U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Green Living
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Old 05-05-2010, 12:45 PM
28,231 posts, read 39,872,938 times
Reputation: 36735


This guy is interesting. He certainly has a point to make.

YouTube - The Most Terrifying Video You'll Ever See
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 05-10-2010, 08:00 AM
5,019 posts, read 12,738,933 times
Reputation: 6987
Thanks for posting this!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-10-2010, 12:29 PM
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,848 posts, read 54,121,626 times
Reputation: 30290
I haven't seen so much oversimplification and leaving out of information since Ayn Rand.

Start with something really simple. Column A has the results of actions. Given the same actions are taken within column A, he shows that the negative effects of taking actions if there is no climate change (remember when it was called global warming?) are Cost$ and Global Depression. Right? See it up there in black and white?

Then, if there is IS climate change, the negative effects suddenly become ONLY Cost$. What happened to Global Depression? Did it magically take an anti-depressant and disappear? Did we all start to sing Kumbiya and hold hands?

What purports to be a simple logic grid is not, but has been turned into a slanted slight of hand.

Notice that the content of the subject matter is never discussed, only the simplification of actions and possibilities. Rand was a master at this, and it is a seductive argument for people who follow but don't think on their own. He suggests people make their own grids, knowing that 99% won't bother, but will simply follow his or use his argument.

Take the grid out of this context. Instead of Global climate change, use "The house I live in has a 50% chance of falling down" instead. We'll call that "HFD." Notice that we automatically assign 50% as the possibility, when the possibilities could be anywhere from 0% to 100%. By using a grid like this, we introduce a bias. What if the possibility is only 1%? would that affect our decision making? How about 1 in 6000? I figured that the chance of damage from a tornado here is about 1 in 6000. Should that stop me from living here? The chances of getting in a car accident over a lifetime are far greater than that. Should we all avoid cars? Life is always a calculated risk. Without risk, life doesn't exist.

Next, we have the concept of taking action or not taking action. Notice that what action is taken is not specified. Again, we introduce a bias. This bias is that if we take action, it will be effective. Not that there is a 50% chance that it will be effective, or a 20% chance or a 90% chance, but the bias is that it will be totally effective.

So... As a plan of action to keep my house from falling down, since I don't understand structural engineering completely, and don't have a full grasp of what is important, I will clean my kitchen, take out the garbage, turn down the lights, and paint the walls and bring in some plants to take away the carbon dioxide. I'll also voluntarily pay more taxes, and spend money on research to find out just how many plants I need to bring in. That should take care of the problem, right? I can be 100% sure that my house won't fall... CRASH Meanwhile, my paint center, my garden center, my HOA, my eco-nut friends, and my government are all happy and assuring me I have done the right thing, but when the unexpected happens they collectively just go "woops!"
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-10-2010, 04:42 PM
5,019 posts, read 12,738,933 times
Reputation: 6987
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
I He suggests people make their own grids, knowing that 99% won't bother
You sound like that 1% though.

So post it up!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-10-2010, 06:01 PM
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,848 posts, read 54,121,626 times
Reputation: 30290
Sample idea for a grid that is more accurate:
(this is not meant as a "this is the way it is" statement, merely a more accurate representation) A grid doesn't easily fit the format of the forums so you'll have to use your own paper or spreadsheet.

Actions axis - do nothing - cut carbon emissions - cut methane emissions - plant stuff - allow 1/2 the population to die - eliminate the worst polluters - reduce energy use - seed the oceans with iron - call upon Cluthu or other deity for intervention - wait for aliens.

Problem possibility axis: No Warming - Warming caused by man - Warming caused by solar constant - Warming caused by planetary stuff like volcanoes - Warming caused by CO2 - Warming caused by methane - Warming caused by Cluthu - Warming leading to global COOLING (historically feasible) - Combination A - Combination B - etc.

Percentage possibility axis - put in your own figures adding up to 100%

Percentage action axis (global) the percent you think EVERY COUNTRY and person will follow a course of action (be realistic)

Percentage effectiveness axis - percent you think an action would really work

Percentage long term compliance - percent you think the next generation or the generation after that will comply with orders such as "don't create carbon dioxide" or "don't use anything that makes carbon dioxide"

(trivia - did you know that plants give off carbon dioxide at night? The conversion with sunlight and CO2 into oxygen and sugars is not perfect)

Finally, in overview, assign a percentage chance of any assigned, ordered, mandated, or legally enforced action working to obviate climate change to be effective over the course of three civilizations. The Greeks, the Romans, the middle Ages, the industrial revolution, the information revolution are all effectively different civilizations with different goals and leaders.

Once you get through with the exercise and pound your ego down to a reasonable level, you may decide that in the scope of existence, Al Gore becoming a footnote rather than a Messiah seems more likely, or not if you are into Messiahs.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Green Living
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top