We're Toast

The world cannot or will not reduce CO2 emissions. CO2 we have already emitted will be around a long time and the world will emit more in 2050 than it does now. Experts disagree about how much the earth will warm or the seas will rise, but they will. It is coming and we can do nothing to stop it. So what do we do?

Solve the right problem

We missed prevention and now are in the mitigation phase. There never really was a prevention opportunity. Prevention was no longer an option by the time we recognized the problem. As late as the 1980s, scientists still warned about global cooling. The current interglacial period was ending, they said. Aggressive government action to reverse that would have been harmful. Decision makers were naturally skeptical when the new -opposite - threat came along. Besides, they were busy dealing with current life on earth threat, ozone depleting chemicals. Anyway greenhouse gas emitting technologies were (and remain) baked into human systems. Real alternatives never had. (Kyoto was too late and too lame.) So le'’s just move on.

After recognizing the true nature of the problem, we should work to avoid the worst-case scenario and reduce emissions to the extend possible. For example, we need to use more nuclear power and generally encourage higher prices for oil and other fossil fuels to promote alternatives. We also need to concentrate on the places where the greatest amount of NEW emission will originate. Europe and the U.S. can work to limit emissions, but the big growth will come from places like China or India. Read about the world’s energy here. (This is the 2004 version. It is free. You can pay for the 2005 version, but we don’t need that much precision)

Stop moralizing

Then stop the moralizing and the panic. As Samuelson says in the article I referenced, it is an engineering problem. Global warming is a naturally explained process. It is not the retribution for crimes against Gaia or the wrath of angry nature. Even in its worst-case projections, it is not the biggest change the earth has ever experienced, nor it is the worst human (or hominids) have endured. Our big brains developed in response to earlier episodes of dramatic climate change. We didn’t get to the top of the food chain by being stupid and can adapt to this too.

It was warmer before, you know

For most of the history of terrestrial life on earth there were no glaciers at all. Temperate forests grew near the poles and tropical rain forests extended well into the latitudes of Canada or Siberia. By all indications, life was perfuse on the warm globe and successful. The problem of climate change is one of location. Plants, animals and humans are adapted to today's climate. They are not easily moved, but change does not mean immediate destruction. Some forest types in the southern Appalachians or on high ground in the Sonoran region, for example, are characteristic very different climates and are relics of conditions long gone. Natural systems can persist for a long time after conditions have changed, but if struck by catastrophes, they may not come back under natural conditions. Human intervention can sometimes create or recreate such ecosystems (if that is desirable).

A tree cannot move, but forests can

Beyond that, most species of plants and most animals are hardy over large ranges. Most species of trees can grow from Florida to Wisconsin and beyond. The mix is different, but you can find many of the same species in both places. As the climate changes, the mix will change too, but people unfamiliar with forest ecology may not be able to tell the difference.

To mitigate this problem we can facilitate movement. For example, avoid using plants near the southern edge of their range. (My pine trees near the northern end of their natural range will probably grow better in greenhouse conditions.) It is also important to leave corridors. North America has more tree species than Europe. Why? It has to do with the direction of the mountain chains. In N America, the Appalachians and Rockies extend north/south. Eurasia has a fairly consistent mountain mass east/west from the Pyrenees to the Himalayas. During the last ice age, as forest types retreated south, their seeds ran up against high altitudes in Eurasia and many didn’t survive. In North America, this was not a factor. We need to ensure that natural communities can advance north with the climate.

Nature is resilient. What about us?

Our infrastructure and methods of working are built around current conditions. Some of this is not a real problem. No farmer is growing the same crops using the same methods as his father. These are routine changes. Physical infrastructure is a bigger problem, but it is more political or legal than material. It is costly to change infrastructure, but infrastructure does not last forever and is constantly renewed. The problem is the routing. Roads and railroads run through existing right of ways. Moving them may be very difficult.

Location of cities is an obvious challenge, but in most cases we are not talking wholesale relocation. We could mitigate future problems simply by being smarter today. For example, with the held of computer programs and satellite mapping, we can tell the elevation of a place within a meter and project how much water it would take to flood it. We would be smart to avoid building permanent structures on these sorts of place. That is why I favor rebuilding only the higher parts of New Orleans. I would advocate a general no building on frequently flooded areas in general, whether or not we have climate change.

A cooler earth?

But perhaps the greatest mitigating thing we ought to do is one we currently do not understand. Can global warming lead to cooling? As the world was warming up from its last ice age (w/o the help of humans BTW) about 11000 years ago, it suddenly got another cold blast. This is called the Younger Dryas stadial. The cause is thought to have been a sudden influx of fresh water into the Atlantic, which interfered with the heat transfer from the tropics to the poles. Some scientist think this could happen again. Although the Younger Dryas event involved the aburpt breaking of an ice dam and a lot more fresh water in a short time, conditions could be similar if glaciers rapidly melt. It would be nothing like the movie “The Day After Tomrrow”, since RAPID change in the real world means it took place over the course of about 50 years and it was not global, but cold temperatures in Europe and N. America would be a problem. An urgent priority would be to understand this mechanism and - if possible - prevent it from doing damage. But currently anything in this subject area is just speculation. My own take on it is that activists want to cover all the bases so that they can blame any weather scenario on human activity.

Always look at the bright side of life

So when I say "We’re Toast" I have not abandoned my native optimism. After all, eggs and bacon are really no good w/o toast. I would make no investments in beachfront property and inhabitants of low islands may consider seeking other opporunities, but we humans have faced worse. As a matter of fact, the Younger Dryas unpleasantness probably forced our ancestors into inventing cereal agriculture. It is often hard to tell whether big events are blessings or curses.

Posted by Jack at July 5, 2006 7:00 PM
Comments
Comment #165053

Jack

???

I agree with you again. Damn, do you know what this is doing to my liberal sensitivities?

I agree that high prices for fossil fuels will lead to better energy sources sooner. I would like to go beyond market demands and see something similar to the Manhattan Project for development and deployment of new energy sources. I don’t like nuclear - but it might help a good bit with near term issues. I’m still wondering why we don’t use solar power to run our air conditioning…??? Seems like the most logical approach - house gets hot because of the sun which means there’s more power to derive from the sun during those times of the year…

I didn’t see any mention of the rain forest depletion… that alone could really help the Earth adjust quicker to higher CO2 levels (besides, think of all the happy hippies we could make by doing just that.)

Posted by: tony at July 5, 2006 7:31 PM
Comment #165055

The basic flaw in this entire premise is the notion that we cannot reduce the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases we pump into the air. That was the whole point of Gore’s movie, that by changing our behavior, even on an individual level, we can change the situation. Samuelson makes the projection that population growth will make real reduction in polution impossible, but that is a cop out. His equation looks like this: 6,400,000,000 x N is less than 9,100,000,000 x N. Which is true, unless N = zero. In fact, the continuing population increase is even more reason to do something on a much larger level, if just to keep emissions at today’s levels, let alone any attempt at reversal.

Another way of looking at it is that today’s population is 70.3 percent of what is projected, so if we lower emissions per capita to 70.3 percent of current levels we would break even. If we lower it to 50% of current levels, we are ahead of the game. If we lower emissions to zero, which is possible, we can add all the people you want to this planet without negative greenhouse effects.

The first step is admitting their is a problem, the next is admitting that it is not hopeless. I’m glad someone on this side is willing to face the facts that there is a problem. Now don’t tell me we should do nothing because there is no hope.

Posted by: David S at July 5, 2006 7:40 PM
Comment #165056

David

I did not say we should do nothing. I just don’t have much confidence it will work unless we have some big technology change.

As I advocate above and it my linked articles, higher prices to encourage alternatives, conservation and efficiency & nuclear energyWe do the same things whether or not we believe it will reduce the total CO2. But we should begin to think about how to mitigate the effects if we do not succeed.

Tony

I think there are lots of things we can do as part of the solution. I hope to build a house in the next few years and I will certainly use solar and earth shelter. Little things such as trees on the south & west of your house can make big changes too. But I don’t think these things will be enough.

Posted by: Jack at July 5, 2006 7:49 PM
Comment #165061

Jack,

The cause of global warming is 100% known. It’s the sun. Period. The sun warms the earth and the green house effect is what keeps us all alive instead of boiled or frozen off the planet.

That said, climate scientists have left the sphere of science and have been hijacked by the likes of Al Gore and company into promoting bizarre theories and political scare tactics.

Think of it. Periods like the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warming Period are part of a natural process of climate change. Temperatures on our planet have never been static for long. Of course Al Gore et al would very much like to ignore such ‘anomolous’ data and go farward with the alarmist fears of global catastrophe and promote unprecendented economic and political control in the name of saving the planet.

From 1945 into the 1970’s there was in fact a global cooling.

Posted by: esimonson at July 5, 2006 7:57 PM
Comment #165063

Eric

We do the same things no matter what the cause. Higher prices for oil and more nuclear power is good for national security reasons as well as general environmental quality. CO2 is not a form of pollution, but it tends to come attached to other things that are. If global warming expectation brings greens on board for nuclear power and helps the public accept higher gas prices, I am content.

It also makes sense to build only on higher ground and prepare different types of crops and methods. These are all general hygene factors.

I don’t agree with Gore’s hysteria, although I do think the preponerance of the evidence indicates that the globe is warming and that human activity is a factor. IF the world gets warmer, we have an engineering problem, which we can solve. If it doesn’t we have done good things for ourselves.

My analogy is a guy preparing for a boxing match he hopes to avoid. He works out and gets strong. If the match never takes place, he is still in good shape and the exercise is not a waste. And if the upcoming match scared him into eating right and working out, good.

Posted by: Jack at July 5, 2006 8:10 PM
Comment #165064

>>From 1945 into the 1970’s there was in fact a global cooling.

Posted by: esimonson at July 5, 2006 07:57 PM

Oh, wise sage…shall we now hold hands and meditate? I feel cooler already.

Posted by: Marysdude at July 5, 2006 8:14 PM
Comment #165065

“That said, climate scientists have left the sphere of science and have been hijacked by the likes of Al Gore and company into promoting bizarre theories and political scare tactics.”

Prove it. I know several clientologists personally, and while we don’t always agree politically, I do trust their motivations and their professionalism. Do you know even a single climate scientist?

Also, this goes with “activist judges” - if you don’t agree with what they say - attack them personally. it’s getting old.

“Of course Al Gore et al would very much like to ignore such ‘anomolous’ data and go farward with the alarmist fears of global catastrophe and promote unprecendented economic and political control in the name of saving the planet.”

have you seen the movie?

Posted by: tony at July 5, 2006 8:15 PM
Comment #165066

Nice article, Jack. I wish I could find something to seriously disagree with on. Instead I’ll jump in to your defense:

…climate scientists have left the sphere of science and have been hijacked by the likes of Al Gore and company into promoting bizarre theories and political scare tactics.

Yikes! What dire force has brainwashed all these climatologists, d’ya think, and how was it accomplished anyway? some sort of microwave radiation transmitted thru weathermaps? inserts in the NYT color supplement? fluoride treatments piped into their climate-prediction laboratories?

And what’s rightwing for “moonbat conspiracy theorist”?

Posted by: William Cohen at July 5, 2006 8:17 PM
Comment #165070

Actually - just re-read my post above - it should be climatologists, not clientologists. Sorry about that.

Posted by: tony at July 5, 2006 8:49 PM
Comment #165071

We have no idea how much we will be emitting in the year 2050. It’s ironic that so many conservatives, in pointing out the uncertainties of climate forecast, neglect that this is part of that uncertainty.

On the subject of Global Cooling that was more popular myth than scientific. It was based on limited understanding of the newly discovered glacial cycles, and never enjoyed much widespread appeal among scientists. It was flavor of the month for Armaggeddon-wary pop culture observers, but not much else.

Yes, fossil fuel-based systems have been part of the system, but no more permanently than their predecessors. There was a day when for most people horsepower was a literal must for one’s transportation, when the foot pounds of torgue one employed were from one’s own. We had other systems in place, and fossil fuel related systems replaced them. There is nothing that says that the same process of obselescence can’t be employed towards fossil fuel driven vehicles.

On the subject of the placements of certain biomes, you must understand it in the context of plate tectonics. There was a time long ago when New Jersey was near the equator. Read Annals of the Former World by John McPhee if you want to know just how far North America has gone in all those billions of year.

On the matter of moving forests, we must recognize that the system is more complex than simple temperature. Soil on the Gulf Coast is fine, silty, full of clays and stuff. In the Northeast and Midwest, you find glacial tills, coarse, ground up. Regardless of the temperature differences there are still differences owing to the tilt of the Earth’s axis that Global Warming won’t change one iota.

As for nature’s resilience, there is the matter of how nature usually goes about its resilience: natural selection. If you’re on the wrong side of the fitness equation, you’re out of luck. We should not push our luck. As for Satellite mapping of the Earth, did you know that Bush is cutting funding for many of the Landsat satellites responsible for mapping like that? He’s got this plan to mount the cameras on NOAA satellites. The problem is that these weather satellites might vibrate too much for the Landsat Cameras to take decent pictures.

On the subject of a new ice age coming from the melt, the problem is that the last time that occured, the water was coming in greater Amounts, and from some of the big ice sheets that were once over the Northern Hemisphere, rather than the Greenland or Antarctic Ice Sheets.

Overall, it helps to understand that the time to stop this from getting worse is now. What we do now determines how catastrophic the changes will be, whether they are mild or whether they do us the kind of harm that previous climate shifts have done to other cultures, like that of Greenland and Byzantium.

Carbon Dioxide is the chemical waste of our economic system. If we don’t want that economy to drown in its own waste, we have to start finding ways to become more efficient and less dependent on Hydrocarbon fuels, naturally or artificially produced.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 5, 2006 8:53 PM
Comment #165072

I just would like to say this.

In the 3.5 billion years that the earth has been here its endured much worse things then what we’ve done to it. Don’t get me wrong im not saying we should trash the planet, its just like your house ya put up a lot on nice stuff and try to keep the trash off the floor.

The NAS (National Academy of Science) has member scientists from almost all nations. 2000 members of it signed a statement saying man was the direct reason for global warming, while 17000 scientists from the same NAS signed a statement saying we Don’t know enough about the functions of this planet to know the cause. truth be told you cant just take a small section of time like the past few hundred years and say we have a problem. This planet and our sun run on cycles that are hundreds and thousands of years long.
And one other thing you have to keep in mind that lots of science is flawed because of human nature not to look for what’s there but to look for what you want to be there and that works BOTH ways on the issue. For example in a recent issue of scientific american a study indicated that old growth rainforest while producing a large quantity of the earths oxygen absorbed comparatively little carbons while new growth forest produced comparatively less oxygen but absorbed lots of carbon, the scientist also discovered (by accident mind you) that a byproduct of this conversion of carbon was methane, the scientists quite surprised by this realized that this was never noticed before because no one LOOKED for it.

The point being is this. even the BEST scientists when researching something is going to have preconceived notions and can easily over look things. im not advocating a wait and see attitude here im just saying before we try and go fixing a problem we need to make sure we are not interfering with the natural procession of the planet. because keep in mind we are PART of nature part of its driving force, and not just us all life has been from the first amobia’s to the dinosaurs to us.

Posted by: Jeff at July 5, 2006 8:56 PM
Comment #165076

Jack,

I agree, we adapt. Unless of course we follow those with a different agenda.

Tony,

I know a meteoroligist, does that count? He’s on tv too! What he says can’t be wrong, right? After all, he’s on tv.

William, Tony,

Anyway, there this thing called a bandwagon. It sometimes looks like consensus, but the key difference is that the consensus agrees on premises that are erroneous or incomplete.

Does the famous hockey stick graph take into account the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warming Period? If not, why not?

Posted by: esimonson at July 5, 2006 9:06 PM
Comment #165079

Question: What do the following disciplines have in common?

a) Acupuncture
b) Astrology
c) Phrenology
d) Global Warming

Answer: They are all examples of “pseudoscience.”

But don’t take my word for it. Read this article by Bruce Berkowitz, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Posted by: crowan at July 5, 2006 9:23 PM
Comment #165080

Stephen

I am not sure if you are disagreeing or if we just see the same thing from different angles.

Re the forests

Yes, soils vary. When the forest type moves, it will not be the same. So what? We will have a different mix of species. Nothing new. Since the end of the last ice age, various types of forests and other ecosystems have thrived on various parts of the North American continent. In fact, the history of the last 10,000 years has been more or less a history of forests types moving north. It would be a gradual process, even if the earth warms on the high end of the estimates. If the climate of New Hampshire became like South Carolina tomorrow, the maple forest would persists for centuries. Maple trees DO grow in SC. They would lose some of their competitive advantage, but an individual maple tree might live 400 years and the established ones would remain for about that long. I just cannot get that worried about that.

It is also true that established ecosystems can persist a long time after conditions have changed, as I mentioned. There are northern forests and bog communities that have remained in the south literally since the end of the last ice age. That is plenty of time.

The last ice age, BTW, was not caused by the melt. That was only the stadial. Ice ages are probably caused by alteration in the sun’s radiation. And there is no doubt that changes in the earth’s climate have been much greater in the past than in the last 5000 years.

I agree that we should reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

Where I have trouble with Al Gore and many of those who admire him is that he seems to think it is enough to talk about the problem and demand that we pass a law. Any solution that does not include higher prices for energy and more reliance on nuclear power is just blowing hot air that probably actually increases global warming. Passion and conviction won’t help unless it comes with higher prices and nuclear energy.

Posted by: Jack at July 5, 2006 9:24 PM
Comment #165083

Eric-
So, essentially, you’re saying the scientific consensus about Global Warming is a Left-Wing political conspiracy? So to are our problems in Iraq, and everything else. You invent this enemy at home to fight to distract yourself from the fact that you do so poorly in opposing our real adversaries in the world.

The cooling period between the forties and seventies is largely due to all the Sulphate Aerosols we were putting up in the air. As for natural processes, nobody’s disputing those occur in the scientific community. What you’re missing is that nature doesn’t segregate the effects of human pollution from natural inputs like Solar variability, orbital forcing, and oceanic temperature oscillations. The effect counts for or against whatever change is going on.

Those, in fact, are among the most profound effects that Global Warming will have. Global Warming won’t be so much straight temperature changes, as differences in the way systems act. Some places will become dryer, some wetter, and changes in sea level will have additional effects on things, as shorelines and other elements of the coast are redefined.

Global warming is not just a change in temperature, it’s a change in conditions, and we cannot predict in advance what those conditions will be. America’s Gulf Coast won’t be so productive if it’s getting wrecked by Hurricanes every other year. Our ports and our coastal cities will suffer as redefined shorelines alter the parts of the cities that can remain productive and functional.

Pile too many changes on us in too short of a time, and a straw could come to break the camel’s back.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 5, 2006 9:40 PM
Comment #165086

Someone saw an Inconvenient Truth and is afraid to say it made sense.

Nuclear energy? Maybe. We need to do a mix of things. Whatever the solution, this time around let’s try and make our energy as clean, safe, and renewable as possible. Before saying the CO2 in our atmosphere can’t be reduced we should try. After all, they said the same thing about the hole in the ozone.

Americans have to demand this be a campaign issue. No one wants to risk the planet falling apart. No one wants to risk more disasters like Katrina. No one wants to rely on foreign powers for oil.

Posted by: Max at July 5, 2006 9:49 PM
Comment #165089

Max

I have been writing this stuff for a long time. I think that the train is leaving the station, but Gore is not on board. Neither are lots of his followers. They like to argue that global warming is real (yes). The question is what to do about it. This is where they get a little vague. What do we do? Blame Bush.

We need higher prices and nuclear power. I fully support both things. Reread my article re prices. Many leftists like the issue of global warming, but they do not want the solutions.

Let’s say this plain. It is too late to prevent global warming. We can mitigate it, but this will cost. It MUST mean that ordinary people pay more for energy and use less. It means that I will have to change my habits. It means you will too. I am fine with that. Who is with me?

Posted by: Jack at July 5, 2006 9:57 PM
Comment #165095

The levels of CO2…..ah, I have the answer! If we eliminate all breathing creatures we achieve
our desired levels! Seriously folks, I find it almost preposterous that we humans are directly
responsible for Katrina. Look at what Mt. Pinatubo did to world temps when it blew its stack. As for raising the cost of energy. Realize
what you’re asking for. If the cost of oil, nat. gas, and coal skyrocket, low and middle income earners will be squeezed to the point of “food or
medication” or in this case “lights”. All the same, I view this rush to alternative energy sources as just another bandwagon to nowhere. I do agree with the arguments that we people will
end up creating a new form of energy that will be
affordable for ALL. Lastly, a few folks out there
are still stuck on the idea that we are destroying the planet. Hate to break it to ya’s,
WE HUMANS ARE NOT THAT POWERFUL. This big piece of rock will still be around long after we are
gone. In the end the sun will eat Earth, what
should we do about THAT?

Posted by: Madness!! at July 5, 2006 10:30 PM
Comment #165101

crowan-
Science is about relationships. Accupuncture actually works to certain extent, but not like it’s traditional practitioners belief it does, and not to the extent they would claim.

Astrology is just the human penchant for seeing patterns even where they don’t exist, churned by further human imaginings into a system of prognostication.

Phrenology was based on the idea that parts of the brain govern certain activities, and that their use or lack of same would cause them to grow or shrink like muscles would according to their employment. Here, the notion that different parts of the brain govern different activities was not untrue.

What was utterly wrong was the relationship posed in terms of the shape of the skull, the effects of use as opposed to unuse, and all the little specific traits that were assigned to the brain. Even the notion now that there is this center and that center for certain functions is in part false. There are parts of the brain that handle certain processes more than anything else, but many parts get multi-tasked for multiple purposes.

And Global Warming? Well, the relationship between Carbon Dioxide and Heat Trapping is well known, and has been in fact known for centuries. Even in the 1800s, people speculated that it was part of what kept the heat in Earth’s atmosphere. As Climate science has gotten better, the role has gotten clearer. The question is how the heat all this increased CO2 is trapping is changing the climate.

Your author cites Volcanoes but neglects to tell us that the effects of the volcanic dusts are temporary, waning as the Sulfur Aerosols settle out of the atmosphere. He cites variations in solar radiation, but neglects to tell us (or find out himself) that such effects have less influence than greenhouse gases, and that adding such gases to the system on top of an upward trend would magnify both effects.

I look at his bio, and that’s the kicker. He’s a defense policy wonk with no training in climate sciences. This is your authority.

He doesn’t understand that these process feedback on themselves and on one another, and that slight changes cause strong differences to occur. His approach is the pseudoscience, not the least of which because he is a pseudoscientist.

There’s a reason for the training, a reason people have to learn climate science as a trade. This is not simple stuff, and disagreeing simply because you can’t fathom something being true is not good enough. The relationships science explores exist whether they are acknowledged by us or not.

Eric-
First, Climate Science does not rest on the Hockey Stick as its ownly means of support. Second I’m not sure you understand enough about the arguments to know the difference between a valid argument and an invalid one about the nature of the temperature increases. I’m not sure myself. The thing you have to keep in mind about your sources is that one of them is a mining consultant, and the other, an economist, has no training in the field he’s criticizing. His material was published in a magazine outside of the discipline, and major errors in their analysis have been pointed out.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 5, 2006 10:40 PM
Comment #165106

Dave,

Exactly how do we eliminate *all* greenhouse gasses? What about the 80+% of them that are generated by nature every year? I think if we eliminate all live on the planet completely that might work… But wait a second…

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 5, 2006 10:46 PM
Comment #165108

Jack,

You beat me to posting on the article, it was a well written article that pretty much takes the sails out of the doom and gloomers and leads us on a path of actually sitting down and figure out what we can do without wrecking the economies of all of the nations of the world while having the money to invent all kinds of neat and new technologies that we haven’t been able to invent yet even at this production levels.

You did fail to mention how it details the folly of Kyoto and how Kyoto is really just a means to use superiority as a political tool. Of the nations that did ratify the treaty almost none of them are anywhere near meeting their goals. It’s just not possible without severely halting economic growth and with a growing population you have to have growth or more and more people start starving until you end up with a worse condition than if you had just let the situation continue.

The real issue now is to do what we can to find better and cleaner technologies, just as we have been doing for decades. The cars we have now are MUCH MUCH MUCH cleaner than the ones we drove in the 60s and 70s, we just need to keep on the path. I am for eliminating our reliance for fossil fuels for cars myself, I think we can come up with a better way, but those on the side of ‘doing something about global warming’ thinks that we can just invent better cleaner methods at the drop of a hat. It’s really amazing…

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 5, 2006 10:53 PM
Comment #165111

Crowan,
You link an article from 2001. The information is out of date. For example, the article states:

“For periods between the dawn of literacy and the early 1800s, one has to rely on anecdotal evidence to estimate temperature patterns.”

Temperature patterns are now known to a considerable degree, as well as atmosheric compostion.

In addition, the author you cite, Bruce Berkowitz, is an expert in intelligence and security matters.

Acording to the NOAA, nine of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 1995.

More importantly, atmospheric C02 is at the highest level in 600,000 years, possibly 20 million years.

Jack,
Conservation is one obvious answer. Alternative energy sources is another. Finally, a version of the Montreal Protocol makes sense as a way to achieve international cooperation on Global Warming.

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

As you noted, we are already committed to a considerable amount of human induced climate change. Although the Bush administration now acknowledges Global Warming, they continue to obstruct significant action. Blame Bush for Global Warming? That is silly. Blame Bush for blocking action to address Global Warming? Absolutely.

Posted by: phx8 at July 5, 2006 11:02 PM
Comment #165115

Phx8

You can blame Bush. Other talk a lot, but not much is done. Europeans have not cut emissions since 1997, even though their economic growth is so low. Clinton never submitted Kyoto to the Senate, but the Senate voted 97 -0 (Dems too) to preemptively reject it.

The fact is that no politican of note has the courage to call for higher prices for gas. Or he might say it and back down from details.

Posted by: Jack at July 5, 2006 11:28 PM
Comment #165117

How is he blocking action other than not signing the Kyoto Treaty, a treaty that Clinton and the combined houses of congress all agreed overwhelmingly that we shouldn’t sign? Has he veto’d any law that came across his desk about the issue?

I’m curious, please enlighten me? Is he making against the law to conserve? Is he violating the Montreal Protocol? Is he standing outside of the White House with an aersol can spraying it up into the air with meniachal laughter?

What is he doing that is preventing the rest of the country from attempting to find cleaner fuels, conserving and educating themselves so that they can make up their own mind instead of being indoctrinated?

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 5, 2006 11:33 PM
Comment #165120

Rhinehold, the Kyoto Treaty cannot be so easily dismissed as you just did. That was the biggest and best hope the world had for trying to get a handle on it. Rather than go with it and modify as more accurate information came in, Bush just said NOPE! Money is more important than the earth we live on.

The Kyoto Treaty took a very long time and immense wrangling to achieve. If Bush thinks there is a better world approach, let him present it. Till then, he is the one who trashed the global effort as he trashed the earth in not joining.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 5, 2006 11:40 PM
Comment #165121

Jack, if you think humanity can wait around for private industry to come up with a sure fire profit maker to deal with global warming, we have to part company abruptly.

This effort, which could make a very significant difference in the rate and peak effect of global warming, must be handled on a grand international scale and profits other than secondary, must take a back seat to accomplishment, and post haste.

The U.S. pumps out 1/4 of the green house gases and far, far more than China, a far bigger and less environmentally equipped nation. The U.S. must take the lead, and make trade agreements and such dependent upon international effort in dealing with the warming. That is the leadership that is needed. DO NOT LOOK to Bush for that kind of leadership.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 5, 2006 11:45 PM
Comment #165127

Rhinehold,

Evidence of Global Warming was available in the last decade. The evidence become overwhelming in 2001 with a major report by the IPCC, and the results from the Greenland ice cap historical C02 data.

Up to that point, Global Warminng critics were backed by the large corporations, who worked together in the Global Climate Coalition:

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

By 2001, this coaltion disbanded. Almost all major multinational corporations, with the very notable example of Exxon, now recognize Global Warming and the need to address it.

Unfortunately, the Bush administration is a fossil fuel adminstration. Their energy policy is written by the fossil fuel industry. Representatives to global conferences are literally recommended by Exxon. Bush calls himself a “dissenter” on Global Warming.

At this point even Bush grudgingly acknowledges Global Warming. However, he will not exert international leadership on the issue. Given the size of the US economy and its contribution to greenhouse gases, the US could pretty much write an international accord the way we want. Instead, the White HOuse blocks actions at conferences through its appointed representatives.

Bush cannot prevent the public from taking actions. He can and does prevent political actions, along some other Republicans, and makes sure policies do not address the issue in any significant way.

Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, suggested in 2003 that “man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”

So yes, Rhinehold, Bush and many Republicans deserve to be roundly condemned for preventing any meaningful action. They put the short-term interests of the fossil fuel industry ahead of the interests of the country.

Posted by: phx8 at July 6, 2006 12:26 AM
Comment #165129

we have the proof that exploding volacnoes dissipate after years of natural healing, just look at krakatoa in 1883 the event of august 27, was equal to 200 megatons of TNT or 13,000 that’s right 13,000 times the yield of the little boy atomic bomb. the sky was darkened for many days afterwards weather patterns were crazy for years after the event, almost SEVEN Cubic miles of rock, ash,pumice and sulfur were ejected in the Air. blood red sunsets were the norm for 12 years. the sulfur will dissipate fairly quickly, Madness!, but will the co2?

Posted by: Rodney Brown at July 6, 2006 12:50 AM
Comment #165133

Rodney,
Volcanoes spew Sulfur Dioxide into the atmosphere. It has a cooling effect, but dissipates relatively quickly, in just a few years.

Methane contributes much more to warming than C02, but it represents a small percentage of greenhouse gases, and also dissipates in a few years.

C02 last decades. It constitutes 90% of all greenhouse gases, and over 60% of the warming.

Posted by: phx8 at July 6, 2006 1:16 AM
Comment #165134

phx8, i concur with you.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at July 6, 2006 1:20 AM
Comment #165135

Jack et All,
The problem with the political debate on global warning is that both parties are missing the Point of Order. If our society is adding say 500 ppm/day than the political/societal question is how and what can be done to create a machine that can remove and store the CO2 just like the forests have for thousands of years. Thus, not only eliminating global warming, but allowing for the Human Race to begin to regulate the weather.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at July 6, 2006 1:25 AM
Comment #165136

but, i did not agree with the post at 10.30 pm by mr madness!

Posted by: Rodney Brown at July 6, 2006 1:28 AM
Comment #165137

Jack, Great Post, well thought out. It’s always good to plan ahead for worst case scenarios.

I have to agree with Eric, here though. We do know that CO2 has increased over the last hundred years. We know man is likely the cause.

Beyond that what we know is little. The problem is modeling. It’s the same reason we find predicting landfall of Hurricanes difficult. Models are imperfect and have biases and errors. If we had it all figured out, the weatherman would never be wrong.

Posted by: gergle at July 6, 2006 1:31 AM
Comment #165158

“Does the famous hockey stick graph take into account the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warming Period?”

Yes - it does. What’s your point?

Posted by: tony at July 6, 2006 7:09 AM
Comment #165162

Rodney Brown-
Different substances act differently. To produce this consequence, Sulfate Aerosols and other dusts have to get kicked up into the stratosphere, where wind currents at that height spread them over the globe. It doesn’t persist too long, as you say.

But we’re talking a different kind of substance here, essentially a very fine mist of liquid drops. CO2 is a gas, and one that only comes out of solution very slowly. What we’ve put up there, in billions and billions of tons a year will take hundreds of thousands of years to come out again, all things being equal.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 6, 2006 8:17 AM
Comment #165167


Find a way for the investors to make a profit by reducing greenhouse gases. That is the American way. Until then there is really no reason to have this debate. A global warming tax, God forbid.

Posted by: jlw at July 6, 2006 8:41 AM
Comment #165168

Oh No, Global Warming cannot be true. We must put capitalism and jobs before humanity and the planet.

An analogy. Suppose there is a guy in your neighborhood that throws all his trash out in his yard. Once a week he hires someone to clean it up. If he stops his way of life and stops trashing his yard, someone will lose a job. Meanwhile, the trash that he throws in his yard gets scattered thru the neighborhood during the week because of the weather. The guy that cleans the yard doesn’t clean the neighborhood, so the whole neighborhood has that guy’s trash scattered about.

This guy is the U. S., and the neighborhood is the world. We are using the world for our trashcan, while we save our established jobs, because we are afraid of changing.

The U.S. is the trashy neighbor of the world, what is more important. The environment or a few jobs?

Posted by: mem beth at July 6, 2006 8:44 AM
Comment #165187

Jeff,

Do you have the links to the statements you referenced? I can find several articles in Science (www.sciencemag.org) and the NAS website (www.nasonline.org) on the NAS endorsing global warming, but none on NAS members signing a statement that we don’t know enough to be sure.

BTW, you had a mistake in your post: the NAS is composed of around 2,000 members from the USA and 350 foreign associates (note: only US citizens can be full members of the NAS). Your post makes the NAS sound like a large, international scientific society, which it is not. If you add up all the signatures you reported, the total is about 19,000. Only about 2,000 of those signatures could have come from NAS members. The other 17,000 were not NAS members. I’d like to know how many NAS members actually signed each document.

Thanks.

Posted by: J. R. Milks at July 6, 2006 10:39 AM
Comment #165189

The issue in a nutshell

Fact - The Earth has been gradually getting warmer since 1945

Speculation - Because of man kind

Posted by: frankxcid at July 6, 2006 10:44 AM
Comment #165196

frankxcid,

Actually, we know that man has some impact on the environment and release of greenhouse gasses that increases our global warming. We just don’t agree on how much, what else could be causing it or what to do about it that will slow the warming period we are in without destroying our way of life in the process. Which impact would be worse, etc.

For example, we know that the sun increases in the amount of heat it puts out in cycles. We are in a cycle where it is expelling more heat that is reaching the US. We are trapping that heat, thank god or there would be no life on earth at all, but we may be trapping too much causing it to rise. The impact of that increase in heat may have some undesired results that we want to prevent, but those results may be mild compared to what we would have to do in order to prevent it.

There is still much that we don’t know and speculate on, but that man contributes to global warming is not a speculation. It’s just that we don’t know how much or how bad it might be.

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 6, 2006 10:59 AM
Comment #165197

I think I’ve found a reference to the statement opposing action on global warming from a 1998 news article in Science. For those who cannot access the article, here’s a summary: Frederick Seitz,a former president of the NAS, sent out a mailing to many US scientists (most not NAS members nor involved with climate research) with a petition opposing the Kyoto treaty and collected ~15,000 signatures. Fine and well, but he also included a fake research paper supporting his views that had been made to look like it had been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That had the effect of lending false credibility to his claims. Several hundred scientists were outraged with his actions.

I have to wonder how many of those signatures were valid, given the methodologies used to collect them. If I proposed using such methods to my Ph.D. dissertation committee, I’d be lucky to remain in the program (I’m a Ph.D. student in Environmental Science).

I’m still looking for any references to the petition supporting global warming.

Posted by: J. R. Milks at July 6, 2006 11:02 AM
Comment #165201

Jack - Well written and I cannot find a disagreemnt. Are you becoming more liberal or am I becoming more conservative? I hope its you..

So what is the next step to fix this? The left/Right ideological question is; Who will take the lead to fix this..Buisness or Government.

If this is a race against time, Is this a national security issue? If the role of government is National Security, is fixing or adapting the public (to protect their well being)to a change a climate a form of National Security?

Should there be a comprehensive energy plan? regulations? tax incenitves/disincentives/ research dollars for research in new technologies? Regulations.

Or will Free market (which casued this probem) fix this problem?

Is there a middle ground?

Posted by: Stefano at July 6, 2006 11:14 AM
Comment #165202

For those interested, here’s last week’s Science article on the “hockey stick” graph. Again, for those who can’t access the article, a panel from the National Research Council concluded that the general form of the “hockey stick” was correct, but that the estimates of the errors associated with the data had been underestimated, with the largest measurement errors associated with the data from ~1,000 A.D.

Posted by: J. R. Milks at July 6, 2006 11:16 AM
Comment #165212

What an excellent question Stefano! This goes to the very heart of Conservative vs. Liberal. As a conservative I will submitt that the government can not do anything that will make any changes towards alleviating this. I believe that the actual action will come from the citizens in several factors already discussed, e.g. high gas prices—>find alternatives; increasing prosperity—>less pollution.
Anything the gov’t does will make things worse. Still, nothing you, I or the government will have no effect on Global warming, CO levels or whether the Earth gets hit by a meteor.
Rheinhold, There is no proof that man has any effect on temperature. This is not only fact but common sense. What I mean by common sense is that as the temperature readings get older, the more speculative they become. Sure, scientist can make an educated guess by looking at glacial core samples, but even they must admit that they are reading from the location the core was taken and not global. I will submit also that the educated guess of the most intelligent and degree spangle scientist are still guesses no better Al Gore’s prediction we will fry in 10 years (which he predicted 18 years ago)

Posted by: frankxcid at July 6, 2006 12:19 PM
Comment #165220
Or will Free market (which casued this probem) fix this problem?

No, the free market didn’t ‘cause the problem’. lack of knowledge did. Human progress did. There are countries that are full on socialist that have helped contribute to the problem, not just the US, you know.

There is no proof that man has any effect on temperature.

Actually, it’s called basic sense. If we expell CO2 and CO2 in the atmosphere helps warming the planet, we contribute to it. How much is the debate, it is very likely that we are very insignificant amount, hence the reason that even if we do stop all CO2 output we will probably not have enough of an impact to stop the increase in temperatures we will most likely see over the next 50 years, which is most likely part of a natural cycle. It may be that we are helping it along a little faster than the cycle is expecting, perhaps throwing it off-kilter. We just don’t know that part.

But to say we don’t contribute AT ALL is just sticking your head in the sand, putting your fingers in your ears and saying ‘na-na-na-na-na’.

no better Al Gore’s prediction we will fry in 10 years (which he predicted 18 years ago)

I thought that was Ted Dansen? You know, they do sort of look alike….

Posted by: Rhinehold at July 6, 2006 12:51 PM
Comment #165232

Rhinehold-
What I’ve read is this: Climate has cyclical elements to it, but on the whole it is metastable. If the feedbacks push it far enough, it won’t snap back to its old form. Rather than being determinant factors, orbital forcing, solar variability and other factor are pieces of the puzzle.

It’s rather like putting together and engine and suping it up. No part operates by itself and determines everything. It is what emerges from all the different inputs and outputs and processes that occur in the engine that determine how it handles the energy in the gasoline.

One of the greatest uncertainties in the Climate change equations is how much we will contribute. Metastability is part of the issue here. In essence, how far we push this climate from its original equilibrium may determine whether we settle into a mildly different climate, or a wildly different one.

The difference between those two climates may be the difference between the collapse of American power and its continuance.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 6, 2006 1:29 PM
Comment #165241

Stephen Daugherty, Absolutely. in a natural carbon cycle, Ie before all the burning of fossil fuels, carbon dioxide was naturally removed from the atmosphere by Photosynthesis.but the removal rates are not sufficient to account for the increased c02 additions from fossil fuel combustion, so carbon dioxide concentrations ARE INCREASING in the Atmosphere. we can just look at a chart from 1960 to today and see the increased ppms of co2 in OUR atmosphere. if it was a company profit ledger sheet (AND I am not Against companys making money) we all could retire. That’s why in many of my posts, I advocate the removal of 70% -80% of the CO2 from our current Standards. and Jack has had many posts talking about it.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at July 6, 2006 2:22 PM
Comment #165256

Wow, how silly is all this. Again, there is no proof that man is the cause for the current trend of global warming. The CO and CO2 link has been debunk since the levels present do no coincide with temperature in the 20th century (whose data is not 100% accurate) This argument is the acme of inflated ego. The role of humans in the climate is the same role an ant has on a dance floor. Get over it, you do not have that much power. A single volcano would eclipse the CO/CO2 contribution by humans. The carbon cycle is BS. Fossil fuel does not come 100 % from fossils. If you are so worried, buy a hybrid.

Posted by: frankxcid at July 6, 2006 3:50 PM
Comment #165272

I have flex fuel diesel, 2006 chevy Lt3 hd 2500 duramax lbz. that burns clean biodiesel and pure vegetable oil. and btw it reduces the co2 by almost 80% and yep i do feel better !!!!!!! :^)

Posted by: Rodney Brown at July 6, 2006 5:24 PM
Comment #165333

Frankxcid-
Volcanoes tend to contribute something over 135 million metric tons of CO2 to the atmosphere. We contributed about 20 billion metric tons That’s about two orders of magnitude greater.

As for one-to-one correspondences between CO2 levels and heat, that’s not how things work. First CO2 is one factor among many, second, even by itself, it’s effects are non-linear, and third, the climate itself is an emergent system, of which CO2 heat trapping is one part- crucial, but not full determinant of everything.

The Carbon cycle is not BS, it’s been observed to occur. Fossil fuel, particular oil, only comes from fossils.

As a matter of fact, there are limits as to how petroleum can develop. While coal can sit underground under great pressure and cook, oil only remains oil under certain conditions. First and foremost, there can’t be too much or too little pressure and heat applied. Oil has to essentially be brewed for thousands of year at about the temperature one makes coffee at. It gets too hot, it becomes cooked off. To little, and the material doesn’t develop. (This bit of information is in John McPhee’s Annals of the Former World

As for man’s link the current trend? Remember those Sulfate aerosols? turns out they tend to occur with man-made CO2 emmission, so if you see them together like that, well, you can connect them. It’s not perfect, and I hardly think its the only message, but it does provide a link.

We are responsible. The question is whether we want this event to have us crawling, or whether we want to stand tall. The more we do now, the less we will be humbled later. I’d just as soon have more control over my destiny, rather than wait for the freight train to hit me, then do something about getting off the tracks.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 6, 2006 10:49 PM
Comment #165346

Disappointed to see Jack buy in to the GW hype. It’s silly and there is plenty of science to refute the idea that man is materially impacting global temperature. Any of you guys want to dump your beach front property on the the cheap? I’m buying

http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/harris061206.htm

Posted by: seatown at July 7, 2006 12:04 AM
Comment #165358

Seatown,
Busted. Sorry. Better luck next time. If you get tired of the Canadian Electrical Association, I would suggest the Western Fuels Association (US Coal interests) or any of the groups backed by Exxon. But maybe you work for as a lobbyist for Exxon already. That would explain your position.

Here is an extended quote, followed by the link:

“… The article they’d grabbed from some Canadian wingnut tabloid called the Canada Free Press via Drudge (quoting the professional denier Bob Carter). AT least some outlets ran the article then removed it once they realised that it was just PR nonsense.

One slashdotter comments:

This article was pulled straight from the headlines of the Drudge Report, which should have tipped you off. He’s notorious for linking to only right-wing-skewed news services, and here he’s tapping an obscure Canadian newspaper. Gee, I wonder which way its politics lean? You should have done your homework…

There is only one other article by Tom Harris at CFP, but I found another at National Post , both attacking climate change. Canada Free Press and National Post are both conservative newspapers, particularly the latter. According to the byline, Tom Harris is mechanical engineer and Ottawa Director of High Park Group. And what is the High Park Group, seeing as how their web page say absolutely nothing of substance? Why it’s an industry shill.

Mr. Egan is president of the High Park Group, a public policy consulting firm that focuses largely on energy issues out of its offices in Toronto and Ottawa. He is retained by the Canadian Electricity Association on a range of issues, including U.S. advocacy (monitoring the U.S. Congress and Administration on issues of interest to the Canadian electricity industry).

Of course, articles about “scientists” refuting global warming are a dime a dozen, and go against the plain fact that the vast majority of climate scientists are firmly convinced of its existence.”

http://peakenergy.blogspot.com/2006/06/netvocates-privatised-propaganda.html

Posted by: phx8 at July 7, 2006 1:00 AM
Comment #165363

phx8,

Busted? The GW alarmists alway write off any counter opinion as an industry shill

Here’s another one for you.

http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=95000606

The science supporting GW is not as compeling as you presume. It’s an easy cop out to claim any counter opinion has been bought by the Oil and Gas industry. Sooner or later you should examine the science behind the claims.

Lomborg points out that there is an GW adacmic/research industry predicated on looming disaster. Why should the Gov. fund research if the problem really isn’t that bad?

The “they disagree with me therefore they are biased” argument cuts both ways.

Posted by: seatown at July 7, 2006 1:50 AM
Comment #165376

Jack,

After all, eggs and bacon are really no good w/o toast.

I beg to disagree here. You clearly show here an anglo-saxon bias.

;-)

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 7, 2006 5:34 AM
Comment #165379

Many of the sources associated with Tom Harris are also associate with TASSC, which was essentialy a front company originally created by a PR firm for Phillip Morris to give Tobacco companies and others an “independent source” which could dispute mainstream scientific findings.

One of Tom Harris’ recent events publicizing skeptic’s views on global warming was paid for by a pair of oil companies. That should tell you something.

Ultimately, the problem is not with skepticism of global warming, it’s with the pollution of the discourse with false controversies and the research and activities of those who claim indepedence, but in reality are caught in profound conflicts of interest with those who stand to lose the most from reduced emissions

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 7, 2006 8:01 AM
Comment #165417

what is so pseudo about acupuncture ? the chinese have used it for thousands of years with great success and many more world wide have found it’s healing powers “miraculous” for lack of a better word. is it because you do not understand, have not fully researched, or simply take the word of closed minded blowhards with an agenda like the f.d.a.,the dea, or phizer or anyone else who loves the status quo regardless of evidence or lack therof ? just curious.

Posted by: dawoud_almajid at July 7, 2006 11:46 AM
Comment #165460

The argument is still moot, the scientific consensus is only that it is getting warmer globally by less than one degree in a period of 70 years. There is no consensus on the reason nor what the effects will be. Alarmism and guilt does nothing productive. If you want to do something the real thing to do is fight poverty. Not with mandatory wealth reassignment but by become so successful yourself that you can control this yourself. The smell test of all this alarmism is the rhetoric itself:
more storms —> global warming
colder —> global warming
hotter —> global warming
less storm —> global warming
more plants —> global warming
no matter what it is global warming. I mention that a single volcano spews as much as all the cars and the argument is that some volcanos spew less at a chosen time. How can you believe that carbon is permanently locked in fossil if “Only we would leave it alone” when that person’s own argument is that oil has to be a certain temperature or it will burn off. What happen to the laws of thermodynamics, don’t you think the equilibrium of carbon will cause persipitation of the specific molecule (like the acid rain mentioned in the argument) Finally, the best way to see how ridiculous it is is to think about the worst case scenario. Would it be Water World or Jurassic Park?

Posted by: frankxcid at July 7, 2006 1:58 PM
Comment #165489

Seatown,
You cite an article from 2001. Climatology is one of the fastest developing sciences of all. You would really do yourself a favor by reading current material. A great deal is available, both online and in the library.

Here is a humorous summary of the bet the author of that article refused to make from a Wikipedia article:

“The November 10, 2004 online version of Reason magazine reported that Lindzen is “willing to take bets that global average temperatures in 20 years will in fact be lower than they are now.”[17] Climatologist James Annan,[18] who has offered multiple bets that global temperatures will increase,[19] contacted Lindzen to arrange a bet.[20] Annan offered to pay 2:1 odds in Lindzen’s favor if temperatures declined, but said that Lindzen would only accept a bet if the payout was 50:1 or better in his favor and that no bet occurred.”

Nice. Lindzen refused odds unless he were offered 50:1.

Posted by: phx8 at July 7, 2006 2:50 PM
Comment #165495

Seatown,
We are discussing science, not politics.

If mankind were dumping huge amounts of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere; and amounts of SO2 were steadily increasing each year; and 9 out of the last 10 years were the coolest on record; and cores from ice sheets and sediment deposits around the world showed high SO2 concentrations usually matched cool eras; and glaciers increased; and cold weather insects and plants began showing up in more southerly ranges, and warm weather creatures disappeared from northern ranges; and over 900 peer reviewed science publications stated Global Cooling was happening, with 1/4 of the publishers on the fence, and no peer reviewed articles disagreeing; then-

I would conclude Global Cooling was taking place, and mankind was contributing to it, and mankind would be wise to stop contributing to it.

If opposition came from S02 industries, and if the critics were for the most part financed by that industry…

I am sure you see my point.

Frankxcid,
It would be more accurate to refer to Global Warming as Climate Change. Substitute that phrase and you might be able to make sense of the sometimes seemingly contradictory results. Some areas may experience more rain, and others drought. You are probably already familiar with the possibility the Atlantic thermohaline circulation could eventually be disrupted by fresh water glacial run-off. That scenario would freeze Europe and the northeastern US.

Posted by: phx8 at July 7, 2006 3:08 PM
Comment #165575
You are probably already familiar with the possibility the Atlantic thermohaline circulation could eventually be disrupted by fresh water glacial run-off. That scenario would freeze Europe and the northeastern US.

Which mean Europeans and North Americans may needs to move to south. Time to be more gentle with our south neighboors I guess.

;-)

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 7, 2006 7:37 PM
Comment #165597

phx8,

Did you even read the article? It seems all too typical, you dismiss a counter opinion not by discrediting its basis in science, but by putting up a straw horse. Yes, the article I posted was a few years old, but still very relevant. By the way, Lindzen’s (the author) stand on this topic has not changed. I hope this one is recent enough for you:


http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110008220

Posted by: Seatown at July 7, 2006 8:22 PM
Comment #165598

Phx8

I included the link re the Atlantic in the article.

Phillipe

Even in the quick scenario, it would take 50 years and it might be possible to counter it. Besides, in the case of such exteme need, I don’t think we would ask permission. Would France allow Senegal to say no?

Posted by: Jack at July 7, 2006 8:29 PM
Comment #165607

Jack,

I don’t know where you get your other nutty opinions, but you are speaking soundly with regard to this one. Nobody likes higher gas prices but money is a strong motivator and it may just what it takes to be the catalyst for change in how we get our energy needs met.

I have written a few investigatory essays on ‘NEW-CYOO-LER’ power and I am opposed to it. I don’t like the large amounts of highly toxic waste that are the necessary by-product of fission reactors. This concern goes away when and IF (big if) we can ever figure out how to harness FUSION. I see solar, wind and hydroelectric options as much more feasible.

I do have a bit of a bias…I lost two friends who died of cancer in northern europe shortly after Chernobyl. Cancer rates all across Europe shot up exponentially because of that accident and reactions like, “We can do better” just ring hollow to me. Chernobyl showed how bad it is capable of being.

Posted by: RGF at July 7, 2006 8:37 PM
Comment #165621

Seatown,
Here is a link to a good refutation of the “alarming” article by Lindzen:

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=341&tstamp=200604

It gets a little wonky in the discussion of hurricanes, humidity, & the refutation of Lindzens theory on the Iris Effect.

I appreciate your posting a 2006 link.

According to Lindzen in 2001:

“(1) that global mean temperature is about 0.5 degrees Celsius higher than it was a century ago; (2) that atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide have risen over the past two centuries; and (3) that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas whose increase is likely to warm the earth (one of many, the most important being water vapor and clouds).”

Lindzen refuses to draw conclusions from the above. He feels it is not enough evidence. He also feels his personal theory about cloud formation will come true, and moderate temperatures.

It is normal for scientists to be skeptics. As a scientist, Lindzen could quite reasonably demand we wait until evidence is indisputable, one way or another.

Do you think it is a good idea to wait 50 years before doing anything, in order to be absolutely, postively certain? Do we have that luxury?


Posted by: phx8 at July 7, 2006 9:04 PM
Comment #165654

frankxcid said ( a single volcano would eclipse the co/co2 contribution by humans.) err ahh . sorry, volcanic releases of co2 are about 1% of the amount which is released by human activities. per wikipedia.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at July 7, 2006 10:49 PM
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