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150th Anniversary of Greenhouse Climate Theory

samzenpus posted about 3 years ago | from the it's-getting-hot-in-here dept.

Earth 407

An anonymous reader writes "It was 150 years ago that John Tyndall, one of history's truly great physicists, published a scientific paper with the far-from-snappy title On the Absorption and Radiation of Heat by Gases and Vapours, and on the Physical Connexion of Radiation, Absorption, and Conduction. The BBC has an article on John Tyndall and his contributions 150 years ago to the physics behind the study of climate change."

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Like all ignorant blowhards I oppose science. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37549600)

As an ignorant and probably racist member of the Republican party (aka Tea Bagger) I simply deny science.

If a scientist says that my state is becoming poorer and more unhealthy, I simply turn to Jesus and let the poor die in the streets.

Yours in Christ,
Rick Perry

Re:Like all ignorant blowhards I oppose science. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37549650)

troll

Re:Like all ignorant blowhards I oppose science. (1)

microbox (704317) | about 3 years ago | (#37549658)

Yours in Christ,
Rick Perry

As a non-teabagger, I think this is totally unfair and stupid, and spineless. Rick Perry might have blind-spots, but name one person on this world who doesn't. He deserves some respect for his stand on racism, and also for speaking his mind on social security, even if you don't agree with him. There is some authenticity and guts there that the AC just doesn't have, and doesn't get.

The typical climate denier is like the 9/11 conspiracy theorist -- a mind that is never still, prone to hyperbole, and always clutching at straws. Kinda like what the AC just did.

Re:Like all ignorant blowhards I oppose science. (0)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 3 years ago | (#37549702)

While certainly there are those conspiracy theorists out there, I'd venture to say the typical "climate denier" is more often denying that humanity is in control of the climate and is on a path to make it so bad that it cause the end of civilization as we know it. Yes, yes, climate changes, we accept that. Heck, we can even accept that CO2 is part of those changes, and adds some measure of warmth to the equation. And we can even accept that humans emit CO2! But to think that our influence can overwhelm a system that has been changing for billions of years before humanity has existed?

I know I need to accept that the typical warmist is probably not a Jim Jones zombie that simply follows whatever papal bulls come from the mouth of the Goracle. The typical warmist is also probably not some socialist hell bent on transforming society into some sort of centrally controlled utopia. The typical warmist probably loves their children just as much as the typical denier...we just seem to forget that sometimes.

Re:Like all ignorant blowhards I oppose science. (1)

microbox (704317) | about 3 years ago | (#37549922)

Oh yes, and all those scientists are suffering from the confirmation bias [wikipedia.org] , but the *real* scientists (who are out-numbered by intelligent designers) know the truth. Namely: that there can never be such a thing as an environmental issue, because we already know that people who think of these things are just crazy.

Re:Like all ignorant blowhards I oppose science. (2)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 3 years ago | (#37549964)

Yup, I've seen that canard around too - the warmist analog is that we have a consensus, and the science is settled, and that the time for action is now :)

This is exactly why I enjoyed our conversation about getting to a falsifiable hypothesis statement so much -> when we skip that part, both sides pretty much spend their time building straw men to burn, rather than trying to understand where the disconnect in communication is :)

Another favorite canard of both warmist and denier is "it's not [warming/cooling]! it's [freezing/sweltering] outside today!" :)

Re:Like all ignorant blowhards I oppose science. (3, Funny)

gilleain (1310105) | about 3 years ago | (#37550520)

... spend their time building straw men to burn, rather than trying to understand where the disconnect in communication is :)

You know that burning straw men in arguments is very bad for climate change, right?

Re:Like all ignorant blowhards I oppose science. (1, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 3 years ago | (#37550100)

Well first of all I think using words like truther and denier just brings in stupid partisan bullshit in what SHOULD be a healthy debate. Correct me if I'm wrong but I kinda thought science was supposed to educate, not be like religion where all that oppose dogma are labeled "other" and attacked?

Now here is what I personally have against the whole climate change, which make up your damned mind is it global warming or global cooling? Climate change is a cop out, the climate has been changing for all of recorded history!

But here is the problem: The ONLY "solution" we have been offered is carbon credits by the likes of Rev Al Gore who neglects to tell you the "inconvenient truth" that he has set himself up to be a carbon billionaire [telegraph.co.uk] , the same ones that cooked up credit default swaps, aka economy killers are writing the rules for the carbon derivatives market [nakedcapitalism.com] and the most telling to me? notice how YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN Rev Al or his buddies come out in favor of tariffs against India and China, even though both countries have given the finger to carbon scams and said they won't play the game? Why is that? Could it be because Gore and his friends are making crazy monies in China and India, and don't give a fuck that dumping carbon credit scams on top of an already broken economy would royally buttfuck us as long as they can leech a few more sheckles before they bail?

I'm all for using less, we only have one planet and we should take care of it. but the only things i've seen is more bullshit, more scams, more bubbles, more ways for the top 1% to rob the middle class and poor before taking their money and buying another polluting factory in China. Perhaps one should watch this video [youtube.com] that explains why you are being had. Reduction yes, carbon scamming, no. oh and lets tax the living fuck out of anything coming from factories that pollute and stop allowing designed for the dump hardware off the boat, okay? hell Newegg is still selling brand new IP V4 routers! Talk about prebuilt garbage!

Re:Like all ignorant blowhards I oppose science. (2)

benjamindees (441808) | about 3 years ago | (#37550344)

the same ones that cooked up credit default swaps, aka economy killers are writing the rules for the carbon derivatives market

So, just to verify -- You do understand that credit default swaps "killed the economy" by allowing the system to take on more risk than was prudent, and then transferring that risk to future taxpayers via government bailouts.

So, are you concerned that carbon markets might suffer the same fate, by being too lax and allowing carbon producers to take on too much risk of climate change at the expense of the future generations who will have to pay for it?

Re:Like all ignorant blowhards I oppose science. (3, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 3 years ago | (#37550856)

using words like truther and denier just brings in stupid partisan bullshit in what SHOULD be a healthy debate

This would be much more convincing if the rest of your post weren't exactly the kind of ignorant, paranoid rant that causes people to be labeled deniers in the first place.

Re:Like all ignorant blowhards I oppose science. (1)

Falconhell (1289630) | about 3 years ago | (#37549966)

As a non teabagger I fuckin love it! Nothing I have seen of Perry elicits any respect at all.

Re:Like all ignorant blowhards I oppose science. (-1, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 3 years ago | (#37550186)

A a WarmMonger, you would seek to put people in fear so that you can control them, can direct them to do what YOU perceive as best for them. Green Slavery, run by the elite. How delightful.

As a libertarian who has actually been to a few Tea PARTY events, I can say that they have nothing to do with AGW, they are about reduction of federal power and reduced spending. You keep trying to paint the group as this or that when the reason people from all political walks are attracted to the group is simplicity of purpose.

The typical climate denier is like the 9/11 conspiracy theorist

Funny you should mention that since it's always the WarmMongers such as yourself that are claiming this or that group has secret backing of whoever, and throwing around sexual slang to try and discredit a group you fear philosophically instead of trying to understand what they are saying... truly if you looked at it from the outside you would look a lot more paranoid than any Tea Party protestor.

Re:Like all ignorant blowhards I oppose science. (0)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | about 3 years ago | (#37550464)

The typical climate denier is like the 9/11 conspiracy theorist.

I don't think there's anyone to deny the fact there's a climate on this earth. And I don't think there's anyone to think that the events of the 9/11 wasn't a conspiracy (from Bin Laden or anyone else, when there's more than one guy, it's a conspiracy). Your words are typically the moronic kind from a troll ...

Re:Like all ignorant blowhards I oppose science. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37549670)

You are my hero. I love you. I don't care if people call you a troll.

Science FTW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37549618)

Np!

What truly makes me sad however... (3, Interesting)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 3 years ago | (#37549620)

What truly makes me sad when I see things like this, is that it ultimately makes me think that a bit of science has been lying around for 150 years - and there are still people who try to disclaim it, pretend it simply isn't true and make all manner of excuses as to why it doesn't mean what it clearly states. All to either keep making money, keep doing what they have been doing or because it is simply easier to not have to change the way things are done.

Super cereal (-1, Flamebait)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 3 years ago | (#37549640)

Yes, climate changes. Always has.

Yes, CO2 has some impact on climate. Always has.

No, it's not likely that climate changes are primarily controlled by human activity, as opposed to myriad non-human factors.

No, it's not likely that a warmer world will cause more harm than benefit to humanity or the biosphere as a whole.

No, I'm not going to do what you want just because you're super cereal.

Re:Super cereal (1)

Xenkar (580240) | about 3 years ago | (#37549668)

I don't know about you, but I'd prefer to be able to go outside without being instantly sweaty, dehydrated, and suffering from heat exhaustion.

 

Re:Super cereal (1)

ls671 (1122017) | about 3 years ago | (#37549716)

On the other end, I assume people in Anchorage might enjoy warmer climate and palm trees ;-)

Re:Super cereal (1)

navyjeff (900138) | about 3 years ago | (#37549844)

No, thank you. There are plenty of mosquitoes up here already. But palm trees would be a nice addition to the few dominant tree species.

Re:Super cereal (0)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 3 years ago | (#37549734)

Sure, I'd prefer that too. But things change all the time, and sometimes, it's hot, humid, and the air cloys to you like a wet blanket. Sometimes it's not. Climate changes.

Now, can you show me that if we continue expanding our population, and continue utilizing natural petroleum to power our lives, and continue emitting CO2 until the atmosphere is say, at 2000ppm, that we'll somehow be able to make the entire world a place that lives in an eternal, unchanging Louisiana summer?

I don't know about you, but I'd prefer to base my actions today on a bit more than wild speculation about a planet of eternal sweat and heat exhaustion.

Re:Super cereal (1, Troll)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 3 years ago | (#37550342)

Damned Yankees, never did know what to do on a nice warm day. Its called sweet tea, and when added with a shade tree or even better an innertube and a creek is a damned fine way to enjoy a nice sunny day son!

Just dig you a pit, have you some hobo BBQ, fire up a fatty or crack a cold one (whichever floats your boat) and you and your sweetie just float the day away. Dang Yankees just don't know what's good, that's what it is.

Re:Super cereal (0)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | about 3 years ago | (#37550506)

You'd better choose then, because if it's getting warmer, we'll have more water in the air. You'll get dehydrated if the earth cools down. It's a simple equation, I'm sure you'll understand: water transforms into a gas when there's heat!!! Gosh... maybe it's too much science for you. :)

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 years ago | (#37549648)

It's rare to see someone attack this particular bit of science. Ignorant people merely don't trust science, but once they gain the level of understanding to be able to comment on this part of the theory, they rarely disagree with it. They may still be 'deniers' and disagree with other parts of the catastrophe facing the human race, but not this part.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (0)

microbox (704317) | about 3 years ago | (#37549750)

That CO2 is plant-food, and a great thing, and there is so little of it that it can have little impact if any... that is just one of my denier canards.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (3, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 years ago | (#37549832)

Show them this equation [wikipedia.org] . Although it's a simplification, I've never found anyone who understands this equation who will deny the effects of CO2. It will reduce the amount of time you need to spend arguing with idiots (because they will soon no longer be idiots, or because you can ignore them immediately if they don't spend the time to understand it).

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (0)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 3 years ago | (#37550204)

water vapor
        carbon dioxide
        methane
        nitrous oxide
        ozone

Those are GREEN house gases, Guess what water vapor does in sufficient quantity? Reflect radiation (not absorb it), called Anisotropic solar reflectance. But that is hardly ever mentioned, because it doesn't happen in smaller scale greenhouse tests.

The problem for Global Warming Alarmists is that there is no way to test for such a thing.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 years ago | (#37550308)

But do you deny that the equation I mentioned is roughly accurate?

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | about 3 years ago | (#37550532)

I don't deny the fact that you should learn how to read. He didn't deny it.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 years ago | (#37550600)

Duh. Nor did I say he denied it. In fact that's exactly why I asked what his opinion was. Maybe you should take some of that advice you give so freely and learn to read.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37550794)

So when the oceans boil, we'll be saved. All hail Archangel Michael the savior of humankind.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (2)

jo_ham (604554) | about 3 years ago | (#37550968)

Of corse it reflects at some wavelengths - but it also strongly absorbs at others (namely the in the band of reflected IR that comes back from the earth's surface).

A large portion of the sun's energy is reflected back into space by the gasses and vapour in the atmosphere (the albedo effect of clouds can sometimes be as high as 0.7 to 0.8), but while the simultaneously reflect a lot of solar radiation away before it reaches the ground, they also absorb a great deal of the IR is is radiated away from the surface. So you claim that it "reflects radiation (not absorbs it)" is flat out wrong - it always absorbs and always reflects at the appropriate wavelengths. Just because you increase its concentration does not mean that suddenly that those oxygen-hydrogen bonds stop vibrating at that particular frequency (unless you condense it into a liquid and so that hydrogen bonding has an effect, but it still absorbs it just changes the wavelength slightly.

There are plenty of ways to "test" for this - observing the Earth's albedo is one way and tracking it over time and with cloud cover. You can also use a spectrometer to analyse the wavelengths of light that are reflected (and to what degree) in representative samples of atmosphere.

You make it sound like it's some sort of "untestable magic".

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (1)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | about 3 years ago | (#37551034)

Guess what water vapor does in sufficient quantity? Reflect radiation (not absorb it), called Anisotropic solar reflectance. But that is hardly ever mentioned, because it doesn't happen in smaller scale greenhouse tests.

Yeah, exactly. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that that only happens when water vapor stops being water vapor.

No, clouds are not water vapor.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37551100)

> No, clouds are not water vapor.

If they were, humid days would also be foggy.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37550244)

The relationship between carbon dioxide and radiative forcing is logarithmic so that increased concentrations have a progressively smaller warming effect.

This is from your own reference. CO2 is certainly a greenhouse gas, up to a point, and then you need to call in feedback effects due to water vapour etc.

It's a strawman argument to say that the Deniers!!!! are syaing that CO2 has no effect.

it's a simplification (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37551126)

> it's a simplification
  it's a simplification

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 3 years ago | (#37549834)

You mixed up a few canards together there. Yes, CO2 is plant food. That's pretty much a given, as is its corollary that CO2 is animal waste. The canard that CO2 is a great thing is a slightly different one, and seems not to fit with "it can have little impact if any", since if it's a great thing, it should be having a great impact. As for the "there's so little of it" canard, that's often separate from the "it can have little impact if any".

The analogous warmist canards would probably be, CO2 is air pollution, it's a terrible thing, and it's such a powerful gas that it will completely kill off all the polar bears, drown Florida and the Maldives, and make the world a permanently hot and sweaty place :)

The really sad thing is that there are probably many things deniers and warmists agree on, but we always end up skipping to the part where if I drive my car I'm going to kill the world with melting glaciers, and if you tell me not to drive my car you're a communist hippie bent on world domination.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (1, Redundant)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 3 years ago | (#37550218)

Oxygen is a corrosive byproduct of Plants, and would be considered "pollution" by almost all standards used today, except that certain forms of life depend upon it.

It all depends on your perspective.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37550282)

The really sad thing is that there are probably many things deniers and warmists agree on, but we always end up skipping to the part where if I drive my car I'm going to kill the world with melting glaciers, and if you tell me not to drive my car you're a communist hippie bent on world domination.

What makes me sad is that many people brought up these problems easily over 30 years ago, and nearly nobody cared then when maybe something could be done. Since then the world population has nearly doubled, bigger cars and gas guzzlers were sold (i.e. bought) and now there's a bunch of 'environmentalists' bent on blaming people for doing anything that may increase global warming.

I, personally, am at a point where I don't care any more, partly because the problem started before me and was ignored by those who could deal with it when I was young. As we discussed a few decades ago, "When will the window of opportunity to fix it be closed?" Well, I think it's welded shut, aside from a catastrophe on a scale unimaginable by most.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 3 years ago | (#37550404)

I, personally, am at a point where I don't care any more, partly because the problem started before me and was ignored by those who could deal with it when I was young.

What could we have done to prevent world population from doubling?

What could we have done to stop people from wanting bigger cars? Or *any* cars, for that matter?

How would the world today (30 years later) be any different if you had managed those two things 30 years ago?

We don't even know if we have a problem, much less that there is anything short of mass genocide/suicide that could fix it if it did exist.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37550626)

> We don't even know if we have a problem

There, folks, is denialism in a nutshell.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 3 years ago | (#37550982)

We don't even know if we have a problem,

Yes, yes we do. We know that we have a problem.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 3 years ago | (#37550814)

the part where if I drive my car I'm going to kill the world with melting glaciers, and if you tell me not to drive my car you're a communist hippie bent on world domination

False equivalence: the number of people who say things like the first is far, far smaller than the number who say things like the second.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | about 3 years ago | (#37551072)

The analogous warmist canards would probably be, CO2 is air pollution, it's a terrible thing, and it's such a powerful gas that it will completely kill off all the polar bears, drown Florida and the Maldives, and make the world a permanently hot and sweaty place :)

The difference would be that these are caricatures of the science whereas denialists really say that more CO2 in the atmosphere will help plant life, so repeating that canard is not a strawman.

The really sad thing is that there are probably many things deniers and warmists agree on, but we always end up skipping to the part where if I drive my car I'm going to kill the world with melting glaciers, and if you tell me not to drive my car you're a communist hippie bent on world domination.

You seem to be suggesting that there is a need to arrive at a mutually acceptable understanding - that if the objective facts and measures are not acceptable, some reality between the fantasy world of denial and the objective facts and probabilities defined by observation should be a common meeting point. That is, of course, complete nonsense. For one, what is the advantage of appeasement or compromise in this case? What do we have to gain? And for two, the objective facts stubbornly refuse to change, even if we don't like them.

The truth of the matter is that the science is not really in dispute. Some people do not like the consequences, either because the science contradicts long held ideologies, or because the notion of the planned restraint required to reduce our emissions scares them. They then project backwards to dispute the science, when what they should truthfully say is: screw 'em. We know we are destroying the world for future generations, but we don't give a crack. Let's live like hogs at the trough!. It's the consequence. If this were happening somewhere else, say Venus, nobody would dispute it. If the science said that an excess of CO2 in the atmosphere caused a runaway greenhouse effect on Venus, no layman would dispute it.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (1)

WeatherGod (1726770) | about 3 years ago | (#37549852)

Heh, try being a meteorologist (not even a climate scientist), and those people come out of woodworks. I had one guy trying to argue against it based on (his understanding of) the laws of thermodynamics. Another trying to claim that because it couldn't accurately forecast the temperature outside his house, it must be wrong.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 years ago | (#37550222)

Sure. Did you show them the equation? Or did you mess around trying to explain something that you would never be able to convince them of? Really, choose your argument ground in a place that is easy to win.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 3 years ago | (#37549686)

Yeah, and Phrenology and Haruspex!

Less sarcastically... Irrelevant to what a persons opinion is on global warming, the fact that a paper was written 150 years ago does not mean people have their heads in the sand. There were a lot of ridiculous papers written 150 years ago. It would be foolhardy for us to assume that because they are old, that they are true.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (1)

microbox (704317) | about 3 years ago | (#37549882)

Less sarcastically... Irrelevant to what a persons opinion is on global warming, the fact that a paper was written 150 years ago does not mean people have their heads in the sand

The fact that the science has a 150 year history does. The rough conclusions were correct 100 years ago -- 4-5C warming for a doubling of CO2.

But no! Anything but accept that there might be such a thing as an environmental issue! Those guys are socialist nutcases!!!!

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 3 years ago | (#37550044)

But wait, we haven't seen a doubling of CO2 in the past 100 years...or even the past 1000 years, and we certainly haven't seen 4-5C of warming that would go with it.

So while you might be able to create an equation that matches our current data, and which also asserts that we'll see a 4-5C warming for a doubling of CO2, that's an extrapolation of assumptions - we haven't actually *observed* that.

FWIW, CO2 from say, 1000AD to today has gone from 280ppm to around 390ppm (about a 39% increase, as opposed to a doubling of 100%), and temperature from say, 1000AD to today has been what, an additional 0.6C? Maybe 1C if you're generous?

Do you have data which disagrees with that general outline?

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 years ago | (#37550346)

The reason (I believe) is that CO2 is not the only greenhouse gas. The other ones have a dampening effect. So you need to take into consideration the entire composition of the atmosphere, not just CO2. There was a study several year back that did exactly that. So don't worry, scientists are on top of this; or at least, are aware of the problems you describe and are actively trying to solve them.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 3 years ago | (#37550446)

Okay, so we've got a theoretical "4-5C warming if we double CO2 and everything else stays *exactly the same*". I might even buy that.

A world where any significant portion of it stays *exactly the same*? That's fantasy :)

The real question is this - we could have started with the theory "0.04-0.05C warming if we double CO2 and everything else stays *exactly the same*", and made the same excuses we're making today for the warming prediction 100 times higher. How could we discern between those two hypotheses? What observations would exclude one or the other from being true?

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (1)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | about 3 years ago | (#37551088)

Okay, so we've got a theoretical "4-5C warming if we double CO2 and everything else stays *exactly the same*". I might even buy that.

A world where any significant portion of it stays *exactly the same*? That's fantasy :)

The real question is this - we could have started with the theory "0.04-0.05C warming if we double CO2 and everything else stays *exactly the same*", and made the same excuses we're making today for the warming prediction 100 times higher. How could we discern between those two hypotheses? What observations would exclude one or the other from being true?

IOW: since not all other things can be the same, everything will be okay. PERIOD.

The biggest issue isn't the science... (2)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 3 years ago | (#37549800)

We know that global warming is happening. We also know that it has happened in the past.

I think that we can agree that human activity is contributing to it.

The big questions are:

What are the causes of global warming? I don't think that it is settled that human activity is the SOLE cause. There is still more science to do on this.

How much of an effect can a change in human activity have in solving global warming? Is it enough?

Is it worth putting our society (democracy) in jeopardy over it as it puts us in a distinct disadvantage over non-democratic countries, such as China. This can and, in some ways, has lead to international power shifts.

In my opinion, most debates today are concerned with these questions and not whether global warming is actually occurring.

Re:The biggest issue isn't the science... (3, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 years ago | (#37549850)

What are the causes of global warming? I don't think that it is settled that human activity is the SOLE cause.

If you believe the IPCC report, then you can be assured that it IS settled that human activity is the primary cause.....or at least, very likely. Here is what it says:

"Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations."

Re:The biggest issue isn't the science... (-1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | about 3 years ago | (#37550572)

If you believe the IPCC report

The point is, nobody believes it anymore, since the AR7 (shorter version) is full of mistakes. And I'm not even talking about what we now think of the CRU of East Anglia who lead this work...

Re:The biggest issue isn't the science... (2)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | about 3 years ago | (#37551108)

If you believe the IPCC report

The point is, nobody believes it anymore, since the AR7 (shorter version) is full of mistakes. And I'm not even talking about what we now think of the CRU of East Anglia who lead this work...

It has less errors than your post, so...

No, we cannot (-1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 3 years ago | (#37550104)

I think that we can agree that human activity is contributing to it.

There you dismiss the heart of the argument. Are we contributing in any meaningful way? Some say yes, others say no. But it's sol politicized at this point you cannot trust anyone really.

When someone is able to predict roughly what the climate, not local weather, will do for a few years - then I might take them seriously. Until that point what I see is a lot of people making a lot of assumptions while ignoring a huge number of variables at play. People are treating climatology as a hard science when we are only just beginning to understand a very complex system with inputs (like the sun) that we know even LESS about!

Re:No, we cannot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37550216)

We've been able to predict the climate since at least 1988. These projections were made in 1988: http://www.realclimate.org/images/Hansen06_fig2.jpg . The different "scenarios" refer to whether we'd increase CO2 production dramatically (A), reduce it dramatically (C), or continue business as usual (B). We continued as usual, and temperatures have followed right along scenario B.

Re:No, we cannot (0)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 3 years ago | (#37550302)

Actually, look closer at your graph - we've done B, and we've gotten less than C.

http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/rommcook-prosecute-themselves/ [wordpress.com]

Now that we've refuted Hansen's predictions, should we:

A) abandon the whole CO2 hypothesis;

B) abandon just Hansen, and look for other CO2 driven predictions which may match better;

C) add a fudge factor for Hansen to make the models match the observations again.

The problem is that B and C here can be applied ad infinitum.

Re:No, we cannot (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 years ago | (#37550328)

Wow, you changed your sig

Re:The biggest issue isn't the science... (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 3 years ago | (#37550164)

Of course human activity is not the "SOLE" cause of global warming. But the science (based on the work of John Tyndall) says the increase in greenhouse gases (GHG's) in the atmosphere is the cause of most of the climate change that is occurring now and that humans are the source of most of that increase in GHG's. If we quit adding GHG's to the atmosphere it won't solve global warming, it will simply put a limit on how bad it gets. We put our entire civilization in jeopardy if global warming gets bad enough. Several economic analyses that I've seen say the cost isn't that great (like 3% of GDP/year) if we spread it out over a couple of decades. The longer we wait the more drastic will be the actions we take when we finally respond.

Re:The biggest issue isn't the science... (0)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 3 years ago | (#37550334)

That's running under the assumption that a warmer world is categorically a worse place for humanity or the biosphere. That's speculation, not fact.

The problem is that civilization is always in jeopardy, and it seems to me that in general, the only defense civilization has from jeopardy is energy. Cheap energy means a better quality of life, more productivity, and more ability to overcome and adapt to whatever various catastrophes come our way.

Now, I'm not sure just how much higher the poverty rate world wide would go if we lost 3% of GDP/year, but it seems to me that we've got a known harm in a proposed intervention, and a speculated harm from a warmer world.

Re:The biggest issue isn't the science... (2)

sFurbo (1361249) | about 3 years ago | (#37550560)

We have build our civilisation on the assumption that the climate is a certain way. We have agriculture where the climate favours it, we have harbours and cities near the sea shore for easy access, we have road that have just enough foundation that they want get rained away, we have sewers which is just big enough that they can take the normal amount of rain. If the climate changes, we will need to change the infrastructure of our civilisation, which is going to be very costly, no matter which way it needs to be adjusted. It is not just a speculated harm, but how much of a harm it is remains to be seen.

Re:The biggest issue isn't the science... (2)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 3 years ago | (#37550612)

Climate always changes. We build our civilization wherever we *can* build it, and when we can no longer build it that way, we change. The fall of the Maya, the Greenland Vikings, or any number of civilizations that had to dramatically change are a testament to the continuously changing climate of the world.

The speculation is whether or not warming is going to be any more, or less costly than the climate changes that have always happened, and whether or not any of our proposed interventions can do *anything* to stop things from changing, much less at a lower cost than what adaptation would entail.

My bet is simple - I believe in climate change, and I expect it to continue to change no matter what we do, so the best thing to do is to find cheaper and cheaper sources of energy to bring people out of poverty, support more humans on the planet, and prepare ourselves for any change that can possibly occur.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37549972)

The other major theory being disclaimed, darwinian evolution, has been around for 152 years...

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (-1, Troll)

roc97007 (608802) | about 3 years ago | (#37549988)

What makes me sad is that one can ignore that some of the same people who are howling about global warming today were howling about a man-made ice age in the seventies, and expect the rest of us to blindly follow along. It's a bit disingenuous to claim that global warming was predicted 150 years ago, when a mere 40 years ago the alarmists were predicting the opposite.

My money is on "global warming" being listed as "discredited" in a few years as "global cooling" is now.

It is not and has never been about the climate. It is and has always been about control of money and resources.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (4, Informative)

shellbeach (610559) | about 3 years ago | (#37550136)

What makes me sad is that one can ignore that some of the same people who are howling about global warming today were howling about a man-made ice age in the seventies, and expect the rest of us to blindly follow along. It's a bit disingenuous to claim that global warming was predicted 150 years ago, when a mere 40 years ago the alarmists were predicting the opposite.

Um, no they weren't. [realclimate.org]

My money is on "global warming" being listed as "discredited" in a few years as "global cooling" is now.

Then you're likely to lose some money there, I'm afraid.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37550262)

If you look in the 70's there was a minority of scientists that predicted and Ice Age coming... about 10% of published papers... 62% predicted warming.

Source... http://www.skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s.htm

So the 150 years ago we learnt what CO2 does to temperature, just after that we learnt what that means in our atmosphere, 40 years ago the vast majority of scientists understood we were moving towards warming and we arrive at today where we are seeing the measurements of warming.

No change is story, only refinements of the theories and improving the accuracy.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (2)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 3 years ago | (#37550768)

howling about a man-made ice age in the seventies

And here we see the degeneration of a meme in action. Pseudo-intellectual denialism (with spurious references to "global cooling" included) is one thing, but when you see bullshit-spouting denialists who can't even keep the bullshit they're supposed to be spouting straight, it's just pathetic. It's kind of like the way there are apparently large numbers of people who truly, honest to God believe that 50% of Americans pay no taxes. I honestly have to wonder: are you so stupid that you can't remember your Fox News talking points, or do you just not care?

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37550894)

Global cooling will be back in fashion in a few decades, when people start discovering that we really are heading towards the next ice age. The only question is if we will get the blame again, or it will finally be accepted that the climate changes naturally.

Re:What truly makes me sad however... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37550116)

Isn't the point of science to prove or disprove theories? Just because this is 150 years old doesn't mean it should be taken off the list of what can and cannot be proven.

What precisely are you referring to? (1)

narftrek (549077) | about 3 years ago | (#37550798)

Replace "science" in your statement with the word "religion" or "The Constitution" and re-read it. That was one perfectly written generic statement. I applaud you, sir, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

On the topic of alarmism, (1)

Adult film producer (866485) | about 3 years ago | (#37549632)

"why did Jones take such a large professional risk by asking other scientists to destroy documents?"

http://climateaudit.org/2011/09/02/nsf-on-jones-email-destruction-enterprise/ [climateaudit.org]

Re:On the topic of alarmism, (2)

microbox (704317) | about 3 years ago | (#37549802)

"Look your Honour, we know he is a bad man, he sent these angry emails to his friends."

There as been numerous independent inquiries into this matter, and Phil Jones has been cleared in all cases. Guess *everybody* is in on the conspiracy, and only Steve McIntyre knows the "truth"

I wonder how easy it would be to assassinate your character by trolling through your emails. All we have to do is snip a sentence here and there, and then impugn your motives, and then the angry mob will take care of the rest.

You really gotta avoid information to hold on to opinions like yours.

Re:On the topic of alarmism, (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 3 years ago | (#37550122)

If you went through my emails you would not find mention of "hiding" anything.

It's true that by removing context you can make a lot of stuff appear bad. But it's equally true that if you see enough smoke, there might just be a fire.

Re:On the topic of alarmism, (0)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 3 years ago | (#37550126)

There have been numerous inquiries into the matter, but to call them independent is a stretch. If they wanted the inquires to be independent, they'd have asked folk like Lindzen and Spencer to be on the inquiry panels :) Being judged by people who are partial to your point of view, who have vested interests in preserving your credibility, cannot be seen as independent.

http://www.thegwpf.org/gwpf-reports/1531-the-climategate-inquries.html [thegwpf.org]

Name a single thing you believe Montford's report got wrong. Two things if you're feeling particularly optimistic :)

Re:On the topic of alarmism, (0)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | about 3 years ago | (#37550640)

There as been numerous independent inquiries into this matter, and Phil Jones has been cleared in all cases.

I contest the word independent in the sentence above. We knew the result of these inquiries before it was published.

Ever since blackbody radiation (3, Insightful)

werepants (1912634) | about 3 years ago | (#37549714)

The basic science of global warming isn't too tough or very modern(clearly), although most people don't understand it very well. This article seems to make things fairly confusing as well, although the quote from Tyndall himself is pleasantly concise and clear: "heat in the state of light finds less resistance in penetrating the air, than in re-passing into the air when converted into non-luminous heat." My favorite explanation, I think, is how Carl Sagan explained it in Cosmos, which is roughly as follows:
The idea is that visible light hits the earth, and warms it up. Some of that light is reflected straight back, so it leaves the atmosphere the way it came in and we're done. A lot of that light, though, gets absorbed by trees or rocks or walruses, causing them to heat up. They'll slowly re-radiate it out again because of blackbody radiation (all things radiate continually, even the universe itself) but it will be in the form of lower energy, lower frequency wavelengths. This means that energy from visible light gets absorbed and often radiated back out again as infrared.

CO2 and other "greenhouse" gases let light in the visible part of the spectrum pass unimpeded, but they don't let IR through as easily. So, energy comes in but it can't get back out again.

Re:Ever since blackbody radiation (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 years ago | (#37550246)

Calculating global warming in terms of black body radiation isn't easy. You never hear any scientist say, "x% of the earth's heat comes from the sun, y% from the atmosphere, z% is radiated back from the reflectiveness of the earth....."

You will never hear any scientist say that because we don't know. We can only estimate what the earth's temperature would be without an atmosphere to an accuracy of +-10 degrees, which isn't near good enough for global warming purposes. So instead, we focus on the change in temperature, and hope that is good enough.

Re:Ever since blackbody radiation (1)

werepants (1912634) | about 3 years ago | (#37550424)

I'm certainly not a climate scientist, but I would bet they incorporate all of these pieces of information into their models - average insolation, reflectance, and absorption of different spectra would be easy pickings, I'd think. Then you kind of fudge around with the numbers until it fits past behavior pretty well, and see what it says about the future. It is difficult making predictions with such an absurdly complex system, but sometimes you can do better than you'd expect by making some drastic simplifications and assumptions to prune down the model. The good thing is that our data and computing capacity gets better every single year, so even though we only have spotty temperature records and some ice cores to go off of now, we're always improving.

Re:Ever since blackbody radiation (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 years ago | (#37550606)

They fit all those things into their models, but not in terms of calculating total value of each. They try to estimate how each one will change, and if they can calculate the change accurately enough, they don't need to know the total. That is the theory, anyway.

Re:Ever since blackbody radiation (1)

shellbeach (610559) | about 3 years ago | (#37550956)

CO2 and other "greenhouse" gases let light in the visible part of the spectrum pass unimpeded, but they don't let IR through as easily. So, energy comes in but it can't get back out again.

That's more or less true, although one of the big arguments in the first half of the 20th century was that water vapour in the atmosphere completely masks the IR absorption spectra of CO2, and thus it doesn't matter how much CO2 you have in the atmosphere. It took until the 50s for scientists to realise that while this is fairly accurate (although not entirely) at sea level, it's most certainly not true in the upper atmosphere where (a) there's not much water vapour and (b) the absorption spectra don't overlap so much.

What really saddens me is that all of the above was done to death in the literature in the 1950s and 60s, yet that invalid water vapour argument still appears on climate denialists' sites ....

Al Gore Busted! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37549720)

Video analysis and scene replication suggests that Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project fabricated their Climate 101 video “Simple Experiment”

What a fucking loser. And you guys worship this clown.. such sad little people.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/28/video-analysis-and-scene-replication-suggests-that-al-gores-climate-reality-project-fabricated-their-climate-101-video-simple-experiment/

Re:Al Gore Busted! (1)

Cyberax (705495) | about 3 years ago | (#37549762)

So? This video is just a demonstration of a well-known effect. I couldn't care less if it was rendered or staged.

Watt has been exposed as a liar multiple times. Yet all you can offer is a 'proof' that a demonstration video is 'faked'.

Pathetic.

Yawn (1)

Falconhell (1289630) | about 3 years ago | (#37549796)

Wanker AC buys corporate big lie, quotes fallicious utterly biased denialist site film at 11:00.

Re:Al Gore Busted! (1)

microbox (704317) | about 3 years ago | (#37549856)

What a fucking loser. And you guys worship this clown.. such sad little people.

"Al Gore, the super-rich conniving businessman, selling a lie to make an even hugerest stack-a-cash! I heard he bought a beach-front house! He doesn't even believe in global warming! Oh that villain! Listen to me! I know what I'm talking about!!!!"

Yeah... that's what I think when people like you start talking about Al Gore.

Re:Al Gore Busted! (4, Insightful)

mikael_j (106439) | about 3 years ago | (#37549938)

Just who worships Al Gore? This must be some obscure subculture or something because I don't really know anyone who thinks very highly of Gore (they may not dislike him, they may even have some basic respect for things he's done but they don't put him on a pedestal).

Or maybe it's like the Michael Moore thing, where lots of right-wing idiots (and trolls) thought everyone left of Mussolini worshiped Moore even though the reality of it was that we were slightly impressed by his documentaries but still had some issues with the movies as well as with Moore himself.

Re:Al Gore Busted! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37550054)

Al Gore is a profiteer and not a scientist. No climate scientist really gives two shits what Al Gore says. I place equal weight on what Al Gore has to say about climate science as I do James Inhofe.

I understand you have a hard time figuring out who probably knows the most about the climate between the business man, the congress person, or the PhD with years of experience and stacks of writing credits in peer review journals but for the rest of us it isn't that hard.

Doon't forget Fourier, Pouillet and Arrhenius (5, Informative)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about 3 years ago | (#37549724)

Svante Arrhenius "was the first to calculate on the heating of the Earth in 1903. But, he refers to Fourier, Pouillet and Tyndall as predecessors. He was the first person to predict that emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels and other combustion processes would cause global warming. Arrhenius clearly believed that a warmer world would be a positive change. From that, the hot-house theory gained more attention. Nevertheless, until about 1960, most scientists dismissed the hot-house / greenhouse effect as implausible for the cause of ice ages as Milutin Milankovitch had presented a mechanism using orbital changes of the earth (Milankovitch cycles). Nowadays, the accepted explanation is that orbital forcing sets the timing for ice ages with CO2 acting as an essential amplifying feedback.

Arrhenius estimated that halving of CO2 would decrease temperatures by 4–5 C (Celsius) and a doubling of CO2 would cause a temperature rise of 5–6 C.[5] In his 1906 publication, Arrhenius adjusted the value downwards to 1.6 C (including water vapour feedback: 2.1 C). Recent (2007) estimates from IPCC say this value (the Climate sensitivity) is likely to be between 2 and 4.5 C. Arrhenius expected CO2 levels to rise at a rate given by emissions in his time. Since then, industrial carbon dioxide levels have risen at a much faster rate: Arrhenius expected CO2 doubling to take about 3000 years; it is now estimated in most scenarios to take about a century."

Some quotes:

                "To a certain extent the temperature of the earth's surface, as we shall presently see, is conditioned by the properties of the atmosphere surrounding it, and particularly by the permeability of the latter for the rays of heat." (p46)

                "That the atmospheric envelopes limit the heat losses from the planets had been suggested about 1800 by the great French physicist Fourier. His ideas were further developed afterwards by Pouillet and Tyndall. Their theory has been styled the hot-house theory, because they thought that the atmosphere acted after the manner of the glass panes of hot-houses." (p51)

                "If the quantity of carbonic acid in the air should sink to one-half its present percentage, the temperature would fall by about 4; a diminution to one-quarter would reduce the temperature by 8. On the other hand, any doubling of the percentage of carbon dioxide in the air would raise the temperature of the earth's surface by 4; and if the carbon dioxide were increased fourfold, the temperature would rise by 8." (p53)

                "Although the sea, by absorbing carbonic acid, acts as a regulator of huge capacity, which takes up about five-sixths of the produced carbonic acid, we yet recognize that the slight percentage of carbonic acid in the atmosphere may by the advances of industry be changed to a noticeable degree in the course of a few centuries." (p54)

                "Since, now, warm ages have alternated with glacial periods, even after man appeared on the earth, we have to ask ourselves: Is it probable that we shall in the coming geological ages be visited by a new ice period that will drive us from our temperate countries into the hotter climates of Africa? There does not appear to be much ground for such an apprehension. The enormous combustion of coal by our industrial establishments suffices to increase the percentage of carbon dioxide in the air to a perceptible degree." (p61)

                "We often hear lamentations that the coal stored up in the earth is wasted by the present generation without any thought of the future, and we are terrified by the awful destruction of life and property which has followed the volcanic eruptions of our days. We may find a kind of consolation in the consideration that here, as in every other case, there is good mixed with the evil. By the influence of the increasing percentage of carbonic acid in the atmosphere, we may hope to enjoy ages with more equable and better climates, especially as regards the colder regions of the earth, ages when the earth will bring forth much more abundant crops than at present, for the benefit of rapidly propagating mankind." (p63)

Read more at Wikipedia (From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius#Greenhouse_effect [wikipedia.org] )

The theory doesn't look that old... (1)

feranick (858651) | about 3 years ago | (#37549798)

... for some it was never conceived!

Climate change, it's the new black. (0)

choke (6831) | about 3 years ago | (#37549890)

Yes, we should all focus on something so vast and out of our control that we don't really have to do anything except pose and 'be concerned' about it to be fashionably hip without actually making any personal effort.

Here's a clue. How about all those people feigning concern actually go show concern about something that matters.

"--3.5 percent of U.S. households experience hunger. Some people in these households frequently skip meals or eat too little, sometimes going without food for a whole day. 9.6 million people, including 3 million children, live in these homes." - http://www.worldhunger.org/ [worldhunger.org]

There's something they can all actually do something about, but they won't - because that would be effort. They would rather smile at peta pictures of emaciated 16 year old looking mostly nude models holding signs and act oh-so-concerned about global issues than help the poor bastard who lives 20 miles away.

As Penn and Teller would say, it's all Bullshit.

Re:Climate change, it's the new black. (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37549996)

Starvation is just going to get worse if current trends continue. One of the real problems with climate change is that if things do heat up or winds do change their patterns, there's the potential for many people to be starving, many of whom aren't presently starving.

As for the size of the problem, it's not that big, the solutions are largely there, it's just that there isn't the political will to do it in places like the US and China. The technology to deal with it has largely been developed, it's just very expensive in many cases and always more expensive in the short run than doing nothing at all.

Exactly wrong (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 3 years ago | (#37550144)

Starvation is just going to get worse if current trends continue. One of the real problems with climate change is that if things do heat up or winds do change their patterns, there's the potential for many people to be starving, many of whom aren't presently starving.

This is insane, you cannot rationally be proposing that argument. Historical records have had the average temperature warmer than now, and the result was an INCREASE in arable land across the globe and growth of civilization as a result. Warming, through history, has been a boon to people - not a curse.

Now IF people were right about a huge temperature increase there might be problems. But forecasts are constantly being revised downward, and the runaway model is all but forgotten by the AGW crowd. Do you really think the ice caps will be gone in three years? Because just three years ago, people were claiming they'd be gone in six...

Re:Exactly wrong ...? (3, Interesting)

real-modo (1460457) | about 3 years ago | (#37550784)

"Historical records have had the average temperature warmer than now"

That may be true in another world of the many-worlds multiverse. Not this one.

Not globally, not even for the Northern Hemisphere, not for any climatically meaningful interpretation of "now".

Really, people, this is not hard. Google for Spencer Weart, read his website, then google Skeptical Science and read John Cook's web site.

"the ice caps . . . just three years ago, people were claiming they'd be gone in six [years]..."

Aha. I see the problem: reading comprehension. It was not ice caps but Arctic sea ice that was exercising the imaginations of bloggers. Cryosphere researchers expect the ice caps to last thousands of years -- tens of thousands of years, in the case of the Antarctic ice cap.

Re:Climate change, it's the new black. (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 3 years ago | (#37550158)

Climate has always changed, and we've always had to adapt in order to avoid starvation. To think that if we were to make energy so expensive that developing nations couldn't even afford to cook their food, that somehow we'll stop climate from ever changing again is kind of silly.

Until technology arrives that can beat natural petroleum products on affordability per kWh, moving to these more advanced technologies is a surefire recipe for increased world poverty. The rest of the world knows that.

Re:Climate change, it's the new black. (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 3 years ago | (#37550280)

It's already cheaper to drive your car on electricity. I've heard it said a gallon of gas equivalent amount of electricity us under $2. Now we just need better battery technology which is coming. Some coal plant proposals were recently abandoned when it became apparent that solar PV power will likely be cheaper than coal around 2020.

Re:Climate change, it's the new black. (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 3 years ago | (#37550372)

Okay, so here's the problem - "cheaper than coal" can mean either we've made coal more expensive, or that solar has become cheaper in absolute terms. While I'll agree the first is possible, the second is highly unlikely.

http://greenecon.net/understanding-the-cost-of-solar-energy/energy_economics.html [greenecon.net]

1 ton of coal costs $36 = $0.006 per KWH
$45,000 5KW solar energy system produces about 119,246 KWH of electric over its lifespan meaning the average cost equals $0.38 per KWH.

We're talking an order of magnitude there.

So while coal fired electricity may be cheaper than liquid gasoline with current technology, you're still stuck on cheap energy coming from sources that emit CO2.

Re:Climate change, it's the new black. (2)

real-modo (1460457) | about 3 years ago | (#37550938)

Static analyses are great fun, but they are misleading.

PV cells have been decreasing in cost at the rate of 22% per doubling of production capacity for three decades now. There are good reasons to think that this trend will continue. Since PV now provides less than 0.03% of global energy, there's plenty of room for ten more doublings. That gets us down to under ten percent of current PV costs.

Balance-of-system costs (inverters, support structures, installation costs, and especially permits/approvals) have decreased more slowly than PV costs in the past, primarily because they used to be negligible. Now they are about the same size as PV cost, and lo and behold, people are starting to work on getting them down.

Now, details.

"1 ton of coal costs $36 = $0.006 per KWH"

So why is it that coal-fired power stations don't charge any less than $0.04 per kWh? Highway robbery!

You are -- or rather Green Econ is, please put quote markers on your quotes, and quote them properly -- comparing the cost of the coal to the capital cost of a PV plant, not the cost of its fuel, sunlight. The correct comparison is the capital costs of coal mines, railroads, and power stations versus the capital costs of PV installations. Capital cost is why coal-fired power stations charge 0.04, and they couldn't charge much less if the coal was free.

Green Econ is a shill for the coal industry, but only fools the uncritical. Good critical thinking practice for you!

Re:Climate change, it's the new black. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37551006)

Here's a clue. How about all those people feigning concern actually go show concern about something that matters.

"--3.5 percent of U.S. households experience hunger. Some people in these households frequently skip meals or eat too little, sometimes going without food for a whole day. 9.6 million people, including 3 million children, live in these homes."

You want to talk about world hunger? How about focussing on Africa rather than the pampered US! Sheesh, "sometimes going without food for a whole day!" I mean, really? Do you have any concept what the world is like outside of your country?

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