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Where are we going? January 6, 2016

Posted by wmmbb in CLIMATE CHANGE, Cultural cognition.

Ben Eltham, in his review of last year, argues that politicians in Australia have been to the larger, often underlying drivers of events. ( I am taking liberties with my arguments.)

He refers to the French historian,Fernand Braudel, who according to Wikipedia was a developer of World System Theory. Weather and climate would be the best examples of such a theory of human and ecological interconnected. I am reminded of the Indian historians who observe that “Mohandas Gandhi had a civilizational rather that nation state historical understanding. Printing, for example, stimulated and made possible the Reformation, and that was not an overnight transformation. Scientific paradigm changes leaves social change in its wake.

The fallacies of the national state zero-sum game and the fallacy of what, at least I describe, of parochial  nationalism, that for example mistakes weather for climate was expressed by the former Prime Minister Abbott. He is either a fool, or irrelevant, and the kindest observation is to suggest the latter. Abbott, as Ben Eltham explains, was what a Prime Minister should not be. He was divisive and destructive, which included the formal political process, by his personal selections. For example, Bronwyn Bishop, among others, proved to be a disastrous. Turnbull, in his steed, inherited the legacy of wreckage. More so than most Turnbull is captive of his social class, successful upward mobility and investment in the Cayman Islands.

If terror and violence worked, then Bloody Mary would have stopped the English version of the Reformation in its tracks. Equally, it may be argued the uxoricide Henry was unable to stop the Counter-Reformation. The historical interest is in what movement prevails. Not that I know anything much about this time in history other than a letter Thomas More had written from his prison in charcoal about two months before he was executed.

The point being that it is not just bad and stupid people who do not see the writing on the wall in times of civilizational change. What is different in these times is that fascism, constructed on inequality is possible and perhaps likely. Skapegoating is not just a skilful medieval ploy. Failing that, and including that outcome. the hidden state will manifest as the transnational police state.

The 2015 COP in Paris does not look like a historical turning point, but it may prove to be. With some political finesse, it was not the disaster that Copenhagen. On the sidelines the disparate groups of activists and global citizens. including the Indigenous Amazonians.

The roadblocks to change are clear enough. The prosaic and tedious, political timidity, convention thinking and covert class politics. As always the failure of courage, political skill and foresight is always in the play of competition of public relations can be relied upon to reproduce irrelevance.  And not to exclude the fossil fuel corporations and war-makers who despise the common good.

Paris is less of a watershed than a flag on the roadside to future. The US election might represent the turning point: fascism, variations on the status quo, or  a new economic, ecological and social paradigm.  If Sanders falls, as the  consensus among the official  commentariate envisage, then the alternative might rise and succeed in its own right. The final outcome will be either alarm or optimism. The potential part that communication technologies can play in political and social transformation should not be regarded as irrelevant.

It  is hard to believe that “Everyone counts, Everyone makes a difference“, but Rabbi Natan Margarlit on the stories of the  insight of Maimonides  and stories of the Torah, which are similar to the stories of other indigenous peoples.

You may well prefer to shake your head and find inspiration in the words of Ben Eltham.

Peter Doherty expounds on  “Science, Politics and Climate Change”:

I am surprised that replication of results and observations was not mentioned. (I am wrong about this. I knew I should be.)

Dr Evans presents what is self-described as “the sceptics case” in which it is argued that climate modelling is wrong due to over-estimation of  feeedback amplification:

The obsession with World Government strikes me as strange. Perhaps, Dr Evans is into this conspiracy. The rule of law on a global scale, which is required to stop violence and the cycle of revenge with indiscriminate killing requires co-ordination, and one supposes some form of government. The failure of the US Constitution is that it does not constrain its government, and since this is typical, lawlessness and murder is the method of state power.

The question relating to climate model feedbacks and forcings was looked by a study  at in 1991, and the researchers concluded it was not true based on Satellite Observation. A more recent study in 2014 concluded:

The claim that climate models systematically overestimate the response to radiative forcing from increasing greenhouse gas concentrations therefore seems to be unfounded.

It was, and is, a suggestion that was worth considering. However, we live in a probabilistic universe, as I remind myself when trying to throw the flowers that drop on the driveway through the vertical bars of the fence. And as a person with an underlying illness, let me remind myself there is more to lose from ignoring expert advice than following it. A low carbon future with alternative energy has many positive outcomes, a better standard of living and well being for people across the planet.

Technology may make robotic work redundant, sometimes at a loss as in the case of the spinning wheel (the Charka). Work and social engagement will always be necessary for human beings. We don’t have to be disciplined by markets or governments.  Inventing our own irrelevance is almost as bad as destroying the ecosystem.


1. wmmbb - January 7, 2016

Footnotes and Further References:

* Dana at Sceptical Science assessed David Evan’s model or contentions to task in an article published on 15 April 2011. If Dr Evans is ignoring criticisms of his thesis from those who know something about the climate science, then the conclusion would be he is not engaged in science. The video was published on 20 February 2013. Two years is sufficient time to revise and refine the propositions. My understanding is that no review has been undertaken. This is not formal peer review. A critical question is whether Dr Evans has proposed a working model an either confirmed or dis-confirmed by active observations.

* The Conservative Review is on the case. The dates of this article is 7 October 2015. On the basis of Dr Evans contention:

He recently told PerthNow that based on his analysis of their climate model, “the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has over-estimated future global warming by as much as 10 times.”

“Yes, CO2 has an effect, but it’s about a fifth or tenth of what the IPCC says it is. CO2 is not driving the climate; it caused less than 20 per cent of the global warming in the last few decades.” –Dr. Evans (PerthNow)

Dr. Evans has been criticized before for past articles denying the veracity of climate models. But, as his new discovery undergoes peer review, we are reminded once again that climate science is not settled.

Policy makers might do well to remember that before destroying American industries in the name of saving the planet.

Both the newness of the discovery and the likelihood of peer review is moot. In the meantime CR advises it is OK if you keep smoking. Dr Evans should have been asked to explain the cause for the 80% global warming that cannot be explained if CO2 and its feedback effect on water vapour is not a significant driver of climate change. How could models with such a large discrepancy between observed data have any practical utility? (Apparently, it is the Sun that has caused warming. “I wonder why nobody had thought of that possibility?”).

* Dr Evans attracted the attention of Brave New Climate on 10 August 2008 in relation to the missing hotspot.

* The contention made by Dr Evans is, I would contend, less about a mathematical error, than the underlying role of atmospheric carbon dioxide and water vapour. Expect me to make basic errors, but physicists would not be expected to make such mistakes. If, as is probable, underlying science remains, so does the greenhouse effect and climate change.

* Apparently, the ice core record is important evidence:

* Dr Evans agrees pretty much – as far as I can tell – with Dr Fred Singer. One point of agreement is the idea CO2 sensitivity is far lower than, for example, Svant Arrehenius calculated by about 80%. They would suggest that if atmospheric carbon dioxide double from pre-industrial levels (about 1850?), then global means surface temperature would increase by about one degree Celsius. The critical factor is the secondary effect, the feedback, on atmospheric water vapour. It seems to me that if solar irradiation was the principle cause of global warming, nights and winter would be noticeably cooler and days and summers hotter. That effect should show up in comparison of mid latitude temperatures for the Southern and Northern Hemispheres over time. If there were practical difficulties, the obvious thing to do would be to run the test in a model by changing the parameters.

* The contrary arguments to the accepted view on the magnitude and ramifications of climate change are framed in political terms eg “Government climate scientists”. I would suggest that the more dispassionate and analytical the argument the more that it can be accepted. Surely, the scientific way to resolve argument is by experiment and observation. Still this good for me on a personal level it creates the incentive to understand as best I can the physics and chemistry involved.

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