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donsutherland1

Occasional Thoughts on Climate Change

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The Weaver vs Ball case is similar. This case was dismissed largely because the judge equated Ball's article with similar ludicrous, outrageous, and unbelievable comments which lacked a sufficient air of credibility to be believable in the first place. In other words, it's not defamation if the defendant isn't credible in the eyes of rational thinking persons.

https://www.bccourts.ca/jdb-txt/sc/18/02/2018BCSC0205.htm

[75] First, as discussed above, the Article is poorly written and does not advance credible arguments in favour of Dr. Ball’s theory about the corruption of climate science. Simply put, a reasonably thoughtful and informed person who reads the Article is unlikely to place any stock in Dr. Ball’s views, including his views of Dr. Weaver as a supporter of conventional climate science. In Vellacott v. Saskatoon Star Phoenix Group Inc. et al, 2012 SKQB 359 [Vellacott], the court found that certain published comments were not defamatory because they were so ludicrous and outrageous as to be unbelievable and therefore incapable of lowering the reputation of the plaintiff in the minds of right-thinking persons (at para. 70). While the impugned words here are not as hyperbolic as the words in Vellacott, they similarly lack a sufficient air of credibility to make them believable and therefore potentially defamatory.

That's not exactly a ringing endorsement of Ball which paradoxically favored Ball in the eyes of the court. With the precedent set it makes me wonder if the Mann vs. Ball case would have transpired the same way had Ball not petitioned the court for dismissal on what has been said by Mann's legal team to be related to Ball's health (and not the merits of the case).

I was not able to find the official court documents for Mann vs Ball, but here is what Mann posted on social media regarding the matter.

 

 

 

 

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Today's edition of The Washington Post has a feature story on climate change. In part, the story notes:

The mysterious blob covers 130,000 square miles of ocean, an area nearly twice as big as this small country. And it has been heating up extremely rapidly — by over 2 degrees Celsius — or 2C — over the past century, double the global average. At its center, it's grown even hotter, warming by as much as 3 degrees Celsius, according to one analysis.

The entire global ocean is warming, but some parts are changing much faster than others — and the hot spot off Uruguay is one of the fastest. It was first identified by scientists in 2012, but it is still poorly understood and has received virtually no public attention...

The South Atlantic blob is part of a global trend: Around the planet, enormous ocean currents are traveling to new locations. As these currents relocate, waters are growing warmer. Scientists have found similar hot spots along the western stretches of four other oceans — the North Atlantic, the North Pacific, the South Pacific, and the Indian...

The fastest-warming zones include the Arctic, much of the Middle East, Europe and northern Asia, and key expanses of ocean. A large part of Canada is at 2C or higher.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/national/climate-environment/climate-change-world/

Following a historically hot summer, at the time of this article's publication, parts of Europe are engulfed in their fourth bout of record-breaking heat since June. Record temperatures were set in numerous parts of Finland, Norway, and western Russia earlier today.

And in a recurrent theme, the number of daily record high temperatures vastly exceeded the number of daily record low temperatures. Svolvaer and Tromso, both in Norway, even tied their highest September temperatures on record.

Although the scientific evidence for climate change and its anthropogenic basis is now overwhelming, some persist, especially on Social Media such as Twitter, to deny what is now undeniable when one rationally and objectively considers the scientific evidence. While many of those on Social Media lack scientific backgrounds and/or understanding, and this critique excludes them for that reason, some are involved in science-related fields where, unless they had not kept up with the advances in the literature since the 1970s, there is no defensible scientific reason to push back against the findings related to climate change.

Perhaps astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson described that phenomenon quite well when he observed, "When scientifically investigating the natural world, the only thing worse than a blind believer is a seeing denier." He continued, "When people believe a tale that conflicts with self-checkable evidence it tells me that people undervalue the role of evidence in formulating an internal belief system."

That gets to the heart of the matter. The "internal belief system" of climate change denial--and it's a non-scientific belief system, as the evidence for climate change and its anthropogenic nature, even respecting residual uncertainties, is now unequivocal--is sustained by a fundamental rejection of evidence.

 

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Time has devoted an entire issue to climate change under the provocative title "2050: The Fight for Earth." The publication contains a wide range of articles ranging from a fairly optimistic piece by Bill McKibben of a scenario where the world was able to avert the worst of climate change to an article by Penn State professor of atmospheric science and director of its Earth System Science Center, Michael Mann who writes that lifestyle changes, alone, are insufficient to address the challenge of climate change.

Not every article is science-related. However, the content is based on the dual premises that (1) the world is warming and (2) anthropogenic activities are largely responsible for that warming. Every serious data set shows that there has been an observed and persistent warming. The scientific evidence pointing to the anthropogenic basis of that warming is overwhelming.  Put another way, all serious scientific debate has been settled on the core issues of whether the world is warming (it is) and whether human activities are largely responsible (they are). Residual uncertainties related to feedbacks such as the rate and impact of glacial retreat and non-linear questions concerning the rate of sea level increase remain to be resolved. But the overall reality of climate change and the anthropogenic driver of climate change are established beyond any serious scientific dispute.

Therefore, just as astronomers today accept that the earth revolves around the sun, the magazine proceeds from the climate foundation that has been demonstrated by science. Just as astrophysics gives no weight to disproved belief systems of the past related to the solar system, the magazine ignores disproved denial of climate change. Fiction has no place in the important public discourse, especially that related to a big issue such as the world's changing climate.

In building from the firm foundation of scientific understanding, Time seeks to provide a broad portrait of climate change as it continues to play out. Its articles include a degree of science. They also talk about human society and human health.  Overall, Time's focus on one of today's biggest issues makes an important contribution to public discussion.

 

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Despite the loud and ferocious campaign led by the shrinking climate change denial movement, the latest polling suggests that the American people are increasingly reaching climate-related conclusions based on science.

A new Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll revealed, among other things, that 79% of respondents recognize that human activity is causing climate change and that  76% believe climage change is a major problem or crisis (38% each) vs. 59% in 2014.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/context/washington-post-kaiser-family-foundation-climate-change-survey-july-9-aug-5-2019/601ed8ff-a7c6-4839-b57e-3f5eaa8ed09f/

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On 9/10/2019 at 10:26 PM, bdgwx said:

I was not able to find the official court documents for Mann vs Ball

After a bit more research I was able to find the court documents. It is important to point out that the Mann vs. Ball case is related to Mann vs Frontier Centre for Public Policy as well. The alleged defamatory statements by Ball occurred via an FCPP interview. The Mann vs. FCPP part of the case was settled just a few months ago. Ball was a codefendant in the same case along with 3rd unnamed party. The case number is VLC-S-S-111913 and is accessible here for a nominal fee. It's possible that the admission by the FCPP that "untrue and disparaging accusations" made toward Mann (and presumably by Ball) may have been a factor in Ball's petitioning the court for dismissal before the court made a judgement based on the merits. Seeing the favorable response Mann had with one defendant it would not be unexpected if Mann were to appeal the dismissal against Ball. Refer to the FCPP's letter below. 

20190607_Court-No.-VLC-S-S-111913_press-

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2 hours ago, donsutherland1 said:

Despite the loud and ferocious campaign led by the shrinking climate change denial movement, the latest polling suggests that the American people are increasingly reaching climate-related conclusions based on science.

A new Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll revealed, among other things, that 79% of respondents recognize that human activity is causing climate change and that  76% believe climage change is a major problem or crisis (38% each) vs. 59% in 2014.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/context/washington-post-kaiser-family-foundation-climate-change-survey-july-9-aug-5-2019/601ed8ff-a7c6-4839-b57e-3f5eaa8ed09f/

I would suggest that it is actually the evidences that are the real trigger-points for that modality - not the science alone.

I realize you never said or insinuated otherwise in your statement - I'm strictly speaking to the "straw-man" in the room, and my concern that people do not respond to threats they cannot directly perceive through the corporeal senses...

Being told this or that, via science, is not enough.  It's mere to them ...They need to be burned, and seeing whales wash-up on beaches with barbie doll components blocking their digestive tracks, fair-weather high tides swallowing island nations, and suffering heat waves a degree she of biblical apocalypses, are just ( unfortunately .. .) what are necessary to get this message successfully into minds.  And those evidences ..an entire raft of which are not mentioned here, but are televised, pale in severity the future holds at current profligate pace of Humanity.

Life as we know it is going to change ... or has to.  Certain convenience delivery has one of two options: change;  unable to change.  

Change may come via technologies... biodegradable plastics... sustainable green energy sources... etc..etc... and these technologies have been around for decades, unexplored or shelved, btw.   But it's a race... enters the unable to change and ...well, that ends any discussion of any kind, everywhere - time will tell. 

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1 hour ago, Typhoon Tip said:

I would suggest that it is actually the evidences that are the real trigger-points for that modality - not the science alone.

I realize you never said or insinuated otherwise in your statement - I'm strictly speaking to the "straw-man" in the room, and my concern that people do not respond to threats they cannot directly perceive through the corporeal senses...

Being told this or that, via science, is not enough.  It's mere to them ...They need to be burned, and seeing whales wash-up on beaches with barbie doll components blocking their digestive tracks, fair-weather high tides swallowing island nations, and suffering heat waves a degree she of biblical apocalypses, are just ( unfortunately .. .) what are necessary to get this message successfully into minds.  And those evidences ..an entire raft of which are not mentioned here, but are televised, pale in severity the future holds at current profligate pace of Humanity.

Life as we know it is going to change ... or has to.  Certain convenience delivery has one of two options: change;  unable to change.  

Change may come via technologies... biodegradable plastics... sustainable green energy sources... etc..etc... and these technologies have been around for decades, unexplored or shelved, btw.   But it's a race... enters the unable to change and ...well, that ends any discussion of any kind, everywhere - time will tell. 

I agree.

Almost certainly, multiple reasons including personal experience, have contributed to the shifting opinions. Those opinions are consistent with scientific understanding. However, scientific understanding, alone, very likely hasn't driven the trend. A poll that probes the shift would be interesting. It would also be helpful to scientists who have been trying to communicate the message against the noise of the climate change denial movement.

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"And in a recurrent theme, the number of daily record high temperatures vastly exceeded the number of daily record low temperatures."

The USA has had a different year then Don quoted WAPO above. The global data does reflect the quote. .

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/datatools/records

Screenshot_20190913-214540_Chrome.jpg

Screenshot_20190913-214811_Chrome.jpg

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5 hours ago, donsutherland1 said:

Despite the loud and ferocious campaign led by the shrinking climate change denial movement, the latest polling suggests that the American people are increasingly reaching climate-related conclusions based on science.

A new Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll revealed, among other things, that 79% of respondents recognize that human activity is causing climate change and that  76% believe climage change is a major problem or crisis (38% each) vs. 59% in 2014.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/context/washington-post-kaiser-family-foundation-climate-change-survey-july-9-aug-5-2019/601ed8ff-a7c6-4839-b57e-3f5eaa8ed09f/

very few doubt global warming now. The new line is "We can't do anything about it anyway" or "we dont know what is really causing it". 

The younger generations are very tuned in to environmental issues, as they should, as they will be inheriting the world from us. 

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1 hour ago, Ginx snewx said:

"And in a recurrent theme, the number of daily record high temperatures vastly exceeded the number of daily record low temperatures."

The USA has had a different year then Don quoted WAPO above. The global data does reflect the quote. .

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/datatools/records

 

 

Just so there’s no confusion, my point dealt with temperatures on a global basis. At that time, I noted records in parts of Finland, Norway, and Russia.

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12 hours ago, Ginx snewx said:

"And in a recurrent theme, the number of daily record high temperatures vastly exceeded the number of daily record low temperatures."

The USA has had a different year then Don quoted WAPO above. The global data does reflect the quote. .

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/datatools/records

Great link. Thanks.

On a global basis in the last 365 days daily highs have outnumbered lows by about 1.8-to-1. 

On a global basis in the last 365 days all time highs have outnumbered lows by about 4.9-to-1.

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11 hours ago, donsutherland1 said:

Just so there’s no confusion, my point dealt with temperatures on a global basis. At that time, I noted records in parts of Finland, Norway, and Russia.

Just noted our island of colder. I noted the global differences 

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