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Losing the Public Debate On Global Warming

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the running-out-the-clock dept.

Earth 1181

Hugh Pickens writes "Dr. James Hansen, director of the NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who first made warnings about climate change in the 1980s, says that public skepticism about the threat of man-made climate change has increased despite the growing scientific consensus. He says that without public support, it will be impossible to make the changes he and his colleagues believe need to occur to protect future generations from the effects of climate change. 'The science has become stronger and stronger over the past five years while the public perception is has gone in completely the other direction. That is not an accident,' says Hansen. 'There is a very concerted effort by people who would prefer to see business to continue as usual. They have been winning the public debate with the help of tremendous resources.' Hansen's comments come as recent surveys have revealed that public support for tackling climate change has declined dramatically in recent years. A recent BBC poll found that 25% of British adults did not think global warming is happening and over a third said many claims about environmental threats are 'exaggerated,' compared to 24 per cent in 2000. Dr. Benny Peiser, director of skeptical think tank The Global Warming Policy Foundation, says it's time to stop exaggerating the impact of global warming and accept the uncertainty of predictions about the rate of climate change. 'James Hensen has been making predictions about climate change since the 1980s. When people are comparing what is happening now to those predictions, they can see they fail to match up.'"

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1181 comments

The problem is chicken little (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685689)

He just won't shut up about the sky falling, and it annoys everyone else. It doesn't matter if the sky really is falling. Until a piece hits you in a head, it's just a greater and greater annoyance to hear about it.

Re:The problem is chicken little (4, Insightful)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685733)

Once the sky falls enough for a piece to hit you in the head, then it's too late to prevent its complete collapse. So do we want to prevent it from falling, or not?

Re:The problem is chicken little (2, Insightful)

durrr (1316311) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685837)

The economy is hardly working as is. Add regulation to reach a 20% reduction in CO2 and we break its back.
And that 20% reduction would only be symbolic anyway.

Re:The problem is chicken little (5, Insightful)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685953)

I agree, failing to protect our future from death is far less important than profits now.

Re:The problem is chicken little (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39686077)

This has got to be the funniest post we've seen in a long time.

Re:The problem is chicken little (0)

mSparks43 (757109) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685839)

Obviously everybody is too concerned about the threat of zombie ghosts to worry about the threat of some warm weather. One person gets bitten by a zombie ghost and there will be no way to prevent hoards of zombie ghosts taking over the whole world.

Now run around
Panic
And
Shit yourself.

Yawn.

Re:The problem is chicken little (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685811)

The problem really is chicken little.

I've tried to explain this to people "in the movement" and they just get livid. Because the environmentalists have spent so much time focusing on AGW/carbon, other issues which are much more obvious and easy to rally people on have been ignored.

The problem with the apocalyptic arguments are that people tune them out the same way they tune out fundamentalists Christian apocalypses. The AGW fundamentalists come off the same way.

The real shame is that while they've been preaching, real issues are being ignored. Mountain top mining goes on. Coal ash fallout continues. The irony is that if they addressed these real and obvious concerns about which few disagree, then carbon emissions would be reduced as a side effect.

Another thing is that the AGW apocalypse isn't as bad as the Christian one unless we go Venus. I don't think any scientists are suggesting that. I always imagine a couple guys in the Bay Area 20,000 years ago. One turns to another and says, "hey, put out that fire. If you don't the world will heat up and the whole valley will flood". Well, Hello... 20,000 years later we have "save the bay". Save the Bay??? That's the paleo-native American apocalypse. We should be filling it back in.

I always remember this one argument I got into with a guy at a coffee shop. I never got to explain why I thought it was wrong for the movement to focus on AGW. He just flew into a rage. That's not science. That's religion.

What did we expect? (5, Insightful)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685701)

When we have a nontrivial portion of the population who does not believe that humanity resulted from evolution by natural selection, and that the universe is less than ten thousand years old, did we really expect people to accept science that something bad is going to happen if they do not change their behavior?

Our failure to insist on scientific literacy rates as high as written-word literacy rates is going to be something that comes back to bite us, I'm afraid. I'm not sure there is anything to be done for the problem now, except educate as well as we can.

Maybe we can have some scientists say that a god revealed to them that it dislikes the smell of vehicle exhaust and is angrily heating up the planet as a result. Unfortunately, I'm only half-kidding.

Re:What did we expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685769)

The faith-sufferers not only are scientifically ignorant. And willfully so. But, when things do become bad -- which the scientific consensus indicates is coming -- they are going to be gleeful. Their belief in the rapture is a terrifying thing for me. When things are become a crisis there will be community of fools making idiotic claims and working at cross-purpose to many efforts to aid the community at large.

I am becoming more and more convinced that the growing disbelief of Global Warming is due to cognitive dissonance. Deep dow, I do believe that many people grasp that the threat is real and its is dire. Too dire. It's so bad, people are burying their head in the sand. Most denialists I know, and their are a few, refuse to debate the topic with me. They just parrot the old 'it's a myth', 'climate scientists want the grant money', 'it's all cyclic' tropes and refuse to listen are engage honestly in the debate. Each one of the denialists I know have young children or young grandchildren -- and from there, in my estimation, comes the dissonance. It's so bad -- and they love the people that will have to deal with the outcomes.

Re:What did we expect? (5, Funny)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685789)

god revealed to them that it dislikes the smell of vehicle exhaust and is angrily heating up the planet as a result

Actually, it's more like they all missed out on the events of Revelations and we're now in the phase where the devil rules the world and he's heating it up to comfy hell-like temperatures. :P

Re:What did we expect? (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685941)

I must admit, the temperature has been getting a bit more pleasant these recent years.

Re:What did we expect? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685865)

You wish. What their god actually says is this:

[$god] smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

Re:What did we expect? (1, Flamebait)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685873)

There is a group of us who do believe in God and that natural selection is one of his means to achieve his goals. Then I look at the Republican party and really see TWO separate groups. One group is the God believers. The other is the Business believers. There's actually not much overlap. They just happen to be together as part of the same political party in part because decades ago the Democrats ousted the God believers with it's position on abortion. So therefore we have the odd couple that accept, or maybe more accurately, tolerate, each others position, but are big enough to make a substantial go of it together.

I know many people who are Republicans simply to not be a Democrat and to not support certain positions of the Democratic party. The largest of those positions makes up at least 75 percent of these "anything but Democrat" group, and that is the abortion issue (Democrats call it Women's Choice and this group calls it Women Murdering Children).

But I cannot be in the Republican party despite my strong lifelong opposition to abortion (and support of gun rights, strong military, etc) because of it perilous destructive nature on economic balance, fairness, the rule of law, etc. But is this position by the Democrats to allow the killing of not yet born children so important to hold on to?

We're going to destroy ourselves just because we have these TWO parties.

Re:What did we expect? (2, Insightful)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685971)

If you'd like to have the abortion debate, I'm game, but it'd be inflammatory and offtopic here. If you do want to, respond and I'll start a journal entry for the purpose.

Re:What did we expect? (5, Insightful)

CyprusBlue113 (1294000) | more than 2 years ago | (#39686031)

The Taliban feel the same way about women covering their faces in public, or insulting their prophet, as you do about a woman and a doctor choosing wether carrying her child to term is best for her and or the child. You should really think about how you feel about their moral belief on those issues, and would you like to be subject to their laws, before you condemn others for not agreeing with yours on another.

Just because you believe something is a mortal sin, does not make it right for you to enforce your beliefs on others. Don't you believe they will be judged anyway by your diety? Why do you believe that it is your duty to impose the will of your diety, do you not believe him capable of it without your might, let alone your two cents?

Religious freedom is also not just about your ability to practice your religion in peace, but for everyone else to practice theirs as well.

Re:What did we expect? (3, Informative)

VMaN (164134) | more than 2 years ago | (#39686093)

It's a problem of definition.

You say it's a child, I say it's an embryo.

When you say I want to allow the killing of children I get defensive. Because that's not what I'm allowing.

Holding on to that is "so important", because being bullied because of someone else's religious beliefs makes people defensive.

Re:What did we expect? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39686041)

Our failure to insist on scientific literacy rates as high as written-word literacy rates is going to be something that comes back to bite us, I'm afraid. I'm not sure there is anything to be done for the problem now, except educate as well as we can.

Ahh yes, the old "if you don't believe me, you must be an idiot" argument. I wonder why so much of the public wants nothing to do with the issue.

Are you sure you bought enough carbon credits to cover the cost of your post?

50% Kidding, 100% Right (1)

earls (1367951) | more than 2 years ago | (#39686055)

That is exactly what needs to happen. Talk to them on their level.

How does this make a difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685709)

What I mean is... even among people who strongly believe in the scientific consensus - very few do a damn thing that makes a damn difference to greenhouse gas emissions.

Simply driving a smaller car and using the latest buzz-marketed green tech isn't even close to good enough - and in many cases, like hybrid cars - is totally counterproductive and gives the illusion of progress where there really is none.

We need a strong fundamental shift in our lifestyles - stop eating meat - stop driving everywhere - stop flying in planes, stop consuming useless shit. No one - even global warming believers - seems to be willing to do this.

Re:How does this make a difference? (3, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685759)

This is a common misconception. We don't need to change our lifestyles to reduce greenhouse gas emissions signifcantly. We can simply get energy from other sources and improve energy efficiency. Individuals changing their lifestyles won't be nearly as effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions than policies that promote using less fossil fuels and less energy.

Re:How does this make a difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685799)

No. Most of the world is democratic. Policies as you suggest would _require_ that people change their lifestyles to adjust. No government that would do this will ever get voted in because the voters are not willing to change their lifestyles. If it were just that simple, the Green Party would be much more popular.

What you suggest would only work for an eco-fascist dictatorship.

Re:How does this make a difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685813)

And the enforcement of those policies, which require tax dollars, which require more taxes (or inflation as the government prints more money), which does, in fact, require me to change my lifestyle because it means less spending power for me.

Re:How does this make a difference? (5, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39686067)

There's $4 billion available without raising taxes: the oil and natural gas subsidies.

Re:How does this make a difference? (3, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39686099)

In parts of the U.S., it's already significantly cheaper to use solar power than fossil fuels. What is most needed at this point, at least in the U.S., is a more flexible, lower resistance power grid so that solar power from a sunny day in Texas can adequately make up for the bleak midwinter in Oregon. This is useful whether we move to "green" power or not.

The bigger problem is China and other early industrial nations. As long as new nations transition from agrarian economies to industrial economies using coal as their primary means of power production, no amount of regulation in modern countries is going to improve things; it will only keep them from getting worse at an ever-accelerating pace.

What we need to solve this is a ban on U.S. and European companies building coal-based plants in other countries—make it as hard as possible for developing nations to get their start using coal and as easy as possible for them to get their start using more modern power production.

Re:How does this make a difference? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685909)

Solar, Wind, Geothermal are all preferable. NOT NUCLEAR. Freaking morons who like nuclear don't take into account the amount of radioactive waste, decomissioning of the reactor, and the amount of uranium mining tailings that contaminate construction materials. Did you know that the only place in north america not contaminated with radioactive material is British Columbia? That's because there are no Uranium Mines and no Nuclear reactors.

Geothermal arguably can remove global warming and CO2 emissions by capping off existing emissions from economically nonviable hotspring sources. The other quick way to bring CO2 down is by getting people to stop eating meat, by growing it like a vegetable... eventually. Meat farming is so wasteful.

Likewise with cars and transportation, We can't really go back to 1920's because the population density doesn't allow it. But we can control populations by disincentivizing having unwanted and unaffordable children. Educate early enough (like age 10, and then promise children every year how much their lives will be ruined by having children before they can afford them.) No social safety net for babymaking. If you have a kid, you don't get to suck the teat of the government. They go into foster care if you can't afford them, and you don't get them back till you can afford to care for them by yourself. No more god damned octomoms.

Re:How does this make a difference? (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685767)

We need a strong fundamental shift in our lifestyles - stop eating meat - stop driving everywhere - stop flying in planes, stop consuming useless shit. No one - even global warming believers - seems to be willing to do this.

What is not eating meat going to do? Stop us from growing lots of carbon absorbing plants to feed the source?

Re:How does this make a difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685875)

Seriously? Do a Google search on "animal agriculture greenhouse gases". The results you will find are not from nobodies/crackpot scientists either.

Re:How does this make a difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685973)

Why don't we just eat the Chicken Littles?

Re:How does this make a difference? (2, Insightful)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685795)

Uh...I know a lot of people who have made shifts like that. And incidentally, it makes for a more pleasant life.

The only piece I really haven't done is "stop eating meat," I've tried vegetarianism, and even the suggested diet leaves me tired and hungry. As to the rest? I bike or take public transit almost everywhere-I still have a car, I think I put maybe 1500 miles on it last year. This year will probably be even less. I very rarely fly. If I need to log into a client's system to troubleshoot it, that's what remoting in is for. I don't need to personally be there.

As an added bonus, it's better! Biking is much more pleasant than sitting stuck in traffic, as is reading a book on the train, and the cycling part of it is good for your health to boot. Remoting in to a client's system rather than physically going out there saves the client paying for travel costs, and saves me having to deal with the hassle of it. Win-win.

Totally agreed on hybrid cars. If people want to make a difference, they don't need a different car, they need to drive the car less. Someone with the worst gas-guzzler SUV in the world that they rarely ever start is doing much more good than a Prius owner commuting in it daily. There is one thing, though, that encourages people (including the most ardent climate-change denialists) to leave that car in the garage more often-higher gas prices. I'm not sorry at all to see them rising.

Re:How does this make a difference? (5, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685801)

We need a strong fundamental shift in our lifestyles - stop eating meat - stop driving everywhere - stop flying in planes, stop consuming useless shit. No one - even global warming believers - seems to be willing to do this.

I know a few people who do that.

Personally I don't. I don't believe the answer is for a few people with the highest integrity to take action, whilst the majority don't do anything.

There has to be systematic solutions, such that everyone changes. The market always wants to go in the direction of more consumption, so those solutions have to come from governments' mandates.

It's either that or wait till the environment does turn to shit and non-sustainable resources are exhausted. And let nature put an and to it.

Re:How does this make a difference? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39686063)

I don't believe the answer is for a few people with the highest integrity to take action, whilst the majority don't do anything.

Damn right! That Gandhi dude was an idiot.

Re:How does this make a difference? (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685967)

stop eating meat

Humans eat meat. Our teeth and intenstines are the evidence. But we could do with a bit less meat. Quite a bit less even.

Re:How does this make a difference? (1)

Salgak1 (20136) | more than 2 years ago | (#39686021)

And, of course, give up your computers and access to the Net. . .and stop posting to Slashdot. . . (evil grin)

After a decade of lurking, I get the first post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685721)

I've run across people with a Ph.D. in Physics say to me "I would need to see more data on this," after I showed them a map comparing the disappearance of fish population in coastal water from 1900 to 2000. Where they conservative - yes. Religious - yes. However those two in themselves are not necessarily a qualifier for dismissing a scientific finding. It still made me sad to realize that if a person with a scientific degree can be "skeptical" about potential environmental and climate changes (never mind global warming), then what is an average citizen going to think after watching Fox News or CNN. I suppose "think" is an overstatement.

Re:After a decade of lurking, I get the first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685729)

I need to learn to proofread - it's "I've run across a person..." and "Were they..." plus a question mark..

Re:After a decade of lurking, I get the first post (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685989)

You've illustrated the issue perfectly. Your point, a map showing fish population differences over time is just that. Any researcher's first question is going to be "Why?", so what's the cause? It is in no way obvious from that statement. Of course they're going to be skeptical, that's the very deffinition of science. If you call yourself a scientist and aren't skeptical you aren't a scientist.

Hansen Must Go (0, Flamebait)

moehoward (668736) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685731)

Hansen needs to resign. He is abusing his post at NASA and tainting the agency with his political activism. His problem is that NASA gives him a platform, and he feels that he can't give it up because he will lose his voice with the press. He is exactly the type of scientist that the public despises. Scientists that I know obsess with finding out why their theory/science/findings are wrong. They want to be proven wrong. Hansen comes off as a nut job and does not possess the skepticism that makes a good scientist. Almost everyone sees right through his charade.

The fact that most climate science is not peer-reviewed causes folks like me to just toss it all to the side. Back in the Kyoto talks, we were TOLD that if no action was taken, then the point of no return was something like 2007. Well? Based on that "science", nothing we do can help anyway. Your Prius just makes your farts smell like roses, according to "science".

Re:Hansen Must Go (1)

rodarson2k (1122767) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685807)

He is exactly the only type of scientist that the public knows.

FTFY

Re:Hansen Must Go (1)

bonniot (633930) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685823)

The fact that most climate science is not peer-reviewed ...

Can you back up that claim?

re: Hansen Must Go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685833)

"Back in the Kyoto talks, we were TOLD that if no action was taken, then the point of no return was something like 2007. Well? Based on that "science", nothing we do can help anyway."

This is the kind of logic that got Bush re-elected.

(from your neighbours across the pond).

Re:Hansen Must Go (2)

SirBitBucket (1292924) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685859)

You pretty much summed it up. A scientist wants to prove his theory wrong, not right.

There may be an almost consensus that climate change is happening, but there is far from a consensus that it is caused by man's actions or inactions. The planet does a lot of thing that we cannot understand completely.

Weather is far from predictable-- as a pilot I find the weather predictions can rarely be trusted more than one day out... How can we possibly make predictions for *decades* in the future?

Am I saying we should burn all the oil as fast as possible and dump as many pollutants or greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as possible? Not at all... We humans have a duty to be conservative of resources in everything we do. Improving efficiency is a good thing, and that often takes economic factors.

Re:Hansen Must Go (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685863)

You don't mention politics at all, so this is a pure guess. But would I be correct in speculating that you are a strongly right-wing person?

I shouldn't be able to tell that when you talk about science. But I can.

Re:Hansen Must Go (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685949)

I agree for the most part. The reality is we can't really know when the PoNR is. It's all fuzzy, anyway. We might be past the PoNR, already. What I do think is clear (to me) is that the effects are very real, and that we are contributing to at least some of them. These are effects that have happened in the past. So we can't just say because it is happening, that we caused it. But we can at least do something. People like Hansen, however, alienate so much of the population that it is too hard to convince others that the basis of what Hansen is talking about has truth to it.

Re:Hansen Must Go (2, Interesting)

Salgak1 (20136) | more than 2 years ago | (#39686085)

The problem I see with AGW theory, is that both temperature AND CO2 have both been higher in the past, and the theory assumes a constant heat inflow.

Well, not just the Medieval Optimum, but other warm periods existed in human history, warmer than now. . . After all, in the 1300's, wine grapes grew in Britain, and Greenland WAS Green. CO2 is a FOLLOWING indicator of warming, with a 500-1000 year delay,

And, of course, solar input is NOT constant: it's looking like we're heading into another Solar Minimum, like the Maunder Minimum [wikipedia.org] , the Dalton Minimum [wikipedia.org] , and the Spörer Minimum [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Hansen Must Go (2)

Killall -9 Bash (622952) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685951)

The problem isn't people denying global warming. Most people have a poor enough understanding of weather patters to grumble something about global warming after a single hotter than average day.

The problem is proving we're the cause. No one is buying it, and since they don't have any actual proof of anthropogenic global warning, they use scary pictures of polar bears on tiny ice patches to convince the public of something they already believe in (non-anthropogenic global warming).

So, are we still on track for the oceans to rise 10 feet by 2050, like they told us kids back in the 80's? SCIENCE!

Re:Hansen Must Go (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39686047)

Back in the Kyoto talks, we were TOLD that if no action was taken, then the point of no return was something like 2007. Well? Based on that "science", nothing we do can help anyway.

We [npr.org] get [ummah.com] predictions [commondreams.org] like [newsbank.com] that [examiner.com] all [independent.co.uk] the [slashdot.org] time [smh.com.au] . If there's anything we learned from the climategate emails, it's that a lot of the scientists working on this problem are not working in good faith.

The solution, I think, is to work on things that will help us anyway, even if AGW turns out to not be a problem. For example, improving electric car technology will be good for America, whether AGW is a big ball of hype, or whether it's real. Same with fusion electricity. We can work on those things.

Re:Hansen Must Go (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39686083)

If Dr. Hansen had been abusing the authority of his office, he would have been fired long ago. The fact is, even though he was effectively muzzled by the Bush administration for years, he survived that abuse because the quality of the work he performs is 1st rate, and his scientific contribution to man's observation, analysis and understanding of atmosphere and its part in determining climate is invaluable.

Your opinion and the BBC articles referenced for this posting use language that is indicative of the editorial politics played to discredit [merchantsofdoubt.org] the arguments made by responsible, knowledgeable scientists who seek to inform our electorates and their representatives. You use ad hominem (towards the man) attacks in an effort to discredit the man because you don't want anyone to attempt to understand the science, and BBC presents polls and foundations staffed by economists and politicians without presenting the science or the consensus opinions of the scientific community.

The fact is that the International Panel on Climate Change has issued several reports that have rarely been presented accurately in the mass media, and even as the ongoing analysis reveals that the conservative estimates that were watered down by international political and economic interests controlling the U.N.'s committee erred to downplay the projections, the reality is that man's impacts are actually on the higher side of the range predicted by the extrapolations.

There is nothing responsible about a business as usual approach to the future when we know that it will lead greater numbers of people to a diminished future quality of life, but I understand that people like you, who believe that quality of life comes is determined by 'sound financial planning' and size of your own personal bank account would rather not deal with anything that might interfere with your personal lifestyle choices.

It's simply a matter of fairness, balance, respect for the future and a willingness to be responsible to an ethical approach to life that drives people like Dr. Hansen to attempt to educate others about our collective need to develop our future beyond the limits of selfishness, personal greed and reckless consumption for the sake of a global economic system that will inevitably collapse under the weight of environmental failure if we don't voluntarily find the means by which to adapt to the unintended consequences of the changes we have brought to the natural world.

Multi-trillion dollar oil industry vs... (3, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685735)

If you're going to take on an issue that strikes fear in the blood-pumps (not hearts) of multi-trillion dollar industries, they are going to spend some of those trillions trying to paint you a fool in the eyes of the public.

Anyone who thought it would be easy wasn't getting into the fight with their eyes open. All you have to do is look at the way medical cannabis is legal in many states, while the DEA continues to claim there is no medical use for cannabis to realize that going up against the status quo is, at best, "frustrating."

Re:Multi-trillion dollar oil industry vs... (3, Funny)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685829)

that strikes fear in the blood-pumps (not hearts) of multi-trillion dollar industries

Now now, Cheney finally got a heart transplant.

Public concern (5, Interesting)

bhlowe (1803290) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685737)

If the proposed solution to climate change is cost-prohibitive and the results of any solution will not create a long term fix... and the promised "hockey stick" increase in temperatures not been seen in the last 15 years... Then it is pretty normal for people to question the wisdom of creating trillions of dollars of economic burden to attempt a fix.

But shouldn't we be concerned that NASA's interest in Global warming is going to get in the way of their Primary Mission of Muslim Outreach" [orlandosentinel.com] ...

Re:Public concern (3, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685931)

Here's the thing that bothers me most about climate change, the proposed solutions are horrible.

But the proposed solutions are horrible. Do you remember the goal of Copenhagen? It was to send money to developing countries as compensation for the damage not yet caused. That will help nothing.

Now, imagine if we increased our funding for fusion power. That is a goal with a clearly defined pathway to reach it. Even if global warming turns out to not be a big problem (which I think is the case), we STILL end up with fusion power, big win.

So there is something we can do that will help with global warming, help even without global warming, but instead we have Copenhagen. What is wrong here??

Re:Public concern (4, Informative)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39686035)

and the promised "hockey stick" increase in temperatures not been seen in the last 15 years...

That's just not true.
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.A2.gif [nasa.gov]

And note, climate is what happens over periods of at least 30 years. At 15 years you're still in the realm of weather.

But heck, the fact you're not interested in a serious discussion of AGW is underlined by the Muslim outreach comment.

GW (4, Insightful)

kipsate (314423) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685747)

Without taking a position whether or not global warming is caused by human activities:

- There is a complete industry now that exists by the grace of the belief that GW is man-made and we can do something about it. This is business having an interest in governments and public believing we should reduce CO2 emissions.
- Being a GW denier is silly. However try taking the position that GW is not entirely man-made, or that GW will not be as damaging as to justify billions of investments. You will get attacked almost in the way blasphemists were attacked in the middle ages. You are a non-believer, and you should go along with the "common believe" and "consensus", what we all think. How dare you disagree? But science is not consensus based. One experiment is all it takes to create new insights, models, theories.

I feel frustrated by governments taking GW as an excuse to raise taxes and increase influence on everyones personal life whenever they can. For instance, banning the light bulb - just how stupid is that?

Re:GW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685893)

Governments are retarded, news at 11.

Re:GW (5, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685923)

But science is not consensus based. One experiment is all it takes to create new insights, models, theories.

Consensus means that most of them believe there is enough support. And no one in the community has come up with anything credible that refutes the basic premise of climate change. Sure there is disagreement about how severe it will become, how much time before severe changes will need to happen, and what can be done to mitigate the problem, but there is little disagreement that is man-made. I don't know if you know the scientific community but it is populated by opinionated, arrogant bastards just like any other competitive field. And there are sometimes lengthy, nasty fights about the smallest of details. To get a consensus in this group pretty much says the science is well-supported and sound.

Re:GW (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685979)

Well, of course, if they can't refute the message itself, then go after the messenger. The public eats it up.

Re:GW (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#39686051)

No one has come up with anything credible that GW is happening either. Score so far; 0-0.

Re:GW (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685947)

However try taking the position that GW is not entirely man-made, or that GW will not be as damaging as to justify billions of investments. You will get attacked almost in the way blasphemists were attacked in the middle ages. You are a non-believer, and you should go along with the "common believe" and "consensus", what we all think. How dare you disagree? But science is not consensus based

And even if science were consensus based, there is no consensus among scientists about how to respond to global warming.

I WISH we would respond to it by funding fusion research.

Re:GW (2)

mikethicke (191964) | more than 2 years ago | (#39686001)

Why do you think it is silly to deny GW while questioning A(nthropogenic)GW? Neither of us is competent to actually measure global warming ourselves---we have to rely on scientists to inform us that the Earth is in fact warming. We know that GW is occurring because there is a scientific consensus that it is. But that same scientific consensus tells us that the overwhelming cause of that warming is human activity. You can't consistently believe one but not the other. You're right that scientific consensus is no guarantee of truth, but there are no guarantees of truth about anything. Scientific consensus is our, as laypeople not competent to judge the matter ourselves, best method of judging where the truth most likely lies. What justifies you in taking a position contrary to the scientific consensus? What is a more reliable guide to the truth?

Re:GW (1)

WildEye (103660) | more than 2 years ago | (#39686007)

Brilliant satire. Bravo.

I couldn't agree more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39686033)

Many scientists supporting mostly natural GW have had their careers sabotaged and their character called into question. Damned with your blasphemous data, the pro man-made-GW scientists say. Horrible, horrible science of the consensus. Also, Gore has done far more to damage the GW cause than he has helped. I have read countless articles and posts that bash him constantly, accuse him of twisting GW for his own gain (carbon credit trading) and furthering his political standing as well others and being bold faced corrupt. Sad, sad, sad.

Re:GW (0)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#39686045)

Being a GW denier is silly.

Why, exactly? Becuase you and a bunch of other morons say its real? 80% (or more) of the earth's population believes in some religious creed. As a (nearly) life-long athiest I find belief in creationist myths silly and beneath dignity. But becuase everyone else is doing it, I should jump in as well? Your argument for GW is EXACTLY the same, as far as I'm concerned.

Re:GW (1)

CyprusBlue113 (1294000) | more than 2 years ago | (#39686065)

You lost all credibility when you said "banning the light bulb".

No one has done any such thing. There have been efficiency limits set for light bulbs, just as cars, and many other things you use, have had set in the past. Claiming that light bulbs have been banned, even incandescent ones, is simply showing ignorance, and or an agenda of misleading others.

Tobacco 2.0 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685751)

Remember the FUD when Tobacco advertising kept claiming that it was safe when we knew it wasn't?
Where are those guys now? Chances are you'll find they (and their apprentices) are hired by oil companies now to promote denial of climate change.

Problem is, they've gotten better at spreading FUD over the years. I have a problem calling anything 'evil', but if anything can be called evil, these guys
and those that hire them are really good prospects.

For over 100 years the sky has been falling. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685753)

I will just leave this here. We are all Going to die. [1299.com]

Suprise! (0)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685787)

Propaganda works.

I had the misfortune at dinner last night of sitting next to a table of obvious Fox News addicts, and hearing them compete to see who could get in the most talking points.

Re:Suprise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39686005)

I had the misfortune at dinner last night of sitting next to a table of obvious Fox News addicts

And you do not realize that you are being a douche here? Seriously? You treat others around you as if they speak against you they are to be shunned and hated. Why dont you just get out your white robes and find the nearest kkk meeting? As you are walking down that path.

Now that I have told you off for being a jerk. Let me TELL you how to make those people understand.

"global warming is a farce ... blah blah blah"
"Ok that is an interesting position."
"hell yeah it is, no way it is man made"
"So would you stick your lips to an exhaust pipe and breath deeply?"
"fuck no, who the hell would do that? that would kill you!"
"So pollution is bad for you then?"
"well yeah duh"
"so wouldn't it make sense then to lower the amount of pollution?"
"well yeah I guess so"

And that is how you convert them. Dont sit there and drone on about animals falling into the sea. How it might get a bit warmer. How it might cause storms. They dont care about man made vs other cause. You know what they dont give a rats ass about it. Pollution bad. Leave it at that.

Believe it or not republicans dont like pollution (hell they created the EPA). Give a hoot dont pollute...

Re:Suprise! (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39686009)

How was your steak and baked potatoes?

Get real about what's happening (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685797)

"They have been winning the public debate with the help of tremendous resources"

Really? What resources? Apart from chump change at Heartland Institute, nobody can demonstrate these "tremendous resources". Think about it: Greenpeace and WWF alone have hundreds of millions of dollars a year to spend, and they leave a massive footprint. They have offices around the world, armies of unpaid volunteers, dedicated law offices and public relations firms - but somehow we're supposed to believe that a shadowy conspiracy that leaves no footprint is massively outspending the alarmists? This is grassy knoll stuff.

Why doesn't Hansen look inwards and ask if he and his supporters are really do a) have the correct analysis of the data b) have a winning strategy (e.g. declaring that there's a consensus and then heaping ad hominem attacks on their critics). And while I'm ranting, what self-respecting scientist (or slashdot reader) ever thought that consensus was relevant to science? Many of the greatest scientists in history overturned the consensus of their times (and were persecuted for doing so). Consensus is a political idea, and defending an idea because it has the backing of some real or imagined consensus is anti-science.

laughable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685803)

Concerted? Well funded?

Hansen is delusional. It's the complete opposite of the actual truth, as readily shown by leaks and public income data. His own, for example.

It isn't global warming science that many object t (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685809)

It isn't global warming science that many object to, it's that almost every 'solution' proposed seems to be a call for more redistribution and for people to scale back their lifestyles.

Re:It isn't global warming science that many objec (4, Interesting)

Tyler Durden (136036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685935)

But if that were the case why is it that alternatives to those solutions are not given but, more often instead, it is argued that anthropogenic global warming is not happening in the first place?

At least the former tactic I can respect. People who deny all scientific evidence because it disagrees with their worldview I cannot.

science and political activism don't mix. (0)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685825)

People need to believe the scientists don't care about politics, economics, ideology, and the political factionalism that is inherent in human societies. They have to be like monks that go off to their mountain top, make their quiet calculations, and are otherwise detached from the rest of the world.

Whenever a scientist attaches himself to the right or left or some larger political coalition it immediately taints everything they've done.

Had they made clear point from the start of NOT taking sides and simply making their case things would have worked out differently. Had they scrupuliously avoided their work being used as a weapon against either side or for either side things would be different.

But they didn't do any of that. Al Gore largely launched this movement and they helped him. They allowed themselves to be used as pawns in the political games of large political factions that honestly don't care about the environment. Neither the right nor left actually cares. They both care about power. If you told the democrats to throw the whole AGW argument under the bus BUT they'd get power they'd throw it under the bus in a heartbeat. And if you told the republicans that they'd get power if they just embraced AGW they'd do that in a heart beat.

Neither side cares. The democrats saw political advantage and the republicans saw a political threat. They responded to the issue in those terms. Nothing more or less. Period.

As AGW is a largely frustrated political movement being so tainted by partisan politics it's political backers are going to start abandoning it. It's not a viable weapon anymore. Doubtless many will still say they support it but it won't be a rallying cry or a center piece of any agenda. It's burned up.

Honestly, I would suggest the scientists back up and try again... this time as scientists and not as activists. Talk to both sides. Involve them both in the process equally. Make a point of taking no sides. If EITHER side tries to use you, distance yourself from them immediately and make it clear that you don't have an affiliation. Don't speak at political functions. Don't offer any support for either side.

You will not get everything you want. But you'll get something and you won't trigger a knee jerk political rejection.

And it goes without saying... Al Gore needs to be pilloried out of the movement. He's a polarizing influence which is the opposite of what you want.

Or you can keep doing what you're doing and encounter increasingly entrenched political positions that are increasingly effective at shutting down your objectives. That's how politics work. Just stay out of it. Stick to science.

I'm not even going to get into the science or the models. That's a whole other argument. From a straight forward PR perspective your ONLY authority in this matter is as men of science. And to maintain that you must remain objective. Take sides and that's gone... and with it any authority.

Re:science and political activism don't mix. (2, Insightful)

mikethicke (191964) | more than 2 years ago | (#39686043)

This is just factually incorrect. Al Gore is not a scientist. He, as you said, used the results of science for political advocacy. But using the results of science does not politicize that science. The scientists did not have to give Al Gore their blessing to use their results. They were not complicit in his work. The scientists involved in the IPCC have been remarkably objective and apolitical.

They think they're a target of a conspiracy? (0)

MatthiasF (1853064) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685841)

This article followed up on an op ed in New Scientist by Mann awhile bit, is starting to get ridiculous and smell of hypocrisy. The majority of the people who do not agree with the conclusions of AWG are not a part of a conspiracy, nor have most even been influenced by a conspiracy to believe such.

While the opposite is true for those who do believe in AWG, since the government and media pushes environmental efforts on television and other media big time (movies, internet, etc.), from recycling to thinking "green" or demonizing others not in-line with the think-speak.

Yet, there are these continuing charges that those who do not believe are conspiring against the movement?

I just don't see it. The media and government helps out the AWG camp to a much greater degree than any opposition could possibly do in hiding.

It's like Gaddafi or Assad calling their opponents terrorists to garner support, while the rebels are being bombarded by an armament hundreds of times greater.

It's not the science (3, Insightful)

jaymzter (452402) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685843)

IMHO the science is a minor part of it with regards to the public. It's the fact that there is a perception that certain ideologies have seized upon GW as a free ticket to further their agendas of limiting economic and public activity and increasing the interference and power of government within our lives. The natural reaction of the competing ideology is to discredit the basis of this power grab.

Economically, with the general decline the G20 is experiencing, as the most advanced nations they would bear the brunt of this new philosophy of "sustainability", which would be suicide for them.

Politically, specifically in America, there's a reason progressives embrace GW and conservatives do not. It provides a cover for some of their longest desired goals. Further centralization of government, extreme enviromentalism, and anti-capitalism.

Science is just a patsy for both sides in this argument.

Re:It's not the science (2)

mikethicke (191964) | more than 2 years ago | (#39686069)

Regardless of the political and economic circumstances, the science is very clear. AGW is a fact, whether or not political ideologies have seized upon it to further their agendas. You might be right in your explanation of progressive and conservative reaction to AGW, but this does not discredit its truth. There is no symmetry here---whether you are progressive or conservative the simple fact is that AGW is true.

Re:It's not the science (2)

Tyler Durden (136036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39686091)

IMHO the science is a minor part of it with regards to the public.

And that's quite unfortunate because it's the fundamental question of the whole thing. How can anybody come up with a political solution to a problem if they can't objectively look at what the situation is in the first place? Everything else is a secondary concern.

Katrina should've been enough (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685849)

That one event should've been more convincing than 1,000 studies from the likes of the UN and NASA. But I guess people are saying, let's wait for a couple more of those, then we'll reevaluate, until then it's drill baby drill oh baby drill.

Re:Katrina should've been enough (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685997)

That's a spurious argument. Katrina was far from the most powerful hurricane ever. It hit a heavily populated area full of people too stupid or too stubborn to leave, and the local officials botched things from day one. Had nothing to do with AGW.

But really, it's the lack of Pirates... (1)

Narrowband (2602733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685853)

Of course, what's really happening is that people now know the closely guarded secret, that Global Warming is caused by the lack of Pirates in modern times: Link to Forbes article [forbes.com]

Be subtle (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685867)

Manage that the Darwin Awards give mankind one special prize each time one of such denialist articles get published

The media have a lot to answer for (2)

leroy152 (260029) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685895)

The media have become as much a problem for serious debate as an enabler for that debate to happen.

They have added credence to otherwise unsubstantiated claims due to the claim of "balanced" approach to the issue which has resulted in a 'us vs. them' philosophy in so many issues in which proper scientific, evidential analysis is brought along side speculative, unsubstantiated and biased arguments and presented as equivalent when that is not the case.

This has happened in so many facets of current debates, and is not necessarily restricted to the lowest-common denominator type media outlets that truly there appears to be no hope that proper researched, independently verified fact can be brought to the public without a major injection of cash and a carefully planned advertising campaign accompanying it. Because where there is opposition, with all their clear bias, certain parts of the media will ignore it to give them a microphone, whether willing or not to voice their opposition no matter the weight and validity of their arguments.

Science has always battled the incumbents. In the past it was the religious leaders where the questions of how were being answered quicker than the clergy could justify. Today, science is besieged by not only the religious, but by those with the political and monetary will to preserve a status quo that may well spell hardship on future generations.

Climate change is one such area of science where those who are doing the actual work can have their findings drowned out by anyone who has a microphone and a name.

Partially to blame on environmentalists themselves (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685901)

In the past there have been many environmentalist predictions of doom scenarios, such as food shortages predicted by the club of Rome, air pollution, acid rain and the hole in the ozone layer. Though they were real problems, they have also been more or less solved now because they were acted upon. In hindsight, these things were all not as irreversible as environmentalisms make them seem. Now that we have a new topic, people no longer buy that part and are less alerted. The environmentalists in turn make their stories more and more dramatic to attract attention, leading to the point where thay are no longer believed at all by a large fraction of the population.

Also, although it is fairly clear by now that the climate is heating at least to some extent, there really isn't all that much proof that this is caused by human activities. Correlation is not causation. To prove a causal link seems very difficult, if not impossible, but is needed to convince policy makers.

How appropriate... captcha is 'starving'.

Global warming is a fact (2, Informative)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685903)

Facts are true whether I choose to believe in them are not. That's the message that needs to be hammered into the public sphere by the scientists - evidence proves it's happening. Whether the global warming, climate change, or what have you is man-made is the only thing really still in dispute among serious scientific circles, and the majority consensus among the researchers actively involved in studying it is that it is anthropogenic in nature.

Re:Global warming is a fact (1)

sribe (304414) | more than 2 years ago | (#39686039)

Facts are true whether I choose to believe in them are not. That's the message that needs to be hammered into the public sphere by the scientists - evidence proves it's happening. Whether the global warming, climate change, or what have you is man-made is the only thing really still in dispute among serious scientific circles...

And if it's not man-made, in other words not caused by our carbon emissions, then modification of our activities, in other words reduction of carbon emissions, would have no effect. I'm not promoting an opinion on whether it's man-made or not, just pointing out that you skipped right over that implication of the dispute which you say is still ongoing in "serious scientific circles" ;-)

Re:Global warming is a fact (0)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39686049)

I haven't seen the evidence. I do BELIEVE GW is happening AND is caused mostly by US. Just saying I BELIEVE it because it is so incredibly plausible, but I don't KNOW it because I haven't seen the evidence. There needs to be more genuine evidence gathering and start chipping away at the ignorance with truth.

In other news... (4, Informative)

MMatessa (673870) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685945)

'James Hensen has been making predictions about climate change since the 1980s. When people are comparing what is happening now to those predictions, they can see they fail to match up.'

In other news, Hansen's 30-year-old global temperature predictions close to spot-on [theregister.co.uk]

its as real as manbearpig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685961)

Luckily al gore can save us from both

Ice age (2, Interesting)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685963)

12,000 years ago there was a mile of ice where I live. A few weeks ago it was 28C(normally about 5C this time of the year). So yes there is climate change. But every year the Hurricane people have said that there would be X hurricanes this year; yet nearly every year they were very wrong. Often they got it exactly wrong as to big years and quiet years. So I am leery of any predictions that go far into the future when we can all agree that weathermen's (climatologists) predictions are basically a joke.

Also in the 1970s these same climatologists were claiming that the ice age was right around the corner.

I am absolutely not equipped to say that they are right or wrong. What I will say is that they are often wrong about what is going to happen tomorrow. So I place zero value of what they say will happen years into the future. I will buy their analysis of the past, the science of making a history of what happened is getting better and better. The why.... not so much.

If I were a government official making plans I would plan for 3 scenarios. It gets warmer, it gets colder, it stays the same.

Whine whine whine (0, Flamebait)

J'raxis (248192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685965)

Good news for personal and economic freedom.

Sounds to me some bureaucrat is just upset his taxpayer-funded job might not be as secure as it once was.

Maybe climate change is real; maybe it isn't. Maybe if governments didn't spend billions of our own dollars trying to convince us that it is, in an effort to justify policies giving them more control over our lives, growing their bureaucracies, taking our money, regulating our businesses and private lives, and so on, there wouldn't be so much political push-back trying to "deny" global warming. Maybe if the government didn't use climate change to victimize people, those victims wouldn't be trying to defend themselves.

If you politicize something, you can always expect the truth to fall by the wayside. The progressives, technocrats, and other assorted socialists in government started this. Now they're upset the other side of the political battle they started is winning.

Good.

Before you buy Dr. Hansen's goldmine, check it out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685969)

Dr. Hansen's arguments are failing because they are weak arguments. I am a physics guy who has dug into lots of good and bad data. It all looked good at the start, but some of it didn't hold up. The more you look into the data of Dr. Hansen and his associates, the more you realize how hinky it is. Yes, they have found things, but no, they don't have a solid case that we are the cause of the Earth warming, or that anything is getting out of control. - Roberto

CONSENSUS is not SCIENCE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685975)

Back in the day the consensus was:

The Earth was FLAT
The Earth was CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE
The Earth was CREATED BY $DEITY

I believe in God, but it does not mean that I don't accept evolution, or science.

But since a 'consensus' is not scientific law, it's at best a hypothesis.

And wouldn't these 'scientists' get a better bang for the buck if they gave all their funding to FUSION research instead of whoring it for the 'best guess' Atmospheric research' that has been proven wrong.. in BIG WAYS many times before?

This is about more than climate change (0)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 2 years ago | (#39685987)

Assuming for the sake of argument that global war ... uh, climate change is happening and it's entirely caused by human activity, the solutions the CC evangelizers (I get to call them that because other posters are using the equally loaded term, 'deniers') are proposing are more onerous and liberty-infringing than necessary. There are a number of proposals that would use technology to cool the earth, and cheaply, rather than demand such a drastic change in lifestyle and consumption that third-worlders would never attain the state of developed nations. The fact that CC enthusiasts dismiss that type of solution out of hand in favor of transforming and controlling essentially all human activity tells me that this is about more than climate change. It's about power and the shaping of society into the form the CC hypers want.

And if you want to see some "denying" in action, watch this get modded down.

NASA clearly focused on wrong problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39685995)

There is slow climate change but the degree to which human production of CO2 is a tiny and negligent factor.

The two far larger scale problems to "global warming" is natural Methane discharge into the atmosphere, and deforestation.

Methane is 25x as powerful of a "greenhouse gas" and is entering the atmosphere at an uncontrolled rate more than 10x the volume as CO2 from all sources. Methane alone has sufficient scale and greenhouse efficacy to cause a self-feeding runaway "global warming". Here's a link with an obvious visual map:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane
Scroll down to atmospheric methane.

Deforestation has been occurring for centuries and has already been identified as an actual cause of climate change in England, for example.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deforestation
Which says in part, "From 1100 to 1500 AD, significant deforestation took place in Western Europe as a result of the expanding human population. The large-scale building of wooden sailing ships by European (coastal) naval owners since the 15th century for exploration, colonisation, slave trade–and other trade on the high seas consumed many forest resources. Piracy also contributed to the over harvesting of forests, as in Spain. This led to a weakening of the domestic economy after Columbus' discovery of America, as the economy became dependent on colonial activities (plundering, mining, cattle, plantations, trade, etc.)"

Methane is discharged as waste at oil rigs since there is no economical way to capture, store and transport it from remote areas. Needs fixin'.

That said, each and every effort to address CO2 is counterproductive to people and business and is more often a means for governments to collect taxes and fines, not solve a real problem. Real problems are of course ignored in full.

JJ

A similar discussion ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39686017)

Bob: How long will it take us to hit the groud if we don't open our chutes?
George: 2 minutes.
Bob: Your math is off. 3 minutes.
John: Since you two can't agree, gravity must not exist.

hey, with GW leaders like (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39686023)

that bloated whale carcass, Al Gore, is it any surprise GW doesn't get taken seriously?

The reason is simple. (2, Insightful)

will_die (586523) | more than 2 years ago | (#39686089)

The reason the average person does not believe them is simple the people pushing that mankind is the sole cause of global warming don't act like it is true.
We hear all this stuff about not flying and they have these huge parties/conventions all over the world in really nice fancy places, alot of the people coming via private planes.
You can see all the huge houses owned by the people pushing it.
Heck even countries are not acting like it is true, look at all the countries dropping low emission power generation in place of coal based plants.

What is needed... (2, Insightful)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 2 years ago | (#39686097)

Is unpopular decisions that are going to be very expensive. We can't just sit back can cry over the expenses and hope the problem goes away, we can no afford to NOT fix the problems.

Instead we see NIMBY's stopping just about every technology that can help us out, coming up with stupid excuses as to why they are not the ones being idiotic. Sure, some of the tested technologies are not paying themselves back as much as we could have hoped, but they are still better than no action, as even a failed experiment yields useful information.

Instead of building sustainable energy, the ones wanting to build have to waste their time in courts fighting ignorants over conjecture and details such as "will it spoil my view from my bedroom window in the morning".
Instead of building CO2 neutral power, we are decommissioning existing power plants, with the only alternative being coal or gas, which is NOT CO2 neutral. True, some of the decommissioned plants were unsafe, but not all are. But the easily scared population want them gone, just because one have a mishap in Japan after being exposed to forces in excess of five times the expected worst case scenario. People forget the fact that most nuclear power plants are NOT in the risk zones of quakes that bad.

Instead of looking into alternatives. people flatly say no when they hear some buzzwords. That is the damage the "green" movements have done to the efforts to get GREEN energy.

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