The One Minute Case Against Global Warming Alarmism

The scientific theory of anthropogenic climate change should not be confused with global warming alarmism — the advocacy of drastic political action as a response.

A consideration of both the costs and benefits a warmer world as well as the costs of vast controls on industrial civilization, in addition to the uncertainty of climate and economic predictions suggest that humanity should adapt to a changing climate instead.

Earth’s climate is complex and constantly changing

Earth’s climate is an enormously complex system with thousands of variables in constant flux. Natural cycles of warming and cooling have existed as long as earth has had a climate. We only began to make large-scale measurements in the last 100 years, so this system is poorly understood.

Attempts to manipulate climate are limited by the complexity and inertia of the system. Dr. James Hansen of NASA, the father of the global warming theory, estimates the Kyoto protocol would only affect temperatures by .13°C by 2100, and it would take 30 Kyotos to have an “acceptable” impact on climate change. “Should a catastrophic scenario prove correct”, states Dr. Richard Lindzen, an MIT climate expert, “Kyoto will not prevent it.”

No single indicator can provide proof of a global change. The thinning of the Greenland ice sheet may be due to human causes, natural variations in snowfall, changes in ocean currents, a long-term warming of the planet since the transition from the last glacial period, continued warming since the end of the Little Ice Age following the Medieval Warm Period, or all of the above.

Politicians and the media are eager to embrace the latest crisis

Climate changes during the twentieth century were often accompanied by widespread panic, only to be quickly forgotten when dire predictions failed to materialize. Intellectuals, the media, and political institutions find it profitable to capitalize on emergencies which focus public attention on the issues they champion. Often their predictions go far beyond the most alarmist of scientific bodies. Science writer David Appell, who has written for such publications as the New Scientist and Scientific American believes that global warming will “threaten fundamental food and water sources. It would lead to displacement of billions of people and huge waves of refugees, spawn terrorism and topple governments, spread disease across the globe.” It would be “would be chaos by any measure, far greater even than the sum total of chaos of the global wars of the 20th century.” This doomsday scenario hardly follows from the hesitant estimates of a 1.1 to 6.4°C temperature rise and 18 to 59 cm sea level rise by 2100 predicted in 2007 by the IPCC.

Attempts to halt climate change are not only costly and futile, but ignore the benefits of a warmer climate

Adapting to a warmer climate has many costs, but many benefits as well. According to NASA satellite data, higher levels of CO2 have dramatically increased biomass production and biodiversity worldwide. Global warming may cause Africa to become more arid, but enormous territories in Siberia and Canada might finally be open to settlement, and new resources and shipping routes will become available.

The focus of environmental movements is usually on reversing anthropogenic causes of ecological change. Such attempts are not only futile, but ignore the large scale economic destruction caused by environmental restrictions on human productivity. Free societies and technological innovation have allowed human ingenuity bring about vast improvements in human life. This change has almost doubled the life expectancy and quadrupled the standard of living in the developed world – and is now transforming the developing world. Disrupting the global economy would have a snowball effect on future living standards, as well as retard future technologies will help us adapt to a constantly changing world.

A genuine cost-benefit analysis should weight the costs of wealth destruction and long term inhibition of technological progress against the highly uncertain costs of adjusting to environmental changes. Human beings have never passively resigned themselves to environmental changes, but adapted their society to make optimal use of their environment.

Wealth, technology, and human ingenuity are our most powerful tools for dealing with change

Even the most alarmist of scientists generally agree that there is little humanity can do to influence the global climate for many decades, even if we wrecked an industrial civilization that has allowed billions of people to leave immeasurably longer and better lives. Our resources would be far better spent creating innovative technology that allows us to make the best of a constantly changing climate than crippling industrial civilization (our best tool for dealing with a constantly changing world) in a futile attempt to stop climate change.

Further reading:

  • U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe: The Facts and Science of Climate Change
  • Global Warming on the Objectivism Wiki
  • Channel 4: The Great Global Warming Swindle (2007)
  • CBC:”Doomsday Called Off”: about; Google video
  • CNN: Exposed: The Climate of Fear
  • CEI: Inconvenient Truths for Al Gore
  • Monte Hieb: Global Warming: A closer look at the numbers
  • R. Warren Anderson: “Journalists have warned of climate change for 100 years, but can’t decide weather we face an ice age or warming “
  • GlobalWarming.org
  • “Five strategies for debating global warming and environmentalism” by David Veksler
  • Environmentalism.com: On “Global Warming”

67 Comments

Filed under Environment, Politics, Science

67 Responses to The One Minute Case Against Global Warming Alarmism

  1. Stephen

    The case against GW alarmism is not the same as the case against GW and you elide between the two. The alarmists may not be right, but the general scientific hypothesis of GW almost certainly is, and the links you provide to advocacy sites are insufficient to rebut it.

  2. Pingback: The One Minute Case Against Environmentalism » The One Minute Case

  3. Greg

    Stephen, there is no “case against global warming”. The earth warms. The earth cools. Nobody debates that. The issue is whether it does son naturally or is being forced by man. Your comprehension of the basic conflict is insufficient to allow you to speak intelligently on the topic.

  4. Neil Wilkes

    It makes a real change to see some sensible reporting on this subject.
    Whoever says CO2 drives climate has not bothered to go check how climate really works.
    We are warming right now, yes – but it will cool again as part of the cycles that are natural, and are nothing to do with people at all. Plus, of course, the Antarctic Ice sheet is actually GAINING mass, not losing it.
    Scaremongering.
    Doomsday is not just around the corner….

  5. Spencer Weart

    Unfortunately there is not a one-minute case for why we should, indeed, be seriously worried. The case was developed through hundreds of thousands of hours of work by thousands of scientists, most of whom (like me) were originally very doubtful that we should worry. By now the conclusion is clear: while climate is indeed complex and there is no certainty, there is a very high probability that our emissions will cause a rise of several degrees within our children’s lifetimes, and that this rise will have consequences that will be severe for many and possibly — alas, it’s true — just possibly catastrophic. The risk is at least as high as the risk your house will burn down, so how about some insurance? It seems likely that the worst can be avoided without great cost, and it is worth at least taking the first, cheap steps — like cutting the huge sums the world’s government currently spend to subsidize (not restrict, subsidize) fossil fuel and related industries. All of these conclusions are endorsed by EVERY scientific organization that has looked into it: professional scientific groups like the American Geophysical Union, the national academies of sciences of all major nations, and many others known for their conservatism.

    Remember when we were told that a 50-cent gas tax to restrict emissions would destroy the economy? That was when gas cost $1.50 a gallon. Twenty years ago some people, like Fred Singer and others Sen. Inhofe cites, insisted the world was not getting warmer. Other people, like Jim Hansen, predicted that by now it would be perhaps half a degree warmer, and they were right. Will you believe those who were consistently wrong, or those who were consistently right?

    More at his website, http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/

  6. Trey Canipe

    There ARE too many complex factors to be “paranoid” about GW.. Just think about these things that we have no control over: 1) a major volcanic eruption can easily cause a degree or two of ‘Global Cooling’ (historical fact). History shows one or two of these major eruptions per century! Just since Medievil times, there has been at least one volcano that caused a year of ‘no summer’ in europe!
    2) Asteroids hit the earth every few thousand years – GW would be a speck compared to this impact.
    3) Global warming would cause land now frozen to become inhabitable!
    4) Global warming will take so long compared to the ‘geometric’ growth of techology – humans will most likely solve it b/4 it’s critical
    >>>>> I think GW is a fact right now and i think we should continue to research alternate fuels ([email protected]!).. But, i don’t think we need to disrupt economies or cause massive hinderances in technology and development for it..

    thanks

    Trey

  7. crist n

    My Pop studied biology at Berkeley in the late 60s. He skipped his degree and got a PhD in 4 years – he was super smart. For a time he studied the effects of pollution on the global ecology, specifically oceans. He took an outside interest and really studied the subject on his own.
    He told me once when I was 7 that by the time I reached my 30’s people would start noticing the first effects of climate change, but a lot of people would still doubt. He also said that by the time I reached my 40’s and 50’s, no one would doubt it anymore. He lost his mind and now is a sort of an out patient and doesn’t do research anymore. I always wondered if he was just crazy when he told me those things. Now I’m in my early 30’s and climate change is a national topic. I hope he was wrong about my 40’s and 50’s but I think maybe he wasn’t.

  8. sailor

    This one minute argument is bit alike the guy who says “I wasn’t there and if I was there I didn’t do it”. It tries to say that maybe global warming does not mean anything, and if it did Kyoto would not help.
    You won’t learn anything in one minute, but if you want to know about global warming try the site run by real climate scientists:
    http://www.realclimate.org/

  9. Richard

    Strange site you have. It pretty much has zero content. The best single measurement we have – the volume of multi-year ice in the Arctic Ocean in October, has been rather persistant in following a exponential downward dive. The 2007 year was NOT anomalous – it simply is the next logical point on the curve – that you guys try to draw exponential curves as lines doesn’t change reality. Neither do your attacks on/with individual’s statements. Statements aren’t relevant, multi-year sea ice VOLUME (NOT extent) at the end of the melt season is the bottom line. Why haven’t you included that CORE piece of data on your site?

  10. Dr. Duck

    At least there’s a debate here even if dominated by pseudo scientists. A couple of points: Pool professor Weart. He argues quite eloquently using the first discussed technique of disinformation. By referencing people who were right once they are therefore correct for all and ever. Bolsh.

    We humans are such solipsists. What exaggerated sense of our own dominance that we can crucially affect the climate patterns of an entire planet. The earth has survived the worst that can be thrown at it for 4.5 billion years.

    As for glaciation. Wish we could ask the Norse settlers of Greenland where the farm land they used went. Archaeologists studying Norse Greenland have found that in 1000 AD the settlers got 80% of their calories from agriculture. By the time the settlements petered out 80% came from the ocean. Agriculture had become virtually impossible due to climate change. I am reasonably certain this was prior to the industrial revolution. They earth’s climate, sea levels, coastlines and atmosphere change back and forth over time. There is almost nothing we can do about it. Get over it. Even if we could we’d probably get it wrong. Ask anyone familiar with forest and park management how we’ve done with that. The big fallacy is that we have to do something. If we do something to affect climate we better be 100% sure we’re right ’cause it’s not nice to fool mother nature.

    As is so often the case with alarmists versions of reality if you really want to know what’s behind it, follow the money. Example: History channel declares Global Warming the number one threat to human survival. History channel owned by NBC who is owned by GE who stands to make megabucks from proprietary tech if Kyoto is ratified by U.S.

    Instead of focusing on a complex, ancient and self-regulating system we can’t change why not do some real environmental good like recycling? Are any environmentalists gutsy enough to take on big retail for throwing away millions of tons of recyclables annually? Recyclables that could and should be reclaimed. Hmmm? Didn’t think so. All these wonderful friends of the earth are too busy collecting donations from Walmart or Sears to pay any attention to this kind of waste.

    Why can’t the environmental movement do what’s right and possible instead of throwing millions away and trying to legislate us all into totalitarian subsistence so they can feel fulfilled.

  11. Otto Foust

    Climate change is the fault of people like Al Gore, it is all in the burned out brain, he has found himself a good job of making a few million by going around the world preaching his sermon on climate change, The Tilt of the earth effects the weather, the 23.000 year journey of the sun through the Milky Way will effect the weather, sun flares and their 11-22-33-year cycle and the third cycle is the worst.

  12. Martin

    The Earth is about ten billion times heavier than all humans and all man-made things. So we can’t affect Earth’s temperature, except infinitesimally.

    I’m 39 years old and have lived in London for most of my life. The climate here has been the same for as long as I can remember. We have snow occasionally, about every three years. The hottest year I can remember was in 1976! As the years go by, and the climate remains the same – as I’m sure it will – I hope that the global warming scare will gradually be forgotten.

  13. Richard Stead

    I notice on the Climate recearch Unit website that world temperatures have stopped increasing over the last four years and the long term average is levelling off. This could be a temporary blip or the start of a long term trend. That it is a long term trend is likely because all the governments seem agreed that it isn’t.

    It is when everyone is certain that stock/house prices will continue to go up that they inevitably crash. I suspect the same effect here.

    We are being constantly told about the receding tundra and the North pole ice cap. Noone mentions that the earth in recent years has been closer to the sun during the Northern winter and further away in the summer. That might have some bearing on the fact that the North pole area is tending to melt whilst the South pole after a panic a few years ago is actually increasing in Ice cover.

  14. mike

    Follow the money. Who paid for this web site? Could it have been the big carbon polluters? Even the children of the CEO at Exxon will be affected by the coming global catastrophe. I guess he does not care. I have heard CEO’s think only that they themselves are important, no other human life matters. Apparently as long as the CEO of Exxon gets his two hundred million yearly salary on time all other considerations vanish. Get it while the getting is good. In the carbon polluter world, ignoring a problem means it does not exist. So billions of tons of FOSSIL carbon released into the biosphere for the first time in 240 million years is insigificant and no problem at all.

  15. Irish druid

    I wonder when Africa becomes more arid and vast areas become unable to sustain local African populations will the Russian and Canadian governments have them re-settled to the newly thawed tundra,,,,,,hmmm

  16. Tyler

    You may also want to mention that greenhouse gases were 18 times higher than they are now in the Triassic period…damn those dinosaurs and their industrialization!

  17. Stuck in here

    I’m pleased to see some rational adds instead of the usual ‘offset your induldgences here’ nonsense.

    If people truly are in seek of the truth unbiased then they will only if they work for it. This topic is EXTREMELY complex and very few know enough to even make an educated decision. Even after almost 10 years of research and being a weather lover I still know very little…even the most educated of our scientists put together know precious little REGARDLESS of any ill-conceived ‘consensus’ touted repeatedly.

    Alot of the 20th century warming is easily explained through the use of land based temp stations and the encroachment of urban sprall, and no there is no ‘formula’ capable to compensate for this I’m sorry. Now that we have satelite verified by baloon it is the only and best way to truly verify DATA and that’s the problem the data says something different than the theory and projections as I’ve found through endless hours of research. The only ‘data’ that shows continued warming is from yours truly GISS, J. Hansen all other methods show much less and even some are showing cooling is beginning.

    Now it may not take 10 years to get to where I am of course but that’s an obvious problem, the average Joe just wants to be told they dont have time or energy to go digging.

    What you never hear is that we’re in (and have been for almost 20 yrs) the warm cycle of the AMO and until recently warm PDO. The oceans are in my opinion the second biggest climate forcing element next to the SUN yes I said it, the SUN. It has been predicted that we will start seeing more frequent La Ninas and les intense El Ninos as we head into the next cycle of cooling. As we go forward there is anticipated weaker solar cycles looming that will be the back drop of our climate…the combination of this and a cold AMO cycle also anticipated in the comming years still several years in the making will all contribute to a cooler clime and possible little ice age conditions to set in by mid century NOT some continued warming due to the extremely dubious CO2, the phantom menace is leaving the building and this is my opinion as well as many other very reputable scientists that are having a very hard time getting their message out because it isn’t pollitically correct! These views need to be heard and the world needs to know there are many good reasons to head their warnings of a comming cooling world because most of the population of the world simply will not be able to survive if it gets to the extreme, just look at China for petes sake, cold is bad..warm is good! no amount of hype or conjecture will ever change that!!!! Peace

  18. Paul

    It doesn’t take rocket science to see that the way mankind is growing, without reguard for its enviorment,could be compared to a swarm of “locusts”. Put you SUV in the garage ,close the door for 1 min. and take a breath.Now time that by 8 billion cars ,trucks,boats,planes,electric plants,lawn mowers,and on and on. Even if we start a crash program to reverse it , I know our grand kids will be very unhappy with conditions they inherited.

  19. HeroicLife

    The primary products of combustion are carbon dioxide and water. There are some unburned combustibles that the catalytic filter fails to catch – unburned hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide (which quickly oxidizes into carbon dioxide). They are not very good for people, but great for plants.

  20. Adolf Goreing

    Ref 5. I am pretty tired of always hearing about the “insurance ” argument. You have an insurance for your house so you can rebuild it, NOT to stop the house from burning down. You, eco-fascists tell us to give you or money so something scientifically impossible will materialize: the climate will stop changing! And exactly at which “level” will the climate be kept? And for how long? Why not for 1000 yrs and the victory will be ours! SIEG!

  21. Edmund P.

    I think my personal favorite comment is the one speculating this website might be backed by the oil companies, which soon turns into an ad hominem attack on some nameless executives progeny. Does that not sum up the extreme environmentalists position beautifully? Forget rational discourse– so blase, so definite. I suppose that’s one of the drawbacks of postmodern ‘thought.’

  22. Jim

    Hmmmm…..some say global climate change is a man made calamity in progress others say its all a bunch of hype. Who do I believe?
    I am a scientist but not a climate scientist. I can’t do my own scientific study of the climate data and models so I have to look at what I do know, who is telling me what and see how it all adds up.
    Well…certainly the climate is much warmer (on average) then when I was a kid. In fact I think the debate about whether or not the climate is warming is pretty much settled by the data and the discussion now is; are we causing it and what problems will result.
    So..are we causing it or is it a natural cycle. Well…certainly natural cycles occur and the climate has been much warmer in the past and the world didn’t fall apart then. But then the climate change was generally much more gradual, giving time for forests and entire ecosystems to move north or south, adjust and evolve. The world didn’t fall apart. But then again even with the gradual pace of natural climate change many species did go extinct either locally or globally. And in those more rare instances of rapid climate change very many species did go extinct. So it would seem this currently rapid pace of climate change does give me cause to worry. But the question remains. Who is causing it? Is it humans or natural? And can we do anything about it. I don’t know lets see what others say.
    It would seem from the media coverage over the last 15 or so years (and until very recently) that the scientific community might be split down the middle on this one. The news clip shows 1 scientist who says its human caused and serious and then 1 scientist who says its natural and probably nothing to worry about, and certainly not worth wreaking the economy over. Seems like a 50/50 split to me.
    But then I dig a little deeper and find that while there are literally thousands of scientists across the globe who say it is real, it is human caused, and it is very likely to have serious consequences, there are really only a handful of climate scientists who say the opposite. A little more digging and I find out that those who say it is not real always seem to have a financial interest in saying that.
    Some scientists say it isn’t real, but then their research is often funded in large part by the fossil fuel companies who stand the most to loose if we have to stop buying their products.
    Some politicians say it isn’t real, but then their campaigns or the campaigns of many in their party are heavily funded by the fossil fuel industry. Or perhaps there is lots of oil, gas or coal in their home state.
    Some “news” shows say it isn’t real, but their commentators are usually well known for their far right conservative appeal and the far right has traditionally been rather hostile to any environmental cause and especially global warming.
    So the debate continues between a few well funded scientists on one side and thousands of scientists around the world on the on other side.
    The news media divides the time equally between the two sides rather then proportionately between the number if scientist on either side so we get the impression that the jury is still out on this one.
    The politicians get elected with fossil fuel money and then hire the fossil fuel industry spokes people and put the in charge of sponsoring what the government climate scientists can tell the media.
    Despite this, the steady drum beat, the periodic increasingly dire warnings coming from the worlds major organizations of scientists, the ever increasingly rare white Christmas, the steady stream of reports on freak weather, the steady stream of complaints from government scientist that they are being muzzled by political appointees, the reports of polar bears swimming around looking for an ice berg before dying of exhaustion, all seem to be slowly having their effect.

    Given all this it seems to me that some day those who claim human induced global climate change is non-sense, although they will never disappear altogether, will end up along side those who still believe the sun revolves around the earth. Of course by then it might be far to late to do anything to stop the dire consequences predicted. In deed, some scientists now say it’s already too late and anything we do is really just to make our selves feel better as we wait for the storm to get going. In any case we will end up scrambling to switch to alternative energies irregardless of the cost. The cost associated with developing other forms of energy, now that it will have to be done in panic mode instead of gradually, will be astronomically higher then the predicted cost of making the changes 20, 15, 10, or 5 years ago. Those who ran the fossil fuel companies, and are currently enjoying record profits, will have built up massive fortunes and will not have to suffer the effects that the rest of us will, and of course they will be able to afford all the energy they want no matter what it costs.
    Hmm….sounds like most of human history to me. The only question left is, if this is all true, will this just be another short story in human history, same story line, different setting, different characters but basically like many other stories? Or will this be the last chapter in that book. We have had many disastrous wars in human history but we always managed to bounce back. Of course now we advanced to the possibility of nuclear war. We have also had many environmental calamities in human history, the dust bowl, the irish potato famine to name just a couple. But despite the suffering the caused we got through them, moved on and bounced back. But now we have advanced to the point of affecting the planet as a whole. If will be interesting the see how at all pans out. I hope I live long enough to see the answer. In any case I will be old and if it turns out bad I won’t have to suffer for long. It’s sort of like getting near the end of a thriller and wondering if the main character dies or survives.

  23. gramps

    Paul (18) thinks our grandchildren will be disappointed with the environmental legacy which we have left them. May I respectfully point out that their lives, in infancy and youth are at the present time severely suffering from environmental taxes as a result of a cynical, fraudulent, fatuous and futile tax-funded propaganda campaign perpetrated by western politicians and supported by gullible green enemies of the People.
    Taxes thus raised will be hijacked to pay reparations and compensation for interventionist wars in the middle east and I guess that our grandchildren will, as adults, still be paying taxes to fund.
    Follow the money is good advice for uncovering this wickedness!.
    The one minute case is excellent and it is to be hoped that common sense will prevail despite the squawks of the greens,:mrgreen:

  24. Tom

    What would happen if we discovered a global cooling trend? Would we try to reverse the trend by promoting the production of green house gases? Would there be a call for governments to give tax incentives to SUV drivers? I would suggest environmentalists would be outraged by this and declare it idiocy to think that humans could affect weather.

  25. Jan Lindström

    ref 22: “But then the climate change was generally much more gradual, giving time for forests and entire ecosystems to move north or south, adjust and evolve.”

    I used to be in aerosol research in the 80´s. I am still reading papers in my old field. I used to be a believer of AGW until I actually read the IPCC reports of 2001 AND the apocryphs. (The perr review articles that did not support the views of IPCC.) I can tell You, the number of questioning papers are increasing. They don´t do it openly. Usually it says something like “the natural variation in the observed system is larger than previously anticipated. However, it cannot be ruled out that the anthropogenic factor is the main driver.” There is a risk you may lose your support the next around if you really question the AGW hypothesis openly. But the evidences are piling up against not for.

    Going back to the quota from Your text. You say the climate has never changed this quickly before. That is a key point and very, very important because there are no evidence supporting this. We simply don´t have records going back that far only proxy data. (And they don´t provide any information on the rate with any useful accuracy).
    And regarding the support for the AGW hypothesis I would guess some 50 % among the climate researchers support it. Probably some 30 % ´believe in a natural cycle. And the rest believes in a mixture where sometimes the natural fluctuations can be of a magnitude larger than the anthropogenic impact.

    Actually, along these lines were the results of a survey of 25 000 engineers and geo physicists in Canada.

    My personal belief is that the skeptic view is slowly getting more support all the time. And that is regardless of what the so called fossile industry does. (Its a joke really if you look at the sums used for and against AGW. Its a ratio 100:1 for the AGW propaganda)

  26. G. A. Mackey

    Hmmm…. nice site. I’m surprised there are not more comments from the AGW folks. They usually flood any site with the tremerity to question their High Priest (Al Gore), usually with a diatribe of vile insults and other silliness. Geez – Al Gore’s “carbon footprint” must equal several small sub-saharan contries.:shock:

    I love comment 24 (Tom). 😆 Tom you are SOOO right. Notice how ALL the “solutions” to global warming call for more regulation and more government control? Our AGW folks have a wonderful “plan” to save us. Cripple the industrial engine that’s fueling our technological progress, reducing poverty, etc. “The only solution” seems to be to turn the clock back to the 1700’s. Sadly, (perhaps not too sadly to them) a few billion folks will have to die. You know – “Earth first” and all that (tripe).

    1 medium sized asteroid or a couple of “mount Pinatubo” volcanic eruptions would add more co2 to the atmosphere than the human race has in the last 100 years.

    But it feels so good to preach to all those evil capitalists :roll: (using their computer, with their cable or satellite TV on in the background)

  27. GW Crawford

    Re: 18, SUV in the garage
    If you want an experiment that test that, you need the following
    Filters/Fans: The Earth has winds that move the air around, it has currents that transport heat vast distances
    Plants/Oceans: Both of these absorb VAST amounts of CO2
    Increase human presence by around a billion: The volume of gas produced by mankind on then Earth compared to the SUV in a garage is completely off
    So rather than some half-arsed little parable, try looking at science and deep history
    Here’s another experiment in your style: smack your cat in the nose. Are you still alive? Yes! So, logically, if I scale this experiment up to kicking a Siberian Tiger in the ‘nads, I will still be safe.
    Scale matters

  28. Joe

    First of all, I’m only 15 so i admit in advance to knowing effectively nothing about the topic. But does anyone but me think its interesting that both sides are telling us to “follow the money” i wonder it’ll lead… Anyway i’d like to learn some more on this from as impartial a source as possible, does anyone have a site which shows both sides of the argument?

  29. Dallas Beaufort

    Sunspot to King 4.. Check Mate…

  30. Clarke

    Common sense quickly debunks the possibility of man-caused climate change.

    Not one American in 200 has a clue how much ACTUAL carbon dioxide exists in the atmosphere. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website in Boulder Colorado, the air currently contains about 0.038% CO2, compared with 0.33% in 1957, as measured at Mauna Loa, Hawaii.

    About 2.75% of that 0.038% is of human origin. Now let’s use the common-sense, solve-the-question-the-easy-way approach any *good* engineer would know how to use:

    Build a 3000-mile pipeline from Los Angeles to New York city. Completely clean and sterilize it on the inside to remove all contaminants. Fill it with clean atmospheric air at standard temperature and pressure (physicists know what this means, but it’s essentially 72 degrees F. and sea-level pressure, though it doesn’t affect the outcome, assuming the entire pipe is at sea level (we could bury it 7000 feet in the ground or more crossing the Rockies).

    Now seal both ends tightly, then collect every single molecule of CO2 in the entire pipe to one end and put a plug between the CO2 and everything else.

    Then gather every molecule of human-produced CO2 from that and place it at the end of the CO2 segment and plug that. Now you have three sections of pipe: Ordinary air minus the CO2, non-human CO2, and human-produced CO2.

    Out of 3000 miles of pipe, the CO2 will fill less than one mile of pipe (less than 1/3000 of the total). The human-produced CO2 will fit comfortably inside of 150 feet, twice the length of my home.

    Now would someone please explain how that 150 feet of CO2 can have any effect at all on the climate? Truth: It can’t.

    So where does all of that CO2 come from?

    Plants in the ocean need CO2. It can’t come from the air because there is no way to get that much into the water. Instead, it bubbles out of the ground forming the sea floor. It comes out of
    volcanoes. It comes out of the ground in Kansas. It is produced in the core of the earth by the earth’s geological processes. Similar processes create crude oil. That’s why we need not panic that we’re running out of oil.

    Short answer: Man has negligible effect on the climate as a result of human activity.

    Now how do we educate the morons in Congress who refuse to understand this simple stuff?

  31. Clarke

    Oops — Make that 0.033% in 1957. Typo.

    My undergraduate college degree includes an extended major in physics. I completed the courses required for an MS in engineering.
    I was licensed as a Registered Professional Engineer in 1980.

    Climatology is applied physics. Too many climatologists didn’t take a good course in heat transfer. I have never met a solidly credentialed scientist grounded in physics or chemistry who had any willingness at all to suggest humans are responsible for climate change. The best climatologists don’t seem to accept it either.

    Only lawyers, politicians, and people with limited education in the solid physical sciences — or researchers who want a grant so they don’t have to get a “real job” seem willing to go down that road.

  32. BobC

    Tom said:
    “What would happen if we discovered a global cooling trend?”

    This has already happened, back in the 1970’s. (I think Hansen might even have been involved.)

    “Would we try to reverse the trend by promoting the production of green house gases? Would there be a call for governments to give tax incentives to SUV drivers?”

    No, actually, the proposed soluton was to shut down industrial civilization. Apparently, it’s the all-purpose solution!

  33. BobC

    Spencer Weart said:
    [back in the 1980s] “Other people, like Jim Hansen, predicted that by now it would be perhaps half a degree warmer, and they were right.”

    Actually, Spence, Hansen predicted it would be 1 deg C warmer: ( http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1988/1988_Hansen_etal.pdf ). The half degree prediction was for scenario “c” which postulated that CO2 growth would stop by 2000. Since CO2 continues to grow at a constant (nearly) rate (scenario “a”) that is the correct prediction to compare to the actual value.

    Speaking of the actual value, according to satellite readings, the actual change since Hansen’s 1988 testimony before congress is MINUS 0.2 deg C ( http://icecap.us/images/uploads/HANSEN_AND_CONGRESS.jpg ). Compare this data with the projections in Hansen’s paper (linked above).

    So, tell us again why you believe Hansen — is it because he is only off by a factor of 5 (with the wrong sign)?

  34. Pingback: The vicious lie behind the global warming scare | Truth, Justice, and the American Way

  35. Terry Edwards

    :cool::smile:
    When listening to ANYONE, when studying ANYTHING – always remember those having vested interests. Corporation folks and governments all have vested interests. MONEY talks – ALWAYS.
    And financially-backed vested interests will influence attitudes – even to global warming and climate change.
    Let us make every effort to steer towards “vested interests” in new, more economical, entreprenurally attractive projects with new ventures that embody much cleaner energy sources.

  36. Ken

    Anyone remember the early 70’s?? The BIG news item of the day was the coming Ice Age. Sounds like a cycle type phenomena to me. What I don’t understand is why everyone who has a model of the climate overestimates the effect of CO2, but does not take into account the affect that precipitation has on the climate. Mainly because it is too hard to model the total affect that precipitation (rain, snow, etc.) plays. Like the earth and life itself, it is too complex.

  37. John de Oz

    If you follow the money trail you’ll find out the truth about AGW. The problem started during the seventies when meteorologists predicted global cooling. Now it is warming. What will they say after the solar max in 2012?

    About 0.5 degree C is well within the range of fluctuations over the past 10Ky, and global warming leads increases in agricultural output from higher lattitudes.

    Global warming means atmospheric expansion, greater uptake of water by the atmosphere, by far the most effective and abundent greenhouse gas, and increased cloud cover and rainfail, turning the world into a nice, green, warm place.

    Don’t forget that most of the fossil fuels originated from times when the mean world temperatures are said to have been 7 degrees C higher than now.

    Canada, Russia and China and the oil companies will probably love it too because of the oil and gas to be found in the arctic zone.

    Whatever the future brings, it will always be a challange. Climate change is what drives evolution, and for those with a religious bent we don’t need climate change for that, because God, Allah, He, She, or It, may be thought of as the synergy of the universe.

    Cheers

  38. Katie

    Global warming is happening, but it happened centuries ago as well. Sure, we contribute to degree (we certainly don’t help), but to be so revoltingly mean and alarmist is not the answer to the problem. We just don’t know enough about the world and what it is suppose to do to get up in arms about it. Next year or five years from now, if history of media and popular trend are anyway to judge, we will be heading into an ice age. I’m all for conservation, recycling and making my carbon footprint a bit smaller, but we can’t go crazy with this. We need to deal with this rationally, which is far from what is happening.

  39. wanderer1031

    I do not know about any “science” or “engineering”, but my heart tells me that destroying the forests, damming the rivers, poisoning the water, killing the topsoil, wiping out plant and animal species EVERYDAY and filling the air with toxins is NOT good. You can keep all of your gold, all of your plastic, all of your oil, all of your industry. I would rather be poor.

    “Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.”

  40. G. M. Craig

    The Bible forecasts Last Days of wars, famine, pestilence and disease. All of these can be brought on by global warming. Wars are likely to develop as populations are displaced by oceans rise. Loss of agricultural land in flooded areas would cause famine. Pestilence would increase as climates become more favorable for year-round insect life, and tropical diseases carried by infestation would increase.

    Global warming would be regenerative. Oceans which have served as a buffer by absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide will be releasing dissolved carbon dioxide as they warm. Warmer air will carry increased moisture which is another greenhouse gas. Melting of snow and ice will decrease reflectivity of sunlight thus increasing heating of the globe. These regenerative actions, of heating promoting more heating, may produce thermal runaway after a tipping point is reached. We cannot know when that point may be reached. Perhaps it has already occured.

  41. Santa

    Most people seem to forget that Earth’s climate has been changing for the past 4 billion years (give or take a few). Global warming AND cooling has resulted in large scale tropical climates and large scale glaciation (e.g. snowball Earth) and everything between those extremes. This already happened millions of years ago when humans were not around!

    The factors involved in climate change are hugely complex: distance between the Earth and the Sun (which is variable by the way…), position of the continents, behaviour of the deep ocean currents (which transport most of the energy), CO2 levels linked to the deposition of calcium carbonate by micro-organisms in the oceans, ice cover (reflecting sunlight), extensive volcanism (e.g. pumping CO2 in the atmosphere or blocking sunlight causing “nuclear winter”) and so on… These global climate and energy distributing factors interact and work on timescales of thousands to millions of years.

    You may think that scientist understand the interaction of Earth’s climate factors, I mean the data and computer models clearly show that the Earth is warming up. But the same computer models have so far not been able to satisfactory “predict” Earth past climate (which we know from the fossil climate records) and can also not forecast the weather two weeks in the future! Besides, there is clear evidence that the climate has actually slightly cooled in the last 2000 years and the last 100 years with only a slight warming on the first half of the 20th century.

    Oh,… and as someone wrote before me… (and he/she was right)… the Antarctic icecap is actually growing! Does make you think doesn’t it!?

    It just doesn’t add up that we are the only cause of climate change. What seems even more unlikely is that we can “stop” climate change (unless you are capable stopping Earth from rotating around the Sun…). It would be much wiser to accept that, inevitably, climate is going to change and to spend some money on how we are going to deal with it rather then how we are going to avoid it.

    On a personal note, I have always been interested in geology and the Earth climate. At one stage I had started postgraduate studies at quite a renowned university. It was suggested by the department I studied with that I should write something about climate change in my research proposal. I was told that even if I didn’t end up researching climate change it would look favourable on my grant application and could attract up to $100,000 extra for the department… I knew that I was in the wrong line of research then.

    Anyway, if global sea level rises I won’t buy a house at the beach (even better, my place might end up at the beach!). If we end up going into the next glacial period (as we are supposed to) I’ll light the fireplace hopefully emitting so much CO2 that it will be nice and warm the year after.

    A special note for all you alarmists: there are some large rocks flying around in our solar system of which some may even hit Earth and kill everything. Luckily there are some people watching out for these rocks but for every rock they find they miss about eight or so. Besides, even if we find one there is not plan or funding to seriously do something about it. Also, on another happy note, if any star within a ‘quite a few’ light years of Earth goes supernova we will be hit by some major gamma radiation killing everything with zero warning… I haven’t heard anyone loosing sleep over it.

    Merry Xmas…

  42. R James

    Santa – you make some good points on alternative risks.

    For the past 10 years I’ve been asking a simple question, and can’t get an answer. Can anyone produce any evidence that increasing carbon dioxide is or can cause significant global temperature change? I don’t want failed computer models – just real data to back it up. I want more than the usual answers eg “what else could it be”, “isn’t it obvious” Perhaps someone here can come up with something based on real data. Remember we’ve just seen 11 years of cooling, despite a 5% CO2 increase – makes it a bit hard, doesn’t it?

  43. global warming

    How can you just assume there is no global warming when you see it’s effects every day. After living most of my life seeing the weather patterns change. You seriously cannot deny something is not changing. Having a solid back grounding in electronics. seeing the displacement of ions in the atmosphere, Knowing the ultra violet rays can then penetrate and will leave many and very soon with tremendous burns. Ask yourself why do they tell everyone to wear sunglasses? Even if your a bible student. One can relate to the end of the age where it is said many shall burn. Think this could not be related to the stupidity of mans lack of throwing the God of LOVE out the door? Better wake up before it’s to late.

  44. Kiko

    R James – and my follow up question would be – So what is the ultimate global termperature we are trying to attain and who decides what it will be?

    By the way, James Hansen also worked on the original research that ultimately led to the Global Cooling theory…….

  45. Robert Bressler

    The one-minute arguement dovetails nicely with George Will’s comments in the current Neweek. He argues that global warming is bogus because the current year is the coolest in a decade and 1998 is still the warmest year on record. I would argue you are both incorrect because the earth’s oceans are the only true barometers of global heat balance and the polar oceans are warmer. Both of you need to take a course in statistics and I hope a statistician answers you both.

  46. David Watt

    The effect of the exceptionally long solar cycle 23 and the likely low intensity cycle 24 will be to make it sufficiently cold within the next 5 to 10 years to convince nearly everyone that AGW is not a problem.

    Until this happens any action taken to “fight” global warming should be on a “no regrets” basis. i.e. it should as far as possible be restricted to actions like increasing energy efficiency which make sense in there own tight whether AGW is taking place or not.

  47. James

    The whole global warming debate, whether or not it is true, has done a good job at educating the public into being more environmentally aware of their every day choices. It’s spawned an entirely new generation dedicated to sustainable development.

    Its interesting that you point out ingenuity. Thats precisely what the new green movement has developed. New ways of living. Its peope like you that want to remain in the status-quo and continue business like usual. Its people who are environmentally aware who want to change our cultural behaviors and adapt to an “ever changing climate” .

  48. Anthony

    The earth’s climate may be incredibly complex but it is also incredibly fragile. The thin veil of atmosphere that blankets our earth is only kilometers thick.

    If it were around the globe on your desk it would be less than a millimeter thick. Yet into this thin veil we are pumping billions of tonnes of carbon. My small state in Victoria in Australia just pumped out 2.016 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in the past week alone. (27 Feb – 5 Mar). 2 million tonnes! We know the impact that changes to the concentration of carbon has in our atmosphere. To deny this is human induced is ludicrous – even for the lay person. For the 210 people killed in our recent bushfires and the 8,000 made homeless the extreme weather events predicted by climate scientists here are very real- try telling them climate change is a joke in one minute.

  49. Harry Flashman

    @Ken
    It is a myth that global cooling was big news in the 1970s. Climate change science was a nascent field in the 1970s and there was not enough data to be sure what direction climate change was headed. Some scientists looked at the data that was available and inferred that global cooling was possible but to say that it was big news is false. There was nothing then like the consensus of opinion we see for climate change that we see today.

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