hot enough for ya?

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Sangoma
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Re: hot enough for ya?

Post by Sangoma » Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:12 am

I know, it's longer than 2 minutes. Worthwhile listening to though.

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Re: hot enough for ya?

Post by nafod » Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:10 pm

This makes big sense to me...

https://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/climateletter.pdf
THE POLICY DEBATE with respect to anthropogenic climate-change typically revolves around the accuracy of models. Those who contend that models make accurate predictions argue for specific policies to stem the foreseen damaging effects; those who doubt their accuracy cite a lack of reliable evidence of harm to warrant policy action.

These two alternatives are not exhaustive. One can sidestep the "skepticism" of those who question existing climate-models, by framing risk in the most straight-forward possible terms, at the global scale. That is, we should ask "what would the correct policy be if we had no reliable models?"

We have only one planet. This fact radically constrains the kinds of risks that are appropriate to take at a large scale. Even a risk with a very low probability becomes unacceptable when it affects all of us – there is no reversing mistakes of that magnitude.

Without any precise models, we can still reason that polluting or altering our environment significantly could put us in uncharted territory, with no statistical track-record and potentially large consequences. It is at the core of both scientific decision making and ancestral wisdom to take seriously absence of evidence when the consequences of an action can be large. And it is standard textbook decision theory that a policy should depend at least as much on uncertainty concerning the adverse consequences as it does on the known effects.

Further, it has been shown that in any system fraught with opacity, harm is in the dose rather than in the nature of the offending substance: it increases non-linearly to the quantities at stake. Everything fragile has such property. While some amount of pollution is inevitable, high quantities of any pollutant put us at a rapidly increasing risk of destabilizing the climate, a system that is integral to the biosphere. Ergo, we should build down CO2 emissions, even regardless of what climate-models tell us.

This leads to the following asymmetry in climate policy. The scale of the effect must be demonstrated to be large enough to have impact. Once this is shown, and it has been, the burden of proof of absence of harm is on those who would deny it.

It is the degree of opacity and uncertainty in a system, as well as asymmetry in effect, rather than specific model predictions, that should drive the precautionary measures. Push a complex system too far and it will not comeback. The popular belief that uncertainty undermines the case for taking seriously the ’climate crisis’ that scientists tell us we face is the opposite of the truth. Properly understood, as driving the case for precaution, uncertainty radically underscores that case, and may even constitute it.
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Re: hot enough for ya?

Post by Turdacious » Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:15 pm

Sangoma wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 5:12 am
I know, it's longer than 2 minutes. Worthwhile listening to though.

I made it 30 seconds-- like getting an epidural from the neck up.
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Re: hot enough for ya?

Post by Sangoma » Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:03 pm

One of the examples of misdirection of action is demonstrated by the current fires in Australia. It's really bad this year, and most of the days air in Sydney smells like smoke. And so climate activists are screaming for the government taking action to prevent climate catastrophes. Michael Mann was in the Blue Mountains and wrote an article, along the lines "well, that's what I am talking about, Australians".

At the same time farmers are angry at the government for stupid regulations. For example, you cannot clear the space (cut the trees) around your property to reduce fire hazard - it destroys forests. Several years ago one guy disobeyed and did it. His house was the only one that survived major fire. Guess what, he was fined $5000 for the illegal land clearing.

So here is the choice between two sets of measures. One - introduce carbon tax, do something to reduce CO2 emissions etc. Two - allow people to clear the land, cut the forest along the highways (so that people can escape in case of fire), maybe introduce trees other than Eucalyptus (that burns like petrol). Figure out the way to collect water by meant other than rain. Which one do you think a farmer would choose?
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Re: hot enough for ya?

Post by Fat Cat » Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:17 pm

Since you're there, I've been meaning to ask you. Setting aside the claimed climate change component, what is the reason that fires have gotten so bad in Australia? I mean, in California for example, there may be a climate component but the main reason was that forestry practices prevented the type of natural fires that would have occurred in prehistoric times and so fuel builds up and ultimately results in a far more devastating fire. What is going on down there?
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Re: hot enough for ya?

Post by nafod » Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:28 pm

The short answer is record-breaking temperatures, extended drought, and strong winds. There’s the same fuel load this year as for the last bunch of years.
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Re: hot enough for ya?

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:36 am

nafod wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:28 pm
The short answer is record-breaking temperatures, extended drought, and strong winds. There’s the same fuel load this year as for the last bunch of years.
Ya but it was really bad last year too. It seems like its continued to get back for maybe the last 8-10 years? Am I wrong?
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Re: hot enough for ya?

Post by nafod » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:54 am

2019 is a record-setter, unfortunately.
Data released on Thursday as part of the bureau’s annual climate statement suggests that, independent of arguments about hazard reduction and arson, most of Australia was more prone to fire in December than in any month since 1950, when records began. This was particularly the case in the worst fire-affected areas: eastern NSW, east Gippsland, southern South Australia and southern Queensland.

Australia’s six hottest days on record were all in December 2019. The average maximum temperature across the continent was above 40C on 11 days in the month, smashing the previous annual record of seven, set in 2018. Only four days between 1910 and 2017 averaged more than 40C - two in 1972 and two in 2013.
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Re: hot enough for ya?

Post by Sangoma » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:22 am

Australia is a large red hot continent. Mostly unpopulated. Severe fires occur on regular basis. Forests burn, the grow back, then become very dense. The combination of dry heat and eucalyptus that burns like a petrol soaked torch is very conducive for starting a fire. Once it starts it is very difficult to put out: the areas are remote, very spread out and resources are limited.

On top of that some peculiar government regulations regarding trees. You are responsible for the tree on your property, but you cannot cut it down without the permission of the local Council.

In terms of the relevance of record temperatures for the latest fires, I am sure there is some contribution, but how much difference does 2 degrees Celsius make? Average high temperature in Australia for 1961-1990 was 28.6 C. Previous record high was in 2013 - 1.59 degrees higher and 2.09 degree C higher in 2019. No devastating fires of the magnitude in 2013 we are seeing now.

I also have a problem with the validity and usefulness of the "average temperature in Australia". What the fuck, seriously? Does it make sense if I say that the average temperature in USA today was 80 F? You reckon there could be some difference between Texas, Hawaii and Alaska?
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