Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 13th Dec 2016 21:53 UTC
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Alarmed that decades of crucial climate measurements could vanish under a hostile Trump administration, scientists have begun a feverish attempt to copy reams of government data onto independent servers in hopes of safeguarding it from any political interference.

There's a war going on. A war waged by religious extremists (of at least two major world religions), the extreme right, and fossil fuel-funded politicians, against the very foundations of our secular, post-Enlightenment, post-scientific revolution society. You think I'm exaggerating? I wish. Extreme right websites are asking their readers to pick up arms against scientists. That's where we are.

Religious extremists, the extreme right, and fossil fuel-funded politicians know all too well that science, secularism, and a clear, non-negotiable separation between church and state are grave threats to their continued existence. We - as a species - have come a long way these past few hundred years, but it feels like today, with the all-out attack on science by these deplorable parts of our society, we are regressing backwards into the dark ages.

Science is the only foundation of progress. Any who seek to erode this foundation are the enemy of the Enlightenment - mankind's greatest invention. Pick your side carefully.

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a) Raising the energy supply for poor people in the form of access to cheap, abundant and reliable electricity supply is central to pulling a couple of billion people out of life shortening and cruel poverty.

Probably the only reason why the world is not fucked up completely is that those billions are poor. Give all of them a car and we are doomed.

I am not saying that people being poor and starving is good. What I mean is that climate change or not, there are already way more people on Earth than it can suspend in acceptable conditions; just to say one example, the seas are virtually empty (and there are no "shale fish"). The only solution would be an immediate one-child rule everywhere, but especially where the population boom is ongoing.

... it is clear that the only source for the required electricity will be fossil fuels. If the use of fossil fuels is restricted in order to deal with an over blown climate scare it will severely hamper global poverty reduction.

Except easily acquirable fossil fuels will run out soon, and what do you do after that? Also, if the result of depending on fossil fuels indeed adversely affects the climate (even educated deniers should at least consider the possibility), then how would the collapsing ecosystems advance poverty reduction?

BTW the only fossil fuel we can (and should) use without ill effects on the climate is nuclear power. It has its own problems, though.

Since the early part of the 19th century the earth climate has warmed gently.

Gently? Have a look at this: , will you? A good look I mean, read everything as you scroll down don't cheat. And read the tooltip of the picture too.

It is now about one degree higher than it was 150 years ago. During that period of warming climate change largely went unnoticed, and during that period human welfare has increased massively. The rise of one degree actually didn’t create any problems.

I am sorry to ask this, but are you out of your mind? Disappearing ice caps and glaciers, "dead zones" in the ocean are facts, that you can easily check just by comparing (aeriel) photos taken today and a few decades ago. Also, I don't know how old you are, but even comparing now to 30 years ago, the weather has clearly become much more extreme. Yes, 1.5 degrees might just still be in the acceptable range, but another 1 will not be.

sea levels are rising at a constant rate of a few millimetres a year as they have been for as far back as records extend. If this a continues nothing much will happen.

That is only since the last glacial period. This a graph goes a bit more back: And you can say that the sea levels have been higher before, which is true, but at least back then there weren't any human settlements on the shore (nor any, for that matter ;) ). Also, the current sea level rise is accelerating (ice caps), while it had been monotonically decreasing before.

If this a continues nothing much will happen.

Tell that to the Dutch and anyone living on a sea island. Though I guess if mostly the islands in trouble are poor, it could be taken as a form of global poverty reduction?...

but will make poor people poorer, would be utterly criminal.

Ideally, this should not be an either-or situation. And if the denier lobby wasn't so powerful and people could accept what is happening then we could start thinking about how to solve it properly, without stupid compromises and the ill effects you are writing about. Too bad it is not to be.

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