Maxims, rules of thumb and other observations on human cognition and sociocultural affectations

This will be added to on an irregular basis...
  • What is said to humans directly is received with skepticism and considered with dubiousness while that which is heard in passing, especially that which most conforms to their mentality or prejudices, is readily believed.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive latency between exposure to new information or experiences and the ability to think dispassionately and intellectually about it.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive spectrum starting with the moment of exposure to new information or experiences and ending with some point at which the thing is effectively "in the past" for them.
  • This cognitive spectrum is linked to the emotional process often referred to as shock, anger, denial and acceptance.
  • The more and faster information or experiences are presented to people and the closer the quarters and the lesser the distance between people, the more their early reactions in the passionate emotional stage are reflected back to them in the manner of responses to those reactions from others in light of those responses.
  • The more outrages which are suffered without sufficient time to allow emotional bleed-off, the farther the bar for subsequent reaction and outrage are pushed, and the more further events must progress before reaction and outrage.
  • It is possible for serious detriments to eventually sit below this threshold for long enough for their damaging effects to build and multiply until their entire society undergoes some reactive convulsion.
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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hat Tip to Stop The ACLU: Reuters AlertNet - Halt all carbon emissions by 2050, says Worldwatch

Reuters AlertNet - Halt all carbon emissions by 2050, says Worldwatch

Let's begin the idiocy:

To avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change, world carbon emissions will have to drop to near zero by 2050 and "go negative" after that, the Worldwatch Institute reported on Tuesday.


But it gets better:

Limiting carbon emissions aims to keep global mean temperature from rising more than 3.6 degrees F (2 degrees C) over what it was before the Industrial Revolution -- but one Worldwatch author said even this is too dangerous.

"Global warming needs to be reduced from peak levels to 1 degree (Celsius, or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) as fast as possible," co-author William Hare said at a briefing on the "State of the World 2009" report. "At this level you can see some of the risks fade into the background."

I return fire with this:


Okay class, look to the far left and bottom of your picture where 0 thousands of years ago is indicated. That means, the left bar is where TODAY is. Now look up to the blue graph which indicates temperature. Follow it right and note the highs and lows. Note anything about the pattern? Come on, you can do it.

Yes, that's right! The last three interglacials and especially the last one and the one before the one before that show they reached higher temperatures than now. The last interglacial high was roughly 120,000 years ago and it reached very nearly 1.5 degrees Celsius above the present before heading into the next glacial period.

Did mankind exist then? Yes. Mankind was as of 120,000 years ago wandering probably still mostly naked, barely able to make stone tools, and perhaps possibly in command of making fire. Man had no oil drills, no gasoline, and made no "carbon emissions" of any kind beyond burning really nicely when they didn't escape from forest fires or fell into lava, or when they died and decomposition caused carbon dioxide and methane emissions.

Facts are ugly things and the fact is that the bulk of the present interglacial warming took place between 6,000 and 1,000 years ago. Mankind began producing carbon dioxide in more than negligible amounts only in the last 150 years and amounts on par with today only in the last 100.

These Vostok ice core results USED TO BE trumpeted and held up as proof of the linkage between CO2 and warming, but now are oddly forgotten, left to Wikipedia pages and the memory of those who can see obviousness when they see it in that graph.

Glacials are getting longer and colder, interglacials shorter and hotter and hotter faster. It looks like an oscillatory system showing signs of entropic breakdown, wearing down to chaos. Given thermodynamics, the inevitable winner must be ice, BUT this is based entirely on the current configuration of the continents leading to the current oceanic alignment north south from pole to pole. As we know very well, the continents are drifting on internal convection currents in the mantle and outer core and subject to centrifugal force and balance as the crust and outer mantle are separated from the inner core by those liquid layers like a bearing.

Where does it stop? Nobody knows, but short of another planet hitting us, probably not till the sun has burned out and its red giant phase left Earth a cinder slowly radiating its heat into space.

Does any of that seem to you like mankind has been around long enough to even begin to influence it let alone cause it?

Astronomy Picture of the Day