Democrats & Liberals Archives

Stabilizing Greenhouse Earth

The globe called Earth acts as a greenhouse that is ever getting warmer. This scientists are positive about because it is happening right now. The heating is caused primarily by CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels. Nobody is positive what the future will bring. But we know that the warming effect is cumulative. At the very least, we must stabilize Greenhouse Earth by not increasing CO2 emissions.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued the third part of its Assessment Report, which states:

The most ambitious effort, one aimed at stabilizing the level of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels by 2030, would require measures that would add $100 to the costs associated with each ton of carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere

This may cause an increase in gasoline prices of about one dollar a gallon over a number of years. The report further states:

The world could meet the goal of stabilizing the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by 2030... at a sacrifice [of] less than 3 percent of the projected growth in the world's total economic output, or .12 annually.

We can afford it. Business will continue as usual. Stabilizing Greeenhouse Earth will slow world economy growth by a mere .12% per year.

I say, Let's go. Fewer and fewer people doubt that there is climate change.

Some say that we can learn to live with it; we can adapt to the new environment. This is like a home owner saying he can adapt to the roaring, blazing fire that is at the doorstep of his home. Greenhouse Earth will experience extremes in weather: ruined coastlines, waterless deserts, killing windstorms, big floods, raging hurricanes, no-crop farms, dying animals... Yes, we don't know exactly what will happen. But do you want to do nothing so you can find out?

Some say America should do nothing unless China and India do something. China and India say that since U.S. and Europe have been spewing CO2 longer than anyone else, they should do it. Indulging in a blame game will get us nowhere. Referring back to the previous homeowner, does it make sense for him to argue with his neighbors how the fire started. NO. His job now is to join his neighbors to extinguish the fire.

This is what U.S. must do. We must join with all countries living in Greenhouse Earth to reduce CO2 emissions. We like to say we are the sole super-power. OK, then let's lead. We led in the use of fossil fuels that produced these emissions. Now we must lead in reducing CO2 emissions. We have and know how to develop systems, technologies, procedures, techniques and lifestyles to reduce CO2 emissions.

We must start stabilizing Greenhouse Earth today.

Posted by Paul Siegel at May 5, 2007 12:10 AM
Comments
Comment #219479

We should BOTH stabilize warming and learn to live with it. Some warming cannot be stopped, period. You are not exactly right when you say that warming is cumulative, but it is true that emissions hang around a long time. We have already emitted enough to warm the earth. That is done. The earth is richer in CO2 and will be warmer.

As you know, I wrote to that effect on the other side. I think I have a long enough history of advocating mitigation measures that everyone should know where I stand, yet I feel I may have stepped on somebody’s faith. It seems like advocating adapting is out of bounds. But we must adapt to what we cannot change.

So do both (all). Cut emission, have carbon taxes, enourage alternatives, allow nukes AND adapt to the inevitable change.

Posted by: Jack at May 5, 2007 6:21 AM
Comment #219489

Paul,

“I say, Let’s go. Fewer and fewer people doubt that there is climate change.”


I don’t believe anyone is doubting climate change (per se); the problem is there are doubts that humans are causing it and that the measures proposed won’t change the warming. There are many promient scientists in their fields that dispute the man-made global warming theory and we shouldn’t make drastic changes until we have more proof.

Posted by: rahdigly at May 5, 2007 10:31 AM
Comment #219491

rahdigly
Even if one disputes man caused global warming there are very good reasons to change energy use patterns. There is a geo-political reason ,for one. A shift from oil,especially forighn oil,would end our support for despotic regimes,some of whom finance our emenies. Other compelling reason,health.The pollution other than co2 caused by fossil fuel burning,including coal are devastating and unsustainable. This goes for China and India as well as us. Cleaner methods of production and conservation just make sense,economically,politically, and enviormentally.

Posted by: BillS at May 5, 2007 11:01 AM
Comment #219504

Paul,

Are you quoting from the summary or the actual IPCC report? I understand there are some significant differences in the wo. I also have read that some of the scientists involved in the study have resigned because of changes made for political purposes. I heard one the other day saying that the summary is political and in some cases misrepresents or changes some of the data and/or conclusions.

Just wondering.

BillS
By all means let’s start working on weaning ourselves off oil and coal Alternative fuel sourses are waiting to be discovered or made economically feasible. I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with the prophets of doom. If what they say is true, and CO2 and other greenhouse gasses are a persistent as some scientists believe, it’s already too late. I don’t believe it, but there are a whole bunch of people who are spreading fear and reaping a tidy sum for their efforts.

Posted by: John Back at May 5, 2007 1:37 PM
Comment #219508

John Back:

I read only the summary. I did not read the whole report. Today I read the L.A. Times which reports the same thing.

That there were arguments among the report writer I do not doubt. However, the report makes it clear that we must do something and what it may cost.

U.S. immediately objected it would bring a world depression. We said nothing positive. Why don’t we tell the world what we are going to do to get rid of this problem?

Posted by: Paul Siegel at May 5, 2007 2:23 PM
Comment #219519
If what they say is true, and CO2 and other greenhouse gasses are a persistent as some scientists believe, it’s already too late.

So just keep pumping the stuff in the atmosphere so it gets even worse?

Posted by: womanmarine at May 5, 2007 4:00 PM
Comment #219524

Paul,
Good article. I was reading the IPCC summary last night, hoping someone would write an article. Well done, well said.

You do a nice job of presenting an optimistic take on the need for action, and you rightly point out the basic underlying decency, care, and concern which should motivate action.

But I am not optimistic, not at all.

The IPCC had a very difficult time gaining agreement- not scientific agreement, but political agreement. Over 120 countries had to sign off on the findings & recommendations. The US, China, and Saudi Arabia fought against it. China wanted the C02 cap goal to be set at @ 650 ppm, but finally conceded to the @ 450 ppm goal.

A C02 atmospheric concentration of 450 ppm is very high. At current rates, without action, we will hit that level in @ 2040.

The Bush administration will do nothing about this for the next two years. We are consumed by Iraq, and unable to focus. Furthermore, this fossil fuel administration is more likely to obstruct than aid in any effort.

There have already been discussions about the tension between developing Third World countries, such as China and India, which do not see why they should be denied the opportunity to develop to the level of the US and Europe, and those already at the top, who see nothing wrong with freezing the status quo in place.

Personally, I think the various plans for carbon taxes and trading amount to little more than rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic.

Because the IPCC reports required the sign offs of all governments, the scientists came under tremendous pressure to make very conservative statements and predictions about Global Warming.

Already, there is bad news which was not contained in this round of IPCC reports. The artic ice cap is melting faster than any of the 18 major computer climate models predicted. The predictions are too conservative. I do not like saying this, but it is worse than we think.

There is too much short term incentive not to cooperate. It is human nature, and perhaps inherent in the capitalist system. The problem is one we are innately ill equiped to address. Global Warming is hard to see. It is long term. Worse, it involves science. It reminds me of a line from the Simpsons:

Kidnapper: “All you have to do is follow instructions, and no one will get hurt.”

Homer: “Oh no! We”re doomed!”

Posted by: phx8 at May 5, 2007 4:56 PM
Comment #219538

John Back
Yeah. But there are a whole lot more selling us fossil fuels that are making a hell of a lot more. The latter are the reason it is so difficult to change things for the better.It makes sense geo-politically,enviormentally and economically.Seems you are too quick to kill the mesenger. Just because Gore uses too much electricity or Shryl Crow is an airhead does not mean we do not have a problem to deal with. Logic, logic.

Posted by: BillS at May 5, 2007 10:08 PM
Comment #219564

Maybe if we get rid of our military the Chinese will get rid of theirs as well. What would ever lead you to believe that the Chinese care or have any interest in limiting pollution unless it somehow profited them to do so?

Posted by: carnak at May 6, 2007 3:02 AM
Comment #219580

Carnak-
An improvement in energy efficiency is an improvement in economic efficiency. They’ll go for that.

John Back-
The predictions being made take as given that we will continue our carbon emissions like we are now. Even though what we put in the air might persist for some time, we’ll be putting less up in the atmosphere to persist there. If we get working now, we can do it.

Rahdigly-
There are doubts. Well-founded? Your side has not proven that at all. We can trace this stuff with scientific rigor back to our own smokestacks and tailpipes. Your side just throws out quibbles. You’ve tried to portray as controversial claims that have mainstream acceptance among climate scientists.

Science is a field that deals often and deeply with a real world where measurements and theories can never be a hundred percent certain. The evidence can be overwhelming that certain claims are true, and certain claims are not.

Why is it that in most documented cases of politcs driving the science, the politics is heading towards the contrarian point of view? The real problem with this idea that your side has been losing the consensus because of politics in this country is that politics in this country has been acting in your favor for the last few decades. The scientific data has gotten strong with time, has anticipated the changes in climate that have already gone on.

When is it going to occur to your side that the Science is good, and that your politics is what’s really interfering with the debate?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 6, 2007 9:24 AM
Comment #219659

John Back
Too late is a relative term. Its probably too late to save wild polar bears. The country of Microneaia will submege. Flooding will increase. Hurricanes will tend to be stronger etc. Is it too late to for change to do any good? Maybe but what else can we do.The first rule of holes,”When your stuck in a hole,stop digging.” Maybe just maybe we can avoid some of the grimmer scenareos like the loss of all costal cities,the desertification of the entire mid-west. Massive famines and the unrest that goes with them.Its worth a shot.Those in the public eye that are trying to warn us never took vows of poverty nor is this a religious debate,though some on the right would like to bracket it that way. Just because Al Gore uses too much electricity or made money on a movie does not mean we should not act.

Posted by: BillS at May 6, 2007 7:34 PM
Comment #219699

BillS

Agreed. There does need to be change in our lives. I have no problem with that. What I have a problem with are those who go around in private jets(terribly inefficient), living an ostentatious, consumerist lifestyle, preaching to the rest of us how we need to change. I have always been taught that the best way to lead is by example. That would mean that those who presume to tell the rest of us how to live need to come down off the mountainn and show us what they are talking about. That, BTW, would also apply to countries. If the U.S. is serious about combatting global climate change, we need to stop pointing our fingers at other countries and start cleaning up oour own backyard.

Posted by: John Back at May 7, 2007 8:20 AM
Comment #219715

Stephen

“When is it going to occur to your side that the Science is good, and that your politics is what’s really interfering with the debate?”


“We” do believe science is “good”; we just don’t believe it’s a “religion” like some on your “side”. Yes, I concur with you that politics is interfering with this debate; Dr. Philip Handler, former president of the National Academy of Sciences also agrees with us, as well.


“Scientists best serve public policy by living within the ethics of science, not those of politics. If the scientific community will not unfrock the charlatans, the public will not discern the difference-science and the nation will suffer.”

Posted by: rahdigly at May 7, 2007 12:24 PM
Comment #219721

Rahdigly-
THE science. The science that is saying that Earth is absorbing an increased amount of heat over time for what it’s releasing. It’s saying the sun’s reduced activity in the eighties would rule out its role as the force that increased warmth during that period.

Other reasons to believe that global warming include observed cooling in the Stratosphere, which would not occur during the increased radiance of the sun, since the Stratosphere is warmed by absorbtion of UV radiation, which would increase at that time.

The Heat Island Effect has been discounted as a cause for increases in recorded temperature, since nobody could find it making much of a difference, and due to the fact that much of the warming was found over open oceans. Oh, and also, the trends were pretty much the same between both kinds of locations.

Models based on theoretical work successfully replicate climate changes recorded in the past, and those forecast for the future. The accuracy is only getting better. We could expect wild divergences if the theoretical work was off.

And no, the science on this is not new. The first man to suggest that the CO2 being dumped into the atmosphere was changing the temperature Was Svante Arrhenius, who calculated the results laboriously at the turn of the previous century. Even before him, the absorption of certain wavelengths of infra-red light was known to researchers. You can actually look at “windows” that the greenhouse gases produce by their absorption from above, and Satellites have done just that.

Researchers looking to see whether the greenhouse gases were responsible would look at the trends for temperatures at higher latitudes, altitudes, during winter, and at night- times when the retention of heat would show itself, in the absence of stronger input.

And what are we seeking? Warmer nights, warmer winters, warmer climes in the upper latitudes, and warmer climate at high altitudes. In short, we’re seeing the expected implications of greater absorption of warmth.

Politics or no politics, the data is very convincing, in fact overwhelmingly so, and the theoretical work and models have matched reality.

Calling the strong consensus religion or politics is an exercise in political demagoguery. Despite a relentless flood of confirming results and objective evidence, you and folks like you insist that global warming is just a crock. That sounds more like a religion to me, because given the lack of evidence the other way, you would have to take such claims on faith. Nobody has to take global warming on faith, the evidence for it exists.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 7, 2007 1:13 PM
Comment #219730

Stephen, you failed to respond to Dr. Philip Handler’s comments. I agreed that the “man-made” global warming issue has been politicized; and, so does this promient Scientist, Dr. Handler, who was the former President of the National Academy of Sciences. So, do you or don’t you agree with his comment?!

“Scientists best serve public policy by living within the ethics of science, not those of politics. If the scientific community will not unfrock the charlatans, the public will not discern the difference-science and the nation will suffer.”

Posted by: rahdigly at May 7, 2007 3:35 PM
Comment #219742

rahdigly-
I don’t need to respond to Handler’s quotation. We could both use it to our heart’s content, since it’s such a truism. My response is that it’s irrelevant to the real point: what the science says. There is a body of study to back this up, and you’re focusing on the rhetoric of a man whose organization backs the theory that Global warming is occuring and is largely due to man-made factors.

So you tell me: do you have any solid counterexplanation for what’s going on with the climate?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 7, 2007 6:11 PM
Comment #219753

Stephen, you commented on the “politicizing” of science and I agreed that there was (certainly) a politicizing of politics and Dr. Handler concurred; that’s why I quoted him. Now, if you choose to bow down to the “consensus” science, then you go right ahead. My “counterexplantion” is that, when the public gets all the facts; rather than from the (Fear based, kool-aid pouring) “consensus”, it’s clear the tide turns in the favor of the skeptics. Here’s some evidence that shows the skeptics are growing in numbers; especially when there’s a debate on this subject and both sides are heard to the people.

”A pre-debate poll of audience members indicated that by a 2 to 1 margin (57 percent to 29 percent, with 14 percent undecided) they believed global warming has become a crisis. After the debate, however, the audience indicated by 46 percent to 42 percent they do not believe it is a crisis, with 12 percent undecided.”

Responding to Somerville’s and Schmidt’s repeated appeals to the asserted consensus of scientists, Stott pointed out, “Science does not progress by consensus; it progresses by falsification and by what we call paradigm shifts.” Stott listed examples of scientific consensus that had been woefully wrong in the past, including a scientific consensus in the 1970s that humans were causing an alarming cooling of the planet. After quoting 1970s’ issues of the Christian Science Monitor and the New York Times regarding alarming cooling at the time, Stott quoted a 1970s’ Newsweek article asserting, “Meteorologists are almost unanimous that catastrophic famines will result from global cooling.”

Posted by: rahdigly at May 7, 2007 8:03 PM
Comment #219766

Rahdigly-
If you’re arguing that science does not progress by mere consensus, why does an audience’s consensus on science get to progress by mere consensus? Both are ad populum appeals.

However, in science, consensus is not merely an ad populum argument. If the science backs it, a consensus is merely short hand for what backs it.

What backs the consensuse on anthropogenic forcings? Data. Successful predictions. Demonstrated signs of change.

It’s not just warming. It’s the presence of larger and larger concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, accurate models that predict climate shifts well which confirm the role of those gases in the climate shift, the science which backs the determination that a large portion of the Carbon emissions are coming from the burning of fossil fuels, elimination of many of the confounding factors…

You talk about 1970’s understanding of the climate, as if we should take that as our guide to the reliability of current climate science. But in that time, the paradigm has moved on. The Models have improved, grown more sophisticated, more accurated, gained more resolution. Much more study has been done concerning the shape and the speed with which climate changes. We have a hell of a lot more data and understanding about how to gather that data. There is more hard fact, well-founded theory, and solid knowledge on the subject now than there was thirty years ago.

That’s what’s backing the consensus. Not religious or political fervor. This is a science that has matured greatly in the last three decades. You just don’t like what its telling you.

Rhetoric can be as seductive as it is wrong. The whole point of the scientific disciplines we see is to weed out the attractive arguments for what’s going on, the stuff that we believe because the words and the mathematics seem so beautiful, from the ones which actually have some closeness to reality.

The claims of those who say Global warming is a problem are backed by hard data, accurate models, and a wealth of knowledge about how our world is behaving That’s where the consensus comes from, not some political agitation.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 7, 2007 9:55 PM
Comment #219784

Stephen,

“You talk about 1970’s understanding of the climate, as if we should take that as our guide to the reliability of current climate science. “


First off, way to talk around the subject, good job. I didn’t talk about “the 1970’s understanding of the climate”; that was a quote from my source, which appears as if you didn’t read. I cited an article Climate Realists Beat Alarmists in New York Debate and sourced (in bold) what the results were before and after the conference; along with a quote (about “consensus” science) from Philip Stott, emeritus professor of bio-geography at the University of London. It was (very) clear that, when presented both sides of the argument, the skeptics of “man-made” global warming change opinions and challenge (beyond belief) the idea of “consensus” science. Again, I’ll quote some of the article in bold; however, this time let’s read the entire article and comment on the survey and what the debators debated!

Claims by global warming alarmists that “the debate is over” took a significant hit on March 14 when an audience at a prestigious New York debating society declared three prominent climate realists the winners in a debate on climate change science against three prominent global warming alarmists. The debate was sponsored by Intelligence Squared, which holds debates eight times a year on important current events. For each debate topic, the organization invites three prominent proponents and three prominent opponents to debate each side of the proposition in front of an audience numbering in the hundreds. The debate is taped by National Public Radio (NPR) and distributed to NPR affiliates across the nation.


A pre-debate poll of audience members indicated that by a 2 to 1 margin (57 percent to 29 percent, with 14 percent undecided) they believed global warming has become a crisis. After the debate, however, the audience indicated by 46 percent to 42 percent they do not believe it is a crisis, with 12 percent undecided.


In response to audience questions after each speaker’s presentation, Stott pointed out that many scientists believe changes in solar output are the primary driver of recent temperature changes. Stott said while he personally has not come to a conclusion whether this theory is accurate or not, it is worth considering. Lindzen added that it is misleading for alarmists to claim a scientific consensus exists regarding global warming, and “to pretend that this is settled is bizarre.”

Posted by: rahdigly at May 7, 2007 11:54 PM
Comment #219785

“The heating is caused primarily by CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels.”

There is no scientific basis for that statement.

You lemmings seem to love consensus. Here are some numbers to choke on.

http://www.sitewave.net/PPROJECT/pproject.htm#357

Posted by: traveller at May 8, 2007 12:05 AM
Comment #219788

“You talk about 1970’s understanding of the climate, as if we should take that as our guide to the reliability of current climate science. But in that time, the paradigm has moved on. The Models have improved, grown more sophisticated, more accurated, gained more resolution. Much more study has been done concerning the shape and the speed with which climate changes. We have a hell of a lot more data and understanding about how to gather that data. There is more hard fact, well-founded theory, and solid knowledge on the subject now than there was thirty years ago.”

Of course technology has improved over the last 30 years. That is not to say that the data comming from the models today is accurate. The scientists in the ’70s were as convinced of global cooling as you are of global warming today.

When you cry “WOLF” too many times, people tend to not believe you.

Posted by: tomd at May 8, 2007 3:52 AM
Comment #219808

rahdigly-
The subject is science. You’re talking about philosophy of science, abstract principles of it, and a debate. I’m talking satellite measurements, hard facts about how CO2 behaves, models that have accurately anticipated change, factors eliminated as causative agents.

Why is it that you can’t give me a good, scientific explanation for why Global Warming proponents are wrong, for why the consensus is invalid. Yes, a consensus can be wrong, but that doesn’t mean it must be wrong. Yes, paradigms can shift, but that doesn’t mean that the person making that claim is going to be favored by that shift.

To distinguish legitimate claims and skepticism from illegitimate requires a hard science approach to the questions. Now a person in a debate can get away with things in front of an audience by being witty and charming, and a person who’s got the right idea can fail to present it properly. The ability to communicate a scientific point persuasively to an audience is not necessarily tied to the quality of the point in either direction. You can be compellingly logical without being right.

A debate is a poor place to get educated, for that very reason. If you aren’t well informed coming in, you won’t be able to distinguish the fancy talk from the legitimate points.

Lindzen places part of his opinion on satellite measurements taken during the 70’s. Recently, scientists reviewing the record on that figured something out about the measurement.

Satellite measurements are not direct, and are not specific to one layer. The Satellite measures a column of atmosphere, which tends to smear things together, taking a chunk of the Lower Stratosphere, which Greenhouse gas influences would cool, with the Troposphere, which it would mainly warm.

Additionally, since the measurement was indirect, they had to calibrate the measurment. So, they sent up weather balloons to do that. Unfortunately, they forgot to shade the instruments taking the air temperature, so they measured their own heat absorbed from the sun’s radiation.

The fancy talk about the matter was that the satellite measurements didn’t show any change. However, ground measurements did, and once you took out the error from the heating of the thermometers in the weather balloon, the results lined up.

The real problem here is that many contrarians are starting from the politics and working towards the science, cherrypicking little doubts and quibbles, and painting a broadly misleading picture of the science of Global Climate Change.

Traveller-
There is plenty of scientific basis for that statement. What’s the alternative? Is the rise in global temperature, concurrent with the rise in CO2 all just some mysterious coincidence? And don’t tell me CO2 can’t warm the Earth, it already does. You can’t add more of an infrared absorber into the atmosphere and not get at least some increase in atmospheric temperature.

Tell me how many of those signatures on that petition belong to actual climate scientists? If that’s the petition I think it is, then very few people who qualify in the field in question actually follow the line of thinking that Seitz offers.

tomd-
Are you claiming today’s data is incorrect, or just suggesting it? Do you know, or are you just taking a hypothetical approach?

The improvements in technology and in the science make it easier for scientists to create detailed, accurate models. You can talk about crying wolf, but it’s either right or its not. If it’s right, then it’s just a matter of people getting past their mental blocks and their annoyance, because neither of those two things change what’s real and whats not about global climate change.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 8, 2007 11:02 AM
Comment #219812

“tomd-
Are you claiming today’s data is incorrect, or just suggesting it? Do you know, or are you just taking a hypothetical approach?

The improvements in technology and in the science make it easier for scientists to create detailed, accurate models. You can talk about crying wolf, but it’s either right or its not. If it’s right, then it’s just a matter of people getting past their mental blocks and their annoyance, because neither of those two things change what’s real and whats not about global climate change.”

Honestly Stephen, I don’t know if the date is accurate or not, and I don’t know enough about the science to really determine who is telling the truth. So I look back in my memory to things like acid rain, the comming ice age, the dangers of coffee, the safety of coffee, alcohol is bad for you, a glass of wine is good for you. I could go on and on as you know. All politics aside, you have to admit we have been been bombarded with these claims for many years.

It will take a lot for the scientific community to regain their credibility with me and a lot of others. So far I see the “consensus” with a lot of evidence on your side with very little actual proof. I also see from supporters of your cause trying to discredit and squelch opposition instead of legitimate debate.

I have no doubt that the earth’s climate is changing. We probably are responsible for a portion of the warming. I also have no doubt that technology will solve our problem. I’m not going to panic.

Posted by: tomd at May 8, 2007 12:14 PM
Comment #219831

Stephen,

“A debate is a poor place to get educated, for that very reason. If you aren’t well informed coming in, you won’t be able to distinguish the fancy talk from the legitimate points.”


Oh, please Stephen! Now (all of a sudden) debate is a bad thing?! I’m sure you wouldn’t believe that if the “alarmist” would’ve won the debate (which they did not!); then you probably would’ve used that as a source. The fact is debate is good, it works. Debate presents both sides of the argument and allows the individuals to decide for themselves. Also, you (still) continue to attack the scientists and sources I cite by attacking “my” judgement and “my” outlook; instead of debating their viewpoints, which is the same as mine, they just have a lot more credence and promience on this subject and in this field. There’s many, many people that disagree and have every right to be heard on this issue. You and folks on your side of this issue continue to attack the scientist (via the bloggers) and anyone that dissents from the “consensus” for that matter. It’s ridiculous.


In this source, Climate Realists Beat Alarmists in New York Debate, it’s clear that these are well educated, well informed presenters for each side of the debate. So, if you object to their opinions and comments, then just say so. Until then, those three scientists (that won the debate!) will be my answer to giving you “good, scientific explanation for why Global Warming proponents are wrong”. They believe the instruments are incorrect, the “consensus” is wrong and they don’t believe humans are causing global warming like your side swears by. By the way, this isn’t the only source; I certainly have sourced other scientist in the past (and will in the future); however, in this particular source, you have yet to mount a compelling (I’m giving too much credit) argument as to why, when the people are presented both sides, the tide turns (bigtime) in favor of the skeptics?!! And, what exactly is incorrect about their comments on the instruments used in the 1970’s being wrong?!


“Indeed, he said, the very computer models that predict alarming warming are working with faulty data that has predicted far more warming should have already occurred than real-world temperature data indicate. Models that predicted far more warming for today than has actually occurred are likely to overestimate future warming as well, Lindzen noted. Lindzen opened the debate by noting the Earth’s climate is never static and the planet is always either warming or cooling. Accordingly, he observed, the Earth’s recent moderate warming is not unusual or alarming in and of itself. The issue, Lindzen pointed out, is whether human activity is likely to cause a future warming that is significantly destructive to human civilization or our global environment. Fears of alarming sea level rise, more frequent and intense tropical storms, and a spread of tropical diseases are not supported by sound science, Lindzen noted. Moreover, future warming is likely to be far less than alarmist projections would lead us to believe. “

Posted by: rahdigly at May 8, 2007 4:04 PM
Comment #219849

tomd-
I think your main problem is that you haven’t seen enough of the literature on the science. Don’t rely on the news media. They’re usually tour guides when it comes to this. A brief, oversimplified blurb about what they’re showing you, then they move on. You need to get deeper than that if you want to know what the scientists are saying and what they’re talking about. I think you’ll find them much more reasonable and careful if you read what they have to say, instead of what some guy with just a minute or so of airtime at best to talk about it will make it seem.

Rahdigly-
The debate’s not a bad thing. I’m just saying you should come informed to them, instead of trusting two sides with agendas to educate you with a balanced view of a subject with full breadth and depth.

The arctic, antarctic and higher latitudes are feeling the effects of the warming now, and it’s more profound than anything they’ve felt for literally ages before. two ice shelves more ancient than human history distintegrated practically overnight at shocking speed. We have open rivers on the Greenland Ice Sheet pouring down into cracks that reach all the way to the bottom, ensuring that a process that Scientists thought would occur in millenia could happen within a century or two instead.

It seems like the Republicans nowadays are so conservative they can’t even bring themselves to be properly alarmed at any problem they see.

You had four years warning on the problems you had in Iraq, and only now are you beginning to go counter insurgency on this problem, and make any permanent troop increases. You had study after study telling you that there needed to be improvements in the public works around New Orleans. Your response is to cut their 22 billion dollar request down to less than three.

You get reports that chemical plants are likely targets. Do you require increased security? No.

You get the Enron scandal and WorldCom, and how do you respond to people’s clamoring for accounting reform? You don’t.

The political right seems to be trying to come up with every excuse not to anticipate and prepare for problems, despite study after study that suggests that this is the more efficent approach.

America doesn’t need leadership that drags along at the rear, an anchor on a chain, especially with Global Warming, because the changes that would matter are going to need to happen sooner rather than later, if they are to do any good.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 8, 2007 8:35 PM
Comment #219879

“tomd-
I think your main problem is that you haven’t seen enough of the literature on the science. Don’t rely on the news media. They’re usually tour guides when it comes to this. A brief, oversimplified blurb about what they’re showing you, then they move on. You need to get deeper than that if you want to know what the scientists are saying and what they’re talking about. I think you’ll find them much more reasonable and careful if you read what they have to say, instead of what some guy with just a minute or so of airtime at best to talk about it will make it seem.”

No Stephen,

You have it wrong. Reguardless of what the science says. Even if science is 100% correct on this issue (I seriously doube it), YOU ARE TRYING TO SELL THIS IDEA TO ME. I didn’t come to you to buy it. You came to me to sell it. You haven’t convinced me and you won’t untill you can ansewr a few simple questions that have been asked many times.

If you can’t even tell me how much of the few degrees increase in temperature we have experienced in the last 100 years is the result of humans, Why would I change my whole way of living for you? Not gonna do it without hard proof.

Posted by: tomd at May 9, 2007 4:24 AM
Comment #219893

Stephen,

“The debate’s not a bad thing. I’m just saying you should come informed to them, instead of trusting two sides with agendas to educate you with a balanced view of a subject with full breadth and depth.”


Climate Realists Beat Alarmists in New York Debate

“The debate was sponsored by Intelligence Squared, which holds debates eight times a year on important current events. For each debate topic, the organization invites three prominent proponents and three prominent opponents to debate each side of the proposition in front of an audience numbering in the hundreds. The debate is taped by National Public Radio (NPR) and distributed to NPR affiliates across the nation.”


They were informed, so am I and so are you for that matter. Listen Stephen, you obviously lost this debate (bigtime) when your questions “Why is it that you can’t give me a good, scientific explanation for why Global Warming proponents are wrong, for why the consensus is invalid” were definitely answer by prominent scientists in their respective fields. They confronted specifically those exact questions and then some. You just don’t like the fact that they were able to persuade a bias audience (going into the debate) and then change the audience’s mind dramatically to the other side by just presenting their side. Yet, that’s exactly what happens when information is presented and the ignorance and fear is lifted from the equation. The “man-made” global warming crowd want to scare everyone into believing we’re the problem and we’re causing catastrophic consequences to earth b/c of our actions. They’ve been using a “consensus” to shun everyone out; even prominent scientist that disagree with them. However, the facts are the facts and science is science; the truth is going to be tested and researched and it’s not going to be decided by a “consensus”. And, we will (eventually) come to find out what is causing Global Warming and what we can do (if we can) to prevent it or make due with it.


Tomd,

“YOU ARE TRYING TO SELL THIS IDEA TO ME. I didn’t come to you to buy it. You came to me to sell it.”

Good point! They are trying to “sell” us this crap and I’m with you, I’m not buying it. I’ll buy from the scientists that confirm and prove what exactly is causing global warming; not a freaking “consensus”.

Posted by: rahdigly at May 9, 2007 9:11 AM
Comment #219896

tomd-
I’m telling you not to simply settle for me or anybody else selling this to you. I’m telling you to familiarize yourself with the overall picture. If the science is mostly correct on this issue, then how much warming comes from us is irrelevant.

More important than temperature is energy. There is, due to our pollutants about 1.8 more watts for every 10.8 meters are retained. That energy has to go somewhere, and it goes into warming the earth. This has various effects, most pronounced in the places and times where Earth would normally have greater losses, such as at high altitude, high latitude, nightime, and winter.

Whether I can sell it to you or not, these effects are happening, and that heat is being retained. If we continue on this path, things get far worse, and Earth will retain far more energy.

This is not about selling or being sold, this is about knowing and learning, persuading yourself based on the facts. Then and only then are you free, to the extent that anybody can be.

As for percentage of temperature? That shouldn’t matter, ultimately, because what we’re seeing involves more than temperature, it involves what that temperature does to the biomes, to the reflection and absorption of energy, and to the levels of greenhouse gasess in the atmosphere. Because climate is built on feedbacks, the natural responses get folded back into the system at the same time as our artificial ones.

In short, results matter more than proportions. The Planet probably wouldn’t be warming if it wasn’t for what we were doing. It might even be cooling a bit.

The question is whether you as an individual want to be part of the problem or part of the solution.

I for one am sick of our culture’s selfish emphasis of preserving short-term lifestyle over long term prosperity. We have to have more guts than that, more willingness to take risks for the common good.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 9, 2007 9:16 AM
Comment #219899

“tomd-
I’m telling you not to simply settle for me or anybody else selling this to you. I’m telling you to familiarize yourself with the overall picture.”

OK The “overall picture” involves more than this controversy about global warming. The “overall picture” that I see is a world of socialists trying to impose their standards upon the rest of us. Why don’t YOU look at the “overall picture”

“If the science is mostly correct on this issue, then how much warming comes from us is irrelevant.”

“If” is a big word. That’s why I have to be sold on this, and how much warming comes from us IS relevant to me buying it.

“More important than temperature is energy. There is, due to our pollutants about 1.8 more watts for every 10.8 meters are retained. That energy has to go somewhere, and it goes into warming the earth. This has various effects, most pronounced in the places and times where Earth would normally have greater losses, such as at high altitude, high latitude, nightime, and winter.

Whether I can sell it to you or not, these effects are happening, and that heat is being retained. If we continue on this path, things get far worse, and Earth will retain far more energy.”

Climate science is beyond my scope as I’ve stated before. I don’t know the science and don’t have the inclination nor the time to learn enough about it make an informed decision. I’m happy living my life as I do now. You (your side) came to me to sell me a new lifestyle, and yet you say my questions are irrelevant.


“This is not about selling or being sold, this is about knowing and learning, persuading yourself based on the facts. Then and only then are you free, to the extent that anybody can be.”

How noble that sounds. I assume you have all the facts on everything you have an opinion on.
This is EXACTLY about selling and being sold and I’m not buying at this point.

“As for percentage of temperature? That shouldn’t matter, ultimately, because what we’re seeing involves more than temperature, it involves what that temperature does to the biomes, to the reflection and absorption of energy, and to the levels of greenhouse gasess in the atmosphere. Because climate is built on feedbacks, the natural responses get folded back into the system at the same time as our artificial ones.

In short, results matter more than proportions. The Planet probably wouldn’t be warming if it wasn’t for what we were doing. It might even be cooling a bit.”

Again, my questions might not matter to you and won’t change the situation a bit, but the are important to me. Simple questions. If your sophisticated computer models and scientists can predict disaster in the future with such accuracy, they shoud be able to answer them.

“The question is whether you as an individual want to be part of the problem or part of the solution.”

That’s your question. You think mine are irrevelant.

“I for one am sick of our culture’s selfish emphasis of preserving short-term lifestyle over long term prosperity. We have to have more guts than that, more willingness to take risks for the common good.”

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 9, 2007 09:16 AM

Take two asprin…We are FIRSTMOST responsible for ourselves and ours.

Posted by: tomd at May 9, 2007 10:30 AM
Comment #219920
“I’m telling you to familiarize yourself with the overall picture. If the science is mostly correct on this issue, then how much warming comes from us is irrelevant.”

That’s not good enough. That’s not what science is about. In order for the public to understand about what’s going on; scientist must come to a complete conclusion on the subject, in order for us to understand what’s going on and how we can deal with it. The global warming “alarmists” wants to do something now; yet, it’s something we don’t know about and aren’t sure that if what we are doing will help or (even) be enough. So, many of us believe we shouldn’t jump the gun until we know for sure; not some “consensus”. By the way, here are some quotes, from prominent scientists, that will back up my stance.

Roy Porter of London’s Welcome Institute for the History of Medicine: “This New Marxism “has aimed to depriviledge science, restoring it to the same plane as other belief systems.”

Dr. Philip Handler, former president of the National Academy of Sciences: “Scientists best serve public policy by living within the ethics of science, not those of politics. If the scientific community will not unfrock the charlatans, the public will not discern the difference-science and the nation will suffer.”

Lee Gerhard, Director (Retired), Senior Scientist Emeritus, Kansas Geological Survey, Lawrence, Kan.: “Getting climate change information from politicians and those who hold political or quasi-religious beliefs is nonsense. As far as consensus science is concerned, elections are settled by votes, but science is settled by data. Please do not confuse the two. Those who hold that humans are causing climate change have computer models on their side, but those models cannot replicate past climate changes. Those who understand that climate changes naturally all the time, in both directions, and at many scales of intensity, have huge amounts of data and observations on their side, along with recorded human history. Matching Earth temperature, carbon dioxide and solar intensity variation for the last 250 years, for example, demonstrates a very close correlation between solar variations and temperature change, whereas there is little correlation between carbon dioxide and temperature change. Research has shown that in the past, carbon dioxide rises follow temperature rises, they do not precede them. If the Arctic is melting, it is because we are in the third human-recorded 1,100-year solar maximum, following the Roman warm event and the Medieval warm event. There is a real test coming, however. U.S. NOAA calculations published recently suggest that a solar minimum is to occur around 2025. Perhaps politicians and zealots should get out of the way and let science do its work.”

Jochem Marotzke, Cceanographer. Abrupt climate change and the thermohaline circulation: Mechanisms and predictability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (U.S.A.), 97, 1347-1350.: “The paleoclimate record also shows that climate doesn’t necessarily change slowly over hundreds or thousands of years. In some cases, major increases or decreases in precipitation and/or temperature can occur in periods less than a decade. Since the end of the last Age there have been at least four abrupt changes, including the “Younger Dryas” event dated by ice cores to between 12,800 and 11,500 years B.P., which chilled and dried out much of the northern hemisphere. The study of abrupt change in climate is currently one of the hottest areas of climate research. There are few theories and no models that address how such large changes can occur in such short periods of time.”

Mark Leckie, paleoceanographer of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst: “This study addresses how the ocean-climate system changed in the past, long before people had any impacts, I think Karen’s research should be another wake-up call to the rate at which we are changing the system today.”

Posted by: rahdigly at May 9, 2007 2:46 PM
Comment #219935

tomd-
Look, if you dump a load of hot water into cool, the notion of want percentage of the water is hot quickly becomes irrelevant, because the hot water mixes with the cool, and they become indistinguishable. That’s what you call entropy, and it’s a law of thermodynamics

Climates tend to be the product of systems that feedback upon themselves. Their stability depends on things staying within a certain range. Past that point, the system will change, and continue to move until it finds itself in a new equilbrium. By adding warming influences to the whole thing, we have kicked many of these systems out of their former footholds, and now they’re moving towards different tendencies.

By warming things, we introduce changes into the environment that variously work towards and against further warming. Those changes take over as the order of things. By that logic, we are responsible for all of the present warming, even if nature is doing much of the heavy lifting. We are setting processes in motion with the energy we’re adding into the system.

The reality is, what you’re asking about isn’t simple enough for a simple answer, and this is not an issue that we can solve alone. This is a public policy issue.

Rahdigly-
There is no such thing as a complete conclusion, something I think you would understand, the way you were referencing paradigm shifts. Newton’s equations were imperfect in their description of gravity. Einstein’s improved on them. But even his theory is tentative, and there are things it doesn’t describe well. People are looking for better theories, but better is the operative word. It can’t merely address Relativity’s weak points, it has to share its strengths.

Lee Gerhard could say that the solar maximum is the reason, but unfortunately for him, much of the warming occured during the eighties, during a period of relative solar inactivity. Additionally, the Stratosphere is cooling, when an increase in solar irradiation should heat it up. That’s not to say solar irradiation can’t heat things up. That’s to say that it cannot be cited as the sole source.

Scientists are well aware of the natural variability. Natural variability does not preclude or even work separately from global warming. Natural variability merely takes the extra energy that’s being absorbed and varies naturally as it would with added heat from any other source. Global Warming doesn’t cause El Nino, fluctuation in wind and sea currents do that. However, the added heat of global warming could make El Nino occur much more often.

As for the Arctic melting, much of this melting is unique in the last 10,000 years or more. Many of the glaciers melting and ice shelfs collapsing are as ancient as the last Ice age. Additionally, we should not confuse local variability with overall variability.

The use of the term variability seems to be a little undisciplined. Some of what they call natural variability is better called forcings- the seasons are one example. When they talk about natural variability, El Nino is a better example, where chaotic behavior in the the systems causes change in the climate. The North Atlantic Oscillation (part of what gave us such a pleasant 2005 hurricane season) and the failure of Monsoons associated with El Nino are other examples.

On a last note, for Dr. Gerhard, I think you should take a look at what his main specialty is: “Kansas Geological Survey” He’s a Geologist, and a retired one at that. He sounds like he’s done a lot of research, but he’s not had to do it as a climate researcher himself.

The abrupt change described in the fourth quote is indeed standard consensus on the matter. However, you should keep in mind that the quote is ten years old. There’s been a decade to redo the models, and I’m sure they have.

Mark Leckie’s words don’t support your position. The latter part of it reads:

I think Karen’s research should be another wake-up call to the rate at which we are changing the system today[emphasis added]

The ocean have always been a large part of the way Earth regulates its climate. That remains true whether or not we’re involved.

The point that doesn’t seem to be getting across to many contrarians is that natural causes of warming and anthropogenic causes are just fine with mixing with one another. The carbon dioxide and soot that our pollution pumps into the skies is not distinguished by the system by soot and CO2 from natural sources. The reaction is the same. The oceans would be absorbing heat and absorbing CO2 regardless of what was putting them in the system.

It’s acting like a buffer now, absorbing much of the CO2 and much of the heat. The question is what happens when the stuff comes back out.

What’s really funny here is that you hand me a medical historian, a biochemist, and a geologist, a quote from an Oceanographer that’s nowhere near damaging to the case for Global warming, and another source that essentially argues the other side from yours.

Is this your evidence that the debate is turning in your direction?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 9, 2007 6:12 PM
Comment #219944

Stephen,

“Mark Leckie’s words don’t support your position.”

Yes it does! It absolutely does!!

“This study addresses how the ocean-climate system changed in the past, long before people had any impacts,” said paleoceanographer Mark Leckie of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who reviewed the study for Paleooceanography. “I think Karen’s research should be another wake-up call to the rate at which we are changing the system today.”

Look (very closely) at the word “people” (that would be humans for all you global warming alarmists). He’s saying the ocean and carbon levels (along with methane) were higher millions of years ago way before humans got involved. The “rate at which we’re changing” means we are changing the climate less than what it was 84-100 million years ago. So, if they were higher back then, how are “people (humans)” causing the warming when it’s actually lower now?!

By the way, here’s the entire article on Karen Brice’s research An Ocean Warmer than a Hot Tub; which is about how ocean temperatures, along with carbon levels were higher millions of years ago. Read the entire article and you’ll find that this researcher touches on your question on how the models used to study climate temperatures may be inaccurate.

“Scientists have found evidence that tropical Atlantic Ocean temperatures may have once reached 107°F (42°C)—about 25°F (14°C) higher than today. The surprisingly high ocean temperatures occurred millions of years ago when carbon dioxide levels in Earth’s atmosphere were high, the scientists said. The findings, if confirmed, indicate that future ocean warming from the buildup of heat-trapping carbon dioxide may be much greater than predicted by computer models now used by scientists and policymakers to forecast climate change.”

“They determined that ocean temperatures in the region ranged between 91° and 107°F (33° and 42°C) between 84 million and 100 million years ago, in an era when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. In the same region now, temperatures range between 75° and 82°F (24° and 28°C). For the first time, scientists used the same sample to estimate ocean temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels, and thereby precisely correlated both phenomena. Analyses of organic matter from the sediments revealed that CO2 levels during the same time span were 1,300 to 2,300 parts per million (ppm), compared with 380 ppm today.”

“How reliable are current climate forecast models?
The findings question the reliability of well-accepted models that simulate global climate. When 1,300 to 2,300 ppm of carbon dioxide is factored into the models, they do not produce such high ocean temperatures. “The climate models underestimate temperatures and the amount of warming that would accompany a CO2 increase more than 1000 ppm above today’s level,” Bice said.”

Stephen, you’ve lost this argument and any credence with this issue. Maybe if you stop relying on the “consensus” you may be able to understand how ridiculous you alarmists sound when it comes to this issue. In addition, here’s a good article Galileo Denied Consensus about how that kind of “consensus science” faired in the past and how wrong they were then and now.

Posted by: rahdigly at May 9, 2007 8:27 PM
Comment #219982

Rahdigly-

Unfortunately, you’re not addressing the real science of the issue. You’re playing the typical game of gotcha, believing that being wrong in any way means that what the model represents is totally false. No.

Not really. You talk about falsification as necessary to science, but fail to understand just what this means.

How you’re wrong is what’s important. Read the second paragraph:

The findings, if confirmed, indicate that future ocean warming from the buildup of heat-trapping carbon dioxide may be much greater than predicted by computer models now used by scientists and policymakers to forecast climate change.

Right there. The woman’s point is that climate’s more sensitive to CO2 than the current models are indicating. If she’s right, and there’s not some factor here peculiar to time and place, then the models do need to be revised.

But the revision will not be one that discredits those you call the alarmists. If indeed she’s right, then the “alarmists” are truly justified in being alarmed and alarming others, because this would mean that the climate will react much more strongly to the Carbon Emissions we’re putting in the air.

Your reaction to Mark Leckie’s quote doesn’t help your argument out. Nobody is saying that warming has to be human caused. That’s not a requirement for our society to cause global warming. Really, it’s just a matter of physics. Whether its Siberian Volcanoes erupting all at once, or Humans digging and drilling up millions of years of previously trapped fossil fuels, nature really doesn’t care. CO2 is CO2.

The Earth cooled just fine on its own. Nobody’s saying it wasn’t allowed to do so without our say-so The continents played a large role in that, especially Antarctica, which settled into a position at the South Pole about 25 million years ago. The Ice sheets that developed helped cool climate down, and that cooling helped further deprive the air of CO2. The Ice Sheets and stronger winters also helped make the planet more reflective.

The Cretaceous was a warm period in comparison to right now. But we’re not living in the Cretaceous. We’re not claiming that this is a warming from the Cretaceous. We’re claiming that this is a warming in terms of human history, which it is and would be. That’s like saying our moderate cooldown since the Cretaceous doesnt’ count because Earth was once icebound.

We’re measuring warming in historic times, times that are situated in a geological age much cooler than the period Dr Bice is talking about. We’re measuring the palpable impact of the documented rise in CO2 levels, a rise, if she is to be believed, which will have an even greater effect than previosly thought on Earth’s climate.

My advice to you is to stop looking for little Gotchas, as you contrarians are in the bad habit of doing, and start familiarizing yourself with the actual science. You lack sufficient familiarty with the subject matter to properly interpret it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 10, 2007 9:26 AM
Comment #220011

Stephen, first off, you “got” yourself. You decided (for some reason) to neglect the skeptics (many of them) from geologist to paleoceanographers to the former president of the National Academy of Sciences, and so on and so forth. Yet, you just don’t want to admit it.

“The Cretaceous was a warm period in comparison to right now. But we’re not living in the Cretaceous. We’re not claiming that this is a warming from the Cretaceous. We’re claiming that this is a warming in terms of human history, which it is and would be.”

It was wamer! That’s the point. We are not living in the Cretaceous period; the period “humans” are living in is cooler, along with lower CO2 and Methane levels. So, what caused the warming then?! Tell me, with all your euridition.*** The alarmist and “consensus” nuts are claiming that humans are responsible for global warming; yet, the skeptics are saying it’s a number of natural forces in the universe (Solar activity is one of them) and man has little to no effect on climate change. Here’s a scientific study showing you it was warmer millions of years ago and yet the nuts are telling us that it’s us humans that are causing warming. Bullsh*t! That’s how ridiculous your side sounds; this is what it has come to.

Brice’s entire study was about how they were warmer back then and how the current models, used to predict climate changes to the “consensus” and alarmist (today), are proving to be wrong. Read it again!. That’s what Brice and Leckie’s point was. However, since you are spinning their study to fit your (political) agenda; you are going to see it the way you want to see it. Politicizing the weather and climate conditions gets you nowhere and makes you sound silly, too. But, oh well, that’s your choice…


Posted by: rahdigly at May 10, 2007 1:55 PM
Comment #220056

Rahdigly-
The skeptics should be fluent in the language of the subject, trained in understanding its great complexities.

What about warmer cretaceous temperatures rules out CO2 and Methane levels rising in the here and now? The only difference is the starting point. CO2 and Methane do the same thing at either point in in natural history, And whether it’s humans releasing it or something else. We’re not magically walled off from the rest of the world, so we are perfectly able to dig up buried carbon fuels and put their carbon back into the atmosphere.

It’s funny you should talk about Solar outputs, because it turns out that the forcings for these outputs is small, sometimes just fractions of a degree. Yet, because of the complexity of the world’s climate, that’s enough. The real problem and what you fail to see in that Cretaceous Era warming is that the system is fairly sensitive to small inputs.

Like trace amounts of Carbon Dioxide. there’s not much, but it doesn’t take much to be the difference between a planetary iceball and the climes we enjoy today. And if doesn’t take that much Carbon Dioxide to make sure things are comfortably warm for life on Earth, why should it take that much from us, especially when we’re putting multiple gigatons out there of the stuff, to warm our present climate from it’s cooler state?

I suggest you be the one to read that article again. These are not people who are skeptics of Global Warming. The conclusions she’s reaching should not be comforting to a person who thinks global warming is impossible. She’s saying that models underestimate the greenhouse gas impact. In essence, less can do more.

If less can do more, your argument falls apart. The system doesn’t necessary react calmly to small things.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 10, 2007 10:36 PM
Comment #220074

Stephen,

That-a-boy, keep dodging the experts and their findings! Good job!** You’re not even close. I’m not arguing if they are “skeptics” or not; I’m saying their findings are proving the “models”, used to predict (today’s) current climate changes, aren’t very accurate. That’s something you brought up previously in this thread: “The improvements in technology and in the science make it easier for scientists to create detailed, accurate models.” Also, we know it was much warmer then, and you have yet to answer how that can be possible to have much higher ocean temperatures; higher temperatures and releases of methane from the ocean; and CO2 levels in the air, millions of years ago, without “humans” causing it. That “it” is what scientists need to find out (and PROVE!) in order to accuse humans of causing global warming.

And, by the way, what good does it do to provide sources of “skeptics” only; you still will find a way to dodge or dismiss their findings b/c you are looking through a political prism on this issue. Yet, keep politicizing this issue and see where you’ll end up.

Posted by: radhigly at May 11, 2007 10:45 AM
Comment #220092

Rahdigly-
The funny thing is, you’re arguing that you’re Galileo’s heir, when in reality you’re the heir of his persecutors, the people who were SO sure of how the world worked.

Humans are not necessary to get more greenhouse gases in the air, true enough. Volcanoes, disrupted Clathrate deposits, and the oceans yielding back dissolved CO2 back in the air can do the same, among other things. Even now, scientists are saying that much of the greenhouse gases that might get put up in the air won’t come from us, but from systems disturbed by our actions. If droughts destroy the Amazon forest because of warming-related changes in precipitation, then that carbon’s going to get dumped back into the system.

The thing is, though, there is no law of nature saying we can’t put greenhouse gases into the air, by burning fossil fuels which had long laid sequestered from the carbon cycle, by destroying forests, or by poor crop-raising. Heck, some of the worst pollution in India comes from the home fires of the nations immense rural population, burning wood, crop wastes, and cow dung.

The thinking in the former half of the 20th century was that the world was a fairly stable place which could absorb anything we gave it and stay the same. The latter half saw those assumptions dashed time and again. What were once thought to be gradual climate changes turned out to be intense spikes and sudden crashes, taking place in decades or even years, rather than centuries. We looked at atmospheric circulation and found it to be so sensitive that a new branch of science was inspired to describe systems like it, which turned out to be fairly common. That branch of science is known as chaos theory.

Climate is not merely greenhouse gases. They are part of a system that in various places absorbs, reflects, circulates, dissipates, and concentrate that heat. It’s a system that feeds back into itself, either increasing or decreasing changes.

The article you cite as being troublesome to me speaks of the sensitivity of that system to greenhouse gases, namely to say that the models underestimate the system’s sensitivity to it. It may just be a quirk in the climate of that time, or it could be that we need to take another look at the climate equation to see what we missed.

The real question is this: is the climate sensitive to greenhouse gas emissions? You’re taking two positions at once, laughing at me and pointing to the article that says that the effect of greenhouse gases is greater than thought, and then turning around and saying that it can’t be sensitive to them at all, given our cooler climes.

The key is, nature doesn’t care where the CO2’s coming from. It will rebalance the climate books to deal with the excess heat energy that CO2 and methane, among other greenhouse gases trap.

As for what brought those immense levels of CO2? According to this source, the volcanic activity associated with the opening of the Atlantic ocean.

Though I’m inclined to trust that they did their science correctly in the article, there could be any number of unforseen reasons why Cretaceous climate was more sensitive. It all depends on what’s ending up in the model and what’s getting left out.

Still, like I said, the underlying meaning of what the science there is saying is that the models are underestimating the sensitivity of the system. You’re arguing that the system is absorbing our gigatons of CO2 with nary a twitch, yet at the same time using the fact that the models don’t yet account for this to claim that the claims of “alarmists” are false.

In short, you’re taking two contradictory positions in order to beat me up with your rhetoric. Which is only natural, since you’re not a skeptic at all. You’re a true believer in climate insensitivity, ignoring or not understanding the significance of what you’re trying to hit me with here.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 11, 2007 2:50 PM
Comment #220108

Stephen,

“The funny thing is, you’re arguing that you’re Galileo’s heir, when in reality you’re the heir of his persecutors, the people who were SO sure of how the world worked.”


Wrong (yet) again!! It’s the “consensus” that’s not listening to the “Realists” (Galileo); the “global warming consensus” are the ones that are telling us “how the world works”. Yet, since this “man-made” global warming is such an important political agenda (and religion) for the “alarmists”, they are never going to see that. Never! So, that’s all I have for this thread. However, remember, as long as the “man-made” global warming (as a religion) “consensus” nuts continue to spread this ridiculous claim without sound, scientific proof; I’ll be there to set the record straight (oh yes, I will). Just like these debaters did: Climate Realists Beat Alarmists in New York Debate!!
:-)

Posted by: rahdigly at May 11, 2007 6:53 PM
Comment #220111

This thread reminds me of a commercial that ran in Atlanta some years back. A Redneck was going to a local car dealership and Granny yells out…
“Don’t you BUY no ugly truck.”

This is that ugly truck and I ain’t buying it.

Posted by: tomd at May 11, 2007 7:30 PM
Comment #220118

Rahdigly-
You don’t even have a consistent theory to offer. Some of your jabs include the theory that it’s solar forcings that have warmed things up. Other theories you’ve offered refuse to comment. You repeatedly asked how the Earth’s climate could be sensitive to greenhouse gases, yet to discredit me, you bring an article across that essentially says the models are underestimating the Earth’s sensitivity.

In short, you’re all over the place. Yet you appeal to the Godfather of Empirical science and nail yourself to a cross of paradigm shifts, playing the martyr. Well, you’re talking to a young man who has been studying science all his life, and has seen a lot of paradigm shifts come and go, be claimed and be discredited. And you know what I’ve learned?

Paradigm shifts are shifts in consensus that come about when a theory has reached a critical mass of acceptance. Any idiot can claim their theory is going to be the next big one, but since nothing future is provable in the present, it’s a meaningless statement.

You know, you would think that with the Republican led government these past few years, the political pressure would be against Global Warming. Yet despite all that, Global Warming has become the dominant theory, answering a lot of tough questions in the meantime. The Consensus nuts as you call them, have won the consensus by hard work and reams of evidence.

But of course, you’ll probably tell me that it’s all just politics, that it’s a religion for the supporters, that in various ways, it’s all just a hoax and a sham.

It’s amazing how, despite all the evidence, despite one study after another supporting the theory, that remains your consistent answer, and without a solid theory to back it.

tomd-
better an ugly truck that works, than a pretty one with a bunch of spare parts under the hood. Quantum physicists constantly bemoan the mathematical approximations and jerry-rigging necessary to make the standard model work, but nonetheless the theory works marvellously, as your computer’s operation as a whole indicates.

So many sciences depend on that ugly truck of aof a theory. Nearly every other hard science touches upon it in some way. People want elegance in the theory, but despite that, it remains the standard, and it works.

Science isn’t always perfect, and models don’t always get things 100 percent right. But Science doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to improve on the last theory.

Unfortunately, some people have gotten the idea that science has to be godlike in its infallibility to be acceptable. No, we just have to do the best we can. If we wait for perfect, we wait forever. If we’re wrong, we can always correct ourselves.

At the very least, Global Warming theory calls us to be cautious, and to stop being so wasteful. It tells us to get off our butts and start looking for new technologies to power our society. There are various other reasons to do these same things, not the least of which is our nation’s security and energy independence. America has nothing to gain by timidly remaining with the status quo. The Japanese already beat us to hybrids. Should we let the next advance go to them too?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 11, 2007 8:52 PM
Comment #220136

Stephen,

You can’t even answer the first simple question I asked about your “ugly truck” you want to sell. If you want to be a good salesman, you have to be able to answer potential customers questions, In the meantime, I’ll keep my SUV.

Posted by: tomd at May 12, 2007 3:53 AM
Comment #220142

tomd-
Look, we know the CO2 is a greenhouse gas. We know that the amount of heat that’s remaining in the atmosphere, rather than radiating out into space has increased. We’ve eliminated alternative causes. Solar Irradiance couldn’t be it, because during the warming of the 80’s, it was on the low part of its cycle. Things would cool if that was the forcing. We don’t know what other system could be responsible for adding multiple parts per million yearly (an amount also measurede empirically). The system is behaving as the theory would say it would, with warmer nights, winters, high altitudes and high latitudes. We can tie the CO2 to us by establishing the age of the carbon within it by looking at the isotopes of the new carbon. We can also tie it to chemical signatures in the pollution that accompanies it.

Yet you’re asking me to sell you the theory. Do you want me to decieve you here, like a car salesman inventing some figure to keep a customer happy? I’ve essentially laid out why that figure is meaningless- it’s incredibly difficult to separate the warming we cause from the natural consequences of it.

For example, take the ice pack up North. Ice pack is shrinking in summer, to the point where there won’t be any summer ice one day. Well, the white ice reflects more than the dark ocean. The ocean absorbs more heat, melts more ice…

It’s a feedback loop. Some, like the melting ice, are positive, building on themselves. Some, like clouds created by warmth and humidity, can actually counteract themselves. The clouds can cool the ground by reflecting sunlight back. However, they can also trap heat, especially during night, where it blocks the reradiation of the heat.

Why am I telling you this, when you asked for a percentage? Because you’re treating the warming as if it’s some direct effect, as if we can just do a calculation, and bang! Get our answer. With the feedbacks, though, what’s happening is not unlike a small charge causing an avalanche. The charge doesn’t give most of the energy for the avalanche to roar down the hill, gravity does. But the charge knocks it lose.

We’re knocking loose and avalanche of changes, crossing thresholds that set arctic and antarctic ice to melt, droughts to become more frequent (releasing more greenhouse gases) Defrosting tundra with preserved peet (doing the same), raising the humidity (creating effects that go both ways), and generally changing this sensitive system of ours.

Asking for a percentage of the global warming we’re responsible for is like asking for the amount of the avalanche the charge is responsible for. But in either case, what we are doing as an artificial force in the environment is being amplified by the natural forces in the environment, and is also cause additional effects as we push the system over the crest of different tipping points.

The fear which you and Rahdigly call alarmism is justified fear at just what tipping points we’re crossing, as time goes on. At some point, we may not have to be responsible for any more warming for more warming to come of what we are responsible for. Like a person who’s set a boulder rolling down a hill, it would be out of our hands, propelled by natural forces.

Which is why my standard response to you, when asked what warming we are responsible for is: “all of it.” It’s not going to matter how much is just us, because the part that isn’t us is going to change based on what we’re doing. That’s going to make it all us.

Our lifestyles, or at least the lifestyles of our children, are really going to be crimped by this. Nothing about the history of climate change demonstrates it to be gentle or gradual.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 12, 2007 8:49 AM
Comment #220145

“Look, we know the CO2 is a greenhouse gas.”

No contest. I’ll concede that.

“We know that the amount of heat that’s remaining in the atmosphere, rather than radiating out into space has increased.”

Again, I’ll concede that.

“We’ve eliminated alternative causes.”

I’m not sure about that.

“Solar Irradiance couldn’t be it, because during the warming of the 80’s, it was on the low part of its cycle. Things would cool if that was the forcing.”

Then why is Mars going thru a similar warming phase now?

“We don’t know what other system could be responsible for adding multiple parts per million yearly (an amount also measurede empirically).”

We don’t know. And that seems to be the answer to my original question.

“The system is behaving as the theory would say it would, with warmer nights, winters, high altitudes and high latitudes.”

I imagine it is.

“We can tie the CO2 to us by establishing the age of the carbon within it by looking at the isotopes of the new carbon. We can also tie it to chemical signatures in the pollution that accompanies it.”

That’s beyond my scope of understanding, but not nearly enough to convince me to trade my SUV for an ugly truck.

“Yet you’re asking me to sell you the theory.”

I’m happy driving my SUV. YOU came to me to sell this ugly truck.

“Do you want me to decieve you here, like a car salesman inventing some figure to keep a customer happy?”

Of course not, but when you can’t answer my first question and even call it irrevelant, You sound like a high pressure used car salesman.

“I’ve essentially laid out why that figure is meaningless-“

You keep saying that, but to me it is very meaningful. First it reflects on your credability. We have bickered back and forth at least 20 times with me asking the same question. Every time you go into a multi paragraph explanation as to why it isn’t valid when the simple truth is…YOU DON’T KNOW. But, you keep pushing like the high pressure salesman. And the reason I asked the question in the first place and the main reason it’s important to me is if we are responsible for an increase of 2 degrees over the past 100 years and we manage to lower it thru technology and conservation, where do we stop? Is 2 degrees enough? If we don’t know how much is natural and how much is not, will we cause more damage than now?

“it’s incredibly difficult to separate the
warming we cause from the natural consequences of it.”

Maybe, But I think it’s important with the stakes involved. Don’t you?

” With the feedbacks, though, what’s happening is not unlike a small charge causing an avalanche. The charge doesn’t give most of the energy for the avalanche to roar down the hill, gravity does. But the charge knocks it lose.”

That’s a bad comparason because there isn’t a charge already in the snow pack, where there is already natural causes for warming.
To use your avalanche example, you would have to calculate how much additional weight would have to be applied over the area to trigger the avalanche. I think they can do that pretty accurately.

“The fear which you and Rahdigly call alarmism is justified fear at just what tipping points we’re crossing, as time goes on. At some point, we may not have to be responsible for any more warming for more warming to come of what we are responsible for. Like a person who’s set a boulder rolling down a hill, it would be out of our hands, propelled by natural forces.”

And yet your strongest proponants don’t follow their own advice. Look at Al Gore for example. If they don’t take it seriously, why should I?

Stephen, It’s still an ugly truck.


Posted by: tomd at May 12, 2007 10:16 AM
Comment #220187

tomd-
The point of my comment regarding warming in the 80’s is that the forcing from the CO2 was overriding the cooling effect from a drop in solar activity.

As I understand it, solar activity is increasing, so having both Mars and this Planet warming could be connected. Then again, though, Mars is another planet, and nowhere near as well understood.

When I said we don’t know what other system could be pumping so much greenhouse gases into the air, my point was that we have established that Humans are contributing more than most other sources to the CO2. Any excess CO2 is going to act to help the Earth retain more heat. One of the effects of more excess CO2 and other greenhouse gases is to stimulate processes elsewhere in nature that in turn produce additional greenhouse gases.

In regards to how the CO2 and Methane tie to us? Well, there are going to be certain chemicals that accompany CO2 from our tailpipes and smokestacks that don’t accompany CO2 from decay and other natural sources. In terms of the isotopes, it’s like radiocarbon dating. Living creatures take in Carbon 14. Burn such material, and it comes out with them. But let it sit for millions of years, heck just thousands, and it will decay into another element, Nitrogen 14. Because all our oil comes from very ancient sources, when we burn those hydrocarbons, a lack of Carbon 14 in those gases should be apparent. That lack has shown up.

Meaning, it’s coming from us, because we’re the only ones burning this stuff in such large amounts. We account for about 40% of all emissions, and much of the rest is coming from processes that our share is putting in motion.

How much warming is coming from us? Well, this is a dynamic system, not just in behavior, but in form. It’s changing because of the excess greenhouse gases, and many of these changes are potentially permanent, at least on our time scales. If the glaciers in Greenland melt, given the fact that they’re hangovers from the last Ice age, even if they come back somewhat in our lifetime, they will never be what they once where. Greenland’s glaciers, in turn, have an affect on the world’s weather. With them gone, things change.

Whatever happens, it’s likely the planet will be permanently warmer, at least on our timescale. The Earth’s climate is metastable- it’s not got just one position of equilibrium. It’s unlikely that we have the technology to really cool the planet at this point.

What we do have the capability to do, with fairly simple means, is to reach an equilibrium, to stop handing the planet more CO2 than it can absorb and sequester. We do know what the planet’s temperature has been like, so we do know how far the climate’s departed from the standard baseline.

As for avalanches? They don’t always know. To predict an avalanche, you have to know more than just snow mass, you’ve got to know how the different layers of snow are put together. They can’t always get up on the slopes to find out. Often, their efforts are aimed at pre-emptively causing them before they get to big. They still happen a lot, even in modern times.

Science has not gotten nature as figured out as the popular media would like you to believe.

The evidence for this is strong. It’s politics that’s making it look so uncertain, politics which is feeding the bad science to people. That’s what really offends me. Rahdigly’s playing paradigmatic martyr, though he can’t get a solid theory out there. He tells me that I’m discredited because this one scientists says the models underestimate the sensitivity of the environment to greenhouse gases. Yet he comes around and tries to say that the same system is insensitive to such factors.

You come across and concede that greenhouse gas emissions are making the planet warmer. But then you point to Al Gore and say he’s a hypocrite because his house uses a lot of power. Never mind that he buys his power from a company that does renewable energy, and that he takes active measures to reduce his power needs. Tell me, how does this contradict any scientific evidence? It’s not even a logically valid argument. It’s an ad hominem attack, that even if true, would not do one thing to invalidate all the science that supports global warming.

The implication, of course, is that Al Gore isn’t truly convinced of what he’s selling. The question, then would be, even if Al Gore is not convinced, why are all these climate scientists convinced? Well, then, people talk about politics. But which way has politics been pushing things? If politics were the driving force, we would see reports backing the consensus of the dominant party. There would be little profit in opposing the political leadership of this country, unless the science was good.

What’s really ugly to me is that this concept, which has gone from being an interesting theory to being a dominant, consensus position in my lifetime, is not given the credence it’s earned. If it’s wrong then it’s stock will fall, and something else will take it’s place. But in the absence of that, why are we basing our policies around outdated, disproven notions of climate?

Doesn’t matter what coat of paint you put on that truck, that’s what’s ugly to me: artificially generated controversy. The very fact that they have to appeal outside the discipline and outside the science should be a red flag to their notion’s lack of validity. If they could prove it, they would. But they’re not.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 12, 2007 9:33 PM
Comment #220190

The trucks still too ugly. Goodnite.

Posted by: tomd at May 12, 2007 9:59 PM
Comment #220198

The truck looks ugly because all the people who like the fact that you’re buying the SUV are tossing mud on it and keying the doors. These are people who repeat these easily debunked myths about greenhouse gases having no effect, no warming taking place or other things, just so people will take these up from their trusted sources as truth.

And why? So politicians can ignore yet another problem that requires them to make tought choices, especially ones involving campaign contributors. They call it a religion so the presumption starts that we’re being irrational about this. They talk about politics so the near universal consensus on the matter looks like a surpressed debate. They talk about the lifestyles of advocates and make off the cuff claims about them to discredit them.

What they do not do is ground their criticism in any solid scientific theory. That is the red flag for me. Why should I buy that, knowing what I know?

Even small temperature changes can have huge effects. The forcings from the Solar variations and the Milankovitch wobbles of Earth’s orbit, both skeptic favorites are mere fraction of a Watt difference per square meter. Yet the system amplifies the small differences immensely.

Our excess ia about 1.8 watts a square meter. You think a system that reacts to orbits and radiance of the sun will just ignore us?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 13, 2007 12:20 AM
Comment #220209

“The truck looks ugly because all the people who like the fact that you’re buying the SUV are tossing mud on it and keying the doors.”

I see the same comming from both sides. Don’t you?

“These are people who repeat these easily debunked myths about greenhouse gases having no effect, no warming taking place or other things, just so people will take these up from their trusted sources as truth.”

And yet when questions come up they are deemed “irrevelant”. Or not answered.

“And why? So politicians can ignore yet another problem that requires them to make tought choices, especially ones involving campaign contributors.”

Politicians are a small minority of the people who are skeptical about this.

“They call it a religion so the presumption starts that we’re being irrational about this.”

The comparisons aren’t too much of a stretch with the UN report and AN INCONVIENENT TRUTH beint the bibles.

“They talk about politics so the near universal consensus on the matter looks like a surpressed debate.”

Are you too blind to see a political agenda from the left on this?

“They talk about the lifestyles of advocates and make off the cuff claims about them to discredit them.”

You don’t think their lifestyles are relevant, yet mine is?

“What they do not do is ground their criticism in any solid scientific theory. That is the red flag for me. Why should I buy that, knowing what I know?”

And your side won’t or can’t answer questions. You have thrown up as many red flags for me. Why should I buy that?

“Even small temperature changes can have huge effects. The forcings from the Solar variations and the Milankovitch wobbles of Earth’s orbit, both skeptic favorites are mere fraction of a Watt difference per square meter. Yet the system amplifies the small differences immensely.

Our excess ia about 1.8 watts a square meter. You think a system that reacts to orbits and radiance of the sun will just ignore us?”

Washing the truck with dirty water won’t make it pretty.

Posted by: tomd at May 13, 2007 6:11 AM
Comment #220211

tomd-
Religions, political agendas- what do these mean on the facts? We are creating an excess amount of heat absorption for ever square meter on this planet, a planet that previously has reacted strongly to much smaller differences in radiant energy. A difference of .7 watts was sufficient to dessicate the Sahara, making a desert out of a grassland. Other small differences put us in the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age.

The propensity to make every issue purely a political dispute has been part of what has devastated the right politically. You’re more worried about the influence of the left than you are of the influence of greenhouse gases. Well, the left you could defeat in a decade or two, maybe more. This warming, both the potential and the the already guaranteed warming, will not go away anytime soon. Which do you think more important: parochial politics, or the fate of our civilization? It really is that big.

Gore’s lifestyle is supplemented by his efforts on behalf of green causes. People on the right like you are trained to think of people like me as hypocrites by nature, so you jump on things like high energy usage without asking who he pays for his power. You equate usage with carbon emissions, but if the means of generation employed on his behalf is renewable, he could use twice that and still not increase CO2 emissions. Gore lives in a mansion, and those take a lot of energy to run. That said, he’s installing solar panels. Now for the unavoidable expenses of flights and transportations, which for reasons of our current technological state are powered by fossil fuels, Gore’s company pays for offsets.

Now, I know there’s been a kerfluffle over that, so understand this: Gore does not sell them. His company only buys them. His company looks for other companies that take a greener outlook with their business.

Now why would people be so quick to jump to conclusions, even lie about Al Gore? Because they wish to discredit him. Why would they wish to do so? Because many people, politically powerful folks, have vested interests in industries that would become obsolete or increasingly irrelevant, should we move to new technologies.

If these people can’t or won’t even get their facts right on Al Gore, why should you trust them to get them right on global Warming? That reflects either an exaggerated political zeal, or a cynicism that justifies that much more care be taken with what they say and why.

It’s funny that I make an argument with scientific figures, and a factual question and you say that I’m “washing my truck with dirty water” I would think those questions would take precedence. If past climate change required so little stimulus from natural sources and forcings, why should it require so much more from us? If climate is that sensitive, then there is a true scientifice reason out there for you to change your lifestyle. And it doesn’t have to be as painful as you think. A mere change in the electrical system could make your SUV get more than 40MPG.

The real truth is, we could profit and profit well by this change. Our costs? Well, one guy did the calculations to see how much it would cost to make our industry more environmentally friendly. They found that given the assumptions of the economists saying that dealing with global warming would be a financial problem, we would end up reaching the same level of wealth just two years later than otherwise.

We have a lot to lose from Global Warming, and a lot to gain by being the leaders on the new technology. If you look at how well we have prospered based on computer and software technology, you’ll see the gains that being such a leader can get us. There will be demand for that new technology, and we can either profit from it, or let somebody else do so.

I would rather we reduce our environmental risk with a little economic risk for profit on both fronts in the long run, rather than increase our risk in the long term for the sake of avoiding inconveniences in the short.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 13, 2007 8:32 AM
Comment #220313

Gore got caught being an energy hypocrite. Live with it. So now he’s making all sorts of moves to “come clean”. Sorry, you can’t buy your way out of massive use of carbon, Gore. But when you don’t believe your own message, when you use the environment as a tool to gain political power and personal fame, then this is what you wind up with, blow hards with multiple planes, mansions, etc telling us that we need to live smaller lives and fly less.

We need nuclear power. France saw that, and they like to brag about how good for the environment their nation is. But the nuts in la la land preach to us that the true path is in going backwards, paying high taxes, living smaller lives…now in using a source of energy like nuclear power that works now and could vastly reduce our carbon emissions and green house gases.

The radicals on the left want us to accept socialism and liberalism along with massive taxes as the true way to save the planet.

Posted by: StephenL at May 14, 2007 5:45 PM
Comment #220395

StephenL-
In this society, you can’t turn on a television in most places without using a bunch of carbon emissions. Currently there’s few workable alternatives in terms of transportation on the ground or in the sky. That’s the problem, really.

Gore believes his own message, which is why he invests in green technologies and programs(essentially what Carbon Offsets are). Whether it’s true that this all replaces the greenhouse gases he’s been producing is debateable, however, it does indicate that he and his company are willing to put their money where their mouths are. If that is how you define hypocrisy, then it’s not a subject I need advice from you on.

Nuclear Power carries its own risks, it’s own issues, and the plants are very expensive to construct. I wouldn’t mind moderate employment of them to offset carbon emissions, but I would just as soon we develop renewable capacity that is safer and cheaper

As for the political agenda? If the Right continues to neglect their obligations towards facing our environmental problems, then it will only be natural to see forward moving environmental policy be more centrist and leftward in its alignment. You can’t shape policy when you won’t acknowledge the problem.

If you don’t want Environmental Policy to be the reserve of Liberals, Democrats and others, then step up to the plate and take a swing. As long as Republicans remain apologists for polluters and deniers of good science, the rest of the country is going to have to take up the slack for them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 15, 2007 7:45 AM
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