[non-ceph]: Global Warming Thread

monty

TONMO Supporter
Staff member
Registered
Joined
Mar 8, 2004
Messages
4,884
with the caveat that I don't understand this particularly well, and just got a crash course from Hallucigenia recently, apparently the orbital version of this (mostly the impact of Jupiter and Saturn on the Earth's orbit) kinda-sorta explain the observed ice ages and whatnot, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles for a pretty good explanation. However, some astrophysicist seems to have come up with a solar physics cycles model that might turn out to be an alternative explanation: http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/01/24/2352218 -- I'm not qualified to assess the relative merits, but he doesn't seem like a complete crank.

Anyway, though, it drives me completely nuts when issues get politicized enough that more people are pushing a political agenda with "spin science" (which may or may not be wrong) to the point where it's hard to have an intelligent discussion of a topic, because there's too much FUD around. As far as I've been able to tell from scientists I respect, though, the science-spin-FUD in Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" movie is a fairly accurate representation of the best guesses of most academics who make careers out of studying this stuff. Although anyone who says they understand the whole system is blowing smoke, most of the objections to the fundamental premise of increased greenhouse gas leading to climate change seem to be taking nit-picky details and using them as an excuse for a political position of "it's not 100% proven right, so we might as well assume it's wrong, since that's aligned with our politics."

A more concerning issue, for me, is that we don't have any real, tested theory about what will happen to the Earth as we shift a few parameters (particularly CO2 levels) into domains where we haven't seen them before, so we don't know what will happen, and when whatever does happen happens, we'll be stuck with it for many lifetimes. Since we pretty much evolved to be in the "sweet spot" that we like now, any change is likely to be for the worse, so I think there's a very strong rational argument for trying to head off a potential problem at the pass, since even if there were only a 10% chance that we could be at risk for making Earth a lousy place to live, I'm not really into Russian Roulette, and I've never heard a convincing argument that the "gloom and doom" climate scientists stand a 10% or less chance of being right.

I make a habit of trying to be very critical of overstated claims, because seeing science misrepresented for political spin bugs me no matter what the source, and despite this tendency I'm convinced that there is real reason for concern on this issue.
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
486
Hi,

I often wonder whether people should reference their comments on a thread like this. Then we could tell where they got their information from. As for myself I'd like to read this new climate change report, before I come to any conclusions.

:twocents: :twocents:
 

tonmo

Cthulhu
Staff member
Webmaster
Joined
May 30, 2000
Messages
10,540
fluffysquid;87025 said:
hey now... :hmm:
Right, let's tone that rhetoric down, please! This thread will not live if we can't figure out a way to discuss ideas/facts/theories, and avoid attacking people or personalities. It would be a shame if we couldn't accomplish this here (I know we can!).
 
Joined
Jul 3, 2003
Messages
295
This is the bummer about talking climate change... there's relaxed people and... non. I'm really just throwing stuff out there and seeing what other throw in their replies.
 

DHyslop

Architeuthis
Registered
Joined
Dec 22, 2004
Messages
1,713
Fluffy: My apologies if I was a bit harsh--but lets be honest: you can't take a "scientific" view of this by dismissing the science, which is essentially the position you took in your post. I'm happy to apologize for being caustic, but I won't apologize for calling you out on that :smile:

Monty: There's plenty of "observational experiments" in the history of the Earth where we can look at causes and effects of shifting "CO2 parameters." The Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum is one such event: a rapid, massive increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and ocean that's associated with a rapid-onset (civilization-scale, thousands of years) extreme heating event (5-8 degrees C) and ocean acidification. The amount of carbon that probably caused this over a couple thousand years isn't that far off from what we've put in a century or two. (!)

These data aren't ambiguous--this isn't an argument between different computer models predicting the future like the radio hosts like to suggest--this is cold, hard history. I agree with you that the critics in the scientific community tend to be old cranks who are holding onto a nitpick. This is the nature of science: there are still a handful of old scientists still alive who don't believe in plate tectonics, and a couple who don't believe birds originated from dinosaurs. The concept of either not being the case is pretty much preposterous, as much as suggesting that the DNA molecule isn't involved in cellular division.

Also to Monty: Milankovitch is pretty much canonical, although the term orbital forcing is a bit more PC because it allows for more than just his contributions. Its better than "kinda-sorta."

Dan
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
Messages
3,026
Here's one about reducing your carbon footprint.http://www.stopglobalwarming.org/sgw_read.asp?id=549166122006

here's a British site
http://www.carbonfootprint.com/Minimise_cfp.html

Another on your carbon footprint

http://www.globalwarming.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=147&Itemid=1

A British site for calculating your carbon footprint.

http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.html

another good site

http://www.cleanair-coolplanet.org/action/footprint.php

and another

http://www.ucsusa.org/publications/greentips/whats-your-carb.html

Bottom line: Even if for some reason you choose to ignore most of the world's leading climate scientists, there is no excuse for not doing what you can. If your doctor told you that your carotid was 97% occluded you wouldn't wait until you had a massive stroke to take action would you? Well, about 97% of climate scientists believe that we are in deep trouble if we don't take action now. It's a no brainer that each of us should take responsibility to do anything we can to reduce our carbon footprint. Small steps by many individuals can help. If all of us replace just one light bulb with a compact flurescent it would help. If we all replaced all of our light bulbs it would help a whole lot. Right now anything we do is voluntary. If we don't take voluntary steps now, in the not so distant future it may become mandatory.
 

DHyslop

Architeuthis
Registered
Joined
Dec 22, 2004
Messages
1,713
sorseress;87034 said:
Bottom line: Even if for some reason you choose to ignore most of the world's leading climate scientists, there is no excuse for not doing what you can. If your doctor told you that your carotid was 97% occluded you wouldn't wait until you had a massive stroke to take action would you? Well, about 97% of climate scientists believe that we are in deep trouble if we don't take action now. It's a no brainer that each of us should take responsibility to do anything we can to reduce our carbon footprint. Small steps by many individuals can help. If all of us replace just one light bulb with a compact flurescent it would help. If we all replaced all of our light bulbs it would help a whole lot. Right now anything we do is voluntary. If we don't take voluntary steps now, in the not so distant future it may become mandatory.

To be fair, experts can be wrong. Many modern astronomers have no problem buying into string theory hook, line and sinker despite the fact that its completely untestable. If 97% of scientists jumped off a cliff, would you, too? :smile:

My point is that the reason we get an education is so that we ourselves can be prepared to research and evaluate these concepts on our own without having to rely blindly on experts, who can be as petty as the rest of us. In this instance, the literature is pretty dense and it does take a lot of patience for someone from outside the field to get through it. But, once you have that basic understanding of how this science is done its pretty clear that climate change isn't smoke and mirrors and is very well supported with hard science.

Dan
 

Latest Posts


Top