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Won't somebody think of the PENGUINS!

Discussion in 'All-Star Threads' started by Nettdata, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. Nettdata

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    Just read this article this morning: Copenhagen: It's all about trade, not global warming, and China is the target

    I also love the fact that Canada has come out of these talks looking like some environmental grumpy old man, the "Colossal Fossil". Hah. Don't they get it? It's fucking COLD here... we need to warm things up a bit.




    It's pretty obvious that I'm no expert on the subject, I'm not a scientist, and I have no in-depth understanding of the subject. Shat I am is confused. It is so hard to discern the media and political bullshit from the "fact" that my brain implodes every time I try.

    Lately the news seems to be making a big stink about Copenhagen, and really, I'm clueless on what it is, what the goals are, and whether it will really mean anything.


    FOCUS: Copenhagen (the conference). Edumacate me. Is it relevant? Does it have meaning? Is Global Warming real? Is it a legitimate problem? Are you doing anything about it?

    ALT-FOCUS: Tell us your favourite weather-related story; snow, rain, drought, whatever.


    NB: As hard as it may be, keep the politics out of it. No bashing of politicians or political parties. Talk about the "facts" and the "science". But feel free to bash the crap out of the Media all you like.
     

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  2. buuuurps

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    Whether or not global warming is a real problem is somewhat debated, although the overwhelming majority of scientists agree that it is. As usual when large amounts of money are at stake, you have interest groups from every corner chiming in -- some claim that the alleged rise in temperature is really just due to unprecise measurement and normal fluctuation, others say it's real but not man-made, etc. As a layman, since you can't really form an educated opinion of your own, it's mostly a matter of which source you find to be most trustworthy.

    The congress at Copenhagen was a complete disaster. Even the most minimal consensus (an agreement that global temperature should be kept at 2° Celsius above what it was in pre-industrial times, with no clear and precise obligations in it) could not be agreed upon, but was merely "taken to notice", after 2 weeks of negotiations. Who is to blame? Well, I read a number of articles on the topic, and each newspaper has its own ideas about that. The USA and China are most commonly faulted for the failure of negotiations, but I've read articles blaming it on thirdworld / emerging countries like Venezuela, Tuvalu aswell. Some are actually blaming it on the organizers of the event, who supposedly did not do a good job of preparing and directing the congress; the only party who is never put at fault is the European Union.

    Basically, what it comes down to is that using alternative energy technologies, while certainly possible/viable, is also expensive. While most countries recognize the need to counteract global warming, they also don't want to hurt their own economy, particularly in times where the economy has it pretty tough already. Add to that the fact that every single country at the congress had the right to veto a decision, and it's not hard to see why a consensus would not be reached.

    What's to be done? Well, everyone is in disagreement about that, too. Mostly, right now, the attitude is just one of universal discouragement, since the congress failed in epic fashion. Some people feel that a viable consensus will never be reached within the United Nations; instead, the leaders of world economy (i.e. the Usa, China, Eu & Russia) need to work out a deal amongst them and see who follows suit. Others hope that with the establishment of a separate agency for environmental control within the UN in 2012, things will change for the better.

    Personally, I think the entire concept of a state as a geographical unit making independent decisions simply fails when matters such as this are at stake. Typically, the political decisions that a state makes are felt only (or at least primarily) within that state. In this case, they are felt just as much outside of it. But of course, since there is no institution to enforce any kind of climate agreement on a global level, you are stuck with endless debates and negotiations, which, for the time being, are producing virtually no real results.
     
  3. Durbanite

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    Global Warming? What bullshit. It's supposed to be the middle of summer here in S.A. and only THREE days this month have actually been "Summer Warm" (i.e. above 30 degrees Celsius) - the rest have been pretty cold, windy and filled with the prospect of rain. In addition, October and November had no sunny days either - every day was cloudy. Ridiculous.

    Maybe everywhere else is getting warmer, but S.A. is getting colder.
     
  4. KIMaster

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    I've taken advanced environmental science courses in college, with my professors being famous geo/atmospheric scientists that thought man-caused global warming was occurring. I've also attended lectures by one Professor Goldberg, who believes global warming is nonsense. I've also read a number of articles arguing both sides of the issue, and talked with a number of under/grad students about it.

    That being said, I only have a degree in math and economics, not atmospheric science. With all that out of the way, here's my view; there is absolutely zero conclusive evidence of man-caused global warming.

    In fact, in the mid 70's, when my parents were in college, the most popular theory was GLOBAL COOLING, as the Earth, on average, became significantly colder from 1950-1975. When I asked my environmental science professors about this, their explanations weren't fully satisfactory, and they admitted as much.

    In fact, if you like at the history of Earth's climate, it has dramatically oscillated over its history. For example, in Roman times, the Earth was substantially hotter than it is now. The problem of course, is in figuring out whether, extricated from this noise, the oscillatory function has shifted several degrees Celsius higher.

    However, I have seen no evidence to indicate that the increase in average global temperature in the last 35 years is anything except natural oscillation, independent of human influence. (Keep in mind that some areas of the Earth have also become COLDER during this span, it's just the temperature averaged over the area that has gone up)

    This isn't a huge surprise; atmospheric science is still in its infancy, and can predict extraordinarily little. Right now, no atmospheric scientist in the world can even tell what the effect of CLOUDS on global climate is, although they all agree it's a relevant and major one.

    Some other points to consider;

    -Carbon dioxide is a very weak greenhouse gas. Arrhenius's original estimate of how much heat it absorbs was off by a factor of 100. Off the top of my head, it's between 100-1,000 times weaker as a greenhouse gas than water vapor.

    If humans stopped producing CO2 right this moment, know how long it would take for all the CO2 in the atmosphere to be re-absorbed? 12 days.

    Doesn't sound quite as terrifying now, does it?

    -One of the most common types of graphs proponents of global warming use is the ppb (parts per billion) of CO2 found within polar ice caps correlated with mean global temperature. And indeed, this would be a wonderful tool if used conscientiously. Problem is, they don't.

    They consistently throw away data from these ice caps that doesn't match their predictions, and keep only the high ones. This is simply dishonest, and unfortunately, this has been documented as occurring.

    In addition to this, keep in mind that the polar ice caps measured are ones from Greenland. When I asked a professor why not use ones from Antarctica, the response was simply,

    "We don't like the data they give us".

    -There is of course a positive correlation between an increase in temperature and the amount of CO2 found in polar ice caps or the ocean. But this is a simple consequence of Henry's Law; as solar radiation increases, so too does the ability of water to absorb gases, including CO2.

    As such, the solar radiation actually causes the Earth to become warmer, but the CO2 concentration of the water goes up, even though the latter does not cause the former. And yes, solar radiation has, on average, increased in the last 30 years also, so THAT might just be the only reason the mean global temperature has increased.

    -But you know what the single most damning point for me was according to the whole discussion?

    When I attended Professor Goldberg's lecture, many prominent professors and grad students were there that did believe in global warming.

    At the end of it, while his arguments were compelling, I fully expected the leader of these professors, the chairman, to get up, and if not rip his argument to shreds, at least present a powerful counter-argument for the case of man-caused global warming. What happened instead was shocking. He got to the podium, and the first words out of his mouth were;

    "I will not directly address any of the arguments made here by Professor Goldberg...I will only say that we have models, many predictive models, that say global warming is exceeding the natural rate!"

    And that's how it was in all of my discussions. I'm not expert, and yet, people who knew far more atmospheric science than I do weren't able to offer ANY reasons at all against the things I noted above.

    Look, it would be one thing if there was some complicated argument in favor of man-caused global warming that I simply didn't possess the background to understand. That's fine. But they offered me NOTHING, no scientific reason at all. Only computer-based models.

    And when it comes to computer-based models, I do happen to know a decent amount. And I think that with the low level of present atmospheric science, there is no way that they can possibly do anything coherent, especially with the fundamental dishonesty (see above) intrinsic to much of this work. (Yes, scientists care about money and grants, too)

    I would be very happy to read any arguments addressing the points above, or supporting man-caused global warming that exceeds the natural increase in solar radiation.

    Edit

    Great Article/Speech: Aliens Cause Global Warming

    Edit2-

    One more thing; not even the scientists most emphatic that man-caused global warming was occurring were even a THIRD as certain about their positions, let alone gung ho about legislation as the media outlets and Al Gores of the world have been.

    I wonder why?
     
  5. Supertramp

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    Are you serious? You're like a jewish grandmother with all the complaining you do.

    Just because you are having a shitty summer doesn't mean that your entire country is getting colder you dumbass. I've heard that argument from hundreds of shitheads every year when the winter is decent and the summer is mild, normal fluctuations exist, the scientists are only referring to wider, general ones.

    KIMaster, you've obviously more researched than I am but wouldn't you say that 70% of the WORLD'S SCIENTISTS are slightly more critical than that one professor of yours? It's a global thing, and I doubt it's a huge conspiracy.
     
  6. Nettdata

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    Numbers are a funny thing.

    70%? How did they measure that?

    Are they the stupid 70% that are now seeing a chance at getting some press by jumping on the bandwagon?

    Are they even qualified to make any statements about this stuff? Are they actual research scientists, or weathermen for the local news?

    I'd love to see the roster of this group, and see how those numbers are being calculated.

    I'd rather listen to the silent 2% than the vocal 70%.
     
  7. Beefy Phil

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    Glass houses, douchebag. Glass houses.

    Focus:

    I'm in Nettdata's court. I don't know enough to do anything but get angry when either side takes it to the extreme. This is a pretty accurate account of my feelings on the subject, though.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. ghettoastronaut

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    The decrease in the world's pirate numbers are causing global warming. Post hoc, ergo propter hoc. Serious question: everyone loves to claim that solar activity could be causing our current run of global warming, but every serious source I've seen indicates that solar activity is currently at a nadir. Anyone able to sort that one out for me? Because it seems kind of silly that this kind of claim could keep going around despite pretty simple evidence to the contrary. Well, silly, but not uncommon.

    Least favourite: calling in the army to shovel snow back in '98. People love to make fun of it, and although maybe calling in the army was unnecessary (probably due to poor planning or not seeking out more equipment from other cities), people forget there were parts of the city where ambulances could no longer get to, and there was predicted to be another large storm coming that would have paralyzed large sectors of the city, that never materialized, just before the call was made. Toronto doesn't typically get a whole lot of snow in a year, either. But that year was more snow that I've ever seen outside of a ski resort. I went to university in a snowbelt for a year, we had the first snow day called in 20 years which more or less shut the city down for a day, and I still haven't seen as much snow.
     
  9. Gravitas

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    The only thing I can suggest to understanding the debate is looking at the funding behind the science.

    Oh, Global Climate Scientists says the world will implode in 5-7 months if we continue raping and pillaging fossil fuels? Well, looks like their main benefactor is Greenpeace.

    United Scientist Alliance says the rapid burning of fossil fuels cures cancer and increases the likelihood your girlfriend enjoying giving blowjobs? Nice, five million dollar grant Exxon.

    Alt Focus:

    There was a huge snowstorm over a few western states a couple years ago over new years and it dumped like 3 feet of snow. I lived in the Oklahoma panhandle at the time. We ended up not having power for like a week and if it weren't for my neighbor's gas stove and amazing supply of great meat I would have gone Donner party on somebody.

    A day after the snow stopped they got the loaders going and started digging people out. There was a family stuck on the highway about 20 miles from the nearest hotel. So my neighbor goes and digs them out and offers for them to come back to his house where heat, food, rousing games of Uno, etc. were available. They declined. They stayed in their car for the night.

    I laughed at their stupidity at first. But then I imagined how the conversation went.

    Friend: "You wanna stay at my house?" *spits out a four feet stream of tobacco juice into the snow.
    Stranded person: "Did you just say I have a pretty mouth?"
     
  10. ghettoastronaut

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    Yes, and I'd much rather listen to the "growing consensus of scientists who dispute Darwinian evolution" as well.

    But, to turn your proposition on its head, have a look here: <a class="postlink" href="http://www.desmogblog.com/30000-global-warming-petition-easily-debunked-propaganda" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.desmogblog.com/30000-global- ... propaganda</a> about a petition making the rounds with 30,000 signatory scientists who question global warming:

     
  11. Kubla Kahn

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    With anything that is debated this much I usually never side with the people who think the only answer is government intervention with regulations and mandates. I do think that changing our habits/culture towards greener alternatives and more efficient living could benefit us greatly but there has to be another route than having the government tell you what standards you must use.
     
  12. carpenter

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    I think that it's hard to believe that all the shit that goes into our air and water from simple pollution isn't going to do something.
     
  13. breakylegg

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    ALT FOCUS:

    I miss flash floods. We used to get one or two good ones every year when I was a kid. But then Vegas' population exploded in the 90s and they went and built a fancy killjoy system of tunnels to drain the water. Now during the monsoon month of August when it rains nothing much happens. People still freak out when they see water that's not in a fountain or pool or faucet or on TV, but that's it.

    When I was a kid and it rained good that warm Wonka water gushed out of the mountains and brought normal life to a standstill. But not us--we used to go rafting down the street and have day-long mud fights. The NEWS would run the same stories of casino parking garages filling up and cars floating around at Caesar's Palace. Some idiot would get airlifted out of an underpass. The same handful of old people would die for one flood-related issue or another. But what a way to go!

    Now when I see floods on TV I watch the people and know they don't understand how they good they have it.
     
  14. KIMaster

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    Where are you getting this 70 percent number? Only a very small percentage of the world's scientists are doing their research in atmospheric science/climatology. I would guess about 5 percent. So are you saying that 70 percent of those specifically educated in/doing research in atmospheric science believe this, (I think the number would be even higher), or 70 percent of scientists overall?

    I've rarely heard those working outside the area even address the question of global warming, and I certainly doubt most of them have even seriously bothered about it, let alone are experts on the matter.

    As for that one professor I mentioned, he is genuinely world class in the area of atmospheric science, the head of the department, and widely respected in the field. I had him for a class too, and he is extremely knowledgeable about the subject, and does significant research outside of global warming. He's not some random guy from a community college.

    The fact that he couldn't debunk or wouldn't address the arguments against (which were quite simple from the standpoint of atmospheric science, which is a subject complicated as all hell) was very discouraging for his side of the issue.

    That's simply a moronic analogy. Regardless of what you think, comparing those who question man-caused (this is the key point) global warming to those who don't believe in Darwinian evolution is stupid and dishonest.

    Darwinian evolution has been exhaustively proven to occur in a million different ways, from a million different experiments/observations done over the last 150 years by scientists completely unmotivated by grants or public recognition. Even a brand new science created after evolution was first put forth, genetics, supports the macro principles of Darwinian evolution.

    I had never even heard of this petition before your post. It doesn't prove or mean a damn thing for either side. Those 30,000 signatures are completely worthless for those who don't believe in man-caused global warming, and "debunking" it doesn't prove anything for the side that does, either.

    Science is not a fucking public election.

    This topic has gone in an unfortunate direction; instead of people making points about various graphs/curves/reasoning used to support/debunk global warming, it's devolved into "X% of scientists say Y!", "X2% percent of scientists say Y' !", or pseudo-arguments about summer being colder or pollution (which has gone down since the 1950's, and isn't directly related to this) somehow indicating global warming.

    Funny thing is, I read back over it, and realized there was a big mistake in one of the points I made in my first post. No one called me out on it though, which is unfortunate. Regardless of whether it changes anyone's mind, going over the simplistic scientific elements of global warming would be a lot more fun and educational than random appeals to authority.
     
  15. ghettoastronaut

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    Firstly, the analogy has less to do with the certainty of evolution and anthropogenic global warming, and more to do with a manufactured "scientific consensus" or "growing opposition" that the opponents love to trot out as if it had anything to do with a scientific argument. Of course, in both cases, said consensus doesn't really exist, or is made up of people who aren't qualified to have formed an opinion based on primary research. Same way that you see news shows, in their pathetic attempts to have a "fair and balanced" sort of show (or whatever the buzz phrase is) start listing off the scientific organizations who support the AGW hypothesis: national academy of sciences - okay, an organization consisting of the top scientists in their field, at least some of whom are involved in primary research. NASA - does a lot of climate research, worth listening to. The American Medical Association - wait, what? Doesn't everyone know the AMA is just a physicians' lobby group? And if they're anything like the medical associations up here, probably aren't worth listening to very much anyways.

    I don't think we disagree at all, I just made a post on this authority vs. authority subject and you took it as me trying to make a proper scientific argument for global warming. In any case, you wanted science in this thread, so here's a page with simple plain-English refutations of various objections to global warming.

    <a class="postlink" href="http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/climate-change-deniers-vs-the-consensus/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/v ... consensus/</a>
     
  16. KIMaster

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    Their "refutations" are of objections mostly different than what I wrote on the last page, but here's some very basic problems I see;

    The majority of these "refutations" aren't refutations at all. Points 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 are basically "these are valid objections, but just trust us/it's not enough to discredit global warming". In some cases, I would even agree, except they are actually agreeing with, but then marginalizing the objections (in some cases, valid, in others not). This is different than a refutation.

    Further points;

    -Point 2 Probably their only real attempt at a "refutation". But how did they obtain the CO2 levels in the second graph, where the amount is plotted against global temperature? Hell, they didn't even mention what units were used. I noted how difficult it is to tell the CO2 levels in the atmosphere TODAY, (especially when you use ice caps from Greenland and reject ones from Antarctica for not supporting one's views) let alone thousands of years ago. Seriously, how did they even attempt to get these values? I would love to find out.

    It's certainly beyond the realm of any meteorological technique I've ever heard of in environmental science class, and there are some fancy ones.

    -Point 5. This one is hilarious. Anyone with even a basic knowledge of science knows that the sudden change of an asymptotic function into exponential growth is absurd. It's so bad that yes, even the UN (hardly an unbiased collection of scientists interested in the truth) retracted it.

    Their "refutation" is basically "yeah, 'leading scientists' fucked up on that one so badly even a non-expert could tell the conclusions were bunk....but you can totally trust us the next time!"

    -Point 6. This one is just an outright lie. How can they say that they look at lots of ice core data when they refuse to even consider the ones from Antarctica? And the only ones they use are from Greenland? I've actually talked to the people who examine this type of data, so I know this one is wrong.

    -Point 7. This isn't any type of refutation either. They say it would take 50,000 year for atmospheric CO2 to be completely absorbed? Fine, where are their numbers, figures, and calculations? I've seen calculations and figures for something like 12 DAYS, and assuming those were completely off by many orders of magnitude, those still would be nowhere near their number.

    In fact, I've never even seen a pro-global warming research paper argue anything so absurdly high.

    -Point 8. Do I even need to address this one? Just read it. Hilarious.

    Anyways, that link is an example of why I feel the argument for man-caused global warming isn't a good one; either they agree with the objections, but persist anyways, or they disagree with the objections, but provide either an incorrect explanation, (that hockey stick temperature graph, now debunked, used to their primary "objection killing" weapon) or an unsupported, unexplained one. ("Just trust our models!")

    This might be well and dandy for a public election, but in science, the onus is on the side making a powerful statement to back up their claims, not the other way around. Especially since there was the same consensus among leading scientists in favor of "anthropogenic global cooling" back in the seventies.
     
  17. Crown Royal

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    I'm not qualified in any way to get scientific here, but global warming to me is one of those things where it doesn't seem to hurt to cover your tracks, and it's best to my knowledge that eventually some time from now the course we are running will eventually allow the sun to fry us like ants under a magnifying glass. I do as many enviromentally friendly things as I can. I don't go out of my WAY, but things like making/using compost, not blasting your fucking air conditioning at Arctic levels all day and recycling are pretty easy.
     
  18. Denver

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    Does anyone here have any particular insight on the "Climategate" (a name I despise) situation, involving the hacked emails discovered between some scientists? I'm skimming a bit through the Wikipedia on it but it seems more just point/counterpoint, with some saying they mean nothing at all while others maintain they mean global warming is bullshit in its entirety.

    Personally, I have no special insight on climate change so I won't comment on the heart of the matter. That having been said, I find it somewhat... strange how some people always seem to put "the scientists" on a pedestal. Ooh, the scientists, say this, the scientists believe that. Scientists are human just like you and me, and some of them can certainly be corrupt. However, I would imagine science generally attracts those that actually seek the truth more than those seeking fame or power, but there are certainly some scientists out there who would willingly falsify data to meet their own ends. Denying this as even a possibility is dishonest.

    Even if not for their own gain, people in general tend to get caught up in what they already believe and will see things from a biased perspective, and so scientists might interpret data in a way that fits their current worldview. This isn't because they're evil or in on a huge conspiracy as some would say, but because scientists are not gods sent down from the heavens to give us pure truth; they're humans with flaws who can (and do) make mistakes.
     
  19. carl24

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    It must be stated, that just because someone denies manmade global warming, does not necessarily mean that person denies all environmental problems. That is a logical fallacy.

    "In a report titled "The First Global Revolution" (1991) published by the Club of Rome, a globalist think tank, we find the following statement: "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.... All these dangers are caused by human intervention... The real enemy, then, is humanity itself."

    As a few others have mentioned, only 40 years ago, there were huge talks of GLOBAL COOLING.

    In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish. -- Paul Ehrlich, Earth Day (1970)

    his [cooling] trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century -- Peter Gwynne, Newsweek 1976

    This cooling has already killed hundreds of thousands of people. If it continues and no strong action is taken, it will cause world famine, world chaos and world war, and this could all come about before the year 2000. -- Lowell Ponte "The Cooling", 1976
    If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder by the year 2000...This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age. -- Kenneth E.F. Watt on air pollution and global cooling, Earth Day (1970)

    The continued rapid cooling of the earth since WWII is in accord with the increase in global air pollution associated with industrialization, mechanization, urbanization and exploding population. -- Reid Bryson, "Global Ecology; Readings towards a rational strategy for Man", (1971)


    Global warming is a political agenda in every way, shape and form and it is kind of hard to avoid politics when discussing the matter.
     
  20. Frank n Beans

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    Here's an article, of course outside of the US, that sheds to light on some of the numbers people use in relation to more than the last 40 years. 100 REASONS WHY CLIMATE CHANGE IS NATURAL This puts a lot of the numbers into perspective in terms of the worlds history.

    Now just because I don't buy into the whole global warming thing doesn't mean I'm against alternative energies and limiting pollution and stuff. I just don't think anything alternative is actually feasible at the moment. I don't think you make companies shell out a ton of money for something that really doesn't amount to much, because it's not the companies that are going to end up paying for it. If they have to pay an extra billion for some credits every year that just means you're going to be paying an extra 20 cents for that milk every time.