-blink of the eye in global time).

That’s quite a claim. Do you have a link for that?
Interestingly, our premodern ancestors throughout the Americas record a time within the last 10,000 years when it become so hot that rivers and streams evaporated away killing most of life except those that lived deep under the soil and in underground caves.

As is that. You’re not talking about a drought, right? It was too hot on the surface of North America for life? A link would be interesting.
It's recently been discovered that Earth's climate is affected by the climate of other planets (no, you probably didn't read about this in the daily news - but if you read science journals or visit other than "pop" science sites you may have).

Can you let me have one for this, too?
Premodern First People in the Americas matter-of-factly record a witnessed time when raindrops as large as human heads inundated the land for a long period of time, driving living beings up to mountain tops to survive - while the geological records shows countless layers of repeated massive flooding all over the globe periodically throughout the previous 10,000 years.

Raindrops as big as a human head would be quite something, but more generally, why would anyone think that any of this had any bearing on theories of anthropogenic climate change? Historical variations in temperature will all have causal explanations and there’s absolutely no reason to think that what explains one period of warming will explain another. We know CO2, methane, etc are greenhouse gases. We know that concentrations of these gases have increased. We know that temperatures have increased and in the absence of any other explanation – and there is an absence of any other explanation – the best explanation for the warming is the rise in concentrations of greenhouse gases. (A pathologist who, presented with a corpse riddled with bullet holes, claimed that the cause of death was cancer, and based this argument on the undisputable fact that cancer has killed lots of people in the past would be laughed out of her job.) And you'd still have to explain why almost every climatologist believes that ACC is a fact. Is it a conspiracy - the complexity of which would make even Dan Brown blush - or is it a mistake - and a very odd mistake at that because all the mistakes tend to provide supporting evidence for every other mistake - which only the great intellects of Fox News have been able to uncover?
the debate likely masks special interests related to funding streams, profit streams, strategic international relations, and manipulation of voting blocs to preserve and advance entrenched power.

Yes. I’m sure everyone can all agree with this. The ten most profitable companies for 2008 - whose combined profits were around 150 billion dollars - were:

Wal-Mart
Exxon
Shell
BP
Toyota Motor
Chevron
ING
Total
General Motors
ConocoPhillips

Eight of them – although a pretty solid argument can be made for making that nine, with the inclusion of Wal-Mart - are directly dependent on the burning of fossil fuels for their astonishing profits. And we all know how Exxon like to spend their money.
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Re: Climate Change and Copenhagen

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:44 am

I am a agnostic/sceptic also concerning the human input into climate change. My first degree was in a science subject (microbiolology ) so I am not unaquainted with the scientific method, and I remain unconvinced. There are a number of alarm bells ringing for me. The first is the range of well recorded phenomena which simply do not fit a model of a semi stable climate until human activity upsets it it , such as that alluded to by PinkTrike above. There are other examples such as the widely observed phenomenon in northern Europe in the early 18th century where for a perod of some years temperatures soared giving values in the order of 70 degress F in DECEMBER. Neither are these phenomena rare or even uncommon. The facts concerning them though are kept well clear of the global warming debate by its advocates. The earths climate is enormously complex and we are only just beginning to understand some of its features. The other factor which gives me pause for thought is less tangible and more to do with mass psychology. Its the fact that the Emporers New Cloths aspect to accepting man made climate change has reached a level where to question its premises is to invite insult and ridicule , This is dangerous in my view. If the facts are so self evident then why is it necessary to generate such an overarching and all pervading groupthink on the issue. I smell a number of well intentioned rats, and I have no time at all in normal circumstances for conspiracy theories. This whole thing smacks to me of a number of interlocking political agendas together with a real and well founded degree of concern about atmospheric pollution. What we have here i suspect, is a post christian need for salvation from sin. A collective emoting. A need to belong. I happened to be in London on saturday when the Climate Change march was going on. While not questioning anyones motives it was clear to me that this kind of mass action has a purpose which only incidentally coincides with its official one.
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Re: Climate Change and Copenhagen

Postby appicchato » Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:07 pm

Our esteemed friend Bhikkhu Bodhi has, I'm told, made the journey there (Copenhagen) to attend...
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Re: Climate Change and Copenhagen

Postby pink_trike » Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:39 pm

Lampang wrote:
The warming predictions that have been driving the "global warming" debate...a 3-6 degree F warming over this century, are quite mild when compared to warming periods found in the geological record and in ice core samplings which show repeated warming periods, some as high as 27 degree fahrenheit within the previous approx. 10,000 years (a nano-blink of the eye in global time).

That’s quite a claim. Do you have a link for that?


ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/ ... ey2000.txt

This is all I can find online right now, but it will give you some idea of the consistent and relatively rapid extreme increases and decreases in temperatures reflected in Greenland ice core samples

Lampang wrote:
pink_trike wrote:Interestingly, our premodern ancestors throughout the Americas record a time within the last 10,000 years when it become so hot that rivers and streams evaporated away killing most of life except those that lived deep under the soil and in underground caves.

As is that. You’re not talking about a drought, right? It was too hot on the surface of North America for life? A link would be interesting.


When I have some time I'll scan some journals.

This would seem to indicate a simultaneous drought and extreme increase in temperature.

Lampang wrote:
pink_trike wrote:It's recently been discovered that Earth's climate is affected by the climate of other planets (no, you probably didn't read about this in the daily news - but if you read science journals or visit other than "pop" science sites you may have).

Can you let me have one for this, too?


I found this online. There's likely more online.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/19 ... 090305.htm

Lampang wrote:
pink_trike wrote:Premodern First People in the Americas matter-of-factly record a witnessed time when raindrops as large as human heads inundated the land for a long period of time, driving living beings up to mountain tops to survive - while the geological records shows countless layers of repeated massive flooding all over the globe periodically throughout the previous 10,000 years.

...but more generally, why would anyone think that any of this had any bearing on theories of anthropogenic climate change?


Because we don't live in an isolated vacuum of "current time" and the circumstances of this current time may not be unique at all. If frequent extreme variations of temperature, precipitation, methane count all extend far back in time and are the norm not the exception, why wouldn't we factor this into any theory of anthropogenic climate change? More likely, the relatively stable and favorable climate conditions of the last 1000 or so years is the anomaly.

Lampang wrote:Historical variations in temperature will all have causal explanations and there’s absolutely no reason to think that what explains one period of warming will explain another. We know CO2, methane, etc are greenhouse gases. We know that concentrations of these gases have increased. We know that temperatures have increased and in the absence of any other explanation – and there is an absence of any other explanation – the best explanation for the warming is the rise in concentrations of greenhouse gases.


http://www.stanford.edu/~meehan/donnellyr/3000bc.html

"3250 BC: Global; Atmospheric methane

Atmospheric methane from GRIP ice core with lowest value 580 ppbv at 5.2K yrs. BP followed by rapid increase of 40 ppbv over 200 years; variously attributed to clathrate or permafrost outgassing, decrease in tropospheric oxidation, or abrupt increase in low-latitude wetlands. Blunier, T, et al, Nature, 374 47 (1995)."

This is just one example of methane increase. It appears to be a relatively common occurrence with varying increments of increase/decrease.

Lampang wrote:And you'd still have to explain why almost every climatologist believes that ACC is a fact. Is it a conspiracy - the complexity of which would make even Dan Brown blush - or is it a mistake - and a very odd mistake at that because all the mistakes tend to provide supporting evidence for every other mistake - which only the great intellects of Fox News have been able to uncover?


How did Westerners (even scholars) end up believing at one point in time that the Earth was flat when there is ample evidence that show that far older cultures around the globe knew that the Earth was spherical?

How did the Western world come to build a massive consumer culture, particularly over the last 30-60 years, that is utterly dependent on oil when researchers knew as early as the 1940s that the world's oil supply was finite and projected to peak in the 70s and then rapidly decline after that ?

Conspiracy? Mistake? Mass delusion? All of the above? Dunno...there is no solid ground to be found when dealing with humans. In my graduate level statistics class the professor asked everyone to choose some "fact" that was amply supported by statistical evidence. We then set about to disprove these facts with equally valid statistical analysis. Our success rate was 100%, largely because she showed us the many sophisticated ways that statistical data can be manipulated to convincingly prove just about anything.

Imo, there is some significant information being left out of this debate that is carefully defined between two ideological political poles.
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Re: Climate Change and Copenhagen

Postby poto » Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:35 am

fig tree wrote:This is the one position that we can be completely sure is not true. We're putting tens of gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. Some of it is absorbed (some of it is causing damage by lowering the pH of the oceans for example) while much of it remains there. We can measure pretty well how much remains. Checking the composition of the CO2 by isotopes indicates that the added CO2 is produced by our burning fossil fuels, not some natural source secretly churning it out. CO2 does not magically cease to absorb infrared light when we put it into the atmosphere just because it's inconvenient that it does.

It's unreasonable to suppose that this activity would fail to warm the atmosphere unless it had some other effect that compensated. For instance, the one skeptic at M.I.T. always used to argue that the atmosphere could get dried out by this process in such a way as to compensate (since water vapor is also a greenhouse gas). Other skeptics have been known to say that maybe we'd get increased cloud cover instead, and that this would compensate (by reflecting the light). None of these notions have panned out. Not only have they not panned out, all the evidence is in favor of there being more of a positive feedback loop (espcially by warming causing there to be more water vapor in the atmosphere, amplifying the warming) than a negative one. Additional positive feedback loops are proving to be stronger than originally expected.

But even more fundamentally, even if one of these "skeptical" notions were correct, it wouldn't mean that we were not "driving" a change in the climate; it would just mean that we were changing it in a different way than by warming. More cloud cover, a drier stratosphere... these are changes too. Nobody has provided a reasonable scenario on which putting tens of gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year could be doing just nothing, nor can they.


CO2 has been much higher in the past, and the oceans didn't turn into pools of acid. IMHO, it's probably more likely that sulfur emissions are to blame for changes in ocean pH levels. We've done a great job of limiting those type of emissions here in the states, but countries like China are cranking out lots of sulfur, which is a valid problem that needs to be addressed.

Decaying plant matter releases more gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year than humans do. I did look for data on natural CO2 sources vs. human emissions, but I couldn't find the stuff I'd seen before. People like to throw around the gigaton thing, but when put into perspective to the natural world, what we emit is only a tiny fraction of the global carbon content. Also, it's flawed logic to assume that all the CO2 we put into the atmosphere will just hang around forever.

Image

The IPCC has been pushing a lot of flawed models.

There has been no evidence of a positive feedback loop. The fact that temperatures have been flat and trending downward for the last decade disproves the possibility of a positive feedback loop caused by humans.

fig tree wrote:People have been measuring the changes in solar output, and gathering evidence about its past changes. The Planck institute produced a paper on this. The past 60 years or so have had higher solar output than there had been before, helping to explain why the 1940s were as warm as they were (comparatively). The past 30 years or so have had even a bit more. The sun also changes in output during the solar cycle (as the number of sunspots rises and falls). But the last few solar cycles have not seen much change in the output of the Sun. It has essentially nothing to do with the recent observed changes in global average temperature. The recent changes also stand out relative to most of the changes that have occurred for a long time.

The people behind the misinformation campaign about these issues are very fond of trying to get people to think of warming as a question of some temperature data (which they might try to cast doubts on) going in search of an explanation. That way, the hapless layperson who is their victim can be led to suppose that attention paid to one explanation (the effect of CO2) is due to bias leading researchers not to take other explanations seriously enough. "It's so complex! How can we be sure which explanation is correct?"

But this ignores what we know of physics. CO2 due to its physical properties changes the radiation balance in the atmosphere. That this is likely to produce warming was predicted around a century ago, and now we see the prediction coming true. For this not to result in warming, there would have to be a compensating other effect produced by CO2. For decades people have looked for such a thing.

Now, suppose hypothetically that no warming were occurring. Then this would require some explanation, some cause for the trapped heat to be released some other way, or for the energy not to be arriving in the first place. Unless one found a connection between CO2 and this (hypothetical) other mechanism, the safest conclusion would be that we had both warming due to the CO2 and cooling due to some other mechanism that were canceling each other out. To some extent, the warming has been canceled out by aerosol-caused cooling.

Suppose hypothetically that some auxiliary cause for warming were found. That also would not be sufficient reason to imagine that CO2 was having zero effect. As it happens, however, despite a lot of hunting (and some wishful thinking) no such alternative explanation has serious evidence behind it. Yet you have no trouble digging up sources that pretend that there is... because so many of those sources are based on lies.


What warming was being predicted a century ago? The furthest back of any climate predictions I can recall is the global cooling scare and predictions of a coming ice age in the 1970s.

Also, as Pink Trike mentioned, how do you explain the warming on other planets? Surely our emissions can't be to blame for the warming on Mars. Also, the sun's energy is more complex than just the number of sunspots. There is also the solar wind and how solar radiation interacts with the earth's geomagnetic field. Cosmic radiation from outside the solar system may also play a part in our climate system, particularly in cloud formation, which we still understand very little about. To say that our knowledge of physics is advanced enough to understand all these things is false. Hopefully, someday we will be able to understand everything, but we're just not there yet.

fig tree wrote:There are sources of propaganda on the American political right that seem to be extremely keen on producing caricatures of what their opponents are saying, and they describe objective climate scientists as if they were as you say, people who try to scare us by forecasting "thermageddon". Try looking at what people are actually saying, however, not what one end of the political spectrum is portraying them as saying. What you see is people who believe there is a problem, and want to enlist others of us in helping to solve the problem. If anything, there is a tendency for them to try to put an upbeat spin on all of it, by implying that just a few "green" changes in habits will suffice to solve the problem. The fact that they are not cheerfully forecasting that everything will be fine without our doing anything at all is because they are avoiding lying, in spite of some nice monetary incentives that have been put in front of them to do so.

Probably you can find some shrill people engaging in scaremongering, but you can also find such people on the other side. Who is claiming that we will be ruined economically if we put a tax on carbon emissions? Who sees it as the first step toward tyranny? Almost all the manipulation is coming from that side.

The lying that certain of the (best informed, especially) self-proclaimed skeptics have been engaging in is what is absurd and offensive. Having been refuted on a point, there remain sources who just keep repeating the same claim as long as it continues to sway the public. All of their own vices (being motivated by greed and politics, being willing to distort the data, trying to stifle the opposition, playing on emotions) they attribute to the other side. Mainly, though, it's just unfortunate that so many people have been misled by them.


I am not attached to either right or left wings. I tend to dislike politicians no matter which party they are with.

The opening video for COP15 has a bit of doomsday scaremongering in it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVGGgncVq-4

There are plenty of legitimate environmental concerns, but this bit with CO2 is political and not based in fact. I would like to see the legitimate environmental problems addressed. Unfortunately, the global warming hysteria tends to overshadow real pollution issues.

fig tree wrote:The original sources of this kind of thinking (not to suggest you are like this yourself, mind you), for the most part have no interest in serious third world economic development; not in the first world yielding up any of its advantages in international trade to the third world, in our paying them any more for their resources (such as oil) that we consume; or in our spending more than about 0.1% of our GDP on helping them out. They also tend to support the U.S. being the country that produces half the world's armaments and supplies them around the world, including to oppressive regimes that they think are "pro-U.S.", especially if they're good oil-exporters. That the revenue gets controlled by a little oligarchy is just fine as well. If islands and coastal areas are getting inundated, well, they say this is not our fault, so we should not do much to help.

Now, however, they want to claim that one of the best ways to encourage peace and prosperity for those poor, is for us to burn fossil fuels in an unrestrained way. This is all supposed to be good for the world, because if we (especially executives and share-holders in oil companies) become richer (able to consume ever more consumer luxury items) that economic growth is supposed to trickle down to the third world... someday.

Don't let them fool you. If you would be half as skeptical of them as you are of climatologists, I bet it'd do the trick.

Fig Tree


There's been a lot of talk of sea level rise, but none of it is actually happening. This is probably due to the fact that global ice content has not dropped. Of course, at sometime I would expect the sea level to change, as it does change from time to time. Our towns and cities will not last forever. I think clinging to a city or piece of land is wrong. These things are impermanent.

Speaking of oil companies. They have been funding global warming research and backing carbon trading schemes. The big corporations and governments stand to benefit the most from carbon trading and taxes. A carbon derivatives market would make them a whole lot richer and more powerful.

I guess I just don't share your trust in politicians. All I see are politicians who are motivated by greed and lust for power. I don't think adding taxes on energy will help the developing world develop any faster or cleaner. And I doubt those politicians have the best interests of the people or the planet in mind.

If I missed anything, please let me know. I couldn't find the sources or exact numbers for what I wanted to, probably because I'm kinda tired. If you want I can look again for you later.
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Re: Climate Change and Copenhagen

Postby zavk » Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:50 am

Chris wrote:An Australian cyclist who has spent 16 months cycling from Brisbane to the UN climate talks in Copenhagen says the journey has given him a host of accounts of how global warming is changing lives for the worse.

Kim Nguyen, 28, says he first realised the severity of climate change talking to farmers in East Timor.

"They were telling me that during the last three years they had not been able to grow enough food to eat and survive because the rains that usually came at a certain time of the year were not coming," he said.

"And then when they did come they came in a deluge and there were floods."

............................

After seeing first-hand severe flooding in south-east Asia, the spreading of the Gobi desert in Mongolia and dried up riverbeds in north-eastern China, his observations of the planet's woes pushed him to transform his adventure from a one-man affair into a joint action.



Thanks for posting this, Chris.

I too can't quite decide how accurate the findings on climate change are. Both sides of the debate present good arguments. But as far as I'm aware, there are many real people in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands who are being displaced by irregular climate patterns. Needless to say, these people are not given a voice in such debates about climate change. But I think it would be hard to deny that they are really suffering the consequences of shifting climate conditions, irregardless of whether these conditions are caused by human actions or not.

So, from a certain perspective--i.e. from the perspective of dukkha--don't these debates (carried out by people in countries where there is the luxury to buy 'smart cars', 'smart homes', etc, to reduce their carbon footprint) about whether climate change (as something caused by human actions) is true/false seem somewhat indulgent? This is not to say that we should simply ignore the findings or give in to propaganda or anything like that. But in the face of suffering, isn't the more pressing question: 'What do we choose to do?' rather than 'What is true or false?
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Re: Climate Change and Copenhagen

Postby pink_trike » Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:10 am

zavk wrote:
So, from a certain perspective--i.e. from the perspective of dukkha--don't these debates about whether climate change (as something caused by human actions) is true/false seem somewhat indulgent? This is not to say that we should simply ignore the findings or give in to propaganda or anything like that. But in the face of suffering, isn't the more pressing question: 'What do we choose to do?' rather than 'What is true or false?

My interest in climate change is that it is a big intimate mirror of interdependence and impermanence, among other things. We've built a huge fragile global culture alienated from natural processes/cycles and expanded the human population to 6.5 billion people (estimated 9.5 billion in the next 45 years) on a delusion of climate stability and endless resources in order to feed the mind's reactive hungers and fears. The way our global civilization is organized demands climate stability, but a clear examination of the real world reveals none at any point in the past. Gregory Bateson said ""The major problems in the world are the result of the differance between the way nature works and the way people think". We're awakening from a period of amnesia. Our delusional stories of permanence, separateness, and solidity are the source of potentially monumental anguish and suffering in the coming years as our civilization attempts to cope with climate change that could escalate far beyond our current projections, as it has countless times in the past. Our cracked way of seeing ourselves as separate from the natural world and our fear of looking uncertainty and impermanence in the eye has led us into a dangerous hall of mirrors that we call home. Mind is the forerunner of all things...
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Re: Climate Change and Copenhagen

Postby zavk » Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:25 am

Thanks for your response, Pink.

I should clarify that I am not directing my post at anyone in particular in this thread. I was, rather, thinking more generally about how these debates--as a wider socio-cultural phenomenon--risk becoming blinkers that prevent us from seeing the urgent response needed by those people who are in need of immediate help.

Determining what is true or false about climate change does not necessarily lead to skillful responses--and I think given the circumstances facing some people around the world, skillful responses should take precedence over accuracy of arguments.
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Re: Climate Change and Copenhagen

Postby pink_trike » Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:31 am

zavk wrote:
Determining what is true or false about climate change does not necessarily lead to skillful responses--and I think given the circumstances facing some people around the world, skillful responses should take precedence over accuracy of arguments.

I'm not sure I understand. How does one have skillful responses (as opposed to reactions) without knowing what is true or false about climate change? There are narrow ideological blinders on both of the sides that define this debate that block awareness of realities that need to be seen more clearly in order to make effective change rather than just more reactive change. Attempting to respond before setting aside the blinders seems to me like trying to be "compassionate" without clarity - which often just makes a bigger mess.
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Re: Climate Change and Copenhagen

Postby BlackBird » Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:34 am

Oh good post Jeff.

There seem to be parallels between the finite nature of our lifespans and the finite nature of the resources on planet earth. In both cases we know they're going to run out, but in both cases we pretend as though they won't.

In the conversations I've had about death, the general response I seem to get is: "You're too young to be worrying about that, go out and have fun."
That's the message I've got from friends, family, the elderly, the youthful and even a forest monk.

Worry about it later...

Is that the same attitude we want to take towards our planet?
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Re: Climate Change and Copenhagen

Postby pink_trike » Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:40 am

BlackBird wrote:Oh good post Jeff.

There seem to be parallels between the finite nature of our lifespans and the finite nature of the resources on planet earth. In both cases we know they're going to run out, but in both cases we pretend as though they won't.

In the conversations I've had about death, the general response I seem to get is: "You're too young to be worrying about that, go out and have fun."
That's the message I've got from friends, family, the elderly, the youthful and even a forest monk.

Worry about it later...

Is that the same attitude we want to take towards our planet?

Thanks, Jack. I agree...and the pretending (stories) just create more circumstances of dissatisfaction and uncertainty. I think the first step in establishing a healthy relationship with our life span and the natural world is to acknowledge the cycles and boundaries of both.
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Re: Climate Change and Copenhagen

Postby zavk » Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:51 am

pink_trike wrote:I'm not sure I understand. How does one have skillful responses (as opposed to reactions) without knowing what is true or false about climate change? This seems to me like trying to be "compassionate" without clarity.


Oh, I should be more specific--although what I'm saying is also speculative.

I'm thinking specifically about how Australia potentially faces the problem of large groups of 'climate refugees'. As far as I'm aware, there isn't any strategy in place to cope with this very real possibility (not to mention that Australia has a poor track record of locking refugees away in detention centres--what if more were to arrive?). Debates here has largely revolved around the facts of climate change and emission trading schemes.

Now, whether or not climate change is caused by human action and whether or not 'emission trading schemes' are effective or not, the fact of 'climate refugees' is happening and would likely continue to happen. So while those debates about the facts of climate change and emission trading schemes are important, I don't think we will reach a consensus any time soon. In the meantime, the plight of 'climate refugees' are being overshadowed by these debates. By overly focusing on debating the facts of climate change, the issue of climate refugees become something to be dealt with only after we 'get the facts right'. But this is rather shortsighted isn't it? Well, this seems to be the case in Australia anyway..... Or maybe I've overlooked some developments .... Someone correct me if you know of something I've missed.

So this is why I suggest that skillful responses take precedence over accuracy of arguments--let's not neglect the need to skillfully respond to the suffering of others even as we debate the facts of climate change.
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Re: Climate Change and Copenhagen

Postby pink_trike » Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:57 am

zavk wrote:
pink_trike wrote:I'm not sure I understand. How does one have skillful responses (as opposed to reactions) without knowing what is true or false about climate change? This seems to me like trying to be "compassionate" without clarity.


Oh, I should be more specific--although what I'm saying is also speculative.

I'm thinking specifically about how Australia potentially faces the problem of large groups of 'climate refugees'. As far as I'm aware, there isn't any strategy in place to cope with this very real possibility (not to mention that Australia has a poor track record of locking refugees away in detention centres--what if more were to arrive?). Debates here has largely revolved around the facts of climate change and emission trading schemes.

Now, whether or not climate change is caused by human action and whether or not 'emission trading schemes' are effective or not, the fact of 'climate refugees' is happening and would likely continue to happen. So while those debates about the facts of climate change and emission trading schemes are important, I don't think we will reach a consensus any time soon. In the meantime, the plight of 'climate refugees' are being overshadowed by these debates. By overly focusing on debating the facts of climate change, the issue of climate refugees become something to be dealt with only after we 'get the facts right'. But this is rather shortsighted isn't it? Well, this seems to be the case in Australia anyway..... Or maybe I've overlooked some developments .... Someone correct me if you know of something I've missed.

So this is why I suggest that skillful responses take precedence over accuracy of arguments--let's not neglect the need to skillfully respond to the suffering of others even as we debate the facts of climate change.

Ah, yes...I see what you're saying. Similar to the practice of sila and metta while we establish and proceed with our awareness/meditation practices. Refining our behavior while we're waking up.

The Dharma teaches us a way of seeing this life clearly and gives us tools to smooth the way while we do it. The same approach works applied to all circumstances (such as climate change) - not just this "individual" life.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
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Re: Climate Change and Copenhagen

Postby appicchato » Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:30 pm

Below is Copenhagen related stuff that may be of interest to some...

http://www.odysseynetworks.org/Home/Vid ... rival.aspx
 
http://www.odysseynetworks.org/Home/Vid ... Obama.aspx

http://www.odysseynetworks.org/Home/Vid ... forum.aspx

http://www.odysseynetworks.org/

United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15)
This conference seeks a concensus on an international strategy for combatting global warming.
There will be representatives of 192 nations at this gathering in Copenhagen from Dec. 7th to
Dec. 18th, 2009.  http://en.cop15.dk/
UN System’s Work on Climate Change http://www.un.org/wcm/content/site/clim ... e/gateway/

UNFCCC Webcast Watch live webcasts of the conference http://www1.cop15.meta-fusion.com/kongr ... e=unfccc&=

Oddysey Networks Peace is at the heart of their mission. The rapidly changing climate is a growing threat to that mission as conflicts over dwindling resources spread across the globe.This is why they are focusing on the world's faith leaders at this very important summit meeting. http://www.odysseynetworks.org/

Climate Change TV Interviews  at the COP 15 Conference filmed, edited, and broadcast on Climate Change TV, the world’s first Internet broadcaster dedicated entirely to climate change issues. http://www.climate-change.tv
Buddhist Climate Project In the run-up to the crucial U.N. Climate Treaty Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009, the Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change: The Time to Act is Now will present to the world's media a unique spiritual view of climate change and our urgent responsibility to address the solutions. It emerged from the contributions of over 20 Buddhist teachers of all traditions to the book A Buddhist Response to the Climate Emergency. The Time to Act is Now was composed as a pan-Buddhist statement by Zen teacher Dr. David Tetsuun Loy and senior Theravadin teacher Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi with scientific input from Dr John Stanley. You can view the Declaration on the website: http://www.ecobuddhism.org/ 

VIDEO:
BGR Adviser, Professor David Loy: “Healing Ecology: A ‘New’  Spiritual Perspective” Buddhist scholar David Loy discusses how the Buddhist religious tradition offers a fresh spiritual perspective on consumerism and ecology during a lecture at Vanderbilt University.  (video approx. 1 hour ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77mGxHlV8nM   

READING:
A Buddhist Response to The Climate Emergency by John Stanley, David R. Loy, Gyurme Dorje, 2009 This book begins and concludes with contributions from the two most influential Buddhist teachers of our times: the fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, and the Vietnamese master Thich Nhat Hanh. As their essays reveal, the climate emergency has become a paramount concern for both of them. There is also a summary of the most recent scientific findings on the climate crisis, as well as related developments across the spectrum of environment and energy. The information is presented in a broad historical-evolutionary context, which incorporates a Buddhist perspective on how our present situation developed. The book also contains a variety of Buddhist perspectives on the climate and sustainability crisis, by many well-known Asian and Western Buddhist teachers. The emphasis is on scientific validity, proven efficacy, the absence of side-effects, and consistency with Buddhist values. http://www.wisdompubs.org
Buddhist Perspectives On the Ecocrisis (The Wheel Publication No. 346/348), Edited By Klas Sandell, Foreword by Bhikkhu Bodhi, 1987 A compilation of articles from several Buddhist scholars and thinkers dealing with the relevance of Buddhism to the ecocrisis. http://www.bps.lk/wheels_library/wheels ... 46_348.pdf 
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Re: Climate Change and Copenhagen

Postby Rui Sousa » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:40 am

Having some chemistry background the firts thing that made me doubt that it was possible to know if there was a Global wrming going on, was ho important equipment calibration and maintenance is, in order to have siginificant results.

Therefor I always had some problem with comparing what thermometers from 1900 measured with what thermometers from 2000 measured. The technology has increased so much, and the methodology to calibrate and maintain equipments has changed so much that a difference of 0,6 º C would hardly be significant.

After some discussions with friends a few years ago, I decided to dig into the data and see what was happening. I compare this attitude with sitting down observing phenomena as it occurs.

First difficulty was to awnser these questions:

- Who measures temperatures
- Who keeps track of them
- Who makes the analysis of the gathered data
- How are the analysis made

After a long time surfing the net and reading journals I discovered that:
- National entities make the measurements
- Two or three organizations gather the data from several places (GHCN, HadCRUT, ECA)
- Two or three organizations analyze the data (NASA-GISS, HadCRUT, ECA)
- Analysis is made with a set of computer programs that make corrections to measured temperatures (NASA-GISS and HadCRUT with pre-historic code)

One thing I discovered with the data online is that neither source says the same about temperatures, Lisbon is cooling since 1987 according to NASA, and warming according to ECA:

NASA-GISS slightly cooling:
Image

ECA warming:
Image

I have downloaded the data for Lisbon from the three sources (GISS, HadCRUT, ECA) and plotted a few charts my self, the first shows the temperatures used at each data source, the following show the differences between sources for each year (ECA minus HadCRUT, ECA minus GISS and GISS minus HadCRUT):

Image

:thinking: :thinking: :thinking: :thinking:

All graphs show temperatures from the same thermometer !!!!!

Furthermore the raw data is corrected by the programs each entity uses to handle the data, the first graph from NASA-GISS is the raw data, the final data from NASA-GISS that is used on the IPCC report is this:

Image

After seeing all this my opinion is that we simply don't have a clue as to weather the temperatures are rising, falling, the same, or whatever.
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Re: Climate Change and Copenhagen

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:02 am

Hello, Rui Sousa,
As someone with enough of a scientific background to locate some data and turn it into a few graphs, you should be well aware of the errors likely to arise from taking too small a sample.
You have used less than 0.1% of the temperature data available to the IPCC, and none of the other kinds of data. You have then treated it in such a way as to exaggerate any problems with it. And then you - one person with 'some chemistry background' - conclude that your tiny project is enough to cast doubt on years of full-time work of climate science specialists.
Your conclusion does agree with the little work you have done, but that tiny amount of work is no justification for your conclusion. Please, look a bit further.
http://reg.bom.gov.au/silo/products/cli_chg/index_global.shtml and
http://www.aip.org/history/climate/ are great starting points.

:anjali:
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Re: Climate Change and Copenhagen

Postby cooran » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:28 am

Inuits need cash for freezers in warming Arctic
Posted Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:48pm AEDT

Inuit communities need funds to adapt to climate change in the Arctic, including measures to build communal deep freezers to store game, an Inuit leader said on Friday.
The Inuit, the indigenous people of Greenland, Canada, Alaska and Russia, have traditionally hunted for Arctic species from seal to polar bear, whale to caribou.
The Inuit Circumpolar Council's (ICC) Violet Ford says she sees climate changes "on a daily basis".

Ms Ford, who was born and raised in the Inuit community of Makkovik, says more funds are needed for adaptation and response to climate change in the Arctic.
"That should also be going to the Inuit communities as a response to climate change," she said.
"We need infrastructure. We want community deep freezers if the hunting patterns change so much that we can only go hunting a few times a year."

'Disappearing' culture
ICC chairman James Stotts says his 78-year-old uncle fell through the ice and froze to death at a time of year when the ice normally would be thick and safe.
"Inuits have to find other ways to store their meat. Some of our villages are literally falling into the seas because of erosion," he said.

Mr Stotts said he hoped governments gathered for the United Nations' climate conference in Copenhagen would come up with a "real deal ... something that really will work".

ICC vice chairman, Aqqaluk Lynge, said that the ice cap is melting much faster than before, which would raise ocean levels, reduce winter ice and threaten the Inuit way of life.

"The hunters' area is very large ... they drive around on dog sledges, but for us the dog sledges are disappearing," he said.
"That part of the culture is disappearing. We are paying for the changes already in many ways." -Reuters
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009 ... 770156.htm
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Re: Climate Change and Copenhagen

Postby Rui Sousa » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:37 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:Hello, Rui Sousa,
As someone with enough of a scientific background to locate some data and turn it into a few graphs, you should be well aware of the errors likely to arise from taking too small a sample.
You have used less than 0.1% of the temperature data available to the IPCC, and none of the other kinds of data. You have then treated it in such a way as to exaggerate any problems with it. And then you - one person with 'some chemistry background' - conclude that your tiny project is enough to cast doubt on years of full-time work of climate science specialists.
Your conclusion does agree with the little work you have done, but that tiny amount of work is no justification for your conclusion. Please, look a bit further.
http://reg.bom.gov.au/silo/products/cli_chg/index_global.shtml and
http://www.aip.org/history/climate/ are great starting points.

:anjali:
Kim


My point was simply that different sources for the same thermometer should show the same data. They don't.

I was not trying to dismiss all the work done by scientists, but I was trying to point out that there are inconsistencies in the data that make my eyebrows rise.

I know I am just an amateur fooling around with Excel, and I know that I just presented a few below standards graphics, but I work at a bank and a part of my job is to analyze big portions of data and design alghoritms and create indexes that show relevant information from raw data. So I am fully aware of the dangers of data manipulation and lack of consistency on data that should be consistent.

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Re: Climate Change and Copenhagen

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:23 am

Rui Sousa wrote:My point was simply that different sources for the same thermometer should show the same data. They don't.

I was not trying to dismiss all the work done by scientists, but I was trying to point out that there are inconsistencies in the data that make my eyebrows rise.

Knowingly or not, you are doing the same thing that climate change deniers do all the time - taking data out of context, finding errors that are really trivial and insignificant in the context of all the data and all the work that has been done on it, and saying, 'this makes me doubt all the claims of climate science.'

Rui Sousa wrote:I know I am just an amateur fooling around with Excel, and I know that I just presented a few below standards graphics, but I work at a bank and a part of my job is to analyze big portions of data and design alghoritms and create indexes that show relevant information from raw data. So I am fully aware of the dangers of data manipulation and lack of consistency on data that should be consistent.

Well go and spend ten years looking at all the data, if you have time and expertise. It is all publicly available - start here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/.
Without doing that, all you can possibly be doing is 'confirming' your own pre-judged position. As I said, the amount of data you have looked at is far too small to justify your conclusions.
If you can't do that, I think you have to accept expert advice. Would you accept a climatologist's opinion on the data correction methods you use in the bank?

:anjali:
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Re: Climate Change and Copenhagen

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:50 am

Today's cartoon from xkcd seems relevant to some parts of this thread ...

http://xkcd.com/675/

:tongue:

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