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Earth Science

How Climate Scientists Parallel Early Atomic Scientists 440

Lasrick writes "Kennette Benedict writes in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists about the existential threat of climate change, and how the scientists who study and write about it are similar to the early atomic scientists who created, and then worried about, the threat that nuclear weapons posed to humanity: 'Just as the Manhattan Project participants could foresee the coming arms race, climate scientists today understand the consequences of deploying the technologies that defined the industrial age. They also know that action now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will mitigate the worst consequences of climate change, just as the Manhattan Project scientists knew that early action to forestall a deadly arms race could prevent nuclear catastrophe.'"
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How Climate Scientists Parallel Early Atomic Scientists

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  • Re:Science? (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 20, 2013 @04:10PM (#44337951)

    Climate change can be tested, the problem is we only have one shot at it.

  • Re:Honesty? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FriendlyPrimate ( 461389 ) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @04:27PM (#44338023)
    The term "Climate Change" has been around since at least the 1950's (see []).

    "Climate Change" is more common now thanks to conservative think tanks who made a concerted effort to use that term in the early 2000s because it was considered "less scary" than global warming. Scientists went along with it because "Climate Change" is technically more accurate anyway and they are not particularly good at playing politics.

    You've got to envy the Republicans in their ability to twist language to suit their needs.
  • Selective Memory (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MellowBob ( 2933537 ) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @04:28PM (#44338027)

    The arms race happened. It wasn't deadly. There was no nuclear catastrophe.

    Carbon's increasing. We're still here. The polar ice caps are still here.

    Good comparison.

  • by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @04:30PM (#44338043)

    The biggest similarity between the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and climate alarmists is that they both have predicted the end of the world like a dozen times by now.

  • Re:Honesty? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 20, 2013 @04:35PM (#44338059)

    Because most of them would not have a job without "Climate Change". And by most I mean somewhere in the neighborhood of 90%. What was the job market for "Climate Scientist" 35 years ago? Did such a title even exist?

  • that's totally wrong (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stenvar ( 2789879 ) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @04:45PM (#44338103)

    The record shows that increased CO2 levels accompany periods of instability (e.g. rapid growth and reduction in glacier size) even if the trend tends toward warming.

    We still have some of the lowest CO2 concentrations in earth's history right now, and our climate has been changing rapidly (in fact, oscillating wildly) for the past 7 million years or so. To stop these oscillations, CO2 concentrations would have to go up substantially. []

  • Re:Honesty? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 20, 2013 @05:24PM (#44338349)

    Why are climate scientists constantly lying every time they say something then? Phil Jones said global warming was happening even though his research showed it wasn't and then he deleted the data before risking somone else looking at it. Then they released a bunch of foraged documents from "denier" groups showing how evil they are, and then had to admit those documents had to be made up because they couldn't find actual proof. Then the IPCC this year released data that there has been no warming for 17 years and EVERY chart they released showing predictions since 2001 were well over the actual measured results of temperature.

    So we have a list of lies, made up facts about opposition, and completely failed predictions. Now we are getting storeis about how they are being prosecuted for their immoral actions. So are we supposed to just pretend their lies, falsified data, and wrong predictions didn't happen? You seem to think so.

  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @06:47PM (#44338771)

    Not so. Read the Newsweek article, Time, etc. the contemporaneous press shows the coming ice age was quite the thing on the 70s.

    The media isn't a good guide to what scientists actually think.

    Meanwhile, back in reality, cooling never was the dominant opinion in scientific publications [].

    Also note that until we figured global warming out, global cooling was a reasonable prediction, since we appear to be in an interglacial [] that can be expected to go back toward cold at some point.

    In fact, the last I read on the topic (several years ago) said we're experiencing forcing toward warmth due to greenhouse gasses and forcing toward coolth due to the interglacial cycle, and it happens that the forcing toward warmth is stronger, so we're warming up rather than cooling down.

  • Re:Honesty? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 20, 2013 @08:59PM (#44339499)
    I've been debating creationists as a hobby off and on for twenty years and all creationists that I've encountered believe that there is a global conspiracy of scientists who are so intelligent, devious, and powerful that we're able to block the TRVTH, or that all scientists are so stupid, ignorant, and gullible we can't see the obvious TRVTH that evolution is comprehensively disproven by grade school-level science. Carrying both views simultaneously in spite of the inherent contradiction is far more common than holding one by itself though.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 20, 2013 @11:57PM (#44340115)

    We still have some of the lowest CO2 concentrations in earth's history right now

    How far back in history do you want to go? At no point in the recent 650 000 year history have we had C02 levels anywhere near as high as today (Antarctic Ice Core data). It is estimated that C02 levels were comparable about 30 million years ago during the "Eocene–Oligocene extinction event". Rest assured humans have NEVER survived or existed at C02 levels above today's levels.

    Rather than Earth's history, perhaps you should consider HUMAN HISTORY. At 400 ppm CO2, we're in entirely new territory today.

Think of it! With VLSI we can pack 100 ENIACs in 1 sq. cm.!