The Gospel of Global Warming

Have you accepted The Message of Global Warming?

Environmentalist messiah, Al Gore, is sending his disciples out to convert the unbelievers who have yet to accept the truth about Global Warming.

Eighty-five Australians have been chosen to spread former US vice president and climate campaigner Al Gore's greenhouse message to their local communities.

Mr Gore is personally training his environment crusaders after recruiting them from a pool of 700 hopefuls.   ~abc.net.au

As I have said before The Message of Global Warming is a message of faith. The similarities are striking. Those who disagree with this new religion are called 'climate change deniers'. Supposed transgressors are now being labeled as criminals who have committed crimes against the planet.

In fact, the flavor of this belief system is taking on an even more overt similarity to the traditional religious practice of evangelism:

She says she could not believe Mr Gore selected her to spread the word on climate change.

"My heart was beating so much, I thought my chest was going to crack open," she said. "I was absolutely thrilled."

This weekend, Mr Gore has taught each of his messengers how to present a slide show drawn from his documentary, An Inconvenient Truth.

After that, Mr Gore says they will be on their own to deliver 10 presentations to their communities.

"The whole purpose of this is to get the message of the climate crisis delivered more quickly to more people with the scientific accuracy and connect it to the solutions," he said.   ~abc.net.au

Further reading:

Thou shalt not burn fossil fuels.
The new religion is global warming
Global Warming: the new religion


Posted by Eric Simonson at November 19, 2006 1:02 PM
Comments
Comment #195695

I reckon I’m a criminal then. Because I don’t believe Gore or his bunch of phony scientist.
When I was a kid in school I was taught that science takes a theory and follows it to a logical conclusion. Today idiot scientist take a illogical conclusion and makes up the theory to support for it. And it’s this phony science that Gore and his likes takes their beliefs from.

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 19, 2006 2:30 PM
Comment #195698

Eric:

All scientists worth their salt say that global warming is real. Furthermore, they show pictures of icebergs melting - these are facts, not beliefs.

You are the one with a belief. You believe that Gore is pushing a belief. This is ridiculous. He presents facts, analyses based on facts. Everything he says is corroborated by the scientific community.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at November 19, 2006 2:41 PM
Comment #195700

the Oregon”>Oregon”>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_Petition>Oregon Petition, the only really noteworthy tidbit i found in your links, is outdated and fallacious. no respectable, credible scientist, who is deserving of the label, has any doubt that climate change is real.

link text

The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

now, there may very well be a movement of ‘enviro-nazi’s’ seeking to profit or in some way take advantage of the *fact* of climate change. i would not doubt it. but questioning the findings of *real* scientists by way of citing the findings of corporate shills, or other such “scientists,” is not a productive way of convincing anyone of anything other than your own ignorance.

preserving the planet for posterity is a no-brainer; preserving our country’s economic and energy independence, as well as our environmental sustainability, for our progeny is a no-brainer… not to mention the national security implications implicit in our reliance on our enemies for energy.

… look at what the chinese have done to their country. it’s not gonna matter much for them if climate change is real or not. moreover, pollution recognizes no borders. thus, their problem *is* our problem.

your argument (if i’m not mistaken); global warming is a liberal lie.

my argument; pollution is detrimental to us all, regardless of the truth or myth of climate change, and if left unchecked, will lead to disaster one way or another.

…call it what you will. a ‘natural cycle’ (the previous rival theory of climate change) that is going to lead us to catastrophe is no less worth investigating and arresting than a human-induced one.

is your ultimate goal simply to deflect blame? ok. no one’s to blame. now can we stop denying reality and try focusing instead on solutions?

Posted by: Diogenes at November 19, 2006 2:48 PM
Comment #195701

apologies for the shoddy links.

1. Oregon Petition


2. The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

Posted by: Diogenes at November 19, 2006 2:53 PM
Comment #195710

Paul,

All scientists worth their salt say that global warming is real. Furthermore, they show pictures of icebergs melting - these are facts, not beliefs.

Ahh, pictures of icegergs melting. …You know, maybe you’re right. Pictures of icebergs melting absolutely proves that we, industrial society, are responsible for global warming.

Further, that’s more than enough evidence to prove that we need to radically reconstruct our society along the lines radical environmentalists propose.

Posted by: eric simonson at November 19, 2006 4:27 PM
Comment #195711

forgive the weak analogy - but it’s at least an adequate, if simplified, illustration of my point.

2 men are walking up a mountain.

one of the men points up and shouts, “look, through our negligent actions we have caused a landslide that shall undoubtedly mean our death if we don’t act!” he immediately attempts to move.

the next man grabs the first by the arm, saying placidly, “don’t be ridiculous, this is an entirely natural event and we had nothing to do with its occurrence. we simply cannot be held to account for the capricious and often volatile nature of ‘nature,’ and furthermore…”

*splat*

Posted by: Diogenes at November 19, 2006 4:30 PM
Comment #195712

The planet is getting warmer and the preponderance of the evidence indicates that humans are contributing. You can believe that, as I do, and still not get hysterical about it.

The earth has been warmer than it is today as late as the 11th Century. William the Conqueror’s doomsday book recorded wine growing in north of England. It is too cold there today for that. The Vikings colonized Greenland, which had the capactity to produce grain. As glaciers retreat in the Alps, they are finding frozen remains of forests that were growing there is the warmer times of the middle Roman Empire.

The earth has also been a lot colder. We went through the little ice age, which began in the 13th Century and just ended recently.

It was warmer in the 1930s than it is today and cooler from the 1940s until the middle of the 1970s.

All this means we should take reasonable steps to limit CO2 AND also methane and black soot. Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas. I good policy would be to go after that one right away. Why do so many people ignore methane?

To tackle the problem, the price of energy will rise and we will have to develop alternatives.

Again this is a real problem, but hysteria is not justified. Already about 10% of all U.S. venture captial goes into alternative fuels. We solved the problems of SO2, NOx, soot, CO floricarbons etc much faster than environmental hysterics predicted at a much lower cost than busines in terests feared.

Gore is right to be concerned, but we need not go crazy about this. It will probably turn out the same way the population bomb or the limits of growth did. Those were considered civilization destroying problems too. We solved them w/o destroying civilization or even breaking much of a collective sweat. People are smarter than some of us think.

Posted by: Jack at November 19, 2006 4:31 PM
Comment #195714


Diogenes: Thank you for the common sense. All of us seem to struggle with common sense from time to time.

We are all culpable, we all benefit to one degree or another from the way we do business and live our lives. We can all do things that would reduce the polution and the waste that we generate. Will it be painful to change our ways? Probably, but the benefits for ourselves, our children and their children will greatly outweight any short term pain.

Posted by: jlw at November 19, 2006 4:46 PM
Comment #195717

Republicans, currently in power, have earned the mistrust of most Americans with regard to issues dependent upon science, because of their long-running war against science, intellectualism, “elitism” and higher education. They have courted the religious right, (many of whom, if presented with fact would claim that it was put there by satan to “tempt” them!), not because of any sincere interest in the concerns of Evangelicals but because it dovetails so well with the monied interests that control the Republican Party.
Business/money interests control the Republican party, plain and simple. These interests do not care a wit as to the validity of the science of global warming. They simply do not care. The issue presents itself as potentially a huge cost to them and they will fight it no matter what. Regards

Posted by: Charles Ross at November 19, 2006 5:35 PM
Comment #195720

Eric,

What is it about Al Gore that frightens you so much? Is it him or his message?

Posted by: Tim in NY at November 19, 2006 5:51 PM
Comment #195722

charles,

the democrats are about to get their chance. let’s hope they merit your apparent trust.

(many corporations donate to both candidates in any given election - republican and democrat - in order to ensure that whoever wins, their interests are served).

Posted by: Diogenes at November 19, 2006 6:00 PM
Comment #195724

I was wondering why, two weeks after my dems won, I’m still depressed!

Posted by: Charles Ross at November 19, 2006 6:13 PM
Comment #195730

To those who are in denial about global climate change as a result of man’s pollution;
You are out of excuses.
You are out of time.
You are out of your mind.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at November 19, 2006 7:01 PM
Comment #195733

CO2 emissions and the earth’s temperature have always been in synch. Projections show that CO2 will shortly dramatically rise 600% more than where’s it been anytime in the last 600,000 years. No serious scientists dispute this. Furthermore, plenty of governments, including Britain, are not only taking Gore seriously, they are hiring him to consult with them about what they should do. Tony Blair says that every dollar spent now will save four dollars that will need to be spent in the near future.

Fixing this is doable (maybe), but we need to act now. If a disaster happens like the icecaps melting, that’s not going to be reversable. The steps Gore has outlined are easy. Many are what countries are already doing.

Bush won over Gore by less than 500 votes in Florida. That was a major tragedy. Republicans have already failed this country in so many ways recently. Please wake the hell up.

Posted by: Max at November 19, 2006 7:19 PM
Comment #195734

I suppose.

Except that global warming is a concept that can be proved or disproved scientifically but religious faith cannot be.

Posted by: Zeek at November 19, 2006 7:22 PM
Comment #195736

Climate change is a fact. Here’s a news flash for the chicken littles-climate changes without human intervention, always has, always will.
Global warming is a hoax.

Posted by: traveller at November 19, 2006 7:37 PM
Comment #195737

Eric,
Nice link, using the Michael Barkey article. He used to belong to the Acton Institute, which between 1998 -2004 received $160,000 from Exxon.

Why do most major corporations in the world, including BP, accept the science behind human-induced Global Warming, & invest money in alternative energies, while only one major coporation, Exxon, rejects it & rejects investment in alternative energies? Why is almost every major multinational corporation wrong, and why is only Exxon right? Could it be that Exxon benefits the most from the status quo? After all, they have recorded the most profitable quarters & years in world history.

Who should we believe: political lobbyists such as Michael Barkey, who are funded by Exxon, or reputable scientists publishing peer-reviewed data?

The next link under “further reading” cites that paragon of integrity, Tom DeWeese. His specialty is direct mail (NOT science):

“During the 1997 debate on EPA’s proposed new particulate standards, DeWeese sent out a fundraising letter falsely claiming that the EPA was on the verge of banning “Backyard barbecues” to gain compliance.”
http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/personfactsheet.php?id=1158

Your last “further reading” link cites Richard Lindzen. He is the only source with any real expertise, although he too accepts money from coal & oil interests. Oddly enough, Mr Lindzen is unwilling to back up his sceptical statements with cash:

“In November 2004, climate change skeptic Richard Lindzen was quoted saying he’d be willing to bet that the earth’s climate will be cooler in 20 years than it is today. When British climate researcher James Annan contacted him, however, Lindzen would only agree to take the bet if Annan offered a 50-to-1 payout. Subsequent offers of a wager were also refused by Pat Michaels, Chip Knappenberger, Piers Corbyn, Myron Ebell, Zbigniew Jaworowski, Sherwood Idso and William Kininmonth.”
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Richard_Lindzen

By the way, Lindzen accepts that Global Warming is occurring. His main dispute is whether human beings have any involvement. Here is a great link, if anyone wants to spend time with that rarity of rarities, a Global Warming sceptic:
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=222

Tell you what. Find a scientist who has written a peer-reviewed article proving human-induced Global Warming is a hoax. Just one. Take your time. I will wait.

Posted by: phx8 at November 19, 2006 7:47 PM
Comment #195744

Diogenes,

Yes, it is a weak analogy, but it is an almost perfect example of the problem I have with the global warming argument.

If you amend the analogy a little it would more accurately reflect the true arguments being made here:

***

2 men are walking up a mountain.

One of the men points up and shouts, “Look, through our negligent actions we have caused a landslide that shall undoubtedly mean our death if we don’t act!”

“Now, what we need to do is outlaw all forms of walking and speaking on mountains. You will also need you to sign over a portion of all your current property to me as well as a portion of your annual income so that this never happens again. It just so happens that I have my lawyer with me to witness your signature. Sign here.”

The other man says, “I don’t see or hear any avalanche.”

The first man then replies, “We don’t have time to argue about this— sign now!”

***

Your analogy is good in another sense as well. Are all avalanches man made? No. They are not. In fact, avalanches happen with or without human intervention. So it is with climate change.

We already know that climate change is the norm throughout geological history. It happens without human intervention. The burden of proof here must be on those who say this is an aberation caused by human means.

It is in fact an extraordinary claim to say that we are soley to blame for any climate change that may be happening. It is an even more extraordinary claim for those who explain that this is a an emergency demanding radical solutions.

Posted by: eric simonson at November 19, 2006 8:15 PM
Comment #195745

i wouldn’t hold my breath.

“Climate change is a fact. Here’s a news flash for the chicken littles-climate changes without human intervention, always has, always will.
Global warming is a hoax.”

what exactly are you saying here? yes, the climate changes with or without us. yes, the climate is changing for the worse. no, we shouldn’t bother investigating it, or attempt to ascertain whether we have had, or can have, any measurable impact on it - or rather, we should ignore the innumerable scientific studies which answer a resounding “yes!”

after all, science has never given us any useful technology in the past, nor has it ever solved any of our problems.

ice caps are melting. doesn’t matter why when you get right down to it (other than potentially helping with the insignificant task of determining possible solutions).

it’s bad. look into it (desalinization of the ocean, messing with the ocean currents, leading to floods and contamination of water sources and arable land - thereby leading to desertification….) it’s happening. the proof is there.

you can refuse any responsibility in it - hey, maybe you’re right. but what would you have us do, exactly? stick our heads in the sand?

… i refer you to my previous analogy.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 19, 2006 8:18 PM
Comment #195747

phx8,

Tell you what. Find a scientist who has written a peer-reviewed article proving human-induced Global Warming is a hoax. Just one. Take your time. I will wait.

Pardon me for pointing this out but logically this is a silly challenge. The burden of proof is on those with extraordinary claims not the other way around.

For example:

Tell you what, find anyone proving that big-foot is a hoax. Take your time. I’ll wait.

The problem disproving something which hasn’t been proven in the first place is that those who already believe in global warming won’t accept an argument asking them for proof.

Posted by: eric simonson at November 19, 2006 8:25 PM
Comment #195749

you acknowledge that the climate is changing, presumably for the worse, no? you take exception with the notion that we are the cause. i understand. i disagree. but it doesn’t matter.

we must do something. we can pray - but God helps those who help themselves. so we can use science. science tells us that we may lessen the impact, or at least forestall the process, if we act immediately.

“….The other man says, ‘I don’t see or hear any avalanche.’”

the first man replies, “try turning around and opening your eyes… and it’s amazing how hard it can be to hear anything with your fingers in your ears like that.”

but congratulations; in *my* analogy, (the one that conforms to reality) we’re both dead by now. *splat* (so you would have us wait until then)

now then, as per your assertion that climate change has not been proven - nothing can ever be indisputably proven. if you were a scientist, you would know this. part of the scientific method requires that you attempt to falsify your predictions. it is this scrutiny which lends them credence. the more your theory withstands such experiments, the more it is accepted - but it is never truly certain.

as of now, the evidence supporting human-induced climate change greatly outweighs the evidence against it. so i, too, will patiently await your conclusive scientific study which disproves all previous research in one fell swoop.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 19, 2006 8:43 PM
Comment #195756

Eric,
First, let us establish what “peer review” means in the scientific community:

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/peerreview.html

Naomi Orestes conduced a famous study on Global Warming peer reviewed articles. Out of about 1,000 papers:

“Not a single paper in a large sample of peer-reviewed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003 refuted the consensus position, summarized by the National Academy of Sciences, that “most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.”
http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/072406EA.shtml

The study is widely available and covered by multiple sources.

There is your burden of proof. Game, set, match.

At the G8 meeting this past summer, Bush acknowledged that human induced Global Warming is occurring. He used to deny it. Now Bush argues it is too expensive to address.

Whether extraordinary or not, the scientific proof is in. It is documented. It is measureable.

How much? How fast? There are ranges for projections. But it is not a question of whether this will occur. The current Climate Change is happening in a period of a little more than a century. According to the climate record, a naturally occurring change of this nature should take ten thousand years.

Posted by: phx8 at November 19, 2006 9:08 PM
Comment #195758

“…part of the scientific method requires that you attempt to falsify your predictions…”

that is, experiments, theories, and the like, absolutely must be falsifiable - and thus, never concretely indisputable. as far as proof goes, we are nearly as close as one can get to having proven it, without the climate having entirely changed into a harsh environment incapable of sustaining life - would that be proof enough? if there were any survivors, i can virtually guarantee you that someone among them would say, “but that’s not really *incontrovertible* proof.”

this should tell you something else, as well. all the scientists who have studied this phenomenon have been working very hard to prove themselves wrong, and thereby, to prove you right - and they have not been able to.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 19, 2006 9:10 PM
Comment #195773

Phx8
Where did this 10k year stuff come in? They have not been measuring for very long. Those measurements have shown fluctuation—a little bit up and a little bit down. Is this part of the new math approach to getting the desired results to fit the theory? The scientists have not proved cooling as in a few years past nor in warming as now is a detriment to the world.

Posted by: tomh at November 19, 2006 10:02 PM
Comment #195774

5 or 6 years ago there were still enough unanswered question about global warming to wattent some doubt. There no longer is. The few scientist that do not accept it are on the oil company’s payrolls and are not taken seriously by their peers.
I will confess to being a yellow dog Dem. Recently I have been reading more on the red side and have found many of the pieces well thought out and reasearched,thought provoking and enjoyable even if I did not always agree with the conclusions.This piece is far below that level and consist purely of ridiculeing the messenger. I suppose that is a last feeble attempt at denial of facts that you find disturbing and antithetical to your ideaology. Really,quite disapointing and an insult to your readers and intelligent, serious debate.Keep it up. Then we can watch as the GOP sink into political obscurity.

Posted by: BillS at November 19, 2006 10:04 PM
Comment #195783

This is absurd.
a) Global Climate Change is indisputable in any repsectable scientific debate. Only the most absurdly stubborn or foolish think otherwise.
b) The rightwing of American politics is the only “respected” organization that continues to be in denial. Continued denial only amkes them look foolish
c) Terri Schiavo’s brain had shrunken to less than one third of normal size when Frist said she looked responsive. {He must really have felt like a dick}
d) Conclusion: The rightwing of American politics is operating on one third of a normal sized brian. Lucky thing too, makes it easier to fit up their …

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at November 19, 2006 10:54 PM
Comment #195799


Senator Inhofe (R OK) blames global warming on God in an interview on Faux News.

INHOFE: Now look, God’s still up there. We still have these natural changes, and that is what’s going on right now. By the way, there’s all kinds of new things. Gretchen, you’ll enjoy this. Get your violin out and get ready. They came out with a great discovery just a few weeks ago. And this came from the geophysical research letters and you know what they said? Hold on now! They said the warming is due to the sun. Isn’t that remarkable? GRETCHEN: Wow.

CAVEGIRL: Wow, it sure is hot.

CAVEMAN: I bet that big yellow ball up there is causing it.

Just remember folks, you heard it first right here on Faux.

Posted by: jlw at November 20, 2006 12:27 AM
Comment #195800

I tend to think that the problem is not acknowledging global warming itself, but debate about how much of a role we play in it. For example, from what I’ve read, the Krakatoa volcanic eruption of the 1880s is estimated to have put more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in a matter of minutes than humanity has since we discovered how to make fire. While there is consensus that global temperatures are rising, there is not consensus of how large an effect our activities are playing in this. I think it is only prudent of us to take steps to reduce pollution and find sustainable energies with minimal environmental impact. However, radically changing our lifestyles and throwing our economy into chaos on the basis of an unproven theory about our own impact on climate or the environment is not a great idea either. We need a global consensus about this issue. It does America no good to radically increase our efficiency if China and India do nothing to rien in their pollution but it can hurt our economy. As noted several times, this is a global problem in need of a global solution.

Posted by: 1LT B at November 20, 2006 12:34 AM
Comment #195805

Hey Dave

A bit rude and counter productive. As I stated above,sometimes there is thoughtful comment from the right. Some are even able to accept facts and offer proposals to address problems.Give them time to drag the rest along with them. If you look in the archives here you will find a thoughtful piece by Jack about fossil fuel independance,for example.We need all hands on this.

We have a historic opportunity before us. There is a nexus of geopolitical and enviormental necessity to vastly curtail our use of fossil fuels,particularly from the middle east but South America and Asia as well.Even if you do not believe in global warming there is good reason to support alternate energy developement. There is also a huge potential financial payback possible if we do it right. America could become the world leader in this. Heck, we might even actually have something to sell to the rest of the world beside barley,bombers and boobs. The point I am trying to make is that we are a can do nation when we stop pointing fingers at each other long enough to roll up our sleeves and get to work. This will sometimes be a difficult transition , we need all hands and we need someone in the whitehouse ,Dem or Rep, to provide real leadership. This we can get by people of both parties selecting their candidate largely on this issue instead of red herrings.

Posted by: BillS at November 20, 2006 12:45 AM
Comment #195806

dave,

concerning your “conclusion;”
very clever. yet, while i got quite a healthy laugh out of it, it was also considerably offensive. please limit such comments to those to whom they apply. i think that many on the right would otherwise find good cause to agree with you.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 20, 2006 12:51 AM
Comment #195807


1LT B: We can’t radically change the way we do things over night. How about if in ten years we can say we are half way or a third of the way there. We are making progress. Let’s keep up the good work.—— Does that sound unreasonable?

Posted by: jlw at November 20, 2006 12:51 AM
Comment #195808

“…the problem is not acknowledging global warming itself, but debate about how much of a role we play in it.”

as i previously noted, other than for the purpose of finding solutions, assessing fault is futile at this point. indeed, it really doesn’t matter whether this phenomenon is *entirely* natural or *entirely* manmade.

it would certainly be a self-defeating effort if we were to sacrifice humanity to save the planet, but we absolutely must endeavor to limit the effects to whatever degree possible. what we require is a concerted effort to find and implement an effective solution with which we can all indefinitely *live*…

“…this is a global problem in need of a global solution.”

agreed.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 20, 2006 12:52 AM
Comment #195809


Agreed. And I would like nothing better than to see this great nation lead the World in that effort.

Posted by: jlw at November 20, 2006 1:00 AM
Comment #195812

Diogenes
et al

Of course we need global solutions but it would go far even without it for us to clean up our act. The US puts out something like 23% of greenhouse gas emmisions,far disprportunate to our population. Also, and importantly,if we were to lead the way others would follow.
Should we do so at the cost of economic chaos? I would submit that there is a greater risk of economic chaos if we do not move forward, not only from the effects of warming but also from the increasing shortage of fossil fuels worldwide. Even now our economy is dependant on despots from the most unstable regions of the world. We are subject to oil blackmail from many fronts. I would also submit that the developement of alternatives could lead to an economic boom if and only if, we take a leadership position. Otherwise we will be buying the technology and systems from the Japanese or Europeans.

Posted by: BillS at November 20, 2006 1:14 AM
Comment #195814

you’ll get no argument here.

if i’m not mistaken (and i might be), with our potential crop yields, we should be easily able to lead the world in at least some alternative fuels already, hands-down, no contest; i.e. biodiesel.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 20, 2006 1:28 AM
Comment #195820

Tomh,
Naturally occurring climate change happens due to the changing orbit of the earth, the changing tilt of the earth, and its changing wobble. This is a process which can take 10,000 years to change the climate.

Abrupt climate change also happens. Catastrophes like meteor impacts or prolonged volcanism can cause the climate to change in a relatively short time.

Industrial processes have introduced large amounts of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, in a short period of time. Since the industrial revolution, atmospheric C02 has increased to its highest amount in 650,000 years, perhaps in 20 million years.

Volcanic eruptions such as Krakatoa only affect the climate for a year or two, because the main greehouse gas produced is sulfur dioxide, S02. SO2 comes out of the atmosphere in a very short time, just a year or two.

However, atmosperic CO2 last decades, perhaps even a century.

The oceans have already absorbed enormous amounts of C02, which causes another set of problems.

The warming of the ocean and atmosphere involves tremendous amounts of energy. It is a slow process, but a process with enormous momentum. In other words, once it starts, Global Warming is extremely difficult to stop.

The current political discussion seeks agreements to stop adding to the momentum. A great deal of damage has already been done, and nothing can stop it. The question is, will we stop adding to the damage?

Posted by: phx8 at November 20, 2006 2:05 AM
Comment #195827

jlw,

Good idea, you get no argument from me.

Diogenes,

Determining what role we play in global climate change is important as it will determine our actions. As you note, its foolish to throw our economy into chaos and radically alter our lifestyles for no gain should we not have an impact on the global climate. I think that we do, but I also think we need to look at where we affect it and focus on things we can help and change, such as the destruction of habitat etc.

Also, a few months ago, Popular Mechanics came out with a comprehensive issue about alternative energies etc. Corn ethanol could be a help, but it cannot fulfill our energy needs. We would need to double our current corn harvest and devote all of it to ethanol production to meet our current needs without any accounting for growing demand. Ethanol from corn, sugar cane, or trees is viable, but it is not a magical cure-all. Popular Mechanics encouraged a mixture of technologies and efforts to give us an overall sustainable mixture of energy sources with minimal environmental impact.

Posted by: 1LT B at November 20, 2006 4:38 AM
Comment #195867

Eric,

If you amend the analogy a little it would more accurately reflect the true arguments being made here:

***

2 men are walking up a mountain.

One of the men points up and shouts, “Look, through our negligent actions we have caused a landslide that shall undoubtedly mean our death if we don’t act!”

“Now, what we need to do is outlaw all forms of walking and speaking on mountains. You will also need you to sign over a portion of all your current property to me as well as a portion of your annual income so that this never happens again. It just so happens that I have my lawyer with me to witness your signature. Sign here.”

The other man says, “I don’t see or hear any avalanche.”

The first man then replies, “We don’t have time to argue about this— sign now!”

***

Oh, please Eric, you just forget this story fall:

*splat*

PS: Signing never start an avalanche. Both acting like an idiot and shouting could.

Your analogy is good in another sense as well. Are all avalanches man made? No. They are not. In fact, avalanches happen with or without human intervention. So it is with climate change.

I’m glad you won’t sue the man/men who are responsible for an avalanche who killed people because, well, avalanches are not always man made, so…

Man is more and more contributing to the actual climate change. Climate change is natural, the actual change rate (and increasing) is *very* not.

The burden of proof here must be on those who say this is an aberation caused by human means.

And they *are* providing some. More and more.

It is in fact an extraordinary claim to say that we are soley to blame for any climate change that may be happening.

Now you’re playing rethoric. Nobody claims *soley* man. Many claims we contribute too much too quickly. There *is* a difference here.

It is an even more extraordinary claim for those who explain that this is a an emergency demanding radical solutions.

Google for “climate refugees” a bit. For some, it’s even too late to be an emergency.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at November 20, 2006 12:39 PM
Comment #195874

Phx8
Measuring those ups and downs have been going on for a very short time.

How does one bring into the equation thousands and millions of years when we have had both cooling and heating but not to excess?

By the way the CO2 helps crops. With increase CO2 the crops have increased output quite substantially.

Posted by: tomh at November 20, 2006 1:19 PM
Comment #195901

CO2 might help plants grow larger, but not more nutritional. Additionally, there is a limit to what they lock away and at what rate. This also affects tree planting, in that trees can’t lock away so much at once.

According to this Wikipedia Article, you’d have to plant an area the size of Texas every Thirty years just to meet Kyoto’s goals.

Climate change can be natural, but like any natural process, it’s subject to whatever inputs that human beings decide to bring into play. Just as our mines can cause greater amounts of acids and heavy metals to seep into groundwater than natural, so too can our carbon emissions affect climate, just as natural carbon emissions do.

Let’s get some things straight here:

1)CO2 IS a greenhouse gas. The debate is not whether it can warm a planet. The evidence is already conclusive that it does.

2)CO2 levels ARE rising. This has been conclusively measured.

3)CO2 takes a long time to filter back out of the atmosphere, naturally.

4)We are adding huge amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere every year, amounts that exceed such sources as Volcanos by many times.

5)Signature rises in levels of artificial human pollution have accompanied the rise in CO2, linking the two.

6)The upward trend in temperature and the rise in levels of CO2 correlate to each other on a historical timeline.

7)Models of Global Warming predict that the rise in temperature will be felt most clearly in the arctic regions, where true enough, a great deal of climate change is focusing its effects.

8)Other predictions of Global Warming theory predict a rise in weather extremes, such as drought, severe storms, winter storms, and Tropical Storms. The frequency and strength of these events have increased.

9)Warming has taken place inspite of the resistance of other kinds of climatic forcing, such as orbital variations.

10)The main question is not whether CO2 levels are responsible for an increase of heat by themselves, but rather in the midst of a system of feedbacks, both positive and negative.

To put it plainly, the scientific disagreement centers around the degree to which average temperatures will be affected by the stronger energetic input allowed by CO2. Will they cause more snow to settle, increasing the earth’s reflectivity and decreasing the overall warming, or will they melt more, causing more ground to show, the darker matter absorbing more heat and increasing the effect? This is no simple matter, even for our best scientists.

Yet the Republicans claim that its all either a hoax, or that the minimum effects will be seen, with more positive results overall.

That’s not science. That’s wishful thinking. Truth is, we don’t have a specific, deterministic picture of what’s going to happen. The thing to keep in mind here is that the worst case scenario here is a change in climate equivalent to about half the difference between our time and that of the ice age. That’s no small change. What’s more, even small changes in climate, in a complex, feedback driven system like the weather, can have profound effects, ones we are not entirely able to anticipate.

The question is whether we proceed with caution and foresight, or instead try to wing this on the assumption that all will turn out for the best.

I think most of us have had enough of that Approach in politics. It’s time we started treating these problems seriously, not waiting for some catastrophic event to kick us in the seat of the pants to get us moving.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 20, 2006 3:25 PM
Comment #195955

People should be more considerate of to the earth not only for themselves but for the future generations to come.And as for Al Gore if he wants to talk the talk then he should also walk the walk. I mean people may preach for a better clean earth. It going to be hard to try to convert millions of people from gas gusaling to a solar powered cars. It takes a lot of energy to keep the needs of millions of people and all the chemicals used require somewhere to dump the after product. All the public transportation creates smog and other pollutants that go into the air and create global warming.Its a good idea of trying to convert people into energy conservationist if a person doesn’t like the new idea of thinking than they shouldn’t be called a certain names like climate change deniers people have the right to have their own believes.The research that is needed for for the ‘new methods’ of fuel or energy is quiet costly so who do you think pays for this their going to transfer the cost to. Like in the last election one of the Props dealt with the fact that the peoples tax dollars go to research for new sources of energy.And Al Gore was promoting the Prop in one of the commercials.

Posted by: Angiet at November 20, 2006 10:11 PM
Comment #195958

diogenes,

you acknowledge that the climate is changing, presumably for the worse, no? you take exception with the notion that we are the cause. i understand. i disagree. but it doesn’t matter.

It matters a great deal. Any remedy based on a false premise or cause which isn’t in fact a cause is not likely to do much good is it?

we must do something. we can pray - but God helps those who help themselves. so we can use science. science tells us that we may lessen the impact, or at least forestall the process, if we act immediately.

This reminds me less of science and more of faith. I refer you to my amended version of your analogy. Saying, in effect, that we have no time to be sure that your hypothesis is correct.

“…The other man says, ‘I don’t see or hear any avalanche.’”

the first man replies, “try turning around and opening your eyes… and it’s amazing how hard it can be to hear anything with your fingers in your ears like that.”

Or in other words, “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?”

but congratulations; in *my* analogy, (the one that conforms to reality) we’re both dead by now. *splat* (so you would have us wait until then)

now then, as per your assertion that climate change has not been proven - nothing can ever be indisputably proven. if you were a scientist, you would know this. part of the scientific method requires that you attempt to falsify your predictions. it is this scrutiny which lends them credence. the more your theory withstands such experiments, the more it is accepted - but it is never truly certain.

Except that today we have no debate on this issue. The issue is settled. Forever apparently. Those who have accepted the Message of Global Warming will accept no criticism. There isn’t enough time! Right? It’s too important to be scrutinized.

as of now, the evidence supporting human-induced climate change greatly outweighs the evidence against it. so i, too, will patiently await your conclusive scientific study which disproves all previous research in one fell swoop.

Again, as I said before, demanding that others disprove that global warming is caused by human activity and presenting that as proof that global warming is caused by human activity is not a logical argument.

Since we already have a logical default explanation, which is that the climate changes without human intervention, the burden of proof must be upon those who propose a radical theory and program of action.

Posted by: eric simonson at November 20, 2006 10:34 PM
Comment #195966

phx8,

How much? How fast? There are ranges for projections. But it is not a question of whether this will occur. The current Climate Change is happening in a period of a little more than a century. According to the climate record, a naturally occurring change of this nature should take ten thousand years.

How quickly can natural climate change happen? Is there no dispute about this? As there is no dispute about human induced global warming?

Possible causes for climate change
Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age and 20th Century Temperature Variability from Chesapeake Bay
Medieval Warm Period

Of course, we all know that evidence that contradicts the dogma of global warming is either funded by oil companies, evil supervillians, or are just plain wrong.

Posted by: eric simonson at November 20, 2006 11:07 PM
Comment #195979

Eric,
Your links provide good examples of naturally occurring climate change. No one disputes these changes.

To date, there is no evidence that the current warming can be traced to natural changes, such as alterations of thermohaline circulation in the Atlantic, sunspots, or other causes. Some studies suggest the current warming is partially attributable to the sun. Others dispute it. In any case, the sun is not providing enough additional energy to account for what is happening now.

In my opinion, one of the greatest strengths of our country is our ability to adapt and innovate. We embrace change, drive change, and develop new technologies which have proved more than one doomsday progosticator very, very wrong.

I realize almost no one agrees with me, but I favor open borders, and believe we should welcome all immigrants. It is because we offer opportunities like no other country in the world-not guarantees- opportunities.

Global Warming presents a risk, and some entrenched industries would prefer we do not innovate or change. Personally, I think no other country in the world can tackle a problem the way we can. It is a matter of self confidence, it is a matter of believing in ourselves.

If I believe in a dogma, it is in the ability of this immigrant nation to innovate and invent its way to a finer future.

When it comes to Global Warming, Eric, you will never have 100% certainty until after the fact. A substantial body of scientific evidence is already in, and it overwhelmingly supports the likelihood that humanity is contributing to Global Warming.

Posted by: phx8 at November 21, 2006 1:26 AM
Comment #195990

phx8,

I tend to agree with you. If we are not the cause of the recent trend of global warming, then the best we can hope to do is ride out the worst effects of it. If we are causing it, then we need to work to minimize the damage we do while attempting to mitigate what we’ve done already. The big problem with all this is that America and the West are only part of the problem and can’t impose solutions. We have much cleaner technology now than we did even 20 years ago, but not every nation is adopting them. China, for instance, says that even though they can make their own industries cleaner, they won’t because America and Europe developed thier own industrial capacity without care of the consequences, this despite the fact that China knows now far better than we did 100 years ago the damage that industry can cause. By the same token, the US and Europe are becoming more forested than in the last 100 years as we focus more of our paper and lumber industry on renewable, purpose planted tree farms. Yet this doesn’t do much good when poor people in the Amazon, Africa, and Southeast Asia continue to log their own forests if for nothing else than a few sticks to cook thier meals and build a shelter. Truly solving global warming will probably have to involve giving solutions to the problems of poverty in the Third World and incentives to developing nations to industrialize in a cleaner and more environmentally friendly manner.

Posted by: 1LT B at November 21, 2006 8:00 AM
Comment #195998

With less than 100 years of actual, reliable data on the worlds climates, it’s premature at best to claim that Global Warming:

A) Exists because of man, or
B) Exists in the form you think it does.

The earth, being millions of years old, having gone through millions of years of climate change, is STILL changing. It’s absurd to cry the sky is falling just yet.

Now, I’m a big fan of limiting the dangers to our environment. Anyone can see that putting harmful waste into the environment such as anti-freeze, oil, etc., is a bad idea. I don’t think that in this universe, of so much we don’t understand, that the grand design of it all, can be undone by man. The world always has a way of changing, and it always will. So sign me up for cleaner burning fuel, better forms of lubricants, less polution in general, but don’t sign me up for the chicken little theory.

Posted by: Matt at November 21, 2006 9:41 AM
Comment #196001

Phx8

Open Borders? Then the next step will be the United States of North America? BTW that is in the works in DC right now as I type.

The benefit could possibly be to prosecute Mexicans and Canadians who break our law; only a possibility. But in reality we will have to bend to their legal structure and more freedoms lost.

Posted by: tomh at November 21, 2006 9:55 AM
Comment #196016

1LT,
No question, China & India & the US need to cooperate with the rest of the international community. There are questions about the justice of restraining developing & Third World economies, just as there are questions surrounding the economic impact of changes upon developed nations. That is understandable, and it will require a lot of discussion & negotiation. As the largest economy, the US should have a lot of say in how we go about making changes.

The point is that international cooperation needs to take place. Truly, it is a global problem.

Matt,
Actual data goes back much farther than 1,000 years. Pardon me for expressing my geek gene, but paleoclimatology is a fascinating field. There are some really clever, ingenous methods of measuring temperatures in the past.

The following link to the government site contains information which has undergone peer review by scientists:

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/paleo.html

Tomh,
I favor people coming here to become legal Americans. Open the doors! But that is a discussion for another day.

Posted by: phx8 at November 21, 2006 11:12 AM
Comment #196117

eric, i can’t help but feel that you are running circles around the truth in order to avoid acknowledging it.

unless you are arguing that the climate is *not* in fact changing, then you really aren’t saying anything at all.

let me try to break it down for you, one last time;

the climate is changing, and for the worse; no one disputes this.

regardless of the cause, science suggests that we may be able to have a *positive* impact on it.

you seem to want to argue about whether we should seek a solution based on the premise that we shouldn’t have to if it isn’t our fault. this is illogical.

…and regardless, no proof that it is (our fault) would be enough for you - as i stated, it has been proven insofar as such a thing is possible. the burden of proof is now officially on you. if you wish to have it incessantly re-proven to you, go look the research and read it over and over, ad nauseam.

my original analogy still stands, and is far more pertinent than your attempts to distort it. if you can’t be bothered to get out of the way of the avalanche, at least have the decency to get the hell out of the way of those who wish to.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 21, 2006 10:13 PM
Comment #196131

BillS/Diogenes,

Good observations. I would like to clarify that my comments are not directed towards conservatives, whom I would define as the center/center-left of the Republican party. Meaning they are in the “rational right.” Instead, I refer to the “wingnuts,” or far right of the party. There is a great deal of ideology at the expense of reality on that fringe. I have, perhaps to my detriment, lost most of my tolerance towards them, certianly no longer find amusement in their insanities, and as such was admittedly rude and certainly not value added. I make no appolgies except to those who perhaps felt like Harry Whittington.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at November 21, 2006 11:30 PM
Comment #196287

thank you for the clarification. much appreciated.

Posted by: Diogenes at November 23, 2006 1:05 AM
Comment #197184

From Stephen

“4)We are adding huge amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere every year, amounts that exceed such sources as Volcanos by many times.”


From Wikipedia…note the hallowed NOAA research estimated 97% of atmospheric CO2 created each year is from natural sources.

“Although contemporary CO2 concentrations were exceeded during earlier geological epochs, present carbon dioxide levels are likely higher now than at any time during the past 20 million years [10] and at the same time lower than at any time in history if we look at time scales longer than 50 million years. NOAA research estimates that 97% of atmospheric CO2 created each year is from natural sources and approximately 3% is from human activities.[citation needed]”

This blog is supposed to be about the Gospel of Global Warming. Stephen’s quote and others like his on this blog are a prime examples of how the Gospel is passed on from scribe to scribe until it takes on a whole new meaning and urgency to the believers. This is undoubtedly due to such scientifically and intellectually dishonest tactics by the high priests of Global Warming such as taking water vapor out of the equation and implying that CO2 is 72% to 75% of the total greenhouse effect when in fact with water vapor included it is only 4% to 6% of the total greenhouse effect. So we contribute .18% of the total 6% greenhouse effect of CO2. If we all just sat and twitted our thumbs and emitted no CO2 ever again the most we could hope to lower our current global warming of around 33 degrees C due to greenhouse gases is .06 degrees C.

Praise be to AliGore

Posted by: Zeke at November 30, 2006 10:35 PM
Comment #197479

Isn’t it Praise be to JesuBush?

Posted by: Dave1-20-2006 at December 2, 2006 10:48 PM
Comment #197721


No, Davil, Bush doesn’t bow at the altar of the Great Global Warming Deity AliGore. Although I believe he would if Cheney told him to. Eh, what’s that we’re supposed to be doing again?

Honestly, it all kind of sounds like the Global War on Terror to me. Purposefully leaving out water vapor from the Greenhouse gases, making it look to the uninformed that CO2 is solely responsible for the Greenhouse effect.

Purposefully leaving out the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warming Period, and starting the upward temperature measurements from 1860 on, making it look again to the uninformed that everything was perfectly fine in the world until the industrial revolution. And when the inclusion of those two periods imply that we haven’t reached our thousand year mean temperature yet. Have the high priest convene and state that the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warming Period were most likely confined to the Northern Hemisphere and therefore not global, and not part of the present day Global Warming discussion. All sounds fishy to me.

Posted by: Zeke at December 4, 2006 10:19 PM
Comment #206200

Hi,
For school I need 3 answers explaining how we aren’t causing global warming! Please answer A.S.A.P.!!!!!

Thanks a million,
Courtney

Posted by: Courtney at February 1, 2007 6:46 PM
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