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Author Topic: You will have to pick a side. There is no longer Room for Procrastination  (Read 6233 times)

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In reply to agelbert: (the "quote" function does not work):

They want me to pay for the Pro version
Stop paying them. You don't need it.

What probability do you ascribe to N.T.H.E. (as I define Near Term Human Extinction below)?
Very small. Almost nil.  Say, .001%?

I want to make it clear that "extinction" doesn't mean there will be no humans left by the year 2200.
That's what I take it to mean. That's what "extinction" MEANS. Extinct = no more left.

Forgive me if I don't do the line by line thing consistently. I'm not trying to be less specific or wishy washy. I find that style to be a bit stilted and too often lacks overall context.
Use your preferred style. I like line by line because it exercises discipline and keeps the discussion on track. I find when people do not actually quote my words, they almost invariably take me to be saying all kinds of things that I am not saying.


Of your readings about climate change, which were most compelling? Which of them convinced you that human extinction was even a clear possibility, much less likelihood? In other words: how did you become so extremely pessimistic?

I don't know enough about the climate issue. But I've been reading about it sporadically for 25+ years, and from everything I can gather, the scientists doing the analyses and projections are quite fallible, do not necessarily understand with such certainty the things they claim to understand, and cannot, in the end, be taken quite AS seriously as you seem to be taking them. Further, the scientists themselves are the least culpable in all this, being generally rather conservative and cautious. (Most of them have intellectual maturity sufficient to know that they ARE fallible, that they do NOT understand everything without possibility of error, and so on.) The people who come after the scientists -- the army of journalists, pundits, commentators, interpreters -- proceed to take the scientists' reports and present them with their own spin, their own tendency to exaggerate (in accord with whatever bias they have to begin with) and, often, their own overestimate of their own ability to KNOW -- i.e. overconfidence and over-certainty.

It is clear that climate change exists and is likely getting worse. It is likely that it will continue to get worse for a long time. HOW MUCH worse is very much in question, and what, SPECIFICALLY the implications will be of that worsening for humans and the biosphere is also very much in question -- and this is where the biases and overconfidence of which I just wrote begin to loom very large. I simply cannot embrace the rock-solid certainty being expressed by so many, including  you. In fact, I'll put it more strongly than that: those who are DEAD-CERTAIN about particular effects or outcomes are just crazy. It is not possible to be that certain, and at once sensible and intelligent. There's too much that we don't know, too many wildcards.

I speak as a science-observer of many years standing. I've seen theories get upended. I've seen new discoveries come online and suddenly completely upset orthodox views formerly held. I've seen all kinds of things. And with climate, the subject is so inherently difficult and complex, and loaded with uncertainties, that I cannot buy the exaggerated confidence with which pronouncements are made. I can buy that what they are saying is POSSIBLE, perhaps LIKELY, but the certainty part is just beyond the pale. It calls into question their sensibility and intellectual maturity, perhaps even their sanity. NO ONE who is intelligent can be that certain about such things.

You, AG,  are a good-hearted, well-intentioned, morally aware, and fundamentally intelligent man who has, in my view, bitten into this apple too forcefully, and you are now "certain" about things that you CANNOT truly be so certain about.

That's my view and I'm stickin to it.   ;D


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