They tell me people have a short attention span these days- if it doesn't come in little sound bites, then they can't hear it.
Not that I believe that really - but I do think it's true that everyone hears things better if it's not hammered at them constantly. So, to take a little side trip from the refrigerator today, we just have to look at the headlines.
US & China Bully IPCC
Basically, those two old chums, the USA and China, went together to "soften" some of the language in the latest statement being released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change- you know, the one that's generated all the "billions will suffer" headlines in the last couple days.
You mean the reality is worse than they said?
Decision making processes, individual, joint, societal- have always been a major interest of mine; I've studied them. We have a very serious problem as a planet- since we have no real planetary government, and the individual governments are generally equipped with the brains and morals of hyenas. (A hyena skull, just in case you've never held one, is made of massive dense bone; good anchors for muscles designed to crack bones for marrow; and a remarkably small brain case. It weighs like twice what a lion skull does. Yeah, yeah, I know, the Discovery Channel has discovered that hyenas are good mothers. Doesn't change much here.)
Have you heard this line recently- "Scientists expressed surprise that the climate changes they've been predicting are in fact showing up much faster, and with bigger amplitudes, than expected."?
It's a pretty easy statement to find.
IF ANYONE WERE PAYING ATTENTION to the deliberations (they're not, really) - NOBODY WOULD BE SURPRISED.
Because. Good scientists are, always, very careful not to "overstate" their findings. In the course of one calculation, what this means is they go through a process of estimating forces, quantities, etc. Do they overestimate? Never never- very bad for the reputation. You always pick a number that is "conservative." Take your best measurement - and ROUND DOWN. Ditto for the next number in the equation.
So what happens when you multiply a conservative estimate by a conservative estimate by a conservative estimate by a conservative estimate by a conservative estimate by a conservative estimate?
Mathematically speaking - YOU WILL GET AN ->UNDER<- ESTIMATE. Every time. And when you then add an underestimate from Study A, to an underestimate from Study B, to ...
Then; on top of it all - you have the bullies out there fighting to cover their own hyena behinds- forcing the language softer and softer.
You didn't want to know this; or hear this- but yeah; global warming is worse than anyone's been saying or admitting.
So go unplug your fridge now. :-)