Democrats & Liberals Archives

Bush's Approach to Climate Change

President George W. Bush makes speeches about the need to reduce our dependence on oil and then hems and haws about increasing fuel efficiency and developing alternate sources of energy. He joins a challenge to the Clean Air Act saying that greenhouse gas emissions are not pollution. When the Supreme Court rules that greenhouse gases are pollution and must be regulated, he acts.

Or perhaps not. Maybe he is acting to avoid real action.

In the news I read:

Using the grandeur of the White House Rose Garden to draw attention to his unscheduled announcement, Bush said he took the action to meet his stated goal of reducing vehicle gasoline use by 20% over 10 years.

What did he actually do?

He ordered federal agencies to define the threat caused by carbon dioxide emissions and evaluate responses by the end of 2008. Bush leaves office in January 2009.

Six weeks after the Supreme Court ordered the government to regulate fossil fuel emissions, Bush asks federal agencies for evaluations to be submitted to him when he is about to leave office. This is action? This is another example of King George showing his disdain for the high court - and for everybody else in the government that disagrees with him.

Worse. Bush is trying to sabotage states that have stricter anti-pollution rules than the EPA:

Under federal law, only California is allowed to pass its own air pollution laws, but it must obtain a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency. After California receives permission, other states can follow. The state submitted a waiver request for its landmark vehicle emissions law in December 2005. Eleven other states have adopted similar laws.

"We are concerned that this is a recipe for delay of our waiver and denial of our waiver," said Linda Adams, secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency. "We are concerned that this is a stalling tactic."

Making the Clean Air Act a real law with teeth is of utmost importance. How on earth can we fight to reduce global warming if we can't even enforce environmental laws we have already passed? We must get Republican leaders - he disregards Democrats entirely - to influence him to control fossil fuel emissions.

How about increasing the average auto-miles per gallon of gas to 30 miles per gallon in 3 years and to 60 miles per gallon in 10 years? This is both necessary and doable. And it is in the interest of American auto manufacturers that the EPA do this: It will force American car manufacturers to build more efficient cars and thus sell more cars. If they try hard enough they may even beat Toyota at the efficiency game.

Climate change is rapidly becoming the number one problem for the president and for auto manufacturers. We must lean on them for immediate action!

Posted by Paul Siegel at May 15, 2007 8:30 PM
Comments
Comment #220471

Paul

Carbon tax solves many problems.

Personally, I think the big 3 are doomed to shrink. Toyota and others are building cars in America too. They employ American workers and use American materials. I do not have any particular loyalty to GM. They should have managed better.

I get 44 miles to the gallon now (really not that misleading sticker). You can buy such a car now and an even more efficient one next year. You do not have to wait for government permission.

Posted by: Jack at May 15, 2007 9:05 PM
Comment #220475

Bush’s plan is simple, more American drilling anywhere and everywhere oil can be found in and around the U.S., wildlife refuges or coastal views be damned. He wants nuclear power plants to be fast tracked. He wants a coal fired plant near every metropolis where a nuclear plant isn’t.

In other words, stay the course. Everything else he speaks of is just tossing the dog a bone. !!!

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 15, 2007 10:02 PM
Comment #220476

Nuclear power is by far the ONLY current power source that can come close to fixing our current problem. Fewer people have been killed by nuclear power that any other form of power. Solar and wind are 20 or more years way. So we NEED nuclear power now. Not 20 years from now which appears to be what you all want.

Posted by: David at May 15, 2007 10:36 PM
Comment #220489

I disagree to the original post simply because of the fact that Bush is taking action in the right direction in regards to the reduction of carbon dioxide emmissions. At least he is halfway attempting to keep his promise on this one issue.

Also, forcing American car manufacturers to build more fuel efficient cars will not necessarly generate better sales for these types of cars. The current and longstanding trend is that if you have even one kid then you are probably driving a SUV. There is still an unbelieveble amount of Americans that are so wrapped up in their Starbucks and H2 or Esclades to care less about global warming. They would rather die than purchase a ‘sissy’ car like a Hybrid.

Posted by: Laura at May 16, 2007 2:50 AM
Comment #220491

Laura,

FYI, there is no reason, what-so-ever, that an H2 or Escalade can’t meet a 30MPG standard.

-Dutch_expat

Posted by: Dutch_expat at May 16, 2007 4:49 AM
Comment #220492

I drive a 2 litre engined car, with 200 bhp. It’s top speed is wildly over the limit, and it’s acceleration is 0 - 60 in 7.2 seconds. It gives me about 30 mpg around town, and will easily do 40 - 45 on the open road, assuming I drive it reasonably. Why do Americans need 3, 4 and 5 litre engined cars? Of course this is something that Europeans could be asked also, but to a much lesser extent. RV’s for most of those who own them, are hugely over engineered, and will seldom, if ever by put to the uses they were largely designed for. The problem here is that people are seduced by manufacturers to buy aspirational vehicles which often have no real practical advantage. Now if that’s not waste, what the he…..ck is?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at May 16, 2007 4:49 AM
Comment #220493

Laura said:
“At least he is halfway attempting to keep his promise on this one issue.”

Would it bother you if the emergency room doctor only “halfway” attempted to save your life?

-Dutch_expat

Posted by: Dutch_expat at May 16, 2007 4:59 AM
Comment #220498

I would like to think W is bringing the repubs to the table in slow baby steps due to the fact they, by and large, have been the nay sayers against anything environmental for so long. It takes time to undue the brain washing of the previous decades.
However because of his reputation of being fast and loose with the truth I have no trust in him and can also see this as just another delaying tatic he is want to use on so many issues.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 16, 2007 8:47 AM
Comment #220499

The environment is just another toy our comode-in-thief has left broken far longer than we can afford. The Iraq stupidity is another. Cheney/Bush has decided he doesn’t want to play war anymore, and is assigning a ‘war tsar/czar’ to take over his commander-in-chief responsibilities. Just one more stake into the heart of our constitution. If he can delay action on improving CO2 emissions, his crones in the oil industry have more time to cheat the public, increase net profits and get a foot in the door on renewable fuels.

Posted by: Marysdude at May 16, 2007 9:25 AM
Comment #220505
“It takes time to undue the brain washing of the previous decades.”

Yeah, I hear you brainwashing; however, it’s not with the Bush Admin, it’s with the Man-made global warming “Consensus” crap. Check it out:
Climate Momentum Shifting: Prominent Scientists Reverse Belief in Man-made Global Warming - Now Skeptics. They are putting down the Kool-aid and not falling “prey” to the fear tactics of the “man-made” global warming (religious) fanatics. :-)

Posted by: rahdigly at May 16, 2007 10:50 AM
Comment #220536

Six scientists change their minds. *gasp* hand me my heart medication. Oh, that’s right, I don’t take any.

Jan Veizer’s Cosmic ray theory is not generally accepted. The idea of this is that increased cosmic rays create more cloud formation, causing cooling. Trouble is, those figures may not have much of a clear basis in observed reality. A great deal of their information concerning cloud cover can be explained by the position of satellites. Additionally, this is a theory that’s Hardly been tested, and which has several glaring problems.

The trouble with Ian Clark’s cloud position being the one to win is the extreme difficulty in nailing back what roles the clouds play in feedbacks. They form unpredictably, and disappear over very short timescales. There’s a question as to whether they’d be more persistent in a warmed world, or whether they’d blow or rain themselves out faster.

Patterson may know his stuff on certain parts of climate, but there is a marked correlation between Atmospheric CO2 and temperature. What confounds this is that the relationship is not linear, and CO2 has not been acting alone. The Milankovich cycles and other natural variabilities have added to the mix. Nothing about changes to the Earth’s orbit and rotation, nor solar variation, nor the bevy of feedbacks and natural shifts in Earth’s heat distribution stops or invalidates the workings of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. It just changes the results of the warming. Climate is an emergent system, a sum of interactions where different parts can be sensitive to changes in the others. pump in more solar radiation, and the warming might open up some ocean from its ice. That might in turn thaw some permafrost, which releases CO2. Then the CO2 would amplify the solar variation, and the effects would wash back over the system. Some effects would work against it, some towards it.

In my survey of the science, little has indicated to me that the scientist are ignoring radiative forcings, or complications in the relationship between greenhouse gases and climate.

The skeptics, though, tend to ignore an awful lot. Many of their claims rely on data that turns out to be questionable, or misinterpreted. A great number of the people you push as skeptics are not even dealing with their actual field of study. The theories that they are gravitating around have not been half as well tested as the theory for anthropogenic warming.

What’s interesting to me is that you appeal to a political source for your science. Furthermore, It also seems that you and the person you’re sourcing seem to be willing to extrapolate a tidal wave of change from just a few ripples of dissent. You get your hopes up a little too fast in my opinion. You got a ways to go, and a lot of work to do before you crown yourselves triumphant.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 16, 2007 2:33 PM
Comment #220546

Well, well, well. Stephen, I understand it’s from the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works; however, the source quoted “scientists” not politicians. And, if you read the article thoroughly, you would have seen this comment:

“The list below is just the tip of the iceberg. A more detailed and comprehensive sampling of scientists who have only recently spoken out against climate hysteria will be forthcoming in a soon to be released U.S. Senate report. Please stay tuned to this website, as this new government report is set to redefine the current climate debate. In the meantime, please review the list of scientists below and ask yourself why the media is missing one of the biggest stories in climate of 2007.”

Posted by: rahdigly at May 16, 2007 3:24 PM
Comment #220551

It’s from Senator Inhofe’s office, and I responded to the science above. If uncertainty is your problem then you should be more skeptical of their theory than you are of those who support anthropogenic global warming, because AGW supporters have tons of testing and science done on the subject.

If your problem is consistency, note the differences in their positions. Some believe CO2 plays a role, others don’t, some believe its cosmic rays bombarding the atmosphere, creating ions and affecting cloud cover. Have they even established a diminishment of cloud-cover to begin with, much less all the other science to verify the claims and implications? No.

It also strikes me as somewhat absurd that you can accept the small forcings of solar variation as a cause for climate change, this inordinately complex theory of cosmic ray driven cloud formation and global climate change, and yet you find CO2 driven climate forcing to be pseudoscience.

Science is about separating what we would like to believe from what there is proof for believing. Scientists have managed to do much of the separation of pleasant fantasy from hard science with global warming, working out much of the kinks and contradictions. These other theories have not been testeds so much, or have not fared as well in examination. I’ve linked you and others to information as to what the science is on the matter.

There are any number of steps that proponents of the Cosmic Ray theory have not established, or dealt with. They’re extrapolating this whole global thing from some experiments in a laboratory under pure conditions. The proponents do not account for the fact that there is plenty of other material in the lower troposphere to form clouds. They also don’t establish how the ultrafine particles produced by that nucleation conglomerate large enough to become the basis of cloud formation. Even then, they’d have to demonstrate the difference.

The reason to be this careful should be obvious, since correlation does not equal causation. If you’re dealing with a decline in solar output, you’re dealing with a decline in radiative forcing as well, so you have more than one explanation for the cooling.

Of course, only one explanation can truly fit, so such ambiguity presents problems. Influences either need to be eliminated, or shown to work in some kind of relationship. Even if Cosmic Ray theory has some merit, that’s still no guarantee that greenhouse gases do not play a role.

In the meantime, your scientists have a lot left to prove. Why are you asking us to jump ship on the current mainstream theory without having a proven alternative to support that decision?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 16, 2007 4:51 PM
Comment #220631

Stephen,

“Science is about separating what we would like to believe from what there is proof for believing.”

Exactly! So, prove that humans are (actually) causing Global Warming! Show hard, scientific proof; not a “consensus”!!!

Posted by: rahdigly at May 17, 2007 9:00 AM
Comment #220651

Rah, if you wait for me to prove that the gun pointed at your head is loaded, you could be dead before realizing the proof.

Nuff said. Climate Science is all about probability theory, and the probability is high and significant that we are contributing to global climate change. Let’s not wait for the gun to go off before acting on the possibility that it could be loaded, eh?

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 17, 2007 1:46 PM
Comment #220671

Rahdigly-
We’ve shown plenty of hard scientific proof. That’s why there’s a consensus. The experts you’re pointing to have jumped the gun, and have nowhere near the research or the detail that the mainstream theory on Global warming theory has.

The Cosmic ray theory deserves some consideration, but not to be lifted up on a pedestal as gospel truth before it has been tested, challenged, worked out, the way the Greenhouse Gas theory has been.

When you’re so quick to favor a poorly researched, poorly backed theory like that, how can you criticize global warming, with its decades of research as poorly founded? When you favor a theory that says cosmic rays, of all things, change the weather, how can you cast aspersions at Global Warming theory when it’s agent is known quite solidly to be a greenhouse gas, in fact has been since the 1800’s?

The reality is, you’re looking for any explanation but CO2. You’re quibbling, or trying to inspire folks to put political pressure to bear against it. Politics is all too often about people getting what they want, and often, that’s regardless of whether they should really get it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 17, 2007 8:44 PM
Comment #220702

Stephen,

It’s STILL an UGLY truck. We aren’t buying it.

Your science is beginning to crumble like the bondo over the rust on the fender.

Posted by: tomd at May 18, 2007 3:24 AM
Comment #220711

Stephen and David,

Neither one of you “proved” it; nor did you show scientific proof. A “Consensus” is not enough to change the entire lifestyles of nations; science must prove it first. There was a “consensus” that believed the Earth was flat; then it was “proven” it wasn’t. Einstein proved E=MC2; he did not have a “consensus”, he proved it.


Either prove it or stop wasting everyone’s time. I suggest some of you go to your local church, pick up a spirituality book, or (hell) get some peyote; b/c this “man-made” global warming “religion” is not the way to go. ;-)

Posted by: rahdigly at May 18, 2007 8:29 AM
Comment #220721

tomd-
The science isn’t crumbling. The ocean around the Antarctic has gotten saturated with CO2, eliminating one of the big carbon sinks in our environment, and they’ve found masses of ice that have melted and refrozen. Scientists are finding the greenland glaciers are melting at a faster pace than anticipated, thanks to holes in the ice that reach all the way to the bottom, letting meltwater flow under it.

Natural levels have risen by about a hundred parts per million. We’re putting more CO2 up than Volcanoes do, and on a escalating basis. The research backs this almost universally. The logic behind much of the contrarianism is twisted. They can’t decide whether there’s a consensus, blamed on political pressure, or whether they want to make it look like it’s not by exaggerating the value of lists of scientists of which most are outside the field. They attack the science as weak by putting science that is even weaker up on a pedestal.

I always find it bothersome when contrarians go all over the place in order to argue against something. The absence of a clear set of facts, a clear theory uniting even the arguments of single contrarians like Inhofe and Rahdigly indicates one of two things: Either these people don’t know what they’re talking about well enough to take a solid position, or they don’t care to. One person says the warming isn’t happening, despite records to the opposite. Another one cites satellite data that turns out to have been improperly calibrated. Another cites a theory far more uncertain than the one its supposed to succeed. Everybody’s hammering on the notion that this current consensus is set to give way to the contrarian’s viewpoint, but they can hardly agree on what this is.

You talk about global warming theory being an ugly truck, but have you looked at the train wrecks around it? This is science by rhetoric, science by endless, logically inconsistent quibbling, rather than directed inquiry. More importantly, these are questions that have been answered in many ways, in many places, and evidence is beginning to build up indicating that the system is far more sensitive than we previously thought.

When is enough going to be enough? There’s always going to be some guy who disagrees with the consensus. There are always going to be theories out there whose proponents believe are right. If you wait for everybody to get on board, especially when the vast majority is on board, you might have to wait forever to act.

And then what? This is a time sensitive problem. I’m sorry if that tramples on your political viewpoints, or if it scares you that some sort of Liberal political influence might come of it, but as long as the right wing continues to blindly flail at the consensus, it will not have an effective role in keeping the policy palatable to conservatives.

Rahdigly-
Einstein could have been wrong. The consensus was by no means foreordained. You’ve got this notion of scientist pouring beakers and viles of bubbly colored liquid between each other and individually going “aha!” and discovering something. That’s not how it happens. Einstein’s first nobel prize was for the Photoelectric effect, and the theory of photons that explains it. Only after demonstrated effects of the implications of this theory showed up did we see Einstein’s relativity, both special and general, take center stage.

Science isn’t wise men suddenly coming up with brilliant explanation out of the blue. Even Einstein had people whose work he built on. Global warming has not come to consensus by simply being politically popular. Hell, the Republican congress and this recent president have done everything to surpress it, and many governments have worked to soften the portrayal of warming because of their economic reliance on fossil fuels. Many of the contrarian take paychecks from these industries, which have something to lose themselves if people stop burning so much of their product.

Yet even then, it’s been a difficult theory to back down. Scientists, even in the early days, could do hindcasts, running past information through their models to see if things developed as they did in the real world. They did, at least in a general sense. As the technology has improved and the models become more detailed, the picture has not deviated.

If the science was soft, we would see wild departures from known conditions That’s not what we’re seeing. The predictions of the models are lining up with what’s happening now. The biggest problem with the model is that it might underestimate the sensitivity of the climate, which means time is of the essence.

It’s your side that’s wasting time, by using political and economic pressures to stall our response to this emerging problem. In all things, a stitch in time saves nine, and I promise you it will be far less expensive to go green, and far less damaging to our ability to function than the consequences of global warming, as it would occur if we let things go on as they are now.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 18, 2007 10:41 AM
Comment #220722

Oh, and about consensus: Einstein’s consensus around E=MC2 brought us modern particle physics and the ability to artificially create nuclear reactions, which is of course what has given us the nuclear bomb and nuclear powerplants. I hardly think either product of scientific consensus had a small effect on the lifestyles of your average American.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 18, 2007 10:44 AM
Comment #220724

rahdigly, fight science all you want while you partake of its vast wealth and products. They hypocrisy is self-evident as you drive your car, use velcro straps, consume nuclear generated electricity, and update your immunizations.

You also benefit immensely from the soft sciences (probability sciences) where proof is impossible, like economic theory, social sciences which have designed all manner of consumer products for greater safety an convenience despite ample anecdotal evidence that for some, hot coffee isn’t hot until you spill it in your lap and sue McDonalds.

The hypocrisy is overwhelming. I can’t prove to a 10 year old that farting gremlins aren’t what cause the pistons to go up and down in my car engine either. But, surely by the time that 10 year old is 20, they will believe gasoline and electricity are what make the pistons move, though he will never reside inside a cylinder to see for himself.

Some horses just won’t drink despite dying of thirst and being led to water. That’s fine. A minority who don’t follow the crowd is also a part of evolution of the human species and accounts for a great deal of innovation, tested and verified by “consensus of peers”.

Though I can’t prove it, I believe with all my life’s experience, that if Bush and the Republicans had been first to promote man’s contributions to global climate change and advocated changed behavior to offset the risks it entails, you would be arguing the other side. That is what is truly sad about party loyalists regardless of which party they belong to. Loyalty trumps reason. We see it everyday here, it is a very commonplace event in America. Though less so with each passing generation thank Buddha.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 18, 2007 11:23 AM
Comment #220733

Stephen & David,

This isn’t about a “consensus”; this is about science. Science is about theory & hypothesis, data gathering, and then “PROVING” those theories correct. You two want to go around saying that “consensus” is enough; well, I have to reiterate what Tomd said: “It’s an UGLY truck. We aren’t buying it.”

Once again, pick a different religion; b/c this “man-made” global warming (“consensus”) hysteria just isn’t cutting it; their fear and neglect of (true) science will be debunked when the people are given the facts.

Posted by: rahdigly at May 18, 2007 12:41 PM
Comment #220757

Rahdigly-
This is about a scientific consensus, reached by theory and hypothesis, data gathering, and the proving of theories. You just choose to dismiss all that evidence as the result of political bias in the system. Therefore, it’s next to impossible to meet your standards, on your terms. If it’s right, you dismiss it as part of this liberal conspiracy to distort the science. If it’s not right, you declare the future death of the theory as the dominant consensus.

If it’s some alternative theory, you instantly place it on a pedestal, or offer it as disproof of global warming, without even following up on what people actually found out. You talk about data, but you never look for it. You talk about theories, but it doesn’t seem like you bother to figure out what they would mean. You take fringe theories at face value, even as you’re trying to prove that Global Warming is fringe itself.

Consensus is not enough, true. But we’re not relying on a consensus alone. We’re relying on the consensus as it is supported by the bulk of the data and the experiments, and the models used by mainstream science.

You’re inverting the truth of the matter, taking one of the most thoroughly studied phenomena in climate science, with years worth of studies, with all the data, models, and scientific inquiry attached, and trying to replace it with fringe theories which have yet to have justified themselves in data and experiment. You’ve ressurrected questions already answered by the science, and are trying to pass them off, even now, as discrepancies and possibilities.

This isn’t skepticism, it’s active denial in the face of overwhelming evidence, that most scientists have accepted. You can lecture me on the science, but I know the science, and it doesn’t seem to me you understand what you’re dealing with.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 18, 2007 3:24 PM
Comment #220768

You are the one “choosing” to deny the scientist and their data & hypothesis’; that is why they are skeptical of “man-made” global warming. Yet, you will have nothing to do with that. If they’re against the “consensus” then they are not good enough for you; they don’t know what they are talking about. The fact is the earth has had global warming plenty of times in its’ history, way before man and SUV’s. But, you don’t want to hear that or admit to it. Suits you. This consensus hasn’t proven anything except to scare the people and try and tax them and change their lifestyles; all without hard, scientific proof. And, when they are confronted in a debate; the skeptics beat the alarmist hands down. Yet, you’ll downplay that and say “it doesn’t prove anything”. Next, there are many scientists that prove otherwise and you say “oh there are only a dozen saying that”.

Don’t worry though Stephen, you will realize that the IPCC and Gore and his junk scientist will be proven to be nothing but hot air. It’s a scare campaign to get you to “bow down to the alter”.

Not buying it!

Posted by: rahdigly at May 18, 2007 5:38 PM
Comment #220820

“You talk about global warming theory being an ugly truck, but have you looked at the train wrecks around it?”

“I have heard rumors and predictions of those train wrecks, but PROVE my SUV is the cause before you try to MAKE me buy that UGLY truck.

“This is science by rhetoric, science by endless, logically inconsistent quibbling, rather than directed inquiry.”

So far I have aked one question. HOW MUCH OF THE INCREASE OF TEMPERATURE RISE OF THE PAST 100 YEARS ARE HUMANS RESPONSIBLE FOR?”

That’s not rhetoric, and seems kind of direct to me.

“More importantly, these are questions that have been answered in many ways, in many places,”

You haven’t answered it yet. You have written enough in your response to the question to damn near fill a book, but you haven’t answered it. You have said the question is irrelevant and gone to great lengths to convince me that it’s not so when two words would answer. 1 degree, two degrees. The truth is, you DON’T KNOW. That is a basic question, the first I thought of. It IS relevant to me.

“and evidence is beginning to build up indicating that the system is far more sensitive than we previously thought.”

Then your side better get busy finding hard PROOF.

“Don’t you BUY no ugly truck.”

Posted by: tomd at May 19, 2007 6:30 AM
Comment #220827

Rahdigly-
Look, the scientists you like either aren’t experts in that field, or are putting forward theories that aren’t well worked out or studied at this point. This isn’t first grade, where everybody gets an award.

You’re proceeding from the argument that these people know better than the folks you disagree with, but science is not so simple as that, and that is why I don’t buy your argument. Their theories have not been established with near the detail and understanding that Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emmissions have. With the Cosmic ray theory, nobody knows whether those ultrafine aggregates are being created in the troposphere, much less how they accumulate to the point of being able to nucleate cloud condensation, or how this fits into the nucleation we know all the dust, aerosols and sea salt does already. In short, these people can’t tell us how Cosmic Rays would make the difference.

No such problem exists with Greenhouse gas warming. The basic mechanism is well understood, and has been known about for over a century. It’s undisputed fact that CO2 and Methane help to keep our atmosphere warmer than it already is. We know there’s been a historically unprecedented rise in CO2 in the last century and half. The uncertainty has been in how the climate responds to that, and how the climate’s response leads it to change further.

Global warming does not have to be either artificial or natural. The distinction is mostly what’s bringing the Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere, not how it subsequently responds. Like I’ve said before, the climate doesn’t care where the greenhouse gases come from. It just balances the books accordingly. There is a documented worldwide contribution of over 8 gigatons a year. We’re outpacing volcanos with our contribution. Recall that volcanoes were what drove that 1000 plus ppm level in the Cretaceous, so we’re doing some serious increases to compete with that.

As for the costs? According to this article, a study by the British Government concluded that it will cost 9 trillion dollars to deal with the consequences of global warming, and maybe one twenty of that, one percent of the World’s GDP, the same amount spent on advertising, to do something about it.

The hard scientific proof is there. I’ve shown you a great deal of it. I haven’t been just telling you these things arbitrarily, I’ve been offering facts and explanations. There is hard scientific proof that temperature has risen over the past century, hard scientific proof that at least 40% of the increase every year is ours, and a great deal of circumstantial evidence of just how sensitive our climate may be to all this. The predictive power of Anthropogenic global warming theory has been tested, and what it’s predicted so far has turned out mostly correct. If the IPCC is wrong about anything, it’s being too conservative about the speed at which we may be losing the Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheets.

We’re seeing the South seas of this planet saturated with CO2, not just now, but since 1981. We’re seeing Ice melting in the middle of Antarctica in summer. We’re seeing the planet retaining more heat, and measureably so. We’re seeing melting in places that haven’t seen it since the last ice age. There’s hard proof out there that something’s happening. You’re just not looking for it.

You’re too wrapped up in a dogma that says it couldn’t possibly be people doing this. You’re ignoring all the studies and the measurements and the real data that have confirmed these things because they don’t fit into your world view of a climate that is indifferent to our influence. That seems to be the only common link to all over your arguments. Seen scientifically, it’s a grab bag, and your position changes with every article you cite.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 19, 2007 11:51 AM
Comment #220836

tomd-
In answer the question I have to consider, does the weather act proportionately to inputs? No, it’s exceedingly nonlinear. The Butterfly Effect is a shorthand for just how disproportionate cause and effect can be in such a system.

Climate change is also contingent. A few degrees cooling turned the Sahara from grassland to desert, but it didn’t do so gradually, but rather in a matter of decades. There’s evidence that the end of one Ice age came with in a single year. Climate researchers are finding that Earth’s climate typically goes warm and cold, but doesn’t really mess with anything in between.

Carbon emissions are also persistent, at least as far as CO2 goes. Part of the reason we have this problem is that our rate of emissions is overloading earth’s capacity to fold the CO2 back into the system, out of the atmosphere. Think of it as filling a tank of water that slowly drains. Global warming is not a penalty for a share of greenhouse gas emissions or any other behavior, it’s a result of our putting the emissions up there faster than they can be taken out. The percentage of our responsibility for warming is irrelevant because the system wouldn’t be so overloaded at this point history without our generous assistance.

You’re getting hung up on a meaningless figure. As for proof, there’s plenty. The question is, which do you think is a worse threat to your way of life: a potential depression caused by the effects of global warming, or a cost just five percent of that to take care of it. How much are you willing to pay for the ugly truck of fuel inefficiency that you’re driving right now? Never mind how much that SUV is costing you environmentally, how about in fuel costs and in security? Are you really willing to sacrifice so much of the sake of car commercials?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 19, 2007 1:03 PM
Comment #220838

Another chapter in your book to explain why my question is irrelevlant instead of offering an answer.

“You’re getting hung up on a meaningless figure”

As I’ve stated before, It might be meaningless to you, but not so for me.
What is really telling is how you respond to my question. I’m not hung up on this question. I’m being methodical and saving my second question for when this one is answered. At the rate the answers are comming, I might drown in a melted iceburg before you can tell me.

I ain’t buying.

Posted by: tomd at May 19, 2007 1:51 PM
Comment #220866

tomd-
The majority of my post was devoted to telling you why it was meaningless from a scientific perspective. I’ve told you percentages on the amount of the yearly emissions that belong to us. I’ve told you the amount of extra energy that’s hitting every square meter of our planet due to that CO2. I’ve related to you that we’ve actually measured this difference. We’ve worked out many of the seeming discrepancies.

I’ve answered challenges on matters like the heat island effect, analyzed that poorly founded notion Rahdigly had on Cosmic rays, dealt with his erroneous analysis of the Cretaceous warm period, pointing out it meant that the world was more sensitive to greenhouse gases than previously believed.

I’ve given you an idea of the complex nature of the climate and the weather. You’ve admitted that warming is occuring, that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

But you want a percentage. I understand the impulse, but what’s important is not the proportion, but what its being added to. The system is not a blank slate. It was handling a certain level of CO2, cycling it back into sinks about as fast as it came in. There was a certain balance to this. The system was mostly correcting itself, and the dominant forcings might be something like variations in solar strength, long term oceanic oscillations, and Milankovich cycles.

What we’re doing is putting Carbon Dioxide into the environment at a faster pace than it can be taken out. At any percentage, that still means accumulation. Accumulation is our problem. That, as measured, is occurring at 2-3 ppm a year. At this rate, we go from 380 ppm to 410 ppm in a decade, a third again as much as we’ve increased since the beginning of the industrial age, which scientists, so far as they can tell, find to be the only source large enough.

And that’s if we keep things constant. If we produce more, with China and India joining in the fun, things will only get worse.

We can start now at 1% GDP costs to deal with this problem, or we can go for trillions in costs later to deal with the damage the shifts will all cause. The quicker we start, the cheaper the solution is. The chances are, you will live to regret your mistake if you choose to sit back in your SUV and wait until the definitive proof is all around you.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 19, 2007 10:31 PM
Comment #220879

If cars some day run on water, will democrats declare that the big water industry is evil and must be punished?

Posted by: Stephen at May 20, 2007 12:24 AM
Comment #220880

Antarctica was once a warm continent where forests grew and large animals roamed. And it may be that warm again someday. The world has natural cycles that radical socialist democrats with tax increases and anti-capitalist ideals cannot change.

Posted by: StephenL at May 20, 2007 12:57 AM
Comment #220897

OK, Stephen, It’s obvious you can’t answer that question. (admiting you don’t know somethng is tough heh?) Let’s look at some more potential “rust” on this “ugly truck”.

I read a couple of months ago that the temperature on Mars is increasing as well as the temperature on earth. Is this coincidence, or did I get caught driving my SUV on Mars?

Posted by: tomd at May 20, 2007 3:41 AM
Comment #220901

Stephen-

If cars some day run on water, will democrats declare that the big water industry is evil and must be punished?

That’s a nice, active imagination you have there. Part of that is plausible, at least if This guy’s idea is right. Unfortunately, the rest of your notion seems to be the typical invented stupidity that some on the Right work themselves into believing that those on the center and the left are capable of.

If you’re same guy who said this:

Antarctica was once a warm continent where forests grew and large animals roamed. And it may be that warm again someday. The world has natural cycles that radical socialist democrats with tax increases and anti-capitalist ideals cannot change.

Natural Cycles? Though the explanation for Antarctica’s climate is natural, cycles have nothing to do with it. First, Antarctica has drifted from where it once was. It was part of Pangaea, thousands of miles north from where it now sits. Second, the periods of time since then were warmer, on account of the runaway volcanism of the Siberian Traps, the Deccan Plateau, and the opening of the Atlantic. These pumped up levels of CO2 much greater than these were today. As the articles that Rahdigly so helpfully provided demonstrated, you have water temperature levels over a hundred degrees, perhaps even a hundred ten. Additionally, part of the reason for our climate is the way that the continents are today arranged. The way landmasses block both winds and ocean currents affect how those currents and the winds distribute heat. The shape of the oceans as well is a factor.

Your argument about natural cycles also runs into a major problem. Even if the nature of climate was largely cyclical- which it’s not, it’s much more nonlinear than that- nobody’s identified what part of what cycle this is supposed to be a part of! What’s happening now with the climate is anomalous in regards to the last few tens of thousands of years, and it’s behaving nothing like the cycle of warm periods and ice ages typified by previous ages.

I think your feelings regarding those you believe to be “radical socialist democrats with tax increases and anti-capitalist ideals” has more to do with your attitude on global warming than any real scientific principle.

tomd-
Percentage doesn’t figure into it. If we’re exceeding the rate of emissions the carbon sinks can handle, then the increases are our responsibility.

As for Mars? Here’s the scoop on that. First, let’s start off by relating the fact that the sun is heading towards a solar minimum and is, as the article says, “declining slightly”.

Second, it’s Late summer for that part of Mars, and Mars can have extreme shifts between summer and winter. A summer on Mars can create temperatures as warm as 73F. Of course most of the time it’s about 59 below.

Third, Mars climate is unstable in comparison to ours, which has an atmosphere a hundred times thicker and oceans of water to act as reservoirs of heat energy.

Fourth, this is a local event, and such a trend has not been seen overall, the way it has been on Earth.

The way these arguments tend to develop, and why I think its the contrarians here who have bought the ugly truck, is this typical pattern of logical overreach. Contrarians are looking for just about any reason to believe that Global Warming is not manmade, perhaps not even real.

Meanwhile, science has accumulated a large body of data and measurements indicate the realness and anthropogenic origins of the warming. The charge might be made that politics might be the cause of that kind of consensus, but that’s an easy charge to make, and one political partisans can easily convince themselves that people deny merely to hide the truth. After all, how do you objectively prove a state of mind?

The decision of what to do about global warming is not set in stone. The Liberal or Democratic Party’s ideas are not the only ones that are valid or workable. Unfortunately, you can’t plan for a situation you won’t admit exists. Austerity does not have to be the name of the game with reducing emissions. The invention of new technologies brings with it opportunities. Why not take those opportunities?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 20, 2007 9:39 AM
Comment #220908

“Meanwhile, science has accumulated a large body of data and measurements indicate the realness and anthropogenic origins of the warming.”

I’ve conceeded that the earth is warming I’m just not sure how much is caused by us.

“The charge might be made that politics might be the cause of that kind of consensus, but that’s an easy charge to make, and one political partisans can easily convince themselves that people deny merely to hide the truth.”

Do you deny that politics are HEAVILY involved in this debate? Thus all the red flags.

“After all, how do you objectively prove a state of mind?”

We both know you can’t.

“The decision of what to do about global warming is not set in stone. The Liberal or Democratic Party’s ideas are not the only ones that are valid or workable. Unfortunately, you can’t plan for a situation you won’t admit exists.”

I’m planning, I’m not panicing.

“Austerity does not have to be the name of the game with reducing emissions. The invention of new technologies brings with it opportunities. Why not take those opportunities?”

I’m all for new technologies. I think that will be the answer to our problems. Just don’t force the technologies on me.

Right now in my work I drive a Ford E-150 cargo van. I haul tools and equipment and I drive a lot. Anything smaller at this time isn’t feasable. As technology improves I’ll drive less and do more tasks remotely. I’ll be able to drive a smaller van as the size of my equipment shrinks.

I think the big difference in me and you, Stephen, is I have more faith in people to solve our problems.

You seem to be a good salesman, but, I ain’t BUYING no ugly truck.

Posted by: tomd at May 20, 2007 12:31 PM
Comment #220930

In any political debate about science, my rule of thumb is to start from the science, not the politics. Politics is infinitely subjective and mutable. Science, by definition, is more reductive, more provable.

Rhetoric abounds, and as a writer I’m always suspicious of it, especially when folks talk about paradigms and scientific certainty.

If I could put it simply about paradigms, the truth is, nobody knows what we will learn. If anybody tells you that their view is destined to be consensus, that’s just talk. If they can prove it, as it is, perhaps that might one day be true. Otherwise, they’re just blustering or boasting. It’s ironic that many people accuse anthropogenic global warming of that, when many of their supposed breaks in the paradigm have yet to be proven.

As far as scientific certainty goes, if we knew everything, there wouldn’t be a need for the scientific method, for science itself. Some make grandiose claims, but the truth is, scientific consensus is often just the best guess at some point that most people feel works. In the general sense, theory about human-driven climate changes hasn’t changed much in its general outlines, but in the specifics and the inner working, much has changed in our understanding, and much will likely change.

Some would say we should wait for the science to become one-hundred percent sure, but the truth is, there will never be such a point, and there is a price for waiting and doing nothing. This is not a problem that will stand on the sidelines while we take a time-out to get the science perfect. Should we panic? Actually, I’d say panicking will be the worst thing. The better approach would be to start planning and acting now, and start putting the muscle of government policy, business interests and public opinion to work changing things for the better.

The truth of the matter is, we got to literally take our foot off the gas on this one. We have to reduce our emissions to the point where nature can start taking back some of the CO2 we’ve been freeing up.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 20, 2007 8:16 PM
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