1. Yes, because attempting to raise awareness of a very real and rather significant impending problem is useless.

    Oh, wait, I get it now. It’s only ‘useless’ if you buy into the “climate change is a myth” bullshit.

  2. You know, I believe in climate change. The evidence looks pretty good to me that large parts of North America used to be covered by mile thick ice sheets, and it’s not anymore, ergo the climate changed. Must’ve been all those pre-historic SUVs…

  3. No, see I believe that climate change is actually an issue that needs to be addressed. However, a film full of misinformation and histrionics does not qualify as raising awareness.

    This is why we need actual scientists with accurate data models to discuss climate change. Right now, the only people talking about it are the Global Warming Death Cultists – who are exactly the people that need to shut up.

  4. However, a film full of misinformation and histrionics does not qualify as raising awareness.

    Funny. I recall seeing the results when a bunch of professional climate scientists went over the film. They didn’t come up with much to complain about. I believe it was on RealClimate, if anyone is so inclined to find it.

    And you, of all people, should know better than to blabber about ‘accurate models’. The weather system(s) are too complex to simulate in their entirety, so models are of necessity simplifications. Since you have a business background, you ought to be keenly aware of this.

  5. Also, I’m surprised you care this much about the Peace Prize, given the criteria: to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.

  6. I really do believe in it too. I just don’t think it’s from man made “greenhouse gases”. Indiana is a perfect example of climate change in action. Take a drive through the country one day; all those open fields you see were climax forest 200 years ago. From a purely mechanical perspective, that’s going to make a huge change in the *local* climate.

    But that also doesn’t change the fact that the most dramatic climate changes known in the history of this planet happened without a damn bit of human action. There have been huge swings in global warming and cooling which man can’t have had anything to do with.

  7. Oh, believe me, I am well aware of the difficulty in constructing accurate simulation models of complex systems – which is the serious beef that I have with a lot of “climatologists”out there.

    I know how hard it is to construct an accurate data model when you have so many variables; the problem is that no one is actually saying “Hey, these models might not be 100% accurate, because we can’t account for all the variables, so you know, our shit might be wrong.”

    I dislike jumping to conclusions, and I dislike histrionics even more. There are scientists and researchers that are doing good work, and putting long hours into the study of climate change.

    The problem is that those guys aren’t the guys talking to the media – the people talking to the media are the doomsayers, and the EarthFisters. (that was supposed to say EarthFirsters, but the type made me giggle – ed.)

  8. Ever try explaining involved science to laymen, Ahab? I have. Being accurate as well as putting things in terms easily graspable by someone with no more than a high school education in the relevant areas is somewhere between a Herculean task and flat-out impossible. In fact, I spent an entire summer doing software work that I have no hope of explaining to my parents. They simply lack the background, and I don’t have the months it would take to explain everything from basic computational theory all the way up to what I was doing (it had to do with hypergraphs, simulated annealing, and floorplacement).

    Then there’s the rhetorical differences. In sciences, one is expected to equivocate and qualify statements. When one does that in lay speech, the listener draws improper conclusions about the claim in question. Specifically, that it’s a lot weaker than it actually is. Why else would they equivocate so much?

    Plus there’s the problem of dealing with people who don’t think or don’t know nearly as much as they think they do. This episode comes to mind.

    And never mind explaining to those unfamiliar with it the strength of propositional and first-order logic.

  9. Actually, I have to explain complicated things like ballistics and physics on a pretty regular basis, and yet I always manage to do it without A) sounding like a douche, or B) confusing my listening audience.

    I have a lot of practice at explaining things to people who don’t understand them; it just takes practice and discipline. Sure, there are some topics that are more difficult to explain, but for the most part science can be made accessible to average people.

    Plus, making science accessible to average people isn’t even the issue here – the issue is that the smart, intelligent people doing good research are being drowned out by the loud, ignorant people who are preaching the end of the world.

  10. Ballistics and basic physics are the sorts of things that people tend to have a halfway decent grasp on to begin with, simply from their own experiences. I tried, with the help of a physics student, to explain Schroedinger’s Cat to someone once. It didn’t go so well. It was too counterintuitive. Anything very complicated or involved (such as high-energy physics, cosmology, or weather and climate) tends to become quite counterintuitive and requires increasingly strained metaphors that quickly break down in a most messy manner.

    I had a similar experience earlier this week with several other computer science students. I was trying to explain my problems in coming up with a way to encode a given dataset in a database. It was obvious to everyone involved that they didn’t understand what I was talking about. To cut short my increasing frustration, we all eventually wrote it off on account of me having something they don’t – a background in databases.

    It’s like trying to explain to Mim why she’s interpreting some statistics wrong. You or I could explain exactly where she’s wrong and why, but she would only be more confused afterwards. We could keep on trying to explain things and correct her wrong ideas, but it would just get worse and worse until one or all of us gave up, and told her to take a fucking class and pay attention in the process. She, like a layman in a counterintuitive situation, lacks the background needed to deal with the issues, and a simple “You’re wrong” tends to go over badly – even where justified.

    It’s nice to think that science can be made accessible and comprehensible to laypeople lacking the background, but it’s an illusion. False hope. You can’t do calculus if you don’t know algebra, and you have no hope of doing tensor calculus if you can’t grasp what a vector or a vectorspace is. You might be able to handle a few of the concepts, cloaked in metaphor, but you won’t really understand the subject. Understanding the intricate details of a very complex system is building castles in the sky. Before you can do that, you need both feet solidly on the ground, or you’ve got a sandcastle at the low-tide mark and the tide coming in. Does it tend to sound condescending? Yes. Is it true? Also yes.

    Oh, and Gore’s movie? Yeah, try this. I’ll take actual climatologists over a judge any day. (Google cache because site is currently overwhelmed)

  11. Dude, you’re missing the point. I’m not saying that science isn’t difficult, what I’m saying is that the “global warming” movement has been hijacked by extremists who are making real conservationists and people concerned about the planet look bad.

    My concern over statistically inaccurate models notwithstanding, my primary issue with the bulk of the “global warming” group is that precisely – a valuable message is being lost in the sea of loud voices saying dumb shit.

  12. I would be a lot more comfortable with the global warming nuts if the models they swear are absolutely, undeniably, correct could ever confirm the history of the climate that we know and can prove has happened.

    When they still can’t do that, but swear their predictions for the future of the climate are unassailable I think “snake oil salesmen”.

    I for one am perfectly happy with global warming so far. I am not buried under a glacier, nor is the Atlantic frozen over as far south as Spain, as we know it was at one time.

    Nor have half the known people of earth starved as they did during the “little Ice Age” during medieval times.

    So far, global warming has been a boon to life on this planet, and the AGW crowd has yet to prove that more of it would be harmful in the normal cycle of things.

  13. So far, global warming has been a boon to life on this planet, and the AGW crowd has yet to prove that more of it would be harmful in the normal cycle of things.

    I dunno about you, but I tend to consider mammalian lungs full of water a bad thing… Plus, you know, the loss of arable and habitable land. Minor details like that. A lot of stuff died out when the last major ice age ended, too. I doubt any of those species would consider the changes a ‘boon’ in any sense. Life on the whole tends to adapt. Any given species, however, isn’t nearly as flexible as N quadrillions of bacteria, virii, and protista. Homo sapiens sapiens is by no means an exception.

    Anyway, I have a hard time taking what I can only assume to be attempted satire at the science for anything but a farce. Any idiot who knows the first thing about science knows that nothing is ‘absolutely, undeniably, correct’. Unless you’re an fool, looking for something to exaggerate into nonsense so you can ridicule it. If you need to feel superior to those who know far more about the subject than you do, sure, go right ahead. Feed your ego all you like. Chances are that any assessment the experts make will be far better than anything you can come up with, though.

  14. They haven’t done it yet.

    Your argument sounds just like the flat earthers and the earth centrists of ages past. I would like a little more data than “just because we say so”.

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