Climate change - politics and activism

Applying the Dharma for the preservation of planet Earth and its inhabitants
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:56 pm

:goodpost:

:namaste:
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Bundokji
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Bundokji » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:47 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:25 pm
Well, I agree, but I think you may be confusing expert statements by scientists with political arguments. [Of course, the person making the political argument might be a scientist, just as they might be a businessperson or a lawyer, but in that context their primary role is "politician" or "political activist".]
Hello Mike,

There is utility in separating science from politics and activism in that it helps keep science as a disciplined approach to gain knowledge. However, in the world as i see it, this has given science a "religion-like-status". When data or the results of a certain experiment are revealed, the interpretations (or values) based on it becomes dogmatic due to the disciplined approach of collecting the data or constructing the experiment.

While the scientific approach itself appears to be objective, the intention behind constructing the experiment is not value free. If you agree that the question: "why the experiment was conducted in the first place" is a legitimate question, then one can see that science is not as value free as it appears to be.

Science is based on the idea that there are fixed laws or reality out there, and that if we align our perceptions with these laws, then we are in a state of harmony with the way things are. After few centuries of the scientific revolution, are we in harmony with the way things are?
I agree with the second half of the above paragraph, but not the second sentence. The extra rainfall is only part of the essential technical data. In some places 100mm is, literally, a drop in the bucket. In other places, with very low rainfalls, an extra 100mm would overload the tiny rivers and drainage systems. However, perhaps you meant that the "drainage experts" should be the ones to make the second determination, not the "rainfall experts", which I would agree with, of course!
If you agree that the issue should be referred to experts from different fields, then why climate change becomes a public issue where even kids become involved? This goes back to the point raised by Paul in a previous post which is the utility of such issue to the individual. If one says that the public are affected by the decisions made by experts hence their activism and involvement, then this goes to every other issue, so why the hype about climate change?

Few weeks ago, i listened to a podcast by Sam Harris hosting an expert in the field of "super bugs" and the discussion was based on how bacteria is developing resistance against our lines of defenses (antibiotics) and how pharmaceutical companies have no financial incentives to conduct research and developing new antibiotics, which led to a campaign between scientists and politicians to introduce laws and policies to solve this issue. According to the expert, this issue is not less of a threat than climate change, and yet, people and experts working on it without making a big fuss.

With a stretch of imagination, how many similar issues and threats people are working on in silence without scaremongering? which bring us back to the question: why the obsession and hype about climate change? whatever the answer might be, it would be based on some subjective values and agendas that is getting imposed on the public who mostly follow without much questioning mostly due to some psychological reasons.
I think a more nuanced criticism would be that scientists (or any other experts) should be careful to make clear what their expertise is, and what the limitations of the science are.

Unfortunately, doing this honestly tends to leave their statements open to misunderstanding and facile criticism:
"The experts say they are not certain, and their predictions have changed over the past few decades, therefore we should ignore what they say."

This is the issue that concerns me the most. The idea that non-experts are in a position to make judgements about the science. As you say, it is non-experts (politicians and public) who need to take the predictions and decide which course of action to take. Are the probabilities such that the consequences of not acting (on climate change or some other public health and safety issue) are worse than the costs of acting? That's the useful thing for the non-experts to be arguing about, since it involves much more than the basic science predictions - economics, social issues, defence issues, and so on...

Of course, I'm not saying that non-experts shouldn't ask difficult questions of scientists. That is highly appropriate! I'm talking about shrill and simplistic dismissals and distrust of whole fields of science by those who appear to have no clue about how science actually works.
Revealing how many times climate scientists had it wrong can be an over-simplification by non-experts, but it can also be providing more precise context in relation to the needed action by acknowledging uncertainty. Portraying politicians as "evil" or "careless" on the other hand can also be an oversimplification considering the competing demands of various stakeholders under their constituencies, and the costs associated with climate change policies. More generally, creating an atmosphere of distrust between people and decision makers and bringing kids to lecture politicians, while appeals to emotions, should not the way forward in my opinion.
I think this varies a lot. In modern times, in my country, and in other countries where I have had some first-hand experience of serious issues (such as in the USA and Australia) one will be given options and probabilities about such treatments, and support to make an informed decision (I've seen this firsthand). Also, remember that most doctors you encounter are not scientists. They don't do scientific research. They would be more accurately described as highly-skilled technicians.
The example i provided about doctors was more about the arrogance caused through feedback from others. In the hierarchy of worldly values, health is highly valued. Value being a source of fear, very few are willing to question the prognosis and treatment which feeds into creating more arrogance. From that perspective, activism does not have to be a structural human activity. An individual who takes responsibility over his own life might unwittingly cause more good than a mob who follow each other blindly over what they perceive as a "noble cause".
I'm not sure who the "they" is here. The practising climate scientists I know generally behave as you suggest they should. Of course, being human, they can get excited or confrontational at times, and can always be the victims of "sound bites" in the media. And, as I said above, they may be switching to a "political activist/politician" hat.
The sense of excitement in my opinion goes beyond politics and activism to a deluded sense of ownership over the world. I don't know if its only me, but i do have the feeling that the whole debate centers on attachments to that feeling, and that includes counting the number of species going extinct everyday. Not sure how many new species will emerge due to climate change and if anyone is counting them.
'Too much knowledge leads to scepticism. Early devotees are the likeliest apostates, as early sinners are senile saints.' – Will Durant.

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mikenz66
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:21 pm

Hi Bundokji,
Bundokji wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:47 pm
mikenz66 wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:25 pm
Well, I agree, but I think you may be confusing expert statements by scientists with political arguments. [Of course, the person making the political argument might be a scientist, just as they might be a businessperson or a lawyer, but in that context their primary role is "politician" or "political activist".]
Hello Mike,

There is utility in separating science from politics and activism in that it helps keep science as a disciplined approach to gain knowledge. However, in the world as i see it, this has given science a "religion-like-status". When data or the results of a certain experiment are revealed, the interpretations (or values) based on it becomes dogmatic due to the disciplined approach of collecting the data or constructing the experiment.
...
Thanks for the detailed discussion.

I don't think I have much to add, I feel that most of the points you raise have been covered. by my last post. I could elaborate on some, but I think it is best to just let your and my points stand on their own merits.

I will that much of what you, and others, are concerned about is not actually about science. They seem to arise from how predictions are interpreted by the public/politicians. Many (including many on this board) seem to misunderstand what science does, which is to take current data and models, make predictions, then test those predictions against more data. This means that the models and data are constantly changing (this progression is slightly oddly interpreted by some here as "failures").

It's not the people working in science who think that the models are infallible. And, as I said, decisions as to what to do with them involve all of us, since they have social, economic, defence, etc implications that are not addressed by the science. The problem I see is people outside science who see it as either an infallible edifice, or as some sort of elite conspiracy. What I feel they all need to do is to accept that there are some things that science can model very well, which allows us to engineer quite reliable technology (airplanes, computer chips, lasers, and so on), and some things where the predictions are much less certain (climate change, whether "dark energy" is needed to explain the observations of the expansion of the universe, and so on...).

Since the predictions we are working with (in climate change, disease control, and so on) are uncertain, all the people involved need to accept that, rather than either claiming certainly, or grasping lack of certainty as a reason to ignore the possible consequences.

The (scientific) world is uncertain. We have to get used to that and use the (inaccurate) models to make decisions. Don't waste time and effort proliferating about the inaccuracies ("failures") or guessing about motivations. Argue about the important things: What are the possible consequences? What are possible actions? What are the possible costs of the actions? What are the possible costs of inaction? Make a decision. Live with it. That's how the real world works.

:heart:
Mike

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:01 pm

:goodpost:

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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:11 am

SethRich wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:58 am
Greetings,
....
Yet here we are.

Kind regards.

:candle:
Hi Paul,
I think I've lived through 4 climate disasters of biblical proportion. I'm certainly not an alarmist.
The trends we see through the research are being blown up out of proportion by people with an agenda.
I would narrow the utility of forecasting down to scientists and policymakers.
Certain trends we see need sorting for a couple of reasons. But options shouldn't be excluded because of current efficiency....
Kind regards

Cittasanto

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:54 am

Meanwhile, back in the world of politics and activism ...
New legislation aimed at tackling climate change means Scotland now has the most ambitious targets anywhere in the world, environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham has insisted.

Holyrood approved a cut in emissions of 75 per cent by 2030 - a new target tougher than the 70 per cent reduction originally proposed by Scottish ministers.

Campaigners welcomed the passing of the new legislation, which was approved by 113 votes to zero with six abstentions. ...

Tom Ballantine of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland said: "This bill sets a strong long-term target to reduce emissions to net-zero by 2045 and drive action in the crucial next decade. We were particularly pleased to see all parties coming together today to increase the 2030 target."

He said the increased target of 75 per cent was included at the last minute "thanks to extensive public pressure, particularly the incredible youth-led climate marches last week".

And while he stated campaigners should "feel rightly proud" of this, the legislation was not the end of the process.

"It's what comes next that will show whether Scotland is really serious about tackling this crisis," Mr Ballantine said.

"Urgent action must follow ...
:reading: https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/ ... -1-5010955

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Kim

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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:33 am

Not Just the Koch Brothers: New Drexel Study Reveals Funders Behind the Climate Change Denial Effort

A new study conducted by Drexel University environmental sociologist Robert J. Brulle, PhD, exposes the organizational underpinnings and funding behind the powerful climate change countermovement. This study marks the first peer-reviewed, comprehensive analysis ever conducted of the sources of funding that maintain the denial effort.

Through an analysis of the financial structure of the organizations that constitute the core of the countermovement and their sources of monetary support, Brulle found that, while the largest and most consistent funders behind the countermovement are a number of well-known conservative foundations, the majority of donations are “dark money,” or concealed funding.

The data also indicates that Koch Industries and ExxonMobil, two of the largest supporters of climate science denial, have recently pulled back from publicly funding countermovement organizations. Coinciding with the decline in traceable funding, the amount of funding given to countermovement organizations through third party pass-through foundations like Donors Trust and Donors Capital, whose funders cannot be traced, has risen dramatically. ...
:reading: https://drexel.edu/now/archive/2013/Dec ... te-Change/

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Charbel
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Charbel » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:46 am

By Valerie Richardson - The Washington Times - Sunday, September 29, 2019

'There is no climate emergency,' hundreds of scientists, engineers tell U.N.
Climate Intelligence Foundation calls for UN meeting with experts from both sides of debate

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/20 ... no-emerge/

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:56 am

Charbel wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:46 am
By Valerie Richardson - The Washington Times - Sunday, September 29, 2019

'There is no climate emergency,' hundreds of scientists, engineers tell U.N.
Climate Intelligence Foundation calls for UN meeting with experts from both sides of debate

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/20 ... no-emerge/
:rolleye:
Sigh.
Climate Intelligence Foundation[edit]
Berkhout founded the Netherlands-based organization Climate Intelligence Foundation (CLINTEL). Mid 2019 plans of CLINTEL and Berkhout were leaked showing that they were organizing a campaign against political commitments to net zero carbon emissions being made to law. The campaign features a number of academics and industry figures with ties to climate change denial groups, as well as members from oil and gas companies.[8] In late September 2019 the group produced an open-letter which stated that there was no climate emergency.[9]
:reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guus_Berkhout

Also, comments on https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f ... 13#p505346

:toilet:

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Kim

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SethRich
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by SethRich » Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:26 am

Greetings,



:?

:candle:
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

:candle: "...his name was Seth Rich..."

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lyndon taylor
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by lyndon taylor » Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:15 am

is that you're best argument against climate change, I thought so!!
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk.

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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SethRich
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by SethRich » Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:25 am

Greetings Lyndon,
lyndon taylor wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:15 am
is that you're [sic] best argument against climate change, I thought so!!
Had you been able to comprehend what has been said in this topic to date, you would have discerned that I'm neither "for" nor "against" "climate change".

Secondly, this topic is about politics and activism that relate to climate change... all of which was addressed in that brief video.

Please try harder.

Kind regards.

:candle:
Last edited by SethRich on Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

:candle: "...his name was Seth Rich..."

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fwiw
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by fwiw » Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:30 am

That looks like a bad joke this lady tried to pull on AOC. I don't think it should be taken seriously. AOC's reaction was actually proportionate.

That being said, some say human population in the future will stabilize on its own. But some religious factions seem to count on the opposite to overtake the world. If human population growth doesn't curb, eventually either a lot of people are going to die in a catastrophic event or states will start regulating their population like China, Indonesia and some other island nations around the world who have seen the problem arising much sooner than the others.

Personally I think the greatest thing I can do to counteract the impact of humans on nature is to not have children.
... in my opinion

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SethRich
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by SethRich » Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:38 am

Greetings,
fwiw wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:30 am
AOC's reaction was actually proportionate.
I agree with this.

Either it was a plant, and she reacted in a dignified manner to the interruption, or it was a mentally ill woman, whom she made a special effort to comfort, and not deride.

However, from a more serious perspective, the fact that Poe's Law is in play here does highlight that those already prone to anxiety, derangement and mental illness will find much in the realm of climate activism to feed their existing neuroses.

Possibly she had read this...?

Swedish scientist advocates eating humans to combat climate change

Kind regards.

:candle:
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

:candle: "...his name was Seth Rich..."

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:20 am

Things are about to get more interesting on the US legal front -
Oil Companies Sued by Baltimore Face Discovery in State Court

A federal appellate judge ruled that Baltimore’s climate liability suit will proceed in state court, rejecting a motion by more than two dozen fossil fuel defendants to halt the suit while they try to convince the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that the case belongs in federal court.

In an order issued Tuesday, Judge James A. Wynn, Jr., refused to halt the case pending appeal of an earlier federal court decision sending the case back to state court. Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory and Judge Albert Diaz concurred with Wynn’s decision.

“That means discovery should be able to proceed in state court unless the U.S. Supreme Court steps into intervene, a highly unlikely outcome,” said Ann Carlson, co-director of the UCLA School of Law’s Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in a blog post.

“The process of discovery will be long and drawn out and oil companies will put up every obstacle imaginable in an attempt to avoid answering questions along the way,” said Carlson, who has provided pro-bono consulting for Baltimore and other municipalities. “But the cases have reached a new stage that no other climate change nuisance case has. Things are about to get interesting.” ...
https://www.desmogblog.com/2019/10/02/o ... tate-court

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Kim

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:24 am

Those loony lefties running the Reserve Bank are scaremongering again ...
Reserve Bank warns climate change posing increasing risk to financial stability

Australia’s central bank has delivered a clear warning that climate change is exposing financial institutions and the financial system more broadly to risks that will rise over time if action isn’t taken.

The RBA’s financial stability review, released Friday, concluded that while climate change is not yet a significant threat to financial stability in Australia, it is becoming increasingly important for investors and institutions to actively manage carbon risk.

The bank notes Australian insurers are the most directly exposed to the physical impacts of climate change, and points out that inflation-adjusted insurance claims for natural disasters this decade are more than twice what they were in the previous 10 years. It notes “this impact is likely to grow over time”. ...

t says Australian financial institutions that have exposure to carbon-intensive industries – such as power generation and mining, or to energy-intensive firms – “will also be exposed to transition risk”.

“Transition risk will be greatest for banks that lend to firms in carbon-intensive industries and to individuals or businesses that are reliant on these firms,” the bank said.

“Other financial institutions investing in carbon-intensive industries, such as superannuation and investment funds, are also exposed to the risk that climate change will diminish the value of their investments. ...
:reading: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-n ... -stability

:thinking:
Kim

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