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You're All DOOMED ! .... Well, no, not so much... James Lovelock backpedals on Global Meltdown
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: April 25, 2012 10:26AM
[worldnews.msnbc.msn.com]

"“The world has not warmed up very much since the millennium. Twelve years is a reasonable time… it (the temperature) has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising -- carbon dioxide is rising, no question about that,” he added.

He pointed to Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and Tim Flannery’s “The Weather Makers” as other examples of “alarmist” forecasts of the future."

- - - -

I await the vituperation and lynching parties. Just remember that you're going to use the hoary 'climate change denier' address on the guy that STARTED IT ALL. And at age 92, I don't think he was 'paid off by the oil industry'.

Sucks when the Holy Prophet admits that it was a lot of hooey.

- - - -

I will agree that his model of the Earth as a living changing thing is quite useful and helpful, and that we must all be good stewards of the place where we all live. I don't have a problem with conservation.
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Re: You're All DOOMED ! .... Well, no, not so much... James Lovelock backpedals on Global Meltdown
Posted by: davester
Date: April 25, 2012 10:40AM
It sucks when you post a link to an article but you apparently don't understand any of the content. Lovelock is not a climate change denier, and he does not admit that "it was a lot of hooey". He's just saying that his former dire prediction of almost the entire human race being wiped out before the turn of the century was over the top, bringing him into line with the views of most climate scientists.

Note that Lovelock is not a researcher or even an atmospheric scientist, so doesn't have the qualifications IMHO to be making the bold proclamations he makes. He has always been a thorn in the side of actual researchers, often disregarding scientific modeling that showed that his more outlandish claims were bogus.




"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: You're All DOOMED ! .... Well, no, not so much... James Lovelock backpedals on Global Meltdown
Posted by: beagledave
Date: April 25, 2012 10:53AM
Quote
davester
He has always been a thorn in the side of actual researchers, often disregarding scientific modeling that showed that his more outlandish claims were bogus.

More info here.
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Re: You're All DOOMED ! .... Well, no, not so much... James Lovelock backpedals on Global Meltdown
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: April 25, 2012 10:55AM
How many people accepted his theory that there would be such radical changes within 50 years? I don't think very many. It's good that he's walking that back before he dies.
The models for climate change are very gradual, I've never seen credible science or reports to suggest anything else.
Lovelock is not, however, saying that climate change isn't a huge environmental challenge requiring a response.
Lovelock is a brilliant and accomplished scientist who has made important contributions. He wouldn't be the first scientist to take on an outlier theory and then decide later that he was wrong.
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Re: You're All DOOMED ! .... Well, no, not so much... James Lovelock backpedals on Global Meltdown
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: April 25, 2012 11:00AM
Quote
davester


Note that Lovelock is not a researcher or even an atmospheric scientist, .

That doesn't jive with what I read about him in his wiki bio. His background is as a researcher and atmospheric scientist, though of course that was decades ago. The guy says some wacky stuff but he does have scientist bona fides and a nice trophy case of awards to go with.

"A lifelong inventor, Lovelock has created and developed many scientific instruments, some of which were designed for NASA in its program of planetary exploration. It was while working as a consultant for NASA that Lovelock developed the Gaia Hypothesis, for which he is most widely known. He also claims to have invented the microwave oven[4].

In early 1961, Lovelock was engaged by NASA to develop sensitive instruments for the analysis of extraterrestrial atmospheres and planetary surfaces. The Viking program, that visited Mars in the late 1970s, was motivated in part to determine whether Mars supported life, and many of the sensors and experiments that were ultimately deployed aimed to resolve this issue. During work on a precursor of this program, Lovelock became interested in the composition of the Martian atmosphere, reasoning that many life forms on Mars would be obliged to make use of it (and, thus, alter it). However, the atmosphere was found to be in a stable condition close to its chemical equilibrium, with very little oxygen, methane, or hydrogen, but with an overwhelming abundance of carbon dioxide. To Lovelock, the stark contrast between the Martian atmosphere and chemically dynamic mixture of that of our Earth's biosphere was strongly indicative of the absence of life on the planet.[5] However, when they were finally launched to Mars, the Viking probes still searched (unsuccessfully) for extant life there.

Lovelock invented the electron capture detector, which ultimately assisted in discoveries about the persistence of CFCs and their role in stratospheric ozone depletion.[6][7][8] After studying the operation of the Earth's sulfur cycle,[9] Lovelock and his colleagues developed the CLAW hypothesis as a possible example of biological control of the Earth's climate.[10]

Lovelock was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1974. He served as the president of the Marine Biological Association (MBA) from 1986 to 1990, and has been an Honorary Visiting Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford (formerly Green College, Oxford) since 1994. He has been awarded a number of prestigious prizes including the Tswett Medal (1975), an ACS chromatography award (1980), the WMO Norbert Gerbier Prize (1988), the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for the Environment (1990) and the RGS Discovery Lifetime award (2001). In 2006 he received the Wollaston Medal, the Geological Society's highest Award, whose previous recipients include Charles Darwin [5]. He became a CBE in 1990, and a Companion of Honour in 2003.

An independent scientist, inventor, and author, Lovelock works out of a barn-turned-laboratory on the Devon/Cornwall border."

[en.wikipedia.org]
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Re: You're All DOOMED ! .... Well, no, not so much... James Lovelock backpedals on Global Meltdown
Posted by: davester
Date: April 25, 2012 01:15PM
Quote
Lemon Drop
Quote
davester


Note that Lovelock is not a researcher or even an atmospheric scientist, .

That doesn't jive with what I read about him in his wiki bio. His background is as a researcher and atmospheric scientist, though of course that was decades ago. The guy says some wacky stuff but he does have scientist bona fides and a nice trophy case of awards to go with.

As with Bill Clinton, that depends on the meaning of the word "is". He used to be a researcher, but never in atmospheric science as far as I know (unless you count hypothesizing about martian and earth atmospheric content based on the research of others). He is a very smart guy, and I'm not trying to diminish his very real contributions, especially as an inventor of useful instruments (heck, he invented the electron capture detector, an instrument I rely on in my work). However, he has had a habit of overstating his case and falling in love with his pet hypotheses, which is good when you're trying to sell books, but bad if you want to be perceived as a scientist.




"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/25/2012 01:17PM by davester.
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Re: You're All DOOMED ! .... Well, no, not so much... James Lovelock backpedals on Global Meltdown
Posted by: Gutenberg
Date: April 25, 2012 03:26PM
Linus Pauling said some wacko stuff too but that did not make him any less brilliant, and he was indeed a scientist and researcher.
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Re: You're All DOOMED ! .... Well, no, not so much... James Lovelock backpedals on Global Meltdown
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: April 25, 2012 03:52PM
In re the whole "Outside his area of expertise'......

FWIW.. my father's greatest scientific work in hydrology was entirely outside his entire area of expertise of mineralogy. It's the one that still gets his name mentioned in textbooks.

He also spent 20 years developing and teaching an entire summer session of Environmental studies. Again, entirely outside his area of expertise.

Hell, I don't professionally use a SINGLE skill that I learned in my advanced Engineering classes.
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Re: You're All DOOMED ! .... Well, no, not so much... James Lovelock backpedals on Global Meltdown
Posted by: michaelb
Date: April 25, 2012 04:09PM
I didn't actual read the article, but there is a kernel of truth to this, and an important point and problem for environmentalism. Both the extreme predictions and the modeling of the late 80s and early 90s were wrong about the predictions for what would be occuring now, and that there may not be the compelling evidence for significant warming over the past 12 years that they would have thought they would see, and that how the Earth warms is complicated and contains some feedback loops that are still poorly understood.

And those political mistakes by scientists in the 90s have set back any effective action on climate change significantly. I am not sure if any alternative strategy would have worked either; but clearly the efforts of the 90s to force action on this issue failed.
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Re: You're All DOOMED ! .... Well, no, not so much... James Lovelock backpedals on Global Meltdown
Posted by: mattkime
Date: April 25, 2012 05:13PM
>>And those political mistakes by scientists in the 90s have set back any effective action on climate change significantly.

Hardly. Its a drop in the bucket compared to people believing what they wish.

Our conservation efforts have had some amazing results but people don't appreciate where we'd be without those efforts. Removing lead from paint and gasoline. Bringing the bald eagle back from the edge of extinction. Eliminating CFCs to preserve the ozone layer.

To the conservative persuasion, these are all examples of nanny state interference and the free market would have solved the problems anyway.

Its going to take a heck of a lot of tainted chicken (or something similar) to remind people why we have government.





VTPKL it!
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Re: You're All DOOMED ! .... Well, no, not so much... James Lovelock backpedals on Global Meltdown
Posted by: Acer
Date: April 25, 2012 05:21PM
The "extreme predictions" that are used to beat climatologists over the head today were the worst-case scenarios that the media and perhaps some opportunist politicians found the most exciting at the time. That research had plenty of alternative scenarios with less sexy predictions. The less sexy predictions are panning out pretty well, including those presented in the IPCC documents over the years.

Here's a study from 1981 that's performing well. Depressingly well, actually.
[www.realclimate.org]
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Re: You're All DOOMED ! .... Well, no, not so much... James Lovelock backpedals on Global Meltdown
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: April 25, 2012 05:59PM
Quote
cbelt3
I await the vituperation and lynching parties. Just remember that you're going to use the hoary 'climate change denier' address on the guy that STARTED IT ALL. And at age 92, I don't think he was 'paid off by the oil industry'.

Sucks when the Holy Prophet admits that it was a lot of hooey.

Quote
davester
It sucks when you post a link to an article but you apparently don't understand any of the content. Lovelock is not a climate change denier, and he does not admit that "it was a lot of hooey". He's just saying that his former dire prediction of almost the entire human race being wiped out before the turn of the century was over the top, bringing him into line with the views of most climate scientists.

Note that Lovelock is not a researcher or even an atmospheric scientist, so doesn't have the qualifications IMHO to be making the bold proclamations he makes. He has always been a thorn in the side of actual researchers, often disregarding scientific modeling that showed that his more outlandish claims were bogus.

cbelt, I hate to say it (and not because I have anything against him) but I think davester nailed it.

On top of that, come on man, you have training in classical science. Just because you're a conservative, it doesn't mean that you have to buy into all of their issues. What do you think is going to happen when we dump CO2 that took hundreds of millions of years to sequester, into our atmosphere in a relatively short time? The geological record has a good suggestion of what will happen (periods of high CO2 levels coincided with high temps).
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