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Global Warming

HefflingHeffling No PicEverRegistered User regular
edited July 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
New thread to avoid off topic posting in another thread:
tehmarken wrote: »
Heffling wrote: »
tehmarken wrote: »
Actually, I think it's been pretty much proven that the burning of fossil fuels and the excessive release of CO2 into the atmosphere, along with other chemicals like the CFC damage to the Ozone layer, have all artifically caused the current state of global warming; or at the very least made it more severe.

And the concern isn't about life being wiped out. The concern is that global warming is causing climate shifts that are really fucking up societies. People aren't gonna be wiped out, but when they can't grow food in certain places anymore, and changing the growing seasons and what foods can be grown in different areas. Messes up food supply in poor countries, and messes up prices in rich countries.

Paying a few cents more per orange isn't a big deal to anybody living well enough to have internet access. But in the third world when you lose an acre of farmable land to the desert, or because a late frost, or a sudden flood, it's a big deal.

Burning fossil fuels certainly releases CO2 into the atmosphere. However, I think it's far from proven that the amount of CO2 that man releases into the atmosphere will have a significant effect on global temperatures.

For example, there is a well published relationship between solar activity and global temperatures. It makes sense, as the Sun provides the Earth with practically all external energy input. And when compared to the amount of energy absorbed by the sun, the actual internal energy generation due to things like nuclear decay becomes insignificant.

For an example, see this Wikipedia Link.

Do you know what the strongest greenhouse gas in the world is? Water vapor. Water vapor accounts for in excess of 95% of the solar radiation absorbed by all greenhouse gasses. And yet, we don't try to control water. Why? Because we know it's a battle we cannot win. The oceans, seas, and lakes of the world do more to add to water vapor to the atmosphere than anything man does.

Additionally, there is a great deal of debate in scientific communities about the amount of CO2 that is added to the atmosphere both by man and by nature, with estimates ranging from man made contributions exceeding volcanoes by a factor of one hundred and fifty (150) to all natural sources of CO2 exceeding man-made contributions by a factor of 30 or more.

Here is an excellent article on the subject.

I don't claim to be an expert on Global Warming, but I do recall that two decades ago when I was a kid, the great fear in the news was the coming of the next Ice Age. And keep in mind that weather predictions are only accurate out to about three days. I would take with a grain of salt anyone's claims that they know how the world wide temperatures will look in a hundred years.

I'm not trying to convince you that Global Warming (or Climate Change, as the latest buzzword puts it) doesn't exist. I just want to make sure you're educated on the role that man may or may not play in the grand scheme of things.

I totally agree that a major climate change would be a disaster. Unfortunately for man, this is a natural part of the global cycle, and we may have no choice but to adapt. I lean towards man not having a significant impact on global temperatures (although the localized effects can be severe due to ubranization), but the jury's still out on this issue.

In regards to solar activity, I don't think we have the kind of records to know how that's been changing. Technology changes, and so the accuracy of measurements also changes. I don't think we've had accurate enough measurement tools to be able to confirm or deny the changes in solar activity and their effect on global warming; but it is a possibility.

Second, it would seem that water vapor would be a constant. Water vapor in the atmosphere shouldn't have changed much over hundreds of years.

I'm just coming from an engineering view of problems: if there's something that you know changed, and there's a problem, they're probably related. The most definitive change we know of it the extra release of CO2 in the atmosphere, so it's an obvious subject.

But I think the reason for policy change should be that we know CO2 MIGHT effect global warming / climate change. We build safeguards against things we know, or are pretty sure, can cause problems to prevent future problems.

Hell, you can even completely ignore the climate implications of fossil fuels. They're a finite resource. And fuel sources like wind and water, while finite, are at much much higher capacity. (Laws of Physics and Thermodynamics means that at some point, you could build enough wind turbines or water wheels across the world to slow down and stop the wind and water cycles; but it's a ridiculously high number).
Solar power is virtually infinite, because it's energy that has already been cast out by an external system. Utilizing solar energy doesn't deplete the amount being thrown out my the sun, so from a practical standpoint in the Earth system it's an infinite and constant energy source.

We've had reasonably accurate temperature measurements for most of the 20th century. Unfortunately, each of these temperature measurements represents only one single value that is made up of a large number of factors. A large part of the apparent global warming we see today could be due to urbanization effects, as concrete holds heat better than raw soil.

With the advent of widespread satellites, we're getting more accurate global readings that still show a strong correlation(sp?) between sunspot activity and global temperatures. We're at the point now of determining if this is a causation.

Water vapor is no more a constant than temperature is. If the Earth warms, then the air warms, and the density decreases. Humidity actually acts to decrease the density of the air and water vapor mixture. So the amount of water vapor that can absorb solar energy decreases. This creates a self-regulating cycle and helps to explain why over the history of the Earth there hasn't been a run-away temperature increase.

The problems I see with regulating CO2 are:

1) It has been demonstrated scientifically that the effects of CO2 on Global Warming are relatively small.
2) It uses up a large amount of human potential to control even a very small amount of human made CO2. This means, we're spending alot of energy to control a very very small part of Global Warming.

The cost for regulation of CO2 is staggering. Money is a good representation of human time, and look at the increased costs in fuel, industry, agriculture, automotive, and other sources due to CO2 controls. It's quite mind boggling, and will only continue to get worse as more regulations are created.

Now, it may be that controlling this slight effect may be the only thing that saves humanity in the long run. But we can't know that it will be, as there is no way to measure any choice we don't follow. My opinion is that those that take this position (and I'm not saying you do) are just like those who believe in salvation if you follow their religion, and when you say you don't believe in their faith, the response is "what if you're wrong?" (Note: I am not calling out any religion specifically, so don't take offense at this.)

So, you have to weigh the risks. I think the potential lost in humanity as a species due to limiting our development by controlling CO2 emissions greatly outweighs the potential loss of human development if we're wrong and should have followed this course.

P.S. I've got a Masters in Mechanical Engineering, so that's why I take an engineering approach to this topic.

Heffling on
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    Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Sunspot activity isn't tied to global tempature. The sun has been getting less intense, not more. We have good data for this century, from there it gets more speculative, but the data (and CO2 readings) do exist.

    As for the problems:
    1. No. Very no. CO2 the main man-emitted greenhouse gas; others are technically more powerful, but by sheer quantity CO2 'wins'.
    2. Define "very small amount". Over 20 billion tons annually is not trivial. Nor is emitting enough CO2 to send its proportion in the atmosphere rising by ~18% (320 PPM to 380 PPM) in the last 50 years.

    You keep calling it a "slight effect". It isn't. Moving sea levels, alternating farming belts and deserts, moving the climate around rapidly is a recipe for disaster. Don't trivialize the problem.

    Regardless, fossil fuels have to go away. Even if you toss the CO2 argument out completely, the stuff is dirty as hell, funds hostile nations, and is dropping in availability. (except coal, so far)

    Phoenix-D on
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    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Ok the sun spot thing isn't just bullshit, it's complete bullshit. The papers published on it were insanely misleading - basically they show a 7 year trend, but had way more data then that. Why only show a 7 year trend? Because outside of those 7 years where there's an incidental correlation the data diverges wildly!

    It was bullshit when it was published and it's bullshit now.

    The best graph I could find on short notice (the one showing the incidental 7 years is absurdly widespread):
    temp_vs_spot_irradiance.gif

    electricitylikesme on
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    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Sunspot activity isn't tied to global tempature. The sun has been getting less intense, not more. We have good data for this century, from there it gets more speculative, but the data (and CO2 readings) do exist.

    As for the problems:
    1. No. Very no. CO2 the main man-emitted greenhouse gas; others are technically more powerful, but by sheer quantity CO2 'wins'.
    2. Define "very small amount". Over 20 billion tons annually is not trivial. Nor is emitting enough CO2 to send its proportion in the atmosphere rising by ~18% (320 PPM to 380 PPM) in the last 50 years.

    You keep calling it a "slight effect". It isn't. Moving sea levels, alternating farming belts and deserts, moving the climate around rapidly is a recipe for disaster. Don't trivialize the problem.

    Regardless, fossil fuels have to go away. Even if you toss the CO2 argument out completely, the stuff is dirty as hell, funds hostile nations, and is dropping in availability. (except coal, so far)

    You know what else has a very slight effect? Lunar gravity.

    At it's closest point, Lunar gravity will try to accelerate objects towards it by 0.0000366 ms-2. This means local earth gravity (assuming it's 9.8 ms-2) is reduced by 0.0004%.

    Lunar gravity changes the heights of the oceans around the planet by several meters on a daily basis, induces stresses in the crust which contribute to causing Earth quakes, and applies some drag to the atmosphere we live in.

    Yet at most it can reduce surface gravity by 0.0004%.

    electricitylikesme on
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    themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The cost for regulation of CO2 is staggering. Money is a good representation of human time, and look at the increased costs in fuel, industry, agriculture, automotive, and other sources due to CO2 controls. It's quite mind boggling, and will only continue to get worse as more regulations are created.

    I'm not sure how staggering the cost of dealing with CO2 is but I agree with you in principle. I'm in a pretty lonely place though: people who put a lot of value on existing people and less value on future people.

    themightypuck on
    “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but water vapor is something that dissipates and reoccurrs naturally in the hydrologic cycle. Human-released CO2 is something that is released in addition to regular cycles, and does not dissipate naturally.

    Loren Michael on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The cost for regulation of CO2 is staggering. Money is a good representation of human time, and look at the increased costs in fuel, industry, agriculture, automotive, and other sources due to CO2 controls. It's quite mind boggling, and will only continue to get worse as more regulations are created.

    There's already an enormous cost, it's just not paid at the pump (as it were). Carbon pricing and/or a cap-and-trade system just makes the costs more evident.

    Loren Michael on
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    override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    For the pump we need to kind of blend over to the cars thread - America has a gigantic invisible gas subsidy that completely hides the externalities. If people paid what gas actually cost at the pump (and had the tax money that would have gone into keeping it that low refunded), opinions might change

    override367 on
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    themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The cost for regulation of CO2 is staggering. Money is a good representation of human time, and look at the increased costs in fuel, industry, agriculture, automotive, and other sources due to CO2 controls. It's quite mind boggling, and will only continue to get worse as more regulations are created.

    There's already an enormous cost, it's just not paid at the pump (as it were). Carbon pricing and/or a cap-and-trade system just makes the costs more evident.

    True. People tend to ignore future cleanup costs. Just look at the copper mines in Montana. The problem with Global Warming is that it is very hard to figure out what the externalities are and people who want us to consider said externalities frequently don't have good arguments. I see a lot of Pascal's Wagers.

    themightypuck on
    “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius

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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    For the pump we need to kind of blend over to the cars thread - America has a gigantic invisible gas subsidy that completely hides the externalities. If people paid what gas actually cost at the pump (and had the tax money that would have gone into keeping it that low refunded), opinions might change

    Yeah. It's not like subsidies (and their equivalents) aren't paid for. If we paid more for gas we'd be paying less for other shit.

    Loren Michael on
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    override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Another thing is if we put the department of transportation's budget into the price of gas, I mean - beyond the supply line assurance and invisible price controls, keeping all the roads functional is expensive (although it's not like anyone's been paying for that lately anyway)

    override367 on
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    themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    For the pump we need to kind of blend over to the cars thread - America has a gigantic invisible gas subsidy that completely hides the externalities. If people paid what gas actually cost at the pump (and had the tax money that would have gone into keeping it that low refunded), opinions might change

    Yeah. It's not like subsidies (and their equivalents) aren't paid for. If we paid more for gas we'd be paying less for other shit.

    The serious externalities are in the future. How do we price them?

    themightypuck on
    “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”
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    Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    For the pump we need to kind of blend over to the cars thread - America has a gigantic invisible gas subsidy that completely hides the externalities. If people paid what gas actually cost at the pump (and had the tax money that would have gone into keeping it that low refunded), opinions might change

    Yeah. It's not like subsidies (and their equivalents) aren't paid for. If we paid more for gas we'd be paying less for other shit.
    Yeah, because if there's one thing Congress does a lot, it's balance budgets.

    Captain Carrot on
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Heffling wrote: »
    Additionally, there is a great deal of debate in scientific communities about the amount of CO2 that is added to the atmosphere both by man and by nature, with estimates ranging from man made contributions exceeding volcanoes by a factor of one hundred and fifty (150) to all natural sources of CO2 exceeding man-made contributions by a factor of 30 or more.

    Totally false.

    Volcanoes: 123-378 million tons of CO2 per year.
    Humans: 36 billion tons of CO2 per year.

    http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hazards/gas/climate.php
    Heffling wrote: »
    AI don't claim to be an expert on Global Warming, but I do recall that two decades ago when I was a kid, the great fear in the news was the coming of the next Ice Age.

    Sure... in the news. But reported aren't scientists. In the late 60s and early 70s, climatologists noticed a cooling trend. They reported the data, speculated about causes, and identified the need for more research. In 1975 the National Academy of Sciences published a summary report saying, basically, "We're not sure what this means. We should collect more data." Some mass media publications - notably Newsweek, in their "Cooling World" article - went hysterical over this and called it a new ice age. But at no point did mainstream climatologists sound any alarms or any calls for action over it - they merely identified and reported the trend, as is their job.

    To say "hey, 40 years ago some reporters pissed their panties over a data trend, therefore the overwhelming body of evidence and scientific consensus in favor of anthropogenic global warming today is suspect" is flagrant false equivocation.
    Heffling wrote: »
    And keep in mind that weather predictions are only accurate out to about three days.

    Again, totally untrue. Weather predictions for specific cities or specific days are inaccurate, because weather is a wide-scale phenomenon. But weather predictions for large regions, or the entire globe, or averages across several weeks, are much more accurate.

    Heffling wrote: »
    the jury's still out on this issue.

    The jury's not out. At all. Every major climatological, meteorological, geological, and ecological organization worldwide agrees that global warming is real. The overwhelming majority agree that man is the primary cause - the tiny minority that don't explicitly acknowledge man as the cause are simply mum on that particular issue. We have scientific consensus.

    The "Climategate" emails that you hear about, or the manufactured Hulme controversy, are not about whether global warming is real, or whether humans are the cause. They're about specific models, about the speed or severity of change, or localized predictions.

    Basically, everybody with any expertise on the matter agrees: we've fucked up. The only question is how badly we've fucked up.

    Feral on
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    L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but water vapor is something that dissipates and reoccurrs naturally in the hydrologic cycle. Human-released CO2 is something that is released in addition to regular cycles, and does not dissipate naturally.

    Yes. Water vapour being a greenhouse gas is completely irrelevant, since it's in equilibrium in the atmosphere. The levels are pretty much constant no matter what. CO2 levels depend on how much shit we burn and how much of that is absorbed by the environment, and the environmental reservoirs are running out.

    L|ama on
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    autono-wally, erotibot300autono-wally, erotibot300 love machine Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Yeah, nobody with any knowledge in the field is doubting that it will happen.
    Questions are more along the line of "how much will it fuck us up"" and "when will it fuck us up?", not "will it fuck us up?"

    autono-wally, erotibot300 on
    kFJhXwE.jpgkFJhXwE.jpg
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    LoklarLoklar Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    We should stop subsidizing the cost of coal and oil, and attempt to price in the cost of cleanup into the price at the pump. Those of us who have a great need to burn fossil fuels can pay the real costs of doing so.

    Cap and trade worries me if the cap is artificial. It also worries me where the money goes, I wouldn't trust governments to not take oil-for-cleanup money and spend it on something more popular that grabs votes.
    If someone buys fuel they should pay the fair market price for the oil and the fair market price of the cleanup. And if we're worried about poor people being able to afford energy, we should give them money which they can choose to buy gas with or choose to rent a home closer to their place of work, or whatever they want to do.

    There was a section in Super Freakonomicsabout sucking carbon out of the atmosphere at low-cost. Has that been debunked yet?

    Fake Edit: Google seems to say that the Global Warming section of Super Freakonomics was rubbish. Hmm..

    Loklar on
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    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    How in god's name were they proposing to suck CO2 out of the air on an mega-industrial scale at low cost?

    electricitylikesme on
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    IsidoreIsidore Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    You know what alarms me? Capitalism has a crisis (bank collapse), and immediately the west can find trillions of dollars to steady it, and are more than prepared to punish the people, whose actions did very little to create the crisis, with needlessly harsh austerity measures.

    Our entire ecology is under the threat of a similar collapse, and what are we doing? Either questioning if it will happen at all, or arguing about how much exactly a bit of CO2 is worth.

    I used to laugh at The Day After Tomorow, because it presents a set of governments who have to watch New York become a second siberia before they even think of taking action. Then I see threads like this and I just despair.

    Isidore on
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    LindenLinden Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Loklar wrote: »
    There was a section in Super Freakonomicsabout sucking carbon out of the atmosphere at low-cost. Has that been debunked yet?

    Fake Edit: Google seems to say that the Global Warming section of Super Freakonomics was rubbish. Hmm..

    There's a reasonable pair of responses responses at RealClimate.

    Linden on
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    AurinAurin Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    How in god's name were they proposing to suck CO2 out of the air on an mega-industrial scale at low cost?

    MegaMaid.
    megamaid-spaceballs.jpg

    Aurin on
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    The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2010
    How in god's name were they proposing to suck CO2 out of the air on an mega-industrial scale at low cost?

    Army of plantmen. They'll double as a source of cheap labour! What could possibly go wrong?

    Regulating C doesn't have to be insanely expensive, but there is a problem with measuring it accurately and cheaply for offsets, particularly for farmers. Soil C stores are pretty massive, and most agricultural land is C-deficient thanks to decades of industrial farming. There's a lot of room in those soils to sequester C simply by changing some agricultural practices, but that requires a capital investment that needs to be paid for somehow. Offsets are one way, but calculating and monitoring flows of C and money... not easy.

    The Cat on
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    The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Do you know what the strongest greenhouse gas in the world is? Water vapor. Water vapor accounts for in excess of 95% of the solar radiation absorbed by all greenhouse gasses. And yet, we don't try to control water. Why? Because we know it's a battle we cannot win. The oceans, seas, and lakes of the world do more to add to water vapor to the atmosphere than anything man does.

    Water & CO2 have entirely different radiation absorption profiles. Water absorbs more radiation overall, but the range is within the 18-30 micrometer band - whereas CO2 absorbs the infrared in the 8-18 micrometer band. In effect, CO2 can be thought of as plugging up an important cooling mechanism for the planet.

    The Ender on
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    KastanjKastanj __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2010
    It's fun watching right-wingers and libertarians defend a socialist system.

    They don't want us poor westerners to pay the full price for the externalities associated with our production and consumption, so instead they expect people in the third world to subsidize our lifestyles.

    Yup, the "western society", the zenith of man's development, sophistication and sense of justice, is currently reliant on a status quo that is morally and economically incompatible with the writings of right-wing darlings like von Mises or Friedman.

    The ramifications of this is that there is no morally pure way to live, and that the idealized view of our society as aggressive and assertive only when necessary is ridiculous. Even in peacetime, we can't manage without behaving like thieves and parasites.

    There is no reason whatsoever to be proud of post-WWII society on a macro scale. It's unsustainable, oppressive and most of all weak and reliant on more than just our own gumption and hard work. The older generation whine about how nihilist and post-modern we are, but they have built societies that are permeated with relativism - for the sake of consumption, they have rejected the ideals they superficially adore.

    The conservatives can prattle and extol all they want, but more intelligent people like me know that as long as the people of Bangladesh have to suffer so that we can see our GDP figures go up a little more, we have accomplished nothing and evolved minimally. We have failed. Only technology and a willpower to bow to the smarter can save our heritage, I think. In a world where climate "skeptics" are not tarred and feathered by default, deciding on energy policy can't be left to democracy.

    Kastanj on
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    LoklarLoklar Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Kastanj wrote: »
    It's fun watching right-wingers and libertarians defend a socialist system.

    They don't want us poor westerners to pay the full price for the externalities associated with our production and consumption, so instead they expect people in the third world to subsidize our lifestyles.

    Yup, the "western society", the zenith of man's development, sophistication and sense of justice, is currently reliant on a status quo that is morally and economically incompatible with the writings of right-wing darlings like von Mises or Friedman.

    The ramifications of this is that there is no morally pure way to live, and that the idealized view of our society as aggressive and assertive only when necessary is ridiculous. There is no reason whatsoever to be proud of post-WWII society on a macro scale. It's unsustainable, oppressive and most of all weak and reliant on more than just our own gumption and hard work. The older generation whine about how nihilist and post-modern we are, but they have built societies that are permeated with relativism - for the sake of consumption, they have rejected the ideals they superficially adore.

    The conservatives can prattle and extol all they want, but more intelligent people like me know that as long as the people of Bangladesh have to suffer so that we can see our GDP figures go up a little more, we have accomplished nothing and evolved minimally. We have failed. Only technology and a willpower to bow to the smarter can save our heritage, I think.

    wat?

    Edit for a real responce: The reason why the west burns so much fuel is because it is subsidized by a big government. Not exactly the kind of thing Von Misses our Freidman were for.

    In fact, I'm pretty sure Global Warming could be considered one of those "unintended consequences of government intervention" that minds like Freidman warned about.

    Loklar on
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    KastanjKastanj __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2010
    Sorry for the haranguing post, but it's pretty obvious that the unwillingness to deal with the side-effects of our pollution shows how immature and pretentious the West is.

    Edit: Don't be silly. The people of the third world can't use force or a governing agency to make us stop destroying their lives. Which is why we will probably never stop doing it. Even if there was no government in our societies, we would still have no problem producing and consuming without paying the full price for our behavior. Why? Because producers and consumers won't live to see the horrendous economic damage they will cause.

    Man is selfish and acts in his own self-interest throughout his lifetime. This is fine. But societies and ecosystems have a longer time-frame, and if a man expects to be a member of our species, he will bow to collective demands.

    Kastanj on
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    LoklarLoklar Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I edited my post to add a couple sentences. So it's not just "wat" anymore. :P

    Loklar on
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    Alistair HuttonAlistair Hutton Dr EdinburghRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    Heffling wrote: »
    AI don't claim to be an expert on Global Warming, but I do recall that two decades ago when I was a kid, the great fear in the news was the coming of the next Ice Age.

    Sure... in the news. But reported aren't scientists. In the late 60s and early 70s, climatologists noticed a cooling trend. They reported the data, speculated about causes, and identified the need for more research. In 1975 the National Academy of Sciences published a summary report saying, basically, "We're not sure what this means. We should collect more data." Some mass media publications - notably Newsweek, in their "Cooling World" article - went hysterical over this and called it a new ice age. But at no point did mainstream climatologists sound any alarms or any calls for action over it - they merely identified and reported the trend, as is their job.

    To say "hey, 40 years ago some reporters pissed their panties over a data trend, therefore the overwhelming body of evidence and scientific consensus in favor of anthropogenic global warming today is suspect" is flagrant false equivocation.

    The Global Cooling Concensus Myth annoys me so much because the true story it is derived from is a shining beacon of SCIENCE! in action.

    One group of rigorous scientists had noted that particulate pollution in the atmosphere would lead to high altitude reflection of sunlight cooling the earth.
    A different (larger) group of equally rigorous scientists note that the accumulated CO2 emissions would heat up the earth.

    In the 60's these two group met for a intellectual deathmatch where people gathered round and hummed the music from the arena fight scene from Star Trek whilst the two sides traded facts and figures, this deathmatch was important because the current consensus was that warming would occur but the particulant pollution proponents had good observed data on their side. The cooling proponents though that while CO2 emissions would clearly heat up the planet the cooling effect of pollution would lead to long term cooling, the warming proponents thought the cooling effects of the particulates would be swamped by the long term CO2 effects. The end result of the deathmatch was "Mor observ8ions needed plz". Which was done and when the data was examined and the Global Coolants realised that CO2 was the fucking bomb and that long term it was only going to get hotter.

    And from this story of "Science, it works bitches" Globabl Warming Deniers have managed to:
    A) Lie about the state of scientific consensus back in the 60's & 70's
    B) Make it seem like scientists changing their mind when presented with new data is a bad thing. Argle bargle.

    Alistair Hutton on
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    HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    Heffling wrote: »
    Additionally, there is a great deal of debate in scientific communities about the amount of CO2 that is added to the atmosphere both by man and by nature, with estimates ranging from man made contributions exceeding volcanoes by a factor of one hundred and fifty (150) to all natural sources of CO2 exceeding man-made contributions by a factor of 30 or more.

    Totally false.

    Volcanoes: 123-378 million tons of CO2 per year.
    Humans: 36 billion tons of CO2 per year.

    http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hazards/gas/climate.php

    So, by your numbers, the amount of human activity exceeds the volcanic activity by anywhere from a factory of 10-30 to 1. That's fine.

    However, for the second part of my statement that you have been quoted, I have stated "all natural sources". This means volcanoes, cows offgassing, organic decay, etc.

    And the numbers you have provided just reinforce the major point that I was trying to get at. There is a lot of uncertainty in how to quantify both natural and man-made sources of CO2. I hope that you agree with me that having a good understanding of these values is very important in understanding man's role in global warming.
    Heffling wrote: »
    AI don't claim to be an expert on Global Warming, but I do recall that two decades ago when I was a kid, the great fear in the news was the coming of the next Ice Age.

    Sure... in the news. But reported aren't scientists. In the late 60s and early 70s, climatologists noticed a cooling trend. They reported the data, speculated about causes, and identified the need for more research. In 1975 the National Academy of Sciences published a summary report saying, basically, "We're not sure what this means. We should collect more data." Some mass media publications - notably Newsweek, in their "Cooling World" article - went hysterical over this and called it a new ice age. But at no point did mainstream climatologists sound any alarms or any calls for action over it - they merely identified and reported the trend, as is their job.

    To say "hey, 40 years ago some reporters pissed their panties over a data trend, therefore the overwhelming body of evidence and scientific consensus in favor of anthropogenic global warming today is suspect" is flagrant false equivocation.

    Thank you for putting words in my mouth!

    My point was is that in the past two to three decades, there has been a total reversal in position on whether the earth is cooling or warming. I find such a reversal suspect. The data may support such a reversal on opinions, but the fact is that much of the theories worked upon are done in such a way to validate the data. If it's a good theory, then it should work regardless of global warming or cooling. However, climate change models have (in part) failed to do this, which makes their work suspect.

    You're bringing up a very good point about the seperation between a scientist and a political activist. A good scientist does report the data, then works on figuring out why the data is as it is. A number of climatologists today, though, are pushing the idea of man-made global warming, which means they are being political activists and not just scientists.

    These political scientists have a direct stake in how man-made global warming is handled. Their grants and their reputations depend on it being true, or at least being accepted. This does tend to bias sciencetific work.
    Heffling wrote: »
    And keep in mind that weather predictions are only accurate out to about three days.

    Again, totally untrue. Weather predictions for specific cities or specific days are inaccurate, because weather is a wide-scale phenomenon. But weather predictions for large regions, or the entire globe, or averages across several weeks, are much more accurate.

    I should have been more clear, I was refering to specific regionalized and localized weather predictions, and not a vague global model. I could be completely wrong about every single value I predict, but still come up with the right "averages across several weeks". That doesn't make my weather predictions accurate, though.

    Heffling wrote: »
    the jury's still out on this issue.

    The jury's not out. At all. Every major climatological, meteorological, geological, and ecological organization worldwide agrees that global warming is real. The overwhelming majority agree that man is the primary cause - the tiny minority that don't explicitly acknowledge man as the cause are simply mum on that particular issue. We have scientific consensus.

    The "Climategate" emails that you hear about, or the manufactured Hulme controversy, are not about whether global warming is real, or whether humans are the cause. They're about specific models, about the speed or severity of change, or localized predictions.

    Basically, everybody with any expertise on the matter agrees: we've fucked up. The only question is how badly we've fucked up.

    I have to disagree. There is a lot of debate about global warming and man's effect on it in academic publications. There isn't an overwhelming majority on the issues, and even if there was, that's irrelevant.

    Science, with a capital "S", is not about consensus. In fact, it's the antithesis of consensus. Before Einstein, the scientific consensus was that Newton's Laws were accurate for all situations. However, after applying the Scientific Method, Einstein came up with a model that better represents reality. This is Science.

    Climategate is about the suppression and doctoring of the SINGLE DATA SET that is utilized to generate the three major models worldwide. I would say that's pretty significant, that when the three major works all pull from the same information set, and you find out the information set has been falsified. This information is used to form the entire basis of both Global Warming and Man-Made Global Warming.

    I have to disagree with your closing statement. In what way have we fucked up? For all we know, at this point we could have just narrowly avoided the next ice age due to the CO2 we've been putting into the atmosphere.

    Heffling on
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    L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    cows are not a natural source that is stupid

    cow numbers are directly controlled by people
    The Ender wrote: »
    Do you know what the strongest greenhouse gas in the world is? Water vapor. Water vapor accounts for in excess of 95% of the solar radiation absorbed by all greenhouse gasses. And yet, we don't try to control water. Why? Because we know it's a battle we cannot win. The oceans, seas, and lakes of the world do more to add to water vapor to the atmosphere than anything man does.

    Water & CO2 have entirely different radiation absorption profiles. Water absorbs more radiation overall, but the range is within the 18-30 micrometer band - whereas CO2 absorbs the infrared in the 8-18 micrometer band. In effect, CO2 can be thought of as plugging up an important cooling mechanism for the planet.

    Oh yeah that's the thing - Radiation hits the earth at high frequency (mostly visible) then gets re-radiated at lower frequencies (infrared). Woo spectroscopy! Wavenumbers are still a stupid variable though.

    (just restating what you said in a different way)

    L|ama on
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    IsidoreIsidore Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Climate sceptics are always the first to retreat to some bizarre, contrarian version of the scientific method when discussing climate change.

    They'll ignore all the data, all the evidence, all the studies, all the facts and theories, but when you criticise their criticism as ideological or economic suddenly the scientific method comes into play. It'd be funny if it wasn't so fucking hypocritical.
    You're bringing up a very good point about the seperation between a scientist and a political activist. A good scientist does report the data, then works on figuring out why the data is as it is. A number of climatologists today, though, are pushing the idea of man-made global warming, which means they are being political activists and not just scientists.

    These political scientists have a direct stake in how man-made global warming is handled. Their grants and their reputations depend on it being true, or at least being accepted. This does tend to bias sciencetific work.

    This, of course, is totally separate from your position. A position based on the inexplicable defense of an unsustainable status quo, flying in the face of a scientific consensus with little to no strong evidence on your 'side'.

    Isidore on
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    Alistair HuttonAlistair Hutton Dr EdinburghRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Heffling wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Heffling wrote: »
    Additionally, there is a great deal of debate in scientific communities about the amount of CO2 that is added to the atmosphere both by man and by nature, with estimates ranging from man made contributions exceeding volcanoes by a factor of one hundred and fifty (150) to all natural sources of CO2 exceeding man-made contributions by a factor of 30 or more.

    Totally false.

    Volcanoes: 123-378 million tons of CO2 per year.
    Humans: 36 billion tons of CO2 per year.

    http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hazards/gas/climate.php

    So, by your numbers, the amount of human activity exceeds the volcanic activity by anywhere from a factory of 10-30 to 1. That's fine.

    100-300 to 1.

    36 billion is a large number. I know, I had to type it into my calculator 4 times before I was happy about the number of zeros.

    Alistair Hutton on
    I have a thoughtful and infrequently updated blog about games http://whatithinkaboutwhenithinkaboutgames.wordpress.com/

    I made a game, it has penguins in it. It's pay what you like on Gumroad.

    Currently Ebaying Nothing at all but I might do in the future.
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    HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Heffling wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Heffling wrote: »
    Additionally, there is a great deal of debate in scientific communities about the amount of CO2 that is added to the atmosphere both by man and by nature, with estimates ranging from man made contributions exceeding volcanoes by a factor of one hundred and fifty (150) to all natural sources of CO2 exceeding man-made contributions by a factor of 30 or more.

    Totally false.

    Volcanoes: 123-378 million tons of CO2 per year.
    Humans: 36 billion tons of CO2 per year.

    http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hazards/gas/climate.php

    So, by your numbers, the amount of human activity exceeds the volcanic activity by anywhere from a factory of 10-30 to 1. That's fine.

    100-300 to 1.

    36 billion is a large number. I know, I had to type it into my calculator 4 times before I was happy about the number of zeros.

    Sorry, thank you for the correction.

    Heffling on
  • Options
    Alistair HuttonAlistair Hutton Dr EdinburghRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Heffling wrote: »
    Heffling wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Heffling wrote: »
    Additionally, there is a great deal of debate in scientific communities about the amount of CO2 that is added to the atmosphere both by man and by nature, with estimates ranging from man made contributions exceeding volcanoes by a factor of one hundred and fifty (150) to all natural sources of CO2 exceeding man-made contributions by a factor of 30 or more.

    Totally false.

    Volcanoes: 123-378 million tons of CO2 per year.
    Humans: 36 billion tons of CO2 per year.

    http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hazards/gas/climate.php

    So, by your numbers, the amount of human activity exceeds the volcanic activity by anywhere from a factory of 10-30 to 1. That's fine.

    100-300 to 1.

    36 billion is a large number. I know, I had to type it into my calculator 4 times before I was happy about the number of zeros.

    Sorry, thank you for the correction.

    I eventually putzed out and used Google typing in the words.

    Alistair Hutton on
    I have a thoughtful and infrequently updated blog about games http://whatithinkaboutwhenithinkaboutgames.wordpress.com/

    I made a game, it has penguins in it. It's pay what you like on Gumroad.

    Currently Ebaying Nothing at all but I might do in the future.
  • Options
    HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Isidore wrote: »
    Climate sceptics are always the first to retreat to some bizarre, contrarian version of the scientific method when discussing climate change.

    They'll ignore all the data, all the evidence, all the studies, all the facts and theories, but when you criticise their criticism as ideological or economic suddenly the scientific method comes into play. It'd be funny if it wasn't so fucking hypocritical.
    You're bringing up a very good point about the seperation between a scientist and a political activist. A good scientist does report the data, then works on figuring out why the data is as it is. A number of climatologists today, though, are pushing the idea of man-made global warming, which means they are being political activists and not just scientists.

    These political scientists have a direct stake in how man-made global warming is handled. Their grants and their reputations depend on it being true, or at least being accepted. This does tend to bias sciencetific work.

    This, of course, is totally separate from your position. A position based on the inexplicable defense of an unsustainable status quo, flying in the face of a scientific consensus with little to no strong evidence on your 'side'.

    In what way is the scientific method I am utilizing "bizarre" or "contrariant"?

    The Scientific method is tells us that if your theory does not match up to the data and you have verified the data is good, then your theory is incorrect. It only takes one instance of a theory not matching up to the data to debunk the theory. Science is not about consensus. Politics is about consensus.

    The fact of the matter is that there is no "consensus" as is commonly claimed. There are scientists that both support the idea of Man-Made Global Warming and are against the idea that man has any significant influence on Global Warming. And it's not just like there are only two crackpots who are against the idea of Man-Made Global Warming. Arguements both for and against it are well published in Academic circles.

    Heffling on
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    SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    You know what would be cool? If all the top climate scientists in the world would work together on creating a consensus report, fully sourced and fully public, in which they combine all their findings so that even if some individual parts are not fully confirmed, the overall trend of the current scientific viewing would be abundantly clear.

    Oh wait, we already have that. It's called the IPCC report. And guess what, all the controversy surrounding it is pretty much false.

    And that report, the culmination of pretty much all the experts on the field the world has to offer, tells a clear story:

    1) Since the start of Industrial Era, CO2 emissions have sharply increased.
    2) While nature has it's own CO2 cycle, it has not been able to compensate for the increase, and as a result, the concentration in the atmosphere has been steadily increasing.
    3) Coinciding with this increase is a measurable increase in temperature.
    4) Chemistry and Physics can easily explain an effect where a relatively small amount of CO2 can increase the temperature of a system.
    5) Data from the last million years suggests that high CO2 concentrations have always correlated with higher temperatures, with significant impacts on sea levels and changing enviroments. And these changes can occur fast.
    1000px-Vostok_Petit_data.svg.png
    6) Current CO2 concentration is higher then it ever was in the last million years.


    And yes, methane is also a green house gas, an in fact a worse one. And the cows we breed, but also the permafrost we're heating up are releasing loads of it. The second can form a terrifying feedback loop.

    SanderJK on
    Steam: SanderJK Origin: SanderJK
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    Alistair HuttonAlistair Hutton Dr EdinburghRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Heffling wrote: »
    The fact of the matter is that there is no "consensus" as is commonly claimed. There are scientists that both support the idea of Man-Made Global Warming and are against the idea that man has any significant influence on Global Warming. And it's not just like there are only two crackpots who are against the idea of Man-Made Global Warming. Arguements both for and against it are well published in Academic circles.

    If, from a population of 1000 people, on a particular topic 990 people agree on the topic and 10 people disagree would you say there is or isn't consensus?

    Alistair Hutton on
    I have a thoughtful and infrequently updated blog about games http://whatithinkaboutwhenithinkaboutgames.wordpress.com/

    I made a game, it has penguins in it. It's pay what you like on Gumroad.

    Currently Ebaying Nothing at all but I might do in the future.
  • Options
    surrealitychecksurrealitycheck lonely, but not unloved dreaming of faulty keys and latchesRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The only legitimate climate beef is that the paleoclimate stuff is often quite fucked - because Michael Mann is an egomaniac. But it's hardly relevant overall, as whether or not the warming is "unprecedented" is a red herring.

    surrealitycheck on
    obF2Wuw.png
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    The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Thank you for putting words in my mouth!

    My point was is that in the past two to three decades, there has been a total reversal in position on whether the earth is cooling or warming. I find such a reversal suspect. The data may support such a reversal on opinions, but the fact is that much of the theories worked upon are done in such a way to validate the data. If it's a good theory, then it should work regardless of global warming or cooling. However, climate change models have (in part) failed to do this, which makes their work suspect.

    You're bringing up a very good point about the seperation between a scientist and a political activist. A good scientist does report the data, then works on figuring out why the data is as it is. A number of climatologists today, though, are pushing the idea of man-made global warming, which means they are being political activists and not just scientists.

    These political scientists have a direct stake in how man-made global warming is handled. Their grants and their reputations depend on it being true, or at least being accepted. This does tend to bias sciencetific work.

    Let me ask you something: do you yourself actually know anything about the physics of infrared radiation absorption? Do you actually read any of the scientific literature? Or are you just another silly goose who's totally ignorant of the mechanics but feels like they're entitled to flap their ice cream digger about it anyway?

    I'm going to state that there's been no reversal on any position. No academic paper ever postulated that we were heading into a global cooling period (much less an ice age).


    Try and prove me wrong. I won't be holding my breath.

    The Ender on
    With Love and Courage
  • Options
    ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2010
    Heffling wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Heffling wrote: »
    Additionally, there is a great deal of debate in scientific communities about the amount of CO2 that is added to the atmosphere both by man and by nature, with estimates ranging from man made contributions exceeding volcanoes by a factor of one hundred and fifty (150) to all natural sources of CO2 exceeding man-made contributions by a factor of 30 or more.

    Totally false.

    Volcanoes: 123-378 million tons of CO2 per year.
    Humans: 36 billion tons of CO2 per year.

    http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hazards/gas/climate.php

    So, by your numbers, the amount of human activity exceeds the volcanic activity by anywhere from a factory of 10-30 to 1. That's fine.

    However, for the second part of my statement that you have been quoted, I have stated "all natural sources". This means volcanoes, cows offgassing, organic decay, etc.

    And the numbers you have provided just reinforce the major point that I was trying to get at. There is a lot of uncertainty in how to quantify both natural and man-made sources of CO2. I hope that you agree with me that having a good understanding of these values is very important in understanding man's role in global warming.
    Heffling wrote: »
    AI don't claim to be an expert on Global Warming, but I do recall that two decades ago when I was a kid, the great fear in the news was the coming of the next Ice Age.

    Sure... in the news. But reported aren't scientists. In the late 60s and early 70s, climatologists noticed a cooling trend. They reported the data, speculated about causes, and identified the need for more research. In 1975 the National Academy of Sciences published a summary report saying, basically, "We're not sure what this means. We should collect more data." Some mass media publications - notably Newsweek, in their "Cooling World" article - went hysterical over this and called it a new ice age. But at no point did mainstream climatologists sound any alarms or any calls for action over it - they merely identified and reported the trend, as is their job.

    To say "hey, 40 years ago some reporters pissed their panties over a data trend, therefore the overwhelming body of evidence and scientific consensus in favor of anthropogenic global warming today is suspect" is flagrant false equivocation.

    Thank you for putting words in my mouth!

    My point was is that in the past two to three decades, there has been a total reversal in position on whether the earth is cooling or warming. I find such a reversal suspect. The data may support such a reversal on opinions, but the fact is that much of the theories worked upon are done in such a way to validate the data. If it's a good theory, then it should work regardless of global warming or cooling. However, climate change models have (in part) failed to do this, which makes their work suspect.

    You're bringing up a very good point about the seperation between a scientist and a political activist. A good scientist does report the data, then works on figuring out why the data is as it is. A number of climatologists today, though, are pushing the idea of man-made global warming, which means they are being political activists and not just scientists.

    These political scientists have a direct stake in how man-made global warming is handled. Their grants and their reputations depend on it being true, or at least being accepted. This does tend to bias sciencetific work.
    Heffling wrote: »
    And keep in mind that weather predictions are only accurate out to about three days.

    Again, totally untrue. Weather predictions for specific cities or specific days are inaccurate, because weather is a wide-scale phenomenon. But weather predictions for large regions, or the entire globe, or averages across several weeks, are much more accurate.

    I should have been more clear, I was refering to specific regionalized and localized weather predictions, and not a vague global model. I could be completely wrong about every single value I predict, but still come up with the right "averages across several weeks". That doesn't make my weather predictions accurate, though.

    Heffling wrote: »
    the jury's still out on this issue.

    The jury's not out. At all. Every major climatological, meteorological, geological, and ecological organization worldwide agrees that global warming is real. The overwhelming majority agree that man is the primary cause - the tiny minority that don't explicitly acknowledge man as the cause are simply mum on that particular issue. We have scientific consensus.

    The "Climategate" emails that you hear about, or the manufactured Hulme controversy, are not about whether global warming is real, or whether humans are the cause. They're about specific models, about the speed or severity of change, or localized predictions.

    Basically, everybody with any expertise on the matter agrees: we've fucked up. The only question is how badly we've fucked up.

    I have to disagree. There is a lot of debate about global warming and man's effect on it in academic publications. There isn't an overwhelming majority on the issues, and even if there was, that's irrelevant.

    Science, with a capital "S", is not about consensus. In fact, it's the antithesis of consensus. Before Einstein, the scientific consensus was that Newton's Laws were accurate for all situations. However, after applying the Scientific Method, Einstein came up with a model that better represents reality. This is Science.

    Climategate is about the suppression and doctoring of the SINGLE DATA SET that is utilized to generate the three major models worldwide. I would say that's pretty significant, that when the three major works all pull from the same information set, and you find out the information set has been falsified. This information is used to form the entire basis of both Global Warming and Man-Made Global Warming.

    I have to disagree with your closing statement. In what way have we fucked up? For all we know, at this point we could have just narrowly avoided the next ice age due to the CO2 we've been putting into the atmosphere.

    Everything but volcanoes is emitting carbon that was recently absorbed from the atmosphere, so it's locked into equilibrium. Human pollution is releasing underground stores that haven't been in the atmosphere in the last billion years.

    He didn't put words in your mouth. You said scientists thought something else during the 70's, and he said that that's factually untrue. You can't just say "there has been a total reversal in position on whether the earth is cooling or warming" because that's factually untrue, and anybody who continues to insist on that point after the real evens have been told multiple times is either a liar or an idiot (I'll let you pick which one you wish to be).

    Science is about building a consensus through irrefutable data. Einstein revolutionized the world's understanding of physics by finding a surprising solution to a problem that most period physicists were working on. Global warming has built a consensus on data. Climategate was the simplification of a single graph that was described in a way that made it sound malicious.

    Scalfin on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The rest of you, I fucking hate you for the fact that I now have a blue dot on this god awful thread.
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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I hate the term 'Global Warming'. Just thought I'd let you all know that, as it's meant as a scare tactic and doesn't look at the larger picture. (if I remember the past few threads correctly).

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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