Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Global Climate History

[Edit Note: This is one of those posts that relied heavily on pictures, but since the internet powers that be removed my pictures... whatever.]

It's been hotter; it's been colder.

Without any help from us.


Man and polar bear has managed to survive; the hard way.

Nothing on this planet remains constant, and who are we to say that it should?

Should we find alternatives to oil? Of course!

Should we care for this planet and all life on it? Of course!

But we should approach all our endeavors with a clear head and a steady hand. Be cool and calm in the face of fear mongers and doomsayers; be ever-skeptical of the all-knowing.

22 comments:

BlackSun said...

I'll repeat my comment from the other post:

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.

I'll debate more when you've checked out and addressed the links I already posted for you. And the ones from Engineer-Poet. I don't think you're facing the facts. I don't think you even want to.

You really don't know who you're dealing with with Engineer-Poet. You should check out the Ergosphere.

http://ergosphere.blogspot.com/

It's one of the most heavily documented energy sites on the web. Complete with full engineering analyses and feasibility calculations for many viable types of low-carbon and no-carbon energy implemented on a national scale. E-P's been writing brilliant posts for years over there, and I honestly don't know why he bothers talking to people who aren't even listening.

The biggest irony is that by switching to a low-carbon economy, we will all have much better lives. Much better. And we might just be able to prevent some of the worst disasters that have been modeled. Change is hard, I know. But even the U.S. Supreme Court, big oil, big auto and big coal, as well as some of the nations top money managers are finally accepting the reality. What do they know that you don't?

BlackSun said...

Heather, this is also becoming a north-south issue, with most of the impacts of warming hitting in the countries which can least afford it.

A map from the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/02/us/20070402_CLIMATE_GRAPHIC.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Heather Annastasia said...

Blacksun,

I've checked out your links, many of which were blogs.

You guys haven't addressed any of the links I've given you.

One of your links was "How to talk to skeptics."

There's an answer for everything; whether or not it makes any sense.

I'll pick the topic most relevant to this post: 'The Medieval Warm Period was just as warm as today.' By Coby Beck

His answer to this particular skeptic query is that the warmth was regional, and just because they were growing grapes in England, that doesn't mean that the whole globe was warmer.

Okay, well for starters, the Medieval warm period was not AS warm as it is today; it was quite a bit warmer . And the temperature chart from which this claim is made comes from the glacial ice core record.

Now, it seems to me, that if we have historical evidence of a much warmer period that coincides with ice core data taken on the other side of the planet, we can reasonably say that's an indicator of global temperatures.

And many of your links were not all that useful because you forget that we're on the same page on most things. We share many of the same environmental goals, I'm just opposed to fear mongering for motivational purposes (I don't think you're a fear monger, I think Gore is).

Now if there's a populist movement to take back our planet and our economy from robber baron corporations like the oil industry, I'm there.

But I'm not going to run around screaming "We're all going to die!" It's not dignified.

And we are all going to die until we start pouring enough money into scientific research that will fight the real enemies: aging and death.

BlackSun said...

First of all, I'm not and I don't think Gore is claiming "we are all going to die." The consensus on climate change is that C02 production, IF LEFT UNCHECKED, will lead to temperature rises of 7-10 degrees by the end of this century, which will cause starvation for some, migration for other, and drastic changes in currents and sea levels. It will kill some of the weakest and poorest people in the world. Everyone else will have to adapt to starkly worse living conditions.

I don't predict this will happen. I think people will act, especially as the problems, which are already being seen around the margins, begin to become more obvious.

OK, you say you checked out my links. But you didn't address any of the information, nor my last question "what do they know that you don't? From New Scientist:

"More than 100 corporate heads, international organisations and experts proposed a plan on 20 February for how the world should cut greenhouse gas emissions. The statement places a heavy emphasis on government action...The group includes executives from General Electric, Ford, Toyota Motor North America, investment bank Goldman Sachs, and Wal-Mart.

"Of course, addressing climate change involves risks and costs. But much greater is the risk of failing to act," said Alain Belda, CEO of the world's top aluminium producer, Alcoa, which signed the statement."

They are showing willingness to spend a lot of money. Businesses don't spend money unless they are convinced about something.

Here's the documentation about the pension funds. Why are they going down without a fight if this is all bullshit?

"WASHINGTON --Large pension funds, including the Connecticut state pension fund, and companies called Monday for Congress to place limits on emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for global warming, the latest among several business-oriented groups to call for a national climate policy."

But the IPCC report was watered down, showing that governments are still dragging their feet:

"David Wasdell, an independent analyst of climate change who acted as an accredited reviewer of the report, says the preliminary version produced by scientists in April 2006 contained many references to the potential for climate to change faster than expected because of "positive feedbacks" in the climate system. Most of these references were absent from the final version.

His assertion is based on a line-by-line analysis of the scientists' report and the final version, which was agreed last month at a week-long meeting of representatives of more than 100 governments. Wasdell told New Scientist: "I was astounded at the alterations that were imposed by government agents during the final stage of review. The evidence of collusional suppression of well-established facts..."

I haven't even gotten to the links I provided debunking the documentary...more to come.

And I agree with you that the prime enemies are aging and death--climate change will make our lives harder and accelerate both. Provided we have a world which hasn't been destroyed by warming, a meteor, or religion-fueled nuclear war, we are well underway to conquering aging and death. If you've read Kurzweil, you know about the Singularity, which he places around 2045. This makes the stakes even higher as far as I'm concerned.

Heather Annastasia said...

I just wanted to keep the argument current on my new post since we still have some doubters about the global nature of the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age.

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.

Damion said...

The historical record of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, claimed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as the basis for greenhouse gas reduction, is a fraud. Research by a Freiburg, Germany professor, Ernst-Georg Beck, shows that the IPCC construed and concocted the pre-1957 CO2 record from measurements on recently drilled ice cores, ignoring over 90,000 direct, accurate measurements by chemical methods from 1857 to 1957.
In a thorough review of 175 scientific papers, Beck found that the founders of modern greenhouse theory, Guy Stewart Callendar and Charles David Keeling, had completely ignored careful and systematic measurements by some of the most famous names of physical chemistry, among them several Nobel prize winners. Measurements by these chemists showed that today's atmospheric CO2 concentration of about 375 parts per million (ppm) have been exceeded in the past, including a period from 1936 to 1944, when the CO2 levels varied from 393.0 to 454.7 ppm. There were also measurements, accurate to within 3 percent, of 375.00 in 1885 (Hempel in Dresden), 390.0 in 1866 (Gorup, Erlangen), and 416.0 in 1857 and 1858 (von Gilm, Innsbruck). Ironically, while the 1940s increase correlated with a period of average atmospheric warming, Beck and others have shown that the warming preceded the increase in CO2 concentrations.
The data found by Beck came mainly from the northern hemisphere, geographically spread from Alaska over Europe to Poona, India, nearly all taken from rural areas or the periphery of towns without contamination by industry, at a measuring height of approx. 2 meters above ground. Evaluation of chemical methods revealed a maximum error of 3% down to 1% in the best cases.
By contrast, the measurements hoked up from ice cores, show a rather steady increase in CO2 levels, conveniently corresponding to the preconceived idea that increasing industrial activity has produced a steady CO2 increase. As Beck's collaborator, Dr. Zbigniew Jaworoswki, former director of the Polish radiation monitoring service has shown, the gaseous inclusions in ice cores have no validity as historical proxies for atmospheric concentrations.

According to the greenhouse warming theory, the increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration caused by human activity, such as burning of fossil fuels, acts like the glass in a greenhouse to prevent the re-radiation of solar rays received at the Earth's surface. While such an effect exists, carbon dioxide is low on the list of greenhouse gases, accounting for at most 2 or 3 percent of the greenhouse effect. By far the most important greenhouse gas is water vapor. However, water in the form of clouds can reflect back solar radiation causing temperature reduction. There are so many interrelated effects, that correlating global temperature to CO2 concentration is like attempting to predict the value of a hedge fund by the phases of the Moon.
To concoct a convincing case of such correlation requires ample, sophisticated lying, and the greenhouse theorists have been caught at it. By a delightful historical irony, it could be said that it is Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa who has caught them. Our modern understanding of photosynthesis began when the Flemish researcher Jan Baptist van Helmont took up Cusa's challenge (stated in the "De Staticis" section of De Idiota Mente) to weigh a plant and its soil before and after growth. Van Helmont discovered, circa 1620, that the soil supporting a willow tree, which had grown to 169 pounds in five years, had changed weight by less than a few ounces. However, Van Helmont, who gave us the word "gas," mistakenly concluded that the plant's mass had come solely from the water applied. It took almost two more centuries to uncover the astounding fact that much of the mass of the plant, and all of its structural backbone, derives from the invisible and apparently weightless air, most especially the carbon dioxide component of it. That was the achievement of the revolution in chemistry launched by Lavoisier, and pushed forward by Gay-Lussac, Avogadro, Gerhardt, and others at the beginning of the 19th century. The ability to place two invisible gases in a balance and compare their weights, proved to be the secret to the determination of atomic weights, and from that the unlocking of the secrets of both the atom and the cell.
Unfortunately for the liars at the IPCC, the measurement of atmospheric CO2 concentration had been a special focus of chemists since that early 19th century elaboration of the process of photosynthesis, and their carefully recorded measurements are still with us. The inconvenient truth is that Al Gore still exists, but only fools and Presidential "front-runners," so named because of the ample leaks of bodily fluids from their anterior orifices, give serious credence to his emissions. Now for my two friends Black -sun and engineer-poet. I've checked your links there nothing more than the same old regurgitated, dogmatic, pseudo-science the chicken littles have been screaming for years. One of the links was on how to answer skeptics, gentlemen if your getting your science their you shouldn't even be playing the game. As for my own links or lack there of I have nether the time nor patience to list them, you could say I wrote the book, copy and paste.

Gus_J said...

Damion,

Nice.

I see the current outcry as more "problem, reaction, solution" We are currently experiencing the reaction. I'm sure we will soon be experiencing the politicians and corporations solution which will without a doubt net them more profit and political clout at our expense. We obviously should be responsible custodians of the earth and tread lightly. Alternative and more environmentally sound fuel technologies should be a global reality, but this is not what the current situation is going to yield. I wish there were more vocal technical folks such as yourself to bring reality to the masses.

I find it ironic that it takes a bullshit threat of environmental doom to catch peoples attention and concern. The threat of disease and war takes a back seat to gas prices and convenience. The American public are quick to turn a blind eye to humanitarian offenses of lets say China (but really, pick one) and buy trunk loads of "cheap" products they probably don't need at Wal-Mart. Personal transportation is only a fraction of the pollution problems. People are eager to forget that every product they buy didn't just magically appear on the shelves. It got there by planes, trains, and big ass trucks.

Curbing our fuel thirst by buying a hybrid and riding the bus really isn't going to make a dent, but it's a lot easier than making real sacrifices, and that's what we're all about. Easy.

I used to think Al Gore was an alright guy. He certainly puts forth that feeling. After more investigation, I realize I couldn't be more wrong. Gore is certainly in the pocket of the major corporations and will without a doubt put his personal business interests ahead of the will of the people. Big surprise, right?

We really need to find some people that aren't distracted by personal greed to run the show. I'm beginning to think this will never be reality. It will take a major bump in social evolution to start living like the human race we all want. I don't think we are going to witness this in our lifetime.

I don't mean to emanate negativity, I'm just being honest.

Gus_J said...

Okay blacksun, you asked for it. Let's go over your links.

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

According to whois data, newscientist.com is owned by powerhouse media and publishing Reed Business Information Ltd
According to http://www.reedbusiness.com/global/keyfacts.html their business revenue tops 2 billion and profit is around 350 million. Who do you think pays for Gerard Van de Aast and associates lavish lifestyles... consumer or advertiser? The corporate friendly dialog should tip you off.

General Electric, Ford, Toyota Motor North America, Goldman Sachs, Wal-Mart, and Alcoa I can assure you are not interested in environmental science or the health of the masses. They are interested in selling their image for various reasons. Profit is on the top of that list. Please go back up a few sentences and read those names again. I could spend this month writing about the atrocities these companies and their subsidiaries have propagated in very recent history. They are not your friend. Their lobbyists have provided lavish lifestyles to many politicians. Even ones you like.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/connecticut/articles

Page not found

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

None of those arguments are commensurate with what anyone is saying here. I'm pretty sure we're all in agreement with almost the first thing you said. Something to the effect of even if global warming isn't real we should be more responsible. (Sorry for the not so exact quote, but I can afford a little laziness. Looking into all your links is a daunting enough task as it is.) So far the consensus if I perceive it right is we should be better, more responsible humans. Nobody is going to tell you straight up that they think we should rape the earth, salt the land, or dump shit in the oceans. I for one am trying to say that we should do things to be better to the earth, but the last people we should leave this task up to are politicians, corporations and lawyers. The public has to be careful not to be subjugated by the interest of these people. They have swindled us many times in the past.

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

See above, more conflict of interest reporting. Mostly links to other op/ed pcs. of the same arguments over and over again. Many of which do not hold water when scrutinized.

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

A link of links again. I like the top article. It's headline is almost worthy of the onion. Global warming will make Earth spin faster
Many things make the earth spin faster, scientists discovered this a long time ago. As we are not living in the only time mother earth has provided us with earthquakes, floods, and other weather related hardship, we can't hardly call this a good source. The land under the icecaps was once exposed. It was accurately mapped in 1513 by Piri Reis, a Turkish admiral who was commissioned to make a comprehensive map by using older maps as source material. People argued for a long time about the validity of the ice covered portions. Modern technology has since proved him accurate. There were floods documented in our past that make make the Indonesian tsunami look like a minor event. Take a hard look at the Mediterranean. It once was a lake.

http://gristmill.grist.org/skeptics

This is an op/ed pc.,it's hard to confirm the source(s) of these arguments as they lack objectivity and little is known about the author. From what I can tell the author is Coby Beck, musician turned software engineer, who dabbles in artificial intelligence. I only read through a fraction of the arguments, because really man, who has the time? I've read most of them before, elsewhere. Most are refutable. Now as far as grist.org as a whole, a little investigation will show you that grist.org according to their about faq page http://www.grist.org/about/faq/ will show you that they like to claim that they are an independent organization. I like the self defeating logic in this statement "How is Grist funded?
Grist is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) public charity, funded by foundation grants, reader contributions, and advertising. Our website and email services are free. Click on foundation grants and you will find this:

Grist is grateful for the generous support of thousands of readers, as well as foundations, including:
The CDQ Charitable Trust,The Ford Foundation,The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation,
Kendeda Sustainability Fund of the Tides Foundation, Marisla Foundation,The Overbrook Foundation,The Russell Family Foundation,The Schumann Center for Media and Democracy,The Tiffany & Co. Foundation,V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation, WestWind Foundation,Wilburforce Foundation,The Winslow Foundation. Bottom line, they take in tax free money. Their only overhead as a business is webspace and their domain name, which are surprisingly cheap.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/03/swindled/

realclimate.org is owned by Environmental Media Services
Founded by (now retired) Arlie Schardt
Schardt in 1988 was the Gore campaign's national press secretary, then in 2000 he was Gore's communications secretary.
Don't get me wrong, he's got some cred. he did some great things but there's a definite conflict of interest in this source.

http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474976936501

Is a myspace style blog this post was written by "Brenda V." or easily anyone. How do we go about verifying this source?
Gather.com was founded by Thomas August Gerace, Harvard educated (Magna cum laude) Marketing Genius
He was awarded two U.S. Patents (5,848,396 and 5,991,735) for profiling computer users and targeting advertising based on that profiling.

http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/climate_change/article2347526.ece

I like the Independent, read it all the time. I can say though they aren't always completely objective. This article was written by the enviro editor, and for the most part he is just reporting about a disagreement with one of the professors interviewed. How can you verify the validity of his claim. Many things are possible here, not the least of which being he was compromised by money or threats. This article also gives us a glimpse of agenda "David Cameron will tomorrow unveil three schemes to tax air travel in order to combat global warming. He is to consult on whether to impose VAT or fuel duty on domestic flights, institute a flight tax targeted at the most polluting engines, or to set up a "green miles scheme" to tax frequent fliers at a higher rate. The revenue raised would be used for tax cuts to help families." This doesn't solve ANYTHING. All it does is generate pure profit for corporations at the expense of consumers. I'm sure the revenue raised would be used for tax cuts to help families. Yeah right, that's how it's always worked in the past with these people.

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
http://ergosphere.blogspot.com/

I love to read blogs, we all have thirsty minds, and we stand to learn a lot about things by sharing what we think. Hell, that's why I'm here right now writing this, but as scientific, analytical, objective conversation is concerned here, it's not worth my time to address each of these. As Damion pointed out, these talking points are represented all over the internet, and are mostly easily arguable.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/02/us/20070402_CLIMATE_GRAPHIC.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

This actually provides an interesting opportunity for me to reinforce a point Heather made some time ago that legislation and changes we make to address global warming stand to hurt developing countries more than anyone else. Wealthy countries will just be mildly inconvenienced. For example, are you ready to tell African nations that they are going to have to go without the little bit of dirtily generated electricity that they use because they can't afford more costlier green technologies like nuclear, solar, or wind?

Which of these hundred or so corporations are going to donate technology and materials to the developing nations. We were arrogant enough to tell starving nations that they couldn't raise bio-engineered food, instead they are left to starve.

blacksun I admire your drive and am convinced you are a good person. Admittedly, I find your background fascinating. There is a bigger picture to this thing though that screams to be scrutinized, unfortunately, a lot of people look past it because the current bias is much more fashionable.

Gus_J said...

Oh yeah, I'm still laughing mass ass off at the thought of GE making bombs with more green produced power. Can we get greener missile propulsion please? That's what we really need. The ad could read "More killin' less chokin' - buy GE"

Anonymous said...

"that legislation and changes we make to address global warming stand to hurt developing countries more than anyone else."

Wow, denial much?

Sea level rises will hurt certain very poor countries the most: specifically the Pacific Islands and Bangladesh.

Compared to this -- and several Pacific Island nations are in fact suing industrialized nationas in international court because they're being flooded -- any injury due to combatting global warming is frankly minimal.

Heather Annastasia said...

Okay, if Global Warming is truly caused by man made CO2, then yes, infringing upon Third World, and all other nationa, is vital.

But the damage is not minimal.

Millions of people are living poverty and political turmoil because their country's economic growth has been squelched by ecological sanctions.

Gus_J said...

What do you drive anonymous? I'm sure it's not a plow. Enjoy heat? AC? Where do you get your food from, store right? Are you ready to make real sacrifices to realize your goal or does everyone but you in this world have to pay? That's what I'm saying. Driving a Prius and commenting on blogs isn't enough. You have to stop buying shit. Turn off your climate control. Climb out of your bubble. Until America is willing to do that , they can't hold the bar to the rest of the world. Shit, we're reasonably easy to manage, we weigh in at 300 million heads. How about China, 1.3 billion, India 1 billion. Read the other comments and posts. Nobody is advocating not being responsible. Nobody is saying not to implement greener technology. Everybody is yelling don't bend over to rodents that smell money. Don't allow your worries to make you myopic. Take a stand but be careful, there are consequences.

"Sea level rises will hurt certain very poor countries the most: specifically the Pacific Islands and Bangladesh."

Hunger will hurt them more I promise you.

Nobody is in denial around here, but we do tend to look at the whole picture. Don't trust the politicians and corporations! They will use your goodwill against you.

Gus_J said...

Oops, I meant to paste this:

Sea level rises will hurt certain very poor countries the most: specifically the Pacific Islands and Bangladesh.

"Compared to this -- and several Pacific Island nations are in fact suing industrialized nationas in international court because they're being flooded -- any injury due to combatting global warming is frankly minimal."

I don't know where the rest went. Perhaps I need more (fair trade) coffee.

Forgive me y'all

Oh yeah anonymous, I'm pretty sure I know who you are... you crack me up at that other blog.

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