[Coral-List] more climate stuff

albert albert at ecology.su.se
Thu Nov 23 09:16:28 EST 2006

Gene (and others)

Here's a link to a recent op-ed piece by Oreskes in the LA Times:


Interesting stuff. Observe how she makes no mention about her study being
hampered by a small sample size (in fact she makes a statement to the
contrary - that the sample size used was large).

Gene Shinn skrev:
>       I guess I should have known that any mention of  global warming 
> or climate change would stir up emotions and comment. I hope people 
> noticed that I did not write the materials I sent but basically 
> provided websites to some recent climate skeptic literature.  I 
> thought the coral community needed a different perspective. Being a 
> geologist I do admit  to leaning toward the long-term geological 
> perspective ie., a world before SUVs. I was in Abu Dhabi when the 
> present debate started heating up and must admit I was startled by 
> the excess use of energy and resources throughout the Arabian Gulf 
> region. They have not only caught up but are exceeding us, as is 
> India and China.  It was interesting looking out my hotel window at 
> where there was a coral reef when I first visited in 1966 (there were 
> no roads then). Where the reef was then there is now an artificial 
> island.  The same is true all along  the Arabian Gulf Trucial Coast 
> (United Arab Emirates) whether it be islands shaped like palm trees 
> or islands in the shape of a map of the Earth, and don't forget they 
> even have snow skiing in the shopping mall. The scale of development 
> is unbelievable and must be seen to be believed!
>       Back to the climate debate. I can appreciate the concerns of 
> people living in the Florida Keys and other low lying islands, and 
> shorelines (including my home). They are living on fossil reefs and 
> sand bars that grew when sea level was more than 20 ft above present 
> level. It might happen again with or without added CO2. That is the 
> message from the Greenland ice cores and numerous fossil coral reef 
> studies.  For a different perspective I forwarded the comments of 
> Alexandra Barron (Vol 41, Issue 28) regarding Al Gores movie, to a 
> geologist deeply imbedded in the climate issue/controversy. He wrote 
> back, (and note these are not my words), "That is a typical 
> misstatement by Gore as usual, like saying the NAS found that the 
> "hockey stick" was correct. - the reference is Naomi Orestes, 
> Science, in an essay. She later admitted that she only looked at a 
> small sampling and did not assess the wider literature. I have almost 
> as many peer-reviewed climate papers as she said were present in the 
> entire literature. I'd be happy to send a reading list to whomever on 
> the overall topic."
>       From such responses I gather that the issue is not closed and 
> the "consensus of scientists" we keep hearing about  is a myth. A 
> friend showed me the Al Gore book that is intended to support his 
> movie. There were essentially no references!  It is becoming 
> increasingly clear that the issue is mainly emotional, highly 
> political, and possibly on a par with intelligent design. My friend 
> Mike Risk uses terms such as right wing and left wing politics and 
> makes comparisons to the tobacco industry fight and ExxonMobil 
> funding of non believers. I think what we really need is less 
> rhetoric and more scientific evidence, not movies by politicians, or 
> the outpouring of models that are only as good as the data that is 
> fed in to them.  And speaking of motives, just who did fund Gore's 
> movie? And, why is it that when I monitor the coral-list I 
> periodically see postings for jobs for  sociologists, and reef 
> managers, etc. I suspect we will soon see postings for reef 
> psychologists. Are there no longer jobs for scientists who do actual 
> data collection? Does anyone care about data anymore? Have the models 
> taught us all we need to know? I'm sure glad the modelers were wrong 
> about Atlantic hurricanes. I was getting worried. Gene
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