Have we reached a tipping point?

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,728
South Puget Sound, WA
So I think "planetary scale impact" is exactly the motivator that will set loose the "leap in technology" needed for us to survive.

Now whether we all have the same idea or definition about human survival,... that would be an interesting discussion.
True that in the context that for some, the leap is to Mars.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CaptSpiff

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,228
Southeast CT
What would be great would be if the new tech could be made here and once again have things made in the US.
 
  • Like
Reactions: semipro

vinny11950

Minister of Fire
May 17, 2010
1,660
Eastern Long Island, NY
David Roberts has a good article on Shifting Baseline Syndrome. Basically, humans will get used to climate change because that is how we are wired. We forget what we had individually and generationally. This bodes ill for dealing with global warming because it implies we will just keep accepting hotter temperatures until it is too late.

"So what are shifting baselines? Consider a species of fish that is fished to extinction in a region over, say, 100 years. A given generation of fishers becomes conscious of the fish at a particular level of abundance. When those fishers retire, the level is lower. To the generation that enters after them, that diminished level is the new normal, the new baseline. They rarely know the baseline used by the previous generation; it holds little emotional salience relative to their personal experience."

"And so it goes, each new generation shifting the baseline downward. By the end, the fishers are operating in a radically degraded ecosystem, but it does not seem that way to them, because their baselines were set at an already low level."

"Over time, the fish goes extinct — an enormous, tragic loss — but no fisher experiences the full transition from abundance to desolation. No generation experiences the totality of the loss. It is doled out in portions, over time, no portion quite large enough to spur preventative action. By the time the fish go extinct, the fishers barely notice, because they no longer valued the fish anyway."


 

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,228
Southeast CT
David Roberts has a good article on Shifting Baseline Syndrome. Basically, humans will get used to climate change because that is how we are wired. We forget what we had individually and generationally. This bodes ill for dealing with global warming because it implies we will just keep accepting hotter temperatures until it is too late.

"So what are shifting baselines? Consider a species of fish that is fished to extinction in a region over, say, 100 years. A given generation of fishers becomes conscious of the fish at a particular level of abundance. When those fishers retire, the level is lower. To the generation that enters after them, that diminished level is the new normal, the new baseline. They rarely know the baseline used by the previous generation; it holds little emotional salience relative to their personal experience."

"And so it goes, each new generation shifting the baseline downward. By the end, the fishers are operating in a radically degraded ecosystem, but it does not seem that way to them, because their baselines were set at an already low level."

"Over time, the fish goes extinct — an enormous, tragic loss — but no fisher experiences the full transition from abundance to desolation. No generation experiences the totality of the loss. It is doled out in portions, over time, no portion quite large enough to spur preventative action. By the time the fish go extinct, the fishers barely notice, because they no longer valued the fish anyway."


Wow I hadn’t even thought of this concept but it makes sense.
IMO, it is crucial to elect officials with a track record of respecting science and conveying that to citizens. There have always been “deniers” but in this age of the Internet, there is no shortage of climate change naysayers out there who have a rather big platform. I’ve had the experience of people I know and respect very much forward me videos that supposedly debunk climate change outright. If you follow the money, there’s always been money in fossil fuels.
Any product that’s been found to be harmful has always been claimed to be safe by the business pushing it. Seriously, try to think of a product in which that was not the case. Why would anyone even consider being an unpaid spokesperson for the fossil fuel industry?
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,226
Downeast Maine
I am hopeful that the current rate of change is so drastic that humans will have no choice but notice. On the flip side I'm also pretty sure there's nothing that humans can do to rectify the current situation. Seems like Covid and natural disasters will do that for us. Also, the "It's too late to fix it, so keep on doing the same thing" feedback loop certainly isn't helping things.
 
  • Like
Reactions: vinny11950

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,728
South Puget Sound, WA
David Roberts has a good article on Shifting Baseline Syndrome. Basically, humans will get used to climate change because that is how we are wired. We forget what we had individually and generationally. This bodes ill for dealing with global warming because it implies we will just keep accepting hotter temperatures until it is too late.

"So what are shifting baselines? Consider a species of fish that is fished to extinction in a region over, say, 100 years. A given generation of fishers becomes conscious of the fish at a particular level of abundance. When those fishers retire, the level is lower. To the generation that enters after them, that diminished level is the new normal, the new baseline. They rarely know the baseline used by the previous generation; it holds little emotional salience relative to their personal experience."

"And so it goes, each new generation shifting the baseline downward. By the end, the fishers are operating in a radically degraded ecosystem, but it does not seem that way to them, because their baselines were set at an already low level."

"Over time, the fish goes extinct — an enormous, tragic loss — but no fisher experiences the full transition from abundance to desolation. No generation experiences the totality of the loss. It is doled out in portions, over time, no portion quite large enough to spur preventative action. By the time the fish go extinct, the fishers barely notice, because they no longer valued the fish anyway."


We see this in Puget Sound. Over the weekend I was hearing from a friend about the incredible number of whales that were normally seen in Puget Sound. They have a neighbor, now in her 90s that walked the beach every day at low tide. She said you would see their black backs every day and lots of them. Now, it has become a rare occurrence, especially in summer. An even more dramatic change is at one of our local harbors. There used to be thousands of grebes overwintering there in the 1980s. Now there is just a handful. Lewis and Clark quipped that the salmon were so thick in the Snake and Columbia rivers, that you could cross walking on their backs. Now we are lucky to see a few thousand in recent seasons. That is from ~130,000 steelhead alone in the Snake during the 1950s.
 
  • Like
Reactions: vinny11950

vinny11950

Minister of Fire
May 17, 2010
1,660
Eastern Long Island, NY
We haven't had a really cold winter in about 6 years. Sure there are a few days that drop into the teens or single digits but that's about it. 10 years ago, I remember having weeks of freezing and subfreezing temps.

But like the article says, we forget and adjust. Our brains are not wired to be shocked all the time because it is exhausting. So we get used to it and go on. Look at Australia right now. After having all those horrible fires earlier this year, they still have a government that does not care about climate change.

We keep hoping that if we just get through this rough patch of bad weather, if we just get through this virus, we can go back to the way things were before. But that place probably does not exist anymore.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,728
South Puget Sound, WA
Record temps, diseases, superstorms, drought, mega-wildfires are all creeping up in regularity and still ignored. Heck, people are already starting to get used to and ignoring Covid-19 protocols. Unless these issues start knocking on our doors we tend to ignore them and move on. This country and others are not good with long term planning and prevention anymore. Everything is done in crisis management mode, and often poorly at that. This does not seem to bode well for creating technology solutions or leaders in addressing climate change.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ctwoodtick

Billy123

Member
Mar 5, 2011
91
PA
Last ice age, about 10,000 years ago. What warmed the earth up as to melt all that ice?

1594339738941.png
 
  • Like
Reactions: andym

andym

Member
Feb 6, 2020
152
Hicksville, Ohio
Last ice age, about 10,000 years ago. What warmed the earth up as to melt all that ice?

View attachment 261522
The dinosaurs had the thermostat set too high? These kinds of questions are never mentioned by scientists. As I brought up earlier, if mammoths are found frozen in the ice that sorta indicates a period of very rapid cooling not? Most numbers I've seen on climate change are small and are based primarily on the past couple hundred years data. That is not a very large control sample. No one was here 10,000 years ago to tell us what happened.
'Scientific' study is only as reliable as it is honest. I feel that too much science today begins with some pretty major and debatable assumptions.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,728
South Puget Sound, WA
Last ice age, about 10,000 years ago. What warmed the earth up as to melt all that ice?

View attachment 261522
The question is more like, what cooled the earth so much that the ice ages happened? They are the anomaly examined and explained eventually as the Milankovitch cycles. Human industrial activity has thrown a monkey wrench into these cycles, but maybe in another 90,000 yrs there will be a cooling cycle.
 
Last edited:

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,728
South Puget Sound, WA
Meanwhile...
 

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,228
Southeast CT
I think the fossil fuel industry has done a terrific job of convincing people that their product has little negative impact. This just gets further promoted by online info sources that have a stake in the game. Meanwhile, the scientific community has been sending a consistent message for a decades. Human use of fossil fuels is causing increased temps which throws off the climate that life on the planet has adapted to.
Let’s talk conspiracy theories- What is more likely to be true? The majority of the science community collectively lying or Big Oil lying? This should be an easy one.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Prof

andym

Member
Feb 6, 2020
152
Hicksville, Ohio
I think the fossil fuel industry has done a terrific job of convincing people that their product has little negative impact. This just gets further promoted by online info sources that have a stake in the game. Meanwhile, the scientific community has been sending a consistent message for a decades. Human use of fossil fuels is causing increased temps which throws off the climate that life on the planet has adapted to.
Let’s talk conspiracy theories- What is more likely to be true? The majority of the science community collectively lying or Big Oil lying? This should be an easy one.
You assume it is impossible for the scientific community to lie? No one group of people is above lying to promote their cause. (Republicans, Democrats, and sadly even preachers have all been found guilty at times.) If you want to consider all angles then visit Answers in Genesis website. Either the evolution scientists are lying or the creationists. They can't both be correct.
A bit off subject perhaps, but when scientists start talking about tens and hundreds of millenia they are now talking about things that cannot and have not been observed. That is no longer pure science, but theory. Some theories are correct. Many are not.
 

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,228
Southeast CT
You assume it is impossible for the scientific community to lie? No one group of people is above lying to promote their cause. (Republicans, Democrats, and sadly even preachers have all been found guilty at times.) If you want to consider all angles then visit Answers in Genesis website. Either the evolution scientists are lying or the creationists. They can't both be correct.
A bit off subject perhaps, but when scientists start talking about tens and hundreds of millenia they are now talking about things that cannot and have not been observed. That is no longer pure science, but theory. Some theories are correct. Many are not.
Nope, I believe it’s entirely possible that anyone can lie.
I do, however, suspect much greater chance of lying on the side of this with the biggest profit motive.
I also reject the idea that science can’t “observe” the past. Info gained from ice cores ( even tree rings) often gives experts in the field a very good amoubt of information to work with to understand the past. To state that we cannot observe conditions on earth from the past ( even very long ago) that give us a baseline to work from is patently false.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: SpaceBus

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,816
SW Virginia
...when scientists start talking about tens and hundreds of millenia they are now talking about things that cannot and have not been observed.
Every time we look to the stars we're "observing" the past. The absence of real-time observation doesn't make it any less scientifically valid.
Similarly carbon 14 dating, the fossil record, genetic sequencing ancestry, etc.
 

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,816
SW Virginia
You assume it is impossible for the scientific community to lie? No one group of people is above lying to promote their cause. (Republicans, Democrats, and sadly even preachers have all been found guilty at times.)
IMO scientists collectively "lie" only out of ignorance (e.g. the sun orbits around the earth), whereas most others deceive in willful collusion (e.g. tobacco is not a health risk). Individual scientists have no doubt steered their findings to appease a sponsor but there's not enough research funding out there to bias all climate scientists, so siding with the overwhelming majority against those with obvious self-serving motivations seems the most sensible course to me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SpaceBus

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,816
SW Virginia
As I brought up earlier, if mammoths are found frozen in the ice that sorta indicates a period of very rapid cooling not?
Human bodies are found in the snow/ice on mountains like Everest and in other cold regions all the time. It has nothing to do with rapid climate change. They fell, they died, and were covered with snow which gradually compresses into ice and protects them from scavengers. Even if they died due to a winter event that's "weather" not "climate".
The reason mammoths were wooly in the first place was because it was cold. Where other than ice would you expect to find their remains?
 
  • Like
Reactions: SpaceBus

gggvan

Member
Dec 6, 2012
17
Human bodies are found in the snow/ice on mountains like Everest and in other cold regions all the time. It has nothing to do with rapid climate change. They fell, they died, and were covered with snow which gradually compresses into ice and protects them from scavengers. Even if they died due to a winter event that's "weather" not "climate".
The reason mammoths were wooly in the first place was because it was cold. Where other than ice would you expect to find their remains?
Our moon is unusually big, it partly the reason why were here. Since its began orbit around the earth it has caused variations in tilt, just a small difference can cause whole areas of the earth to freeze.
 

andym

Member
Feb 6, 2020
152
Hicksville, Ohio
Similarly carbon 14 dating, the fossil record.....
I challenge that statement. C-14 is not anywhere close to as accurate as many people would want you to think. Results are biased heavily according to how old the scientists ALREADY believe the rocks to be. Blind tests almost always show thing to be much much younger. I encourage you to visit the website I mentioned and look up carbon 14 dating.
The fossil record is a similar case. The neat orderly layers shown in text books are not found anywhere on earth. Sometimes a couple layers may be found in the expected order. Just as often they are found with 'young' layers on top of 'old' ones. Better still are the many fossils that are found embedded in several layers. These layers are supposed to represent millions of years, yet repeatedly these fossils are found. There are many such 'anomalies' found that give solid evidence for rapidly formed geological layers.

By the way...scientists have lost their jobs for honestly reporting and promoting these types of findings. Similar to teachers getting fired for 'being straight'. I've got nothing against anyone here, only tryin to present the other viewpoint. And I'm definitely not as smart as others here.
What if, what if....the scientists you mention are as dishonest as you accuse Big Oil of being? Something to think about?
 

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,228
Southeast CT
It’s a reasonable question to ask- what if scientists are as dishonest as Big Oil? No doubt there is some degree of dishonesty among some scientists. No clear headed person would suggest this is an all or nothing thing. However, if posing that hypothetical question, (which presents itself as very unlikely,) causes inaction in regard to looking more seriously into ways that people can reduce their carbon footprint, I believe that is a problem.
I don’t think its about people being any “smarter”. I am no expert on these topics. What I do see though is reason to believe some problems are on the way and I do not believe the fossil fuel industry that all is well.
 
Last edited:

Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,228
Southeast CT
I challenge that statement. C-14 is not anywhere close to as accurate as many people would want you to think. Results are biased heavily according to how old the scientists ALREADY believe the rocks to be. Blind tests almost always show thing to be much much younger. I encourage you to visit the website I mentioned and look up carbon 14 dating.
The fossil record is a similar case. The neat orderly layers shown in text books are not found anywhere on earth. Sometimes a couple layers may be found in the expected order. Just as often they are found with 'young' layers on top of 'old' ones. Better still are the many fossils that are found embedded in several layers. These layers are supposed to represent millions of years, yet repeatedly these fossils are found. There are many such 'anomalies' found that give solid evidence for rapidly formed geological layers.

By the way...scientists have lost their jobs for honestly reporting and promoting these types of findings. Similar to teachers getting fired for 'being straight'. I've got nothing against anyone here, only tryin to present the other viewpoint. And I'm definitely not as smart as others here.
What if, what if....the scientists you mention are as dishonest as you accuse Big Oil of being? Something to think about?
Can you tell me the carbon dating website you’re referring to? I didn’t see it above. Thanks.