The Real War on Science - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14743149
There are viable alternatives to hydrocarbon energy for almost everything other than shipping goods. And there is nothing stopping the giv'ts of the world from implementing such systems, except for the right and their lobbying for continued use of fossil fuels.
#14743212
foxdemon wrote:The activities of those we think of as right wing don't change the fact there is no viable alternative to hydrocarbon energy. Not quite yet, anyway. Unless, Lexington, you have the solution to replacing hydrocarbons and you've been holding out on us. If not, my statement stands.


I don't - and the vast majority of people that acknowledge that climate change is a real problem also acknowledge that mitigating it is hard, costly, and painful.

The problem is that people many people on the right outright deny that the problem exists at all.
#14743705
War on Science? I think that is hyperbole. I do believe mainstream conservatives are biased against science and more general about education. The simplistic "reason" that I keep telling myself if that conservative by definition mean against change and science is the pursuit if new ideas and technology, therefore, change.
The answer is probably (likely) way more complicated than that. But yes there is a "mini" war (avoid hyperbole!) on science and more particularly education in this country. Don't tell me there are no victims in this "war" the victims are us (and by us, i mean all of humanity, including our children). Who are the ones that will suffer from a planet whose climate is completely out of whack? Who benefits from all the technologies that scientific enterprises such as Apollo missions yielded (such as new materials, lasers, satellites, propulsion technology, etc etc etc)? The list goes on.

The activities of those we think of as right wing don't change the fact there is no viable alternative to hydrocarbon energy. Not quite yet, anyway. Unless, Lexington, you have the solution to replacing hydrocarbons and you've been holding out on us. If not, my statement stands.

Who told you there is no viable alternative? As of 2016 81% of the energy of this country is from hydrocarbons such as petroleum, gas and coal. That means that 19% comes from other sources (half of that is nuclear and other half is the renewable energy). This is a small percentage but it is not an insignificant portion. The technologies do exist to have alternatives. Yes obviously we cannot change in this right instant moment away from hydrocarbons because we would be 1/5th of what we would need short. Price is not the reason why the alternatives don't have a bigger share either, in fact if you factor in the trillions of dollars spent in all these wars in the last 30 years for what essentially comes down to OIL, probably hydrocarbons end up being the most expensive of the bunch. But the biggest obstacle is not the lack of alternatives but the lack of willingness to even consider it. And in this topic both right and left got it wrong. I am sure there are a lot of lefties that would want to cover the planet on solar panels and wind mills but those are not without their own disadvantages as well for the environment. And this is one of the areas were this "war" on science is also evident. Why is it that what could become the first fusion nuclear plant is not being pioneered, engineered, and built in the most powerful country on earth and it is instead build in france? why is it that the large hadron collider was built in Switzerland when in fact scientist wanted to build an even larger here in america?
The reality is that we will likely eventually accept global warming as a fact, perhaps 4 years down the line or perhaps 10, or perhaps more. But it will eventually be common, accepted, indisputable knowledge. Just the same way that at some point nobody believed "wack" science that said that lead in our gas was a bad idea, that CFCs in our sprays was a bad idea, that dumping tons and tons and tons of fertilizers and chemical problems was a bad idea, acid rain, ozone layers, smoking. All of these and more were seen at their time as fake and today it is uncommon to find people that disputes the veracity and importance of any of those issues. In the same way in 10-15, 20 years people will KNOW for a fact that global warming is/was real. And I personally think we will be able to deal with it, with technology, science and handwork we might even find ways to slow/reverse it. But I bet it will be a lot more expensive than if we start today and we will look a lot dumber to the future generations for not doing so.
#14743745
Lexington wrote:I don't - and the vast majority of people that acknowledge that climate change is a real problem also acknowledge that mitigating it is hard, costly, and painful.

The problem is that people many people on the right outright deny that the problem exists at all.


I think those on the right who deny the problem are simply using a difficult problem to promot themselves. Why do so on this subject? Possibly they are just being their usual reactionary selves and difinding their beliefs in opposition to their political rivals. Sure, vested interests exploit this but they won't were the problem not so large.

What the OP is saying is that this partisan mentality exists on the left too. Their dogmatic approach is crushing the culuture of objectivity in the acedemic world. George Bush is by no means the only one with a 'either for us or against us' attitude.

Pants-of-dog wrote:There are viable alternatives to hydrocarbon energy for almost everything other than shipping goods. And there is nothing stopping the giv'ts of the world from implementing such systems, except for the right and their lobbying for continued use of fossil fuels.


Ah! Good point. Transport is a real issue. We all tend to identify a favourite technology which we think might be the solution, and I am no different. Graphen batteries might be the thing. It is battery limitations that are preventing a move from hydrocarbon powered vehicles and equipment. Possibly graphen super capacitors might change that. Already commercialisation is underway. But it will take time to replace the old infrastructure with a new electric infrastructure. And we don't yet know of any problems that might crop up. It does look like promising technology. Still, we would need to generate much more electricity. Maybe breakthroughs in drilling will allow widespread geothermal power? I think marine propulsion might have to be nuclear.

But that gets to the core of the problem. Hydrocarbons are almost free energy. We just need to find them and extract them. The energy was bound in the hydrogen-carbon bonds by nature, ready to be released through combustion. If we are to generate power through other means, then those means must be as cheap or cheaper than extraction of hydrocarbon reserves. Otherwise someone will keep digging them up and selling them.

It is a problem. But there are signs of change in places that matter, like China. Most would move away from hydrocarbons if they could, even if only for strategic reasons. It is never too late, though at this point there will be serious effects within a century or so. Possibly a few thousand years to really see what the effects will be. A couple of hundred thousands years for it to settle down again. Nature will cope. But changing the equilibrium is not a wise thing to do. I agree with Lexington. Most people understand that.
#14743873
Hydrocarbons are almost free energy.

Not even close. If you ignore everything but the price it cost to extract/process it might look like a very cheap cheap source of energy as compared to the real alternatives (mostly nuclear). However, that is a big mistake. There is cost in the damage we doing to the planet's air. There is damage to the oceans and wildlife that dwarf the cost of any other alternative. There is cost in all those wars that essentially just comes down to OIL OIL OIL. We have spent trillions or perhaps even quadrillions (what price do you put in the future of the planet and its wildlife?) for this energy source.
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By AFAIK
#14796348
Sorry for bumping an old thread but isn't abstinence only education an example of anti-scientific right-wing positions causing measurable harm? As well as the myth that HIV could leak through condoms.

I think the author of this piece cherry picked problems to discuss.
#14797240
Lexington wrote:This would be an easier claim to make if the right wasn't going around explicitly denying climate science.


No it wouldn't. The one thing has nothing to do with the other.

Limiting CO2 emissions to any meaningful degree would wreck most if not all major economies of the world. There's no reason to invoke a right wing conspiracy.
#14797242
foxdemon wrote:... It is battery limitations that are preventing a move from hydrocarbon powered vehicles and equipment...


No it isn't. Electric transport would make little or no difference to hydrocarbon use.

Hint: where does electricity come from?
#14797243
Pants-of-dog wrote:There are viable alternatives to hydrocarbon energy for almost everything other than shipping goods. And there is nothing stopping the giv'ts of the world from implementing such systems, except for the right and their lobbying for continued use of fossil fuels.


What are these alternatives?
User avatar
By AJS
#14797538
Great article.

I think people of all political persuasions pick and choose the science which supports their view and ignore the bits that don't. Though the right couldn't come close to the scope and ambition of bogus climate science pushed by the left.

It’s bound to be that way because the reality of science is seldom dramatic break-throughs or alarming discoveries of impending doom, but the dull grind of testing and retesting every aspect of some arcane hypothesis to make a modest step forwards in our understanding of the world.
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By Drlee
#14797556
Sorry for bumping an old thread but isn't abstinence only education an example of anti-scientific right-wing positions causing measurable harm? As well as the myth that HIV could leak through condoms.

I think the author of this piece cherry picked problems to discuss.


It is. Abstinance has a great role in preventing unwanted pregnancy, furthering the educational goals of young women and preventing STDs. It is, after all, the only 100% effective method. That said. The key word is "only". When that is thrown into the equation it is, of course, anti-scientific.
#14797581
AJS wrote:Great article.

I think people of all political persuasions pick and choose the science which supports their view and ignore the bits that don't. Though the right couldn't come close to the scope and ambition of bogus climate science pushed by the left.

It’s bound to be that way because the reality of science is seldom dramatic break-throughs or alarming discoveries of impending doom, but the dull grind of testing and retesting every aspect of some arcane hypothesis to make a modest step forwards in our understanding of the world.


Wht do you mean by "bogus climate science pushed by the left"?
User avatar
By AJS
#14797752
Pants-of-dog wrote:
Wht do you mean by "bogus climate science pushed by the left"?


I mean the utter certainty with which man made climate change is treated as an established fact by many, mainly on the left, who consider dissent from this view as some sort of extremism only given any consideration by lunatic fringes and those in the pay of the fossil fuel industry. The fallback on nonsensical terms such as "settled science" and "scientific consensus" as though such things exist or matter.

Anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of the scientific method and the complexities of measuring or predicting the climate should recognise instantly that this is nonsense.
#14797802
AJS wrote:I mean the utter certainty with which man made climate change is treated as an established fact by many,


It is an established fact.

mainly on the left, who consider dissent from this view as some sort of extremism only given any consideration by lunatic fringes and those in the pay of the fossil fuel industry.


No, it is not only lunatics and fossil fuel vendors who calim this. Idiots, conspiracy theorists, and religious fundamentalists do too.

Almost no people who actually understand climate science think anthropogenic cliamte change theory is incorrect.

The fallback on nonsensical terms such as "settled science" and "scientific consensus" as though such things exist or matter.

Anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of the scientific method and the complexities of measuring or predicting the climate should recognise instantly that this is nonsense.


Oh, I see. Because you do not understand it, you think no one else does either.
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By AJS
#14797835
Science doesn't work by consensus. It works by testing hypotheses and getting consistent results to show causal relationships. No amount of polls of meteorologists proves beyond doubt a relationship between human carbon emissions and global temperatures in the long run.

Anyway you can talk about climate science forever.

The point about the attack on science is talking of complex issues as though they are, or can be settled once and for all. It is a form of dumbing down which undermines fundamental scientific principles of objectivity and scepticism in favour of an easy narrative.
#14797841
AJS wrote:Science doesn't work by consensus. It works by testing hypotheses and getting consistent results to show causal relationships. No amount of polls of meteorologists proves beyond doubt a relationship between human carbon emissions and global temperatures in the long run.


Since no one argued that science was built on consensus, this criticism is not relevant.

The evidence supporting anthropogenic climate change theory is strong, consistent across different fields, and measurable.

Anyway you can talk about climate science forever.

The point about the attack on science is talking of complex issues as though they are, or can be settled once and for all. It is a form of dumbing down which undermines fundamental scientific principles of objectivity and scepticism in favour of an easy narrative.


Yes, conservatives like to believe they know that climate change theory is incorrect, but as you say, that is just a form of dumbing down actual science.
User avatar
By AJS
#14797918
I don't pretend to know that the climate change hypothesis is wrong. I am sceptical that anyone can have much confidence in measuring such a vast and complex system.
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