Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

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Pattern-chaser
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

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Steve3007 wrote: November 5th, 2021, 7:59 am ...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...
...as well as at all other 'lower' levels too. All issues, once they have been decided by the representatives we elect to do that, are implemented by us, the 'ordinary' people, as well as our richer and more powerful fellows. I don't think there are any issues that are confined solely to governments.
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

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dealt with at government and inter-government level
By the above I mean they are issues that can't be solved purely by individual players in a free market, because they're long timescale issues of global scale. Individual players in markets don't have an incentive to think on those scales without legislative and taxation pressure. Legislation and taxation is what governments do.
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

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(By the way, PC, I was inspired by you to use that technique of quoting a whole post but greying out all but the parts I want to comment on. I think it's quite an effective way of highlighting the parts we're specifically replying to while making it clear that the rest hasn't been completely ignored. My more usual practice is just to quote the parts I'm specifically replying to. But people then often seem to think you haven't read the rest of their post and that you're taking those quotes out of context. They sometimes take Umbridge at that.)
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

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Steve3007 wrote: November 5th, 2021, 9:26 am (By the way, PC, I was inspired by you to use that technique of quoting a whole post but greying out all but the parts I want to comment on. I think it's quite an effective way of highlighting the parts we're specifically replying to while making it clear that the rest hasn't been completely ignored. My more usual practice is just to quote the parts I'm specifically replying to. But people then often seem to think you haven't read the rest of their post and that you're taking those quotes out of context. They sometimes take Umbridge at that.)
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by GE Morton »

Pattern-chaser wrote: November 5th, 2021, 7:42 am
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.
It is indeed a political issue, and, as Steve notes, a problem that can only be addressed by governments (because it involves a natural common, the atmosphere). But as with all political issues there are conflicting interests involved, and none of them can be summarily dismissed. Any steps proposed to deal with the problem will also have costs, and so the anticipated benefits of taking any certain action must be weighed against its costs.

Humans in civilized societies will never act together on anything; that is impossible. They have different interests, different values, different priorities, which are not reconcilable. The best we can hope for is a policy/program a majority "can live with." But even that will be difficult to achieve without reliable information --- and both sides do their best to promulgate information (and disinformation) that favors their own interests --- the "Chicken Littles" exaggerating the risks, and the "Ostriches" minimizing or denying them.
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by Sy Borg »

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.
Not to me. For me, the interest is in wondering who comes out the other end. I expect that human populations will drop as the animals and plants they rely on become extinct at an ever faster rate. Once the dust has settled, it's reasonable to expect an Earth with far more desertlands, dotted with high-tech, highly insulated, self-sustaining city states with an extreme authoritarian bent. The level of organisation needed to survive difficult times tends to favour draconian leadership styles.

Yet these city states - overcrowded and oppressive by today's standards (just as our cities would be disturbing to ancient humans) - will be for the privileged. Life outside will be very harsh in increasingly desertified environments. As you know, I think this concentration of power leading to Earth information being sent elsewhere to re-establish itself echoes the seeding of monocarpic plants.
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

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Pattern-chaser wrote: November 5th, 2021, 7:42 am
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.
GE Morton wrote: November 5th, 2021, 9:58 am It is indeed a political issue, and, as Steve notes, a problem that can only be addressed by governments (because it involves a natural common, the atmosphere). But as with all political issues there are conflicting interests involved, and none of them can be summarily dismissed. Any steps proposed to deal with the problem will also have costs, and so the anticipated benefits of taking any certain action must be weighed against its costs.

Humans in civilized societies will never act together on anything; that is impossible. They have different interests, different values, different priorities, which are not reconcilable. The best we can hope for is a policy/program a majority "can live with." But even that will be difficult to achieve without reliable information --- and both sides do their best to promulgate information (and disinformation) that favors their own interests --- the "Chicken Littles" exaggerating the risks, and the "Ostriches" minimizing or denying them.
First I reiterate my original point: of course governments need to be involved; that's what we elect and pay them for. But their strategies are pointless unless the 'little people' carry them out. Without us - all of us - behind their policies, they will come to nought.

As for the question of cost, it seems to be widely agreed (?) that the cost of doing nothing far exceeds the cost of trying to fix the mess we've made.

And finally, I think the binary thinking that gives us "Ostriches" and "Chicken Littles" distorts the issue. It's a spectrum of opinion, with those two things at the extremes. And, as ever, most of us sit somewhere in the middle. Here, it seems that we might try a more-or-less formal application of risk assessment to CC - severity and probability.

In our case, the severity seems to lie between serious and catastrophic, and the probability seems too high for comfort. Neither of these figures can be exactly enumerated, and that is part of the problem. Some err on the optimistic (or indifferent) side, others on a more pessimistic view. But few of us sit at the extremes. We can probably agree that there is a serious problem here, but because we can't be clear how big a problem it is, no-one is willing to commit to remedial measures, especially as those measures must surely involve giving up some or all of the luxuries in our lives that we have become used to.
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by gad-fly »

Pattern-chaser wrote: November 3rd, 2021, 7:55 am
gad-fly wrote: November 2nd, 2021, 4:06 pm 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?
I maintain all along that the debate on CC should be kept here at the present stage. In the topic Why should you care: "I am talking about a general issue. Strictly speaking, CC has nothing to do with it, and this is why i start this new thread."

Underpinning democracy is the respectful acceptance of a vocal minority which can participate in meaningful debate. On the other hand, democracy would be shaky without the courage of conviction. Thus the entitlement of excuse to leave everything to Big Brother should be worrisome, as happened in Fascist Italy, Don't you think?

In this respect, I suggest you have to offer something on CC unless you are neutered. Vote with your vote. That is the least you can do. Next least, vote with your wallet. Take a pro-active role, like protesting in Glasgow in front of all those world leaders on COP26, if you must, but probably not. Face your grandchild, unashamed. Look what I among my generation have done, for or against CC which affects you so much more.
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by GE Morton »

Pattern-chaser wrote: November 6th, 2021, 7:58 am
First I reiterate my original point: of course governments need to be involved; that's what we elect and pay them for. But their strategies are pointless unless the 'little people' carry them out. Without us - all of us - behind their policies, they will come to nought.
Well, then, they'll come to nought, because all of us will never get behind ANY government policy.
As for the question of cost, it seems to be widely agreed (?) that the cost of doing nothing far exceeds the cost of trying to fix the mess we've made.
The choice is not between fixing the "mess" and doing nothing. It is deciding, first, how big is the "mess," and what fixes are available that don't create a bigger mess (i.e., whose costs outweigh the benefits).
And finally, I think the binary thinking that gives us "Ostriches" and "Chicken Littles" distorts the issue. It's a spectrum of opinion, with those two things at the extremes. And, as ever, most of us sit somewhere in the middle. Here, it seems that we might try a more-or-less formal application of risk assessment to CC - severity and probability.
Precisely.
In our case, the severity seems to lie between serious and catastrophic.
I would put it somewhere between "inconvenient" and serious. :-)
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

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Pattern-chaser wrote: November 6th, 2021, 7:58 am In our case, the severity seems to lie between serious and catastrophic.
GE Morton wrote: November 6th, 2021, 12:46 pm I would put it somewhere between "inconvenient" and serious. :-)
I think "inconvenient" is something of an understatement given, to offer only one example of many, that more than half the species that were extant at the time of my birth are now extinct. Alternatively, if we prefer to focus purely on climate change, we have all seen a huge increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events in our own countries, and in our own lifetimes. That, as the barest precursor of what is to come, is more than "inconvenient", IMO.
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by GE Morton »

Pattern-chaser wrote: November 6th, 2021, 4:32 pm
I think "inconvenient" is something of an understatement given, to offer only one example of many, that more than half the species that were extant at the time of my birth are now extinct.
Well, that is the sort of "Chicken Little" misinformation that leads to idiotic policies. Globally, 711 vertebrate species (since 1500 AD) and 571 plant species (since 1759) are known to have gone extinct. There is speculation that the numbers could be as much as 10 times higher than that, but that is speculation. Even the speculative numbers come nowhere near half of the 8.7 million eukaryote species currently estimated to exist.

https://royalsociety.org/topics-policy/ ... xtinction/

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... bal-survey

Moreover, few, if any, of the known extinctions resulted from climate change, although most of them resulted from other human activities, especially habitat loss due to land use changes.
Alternatively, if we prefer to focus purely on climate change, we have all seen a huge increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events in our own countries, and in our own lifetimes.
No, we haven't. That is a claim regularly trotted out whenever a hurricane strikes the US. But in fact, there have been no more hurricanes on average in the last 20 years than in the previous 100, and the ACE (accumulated cyclone energy) of all cyclonic storms globally hasn't increased either.

http://climatlas.com/tropical/frequency_12months.png

https://notrickszone.com/wp-content/upl ... 0-2019.png

Also see exchanges above with Sy Borg re: Australian wildfires.
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by GE Morton »

Ooops, 1759 in above above post should be 1750.
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by Sy Borg »

GE Morton wrote: November 6th, 2021, 7:02 pm
Alternatively, if we prefer to focus purely on climate change, we have all seen a huge increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events in our own countries, and in our own lifetimes.
No, we haven't. That is a claim regularly trotted out whenever a hurricane strikes the US. But in fact, there have been no more hurricanes on average in the last 20 years than in the previous 100, and the ACE (accumulated cyclone energy) of all cyclonic storms globally hasn't increased either.

http://climatlas.com/tropical/frequency_12months.png

https://notrickszone.com/wp-content/upl ... 0-2019.png

Also see exchanges above with Sy Borg re: Australian wildfires.
Re: our exchanges, this information is key: https://www.science.org.au/news-and-eve ... recedented
The Australian bushfires—why they are unprecedented

In terms of hectares burnt the Australian fires are the largest to affect any of the megadiverse countries—that is, larger than the 2019 Amazon and 2019 Californian fires.

Fires of greater geographical extent have occurred in Australia in the past (e.g. fires in central Australia in 1974-75 covered over 100 million hectares). However, these fires burned largely the grasslands of inland Australia. Unlike forest fires these grassland fires are less intense and the ecosystems can more rapidly recover. Also, there is far lower economic impacts or loss of life because these fires occur in vast remote landscapes.

Australian Academy of Science Fellow Professor Chris Dickman has estimated that Australia has lost at least a billion birds, mammals and reptiles this bushfire season. This figure does not include insects, bats, fish and frogs.

Australia is at risk of losing a significant proportion of its biodiversity as a result of these bushfires and because much of Australia’s biodiversity occurs only here in Australia, it’s a global loss.

On this biodiversity measure alone, the scale of these bushfires is unprecedented anywhere in the world. With many species residing in already burnt or threatened areas, the impact of the fires on species extinction will be ongoing after the bushfire season.

The combination of a number of other factors also make this fire unprecedented in Australia’s history. These include:

- the intensity of the fires early in Australia’s fire season
- current dry, warm and windy conditions
- unusual fire behaviour
- the indirect and direct impact on Australia’s environment, including greenhouse gas emissions and severe air pollution across population centres.
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

Post by GE Morton »

Sy Borg wrote: November 6th, 2021, 8:01 pm
Re: our exchanges, this information is key: https://www.science.org.au/news-and-eve ... recedented
Aaargh, I forgot that debate was in another thread, the "Whose lives have value?" thread.

https://www.onlinephilosophyclub.com/fo ... 42#p398742

It fits better in this thread.
The Australian bushfires—why they are unprecedented

In terms of hectares burnt the Australian fires are the largest to affect any of the megadiverse countries—that is, larger than the 2019 Amazon and 2019 Californian fires.

Fires of greater geographical extent have occurred in Australia in the past (e.g. fires in central Australia in 1974-75 covered over 100 million hectares). However, these fires burned largely the grasslands of inland Australia. Unlike forest fires these grassland fires are less intense and the ecosystems can more rapidly recover. Also, there is far lower economic impacts or loss of life because these fires occur in vast remote landscapes.
Those are valid grounds for calling the 19/20 fires "unprecedented," but they were not unprecedented in terms of the frequency or extent of fires, which have actually declined globally since 1900:

"Analysis of charcoal records in sediments [31] and isotope-ratio records in ice cores [32] suggest that global biomass burning during the past century has been lower than at any time in the past 2000 years. Although the magnitude of the actual differences between pre-industrial and current biomass burning rates may not be as pronounced as suggested by those studies, modelling approaches agree with a general decrease of global fire activity at least in past centuries. . . . The availability of satellite data now allows a more consistent evaluation of temporal patterns in area burned. Thus, from an analysis based on MODIS burned area maps between 1996 and 2012, Giglio et al. [35] present some rather notable outcomes. In contrast to what is widely perceived, the detected global area burned has actually decreased slightly over this period (by 1% yr−1). A more recent global analysis by van Lierop et al. [36], based primarily on nationally reported fire data supplemented by burned area estimates from satellite observations, shows an overall decline in global area burned of 2% yr−1 for the period 2003–2012."

https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/ ... .2015.0345
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Re: Climate Exchange(CC) as a perpetual Topic of Interest

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You are trying to equate grass fires in the desert with lush eastern forests, GE. These had *never* burnt like that.
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