Bryan Walker

Bryan Walker


128 comments posted · 0 followers · following 0

546 weeks ago @ Hot Topic - Climate Refugees · 1 reply · +2 points

Steve in his enthusiasm has also conveniently not mentioned this from the scientists:

"Webb and Kench warn that while the islands are coping for now, any acceleration in the rate of sea-level rise could overtake the sediment build up. Calculating how fast sea levels will rise over the coming decades is uncertain science, and no one knows how fast the islands can grow."

546 weeks ago @ Hot Topic - Climate Refugees · 0 replies · 0 points

Steve, the Tuvaluans would be the first to welcome being able to stay in their homeland. But the phenomenon is not quite a straightforward as you might think. This from the director of the weather observatory:
"In 20 years, the temperature has risen by 0.4 degrees. That's a huge increase! It leads to periods of drought as well as warming of the ocean's surface, which contributes to the formation of devastating cyclones and could eventually result in the destruction of the coral. But the most serious threat today is a recurrence of abnormally high tides - with disturbing consequences. The first we've seen is the appearance of large puddles of salt water, which are pushed by ebb tides across the coral substratum to the island's lowest points. In other places, the water still doesn't rise to the surface but it sterilizes the soil underground and prevents cultivation of the island's two major root crops, taro and pulaka, which play an important role in our diet."

Shall we say at best catastrophe postponed?

546 weeks ago @ Hot Topic - Gluckman: climate deni... · 0 replies · +1 points

I'm beginning to be sorry I made my cavil, because I don't want to pull the thread away from the thrust of Gluckman's talk. I'll make this my last comment. I don't think Hansen's warnings are idle, nor are they over-confident, and I don't think he's deliberately overstating for effect. His Venus syndrome statement, for example, comes at the end of a lengthy, and for me demanding, discussion of the kind of forcing that could cause a runaway greenhouse effect. He says he didn't worry about such a possibility too much until recently, and explains the factors that mean that he now does. He can be wrong of course, but at least what he says is anchored in science.

546 weeks ago @ Hot Topic - Gluckman: climate deni... · 2 replies · +2 points

Vicky Pope v. James Hansen. I thought Hansen's statement was cautious and provisional. And I regard him as a much more dependable guide to the science than Pope who is currently spending effort trying to find common ground with denialism and puzzling many of her fellows, some of whom she appears to be attacking. I'd be surprised if Gluckman wanted to take issue with Hansen. The possibility of tipping points looms large in Hansen's thinking, but I can't see that he is overstating things in order to induce policy response.

546 weeks ago @ Hot Topic - Gluckman: climate deni... · 4 replies · +1 points

Mikee I agree entirely about the excellence of the lecture. In that respect my comment is a quibble, not a fundamental criticism. It's just that I don't think there is any call to acknowledge that some climate scientists (and my quote started following a sentence in which it seems that it was climate scientists he was referring to) have been guilty, albeit with good motives, of making things sound worse than the science justified. I'm not a scientist, but in my reading I can't remember coming across any climate scientist who fits that category. Hence I'm puzzled as to whom the accusation fits. But I'm open to correction if anyone has an example.

546 weeks ago @ Hot Topic - Gluckman: climate deni... · 0 replies · +2 points

I don't think Hansen can be accused of having gone beyond his data and reasonable extrapolation in order to induce a policy response. The accusation is that some scientists overstate their case for personal agenda reasons. Hansen has always been accused of this, from his famous 1988 congressional testimony on, but his warnings seem to me to be firmly grounded in his science and there is little in the developing situation to suggest that he has pushed those warnings beyond what is justified. He seems to me a reliable model of scientific integrity. He does strongly advocate for particular policy measures, as do many of us, but I don't see any manipulation of the science to fit his advocacy.

546 weeks ago @ Hot Topic - Gluckman: climate deni... · 0 replies · +1 points

Yes, I wondered briefly whether they might mean him, but like Gareth I don't see him as a working climate scientist. It's something of a relief to me that those working in the science resist the conclusions he is so ready to draw.

547 weeks ago @ Hot Topic - Gluckman: climate deni... · 7 replies · +3 points

I hesitate to make the first comment on an excellent lecture a cavil, but the Herald report gave some prominence to the following extract:

“Some scientists have become overzealous in their arguments and have taken extreme positions to push for aggressive mitigation. They are now sometimes called alarmists, not a term I like. When scientists go beyond their data and reasonable extrapolation they are effectively also responding to a personal agenda. The origin of that agenda is understandable, that is to induce a policy response, but ultimately their behaviour has analogies to those who deny climate change because of their own agenda. The irony here is obvious – scientists may have overstated their case to persuade the population that something is happening and in doing so may have undermined their own credibility. But the problem here is that what might have been seen as extreme is not totally implausible.”

My comment is that the statement names no scientist who has taken an extreme position to push for aggressive mitigation. I always wonder who these unnamed scientists are – I have not struck any such. Which leads me to wonder whether statements like this are made because the author feels obliged to concede something. If that is so I think it is a mistaken obligation. The denialist community names plenty of ‘alarmist’ scientists, of course, but I don’t think the defenders of the science need concede any that I have seen deniers name.

547 weeks ago @ Hot Topic - People talkin' (open t... · 1 reply · 0 points

Girma, there is also no qualification required to see that you are fastening irrationally on a variation in a steady upward global temperature trend. Or to understand that the upward trend is to be expected as a result of increasing greenhouse gas levels caused by human activity. Or to notice that, as is to be expected, glaciers are melting, Arctic sea ice is diminishing, Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets are losing mass, sea level is rising, weather patterns in many places are changing. More than enough evidence for drastic steps to curb emissions - not that many have been taken or proposed as yet, partly because of the delaying tactics of the organised denialism of which you are so faithful an acolyte.

547 weeks ago @ Hot Topic - People talkin' (open t... · 3 replies · +3 points

It certainly isn't science, as others much more qualified than I have already tried to make clear to you on another thread. You can take your pick between the other two.