More on climate change

sf_rhinoOctober 25, 2013

I decided to not revive CP's climate change threat (it was getting too long for me to read -- link to it here --> previous thread), but I thought this was an interesting addition to the subject:

Jeff Masters's blog on Wunderground:
Earth's 4th Warmest September on Record; 32 Billion-Dollar Disasters so far in 2013

"September 2013 was the globe's 4th warmest September since records began in 1880, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The year-to-date period of January - September has been the 6th warmest such period on record. September 2013 global land temperatures were the 6th warmest on record, and global ocean temperatures were the 4th warmest on record. September 2013 was the 343nd consecutive month with global temperatures warmer than the 20th century average. Global satellite-measured temperatures in September 2013 for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were 11th or 3rd warmest in the 35-year record, according to Remote Sensing Systems and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH), respectively. Wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, has a comprehensive post on the notable weather events of September 2013 in his September 2013 Global Weather Extremes Summary."

That is 32 disasters each over $1B, not $32B worth of disasters. I'm not making the case that this is exacerbated by humans (although I think it is) and this is obviously looking at a short time frame, geologically speaking, but it is interesting to see how costly weather related extremes can be.

Link below...

Here is a link that might be useful: Wunderground

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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Natural Influences vs. Human Influences of Intensifying Weather Patterns from the Kings of wisdom..

Here is a link that might be useful: Climate change

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 11:52PM
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Konrad, Who is Quetzal? Mrs. G

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 9:15AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Didn't the so called experts tell us due to global warming that hurricanes would be more numerous? Didn't the so called experts tell us we would have a very busy hurricane season this year?

You have a planet that is billions of years old and saying this is the warmest year in 100 years or 35 years is ridiculous. It amazes me how easily some are conned.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 11:16AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

>>Who is Quetzal? See link

Here is a link that might be useful: Quetzal

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 12:18PM
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"Didn't the so called experts tell us due to global warming that hurricanes would be more numerous? Didn't the so called experts tell us we would have a very busy hurricane season this year? "

That's actually a myth.

They will be more powerful but less numerous.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 12:44PM
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Good idea Rhino. Even the pg dwn key took a few seconds to get to the bottom of that thread. THanks for linking it here.

Bamboo - "ou have a planet that is billions of years old and saying this is the warmest year in 100 years or 35 years is ridiculous."

You say the above, but it can also be used to go against this point not even 30 words befor:

"Didn't the so called experts tell us we would have a very busy hurricane season this year?"

Just as you say, its not fair to use a few years to signify long term changes of cycles. The thing is, 100 year cycles/patterns are pretty important in terms of climate change. On the othe hand there are many things we have done over the last 10 000 years to definitely influence the global climate to an extent ( like long term and short term deforestation and diversion of rivers)

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 12:52PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Fires use to deforest millions of acres without man to stop the fires.....rivers have diverted themselves since the beginning of time.

After the very active hurricane season of 2004 many so called experts predicted the increase in hurricane activity was due to MMGW. To say that is a "myth" is ridiculous. It was said and did not happen......these so called experts have not a clue what they spew. Just like in the 1970's the same so called experts predicted we were heading for a new ice age after a few colder winters. It simply amazes me how easily some are fooled.....

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 3:05PM
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Regardless of any of those things, myth or not, we can all agree that weather extremes are doing more and more damage both in human life and in property. It is partially due to changes in the climate (natural cycles/shifts or otherwise), overcrowding, and our predilection for living near the coast or in floodplains.

Most areas have some sort of drought/earthquake/flood/storm/fire/etc every so often. If there is a major flood every hundred years, we still build right up to the river's edge in the intervening years. If there is a major drought every fifty years, we populate/develop the area as if the water supply is constant.

Bamboo, humans have done major alterations to the environment that go beyond what nature does on a regular basis. Natural forest fires do not deforest millions of acres. They follow burn paths dictated by wind and elevation contours. Larger trees are spared, the undergrowth is thinned, low hanging branches are removed, and the forest in many ways is strengthened and refreshed. Humans on the other hand are not limited to the natural contours. We can remove everything. We also stop the smaller fires which causes fuel to build up so that when a fire does come through the fires can climb up the tallest trees and reach the canopy.

We drain swamps, estuaries, and river deltas to grow crops. Drying the land causes organic matter in the soils to decompose (in the SF bay we have a big problem with peat decomposition) which causes the land to sink down to or below sea level. When storms come we have two problems: the natural protection from storm surges provided by the estuaries is not there & the low lying land floods and doesn't drain b/c it is below sea level.

The fact is we still need a lot of timber and we certainly need crops so we will continue to log trees and to claim fertile soil for farming. We just need to do these things in ways that protect the long term sustainability of our land use.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 4:43PM
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Man does change things in our environment. for example the Mississippi river delta was screwed up by channelizing the river. However it is just another environmental evolution. An evolution I do not like, but not going to kill the planet, and neither is anything else man does.

These global temperatures, who is in charge of taking those readings and making the stats? Ohhh, the global warming scientists.. OK who is overseeing that to be assured it is not falsified? ohh, the global warming scientist again. Well what could be wrong with that?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 11:30PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Well thank goodness we has the warmest Semptember because the antarctic ice mass is increasing so much, can you imagine how much it would increase if we didn't have glabal warming? Burn a tire, save a tree!

Turns out the data was wrong, and we know about the emails, no doubt data is being altered. I'm willing to bet the 4th warmest Semptember was not last month. Watch for corrections, they will come...

Here is a link that might be useful: Ice increases due to global warming?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 1:57AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

What about all those predictions at the beginning of this hurricane season? It would be way above average....gloom and doom....and then.....nadda. Now a study has just come out saying MMGW may cause less hurricanes?

Think for yourself and stop being a sheep and listening to the so called experts, those that make money by scaring the easily scared.

What did the so called experts accomplish after 2004 when they predicted that MMGW would cause more hurricanes? Home owners insurance doubled. The insurance companies are laughing all the way to the bank. I wonder how much of that money was used to get the MMGW scientists to falsify a bit more of their research.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 8:10AM
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alan haigh

And here it goes again, laymen claiming to be more intelligent and logical than the trained specialists on an issue politicized by moneyed interests.

Please provide a single example of a global conspiracy of scientists deliberately skewering research for the economic benefit of the scientists themselves. Scientists have a pretty long history and by now there must be many clear examples we can agree on if such a conspiracy was at all likely in the realm of climate science.

Individual scientists are often used by corporate interests to skewer research as I've often mentioned and not been rebutted on this forum but this idea of a vast conspiracy of scientists to promote a lie for self interest is completely phony, in my opinion.

In the United States there has never been politics of rich versus poor- it has always been a war of the less educated against the more educated in a divide and conquer strategy carried on by the capitalist elite through their own tools of propaganda. Call this a conspiracy theory if you like- but at least it has a few grains of logic in it. Can't make that claim of the climate scientist conspiracy theory.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 9:59AM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)

Deja Vu all over again..

First of all, for many reasons, you cannot measure the severity of climate change by the dollar amount of the damage caused .

Human encroachment onto areas that regularly are subject to weather events. Flood plains always flood, active volcanoes erupt, coastal areas always are hit by coastal storms etc. More people building more and more expensive buildings create the ingredients for more expensive damage from the same type of storms.

The late great Senator Everett Dirksen once said " a billion dollars here and a billion dollars there and pretty soon you are talking about some real money" , well today he would be saying " a trillion dollars here..."

But as I asked in the previous conversation...

Warming has been going on for 12,000 years and even if humans are causing it to speed up is speeding up, "SO WHAT ??".

Extra heat we can deal with, ice age has the capability of destroying us. You can adapt plants to grow in heat with more watering, ice fields on the other hand not too fertile.

I ask all those who are worried about warming....

Please tell me what is the worst case scenario if the warming warnings come to pass? What is the worst that can happen to us?

Maybe we can put our reactions into context.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 11:21AM
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worst case's one:

Rapidly altering climatic and meteorological events that lead to multiple repeated global crop failures.

Widespread food shortages, starvation and resulting riots.

partial or complete breakdown of economic infrastructure and availability of resources/service.

There are a lot of mouths to feed on this planet, starving people are not so civil. And you can only adapt farming practices so far so fast....

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 11:41AM
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And now for some rational input:

Most would agree that some warming has occurred.

The extend of human involvement in the warming is subject to debate and will be for a long time to come. Humanity is decades or possibly even centuries away from computer models which can accurately quantify the impact of individual climate variables. (Global warming alarmists seem all to willing to ignore the vast difference between actual climate performance over the past couple of decades and the expected warming based on the obviously flawed models.)

Despite the arguments on both sides most intelligent people could conclude (if they thought about it for a minute) that dumping ever larger amounts of gas and pollutants into our atmosphere is probably a bad idea so, over time, a move to a renewable energy world economy is probably a good idea. However, the eco alarmists that want to flip a world economy from fossil fuels to renewables essentially overnite have no clue what a debacle that would be. The arguments that solar and wind are already cost effective are simply wrong and will be for a long time to come. The two non CO2 alternatives, nuclear and hydroelectric, both 24/7 techniologies, are discarded out of hand by the eco warriors.

my 2 cents.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 11:57AM
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alan haigh

Mike, if you really want to know about worst case scenarios related to climate change, why don't you just search the internet for official estimates of potential damage based on research and performed by actual professionals in climate science? It would take two minutes.

You rely on such expert opinion when trying to diagnose health issues with your own body- why would the health of the planet be any different? Doctors are far more likely to give shady diagnosis for financial gain than climate scientists.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 12:05PM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)



If the changes are so imminent and the results so dire then I submit to you that there nothing we can do to stop.

I just don't buy the doom and destruction scenario that yo put forth.

Sorry, I have not been convinced.


This post was edited by mes111 on Mon, Oct 28, 13 at 13:22

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 1:00PM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)


"Official estimates" ??? c'mon.

This whole subject has been so "agendized" ( made up word but relays meaning) that I don't give much credence to these types of estimates.

Too many "climate scientists" are really not climatologists at all but that does not stop them from giving their opinions which are picked up the slavish press (on both sides) and relayed as the words from Mount Sinai.

Real scientists do not cherry pick the facts. In holding up these "scientists" as true messengers, one would have to believe that criminal defense attorneys don't play to the jury's beliefs and prejudices.

Too much of the "science" has been based on having an opinion or a belief looking for facts to back it up.

What is it that we can do that is not so disruptive to our economy so that we can do it "just in case" .


    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 1:19PM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)


You said it so much better than I did.

I am jealous.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 1:26PM
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Crops would be one of the first things effected in a changing climate. Most people dont understand how fragile our agro industry is and how dependent it is on climate. The late planting seasons and droughts in the midwest over the last ten years is definitely something to pay attention too.

In the last 20 years my city has literally gained almost 2 full months of growing season. CLoser to 2 weeks in the spring, but gained a month of fall. First fros is sept 15 here acording to the books. The first hard killing frost is usually a week or 2 after. The killing frosts are now happening mid to late october. There are still trees with leaves, and that is very unusual for around here. Its so "normal" now that when the weather actually dips back to average in spring people panic.

There has also been a drop in lake levels in the great lakes. This may be due to natural cycles. The case is still out in regards to that. There is also a rise in heavy downpours in spring and a lack of rain in the summer. The last 8 out of ten years we had single day rainfall events in may that equaled or doubled+ the average monthly rainfall. Then there is also the below average snowfall (and late), as well as snowless or close too winters. That is very unusual for here...

Also, see url

Here is a link that might be useful: Whose a climate scientist?IM A CLIMATE SCIENTIST

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 1:55PM
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you asked for a worst case scenario.
what I presented is not necessarily the most likely scenario, just a sketch of how bad one plausible scenario is....I didn't even include war and hoarding.

I am not trying to convince you of anything or sell doom and gloom. I was just answering your question.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 2:16PM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)

Sorry, my bad...

I should have said worst "plausible" scenario.

Just goes to show and confirm that serious conversations do not lend themselves to short keyboard bursts.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 2:51PM
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alan haigh

Mike, in the climate science community the debate about man-made climate change is long since over and unless you consider the entire community a village of idiots you should respect the merit of that consensus.

Please steer me to any organization of what you consider real scientists- I don't even care about their field of expertise, that contend that the international community of climate scientists are cherry picking research to make the case for an agenda of falsehood.

It amazes me when logical and articulate people stick to this illogical conspiracy theory. If the theory included the promise of immortality, I might be able to understand the attraction.

I do consider it a reasonable argument that the cure could be worse than the disease if we tried to make an immediate switch to green energy. I have never read any eco-warrior screed that endorsed such an approach, but, in any case, I've no concern of such an agenda being pursued. Except in cases where there's a profit incentive, I'm doubtful any meaningful steps will be taken until the general public actually begins to suffer terribly from the consequences of climate change.

As we've often come to when this debate runs its course, the best thing we could do for this planet is to work for a reduction in human population. However, a sudden population reduction could have just as drastic economic consequence as a sudden reduction in the availability of petro energy.

I would much rather the main environmental discussion going on in the media was about population reduction, but the subject is taboo in the politics of our country.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 4:36PM
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alan haigh

I think wikipedia sums it up pretty well in the first two paragraphs here.

Here is a link that might be useful: climat change debate

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 4:40PM
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Mike, you are right about the dollar amount is not dictated by the severity of climate change. I wasn't really intending to make that argument, just that climate/weather-related disasters are expensive and increasingly common. This was more meant to refute the idea that climate extremes are not a big deal.

Just for fun, here is an extreme/implausible example of rapid and dramatic human-caused climate change: the movie Armageddon. If not for that meddling Bruce Willis the planet would have experienced a natural phenomenon: global-scale mass extinction. By blowing up the asteroid, he caused the Earth to unnaturally and instantaneously stay as it was--all habitable and green.

cckw, I tried to address this in the prev thread--when you say 'global warming scientists' there seems to be this notion that this is a cabal of insiders getting rich on special interest money and internally reinforcing their false hypotheses. In reality all scientists try to do is disprove each other's theories. Every year there are new crops of grad students trying to upend the old way of thinking and make a name for themselves. It isn't lucrative and it isn't glamorous. To be successful in science you try to uncover new things.

Drew, I did some digging into that link about the Antarctic ice sheet. The data on that ice sheet do seem to be unclear. The climate models based on increasing global temps predict increased snow fall on the Antarctic ice sheets which may or may not be compensating for the increase in meltwater runoff and solid ice break off. The scientist that authored that abstract just recently published a review article in Nature titled "Ice-sheet mass balance and climate change". I'll try to link to an interesting chart but access may be restricted to it. The gist is that different assay methods (radar altimetry, laser altimetry, satellite-based gravimetric measurements, comparing estimated accumulation vs discharge by modeling) give different results. For Greenland all the methods show a steep decline in ice, whereas for Antarctica there is more variability. The satellite-based approach, which is most accurate, gives a slight decrease. The radar altimetry (which your link pointed to, also authored by the same guy) showed a slight increase in ice, however altimetry is the outlier in the different assay methods.

I'll try to link in the chart here:

If the above image shows up, GRACE (red) is the space-based readings (most accurate), Mass budget (yellow) is the difference b/t estimated accumulation minus discharge, altimetry via radar and laser (green and blue) is where they use the surface elevation minus estimated soil elevation to estimate thickness, and IMBIE (black) is the consensus calculation.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 4:53PM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)


I don't deny that there is a man made component to the change in the climate. I am just not convinced that the human impact is as great as is being touted.

That doesn't mean that we should not try and do something about it. I don't deny that we should explore ways to reduce our effect on the climate. (As well as reducing pollution of the environment in general).

I don't believe in any conspiracy theory. I do believe in human nature. Human caused climate change is a position that is now POLITICALLY attractive to hold and I believe that even scientists can get swept up in the fervor. Not a conspiracy but rather human nature.

H, you said that you don't see the danger that a hard premature turn to green energy is happening. You may be right that no one other than those on the fringe have espoused such ideas, but, they have a way of percolating into our policies very dangerously.

When the "sequester" took effect, we were told that the Pentagon could not refuel one of our nuclear powered carriers because there was not the 160 million dollars needed to do so. But at the same time the Pentagon was spending more than 625 million for bio-diesel at $26.00 a gallon because it was a good thing to encourage a bio-diesel market.

Dangerous?.. you betcha
Rational ? ... I don't think so.
Conspiracy?... no.
Agenda-itis ?... definitely.
Worrisome or Smart?... You tell me.

These are the things that drive me nuts.

Now let us go on to putting my orchard to sleep for the winter :)


    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 6:05PM
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Best example. Of climate change is THE PETM. Google. It

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 6:18PM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)


So... 3000 Gigatons of CO2 were released into the atmosphere over a period of thirteen years and ....
then it the took another 20,000 years for the temps to rise by 11 degrees F.

Hmm.... so if we took only 5,000 years to try and figure a solution... Maybe we will make it after all. :)

Yeah... growing oranges in Albany, NY.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 6:37PM
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Things to watch out for:

Money pouring out of foreign megabanks in support of man-made global warming "research"

Changes in solar temperature that never get factored in

Governments jumping on the mmgw bandwagon, hoping for a windfall

Black boxes in new american cars that record miles driven so that you can be taxed accordingly

Much higher overall energy prices if carbon is taxed

Phony solar and wind power money grabs

Solutions that only work if we forfeit more money in taxes

Nuclear plants failing due to poor design and age

Scientific dictatorships

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 6:58PM
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alan haigh

Mike, I still think you should read what Wik has to say about the climate change debate. They have documentation of the energy industry funding specific scientists to work against the theory of human caused climate change and also of scientists complaining of industry pressure to obscure the science in this country.

The idea that scientists have been swept up in some kind of group think illusion is not nearly so plausible to me as that big energy has clouded the issue in this country with a lot of propaganda- they have incredible power to throw around and America is the most vulnerable to this kind of manipulation of all industrialized countries. We are the only industrialized nation where this subject is controversial with the public besides China.

It amazes me that there are so many people here gullible enough to believe corporate propaganda over scientific research but we are constantly being duped for the profit of this group. Explain why we pay twice what other countries do for the same medicines, for example. Corpocracy at its best.

Amongst trained scientists, the support of for the theory of human caused global warming is in the high 80 percentile in the U.S.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 7:28PM
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Best example. Of climate change is THE PETM. Google. It

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 10:16PM
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Re: Antarctic ice sheets

Fresh water freezes faster then salt water IIR. Melting fresh water from one of the western glaciers causes thin ice to build up, hence "larger" ice sheets. A simple google will confirm this.

Mes - It was an example of climate change, and probably one of the best other then the end of the last ice age, and a very good example of what world wide climate change can do. It is also a good example of what to watch out for. Ocean acidification and methane plumes are bad signs

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 12:04AM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)

Ok, I surrender, I admit, for the 100th time, that all global warming is man made.

So, as you have done several times in this conversation , please stop calling me an articulate but a naive, gullible lay conspiracy theorist who completely buys in to the propaganda put out by the 20% of the scientific community who has been bought off by the moneyed corporate interests.

I will also admit that only money and not ideology can sway a scientist. Apparently the whole group of the scientists who famously ignored any data that did not support their "hockey stick" graph of global warming must have been receiving some sort of monetary or economic benefit to do that. It must have been money and not true faith. The proof is found in the scientists who argue against MMGW who could not possibly be motivated by their belief.

I admit that the 80% of the scientific community who have come to the concensus of MMGW are all of pure heart and are totally immune to being swept up by the group think.

I also admit that the only motivation that any of the scientists who do not support the notion that 100% of the warming is man made is money from the energy industry.

I amit, I admit, I admit.

I also admit that those who support the motion of 100% MMGW are pure of heart and are motivated by truth, justice, 100% scientific surety and the need to make sure that those neandrethals who do not drink the kool aide must be stopped at all costs.

I admit but I acuse as well. I acuse the self righteous condescention of those who absolutely know that they are right.

I,now, of my own free will admit that global warming is caused solely by the acts of man, that it will lead to unspeakable suffering, that we must do whatever is needed to stop the calamity.

Can I join the club now? Please


    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 12:36AM
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alan haigh

Mike, I'm sorry if it seemed I was attacking your reasonable position- I was actually talking about the large group of people who, in an effort to be reasonable, seem to fall into the middle of a controversy in what liberals like me often call a false equivalency. This tendency allows the right wing in this country to "work the referees" pushing the middle further and further right (the result being the hijacking of the Republican party by extremists and a right leaning, corporate serving Supreme Court).

Half of the people in this country seem to think that there is a debate going on about the existence of human derived global warming in the scientific community when it is really only a political debate fueled by moneyed interests. That is, besides the question on what exactly to do about it and how severe the problems will be.

Of course scientists are influenced by what will bring them the best career results, but when people suggest, without reasonable proof, that something as widely studied as global warming is a theory based on an international scam of dishonest scientists, when there is clear evidence and a more reasonable theory that the scamming is being done by big energy, it seems like an Orwellian nightmare to me. Once again, I'm talking about a large group but not you.

Corporations need to think in the short term with a laser focus on their own bottom lines and that is what we need them to do, but the government needs to think in the long term with great peripheral vision, and that is what it can't do when corporations are pulling all the political strings.

OK, this is a fruit forum and I'm prosletizing my own politics which doesn't really belong here but this topic is always about politics and never very much about growing fruit.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 8:33AM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)

Ok... I got my fix on this topic for at least the next 3 months.

Now on to the fruit


    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 12:06PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I worked for MSU and soon discovered that obtaining grants was big business for the Universities. The US government offers over 22 billion dollars in grants for climate research. As long as you spew that global warming it true, they will pay you. If you don't under stand something, look at the bottom line. Then it will make sense.
Nobody disputes that the upper atmosphere has been cooling since 1998. That we are in a cooling trend. Nobody disputes that. Yet they still say the overall trend is for warming over the next century. I have little faith in that considering the moneys to be obtained if you spew the company line that carbon is bad, and green is good.
It has nothing to do about our climate it has to do with obtaining government moneys. We now know that the climate stations used in the calculations were cherry picked as learned from from the released emails. That the very coldest reports were left out. That they talked about how they must exaggerate the problem. Thus the global warming mantra is spewed for all to hear by the people with their wallets full.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 1:08PM
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alan haigh

Drew, IMO, yours is a dangerous conspiracy theory completely devoid of actual evidence. It isn't only climate scientists that are reading the literature and joining the consensus, it is the vast majority of not only the U.S. scientific community but the entire world.

The only countries where a sizable part of the population would agree with you is the U. S. and China and in these countries these are people untrained to even understand climate science. Even the outlying scientists who dispute the research don't claim a global conspiracy of fake science to get grant money- this is the creation of right wing propaganda machines and angry cranks.

If scientists were prone to false claims to get grant money why isn't this a constant occurrance of repeating global conspiracies by scientists? It is a frequent event for corporate interests to do this, however.

If you don't trust the scientists (in general) who the hell can you trust, Exon Mobile? You and me are certainly not qualified to lecture anyone about climate science. If you completely dismiss this kind of information you are turning your back on civilization and the science that has created it. Not that I can completely blame you for that.

The vast majority of scientists who endorse the current consensus are receiving no monetary reward for their position while those that don't are usually on the payroll of big energy. How do you manage to turn this around in your head?

Check the link I provided and dispute wikipedia's information on this subject. I trust them as a source much more than I trust anyone I've heard on the other side of this issue- so far.

I'm sorry, but I find it offensive to accuse scientists of broad unethical behavior without proof, and quite the same thing as racism.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 1:46PM
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Just thought I'd throw my $.02 in here. I've studied meteorology a bit at the undergrad level so while I'm not an expert, I'm not entirely a layman on this issue. Global warming produces sea surface temperatures that are warmer, and also increases the extent global sea surfaces that are warm enough to allow tropical cyclones like hurricanes and typhoons to develop and intensify. Because warmer seas mean more moisture and energy is available, our theoretical understanding of how these storms work leads to the expectation that they will tend to be more intense and longer lasting as temperatures rise. It is less clear whether the typical number of that develop each year will increase over time because these storms require calm upper level winds in addition to warm sea surface temperatures. It isn't clear exactly how global warming will influence upper level winds. They may make conditions more favorable, less favorable, or neutral to storm development. Climate scientists and meteorologists are very open about this area of uncertainty and about the need for large batteries of high resolution modelling to provide guidance on this issue.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 7:51PM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)



( Note: I will not partake, am just being a troublemaker)


This post was edited by mes111 on Wed, Oct 30, 13 at 13:38

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 1:37PM
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alan haigh

You can't be denied coverage for having a preexisting condition of fruit tree mania and you can't be denied treatment for it and dropped by your insurance company when treatment becomes too expensive.

You'd have more money left over to plant more fruit trees if we could have passed single payer and taken the useless middleman (insurance companies) out of the process- but that would be socialism- like medicaid and social security and public schools and federal bank insurance and the federal highway system.

That'll get things going.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 2:07PM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)

Actually, I was afraid that when I logged on I would find a petition movement to ban me from Gardenweb. :) :) :)


    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 5:04PM
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alan haigh

No way- even I haven't been banned, although I've managed to arouse an official complaint or two. You'll have to work much harder and stop being so polite.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 6:02PM
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The earth is pretty good about keeping an equilibrium in my opinion. If the earth is warming up (which it seems to be), there will be more algae in our oceans converting CO2/Water to glucose and oxygen, which has a cooling effect due to the removal of CO2.

Still, we should keep an eye on the climate. The problem is some of these scientists want to keep their jobs and if everything isn't as disastrous as it seems then we don't need as many environmental scientists monitoring the earth. What? The earth's climate could be rapidly changing? Here's more money to investigate further!

It is also important to note that the earth goes through cycles. There are periods of warming and periods of cooling. We are in a warming period now. I am glad it isn't a cooling period.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 8:37AM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)

Cooling is not "cool"

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 8:48AM
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alan haigh

Stop it. I am so tired of people who blame the greed of scientists for an inaccurate assessment of research and then go on to assert there own ignorant theories based on nothing but "common sense".

The point of science is to transcend the limitations of common sense and give us more accurate evaluations of the cause and effects of events in the natural world based on actual research and the analysis of people trained to understand that research.

There will always be a limit on the ability of science to accurately describe the complexities of something like climate science but I'd much rather follow the advice of the general consensus of the scientific community than politicians and corporations and layman with an exaggerated belief in their own powers of reasoning.

Again, scientists are funded by the private sector as well as the public sector. The energy industry has generously funded scientists to come up with evidence that defies the idea that humans must take responsibility for the warming trend that the vast majority of evidence indicates.

Please, before anyone else decides to post another great layman's hunch about the motivations of the entire world's scientific community read what wikopedia has to say about the climate change controversy and debate that.

As I already stated- only a very small percentage of the world's scientific community that endorses the concept of human caused climate change is in any way connected to research funding on this subject. People who are actually trained to assess research but are not getting any grant money overwhelmingly support the climate scientists.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 10:05AM
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I don't see where MMGW skeptics - who are almost entirely journalists, politicians and laymen - think the controversy on this issue lies. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. It absorbs infrared radiation [heat] and re-radiates it. The more CO2 in the atmosphere, the longer it takes to infrared (IR) radiation to radiate into space, and the warmer our atmosphere becomes. It isn't controversial that co2 is a greenhouse gas. You can actually see that this is the case in a lab, which I did in as an undergrad in college. We filled a flask with pure co2, then we lit a candle. We looked at the clandle flame through an infrared camera. It showed up clearly as a white-red object. Then we put the co2 filled flask in front of it, and the flame almost completely vanished from view. That's because the co2 was absorbing almost all of the IR radiation. That's what co2 does, and the more of it you have in the air around you, the more effectively it's trapping heat. The role of co2 in warming earth's climate was understood in the 1890s. Where's the get-out clause skeptics must be imagining there is in which we pump up the concentration of greenhouse gasses in out atmosphere and the planet doesn't warm up?

Another thing about the skeptics that's really, really frustrating: they always trot out the same objections that have been refuted by mountains of data thousands and thousands of times. These same debunked arguments are so common that entire websites have been put up so that people don't have to spend hours and hours rehashing these debunkings. The problem, of course, is that since apparently most skeptics are steeped in a conspiracy theory mindset, they simply dismiss the arguments on these websites not on the basis of their content, per se, but because they simply assume that the people behind the website are part of the kabal of nefarious scientists plotting to take their SUVs away.

To change gears quickly, I noticed some people raise some objections I thought I'd address real quickly.

-Upper Atmospheric (really, stratospheric) cooling. Yep, this is happening. The stratosphere is warmed by IR radiation from earth's surface. The greater the radiative flux, the warmer the stratosphere gets. Lately, the stratosphere hasn't been receiving as much IR radiation as it used it. That's because more of it is being absorbed by the additional co2 we're pumping into the troposphere and not making it up to the stratosphere. So the stratosphere cools. If you like analogies, say that the tropospere is an oven, and the stratosphere is your kitchen. You have an old, poorly insulated oven and when you turn it on, IR radiation easily leaks out of your oven and into your kitchen, heating it up. You get tired of working in a hot kitchen after a while, so you decide to get a well insulated oven (in this analogy, this is the equivalent of adding greenhouse gas to the atmosphere). Your new, insulated oven traps IR inside it, allowing your oven to get hotter. When more IR radiation is trapped in the oven, it's not getting into your kitchen, so your kitchen cools.

-Water vapor is a greenhouse gas. Yep, it is. Scientists discovered this, acutally. The same ones whose work is the foundation of climate science. Water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas in our atmosphere in the sense that it makes the biggest contribution to the greenhouse effect. But water vapor is an amplifying feedback, not a forcing. This can be a slightly tricky concept, but if you're actually interested in understanding how climate works, it's important to understand. I won't explain it in its entirety here - there are links that explain this in detail - but here's the gist of it. Our atmosphere is always close to being saturated with water vapor, and the saturation point is a function of temperature. The warmer the air is, the more water vapor it can hold. When air cools, water vapor condenses and rains out as liquid water. If you landed on a frozen, icy world and wanted to warm it up, melting the ice and pumping it into the atmosphere wouldn't work because water would precipitate out of the atmosphere as fast as you pumped it in. You would need, instead, to use a gas, like co2, that remained in the atmosphere for a long time. With enough co2, you could raise the temperature until the ice melted. Once the ice begins to melt, the atmosphere will begin to hold water vapor, and water vapor will start to amplify the warming facilitated by co2.

Here is a link that might be useful: Feedback or Forcing?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 4:35PM
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Wikipedia is a "resource" dominated by radical leftists, university professors, and their ilk. It is biased toward the view that man caused global warming and therefore must be made to pay for it. Quoting from wikipedia's global warming text:

"Unmitigated climate change (i.e., future climate change without efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions) would, in the long term, be likely to exceed the capacity of natural, managed and human systems to adapt."

In other words, climate change disasters can not be averted unless we follow the sage advice of the scientists right now and institute cuts in resource usage in the form of a carbon tax.

Please join me in opposition to these edicts put forth by the Anglo-American Union through its puppet organization the United Nations.

Curiously, the wikipedia global warming article mentions the promise of controlling global warming someday in the future using geoengineering. Unfortunately, geoengineering has been ongoing since the 1950's, continuing into the present time, likely causing more climate disturbances than mitigating them.

This post was edited by swampsnaggs on Thu, Oct 31, 13 at 19:40

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 7:16PM
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alan haigh

Swampsmagg, your first sentence is hilarious- political satire at its best. and then you just keep it coming. You are merciless at lampooning the radical right wing of this country but I don't think you should be so hard on them- I don't think they hate all professors. Thanks for the laughs.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 9:14PM
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It wasn't satire, harvestman. At least I can spell your name correctly. Why don't you make an attempt to spell something so we can all have a good laugh.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 9:47PM
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alan haigh

Swamp, where would you place yourself in the pH of political perspective, acidic being left and alkline being right?

My soil is pretty acidic but there are certainly some chunks of lime in my terrain.

Only in America are the findings of climate scientists acidic- in the rest of the world they are neutral. Australia's recently elected conservative PM indorses the consensus of climate science. Margaret Thatcher in England was early in her embrace.

Only in America is this a politically charged issue, which seems to support my statement (although, certainly not my idea) that in America, politics has never been a war of the rich against the poor and has always been between the less and more educated. I read of this concept from a speechwriter for the original President Bush.

Your statement, "Wikipedia is a "resource" dominated by radical leftists, university professors, and their ilk" beautifully makes the case, whatever the level of your own education.

I believe that this element of American politics is very dangerous when people are more trusting of the agenda of private corporations then that of "University professors".

In my opinion, the people who run corporations tend to have a laser focus on the bottom line, University professors are much more likely to be taking in the "big picture".

Maybe your trust is misplaced.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 8:27AM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

Does the IPCC intentionally overstate the threat of climate change in its periodic reports? Does it skew research in order to make the situation look more dire than it actually is? If you answer "yes" to these questions, then I encourage you to read this brief article from the New York Times.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 10:14AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

In the 1970s when the experts predicted the coming ice age, I did not get excited, and I am not excited by the current predictions. I do my best to live in my time, and not befoul the time of my great grandchildren, who are being born as we speak. Al

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 10:28AM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

You're comparing apples to oranges, Al. Skeptics like to point to the so-called "ice age" predictions as evidence that scientists routinely get it completely wrong, but it's a false analogy. Here's a good summation from Skeptical Science:

"So global cooling predictions in the 70s amounted to media and a handful of peer reviewed studies. The small number of papers predicting cooling were outweighed by a much greater number of papers predicting global warming due to the warming effect of rising CO2. Today, an avalanche of peer reviewed studies and overwhelming scientific consensus endorse man-made global warming. To compare cooling predictions in the 70s to the current situation is both inappropriate and misleading. Additionally, we reduced the SO2 emissions which were causing global cooling. The question remains whether we will reduce the CO2 emissions causing global warming."

That aside, your second sentence is right on the money. If only we all did the same...

This post was edited by shazaam on Fri, Nov 1, 13 at 12:50

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 11:25AM
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alan haigh

The trotting out of the refuted global cooling theory is a Fox News talking point as is the idea of the theory of a conspiracy of fund greedy scientists.

People accepting the propaganda of Big Energy is similar to the mostly poor southern confederates believing the propaganda that the civil war was about state's rights, marching off to horrible deaths in defense of plantation owners rights to own human beings.

The vast majority of southerners who died in the civil war would have had much improved lives with the peaceful elimination of slavery, not just because of the war's destruction but because it drove up the value of labor. The funny thing is that even the plantation owners would have improved their profits with paid labor over slave in the long run, but I suppose absolute power over other human beings is an addictive thing.

Back then, the Democrats were the right wing party and, in the south, their descendents tend now to be Republicans, still fighting against their own economic interests to the benefit of the new plantation owners (the likes of Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ayers) who well understand the tactics of divide and conquer.

To much of the rest of the world (and many in this country) the current politics of this country is a tragic comedy.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 12:54PM
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Drew, you do have a point about keeping an eye on where money comes from, but that has to just be a factor not a deal breaker when evaluating research. I work in a less politically hot scientific field, but I can tell you that when I read papers I always look at the affiliations of the authors, source of funding/grants, reputation of the journal, original sources of the references, and whether the research is subsequently repeated by outside groups. Doing so is fairly common practice in research science. You are totally right that many current predictions and calculations will be revised one way or another in the coming years. That is just the nature of advancing science. It doesn't mean that we should out of hand dismiss current understanding of things. And don't burn any more tires; if I had access to all those beautiful oak trees, there would be a tire swing in every one!! :)

As HM mentioned before, the vast vast majority of scientists that concur with the current understanding of climate change are not directly funded by that arena. I myself am a molecular biologist. I am not a climatologist. I do not have published views on the subject (outside of this forum, which does not connect to me as a professional thus doesn't influence my ability to receive or earn money/resources). I (and my colleagues) have been extensively trained to read, interpret, criticize, analyze, be skeptical of, identify bias in, and to be open to the work of others. To the best of my understanding and knowledge I fully believe that humans are contributing to climate change in a negative way. I can't think of a single colleague that disagrees with that. Is it a fact? No. Is it fully understood? No. Will we modify our views in the future as more accurate information is found? Yes.

I don't think everyone should go out an buy a hybrid. I don't think we necessarily need to do some sort of carbon tax. I don't think all the politicians that agree with me are doing so for the right reasons. I don't think that the green movement is free from greed, bias, liars, snake-oil (a new fuel source?), or misunderstanding. I don't think everyone that disagrees with me is crazy/uninformed/or a rube.

Am I part of this conspiracy? Am I a liar? Am I a deluded sheep?

I get a little offended by the distrust of all scientists.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 1:40PM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)

Whether we convince each other of the fact of human caused warming or not or agree as to the magnitude of the effect or not ....

To those who DO believe both that MMGW exists and that the warming will be significant, I pose the following question:


Lets start this as a sub-topic within this conversation .


    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 2:48PM
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CO2 is no longer correlated with warming. Carbon dioxide also has a role in cooling the atmosphere, in my understanding.

There is nothing we can do about "climate change", There is nothing we should do about "climate change". We should all watch the weather, and prepare ourselves for storms as usual.

We should continue burning coal because it is a very abundant and useful fuel. Coal can be burned cleanly now. co2 was the only compound any longer in question, and like I said, it is no longer correlated with warming the atmosphere any more that cooling it.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 3:37PM
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So Mike, you in general don't really seem to make the blanket "I have no intention of seeing the other side" argument, which I think is much more reasonable. I think it is fine to debate the degree of effect, what are the relative contributions of natural and human-derived causes, and if/how we should react. What I don't like is the flat out denial without the room to accept new information.

Part of the issue, is that a more broad acceptance that we even have a problem in and of itself would help because it would help people to make informed decisions.

I think that there are a lot of common sense things that everyone should do which would help, not just for climate change but for our prosperity in general.

For one thing, we should keep future sea level rise in mind when building near the coasts and on floodplains. We should try to restore protective estuaries, reefs, etc. That is good for everyone plus it looks pretty.

It is in our interest to invest in alternative energy. We may have a massive amount of coal and natural gas, but that doesn't mean we can't spend a little money (relative to what we spend/subsidize with oil) on developing other energy sources with less obvious environmental shortcomings.

We should individually try to drive less and buy more efficient cars. That would cut back on traffic, local air pollution, and save money.

We should not buy so much crap that we don't need or will only use once. It takes energy to make/ship/dispose of things. I think given the choice, most people would prefer to buy things that last or aren't single use. I keep thinking about single use plastic bags in grocery stores. People got all bent out of shape we they did away with them here (and started charging for paper bags). It took about 6 months but now pretty much everyone has a bunch of reusable bags and there is very little inconvenience anymore. I've also noticed the absence of those dumb bags stuck up in trees and clogged in storm drains.

We should support our local economies and when possible buy locally made products and produce. I live somewhere where that is easier to do, so I won't look down on people that don't have the options I have, but why not buy local when the opportunity presents itself?


    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 3:45PM
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swamps, can you point me towards your source about CO2 not being correlated to warming? I'd like to see the context and data. Also keep in mind that something can both cool and warm but still have an aggregate effect in one direction; and that correlation is not causation (thus lack of correlation does not prove lack of causation).


    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 3:51PM
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alan haigh

If you have land, try to use it to grow some of your food, which will reduce unnecessary trips to buy it along with all the other benefits.

Have no more than two children, stop buying junk you don't need and try to buy stuff with the long view, spending a little more for better made products, if possible (getting harder all the time in our throw away consumer economy). Wear your clothes until they are worn out and learn how to sew a button, at least.

Have no more than two children and also have no more than two children.

Make compost with your waste but try to use the food you buy by eating it and have no more than two children.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 4:19PM
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You guys seen this? Not exactly what we are talking about, but it is too funny.

Here is a link that might be useful: SNL's

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 4:37PM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

CO2 is no longer correlated with warming. Carbon dioxide also has a role in cooling the atmosphere, in my understanding.

If you're basing that on this NASA press release that climate change skeptics got all worked up about earlier this year, then you might want to reconsider. What skeptics either didn't understand (or intentionally failed to explain), is that the press release was about the thermosphere (the thin upper atmosphere), not the trophosphere (the lower atmosphere), and CO2 has been long understood to cool the thermosphere. Here's an explanation from the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research website:

"Carbon dioxide cools the thermosphere, even though it acts to warm the atmosphere near the Earth's surface (the troposphere). This paradox occurs because the atmosphere thins with height. Near the Earth's surface, carbon dioxide absorbs radiation escaping Earth, but before the gas molecules can radiate the energy to space, frequent collisions with other molecules in the dense lower atmosphere force the carbon dioxide to release energy as heat, thus warming the air. In the much thinner thermosphere, a carbon dioxide molecule absorbs energy when it collides with an oxygen molecule, but there is ample time for it to radiate energy to space before another collision occurs. The result is a cooling effect. As it cools, the thermosphere settles, so that the density at a given height is reduced."

This post was edited by shazaam on Fri, Nov 1, 13 at 17:09

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 4:55PM
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What should we do to address climate change? This isn't an exhaustive prescription, but just a sketch. I'll assume the following is politically possible.

-Come to a binding international agreement to limit atmospheric co2 concentration to 450 ppm.

-Make the private cost of fossil fuels reflect their social cost (i.e., capture their negative externality) by phasing in a co2 tax. The phase-in should be calibrated so that it has its desired effect fast enough to prevent our exceeding the co2 target, but slow enough to avoid major economic disruption. Nations should coordinate co2 tax policies to ensure their efficacy and promote international solidarity.

-Through a combination of additional tax incentives and subsidies, encourage the private sector to shift to renewable energy production.

-Invest public money in R&D and infrastructure projects to develop and deploy nuclear power production from thorium using liquid fluoride thorium reactors. [If you haven't heard about this technology, look into it. It's probably the closest thing to a silver bullet technology we have, and the technology is inherently safe. I'll provide a link to further info at the bottom.] Policy should also encourage private investment in this direction as well.

-Under an international agreement, determine the value of the positive externalities generated by natural habitats (particularly forests) and allow nations to be paid for the services those habitats provide.

-Create an internationally funded infrastructure investment fund to assist developing nations in deploying green technologies that are beyond their means to afford.

Again, this is a basic sketch, and I am assuming it is politically feasible, but I think these three policies would get us most of the way to where we need to be.

Here is a link that might be useful: LFTRs in 5 minutes

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 11:57PM
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alan haigh

Andrew, you must be quite an optimist if you think that such an international agreement has a reasonable chance to be enacted and enforced.

It is hard enough just to get Americans to accept the findings of scientists. The idea that there will be adequate embrace of the findings of science based panels on the most rational ways of dealing with a problem whose scope is only theoretical seems extremely unlikely to me.

The governments of the industrialized world usually can't even get the populace to accept the economic reality of the need for changes that require either higher revenue ( higher taxing of at least a portion of the populace) or reduced government services to which they've become accustomed, even as deficits multiply.

The U.S. spends twice as much money per capita for medical care as the rest of the industrialized world and all the gov. could come up with is the ACA which, at best, will only marginally reduce costs. Meanwhile, many Americans believe that radical reform isn't necessary and that we can remain competitive with such an inefficient system.

And then there is the idea that we can afford a military budget that exceeds the next ten countries military budget combined!. Or that we can afford to maintain a prison population that vastly exceeds that of all major nations besides Russia and China. Or have a public education system largely funded by local property tax, creating incredible disparity in funding leading to poor academic performance of children in poor neighborhoods.

In all of these cases there are powerful lobbies with tremendous abilities to cloud perceptions of the populace.

How is our government going to be able to rationally deal with curbing climate change with this record? I believe that it will require a clear and visible catastrophe to motivate an affective response to global warming, even if, by then, it happens to be too late.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 10:02AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I have read that the single largest producer of CO2 is the result of microbes turning vegetative matter into humus, and that a measure of this process in the soil can determine the quality of the soil and its ability to grow crops. If there was a way to stop this source of CO2, would that be a good thing? Al

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 10:10AM
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alan haigh

It's known as sequestering and is a popular subject in the greenie world. Even using woodchips as landfill offers some of this affect as would any process that slows the composting process of carbon containing materials.

I've no idea on the scale that would be required for this kind of thing to have any measurable affect- you'd have to store carbon at the same pace you release it, I guess.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 10:50AM
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Harvestman, I was writing about what should be done, not what I think we'll actually wind up doing. I am well aware that one of the big constituents of the American political landscape these days is The Stupid Party, and that makes taking political action on just about anything on the basis of factual information next to impossible. The lobbying system and pay-to-play nature of US politics also makes it easy for entrenched interests to block changes disfavorable to themselves, resulting in policies that are far from socially optimal.

The US is really the single biggest stumbling block here, and actually other nations, especially in Europe, are at least taking meaningful steps towards a low, if not zero, carbon emissions future. In the UK where I used to live, cars are taxed on the basis of their emissions and cities like London issue congestion charges to discourage automobile traffic. Other nations are doing things like this as well and are investing in earnest in renewable energy (which I maintain will never be enough on its own and will require nuclear energy both for baseload and for sheer quantity of energy production). The US is by comparison a huge laggard and a disappointing failure of leadership.

I think it is unlikely that we in the US will adopt any of the policies I mentioned above, although I do think that just by deploying large amounts of thorium nuclear energy capacity, we could rather painlessly reduce our carbon emissions tremendously. At any rate, we're going to change our ways one way or another - either voluntarily, or involuntarily when reality eventually forces us to do so. Hopefully we won't have engineered a second Permian Extinction by the time that happens.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 6:35PM
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alan haigh

Andrew, I didn't think I was pointing anything out that wouldn't be obvious to you, but I'm actually an optimist. I have this crazy hope that if all who see that the emperor is naked yell out their truth at the top of their lungs it may somehow enter the collective consciousness and ever so slightly nudge us to a more enlightened political path.

We are a nation that behaves like a child born to every advantage but assumes that it is his talent that brought him there. Probably only after we've squandered every advantage will we begin to behave like a mature adult- if we happen to make it to adulthood.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 7:39PM
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Well, we're currently increasing the co2 concentration in the atmosphere by around 2ppm per year. Assuming the trend is linear and not exponential, which is a big assumption, then we'll hit 450 ppm co2 by around 2039. That means we need to get cracking right now if we want to avoid hitting breaching this threshold without needing to take drastic, last minute steps that would cause immense economic and social disruption. Instead, we haven't begun even discussing as a nation doing anything remotely close to what we need to do, either to avoid breaching the 450 ppm threshold, or even to reduce the rate at which we're increasing atmospheric co2 concentrations.

Getting global net co2 emissions to 0, which is where they're going to need to be rather soon if we want to avoid a high probability of enduring some of the really nasty scenarios that our understanding of how earth's climate system works says will be in store for us, will require an absolutely massive, sustained effort. The link at the bottom is to a video of a conversation between a physicist and an engineer discussing what a response equal to the magnitude of the problem we face would look like.

Here is a link that might be useful: Renewable Energy and the Future: Some Calculations

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 9:24PM
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If you are tired of the fearmongering crud about carbon dioxide then you can count me as a friend. The "educated" and "all-knowing" class of people want to label us "uneducated" and "ignorant" because we don't agree we should be taxed more to save the earth. This isn't the first time the snake oil salesman come to town. This time the salesman has managed to enlist a hoard of believers to sell the idea that the earth can be saved if we just give up a little more of what we have.

But not enough "ignorant" people have subscribed to the ideas spewed forth; therefore the powers that be will take the money from us anyway, without consent of the governed. Hooray! The world is safe from carbon dioxide, the gas that plants breathe!

Here is a link that might be useful: Executive order causing expenditure of taxpayer money under the premise of preparing for climate change

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 10:10AM
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alan haigh

Swampsnaggs, after failing to rebut any of the real facts disclosed here, you seem to have fallen back on your emotional belief system, which is that the more educated are elitists who look down on those less so and want to cause them harm by taxing them- not very persuasive because they pay into the same tax system as you.

Salesmen make sales to earn a profit, including the metaphorical ones that market in snake oil. Your claim that scientists who accept these theories have a profit incentive has been completely debunked here, so you've lost the logical motive of your "educated villains" and are left with the silly motive of them simply wanting to lord over the less educated.

Now you've actually testified that your concern and the basis of your protests are monetary. So ironic, but quite common- people usually proscribe their own motives to other people whose behavior they don't really understand.

Personally, I don't have an impressive academic resume to be proud of- I don't even have a 4 year degree. However, that doesn't mean I'd ask an auto mechanic to perform heart surgery on me because heart surgeons are over-educated elitists.

I believe you are a pawn in a political game being ably maneuvered by plutocrats such as the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch and that you don't have a clue who your real enemies are.

At least my villains have a clear monetary motive for their "crimes". They are against anything that they feel they are being taxed disproportionately for or that reduces the value of their stock portfolios. Most of them will be well insulated from natural catastrophes likely to be caused by global warming in their lifetimes.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 11:17AM
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Harvestman, you are attempting to draw me into the tall weeds of a climate debate.

Things will never get better until we "pay the man" and "real facts" are only known by those "in the know"....we have heard this stuff before.

"I believe you are a pawn in a political game being ably maneuvered by plutocrats such as the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch and that you don't have a clue who your real enemies are. " - Harvestman

"The socialist ideal eventually goes viral, and the majority learns to game the system. Everyone is trying to live at the expense of everyone else. In the terminal phase, the failure of the system is disguised under a mountain of lies, hollow promises, and debts. When the stream of other people's money runs out, the system collapses."
Kevin Brekke

My real enemies over time brought their socialist system to America in order to destroy her. There is honor in resisting it.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 1:11PM
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alan haigh

So you'd like to roll back social security, medicaid, public financed education,etc? That puts you in a category very far right of the average American.

Are you sure it isn't modernity you fear and an imaginary past you think we can return to?

For most of the populace, unbridled capitalism has never proven itself an affective government model- no countries have ever really made it work- wealth gets concentrated to smaller and smaller segments of the populace. By any practical measure this is what is happening right now in this country if you actually look at overall wealth.

Given the amount of natural resources in this country our less socialistic system is much less efficient than Sweden's or Germany's, for example, whose average citizen enjoys a wealthier lifestyle than we do. And that is after having to completely rebuild their economies after WWII. Germany doesn't seem to be running up deficits. How much more wealth is contained in natural resources within our borders compared to Germany or Sweden, per capita?

We should be enjoying much greater prosperity under these circumstances but how come Germany can afford universal health care and free university tuition without running up deficits?

Maybe you've got your eyes on the wrong parasites. Check out the percentage of our budget that goes to finance our obscene military industrial complex, for example, and consider the amounts of national treasure that has been squandered on useless wars (can't think of one that accomplished anything since WWII) before you start beating up on seniors and sick people.

Consider Dick Cheney first endorsing a war under false pretenses than being the #2 man in an administration that gave billions of dollars in no-bid contracts to the corporation he was the CEO of before becoming vice president. This should have been a national scandal and would have been if the media actually had a "liberal bias". If we'd stayed out of Iraq our deficit might be non-existent but DC would not be nearly as rich.

There was a time when communism and socialism were a threat to democratic societies with many of its' adherents endorsing violent revolution under the premise that the populace was too brain washed to know what is good for them. History seems to have proven that such revolutions don't work and now most socialist models being practiced around the world are based on elective representation. What doesn't work can be repealed. You are chasing windmills.

Ok, Swamp, you can wrap up your rebuttal, I'm already getting off my soap box- I'm finished for now.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 1:57PM
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Swampsnaggs, scientists 1) don't personally profit from tax revenue; in fact, they pay taxes like everyone else and 2) tend not to be motivated by money, but by an insatiable curiosity about how the world works. Scientists, including climate scientists, have lots of math skills, knowledge of chemistry, and loads of experience using complicated equipment. All of these skills have application in much higher paying jobs outside academic research. If they were driven by a desire to earn as much money as possible, they could easily take their skill set and do something else (like, to give you two examples, go into oil exploration or finance).

Since you seem to evaluate climate science based on your gut feeling about how trustworthy scientists in general are, you really would have benefited from a Quaker upbringing. Quakers believe that each person is the product of their community, and that each adult has an obligation to spend time teaching the children of their community, no matter how prestigious a position that person might hold. I had the benefit of being taught by scientists from many different fields, including one who was a nobel prize winner in physics. I can tell you from experience that these people were some of the kindest, most generous and down-to-earth people you'll ever meet. They were always more than happy to spend all day answering whatever questions we children ever had, including long strings of "whys" and "how do you know thats". They'd also have been willing to give you the shirt off their own backs if you needed it. When you label an entire field of science fraudulent - apparently without any evidence to support your accusation - I think of these people. You seem to think they're some sort of demons. In my experience, they're just good, honest, hard-working, curious people who want to understand how the world works using the scientific method.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 3:35PM
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All I said was that we should watch out for "scientific dictatorships", but I am being labeled as a person who hates scientists which is not accurate. What I am saying is that scientists will be used to do research that has the effect of bolstering support for worm-like edicts used to destroy our country, undermine our republic, support despots, overthrow sovereign nations and install client dictators, overthrow local governments using monetary bribes, etc. In short, scientists are a willing or unwilling yet servile tool of corporate greed.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 4:55PM
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alan haigh

Hey Andrew, were you raised in a Quaker home? Same here- ethics are certainly highly emphasized by the Quakers.

Wow, Swamp, so we agree that unfettered corporate power is a dangerous thing. Do we also agree that only the government can function to regulate specific corporate activity that is or may become disastrous to the general good? If not the Gov. than who and how? Where do you expect to get the information about dangerous corporate practices if not from highly trained specialists employed by the gov.?

Incidentally, no one accused you of specifically hating scientists, that was about your swipe at professors and the "all knowing" in general. Seems like you probably are suspicious even of anyone holding a masters degree.

The main point was that you accused the global scientific community of knowingly supporting a bogus theory for financial gain when the vast majority have no dog in the hunt for climate research funding.

Now you've moved to another argument, much of which I actually agree with, but maybe that's because you didn't specify which governments are doing those things. There's certainly a fair amount of it in the history of U.S. foreign policy (see Iran and Chile for examples where we overthrew democratically elected leaders).

Of course, your list is comprised of things that colonial powers have always done, perhaps with the exception of overthrowing local governments. Sounds like you are talking "states rights" on that one. Maybe the rest was about the former Soviet Union if I have your politics right. Not that I wouldn't agree with you on that one- the S.U. was certainly a bad bear.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 6:36PM
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Swampsnaggs, now you're off on a red herring. Let's get back on track. The huge and ever growing body of *evidence* shows that the planet is warming, that humans are causing it, and that if we continue pumping co2 into the atmosphere, it is very likely to in consequences, all of them bad for our species, ranging from highly disruptive to catastrophic. On the other hand, you, as far as I can tell, apparently dismiss the evidence and the conclusions of tens of thousands of scientists all over the globe as nothing more than "fearmongering crud about carbon dioxide," and then characterize climate scientists as "snake oil salesmen".

My question for you is, where's your evidence that climate change driven by human emissions of co2 into the atmosphere is crud? What, specifically, makes the evidential and logical framework, built upon scientific understanding of chemistry, physics, thermodynamics and biology, crud? What evidence-based framework gives a better understanding for how the climate system works? Furthermore, how is it that you know that climate scientists are frauds trying, metaphorically, to sell a shambolic product to the public? Without evidence, your position is nothing more than unsubstantiated opinion. Unsubstantiated opinion is the antithesis of science.

One other thing (and I'm giving in to the temptation to chase your red herring here). You wrote, "...therefore the powers that be will take the money from us anyway, without consent of the governed." All I can say in response is, what on earth are you talking about? It is precisely because our democractic republic requires majority consent to implement taxes (which is what I presume you're talking about) that is the very reason we don't have a carbon tax, or any other kind of meaningful legislation aimed at taking serious measures to prevent dangerous levels of global warming-induced climate change. This notion of a dictatorship of climate scientists is a total fiction.

For my part, I *want* people to understand the science, and it is my sincere hope that people will come to a democratic consensus that we need to take the kinds of actions that our scientific understanding indicates we need to take in order to protect ourselves. There is absolutely nothing inherently anti-democratic or anti-freedom about adopting a worldview informed by science. In fact, I would argue that on balance, exactly the opposite is true.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 6:40PM
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Harvestman, yes, I was. There are quite a few Quakers here in the Philadelphia-Princeton area. Where are you? Michigan?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 7:03PM
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Harvestman, come to think of it, I think Quakerism's egalitarianism and anti-authoritarianism is part of the reason it has produced as many scientists, including prominent ones, as it has. Quakerism as a belief system inherently rejects arguments from authority (even from the Bible) and demands proof. It also encourages the belief that no one is too good to answer an honest question from anyone, and above the obligation to do so honestly. This is very much like the kind of skepticism and frank honesty the scientific method demands.

[Sorry for going off on a tangent.]

This post was edited by Andrew7a on Sun, Nov 3, 13 at 19:43

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 7:20PM
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"...therefore the powers that be will take the money from us anyway, without consent of the governed." All I can say in response is, what on earth are you talking about?

I was talking about the recently signed executive order. Follow the link I posted. By definition, executive orders are not voted upon by the people.

Andrew7a, where is your evidence? Your attention span doesn't allow you a basic understanding of what I have written.

You assert that somehow a climate tragedy can be averted if a consensus is formed that something should be done about climate change. Nothing can be done at this point.
If all the coal plants were shut down and everyone walked to work and ate only food out of their yards and slept under a mountain of blankets ....... the climate would be the same. But the wealth would have at this point been completely redistributed making everyone equally poor and dependent which is exactly the result desired by the powers that be.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 7:38PM
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Swampsnaggs -

1. Presidents have been issuing executive orders since George Washington's day. The authority to do so under the constitution is derived from "a vague grant of "executive power" given in Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 of the Constitution, and furthered by the declaration "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed" made in Article II, Section 3, Clause 5." (Wikipedia, "Executive order") Furthermore, the President's authority derives from his status as the democratically elected head of the executive branch of the Federal Government. You may not like executive orders in principle, but until they're stricken down by the Supreme Court, they're a part of how our government works.

I'll also add that the President is taking action on climate change via regulation and executive order because he was elected by his supporters to take action, and because Congress, particularly the Republican controlled House, has refused to consider any legislation relating to the matter. The legislative process is the preferred route because legislation is far more enduring than executive orders, which can easily be overturned by the President's successor.

2. Where's my evidence? Of MMGW, you mean? While I can't claim personal credit for the evidence, it exists in troves in the form of peer-reviewed studies published in journals, most of which are freely available to the public, and the rest being available to paying subscribers. There are also a number of scientific websites devoted to presenting the general body of evidence to the lay public. If you don't understand the science and would like to, I would highly recommend buying yourself a textbook and reading it. You might actually find it entertaining to read. I'd recommend "The Earth System" by Lee Kump, because that's the one that I used when I studied this stuff in college, and because it isn't too technical. If you read this cover-to-cover, you'll have a good understanding of the basics of climate science and the basic skills you'll need to give scientific claims you read about in the popular media the sniff test. (One of the big problems with the way the media relay science to the public lies in the fact that many journalists have zero scientific training.) You'll also be able to spot BS claims about MMGW that are repeated over and over again on Fox News from a mile away. Sorry though, reviewing the evidence does require some time and a bit of reading. No way around that, I'm afraid.

Your next few points:
"You assert that somehow a climate tragedy can be averted if a consensus is formed that something should be done about climate change." Ok, that's close enough to what I think that I'll grant you this point. It's what I think because the technologies exist that, if implemented on a large enough scale, would allow us to slow our rate of co2 emissions such that we would delay, and eventually avoid all together, breaching the 450ppm co2 concentration threshold (or any limit we choose). Selecting a limit and avoiding breaching it would enable us to avoid the amount of warming commensurate with that level of co2 concentration. As a major first step, as I've mentioned before, I would propose replacing coal-fired power plants with co2-neutral nuclear power plants as quickly as possible. In fact, such is the potential of nuclear power derived from thorium that we could actually use nuclear power to generate carbon-based liquid fuels (similar to gasoline) by plucking carbon directly out of the atmosphere, and still meet our electricity demands well into the future.

"Nothing can be done at this point." Why not?

"If all the coal plants were shut down and everyone walked to work and ate only food out of their yards and slept under a mountain of blankets ....... the climate would be the same." The same as what? As if we kept on putting more co2 into the atmosphere? How do you know? It sounds like, if I understand you correctly, we stopped emitting any co2, then we'd avoid committing ourselves to any further climate change. Anyway, what are you basing your claim on?

"But the wealth would have at this point been completely redistributed.." How? By what? In the scenario you've described, it sounds like wealth - in the form of physical capital - is either physically destroyed or totally abandoned in favor of a low productivity, low energy way of life.

"making everyone equally poor and dependent..." Dependent on what? The blanket industry? If I'm walking everywhere and growing my own food, it sounds like I'm dependent on my own two feet and the weather gods. Also, equality in poverty isn't implied by the scenario you put forth unless you've left out some important details. Presumably, some would, at the very least, own lots of land, others very little, and the land would not be equally productive, or near easy means of transportation to get goods to market.

"..which is exactly the result desired by the powers that be." Sorry, who are these powers you're talking about? If it's the fossil fuel industry, we may well agree on this point.

I'm including a link at the bottom to an online history of global warming. It's comprehensive, non-technical and pretty well written.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Discovery of Global Warming

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 8:57PM
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alan haigh

And so Andrew, you see the futility of trying to convert a true believer. It's about feelings not facts. This is not even logical delusion (judging from its articulation) where there's at least a slim hope of penetration by offering a more logical alternative. It is a world of shadowy conspiracies not theories.

Key term- representative democracy. The voting populace elects presidents and congress and doesn't itself vote on legislation at the federal level. The executive branch has certain constitutional powers that are independent of congress and every president in the history of this country has exercised these powers to some extent.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 9:15PM
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alan haigh

Andrew, I wrote my note before yours appeared. You are an extraordinarily patient man. You could probably teach evolution at a Southern Baptist high school without losing your mind. I'd be tearing out my hair.

I'm from CA, but my father converted to the Quaker church shortly after high school while living in Bronx, NY, because he was a conscientious objector and found the Quaker church to be closest to his philosophical leanings. His Catholicism may preach pacifism but has never exactly gone out on a limb to promote it (to put it mildly).

In many ways, the Quaker church was a couple centuries ahead of other Christian sects as far as its fundamental egalitarian nature and granting equal standing to woman. Quaker culture was initially extremely influential in the development of the American democracy. Too bad they withdrew from public life early in our nations history.

Judaism has a similar history to Quakerism as far as being relatively non-heirarchial, where, for many centuries, the men, at least, were required to develop their own specific interpretations of the Torah and Talmud through debate and reflection, instead of simply accepting edicts from above. Deductive reasoning has always been highly cultivated in Jewish culture. I believe this is an important factor in their relatively huge contributions to science.

America is an interesting country for it's range of cultural influences but it certainly can lead to a high lever of political conflict. Read the book "The Seeds of Albion" for a really interesting summary of early waves of immigration to our country and the diverse cultures originating from the British Isles.

Reading about the borderlanders in this book will explain a lot about the Tea Party and the southern Republican party. The cultural origins of the Tea Party movement as well as the southern Republican party in general can be logically traced to the immigrants who came here from the borders between Ireland and Scotland which were torn apart by war for centuries.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 7:04AM
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The only problem is when your beliefs skew th evidence in front of you. If I am not mistaken North carolina made sea level rise "illegal" due to the fact that "god said that he wouldnt eliminate the world with water again".

The other problem is that too many people are saying "left vs right". You think the climate cares who is in office? Or that scientists care either?

I see it like this: We pump CO2 into the atmosphere, and we also for the first time that we know of indiscriminately remove forest for cropland. We have set back the ecosystems ability to recover because we have set primary forest and secondary forest into fragmented patches of young forest which is not even close to be able to handle the amount of CO2 we pump into the atmosphere.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 8:57AM
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alan haigh

Yes, but when it is predominantly the right wing of this country that is the anti-science party, it gets real hard to ignore the fact that that's where the resistance is mostly coming from.

I think it is the moneyed interests fanning the hatred of groups like fundamentalist Christians that has politicized climate science in this country. It is very telling that in no other country is this an issue being debated between liberals and conservatives, although the debates about economic and even social issues tend to fall down the same lines there as here.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 9:21AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Sea levels have risen at 1.7 mm last year same as they have every year for the past century......co2 in the atmosphere has increased but sea levels have not risen any faster than the normal rate.

The real problem on this planet is the amount of people....if you have fathered or gave birth to more than 1 child YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. So Canadian.....Andrew how many children do you have?

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 12:16PM
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Chinese style one-child policies. Extra taxes on heating and motor fuels. Prohibitions on the saving of seeds. The use of science as a weapon against the common man in the name of profit.

All these ideas originate from the same moneyed interests.

Let's not let liberty be eroded any further please.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 6:22PM
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alan haigh

Funny, we are benefited by the miracles of science, control famine, conquer major diseases and populate the earth like a cancer.

Swamp, do you suppose the earth has unlimited capacity to absorb the activities of a limitless human population?

Your black and white philosophy seems to hold no solutions and only denial and anger at an unspecified group of moneyed interests

Bamboo agrees with you on climate science but sees the limits of the earths capacity to withstand the human onslaught. No one here has suggested government enforced baby rationing.

It is in the third world where the human population explodes, anyway. Our government makes no effort to alter this, probably to keep organized religion from turning on the politicians. .

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 9:22PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

This from Quetzal, .. from 1987
26. Overpopulation actually bears the greatest guilt for this because through it, all evil becomes boosted more and more, and indeed, with everything that is conceivable, so it isn’t just the street traffic, forest traffic, agricultural traffic, and industrial traffic with internal-combustion motor vehicles but also the overall industrialization and so on and so forth.

27. The Earth people themselves bear the guilt for all unusual natural disasters, and this already for quite some time.

28. But so it will also be in all the awful ages to come, in which the disasters will still multiply and intensify.

Thanks. Your explanation in the Earth persons’ and, above all, the responsible persons’ ears. Whether it will bring any benefit, however, may well be extremely questionable.
If I, however, now briefly summarize the natural influences, then in my judgment, it looks like this:

1. Earth movements’ influences

2. Geomagnetism’s influences

3. Lunar influences

4. Solar influences

5. Cosmic influences

6. Central sun’s influences

7. Black holes’ influences

Source below... read more on natural climate change

Here is a link that might be useful: Contact Report 221

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 10:31PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

We have no idea, not a clue what our future will be. We have too much of a biased attitude. Japan is well known for being extremely over crowed. Has anybody kept up on what's going on there now? Men and woman are losing interest in having babies, well even worse, in even having sex.
They have the longest life expectancy. Seems to contradict just about everything said in this thread. It appears to me at some point all of earth's population from similar conditions as Japan, will decline on it's own. I doubt we will ever be even close to the earth's capacity to support human life. We will be in a decline long before that happens.
Again we think we know better than mother nature. Mother nature works in ways we will never understand as we our such arrogant fools. Some of the posts here are really funny IMHO, thanks for the cheap entertainment!

Here is a link that might be useful: The extinction of Japan

This post was edited by Drew51 on Mon, Nov 4, 13 at 23:15

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 11:03PM
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alan haigh

I was years ago talking with a Kenyan park ranger who was sharing photos with me of his huge family. His wife looked so haggard and tired and 20 years older than him- she was doing most of the work of raising 8 kids. I would have liked to know how she felt about her huge family.

In justifying large families he pointed out Japan's population density and insisted westerners were trying to reduce African population for racist reasons. He felt no personal responsibility for Africa's out of control population explosion which leads to endless tribal warfare, horrible poverty and cycles of starvation.

The population increases in most African countries are faster than any policies can evolve to deal with them. The park ranger was part of a culture where men measure their success by the size of their families (a perfectly "natural" perspective and a worldwide tendency).

It is completely silly to take a single country as an example of the density of human population our species can survive- especially if they are importing both the energy to increase there own food production and a vast percentage of the food itself.

I see no reason to go into the negative environmental aspects of an ever increasing human population, if it is not obvious on the face of it, what is the point?.

Mother nature has gotten along on this planet most of her life very well without the nuisance of a human population. I agree with you Drew, she will have no difficulty in dealing with our ecological infractions. Species come and go.

Our science is quite inadequate to gauge the specifics but the trends are quite measurable but obviously, easy to ignore, as long as you have food in your stomach and a roof over your head.

It is possible that the status of owning more things will overtake the status of having a large family fast enough to reverse population increases, as is happening in much of the industrialized world (ok, huge and cynical over simplification, I admit) but until I see numbers in the third world that support such optimism, I shall remain skeptical and pessimistic on the matter.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 6:34AM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)

Hi guys:

This is an article I ran across. I don't know how to vet the author or the study he refers to. So I ask those participants of this conversation who know how to fact check this to do so and report. (No name calling please)



Here is a link that might be useful: GLOBAL WARMING PAUSE ???

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 8:55AM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

I'm not qualified to evaluate the science behind the Curry and Wyatt paper, Mike, but it's definitely very interesting. Nonetheless, I'm somewhat skeptical of David Rose's take on it -- he has a rich history of writing misleading articles about climate change, so I wouldn't turn to him for an even-handed analysis of new research. In this case, I find it telling that both Wyatt and Curry are on record stating that their theory neither supports nor refutes anthropogenic global warming, yet Rose makes no mention of this fact. Instead, he seems more interested in sensationalizing the paper for an audience that's primed for climate change skepticism.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 12:15PM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)


For this response I will assume that you support the position that there is problematic "global warming" going on.

Also, nothing I say is to be taken to imply that what you are doing is being done consciously with any aim to skew. As I have said in the past, the discourse on "hot" topics is often victimized by people being caught up in the moment/movement/emotion etc. of the day or the crowd. It is not evil it is just human nature.

So... with that said..

I note that perhaps in a different, even sub-conscious level, you are doing the exact same thing that you accuse this guy, Rose, of doing.

You (1) state that you are not qualified to evaluate the paper which means that you are also not qualified to evaluate papers that seem to support the GW position.
(2) you give the paper a "very interesting" comment but do not refer to any of the numbers or findings of the science in the paper but do go on to attack the messenger (Rose) as one who writes "mis-leading articles about climate change" thereby being dismissive of the paper. You attack the messenger to marginalize the paper ... sorry that is not cool.

If you are not qualified to evaluate the paper that does not support global warming then perhaps any evaluation of Rose's opinion of those papers as being "mis-leading" is also suspect.

I am not saying that what you did is evil, but it does tend to support my earlier comments in this conversation, that we are all human beings (as are the scientists) and we tend filter the facts through a filter that supports our desired outcome or opinion. Once we believe (rightly or wrongly) our feet are in cement.

There is a note of dismissiveness (is that a word?) of those who are "primed for climate change skepticism".

Why is being "primed" _for_ global warming any different that being "primed" against?.

BTW are you using "global climate change" as a synonym for "global warming"?

The "numbers" in the paper do raise legitimate questions. However, I fear that there are good people out there who could more fully develop the "skeptical" view who are afraid to come out and argue it because the herd mentality will run them over.

I just had to stop lurking. Sorry


    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 2:13PM
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alan haigh

Mike, my problem with your position is that it could be applied to any issue in science where, when there is a general consensus with a few outliers in dissent, you can just claim it might be a group think problem and ignore said consensus.

if a small piece of research seems to contradict a huge body of research, there is no reason not to let the experts analyze it and see how it plays out under closer scrutiny and perhaps further study. But if a problem is baring down on you of disastrous proportions why wouldn't you run with the overwhelming evidence? There will always be unexplained contradictions to any thing as complex as the issue we are discussing.

Even the idea that this research contradicts the body of evidence is apparently not supported by the researchers themselves. What exactly do you make of that- they are just trying not to offend the deluded majority?

I'd never heard of Rose until just looking up his name now and it turns out he's a well known "climate skeptic" devoid of scientific credentials- he's a journalist- Please!

I think the idea that scientists in general wouldn't rather believe that cheap sources of energy are innocuous is just silly. I know I am somehow pleased that forecasters claim the U.S. will be (carbon based) energy independent in a few short years. I really want to have a robust economy in this country and that would likely be the actual prejudice if there was any.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 4:03PM
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Okay so I read Rose's article, then read the Wyatt/Curry paper, then read Hawkins's blog to find the chart Rose re-created, then I looked up both Curry and Hawkins, then re-read Rose's article. I will also say that I believe I am qualified to evaluate the paper.

From reading Rose's article my first-pass observations/conclusions:
The article is rather sensationalistic. Using a phrase like "makes a mockery of warming" is not what I like to hear in level-headed reporting.
Curry, Wyatt, & Hawkins must have data that mount a "stunning challenge to climate change science orthodoxy".

Observations after reading the paper and Hawkins's blog:
Curry & Wyatt have previously put forth the "stadium wave" model and the paper is basically an extension off of their previous work with updated data through 2009.
Wyatt heavily cites her own work, mainly from her PhD dissertation which is not typically done.
Research was funded by the DOE.
In the paper, I did not find most of the conclusions mentioned by Rose. The paper does lay out a cyclical climate pattern but does not use it to explain a climate pause, nor does it make the case that climate predictions are wrong. What it does do is argue that their wave should be taken into consideration in future predictions. This is a totally normal and typical argument for a scientist to make. It basically says, 'please use/repeat my work', it doesn't mean that the current predictions are wrong.
In the Hawkins blog, there is also very little of what Rose wrote about. The chart that he recreated is fairly out of context. The computer models that he sites are actually 4 sets of models all with different levels of radiative forcing (basically how much energy is being absorbed by the Earth). Only using the highest (hottest) value (8.5) do you get a chart similar to what Rose shows (and it should be noted that the observed value does fall within the predicted values). Using the mid range value of 4.5, the model fits much more closely to the observed. Here is a link to this: link

Confused as to why I had such a different impression of the data from Rose's article, I re-read the article and found that Rose has taken a lot of things out of context. He also does this thing where he quotes something from the paper/blog then makes his own observation in such a way that makes it appear as if the paper/blog drew that conclusion. Mike, this is not an attack on the messenger or a trivialization of the paper, but an observation that Rose has both misquoted the other authors and inserted his opinion into the discussion as if it were not his own.

Here are some examples of Rose not stating the data correctly/taking things out of context/applying his own opinion:
"...Dr Ed Hawkins... reveals that the actual temperatures are now below the predictions made by almost all the 138 models..." In truth, the actual temperatures fall within the predicted range and the 138 models are 4 sets applying radiative forcing values of 2.6, 4.5, 6.0, and 8.5. The 4.5 value is taken to be the expected value. The 2.6 gives the low estimate and 6.0/8.5 give the high side estimates. It is only when including the 2 sets of high side estimates that the actual values appear to be on the edge of the predicted range.

Rose says, "According to Dr. Hawkins, the divergence is now so great that the world's climate is cooler than what the models collectively predicted with 'five to 95 per cent certainty'." This is either a deliberate mis-quote or he doesn't understand the data. What Hawkins actually said was "the observations for 2012 are just outside the 5-95% range from the simulations". This means that using all 4 data sets (including the high side radiative forcing) puts the actual value outside the 95% confidence interval. It does not mean that the climate is cooler than predicted with 95% confidence. Also note that Rose said "the models collectively", that is because he is including the high side estimates.

"According to Curry and Wyatt, the theory may explain both the warming pause and why the computer models did not forecast it. It also means that a large proportion of the warming that did occur in the years before the pause was due not to greenhouse gas emissions, but to the same cyclical wave." Curry and Wyatt make that case that their model should be factored into the baseline for current estimates. They don't say this caused any pause. The second sentence is wholly Rose's comment but it makes it sound like the authors said it. It must be stated again that the "pause" is a misinterpretation of the trend of the data and it does fit into the predicted ranges of the climate models.

I mentioned this in the previous thread, but the large increase in sea ice in 2013 was not a recovery but a very slight increase from the minimum seen in 2012. Taken by itself 2013 is still the second lowest (next to 2012) level, not a recovered level.

Rose says "...Dr Hawkins admit(s) some of the models are 'too hot'." Yes because they use 4 different sets with different levels of 'hotness'. These were meant to represent a variety of levels. One of the sets is likely 'too cold' but Rose doesn't mention this.

Rose says that Hawkins stated "'The upper end of the latest climate model projections is inconsistent' with observed temperatures, though he added even the lower predictions could have 'negative impacts' if true." Rose really frames this quote to make it sound like the models are wrong. What Hawkins data really show is a range of estimates from high to low. The upper end models are likely too high, just as the lower end models are likely too low. All the estimates, low included, show negative impacts.

Okay that is enough of this article. Rose really butchered the work by those scientists and tried to pass it off.

This post was edited by sf_rhino on Tue, Nov 5, 13 at 20:00

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 6:15PM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)

You know my position on MMGW, its extent and danger. Call me a dyed in the wool agnostic.

But I think you missed my point to Shazaam ( BTW Shazaam, nothing I said to you was personal, see what follows). I had no problem with what "S" said. My response was more to the "human nature" factor. I only posted an article that I found interesting in light of this conversation. I put it out there for more to see, to vet the science and to comment.

In my message I specifically said: _" So I ask those participants of this conversation who know how to fact check this to do so and report. (No name calling please)"._

What I got, (quite naturally and innocently I believe) was an immediate comment on the veracity of the reporter and the attempted undermining of the science in the paper. This was done by commenting about Mr. Rose's global warming proclivities and the throw-away that even the paper's own authors did not claim blah blah blah. This sounded like S was replying to an attack, by me, on the believers of the "established" upcoming MMGW calamity.

I only reacted to the reflexive reaction to the posting of a paper which contained some facts, some figures, and a graph that merely _seemed_ to go against the established "consensus".

H'man... in your own answer to me you begin to go a tiny bit off the rails with your choice of the emotionally charged language as when you say:

(1)..."they are just trying not to offend the deluded majority?", (what does that mean?) were the facts and the manner in which they were presented presented offensive to the majority? - deluded or not; or,

(2)..."if a problem is baring down on you of disastrous proportions" , (you know from my past comments that I don't see any "disastrous" problem of any "proportion") and
(3)..."it turns out he's a well known "climate skeptic" devoid of scientific credentials- he's a journalist- Please"
Hey .... What's so wrong with being a well known "climate skeptic", and what is a climate skeptic anyway? . Is it someone who does not believe in climate? Actually a good climate is not bad.
... and who said that being... "devoid of scientific credentials" merits the abject rejection of one's views or opinions. I have no scientific credentials but I think I can still opine on science stuff.

But, to give credit where credit is due, I do agree with your dismissiveness of the "journalist" because I don't think those exist anymore. :) :) :).

Note... I was and am only making observations and comments on the REACTIONS to the paper. I am NOT getting sucked into the argument pro or con MMGW and its effects, if any.

BTW, I still want your orchard advice. If you ever find your way north towards Greene County, Purling, NY let me know and maybe you can stop by and have a look-see.


    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 7:31PM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

I am not saying that what you did is evil, but it does tend to support my earlier comments in this conversation, that we are all human beings (as are the scientists) and we tend filter the facts through a filter that supports our desired outcome or opinion.

No worries, Mike. I'm certainly not angered or offended by your comments, but, at the same time, I do take issue with your line of reasoning. First, nothing that I wrote suggests that Wyatt's and Curry's science is in any way suspect. All I said was that it's interesting (because it is) and that I don't consider myself to be qualified to analyze its scientific merits. Second, yes, we all have ideological biases, but it doesn't necessarily follow that I'm exhibiting bias when I question how Rose, a journalist, represents their work in his article. After all, I'm entirely capable of doing some background reading about their paper and what they've said about it, comparing that to how it's presented in Rose's article, and concluding that he appears to be misrepresenting and sensationalizing their work in order to appeal to an audience that's receptive to climate change skepticism. To sum up, my argument is with Rose, not Wyatt and Curry.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 7:54PM
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alan haigh

Mike, I'm not off the rails, simply staying within the rails of scientific consensus- that at some point in the not very distant future our rate of ever increasing carbon release will most likely lead to disaster for our own species and that we need to start dialing it down yesterday.

Journalists who serve the market of any specific political agenda should be viewed skeptically no matter if they are on the left or the right. When I researched Rose I avoided URLs that seemed to be connected to environmental groups. The story wasn't picked up by mainstream media at all. If you are interested in how scientists might interpret the story you can find out with a very short search.

I haven't been in Greene county for years but you are certainly welcome, as I wrote you, to come to my orchard and ask any questions you want. If I do end up somewhere near I'd be happy to drop by.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 8:05PM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

I was and am only making observations and comments on the REACTIONS to the paper. I am NOT getting sucked into the argument pro or con MMGW and its effects, if any.

You actually asked for help in vetting either the author of the linked article or the study to which he referred. They're very different things, as I attempted to suggest and as sf_rhino meticulously spelled out. You seem to want to conflate them, to label the Curry/Wyatt paper as the message and Rose as the messenger, the one who communicates Curry's and Wyatt's "stunning challenge to climate science orthodoxy" (Rose's words) to those outside the scientific fold. Hence, your suggestion that I was attempting to tarnish the Wyatt/Curry paper by raising questions about Rose and his article. The problem as I see it is that Rose is not merely repeating their message. He's distorting it to fit an agenda, as he has a track record of doing.

This post was edited by shazaam on Tue, Nov 5, 13 at 21:58

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 9:48PM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)

Yours is exactly the type of response I was looking for because I did not know what to make of the limited arficle.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 10:05PM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)


Never got that email about coming to see your orchard. I'll take you up on your offer next summer.


    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 10:14PM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)


You are right.
I re-read my initial post and I did ask to vet the "author". My bad, I meant the author of the paper not of the article. Should have been clearer.


    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 10:24PM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)

Deleted duplicated

This post was edited by mes111 on Wed, Nov 6, 13 at 0:25

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 10:26PM
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If you haven't had the time to read the paper, what they did was analyze a whole bunch of sets of environmental data from ocean temps, to salinity, to sardine populations, to anomalies in the Earth's rotation (all of which have some sort of 50- to 80-year cycle). They basically found that they could order these data sets (much like leading and lagging indicators) to make a circular flow chart that shows the various data in relation to one another. This is meant to show a natural cycling of these phenomena.

It is useful to point out that one of the data sets that they used is the "negative lenth-of-day index" which is basically the changes in the hours of sunlight due to Earth's rotational anomalies. They state "Examination of a 140-year record of observed and modeled temperature data revealed strong correlation between the two indices [length of day anomalies and global temp] until the 1930s, after which the surface temperature trend increased much more than that of the [negative length-of-day index]. DM removed the estimated [human] footprint from the surface average temperature to generate a 'corrected' temperature, one assumed to reflect only natural variability. Correlation between the [negative length-of-day index] and the 'corrected' temperature was strong." This is showing that at least for some of the data they are using, their is a human element that had to be removed in order to make the data fit.

I also wanted to add that only once in the Curry paper's discussion did they even mention anthropogenic climate change.

They basically made the point that most of the interpretations for the loss of arctic sea ice have focused on human factors with an allowance for natural variability, but that their model is not inconsistent with the data for the 20th century (although their model was built off of data for the 20th century).

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 4:51PM
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Not really much of a correlation and when looking at the extreme long term we should be heading up in temps anyways. Also for the more recent past carbon dioxide levels there is this
and temps


Good correlation for a while then co2 levels shoot way up and no longer correlate with temps, is this an anomaly? I guess time will tell but the hype we have been told about impending disaster has been or is wrong.
Last I am not convinced that there is much of a consensus with scientists. If you read the studies many of them are nothing more than a quick survey as to what the scientist opinions are on the matter. The majority of scientist usually 70-80% never even respond to the survey! Probably because they didn't have much of an opinion about it one way or the other, but I feel it is dishonest for the media to turn around and say that this constitutes a consensus, usually stated at 97%. That particular quoted number comes from just one study (not yet conclusive) and represents climate scientist (not all scientist) that took the time to respond. Add to that the fact that some of the surveys required that the scientist sign a statement saying that he/she didn't agree with the evidence of AGW. What kind a scientist would say they don't agree with evidence, they wouldn't be a scientist? Not to mention climate gate revealed that there was pressure and bullying going on.
I have looked into this whole thing and I have tried to see both sides as fairly as I can and I am still not convinced that this is a problem we can do much about. I think getting off of fossil fuels would be a wonderful thing, but I also think that many politicians and would be profiteers have corrupted the debate.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 11:13AM
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alan haigh

Greg, you should do a bit more research on the consensus issue and you should also read up a bit on the science of polling. Your arguments are typical of politicians on the wrong side of a poll.

What makes you think that if the polls were mistaken big oil and big coal wouldn't finance their own polls, anyway? There are clear records of financing from these interests to debunk the climate scientists.

What makes you think that the real incentive in this debate is for most people, businesses and countries to deny the legitimacy of climate research and interpretation? No one wants to invest in technology they don't need. We all would rather use the cheapest energy available.

In what other country is this even a debate? Only Americans seem so susceptible to this kind of really obvious corporate propaganda.

I just can't understand why Americans tend to have such an inflated idea of the exceptional power of their own "common sense" and such a deflated sense of the importance of study and training.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 2:18PM
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Bamboo - I have no children. I like to think I'm a bit young for those yet - especially given the recession, which has derailed a lot of the ambitions and plans people my age had when they graduated from college (in 2008).

Harvestman, yes, sadly in public discourse, people seem to regard an argument based on feelings to be just as valid as one based on careful reasoning. I think you'll identify with this quote from Isaac Asimov: "“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”

Several people here cite the human population as the elephant in the room when it comes to climate change. For my part, I'm not so sure it's entirely clear cut, although I don't take a strong position on this issue because I haven't done a whole lot of research on it. I'll present the argument that human population isn't a big deal though - although I'm not endorsing it.

The human impact on the environment with regard to climate change is an increasing function of affluence in our time because affluence equates to greater consumption of energy, and the bulk of the energy we consume comes from fossil fuels. The greatest contribution to climate change has been made by developed nations, with their small proportions of global population, not developing nations, where most of humanity live.

I'm not so sure the above argument, which I think I've summarized reasonably accurately, is entirely correct. I will concede though that if we manage to produce the energy our population demands from non-fossil fuel sources, we will be able to support our population, or even one greater than we currently have, without running the risk of altering the climate with greenhouse gasses. We probably would continue to threaten life on earth in other ways though, principally through habitat destruction as we make room for agriculture to feed ourselves.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 3:55PM
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Could you please site references on how the oil and coal companies have colluded the evidence.
Personally I don't think the fossil fuel industry is scared about cap and trade. There are no energy alternatives that can compete with oil and coal and they know this. So when cap and trade goes into effect efficiency of cars, homes etc will increase. You would think that this is a good thing but the reality of it is you are still going to be dependent on fossil fuels that will be around even longer because society will move from gulping oil to sipping it.
Also who is to say that big oil wont make money through carbon trading themselves? Basically at the bottom of the pile you are going to pay more for less. While people like Al Gore and organizations like the UN will make a killing off of those taxes. It just so happens they are also the biggest proponents of AGW. Go figure.

Last you know nothing of my study or education level, and to say that as an American I have an "inflated idea of my own common sense" is nothing more than an Ad hominem attack. I was pointing out the fact that the climate record versus the carbon dioxide levels doesn't correlate in the long term and has recently stopped correlating. You have to decide on what way you are going to take this as the proponents of AGW are conveniently silent.
True politicians may be on the wrong side of the poll but that doesn't mean that if the other guy gets elected that this represents an actual consensus of the population. It could be that most people simply didn't vote, and the wrong guy won.

This post was edited by gregkdc1 on Thu, Nov 7, 13 at 16:23

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 4:20PM
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"Sea levels have risen at 1.7 mm last year same as they have every year for the past century."

OK, not true. Sea levels rose at a pace of about 3.3 mm/yr from 1993 to 2009. The figure 1.7mm/yr is the 1950-2009 century average. This means that sea levels are rising, which we expect from global warming, and they're rising at an increasing rate, which we also expect from global warming.

Also, it's not true that sea levels have been rising century after century. Sediment records show that sea level has been stable for the past 2500-3000 years. The consistent rise we're now seeing is a relatively recent phenomenon.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 4:20PM
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alan haigh

I don't question your level of education (you are obviously a highly articulate lawyer for a guilty client), just that if you want to understand what's happening with the climate ask climate scientists and if you don't like what they have to say don't blame it on some baseless conspiracy theory. Legitimate dissent will be ironed out by people who are actually qualified to understand the science. When in the history of science has this not been the case- where it required the efforts of the laiety to set those scientists straight? When has something at all similar ever happened where the entire global community of a major field after doing exhaustive research settled on a mistaken theory of this magnitude?

Now you suggest that big energy might want a carbon tax for their own profit (that makes sense to you?) but before you make me go over the internet to prove to you the existence of corporate funding for the skeptic side please check the Wikipedia discussion of this controversy and it will lead you to known sources of funding. There is no controversy about this, so please at least check around for yourself.

These talks go round on the internet but only here in the U.S is the science widely questioned. What is your conspiracy theory for why the rest of the industrialized world is so accepting of the expensive and inconvenient reality of human caused global warming? I was listening to the conservative prime minister of Australia talking about it the other day on radio.

The powers that be don't need a goddam carbon tax to marshal the wealth of the world into their portfolios- they seem to be doing quite well without it- why on earth would they bother.

This idea of a conspiracy to reap the rewards of a carbon tax just seems completely silly to me. Try to actually imagine a global plan like this where not a single whistle blower got hold of an e-mail of people pushing for something like this. Try to actually create a scenario in your mind where this would be possible. Give me some historic examples of similar global conspiracies that were later revealed.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 4:56PM
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alan haigh

A couple of clicks and I found this. You can check their sources, which they list.

Here is a link that might be useful: funding

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 5:30PM
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The following is quoted from a u.s. senate blog:

James Spann, a meteorologist certified by the American Meteorological Society, suggests scientific objectively is being compromised by the massive money flow to proponents of man-made climate fears.

"Billions of dollars of grant money is flowing into the pockets of those on the man-made global warming bandwagon. No man-made global warming, the money dries up. This is big money, make no mistake about it. Always follow the money trail and it tells a story," Spann wrote on January 18, 2007. "Nothing wrong with making money at all, but when money becomes the motivation for a scientific conclusion, then we have a problem. For many, global warming is a big cash grab," Spann added.

Atmospheric physicist Dr. Fred Singer, co-author of the book "Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years," also detailed the extensive financing machine the proponents of man-made global warming enjoy.

"Tens of thousands of interested persons benefit directly from the global warming scare" at the expense of the ordinary consumer. Environmental organizations globally, such as Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and the Environmental Defense Fund, have raked in billions of dollars. Multi-billion-dollar government subsidies for useless mitigation schemes are large and growing. Emission trading programs will soon reach the $100 billion a year level, with large fees paid to brokers and those who operate the scams," Singer explained on June 30, 2007

Here is a link that might be useful: un climate summit

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 5:47PM
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Havestman well said, I am checking the link right now. I will get back to you in a bit. I'm no layer but my brother is maybe it runs in the family. :)

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 5:51PM
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Greg, two things about the graphs you linked to. First, did you realize that the x-axes are reversed? I'd hardly say there is no correlation between the two. Both have minima at 25 and 300 MYA and maxima at around 100, 250, 400, and 500 MYA. That said, CO2 levels are not the only factor that drive changes in the climate (as people on both sides of the issue will tell you). Glaciation due to changes in the Earths orbit, increased/decreased volcanic activity, bombardment by meteorites, solar cycles, etc all influence the climate. Thus it is possible to have cold periods with high CO2 and warm periods with low CO2.

"Last I am not convinced that there is much of a consensus with scientists. ... The majority of scientist usually 70-80% never even respond to the survey! Probably because they didn't have much of an opinion about it one way or the other.."

I know that the following is just anecdotal evidence which I hate to use; but as a scientist that moves in life sciences, computer sciences, engineering, chemistry, and physics/astrophysics circles I would say the consensus is at least 95%. The scientists that I have met that do not agree with the consensus are usually just on the fence or are playing the devil's advocate, not in actual disagreement.

It would be rare to find a scientist that "didn't have much of an opinion" on any scientific topic. We all have opinions and like to debate. Low survey response rates or simplicity of the questions is probably a function of the fact that it isn't really a contested issue for most of us. When everyone agrees, there isn't much fun in debating the subject.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 6:25PM
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Energy companies funding studies with the express purpose of trying to cast doubt on global warming is exactly like the pseudoscience tobacco companies funded for decades when they wanted the public to feel unsure about the link between smoking and lung cancer.

One thing to remember: looking at where someone's funding comes from is just a proxy - whose reliability is unknown and can only be guessed at - for evaluating the quality of someone's work and the strength of their conclusions. The fact that someone's funding may have come from an oil company may or may not mean their work is biased or flawed. Only evaluating a study on its merits will provide a meaningful verdict. And in fact, science operates by providing meaningful verdicts in this manner all the time. Climate scientists are unconvinced by studies disputing the existence of MMGW because the studies are either flawed, or make a case that is too weak to overturn the huge body of evidence pointing to MMGW.

(And of course, humans are flawed, and no human system is perfect. Never the less, science represents the best system we imperfect beings have of ascertaining the truth.)

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 6:28PM
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Skeptical quotes of University of London’s emeritus professor of biogeography Philip Stott:

"What we see in this is an enormous danger for politicians in terms of their hypocrisy. I’m not going to say anything about Al Gore and his house. [LAUGHTER] But it is a very serious point."

"In the early 20th century, 95% of scientists believe in eugenics. [LAUGHTER] Science does not progress by consensus, it progresses by falsification and by what we call paradigm shifts."

"The first Earth Day in America claimed the following, that because of global cooling, the population of America would have collapsed to 22 million by the year 2000. And of the average calorie intake of the average American would be wait for this, 2,400 calories, would good it were. [LAUGHTER] It’s nonsense and very dangerous. And what we have fundamentally forgotten is simple primary school science. Climate always changes."

"Angela Merkel the German chancellor, my own good prime minister (Tony Blair) for whom I voted -- let me emphasize, arguing in public two weeks ago as to who in Annie get the gun style could produce the best temperature. ‘I could do two degrees C said Angela.’ ‘No, I could only do three said Tony.’ [LAUGHTER] Stand back a minute, those are politicians, telling you that they can control climate to a degree Celsius.”

“And can I remind everybody that IPCC that we keep talking about, very honestly admits that we know very little about 80% of the factors behind climate change. Well let’s use an engineer; I don’t think I’d want to cross Brooklyn Bridge if it were built by an engineer who only understood 80% of the forces on that bridge. [LAUGHTER]”

Skeptical quotes of MIT’s Professor of Atmospheric Science Richard Lindzen:

"Now, much of the current alarm, I would suggest, is based on ignorance of what is normal for weather and climate."

"The impact on temperature per unit carbon dioxide actually goes down, not up, with increasing CO2. The role of anthropogenic greenhouse gases is not directly related to the emissions rate or even CO2 levels, which is what the legislation is hitting on, but rather to the impact of these gases on the greenhouse effect."

"The real signature of greenhouse warming is not surface temperature but temperature in the middle of the troposphere, about five kilometers. And that is going up even slower than the temperature at the surface."

Here is a link that might be useful: NYC debate

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 6:40PM
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Look at this it appears the the Koch brothers are playing both sides of AGW.

About the world wide effort to enforce a carbon tax it is not as much about the money as it is a means for the UN to directly tax corporations/people versus relying on donations from member states. I don't see it as a coincidence that the UN is one of if not the biggest pedlars of AGW. Do I have proof of this? Of course not this is just what my gut feeling is telling me and it seems to make sense for the reasons given in my previous post.
As for scientist going along with it I think that most of them along with myself agree that the global population is a huge concern and limiting carbon emissions is a round about way of limiting the population. Less carbon means less people but nobody wants to be the bad guy by directly limiting population growth. Instead society will adapt more stringent carbon guidelines that will make it more expensive to have children. I think many if them are supporting the cause because of its side effects and might not really have an opinion as to how valid the science is.
I will keep reading and studying AGW but so fare I honestly can't get off of the fence as I see too many contradictions. Most of them from parties on either side trying to make a buck. The irony of it all is that I agree with getting off of fossil fuels; however I don't think we will get that. Instead in our world of greed and corruption we will probably get the worst possible outcome. More fossil fuels with more taxes on them, and nothing being done to actually move humanity forward.

P.S. Sorry to be such a downer, I need a beer now. Harvest you buying?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 7:01PM
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Swamps, I just checked out James Spann. You might want to not quote from people whose credentials you haven't evaluated.

He is not a meteorologist, as in a scientist that studies meteorology. He is a broadcast meteorologist--hired by TV and radio stations to predict the weather. He was originally a sports anchor and eventually transitioned to become a weatherman. He completed a certificate program (not a degree program) in meteorology in order to get a seal of approval from the AMS. To get the certification you basically submit a video and then there is "a 100-question multiple choice open-book examination as part of the evaluation process. The questions on the exam cover many aspects of the science of meteorology, forecasting and related principles. Applicants must answer at least 75 of the questions correctly before being awarded the CBM Seal."

Spann made the comments you quoted in response to a letter by Heidi Cullen saying that climate change opponents should not be granted the AMS seal (I disagree with her on this, btw). Heidi Cullen is a climate expert and former climates scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research. She has a doctorate in climatology and atmospheric dynamics.

Just looking at their credentials, I will tell you that given no other information about them I would be inclined to take Cullen's word over Spann's. I am not being an educational elitist, just respecting the fact that one person is scientifically trained in the discipline while the other is not.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 7:20PM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

"About the world wide effort to enforce a carbon tax it is not as much about the money as it is a means for the UN to directly tax corporations/people versus relying on donations from member states."

Where does this come from, Greg? While I'm aware that the UN has urged nations to implement carbon taxes, I'm not aware of any means by which the UN can directly impose taxes itself.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 7:25PM
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Etc, summarized in this article

Here is a link that might be useful: global warming alarmism

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 7:58PM
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    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 8:02PM
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In a 2009 paper, authors Pascal Diethelm and Martin McKee identified five characteristics common to scientific denialism. They are: conspiracy theories, fake experts, cherry picking, impossible expectations of what research can deliver, and
misrepresentation and logical fallacies. To their list I'd add outright fabrication. Even though they're closely related to conspiracy theories, since they seem to be an essential tool of denialists, I think I might also mention fake scandals.

Here is a link that might be useful: Denialism: What is it and how should scientists respond?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 8:43PM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

Thanks, Greg. I read the linked story as well as the document that contains the carbon tax proposal (World Economic and Social Survey 2012: In Search of New Development Finance), and, while it's worth noting that the carbon tax wouldn't actually be collected by the UN (it would be "collected by national authorities, but earmarked for international cooperation"), the end result would be much the same -- more funding for the UN and its global initiatives.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 8:58PM
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Deleted duplicate message

This post was edited by Andrew7a on Thu, Nov 7, 13 at 21:16

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 9:13PM
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"I will keep reading and studying AGW but so fare I honestly can't get off of the fence as I see too many contradictions."

I think that is a totally fine position. Much like Mike's stance (not saying no, just asking if it is really a bad thing/as bad as it is portrayed). You aren't putting your head in the sand; you are just being skeptical. I do want to reiterate HM's point from the Union of Concerned Scientists that there are fewer contradictions than you might think. Much of the confusion on the matter is intentionally caused by some groups on the anti side of the issue.

Swamps, are you just googling 'quotes against climate change'? That blog post is by Marc Moreno in 2007. Moreno is the guy that started the whole 'swiftboating' falsifications about John Kerry. In 2012 Media Matters named him "Climate Change Misinformer of the Year."

Philip Stott may sound like he has good credentials but he is not an expert in climatology or dynamics. Biogeography is the study of the distribution of animal and plant life around the planet. He has never produced a scholarly, peer-reviewed, or scientific article on climate sciences. While I'm sure he good at what he does, he should not be taken as an expert in that field.

Lindzen is an interesting character. Your quotes by him are both out of date and out of context. Here is something from an NYT interview of him from last year:
'"Dr. Lindzen accepts the elementary tenets of climate science. He agrees that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, calling people who dispute that point "nutty." He agrees that the level of it is rising because of human activity and that this should warm the climate." However, he believes that decreasing tropical cirrus clouds in a warmer world will allow more longwave radiation to escape the atmosphere, counteracting the warming. Lindzen first published this "iris" theory in 2001, and offered more support in a 2009 paper, but today "most mainstream researchers consider Dr. Lindzen’s theory discredited" according to the Times article. Dr. Lindzen acknowledged that the 2009 paper contained "some stupid mistakes" in his handling of the satellite data. "It was just embarrassing," he said in the Times interview.'

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 9:47PM
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alan haigh

I do find this amusing, but in the end, SF, you can dispute and try to enlighten, but once an issue enters the emotional realm of politics it is like arguing religion. I don't think a single participant here has altered the views they had going into the discussion.

Fence sitters remain on the fence and if we do end up with a catastrophe from inaction they will be likely to blame the out and out denialists (or skeptics) and feel they were perfectly reasonable on the matter. The skeptics will blame the catastrophe on natural events and say scientists who disagree are on the take, somehow.

If, in my lifetime, it turns out the fears were exaggerated, I'll blame the scientists, I guess. I will be very glad they were wrong, of course

I believe that unless there is a huge world economic upswing nothing meaningful will be done to reverse output of CO2, so perhaps I will live long enough to see this issue resolved for all except the absolute deniers of science based reasoning.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 6:40AM
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A note to all the fence sitters:

The models which are used to predict and validate the global warming scenario are known to be inaccurate as evidenced by the substantially lower actual warming than what has actually occurrred. It will be decades or even centuries before mankind has models sophisticated enough to accurately predict the effect on climate of a single variable like CO2.

The alarmists want to peg all the warming to CO2 when they have no sound basis for doing so. There is certainly a positive correlation between CO2 levels and global temps if one simply looks at historical climate data but one must also note that the earth has been MUCH warmer in the past before any CO2 from humanity.

With all that said I still think it's a bad idea to dump ever increasing amount of gasses into the atmosphere we all need to live so efforts toward the reduction of burning fossil fuels are still worthwhile. However, we spent the last 200+ years building a world economy based on fossil fuels and it'll take many decades to move away from that.

I also think putting governments in control of the effort is a certain prescription for failure.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 10:44AM
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I agree that none of us are necessarily changing each others views. But I'd like to think that on both sides we are exposing each other to why we take one stance or another.

I find it pretty interesting/informing to read the links for the anti side of the argument, not because I'm being smug or trying to look down on that position, but because I really want to understand where people on the opposite side of the issue are coming from.

Someone said it several posts back, but for the most part this issue will shake out in the next 10-15 years as we gather more data. I just want people to take it out of the emotional realm and evaluate the science based on merit, not on propaganda. I'm also pretty amazed by the general distrust of the scientific community. I googled "scientists are" and the auto-complete gives: liars, atheists, idiots, liberals, experimenting with a kind of gun (I don't get that last one).

I also am very concerned w/overpopulation but I don't think carbon emissions are a proxy for population growth, more for consumption. CO2 production per capita doesn't really track to birth rates. China is #162 and the USA is #147 in birth rates; whereas we are #1 and #2 in terms of carbon emissions (per capita as of 2009 we are #55 & #12; however this includes many small countries).

I am equally as bothered by the alarmists that treat the issue as a religion as I am for the flat out deniers. If you base your stance on facts and evidence (numbers, not the opinion statements of others) then you are legitimately furthering the discussion. If the current science has the wrong conclusions, then it should be changed as more data comes to light. If the current conclusions continue to be supported by future data, then I hope more people will accept it.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 11:03AM
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Here's the global temperature anomaly (land + sea surface) starting from 1880. The black line is the global mean for each year, the green line is the 30 year moving average, blue is the 10 year moving average, red is the 5 year moving average. When you don't cherry pick the data, the "pause" in surface warming doesn't look so impressive or meaningful. The 5 year moving average is just bumping against the 10 year moving average, and both moving averages are way (.17C) above the 30 year moving average.

Here is a link that might be useful: Source

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 12:51PM
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Here's how denialist websites like to cherry pick the above chart to show what they want people to believe.

I just pick the data points that I like, pick a trend indicator that points the right way, use a more recent, warmer base period to make it seem like very little warming has actually occurred, and then, Behold! Global warming is over! The planet's actually getting cooler! (In fact, I might actually want to use monthly anomalies to make it less obvious how little data I'm actually working with.)

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 1:49PM
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Ah, even better. I used the monthly anomalies. Lots more data points - it looks much more comprehensive. And it shows a slight cooling trend. Cherry picked to perfection, I think. (Sorry, I know it's hard to see - but I think you get the idea.)

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 2:47PM
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From the included link URL:

Hmmm, is there some giant, self-luminous ball of burning gas with a mass more than 300,000 times that of Earth and a core temperature of more than 20-million degrees Celsius, that for the past century or more has been unusually active and powerful? Is there something like that around which they all revolve that could be causing this multi-globe warming? Naw!

Here is a link that might be useful: Solar warming

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 3:46PM
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alan haigh

SF, I don't think you are thinking through the population issue. China is selling products to people all over the globe- not to polar bears. More people, more customers, more factories, more CO2.

The U.S. is ahead of the rest of the world in consumption, of course, but we are the proselitizers of a life style much of the rest of the world is rushing to emulate. If they'd follow the lead of the citizens of Bangladesh the earth could safely absorb a much higher human population.

Consider the global destruction of rainforest going on. Much of it can be directly tied to unlimited human encroachment due to our exploding population, obviously reducing the safe conversion of CO2.

The connection between all human pollution is directly tied to population even if it is not distributed in an equal per capita ratio- you just have to follow the data a little further.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 3:52PM
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I take your point. I guess what I was thinking is that in my mind overpopulation is it's own animal. Even if we move to being totally carbon neutral, get a handle on climate change, and stop general pollution; overpopulation will still be a problem. Water, food, space, etc. are limiting (not to mention disease). We may get more efficient at using these things, and maybe unlimited clean energy will solve a lot of the problems with limited water/food/etc, but there is some critical number of people we'll be able to reasonably fit on the planet.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 7:30PM
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Swampsnaggs, wouldn't climate scientists, past and present, be almost criminally stupid if thousands upon thousands of them had devoted their lives to understanding Earth's climate, and not one of them had ever stopped to consider that something as obvious as the sun might have some role to play in climate change? The sun's energy drives almost every climatological process on earth, after all. I mean, that would be really, really stupid of them if they somehow managed to completely overlook the sun, wouldn't it?

Turns out they're not stupid, and the sun was the first thing they thought of as a possible explanation for global warming. To investigate that possibility, they began scrutinizing the sun, carefully measuring its output for decades. All that measuring led to two important discoveries. First, the sun's output waxes and wanes on a cyclical basis. Second, the sun isn't responsible for global warming. Why? A major tipoff turned out to be the fact that while our climate has been warming rapidly these past 35 years, solar output has been gradually falling, exerting a cooling effect. So if our oceans and atmosphere are warming while the sun has been cooling, it ain't the sun what done it.

There are other reasons climate scientists know the sun isn't responsible for driving global warming too. I'll link you to them below. But first...

I find it really interesting that you believe that global warming is going on on other planets. On one hand, you don't think earthbound scientists are competent enough to understand our own planet's climate, and you also don't seem to trust them enough to tell you the truth about what they don't understand because you're convinced they're part of a conspiracy to take your money and freedom away. But you apparently do think it's plausible that they're able to understand the climates of planets tens to hundreds of millions of miles away, even though they have next to no data on them, and you're apparently happy to accept as truthful whatever claims they might make about the changes these alien climates are undergoing. You even think it's plausible that these conspiratorial scientists would actually tell you other planets are warming, even though in doing so they'd be undermining the big lie you say they're trying to put over on everyone in a glaringly obvious way.

Don't you think you're trying to have it both ways, maybe just a little bit?

Here is a link that might be useful: Sun & Climate

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 9:25PM
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Harvestman and SF, as you know, when it comes to global warming, the size of the human population is problematic because as the many billions of people in the developing world strive to improve their quality of life, they're going to consume more and more energy, and currently that primarily means burning more and more fossil fuels. But it needn't necessarily mean that. As I've said before, we can generate nuclear power cleanly and safely using thorium, and we have enough thorium on this planet to provide abundant energy for everyone for at least the next 4,000 years. Almost everything you can think of that improves our lives that currently involves fossil fuels could be powered directly or indirectly from thorium-derived nuclear energy. This includes, among other things, the synthesis of fertilizers, the creation of liquid fuels using carbon taken straight out of the atmosphere, electricity to run our cars, and so much more.

The prospect of a huge human population might proove detrimental to life on this planet for other reasons though. Destruction of wilderness and habitat fragmentation are two threats even a carbon-neutral humanity could easily continue to pose to the web of life that supports us.

Have a look at the video in the link below. I really think this is one of the best hopes we have of avoiding the nastier global warming scenarios. People generally do want to protect our environment, but apparently not enough to make many meaningful sacrifices to their high-energy lifestyles. Abundant, clean, safe nuclear power would render it unnecessary for people to choose between preserving the climate and pursuing an ever-increasing standard of living.

Here is a link that might be useful: Power from Thorium

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 10:07PM
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alan haigh

Nuclear power may have created a premature rejection by environmentalists because of the clear dangers of accidents which can create instant and almost irreversible environmental catastrophe. The technology has to be almost perfect to be acceptable.

I've always been concerned about the issue of radioactive waste, which at this time, can only be stored, maintaining its dangerous form for centuries, as I understand it. These storage sites rely on the seismic stability of the sites themselves which is never absolutely secure, wherever they are constructed. People in the areas are likely to always object to having these sites in their backyards.

I didn't read your link and have only a sketchy idea of what I'm talking about, but I believe it represents the most common concerns about switching to nuclear power.

Again, I consider this a question for scientists to hash out and once a general consensus is reached the public can pressure politicians to follow the advice that seems most reasonable. That's how it would work in an ideal world where propaganda and hidden agendas didn't muddy the waters.

It is frustrating to live in a time where technology could assure a very comfortable and interesting life for most every citizen if we were collectively organized to serve such a purpose. Human nature doesn't seem to render such an outcome possible even as that same nature leads us to this tantalizing potential.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 8:33AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

My thoughts are that many of you are idealists, and I'm more a realist. What we have now is not going to change.
I'll never believe the falsehoods presented are factual.
My science training is too deep. It's about money not the environment. The cronyism going on today is worse than ever. I have never seen such favoritism, such corruption before. Obama is doing what Nixon always wanted to do, but never pulled it off.
We have to rely on ourselves, our government is down right broke. How they can get away with borrowing money from themselves really floors me, some day that bubble will burst.
To explain the federal reserve is borrowing money to the government as most countries will no longer buy our bonds. The federal reserve is independent, sort of, like the post office is independent, same thing. Better get your boots out, as it is thick around here, and soon will not work.
Our grand kids will be paying this debt off, well unless we default, and it looks like we have to. I wish they would just do it now and get it over with. The federal reserve just prints more money out and that will not work forever.
In 1960 1 oz of gold would buy about 12 barrels of oil. Today 1 oz of gold will buy about 12 barrels of oil. What's changed? How much the dollar is worth, as when they print more, the value decreases. So now you know who really raised the price of gas. The price of oil has not changed, the buying power of the dollar sure has though, and as long as we keep borrowing money from ourselves, this will continue. We are in the worst times ever in this country. It's just the start, the next 50 years are going to put all other past problems to shame. Our government has no way to pay it's bills. All services will have to shut down. Our credit will soon be no good. Yet now people expect the government to pay for healthcare. Ha! What a joke!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 3:45PM
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alan haigh

Sorry Drew, but you need to study economics before you are entitled to preach it.

We do keep printing more money and the rest of the world keeps acting as if the money is real. If the rest of the world falls for this scam we should count our blessings. Runaway Inflation hasn't happened as predicted because the dollar is still king. Who cares about bonds when we can still buy what we want from any country on the planet with our funny money?

I only wish the money was being used to invest in our future instead of sustaining the bloated American lifestyle and the obscene wealth of plutocrats.

On climate change, every scientific issue you raised was refuted and you simply ignored that and went on to another claim. You backed your position by outliers who admit to being financed by the Koch Bros. and Exon Mobile while you rail that your enemies are on the take.

Everyone believes they are the realists in any political argument (and probably every mental asylum).

"My science training is just too deep". What does that mean? You've been debating with at least one person with much more academic background in science as far as I can tell, although you haven't presented your specific credentials. That is such a silly statement in the context of so many top scientists disagreeing with your positions.

Nixon attempted what Obama is succeeding at? That is a novel concept.

I'm really sorry that you feel we are "in the worst times in this country". I certainly am a lot more comfortable than the knowable generations that preceded my parents. These are wonderful times, but, like you, I worry for the future. My life has been great (relatively speaking) but I fear my son and grandson may have a different and much more challenging reality in their futures.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 5:25PM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

"Nixon attempted what Obama is succeeding at?"

My guess is that he's referring to the fact that "Nixon proposed, in essence, today’s Affordable Care Act" (as you're probably already aware, hm). Presumably, since Nixon was a know.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 7:02PM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

If you're looking for a good example of a myth that's been manufactured and perpetuated by a select group of people for their own personal ends (which, of course, is the position that many skeptics take with respect to climate change), then you'd be hard pressed to find a better one than the myth that the US is in the midst of a debt crisis.

This post was edited by shazaam on Sat, Nov 9, 13 at 19:18

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 7:16PM
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Harvestman, you certainly do highlight the public's perception of the dangers of nuclear power. How accurate those perceptions are is an entirely separate matter.

In the entire history of the nuclear power industry, there have been three major accidents: Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi. Of those three, only Chernobyl resulted in fatalaties and detectable public health problems. According to UN estimates, to date the Chernobyl accident has resulted in 59 deaths among plant staff and cleanup crew, and about 6,000 cases of thyroid cancer with a survival rate of 99%, for a total of 119. For the entire nuclear industry. Even the grimmest estimates, which don't appear to stand up to scrutiny, that claim that the true death toll is in the thousands, still pale in comparison to the estimates of the deaths caused directly and indirectly from coal fired power plants. This mode of power production, which the public perceives to be safe, produces 13,000 excess fatalities every year in the US alone. Similar estimates for the rest of the world (which I'll hunt down if you'd like) range into the millions.

What irreversible environmental catastrophe has the worst nuclear accident in history produced? Google "Chernobyl wildlife" and see what you find. It would seem that the exclusion zone is a sanctuary for wildlife that are thriving by any measure.

All of this is sort of irrelevant when you're considering nuclear energy from liquid fluoride thorium reactors (LFTR), because this method of power generation is completely different from the nuclear technology we use today. LFTRs physically cannot melt down because in order to operate, the fuel already has to be molten. They are extremely efficient too. I'll chase down the source, but I saw a lecture on this topic, and the presenter showed three standard sized shipping containers and explained that all the thorium fuel we'd need to power the entire US for a year would fit in those shipping containers, and so would the by-products it would produce. Those by-products wouldn't entirely waste either - many of them have uses in a wide number of applications, including medicine.

You might wonder why we don't already generate power this way. Working models of this reactor were built in the US in the 1960s and early 1970s. Funding for the program to develop the technology was canceled under the Nixon administration because nuclear power from Thorium is a terrible way to try to produce weapons-grade fissile material, and at the time, it was determined that commercial nuclear power generation needed to work synergistically with our nuclear weapons industry. The nuclear power industry we have today is a legacy of the cold war. In a sense, we don't have nuclear power from thorium because it's too safe.

This is really exciting technology and I urge you to take a look a the link I included in a previous post. It is a link to a 5 minute video put together by a nuclear engineer talking about the virtues of this form of power generation.

(By the way, I have absolutely no connection whatsoever to the nuclear industry.)

Here is a link that might be useful: WHO: True Scale of Chernobyl Accident

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 9:13PM
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some text cut from the following link:

"The government’s chief scientific officer, Sir David King, later declared that climate change was “more serious even than the threat of terrorism” in terms of the number of lives that could be lost. Such language is never used about the cold, which kills at least 10 times as many people every winter. Before long, every political party had signed up to the green agenda.

Since Sir David’s exhortations, some 250,000 Brits have died from the cold, and 10,000 from the heat. It is horribly clear that we have been focusing on the wrong enemy. Instead of making sure energy was affordable, ministers have been trying to make it more expensive, with carbon price floors and emissions trading schemes. Fuel prices have doubled over seven years, forcing millions to choose between heat and food ...."

Here is a link that might be useful: Warming?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 9:31PM
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alan haigh

Yes, Andrew, I was summarizing the objections that are in the public realm. This is not an issue I've done much reading about and I am not personally opposed to the consideration of the expansion of nuclear energy.

You didn't mention the issue of spent fuel rods (I think it is), and I find your statistics about Chernobyl surprising. When I have time I'll check it out and see if you are quoting accepted fact that relates the full picture. I have read that it is a rather large tract of land that is no longer habitable including a lot of former farm land, but the details have long since fallen through the grey cracks.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 9:58PM
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Swampsnaggs, the point you're making is another red herring. Even if the planet were to warm by 5 degrees celsius (9 degrees fahrenheit), it will still be cold enough in places all over the earth for people to die of exposure.

The reason global warming has the potential to be catastrophic has nothing to do with temperatures at which humans are physically comfortable. It has the potential to be catastrophic because of the way it will change weather patterns, destroy and/or shift habitats, cause agricultural upheaval, cause sea level rises that inundate coastal cities, and produce extinctions. Death by heat exhaustion ranks near the bottom of the list of dangers presented by global warming.

Oh, and another thing. I can tell you, because it's true and because I've lived there, that the UK is a nation that doesn't experience hot weather. Their idea of a heat wave is temperatures in the low to mid 80s. Temperatures in the low 90s make sensational news. If you're not used to it, that kind of heat can be uncomfortable, but it isn't deadly except to the most frail members of the population. Hypothermia, which can kill, can occur at air temperatures as high as the 60s. Water temperatures of 50 degrees can induce hypothermia. The UK is colder than this most of the time - and it's damp too. In a nation like this, of course you're going to have far more cold-related fatalities than heat related fatalities. Making this argument would be like saying that global warming isn't a problem because no one dies from the heat in Greenland, but lots of people there die from the cold.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 10:13PM
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Harvestman, I didn't mention spent rods of nuclear fuel (which are almost entirely unburned fuel) because liquid fluoride thorium reactors don't use fuel rods. In terms of current nuclear power production, what to do with nuclear waste is really a political problem because of public fear, rather than a public health problem or an engineering problem. Fortunately, LFTRs could actually make this problem largely disappear because they can actually burn the nuclear waste the industry has generated thus far.

You know who else found the statistics about Chernobyl surprising? Scientists. They had been predicting death tolls in the tens of thousands and the fallout region to be a nuclear wasteland.

I saw an interesting BBC documentary about radiation I'll provide the link for. It's about an hour long. Worth watching if you've got the time. Apparently scientists have long assumed, for lack of evidence, that the relationship between risk of health problems and radiation dose was linear. It seems that's actually not the case. The curve seems to be J shaped, not / shaped.

The video relates to the evidence about the safety of today's nuclear technology. I want to stress though that the nuclear technology I'm talking about is completely different - safer, cleaner, and for several reasons it will almost certainly be far cheaper too.

Nuclear power, and radiation in general, is an issue environmentalists tend to get very emotional about. I actually find it hard to talk to most of them about this subject because, as with out global warming denying friends, they make their judgment based on their prejudices and their feelings, not the evidence or the science. I think though that eventually, environmentalists are going to come around to accepting that nuclear power is the best option currently on the table.

Here is a link that might be useful: BBC Horizon - Fukushima: Is Nuclear Power Safe?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 10:38PM
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Harvestman, here is a link to the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation's assessment of the effects of the Chernobyl accident.

Here is an article that gives the most comprehensive overview of the science going on in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone that I've read so far:

And a few more relevant links:

Another point worth mentioning is that, according to nuclear engineers, the design of the reactor at Chernobyl is antiquated. They say looking at it is sort of like looking at the Wright Brother's flyer. It works, but we have much better designs today.

Again this is a side issue. LFTR technology is totally different and has virtually none of the potential problems associated with it that current nuclear technology does.

Here is a link that might be useful: UNSCEAR Assessment of the Chernobyl Accident

This post was edited by Andrew7a on Sun, Nov 10, 13 at 2:33

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 10:54PM
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alan haigh

Thanks for the links, but is there a reason you haven't responded to the issue of storing nuclear waste? Maybe that's covered in one of the links.

I was aware of the antiquity issue as it was all over the media after the Japanese accident. Of course, latest technology is only as flawed as its usage reveals.

I live about 20 miles from an old style nuclear power plant that does seem excessively dangerous given its close proximity to NYC- just the fact if was built in the most densely populated area in the U.S.

I believe I've read that it is not as dangerous as the Japanese model but it is telling that in a very liberal state where the majority as well as the governor himself would like to shut it down it continues to operate. That in itself is a strong reason for being very cautious about proceeding on the path of more nuclear power.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 8:05AM
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alan haigh

Andrew, here is what I found after a very short search. Now I must assess who funds the Union of Concerned Scientists.

There are billions on the line here so we must remain skeptical, right?

Here is a link that might be useful: nuclear power and global warming

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 8:32AM
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