Real Climate: Con Allègre, ma non troppo

  1. (40) Maurizio Morabito Says:
    16 October 2006 at 12:20 PM The Climate-Change-Is-Very-Bad community has huge communication issues wrt the general public and it is telling that the main gist of Allegre’s article is completely lost to the RealClimate commentator

    Allegre, as others have said, is a politician, so his words must be “decoded” thinking of a politician’s language, not a scientist’s

    It then becomes a matter of practical action in the real world. And in the real world, Allegre can see “the ecology of the powerless protester” (”l’ecologie de l’impuissance protestataire”) having become a good business, whilst _nothing_ serious gets done (even Al Gore thinks nothing of perpetually jetting around the world)

    My personal view on the upcoming (or not) catastrophe of global warming are somewhere in the archives of RealClimate. But those are beside the point

    The question to ask is what if anything is preventing the entire world from acting even remotely in step with what is written day in, day out on RealClimate and other similar fora, newspaper articles and now even documentary movies

    Allegre thinks the issue is that disasters are not predicted to happen before another half a century. An interesting point indeed

    [Response: Why do potentially sensible comments on appropriate policy responses need to come packaged with demonstrably erroneous science then? There are plenty of serious commentators discussing these issues, and it can be done without distorting the science. -gavin]

  2. Maurizio Morabito Says:
    16 October 2006 at 5:47 PM Re: 40

    “Why do potentially sensible comments on appropriate policy responses need to come packaged with demonstrably erroneous science then?”

    Perhaps because the scientific details are not relevant to Allegre’s argument? All he needs is “the doubt”. If he had cared about the sources he would not have mixed up Nature and Science

    For an example of science-less policy, think of the “War on Drugs”

  3. Alastair McDonald Says:
    17 October 2006 at 2:31 AM Maurizio, are you saying that “a barrage of stories on disappearing species, uncontrollable pests, rising seas, floods, droughts, heat waves, fires, violent storms, scarce food/jobs/resources, and forecasts of millions of human deaths” are “demonstratably erroneous science”?
  4. Maurizio Morabito Says:
    17 October 2006 at 5:10 AM Re: 41

    Alastair

    No I am not. “Demonstrably erroneous science” was a comment by Gavin on Allegre’s words

    Besides, the fact that there is a barrage of stories of impending doom is just that: a fact

    To be 100% clear: I am not hell-bent in demonstrating that contemporary climate science is a load of rubbish (it isn’t). I am simply and fundamentally “allergic” to hysteria and prophecies of doom

    If I could show that all as based on “demonstrably erroneous science” I guess we would not be here talking about it 8-)

  5. Alastair McDonald Says:
    17 October 2006 at 7:13 PM Maurizio,

    So you agree with me -) http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/10/how-not-to-attribute-climate-change/#comment-20023 that one of those [old prejudices that we all retain], which is common to all people including myself, is that disaster is not just around the corner.

    Despite the “barrage of stories on disappearing species, uncontrollable pests, rising seas, floods, droughts, heat waves, fires, violent storms, scarce food/jobs/resources, and forecasts of millions of human deaths” you are convinced it is all “hysteria”.

    You think that we should not report the truth because it does not “serves any purpose apart from scaring people”?

  6. Maurizio Morabito Says:
    18 October 2006 at 2:38 AM RE: 44

    Alastair

    In truth our two points do not necessarily contradict one another. It can still be “truth” but reported as “hysteria”

    As for people not avoiding the wall until they get their nose flattened up against it, well, it would help if the likes of Al Gore were not out there disseminating contrails to tell us not to fly any longer…

    The medium is always part of the message, and for every Cassandra predicting it as it will be, there is a crying-wolf 8-)

  7. Alastair McDonald Says:
    18 October 2006 at 10:21 AM Re #46

    Well, perhaps I am a Cassandra. However, don’t forget that Cassandra was right but was cursed by the gods and so no-one believed her. (I know how that feels.) So Troy fell despite her warnings -( And don’t forget that in the story of The_Boy_Who_Cried_Wolf the villagers’ flocks were destroyed because the boy was having fun lying.

    Do you really think all these reports are lies, or when a respected diplomat such as Sir Crispin Tickell was Speaking Out on Climate Change to the AAAS, he was doing it for fun?

    The AAAS reported:
    “The business-as-usual way of dealing with the Earth’s system is not an option,” warned Sir Crispin Tickell, delivering the 2006 Robert C. Barnard Environmental Lecture to a full auditorium at AAAS in Washington, D.C. The director of the Policy Foresight Programme of the James Martin Institute at Oxford University first brought the problem of human-induced climate change to wide public attention nearly 30 years ago. Today, he states that global climate change poses a greater threat to society than terrorism and that vested interests in the United States are preventing a swift global response.

  8. Dan Says:
    18 October 2006 at 5:20 PM re: 46.
    “As for people not avoiding the wall until they get their nose flattened up against it, well, it would help if the likes of Al Gore were not out there disseminating contrails to tell us not to fly any longer…”

    Sounds like someone has taken in by right-wing political commentary against Gore speaking out about global warming. As Google or Yahoo! can show you, Gore’s effort to inform people about global warming is carbon neutral.

  9. Maurizio Morabito Says:
    18 October 2006 at 5:58 PM Re: 47

    Alastair: Hysteria is a way of communicating. It has nothing to do with truth or fakehood. One can be hysterical while saying the truth. In no way what I write should be read as affirming that any scientist in the Climate-Change-Will-Kill-Us camp is saying so “for fun”, or knowingly distorting the data

    They (you) see something and yell out your concerns. I see the same things but no reason (yet) to be concerned: and definitely no reason to cry wolf, even if as in the fairy tale the boy was “third time lucky” (in the sense that the third time, really there was a wolf)

    Re; 48

    Dan: Whatever Al Gore is doing to be carbon-neutral (and the amounts to offset do vary from website to website), it is not part of any article I have ever read about his movie

    Wonder if the great unwashed are supposed to be googling about the Man?

    ClimateCrisis clear states “Fly less”: the air-travel offset is supposed to be an alternative, if one really cannot fly less, not the main message. Has Mr Gore organized the launch of the movie in different countries so he would minimise the amount of miles, one wonders

    And most of all, why oh why could he not ram in the clear-and-present-danger of climate change by presenting the movie via internet conferencing?

    ————

    For other examples of “greenwash”, read UK commentator, environmentalist extraordinaire and Guardian editorialist George Monbiot, unless you believe he has been taken in by right-wing political commentary too (”Heat: how to stop the planet burning”: website: http://www.turnuptheheat.org/ )

  10. Dan Says:
    18 October 2006 at 8:19 PM re: 47.
    “…the great unwashed…”. That sort of ad hominem speaks volumes.

    Compare GHG emissions between planes and fossil-fuel fired power plants for context. Clearly, the attacks on Gore’s presentations are not scientifically motivated because the science speaks for itself through the scientific method and peer-reviewed studies in various journals. The attacks are politically motivated and often personal. They are subsequently fed to and regurgitated by those who look for things to throw out to laymen to obfuscate the scientific issues and belittle Gore.

  11. Maurizio Morabito Says:
    19 October 2006 at 3:02 AM Re: 50

    Dan

    Regarding regurgitations, please do read a comment before replying

    The “great unwashed” was about people like me

  12. Barton Paul Levenson Says:
    19 October 2006 at 8:06 AM Re #49 and “Dan: Whatever Al Gore is doing to be carbon-neutral (and the amounts to offset do vary from website to website), it is not part of any article I have ever read about his movie…Wonder if the great unwashed are supposed to be googling about the Man?…ClimateCrisis clear states “Fly less”: the air-travel offset is supposed to be an alternative, if one really cannot fly less, not the main message. Has Mr Gore organized the launch of the movie in different countries so he would minimise the amount of miles, one wonders…And most of all, why oh why could he not ram in the clear-and-present-danger of climate change by presenting the movie via internet conferencing?”

    I take it this poster would ignore a doctor’s advice to quit smoking if the doctor was a smoker himself. That’s a logical fallacy, buddy. Try talking about the issue instead of the people presenting the issue.

    -BPL

  13. Dan Says:
    19 October 2006 at 12:09 PM re: 51. “Wonder if the great unwashed are supposed to be googling about the Man?” and “The “great unwashed” was about people like me”.

    It certainly does not read that way.

  14. Maurizio Morabito Says:
    20 October 2006 at 6:09 PM RE: 52

    BPL: I didn’t say _we_ should not follow Gore’s advice because he’s more of a global warming “sinner” than most of us.

    I wrote that “it would help” if _he_ would follow his own advice

    I am sure “Gore pledges not to travel by air” would be headline news for days

    Re 53:

    Dan: Apologies for not having been clearer. You had suggested to google about Gore. My point was that most people reading all the commentaries about the movie should not “have to” google.

    Somehow the message about him being carbon neutral is not filtering through to the newspapers, the vast majority of whose articles I have read talk positively about Gore’s efforts

    And in any case the question remains: what’s so wrong with internet conferencing, nowadays? Especially in a circumstance where its usage would underly the message so effectively

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