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A sufficient vantage point.
Sapere aude!
Interests: Attentively many and varied.
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A little perspective... From Neven's first paragraph, "a record mass loss of over 500 GT", but for "simplicity" let's use just the 500 GT (and assume English rather than Imperial units). That equates to 1e15 (1 Quadrillion) pounds. Now, if we assume the [ahem] "average" weight of a single human (accounting for newborn babies as well as the morbidly obese) is 150 lbs, then an equivalent mass of human flesh would require ~6.67 Trillion humans or nearly 1,000 times the current population of the entire planet. 'Nuff said.
I, too, would like to commend T. Chase's statement and exhibition of reason! Alas, that seems to be a faculty that is rarely developed or nurtured in our species. Nonetheless, it reminds me of a 'state geologist' I saw/heard in Randy Olson's Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus a few years ago. This, ahem, gentleman allegedly/supposedly had 1 or more degrees in the science of geology and was employed by one of the so-called "Bible-belt" states. Despite that he is on film stating plainly that the Earth is only 6K yrs old and dinosaurs coexisted with humans!?!? Can anyone explain how someone is able to pass all the required learning to obtain such a certification/position with such an abject belief? Just how "messed-up" are "our" institutions and methods of "education?" Makes one go, "Hmmmm."
@ opensheart | September 29, 2012 at 00:36 "Can Sea Level Rise be Regional instead of evenly spread over the globe?" You may want to see Satellites trace sea level change.
Up thread, on 22-Sep, at 07:52 Chris Reynolds refers to "really poor people" and "the truly poor," followed by Werther's 10:37 reference to "the less fortunate." While I typically find the comments from both of these gentlemen to be astute, rational and generally accurate, I feel I must interject and propose an unorthodox perspective. First I must ask, Why is it "those" people are poor or less fortunate? Would that not presuppose the question, Why are people in the OECD countries (and more than a few others), in general, more fortunate? Consider that neither statement/query is accurate. If one were to look "more closelier," would it not be most appropriate to say that "we," the people of the more fortunate countries/regions live more, perhaps 'too,' rapaciously? Where is it written that humans must always and only pursue "bigger, faster, longer, more..." ad infinitum? Why is such pursuit equated to better and progress? When corporations (of any kind) talk about "externalizing risk," why is there never any mention of "where" their alleged external realm exists? If the "risk" is external to that company exclusively, does that not imply that every company/person/thing 'outside' the externalizing company bears that risk? Why are "we" allowing this paradox to continue? As another astute being (Jiddu Krishnamurti) once observed, It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society. Back to the ice... I find myself wondering if any of the excellent commentators (or lurkers) here at ASI or the scientists we all so eagerly follow have ever done any of their own experiments with ice, water and heat beyond in situ observational field research. I also wonder what thoughts any of you may have regarding Newton's Law of Heating & Cooling.
Superman, Thanks for the great TED presentation, I couldn't agree with her more. Alas, I've found practicing that philosophy will have "varying results." I've really enjoyed the perspective exhibited by your comments the past week or so. In fact, I think we may have many similar "takes" on the cascading conundrums facing our and many other lifeforms in the all too imminent future. However, as expressed before, this probably isn't the place. Ergo, I hope you may find the time and inclination to drop me (golfwalker) a wee note via the "hotmail" service. (Indeed, the invitation extends to any and all commentators on these threads! :) I think we're all going to need more "luck" than exists in the universe to pull-off the "avoid-extinction-trick."
RE: Doug Bostrom | August 25, 2012 at 00:22 & 02:23 + Werther | August 25, 2012 at 00:41 Doug wrote... "As long as there's a fair swathe of ice extent lingering through summer in the Arctic, things down south are going to remain more or less smoothly functioning in the accustomed manner. That is to say, sea ice extent matters to weather more than volume; as long as there's even a crust of ice covering enough of the Arctic ocean the atmosphere's not going to know or care what's happening to volume." While not entirely incorrect, with all due respect, this perspective could not be closer. First, ice is, by its very nature, translucent proportionately to its thickness. Indeed, very thin ice is generally as transparent as glass. In other words, thin ice allows more "light" (electro-magnetic energy) to pass through rather than be reflected. Perhaps more simply stated, thick ice reflects more light than thin ice. Ergo, thickness, like "dirtiness," is a significant factor regarding albedo. Maybe more importantly, the Arctic ice is shrinking (in 3 dimensions) primarily, though not exclusively, due to warming sea temps. A good deal of that heat (thermal energy) is transferred to the Arctic via the Pacific and Atlantic oceans' increasing heat absorbtion. The rate of thermal energy increase in the latter 2 [huge] bodies of water probably influence climate and weather patterns as significantly, if not more so, than Arctic ice extent or thickness. Therefore, the weather patterns "we" knew from the 1950's to the 1990's no longer exist and are not about to "find" any kind of equillibrium for many decades if not centuries. In fact, if we dare imagine the present US drought even just "persisting" into summer 2013, the Mayan "prophecy" may have only "missed it by that much!" ;-) RE: Artful Dodger | August 25, 2012 at 16:03 "The rising heat content of the ocean is unstoppable." Certainly and unequivocal on any time-scale to which humans can relate.
Wonderful post, Skeptico! Words alone cannot possibly express my joy at finding your blog for the first time today!! I must express thanks to Bart Verheggen for his comment to the most recent post on RealClimate in facilitating this serendipitous happenstance. :) I no longer feel quite so all alone. Like you and many of those posting earlier comments allude I, too, am deeply troubled and dismayed by Mr. Rosenau's inanity and possible betrayal of "public trust." However, given what I have observed and experienced in "social discourse" over the past few decades, I'm not in the least bit surprised. Nonetheless, I am somewhat concerned that you made no mention of how the Big Bang Theory also accommodates the accommodationists' nonsensical beliefs. Alas, I can only take Rosenau's post as further evidence that the capacity for reason and a dearth of "education" are so lacking in our current culture, and many others, that our species has little "choice" regarding our impending extinction. Al Gore's "Assault on Reason" has a great deal of evidence supporting that supposition but the greater affliction is the abundant abdication of reason. Believing an imagined authority is, after all, easier than researching, learning and understanding. The United States Imperium could not have grown to its current immensity without such abject self-delusion. It is truly sad that Ralph Wiggum and Ned Flanders are a more common archetypes than Lisa Simpson. :( Thanks, too, to Tom S. Fox and Bronze Dog for the link to QualiaSoup's video(s). As additional supporting evidence of society's irrationality, please see (if you haven't already) Randy Olson's film "Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus." I eagerly look forward to reading more from you, Skeptico, keep fighting the good fight. I'm in your corner and will have your back to the best of my ability. ;)
Toggle Commented Sep 23, 2009 on Buffy and the Enablers of the NCSE at Skeptico
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