Wednesday, April 09, 2014

We Are In the Years of Living Dangerously

The first episode of a new Showtime (US Cable channel) which will premiere April 17 starting April 13 at 10pm ET/PT." (US) [Thanks to Susan Anderson in the comments for pointing this out].  More at the website.  Unfortunately others are in the years of lalala


Florifulgurator said...

From lalala land, the tired old accusation of alarmism. Shooting the messenger. How to tell the lala folks about inherently alarming things?

bratisla said...

@florifulgurator : if they can't hear the turmoils in Texas and the testimonies of the Syrian refugees, they will never.
Better let them bluster and persuade people to move on without them.

Anonymous said...

And Northern summer is coming too!!!!

Lionel A said...


Did you watch the part, at c 28:00, where Katherine Hayhoe explains why current warming is not down to the usual suspects?

Did you understand what that means?

Anonymous said...

I'm urging everyone to cut back on their weenie roasts.

Jonathan Gilligan said...

I was struck by this sentence in Schellenberger and Nordhaus's op-ed, to which you link: "Some people, the report noted, 'are likely to buy an SUV to help them through the erratic weather to come' for example, rather than support fuel-efficiency standards."

S&N (along with Pielke and Sarewitz) used to argue those who thought support for adaptation would undermine support for mitigation were badly wrong. Now they embrace that zero-sum policy analysis: Adaptation ('buy an SUV') undermines mitigation ('support fuel-efficiency standards').

This seems an important change in policy analysis over at the Breakthrough Institute: something that deserves note and comment.

EliRabett said...

Anon: Ethon likes tasty Revkin for lunch.

Steve Bloom said...

So Revkin's a weenie?

Good point, Jonathan. But just saying that arguments for mitigation will drive people toward adaptation wasn't enough for S+N, they had to imply that it would be forms of adaptation that will make the problem worse.

Hank Roberts said...

So it's off topic, but I wanted to post this juxtaposition where it would survive for the ages:

Recently, a prominent skeptic:

Also, consider how difficult it would be for the primitive computer and guidance systems of the day to compute and achieve the exact trajectory required to orbit the moon; return to earth; etc. Even with modern equipment such space navigation would be difficult.  It would have been impossible with 1960s technology.
----end quote------

-- Paul Clark, climate skeptic, at

Long ago, a beloved writer:

A few years ago, I was visited by a astronomer, young and quite briliant. ... I was telling him about the time I needed a synergistic orbit from Earth to a 24-hour station; ... I'm married to a woman who knows more math, history, and languages than I do. This should teach me humility (and sometimes does, for a few minutes). ... I was telling this young scientist how we obtained yards of butcher paper, then each of us worked three days, independently, solved the problem, and checked each other—then the answer disappeared into one line of one paragraph (SPACE CADET) but the effort had been worthwhile as it controlled what I could do dramatically in that sequence.

Doctor Whoois said, "But why didn't you just shove it through a computer?"

I blinked at him. Then said slowly, gently, "My dear boy, ... this was 1947."

It took him some seconds to get it, then he blushed.
-----end quote-----

-- Robert A. Heinlein, in Expanded Universe, "The Happy Days Ahead", p.519–520:

Anonymous said...

I don't know how you're gonna mitigate something like this.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
I don't know how you're gonna mitigate something like this.

Damn spoiler!

You've ruined Episode III for thr rest of us !

Hank Roberts said...

Remember Crutzen's warning about bromine, in his Nobel speech?


Hank Roberts said...

clever software hosed the links, which should be:

Susan Anderson said...

Worth the visit, thanks all. Farts and Wieners, spoilers?! Seriously excellent reminder from Heinlein. SUVs/adaptation/mitigation/villainization. Hayhoe and religion (she does it just right, and we should pay attention and cut it out with sniping at faith as if it were something it's not. Bromine fascinating too.

And I repeat, mitigation is bloody awful jargon, even if hallowed and necessitated by history. Can't cure a serious and escalating disease with symptoms or fakery.

Susan Anderson said...

aargh, by symptomatic relief with or without fakery ...

Susan Anderson said...

Please correct date; from website:

"Years of Living Dangerously airs on Showtime starting April 13 at 10pm ET/PT." (US)

willard said...

> Exactly how you think it's possible to "bomb a thread" by mentioning a single, intimately relevant, topic boggles the mind!

By chance that's not what we claimed.

Brad's first comment:

> One does, however, run into problems as soon as one requires speech to be TRUE.

(Take note, BBD.)

This comment stood.


Here's the second comment:

> Objectively false libel is intolerable, isn’t it?

Notice the moderation note:

I don't want this to degenerate into a discussion about whether or not what someone has said is libellous or not, so have removed this claim.

There's also this response from AT:

I don’t particularly like the “agree with me to prove that you’re decent” style of dialogue.

Such blackmailing is a kind of verbal abuse.


Brad's third comment was about another topic:

> Excuse my ignorance, but is the “increased chances of extreme weather events with increasing CO2″ meme actually backed up by data—i.e., increased frequency of extreme weather events with increasing CO2?


Brad's fourth comment was on topic:

> The tradition of crying “censorship” when your comments have been erased may come across as a tad melodramatic but to call it delusional would be equally… er, melodramatic.

Bunnies will notice the adjectives that would apply to Joshua in that comment were Brad's counterfactual true.


Brad's fifth comment tried to pull Rachel's leg while feigning ignorance about the CO2-weather button:


Brad's sixth comment helped him brag about his own superiority:

> What I had in mind—because it happens to me several times a week—is the situation where your host is wrong, and you write a comment proving this.


With his seventh comment, Brad tried to pull izen's leg by (again) feigning ignorance:

> I don’t understand this: [...] (I’m just trying to sift the science from the religion.)


In his 8th comment, Brad this time pulls AT's leg:

> Since I’m constantly accused of ‘denying’ the “evidence,” it’d be interesting to see what it is I’m supposed to be denying. At least once.
Just out of curiosity.

Notice AT's response to this last comment:

This really is turning into one of these tedious, bad-faith discussions


By this time Brad's contributions to this thread might have been deleted and Brad put in moderation. But deleting comments that already attracted a response is tough. And a pretense of an interest in the Science can be allowed to stand, at least for illustration's sake.

This judgement is confirmed if we read Brad's comments that follow:

April 23, 2014 at 10:12 am
April 23, 2014 at 2:05 pm
April 23, 2014 at 2:55 pm


Bunnies will appreciate that Brad tried many times to reinsert Dana in the conversation:

[Mod : You've missed my earlier moderation comment

[Mod : I don't want this to degenerate into a discussion about whether or not what someone has said is libellous or not, so have removed this claim.]

I really don’t want to start a detailed discussion about a specific issue. This is not the place for it.]