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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Religion and the Environment (Page 3)

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Author Topic: Religion and the Environment
malanthrop
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SDA and LDA are great people, just very devout. Sorry it didn't translate too well. I was being sarcastic, it truly has been a couple years since I heard of environmentalists burning homes and auto dealership to the ground. You are correct, they are nothing compared to the Taliban. I was pointing out the fervor of some is "similar" to religion.

[ March 24, 2009, 02:45 AM: Message edited by: malanthrop ]

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The Rabbit
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quote:
We could debate 60 years of data if you'd like but basing trends on man's recorded data is like sampling ten people in New York for a political poll. Ice ages come and go, this is a fact. I'm not going to argue it much with you.
No you and I could not have a rational debate over even 10 years of data because you clearly haven't even bothered to look at the data I provided you. I on the other hand have a Ph.D. in the area, have personal published research on Atmospheric chemistry, and have taught in the field for ovr 15 years.

The graphs I linked only contain the temperature record for 150 years but this is not the full extent of scientific record. Measurements taken over the last 150 years have been augmented with data from tree rings, ice cores, soil temperature, isotopic measurements and a host of other temperature surrogates. All these measurments agree -- the climate change we are observing currently on the planet is unprecedented in the last 300,000 and can only be explained by human activity.

I gave you a list of reasons for past ice ages and explained why those reasons are inadequate to explain the current climate changed but like the data I linked, you completely blew off my explanations and simply repeated the same disproven arguments. You can't simply throw out the data because it doesn't agree with your preconcieved notions.

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Hobbes
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*cough*

quote:
Hey Rabbit, do you know about the GRACE satellites and their gravity measurements?
[Wave]

Hobbes [Smile]

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The Rabbit
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Sorry Hobbes, I didn't mean to ignore you. The only thing I know about the GRACE satellites are what I've read in the news. I'm reasonably familiar with the scientific results on glacier melt that are coming from the satellite but I really don't know anything about gravity measurements, I'm a chemist not a physicist.

The only thing I can really add beyond that is that using gravity measurements to do a mass balance on the ice sheets is a really clever idea and is making a valuable contribution to the science. I give my cudos to the people who came up with the idea. Its definitely very cool!

[ March 24, 2009, 12:49 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by Annie:
quote:
Sorry, but if you came to this conclusion without paying attention to what scientists say, as you previously said in your post, then your opinion is pretty worthless.
Let's be a little more civil. No one's opinion here is worthless.
You're right, I wasn't specific enough.

I guess I meant that with regard to having an intelligent conversation about the facts of the world, an opinion that is devoid of a factual basis is worthless.

Factual conclusions change in light of new facts. Emotional responses don't, so talking about them is mostly venting.

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Annie
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I don't know, I appreciate the ability to converse on a wide range of subjects, not just those in which we are personally experts.

I also appreciate input from non-scientific points of view because, in reality, how much of human experience is scientifically validated? As long as things are being presented honestly, it's nice to be tolerant and hear what people have to say. DaisyMae didn't pretend to any qualifications she didn't have - she stated from the beginning what her background was and what her feelings were. Feelings are perfectly valid things to bring up in conversations among friends.

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DaisyMae
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[Smile] Thank you, Tom and Annie.
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Annie
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I hope you don't feel stomped-on.
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DaisyMae
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Only a few tread marks, but none worse for the wear. [Smile]

I read the threads often but rarely comment for that very reason.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Factual conclusions change in light of new facts. Emotional responses don't, so talking about them is mostly venting.
I disagree. I think that emotional responses can and do change as we discuss them and try to understand why we have them.

My interest in participating in this thread is because I'd really like to understand peoples emotional response to environmental issues. I've seen a lot of religious conservatives get very angry at and about environmental protection and I still don't understand where that anger is coming from.

I have a better grasp on apathy about the issues. For a lot of people, the idea that human activity could cause serious global changes runs counter the all their intuition about how the world works. From their world view it just seems too far fetched to be valid.

I can imagine how I would respond if people started claiming that sending rockets to mars was going to shift the earth out of its orbit and cause the destruction of all life. Based on my knowledge of physics, that is just too far fetched for me to seriously consider.

Most peoples intuition about how the physical universe works is way off and their understanding of science in general is very weak. So its very difficult to persuade people that driving cars and burning coal really can cause a global catastrophe. Even when scientist have done the ground work and shown that its not just possible its really happening, the conclusions are so different from what most peoples intuition tells them that its much easier to believe this is some sort of conspiracy that it is for them to understand the seriousness of the scientific conclusions. So I can understand apathy.

What I don't understand is the anger and contempt. If people care enough to feel anger or contempt, shouldn't they care enough to actually investigate the issue and understand what the data really say? If they care, shouldn't they care enough to try and figure out the truth?

I'd really like to understand where the anger comes from.

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kmbboots
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I think that the anger is defensive. Knowledge that we are responsible and, more importantly, that we should change, is very threatening.
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advice for robots
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I can see at least some of the anger being directed at the scientists/environmentalists/pundits who havenít managed to get the abrasiveness and accusations out of their warnings. Perhaps at agendas that sometimes get attached to calls for action on the environmentís behalf. Also at the constant flow of terrible news about whatís happening without much mention of what theyíre supposed to do about it. As irrational as it might still be, I donít think itís as irrational as pure anger and contempt directed toward the environment itself, which Iíd be surprised if many people have.

But yeah, many people simply donít want to budge from their lifestyles, have a vested interest in an activity or business that is harmful to the environment somehow, or donít want to make it their lifeís mission. Itís not a priority, and might not be one until it starts directly interfering with their lives.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
I can see at least some of the anger being directed at the scientists/environmentalists/pundits who havenít managed to get the abrasiveness and accusations out of their warnings.
So you are saying that people are angry because scientists, who have discovered something that is likely to kill tens of millions of people and devastate economies, aren't sufficiently polite in their warnings?

Sorry I still don't understand.

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Juxtapose
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I think the difference is between saying "The Earth is warming, it's effects will be devastating on a global scale, and human beings are responsible," and saying "the Earth is warming, it's effects will be devastating and it's all your fault."

It's not about being sufficiently polite, it's about being sufficiently savvy. I think in the past, the environmental movement tried to target personal virtue/responsibility as the vehicle to effect change and, while achieving some success, managed to come off to some as elitist and disdaining the average person.

This decade, I'm seeing several changes that say, to me, that things are improving. The environmental movement seems to have changed in a couple of ways. I see a major re-targeting, from individuals to business and government systems. This strikes me as both a more practical method of effecting change and a more effective one. I don't think the personal virtue aspect has been forgotten, but I do think that has a shifted emphasis as well.

That said, I think some, probably people who are older, hear the old accusations whether or not they are a part of the new message.

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Hobbes
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quote:
The only thing I can really add beyond that is that using gravity measurements to do a mass balance on the ice sheets is a really clever idea and is making a valuable contribution to the science. I give my cudos to the people who came up with the idea. Its definitely very cool!
[Big Grin] I asked because that's what my Dad does. I was going to get into it more if you did but... well I'll pass it along. [Wink] [Cool]

Hobbes [Smile]

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advice for robots
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
I can see at least some of the anger being directed at the scientists/environmentalists/pundits who havenít managed to get the abrasiveness and accusations out of their warnings.
So you are saying that people are angry because scientists, who have discovered something that is likely to kill tens of millions of people and devastate economies, aren't sufficiently polite in their warnings?

Sorry I still don't understand.

Kind of in the same vein as Juxtapose. Scientists don't always tend to be the best marketers. Whether or not the facts are there, people aren't going to swallow them if they're presented as damning facts. They will listen better, perhaps, if the presentation is engaging and doesn't put them on the defensive.

Like the Quote of the Day on my iGoogle says,

"Few people can see genius in someone who has offended them."
- Robertson Davies

In essence, it's the same problem Noah had. There are those few who will listen regardless of their being hit over the head with the message, but the majority will react negatively despite the facts. Scientists have to find ways to transfer their passion to the people instead of alienating them with it.

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malanthrop
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It doesn't help that the climate hasn't warmed in over a decade and we just went through one of the coldest winters in memory. Tough sell, true or not. Americans have short memories.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by malanthrop:
the climate hasn't warmed in over a decade

*blink*

Wasn't this just rebutted last page?

Speaking of short memories . . .

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MattP
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Seriously. Do you understand the concepts of statistical outliers and trends?
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malanthrop
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I could use statistical outliers and trends to easilly offend anyone in this room.
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malanthrop
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There are much smarter people on the subject than I. Concensus is a lie but if you disagree in the scientific world, you may as be a holocost denier. Here's >30000 scientist who disagree with you.
http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p333.htm

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by malanthrop:
There are much smarter people on the subject than I. Concensus is a lie but if you disagree in the scientific world, you may as be a holocost denier. Here's >30000 scientist who disagree with you.
http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p333.htm

That is something you could only possibly believe if you have never had any dealings with scientists. Its kind of the equivalent to saying "Non-smokers are shunned in the Mormon world." Disagreement is more common and more encouraged in science than in any other area of life. It is integral to the scientific method and expected of scientists.

There is however one type of disagreement that is looked on disfavorably in science -- disagreement with the facts. If in science you continue to support a hypothesis that is repeatedly proven inconsistent with experimental measurements, you will eventually be dismissed as a fool.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Concensus is a lie but if you disagree in the scientific world, you may as be a holocost denier.
Doesn't that mean there's a consensus?
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by malanthrop:
I could use statistical outliers and trends to easilly offend anyone in this room.

This is the biggest tiredest load of crap. I am so sick of idiots who say, when the data contradicts them, "You can make the data say anything you want.".

No, you can't. There may be more than one way to interpret a set of data, but there are ways that are absolutely wrong. Saying that global warming has stopped during the last decade is simply wrong. The data does not support that hypothesis. There is no way that anyone with the slightest understanding of climate patterns could come to that conclusion.

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MattP
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quote:
Will also wrote that "according to the U.N. World Meteorological Organization, there has been no recorded global warming for more than a decade." The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is one of many respected scientific institutions that support the consensus that humans are driving global warming. Will probably meant that since 1998 was the warmest year on record according to the WMO -- NASA, in contrast, believes that that honor goes to 2005 -- we haven't had any global warming since. Yet such sleight of hand would lead to the conclusion that "global cooling" sets in immediately after every new record temperature year, no matter how frequently those hot years arrive or the hotness of the years surrounding them. Climate scientists, knowing that any single year may trend warmer or cooler for a variety of reasons -- 1998, for instance, featured an extremely strong El NiŮo -- study globally averaged temperatures over time. To them, it's far more relevant that out of the 10 warmest years on record, at least seven have occurred in the 2000s -- again, according to the WMO.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/20/AR2009032002660.html?sub=AR

[ March 25, 2009, 10:52 AM: Message edited by: MattP ]

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The White Whale
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Link

I'd like change my original equation to now say

nitpicking data = [Mad] ^2 / [Confused]

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Juxtapose
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quote:
Kind of in the same vein as Juxtapose. Scientists don't always tend to be the best marketers. Whether or not the facts are there, people aren't going to swallow them if they're presented as damning facts. They will listen better, perhaps, if the presentation is engaging and doesn't put them on the defensive.
I also wanted to add that I don't think all, or even most of the people historically doing the marketing have been scientists. My off-the-cuff guess is that the failures of the early environmental movement had more to do with the zeitgeist of the '60s-'80s.
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