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Global Warming, Pollution, and Politics

 
 
Solace
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 09:23 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus;73541 wrote:
Well, with the need to re-industrialize the United States and the potential and current dangers of both pollution and global warming, what is the best way to go about this? Obviously the proposed carbon tax is a hand out to current industrial entities and will do little to address the problems with pollution. This idea is doomed for failure. The continuation of bleeding tax dollars for highway projects for congested inner city traffic and air travel continues to display a failure to plan for the future. The American transportation system is not sustainable and funds must be shifted to revolutionary transportation systems. These are just a couple of examples of poor planning and the domination of corporate interests in the political realms.

So I ask, how should the country proceed in both industrial development and transportation that addresses both the pollution problem and global warming. Obviously, the subject is of importance to the entire world as different countries share the same water and atmosphere. Should there be a global emphasis on coming to a consensus for the direction of world development? Or should this problem be address on more local basis? What form of government would best be suited to protecting the environment (e.g. libertarian, communist, democratic, republic)?

Anyway, that should be a good place to begin for a very broad topic. If it becomes too broad I will break it up into more focused threads.


I think you pointed out the solution, or at least a solution, in the sentence that I bolded, Theaetetus. It's a step in the right direction at the very least. There are some pretty impressive mass-transit technologies being developed out there. Perhaps instead of sinking so much capital into the failed auto companies, the American and Canadian governments should have invested some of it in implenting those technologies. To me, that would have felt like progress, rather than throwing tax payer dollars into an empty sink-hole. I don't think that reducing our reliance on personal automobiles means that we need to take a step back to older modes of transportation, such as what was alluded to in this thread. Rather, we should be looking to take the next step forward to better and more efficient technology.
0 Replies
 
RDRDRD1
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jul, 2009 10:22 pm
@Theaetetus,
It's not how diverse you are but how cohesive you are on the great issues of the day that concerns me. Like Lewis Lapham I have sensed a tide change in Americans that was ushered in during the late Nixon era. That is when, in his words, wealth came to be equated with virtue.

But let's leave this discussion for another thread. The focus here should remain on global warming, pollution and politics. Having chided an earlier poster for derailing the thread, it's my turn to apologize.

---------- Post added 07-04-2009 at 09:29 PM ----------

To return to Theaetuses' point about environmentally sound transportation systems, both the US and Canada need to refocus on rail transport, particularly for long-distance freight shipment. There is a Chicago-based rail company (the name escapes me at the moment) that has introduced a brilliant (that, like all brilliant ideas should have been obvious) locomotive technology - three small engines rather than the traditional, one giant diesel. All three work together to get the train running or to propel it up inclines but, once in cruising conditions, it reverts to just two or even one engine. With this system, the carbon cost of shipping a ton of freight is but a fraction of long-haul tractor trailer systems.

For personal transportation, we may have to adopt a two-tier system. Electric for short-distance "urban" transport (offset by as much public transit as possible) and hydrogen for longer distance travel.
0 Replies
 
Caroline
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 04:38 am
@RDRDRD1,
RDRDRD1;74892 wrote:
And Thatcher herself held a post-graduate science degree from Oxford.

Yes and the morals of a baboon!
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 07:41 am
@RDRDRD1,
RDRDRD1;74844 wrote:
What's curious Khethil is the uniquely American-aspect of this. American conservatives dispute global warming science as a hoax and yet it was Britain's Conservative "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher who first raised the call to tackle the problem. One of the strongest advocates in Europe today is Germany's conservative (Christian Democrat) Chancellor, Angela Merkel. She also happens to hold a PhD in physics. The Right does get it, just not in America. What's happened is that the climate change issue has been transformed into the latest front of America's "culture wars." It's a political football, more than anything else, in the United States.


I fear that by-and-large, you're spot on. Our culture is replete with this "It's a Conspiracy by the Left!"-kind of response. I think I know whence it hails, I just really don't like it.

On a related note; last night I saw a prime-time news story that polled Michael Jackson fans. The big point of this news story was the number Democrats -vs- Republicans who consider themselves a fan. Now THERE'S a useless, destructive polarization...

Ah well
0 Replies
 
BrightNoon
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 02:49 pm
@Theaetetus,
[QUOTE=Theaetetus;74443]Someone a little salty that Aedes started going through the list of signers to your insignificant paper that no climatologists take seriously, and is filled with people that have no knowledge of the workings of climate. As I have said, the paper is a literature review, and is not scientific--not to mention, a poorly constructed literature review at that. For a good literature review, see the IPCC report. I have read it a few times, and have been following its ongoing advancement and drafts for years now. That paper was put together by a large group of climatologists and oceanic and atmospheric scientists. Not to mention, the report itself is peer reviewed, not just the sources they derive their information from. [/QUOTE]
Theaetetus;74443 wrote:


But thanks anyway for trying to derail a thread by changing the subject of what was originally intended to be discussed. This thread was not about reducing our living standard (are you blind and not able to see that the powers that be are doing that anyway with society at the moment as it stands). This thread is about doing what is fair, and making sure that no one has to share more than their fair share of the burden so others can live more comfortably at their expense. That is what we have in the world today, because developed countries continue to sour the environment by using more than their fair share of resources, and forcing lesser countries and people to take on more of the burden of pollution than they deserve.

But besides that, I love how a conversation about global warming is quickly shifted to Al Gore by a libertarian or conservative that has not looked into the vast literature on global warming other than an Al Gore propaganda piece put together by Hollywood. Is it sensationalized, of course that is Hollywood for you. But sometimes in order to reach everyday common people, you need to scare the sh!t out of them a little.


Without being any more rude than were you, are you blind? The IPCC? Do you understand the argument I'm making? If global warming is not caused by CO2 emissions, and the science demonstrates that, why are there plans for CO2 emissions reductions globally? The concept is that the internationalists, I'm sure you know which people and organizations I mean, require a crisis to continue the agenda and have created this imaginary crisis for that purpose. The IPCC is the official report from the U.N. is it not? If this concept is correct, the U.N. is, rather than an objective investigator, the prime propagandist. Is there evidence of less than objective methodology at the IPCC which might support this charge I've made? Yes indeed, there is.

Are you aware that there are numerous scientists who, having been asked to participate in the creation of these reports, resigned from the effort because they felt that there was an expectation to affirm the theory: i.e. NOT a desire to truly investigate. Also, are you aware that these reports are created piecemeal? That most of the actual climatologists involved do not see the finished report, but rather only their own small sub-section? That the editors who compile the reports and put them into coherent order are not scientists at all, but U.N. officials? That the recommendations that one reads at the end of the report are written before the report is compiled, by government NGO's and lobbyists?

According to testimony by Dr. Richard Lindzen, a former member of the IPCC, before the Senate Environment and Pubic Works Committee:



"Note that almost all reading and coverage of the IPCC is restricted to the highly publicized Summaries for Policymakers which are written by representatives from governments, NGO's and business; the full reports, written by participating scientists, are largely ignored."

"The summary does not reflect the full document (which still has not been released although it was basically completed last August). For example, I worked on Chapter 7, Physical Processes. This chapter dealt with the nature of the basic processes which determine the response of climate, and found numerous problems with model treatments especially with clouds and water vapor. The chapter was summarized with the following sentence: "Understanding of climate processes and their incorporation in climate models have improved, including water vapour, sea-ice dynamics, and ocean heat transport"

http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/02/the_ipcc_should_leave_science.html

If you assume these are misquotes or outright lies, or want to see what else he has to say, find the testimony yourself in the public record and verify.

I would also recommend the documentary

Global Warming: Doomsday Called Off, from CBC-includes interviews of numerous climate scientists, including current and former members of the IPCC, who do not feel that the science is settled, or feel that it is settled against the theory.

Finally, let me say this. I apologize for 'hijacking' your thread, but don't you think that the existence of the crisis should be verified before we engage in a debate about potential solutions to the crisis? I realize that global warming is not the only issue you're adressing, but it's one of the more important, especially if considered in context: a world of rapdi;ly depleting rersources and soaring population. As I noted earlier, humanity may have no solution to the current depletion of resources, no effective alternatives, etc., but if there is any chance for a smooth transition to a new physical basis for society, surely it would be best to do everything possible to facilitate that, like not abandoning the current prime fuel source prematurely. Therefore, I'm going to continue posting here until I've presented all the arguments I have, or until the moderators decide to remove me to placate those who I'm apparently annoying.

Thanks

---------- Post added 07-05-2009 at 05:00 PM ----------

Aedes;74884 wrote:
Most politicians who have a problem with global warming are ones who have a financial stake in companies that produce greenhouse gases.


Could you prove this statement? On the other hand, I would argue that Al Gore e.g., the most visible and enthusiastic supporter of the theory who is also a signficant politician, recieved one of his first campagin contributions from a business, which subsequently failed, whose business was to recycle nuclear waste: i.e. with a vested interest in promoting non-fossil energy. His first campaign manager during that election, Peter Knight, was simulteineously on an $84,000 retainer from that same corporation, Molton Metal Technology. Conflict of interest perhaps? No, only objectivity from that side of the argument.

RDRDRD1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 04:30 pm
@Theaetetus,
Brightnoon, do you perceive the consensus here that we've heard your case advanced by far better advocates and no one is buying it. I'm sorry you're absorbed in this "culture war" offensive. You have your opinion and, believe me, you're welcome to it. However your lack of understanding is manifest in your choice to treat the global warming issue in isolation of the many other environmental threats that are emerging at the same time, almost all of them to some degree related to overpopulation and overconsumption.

For example, Bright One, we're emptying our oceans, depleting global fisheries that represent the key source of protein for most of the world's population. Add into that desertification, deforestation, freshwater (surface and groundwater) exhaustion, air/water/soil contamination, terrorism, nuclear proliferation and other threats to global security. You're so obsessed with the bark of one tree that you're totally losing sight of the forest of issues endangering mankind.

One other point, Brightnoon. The study you're so fond of is the product of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, the clown car of research institutes. This from SourceWatch:

The Oregon Petition, sponsored by the OISM, was circulated in April 1998 in a bulk mailing to tens of thousands of U.S. scientists. In addition to the petition, the mailing included what appeared to be a reprint of a scientific paper. Authored by OISM's Arthur B. Robinson, Sallie L. Baliunas, Willie Soon, and Zachary W. Robinson, the paper was titled "Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide" and was printed in the same typeface and format as the official Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Also included was a reprint of a December 1997, Wall Street Journal editorial, "Science Has Spoken: Global Warming Is a Myth", by Arthur and Zachary Robinson. A cover note signed "Frederick Seitz/Past President, National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A./President Emeritus, Rockefeller University", may have given some persons the impression that Robinson's paper was an official publication of the academy's peer-reviewed journal. The blatant editorializing in the pseudopaper, however, was uncharacteristic of scientific papers.
Robinson's paper claimed to show that pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is actually a good thing. "As atmospheric CO2 increases," it stated, "plant growth rates increase. Also, leaves lose less water as CO2 increases, so that plants are able to grow under drier conditions. Animal life, which depends upon plant life for food, increases proportionally." As a result, Robinson concluded, industrial activities can be counted on to encourage greater species biodiversity and a greener planet:
As coal, oil, and natural gas are used to feed and lift from poverty vast numbers of people across the globe, more CO2 will be released into the atmosphere. This will help to maintain and improve the health, longevity, prosperity, and productivity of all people. Human activities are believed to be responsible for the rise in CO2 level of the atmosphere. Mankind is moving the carbon in coal, oil, and natural gas from below ground to the atmosphere and surface, where it is available for conversion into living things. We are living in an increasingly lush environment of plants and animals as a result of the CO2 increase. Our children will enjoy an Earth with far more plant and animal life as [sic] that with which we now are blessed. This is a wonderful and unexpected gift from the Industrial Revolution. In reality, neither Robinson's paper nor OISM's petition drive had anything to do with the National Academy of Sciences, which first heard about the petition when its members began calling to ask if the NAS had taken a stand against the Kyoto treaty. Robinson was not even a climate scientist. He was a biochemist with no published research in the field of climatology, and his paper had never been subjected to peer review by anyone with training in the field. In fact, the paper had never been accepted for publication anywhere, let alone in the NAS Proceedings. It was self-published by Robinson, who did the typesetting himself on his own computer. (It was subsequently published as a "review" in Climate Research, which contributed to an editorial scandal at that publication.)
None of the coauthors of "Environmental Effects of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide" had any more standing than Robinson himself as a climate change researcher. They included Robinson's 22-year-old son, Zachary, along with astrophysicists Sallie L. Baliunas and Willie Soon. Both Baliunas and Soon worked with Frederick Seitz at the George C. Marshall Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank where Seitz served as executive director. Funded by a number of right-wing foundations, including Scaife and Bradley, the George C. Marshall Institute does not conduct any original research. It is a conservative think tank that was initially founded during the years of the Reagan administration to advocate funding for Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative--the "Star Wars" weapons program. Today, the Marshall Institute is still a big fan of high-tech weapons. In 1999, its website gave prominent placement to an essay by Col. Simon P. Worden titled "Why We Need the Air-Borne Laser," along with an essay titled "Missile Defense for Populations--What Does It Take? Why Are We Not Doing It?" Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, however, the Marshall Institute has adapted to the times by devoting much of its firepower to the war against environmentalism, and in particular against the "scaremongers" who raise warnings about global warming.
"The mailing is clearly designed to be deceptive by giving people the impression that the article, which is full of half-truths, is a reprint and has passed peer review," complained Raymond Pierrehumbert, a meteorlogist at the University of Chicago. NAS foreign secretary F. Sherwood Rowland, an atmospheric chemist, said researchers "are wondering if someone is trying to hoodwink them." NAS council member Ralph J. Cicerone, dean of the School of Physical Sciences at the University of California at Irvine, was particularly offended that Seitz described himself in the cover letter as a "past president" of the NAS. Although Seitz had indeed held that title in the 1960s, Cicerone hoped that scientists who received the petition mailing would not be misled into believing that he "still has a role in governing the organization."
The NAS issued an unusually blunt formal response to the petition drive. "The NAS Council would like to make it clear that this petition has nothing to do with the National Academy of Sciences and that the manuscript was not published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences or in any other peer-reviewed journal," it stated in a news release. "The petition does not reflect the conclusions of expert reports of the Academy." In fact, it pointed out, its own prior published study had shown that "even given the considerable uncertainties in our knowledge of the relevant phenomena, greenhouse warming poses a potential threat sufficient to merit prompt responses. Investment in mitigation measures acts as insurance protection against the great uncertainties and the possibility of dramatic surprises."
Notwithstanding this rebuke, the Oregon Petition managed to garner 15,000 signatures within a month's time. S. Fred Singer called the petition "the latest and largest effort by rank-and-file scientists to express their opposition to schemes that subvert science for the sake of a political agenda."
...
In addition to the bulk mailing, OISM's website enables people to add their names to the petition over the Internet, and by June 2000 it claimed to have recruited more than 19,000 scientists. The institute is so lax about screening names, however, that virtually anyone can sign, including for example Al Caruba, a pesticide-industry PR man and conservative ideologue who runs his own website called the "National Anxiety Center." Caruba has no scientific credentials whatsoever, but in addition to signing the Oregon Petition he has editorialized on his own website against the science of global warming, calling it the "biggest hoax of the decade," a "genocidal" campaign by environmentalists who believe that "humanity must be destroyed to 'Save the Earth.' . . . There is no global warming, but there is a global political agenda, comparable to the failed Soviet Union experiment with Communism, being orchestrated by the United Nations, supported by its many Green NGOs, to impose international treaties of every description that would turn the institution into a global government, superceding the sovereignty of every nation in the world."
When questioned in 1998, OISM's Arthur Robinson admitted that only 2,100 signers of the Oregon Petition had identified themselves as physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, or meteorologists, "and of those the greatest number are physicists." This grouping of fields concealed the fact that only a few dozen, at most, of the signatories were drawn from the core disciplines of climate science - such as meteorology, oceanography, and glaciology - and almost none were climate specialists. The names of the signers are available on the OISM's website, but without listing any institutional affiliations or even city of residence, making it very difficult to determine their credentials or even whether they exist at all. When the Oregon Petition first circulated, in fact, environmental activists successfully added the names of several fictional characters and celebrities to the list, including John Grisham, Michael J. Fox, Drs. Frank Burns, B. J. Honeycutt, and Benjamin Pierce (from the TV show M*A*S*H), an individual by the name of "Dr. Red Wine," and Geraldine Halliwell, formerly known as pop singer Ginger Spice of the Spice Girls. Halliwell's field of scientific specialization was listed as "biology." Even in 2003, the list was loaded with misspellings, duplications, name and title fragments, and names of non-persons, such as company names. The current web page of the petition itself states "31,478 American scientists have signed this petition, including 9,029 with PhDs."[

In 30-40 years from now you may wish that you and those like you had opened their eyes when you had the chance.

My god Brightnoon but you're easy to dupe. Is there anything you won't swallow?
0 Replies
 
William
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 04:31 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;74902 wrote:
Well, as much as we hate the government, they're the ones with money and who can create policy. One can only hope that they find ways to get scientists exposing them to the scientific state of the art.

I'm not sure I want scientists making policy. But they sure should be educating those who do.


I think if we did a little research into the funding of "science" we might get glimpse as to why it is hard for scientists' to "bite the hand that feeds them". After all scientists' have to eat too? Good point, Paul.

William

---------- Post added 07-05-2009 at 06:15 PM ----------

RDRDRD1;75144 wrote:
Brightnoon, do you perceive the consensus here that we've heard your case advanced by far better advocates and no one is buying it. I'm sorry you're absorbed in this "culture war" offensive. You have your opinion and, believe me, you're welcome to it. However your lack of understanding is manifest in your choice to treat the global warming issue in isolation of the many other environmental threats that are emerging at the same time, almost all of them to some degree related to overpopulation and overconsumption.

For example, Bright One, we're emptying our oceans, depleting global fisheries that represent the key source of protein for most of the world's population. Add into that desertification, deforestation, freshwater (surface and groundwater) exhaustion, air/water/soil contamination, terrorism, nuclear proliferation and other threats to global security. You're so obsessed with the bark of one tree that you're totally losing sight of the forest of issues endangering mankind.

In 30-40 years from now you may wish that you and those like you had opened their eyes when you had the chance.


Rob, your post is right on the mark. When I first glimpsed at the "proof" BN brought to the forum, I immediately thought it was written, choreographed, edited and produced by EXXON. Ha. This brings up another point in another thread when I alluded to the "catch 22" of our existence. It is hard to imagine the literally thousands of people whose lives revolve around "fossil fuels". They would readily and with glee support such a finding without a second thought. Just as in the other environmental concerns you mentioned for there are those who "prosper" from those abuses also. It's all about money and the "cost of living" and we have got to find a better way to "live" on this planet that will not compromise our "common sense". :detective:

William
RDRDRD1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 04:52 pm
@William,
William, I didn't really pay much attention to Brightnoon and his "study" until he came back with his rant. That's when I looked and discovered he was relying on the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, the original Flat Earth Society when it comes to global warming. That led me to go to Sourcewatch.com to refresh my memory about the OISM. I added excerpts to my earlier response to Brightnoon. The "study" he cites is so gamed it reeks.

---------- Post added 07-05-2009 at 04:14 PM ----------

Sorry Brightnoon but your "petition" is a fraud, a thoroughly exposed and discredited scam. 31-thousand American scientists? Only in your hopelessly gullible mind. If you're going to get anywhere in your college you need to scrape the rust off your powers of critical thinking and learn to make at least some effort to check out the sources you rely upon. It really is unfair for you to impose on others the burden of chronicling your gullibility.
BrightNoon
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 05:24 pm
@RDRDRD1,
I'll save my thoughts for the thinking. Good day.
William
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 05:46 pm
@Theaetetus,
Excuse me BN, but it is apparent speaking for myself only, many on this forum do not agree with your philosophy and there are some pretty sharp people here who form alliances, friendships within the forum. We do encourage your particiption as we do all who wish to engage here. But after viewing your profile, you might want to consider easing off the dictatorial style in which you communicate and develop a little more, shall we say "polish". Just a little friendly advice. You may take it or leave it. To all the mod's, I hope I am not stepping out of line here. If so, I apologize.
William
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 06:33 pm
@BrightNoon,
BrightNoon;75123 wrote:
Could you prove this statement?
Why not start with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. :nonooo:
0 Replies
 
salima
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 06:37 pm
@Theaetetus,
whatever happened with the kyoto treaty by the way? last thing i remember is that there was a lunatic in charge who removed america's name from it. has obama done anything about that? or is america still refusing to participate?
0 Replies
 
RDRDRD1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 07:36 pm
@Theaetetus,
There's not much at this point that Mr. Obama can do beyond reversing official government policy (that had, in fact, been reversed, perhaps disingenuously, by Bush at the tail end of his administration when it didn't matter).

The measure of Mr. Obama's sincerity should be clear at the Copenhagen meeting later this year.

And, just in case Brightnoon does return to flog that bogus report and gamed petition, here is a link to a total debunking of his pet report:

http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/file-uploads/Comment_on_Robinson_et_al-2007R.pdf
0 Replies
 
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2009 10:56 pm
@BrightNoon,
BrightNoon;75153 wrote:
I'll save my thoughts for the thinking. Good day.


I have went through the stuff that you have posted, either since you posted or in the past. I have read much of the literature on global warming in the past. I have followed the science news drawn from publications like Nature and Science. I have taken environmental classes taught by people that have studied global warming and the environment for over 20 years. To say that I have not thought about the subject is rather naive on your part.

You have yet to post anything that is credible to counter the sheer volume of literature on global warming. Of course there is not universal agreement, but much of that dissidence comes from geologists that do not study the workings of climate. Nearly all climatologists agree that global warming is not a myth. Here is a survey recently conducted about global warming.

Quote:

Scientists Agree Human-induced Global Warming Is Real, Survey Says
ScienceDaily (Jan. 21, 2009)

While the harsh winter pounding many areas of North America and Europe seemingly contradicts the fact that global warming continues unabated, a new survey finds consensus among scientists about the reality of climate change and its likely cause.

A group of 3,146 earth scientists surveyed around the world overwhelmingly agree that in the past 200-plus years, mean global temperatures have been rising, and that human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures.
Peter Doran, University of Illinois at Chicago associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, along with former graduate student Maggie Kendall Zimmerman, conducted the survey late last year.

The findings appear January 19 in the publication Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union.

In trying to overcome criticism of earlier attempts to gauge the view of earth scientists on global warming and the human impact factor, Doran and Kendall Zimmerman sought the opinion of the most complete list of earth scientists they could find, contacting more than 10,200 experts around the world listed in the 2007 edition of the American Geological Institute's Directory of Geoscience Departments.

Experts in academia and government research centers were e-mailed invitations to participate in the on-line poll conducted by the website questionpro.com. Only those invited could participate and computer IP addresses of participants were recorded and used to prevent repeat voting. Questions used were reviewed by a polling expert who checked for bias in phrasing, such as suggesting an answer by the way a question was worded. The nine-question survey was short, taking just a few minutes to complete.

Two questions were key: have mean global temperatures risen compared to pre-1800s levels, and has human activity been a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures.

About 90 percent of the scientists agreed with the first question and 82 percent the second.

In analyzing responses by sub-groups, Doran found that climatologists who are active in research showed the strongest consensus on the causes of global warming, with 97 percent agreeing humans play a role. Petroleum geologists and meteorologists were among the biggest doubters, with only 47 and 64 percent respectively believing in human involvement. Doran compared their responses to a recent poll showing only 58 percent of the public thinks human activity contributes to global warming.

"The petroleum geologist response is not too surprising, but the meteorologists' is very interesting," he said. "Most members of the public think meteorologists know climate, but most of them actually study very short-term phenomenon."

He was not surprised, however, by the near-unanimous agreement by climatologists.

"They're the ones who study and publish on climate science. So I guess the take-home message is, the more you know about the field of climate science, the more you're likely to believe in global warming and humankind's contribution to it."

Doran and Kendall Zimmerman conclude that "the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes." The challenge now, they write, is how to effectively communicate this to policy makers and to a public that continues to mistakenly perceive debate among scientists.


Scientists Agree Human-induced Global Warming Is Real, Survey Says
0 Replies
 
Caroline
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 12:57 am
@Theaetetus,
I get kinda angry when people dispute that global warming is not caused by humans because I see the polar bears drowning and these people turn there backs and say no its not us, i think it's pretty irresponsible, sorry guys i just do.
Solace
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 11:09 am
@Caroline,
Caroline;75250 wrote:
I get kinda angry when people dispute that global warming is not caused by humans because I see the polar bears drowning and these people turn there backs and say no its not us, i think it's pretty irresponsible, sorry guys i just do.


Well I suppose that, whether or not we are the cause of a species becoming endangered, the only responsible thing to do when we see it happening is to try to prevent it.
0 Replies
 
RDRDRD1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Jul, 2009 01:04 pm
@Theaetetus,
Societies have a rich history of failing to respond to threats, even when the perils are obvious well in advance. Jarred Diamond chronicles a number of these in his excellent book Collapse.

Sometimes governments become so hidebound that they can no longer lead their people, the equivalent of being in the back seat of a speeding car with the driver asleep at the wheel. It should be apparent from the Copenhagen summit later this year if that is, in fact, what we're dealing with.

If James Hansen's latest assessments are right (and his track record entitles him to be taken as credible) then we're already at the fork in the road. We have to decide to decarbonize our economies, our societies now or accept the probability of catastrophic global warming. In the June 29 issue of The New Yorker, Hansen that we have to get ride of coal powerplants entirely by 2030. He says that we either drop coal entirely or the planet will be committed to change on a scale society won't be able to cope with.

I believe Hansen enough that I'm convinced we have to take his warning as real, as fact. This guy has been underestimating the problem since he became involved in the anthropogenic global warming science in the late 70's. I see no reason to believe that he's overestimating the problem now.

Yet if our governments cannot lead us on this, if they've become so timid or bound to special interests, we may well be on our way to becoming Easter Islanders only on a global scale.

We're beginning to hear language injected into this debate not heard before, words such as "treachery" and "treason." Not treason in the sense of a betrayal of a nation state but treason as a betrayal of humanity itself.

These are fascinating times and very frightening times. As I have written here and in other places, the weak link is water, ground water and surface water. On that score, the damage is already done and it's largely irreversible. It is no fluke that our Western leaders don't breathe so much as a word about this.

Water is food, water is life, water is also global security. Long before we all scorch from planetary warming we'll be overtaken by the fallout of this water crisis. The Himalayan glaciers are already in headlong retreat and the two countries dependent on that glacial runoff for their agricultural production are the two most populous nations on the planet, both of them nuclear armed.

When I was brought into this world we were barely two billion in number, an all-time record. In my lifetime that number has more than trebled. That's but one lifetime.

Somehow, in the wake of WWII, we came to see growth as the solution to many fiscal and social problems. Corporations are committed to growth. Their shareholders demand it. Governments began seeing the advantages from the same path. That was when posterity was discarded as a core element of government planning. Who needs posterity when you can grow your society into a better future?

A slavish committment to growth rejects anything that poses a fetter to both production and consumption. By the late 80's our consumption first exceeded our planet's ability to replenish essential resources. Still our leaders couldn't shake their addiction to growth.

Instead we focused on new technology that allowed us to harvest the residual resource, our 'seed corn.' We emptied the ocean fisheries. We brought upon ourselves the scourges of deforestation, desertification, resource exhaustion, air/land/water pollution, and species extinction. Now we are poised to reap the whirlwind and yet our leadership remains mute, a silent testament to their betrayal of us. The problems have grown so far beyond their grasp that they merely stand around looking at their shoes and thinking in terms solely of the next electoral cycle.

But if our leaders have lost their nerve and their vision, there are others who are still looking up. Among them are the Pentagon and the British Ministry of Defence. They see what's happening, they have a pretty good idea of what's coming, and they understand the implications of it. In fact the Pentagon's upcoming quadrennial defense review will focus heavily on the likelihood of climate war.

I suspect if there is going to be a meaningful revolution in the way we do things that are no so destructive of the environment, it might come down to whether we can act before events overtake us.

Oh well, at least I'm getting on. I never imagined it would get to the point where the old can say to the young, "sucks to be you."
Elmud
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jul, 2009 07:52 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;74303 wrote:
Yes, let us return to the pollution in the city streets caused by horse transportation. That pollution of horse feces all over the place, was many times worse than carbon, and now, with the many-fold increase in population, and the need for more transportation, would be overwhelming, and impossible to tolerate. So we would not have efficient transportation, and also, far worse pollution. Good thinking!

I'll assume you never lost a family ember in a car wreck. Good assumption.
0 Replies
 
RDRDRD1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jul, 2009 08:36 pm
@RDRDRD1,
James. Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Jarred work doesn't chronicle the collapse of "political powers" but of societies, civilizations. There is an important distinction to be grasped.

I agree that the environmental crisis confronting us isn't merely a function of global warming but a greater, ecological and social imbalance. That is why I constantly argue that global warming must be taken in the context of associated threats including desertification, deforestation, resource depletion and exhaustion, species extinction, nuclear proliferation, and global security threats. The point I keep trying to make is that you can answer one, two or maybe even three of these problems withn the current structure but you'll never be able to answer enough of them. It's going to tale a new way of holistic thought that recongizes the common threads that run through all of these problems if we're to solve them all. And, at the end of the day, we do have to solve them all to solve any of them.
0 Replies
 
EmperorNero
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Oct, 2009 08:18 am
@BrightNoon,
BrightNoon;74210 wrote:
I am not a climate scientist, but


If you were one, it would be your job to agree with global warming.
 

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