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Frank,

No change. One can't be 100% sure and the scientists leading the charge aren't claiming that. 
On Nov 11, 2009, at 6:11 AM, Frank Wood wrote:

Barry,

snip:
It seems reasonable to do a simple risk analysis: 1. costs of doing nothing and then being wrong and having a climate catastrophe VS 2. costs of reducing our carbon footprint and then being wrong that greenhouse gases are a serious problem. The choice really seems to be a no brainer.

Well this very minute change of attitude from 100% sure that global warming is caused by humans to doing a risk analysis is welcome.

One fatal flaw in your reasoning though,

What if the models that say global warming is caused by man are not complex enough to understand the situation? (That pesky Requisite Variety again!)
This could well be the case. It doesn't change the need for action. 

Shouldn't we think the unthinkable?

That nothing can be done about global warming because it is a huge cyclical event and therefore unstoppable. 

Shouldn't we be instead thinking of adapting civilisations and communities to this global warming? In other words building complex adaptive systems.
Of course we should. However, we should also (and first) be making sure we are doing as little as possible to exacerbate the situation. My experience is that those who argue the warming is due to natural cyclical events are using that as an argument for doing nothing. In other words, this argument is usually an excuse, a distraction from facing the facts.

The fundamental problem is that we are reaching or perhaps past the carrying capacity of the earth in many respects. For instance potable water may well turn out to be a more serious problem than global warming. Africa has been experiencing mass migrations because of water shortages for some years now. Mass starvation and national food riots are already upon us in something like 20 nations. The oceans are poisoned and large large areas are dead. The list goes on and on. Just yesterday we saw evidence that the official numbers for oil reserves are being falsified to avooid panicking the USA and that peak oil is already here. And yet we go on blindly advocating more. 

The human race lives in a very large petri dish, but a petri dish nevertheless. We are no more immune to the pattern of exponential growth followed by collapse than are the bacteria in a laboratory petri dish. The only rational argument left is the timing: how much time do we have left before catastrophic collapse.

To argue otherwise is both stupid and suicidal. It risks the collapse of civilization. 

Your attitude is not helpful because it gives the definite impression that the environmentalists are unthinking irrational self-serving fearmongers. Why don't you use some of that energy to think about what needs to be done. 

Frank, you are obviously a strong systems scientist. Get your head out of the sand and make a positive contribution instead of standing there trying to hold the tide back. 

Peace and Love.,

Barry



Frank


On 10 Nov 2009, at 21:06, BARRY A CLEMSON wrote:

Frank,

The oil companies spent $38 million just this last quarter to try to stop the US senate from voting on the very moderate cap and trade bill Obama is pushing. The environmentalists do not have a fraction of this kind of money. 

The tobacco companies perfected the tactics of obfuscation and confusion re. the science of smoking and lung cancer and delayed Federal action for perhaps 20 years by so doing.. This is now well documented. The oil companies are using the same tactics and are pouring tens of millions a year into it. 

We are betting our future and while there are still major uncertainties, the general conclusion is doubted by few scientists.

It seems reasonable to do a simple risk analysis: 1. costs of doing nothing and then being wrong and having a climate catastrophe VS 2. costs of reducing our carbon footprint and then being wrong that greenhouse gases are a serious problem. The choice really seems to be a no brainer.

Barry
On Nov 10, 2009, at 3:20 PM, Frank Wood wrote:

Oh Joseph you remind me so much of those Christian fundamentalists.

Unlike you and your fellow eco fundamentalists I'm not dismissing anything, I'm just saying that it's not certain that global warming is caused by man. I'm pointing out the slick propaganda skills of the environmentalists, Whether they are right to be clever marketeers is not the point. I'm just flagging it up that they do it.

Now I must go and do something useful like some research for a project I'm doing.

Frank

On 10 Nov 2009, at 19:52, Joseph Truss wrote:

Dear Frank,

If I may riff on your rant…

Your creative cynicism outblasts all evidence and commits you to an untenable position which is nonetheless shared by far too many.  

Your outcry of manipulation is aimed in the wrong direction as Barry points out.  Look at who is manipulating the science and for what ends.  

If all you see transduces to 'marketing ploy' and all content and meaning evaporate in that filter what are you distinguishing, except what you already believe? Then your category rules and none should attempt to enter!  Or does the marketing ploy filter only come into effect when you are considering the environmentalists?

I copied Russell's response below which corrected the time of the event - the famous Rio summit, and provided some factual information about this precocious child who has turned into an equally articulate and sincere adult whose fears at age 13 become closer to reality day by day.  Is it a slick video or your slick marketing mind? The environmental activist you so summarily dismiss (you seem to have a category of dismissals that is impervious to information and any mention of the category hardens your arteries, your faculties and your very categories!) is David Suzuki and he should at least be granted the credibility of his science and his life long attempts to make the science understandable enough for us to see the impact we puny humans have had and are having on Earth - do you include nuclear weapons and technologies of killingry in your description of 'puny' effects?  Is there anyone you consider credible who is raising the alarm?  Naaa… it's just a marketing ploy!

I fear that your position is far more in style than evidence should dictate and all we can hope for is that denial is just a stage that will pass out of fashion.  But you are right about this - if we care only for ourselves we can afford to do nothing because anything we do now will not stave off what is likely to come in our lifetimes. You think large complex systems only go haywire in the movies? Gaia is pulling a Trudeau and shouting "just watch me!"

What we do today is for the benefit of future generations. For us it is already too late to reverse what we could have 20 years ago. 

With kind regards,

Joe


From: [log in to unmask]" ymailto="mailto:[log in to unmask]" target="_blank" href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">rc
To: [log in to unmask]" ymailto="mailto:[log in to unmask]" target="_blank" href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, November 09, 2009 6:10 PM
Subject: Re: the girl who silenced the world for five minutes

Roger, 

I think you will find it was David Suzuki's daughter Severn, and it was at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. 

"Raised in Vancouver and Toronto, Severn Cullis-Suzuki has been camping and hiking all her life. When she was 9 she started the Environmental Children's Organization (ECO), a small group of children committed to learning and teaching other kids about environmental issues. They were successful in many projects before 1992, when they raised enough money to go to the UN's Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Their aim was to remind the decision-makers of who their actions or inactions would ultimately affect. The goal was reached when 12 yr old Severn closed a Plenary Session with a powerful speech that received a standing ovation." ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZsDliXzyAY ) 

My reckoning is she must be 29 years old now. 

I remember meeting David S. briefly at a university presentation and book launch around 1998 where he showed this clip. I was working on a small project for the local zoo and asked him briefly (as I purchased an autographed copy of the book) whether he thought zoo's were ethical: responding briefly from incredible fatigue and jet lag, he thought not. How time flies! 

regards
Russell



From: Frank Wood <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Tue, November 10, 2009 1:00:56 PM
Subject: Re: the girl who silenced the world for five minutes

I agree Barry. My main point is that the environmentalists always like to paint themselves as being gooder than good and so on. Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth are massive machines just as the oil corporations etc are and also have hired scientists to argue their case.

I can only quote from the TV series of past "The Greenhouse Conspiracy" which pointed out that it was pretty difficult to get a grant if you were a scientist that was not totally convinced that global warming is caused by man. The whole debate is so one sided. I remember putting up an url or two that from a university website arguing that global warming may be caused by concentrations of water vapour in the atmosphere. The silence here was deafening.

I know of academics who are very uneasy about this one sideness but there's not much point in debating this as the environmentalists have claimed the moral high ground and their propaganda is very powerfu (think of the slick "carbon footprint" campaign)l, I wonder how much money the environmentalists get from those businesses that will profit in seeing reductions made in CO2 and so on?

Yes the issues are complex which means of course *by their very complexity*, we cannot should not be so certain that man has caused or is the sole contributor of global warming. That attitude reeks of anthrocentric arrogance and even worse is the pathetic notion that we, puny humans, can actually change what maybe a cyclic event!

Also how can you trust meteorologists who could not even get their predictions for this summer right! When pressed they said that their predictions had only a chance of 65% likelihood of happening. Fair enough but when it comes to predicting global warming, suddenly there are a lot more certain!

Many environmentalists are like most evangelists, moralisers who get off telling other people what to do.

I just switch off now when they start but unfortunately more and more laws telling us what to do are coming into force.

Ok end of rant. I don't really want to spend time on this but I felt that another viewpoint was necessary on that slick marketing video

With that I withdraw (dis)gracefully from the debate.

Frank


On 10 Nov 2009, at 13:57, BARRY A CLEMSON wrote:

> Frank,
> 
> Of course there is money being made. Of course there is self-interest in keeping the campaign going. But you are pointing to miniscule amounts of money on the environmentalist's side and ignoring tons of money on the other side. And what about the self-interest among the oil companies etc. who hire "scientist" shills, run massive ad campaigns, etc to confuse the issues.
> 
> These issues are massively complex and as far as I can see the environmentalists are largely trying to be honest about it and the large corporate deniers are largely trying to confuse the issue. And don't even try to tell me that the majority of scientists are in it to get grant money. That is an argument based on not understanding the way the academic / scientific world works.
> 
> Barry
> 
> On Nov 10, 2009, at 3:51 AM, Frank Wood wrote:
> 
>> No, Barry, it's not being mean spirited. It's an objection of the cynical way these people manipulate people by using a child to get their message across.  The speech was brilliantly crafted to create an emotional reaction. They, like other evangelists are very good at this stuff.
>> 
>> There's big money being made out of the global warming issue and therefore a lot of people have self interest in keeping thee campaign going.
>> 
>> And as for impact. What impact? Very little from what I see.
>> 
>> Yes, the fact that she comes from a family of environmentalists is important because this speech was carefully made out to look like a ordinary child speaking in her own words her fears about global warming etc.
>> 
>> And I wonder if she came by an environmentally polluting airplane to the conference?
>> 
>> Frank
>> 
>> On 10 Nov 2009, at 02:37, BARRY A CLEMSON wrote:
>> 
>>> Frank,
>>> 
>>> Of course she had help writing the speech. No one in their right mind, adult or child, addresses such a group without help on their speech. And very probably someone wrote the speech for her.
>>> 
>>> And of course it is a marketing ploy -- the purpose is clearly to persuade.
>>> 
>>> And she comes from a family of environmental activists? Is that supposed to somehow devalue the speech?
>>> 
>>> None of this in any way takes away from the speech or its impact.  This is clearly a very remarkable child making a very impressive speech.
>>> 
>>> I do not understand your attempt to belittle her accomplishment in delivering such a speech. it seems a little mean-spirited and unworthy of you.
>>> 
>>> Barry
>>> 
>>> On Nov 9, 2009, at 3:09 PM, Frank Wood wrote:
>>> 
>>>> Ok lets get this into ccntext.
>>>> 
>>>> Severn if my web research comes from a family of environmentalist activists.
>>>> 
>>>> The speech is very cleverly written and I doubt if it was written by her.
>>>> 
>>>> The whole thing is a very shrewd marketing exercise.
>>>> 
>>>> Yes I'm cynical but as I've studied marketing a little I know a marketing ploy when I see it.
>>>> 
>>>> Frank
>>>> 
>>>> On 9 Nov 2009, at 19:31, Roger Harnden wrote:
>>>> 
>>>>> Amazing short video clip of 12 year old addressing the conference at Brazil earlier this year.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Really amazing,
>>>>> 
>>>>> Roger
>>>>> 
>>>>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6upL62Pyjo
>>>>> 
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757-622-6673
Cybernetica Press Inc
Denmark Rising is now available at my web site



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