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The Paris Climate Disagreement (Page 12)
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OreoCookie
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Sep 1, 2017, 11:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'm using your definition.
No, you're not. You're basing this on complexity whereas I don't make any reference to complexity. I just based it solely on the ability to make testable, quantitative predictions. You can make hard science within sociology, psychology or economics, e. g. when you use statistics to study migration patterns or the performance of the stock market or whether the ability to recognize colors depends on your mother tongue.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Our understanding of what to plug in is based on sociology, history, and economics. These are significantly less quantitatively understood than climatology. They are the soft sciences.
The degree of understanding has nothing to do with the distinction between hard and soft science, there are lots of aspects of physics that are not understood but are nevertheless certainly in the realm of hard science. I think what you are alluding to is something entirely different, namely the ability to predict what will happen in a complex system. Population growth estimates in the 1960s had a difficult time whether and how to factor in a global thermonuclear war.

The essential difference here is not hard vs. soft, but on how reliable these estimates are (error bars are always part and parcel of quantitative research). And if you are measuring a length of 1 cm with a systematic or statistical error of 2 cm, then your measurement has no inherent predictive value. I think that is more what you are getting at here.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I personally don't place value judgements on hard versus soft. I'm more skeptical of one over the other, but I consider this the proper approach to lesser or greater quantitative assurance.
If you fundamentally misunderstand what hard and soft science means, it does already have a significant impact on how you view science.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Frankly, the lack of quantitative assurance means soft scientists actually stick their dick out there, and I respect them for it.
No, I don't think that this is what “soft scientists” do, and if they “stick their dick out”, in most circumstances they are full of it. There are a lot of aspects of human life that are hard to quantify and measure. When Caesar's Roman army fought with the Celtic tribes, it is important to keep in mind that the Celts were “barbarians” and significantly taller and of sturdier built. It stands to reason that this stirred up fear — something that you can't measure a posteriori, but if you know anything about, say, team sports, you know could be a decisive factor. There are aspects in human life where it is important how we feel, or aspects (e. g. ancient history) where the comparative lack of source material just makes it very hard to separate fact from fiction.
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Sep 2, 2017, 04:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Unless Bush, McCain, and Romney don't count as influential right-wing figures, the right isn't monolithic either.
Fairpoint, but I was responding to your question 'What's the left's policy on nuclear power?' and felt it important to caveat my answer as there is not a universal position on 'left' and I was only attempting to answer with what I perceive to be the position of some.

Originally Posted by subego View Post
With nuclear, is the claim the science supports the environmentalist position?
Yes.

It's complex. The science supports the position that greater use of nuclear power would lead to reduced carbon and cleaner air when compared to fossil fuels. It also supports the position that without proper disposal and storage of by-products, there are serious environmental risks- and not theoretical ones either- demonstrated and extensive damage has been done to the environment because the US can't get it's act together on a coherent policy or plan regarding the waste. The US has vast quantities of improperly stored radioactive waste as it stands. Generated more of it without a plan to deal with it is not sound policy, scientifically or otherwise.

Especially when there are equally clean alternative energy generation methods that cost less, and without the downsides.
     
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Sep 2, 2017, 06:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
A breeder reactor would solve the waste problem. They burn out medium-term waste, which has half-lives of years to centuries. Medium-term waste is what needs internment for up to 10,000 years. Breeders only produce short-term isotopes and long-term waste, while using up waste from regular reactors. Store it a few years until it goes cold, then treat it as normal waste.

Downside: we have no experience operating a breeder reactor.
Major downside: it would be more expensive. New regular reactors are already pricing themselves out of the market. A new type could easily cost double to build, and double to operate until we gained experience. However, it won't produce any more electricity than a regular design. So the extra overhead would have to be subsidized by government.

I like having nuclear in the mix, but it's gotten so incredibly expensive to build. There are proposed designs using a sealed small core; small enough to truck-ship. You buy as many cores as needed for your power plant. When the fuel runs out, you ship the sealed core back to the factory. Nothing radioactive leaves the sealed core, and you get the benefit of mass production in a centralized location.
And that's before you factor in storage and disassembly costs. So much moaning here about subsidising Green Energy (the government have recently hacked away nearly all green subsidies at the insistence of the oil industry, however these pale into insignificance before the help the nuclear industry gets, They get to build a power station without having to cost at all for the multi billion pound clean up and storage.

So, yes Nuclear Power is great from a carbon standpoint but it sucks economically unless you count getting the Chinese to invest in building you one and paying for the aftermath for generations. AND offering to buy it's output at way over market for the next 25 years. Nuclear as it stands is a complete dead end.
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Sep 2, 2017, 07:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
No, you're not. You're basing this on complexity whereas I don't make any reference to complexity.
The quoted post makes no mention of complexity whatsoever.

The claim relevant to the topic is climate science involves applying sociology, history, and economics. These are considered soft sciences. If there are no arguments against this claim, the rest of this tangent is semantic, which would be frustrating enough in itself if I wasn't also being asked to endure accusations of arguing in bad faith.
     
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Sep 2, 2017, 07:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
Nuclear as it stands is a complete dead end.
Because it's 2017.

Was it a dead end in 1979 when the US stopped issuing new licenses for reactors?
     
subego
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Sep 2, 2017, 07:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Paco500 View Post
It's complex. The science supports the position that greater use of nuclear power would lead to reduced carbon and cleaner air when compared to fossil fuels. It also supports the position that without proper disposal and storage of by-products, there are serious environmental risks- and not theoretical ones either- demonstrated and extensive damage has been done to the environment because the US can't get it's act together on a coherent policy or plan regarding the waste. The US has vast quantities of improperly stored radioactive waste as it stands. Generated more of it without a plan to deal with it is not sound policy, scientifically or otherwise.

Especially when there are equally clean alternative energy generation methods that cost less, and without the downsides.
I will agree the window for wider-spread utilization for nuclear has past, but as I noted to Doc, this doesn't account for the 30+ years it was tied up while the window closes.

I also agree it would be unwise to move forward without a coherent plan for disposal, but the hangup isn't the difficulty of forming a coherent plan, the hangup is people being assholes.
     
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Sep 2, 2017, 12:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I will agree the window for wider-spread utilization for nuclear has past, but as I noted to Doc, this doesn't account for the 30+ years it was tied up while the window closes.

I also agree it would be unwise to move forward without a coherent plan for disposal, but the hangup isn't the difficulty of forming a coherent plan, the hangup is people being assholes.
Granted I've not looked at any historical opinion polls, but was it really 'the left' that was holding back investment in nuclear power/disposal over the last 30+ years? I grew up in a very conservative family and environment (politically and socially) and seem to remember that after Three Mile Island, almost no one of any particular political stripe was pro-nuclear- or at least most everyone was aggressively NIMBY about it.

Was this really a left/right issue?
     
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Sep 2, 2017, 12:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
the hangup isn't the difficulty of forming a coherent plan, the hangup is people being assholes.
While there are a multitude of reasons to consider Harry Reid to be a first class asshole, Yucca Mountain is near the top of the list.
     
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Sep 2, 2017, 07:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The quoted post makes no mention of complexity whatsoever.
You proposed a definition based on complexity, and you elaborated on this in several subsequant posts. Then you claimed you were basing this off of my definition even though I made no mention of a system's complexity at all. Our whole subdiscussion was on the adequacy of your definition of hard vs. soft science.
Originally Posted by Paco500 View Post
While there are a multitude of reasons to consider Harry Reid to be a first class asshole, Yucca Mountain is near the top of the list.
Just as a side note: no one wants a nuclear long-term storage facility in their back yard. In Germany it's quite similar, politicians decided on a site, but here it was decided to be put in Bavaria, an arch conservative state. Although here you have a good squeeze of hypocrisy to the cocktail, the Bavarian CSU was strongly in favor of nuclear power (as long as the nuclear waste is stored elsewhere …). So also here, it's more personal asshole-ry rather than one political stripe being dicks.
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Nuclear is a really interesting one. Being afraid of it is not irrational, though it is pretty safe. Chernobyl and Fukushima are scary but on the other hand, Chernobyl was probably underfunded by a failing regime and Fukushima was hit by a Tsunami/quake then flooded and didn't do a Chernobyl. To some thats terrifying, to others its rightly reassuring. [...] Its a really heady mix of fear and ignorance but its not bogged down with the lunatic conspiracy theories that plague the Anti-Vax movement and its more than possible to be wary or in favour of nuclear without having to deny any science at all.
You mention some good points here. People usually freak out for the wrong reasons, and it doesn't help that they don't understand radiation. The press isn't very helpful in making it accessible, but putting things into proper perspective (an extra dose of x mS per year is considered harmless by medical experts/significantly increases risk to contract certain forms of cancer).

The reasons to be concerned are two-fold, (1) the nuclear waste problem and (2) the gigantic, potentially nation-destroying risk of a nuclear accident. Point (1) has been covered, although I would like to add that even the Thorium reactor that reader mentioned is not a panacea, but significantly improves the situation: it converts nuclear waste that is dangerous for 30,000+ years into nuclear waste that is dangerous for several hundred years. The latter can be dealt with with huge effort, the former is just mind boggling. On point (2), I happen to live 80-100 km from Fukushima Daiichi now, in the city of Sendai. Japan barely escaped a potentially nation-destroying catastrophe: if the winds hand blown in another direction and the explosions weren't as contained as they were (by really heroic efforts and ingenuity of the staff), the Tokyo metropolitan area would have been on the receiving end of a nuclear cloud — after a magnitude 9 earthquake that temporarily disabled most of the city. It is not hard to imagine that this would have had catastrophic effects on the Japanese economy. The projected costs for the disaster currently exceed $200 billion. Keep in mind that the reactors and the fuel pool are still not under control, the radiation there is so intense that it kills robots within an hour or two (and, of course, humans, too). None of these costs are factored in the price for electricity from nuclear power plants.

There is also a third risk that is important, but hasn't been mentioned yet, namely that of nuclear proliferation. A lot of the technologies are dual use. Enriching uranium to 3-5 % (which is what you would find in most reactors) takes about 60-70 % of the effort of enriching it to 80-90 % (the enrichment process accelerates exponentially). So an open secret in case of Japan is that they have all the pieces for nuclear weapons including ICBMs (they have sophisticated nuclear enrichment facilities, rockets and so forth).
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Sep 2, 2017, 09:23 PM
 
What about disposing of nuclear waste with a giant railgun? No explosives required, just enough magnets to get well above escape velocity. Aim at the Sun and fire.

That actually makes an awful lot of sense doesn't it?
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subego
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Sep 3, 2017, 03:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
You proposed a definition based on complexity, and you elaborated on this in several subsequant posts. Then you claimed you were basing this off of my definition even though I made no mention of a system's complexity at all. Our whole subdiscussion was on the adequacy of your definition of hard vs. soft science.
This is semantic. The prime motivator for the choice of approaching science qualitatively is system complexity. The scientist chooses qualitative study because they are unable to isolate the variables required for quantitative study.

Sociology, history, and economics are not hard science. They are not hard because they rely extensively on qualitative measurement. They rely extensively on qualitative measurement because the systems involved are generally too complex to model quantitatively.

The aspects of climate science which make use of sociology, history, and economics are not hard science. This is the point, and it still waits to be addressed.
     
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Sep 3, 2017, 07:08 AM
 
The historical aspect of climate science is pretty quantitative?
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
subego
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Sep 3, 2017, 07:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
The historical aspect of climate science is pretty quantitative?
Climate history is quantitative. Human history is qualitative. A predictive climate model makes use of both.
     
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Sep 3, 2017, 10:21 AM
 
Honestly, I get what you're saying. But it's a crutch. An fallacious excuse. There are many proxies which can be used - not the least of which is an ongoing evaluation of what happened to the past predictions that were made which relied on less hard data - but any of those make not a whit of difference to the Usual Skeptics. (In fact the ones on here will refuse to acknowledge that the past models and climate predictions have been very, very accurate - and will instead state the opposite as though it were truth instead of absolute fabrication. We've had the conversation before: does willful blindness to the truth turn a inaccurate statement into a lie? I say it absolutely does.)

As y'all were.
     
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Sep 3, 2017, 02:49 PM
 
If an accurate assessment gets used as a crutch, that's not the fault of the assessment.
     
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Sep 3, 2017, 07:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
This is semantic. The prime motivator for the choice of approaching science qualitatively is system complexity.
It's neither semantics, nor is that related to the definition I gave. The prime difference is the ability to make quantitative, falsifiable predictions, not complexity.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The scientist chooses qualitative study because they are unable to isolate the variables required for quantitative study.
That's simply not correct, you can and do study what you call complex systems quantitatively. Thermodynamics is an effective description of how gases behave even though there is no hope to gain information from a quantum mechanical or a classical mechanical description. That's because complex systems can reduce to simple systems once you choose your observable quantities correctly — a seemingly complex system becomes simple once you adopt a different yet accurate description. Conversely, there are very simple systems where predictions become extremely hard, e. g. chaotic systems where predictions for long-time behavior are very hard to make. And systems where the range of validity of the mathematical description is not clear.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Sociology, history, and economics are not hard science. They are not hard because they rely extensively on qualitative measurement. They rely extensively on qualitative measurement because the systems involved are generally too complex to model quantitatively.
I gave you plenty of examples that prove your blanket statement is not correct — a lot of sociologists and economists work with statistics, and statistics give you hard, quantitative data. Population dynamics (which is certainly relevant to climate science) is one of those fields where you do make quantitative predictions based on mathematical models.

I very much get what you are trying to get at — usually it is harder to extract quantitative predictions from more complex systems, but the distinguishing feature is not complexity but the ability to make quantitative predictions, complexity is secondary.
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Sep 3, 2017, 10:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
If an accurate assessment gets used as a crutch, that's not the fault of the assessment.
It's not really an accurate assessment....
     
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Sep 3, 2017, 10:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
That's simply not correct, you can and do study what you call complex systems quantitatively.
Reparse my sentence.

"The scientist chooses qualitative study because..."

If the scientist has chosen quantitative study, they have not chosen qualitative study.
     
subego
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Sep 3, 2017, 10:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Shortcut View Post
It's not really an accurate assessment....
Then I venture we're discussing different assessments.

Which one are we talking about?
     
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Sep 4, 2017, 01:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
"The scientist chooses qualitative study because..."

If the scientist has chosen quantitative study, they have not chosen qualitative study.
Yes, but your statement is a tautology and does not address my post in any form. What does that have to do with complexity or or quantitative studies in sociology or anything else? Why does that imply that the input into climate models is qualitative rather than quantitative? (Hint: anything that goes into mathematical equations has to be quantitative.)

The situation is much more nuanced and research on population dynamics faces the same problems that e. g. astrophysics has: you only do the experiment once and you cannot repeat it. The way you learn is by finding explanations that are consistent with the past and you extrapolate into the future. Will there be a big crunch? When will population growth level off?
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subego
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Sep 5, 2017, 05:14 PM
 
Should I have equal confidence in population dynamics and astrophysics?
     
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Sep 5, 2017, 07:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Should I have equal confidence in population dynamics and astrophysics?
That depends on what aspects of population dynamics and astrophysics you are talking about, astrophysics is a much more ambitious endeavor in scope. There are quite a few questions where the confidence in either is and should be very high, but there are other aspects which are necessarily more speculative. For instance, if you want to answer how many stars have planets or whether our solar system is special or typical, you are faced with large (known and unknown) uncertainties. Nevertheless you can and should have scientific discussions about these aspects, because you need to explore the limits of what we can know with what level of confidence.

The universe is certainly a much, much more complex system than the population of a single planets without a unified description. Even if there were a Grand Unified Theory, it would not be feasible to solve these equations for a system the size of the universe. Population dynamics and climate predictions are no different from parts of astrophysics. All of these disciplines share the problem that there may be different mathematical descriptions which model the past equally well but whose description of the future diverges after some time. This is the case for the future of the universe (infinite expansion vs. leveling off of growth vs. Big Crunch) and population dynamics — we won't know whether and how the universe will end. Even when you want to explore how, say, moons are created, then different mechanisms have been proposed (and seemingly different moons in the solar system have been created through different mechanisms). This is not the case with climate models, here the mechanism has been relatively well-understood. But it becomes a problem when you want to ascribe probabilities to future scenarios.
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Sep 6, 2017, 01:04 PM
 
This is tangentially related, but Trump wants to appoint a guy with no professional space background and a climate change denier to lead NASA.

Again, IMO this is another reflection of the serious and corrosive effects of not trusting anybody that exists now in America:

- don't trust any politician (obviously)
- don't trust scientists and their facts (climate change and vaccines are obviously a hoax)
- don't trust educators because of all of the icky liberal stuff that happens on college campuses
- don't trust blacks, muslims, gays, etc.
- don't trust law enforcement
- don't trust our neighbours, better have 29304290348 guns
- we don't trust the owners of all of those 29304290348 guns
- I guess some trust their church, and others don't trust the mega-churches/pastors?
- don't trust unions
- don't trust liberals
- don't trust conservatives
- don't trust libertarians
- don't trust the rich
- don't trust the poor to not abuse welfare

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Sep 6, 2017, 01:06 PM
 
I guess the only person left in America that we can all trust is Hulk Hogan?
     
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Sep 6, 2017, 01:46 PM
 
No, it's Mike Rowe.
     
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Sep 8, 2017, 11:46 AM
 
Worst hurricane ever recorded by some standards. Totally not Climate change tho
     
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Sep 8, 2017, 12:27 PM
 
Meh. A single point isn't evidence of a pattern.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Sep 8, 2017, 12:38 PM
 
That's true, but for people who point to a snowball in April as signs global warming is fake, you know, there are signs of extreme weather.
     
Laminar
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Sep 8, 2017, 03:21 PM
 
That's why you can't play the anecdote game.
     
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Sep 8, 2017, 03:40 PM
 
Your good advice makes me bitter.
     
Laminar
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Sep 8, 2017, 04:10 PM
 
I have a knack for saying correct things in the most disagreeable way.
     
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Sep 8, 2017, 04:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
I have a knack for saying correct things in the most disagreeable way.
I shall nickname you Hillary
     
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Sep 8, 2017, 04:37 PM
 
It's not really an anecdote though. Me saying, this is the worst hurricane I've ever seen! is an anecdote. Not to be all besson, but there are radar and pictures and wind data and the size of this thing is twice the size of andrew.
     
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Sep 8, 2017, 05:23 PM
 
Three hurricanes running at the same time. Harvey doing probably record damages, with Irma trying to top it only weeks later.

All since Trump was elected my neighbors were born. The ones that like their music. And Florida doesn't have much time left.

If we're going to ignore scientific studies in favor of simpler theories, we should at least aim for practical results. Besides the neighbors, there are some bad drivers around here that were apparently born before the weather went crazy. If anyone is interested in helping the world, I can start writing down plates.
( Last edited by reader50; Sep 9, 2017 at 10:31 PM. Reason: grammar)
     
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Sep 8, 2017, 06:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
It's not really an anecdote though. Me saying, this is the worst hurricane I've ever seen! is an anecdote. Not to be all besson, but there are radar and pictures and wind data and the size of this thing is twice the size of andrew.

What's wrong with being all besson? Do you feel nervous about being awesome? I believe in you.
     
subego
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Sep 9, 2017, 01:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
That depends on what aspects of population dynamics and astrophysics you are talking about, astrophysics is a much more ambitious endeavor in scope. There are quite a few questions where the confidence in either is and should be very high, but there are other aspects which are necessarily more speculative. For instance, if you want to answer how many stars have planets or whether our solar system is special or typical, you are faced with large (known and unknown) uncertainties. Nevertheless you can and should have scientific discussions about these aspects, because you need to explore the limits of what we can know with what level of confidence.

The universe is certainly a much, much more complex system than the population of a single planets without a unified description. Even if there were a Grand Unified Theory, it would not be feasible to solve these equations for a system the size of the universe. Population dynamics and climate predictions are no different from parts of astrophysics. All of these disciplines share the problem that there may be different mathematical descriptions which model the past equally well but whose description of the future diverges after some time. This is the case for the future of the universe (infinite expansion vs. leveling off of growth vs. Big Crunch) and population dynamics — we won't know whether and how the universe will end. Even when you want to explore how, say, moons are created, then different mechanisms have been proposed (and seemingly different moons in the solar system have been created through different mechanisms). This is not the case with climate models, here the mechanism has been relatively well-understood. But it becomes a problem when you want to ascribe probabilities to future scenarios.
Apologies for the delay!

Considering the lack of specificity, the implication is I'm talking about astrophysics and population dynamics as a whole, no?

To make it more apples to apples, what about the parent disciplines, physics and biology? As a whole, I have more confidence in physics. Is this incorrect?
     
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Sep 9, 2017, 10:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Considering the lack of specificity, the implication is I'm talking about astrophysics and population dynamics as a whole, no?
But you can't talk about them as a whole, you really have to look at specifics.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
To make it more apples to apples, what about the parent disciplines, physics and biology? As a whole, I have more confidence in physics. Is this incorrect?
Yes, this is incorrect, you are conflating theories being fundamental with being more accurate or able to predict outcomes of experiments. You would not be able to describe how cells work just with what most people think of as physics.

You could not describe chemical reactions of complex molecules with quantum mechanics, because you would not be able to obtain meaningful predictions. For that you need to make approximations and/or use heuristics. Even quantum-classical hybrid models are way too complex to explain a single chemical reaction of complex molecules. So there is no way to understand the citric acid cycle with just “physics”. (I'm using quotation marks here, because some people may object and say that everything is applied physics.)

Think of it this way: think of, say, a cell as a hugely complex machine. Physicists intentionally study the way two or three cogs in that big machine mesh together. The specificity allows you to be really focussed and precise in your study, you go in depth rather than in breadth. What influence do certain coatings or heat treatments have on the performance? What tooth profile works best? Chemists look at sub units, say, the analog of a gear box. They build on top of what physicists have done, but they broaden their view and are less able to separate the influence of certain factors. They think about gear ratios, the speed with which you can shift and so forth. Because the mechanism is more complex, you have to use simpler models, and that limits the questions you can ask. Nevertheless, chemists are able to understand things that physicists can't — and vice versa. Biologists study the whole machine. For them the chemists gear box is a black box that they understand in terms of inputs and outputs. However, biologists are able to study what the whole machine does. In all of these disciplines there is a tradeoff between specificity and complexity. And that is why all of these disciplines are working together to advance knowledge.

Again, the task of science is to make quantitative, testable predictions, and that often means you have to use a less fundamental approach in order to be able to make predictions and thereby revealing the mechanism of whatever phenomenon you are studying. You are right that the farther away you move from more fundamental theories to more effective, higher-level theories, the less well-understood are the range of validity or accuracy of certain approximations. From this perspective, parts of physics enjoy a higher confidence, at the expense of being able to make more limited predictions. On the other hand of the spectrum are statistics, which can also be completely accurate and mathematically rigorous as well, but as a matter of principle you are limited to being able to quantify correlations rather than causal relations between two aspects.

The difficulty with, say, mathematical models for economic activity or population dynamics is what they do and do not include. For example, how do you take the possibility of a civil war into account and what effects this has on economics? How do you account for the psychology of actors who buy and sell on the stock market? Can you model the effects of a terror attack on the stock market properly? With physics it is much clearer what idealizations you have made to arrive at your model of choice, and even there it is sometimes hard to figure out whether something is physically realizable or not. The only way to know whether your mathematical description accurately describes reality is to compare it. And perhaps as long there is no civil war, the predictions on economic activity are indeed accurate.

The nice thing about global climate change, though, is that the main mechanism is actually very simple and has been discovered more than 100 years ago — together with a rough quantitative prediction on the temperature increase that has proven to be accurate.

PS In case it is not clear, I think you do have a point when you put different sciences on a continuum here, I'm just saying that the heuristic you use to place different sciences is only very, very rough.
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Sep 9, 2017 at 10:35 PM. )
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subego
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Sep 10, 2017, 04:36 AM
 
Here's why I'm being difficult.

Is the contrast between science's ability to model climate versus behavior somehow not observable until I nail the correct heuristic?

TV Tropes uses a more PC term, but I feel like this has become the conversational equivalent of making me pixel bitch the solution to a puzzle unnecessary to discussion of the central thesis.

(Not that your analysis of my heuristics isn't appreciated, it's just not bringing us any closer to the thesis)
     
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Sep 10, 2017, 04:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Here's why I'm being difficult.

Is the contrast between science's ability to model climate versus behavior somehow not observable until I nail the correct heuristic?

TV Tropes uses a more PC term, but I feel like this has become the conversational equivalent of making me pixel bitch the solution to a puzzle unnecessary to discussion of the central thesis.

(Not that your analysis of my heuristics isn't appreciated, it's just not bringing us any closer to the thesis)
The models are only as good as the data they are fed.
Example
I was inputting critical dimension (CD) data into our photolithography SPC program. It was an older system before we moved to an auto collection system (Datalog). We also moved from a manual CD measurement system to a KLA computer measurement system. Two people would measure the same CD bar differently. I noted to my engineer I could sort through the lot data and enter them in such a way as to prevent the data from from shutting down the production line for an SPC failure. She said yeah, but most people don't think like that.
     
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Sep 11, 2017, 10:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Is the contrast between science's ability to model climate versus behavior somehow not observable until I nail the correct heuristic?
I don't think it is apt to say that population models are based on “heuristics”, because these models are not heuristic in the sense that scientists would use that term. Scientists use heuristics to denote a causal relationship that is expected to hold (either from experience or on the basis of an educated guess). Once you have a testable model, you have the opposite of something that is heuristic.

Plus, a model isn't wrong if we, humanity, decide to change our behavior to not let a scenario come to pass. The fact that ozone layer is recovering because of the ban of CFCs does not invalidate projections on what the ozone layer would look like if we had continued to use them.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
TV Tropes uses a more PC term, but I feel like this has become the conversational equivalent of making me pixel bitch the solution to a puzzle unnecessary to discussion of the central thesis.
PC = political correctness? And what is the connection to your thesis? I don't get it.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
(Not that your analysis of my heuristics isn't appreciated, it's just not bringing us any closer to the thesis)
To what thesis?
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Sep 11, 2017, 12:35 PM
 
Heuristic: I wasn't talking about population models, I was talking about the heuristic I'm using, as referred to in this quote: "I'm just saying that the heuristic you use to place different sciences is only very, very rough" [emphasis added].

Pixel bitch: this doesn't relate to the thesis, it relates to my heuristic. I don't see why I have to nail the heuristic perfectly for the following to be considered:

Thesis: there is a contrast between science's ability to model climate and behavior.
( Last edited by subego; Sep 11, 2017 at 01:41 PM. )
     
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Sep 11, 2017, 02:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Thesis: there is a contrast between science's ability to model climate and behavior.
Behavior of what?
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subego
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Sep 11, 2017, 02:42 PM
 
Sorry I didn't make that clear... humans.
     
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Sep 12, 2017, 09:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Sorry I didn't make that clear... humans.
Your statement in this generality is just not correct, there are many human behaviors which you can accurately model quantitatively (e. g. a mass of people fleeing from a building or a structure). You get too hung up on common lore, lump together fields and it gets in the way of understanding much more specific situations. Instead of digging down into, say, how population dynamics is modeled or how emissions are predicted, you content yourself with blanket statements on entire fields. I don't think that is enlightening.
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subego
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Sep 12, 2017, 11:25 AM
 
This would be a more compelling argument with examples of the science used in making long-term climate predictions.

That science can model people fleeing from a burning building isn't enlightening about it's ability to predict the price of gasoline.
     
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Sep 14, 2017, 02:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
That's true, but for people who point to a snowball in April as signs global warming is fake, you know, there are signs of extreme weather.
So by this metric, a lack of strong hurricanes is evidence against climate change?


Andrew was stronger when it made landfall in the 90s. By your logic, we can conclude that the climate has changed for the better since Andrew.

Also, Typhoons are the same phenomenon. The "strongest hurricane" has absolutely no empirical value when the difference between it and the same storms in other regions is purely semantic. It's simply a media headline meant to increase your outrage meter thus providing the media more clicks. Looks like it worked on you too.

See: Typhoon Tip.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typhoon_Tip
     
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Sep 14, 2017, 02:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
So by this metric, a lack of strong hurricanes is evidence against climate change?
If hurricane intensity and frequency remain within historical norms, yes.
     
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Sep 14, 2017, 02:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
If hurricane intensity and frequency remain within historical norms, yes.
Isn't that shifting the goalposts?

How was Irma outside of historical norms? You can't evaluate frequency, given we are talking about a single storm.
     
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Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Three hurricanes running at the same time. Harvey doing probably record damages, with Irma trying to top it only weeks later.

All since Trump was elected my neighbors were born. The ones that like their music. And Florida doesn't have much time left.

If we're going to ignore scientific studies in favor of simpler theories, we should at least aim for practical results. Besides the neighbors, there are some bad drivers around here that were apparently born before the weather went crazy. If anyone is interested in helping the world, I can start writing down plates.
Hurricanes in bunches are not out of the ordinary, either. By any means. In 2004 for example, you had Ivan, Gaston, and Jeanna all make landfall within a 3 week period.
     
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Sep 14, 2017, 03:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Isn't that shifting the goalposts?

How was Irma outside of historical norms? You can't evaluate frequency, given we are talking about a single storm.
That's why Laminar corrected me that it was an anecdotal.
     
 
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