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Is There Still a Ray of Hope On Climate Change?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the let-the-kids-deal-with-it dept.

Earth 462

Hugh Pickens writes "David Leonhardt writes in the NY Times that even as the U.S. endures its warmest year on record (the 13 warmest years for the entire planet have all occurred since 1998), the country seems to be moving further away from doing something about climate change, with the issue having all but fallen out of the national debate. But behind the scenes, a different story is emerging that offers reason for optimism: the world's largest economies may be in the process of creating a climate-change response that does not depend on the politically painful process of raising the price of dirty energy. Despite some high-profile flops, like ethanol and Solyndra, clean-energy investments seem to be succeeding more than they are failing. 'The price of solar and wind power have both fallen sharply in the last few years. This country's largest wind farm, sprawling across eastern Oregon, is scheduled to open next month. Already, the world uses vastly more alternative energy than experts predicted only a decade ago,' writes Leonhardt. Natural gas, the use of which has jumped 25 percent since 2008 while prices have fallen more than 80 percent, now generates as much electricity as coal in the United States, which would have been unthinkable not long ago. Thanks in part to earlier government investments, energy companies have been able to extract much more natural gas than once seemed possible which, while far from perfectly clean, is less carbon-intensive than coal use. The clean-energy push has been successful enough to leave many climate advocates believing it is the single best hope for preventing even hotter summers, concludes Leonhardt, adding that while a cap-and-trade program faces an uphill political battle, an investment program that aims to make alternative energy less expensive is more politically feasible. 'Our best hope,' says Benjamin H. Strauss, 'is some kind of disruptive technology that takes off on its own, the way the Internet and the fax took off.'"

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Now see, it's hyperbole like this (0, Flamebait)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769055)

even as the U.S. endures its warmest year on record (the 13 warmest years for the entire planet have all occurred since 1998)

Now see, statements like this are what make me so wary of trusting anything out of the mouths of the more fanatical members of the environmental movement. Really? So it's hotter today that it was during the Mesozoic era, when Antarctica was a desert (or even during the Paleozoic era, when it was a swamp)? Hotter than when earth's surface was made of *molten lava*? Really?

I have no doubt that global warming is happening, and am willing to accept that the cause is, at least in part, caused by man pumping shit-tons of crap into the atmosphere. But I've grown more than a little sick of Chicken Little, crazy-eyed alarmists preaching apocalyptic sermons with utterly ridiculous language that makes it sound like the fucking end is nigh if mankind doesn't abolish all industry NOW NOW NOW RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!! And spouting off laughably ridiculous "facts" like "the 13 warmest years for the entire planet have all occurred since 1998" only makes them sound even more like a bunch of religious zealots than they already do.

The sad thing is that most reporters don't even question this patently obvious bullshit anymore, lest someone label them a GW denier.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769107)

Do you have reading comprehension problems? The quoted text says "on record". Go look back how far we've been keeping temperature records. Nobody was sitting around with thermometers in the Paleozoic era.

FWIW, Antarctica is still a desert.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (4, Informative)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769189)

Not to mention that the U.S. also wasn't around in the Mesozoic. It's not even 250 years old.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769195)

No, it doesn't say on record about the 13 warmest years. It says this is the warmest on record.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (-1, Troll)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769331)

Do you have reading comprehension problems? The quoted text says "on record".

Who exactly has reading comprehension problems? The sentence says this year is the warmest on record for the US. It says the past 13 are the warmest period for the whole planet, no mention of recorded or time at all. What it may have meant... actually isn't clear (do they mean the warmest in the past 100 years? Because that is pretty meaningless, really.)

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (2, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769493)

Yes, it's perfectly clear that the "on record" qualifier still applies to the immediately appended parenthetical about the 13 warmest years, goldfish brain.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (3, Insightful)

Bigby (659157) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769539)

Is it really the warmest on record? On what record? The mercury thermometer record? Tree ring record? Ice core record? It was certainly warmer a little over 1000 years ago and one could consider them "on record".

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (1, Interesting)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769589)

Is it really the warmest on record? On what record?

Good question. In parts of Canada, that record is only 30 years. In other parts, it's 10 years. Yet it's being included in "climate data" as a pure baseline sample. Heck, where I live they don't even have a weather station for reporting the data. The temperature is now recorded and reported from 48KM away. My sister's place out in Alberta? 16KM away, in a gully, next to a stream, full of cold mountain water. Oh and it's shady until about 2pm.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (0)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769619)

Accurate temp records, as in less than a 5 degree error bar, weren't kept until sometime after the start of the 20th century.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769127)

Clearly you missed the words "on record".

Now see, This is why you are a boob (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769129)

even as the U.S. endures its warmest year on record (the 13 warmest years for the entire planet have all occurred since 1998)

Now see, statements like this are what make me so wary of trusting anything out of the mouths of the more fanatical members of the environmental movement. Really? So it's hotter today that it was during the Mesozoic era,

What part of "warmest year on record" is unclear to you?

What part of the temperature during earlier eras where we weren't on top of the food chain is relevant?

The sad thing is that most reporters don't even question this patently obvious bullshit anymore

The sad thing is that many slashdotters wouldn't question your patently obviously boring rhetoric.

Re:Now see, This is why you are a boob (-1, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769245)

What part of "warmest year on record" is unclear to you?

Perhaps the part where the year is not yet finished, and every single Warmist Chicken-Little alarmist such as yourself proclaiming weather is the same as climate (but not when winters are colder! No sir, then it means nothing).

It's exactly people like you that make me utterly ignore, and in fact work against when possible anyone of your dour faith.

After all, humanity as a whole has prospered when the overall climate has been warmer in the past, and all attempts to claim runaway behavior from existing climate change have been proved to be bunk - along with your high priests inability to predict anything about climate changes that actually happen going forward, why should we treat you and your disciples with anything but utter scorn and ridicule?

It all started when you claimed AGW was based on "science", a curious science that silenced detractors and ignored requests to review raw data... and you wonder why more reasonable heads fail to support you now.

Re:Now see, This is why you are a boob (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769387)

After all, humanity as a whole has prospered when the overall climate has been warmer in the past, and all attempts to claim runaway behavior from existing climate change have been proved to be bunk. . .

Whereas humanity has stagnated during times of technological upheaval and jamming our heads in the sand has been proved to be wise?

Or is your objection just about the fact that AGW proponents are dominating the debate among mildly educated observers, and this annoys you for some reason?

Re:Now see, This is why you are a boob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769437)

But that's what happens when body start slappin' from doin' the wild thing

Re:Now see, This is why you are a boob (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769517)

Perhaps the part where the year is not yet finished

Yes, and it's still summer. Guess you missed that part. It's only going to get hotter. Also, that's totally fucking irrelevant, because it's about how hot it's gotten, not just about the average temperature for the year.

every single Warmist Chicken-Little alarmist such as yourself proclaiming weather is the same as climate

Show me where I said that. Come on, show me. Oh, you can't? That's because I didn't say that. You're a liar.

(but not when winters are colder! No sir, then it means nothing)

Record winter lows are a predicted sign of global warming. I'm not surprised you don't know that, because you are clearly willfully ignorant.

all attempts to claim runaway behavior from existing climate change have been proved to be bunk

We're not talking about runaway behavior right now, we're talking about AGW. Although, now that you mention it, ice on land is melting faster than it's being replenished, faster than projections, and faster than in recorded history.

your high priests

Your attempts to demonize science? They fail.

along with your high priests inability to predict anything about climate changes that actually happen going forward

And you fail again. In fact, record highs and lows are predicted. Ice melting is predicted, and it happening faster than predicted is not a cause for you to celebrate. All it means is that even scientists are optimists.

why should we treat you and your disciples

I have disciples now? Awesome. I hope I don't get nailed up. You are hereby cordially invited to eat my body before my death. Pucker up.

It all started when you claimed AGW was based on "science", a curious science that silenced detractors and ignored requests to review raw data

And you lie again. The raw data has been available to anyone in a position to understand it all along. That doesn't include you. Detractors have not been silenced; Big Oil has spent vast amounts of money on studies trying to find some support for their assertions, the same assertions you share. Only, now even Big Oil is admitting that AGW is a real thing. Now, they're only arguing that it is not as serious as it is made out to be. As a predictable next step, they will announce that no, we're actually all screwed. Then they'll announce that they have some kind of solution. I don't need to be prescient, I only need to remember what you have forgotten: the lessons of history.

and you wonder why more reasonable heads fail to support you now.

Well, no, in fact, more reasonable people (who are more than just a head, this ain't Futurama — today, "head" more commonly means drug user, but I already knew you were hopelessly out of touch before you said that) actually do support "me" (or in fact, the science of AGW) and you don't. I already know you're not reasonable from your history here, but I decided to respond to you anyway because I had time and I didn't want someone to think that a failure to respond to your inanity was due to believing it.

Re:Now see, This is why you are a boob (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769569)

It's exactly people like you that make me utterly ignore, and in fact work against when possible anyone of your dour faith.

So because some people whose reasoning you feel is inadequate support position X, you assume that position X must be wrong and you will work agains it.

So can you enlighten me as to how exactly you've come to the conclusion that you should come out against AGW rather than for, since there is plenty of bad reasoning by on both sides.

After all, humanity as a whole has prospered when the overall climate has been warmer in the past,

Humanity will survive. A few billion might not, but little threat is posed to humanity as a whole. If most of the world's cities flood, humanity will survive just fine, and eventually recover.

nd all attempts to claim runaway behavior from existing climate change have been proved to be bunk

[citation from a reputable source needed]

along with your high priests inability to predict anything about climate changes that actually happen going forward, why should we treat you and your disciples with anything but utter scorn and ridicule?

[citation from a reputable source needed]

It all started when you claimed AGW was based on "science",

It is.

curious science that silenced detractors and ignored requests to review raw data... and you wonder why more reasonable heads fail to support you now.

Oh is that the one where the CRU wouldn't give people access to data that they didn't own? And instead of people going to the owners of the data, they had a shit fit?

Re:Now see, This is why you are a boob (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769593)

Hotter summers AND colder winters are BOTH validation of the scientific theory of anthropogenic global climate change. Indeed, that's EXACTLY what the theory precisely predicted. More CO2 means more heat absorption. More heat absorption means more atmospheric internal energy.

More internal energy means more entropy and extremer extremes. So we'll get records on both ends: higher highs and lower lows. Wetter floods and dryer droughts. Et cetera.

We are seeing exactly, almost down to the year, what was predicted by the rigorous scientific models of the impact of increased anthropogenic (not anthropomorphic) CO2 emissions.

So when you wonder why the "warmists" (whatever that means) "ignore" every time there's a cold winter, they don't. They know that it's exactly what the theory was predicting all along.

Frankly, I'm not waiting for the invasive species to come out in force before we start junking the SUVs.

Re:Now see, This is why you are a boob (3, Insightful)

gmanterry (1141623) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769457)

Almost all the problems facing mankind and the earth are caused by the same thing. The solution is easy to see but difficult to get people at embrace. There are simply too damned many people on this globe. The Chinese had it right with their limit on family size. We need to trim down the population of the world. At the present growth rate of the population, we will again double in another 58 years. Instead of trying methods to change the climate which will probably not go the way scientists plan, we need an incentive for the peoples of the world to start limiting their reproduction. However the religions of the world will fight any attempt at population control. Like it or not, overpopulation is the underlying cause of climate change and decreasing the population is the solution. It will happen one way or another. We cannot continue to reproduce like rats and rabbits.

Re:Now see, This is why you are a boob (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769545)

The Chinese had it right with their limit on family size.

Yeah, ask the Chinese how they feel about that. My family has been fortunate enough to have that opportunity.

Meanwhile, there's an argument to be made about finite resources and human population making for a self-limiting system. Who wants to breed 10 more children if they're having problems keeping the first one fed? The only loophole is sex drive. So let's get birth control out to whoever wants it, without the religious stigma.

Not even close (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769595)

We are currently at around seven billion people, starvation we see currently is from political, not technical issues. We do not have too many people, we have some people that suffer needlessly - an entirely different problem.

The upper growth is around 10 billion [ted.com] people, after that the population will remain fairly stable. There's no reason to think that with technological improvements in obtaining food we could not support that population indefinitely, assuming some vast plague does not take us down a lot...

Ironically, current warming trends would help us with more arable land, if scared fools would allow climate change to proceed normally.

Re:Now see, This is why you are a boob (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769599)

We need to trim down the population of the world

I think the Earth can support this many people with sane practices. I don't think we're using them.

We cannot continue to reproduce like rats and rabbits.

This, I agree with.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (3, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769133)

Bear in mind, those years where during a period where normal cycles should have been flat of slight cooler.

That's why they are more proof of Man Made Climate change.
It's also important to remind people like that because some conservatives make the bald face lie that the last decade or so was cooler. When presented with the actual facts, they refuse to reconsider their opinion. So we need to counter the people spreading that lie as well.
Could it be more precise? probably. OTOH if you want that level or precision there are plenty of excellent scientific papers on the subject

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769141)

thank you, at least someone gets it. We have only been keeping detailed weather records for around 100 years and now were supposed to believe that this is the hottest its ever been, thats crazy. Is climate change happening, probably. Are we the cause, partially at least. But does this mean that some catastrophic end is coming in the near future, probably not. We survived an ice age whats to say we cant survive the planet heating up a bit

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769239)

You and parent obviously doesn't get "warmest year on record"...

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769449)

I seriously doubt if humanity can survive an ice age today. I certainly wouldn't.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769617)

Why wouldn't they be able to? Adaption is second nature to humans.

It's science, not hyperbole. (5, Informative)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769553)

thank you, at least someone gets it. We have only been keeping detailed weather records for around 100 years and now were supposed to believe that this is the hottest its ever been, thats crazy.

No, he doesn't "get it". Have you never heard of paleoclimatology? Scientists down in Antarctica have sampled cores of ice that have been trapped for millennia, and have been able to correlate the temperatures of the ice as well as trapped atmospheric particles with the time they were trapped. From them, they have determined an approximation of the average global temperature back through time, as well as estimates of things like the percentage of Earth's surface covered by wetlands based on methane levels indicating decomposed bacteria.

The Antarctic ice sheet has a pretty good record going all the way back to the previous ice age and a bit earlier. It's not like an almanac, where they can ask "what was the temperature on July 4th, 4004 BC", but they can see slow moving trends. For example, they can see a small dip that correlates to the Little Ice Age, and a more dramatic dip from an earlier ice age.

And the ice sheets aren't the only evidence. Geological records also contain clues about the earlier weather, in the forms of rock scratchings where they were pushed by glaciers, glacial moraines, ancient dried lake beds, etc. And the distribution of fossils can show where climates went from "hospitable" to "inhospitable" to certain forms of ancient life.

It's just the kind of data you need to have if you are trying to figure out if this decade is warmer than all previous decades in the last 40,000 years.

There is nothing crazy about it. It's just science.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (0)

gregulator (756993) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769147)

All winter they tell us not to look at short term, localized temperatures. Now that it is warm, the summer's heat is proof of anthropomorphic global warming.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (2)

DeTech (2589785) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769235)

"they" are telling us not to look at the weather ("boy it's 'whatever' today"), and to look at the climate data ("ooh look at that trend line" )

If you think "they" are saying anything else you are listening to the wrong "they".

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (1)

CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769149)

by "on record" I assume they are referring to direct temperature measurements. In other words, since people started recording temperatures.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (0, Offtopic)

Shagg (99693) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769185)

Exactly. I'm sure climate change is real... I'm also sure it's been going on for several billion years.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (2)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769369)

With highish first derivatives of temperature over time being on the order of a couple of degrees C per millennium, and second derivatives operating on the order of .1 degree per millennium per millennium. To treat 1800-2015 as the same as -10000 BC to 1 AD is crazy.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (4, Insightful)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769417)

We'va also had 5 majour extinxion events during those millions of years. And all of them had something to do with major shifts in climate, caused by external factors: the big meteorite did not kill the dinosaurs. The nuclear winter which followed did.

Large, fast changes in climate don't matter much to life. It'll recover. We may not. Or we may, but our civilisation is a goner. Or maybe, if we are extra-lucky, we get to only have a major economic crisis. Something like the industrial revolution in reverse.

Global warming is a serious threat. And we will --those of us below fifty -- have to face its consequences directly. We can only hope that it won't be as bad as the scientists think it'll be, and that it much, much worse than what you see in news.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769579)

Huh, the scientists think that at the height of the problem it will cost a couple percent of world GDP per year for economies and societies to adjust. What you see in the news is that the earth is going to turn into venus or mars. So... your post doesn't make much sense.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (2)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769197)

I musta missed the last few years then, when was it a middle Carboniferous era after 1998?

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (1, Insightful)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769215)

even as the U.S. endures its warmest year on record (the 13 warmest years for the entire planet have all occurred since 1998)

Didn't you know that ~160 years of climate observations determines the entire history of the planet? Unless you are a creationist who believes the Earth is 6,000 years old, that 130 years is a statistically insignificant amount of time.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769219)

ON RECORD
I had to point this part out.

We didn't record those temperatures in core samples. Nature did that job for us. We just uncovered those temperatures.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769251)

So it's a natural record. No one said human record. If dinosaurs kept records, would you not count those either?

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769427)

So it's a natural record. No one said human record. If dinosaurs kept records, would you not count those either?

I can just see it now ... New York Times bestseller: The Dinosaur Diaries - all the dirt, all the scandal, everything you wanted to know about those Diplodoci next door!

It's fun debates like this which undermine both sides.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (1)

Quantum gravity (2576857) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769229)

So it's hotter today that it was during the Mesozoic era

Detailed temperature information exists since 1850 so that must be the time range referred to.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (1)

geekymachoman (1261484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769249)

They just gonna use this as an excuse to push some new law which will be (again, same as last ... well, just look at last 15 years that's enough) in their interest(*) and for which you gonna pay up. By they I mean these centralized governments we have today. The others just follow that, even when they are not a part of it.
If not, the centralized governments public relationship office, namely, mainstream media, wouldn't bombard people with these sort of thing all the time. They aren't doing it because they like you, certainly not. If you think this is some sort of conspiracy theory, then you retarded.

You'll see in few years. If you not think so, then like I said above.. look at the trend from last 15 years. Imagine how world will look like in 50.

(*) Money, power, duration of exploitation of planet/resources, something else.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (4, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769257)

"But I've grown more than a little sick of Chicken Little, crazy-eyed alarmists preaching apocalyptic sermons with utterly ridiculous language that makes it sound like the fucking end is nigh if mankind doesn't abolish all industry NOW NOW NOW RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!"

Can you name a single person who has advocating abolishing all industry?

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769343)

Obama

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (4, Funny)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769503)

AC, if you've got a comment, you didn't make that comment. Someone else made that happen.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769319)

hear hear!

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769341)

But I've grown more than a little sick of Chicken Little, crazy-eyed alarmists preaching apocalyptic sermons with utterly ridiculous language that makes it sound like the fucking end is nigh if mankind doesn't abolish all industry NOW NOW NOW RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!

The sad thing is that most reporters don't even question this patently obvious bullshit anymore, lest someone label them a GW denier.

What is even more sad is that there is currently no realistic plan for how to deal with the fact that we are currently spending resources like coal, oil, and natural gas significantly faster than they regenerate. (Since these resources generate on geological timescales, not human timescales.) Even if we don't care about the environment, once these resources are depleted, say goodbye to a high-tech human civilization unless we have developed alternative energy sources.

(Note that we will probably not be able to develop alternative energy sources once we have reached that point, since the development of alternative energy sources will require a high-tech human civilization.)

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769467)

What is even more sad is that there is currently no realistic plan for how to deal with the fact that we are currently spending resources like coal, oil, and natural gas significantly faster than they regenerate.

Use something else. As fossil fuel products increase in price, alternatives will become attractive. The gasoline car might be scrapped for an electric car or it might run on biofuels. Just going up in price will make a number of alternatives realistic which aren't realistic now.

Speaking of hyperbole... (5, Insightful)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769377)

I have no doubt that global warming is happening, and am willing to accept that the cause is, at least in part, caused by man pumping shit-tons of crap into the atmosphere. But I've grown more than a little sick of Chicken Little, crazy-eyed alarmists preaching apocalyptic sermons with utterly ridiculous language that makes it sound like the fucking end is nigh if mankind doesn't abolish all industry NOW NOW NOW RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!! And spouting off laughably ridiculous "facts" like "the 13 warmest years for the entire planet have all occurred since 1998" only makes them sound even more like a bunch of religious zealots than they already do.

Personally, I'm a lot sicker of people talking about "crazy-eyed alarmists" preaching that "the fucking end is nigh." Who, specifically, are these "crazy-eyed alarmists" and where are they making such predictions? I know who it isn't. It isn't climate scientists. It isn't the IPCC. It isn't even prominent non-scientists like Al Gore who have popularized the concerns of climate scientists. So who are they? Where are they preaching that I've never heard them?

And while we are at it, who is insisting that we need to "abolish all industry NOW NOW NOW RIGHT NOW!"? Again, I know who it isn't. It isn't climate scientists. It isn't the IPCC. It isn't even prominent non-scientists like Al Gore who have popularized the concerns of climate scientists. So who are they?

Re:Speaking of hyperbole... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769523)

It isn't climate scientists.

Hockey-stick graph ring a bell? Have you read any of the reports they have produced? Some of them are apparently bordering on Dr. Strangelove, based on the reports I've read.

It isn't the IPCC.

Did you even read the early IPCC reports?

It isn't even prominent non-scientists like Al Gore who have politicized the concerns of climate scientists.

Fixed that for you, and if you can't see why Al Gore made global warming situation much worse by politicizing the issue to get them nasty Repubs out of office, you have your head in the sand. That man should have been tarred and feathered instead of getting an Oscar, because he's polarized discussion of GW for an entire generation of people instead of letting science run its course.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (1)

erice (13380) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769489)

Now see, statements like this are what make me so wary of trusting anything out of the mouths of the more fanatical members of the environmental movement. Really? So it's hotter today that it was during the Mesozoic era, when Antarctica was a desert (or even during the Paleozoic era, when it was a swamp)?

While I agree with the premise that the Earth has been a lot warmer in the past, your examples fail to account for continental drift.
Antarctica wasn't was not at the South Pole during the Mesozoic. Even when it did drift South, it didn't actually freeze over until it separated from South America and was surrounded by the circumpolar currents.

In the Paleozoic, Antarctica did not yet exist as a continent. I don't know where all the parts were or what pre-Pangea land masses they were attached to.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (5, Informative)

TheNucleon (865817) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769511)

The 13 years are those for which we have records. When the Earth was covered with lava, I don't think anyone had a thermometer, smarty pants.

The vast majority of scientists in the applicable field believe the Earth is warming. If you don't believe it, that's your problem.

The vast majority of those scientists believe that the warming is being significantly accelerated by human processes, and that the trend line is far sharper than standard climatic cycles would ordinary produce. If you don't believe it, that's your problem.

Most outcome predictions based on the rate of change we're seeing include massive effects on humanity. If you don't believe it, that's your problem.

But sadly, you are our problem. People who, despite growing evidence, fail to grasp the urgency of the matter will be our collective downfall. Even though I tend to get very frustrated at the ignorance, I've pretty much just come to accept it. The thing that really ticks me off is that my children will suffer because of people like you, spreading the "it's not that bad" schtick.

And by the way, industry can mean a lot of things. A clean energy industry would be awesome.

Re:Now see, it's hyperbole like this (0)

benzaholic (1862134) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769541)

Concur.

Once I saw that unqualified phrase about the 13 warmest years for the entire planet, I just could not bring myself to read any more of the post.

Either it is true but unsupportable by documentation, or it is false as stated. Either way, it grossly diminishes the implied accuracy of any additional claims.

Props for getting first post with an intelligent bitchslap of bullshit.

In the good ole' USA it's dead (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769105)

And mainly because of the great job of idiots who can't seem to make any decisions for themselves unless it's tied to money, power and greed (e.g. politicians). Never mind that 1/2 of Greenland just fell off last week and into the ocean, or that the oceans are actually rising or that the wildfires this year were the worst ever, or the worst drought in the USA since 52, or that the inland lakes and waterways are mostly
off-limits to dangerous levels of algae and e-Coli.
Nothing is wrong - nothing is strange - and 85 degrees for a week is common in the upper-Midwest (sorry Apple, Cherry, Plum, Peach and Pear farmers) in the middle of February....

What a joke this country has become in so many senses!!!

Normal is the new Freakout (0, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769289)

Never mind that 1/2 of Greenland just fell off last week

You were aware that glaciers calve ALL THE TIME?

Sigh. Such ignorance to display before the learned...

Re:In the good ole' USA it's dead (1, Informative)

Charcharodon (611187) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769365)

Greenland has a massive ice melt off every 150 years or so. Nothing new to see here, move along.

Re:In the good ole' USA it's dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769373)

As it apparently does about every 150 years and it's right on time. You actually need to read the report to find that out though. The headline was tragically flawed!

The summary is all over the map (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769117)

Natural gas is good? It's replacing coal? It omits the fact that the gas is coming from... FRACKING!

The whole summary is just full of contradictions and ommissions like that. A transition to green power without political pain? Of course. We're sliding back into recession. A bicycle with a little trailor on the back for your groceries is very green. Nevermind that no overt political decision was made that prevented you from affording a car and gas.

O'Rlly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769119)

>> the 13 warmest years for the entire planet have all occurred since 1998

Where's the O'Rlly Owl when you need him?

Re:O'Rlly (0)

ocean_soul (1019086) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769213)

I'm quite sure the thirteen warmest years all happened around the beginning of the mesozoic era...

Re:O'Rlly (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769615)

You are absolutely correct. He did in fact leave out the words "on record". If he had put that in, his statement would be right.

Of course, that means his point is still valid, even if sentence isn't. You on the other hand either have no point (was making a joke/just commenting about his gram error) or don't understand rather simple, obviously true concepts, such as IT'S HOTTER than any other time since human beings have recorded the temperature.

Since you can't argue with that basic fact, you can instead point out irrelevant, minute flaws in how people state the argument.

Natural gas is not clean energy (4, Informative)

guanxi (216397) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769179)

Natural gas is not clean energy. I seem to remember that the greenhouse gasses emitted during extraction and processing of shale gas, which is the source of most of our current boom IIRC, offsets any benefits. Does anyone know?

Re:Natural gas is not clean energy (1)

sepiroth (598780) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769299)

Yes, you have to burn it to extract energy from it. Which means CO2 and water (at least) will be emitted, like for burning any other organic substance. That is so anti green one can only imagine.

Re:Natural gas is not clean energy (1)

Antipater (2053064) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769315)

Jury's still out on that one. The data is very mixed. Some wells leak methane, some don't, and the oil industry giants try very hard to keep it under wraps whether they drill high-quality wells or not, so it's hard to get an average.

Re:Natural gas is not clean energy (2, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769321)

Neither is ethanol. As many of the simple minded radical greens, the author can't tell the difference between clean (as in less pollution/harmful environmental effects), renewable and low greenhouse gas emitting.

Re:Natural gas is not clean energy (2)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769435)

It's far cleaner (and greener) than coal, which is what we call "compromise" and taking "baby steps". These are things that the climate alarmists don't understand. It also creates greenhouse gases to build solar panels and wing generators.

Re:Natural gas is not clean energy (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769477)

Natural gas is not clean energy.

The point is that it's better than coal, there's no such thing as clean coal, and if you can't get people on nuclear, and solar and wind aren't economically viable the natural gas is at least less bad than whatever else we're doing.

The big thing missing from this discussion is that there *are* government investments in alternative energy, not so much US investment (some though), but it doesn't matter if the tech is developed in Finland or Philadelphia it can still be used, and that matters a lot. Once you figure out how to build 1 commercially viable solar panel the private sector will happily run all the way to the bank with it. BP had several years of investing in green tech, and even within the US research establishment there's research in green tech, but a lot of it wasn't 'extra' research money it was just refocusing what was there.

But yes, shale fracking can release methane, of course if you can capture methane you can do something with it, so having it escape is probably not ideal for anyone.

Is There Still a Ray of Hope On Climate Change? (1, Informative)

Paradigma11 (645246) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769203)

That's an easy one:
"No."
Next question please.

It's always been TOO LATE (4, Interesting)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769237)

It seems to me ... and I cannot provide references ... that it's been "too late to do anything" for ten years or more. This always seemed to be a counter-productive way to evangelize. If it really is too late, we need to put resources more toward mitigation (which I suspect will be the case anyway).

In short? No. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769241)

Doing anything would be HARD and EXPENSIVE and what if it turns out we didnt need to do anything...
We just cleaned up our air for NOTHING!

Maybe some future generation will look back and think 'wtf was wrong with them they didnt fix this problem when it was easy to fix'.
Either way.. I won't live long enough to see it get real bad. So fuckit. Why spend my now money for the future generations... Fuck those people.

It's a very corporate trendy thing to say...... Why? because fuck you thats why! I got mine!

Note to future generations: HAHA!

Re:In short? No. (0)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769475)

You know the greatest generation, who went through depression and war? Their kids, The Baby Boomers will be known to history as the Shittiest Generation.

They got everything, and they destroyed the future out of greed and selfishness.

Re:In short? No. (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769581)

They got everything, and they destroyed the future out of greed and selfishness.

In their defense, that didn't happen. It's just a fad to blame them for everything. Looking over garbage like this, I'm tempted to write a parody book where the Boomers get blamed for everything wrong that has ever or could ever happen, real, imagined, or fantasized about.

The universe turned out imperfect? God was a lazy ass boomer watching TV when he created the universe. All pain and suffering in this universe flow from the Howdy Doody Show.

Wait, Wait, Wait (2)

chimerafun (1364591) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769243)

Hold on so what this article is saying is that once again the free market is taking care of us where the government has failed miserably? But thats not what the democrats tell me. The liberals keep telling me how bad the free market is at responding to, well, anything.

Re:Wait, Wait, Wait (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769461)

It's free market and a tad bit of conscience, which leftists tell me I can only exercise as "collective salvation" through government.

Re:Wait, Wait, Wait (2)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769499)

I am a liberal and I have never heard that at all.

What I have heard is a ton of conservative saying that government never solved anything. If you check what you wrote, soemthing pretty close is in it.

In other words, the claim you just made against the liberals? The opposite claim is what I hear from the conservatives.

Both are entirely ridiculous. Any sane person recognizes that if something always does bad, it gets replaced with something better.

You are clearly a hypocrite. People that live in glass houses have no business throwing stones - and you built a glass house with your post.

Re:Wait, Wait, Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769533)

Hold on so what this article is saying is that once again the free market is taking care of us where the government has failed miserably?

Thanks in part to earlier government investments...

But thats not what the democrats tell me. The liberals keep telling me how bad the free market is at responding to, well, anything.

Strawmen are so easy to beat. Try fighting a real debate some day.

petroleum is going to run out some day (1)

beschra (1424727) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769247)

I've always thought an excellent common ground, regardless of opinion on AGW, is that the carbon based stuff in the ground is not inexhaustible. You can even disagree on how long it's going to last, but why not plan for the inevitable and really invest in alternatives? It addresses long term supply concerns, reduces pollution, and, if you're of a certain mindset, helps keep the planet from melting. Win, win, win.

Re:petroleum is going to run out some day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769323)

When oil from the ground becomes more expensive than growing synthetic alternatives there will be a switch, unless some form of extremely cheap electricity is invented the combustion engine is going to be with humanity forever.

FOREVER

Re:petroleum is going to run out some day (1)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769441)

Coal and natural gas, which also produce CO2 in plentiful quantities when burned, both exist in multi-century supplies. We can't use them for that long without finding some way to seriously recycle the carbon dioxide, which in turn means we need SOME kind of solar power capable of overcoming the chemical potential gap of super-stable carbon dioxide. It can be algae, but fundamentally, we're using the sun to deal with the problem, and man-made solar power is more efficient than organic.

Really? (1, Insightful)

ocean_soul (1019086) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769253)

Even on /. this kind of hyperbole gets credit? I'm disappointed in the scientific standards. Now this site has stooped to the level of mass media. As an actual scientist (partially involved in research concerning atmospheric processes, by the way) I find this very sad...

What's the hyperbole? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769513)

You're either so focused on one part of the summary I didn't read or you so dead set on some political belief that you're willing to cast any discussion of climate change as hyperbole. Please clarify your concern.

I don't see the problem here. (1)

oic0 (1864384) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769261)

You say climate change, I say beach front property. No problem here.

Re:I don't see the problem here. (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769439)

You say climate change, I say beach front property. No problem here.

The problem is that the boardwalk is in Utah, but the waterline is still in California.

Get it! (1)

Antipater (2053064) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769267)

A ray of hope? Quick! Trap it in the greenhouse before it radiates away!

Global warming advocates UNITE! (1)

Bigsquid.1776 (2554998) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769271)

I kind of like the changes predicted for us here in Colorado. Is there a group out there in favor of global warming I could join?

Re:Global warming advocates UNITE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769375)

I kind of like the changes predicted for us here in Colorado. Is there a group out there in favor of global warming I could join?

Perhaps you could see if the Colorado home owners that recently tragically lost their homes to wildfires would agree with you statement?

There is a big ray of hope: Sensible policy (2)

guanxi (216397) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769283)

There is a very straightforward solution: Sensible policies.

I know what you are thinking: 'That's politically impossible'. That's what obstructionists want you to think, that nothing can get done. Don't be so easily intimidated and demoralized. If you want it done, it will happen. Every other advanced economy manages it; we can too.

The obstructionists are out of steam; their tactics are obvious and they have little left to say. I think Churchill said, 'America always does the right thing, after exhausting all other possibilities'. I think we're just about at that point.

Wonder What Russia Thinks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769353)

Vast quantities of untapped natural resources lying in wait underneath the permafrost tundra.

Add a little global warming, and suddenly they are the wealthiest nation in the entire world ...

and ... right next door to China for trading opportunities.

solution for just $280 billion (1)

SergeyKurdakov (802336) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769361)

solution to fix all things ( and maybe even improve climate variability ) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081222114546.htm [sciencedaily.com] to change 'local' climate - there is need for much less area. I think that mass produced aluminum foil on some substrate could be used as well ( will be easy to scale back reflection if needed )

And in future reporting... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769381)

Thanks in part to earlier government investments, energy companies have been able to extract much more natural gas than once seemed possible ...

... The Wall Street Journal will attribute this solely to corporate innovation -- probably Xerox :-) -- like it did for the Internet [slashdot.org] .

Re:And in future reporting... (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769481)

ALL energy is subsidized by the US government, which is pretty stupid when you think about it.

Fax 2.0 to the rescue! (1)

microcars (708223) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769401)

to save mankind.

TL;DR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769409)

We need a TL;DR summary for the article summary.

Re:TL;DR (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769485)

Government and private investment in renewable and clean(er) energy sources is having a larger than expected (though really quite small) impact on carbon emissions (within the US).

Better?

It's all for economic reasons. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769415)

The price of oil has been going up because of increased demand from Asia, especially China, and from other developing nations. Production hasn't increased that much because oil is getting harder to get and subsequently more expensive to get.

As this trend continues - and I don't see what it wouldn't - solar, wind, and other "green" energy (Natural Gas is not a green energy source) will become more and more economical for two reasons.

1. technology and manufacturing improvements lowering the costs of these energy sources.

2. As oil continues its price increase, green energy will become more competitive and one day become more cost effective that oil and maybe even coal.

But it won't be a panacea. Every manufactured good has an environmental impact.

...and I've stated the obvious. Time to become Capt. Obvious' side kick named - D'Uh or You think?

Our best hope? Please. (5, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769429)

Our best hope is a radical alteration using chemical means?

Are you kidding me?

We still use HALF the energy in the US and Canada heating and cooling mostly empty buildings. We could easily just change zoning and tax laws to encourage buildings to have green roofs, provide their own power, use half the energy to heat and cool, and build them for barely more than we pay for buildings nowadays. Practically the entire campus here is built using such buildings now.

We still have massive untapped energy sources of hydro, mini-hydro, micro-hydro, geothermal, wind, urban wind, tidal and other energy sources that would dramatically impact GHG impacts. In America.

We still use cars that only get - and this is from an ad last nite - only 36 mpg when we can easily crank out 60 mpg cars today. Or replace 15 mpg vehicles with 30 mpg versions that function THE SAME using technology we HAVE TODAY. Heck, we could replace them in areas where electricity is mostly green (e.g. populated coastal areas) with plug-in electric cars. Or people could bike or walk more.

There are a lot of very simple things we could do today.

But ... we're lazy whiners. Period.

When you decide to do something. (2, Interesting)

geekymachoman (1261484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769463)

Stop being greedy self-centered asshole that main purpose in life is consumation. And it is main purpose in life for many of people. All those that, like George Carlin say, buy things they "DON'T NEED" with money they don't have.

I don't own a freaking iPod or iPad or 50 pairs of shoes and pants and big screen TV, and don't have a need to "get one" as soon as it starts hitting the media... if there's a practical need for me to get one, I'll get one. I'm not gonna go blindly buy everything. You may think this isn't related, but it is. 90 % of stuff you can buy/posses is BS. More worse, stupid BS. But as long as it's fancy and flashy ... it's alright eh ?

When you stop simply consuming without thinking, all those factories will gonna close down. Lost jobs ? Oh well, you can't sit with one ass on two chairs.
Stop bloody complaining, and do something about it.

Natural gas a distraction in context of climate (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769529)

Natural gas, the use of which has jumped 25 percent since 2008 while prices have fallen more than 80 percent, now generates as much electricity as coal in the United States, which would have been unthinkable not long ago.

That's nice, but while natural gas is "cleaner burning" than some other fossil fuels in ways that are very significant to a number of other environmental concerns (particulates, sulfur emissions, etc.), its only very slightly better in terms of greenhouse gas emissions for the energy produced, and even completely replacing all coal power generation overnight wouldn't do much for climate change. In the context of climate change, natural gas is red herring, not an alternative.

Is There Still a Ray of Hope On Climate Change? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769535)

I hope not. I believe that we MUST care for our planet. But there is natural climate variability that explains this. The sky is not falling. The objective of "GLOBAL" warming is and will always be global government. But global warming is a hoax. Hottest 13 years on record... By what measure? If it is conciseness is it science? Do you really think the scientific method is used in global warming research? How are detractors treated? Very scientific. To be clear I believe that we MUST care for our planet.
http://www.beaufortobserver.net/Articles-NEWS-and-COMMENTARY-c-2012-06-23-261150.112112-Godfather-of-catastrophic-climate-change-exposes-the-Green-hoax.html

That's right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40769557)

I'll never ever support idiotic ideas such as cap-and-trade - what a friggin' insane cluster fuck that idea is! I can't even begin to articulate the level of stupidity involved to embrace it. Ethanol is also a complete dumb-ass unmitigated disaster. However, if someone, anyone, makes solar panels that are actually affordable (including the battery storage), I'll be happy to cover my entire roof with the things. The answer, is 'green' energy that makes economic sense. Do that and you'll find lots and lots of people who will get behind it - even those whom liberals disparage as 'right wing nuts' - those 'nuts' will support all kinds of 'green' technology when it actually works, and when economic destroying policy is left out of it.

Natural Gas == Fracking (3, Insightful)

assertation (1255714) | more than 2 years ago | (#40769607)

Natural Gas == Fracking == Destruction Of Dwindling Clean Drinking Water.

Not much of an improvement

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