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Facts on Global Warming
Posted by: Jon Henke on Thursday, May 25, 2006

My previous post on global warming got some fairly heated debate, so I want to make this a bit more clear. While some determined know-nothings on the Right argue that this "hysteric global warming is unsupportable by facts" [Rush Limbaugh, May 22, 2006], the fact is that the evidence is piling up in only one direction, as described by Gregg Easterbrook...
[H]as anything happened in recent years that should cause a reasonable person to switch sides in the global-warming debate? Yes: the science has changed from ambiguous to near-unanimous. As an environmental commentator, I have a long record of opposing alarmism. But based on the data I'm now switching sides regarding global warming, from skeptic to convert. [...] That research is now in, and it shows a strong scientific consensus that an artificially warming world is a real phenomenon posing real danger:
What's more, even the Bush administration's own global warming research agency decided there was "clear evidence of human influences on the climate system." And the research indicates that, while "natural variation may play roles in climatic trends, overwhelming evidence points to the accumulation of greenhouse gases, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels, as the key."

None of this necessarily validates the more alarmist scenarios and minor inaccuracies that environmentalists — e.g., Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth — make; nor should one forget the legitimate environmental progress the Bush administration has made. Nor — and this is important — does it mean we must endorse one particular path or another. We can agree that car wrecks occur and are bad without believing that the solution is to stop driving.

But it's important to understand that the environmental science is conclusive on some fronts, and very strong on others. Read this paper by Gregg Easterbrook which summarizes the state and robustness of current environmental science. Consider the fact that "all major scientific bodies in the United States whose members' expertise bears directly on the matter" have issued statements consistent with the IPCC statement that "that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities."

And for those wedded to the view that it's all one great big hoax — that The Science Man is keeping down all the brave dissenters — bear in mind, that hypothesis has also been researched and found wanting.
[The] hypothesis [that the scientific establishment "might downplay legitimate dissenting opinions"] was tested by analyzing 928 abstracts, published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, and listed in the ISI database with the keywords "climate change" (9).

The 928 papers were divided into six categories: explicit endorsement of the consensus position, evaluation of impacts, mitigation proposals, methods, paleoclimate analysis, and rejection of the consensus position. Of all the papers, 75% fell into the first three categories, either explicitly or implicitly accepting the consensus view; 25% dealt with methods or paleoclimate, taking no position on current anthropogenic climate change. Remarkably, none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position.
Let's be clear about this: scientific debate is done with great care in serious, peer-reviewed journals. "Debate about science" simply is not the same as "scientific debate". Some creationists disagree with the theory of evolution, but that does not mean there is "scientific debate". Show the peer-reviewed research and we'll talk. Until then, all we have are people who either have not done or can not do the scientific research necessary to substantiate their argument.

Again, none of this is to say that the solutions prescribed by Al Gore, et al, are correct. As Easterbrook suggests, "a system of tradable greenhouse permits" could introduce market pressures. Tierney has suggested a "carbon tax on gasoline and other fossil fuels" along with increased use of nuclear power. On this blog, Dale Franks has long advocated the pebble bed reactors for extremely — virtually fool-proof — safe nuclear power generation.

In the long run, the important argument on global warming will not be whether it is happening (it is) or whether humans make non-trivial contributions to it (we do), but how we should solve it. Towards that end, I think, libertarians and free market advocates can play an important role by explaining how the market can solve problems far more efficiently than can individual experts. Our role ought to be to impress upon people the view of the market expressed by Don Boudeaux.
"I have no simplistic plan for dealing with this problem; indeed, I reject all simplistic plans. Only a competitive, decentralized institution interlaced with dependable feedback loops — the market — can be relied upon to discover and implement a sufficiently detailed way to handle the problem in question."
 
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Comments
Global Warming being caused by man is a myth, built on distortions, built on junk
science. In the 70’s the big idea was global cooling, it was going to bring on a new ice age, it didn’t happen so the super-genius climate scientists needed to save face and scare up a new theory to fund new research, so they invented global warming. The climate of the earth is controlled by one thing and one thing only, and tha bitches name is Mother Nature, period, dot, bingo!!!
 
Written By: JohnBoltonsMustache
URL: http://
"...whether humans make non-trivial contributions to it (we do)..."

Fine, I’ll give you that. Now please explain how anything the U.S. does is going to have any significant impact when balanced by the exponentially increasing use of fossil fuels by China and India.
I also have yet to see any information regarding what mankind could do, using current or even near term technologies, that would have a non-trivial effect on the forecast increase in temperatures.


 
Written By: Metzger
URL: http://
heated debate
Pun unintended I’m sure. Moving on....
While some determined know-nothings on the Right argue that this "hysteric global warming is unsupportable by facts" [Rush Limbaugh, May 22, 2006], the fact is that the evidence is piling up in only one direction,
When Limbaugh talks of "hysteric global warming" he’s talking about the over-the-top crowd, the kind who basically believe the seas will rise 10 feet over the next decade unless we sign Kyoto NOW NOW NOW. And he’s absolutely correct. The alarmist dire predictions of the global warming scaremongers in the Green lobby ARE unsupported by the facts. I’m not quite sure that makes him a "know-nothing" in this case...



 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Remember when the Vikings settled in Greenland? Man, that was a DISASTER!!!!
 
Written By: Chicken Little Nature-Boyz
URL: http://
You seem to have fallen for the Oreskes "review" of global warming papers. Your treatment is quite superficial, probably due to your lack of science training. You might try being less PC and get your hands dirty a little bit by actually looking at the debate. Start at climateaudit.org. And don’t ask your tru believer friends about the site first—just go there and dive in. You’re really too trusting on this one.
 
Written By: Ashley
URL: http://
Sometimes I wonder if people actually read what is written...
None of this necessarily validates the more alarmist scenarios and minor inaccuracies that environmentalists — e.g., Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth — make;
Might have been written better, because I was going to dash off an angry note saying, Minor inaccuracies!!! What about the major inaccuracies.

But then when re-reading it for the 3rd time, the alarmist scenarios are the major inaccuracies that I was thinking of.

I, like a few others here, have a dislike of the use of the politically charged term "global warming."

But, you don’t have to believe that the sky is falling to have a desire to reduce pollution. Panic, hysteria, and over-blown predictions aren’t going to cause the government or people to act in a rational, considerate manner. Such rhetoric is likely to get us regulations that will do more harm to ourselves then good.

Additionally, there are plenty of good reasons to reduce pollution. Not doing so because India and China aren’t, makes as much sense as throwing trash on your own lawn because your neighbor chooses to do so. Lead by example.

Jon is making an honest attempt at laying out the facts, and what we could do to improve, both the climate and the debate.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
"The climate of the earth is controlled by one thing and one thing only, and tha bitches name is Mother Nature, period, dot, bingo!!! "

yes, of course you’re right and all the scientists studying this are wrong.... yeah. that’s the ticket.


And to Ashley,

climateaudit.org is a BLOG written by Stephen McIntyre who is a mining and mineral exploration specialist.

how about you read something that is written by people who actually do the research in the field?

wow.. imagine that
http://www.realclimate.org
 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
The conventional science is that the Earth has a 207 billion ton carbon budget right now, of which 7 billion tons is caused by man, around 3.3% of the total. If there is Global Warming, then man is a contributor to it, but probably not the biggest contributor. The second point is that of the 7 billion tons less than 1 billion comes from the United States. In fact, if we got rid of all carbon emmissions, we still would not see a major reduction in the world carbon budget. The point is, if there is global warming based on the change to the current carbon budget, it will have to be engineered with more than a causal reduction to 1970, 1990 or any other arbitrary level. This is what makes environmentalism such a hard science to scuitinize. Nobody wants to give out the details and we’re left with extremism, which is typically funded by ignorant bureaucrats. Global Warming is a governmental, not a science or engineering problem, requiring a degree of consensus before a diagnosis, or solution is found.
 
Written By: Orlando Armaswalker
URL: http://
Some of the costs for oil use are internalized but improperly assigned.

I speak of the over two trillion dollars we have invested in the past years using the military to police the oil trade. This cost is about 100% of our imported oil bill and sould be properly assigned to oil users. We don’t need to internalize global warming expenses to assign half of our military budget to an oil import fee. China, our major source of consumer goods relies almost exclusively on the US military to police its oil trade routes. Europe has applied this fee to oil users and their per capita use of oil and their military budgets are half of ours.

We would have to share the cost of forward military projection with China and India using a general trade tax, which should be handled with care. We should explain to the world that since we are forced to be the policemen of last resort, then our trading partners have to pay their share.

We would lose ancillary services that our military provide, such as the policing of the nuclear enrichment trade, the pursuit of democratic rights, and the prevention of local wars flaring out of control.

We would have to properly assign the oil tax and the trade tax so that our goods importers and domestic goods producers pay for their equivalent use of our military.
 
Written By: Matt
URL: http://
In the long run, the important argument on global warming will not be whether it is happening (it is) or whether humans make non-trivial contributions to it (we do), but how we should solve it.
You cannot solve a problem that you don’t understand. I submit that you cannot accurately model something, then you don’t really understand it.

In fact, an accurate climate model would inform us if a slightly warmer world was actually a problem at all as well as telling us at what point a warmer world becomes a problem.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
No proof exists that lower emissions reduce global warming.
 
Written By: Herbert Glass
URL: http://
God Plan Matt, have China help fund the US military. We’ll be going to Darfur all right, but to help the Janjaweed not the African inhabitants, because that section of Sudan has several PRC oil concessions on it.

So to sum up, the US military become the mercenaries for the PRC and mayhap India? Now wars for Oil/Haliburton are wrong, but the wars fought for Total/Fina, or NORINCO or COSCO are OK? I’m not really seeing the Mothers and Fathers of the troops, plus the Kossacks BUYING this proposal. But you wacky libertaians "...say the craziest things."
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
While some determined know-nothings...
What was that logical fallacy that your coblogger was so worked up about a while back?

Poisoning the creek? The puddle? Saucer?
 
Written By: Terry
URL: http://
I’m still in the skeptic school on this. From what research I’ve been able to find, the VAST majority (over 80%) of what little warming that has been measured to date is almost completly due to the various solar radiation cycles. 20th century warming trends match the solar cycle almost perfectly (cooler in the 70’s, for example, just when the global enviro lobby was shrieking about global cooling) ) and warming again since that time.

Sea level has been rising at a steady rate (approx 1.8 mm) over the last 8000 years and the rate has NOT increased — according to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, anyway.

I would, however, agree that the development of new nuclear electrical plants would be a real positive development.
 
Written By: kalthalior
URL: http://
"I’m not really seeing the Mothers and Fathers of the troops, plus the Kossacks BUYING this proposal."

Terry,

Hopefully they won’t, I think that is the idea.

 
Written By: Matt
URL: http://
Matt,

You must have confused me with somone else. I wuz the one quibbling about Jon’s insistance on poisoning the well prior to making his arguments.

Or I just duidn’t understand your comment at all. That’s a distinct possibility!
 
Written By: Terry
URL: http://
Poisoning the creek? The puddle? Saucer?
Cesspool?

Oh, wait, I know ... well, I thought I did. But I know it’s a deep subject.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Terry,

Hopefully they won’t, I think that is the idea.
I’m slow explain please.... by making the PRC pick up a portion of the US Defense Bill it will make the US less likely to use it’s forces...it’s all about oil...I’m slow, this reminds me of the South Park joke:
1) Steal underpants
2)???
3) profit
I’m sure, no sarcasm, that there is a subastantive point you’re making I just don’t see it yet.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I agree with Mr. Flacy.

So we’ve determined that average global temperatures look like they’re increasing at a rate that when extrapolated out may mean a two degree C increase over the next hundred years.

But I guessed I missed the part where we’ve concluded that this warming is anthropogenic, and specifically caused by carbon dioxide.

It seems to be an artifact of our monkey brains to always look for a single cause to every outcome: Mongo dead because leopard eat Mongo. But if human beings are contributing any part to this warming outcome it is doubtless a result of many different inputs just as most every other outcome in nature is. My daily commute here in central Texas, for example, suggests that perhaps the jillions of square miles of blacktop we’ve layed over the last century may have something to do with warming. Moreover, I don’t know of any refutation in any field of the idea that the result of multiple inputs = the result of multiple inputs. This little fact has tripped up some very powerful minds in the past, including those of Malthus and Marx.

But when you get past all of the sturm und drung of the politics of the debate, none of the CO2 models have "predicted" the past climate record that I’m aware. The modelers have taken to using bizarre theories of oceanic "hot spots" to try and shore up the discrepancy. Why in God’s name would we believe them capable of accurately predicting the future? And furthermore, why would we place government controls—whether carbon taxes are any other kind of controls—on nothing less than fire itself in all of it forms in response to these models?

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: Peter Jackson
URL: http://www.liberalcapitalist.com
"Not doing so because India and China aren’t, makes as much sense as throwing trash on your own lawn because your neighbor chooses to do so."

I’m not saying we should do nothing, just that we shouldn’t believe that anything the U.S. does alone is going to affect the problem. As others have said, reducing pollution is a good thing. I’m just getting tired of the Big Ole Bad Polluting America meme. (Not that John even mentioned it, but, it seems to be assumed as a fact of the underlying debate anymore.)
 
Written By: Metzger
URL: http://
McQ wrote:
"Oh, wait, I know ... well, I thought I did. But I know it’s a deep subject."
And I hope you’re not proud of yourself for that one.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Not doing so because India and China aren’t, makes as much sense as throwing trash on your own lawn because your neighbor chooses to do so."
Well No, it’s like turning off all the lights in your house and the heat to preserve "the environment" whilst the folks down the street clear-cut for firewood and never installed light switches in their homes... you can do it and be in the dark and cold, but it doesn’t save the enviroment very much. Kyoto saved the planet .1 degree F, IIRC, according to its proponents. Why should the US suffer greater economic damage whilst China and India are EXEMPT?

I question Global Warming, I question Green House Gasses role in GLobal Warming, but so far many of the "cures" are as bad as the disease.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Maybe i am not clear.

Probably the majority of our forward defense is designed to provide protection for the oil trade, directly and indirectly.

The idea is to assign this cost to those who use the oil in the hope that they will be rational and use less oil and my military expenses go down.

If it is my job to provide oil security in the gulf, but the PRC is using that service to ship oil and turn it into manufactured goods, then I pay a double whammy. More of my resources go to military force projection, and I have less resources to manufacture my own products.

 
Written By: Matt
URL: http://
Here are my doubts expressed as gut-level probabilities - totally subjective but decently well-informed:

1. that "global warming" is happening: 85% chance it is
2. if it is happening, that it is in large part man-made: 35% it is
3. if it is man-made, that there is anything we can do to stop it: 15% we can

(in all three, I’ve been pretty generous to give the benefit of my doubts)

If it’s appropriate to mutliply these probabilities together for a total probability (I admit it’s probably more complicated than that), then my gut-reckoning is that there is about a 4.5% chance that we can do anything about it.

Admittedly, this is probably a stupid little exercise but it helps explain why I just won’t get as worked up as Jon over the matter.
 
Written By: equitus
URL: http://
Joe - who here is proposing that we follow Kyoto????
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
The idea is to assign this cost to those who use the oil in the hope that they will be rational and use less oil and my military expenses go down.
Why would they as we are obviously willing to do it now for free... further that isn’t the only reason for forward deployment, only in a Marxist/Libertarian world is economics the SOLE basis for actor decisions.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I like realclimate.org because they censor all the comments. They erase comments that lead the discussion too closely to the many weaknesses in their climate models. I like that censorship because it keeps all the wingnuts in their place. Better to lean on "authority" than to actually debate the relevant concepts involved. Yeah, realclimate.org guys are "climate scientists", the "authorities" so they don’t have to argue the facts. They’ve got grants, tenure, publication and review rights in journals so they’ve got it made, man, and lots of low level flacks to run interference for them too. Sign me up for that action, dude.
 
Written By: Bresty
URL: http://
And I hope you’re not proud of yourself for that one.
Actually I’m not Tom, but for some reason I just couldn’t resist it.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Jon, you are in trouble here. You are out numbered and out dumbed.

You have your Christians. They say that man doesn’t cause global warming, God does. God created cycles of warming and cooling that we can’t understand or have any impact upon. Right now God wants us to get warmer. Get out the sunscreen.

You have your traditional Libertarians. They say that we can never work together with other countries (or maybe even parties) so why try? They would also rather see the planet burn than to admit that Gore had a good point. They don’t give the environmentalists any credit for making the country cleaner. Things that require collective action are bad.

You have your space cadets. "Mars is getting warmer too". They aren’t bright enough to ask about the standard deviation of those estimates.

The abitlity of americans to understand science is declining. Ultimately it will be that fact that does us in.


 
Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
Eh, the best/worst puns are accidental anyway. Yours, TDP, ml,msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Then you have your cindyb’s who say "shut up and do as you’re told dammit we know what’s best for you!"

Gosh, you damn well just about have it all, dude.
 
Written By: Bresty
URL: http://
You have your space cadets. "Mars is getting warmer too". They aren’t bright enough to ask about the standard deviation of those estimates.
"Estimates"? How about "measurements"?

You might want to look here, or here.

My beliefs fall more in line with Mr. Pournelle’s:
So far I have seen proof by repeated assertion, not actual data. The data we see are conflicting. Some glaciers grow. Many shrink. It is still not, so far as I can tell, unambiguously clear whether we are headed for warming or dimming, heating up or Ice Age ((we are after all overdue for an Ice Age). If we start to prepare for the one and the other happens we are in trouble.

The classic Bayesian analysis in the case of conflicting predictions is to invest in reducing uncertainty, not in multiple preparations. We ought to be spending WHATEVER IT TAKES to reduce the uncertainties here. We are not doing that. We spend more on trying to persuade each other that we KNOW when we DO NOT KNOW.

Proof by repeated assertion is not a very good proof. The research is NOT in. It is NOT unambiguous.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Jon Henke,

I would like a resonable scenario as how free markets would work. I am serious. Don Boudeaux’ article did not actually give me any insight.
 
Written By: VRB
URL: http://
Assume as a working hypothesis that the earth is in a warming trend at least in part caused by human activity. The evidence of that warming trend is probably sufficient by now (I say "probably" only by way of acknowledging that I both lack the expertise and have not in any case read the research, as opposed to mere reports of that research). Als, it is my understanding at this point that the data is consistent with at least a partially anthropogenic cause.

Even so, it remains to be discovered how serious that warming trend is likely to be in terms of damage done, to what extent human activity is responsible, what can be done about that and what the cost of doing so would be balanced against the likely damage done. Again from what I have read, we do not have very reliable answers to these questions yet.

My point here is that the true believers at both extremes of this topic continue to be simply that — people for whom no evidence contrary to their faith commitment one way or the other will have any effect. Moreover, the signal to noise (or, dare I say, heat to light) ratio here is aggrivated by the fact that a number of vocal global warming activists are, in fact, little more than ideological reds turned ideological greens and that their opponents, having correctly perceived this fact, are equally blinded by their own ideological opposition to those people.

One of the factors in play here is the so called "tipping point" or point-of-no-return thesis. Given that we are, as a matter of geological history, still emerging from an ice age in any event and that human history has experienced prolonged warming periods before, I don’t have much faith in that thesis if only because there is strong evidence that such warming as may be occuring is non-anthropogenic, but nonetheless I acknowledge it cannot be summarily dismissed.

It would be nice if these issues could be considered by the general public without the ideological agenda and rhetorical passion, but what public policy issue is that not true about?



 
Written By: D.A. Ridgely
URL: http://
There may or may not be global warming, some glaciers are receding, others static, and still others advancing. Some parts of Antarctica have ice sheets that are thickening and some that are not. Yosemite’s halfdome landmark was created by a glacier shearing off half its volume, so indeed there has been some warming since that time. Man’s activities had nothing to do with that glacier being there and man had nothing to do with its disappearance. Its pure arrogance to think man can control weather or climate, we have trouble even PREDICTING what the temperature may be in any greater span of time than 10 days. Instead of attemting to use climate as a political tool to hobble the USA, or any country for that matter, the left would be better served by cutting back on the whining and fear mongering and concentrating on some of the benefits that can be forseen if in fact the climate is warming slightly. A longer growing season in some of the more Northern latitudes could produce a bonanza of crops, a new shipping route could save billions in transportation costs, and heating expenditures could surely drop with milder winters. Stand aside liberals, and allow the adults to confront the challenges of the future.
 
Written By: whosebone
URL: http://
It seems that readers of this blog are not easily cowed by appeals to authority. The title of this thread was "facts on global warming" but the few facts present were generally irrelevant appeals to authority, rather than a scientific argument. In today’s blogosphere, that’s unacceptable. If you believe that a "scientific consensus" such as it is, is large enough to substitute for logic and reason, you are sadly mistaken in this case. "True believers" are a dime a dozen. Lots of them work in journalism. They hide behind "authority" and won’t engage in the real facts. They’re like backwoods revival preachers on the topic of "global warming." They’re not worth their bandwidth. I hope you do better next try.
 
Written By: Ashley
URL: http://
It seems that readers of this blog are not easily cowed by appeals to authority. The title of this thread was "facts on global warming" but the few facts present were generally irrelevant appeals to authority, rather than a scientific argument. In today’s blogosphere, that’s unacceptable. If you believe that a "scientific consensus" such as it is, is large enough to substitute for logic and reason, you are sadly mistaken in this case. "True believers" are a dime a dozen. Lots of them work in journalism. They hide behind "authority" and won’t engage in the real facts. They’re like backwoods revival preachers on the topic of "global warming." They’re not worth their bandwidth. I hope you do better next try.
 
Written By: Ashley
URL: http://
It seems that readers of this blog are not easily cowed by appeals to authority
Heh ... yup, we train ’em well.

CEI has a nice FAQ on the subject. They condense it all nicely:
What do scientists agree on?

* Scientists do agree that: (1) global average temperature is about 0.6°Celsius—or just over 1°Fahrenheit—higher than it was a century ago; (2) atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) have risen by about 30 percent over past 200 years; and (3) carbon dioxide, like water vapor, is a greenhouse gas whose increase is likely to warm the Earth’s atmosphere.[1]



What don’t scientists know yet?

* Scientists do not agree on whether: (1) we know enough to ascribe past temperature changes to carbon dioxide levels; (2) we have enough data to confidently predict future temperature levels; and (3) at what level temperature change might be more damaging than beneficial to life on Earth.
I think that’s a fair summary.

And I pretty much agree with their point here as well:
Isn’t there a scientific consensus that global warming is real and bad for us?


* There is no “scientific consensus” that global warming will cause damaging climate change. Claims that there is mischaracterize the scientific research of bodies like the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS).
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I got to agree with Dale about pebble bed reactors, and if Iran’s nuclear ambitions were as they proclaim, thats they route they would be taking. But thats a whole nother subject.

In the entire existence of this globe, about 4.5 billion years, temperatures fluctuated. And by far more than 1°Fahrenheit/century. So now we are taking a relatively insignificant amount of data, and declare humans are the problem.
Hey I got an idea, why don’t you take about a months worth of data from the CME, figure out the direction with your very deep pockets and see how long it takes for you to go broke, it’ll be pretty quick. And its the same difference.

Speaking of futures, Dr. Richard Sandor of the Chicago Climate Exchange has some interesting ideas on helping cure the problem through capitalism. Not sure it will work out, but at least he is being proactive on the positive side.

And Jon, I agree with you that we should be doing whatever we can to make our technology have a neutral effect on the environment, or as close to as we can get. I believe it’s the equivalent of what our forefathers called being good stewards of the land.

 
Written By: Wilky
URL: http://
You have given into the mania. There is no proof. The science is junk. Calm down and let the market take care of it.
 
Written By: A Schlei
URL: http://obsballona.net/
I won’t argue the main point, but I have to say that I’m puzzled by the assertion that the lack of dissent published in refereed journals is an indication that dissent isn’t being supressed.
 
Written By: Steve Meyer
URL: http://
Fine, I’ll give you that. Now please explain how anything the U.S. does is going to have any significant impact when balanced by the exponentially increasing use of fossil fuels by China and India.
If your argument is that a marginal reduction in fossil fuel use (i.e., personal conservation) will have a negligible impact...I agree. That’s why I’ve repeatedly pointed out that the answer lies in scientific and economic progress. Presumably, for example, a post-petroleum energy source — or an economical method for cleaning CO2 emissions — would not be restricted to the United State.
I also have yet to see any information regarding what mankind could do, using current or even near term technologies, that would have a non-trivial effect on the forecast increase in temperatures.
Then perhaps you should go read up on it. (and note that I specifically mentioned, e.g., Pebble Bed Reactors which could reduce the use of some other forms of energy production. (and are currently being pursued by China)
The conventional science is that the Earth has a 207 billion ton carbon budget right now, of which 7 billion tons is caused by man, around 3.3% of the total.
I keep telling you guys that explanations for this stuff are readily available. Read. The existence of this stuff in the atmosphere is not, itself, the problem. The problem is the increase, for which human activity is predominantly responsible. Consider this purely hypothetical example (I’m not suggesting these are likely numbers): oceans are thousands of feet deep — up to a few miles in some places. So, really, what’s a few more feet? How could you possibly be worried about 3 more feet of water, when there are already thousands of feet? Well, that’s the rub. Thousands of already existing feet don’t cover anything important. 3 more feet and we’d lose entire cities and coastal regions. It’s the margin that makes the difference.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
While some determined know-nothings...
What was that logical fallacy that your coblogger was so worked up about a while back?
As I explained in my first post on the topic, "Know Nothing" was a term applied to an actual political party, who replied to questions about their work with "I know nothing". Since that is the response of many Republicans on environmental science, the allusion to the Know Nothing Party is apropos. It’s an accurate description of their take on global warming, though perhaps "we know nothing" would be closer.

 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
But I guessed I missed the part where we’ve concluded that this warming is anthropogenic, and specifically caused by carbon dioxide.
The evidence is very strongly in that direction. You can read about it if you like. Here’s a paper in fairly layman terms.
I would like a resonable scenario as how free markets would work. I am serious. Don Boudeaux’ article did not actually give me any insight.
I’ve only touched on the tax internalization measures that would incentivize post-petroleum energy sources — or at least emmission reduction measures — as well as nuclear power. Poke around A Better Earth for other suggestions.
It seems that readers of this blog are not easily cowed by appeals to authority. The title of this thread was "facts on global warming" but the few facts present were generally irrelevant appeals to authority, rather than a scientific argument.
Linking to scientific research is not an "appeal to authority". That’s where the facts are.

I’m constantly astounded that people here are so dismissive of consistent, peer-reviewed research, as if—to borrow a quote from Isaac Asimov—"a ’theory’ is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night."
I won’t argue the main point, but I have to say that I’m puzzled by the assertion that the lack of dissent published in refereed journals is an indication that dissent isn’t being supressed.
I’m not aware of allegations that dissenters have been prevented from publishing. The "suppressed dissent" notion revolves around the idea that the IPCC reports and other consensus statements by involved groups reflect not a consensus view, but a narrower view, with dissenters prevented from expressing disagreement.

It would be quite a widespread conspiracy if many scientific journals were all in on the same conspiracy to suppress dissent. Bear in mind, as Dale once wrote, science is built on confounding previous theories. That’s how you get famous in science. There’s not much incentive to suppress solid, groundbreaking research.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I’m not aware of allegations that dissenters have been prevented from publishing.
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, as the old saw goes. This statement at least establishes that the lack of dissenting AGW articles is not de facto evidence of the lack of suppression of dissent.

My point isn’t to assert that such a widespread tendency (it doesn’t have to be a conspiracy per se) exists—my point is merely that I don’t think the evidence you cited actually supports the contention you think it supports.

Steve M. expressed the matter clearly.
 
Written By: JMD
URL: http://
Jon says "read!" but what he means is "believe!" We’ve read it Jon, multiple times. But we don’t believe. You seem to think repeating noncredible sources ad infinitum is a type of argument. If you can’t handle the details, fine. Admit it and move on. Something stinks in climate "science," Jon. If you can’t smell it, good on you. Almost all the bandwagon warmers are like Jon. They can’t deal with the technicals, but they’re sure if you only read the politicized verbiage you’ll agree with them.

http://www.cei.org/gencon/030,05331.cfm

It’s all about having some confidence in your own ability to sort the evidence, in spite of the political motives of the people behind the "facts"—and there’s always a political motive.
 
Written By: Mistrel
URL: http://
OK, let me take a shot at explaining the problem.

The best single tool everyone should have is the ice core data found here:

http://www.daviesand.com/Choices/Precautionary_Planning/New_Data/

The first thing to notice is that evolution wants us to be two degrees cooler, we have been stuck at two degrees too hot for 10,000 years. Something happened 12,000 years ago that prevented the next glacial cycle from restarting. Even since there has been a slow leak of CO2 into the atmosphere, but the tipping point equilibriated and we have never restarted the down swing.

There is a reason that humans are the lead emitter of co2, we control most of the land carbon cycle in the world. We have followed the ice line north for 12.000 years and have seeded and controlled the newly opened flood plains. Some evidence exists that our early use of proto farming may have seeded these flood plains just enough to prevent the restart of the next glacial cycle, guilty of ’global cooling’ long ago.

Our ability to scrub the atmosphere of co2 is amply demonstrated with our management of northern hemisphere forests. There is evidence that mideival forest management and the early development of the nile valley has changed regional and global temperatures all along.

It you google scholar search on eutrophication you we will get a vast array of articles telling us how not to remove co2 from the atmosphere. But some estimates tell us that proper wetlands management can scrub the bulk of co2 from the atmosphere.

I suspect a connection between the atmoshpere co2 carrying capacity and the amount of buried carbon during the carboniferous age a zillion years ago. In other words, there is a reason that peak oil and peak global warming occur simultaneously.

We are a smart squirrel and we have efficiently managed the oxidation cycle as the ice retreated, getting more work from nature than the other squirrels. That is why evolution granted us access to fossil fuel. We have reached the work generating capacity of the glacial upswing, and we now have to chase photosynthesis on the way down.

Whether we like it or not, evolution has assigned us the task of engineering the glacial cycle. We have to decide what temperature we like, we control the thermostat. Our tool will be genetically engineered photosynthesis, especially artificial algae. The new forms of algae will make biofuels cheaper than fossil oil, and will allow us to set the co2 levels where we like it.

 
Written By: Matt
URL: http://
"we control most of the land carbon cycle in the world"

and so on, and so on,

I dearly hope my profanity will be excused, but that’s the most fvcking insane, pig ignorant thing I think I’ve ever read here, and that includes MK.

1) Humanity controls virtually NONE of the global carbon cycle, and

2) since the atmosphere moves over both the ocean and the land, considering only land based sources is inexplically stupid.

Global Warming (TM) is a hoax, a lie, a fib, a grotesque exaggeration.

There is a reason I put the (TM) there. It’s a trademark I’m not buying, because I see who’s selling it.

The thing to do is nothing—continue as before—instead of just doing something. McQ has it far more right than Jon Henke, but the point is the signal to noise ratio is so low NOBODY has it right with any level of confidence that could justify anything proposed by the Global Warming (TM) crowd, including structuring laws to create artificial market forces to reduce carbon emmissions.

What is known now justiifes nothing at all.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Well, Mr. Perkins. I mentioned once or twice that this was not the forum to address scientific issues, and I can see from your comments that you don’t address science in any event.

True, I did not address the oceans, and I knew that to be a defect. Just let me point out in passing that the carbon storage in the first meter of soil is some six times greater than the carbon storage in the first 100 meters of the ocean. The ocean participation in the carbon flux is first, passive, based upon the partial pressure of co2, and second active based upon the activities of photosynthetic organisms. The second part should be addressed, but I go back to my original prescription, this is not the forum.

The issue of whether we control the land carbon cycle? let me point out that Americans are primarily resonsible for converting the vast southern forests into farmland, which we did with mules, then we let them return back to grass land. We did this, not the other squirrels. We did this with the northern forests too, I might add, and you do not need science to understand this, you just need to ask your grandfather and father what they did 100 ears ago.

We know that the vast forest land area of spruce in Northern Europe was under human control and use for over 750 years during the post Roman medeival period. We know this because we have actual written logs of how forest management occured in that period.

We know that half of the peat bogs of Indonesia are under control of humans because we have satellite pictures of them burning, lit on fire by some people we can actually talk to.

We know that the Nile valley is completely under human agricultural control because we can actually go there and look, even as a tourist.

Need I go on, mentioning the great rice fields of China and India? The use of jungle land in Africa?

How much do we control the land carbon? Easy to measure the amount of carbon released from the Indonesian peat fires, it is equavelnt to the transportation emissions of Europe uring that period. Just do a goolge search and look at the photoraphs, look for yourself; what the size of the smoke cloud and compare it to the size of Europe.

Your prolem, Mr. Perkins, is that you confuse science with leftism. Notice I have not yet recommended any direct government action on carbon taxes, except for my note that I like a trade tax for matters unrelated to the environment.

You fear man’s power, your brand of libertarianism rests on the assumption that we are small squirrels, unable to control our own destiny. You seem to have the Marxism, not me, I accept man’s power. You fear man’s power because in your simple mind all powerful things lead to your innate desire for government protection.

Man’s inherent power is the foundation of my libertarianism, it is the reason I am a libertarian. My libertarianism provides me with the faith that tis will all work out under the natural laws of economics and minimal government intervention. What I fear most is that once the simple minded, ’big government’ conservatives discover the science, they, not the libertarians will be pursuing marxist intervention.



 
Written By: Matt
URL: http://
You know though I find it interesting that Jon is obvioulsy willing to spend money to deal with this ’problem’ on a world wide basis, but thinks it will cost too much to attempt to prevent illegal immigrants from wandering across our southern borders. He doesn’t think you can stop the immigration, so you shouldn’t waste the capital trying to do that, you should accomodate yourself to it and deal with it.


Same answer for Global Warming Jon.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I tell you it is air conditioning and refrigeration that is causing global warming. I guarantee that if everyone turned off their ac and opened their freezer doors, all that escaped coolness would reduce global warming. I will prove this as soon as I can get my grant approved. Until then, do your part to save the planet, drink warm beer.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
You know though I find it interesting that Jon is obvioulsy willing to spend money to deal with this ’problem’ on a world wide basis, but thinks it will cost too much to attempt to prevent illegal immigrants from wandering across our southern borders.
You know, you would have a point with this only if you believed that illegal immigrants will inevitably burn your house down.

+++++++++
Until then, do your part to save the planet, drink warm beer.
Okay… I’d rather the oceans boil.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Okay. I’d rather the oceans boil.
Hey we still have polar icecaps ... Save The Beer ... move North young man ...while you still can.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
The motivations, and therefore the conclusions of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are hardly above reproach. Chris Landsea resigned from the panel in 2005 because it saw no problem with its lead author on hurricanes making fanciful claims about the 2004 hurricane season and global warming. Claims which had absolutely no support in the peer reviewed literature. Not just a little support, but zero support. And the IPCC was fine with their lead hurricane author doing this.

No surprise, though, when you consider that the head of the IPCC said last year that the earth has already reached dangerous levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. He called for immediate and very deep cuts in emissions if humanity was to survive. Excuse me, but immediate action is necessary for the survival of humanity? Does this sound like a scientist or a politician talking?

So, you’ll forgive certain of us who are sceptical of the evenhandedness of the assumptions used in the IPCC’s computer models.
I’m not aware of allegations that dissenters have been prevented from publishing.
Here is an interesting example. People have brought up valid points questioning Dr. Peiser’s conclusions, but that doesn’t make Science’s reasoning any more comprehensible for rejecting his article. After all, the reasoning they used for the rejection applied equally to Oreske’s article which they published.
 
Written By: BrianOfAtlanta
URL: http://
For those armchair scientist; check this out and find its more than CO2.
EPA: Global Warming Emissions then follow link 2006 U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory
You will be able to see the data and the methodology.
Emission inventories from industrial processes are calculated from the process by the industry itself.
Interesting report on Methane. What ever humans do, we may not be able to inherit the earth.
 
Written By: VRB
URL: http://
You know, you would have a point with this only if you believed that illegal immigrants will inevitably burn your house down.
Jon views the immigrant issue as inevitable, I view the return out of the mini ice age (1400-1860) to warmer climates as inevitable (I’d complain about having to live in ’this time’ but you know, the last 100 years had some nasty stuff in it that constitutes worse times, so I’ll settle for warmer air and live with it).
Jon wants to make economic decisions based on his view of inevitablity, and so do I.

See, we actually agree in a way. We both don’t want to spend money fighting something that ’can’t be stopped by us’.

It’s going to get warmer man, but we’re not the primary cause.
We just like to think we are, because if we were, well, hey, we could just stop what we were doing.
If we’re not....well shoot, than we can’t stop it can we, and that would remind us we ain’t in charge, and the guys who like to think they’re in charge, and like us to think they’re in charge, might be out of work.
But it does make a good case for people who want to tell us how we should live. For example, popcorn’s bad for you, and so are eggs, and too much red meat, and sugar, and wheat, and....

...beer’s okay though, just don’t drink and drive.
Seriously on that last one.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Consider this: what if the planet is warming, and there’s nothing we can realistically do to stop it?

My one-word solution:

Adapt.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s "our fault" or not. This planet’s climate has always been dynamic, and will continue to be dynamic no matter what we do.

So there it is. Adapt, or die.

 
Written By: SMASH
URL: http://www.indepundit.com
Those of you who remain global warming "skeptics" ought to try to find a single climate research scientist who is both a "skeptic" and not funded by the oil companies. Try Googling their names along with the word "Exxon" and see what you find. It doesn’t take much to realize that there is a myth that there is a serious debate going on about this in the scientific community: there isn’t. The debate is over. The time for action is now.

Looking over ice core analysis of the last several hundred million years, CO2 concentrations never went above 280 ppmv, and we’re now at 350 ppmv. It’s unprecedented, and still skyrocketing.

Even if there were a serious debate over whether the warnming is man-made, the probability is very high that the majority of scientists are right: faced with even a 50% chance they’re right, we ought to do something. By building a more efficient economy we are likely to reap many long-term benefits. It’s not just a cost: it’s also both a short-term and a long-term benefit.

We can make it a new national project like the space program: it would spawn whole new industries, create cost savings, advance technology. Even if the Earth weren’t warming it would be an economic boon I think.
 
Written By: Mitsu
URL: http://www.syntheticzero.com/
Those of you who remain global warming "skeptics" ought to try to find a single climate research scientist who is both a "skeptic" and not funded by the oil companies.
That’s precisely what we talked about on our podcast yesterday. Tell me Mitsu, if it is funded by the oil companies, does that make their peer reviewed science and findings any less valid than, let’s say, peer reviewed science and findings of someone funded by an enviromental group?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Assuming global warming, and given current technology, the ONLY way to prevent a worldwide catastrophe is to severely cut back on energy usage. This can ONLY be done in two ways: 1) severely cut back on per-capita use, or 2) severely cut back on population. However, most of the world’s population is trying to attain the US/Europe/Japan standard of living, so the world-average per-capita energy use will inevitably rise, regardless of cutbacks in the developed world. This leaves only option two. Logically, the clear solution to global warming is to allow people to die whenever possible. Not genocide or euthanasia, of course. I’m not suggesting anything so barbaric! Just stand aside and do nothing. No more Medicare or Medicaid. No more CPR or medevac helicopters. No more life support. No more free medicine or research for malaria, AIDS, typhus, etc. No more famine relief. No more peacekeeping. No more research into cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. Certainly no research on SARS or bird flu. Pandemics are good. They reduce global warming, and as a bonus strengthen the gene pool. Anyway, they mostly affect the aged and the poor. Who needs them anyway? I want my air-conditioned beach house!
 
Written By: Gaia Lover
URL: http://
We send this to anybody who seems seriously interested in ending global warming.

Global warming can and must be terminated now. Doom and gloom stories are no longer enough.

In my book PRIORITY ONE Together We can Beat Global Warming (can be read free at our web site yeomansplow.com.au) I argue that ending global warming with its cancerous climate change can be fixed. And it will be easy. The solutions should not and need not involve requiring Western society to go on some energy starvation diet.

I maintain in PRIORITY ONE we can keep our high standard of living. We can have our cars and they can be as big as we desire. Our affluent society can be even more affluent. Because fundamentally we are not short of anything, energy or raw materials, and we never will be. For us to continue, and to continue to improve our health and wealth and standard of living the only things we must change is our support for countries and industries that mine and sell fossil carbon based materials.

There are just four requirements to end cancerous climate change.

FIRST We remove the current excess carbon dioxide from our atmosphere that our use of fossil carbon materials have added. We use plants to extract it, and then turn it into masses of soil organic matter - and so produce rich healthy productive soil. We do this by switching to organic type agricultural practices. Recognize that past soil fertility losses in the Great Plains contributed as much carbon dioxide to the atmosphere as came from all the cars Detroit ever built. We simply reverse that process.

SECOND For our mobile transport - cars trucks busses and airplanes, we switch totally to ethanol and biodiesel - produced from sugarcane and grains, and oil palms and oil seeds. Both these biofuels are economically practical and utterly feasible.

Tropical Africa could fuel Europe and Asia. Brazil could easily fuel the Americas - both north and south. America imports its petroleum fuel. So too it can import its biofuels. (And subsidize its local farmers if it wishes.) To make all this happen we must demand the elimination of all taxes and all excises on biofuels and we must set a minimum petroleum oil price of something over $60 per barrel so oil interests can not continue to juggle the oil market to kill biofuel development.

THIRD For large-scale industrial power generation we must accept, weather we like on not, the reality that nuclear energy is our only feasible option - and it’s safer and it’s unbelievable abundance.

Nuclear energy admittedly, is a highly emotive subject. In my book PRIORITY ONE I describe and catalogue the history and the motives behind the creation of the well funded, and vociferous anti-nuclear movement. I also demonstrate that moderate levels of nuclear radiation, (just like sunlight) are a noticeable health benefit and actually increase longevity.

FOURTH Sadly, we can no longer trust the motives of all too many environmental movements. To maintain the sale of oil fuels, petrochemicals and agrochemicals, global warming issues have to be consistently and systematically defused. It is logical and astute public relations to fund, to infiltrate and then influence and modify the aims and objectives of all major environmental movements (and governments).

If the end result of some environmental campaign results directly or indirectly in the increased sales of fossil fuels or agrochemicals, they should not be supported nor trusted. Patric Moore was one of the founders of Greenpeace. However he now believes we should adopt nuclear energy. So Greenpeace vilify him. Another example, throughout Australasia, the giant BP Oil Company was run by Greg Bourne. He moved sideways and now runs the World Wide Fund for nature, the WWF - the one with the Panda logo.
"——but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time"

Global warming is happening now and is already proving enormously expensive in life and property and decreased living standards. It’s frightening, and it’s much worse than we are ever encouraged to believe. Being convinced is not enough. We all must convince others.

Allan Yeomans

 
Written By: Yeomans Allan
URL: http://

 
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