[Coral-List] Pew report on climate change

Ulf Erlingsson ceo at lindorm.com
Tue Nov 23 10:28:27 EST 2010

As long as there are serious scientists who are not convinced, it  
will be hard to convince all of the non-scientists.

I propose to try to debate with and convince those who consider that  
the case has not yet been made.

Listen to their arguments. Meet them. And DON'T CALL THEM NAMES.

I think the debate went seriously wrong at the moment when proponents  
of the hypothesis lost their temper. Bad idea.

Also, look for common ground instead of seeing conflicts. Example:

Nobody is denying that pollution is bad. So why not focus on  
decreasing the air pollution? After all, the methods are rather  
similar: Decrease the burning of fossil fuels. What does it matter to  
nature WHY we decrease it?

There is a difference, but put the difference aside and work for  
results rather than getting hung up on that difference.

Ulf Erlingsson

On 2010-11-23, at 08:48, Melbourne Briscoe wrote:

> Isn't the point that what we are doing is not working? So, we do  
> not stop
> trying, but we have the CHANGE what we are doing....what do we change?
> Constant repetition of facts is demonstrably an unsuccessful strategy.
> Get over it.
> What do we do instead?
> - Mel
> Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting  
> different
> results. - Albert Einstein
> -----Original Message-----
> From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Martin  
> Moe
> Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 8:31 AM
> To: Micah Marty; coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Pew report on climate change
> Succinctly:
> Optimism is the fuel to find success through the valley of failure.
> Pessimism is
> retreat and the antithesis of accomplishment and success. Giving  
> way to
> pessimism may be accepting perceived reality but it also destroys the
> ability of
> intelligence, ingenuity, and persistence to find the hidden path to  
> success.
> Basically, you can’t succeed if you don’t keep trying, and the  
> higher the
> stakes, the more important is the trying. If the health of our  
> world isn’t
> important, what is?
> Martin Moe
> ________________________________
> From: Micah Marty <micahjmarty at gmail.com>
> To: "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> Sent: Mon, November 22, 2010 4:09:20 PM
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Pew report on climate change
> This is a bleak outlook.  It offers inaction as a solution to an  
> obvious and
> important problem.  It is fouled with despair and does little to  
> inspire or
> encourage the work that can overcome the challenges posed by this  
> political
> climate.  In respectful disagreement with Mr. Mussman, I’d like to  
> offer a
> different perspective.
> Kentuckian writer/farmer/conservationist Wendell Berry, in a 1990  
> essay
> titled *A Poem of Difficult Hope*, analyzes a Hayden Carruth poem  
> which
> protests the Vietnam War.  The poet tells how he has written  
> countless poems
> in the past to publicly object to violent conflicts “and not one /  
> breath
> was restored / to one // shattered throat / mans womans or childs”  
> as the
> result of his work.  Berry notes that the poet is still writing poems
> opposed to wars despite the fact (acknowledged in the present  
> verse) that
> his former poems have not prevented the atrocities of war.
> I think this is analogous to the problem described by Mr. Mussman,  
> where
> scientists have gone to great lengths to publicly communicate the  
> threats of
> climate change and the need to pass legislation.  The despair comes  
> as these
> efforts are met first with legislative inaction and then countered  
> by an
> exorbitantly well-funded political insurgency (the Tea Party is
> astroturf—not grass-roots) that maliciously oppugns climate  
> science.  But
> despair gives us no way forward.
> I almost hesitate before asserting something that Mr. Mussman called
> nonsense—for fear of being considered “highly simplistic and  
> exceedingly
> optimistic” —but I proceed because I think it is the right way  
> forward.  The
> recurrent failures of the US federal government to pass meaningful  
> climate
> legislation must not discourage the efforts that support such an  
> outcome.
> In his essay, Berry writes, “much protest is naïve; it expects quick,
> visible improvement and despairs and gives up when such improvement  
> does not
> come..”  He continues, “the voice of our despair defines our hope  
> exactly,”
> and this is important to remember as despair hurries to eclipse hope.
> To allow the findings of this Pew report, or dozens of other bumps  
> in the
> road to paralyze us from continuing to speak out about climate  
> change is
> silly.  These things *are* unsettling, and while prudence is  
> necessary in
> order to maintain professional integrity, acquiescence and silence  
> would be
> louche to me.
> On the note of prudence, Mr. Mussman points out that the primary  
> duty of a
> scientist is not to be a public advocate for climate change or
> conservation.  As we have seen, this task exposes scientists to the  
> risk of
> being professionally undermined or attacked.  And it is not  
> reasonable “[to
> expect] that scientists should collectively accept responsibility  
> to counter
> these forces.”  It may be reasonable however to expect that
> *some*scientists will feel it their duty and take a stand.  These
> people will be
> better advocates than those who are reticent to speak out anyway.   
> Further,
> although this statement implies that scientists should accept sole
> responsibility, there are many other types of people and organizations
> working to counter the lies and deception propagated by these  
> (aptly named)
> merchants of doubt.
> For our part, we should be well-read on the political contentions  
> held by
> climate skeptics (see a good article recently posted on the Climate  
> Shifts
> blog: http://www.climateshifts.org/?p=6056 ) and be comfortable  
> discussing
> such things with our neighbors and acquaintances.  How much she or he
> chooses to speak out is a decision left to the judgment of each  
> scientist.
> In closing I will share the last line of Berry’s essay, which seems  
> like an
> adequate reference point for the issues at hand.  He writes, “if we  
> would
> help when we could, we will help when we can.”
> Respectfully,
> Micah Marty
> BA St. Olaf College 2010
> Biology and Environmental Studies
> micahjmarty at gmail.com
> On Sat, Nov 20, 2010 at 4:25 PM, Steve Mussman  
> <sealab at earthlink.net> wrote:
>> The Pew Research Center’s survey that Milton Ponson posted is indeed
>> troubling, but at the same time its findings should come as no  
>> surprise.
>> The partisan divide that the poll revealed on climate change and  
>> energy
>> policy is simply reflective of the polarizing differences that  
>> exist on
>> any number of critical issues.
>> In the past I have opined that in order to reverse this trend, the
> scientific
>> community needs to step up and be more assertive in communicating  
>> with the
> public
>> at large. This, in the belief that popular opinion would  
>> eventually react
> and adjust
>> appropriately to reason. I’m afraid that such logic has already  
>> proven to
> be highly
>> simplistic and exceedingly optimistic. I regret asserting such  
>> nonsense.
>> Considering the amount of resources utilized by those promoting the
> campaign to
>> downplay the pernicious nature of anthropogenic climate change, the
> prospects for
>> reversing the prevailing public perception are beginning to  
>> dissipate.
> Unless a
>> counter force capable of momentous push back suddenly appears, we  
>> can only
> expect
>> the disturbing trend to gain impetus. The expectation that scientists
> should collectively
>> accept responsibility to counter these forces is beyond reason.  
>> After all,
> scientists
>> have their own interests to protect and they cannot be expected to  
>> fulfill
> a role
>> that requires such an elevated level of risk and self-sacrifice.
>> When one factors in the state of current fiscal conditions, we may be
> facing
>> the perfect storm. Under these circumstances it is highly unlikely  
>> that
> any economic
>> policy designed to reduce carbon emissions (like a carbon tax), no  
>> matter
> how well
>> conceived, could possibly be agreed upon by our polarized government
> institutions.
>> It is just not going to happen and we can only hope to buy time.  
>> That is,
> if there
>> is time before the tipping point is upon us.
>> There is of course, another consideration that may well be the  
>> proverbial
>> eight hundred-pound gorilla in the room. That is the fact that
> environmental issues
>> that threaten coral reefs and other ecosystems are of little  
>> consequence
>> (and therefore, a low priority) to most Americans. It may be that  
>> even if
> they
>> believed and accepted as fact the worst case scenarios relating to
> anthropogenic
>> climate change, it would not elicit the appropriate response.
>> "The difference between what we do and what we are capable of  
>> doing would
> suffice
>> to solve most of the world's problems."- Mohandas K. Gandhi
>> _______________________________________________
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