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Postby Shapley » Tue Aug 15, 2006 10:43 am

Piq,

The problem with government-mandated deadlines for achieving desirable goals is that it often results in less-than-satisfactory solutions that can cause more problems than the problem they try to correct - MTBE, for example.

While there may be those who deny global warming, most 'on the right' merely deny that it is human-induced. Many see it as part of a natural cycle, and there is evidence to back up this claim. That is the purpose of my posting the excerpt from the link OT posted earlier. The "Little Ice Age" theory suggests that we are at the end of a natural period of global cooling, and that Mann's data provides a high level of confidence that this may be true.

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Postby piqaboo » Tue Aug 15, 2006 10:53 am

There are a lot of "you"s in that post, Shap. I hope they are not addressed to me because you impute opinions to me that I do not hold as you have them stated.
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Postby Shapley » Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:01 am

Piq,

There are no 'you's' in the post adressed to you. I don't know you're position on the issues.

The previous post was adressed to OT, although I failed to note so. You're post did not exist at the time I started writing it.

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Postby OperaTenor » Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:02 am

Is it playing it safe to spend >$500 billion on an unnecessary war?

How has the GWB administration policy impacted the lives of the tens of thousands of innocent people who have been killed for those policies? The hundresd of thousands who have been maimed?

What about impacting the lives of our children? Shouldn't we be doing everything we can to hand over a planet that is as safe and clean as we can to them?

What about looking beyond our wallets? What's the more meaningful impact, our integrity, or our pocketbook?
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Postby OperaTenor » Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:04 am

Shapley wrote:Piq,

There are no 'you's' in the post adressed to you. I don't know you're position on the issues.

The previous post was adressed to OT, although I failed to note so. You're post did not exist at the time I started writing it.

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Maybe you should've pm'd me. :p

After all, it's an open forum.
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Postby piqaboo » Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:15 am

I dont think the gov't should mandate the how, just the what.
Same as working with engineers. Dont tell them how to make a tab dryer.
Just describe what the input is and what the end result needs to be.
The product they create will be way cooler than anything I could think up.

BTW - if i can swing it, the next piqOT-mobile will be hybrid. I wish I could get one that ran on gas captured from teh compost heap...
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Postby BigJon@Work » Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:39 am

piqaboo wrote:
BigJon@Work wrote: BTW, OT, ask you wife about science by consensus. She seems to have a handle on it.


This article is not science by consensus, sorry BigJon.

I didn't say it was. I was referring to the global warming catastrophe cult members such as Al Gore. This is one site I could find quickly showing that Al is relying on a false confidence in consensus. http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba/ba561/ As I believe OT is.

piqaboo wrote:Its one possible interpretation of the data gathered. From what I've read (its not extensive) on the subject, there is little doubt that temperatures are up. The discussion, and the focus of additional scientific research, is on quantifying the rise, and figuring out if it is part of a recurring pattern, and the cause of the rise. Global warming is part of a healthy scientific debate. My problem with the guys in charge right now is that they categorically deny it (as you seem to be doing), rather than acknowledging it as a possibility.

Whoa, wait a minute, I'm denying what, global climate change? Nope! We are definitely seeing patterns that have been unrecorded in modern climate gathering sciences. What we are not seeing is something that is unprecedented in earth history.

piqaboo wrote: That puts them on par with the guy in africa who denies HIV causes AIDS.

That's a false analogy and you know it.

piqaboo wrote: A whole lot of folks in France (and much of the world) decided to ignore the possibility - not yet proven, but being researched - that AIDS could be transmitted thru blood transfusions. They didnt present counter data, they didnt discuss. They ignored, because not ignoring it was going to cost them money. Turns out, ignoring it cost them a lot more money. Most of the French at high levels in the Bloodbanking industry (and gov't related to it) went to jail. The French Gov't is now one of the first to implement every new bloodscreening test that comes across their radar screen. Net costs much higher than taking the data into account and accting conservatively, 'just in case'.

Global warming falls into that category, IMO.

You are creating a false analogy. The science used to find the chain from infection to AIDS disorders is testable, repeatable and trackable, even if we didn't understand all the interim mechanisms. I can't say I understand the French reluctance, but no one was asking them to shut off their entire economy either. The HIV deniers hang their hats on the lack of knowledge of the mechanisms which is the foolishness you deservedly decry. The global warming cult relies on computer models that so far are not testable and not repeatable. That is the crux of why we must be much more "conservative" (don't make drastic changes, acknowledge the risks and be prepared to mitigate the damage if our conservative approach is wrong) in our response to the cult.

piqaboo wrote: Taking a conservative approach often reaps unexpected/unpredicted benefits.
An example - coaltar dyes.
In the '50s, it was discovered coaltar dyes cause cancer. Gov't banned their use in lipstick etc. Mucho outcry from cosmetic manufacturers ...Oh No Mr Bill! What will we use???:???
The replacement dyes are many, varied, and the overall resulting textures and colors of lipsticks are far better than they were in the '50s, as well as far safer. Necessity is a mother, as they say.

Again, show me the chain of the science. Show me the tests that were created and repeated by others before the coal tar dye tap was turned off. I can 99.99% guarantee you that it was not based on speculative, biased modeling of incredibly complex and chaotic systems.

piqaboo wrote: So I expect it will be when reduced emissions become mandated again. The various and sundry factories will find ways to increase their output on less power, in order to reduce overall emissions. This will in turn reduce their costs. Unmeasurable side benefits will be improved health in their worker populations, lowering corporate health insurance costs, or reducing work lost to sicktime (paid or unpaid). Other benefits will arise, tho I cant guess what they will be.

I expect the same, but I also expect the targets to be developed by hard-core science not by the artists and gamblers of the cult.

What's your response to this? 75% loss doesn't sound too wise to me.
http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial ... =110008626
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Postby Shapley » Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:40 am

OT,

Bush 'plays it safe' according to his understanding of the situation. The War on Terror is being fought to 'play it safe' by engaging the enemy over there rather than over here. In his view, and mine, we were going to engage the enemy at one place or the other, and we are now engaging them on a battlefield of our choosing. Right or wrong, that is the path that was chosen.

You are free to look as far beyond your wallet as you dare. I spend my money my way, you can spend your money as you fit. That is what freedom is all about. I can drive a gas-guzzler as long as I can afford the fuel to run it. You can drive a Yugo or use public transportation, as you see fit. That is freedom.

I try to leave a clean world behind me, but my views on how that is done do not necessarily represent everyone else's view on how to do that. I don't think I have the right to mandate measures that I think are right, because I believe in freedom.

If I pay $150 to spend the night in a hotel, I want clean sheets and dry towels, so I'm not going to help them 'save the environment' by leaving the old towels on the rack. I want a vehicle big enough to transport my family safely and comfortably across the country when I travel, so I'll spend the extra money for a Toyota Sequoia instead of packing us into Honda Element. I want a home big enough to afford my family the comfort and security we long for, and a piece of property that provides us the privacy that we desire, so I built a big house in the country on a large tract of land, even though it means heating and cooling unused space much of the time, and driving an extra ten minutes each way to get from home to the city and back again. Which of these choices would you deny me in order to save the environment? Require me to sleep on dirty sheets and use wet towels at the hotel? Mandate that I buy an Element? Force me to live in the city? Mandate the maximum home size I can build?

We are constantly imposing new standards for air and water quality on businesses and industry, but they have to be tempered with economic viability. We have to look at what is attainable and compare the costs of doing so with the benefits achieved. You're very quick to say we should look beyond our wallets, but it's other peoples wallets you're talking about here. You have no idea how I spend my money or what priorities I place on my spending, yet you are willing to demand that I spend more on your priorities. That is hardly in keeping with the foundation of freedom this nation was built on.

V/R
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Postby BigJon@Work » Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:45 am

OperaTenor wrote:Is it playing it safe to spend >$500 billion on an unnecessary war?

That's an untestable hypothesis and outside the realms of a scientific discussion.
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Postby piqaboo » Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:06 pm

"acknowledge the risks and be prepared to mitigate the damage if our conservative approach is wrong"
And so far as I can tell, that is not an option the administration is taking.
Instead, they are categorically denying that industry/human density etc could in any way be affecting the environment. And that we know from other fields is a false assumption.

I disagree that my analogies are false.

I agree that computer models are changeable and are at the hypothesis stage. Using one is not "science by consensus". Its doing science by model, trial and error. Thats pretty standard. The way your Dr decides if you need your prostate hole-punched or not is based on a similar sort of model, tho of less complexity. It includes such fuzzy factors as your age, your race, your family history insofar as you know it. And then it operates on %.

There are models that show global warming is caused by us, others that think its "normal". I think there are none that conclude that a change in mean climate wont have a negative effect on us all (except me, Im buying that land in siberia, and some in alaska in case of immigration issues -just as soon as my rich uncle dies and leaves me enough money).

No response means the gov't would not have imposed emissions standards at all lo these many years since. Do you feel, Shap and BigJon, that overall the US economy suffered because the feds insisted on improving mpg?
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Postby Shapley » Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:12 pm

OT,

RE:
Is it playing it safe to spend >$500 billion on an unnecessary war?


You seem to be forgetting the economic costs of 9/11. Besides the physical costs of the towers and surrounding structures, there was the loss of lives and the loss of jobs. There was also economic costs due to the necessity to restructure our security priorities and establish new systems and practices to further protect our citizens. The economy, already in a slowdown that began in 2000, was driven into a negative growth period that took nearly three years to recover from. This is the cost of fighting a war over here. Another terror attack on our soil could easily top the 500 billion loss you're bemoaning.

Now, do not make the assumption that I am tying Iraq to 9/11. I'm tying Iraq to terror, and terror to 9/11. Whatever you think about the reasoning that led us to act against Iraq in the aftermath of 9/11, the intelligence that led us to that point was no more specious than the intelligence you're suggesting we follow to improve the environment and reduce global warming. Why are you willing to throw away good money and disrupt lives for a percieved threat from natural forces and unwilling to commit the same to protect us from a very real threat of terror?

I'm kind of glad you dragged Iraq into this. :D

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Postby Shapley » Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:31 pm

Piq,

RE:
Do you feel, Shap and BigJon, that overall the US economy suffered because the feds insisted on improving mpg?


No. Because the foreign car manufacturers were able to provide cars that met the standard, and that provided the impetus for American Car Manufacturers to follow suit, eventually. But, keep in mind, I'm one that doesn't believe that a foreign trade imbalance hurts the overall US economy.

But what I feel is really immaterial. I do not know what the economy would have been without the standards, nor does anyone else. We do know that the economy was in a recession at the time the standards were fist imposed (1974) and did not fully recover until the Reagan recovery of the '80s. Is there a connection? Would the economy have rebounded sooner had the standards not been imposed? I cannot say. Personally, I doubt it, there were too many other issues involved.

Exactly what do you think this President is failing to do to stave off global warming?

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Postby barfle » Tue Aug 15, 2006 2:24 pm

OperaTenor wrote:Gore, et al, may be wrong. But, what IF they're right? What bad can come from trying to accomplish what they say we need to in order to minimize the human impact on global warming?

I thought being conservative meant playing it safe. Isn't playing it safe making sure there's no doubt we're doing everything we can to conserve the world?

What might go wrong is spending a lot of money on a useless goal, and in the process bankrupting the economy. It probably wouldn't be that bad, but it probably wouldn't be something where the NEA would continue getting their grants.

"Conservative" and "playing it safe" aren't quite the same when it comes to politics. You can spend too much on insurance, just like you can spend too little. It's best to have a grip on what your risks are before you decide to make a very, very, very, very, very large bet one way or the other.
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Postby BigJon@Work » Tue Aug 15, 2006 2:36 pm

piqaboo wrote: "acknowledge the risks and be prepared to mitigate the damage if our conservative approach is wrong"
And so far as I can tell, that is not an option the administration is taking.
Instead, they are categorically denying that industry/human density etc could in any way be affecting the environment. And that we know from other fields is a false assumption.

Or, maybe they are saying; we don't yet have enough information on this to even decide if we should be concerned.

piqaboo wrote: I disagree that my analogies are false.

They are. You haven’t shown how coal tar was withdrawn based on a consensus of scientists before the scientific process had run the course. Was it preemptively withdrawn? As for France’s blood supply problem and the HIV loonies, I’ve already explained why it is false. When the science shows testable harm from a product, watch me be the first in line to call for the government to remove it from the market. This is where I differ from the libertarians.

piqaboo wrote: I agree that computer models are changeable and are at the hypothesis stage. Using one is not "science by consensus". Its doing science by model, trial and error. That’s pretty standard. The way your Dr decides if you need your prostate hole-punched or not is based on a similar sort of model, tho of less complexity. It includes such fuzzy factors as your age, your race, your family history insofar as you know it. And then it operates on %.

Oh my, maybe you don't have a handle on the science by consensus problem. Of course one entity working on a single project isn't science by consensus, that is just nonsensical. The cultists point to a consensus of multiple, independent entities in full agreement. It has been shown that the full consensus doesn't exist. It has also been shown that many of the entities who reach the catastrophe conclusions are not truly independent. And yet the cultists want us to make far-reaching policy based on that false call to consensus because they call it scientific proof.

By the way, your Dr. analogy doesn’t work either. He is following a protocol (implementing a policy) based on testing and research that has been conducted by others, sometimes double blinded, almost always independently peer reviewed and subjected to the checks and balances of his payers, employers and the lawyers.

piqaboo wrote: There are models that show global warming is caused by us, others that think its "normal". I think there are none that conclude that a change in mean climate wont have a negative effect on us all (except me, I’m buying that land in Siberia, and some in Alaska in case of immigration issues -just as soon as my rich uncle dies and leaves me enough money).

There are models which suggest net benefit to mankind by a globally warmer earth. Not anything I’d hang my policy on just yet, but they are out there too.

piqaboo wrote: No response means the gov't would not have imposed emissions standards at all lo these many years since. Do you feel, Shap and BigJon, that overall the US economy suffered because the feds insisted on improving mpg?

You are mixing two different hypotheses. Government regulation of pollution is one and mandated mileage improvement is the other. I support government mandated pollution reduction requirements when they are based on sound science and the principles of poisoning. (It’s the dose, stupid.) I don’t know if we are better off when it comes to mandated fuel mileage, we never got a chance to see if the oil shocks would have yielded the same result from changes in consumer demand alone. We do know that light-weight; fuel efficient cars increase the death rate in crashes. Did we get a net benefit? We can probably never know since so many other things were changing at the same time. It could be argued that the Japanese car invasion alone would have brought the same changes.
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Postby BigJon@Work » Tue Aug 15, 2006 2:41 pm

Piq, you still haven't answered this one.
BigJon@Work wrote: What's your response to this? 75% loss doesn't sound too wise to me.
http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial ... =110008626
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Postby BigJon@Work » Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:40 am

OperaTenor wrote: I keep forgetting Shap and BigJon are Siamese twins. I wish I had the luxury of someone to proxy post replies to posts addressed to me.

I wish I was half as smart as Shap. I'm a :dunce: in comparison.

Piq, still waiting for your take on the above link.
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Postby piqaboo » Wed Aug 16, 2006 1:43 pm

BigJon-
your post above is gonna take some time to answer because you argue the definition of every vocabulary word I use. Since Science by Consensus was my phrase, you might one day wonder what I mean by it, but instead you've declared your own definition as being one where a group of scientists look at a number of conflicting studies, and draw a conclusion based on those that agree, and you decry that approach.

You decry model building in general, except where it suits your needs. I dont know how you think those models got made, but I can assure you that there is constant argument in the field of cancer about relative degrees of significance. You are just not aware of it.

I cant address a response of this complexity at work, so you'll just have to wait.

Re the article. I just got to reading it. It has good points, bad points, and areas that contradict what you say you are for, so I wonder what your take on it is. What is "75%" in reference to? Response to it will also have to wait.
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Postby BigJon@Work » Wed Aug 16, 2006 2:28 pm

piqaboo wrote: your post above is gonna take some time to answer because you argue the definition of every vocabulary word I use. Since Science by Consensus was my phrase, you might one day wonder what I mean by it, but instead you've declared your own definition as being one where a group of scientists look at a number of conflicting studies, and draw a conclusion based on those that agree, and you decry that approach.

Sorry, I thought I used it first. What is your definition?

piqaboo wrote: You decry model building in general, except where it suits your needs. I don't know how you think those models got made, but I can assure you that there is constant argument in the field of cancer about relative degrees of significance. You are just not aware of it.

Hell no do I decry model building in general. I can't figure out where you derived that one from. Computer modeling is my career field. I decry the high priests who want to hang far-reaching policy on a handful of models that so far have not stood up to scrutiny or have not even been permitted to be scrutinized. Modeling done properly, with checks and balances, works. Otherwise, a whole bunch of systems would be crashing down around our ears and I'd be out of a job.

piqaboo wrote: Re the article. I just got to reading it. It has good points, bad points, and areas that contradict what you say you are for, so I wonder what your take on it is. What is "75%" in reference to? Response to it will also have to wait.

The numbers were just so compelling: $1 spent preventing HIV/AIDS would result in about $40 of social benefits, so the economists put it at the top of the list (followed by malnutrition, free trade and malaria). In contrast, $1 spent to abate global warming would result in only about two cents to 25 cents worth of good; so that project dropped to the bottom.

$1 against AIDS yields $40 in benefit. $1 against Global Warming yields $.25 in benefit. Thus, in the best case scenario presented, a loss of 75% of the dollars spent. Sounds unwise, particularly when every study I've seen shows that mitigation of projected consequences is much more cost effective.
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Postby GreatCarouser » Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:24 pm

Re: Lomborg's book The Skeptical Environmentalist

Another view, not answered on Lomborg's website. I have yet to find links to a report or the criteria used for the economic 'triage' of the world's woes. Might be interesting to know more of the methodology.

Critique of The Skeptical Environmentalist by Ian Lowe


I did find this from another MIT professor There are links to more climate based opinions as well.
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Postby BigJon@Work » Wed Aug 16, 2006 5:35 pm

From your links, a good summary of the debate. Better than anything I've seen from the U.S. Full of weasle words too.
http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/downloaddoc.asp?id=1630
Just remember the royal society is politicized despite their protest to the contrary.

As the first national report on the state of the environment said, achieving our stated goal of sustainable development requires the integration of ecological thinking into all our social and economic planning. A naïve faith in the magic of the market or the power of growth is no substitute for considered policies that nurture our natural and social systems. Propaganda units like the Institute of Public Affairs fund the travel of people like Lomborg to muddy the water and obscure the harsh reality that we are not using our natural resources sustainably. The facts show that we desperately need a new approach. Trusting business and the magic of markets has caused the problem; it cannot solve it, even in principle.

Bolding mine, reveals a typical leftist posture. That really hurts his credibility as an unbiased scientific observer without agenda. Remember its only propaganda if you disagree with it.
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