Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

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gad-fly
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Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by gad-fly »

I am not certain whether to put this subject in Philosophy of Science or Philosophy of Politics, but it appears that politics is what affects everybody's interest.

Let me begin from the end of the title. In and away from this forum, there is always some strong interest in some topics in the near and middle term lasting say a few years at least - what I would call perpetual. Among them are Climate Change (CC), World Population, Poverty, God as Creator, and so on. I have been on and off this forum for some time, and I must admit from time to time feeling blase', translated from French to English as exhaustion or fed up, on what has been shown as Recent Topics in this Forum. If I may, I would boldly suggest that topic of perpetual interest like CC should stay on the top of this Forum, not just to attract eyeballs, but more to serve as the forum for anyone to digest and contribute comments at any time they deem fit. The present arrangement, that you are free to put some new topic to push away whatever earlier, such that they will disappear in a week or less, is far from satisfactory. If this goes on, it is fair to expect that this Forum would fade away because of the loss of readership and visitors. Competition takes no prisoners. Perhaps Scott will take note.

CC is a hot topic, and rightly so. It has been on the news, and on the mind of everyone, but not on this forum for some time. Why? Not because there is nothing new and worthy of discussion about it under the sun. COP26 is news. Why 26, I wonder. 1.5 degree? Good enough, or not? What is the trade-off? Should we sit back and watch, or should we be pro-active?

Sorry, I have to go. I shall offer my comment on CC, after you.
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LuckyR
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by LuckyR »

gad-fly wrote: November 2nd, 2021, 4:06 pm I am not certain whether to put this subject in Philosophy of Science or Philosophy of Politics, but it appears that politics is what affects everybody's interest.

Let me begin from the end of the title. In and away from this forum, there is always some strong interest in some topics in the near and middle term lasting say a few years at least - what I would call perpetual. Among them are Climate Change (CC), World Population, Poverty, God as Creator, and so on. I have been on and off this forum for some time, and I must admit from time to time feeling blase', translated from French to English as exhaustion or fed up, on what has been shown as Recent Topics in this Forum. If I may, I would boldly suggest that topic of perpetual interest like CC should stay on the top of this Forum, not just to attract eyeballs, but more to serve as the forum for anyone to digest and contribute comments at any time they deem fit. The present arrangement, that you are free to put some new topic to push away whatever earlier, such that they will disappear in a week or less, is far from satisfactory. If this goes on, it is fair to expect that this Forum would fade away because of the loss of readership and visitors. Competition takes no prisoners. Perhaps Scott will take note.

CC is a hot topic, and rightly so. It has been on the news, and on the mind of everyone, but not on this forum for some time. Why? Not because there is nothing new and worthy of discussion about it under the sun. COP26 is news. Why 26, I wonder. 1.5 degree? Good enough, or not? What is the trade-off? Should we sit back and watch, or should we be pro-active?

Sorry, I have to go. I shall offer my comment on CC, after you.
Well if this was the Science Forum or the Policy Forum, I might agree with you, however on the Philosophy Forum, things are kind of going as anticipated.
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Pattern-chaser
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by Pattern-chaser »

gad-fly wrote: November 2nd, 2021, 4:06 pm I am not certain whether to put this subject in Philosophy of Science or Philosophy of Politics, but it appears that politics is what affects everybody's interest.

Let me begin from the end of the title. In and away from this forum, there is always some strong interest in some topics in the near and middle term lasting say a few years at least - what I would call perpetual. Among them are Climate Change (CC), World Population, Poverty, God as Creator, and so on. I have been on and off this forum for some time, and I must admit from time to time feeling blase', translated from French to English as exhaustion or fed up, on what has been shown as Recent Topics in this Forum. If I may, I would boldly suggest that topic of perpetual interest like CC should stay on the top of this Forum, not just to attract eyeballs, but more to serve as the forum for anyone to digest and contribute comments at any time they deem fit. The present arrangement, that you are free to put some new topic to push away whatever earlier, such that they will disappear in a week or less, is far from satisfactory. If this goes on, it is fair to expect that this Forum would fade away because of the loss of readership and visitors. Competition takes no prisoners. Perhaps Scott will take note.

CC is a hot topic, and rightly so. It has been on the news, and on the mind of everyone, but not on this forum for some time. Why? Not because there is nothing new and worthy of discussion about it under the sun. COP26 is news. Why 26, I wonder. 1.5 degree? Good enough, or not? What is the trade-off? Should we sit back and watch, or should we be pro-active?

Sorry, I have to go. I shall offer my comment on CC, after you.
I think topics here last as long as there are philosophers who wish to discuss them. Then, when all has been said, the topic fades. I can't think how else it could be?



As for CC, it is the most important topic there is, for homo sapiens, that is. Our very survival is at stake. There are so-called 'questions', but they mainly have to do with deniability - with CC-deniers who will not admit there is a problem. Why they adopt this position, I have no idea, although I could guess (but what good would that do?).

CC can be summed-up by a few questions:
  • Is CC real; i.e. is it actually happening as described?
  • Is CC caused by man? [If it's real 👆, perhaps this is no longer a meaningful question?]
  • (a) What will happen if we do nothing?
  • (b) What will happen if we do everything we can?
  • (c) Is it already too late to do anything?
  • Are we prepared to give up 'luxuries' if it will save our species?
  • What 'luxuries' are we prepared to give up if it will save our species? How far will we go?
I don't think there is much disagreement now, as to what is happening, and that we are the cause of it. The only important questions that remain are - will we do anything about it, and, if so, what?
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GE Morton
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by GE Morton »

gad-fly wrote: November 2nd, 2021, 4:06 pm
CC is a hot topic, and rightly so. It has been on the news, and on the mind of everyone, but not on this forum for some time. Why? Not because there is nothing new and worthy of discussion about it under the sun. COP26 is news. Why 26, I wonder. 1.5 degree? Good enough, or not? What is the trade-off? Should we sit back and watch, or should we be pro-active?
It probably hasn't been a hot topic on this forum because it doesn't raise any philosophical, as opposed to scientific or political, issues.
GE Morton
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by GE Morton »

GE Morton wrote: November 3rd, 2021, 8:11 pm
It probably hasn't been a hot topic on this forum because it doesn't raise any philosophical, as opposed to scientific or political, issues.
Contrary to what I said above, the climate change debate does involve one somewhat philosophical issue --- an issue regarding scientific methodology, which is generally considered to be within the purview of the philosophy of science.

Consider this graph:
climatemodels.jpg
This is the most recent of these comparisons of climate model outputs vs. observations I could find, but there are many similar ones not quite as recent, e.g.,
curry2015.jpg
The IPCC uses the model mean of the most recent model runs as their official projection of the temperature trend. The question is, is that methodology rationally defensible?

The striking thing about the model projections is the extent of disagreement among the models. Those graphs look like a plate of spaghetti. That should tell you that there is little agreement among the model builders as to which variables should be included in the model and how they should be weighted. Normally, when that is the case, you deem the model(s) that best predicts subsequent observations as the most reliable --- not the average of the models (notice that a few of the models do track observations fairly closely).

So . . . are the IPCC's climate projections based on an invalid methodology?
Steve3007
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by Steve3007 »

GE Morton wrote:The striking thing about the model projections is the extent of disagreement among the models. Those graphs look like a plate of spaghetti. That should tell you that there is little agreement among the model builders as to which variables should be included in the model and how they should be weighted.
It could also be telling us that the resulting simulated temperature trend is very sensitive to relatively small tweaks in the values of those variables. So it could be that the spaghetti effect actually results from model runs with very similar initial conditions.
Normally, when that is the case, you deem the model(s) that best predicts subsequent observations as the most reliable --- not the average of the models (notice that a few of the models do track observations fairly closely).
Yes, on the face of it, that seems to make sense. You'd think that the best policy is to select the model runs which most closely fit what actually turned out to happen in reality and then keep running those. i.e. use a form of natural selection on the models to evolve more and more accurate ones. The more accurately a given model fits real measurement data, the greater its chances of "survival".
So . . . are the IPCC's climate projections based on an invalid methodology?
Based on this brief analysis, yes, possibly.
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Pattern-chaser
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by Pattern-chaser »

While it's perfectly reasonable to question scientific methodologies, and so forth. But let's not forget what we are all able to confirm by empirical observation - that our weather includes many more extreme events than it used to. 'Global warming' seems real and actual. The reasons for it, most scientists and laypersons agree, are human-based. This is not a universal consensus, but it is widely accepted now.
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LuckyR
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by LuckyR »

Pattern-chaser wrote: November 4th, 2021, 12:23 pm While it's perfectly reasonable to question scientific methodologies, and so forth. But let's not forget what we are all able to confirm by empirical observation - that our weather includes many more extreme events than it used to. 'Global warming' seems real and actual. The reasons for it, most scientists and laypersons agree, are human-based. This is not a universal consensus, but it is widely accepted now.
As it turns out, climatology (as opposed to casually observing the weather) is a legitimate field of study. Therefore, it's findings are not up for debate by random citizens, not dissimilar to meeting at the watercooler and debating the structure of bridges.
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GE Morton
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by GE Morton »

LuckyR wrote: November 4th, 2021, 6:38 pm Therefore, it's findings are not up for debate by random citizens, not dissimilar to meeting at the watercooler and debating the structure of bridges.
Huh? Er, any subject is up for random debate by anybody. Are you suggesting free speech doesn't apply to scientific questions?
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Sy Borg
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by Sy Borg »

Pretty obvious that something is going on, charts or no charts. Record extreme weather events around the globe, just as predicted for a warming climate.

As for pinning a climate change thread, I don't think it's needed. As Pattern-Chaser said, the posts will remain active for as long as there's interest.

Some members are super passionate about their ideas and they will keep bumping their threads to the top, keeping it active and pushing for responses with provocations. Ultimately, the secret to a long-lived thread is conflict, but conflict also tends to make threads unreadable and, ultimately, useless.

Is it better for one's thread to be relatively short lived by content-rich, conducted in the spirit of mutual exchange or is it better to have a 100-page sprawling mess of argumentation? It depends whom one hopes to influence. If the target is educated, intelligent people, then a short, productive thread will be most convincing. If the target audience are the feral, bickering millions, then simply maintaining content - no matter how poor - have proved to be the most effective strategy in recent years.

Nagging and lying really does work. Unfortunately.
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LuckyR
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by LuckyR »

GE Morton wrote: November 4th, 2021, 8:07 pm
LuckyR wrote: November 4th, 2021, 6:38 pm Therefore, it's findings are not up for debate by random citizens, not dissimilar to meeting at the watercooler and debating the structure of bridges.
Huh? Er, any subject is up for random debate by anybody. Are you suggesting free speech doesn't apply to scientific questions?
No, I am parsing the difference between learned debate among those familiar with technical subjects and Free (meaning: random) speech. No one can limit anyone from vocalizing this or that idea. However not any ol' idea constitutes true debate.

The first time I saw the space shuttle at it's first launch, I was certain based on Common Sense, that it would topple over because it looked unbalanced to my eye. If I had discussed my "opinion" with the other folks gathered to watch, that might have been a lively conversation. No one limited my Free Speech. But it would not have constituted a true debate, as might have occurred between actual aerospace engineers familiar with the actual project.
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by Tegularius »

Pattern-chaser wrote: November 3rd, 2021, 7:55 am

I don't think there is much disagreement now, as to what is happening, and that we are the cause of it. The only important questions that remain are - will we do anything about it, and, if so, what?
TPTB will keep talking about it procrastinating to future dates like 2030 or 50 by which time it is hoped greenhouse gases will have diminished enough to only cause a temperature increase of about one and a half degree Celsius. That would be the consensus among the most polluting nations, but of course nature isn't obliged to conform to any such plans. In the meantime the main entity to absorb carbon dioxide are still being cut at a rapid rate. Such plans as made by governments and industry are mostly purposely-driven slow-motion projects whose speed in accomplishing its goals are far in arrears of the consequences nature is already imposing at an accelerated rate. To think it's possible to wait 30 years for their plans to complete has to be the most macabre joke imaginable. I think what they're really hoping for is some kind of future miracle technology which can rapidly absorb greenhouse gases from the biosphere to stop or limit increasing global temperatures. Should that work, very unlikely, will the planet still have any resemblance to what it once was including what it contained?
The earth has a skin and that skin has diseases; one of its diseases is called man ... Nietzsche
Steve3007
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by Steve3007 »

I think the most philosophically interesting thing about climate change has always been the nature of the discussions that it provokes, the reasons why opinions about it tend to divide along lines that coincide with the lines that divide political opinions, and the other topics that tend to divide similarly.
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by Pattern-chaser »

Steve3007 wrote: November 5th, 2021, 6:19 am I think the most philosophically interesting thing about climate change has always been the nature of the discussions that it provokes, the reasons why opinions about it tend to divide along lines that coincide with the lines that divide political opinions, and the other topics that tend to divide similarly.
Yes, I think this is because the discussion of climate change, and what we might do about it, if anything, is a political one. This, of itself, constrains our discussion to well-worn political pathways. We need to stand and act together against this existential threat, but politics seems to have no means by which this can occur. Lies and horse-trading are the order of the day, underlain by the need to maximise profit and personal wealth, and keep the money flowing.

The title of this topic describes CC as a "perpetual" issue, but it won't last anything like that long. If we continue to do as little as we have done so far (a bit of recycling), it should be over within a few decades. At the grand old age of 67, I don't expect to see the end of our species, but I do expect to see clear signs of unavoidable eco-collapse before I fade away, and I worry about my 3-year-old granddaughter, who will see and suffer much more than me.

Although CC is being treated as a political issue, it seems clear it is actually a psychological issue. For reasons I cannot be sure of, we are unwilling or unable to confront CC. This is the core issue.
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Steve3007
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by Steve3007 »

Pattern-chaser wrote:Yes, I think this is because the discussion of climate change, and what we might do about it, if anything, is a political one. This, of itself, constrains our discussion to well-worn political pathways. We need to stand and act together against this existential threat, but politics seems to have no means by which this can occur. Lies and horse-trading are the order of the day, underlain by the need to maximise profit and personal wealth, and keep the money flowing.

The title of this topic describes CC as a "perpetual" issue, but it won't last anything like that long. If we continue to do as little as we have done so far (a bit of recycling), it should be over within a few decades. At the grand old age of 67, I don't expect to see the end of our species, but I do expect to see clear signs of unavoidable eco-collapse before I fade away, and I worry about my 3-year-old granddaughter, who will see and suffer much more than me.

Although CC is being treated as a political issue, it seems clear it is actually a psychological issue. For reasons I cannot be sure of, we are unwilling or unable to confront CC. This is the core issue.
I think this is the reason why it divides along the same lines as political opinions. People who are naturally dubious about anything governments do (people who dislike "big government") tend to be climate change sceptics because it's an example of an issue that is global and long term - issues that have to be dealt with at government and inter-government level.
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