Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by Dopefish on Saturday March 15 2014, @07:24AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the who-cares-about-future-generations dept.

Papas Fritas writes "Megan Gannon reports on Live Science that, according to a new poll, although most Americans believe the effects from global warming will take hold during their lifetime, they don't expect these changes to pose a serious threat to their way of life. A Gallup survey found that 54 percent of Americans believe global warming is already impacting the planet; another three percent think these effects will occur in a few years and eight percent think these effects will occur in their lifetime.

Meanwhile, 16 percent think global warming's effects will happen sometime after they die, and 18 percent don't expect these effects to ever take hold. But the way the public perceives the reality of global warming seems to be somewhat disconnected from how they perceive the threat of a warming world. Just 36 percent of people in the United States think global warming will eventually disrupt their way of life, they survey found.

Age also affected how people saw the effects of a changing climate. Among Americans ages 18 to 29, Gallup found that 78 percent thought the effects of global warming were already occurring or would occur during their lifetime. Just 47 percent of seniors (those 65 and over) said the same. Gallup officials say their poll's results could explain why Americans don't politically prioritize environmental issues; instead, their top concerns are issues that will affect them immediately, like the economy and health care.

"Whatever the reasons, those who argue climate change is the top problem of our age are no doubt aghast that even now, in 2014, Americans are not more worried or concerned than they are. A lot of the efforts to raise concern levels and awareness to date have obviously not worked well. It may be that new tactics are needed. So far, however, even if it is a case of whistling past the graveyard, Americans are clearly more focused on other issues.""

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by bradley13 on Saturday March 15 2014, @07:32AM

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 15 2014, @07:32AM (#16778) Homepage Journal

    The thing is: there has been lots of political and funding-driven hysteria and very little reasoned discourse. Just two points that really ought to be discussed, and yet are regularly shouted down:

    - Historically, the times a flourishing civilization have been warm periods in the climate. Maybe warmer is actually better.

    - All of the climate models that predict catastrophic warming (as opposed to incremental warming) rely on positive feedback cycles. If CO2 led to positive feedback, our planet would have become Venus in earlier ages when CO2 values were immensely higher than today. Didn't happen = no positive feedback.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Lagg on Saturday March 15 2014, @08:14AM

      by Lagg (105) on Saturday March 15 2014, @08:14AM (#16781) Homepage Journal
      Indeed, as is common I'm never around or awake when my points are available in that short window so will instead post. This is something not given enough attention, people are preaching either side of global warming as if it were passages from a bible instead of taking a scientific approach to it and using their critical thinking. There's no black and white in how the ecosystem works yet people insist on trying to pander to the lowest common denominator in order to spread their hysteria (sound familiar? Now that I type this I can see why another comment drew parallels with religion). Eventually, once more stupid exaggerated claims on either side of the "debate" are created and another side shoots it down enough times. People are going to get tired of it and begin thinking it's hot air.
      --
      http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
    • (Score: 0) by FuckBeta on Saturday March 15 2014, @08:51AM

      by FuckBeta (1504) on Saturday March 15 2014, @08:51AM (#16783) Homepage

      Good points. I'll add to that, 30 years ago the prevailing "concern" was about global cooling.

      --
      Quit Slashdot...because Fuck Beta!
      • (Score: 5, Informative) by Open4D on Saturday March 15 2014, @09:14AM

        by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 15 2014, @09:14AM (#16787) Journal

        30 years ago the prevailing "concern" was about global cooling.

        Rebuttals of that line of argument are here:
        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008 /03/the-global-cooling-mole/ [realclimate.org]
        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006 /10/global-cooling-again/ [realclimate.org]
        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005 /01/the-global-cooling-myth/ [realclimate.org]

         
        My attempt at summarizing them would be: back in the 1970s, the science was less advanced, and there was nothing like the confident consensus we have today. True there was some concern about the possibility of global cooling, but still actually more concern about the possibility global of warming.

        • (Score: 1) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday March 15 2014, @11:01AM

          Problem is, confident consensus isn't actually proof. Not really that long ago, there was confident consensus that light was transferred through a medium called luminiferous ether. Shit-canned works quite well as a term for what happened to that hypothesis as very well may end up happening with Scary Climate Change.

          Another aspect of the problem is, many in the U.S. really just don't care if the coasts end up under a few feet of waves. Anyone not living on them gets routinely mocked and otherwise shit on by those that do, so fuck em.
          --
          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
          • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Open4D on Saturday March 15 2014, @11:39AM

            by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 15 2014, @11:39AM (#16807) Journal

            Problem is, confident consensus isn't actually proof. Not really that long ago, there was confident consensus that light was transferred through a medium called luminiferous ether.

            FWIW, Wikipedia says [wikipedia.org] "luminiferous aether ... was the postulated medium for the propagation of light". Would the people who espoused that view have been willing to come together and describe their postulations as being "extremely likely"? Did it have the same level of interdisciplinary and international scrutiny as the theory of climate change?

            Contrast with the IPCC's recent report [climatechange2013.org]: "It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century."

             
            Of course, ultimately you are right. We are just lowly Soylentils, and can never know for sure. But realistically we have to accept the consensus. Anything else is betting against the odds.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday March 15 2014, @12:00PM

              Of course, ultimately you are right. We are just lowly Soylentils, and can never know for sure. But realistically we have to accept the consensus. Anything else is betting against the odds.

              Can't, the scientific method prevents me. Right now what they have is not a theory, it's a hypothesis that they've tested using only computer simulations (Going by computer simulations, I'm a god with a sniper rifle. Turns out this is not in fact the case.).

              When they can reliably make predictions that are borne out by actual data, I'm willing to listen.

              --
              My rights don't end where your fear begins.
              • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Open4D on Saturday March 15 2014, @12:22PM

                by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 15 2014, @12:22PM (#16819) Journal

                When they can reliably make predictions that are borne out by actual data, I'm willing to listen.

                They have made predictions for what will happen to our planet if we keep emitting 29 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per year. This is one science experiment I very much hope we don't proceed with.

                • (Score: 5, Funny) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday March 15 2014, @01:09PM

                  It's a necessary one though, so this doesn't have to happen again. Right now we have all the certainty of a Christianity vs. Islam debate, with just as many facts and even less civility. If we were to stop producing carbon on this level without any proof, it could all very well happen again in another hundred years or so. Once it's a tested theory though, deniers will be few and in the same category of brilliance as people who think the moon landing was a hoax.
                  --
                  My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Cold Fjord on Saturday March 15 2014, @05:41PM

                    by Cold Fjord (129) on Saturday March 15 2014, @05:41PM (#16883)

                    all the certainty of a Christianity vs. Islam debate, with just as many facts and even less civility

                    Which debate caused an airplane to be flown into a building? Figure that out, then tell me which debate is less civil.

                    • (Score: 3, Informative) by sumdumass on Saturday March 15 2014, @07:15PM

                      by sumdumass (413) on Saturday March 15 2014, @07:15PM (#16904)

                      all the certainty of a Christianity vs. Islam debate, with just as many facts and even less civility

                      Which debate caused an airplane to be flown into a building? Figure that out, then tell me which debate is less civil.

                      From the World Health Organization [who.int]:

                      Worldwide, outdoor air pollution contributes to 5% of all cardiopulmonary deaths

                      More people are dying from air pollution than over a plane hitting a building.

              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Open4D on Saturday March 15 2014, @07:25PM

                by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 15 2014, @07:25PM (#16910) Journal

                (Going by computer simulations, I'm a god with a sniper rifle. Turns out this is not in fact the case.).

                I presume you're joking about a computer game. Whereas genuine computer simulations should definitely not be rejected out of hand. For example, computer simulations of nuclear weapons are sufficiently good that this DoD associate argues [cryptome.org] that the "decontrol of supercomputers" and the shift away from real world nuclear weapons testing is making us less safe.

                • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday March 16 2014, @04:18PM

                  And we know they are good because they've been tested against actual explosions. Where is the making and verifying predictions in climate simulations? All the opinions agreeing don't mean a damn if your simulations can't show they reliably match future real world data.
                  --
                  My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Open4D on Sunday March 16 2014, @05:58PM

                    by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 16 2014, @05:58PM (#17222) Journal

                    And we know they are good because they've been tested against actual explosions.

                    If computer models of nuclear weapons have been used to make successful predictions about subsequent nuclear weapon tests, that should further increase our confidence in computer modelling in general. As I say, it should definitely not be rejected out of hand.

                     

                    Where is the making and verifying predictions in climate simulations?

                    They have made predictions for a range of scenarios. We only have one Earth to experiment with, so we have to choose which scenario we're going to test for the next 30 years. I'd really rather we tested the scenario that optimized our overall risk/benefit position. Hint: that's not the one which involves continuing to emit 29 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per year.

        • (Score: 2, Offtopic) by bradley13 on Saturday March 15 2014, @01:34PM

          by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 15 2014, @01:34PM (#16837) Homepage Journal

          Your references all come from realclimate.org, which is not exactly noted for its neutral stance on matters of climate change. Bluntly put: it's one of the sites that refuses to entertain any discussion of anything that might contradict catastrophic AGW.

          Your references imply that, while the popular press was writing about the coming Ice Age, scientific papers were not - and were in fact already dominated by the concern of global warming. Wikipedia is somewhat more neutral, and gives good references. For example. This section discusses the 1972 and 1974 reports from the National Science Board [wikipedia.org], with quotes like "The present time of high temperatures should be drawing to an end". That sounds like scientists predicting global cooling. FWIW, I went through high school in the 1970s, and was very interested in science - I remember quite well the consensus that global cooling was happening.

          Probably the best quote, however, comes from the 1975 report from the National Academy of Sciences: "If we are to react rationally to the inevitable climatic changes of the future, and if we are ever to predict their future course, whether they are natural or man-induced, a far greater understanding of these changes is required than we now possess."

          That is still very much true. All we have today are a bunch of computer models making predictions that either miss the mark, or else are so far in the future as to be impossible to test.

          --
          Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
          • (Score: 5, Informative) by Daniel Dvorkin on Saturday March 15 2014, @05:32PM

            by Daniel Dvorkin (1099) on Saturday March 15 2014, @05:32PM (#16879) Journal

            Your references all come from realclimate.org, which is not exactly noted for its neutral stance on matters of climate change.

            Fair enough. How about the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society [ametsoc.org]? Note: this is an open access article; click the PDF link near the top of the page to get the entire document.

            --
            Pipedot [pipedot.org]:Soylent [soylentnews.org]::BSD:Linux
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15 2014, @09:55AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15 2014, @09:55AM (#16791)

      Your second point is not true. For an additive feedback of strength f, the system response to an input is scaled by 1/(1-f). If the extra feedback is larger than one the system is unstable, not zero. For example, if f=0.5, one degree of CO2 induced heating first causes an extra 0.5 deg of heating via feedback. Then that extra 0.5 deg causes another 0.25 deg, and on and on until the total adds to two like the formula says.

      Those who are most concerned about GW think f may be 0.7 or larger. Those who are less concerned think the value is closer to zero.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15 2014, @05:57PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15 2014, @05:57PM (#16891)

        f varies with conditions.

        There are processes that release CO2 and processes that sequester CO2. The assertion I have heard is that processes that release CO2 may accelerate at higher temperatures and the processes that sequester CO2 may not and there may be a point where the system becomes unstable. That doesn't seem plausible to me since quite clearly a great deal of carbon has been sequestered over time. The natural processes sequestering carbon over time evidently win out over the natural processes releasing carbon. Over sufficiently long time scales, the natural f has to be negative for elevated CO2 levels and positive for low CO2 levels.

        Now that said, I don't know that adding in the process of intelligent life evolving and releasing carbon that other processes could not access doesn't radically change the balance beyond hope of control.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by c0lo on Saturday March 15 2014, @01:57PM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 15 2014, @01:57PM (#16847) Journal

      Undaunted may be the way to go

      "To go" as in... "to kick the bucket"?

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15 2014, @07:58AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15 2014, @07:58AM (#16780)

    File this under "religion".

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Open4D on Saturday March 15 2014, @08:53AM

    by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 15 2014, @08:53AM (#16784) Journal

    Personally I would vote that 3 climate change stories in 2 days is too much, unless there were a compelling reason.

    The story timestamps I am seeing are:
    2014-03-13 05:30
    2014-03-14 09:14
    2014-03-14 19:24

    The same would be true for most other topics Tesla, NSA, etc.. I accept that climate change is far more important than all these other topics combined, but still sometimes I just like to put my head in the sand like the politicians/oil company execs/general public for a few days, just for my own sanity.

     
    I know that the best way to influence what makes it to the front page is submitting decent stories myself. (Personally I am guilty of putting off [soylentnews.org] opportunities to do so.) So I certainly don't intend this as criticism of the editors. Each of the 3 stories had a different editor, after all. I am very grateful for all your hard work, and I am still very happy with Soylent News. It is just my feedback on this point.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15 2014, @01:38PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15 2014, @01:38PM (#16839)

      ^This. Someone is clearly pushing a personal agenda with these stories. This site is for tech news, not your personal climate change soapbox.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by MrGuy on Saturday March 15 2014, @04:42PM

    by MrGuy (1007) on Saturday March 15 2014, @04:42PM (#16870)

    It's pretty simple. The people with a vested interest in the current system have been spreading scientifically dubious but extremely well marketed doubt about an issue with a very clear scientific consensus. They have succeeded.