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« 900 Comments and Counting | Main | Global Warming – Part 2 »

Comments

Ben Jackson

Hey Scott, I live in Montreal, and we recently had a public transit strike. During the strike everyone with any money (not me) took cars or taxis instead of riding public transit. The air turned brown and thick. The whole island smelled really gross and it was hard to see very far. Whether or not SUVs cause "global warming," that's definite proof that they cause pollution. Fortunately the strike ended and there's less cars on the road and it's a bit cleaner out now.

Ben Jackson

Hey Scott, I live in Montreal, and we recently had a public transit strike. During the strike everyone with any money (not me) took cars or taxis instead of riding public transit. The air turned brown and thick. The whole island smelled really gross and it was hard to see very far. Whether or not SUVs cause "global warming," that's definite proof that they cause pollution. Fortunately the strike ended and there's less cars on the road and it's a bit cleaner out now.

Ben Jackson

Hey Scott, I live in Montreal, and we recently had a public transit strike. During the strike everyone with any money (not me) took cars or taxis instead of riding public transit. The air turned brown and thick. The whole island smelled really gross and it was hard to see very far. Whether or not SUVs cause "global warming," that's definite proof that they cause pollution. Fortunately the strike ended and there's less cars on the road and it's a bit cleaner out now.

Jim

Dang it -- I'm too late!!

I just now had time to comment on the fact that Scott has dared to question the most sacred verse in the Leftoid Bible. As soon as I saw it, I was thinking he'd be posting a pseudo-retraction within 5 days. And now he already has.

Anyway, here's my opinion:

==============================
It is very obvious, and has been obvious for some time, that global warming is caused by [abortion]. This is backed up by every scientist on the planet, as well as former presidential candidate [Pat Robertson]. Indeed, media outlets of every stripe, including [Fox News, the Washington Times, and Rush Limbaugh] have done exhaustive research and have not found ANY credible scientist with an alternate view. Get out of denial, people! Stop believing the lies fed to you by corrupt [Democrats] who are just pawns of the [abortion] industry! Even if you can't face the truth in front of you, you should change your behavior anyway. At the very least, you will have stopped [killing children].
===================================

Oh... what.... you don't like that?

Feel free to substitute in: [American CO2 emissions],[Al Gore],[CNN, New York Times, NPR],[Republicans],[oil], and [polluting the air].

This might feel better to you, but you still look just as stupid.

Rachael

I thought that I'd join in on the debate several days late, and since reading through several hundred comments seems like far too much work I'm going to pretend that nobody else has mentioned this, and present this as a bright, shiny, new piece of information.

Mars is currently going through global warming.

I have yet to find anyone who disputes this fact.

Perhaps it is a complete coincidence that Mars and Earth are going through global warming at the same time. Or perhaps those sneaky Martians are at the height of their resource-destroying civilisation, too.

I enjoy coincidences. They're fascinating.

black spot

More thought into the process. A super bug, which I will call Lack of Free Will or LFW for short, will evolve to eat the extra CO2. LFW will enforce me to continue watching TV, using the tumble dryer, drive cars etc to feed itself. LFW will then get above its station and start itself GOD. We’re sunk.

Frank Paine

Not surprisingly, you got a lot of responses to this one. To me, the most difficult thing about this "debate" is that it's so difficult to have a discussion based on reason. Care to speculate on why the emotional content on both sides is so intense?

GG

"We're not running out of oil, we're running out of *cheap* oil. There are huge deposits of more-expensive oil which will be very economical at $100/bbl. The link does mention that, but they go off on a "energy produced vs. energy consumed" tangent which is a red herring, because money acts as the arbitrage of energy efficiency." - TallDave

Dave,
Energy produced vs. energy consumed is not a red herring. If you have to burn two barrels of oil to get one barrel of oil out of the ground, you haven't gained anything. If you're not capable of doing simple math, please refrain from having an opinion.

alexei

oh Scott!! this is terrible! that video filled the papers in england about a week after being shown on TV. the graphs they used to show the correlation between heat and C02 were deliberately unrepresentative of reality. throughout the program they used unreliable data, misquoted scietists (one of whom wrote an article saying so as he felt the global warming debate was ruined by misquotes). i imagine a lot of other people have said the same thing, but in case they havn't watch the video again and concentrate. most of the "evidence" is unrepresentative. the people who made this video are dispicable in my mind

Beau

Awesome!!! Thats the most credible bit of global warming news I have ever read. Now do 9/11!! ???

Beau

Awesome!!! Thats the most credible bit of global warming news I have ever read. Now do 9/11!! ???

TallDave

Oh, and the "oil peak" debunking is very easy.

We're not running out of oil, we're running out of *cheap* oil. There are huge deposits of more-expensive oil which will be very economical at $100/bbl. The link does mention that, but they go off on a "energy produced vs. energy consumed" tangent which is a red herring, because money acts as the arbitrage of energy efficiency.

Two major trends will happen as oil prices get higher: energy efficiency of devices that require oil will quickly get higher, and alternatives to oil will become more economically feasible and attract far more funding. For instance, electricity from nuclear fission plants can be be used to produce liquid fuel via conversion of waste biomass.

Also, there are a couple non-ITER approaches to fusion in the works which may render the whole debate moot. RW Bussard (of Bussard ramjet fame) claims to have a viable, tested fusion design in his polyhedral magnetic well approach, and a Paul Allen-funded project has a somewhat similar approach which just got $40 million in funding to commercialize their beam-beam magnetic well technique.

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

http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-9721240-7.html

http://www.google.com/patents?id=eG0TAAAAEBAJ&dq=fusion+rostoker


GeordieHalfBreed

Dear Kaiser,

Icecaps on the south pole (which is getting thicker in the middle, but overall losing weight round the edges, rather like your brain) are on land, therefore not floating. That water will increase sea levels. As for the rest, any purely floating ice will, hypothetically, cause no net change - try putting some ice-cubes in a glass of water, or looking up an old Greek bloke called Archimedes. However, this means that, on average, sea levels will increase.

Most scientists say that global warming is our fault, and that we can do something about it. As a species we emit an enormous amount of carbon - that isn't hubris, that is fact. Each individual may be insignificant, but there are 6 billion of us. We have potentially a very significant impact on the planet.

And if one more person moans about how this is all a conspiracy designed to make them poorer, I'm going to bite them. Calling them self obsessed, short sighted morons would be rather too complimentary for my liking...
GHB

Dave Sag

Here's a "last link" for you to be convinced by. http://gristmill.grist.org/skeptics

They have analysed every position of the so called "climate change skeptics" and debunked them all.

I don't understand how hard it is to understand that people burning fossil fuels releases CO2 and other greenhouse gasses, that that is heating the planet, and that heating is causing the climates to change world-wide. It's pretty straightforward actually.

Also for a brilliant debunking of that fraud -The Great Warming Swindle - see http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2007/03/13/channel-4s-problem-with-science/

And for some of the commenters above - the reason to care if it's people causing climate change is that we can actually act to change this before its too late.
Dave

Lance Drager

The best place to look for climate science is http://www.realclimate.org.
They do a much better job than I can here of explaining why humans are causing climate change. They give some excellent links. Here are three that I think are good:

http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/dn11462-climate-change-a-guide-for-the-perplexed.html
http://blog.sciam.com/index.php?title=are_you_a_global_warming_skeptic_part_iv&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1
http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.html

If you want to understand this issue, you have to read up a bit.

Climate scientists are human, and so subject to prejudice and emotion. That's why we have a scientific method---to prevent us
from deceiving ourselves. Certainly climate scientists continue
to challenge each other's ideas. In any case, the opponents of
global warming are human, and there are reasons (to put it mildly)
they might be prejudiced. You can't settle these arguments by
arguing about who is or isn't prejudiced. You have to look at the evidence and the reasoning. If you must short-cut that, the scientific consensus is the best estimate available.

People often have to act in the face of much more uncertainty than
there is on this issue. Acting means messy politics, but
there is no alternative.

Someone else

http://xkcd.com/c164.html

read this

Someone

My knowledge of this topic is very minimal too. But I have one question. I have visited some parks just an hour north of Toronto, Canada. We have seen boards that say that those areas were under water and glaciers covered them as recently as 12,000 years ago. They have receded since then.

We all agree that there was no pollutant caused by humans 12,000 years ago. How did they melt back then? Could what is happening today be something like from 12,000 years ago? Or Possibly still a continuation of that?

Borjan

Ah, what can I say about global warming that wasn't already said? I was really concerned about it until recently, when I went to the science-fair where real scientists explained to me a few facts about Earth's climate and the causes of GW outside of human influence (which exists, but to what extent?).

1) The axis of Earth's rotation is not solid - it wobbles and slants to various degrees every few centuries, which causes differences in temperature around the globe.

2) Earth's orbit is not solid elipse. It also differs slightly every year (hence cooler and hotter summers and winters).

3. The whole Solar System is not set in Space outside of everything. It also rotates around the center of the Galaxy in a sinusoidal pattern, passing through the thicker layers of cosmic dust every time when Solar System travels through the Milky Way's plain (disc) every 100.000 or 200.000 years.

Following that pattern through history and comparing it to the evidence of ice-ages and warm periods - they say - you can see a funny coincidence: when our Solar system passes through the thicker layers in the middle of the disc coincide with ice age, while warm periods coincide with the tops and bottoms of sinusoidal curve.

4) Vulcanoes. We haven't had a major eruption in a long while, but even when Mt.Helen exploded there was a visible drop of temperatures around the globe. It was said that one eruption during one day can put enough CO2 into atmosphere to equal the whole industrial production of the U.S. in a whole year!

Well...

Add to that the psychological side to it: since evolution robbed us of "that special place" for our species, we had to find another way to occupy our feeble minds and add importance to our species. So we exaggerated our role in Global Warming beyond any common sense.

To add insult to injury, there are TWO real problems which everyone forgot...

POPULATION GROWTH: we are hunting down and destroying countless other species to make space (or food) for more of us.

LIGHT POLLUTION: we are emitting way more light into the night than it's really necessary, thus confusing many species of migrating birds.

Gleetnorx

What about human global crapping, pissing, food and water uptake, woodburning and crafts?
Over six billion turds a day is an impressive amount of waste.
Factor in the technological cyborgisms and we are
ROBO humans! Here to rape and pillage the earth right down to the bare rocks and below!

ortelius

It is really fantastic to see, how many people here admit their own stupidity following by strong opinion – global warming hasn’t been caused by humans or ... or .... Could anybody sane really think that we can burn all coal and oil deposited during tens of millions years in 200 or 300 years without unbalancing atmosphere?

Why the people haven’t read few articles (summaries) i.e. here: http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/dn11462 before talk stuff about undersea volcanoes (irrelevant to atmospheric CO2 content), about tiny human CO2 emissions (humans are 100x worse then volcanoes), about past global warming, about predicted global warming in 1970s, about warming on Mars and Pluto (there is high uncertainty in measuring of Earth temperature, how anybody can measure temperature of Mars and Pluto), about methane being more dangerous then CO2 (no it isn't) ...
... and especially about conspiracy (so, the scientists are conspiring for personal profit, while petrol industry, SUV owners and other lazy and stupid people are non-selfish altruists?).

Hmm...

Thanks for the great links!

I am going to believe it's a swindle. For 2 reasons.

1. Attribute more weightage to someone like professor of MIT (Dept. of Meteorology) versus what Al Gore or U.N's IPCC. Former is more likely to be unbiased (along the lines of your "outsource the government" post)

2. More importantly, the believers of "global warming is man-made" show a definite "specialness factor". They are the ones who believed what we humans do is very important to everything, we are the center of the universe, sun revolves round the earth, God made universe for the man, etc. If there is such a strong evidence against this, it must be the specialness factor again getting to our heads!

Cheers!

Nick

Scott, I expect you to be a bit more astute and to move past the scientific argument on this.

Let's just forget the science, and see how the scenario plays out:

Scenario 1) We do nothing.
The middle-east continues to fill its coffers with western money from oil, continues to show its relevance in world affairs, and continues funding terrorism. The big oil companies continue making multi-billion dollar profits, and as the oil supply dwindles, we become in a greater struggle to secure the resources we've become dependent on.

In the meantime, the Chinese and Indians have developed all the key Green technology that allows them a greater competitive advantage (cheaper energy) over the rest of the world, setting them up for the next century of dominance.

Scenario 2) We act. We resolve to institute a space-race-like program to reduce our dependence on foreign energy by 50% over 20 years. We develop all the key technology, send the price of oil through the floor, and continue to live in a society that can afford to pay people lots of money to write funny things on paper (or fancy Centriq monitors - even more opulent :))

The problems in the middle east dwindle because of their lack of funding. They can blow each other up, but the oppression (not to mention lack of food) by their corrupt governments will become their cause.

Pick one. Forget the science.

Then throw the global warming argument into those scenarios. If it's false, we get the benefits outlined above. If it's true and we pick scenario 1, Woops!

Tony

Solar radiation (*not* light and *not* heat but the particles that bombard us from space - durangobill has got this wrong...) has influence on forming of clouds (ever seen a cloud chamber?). The clouds in turn have a huge influence on the temperature (ever observed that a cloudy day is cooler than a clear day?).

And I found to read about "Global Dimming" interesting as well.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_dimming

There is a interesting documentary:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/horizon/dimming_prog_summary.shtml

"I must say that the publications had almost no effect whatsoever on the scientific community."
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2058273530743771382#0h05m28s
(Go see the entire documentation, while it is online...)

And some people even think about using clouds to prevent global warming:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fg7J8P-uXqM

I should not be posting this, but you might find it amusing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPZ5FqimF3E

Erich Neubert

I think the fact that there have been many Ice Ages and subsequent "Warming Periods" cleary indicates that humans do not matter as much as other greater influences such as the Sun and Earths Elliptical orbit. The only thing we are doing is making it harder for humans to live here. The planet will do fine without us. Other plants and animals will adapt. BTW - so will humans.

I think the whole Global warming thing has valitidy, but most of it's stupid people telling dumb people stupid things.

Ohh, what I wouldn't give for a President who actually knew what to do and did the right thing.

eibbor

My take:

I'm not an expert in the nitty gritty science of this by any means... assuming it even exists.

All I know is that we are a mere speck in the history of the Earth. In 10,000 years, the only thing left of our entire civilization will probably be a few weathered pennies. I find it really hard to believe that in the last 200 years we've doomed the planet, which has done just fine for 4.5 billion years. There have been numerous ice ages and numerous anti-ice ages. History seems to indicate that we're on the way up again, nearing a peak. I honestly thing, that to think this is all caused by us, is quite arrogant. We really aren't that significant. Also, I highly doubt we know everything there is to know about climate. To pin all the blame on our current civilization, even though there's still plenty of unknowns, and a not insignificant portion of evidence points towards other factors, seems premature. Suppose global warming is potentially being caused by our icky carbon... how do we know our impact is even that significant? It's like trying to take credit for a company's success, because you invested 50 dollars to buy one share. I don't know enough about this to take a specific stand on this, though I'm pretty sure our best minds out there don't either.

All that said, I have absolutely nothing against reducing the amount of crap we emit, be it in the form of gross smoggy gases, or non-biodegradable trash. But, to completely kill the economy for it when it doesn't have the capacity to handle such a significant change in such a short period of time, doesn't seem like a good idea. I'm pretty sure we'll come up with something to pump into our cars long before we run out of oil.

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