Third Party & Independents Archives

Straight Talk From Al Gore

Ex-VP, Al Gore is making the rounds with a new book, “”The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change”. He suggests that the power of the Internet can be used to make politicians/gov’t more accountable. He is touting that corpocracy, money is free speech and the lack of campaign finance reform has resulted in the loss of our democracy. He relates that no bill can be brought up in congress without the corpocracy giving their blessing to go forward. I think he referred to that situation as ‘pitiful’.

He recommends campaign finance reform but acknowledges that would be difficult. He notes that when he ran for President he advocated for the restriction of the money influence in gov't.

His popularity seems distant even though we have had huge polar ice melts, super rains in Australia, ocean levels increasing, and the recent coastal flooding around New York City. And, the excessive deviation we have seen in the jet stream patterns over the last two years could be construed to be the resultant of global warming trends.

Some politicians often 'come clean' after giving up on politics. I believe that is where Al is coming from and I for one, appreciate the dialogue.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by Roy Ellis at February 4, 2013 9:31 PM
Comment #361362

More like pure BS from Al Gore.
You know how you can tell when he is lying?
His lips are moving.

But we should cut him some slack since he invented the Internet.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure and FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 4, 2013 11:01 PM
Comment #361366

Odd reaction to Gore on your part. He’s arguably more on your side than any other major politician or former politician you’ll come across. Why the hostility?

Good article. Gore has been on the cutting edge of pushing technological changes for his entire political and post-political career. Will the internet actually become powerful enough to fight against the power behind Citizens United? Don’t know about that. But Gore has always been one of the good guys.

Gore received a lot of ridicule from the right wing for his “lock box” proposal in the 2000 election. He wanted to prevent the GOP from raiding Social Security and other trust funds in order to pay for the GOP tax cuts. Well, that train left the station a long time ago, but it provides another example of Gore being right- presciently so.

Posted by: phx8 at February 4, 2013 11:44 PM
Comment #361367

Owl Gore wouldn’t know straight talk if it jumped up and bit him in the face. He’s been a bought and paid for politician all his life.

The only thing Gore was ever right on is…is…… O forget it, he ain’t ever been right on anything.
How could he keep anyone form raiding SS when his own party did that in the 1960s by putting it into the general fund?

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 5, 2013 12:16 AM
Comment #361386

It never ceases to amaze me how people like Al Gore, Roy and phx8 continually miss the real point behind their fears of free speech…

To them, free speech is ok, if they agree with what is being said and who is saying it. In addition, total governmental control over our lives is ok, as long as the right people are in charge of it.

The fact is, if you want to really reduce ‘business’ influence on the government, quit giving the government so much power over your lives… It’s not that business is controlling government, it is that we are allowing ourselves to be controlled to begin with.

Business cannot make anyone do anything. Ever. Unless, of course, they get some politicians (who DO have that power), to act on their behalf. This happens all of the time, so why do we keep allowing it to happen?

Because people like Al Gore, Roy and phx8 who have no problem with government having that power, they just want to be the ones wielding it.

Sorry to break this to you, but no one, ever, should be prevented from voicing their political views, ever, for any reason. I don’t care if they are big union, big business, foreigners, billionaires, rock musicians, actors, rednecks, uneducated, racist, homophobic, young or old. It doesn’t matter, they are words, ideas and views. None of them are more valuable or should be protected more than any others. The very diversity that such freedoms provide are what (used) to make us great.

Continuing to try and stop opposing political views is disgusting.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 5, 2013 6:02 PM
Comment #361387
How could he keep anyone form raiding SS when his own party did that in the 1960s by putting it into the general fund?

What’s worse is that he took credit for the ‘surpluses’ during his stint as VP that relied on raiding SS…

Further, as we see more and more each and every year, the perils of human global warming are being discovered to be less catastrophic than originally thought, and no where near the inacurate ‘suggestions’ in his documentary.

…one critically important metric — how hot the planet will get from a doubling of the pre-industrial concentration of greenhouse gases, a k a “climate sensitivity” — some climate researchers with substantial publication records are shifting toward the lower end of the warming spectrum….

But while plenty of other climate scientists hold firm to the idea that the full range of possible outcomes, including a disruptively dangerous warming of more than 4.5 degrees C. (8 degrees F.), remain in play, it’s getting harder to see why the high-end projections are given much weight.

This is also not a “single-study syndrome” situation, where one outlier research paper is used to cast doubt on a bigger body of work — as Skeptical Science asserted over the weekend. That post focused on the as-yet-unpublished paper finding lower sensitivity that was inadvisedly promoted recently by the Research Council of Norway.

In fact, there is an accumulating body of reviewed, published research shaving away the high end of the range of possible warming estimates from doubled carbon dioxide levels. Chief among climate scientists critical of the high-sensitivity holdouts is James Annan, an experienced climate modeler based in Japan who contributed to the 2007 science report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 5, 2013 6:17 PM
Comment #361395

What are you talking about? Your earlier comment in this thread made no sense. In this comments, you pretend Global Warming will be “less catastrophic” than people originally thought. Really? Read your own link. Even the skeptic Annan suggests a 3 C increase is his best estimate, and that equals 5.4 F. That’s a lot. That IS catastrophic.

“An Inconvenient Truth” came out in 2006. It reflects the best knowledge and estimates from that time, and covers one of the fastest developing fields in science. Most of the movie has proven to be spot on. Virtually every peer reviewed paper, every scientific discipline, every nation’s scientific community, and every credible scientific institution in the world in the world supports the assertion that human activity is changing the climate of the globe, and that the results will be serious indeed.

And one scientist estimates there will be a 3 C increase, and that’s “less catastrophic” than higher estimates? Most estimates over the past decade have ranged from 1.5 C to 4 C. Three degrees centigrade is bad bad news.

There are entirely plausible scenarios for runaway warming. The best guess is that they won’t happen. We’d better hope not, because Gore was right; we’re already in big trouble.

Posted by: phx8 at February 5, 2013 8:02 PM
Comment #361396

Al Gore is probably one of the most intellectual and visionary political figures of our time.

Posted by: muirgeo at February 5, 2013 8:04 PM
Comment #361399

“How could he keep anyone form raiding SS when his own party did that in the 1960s by putting it into the general fund?”

They did no such thing, Ron. SS funds have been treated the same since its creation in the 30s. Surplus SS funds have always been required by law to be invested in securities backed by the full faith and credit of the US government, i.e., treasury bonds.

Posted by: Rich at February 5, 2013 11:33 PM
Comment #361401

Al Gore is probably one of the most intellectual and visionary political figures of our time.
Posted by: muirgeo at February 5, 2013 8:04 PM


Posted by: Ron Brown at February 6, 2013 12:06 AM
Comment #361423

Rhinehold, I didn’t say I am a believer in Al Gore. I did say that I ‘appreciate the dialogue’. That seems to support your position re free speech is a good thing whatever the source.

Al Gore spoke out against the casusal ‘quid pro quo’ as a way of doing business tween corporates and govies. I agree with Al on that point. Do you?

Posted by: Roy Ellis at February 6, 2013 12:34 PM
Comment #361424
What are you talking about? Your earlier comment in this thread made no sense.

Actually, it makes complete sense, if you have much understanding in what is being discussed… But, since you don’t seem to, let me help clarify.

In this comments, you pretend Global Warming will be “less catastrophic” than people originally thought.

Pretend? I pretend nothing at all.

Really? Read your own link. Even the skeptic Annan suggests a 3 C increase is his best estimate, and that equals 5.4 F. That’s a lot. That IS catastrophic.

SKEPTIC? LOL, do you even know who Annan is?

This is a pretty good explanation of what I have been saying for over a decade:

One reason why these estimates keep getting revised is that there is a continual updating of the observational analyses that are used – as new data are included, as non-climatic factors get corrected for, and models include more processes. For instance, Köhler et al used an estimate of the cooling at the Last Glacial Maximum of 5.8±1.4ºC, but a recent update from Annan and Hargreaves and used in the Hargreaves et al estimate is 4.0±0.8ºC which would translate into a lower CS value in the Köhler et al calculation (roughly 1.1 – 3.3ºC, with a most likely value near 2.0ºC). A paper last year by Schmittner et al estimated an even smaller cooling, and consequently lower sensitivity (around 2ºC on a level comparison), but the latest estimates are more credible. Note however, that these temperature estimates are strongly dependent on still unresolved issues with different proxies – particularly in the tropics – and may change again as further information comes in.

The fact is, we don’t KNOW anything yet. We suspect and are working under suspicions but as we learn more about a very VERY complex system, we are coming to understand more about how the various feed backs work and just how silly the original numbers were. It also bolsters the fact that we aren’t sure the revisions and data coming in aren’t still in need of tweaking.

Couple that with the knowledge that predicted increases in temperatures over the past decade just haven’t happened and you can see why there are still only a few holdouts to the 4.0c median and why more and more are lowering their estimates every few years.

As for the ‘catastrophic’ events, you have made that assumption, but by doing so you ignore the positive effects that a warming planet would (and have in the past) had. More food production, more temperate locations to live, etc. What would be lost is some coastal territories. Apparently you are the all knowing and wise determiner of which temperature the world should be at in order to avoid ‘catastrophy’. I don’t know many actual scientists who would be caught doing such a thing.

“An Inconvenient Truth” came out in 2006. It reflects the best knowledge and estimates from that time.

No, that’s a blatant attempt to defend what Al Gore did to make that movie a success…

Here is a listing of 35 ‘untruths’ in An Inconvenient Truth

The Polar Bears is a specifically disgusting one as it preys upon the hearts of those who love animals…

Gore says a scientific study shows that polar bears are being killed swimming long distances to find ice that has melted away because of “global warming.” They are not. The study, by Monnett & Gleason (2005), mentioned just four dead bears. They had died in an exceptional storm, with high winds and waves in the Beaufort Sea. The amount of sea ice in the Beaufort Sea has grown over the past 30 years. A report for the World Wide Fund for Nature shows that polar bears, which are warm-blooded, have grown in numbers where temperature has increased, and have become fewer where temperature has fallen. Polar bears evolved from brown bears 200,000 years ago, and survived the last interglacial period, when global temperature was 5 degrees Celsius warmer than the present and there was probably no Arctic ice-cap at all. The real threat to polar bears is not “global warming” but hunting. In 1940, there were just 5,000 polar bears worldwide. Now that hunting is controlled, there are 25,000.

Ms. Kreider says sea-ice “was the lowest ever measured for minimum extent in 2007.” She does not say that the measurements, which are done by satellite, go back only 29 years. She does not say that the North-West Passage, a good proxy for Arctic sea-ice extent, was open to shipping in 1945, or that Amundsen passed through in a sailing vessel in 1903.

And one scientist estimates there will be a 3 C increase, and that’s “less catastrophic” than higher estimates? Most estimates over the past decade have ranged from 1.5 C to 4 C. Three degrees centigrade is bad bad news.

‘one’? LOL, that’s funny… No, consensus among scientists showing that the 3c median is highly unlikely, most are looking at 1.8 to 2.2c median right now. Again, with that number dropping all of the time from greater understanding of how the systems work AND better data.

There are entirely plausible scenarios for runaway warming. The best guess is that they won’t happen. We’d better hope not, because Gore was right; we’re already in big trouble.

I’m not sure how much Al Gore has been ‘right’ about, but his track record surely isn’t up to snuff…

In order for the film to be shown, the Government must first amend their Guidance Notes to Teachers to make clear that 1.) The Film is a political work and promotes only one side of the argument. 2.) If teachers present the Film without making this plain they may be in breach of section 406 of the Education Act 1996 and guilty of political indoctrination. 3.) Eleven inaccuracies have to be specifically drawn to the attention of school children. How marvelous. And what are those inaccuracies?

The film claims that melting snows on Mount Kilimanjaro evidence global warming. The Government’s expert was forced to concede that this is not correct.

The film suggests that evidence from ice cores proves that rising CO2 causes temperature increases over 650,000 years. The Court found that the film was misleading: over that period the rises in CO2 lagged behind the temperature rises by 800-2000 years.

The film uses emotive images of Hurricane Katrina and suggests that this has been caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that it was “not possible” to attribute one-off events to global warming.

The film shows the drying up of Lake Chad and claims that this was caused by global warming. The Government’s expert had to accept that this was not the case.

The film claims that a study showed that polar bears had drowned due to disappearing arctic ice. It turned out that Mr Gore had misread the study: in fact four polar bears drowned and this was because of a particularly violent storm.

The film threatens that global warming could stop the Gulf Stream throwing Europe into an ice age: the Claimant’s evidence was that this was a scientific impossibility.

The film blames global warming for species losses including coral reef bleaching. The Government could not find any evidence to support this claim.

The film suggests that the Greenland ice covering could melt causing sea levels to rise dangerously. The evidence is that Greenland will not melt for millennia.

The film suggests that the Antarctic ice covering is melting, the evidence was that it is in fact increasing.

The film suggests that sea levels could rise by 7m causing the displacement of millions of people. In fact the evidence is that sea levels are expected to rise by about 40cm over the next hundred years and that there is no such threat of massive migration.

The film claims that rising sea levels has caused the evacuation of certain Pacific islands to New Zealand. The Government are unable to substantiate this and the Court observed that this appears to be a false claim.

Read more:

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 6, 2013 1:10 PM
Comment #361425
Al Gore spoke out against the casusal ‘quid pro quo’ as a way of doing business tween corporates and govies. I agree with Al on that point. Do you?

Yes and no.

Government involving itself in determining the ‘proper outcomes’ of economic transactions is simply wrong. Picking sides, as it were. In addition, crafting laws to protect big business against competition are also wrong.

However, I disagree on the proposed SOLUTION that we limit free speech, target specific people, etc.

The PROPER solution involves paring back the power of government to get involved in the areas of our economy that allow them to do those things. If they don’t have that power, then they can’t be ‘taken over’ by large businesses, large unions, special interests, etc.

I have been one of the most vocal opponents to the government protection of businesses to squash competition. Unfortunately, both the left and right in this country utilize this power all of the time to promote their partisan political agendas.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 6, 2013 1:14 PM
Comment #361426

What is your point?

Posted by: phx8 at February 6, 2013 1:42 PM
Comment #361428
What is your point?

The point is that the problem is the power, not the money, not the opposing views.

Government is the only entity that can legally use force against the citizens. Giving that entity more power to use that force, more reasons to use it, makes it a desirable target for anyone wanting to wield it. It doesn’t matter if it is business, or unions, or other special interests, the power is the problem.

In a supposed ‘free’ country, we should not have so many reasons for the government to use force on the citizens. It should be limited to those things that are necessary for defending the rights of the citizens, not expanding power to force citizens to live a certain way.

This is called an authoritarian police state, and it is indeed what we are a part of now.

And no, as the predictable response is going to be, I am NOT talking about an absence of government OR anarchy. It is simply limiting government, especially federal government, from being able to tell individuals how to live their lives as they choose, as long as they are not preventing anyone else to their right to the same.

The problem is NOT money, or free speech. It is power.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 6, 2013 2:09 PM
Comment #361429

Look, I’m not trying to be obtuse. There are literally thousands of climatologists, and climatology is only one field of research involved in Global Warming. I haven’t heard of Annan. That’s neither here nor there. A model is a model. Does that mean we shouldn’t use models? Most people think models are useful tools. What are you trying to say?

The thousands of people who contribute to the IPCC research form a consensus, but that consensus does NOT reflect unanimity. In the last report, about 2% could be categorized as Deniers. Perhaps another 20% could be considered as on the fence to one degreeor another. That uncertainty has declined as more and more research confirms Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), and alternative theories fail to make a case.

The IPCC and Al Gore shared a Nobel Prize for their work on Global Warming. Gore made a compelling case that brought heightened public awareness to a concern he has expressed for literally decades. It was a job well done, and among his many accomplishments in politics and role in the development of technologies, including the internet, his contribution to awareness of Global Warming makes him an extraordinary figure of our time.

By the way, with recent developments, scientists now believe individual weather events can be ascribed to Climate Change with about a 70% likelihood; in other words, weather events can be identified as caused by Global Warming with a degree of probability. Sea levels can now be measured with greater accuracy than even a few years ago, and yes, the oceans have already risen more than expected, enough that there is a probability that it contributed to making Hurricane Irene the sixth costliest hurricane in US history, followed the next year by another ‘once in a century’ flooding with Hurricane Sandy.

Your link about the inaccuracies of “An Inconvenient Truth” is, well, filled with inaccuracies. The field changes rapidly. I’d suggest avoiding old articles, especially Denial articles from 2007. Bad idea. Do some research on your own using current articles. It will really help you form a more informed opinion. While there are uncertainties about time frames for sea level rises, the degree to which coral bleaching can be attributed to AGW v use of fertilizers, and so on, the overall picture is clear: AGW is real, and it presents the greatest threat to ourselves and our posterity of our time.

You might be curious… The melting arctic sea ice opened about 40% of that area to heat absorbing water, rather than heat reflective ice, and this has changed the weather pattern for fall and winter in the U.S. (The research isn’t in yet on spring and summer). Very wonky stuff, but in a nutshell, it tends to result in the formation of more persistent highs off B.C. and the tip of Greenland, which in turn creates a more persistent jet stream pattern that forms a rough ‘U’ around the United States. Because it persists longer than normal, the middle of that ‘U’ will tend to suffer from higher temperatures and drought. And that is exactly what we are seeing.

Posted by: phx8 at February 6, 2013 2:15 PM
Comment #361430

Oh, where to begin…

1) I am not suggesting AGW isn’t happening. It is the EXTENT to which it is happening AND the total effect it will have that is the issue. Get over trying to use ‘denialist’ labels and move on.

2) The use of the one ‘denier’ article from 2007 was to show that AT THE TIME that Inconvenient Truth was made, there were several factual errors. Not a small percentage either.

3) The UK Government listened to a court case in 2007 and had to contend that Gore was wrong in several areas and that the move had to be identified as not factual in many key areas and one-sided OR it would be labelled as political indoctrination.

4) Gore won the Nobel prize. Yes, he did. Of course, Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize as well, as he has been the biggest warmonger we have seen in some time. Just because you win that doesn’t mean you are wrong in either fact OR method.

5) Gore’s purposeful overstating of the issues involved (and there was a lot) is more detrimental in the science we are discussing than a help. All it has done is create a hysteria among his followers (like yourself) that just can’t fathom anything other than the ‘catastrophic’ views that the film and his rhetoric fostered.

6) The median sensitivity has been decreasing for the past several years as we get new data and understand more things. Has it ‘gone away’? No, but you have to understand what it means and also that we STILL don’t know the effects of increased carbon dioxide feedbacks that are just being discovered.

7) There is a reason why the models predicted global temperatures to rise the past decade, but haven’t.

8) The US has limited its CO2 emissions quite drastically over the past decade, while other countries who supposedly are concerned about the issue have not. There is no need to give the government more power than it has to combat it as it would do not good, we are limiting it without it. We live in a free society (or are supposed to at any rate) and proper EDUCATION of people on the issue will be enough to get things done.

9) The BEST way to combat AGW is to go to nuclear power. Something that many do not want to do because of fear, not fact. It is interesting to see the people who are screaming ‘AGW is fact’ then go out and eschew actual facts about nuclear power because of their fears… It makes on wonder about the motives of those people to begin with.

10) You assume the effects of AGW are overall bad. But you can’t really say why other than to say ‘more hurricanes’, which hasn’t bore up under scrutiny. The same with trying to label certain events as ‘due to AGW’ when the fact is that we simply can’t do that. Storms like those you mention have been around for centuries, there is a reason why ‘the perfect storm’ was a movie long before AGW was considered much of an issue.

The simple fact is that the effects of global warming were overstated and are being revised every year. These revisions are not claiming it will be worse, but that it will not be as bad AND that it won’t affect us much anytime soon, in fact they are about half of what they were just a half decade ago. The scare tactics of those who are pushing the science for political purposes, like Al Gore, are doing more harm than good because they cannot stand up to basic scrutiny and critical thought in the long run and convince more people that the notion is bunk. He should have stayed with the science and let it bear itself out instead of trying to indoctrinate and scare people.

As for your suggestion that we will see higher temperatures and drought, it really isn’t what we are seeing. One year (last year) we had a drought in the US. But the year before we had too much rain and lower temps throughout the summer. When deniers (wrongly) said that this was proof of AGW not being real, scientists made it clear that single year or the number of storms (or lack of them) cannot prove anything over the long haul. Yet now that some of the weather is following what some AGW pushers predicted, they want to use it as proof… It’s maddening, to say the least.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 6, 2013 2:45 PM
Comment #361432

OK, We cross posted, but I see where you’re going.

First a couple minor points:

No one says there will be more hurricanes. What they say is that, when they occur, there will be more powerful hurricanes, due to warmer oceans and more moisture in the air.

Obama is “the biggest warmongerer we have seen in some time”? I recall another administration invading Afghanistan and Iraq not so long ago, Bush #41 invading Iraq, and Reagan getting 241 Marines slaughtered to no purpose in Lebanon, immediately followed by withdrawal, and then the invasion of Grenada. USA! USA! USA! Holy cow, that time sounds like the script for a bad movie, but it really happened…

Anyway… Median sensitivity is decreasing? From what to what? Ranges have been between 1.5 C to 4.5 C since the last IPCC report. Three degrees C (5.4 degrees F) is a lot. Make no mistake, that WOULD be catastrophic. And as for carbon feedback loops- you’re right- but not fully understanding carbon feedback loops is not a good thing. There’s no upside to feedback loops.

“7) There is a reason why the models predicted global temperatures to rise the past decade, but haven’t.”

Not true.

Search “global temperatures by year”.

In general, some people seek to minimize or deny AGW based on partisanship, while others do so because they dislike the solution- that addressing it requires international cooperation through the agency of government.

Posted by: phx8 at February 6, 2013 3:57 PM
Comment #361433
Obama is “the biggest warmongerer we have seen in some time”? I recall another administration invading Afghanistan and Iraq not so long ago, Bush #41 invading Iraq, and Reagan getting 241 Marines slaughtered to no purpose in Lebanon, immediately followed by withdrawal, and then the invasion of Grenada. USA! USA! USA! Holy cow, that time sounds like the script for a bad movie, but it really happened…

Yes, they were not great. And Obama is worse. That’s how bad it is…

Not true.

Search “global temperatures by year”.

Sorry, but global temperatures have been basically flat since 1998. I know that the temps are higher than they were in the 70s, let’s say, but according to the models they were supposed to keep increasing the entire decade of 2000-2010, but didn’t. It’s kind of like GDP models that show we are supposed to increase GDP by 6% per year, but we only see increases of .2% per year. The GDP is increasing, but at a basically flat rate. You can say ‘yeah but the GDP is inreasing’, and technically it is, but the PREDICTIONS were obviously flawed when matched up to reality.

For example, look at the predictions for 2000-2100 here: We have not followed this prediction model at all.

Here are the actuals from NASA.

See, the last decade has not shown any discernable increase in median temperature, the predictions shows there would be. This does not mean AGW isn’t occuring, only that it is more complex than we can say with certainty at the present time AND it is not increasing as much as we thought it would (thanks to the popularity of the now debunked hockey-stick diagram).

Median sensitivity is decreasing? From what to what?

I’ve linked to several studies showing ‘from what to what’, but you aren’t reading them I guess…

Here’s one I’ll quote and hopefully you can follow along:

Assessing the impact of future anthropogenic carbon emissions is currently impeded by uncertainties in our knowledge of equilibrium climate sensitivity to atmospheric carbon dioxide doubling. Previous studies suggest 3 kelvin (K) as the best estimate, 2 to 4.5 K as the 66% probability range, and nonzero probabilities for much higher values, the latter implying a small chance of high-impact climate changes that would be difficult to avoid. Here, combining extensive sea and land surface temperature reconstructions from the Last Glacial Maximum with climate model simulations, we estimate a lower median (2.3 K) and reduced uncertainty (1.7 to 2.6 K as the 66% probability range, which can be widened using alternate assumptions or data subsets). Assuming that paleoclimatic constraints apply to the future, as predicted by our model, these results imply a lower probability of imminent extreme climatic change than previously thought.


The new data changed the assessment of climate models in many ways, said Schmittner, an associate professor in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. The researchers’ reconstruction of temperatures has greater spatial coverage and showed less cooling during the Ice Age than most previous studies.

High sensitivity climate models – more than 6 degrees – suggest that the low levels of atmospheric CO2 during the Last Glacial Maximum would result in a “runaway effect” that would have left the Earth completely ice-covered.

“Clearly, that didn’t happen,” Schmittner said. “Though the Earth then was covered by much more ice and snow than it is today, the ice sheets didn’t extend beyond latitudes of about 40 degrees, and the tropics and subtropics were largely ice-free – except at high altitudes. These high-sensitivity models overestimate cooling.”

On the other hand, models with low climate sensitivity – less than 1.3 degrees – underestimate the cooling almost everywhere at the Last Glacial Maximum, the researchers say. The closest match, with a much lower degree of uncertainty than most other studies, suggests climate sensitivity is about 2.4 degrees.

However, uncertainty levels may be underestimated because the model simulations did not take into account uncertainties arising from how cloud changes reflect sunlight, Schmittner said.

BTW, the degree change is when CO2 is ‘doubled’. When do you think that is going to happen again?

And do you know where the 1.5-3.5 comes from?

“A committee on anthropogenic global warming convened in 1979 by the National Academy of Sciences and chaired by Jule Charney estimated climate sensitivity to be 3 °C, plus or minus 1.5 °C. Only two sets of models were available; one, due to Syukuro Manabe, exhibited a climate sensitivity of 2 °C, the other, due to James E. Hansen, exhibited a climate sensitivity of 4 °C. “According to Manabe, Charney chose 0.5 °C as a not-unreasonable margin of error, subtracted it from Manabe’s number, and added it to Hansen’s. Thus was born the 1.5 °C-to-4.5 °C range of likely climate sensitivity that has appeared in every greenhouse assessment since…”

Very scientific… See many thought for years that the median in that range was 3.0. However, we are now seeing that it is most likely closer to the 1.5-2.2 range. That’s significant.

that addressing it requires international cooperation through the agency of government.

Why. Please show your work here, you make the claim that the only way to deal with it is through governmental agency (ie, putting guns to people’s heads), tell me why that is the only way to address it?

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 6, 2013 4:29 PM
Comment #361434
In fact, there is an accumulating body of reviewed, published research shaving away the high end of the range of possible warming estimates from doubled carbon dioxide levels. Chief among climate scientists critical of the high-sensitivity holdouts is James Annan, an experienced climate modeler based in Japan who contributed to the 2007 science report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. By 2006, he was already diverging from his colleagues a bit. That’s when he wrote this:
Climate sensitivity is 3C…. Plus or minus a little bit, of course. But not plus or minus as much as some people have been claiming in recent years :-)

The 3C, of course, is 3 degrees C. (5.4 degrees F.). The piece described the findings in his 2006 Geophysical Research Letters paper with Julia Hargreaves, “Using multiple observationally-based constraints to estimate climate sensitivity.”

He’s reinforced his view in light of the latest research and temperature patterns. On Jan. 27, he posted a comment on Dot Earth that in the last few days has resurfaced in many places around the Web. Here’s the most important line from Annan’s Dot Earth comment, in which he notes how recent events point to less warming from a given buildup of carbon dioxide:

[T]here have now been several recent papers showing much the same – numerous factors including: the increase in positive forcing (CO2 and the recent work on black carbon), decrease in estimated negative forcing (aerosols), combined with the stubborn refusal of the planet to warm as had been predicted over the last decade, all makes a high climate sensitivity increasingly untenable. A value (slightly) under 2 is certainly looking a whole lot more plausible than anything above 4.5.
Posted by: Rhinehold at February 6, 2013 4:47 PM
Comment #361435

Here is the real issue, I think, from many supporters of ‘we have to do something now OM GERD’ crowd…

For these reasons, I can understand why some climate campaigners, writers and scientists don’t want to focus on any science hinting that there might be a bit more time to make this profound energy transition. (There’s also reluctance, I’m sure, because the recent work is trending toward the published low sensitivity findings from a decade ago from climate scientists best known for their relationships with libertarian groups.)

Nonetheless, the science is what the science is.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 6, 2013 5:00 PM
Comment #361438

Usually, a baseline of 280 ppm for C02 is used. This represents the pre-Industrial Revolution level of C02. Currently, CO2 stands at 396 ppm, and is steadily increasing at a rate of about 2 ppm per year. Doubling the baseline rate means hitting 560 ppm, which at current rates would take about 80 years.

“The global average surface temperature rose 0.6 to 0.9 degrees Celsius (1.1 to 1.6° F) between 1906 and 2005, and the rate of temperature increase has nearly doubled in the last 50 years.”

(Btw, I’m referring to CO2, but there are many other greenhouse gases. CO2 is a relatively weak greenhouse gas, but it is produced in huge amounts and persists in the atmosphere for up to a century. Methane is much much more powerful, but persists for only four years).

Do a little math, and the 3 C increase over a century looks entirely plausible and even conservative estimate. It assumes current rates will all remain in place.

But CO2 continues to be introduced into the atmosphere in huge quantities. The rate of increase may easily more than double. In addition, feedback loops make a whole series of scenarios more threatening. I think everyone would agree the higher end estimates are unlikely-

- unless feedback loops kick in.

Then we’re well and truly screwed.

It’s a heck of a bet to make for ourselves and our posterity. 5.4 F is already a huge increase, a catastrophic increase. How smart is it, to make a ‘you bet your planet’ wager that nothing really bad will happen as a result of higher temperatures?

And why does addressing AGW require governments to intervene? Because addressing it requires international cooperation and coordination on multiple levels, just as it needs coordination and cooperation within national boundaries.

Posted by: phx8 at February 6, 2013 5:57 PM
Comment #361439

Still waiting on the answers to my questions…

1) Where is your proof that an increase in global temps being suggested (which is far less than the 5.4f you mention) over the next century, maybe, would be ‘catastrophic’? You are going to have to spell it out, it isn’t that clear cut. There are many benefits to the temps being a little higher.

2) What temp should the world be at? Since you are the all-knowing being that can tell us what it should be for optimal human existence, it should be easy to say, right?

3) Why does addressing AGW require government intervention? You can’t just say ‘because’ and think you’ve answered it when I’ve specifically said you have to show your work. Tell me specifically what the government has to do that can’t be done without it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 6, 2013 6:05 PM
Comment #361440

BTW, look at how far the human ingenuity has come in 100 years, are you seriousley thinking that we can’t solve this issue in the next 100 years? Provided we don’t starve development of new ideas with government regulations that starve energy consumption during that time so we can get there.

We can’t MANDATE technology discoveries through governmental policy, we can only allow for the environment for those technological advances to flourish.

That is, while we ignore the current obvious solution of nuclear.

Let’s look at just fuel energy density MJ/KG

Sugar - 19
Coal - 24
Fat - 39
Gasoline - 46
Uranium - 76,000,000

Seems a bit obvious to me…

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 6, 2013 6:16 PM
Comment #361442

With globalism the US has managed to move most heavy industry offshore and cleaned up our air somewhat but, the problem just moved to other places like China, for a while. Big refineries, big pharmas, and coal powered plants remain our biggies.

I note in today’s WaPo that environmentalists have had fairly good success in negotiating directly with corporations to clear up their act. A deal was struck with Asia Pulp and Paper to limit their cutting and begin damage control in Indonesia’s rain forest.

Sez the World Wildlife Fund, for example, has worked with Coca-Cola to conserve water and with Wal-Mart to source beef and palm oil from areas that aren’t deforested. Greenpeace has had good results too. McDonald’s USA has announced that it will sell only fish certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.

Such actions, over time, will have some positive effect.

I think most of folks have seen enough, 50% ice melt, polar bears running for cover, etc to go along with some moderate, rational programs to try and head off further warming. If the wide swinging oscillations of the jet stream become even more pronounced over the next few years we will likely be begging for some relief, IMO.

I note that a NY pol is pushing for federal disaster funds to buyout a coastal section that was wiped out by Sandy and turn it into a park like environment. Buy the home owners out at market value. I like that idea as opposed to rebuilding all these susceptible estuaries. I just don’t like the idea of socializing it with taxpayer dollars. Should at least try to work in some cost sharing from somewhere. IMO, the owners should share some risk.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at February 6, 2013 6:32 PM
Comment #361444

“BTW, look at how far the human ingenuity has come in 100 years, are you seriousley thinking that we can’t solve this issue in the next 100 years?”

Actually, I think that is what will eventually happen; a technological innovation or project will be undertaken to address AGW, and it might take a form that would qualify as science fiction today. For example, we could deploy a fine mesh reflective netting between the earth and the sun to decrease the sun’s energy input; or, we could inject sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere for a decade to once again reflect incoming solar energy.

In the meantime, it would be foolish to do nothing, and hope someone invents something, just so we can continue our current self-destructive policies.

Nuclear power? You mean, like Fukushima? Chernobyl? TMI? When private insurance agencies are willing to underwrite nuclear power plants- they absolutely won’t, today, because the dangers make insurance prohibitively expensive- and when the capital investments justify the returns-they don’t, today- then maybe nuclear energy will be worth considering.

As for whether AGW will provide more benefits than costs… Are you serious? Read the IPCC report:

If you’d rather just do a search, that’s the AR4 2007 sythesis report. There’s a wealth of information on the site. It’s a little outdated, of course, but the next one will not be out until later this year or early next one.

Posted by: phx8 at February 6, 2013 8:04 PM
Comment #361445
Nuclear power? You mean, like Fukushima? Chernobyl? TMI?

Yup (except for Chernobyl), and the thousands of successful plants that have been running for decades around the world, including the United States.

Let’s look at the 3 you listed…

Fukushima - a huge natural disaster caused issues. Number of dead - 0

TMI - Some radioactive steam was released into the area around the plant, about as much as someone would get standing in the sun for a day. Number of dead - 0

Now, let’s look at death rates from all of the world’s energy sources.

Deaths per twh

Coal – world average 161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)
Coal – China 278
Coal – USA 15
Oil 36 (36% of world energy)
Natural Gas 4 (21% of world energy)
Biofuel/Biomass 12
Peat 12
Solar (rooftop) 0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)
Wind 0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)
Hydro 0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)
Hydro - world including Banqiao) 1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)
Nuclear 0.04 (5.9% of world energy)

The best deal is Nuclear.

Unfortunately, people like you who don’t actually understand the science and facts around nuclear power have scared usually reasonable people away from it. The result, the best way to limit AGW is sitting there, providing only 6% of the world’s energy, while we shovel coal and burn gasoline…


Posted by: Rhinehold at February 6, 2013 8:13 PM
Comment #361446

BTW, since you can’t answer my questions, I’ll just assume you are done with that part of the conversation.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 6, 2013 8:15 PM
Comment #361449

Fukushima is not over. What do you think happened to the material that melted down through the floors of the nuclear reactors? Do you think it just went away? Out of sight, out of mind?

That nuclear material is continuing to melt down through the earth, into the water table, and it is continuing to contaminate the ocean. The health and environmental effects continue to develop. Current estimates are that between zero- the number you chose- and 100 people will die from exposure to radioactivity. Countless more will develop other, non-lethal cancers. A portion of the earth has been rendered uninhabitable for… well, for all intents and purposes, forever.

It’s not ok, and there’s no way to minimize this. Not that TEPCO and the Japanese government haven’t done their very best. They initially rated the disaster at Fukushima a four on the scale of one-to-seven. But they knew within 24 hours that it was a complete meltdown in multiple reactors, a kind of China Syndrome. Eventually, the rating was upgraded to the maximum, seven.

Of course, there’s one other teensy-weensy little problem with nuclear power. It’s a great way to cover a nuclear weapons program. But that will never, ever be a proble, eh?

By the way, Fukushima released a lot of Cesium 137, four times as much as Chernobyl. Cesium 137 is bad. It has a half life of 30 years, and it moves easily through the environment.

But we’ll just pretend that didn’t happen. Hey, nobody died! That we know of! Yet!

Posted by: phx8 at February 6, 2013 9:50 PM
Comment #361451

Re nuclear- you ignored the economics of nuclear power plants. Any plant would require a large capital investment, and no private company will willingly make that investment. It would have to be funded by taxpayers, at which point the operating private company would then take profits. If anything goes wrong, once again, the taxpayer will pick up the tab. Insurance companies refuse to cover nuclear power plants because the risk is so great, and therefore, the federal government has forbidden private citizens from seeking recompense should something go wrong.

Not that it ever does, of course.

The compensation bills from Fukushima run $38 billion to date.


“Cesium-137 and Cancer:
Cell damage and the presence of free radicals lead to various cancers in injured areas where cesium-137 is concentrated. The story in Chernobyl was the more than 2,000 cases of thyroid cancer from radioactive iodine, but in 1986, the Soviet government estimated that cesium-137 would have an effect on long-term cancer deaths nine times greater than that of radioactive iodine.”

Read more: Health Risks of Cesium 137 |

And if you really want to scare yourself before going to bed at night, search ‘Fukushima News.’

Posted by: phx8 at February 6, 2013 11:54 PM
Comment #361452
if you really want to scare yourself

Sorry, I don’t live my life in fear. Here’s a fact that might keep you up at night. You are going to die. No matter how careful and how safe you think you are, one day you will die.

The question is how to live. You can live in fear or live in knowledge.

There is little you can scare me with because I have knowledge, reason and facts on my side. I am also a former nuclear reactor operator for the Navy, I’ve got a lot more knowledge about the radioactive material than the average Joe you want to scare with your mongering…

The number of deaths due to nuclear is lower than any other power source. I’ve shown you the numbers and the facts, but you still want to yell ‘Fukushima’. Well, let’s talk Fukushima…

By the way, Fukushima released a lot of Cesium 137, four times as much as Chernobyl.

Hmmm, last I checked your numbers to not match up to reality. You can see a quick synopsis of the numbers here:

In all respects, other than the number of reactors that melted, Fukushima was must less of an issue than Chernobyl. Of course, it had an issue with faulty design, but had run for 40 years without issue until a major tsunami that devastated and killed thousands hit Japan. Not your normal everyday operating conditions.

And 20,000 TBq (as of the last study taken) is not four times as much as 110,000 TBq…

What do you think happened to the material that melted down through the floors of the nuclear reactors? Do you think it just went away? Out of sight, out of mind?

No, it is sitting at the bottom of the containment vessel, encased in concrete and water cooling systems, and shutdown from reacting. You do realize that nuclear power plants are equipped with such things as containment vessels, right? (Well, Chernobyl wasn’t, but as I said, the Soviets were idiots to use sodium to cool their plant and had no containment vessels) Cold shutdown of the entire plant was achieved on 16 December 2011. It will take decades to decommission, but has not been further danger to the population since that time.

It took 9 months to achieve cold shutdown, at Chernobyl it took 14 years.

BTW the maximum radiation levels INSIDE the reactors were a third of that of Chernobyl as well.

you ignored the economics of nuclear power plants.

No, I didn’t. As I said, the reason for the costs are because of people like you trying to scare everyone from utilizing a type of energy that scares you, mainly because you don’t actually understand it.

BTW, you do realize that 20% of the energy we use in the United States comes from Nuclear Power, right? 104 nuclear reactors running for decades (on older designs) all throughout the United States…

Scared yet? oooOOOoOOOooo

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 7, 2013 1:05 AM
Comment #361458

Fukushima is worse than you realize, and the linked Wikipedia article substantially understates the release of radioactive material.

If you search the topic- and personally, I find it interesting- other articles suggest much larger amounts than the one I linked.

You’re probably already aware that both TEPCO and the Japanese government initially mislead the public about the severity of the situation at Fukushima, just as the USSR did with Chernobyl, and the corporation did re TMI.

When it comes to nuclear energy disasters, corporations and governments have a history of being untrustworthy.

And to put what happened at Fukushima in perspective, there is now a 20 km exclusion zone around the reactor; in other words, you could start at any point within 12.2 miles of the plant, walk for four hours to the site, then walk in another direction for four hours, and not see anyone. Over 100,000 people had to leave their homes.

Of all the articles I’ve seen, this one seems to be the best:

The article is probably too dry and technical for most people, but given your background, you might appreciate it. The article gives helpful summaries at the end of each section. For example:

“Summary: Major fuel melting occurred early on in all three units, though the fuel remains essentially contained except for some volatile fission products vented early on, or released from unit 2 in mid March, and some soluble ones which were leaking with the water, especially from unit 2, where the containment is evidently breached. Cooling still needs to be provided from external sources, now using treated recycled water, while work continues to establish a stable heat removal path from the actual reactors to external heat sinks. Temperatures at the bottom of the reactor pressure vessels have decreased to well below boiling point and are stable. Access has been gained to all three reactor buildings, but dose rates remain high inside. Nitrogen is being injected into all three containment vessels and pressure vessels. Tepco declared “cold shutdown condition” in mid December when radioactive releases had reduced to minimal levels.”

Posted by: phx8 at February 7, 2013 2:30 PM
Comment #361868

This is my first time in my life posting to a blog.

I think Rhinehold and Phx8 have very good points. I’m a true 100% Independent, and I’m able to see where both of you are coming from.

You two are so much more versed in facts than I imagine I will ever be regarding this issue, and as an American, it’s always wonderful to see mature, educated arguments via the written word.

In regards to the article that stemmed your two views to surface, and without bringing in numbers or facts as you have (as said above, I’m not as educated on this topic as either of you). I feel (so we know this a subjective thought) leery to even insinuate a politician has the ability to ‘come clean’, that’s just funny. However, Gore feels strongly about the environment as we all should, but I disagree with making this issue political. I feel education is where this starts - which technically can be political. I see my contradictory.

We had an ice age, something will happen some day, that is just a fact.

I guess as an American I wish we could all work in unity to solve any issues. But that’s a dream, and I know it.

Again, you two have great responses to this blog, and I very much enjoyed learning and reading your responses to each other. Good work! I will watch for you two in the future.

Good evening,

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Comment #362584

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Posted by: Coach Factory Online at March 10, 2013 7:20 AM
Comment #363633

Unfortunately, just attaching a Democrat to a worthy cause is enough to kill that cause. I really wish they would keep their mouths shut, so things like renewable energy, electric cars, and so on could get off the ground without Americans shunning these technologies because they’re “Obama cars” or some other politically divisive label on an otherwise good idea. Here’s a crazy idea: Let the free market decide which technologies to adopt rather than shove it down our throats. Convince us rather than force us to adopt a better way. Allow individuals to make their own choices based on knowledge rather than a authoritative nanny state forcing us to live a certain way. I believe most Americans want progressive change, which is why Democrats occasionally win elections. However, Democrats frequently lose elections because their believe more in the State than they believe in individual freedom, which is certainly not very “progressive.” Rather, Democrats are regressive and trying to return to a time when individuals were under the thumbs of their rulers.

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