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A Stark Warning On Climate Change

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the that's-not-good dept.

926

cliffski writes "In a report based on computer predictions, UK government advisor Professor David King said that an increase of even three degrees Celsius would cause drought and famine and threaten millions of lives The US refuses to cut emissions and those of India and China are rising. A government report based on computer modeling projects a 3C rise would cause a drop worldwide of between 20 and 400 million tonnes in cereal crops, about 400 million more people at risk of hunger and between 1.2bn and 3bn more people at risk of water stress."

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926 comments

Well... (1, Insightful)

4nik8r (934806) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128618)

This isn't really happening. Move along.

Exactly (1, Insightful)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128675)

You know, I was reading this great book from the 1960's that described, with lots of charts and graphs and equations, how the world population would soon reach a BILLION people and there was no way agriculture could keep up and feed them. There would be mass death in every country in the 1980s due to a lack of food...

Except that the 1980s came and went and showed it to be completely wrong. The world has never had more food, or higher quality food thanks in large part to American agriculture.

Move along, nothing to see here. Just more America-hating handwringing.

WOW what an amazing citation from out of your ass! (2, Insightful)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128765)

um.. in 1959,
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=1959+world+po pulation [google.com] we had either
3 billion in 1959

1959, Earth had five billion people.

World Statistics Population: 2.997 billion population by decade ...

our population had doubled from 3 billion to 6 billion in only 40 years (1959 to 1999

so what 1960's book predicted a population of ONE billion real soon now?

Re:Well... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15128754)

In a report based on computer predictions...

Of course it is happening - computer predictions are never wrong. Statisticians never abuse stats (look at all of those Microsoft-sponsored independent surveys that conclusively find that Microsoft is the most secure platform and nobody sane uses Linux).

The fact that the climate data has shown that there has been no warming for the past five years (actually a slight downtrend), which follows a 30-year mild warming trend, is irrelevant to any really good computer prediction.

The best data has shown that warming is a poor term and ultimately has caused those who use it to lose credibility with much of the scientific community who is not politically motivated. Greenhouse gas emmissions appear to raise the standard deviation of climate variance, not "cause warming." If you're interested in understanding warming/cooling processes, you have to study solar cycles. During the past five years, radio engineers who have to contend with active solar cycles have had a bit of a vacation as the sun is in the bottom of its current cycle. It's expected to start getting more active around 2007-2008.

If you don't understand standard deviation, think of it as a measurement of how far something sways from the center. A tiny standard deviation in global temperatures would be consistent with very minor temp. changes. What greenhouse gasses seem to do from current models is push that variance wider, so we have greater heating AND cooling. Greater climate volatility.

The only problem is that the current climate is nowhere near the volatility the planet has experienced for much of its history (as we're still officially at the conclusion of a minor ice age and have seen climate variance moderated by that event). Those who scream warming are ignoring both scientific and statistical grounds and are usually seeking additional funding from scared politicians. Selling "studying greater variance in climate models" isn't scary and unfortunately too many politicians don't care about it if it is true but not a doomsday scenario.

Imagine the success you have when you explain that the climate is less variable than it usually is, and the sun causes all the warming cycles. See the problem? Excuse me while I go write my grant to KEEP THE SUN FROM EXPLODING which will probably happen if my grant isn't funded...

Recommended reading (5, Informative)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128623)

If you haven't already, take a look at Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs, and Steel", and "Collapse".

I leave it up to another karma whore to provide affiliate links to Amazon.

More recommended reading (4, Interesting)

cuzality (696718) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128802)

Climate of Fear [opinionjournal.com] (opinionjournal.com)
Global-warming alarmists intimidate dissenting scientists into silence.

BY RICHARD LINDZEN
Wednesday, April 12, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT
There have been repeated claims that this past year's hurricane activity was another sign of human-induced climate change. Everything from the heat wave in Paris to heavy snows in Buffalo has been blamed on people burning gasoline to fuel their cars, and coal and natural gas to heat, cool and electrify their homes. Yet how can a barely discernible, one-degree increase in the recorded global mean temperature since the late 19th century possibly gain public acceptance as the source of recent weather catastrophes? And how can it translate into unlikely claims about future catastrophes?

The answer has much to do with misunderstanding the science of climate, plus a willingness to debase climate science into a triangle of alarmism. Ambiguous scientific statements about climate are hyped by those with a vested interest in alarm, thus raising the political stakes for policy makers who provide funds for more science research to feed more alarm to increase the political stakes. After all, who puts money into science--whether for AIDS, or space, or climate--where there is nothing really alarming? Indeed, the success of climate alarmism can be counted in the increased federal spending on climate research from a few hundred million dollars pre-1990 to $1.7 billion today. It can also be seen in heightened spending on solar, wind, hydrogen, ethanol and clean coal technologies, as well as on other energy-investment decisions.

But there is a more sinister side to this feeding frenzy. Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis.

To understand the misconceptions perpetuated about climate science and the climate of intimidation, one needs to grasp some of the complex underlying scientific issues. First, let's start where there is agreement. The public, press and policy makers have been repeatedly told that three claims have widespread scientific support: Global temperature has risen about a degree since the late 19th century; levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have increased by about 30% over the same period; and CO2 should contribute to future warming. These claims are true. However, what the public fails to grasp is that the claims neither constitute support for alarm nor establish man's responsibility for the small amount of warming that has occurred. In fact, those who make the most outlandish claims of alarm are actually demonstrating skepticism of the very science they say supports them. It isn't just that the alarmists are trumpeting model results that we know must be wrong. It is that they are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn't happen even if the models were right as justifying costly policies to try to prevent global warming.

If the models are correct, global warming reduces the temperature differences between the poles and the equator. When you have less difference in temperature, you have less excitation of extratropical storms, not more. And, in fact, model runs support this conclusion. Alarmists have drawn some support for increased claims of tropical storminess from a casual claim by Sir John Houghton of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that a warmer world would have more evaporation, with latent heat providing more energy for disturbances. The problem with this is that the ability of evaporation to drive tropical storms relies not only on temperature but humidity as well, and calls for drier, less humid air. Claims for starkly higher temperatures are based upon there being more humidity, not less--hardly a case for more storminess with global warming.

So how is it that we don't have more scientists speaking up about this junk science? It's my belief that many scientists have been cowed not merely by money but by fear. An example: Earlier this year, Texas Rep. Joe Barton issued letters to paleoclimatologist Michael Mann and some of his co-authors seeking the details behind a taxpayer-funded analysis that claimed the 1990s were likely the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year in the last millennium. Mr. Barton's concern was based on the fact that the IPCC had singled out Mr. Mann's work as a means to encourage policy makers to take action. And they did so before his work could be replicated and tested--a task made difficult because Mr. Mann, a key IPCC author, had refused to release the details for analysis. The scientific community's defense of Mr. Mann was, nonetheless, immediate and harsh. The president of the National Academy of Sciences--as well as the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union--formally protested, saying that Rep. Barton's singling out of a scientist's work smacked of intimidation.

All of which starkly contrasts to the silence of the scientific community when anti-alarmists were in the crosshairs of then-Sen. Al Gore. In 1992, he ran two congressional hearings during which he tried to bully dissenting scientists, including myself, into changing our views and supporting his climate alarmism. Nor did the scientific community complain when Mr. Gore, as vice president, tried to enlist Ted Koppel in a witch hunt to discredit anti-alarmist scientists--a request that Mr. Koppel deemed publicly inappropriate. And they were mum when subsequent articles and books by Ross Gelbspan libelously labeled scientists who differed with Mr. Gore as stooges of the fossil-fuel industry.

Sadly, this is only the tip of a non-melting iceberg. In Europe, Henk Tennekes was dismissed as research director of the Royal Dutch Meteorological Society after questioning the scientific underpinnings of global warming. Aksel Winn-Nielsen, former director of the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization, was tarred by Bert Bolin, first head of the IPCC, as a tool of the coal industry for questioning climate alarmism. Respected Italian professors Alfonso Sutera and Antonio Speranza disappeared from the debate in 1991, apparently losing climate-research funding for raising questions.

And then there are the peculiar standards in place in scientific journals for articles submitted by those who raise questions about accepted climate wisdom. At Science and Nature, such papers are commonly refused without review as being without interest. However, even when such papers are published, standards shift. When I, with some colleagues at NASA, attempted to determine how clouds behave under varying temperatures, we discovered what we called an "Iris Effect," wherein upper-level cirrus clouds contracted with increased temperature, providing a very strong negative climate feedback sufficient to greatly reduce the response to increasing CO2. Normally, criticism of papers appears in the form of letters to the journal to which the original authors can respond immediately. However, in this case (and others) a flurry of hastily prepared papers appeared, claiming errors in our study, with our responses delayed months and longer. The delay permitted our paper to be commonly referred to as "discredited." Indeed, there is a strange reluctance to actually find out how climate really behaves. In 2003, when the draft of the U.S. National Climate Plan urged a high priority for improving our knowledge of climate sensitivity, the National Research Council instead urged support to look at the impacts of the warming--not whether it would actually happen.

Alarm rather than genuine scientific curiosity, it appears, is essential to maintaining funding. And only the most senior scientists today can stand up against this alarmist gale, and defy the iron triangle of climate scientists, advocates and policymakers.

Re:More recommended reading (4, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128856)

As I posted earlier this week [slashdot.org] , Lindzen is part of a professional network of Greenhouse deniers. By all means, read his work. And google [google.com] for rebuttals, cross-reference his citations. And look at the climate you get to see yourself. Then decide whether everything's OK.

Here's a factoid to get you started [sourcewatch.org] :

"In November 2004, climate change skeptic Richard Lindzen was quoted saying he'd be willing to bet that the earth's climate will be cooler in 20 years than it is today. When British climate researcher James Annan contacted him, however, Lindzen would only agree to take the bet if Annan offered a 50-to-1 payout."

Re:Recommended reading (1, Troll)

StevenHenderson (806391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128864)

State of Fear by Michael Crichton gives a nice (somewhat biased) Cliffs-Notes take on the issue as well.

I am shocked. (-1, Troll)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128624)

You mean the GWB was wrong. My whole outlook on life has changed.... Oh well.

Good News & Bad News (4, Funny)

corporatemutantninja (533295) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128626)

Won't this help solve the overpopulation problem?

Re:Good News & Bad News (0)

observer7 (753034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128658)

"One person dead is a tragedy . 10,000 dead is a statistic" ............Stalin

Re:Good News & Bad News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15128669)

Won't this help solve the overpopulation problem?

No. Over population goes away by itself since unsustainable populations can't be uh.. sustained.

If the professor is correct in his predictions then global warming will worsen the overpopulation problem, causing the automatic correction to be more severe.

Re:Good News & Bad News (1, Insightful)

jeps (700879) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128680)

Just a pitty the millions dying of starvation probably won't be the ones responsible for the climate change in the first place.

Actually, I was trying to be Insightful, not Funny.
Actually, you failed at both.

--
Jeps

Re:Good News & Bad News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15128773)

Actually, you failed at both.

So did you.

How could that be ? (-1, Redundant)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128628)

I mean my apartment temp. varies from 60 to 90 and sure it's uncomfortable, but so what ? And besides, the temperture on a reguler day can vary a lot more than 3 degrees!!

Re:How could that be ? (1)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128665)

LOOK it was a joke, OK ?

Re:How could that be ? (0, Troll)

StevenHenderson (806391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128677)

I mean my apartment temp. varies from 60 to 90 and sure it's uncomfortable, but so what ? And besides, the temperture on a reguler day can vary a lot more than 3 degrees!!

It seems the detrimental effects on your spelling elude you.

Re:How could that be ? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15128756)

And it seems that you are a spelling Nazi Grammer Nazi whiney-takes-it-in-the-ass and then sucks off the poopy covered cock BITCH!
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Re:How could that be ? (4, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128682)

The difference is that humans are well adapted to large variances in temperature and climate. A whole lot of the other life on this planet isn't, including many of our favorite crops. If the temperature reaches a point where corn, wheat, rice, etc aren't able to tolerate it, it can have a dramatic impact on humans.

China (4, Informative)

Rydia (556444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128633)

To be fair to China, they've had much smaller growth in their pollution compared to other countries who underwent similar industrialization. Not saying they're perfect, but that should be mentioned.

Re:China (0, Troll)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128683)

Killing all the female babies has that effect.

Re:China (1)

Wholeflaffer (64423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128719)

Um...the parent poster said "pollution," not "population."

Time for a little balance to the propaganda (2, Insightful)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128635)

Yes, the US refuses to cut levels (translation: "refuses to devolve our economy") precisely because the absurd Kyoto Protocol would put no such restrictions on developing nations such as China and India. They could grow and boom, consume all the energy the like and spew unlimited amounts of who-know-what into the atmosphere, but America would have to shrink it's economy to comply.

No wonder it's been called the "Stop America Protocol."

mod up (1, Insightful)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128662)

I like the part how it will shift pollution from being produced by America to being produced by developing third world countries, those that have the fewest restrictions on pollutants (as well as worker safety) and those that are least equipped to clean it up.

Maybe something needs to be done legally to fix the problem if it is in fact a problem...... maybe not, but either way Kyoto was a really poorly designed contract.

Re:mod up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15128713)

I did. Then it was immediately modded "overrated".

Gotta love the America sucks mods.

Re:Time for a little balance to the propaganda (1, Troll)

Gossi (731861) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128672)

Well boo fucking hoo. America would -- shock -- have to care! And, like, not shit on the rest of the world, but take a bit of shit _from_ the rest of the world.

Cry me a river.

Re:Time for a little balance to the propaganda (0, Flamebait)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128775)

You're probably someone who cries when your job gets shipped overseas to India. The Kyoto agreement would make American companies even less competitive against their counterparts in countries like China and India which would lead to more jobs moving overseas. The next time an article comes up about jobs moving overseas, don't come here bitching that GWB sucks and should do something about it.

The US sucks. Well not really, but maybe that'll get me modded up!

Re:Time for a little balance to the propaganda (2)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128678)

the US refuses to cut levels (translation: "refuses to devolve our economy")
Correct translation: refuses to walk/take a train/drive there is something that gets double digit miles per gallon.

Re:Time for a little balance to the propaganda (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15128687)

You do realise you're comparing the US to third world countries? Why not try a more valid comparison, like Europe?

Re:Time for a little balance to the propaganda (2, Insightful)

B_Realll (957738) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128809)

Because he was comparing countries with growing economies (our actual competitors), unlike say... most of Europe.

Re:Time for a little balance to the propaganda (0)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128694)

Excellent point that I was going to make if someone hadn't already. The Kyoto agreement is an underhanded way to give countries like China and India a leg up on the US economically. Now, if the treaty required the same restrictions from all signers the US might have entertained the idea.

Re:Time for a little balance to the propaganda (-1, Flamebait)

fatboy (6851) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128698)

No wonder it's been called the "Stop America Protocol."

I thought that was the purpose of the "environmental movement" these days. :)

Re:Time for a little balance to the propaganda (0, Flamebait)

quokkapox (847798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128734)

The way things are going in America, what with the offshore prison camps, pervasive domestic surveillence, corporations trampling individual rights by suing their customers, and runaway executive power, maybe it should be stopped.

Not that the Chinese/Indian alternatives are necessarily better, but America is rapidly deteriorating.

Re:Time for a little balance to the propaganda (5, Insightful)

lbrandy (923907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128850)

The way things are going in America, what with the offshore prison camps, pervasive domestic surveillence, corporations trampling individual rights by suing their customers, and runaway executive power, maybe it should be stopped.

Not that the Chinese/Indian alternatives are necessarily better, but America is rapidly deteriorating.


This nonsense is never going to end. Do you realize this is the exact reason that public support isn't behind Kyoto here? It's because of people like you.... Because it is so easy to convince people that Kyoto isn't about climate.. it's about people who don't like America and want to punish it. When you bring up Guantanomo Bay in a discussion about Kyoto, every single rational person opposed to Kyoto is going to roll their eyes. Let's keep in mind those rational people are the ones that can be convinced, and make it happen... yet here I am.. having to listen to some guy ramble on about nebulous nonsense generalized into alamarmist and unrelated propaganda..

As to your other, weaker, point... congratulations.. no one is perfect. What does that prove? "Maybe" it should be stopped? And who fills that void... the next upcoming ideal nation? Then we can wait for the next centuries "utopia" to fail.. And we'll just keep destroying all the unperfect nations, one after another, until we finally get it right.

That's just economic naivetee (1, Informative)

SideshowBob (82333) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128744)

Do you really think China and India need the help of the Kyoto Protocol? Production is *already* shifting to those countries. And yes their emissions are uncapped, but their emissions are a fraction of the U.S.'s emissions. When they become part of the problem then we can talk, but right now Europe and the U.S. are the problem.

you're living in a dreamland (4, Insightful)

penguin-collective (932038) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128752)

Yes, the US refuses to cut levels (translation: "refuses to devolve our economy")

There is no evidence that cutting the levels of CO2 emissions would "devolve [the US] economy". In fact, the opposite is far more plausible: the move to energy efficient technologies would spur new R&D, it would result in modernization of our transportation and manufacturing infrastructure, it would improve efficiency, it would lessen dependence on foreign oil (thereby also reducing the need for military expenses), and it would create lots of new economic activity and jobs. Pretty much the only people who lose are the big oil companies, some powerful US politicians, and the military.

the absurd Kyoto Protocol would put no such restrictions on developing nations such as China and India. They could grow and boom, consume all the energy the like and spew unlimited amounts of who-know-what into the atmosphere, but America would have to shrink it's economy to comply.

The US economy is already in deep trouble; it's living on borrowed money, provided by China and other nations, while China, India, and other nations are already booming.

Furthermore, those other nations are rightfully arguing that it is not fair that the US has achieved its current economic strength by emitting carbon without restrictions and now they are supposed to limit their economies by not being allowed to emit equal amounts of carbon. But the solution is simple: everybody should pay for the carbon they have already emitted into the atmosphere; when such payments are set up, then India and China will probably be willing to agree to strong limits on their emissions.

Re:you're living in a dreamland (3, Insightful)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128861)

In fact, the opposite is far more plausible: the move to energy efficient technologies would spur new R&D, it would result in modernization of our transportation and manufacturing infrastructure, it would improve efficiency,

Good point. The problem is that those things cost money which you later admit US doesn't have much of anymore. Modernization of transportation is greatly needed, and the US is starting to move in that direction with more fuel efficient cars, hybrids, etc... What's really needed though is good mass transportation. The problem is that in the US there is a lot of ground to cover unlike many places in Europe. Something like high speed rail between cities would be great, but the costs are huge.

The US economy is already in deep trouble; it's living on borrowed money, provided by China and other nations

I agree totally. After 9/11 the gov. should've just let the US economy go through a recession and rebalance itself. Instead they lowered rates and China stepped in and started buying bonds so we ended up with a huge housing bubble and then the housing ATM. Eventually the recession that should've happened then will eventually come due.

I used to really worry about China owning so much of the US debt, and how they had us by the balls until I realized we have them in nearly the same situation. If China were to dump all it's US debt and force our interest rates to sky rocket, basically crushing the US economy, it hurts them just as much. They are killing one of their biggest customers at that point. I guess they could just say screw it and do something like that anyways and play the odds that they come out ahead at the end of the day.

Re:you're living in a dreamland (1)

bloosqr (33593) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128871)

I can't agree w/ this more.. Thats what I never liked about kyoto 1990 was an arbitrary # to base carbon emissions on..Since the soviet union has collapsed they have tons of excess emissions, the 3rd world countries are exempt but any first world country that is not the U.S. is at a disadvantage because their emissions per person are nowhere close to the US range. Why should the U.S. have a random economic advantage on a world-wide treaty?

Re:you're living in a dreamland (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15128874)

Wait, so first you say...

"The US economy is already in deep trouble;"

Then a few sentences later...

"the US has achieved its current economic strength"

So are you saying that the US is in deep economic trouble and is strong, or what?

Re:Time for a little balance to the propaganda (4, Interesting)

will_die (586523) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128759)

It is even more meaningless. According to a scientist interviewed on NPR last week, who talked about localized glacier melting it, even if all humans on earth were to stop all emmisions the temperature would still increase by over 1 degree.

Re:Time for a little balance to the propaganda (1)

Decaff (42676) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128832)

It is even more meaningless. According to a scientist interviewed on NPR last week, who talked about localized glacier melting it, even if all humans on earth were to stop all emmisions the temperature would still increase by over 1 degree.

This isn't meaningless. It ie because of the CO2 we have already put into the atmosphere. This will not magically disappear as soon as we cut back - it will take some time.

Re:Time for a little balance to the propaganda (2, Insightful)

kawika (87069) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128766)

It's true, the US still consumes a disproportionate share of energy, epecially considering that we are outsourcing all our energy-intensive manufacturing to China. That's because oil is still way too cheap. There's no reason to optimize the use of a commodity that's cheap.

As long as small-penised men are still buying Hummers and soccer moms are buying Expeditions, oil is too cheap. As long as business are saying, "Hey we just have to pay the increase and pass it along because it's the cost of doing business," rather than thinking about ways to reduce and optimize their energy use, oil is too cheap.

We need gas at $5 a gallon for a year or two to change those habits. In the process, $5 gas will also bring sanity to commuting patterns and solve the problem of building new roads. And it won't be the end of the world, our economy will survive and adapt the way it did in the late 1970s.

Re:Time for a little balance to the propaganda (1)

leenks (906881) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128813)

$5 a gallon? You are having a laugh right? that's still quite a bit cheaper than I pay in the UK (recently filled up at 96.9pence/litre = approx $6.50 per US gallon)! The general idea is sound though; I don't drive half as much as I would if fuel was cheaper, but then I'm generally depressed at the awful way British society is being transformed that I really have no desire to go anywhere either. Perhaps you need a good dose of chavism in the US? :-)

Re:Time for a little balance to the propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15128791)

No wonder it's been called the "Stop America Protocol."

i thought that was the republican party?

Re:Time for a little balance to the propaganda (1)

George Tirebuyer (825426) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128799)

Perhaps the US should adapt the Hiroshima Protocol.

Re:Time for a little balance to the propaganda (1)

Decaff (42676) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128804)

Yes, the US refuses to cut levels (translation: "refuses to devolve our economy")

Cutting levels of CO2 need not involve devolving any economy. It will require technological advances in energy production and conservation. This sort of innovation can stimulate an economy.

Re:Time for a little balance to the propaganda (1, Flamebait)

Dulcise (840718) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128838)

Here's my attempt at applying my critical thinking lessons to this argument, i'm not sure about the strawman, but i think that's an example of one. P1: Kyoto Protocol would put no such restrictions on developing nations such as China and India. P2: They could grow and boom, but America would have to shrink it's economy to comply. C1: the US [should] refuse to cut levels consume all the energy the like and spew unlimited amounts of who-know-what into the atmosphere strawman No wonder it's been called the "Stop America Protocol." appeal to emotion (translation: "refuses to devolve our economy") appeal to emotion a couple of assumptions are that undeveloped countrys wouldn't want to do something similar to keep up with the developed world and that the developed world would trade with countrys that don't do something about polution

Re:Time for a little balance to the propaganda (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128877)

In the meantime, scientists measure a raise in the temperatures. And some believe it will impair the productivity of the only economy that matters : the world economy.

And today's fortune: (1)

Rod Beauvex (832040) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128638)

"Death to all fanatics!"

Wait just a second... (5, Insightful)

StevenHenderson (806391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128645)

The US refuses to cut emissions and those of India and China are rising. Come on, now. Failure to sign Kyoto does not directly imply a direct refusal to cut emissions. It just prevents direct government support of such programs.

Also, we are lucky to be in a country where being green is good for business. I can think of some companies [ge.com] that are making a pretty penny off cutting emissions and helping others to do so.

Signing Kyoto certainly didn't do anything (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128768)

Last I read a good number of the signing countries in Europe won't even come close to meeting the agreed upon numbers.

The sky is falling! (5, Funny)

Spud Stud (739387) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128655)

Again.

Re:The sky is falling! (1)

Magycian (121354) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128737)

Still.....

Famine won't be a problem. . . (1)

PerlPunk (548551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128660)

. . . because a number of countries regularly dump hundreds of tons of grain each year to keep prices high. Just don't dump the grain and there will be no lack of food, unless some dictator withholds it to starve his own people.

A guess, even an educated one... (3, Insightful)

GWSuperfan (939629) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128666)

...is still just a guess. "A government report based on computer modeling..." So- a projection from the government based on a computer model says that this is what might happen if the global temperature were to rise 3 degrees. Of course, given that computer models are just themselves guesses about how the various systems that affect climate and weather interact anyway, I remain unimpressed. I'll be taking this with more than a grain of salt. Can someone pick me up a salt lick?

Re:A guess, even an educated one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15128716)

And if you're wrong ... what then? It's a pretty big gamble...

Re:A guess, even an educated one... (4, Insightful)

Decaff (42676) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128882)

...is still just a guess. "A government report based on computer modeling..." So- a projection from the government based on a computer model says that this is what might happen if the global temperature were to rise 3 degrees. Of course, given that computer models are just themselves guesses about how the various systems that affect climate and weather interact anyway, I remain unimpressed. I'll be taking this with more than a grain of salt. Can someone pick me up a salt lick?

I'm glad you are so confident. I am not. The models (the so-called 'guesses') have been developed and refined over decades, and based on data that goes back for millenia. Almost all scientific work is based on this sort of 'guess'.

Even if you still label it a 'guess', surely you should be concerned that so many guesses from so many who have studied this matter are pointing in the same direction.

Would happen anyway (1)

shobadobs (264600) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128673)

So what's the big deal? We either reach a shortage of resources at 6-7-8 billion people, or we hit a shortage at 8-9-10 billion people. Running against the wall of finite natural resources will be just as painful, either way.

Re:Would happen anyway (1)

thewiz (24994) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128853)

But 8-10 billion people hitting the wall of finite natural resources would make a much squishier sound than 6 billion!

Meeting Kyoto targets? (1)

BJZQ8 (644168) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128674)

It seems to me that, while things like reducing carbon emissions and having meetings about global warming are nice, Japan [bbc.co.uk] and in fact all of Europe [bbc.co.uk] are having a hard time meeting their so-called "Targets." The fact remains that in the current world, you cannot maintain economic growth and at the same time reduce your carbon emissions to the levels they are talking about. The populace of the world would quickly put off global warming concerns if their unemployment went to 30% and their economies tanked. I think that global warming is a problem and needs to be addressed, but you have to realize we do not have the technology nor the will to solve it. When fusion becomes cheap and room-temp superconductors common, maybe we'll have the solution.

What's the point? (4, Insightful)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128676)

Climate change was occurring long before our species arrived here, has been occurring ever since, and will continue to occur long after we're gone. Are we contributing to it? Yes. Does it really matter in the end? No. There are forces at work here that are a lot bigger and lot more powerful than we are. Ultimately, our species is time limited on this planet anyway. Weather it is a large asteroid, nukes, the environment or the dieing sun, something is going to make this planet uninhabitable at some point. Let's spend less time fighting with each other and more time figuring out how we can get our species off of this lovely little rock and onto the next one because that's our only hope for survival in the end.

Re:What's the point? (3, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128778)

Climate change was occurring long before our species arrived here, has been occurring ever since, and will continue to occur long after we're gone. Are we contributing to it? Yes. Does it really matter in the end? No. There are forces at work here that are a lot bigger and lot more powerful than we are.

From BBC News: The scientists making the predictions admit that the Earth's mechanisms are so complicated that their calculations are necessarily uncertain.

This uncertainty has led critics to accuse them of either exaggerating the threats to the planet, or under-playing them.

In the end, as I've said many times, we know how bits and pieces of things work, but we don't know how the system functions as a whole. This is very true in medicine, but especially true when it comes to climatology or any planetary science. Listen, you can take the base principles of physics, chemistry, etc. and create any kind of picture you want as to how a mechanism works, as long as it doesn't violate those principles. It doesn't mean you understand how the actual system works -- you only have a theory which happens to explain it in gross detail.

Look at Venus: we know the CO2 level there is extremely high, that the planet is scorchingly hot and devoid of large amounts of water. We can extrapolate from that and from experiments here that the Greenhouse Effect may have caused current conditions there. We can further theorize that a similar catastrophe awaits us here if we don't do anything. The problem is, we don't know how Venus got that way, or really how long it has been like that. We haven't studied it in detail geologically, so we can't be certain that Venus hasn't always been like this.

Yes, CO2 causes the Greenhouse Effect to trap more heat and raise global temperature. According to current theories, the Earth's biosphere has a mechanism for dealing with this, but of course that mechanism is affected by the things we do to it. It's folly to think we're having no effect on the climate, but it's also folly to say we're pushing it to the brink of catastrophe. The truth, as always, probably lies somewhere in the middle. I for one don't see the harm in reducing our CO2 emmissions; it seems like a sensible thing to do, given the fact that we have technologies available that could eliminate our need to use fossil fuels. We really don't need a debate over climate change to see that this is a good idea on general principles.

Re:What's the point? (2, Insightful)

zerojoker (812874) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128780)

So you basically say that we can f*** up everything and shouldn't care because in the end it doesn't matter at all?
I just don't get this type of thinking. Look at it from a computer scientist standpoint:
1.) Let's assume that there might or might not be a direct link between greenhouse emissions and global warming
a) Say we do nothing and there is no direct link -> We f*** up big time
b) Say we do something and there is a direct link -> We might have chance
c) Say we do something and there is no direct link ->
Then global warming would still occur but we would be more efficient with energy, would be able to get our energy from more cleaner sources, would be less dependent on oil from the middle east etc. etc.
The USofA have by far the biggest energy-per-capita consumption world wide. Other developed nations i.e. Europe doesn't even come close. I mean its not that we would have to do great sacrifices to cut down energy consumption. Switching from an SUV to a more efficient car is not that hard.
Then the costs for our economy. People always say that saving energy would come at a loss of economical growth. That is very difficult to predict. All we would do is to artifically increase the price of one good (energ). It does not neccesarily mean that this would cost jobs. Some industries may suffer but there is the chance that other industries will grow or complete new industries will develop i.e. companys that will focus and help others to be more efficient in energy consumption, companies that develop solar panels that specialise in wind energy etc etc.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128818)

Climate change was occurring long before our species arrived here, has been occurring ever since, and will continue to occur long after we're gone.

I'm sick of seeing this stock response. Did you flunk algebra? There's also an important concept called rate of change. That's the problem here: the rate of change is now high enough to affect us within our lifetimes. Your fatalistic outlook of "we're all doomed anyway" wouldn't necessarily need to transpire for countless generations into the future. Since we're actively working to make it happen within the next few decades, we can also take actions to alter that course.

Let's spend less time fighting with each other and more time figuring out how we can get our species off of this lovely little rock and onto the next one because that's our only hope for survival in the end.

That doesn't solve much of anything. The day after the comet hit that wiped out the dinosaurs, where do you think that the most habitable place in the solar system was? That's right: it was still right here on earth. All of the other planets suck. There's no point worrying about them when we have more pressing problems to solve right here.

Is warming Real? Is it Bad? Do we know? (1)

Blorgo (19032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128826)

(Copied from Jerry Pournelle's letters page, just spell-checked)

The global warming controversy hingers on four key questions:

1. Is there a sustained, long term increase in global average temperatures? 2. If this increase exists, is it due to natural environmental factors (including the observed warming of the sun over the past few decades), to human influences (e.g. industrial carbon dioxide, agricultural methane, etc.), or to a combination of these factors? 3. Is this environmental change likely to be, on the whole, beneficial or detrimental to human society? 4. If the change is likely to be detrimental, what actions should be taken to mitigate or eliminate the deleterious effects.

Briefly, in turn:

1. Is there a sustained, long term increase in global average temperatures?

a. Experimentally observed temperature effects are, at present, well within the historical data base of measured temperature extremes, which include cyclic patterns on scales of a year, two to three years (the El Nino/La Nina cycle), twenty-two years (the "normal" solar cycle), 80-odd years (natural the hurricane cycle which peaked in the 1930s and which is peaking again now) and several hundred years (the cycle that left Lief Erikson's Greenland as an agricultural paradise, then created the "mini ice age" in Europe in the late Middle Ages. These cycles are their interactions are poorly understood, and the possible forcing (or retarding) effects of man made influences even less so.

b. Most of the evidence for long-term "global warming" is a consequence of computer models which, of necessity, oversimple some (or many) aspects of the global environment. All of these models systematically predict warming of from 2 - 9 degrees C (3.5 - 16 degrees F) over the next century. This is noteworthy, but is is evidence -- even after the fact given the not yet understood cycles noted above? In any event, a lot of people think that if the most sophisticated weather models we can produce are in error by several degrees after five to seven days, why should we worry about climate models over the period of a century, and there is much to be said for that position.

2. If this increase exists, is it due to natural environmental factors (including the observed warming of the sun over the past few decades), to human influences (e.g. industrial carbon dioxide, agricultural methane, etc.), or to a combination of these factors?

The pro-warming factions maintain that their models hold that only 30% of observed warming is due to the solar warming, and that the balance is due to human influences. However, the "observed" warming -- against a baseline of mid-1940's temperatures -- is something like 0.2 degrees C (0.4 degrees F), which as noted above is well within the limits of historical temperatures of the past. Even that observed warming is questioned by many researchers, because our most direct temperature measurements are associated with urban areas, which are known to be heat traps due to the replacement of naturally cooling foliage by high-heat-retaining pavement (plus the waste heat of human activities). To some extent (this is being debated rigorously) this effect is skewing the underlying effects of the observed warming.

The solar variations are discussed at sites in the list of references below, and the average variation over the sun's normal 22 year cycle is approximately 0.2% -- which for a normal surface temperature of 300 degrees Kelvin (27 degrees C) amounts to a cyclic change of 0.6 degrees -- against which we are trying to detect a systematic 0.2 degree effect against a two-cycle background. Ask me again in a century.

3. Is this environmental change likely to be, on the whole, beneficial or detrimental to human society?

It is an open question whether meteorological "forcing" by increased temperatures would normally result just in warmer days and warmer nights by the same amount, by increased violent weather, or by a combination of these effects. There are also scare scenarios about Arctic or Antarctic ice melting, ignoring that for every section of the ice pack that is weakening, another is strengthening.

The worst case scare scenarios warn of coastal inundation as the ice packs melt, combined with desertification from increased heat. On the other side, in temperate climates, growing seasons will be longer. On the whole, the global effects are hard to predict and must more sophisticated modeling is required. Believable modeling, which I'm not sure we have yet. (See note 1).

4. If the change is likely to be detrimental, what actions should be taken to mitigate or eliminate the deleterious effects.

It is an open question as yet that the change is likely to be detrimental. Yet, it is clear that a solution that punishes the US and Europe while allowing China and India to pollute without restriction, such as Kyoto, is properly a non-starter. The impact on the American standard of living of Kyoto would be significant. Maybe we do have a too-luxurious lifestyle -- but I don't see many pro-Kyoto activitists renouncing their suburban homes, TVs, computers, and SUVs to return to subsistence organic agriculture. Would you be willing to do that? Today? In ten years?

References

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/ne ws/2004/07/18/wsun18.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/07/18/i xnewstop.html [telegraph.co.uk]

http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA203.html [nationalcenter.org]

http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/SOLAR/ftpsolarirradia nce.html#composite [noaa.gov] and references therein

http://physicsweb.org/articles/news/3/6/9/1 [physicsweb.org]

You think that's bad (1)

LiftOp (637065) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128685)

We looked at it out here in Colorado, just this week. We could lose precious, precious snowboarding snow!!!!

And some water, crops, lives [headwatersnews.org] too, maybe...

Global temperature...3C is ALOT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15128686)

Don't stress too much about the 3C amount. It has no relation to the average daily temperature fluctuation from say the diurnal cycle or seasonal cycle for that matter. This is a global average, a budget of incoming radation and outgoing radiation. Condiser this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:2000_Year_Tempe rature_Comparison.png [wikipedia.org]

A 3C increase from current conditions would require more than double the human forcing than all of the industrial revolution thus far.

Are we on that track? That's not for me to decide, just be wary of over emphasizing the magnitude of a 3C change.

If you want Kyoto to happen... (2, Insightful)

oni (41625) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128692)

The problem with Kyoto is that many in the US saw it as unfair. Imagine if someone did a study that showed that internet usage was linked to obesity. So they want to pass a law that curbs internet use. Under this law, slashdot users, who are on the internet 15 hours a day, they need to cut their usage down to 5 hours. But meanwhile people who spend their time on ebay and click on banner adds, so they only spend 4 hours a day online, they don't have to cut down at all. And even worse, your little brother, who hasn't been using the internet only because he was too young, he isn't under any restriction at all. He's just hitting the age where he's going to start using the internet even more than you, but the law wont make him give up anything.

Does any of that sound fair?

Re:If you want Kyoto to happen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15128844)

On the plus side I would probably lose a few pounds and live longer.

Can use my 'phone a friend'?

And something I never hear discussed..... (5, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128693)

Since we know our supplies of fossil fuels are reaching depletion, has anyone actually tried calculating the total amount of future "damage" possible to do by burning all of what's feasibly left to use?

It seems to me that most of the people spreading fear of global warming trends are acting as if, without new legislation and drastic changes, we'll keep on creating this pollution indefinitely.

In reality, it seems to me that once gas prices rise to only another $2-3 per gallon (due to demand outstripping supply), the motivation will be there for some serious change anyway. The most likely alternatives for power generation are things like nuclear plants, and for cars, maybe hydrogen - which would nullify most of these concerns.

Re:And something I never hear discussed..... (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128789)

Exactly, as well current temperature increases for the last hundred years have only been between .2 to 1C depending upon who you ask (different studies factor in urban heat effect (the extra heat of concrete and such) differently) So we have quite a long time until we have to worry about another 3C for a while.

Re:And something I never hear discussed..... (4, Interesting)

MyNameIsFred (543994) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128841)

Since we know our supplies of fossil fuels are reaching depletion...
For as long as I can remember, and I am no youngster, fossil fuels have been on the verge of depletion. I can remember in college being shown predictions from before my birth that we were going to run out of fossil fuels in one or two decades. The point my college professor was trying to make was they we have a very poor idea of how much fossil fuel remains.

In a similar vein, as prices go up, more expensive options open up. Do a Google on oil sands or shale oil. More expensive options than Saudi oil, but lots of fossil fuel remains.

My point in all of this is that your hypothesis that we are on the verge of depleting fossil fuels is probably incorrect.

Now watch me get hammered with strawman arguments that I am a Bushie with his head in the sand. Or that I don't believe in global warming. All which is untrue, but watch... :-)

Numbers (2, Insightful)

1000101 (584896) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128703)

"a 3C rise would cause a drop worldwide of between 20 and 400 million tonnes in cereal crops"

A little more accuracy might help their cause. Those numbers are laughable.

What about Canada? (4, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128704)

Canada actually consumes more energy per person than the US and also produces more CO2 per person.
Simple question is why wasn't Canada mentioned?
I am all for the US reducing Green house emissions. I think that we should start building a lot more nuclear power plants, use as much bio diesel as is practical, use solar where practical, and wind in the few areas where that makes sense.

Re:What about Canada? (3, Interesting)

nursegirl (914509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128824)

Part of it is that Canada has signed Kyoto, and we're being blasted by ads every day to join the "one tonne challenge" and decrease each individual's greenhouse gas emissions by one tonne. The government also has put a number of financial incentives in place (home retrofit grants, free vehicle inspection clinics) to encourage people to reduce their greenhouse gases.

I don't know that it will work - there are a lot of cultural and socioeconomic factors that haven't been addressed. Also, right now the legislation governing corporate pollution is ludicrous. But, Canada doesn't get mentioned in these things because we look like the "good guys" because we signed Kyoto.

Re:What about Canada? (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128845)

Canada actually consumes more energy per person than the US and also produces more CO2 per person.


Do you have some reference for that statement?

-Peter

Re:What about Canada? (1)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128867)

32 million people vs. 295 million, call me when the average Canadian produces 10x the CO2 than the average American and you'll have an argument. Besides, Canada ratified the Kyoto treaty.

Because Computer Can Predict with 100% Accuracy (2, Insightful)

canter (43098) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128710)

Ah yes, a "government report based on computer modelling". Because we all know computers never make mistakes right? Let's just not mention the boatload of assumptions necessary to pull off a weather/food/hunger/thirst/death model. It will work as perfectly as the computer 's weather model in "The Day After Tomorrow". Its just a really fancy spreadsheet.

And I love how America "refuses" to cut its emissions, yet China and India's emissions are simply growing. Why wasn't it written that they, too refuse to cut their emissions? Kyoto was a joke.

This whole thing reminds me of a Robert Heinlein quote: "When in fear, or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout."

Re:Because Computer Can Predict with 100% Accuracy (1)

StevenHenderson (806391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128774)

Ah yes, a "government report based on computer modelling". Because we all know computers never make mistakes right?

Especially *weather* computers...

Sell crazy someplace else.. (0, Troll)

Tominva1045 (587712) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128712)



Wow, where to start with this one.

Every so often we see a story like this seemingly designed to cast global fear and instill guilt in anyone willing to read it.

1. ..based on computer predictions... Let us see his mathematical logic.
2. We also often see stories on how the population of richer nations eats too many carbs. If it is true that the cereal crops will decline then it could also be true that the increased temperature would result in longer growing seasons and could be more favorable to the growing of fruits and vegetables. Good for everyone.
3. The U.S. refuses to cut emissions? How about our buddies in Brazil, India, and China who also refused to destroy their economies by signing the Kyoto treaty? Why attempt to heap all the guilt on us?
4. Four hundred million people at risk of hunger? How much of a risk? Are these people living in places such as those African nations where slaughter of their own population is commonplace and also unchecked by the so-called caring World Of Nations?

This newest attempt to fear the U.S. into destroying it's economy will fail. Sell crazy someplace else. We're all stocked up.

Re:Sell crazy someplace else.. (1)

billhedrick (958463) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128776)

I am at risk of hunger, in fact I am hungry now. I got up late to go to work and didn't eat breakfast

Re:Sell crazy someplace else.. (1)

nagora (177841) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128840)

1. ..based on computer predictions... Let us see his mathematical logic.

A completely fair point.

If it is true that the cereal crops will decline then it could also be true that the increased temperature would result in longer growing seasons and could be more favorable to the growing of fruits and vegetables.

Except that the increased temperatures do not come with any guarantee that increased rainfall is part of the deal. Even if it is, it may well be in the form of hurricanes - which feed on heat - which destroy crops.

How about our buddies in Brazil, India, and China who also refused to destroy their economies by signing the Kyoto treaty?

Increasing the efficency of your economy hardly equates to destroying it.

Why attempt to heap all the guilt on us?

Because the US's technological superiority, combined with its gross level of wastage, made it the country most able to actually pull it off. By refusing what was in fact just a request that they stop wasting huge amounts of energy, the US sent out a signal to countries like Brazil, India, and China that short-term business gains would be supported by them over the question of long-term destruction of civilisation. Which is what we will be facing if the sea levels rise 100 feet (which is less than half the potential if we lose the ice caps). That hundred feet would flood most of the world's agricultural land in salt-water.

I'm exaggerating of course. Much less than 100' would be needed to wreck America and most everyone else's economies and bring an end to the type of civilisation you and I are used to.

Are these people living in places such as those African nations where slaughter of their own population is commonplace

No, only some. Australia is one of the most at-risk countries, for example. Israel is another. Pheonix in Arizona is another place in deep shit, as is most of the Florida coast - although probably not from starvation, I'll grant you. Anywhere people live where fresh water is imported or used heavily in agriculture is in danger of crop-loss from global warming.

This newest attempt to fear the U.S. into destroying it's economy will fail.

It's funny how easy it is to scare Americans into killing people who never did anything to them, and how hard it is to get them to actually live up to responsibilities, even when the evidence is overwhelming that they have to do something, and do it soon.

Sell crazy someplace else. We're all stocked up.

How true.

TWW

Re:Sell crazy someplace else.. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128878)

Ohhh! I'll take the counterpoint just for fun.

It is pure mential retardation that the US does not reduce emissions. We can replace all Coal electricity plants with Nuclear and other types of energy in 25 years if we got off our asses and did it. Yes kids, Nuclear is the way to cleaner and cheaper power it always has been.

Vehicle emissions could be reduced significantly. you do NOT need a 6 foot wide 12 foot long SUV with 460Hp to drive yourself to work. American public transportation is a complete and utter joke to the rest of the planet. Both of these things could make a huge difference if changed.

Home Solar electricity can work very well if done in the right way. if all houses had some type of Solar electric that did not do the silly store-to-battery system but used a sync inverter to dump the excess power to the electrical grid then the daily peak use would be dramatically reduced making the need for more power plants less. Same for forcing homes to be energy efficient, etc...

Granted lots of these ideas simply move the pollution from one place to another. Solar panel manufacturing is nasty as hell...

Why dont we do it? retooling = less profits therefore doing it the old way makes more money and will continue to be the status-quo.

It will not happen. Just like how $3.00 a gallon gas has not hurt Hummer H2 sales.

Water vapor, not us. (0, Troll)

D4rk Fx (862399) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128722)

Water Vapor [nationalgeographic.com] is the leading cause of global warming, something we as humans have essentially no control over. 95% of the greenhouse gases produced, are water vapor. I'm sick of all these people saying that WE'RE causing global warming, when it is simply just a natural phenomenon like the Northern Lights.

As a Load of You Like to Point Out... (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128741)

...what does it matter? We'll be controlling the weather in another decade or so, right? Man is the master of all he surveys and his technology is superior to the forces of nature. When we're pressed by desperate situations we always come up with solutions that are much better than anything nature could ever come up with in retaliation. I call for regime change on the global climate. Nature is using weapons of mass destruction to try and keep us from democratizing the weather patterns. Let's use the nuclear option and then we'll see who's boss on this planet! Are you with me people!!!? (fist raised in air chanting: Viva la preemptive global climate strike!!!)

On the bright side... (4, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128748)

My family in the suburbs will finally have that waterfront house they've always wanted, and they won't even have to move.

A warning from Stark ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15128749)

And I thought their warning was "Winter is coming"...

Doesn't matter (2, Insightful)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128784)

[paraphrasing the mentality of much of the industrial world]

I'm rich, I'll survive. Who cares about all those poor people abroad.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128859)

The adults in their societies made and continue to make maladaptive choices based on their cultural, social, and other influences.
Those choices have consquences.
No, I don't care about those people and do not accept the social construct advocated by those who say I should.

Not to worry...we'll evolve! (1)

PenguinBoyDave (806137) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128797)

Hey...as so many of you point out, Evolution is a fact, so we'll just evolve. If golbal warming is happening and all the crops die, the polar ice caps melt putting my city under water and the sun rises is the west, I expect we'll learn to grow gills and webbed feet, eat sand...and be happy.

I'm gonna throw a sand-tasting party later if anyone wants to come...

Assuming its true (0, Troll)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128816)

( which i doubt, both sides have good arguments and 'facts' to back them up )

But if its true, this could be a good thing. We have far too many people as it is to support properly.

Nobody cares! (1)

Britz (170620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128819)

Nobody cares about poor people now, why should they care about their future.

I mean how many people on Slashdot know what is going on in Africa right now? Like Chad, where fresh French troops were deployed this week to bolster the ranks of the French troops already there to stem off a rebellion. Anyone know who the rebels are or what they want? Anyone cares? Chad belongs to Sub-Saharan Africa, which is the poorest region in the world. How many could place Chad on a map?

Somalia got some attention back in the 90s. It still is a so called failed state. I dunno if many know what that term even means.

And I consider Slashdot to be an educated crowd. So much for the Western World.

Nobody gives a shit about poor people in other countries. Best example: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/ [un.org]
Those goals were drawn up in 2000 and when 9/11 came up they were completely off the agenda. Though I don't know if 9/11 is to blame. Maybe they would have been taken off the agenda anyways.

So if you want to make people in Western countries care about climate change you should maybe mention the billions upon billions that natural disasters will cost. Money always gets attention.

I almost forgot (1)

Britz (170620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128869)

My best reason against the war in Iraq (since taking out dictators is generally such a good idea that you can hardly argue about it) is that with a fraction of the money spent ( http://costofwar.com/ [costofwar.com] ) we could have come A LOT closer to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and could have done so much more for so many more people.

And if the moon smashes into the Earth... (1)

Darth Daver (193621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128823)

Let's assume such a temperature increase would have the impact predicted. That does not mean such an increase is imminent. Some scientists are speaking out that data shows these temperature fluctuations are normal, periodic, and precede modern industrialization. The data also shows that the current upswing in temperature may be about to reverse, since temperatures have leveled off since 1998. This data is being supressed by hysterical, global-warming cultists, like those found frequenting Slashdot.
    During the 1970's, scientists were warning that we were entering the next ice age. I am old enough to remember that, so excuse me if I am skeptical about the latest, faddish claims. No one has proven a link between "greenhouse gas" emissions and any periods of climatic change. It is simply a theory that seems plausible on the surface. I hope this does not cause too much cognitive dissonance for those with Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) or those eager for the end of the world as we know it.

Reducing Emissions (2, Interesting)

Stormcrow309 (590240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128828)

Ok, first off, I reduced my individual emissions. I did this by buying a more efficient air conditioner and improving the insulating quality of my house. In addition, I replaced all of my light bulbs with low wattage, long life bulbs. Why? To save money. I reduced my electrical and natural gas costs by 30% per year. That is the financial incentive Americans need.

Second, the Kyoto Accords are a socialist mandate to hurt highly industrial countries. Have anyone here seen the amount of pollution in Mexico City? How about mandating a reduction in emissions from third world countries' cars? If the US had decided to follow the Kyoto Protocol, we would be one of the few, because the other countries don't care. What about the pollution causes by burning rainforests for planting crops? And we need to cut back on the emissions from Volcanoes. Those things are worse then coal-fired plants.

Lastly, what about this computer simulation? Is it available to the public? Is it open-sourced? We need to review every line of code to see if the researchers are just trying to grab headlines and research dollars. (Research dollars are smarter then the regular dollars) How about someone researching the researchers and the programmers? What did they base the data on? What is the error-ratio? Does their model predict the past knowns accurately? What has been the error ratio since this model has been created? Where did the input come from?

Question everything you hear and all that you read. -- Besides me. ;-)

Changes in consumption rates (1)

blakestah (91866) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128829)

The US has increased consumption of energy roughly 8% PER DECADE since 1970 (26% total). That is slower than population growth, we actually use less energy per person than we did 35 years ago!

India and China, in comparison, have increased energy consumption 70% and 50% since 1990. India's population increase has been only roughly 18% in that time, and China's has grown 23%.

Looking forward in time, where are the problems going to be? The US is a large consumer, but our per capita consumption decreases with time, and our population growth is slowing (actually, we are shrinking except for the immigration issue). India and China are both increasing population, and increasing per capita usage.

The other side of the (gold) coin (4, Funny)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128831)

As a perpetual optimist, I prefer to see this news not as a harbinger of devastation to the world's food supply, but rather as a wake-up call. A wake-up call to buy corn, wheat, and rice futures!

And you know what? You don't even have to bother dealing with the pesky Chicago Board of Trade. While bread goes bad pretty quickly, saltines last for a long time, as does flour. But why go the boring route?

Common breakfast cereals last for a year at least; also, if you buy now, they come with adorable Ice Age: The Meltdown(TM) toy which, down the road, will really make the irony sting. For example, once the famine sets in, you'll be amassing great wealth from selling $45 boxes of Corn Pops to the stupid starving masses who lacked your foresight. Then, as they finish eating their precious sugared grain pellets they will find an Ice Age toy at the bottom of the box. This mere bauble will become a caustic and bitter reminder of the witless folly that created the famine (and your fortune) in the first place.

So it's win/win!

In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15128851)

In other news a bunch of people made a computer program that allows them to plug in lots of numbers that can get any desired result based on input.

MUCH MUCH WORSE!!! (1, Funny)

rlp (11898) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128879)

An increase of just 300 degrees centigrade would cause everything flammable to catch fire!

3C+ in Canada for more grains! (2, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15128888)

"a 3C rise would cause a drop worldwide of between 20 and 400 million tonnes in cereal crops"

And a 3C rise would open up vast un(der)farmed plains in the northern Mid-West and Canada. Yeah, some currently farmed areas would have significant problems, others would likely see it as a huge benefit. And from what I've heard on climate change, it's not likely that the entire Earth is going to heat up. It's much more likely that some places will get hotter, and others colder as water currents and wind patterns change.

-Rick
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