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Comments

Ed

I tend to be skeptical of Global warming, especially that we are the cause of it.

But I have a proposal for you.

I am willing to bet that the year 2028 will NOT be warmer then the year 1998. 1998 is currently the hottest year on record and if Global warming is a threat surely 30 years later it will be hotter.

Since I learned at an early age to never bet more then I can afford to loose (no matter how sure I am that I am right) I will offer to bet $1,000 on this. While this is I imagine a pittance to you its the most I can afford to risk.

Sincerely,
Ed Bradley

Nobuddy

You might be interested to read the July issue of "Discover," which contains an interview with Henrik Svensmark of the Danish Space Research Institute, whose research, which was referred to at least as far back as 1999

http://discovermagazine.com/1999/apr/breakweather/?searchterm=svensmark

shows that fluctuations in cosmic radiation almost certainly play a significant part in global warming.

Jim Manzi

Scott:

Your conclusions are sensible and sane.

I've written the cover story for the new (June 25th) National Review that is very aligned with your points. It is available online at (subscription required):

http://nrd.nationalreview.com/

A more detailed article on the science, and in particular your points 1 - 3, is also available online (no subscription required) at:

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZmViY2Y3YzY1YmVkYTg4NjczODhkYWU1Mjg1YzhjMTI=

Best,
Jim Manzi

Optimistic

Oh, and one more item on the topic of cost and benefits -- this just in:

Greenland Cheers Climate Change

"The biggest island in the world is a wind-raked place, gripped by ice over four-fifths of its land, prowled by polar bears, its coastlines choked by drifting icebergs and sea ice. Many of its 56,000 people, who live on the fringes of its giant ice cap, see the effects of global warming -- and cheer it on," reports The Washington Post. "In few parts of the world is climate change more real -- and personal -- than here. The Arctic is feeling the globe's fastest warming. ... A rapid meltdown and fast-sliding glaciers in Greenland could raise sea levels around the world and flood coastal cities and farmland. The infusion of cold water could jolt the Gulf Stream, alter weather throughout the Northern Hemisphere and scatter fish and marine stocks. Yet this sweeping reworking of humanity's global accommodations will likely be fickle. While Greenland has many people who fear what warming will bring, it has quite a few others who reckon they may do quite well by it."

In "Astray in Greenland," (http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=7222) Patrick Michaels, Cato senior fellow and author of Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians and the Media, writes: "There's nothing very new going on in Greenland. ... The longest record is from Angmagssalik. In the summer (when Greenland's ice melts) the temperature has averaged 43.1 degrees Fahrenheit over the last 10 summers. There was one very warm summer, in 2003, but the other nine years aren't unusual at all. From 1930 through 1960, the average was 43.7 degrees. In other words, it was warmer for three decades, and there was clearly no large rise in sea level. What happened between 1945 and the mid-1990s was a cooling trend, with 1985-95 being the coldest period in the entire Angmagssalik record, which goes back to the late 19th century. Only in recent years have temperatures begun to look like those that were characteristic of the early 20th century."

Optimistic

Look at the problem like an economist, and weigh the cost and beneifits: what's the opportunity costs of keeping the environment stable and unchanging?

The “Copenhagen Consensus Center” seems to be one of the few organizations trying to do this, which is a good idea. Clear rigorous ‘cost-benefit’ analysis is a great way to de-emotionalize an issue:

http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com

You can view a talk about this here (why containing global warming is NOT a priority):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dtbn9zBfJSs

FERRARIONE2003

Has nobody ever heard of the Thermal Haline Circulation function of Global weather? This is a long term feed-back mechanism of global climate control.....also.............All official temp. readings have been taken for about 110 years in the US..........and in the last 100 years what has happened to those locations, that is more than enought to account for the less than 1 degree warming? Ever hear of Thermal Mass....???? as in paving....buildings...etc.........I live in the country......about 20 miles from the city.....I have a very accurate weather gathering station.....my temp. are at least always 3 to 8 degrees cooler.........DUH,,,,, I am located in a setting much like the weather gathering stations of the past...before they became so "Built Around" ......Global warming freeks use the excuse.....I repeat "Excuse" that there is a "FORMULA" for adjusting for that fact.....LOL....Give me a break............with a diff. of less that 1 degree in the last 100 years......that is a joke !!............WHY DOSE NO SCIENTIST EVER BRING UP THE FACTS???????????????????????

shep

To recap:

Arguments against:
It gets hot every epoch or so
Scientists are sometimes wrong
We might get hit by an asteroid, so WTF
The commies hate my Hummer
The Sun is hot
Even if true, it probably wouldn’t kill everything and I could grow coconuts in Minnesota
Science is hard

Arguments for:
Spiking CO2
Measurable warming
Melting glaciers, ice sheets and frozen tundra
Increasing cycles of floods and droughts
Rising sea levels
Dying tropical reefs
Dying species and strange migrations of animals, plants and diseases.

So, let’s all take a fossil-fueled cruise down that river in Egypt.

Let’s face it: our technology expanded faster than our wisdom. Natural systems seeks stasis; wiping mankind off the planet is Mother Nature’s way of restoring earth’s equilibrium.

BushSux

Misuse of Scientific Data By the White House

Read the following article that talks about the great President George W. Bush claiming that the European Union's greenhouse gas emissions exceeded that of the U.S., whereas in reality, from 1990 to 2004 U.S. greenhouse gas emissions grew more than 15% while emissions from the 15 countries of the European Union (the EU-15) *declined* by around 1%.

http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2007/601/1
http://www.pacinst.org/topics/integrity_of_science/case_studies/selective_use_climate_update.pdf

Manu Sharma

This is Scott Adams in Global Warming - Part 10 (apparently he's a slow learner), having finally realised the root and sole cause of global warming:

http://harpers.org/media/image/art/cartoons/mrfish/MrFreckles_504x450.jpg

Christophpersen

Regarding 6. What other global problems should we rather spend the money on? You might consider looking here:

http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/Default.aspx?ID=788

Allow me a citation:
"The Copenhagen Consensus Center analyzes the world's greatest challenges and identifies cost efficient solutions to meeting these challenges. The Center works with multilateral organizations, governments and other entities concerned with mitigating the consequences of the challenges which the world is facing.

With the process of prioritization, the center aims to establish a framework in which solutions to problems are prioritized according to efficiency based upon economic and scientific analysis of distinct subjects.

The Copenhagen Consensus Center is headed by Bjørn Lomborg."

ace

For anybody who's willing to read something not written by parrot brain reporters, here is an article written by a lot of scientists from a number of serious institutions, free to download:

http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/6/12549/2006/acpd-6-12549-2006.html

Dangerous human-made interference with climate: a GISS model E study

J. Hansen 1,2, M. Sato 2, R. Ruedy 3, P. Kharecha 2, A. Lacis 1,4, R. Miller 1,5, L. Nazarenko 2, K. Lo 3, G. A. Schmidt 1,4, G. Russell 1, I. Aleinov 2, S. Bauer 2, E. Baum 6, B. Cairns 5, V. Canuto 1, M. Chandler 2, Y. Cheng 3, A. Cohen 6, A. Del Genio 1,4, G. Faluvegi 2, E. Fleming 7, A. Friend 8, T. Hall 1,5, C. Jackman 7, J. Jonas 2, M. Kelley 8, N. Y. Kiang 1, D. Koch 2, G. Labow 7, J. Lerner 2, S. Menon, T. Novakov, V. Oinas 3, Ja. Perlwitz 5, Ju. Perlwitz 2, D. Rind 1,4, A. Romanou 1,4, R. Schmunk 3, D. Shindell 1,4, P. Stone, S. Sun1, D. Streets, N. Tausnev 3, D. Thresher 4, N. Unger 2, M. Yao 3, and S. Zhang 2
1 NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, New York, USA
2 Columbia University Earth Institute, New York, New York, USA
3 Sigma Space Partners LLC, New York, New York, USA
4 Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
5 Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
6 Clean Air Task Force, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
7 NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
8 Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, Orme des Merisiers, Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France

Wydok

Somebody mentioned thet the USA didn't sign the Kyoto treaty. That's because China was not included in the Kyoto treaty. The administration thought it was unfair that the US's biggest economic rival, China, was not going to be bound by the treaty. So they didn't sign it.

From a conservation perspective, this was a bad move. From a business perspective, this was a good move.

Erich Neubert

Carbon Dioxide "scrubbers" are called "trees"

Argenbert

[My best guess for the future is that global warming continues, conservation doesn’t take hold in the less developed countries because of simple economics and corruption, and something “big” has to be done by the richest players]

true. but i have an objection: only the minor countries? i understand that USA has not agreed to the kyoto protocol. Am i uninformed? i browsed for information about usa's policy about this topic but cannot now how much can i trust the sources.

The fact that the "SUV Example" is used so much makes me think that there is no policy. in the other hand, the development of hybrid cars, not even a ghost yet in minor countrys, makes me think otherwise.

can anyone enlighten me?

Daniel Erickson

Hmm, global warming, no global warming, we caused/are causing it, no we didn't....

I have to say I think the whole argument is irrelevant because there seems to be no way to prove it. The only provable data we have in at best 200 years of temperature data, maybe 100 years of atmospheric gas data (I mistrust atmospheric gas data drawn from glacial ice bubbles and the like due to the thought of gassious diffusion) and certain archaeological/paleontological (so I can't spell a 15 letter word...oops) climate indicators such as historical plant growth.

Part of the problem is that the predicted historical rate of climate change is based on data for which the margin of error is greater than the the current "excessive" rate of change.

Second is the problem of making mass predictions based on computer models, which as only as good as the data supplied and frequently worse, and which can inherently tell you nothing that you didn't already know.

But ultimately, I must state that I cannot see it as a problem until long after it gets warm enough to grow grapes or other similar warm weather plants in scandinavia, as the remains of plants of that nature have been found there, evidencing that the earth was at one point at least that warm without our interference one way or the other.

I could add more, but I hate ranting to a passive audience.

Guaman

If this is like a vote, as if truth were a majority decision, then I'm going on record that the whole show of climate change is nothing less than a move by some of the intellectual elite, aka, "scientists," to use the issue to gain power over those less educated and gifted. Certainly it is for our own good. It's obvious the mass of folks will not willingly surrender their right to individual choice, so we need a scare tactic to consolidate authority, use the power of government to regulate human behavior. You'll love the coming permit requirements for your summer bonfire.

Anyone that believes in the climate change crap is gullible.

Anyone who believes in it and advocates surrendering of personal freedom in the interest of some global crisis is beyond gullible to the point of stupid and dangerous to our freedom.

Collectively we deserve what we get. Unfortunately, we're all individuals and some of us are going to get what we don't deserve. It's tyranny of the masses, or unfettered democracy.

Andrew Wimble

I am sure that humanity as a whole will survive global warming. I suspect that most of the devloped world will come through it fairly well although not without pain. Unforunately I am also pretty sure that many people and nations will suffer very bandly because of it. While the developed world invest in improved flood defences, many in the third world will simply become homeless. While the developed world find new sources of food to replace lost production due to climate change, many in the third world will simply starve to death. It is a pity really that it is the developed world that is mainly responsible for causing the problems, but the third world that will suffer most from the concequences.

AJ.

PNS

I'd like to add a comment on why the case for humans causing global warming and being able to fix it may appear to have bullshit in its points. The science of exact climate predictions still has a very high degree of uncertainty inherent in any conclusions (obviously). But incorporating science into policy is no easy task in democracy. When you have to get across your point in a soundbite, including details of uncertainty only weakens your recommendations. Most law-makers--and the general public, for that matter--lack the time, the background, or the interest to understand the "why-I-might-be-wrong" part of a technical report. For more on these difficulties and suggestions for future improvement, see Ludwig et al. 2001 http://arjournals.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.32.081501.114116

deegee

You're a bit tough in points 3 and 6.

Few of us have the time and insight to develop and then refute our own points of view. The scientific method requires only that you state your case in such a way that others can test it. You can call it bullshit to leave out the “why I might be wrong” parts, but other people can and will make their own arguments -- presumeably testable -- to refute yours.

Worldwide catastrophe is a hard concept to hold in one's mind, I grant you. Whether it's worth investing to reduce the risk is an economic decision that reflects values. Aboriginals didn't drill for oil, because they had little use for it. Instead they conducted ceremonies to bring rain and game, induce fertility, forestall volcanic eruptions, etc. My sociology professor made the case that indeed theirs were economic decisions and economical practices, based on behaviors that the aboriginals knew by experience to be productive. Such behavior doesn't make much sense today, but consider how much sense our drilling and killing for oil today will make to our descendants in 3007. Maybe our ancestors lacked sufficient empirical data; maybe our descendants will have more and better data.

You have to deal with what's in front of you. If it's your beachfront property or city in front of you and being threatened by rising tidewaters, you make the sacrifices and take the risks to deal with it. How do you know which risks? What's the proportion of risk to investment? My hunch is that if a mile of ice over Antarctica is melting into the drink, it might send waves lapping at the patio or the roof or onto NYC's Central Park. We apply limited resources where they're needed, and spreading ozone holes and drowning polar bears are merely measures of a bigger problem.

Romby

"4. The people who say global warming is irrelevant because we should all be recycling and using less fossil fuel for other reasons anyway don’t understand the size of the problem. Ordinary conservation in the industrialized nations won’t put a dent in it."

Scott. As you said yourself before that you worry about strange things. You do not worry about natural disasters and war very much you said. Well. For a person who do not worry, you still make lot of effort talking about natural disasters right now. I mean... 4 posts abut global warning.
What is your quest? To be assured you have nothing to worry about? Well. I am thinking ahead and beyond my personal existance. Bcause I think humans have value. That is why I do worry of the future. My worries don't destroy my life. It just makes me have a small goal once in a while. To debate issues. Like I am doing now.

So this 4th point you made. You don't think anything will happen in western society despite conserns that oil will be gone before the sun is too cold for us to live further. Before we have the technology to travel to other planets. Some say it will be gone in 20 years. That may be bullshit, but is it bullshit that we may not have oil in a 100 years with this pace? What was it all worth then to not think ahead? Make life easy for mankind in a near future too and not just make life easy here and now. Is that really the majoritys take or are we just to stupid to achieve the prioritys we as a society truly have?
You say this argument won't bite and that is why I shouldn't bother to make it. But global warming arguments may affect politics you say. Just not some alternative ones.
Well... I think that if more people took my argument seriously and that more people would make the same arguments and other arguments to hold back on oil usage it will have affect. And it won't take away the argument of global warming. It will be complementary in the whole opinion wich will have capacity to change politics.
Society today as a whole isn't very smart. But if we keep up the debate and never give up. We might one day have a society that thinks ahead more than 10 years. And 10 years isn't even a whole generation. We are not investing in our own future ability to have a great life on earth.
So don't minimize a debate just because noone in politics at this very moment is listening. I might not sow a seed wich will grow into a worldwide opinion here. But you never know. And if I do. I have surely made the world a better place. And the small chance that it will happen is surely worth all the time I put in this post. :D

Palaeobill

Interestingly you seem to ignore your point 1 when discussing evolution. Something about smells wrong I seem to remember!

Johnny Ouais

There will be only one end to this problem: an almost total destruction of the human race.

There is 2 ways for this to happens:

- A next World War of countries fighting for depleting water ressources.
- Avian Influenza like viruses killing three quarter of Earth's population.

Why it can't be otherwise? Clean water resources will depleted rapidly because of both pollution and newly lacks of rain in some portion of the world. Then, for trivial survival reasons, we will fight for protection of our water. This will easily be implemented as a World War by settings in the first place biased Water Protection Treaty between countries. Then, stronger contries (USA or China maybe) will deliberatly violate it. The weaker countries will then have to start the war for having its water back. The next World War will then be started.

A peaceful alternative must come from mother Earth itself by killing her own most prolific son using its best invention of her to control too agressive beings, a virus.

I prefer this last one overall. Both riches and poors are equal in front of a virus. War will automatically favors richer countries with well trained soldiers.

It is possible to think that the war in Iraq is to train american soldiers to invade, in a near future, Canada. Canada (my country by the way) is best known for having a peaceful army with lots of water.

I'd be also suspicious about China : http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/05/29/asia/china.php

Major changes are coming and climate changes are only the firsts of it.

Mark

"Follow the dollar or the holler - both lead to the same place...

Posted by: Andy"

The oil industry?

Andy

How many government grants exist to scientists (relatively) calm about the environment? those who interpret the current data to indicate our environment will remain stable and life-sustaining for the next 100 centuries?

Follow the dollar or the holler - both lead to the same place...

MM

Here are my comments/thoughs on this issue.

1) The earth is warming, but I also watched a story on the Science channel that in the past we were under a mini-ice age. It leads me to the question: Why are there old buildings and signs of civilization under the reseading glaciers?

2) I think us humans do contribute to the earth's warming, but it is such a small percentage that the overall cost makes it far to expensive and to get the government involved with passing regulations on it would be devestating to the ecomony and our freedom.

3) When I was growing up in the 70's and early 80's, all you could see on TV was about the impending ice age. That us humans were causing it and that we are all going to freeze to death unless we took dractic measures to stop it. Why now are we all going to roast to dealth under inteanse heat? And since it is warming up is it a good thing thus reversing the effects that were happening in the 70's?

4)I do beleive we should find alternatives to oil and coal, but if anyone thinks it will reduce the price of energy you do not know our government or big business very well. Example: I live in MN and they were talking about raising the gas tax because cars are getting more fuel efficient.

Prediction: If all cars got over 50 miles per gallon gas would be over 10.00 a gallon reguardless of the supply.

Summary: Look for the money trail and you will find an answer to the Global Waring or Cooling question.

Scott I do agree with you on your Quality Control, if we did that in this country I wonder what the polititians would be saying about Global Warming when there necks are on the line?

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