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Post Climate Change: Political Will and Scientific Knowledge
Created by John Eipper on 07/05/19 5:50 AM

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Climate Change: Political Will and Scientific Knowledge (Tor Guimaraes, USA, 07/05/19 5:50 am)

This morning I wake up to John Eipper's hopeful comment on my last post outlining the critical threat of climate change.

John stated: "One glimmer of hope: we know what to do about climate change. All we need to do is act. Politics, not technological limitations, are getting in the way. Too optimistic...?" Then I noticed the news that the Trump administration fired several EPA scientists who have been reporting on climate change, after in the past restricting travel to conferences on related topics.

Yes John, you are being way too optimistic.

This problem is precisely the connection between the physical threats and the social political economic threats that I defined earlier. As a nation, we expect Jesus to save us from climate change destruction (some probably think it will finally bring him back). Some of us know what has to be done, but we have no power to do anything about it. We have to watch the plane crash in slow motion. Meanwhile the scientists get fired, and next the Authorities will cook the data and hire their own "scientists."

For lack of trust I could not vote for Hillary or Trump, but do admit to sympathizing in general with some of President Trump's ideas, even though in most cases I question his motives and the implementation approach. However, as far as climate change is concerned, his administration is a long-term careless world destroyer, just to gain short-term profits for his compadres. It is difficult for me to believe that climate change deniers are just greedy, stupid and ignorant; there must be some malice involved and I don't understand it. They are now willing to attack science itself to get their ungodly ways. That represents a new dark age for our nation.

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2019/jun/19/trump-epa-rolls-back-obama-rule-on-coal-fired-powe/

https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/topstories/agriculture-secretary-perdue-on-climate-crisis-it-rained-yesterday-its-a-nice-pretty-day-today/ar-AADognD

https://newrepublic.com/article/142547/epa-fired-bunch-scientists-its-just-political-theaterfor-now

JE comments:  Tor, could you tell us about the Trump ideas you sympathize with?  Do they have to do with trade?


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  • Malthus...and the Mice of Hommerts (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 07/06/19 3:13 AM)
    I appreciate the July 5th posts of Cameron Sawyer and Tor Guimaraes, but this time I have to choose and I have to side with Tor (and JE).

    On the climate change matter, we know what to do and we have to do it much faster, but we do not act.


    With Tor, however, I would like to add one point.  The present demographic explosion is a terrible danger. I believe that the optimal world population existed in 1941, with a total of 2.187 billion (Europe 531, Asia 1206, Africa 161, North America 185, South America 93 and Oceania 11).


    Of course with such human figures the world's pollution would not be a big deal, even with a powerful leader like Trump.


    On a second thought, good old Trump may be the "preventive and positive check" previewed by the theory propounded by Malthus in 1798.


    In fact Trump's actions/laws will considerably worsen the ecological conditions of the world, provoking unstoppable invasions which will be met with stronger and stronger reactions leading to millions of deaths and continuous destruction by natural and human events, by which the world population will decrease.


    But do not worry.  The process will start again as humanity will most probably be unable to understand and so on until the end when humanity finally decides to follow the example of the mice of Hommerts in the Netherlands. Enjoy.


    JE comments:  What do these mice know that we don't?


    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/mystery-suicidal-mice-jumping-deaths-17268822


    Hans Rosling does not see overpopulation as a major danger, but let's re-examine Eugenio Battaglia's position.  Can the world support its present 7.7 billion?  What about double that?  Something has to give, and it's probably going to be our planet.

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  • I (Mostly) Agree with Trump on Immigration, Trade (Tor Guimaraes, USA 07/06/19 2:53 PM)
    I thoroughly disagree with Cameron Sawyer's post of July 5th.  Cameron wrote, "we don't know how bad the [climate change] problem is--the extent to which positive feedback loops (thawing tundra emissions; increasing solar gain from darker colors of land freed from ice) will make it even worse, or the extent to which the opposite types of mechanisms will reduce the effects. It's hard to make policy with regard to this kind of question; it's hard to ask people to make sacrifices for goals which are so hard to measure (or which can't be measured)."

    This is complete nonsense if one listens to the scientific community. They have been warning us for years and we have followed Cameron's advice and did nothing. Now it might already be too late (because of the positive feedback loops Cameron alluded to) or we are quickly running out of time as our leaders continue to suffer from paralysis by greed, ignorance, and pure stupidity.


    I agree with Cameron that "technology plays a BIG role, because technological improvement is the source of that part of the solution which does not require sacrifice. A sacrifice which hits poorer people harder, than richer ones. The problem is not, realistically, going to be solved without a great deal of technological progress. So no, we don't know 'what to do' about climate change. Knowing that we need to do something, is not the same, as knowing exactly what it is, practically, that we need to do, or how much of that, we need to do, when."


    John Eipper is right, we already have much of the necessary technology. Unfortunately our leaders have much more greed, ignorance, and stupidity. It might be somewhat analogous to something Cameron knows a lot about, and saying that faced with Barbarossa, Stalin should have bid for time until they figured out how to measure the full strength of the German assault, more clearly assessed their intentions, morale, ability to face the Russian winter, and the cost to the Russian people. The results from climate change are very clear and getting worse: weather patterns have changed producing more drought and flooding, bigger storms, sea rising with many millions permanently dislocated from sea shores all over the world, tundra is melting, etc. Listen to the scientists, not to fake news. Last, sacrifices and disasters always hit poor people harder that the rich ones. Perhaps that is one reason why they invented progressive income tax systems and social programs?


    To answer JE's question about my sympathy for some of Trump's ideas, I believe that US borders must be respected according to the law. Unfortunately Trump might be spending billions to be a wall that probably won't work. Powerful interests crave the flow of cheap/vulnerable labor to increase profits. Regarding trade, I like Trump's hard-nose attitude, but so far the results are not positive overall. Tariffs usually hurt everybody except the protected industries. Regarding expenditures for war, I believe in a smart, lean and mean, and powerful military for self-defense only. Trump talked about reducing NATO expenditures which I consider a waste but he reneged on the Iran contract and hired Israeli agents to re-negotiate with Iran. Only God knows what he is thinking; this makes no sense to me. Finally, Trump's white supremacist talk, climate change denials, etc. seem like clear evidence for commitment to an insane asylum.


    JE comments:  Cameron Sawyer was not denying the reality of climate change, but one needs to ask:  does a "we don't know exactly what to do" attitude only serve to justify inaction?

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