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  #101  
Old 02 January 2018, 08:40 PM
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I took a geology class in college and the professor did not believe in anthropogenic climate change. To his credit, he urged us not to believe him just because he said it was so, and told us if we were interested in the topic that we ought to look at the research and judge for ourselves. I wonder if he still works there.
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  #102  
Old 02 January 2018, 08:56 PM
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That actually makes some sense as human existence is a tiny fraction of the time span that geology covers plus there have been many temperature shifts in the Earth's history long before humankind.
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  #103  
Old 02 January 2018, 10:32 PM
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That made up a good chunk of his argument, IIRC.

Also to his credit, he wasn't one of those people who dismisses climate change in part because they don't care what happens to the earth after they die. He had other environmental concerns, such as the contamination of freshwater by pollutants.
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  #104  
Old 02 January 2018, 10:50 PM
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mbravo, how long ago was this?

There was genuine reason for uncertainty, some years ago. I'm not sure how long it's been since it's generally been considered a settled issue.
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  #105  
Old 02 January 2018, 10:58 PM
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I believe it was in the spring of 2011.
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  #106  
Old 03 January 2018, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbravo View Post
I took a geology class in college and the professor did not believe in anthropogenic climate change. To his credit, he urged us not to believe him just because he said it was so, and told us if we were interested in the topic that we ought to look at the research and judge for ourselves. I wonder if he still works there.
Unfortunately, to many people that means a 10 second google search followed by reading half a page from a web site like https:\\bob_s_rants.com. I'm pretty sure that's what the Turnip did.
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  #107  
Old 03 January 2018, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
Unfortunately, to many people that means a 10 second google search followed by reading half a page from a web site like https:\\bob_s_rants.com. I'm pretty sure that's what the Turnip did.

Some time ago, I checked NOAA's website. I mean really checked it out. There's a boatload of info about cloud cover, wind speed, sunspots, storm cycles, etc etc. Came with maps, diagrams and other technical charts.
I came away with a great appreciation of just how complex the climate is.

For the record, I think the anti-pollution acts passed in the early 70s were some of the most important laws/acts/whatever in my life.
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  #108  
Old 03 January 2018, 07:26 PM
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Well it looks like it is actually going to warm up. My hounds are thrilled that they can finally have access to outdoors again. The temperature dipped to around -42 over the last several days and they were confined to the heated garage.

The vehicles were plugged in but they were still pretty chilly at six in the morning. My inflatable moose in the front yard refused to blow up. Fortunately for my wife she had the week off. Not so fortunate for me.

It could have been worse. The cool temps played hob with the natural gas lines and they lost pressure. Several homes in the La Crete area ended up without heat.
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  #109  
Old 03 January 2018, 07:31 PM
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A co-worker got a frantic call this week from a friend. The friend, who is from Dominica and unaccustomed to Ohio winter weather, had left for vacation (not sure how long), and to save energy, had shut his furnace off before leaving. He came home to water pouring into his garage from a broken pipe in his upstairs bathroom. The water in his toilet was frozen solid, so probably the toilet is cracked and will need to be replaced.

Then the poor guy couldn't find the main shutoff. My co-worker went over and helped him with that, but then had to explain that no, the water could not be turned back on again until the broken pipe(s) was replaced.
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  #110  
Old 04 January 2018, 02:51 PM
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Wow! Poor guy! Not sure if that sort of thing is covered by insurance or not.
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  #111  
Old 04 January 2018, 03:35 PM
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I suspect the fact that he turned off the furnace before leaving may count against him.
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  #112  
Old 04 January 2018, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
That actually makes some sense as human existence is a tiny fraction of the time span that geology covers plus there have been many temperature shifts in the Earth's history long before humankind.
I've read, reread, and thought about this a bit and I still have no idea what you mean.

Shouldn't professional academic geologists should want to know the most advanced science of geology? Whether they accept the Anthropocene as an official era is one thing but they can't just ignore the past 30 years of the science, say well we're only interested in the longest of the long term, and still pretend to be working at a professional, academic level.

To me it sounds like a chemist denying quantum theory because 'it rarely comes into play on the chemical scale' (not true - see next sentence) and still be considered a modern chemist. Maybe it doesn't come into play in every interaction formula but it's still an integral part of modern chemistry, as is anthropogenic climate change part of the modern study of geology. Climate science is impossible without geology; It's an integral part. Climate change is also an integral part of modern geology, not disposable.

Last edited by ganzfeld; 04 January 2018 at 10:42 PM.
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  #113  
Old 05 January 2018, 02:58 AM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Ganz-
In science the only science that is really relevant to a scientist is what is relevant to their particular work. Yes, it would be nice to know everything about not only their area but all related areas, but that is impractical.

As a working chemist I am conversant in quantum chemistry but is has basically zero affect on my work. Quantum doesn't really help in most of organic chemistry. It can be used to explain but it isn't all that useful for prediction or design.

Any geologist that is primarily concerned with geological formations more than a hundred years old really has no professional need for agreeing, disagreeing or even being conversant in global warming.
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  #114  
Old 05 January 2018, 03:03 AM
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No argument there. But if one were going to teach a chemistry class and said "I don't accept quantum" to ones students I would think it rather unprofessional. Some opinions should be left at home, IMHO. Nor do I think it "makes some sense". Quantum is part of chemistry, even when you don't have to consider it.
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  #115  
Old 05 January 2018, 03:43 AM
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And in general, the argument that because there have been climate changes for longer than there have been humans, therefore humans can't have caused this one makes about as much sense as the argument that because there have been fires for longer than there have been humans, therefore humans are incapable of lighting fires.

If the argument is instead that given any instance of climate change, the mere presence of humans does not in itself mean that that particular change was made by humans, additional evidence is needed: that one does make sense. But most people I've seen bringing the question up in the current context seem to mean the nonsensical first version.
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  #116  
Old 05 January 2018, 05:43 AM
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Speaking of the weather, it's a pretty hot day here in Melbourne. The police just issued a traffic alert that there will be delays on the Hume freeway near Broadford because a 10km stretch of road is melting.

Tomorrow is forecast to be the hottest day in 2 years, emergency services are rostering on extra paramedics because of the heat and the Country Fire Authority is warning that if we get any bushfires (which we probably will) they'll be very difficult to control.
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  #117  
Old 05 January 2018, 02:34 PM
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My dad and I frequently have dinner together and he likes Panera a lot so we eat there about once every two weeks. I think I know what happened to either Bill or Ted: he works there and delivers food to the table and cleans them. He sounds exactly like them. "Duuuuuude." "Most righteous."
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  #118  
Old 05 January 2018, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
I've read, reread, and thought about this a bit and I still have no idea what you mean.
I didn't mean that it makes sense in a pure science way, but that it makes sense that a geologist would have a subconscious bias against climate-altering events that happened over the course of a mere 150 years.

It is not ideal to allow such a bias to affect one's work, but a geology class is not going to touch much on climate anyway, especially not short-term climate. It would be similar to an entry-level macro economics instructor thinking that trickle-down economics is a viable theory. Not ideal, but unlikely to affect the actual course much.

Especially because mbravo's instructor specifically denied any appeal to authority in his opinion.
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  #119  
Old 05 January 2018, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
As a working chemist I am conversant in quantum chemistry but is has basically zero affect on my work. Quantum doesn't really help in most of organic chemistry. It can be used to explain but it isn't all that useful for prediction or design.
Does it not? Speaking as somebody who studied physics, surely the whole structure of electron shells and the way that they affect chemical (covalent) bonding is based on quantum mechanics? As a physicist there were parts of it that were too high-level to be included in our courses because it turned into chemistry if you went that far!
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  #120  
Old 05 January 2018, 11:21 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
Does it not? Speaking as somebody who studied physics, surely the whole structure of electron shells and the way that they affect chemical (covalent) bonding is based on quantum mechanics? As a physicist there were parts of it that were too high-level to be included in our courses because it turned into chemistry if you went that far!
Well, it "went to far" mostly because you go from trivial cases like a single electron to real world cases that are a dozen or so orders of magnitude more complex.

The quantum theory explains the behavior. The practice is that enough reactions have been done that they can be used to predict future reactions. Quantum chem can explain why something happened but isn't needed (usually) to make usable predictions (especially in organic chemistry). Furthermore, quantum approaches are only directly solvable in trivially small cases (like a single electron). In practice, molecules of interest are too big and too dynamic to be practically approached with quantum modelling.

So though quantum chem might be correct, it isn't very practical on a day to day basis in most areas of chemistry.

A quick example would be along the lines of billiard balls. Quantum mechanics is what makes two billiard balls bounce off each other. But nobody would every use quantum theory to calculate the trajectory of two colliding billiard balls. Newtonian mechanics is much simpler and actually works.
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