[ExI] why anger?

spike spike66 at att.net
Fri Feb 26 03:09:39 UTC 2010


> -----Original Message-----
> From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org 
> [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of 
> Damien Broderick
> Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2010 4:47 PM
> To: ExI chat list
> Subject: [ExI] why anger?
> On 2/25/2010 5:42 PM, BillK wrote:
> > On Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 10:49 PM, spike wrote:
> >>> ...On Behalf Of Keith Henson
> >>> I don't have any good ideas about why people get so angry over 
> >>> global warming arguments... Keith
>      a clue:
> 	* NEW SCIENTIST issue 2749.
> 	* 24 February 2010
> Honesty is the best policy for climate scientists
> FOR many environmentalists, all human influence on the planet is bad. 
> Many natural scientists implicitly share this outlook. This 
> is not unscientific, but it can create the impression that 
> greens and environmental scientists are authoritarian 
> tree-huggers who value nature above people. That doesn't play 
> well with mainstream society, as the apparent backlash 
> against climate science reveals.
> Environmentalists need to find a new story to tell. Like it 
> or not, we now live in the anthropocene - an age in which 
> humans are perturbing many of the planet's natural systems, 
> from the water cycle to the acidity of the oceans. We cannot 
> wish that away; we must recognise it and manage our impacts.
> That is central to our cover story. Johan Rockström, head of 
> the Stockholm Environment Institute in Sweden, and colleagues 
> have distilled recent research on how Earth systems work into 
> a list of nine "planetary boundaries" that we must stay 
> within to live sustainably (see "From ocean to ozone: Earth's 
> nine life-support systems"). It is preliminary work, and many 
> will disagree with where the boundaries are set. But the 
> point is to offer a new way of thinking about our 
> relationship with the environment - a science-based picture 
> that accepts a certain level of human impact and even allows 
> us some room to expand. The result is a breath of fresh air: 
> though we are already well past three of the boundaries, we 
> haven't trashed the place yet.
> It is in the same spirit that we also probe the basis for key 
> claims in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 
> 2007 report on climate impacts (see "Can we trust the IPCC on 
> the big stuff?"). This report has been much discussed since 
> our revelations about its unsubstantiated statement on 
> melting Himalayan glaciers. Why return to the topic? 
> Because there is a sense that the IPCC shares the same 
> anti-human agenda and, as a result, is too credulous of 
> unverified numbers. While the majority of the report is 
> assuredly rigorous, there is no escaping the fact that parts 
> of it make claims that go beyond the science.
> For example, the chapter on Africa exaggerates a claim about 
> crashes in farm yields, and also highlights projections of 
> increased water stress in some regions while ignoring 
> projections in the same study that point to reduced water 
> stress in other regions. These errors are not trifling. 
> They are among the report's headline conclusions.
> Some will see our investigation as an unwelcome distraction 
> in a propaganda battle to get action on climate change. But 
> if we are to manage the anthropocene successfully, we need 
> cooler heads and clearer statistics.
> Above all, we need a dispassionate view of the state of the 
> planet and our likely future impact on it. There's no room 
> for complacency: 
> Rockström's analysis shows us that we face real dangers, but 
> exaggerating our problems is not the way to solve them.
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