tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-21308815.post1329571710760333680..comments2023-10-08T15:51:17.426+00:00Comments on Beyond Necessity: Global Warming 2: “For details, read the papers”Edward Ockhamhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/07583379503310147119noreply@blogger.comBlogger6125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-21308815.post-22244838166865545162014-03-15T08:31:13.422+00:002014-03-15T08:31:13.422+00:00Welcome achinhibitor.
"There are lots of imp...Welcome achinhibitor.<br /><br />"There are lots of important things that can't truly be explained (proved, actually) without the maths. In most cases, one can produce a plausible description of the situation, but to know whether the plausible description is accurate or not, you have to do detailed analysis." <br /><br />There are quite a lot of things in here, so difficult to comment. You are talking about (1) proof (2) explanation (3) description (4) accuracy. I would definitely agree with you on accuracy. The logic of ordinary language (e.g. medieval logic) is focused on generality. 'The earth is spherical' is a general statement which is not altogether accurate. On 'proof', I had an argument two weeks ago with a mathematical economist. He went on in the usual way, proving that A implies B, taking about 10 pages, and presenting this as a proof. Which it was. But when with some difficulty I followed the proof through, of course A did imply B. But the problem was with A. A vague and unverifiable statement had been smuggled inside A. One of the terms was practically meaningless. But the mathematics obscured that. <br /><br />Also, you are commenting on a post made in 2011. Following that, I went offline with another commenter here (a skilled mathematician) and we worked through the Wikipedia mathematical explanation of forcing. An important bit had been completely left out. Again, the mathematics obscured this. <br />Edward Ockhamhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/07583379503310147119noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-21308815.post-52274892519764297222014-01-28T00:24:35.548+00:002014-01-28T00:24:35.548+00:00You write, "First, it is mathematical. Althou...You write, "First, it is mathematical. Although the mathematics is not very difficult, there are many people to whom this kind of reasoning is impenetrable. A verbal, or pictorial explanation (or a combination of those modes of explanation) is needed to explain the underlying reasoning, without the maths."<br /><br />This is a rather bizarre statement. There are <em>lots</em> of important things that can't truly be explained (proved, actually) without the maths. In most cases, one can produce a plausible description of the situation, but to know whether the plausible description is accurate or not, you have to do detailed analysis.<br /><br />I wonder if your subtitle "Medieval Logic" is more accurate than I took it for -- the difference between medieval logic and science is <em>mathematics</em>.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-21308815.post-65113307906206566822011-07-04T14:52:32.524+00:002011-07-04T14:52:32.524+00:00Where I started was Bill Vallicella's post, wh...Where I started was Bill Vallicella's post, which linked to the 'junk'. I didn't read much of the article, the bits I saw were rehashes of other things I had seen before.<br /><br />On the 'logarithm' thing, this is more a matter of exegesis rather than science itself. My understanding of the science is <br /><br />(a) The amount of 'atmosphere' determines an equilibrium temperature of the globe. We are never at the equilibrium temperature because there is a considerable fluctuation around it. Nonetheless there is an equilibrium, and all things being equal the long term average would approach it. (Talking to friends and colleagues, some of them think that the mere presence of carbon dioxide is enough to cause a constant increase in temperature, even without any change in composition).<br /><br />(b) ‘Global warming’ in the narrow sense is simply the direct cause of *increasing* amounts of atmosphere/greenhouse gases.<br /><br />(c) The point about the logarithmic effect is that (based on talking to people) even those who do understand that warming corresponds to increase in greenhouse gases think that the relationship is linear, i.e. the more greenhouse gas we pump into the atmosphere, so in proportion the temperature increases. My understanding is that this is wrong. I.e. if doubling the greenhouse gas produces an increase in equilibrium temperature of x, then to cause an increase of 2x you have to quadruple the greenhouse gas concentration. And to produce 3x, multiply by 8, and so on. If we assume constant rate of emissions (not valid, I agree), that gives pretty long time scales. <br /><br />I had a look at <a href="" rel="nofollow">just-what-is-this-consensus-anyway</a> and I note the last point – namely that there is no consensus on “This will be a problem and we ought to do something about it”. That’s it then. No one ever said anything I need be sceptical about!<br /><br />I had a brief look at the report which is linked to. I have a big problem with “Statistical assessments confirm that natural variability (the combination of internal and naturally forced) is unlikely to explain the warming in the latter half of the 20th century.”Edward Ockhamhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/07583379503310147119noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-21308815.post-14839994450166362862011-07-04T11:07:58.717+00:002011-07-04T11:07:58.717+00:00Ah, I wish you'd said that at the start. I'...Ah, I wish you'd said that at the start. I'd have pointed you to: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/just-what-is-this-consensus-anyway/<br /><br />I don't think the "disastrous" bit is part of the scientific consensus (depending, of course, on the undefined word "disastrous". Would halving of GDP be disastrous, or would it need deaths of half the population?). I know you included "disastrous" right at the start, but I just assumed that was strawman stuff (where you started, http://www.firstthings.com/article/2011/05/the-truth-about-greenhouse-gases, is junk, of course).<br /><br />If you're entirely happy with all the IPCC WG I report (in which case, I fail to understand why you're quibbling about logarithmic, or WV) the we have no real difference of opinion on the matter.William M. Connolleyhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/05836299130680534926noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-21308815.post-33735729132028991872011-07-02T10:43:31.806+00:002011-07-02T10:43:31.806+00:00>>by which I understood you to mean that (a)...>>by which I understood you to mean that (a) you don't believe the earth is warming (b) you don't believe the current warming is caused by people. I assumed (b). Now you're insisting on proving harm, or something else<br /><<<br /><br />Apologies, I accept I was not being clear. (b) is obviously and unquestionably true. <br /><br />The proposition I am sceptical about is "The notion that increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, notably carbon dioxide, will have disastrous consequences for mankind and for the planet".<br /><br />We need a 'Fermi explanation' for that one.Edward Ockhamhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/07583379503310147119noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-21308815.post-44121129348493711282011-07-01T10:15:28.556+00:002011-07-01T10:15:28.556+00:00You're cheating, by moving the goalposts. You ...You're cheating, by moving the goalposts. You started by saying:<br /><br />> I am a global warming sceptic in the sense that I remain unconvinced that it exists<br /><br />by which I understood you to mean that (a) you don't believe the earth is warming (implausible, I think) (b) you don't believe the current warming is caused by people. I assumed (b). Now you're insisting on proving harm, or something else.<br /><br />So before you go any further, can you give a precise statement of exactly what it is that you require proved?William M. Connolleyhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/05836299130680534926noreply@blogger.com