Mod+ 234. GLOBAL WARMING, CLIMATE CHANGE AND OUR ILLUSION OF CONTROL

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by alex.tsakiris, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. Vortex

    Vortex Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    637
    Thanks for your reply, Laird.

    I fully agree with you on psychiatric patients. In fact, anti-psychiatry / post-psychiatry / critical psychiatry is one of my main areas of interest.

    With psychiatry, violence being employed by its institutionalised practitioners is the critical and defining issue. When, in my previous post, I have called censorship a form of violence, I have hesitated, doubting whether "violence" is too strong a word for describing it. Yet, I think, it is an appropriate to call it so, as long as one understands that the violence has many degrees and forms. And, while all of them is certainly not good, it would be a big mistake, both intellectually and morally, to simply lump them together undiscriminatively and portray them as equally evil. Badness of violence may differ from relatively moderate to the artociously severe. Trying to prevent people's access to the "fringe" positions in physical (e.g., not mental) medicine is wrong, and it should be called so, yet the common practice of coercive psychiatry is much, much worse. It is based on a literal, direct, brutal, physical violence towards people. And the aim of this violence is worse than physical - it is a cruel breaking of a person's mentality and personhood, accompanied by the procedures that damage person's brain, oftentimes irreversibly.

    And, in the case of the mainstream psychiatry, there are very strong reasons to validly criticise and reasonably doubt its intellectual underpinnings as well. The justification of the violence employed by psychiatrists is shaky and shady, being more an ideological mixture of political control, economic convenience and social segregation than a science in a strict sense. This I can state quite positively.
     
    Laird likes this.
  2. Vortex

    Vortex Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    637
    On global warming, I will reply later - have no time right now. I want just to make a quick remark that I fully agree with David Eire that on global impact environmental issues, decisions are indeed has to made collectively; when I wrote about individual decisions, I meant medical (and mental) ones. More about that later...
     
    David Eire likes this.
  3. David Eire

    David Eire New

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    338
    Thanks for clarifying Vortex
     
  4. One of the arguments used to argue that global warming is caused by humans is that the rate of change is happening faster than can be explained by natural causes.

    An episode of Nova about the cause of the extinction of large North American mammals 12,900 years ago tells of a two year period where the temperature fell 18 degrees Fahrenheit.

    The Nova documentary explains that this episode might have been caused by a comet impact. However:
    28:18:



    Measuring oxygen isotopes in ice cores provides information on the temperature of the climate at the time the ice was formed.

    iceage.GIF
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  5. David Eire

    David Eire New

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    338
    It is unquestionably true that mean temperatures on Earth have fluctuated over geological time; sometimes catastrophically for some environments and life forms.
    Likewise the biology of life has also changed over geological time; and also catastrophically for some environments and life forms.

    In all cases where there were catastrophic environmental changes on Earth there were causes for those changes.
    But those causes have not been uniform; they have been many and complex.

    The Earth's first mass extinction event may have been the emergence of oxygen producing and using life forms;
    which was an environmental catastrophe for the dominant anaerobic life forms at that time.
    In the case of the oxygenation crisis and mass extinction it was the life processes and life activity of newly emerging species which caused the event.
    Their life processes and activity altered the chemical composition of the atmosphere.

    In other words the activity of life forms on Earth can have planetwide environmental impacts and this can be shown to have happened in the deep past.
    In fact the Earth's atmosphere today is in its composition the product of life on Earth.

    So what is my point?
    Showing that there have been changes in the past prior to human dominance does not show or prove that human activity today is not impacting the planet.
    On the contrary it can be shown that the life processes and activity of life forms do have environmental impacts.
    And therefore it is not unreasonable to suggest that human life processes and activity can have environmental impacts.
    And as a planetary species whose life processes and activities are now operating at an exponential industrial level it is inevitable we are impacting the environment.

    Just as we have to take into account how we live in our personal lives and homes; and how we deal with the products of our life processes and activity (eg waste)
    likewise as a species we must take into account how we live on our planetary home; and how we deal with the products of our life processes and activity.

    In my opinion the environmental crisis, or biospheric crisis, is the defining issue of the 21st century
    The transition to a sustainable and fully integrated planetary civilisation is our primary task in this century
     
    Vortex likes this.
  6. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    4,455
    Well the rise in temperature since 1880 (the accepted zero point for these measurements is 0.8 C.

    Think of all the things already blamed on that tiny rise of temperature - does that really make sense? Here is a Nobel phsicist who has stuck his neck out to tell the truth:

    https://www.mediatheque.lindau-nobe...ver-global-warming-revisited/laureate-giaever

    What is the real defining environmental issue for the 21st century? I guess my list would be:

    1) The danger of nuclear war.

    2) Runaway population increase.

    3) Possible pollution from plastics and other unnatural things (CO2 is a natural - indeed vital - plant food.

    David
     
  7. David Eire

    David Eire New

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    338
    Hi David
    Personally I am not at all concerned with the temperature debate because it is such a mess and is only one aspect of the real issue.
    The real issue is biospheric poisoning, and CO2 if it is an issue at all would only be part of that broader issue.
    The points that you list 1 - 3 would all be part of my concerns about the broader biospheric crisis our globalising industrial civilisation is generating.
     
    Vortex likes this.
  8. David Eire

    David Eire New

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    338
    Small point David, but worthy of consideration...
    Just as CO2 is a vital plant food, likewise oxygen is a vital animal food. But oxygen can become toxic if there is too much of it.
    The problems arising from an excess of oxygen in the atmosphere are many; not just biotoxicity to animals, but also ecotoxicity, for example wildfires.

    The issue with CO2 is not the chemical itself but rather the relative quantity in the atmosphere.

    Life on Earth as we know it today is reliant on a specific homeostatic balance in the chemical composition of the atmosphere; within a range of tolerance. That balance is maintained in part by the living processes of the biosphere. Biospheric poisoning in my thinking means that balance being altered significantly to a sufficient degree that life as we know it might no longer be sustainable.

    Life itself would probably survive and adapt to the new conditions; new life forms would emerge; but we might not survive.

    I made this point to a German engineer once and he replied that people have lived on the moon for a time and there are no trees on the moon.
    I asked him, so will we all go around in space suits?
     
    Vortex likes this.
  9. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    4,455
    If the real issue is biospheric poisoning with CO2, then why is the 'problem' framed in terms of global warming - even if it is called 'climate change', the only mechanism for that change that is discussed is the supposed greenhouse effect!

    I am not averse to arguments about pollution in general, but in the case of CO2, I just think the argument is spectacularly weak. I take your point that just because something is vital, doesn't mean you can't get too much of it - the best example is water - if you drink enough water over a short period of time, your blood gets too diluted, and water osmoses into the brain, and the pressure can kill.

    However, CO2 levels have varied over geological time, and I have even seen arguments that the current rise in CO2 is not man-made - that our addition isn't enough to cause the observed rise in CO2.

    The only other feature of atmospheric CO2 that gets talked about is ocean acidification. This doesn't seem to be a problem because the ocean is well buffered. People shreik about coral bleaching due to this effect or global warming, and yet there are examples of corals growing in volcanic zones with neat CO2 bubling through them!

    I think this absurd 'danger' has been used for politics, and to distract people from real issues. I mean nuclear weapons just have to count as a the largest danger to humans and the biosphere. Also loss of habitat is very real and doesn't need a dubious scientific argument to justify it. There may also be real pollution issues - most certainly in Third World countries that now make so much of our goods (parly because we have made our electricity expensive to avoid climate change!) .

    I am somewhat wary of this topic (which is not really central to Skeptiko), because I fear some people join and flood the forum with this one topic - as they have in the past. However, I had an interesting discussion with someone else on here by PM, and I will add you to that conversation if you like.

    David
     
    David Eire likes this.
  10. David Eire

    David Eire New

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    338
    I'm wary of the topic too. I'm not at all an expert on it; and I dont want to argue for either side in the mainstream debate.
    So I dont know what I could contribute to the discussion you mention.
    But if you like to add me I will have a look and see have I anything worth adding.

    I'm not interested in the mainstream debate about CO2, global warming and climate change.
    My opinion of that debate is not positive of either side.
    I think it is a deeply corrupted and agenda ridden debate; and at its worst, irrational hysteria on both sides.

    Carbon taxes and the trading and derivatives speculation involved is in my opinion an invention of the big banks in Wall Street and the City.
    It has zero to do with the real issues underlying any legitimate concerns about the environment.
    It's about private profit and control; what Obama used to refer to as a 'market solution'.

    Carbon taxes are the first step towards the breathing tax.
    We already know the corporate elites want to privatize the world's water supplies; so why not privatize the atmosphere.
    Then the free market will end climate change and guarantee the highest breathing services to customers!

    Like with CO2 and oxygen, acidity levels in the ocean have homeostatic tolerance levels for current life forms.
    Our globalised industrial civilisation may be able to impact the oceans sufficiently to push them beyond their tolerance levels in multiple factors; not just acidity.
    That's what I mean by biospheric poisoning; disrupting biospheric homeostasis.
    The oceans are large; not infinite.

    I think our globalised industrial civilisation is reaching a scale of productivity that we must take cognizance of the consequences for our home - the Earth and Her living systems.
    Just like we take cognizance of the consequences of how we live for our personal homes and our local communities.
    We can no longer treat the biosphere as an infinite sump.
     
    Vortex likes this.
  11. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    4,455
    David, OK you are invited. Hopefully you will read the discussion so far, and then take it from there.

    David
     
  12. Vortex

    Vortex Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    637
    David, do you mean some private discussion concerning global warming / ecology? If yes, may I participate as well?
     
  13. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    4,455
    Just about global warming/climate change - yes I'll add you in.

    David
     
  14. Vortex

    Vortex Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    637
    Thanks David!
     

Share This Page