Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Great Global Warming Swindle (Complete)

[Ammendment: Although my opinion on this issue evolved in later posts thanks to many wonderful debates on this blog and elsewhere, I thought it would be prudent to make some amendments on this particular post (because I feel that erasing posts is dishonest). I stand by my criticism of Al Gore's alarmist documentary (shouldn't we be under water by now?). The planet is clearly warming, though I can't say that it's purely caused by humans (which means I'm not sure that it's something we can just reverse). I should also clarify (which I do in other posts) that I have always supported environmental efforts to reduce waste and protect wildlife (I'm no conservative wanting to defund the EPA!). And I still believe that instilling fear is counterproductive to convincing people to make rational decisions, so alarmist tactics are usually the wrong way to go, especially when sensational predictions end up being inaccurate.]

Watch: UK (C4) Documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle

Don't listen to Gore. The sky is NOT falling!
Anyone who believes in global warming should at least watch this video.
I watched An Inconvenient Truth; I sat through the whole thing even though I think Gore can be a serious jerk. I even teared up when the polar bear couldn't find any ice to climb on.
Unless you are a scientist out there collecting and analyzing atmospheric data yourself, then you need to listen to scientists. And if you're only listening to one side of an argument, then you can't say your opinion is informed or well-thought-out.
Some Quick Facts:
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant, but a naturally occurring atmospheric substance.
CO2 makes up .054% of the atmosphere.
Volcanoes produce far more CO2 than humans.
Animals produce more CO2 than volcanoes.
Decaying vegetation produces more CO2 than animals (remember Gore's explanation for why the red line is so squiggly?; He left out half the explanation.)
The OCEANS produce more CO2 than vegetation, animals, volcanoes, and the puny, insignificant amount of CO2 humans produce.

53 comments:

Librocrat said...

Yeah... I want to use the word "Retarded" but that's not politically correct. So maybe... "what?"

Heather Annastasia said...

Why would you call Gore retarded?

That's not nice.

Coulter, is that you?

Jason said...

Yo libocrat, forget politically correct - nobody cares. Use the word retarded but make your point or you're being retarded. And please, before you make your point watch the damn movie so you know what point you are trying to make... or this whole thing will be pointless. Don't take things at face value, issues are often more complicated than they seem. If you can't wrap your head around being objective about things, you probably don't have much to add.

I like your label for yourself though... it's cute.

Jason said...

Oh yeah, so what about the depleting ozone layer? Hmm, something doesn't add up. More data needed.

BlackSun said...

I've been studying this question in depth for at least the past 5 years. Heather, I think you have been swindled on this one.

There is no serious debate on this issue among scientists. And as a TV editor, I know how easy it is to lie with scripts and images. I can make you believe anything I want you to believe with the right editing and twisting of soundbites and facts.

I haven't seen "swindle," but if it got you into the camp of global-warming deniers, it must be a pretty slick propaganda piece.

Bottom line, when big business starts to literally request government regulation, you know there's not much doubt left. Follow the money. Check out these links:

http://environment.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn11225&feedId=climate-change_rss20

http://www.boston.com/news/local/connecticut/articles/2007/03/19/pension_funds_argue_in_washington_for_climate_change_regulations/

Sorry to be blunt, but global warming is real, it's human caused, and there's no question about it. Our future depends on how we deal with it, and that's no joke.

This will become painfully obvious before much longer. Please don't wait until TSHTF to do something about it. And please don't contribute to the denial.

Here's a piece I wrote for American Chronicle.

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=20209

One last thing: Even if there were no global warming, we should still act as if there were. Here's why: We have three other problems which we can solve at the same time with the same methods (de-carbonizing energy):

1) The need for sustainability and one-planet living.

2) Global peak-oil and price jumps, and the support of terrorism through global overconsumption of a non-renewable resource.

3) Pollution.

Combine these three with the FACT of global warming and the need to keep feeding almost 7 billion people, and you have the greatest challenge ever faced by humans in recorded history. Our chance of success, and even continued survival as a species will depend on how quickly we decide to act.

The earth can only support about 1 billion people with pre-industrial methods. So whether or not warming was real, the consequences of fossil-fuel depletion and the energy transition (to an economy based on renewables) are literally a matter of life and death for billions.

BlackSun said...

Here's more links--plenty of scientific evidence:

http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/climate-change/

http://environment.newscientist.com/home.ns

And there's "How to talk to a Climate Skeptic"

http://gristmill.grist.org/skeptics

Heather Annastasia said...

blacksun,

I like blunt, especially when it's accompanied by a competent argument.

I'll check out your links, but I want to make a few points first.

1) No one is arguing that the earth is warming up; just why.

2) I agree we need to get rid of fossil fuels, and for every reason you've mentioned.

3) I've been following this issue for several years also, from the other side of the fence. But I'm not a scientist, so all my information is second-hand. Therefore it's vital that I hear both sides of the argument, if for no other reason than so I can know what the other side is saying.

I watched An Inconvenient Truth . The ice core samples were new to me, and I thought maybe Gore had a point; maybe the global warming people were right afterall. I wasn't convinced, but I considered it.

So my advice is to watch the movie. If for no other reason than to know your opponents. Know their specific arguments and maybe you find something that proves them wrong. But to assume they're wrong without hearing what they have to say doesn't make sense from a scientific standpoint, and it really goes to show that the idea of human created global warming is more like a religion than a science.

Heather Annastasia said...

Another thing that's very religion-like about the global warming scare is the fear of change.

The earth was changing long before we got here. It will continue to change long after we're gone.

Here's a piece from an earlier post, when I was leaning toward believing Gore:

I was pregnant during an El Niño year. The weather was insane. Akron was warm and sunny for most of the winter while kids in Florida and Texas were playing in snow.

Dick Goddard, the Cleveland weatherman, held up a newspaper from an El Niño year many decades ago before people understood this particular weather pattern. The page was filled with hysterical and ominous warnings and speculated that airplanes and radio waves were causing the crazy weather.

BlackSun said...

"1) No one is arguing that the earth is warming up; just why."

Again, there is no argument among scientists about why, except at the fringes. This is the most thoroughly studied and researched subject in all of history.

The only chance people have to cast doubt is to do exactly what the deniers are doing, which takes a page directly from the playbook of the Discovery Institute: Teach the controversy.

It's a false debate. The evidence is in and it's overwhelming. I just read an article yesterday talking about gravimetric measurements from space showing the ice melting is even worse than thought.

Carbon is being pushed further and deeper into the oceans, which is unprecedented. Soon the oceans will not be able to absorb any more, and the levels in the atmosphere will rise even higher. Also, I don't know if you are aware that when CO2 mixes with water, it yields carbonic acid. So the pH of the oceans is being lowered by this phenomenon, with unpredictable (but certainly bad) results.

We humans currently release carbon into the atmosphere every year that took over a million years to be stored by nature. CO2 concentrations which used to be 280 ppm before the industrial revolution are now 380 ppm and rising. People in the 80s and 90s used to talk about 1 ppm per year rises. Now it's approaching 2 ppm.

You can check all this out, it is heavily documented.

Science is not a matter of opinion. It is a method, and it speaks with a clear and unified voice on this subject. The science press is not reporting any controversy. If you read Scientific American, New Scientist, or any of the other publications, the only debate is how bad the results are going to be and what can be done about it. It is only the popular press that continues to raise any doubt about human culpability. Why would you trust such unreliable sources about such an important story? (i.e. Faux News).

The recent UN IPCC report spoke of 90% certainty. Insiders said it was actually greater than 99%, but the final number was watered down to please certain unnamed delegates.

"The earth was changing long before we got here. It will continue to change long after we're gone."

True. The question is, will it continue to be able to support our civilization in the next 100-200 years. That's what is of utmost concern to humanity. Not the ultimate change and destruction which we know is certain to come thousands or millions of years from now.

Heather Annastasia said...

The United Nations report on Climate change claimed to be the opinion of 2,500 leading scientists, but Professor Paul Reiter of the Pasteur Institute said it included names of scientists who disagreed with the findings and resigned from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and said the report was finalized by Government appointees.

Scientists who question the theory of human created global warming:

Claude Allègre, geophysicist, Institute of Geophysics (Paris)

Robert C. Balling, Jr., director of the Office of Climatology and a professor of geography at Arizona State University

Chris de Freitas, Associate Professor, School of Geography, Geology and Environmental Science, University of Auckland

David Deming, geology professor at the University of Oklahoma

Richard Lindzen, MIT meteorology professor and member of the National Academy of Sciences

Roy Spencer, principal research scientist, University of Alabama in Huntsville

Khabibullo Ismailovich Abdusamatov, at Pulkovskaya Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the supervisor of the Astrometria project of the Russian section of the International Space Station

Sallie Baliunas, astronomer, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Robert M. Carter, geologist, researcher at the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University in Australia

George V. Chilingar, Professor of Civil and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Southern California

Ian Clark, hydrogeologist, professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa

Lee C. Gerhard, formerly Principal Geologist of the Kansas Geological Survey

William M. Gray, Professor of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University

Zbigniew Jaworowski, chair of the Scientific Council at the Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection in Warsaw

David Legates, associate professor of geography and director of the Center for Climatic Research, University of Delaware

Marcel Leroux, former Professor of Climatology, Université Jean Moulin

Tim Patterson, paleoclimatologist and Professor of Geology at Carleton University in Canada

Frederick Seitz, retired, former solid-state physicist, former president of the National Academy of Sciences

Nir Shaviv, astrophysicist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Fred Singer, Professor emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia

Willie Soon, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Philip Stott, professor emeritus of biogeography at the University of London

Henrik Svensmark, Danish National Space Center

Jan Veizer, environmental geochemist, Professor Emeritus from University of Ottawa

Orrin Pilkey, coastal geologist and emeritus professor at Duke University, and Linda Pilkey-Jarvis

Valerio Lucarini, Research Associate at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Camerino, and Project Director of HYDROCARE

Hendrik Tennekes, retired Director of Research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute

Heather Annastasia said...

I think there are enough legitimate scientists here to constitute a scientific debate.

It would be really great if we could get all these people in the same room to debate this issue at the same time.

Just watch the video, at least.

BlackSun said...

27 scientists you listed out of 2,500. That's barely 1%. Get rid of the contrarians and publicity-seekers. How many actually have any real evidence to back them up? And how many are simply playing politics.

In any case, this is not a vote. It's reality. Scientists don't get to vote, any more than we can vote on whether 2+2=5.

Scientists are human, and we can expect some dissent. But the consensus is far more powerful--overwhelming in fact. It doesn't matter what the video says. I'll stand right here and stake my reputation on the fact that the video is bullshit. Sight unseen. I place it in the same category as conspiracy documentaries. It's also been debunked all over the internet.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/03/swindled/
http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474976936501
http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/climate_change/article2347526.ece
http://reasic.wordpress.com/2007/03/10/the-great-global-warming-swindle-questions-answered/
http://inthegreen.typepad.com/blog/2007/03/deconstructing_.html
http://www.celsias.com/blog/2007/03/11/the-great-global-warming-swindle/
http://fermiparadox.wordpress.com/2007/03/10/swindlers/

Basically, Heather, neither you nor I can consider ourselves experts. For both of us, it would be the height of arrogance to second-guess the verdict of the scientific community, which has been rendered--in spades.

Damion said...

This reminds me of the ozone debate in the late 80's and 90's. Going back a little further in the 60's and 70's we had the onset of the new ice age; same group of scientists and same core of players. Well, the great ice age of 1980 never happened and the ozone layer has proven to be cyclical in nature. The tactics of the far left, especially the eco-freaks, are no different than the tactics the religious right uses. It's all based on fear and slandering anyone who disagrees with them.

I believe it was Prince Philip of the World Wildlife Fund who once said that when he died, he wished he could be reincarnated as a deadly virus so that he could help reduce the world's population.

I tend to think that those who scream that the apocalypse is coming are the ones we need to pay the least attention to. Christ said that he would return before that generation came to pass, they're now called Christians and it's been over 2000 years…….

The threat of the apocalypse is a tactic used to inspire fear for the purpose of manipulating the masses.

Heather Annastasia said...

Damion,

Yeah, the video talks about the ice age scare also, it ties into this. I'm too young to remember any of that.

BlackSun,

About the 2,500 scientists: the video claims, and I'm trying to figure out how to verify, that a huge percentage of the signers on the U.N. report are not scientists at all, but politicians, beaurocrats, and others (plus the names they included of scientists who actually disagree).

Even when there is something resembling consensus, scientific theories can, and often are, incorrect. You ask what kind of evidence they have to back up their claims, but you won't watch the gosh darn movie. Are you Chicken? Little? (Come on, that was clever, right there!)

More later, gotta' run.

I really appreciate the debate!

Heather Annastasia said...

Found this in my travels and thought it was interesting since we talking about voting on science:

Dr. S. Fred Singer, (http://www.geoffmetcalf.com/qa/19633.html):

"You hear about 2,500 scientists who worked on this report for the United Nations. First of all, the number is less than 2,000 and secondly, of these, perhaps 100 are qualified to say something about the climate — and they have never been polled."

"We don't know whether they agree with the main conclusion or not. I would say a handful does agree with the main conclusions of the U.N. report, but, many of them do not."

"Some 17,000 (scientists) have actually signed a petition against the Kyoto protocol, but one shouldn't go by numbers. Science doesn't work that way. You can't take votes and say that this science is correct."

But it is significant to realize that there is not unanimity within

Damion said...

Blacksun, where did you go? I was looking for a good debate on this subject. This is something I have spent a fair amount of time studying. I personally believe that most of the environmentalist groups are quasi-religions with their own pantheon of gods and belief systems. Author Stephen Schneider is best known as a publicist for the green house doomsday scenario and a big fan of "Gaia: A Goddess of the Earth." This is a fifteen page glossy in the Encyclopedia Britannica's 1988 Yearbook of Science and the Future. "As a religion, Gaia can be deep, beautiful, and fascinating," Schneider wrote in the year book. Gaia has even been the subject of several television specials; PBS's NOVA series, "Goddess of the Earth." Press/Doubleday has a glitzy 272-page atlas titled, "Gaia: An Atlas of Planetary Management," which has become a bible for ecologists and is being used in schools and universities. This is religion dressed up to look like science. The Christians are doing this too, they just call it intelligent design. I have an M.A. in Anthropology, and the history of our planet, to a large degree, gives us insight into our future. We are beginning to understand that a lot of the natural phenomena that occurs is cyclical in nature, and it is through honest debate that we will illuminate those things hidden in the dark.

Engineer-Poet said...
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Engineer-Poet said...

Heather, I fear you've been taken in by a pack of brazen liars.

You should start by questioning the credibility of the producers of TGGWS.  Carl Wunsch of MIT is one of the scientists interviewed for it.  After seeing the result, he said it was "grossly distorted" and "as close to pure propaganda as anything since World War Two."  In his partial letter reproduced at RealClimate, he says:

"... my intent was to explain that warming the ocean could be dangerous---because it is such a gigantic reservoir of carbon. By its placement in the film, it appears that I am saying that since carbon dioxide exists in the ocean in such large quantities, human influence must not be very important --- diametrically opposite to the point I was making --- which is that global warming is both real and threatening in many different ways, some unexpected."

"There is nothing in the communication we had (much of it on the telephone or with the film crew on the day they were in Boston) that suggested they were making a film that was one-sided, anti-educational, and misleading. I took them at face value---clearly a great error. I knew I had no control over the actual content, but it never occurred to me that I was dealing with people who already had a reputation for distortion and exaggeration."

Go read the rest (and the text of the letter he sent the producers, which includes the memorable statement "This use of my remarks, which are literally what I said, comes close to fraud.").

And to address your assertions in the original post:

"Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant, but a naturally occurring atmospheric substance."

A canard.  Phosphate and nitrate are naturally occuring nutrients in water, but too much of them leads to destructive algal blooms and anoxic dead zones.  Too much vitamin A is poisonous, and too much CO2 is a pollutant, QED.

"CO2 makes up .054% of the atmosphere."

And it should make up closer to 0.44%, while we should also have considerably less CH4 and NO2 and almost no CF4 and SF6.  Perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride are such powerful and long-lived greenhouse gases, they have been considered for the task of warming Mars back to suitability for water-based life.

"Volcanoes produce far more CO2 than humans."

This is a flat-out lie.  "Man-made (anthropogenic) CO2 emissions overwhelm this [volcanic] estimate by at least 150 times."

"Animals produce more CO2 than volcanoes."

Animals are eating plants, which pulled the same CO2 out of the atmosphere quite recently.  There's a balance between the two.

"Decaying vegetation produces more CO2 than animals (remember Gore's explanation for why the red line is so squiggly?; He left out half the explanation.)"

Again, that CO2 from decaying vegetation was CO2 uptake from growing vegetation relatively recently, mostly in the last growing season.

"The OCEANS produce more CO2 than vegetation, animals, volcanoes, and the puny, insignificant amount of CO2 humans produce."

I'll let Wunsch rebut that (emphasis in bold added):

"An example where my own discussion was grossly distorted by context:  I am shown explaining that a warming ocean could expel more carbon dioxide than it absorbs -- thus exacerbating the greenhouse gas buildup in the atmosphere and hence worrisome.  It was used in the film, through its context, to imply that CO2 is all natural, coming from the ocean, and that therefore the human element is irrelevant."

In short, you've been conned.  You've been used.  Feel any different about the denialists now?

Anonymous said...

your Hummer may not be 100% percent of CO2 emissions, but it's not exactly helping the planet.

Anonymous said...

blacksun,

We should be extremely wary of any scientific consensus. Remember at one time there was an inviolable consensus that the earth was the center of the universe, that heavenly bodies were all perfectly spherical, the earth was 5,000 years old, etc. ad nauseum up to the recent consensus that an ice age was going to destroy civilization, oat bran fixed high cholesterol, margarine (trans-fats) was better than butter, and the endorsement of the "food pyramid" (which was one of the most complete failures EVER).

Also, be extremely wary of anyone wielding the phrase "...in recorded history." This sounds very official, harrowing, and respectable but when applied to meteorology this is simply a very official, harrowing, and respectable sounding way of saying "...in the last 150 years."

And further, this is nothing other than a HOTLY contested issue from all levels, not just the fringes. Very prominent scientists have taken positions in both camps and politics has wormed its way through every facet of the argument. If there were indisputable evidence one way or the other there would be no debate. The FACT that there is such heavy debate should evidence that this is a forum of opinion, not scientific fact (which doesn't exist, btw)...

And one more thing, doctors don't read medical journals, patients do. Engineers and meteorologists don't read popular science/mechanics and "scientific journals", laypersons do. These magazines are published for plebes, not scholars. Scholarly journals that are worth reading tend to be unreadable unless you have the requisite education and experience to understand them. I'm trying not to take a position one way or the other, I'm just saying that you can't have the right answer if you are listening to just one source, and multiple sources that say the same thing are essentially one source.

Heather Annastasia said...

Yet another great comment by anonymous.

Oh, mysterious sage from the invisible ether of the internet, won't you humor us with a handle?

Seriously, though, good comment. Thanks.

Heather Annastasia said...

Okay, this blog is not working. I didn't delete any comments. I didn't even see those comments.

Engineer-poet, I didn't see your comment because it didn't go to my inbox.

That's it, I'm moving this blog over to my domain.

Engineer-Poet said...

Heather, do you only consider claims that you already agree with?

"Anonymous" likes to make quick dismissals of facts and people, but he is flat wrong about a number of things.  Among others, the JAMA is read by at least some people with personnel responsibilities plus med students.  (I found this with a search for "who reads JAMA".)

He issues a rapid-fire hail of falsehoods and half-truths.  Example:

"We should be extremely wary of any scientific consensus. Remember at one time there was an inviolable consensus that the earth was the center of the universe, that heavenly bodies were all perfectly spherical, the earth was 5,000 years old...."

Let's consider this in pieces.

"We should be extremely wary of any scientific consensus."

And then goes on to list a bunch of pre-scientific claims drawn from the same kind of religious dogma which he'd presumably have us follow instead:

"... the earth was the center of the universe"

Not tenable since Ptolemaic epicycles were shown to be inaccurate and Jupiter was shown to have its own moons.  (By the scientific method of observation and discarding theories inconsistent with those observations.)

"that heavenly bodies were all perfectly spherical"

Completely untenable since telescopes got good enough to see the oblateness of Jupiter.  Again, observation.  (The oblateness is predicted by good old Newtonian physics, based on Jupiter's size and rapid rotation.)

"the earth was 5,000 years old...."

What's a claim drawn straight from religious dogma doing in a list of supposed errors of scientific consensus?

The irony is that "Anonymous" certainly agrees with the scientific consensus on these matters, and only has the understanding he does because of science and the scientific method.

Moving on to the 20th-century items:

"up to the recent consensus that an ice age was going to destroy civilization, oat bran fixed high cholesterol, margarine (trans-fats) was better than butter, and the endorsement of the "food pyramid" (which was one of the most complete failures EVER)."

The "imminent ice age" was speculation based on observation that we were overdue for glaciation based on orbital cycles, not by any evidence that it was actually beginning (it has since been shown, based on ice-core data obtained much more recently, that humans are probably responsible for this, too).

Oat bran does actually reduce cholesterol, even after the flawed studies are factored out.  Last, the hydrogenated-fats issue and the food pyramid were not based on scientific research.  They were based on what some people thought would work well (they had the best of intentions!), but they never did the investigation before issuing recommendations.  As it turns out, they were wrong.

What does this have to do with climate science?

1.  This is not a case of insufficient research.  The research is definitely being done.  The counterclaims are not based on research, but financial interests which would suffer if we act on the conclusions of the research.

2.  We have every reason to believe that the nay-sayers are wrong.  Just as Newtonian physics says "Jupiter will be oblate", even Svante Arrhenius in the 19th century was able to calculate the likely effect of doubling atmospheric CO2.

3.  As I documented above with the outrageous slanting of the words of Wunsch to imply the exact opposite of what he said, the nay-sayers are shamelessly lying to you.  It seems likely that a lot of the GW-denial stuff you've been reading is slanted the same way, probably by the same people.

Do you have no response to this?

Heather Annastasia said...

engineer-poet,

Thanks for your comments. I'm trying to move this show over to my domain via wordpress, so bear with me here.

Okay, let me put it this way; if I take my car to a mechanic, and he tells me I must do A, B and C to my car before it's safe to drive, I'm inclined to believe him because I'm a writer, not a mechanic.

Now, just for a second opinion I go to someone else, and she says no, no, no! Are you crazy? you have to do X, Y and Z!

Both mechanics have graphs and charts and math to back up what they're saying, and both seem completely sincere.

My point is that the graphs and charts seem to be cancelling each other out here. Why can't we get all these experts into the same room at the same time?

Here's one thing I'd like you man-made global warming folks to answer: The ice core data shows that periods of higher CO2 levels occur hundreds of years after the periods of higher temperature.

So isn't it possible that the temperature drives the CO2 levels and not the other way around?

If not, why doesn't the increased CO2 come before the increased temperature?

Also, what ever happened to the hole in the ozone layer?

Let's just say manmade CO2 is causing global warming. Why don't we just reforest the deserts? Probably because environmentalists, like christians and most religious fanatics, see humanity as evil, so their goal is not to find a way for humanity to prosper, but to find a way to restrict the human population in order to protect the earth.

Any ideology which is rooted in the idea that humanity is inherently evil and destructive cannot possibly bring about goodness and prosperity for humanity in the long run.

Engineer-Poet said...

You have good questions, Heather, and you ought to ask them of people on both sides of the issue.  The "skeptics" should be able to answer by citing credible scientific sources and without referring to political motives.

Your car-repair scenario is pretty easily answered:  there are diagnostic and repair manuals for your car, and any advice which is wildly out of sync with them is probably wrong (BOTH mechanics could be wrong, but only one could be right!)  But I want to take a twist on it to make a better example.

Suppose it's not your car, but you (or your child).  You go to Practitioner A, who offers a diagnosis of a virus which is going around, and says that there are no drugs for this virus and you should come back in 3-4 days if it isn't obviously getting better.  Not satisfied, you go to Practitioner B who offers spinal adjustments to cure the faulty energy flows.  Skeptical of this, you go to Practitioner C who says the cure is progressively more diluted (and progressively more powerful) dosages of a substance which causes similar symptoms, because "like cures like".

Of the M.D., the chiropractor and the homeopath, which one should you take seriously?

Answer:  the one with the volumes of evidence about what causes disease, how infectious ones are spread, their characteristics, cures and consequences, and studies of how diseases progress with various treatments.  They may not be right 100% of the time, but at least they're using a method which can find the right answer.  The others are using the same approach which led to the claims that the earth is flat and diseases are caused by curses cast by witches.

"My point is that the graphs and charts seem to be cancelling each other out here. Why can't we get all these experts into the same room at the same time?"

What we have is a bunch of scientists who claim there is evidence of anthropogenic global warming (AGW-proponents henceforth), and a bunch of people (mostly not climate scientists, and a great many PR flacks) who say there isn't (AGW-denialists).  The AGW-denialists won't publish in the science journals where the research is shown to the world.  If they could, they could just show how the methods of the AGW-proponents are faulty (they got heat transfer or radiation physics or cloud characteristics all wrong) and they'd be done with it.

Why don't they?  Probably because the AGW-denialists cannot say anything about the science which will be taken seriously by climate scientists.  Perhaps any attempt to do so would be so obviously flawed or faked that it would lead to their own position with politicians and the public collapsing.  Regardless, if the AGW-denialists are doing research they aren't publishing it.  They just issue claims to the public, with a huge PR machine behind it.  They get away with it because the public mostly doesn't read the science journals, and reporters are largely unable to understand and interpret them either.  Those few scientists who try going to the public get typecast as "eggheads" and worse, with a few exceptions.  Scientists don't get paid to do PR and mostly stay in the lab, where finding the truth is a virtue and not a sin against the Fortune 500.

This is not the first time that powerful interests tried to issue faked "science" to protect their markets.  It was going on until quite recently with tobacco.  The tobacco companies conducted all their research through an "independent" organization called the Tobacco Institute.  The Tobacco Institute's people knew that nicotine was addictive, but worked very hard to suppress this information by issuing bogus reports and studies.  And because the Tobacco Institute did not sell tobacco, it was not a party to any of the suits filed by people injured by smoking and its records and scientists could not be subpoenaed for evidence.

What's the connection to AGW-denial?  Not only the methods, but even some of the people:  Steven Milloy of junkscience.com got his start working for APCO, in the tobacco-harm denial industry.  For more information, see this Guardian article.

That's why you'll never get all the "experts" agreeing with each other.  The paychecks of a lot of the AGW-denialists depend on not agreeing, ever.

"The ice core data shows that periods of higher CO2 levels occur hundreds of years after the periods of higher temperature.

So isn't it possible that the temperature drives the CO2 levels and not the other way around?

If not, why doesn't the increased CO2 come before the increased temperature?
"

It's not a one-way interaction.  CO2 influences temperature, temperature alters processes which move CO2 around.  I can think of at least two ways that a short-term temperature anomaly could drive a change in CO2 which then reinforces the temperature change and pushes the CO2 change further, and I'm not even a climate scientist.  The RealClimate blog addresses this very issue here.

Think of it like lightning and forest fires.  Lightning can start fires, which grow by themselves; fires can even draw lightning.  Of course, there are other ways to start forest fires, and there's more than one way to start a trend in the atmosphere's CO2 content.  Pulling enough carbon out of the ground to put 8 billion tons a year into the air seems to do it.  FWIW, if you look at the historical record of CO2 concentrations (here) you'll note that it hasn't gone much above 300 parts per million in the better part of a million years.  It's now 380 ppm and rising fast; nobody can deny that something is different this time.

"Also, what ever happened to the hole in the ozone layer?"

The ozone hole is still very much with us.  It's just not getting much worse, so far as we can tell.  That's probably why it hasn't gotten into any of the news you see.

Global warming actually affects the ozone hole.  One of the curious interactions is that increasing greenhouse gases block IR radiation which normally helps warm the stratosphere (the IR radiation which gets through from below tends to be in bands which are less well absorbed, so it goes straight through instead of being captured and increasing the stratospheric temperature).  Cold temperatures lead to the polar clouds of ice crystals which help destroy ozone when they are finally exposed to light in the spring.  Layman's account here, IPCC page on the subject here.

"Let's just say manmade CO2 is causing global warming. Why don't we just reforest the deserts? Probably because environmentalists, like christians and most religious fanatics, see humanity as evil, so their goal is not to find a way for humanity to prosper, but to find a way to restrict the human population in order to protect the earth."

Did you ever consider that it might be because the deserts don't have enough rain to grow trees (that's why they're deserts!) and people are cutting down forests in places like Indonesia and the Amazon like there's no tomorrow?

Or are you so convinced that environmentalists are demons who want you dead that you can't consider the evidence?

You really are on the cusp here.  On the one hand, you're living in the land of fruits, nuts, flakes and the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement.  On the other hand, you're also living in a state which is already feeling the effects of higher temperatures on its fresh water supply.  The warmer the mountains get in winter, the less water will fall in any form and the sooner it will run off.  This will lead to water shortages.  Do you want your children to live in a world where this problem is better, or much much worse?

"Any ideology which is rooted in the idea that humanity is inherently evil and destructive cannot possibly bring about goodness and prosperity for humanity in the long run."

Any ideology which is rooted in the idea that humanity's actions can never be self-destructive is, to put it mildly, deluded.  The wars of the 20th century and the ecological disasters around the world (but particularly those of the Communist bloc) should have put that idea to rest permanently.

Engineer-Poet said...

Oh, BTW, those deleted comments were deleted by me.  I was reposting because I got errors, and then found that there were 4 copies of a very long comment in this thread.  I decided to be nice and delete 3 of them.

Heather Annastasia said...

First of all, of course the deserts won't green themselves, they're deserts! It would take the evils of technology. I think China's working on it now, so the environmentalists should be hollering about it soon. All these damn brown people clawing their way out of the dark ages really pisses off the environmentalists. They've done of good job of oppressing Africa; they picked up where christianity left off. Gore even tried to stop them from manufacturing AIDS drugs, but that was too transparent; got to keep up the holier-than-thou front.

What's interesting is that you and I agree on so many things. Of course we should take care of the earth; our survival depends on it.

We have to stop burning fossil fuels, they're dirty. But what's your answer? Corn? The problem with corn is that you have to burn a lot of fossil fuels before you can turn a seed of corn into a drop of gas. Growing, harvesting, processing; all this takes energy and from what source?

Why are we still using our disgusting train system when magnetic levitation technology has been around for decades?

In An Inconvenient Truth, Gore gives us hope by telling us what I've been hearing since grade school: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. WTF?? He just said the world was going to end in the next fifty years, and now he's telling me it will be okay if I recycle my cans? Dude just rode an elevator to the top of the CO2 chart, polar bears are paddling around lost with no way out of the water, and I can stop all this by making fewer trips to the grocery store in my car?

Talk about fear-mongering propaganda.

I won't take it from Bush, and I won't take it from Gore. If they have something to say to me, it damn well better make sense . That's all I'm asking.

What's your opinion on nuclear energy?

See, I think there is a large sect of the green movement that wants to move humanity backward, not forward. They want to squash technology and reduce the population. They look back to our hunting and gathering days and see a better time in the same way that Christians and other religious folks are always looking backwards for the ideal way to live. I take this personally. I don't want to run naked in the woods (except occasionally, for recreational purposes). My children and I are alive today as a direct result of modern technology.

Granted, I don't think all environmentalists share the backwards-thinking religious fervor that drives the movement, but there is definitely a disconnect in one's logic when they say things like, "Americans are addicted to oil." If cars and airplanes ran on pudding, we'd put pudding in them. We're not addicted to oil, were dependent on transportation. If you put it off on the American people, you're saying that we're destroying the earth by living our lives; therefore, we should stop living our lives if we care about the earth.

This is not logical.

The logical solution, if the environmentalists were interested in furthering humanity, is for scientists and corporations to find another way to make cars and airplanes run.

But the environmentalists are not interested in furthering humanity; they are religious fanatics bent on taking humanity back to a more ideal way of life, and the global political powers are more than happy to take advantage of, and pour lots of funding into, the fear-mongering, because population control and keeping technology away from developing countries benefits them.

Heather Annastasia said...

Oh. how did you delete comments? I can't even delete comments.

I purposely set the blog so I can't delete comments. Someone posted their phone number once, which wasn't smart, but there wasn't anything I could do about it.

Jason said...

I was gonna let this one be, keep my fingers out of the blades, but I have to say Heather just summed it up. Same conclusion, different path. We won't have pudding powered cars until the oil men aren't making the rules and holding the capital. New technologies are often thwarted by business contracts. Tesla was working on a way to transmit free energy wireless-style. J.P. Morgan was financing Tesla and shut him down because he "couldn't figure out where to put the meter." I'd like to see quaint little green powered villages connected by water powered bullet trains, but that's my private utopia. Until we get mankind off greed we're doomed.

Why do we work so hard when the birds eat for free?

Engineer-Poet said...

Regarding comment deletion:

If you are in the comments page, you'll see a little trash-can icon next to the time-stamp on your own posts.  That lets you delete them.

In the main-post page there's a link which you can find by hovering the pointer just to the right of the date.  It does the same thing.

I'm slightly busy but I'll try to get back to your other questions this evening.

Jason:  Neither Morgan nor anybody else could build generators and give the power away.  On the physics end, wireless power transmission is very lossy; unless you have an extremely cheap power source with zero environmental impact (and the radio itself may have impacts), it is positively irresponsible to use wireless broadcast power.

Jason said...

engineer-poet:

With my (very)limited knowledge of the topic, I agree. That said, Tesla was intelligent beyond our scope. Who knows what we don't know? Morgan didn't pull his funding because Morgan was ecologically responsible he squashed the project because he was afraid of losing money if he couldn't keep Tesla quiet in the event of success. Nobody can say what the results would have been.

Engineer-Poet said...

Jason:  All Tesla did was apply Maxwell's equations.  Maxwell's equations are conservative; there is nothing in them which offers "free energy" or anything else really remarkable.  Tesla's work is no mystery; it is studied every day by undergraduate electrical engineering students.  One of Tesla's power transmission experiments drew so much power, it caused a generation plant to fail.  This isn't the sort of thing which can supply free power to the world.

Heather:  I appreciate your questions, but your tone is very combative.

"First of all, of course the deserts won't green themselves, they're deserts! It would take the evils of technology."

How can technology make more water?  Pumping fossil aquifers?  (The Ogalala will be dry soon.)  Desalination of ocean water?  With what energy?  At what price?

If you have no answers to these, you've answered your own "why don't we" question... and it has nothing to do with the attitudes of the "environmentalist fanatics" you hate so much.  Is it honest to demand that other people do what you have no idea how to do?

"I think China's working on it now, so the environmentalists should be hollering about it soon."

Quite the opposite.  China's "no net loss of farmland" policy is causing massive soil loss and desertification of marginal regions.

"What's interesting is that you and I agree on so many things."

Quite right.  Which is why I'm going to the effort to get you some better information than you appear to have so far.  You can't make good decisions without accurate data.

"We have to stop burning fossil fuels, they're dirty. But what's your answer? Corn?"

Not by a long shot.  I have a huge bone to pick with the corn-ethanol lobby (considerably less-friendly and less-organized but more comprehensive piece here.

The "answer" depends on the particulars.  Transportation should run mostly on electricity, with liquid fuels reserved for long trips only.  Electricity in turn should come from a pile of different things; wind is the fastest-rising source, but solar PV will probably be the big story by the time I retire.  Nuclear is coming on but has a really long interval from application to throwing the switch (~10 years); I expect wind to grow faster.  We'll need something to buffer the lulls in the other stuff, and charcoal used in direct-carbon fuel cells (80% efficient!) look like a perfect fit:  clean, highly efficient, potentially carbon-negative, and the fuel is easily made, transported and stockpiled.  My magnum opus on the subject is here (warning, over 8000 words).

Space heating?  If we insulated our construction as well as we know how, we'd need next to no heating and probably a lot less cooling.

"Why are we still using our disgusting train system when magnetic levitation technology has been around for decades?"

Even the Germans are letting the Chinese go first.  But you'll probably find more opposition to maglevs among the conservative base than environmentalists.

"In An Inconvenient Truth, Gore gives us hope by telling us what I've been hearing since grade school: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. WTF?? He just said the world was going to end in the next fifty years, and now he's telling me it will be okay if I recycle my cans? Dude just rode an elevator to the top of the CO2 chart, polar bears are paddling around lost with no way out of the water, and I can stop all this by making fewer trips to the grocery store in my car?"

There IS a difference between what you can do with your situation today, and what ought to be done in the end.  What you said sounds like sensible measures for lessening the damage immediately.  Of course, it's not a replacement for far more comprehensive changes in policy, products and technology.  But we shouldn't sit on our hands until the new products and technologies go on sale.

"What's your opinion on nuclear energy?"

I think we ought to put nukes deep under our cities so they can provide cheap space heat.  This also turns meltdowns into non-events.

"I won't take it from Bush, and I won't take it from Gore. If they have something to say to me, it damn well better make sense. That's all I'm asking."

Some of what you're saying doesn't make sense either.  I'm trying to work with you on that, because you're a friend of Sean's and I have great respect for Sean.

"I think there is a large sect of the green movement that wants to move humanity backward, not forward."

You mean the doomers?  I gave some of them a piece of my mind a couple years ago.  It's kind of fun to have one of them pop up claiming that technological society will stop when fossil fuels run out, and point them to the numbers about wind power which show that it's sufficient to supply 5 times as much power as humanity uses from all sources combined.  Tends to reduce them to shocked silence.

Of course, the only reason most of them hold such attitudes in the first place is they were fed false information by people with an agenda.  I think you're a victim of the same tactic (different people, different agenda)... but don't take my unsupported word for it, follow my links and do some searches on your own.

"there is definitely a disconnect in one's logic when they say things like, "Americans are addicted to oil.""

You mean GWB?  Of course, his policies since he was sworn in have exacerbated that addiction.

"We're not addicted to oil, were dependent on transportation."

So let's make transportation that doesn't depend on oil.  I intend to get a VentureOne ASAP, and get most of my transport energy from the wall socket.

"The logical solution, if the environmentalists were interested in furthering humanity, is for scientists and corporations to find another way to make cars and airplanes run."

The American public doesn't help when it insists on keeping its same old crop of gas-guzzling vehicles.  The losses of the internal combustion engine make the problem between 5 and 10 times as hard as it needs to be (basic thermodynamics), and scientists and corporations can't wave a wand and make the problem go away.

"But the environmentalists..."

I think you need to listen to more than just the doomer quotations you're getting from your usual sources.

Come to think of it, since it should be obvious to you that your usual sources are peddling a pack of lies (see notes about Wunsch above), you probably need to discard those sources and start fresh.

Heather Annastasia said...

I'm reading your comment, and I feel the need to stop and point out that my tone is in response to your tone:

"Did you ever consider that it might be because the deserts don't have enough rain to grow trees (that's why they're deserts!)"

Ah, how soon we forget...

Okay, back to your comment.

Heather Annastasia said...

I still haven't gotten very far in your comment.

I know exactly how reforestation of deserts works, and no one is even close to implementing it on a large enough scale any time in the near future.

Your assertion that China is not attempting reforestation only proves how little you know about this subject. The fact that China is experiencing massive amounts of desertification is why they're trying to reforest the deserts.

"In 2002 the Chinese government began an ambitious project to reforest 5% of the nation, an area the size of California. The 440,000 km2 project is the largest ever undertaken in history."


http://www.earth-policy.org/Books/Eco/EEch8_ss7.htm

http://www.atimes.com/china/BF01Ad01.html

I'll get to the rest of your comment later. Sorry about the delay, I'm just really busy. The best debates are drawn-out ones anyway, I think. I appreciate your time.

Gus_J said...

Who are you people talking about? Wasn't Tesla an 80's hair band?

Damion said...

Engineer-poet you talk a good talk I'll give you that , but a good chunk of what you have to say will not hold water. Allow me to demonstrate. We'll first correct your misunderstanding of the ozone hole myth . The theory that man-made CFC's would deplete the ozone layer is only one of the many theories claiming that ozone depletion would lead to a doomsday. The theory originated in march 1971, when James McDonald, an atmospheric physicist from the University of Arizona, testified at congressional hearings on the Super-Sonic Transport (SST) program. McDonald's testimony centered around his theory that water vapor emissions from the SST were going to wipe out the ozone layer, allowing a large amount of ultraviolet radiation to penetrate the surface of the Earth, which would allegedly cause a massive increase in skin cancer incidence. The news media seized upon the skin cancer story and made it the issue of the day. Funding for the SST was killed, and the ozone depletion theory was born. ( McDonald, it should be noted, had previously testified in Congress as an ardent proponent of the theory that UFOs regularly visited the Earth, causing major electrical blackouts in the process of recharging their alien spacecraft.)
Now to correct a common misconception: the ozone depletion theory does not claim that CFCs deplete the ozone; it claims that a chlorine atom released by the breakdown of CFCs depletes the ozone layer. If this was true that chlorine from CFCs could wipe out the ozone layer, than Mother Nature would appear to be suicidal. Chlorine is one of the most naturally abundant trace chemicals in the atmosphere. The natural sources of chlorine in the atmosphere dwarf the tiny amounts of chlorine that could possibly be released by all the CFCs on Earth! More than 600 million tons of chlorine are released into the atmosphere every year by the evaporation of seawater. Passively degassing volcanoes pump more than 36 million tons of chorine gases into the atmosphere in a ordinary year, volcanic eruptions pump from a few million to hundreds of millions of tons of chlorine into the atmosphere. Forest fires account for 8.4 million tons of chlorine directly deposited into the atmosphere. These comparisons are even more startling when the amounts of chorine allegedly released from CFCs are compared to natural sources of chlorine. According to the theory; approximately only 1 percent of the CFCs produced on Earth is broken up in the stratosphere every year. The reason is that CFCs, because they are chemically inert, have lifetimes of more than 100 years in the atmosphere .
Therefore, a year's production of CFCs would contribute at most 7,500 tons of chorine to the atmosphere. In plain English, the amount of chlorine contributed to the stratosphere by
CFCs is barely one-tenth of 1 percent the amount of naturally occurring chlorine. This, of course, rests on the assumption that CFCs are being broken up in the stratosphere, an assumption for which there is no observational evidence. I have to go, I will call this installment 1 in a 5 part series of freeing the engineer from the poet…

Engineer-Poet said...

I'm only going to address a couple of your claims, Damion, because you support them with nothing but your own word (not even one link) and you're quite literally wrong on all of them.

"We'll first correct your misunderstanding of the ozone hole myth ."

First, remove the beam that is in your own eye.

"McDonald's testimony centered around his theory that water vapor emissions from the SST were going to wipe out the ozone layer"

Actually, the serious objection was nitrogen oxide emissions, and the modeler was Harold Johnston.  Nitrogen oxides remove ozone via the chemical cycle NO + O3 -> NO2 + O2, NO2 + O -> NO + O2 (source).

"If this was true that chlorine from CFCs could wipe out the ozone layer, than Mother Nature would appear to be suicidal."

The problem with CFC's is that they are inert, so they neither break down in the troposphere nor wash out.  This allows them to accumulate in the stratosphere until extreme UV breaks them down.  The breakdown releases elemental chlorine far above any source of water to wash it out or other substances to neutralize it.

Mother Nature's chlorine is tied up as chloride ion (Cl-).  There are no natural sources of elemental chlorine.  Sea salt doesn't get into the stratosphere, and what chlorine is in the odd volcanic eruption is in the form of hydrochloric acid (HCl), not Cl2.  Hydrochloric acid attracts water strongly and washes out quickly.  Chlorine gas does not.

You're comparing incommensurables, like summing up the water in the oceans and using that to say that drought is impossible.  Unfortunately for you, reality cares nothing for facile dismissals.

Clever Damion
Defined away the lion
But still got eaten

Anonymous said...

I think engineer poet is actually a litigator.

Engineer-Poet said...

Given the amount of time I spend arguing the exact definitions of terms in specification documents, sometimes I feel like one.

Of course, the exact definitions are quite relevant (often crucial) in scientific disputes — like this one.

Heather Annastasia said...

EngineerPoet,

Okay, back to yesterday's comment. First, you say that I hate environmentalists. I don't hate environmentalists any more than I hate Christians. I don't hate anyone except the Pigs and the Dogs. I think humanity is overwhelmingly more good than bad; more noble than selfish. I think that we're all fumbling around this earth the best way we know how, and when people cling to an ideology, it's because they find hope and truth within that ideology and they wish to further that ideology because they wish to further hope and truth.

But I believe ideologies are counterproductive because they tend to eclipse reason, logic, and facts. People who cling to ideologies have answers even when they can't. The Christians can't know there is a god any more than the atheists can know there isn't. And to put faith in science is to completely defeat the idea of what science is . There are very few Laws in science; very little is proven and accepted as scientific fact. For crying out loud, to think that we have evolved enough as a species to know much of anything is damned arrogant, I think.

I watched Gore's movie, even though he's done and said some creepy things. When he presented material I hadn't encountered before, I considered it. His conclusions made no logical sense, which threw me, but I considered his argument. But since I have no ideology to which to cling, if I encounter an argument which makes more logical sense, I'm siding with the one that makes sense.

Now you've said that I have been misinformed, and you have been arrogantly self-assured of your every point. You say we can't reforest the deserts, but we can. How do you think a city like Jeddah continues to grow? You say China isn't reforesting their desert, but they are. As for the particulars of global warming, we agree it's happening, we just disagree on why, and there are charts and graphs and numbers and math and websites and blogs and documentaries and logical arguments on either side, and neither one of us has a PhD in Climatology. For instance, I could point out that global temperatures are cooler than they were in the 1500's, and temperatures in the 1500's were cooler than in Medieval times. So why is it so alarming for temperatures to rise? When in the earth's history has the temperature, or the atmospheric concentration of any gas or substance remained constant? Why should the temperatures be what they were twenty years ago and not what they were 500 years ago, or 2000 years ago?

Now, when we come around full circle to what we want, we're back in the same place; freedom from oil; wind, solar, nuclear energy; peace; prosperity; long life, etc.

You mentioned getting a VentureOne, which brings me to another pet peeve: things I can't afford. Other things on that list: a hybrid car, a new car, a full tank of gas.

My struggle to keep my head above water financially is largely dependent on my car. This is where Bush, Gore, and the politics of fear mongering intersect.

GW: Americans are addicted to oil!

Gore: And the world is going to end because of it!

Sheep: But I have to go to work! I have to go to the grocery store! What will we do? Oh my God, he's riding a fucking elevator to the top of the CO2 chart! We're all going to die! What will we do? Save us, leaders*, save us!

*leaders = Pigs

Jason said...

Exactly Heather, Amen

Engineer-Poet,

Maybe I got off on the wrong foot... drawing a similarity in current events from Tesla v. Morgan. All I meant is sometimes things don't get solved and new technologies aren't implemented because of business interests and contracts. I thoroughly believe most of society's ills can be cured. Money will be lost. Dubya and company have alot invested in oil. Why would you destroy your own business? Would your superiors take the loss of capital lightly or would they take you out as a message to future threats? This problem isn't a partisan one either, Gore and co. stand to make their buddies a pile of loot. Unfortunately, we the taxpayers (sheep) get to pay the lions share for R&D, just to pay for the end product. Similarly, we pay for oil exploration and future petroleum technologies so corporations can collect profits from us. Then when an industry is in trouble they ask for corporate welfare. How many times have we bailed the airline industry just to receive sub-par service flying in an aging fleet of questionably serviced aircraft? We need to stop hemorrhaging money blindly. To do this we NEED to fix our government. Dem's. Repub's, and independents are equally guilty of becoming corrupt, therefore the problem is not with the employees, the problem is with the business model. Our government should be run by the people for the people instead of being run by business for business. This is not a utopian idealist philosophy, this is what the framers of our government had in mind and what we NEED to restore or we are doomed as a people. We are quietly accepting a gradual return of a monarchy and everything is tied together.

Engineer-Poet said...

Heather:  Let's go back over just one topic here to see how tendentious you've been.

You:  Why don't we just reforest the deserts? Probably because environmentalists, like christians and most religious fanatics, see humanity as evil, so their goal is not to find a way for humanity to prosper, but to find a way to restrict the human population in order to protect the earth.

------------------------------

Me:  Did you ever consider that it might be because the deserts don't have enough rain to grow trees (that's why they're deserts!) and people are cutting down forests in places like Indonesia and the Amazon like there's no tomorrow?

Or are you so convinced that environmentalists are demons who want you dead that you can't consider the evidence?

------------------------------

You:  First of all, of course the deserts won't green themselves, they're deserts! It would take the evils of technology.

------------------------------

Me:  How can technology make more water?  Pumping fossil aquifers?  (The Ogalala will be dry soon.)  Desalination of ocean water?  With what energy?  At what price?

If you have no answers to these, you've answered your own "why don't we" question... and it has nothing to do with the attitudes of the "environmentalist fanatics" you hate so much.  Is it honest to demand that other people do what you have no idea how to do?

------------------------------

You:  I know exactly how reforestation of deserts works...

------------------------------

But you didn't answer any of my questions, nor the implied questions:  what technologies are you talking about, and what environmentalists are against reforestation?  You do realize that the environmental movement invented Arbor Day, don't you?

One of the worst traits of the religious is that they're locked into articles of faith that they absolutely refuse to reëxamine even when presented with contrary evidence.  I see you doing the same thing right here.  I've been trying to hook you up with more accurate and comprehensive information than it looks like you've had... and you show no sign of having looked at it.  Just like the faithful, who are so certain that atheists (like Sean, and you, and me too) are nasty people and threats to their salvation, and mark off every new area of thought with warning signs to protect their indoctrination:  "DANGER — KEEP OUT".

Neither have you tried to hook me up with better information.  You and Damion have both relied on blatant assertion, without even giving me a chance to look at whatever it is which you found so convincing.  Are you calling me a lost cause, closed to rational argument, unable to evaluate information and reach conclusions of my own?  That's exactly how you've been behaving.

Unless you're either going to (a) Consider and debate what I am saying to you, and my sources (which I've given you), rather than this group of misanthropists you don't like, or (b) Give me enough information about your sources so I can evaluate them and discuss them critically with you, I'm just wasting my time here.

Engineer-Poet said...

Jason:  My feelings about GWB are that he should not only be impeached, but tried for treason.

Heather Annastasia said...

I've put lots of links to what I'm saying.

My latest post has a climate chart, and the title of the post is a link to where I got it.

You're right, I haven't explained desert reclamiation.

ugh...

That's a whole post all by itself. I'll try to get to that Saturday; I have a big job interview Friday for which I need to prepare.

And it's not the planting of trees the environmentalists are against, it's the destruction of desert, the desalination of seawater, and the use of nuclear energy.

Heather Annastasia said...

Oops, didn't mean to post that yet.

I'm considering everything you say, I just like to argue.

Plus, you're wrong.

HA!

;)

Gotta go!

Engineer-Poet said...

Other data:  The Medieval Warm Period was not a global phenomenon per the NOAA.

Heather Annastasia said...

I already addressed this in my newer post, but okay.

The Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age are climactic periods which have been corroborated by ice core data, the transport of atmospheric particles, the migration of marine animals, and much more.

The Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age are as close to scientific fact as you can get. Anthropologists, Geologists, Paleontologists, and most scientists who study the earth understand these climate events and how they relate to their field of study.

Questioning the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age is a relatively new phenomenon spawning from the pseudo-science of the eco-left in an attempt to squash any intelligent questioning of the new-age dogma of apocalyptic man-made global warming.

Anonymous said...

You're wrong. Specifically you've been misled.

Most pollutants are also naturally occuring organic substances (NOx, SO2, ozone, for example). So the first "quick fact" is wrong. CO2 is a pollutant -- by the definition of being dangerous to humans if released in large quantities -- as well as being a naturally occuring organic substance.

"CO2 makes up .054% of the atmosphere."
Yes, and the problem is that that percentage is increasing.

"The OCEANS produce more CO2 than vegetation, animals, volcanoes, and the puny, insignificant amount of CO2 humans produce."

This is pure crap. "The oceans" do not "produce more CO2" by any reasonable measure. The ocean water acts as a CO2 resevoir, releasing CO2 into the atmosphere and absorbing it from the atmosphere at different times. The life in the ocean consists of animals and plants (roughly speaking); the plants fix CO2, the animals produce CO2 from oxygen, the decaying plants and animals release CO2. The net balance, according to all reputable scientists, is that the ocean *removes* CO2 from the atmosphere.

Decaying vegetation releases CO2. Likewise, growing vegetation fixes CO2. Since a certain amount of vegetation doesn't decay in the atmosphere, but sinks down and becomes soil, the net balance usually means that vegetation is a net reducer of atmospheric CO2. Humans burning coal add CO2 to the atmosphere without any counterbalancing removal of CO2. Same with deforestation. There's some argument as to which is a larger global warming contributor (deforestation or fossil fuel burning) but either way it's definitely human-caused.

Reforestation is certainly a great idea, and would sharply reduce global warming. It's a hell of a lot more difficult than just, uh, reducing the burning of fossil fuels.

I'm afraid "The Great Global Warming Swindle" is a pack of lies with a number of half-truths thrown in to sound convincing. Go to RealClimate if you want to hear what real scientists, rather than paid coal and oil company shills, think.

Heather Annastasia said...

You Anonymous people need to pick a name! How hard is it?

Yeah, you're right. It was incorrect of me to sy the oceans "produce" more CO2. Not wrong exactly, but a poor choice of words.

Heather Annastasia said...

What I'm not sure of is whether CO2 is causing global warming.

Anonymous said...

Actually, for the most basic debunking of the movie, go to
http://www.climatedenial.org/