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How can anyone take global warming predictions seriously?
February 25, 2007
5:38 pm
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Anonymous
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I recently saw two articles related to global warming that caught my eye:

1) Scientists recently have discovered rivers of water below the Antarctic ice cap. These rivers will have to be incorporated into global warming models and could affect calculations concerning the Earth’s response to global warming. (This was from an internet news article about two weeks ago.)

2) This is an excerpt from an article in The Oregonian on Feb 24, 2007:
“You might think it’s a simple matter to tell if global warming is shrinking mountain snowpacks.
But scientists are clashing over that point, with some saying others have exaggerated the decline of snow cover in the Cascades.
The disagreement led the atmospheric sciences department at the University of Washington this week to issue an unusual statement saying snow has not vanished as fast as some politicians and reports have suggested.
In fact, the statement said, heavier precipitation has offset the effect of rising temperatures by piling more snow on the ground.

For instance, a 2004 report to Gov. Ted Kulongoski warned that the spring snowpack in the Cascades fell about 50 percent since 1950. But scientists now say that figure is too high and the number in the report was a mistake: It should have said 35 percent.
Others argue wide swings in precipitation and temperature from year to year, and heavier snow in the late 1990s, make it hard to see any obvious decline in the snowpack.”

These two articles make it plain that global warming models are incomplete, politicians do not necessarily have their facts straight when they discuss global warming, and scientists do not agree about “facts” used to substantiate global warming.

Why should we then trust any “doom and gloom” scenarios about global warming, much less believe that we have caused it to happen?

February 25, 2007
6:15 pm
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Tiger Trainer
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I've heard so much lately. Where can you get straight facts. not facts buffered by a lot of propaganda. I am willing to believe in global warming but I haven't come across anything that reallys shows me that the people know what they are talking about. I read one study about ocean temperature and that was pretty convincing.

February 26, 2007
9:43 pm
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Well, in this day and age, any ethical person takes seriously the responsibility to be s good steward of planet Earth. Right?

And in this day and age, we respect science and scientists, right?

So Seeker.

When you say "anyone" hopefully, you mean anyone.

You are asking "why do most scientists take global warming predictions seriously?"

Are "most scientists" stark raving mad, and only Seeker has the wisdom to bring them to their senses?

You are appalled by the danger that pictures of naked ladies pose to our planet.

But the fact that the last 10 years are the warmest years in history, during which ocean levels have steadily risen as glaciers and polar ice has melted (e.g., 5,000 square miles from the Wedell ice pack) is of no concern to you.

Have you ever heard of Lloyd's of London? They are an insurance company. A blood sucking insurance company. They make their living from correctly assessing risk, and placing the correct bets. Lloyds thinks we are at the cusp of an unprecedented financial disaster.

February 27, 2007
1:10 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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WD -

I dunno about the warmest ten years.

I was watching tv a few weeks back, well, maybe around xmas time.

And I live in UPstate New York, near canadian border and Vermont.

And they were debating over what they were saying was an increase in temperatures over the winters in the last few years.

And they had a scientist, with a whole bunch of accredidations, who was showing a graph of the highs and lows over the last xyz number of years.

And the spikes of the highs and lows were pretty consistent over time...and none of the highs or lows were any higher or lower than past years...and none of the highs or lows lasted any length of time.

I don't know if I am making any sense here, but the graph was pretty convincing...is it true? who knows.

One thing I learned in school was that thru scientific method, one could come to a reasonable answer, that was pretty accurate.

HOWEVER, if every scientist uses a different method, would they all come to the same conclusion??? NO.

I don't think there is any way to predict any future...all we can do is be careful and do the best we can to protect the earth.

But realistically....as long as humans keep expanding technology, so we can be bigger, better, faster, whatever....we are hurting the earth.

something has to give.

February 27, 2007
1:45 pm
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Loralei
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I certainly think we should take better care of our planet than what we do. And perhaps we are speeding up global warming. But it seems that the earth cycles through those stages on its own whether we are here or not. We've had the Ice Age, we've had huge portions of the earth covered in water, we've had droughts and floods and blizzards long before man got involved. All these things are inevitable. But that is no reason for us to pollute if there are ways to avoid it.

February 27, 2007
3:29 pm
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tracylyn
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Regardless of the stats...we do know that global warming is happening and WE have to power by doing little things each day to help slow or perhaps eventually prevent it.

What's to question? Do we really need black and white statistical facts from each and every scientist to be exact and precise and all have the same conclusion to know it to be true.

The conclusion is that it IS happening whether 50% or 35% who cares about the exact number. Care about what you can do to help make that number 0%.

t

February 27, 2007
3:36 pm
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Hey folks.

The best way to make decisions about our actions & reactions is to educate ourselves... a graph here or there, or a scientist here or there is a small piece of information.

Smoking didn't cause lung cancer according to many scientists either. And still, maybe it doesn't?

There is a lot of information & data packed into this movie, "An Inconvenient Truth", which I highly recommend watching. It's a couple bucks to rent at local video stores.

But don't take that as the truth either. Investigate the facts, methodology, and points made in the movie. It's a good starting point and highlights some problems to watch for. There are numerous resources on the internet, news archives, books, too.

My conclusions from reading & educating myself are: Global Warming is clearly a reality, and humans have made a large impact in the warming. We must make significant changes in how humans 'live/impact' the planet.

The impacts seen/felt are first at the poles - which regulate much of the earth's climate.... weather circulates & trickles 'up & down' from the poles.

SC

February 27, 2007
10:35 pm
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Worried_Dad
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I figure--the cost of me taking the idea seriously is...I become more economical and save lots of money on fuel.

That's the worst that can happen--we become less dependent on foreign oil and develop cleaner more abundant energy sources. That is not a bad thing.

The cost of not taking the idea seriously is potentially, well beyond economic consequences that Lloyds of London says will make the Great Depression look like a day in the park, is even more massive destruction of ecosystems, extinction of many more species....and loss of human lives and livelihoods.

We can see what the greenhouse effect did to the Planet Venus.

I figure, why wait until molten sulfur runs in the streets? Who wants that? Except for whatsisname.

February 28, 2007
12:50 am
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Right on, WD! when people won't listen to anything else-- speak to their pocket books! That's what 1/2 this country seems to be using to cover their ears.

February 28, 2007
12:59 am
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"How can anyone take global warming predictions seriously?"

What's truly serious is that people aren't taking these matters seriously. What exactly is so threatening about caring about the ecology? So we find in the future that predictions of global warming were a little more extreme than comes true- are we then going to say "Wow, I can't believe we wasted our time worrying about the future of our planet! Damn, and I could have been SOOOOOOOOOOO much more careless and wasteful!"

What exactly is the arguement AGAINST taking care with life on this earth? I don't get people.

-ella

February 28, 2007
9:40 am
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Hey WD & ella,

I have often thought, "If we'd only have paid MUCH more attention & reacted back in the '70's to the warnings of limited fuel sources... we could have focused jobs and our economy on becoming 'green' and then maybe the U.S.A., and subsequently the world might not be in the Middle East mess that we are. Would the USA be so 'hated' in the Middle East if we were 'green'? Would the Middle East leaders/rulers be so RICH? So powerful? A threat? If we weren't purchasing so much fuel from them?"

I wonder... if we spent the money that we spend on war, and spend it going green... what differences would it make in world politics & peace now? I'm thinking incresaed freedom for everyone to not DEPEND upon purchasing energy from a few rich people... let the planet provide it. Green energy is renewable, relatively free/inexpensive once installed (yes, there is maintenance), and clean to boot.

February 28, 2007
12:29 pm
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Seek, you ask "How can anyone take global warming predictions seriously?" ... I ask, how can anyone NOT?

How can the activities of nearly seven billion humans not have tangible, and substantial effects on the biosphere and the atmosphere? (The activities of the several hundred million who live in industrialized societies of course being the more influential.)

Computer models may not be exact, but they're getting better and more accurate.

Again I recommend George Monbiot's book "Heat: How to stop the planet from burning" and Tim Flannery's "The Weather Makers". Both rich with footnotes, bibliographies and links to further resources.

February 28, 2007
1:19 pm
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Seeker, you do agree that humans have done and are doing SOMETHING bad to the environment, or do you disagree with that? Tell me.

If the numbers are a little off so what? They're right - the direction humans are going in, has not been and is not good for the environment.

Thats the most important realization that we should accept.

February 28, 2007
2:01 pm
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To make matters worse, the temperature Of Coffee is expected To Rise Nine Degrees By End Of 21st Century!

http://www.theonion.com/conten....._of_coffee

February 28, 2007
10:48 pm
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I see two distinct issues in the global warming debates, but I never see these two issues treated as separate entities, and they should be.

The first is whether or not global warming is occurring, period. I'm willing to admit that it might be.

The second is whether or not man is primarily causing global warming to happen. As I understand, from sediment core samples taken from all over the world, the earth has undergone a natural heating and cooling cycle for at least the last thousand years, and we happen to have been in the heating phase of the cycle since the late 1800s. So if this is indeed true, global warming would have happened whether or not we were on the earth.

Also, greenhouse gases (like carbon dioxide) are responsible for at most 4 percent of the global warming effect. The other 96 percent is attributed to water vapor, yet I don't see anybody advocating reducing the amount of water vapor we emit.

Calculations by the global warming community predict that if the provisions of the Kyoto protocol were fully implemented, we'd decrease the global mean temperature by 0.6 degree Celsius. With temperatures predicted to rise by 9 degrees Celsius by 2100, this seems hardly significant. This is an admission by the global warming movement itself that people cannot significantly reduce global warming, unless perhaps we totally abandon our petroleum and electric industries.

I belive in being good stewards of the environment and in striking a reasonable balance between the environment and the economy. Why do some of you imply that I don't care enough about the earth simply because I don't subscribe to the prevailing and politically correct views on global warming?

The point of my original post was that we can't put a great deal of faith in global warming models and that politicans tend to distort the facts to bolster support for taking significant measures to reduce global warming. Yet I fear my point has been lost in the emotional maelstorm surrounding this whole issue.

Seeker

February 28, 2007
10:53 pm
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No one's going to gain anything by trying to fake global warming and trying to make it look stronger than it is.

March 1, 2007
2:05 am
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Hi Seeker,

It is the ridiculing tone that is troubling.

"How can anyone take seriously."

March 1, 2007
8:42 pm
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Very true. Doesn't sound like an invitation from an open mind willing to discuss both sides of "the debate."

And what is lost by considering the POSSIBILITIES of global warming? Peace of mind? Practices that are not environmentally sound? Do we deserve to have those things when we are not sure about this issue either way? Can't we err on the side of caution here if we are erring at all?

Perhaps it is the threat of having to change comfortable beliefs, habits, and levels of consumerism that makes people react to this issue by such arguements of denial rather than concern. Much has to do with personal agenda (will this cost the country- "Me" in particular money if big changes are made to make things green, do I need to worry about my children, etc.).

Maybe someone can explain to me why it's so important to spend a lot of effort DISPROVING any evidence of human effect on the environment. No one ever mentions why THAT would be important. (Though individual and corporate greed comes to mind as one). Though the reasons for proceeding with caution and the notion that global warming is indeed a significant threat- are grave and infinite.

Truth is science is important. I can understand that. It's the attitudes of people and their agendas that I cannot.

March 3, 2007
12:42 pm
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guest,

{No one's going to gain anything by trying to fake global warming and trying to make it look stronger than it is.}

Oh, yes they are. Bureaucrats -- state, federal, and international -- who want to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, but who can't do so now because CO2 is not considered to be hazardous, will gain a lot. They will gain more power and expand their own dominions. They will be able to hire more bureaucrats. They will gain by siphoning off a lot of money from oil and gas companies.

March 3, 2007
12:47 pm
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WD,

{Hi Seeker,

It is the ridiculing tone that is troubling.

"How can anyone take seriously." }

The thread title wasn't meant to be ridiculing. It was meant to be an attention getter. Once one knows how the "facts" relating to global warming are exaggerated and how computer models are incomplete, I don't see how anybody can take the results of those models seriously.

I notice you had no comment on the facts I laid out. I assume that means you find nothing to refute.

Again, it mildly troubles me that you resort to name calling (of my thread title as "ridiculing") instead of engaging me in a serious discussion about the issues.

Seeker

March 3, 2007
1:17 pm
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Ella,

{Very true. Doesn't sound like an invitation from an open mind willing to discuss both sides of "the debate."}

That's because I'm not interested in discussing both sides of this, as though they are both equally valid. I know what I believe about it, and I want to advance my own side.

{And what is lost by considering the POSSIBILITIES of global warming? Peace of mind? Practices that are not environmentally sound? Do we deserve to have those things when we are not sure about this issue either way? Can't we err on the side of caution here if we are erring at all?}

I see some good things coming out of the global warming debates. I believe in being good stewards of the environment, but I also believe we must balance the environment with other issues, such as the economy. If we emerge from this with more environmentally sound practices, that will be good.

{Perhaps it is the threat of having to change comfortable beliefs, habits, and levels of consumerism that makes people react to this issue by such arguements of denial rather than concern.}

What I object to about global warming is that it's already been officially decreed by the powers that be that people have primarily caused global warming to happen. I think there's enough existing evidence to throw doubt on this decree. I'm for truth, not for somebody's politically motivated decrees.

{Maybe someone can explain to me why it's so important to spend a lot of effort DISPROVING any evidence of human effect on the environment. No one ever mentions why THAT would be important. (Though individual and corporate greed comes to mind as one).}

Good point. It's important to disprove evidence of significant human effecct on the environment because this is used by the bureaucrats to push us into regulation of carbon dioxide and the Kyoto protocol, which does not even pretend to significantly alter the situation. Regulation will increase prices of energy, gasoline, and cars, which are already high enough, and also on shipments of goods, which will affect virtually everything. It will have a dampening effect on teh economy (higher unemployment, lower wages). It will give the government the grounds to regulate more than they already do, and government regulation has been shown to not be the most efficient way to get things done.

We already have the greatest deficit in US history. How can we afford to finance another issue -- trying to reverse or slow down global warming -- when we're asked to accept weighty regulation that won't necessarily return any significant results?

It's been shown that reforestation and planting of enough trees can cause the same decrease in global warming as the Kyoto protocol could in its regulation of the petroleum and other industries. Why isn't this ever mentioned officially?

If the global warming debates were focused soley on convincing each of us to do our part to be more environmentally concerned, I'd be all for them. But when they focus instead on introducing more and expensive government control that won't necessarily produce measureable results, that's when I object.

I think history shows that we have more to fear from excessive government control than we do from almost everything else, including the prospect of global warming.

{Truth is science is important. I can understand that.}

Then if the evidence suggests that people aren't the major contributors to global warming, would you accept that?

Seeker

March 3, 2007
1:22 pm
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WD,

In addition to your objection of my "ridiculing" tone, what about your recent thread titles of "Worst President Ever?" and "Worst President Ever News"? These certainly sound ridiculing to me, especially since I knew off the bat which president you were referring to.

It hardly sounds like you want to be fair and open-minded on this subject. Nothing is necessarily wrong with that, but two can play the same game.

March 3, 2007
2:21 pm
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Seeker

"who want to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, but who can't do so now because CO2 is not considered to be hazardous, will gain a lot. They will gain more power and expand their own dominions."

If I was able to kill eliminate HIV from this planet but I would gain a lot by doing that - would you not support me?

You have to ignore the fact if anyone is gaining or not. Is it the right thing to do?

Why are you bothered by who is gaining from it?

March 3, 2007
2:23 pm
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Hi Seeker,

There is a qualitative difference between the president and the climate issue.

The climate issue has to do with science.

We definitely have global warming.

We definitely have an increase in greenhouse gases.

Greenhouse gases are known to cause global warming.

We have data, we have a mechanism, and most scientists are convinced.

So for you to say "how can anyone take it seriously" I have to think:

1) You have examined the data and the arguments, but because you have superior knowledge to most scientists, you know better than they do, and it is so obvious that you are surprised that anyone takes GW seriously.

If that is true then I would like to please transmit your superior knowledge to us here.--

2) Or, maybe you said that because of ignorance.

3) Or maybe you just want GW to be false because of some...conflict of interest--you drive an SUV or own Exon stock...or maybe you just are a member of the conservative christian right so any issue embrace by the left must be attacked by you.

4) Or, Maybe you are trolling and it does not batter whether GW is real or not.

5) Or, maybe you are just crazy.

What I do not believe is the notion that human-caused GW is a patently preposterous thing to believe in.

Next I'll get to the president thing.

March 3, 2007
2:42 pm
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Now the Worst President thing.

The idea that this President is the worst president ever comes in this case from a survey of hundreds of historians.

I understand that being president isn't like being a ball player where points are scored and recorded so you could actually get a numerical score and reate players from "best" to "worst."

So we arent talking quantitative stuff here.

Still, it is reasonable to evaluate the performance of any professional, and it is natural to compare various people who have held any role--o, good, better, best, not so good, bad, worse, worser, worst.

Somebody has to be the worst.

There has long been consensus throughout the world that this president is absolutely, breathtakingly, stunningly awful as a President--the combination of ignorance, stupidity, incompetence, and lousy ethics....well, it's breathtaking.

And now most Americans are joined together and also with most of the rest of the people's of the world in our common revulsion for this president.

So it is a reasonable question: Is this the worst President ever? Has there ever been a president this bad? And the article sited approached the question with some good writing.

"How can anyone take global warming seriously?"

That's not a reasonable question.

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