Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by hellomoto, Jul 15, 2008.
Say "here here" if you agree!
i've found that most people have very little idea how global warming works and very little idea that there is a scientific consensus that we are the ones causing it. in short, people have made a whole range of faulty assumptions about global warming.
mostly these faulty assumptions are due to making up one's mind based on opinion pieces in the media. i've also noticed that there is a great deal of laziness, dread and apathy involved in the decision-making process.
in this thread i'd like to gather as much of the faulty assumptions that i can and redirect people to actual scientific evidence.
All the governments of countries throughout the world! They can tax us for using the "terrible" Carbon Dioxide. Just think about all the money they are making from this so called "Global Warming". Do they have any proof? In fact, the world hasn't heated since 1998, 10 years ago!!!!
If you don't believe me, google: Global Warming Swindle.
Are you sure you don't mean, "Hear, hear!"
I don't think it's a scam, exactly. There are climatic shifts taking place, but I think blaming it all on human activities is a gross oversimplification. The planet's atmosphere and ecology is very complex, and there are many competing factors. Also, climatic shifts are normal, with or without humans.
Whether we, as a species, can adapt to those changes, is an open question,
I think no one's got a clue exactly what's going on, but saying it's a scam is a large misjudgement.
I think global warming is irrelevant for the most part. It seems like worrying about a meteor that could be speeding to Earth while we're in the middle of a nuclear war. We should reduce pollution for the sake of the environment and for a better quality of life. This hysteria shouldn't be focused on Al Gore and his precious Emmy -- which is most likely being flown over the country in a Learjet.
that sounds like a very good thing since CO2 is a well-evidenced greenhouse gas and by far the one most directly influenced by man.
the burden of proof is not on them. that burden lies with the world's major scientific orgs, every single one of which has agreed that global warming is very-much man made and a very serious threat.
you actually have it backwards. it's the governments who are resisting the recognition and the taking of action on global warming. there are tremendous lobbies which fill their pockets if they agree to look the other way or try to downplay the risk.
the "global warming swindle" is itself a swindle and full of disinformation and half-truths. two examples are volcanic emissions and the role of the oceans and land biomass in CO2 production.
the global warming swindle would have you believe that volcanoes put out far more CO2 than man, which is utter nonsense according to all the scientific data that we have. the GWS also promotes the fact that the oceans and biomass emit many more atmospheric gigatonnes of carbon per year than man (we make about seven) while completely neglecting to mention that they also absorb more than that, producing a net carbon sink which helps to clean up our own mess.
Yay for facts!
Yay for them indeed.
agreed, and that's better than nothing. and in fact, while you're working on pollution reduction you will probably learn incidentally actual facts on global climate change which might shift your opinion one day.
unfortunately GCC is much more than some kind of public adulation campaign for al gore. IMO he's an irritating, divisive figure, but at least the information he presents in his slideshows is on the level scientifically.
there is no hysteria campaign where it matters- ie, the scientific community. any hysteria campaign would come out of reactions to the facts and observations being published, much of it based around how the media presents it. but you do have a real smear campaign which has been run for many years by the world's fossil fuel energy industry which very much wants you to believe that GCC is nothing but an overblown chicken-little scenerio, similar to how some people in the 70's were saying we had an ice age coming on.
I guess it should be rephrased as.\:
Say Hear Hear if you believe that Global Warming should not be blamed on man!
My point is that people shouldn't just be attempting to live a "greener" life because that's the popular thing to do. America should undertake being more environmentally conscious because of the benefits it will provide.
It's basically the difference between not wanting to kill someone because you think it's wrong, and not wanting to kill someone because you read it in a book.
I'm not touchin this...oops I just did! Oh well I may as well go all in.
Since no one really knows the truth about global warming, what would it really hurt to throw those plastic bottles in a recycling bin...I mean just in case.
Since I tend to get a bit hot headed about such issues, I will limit myself to this one post and you have no idea what that costs me.
that's where it pays to separate the people who like to jump on bandwagons versus the people who can make a rational argument for being involved.
personally, i can make a rational argument for being concerned about catastrophic climate change (usually innacurately labelled as "global warming"). and i did not arrive at my current POV based on what al gore or various alarmists were saying. i started by listening to what the world's scientific orgs were saying. after all, this is a science issue, so shouldn't we start with what they are saying?
unfortunately, the green movement has miles to go before it can really be deemed 'popular'. you see signs of it and activity all over the place, but in terms of the CO2 that we are putting into the atmosphere daily, very little has actually changed. atmospheric CO2 is now closing in on 400ppm after not going over around 300ppm for about 600,000 years.
here's a pic of the last 50 years of CO2 readings taken at mauna loa. this is a nice, clear indicator of what happens when you burn fossil fuels intensively:
EDIT: here's an animated chart of what global temperature has been doing for the last 120+ years. this is courtesy of NASA:
I thought this was a pretty cool excerpt from an episode of the Colbert Report. Alan Rabinowitz is on a mission to save big cats, and his reasoning was quite moving. You can find the clip here: http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?videoId=171137
lol. And more lol.
Just some points to consider - these are basically things that have been brought up. I'm listing a few of them, in random order, followed by my thoughts on the matter. Please read through all of them, whatever your opinion.
1. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and humankind has certainly increased the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. (Addressed in A1)
2. There are a lot of people who benefit from hysteria over global warming. (A2)
3. We should help the environment anyhow. (A3)
4. Scientists have agreed that it is serious and caused by humans. (A4)
5. Al Gore's work is scientifically accurate. (A5)
6. Anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming is a SCAM. (A6)
MY DISCLAIMER: I am no expert. I am supposedly fairly bright - have to be, to attend the college I do - but many of my fellow students disagree with me on this topic.
A1. No one is disputing that CO2 is a greenhouse gas or that CO2 levels are rising largely due to human activity. What's missing in that phrase? A clear link to CO2-caused warming. "But that's illogical! It's a greenhouse gas!" Well, yes. So is water vapor. Only, water vapor is far better at catching and holding warmth than CO2 - meaning that CO2 can only be a significant cause of warming in areas where it's dry.
This means that in most of the world, basically anywhere that has much humidity - the oceans, the coasts, the tropics, the equator, islands, etc. - CO2 does maybe a half of a percent of the 'heat storing' work being done by local greenhouse gases.
Now, this does mean that we have to be careful about the effect of CO2 on the poles, where it's dry. Fortunately we just had an unusually chilly winter, and the ice caps are back to where they were in 1979. This is on the heels on the IPCC report - which said that Antarctica was colder than normal but called this an anomaly. (You can argue about that if you'd like. I tend to disagree that it's an anomaly, since the IPCC likes to call anything unusually cold "anomalous" while calling unusual heat a "sign of global warming," but I'll leave it up to you to draw your own conclusions.)
A2. So who stands to benefit from hysteria over global warming? I don't mean a calm, rational, "how do we deal with this without putting thousands of people out of work or crippling the global economy" approach. I mean a "Oh Noes! If we don't act now, millions of people could die!" approach.
Well, let's see. Start with Al Gore, go to Greenpeace, then to the United Nations, then to the people who get an emotional thrill from telling you in casual conversation that Western Civilization is the root of all evil and is reaping what it sowed. Al Gore got fame and money. Greenpeace gets press and donations. (I picked Greenpeace nearly randomly because they're familiar to many of you, but you can substitute in many of the 'eco-friendly' local organizations that solicit donations by saying, "Do you want to help save the world?" Bonus points if a college student can point out errors in their argument - and I mean gross errors, like the solicitors having no idea what radiation actually is or does or what a half-life is even as they protest nuclear power.) The United Nations gets fame and prestige and a chance to get all huffy over things like the Kyoto Protocol, which wouldn't actually have done much, and the IPCC's report, which included a section on the uncertainty of making those kind of long-term predictions that the press later ignored. And many happy journalists get to write long condescending editorials about how the West has messed up everything, and, you know, maybe everything would just get better if we admitted that we suck and that there's a lot of merit to be found in cultures that were closer to the earth - like, well, most of them were before we discovered steam power and electricity.
Yes, I'm being snarky. I'm basically parodying what people have actually said. I don't mean it in an offensive way, but I have heard people seriously say things along those lines. I wish I were joking...
A3. I agree with this. Actually, most people are in favor of protecting the environment; the disagreement starts when you decide what you should "give up" in order to help the trees or an endangered species. It makes sense to put a National Park in Wyoming because there's a giant gorram volcano there that we don't want to build on. It makes less sense to tell poor farmers who are just scraping by that they can't use pesticides to protect their crops anymore because there's an endangered species of beetle living three miles downwind.
A4. This isn't quite true. Many scientists agree that global warming is a cause for concern. Fewer of them think that we'll have the terrible floods or droughts you've heard predicted on the media.
In fact, 31,000 American scientists have signed a petition urging the government NOT to act to limit greenhouse gases, since there is no firm evidence that it is going to cause catastrophic heating anytime soon. Check it out: http://www.oism.org/pproject/
A5. Admittedly, I haven't read the book. Gore's book may be more accurate. His movie, An Inconvenient Truth, was highly inaccurate. Saying that polar bears are being drowned by global warming? Um, no. There was a bad storm that apparently caught several polar bears in open water and drowned four of them. Last time I heard, "storm" and "global warming" were not synonyms.
For the story, check out http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/corporate_law/article2633838.ece or http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2007/10/11/scigore111.xml
A6. A scam? Possibly, but I doubt it. For it to be a "scam", the people behind the scam have to know that they are supporting an incorrect point of view. I very much hope that this is not the case. I think Al Gore is wrong and that the 'science' in his film is quite shabby, but I don't think he's lying per se.
thanks for the reply. always nice to have someone willing to put out arguments and opinions.
sure they are. there are all levels of awareness on this meta-issue, such as not accepting the evidence for the greenhouse effect, not accepting that CO2 is related, and not accepting that humans have had anything to do with CO2 levels.
to answer that question all you need to do is to read up on how the greenhouse gas effect works. CO2 is indeed one of the three main greenhouse gases which drive global temperature.
yes, but you are missing a big difference there- CO2 is a forcing gas whereas water vapor is not.
true, water has the greatest GG effect, but it's a very constant and predictable effect. it's also self-regulating- you could pick up the contents of the oceans and add it as water vapor to the atmosphere and within a couple days most of it would have precipitated to the ground. you could also remove all water from the air and place it as a solid on the earth and within a couple days a portion of it would have evaporated up into the atmosphere.
the difference is that CO2 stays up there for decades or even centuries because the earth's carbon sinks remove it slowly.
so i guess you agree that's a train of thought that doesn't stand up to much scrutiny, ie bordering on conspiracy theorist lines.
this is like saying that not all of the birdfeed made it into the feeder- so what? certainly there are some individual scientists who disagree with the theory of global warming but the real question is "what do the body of them think?" that's pretty easy to answer since all the major science orgs support the theory, with maybe half of the notable individual objectors receiving money from the energy industry.
and the idea about predicting HOW we'll suffer from catastrophic climate change is like arguing about whether the guy in the fire died of asphyxiation or heat-related tissue death. sure people (and scientists) will argue, but the guy still wound up dyiing.
for one thing, i'll check it out for authenticity. understand that there are lots of things floating around like this, including a report from last year directed to the govt signed off by 2,000 or so scientists, more than half of which upon scrutiny turned out to be economists, with most of the remaining scientists either typically having no discipline related to the meta-issue of GW or being paid by the energy industry. for another, the second paragraph makes little sense based on currently understood science since a simple understanding of the GE refutes it. and the very last sentence is borderline hilarious- the idea that more CO2 would be good for this. IIRC this is the same baloney that the great global warming swindle tried to pass off.
please tell me what you think was inaccurate. research the individual points at your leisure and come back to this thread and i'll promise to discuss them with you.
it's just a british court ruling based on a non-scientist's understanding of the situation who has access to IPCC findings. it doesn't mean it has the weight of scientific opinion behind it. notice also that the beginning of the ruling is that "on balance, the film is accurate", ie it's only nine (out of probably hundreds) of things that the judge had a problem with.
regarding polar bears, gore is absolutely right and this is hardly a secret or due to one anecdote about four drowned bears (lol). scientists and citizens have noted the declining bear populations and destabilisation due to GCC for years. reports are published regularly in the news. i invite you to head on over to wikipedia and check out the global warming section in the polar bear article.
and another reason to not take the judge's ruling very seriously.
btw, "storm" and "global warming" are indeed very synonymous, since the immediate fallout of GW includes increased storm systems among other things such as drought and disease outbreaks.
I don't think it's a scam, it's just been blown totally out of proportion.
We are not the reason why it's happening, I don't think we even have that much of an effect on the planet. Yes, we have an effect, but not much of a one compared to the gasses given off by cows and other animals and the fact that the sun is actually expanding.
I agree however that the government is making loads of money off it, but like Tesco said 'Every little helps.'
Precisely who benefits from the creation of said scam?
Oil rich nations? No.
Large scale fabricants? No.
Any and all business involved in the current world dynamic? No.
I think it is hubris in the extreme to scoff at Global Warming. We do have a significant impact on world climate and eco-structure. To laugh and make a party of the idea that it is not so is dangerous and shortsighted in the extreme.
Australia, what is happening to your majestic Great Barrier Reef?
South America, where have your forests and jungles gone?
The problems that we are creating are long term. They will not be resolved with simple or quick fixes. They have massive inertia. Will we be able to stop the process in time? Or will we keep laughing and consuming and think it’s all a joke?
Whilst we're all living in fear of global warming the countries who instill the fear go about invading countries of their choosing, and trade with others whom have some of the worst human rights records around.
It is they who benefit. Fear is control by distraction and as has already been said who knows if this wouldn't already be happening anyway?
If you actually look at the statistics you'll see the world has been cooling down in the last few years, not heating up.
the joke is that people think this is an issue that, even if it IS real and does come to pass, won't be hitting the world hard for decades or even generations.
yet evidence is everywhere that GW is beginning to affect us right now, and the one consistent thing is that scientists who make predictions about its onset keep having to redraw their estimates because things keep happening sooner than they predicted.
right now most people still think that this is an issue that might affect their kids or grandkids, not being aware that it's an issue that will be affecting themselves. hope your games and gadgets and overconsumption of energy resources were worth the price.
show me the data, please.
Look it up yourself, it's not difficult to find, especially if you have internet access.
I'll give you this article for starters
I don't nesesarily beleive that it is a scam to make money, but I think that there has been a lot of conclusions jumped to on the subject. I watched this documentary a few weeks ago which was saying that bascially the Earth's temprature has risen and fell since the beginning of time, hence the world having Ice ages and stuff, and that was millions of years before humans. some Scientists just believe that what we understand to be "global warming" cause by us, is just a natural occurance.
Now, I'm not gunna say either one is right or wrong because I don't know all the facts, but I do think that people need to chill a bit and think about the idea that it just could be a nuturally occuring thing. Also, Al Gore's and Inconvinient Truth was fantastic, and had me ready to live in the dark without electricity.
thanks. that is a nice example of the way the energy industry recruits and pays real scientists to publically debunk GW. the skeptical public gets to read material which supports their POV written by a real scientist, being unaware that the majority of the person's colleagues disagree with them.
bob carter is well-known to be funded by the "tech central science foundation" and the "heartland institute" and is associated with the "international climate science coalition" and the "new zealand climate science coalition." all of which are psuedo-science orgs funded by the energy industry.
bob carter is not even a climatologist. he's in marine geophysics. the guy once even said that CO2 is not a pollutant (lol).
So does that mean that we can throw out the opinions of any scientists that are funded by environmental orginizations as well? After all, bias can go both ways.
Edit: Yeah that guy might not be qualified to comment on it, but I notice that you seem to think that anybody that is funded by the energy industry is automatically corrupt, yet don't think anything of it if a scientist who is for GW is funded by an orginization who is in favor of the theory.
Separate names with a comma.