Friday, November 30, 2007

Odd Socks

#1. The big Jakarta's flood in February 2007 was due to global warming.
#2. The dengue fever outbreak in Bogor recently was caused by extreme change in precipitation patterns and warming temperature.

But,if the global warming were to blame, why there was no big flood nor dengue fever outbreak in, say, Surabaya, at the same time?


  1. This is serious and needs clarification.

    Are you saying that global warming is not happening?


    Are you speculating about the cause of two specific events?

  2. Roby, it's the latter.
    On global warming, this is Steven E. Landsburg's piece.

  3. OK, then your questions still doesn't make sense. I'm not saying global warming caused those two. But even if global warming caused them, it doesn't mean it will produce uniform and linear effects.

    Climate and ecosystem are very complex. Even a small amount of stochasticity can be amplified and produce divergence outcomes.

    I enjoy Landsburg, but that particular article is silly.

  4. Roby:

    You wrote:
    "I enjoy Landsburg, but that particular article is silly."


  5. On Landsburg's piece, oh, is it that silly? really? :-)

  6. arya: i've already spent a lot of time explaining it to you. maybe i should write a post about it.

    rizal: no, it's not that silly, it's just...silly :)

  7. Agree with Roby, the impact of climate change is not uniform. Just like the impact in weather change, some people get sick others not. It partly depends on the health condition of the person--if he's healthy, likely he'll be more immune and not get sick easily.

  8. I think taking global warming as the cause of jakarta's big flood in 2007 and the outbreak of dengue high fever in Bogor is a fallacy.

    We should go back to the root of the problem and find the main cause which i argue surely is human excessive exploitation to nature.
    That global warming makes the impact of the problem even more severe doesn't allow us to shift our opinion about who/what is to be blamed.
    yet, blaming global warming means blaming our excessive behaviour as well.. :p

  9. Jakarta was relatively flood-free, let's say, 30 years ago.

    So the assumptions should start with disaggregating the possible threshold levels - is it caused due to:

    1) the 'unnatural' increase in the curve of average rainfall levels (which makes a case for global warming - only if this is consistent to aggregated data on 'unnatural' breaks in climate evolution elsewhere on the planet including unpopulated corners of the world, thus covering a wide variety of ecological niches, measured over longer periods of time) - or

    2)the increasing amount of direct human-induced interference on the ecology - e.g. the destruction water catchment areas? (which may explain local variability)

    'Roby' said:
    "it doesn't mean it will produce uniform and linear effects."

    Exactly. Brushing the ecologocal factors aside, some societies are 'more equal' than others. Landsburg's Oklahoma farmers are certainly more equal than Lembah Baliem swidden agriculturalists...