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Thread: Global Warming - Page 5







Post#101 at 04-11-2007 07:53 AM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,502]
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Quote Originally Posted by The Rani View Post
Yeah, what the hell, I'm talking about ice ages and he comes up with a graph dating only back to 1600.
How are ice ages relevant to changes occurring now?

I think Marc's point is that nobody really cares about this issue except for how it relates to politics.
That is a cynical viewpoint, but as you have no children, you can afford to be cynical. Actually, as you are perfectly aware, people care about this issue to the extent that they believe it may or may not happen.

As I pointed out before, even if the ice caps melt in a few decades as the worst case estimates suggest, this is not going to flood Marc's home in Ohio or mine in Michigan. Even if temperatures soar and the American Southwest become uninhabitable, my home in Michigan will be largely unaffected at least for the immediate future because of all that fresh water nearby. The Great Lakes aren't going to evaporate overnight.

If global warming takes off Northerners will more likely be winners than Southerners. In any case the big losers will be in Africa, South Asia and Central America, not in the US.







Post#102 at 04-11-2007 08:36 AM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mikebert View Post
How are ice ages relevant to changes occurring now?
The Denialists ALWAYS bring up climate changes that are on irrelevant time scales. It lets them fool laypeople into thinking climatologists are liars.
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism







Post#103 at 04-11-2007 10:20 AM by zilch [at joined Nov 2001 #posts 3,491]
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Cool The Wicked Witch of GW

Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
The Denialists ALWAYS bring up climate changes that are on irrelevant time scales. It lets them fool laypeople into thinking climatologists are liars.
Gee, yesterday I posted an article by Richard Lindzen, Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Lindzen was quickly attacked as a stooge of Big Oil (ie., that means he's a liar) because he dares question the theology of the Climate Changers. So I think you're all wet, dude.

Just the other day, Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University, reknown as America's most reliable predicter of Hurricanes, took on GW's High Priest Al Gore saying, "He's one of these guys that preaches the end of the world type of things. I think he's doing a great disservice and he doesn't know what he's talking about."

The theology of global climate change is just that, a religion. Yet it's seeking to masquerade as science. Well, some in the science community may play along for a while (there are big $$$ to be had), but sooner or later the truth is gonna catch up with you folks and science is gonna pour some cold water on this wicked witch. Ding dong!
Last edited by zilch; 04-11-2007 at 10:24 AM.







Post#104 at 04-11-2007 10:47 AM by jadams [at the tropics joined Feb 2003 #posts 1,097]
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Smile Rails RULE

As I have said before, rails are where it's at baby. We need to improve our rail system not only for the sake of the planet, but for the sake of our interior cities and suburban areas. If there is a disruption in the oil supply because of a Saudi civil war, or a collapse of the whole of the region after the Mess Bush has made of O'Potamia, we really will be facing some serious problems in supplying our interior if we cannot use trucks and we have the junky rail system we now have.

I'd say move to a port city except for the rising sea levels and super storms which are obviously not caused by global warming, but are happening any ways. hahahhahahhha I have a place for sale cheap in Miami.... surrounded by water on 3 sides... any takers? We have a big port and lots of supplies.

Article from THE NATION
This article can be found on the web at
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070423/von_hoffman

The Ethanol Hoax
by NICHOLAS VON HOFFMAN April 9, 2007

The other day the French, who we Americans know cannot do anything right, sent one of their trains hurtling down a railroad track at 357 miles per hour. France has more than 1,000 miles of high-speed railroad track. The United States does not have one inch.

The United States sticks with its climate-warming, congested and inefficient Eisenhower-era transportation system. It was back then that the modern federal highway was begun and it was decided--perhaps by default--that cars and airplanes would be the nation's people carriers and choo-choos would chug off to the nearest transportation museum.

Americans, who seem to spend an ever greater percentage of their waking hours bragging about how much better they are than everybody else, have not noticed they are falling behind. It is, for example, the French, the Japanese and the Germans who are competing to sell a high-speed railroad system to the Chinese. Visiting American tourists will enjoy the ride.

Fewer of them are enjoying domestic air flight. Air travel in the United States has become a slow, exasperating, sometimes humiliating, sometimes painful and always uncomfortable experience. Even Attorney General Alberto Gonzales would classify what the airlines put children and older people through as torture.

Personal miseries aside, consider the contribution our transportation chaos makes to global warming. Actually, it is something we try not to consider or act on at all. Here we are after thirty years of warnings about what carbon dioxide is doing to life on the planet and the United States has no plan or program for curtailing its own magnificent donation to what Al Gore calls earth's "fever."

Hey, no Al Gore, please. Do not listen to that man. He's a politician. He's doing it to get elected even if he is not saying so. Listen to George Bush, who has gotten himself elected and is running the country on the premise that carbon dioxide is nothing but the bubbles in the beer he no longer drinks.

The Bush position is: Why should we do something if the Chinese are not doing anything? As long as they are ruining the earth, we must do it first and bigger. Bush is hardly by himself on this one. It seems almost every major industrial group in the country is as committed to inaction as he.

The global-warming naysayers would have us believe there is a one-shot, magic cure that will preserve the earth in a coolly livable form without our having to do anything or change our ways or spend any money. For the time being the magic cure is ethanol. Ethanol will stop global warming, and as an added plus, it will make the agribusiness interests richer and insure that the GOP carries the corn-growing states of the Midwest. Talk about living happily ever after!

In a few years the articles and books about the ethanol hoax will begin to appear, and we will learn who got rich while the earth got warmer and almost nobody--at least nobody important, nobody with influence and power--took note. The effects of global warming are all around us. Anybody with a backyard garden knows about them, but the garden lobby does not swing a heavy club.

So here we are, like the polar bear marooned on his little melting iceberg, snuffling here and there, looking out across the warming sea, hoping to God somebody throws him a fish. Well, bless us all, but are we truly too dumb and too selfish to save ourselves and our children?
jadams

"Can it be believed that the democracy that has overthrown the feudal system and vanquished kings will retreat before tradesmen and capitalists?" Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America







Post#105 at 04-11-2007 11:05 AM by jadams [at the tropics joined Feb 2003 #posts 1,097]
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Smile Follow the Money

whenever anyone calls Al Gore a nut case I wonder whose special interest is being gored... awwwwww

from Media Matters: CNN gave coal company CEO a platform for Gore-bashing, did not report company's labor and safety violations

Summary: On CNN's The Situation Room, Murray Energy Corp. CEO Robert Murray called Al Gore "the shaman of global goofiness and gloom and doom," and Carol Costello reported: "What [Murray is] really concerned about are people losing their jobs." But Costello did not report that several of Murray's own mines have reportedly been embroiled in controversy over labor rights and substandard safety conditions.

On the April 6 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, CNN correspondent Carol Costello reported on "coal miner-turned-CEO of Murray Energy Corporation" Robert Murray's views on global warming, including his opinion that former Vice President Al Gore is "the shaman of global goofiness and gloom and doom." Costello concluded the report on Murray by claiming, without evidence or rebuttal, "What he's really concerned about are people losing their jobs." But Costello did not report that several of Murray's own mines have reportedly been embroiled in controversy over labor rights and substandard safety conditions.

During the segment, Murray told CNN that legislation requiring companies to cut back on emissions is "a human issue to me because I live among the people that wear the hard hats, and I saw what happened in 1990 with the Clean Air Act, and this will be much worse. ... [L]ives will be destroyed for little or no environmental benefit." But despite Murray's purported sympathy for miners, the Pittsburgh office of the National Labor Relations Board issued a formal complaint against Murray and an associate in 2001 because they "[t]hreatened Union officers and its employees with reprisals for publicizing the labor dispute between the parties" and "[t]hreatened its employees with the loss of jobs, and the loss of wages and benefits if they failed to select new Union officers and because of their support for the Union," according to a 2002 United Mine Workers Journal article.

According to a January 15, 2006, article in The Columbus Dispatch of Ohio, Murray owns Ohio's two largest mines, which "recorded injury rates about one-fourth higher than the national average last year while being cited for serious violations by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration [MSHA]." In 2005, federal inspectors cited one of the mines, Ohio Valley Coal Co. Powhatan No. 6, "for 494 safety violations and the company paid $147,431 in fines -- nearly triple the combined amount of fines levied against Ohio's nine other underground coal mines."

An October 20, 2006, article in Kentucky's Lexington Herald-Leader described Murray as "a huge donor to Republican senators" and reported on a meeting at an MSHA office in which "inspectors confronted him [Murray] about safety problems at his mines." During the meeting, Murray reportedly made reference to his connections to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and McConnell's wife, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao: "Shouting at a table full of MSHA officials ... Murray said: 'Mitch McConnell calls me one of the five finest men in America, and the last I checked, he was sleeping with your boss,' according to notes of the meeting." The article added: "Murray, in a recent interview, denied that he referred to McConnell 'sleeping with' Chao."

CNN White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux concluded the report:

MALVEAUX: And while that energy CEO calls global warming "goofy," others say it involves a very grave situation. A new climate report from the United Nations warns that millions of people will go hungry, thirsty, and suffer disease as the world's temperature rises if the world doesn't act.

The report warns of rising sea levels swallowing up some coastal cities like New York. Scientists say that climate change could mean a new dust bowl bringing on drought in the Southwest and making it even hotter, and bring on a wave of animal extinction. Experts say polar bears could vanish this century because they will live on ice that will melt.

However, during the segment, on-screen text read: " 'Global Goofiness': Blasting Global Warming & Al Gore."

From the 4 p.m. ET hour of the April 6 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:

MALVEAUX: Now an issue involving a well-known Democrat -- Al Gore -- a planet in peril and global warming gloom? "It's all just ridiculous," says one man. He says all the forecasts for disaster will themselves be disastrous for one American industry.

CNN's Carol Costello in New York. Carol, who is making these claims?

COSTELLO: Who is making these claims? Well, his name is Bob Murray. He's one of the few CEOs in the coal industry to openly mock Al Gore and what Murray calls "militant environmentalism." His words so blunt, he's attracting a lot of attention.

[begin video clip]

COSTELLO: Bob Murray is a coal miner-turned-CEO of Murray Energy Corporation. He does not hide his disdain for what he calls the "global goofiness campaign." You could say he's the anti- Gore.

MURRAY: I would describe Al Gore as the shaman of global goofiness and gloom and doom.

COSTELLO: Murray calls Al Gore and his Hollywood friends "elitists" who see the working class as abstractions to push their agenda. Needless to say, he was not impressed by Gore's testimony before a congressional hearing on global warming.

GORE: If the crib's on fire, you don't speculate that the baby is flame retardant. You take action. The planet has a fever.

COSTELLO: Murray calls that "hysteria," saying Congress doesn't understand the consequences of bills to curb global warming.

MURRAY: Every bill that's been introduced to address it is going to destroy manufacturing jobs in America. It's going to raise the electric rates for people on fixed income.

COSTELLO: Murray says 52 percent of our electricity is generated by coal. It's the cheapest way to make it. Environmentalists say it's also the dirtiest way, accounting for a third of carbon dioxide emissions, which many scientists say is the culprit behind global warming.

Murray says maybe, but if companies are forced to cut back emissions without needed technology not now available, manufacturers will simply outsource overseas.

MURRAY: It's a human issue to me because I live among the people that wear the hard hats, and I saw what happened in 1990 with the Clean Air Act, and this will be much worse. And we must prevent that, because lives will be destroyed for little or no environmental benefit.

[end video clip]

COSTELLO: We must stress that most in the scientific community says global warming does exist and must be dealt with. We also called on Al Gore for a response. His camp reiterates that by saying, "To say that this is a debate between former vice president Al Gore and the coal companies is a mistake. Today, the scientific community has once again spoken loudly and clearly and confirmed that global warming is real. It is caused by human activity, its consequences are serious, and that actions must be taken now to avoid the worst damage." Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Well, Carol, does Murray believe that there is any room for compromise here?

COSTELLO: You know, he really does. What he's really concerned about are people losing their jobs.

If all of these emissions controls are being put into place all at one time, he fears that'll be too expensive for companies to absorb. And what happens when that happens? They lay off workers.

MALVEAUX: Thanks Carol.

And while that energy CEO calls global warming "goofy," others say it involves a very grave situation. A new climate report from the United Nations warns that millions of people will go hungry, thirsty, and suffer disease as the world's temperature rises if the world doesn't act.

The report warns of rising sea levels swallowing up some coastal cities like New York. Scientists say that climate change could mean a new dust bowl bringing on drought in the Southwest and making it even hotter, and bring on a wave of animal extinction. Experts say polar bears could vanish this century because they will live on ice that will melt.

K.H.
jadams

"Can it be believed that the democracy that has overthrown the feudal system and vanquished kings will retreat before tradesmen and capitalists?" Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America







Post#106 at 04-11-2007 11:41 AM by Bob Butler 54 [at Cove Hold, Carver, MA joined Jul 2001 #posts 6,431]
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Very Long Term...

I found another very long term chart out of Wiki. This one is so long term you can see what happens when the polar ice caps melt, while the last one just covers the last well known ice ages.



While we are currently in as warm a part of the cycles as we are likely to get into while we have land masses around the poles, you can see where the Earth was much warmer when dinosaurs were wandering around.

Note on the above chart that a change of two or three degrees quite often triggers a new 'epoch' in biology. In other words, there is a mass extinction. A bunch of old species die off, to be replaced by new species, sometimes evolved to suit the new environment. On the above chart, there is the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), where warming oceans caused the release of methane frozen on the ocean floor. The Eocene Oligocene boundary corresponds to polar ice forming. There is another cooling blip at the Oligocene - Miocene boundary.

So... we are near the temperature max for the polar ice configuration, we have a 0.6 degree variation already, and the 'natural effects' v 'man made or unexplained' curves are diverging rapidly. Projections are showing the northern ice cap gone within a century.

And people are still saying, 'so what?'
Last edited by Bob Butler 54; 04-11-2007 at 12:14 PM. Reason: Added a bit about extinctions...







Post#107 at 04-11-2007 12:42 PM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by zilch View Post
... Just the other day, Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University, reknown as America's most reliable predicter of Hurricanes, took on GW's High Priest Al Gore saying, "He's one of these guys that preaches the end of the world type of things. I think he's doing a great disservice and he doesn't know what he's talking about."

The theology of global climate change is just that, a religion. Yet it's seeking to masquerade as science. Well, some in the science community may play along for a while (there are big $$$ to be had), but sooner or later the truth is gonna catch up with you folks and science is gonna pour some cold water on this wicked witch. Ding dong!
So, you take a comment that actually says, "Gore's going overboard" and translate that to mean, "Gore's lying through his teeth". And you wonder why no one here takes anything you say as serious commentary.

Add to that, your idea that what you say is the only thing worth discussing. Other people are so ignorant ...
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#108 at 04-11-2007 12:53 PM by zilch [at joined Nov 2001 #posts 3,491]
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Cool Try Again, Horn

Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
So, you take a comment that actually says, "Gore's going overboard" and translate that to mean, "Gore's lying through his teeth".
Your assertion is as false as your quoting something I didn't write, Horn.







Post#109 at 04-11-2007 01:15 PM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by zilch View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
So, you take a comment that actually says, "Gore's going overboard" and translate that to mean, "Gore's lying through his teeth"...
Your assertion is as false as your quoting something I didn't write, Horn.
Did I misquote you? Poor baby! Have a sucker.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#110 at 04-11-2007 02:56 PM by The Wonkette [at Arlington, VA 1956 joined Jul 2002 #posts 9,209]
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
Did I misquote you? Poor baby! Have a sucker.
Don't feed the troll. Don't feed the troll.
I want people to know that peace is possible even in this stupid day and age. Prem Rawat, June 8, 2008







Post#111 at 04-11-2007 04:08 PM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
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Quote Originally Posted by zilch View Post
Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University, reknown as America's most reliable predicter of Hurricanes
Sez who? I've always considered his hurricane models to be voodoo.
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism







Post#112 at 04-11-2007 04:31 PM by Bob Butler 54 [at Cove Hold, Carver, MA joined Jul 2001 #posts 6,431]
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Voodoo?

Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
Sez who? I've always considered his hurricane models to be voodoo.
Voodoo? Last year we had one tropical storm hit, and Accu Weather was all over it.



See? They got the count of tropical storm hits exactly right! Of course, the total lack of hurricanes last year sort of detracts from the accuracy of the tropical storm forecast.

Doctor Grey is more willing to make predictions than most voodoo practitioners, thus the press rewards him with the status of expert, but his record isn't all that wonderful.







Post#113 at 04-11-2007 04:31 PM by Arkham '80 [at joined Oct 2003 #posts 1,402]
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Quote Originally Posted by The Rani View Post
Come on, dude, I thought you were above putting words into other people's mouths. Maybe you've been on this forum too long?

Unless that was a rhetorical question, not an attempt to rephrase what I said.

Besides, I think of perversions as good things anyway. Keeps life interesting.
It was a rhetorical question. I am confused (and disgusted) by the default environmentalist position that humanity is a cancer of the planet and find it curious whenever that attitude seeps into the popular subconscious.
You cannot step twice into the same river, for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon you. -- Heraclitus

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -- Jiddu Krishnamurti

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am large; I contain multitudes." -- Walt Whitman

Arkham's Asylum







Post#114 at 04-11-2007 05:19 PM by Bob Butler 54 [at Cove Hold, Carver, MA joined Jul 2001 #posts 6,431]
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"The Default Environmental Position"?

Quote Originally Posted by Arkham '80 View Post
It was a rhetorical question. I am confused (and disgusted) by the default environmentalist position that humanity is a cancer of the planet and find it curious whenever that attitude seeps into the popular subconscious.
Hmm.... I'm confused and disgusted by your own comment, above. The only way to deal with a cancer is to kill it. You cut it out of the body, poison it with chemotherapy or roast it with radiation. You have to kill the cancer or the whole body dies, including the cancer. This is not the 'default environmentalist position." I can only interpret your comment as a strawman attack, a deliberate misstatement of another group's position and intent, a crude and deliberate insult. Most environmentalists do not advocate genocide.

While I wouldn't consider my primary values to be environmentalist, it makes sense to me that we want a healthy biosphere. Man in the long run has to balance resources available against resources needed. I see ecological collapse in many parts of the world already leading to poverty, to ethnic strife, and sometimes to 5GW. I see a clinging to the capitalist urge to maximize profits by maximizing use of resources as dangerous, especially when capitalist values exclude any concerns about balancing resources used against resources available. The assumption that nature is bullet proof, that it can survive and adapt to whatever Man throws at it, might be true to some extent. Nature has survived lots of grand extinctions over the history of the planet, and generally bounces back as strong as ever a few hundred thousand years later. I just look at the consequences of the earlier extinctions, and think it would be far better to avoid such consequences if at all possible.







Post#115 at 04-11-2007 07:46 PM by Tristan [at Melbourne, Australia joined Oct 2003 #posts 1,249]
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
Be thankful for that. Here, land-planning variances are issued as a matter of course, and the result is often too little infrastructure to support the new development - what ever it is. Of course, the developer is happy with all the new-found wealth. The new owners, on the other hand, have to pony-up for roads, schools, fire and police stations, and so on.

They save up front and pay double on the back side.
Still, It is got to nowhere near as bad as Australia's new suburbs were in the 1950's, where the roads were not sealed and there was no sewerage. In some places people relied on outhouses until the 1960's or 1970's.







Post#116 at 04-11-2007 09:29 PM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
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Quote Originally Posted by The Rani View Post
Yeah, that's it. I'm trying to fool the laypeople. Too bad for me that everyone on this forum is an expert. I need to take my propaganda to a forum where people have fewer degrees. Pun not intended ... HA!

When they start getting the weather forecasts right, then I'll start worrying.

I sure hope this is sarcasm.
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism







Post#117 at 04-11-2007 09:36 PM by zilch [at joined Nov 2001 #posts 3,491]
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Cool Get in line...

Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
I sure hope this is sarcasm.
Sure it is. Folks like Rani will simply fall in line when it comes time to, as Mr. Butler declares, we "cut it out of the body, poison it with chemotherapy or roast it with radiation."

Hey, I mean, either you're with Al Gore and his hypocritical enviro-thugs or you're against them. The future of Mother Earth, after all, is at stake. Sieg Heil!
Last edited by zilch; 04-11-2007 at 09:39 PM.







Post#118 at 04-11-2007 10:23 PM by antichrist [at I'm in the Big City now, boy! joined Sep 2003 #posts 1,655]
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Quote Originally Posted by The Rani View Post
Yeah, that's it. I'm trying to fool the laypeople. Too bad for me that everyone on this forum is an expert. I need to take my propaganda to a forum where people have fewer degrees. Pun not intended ... HA!

When they start getting the weather forecasts right, then I'll start worrying.
And they would be more believable if they didn't run the whole same PR program for the coming ice age only 30 years ago.

It's a good thing that since we mean well, all our Big Ideas to fix global warming will work out just as we will plan.







Post#119 at 04-11-2007 10:50 PM by Bob Butler 54 [at Cove Hold, Carver, MA joined Jul 2001 #posts 6,431]
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Quote Originally Posted by zilch View Post
Sure it is. Folks like Rani will simply fall in line when it comes time to, as Mr. Butler declares, we "cut it out of the body, poison it with chemotherapy or roast it with radiation."

Hey, I mean, either you're with Al Gore and his hypocritical enviro-thugs or you're against them. The future of Mother Earth, after all, is at stake. Sieg Heil!
Hey, as I said, environmentalists aren't into genocide. That's more a fascist thing.







Post#120 at 04-11-2007 11:57 PM by Mr. Reed [at Intersection of History joined Jun 2001 #posts 4,376]
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I am skeptical that human activity is warming the planet. The fact that the issue is being politicized is fueling my skepticism. The fact that lots of scientists are on board with it does give the theory support, but the scientific consensus has proven wrong countless times in history. As warm as temperatures may have been lately, the climate could swing any way at any time. Remember that in 1975, no one was worried about global warming. The big scare was that by 2000, an ice age would begin with the Laurentide ice sheet re-appearing in Canada. In the future, global warming could go the way of the scientific theory of aether, particularly if the planet enters another cool period. Freeman Dyson himself is a skeptic, and we share similar thoughts on the issue.
Benny Peiser: In the first chapter of your new book, "The Scientist as Rebel," you write that the common element of the scientific vision "is rebellion against the restrictions imposed by the locally prevailing culture," and that scientists "should be artists and rebels, obeying their own instincts rather than social demands or philosophical principles."

Contrary to this liberal if not libertarian concept of scientific open-mindedness, there has been growing pressure on scientists to toe the line and endorse what is nowadays called the 'scientific consensus' - on numerous contentious issues. Dissenting scientists frequently face ostracism and denunciation when they dare to go against the current. Has Western science become more authoritarian in recent years or have rebellious scientists always had to face similar condemnation and resentment? And how can young scientists develop intellectual independence and autonomy in a bureaucratic world of funding dependency?

Freeman Dyson: Certainly the growing rigidity of scientific organizations is a real and serious problem. I like to remind young scientists of examples in the recent past when people without paper qualifications made great contributions. Two of my favorites are: Milton Humason, who drove mules carrying material up the mountain trail to build the Mount Wilson Observatory, and then when the observatory was built got a job as a janitor, and ended up as a staff astronomer second-in-command to Hubble. Bernhardt Schmidt, the inventor of the Schmidt telescope which revolutionized optical astronomy, who worked independently as a lens-grinder and beat the big optical companies at their own game. I tell young people that the new technologies of computing, telecommunication, optical detection and microchemistry actually empower the amateur to do things that only professionals could do before.

Amateurs and small companies will have a growing role in the future of science. This will compensate for the increasing bureaucratization of the big organizations. Bright young people will start their own companies and do their own science.

Benny Peiser: In a Winter Commencement Address at the University of Michigan two years ago you called yourself a heretic on global warming, the most notorious dogma of modern science. You have described global warming anxiety as grossly exaggerated and have openly voiced your doubts about the reliability of climate models. These models, you argue, "do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields, farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in." There seems to be an almost complete endorsement of the world's scientific organisations and elites of these models together with claims that they reliably epitomize reality and can consistently predict future climate change. How do you feel belonging to a tiny minority of scientists who dare to voice their doubts openly?

Freeman Dyson: I am always happy to be in the minority. Concerning the climate models, I know enough of the details to be sure that they are unreliable. They are full of fudge factors that are fitted to the existing climate, so the models more or less agree with the observed data. But there is no reason to believe that the same fudge factors would give the right behavior in a world with different chemistry, for example in a world with increased CO2 in the atmosphere.
It could very well be proven true that humans are causing global warming. But I am not going to jump on some bandwagon about some process that even the experts don't fully understand themselves just because some experts say so and politicians threaten people into believing the Church of Global Warming. The vast majority of people are ignorant about even the basics of science. As stated in the interview I quoted above,
Benny Peiser: In a chapter about the scientific revolutions in modern physics and mathematics, you describe the deep intellectual confusion in Weimar Germany in the aftermath of the First World War. You portray a society troubled by a mood of doom and gloom, a milieu that was conducive for scientific revolution as well as political upheaval. Unmistakably, the Great War set off a major shift in German thought, from the idea of progress and technological confidence to cultural pessimism and apocalypticism. As we know, the consequences of this mood of despair was calamitous. Do you see any comparison with the gloomy frame of mind that seems to be on the increase among many Western scientists today?

Freeman Dyson: Yes, the western academic world is very much like Weimar Germany, finding itself in a situation of losing power and influence. Fortunately, the countries that matter now are China and India, and the Chinese and Indian experts do not share the mood of doom and gloom. It is amusing to see China and India take on today the role that America took in the nineteen-thirties, still believing in technology as the key to a better life for everyone.

Benny Peiser: Britain's leading cosmologists seem to be particularly gloomy about the future of civilisation and humankind. The so-called Doomsday Argument seems to have had a significant influence on many Cambridge-based scientists. It has induced among them a conviction that global catastrophe is almost imminent. Martin Rees, for instance, estimates that there is a 50% chance of human extinction during the next 100 years. How do you explain this apocalyptic mood among leading cosmologists in Britain and the almost desperate tone of their pronouncements?

Freeman Dyson: My view of the prevalence of doom-and-gloom in Cambridge is that it is a result of the English class system. In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status. As a child of the academic middle class, I learned to look on the commercial middle class with loathing and contempt. Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher, which was also the revenge of the commercial middle class. The academics lost their power and prestige and the business people took over. The academics never forgave Thatcher and have been gloomy ever since.
We live in a society in which no one is ashamed of being ignorant in scientific and technical matters. In fact, since the end of the Second World War, those with scientific and technical interests were increasingly referred to as eggheads, nerds, and geeks. Because of widespread ignorance, we have allowed ourselves to get into the problem of an ecosystem collapse, or a peak oil event. We are totally dependent on experts to tell us what is right and wrong in science and technology. I see this as a prescription for disaster.

This is not to say that global warming shouldn't be investigated and solved. In fact, there are many ways to combat global warming. One way is by pumping colder water from the depths to the top of the oceans. The cold seawaters will absorb carbon-dioxide from the air like a sponge. And by using state-of-the-art technology and science, we can grow food in vast indoor buildings (such as vertical farms) if the outside world becomes too hot or too cold. Or, we could print our food. In fact, I favor indoor farming. It makes our food supply immune to weather and climate. Also, agriculture itself is highly destructive to the ecosystem. We can convert our farmlands into wilderness, where the plants and animals can thrive. Instead of corn, prairie will reclaim Illinois, while steppe will reclaim the northern Great Plains. In addition, indoor farming will bring in more jobs, especially in city centers. And the nations urban regions will see many new skyscrapers. So regardless of whether or not global warming is real, we can eliminate the threat even while living standards and quality of life improve by a large factor.
"The urge to dream, and the will to enable it is fundamental to being human and have coincided with what it is to be American." -- Neil deGrasse Tyson
intp '82er







Post#121 at 04-12-2007 01:46 AM by Bob Butler 54 [at Cove Hold, Carver, MA joined Jul 2001 #posts 6,431]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Reed View Post
Freeman Dyson: I am always happy to be in the minority. Concerning the climate models, I know enough of the details to be sure that they are unreliable. They are full of fudge factors that are fitted to the existing climate, so the models more or less agree with the observed data. But there is no reason to believe that the same fudge factors would give the right behavior in a world with different chemistry, for example in a world with increased CO2 in the atmosphere.
It could very well be proven true that humans are causing global warming. But I am not going to jump on some bandwagon about some process that even the experts don't fully understand themselves just because some experts say so and politicians threaten people into believing the Church of Global Warming. The vast majority of people are ignorant about even the basics of science. As stated in the interview I quoted above
Thing is, CO2 is one of the most basic of greenhouse gasses. Any sort of model with any pretense of matching reality has got to model CO2 levels. If the model matches the historical record, the CO2 modeling is going to be pretty dang good. And it isn't just human industrial systems that produce CO2. Volcanoes and plant die offs give scientists other chances to see the effects of large CO2 variations. Heck, look at the charts I've posted in the last few days, and note how well CO2 levels track temperature. When a skeptic sits in front of the press and claims the current models don't account for variations in CO2 level in an attempt to dismiss the scientific consensus, I have a lot of trouble conceiving him as being honest in his presentation.

Yes, there are a lot of constants in the computer models. One keeps tweaking the constants and adding new ones in an attempt to match the model to the historical record. This is an ongoing process. The current models will no doubt be improved. Thing is, any of these skeptics have the opportunity to build their own models, to tweak the constants, to produce their own curves. They haven't. They can't. They have not produced a better theory. They have not made better science. They have not produced a better model. The peer reviewed journals are producing articles that say one thing, while the skeptics go on talk shows to sell the rebuttals direct to the public. All they can do is claim 'not good enough,' without producing the science to back their opinions. When I see obvious false assertions such as the lack of modeling of CO2 levels, I have trouble taking their objectivity with any seriousness at all.







Post#122 at 04-12-2007 05:10 AM by Justin '77 [at Meh. joined Sep 2001 #posts 12,182]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Reed View Post
I am skeptical that human activity is warming the planet. The fact that the issue is being politicized is fueling my skepticism.
!!

Why isn't this observation being made more loudly? All other things being equal, shouldn't an endorsement from a politician -- a breed not well known for choosing the truth when shouting to the rooftops -- be a cause for increased skepticism?

Thank goodness the political modes that are being advocated have such a minimal capability to actually do what they set out to - otherwise the great mobs that will uncritically eat whatever's put in font of them could actually do some damage. I'm looking forward, a decade and a half from now, to laughing my ass off at the fools who fell for it again.

And I just love the fact that Dyson sees eye-to-eye with me: Concerning the climate models, I know enough of the details to be sure that they are unreliable.
Last edited by Justin '77; 04-12-2007 at 05:13 AM.







Post#123 at 04-12-2007 05:19 AM by Justin '77 [at Meh. joined Sep 2001 #posts 12,182]
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Quote Originally Posted by Bob Butler 54 View Post
Thing is, any of these skeptics have the opportunity to build their own models, to tweak the constants, to produce their own curves. They haven't. They can't.
Well of course not. One of the arguments made against swallowing the garbage that a model spits out is: "you don't understand the system dynamics well enough to model them". It's not an issue of 'tweaking the constants'. Curve-fitting programs do that just fine, anyway. The question is in writing the algorythms. That's where science is done.

How is someone supposed to offer a competing model, when there's no underlying understanding there to begin with? You complain that the skeptics haven't produced enough meaningless squiggly lines of their own? What about science?







Post#124 at 04-12-2007 08:09 AM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,502]
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Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Reed View Post
Remember that in 1975, no one was worried about global warming.
Sure they were. Very careful measurements of atmospheric CO2 levels using expensive equipment started to be performed at a remote location in Hawaii in 1958. These measurements followed a serious of less careful measurements made in Sweden using much less expensive equipment that showed a very noisy signal. The goal of both sets of measurements was to determine whether CO2 levels were rising, falling, or invariant with time.

Why on earth did climate scientists go to all this trouble, spending scarce research dollars, to measure atmopsheric CO2 levels? Because starting in the 1950's climate scientists became concerned about what atmospheric CO2 levels were doing. Before 1950 there was no such concern. Why?

Note that none of the skeptics today deny that CO2 is a greenhouse gase and that it has the direct effect of producing warming. Why don't they? Because the relevance of the greenhouse effect to future warming is an accepted fact by all the scientists, including the skeptics.

Prior to around 1950, the scientific consensus was that additional warming produced by CO2 was theoretically impossible based on spectroscopic work done around 1900 by Angstrom. Based on this consensus, it was believed that temperatures on Venus were similar to those on Earth. (Perhaps you've read SF stories from the 1930's and before that portrayed Venus with a mild tropical climate. SF authors then like now were usually up on their science and their stories reflected the scientific consensus of the time).

Additional spectroscopic work done on CO2 in the 1940's contradicted the conclusions from Angstrom's work. It was possible for CO2 to produce additional warming. For example, there was a possibility that the temperatures on Venus might be considerably warmer than those here because of this greenhouse effect. And this turned out to be the case.

With the reversal of the consensus about the theoretical capability of CO2 to increase temperature whether or not this effect might be relevant to the Earth now became of interest. Although humans were certainly adding CO2 to the atmospheric, most scientists believed that the oceans were absorbing almost all of this CO2. Thus, although rising CO2 levels could produce warming, no warming was going to happen because CO2 levels wouldn't rise significantly. The acid test would be to actually measure atmospheric CO2 levels over a period of time to prove that they were not rising. This is why scientists became interesting in measuring CO2 levels in the 1950's and not before.

By the early 1960's it was established that CO2 levels were rising. The oceans were absorbing CO2; the rate of CO2 rise was roughly half of what would be expected if all the CO2 humans were putting into the atmosphere stayed there. But the process of absorption was apparently limited by the rate of ocean layer turnover (which brings fresh water to the surface to replace CO2-saturated surface water) rather than a limitation of the overall ocean's capacity for CO2 absorption (which is vast).

So by the 1960's it was known that greenhouse warming by CO2 was possible and that CO2 levels were rising. It was now a question of the relative magnitude of the effects. The first decent one-dimensional radiative balance model was developed in 1967, which gave the first valid assessment of the direct effect of CO2 on temperature. Once again, I point out that the skpetics do not question the output of these models that show the direct effect of CO2 on temperature with all other factors held constant.

Since the levels of CO2 and other human-introduced greenhouse gases are the only climate factors that can increase indefinitely, the question is no longer, are humans warming the climate, but how fast? Once again none of the skeptics deny that at some point in time, if present trends continue, human changes to the atmosphere will produce unacceptable warming.

The question is when will that happen. If it is centuries from now, then present trends will likely not have continued over that entire time and CO2 levels will not have reached problematic levels. Over the very long term, the oceans will absorb most of the added CO2. So it matters when problematic levels are reached.

So it is not true that in 1975 scientists were unconcerned about warming. In fact the science shoing that CO2-induced climate change was a real possibility that warranted research had just recently become the scientific consensus, which everybody accepts including the skeptics. Why do you suppose all these boreholes have been drilled? Why have so much scarce resources been spent on reconstruction of past CO2 levels, solar levels and temperatures? Do you think it has all been done for giggles? When did this work start? In the 1970's, when a consensus had developed that this was something that should be seriously investigated.

The public didn't start hearing about this global warming stuff until the late 1980's. One reason was that since temperature had not risen between 1940 and 1975, (as the efforts to construct historical temperature profiles had shown) it was apparent that, until 1975 at least, other factors that produce cooling were still capable of overwhelming the CO2 effect.

But by the late 1980's there had been a decade of new warming that could not be explained by solar factors (as perhaps earlier warming trends could be) because today we directly monitor solar activity. Two more decades have passed with more warming. We now have as much temperature rise as had happened between 1900 and 1940--but with no accompanying rise in solar activity as sunspot number indicates happened then.

These new facts have changed my position from unconcern in the 1980's, to concern today. I would think thirty more years of warming will decide the issue, but it may be too late to implement moderate corrective actions by that time. After all, the minority view that temeprature rise could be much faster than predicted can come true just as easily as the skeptics "no worries" position. Doing nothing for 30 years is betting the farm that the skeptics are right (even though none of them are willing to be money that they are right). What if they aren't?







Post#125 at 04-12-2007 08:57 AM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,502]
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Quote Originally Posted by Justin '77 View Post
Well of course not. One of the arguments made against swallowing the garbage that a model spits out is: "you don't understand the system dynamics well enough to model them". It's not an issue of 'tweaking the constants'. Curve-fitting programs do that just fine, anyway. The question is in writing the algorythms. That's where science is done.

How is someone supposed to offer a competing model, when there's no underlying understanding there to begin with? You complain that the skeptics haven't produced enough meaningless squiggly lines of their own? What about science?
First of all, skeptics have offered alternate models. Justin himself provided a link to one by Lord Monckton.

Second the science of how greenhouse gases produce warming is well understood. One-dimensional radiative balance models using inputs obtained from observation can produce an accurate assessment of the direct effect of a given rise in CO2 (assuming no change in inputs). What cannot be done today is predict exactly what some of these inputs (e.g. albedo) will be in the future. Obviously we cannot observe future inputs today.

To predict future inputs one does need complex dyanamical models and you do have to solve the Navier Stokes equations and consider thermodynamics and a whole host of physical process, some of which are not well understood. But to imply that greenhouse models are garbage because of this is deceptive. The model is perfectly valid, it tells you what CO2 will do given values for the other factors like albedo, solar constant, mixing, etc. None of the skeptics who actually understand the science (unlike this Monckton guy) deny that greenhouse warming is a real thing.

It is possible that these poorly-understood phenomena might act in such a way as produce future inputs that counter the fact of CO2-related warming. But then again they might not. Now if temperature actually was falling, then one could make an excellent case that some factors that we don't understand are producing sufficient cooling to outweigh CO2-induced warming and we should do more science and stop modeling. But temperatures aren't falling they have been rising for 30 years. Why?

The direct effect of rising CO2 is warming. And the amount of warming that CO2 could produce (with no change in other factors) is large enough to explain all of the observed temperature rise. Thus, over the past 30 years these unknown factors that Justin invokes, haven't done what he claims they will do (make rising CO2 a nonproblem). But we shouldn't worry, that rabbit is going jump out of Justin's hat any time now.

Justin would have us believe that because we cannot easily predict the exact path a barrel will take as it goes over Niagra falls (turbulent flow is poorly understood) we cannot easily say (without any modeling) that it is inadvisable to go over the falls in a barrel.
Last edited by Mikebert; 04-12-2007 at 09:15 AM.
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