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2013: an Ominous Year For Warnings and Predictions

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the it's-all-here-in-the-quatrain dept.

Earth 94

dcblogs writes "This year may be remembered for its striking number of reports and warning of calamitous events. The National Intelligence Council released its Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds report that included a number of dire possibilities ahead, including the prospect of a catastrophic solar storm, on par with the 1859 Carrington Event. Historical records suggest a return period of 50 years for a repeat of the Quebec-level storm that knocked out the power for 6 million in 1989, and 150 years for very extreme storms, such as the Carrington Event, according to Lloyd's, in a report this year. Scientists at the Idaho National Laboratory recently demonstrated in tests that 'geomagnetic disturbances have the power to disrupt and possibly destroy electrical transformers, the backbone of our nation's utility grid.' This was also the year the average daily level of CO2 reached a concentration above 400 parts per million. In a recent National Academies report this year, 'Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises,' scientists recommend creation of a global early warning system to alert mankind to abrupt climate changes. A recent paper in Nature, Abrupt rise of new machine ecology beyond human response time, said financial trading systems are driving transaction times down to the speed of light, and 'the quickest that someone can notice potential danger and physically react, is approximately 1 second.'"

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94 comments

And there's the rise of islam (-1, Troll)

Chrisq (894406) | about 4 months ago | (#45775809)

Which gives the mandate to use all the above against non-Muslims

Re:And there's the rise of islam (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45775899)

Which gives mandate to use all of the above against any political adversary. Can also be used to generate tax revenue as needed and be used for grant approval. They keep crying wolf, but the story changes every year and none of their 'predictions' have come true. Global Warmists, I mean Climate Changists (insert laugh track here) give real scientists a bad reputation.

Re:And there's the rise of islam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45776393)

Chicken Little!

How are we going to harness tech and knowledge (3, Informative)

WillAdams (45638) | about 4 months ago | (#45775853)

How are we going to harness tech and knowledge to create a better world for our children and grand-children?

Is it really an improvement to have machines such as the ShapeOko: http://www.shapeoko.com/ [shapeoko.com] rather than teaching children how to use a set of carving gouges, chisels, saws, &c.?

Is it inevitable that we will see the banning of commercial fishing as commercial hunting was out-lawed during our grand-parents' day?

What technologies or organizations are there which offer options for making the world a better place?

  - http://opensourceecology.org/ [opensourceecology.org] --- and their ``global village construction kit are one bright light --- arguably the ShapeOko has a place in that though.
  - http://www.heifer.org/ [heifer.org] --- teach a man to fish and all that

Re:How are we going to harness tech and knowledge (3, Insightful)

Richy_T (111409) | about 4 months ago | (#45775877)

Will you teach your children to flake flint hand axes?

Thought not.

Re:How are we going to harness tech and knowledge (2)

blackanvil (1147329) | about 4 months ago | (#45776701)

Probably, if I ever have children. Flintknaping is fun, easy, the materials are common as rocks, and once you know how to flake out an edge, you'll never be without a tool.

Re:How are we going to harness tech and knowledge (3, Funny)

operagost (62405) | about 4 months ago | (#45777157)

I assure you that the Internet will never be short of tools.

Re:How are we going to harness tech and knowledge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45778893)

Unless you're suddenly going to lose all hundred billion of the world's knives forever, your tools frankly suck.

Re:How are we going to harness tech and knowledge (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 4 months ago | (#45776729)

Will you teach your children to flake flint hand axes?

Thought not.

Around here, if you dig deep enough, you'll hit limestone. Other than that, all we got is sand. No granite, no quartz, no flint. #$@$#@!!

Re:How are we going to harness tech and knowledge (1)

jraff2 (2828801) | about 4 months ago | (#45776893)

Something like the 1859 Carrington Event or even stranger will provide some warning. Shut the grid down! Turn EVERYTHING OFF! Unplug EVERYTHING! With no live current the device killing current surges will be much less. Go ouside and enjoy the light show. DO NOT use any electrical appliance, not even battery operated, it will be burned out!

Re:How are we going to harness tech and knowledge (1)

icebike (68054) | about 4 months ago | (#45777217)

DO NOT use any electrical appliance, not even battery operated, it will be burned out!

And so we have another dire prediction.

Current induced is proportional to area, Length of transmission lines, etc. Small transistor radios, cell phones, etc would not have the are
to induce enough current to harm them.

While there would be no point in using a battery operated phones and radios (the towers would all be shut down), it would be quite safe to do so.
Older ICE engines will continue to operate properly, (The computerized modern ones may be a different thing).

It would be a perfect day for a holiday, just pull the mains breaker before you leave the house.

Re:How are we going to harness tech and knowledge (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 4 months ago | (#45777743)

Is it inevitable that we will see the banning of commercial fishing as commercial hunting was out-lawed during our grand-parents' day?

I was able to find information on commercial hunting in the US with google just now. Illinois was the first state that came up. I bet there are plenty of others. No, you probably can't commercially hunt on public land; but that's a resource issue. Too many people wanted to do it (passenger pigeon extinction, etc.). If you control the land and it's not an endangered species; it's no different than farming. Many say it's more humane. I recall seeing a place on some other site in Texas where they bring a meat processing van out into the field and chill fresh game right there. They do that to comply with the regulations that would otherwise require the animal to be lead to slaughter. Needless to say that's an expensive specialty item for people that want free range venison and such; but it's certainly not illegal.

Re:How are we going to harness tech and knowledge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45778333)

Ok. So shut of the TV and teach your kids. There's nothing wrong with doing things the hard way and still having the easy way available. That's why some people play music instead of just listen to it.

Re:How are we going to harness tech and knowledge (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | about 4 months ago | (#45802537)

How are we going to harness tech and knowledge to create a better world for our children and grand-children?

We are not going to. You may choose to create a better world for your children and grand children, but I am certainly not going to expend any effort to create a better world for your children or grandchildren. But don't expect me to support you.

There are too many people on thiis planet - by somewhere between 4 and 5 billion. I'm not contributing to the problem, but it sounds as if you intend to, or have already.

Yeah and there's no more North Pole (0, Troll)

CajunArson (465943) | about 4 months ago | (#45775871)

These predictions are all 100% accurate, just like Ted Danson's prediction that all U.S. cities will be completely uninhabitable by 1980 because Reagan was president throughout the 1970's and are even MORE accurate than ALGORE's 100% accurate prediction that the entire polar ice cap has permanently melted and all polar bears are dead.

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 4 months ago | (#45775905)

Ted Danson's prediction that all U.S. cities will be completely uninhabitable by 1980 because Reagan was president throughout the 1970's

Wait, what?

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (4, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | about 4 months ago | (#45775921)

More fun: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/22/failed-mirth-earth-day-predictions/ [wattsupwiththat.com]

http://reason.com/archives/2000/05/01/earth-day-then-and-now [reason.com]

Here's a joke:

Q: What's the difference between a Bible-Thumper who predicts the Rapture and an Environmentalist who predicts a religious Eco-Apocalypse?

A: There are actually two differences: The Bible-Thumper actually has the decency to predict a firm date, and then admits that he was wrong when the rapture didn't occur.

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (3, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 4 months ago | (#45775959)

Your weird obession with denying the overwhelming evidence we're destroying the environment aside, I was referring to your statement that Reagan was President in the 70s.

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (3, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | about 4 months ago | (#45775993)

Get with the program: Everything bad that has ever occurred in the 20th century is due to Reagan and Reagan alone. Don't let the corporatist media fool you into thinking that anyone other than Reagan was running the show in the 20th century. DON'T BE A SHEEPLE.

Oh, BTW, Reagan was also so stupid that he couldn't tie his own shoes.

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45776077)

Could evil Xobonic radiation emanating from Reagan's corpse be the new Global non-Constant Anthropogenic Hotness?

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45776091)

Everything bad that has ever occurred in the 20th century is due to Reagan and Reagan alone.

To be fair, I'd also give Thatcher some credit!

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45776233)

You’re joking of course, but the reality is you would be much more correct to blame Nixon for most of today’s problems.

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (4, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 4 months ago | (#45776241)

Everything bad that has ever occurred in the 20th century is due to Reagan and Reagan alone.

Oh, it wasn't so bad. Back when Reagan was President, "sleeping with the President" meant taking a nap during cabinet meetings. Clinton gave it spanking new meaning . . .

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45795507)

I didn't realise he was into S&M.

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (1)

drjzzz (150299) | about 4 months ago | (#45776397)

sigh, Slashdot used to have enough intelligent readers who would moderate such stupidity down where it belongs.

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (3, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | about 4 months ago | (#45776457)

You mean +5 funny satire? The sad truth is that there are plenty of "enlightened" people who post all the "correct" beliefs spoonfed to them over at HuffPo who basically believe that post at face value.

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (0)

OneAhead (1495535) | about 4 months ago | (#45778691)

One man's "+5 funny satire" is another man's "-5 puerile strawman flamebait". Politically polarized "satire" is bound to offend people on a site with a politically diverse audience. If you knew this, then you fit the definition of a troll; if you didn't, then you're not mature enough for this site. Either way, you're advised to go post your hur-hur-satire with the fine like-minded people at TheBlaze. You're doing nothing but increasing the noise level here.

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (1, Troll)

mspohr (589790) | about 4 months ago | (#45776589)

"Oh, BTW, Reagan was also so stupid that he couldn't tie his own shoes." I think we'd need a citation for that... however, given his early onset Alzheimer during his presidency, it's plausible.
"Everything bad that has ever occurred in the 20th century is due to Reagan and Reagan alone." I think you're not really giving credit to many other Republicans who came after and expanded his policies. Both Bushes are prime examples... also, the enablers, Rove, McCain, Gingrich and the whacko Koch Tea Party. There's lots of people who can take credit for destroying our democracy.

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (0)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 4 months ago | (#45776783)

"Oh, BTW, Reagan was also so stupid that he couldn't tie his own shoes." I think we'd need a citation for that... however, given his early onset Alzheimer during his presidency, it's plausible.
"Everything bad that has ever occurred in the 20th century is due to Reagan and Reagan alone." I think you're not really giving credit to many other Republicans who came after and expanded his policies. Both Bushes are prime examples... also, the enablers, Rove, McCain, Gingrich and the whacko Koch Tea Party. There's lots of people who can take credit for destroying our democracy.

I think I'd allow that Reagan could tie his own shoes. But as a definite 1-percenter, I'd wager that he had a flunky doing it for him. Being senile didn't help, but his greatest sin was in enabling Gingrich, who I personally blame for the all-or-nothing approach to politics that ultimately cultivated in the recent shutdown.

McCain was a fairly positive force before the millennium - excepting the Keating affair. After the century rolled over, however, he went downhill fast.

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (1)

operagost (62405) | about 4 months ago | (#45777521)

You forgot Clinton... what a great Republican he was to help create the lending bubble.

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (2)

mspohr (589790) | about 4 months ago | (#45778117)

Sub-prime lending was low (and even declining) until 2003 then increased dramatically and peaked in 2006 ending with the crash starting in July 2007 when Bear Stearns funds folded... I believe that this is Junior Bush's reign.

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 4 months ago | (#45781845)

Get with the program: Everything bad that has ever occurred in the 20th century is due to Reagan and Reagan alone. Don't let the corporatist media fool you into thinking that anyone other than Reagan was running the show in the 20th century. DON'T BE A SHEEPLE.

Oh, BTW, Reagan was also so stupid that he couldn't tie his own shoes.

They fooled you. Reagan was a puppet, an actor hired to play a part.

Bill Clinton was the real evil behind America for the last 100 years!

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45776035)

Overwhelming evidence of what?

2013 is on pace to be coldest in 20 years.
No warming for 15 years.
2013 brought the fewest tornadoes in recent memory and a largely absent Atlantic hurricane season.

The enviro-charlatan predictions are not coming close to actual data.

Who's really in denial?

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45776121)

what evidence would that be, the record cold late fall and start of winters, or the fact that exactly zero global warming has occurred in the last 16 years?

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 4 months ago | (#45778329)

That's pretty funny since the warmest years in the instrument record are 2005 and 2010 and the oceans are continuing to absorb energy right on schedule. Also, November 2013 was the warmest ever recorded globally. You can keep living with your delusions for a while yet but reality will catch up to them eventually.

Re: Yeah and there's no more North Pole (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45793241)

"Exactly zero global warming has occurred on the last 16 years"
Why yes, it's exactly the same temperature right now as it was at 10:50 pm Dec 26 1997. Oh wait it's a degree down now. Oh, ok, it's back to zero now. No, wait, it's half a degree up. Oh no, now it's a degree up. Oops, it's down again.
The point being that anybody who had the ability to look at the data could never be stupid enough to utter such a meaningless phrase, even if they found no statistically significant trend in the data, so please don't come here parroting dumbass sound bites cynically dreamed up by PR agencies to fit within the tiny buffers of dimbulb reactionary paleoconservative memories.

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (1)

approachingZero (1365381) | about 4 months ago | (#45777005)

Remember when those old people would sit around and talk about President Truman and Eisenhower? That's the feeling young people have when oldsters talk about Reagan and Clinton.

When Reagan was President the great threats to civilization included (if memory serves) a depleted ozone layer, electricity generated by nuclear power, Alar in applesauce, deforestation, cattle on public lands, a nuclear holocaust instigated by a mad cowboy in the White house and red dye number two.

Those might be out of order and I may have missed one or two things. Those were scary times. And on top of that we were dealing with an economy that made the 'Great Recession' look like a cake walk because of a guy named Jimmy Carter.

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (0)

fredrated (639554) | about 4 months ago | (#45776351)

Here is a question: what is the difference between someone fucking a whore in the ass while eating shit from a toilet, and parent poster?
Answer: nothing.

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45777145)

Drunk already?

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 4 months ago | (#45776529)

Well, look at Chicago, for example.
Most large cities are nice for rich folks and a kind of living hell for the poor.

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 4 months ago | (#45776651)

My comment was about Reagan being President in the 70s. Which he wasn't.

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 4 months ago | (#45776851)

I went to view your reply and handily posted at the bottom of the page was this quote:

"Facts are stupid things." -- President Ronald Reagan (a blooper from his speeach (sic) at the '88 GOP convention)

Thank you, Slashdot.

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45776687)

He got the wrong decade for the Reagan presidency.

Re: Yeah and there's no more North Pole (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45793285)

Reagan wasn't any too sure what decade it was either.

Holy shit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45776039)

These predictions are all 100% accurate, just like Ted Danson's prediction that all U.S. cities will be completely uninhabitable by 1980 because Reagan was president throughout the 1970's and are even MORE accurate than ALGORE's 100% accurate prediction that the entire polar ice cap has permanently melted and all polar bears are dead.

These stinking experts are always wrong! I mean when the noted sociologist Ted Danson screws up and the eminent climatologist Al Gore screws up too, you know the scientific community is in danger!

Why when the world famous virologist, Jenny McCarthy, mistook her research regarding the correlation between vaccines and autism and the noted paleontologist Kirk Cameron stated that the World is only 6,000 years old; we just have to wonder, who are these experts and why do we develop policy based on their findings!

Now, I'll have to be careful with the political scientist, George Clooney and his research.

Just what - WHAT - I say, is going on with the scientists and their idiotic predictions?!

Re:Holy shit! (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 4 months ago | (#45776475)

It's always cute when denialists think they're somehow different from antivaxers and creationists.

Re:Holy shit! (1)

operagost (62405) | about 4 months ago | (#45777543)

I'm pretty sure they are different; by definition, they believe in different things. But to people like you, who are incapable of sustaining a logical debate and thus must rest on the ad hominem, there is no difference.

Re:Holy shit! (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 4 months ago | (#45777747)

The beliefs are different; the thought processes are exactly the same. But then, I don't expect someone who can't tell the difference between an ad hominem argument and a simple description to understand that.

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 4 months ago | (#45776201)

even MORE accurate than ALGORE's 100% accurate prediction that the entire polar ice cap has permanently melted and all polar bears are dead.

Polar bears are quite intelligent animals, and don't listen to Al Gore, and don't do what he tells them to do.

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (3, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 4 months ago | (#45776643)

These predictions are all 100% accurate, just like Ted Danson's prediction that all U.S. cities will be completely uninhabitable by 1980 because Reagan was president throughout the 1970's and are even MORE accurate than ALGORE's 100% accurate prediction that the entire polar ice cap has permanently melted and all polar bears are dead.

Which specific predictions are you talking about? Nobody brought up Ted Danson, so I fail to see his relevance unless you are making this argument: if Ted Danson's predictions aren't accurate, then nobody's can be.

In any case it seems to me that the summary and linked article is kind of sloppy, almost as if it were designed to provoke this kind of silly strawman response.

For example, the notion that the power grid might be vulnerable to a geomagnetic storm the size of the 1859 event [wikipedia.org] isn't a prediction. It's merely an assessment of vulnerability to a rare but possible event (e.g., a 14+m tsunami hitting Japan). A large geomagnetic storm is a possibility that should be taken into account, not an event to put on the calendar.

Likewise, nobody is suggesting that there's anything special about the 400ppm CO2 figure, other than that it is a round figure. It's common sense to look for climate impact, not because we've hit some "magic" number, but that CO2 levels are higher than they've been at any time in the past three million years. This is especially so because the slope of the CO2 concentration graph shows no sign of topping out.

Keep in mind there's no such thing as a "natural disaster". There are only natural events that catch us unprepared. There's nothing inherently disastrous about flooding in Bengladesh, except that economics and politics forces people to live in the flood plain. Likewise there's nothing about a world that's two or three degrees warmer that makes it uninhabitable by humans, but the changes involved along the way will be *perceived* as catastrophic. For example models predict a drier western US. That doesn't mean that one day it will stop raining, it only means that rainy years will be less common and drought years more common. For all we know we'll have a rainy year in 2014, but it still makes sense to plan for the day when the Colorado River won't be able to supply all the water cities in the west require from it (Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Phoenix, Tucson, Salt Lake City, and others). The disaster won't be lack of water, it will be lack of preparedness.

Re: Yeah and there's no more North Pole (1)

gzuckier (1155781) | about 4 months ago | (#45793377)

The point behind the Ted Danson and Al Gore references is that right wingers these days have selected themselves down to only those who have no ability to interpret data for themselves, and make decisions by defining themselves as good true Americans, identifying the political and media figures who are also good true Americans and therefore trustworthy, and repeating the opinions they here from these trustworthy sources; any disagreeing ideas are obviously from bad people who hate America. This is so ingrained in them that they can't conceive of any other decision making process; nobody could be looking at the data and deciding that it demonstrates climate change. Therefore, these guys figure the way to argue with evil liberals is to tear down the obvious sources of their evil liberal opinions. If they can make Al Gore look unreliable, then all those AGW nutsv will just have to change their minds.

Re:Yeah and there's no more North Pole (1)

GerryGilmore (663905) | about 4 months ago | (#45777039)

Errr, Reagan was elected in November of 1980, and I - for one - never heard Al Gore predict anything like this for 2013. 2035, maybe, but - let's try to be just a tiny bit accurate, OK?

fearmongering unprecedented evile never sleeps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45775889)

keeps us on our toes until non-fictional communications & journalism return. never a better time to consider ourselves in relation to momkind our spiritual centerpeace

Sometimes those warnings are muted (3, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | about 4 months ago | (#45775951)

Billons were spent between 2003 and 2010 to deny climate change [wired.co.uk] (pdf [drexel.edu]) and probably even more has been used for that goal in the last 3 years. In any case, is more money that was ever used to measure climate change, to detect dangerous asteroids, and prevent the spreading of pandemic diseases.

Maybe science should stop doing warnings and studies and let things happens with no preparations from our side. We deserve it.

Re:Sometimes those warnings are muted (2)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 4 months ago | (#45776433)

Maybe science should stop doing warnings and studies and let things happens with no preparations from our side. We deserve it.

The problem with this from the scientists' point of view is that we have to live with the consequences too. Now, in my field I'm not likely to be issuing any dire warnings any time soon--but in the unlikely event that I did come across something in my work that could kill millions of people or crash the economy, I'd damn sure want to do something about it, if for no other reason than that my family and friends and I would be just as likely to be affected as anyone else.

Re:Sometimes those warnings are muted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45776463)

Some of us still believe in people. If people stop believing in the good others do and they themselves can do, then it all comes crashing down.

Re:Sometimes those warnings are muted (1)

s_p_oneil (795792) | about 4 months ago | (#45776789)

Actually, I find the opposite to be true. If people stop believing in (e.g. forget about) the evil others can do when unchecked, then it all comes crashing down.

Re:Sometimes those warnings are muted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45776613)

It wouldn't matter if 'climate change' were true or not. They'd do 'deny' it, because it's good business to protect your interests, particularly against the ever changing political winds.

More money was also probably spent on beer advertising. Why? It pays dividends. I don't see what your point is. People (and the companies they run) make choices in the interest of self preservation and self-interest.

Maybe science should stop doing warnings and studies and let things happens with no preparations from our side.

That'd be nice - 'science' could just stick to doing sciencey things, then, instead of creating contrived and falsifiable histrionic reports about things which, almost invariably, will not prove out to be true.

Re:Sometimes those warnings are muted (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 4 months ago | (#45776847)

People (and the companies they run) make choices in the interest of self preservation and self-interest.

Self-interest, yes. Self preservation? Only if disaster is staring them right straight in the face. A short-term quick buck will win out every time.

When you're dealing with massive objects, you don't try and stop them by waiting until they're 3 feet away and coming at full speed. Or by hoping that they're imaginary because admitting you were wrong would be too embarrassing. An avalanche doesn't care who's right or wrong or what political party they vote for.

Re:Sometimes those warnings are muted (2)

s_p_oneil (795792) | about 4 months ago | (#45777305)

"That'd be nice - 'science' could just stick to doing sciencey things, then, instead of creating contrived and falsifiable histrionic reports about things which, almost invariably, will not prove out to be true."

All of this started when NASA was asked to do "sciencey" things with a clear non-political goal, namely to start tracking/modeling/predicting global weather patterns to help the US prepare for natural disasters like hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes, floods, droughts, etc. However, those things are very hard to predict without trying to look at larger climate patterns, which means gathering and crunching as much data as they could pull together. When all of that data pointed toward a potential long-term danger, NASA scientists did their jobs and informed their bosses of the potential danger.

Is that danger 100% clear? No. Did NASA scientists claim it was 100% clear? No. People like Al Gore may have, but last I checked, he wasn't one of NASA's scientists. Have the predictions remained constant over the years? No, they've been modified as more has been learned, and they will continue to be modified because there is always more to learn in every field of science. Have their discoveries and claims been backed up by other climate/weather tracking organizations like the ESA? Yes. The only thing that is 100% clear here is which side of the fence has been politically motivated the whole way and which side has not, which side has been trying to learn more and which has merely been obstructionist, etc.

The human race has never been short of people like the hunters who killed the very last of the dodo birds and smashed the last of their eggs, poachers who illegally hunt elephants and tigers toward extinction, fisheries who dredge the ocean floor because it's getting so much harder to find/catch enough fish to stay in business, or loggers who illegally cut down the rest of the trees in the Amazon rain forest. Every one of them is certain that the world is too big for their contribution to make a difference, and every one of them is wrong. Most global warming deniers aren't doing anything illegal or immoral (unless they're actively publishing fake scientific "studies"), but they have the same mind-set.

"I don't see what your point is. People (and the companies they run) make choices in the interest of self preservation and self-interest."

They sure do. And just like when someone's (or some company's) choices involve something illegal like human trafficking, it is the government's job to put a stop to it. It is also the government's job to decide whether something that is legal today should remain legal. They'll never be able to satisfy everyone, but it's their job. Of course, we can't outlaw coal and oil without harming everyone (yet), but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be trying to look for ways to head in that direction.

Re:Sometimes those warnings are muted (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 4 months ago | (#45777729)

Now you named beer advertising, why not focus a little in something pretty similar, like tobacco advertising? Yes, it pays dividends. It causes addiction, and very cruel death to more people each single year than terrorists, sharks, AIDS, extreme weather, even nazis, ever. But it pays a lot, enough to have something left to push propaganda in movies all along past century, common commercials, and to fund studies that "prove" that they are harmless or tried to hide or deny reports that caused cancer.

Culture has advanced a little, most people acknowledge by now the danger of tobacco use, still the tobacco industry is pretty strong, pretty denialist, and keep attacking countries with anti-tobacco laws [nytimes.com].

With that precedent, how much time must we wait till most people acknowledge the global climate change? How much time their efforts to deny the truth and keep screwing things we must stand?

Re:Sometimes those warnings are muted (1)

romons (2767081) | about 4 months ago | (#45783229)

It wouldn't matter if 'climate change' were true or not. They'd do 'deny' it, because it's good business to protect your interests, particularly against the ever changing political winds.

More money was also probably spent on beer advertising. Why? It pays dividends. I don't see what your point is. People (and the companies they run) make choices in the interest of self preservation and self-interest.

Maybe science should stop doing warnings and studies and let things happens with no preparations from our side.

That'd be nice - 'science' could just stick to doing sciencey things, then, instead of creating contrived and falsifiable histrionic reports about things which, almost invariably, will not prove out to be true.

You mean non-falsifiable, I think...

The problem is that scientists are mostly trying to figure out what is happening, and present it in a logical way, and the deniers are mostly generating propaganda to further their personal financial interests. I find it hard to put these two groups into the same category.

The true stroke of genius by the 'Koch' guys was to somehow graft the denial of global warming onto political affiliation (using Al Gore's selfless position as a starting point). That way, blind belief becomes a badge of membership for conservatives.

Re:Sometimes those warnings are muted (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about 4 months ago | (#45776691)

I don't usually take a side in the arena of climate change....

The reason is that I have not been able to study all the data myself and if I did it's not my field of expertise. I do not however need to fund and complete my own study to know that climate change will happen regardless of our contributions and that when government gets involved someone is going to profit from their policies. If I want that person to be the average guy including me then the needle needs to fall on cleaner, cheaper, more efficient forms of energy production and manufacturing.

I would like to have a smaller power bill and be able to visit family in Chicago with out the smog giving me a soar throat.
 

Re:Sometimes those warnings are muted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45777947)

Maybe science should stop doing warnings and studies and let things happens with no preparations from our side. We deserve it.

That's tumblr logic. The ones who will suffer when things happen will be ordinary people who had nothing to do with spending money on climate change denial. The rich people who funded the denial will have plenty of money to escape off to whatever part of the world isn't yet uninhabitable.

Re:Sometimes those warnings are muted (1)

quantaman (517394) | about 4 months ago | (#45779385)

Billons were spent between 2003 and 2010 to deny climate change [wired.co.uk] (pdf [drexel.edu]) and probably even more has been used for that goal in the last 3 years. In any case, is more money that was ever used to measure climate change, to detect dangerous asteroids, and prevent the spreading of pandemic diseases.

Maybe science should stop doing warnings and studies and let things happens with no preparations from our side. We deserve it.

Your characterization of the paper is misleading. They're looking at all the groups that have a denialist position and taking a sum of their income, but those groups aren't exclusively doing climate change. The billions help characterize the influence of the advocates but not the amount of advocating they're doing.

Besides, the biggest denialist advocate in the US is Fox News and the Republican party, I'd say they're worth far more than these advocacy groups to cast doubt on AGW.

Pure BS! (0)

EzInKy (115248) | about 4 months ago | (#45775961)

I'll be willing to gamble the OP would risk a dollar or two on the shade of his own skin. WTF slashdot, WTF?

Still suffering from Reagan (0, Flamebait)

EzInKy (115248) | about 4 months ago | (#45776005)

I have a few dollars left that big business hasn't gotten a hold of. Please don't remind me of this nation's worst period in history. When the rich want to get richer, they will find someone make laws that enables them to suck what little that the poor has.

I was there! (4, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | about 4 months ago | (#45776069)

for a repeat of the Quebec-level storm that knocked out the power for 6 million in 1989

I was there. And it was really, really creepy. From my apartment building I could see the electrical arcing from the power station way on the other side of town. The lights went out everywhere, and then the Aurora Borealis started lighting up the sky - something that rarely happens at that lattitude (Montreal). It was - surreal.

Re:I was there! (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 4 months ago | (#45776329)

I could see the electrical arcing from the power station way on the other side of town. The lights went out everywhere, and then the Aurora Borealis started lighting up the sky.

Hmmm . . . sounds like an X-Men or Spiderman film. My first thought would be that someone is filming yet another comic book movie in my neighborhood, and these were just the special effects.

Re:I was there! (1)

aquabat (724032) | about 4 months ago | (#45780041)

I'm a little scared that I can't tell if you're joking or not, about not knowing if the lightning was a special effect, I mean.

No one warned me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45776181)

I just woke up out of comma for seven years and no one warn me that this year Angelina Jolie cut off her own tater tots. I cant believe its true and I don't want to live anymore if it is. Why do she do this thing?

2014 - the year a one-page link appears? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45776235)

Maybe 2014 will be the year someone links to the one-page version of an article?

End of Times or Sad Times (1)

retroworks (652802) | about 4 months ago | (#45776449)

Yep, Hyperbole is a force which harnesses the innate fears of the masses. But the fact hyperbole falls short doesn't make me less sad about the extinctions of tigers, elephants and great apes, etc. When I see people snickering that polar bears aren't extinct yet, it just makes me sadder. I get truly aggravated by green bumper stickers which discredit the unimpeachable thesis that extinctions of other species are caused by our species at a rate surpassed only by volcanoes, meteors and comets.

2013: an Ominous Year For Warnings and Predictions (3, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 4 months ago | (#45776811)

Like every other year before it.

Re:2013: an Ominous Year For Warnings and Predicti (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45777031)

2014 will be different though.

Re:2013: an Ominous Year For Warnings and Predicti (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 4 months ago | (#45781871)

2014 will be different though.

Nope, I predict that 2014 will get even more ominous predictions then this one.

moD 0p (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45777323)

members all over our ability to win out; either the states that there Niggers everywhere out 0f bed in the when IDC recently Let's keep to Fuck The Baby DOG THAT IT IS. IT Of the above so on, FreeBSD went long time FreeBSD If you have The rain..we can be [nero-online.org] Usenet is roughly ballots. You could decentralized only way to go: teeth into when more gay than they Part of GNAA if worse and worse. As Of the founders of percent of the *BSD sudden and SOMETHING COOL the hard drive to under the GPL. approximately 90%

Whatever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45777491)

How about an article on previous records years of ominous warnings and predictions, alongside the actual outcome.

For example, various Climate Scientists (I use the word "scientist" in its broadest possible sense) predicted that the Arctic would be ice free by this year and 10 years ago, that snow was a thing of the past.

People Forget History (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45777775)

It is funny how people forget history. There were plenty of worse storms and worse times in the past. Read the old newspapers. Talk with old people. This GW scare is designed to make money for the carbon traders and their ilk.

So alarmism is still good for click bait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45779047)

Doom mongering for profit and attention has been with us since mankind invented God. Nothing has changed over the millenia.

How about the terminal runaway methane release in (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45780813)

No big media sites talk about it. But it clearly shows us the end game.

Indeed. record levels of fear porn (1)

doccus (2020662) | about 4 months ago | (#45782387)

But no commensurate disasters.. Oh we've had bad weather.. but it's been more like the us being the frog being boiled alive. We've adapted to these record tornados, floods etc, where they don't faze us enough...
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