2 of 3
2
Eli Kintisch - Is Planet-Hacking Inevitable?
Posted: 11 April 2010 07:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15305
Joined  2006-02-14
citizenschallenge - 10 April 2010 04:38 PM

I myself have the gut feeling that large scale bioengineering would only initiate yet another cascade of unanticipated destructive side-effects.  Your information has reinforced those notions, but it’s good to know where the issue stands these days.

Certainly possible, though my sense is that abating greenhouse gases is going to be such an enormous political problem that it’s best to attack it from as many different angles as possible. If geoengineering proves politically palatable, and if it looks to be plausible on a reasonable cost/benefit analysis, then I think it should be one of many avenues we pursue. But certainly, as Eli clearly said, not to the detriment of abating the production of the gases themselves.

To put it another way, I expect it will be politically impossible to abate greenhouse gas production to the extent necessary to avoid detrimental impacts of global warming. For one thing, with the chinese and indian economies growing rapidly, they will not be looking to decrease their production of CO2 anytime soon; indeed, it is politically inevitable that their production of CO2 will increase for the foreseeable future.

So although we may work very hard to abate CO2 production generally, we simply must also look to methods for soaking it up from the atmosphere, or for other methods of geoengineering, in the meanwhile. I’m speaking as a political realist here ...

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 April 2010 02:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  56
Joined  2010-02-11

I’m going to be blogging about the show this week, and a question has already arisen for me about the “defintion” of geoengineering that we’re using—and in particular, why we’re grouping carbon removal techniques and sunblocking techniques under the same rubric. More here:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/intersection/2010/04/11/blogging-the-eli-kintisch-point-of-inquiry-show-i-a-quibble-concerning-the-definition-of-geoengineering/

thoughts?

chris

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 April 2010 06:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2422
Joined  2007-09-03
CMooney - 11 April 2010 02:14 PM

I’m going to be blogging about the show this week, and a question has already arisen for me about the “defintion” of geoengineering that we’re using—and in particular, why we’re grouping carbon removal techniques and sunblocking techniques under the same rubric. More here:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/intersection/2010/04/11/blogging-the-eli-kintisch-point-of-inquiry-show-i-a-quibble-concerning-the-definition-of-geoengineering/

thoughts?

chris

on the blog {this is great} Eli suggests reforestation is a problem not because it wouldn’t work but because of side issues a la ethanol.  If it is efficient (maybe that’s the issue—is it 500,000 trees, 500 million, or 500 billion) one would try not to use prime arable land that we need for food but there is still a lot of land….

The other idea that burning forests and then replanting is a net plus is really counterintuitive.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 April 2010 06:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  56
Joined  2010-02-11

My next gripe—is “don’t play God” really a legitimate objection to geoengineering?

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/intersection/2010/04/12/blogging-the-kintisch-point-of-inquiry-show-part-ii-is-it-reasonable-to-fear-playing-god/

cm

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 April 2010 07:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15305
Joined  2006-02-14
CMooney - 12 April 2010 06:44 AM

My next gripe—is “don’t play God” really a legitimate objection to geoengineering?

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/intersection/2010/04/12/blogging-the-kintisch-point-of-inquiry-show-part-ii-is-it-reasonable-to-fear-playing-god/

cm

“Don’t play God” is really less an objection than an epithet. Presumably all it means is something like, “Don’t do something very big and important.” But we’ve already done something very big and important simply by reproducing and covering the planet, not to mention pumping masses of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. Arguably any plan we hatch to solve this problem will of necessity be very big and important.

Further, there’s no argument I can see from the fact of something’s being big and important to the conclusion that there must be something wrong with it. Some big, important things are, on balance, good. Though it is true that there are always costs to any benefit: tens of thousands die on our roads every year—one of the costs of having cars. (Not to mention the greenhouse gases they produce!) The answer isn’t to assume that cars are a mistake; they have enormous benefits as well. But we must learn better how to mitigate the costs ...

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 April 2010 11:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  23
Joined  2009-04-16

Hi Chris,

You had a much tighter back-and-forth between you and and your interviewee this go-round. Nice work. Your demeanor is good.

I would, however, urge you to branch out and away from topics that touch on climate change. You’re comin’ off like a one trick pony. I don’t have a problem with your take on the issue; I’m just plain tired of the topic, even when it’s not the focus of the podcast. Yes, it’s important, but I’m saturated, numb and irritated by it.

You’ve got a background in some other very interesting topics that I’d like to hear more about. You could talk about church-state separation issues regarding ongoing faith-based initiatives; the FDA and alternative medicine; where we are on stem cell research policies; or what about those chimeras? Or in broader terms, how about science attitudes by demographic (and perhaps over time); science education variations state by state or nation by nation? Surely there’re experts in all of these areas just waiting for your call!

Best,
Jordan

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 April 2010 11:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1783
Joined  2008-08-09
Jordan - 12 April 2010 11:28 AM

Hi Chris,

You had a much tighter back-and-forth between you and and your interviewee this go-round. Nice work. Your demeanor is good.

I would, however, urge you to branch out and away from topics that touch on climate change.

I guess I can see where you’re coming from. . .

But, I was just getting ready to ask Chris Mooney if you could at some point do a show reviewing the results of the various ClimateGate investigations going on and being finished. (such as, U.K. House of Commons Science and Technology Committee investigation)

Why?  Because, after months of being flooded & bludgeoned with contrarian nonsense and lies, the reports are vindicating the scientists and science - but the media seems to have heard your pain and decided not to do much reporting on it,
and in my own opinion that’s a big shame.

 Signature 

The Anthropogenic Global Warming Consensus is not formed by scientists !
The Anthropogenic Global Warming Consensus IS formed by the data being gathered !

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 April 2010 12:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  23
Joined  2009-04-16

Hi citizenschallenge,

That is indeed frustrating. Mainstream media by and large did indeed drop the ball. But Mann’s interview already to some extent offered the vindication you are looking for. I just don’t see a further push on this topic as worthwhile. There’s plenty of BS to bust up in other topics. grin

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 April 2010 01:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1783
Joined  2008-08-09

I’ve been thinking about your comment Jordan, and I can understand it and don’t belittle it at all.

People have their learnable moments and a constant drum beat doesn’t lend to enabling those “windows of opportunity.”

We all have different thresholds and I’ll admit I’m part of the hopelessly engaged when it comes to wanting to present the AGW issue, thus I do tend to push it.

But you know, one of the things that constantly stimulates my ‘enthusiasm’ when dialoguing with intelligent climate contrarians.  That whole disconnect with information that they accept and trumpet - then the total oblivion to information that disputes them. 
Be it “There’s not enough proof CO2 is the major driver” “scientists believed in a global cooling” “the hockey stick graph bit” and on and on.

It’s beyond the AGW issue itself, it’s that wrestling with reality vs. ones self created myth/faith.  Evolution being the same identical situation.  I image what the hard cores fear the most about accepting the reality of climate change, is that Faith will topple like dominoes, first AGW, then Evolution, then the perfection of their Holy Book, then faith in God on His Throne, ... then these folks will be left in the maelstrom of simply existing - it scares the hell out of them. 
For me I enjoy those lessons of life and science that totally turn around one’s current perception, following by digestion and a new deeper appreciate of the world I have these few moments to experience.    by i digress, perhaps another post another time.

[ Edited: 12 April 2010 02:01 PM by citizenschallenge ]
 Signature 

The Anthropogenic Global Warming Consensus is not formed by scientists !
The Anthropogenic Global Warming Consensus IS formed by the data being gathered !

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 April 2010 02:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  258
Joined  2010-02-28
Eli Kintisch - 10 April 2010 11:30 AM

Mike from Oz
There are many questions around the technical feasibility of geoengineering, but what are the geopolitical implications if such an endeavour was planned. If a single nation acts unilaterally to “save the planet”, is this a potential flash point for conflict?

Absolutely: see my story on this in Slate: http://www.slate.com/id/2217230/

Thanks Eli, this was the very thing that came to mind when I first heard about geo-engineering, I’ll read the article.

 Signature 

http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 April 2010 02:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  258
Joined  2010-02-28

Just listened. Firstly, a great interview. Eli had a great grasp of the topic, and I learnt a great deal in those 30 minutes. I’ll be tracking down the book.

The thought did strike me that in the coming decades this will become a far more mainstream topic: at some point major politicians will start muting it as a *possible* option. Given how we have consistently failed to address emissions, I agree this could be viewed as the necessary “technological quick fix”. With this in mind, some experiments are already taking place (viz the Russian and German ones discussed in the podcast).

Eli pointed me to another article of his on the geo-political implications: if one nation acts unilaterally, it could pave the way for conflict.

My first thoughts are how can this technology be regulated? Through multilateral and unilateral treaties? Through a global convention? And given that many of these treaties lack sanctions, how is it possible to enforce them?

Will the fact that many nations have a nuclear capability deter others from others (while perhaps also making those with them feel immune to pursue geoengineering)?

While nuclear conflict nearly happened on several occasions during the Cold War, there is an argument that “mutually assured destruction” (MAD) may have prevented war, acting as sufficient deterrent to the great powers.

That is: if Russia contemplates geoengineering, they may be deterred by the thought of the US, China and/or India could respond with force. That may be sufficient to deter them?.

Actually, when I think about it - the west Asian quadrangle of India/Pakistan/Russia/China is a powder keg. All these states are highly vulnerable to climate change, and all have a nuclear capability.

Is this climate changes MAD? Perhaps game theory explains this better?

More questions here than answers, but that is what the podcast prompted.

I’ll be looking into the issue far more seriously (no doubt will filter through to my blog)

 Signature 

http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 April 2010 02:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  23
Joined  2009-04-16

Citizenschallenge,

I appreciate your enthusiasm. Despite my climate change fatigue, what I would enjoy hearing would be an intelligence-squared style debate, or an interview with an AGW-denier scientist, or yet, get a proponent to ask a question of the opponent, who would in turn would answer then ask a question of the proponent, and so on, with Chris (or a more neutral party?) moderating.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 April 2010 02:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15305
Joined  2006-02-14
Mike from Oz - 12 April 2010 02:28 PM

Just listened. Firstly, a great interview.

[NB: I deleted another thread with the same content as this post. Please avoid posting substantially identical material in more than one place on the Forum, as per rule 3(b).]

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 April 2010 06:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  258
Joined  2010-02-28
dougsmith - 12 April 2010 02:55 PM
Mike from Oz - 12 April 2010 02:28 PM

Just listened. Firstly, a great interview.

[NB: I deleted another thread with the same content as this post. Please avoid posting substantially identical material in more than one place on the Forum, as per rule 3(b).]

Thanks - got posted by mistake. I was gonna come back to suggested killing it smile

 Signature 

http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 April 2010 06:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  258
Joined  2010-02-28
Jordan - 12 April 2010 02:37 PM

Citizenschallenge,

I appreciate your enthusiasm. Despite my climate change fatigue, what I would enjoy hearing would be an intelligence-squared style debate, or an interview with an AGW-denier scientist, or yet, get a proponent to ask a question of the opponent, who would in turn would answer then ask a question of the proponent, and so on, with Chris (or a more neutral party?) moderating.

I’m not sure we’d gain anything:

Scientists: AGW is happening, the evidence…

Denier: Evidence! What evidence!

Not sure we need to question basic science. There are lots of resources out there that explain the science (see Skeptical Science) that have point-by-point refutations of the “sceptical” arguments.

Surely we can move more onto the discussion of mitigation and adaptation? We should be moving onto the mature phases of the debate, not remain stuck on the basics of the science.

That’s why I’ve been enjoying Chris’s recent episodes. It’s about “what’s next”....

 Signature 

http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 3
2