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Global Warming and Public Policy
Posted by: Dale Franks on Thursday, August 24, 2006

My previous post on global warming ruffled a few feathers, as this subject always does. Apparently, it's not enough for some people that you believe global warming is occurring, you must also support specific policy initiatives to combat it. And some people get mighty exercised if they think you are violating the orthodoxy they hold. For instance, David Shaughnessy comments:
On to global warming. I don’t see how any intellectually honest, open-minded person can deny at this point that global warming is occurring. Yet we have Dale writing this:
A new article to be published next month’s issue of Geophysical Research Letters indicates weakness in the models of ocean warming. According to the article, taken from Argo measurements, show that ocean temperatures have cooled significantly over the past two years.
Now I imagine that denying global warming altogether is simply too credibility-draining — though what other point could the above quote have?
What other point? Well, maybe to demonstrate the the current predictive models aren't, you know, predicting. No other devious purpose is necessary. If the predictive models don't actually predict correctly, then that strikes me as a big problem, about which, more in due course.

Mr. Shaughnessy continues:
...so then we move on to the next level of denial: even if global warming is occurring, there is insufficient proof that human activity is it (though this objection is more implied than stated probably for the same credibility reasons I mentioned above):
A lot of people continue to claim a greater level of knowledge about global warming than can be reliably supported. It’s not enough to know that global warming is happening. Before we begin to entertain policy suggestions to combat it, we need to know whether there is anything we can do to combat it. If we don’t even know why it’s happening to a high degree of certainty, and our observational data continues to confound the predictive models, then we can’t say we know what to do to combat.

Or if it can be combated.
The conclusion, evidently, is that we do not have the quantum of proof required to make global warming policy decisions (so we should do nothing). What is unstated is the degree of proof demanded, other than as "a high degree of certainty".
No, that's not the conclusion, nor is it evident from the post. Since I don't question that global warming is happening, questions of proof about global warning per se are irrelevant.

What I do question is our ability to make policy recommendations based on what we do know.

The Argo data on ocean cooling over the past few years merely highlights that problem. Over the past few years, about 20% of the warming of the past 50 years has simply disappeared. Apparently, it just radiated away back into space, since we can't seem to find any of that heat down here.

Why did the cooling occur?

By what mechanism was the heat transported away?

Will this current cooling trend continue, or reverse itself?

What are the global climate implications if the cooling continues, or conversely, the implications if it reverses itself, and begins warming again?

Aren't these questions important? Or should we dismiss them because they don't conform to the orthodoxy?

My problem with the idea of making policy decisions based on what we know now about global warming is that, before you can solve a problem, the dimensions of the problem have to be defined, then a clear-eyed look at the costs and benefits of the proposed policies have to be weighed. That means there are a lot of questions to which we need to have answers, before we can even approach a political solution.

What is the mechanism for global warming? Is it, as the orthodoxy suggests, a phenomenon that is mainly attributable to carbon dioxide increases? Or are we overstating the CO2 component, and ignoring other human causes for global warming, as Dr. Roger Pielke, among others, believes? If it's the latter, then would any policy that concentrates on limiting CO2 be effective in stopping or reversing global warming? Are there other policies that might as or more effective than CO2 reductions? If so, would costs and inconveniences of those policies be more or less than CO2 reduction?

How much of the warming is natural, and how much is man-made? Is this round of global warming qualitatively different than past episodes, or has man's activity kick-started a pre-existing, natural phenomenon? Obviously, the earth's climate has been both much hotter and much cooler in the past, so there are natural mechanisms that occur irrespective of the human contribution. How significant is the human contribution to global warming. Is it 20%? 50% 75%?

What if the mechanism is 80% natural, and 20% man-made? Can we reverse the natural component at all? If not, will addressing the human component stop global warming, or merely delay its effects? Again, if the latter, then would our money be better spent on combating global warming itself, or on policies designed to ameliorate the effects?

And while we're talking about other nature, what natural mechanism exist that might combat global warming naturally? Will increased instability in the weather, or an increase in the rate of water evaporation as the poles melt, cause more cloud cover, increasing the earth's albedo, and reflecting heat back into space? Will increases in CO2 spur a massive increase in plant growth, which might retard the effect of CO2 by replacing it with oxygen? What were the natural mechanisms that kicked off the various ice ages? What ended them? Can we expect any of those mechanism to come into play? If so, when and why? If not, why?

When will global warming stop? Will it ever stop (we'd better hope so)? If it will stop, how much warming can we expect? This is where the problems with predictive models come in. If our predictive models aren't reliable, i.e., they don't enable us to predict, with a degree of reliability of, say 80%, how can we answer any of these questions? If the predictive models overstate the extent of the warming, then how do we know we're spending the money to combat it wisely? Presumably, there is a cost difference between moving New York City to Omaha, and building a seawall around Manhattan. Before we make that decision, it might be useful to know if the seawall is a workable solution. It might be helpful to know when the seawall—or the move to Omaha—has to be completed. If global warming can't be stopped, then should we spend trillions in a useless attempt at CO2 abatement, or spend it to build colonies on the Moon and Mars, before the planet is turned into a second Venus?

If we don't know the answers to the questions above, then what policy or policies do we even implement? What, exactly, do we have to do to combat global warming? What, precisely, do we have to do if we choose ameliorative policies? If we don't know the answers to the above questions, we don't really know what policy set to follow. If we don't know the policy sets, then we can't really calculate their costs.

Speaking of which, assuming we can get to a clear understanding of the specific policies required, what is the cost, in lives and treasure, of doing nothing? What is the cost of a full-scale "War on Global Warming"? What is the cost of simply ameliorating the effects?

The Global Warming Orthodoxy makes it sound so simple. It's all that nasty CO2, and if we just stop producing it, everything will be fine. Let's say that's true. How much will it cost to follow that policy? How many people will die because of the restrictions of technology and industrialization that such a solution implies? How many people can expect to be consigned permanently to lives of grinding poverty? Conversely, how many people will die or made penurious if we do nothing and global warming stabilizes with the mean temperature 1°C, 3°C, or 5°C warmer than it is now?

It simply isn't enough to say, "Global warming is potentially catastrophic, so we must do something NOW!" We're dealing with a system of global climate that is, despite all our advances, still poorly understood.

Mr. Shaughnessy's position seems to be: Ignore any contrary data! Ignore the lack of precision of our predictive models! It means nothing! We must combat global warming now! Don't try to foist your silly questions upon me! I have no responsibility to answer them! The path is already clear, and you're obviously just a selfish churl who doesn't care if people die, or, at best, a foolish Luddite who refuses to accept the wisdom of the one true path! Your pathetic new observational data means nothing to me! Your professed desire for more—and more accurate—science is merely a thinly disguised pretext for inaction!

Frankly, that is a political, not a scientific viewpoint. It indicates too much of a desire to do something, and too little of a desire to ensure that what we do is actually helpful in any meaningful way. Mr. Shaughnessy isn't interested in difficult questions about predictive models. His mind is made up.
I am convinced by the evidence that global warming is occurring and that humans are the prime contributors to it. The really difficult questions concern the complex policy initiatives required to combat global warming on an international level.
Well, that's nice for Mr. Shaughnessy. Once you've arrived at that point, no further thought is required, other than to figure out how tell billions of little brown people to live and die in abject poverty, sacrificing themselves for the greater good. We no longer need to understand the phenomenon itself. As far as he's concerned, we got that licked. No further science, or inconvenient questioning of the orthodoxy, is required.

And it certainly isn't wanted.
 
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The only solution is to remove the greenhouse gases from the air after they have been emitted-nature already does this but we are overwhelming her ability to cope. Reducing human emissions only mitigates global warming, and soon the warming earth will start emitting far more than humans:

· There is an estimated 400 billion tons of methane trapped in permafrost ice.

· An estimated 50% of surface permafrost will melt by 2050, and 90% by 2100.

· Methane is more than 20 times as strong a greenhouse gas as CO2-the sudden release of just 35 billion tons of methane would be like doubling the CO2 in the air.

· Ocean bottom ice will start to melt-releasing some of the estimated 10,000 billion tons of methane trapped in it.

The past 500 million years have recorded a number of runaway global warming episodes: the end-Permian, the end-Triassic, the Paleocene-Eocene, and two in the Jurassic.

Humans are emitting CO2 up to a hundred times faster than the volcanic eruptions that likely triggered past runaway global warming episodes (and 30 times faster than the trigger for the end-Permian, which resulted in the death of most life because of oxygen deprived ocean depths).
 
Written By: Brad Arnold
URL: http://
Wisconsin Dale says:
I support global warming regardless of origin. I would vote against any measures to negate it.
I read "What’s The Matter with Kansas" last year so now I am voting for my own interests. If we lose Florida and create a new US coast line, the very same thing will happen in Iraq,the Congo,Italy, Lebanon, and half the islands in the Pacific.

What the world needs now is not love but a new coastline. That will force emigration and create a whole new set of problems for people to worry about. The old problems we have now have been around too long. Change is good.

Could someone calculate how many conflict prone areas of the world would be impacted? How many ocean based oil wells would be effected? How about those pleasure and party filled Mediterranean islands? And those housing prices in places a hundred miles from the shore would certainly go way up. ( I know that we would likely lose Hawaii and Florida but one cannot make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. And besides our jealousy of those people has been unrequited far too long.)

I want to read some salivating, lipsmacking, articles about how global warming impacts other people. Here in Wisconsin, we will wait for palm trees , beaches, boat drinks, and winter time bikinis. Go Global!
 
Written By: Dale
URL: http://
Ya know - I hate to be an alarmist, but I remember the spring of 1983. The weather that year was... unpleasant. Record snowfalls in the west and northeast, flooding all across the nation, record low temperatures in the midwest, killer tornados in Florida.

So when a climatologist says this:

We have detected a new cooling event that began in 2003 and is comparable in magnitude to the one in the early 1980s.

I find myself disinclined to joke, and strongly incentived to stock up on emergency supplies. But hey - I’m probably wrong. I’m not a climatologist, and we know the government would warn us if they knew we were in serious danger, right?

-Gil

 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://
Dale Franks you sirrah are a SPLITTER and Heretic... you have ACCEPTED the True Faith of Global Warming, NOW good and gentle being you must accept the doctrine of Redemption that goes with it. IF you do not we shall curse you and cast you from the One True Church, and we shall call down the curses of Gaia upon you and your progeny. Verily we shall tax you into "Carbon Neutrality" or thou shalt feel the sting of our rod....

Go now and emit no more. WE HAVE SPOKEN, IT IS WRITTEN; SO LET IT BE DONE.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Dale, I am in your camp. Is global warming happening...probably. Is it the first time? Not according to the geological record. Are humans making it worse? Maybe, I honestly don’t know. There is still just too much scientific disagreement across the disciplines for me to accept that we are making it worse much less the best mitigation techniques. In addition, I have not seen a model that is anywhere near conclusive (much less ’predictive’).

My big problem with the global warming crowd is they worship at the alter of ’Green Forever’ blindly accepting whatever they are told by their ’leaders’ many of whom seem more interested in getting them to send in their membership dues than anything else. And what about their lack of interest in the fact that, when approached privately, many scientists and researchers admit the models are NOT predictive (which is measurable & repeatable) merely ‘suggestive’ (which is based on ever changing human interpretation)?

Another thing that bothers me is the urgency the GW’s (and the media, of course) subscribe to the issue—even when admitting that we do not know all we should to make a good decision. The only thing worse than a bad decision is one that could have been avoided with some patience and professionalism. Yet they scream, wring their hands and demand action as if an asteroid is about to hit their house and destroy everything they cherish. C’mon guys...we can’t even reliably predict the weather next Tuesday in Kalispell, MT much less around the world!

I have an idea. If you want to make a difference, go out and pick up the trash on the highways, but leave the science to the people that can provide a good judgment—-based on facts—-if you would leave them alone and stop shrieking in their ear. Ok, flame away…..
 
Written By: Unscripted Thoughts
URL: http://
If dissent is patriotic, then why is dissenting from the global warming orthodoxy akin to heresy?

Where’s all the killer mega hurricanes we were told were going to happen this year because of warming?
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
They are coming Shark, oh they are coming, and if they don’t, it is because global warming has disrupted the weather patterns.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
I’ll say it again: You cannot mathematically express our planet’s climate system. So how the hell can you program a computer model to predict something you don’t understand?

I’ll tell you how - in the place of understanding, you plug in a hell of a lot of assumptions. Those assumptions come from the Al Gores and Davids. Someone should remind David S. what happens when you ASS/U/ME.
Well, that’s nice for Mr. Shaughnessy. Once you’ve arrived at that point, no further thought is required, other than to figure out how tell billions of little brown people to live and die in abject poverty, sacrificing themselves for the greater good. We no longer need to understand the phenomenon itself. As far as he’s concerned, we got that licked. No further science, or inconvenient questioning of the orthodoxy, is required.
You can’t hold him responsible for the results, Dale! Not as long as his intentions were good! Them’s the rules!

See: War on Poverty, War on Crime, Rent Control, etc.

Or ask your librarian. She’ll tell you how to read more about it!

 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://repatriate.blogspot.com
BTW, Dale - colonies on Mars would kick ass. Let’s do that.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://repatriate.blogspot.com
BTW, Dale - colonies on Mars would kick ass. Let’s do that.
You just know the first thing we would do there is to try and release more gas into the atmosphere to warm the whole place up.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Where’s all the killer mega hurricanes we were told were going to happen this year because of warming?
Good point. Last year at this time we were watching Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. That was the 11th named storm, right? This year, we’re busy watching Tropical Storm Debby spin around in the ocean....the 4th named storm. Heck, that’s a 63% drop in named storms just in one year. We’ll have completely vanquished named storms by 2009 or so.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
." Apparently, it’s not enough for some people that you believe global warming is occurring, you must also support specific policy initiatives to combat it"

It is like Christianity; it’s not enough to believe in God , in order to be sasved you must also believe in Jesus Christ. If you don’t follow the catechism, holy mother church will sic the inquisition on you.


·" Ocean bottom ice will start to melt"

Funny, I was under the impression that ice floats, which is why you always choke on the ice cubes when you drink your warm-weather gin & tonic too fast.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
This is scary - I am going to attempt to write something substantive and on topic.
Reading this post, I find myself thinking again: "Why does an obviously intelligent person like Mr. Shaughnessy get so locked into an issue that he cannot (or repeatedly chooses not to) listen to reason on that issue?
There is another example of this phenomenon in this week’s "New Yorker" (fiber) magazine, where some fellow undertakes to write a comprehensive opinion on the entire issue of Iraq.
I have a theory. Those of the liberal persuasion over the years have built an interconnected series of narratives [Hold it! Note the small "n"] about how things work. As each issue comes up for consideration, it is carefully worked into that narrative system, leaving nothing left hanging; all "i"s dotted and "t"s crossed. Once understood, it is impervious to challenge -there is a well-reasoned answer in the narrative on that issue for every question asked about it. It is, in a word, marvelous.
Since most things in the real world are not so understandable and are unpredictable with any degree of certainty, most people use a system of trying a few steps to solve a problem, observing results, then making changes to take into account the results and then take a few more steps. At some point, the whole attempt to solve the problem may be given up if all known steps are failing to solve it. Give it some time and come back to it later. At this point they admit that they don’t understand how to solve the problem.
By adopting a narrative, admitting that a problem cannot be presently solved, if only the indicated changes are made, is no longer necessary and in fact ceases to be doable. The whole conceit of the narrative is that everything is understood. Only the ignorant who question the narrative stand in the way of Utopia.
Mr. Gore and Mr. Shaughnessy have mastered a perfect narrative on global warming. It is seamless. They can refute any challenge to their wisdom. Well, there is one exception: that we don’t know what we are doing. Their response to this challenge is that "Of course we do!" Just as liberals have, in the past, known how to solve every problem that we have faced. Their track record is not so good when their cures have actually been tried. Beautiful narratives have a habit of producing less-than-ideal results in the real world. Look at the mess on our campuses and other examples too numerous to mention (The UN, etc.). Read what has been published in the past by liberals about the UN and how it will solve international problems. It is a beautiful, worthelss narrative. No liberal dares to reprint it today, the hooting and calumny would be deafening. But, I digress.
The problem seems to me to be this: when the liberal idea exchange [which, after it gets off the ground, totally excludes non-liberal thought] reaches the mature stage where all conceiveable problems have been woven into one narrative for that issue and it is a seamless thing of beauty, the liberal mind slips from reality into the narrative and is therefore impervious to new input other than modifications [by liberals] to the narrative to keep it current.
Only if you establish your credentials by buying into the narrative in its current state may you be listened to on the subject of any changes to it.
 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
I’m all for policy initiatives, as long as they’re complex. In order to combat a vaguely understood problem, we certainly need complex policy initiatives. More taxes for Halliburton! Force Wal-Mart to unionize!

And, Dale, you must not have gotten the memo. "Global warming" is no longer the term du jour. It’s "climate change," man! All of your observations about ocean cooling? Irrelevant! Change = bad, must do something (anything!) about it right now. Something COMPLEX!

 
Written By: the wolf
URL: http://gabbleratchet.blogspot.com
Well, I must say that I am flattered to have made the QandO Front Page, as it were. Unfortunately, this is not a good day for me to be blogging. Work interferes. I’ll try to respond to Dale later. In the meantime, however, I will simply suggest that in view of the various comments in this thread it is clearly not me nor my view on global warming that inhabits "the orthodoxy" of which everyone complains. That said, I have given some additional thought to why global warming issues may be so anathemic on this blog: I imagine it is because the solutions to those problems will inevitably involve government intercession, probably via regluation but at least in the from of financial incentives. Government interference in the free marrkets. Worse, dealing with global warming will require efforts to attain international cooperation. I suspect that explains why the burden of proof is so elevated that no one here will accept global warming until the scientific "predictive models" are surpassed by historical fact. Of course, they will then be neither "predictive" not "models." Bring your scuba gear!
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://dsthinkingloud.blogspot.com/
Yes by all means David, LET’S DO SOMETHING about Global Warming! Tell me David, IF your Doctor said, "I THINK you have something wrong with your heart, now the data are NOT conclusive AND I’m not exactly sure how the heart works, BUT we need to do something about your heart problem, so let’s crack your chest, tomorrow!" Would you jump on the table, assuming the hospital operated in a carbon neutral manner that is?

Or if your mechanic said, "I think that there’s something wrong with your electronic fuel ignition system, though I don’t understand EFI systems, any way I want to replace a whole set of components in your engine." You going with that diagnosis?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Well, that’s nice for Mr. Shaughnessy. Once you’ve arrived at that point, no further thought is required, other than to figure out how tell billions of little brown people to live and die in abject poverty, sacrificing themselves for the greater good.
That’s probably not correct: most people on Mr. Shaughnessy’s side are content to punish the developed world, principally the US (which explains the leftist delight with global warming). Only the most radical want to punish everyone.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
· Ocean bottom ice will start to melt-releasing some of the estimated 10,000 billion tons of methane trapped in it.
I’m a bit confused by this statement. Are you saying that the bottom of the ocean is covered in ice? I don’t think that’s possible, unless the ocean itself were completely frozen.

You see, water’s maximum density is at 4º Celsius, which means that the water at the bottom of the ocean is at 4º C. Thus, the ocean floor itself wouldn’t be any colder than 4ºC...so, no "ocean bottom ice"


 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
In the meantime, however, I will simply suggest that in view of the various comments in this thread it is clearly not me nor my view on global warming that inhabits "the orthodoxy" of which everyone complains.
Be specific. Which comments?
That said, I have given some additional thought to why global warming issues may be so anathemic on this blog: I imagine it is because the solutions to those problems will inevitably involve government intercession, probably via regluation but at least in the from of financial incentives.
One could turn that around, and point out that those who favor facism have an interest in theories such as global warming. Which is true, and a reason the left so loves global warming.

However, from my perspective, what is required is a proper cost-benifit analysis, and I’d add freedom as a part of that, as well as economic impact, and all the other factors, including the benifits of acting to halt global warming. At this point, "acting" carries very real impacts to freedom and economic activity, while no perceivable benifits with respect to reducing global warming. Data such as cited by Dale only further undermine the "benifits" of "acting".
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Not that I necessarily agree with Mr. Shaughnessy, but I believe he’s probably referring to methane ice which is a well documented ocean floor phenomenon.

-Gil
 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://
That said, I have given some additional thought to why global warming issues may be so anathemic on this blog: I imagine it is because the solutions to those problems will inevitably involve government intercession, probably via regluation but at least in the from of financial incentives
Maybe it’s because we’re not so far removed from the days of GLOBAL COOLING being hyped as the biggest threat that we’re still a wee bit skeptical.

Speaking for myself, it’s because global warming: causes, effects, solutions is being presented to us as ESTABLISHED FACTS THAT WE MUST ACT UPON NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW when it’s obvious to anyone not emotionally invested in the issue that answers to why? how? and now what? are not even in evidence at this time, and may not be for a long time.

Where’s all the hurricanes the global warming crowd promised us this year?
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I’m a bit confused by this statement. Are you saying that the bottom of the ocean is covered in ice? I don’t think that’s possible, unless the ocean itself were completely frozen.
And if he was correct, I think it would take a lot of global warming to get to the point of melting the infamous ’ocean bottom ice’, and by that point we probably wouldn’t care.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Or maybe because nowadays the global warming crowd pronounces and defends their view with a wild-eyed fervor that makes them indistinguishable from the Scientologists...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
NOW you’ve done it Shark... you mentioned...that religion....Good Lord they’ll be’a swarming...
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
And if he was correct, I think it would take a lot of global warming to get to the point of melting the infamous ’ocean bottom ice’, and by that point we probably wouldn’t care.
Well that and the point that we’re being told the oceans have cooled significantly over the last 2 years to boot.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I’m a bit confused by this statement. Are you saying that the bottom of the ocean is covered in ice? I don’t think that’s possible, unless the ocean itself were completely frozen.
And if he was correct, I think it would take a lot of global warming to get to the point of melting the infamous ’ocean bottom ice’, and by that point we probably wouldn’t care.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
"You just know the first thing we would do there is to try and release more gas into the atmosphere to warm the whole place up."

Speaking of releasing gas, has anyone noticed that the increase in greenhouse gasses corelates with the increase in ethnic, notably Mexican, restaurants? In addition to the increase in refrigeration/freezing used to make ice for the Margharitas, we must now also consider the increased consumption of frijoles(beans), and their legendary gas producing properties. Food for thought. Fighting Global Warming demands that we enforce immigration laws!

"...that makes them indistinguishable from the S**********".

Aargghh!
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
·" Ocean bottom ice will start to melt-releasing some of the estimated 10,000 billion tons of methane trapped in it."

"Not that I necessarily agree with Mr. Shaughnessy, but I believe he’s probably referring to methane ice which is a well documented ocean floor phenomenon.

-Gil"

That’s a heck of a lot of methane ice. So, as I understand it, the ocean f*rts and we have instant global warming warming(Or is it ketones? My organic chemistry is weak). What is the source of all this methane, anyway? Decomposing whale s***? If so, there is good news and bad news; the bad news is that whales are an endangered species-the good news is that this would reduce the supply of whale s*** produced methane. Not an altogether convincing theory.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"...and we have instant global warming warming..."

Sorry for the redundancy; it must be the Corbett Canyon.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Methane ice isn’t actually ice, it is methane hydrate. You can read about it here and here.

These hydrates are reponsible for really strange effects like rogue waves, tsunamis and ships sinking. It was believed at one one that the sinkings in the Bermuda triangle were caused by methane hydrates.

Personally, I always believed that this was the cause of global warming periods in the distant past.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Here is a solution, Remember Nuclear winter? well, lets just nuke every city in the moslem world and we get nuclear winter to combat global warming. It’s a twofer, no more terrorists, no more global warming. And if the liberals complain we can ship their asses to Quebec and bomb them too.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
Just great. I finally determine to comment substantively on topic and the thread turns into a vehicle for f*rt jokes, whale sh*t analysis and suggestions that we nuke Quebec.
 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
this vehicle you speak of...
Is it powered by the whalesh*t or the ocean f*rts?
Is there a conversion package so you can run using both?
Will it help reduce the creation of warming causing greenhouse gases?

Seriously though, which thing we humans did caused all that methane to be locked up on the bottom of the ocean like that?
Are you trying to tell me there are natural processes and cycles that the earth undergoes that man has absolutely no influence over?
Preposterous drivel!

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I like Dave have a life to live, so please if I can’t would someone ask Mr Shaunessy something? He talked about "proof" and the like, so please ask him, if yyou would, what is his SCIENCE?

Science operates not from "models" but from FALSIFIABLE HYPOTHESES. We accept(ed) Einstein’s model of the Universe because he:
1) Explained Mercury’s orbit
2) Suggested a test to measure the "bending" of space-time near stars
3) Suggested means of testing his theory of space time with precise clock measurements (Not fully borne out until the 1970’s and a series of high altitude flights demonstrating that in lesser gravity shells times runs slightly "fater" than at ground level) In short Einstein could provide not only description, explanation, but also PREDICTION, predictions that could be tested. If they proved out, we accepted his model of the Universe.

Where are HIS predictiona, his hypotheses that we can test for falsifiability? Saying, "In 20 years the water level at so and so MAY be" is NOT a falsifiable test, rather it must be on the order of within 4-5 years X will be observable, IF my theory/model of climate change is correct."
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Remember Nuclear winter?
I recall the scares from Gulf War I that Saddam would torch the oil wells, causing a nuclear winter.

Wasn’t nuclear winter a Carl Sagen idea?
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Wasn’t nuclear winter a Carl Sagen idea?
No, it was a SOVIET scientist who developed the theory, Sagen, who had ceased being a Scientist, YEARS before, was the "front man" added the weight of his reputation to the theory.

And by "ceased being a scientist" I mean that he ahd stopped advancing Science and was now merely a SPOKESPERSON for Science. Sagen played the same role as Einstin did in 1940, a big "name" lending credibility to a project, in that case the Manhattan Project (or what became the Manhattan Project).
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
It’s Carl Sagan, by the way.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
I thought I had posted a response earlier this evening but something went haywire (probably related to global warming). I can’t remember all the really clever arguments and pithy phrases but here is the bottom line. I am not a climate scientist (I don’t even know what they’re called) but I do pay attentiion and try to keep informed. It seems to me that the sceintific consensus is that 1) global warming is occurring; 2) man is contributing significantly to global warming via greenhouse gases; and 3) if unchecked, global warming will have devastating consequences. Now I remain open to countervailing evidence but I must say that there seems to a large group of people who are highly motivated to doubt the above propositions. Why? For the reasons I have alluded to before — free marketeerism, politics, anti-internanationalism. In addition, there seems to be a residual strain of anti-envrionmentalism as part of the conservation/liberal schism.

Now, I have read Dale’s post and the comments on this thread. Contrary to the opinions repeatedly expressed it strikes me that it is the global warming doubters who are more shrill and illogical than the global warming "worriers" like me. I am basing my opinion on what I have read. I think air pollution is a bad thing generally, so I would like to minimize that. But other than that, I have no axe to grind. On the other hand, based on what I am reading here, those who doubt global warming are strongly motivated to do so. That, to me, explains the hysterical references to little brown people starving to death, the demise of the American economy, the end of the Western World — all argued in an effort to derail any actions to curtail global warming. Further, this insistence that the "predictive models" meet standards of proof that are like moving goal posts, coupled with the near-gleeful highlighting of any study that raises any doubt about any aspect of the global warming predictions certainly suggests that people are not analyzing the questions objectively. And, yes, Dale, there does come a point where incessant insistence upon unreachable levels of certainty becomes "merely a thinly disguised pretext for inaction."

Now, in preparation for this post, I did some searches on Yahoo and Google and saw article after article discussing the dire consequences associated with global warming. Do the seearches yourself, see what you find. It is possible I suppose, that all those sources are in cahoots, that they are conspiring to foist a gigantic fraud upon the world. But I doubt it. Too many sources. Too much consensus.

If I am wrong (and I have been wrong before, many times) could someone please direct me to the consensus research that shows:

1. That global warming is not occurring;

2. That man is not a major contributor to global warming thorugh the generation of greenhouse gases;

3. That global warming will not have catastrophic consequences if unchecked;

4. That no measures to curtail global warming can be undertaken without wrecking the economy of the U.S. and/or the world.

I mention scientific consensus pointedly. I have no doubt that in an obviously-charged arena such as global warming appears to be (though I honestly cannot understand why), there will be individuals and singular studies that appear to contradict the main theses. What I am interested in, however, is surveys of the scientific literature that cast serious doubt on the propositions I have posited. If such evidence exists I will re-examine my position. Otherwise, I will continue to argue vigorously against global warming, and for measures that curb it.

One last thing: Mr. Fulton, your foray into serious commentary has been duly noted and is greatly appreciated. Keep up the good work. But don’t lose sight of the Liberal Narrative either.

 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://dsthinkingloud.blogspot.com/

"I did some searches on Yahoo and Google and saw article after article discussing the dire consequences associated with global warming."

I could do the same for alien abduction, or the-religion-that-dares-not-speak-its-name.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

"Methane ice isn’t actually ice, it is methane hydrate. You can read about it here and here.

These hydrates are reponsible for really strange effects like rogue waves, tsunamis and ships sinking. It was believed at one one that the sinkings in the Bermuda triangle were caused by methane hydrates."

Did you read your own links? At least one of those strange effects was in a book by the renowned climate scientist Clive Cussler. Any other cites?

Since the subject of nautical flatulence has bubbled to the surface, let me add an observation. Consider fish, and other denizens of the deep. There are untold millions of them, in spite of our best efforts to eat them. Since there are so many of them, it is probably a good thing that they don’t f*rt. Picture, if you can, the resulting turbulence and its consequences. An unwanted image comes to my mind of John Kerry wind-surfing upon an effervescent ocean. The unwanted part is John Kerry; I am quite taken by the mental picture of an effervescent ocean. No competition, of course, for Perrier or other naturally effervescent mineral waters. It would certainly be a mixed blessing for fisherman, giving away the position of schools of fish at some distance, but significantly increasing the chances of a tragic fire. Beachfront property would probably be available at low, low prices, due to the ever present off shore breezes. I could go on, but I tire.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"One last thing: Mr. Fulton, your foray into serious commentary has been duly noted and is greatly appreciated. Keep up the good work. But don’t lose sight of the Liberal Narrative either."
LOL
 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
"I did some searches on Yahoo and Google and saw article after article discussing the dire consequences associated with global warming."
I could do the same for alien abduction, or the-religion-that-dares-not-speak-its-name.
Yes, you could. And you may even do so on a regular basis. But bringing this up in the context of a discussion on global warming merely reinforces my point that it is the global warming deniers, not the worriers, who are the hysterics in this debate. Unless, of course, you can report that your research indicates that alien abdutions and Scientology have been proved to a secientific consensus. (And a personal letter from Tom Cruise won’t suffice.)
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://dsthinkingloud.blogspot.com/
"...it is the global warming deniers,..."

Where and when did I deny that global warming exists? It is perfectly possible, except for religious fanatics anyway, to dispute or differ on a biblical passage without denying the existence of God.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
It is perfectly possible,... to dispute or differ on a biblical passage without denying the existence of God.
SPLITTER, HERETIC...I’m on my way to your house with pitch and torches! You DENY God!

And of course, to David and his ilk YOU DO DENY GOD, because you may accept Global Warming, but reject Kyoto, because, in their mids, the two are fused into one. IF you accept Global Climate Change, THEN you MUST accept Kyoto (as a FIRST STEP, any way). To break the linkage is to deny the One True God of Climate Change...
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Hey David, now Global Warming is causing an increase in glacier size. Oh dear. Is there anything it’s not responsible for? Can you grasp why it’s incredibly easy to be a skeptic?

 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
Hey David, now Global Warming is causing an increase in glacier size. Oh dear. Is there anything it’s not responsible for? Can you grasp why it’s incredibly easy to be a skeptic?
Because you FOOL it’s Global Climate Change, now...It’s warmer, it’s colder, it’s drier, it’s wetter... it’s ALL Climate Change...and we, mostly likely YOU, Timactual and Shark are the main causes of it. Whatever "it" is...
Man I AM changing sides, ’cuz this is easy, once you get the hang of it.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I’ve yet to see anyone take me up on my offer —
If I am wrong (and I have been wrong before, many times) could someone please direct me to the consensus research that shows:

1. That global warming is not occurring;

2. That man is not a major contributor to global warming thorugh the generation of greenhouse gases;

3. That global warming will not have catastrophic consequences if unchecked;

4. That no measures to curtail global warming can be undertaken without wrecking the economy of the U.S. and/or the world.

I mention scientific consensus pointedly. I have no doubt that in an obviously-charged arena such as global warming appears to be (though I honestly cannot understand why), there will be individuals and singular studies that appear to contradict the main theses. What I am interested in, however, is surveys of the scientific literature that cast serious doubt on the propositions I have posited. If such evidence exists I will re-examine my position. Otherwise, I will continue to argue vigorously against global warming, and for measures that curb it.
— and that says a lot more than any snarky cracks about gods, Scientologists, and expanding glaciers.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://dsthinkingloud.blogspot.com/
David you advance a Natural PHILOSOPHY, to use Kuhn’s terms, not a Science or an alternative theory. Does Global Warming describe, explain and PREDICT better or more parsimoniously than alternative theories?

Now the SCIENCE of Global Warming MAY be good, but it’s public FACE is not. More hurricanes,Global WArming, Ice Shelfs melting Global Warming, Glaciers GROWING Global Warming...EVERYTHING is Global WArming or it’s cute little friend Global Climate Change.

YOU have yet to demonstrate that Humans provide the bulk of the impetus for Global Warming or that Greenhouse gasses cause it....in short you advance a RELIGION tarted up as Science as a basis for public policy.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Upon noting that the vast majority of those who think Global Warming is occurring and it’s our fault, as opposed to a natural happening, are also anti-Bush, anti-Iraq war, a number of dichotomies occur.... But they all spring from one central theme:

The most loudly stated objections to our actions in Iraq are that we did not have sufficient proof of Saddam’s crimes before going into Iraq. Yet these same people are willing to accept "global warming " nonsense and demand mind numbing, and economy destroying levels of action on the problem, all on less proof than we had prior to going into Iraq.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
David,

Here’s another chink in the consensus - that’s two in just the last 24 hours...

"MOSCOW, Aug. 25 (UPI)—A Russian scientist predicts a period of global cooling in coming decades, followed by a warmer interval.

Khabibullo Abdusamatov expects a repeat of the period known as the Little Ice Age. During the 16th century, the Baltic Sea froze so hard that hotels were built on the ice for people crossing the sea in coaches.

The Little Ice Age is believed to have contributed to the end of the Norse colony in Greenland, which was founded during an interval of much warmer weather.

Abdusamatov and his colleagues at the Russian Academy of Sciences astronomical observatory said the prediction is based on measurement of solar emissions, Novosti reported. They expect the cooling to begin within a few years and to reach its peak between 2055 and 2060.

“The Kyoto initiatives to save the planet from the greenhouse effect should be put off until better times,” he said. “The global temperature maximum has been reached on Earth, and Earth’s global temperature will decline to a climatic minimum even without the Kyoto protocol."
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
If I am wrong (and I have been wrong before, many times) could someone please direct me to the consensus research that shows:

1. That global warming is not occurring;

2. That man is not a major contributor to global warming thorugh the generation of greenhouse gases;

3. That global warming will not have catastrophic consequences if unchecked;

4. That no measures to curtail global warming can be undertaken without wrecking the economy of the U.S. and/or the world.
As long as we’re in the business of proving negatives, David, please point me to the evidence that shows:

5. That David S. is not, in fact, a child molester and should be run out of town.

Do you have any proof that you are NOT?

How many times do you have to told that the BURDEN OF PROOF IS ON YOU? Pointing out that the global average temperature is slightly warmer than a few decades ago (but cooler than previous decades) does not = global warming. In my locale, it was hotter in 1938 this time of year. Must be the global warming.

Your CONCLUSIONS (and yes, you have made up your mind) are based on rickety-ass computer models programmed with wild guesses in light of any mathematical understanding of how our planetary climate works.

YOUR PRECIOUS SCIENTISTS DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW OUR CLIMATE OPERATES. The only "consensus" is that they don’t understand the processes that create our weather. Quit acting like you’re championing the scientific viewpoint. You dismiss every bit of contradictory data, of which there is currently plenty, as unimportant.
I mention scientific consensus pointedly. I have no doubt that in an obviously-charged arena such as global warming appears to be (though I honestly cannot understand why), there will be individuals and singular studies that appear to contradict the main theses. What I am interested in, however, is surveys of the scientific literature that cast serious doubt on the propositions I have posited.
Interesting. You say "individuals" and "singular studies." Note the plural. So even if there are hundreds of contradictory studies and "individuals", they’re still not the holy consensus. They can still be dismissed as isolated, renegade crackpots. And "serious doubt?" Lemme guess - you or your "consensus" scientists will be the judge of what is "serious doubt," right?

Very scientific.

The good news is that you and your enviro-hippy friends won’t be able to enforce your foolish dictates, because my kind tend to own all the guns. Cheers!
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
A little poll:

Does anyone here sincerely believe that we can lower various emissions to the point that we can have a significant impact on climate change?

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: Peter Jackson
URL: http://www.liberalcapitalist.com
with wild guesses in light of any mathematical understanding
Should read "in lieu of"

Like anyone cares.
Does anyone here sincerely believe that we can lower various emissions to the point that we can have a significant impact on climate change?
David does. Only he doesn’t believe - he KNOWS. Just ask him.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
"...because, in their mids, the two are fused into one.""

Naturally. Same same holy trinity. I can’t wait to get into a deep theological discussion about how many climatologists can dance on the head of a thermometer.


"Timactual and Shark are the main causes of it. Whatever "it" is..."

Not me! I do my part! I drink warm beer, and I have opened my freezer door to liberate my cubes, imparting a soothing coolness to the overheated atmosphere.


"...the One True God of Climate Change..."

Perhaps, given the seemingly obligatory religious reverence to all things climatic, we should rename this "consensus". Perhaps we should refer to this "consensus of ..." as the "Synod of Scientists", or the "College of Climatologists" (not to be confused with a college of cosmetology, or cosmology, or colonoscopy, or clown college(aka bevy of bozos)), or something else that is suitably reverent. We can all be thankful for one thing, anyway; it is unlikely that heresy toward this theology will be punished by burning at the stake, as this would naturally contribute towards warming.


Just a little question; does a "consensus of scientists" have anything to do with consensual science? Is consensual science moral with anyone but a laboratory partner? Is consensus scientific? Is it time for my meds already?



 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"Does anyone here sincerely believe that we can lower various emissions to the point that we can have a significant impact on climate change?"

Lord knows I have tried! Without, I fear, much success. On the contrary, it seems the older I get , the more emissions I have, and the less control I have over them. And they certainly seem to have a significant impact on the social climate in my immediate area. Particularly the outhouse gasses. No global impact, fortunately, just a microclimate. I hope you have more success.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
The good news is that you and your enviro-hippy friends won’t be able to enforce your foolish dictates, because my kind tend to own all the guns.
That’s enough debate for me. See ya.


 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://dsthinkingloud.blogspot.com/
Can I show my globab warming ignorance and ask a simple question? The global warming debate is often a back and forth of whether its real or imagined or agreement that it is happening, but what on earth (literally) could be causing it, and on and on. Can someone show me where the sun, you know, that flaming ball of fire in the sky primarily responsible for heating the planet in the first place, has been eliminated as a possible factor? I’m not a geologist or climatologist, but it seems to me that the sun is probably responsible for well over 90% of heating this place up in the first place, so a really minor change in its brightness or heat generation level (possibly reflected by its solar flare or sun spot activity) could cause some rather more profound changes on good ol’ planet #3. Hope I didn’t interupt while the adults were talking.
 
Written By: Russ Goble
URL: http://www.kudzuchronicle.com

"because my kind tend to own all the guns."

But do you own the ammunition? I fear you have frightened off David with your Neanderthal bellicosity. For shame!

Mr. Goble;

*Sigh*. You’re new here, aren’t you? You need to learn the catechism of Global Warming. First, like any other deity, it should be capitalized. Second, "There is no cause but people, and greenhouse gasses are its method". This mantra, or call to worship, should be accompanied by a wrinkled brow(a la Kerry) to show your concern and devotion. As to the substance of your alledged argument, everyone knows that the sun is much too far away to have a significant effect. Why, it is farther away than the moon, and we know how little effect moonlight has.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
The discussion thread here is quite disturbing because a number of those who really oppose the propositions that global warming is occurring and is in part caused by humans tend to kill the messenger rather than challenging the message with scientific evidence.

I would be quite happy if all of the many climatologists, geologists, physicists, and oceanographers were wrong about the upcoming adverse events they attribute to continued warming.

Science changes with competing views regarding the evidence observed and with new evidence. It is totally inadequate to presume that one proposition is right or wrong because of the number of people who adhere to it, their credentials, or political or religious beliefs. New facts alter conclusions.

In my viewings of evidence based on articles I’ve read, the evidence for the existence of global warming and that man contributes to it is very strong. It is very difficult to conclude what should be done based on what we believe we know.

The fact that we contribute to the phenomenon doesn’t mean that nature is not playing a strong role. As Mr. Rumsfeld has said, "there are the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns." We don’t know what proportion of the problem is due to increases in CO2 which are well documented and what proportion is due to other greenhouse gasses.

As regards to the sun and its warming powers: virtually all energy on Earth is solar energy. The warming effect is well documented on other planets, such as Venus. Our atmosphere has a great deal to do with how much solar energy is absorbed or reflected into space. Venus is not only closer to the sun, but its greenhouse gas atmosphere traps heat and prevents it from escaping.

So the concern of a great number of scientists is that the release of greenhouse gasses could potentially alter the composition of our atmosphere so that the overall effect is a much warmer planet which would have less land, much like our planet was about 60 million years ago.

Now there all kinds of reasons the feared scenarios might not take place. But our current public strategy is to try and silence (James Hansen, NASA) scientists who speak out, ignore the concerns of scientists, and hope that global warming will just go away. It would be much better to have a genuine debate about the phenomena and what to do.

It may be that, as some propose, there is a serious problem over which we have only marginal control. However, if we are really in a dangerous situation, would it not make sense to explore what we could do to reduce the risk of catastrophic change? Is it better to ignore a problem until it becomes a catastrophe just so we can continue with business as usual? Many other countries have decided it is better to act now at reducing CO2 emissions than to wait to find out whether the catastrophic consequences actually unfold. We may come to a different conclusion than the rest of the world, so be it, but let us deliberate with all seriousness about it.
 
Written By: Robert Berger
URL: http://
Can you please post this on your Blog? From Edward Romanoff ..
Re: Before, after and the next 9/11 …
As a young man, growing up in Siberia setting fires on thawing permafrost was a favorite past-time. Then, little did I know, these flames were burning methane and I had stumbled on to a contribution to Global Warming, an indication of how the world could end.

In the U.S., I joined the Preventech Foundation the developers of technologies preventing Global Warming.
We submitted these technologies to the authorities, but received no response. Finally, the article in Fresno Bee by Seth Borenstein AP (09/07/06) might convince the Public, that there is no escape from Global Warming. So, we have submitted this technology again! As you may have guessed – no response! History repeats itself – for example, the technology of ‘motioncodes’ which would makes the 9/11 terrorists attack impossible, was submitted one year before 9/11, but again no response!

Actually the scientists receive an automatic electronic form letter, saying “Thank you, we would contact you” – but they never did. Preventive technologies were submitted by different groups of scientists independently from different parts of the world. Ignoring modern technology is the reason why 9/11 did happened.

It appears that the U.S. may not necessarily be destroyed by environmental disaster or by terrorists. Americans could destroy themselves! The mystery – why have Americans decided to self-destruct?

This time we are appealing directly to all citizens. We are looking for a producer to make the multimedia phenomena ‘THE END OF THE LAST EMPIRE’ movie. It would demonstrate technology preventing the END.
The ‘all-in-one’ – drama, horror, suspense and education tool for children, teaching that crime and terrorism will no longer be possible. To avoid the shock and sensationalism the movie will be released as ‘science fiction.’ Once the movie is released, this preventive technology would become every day commodity. Please request for Motion Science Memorandum – the listing of preventive motion devices and systems.

Dr. Edward Romanoff
Preventech Foundation
motioncodes@yahoo.com
 
Written By: Edward Romanoff
URL: http://

 
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