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[News] Global Warming: Media Hype ?

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Certainly the climate is changing here in the UK. There is more extreme weather. This year there is a drought and it is causing a lot of problems with water shortage, rivers and lakes.

Also has anyone else noticed that leaves are getting bigger? I can only guess that this is because of increased CO2 in the air feeding plants and causing them to grow more. Many plants now have huge leaves compared to what I used to see.
You know, I may be wrong about that. I was working in the Oil and Gas industry back during the Regan era though - and things sure were easy - and sloppy. Not all subsidies come dressed up that way. I do agree with your statement about how the subsidies work now.

I'm too toasted from work for any more monologues right now, however.

I was surprised to see an article referenced on DB from an instrument of the Unification Church which, in terms of style and content, is an insult to the time spent reading it (let's hear it again 'Hockey Stick' ). Obviously - stirring the political weavils nest. But then what should we expect from a man who still denies New York is covered in Horse Shit - even after having spent a week there talking about a man in a bubble.

High marks for playing devils advocate and general obnostication "'Yawn'".
naiad said:
Also has anyone else noticed that leaves are getting bigger? I can only guess that this is because of increased CO2 in the air feeding plants and causing them to grow more. Many plants now have huge leaves compared to what I used to see.

We have the same problem with larger and larger leaves here in Florida. The leaves have increased the overall tree size to the point that it has started to obscure our view of the forest themselves. Thanks to global warming, we're now missing the forest for the trees! Sorry, bad joke, couldn't resist...

I don't think that the arguement, "I walked outside today, and it was hotter than it was yesterday." Is really definitive proof of GLOBAL CLIMATE Change. Or even the old, "when i was a kid..." And the eskimos should have had the good sense to move south while the getting was good anyways, they deserve whatever they get. Just think, they could all be running casinos today. The point is the earth is dynamic.

These debates never have a long life anyways. The go to rebuttal for the pro climate change side always becomes "Neo-con petroleum industry puppet". Despite what you believe, we could post back and forth lots of contrary article written by guys from really prestigous universities with lots of letters behind their names.

What does that prove? Well, it answers the original question posed by this thread. That there is still a great deal of dissent in the scientific community, and no consensus one way or the other has been reached.

So please remember...when discussing this topic...if someone disagrees with you, whatever your belief, they are not a heretic, and not a complete fool. They just have a different, well supported opinion...unless they're an eskimo...screw those guys.
speaking of Eskimo's and global warming......I was recently watching "The Things You Need to Know About Global Warming with Tom Brokaw" (yes, the "with Tom Brokaw" was actually part of the title)..... Anyways, there was a scene where they were interviewing this little Inuit man about how drastically his climate was changing. The irony of the situation was they were out on an icepack and he was sitting on an ATV, to which he had attached, a little jon boat with a 40 hp outboard........ While the debate is still up in the air as to whether or not increased CO2 emissions are warming the climate, there is absolutely NO debate that the internal combustion engine is quite a source of CO2 emissions...... Just food for thought.
I see that most of the discussion is talking about the here and now with little talk about the past whether it is 50 or 500 years ago, I took a course at the UW Madison several years ago about Climates of the Past. What I learned is that the climates never stay the same year after year, there are some definite cyclic changes since prerecorded times, Evidence such as the rings on trees show huge changes with temperatures and precipitation. During the 1930s at the time of the dust bowl, the temperatures in the US were as hot or hotter than the are today. When the Vikings first settled in Greenland, the climate there as warm enough to settle there but after a few years they had to leave because the climate was too cold to maintain settlements there. I'm not saying what the cause of global warming is, because there are many causes including the following; volcanic ash, sunspots, the decomposition of hydrocarbons (trees, Grasses, animals), the burning of coal, wood, petroleum, and so forth. Please take the time to study history, like the hurricanes, yeas they were terrrible in 2005 but thay just as bad if not worse 50 or 60 yearss ago, and could hgave been even worse 100 or 200 years ago but we won't know because of the lack of written records. When it come to what AL Gore said in his book, I take that with a grain of salt because he also claimed to have invented the internet. This is just my $0.02 worth.
Roy, read your posts. Can't you see the spewing hatred, hot button buzz words and general junk? Way too much of your posts are not argument, they are bombastic propaganda attempting to shout down and intimidate your opponents. If I knew nothing about the issue, I'd be pretty sure your position was BS. I do know a fair amount about the subject and the ozone controversy that preceded it. Same song, different stanza. You are offensive in tone, as well as wrong on the facts and we are all going to suffer for it.

I wasn't such a young man in the 70s and I don't seem to remember any of my Ivy league professors talking about an Ice Age coming at the turn of the century. What were you smoking?
At the 2004 International Coral Reef Symposium in Okinawa, climate modeling was one of the most highly attended sessions. Among the scientists who were presenting, it wasn't a question of if the earth was warming, it was a question of how much and when. There wasn't any question of if coral reefs were being damaged. It was a question of how long and where are they going to last and in what form.
Read Carl Safina's description of the reefs of Palau in "Song for the Blue
Ocean" (1994) and do a little freediving there now. 98% dead. So are the reefs around Okinawa - '98 El Nino. Yeah, just call me another teary-eyed softy. Hey, the next thing I'll be doing is something really lame like trying to tell the Japanese to stop killing the dolphins, right?
Well, it has been getting steadily warmer here over the past couple of decades - for sure. And there a big ecological changes to the great lakes due to zebra muscles. But I cannot draw any conclusions about Global Warming - I'm just not that familiar with the science - and also the fluctuations in climate here are a bit variable. I know the bay doesn't seem to freeze over any more - but lets see what happens next year. We surely did have at least a few weeks of serious cold last winter.

One thing I have observed - and this is really in contrast with what I've seen in the Ocean. You literally can-not go for dive around here without seeing fish with something weird wrong. Invariably some of the trout have malformed fins - not damaged - but stunted somehow - and I'm saying at least 1 out of five over the past couple years in the schools I've been seeing. I've seen salmon, suckers and walleye with severe scoliosis and alot of what appear to be genetic deformities. Pretty much every dive I see some of this. Deformed carp (not from injuries - though theres alot of that too) We have mercury warnings on literally every species - and there are those who try to argue that high levels of mercury in fish are natural ( not denying the normal presence of Mercury in the environment). Pcb's are also a major contaminant.

I also see alot of angler damaged fish. Caught and released with improper handling with compromised mucous coatings or infected mouths and eyes. I don't say anything when I see a cute little kid and her dad all proud letting the little rock bass go - but the bottom is littered with them - though a veritable blight of crayfish makes short work of the remains. The lake trout show alot of line damage - in addition to lamprey scars - but the deformed fins are really disturbing. Don't see much of that kinda stuff in the Rock bass though.
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naiad said:
Certainly the climate is changing here in the UK. There is more extreme weather. This year there is a drought and it is causing a lot of problems with water shortage, rivers and lakes.

Also has anyone else noticed that leaves are getting bigger? I can only guess that this is because of increased CO2 in the air feeding plants and causing them to grow more. Many plants now have huge leaves compared to what I used to see.

Rachel Carson (Silent Spring) wrote a book on the oceans about 50 years ago she mentioned there was scientific indications of long-term global warming, I believe this was largely in reference to a natural cyclic trend (Milankovich cycles), not industrial pollution IIRC. My opinion is that humanity is increasing that effect, but it's too darn complex to determine clearly whether local changes over short terms are due to this, I'm glad that measurements are being taken around the globe and correlated, this can only help. Earth has lots of buffering capability (eg. tropical forests, deep oceans) but we're certainly putting a lot of stress on natural ecosystems that have been around for a long time. Maybe these are just coincidences? DDeden

Eskimos & air conditioning

Brit bananas fruit: silver lining on a global warming cloud

New York Manatee moving north
My recommendation to people who feel threatened by corporations is to join the 70% of Americans who own shares in them.

Everybody hurry up! Sign up now to support Exxon. (Beware, this link is to a liberal site that is sabotaging the good name of Exxon Corporation) http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/images/1107-01.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/1108-02.htm&h=314&w=225&sz=15&hl=en&start=8&tbnid=OBjiyqeHDz5xaM:&tbnh=117&tbnw=84&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dexxon%2Bvaldez%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26hs%3DLLK%26lr%3D%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:eek:fficial%26sa%3DN

Screw global warming and the lot. There are countless of other reasons to curb the petroleum industry.

I just got done watching "Lord of War" (real uplifting movie about choices in life, intnt'l arms dealing and right and wrong) Anyway, the timing just made me have to reply to this thread. Oil is a dirty, wasteful, destructive industry and there are alternatives. Most people I know that make excuses for global warming and fuel emissions are nothing more than righties trying to protect their little b---- boy GW Bush. "Global warming" may not be a fact but Global Whining is and it's coming from the right. :vangry

As to the notion (or is it just straight up BS propaganda from the right) that alt. fuels take more energy than fossil fuels to bring to market, once alt fuels are the norm it won't matter because it will be clean. :duh

Certainly we can harness the sun's energy directly without having to go via dead dinosaurs.

Maybe I need to start a pole: who thinks that petroleum is the cleanest, safest form of energy that Homo sapien can achieve?

Sorry for the rant but the pity-to-the-oil industry crap is unbearable.
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cdavis said:
Roy, read your posts. Can't you see the spewing hatred, hot button buzz words and general junk? Way too much of your posts are not argument, they are bombastic propaganda attempting to shout down and intimidate your opponents. If I knew nothing about the issue, I'd be pretty sure your position was BS. I do know a fair amount about the subject and the ozone controversy that preceded it. Same song, different stanza. You are offensive in tone, as well as wrong on the facts and we are all going to suffer for it.


Nonsense. I have posted a link to the opinions of the scientific community which happens to to be critical of the "Global Warming" theory. Somehow you decided to skip this all together.

I did this to illustrate that the majority of the "Global Worming" (not a typo) crowd isn't interested in real science. Your "... we are all going to suffer for it..." fearmongering is a perfect example.

I also know I have struck a nerve when I mentioned that alot of this "global" pseudo-science, is politically motivated. After all, the same people who try to scare us with the "big bad corporations" are also frequently caught bleating for the now defunct Soviet Union and stubbornly justifying Pol Pot's good intentions. I know, I know ... an anecdotal evidence, entirely unscientific , but ohh .. so true. LOL!

Here is one for desert:

"....So what are we to make of Tim Ball at the University of Winnipeg, Robert Balling at Arizona State, Sallie Baliunas at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Bob Carter at James Cook University in Australia, Randall Cerveny at Arizona State, John Christy at the University of Alabama, Robert Davis at the University of Virginia, Christopher Essex at the University of Western Ontario, Oliver Frauenfeld at the University of Colorado, Wibjörn Karlèn at Stockholm University and Christopher Landsea at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration?

And David Legates at the University of Delaware, Henry Linden at IIT, Richard Lindzen at MIT, Ross McKitrick at the University of Guelph, Patrick Michaels at the University of Virginia, Dick Morgan at the University of Exeter, Tim Peterson at Carleton University, Roger Pielke Jr. at the University of Colorado, Eric Posmentier at Dartmouth, Willie Soon at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center, Roy Spencer at the University of Alabama and Boris Winterhalter at the University of Helsinki?

All are respected authorities on climatology, working at respected universities, who appear regularly in peer-reviewed science journals. Some, like Lindzen, are undisputed leading thinkers in their fields. Yet all dispute Gore's alarmist claims.

So whom are you going to believe, Al Gore or real scientists?

There are plenty of other errors and exaggerations in the movie, which people more expert than I are documenting and exposing. Suffice it to say, "An Inconvenient Truth" contains very little truth, and a big helping of propaganda.

What frightens me is the probability that Al Gore himself believes the hype he's trying to sell. Those who've watched him give his PowerPoint presentation and have discussed it with him say he does. "
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Gee Roy, you've got me convinced. I think I"ll trust the corporations now because some flakes are defending Polpot.

The true sadness in this is that I probably wouldn't disagree with you about the facts on your side. The danger I see in your approach is that you decide to throw the whole issue out of court as if Al Gore's factual basis for a movie should decide the potential future of the global climate.
There happen to be alot of 'real scientists' who believe that it is a real problem. Should we just trust the sources you gave, or should the citizens of Planet Earth actually consider both sides?
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I got it. "Global Warming" exists and more importantly was casued by the big bad SUV's, because you hate the "corporations".
Say no more.
No, you almost got it. Actually it's because George Bush won't let Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Pol Pot go on with their humanitarian mission. :yack

I'll just sign off now and watch because it's getting high time the mods shut down this ridiculous double-edged thread anywho. This issue should be decided by the appropriate Exxon executives anyway since we little people don't understand the way things really work and how resilient and forgiving nature is to our needs.
I am sorry to disappoint some of you, but have to tell you that there is absolutely no controversy or doubt in the scientific society about the global warming indeed happening. I happen to know little bit about it, since I did some work for the CPDN project that tries to simulate climate development in future. The global warming is well measurable fact. Over the last century the average temperature has climbed about 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.6 of a degree Celsius) around the world (see the Global Warming Fast Facts here). Although it may sound unimportant, it is in fact enorm in such short period. Permanent ice is decreasing very well measurable on mountains on all continents (see some pics for example here) and the global average temperature changes are recorded both by terrestrial and satellite measurements. See also the graph below:

image courtesy of San Diego State University

The only controversy that may exist is not whether global warming is real or not, but whether it is part of natural cycle, or whether it is being caused largely by human activities that release greenhouse gases, such as burning fossil fuels in power plants and cars and deforesting the land. And even here the scientific "dissent" is very small and largely biased and often sponsored by industry.

You may want to check the Global Warming facts on some of many websites of real scientific institution doing serious research on global climate. You will be able to form your opinion based on hard facts. However, there is a nice site that debunks many of the global warming myths and urban legends that are being spread by some journalists or pseudo-scientists - you may want to check it out here.

And, although Paul Kotiks's advice of joining the big corporations instead of complaining, was certainly well meant, I am afraid it won't help a lot with environmental problems that we indeed suffer from. I know it would be wise to invest into the big oil corporations, into weapons manufacturing, into drug dealing - these are things that will certainly go on bringing good profits in the future too. "Unfortunately", some people have guts, or are too "stupid" to decide not only based on profit, but rather considering also moral aspects when investing. I know that it is their own fault, but I do not think it is reason to tell them they should shut up and stop complaining.
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I think that 'climate' refers to relatively long-term conditions, not things that and individual observes or thinks he observes over a relatively short lifetime.

I for example, can report with certainty that winters in the Northeastern United States now deposit much less snow than in the past. The snow used to come up to my chest (1956). Now it only comes up to my knees. Sure sign of global warming and climate change ?

Perhaps a glance at a dictionary would be helpful, along with a look at the way the term is used in academia. There's a distinction between 'weather' and 'climate', I'm sure. Having unusual weather is not the same as climate change.

The weather in South Florida seems to me to be about the same as it's been over my lifetime (55) years on a subjective, individualistic basis. The hurricane forecasters have been disappointed so far this year. Several of the models called for a very active season, and so far there have been approximately zero hurricanes. It's hot, like always, and very humid, like always. I have no idea whether my subjective impressions square with the hard data.

I'm flying about a quarter of the way around the planet today, and to a slightly more northerly lattitude. I'll be sure to report on the weather there, too.
Obviously there is only one way to come to some kind of an agreement on this debate. Physical Challenge.:martial
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Shouldn't we be a little skeptical of graphs purporting to show surface temperatures going back 1,000 years ?

Tree rings don't measure past temperatures, as one small example among many. They inform INFERENCES about past temperatures. Until somebody invents a time machine, we have no way of validating such once-removed indicators.

Doesn anybody actually think that even recent, say 19th -Century thermal measurement and recording technology yielded data consistent with contemporary metrics ? Please.

The popular graphs, like the one provided by Trux, are uninformative. The planetary ecosystem is many,many orders of magnitude too complex in relation to the pitifully incomplete and questionably reliable dataset reflected in the graph. It's a bit like measuring the temperatures on 3 random locations on a man's body ( say, his thumbnail, tongue and eyebrow) and then drawing ironclad conclusions about his present, past and future state of his health.

Unfortunately, the belief in anthropogenic climate change has become a personal identity issue. Such belief systems are closed to data and to rational analysis. For many, regardless of the particular position they've adopted, touting and defending that position ( and the identity it's associated with) has become much more important than the issue itself. "I'm smarter than you" is increasingly the name of the game. Nature doesn't much care who's winning the faculty lounge spat.

I think it would be a good thing for sincere environmentalists to pause, consider at some length the nearly incomprehensible complexity of the system we mean to study, and come to understand the specifications of the kind data that can inform such study. We are a long, long way from even the most basic definition of these criteria. Meanwhile, tossing about datasets which are obviously inadequate can serve political ends, and get nice grants to fund the production of more inadequate datasets, but cannot advance our ability to keep our home planet healthy.

I say 'nearly incomprehensible complexity" - in fact, the planetary ecosystem may indeed be of a complexity beyond our current analytic ability. This is precisely what is at issue when reviewing data like Trux's graph.

I forget who it was, but some famous guy was once asked what the fastest way would be for humanity to travel to the nearest star. His answer was: " First, do nothing for 100 years". The point being that our state of knowledge at present is such that resources we expend now are most likely wasted. We'd be better off letting basic research continue until more blind alleys are closed, more awful mistakes pre-empted by new knowledge.

The state of our planetary climate modelling is perhaps even more pitifully inadequate. We can't even predict next week's weather reliabily !

We know almost nothing. We would be wise to admit this, and focus on basic research, before we embarrass ( or even destroy ) ourselves thinking we know more than we actually do. The worst thing we can do is adopt that Live Aid guy's slogan: " We have to do something, even if it doesn't work !" The outcomes, in the matter of the ecosystem, can be a lot worse than simply not working. Let's find out what's really going on, and hold ourselves to strict scientific evidentiary standards rather than identity political ones.
'Physical Challenge' - beautiful! :ko

There are several things about this issue that I'm definitely down with.

First - it pretty much does seem to be getting warmer here - over the last 25 years I can say there has been a steady increase in summer and winter warmth - with less and less snow.

I think Global warming is probably occuring - though I cannot with confidence site a single cause.

I think our gratuitous use of Oil is going to bite us in the ass. As most of you probably know - when the Saudi Oil fields go it is likely going to be quite abrupt.

Thousands of years ago the Daoists were doing hard-core scientific research into pretty much everything having to do with being alive. They came up with the idea of studying everything around you, learning it's rythms and patterns - and harmonizing yourself with it.

Culturally we regard nature as an object of conquest - theres a pretty big backlog of tension building up on the other end of that paradigm and greed is what's holding up our end of it. Changes will be made - the only question is in our ability to anticipate them and adapt.

Paul, it's a good bet that cutting down on pollution and fossil fuel use won't hurt the ecosystem any. I agree with your identity remarks - not as an all-encompassing generalization but I used to refer to my rabid environmentalist friends as 'nuclear reactors'. I'd explain to them that they were becoming what they despise - when they's get angry I'd make snide remarks about their graphite rods.

Your reasoning is a tad literal - and your criteria for scientific rigor border on apocalyptic - perhaps you are reacting to what you perceive as the hysterics in the GW crowd - all scarey with those 'hockey sticks' waving around. Too often in discussions such as this there is a tendancy to address the low-end of the opposing view. It's easier.

For some things all you have is probability and hypothesis - inferences from plant and animal records etc. It's possible much of the fossil record was beamed into place in 1949 when the alien's invaded Roswell. The problem is balancing the valence of the indicators against inertia and the tendancy to jump to conclusions: in order to respond appropriately.

-Don't let your ice cap melt
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I think our gratuitous use of Oil is going to bite us in the ass. As most of you probably know - when the Saudi Oil fields go it is likely going to be quite abrupt.

Yes, funny how Paul's sit back and do nothing approach does not apply to burning up massive amounts of fuel in a grossly inefficient manner.
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