Sign up | Login with →

Comments by Simon Donner Subscribe

On Communicating climate change in an unscieintific world

I appreciate your interest Ed. But you're wrong on all counts.

These exchanges are frustrating for us all. It seems there's a big divide between the findings that are actually being produced by science and what is reported in some segments of the blogosphere and some segments of the media.  These wholly incorrect "memes" -- your claims that the surface station data being biased, the the climate sensitivity assumption are unrealistic (nonsensical -- they aren't assumptions, they are conclusions) or that scientists are increasingly "calling into question" the consensus on the basic science of climate change --  propagate despite the fact they have been disproved and debunked using actual data.

Rather than quote papers and spout lists, perhaps people in my position need to simply ask: What sort of evidence would be required to change your mind? Are you willing to accept the scientific conclusions?

September 7, 2009    View Comment    

On Communicating climate change in an unscieintific world

Absolutely, the science is not conclusive about everything. On the core question, is human activity changing the climate, there is a resounding yes. On some of the detailed impacts, like precipitation projections for the middle of large continents, the science is not conclusive. 

Nonetheless, your statements "elements of the science have not been pursed with sufficient care" and "... to be effectively excluded from the climate models" are simply inaccurate. Just because the results are not conclusive, does not mean that scientists are carefully studying the problem. The disagreement in areas like precipitation forecasts reflects the depth of research and analsysis, not the lack thereof. Certainly, cloud physics is complicated, and challenging to incorporate into climate models which operate at a spatial resolution much larger than that of a cloud. But scientists have been working on this for decades. Clouds and precipitation are certainly included in the models; the models do a good job of recreating general rainfall pattens on the planet, and have taught us a lot about water vapour feedbacks. 

September 7, 2009    View Comment    

On Communicating climate change in an unscieintific world

For those who read Maribo through the Energy Collective: the last word should be "conclusive"! Problem with the feed today!

 


September 7, 2009    View Comment    

On Will people participate in Earth Hour?

My thoughts exactly.
March 28, 2009    View Comment    

On The problem with the US stimulus plan

Sorry Rod! I can't comment on the nuclear engineering labs. All I can say is that from my experience working at four different universities, scientific classroom and lab space is generally at a premium (good luck finding a safe home for a computer cluster here!)
February 9, 2009    View Comment    

On The problem with the US stimulus plan

Rob - Believe me, you won't get an argument on the need for more science and engineering education from a scientist and university professor. The one question I have is about all those underused buildings -- space for labs is often a premium on university campuses.
January 31, 2009    View Comment    

On The problem with the US stimulus plan

Fine point - though surely there are enough "green" projects to warrant more than 5% of the infrastructure and housing spending. For one, they could put far more money into the retrofitting program. And there are transit plans in almost every city which could benefit from the funding.

On the approval speed: The government is pushing to streamline the environmental assessment process. That is not unreasonable in some cases, where assessments of projects that would address large problems are slowed down or canceled because of minor issues. That being said, the decision to abandon assessments entirely for low cost project is rather dubious (cheap does not necessarily equal safe!).
January 29, 2009    View Comment