Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Climate Contrarians Seek Leadership of House Science Committee

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the wouldn't-want-to-get-any-science-in-it dept.

Earth 518

An article at Ars examines three members of the U.S. House of Representatives who are seeking chairmanship of its Committee on Space, Science, and Technology. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said in an interview, "My analysis is that in the global warming debate, we won. There were a lot of scientists who were just going along with the flow on the idea that mankind was causing a change in the world's climate. I think that after 10 years of debate, we can show that that there are hundreds if not thousands of scientists who have come over to being skeptics, and I don't know anyone [who was a skeptic] who became a believer in global warming." James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) has a similar record of opposing climate change, as does Lamar Smith (R-TX). Relatedly, Phil Plait, a.k.a. The Bad Astronomer, has posted an article highlighting how U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate's Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, has declined to answer a question about how old the Earth is, calling it "one of the great mysteries."

cancel ×

518 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Richard Muller (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#42049703)

I don't know anyone [who was a skeptic] who became a believer in global warming.

You mean like Richard Muller [slashdot.org] who quite famously denounced anthropogenic global warming [nytimes.com] only to come to the same conclusion by his own means? Yeah, that opinion piece by him opens with "Call me a converted skeptic."

Oh, I get it, after it turns out that his research didn't back up your "beliefs", he must never have been a skeptic to begin with, right? Or perhaps when you made that statement you meant that you just don't know Richard Muller personally?

Political word games have always been such a pain in the ass.

But you are right that while peer reviewed journals move one way, the population moves the other [yale.edu] :

The most striking result is the increase in the proportion of Americans who express strong doubt or rejection of the reality of global warming through their free associations. In 2003, only 7% of Americans provided “naysayer” images (e.g., “hoax,” or “no such thing”) when asked what thought or image first came to mind when they heard the term “global warming.” By 2010, however, 23% of Americans provided “naysayer” images.

Re:Richard Muller (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42049865)

My analysis is that in the global warming debate, we won.

I'm not sure what he thinks the prize is going to be. But I'm willing to wager that it will indeed be a surprise. A big one.

Although it sounds rather inflammatory and is really, really stupid, the fact that the House has jammed up that committee with people having the intellectual prowess of fleas really doesn't change things. It's pretty clear that the US government is unable and unwilling to be particularly proactive about this. It's also not very clear that we CAN do anything substantive about climate change.

Hang on to your butts!

Re:Richard Muller (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050279)

Well that's the trick with republicans retaining control of at least one part of government. They can jam up the process on anything inconvenient. That was the point for them all along.

I agree that it's not clear what Obama and the democrats in general would do if given the chance anyway. We can all pontificate over what they think they might want to do, but I have no idea what they'd actually be able to wrangle their own party into given the opportunity.

Re:Richard Muller (5, Insightful)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050483)

The reason our federal government is set up this way is PRECISELY for keeping the mob rule (House) or the aristocracy (Senate) from becoming a battering ram to shove whatever agenda they see fit through the process. The process is geared towards compromise. The Founders meant for it to be this way (ever wonder why it's so damn hard to amend the Constitution? Same logic.) If you read the Founders' writings (Jefferson and Adams in particular) you'll see that their purpose was not to create a "juggernaut" that trampled over anything in its path, but a slow tortoise that didn't rush into legislation and learned from compromise rather than intimidation.

Granted, there are exceptions to the rule, but the point being, we don't WANT a speedy federal government (remember the PATRIOT Act?)... we want a lukewarm slow moving behemoth that doesn't fuck things up every 2 years.

Re:Richard Muller (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42049869)

Muller was never a skeptic.

No skeptic I’ve met said that “ carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels will prove to be the greatest pollutant of human history. It is likely to have severe and detrimental effects on global climate.” (Richard Muller, 2003). So perhaps he became a skeptic later? Not so much. Richard Muller, 2008: “There is a consensus that global warming is real. it’s going to get much, much worse.”

Re:Richard Muller (5, Insightful)

microbox (704317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42049941)

Muller was never a skeptic.

The minute he said something you disagreed with, he become "biased".

Re:Richard Muller (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050115)

Muller was never a skeptic.

No skeptic I’ve met said that “ carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels will prove to be the greatest pollutant of human history. It is likely to have severe and detrimental effects on global climate.” (Richard Muller, 2003). So perhaps he became a skeptic later? Not so much. Richard Muller, 2008: “There is a consensus that global warming is real. it’s going to get much, much worse.”

Um, here you go [technologyreview.com] from the horse's mouth.

Re:Richard Muller (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42049871)

Peer reviewed does not mean correct by any stretch of the imagination.

Re:Richard Muller (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42049873)

You don't know shit about Muller. Please do more research.

Re:Richard Muller (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42049913)

Of course, 7 years later we have seen first hand that what was foretold by these "crystal ball sciencists" was false: the claims were exaggerated, studies were forged, and statistics were manipulated. It doesn't matter how scientific the model looks if it has no resemblance with reality, and nowadays we have hard data to contrast with the predictions.

Also, that was one big goof from the NYT. Richard Muller isn't a skeptic, he is just another person paid to read crystal balls. He just disagreed on some readings from their pals, but believes in the same method. They just switched tree leaves with tree rings.

Re:Richard Muller (4, Insightful)

microbox (704317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42049953)

he is just another person paid to read crystal balls.

Paid by the Koch brothers.

Follow the money -- science is a CONSPIRACY!!!!!

the claims were exaggerated, studies were forged, and statistics were manipulated.

And you know this because you read some conservative blogs? Gee, you must be really educated on the subject. Unlike those full-time scientists who have spend their life studying it. They're just a bunch of commies.

Re:Richard Muller (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42049963)

Bwahahahahaaaa!!!

Citations?

No, I didn't think so.

Re:Richard Muller (0, Troll)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050055)

"You mean like Richard Muller who quite famously denounced anthropogenic global warming only to come to the same conclusion by his own means? Yeah, that opinion piece by him opens with 'Call me a converted skeptic.'"

You mean the same Muller whose co-researcher, immediately after his "revelation", accused him of fudging his research?

That Muller?

Re:Richard Muller (4, Insightful)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050237)

I don't know anyone [who was a skeptic] who became a believer in global warming.

It is a rather telling quote. If the skeptics are so entrenched in their beliefs that none ever change then they are not skeptics. They are deniers. If that term is deemed to be offensive, then they could choose disbelievers. But "skeptic" implies a willingness to be convinced, and this is obviously not happening.

It also ignores the real skeptics: scientists. These are the people who do studies that reproduce other studies to see if their data matches so they can confirm or deny the original claims. These are the people who do studies to test their basic assumptions (that seem so obvious that the public often laugh at them), just in case they were false truisms. These are the real skeptics.

Re:Richard Muller (-1, Troll)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050463)

It also ignores the real skeptics: scientists.

The same ones who are just as skeptical as a Republican congressman, but just happen to be playing for the other side? Tell me more.

To be blunt, there's more money and power riding on proving AGW is an urgent problem than there is money against it from the fossil fuel side. It doesn't help to ignorantly speak of the science without understanding that there are vast forces biasing that science.

Re:Richard Muller (0)

jrumney (197329) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050569)

In 2003, only 7% of Americans provided “naysayer” images (e.g., “hoax,” or “no such thing”) when asked what thought or image first came to mind when they heard the term “global warming.” By 2010, however, 23% of Americans provided “naysayer” images.

Are they restricting their polling to illiterate Americans, or is there some other reason they ask them to provide images in answer to their questions?

Batshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42049737)

Crazy

Re:Batshit (4, Insightful)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year and a half ago | (#42049851)

Agreed.

"Look at all the skeptical scientists (that we retained as hied shills)! CLEARLY our side of the debate has won! (Nevermind that the basis of the global climate change scenario is firmly rooted in uncontested scientific principles and repeatedly documented characteristics of carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane gasses. We assert that because humans are magical, that humans can release all of those gasses that they want, and NEVER release enough into the atmosphere to upset anything at all! Sure, we are releasing it faster than nature can re-sequester it, and the effects are sustained and cumulative, but damnit, a volcanic eruption spews out more "greenhouse gasses" in a few hours than mankind does in a year! Nevermind that volcanic eruptions are not a constant and growing emission source like human activities; and therefor our comparison is lopsided and specious-- don't think too much about that, it's our story, and we're sticking to it! No, those aren't the icebergs you are looking for! Move along!)

Admittedly, that *is* a rather shameless strawman I just thrashed, but the likeness of that scarecrow to the real thing was alarming.

Seriously, is this woman simply delusional, or does shw think she can bribe the weather when shit comes apart at the seams?

What a bunch of (0)

mpcarl (74506) | about a year and a half ago | (#42049753)

Idiots!

Re:What a bunch of (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42049877)

What a bunch of FUCKING idiots, not to mention academically and scientifically illiterate and dishonest.

Re:What a bunch of (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050457)

As a climate contrarian myself, I don't want these morons representing the opposing view. They're just going to pull horseshit out of their mouths that has nothing to do with a reasonable, scientific position on the matter.

about time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42049755)

How much longer did this nonsense have to continue?!

My two cents... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42049831)

I do believe global warming is happening, however, I am not sure mankind is responsible for a majority of it. However, I do believe we must cut pollution for the sake of pollution regardless of whether it puts a dent into the overall problem of global warming.

Re:My two cents... (4, Insightful)

pauljlucas (529435) | about a year and a half ago | (#42049935)

I do believe global warming is happening, however, I am not sure mankind is responsible for a majority of it.

At all other times in the planet's history when there have been periods of warming, it's taken orders of magnitude longer than the current period. The difference? This time is post industrial revolution and the wide-spread burning of fossil fuels. How do we know? Ice cores. But don't let the actual facts get in the way of your skepticism.

Re:My two cents... (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050065)

Don't let them wrap you up in a correlation game. Real researchers put together a model and compare it to past data - the science has advanced well beyond simple correlations. Everyone who has taken the time and effort to build a model has come to the same conclusion.

Re:My two cents... (-1, Troll)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050155)

"Everyone who has taken the time and effort to build a model has come to the same conclusion."

You mean all those models that rely on the concept of back-radiation, which is a violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics? Those models?

Just asking.

Re:My two cents... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050473)

You aren't going to try to tell me that the earth is a closed system, are you?

Re:My two cents... (1)

Troed (102527) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050231)

Real researchers put together a model and compare it to past data

As a start, sure. Real researchers then use that model to make a prediction from their original hypothesis, and wait until reality has either disproven or not disproven the hypothesis.

Re:My two cents... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050461)

True - and that has been happening over the last 30 years or so. Since the mid 90s, the models have been looking pretty good.

It could be a fluke, though - which is why it is still good to look at thousands of years of historical data rather than putting too much weight on any single decade.

Re:My two cents... (5, Informative)

Troed (102527) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050205)

At all other times in the planet's history when there have been periods of warming, it's taken orders of magnitude longer than the current period.

No.

http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/transit.html [ornl.gov]

How do we know? Ice cores.

No.

http://www.climate.unibe.ch/~stocker/papers/bereiter09grl.pdf [unibe.ch]

My two cents... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42049973)

It's interesting to see how fragmented the anti-science people are.

That 23% of people who express doubt, are actually a bunch of different doubters. People who think it's not happening and lah-lah-lah (fingers in ears).
People who believe it IS happening but its natural.
People who believe it's man-made , but there's nothing we can do about it.

If you watch Fox (it's the only US news I see on my cable), they can't keep their story consistent between which of these they are. I suspect all they really care about is that you use fossil fuels as wastefully as possible at as high a price as possible. Whenever energy efficiency comes up, they're all screaming 'unAmerican' as if anyone would be against doing the same thing for less money!?

But it does show that you don't actually have 77%-23%, you have a more fragmented 77%-10%-10%-2%

Re:My two cents... (2)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050269)

It's not that they are "anti-science." It's that they don't value things they don't understand and more importantly, aren't as interesting as other things.

In a way, these types exhibit unreal amounts of arrogance. They know that without the sciences, their comfortable lives could not be what it is today. (Though in their prayers, they thank god for things other people did... even for things they did themselves.) They know the things they don't understand have a profound impact on their current lives. It's just that they don't want to change what they are doing now and they don't want it to hurt their bottom line.

If there was a god, their asses would be salt by now.

Re:My two cents... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050361)

I fall in the camp of reality myself which isn't listed by you. The UN's IPCC reports are entirely based on research by the CRU in England headed by Phil Jones. He illegally ignored FOI requests for years, to the point that when someone FINALLY got a prosecutator to go after him the 7 year statue of limitations ran out and they couldn't prosecute him. That is why most AWG people say he never did anything wrong because no one would prosecute. Even better is when he was months away from finally being forced to release his research for actual peer review, there has been none done on Phil's research to date, he deleted the data and claimed he didn't want skeptics finding something wrong with his research that he "knew" was right. Phil Jones was also the ONLY person to hold decades and decades of worldwide climate data, for example NASA only has US data. It has all been wiped to prevent actual peer review.

So weather AGW is real/fake manmade/natural is irrelevant to this. The UN IPCC reports that claim it is real and proven, also used by EVERY AWG proponent, is falsified data. I have yet to see any actual peer reviewed research proving it. What they claim is peer reviewed is only reviewing manipulated data that Jones put out and is not valid.

So feel free to call people like me deniers, but the reality is you are the denier. I probably listed out information most of you have never heard before, but I wanted to find the truth myself one day and that is what I ended up with. AWG is a religion and Phil Jones is their savior. In order to believe AWG you have to take Phil's word for it and he has admitted to manipulating data, results, and deleting researh to avoid peer review. Not the actions of someone who had undeniable proof.

Re:My two cents... (5, Insightful)

sg_oneill (159032) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050113)

Serious failure of Occams razor going on here AC.

Lets take three things we know;-

1) You say climate change is happening. Well we agree on that. Lets put that into "Known knowns".

2) We know CO2 significantly traps infra red radiation. This was known since the 1800s when researchers first started putting alarm bells out about climate change after Fourier first demonstrated CO2s effect on IR spectrum light in the laboratory.

3) And we are putting staggering amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. Something in the range of 35000 teragrams per year.

Yet.

4) You dont think humans are responsible for most of the climate change.

The question I ask then, is what mechanism are you proposing that is stopping physics from doing its thing here.

This is the thing the "Humans are not having an effect" people seem to miss here. Thats a huge claim which breaks a tonne of very old and very established physics, and for the "we are not causing climate change" thing to be true, novel physics needs to be proposed to provide a mechanism that causes CO2 to stop absorbing IR light.

I should note some caution here. If a mechanism is proposed, a LOT of things break. Huge amounts of our knowledge of chemistry , astronomy (absorbsion lines, etc) , and so on are dependent on our understanding of how gasses absorb light, and we'd be throwing out perhaps entire fields of science, because holy crap have we got a lot of things wrong? All that stuff we learned from staring at black lines on rainbows shitting out of our telesopes? Wrong wrong wrong. All the whacky stuff we've learned bouncing light through gasses in laboratories? Wrong wrong wrong. Chemistry wrong, physics wrong, astronomy wrong, biology wrong, its exaustive.

To wit;- Big claims require big evidence.

And I'm not seeing that evidence, instead I'm seeing frauds like "lord" monkton, a guy whos entire scientific/mathematical education was finishing highschool, being paraded around by right-wing think tanks as a "renowned mathematician". I'm seeing incredibly detailed frame ups of researchers involving multiple right-wing thinktanks pushing campaigns of deliberate misrepresentation of peoples emails. I'm seeing polls of scientists, in such dead-on fields as "political science" and "marketing" denouncing basic observational physics and not a single damn qualified climate scientist in sight.

I'm actually not seeing shit. Theres almost no legitimate reason left to doubt climate change and our role in it anymore. Its happening, its real. That debate ended 150 years ago in Fouriers laboratory.

Re:My two cents... (-1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050263)

"I'm actually not seeing shit."

Well, then, try this article [slayingtheskydragon.com] about why most AGW models are in violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

You might actually want to start, though, with the article by Roy Spencer [drroyspencer.com] to which the above article is a response. Just for reference.

To the best of my knowledge (which I admit is incomplete), Dr. Latour's rebuttal has so far not been successfully refuted.

Re:My two cents... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050437)

Latour's response is laughably bad. Like, I don't know how he could have a Ph.D. bad.

I found a refutation within the comments on the same page you cited, and of course the denialist response was to merely goal shift away.

Re:My two cents... (0)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050557)

"I found a refutation within the comments on the same page you cited, and of course the denialist response was to merely goal shift away."

I wrote "successfully refuted". The mere presence of a denial does not make it valid.

Re:My two cents... (2)

The Evil Atheist (2484676) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050453)

You may want to recheck your usage of "Dr Roy Spencer" as any kind of legitimate argument, before you further humiliate yourself.

Re:My two cents... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050527)

"You may want to recheck your usage of "Dr Roy Spencer" as any kind of legitimate argument, before you further humiliate yourself."

Pardon me? I referred to the original article which Dr. Latour was REBUTTING. And I did not add the "dr" to Spencer's title, that's from the name of the website, which Slashdot adds to links and over which I have no control.

So please explain again how I am humiliating myself. Because I made no argument whatever on Spencer's behalf. On the contrary; it looks to me as though your own lack of reading comprehension is making a rather glaring spectacle.

Re:My two cents... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050271)

well, if we're going to use occams razor, we know that the sun is currently in a solar bright period, and we know the sun burns hotter during bright periods....

Hey, look there, less things to explain in mine, w00t, I win the occmas razor contest.

Re:My two cents... (1)

bunratty (545641) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050309)

It certainly could be true that the excess carbon dioxide is not having the predicted warming effect. For example, the warming should cause the humidity to increase, and we have observed this increase in humidity. The increased moisture in the atmosphere might create more clouds, which could possibly reflect more sunlight into space, causing a negative feedback to limit the warming. It's all a perfectly good hypothesis, but then we need 1) evidence to support it, such as observations of more clouds and predictions and observations of the expected cooling created by the clouds, and 2) an alternative mechanism that explains the warming we have observed, together with evidence to support that this mechanism is occurring. Now, I haven't seen either of those things, just the hypothesis. But someone could show that evidence from which we could conclude that most of the warming has been natural. There's just the slight technicality of the evidence what has yet to appear...

Re:My two cents... (1)

tconnors (91126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050499)

It certainly could be true that the excess carbon dioxide is not having the predicted warming effect. For example, the warming should cause the humidity to increase, and we have observed this increase in humidity. The increased moisture in the atmosphere might create more clouds, which could possibly reflect more sunlight into space, causing a negative feedback to limit the warming.

Negative feedback either places limits on an external forcing mechanism serving to reduce the deviation from a natural state (but not eliminating it), or if the negative feedback is large enough, causes a cyclic response. Do you want your atmosphere to enter into a huge cyclic response varying between several natural equilibria? At best you can hope that a handwavy undocumented negative feedback force (most climate feedbacks I am aware are strongly positive. Eg, melting icecaps and trapped permafrost methane) makes a bad problem slightly less worse.

Profits will suffer (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42049833)

Mark my words. If you continue tilting at this climate change windmill, your quality of life will be lower. Less energy, less technology, fewer rare earth metals to make your fancy toys ... take your pick. In the end, the fact remains. You are killing our children's chances at being as successful as we were. Lose these hippy bullshit fantasies. Lose them now.

Re:Profits will suffer (0, Flamebait)

s73v3r (963317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42049889)

You're completely and utterly full of shit. There is absolutely no reason why cutting pollution has to cause quality of life to go down. The only profits that will go down are the profits of shitty companies that refuse to adapt. And I can't say I give a damn about them.

Re:Profits will suffer (0)

russotto (537200) | about a year and a half ago | (#42049981)

You're completely and utterly full of shit. There is absolutely no reason why cutting pollution has to cause quality of life to go down. The only profits that will go down are the profits of shitty companies that refuse to adapt.

You mean like the ones who depend on power and transportation? Yeah, those companies are really shitty.

Re:Profits will suffer (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050061)

Waste is nothing more than an untapped resource stream. The light fractions burned off at refineries for instance. Instead of burning it off at the stack, pipe it under low pressure to a power plant made to run on methane and natural gas.

Municipal waste is a veritable gold mine for rare earths in reasonably pure form, as well as other heavy yet valuable metals. (Like mercury.) Not to mention as a source of refinable plastic.

Sewerage is a few stones throws away from being usable like brown coal or peat in power plants.

Granted, pretty much all of those release carbon. No contest. The deal is though, that those are potentially new industries that could provide the needed waste management services for a cleaner environment overall. (Babysteps)

Seriously looking into alternatives to combustion for power generation, or at the least, adopting carbon neutral economies, would go a very long way as well.

The issue you seem to have, is that you appear to be butthurt that "purpetual growth" would be laughed at, and your idea of prosperity requires infinite resources from the environment to attain, and such restrictions would put the kabosh on that hard.

Re:Profits will suffer (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050173)

And yet history is full of examples where Government pollution laws have decreased quality of life or caused prices to rise for consumers:

- Removal of TSP from detergents causes them to be less effective at cleaning
http://mises.org/daily/5267/Why-Everything-Is-Dirtier

- Ultra low sulfur diesel requirements made diesel fuel more expensive than gasoline
- Mandated (and formerly subsidized) ethanol in gasoline lowered gas mileage, increased costs, and has done damage to small engines and fuel systems

Re:Profits will suffer (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050323)

You're missing a big part of the calculation. All these costs reduced or eliminated the resulting costs not doing these actions would bring. No one pulled these initiatives out of the hat; such decisions aimed at reducing costs for society in the long term.

That's called not thinking just about today, but saving money for future times. It's quite sound economics, in fact.

Re:Profits will suffer (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050227)

There is absolutely no reason why cutting pollution has to cause quality of life to go down.

There is if you happen to own coal or petroleum companies.

Re:Profits will suffer (2)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050559)

I think we can fix both. Say all those oil/coal subsidies we give to that segment of the population... save it and use it to give incentives when the market moves towards alternative fuels/solar/wind/nuclear. The sticking point with most rational people (people who aren't of the 6,000 year old earth variety) isn't whether or not we should do something about it, but whether or not we use a stick or a carrot. I vote carrot, because in the area of new technology, the United States still kicks major ass. We can, and should, reward them (not giving stupid bulk grants to failing companies like Solyndra) and use the government's meddling in the market for good (for a change.) OR, we can level the playing field so that the market corrects itself (that'd be removing subsidies to the oil/gas/coal too). When people want to change, it's easier to get them to. Beating them over the head "you're killing Mother Earth! You're killing your children! Martians are laughing at us!" will get us nowhere... it hasn't worked in a society not ruled by an iron fist. And I am not for giving Obama a big iron glove to beat us all over the head with his agenda.

Markets work when we let them... meddling for the most part has been shit... because it isn't really market manipulation in the strictest sense... it's rewarding the established players (specifically: those who give the most campaign money). If they want to manipulate the market... shift the balance and see where it leads. Will oil companies piss and moan? Yes. But as a libertarian, I'm tired of them sucking on the government teat and charging ME $4/gallon gasoline for no other reason than they can. Something that has inelastic demand should have a limited fluctuation in pricing when there is sufficient supply (we've not had a "shortage" since the 1970's... and that was artificial.) But I'm going offtopic.... time to submit...

Re:Profits will suffer (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year and a half ago | (#42049901)

If the choice is between having an iDevice and cheap transportation, and having a world outside that I don't need an environment suit to survive in, I will take the latter one.

Re:Profits will suffer (5, Insightful)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050083)

If the choice is between having an iDevice and cheap transportation, and having a world outside that I don't need an environment suit to survive in, I will take the latter one.

Unfortunately, that's not the choice most people are confronted with. Instead the choice is (1) have cheap tech, transportation, be able to waste resources, etc. NOW, or (2) have a world where your grandchildren or great-grandchildren might have to wear environmental suits many years from now.

I think the general pattern of the debt crisis, people unwilling to plan for paying their mortgage next month, let alone planning for retirement or grandchildren, gives a general sense of where most people's priorities are. "If it makes my life easier or just more fun today, I'll worry about that other stuff later..." even if that othet stuff means complete financial ruin or disaster.

If people are willing to gamble in these ridiculous ways with their futures just to buy the slightly larger sunmer house, you really think they're motivated to worry about the quality of people's lives a century in the future? A lot of people say stuff like how they don't want to ruin things for their kids or grandkids, but few of them seem to really do much about it other than buying a more energy efficient light bulb or recycling a tin can.

Re:Profits will suffer (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050219)

While I haven't been saving for retirement like I should, I have no problems with the mortgage. I have been unable to save for retirement, because every creditor and insurance company on the planet has been hiking rates for my demographic like I am made out of 100$ bills. (No seriously. I make about 30k a year, and live fairly comfortably, and cyclically manage to save up around 2 to 3k each year, only to have it vaccumed up by homeowners insurace (1.5k), and property taxes(500$).)

I MIGHT be able to finally start saving for my retirement after I have paid off the mortgage, which should be sometime next year.

I have no problems seeing where the future is headed, and would eagerly prepare for it if the shortsighted people around me beholden to their precious quarterly reports would wake up and smell the ashes already.

When the mortgage is paid, I will look for a less brutal insurer, and use the monthy difference to improve my retirement prospects, and reduce my environmental impact. That's the plan anyway. Assuming Uncy Sam doesn't decide that he needs to raise my taxes.

Re:Profits will suffer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050311)

If the choice is between having an iDevice and cheap transportation, and having a world outside that I don't need an environment suit to survive in, I will take the latter one.

that is BS - it's not a choice of current lifestyle and catastrophe - 4 degrees makes you wear a environment suit ???? its current lifestyle and something somewhat worse. Heck Canada , Russia and Mongolia will do better.

Re:Profits will suffer (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050357)

.... do you not comprehend the wild swing that a 4c global temp increase would cause in global climate, or that CO2 levels will CONTINUE to rise during that time, unless we alter our behavior, and will continue to rise afterwards?

It won't "stop at 4c". It will go PASSED 4C, and get hotter each decade.

In 200 years, the earth will be a fucking sauna. But what do you care? You'll be dead by then!

Re:Profits will suffer (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050571)

Wait, do you even know what 1 Celsius represents? What are we at right now, today for temperature? Add 4C to that. What are our hottest summers like? Add 4C to that.

Don't try and crap out the average making things exponentially hotter everywhere because not everywhere even is getting hotter. Temperate regions may ONLY see a 4C increase, while colder climates will not see anywhere near 4C and may even go down over the same time period. Hotter places will see much more than 4C, so those places like Arizona, where it's already a sauna, or the Sahara desert, or Peru will become more like the saunas that they already are. That's how an average works.

So in 200 years, the Peruvians or Nigerians might have to move out. However most likely not, as a permanent +12C to their normal temperatures is just another hot summer in those regions. Plants and animals also have a much wider range of survival than people like to give them credit for. Sure, the closer a species is to extinction the more likely it is to die out. But the more robust species will take over and flourish.

Profits will *SOAR* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050089)

If US industry does the same thing using half the oil, then their costs are down significantly and so their profits are up.

I don't know why House Republicans keep opposing every energy efficiency measure, but I don't think its because their god told them to. I suspect they're oil lobby stooges.

Re:Profits will suffer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050523)

And let your grand children suffer in a shitty world caused by global warming. Wait, I know. You think you'll be rich enough to evade the fate of the majority of people. You are a real selfish person masquerading at someonethinking about the future. At least this is what you wrote shows.

F this (1)

RenHoek (101570) | about a year and a half ago | (#42049867)

If you can't beat scientists on the F of Facts, then go by the F of Funding..

Oh shut up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42049915)

Ah yes.

Having lost the election, these fine ladies and gentlemen must now redirect attention to another matter. They lost the other matter too, but by redefining the problem, the answer, the audience, the meaning of "won", and so forth, they can claim victory.

Next watch for them to claim to have won the "evolution debate", the "age of the universe debate", the "voting fraud debate", the "who crashed the economy debate", and the "legitimate rape debate", among many others.

Why do we listen to these people? They are about as reliable as a sex addict in a monastery!

No such thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42049919)

There's no such thing as a climate "contrarian". That's just a politically correct term used to coddle ignorant deniers and make them feel like they have something to contriibute to civilization.

Re:No such thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42049969)

I like the term "contrarian", because it is less offensive, and face, it, contrarians will disagree with /everything/ they perceive that remotely supports the "liberal agenda". Skeptic is a poor term for people who are so credulous, critics implies a level of critical thinking and intellectual honesty that is plain absent, and "denier", while accurate, is emotionally charged and demeaning.

Age of Earth is Mystery, assumptions are used (0)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#42049923)

Rock and minerals are mosly recycled by our active planet. The oldest rock is 4.03 billion years old (gniess from NW Canada), and oldest mineral is 4.3 billion years (zircon crystals from west australia). But neither tells us the age of the Earth. That is done by assumption from meteorites and moon rocks.....true age of Earth is honestly a mystery.

Re:Age of Earth is Mystery, assumptions are used (4, Interesting)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050223)

Rock and minerals are mosly recycled by our active planet. The oldest rock is 4.03 billion years old (gniess from NW Canada), and oldest mineral is 4.3 billion years (zircon crystals from west australia). But neither tells us the age of the Earth. That is done by assumption from meteorites and moon rocks.....true age of Earth is honestly a mystery.

Actually there's a reason for most of the rock being not much over 4 billion years old. I think it was around 4.5 billion years that Earth was impacted by a body that was maybe as big as Mars. It's what caused the Moon to form. Most of the surface went back to being molten for a few hundred million years so the oldest rock was after that impact. In truth it's hard to give an exact date because it cooled for so many years that it's hard to given a specific date when you can call it a planet. The material collected and solidified over hundreds of millions of years then it was still hot for hundreds of millions of years and once it became liveable there was the impact event. There's even a debate if life evolved twice on earth both before and after the impact.

Re:Age of Earth is Mystery, assumptions are used (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050243)

By that reasoning almost everything is a mystery because very little can be isolated to perfect accuracy and precision. Consider, "how long does it take you to bake chocolate chip cookies?" "Well," I reply, "it's a mystery: last time it took 14 minutes plus or minus approximately 20 seconds, so I can't say."

Things we know are, outside the bounds of mathematics and pure logic, generally known only within reasonable bounds. If the earth is 4,540 million years old, a senator needn't stumble over the +/- 10 million error bars. What he means is that the age of the Earth is either a mystery to him because he's ignorant of such things, or just as likely isn't sure how to answer the question without fear of pissing someone off, so he chickened out. Maybe he believes the earth is 6000 years old but didn't want newspaper headlines the next day pointing out his conflict with all available scientific data suggesting this is wrong by approximately 4.54 billion years. Or perhaps since he's a Republican he didn't want to piss off his party's large fundamentalist wing by noting the scientifically indicated age of the Earth. It's a mystery.

What's not a mystery is that the Earth is quite surely about 4.5 billion years old. Saying it's a mystery does a serious disservice to the overwhelming amount we do know about its age.

Re:Age of Earth is Mystery, assumptions are used (2)

artor3 (1344997) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050293)

That's all well and good, but if you read the full quote, Senator Rubio was suggesting that the world was made in seven days:

Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that. It's one of the great mysteries.

So MORE than 10k years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050303)

The point being that Republican Marco Rubio, used the 'climate change is natural' argument, and referred to a graph showing a peak 130,000 years ago. So everyone is keen to get him to state that the earth isn't 7000 years old.

Not to pin down the date to a Monday afternoon.

That's the problem, this 'creationism vs evolution' stuff is to get people to state something they know is a lie. Once you get people to lie, they will continue to tell ever bigger lies to remain consistent. It's a indoctrination technique used by cults. The more they depart from the real world the harder it is for them to accept aspects of reality.

Re:Age of Earth is Mystery, assumptions are used (1)

dr.dynamics (1018604) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050333)

Have you read the bit on half-lifes? We have a pretty good grasp on the periodic table, we know where all the radioactive decaying elements fit in, and we know their half-lives. There's a line that shows up. There are lots of substances with half-lifes longer than a billion years or so, and you can find _all_ of them occuring naturally. There are even more with half lives shorter than that, and _none_ of them occur naturally. The idea that the earth is a few billion years old (4 or 5 half-lives to reduce by >99%) seems like a pretty good explanation to me, no moon rocks necessary. (Yes, carbon is an exception, UV light, etc.)

Re:Age of Earth is Mystery, assumptions are used (1)

mbone (558574) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050339)

Rock and minerals are mosly recycled by our active planet. The oldest rock is 4.03 billion years old (gniess from NW Canada), and oldest mineral is 4.3 billion years (zircon crystals from west australia). But neither tells us the age of the Earth.

Well, they do tell us for sure that the Earth is > 4.3 billion years old, which is 95%+ of the way there. If you want to argue at the few per cent level, I'll be glad to listen.

Re:Age of Earth is Mystery, assumptions are used (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050481)

But it is definitely more than 6000 years old.

Link [rationalwiki.org]

These wingnuts are just looking for a reason to convince themselves that they are relevant to the darkside in an attempt to cut funding even more for NASA and other programs.

They will likely never be re-elected.

Re:Age of Earth is Mystery, assumptions are used (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050513)

This is clearly missing the point. The Earth is well over four billion years old, and almost certainly under five billion years old. Given that this other option as as Rubio is concerned is a range of 5000-10,000 years old, any issues still outstanding simply aren't relevant.

Just like the 80's: "We won." (4, Insightful)

Randym (25779) | about a year and a half ago | (#42049959)

Back in the 1980's, the [so-called] Moral Majority spent a lot of time stealthily taking over local school boards. By stealthily, I mean they concealed their true colors, while running, then used their winning of elections to argue that they had a mandate to undermine the teaching of science and critical thinking in public schools. The fact that people can be elected to Congress and make such fatuous statements with a straight face makes me think that they -- in a certain sense -- did "win": these Congresspeople are the children of that age. It's sad, of course, that people think that "winning" means one has the right to determine the conceptual course of the nation's children -- regardless of actual facts.

Holy disingenuous. (2)

microbox (704317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42049997)

Yeah... it is a great mystery, but the bible says less than 10k years, which is obviously wrong, and obviously what is being fished for in the question. And to think that religion is really about seeking truth. I went to the creation museum -- intellectual vapid bunch if ever there was. Funny how the "holy" can be so disingenuous about their motives. I'm sure Jesus would tear town their temple and decry the corruption of the Pharisees.

Re:Holy disingenuous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050141)

I want a peer review of all major religious text.

Barack Obama agrees with Marco Rubio (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42049991)

Senator Barack Obama in 2008:

What I've said to them is that I believe that God created the universe and that the six days in the Bible may not be six days as we understand it... it may not be 24-hour days, and that's what I believe. I know there's always a debate between those who read the Bible literally and those who don't, and I think it's a legitimate debate within the Christian community of which I'm a part. My belief is that the story that the Bible tells about God creating this magnificent Earth on which we live—that is essentially true, that is fundamentally true. Now, whether it happened exactly as we might understand it reading the text of the Bible: That, I don't presume to know.

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2012/11/rubio_and_obama_and_the_age_of_earth_politicians_hedge_about_whether_universe.html [slate.com]

These guys are politicians. Part of being a politician is to not annoy anyone who might vote for you, unless you have a really good reason. Privately, both Rubio and Obama might well believe the science is settled and that the literal word of the Bible is just wrong... but why would they say so? Why not just give a non-answer that annoys the fewest number of people?

So, is it stupid and wrong when Rubio does it, but okay when Obama does it? If you have that kind of double standard, then shame on you.

Re:Barack Obama agrees with Marco Rubio (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050129)

Someone should ask them if Jonah really lived in a fish/whale for 3 days and 3 nights.

Allow me to raise my hand... (5, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050013)

Hi. Nice to meet you, Dana. I go by the name Sarten X, often represented with a hyphen.

When The global warming concerns were first being voiced, I was skeptical. Surely humans' influence couldn't be that severe? Then I started learning. I learned about how CO2 traps heat. I learned how human CO2 production has been increasing exponentially. I learned how small shifts in ocean temperatures put far more moisture into the air, producing more severe storms.

I learned too much to doubt. Even if half my knowledge turns out to be wrong, the other half still leads to the same conclusion: Our society is royally screwed because of global warming, and we're making it worse every day.

I hope I'm wrong. I hope that we've been terribly mistaken in our analysis. I hope the solar system drifts into a previously-unknown dust cloud, and the greenhouse gasses save us. Hope, though, will not explain to my great-grandchildren why they can't leave the tunnels during storm season.

At this point, I am still skeptical of many of the claims. A world covered in poison ivy by 2015? I doubt that. The east coast of the United States submerged in a decade? Probably not. Regardless of what preposterous scare-tactic forecasts are made, there is still too much evidence for me to ignore. Though the outcome is uncertain, the trend is clear. We, as the current dominant species on this planet, should do what we can to reduce the approaching threat of a warming planet. We should strive to make our pollution as harmless as we can, and keep our industrial processes as flexible as we can to allow future change if similar problems are discovered. We should have been more cautious in our designs over the past century, and we may not even have another century to live if we do not change our ways now.

I am Sarten X. I was a skeptic of global warming, and I now support the efforts to fight it.

Re:Allow me to raise my hand... (0)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050069)

'Sarten X' sounds like some sort of Buck Rodgers sci-fi character?

Are we still working to defeat Killer Kane, too?

Re:Allow me to raise my hand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050385)

She was actually referring to *scientists*, something you are obviously not. Science is exactly not about your personal "doubts". Science is about what can be stated for fact, and what cannot. You, and many others, are confusing "not being able to say something is a fact" with "denying it is fact at all". It requires a smart person to appreciate that difference, which you are obviously not. Sorry pal.

Re:Allow me to raise my hand... (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050429)

You are on the same track as me. The next step is to realize that you can't fight it any more than you can convince locusts to peacefully leave a field alone. Currently, I want politicians to talk about mitigation... can we try to predict what will happen and what we can do about it? For instance, New Jersey and New York just got walloped by a hurricane that wiped out thousands of houses in low lying areas. It would be nice to have some idea whether it is cost effective to rebuild and wait for the next 100-year event, or whether some infrastructure change is needed, or whether they should just leave it to the ocean.

People have strong opinions about this stuff already, but without any kind of scientific backing. Property owners and residents want to rebuild and build in extra protections (seawalls, dune lines, etc), and environmentalists look at this as an opportunity to let nature have some of her shoreline back. Meanwhile, any rebuilt homes will rely on federal flood insurance... It would be nice if there was some sense of a master plan that any rebuilding could try to adhere to.

Re:Allow me to raise my hand... (-1, Troll)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050567)

I learned how human CO2 production has been increasing exponentially.

What is the rate of increase?

I learned how small shifts in ocean temperatures put far more moisture into the air, producing more severe storms.

Given no one else has "learned" that, I'm going to have to say that you're wrong here.

the other half still leads to the same conclusion: Our society is royally screwed because of global warming, and we're making it worse every day.

Based on what evidence? If one looks at actual evidence and predictions, there's no such claim made. You've again learned something that just isn't so.

Regardless of what preposterous scare-tactic forecasts are made, there is still too much evidence for me to ignore.

I don't think you're as successful as you think you are.

We should strive to make our pollution as harmless as we can, and keep our industrial processes as flexible as we can to allow future change if similar problems are discovered.

No. We have other priorities than simply less harmful pollution.There's seven billion people on this planet which we are helping out of poverty and despair. That's far more important than slightly less CO2 in the atmosphere.

Shorter House GOP (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050045)

Shorter House GOP: "Fuck it - we're not going to live to see the destruction we cause, nor are our most reliable voters. Sky Jeebus is going to come back anyways, so why should *we* care that we're screwing over future generations? Also, cut taxes for the rich."

Christians are evil (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050079)

If we are to survive as a species we need to cull the herd of all these religious idiots. Sterilize all children of religious folk at birth, and make proselytizing illegal. The collective IQ will undoubtedly see a huge bump up as a result, as well.

Fucking retard christians, get the fuck out of things that affect the rest of the population's lives (.e.g, law making), or you may eventually suffer a fate like the above, as everyone (who actually has brains, and uses them) gets too fed up dealing with you fucking morons.

Christian and retard are now equivalent terms, but the way they are going, christians seem hell bent on making the use of the word retard to describe a christian a slur against the intelligence of retarded people.

Re:Christians are evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050233)

Forced sterilization? Seriously?

I'd rather live with the most obnoxious christians I've ever met than with nazis like you.

If you're so concerned about the average IQ in the world, then die in a fire, you conceited little prick.

One of the Great Mysteries (1)

ygtai (1330807) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050081)

How the US has become one of the most scientifically/technologically advanced country on Earth in the past hundred years is beyond me...

Re:One of the Great Mysteries (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050247)

perhaps by allowing and in many cases embracing scepticism. AGW has replaced the christians as the biggest religious force in our country. Next it will be something equally arrogant.

Nazis + Fleeing Germans + DARPA? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050435)

Oh, and Idaho potatoes I'm sure.

What will China do? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050121)

Ultimately it doesn't matter too much what SOME countries do, if they ALL don't do it. The atmosphere has no boundaries.

California is starting to swirl faster and faster down the drain, taxing the producers out of the state, and now implementing a ridiculous "carbon credit" scam which will drive more businesses out of that state... Likewise, If the US enacts debatable "green" policies the result will be to drive business out of the country.

Net effect - the "pollution" will just get made somewhere on the other side of the world where it is completely out of your control.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and the cars that speed down it are not the nice, clean, catalytic-converter equipped cars you are used to...

still? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050147)

How many times do I have to say it?

This is why we can't have nice stuff.

The Plan is proceeding onschedule (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050177)

The decline of USA as a global superpower is finalizing.

At least according to the plan, it is.

I don't believe (5, Insightful)

ygtai (1330807) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050181)

BTW, I don't believe in global warming. Facts just show that it is happening.

Here's something for the religionists to rage over (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050183)

From Friends of Science. Be sure to visit their page and bookmark it.

COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING

MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate.

FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, warming to 1941, cooling to 1964, warming to 1998 and cooling through 2011. The warming rate from 1964 to 1998 was the same as the previous warming from 1911 to 1941. Satellites, weather balloons and ground stations all show cooling since 2001. The mild warming of 0.6 to 0.8 C over the 20th century is well within the natural variations recorded in the last millennium. The ground station network suffers from an uneven distribution across the globe; the stations are preferentially located in growing urban and industrial areas (“heat islands”), which show substantially higher readings than adjacent rural areas (“land use effects”). Two science teams have shown that correcting the surface temperature record for the effects of urban development would reduce the warming trend over land from 1980 by half.

There has been no catastrophic warming recorded.

MYTH 2: The “hockey stick” graph proves that the earth has experienced a steady, very gradual temperature decrease for 1000 years, then recently began a sudden increase.

FACT: Significant changes in climate have continually occurred throughout geologic time. For instance, the Medieval Warm Period, from around 1000 to1200 AD (when the Vikings farmed on Greenland) was followed by a period known as the Little Ice Age. Since the end of the 17th Century the “average global temperature” has been rising at the low steady rate mentioned above; although from 1940 – 1970 temperatures actually dropped, leading to a Global Cooling scare.

The “hockey stick”, a poster boy of both the UN’s IPCC and Canada’s Environment Department, ignores historical recorded climatic swings, and has now also been proven to be flawed and statistically unreliable as well. It is a computer construct and a faulty one at that.

MYTH 3: Human produced carbon dioxide has increased over the last 100 years, adding to the Greenhouse effect, thus warming the earth.

FACT: Carbon dioxide levels have indeed changed for various reasons, human and otherwise, just as they have throughout geologic time. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the CO2 content of the atmosphere has increased. The RATE of growth during this period has also increased from about 0.2% per year to the present rate of about 0.4% per year,which growth rate has now been constant for the past 25 years. However, there is no proof that CO2 is the main driver of global warming. As measured in ice cores dated over many thousands of years, CO2 levels move up and down AFTER the temperature has done so, and thus are the RESULT OF, NOT THE CAUSE of warming. Geological field work in recent sediments confirms this causal relationship. There is solid evidence that, as temperatures move up and down naturally and cyclically through solar radiation, orbital and galactic influences, the warming surface layers of the earth’s oceans expel more CO2 as a result.

MYTH 4: CO2 is the most common greenhouse gas.

FACT: Greenhouse gases form about 3% of the atmosphere by volume. They consist of varying amounts, (about 97%) of water vapour and clouds, with the remainder being gases like CO2, CH4, Ozone and N2O, of which carbon dioxide is the largest amount. Hence, CO2 constitutes about 0.039% of the atmosphere. While the minor gases are more effective as “greenhouse agents” than water vapour and clouds, the latter are overwhelming the effect by their sheer volume and – in the end – are thought to be responsible for 75% of the “Greenhouse effect”. (See here) At current concentrations, a 3% change of water vapour in the atmosphere would have the same effect as a 100% change in CO2.

Those attributing climate change to CO2 rarely mention these important facts.
MYTH 5: Computer models verify that CO2 increases will cause significant global warming.

FACT: The computer models assume that CO2 is the primary climate driver, and that the Sun has an insignificant effect on climate. You cannot use the output of a model to verify or prove its initial assumption – that is circular reasoning and is illogical. Computer models can be made to roughly match the 20th century temperature rise by adjusting many input parameters and using strong positive feedbacks. They do not “prove” anything. Also, computer models predicting global warming are incapable of properly including the effects of the sun, cosmic rays and the clouds. The sun is a major cause of temperature variation on the earth surface as its received radiation changes all the time, This happens largely in cyclical fashion. The number and the lengths in time of sunspots can be correlated very closely with average temperatures on earth, e.g. the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period. Varying intensity of solar heat radiation affects the surface temperature of the oceans and the currents. Warmer ocean water expels gases, some of which are CO2. Solar radiation interferes with the cosmic ray flux, thus influencing the amount ionized nuclei which control cloud cover.

MYTH 6: The UN proved that man–made CO2 causes global warming.

FACT: In a 1996 report by the UN on global warming, two statements were deleted from the final draft. Here they are:
1) “None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed climate changes to increases in greenhouse gases.”
2) “No study to date has positively attributed all or part of the climate change to man–made causes”

To the present day there is still no scientific proof that man-made CO2 causes significant global warming.
MYTH 7: CO2 is a pollutant.

FACT: This is absolutely not true. Nitrogen forms 80% of our atmosphere. We could not live in 100% nitrogen either. Carbon dioxide is no more a pollutant than nitrogen is. CO2 is essential to life on earth. It is necessary for plant growth since increased CO2 intake as a result of increased atmospheric concentration causes many trees and other plants to grow more vigorously. Unfortunately, the Canadian Government has included CO2 with a number of truly toxic and noxious substances listed by the Environmental Protection Act, only as their means to politically control it.
MYTH 8: Global warming will cause more storms and other weather extremes.

FACT: There is no scientific or statistical evidence whatsoever that supports such claims on a global scale. Regional variations may occur. Growing insurance and infrastructure repair costs, particularly in coastal areas, are sometimes claimed to be the result of increasing frequency and severity of storms, whereas in reality they are a function of increasing population density, escalating development value, and ever more media reporting.

MYTH 9: Receding glaciers and the calving of ice shelves are proof of global warming.

FACT: Glaciers have been receding and growing cyclically for hundreds of years. Recent glacier melting is a consequence of coming out of the very cool period of the Little Ice Age. Ice shelves have been breaking off for centuries. Scientists know of at least 33 periods of glaciers growing and then retreating. It’s normal. Besides, glacier’s health is dependent as much on precipitation as on temperature.

MYTH 10: The earth’s poles are warming; polar ice caps are breaking up and melting and the sea level rising.

FACT: The earth is variable. The western Arctic may be getting somewhat warmer, due to cyclic events in the Pacific Ocean, but the Eastern Arctic and Greenland are getting colder. The small Palmer Peninsula of Antarctica is getting warmer, while the main Antarctic continent is actually cooling. Ice thicknesses are increasing both on Greenland and in Antarctica.

Sea level monitoring in the Pacific (Tuvalu) and Indian Oceans (Maldives) has shown no sign of any sea level rise.

Beware All Politicians (4, Insightful)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050207)

I agree with what he says, "I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says.".

However this is not what he (and his accomplices) actually mean.

Despite what the words say, the underlying intention is radically different.

- not "parents should be able to teach..." but "schools must be forced to teach"

- and not just teach, but with every word imply ABSOLUTELY equal standing with science (eg Intelligent Design, which is nothing more than christian creationism with SCIENCE branded all over it)

And, of course, the WORST part of their hypocrisy is that they want THEIR religion mandatorily taught everywhere, but not any OTHER religion.

You want the worldview of your religion taught in schools, sure - GO AHEAD - as long as EVERY other religion also gains equal airtime and equal status.

For Example:
- Hindus
- Buddhists
- Mormons
- Zoroastrians
- and yes, even Scientologists.

It's called having a secret agenda and they're doing the same thing with Global Warming.
The entire "debate" has nothing to do with science, and everything to do with MONEY.

Re:Beware All Politicians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42050535)

I don't think any of those groups are OK with their kids being forced to learn how to put a condom on a banana either.

Bill Nye said (2)

Spinalcold (955025) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050249)

"The science of age of the Earth is the basis of nuclear medicine & power. Should our leaders understand it?" Maybe not understand it mathematically, but I think everyone should understand what 'radiation' and 'nuclear' are. There are so many misconceptions that some people fear everything other don't fear anything. People don't understand just how many discoveries and applications nuclear physics and nuclear medicine has brought. Bill Nye is being polite, since I'm online, I won't. If he wants to deny the age of the earth, then deny him X-ray's, most cancer treatment, MRI's and so many other or our medical treatments. (I'm exaggerating of course, I'm from Saskatchewan where the first medical treatment of cancer using radioactive material was invented and performed, and as a physicist in training, I'm damn proud of that.)

I guess the sane people get the last laugh (4, Insightful)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050281)

The main reason for global warming denying is to avoid having to change how rich corporations do business. Energy companies want to keep burning coal and auto companies preferred to make gas guzzlers. The joke is the very ones denying global warming tend to be the ones buying beach houses. Those same beach houses won't be around in 50 or 100 years due to global warming. They can assume it'll happen after they are dead but like what just happened in New Jersey many will be lost in the next 25 years. In truth I think the majority of deniers believe it's happening they just don't want to change how they live so it's easier to just claim it's all a lie.

Dana Rohrabacher is clearly delusional (3, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050283)

It is a pity when insane people are allowed to embarrass themselves in public so.

Do you have to be stupid to be Republican? (4, Funny)

kawabago (551139) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050459)

or can anyone get in?

Political issue (1, Troll)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year and a half ago | (#42050515)

The problem is, we've turned most every science question into a political one and so its turned into:

If AGW exists and it will negatively impact my quality of life if new legislation is enacted, then it only makes sense that those people will deny that AGW exists, irrespective of the evidence for or against AGW.

If AGW doesn't exist and it will negatively impact my quality of life if the government doesn't do something (for example, if they don't subsidize "alternative" energy and you've got a large stake in said "alternative" energy), then it only makes sense that people will say that AGW exists, irrespective of the evidence for or against AGW.

Even "unbiased" scientists will never truly be "unbiased" because like everyone else they act in their own self interest and creating predictions that will lead to more funding (or recognition of their deeds) will benefit them.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>