Sunday, April 23, 2017

March for Science - San Francisco

Together with in-laws and friends, including (unlike me) an actual scientist, we went on the march in San Francisco yesterday.

The most hand-written/individualized signs I've seen on any march. Quite a young crowd too, and I'd guess two-thirds female. We'll see if there's a long-term effect - I'm sure it depends on what people continue to do after the march.

UPDATE:  here's something to do about it - get organized, and train to run for office:
Overview: Join us for a day of building political power for the climate movement by training bold, progressive climate activists to elected office at all levels. Potential candidates need to be identified, recruited, trained, and supported in order to achieve elected office—and once there, held accountable by the climate movement.

This training is for you if:
  • You consider running for office yourself in the next 1-3 years
  • You want to help a friend run for office
  • You want to learn how a local electoral strategy could help your campaign


EliRabett said...

Much of the volunteering consists of running for Congress or the Senate. This is idiocy. All of the volunteering needs to be about running for the local school board, the local council, mayor and then over time the state leg etc. You don't get to play for the Patriots without starring in high school and college.

Steve Bloom said...

I think the local stuff will be happening too, Eli, although there is a benefit to running failed campaigns for the higher offices in that it can bring more attention to issues. Of course those failed campaigns need to be taken seriously for that to be true, which means resources, so there's a balance to be struck.

Florifulgurator said...

2/3 female?! Interesting observation. Marching against the proverbial stupid white men.

Mal Adapted said...

When the politicians started speaking at the March in Santa Fe, I left. I'm glad they saw their advantage in showing up, but I don't owe them the obligation to listen to them promote themselves.

Before the March, as we gathered in the Santa Fe historic plaza, there was a young guy with a name tag on walking around glad-handing; turned out he was running for some state office. Although he failed to convince me of his sincerity, I didn't really want to scare him off, so I tried to be polite; it's hard for me to keep the hostility out of my voice when I talk to politicians, though. After a minute or so he turned away to talk to someone else.

Ugh. I sure wish we could leave the collective solution for AGW to the people we elect to implement collective solutions.


What you mean we, Mal ?

I wanted New Mexico's Governor Johnson in the White House.

Mal Adapted said...

Russell, FWIW, I'm not going to yank your chain here, but give you the respect of assuming your good faith, along with recognizing your demonstrated intelligence. Here goes:

Johnson is a Libertarian, so he wouldn't be elected to implement collective solutions. In any case, Johnson took a lukewarmer position WRT AGW in his last two runs, as he apparently saw no problem in need of solution. His climate-related policies would look substantively like Trump's; he differs only by paying lip-service to climate science first. Last fall he was quoted by MotherJones:

The former New Mexico governor did acknowledge that humans are making the world warmer in the near term, too—but he doesn't think the government should do much about it. In the same speech, he denounced "cap-and-trade taxation," said we "should be building new coal-fired plants," and argued that the "trillions" of dollars it would cost to combat climate change would be better spent on other priorities.

Mr. Johnson's priorities don't include halting the large-scale transfer of fossil carbon to the climatically-active pool, or interfering with the revenue streams of people who became wealthy by socializing the large-scale cost of the climate change thus caused.

Russell, as a physicist, do you understand what "Tragedy of the Commons" means in the specialized vocabulary of Economics? If not, you could do worse than to start with The Drama of the Commons, a 2002 NRC report edited by Elinor Ostrom et al.; it's free to download at the link.

Even some nominal Libertarians acknowledge that Tragedies of the Commons represent market failure, that collective intervention is required to avert them, and that AGW is a TotC on a scale greater than any since the invention of agriculture. Don't you?


Models are not things. If world population doubling time uncertainty rivaled that of climate forcing , it would rank equally low on my list of concerns arising from projections.

The least uncertain policy problem of the Anthopocene is the number of anthropocenes

EliRabett said...

Dear Russell, have you perhaps looked at the fall in fecundity over the last 50 years?

Kevin O'Neill said...

The problem that Eli hints at is one of the first problems that brought me to the *science* of climate change/environmentalism; pseudo- or xeno-estrogens. The incidence of hermaphroditism and low testosterone seems intimately (sic) liked to the chlorine we've been pouring into our water supplies.


Dear Eli
I tried to look, but their were too many people and buildings in the way,

I tried looking from offshore, too, but all I could see was a wall of condominia.

Mal Adapted said...

I asked: "Russell, as a physicist, do you understand what 'Tragedy of the Commons' means in the specialized vocabulary of Economics?"

Russell then said: "Models are not things. If world population doubling time uncertainty rivaled that of climate forcing , it would rank equally low on my list of concerns arising from projections."

I'll take that as a no, then.


May I simply think the tragedy resides in the Hobbesian expansion of the Commonweath, which reduces each individual's share of the air, as well as land and water. amplifying interspecies competition and evolutionary stress.

The popuplation of the Eat Coast has more than doubled in my lifetime, and all too many of what were once the hemisphere's wilder places have been disected into smaller and less diverse ecotremes by asphalt roads and the architecure that quickly lines them .

This I find more fearful than boiling frog rhetoric however loudly croaked.


Tom said...

Mr. Seitz, thank you for explaining why all those on the seaboard are overweight (thereby contributing to subsidence). It's all in the label.

Mal Adapted said...

Russell: "Capiche?"

Maybe. It appears you're familiar with Hardin's 1968 formulation of the population overshoot problem as applied to Homo sapiens, titled The Tragedy of the Commons. You don't, however, evince awareness that the titular phrase was immediately adopted by economists as a term of art, a convenient metaphor for a class of market failures resulting in socialized or "environmental" costs. From the opening chapter of that NRC publication by Ostrom et al.:

The “tragedy of the commons” is a central concept in human ecology and the study of the environment. The prototypical scenario is simple. There is a resource-usually referred to as a common-pool resource-to which a large number of people have access. The resource might be an oceanic ecosystem from which fish are harvested, the global atmosphere into which greenhouse gases are released, or a forest from which timber is harvested. Overuse of the resource creates problems, often destroying its sustainability. The fish population may collapse, climate change may ensue, or the forest might cease regrowing enough trees to replace those cut. Each user faces a decision about how much of the resource to use-how many fish to catch, how much greenhouse gases to emit, or how many trees to cut. If all users restrain themselves, then the resource can be sustained. But there is a dilemma. If you limit your use of the resources and your neighbors do not, then the resource still collapses and you have lost the short-term benefits of taking your share (Hardin, 1968).

Comprende usted, Senor Seitz? Economically, human population growth is just one potential instance of the class TotC.

Mal Adapted said...

In his classic 1968 paper, Hardin summarized the collective action required to avert TotCs as "mutual coercion, mutually agreed upon". In 1998, reflecting on some criticisms, Hardin remarked that he should have titled it "The Tragedy of the Unmanaged Commons".

In 2009, the late Elinor Ostrom was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for her work on how TotCs can be averted through "polycentric" collective intervention: mutual coercion, mutually agreed upon at multiple political scales, and not necessarily involving formal government on the local scale. Before her death in 2012, however, she published A Polycentric Approach for Coping with Climate Change, in which she acknowledged that only intervention at national and even international scales may be able to avert a global Tragedy of the Climate Commons.

Bryson said...

The ToC figures prominently in political philosophy as well, where it is clear (from Hobbes on) that purely individual pursuit of individual interests fails to maximize general well-being. The original case is based on the original commons, a shared grazing area. So long as an additional animal reduces average productivity less than it contributes to the total productivity of the owner's herd, and no coordination between individuals is possible to restrain others from adding animals, everyone has an incentive to add more animals-- even if they know the result (if everyone does this) will be the destruction of the commons (at least they each have one more animal to slaughter and eat at that point...). For Hobbes the price of such individual freedom was so high that it justified each surrendering everything to a single sovereign, rather than face the 'bellum omnia contra omnes'. Perhaps everyone knows this, but some of the discussion above suggests otherwise.


Mal, population growth already happened , and its past uncertainty range never approached what we are still stuck with on CO2 doubling-

If it took a Hobbesian Leviathan like China in the 70's to impose a one child policy, what sort of superstate are you bucking for to do away with fire?

UNEP, nein Danke.

Bernard J. said...

"So long as an additional animal reduces average productivity less than it contributes to the total productivity of the owner's herd, and no coordination between individuals is possible to restrain others from adding animals, everyone has an incentive to add more animals-- even if they know the result (if everyone does this) will be the destruction of the commons (at least they each have one more animal to slaughter and eat at that point...)."

There was a classic example of this just hours ago on ABC Australia's Radio National, when the LNP's rabidly conservative and inherently climate change-denying Matt Canavan had a fulminating spray at Westpac for saying that it would not fund new coal ventures:

Canavan puts his senate re-election prospects and his coal-mining mates' pockets ahead of the greater good of his constituents' decendants and of the rest of the planet, and he doesn't so much as bat an eyelid doing so.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to point out that the next March on Washington and the world protesting this existential political disaster is called the March For Truth #trumprussia and should be coming up soon. Maybe Memorial Day but it depends on the permitting and scheduling process. If the hearings don't work and if FBI and the NYAG are unable to quickly produce the necessary RICO indictments, OR if there are no more substantial revelations or outright intelligence leaks (from any institution or nations, help us out here) then flocking to Washinton DC and taking over the city in a massive peaceful civil disobedience rally may be the only way to get this thing done. South Korea did it, for far less of a threat to their nation and the world, so I'm confident America can get this done short of a nuclear exchange with South Korea or some other impetuous and unadvised action by the executive office, an institution already committed to the overthrow and destruction of the United States government. So get with the proggam. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I also just read Chris Mooney reporting in the Washington Post that there is another March or Rally for Climate tomorrow. So there is that too. The speeches should be interesting although I thought Bill Nye and a few of the others had great and interesting things to say last week.

I especially liked the term 'delawnify'.


No, 8c,

Its not another march, it's just the middle of the one that began on the 22nd, and ends on May Day.

Anonymous said...

Ok, thanks Russel. I'm not sure if the March for Climate is part of the March for Science, but Mayday is always a good day for Marches. The big problem with these things is the permitting, but I suspect that the final March for Freedom will not involve any permits and will involve just clogging up the arteries of commerce peacefully and bringing it all to a grinding halt. It will be interesting to hear what the celebrities have to say on this, as well as the former vice president and president elect, as I do know that the Florida Secretary of State stealing the election in 2000 was just a prelude to what I see now.

Mal Adapted said...

Russell: "Mal, population growth already happened , and its past uncertainty range never approached what we are still stuck with on CO2 doubling-"

So? "Tragedy of the Commons" is a term of abstraction. It's a concise rubric for a generalized class of processes with both deterministic and stochastic drivers but with important differences among them. Do you think the uncertainties of human population dynamics and climate have the same physical sources? Surely you know better.

Climate is a physical system with known and unknown forcings and feedbacks; even so, we know atmospheric CO2 is elevated, we know where it's coming from, we know it's getting warmer and we know CO2 is the biggest climate control knob. The uncertainty is around those unknown forcings and feedbacks, but a negative ECS is outside rational confidence limits. A persistant positive GMST trend, of the order we've seen in the last 50 years, is all that's needed to define AGW as tragedy.

Anonymous said...

The March for Truth #trumprussia June 3, 2017