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International Climate Panel Cites Near Certainty On Warming

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the bringing-the-heat dept.

Earth 510

mdsolar writes "An international panel of scientists has found with near certainty that human activity is the cause of most of the temperature increases of recent decades, and warns that sea levels could conceivably rise by more than three feet by the end of the century if emissions continue at a runaway pace. The scientists, whose findings are reported in a draft summary of the next big United Nations climate report, largely dismiss a recent slowdown in the pace of warming, which is often cited by climate change doubters, attributing it most likely to short-term factors. The report emphasizes that the basic facts about future climate change are more established than ever, justifying the rise in global concern. It also reiterates that the consequences of escalating emissions are likely to be profound." This comes alongside news of research into one of those short-term factors: higher than average rainfall over Australia. "Three atmospheric patterns came together above the Indian and Pacific Oceans in 2010 and 2011. When they did, they drove so much precipitation over Australia that the world's ocean levels dropped measurably." According to Phys.org, "A rare combination of two other semi-cyclic climate modes came together to drive such large amounts of rain over Australia that the continent, on average, received almost one foot (300 millimeters) of rain more than average. ... Since 2011, when the atmospheric patterns shifted out of their unusual combination, sea levels have been rising at a faster pace of about 10 millimeters (0.4 inches) per year."

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Is It Just Me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629033)

Is it just me or is it getting hot in here?

Re:Is It Just Me? (3, Funny)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about a year ago | (#44629061)

It is "near certain" caused by human activity, so slow down.

Re:Is It Just Me? (4, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#44629417)

I am still trying to figure out was the *disadvantage* is (in terms of climate and environment) to less pollution.

I know some fat blowhard will make less money, but excuse me if that doesn't concern me much.

Re:Is It Just Me? (4, Insightful)

P-niiice (1703362) | about a year ago | (#44629561)

According to the economic ramblings of those who deny human-caused climate change, the fat blowhard's failure to take advantage of the opportunities that climate change offers is his shortcoming, so even that isn't a disadvantage if you use their logic.

Re:Is It Just Me? (3, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#44629631)

No no no, that's only true when the little people fail to take advantage of something. If you inconvenience our monied overlords in any way, you're either an economy-killing, wealth-redistributing commie or a jackboot-licking statist parasite, depending on which flavor of fiscal conservatism you're up against.

Re:Is It Just Me? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629713)

I am still trying to figure out was the *disadvantage* is (in terms of climate and environment) to less pollution.

I know some fat blowhard will make less money, but excuse me if that doesn't concern me much.

It will cost industry billions and billions of dollars. Of course this is the price they pay for polluting the environment. It has always cost a lot of money to clean up their messes (and there have been many). Rather than thinking ahead and being good stewards of the Earth they act like greedy bastards knowing full well that this won't come back to haunt them in their lifetimes.

The rich guys will still make their money. They'll just have to raise rates on those of us who are dependent on their industries.

Re:Is It Just Me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629143)

When the world was cooler there were more Pirates on the seven seas searching for Spanish Gold.

Lake Superior beachfront ... invest now ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629047)

Soon, there will be citrus groves and palm trees growing along the Lake Superior coast! Get in on this once-in-a-species-lifetime investment opportunity now!

Re:Lake Superior beachfront ... invest now ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629157)

It's funny, of course, but you can go to city hall and usually they have maps of where the flooding would be for the 100 yr. storm and such...

Money and age (3, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | about a year ago | (#44629067)

sea levels could conceivably rise by more than three feet by the end of the century

- Only governments have the power to change this.
- If someone is rich enough to have any influence on governments, he probably won't be alive by the end of the century.
- If someone is rich enough to have any influence on governments, he is rich enough to move his beach mansion three feet higher.
- If someone is rich enough to have any influence on governments, he probably doesn't give a fuck about what happens to those who aren't.

Re:Money and age (4, Insightful)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about a year ago | (#44629201)

The good news is that governments don't have to do a lot. Increase taxes on fossil fuel, lower taxes on income, fund basic research and other promising but currently unprofitable research into energy saving and energy production and distribution.

The details are going to be a bit tricky, but not prohibitively so if all political parties agree that it needs to be done. That 'if' is admittedly a rather significant one, but it may help to talk more about the carrot part of the deal, i.e. the lower income taxes.

Re:Money and age (-1, Troll)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44629267)

The good news is that governments don't have to do a lot. Increase taxes on fossil fuel, lower taxes on income, fund basic research and other promising but currently unprofitable research into energy saving and energy production and distribution.

If you think for a second that will appease the human-hating environment movement, you're deluded. Nothing short of humanity committing mass suicide will ever make them happy.

Now, go ahead and mod me down into oblivion. But anyone who has ever dealt with a rabid member of that sect knows it's true. They blame humanity for EVERY ill in the world. They'll probably eventually find a way to retroactively blame us for the vast majority of earth extinctions that occured before we even existed.

Re:Money and age (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44629367)

I like how you've clearly defined "environment movement" to only count the people who are actually rabid lunatics, while ignoring the overwhelming majority of environmentalists who would be happy to see funding for alternative energy research and better climate monitoring.

Re:Money and age (1, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44629489)

I like how you've clearly defined "environment movement" to only count the people who are actually rabid lunatics

I wish it were just the rabid lunatics (it was at one time). An underlying anti-human bent has long since slipped into the mainstream of the movement, and the mainstream of environmental science in general.

Re:Money and age (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44629557)

I'd love for you to demonstrate how that is true.

Re:Money and age (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629407)

The good news is that governments don't have to do a lot. Increase taxes on fossil fuel, lower taxes on income, fund basic research and other promising but currently unprofitable research into energy saving and energy production and distribution.

If you think for a second that will appease the human-hating environment movement, you're deluded. Nothing short of humanity committing mass suicide will ever make them happy.

Now, go ahead and mod me down into oblivion. But anyone who has ever dealt with a rabid member of that sect knows it's true. They blame humanity for EVERY ill in the world. They'll probably eventually find a way to retroactively blame us for the vast majority of earth extinctions that occured before we even existed.

That is a very strange strawman way of looking at it. Why on earth should you care about appeasing the environment movement?? Unless by "human-hating environment movement" you mean "scientists". What you should care about is fixing the problem.

Re:Money and age (-1, Flamebait)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44629451)

Why on earth should you care about appeasing the environment movement??

Who the hell do you think is behind the wheel of the global warming movement? Like it or not, they're the ones driving, steering, guiding, and cajoling. The mainstream is just following.

Re:Money and age (0, Troll)

P-niiice (1703362) | about a year ago | (#44629613)

Science and common sense are behind the wheel. Environmentalists are behind the correct side of the argument, and that burns conservatives to hell.

Re:Money and age (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | about a year ago | (#44629591)

Well fortunately we have science with proof of this one.

Re:Money and age (4, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#44629651)

Nothing short of humanity committing mass suicide will ever make them happy.

But that's already predicted to happen, at least on a grand scale.

As education and technology improves the birth rate decreases. Worldwide population is expected to spike to over 10 billion, due to increasing age, before declining to below current levels.

If ... actually this is ironic ... the only way this could go awry is if humans decide to decrease their level of technology on purpose. Which is basically what the carbon taxes are about. So basically these people are asking to get the opposite of what they want because they think they're sooo smart but don't consider second, third and beyond -level effects.

What we actually need to do is to push as hard as possible on the economy, creating excess wealth, some of which will fund additional science (the more the better IMO) and rapidly get to the point of having sustainable non-fossil fuels (safe nuclear (eventually fusion), static towers, convection chimneys, perhaps solar, etc.). This stuff is only going to happen organically, not by some industrial model of the population where a few self-appointed "smart people" tell everybody else what to do.

Stalling out the economy will produce exactly the opposite effect of what these people claim to want. Which makes me question what they really want.

Re:Money and age (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#44629663)

You confuse environmentalists with the VHE movement, or possibly Fox New bogeymen. The first two are real but all are separate things.

Re:Money and age (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#44629689)

*Fox News bogeymen

Re:Money and age (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44629331)

The 'increase taxes on fossil fuel' part is a deal-breaker in the US. Even with the current very low petrol tax, the national pasttimes include grumbling about the cost to fill up. People there aren't going to be at all happy about losing their cheap gas - the car is more than a means of transport, it's a symbol of individual freedom and independence.

Re:Money and age (2)

aitikin (909209) | about a year ago | (#44629395)

This. Above all else, in the US, if gas (petrol) were taxed even .01% higher, 2/3s of the people I know would bitch about it. Frankly, it'd make sense to me to have them tax it and put said tax to use funding green energy initiatives, but I don't foresee Congress being able to do that.

Re:Money and age (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629723)

Any politician who would put an additional tax on gas is essentially not re-electable. Given that politicians only care about staying in power and getting more power, it is unreasonable to expect them to vote for it. They may be crazy but not suicidal. The possibility of not being re-elected sure beats the odds of dying from global warming for them.

Re:Money and age (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629701)

The tax isn't just low, the petrol is subsidized. (With about $4 billion annually.)

You just need to convince people that subsidizing is a sign of communism and let them weigh their fear of communism against their symbol of freedom and independence.

Re:Money and age (4, Insightful)

malakai (136531) | about a year ago | (#44629729)

Let's also not forget we have 50 contiguous US states, many of which are the size of the whole of UK ( Louisiana is probably closet ). Our 'symbol' of individual freedom is often times the means by which we visit family, go on vacation, and for some unlucky people commute for over an hour in to get into work. Then there's the people who work on the road, as well as the haulers.

I'm really glad some of you EU nations have managed to put up a full service light rail system connecting all your major cities, in an area about as large as the five boroughs of NYC.

Our lack of "petrol" tax has more to do with keeping our economy strong then remaining 'independent'.

Re:Money and age (1, Insightful)

Tokolosh (1256448) | about a year ago | (#44629399)

Increase taxes on fossil fuel, lower taxes on income, fund basic research and other promising but currently unprofitable research into energy saving and energy production and distribution.

You have unilaterally decided what needs to be done, and want to argue about how it should be done.

Methinks you should first, scientifically, prove that the actions you so blithely assume as a given, have the best outcome.

And before you do that, get unanimous consensus on what "best outcome" means.

Return when you have finished this task I have set you.

Re:Money and age (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about a year ago | (#44629719)

Well, there are other ways.

You could cap and trade. You could ration fossil fuels war-time style. You could plain outlaw them. Finally, you could decide to don't fix the problem and let people, businesses and local governments adapt to the changing climate.

None of these options seem feasible and/or nice if you ask me.

Re:Money and age (4, Interesting)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44629733)

This is a threshold of evidence required of exactly 0 other taxes and government activities, and in the face of pretty substantial economic and scientific research saying exactly that. I think that it's fair to reject your special pleading.

Re:Money and age (2)

Kvan (30429) | about a year ago | (#44629455)

They have to do a lot more - there is no way to avoid reduced quality of life in a large part of the world (especially the West) if we want to make a significant dent in AGW before it's too late, especially if birth rates aren't brought down. We're talking fewer imports, less meat, fewer electronics, fewer plane trips. Plus we would need countries like India and China to stop lifting so many people out of poverty and into modern consumption - a matter in which the West has a hard time bringing any moral arguments to bear.

And no, I don't think there is any way to make that happen politically. We might as well start building those dikes.

Re:Money and age (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44629751)

Heck, if they'd just switch the subsidies from oil/gas to renewables, and still expect the same kickbacks, they'd help themselves and the rest of us.

But that seems too logical.

Re:Money and age (2)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about a year ago | (#44629215)

sea levels could conceivably rise by more than three feet by the end of the century

- Only governments have the power to change this.
- If someone is rich enough to have any influence on governments, he probably won't be alive by the end of the century.
- If someone is rich enough to have any influence on governments, he is rich enough to move his beach mansion three feet higher.
- If someone is rich enough to have any influence on governments, he probably doesn't give a fuck about what happens to those who aren't.

Why would a rich person not care about his grandchildren?
Any 1000 average people are richer than one rich person. If they act as a group, they are just as influential.

Re:Money and age (1)

CadentOrange (2429626) | about a year ago | (#44629327)

Why would a rich person not care about his grandchildren? Any 1000 average people are richer than one rich person. If they act as a group, they are just as influential.

Who says they wouldn't care about their grand children? They're rich enough to look after their own and give the rest of us the fuck off. Good luck getting the 1000 average people to agree to a consensus.

Re:Money and age (1)

Full of shit (2908417) | about a year ago | (#44629461)

"Why would a rich person not care about his grandchildren?" Because I don't have any grandchildren, or even children, bitches. That's one of the reasons I'm rich. Not thrown it away on smelly lumps of noise.

Re:Money and age (2)

invid (163714) | about a year ago | (#44629517)

There you go. It is far easier for one person to "act as a group" than 1000 people. It is also far easier for 1000 fanatical religious people to act as a group than 1000 secular people. That's why we have policies that favor the rich, and why the fanatically religious have a skewed amount of influence. The problems of our age can be answered by the relative difficulties of coordinating wealth and power by different groups.

Re:Money and age - Counterpoint (1)

fygment (444210) | about a year ago | (#44629287)

Only individuals have the power to do anything.

Regardless of the purported effect on climate, we, as individuals, should be using all our resources as efficiently as possible.

Do you hate fossil fuels? Then why do you own an SUV, walk so little, and consume plastic in such abundance?
Do you hate coal-fired power plants/nuclear plants? Then why do you have so many electronic devices, an airconditioner permanently on, and a swimming pool in your backyard?
Do you hate the cutting of forests? Then why do you photocopy everything, print everything, buy a newly built house, and lovingly wrap every Christmas present?

No, the solution is not government or big money. It is bottom up. And frankly, look around you and the evidence is clear: neither you nor your family nor your friends nor your community ... care enough to change.

Re:Money and age - Counterpoint (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44629409)

Have you tried to walk in a US city lately? Even use public transport in one? The barrier to reducing vehicle use for the individual is enormous, so nobody can do it. Yet if everyone did it, it would suddenly become trivial.

Sometimes collective action is the only way to get over a hump.

Re:Money and age (1)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about a year ago | (#44629291)

Only governments have the power to change this

Patently false. There are other possibilities. Ultimately, through one mechanism or the other people will change their behavior, or not. And then attempt to deal with the consequences.

Re:Money and age (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629361)

Well, one thing that average Joe could do is to stop fearing nuclear so much.

Do the math. Count number of nuclear power plants, count the number of disasters.
Weigh the area of a few radiated zones and the cost of them compared to the cost of and area lost to a three feet ocean rise.
Since alternative powers sources in large scale are further away than end of century we only need to consider them if we determine that a three feet rise is acceptable.

Once people stop going full retard every time nuclear is mentioned I'm sure that there are people with enough influence on the government that gladly steps in and make things happen.

Re:Money and age (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#44629431)

- Only governments have the power to change this.
- If someone is rich enough to have any influence on governments, he probably won't be alive by the end of the century.
- If someone is rich enough to have any influence on governments, he is rich enough to move his beach mansion three feet higher.
- If someone is rich enough to have any influence on governments, he probably doesn't give a fuck about what happens to those who aren't.

Worse, they're funding campaigns to undermine belief in climate change:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_denial [wikipedia.org]

(Taking action will be bad for oil barons, etc.)

Ready...Set.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629091)

DENY!

Are we on 'Yes the globe is warming, and humans are contributing, but it's too expensive/late to do something.' yet, or are we still on 'Humans might be contributing, but it's mostly natural'?

Re:Ready...Set.... (2)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#44629137)

Humans crave religion, but since we all agreed that the whole Sky Fairy thing was a bit far fetched, we're onto worshipping the Invisible Hand (Green be upon Him) now. So, unless the Invisible Hand (Green be upon Him) deigns to deliver us a solution, it would be sacrilege to intervene.

Re:Ready...Set.... (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44629353)

We're onto selective reporting. Within a day expect to see a few right-leading sites headlining 'SCIENTISTS SAY SEA LEVELS NOW FALLING!' and implying that this means that scientists made a mistake and therefore can't be trusted to get anything right.

Re:Ready...Set.... (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#44629741)

We're way past that, we're in the middle of the transition from "it's happening and humans are causing it but it's not bad" to "it's happening, humans are causing it, and it's bad, but it's cheaper to adapt."

Then just one more stage to go, "It's happening, humans are causing it, and it's not cheaper to adapt...but we're not going to cooperate."

Its been obvious for years (0)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#44629133)

But people deny the obvious, like "There is no global warming" or "Islam is the religion of peace"

Re:Its been obvious for years (2, Interesting)

Salgak1 (20136) | about a year ago | (#44629235)

No, they deny ANTHROPOGENIC global warming. That's my biggest beef with IPCC: they started with a conclusion, and the inherent bias of that made their conclusion inevitable.

The BETTER question to have asked is "Why is global climate changing ?", so that all possible causes and inputs could have been considered. . .

Re:Its been obvious for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629359)

You are making a completely false assumption about the IPCC and declaring it as reality. The IPCC was set up to study the *risk* of climate change, including investigating whether or not it is happening, and 25 years later everything is basically pointing to 'yes' at this point.

"The BETTER question to have asked is "Why is global climate changing ?", so that all possible causes and inputs could have been considered. . . "

WTF are you talking about? That's EXACTLY WHAT THEY HAVE DONE OVER THE COURSE OF THEIR EXISTENCE.

Re:Its been obvious for years (2)

CadentOrange (2429626) | about a year ago | (#44629383)

An even better question will be to ask "How will we deal with climate change?" as only a fool blinded by dogma will deny that the earth's climate has changed (sometimes drastically) in the past. For example, let's fix the issue where droughts cause starvations in Africa as more frequent droughts are expected as the climate changes.

Re:Its been obvious for years (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629249)

Islam IS the religion of peace.

First half, when Mohammed was struggling with the then-dominant religion and power base, is all about helping others and the like. The second half, where he's mostly in charge is about enforcing the new religion.

This, however, IS ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENT from the xtians who claim that Christianity is a religion of Love. They edit and elide the monstrosity of both the Old Testament in nearly its entirety, but also much of the New Testament that doesn't gel with the profession of "Jesus Christ Loves You" as the be-all/end-all of Christianity (and therefore the christian suicide bombers like Brevik are Not True Christians).

So quite why you felt you had to single out Islamists for the hypocrisy escapes me.

Islam IS the religion of peace!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629387)

The empirical evidence does not support your claim.

Re:Its been obvious for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629319)

Jews commit more acts of terrorism than Muslims or any other group.

Re:Its been obvious for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629373)

Boy, are you deluded.

Re: Its been obvious for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629393)

What's sad is, you might sincerely believe that. Back to Stormfront, dude. Shoo!

Re:Its been obvious for years (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629595)

Oh man you are so wrong.

Fact: CO2 is actually a very small contributor to the "greenhouse effect" the main contributor being BY FAR water vapor. Moreover MOST of the CO2 come from NATURAL sources not human.
Fact: The skewed numerical models created to prove global warming through CO2 DO NOT WORK.
Fact: It has been showed that changes in CO2 level in the past was followed by a corresponding change in temperatures with a lag of ~800 years. Therefore it's not a cause... it's a consequence !
Fact: In recent history, temperature did not follow CO2 level.
Fact: Solar activity is much better correlated with temperature on earth.
Fact: IPCC is full of it.

All I know... (1)

ColonelClaw (744934) | about a year ago | (#44629149)

...Is that the weather here in the UK has been particularly mental this year. The coldest first half I can ever remember, followed by a month or 2 of tropical weather including afternoon downpours like a lake is dropping on your head. Something aint right, that's for sure.

Re:All I know... (1)

somersault (912633) | about a year ago | (#44629339)

Better sacrifice a couple of goats, just to be on the safe side.

This just in.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629161)

The Catholic Church has declared once again that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. Mankind must believe in him and the church for salvation and absolution from their sins. Atheists were highly disappointed in the Catholic church's conclusion, hoping the church would conclude that Jesus was simply a man suffering from bipolar mania.

Yup, we're boned (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44629165)

Those organizations with the power to do something are steadfastly pretending the problem doesn't exist.

On the upside, the Great Lakes region where I live is likely to become prime real estate, because it will be (A) not underwater, (B) well-supplied with fresh water, (C) relatively safe from hurricanes, (D) not on fire, (E) not a prime tornado target, and (F) less cold.

Re:Yup, we're boned (5, Insightful)

Kvan (30429) | about a year ago | (#44629271)

What I've never understood about all the climate "debate" is this: how can anyone look at the state of international politics, then at a giant problem that requires cooperation and sacrifice from every single nation to solve it, and conclude anything other than "this is fucked, best start mitigation strategies ASAP"?

It just boggles my mind that anyone could be so naive as to think emissions can be curbed significantly, in a relevant time frame, by multilateral international agreement. This to the extent that they will even spend decades trying to convince the doubters that "no, it really is anthropogenic" - as if the problem is people just don't believe enough.

Re:Yup, we're boned (2, Interesting)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44629587)

Actually, for me, it's just an issue of "I don't care". Let the oceans rise three feet. Couldn't bother me less. What does bother me is the huge amount of government (at whatever level) that it would take to actually implement the "mitigation strategies" you present.

Re:Yup, we're boned (1)

Beezlebub33 (1220368) | about a year ago | (#44629597)

What I've never understood about all the climate "debate" is this: how can anyone look at the state of international politics, then at a giant problem that requires cooperation and sacrifice from every single nation to solve it, and conclude anything other than "this is fucked, best start mitigation strategies ASAP"?

Yes, we're screwed (and my children / grandchildren are screwed). I'm not sure what to do about it. I'm convinced that there are corporations / government cronies that will prevent us from solving the problem for all humanity. (Yes, I'm doing what I can to support causes opposed to them, but my guess is that they will lose and we'll continue to cause climate change). So, what to do to protect myself (and descendents)?

I've considered buying land in Canada. Prince Edward Island is supposed to be nice. I've thought about Maine, since it is in the US (and I'm a US citizen). Perhaps I should consider someplace around the Great Lakes instead (as well?)

In terms of investments, I'm trying to figure out who the big winners will be. What will be a good long-term investment strategy? I'm tempted to say the oil companies, but I think that eventually (past the point of it making a difference) they'll be blamed. Does anybody have a good book to recommend?

Re:Yup, we're boned (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44629667)

An analogy:

A train heading towards a bridge over a chasm, but the bridge is actually out. 15 km away, you find out about the problem and starts telling the train staff "Hey, you really ought to hit the brakes now!", but the staff say "We can't do that, we'd be late to the next station!" Now, you may start making plans to somehow get off before things get worse, but you're still going to do your best to convince the engineer to stop as quickly as possible. And of course there will be some folks on the train who think it's an action movie and will argue instead to speed up and try to make a jump over the gap!

Re:Yup, we're boned (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#44629273)

not a prime tornado target

Until Sharknado hits New York and magically travels 800 miles inland.

Re:Yup, we're boned (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629427)

Unless the tectonic plate stress from shifting mass off ice sheets causes Yellowstone to erupt. Your right in the firing line then :)

Black Swan .... (0)

fygment (444210) | about a year ago | (#44629177)

... is compulsory reading to put all climate claims in perspective. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Swan_(2007_book) [wikipedia.org]

Bottom line: we do not know enough about the workings of the climate to even pretend we understand what is happening and why, let alone to believe that we can come up with a 'solution'. We can just do what our species does best: adapt.

Re:Black Swan .... (4, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#44629243)

Bullshit. The greenhouse effect is well understood. So is the amount of CO2/methane/etc. we're putting into the atmosphere.

Re:Black Swan .... (2, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#44629515)

The greenhouse effect is well understood.

It's not, though - that's basically the crux of the current arguments. The sensitivity of the various variables in the model are unclear because many of the underlying mechanisms and confounding variables (e.g. cloud formation) are poorly understood. Many of the theories are built on models which are built on theories - the assumptions become self-embedding, not built from first-principles.

We'd have a model that makes great predictions if we understood all that stuff. Imagine if a bunch of physicists got together and proposed a grand unification theory that they were confident about, thought we should make policy decisions based on (because, "or else") but they were still unable to use their model to make useful predictions.

Heck, I was showing my grandparents, who lived near the ocean, some simulator models that were published in the late 90's. By those models, the oceans were going to be lapping at their front steps by a year and a half from now. If the ocean level has risen at all, it's in the range of millimeters. They looked at it and told me to be careful to not believe everything somebody who has an agenda says.

Re:Black Swan .... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629653)

Just because YOU don't understand it doesn't mean that it isn't well understood.

Re:Black Swan .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629715)

The only thing they understand well is your gullibility.

Re:Black Swan .... (4, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44629683)

Climate modellers are well aware of the uncertainty in their parameters. That's why in modern work, they run their model with ranges of parameters determined to be plausible based on empirical observation, and output a range of possible outcomes. Future observation and comparison with the model allows them to refine the parameter range to be more realistic.

very true (1)

a2wflc (705508) | about a year ago | (#44629749)

scientists can calculate the forcing effect of greenhouse gases with certainty. The IPCC convinces people of that (which should be easy since it's true). Then they switch from talk of forcing to talk of feedback which is what "is going to kill us". There is no certainty of feedback and they don't make a significant claim of certainty but they fail to point out that they've made the switch, so people believe that feedback is also certain.

If feedback is so deadly, we need to be talking much more about soot, aerosols, urbanization (not urban heat islands), deforestation, greenhouse gasses other than CO2 and other man-made causes of warming (pro-AWG scientists are no longer denying these and they add up to more warming than CO2). We also need to worry about potential heating of the sun or other natural causes even if we don't expect them because, if feedback is what the models say, ANY cause of warming will kill us and there has been warming before without man-made reasons.

Re:Black Swan .... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629263)

Bullshit, egoist !

Re:Black Swan .... (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44629297)

Isn't the book's argument that in a situation of low knowledge, facing low-probability high-impact events, we should actively prepare by adapting our social and economic structures in such a way that they are more resilient? That sounds a lot like the kind of preparatory work climate science is arguing for.

Re:Black Swan .... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629299)

You are grossly oversimplifying climate science (and that book) if you think that book is relevant to this issue.

Re:Black Swan .... (1)

Thavilden (1613435) | about a year ago | (#44629311)

I would consider trying to come up with a solution a form of adapting, since most solutions would involve drastic changes in our behavior.

Re:Black Swan .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629463)

BINGO! Who wants to turn off their air conditioning, I-things, TVs, etc., etc., etc.???

Re:Black Swan .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629347)

Greenhouse warming has been understood since the 19th century.

Re:Black Swan .... (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about a year ago | (#44629357)

We do know how to wreck things, even when we do not understand the things that we wreck. So the bottom line is we DO know enough to wreck our climate.

Re:Black Swan .... (1)

ssam (2723487) | about a year ago | (#44629559)

if you're doctor said he is 95% sure that you have cancer, i guess you wouldn't mind your insurance refusing to pay for any health care because there was not 100% certainty.

Amendments (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629193)

1. Term limits, including for justices.
2. Repealing Amendment 17 and returning the election of senators to state legislatures
3. A congressional supermajority to override Supreme Court decisions (overruling what could be a stacked court)
4. Spending limit based on GDP
5. Taxation capped at 15%
6. Limiting the commerce clause, and strengthening private property rights
7. Power of states to override a federal statute by a three-fifths vote.

omg (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629205)

this is rly srs u guise

Other problems (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629209)

The human race faces so many other imminently preventable environmental catastrophes (e.g. tar sand oil fields, fracking, agricultural runoff creating a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico) that it is absurd to put so much focus on the one problem with the fuzziest causes and effects.

What to do? Some science, please. (4, Insightful)

Tokolosh (1256448) | about a year ago | (#44629221)

I wish that a similar amount of scientific effort would go into deciding what (if anything) to do about it.

Instead there is a rush to reduce greenhouse gases, without any scientific or economic analysis to ascertain whether this is the optimal response.

Re:What to do? Some science, please. (1, Insightful)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#44629317)

Water vapor and methane are both greenhouse gases. Both have a => effect on the greenhouse effect when compared to CO2. But the Global Warming crowd only focuses on CO2 because it is politically convenient for them. Meaning they own solar/wind companies and want to profit greatly from government subsidies.

Re:What to do? Some science, please. (0)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#44629487)

You are parroting someone here.

Methane dissipates faster than CO2. A matter of years.

Water vapor even quicker. Days or hours. The effect is much less.

This is a point brought up time after time and the reasoning its cared about less hasn't changed.

Re:What to do? Some science, please. (1)

Silentknyght (1042778) | about a year ago | (#44629493)

Water vapor and methane are both greenhouse gases. Both have a => effect on the greenhouse effect when compared to CO2. But the Global Warming crowd only focuses on CO2 because it is politically convenient for them. Meaning they own solar/wind companies and want to profit greatly from government subsidies.

This is mostly incorrect. Sure, water vapor is a greenhouse gas, but its residence time is nothing. Moreover, greenhouse gases are regulated on an equivalency basis, as "CO2e", where each is given a weighted impact. So, methane has a factor of 310 applied to its emissions. The same is true for N2O as well as HFCs / CFCs; those factors are in the ten-to-hundreds of thousands. These actually persist in the atmosphere, hence the reason for their high factors.

Troll harder next time. All of this is available on Wikipedia if you bothered 10 seconds to look.

Re:What to do? Some science, please. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629633)

Meaning they own solar/wind companies and want to profit greatly from government subsidies.

I am TIRED of hearing these arguments. If you think that global warming is a serious issue, and do nothing, then you get told that you do not put your money where your mouth is. If you do something, like any good capitalist, then it is all about profiteering. It's like saying Apple is awesome! But don't trust me, because I bought Apple stock, and so clearly I'm biased....

Re:What to do? Some science, please. (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44629693)

Actually, methane is an important area of discussion, in particular with a view to the impact of agriculture (cows) on the climate.

I'm not sure what control we have over our water vapour production, though.

Re:What to do? Some science, please. (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44629343)

Unfortunately when anyone even proposes research into another response - geo-engineering, perhaps - it's branded apocalyptic climate alarmism and shouted down. As long as there's a well-funded lobby arguing that the problem doesn't exist, it's going to be an uphill battle to even test alternatives, much less actually apply them.

Re:What to do? Some science, please. (2)

Beezlebub33 (1220368) | about a year ago | (#44629705)

You might want to read this [newyorker.com] article on it. Good quote: "There is only one reason to consider deploying a scheme with even a tiny chance of causing such a catastrophe: if the risks of not deploying it were clearly higher. "

We are still learning about the climate; we know enough, probably enough to say that pumping CO2 into the air is not a good idea and is likely the cause of climate change, but not enough to consider all the options and determing a geoengineering fix yet. But, people _are_ working on it.

Re:What to do? Some science, please. (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#44629739)

For what it's worth, I think geoengineering is a terrible way to solve the problem right now - like you point out, it has a low probability of a very, very bad outcome - but it's hard to engage in any discussion of, say, social solutions, when even the idea of billing someone for their CO2 output is considered utterly unacceptable.

Re:What to do? Some science, please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629589)

Instead there is a rush to reduce greenhouse gases, without any scientific or economic analysis to ascertain whether this is the optimal response.

I can understand the desire for a scientific analysis to ensure that's the best course of action (but, um, that's basically been done - we KNOW that dumping CO2 into the atmosphere heats the planet faster so reducing our CO2 emissions will help reducing the heat - pretty basic logic there) but, as far as the economic analysis? Seriously? We're going to worry about the economic impact of reducing our CO2 emissions versus increasing the temperature of our planet, radically disrupting weather systems, changing entire ecologies and flooding coastal regions around the world? Sorry, but the economic impact on the oil companies who have a vested interest in dragging this debate out as long as possible are so far down on my list of concerns. Fuck 'em, quite frankly.

piss off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629247)

mdsolar and take your volvo with you.

I blame the NHTSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629253)

How many vehicles have headlights that are always on?

Re: I blame the NHTSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629447)

In Canada it's mandatory for auto headlights to be on at all times. Blame Canada!

Re: I blame the NHTSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629551)

This is a serious discussion. How can you clown around when Professor C. Little says the sky is falling?

FAKE, DAMNED LIES AND DISINFORMATION (0, Flamebait)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about a year ago | (#44629423)

It can't be true. The Republican shills on Fox News told me that global warming is fake, there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Obama is a muslim and not a U.S. citizen, universal health care is a bad, bad thing, rich people pay too much taxes, and that there is no money for evil, commie social welfare programs because poor people are just entitled leeches and they smell bad too, and anyway, we have to invest more hundreds of billions into Northrop Grumman to build more shiny Stealth Fighters with.
I need to go buy a rifle in the convenience store to protect me and my family from these crazy liberal, monkey-offspringed disinformationalists. God help us!

There is a plan. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44629531)

Chill out. It's GOD's plan. Everything happens for a reason.

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