Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Character of Climate Change

I’ve already addressed this issue in another post, but with the release of the latest IPCC statement, the strongest yet, the necessity is here to look at things again, and to find out just why it’s so hard to nail down what effect our activities will have.

A number of things keep this planet warm. For one, it absorbs a large fraction of the energy the sun gives out. How it absorbs it is crucial to weather and climate. So let's start with the basics: there's the world beneath our feet. It can either absorb, or reflect out to space the energy the sun pours down. It absorbs most. However, thermodynamics demands that the heat go somewhere, so eventually, the heat pumped into the planet has to radiate back out from it to space. Our climate is based on how many hoops it has to jump through to do that.

If Earth were like the moon, even absorption wouldn't be enough. The Moon, despite appearances, is made of rather dark rock. However, when that rock is turned away from the sun, it goes from an oven like maximum of 253 degrees Farenheit to 357 below. The Moon easily heats up, but its surface easily loses temperature. On Mercury, a similarly desolate world, the contrast is equally profound, from about 297 below at it's coldest point to 800 above at its hottest point. The fact that temperatures in the darkest part of this planet can reach such a low temperature, despite this planet being 28.5 million miles away from the son at its closest point, just a third of our average distance, is indicative of the importance of an atmosphere to stable temperatures.

One part of heating is the inverse square law: the close your are, the more intense the radiaion is from the sun, and the further you are away, the thinner that radiation is. You can imagine it in terms of an imaginary sphere with the sun at it's center. The closer you are, the greater the chunk of the sphere of that radiation you're in the way of, and the more rays you're getting directly in your face. Mars suffers not only from a lack of atmosphere(It's a hundred times thinner than ours, but from the fact that it's got a much smaller share of solar radiation, thanks to being an additional sixty-something million miles out. The lack of the atmosphere makes it harder, even with the high concentration of CO2, for the planet to retain heat.

Venus does not have either problem. However, it's concentrated sulfuric acid clouds (which puts our weather in perspective), do present a certain problem for how it could get so damn hot there. Remember what I said about reflecting or absorbing? Venus, that bright morning star (or evening, take your pick), reflects three quarters of that much more concentrated energy away! Only 25% manages to penetrate the thick atmosphere of Venus, which has pressure 90 times ours at sea level. Despite that, Venus manages to have an average surface temperature capable of melting lead. We on the other hand, have the opposite sort of discrepancy. Earth should be an ice cube, even though it readily absorbs 70% of what's sent its way. What's going on?

Different gases absorb radiation differently, and release it as such. Our atmosphere, if we went by its main components, shouldn't be so warm. Diatomic oxygen and nitrogen are good at absorbing higher frequency radiation, and we should be thankful for that. But they absolutely suck at absorbing and trapping infra-red radiation. Add an extra oxygen atom, and things heat up a little. However, ozone is not the major contributor to the heat of this planet. Carbon dioxide and methane, though do rather nicely, and they solve another little problem that might have made it impossible for Earth to be sufficiently warm to support life: four and half billion years ago, the sun was thirty percent dimmer. Without the heat trapping abilities of the trace in our atmosphere of CO2, our planet would have been an ice cube, not a haven for life.

You can actually directly measure this ability. CO2 has what's called an absorption spectrum, like virtually all chemicals, and CO2 is a powerful, proven absorber in the infrared spectrum. It's so powerful, in fact that we don't need all that much of it to prevent our atmosphere from getting cold. Venus's problem is that its atmosphere is almost 97 percent CO2. The planet, while absorbing only a quarter of the light that hits it, keeps that radiation bouncing around endlessly.

Many question how our obviously small emissions could overpower the heat regulation of an atmosphere our size. The real answer there is that trace amounts of CO2, Methane, and Water Vapor already manage to trap heat sufficiently to keep this planet from being another 54 degrees Farenheit colder. So, increasing CO2 in trace amounts worldwide can have an effect, because the trace amounts already there have quite capably made a difference.

The higher projections indicate that the world could be as much as 9 degrees Farenheit warmer, overall. at minimum, we're looking at about two or three degrees difference.

It doesn't sound like much, but a difference in a few degrees can change where storms form, winds blow, currents run, and the rain falls. That's what all this hubbub about global warming is about anyways. The heat doesn't just sit around in our atmosphere. It does things. It does work.

That heat makes air expand, become more bouyant. It evaporates water, powers storms. The heat drives the winds of this planet, and they in turn help drive the currents. The evaporation of water also helps to drive the semi-famous thermohaline conveyor, which helps to pull warm waters north as the dense, frigid, highly salty water of the North sinks to the bottom of the sea.

This, in short, is the work of climate, and we're only now getting really good at understanding what's going on. What we've come to understand is that it's more complicated than just general heating.

The change of the warmth in the ocean and the atmosphere quite simply will change the direction, the mannerism and the destination of many parts of the climate. These regularities of climate are what we've adapted to, and it will be quite a problem adapting to the new realities. We didn't construct cities with even moderate rises in sea level in mind. We constructed them according to the realities we faced under the old climate regime. New Orleans' placement was not an act of man's idiocy in the face of nature. They simply adapted to the conditions they knew at the time. Likewise with our coastal cities. We have cause to worry, because our civilization is very much a coastal one. Name most of our biggest cities, and you find most of them right on the ocean. Many free market conservatives look at New Orleans and advocated abandonment, but even moderate rises in ocean level threaten some of our most prosperous metropolitan areas. We would hardly find it feasible to abandon all of them, but dealing with the consequences of warming world becomes even more problematic when you consider the feasibility of dealing with the rising oceans.

In the book Is The Temperature Rising?: The Uncertain Science of Global Warming, Princeton Geoscience professor S. George Philander rather ably lays out the oscillations and changes that might occur, in part by showing the consequences of El Nino, and other results of natural variability. Winds change where warm water shows up on the Pacific, which in turn changes the winds, sending the water in the other direction. He also recounts how strong El-Nino phenomenon can lead to failures in the Monsoons, which are dependent on global wind systems to cause the seasonal shift of torrential rains we're so familiar with.

The natural variability, or changes that happen in the climate merely because of the intricate complexities of the system's workings, are no barrier to what could be called forced variability. Many among the contrarian community cite an example of these, the Milankovitch Cycles, unaware of what a can of worms they're opening. Essentially the Milankovitch Cycles change the tilt of the Earth's axis, the direction the axis points, the relative roundness or elliptic nature of the Earth's orbit, and it's inclination, or departure from the plane defined by Jupiter's orbit.

Some contrarians would say that climate change just happens, but these cycles illustrate that it can be forced by other influences that change the amount and manner in which this planet receives and retains energy from the Sun. It might be distance from the sun that changes, or atmospheric concentrations of CO2, increased by human beings burning through millions of years' worth of buried hydrocarbons.

So how do we know the difference? Models, really. Remove the irrelevant data, and focus on those things that most properly shape the outcome of the events in question. The trick is having a model that runs like the real world runs. In fact, one way to test a model, is to run it with already known information from the past to see if it's prediction match up with events as they've already unfolded.

Could the models have a big flaw in them somewhere? Of course they could. However, science often prospers through analysis of what's gone wrong, and the models can shine the light ahead towards what factors might have to be considered. How can the scientists be sure of what's going on. The aim of many scientists is to test their ideas to destruction. Scientists stand to lose prestige and glory, if not funding, if they fail to make their theories acceptably airtight. Scientific arenas can be very competitive.

Looking through the results of tests and prediction, one can measure the discrepancies, and through their own kind of detective work, figure out what could be the matter. Bit by bit one can refine predictions concerning climate. But what about complete certainty?

Theoretically, it's possible. Practically, though, the world isn't that simple. Philander's example for this kind of uncertainty is a wallet lost by a skier on a bumpy slope. Philander works out the possible paths, and comes up with a braiding set of potential paths that starts out in basic agreement, only to spread out in different directions like a river delta, and probably for good reason.

Many systems in nature are set up to where small differences at the start make progressively bigger differences as the dynamics of the system move onwards. The shorthand for this, well-known for its pop-culture cache, is the Butterfly Effect. The flip side of this famous byword for unpredictable systems is that there is some degree of order to the system, a sort of semi-stability. In fact, the Lorenz Attractor, is the product of the same computer simulation of convection in air currents.

What the Lorenz Attractor and the effect attached to it demonstrated were two things. The first was that there were some systems that no matter what you did to them would not settle into repeatable, periodic behavior. These systems were so sensitive to initial conditions that exact prediction were theoretically possible but in practice just not in the cards. The second, not-so-well-known implication of all this was that this chaos, while it could not be nailed down, was more than just noise. It had structure. Nonlinear, often hideously complex, but structure nonetheless.

We see it everyday in our encounters with the weather. If you ever wondered why people didn't just figure out the precise weather for the month or the year, it's pretty much for this reason: you predict the weather by plugging in the initial conditions into a model, and iterating it- that is, feeding your first results into the equations again to develop your second, your second back in to get your third, and so on and so forth. Because of the nature of the math involved, errors that start out small in the initial measurements start taking the graph of the results to a point where all hell starts breaking loose in the model.

Yet, we can know, even as amateur observers, the typical weather for a season. Weather is not completely random. Like the Lorenz Attractor, it has structure, even if it doesn't have precise predictability. Our climates, though, will always have some degree of uncertainty attached. People are B.S.ing you if they tell you we can know what exactly the shape of the weather will be twenty, much less fifty years from now, or any other precise prediction. We could theoretically predict these things, but our instruments and the resolution of our instrumentation and observation defeat our precision in practice.

The uncertain models we have may not be the best we'll ever have, but they are the best we have at the moment. Not heeding their warnings at this point is unwise, because we are faced not with a linear change, but with something potentially much swifter than that, when it really gets going. The example Philander gives is of doubling lillypads clogging a pond with by doubling every day. What's the difference between the pond behing half full, and completely so? The last day. We are faced, possibly, with just such a exponential change.

Only time will bring complete certainty, but once you have certainty, it will be be too late to do anything about the results. That's the Catch 22 about global warming, and it's decidedly inconvenient for all involved. For the scientists, it means they have to get people to buy a scary threat that's years off in the future, and which they can never predict with the classical precision of a clockwork system. For we who must decide to heed or not heed their advice, we are faced with an apparent dilemma between future prosperity and present. For industrialists heavily invested in a system dependent on fossil fuels, they are faced with either acknowledging the problem and losing out now, or suffering a slow death of deprivation as people get more and more spooked by world events both environmental and otherwise. For politicians there are plent of difficult decisions and public policy conundrums in place, and unfortunately this generation of politicians is too use to looking like leaders rather than acting like them. They endlessly dither trying not to make up their mind. They might be served better if they realized that actual policy stands make for much simpler relations with the public.

The truth is, though, it will be more expensive to kick our bad habits later, rather than do so now. When do you want to try and halt global warming: when it is uncertain and far off, or when we're on the threshold and know damn well we're in deep crap? Seems to me it's cheaper to give ourselves the breathing room. Similarly, the limited supplies of gasoline will be harder to ween ourselves off of later than if we do it now, while the supply is still plentiful. It's easier to get a new car when you have extra money than when you're having to tighten your belt.

What's more, efficiency is an economic good. The whole point of efficiency is that more work can be done with the same energy. If this society can do more of what it already does with less fuel, that is a savings that can be passed on throughout the system. Additional savings can come when and if we avoid the worst of what Global Warming has to throw at us, such that we might have to creep back from the shores rather than retreat to inland cities. The more we change now, the less change we have to endure later, and the less likely that our society will be pushed into some kind of collapse.

The question America faces at this point is whether it will take Benjamin Franklin's advice and make the stitch in time that saves nine. We've already lost the opportunity to deal with the first stitches, but we can chalk that up to simply not understanding the problem well enough at the time. At this point though, it cannot be said that we don't know something about the direction our climate is going. We should do something about it while we have the luxury of doing something about it, and not the dire necessity.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at February 18, 2007 9:04 PM
Comments
Comment #208773

Excellent article, Stephen. The perfact companion piece to this one: Belief in pseudoscience on rise

For whatever reason, some people just can’t wrap their heads around the fact that global warming can cause violent winter storms like the ones we’ve seen in the North East recently.

Maybe we should take a page from the administration playbook and use the term “climate change” instead. And maybe add the word “catastrophic” in front of it.

People like Jack say we’ll adapt. No doubt. But that’s a pretty callous way of describing millions of deaths due to floods, drought, famine and disease. Oh, and don’t forget the massive population migrations as hundreds of millions of people try to move to more hospitable climates. The immigration problems we have today will look quaint in comparison.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 18, 2007 11:10 PM
Comment #208783

AP

People like Jack support strong action against climate change. I am willing to do the needful to drive the price of energy high enough to make alternatives possible and encourage conservation.

You guys like to argue that climate change is real. I think it is. Bush agrees. Almost everybody agrees these days.

I am a little more radical than you are, however. I am convinced that there is nothing we can do to stop climate change. We are now in the mitigation and adaption stage. You must see that.

So what do we do? The first and best thing to do, the only thing that has consistently worked, is to raise prices. I am have advocated a stiff tax on oil.

When the price of oil has gone up, investment in alternatives has skyrocketed. We are reaching a tipping point, if we can keep the prices high.

I am afraid too many people think we are going to find some quick fix. This will not happen. It is going to be hard and require changes.

Nobody who really cares about the environment can be against higher prices for energy or against nuclear power.

So please, pick up both ends of the stick. Recognize that we are in the mitigation and adaption stage. If you believe even half of Al Gore’s movie, this is unmistakable. We can adapt, but we have to do it. Do not build low places, like New Orleans. Raise prices on energy. Use more nuclear power. And forget about being saved at the last minute by some big breakthrough.

Posted by: Jack at February 19, 2007 12:08 AM
Comment #208786

January set a new record for warmest month. The temperatures matched climate model predicitons, with most occurring at high latitudes.

Posted by: phx8 at February 19, 2007 12:17 AM
Comment #208788

phx8

The train has left the station and you guys forgot to get on because you were so interested in yelling that the train was a-commin’.

We need to go to the higher prices, nuclear power and smart building (i.e. do not insure buildings at sea level.

Yet the same people who talk about the global warming train complain that we are rebuilding after Katrina (we often should not), that gas prices are high (they should be higher) and they want to restrict nukes.

We understand what people really think by what they do, not what they say.

Posted by: Jack at February 19, 2007 12:29 AM
Comment #208790

sorry, people complain that we are NOT rebuilding fast enough after Katrina.

Posted by: Jack at February 19, 2007 12:30 AM
Comment #208791

Jack,
I have said before, damage from Global Warming is already a given.

With NO, we should have made a decision, either let the city die, or fully commit to rebuilding it. We chose to rebuild, a decision endorsed by Bush, but the decision was implemented without the full commitment and follow through of the federal government. It has not escaped the notice of the American people that we are spending $2 billion per week on Iraq, but letting NO languish.

I understand your thinking about oil prices, and it has some merit, I admit, but I would prefer to see the federal government spearhead an all out effort to develop alternate energies as the primary thrust. In addition, disengaging from the Middle East & ultimately disengaging from reliance upon its oil seems wise.

Nuclear energy should be on the table. However, I would rather see an all out effort to develop fusion reactors, rather than fission reactors. We are far from being able to make economically viable fusion reactors today, but the technology should be aggressively developed, since it has a considerably more limited downside than fission reactors.

Posted by: phx8 at February 19, 2007 12:59 AM
Comment #208800

I asked in another thread and didn’t get an answer, so I’ll ask again here.

I don’t know if climate change is a hoax or not. from what I hear, the world’s temp has risen appx 1 degree in the past 100 years. If that is the case, then how much of that 1 degree are we as humans responsible for and how much is due to natural causes?

Posted by: tomd at February 19, 2007 8:18 AM
Comment #208801

tomd,

Do you believe that the scientific community — including scientists in the United States — are engaged in a massive, ongoing, worldwide fraud? If you answer that question “yes,” then to you it’s a hoax.

OTOH, if you answer “no,” then the problem is real and is being caused by human beings. Scientists aren’t certain how much is human-induced, but they are certain it is a lot.

Take your pick, tomh

Posted by: Steve K at February 19, 2007 8:36 AM
Comment #208802

TomD-
To understand what the value of one degree is, consider this: water has to be 93 Degrees F in order to support hurricane formation. Now imagine a map with lines of equal temperature or isotherms on it. There’s this zone of atlantic water at 93 Degrees F, and around it, 92, 91, 90, so on and so forth. Now this one degree people talk about is Celsius, so it’s more like 1.8 Degrees. If temperatures warm by that, you have all of the water that was once 92 degrees, and much of what is between 92 and 91 now able to create more hurricanes.

Same thing with the Arctic: isotherms around it, some at 32 degrees, some lower in a progressive pattern. As the seasons change, the ice is going to stick around where it’s always or nearly always freezing, and it’s going to melt where it’s warmer.

It gets more complicated when you consider that temperature differences form the basis of many winds and currents. They create the basis for the rain forests in the Amazon. If the water becomes the wrong temperature, rain falls over the ocean rather than the forests. If this happens enough, the forests die and a vicious cycle of dessication follows, much like what happened with the Sahara, which was grasslands more than 10,000 years ago.

The real answer is, if scientists are correct, is that a great deal of the situation is our fault. You’re not going to get a percentage because nature doesn’t sit on the sidelines while human-originated warming occurs. What really happens is that our contribution, the CO2, traps more heat, and the consequences of that heat cause a ripple effect of feedbacks in the system. The controversy over global warming in the scientific community is more over the degree to which one feedback or another might. A feedback can be positive (building on itself), or negative (counterbalancing itself). The Uncertainty about global warming lies not in the fact of warming, which has been conclusively confirmed, or about the role of anthropogenic forcing in the whole affair, but rather about the extent to which some consequences of the extra heat will slow warming, and to which others will leadfoot the acceleration. To a certain extent, though, it’s kind of pointless to ask what percentage is our fault and what is not, because nature treats our input of carbon dioxide no different than it does any other input; nature’s response to what we do is the whole point, in fact!

My thesis is, Global Warming is real, and if we wait around to see what it’s exact shape will be before acting, we will end up making our troubles worse. The character of climate change is what’s uncertain, not it’s approach.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 19, 2007 9:11 AM
Comment #208807

phx8

Re rebuilding New Orleans. We should and I understand that we have rebuilt/repaired most of the parts of the city that were actually above sea level. As for the rest, we just should not do it. Use that money to compensate owners and get them to move away. Let it return to nature or perhaps make it into park land or at least something portable.

The amount of money we spend on Iraq (or cosmetics, or junk food, or video games) does not enter into the calculation. Enough money has been allocated to compensate victims for their losses on the condtion that they move to higher ground. We will never have enough money to make them secure if they stay.

The New Orleans issue is not central to global warming, but it show the hypocrisy of the debate It seems to me that you cannot both believe in global warming and advocate building at or below sea level ANYWHERE.

Posted by: Jack at February 19, 2007 9:45 AM
Comment #208808

Is there a reason I can’t get a simple answer for a simple question? I asked “I don’t know if climate change is a hoax or not. from what I hear, the world’s temp has risen appx 1 degree in the past 100 years. If that is the case, then how much of that 1 degree are we as humans responsible for and how much is due to natural causes?”
and I got an explanation of how bad things can get.

Again I ask….How much of that 1 degree change in temp that we have suffered over the past 100 years is due to humans?

Posted by: tomd at February 19, 2007 9:55 AM
Comment #208813

tomd,
What are you looking for? a single number? I don’t believe the science works that way. Go to http://www.ipcc.ch/ and read the Summary for Policymakers report. Here is one sentence from that report:

The global increases in carbon dioxide concentration are due primarily to fossil fuel use and land-use change, while those of methane and nitrous oxide are primarily due to agriculture.

You can believe that, or not.

Posted by: Steve K at February 19, 2007 10:21 AM
Comment #208816

“tomd,
What are you looking for? a single number? I don’t believe the science works that way.”

Yes or a percentage. And science does work that way. I’m sure with all the billions of dollars we have spent to come to the conclusion that we are to blame, we have seperated man made damage from natural damage. Or are you suggesting we go whole hog over climate change without knowing the difference?

Posted by: tomd at February 19, 2007 10:36 AM
Comment #208817

Tomd,
For the one degree rise, humans are responsible for 80 - 100% of the one degree increase, with the likelihood heavily weighted towards the 100% side of the increase, especially for the warming which has occurred since 1950.

The IPCC report says there is a 5% chance cause that the warming today is due to natural causes. That 5% number may be too high. There was a debate among the scientists whether to call warming “very likely,” meaning 90 - 99% certain, or use language indicating better than 99% certainty. They opted for “very likely.”

Posted by: phx8 at February 19, 2007 10:45 AM
Comment #208822

“Tomd,
For the one degree rise, humans are responsible for 80 - 100% of the one degree increase, with the likelihood heavily weighted towards the 100% side of the increase, especially for the warming which has occurred since 1950.”

I can’t accept that. You are basicly saying that we are responsible for all the warming of the planet and ignoring nature.

Since no one can or more likely won’t answer my question, I’ll take an average of a half a degree in the last 100 years to be blamed on humans.

How much of a change in temp did the earth go thru during the previous 100 years?

Posted by: tomd at February 19, 2007 11:21 AM
Comment #208827

Tomd,
Here is the data on temperatures:

http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Instrumental_Temperature_Record.png

Here is the data on temperature and CO2 levels. Notice the regularity of the spikes? These match naturally occurring cycles:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Co2-temperature-plot.svg

This one details CO2 levels:

http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Carbon_Dioxide_400kyr.png

There is no natural explanation for the steady increase of CO2 levels.

Posted by: phx8 at February 19, 2007 11:49 AM
Comment #208828

Answer Tomd’s Question folks!

And here is another one. I want an answer, not spin!

Why is it that Al Gore could come up with a calculator to calculate our individual impact on the economy and not realize that that same calculator would show that he and other Environmental Elite’s fail!

a href=”http://www.climatecrisis.net/takeaction/carboncalculator/”>link text

Even I agree we should take care of our environment. But the HYPOCRACY of the far left is dumb!

Again I will give my own personal example of cleaning up the environment gone awry. Thanks to the Far Left!:

I am going to give you a personal example;

I own Osborn’s Pizza station in my local city. It is in an old 40’s gas station. There were tanks. A man drives 40 miles once a month, (spewing co2 and gunk from his truck), one way, to test by way of these test wells on my property, for minute traces of gasoline heading underground towards the river. (500 feet away)

Now, They just dug a new well a month ago. (We already had three). In the process, A very large drilling truck that ran 8 hours a day for three days drilling a hole 300 feet while at the same time constantly spewing black soot and diesel gunk in the air. They left an 8 foot in diameter pile of oil and whatever else that thing leaked over three days which is gone now. The rain washed it into the river!

Now my question to all you far lefties. Solve this Problem. If the minute traces of gasoline that all this environmentally destructive activity is tracking makes it to the river. Then what do we do.

Ladies and gentlemen, They have been doing this for 20 years. All the money, all the excess pollution that has to be 10,000 times the amount they are “watching”.

The next 30 years?.


Posted by: scott at February 19, 2007 11:53 AM
Comment #208829


Even if we increase the use of fossil fuels to generate the aditional electricity needed, we can reduce the amout of CO2 we put into the atmosphere by as much as 42% just by going to plug-in electric cars. How many corporations will line up to make sure it doesn’t happen?

Posted by: jlw at February 19, 2007 11:54 AM
Comment #208830

As with religion and politics, some choose not to believe, facts or not.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 19, 2007 12:00 PM
Comment #208831

Phx8,

If I gave you the same equivalent of your 140 year chart in a stock market chart, you would ask where is the rest of the chart? The company is 6000 to 15 billion years old and you want me to make an intelligent decision based on only the last 140 years?

Why does That same chart peak in the 40’s like it did the last time it peaked? (looks to me that Al Gore was vice Prez when it peaked last) And why does the trend on your chart go down since 2000? That chart shows a clear deop in global warming in the last 7 years and a large spike in the last 6 years of the clinton admin.


I love your chart PHX8 thanks! here it is again: Look close folks:

PHX8’S Wikipedia Chart

Posted by: scott at February 19, 2007 12:07 PM
Comment #208833

And PHX8 that 2nd chart!!

Number one, Just where did they get those EXACT measurements from 120,000 years ago? (remember the first two vocabulary words in any science book are ‘theory and hypothesis’ And Just why have we with all the damage still not doing as much as man did before inventing the wheel. That chart more resembles an ‘earth’s breathing chart’

Posted by: scott at February 19, 2007 12:15 PM
Comment #208835

Womanmarine,
I answered the question posed by Tomd with a recap of scientific evidence provided by the IPCC summary, as well as links, and he replies that he “cannot accept that.” Then, without evidence to back it, he pulls a number out of thin air. Scott wants someone to “answer the question” again, apparently because, for reasons unknown, he did not like the first answer.

Well, correct me if I am wrong, but I have to assume they do not read my comments. That is ok. I learn a lot by getting into the research.

I am not sure about the other points Scott wants to make. I think the idea is that Gore is a hypocrite because he consumes more than his fair share of resources by flying and through other usages. I think. But if the efforts of one person uses more than their fair share, and those efforts result in a dramatic, large scale, multiplied drop in consumed resources by society as a whole, then how is it hypocrisy?

Posted by: phx8 at February 19, 2007 12:22 PM
Comment #208836

One more and im off to run my business.

This is not for the far left as they wont like the answer:

Do your own research. I am not supplying the sources as the far left will just criticise them so find your own.

Find the amount of co2 released by the worlds volcano’s in one year.

Find the amount of co2 released by human emissions in one year.

Find your own percentage. If you don’t know how go to wikipedia, they will help you. The answer will AMAZE you! Look for your self folks.

I do believe this will somewhat answer the question that no one seems to want to answer for TOMD.

Posted by: scott at February 19, 2007 12:24 PM
Comment #208837

No!!!!!!

Gore’s hypocracy only comes to light when he looks at me and my friends and says to do MY part and buy a smaller car. I am fully in support of the fact that he needs special transportation.

And : He FLUNKS gets an F a bad F on his own calculator he wants me to get an A with.

Again look for yourselves folks.

Posted by: scott at February 19, 2007 12:29 PM
Comment #208838

Scott,
The chart stops at the year 2000. 11/12 warmest years on record have occurred since then. 2005 was the warmest year on record, 2006 the sixth warmest. During these past six years, atmospheric CO2 has increased steadily at a rate of 3ppm, to its current amount of 383 ppm. The spike continues steadily northward.

Measurements going back 600,000 years are not theory. They are based on ice core measurements in Greenland and Antarctica, measuring the amounts of a carbon isotope which occur at known concentrations for temperatures. Sediment core drillings match the ice core drillings.

If you like science, you should read up on this. It really is ingenious, and fascinating to those like me, who express the geek gene from time to time.

Posted by: phx8 at February 19, 2007 12:30 PM
Comment #208839

I think we’ve all answered tomd’s question. I just think he doesn’t like the answer, so he claims it’s not a good enough answer. He wants a firm, 100% certain answer. Science doesn’t work that way. He’s not rejecting the science of climate change. He’s rejecting the entire scientific process.

Posted by: Steve K at February 19, 2007 12:32 PM
Comment #208840

tomd-
The system that is affected by natural forcings like the change in the seasons and that which is affected by our input of CO2 are one and the same.

You have to first understand that in many ways the picture of Clockwork science coming up with precise answers is false.

We’ve looked at genes, and instead of finding a simple one to one relationship between different proteins and the genetics coding for them, we find that the laws of physics and interactions between the products of different genes involved

We look at the chemistry of the body, and we find a concert of chemicals playing together, playing off each other, a intricately structured symphony of feedbacks. The Insulin/Glucagon interaction that occurs in healthy individuals is one example, and that’s just a beginning.

We look at Geology, and far from finding a simple clash of continents, we find a complex picture of collision and sea-floor spreading, with parts of Africa stuck onto parts of North America, glacial wear and tear on rocks in the Sahara, marine limestone forming the Summit of Mount Everest, and rocks from the Mantle exposed in Cyprus, Oman, and even in California

We look at the weather, and we find something even more fluid and dynamic. We don’t get forecasts more than 10 days in advance because forecasting specific weather becomes problematic in that time frame, The inevitable errors, the unseen factors in the system create discrepancies that throw the whole equation off. There is no absolute certainty in weather, or it’s big brother climate. Folks can give you what you would consider a straight answer, but they’d only be right by luck. The truly scientific thing to do is to give you the uncertain answer, with all the caveats included.

What we’re dealing with is like a skier causing an avalanche. Can we say that the skier is the only cause? No. Avalanches are mostly the result of inconsistencies between different layersof snow, and of course the force of gravity. However, the skier’s actions, whether committed recklessly in the face of a warning or innocuously in ignorance, represent a disturbance that pushes other forces along a different path than otherwise would have come to pass.

Our input of Carbon Dioxide is not the cause of all the climate change by itself, but in climate, no system works in isolation. The change carries itself downstream to the other feedbacks and processes of climate. We change nature in one place, and the consequences of that change feedback to create additional change.

We can’t avoid the consequences of what has been done so far, anymore than the skier can put the snow back on the mountain. We can, though, be more careful with the next mountain we ski on, and be more observant of the consequences of our action. We can no longer prevent what’s already been set in motion, but we can stop setting things in motion, and hope that we haven’t already pushed things past the point where nature will simply take over and keep the change we started in motion.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 19, 2007 12:33 PM
Comment #208841

Yes, PHX I agree!


Yahhhh


Those measurements are not exact tho! Not even close.

Oh I See as they dug up 1000 feet of old frozen Ice they found pieces with little tags showing the exact levels of co2 and worlds temperatures.

No it is an estimated guess! A good one? A bad one?

Ahhh we will let you explain that one!

Posted by: scott at February 19, 2007 12:35 PM
Comment #208842
Find the amount of co2 released by the worlds volcanos in one year.

Which is a nearly constant input to the system, so it cannot be an explanation for the spike in temperature or CO2 percentage.

Find the amount of co2 released by human emissions in one year.

Which is a non-constant, growing input to the system, so it is a legitimate explanation for the spike in temperature or CO2 percentage.

Also, Al Gore reduces his emissions as much as he can, drives a hybrid, flies commercially whenever possible, and purchases green power. In the few instances where he may have flown a private jet, he purchases carbon offsets for the emissions. Nothing in that record is inconsistent with someone trying to reduce his carbon footprint on our planet. There’s no hypocricy there.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 19, 2007 12:35 PM
Comment #208843

SteveK

science is not exact thank you for the honesty.
\
Now we are dealing with a fraction of a degree and basing global warming on that fraction.

We better get more exact than that before we start acting like we use more than 10% of our brain. We always have all the answers don’t we!

Posted by: scott at February 19, 2007 12:38 PM
Comment #208844

Scott,
Al Gore has purchased carbon offsets. (I have done that as well.) That means he is not a hypocrite. For every CO2 molecule that he is responsible for putting out into the atmosphere, an equivilent amount of non-greenhouse gas energy is being generated somewhere in the US, and being purchased by another consumer. That energy would not have otherwise been generated were it not for his contribution.

Posted by: Steve K at February 19, 2007 12:41 PM
Comment #208845

Lawnboy,

Just let people look for themselves. You guys always want to make the wrong comparison. Whether it is constant or not. We can see what percentage of the co2 comes from where.

Look yourselves folks. You will find the answer very interesting. Volcanoes vs the Humans

Posted by: scott at February 19, 2007 12:43 PM
Comment #208847

scott,

I’m not preventing people from looking anything up. What I’m saying is that the percentages don’t mean what you want people to believe.

The amount of CO2 from natural processes is nearly constant - the system has adapted to that input and created the environment to be suited for it. When the natural process provided an unusual input (like after Krakatoa, the system takes a while to return to equilibrium). When we disrupt the balance by adding more than the system is suited to handle, then we are causing a problem, even if the addition is a relatively small percentage of the whole. And since our input is growing, we are not allowing the system to return to equilibrium.

As an analogy, traffic flow is non-linear. A road system might work fine for 50,000 cars/day but cause horrible traffic jams for 60,000 cars/day. In that situation, it’s the addition of 10,000 new cars that causes a problem by overwhelming capacity, even though 10,000 is a relatively small change.

Looking at volcanoes vs. the humans doesn’t answer any questions.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 19, 2007 12:49 PM
Comment #208848

Folks,

Do your own research on carbon offsets.

That is rather interesting too.

Again Gore and his Hypocracy have nothing to do with his extremely huge footprint.

His Hypocracy and lies are involved with the words he uses and the itsy bitsy teeny weeny footprint I make and he wants me to make it even smaller.

Posted by: scott at February 19, 2007 12:49 PM
Comment #208849

Yes lawnboy, But your illustration is flawed we are not talking global traffic jam.

We are talking global road damage.

And another 10,000 cars will not even come close to the road damage of the original 50,0000.

The system set up to repair those roads have to work hard for that original 50,000. That Additional 10,000 isn’t allot.An extra 20%.

Posted by: scott at February 19, 2007 12:54 PM
Comment #208851

BTW tho Lawnboy,

You have some good figure in your example. Come’s much closer to the actual impact of mother earth vs my own mother and her SUV and all her friends.

We are looking at a very small percentage.


LOOK FOR YOURSELVES FOLKS.

Posted by: scott at February 19, 2007 12:59 PM
Comment #208852

Scott,

I’m not talking about road damage. I’m talking about how a seemingly incremental change can have a disproportionate effect on a system that is in equilibrium.

Sure, if you change my analogy, it’s worthless. Is that really your point?

The point is that the addition of new inputs to a system that is in equilibrium can have a disproportionate affect, whether the system is the global environment or traffic flow.

Looking at straight percentage doesn’t tell you everything for such a system.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 19, 2007 12:59 PM
Comment #208853

We will let the reader decide.


They can!

Your illustration was faulty. A traffic jam doe not fit. I did not change your analogy. I used the part that does fit. Road damage.

Posted by: scott at February 19, 2007 1:03 PM
Comment #208854

The point is that the addition of new inputs to a system that is in equilibrium can have a disproportionate affect, whether the system is the global environment or traffic flow.

Lawnboy—

If volcanoes vs mankind is 50 50 you might be right.

But again folks lets see exactly what the % is

Look for yourselves.

Posted by: scott at February 19, 2007 1:06 PM
Comment #208856

Yes, the readers can decide. However, it does readers no service to mislead them through a misapplication of statistics.

I can only hope that readers will recognize that the system is more complicated than you seem to understand.

If volcanoes vs mankind is 50 50 you might be right.

Demonstrating once again that you don’t understand how complex systems work.

Oh well.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 19, 2007 1:08 PM
Comment #208858

Lawnboy.

I did not misapply any statistics. I told people to fin their own. What are you afraid of. I will post the statistics later this eve after people have time to look themselves. I would research them yourself lawnboy before you get any further into this.

The far left will make excuses. The middle will look at the facts.

Posted by: scott at February 19, 2007 1:14 PM
Comment #208859


Don’t waste time doing research, nothing that happens good or bad is going to affect you.

Just be happy and consume, consume, consume.

Itsy bitsy teeny weeny footprints made by the marching morons wear down mountains.

Posted by: jlw at February 19, 2007 1:15 PM
Comment #208860

scott-
Volcanoes put out 145 to 255 million tons of Carbon Dioxide each year. We in turn put out 24.46 billion tons on a yearly basis, for a range of 100 to 180 times natural carbon emissions from volcanic activity.

Here’s the other chart.

As for your other comments?
I think you hit upon the argument for not being lax about things like underground gas tanks, large trucks, and others sources of pollution. Unfortunately, you’re so intent on bashing the left that you don’t realize what you’re effectively saying: our failure to get in front of sources of pollution in a comprehensive manner will ultimately mean messy cleanup that itself can be a source of pollution because of lax regulations on commercial vehicles.

Well, gee, thanks for making my argument for me!

Concerning the length of history to deal with, we only have direct instrument readings of the last century and half, but we have indirect temperature data for many tens of thousands of years before that. It’s not as exact, but it can help to demonstrate the value of the model, and give some indication of the history of climate variability.

As for where do we get those indirect measurements, there are certain relationships between weather and the proportions of certain types of chemicals, pollens, and tree growth patterns that we can use to get a picture of the temperature. Look at a chopped-down tree some time, and you can get a picture of the effects temperature have on growth.

As for why it’s not a straight line, it’s because natural variability hasn’t vanished from the system because of our presence. Ours is an influence of and not a replacement for the natural processes of climate change.

Finally, if you want to maintain credibility, spell hypocrisy right when you call people idiots.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 19, 2007 1:23 PM
Comment #208862

scott,

I’m not afraid of anything except the misapplication of numbers to deceive.

As I’ve explained a few times (and apparently not well), a simple comparison of the percentage of CO2 input by volcanoes vs. humans could give the wrong impression to those that don’t understand how complex systems in equilibrium work.

Since you insist that the proper comparison is a simple comparison, you are misapplying statistics to lead readers to a conclusion that doesn’t match reality. I tried to give an analogy of how such a system works and you messed it up.

When a system that was in equilibrium is suddenly thrown out of equilibrium, the suspect cause is a new input, not an existing steady input, no matter how large. That’s how such systems work. That you want to ignore knowledge and understanding like that in preference for a simple numerical comparison is dangerous.

The far left will make excuses. The middle will look at the facts.

So which side misapplies statistics when they don’t know what they are talking about?

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 19, 2007 1:24 PM
Comment #208863

LawnBoy,

Well said earlier. Scott asks how much CO2 is added to the atmosphere by volcanos, as if geological processes can only produce CO2. He ignores the other half of the equation; weathering silicates absorb CO2.

Humanity is adding @ 6 gigatonnes/year of CO2 to the atomosphere.

Posted by: phx8 at February 19, 2007 1:24 PM
Comment #208865

Lawnboy,
I’m not arguing semantics with you.

Just look for your selves. I’m not telling you how to ‘mis-apply’ anything. Just look! See for your selves.

Or better yet lawnboy, You research and post those findings here your self. Then you can explain them.

Posted by: scott at February 19, 2007 1:29 PM
Comment #208866

phx? Source? Mother earth?

and Oh! so mother earth does heal itself! Thanks I was wondering.


Posted by: scott at February 19, 2007 1:32 PM
Comment #208867

scott,

First, as Stephen pointed out, humans contribute over 100 times what volcanoes contribute, so the idea that human contribution is relatively small doesn’t any factual support.

Second, my argument was about understanding systems in equilibrium, not semantics. The facts of the matter make your argument unsupportable, but it would be invalid anyway because your approach was inherently flawed.

That’s not semantics.

Oh! so mother earth does heal itself!

To an extent, yes. However, the human input to the system has overwhelmed that extent.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 19, 2007 1:35 PM
Comment #208869

Lawnboy,

I think if one makes it easier and just look at the co2 in one day from Mt St Helens they will see that Stevens 100 times figure has some real problems. Notice the little disclaimer that says that this statistical claim needs references to reliable sources.

look for yourselves.!!!!!! Research. and look at real sources. Not wikipedia.

And why when I was little were we talking so much about global cooling?

Posted by: scott at February 19, 2007 1:47 PM
Comment #208871

Scott,

http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/ggccebro/chapter1.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_cycle

The wikipedia article cites the NOAA and other sources. There are many other discussions of the carbon cycle accessible on the web- some are general, some are highly technical. Do you need more citations?

Posted by: phx8 at February 19, 2007 2:00 PM
Comment #208872

Scott…you’re creating and prolonging argument just for the sake of argument!! You’re adding nothing new and have no intention of accepting information given you by multiple sources. Are you bored?????

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 19, 2007 2:01 PM
Comment #208873
I think if one makes it easier and just look at the co2 in one day from Mt St Helens they will see that Stevens 100 times figure has some real problems.

Yes, there are times when the output from volcanoes is higher than average. However, such increases are isolated spikes that can be absorbed over time by the system (as I mentioned above for Krakatoa).

In contrast, human input is only increasing, giving no time for a natural rebound.

Notice the little disclaimer that says that this statistical claim needs references to reliable sources.

Actually, the disclaimer doesn’t make any sense. The source of the volcano number is cited, but the request for citation is for a comparison to a number that is given below.

look for yourselves.!!!!!! Research. and look at real sources. Not wikipedia.

I’m sorry that you find unreliable an encyclopedia that has been shown in studies to be as reliable as the Encyclopedia Britannica for technical issues. But, if you insist, here’s another source. And another.

The three sources give different numbers for the ratio of input, but the highest of the three for volcanic contribution is only 3%.

So, your point is that we should ignore the source of at least 97% (and growing) of CO2 and focus instead on the source of 3% (and steady)? How odd.

And why when I was little were we talking so much about global cooling?

Because the media took a hypothesis without much support from a small group of scientists and blew it out of proportion to what the science could support. That’s not what’s happening here, because the scientific community are leading the warnings.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 19, 2007 2:02 PM
Comment #208875

Again I just say,

Look for yourselves. The truth is out there.

And find your own sources of statistics. Preferably the statistics themselves, not some website that has provided a colaboration of statistics to prove a point.

Research, not a couple of far left sites. Real research. Look up the numbers. You compare dont rely on someone elses comparison. That is why I am not trying to point people to sites that support my point. Look yourselves. You will find sites that support my position and some that deny my position. the only answer is to look at the statistics themselves.

Start with Mt st helens.
gotta go make pizzas bye

PS I will give links to real statistics later after you all have had time to look yourselves.


And over the last 30 years, just how did we get from global gooling to global warming? Oh our scientist must have learned so much in the last 30 years.

Research, Research, research, Real sources, statistics, comparison,

Not rely on others compilations.

Posted by: scott at February 19, 2007 2:15 PM
Comment #208877
Again I just say, Look for yourselves. The truth is out there.

Funny, because when we do, we find that you are wrong both on approach and on the facts.

Research, not a couple of far left sites.

Wikipedia, the federal government, and the University of Notre Dame are not far-left sites. That you’ve resorted to ad hominem attacks when your argument has been exposed should be instructive to the readers.

PS I will give links to real statistics later after you all have had time to look yourselves.

It’ll be interesting to see if your definition of “real statistics” is anything more than “numbers I want to believe in”.

And over the last 30 years, just how did we get from global gooling to global warming? Oh our scientist must have learned so much in the last 30 years.

Yes, they have.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 19, 2007 2:22 PM
Comment #208878

Research, not a couple of far left sites. Real research. Look up the numbers.

Simple Yes or No question for you Scott: do you consider the work of the IPCC research?

Posted by: Steve K at February 19, 2007 2:23 PM
Comment #208880
Not rely on others compilations.

And I’m curious what this means. Do you really want us to cite individual research papers? That’s very problematic, because individual papers do not stand as credible by themselves; they become credible as others check the results by duplicating the experiments and comparing with other credible research.

Compilation is part of the legitimate scientific process.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 19, 2007 2:33 PM
Comment #208891


If you are concerned about the environment; if you care about national security and the young people who serve in our military; if you care about future generations go to—

http://www.pluginpartners.org/

Watch the video and sign the petition. It won’t hurt a bit and you will feel better afterwards.

Posted by: jlw at February 19, 2007 2:53 PM
Comment #208899
How many corporations will line up to make sure it doesn’t happen?

http://www.teslamotors.com
http://www.zapworld.com

These guys are making 100% electric cars. To my knowledge they are not being ‘forced out of business by the bad corporations’. Of course, no one is standing in line to purchase them either…

The part that I really can’t understand is the focus on cars. It has long been known that the automobiles in this country have been getting cleaner and more efficient for years. However, mowing our lawns and using incandescent bulbs are much more worse for the environment than our current production automobiles.

Where is the cry for electric or human-powered lawnmowers and LED based light bulbs? Wouldn’t it make sense to start with the worst contributors of C02 first?

Gasoline lawn mowers, being two-cycle engines, pump 93 times more pollution per gallon of gas than any car or truck, according to the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, a publication of the American Chemical Society.

This cry and hew over the automobile without going after worse polluters just makes the whole movement appear to be politically motivated, not environmentally motivated.

BTW, I did read that Phx called for us to develop FUSION reactors instead of FISSION. Does he realize we don’t have the technology yet or we would be? The best that we have been able to come up with is a 16MW output over input for nearly a minute. I don’t think that is going to solve our power problems …

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 19, 2007 3:25 PM
Comment #208901

Rhinehold,

While Lawn Mowers are much worse polluters per gallon than cars, they use much less gas per year than cars. Do you have numbers on the overall difference in CO2 contribution?

After all, I use only a couple gallons of gas at most per year in my lawn mower, but I use hundreds of gallons of gas in my car. Adding in that there are probably more cars than lawn mowers, I doubt that they are a bigger problem than cars.

Of course, I don’t have hard numbers. Do you?

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 19, 2007 3:35 PM
Comment #208902

Scott-
Three things:
1)These are not sustained events. It’s not merely the amount we put in a single year that matters, its the amount we put there year after year Sheer multiplication means that we dwarf the total output over time.

2)The averages for this are as documented above. These trace back to official sources, there’s no reason to doubt them.

3)There is a countereffect in these eruptions from Sulfate Aerosols that cause serious drops in climate temperatures.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 19, 2007 3:37 PM
Comment #208903

Scott,

I don’t think you understand how carbon moves throughout the Earth System in a process known as the “Carbon Cycle”. The number of carbon atoms on Earth has been pretty much constant for the entirety of Earth’s existence, changing only in the event of a collision with a meteor or comet.
Carbon Molecules are basically found in a few broad groups:

~Terrestrial carbon/ Rocks&Minerals: Diamonds and Graphite are pure carbon, Limestone is Calcium Carbonate(CaCO3), Dolomite is Calcium Magnesium Carbonate(CaMGCO3)among other types of rocks and minerals.

~Organic Carbon in living things: we’re called carbon-based lifeforms for a reason, carbon is a vital building block in the molecules that form life on Earth, especially the sugars that creatures use to store energy also known as carbohydrates.

~Fossil Fuels in the crust: this group is pretty much a middle point between organic and terrestrial carbon. I’ll explain why later.

~Atmospheric Carbon: This last goup is smaller than the others and is made up nearly entirely of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) and CH4 (Methane) in the atmosphere.

This carbon never stays in the same form for eternity though, it cycles from one to another quite readily. Photosynthesis by plants as well as by photosynthetic bacteria and protozoans removes CO2 from the atmosphere and converts it to organic molecules, most notably carbohydrates. The plant, bacterium or protozoan then “burns” these sugars in process known as respiration in order to release energy needed for the plant to grow, or do whatever it needs to do. This process returns some CO2 to the atmosphere (this is why your exhale is made up of CO2). Some carbon makes its way from primary producers up the food chain into other creatures such as us when these creatures consume photosynthetic organisms as food. When living things die and are not eaten, their organic carbon becomes incorporated into the soil. This carbon is compressed into various fossil fuels depending on factors like pressure, heat and other things. Fossil Fuels sometimes are combusted and release their carbon as CO2, otherwise the carbon becomes incorporated into the rocks of the Earth’s crust. These rocks are now part of the rock cycle; they may be uplifted to the surface where weathering and erosion can reduce them to sediment, but the sediment will eventually form new sedimentary rocks. In the end the rocks will be eventually subducted into the mantle where they melt into magma. This magma is so hot that some carbon emerges as CO2 dissolved inside. During an eruption, this CO2 escapes into the atmosphere.

More about the carbon cycle
Wikipedia and the Carbon Cycle
Another link about the carbon Cycle

One potion of the cycle I omitted is the role of the oceans. Atmospheric CO2 readily dissolves in seawater. The problem is that if atmospheric concentrations increase too much, then we may reach a tipping point when the oceans release all of their dissolved carbon dioxide and lose their current status as a CO2 sink.

With that said, it should not matter whether volcanoes or humans are converting more carbon atoms into CO2 molecules since there are already natural processes in place to convert the atmospheric CO2 of volcanic origin back into organic carbon whereas there are non for CO2 with origins in Fossil Fuel combustion.

Look at it this way with the analogous hydrological cycle that brings water from clouds to rain to lakes to oceans and back to the atmosphere: Let’s say that I have a pool with a capacity to hold ten feet of water. Because a I can’t swim, I only fill it half of the way up so that a 5’10” person does not need to worry about drowning. After filling it halfway I do not periodically check it’s level. Let’s say my neighbor, for one reason or another wants to kill me. One day I am found dead, due to drowning in my pool that is now six and a half feet deep, a neighbor (different from the one who wants me dead) has seen a garden hose from the first neighbor’s house
to my pool. When the police question my neighbor, he replies, “perhaps the level of the pool rose due to the rainstorm two weeks ago”. The police respond, “That argument does not cut it, any precipitation adding water to the pool would be more or less compensated by evaporation removing water from the pool, this man did NOT die of natural causes.”


In any case I also have this:
Here is a link from the University of North Dakota that states:

Present-day carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from subaerial and submarine volcanoes are uncertain at the present time. Gerlach (1991) estimated a total global release of 3-4 x 10E12 mol/yr from volcanoes. This is a conservative estimate. Man-made (anthropogenic) CO2 emissions overwhelm this estimate by at least 150 times.
Mol is an abbreviation for a Mole, which as unit of measuring molecules, one mole is equal to 6.02*10 to the 24 power molecules, or in other words: 6,020,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules.

As for Mt. St. Helen’s, look here converting the units to tons yields an answer of tiny bit more than 550 million tons per year for all volcanism on Earth. href=”http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&safe=off&q=5.0X10%5E11+kg+in+tons&btnG=Search”>Google unit converter

One link from WHOI about the role of the carbon cycle

One link from NOAA about the role of the carbon cycle

Posted by: Warren P at February 19, 2007 3:41 PM
Comment #208909

Rhinehold,
You are right, fusion reactors are not economically viable today, and there are tremendous technical problems that would have to be overcome. However, that does not mean the problems are insurmountable. The limitations of today are not limitations forever. Technological innovation depends upon research & development, and sometimes rolling the dice on R&D can bring comletely unanticipated benefits. Fusion reactors need to be pursued. We need to think about the long run.

Cars contribute to the current problem, but the biggest single contributor is coal. It is a matter of finding alternate energies.

I would much prefer the federal government spend $2 billion per week developing fusion reactors, solar power, wind power, or electric cars, knowing there is the possibility that it will come to nought, rather than watch the $2 billion per week disappear down the Iraq rathole.

Posted by: phx8 at February 19, 2007 4:06 PM
Comment #208911

“Womanmarine,
I answered the question posed by Tomd with a recap of scientific evidence provided by the IPCC summary, as well as links, and he replies that he “cannot accept that.” Then, without evidence to back it, he pulls a number out of thin air.”

Nice try but my question is still not answered. I have got lots of answers that dance around the question but none that answer it.

My question is specific and one number or one percentage will do. My question again is

Since it seems to be a concensus that the earth’s temperature has risen approximately 1 degree in the last 100 years, I’m simply asking how much of that one degree are humans responsible for and how much of it is nature responsible for.

Your spin seems to tell me that there is up to 90% chance that we are responsible for global warming. Are you saying that 90% of that 1 degree change is because of us?

Posted by: tomd at February 19, 2007 4:41 PM
Comment #208914

Your spin [sic] seems to tell me that there is up to 90% chance that we are responsible for global warming. Are you saying that 90% of that 1 degree change is because of us?

tomd,

You are oversimplifing the science to the point where you are making ridiculous statements. Have you read ANY of the scientific reports that various people here have provided you links to?

Posted by: Steve K at February 19, 2007 5:17 PM
Comment #208915

Do some reading, Tom:

http://www.ipcc.ch/SPM2feb07.pdf

Posted by: phx8 at February 19, 2007 5:18 PM
Comment #208926


Rhinehold: Thanks for the link. It seems that teslamotors has what some of us need. Now for a family version and mass production which should bring down the cost. If Bush and Gore were to join forces to sell the concept especially on the basis of national security and the environment, the people will respond.

Posted by: jlw at February 19, 2007 6:13 PM
Comment #208927

jlw,

Why do we need the government to tell us to purchase these cars? Tesla’s roadster is AWESOME but a bit out of my price range, but ZAP’s cars are suppose to be targetted under 10,000.

The point is if there is a market for these things people will buy them and we can ignore what the government is or isn’t doing about the issue…

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 19, 2007 6:21 PM
Comment #208935

Scott,

What percentage benzene in your drinking water will give you cancer? How many glasses of benzene contaminated water will you drink, If I provide them for you?

Posted by: gergle at February 19, 2007 7:07 PM
Comment #208936

“tomd,

You are oversimplifing the science to the point where you are making ridiculous statements. Have you read ANY of the scientific reports that various people here have provided you links to?

Posted by: Steve K at February 19, 2007 05:17 PM”

I’ve tried reading some of the reports and I admit it’s mostly greek to me. Maybe that’s why I’m asking what seems to me to be a simple question. I tried to read all the links supplied. Most I found boring but still couldn’t find my answer.

I admit I don’t know if the globe is warming or not, but I have questions. If this basic question can’t be answered I’d be hard pressed to think we need to take it too seriously.

Posted by: tomd at February 19, 2007 7:10 PM
Comment #208940
If this basic question can’t be answered I’d be hard pressed to think we need to take it too seriously.

The other lesson you could take is that you’re simply asking the wrong question.

Scientists can’t tell you exactly which cigarette will be the one that tips the scales to cause lung cancer, but that doesn’t mean that the link between smoking and cancer isn’t well-established.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 19, 2007 7:23 PM
Comment #208946

tomd,

If it’s “greek” and “boring,” then what is your objection to trusting the collective expertise of the world’s scientific community? Just because they scientists haven’t collectively agreed to one single number to satisfy your curiosity, why should that cast doubt on everything else they have agreed on?

Posted by: Steve K at February 19, 2007 7:41 PM
Comment #208961


Rhinehold: the market isn’t little companies like the ones above. It is the big corporations and they will refuse to act until teslamotors starts to make an impact. Then teslamotors will either be bought out or driven out of business. It is a piss poor way of running a country and an economy. No planning, no give a damn about global warming, no give a damn about environmental degradation. Don’t worry about how your lifestyle may affect your grandchildren and future generations, just consume and consume. Don’t care about anybody or anything else. The capitalists planned this all out in the 1950’s and they have brainwashed us into believing this is the best way to be, its the greatest man. We can apply the breaks or we can drive right over the cliff.

Posted by: jlw at February 19, 2007 9:50 PM
Comment #208968

Scott-
When glacial ice freezes, it freezes bubbles of the air with it. We can test the composition of the air from that. We can also look for various kinds of dusts, too. It’s not exact, but most sciences dealing with real world complexities aren’t.

The whole necessity of science is to try and derive rules from an often confusing and complex real world. In physics you might be able to get clean, simple answers, but normally, with science, the trouble you have to go through to get good answers is enormous. What makes science feasible is that once certain relationships are established to be true, or reliable to a high degree, you can turn research into procedure and get at truths in a systematic fashion.

In terms of degrees and fractions of degrees, I think you fail to see the point: these are averages. That means in some places, the heating is much more substantial. Clear evidence of Global Warming can be seen in the Arctic, where ancient permafrost is melting, and in the increases of extreme weather.

As for exactness? First, don’t use that 10% of the brain notion. We actually use all of it. That’s probably just somebody’s misunderstanding of what the White Matter in the brain does- connections between different parts of the brain are crucial to its function. People once thought they could completely dictate mental development. Others thought that nature predetermined all that. Both were wrong: genetics, education, environment in the womb and outside of it all contribute. Moreover, those who thought they could reduce brain function to simple laws and equations found that they were dealing with a system of much greater structural, chemical and developmental complexity.

But of course, the 10% myth sounds great, a strange pithy fact that fits with a broader notion people have about untapped greatness and potential in people. The unfortunate part is that it’s not only wrong and misleading, but it hides facts that are far more interesting and useful.

Both your and Tomd’s idea of what the percentages would mean is built on misconceptions on how these systems work. In weather and climate, the whole system matters.

Take El Nino, for example. It can effect Hurricane formation in the Atlantic and Monsoon rains coming off of the Indian Ocean. The systems interlock.

Asking what part of the percentage is due to human activity is not unlike asking what percentage of you brain you use when you’re thinking. These are emergent systems. Once you nail down human beings as a primary source of the new CO2, then they question of what part of the current state of affairs we are responsible for becomes moot. The entire state of the climate would be impossible without human intervention.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 19, 2007 10:54 PM
Comment #208973

jlw,

What a load of crap. All throughout history, especially recent history, are examples of large corporations missing the boat and smaller companies coming along and filling the needs that the market demanded.

For example, two little start-ups called Microsoft and Apple came into the computer market when IBM decided that the home was no place for a computer. If there is a DEMAND for something, that need will be met. If IBM had tried to buy up both Micorsoft and IBM at the time, the demand would still have been out there and someone else would have filled that need.

The same goes true for the automotive industry. A few decades ago there was a demand for smaller cars that got better gas mileage. The US companies were reluctant to meet this demand so other companies came along and fulfilled that need. Toyota and Honda brought their cars to America and we bought them. The big 3 tried to stop it but the demand was there and they had to scramble to keep up.

The constant fearmongering of those who fail to grasp this one simple notion of a free market only serve to allow the government, who is worse at being able to supply a market need than anyone, to encroach deeper and deeper into our lives making the US even slower at being able to respond to the market needs.

The problem is that the demand is not there yet. It is growing, as can be seen by the emergence of these companies, ‘brutally getting rid of them’ as you want to claim will happen will not get rid of the demand once it permeates into the market. The only way they could be ‘crushed’ is if the larger corporations recognize that the need and opportunity is there and offer their own alternatives. I see no problem with that as long as the demand is met..,

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 19, 2007 11:28 PM
Comment #208994

“Both your and Tomd’s idea of what the percentages would mean is built on misconceptions on how these systems work. In weather and climate, the whole system matters.”

How do you know what my idea of what the percentages would mean? I asked a simple question and nobody here can or WILL answer the question.

If you were in the market for a new car and asked the salesman “How many miles per gallon does it get?” and the salesman tells you it will go over 300 miles on a tank of gas. Does that answer your question?

I think all of you liberals understand my question and can’t answer honestly without hurting your position.

Posted by: tomd at February 20, 2007 5:09 AM
Comment #209000

tomd,

You keep asking a question that science is not prepared to answer, at least, not in the way you frame it. On the other hand, science has a lot of other answers to key questions that all point in the same direction: the earth is warming and the cause is primarily due to human activity, principly the burning of fossil fuels.

I suppose that, if someone could find an answer to you specific question, e.g., warming is 70% due to human activity, your next question would undoubtably be, “well, how much of that is caused by fossil fuels?” And, when you couldn’t get a specific answer, you’d jump back to your standard argument that “liberals won’t answer your question.”

You’ve been provided with tons and tons of information, all in agreement and all representing the collective knowledge of the worlswide scientific community. Please stop playing this rhetorical game.

Posted by: Steve K at February 20, 2007 8:13 AM
Comment #209004

“You keep asking a question that science is not prepared to answer, at least, not in the way you frame it.”….I asked a direct question asking for what I consider important information and framed it in a simple, direct way. Are you saying that science is not prepared to answer a direct question?

“I suppose that, if someone could find an answer to you specific question, e.g., warming is 70% due to human activity, your next question would undoubtably be, “well, how much of that is caused by fossil fuels?”…. You suppose wrong. Don’t try to read my mind. You aren’t qualified. My next question would depend very much on the answer to this one.

” And, when you couldn’t get a specific answer, you’d jump back to your standard argument that “liberals won’t answer your question.””

I asked a specific question. Is a specific answer too much to expect? evidence that “liberals won’t answer your question.” is here. No one has answered it yet.


Posted by: tomd at February 20, 2007 8:35 AM
Comment #209005

“You’ve been provided with tons and tons of information, all in agreement and all representing the collective knowledge of the worlswide scientific community. Please stop playing this rhetorical game.”

And yet a simple question eludes all of you.

I’m NOT playing any kind of game. You want to alter my lifestyle to go along with your beliefs and I’m asking you to justify it. That’s NOT retoric.

Posted by: tomd at February 20, 2007 8:41 AM
Comment #209006
Are you saying that science is not prepared to answer a direct question?

It’s not the directness of the question that causes the problem, it’s just the specific question. We can give you lots of information, but you’ve phrased the question in a way that there’s not a good specific answer. That doesn’t mean we’re hiding anything.

I think all of you liberals understand my question and can’t answer honestly without hurting your position.

No, it’s that we can’t answer that specific question. As I said above, it’s like saying that we don’t really know if smoking causes cancer if scientists can’t say exactly which cigarette would be the one to push your lungs over the edge.

Science says there’s a 90% chance that the increase in temperature is caused by human activity. That’s how the results have been reported. They can’t say with 100% certainty that a specific amount was caused by us, but they can say with near certainty that nearly all was caused by us. Isn’t that enough?

The best answer we could give you based on the scientific research is that there’s a 90% or greater chance that it’s all (or nearly all) our fault. You’ve already stated that you won’t accept this answer. So, what are you going to do now?

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 20, 2007 8:56 AM
Comment #209009

“No, it’s that we can’t answer that specific question. As I said above, it’s like saying that we don’t really know if smoking causes cancer if scientists can’t say exactly which cigarette would be the one to push your lungs over the edge.”

Science can certainly tell you that when your lung capacity is reduced by xx% then you will die. They can also tell you with a reasonable degree of accuracy how much tar and nicotine you have in your lungs. To use your analogy, that is more what I was asking.

“Science says there’s a 90% chance that the increase in temperature is caused by human activity. That’s how the results have been reported.”…I suspect it was reported this way to make it better support an agenda.
“They can’t say with 100% certainty that a specific amount was caused by us, but they can say with near certainty that nearly all was caused by us. Isn’t that enough?”

No, It’s not enough. Try my analogy.
You go to a car dealer and ask a salesman how many miles per gallon does this car get. The dealer says the car will go 300 miles on a tank of gas. Is that enough? You want me to change my entire outlook and lifestyle based on a study that appears to have an agenda and can’t answer a simple question. NO!!! IT’S NOT ENOUGH.

I’ve gotta go work a little now. I’ll be back

Posted by: tomd at February 20, 2007 9:31 AM
Comment #209011

tomd,

I’m sorry that you refuse to accept the limits of science when analyzing a complex system. There’s a 90% chance that we caused all or nearly all of it. That’s as certain as you’re going to get.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 20, 2007 9:37 AM
Comment #209030

BTW, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society (and the publisher of the well-known scientific journal Science), has issued its first statement on global warming: “The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society. … It is time to muster the political will for concerted action. Stronger leadership at all levels is needed. The time is now. We must rise to the challenge.”

Does it answer the direct specific question that tomd asks? No. However, it’s further confirmation that the science and the evidence is clear.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 20, 2007 11:18 AM
Comment #209059

Are you saying that science is not prepared to answer a direct question?

Yes. Do you expect science to be able to answer every direct question? How about this: Was there ever life on Mars? They can’t answer it. Is everything we know about Mars wrong because science cannot answer it? Of course not. Same hold true for global climate change and the magic number you are looking for.

Posted by: Steve K at February 20, 2007 1:12 PM
Comment #209061

tomd-
First, let me address the problem of the complete system as opposed to the parts of the system. Climate is what they call emergent, that is, a result that is more than the sum of its parts.

When you drive a car around, it’s not good enough to just fill up the tank with gas. Replacing the air filter is important- otherwise the air intake becomes clogged with dust or the contaminants get into the cylinder and cause problems with the burning of fuel. It’s also important to keep the car well-lubed; a lack of oil makes the car work harder than it has to. It’s important that the spark plugs, the wires, and the coils be in good working order- no spark and you get a misfire. Transmission should be good-if you can’t get the power through the gears or shift at the right times, the power of everything else doesn’t matter. The energy from the car is cycled through a number of feedback loops, generating the electricity that both charges the battery and keeps the sparks going.

Dysfunctions in one part can cause other parts problems as the problems in one cause problems in others. Peak performance in a car depends on the relationship between the parts and the car as a whole. They have to work together to all work properly.

Climate cannot be considered merely in terms of CO2, but when things happen with the CO2, the effects spread through the whole system. What percentage are we of the problem? That’s like asking what percentage of the problem a dead spark plug will cause.

Is global warming a hoax?

We know that we’re likely the source of the carbon emissions because most of the carbon dioxide does not have carbon 14 in it. If it were trees being cut down or rotting material, there’d be a substantial amount of that isotope in there. We know the carbon’s ours because it’s old carbon, carbon released from sources where the carbon 14 long ago decayed.

Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere has increased considerably in the past 150 years, and is increasing yearly at a steady rate This has been documented for the last half century- other sources confirm the lower levels of the past, and the huge increase that it represents

Carbon Dioxide is a known greenhouse gas. In fact, somebody mentioned the release of CO2 from the volcanos. Do you know how they measured that in the volcanic plume? By shining an infrared light through it! This aspect of CO2’s heat trapping ability has been known since it’s discover and confirmed for the last century.

The scientists studying global warming, far from recklessly splashing the assumption across the front pages, have continually hedged and caveated their predictions.

Is global warming a hoax? First you’d have to tell me what’s being hoaxed. Where’s the deception?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 20, 2007 1:20 PM
Comment #209117

Nice piece

We are unfortunatly going to be hearing from doubters for a long time. The oil companies have spent a ton to decieve them,the bastards.Even they know the truth like the tobaco companies knew they were killing people. It will not be long before the few doubters left will become like the folks that think the moon landing was staged,hardly worth talking to.To bad. We could use all hands on this.

Posted by: BillS at February 20, 2007 9:51 PM
Comment #209120

Steohen D.
I watched an interesting Nova. Air pollution actually having a slowing effect on global warming. Pollutants in the atmoshere gather in clouds.Being smaller that the natural dust etc. that moisture coaleses around they cause smaller water droplets that make the clouds more reflective of the suns energy. The difference is significant.Cofirmation came during the time period after 9/11 when virtually all jetliners were grounded. The global temperatures rose a startling amount. This has already accounted for a change in the monsoon pattern causeing an African drought.The expectation is that China and India at some point will have to start controlling pollution for health reasons and the warming will accelerate. You might be able to get more info from PBS.

Posted by: BillS at February 20, 2007 10:09 PM
Comment #209125

BillS, you are correct. PBS has a lot to offer on their web site about climate change. I have linked to their site many times in the past. Check it out.

tomd, I think the reason no one has said definitively how much of the past century’s global warming of one degree Celsius is attributed to humans is because no one knows. What we do know is that we have released a significant amount of CO2 gas into the air, and we know that CO2 has the property of being able to trap heat in the atmosphere. Therefore it is quite a coincidence that the warming trend begins around the time of the beginning of the industrial revolution. Further analysis has shown that with 90% certainty that humans are responsible for all the warming.

LawnBoy, A minor point: I think your link is from the University of North Dakota, not Notre Dame.

In regards to Scott’s questions about Mt. St. Helen’s and global volcanic activity: he should look at this link from the University of North Dakota

Posted by: Warren P at February 20, 2007 11:59 PM
Comment #209135

“Are you saying that science is not prepared to answer a direct question?

Yes. Do you expect science to be able to answer every direct question? How about this: Was there ever life on Mars? They can’t answer it. Is everything we know about Mars wrong because science cannot answer it? Of course not. Same hold true for global climate change and the magic number you are looking for.


Posted by: Steve K at February 20, 2007 01:12 PM


If I were being threatened with a complete change of lifestyle and a HUGE expense based on Mars, I might want a definitive answer to that and other questions. and there is nothing magic about the number. You take a reasonable expectation of how much the temperature would have risen without human influence (using past data might be a way to measure it) and you subtract that number from the actual amount of temperature increase and you have your “magic” number.

Posted by: tomd at February 21, 2007 6:03 AM
Comment #209138
You take a reasonable expectation of how much the temperature would have risen without human influence (using past data might be a way to measure it)

Then zero is that number. Since the natural input didn’t change much over the past 100 years, then the change in output due to natural causes wouldn’t have changed much.

This is an approximate value, I admit. After all, there was the “Little Ice Age” in which global temperatures changed. However, the change was less than 1 degree Celsius over a few centuries, and that was likely attributable to sunspot activity (which isn’t aberrant this century) and higher-than average volcanic activity (which happening this century).

Without changed natural inputs, there’s no reason to conclude that there would have been significant natural changes to the global temperature.

LawnBoy, A minor point: I think your link is from the University of North Dakota, not Notre Dame.

Good catch, Warren. Sorry about the confusion. The point I was making still stands.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 21, 2007 9:04 AM
Comment #209157

tomd,

When the consequences of NOT believing what science does know can also lead to, as you phrase it “a complete change of lifestyle and a HUGE expense,” your rationale for not accepting the limitations on the science falls flat.

Posted by: Steve k at February 21, 2007 11:27 AM
Comment #209242

tomd-
Look, if you were experiencing serious chest pains, would you and could you wait for it be scientifically proven that you were suffering a heart attack to take action? No, you would likely not wait for that. Very little of what we do, even the biggest lifestyle changes, is done with complete certainty and full knowledge.

Additionally, you have to understand that the modelling of the temperatures as they would be without the CO2’s forcing is no less uncertain than the modelling of the temperatures with it. If it were so simple and so certain to figure out what the temperature would be with and without the influence of CO2, global warming would have never been controversial in the first place!

Besides, the specifics are inherently uncertain themselves, by the nature of the system. Nobody forecasts weather much further than a week because even on that short timespan, it’s humanly impossible to get the kind of precision and the resolution of samples necessary to predict things properly. Because of that, you really can’t do precise predictions of climate, which is simply weather at a more global scale over a longer time scale. Now luckily, we can look at them in more generalized terms, since what we’re concerned with in climate is overall patterns. However, if you’re looking to get exact temperatures for the sake of comparison, you won’t get what you want.

It also helps to realize that the number you’re talking about is a worldwide average. Some places will warm more, others might actually cool as a result of the changes in the pattern. It is not only important how the change averages out, but how it’s different from place to place. It’s predictions like those that have gained the theory it’s appeal. Nights are warmer, the arctic has heated up disproportionately, and the frequency of extreme weather has increased.

It is this preponderance of evidence that has succeeded in convincing people of the merits of Global Warming Theory.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 21, 2007 9:50 PM
Comment #209246

What happened to scott and his promise to provide “real statistics”? I guess he had a lot of pizzas to make…

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 21, 2007 10:14 PM
Comment #209326

LawnBoy,

Maybe scott’s running his statistics by AEI so he can get $10 grand for them …

Posted by: Steve k at February 22, 2007 4:22 PM
Comment #209382

Steven,

Nice piece. It was an enjoyable read for such technical subject matter this late at night.

Rhinehold,

Nice arguments as well. Wish we could have spent more time on those attributes in the discussion rather than quibbling over the science.

In reality, the points that JLW, Jack, and Rhinehold are making are the important ones. It is how we adapt that is important. Will we do it within a market framework along with government regulation or will we have this become a reason for larger government influence in our lives.

These are the million dollar questions.

Posted by: Rob at February 22, 2007 10:44 PM
Comment #209385

Those who argue that changing our behavior through regulation will necessarily lead to an economic decline are only partly right (and barely so, at that). If you assume a static economy (e.g. no innovation, demand always stays the same, basically nothing ever changes) then of course regulation against CO2 will necessarily lead to an economic decline.

However.

Some of you may have noticed that we do NOT have a static economy. Demand changes, prices change due to scale, technology changes. My guess is (or should i say my sincerest hope is), at some point during the Richardson regime (!!) we’ll get some sort of cap and trade combined with a gas tax, AEI will moan about it for a few years and by the time our children are grown up everyone will take it for granted. And then AEI will STILL be happy, b/c they’ll crow about the global warming disaster that never happened (ignoring the fact that it never happened b/c we solved the problem).

Posted by: Jim M. at February 22, 2007 11:08 PM
Comment #209398

Jim M.-
I’m sorry to say, but the science is showing there’s going to be some global warming. First, the processes warming the planet off of what we’ve put out are already in motion, and the climates going to rebalancing off of that for some time. Additionally, though, emissions like ours don’t stop on a dime. We’ll still be putting it out at these levels for some time.

This is what makes immediate action critical, because the transitions to efficient vehicles, non-carbon fuel sources, and other measures for reducing total emissions will not be instant. If we wait for science to catch up to certainty, the opportunities ahead may leave us behind.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2007 8:08 AM
Comment #209400
Richardson regime (!!)

I’m intrigued by Bill Richardson’s candidacy. I wish we heard more about him.

He’s a state chief executive (a plus in Presidential races) with extensive foreign policy experience. What a great combination. Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about his positions to know if I’d really support him over the other Democratic candidates.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 23, 2007 8:33 AM
Comment #209908

Someone who (for political or ideological reasons usually) doean’t want to believe in global warming, is never going to accept it no matter the evidence. It’s kind of like someone in the 30% who support Iraq. At most, they’ll just try to say “Well, it’s not really that bad” or “The media won’t just report all the good stuff” or otherwise minimize or disparage the issue. Just look at Scottd’s responses.

”\
Now we are dealing with a fraction of a degree and basing global warming on that fraction.

We better get more exact than that before we start acting like we use more than 10% of our brain. We always have all the answers don’t we!”

Global warming is a very complex issue involving all kinds of feedback loops. You can’t just make up some analogy like “road damage” and apply the 1% figure to it, and then conclude therefore it won’t be that bad. By the way, for someone who (ostensibly) cares about sound science, the 10% of our brain thing is just a myth.

Like most Republican supporters, it’s funny how once someone points out how Al Gore in fact does try to minimize his carbon footprint, and uses offsets to eliminate CO2 emissions, you just say “Well, he really he is a hypocrite because he’s asking me to …!” Despite the very reason you gave for him being a hypocrite is false.

Please, this affects us all, this isn’t a “liberal” thing. And no, nearly all climate scientists are not involved in some conspiracy to get you.

Posted by: mark at February 28, 2007 12:11 AM
Comment #218522

Goto youtube and search for the great global warming swindle. The top scientists in the ipcc actually have dissenting views on Man made global warming. The actual science shows that the activity of the sun causes climate change and the vast deep oceans regulate the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. This is not a liberal or conservative matter. It should just be about science. There are many other good reasons why we should make every stride to get away from burning fossil fuels besides the global warming hoax but we should not force this upon third world countries who are trying to climb out of the third world.

Posted by: Mark at April 26, 2007 2:59 PM
Post a comment