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Reply # 468723 13-May-2011 13:51
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mattRSK: Can we stop talking about it, as speculation will only drive the price of oil up.


haha Laughing

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  Reply # 468749 13-May-2011 14:22
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Some interesting reading here. A direct quote from this page:

Earth's climate and atmosphere have varied greatly over geologic time. Our planet has mostly been much hotter and more humid than we know it to be today, and with far more carbon dioxide (the greenhouse gas) in the atmosphere than exists today. The notable exception is 300,000,000 years ago during the late Carboniferous Period, which resembles our own climate and atmosphere like no other.

There's plenty of scientific evidence that our atmosphere has some of the lowest levels of CO2 in it's entire history. This explains why, (apart from the massive deforestation our species) plant life is nowhere near as massive or luxurious as back when it actually had what it needed.

I think the entire premise of climate change is FUD and based on greed. Climate change is a fundamental principle in the evolution of the planet. It happened a long time before our species existed and literally millions of species have come into existence then become extinct in that time. It'll keep happening long after our species (or it's current iteration) disappears and millions of other species will come into existence before going extinct.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 468800 13-May-2011 15:19
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The close up video is now online. Very short interview. The guy interviewed was Dr James Hansen, he worked on the Pioneer Venus project to study the Venusian atmosphere, he is head of the the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center He is also a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. He also spoke at Auckland university. He is profiled in the Herald.

Personally I have never been 100% convinced on the two questions:

1) Is the climate warming?
2) is the warming anthropogenic?

There are plenty of good reasons to doubt.

Even so, for me there is enough evidence and scientific consensus for significant concern, and significant action. 

Just because the problem is a difficult one to solve does not mean we should not look for and research viable solutions.

Another perspective is that the levels of scientific doubt portrayed in the media are much greater than the deficiencies of the warming hypothesis and anthropogenic change models and the reason for that is fossil fuel political lobbying and media lobbying funding.

This is the view advanced in Naomi Oreskes's Merchants of Doubt. She draws some interesting parallels with media funding and advertising for the (now resolved) health effects of tobacco media debate which ran from the 60's to the late 80's. It's a done deal in the western world now but it used to be a very serious 'scientific' debate. (I have not read the book)

Naomi Oreskes is profiled in the Herald, and she is giving the Micheal King memorial lecture ($25) tomorrow as as part of the Writers Festival. She is a geologist, and a science historian.

I wonder how big the ozone hole and ozone damage would be today if the world had not got together to vastly reduce and phase out the production of CFCs? The science for ozone depletion was disputed but eventually the world was able to move forward on that issue and make a difference. I often wonder, if that problem had been technically more difficult to solve, would we have had corresponding higher levels of doubt about the science?

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  Reply # 468827 13-May-2011 16:22
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There's a great podcast called Point of Inquiry, which focuses on good science and critical thinking.

I recall an interview with the man at the centre of ?Climategate? (and was rightly cleared of any wrong-doing) and it?s really eye-opening. It?s all explained quite plainly, and the one thing that stuck in my head is this ? they didn?t set out to find Global Warming ? it was a byproduct of looking for something else. There was no big corporate drive there ? just scientists doing what they do, and they noticed something amiss.

I?ll post the podcast when I find it.




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Reply # 468835 13-May-2011 16:34
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tdgeek: I look forward to posting when Im off work!

BTW its no myth


Don't forget your tin foil hat while posting

BS

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  Reply # 468836 13-May-2011 16:38
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Unfortunately it's probably got too much momentum to turn it around, then you have the crackpots who say Volcanoes have more effect than humans or god will protect us, and if that doesn't scare you then watch out as the oil supply starts to run down, and don't get me started on what I think of the way politicians procrastinate and have done for the last 30 years, mother nature has been very tolerant up to now, but she must me sick of trying to undo the harm we are doing to our one and only home.

Bryan

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  Reply # 468841 13-May-2011 16:50
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Putting it mildly, climate change deniers, in the eyes of the science community, are beginning to look like the tinfoil hat crowd, anti-evolutionists, and flat-earthers.




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  Reply # 468850 13-May-2011 17:12
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Don't worry, the planet will be fine. It will shrug us off with barely a trace left that we were ever here. The geological timescale is hard to fathom. It makes us look completey insignificant.
 

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  Reply # 468852 13-May-2011 17:26
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I agree long term we are not going to be missed, but,

I think oil is going to be more of a problem short term that climate change, it's something like 10 calories of energy goes to produce 1 calorie of food and most of that from oil, I saw recently they looked at how much energy it would take to replace the USA cars with efficient ones, it was estimated to require the energy equivalent of three quarters of the entire years global output of oil, in a world on the downside of the energy bubble makes you wonder!

Makes NZ look a good place to be, at least it has a small population that could feed itself, we might all have to buy a spade and "dig for victory".

Bryan

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  Reply # 468859 13-May-2011 18:01
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Ropata: Don't worry, the planet will be fine. It will shrug us off with barely a trace left that we were ever here. The geological timescale is hard to fathom. It makes us look completey insignificant.
 


Yep. To paraphrase Dawkins.... Stretche your arms out as far as you can. Picture it as an evolutionary timeline. The tip of your left fingers are the very first life forms.  From there to well past your right shoulder life consists of nothing but bacteria. Many-celled, inverterbrate life pop up around your right elbow. Dinosaurs pop up in the middle of your right palm, go extinct at about your last finger joint. Homo Sapiens and Homo Erectus are contained in the thickness of one nail clipping. Modern civilisation is but a bit of dust blown away from one stroke of a nail file.




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  Reply # 468861 13-May-2011 18:05
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BurningBeard: The grist.org one has a good list of organizations that accept anthropogenic global warming as real and scientifically well-supported.


Due to a private message I received, here is that list. Silly of me not to link it!

And against the "it's a hoax" argument" http://www.grist.org/article/global-warming-is-a-hoax

Against the "no consensus" argument: http://www.grist.org/article/there-is-no-consensus

 




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  Reply # 468863 13-May-2011 18:08
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And the podcast as promised

"In this interview with host Chris Mooney, Mann pulls no punches.  He defends the fundamental scientific consensus on climate change, and explains why those who attack it consistently miss the target.  He also answers critics of his “hockey stick” study, and explains why the charges that have arisen in “ClimateGate” seem much more smoke than fire."

http://www.pointofinquiry.org/michael_mann_unprecedented_attacks_on_climate_research/

 




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  Reply # 468864 13-May-2011 18:08
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Arguing that "global warming is a myth" just because the Earth's climate has changed in the past is mind-numbingly retarded. I had hoped this forum was populated with intelligent people, not mouth-breathing global warming deniers. What else do you do for a living, hassle NASA about the Earth being flat? Sorry but if you have a modicum of intelligence, and with the full resources of the Internet in front of you, there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for this belief to persist; global warming denial is the same as Creationism and Flat Earth theory; the systematic misrepresentation and denigration of science, which whether wilful or ignorant is equally stupid.

While it is indeed true that average global temperature and atmospheric CO2 has been much higher than it is now, the time periods involved are vast. As someone has already pointed out, such vast timescales can be difficult to comprehend. For instance, climate change deniers often like to cite this graph:



without seemingly looking at the graph and understanding what it says. Up until the Carboniferous period, the planet was much hotter than it is now, and the level of oxygen in the atmosphere was still settling. This was a completely different climate. Each of the big changes on this graph also correlate with mass extinctions that wiped out most of the species on the planet. This graph spans six hundred million mother-f***** years. Trying to say that any of these climate changes in the past is the same as the current forcing from human-caused CO2 is mistaken. In contrast, Mankind has increased the CO2 in the atmosphere by nearly 50% in 150 short years, which is higher than it has ever been in the last 800,000 years:



We know that the jump in atmospheric CO2, from 280ppm circa 1900 to north of 380ppm now, is due to human fossil fuel combustion. We can confidently conclude this because of many factors, but probably the most damning one being the carbon isotope ratios of atmospheric CO2 matching the expected ratios from an input of 150 years worth of carbon from the combustion of fossil fuel, which has its own isotopic composition different from that of volcanoes, biomass, solar wind, aliens, or whatever other bullsh*t excuse your far-right wing nutter priests might think of next. If you're still in denial about this, then you're either ignorant, for which as I've said, there's no excuse on a geek forum, or stupid.

Spiking the atmospheric CO2 by 100ppm will cause a change in the climate, whether you find that convenient or not. Doing it in only 100 years is nothing short of reckless, geologically speaking. Species don't usually cope well with sudden climate change, and tend to incur abrupt change in their population dynamics. Some take advantage of newly opened niches and flourish, like Malaria mosquitoes, magpies and algae. Most of the rest are adversely affected, as they have spent millions of years evolving into their usually very specific niche. If that niche changes too abruptly, it can result in population loss, competition from other speices, increased predation, and so on, often resulting in extinction. It is this aspect that I believe is more worrying than overall global temperature rise. Ecosystems undergoing massive structural change have tended in the past not to be very supportive of human agriculture and settled civilisation.

Attacking one particular scientist's results because he might have fudged something is also ultimately pointless, since (while not perfect, or as politically immune as we'd all like) the peer-review process of academic research and the scientific community in general will usually weed out the chaff in time. We've heard it all before... IPCC this, email leak that, blah blah. Who cares? If you know anything about climate science, all that is a side show. The overwhelming mountains of evidence, from multiple independent sources, all corroborate each other, and they all point in the same direction, which is that CO2 and temperature are related, and for the last 800,000 years at least have been in tight lock-step. Coral reef cores tell us this. So do tree rings. Fossilised tree rings. stalactite cores. Deep sea sediments. Fossil diatom (foraminifera) population analysis. Ice cores from all over the globe. We have sea surface temperature proxies from the oxygen isotopes in foraminifera. And that's just the stuff off the top of my head.

Please, know your sh*t before you spout it.



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  Reply # 468870 13-May-2011 18:23
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Well, a raft of posts, and nice to see some posters I havent seen before.

There are a few who accept climate change caused by us, as do I, a few who don't, but most posters here appear to be conspiracy theorists. But great to see the open comments.

By Global Warming, I refer to that caused by our activity. It is a fact that the earth has gone through many climate changes, and of CO2 levels. However, these take eons. Massive amounts of time, so the earth will evolve through those periods. What the issue is, is that humans have not contributed to the natural cycles. Not until the Industrial Revolution. Currently we are in a natural warming cycle, these cycles are widely documented. But the effect by us, mainly in the last 50 years is clear. We have quickly (relatively) artificially added to the atmosphere. Nature cannot react to that as it is too fast. Over decades, not over 100,000's of years or more.

Ice caps are melting, the greenhouse gases are insulating the atmosphere, retaining the heat in. We are about 1 degree over average. At 6 degrees over (from memory) the earth won't be recognisable, equatorial areas will be uninhabitable, sub tropical will be tropical, etc. Food will have to be grown elsewhere, as this is going too fast to evolve naturally.

The amount of global warmth is minimal, but it is the average. That will stop corn growing unless you shift it. You can now see vineyards is the south of Britain.

Weather is a major effect. Extra evaporation = extra moisture in the atmosphere =
extra and more active weather. There are huge examples of this, the proof of it may have to wait for the future to look back and assess then. There are many variants in weather, so you cannot just say now this is due to global warming, but I am sure that is a major effect.

And no, that the article was on Close Up is not relevant, that was just a reminder to me. I suggest the naysayers get hold of the many docos on the topic, from many scientists, they are a good watch and most interesting. There was one that went through the earth increasing its average temperature, cannot recall the title. It showed what will happen, and how we will have to try to live with that

There is mention of global dimming. Yes, I agree with that. In short, you have gases that blanket the earth, and treat it like a greenhouse, holding the warmth in. Global Dimming is caused by smoke particles. They stay in the atmosphere and reduce the amount of sunlight and incoming heat. This happens not by the size and volume of the smoke particles, but that they hold larger than usual water droplets, these obstruct the incoming solar heat. Hence this pollution is masking the true effect of greenhouse gases. When we get to 2 degrees over average, what will that be made up of? 4 degrees of our greenhouse warming less 2 degrees smoke particle filtering?

Another issue is how to stop it? A point in time will arrive when us stopping emissions will be too late, as it will then go on anyway. The polar caps reflect solar rays. As they reduce, more heat is absorbed by the oceans, causing more melting. Thus what we do directly, is also causng indirect warming re the latter point.

I suggest those who do not accept this, get hold of as many docos as you can, and take it all in. If nothing else, it is so interesting.

The issue of Govts, carbon credits is another issue, that is political, I agree.







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  Reply # 468872 13-May-2011 18:29
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Well said Doctorlard, I didnt see your post as I was typing mine, but well put, as well as the scientific data provided.

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