Climate Change & Toronto

Discussion in 'Politics (Toronto Issues)' started by TOperson, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. TOperson

    TOperson Active Member

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    After last night's record-setting storm, can we finally admit that the climate is changing? Are we going to discuss how Toronto can prepare for it?
     
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  2. Ryan_T

    Ryan_T Active Member

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    One storm means the climate is changing?
     
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  3. k10ery

    k10ery Senior Member

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    Oh thank goodness this troll bait is in a separate thread and not somewhere I actually want to read

    :)
     
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  4. RC8

    RC8 Senior Member

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    Climate change, and anthropogenic climate change at that, is clearly occurring. You won't find any serious dissenters within the scientific community.

    However, I'm not a fan of linking specific events to it. While it is likely that the frequency of hurricanes and megastorms (and floods) in North America has increased by warming as predicted by a lot of models, specific events are never a good measure of that change.

    Let's see macro-level data before we jump to conclusions about every weather phenomenon's cause. If people were rational enough they would realise the need to reconstruct our society and end our dependency on fossil fuels regardless of these storms.
     
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  5. AlvinofDiaspar

    AlvinofDiaspar Moderator

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    Yeah, one shouldn't link this event specifically to climate change. What one should be doing is question how our city will fare if the projected extreme weather events predicted occurs. It's pretty clear the city is extremely vulnerable.

    AoD
     
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  6. TOperson

    TOperson Active Member

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  7. TOperson

    TOperson Active Member

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    Thank you. The storm showed up some significant vulnerabilities in the city, but there generally isn't much discussion of how to better prepare for the next freaky weather event.

    Of course, I must point out that freaky weather is EXACTLY the outcome that climate scientists predicted. We keep racking up freaky weather events. In just a couple of months we've seen unusual flooding in Europe, Pakistan, Calgary and Toronto - and that's just off the top of my head. Freaky weather is pretty much a weekly event nowadays. I guess when it's a daily event we'll think maybe there is something to all this climate change stuff?
     
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  8. AlvinofDiaspar

    AlvinofDiaspar Moderator

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    One event in a complex system like climate projection really shouldn't be used as "proof". That said, the totality of evidence is at a worldwide level is pretty clear and one should be preparing for the projected effects, if only as an insurance policy in the best case scenario.

    AoD
     
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  9. TOperson

    TOperson Active Member

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    I didn't say this one event is "proof", but there does have to be a final straw or tipping point or whatever, where we go from denial/ignorance/indifference to belief/interest/concern.
     
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  10. TOperson

    TOperson Active Member

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    If you add up all the specific events, you get macro-level data. The two are already linked. That's where the historical data comes from.

    There is already lots of macro data available. We are past the point of just having models and predictions. We have actual records of the changes.

    http://guymcpherson.com/2013/01/climate-change-summary-and-update/
     
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  11. AlvinofDiaspar

    AlvinofDiaspar Moderator

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    TOperson:

    That's a sociological phenomenon, not a scientific one in the context of what we're talking about.

    AoD
     
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  12. RC8

    RC8 Senior Member

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    TOperson,

    The problem is that the science confirming anthropogenic climate change is actually very solid and thorough.

    Linking a specific event like yesterday's freak storm to climate change is much shakier and is inherently unscientific. To those who are uninformed, it paints a picture where those bringing up climate change are basing their beliefs on uncorroborated anecdotal evidence - which is far from the truth when it comes to the scientific community.

    We are in an era of increased connectivity now more than ever. In the 1950s people in other continents probably never heard of hurricane Hazel - whereas today Toronto's floods are on the BBC front page. This means that your perception of whether freak weather events are more frequent or not is worthless: These days for the first time ever you can find out instantly about floods in Pakistan or China or Russia or Mississauga.

    The big numbers and trends clearly demonstrate that human activities have altered the earth's atmosphere, and learning the details of very thorough models is actually quite scary. Most of the CO2 we have released into the air has ultimately been absorbed by the oceans, but when these become over-saturated the scale of change will be catastrophic for many. This would be true regardless of freak weather events, and freak weather events would happen regardless of anthropogenic climate change.
     
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  13. junior43

    junior43 Active Member

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    People don't want to pay for transit currently. If we assume that belief/interest/concern shows up, people may be willing to pay for mitigating it, but you can throw transit out the window for the next 20 years.

    I would have to think that the costs for mitigating (for storms like yesterday, or even worse) would be about the same, or more, than what the proposed transit city taxes will be.
     
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  14. RC8

    RC8 Senior Member

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    Absolutely, you have to be wilfully blind to not look at simple straightforward data like that concerning ocean acidification and own up to the scale of the problems we are creating.

    But that's the thing, macro data and not individual events should convince people of the obvious. Pointing to yesterday's storm and saying 'look, climate change is happening!' makes the uninformed assume that anecdotal evidence is acceptable in these discussions.
     
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  15. AlvinofDiaspar

    AlvinofDiaspar Moderator

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    junior43:

    We aren't really having it that bad here in Toronto - I highly doubt that the cost will be as high as 50B+ over 30 years. And besides, we fought a total war back in the 40s - if our survival is at stake, I doubt the will to pay will be there - but of course, things will have to really go down the crapper first for that to happen, and that's an inherently inefficient way of going about it.

    AoD
     
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