Sunday, November 14, 2010

So, who thinks it's going to be a cold winter?

It's finally starting to cool down around here (I saw the first frost on roofs this morning). But just because the local weather is cooling doesn't mean the world is.

So far, this year is matching/exceeding 1998 as the hottest ever recorded. So much for the claim by deniers that the last ten years show a cooldown. Not even close!

Anyone want to bet on how much snow KC will get this winter?


Morrison said...

30 inches total.

But of course the larger question is, what are we going to do about global warming anyway?

Even if the US got going on this, many other countries will not follow through, even though they may make agreements to the contary.

End Times, man!

Chuck Lunney said...

Interesting -- 30 inches is about half again what the KC area normally gets. But for the record, I'm going to agree with you that this will be a wetter/snowier than average year.

As to climate change, for one you can take an interest in mitigating what you can yourself. Even if it's only a little bit, if more people started doing that, it would help some.

Your comment makes it seem like you're looking forward to the "end times" (I'm assuming you're referring to the Biblical "end times"). Are you really excited and happy for that to arrive?

Why? Do you really want the end of civilization/humanity to come in your own lifetime?

Morrison said...

No, the comment was meant to reflect concern rather than excitement.

As to the "End", do scientists really want the end of civilization in their own lifetimes?

If not, why do they keep providing all the WMDS the nations of the world could ever want?

The could go on STRIKE, as in "Atlas Shrugged"

(As to the Biblical End Times...that will not mean the end of humanity.

But the End Times made possible by Scientists who pretend that they bear no moral responsibility for what they have done could theoretically mean that and poisoning the earth for Millenia.)

By the way, Chuck, what have you done to personally mitigate this problem?

Chuck Lunney said...

Don't you think you should be chastising the politicians who USE those weapons, and order their manufacture and stockpiling? Or the engineers and workers who make them? Or the military leaders who actually fire them off?

Why just the scientists, many of whom disagree with the uses their work has been put to?

And I'm curious to know who you think is leading the charge on sounding the alarm on climate change and the effects it will have on human civilization? Last time I checked, it was scientific organizations and scientists themselves who are the most vocal at it.

As to me personally. I recycle nearly everything possibly can. I use a set-back thermostat in my house and keep it set to a very moderate temp. I'm planning on getting a hybrid/electric vehicle for my next car (don't have one yet because they weren't practical or available when I got my last vehicle). I write about it here (not much exposure, but at least it's a little bit). I teach my kids the benefits of conservation and recycling, and the reasons we need to be mindful of it. I donate money to charities and organizations that do work in the relevant fields to help.

In short, I do quite a bit. What do YOU do, Morrison? said...


Check out this on Saturday, Dec 3rd -
Special Provocateurs Global Warming Debate at Perkins.

Will be quite a crowd! - Kenneth S. Schmitz, Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Studies, UMKC who gave several talks at Community of Reason about environmental changes will be debating along with Doug Greer vs. "fake skeptics" and "eternal provocateurs".

6:30 p.m. for conversation and if you'd like to order dinner.
7:30 p.m.: The debate begins.

Are you sure you know all the facts? The best, and certainly the most fun, way to learn about anthropogenic global warming … is to debate it! This issue isn't over — it's just beginning.

We expect to pack Perkins on Friday night, Dec. 3, with people hungry to learn at an info-packed evening featuring a panel debating for and against all three parts of the proposition:

1. Humans are causing global warming,
2. The dangers are real, and ...
3. The government needs to take significant actions now to minimize the consequences.

Our distinguished 4-person panel:
Affirmative team:
Kenneth S. Schmitz, Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Studies, UMKC, and a skepticalist's skeptic about skepticism
Doug Greer, Secular Humanist tree-hugger and Carl Sagan fan who blames America first

Negative team:
Mick Hartman, musician, corporate shill, skeptic and just some guy you know
Caleob King, quintessential Provocateur, anarchist, always game to defend the underdog

The debate format allows us to hear the best arguments to be made from each side, cross-examination from the other, and opportunity for the audience to ask questions of each side on each proposition. Plus more audience discussion at the end. All in 90 minutes.

The goal is to learn as much as possible and have fun doing it.

Bring a friend and reserve your places by RSVPing now! This helps Perkins and helps us with seating - - and helps you be sure you have a seat if we go over our 50 seats!

Morrison said...

I agree, Chuck, it is not just the Scientists, but since you are a scientist that is why I bring up the reponsibility of the scientists...not to say you are responsible, but what ARE you doing to mitigate the threats I mention?

My problem is that most of the scientific types I talk to, in fact, ALL OF THEM, have so far tried to take the approach that the Scientists are not responsible for what is done with their developments.

This is nonsense, of course, since if for example, you supply guns to waring gangs you are complicit.

So the first step would be for the scientists to accept moral responsibility, except that I have not met ONE who is not a Moral Relativist.

But I recognize that you are doing what you can about global warming, as I am. However, your electric car is going to use plenty of power too and contribute to warming...the electricity has to be generated somewhere, and the car has to be charged up.

Chuck Lunney said...

Based on your logic, we should shut down the handgun manufacturers and knifemakers, because their products are used to kill and harm others.

And maybe we should shut down the auto industry, because cars are used in all sorts of nefarious, evil ways to kill, hurt, rob, and violate people around the world. Heck, Chrysler should be brought up on charges immediately for providing the Humvee to the military!

Scientists tend to be relativists in lots of things, simply because of the nature of the universe. We see that the universe doesn't exist just in black and white, and that applies in everything you observe. Morality has changed over the centuries, as cultures change and technology and information spread new ideas around.

As to the hybrid vehicle. Yes, it does require some electricity to make it run, but the amount of carbon-sourced energy is far lower overall than the equivalent gas-powered vehicle. Just like CFL bulbs still need electricity to light up, but they use far less overall.

Until you (or someone) can come up with an energy source that is cheaper, more portable, more accessible and safer than the options we've currently got, we're not going to get much better than electric/hybrid vehicles.