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Comment Re:climate change deniers (you!) (Score 1) 367

All I see is you repeating what you said, over and over, waving away any the research that disagrees with you, and never citing any of your own - just more flat declarations that we're supposed to take on faith.

I understand what you're claiming quite well, but I disagree. I cited research that supports my opinion, whereas you dismiss it all as "a bunch of people with an agenda". How is this not pure denial?

Bangladesh is gaining sedimental land in some parts (which will take decades before it's useful farmland) - but it's still low-lying, and at the mercy of storm surges like this one. And that's still only one example. If you want to convince me that these analyses are flatly wrong, you'll have to do better than more unsourced declarations.

I said that it will do so independent of any policies we adopt.

I heard you the first time, and you still haven't provided any reason for me to believe you. Whereas adopting policies that restrict and phase out fossil fuels absolutely will greatly slow atmospheric CO2 level rises, since that is demonstrably the largest source.

the cost of dealing with climate change and the cost of avoiding it are about the same

That same report also says:
* that the costs are very likely to be greatly underestimated,
* that costs will scale up dramatically past 3-4 degrees of warming,
* that unmitigated warming adds numerous risks and uncertainties that could potentially add greatly to the bill,
* that there are numerous mitigation strategies with net-negative costs (i.e. they save more money than they cost),
* and that the financial costs do not take into account the significant human and social costs, which can also be reduced by mitigation.

Your clear example of cherry-picking the one quote you want to hear just highlights your own agenda.

the incorrect assumption that without government intervention, people won't switch to renewables

And how do you think people can switch to renewables when they have no choice about their electricity source? How do you propose to convince the fossil fuel companies to abandon their campaign of discrediting renewables at every point, to compete fairly in the market (they're currently given a free pass for offloading their external emissions costs, which costs us hundreds of billions annually), and to not make full use of their existing infrastructure, vast scale, and trillions in assets to do their utmost to block renewables from displacing them completely from the energy market?

Government intervention would not be required if the market were actually free, but it will never be free as long as carbon emitters don't have to pay for the costs of their emissions. Governments around the world have already intervened in numerous similar cases (sulfur emissions, ozone emissions) with highly successful results, yet some people remain utterly convinced that in this case any possible action is somehow doomed to failure.

Comment Re:climate change deniers (you!) (Score 1) 367

Rapid changes in global temperatures can absolutely cause mass extinctions.

Rising sea levels are "easy" to adapt to for us - but not cheap. We have a lot of valuable property on low-lying coastal areas, and billion-dollar floods from storm surges will only get more common, until we either build massive levees (where possible) or start relocating vast amounts of city infrastructure. Who gets stuck with that bill, the taxpayers? Owners of private homes who can no longer insure them? And that's assuming it doesn't turn out to be a lot worse than we expected.

Rising sea levels are not so easy to adapt to for the hundreds of millions in less-developed countries, where e.g. tens of millions of people depend on river delta farmland that will get flooded with salt water. (BTW, claiming there's no evidence of that is simple denial).

As for food production, the research shows both positives and negatives up until about 3K warming - and then highly likely to be negative after 3 degrees. It also shows that again, developing countries are least able to adapt and will experience more of the negatives (in part due to lower latitudes).

it is going to happen no matter what policies we adopt

Citation certainly needed for that. Sure we're stuck at 400ppm and probably higher, but we can still avoid far larger increases by phasing out fossil carbon as soon as practical. We're locked in to significant warming and we'll have to deal with that, but it will certainly get far worse (and far more expensive) if we stick our heads in the sand. The business-as-usual case is likely to see 3.7 to 4.5 degrees this century - much higher than the 2.0-2.5 we're hoping we can keep it to.

Comment Re:Queue the world ending in 5 ... 4 ... 3 ... (Score 1) 367

Have you looked at the likely impacts with a mere 1K of warming? Because those are real problems and potentially very expensive - a long way from "meh", and particularly for the global poor who can least afford to adapt.

But there's absolutely no reason to assume the lowest outcome in that range - in fact, competent disaster planning would more likely work on the assumption of the worse case of 4.5K, even if we can hope for a lower result.

Nobody is claiming all the science is done and complete - the only thing that's completely "settled" is whether it's happening at all, though we've got a pretty good idea about how & why, and of the range of things that could happen. But if you think it should be better, then shouldn't you join the call for more focus and investment in climate research, rather than trying to undermine what's been done so far?

Comment Re:Hockey Stick is NOT the full story (Score 1) 367

Yeah I read what you said the first time. I'm curious why you feel you can interpret his data better than he can, since he clearly disagrees with you. Are you assuming that he is ignoring this bias himself, despite him describing it clearly in his graphs and his results? Did you factor in any of his mentioned caveats, such as the "divergence problem" of recently-declining tree-ring sensitivity (accounted for in Fig.2 B)?

Yes, I too looked at the data, and unless you're just slapping an arbitrarily-large boost onto the proxy data, I don't see anywhere that it supports your own conclusion. E.g. the CPS Land proxy slightly overestimates the instrumental record (in the period of overlap of Fig.3), and comes nowhere close to modern levels (even if you add on a generous 0.4C bias from Fig.2 B). Moberg 2005, Esper 2002, and Mann & Jones 2003 are similarly in the same ballpark as the instruments. The EIV proxies barely overlap the instrumental record at all, but you could perhaps assume about a 0.2C underestimation where they do (though this is not well supported by Fig.2 C/D) - and adding that back to the peaks of the proxy around 1000AD still falls short of current temperatures by over 0.6C. As Mann said, "The EIV reconstructions suggest that temperatures were relatively warm (comparable with the mean over the 1961–1990 reference period but below the levels of the past decade) from A.D. 1000 through the early 15th century". So which part of his data are you referring to?

It seems to me that you're taking an out-of-context quote about finding a bias, making an unsupported assumption as to how big that bias must be, then reinterpreting his conclusion to suit yourself (assuming that Mann has entirely ignored this bias himself), and directly contradicting his own findings.

Comment Re:Hockey Stick is NOT the full story (Score 1) 367

Higher resolution reconstructions by groups like Mann... show temperatures matching the current day within the last 2k years

Mann says otherwise, right in the first paragraph of the study you linked to (emphasis mine):

Our results extend previous conclusions that recent Northern Hemisphere surface temperature increases are likely anomalous in a long-term context. Recent warmth appears anomalous for at least the past 1,300 years whether or not tree-ring data are used. If tree-ring data are used, the conclusion can be extended to at least the past 1,700 years, but with additional strong caveats. The reconstructed amplitude of change over past centuries is greater than hitherto reported, with somewhat greater Medieval warmth in the Northern Hemisphere, albeit still not reaching recent levels.

Comment Re:You do, obviously (Score 1) 367

You just said you don't trust the evil right-wing blogs.

It's got very little to do with blogs being evil or right-wing, and far more to do with spouting unsourced assertions. And yes, evil left-wing blogs do this too.

But when Bernie does it his numbers "have merit" and are "mostly true." When Trump does it he's "misleading" and "mostly false." Fuck you politifact.

The difference is that Sanders qualified his statements to refer to a more specific demographic:

"If you look at Latino kids between 17 and 20 who graduated high school, 36 percent of them are unemployed or underemployed. African-American kids are unemployed or underemployed to the tune of 51 percent."

(emphasis mine). Trump didn't; his claim was far more sweeping:

"If you look at what’s going on in this country, African-American youth is an example: 59 percent unemployment rate; 59 percent," Trump said.

Politifact asked both candidates to clarify; Sanders pointed them at research supporting his more-specific claim, while Trump did not respond. They speculate that Trump perhaps meant everyone who wasn't working, including students and others who weren't even looking for work, which is not the official definition of "unemployment rate". There's a reason the BLS lists Employed and Unemployed rates separately; they measure different things.

Surely you can see the difference between those two claims? Trump's broader claim, using the normally-accepted definition of "unemployment", does not come close to the current figures. Sanders' more-specific claim was supported by research. If Trump wants his assertions to be accepted, he either needs to be more specific, or to back them up with sources.

More importantly, Politifact a) examined the actual words said, with some context, b) provided sources for their figures, and c) fully explained their reasoning. That's all we can ask a fact-checking site to do, as it allows us to see why they made their judgement. You're free to assume a different interpretation of the words if you like, and also to link to other fact-checking sites that hopefully provide equally lucid reasoning. But claiming that "they said the same thing and Politifact supported one and not the other" is clearly not the case.

Also, I did not claim that the left doesn't tear down sources (they certainly do), I said "they rarely work this hard to tear down every reputable source". Perhaps we have different definitions of "reputable"? My idea of a reputable source is one that provides well-researched sources (peer-reviewed where possible) for their claims, and makes it clear when they are indulging in speculation. There are plenty of blogs on both sides that fail at this, but fact-checking sites generally try harder. I'm sure Breitbart comes out with well-researched pieces too, but there's a lot of articles full of unsourced assertions mixed in with them, which does not do their reputation much good. One can hope that their higher-quality points are picked up and repeated by more reputable sites, where they may get a broader audience.

My point was less about political mud-slinging, since that's a god-awful mess on both sides that I have little interest in (not being American), but more about the common theme of science denial that a fairly large proportion of conservatives seem fond of (in my country too). That this is being extended to fact-checking sites worries me, particularly the assumption that any fact-checking site would automatically be assumed by the right to be biased towards the left. Is objective truth really considered so hard to pin down, now? Are there no well-sourced fact-checking sites that the political right feels comfortable with?

Comment Re:You do, obviously (Score 1) 367

It's been asserted a million times. And I don't doubt one could find examples of fact-checking sites deliberately obscuring the truth - I certainly see it often enough on less-reputable blogs (the ones that rarely bother to cite sources).

But if you want to convince people that most fact-checking sites are just propaganda tools, you're going to have to show evidence of this. You know, like the fact-checking sites are supposed to. Telling people doesn't work, as you say, but showing them sometimes does.

It's interesting how it seems it's always the conservatives leading the charge against any source of objective truth - "scientists can't be trusted, peer review doesn't work, fact-checking sites are biased, the truth is what I say it is and you'd think the same if you just googled the blogs yourself". While the far left spouts their own brand of bullshit, they rarely work this hard to tear down every reputable source that disagrees. Why is that?

Comment Re:You do, obviously (Score 1) 367

they're really just propaganda and get cited as if they're authority

And here we have another claim that doesn't cite any sources (and no, Politifact doesn't say that).

If you have specific issues, cite specific examples. If you think that a fact-checking site is wrong about the literal facts, then cite a reputable source that disproves that. If you think that a fact-checking site is misinterpreting an issue, then cite sources that you think don't, preferably ones at least as reputable. Then people can decide for themselves.

That your unsourced assertion got marked as Insightful is exactly why we need fact-checking sites in the first place, or we'll all get buried in the bullshit.

Comment Re:"""Fact check""" (Score 2) 367

Thank you for linking to an authoritative source. That's exactly the sort of information that's needed - and it does not contradict Snope's account at all. I agree it says she made an investigation; I do not agree that it says she thinks the victim is a crazy liar:

"I have made an investigation of the facts and circumstances in this case, and and verily believe that a psychiatric examination of the defendant, , is necessary and vital in this case.

It says quite literally (not "almost") that she believes an examination is necessary, and nothing about what she personally thinks of the victim. However, I do agree her words are clearly intended to cast doubt on the victim's mental state, in the mind of the jury. I would describe that as an obvious and expected action from a defence lawyer in a case like that. I disagree that this implies any moral deficiency on the part of that lawyer; if she does not perform her job to her ability, it merely opens avenues for appeal.

The facts are what she actually said. The rest is your interpretation, or mine. She clearly did not tell the jury that the defendant "made up the rape story", so Snopes is right to call that one out. But I will agree with you that the implied accusation she made is indeed very similar to Trump's frequent implications; the primary difference being it was her job to imply that, in a case she clearly did not want.

Don't claim to "check facts" when you are in fact putting forth a position.

Are you not doing exactly that?

Comment Re:"""Fact check""" (Score 1) 367

Hillary Clinton alleged that the victim was lying/crazy. True.

Nope. Rather than asserting that claim, she asked for a psychiatric exam to find out:

...other people, including an expert in child psychology, had said that the complainant was "emotionally unstable with a tendency to seek out older men and to engage in fantasizing about persons, claiming they had attacked her body," and that "children in early adolescence tend to exaggerate or romanticize sexual experiences." Clinton therefore asked the court to have the complainant undergo a psychiatric exam (at the defense's expense) to determine the validity of that information:

Hillary got the guy off a longer sentence, and laughed about it. True.

Except it was the victim's mother who pushed for the plea deal:

The victim says it was her mother, who had recently been abandoned by her husband, who pushed for a quick plea deal to avoid the humiliation of having her daughter testify in open court.

And she didn't laugh about reducing his sentence either, but about how the evidence was presented:

She did audibly laugh or chuckle at points, not about "knowing that the defendant was guilty" or "getting a guilty guy off" (which makes little sense, given that the defendant pled guilty) but rather while musing about how elements of the case that might ordinarily have supported the prosecution worked in the defendant's favor (i.e., observing that the defendant's passing a polygraph test had "forever destroyed her faith" in that technology)

Context is everything, yes? If you boil it down too much, the meaning evaporates.

Comment Re: Oh Goody (Score 2) 367

That's precisely why any fact-checking site worthy of the name lists its sources, so you can verify it for yourself. And to ensure you're not being given a selective view of the truth, you certainly don't take any single site as gospel, but compare a number of them to get the full picture. They're convenient but hardly definitive.

Or just google for yourself, like you should already be doing. You seem to think that verifying facts is nigh-impossible, when it's now easier than it has ever been. Objective facts are not some mythical unicorn to be sneered at, despite recent attempts to bury them in bullshit.

Comment You do, obviously (Score 2) 367

You follow up the sources to ensure they're credible (if it doesn't list sources it's not much of a fact-checker). You also compare against other fact-checkers, to see if the sources were cherry-picked.You should already be doing this for anything even vaguely controversial you read on the internet.

Fact-checking sites aren't the sole arbiters of truth, they're just conveniences to save you the bother of googling the info yourself.

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