It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Goo Goo Ga Joob

Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe.

38 comments:

Ken said...

Film like this are propaganda. My belief is that they are used to try to convince less well informed people to take action in support of your cause that would otherwise not occur. Propaganda is essentially a dishonest technique, and possibly recruits more skeptics than believers.

Michael Tobis said...

I have seen some pieces that stretch the truth. This one does not, to my knowledge.

If you have a complaint, you should be specific. Otherwise you are hardly contributing to the conversation yourself.

David B. Benson said...

Quoth the Raven...

Aaron said...

"Stretch the truth"? This only states what has been observed. Nor, does it cite all lines of evidence. Moreover, It does not say what can be reasonably expected.

The reasonable expectation is that Arctic marine mammals will be functionally extinct in 10 or 15 years.

Ken said...

Nothing in the film stated that the animals in question are likely to become extinct. Did I miss the part where anyone counted them before and after the ice changes and stated that the numbers were even reduced?

Ice has come and gone before during the time that humans have been keeping logs. Was anyone counting walruses then, and are the results different now?

The photos of a few dead bodies after a stampede are scientific evidence of global warming damage or a tried and true propaganda technique?

Oale said...

To me, the point was the overgrazing induced by a physical change decreases the amount of the animals. This is all normal the way ecology goes, but the thing with climate change is it changes also the plant composition of the grazed areas, thus unsynchronizing the balance between plants and animals so overgrazing events, be it natural, or culturally induced become more common. This in turn may lead to an ecosystem collapse, one could consider the pine beetle outbreaks a sign of times to come.

Michael Tobis said...

So your point is that the events are not certain to lead to the final extinction of this species of walrus in the wild? How reassuring.

Are you saying that the obvious signs of distress in the population explained in detail in the clips in the film don't exist?

I rather doubt that there is any observed precedent to these events. Whether there is a quaternary precedent is another matter. We know the Eemian was globally warmer than today; as far as I know we do not know that the Arctic sea ice retreated to a comparable extent. (anyone?)

So this means asking whether this population saw equivalent conditions 110,000 years ago, or whether we need push the date back to more like a couple of million years. A good question, but not one that makes me feel sanguine about the situation.

The point is that the polar bear population which is sea-ice dependent is not the only bit of nature that is feeling the early effects of climate disruption. I thought that point was made effectively and conscientiously.

Whether it is "propaganda" to convey real information in a way that is easy to understand is, I suppose, a question of definition. We cannot cope with the real situation until people understand it better. This video appeals to real facts and gives some insight to a small but real corner of our quandary.

I think the objection to the word "extinction" in the title is hair-splitting. As I said, there is far worse coming out of both sides, but especially the side which desperately wants people to believe that nothing unusual is going on.

"You haven't counted the walrus" is ridiculous. Had you actually been able to get yourself to pay attention you would have noted that this year's pups are largely unaccounted for.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Ken,

Let me make this real, real simple for you. What is happening is called "habitat destruction". Broadly defined habitat consists of the biological and geographic conditions an organism uses to survive. If habitat disappears then species go extinct unless they have time to adapt (think hundreds of thousands of years in the past).

For walruses habitat is disappearing at a very, very rapid rate. They have no backup plan. They will go extinct.

Oale said...

To add to my previous, as the arctic/subarctic warms the fastest these events can happen there more easily than the rest of the planet.
The temperate latitudes have more room to move so the extinctions are not so easy (with good management, hah). The other hotspot of extinctions may appear in the tropics, as the occurrence and intensity of local droughts is expected to rise.

wottsupwiththat.com said...

Comments like Ken's are a weak attempt to convince himself... Devoid of any actual critical assessment but filled with soggy wishful thinking. However, walrus extinctions are TOTALLY going to boost denialist support. Them tusks are a threat to humanity!

Ken said...

I think the commenters here see what they want to see. I said that the film is propaganda and is used to persuade people to adapt a point of view. You want to contest that, and further assert that walruses, like polar bears are threatened.

The sequence showing a man hugging a polar bear is simply moronic and dangerous. Any tourist stupid enough to believe that film clip is likely to become polar bear food.

The film's commenter pointed out that one beach had seen regular walrus populations, but another one had not. He mentioned the number of 20K walruses on that beach and stated his belief that the local food supply could not sustain that population.

The numbers could easily be verified. The count the following season would be substantially less if his belief was true. The film was from 2010 (I didn't see a date) or someone already knows the answer. Either the population of that beach was substantially reduced by starvation, or they went elsewhere, or the food supply will sustain that population. In any case, walrus populations had been summering on a beach for some years.

Canada issues permits to kill polar bears, something like 800 per year. This is because the game regulators hate polar bears and want them to be extinct, or because they are in surplus, or someone here has another explanation? If they are threatened then why are Canadians allowed to kill them for sport?

The assertion that walruses who have been regularly summering on a beach are somehow threatened because there is less ice far out to sea is based on what science?

Twenty k walruses on just one beach and y'all assert that they will soon be extinct?

Keep on keeping on with these beliefs. Not many people will join you, but clearly there are enough so you feel like a brotherhood.

The Pacific oscillation is turning cold, and the Atlantic probably will follow in 5-10 years. Thirty years of cold and colder will probably thin your membership some, but true believers never give up. Warmer is actually better for most human populations, and colder is not just worse but deadly for many populations.

No one in real power is drinking your kool aid, so we likely will all get to watch for a few more years to see whether your predictions of doom and extinction are accurate. So far the predictions for rising sea levels, melting ice, increasing storms, drought and disease have been basically zero percentage accuracy. Maybe next year, or next decade, or next century, or never.

frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...

Ken, you ask:

"The assertion that walruses who have been regularly summering on a beach are somehow threatened because there is less ice far out to sea is based on what science?"

In return, I ask:

"In any case, walrus populations had been summering on a beach for some years."

And this is based on what science? Where did you pull that totally vague 'fact' from?

"The Pacific oscillation is turning cold, and the Atlantic probably will follow in 5-10 years."

Where did you pull that prediction out from? Your hat, maybe?

"So far the predictions for rising sea levels, melting ice, increasing storms, drought and disease have been basically zero percentage accuracy."

What exactly do you mean by 'basically'?

You seem perfectly willing to throw out vague unsubstantiated 'facts' yourself, while demanding other people to show 100% hard evidence of their statements to your satisfaction. Thou dost complain too much, methinks.

-- frank

frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...

Climate Progress reports: Around the world, activists arrested for protesting coal's destruction, including NASA's James Hansen.

David B. Benson said...

Ken --- Instead of wishy-washy wishful thinking, apply statistics.
Do note the prediction.

Duane Harkness said...

Ken, you suggest "photos of a few dead [walrus] bodies after a stampede" is evidence the film is propaganda. In order for this to be true, the images you reference must either be biased or misleading. This is not the case.

The footage of walrus carcasses was taken by Dan Zatz who was hired by the USGS to document the recent (and unprecedented) haul-out of walruses at Point Lay on the Chukchi Sea. One of the purposes of the footage is to aid the USGS in counting the carcasses and determining the percentage that are calves. This mortality data is the basis for studies such as this which suggest the deaths are related to the ongoing loss of arctic sea ice. The Discovery Channel has a good explanation of the phenomenon and it's implications here.

I am no authority on this subject - in fact everything I referenced was gathered by a few minutes of Google searching and a little bit of reading. However I feel pretty confident in saying the images you dismiss as "propaganda" are nothing of the sort.

Ken said...

"In return, I ask:

"In any case, walrus populations had been summering on a beach for some years."

And this is based on what science? Where did you pull that totally vague 'fact' from?"

Did you actually watch the film?

Do I need science to comment on a post that has directly said what I quoted?

Ken said...

And you want to defend the moronic sequence where the man hugs a polar bear?

In the first place, polar bear endangerment status was based on the ice disappearing. That disappearance was forecast for 2012, 2105, and other years. Doesn't seem likely for some time, if ever. Does a politically motivated endangerment status get removed when the ice doesn't melt as forecast?

Hugging a polar bear really? Polar bears in your driveway would be far more likely to eat you than hug you. Seeing one that close would be a real fight or flight adrenalin event, and they can out run you. Most likely outcome of film is a funeral, not a political film.

If you want to argue that it isn't a propaganda film, then ok. How much intentionally false information would it take? Dead walruses on the beach are factually true, but how do they prove that CO2 was the cause?

Ken said...

Does anyone else have a copy of the 1950's National Geographic showing the Skate surfaced in open water at the North Pole? Ships were recently recovered that tried to sail the Northwest Passage and died trying. Greenland settlers produced wine and paid taxes where glaciers exist today. We don't have to go back hundreds of thousands of years to find open waters there.

Models and warmists say today's ice is unprecedented. Ask an archaeologist for confirmation and you won't get the answer you want.

Michael Tobis said...

Ken, you are getting redundant.

Besides, the hugging the bear scene was a joke, right? Nobody did take it seriously. You may wish to investigate the concept of a "sense of humor".

Beyond that, you make many claims and defend none of them. You seem to be consistently wrong but you haven't even got a handle on the bogus literature, never mind actual science.

You are becoming boring. I don't publish boring repetitive comments.

You think the video piece propaganda because you don't believe it, and you don't believe it because you think it's propaganda. We call that epistemic closure around these parts. Please go away.

Michael Tobis said...

"Greenland settlers produced wine."

Fascinating.

A comment on RC: "For example, with all this talk on wine, has anyone mentioned the fact (apparently) that they were growing grapes in Greenland during the MWP? "

No source there either, though it appears some people actually believe it.

The next useful hit: "The Greenlanders prospered. From the number of farms in both colonies, whose 400 or so stone ruins still dot the landscape, archaeologists guess that the population may have risen to a peak of about 5,000. Trading with Norway, under whose rule they eventually came, the Greenlanders exchanged live falcons, polar bear skins, narwahl tusks, and walrus ivory and hides for timber, iron, tools, and other essentials, as well luxuries such as raisins, nuts, and wine."

here

Google is your friend.

Ken: you now have three options

1) Admit you have no evidence to support your absurd claim about Greenland wine.

2) Provide some evidence about Greenland wine.

3) Go away.

Not acceptable:

4) More of the same.

5) Changing the subject. Wine or nothing.

Adam said...

Predictions:
1)Ken will fling a snarky comment over his shoulder as he runs away.

or

2) Ken will simply disappear.

Go ahead, Ken: prove me wrong.

Adam said...

Ah, the Ken's of the climate blog audience: how should they be dealt with?

Once upon a time, I was in the "confront them for the sake of educating the lurkers" camp. I no longer believe that is of any benefit; this stuff is getting way too old. Even Greenland wine goes sour, eventually.

I'm in the Joe Romm camp, now, MT. I think you should just terminate their comments with extreme prejudice the moment they appear.

Mal Adapted said...

Ah, the Ken's of the climate blog audience: how should they be dealt with?

I'm in favor of ridiculing them, like MT just did.

David B. Benson said...

Ken is certainly full of misinformation.

I wonder if he is also a flat-earther?

Ken said...

It appears that the chorus here is well informed. The Greenland settlers traded for their wine.

Neven said...

The Greenland settlers traded for their wine.

Trading with Norway

Am I right to conclude that the wine was grown in Norway? In Lapland, probably.

skanky said...

USS Skate did surface at the Pole, but not in open water. It broke through the ice. There is a picture of the crew standing on the ice next to the vessel:

http://www.science20.com/chatter_box/arctic_news_or_science_abuse

The oft cited picture is of the Skate elsewhere, and at a different time.

Adam said...

Ken: "It appears that the chorus here is well informed."

Where "chorus" = reality-based community. You might consider joining.

David B. Benson said...

What Adam just wrote.

Ken said...

Is this part of your sheet music too:

Entitled “No Pressure,” the clip begins by showing a teacher brainwashing children about CO2 emissions, before blowing up two kids who do not go along with the mantra and refuse to lower their “carbon footprint”.

Stunned by the massive backlash the video has generated in just the first few hours of its release, the organization behind the stunt, 10:10 Global (email them), pulled the clip from their own website. “Sorry, we’ve taken this video down for now. More info coming very soon,” reads the text on the page where the video formerly appeared.

Ken said...

The impact on children and adults in the third world of your chorus's carbon emission goals will not be as violent or as quick, but tens of millions of people will be condemned to shorted lives and miserable conditions because your carbon goals prevent the use of inexpensive coal and natural gas fired electrical generation equipment.

Without electricity, they use dung or wood fires for cooking and breath the smoke. Without electricity, they have no refrigeration and limited or no access to clean water.

You can claim that this isn't your intent, and blather on about windmills and solar, but the third world cannot afford windmills or solar and they don't work very well anyway.

Policy recommendations have consequences, but most of you will still be driving your car, heating your homes, buying food in a grocery store, and living a life that the rest of the world can only imagine.

Sing me a chorus about that, if you will. Or maybe you will delete my comments now and ban me from your site for pointing out the consequences of your 'reliability based community' beliefs.

Ken said...

Last line should read "reality-based"

David B. Benson said...

Ken --- What a load of c**p. [read as misinformation]

Ken said...

Can you be more specific? Is your goal not the end of coal based electrical power? Or maybe you think preventing new electrical generating plants has no dire consequences?

Michael Tobis said...

Normally I'd just erase Ken's belligerence, but it has to be admitted that the 10/10 video appears to be real.

Unless this turns out to be deliberate sabotage, we're going to have to cope with yet another PR disaster.

Of course this says nothing about science or policy. But it does say something about the fools who put the film together and promoted it. And it definitely pulls the rug out from the 10/10/10 thing.

Ken, please calm down. The vast majority of people watching the thing find it unfunny and grotesque. I certainly have no intention of defending that.

Duane Harkness said...

I searched for the 10/10 video and what I found was disturbing and neither funny nor informative. Like Michael, I won't be defending it. But this thread is about a Peter Sinclair video, not a poorly conceived mistake posted at some other site. I don't see the point of veering off topic from something that's defensible to something that isn't. Unless of course the deflection itself is Ken's real point.

David B. Benson said...

Ken --- Assuming your question was addressed to me (you weren't specific), I'll answer for myself (but only for myself; no groups invovled).

Yes, replace coal burners as rapidly as possible. I favor a combined approach, some wind, some solar and quite a bit of nucular (NPP).

Regarding NPPs, at least discussion are underway in Morocco, Tunisia, Lybia, ... with actual constructiion in the UAE, India and China. So quite a few people are going to have reliable, safe and fairly inexpensive electric power; people who previously didn't have that.

skanky said...

"I don't see the point of veering off topic from something that's defensible to something that isn't."

I do, Ken lost all previous points, so had to bring up another.