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Brian Cox and Malcolm Roberts clash over climate change

Brian Cox and Malcolm Roberts clash over climate change

(19:40) Climate clash between physicist Brian Cox and Australian politician and climate change denier Malcolm Roberts. Australian ABC's Q&A, August 15, 2016.

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guest123456789 guest123456789 (427 days ago)

The question was to give us fact and not opinion on the human factor of climate change. All that discussion and not one piece of evidence of the human factor of climate change.

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The question was to give us fact and not opinion on the human factor of climate change. All that discussion and not one piece of evidence of the human factor of climate change.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (427 days ago)

Fact: CO2 has increased 42% since the Industrial Revolution.

Fact: That extra CO2 is from burning fossil fuels. We know that because we can measure it (CO2 from burning fossil fuels has a different combination of isotopes compared to regular atmosphere CO2).

We also have fossil fuel company accounts and fossil fuel usage data.

So the question is, is increasing the CO2 level by 42% enough to change the climate? Answer, yes.

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Fact: CO2 has increased 42% since the Industrial Revolution.

Fact: That extra CO2 is from burning fossil fuels. We know that because we can measure it (CO2 from burning fossil fuels has a different combination of isotopes compared to regular atmosphere CO2).

We also have fossil fuel company accounts and fossil fuel usage data.

So the question is, is increasing the CO2 level by 42% enough to change the climate? Answer, yes.

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guest123456789 guest123456789 (427 days ago)

Did you watch that video? He had the two graphs together. One was the CO2 levels and one was the temperatures. Did you see a correlation there? I didn't. I saw huge fluctuations in CO2 but a consistent rise in temperatures.

I think there is more of a correlation with Disney's stock price and global temperatures than there is with CO2 levels. Even if you saw a one to one correlation between two statistics, you cannot automatically assume cause and effect. If you could, you would blame Disney for global warming (or many other things that rose during the same period as the temperatures).

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Did you watch that video? He had the two graphs together. One was the CO2 levels and one was the temperatures. Did you see a correlation there? I didn't. I saw huge fluctuations in CO2 but a consistent rise in temperatures.

I think there is more of a correlation with Disney's stock price and global temperatures than there is with CO2 levels. Even if you saw a one to one correlation between two statistics, you cannot automatically assume cause and effect. If you could, you would blame Disney for global warming (or many other things that rose during the same period as the temperatures).

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (427 days ago)

So you accept that human activity has added about 40% CO2 to the atmosphere, but you don't accept that CO2 traps heat?

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So you accept that human activity has added about 40% CO2 to the atmosphere, but you don't accept that CO2 traps heat?

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guest123456789 guest123456789 (427 days ago)

Do you accept that Disney stock has increased since the industrial revolution?

Is human created CO2 the only thing that can increase the temperature of the planet? Is the increase of CO2 consistently rising (meaning that every year the ppm goes up and doesn't go down)? If so, then why do the temperatures vary year by year instead of consistently rising (sometimes it goes up, sometimes down)?

This winter, can I save money by pumping CO2 into my house instead of heating it with conventional heaters?

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Do you accept that Disney stock has increased since the industrial revolution?

Is human created CO2 the only thing that can increase the temperature of the planet? Is the increase of CO2 consistently rising (meaning that every year the ppm goes up and doesn't go down)? If so, then why do the temperatures vary year by year instead of consistently rising (sometimes it goes up, sometimes down)?

This winter, can I save money by pumping CO2 into my house instead of heating it with conventional heaters?

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (427 days ago)

You didn't answer me directly, but I'll assume you do accept that CO2 traps heat - that's school-level science.

So do you accept that if CO2 levels increase, there will be more heat trapped in the atmosphere?

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You didn't answer me directly, but I'll assume you do accept that CO2 traps heat - that's school-level science.

So do you accept that if CO2 levels increase, there will be more heat trapped in the atmosphere?

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guest123456789 guest123456789 (427 days ago)
I made it a point to not to answer your questions because you immediately asked them without addressing my questions.
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I made it a point to not to answer your questions because you immediately asked them without addressing my questions.
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TheBob TheBob (427 days ago)

A lot of people think there's evidence for climate change due to human activity: we should stop burrning fossil fuels as it's maiking things worse. Let's call them "Group A"

A bunch of others say it's not evidence, the climate change would be happening anyway: we can carry on burning fossil fuels it won't make any difference. Let's call them "Group B"

Let's be generous and say either position could be reality - but we're unsure which way things will go. However, I think both sides agree the consequences of profound climate change would be catastrophic.

Why not reduce burning fossil fuels - just in case it makes a difference? What is there to lose?

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A lot of people think there's evidence for climate change due to human activity: we should stop burrning fossil fuels as it's maiking things worse. Let's call them "Group A"

A bunch of others say it's not evidence, the climate change would be happening anyway: we can carry on burning fossil fuels it won't make any difference. Let's call them "Group B"

Let's be generous and say either position could be reality - but we're unsure which way things will go. However, I think both sides agree the consequences of profound climate change would be catastrophic.

Why not reduce burning fossil fuels - just in case it makes a difference? What is there to lose?

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Guest: (426 days ago)

This is an arguent from ignorance. If we don't know whether A or B is right, then you may be mistaken to think that either of them is the "safe" option. It may be that reducing burning fossils would make things worse. If you don't know - and that is your position - then how can you argue otherwise?

Note that I'm not arguing in favour of either position. I'm saying that to argue that one position is "safer" on the basis of some intuitive judgement is not viable. Ignorance is ignorance.

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This is an arguent from ignorance. If we don't know whether A or B is right, then you may be mistaken to think that either of them is the "safe" option. It may be that reducing burning fossils would make things worse. If you don't know - and that is your position - then how can you argue otherwise?

Note that I'm not arguing in favour of either position. I'm saying that to argue that one position is "safer" on the basis of some intuitive judgement is not viable. Ignorance is ignorance.

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Guest: Guesting (423 days ago)

"It may be that reducing burning fossils would make things worse."

How?

This is the strangest argument I've seen.

Very strange phenomenon indeed. Lay people think they know more than scientists in a field where these scientists happen to be experts.

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"It may be that reducing burning fossils would make things worse."

How?

This is the strangest argument I've seen.

Very strange phenomenon indeed. Lay people think they know more than scientists in a field where these scientists happen to be experts.

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Guest: (423 days ago)
Latest comment:

Well since this is all speculation, I can invent freely.

1. Burning fossils puts stuff other than CO2 into the air. So it could be putting out particles that reflect sunlight. Stop burning fossil fuels and we get more sunlight.

2. Burning fossil fuels means increasing mutagens in the air. as well as CO2 We could produce an organism that consumes CO2 at phenomenal rates.

3. The extra CO2 and warmth could lead to much higher plant growth, absorbing CO2 and water and greening all the world's deserts.

These are all fantasy, but if we are arguing from ignorance, how can they be refuted?

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Latest comment:

Well since this is all speculation, I can invent freely.

1. Burning fossils puts stuff other than CO2 into the air. So it could be putting out particles that reflect sunlight. Stop burning fossil fuels and we get more sunlight.

2. Burning fossil fuels means increasing mutagens in the air. as well as CO2 We could produce an organism that consumes CO2 at phenomenal rates.

3. The extra CO2 and warmth could lead to much higher plant growth, absorbing CO2 and water and greening all the world's deserts.

These are all fantasy, but if we are arguing from ignorance, how can they be refuted?

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TheBob TheBob (424 days ago)

We have to argue from ignorance.

One bunch look at what is going on and say X will happen. The other bunch look at the same "evidence" and say Y is going to happen. Neither group actually knows.

Just because something happens 10 times doesn't mean it will happen 11. It may or may not. All the turkeys think the farmer is a nice guy because he keeps bringing them food. He might genuinely be a nice guy keeping a turkey rest home - or he might be ticking off the days to Christmas.

Somebody tells you that field might be an old mine-field. You may believe them or not. Doesn't it make sense to behave as if it migt be a mine-field and get a metal detector rather than just walk straight across?

My point is that given we don't (and cannot) know with 100% certainty what will happen, we should plan to avoid the worst.

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Original comment

We have to argue from ignorance.

One bunch look at what is going on and say X will happen. The other bunch look at the same "evidence" and say Y is going to happen. Neither group actually knows.

Just because something happens 10 times doesn't mean it will happen 11. It may or may not. All the turkeys think the farmer is a nice guy because he keeps bringing them food. He might genuinely be a nice guy keeping a turkey rest home - or he might be ticking off the days to Christmas.

Somebody tells you that field might be an old mine-field. You may believe them or not. Doesn't it make sense to behave as if it migt be a mine-field and get a metal detector rather than just walk straight across?

My point is that given we don't (and cannot) know with 100% certainty what will happen, we should plan to avoid the worst.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (426 days ago)

TheBob is not arguing that one position is safer on the basis of intuitive judgement. He's saying that both groups A and B agree that if A is right, then that's bad ( "... both sides agree the consequences of profound climate change would be catastrophic" ). So TheBob is arguing, why risk it.

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Original comment

TheBob is not arguing that one position is safer on the basis of intuitive judgement. He's saying that both groups A and B agree that if A is right, then that's bad ( "... both sides agree the consequences of profound climate change would be catastrophic" ). So TheBob is arguing, why risk it.

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guest123456789 guest123456789 (427 days ago)

"Why not reduce burning fossil fuels - just in case it makes a difference? What is there to lose?" I sort of agree with reducing the burning of fossil fuels. Not only does it put CO2 into the atmosphere, it puts other chemicals like carbon monoxide, radon, and benzene. CO2 can actually be a good product as that is plant food. Without it, plants cannot survive.

Why don't we talk more about deforestation which prevents that CO2 from being absorbed by the plants because we are killing those plants? One of the biggest producer of greenhouse gas is animal farming. Instead of trying to get everyone to invest $30,000 on solar for their home (and more if you're not close to the equator), make eating animals illegal and force everyone to eat only fruits and vegetables. Stop creating concrete as that is one of the major contributors to greenhouse gas too. But the government is only concerned about energy and blind to other solutions.

Another good reason to stop burning fossil fuels is that we will eventually run out of them. We need to start using renewable energy sources. Solar is very expensive right now and it is actually cheaper to produce electricity using fossil fuels. As soon as it becomes more expensive due to its rarity, then there isn't really incentive for companies to produce electricity any other way. Solar has a break-even payback time of about 15 years (last between 20 and 25 years) but most people live in their homes less than 5 years. You will not get all your money back when you sell your house so you're flushing your money down the toilet.

I am in "Group C". I do not deny that climate change is happening. I know that humans are producing CO2. I know CO2 is a greenhouse gas. But how much effect that CO2 has on the planet has not been proven and people of all demographics are quick to give their opinions without any facts. A common piece of evidence regarding human created CO2 is the reason our planet is warming is the "Overwhelming concensus of all the scientists." Like Malcolm mentioned in the video, that is not science and therefore is not proof. I also believe that we are coming out of an ice age and the planet would be warming anyway. If you look at the historical record of the planet when life had already been here, it is usually 25C and we are only at 16C now. Once we are completely out of that ice age, we should be back to the normal 25C that the planet has been at the majority of the time life existed.

Some things that make me skeptical about CO2 and it's correlation to climate is the historical record of CO2 versus temperatures show there is no correlation. There have been about 60,000 (relying on my memory here) chemical testing the past of CO2 levels and they are greater than they are today but the temperatures were not as high as they are today. Scientists dismiss those as anomalies because they do not fit within the story they are trying to tell.

If it was stated that we shouldn't use up our precious resources and don't add any more polution which you can visually see in countries like China, then I would be all supportive. But to make up fake science to scare the public into thinking all life on the planet will die because of CO2 production is, in my opinion, the wrong approach to the problem.

ReplyVote up (17)down (127)
Original comment

"Why not reduce burning fossil fuels - just in case it makes a difference? What is there to lose?" I sort of agree with reducing the burning of fossil fuels. Not only does it put CO2 into the atmosphere, it puts other chemicals like carbon monoxide, radon, and benzene. CO2 can actually be a good product as that is plant food. Without it, plants cannot survive.

Why don't we talk more about deforestation which prevents that CO2 from being absorbed by the plants because we are killing those plants? One of the biggest producer of greenhouse gas is animal farming. Instead of trying to get everyone to invest $30,000 on solar for their home (and more if you're not close to the equator), make eating animals illegal and force everyone to eat only fruits and vegetables. Stop creating concrete as that is one of the major contributors to greenhouse gas too. But the government is only concerned about energy and blind to other solutions.

Another good reason to stop burning fossil fuels is that we will eventually run out of them. We need to start using renewable energy sources. Solar is very expensive right now and it is actually cheaper to produce electricity using fossil fuels. As soon as it becomes more expensive due to its rarity, then there isn't really incentive for companies to produce electricity any other way. Solar has a break-even payback time of about 15 years (last between 20 and 25 years) but most people live in their homes less than 5 years. You will not get all your money back when you sell your house so you're flushing your money down the toilet.

I am in "Group C". I do not deny that climate change is happening. I know that humans are producing CO2. I know CO2 is a greenhouse gas. But how much effect that CO2 has on the planet has not been proven and people of all demographics are quick to give their opinions without any facts. A common piece of evidence regarding human created CO2 is the reason our planet is warming is the "Overwhelming concensus of all the scientists." Like Malcolm mentioned in the video, that is not science and therefore is not proof. I also believe that we are coming out of an ice age and the planet would be warming anyway. If you look at the historical record of the planet when life had already been here, it is usually 25C and we are only at 16C now. Once we are completely out of that ice age, we should be back to the normal 25C that the planet has been at the majority of the time life existed.

Some things that make me skeptical about CO2 and it's correlation to climate is the historical record of CO2 versus temperatures show there is no correlation. There have been about 60,000 (relying on my memory here) chemical testing the past of CO2 levels and they are greater than they are today but the temperatures were not as high as they are today. Scientists dismiss those as anomalies because they do not fit within the story they are trying to tell.

If it was stated that we shouldn't use up our precious resources and don't add any more polution which you can visually see in countries like China, then I would be all supportive. But to make up fake science to scare the public into thinking all life on the planet will die because of CO2 production is, in my opinion, the wrong approach to the problem.

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Guest: Guesting (423 days ago)

I'm not sure the claim is made that "all life on the planet will die".

But apart from that, a wise argument (though unpractical for a few reasons). The most fascinating thing is the many dislikes.

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I'm not sure the claim is made that "all life on the planet will die".

But apart from that, a wise argument (though unpractical for a few reasons). The most fascinating thing is the many dislikes.

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guest123456789 guest123456789 (423 days ago)

Regarding the "All life on the planet will die," you need to see some of Walter's older comments where he specifically states that. He truly believes all life will die.

Regarding the downvotes, just ignore those. Voting is easily manipulated on this site. One person can downvote the same comment hundreds of times.

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Regarding the "All life on the planet will die," you need to see some of Walter's older comments where he specifically states that. He truly believes all life will die.

Regarding the downvotes, just ignore those. Voting is easily manipulated on this site. One person can downvote the same comment hundreds of times.

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Guest: Gusting (423 days ago)

"This winter, can I save money by pumping CO2 into my house instead of heating it with conventional heaters? "

I don't think you are that ignorant about CO2 as a greenhouse gas. Not a heater by itself, just like the glass in a window by itself doesn't heat.

Sounds like arguing for the sake of arguing.

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"This winter, can I save money by pumping CO2 into my house instead of heating it with conventional heaters? "

I don't think you are that ignorant about CO2 as a greenhouse gas. Not a heater by itself, just like the glass in a window by itself doesn't heat.

Sounds like arguing for the sake of arguing.

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guest123456789 guest123456789 (423 days ago)

But Walter said it traps heat. So all I have to do is provide a little heat and a small amount of CO2 and it will be trapped in.

I was basically showing how stupid of an idea it was. You cannot just say that, since CO2 has increased, that is the cause of global warming. You even think it sounds stupid when I put it into a smaller scale of my house.

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But Walter said it traps heat. So all I have to do is provide a little heat and a small amount of CO2 and it will be trapped in.

I was basically showing how stupid of an idea it was. You cannot just say that, since CO2 has increased, that is the cause of global warming. You even think it sounds stupid when I put it into a smaller scale of my house.

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