Actual press release: "Policy makers and ecologists must develop a more constructive dialogue to save the planet"

From the talk not action department and TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN comes this laughable press release:

the_end[1]


Policy makers and ecologists must develop a more constructive dialogue to save the planet

Dublin, Ireland, Tuesday July 19, 2016 – An international consensus demands human impacts on the environment “sustain”, “maintain”, “conserve”, “protect”, “safeguard”, and “secure” it, keeping it within “safe ecological limits”. But, a new Trinity College Dublin-led study that assembled an international team of environmental scientists shows that policy makers have little idea what these terms mean or how to connect them to a wealth of ecological data and ideas.

Progress on protecting our planet requires us to dispel this confusion, and the researchers have produced a framework to do just that.

Ian Donohue, assistant professor at Trinity, and leader of this study, said: “Human actions challenge nature in many ways. We lump these into a grab-bag of ideas we call ecological stability. We want nature to be stable in some sense of that word. But what do we know about stability from our theories and experiments? And how can that knowledge help policy makers? We offer some solutions to these important questions.”

In the paper published today in the journal Ecology Letters, Donohue and an international team of colleagues outline exactly what policy makers, ecological experimenters, and theoreticians all think about this term “stability.”

The answer is very different things — and there’s a real problem with this lack of agreement. Professor Donohue said: “We need to be talking about the same things, using the same language, so that what ecologists know can sensibly inform the choices of policy makers.”

“Consider this example” says Stuart Pimm, Doris Duke Chair of Conservation at Duke University, in the USA, and one of the paper’s co-authors. “There’s a lot of discussion about “tipping points” — the idea that there are boundaries beyond which, if we push nature it will collapse. There may be places where this happens, but while nature may work this way sometimes, there is no compelling argument that it must always.”

Why should this matter? Pimm responds: “if politicians think there are tipping points and the world hasn’t collapsed thus far, then it encourages policies that continue to degrade our world. If there isn’t a catastrophe so far, why worry? The more likely alternative is not a sudden change, but a progressive loss of fisheries, croplands, damage to all our natural worlds. A wrong view of nature can have disastrous consequences.”

So what can we do? Professor Donohue and his colleagues believe that the solution is to recognise that nature responds to human pressures in complex ways, even as policy makers often demand simple solutions. Acknowledging the need for better communication on the science-policy interface is essential.

Policy makers sometimes have designed crisp, clearly defined targets, such as several of those for the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services — a body broadly based on the more familiar IPCC that deals with climate change. “That’s good. The issue is when they have not. Our work identifies those discrepancies,” argues Donohue. “And we suggest solutions.”

Unfortunately, most of the policies examined by Professor Donohue and his colleagues contain terms that are ambiguous, or have multiple definitions that mean different things to different people. The recently announced United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are no exception.

Professor Donohue added: “This ambiguity is a huge problem as it means that we cannot measure progress, or indeed a lack of progress, towards achieving policy goals. This paralyses policy. Ecologists, policymakers and practitioners urgently need to develop a shared language in order to be more effective in managing the world’s ecosystems — our life-support system.”

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RAH
July 19, 2016 8:09 am

Ever notice how the green alarmists talk more about the message and how to more effectively convey it to convince people and not so much the data or science?

Steve Case
Reply to  RAH
July 19, 2016 8:23 am

And they also want to censor their critics.

george e. smith
Reply to  Steve Case
July 19, 2016 2:30 pm

Who is Doris Duke, and how did she get a whole University named after her ??
g

Reply to  Steve Case
July 19, 2016 6:19 pm

Doris Duke was a tobacco heiress and I’m pretty sure the university was named after one of her relatives/ancestors.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  Steve Case
July 20, 2016 7:53 am

Daisy Duke’s mother.
And ‘paralyses’ is a plural noun. The verb and adjective forms are spelled with a ‘z.’

Reply to  RAH
July 19, 2016 10:02 am

It’s a smart move when you don’t have data and science on your side.

M Seward
Reply to  Reality check
July 19, 2016 10:59 am

I don’t know about smart RC, its the only card left in their hand. Always was their only card actually.

p@dolan
Reply to  Reality check
July 19, 2016 12:59 pm

Adaptation of an old law school bromide: “When the Science is on your side, pound the Science. When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When neither the Science nor the facts are on your side, pound the table!”

Reply to  Reality check
July 19, 2016 3:33 pm

Magicians use it every day, it’s called misdirection

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  RAH
July 19, 2016 11:00 am

its called propaganda

george e. smith
Reply to  RAH
July 19, 2016 2:22 pm

We need a dialog on how to save us from policy makers and ecologists.
G

Michael of Oz
Reply to  RAH
July 19, 2016 2:33 pm

People that can’t control their emotions look to limit the freedoms of others, someone smarter than me, said something like that once.

July 19, 2016 8:21 am

“Unfortunately, most of the policies examined by Professor Donohue and his colleagues contain terms that are ambiguous, or have multiple definitions that mean different things to different people.”

That is by-design. It is not a flaw for the dishonest purveyors of climate pseudoscience and the Progs. For example, “climate change” is the ultimate ambiguous term. It can and does mean many different things to different groups. And it is used in a way that makes it meaningless… by-design in order to push an agenda.

Mark from the Midwest
Reply to  joelobryan
July 19, 2016 8:39 am

The “eco-nerds” let the semantic genie out of the bottle a long time ago, let’s see them stuff it back in.
If anyone can find one phrase in “A Silent Spring” that has a concrete meaning I will buy them a double-scoop dark chocolate-cherry on a waffle cone from Moomers, (this offer applies only to the original store on Long Lake Road).

commieBob
Reply to  joelobryan
July 19, 2016 8:53 am

… most of the policies examined by Professor Donohue and his colleagues contain terms that are ambiguous, or have multiple definitions that mean different things to different people.

Politicians hate that kind of ambiguity.

HARRY Truman famously asked to be sent a one-armed economist, having tired of exponents of the dismal science proclaiming “On the one hand, this” and “On the other hand, that”. link

Sadly, the folks with the simple clear answers are the ones most likely to be wrong.

Bottom line… The political expert who bores you with an cloud of “howevers” is probably right about what’s going to happen. The charismatic expert who exudes confidence and has a great story to tell is probably wrong. link

In this case ‘probably right’ means 51 or 52 percent and probably wrong means 60 percent. ie. the charismatic expert might be right about 40 percent of the time.

Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future. Niels Bohr (I always thought Yogi Berra said that)

The enviro-alarmists refuse to believe that.

schitzree
Reply to  commieBob
July 19, 2016 2:01 pm

“I never said half the things I said.”
Yogi Berra…maybe

PaulH
July 19, 2016 8:24 am

They say “save the planet” like the phrase has any real meaning at all. 😉

MarkW
Reply to  PaulH
July 19, 2016 9:11 am

I don’t believe my savings account is big enough to put the whole planet into it.

Trebla
Reply to  PaulH
July 19, 2016 9:25 am

And what exactly would the strategy be when the sun expands and incinerates the 4 inner planets?

Mark
Reply to  Trebla
July 20, 2016 12:30 am

The sun doesn’t expand, that’s old pseudo science.

TonyG
Reply to  Trebla
July 20, 2016 12:22 pm

Mark:
I haven’t heard that before, and I can’t find anything contradicting the hypothesis that the sun will expand. Can you please share your information?

Gamecock
Reply to  PaulH
July 19, 2016 10:29 am

They say “save the planet” like the phrase has any real meaning at all. 😉
=============
10-4 Paul. George Carlin debunked that decades ago.

[warning: salty language]

Reply to  PaulH
July 19, 2016 10:37 am

..”world’s ecosystems — our life-support system.” I’d like to suggest Professor Donohue take some time out in the world’s ecosystem until her comprehends modern society and all that goes with it is our real life support system. He’ll work it once he contracts one of mother natures little cherubs .. like staph or some sort of flesh eating fungi.

Goldrider
Reply to  Karl
July 19, 2016 1:02 pm

You gotta remember–no one ever sat down in a highly-charged emotional state to blast big checks off to a dot-org because everything’s going GREAT! Desperation, hand-wringing, appeals to apocalypse are necessary to keep those funds coming. And there are so many MORE NGO’s nowadays.
As far as REAL environmental issues are concerned, how ’bout “First, do no harm?”

David Smith
July 19, 2016 8:25 am

Grade A b*ll*cks
That’s really all I need to say.

Reply to  David Smith
July 19, 2016 9:57 am

You mean ‘bollocks’, surely?

July 19, 2016 8:25 am

But they are dependent on vague definitions for any credibility. Climate change is equated with AGW, and CAGW is presumed with no evidence. There is an old line about it not paying for a prophet to be too specific.

Pat Frank
July 19, 2016 8:26 am

Donohue — “This ambiguity is a huge problem as it means that we cannot measure progress, or indeed a lack of progress, towards achieving policy goals.
Not quite. That ambiguity means they don’t know what they’re talking about.

MarkW
Reply to  Pat Frank
July 19, 2016 9:11 am

Ambiguity means never having to admit that you were wrong.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  MarkW
July 19, 2016 9:22 am

Or never have to say you’re sorry.

Reply to  MarkW
July 19, 2016 2:19 pm

Exactly. Sums it up perfectly. Not only that, they can hide anything in there, they can tweak it any which way they want it to go. From claimed victories (“Look it’s working!”) to up-scaling threat value, they’ve got it all covered if they keep from nailing down any kind of clear meaning.

Greater
Reply to  Pat Frank
July 20, 2016 6:57 am

Vagueness is the key to ambiguity….

Tom in Florida
July 19, 2016 8:27 am

““This ambiguity is a huge problem as it means that we cannot measure progress, or indeed a lack of progress, towards achieving policy goals.”
I suspect it is designed this way so there can be no measuring stick or accountability with which to defund projects.

TonyL
July 19, 2016 8:27 am

Unfortunately, most of the policies examined by Professor Donohue and his colleagues contain terms that are ambiguous, or have multiple definitions that mean different things to different people.

Multiple definitions and ambiguity are a feature, not a bug. This is politics, not science, after all. Deliberate obfuscation is a primary tool to push policies and agendas which would not stand a chance otherwise.

Reply to  TonyL
July 19, 2016 8:30 am

great minds think alike

John F. Hultquist
July 19, 2016 8:29 am

Professor Donohue added: “This ambiguity is a huge problem as it means that we cannot measure progress, or indeed a lack of progress, towards achieving policy goals. This paralyses policy.
Perhaps that’s a good thing.

Mark from the Midwest
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
July 19, 2016 8:44 am

I prefer gridlock in Washington, it means no new laws are getting passed

Leonard Weinstein
Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
July 19, 2016 9:03 am

The problem with gridlock is that too many wrongheaded laws are already passed. Changes or removal of these bad laws is as important as not passing new ones. Rather than gridlock, we need a clear clan-up of the legal and tax system, especially for businesses.

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
July 19, 2016 9:21 am

I agree that is, in general, a good thing. But when a dishonest man comes along, and the People bestow enormous power on him, and then that man also decides to bypass the traditional checks and balances of a constitutional separation of powers…. we have a serious problem.
The US President and his installed minions have been for 6+ years effectively rewriting the nation’s laws whole-cloth while bypassing Congress. The constitutional remedy (the Founders foresaw this possibility) is impeachment and removal. But they set a high bar of 2/3 super-majority in the US senate for removal. We now have 46 gutless, ethics-challenged US Senators (out of 100) who have collectively given Mr Obama an “immunity idol” from removal. Obama realizes this, and it allows him to act in a lawless manner, only now checked by the US Courts on domestic issues.

Latitude
July 19, 2016 8:39 am

This should be fun….
They are going to clean up a science that would not exist without ambiguity…
…by trying to make it less ambiguous

Kamikazedave
July 19, 2016 8:43 am

A refreshing start would be for them to tell the truth for once.

Pat Swords
July 19, 2016 8:48 am

Irish academics are paid very high salaries, which are commensurate with their disconnect from the real world. They have consistently prepared documentation of appalling poor quality to justify the roll out of renewable energy and other climate change related measures. In particular participating on the UN IPPC documentation. Of interest is the below, which was used to justify a 40% renewable electricity target, nearly all wind based, for the Irish generation system, which has already blighted many parts of our landscape and cause a 50% rise in electricity bills:
http://www.uwig.org/irish_all_island_grid_study/workstream_2a.pdf
It’s worth looking at for its appalling poor quality, not least as it projected a maximum installed cost of €1.3 million per MW, when actual costs are €2 million per MW. The same type of shoddy work by Irish academics is to be seen in the below, particularly chapters 7 and 8:
http://www.ipcc.ch/report/srren/
One can see this when one delves into the drafts in the link above and the various comments.

Barbara
Reply to  Pat Swords
July 19, 2016 12:20 pm

How deeply are Irish RC organizations involved in this Irish situation?
For example, the RC Trocaire organization’s involvement in the divestment movement and climate change?

Barbara
Reply to  Pat Swords
July 19, 2016 3:26 pm

University College Dublin Foundation
UCD O’Brien Centre for Science
Donors include:
Eddie O’Connor, Irish wind turbine mogul.
http://www.ucdfoundation.ie/search/?q=campaign%20for%20science

Barbara
Reply to  Barbara
July 19, 2016 5:15 pm

OilPrice, April 25, 2012
‘Oilprice.com’s 5 Most Important Figures in U.S. Clean Energy’
Steven Chu
Dan Reicher
Elon Musk
Eddie O’Connor, Ireland
Paul Woods, The Algae King
http://www.oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Renewable-Energy/Oilprice.coms-5-Most-Influential-Figures-in-U.S.-Clean-Energy.html

Barbara
Reply to  Barbara
July 19, 2016 7:26 pm

GWEC/Global Wind Energy Council (Brussels)
‘Mainstream CEO Eddie O’Connor appointed as GWEC Global Ambassador’
Also named World Energy Policy Leader by Scientific American 2013.
http://www.gwec.net/mainstream-ceo-eddie-oconnor-appointed-as-gwec-global-ambassador
Mainstream Renewable Power, Ireland has wind projects in the U.S. and Canada

Barbara
Reply to  Barbara
July 20, 2016 4:25 pm

energy [r]evolution / GWEC – EREC – Greenpeace
A Sustainable World Energy Overlook, 290 pages, 2012
P.18: Policy changes
8 demands by Greenpeace, GWEC and EREC
Including:
Cap-and-trade
Priority access to the grid for renewable power generators
Feed-in tariff
Canadian tar sands are mentioned in this document.
http://www.energyblueprint.info/fileadmin/media/documents/2012/EnergyRevolution2012.pdf
Slow download.

Barbara
Reply to  Barbara
July 21, 2016 12:28 pm

GWEC, May, 2014
‘GWEC Board election and new Executive Committee’
Executive Committee:
Included: Robert Hornung, CANWEA/Canadian Wind Energy Association President.
http://www.gwec.net/gwec-board-election-new-executive-committee

July 19, 2016 8:51 am

“Unfortunately, most of the policies examined by Professor Donohue and his colleagues contain terms that are ambiguous, or have multiple definitions that mean different things to different people. “
Well, I’m glad they cleared that up. I was beginning to think were using vagaries on purpose to push an indefensible agenda or something.

n.n
July 19, 2016 8:53 am

The low-density “green” energy converters are taking a progressive toll on flora, fauna, and the environment.

Resourceguy
July 19, 2016 8:57 am

What pub was this written in?

Hoplite
Reply to  Resourceguy
July 19, 2016 12:42 pm

@resourceguy – following on from Anthony’s lead on using data to inform debate, try this for size: “Irish teenagers drink less than most Europeans of same age”
I know the trope of the drunken feckless Irish is an immutable and ineluctable view held by many English and some Americans. Don’t know which you are. Please try to keep up with the times and the latest research.
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/irish-teenagers-drink-less-than-most-europeans-of-same-age-1.2574012
Ps: anticipating the response by some that the work referred wasn’t written by teenagers I would respond: ‘you reap what you sow’

Dinsdale
July 19, 2016 8:58 am

There are so many problems with this story. First, humans are part of nature not separate from it. That’s the fundamental flaw in environmentalism. Second, nature isn’t stable across most timescales (certainly on a human scale). The world is always changing and always will. So trying to achieve “stability” is futile at best. Third, there is no such thing as a climate tipping point – we wouldn’t be here if there was based on past climate.

tony mcleod
Reply to  Dinsdale
July 19, 2016 7:06 pm

“there is no such thing as a climate tipping point”
From my reading Dinsdale the opposite is entirely plausible.

July 19, 2016 9:01 am

It’s not just tipping points that are non-existent. It’s global warming that is strangely absent , although
somehow these greenies have the amazing ability to ignore as irrelevant data unless it shows warming, somewhere, to some extent, regardles of how inconsequential. One cannot expect sensible logic from such people. They are guided by emotions that force them to continue to believe the fiction of a paid-for
opposition.

Dodgy Geezer
July 19, 2016 9:04 am

<i… “There’s a lot of discussion about “tipping points” — the idea that there are boundaries beyond which, if we push nature it will collapse. There may be places where this happens, but while nature may work this way sometimes, there is no compelling argument that it must always.”
Why should this matter? Pimm responds: “if politicians think there are tipping points and the world hasn’t collapsed thus far, then it encourages policies that continue to degrade our world. If there isn’t a catastrophe so far, why worry?….
Hmm…as a policy maker, I would say:
“I would certainly worry if I thought I was running into a catastrophe. But first I would want to be fairly sure about it. And if your track record of predicting disasters is uniformly wrong, I suggest that you get your prediction ability up to the stage where there is a better than 50% chance that you are right before coming to me and asking me to do anything about it…”

Gary
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
July 19, 2016 9:16 am

I find it refreshing that Pimm would cast doubt on the “tipping point” concept, even if for a peculiar reason (politicians might not get excited). It’s likely he will get attacked for even suggesting such heresy.

tony mcleod
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
July 19, 2016 7:13 pm

Allow me to change a couple of words Dodgy:
“the idea that there are boundaries beyond which, if we push nature it will collapse” – Change collapse to flip to a different phase or state. No one is suggesting the climate will “collapse”.
“there is no compelling argument that it must always.” There are plenty of compelling reasons to suggest it may. Raising the average Arctic a couple of degrees could dramatically alter the albedo such that it could remain ice-free for several decades. That would clearly represent a tipping point. It could tip back of course but that may take an extended period in the new phase.

Editor
July 19, 2016 9:17 am

Anyone with serious interest in the subject of the Science/Policy interface should start by reading The Rightful Place of Science: Science on the Verge and other books from the The Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes at Arizona State University.

Editor
Reply to  Kip Hansen
July 19, 2016 9:30 am

Frequent readers here will recognize that Roger Pielke Jr.’s The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters & Climate Change is part of the same CSPO book series, it is available here at no or very low cost.

Bruce Cobb
July 19, 2016 9:19 am

Methinks they kissed the Baloneystone before writing this.

PiperPaul
July 19, 2016 9:20 am
n.n
Reply to  PiperPaul
July 19, 2016 9:25 am

That is the Profits’ prophecy.

n.n
July 19, 2016 9:22 am

Not ecologists. Conservation is principled, traditional, and no longer chic. More like “green” industry lobbyists and scientific mystics.

Steve C
July 19, 2016 9:23 am

Re “the talk not action department”.
“When all is said and done, a great deal more has been said than done.”
I wish I could remember who I’m quoting, but it’s spot on.

tadchem
July 19, 2016 9:24 am

The transition from rhetoric to logic is nearly impossible as the though processes involved are essentially incompatible. The panic-inducing rhetoric of the past 30 or so years of climate activism was crafted to motivate people, especially uncritical thinkers such as politicians and publicists. Any programs to actually take effective steps towards a clearly defined objectives require thinking that is very analytical and critical.

Ed
July 19, 2016 9:28 am

For clarity and an excellent distillation of actual facts and real-world implications of various climate policies, I recommend “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” by Alex Epstein. It’s written for non-technical persons and an easy read..

Robert
July 19, 2016 9:37 am

I think they are saying we are in danger of not understanding the tipping point of recognizing the tipping point of when we will reach the tipping point of the tipping point. Got it? 😉

Reply to  Robert
July 19, 2016 11:31 am

I believe that’s just for unknowntipping points.

July 19, 2016 9:40 am

“Policy makers have little idea what these terms mean or how to connect them to a wealth of ecological data and ideas.” They are certainly right here at least. Some of the confusion is deliberate because terms are used like “Climate Change” which have multiple and no meanings. “Unfortunately, most of the policies examined by Professor Donohue and his colleagues contain terms that are ambiguous, or have multiple definitions that mean different things to different people.” Mostly though “Policy Makers” have no idea that they are being well and truly conned by people with extreme Left ideals, or an equal number of extremely greedy people who want to transfer wealth from the poor to themselves without being noticed.

Jerry Henson
July 19, 2016 9:42 am

Steve C, that was Aesop.

July 19, 2016 9:56 am

“Ecologists, policymakers and practitioners urgently need to develop a shared language…”
They already have three shared languages: Academese, Word Salad and Management-Speak.

Bob Denby
July 19, 2016 9:59 am

I thought the common language of science is math — not so? (Burn down the faculty clubs!)

Reply to  Bob Denby
July 19, 2016 5:04 pm

Maths is not a single language- its a group. Complex, Real….

July 19, 2016 10:00 am

This is not about saving the planet, it is about saving the narrative that so far has been so successful at juicing funding for the efforts of progressive post-modernists to coerce free people into accepting more socialism, less liberty and bigger government.

Bruce Cobb
July 19, 2016 10:06 am

The trouble is that environmental “scientists” need ways of continuing to feather their own nests, whilst appearing to “save the planet” while policy makers need ways of keeping political power whilst fleecing taxpayers and ratepayers whilst appearing to “save the planet”. They need to work together more, and come up with a common language, thereby benefiting both. Win-win.

July 19, 2016 10:15 am

Which part of climate change are they hoping to protect us from? The peaks or the valleys?
http://lgge.osug.fr/IMG/fparrenin/articles/barker-science2011.pdf
I’m a peak gal all the way. Save me from the ice, not the plant food.

Reply to  Pamela Gray
July 19, 2016 11:42 am

The only climate change catastrophe I’ve seen here in Florida is a drought of catastrophic hurricanes.
I’m pretty sure models called for more dangerous hurricanes.
Has anyone explained how CAGW is causing climate improvement?
I guess it’s just one more for the Social Benefit of Carbon.

Svend Ferdinandsen
July 19, 2016 10:19 am

“So what can we do? Professor Donohue and his colleagues believe that the solution is to recognise that nature responds to human pressures in complex ways”
It means the response to a “lover” pressure also will be complex. Unfortunately he gives no clue about the outcome of the complexity, so the best solution will be not to change anything, and just wait to se in what unexpected complex way it evolves and take measures, like humans have allways done.
I believe Murphy also works for climate.

July 19, 2016 11:01 am

“We need to be talking about the same things, using the same language, so that what ecologists know can sensibly inform the choices of policy makers.”
We need to be talking about the same things, using the same language, so that what economists know can sensibly inform the choices of policy makers.
Unfortunately, most of the policies examined by Professor Donohue and his colleagues contain terms that are ambiguous, or have multiple definitions that mean different things to different people.
For example the word “nature.”

Reply to  rovingbroker
July 19, 2016 11:44 am

and data

Mark - Helsinki
July 19, 2016 11:02 am

Being from Dublin this is somehow oddly embarrassing. Ireland has not been at the forefront of alarmism.

Mark - Helsinki
July 19, 2016 11:04 am

NASA did butcher our temp record from Dublin airport though, an airport that has grown significantly since the 70s but they still butchered it anyway.

Mark - Helsinki
July 19, 2016 11:05 am

Ireland also had no summer until yesterday, and worst summer in 70 years 2015. GW doesn’t have much traction with the public there, austerity at the hands of the EU on the other hand 😀

Louis
July 19, 2016 11:36 am

If they really want to end the ambiguity, they have to define what it is that would falsify their pet theory. As long as they insist that both hot and cold, more ice and less ice, more storms and fewer storms are all evidences of global warming, there will always be ambiguity and distrust. That’s because if everything that happens is proof of climate change, then we are dealing with politics and personal beliefs, not science.

David in Texas
July 19, 2016 1:22 pm

There problem is not with the words: “sustain”, “maintain”, “conserve”, “protect”, “safeguard”, and “secure”, but with the words ‘good’ and ‘bad’.
The earth has warmed less than one degree centigrade since 1850, and food supply, life expectancy, and GDP per capita have all soared. The earth has been greening for at least the last 35 years. This, they wish to define as ‘bad’. Of course, they are having a problem with the lexicon.

rogerthesurf
July 19, 2016 2:04 pm

“sustain”, “maintain”, “conserve”, “protect”, “safeguard”, and “secure””
For Whom?
Roger
http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com

Resourceguy
July 19, 2016 2:26 pm

It would be most helpful and constructive to start by saving science, science process, and science education from advocacy lies and advocacy misinformation campaigns. This is not the first great advocacy over reach campaign so it should not be that hard to spot it and examine the implications of it. Unfortunately, there is never enough self examination of these cases and their full consequences so they keep coming up as best practice approaches among the zealots and their consultants.

July 19, 2016 3:43 pm

If there are “tipping points” as a mental construct of possible ecosystem response, I wonder why the opposite construct, the existence of “stopping points” has not been considered. Is this not socially conceivable? Stopping points are points at which further injection of a stimulus to a system produces no measurable response. For example, graphing Arctic ice extent Sept minima to CO2 has an expected strong, inverse relationship that stops at 380 ppm and then flatlines. Is this not a stopping point?

Logos_wrench
July 19, 2016 3:59 pm

How hilarious as soon as ambiguity is seen as a problem they want to ditch it . So for the last 20 years shifting definitions and goal posts wasn’t a problem but now it is? That’s what happens when your audience starts comparing assertions with reality. Language is not their problem. Reality is.

JohnKnight
July 19, 2016 6:19 pm

Long ago, in the early seventies, I was in school and was considering going into the international law/relations realm as a vocation. It soon became apparent to me that the curriculum was basically Machiavellian control freak training, and the smallish classes were dominated by social misfits/outcasts and dorky narcissistic wannabes. I had “visions” of the future/present . . and even tried in my young American idealist way to warn them of what I saw . . before easing on out of there with a sort of ticking time-bomb angst in the back of my mind.
Houston, we have a very serious problem . . and it’s not stupidity, I warn.

tony mcleod
Reply to  JohnKnight
July 19, 2016 7:18 pm

No it’s ideology. The ideology that the party must continue to expand exponentially forever, despite any finite limit.

H.R.
July 19, 2016 7:43 pm

I’m not sure there’s anything anyone can say that will save the planet, although a few chants couldn’t hurt.

July 19, 2016 9:42 pm

My advice to these APS sufferers (Arrested Puberty Syndrome) is to (1) grow up, (2) using knowledge structures instead of belief structures tends to lead to more rational results, and (3) have a good long think about just when we live.
Such statements like:
“But what do we know about stability from our theories and experiments?”
means that reality is not actually in this. Climate stability at the normal natural end of an interglacial is not a matter of theory, and the experiment we are presently conducting is only a few centuries old now. The Holocene, this precious little interglacial in which all of human civilization has occurred, is presently 11,719 years old (+/- 99 years), or almost exactly half a precession cycle old. Only one post-Mid Pleistocene Transition (MPT) interglacial has lasted longer than about half a precession cycle. That should be your first clue.
It is what happens when you run with that clue that will bring you to two conclusions: (1) well, if we are at the end of the Holocene, what did the ends of the other post-MPT interglacials look like, and (2) could CO2/AGW function to extend the Holocene?
The ends of the other post-MPT extreme interglacials (meaning those that reached at least our temps and sea levels) show strong evidence of climate instability on a scale from 1 to 2 orders of magnitude greater than the worst case prognostications of the IPCC/Gore crowd have yet to crank out from their Playstations. It reminds me of an adolescent walking down the tracks swatting at a wasp while a Milankovic climate freight train bears down on them.
The end of the last, most recent, and therefore best preserved interglacial was described as early as 1996 at a “Climatic Madhouse”, with extremely rapid climate shifts between earth’s warm and cold states. It consisted of at least 2 quite extreme positive thermal excursions with near glacial climate in between. And in just a few centuries. As with MIS-19 and MIS-11, the last thermal was the strongest, yielding somewhere between +6.0 to +52.0 meters of sea level rise, or from 1 to almost 2 orders of magnitude greater than the AR4 worst case scenario of +0.6 meters by 2099. Detailed studies provide data supporting multiple fits and starts throughout each thermal reversal that literally define the intelligence capacity of the adolescent mind.
+0.6 meters (AR4), +0.8 meters (AR5)? Yeah, we have many of them during each of the 2 strong thermal positive excursions at the end of the Eemian. Which of those will “ours” be at the end of the Holocene? Was it the simultaneous discovery of beans and salsa that did the Eemian in? Did we then ban beans and salsa so that we could enjoy the Wisconsin ice age?
Because that is more or less the question facing Homo sapiens sapiens here at the half precession old Holocene:
“The possible explanation as to why we are still in an interglacial relates to the early anthropogenic hypothesis of Ruddiman (2003, 2005). According to that hypothesis, the anomalous increase of CO2 and CH4 concentrations in the atmosphere as observed in mid- to late Holocene ice-cores results from anthropogenic deforestation and rice irrigation, which started in the early Neolithic at 8000 and 5000 yr BP, respectively. Ruddiman proposes that these early human greenhouse gas emissions prevented the inception of an overdue glacial that otherwise would have already started.”
conclude Muller and Pross (2007)
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ulrich_Mueller7/publication/222561971_Lesson_from_the_past_present_insolation_minimum_holds_potential_for_glacial_inception/links/0c96051e593f3a593d000000.pdf
I’m 62, and a licensed practicing geologist. I do not actually care all that much what the kids do. I just wanna watch. I’ve been doing high-level litigation support on environmental matters for a quarter century now. That is because for over 30 years now I have been cleaning up the meanest of our toxic cocktails, from trans-uranic wastes through refineries and chemical plants/dumps to rocket fuels. I also well understand the dominant role climate change has played during our own evolution.
So, the recent climate change debate has crystallized in my mind as the most definitive intelligence test ever devised. I say go ahead, strip the climate security blanket from the late Holocene atmosphere. But be quick about it, OK? Remember, I just wanna watch. The sun has gone all quiet on us. And at 11,719 years old, why would this not be the tipping point into the next glacial? Well, if the kids are actually right about CO2/AGW then there is only one reason we are still experiencing interglacial warmth: CO2/AGW. Now this does not mean that I agree that doubling CO2 will somehow negate its present near IR saturation.
But it does beggar the rational imagination as regards what to do about CO2.AGW.
1) strip the heathen devil AGW gases out of the late Holocene atmosphere and take your chances with glacial inception?
2) or stuff as much “climate security blanket” up there as you possibly can, while you still can. Why? Because you actually do understand the precautionary principle……
“Investigating the processes that led to the end of the last interglacial period is relevant for understanding how our ongoing interglacial will end, which has been a matter of much debate…..”
“The onset of the LEAP occurred within less than two decades, demonstrating the existence of a sharp threshold, which must be near 416 Wm2, which is the 65oN July insolation for 118 kyr BP (ref. 9). This value is only slightly below today’s value of 428 Wm2. Insolation will remain at this level slightly above the [glacial] inception for the next 4,000 years before it then increases again.”
http://www.climate.unibe.ch/~born/share/papers/eemian_and_lgi/sirocko_seelos05.nat.pdf
So there it is “kids”. No theory, just the most interesting experiment H. sapiens sapiens may ever embark on. Of all previous species of the genus Homo, sapiens sapiens is the least well-adapted for abrupt climate change ever. Few of us, given even iron-age tools, would survive the abrupt and extreme climate changes which dominate glacial inception. Which, as a geologist, is why I just wanna watch.
The irony here is off the charts. Unless, of course, you are truly an environmentalist. If the kids are correct about CO2/AGW, then the only thing standing between the end of the Holocene and gaia’s next regularly scheduled descent into the next post-MPT interglacial are our GHG emissions. End that and let nature take its course. ~90kyrs of ice age makes for a beautiful genetic filter.
As I watch the evolution of election year politics I find that I am not all that much in favor of “business as usual”. More and more I find myself leaning towards the philosophy of “I suggest a new strategy R2, let the Wookie(s) win”. A “beautiful genetic filter” is just what we need. We might just net a better Homo…..
“An examination of the fossil record indicates that the key junctures in hominin evolution reported nowadays at 2.6, 1.8 and 1 Ma coincide with 400 kyr eccentricity maxima, which suggests that periods with enhanced speciation and extinction events coincided with periods of maximum climate variability on high moisture levels.” Trauth et al, Quaternary Science Reviews 28 (2009) 399–411
As we are at a poorly-adapted hominid state at an eccentricity minima, not an eccentricity maxima, the next leap in humanity might actually be up to us this time.
Meanwhile, back at my Sierra ranch, I graduate from “maker” to “taker” class in a month. Since the Demobrat dissolution of the Social Security trust fund in 1968, I have been paying for your progressive agenda. So now you owe me, unless you are mere thieves/hypocrits. So get all “progressive”, but get back to work (funding my imminent SSN checks). Theory is one thing, experiments are quite another. The reality of social experiments are a bee-atch, aren’t they? I await your bureaucratically taxed (more gov’ment costs mo money) tax revenues.
So, to all the mewling quim, enjoy the interglacial…….while it lasts.
Or take a shot at ending it. Either way, you will be funding my retirement, for as long as I can politically ensure that you can. Just to keep you fiscally/ideologically honest. Even though abrupt climate change appears to happen within a single year, the political constructs of H. sapiens take a bit longer to materialize. It doesn’t matter in my case. Because:
THEORY:
It was only a minor extension of the theory of retirement that I planned a remote repose of an alpine ranch with lots of annual deadfall (recyclable carbon/energy), a captive watershed and just below treeline solar/wind capture availability/short transmission distance, excellent defensive position property. I have since come to recognize this as the “survivalist”” mentality. Though not so applicable to one with no offspring in the offing. Without question, at over a mile high climate change is on my agenda. But with my remaining lifespan, a large woodpile and a couple of greenhouses goes a long way towards neutering that. The mewling quim will not neuter AGW/GHGs in the atmospheric lifetime of existing GHGs. Which will likely exceed mine.
EXPERIMENT:
The only abrupt climate change I am concerned about, for the remainder of the time I am here, consists of wildfire mitigation. At altitude, and in deep older forest, summer insolation has not proved to be a problem this first year. Trimming and stockpiling forest fuels has been a good pastime. Cutting a firebreak is occurring apace.
SOLUTION(S):

Ray
Reply to  William McClenney
July 21, 2016 7:17 am

Brilliant, William. I am only a couple years behind you in retiring to my ranch at 7000′ MSL on the Colorado Plateau, where I will also be engaged in gathering concentrated heat in the form of wood. Winters can see a good bit of snow there, and overnight temps below zero. I hope the interglacial hangs on a few more decades, as I really love the summers up there!

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