• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Global Warming/Climate Change Super Thread

Edward Campbell

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Mentor
Reaction score
1,265
Points
1,160
George Wallace said:
It is because of the 'Economists' fearmongering in the field of 'Global Warming' and the environment, that we are seeing such outrageous prices in fuel ...

Those of us who are still a bit heavily invested in the energy sector don't think fuel prices are "outrageous" at all.  ;D  This is especially true for old guys who live in the city centre and don't drive cars.

Seriously, George, energy prices are set in the fabulous (or fabled) free market and they reflect what most people are willing and able to pay.  If people stop consuming, drive less, freeze in the dark, etc, then the price of crude will fall to reflect a new equilibrium.  Most consumers are willing and able to pay the current market price and, I've heard maybe 35%+/- more than that price.
 

begbie

Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
a_majoor said:
I have read the Nicholas Stern "report" about global warming. The prediction of more extreme weather being caused by global warming is a good warning that this (like so much else) is not science. (BBC report here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6093396.stm)

Weather is caused by temperature gradients, so if the Earth is getting warmer, then the differential between the tropics and arctic becomes lesser. Just as a ball rolls faster down a steeper hill, heat energy will move faster between greater, not lesser temperature gradients.

Just another warning sign that people really should stay in their lanes. An economist shouldn't step into climactic science, especially if they are tripped up by high school physics.............

a_majoor said:
Do the eggheads need to? Between 1100 and 1400 AD the Vikings lived and farmed in Greenland and Labrador. The climate was obviously warmer than it is today (by archeological records and inferenced from documents from that time period), yet there was no record of mass floods, droughts, violent weather or anything else suggested in this "report".

I suppose Nicholas Stern is going to suggest the Vikings were emitting vast quantities of CO2, but somehow stopped doing so in the 1400's, just in time for the Little Ice Age.

Fear mongering is right

It appears that you agree that climate change is real but disagree with the cause.  I know paleo-climatatologists have learned that the climate has changed dramatically during our planets history.  I take your point on this. 

However, from a public policy point of view, debating the divergent views of whether climate change is naturally occuring, or is man-made, or a combination of both is irrelevant.  Our climate is changing for better or for worse, and the human race better come to terms with it.  A lot of the literature I have read concurs that climate change is occuring and that it may be impossible to stop it by significantly reducing our man-made emissions.  I also conceed that point.

Where I come down on this is that the solution lies somewhere between mitigation and adaptation.  In fact, my professional opinion has always been that the difference between mitigation and adaptation is quite blurry.  The solution isn't ignoring the problem by saying it doesn't exist and the solution isn't also curbing emissions to the point where we end up back in the stone age.

On a congratulatory note, congrats on plowing through the entire report yesterday.  I too pulled it up yesterday only to learn that the report is 576 pages long.
 

Journeyman

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Reaction score
1,100
Points
940
Just as 1100AD Vikings probably didn't toss & turn worrying about my life in 2006, I manage to sleep undisturbed by visions of gas stations in 3106. I'm selfish that way.

If I did have to offer up an opinion, I'd point out the reality that I have two Harleys sitting in a garage for five months of Canadian winter each year. Bring on global warming!

I do my bit to eliminate the greenhouse gasses inherent in cattle flatulence - - BBQ'ing. I'm globally caring that way.
 

DBA

Full Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
Sure climate is changing but so are lots of other things. Fact is the earth, solar system, galaxy and universe are very dynamic and change all the time. Environmentalists have killed millions of people through their actions like getting DDT banned which crippled anti-malaria campains for decades in large parts of the developing world. They push action before all the facts are in and people suffer needlessly as a result. Not everything they push for makes things better.

I looked into some of the models and found one fact that disturbed me. The way they are reported and publicized is a perpetrating a FRAUD on the public. A parallel that most people understand would be drug companies suppressing studies with a negative outcome while publishing those with a positive outcome along with shading how they are discussed to cover up weaknesses. That is what appears to be happening with models cherry picked for predicting something after the fact with no mention other models predicated something else. By pure random chance some model probably predicts just about anything just like with just over 1000 people guessing head or tails on a coin tosses one person will most likely guess 10 flips in a row correctly. Does that mean they have some sort of predictive power in regards to coin tosses? The answer is of course no, and a lot of climate models are the same way. Just showing models that make predictions that match events means nothing unless the underlying model makes sense and has parameters with some empiric evidence to back them up. Otherwise it's just a guess and very prone to any biases the creators of the model have.
 

Cardstonkid

Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
There is very little doubt that the climate is changing. That is something that should be examined and prepared for. There is no conclusive proof humans are to blame. The latest evidence from Greenland shows that the glaciers there have been in a state of retreat for 100 years. It is hard to imagine that humans in 1906 had already put so much CO2 in the air that we had changed the environment.

Is it prudent to reduce 50% or more of our CO2 output when their is no conclusive evidence we are to blame? My answer is that the evidence suggests we should be cautious, but not panicked.

Politically it is such a bull Sh*t ploy. Al Gore and company can claim to be caring prophets by stating the obvious "the Earth is warming", and then blame those nasty capitalists. The solution for them is bigger gov't and bigger taxes. They won't actually solve or change anything, but it will get the public scared enough to vote for them the next time there is a big hurricane or if there is too much or too little snow. Anything to get elected.
 

a_majoor

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
30
Points
560
Although I am a fast reader, I just read the executive summary. Here is a bit more by someone with more time to read......

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/financialpost/story.html?id=0671887a-cd99-4edd-86f6-d72107274d52

The new green totalitarianism
 
Terence Corcoran
Financial Post

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Stockpile sugar! Plant some orange trees! Start hoarding Brazil nuts! The idea that governments can use taxes as market mechanisms to change human behaviour reached its full, wretched conclusion yesterday in Britain. While the idea started with gasoline taxes and pressure for carbon charges, yesterday the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change raised the concept to a new level. There is talk in Britain of green taxes -- "global warming premiums" -- on exotic fruits, vegetables and flowers that have to be shipped long carbon-consuming distances to reach their final markets.

Today's exotic fruit, of course, could soon become tomorrow's oranges and bananas. Remember the old Soviet Union? Refugees from Hungary fled their country in 1956 and arrived in the West to eat their first orange. Most East Germans had never seen a banana before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Current pre-budget proposals in London apparently include possible charges on "out-of-season" fruit. In Canada, of course, all fruits are out of season six months a year. Should we have tariffs on imported asparagus from Peru, oranges from South Africa and broccoli from Mexico?

New Zealand has already figured out what green charges and global warming premiums will mean for the meat and other products that must be shipped thousands of miles from New Zealand to markets all over the world. Prime Minister Helen Clark calls it "the next round of protectionism" that will be fought "in environmental barriers and tariffs to our trade."

It will get much worse than that if the report by Sir Nicholas Stern, a 600-page monument to the power of rhetorical demagoguery, becomes anything like policy around the world. Commissioned by Tony Blair's Labour government, and endorsed by the Prime Minister, the Stern Review called on all countries to begin imposing massive green taxes and regulations to save the world from climate catastrophe. Communism didn't work, fascism didn't work, socialism doesn't work -- but never mind, let's try the system one more time. The new road to global serfdom is green economic totalitarianism.

One of the unstated purposes of the Stern review is to bury the Kyoto Protocol, an unworkable plan built around unattainable objectives. Stern does a fine job eulogizing the failed accord with faint praise. "The Kyoto Protocol has established valuable institutions to underpin international emissions trading. There are strong reasons to build on and learn from this approach." So Kyoto is dead, with Stern noting that developing nations have no targets, Australian and the United States will not sign, and Canada will not meet the targets it has.

Unfortunately, Stern's global alternative is far worse than Kyoto. Based on long-range economic and climate scenarios looking forward about 100 years, the report generated sound-bite-sized economic conclusions. "The dangers of unabated climate change would be equivalent to at least 5% of GDP each year." In the event of a severe climate development, "the dangers could be equivalent to 20% of GDP or more."

To avoid catastrophe, the report calls for a global assault on energy and carbon consumption. Greenhouse gas levels can be stabilized at something like 500 parts per million (current level 430 ppm) at a cost of "only" a 1% reduction in annual global GDP. How do we do that?

Enter Arthur C. Pigou, 20th Century socialist economist who is credited with inventing the idea that market failures create externalities that need to be fixed by government, especially through taxation. Pigou plays a big role in the Stern report. "The first task of policy," says Stern, "is therefore to introduce taxes or prices for GHGs. The Pigou treatment of externalities points to taxes based on the marginal damages caused by carbon emissions." How big a tax? It should be "equal to the social cost of carbon at the point where it is equal to the marginal abatement cost."

Stern gets a bit technical and jargon-filled on these issues, but the report claims to have reached a "preliminary calculation" that the right price is something like $85 for each tonne of carbon dioxide emitted. If oil is 85% carbon, a new tax would have to double the price of oil to meet the Stern target.

Doubling the price of fuel -- for transportation, industry, electricity, heating, air conditioning -- would just be the start. Stern acknowledges that the there are many obstacles to success. We may need "additional measures." Because people might not trust government, business and individuals might need new special incentives -- subsidies -- to push them into carbon-reducing programs. And then there's the need to "remove barriers to behavioural change." For this, there may be a need for "regulatory measures," such as minimum standards for buildings and appliances.

Here the Pigovian tax theory starts running into some real world problems. It may be, says Stern, that "price signals alone may be too muted to have a significant impact." So the market signals of prices will need to be supplemented with major intervention in corporate and individual decision making. We will need, in short, a global master central plan to get carbon under control.

When governments start looking at such things, few limits exist. A leaked British budget document showed the government contemplating taxies on air travel, more gasoline taxes, and charges on imported goods that waste fossil fuel in transport, including year-round summer fruit. All of this and more to curb carbon emissions and fight climate change.

Stern wants to make it all part of a global plan. All the more reason to join the No Pigou Club at www.nationalpost.com /nopigouclub.

JOIN THE CLUB:

Worried about new taxes on gasoline? Welcome to the NoPigou Club. The club's purpose is to counter the ideas of the Pigou Club, an informal assembly of economists and pundits who support the idea of raising gasoline taxes. The main backer of such taxes -- known as Pigou taxes -- is Harvard University's N. Gregory Mankiw. On his blog (gregmankiw.blogspot.com) Prof. Mankiw lists the people, Pigou Club members, who support high taxes on gasoline to curb global warming and fight other environmental andeconomic problems.

In the view of the NoPigou Club, the Pigou approach is just another form of central planning dressed up in free- market terminology.

To join, comment and add to the discussion, visit the NoPigou Club at www.national post.com/nopigouclub.

© National Post 2006
 

a_majoor

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
30
Points
560
A detailed critique of this work. Talk about cherry picking, it appears Stern cleaned out the orchard!

http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110009182

Stern Review
The dodgy numbers behind the latest warming scare.

BY BJORN LOMBORG
Thursday, November 2, 2006 12:01 a.m.

The report on climate change by Nicholas Stern and the U.K. government has sparked publicity and scary headlines around the world. Much attention has been devoted to Mr. Stern's core argument that the price of inaction would be extraordinary and the cost of action modest.

Unfortunately, this claim falls apart when one actually reads the 700-page tome. Despite using many good references, the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change is selective and its conclusion flawed. Its fear-mongering arguments have been sensationalized, which is ultimately only likely to make the world worse off.

The review correctly points out that climate change is a real problem, and that it is caused by human greenhouse-gas emissions. Little else is right, however, and the report seems hastily put-together, with many sloppy errors. As an example, the cost of hurricanes in the U.S. is said to be both 0.13% of U.S. GDP and 10 times that figure. (Interpolation; unless there is some plausable human agency to explain the current increase in the average temperature on Mars, then the conclusion about Human greenhouse gas emissions is unwarrented).

The review is also one-sided, focusing almost exclusively on carbon-emission cuts as the solution to the problem of climate change. Mr. Stern sees increasing hurricane damage in the U.S. as a powerful argument for carbon controls. However, hurricane damage is increasing predominantly because there are more people with more goods to be damaged, settling in ever more risky habitats. Even if global warming does significantly increase the power of hurricanes, it is estimated that 95% to 98% of the increased damage will be due to demographics. The review acknowledges that simple initiatives like bracing and securing roof trusses and walls can cheaply reduce damage by more than 80%; yet its policy recommendations on expensive carbon reductions promise to cut the damages by 1% to 2% at best. That is a bad deal.

Mr. Stern is also selective, often seeming to cherry-pick statistics to fit an argument. This is demonstrated most clearly in the review's examination of the social damage costs of CO2--essentially the environmental cost of emitting each extra ton of CO2. The most well-recognized climate economist in the world is probably Yale University's William Nordhaus, whose "approach is perhaps closest in spirit to ours," according to the Stern review. Mr. Nordhaus finds that the social cost of CO2 is $2.50 per ton. Mr. Stern, however, uses a figure of $85 per ton. Picking a rate even higher than the official U.K. estimates--that have themselves been criticized for being over the top--speaks volumes.

Mr. Stern tells us that the cost of U.K. flooding will quadruple to 0.4% from 0.1% of GDP due to climate change. However, we are not told that these alarming figures only hold true if one assumes that the U.K. will take no additional measures--essentially doing absolutely nothing and allowing itself to get flooded, perhaps time and again. In contrast, the U.K. government's own assumptions take into account a modest increase in flood prevention, finding that the cost will actually decline sharply to 0.04% of U.K. GDP, in spite of climate change. Why does Mr. Stern not share that information?

But nowhere is the imbalance clearer than in Mr. Stern's central argument about the costs and benefits of action on climate change. The review tells us that we should make significant cuts in carbon emissions to stabilize the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide at 550 ppm (parts per million). Yet such a stark recommendation is not matched by an explicit explanation of what this would mean in terms of temperature.

The U.N. Climate Panel estimates that stabilizing at 550 ppm would mean an increase in temperature of about 2.3 degrees Celsius in the year 2100. This might be several degrees below what would otherwise happen, but it might also be higher. Mr. Nordhaus estimates that the stabilization policy would reduce the rise in temperature from 2.53 degrees Celsius to just 2.42 degrees Celsius. One can understand the reluctance of the Stern review to advertise such a puny effect.

Most economists were surprised by Mr. Stern's large economic estimates of damage from global warming. Mr. Nordhaus's model, for example, anticipates 3% will be wiped off global GDP if nothing is done over the coming century, taking into account the risk for catastrophes. The Stern review purports to show that the cost is "larger than many earlier studies suggested."

On the face of it, Mr. Stern actually accepts Mr. Nordhaus's figure: Even including risks of catastrophe and non-market costs, he agrees that an increase of four degrees Celsius will cost about 3% of GDP. But he assumes that we will continue to pump out carbon far into the 22nd century--a rather unlikely scenario given the falling cost of alternative fuels, and especially if some of his predictions become clear to us toward the end of this century. Thus he estimates that the higher temperatures of eight degrees Celsius in the 2180s will be very damaging, costing 11% to 14% of GDP.

The Stern review then analyzes what the cost would be if everyone in the present and the future paid equally. Suddenly the cost estimate is not 0% now and 3% in 2100--but 11% of GDP right now and forever. If this seems like a trick, it is certainly underscored by the fact that the Stern review picks an extremely low discount rate, which makes the cost look much more ominous now.

But even 11% is not the last word. Mr. Stern suggests that there is a risk that the cost of global warming will be higher than the top end of the U.N. climate panel's estimates, inventing, in effect, a "worst-case scenario" even worse than any others on the table. Therefore, the estimated damage to GDP jumps to 15% from 11%. Moreover, Mr. Stern admonishes that poor people count for less in the economic calculus, so he then inflates 15% to 20%.

This figure, 20%, was the number that rocketed around the world, although it is simply a much-massaged reworking of the standard 3% GDP cost in 2100--a figure accepted among most economists to be a reasonable estimate.

Likewise, Mr. Stern readjusts the cost of dealing with climate change. The U.N. found that the cost of 550 ppm stabilization would be somewhere around 0.2% to 3.2% of GDP today; he reports that costs could lie between -4% and 15% of GDP. The -4% is based on the suggestion that cutting carbon emissions could make us richer because revenue recycling could address inefficiencies in taxation--but the alleged inefficiencies, if correct, should be addressed no matter what the policies about climate change. The reason Mr. Stern nevertheless finds a very low cost estimate is because he only considers models with so-called Induced Technological Change. These models are known to reduce costs by about two percentage points because carbon cuts lead to an increase in research and development, which again makes further cuts cheaper. Thus Mr. Stern concludes that the costs are on average 1% of GDP, and in the summary actually claims that this is a maximum cost.

The Stern review's cornerstone argument for immediate and strong action now is based on the suggestion that doing nothing about climate change costs 20% of GDP now, and doing something only costs 1%. However, this argument hinges on three very problematic assumptions.

First, it assumes that if we act, we will not still have to pay. But this is not so--Mr. Stern actually tells us that his solution is "already associated with significant risks." Second, it requires the cost of action to be as cheap as he tells us--and on this front his numbers are at best overly optimistic. Third, and most importantly, it requires the cost of doing nothing to be a realistic assumption: But the 20% of GDP figure is inflated by an unrealistically pessimistic vision of the 22nd century, and by an extreme and unrealistically low discount rate. According to the background numbers in Mr. Stern's own report, climate change will cost us 0% now and 3% of GDP in 2100, a much more informative number than the 20% now and forever.

In other words: Given reasonable inputs, most cost-benefit models show that dramatic and early carbon reductions cost more than the good they do. Mr. Stern's attempt to challenge that understanding is based on a chain of unlikely assumptions.

Moreover, there is a fourth major problem in Mr. Stern's argument that has received very little attention. It seems naive to believe that the world's 192 nations can flawlessly implement Mr. Stern's multitrillion-dollar, century-long policy proposal. Will nobody try to avoid its obligations? Why would China and India even participate? And even if China got on board, would it be able to implement the policies? In 2002, China decided to cut sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions by 10%--they are now 27% higher despite SO2 being nationally a much bigger health and environmental problem than climate change.

Why does all this matter? It matters because, with clever marketing and sensationalist headlines, the Stern review is about to edge its way into our collective consciousness. The suggestion that flooding will overwhelm us has already been picked up by commentators, yet going back to the background reports properly shows declining costs from flooding and fewer people at risk. The media is now quoting Mr. Stern's suggestion that climate change will wreak financial devastation that will wipe 20% off GDP, explicitly evoking memories of past financial catastrophes such as the Great Depression or World War II; yet the review clearly tells us that costs will be 0% now and just 3% in 2100.

It matters because Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and Nicholas Stern all profess that one of the major reasons that they want to do something about climate change is because it will hit the world's poor the hardest. Using a worse-than-worst-case scenario, Mr. Stern warns that the wealth of South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa will be reduced by 10% to 13% in 2100 and suggests that effect would lead to 145 million more poor people.

Faced with such alarmist suggestions, spending just 1% of GDP or $450 billion each year to cut carbon emissions seems on the surface like a sound investment. In fact, it is one of the least attractive options. Spending just a fraction of this figure--$75 billion--the U.N. estimates that we could solve all the world's major basic problems. We could give everyone clean drinking water, sanitation, basic health care and education right now. Is that not better?

We know from economic models that dealing just with malaria could provide economic boosts to the order of 1% extra GDP growth per capita per year. Even making a very conservative estimate that solving all the major basic issues would induce just 2% extra growth, 100 years from now each individual in the developing world would be more than 700% richer. That truly trivializes Mr. Stern's 10% to 13% estimates for South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Last weekend in New York, I asked 24 U.N. ambassadors--from nations including China, India and the U.S.--to prioritize the best solutions for the world's greatest challenges, in a project known as Copenhagen Consensus. They looked at what spending money to combat climate change and other major problems could achieve. They found that the world should prioritize the need for better health, nutrition, water, sanitation and education, long before we turn our attention to the costly mitigation of global warning.

We all want a better world. But we must not let ourselves be swept up in making a bad investment, simply because we have been scared by sensationalist headlines.

Mr. Lomborg, author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist" (Cambridge, 2001), teaches at the Copenhagen Business School and is director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center.


Copyright © 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

Blindspot

Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
Who cares about global warming? We're all going to die when the next big asteroid hits the earth. Expecially because those Hollywood, Manhattan-size rocks keep landing in Alberta.
 

a_majoor

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
30
Points
560
A theory attempts to explain all the available evidence, and also offers a means to make testable predictions. The idea of Human agency being the cause of Global Warming isn't a theory, since it ignores or evades critical pieces of evidence. The Vikings were the beneficiaries of the European Warm period between 1100 and 1400 AD, but there is no possibility of human agency either being the cause or end of the warm period. Archaeological evidence would indicate the end of the Warm Period came rapidly, perhaps even in a human lifetime.

Mars is getting warmer as observed by spacecraft observing the planet.

Here is a sample of climate change in an even earlier period:

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

Climate
The Nordic Bronze Age was characterized by a warm climate that began with a climate change in circa 2700 BC (comparable to that of present-day Mediterranean). The warm climate permitted a relatively dense population and good farming, for example grapes were grown in Scandinavia at this time. However a small change in climate between 850 BC and 760 BC and a more radical one in circa 650 BC brought in a deteriorating, wetter and colder climate (sometimes believed to have given rise to the legend of the Fimbulwinter).

It seems likely that the climate pushed the Germanic tribes southwards into continental Europe. During this time there was Scandinavian influence in Eastern Europe (and a thousand years later, the numerous East Germanic tribes that claimed Scandinavian origins (e.g. Langobards, Burgundians, Goths and Heruls) rendered Scandinavia (Scandza) the name womb of nations in Jordanes' Getica).

In fact, the Scandinavian influence on Pomerania and northern Poland from period III and onwards was so considerable that this region is sometimes included in the Nordic Bronze Age culture (Dabrowski 1989:73).

Due to the climate change and the loss of population, the Nordic countries are generally described as going through a cultural recession at the end of the Bronze Age, lasting for a thousand years until the rise of another advanced civilization in the so-called Viking Age.

You will notice the Bronze age warm period was not characterized by disaster, storms or floods, but intensified agriculture and increasing human population.
 

Bert

Sr. Member
Reaction score
2
Points
230
But that too is a theory.  Unfortunately, looking back over ancient history of 1 billion years and
various instances of abrupt climate change, scientists have uncovered massive amounts of data
and speculation; solar fluctuations, methane eruptions, volcanic activity, meteorites, forest fires,
mankind, and many other possible triggers.  Given the data accumulated, its still doesn't equate
to the data that is not accumulated and cannot be included into the climate change.  Without all
of the facts presented, to say humans are causing climate change today is an incomplete
speculation.

Given the massive nature of human activity over the last 1,000 years and particularly since the 1800s, it
may be arguable to say humans have significantly contributed or accelerated the triggers for relatively
abrupt climate change. 

For the general population of the world, we're too caught up with who to blame and the politics
of abrupt climate change.  We may never have objective proof for years to come and likely by then
it won't matter.  Since data accumulated has suggested what we can do to limit our contribution to
the problem, effort and research should be directed these technologies and action plans.
 

Old Guy

Jr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
110
Bert,

Your point is essentially what I believe.  It's reasonable to take precautions, but not to the point of crippling our economies or transferring vast wealth to third world countries under the guise of ridiculous plans like the Kyoto Accord.

Chris Monckton has a series of articles running in the Sunday Telegraph (uk).  He brings out much detail of the flagrant disregard for scientific method employed by Al Gore and company, along with descriptions of the massive fraud perpetrated by the UN.

Earth's temp goes up and down.  The Medieval Warm period and drastic cooling between about 1350 and 1850 are completely ignored in most global warming tracts.

Jim
 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
3,497
Points
1,060
Bump

Here's one to rewarm the debate.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/graphics/2006/11/05/warm-refs.pdf
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=JFOPAQFWR1FYTQFIQMFSFGGAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2006/11/05/nosplit/nwarm05.xml

You asked for proofs CC.  You asked for peer reviewed citations CC.  You asked for a cold beer CC.  ;D
 
C

couchcommander

Guest
I was wondering when you were going to pick up on that. It should say something about the actual effectiveness of the article that slashdot of all places effectively tears it apart. I am too lazy to post now, will later.
 

I_am_John_Galt

Sr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
couchcommander said:
slashdot of all places effectively tears it apart.

That's the impression one would have if one only chose to read the arguments that support the conclusion one wants (but then again, that is pretty much the global warming "problem" in a nutshell, isn't it?).

Slashdot "effectively tore apart" nothing (and never does): there's a discussion on the article.  To quote the first post in that discussion: "This is /. buddy, what you'll get is a bunch of reasons why its right or wrong from people that didn't read the article." http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=205067&cid=16740077
 
C

couchcommander

Guest
You should know me better than that by now, I would not post a slashdot discussion here. My point was considering the fact that a bunch of people who didn't even read the article effectively destroyed some of its important premises, one should consider how "groundbreaking" an article this really is, having been published in a right wing newspaper by a former advisor of Margaret Thacter-turned-journalist-richboy claiming to end the entire "debate" as it were by smacking down thousands of peer-reviewed, scientific papers despite the fact he has absolutely no background in climatology (i.e. typical journalism)...

I will post something more substantive later, but the article is garbage. Yes indeed you did get references this time Kirkhill, but in the case of this "piece" its like the soviet's putting on a trial (All for show). I am not kidding when I say I am really interested to see some papers out of a respected journal to discuss, and am willing to give access to those who want it.

Blame the historian in me, but I put a lot of stock the who, when, where, why, and how of a source, not just the what.

Oh, I came across this today. It appears that the report congress wanted on Mann after the entire Wegman thing came back a while ago, and he's pretty much back on the table. http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=11676 - from the National Research Council
 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
3,497
Points
1,060
I feel like this is an interminable game of Pong.

I'll see you strawman and raise you an ad hominem. 

So now we don't even need to read the articles to determine their validity?  Who's talk about Soviet era tactics now?

TTFE on this one.

Let me know if your basement floods  ;D
 
C

couchcommander

Guest
The hrm? No I've read the article, and I've found some commentary on it, but nothing I would want to post (blogs, other newspapers).

I would add that an ad hominem attack is very different from conducting source analysis. It doesn't discount what is said, however it should bring the content under a certain scrutiny (i.e. don't accept what is said at face value, which you should never do, but still..... which was the point of pointing out the gentlemans background, not an ad hominem).

Its a simple fact that certain sources are more reliable than others for certain things. For academic matters, its tough to find better sources than peer reviewed journals (which is scary, because they can be pretty bad). If you want to know what the feeling was for the general public or segments of society on a topic at a certain time, then newspapers are great! Newspapers are not so good for getting facts. That doesn't mean you won't find facts in them, but you should be aware of both their value AND limitations.
 

DBA

Full Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
Interesting aricle in the Telegraph. Uses a few words I had to look up in the dictionary like meretricious but well worth reading.
 

dglad

Banned
Banned
Reaction score
0
Points
210
The trouble, as others have suggested, is that if you actually wait until you have incontrovertible evidence, it may be too late to say more than, "huh, guess we should have taken this more seriously".

While I am by no means firmly on the side of the "global protectionists"--mainly because their science really is so bad, and they rely so heavily on simple fear-mongering and solutions that would probably do more harm than good--I'm much more wary than those who would point to past climatic fluctuations and say, "see, it can happen for all sorts of reasons, so there's no reason to believe we're causing a problem today".  The Earth is a large and complex, but CLOSED chemical system.  Because of simple thermodynamics, interaction between the planet's interior and it's surficial environment is largely one-way i.e. from the inside, outwards; other than the process of crustal subduction, which occurs over long geological periods of time, there's no evidence of any meaningful movement of mass or energy into the planet's interior.  So, the atmosphere and hydrosphere (and the superimposed biosphere) are essentially "what you see is what you get", except for inputs from the Earth's interior (heat, plus various chemicals either erupted or outgassed through the crust) and from space (heat, charged particles and some solid particulates e.g. dust and small bits of rock and metal).  Beyond that, whatever is in the atmosphere/biosphere is what you've got.  You can move it around, react it in different ways, heat it up, cool it down, and that's about it.

So what?  Well, modern human activity is putting carbon (plus other) compounds into this environment, at some rate (call it A), which generally appears to be increasing (growing population, greater demands for energy, especially in places like China and India, which is primarily provided by fossil fuels).  So carbon is being moved from the crust, where it was sequestered in the form of coal, oil, methane, etc. into the atmosphere and oceans.

At the same time, other processes, such as growth of vegetation, the growth of micro-organisms in the oceans that use carbon, in the form of carbonate, in their bodies and then die and precipitate to the ocean floor, etc. is moving carbon from the air and water and re-sequestering it at some rate (call it B).

Now, is A less than, equal to or greater than B?  If it's one of the first two, we're okay in terms of carbon compounds, of which CO2 is the most abundant and is a prime greenhouse gas, in the atmosphere.  If it's the last, we've got a problem, and then the delta between A and B becomes important as it defines the time-scale and magnitude of that problem.

The trouble is, we don't really know.  We can come up with a reasonably good estimate of A, but we really don't understand B.  And then there's C, D, E, F, G, etc. which are other processes that affect both A and B (for example, a large volcanic eruption can vent large quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere (C) but can also throw megatons of dust into the atmosphere, which tends to reduce the infrared energy reaching the surface (D)).

Again, so what?  Well, it's the fact we DON'T know.  So while a massive change in human activity, which could have equally massive socio-economic consequences, is definitely an over-reaction, it is very possible to UNDER-react.  In general, we should be looking for ways to reduce A, since it's the only variable we really understand to any degree and can affect.  We could:

-look for ways to generate energy that don't release carbon compounds (and other pollutants).  More emphasis on nuclear energy (which, Chernobyl and Three-Mile Island notwithstanding, is really far safer on a global basis than burning fossil fuels; most radionucleides and their by-products are not very mobile in the environment, compared to carbon, SO2, NO2, etc.).  More emphasis on renewables, such as solar, wind, wave-action, spurred on by meaningful economic incentives.  More emphasis on R&D into things like nuclear fusion.

-focus more effort on finding ways to sequester carbon released from burning of fossil fuels.  That would mean much more R&D into things like clean-coal technology, scrubber technologies, research into natural processes that take up carbon, etc.

-more focus on conservation.  We (particularly in the First World) simply use too much energy.  This would require governments to making a commitment to seeing through things like better urban planning, more effective use of affordable and efficient mass transit, real economic incentives to conserve, and some things that may not be popular e.g. much stricter emission limits on fuel consumption for vehicles, economic disincentives to use personal vehicles in large urban areas (assuming, of course, that mass transit is available, as above).

-become more objective about measures we employ.  There's evidence that recycling programs for everything except aluminum actually has a net energy and environmental cost.  Ethanol may be of some value, but again, there's evidence to suggest that many ways of producing ethanol actually cost energy.  If something isn't working, then dump it.

I really do believe we can do these things without causing great economic harm, and can even obtain economic benefit from some of them. The trouble now is how politicized much of the above has become (nuclear energy, recycling programs, ethanol, conservation...all of these are mired in massive interest groups, huge bureaucracies and much emotion).

However, it's not enough to say, the Earth warms up and cools down all on its own.  That's true...but those are just functions of what I called B, C, D, E and so on.  A exists, our best information is that it's increasing, and we need to do something about it.


 

Brad Sallows

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
3,163
Points
1,010
In terms of energy policy, conservation is shorthand for imposed poverty and often (perversely, due to economic incentives) leads to a net increase in energy consumption in any event.

Any model of the earth's energy gain/loss also has to consider blackbody radiation, and also has to deal with the reality of entropy - over the very long term, waste heat will be the greatest problem.
 
Top