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Old 10-18-2007, 01:07 AM   #51
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keep it up, rox. there's no 'population bomb'. exponential growth curves are a liberal pipe dream. there's never a scarcity of anything, be it stones in the stone age, or oil in the present oil age.

no? we're onto second phase rox: it doesn't matter. 'nature' takes care of things. africa will solve itself, and a few million deaths are the fault of the corrupt governements and there's nothing the west can do.

----

RA I was thinking of people like Paul Erlich and related issues like his hobbyhorse, the "population bomb." I was young and dumb when that came out, was was convinced that, yes indeed, we really were all gonna die, and quite soon, too.
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Old 10-25-2007, 12:33 PM   #52
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John Christy of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (co-recipient of this year's Nobel Peace Prize) responds to questions by CNN anchor Miles O'Brien:

O'BRIEN: I assume you're not happy about sharing this award with Al Gore. You going to renounce it in some way?

CHRISTY: Well, as a scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, I always thought that -- I may sound like the Grinch who stole Christmas here -- that prizes were given for performance, and not for promotional activities.

And, when I look at the world, I see that the carbon dioxide rate is increasing, and energy demand, of course, is increasing. And that's because, without energy, life is brutal and short. So, I don't see very much effect in trying to scare people into not using energy, when it is the very basis of how we can live in our society.

O'BRIEN: So, what about the movie ["An Inconvenient Truth"]; do you take issue with, then, Dr. Christy?

CHRISTY: Well, there's any number of things.

I suppose, fundamentally, it's the fact that someone is speaking about a science that I have been very heavily involved with and have labored so hard in, and been humiliated by, in the sense that the climate is so difficult to understand, Mother Nature is so complex, and so the uncertainties are great, and then to hear someone speak with such certainty and such confidence about what the climate is going to do is -- well, I suppose I could be kind and say, it's annoying to me.

O'BRIEN: But you just got through saying that the carbon dioxide levels are up. Temperatures are going up. There is a certain degree of certainty that goes along with that, right?

CHRISTY: Well, the carbon dioxide is going up. And remember that carbon dioxide is plant food in the fundamental sense. All of life depends on the fact carbon dioxide is in the atmosphere. So, we're fortunate it's not a toxic gas. But, on the other hand, what is the climate doing. And when we build -- and I'm one of the few people in the world that actually builds these climate data sets -- we don't see the catastrophic changes that are being promoted all over the place.

For example, I suppose CNN did not announce two weeks ago when the Antarctic sea ice extent reached its all-time maximum, even though, in the Arctic in the North Pole, it reached its all-time minimum.
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Old 10-25-2007, 05:46 PM   #53
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Personally, I find the exact extent of the problem very confusing to definitely discover, due to the welter of misinformation out there. Dr. CHristy signed the document with the others that there is a demonstrable problem. This interview shows tht Gore's film is off base here and there, which doesn't shock me in the slightest. There's a lot of outright lies and denial out there. I think anyone does well to have hacked through the jungle of crap to come as close as Gore did. These are quibbles.
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Old 10-25-2007, 07:15 PM   #54
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It's pretty typical that a scientist is going to be preoccupied with the empirical facts and see Gore as a mere "promoter" - the award is often handed out for leadership however, Gore recieved the award along with the people who have done the actual fleshing out of the theory on the basis of leadership, i.e., he has generated considerable controversy in the face of some very powerful social and economic forces in order to bring these peoples work to the attention of the world.

It's pretty much the same as the whole internet debate, Gore reconized important work being done and backed it up.
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:08 AM   #55
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eat shit
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:00 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cantdog
eat shit
Did I miss something? Just curious....

I was under the impression there a pretty thoughtful, if at times vitriolic, discussion going here... but ”eat shit”?

-KC
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:28 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cantdog
eat shit
Maybe it is this character flaw I have…. I just don’t have the zeal of a true believer, at least anymore. I have morphed into a more of an “there is a good/ there is a bad side” on any issue that rises to the level of honest debate…. And try to frame my opinions with an “on balance” caveat. Zealots hate people like me more than they hate the opposing zealots…. So shoot me.

But I have found the debate on this and other threads on this same basic subject interesting and fascinating and have even learned more than a few things about the whole subject. For that, I thank you.

I guess my take is that there is some of basic agreement that there seems to be at least SOME measurable effect by man’s activities on climate of the entire planet…. I don’t know if it is significant in the geological time sense, and I don’t know what the impact may yet prove to be or whether it is within the historical but chaotic parameters of the planet climate to date.. Hell… I don’t know what the ultimate impact would be if it proves to be significant beyond retiring to the beach of Nova Scotia instead of Florida. Neither does anyone else KNOW.

But I am struck by the very fact we seem to be having ANY measurable impact on this huge system when for all but the last 100 years of our existence it when not have seemed remotely possible.

So it just seems prudent that we attempt to reduce and minimize this impact if we have the wherewithal to do it, which we seem to have. If for no other reason, than we really have no idea of WHAT the ultimate effect will be to ourselves and fellow species on the planet….. Kind of a “don’t fuck with mother nature” view, if you will. Our huge populations will have an unavoidable impact on the planet as it is. Let’s not add to the problem. Even a little.

Meanwhile…. Start buying up those Nova Scotia beach front condo’s…..

Peace and Love,

-KC
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Old 11-01-2007, 03:36 PM   #58
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My Nobel Moment
By JOHN R. CHRISTY
November 1, 2007

I've had a lot of fun recently with my tiny (and unofficial) slice of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But, though I was one of thousands of IPCC participants, I don't think I will add "0.0001 Nobel Laureate" to my resume.

The other half of the prize was awarded to former Vice President Al Gore, whose carbon footprint would stomp my neighborhood flat. But that's another story.

Large icebergs in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica. Winter sea ice around the continent set a record maximum last month. Both halves of the award honor promoting the message that Earth's temperature is rising due to human-based emissions of greenhouse gases. The Nobel committee praises Mr. Gore and the IPCC for alerting us to a potential catastrophe and for spurring us to a carbonless economy.

I'm sure the majority (but not all) of my IPCC colleagues cringe when I say this, but I see neither the developing catastrophe nor the smoking gun proving that human activity is to blame for most of the warming we see. Rather, I see a reliance on climate models (useful but never "proof") and the coincidence that changes in carbon dioxide and global temperatures have loose similarity over time.

There are some of us who remain so humbled by the task of measuring and understanding the extraordinarily complex climate system that we are skeptical of our ability to know what it is doing and why. As we build climate data sets from scratch and look into the guts of the climate system, however, we don't find the alarmist theory matching observations. (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite data we analyze at the University of Alabama in Huntsville does show modest warming -- around 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit per century, if current warming trends of 0.25 degrees per decade continue.)

It is my turn to cringe when I hear overstated-confidence from those who describe the projected evolution of global weather patterns over the next 100 years, especially when I consider how difficult it is to accurately predict that system's behavior over the next five days.

Mother Nature simply operates at a level of complexity that is, at this point, beyond the mastery of mere mortals (such as scientists) and the tools available to us. As my high-school physics teacher admonished us in those we-shall-conquer-the-world-with-a-slide-rule days, "Begin all of your scientific pronouncements with 'At our present level of ignorance, we think we know . . .'"

I haven't seen that type of climate humility lately. Rather I see jump-to-conclusions advocates and, unfortunately, some scientists who see in every weather anomaly the specter of a global-warming apocalypse. Explaining each successive phenomenon as a result of human action gives them comfort and an easy answer.

Others of us scratch our heads and try to understand the real causes behind what we see. We discount the possibility that everything is caused by human actions, because everything we've seen the climate do has happened before. Sea levels rise and fall continually. The Arctic ice cap has shrunk before. One millennium there are hippos swimming in the Thames, and a geological blink later there is an ice bridge linking Asia and North America.

One of the challenges in studying global climate is keeping a global perspective, especially when much of the research focuses on data gathered from spots around the globe. Often observations from one region get more attention than equally valid data from another.

The recent CNN report "Planet in Peril," for instance, spent considerable time discussing shrinking Arctic sea ice cover. CNN did not note that winter sea ice around Antarctica last month set a record maximum (yes, maximum) for coverage since aerial measurements started.

Then there is the challenge of translating global trends to local climate. For instance, hasn't global warming led to the five-year drought and fires in the U.S. Southwest?

Not necessarily.

There has been a drought, but it would be a stretch to link this drought to carbon dioxide. If you look at the 1,000-year climate record for the western U.S. you will see not five-year but 50-year-long droughts. The 12th and 13th centuries were particularly dry. The inconvenient truth is that the last century has been fairly benign in the American West. A return to the region's long-term "normal" climate would present huge challenges for urban planners.

Without a doubt, atmospheric carbon dioxide is increasing due primarily to carbon-based energy production (with its undisputed benefits to humanity) and many people ardently believe we must "do something" about its alleged consequence, global warming. This might seem like a legitimate concern given the potential disasters that are announced almost daily, so I've looked at a couple of ways in which humans might reduce CO2 emissions and their impact on temperatures.

California and some Northeastern states have decided to force their residents to buy cars that average 43 miles-per-gallon within the next decade. Even if you applied this law to the entire world, the net effect would reduce projected warming by about 0.05 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, an amount so minuscule as to be undetectable. Global temperatures vary more than that from day to day.

Suppose you are very serious about making a dent in carbon emissions and could replace about 10% of the world's energy sources with non-CO2-emitting nuclear power by 2020 -- roughly equivalent to halving U.S. emissions. Based on IPCC-like projections, the required 1,000 new nuclear power plants would slow the warming by about 0.2 ?176 degrees Fahrenheit per century. It's a dent.

But what is the economic and human price, and what is it worth given the scientific uncertainty?

My experience as a missionary teacher in Africa opened my eyes to this simple fact: Without access to energy, life is brutal and short. The uncertain impacts of global warming far in the future must be weighed against disasters at our doorsteps today. Bjorn Lomborg's Copenhagen Consensus 2004, a cost-benefit analysis of health issues by leading economists (including three Nobelists), calculated that spending on health issues such as micronutrients for children, HIV/AIDS and water purification has benefits 50 to 200 times those of attempting to marginally limit "global warming."

Given the scientific uncertainty and our relative impotence regarding climate change, the moral imperative here seems clear to me.
________________________________

Mr. Christy is director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and a participant in the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, co-recipient of this year's Nobel Peace Prize.
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Old 11-01-2007, 04:01 PM   #59
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Everyone knows Katrina wasn't caused by global warming, it was God's punishment for the world having so many gays and lesbinisms.
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Old 11-01-2007, 04:23 PM   #60
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christy

hi trysail,

i'm glad you rightwingers have a couple scientists running interference for you.

mr christy, however does have a problem with consistency.

christy, part A It is my turn to cringe when I hear overstated-confidence from those who describe the projected evolution of global weather patterns over the next 100 years, especially when I consider how difficult it is to accurately predict that system's behavior over the next five days.

christy part B
California and some Northeastern states have decided to force their residents to buy cars that average 43 miles-per-gallon within the next decade. Even if you applied this law to the entire world, the net effect would reduce projected warming by about 0.05 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, an amount so minuscule as to be undetectable. Global temperatures vary more than that from day to day.

-----
mr christy, critic of prediction, even for five days, ventures to predict within a hunredth of a degree regarding a gasoline economy program he wishes to criticize.

it's sad that the target he picked, gasoline fuel economy, is probably the biggest single way to abate or postpone the energy cruch. he neglects to mention that the current average of 20 mpg is essentially that of the old Model T's. detroit's and the politicians' inertia is monumenta.

doubly sad, since the right wing "leave it to the corporatiions" proposal--don't legislate fuel economy--l is obviously defective on a number of grounds *completely apart from climate change*.
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Old 11-01-2007, 08:41 PM   #61
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Global Warming is a hoax....


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Kinda says it all for me. Looks like someone left the hot water on in the tub a little too long.
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Old 11-02-2007, 12:14 AM   #62
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Quote:
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Kinda says it all for me. Looks like someone left the hot water on in the tub a little too long.
Right.

Next.

(Oh..., by the way, do ask the Beeb to take a look at Antarctica when you get a chance. While you're at it, you might ask them to have a little chat with John Christy. Lastly, tell the folks at the Beeb that they really ought to check the Kool-Aide for contamination).


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Old 11-02-2007, 12:42 AM   #63
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hi try,

better get back to Ann Coulter for some new 'talking points.'

http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/antarctic_cooling.html

Antarctic Cooling? July 25, 2006
Peter Doran, Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences
The University of Illinois at Chicago
(pdoran@uic.edu; 312-413-7275)

The tight wording Al Gore uses in his movie "An Inconvenient Truth" to describe Antarctic climate has made me feel somewhat responsible for the rather awkward dance he does around the data. I'm an earth sciences professor who has spent 20 years doing research in the Polar Regions. I'm also the lead author of a January 2002 article in the journal Nature that, much to my dismay, continues to be misused in arguments against global warming by people who frankly should be sitting this dance out.

Our paper concluded that a small area of Antarctica called the McMurdo Dry Valleys had cooled over the 14 year period between 1986 and 2000, quickly changing the ecosystem in dramatic ways. We also included in that paper a plot and a few brief sentences about a continental cooling trend over the longer period of 1966 and 2000. Though it was only a small component of the paper, this latter portion became the focus of the popular press and something of a legend among those who struggle to argue that global warming theory is unsound. Right-wing pundits and the main stream media alike sensationalized the story and linked it to another paper in the journal Science out around the same time which showed that a part of Antarctica had been thickening. This connection to our findings was often made despite the other paper’s lead author insisting that his results had nothing to do with modern climate.

I mistakenly thought that over time, the misuse of our results would slowly fade, but it seems this practice has instead grown. Our results have now been used as "evidence" against global warming by Ann Coulter in her latest book, "Godless: The Church of Liberalism", which followed closely Michael Crichton’s misuse of our results in his novel/congressional testimony, "State of Fear". If you search my name on the web, you will find pages of examples of misuse of our results in everything from climate discussion groups to Senate policy committee documents. Not only has this abuse grown, it has evolved. Someone recently sent me a link to a web column where I was quoted as saying "the unexpected colder climate in Antarctica may possibly be signaling a lessening of the current global warming cycle". As Jon Stewart might say…“whaaaa?” Not only have I never thought such a thing, I’ve definitely never said it!

The problem as I see it, comes partly from a disconnect between science and the press. Scientists labor over every word in a published research paper which gets carefully reviewed for accuracy by at least two other experts before publication. But usually news releases get written by non-scientists, with the input of the scientists involved in the work, but without peer review. The releases tend to be written in a way to attract the media’s attention, so strict adherence to the science can degrade. By the time the press gets a news release and conducts interviews, the control on accuracy can get thrown out the window. And I don’t completely excuse my own kind. I experienced cases where colleagues made comments to the press about a paper they clearly had not carefully read. All this points to the inconvenient truth that if you want to be sure you have the facts, you need to go to the original source, or go to a respected peer-reviewed summary (in climate change science the best source of this kind by far is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports which come out every five years and are available on the web). I’m not saying there are no good sources of science news, to the contrary some are quite good, but if you need to be sure of the facts my advice stands

To get back to our Antarctic climate story, we indeed stated that a majority -- 58 percent -- of the continent cooled between 1966 and 2000, but let’s not forget the remainder was warming. One region, the Antarctic Peninsula, warmed at orders of magnitude more than the global average. Our paper did not predict the future and did not make any comment on climate anywhere else on Earth except to say, in our very first sentence, that the Earth’s average air temperature increased by 0.06 degrees Celsius per decade in the 20th century.

New models created since our paper was published have suggested a link between the lack of significant warming in Antarctica to the human-induced ozone hole over the continent. Besides providing a protective layer over the Earth, ozone is a greenhouse gas. The models now suggest that as the ozone hole heals, thanks to world-wide bans on harmful CFCs, aerosols, and other airborne particles, Antarctica should begin to fall in line and warm up with the rest of the planet. These models are conspicuously missing from climate skeptic literature. Also missing is the fact that there has been some debate in the science community over our results. We continue to stand by the results for the period analyzed, but an unbiased coverage would acknowledge the differences of opinion.

So with this, I would like to remove my name from the list of scientists who oppose global warming theory. I believe my co-authors would as well.


As for my review of Al Gore’s movie…two frozen thumbs up.
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Old 11-02-2007, 04:23 PM   #64
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It's a damn shame that Gore didn't communicate with Professor Doran while he was making the film. Can you imagine, if he'd gotten Doran to say this in the film?

The Right won that one.
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Old 12-05-2007, 07:15 PM   #65
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COMMENTS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING
By John Coleman

jcoleman@kusi.com

It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; it is a SCAM.

Some dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long term scientific data back in the late 1990's to create an allusion of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental wacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the "research" to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus.

Environmental extremist, notable politicians among them then teamed up with movie, media and other liberal, environmentalist journalists to create this wild "scientific" scenario of the civilization threatening environmental consequences from Global Warming unless we adhere to their radical agenda.

Now their ridicules manipulated science has been accepted as fact and become a cornerstone issue for CNN, CBS, NBC, the Democratic Political Party, the Governor of California, school teachers and, in many cases, well informed but very gullible environmental conscientious citizens. Only one reporter at ABC has been allowed to counter the Global Warming frenzy with one 15 minutes documentary segment.

I do not oppose environmentalism. I do not oppose the political positions of either party.

However, Global Warming, i.e. Climate Change, is not about environmentalism or politics. It is not a religion. It is not something you "believe in." It is science; the science of meteorology. This is my field of life-long expertise. And I am telling you Global Warming is a nonevent, a manufactured crisis and a total scam. I say this knowing you probably won't believe me, a mere TV weatherman, challenging a Nobel Prize, Academy Award and Emmy Award winning former Vice President of United States. So be it.

I suspect you might like to say to me, "John, look the research that supports the case for global warming was done by research scientists; people with PH D's in Meteorology. They are employed by major universities and important research institutions. Their work has been reviewed by other scientists with PH D's. They have to know a lot more about it than you do. Come on, John, get with it. The experts say our pollution has created an strong and increasing greenhouse effect and a rapid, out of control global warming is underway that will sky rocket temperatures, destroy agriculture, melt the ice caps, flood the coastlines and end life as we know it. How can you dissent from this crisis? You must be a bit nutty.

Allow me, please, to explain how I think this all came about. Our universities have become somewhat isolated from the rest of us. There is a culture and attitudes and values and pressures on campus that are very different. I know this group well. My father and my older brother were both PHD-University types. I was raised in the university culture. Any person who spends a decade at a university obtaining a PHD in Meteorology and become a research scientist, more likely than not, becomes a part of that single minded culture. They all look askance at the rest of us, certain of their superiority. They respect government and disrespect business, particularly big business. They are environmentalists above all else.

And, there is something else. These scientists know that if they do research and results are in no way alarming, their research will gather dust on the shelf and their research careers will languish. But if they do research that sounds alarms, they will become well known and respected and receive scholarly awards and, very importantly, more research dollars will come flooding their way.

So when these researchers did climate change studies in the late 90's they were eager to produce findings that would be important and be widely noticed and trigger more research funding. It was easy for them to manipulate the data to come up with the results they wanted to make headlines and at the same time drive their environmental agendas. Then their like minded PHD colleagues reviewed their work and hastened to endorse it without question.

There were a few who didn't fit the mold. They did ask questions and raised objections. They did research with contradictory results. The environmental elitists berated them brushed their studies aside.

I have learned since the Ice Age is coming scare in the 1970's to always be a skeptic about research. In the case of global warming, I didn't accept media accounts. Instead I read dozens of the scientific papers. I have talked with numerous scientists. I have studied. I have thought about it. I know I am correct when I assure you there is no run away climate change. The impact of humans on climate is not catastrophic. Our planet is not in peril. It is all a scam, the result of bad science.

I am not alone in this assessment. There are hundreds of other meteorologists, many of them PH D's, who are as certain as I am that this global warming frenzy is based on bad science and is not valid.

I am incensed by the incredible media glamour, the politically correct silliness and rude dismal of counter arguments by the high priest of Global Warming.

In time, a decade or two, the outrageous scam will be obvious. As the temperature rises, polar ice cap melting, coastal flooding and super storm pattern all fail to occur as predicted everyone will come to realize we have been duped.

The sky is not falling. And, natural cycles and drifts in climate are as much if not more responsible for any climate changes underway.

I strongly believe that the next twenty years are equally as likely to see a cooling trend as they are to see a warming trend.

http://icecap.us/index.php
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Old 12-10-2007, 11:25 AM   #66
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The Folly of Bali
By William Pesek

Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Anyone looking for evidence of climate change would normally peruse scientific journals, academic reports and World Bank warnings. This week, one could just monitor the vapor trails over Bali.

More than 10,000 world leaders, activists, drought-stricken farmers, journalists, Nobel laureates, Leonardo DiCaprio, you name it, are jetting to the picturesque Indonesian island to save the planet. All those air miles are, of course, contributing to the very problems the United Nations climate- change treaty talks aim to tackle.

The 12-day conference may produce 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide and other pollutants, according to Chris Goodall, author of ``How to Live a Low-Carbon Life.'' That's roughly what the African nation of Chad emits annually.

But hey, a few days in paradise sounds too good for many to resist. One wonders if the UN's confab would attract so many if it were held in, say, Rochester, New York. The New York Post summed things up with this headline: ``Save the World (While You Tan).''

Events in Bali amount to a bunch of bureaucrats getting a tan.
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:21 PM   #67
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Hmmm... Where's the missing sea ice cover?

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosph....withtrend.jpg

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Old 12-12-2007, 02:33 PM   #68
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Roger Pielke Sr. is a retired professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, and a senior research scientist at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Since July 2005 he has written and maintained Climate Science, a blog that serves as a scientific forum for dialogue and commentary on climate issues. With William R. Cotton, he is the co-author of Human Impacts on Weather and Climate (Cambridge University Press, 2007). And over the past summer he co-hosted a conference entitled "Land Use and Climate Change," in Boulder, Colorado. While Dr. Pielke rejects being characterized as a "global warming skeptic," his work is unwaveringly critical of the current conventional wisdom regarding climate change and what to do about it. EcoWorld Editor Ed Ring recently caught up with Dr. Pielke, who had the following to say on the topic:


EcoWorld: How would you say that current conventional wisdom regarding climate change has gotten it wrong?

Pielke: In terms of climate change and variability on the regional and local scale, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) report on surface and tropospheric temperature trends, and the U.S. National Assessment [of Climate Change] have overstated the role of the radiative effect of the anthropogenic increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) in relation to a diversity of other human climate- forcing mechanisms. Indeed, many research studies incorrectly oversimplify climate change by characterizing it as being dominated by the radiative effect of human-added CO2. But while prudence suggests that we work to minimize our disturbance of the climate system (since we don't fully understand it), by focusing on just one subset of forcing mechanisms, we end up seriously misleading policymakers as to the most effective way of dealing with our social and environmental vulnerability in the context of the entire spectrum of environmental risks and other threats we face today.

EcoWorld: What about experts' predictions of rising sea levels, extreme weather, melting polar ice caps, and so on?

Pielke: Global and regional climate models have not demonstrated themselves to be skillful predictors of regional and local climate change and variability over multidecadal time scales. For example, in the case of sea ice, the models are consistent with the decrease in Arctic sea ice in recent years, but they cannot explain the multiyear increase in Antarctic sea ice (including a record level this year). With respect to extreme weather, a much more important issue than how greenhouse gases are altering our climate is society's greatly increased vulnerability to extreme weather events - a direct result not of changes in weather but of increased settlement by expanding human populations into low-lying coastal regions, floodplains, and marginal arid land.

EcoWorld: But what about the northern icecap shrinking this September to possibly possibly its smallest size in history (exposing more than 1 million square miles of open water) or the comments of Robert Correll, chairman of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, regarding recent observations in Greenland ("We have seen a massive acceleration of the speed with which these glaciers are moving into the sea")? Is something new and alarming happening?

Pielke: These examples represent selected observations that promote the view that human-input carbon dioxide is dominating climate change. However, the climate is - and always will be - changing. Thus, although human activity certainly affects the way in which climate varies and changes, actual global observations present a much more complex picture than that represented by the two examples listed above. For example, Antarctic sea ice reached a record maximum coverage in 2007, and the globally averaged lower atmosphere has not warmed in the last nine years (and, in fact, is cooler than it was in 1998). In addition, there are regions of the world where glaciers are advancing (such as New Zealand, parts of the Himalayas, and Norway). However, this information - which conflicts with the projections of the multi-decadal global climate models and the 2007 IPCC report - has been almost completely ignored by policymakers and the media.

EcoWorld: What role have alterations in land use played in climate change?

Pielke: Changes in land use by humans and the resulting alterations in weather and hydrology are major drivers of long-term regional and global climate patterns - yet the 2007 IPCC Statement for Policymakers largely ignores their importance (despite extensive documentation in research literature). Along with the diverse influences of aerosols on climate, land use effects (caused, for example, by deforestation, desertification, and conversion of land to farming) may be at least as important in altering the weather as the changes in climate patterns associated with the radiative effect of carbon dioxide and other well-mixed greenhouse gases. Moreover, land use and land cover changes will continue to exert an important influence on the Earth's climate for the next century.

The reason for this is that even if the globally averaged surface temperature change over time ends up being close to zero in response to land use and land cover change and variability, the regional changes in surface temperature, precipitation, and other climate metrics could be as large as or larger than those that result from the anthropogenic increase of greenhouse gases. Moreover, people and ecosystems experience the effects of environmental change regionally, not as global averaged values. Thus, the issue of a "discernable human influence on global climate" misses the obvious, in that we have been altering climate by land use and land cover change ever since humans began large-scale alterations of the land surface.

EcoWorld: What were the main conclusions to come out of your recent conference focusing on the land use changes that affect the Earth's climate?

Pielke: This meeting reconfirmed the first order role of land management as a climate forcing mechanism. These findings supported the conclusions of the 2005 National Research Council report "Radiative Forcing of Climate Change: Expanding the Concept and Addressing Uncertainties," which identified land use change as having a major effect on climate. Unfortunately, the role of land surface processes was underreported in the body of the IPCC report and was essentially ignored in the IPCC Statement for Policymakers.

EcoWorld: Sticking with land use changes: Do you think that tropical forests create a thermostatic effect that moderates extreme weather? And following on that, do you think tropical deforestation could be as significant a driver in climate change as anthropogenic CO2?

Pielke: Tropical deforestation clearly has an effect on both regional and global climate that is at least as important as the radiative effect of adding CO2. When forests are removed, not only does the climate system lose the biodiversity and other benefits of that environment, the vegetation loses its ability to dynamically respond in ways that reduce extreme weather fluctuations. For example, when trees access deeper water through their roots, the resulting transpiration of water vapor into the atmosphere (making rain more likely) can help ameliorate dry conditions when the large-scale weather pattern is one of drought.

EcoWorld: What is your criticism of the IPCC?

Pielke: Mainly the fact that the same individuals who are doing primary research into humans' impact on the climate system are being permitted to lead the assessment of that research. Suppose a group of scientists introduced a drug they claimed could save many lives: There were side effects, of course, but the scientists claimed the drug's benefits far outweighed its risks. If the government then asked these same scientists to form an assessment committee to evaluate their claim (and the committee consisted of colleagues of the scientists who made the original claim as well as the drug's developers), an uproar would occur, and there would be protests. It would represent a clear conflict of interest. Yet this is what has happened with the IPCC process. To date, either few people recognize this conflict, or those that do choose to ignore it because the recommendations of the IPCC fit their policy and political agenda. In either case, scientific rigor has been sacrificed, and poor policy and political decisions will inevitably follow.

EcoWorld: How effective are current climate computer models in helping us understand global climate trends?

Pielke: Using global climate models to improve our understanding of how the system works represents a valuable application of such tools, but the term sensitivity study should be used to characterize these assessments. In sensitivity studies, a subset of the forcings and/or feedback of the climate system are perturbed to examine their response. Since the computer model of the climate system is incomplete (meaning it doesn't include all of the important feedbacks and forcings), what the IPCC is really doing is conducting a sensitivity study.

The IPCC reports, however, inaccurately present their assessment as a "projection" - one that's widely interpreted by policymakers and others as being able to skillfully forecast the future state of the climate system. But even one of the IPCC's leading authors, Kevin Trenberth, has gone on record reminding people of the limitations of the models used in its projections. Says Trenberth, "There are no predictions by IPCC & and there never have been." He further states, "None of the models used by IPCC are initialized to the observed state, and none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed climate."

Indeed, says Trenberth, "The current projection method works to the extent it does because it utilizes differences from one time to another, and the main model bias and systematic errors are thereby subtracted out. This assumes linearity. It works for global forced variations, but it cannot work for many aspects of climate, especially those related to the water cycle."

Thus, as clarified even by one of the key IPCC contributors (who has a vested interest in the acceptance of the 2007 IPCC report), current climate models clearly cannot accurately model observed real-world changes in climate. Global model results projected out decades into the future should never be interpreted as skillful forecasts. Instead, they should be interpreted as sensitivity studies on limited variables. When authors of research papers use definitive words (such as "will occur") and display model output with specific time periods in the future, they are misleading policymakers and other people who use this information.

EcoWorld: What policies should be considered to deal with climate change? Is reducing CO2 emissions part of the solution?

Pielke: Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions can only serve as a useful "environmental currency" as long as it provides the benefits needed to reduce the risk to critical environmental and social resources. As such, it needs to be part of a win-win strategy that provides a diversity of benefits. With energy efficiency and energy independence, for example, everyone benefits. As the "currency" for these benefits, however, greenhouse gas emission reduction represents an unnecessarily blunt instrument if there are more effective ways to reduce the risks to societal and environmental resources. Moreover, greenhouse gas policies can produce serious unintended negative consequences such as an increase in carcinogenic emissions when biodiesel is used, or reductions in biodiversity and alterations in climate when land management practices convert large areas to biofuels.

Greenhouse gas emission reductions, relative to other environmental currencies, should be evaluated with respect to their ability to reduce risk to essential social and environmental resources. In this framework, greenhouse emission reductions are only useful if they provide real benefit to those resources. Thus, if a policy made for other reasons also happens to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, you clearly have a win-win situation. The current focus on using reductions in CO2 emissions as the primary currency for achieving benefits to society and the environment, however, clearly represents a very flawed approach.
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:48 PM   #69
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Good Job Trysail! I heard a sound bite yesterday on this item but didn't have time to track down the source.

It also has not been an issue for follow up reports or even denial, not that I have heard on the cable news channels.

These objections to the consensus opinions are swept under the rug as so many huge agencies, public and private, have vested interests in believing that the sky is indeed falling.

You are not alone...although it sure feels that way at times.

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Old 12-12-2007, 07:18 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiAmico
Good Job Trysail!<>

These objections to the consensus opinions are swept under the rug as so many huge agencies, public and private, have vested interests in believing that the sky is indeed falling.
Not quite. What he is actually saying, and what the rest of the scientific community is actually saying, notwithstanding media headlines of either stripe, is that scientists don't know Jack about the complexity of the process but trying to fix it won't make it any worse.

If you're going to use this:
Quote:
Moreover, greenhouse gas policies can produce serious unintended negative consequences such as an increase in carcinogenic emissions when biodiesel is used, or reductions in biodiversity and alterations in climate when land management practices convert large areas to biofuels.
as the main objection then you are running on the opinion of one man who is projecting even more vaguely than his supposed opponents.

The interview says nothing.


(I am something of an optimist with regard to climate change [possibly a wait-and-see, fence sitter] but what I do believe is that no-one has the capacity to predict anything when it comes to weather, and that the doom forecasters are as equally ill-equipped as the nay sayers.
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:21 PM   #71
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It is larger than that, Gauche, and you damned well know it.

Just as the government subsidies to agriculture to produce grains that can be used for bio fuels that create carcinogens is not an answer to anything, quite the same applies in general, across the board by environmental groups for the past forty years to modify human behavior to address a perceived threat.

Another example is the result of the pristine wilderness conservation activists who have limited access to forests and woodlands and the recent Southern California fires that ravaged a countryside could have been prevented had excess fuel be eliminated and suitable fire roads constructed.

There is and was not ever an over population threat, but so many little hippy chicks gave up having a family to be politically correct, that it changed the lives of many for a bogus political activism.

Then the so called Ozone Depletion farce, you never hear of that now as it was shown to be cyclical and not a result of man made chemicals; another political farce that changed the lives of many.

Then of course there was the coming ice age scare that was debunked and now replaced with the so called global warming threat, all poppycock and all intended to limit and restrict the choices men have and vest power in the collective.

Agnosticism or, 'fence sitting', is a coward's way out of making decisions.

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Old 12-12-2007, 08:37 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiAmico
It is larger than that, Gauche, and you damned well know it.
I know full well that politicians seek to gain advantage.

You, are a politician.

Quote:
Agnosticism or, 'fence sitting', is a coward's way out of making decisions.
and just what decision exactly am I supposed to be making? Joining sides? Follow what you will. I'll just watch and see what happens.
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Old 12-12-2007, 11:42 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trysail;25253634[QUOTE=trysail View Post
Roger Pielke Sr. is a retired professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, and a senior research scientist at the University of Colorado, Boulder. ........" his work is unwaveringly critical of the current conventional wisdom regarding climate change and what to do about it. EcoWorld Editor Ed Ring recently caught up with Dr. Pielke, who had the following to say on the topic:

.................

Indeed, many research studies incorrectly oversimplify climate change by characterizing it as being dominated by the radiative effect of human-added CO2. But while prudence suggests that we work to minimize our disturbance of the climate system (since we don't fully understand it), by focusing on just one subset of forcing mechanisms, we end up seriously misleading policymakers as to the most effective way of dealing with our social and environmental vulnerability in the context of the entire spectrum of environmental risks and other threats we face today.

EcoWorld: What about experts' predictions of rising sea levels, extreme weather, melting polar ice caps, and so on?

Pielke: Global and regional climate models have not demonstrated themselves to be skillful predictors of regional and local climate change and variability over multidecadal time scales. For example, in the case of sea ice, the models are consistent with the decrease in Arctic sea ice in recent years, but they cannot explain the multiyear increase in Antarctic sea ice (including a record level this year). With respect to extreme weather, a much more important issue than how greenhouse gases are altering our climate is society's greatly increased vulnerability to extreme weather events - a direct result not of changes in weather but of increased settlement by expanding human populations into low-lying coastal regions, floodplains, and marginal arid land.

.........

Pielke: Changes in land use by humans and the resulting alterations in weather and hydrology are major drivers of long-term regional and global climate patterns - yet the 2007 IPCC Statement for Policymakers largely ignores their importance (despite extensive documentation in research literature). Along with the diverse influences of aerosols on climate, land use effects (caused, for example, by deforestation, desertification, and conversion of land to farming) may be at least as important in altering the weather as the changes in climate patterns associated with the radiative effect of carbon dioxide and other well-mixed greenhouse gases. Moreover, land use and land cover changes will continue to exert an important influence on the Earth's climate for the next century.
..........

Pielke: This meeting reconfirmed the first order role of land management as a climate forcing mechanism. These findings supported the conclusions of the 2005 National Research Council report "Radiative Forcing of Climate Change: Expanding the Concept and Addressing Uncertainties," which identified land use change as having a major effect on climate. Unfortunately, the role of land surface processes was underreported in the body of the IPCC report and was essentially ignored in the IPCC Statement for Policymakers.

EcoWorld: Sticking with land use changes: Do you think that tropical forests create a thermostatic effect that moderates extreme weather? And following on that, do you think tropical deforestation could be as significant a driver in climate change as anthropogenic CO2?

Pielke: Tropical deforestation clearly has an effect on both regional and global climate that is at least as important as the radiative effect of adding CO2. When forests are removed, not only does the climate system lose the biodiversity and other benefits of that environment, the vegetation loses its ability to dynamically respond in ways that reduce extreme weather fluctuations. For example, when trees access deeper water through their roots, the resulting transpiration of water vapor into the atmosphere (making rain more likely) can help ameliorate dry conditions when the large-scale weather pattern is one of drought.


Pielke: Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions can only serve as a useful "environmental currency" as long as it provides the benefits needed to reduce the risk to critical environmental and social resources. As such, it needs to be part of a win-win strategy that provides a diversity of benefits. With energy efficiency and energy independence, for example, everyone benefits. As the "currency" for these benefits, however, greenhouse gas emission reduction represents an unnecessarily blunt instrument if there are more effective ways to reduce the risks to societal and environmental resources. Moreover, greenhouse gas policies can produce serious unintended negative consequences such as an increase in carcinogenic emissions when biodiesel is used, or reductions in biodiversity and alterations in climate when land management practices convert large areas to biofuels.

Greenhouse gas emission reductions, relative to other environmental currencies, should be evaluated with respect to their ability to reduce risk to essential social and environmental resources. In this framework, greenhouse emission reductions are only useful if they provide real benefit to those resources. Thus, if a policy made for other reasons also happens to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, you clearly have a win-win situation. The current focus on using reductions in CO2 emissions as the primary currency for achieving benefits to society and the environment, however, clearly represents a very flawed approach
Interesting interview..... the good retired professor seems to be making a strong case for action to control human impact on global climate... If I am understanding him correctly, he is simply disagreeing with the current pre-occupation on CO2 emissions to the detriment of "land-use" policy which, to his mind, is a having more of an impact and should be considered.... Seems reasonable to me.

But nowhere in the interview does he make a case for sticking our collective heads into the sand and hoping it will all work out, the apparent opinion here of everyone who thinks climate change is some socialistic left wing conspiracy to deny property rights ....... I would have thought the headlines yesterday about the Artic Sea potentially disappearing by 2012 would have shook people up.....

But..... thankfully..... most of the world seems to really believe in it even as they disagree on what to do about it... So you may now all return your heads to the sand....

-KC
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Old 12-13-2007, 01:02 AM   #74
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My favorite part:

EcoWorld: What is your criticism of the IPCC?

Pielke: Mainly the fact that the same individuals who are doing primary research into humans' impact on the climate system are being permitted to lead the assessment of that research. Suppose a group of scientists introduced a drug they claimed could save many lives: There were side effects, of course, but the scientists claimed the drug's benefits far outweighed its risks. If the government then asked these same scientists to form an assessment committee to evaluate their claim (and the committee consisted of colleagues of the scientists who made the original claim as well as the drug's developers), an uproar would occur, and there would be protests. It would represent a clear conflict of interest. Yet this is what has happened with the IPCC process. To date, either few people recognize this conflict, or those that do choose to ignore it because the recommendations of the IPCC fit their policy and political agenda. In either case, scientific rigor has been sacrificed, and poor policy and political decisions will inevitably follow.

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Old 12-13-2007, 01:39 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by Roxanne Appleby View Post
My favorite part:

EcoWorld: What is your criticism of the IPCC?

Pielke: Mainly the fact that the same individuals who are doing primary research into humans' impact on the climate system are being permitted to lead the assessment of that research. Suppose a group of scientists introduced a drug they claimed could save many lives: There were side effects, of course, but the scientists claimed the drug's benefits far outweighed its risks. If the government then asked these same scientists to form an assessment committee to evaluate their claim (and the committee consisted of colleagues of the scientists who made the original claim as well as the drug's developers), an uproar would occur, and there would be protests. It would represent a clear conflict of interest. Yet this is what has happened with the IPCC process. To date, either few people recognize this conflict, or those that do choose to ignore it because the recommendations of the IPCC fit their policy and political agenda. In either case, scientific rigor has been sacrificed, and poor policy and political decisions will inevitably follow.

Yeah..... Good point by the professor, except I suspect his definition of "their colleagues" as used in his analogy.... may well simply be anybody who does not think as he does..... So he see the results as skewed when they may only represent the vast majority of those in the field..... but that's okay... and I am in favor of more investigation into his assertion that "land policy" is the primary cause for climatic change.

Unfortunately Roxanne, I suspect the "cure" for land policy may be much more intolerable to "property rights"(sic) than the proposed "cures" for CO2 emissions... but if the professor is right, we need to do both.

At the beginning of your thread on this subject, you asserted that you believed it (climate change) was all a big hoax...... But as Trysail has demonstrated in his numerous citations...(perhaps unintentionally) scientific opinion seems to be virtually unanimous in recognizing that man is having a measurable impact on the global climate even as they debate the causes, impacts, analytical methods and probable outcomes of our blundering about with technology.

So I wonder... has your opinion changed in the face of all this evidence or are you ready to dismiss Prof (ret) Pielke's opinions as well?

To be candid, some years ago, I was skeptical of the claimed impact... The chaotic nature of the climate makes "trending" uncomfortably unreliable.... but study after study, expert after expert, and now nation after nation as well as politicians (by my count, at least half of the Republican candidates for President acknowledge climate change).. Well I have changed my mind.

Now, having been convinced by the overwhelming evidence and science to support the contention, I am more interested in the potential impacts of it and the proposed solutions...... And as the Professor has noted... it only seems prudent to do something about it... So why aren't we discussing.... "What should we do about it?"

-KC
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