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Congress Hears From Muzzled Scientists

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the global-mmpphhhh dept.

Censorship 664

BendingSpoons writes "More than 120 scientists across seven federal agencies have been pressured to remove the phrases 'global warming' and 'climate change' from various documents. The documents include press releases and, more importantly, communications with Congress. Evidence of this sort of political interference has been largely anecdotal to date, but is now detailed in a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held hearings on this issue Tuesday; the hearing began by Committee members, including most Republicans, stating that global warming is happening and greenhouse gas emissions from human activity are largely to blame. The OGR hearings presage a landmark moment in climate change research: the release of the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC report, drafted by 1,250 scientists and reviewed by an additional 2,500 scientists, is expected to state that 'there is a 90% chance humans are responsible for climate change' — up from the 2001 report's 66% chance. It probably won't make for comfortable bedtime reading; 'The future is bleak', said scientists."

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Climatologists? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17841758)

Hah, what do climatologists know about global warming... Oh wait

Re:Climatologists? (3, Interesting)

ccarson (562931) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842262)

Here are some facts about global warming. Some of which you hear and don't hear from the main stream media:

1.) The world appears to be getting warmer with many computer models showing an increase in global temperature.
2.) Tying a trend to warmer temperatures based on older data from the early 1900's is suspect at best. Good, reliable, accurate scientific equipment that measures the temperature wasn't readily available until recently (late 1900's).
3.) Apparently, the Earth magnetic field has decreased by 10% in the last 150 years (source: http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/earth_magnet ic_031212.html [space.com] ). I'm an electrical engineer and during my studies in particle physics, I learned that a particles velocity can be affected by magnetic fields. I believe it's possible that more of the Sun's radiation is penetrating the Earth's magnetosphere ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetosphere [wikipedia.org] ) due to it being weaker. If more radiation hits the Earth, shouldn't that also increase the overall temperature of the Earth and can global warming be attributed to this?
4.) Jupitor is experiencing the same climate change that Earth is. (source: http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/060504_red_j [space.com] r.html [space.com])
5.) Mars is experiencing the same climate change that Earth is. (source: http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/solarsystem/ [space.com] mars_snow_011206-1.html and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/new s/news.html?in_article_id=410901&in_page_id=1770 [dailymail.co.uk] )


How can you explain the recent same climate changes on different planets? I doubt it's all those cars being driven there. 6.) The United Nations found that there is more Methane produced from livestock, which raises global temperature greater than CO2 by a factor of approx. 20, than any human caused CO2 combined (source: http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000448/i ndex.html [fao.org] )


Is it possible that the warmer temperatures that Earth is experiencing are caused by cyclical natural phenomena? What about glaciers in Greenland that have been shrinking for 100 years (source: http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/08/21/060821191 [breitbart.com] 826.o0mynclv.html [breitbart.com])? Also, how do you explain huge ice ages on Earth? Were thse caused by huge carbon emissions or was it a small natural climate cycle that just happens? Were those climate changes, which are no doubt more extreme than what's going on now, caused by the combustion engine? I don't have answers and everyone seems to have an opinion including a Nobel laureate who says the answer is more pollution (source: http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/11/16/smog.wa rming.ap/index.html [cnn.com] )

One last thing. Lets say we all buy into the fact that we're causing the climate change through CO2. Regardless of what actions we (America) take, China will still produce more CO2 than anyone because they want to get rich. There's no stopping it folks.

Biased Story (2, Insightful)

parasonic (699907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842340)

"More than 120 scientists across seven federal agencies have been pressured to remove the phrases 'global warming' and 'climate change' from various documents."
Can anyone find the one big thing wrong with this statement?

Wait for it....wait for it...

This statement is in the passive voice. No one is directly referred to here. The problem with this? The poster makes a statement and forces assumptions on who has been putting this pressure of censorship. I am not sure which is worse--deliberate censorship or subtle trickery as is in the first line of the "summary." I am not some Republican good buddy here to bash global warming theory or anything, but the summary is nothing but flamebait.

but but but but... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17841764)

But nothing. Republicans? Shut the fuck up.

No, seriously. Shut the fuck up. I'm sick and tired of the obfuscation. I'm sick and tired of the lying. I'm sick and tired of you useful idiots towing the party line. I look outside, I see the difference in the weather, I see the results that people were warning us about twenty years ago, and it scares the shit out of me.

Republicans? SHUT THE FUCK UP and let the rest of us try to DO something about this.

Re:but but but but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17841810)

Well you know, there's 2 trains of thought:

1. Recognize the problem and re-engineer society the best we can to accommodate these changes via technology and minimize any more damage than we've already done.

2. Say "Well, looks like we're doomed anyway, and I'm sure as hell not living to 2100, so may as well pillage the planet for all its worth while we still can! This is somebody else's problem, not mine.

IF you are so worries about global warming (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17841834)

then you should lead the way and kill yourself. I will follow if you would lead the way.

Re:IF you are so worries about global warming (2, Interesting)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842012)

That's not a good solution. The only long term solution is to stop breeding [vhemt.org] like you're a frikkin sha^Wbunny.

(not "you" as in you, but you know, in general. *sigh* Engrish is a great language.)

Re:but but but but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17841910)

But nothing. Republicans? Shut the fuck up.

No, seriously. Shut the fuck up. I'm sick and tired of the obfuscation. I'm sick and tired of the lying. I'm sick and tired of you useful idiots towing the party line. I look outside, I see the difference in the weather, I see the results that people were warning us about twenty years ago, and it scares the shit out of me.

Republicans? SHUT THE FUCK UP and let the rest of us try to DO something about this.
See that vapor coming out of your mouth on a cold winter day? It is water vapor and CO2 (ya know the greenhouse gas).

I propose we cut your CO2 emissions by 100%. Please obey the Kyoto treaty: hold your breath and STFU.

Re:but but but but... (3, Informative)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 7 years ago | (#17841960)

Hear Hear. (applause).

What gets me is there are things that can be done.

And they can be done *now*.

Ban incandescent light bulbs. Mandate energy efficiency in consumer electronics goods. Promote a viable, cheap and efficient mass public transport system. Enforce recycling (now underway in UK). Promote locally sourced goods and produce (don't eat food thats moved more then 1000miles to your plate). Mandate efficient motor vehicles. Either sort out hydrogen fuels cells or admit you were wrong and go the ZEV route.

*Educate* people.

"Inconvienient Truth" was a good start, but we need more to get the message across.

I live in the UK, 10 of the hottest years we have on record were in the last 14 years. It scares the crap out of me.

And the fact that nothing is being done infuriates me.

The fact remains that one of the major reasons that nothing is being done is because of weak willed politicians who are concerned more about their own re-election prospects then doing the right thing. Large corporations also have the capability to do good things instead look to line their own pockets and please the shareholders.

Katrina was a wake up call for the US. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Katrina) The hot summer a few years ago in Europe that killed 10000+ was a wake up for Europe. (http://www.iht.com/articles/2003/08/29/heat_0.php ) Bangladesh is getting near annual flooding wake ups.

Why the fsck isn't anything being done?

Re:but but but but... (1)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842110)

Sorry about that.

(foaming at the mouth mode cancelled, soapbox packed away)

In my defense, its something I feel *strongly* about.

..and I fscked up the html as well. They dont have a Preview for nothing y'know.

Re:but but but but... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17842166)

My friend; climates are very large and complex structures. If you honestly think that a small set of data (~100 years) is good enough to predict the goings on a very large system who's timeframe is KNOWN to be AT LEAST 15000 years long than you are an arrogant, unscientific ass.

Thanks for your time.

BTW: When it's revealed that this isn't as much a man made problem but rather a part of nature I want a written apology from each one of you alarmists who is crying that the sky is falling, not to mention a refund on all the stupid crap your going to force the government to do instead of doing the wiser approach of having the open market push along an environmental agenda using your consumer dollars as votes. Morons.

Re:but but but but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17842222)

If I'm wrong and this climate change isn't our fault, I'll handwrite you one thousand apologies.

What are you going to do for me if I'm right? Undo the damage?

Consider yourself grouped with the Republicans. Shut the fuck up and let us do something about it.

Re:but but but but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17842268)

Why the fsck isn't anything being done?

Externality [wikipedia.org] . The people in power have no incentive; it doesn't happen here, it doesn't happen now, and if it happens they can just move. Sure, they'll pay for it later, but later doesn't show up in the quarterly reports (for corporations), or doesn't show up until the two presidential terms are up anyhow (for politicians).

Re:but but but but... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17842366)

Ban incandescent light bulbs. Mandate energy efficiency in consumer electronics goods.

Don't be silly. You are wasting your time with trivial energy use items while you probably have other multi-KW items that consume vastly more power in your house. For example, I have electric heating, a refrigerator, a microwave, and an oven which vastly outpower my electricity usage from light bulbs (and we haven't even gotten to the argument where I point out that in the winter the end result of the electricity used to power your light bulbs is heat which will cause no effect on your energy usage if you happen to own a thermostat with electric heating). But even I'm being silly because industrial usage vastly outpowers residential power usage.

Promote a viable, cheap and efficient mass public transport system. Enforce recycling (now underway in UK). Promote locally sourced goods and produce (don't eat food thats moved more then 1000miles to your plate). Mandate efficient motor vehicles.

It is important, however, to promote a public transportation system that is more efficient than the individuals driving their cars. In many cases a lightly loaded bus will have vastly higher emissions than if each of the riders drove their cars. Use public transportation where it makes sense and always keep a calculator on hand to evaluate the CO2 emissions.

Katrina was a wake up call for the US. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Katrina) The hot summer a few years ago in Europe that killed 10000+ was a wake up for Europe.

As a physicist (who believes global warming is highly probable) I take offense at such stupid statements. There is no evidence that Katrina was caused by global warming (which has heated the planet about 0.5-1.0 K) and I would challenge you to provide evidence that Katrina wouldn't have formed and bottomed out without that temperature rise. You might note that global warming will cause more radical climate surges, but this does not mean that it is responsible for any individual event. It just means that when you analyze a 10 year span the violent climatic events will increase. Saying global warming is responsible for any single event is extremely irresponsible and shows a fundamental lack of understanding of probability and statistics.

Re:but but but but... (2, Insightful)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842468)

What bunch of fuckwits modded the above post as flaimbait?

Ok, he uses a bit of harsh language but he has a point. Most people are now getting to the point where they can see through the PR and simply look out the window to notice the effects of global warming.

The main problem is that the rest of the world has known what to do about this for some time - reduce consumption of fossil fuels (Or breath less as some people have suggested, but I cannot be arsed explaining why this is not a viable solution). However when Bush was elected the first thing he did was scrap any attempt at sticking to the Kyoto treaty to benefit the US economy (And his own pocket).

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid (-1, Troll)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17841786)

I really get tired of these quantum leap suppositions from scientists who can't predict the weather this week much less over the next millennium. This is what we get from turning science into a liberal arts track.

Re:Stupid, Stupid, Stupid (0, Flamebait)

cruachan (113813) | more than 7 years ago | (#17841818)

And I get tired of all these stupid Republicans who think that predicting the weather has anything to do with prediciting the climate.

Re:Stupid, Stupid, Stupid (2, Insightful)

BigDogCH (760290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842046)

Agreed. Nothing is more annoying than hearing people say "It is cold outside today, Global Warming must not be real". ARGHHHHHH

Re:Stupid, Stupid, Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17841838)

*I* really get tired of reading irrelevant blathering from people who don't know the difference between weather and climate.

Re:Stupid, Stupid, Stupid (1)

Anonymous Know-It-Al (1000756) | more than 7 years ago | (#17841842)

So their inability to predict next weeks weather justifies censoring their reports?

Who's the fool? The fool or the one who follows? (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 7 years ago | (#17841936)

I think you need to rexamine the origin of your opinion since it sounds quite a lot like well funded talking points: http://mdsolar.blogspot.com/2007/01/your-opinion-c ould-be-paid-for-by.html [blogspot.com] ...

FUD: Spreading Fear, Uncertainy and Doubt.

Science: Fearlessly following curiosity by using doubt to perfect experiment and quantify uncertainty.

Who wins?
--
Cheap Solar: It's reality based: http://mdsolar.blogspot.com/2007/01/slashdot-users -selling-solar.html [blogspot.com]

Re:Stupid, Stupid, Stupid (1)

simm1701 (835424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17841972)

Think of it more in the temrs of the kenetic theory of gases.

Accurate prediction of the movement of a single molecule is not possible - the uncertainty principle at work.

The movement of a single molecule can be described as chaotic.

However the kenetic theory of gases allows us to acurately calculate the movement of larges volumes of gas without a problem.

Weather is chaotic, but moderatly predictable over small time scales this is why weather forcasts are not always acurate. Trends over long time scales are a different matter and can be calculated - its a different order of magnitude to the above analogy but the principle is the same.

Re:Stupid, Stupid, Stupid (-1, Flamebait)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842072)

Ok, now place those molecules with an almost infinite number of random variables(temp, pressure, objects, forces) and we're back to my point. Climatologists have been wildly wrong for the last 50 years, often making consensus predictions that just don't hold up. The Earth is a huge steady state system and it has corrected itself EVERY time in the past.

Re:Stupid, Stupid, Stupid (2, Insightful)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842132)

Sure, it will "correct" itself. The problem in this case is that the cure might not be very fun for us living on it at the moment, or in the future as well.

Re:Stupid, Stupid, Stupid (4, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842384)

The Earth is a huge steady state system and it has corrected itself EVERY time in the past.

The first part of your claim is not only false, it is contradicted by the second part of your claim. "Steady state" systems do not need to undergo "corrections". Dynamically stable systems do.

The Earth is a huge dynamically stable system, and it has corrected itself EVERY time in the past. That is a true statement, but an uncomfortable one, because the Earth's dynamically stable climate undergoes excursions that are quite significant relative to the stability required for human civilization to thrive.

Even local events like the Younger Dryas can ruin your whole millenia. Global events like ice ages, or the mode switching to a hot, dry climate for a few hundred or a thousand years that we see in some ice core data, can make things very uncomfortable indeed.

Scientists are concerned about global climate change not because we are worried about the "end of all life on Earth" or some equally algorean kookery, but because we know with certainty that the Earth's climate maintains a dynamic equilibrium that will happily accomodate excursions that would make a mess of our lives and our descendent's lives, and we know with certainty that we are giving that dynamically stable system a nice wack with a hammer by increasing effective insolation by a percent or so over the past two hundred years.

Re:Stupid, Stupid, Stupid (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842504)

And in many of those cases the dominant life forms of Earth became extinct. The worst part is that the poets, philosophers and writers have been saying the "end of the world" would be man-made even longer than the scientists...

Welcome to the prologue to every post apocalyptic sci-fi book ever written.

Choice Quote (4, Funny)

bhima (46039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17841800)

``This isn't a smoking gun; This is a batallion of intergalactic smoking missiles.''

Re:Choice Quote (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17842274)

Christ, don't let Bush hear that, he'll declare war on the rest of the known universe!

It goes both ways (1, Troll)

cryptoguy (876410) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842310)

http://climate.weather.com/blog/9_11396.html?cm_ve n=one_deg_blog&cm_ite=one_deg_commentary&from=one_ [weather.com]

Quote: If a meteorologist can't speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn't give them a Seal of Approval.

Sounds like muzzling one point of view to me.

Re:Choice Quote (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842408)

``This isn't a smoking gun; This is a batallion of intergalactic smoking missiles.''
Oh, it's worse than that. It's your bedroom piled knee deep in dirty clothes. Cleaning it up is (a) boring and (b) admitting mom was right, even if she was being an irritating nag.

Doesn't suprize me at all (3, Insightful)

Neuropol (665537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17841802)

When the current administration was was securing their win, a lot of promises were made in order to fuel (pardon the pun) the race for securing the last reserves. The momentum needed to be there for big investment to take place to secure wins and deliver on those promises made. So with that being considered, it stands to reason, you don't want bad advertising in the form of alarming factual statistics being relased by the scientific community being released and hindering the fund security for isolating the last of the worlds petroleum, right? So the cover was thickened. A massive veil of 'turn-the-other-cheek' was set in place in order to ensure that financial gain could be had.

Now that the whole Charade is under fire from every thing to the administrations take on the environment, space, and that god damned war, people are beginning to lift the corners of the rug where this stuff had been swept under. Unfortunately, what's been found continued to rot while it was being hidden. Now it's even more harsh to deal with. In the end, the deals been exposed, the plug's getting pulled, and I couldn't be happier about it. Just too bad a few of us were saying things like this were going to happen since back in the 70's. It's just unfortunate that we had to have an acceleration period in the last 10-20 years to solidify the problem. And too bad the delicate cycle of the Earth has been damaged permanently as a result of man's greed and quest for senseless power and control.

Re:Doesn't suprize me at all (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17842326)

Hah - speaking of the 70's - here is a Newsweek article from 1975 warning about the threat from "global cooling". We have had glaciers melt from warming with no man made gases and no damage. It's embarrassing to watch educated people fall into this psychosis.

  "The Cooling World" - by Peter Gwynne

April 28, 1975 Newsweek

  There are ominous signs that the Earth's weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production - with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now.

The regions destined to feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and the U.S.S.R. in the North, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical areas - parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indochina and Indonesia - where the growing season is dependent upon the rains brought by the monsoon.

The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually. During the same time, the average temperature around the equator has risen by a fraction of a degree - a fraction that in some areas can mean drought and desolation. Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars' worth of damage in 13 U.S. states.

To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world's weather. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. "A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale," warns a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, "because the global patterns of food production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century."

A survey completed last year by Dr. Murray Mitchell of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a drop of half a degree in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945 and 1968. According to George Kukla of Columbia University, satellite photos indicated a sudden, large increase in Northern Hemisphere snow cover in the winter of 1971-72. And a study released last month by two NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3% between 1964 and 1972.

To the layman, the relatively small changes in temperature and sunshine can be highly misleading. Reid Bryson of the University of Wisconsin points out that the Earth's average temperature during the great Ice Ages was only about seven degrees lower than during its warmest eras - and that the present decline has taken the planet about a sixth of the way toward the Ice Age average.

Others regard the cooling as a reversion to the "little ice age" conditions that brought bitter winters to much of Europe and northern America between 1600 and 1900 - years when the Thames used to freeze so solidly that Londoners roasted oxen on the ice and when iceboats sailed the Hudson River almost as far south as New York City.

Just what causes the onset of major and minor ice ages remains a mystery. "Our knowledge of the mechanisms of climatic change is at least as fragmentary as our data," concedes the National Academy of Sciences report. "Not only are the basic scientific questions largely unanswered, but in many cases we do not yet know enough to pose the key questions."

Meteorologists think that they can forecast the short-term results of the return to the norm of the last century. They begin by noting the slight drop in overall temperature that produces large numbers of pressure centers in the upper atmosphere. These break up the smooth flow of westerly winds over temperate areas. The stagnant air produced in this way causes an increase in extremes of local weather such as droughts, floods, extended dry spells, long freezes, delayed monsoons and even local temperature increases - all of which have a direct impact on food supplies. "The world's food-producing system," warns Dr. James D. McQuigg of NOAA's Center for Climatic and Environmental Assessment, "is much more sensitive to the weather variable than it was even five years ago." Furthermore, the growth of world population and creation of new national boundaries make it impossible for starving peoples to migrate from their devastated fields, as they did during past famines.

Politics = Terrorism (3, Insightful)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 7 years ago | (#17841812)

Interesting that the health of our world is being decided by politicialns, rather than the scientists that study this kinda stuff. I sure hope some sensemaking comes of this. Why is it now my fault that scientists aren't taken seriously by this administration?

Can I declare politics to be illegal and akin to terrorism?

Re:Politics = Terrorism (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17841858)

Interesting that the health of our world is being decided by politicialns, rather than the scientists that study this kinda stuff.
That's how it's designed to work: politicians decide and scientists study.
What's not working as designed, is that politicians are not taking seriously (or worse) scientists.

Re:Politics = Terrorism (1)

kcbrown (7426) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842056)

Why is it now my fault that scientists aren't taken seriously by this administration?

Because you told this administration that scientists play with models, and the administration thought you meant plastic toy models?

Shame on you for misleading this administration that way!

:-)

Re:Politics = Terrorism (2, Insightful)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842152)

Why is it now my fault that scientists aren't taken seriously by this administration?

(assuming you're from the US) Because you live in a democracy where, in theory, the population chose their government.

You're Guilty! (2, Funny)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842304)

Can I declare politics to be illegal and akin to terrorism?
Hmmm...

A bold political move, but obviously not a well thought-out one.

Re:Politics = Terrorism (1)

bwcook0 (995211) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842494)

So, if oil supports terrorism, and we support oil, and the effect of us using the oil is destroying the world, then the terrorists have already won?

Galileo must be pleased (5, Insightful)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 7 years ago | (#17841816)

It's as if, after he was silenced by the Inquisition, the Medicis held an investigation. "So, Signore Galilei, you were improperly induced by the Inquisition to suppress the information that the Earth rotates around the Sun? Thus potentially allowing non-Catholic countries to gain important advances in science and technology while Catholic countries were held back?"

A genuinely free-market Republican administration would surely want the truth about climate change to be readily available so that the markets could respond appropriately and make capital and resources available for the inevitable re-shaping of society, rather than be associated by similarity of behaviour with the guys in funny skirts who inadvertently helped the Protestants take over the world.

Yes besause... (0)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17841836)

We haven't heard enough from "the sky is falling" crowd.

Re:Yes besause... (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842060)

We haven't heard enough from "the sky is falling" crowd.

Yeah, that stupid "'sky is falling' crowd." Such idiots! Also the "'pi is irrational' crowd," the "'Earth goes around the Sun' crowd," the "'infectious disease is caused by microbes' crowd," the "'current species evolved from previous species' crowd" ... why won't these loudmouths just shut up already?

Re:Yes besause... (-1, Flamebait)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842120)

Amusing that you would equate the science they are using to try to justify "doom to all" with the precise measurement at the micro levels that wen int discovering microbes, evolution and algebra. Give me the Aristotle, Pasteur or Darwin of Climatology who can present irrefutable proof or his/her theory and I will listen. Quit handing me lame half-baked theory.

Re:Yes besause... (4, Insightful)

CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842234)

Give me the Aristotle, Pasteur or Darwin of Climatology who can present irrefutable proof

Pssst!.... don't tell anyone but none of them ever had irrefutable proof. They simply made observations, thoerized on the cause, found problems with the thoeries, refined those thoeries, etc, etc, etc.

I don't think science is what you seem to think it is.

Don't Forget These Other Crowds! (2, Insightful)

Lensar (1011229) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842496)


Let's not forget the "'Global Cooling' crowd" and the "'Population Explosion Causing the End of Civilization by 2000' crowd." We narrowly dodged those bullets!

Re:Galileo must be pleased (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17842000)

A genuinely free-market Republican administration would surely want the truth about climate change to be readily available so that the markets could respond appropriately and make capital and resources available for the inevitable re-shaping of society
The trouble is, they have a pretty good idea where they stand once society is so re-shaped, and they'd really rather not think about it at all.

Re:Galileo must be pleased (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842188)

It's not that the earth revolves around the sun; it's that the simplest (least informationally complex) model yielding accurate future predictions of the locations of celestial bodies as viewed from the earth, involves describing all planetary motions relative to the sun rather than the earth.

Bush = Nazi (0, Flamebait)

TheDoctorWho (858166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17841828)

Bush is a fucking Nazi, as well as the rest of the Repug party. What a sickening bunch of pricks who should all be shot for treason.

Hmm... (0)

badenglishihave (944178) | more than 7 years ago | (#17841832)

Since when has it been the government's (or in particular our President's) responsibility to tell us about environmental problems? Certainly if this so-called global warming problem begins to threaten the US in a direct manner, something should be done. But up until this point I have seen no such information come to light. We all know the dangers of global warming, and we have all been pretty well informed by researchers outside the realm of politics.

Global warming certainly may be real, and we may be causing it. But I don't believe that the president should be taking a "stance" on global warming. And that includes federal scientists; I think the bigger problem is not that they aren't being allowed to say anything, but that we have federal scientists working on global warming in the first place! Since when has global warming been a major security issue to our nation? The government should not be there to do the major research. That responsibility is reserved for the world of academia.

If and when global warming becomes a US threat, then by all means let them speak their mind about how we are to "protect" ourselves. Until then they should leave it to the American people to decide how to curb global warming on their own.

Re:Hmm... (3, Insightful)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17841898)

Global warming certainly may be real, and we may be causing it. But I don't believe that the president should be taking a "stance" on global warming.

I'd argue that the president and his minions are very well taking a stance.

By intentionally shutting up scientists and censoring them.

Re:Hmm... (1, Insightful)

badenglishihave (944178) | more than 7 years ago | (#17841998)

Is the government shutting up private researchers? No. It's as simple as letting the American people do what is necessary, and the government staying out of it until it becomes a national concern that cannot be dealt with.

I would imagine that you can be clumped into the group of people that think enacting environmental protection laws will curb global warming? I'm not sure when our nation's ego got so big that we think we can change the world with our laws.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842436)

First, this isn't the type of research private researchers generally do, therefore your first point is a red herring.

Sig (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17842264)

Should be "...rather have a full bottle in front of me..."

Re:Hmm... (2)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 7 years ago | (#17841902)

If and when global warming becomes a US threat

If is yes and when is now.

Capisce?

Re:Hmm... (1)

majortom1981 (949402) | more than 7 years ago | (#17841908)

It does have AA direct impact on the government of the U.S>. Remember Washington DC (our nations capital0is on the east coast. If we let global warming continue to happen then there will be no more washington dc as it will be under water. Also stopping our dependancy on oil will also effect global warming also. There are many economic benifits on trying to stop global warming.

Re:Hmm... (1)

badenglishihave (944178) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842070)

Good points. However, I still do not believe that government scientists should be put doing the research on this. Consider this: with federal scientists, there is an opportunity for our government to get their policies implemented by manipulating scientific reports so that they can appear to be the "saviors of the world". It may seem a little far-fetched, but the concept of limited government is a tried and true way of thinking. Since when has Research been one of the branches of our government?

Certainly if global warming poses an economic threat that private research has shown, policies should be enacted. But this information should not come from within the government itself, it's too risky because it opens up the doors for politicians pushing their own agenda.

"Man-made Global Climate Change" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17841852)

The new Stalinsim for the 21st Century.

Re: "Man-made Global Climate Change" (2, Informative)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842364)

> The new Stalinsim for the 21st Century.

More like, GW-denial is the Lysenkoism [wikipedia.org] of the 21st Century.

Is this the U-turn? (3, Interesting)

Nuffsaid (855987) | more than 7 years ago | (#17841854)

This moment could be remebered as "The day the biggest CO2 producer nation in the world acknowledged a reality it ignored for years". Let's hope it's not too late to prevent irreversible runaway effects. For what it's worth, one day or another I'd like to hear some contrite words from people who stubbornly denied the need for any action about Global Warming up to now. A bit late, a bit useless, but should be an obligation for someone who may have contributed to bring the world beyond a point of no return.

Re:Is this the U-turn? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17842008)

What action would you like to take? Turn control of all industrial production over to the government? I have yet to hear a proposal that even sounds like it might work. Kyoto protocols are a complete waste of time. That is why the Senate voted 95- 0 to reject it, even though Bill Clinton never presented it to them for confirmation (BTW that included John Kerry, who is now saying the US is a pariah for not signing on to it...even though he voted to reject it). In addition, Kyoto exempts China and India, among others, from taking any action.

Re:Is this the U-turn? (2, Insightful)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842108)

I fail to see the logic in this "boohoo, China and India doesn't have to limit their exhaust as much as we do, so let's not join!".

I thought that the United States of America was superior to those lesser regimes, and was supposed to treat its inhabitants better? Whatever happened to that?

Re:Is this the U-turn? (2, Insightful)

t0rkm3 (666910) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842400)

Ummmm, right... That's a good plan. Economically present yourself to the international community for castration.
IF they want to propose rules, then present a flat playing field where no-one derives an economic, political, or strategic advantage, or it's not a tenable solution.

Re:Is this the U-turn? (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842506)

There's also something called "setting a good example". Why should China and India join if the US is not included?

Muzzled Scientist.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17841856)

Well, for one thing, if they want to be taken seriously, they need to stop biting!

Geeze!

Re:Muzzled Scientist.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17842198)

What they really need is for their owners to maintain an attitude of calm, assertive energy. This will promote the perception of the owner as a pack leader. Regular walkies would also be a good idea but only with the scientists behind the owner. It is also very important that rewards only be given when the scientist is in a calm and submissive state.

What fun it shall be... (3, Insightful)

Moggyboy (949119) | more than 7 years ago | (#17841878)

I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that no-one in government is gonna do anything about this until high tides start rolling in over coastal capital cities and hundreds of millions of people are displaced.

And BTW - regardless of whether or not global warming is fact or (incredibly unlikely) fiction, why the HELL do we need a reason to reduce carbon emissions, waste-per-person and tree felling? Surely doing any of these is a good thing for us all anyway. Cleaner air and forests for our children to explore should be reason enough.

SKY IS FALLING SKY IS FALLING (-1, Flamebait)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17841912)

I am simultaneously aware that pollution is bad and that mass transit is not well developed in many developed areas.

So cry all you want about saving the planet. But if I can't reliably get from home to work, in a city of 700k people ... I don't care about driving my own personal car.

If these scienticians want to save the planet promote ecologically sound solutions to known problems. Just bellyaching so you can get more grant money to study how fucked up the world is doesn't solve jack fucking squat.

Tom

Re: SKY IS FALLING SKY IS FALLING (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842128)

> If these scienticians want to save the planet promote ecologically sound solutions to known problems. Just bellyaching so you can get more grant money to study how fucked up the world is doesn't solve jack fucking squat.

Then it must have made you happy to read that the scientists are testifying to the policymakers.

Re: SKY IS FALLING SKY IS FALLING (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842196)

So transit will increase to the point I can get to work? Oh, wait no? Ok.

I don't need a Ph.D. in biology or chemistry to know that taking the bus with 50 other people is more energy efficient than driving my own car by myself the 10km to work.

Here's a tip: FIGURE OUT WHERE FOLK LIVE AND WORK and put routes there. Especially in Canada where we get -30C weather. I don't want to walk 15 minutes to a unsheltered bus stop on the side of a highway to catch a bus [that only comes by three times in the morning and three times at night]. Enough people work on this end of the town that having a bus go here from another major centre (e.g. shopping mall) makes sense.

oh well, c'est la vie.

Tom

Re:SKY IS FALLING SKY IS FALLING (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842258)

It's not their job to make sure the city will extend the infrastructure. They are only there to find out the facts. Too bad the fact is ignored by the people who are actually there to do something about it.

Re:SKY IS FALLING SKY IS FALLING (2, Interesting)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842382)

You have touched upon the main problem with getting anything done with this problem. Most people simply refuse to be inconvenienced to the point that is probably necessary to affect it. We all bitch and moan that the gov't isn't doing enough (and they aren't), but we continue to to drive alone to work in our large autos, turn our thermostats to 75 degrees in the winter instead of putting on a sweater, never walk, never ride a bicycle, etc.

Consider people like Al Gore (who admittedly has done a lot to get the word out), who owns a 10Kft^2 and a 4Kft^2 home while lecturing the rest of us. On the other hand, people who try to act consistently with their professed beliefs, like actor Ed Begley, Jr. are considered such freaks that they're making a TV show about his life.

This problem will not be solved by gov't intervention as much as by people changing their attitudes.

Good. Cold, hard numbers. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17841976)

In 2001, the panel said the world's average temperature would increase somewhere between 2.5 and 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit and the sea level would rise between 4 and 35 inches by the year 2100. The 2007 report will likely have a smaller range of numbers for both predictions, Pachauri and other scientists said.
So, in 10 years when the sea has not risen 3 1/2" and temperature has not gone up 1.4 deg F, I can finally have something to point to when I tell people why I don't listen to climate scientists.

I don't know what it is, but when you talk to other scientists about a topic, while they're excited about it, they don't predict doomsday even if it's possible. But when you talk to a climate scientist, it's the only thing on their mind. Either the basic teachings in the science are turning out nuts, or they're right. I guess the biggest issue is the fact that the climate scientist doomsday clock has been running for well over 30 years, but we're all still here and all we have to show for it are some hurricanes of a force that the world *has* seen before, and a few chunks of ice that have been perilously hanging over the sea for years finally dropping in. So I, like so many others, have stopped listening to the sirens from the Wahhhhhhmbulance and, instead, have decided to wait until something bad actually happens in my own backyard. Sucks, but, like so many others, my attention span isn't that long.

The moral of the story is the boy who cries wolf, even when he thinks he's right, but turns out mistaken gets ignored the same way as the boy who cries wolf because he's a jerk.

Re: Good. Cold, hard numbers. (3, Informative)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842480)

> I don't know what it is, but when you talk to other scientists about a topic, while they're excited about it, they don't predict doomsday even if it's possible. But when you talk to a climate scientist, it's the only thing on their mind.

Cosmologists predict a Big Rip. Solar scientists predict that the sun will swallow the earth. Some astronomers think we'll eventually get dinged by a killer asteroid. Epidemiologists are terrified by some of the strange disease that have been turning up over the past few decades.

The difference with global warming is that it's happening as we speak, not some distant or random threat.

Second Try: Three Points (0, Flamebait)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842006)

Got flame baited the first time, so here we go again: Three Points

Point 1: You do research on the federal doll, you do the work you were asked to do not choose your research to vent your personal opinions and unrelated suppositions.

Point 2: Scientists (especially climatologists) have been predicting that the sky will fall pretty regularly for the last half-century and most of their predictions have been incorrect. The Earth is a huge steady state equilibrium system with process that have kept is that way for a long time. Processes that scientists aren't even close to understanding in the short term much less over a millennium.

Point 3: (related to 2). Using the specific buzzwords/phrases that were censored is appropriate when they convey a meaning other than intended. Proving that human interference may directly cause changes to the environment does not mean that the Earth is going to dry up into a tsunami ridden dustbowl tomorrow. Using those specific "loaded" phrases will cause many non-scientists to think that way because of the way it has been portrayed in the press and by fringe scientists.

Re: Second Try: Three Points (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842142)

> Got flame baited the first time, so here we go again: Three Points

Point 4: (related to 1-3). You can always find excuses to deny the undeniable, if you want to bad enough.

Re:Second Try: Three Points (2, Interesting)

pubjames (468013) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842218)

Gov: So Mr Climate scientist, what have you come up with?

Climate scientist: Well, my experiments show that the climate is changing, partly due to rising CO2 levels caused by pollution caused by humans.

Gov: What! We pay you to research the climate, not come up with political propoganda!

Climate scientist: Its not political, it's what my studies show.

Gov: It can't be, it doesn't fit our political agenda. We give you money to come to the conclusions we want, not your personal and unrelated suppositions. Research something else!

Climate scientist: I'm a climate scientist... Climate change and the causes of it - that's what I research.

Gov: Well, stop it! Do some research that supports what we already believe!

Follow the research money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17842478)

Climatologists whose research indicates catastrophic changes are coming get more money than those who determine that "The future climate will be like it was in the past. Meh."

Which one's going to get funded for the next research project?

Re:Second Try: Three Points (2, Insightful)

Walker (96239) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842316)

Point 1: You do research on the federal doll, you do the work you were asked to do not choose your research to vent your personal opinions and unrelated suppositions.
Correct. That means you do the research topic you were asked to do, not come up with the research conclusions you were asked to. One is government funding priorities in science, the other is an abuse of the scientific process. If you are following these hearings, you would know that it is the latter that is in question here, not the former.

Point 2: Scientists (especially climatologists) have been predicting that the sky will fall pretty regularly for the last half-century and most of their predictions have been incorrect.
The mini ice age claims of the 1970s were sensationalized by the press, and not by the scientists themselves; the scientific claims were much more conservative. Do you have examples of such claims by scientists, and not the media, that support this assertion?

Point 3: (related to 2). Using the specific buzzwords/phrases that were censored is appropriate when they convey a meaning other than intended. Proving that human interference may directly cause changes to the environment does not mean that the Earth is going to dry up into a tsunami ridden dustbowl tomorrow
I have no idea what point you are arguing here. Scientists are trying to do two thing: model the future affects of global warming, and determine if it is the result of human influence. If the latter is not the case, then we cannot make policy at all; there is nothing we can do about the warming as we are not causing it. This is separate from the former study which is used to determine what types of policies need to be undertaken and how swift and drastic they must be. Your claim that evidence of one (human influence) does not affect the other (models of future affects) makes no sense.

Re:Second Try: Three Points (2, Insightful)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842466)

On point 1, well, actually, if you're working as a researcher, poking into random topics around your area of research is a fairly major part of your job. It's not like we're told "Research blah", then we enter a meditative state until we develop enlightenment on blah, we go out and look into blah, and topics related to blah, and sometimes that means we bump into other topics.

Re:Second Try: Three Points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17842488)

Point 1: And what if my conclusions show something important, but that isn't directly related to the initial purpose of the research ? Should I keep it hidden "because it wasn't my job" ? And what if the conclusions *are* related to what was initially asked, but are giving results displeasing the one who paid me ? Shouldn't intellectual honesty prevail over money in such a case ?

Point 2: Short-term and long-term weather predictions are very different fields. In a way, it is much harder to predict the conditions for the next week than for the next century, because at the smaller time scale, chaos plays a big role, while it doesn't on the long run. Most of their predictions have been incorrect ? They have basically warned that human activity would have a strong influence on climate; they pointed out that living conditions would drastically change if the weather changed. Where is the doubt about this ?

As for the long-term equilibrium, it was a long-term one precisely because most of the time, there weren't large-scale condition changes - this is not the case anymore, as the human influence on atmospheric composition is worldwide and very fast.

Maybe the climate will end up stabilizing on another equilibrium - but who would be ready to bet it would be a better one, not a worse one, than what we currently know ?

Point 3: What makes you think only "buzzwords" were censored ? Moreover, don't you think it is irresponsible to hide risks involved with the current trend just because it could frighten the population ?

All your points suggest that the censored scientists claimed untrue things and were motivated by some kind of personal, hidden agenda. You didn't seem to realize that politicians were usually more adept of behaving like that, or that the huge majority of scientists are basing their conclusions over years of serious work and gathered data more than on personal feelings.

Regardless of what you - the uninformed man of the streets, or the politicians - may think about climate changes, whatever conclusions you may have about that problem, it doesn't matter. What experts think is important - and most of them agree to recognize that the weather conditions are going to change for the worst.

Please explain Republican attitudes toward this (3, Interesting)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842058)

This isn't a judgement... more of a curiosity. I don't understand why "conservative Republicans" are so determined to deny that global warming is happening. It's fairly pervasive, or at least seems to to me. I can't tell if it's just people towing the party line and that line comes from the top, or if there's some aspect of religious doctrination that forces this attitude, or something else.

Case in point, I have relatives who are conservatives. I can't say all of them say this, but I'm surprised at the numbers who believe that global warming is a bunch of bull. I was listening to an NPR Technology podcast about this and a guy called in, identified himself as a conservative Republican, and proceded to state that he didn't believe global warming was happening.

I don't get why the skeptisism is drawn by party lines. What am I missing? Is it as simple as the top Republican leadership protecting oil interests and everyone else just follows along, or is there a deeper, more historical context that I'm unaware of?

-S

Re:Please explain Republican attitudes toward this (1, Troll)

HBI (604924) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842178)

1) Environmental organizations are the 'new' home of the ex-Communists. Green on the outside, Red through and through. These are our enemies.

2) The 'cure' is having the Commies listed above dictate to us how we are going to live. ie. more nanny state bullshit. Nearly all on this side will fight tooth and nail against that crap. Including denying things.

Re:Please explain Republican attitudes toward this (1, Flamebait)

jamesoutlaw (87295) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842182)

It has a lot to do with the fact that the Republican Party is heavily supported by "Big Oil" and other industries. Being forced to reduce carbon emissions will cost these industries a lot of money- which they do not want to spend. Consequently, they, and the politicians they support, will do anything they can to prevent that from happening.

Re:Please explain Republican attitudes toward this (-1, Flamebait)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842270)

> Is it as simple as the top Republican leadership protecting oil interests and everyone else just follows along

That, and the propaganda teat known as "talk radio". I'm shocked to discover what formerly intelligent people start believing when they get hooked on it.

Re:Please explain Republican attitudes toward this (2, Insightful)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842424)

It's a bit like the same reason someone spends $1000/foot for an audio cable and honestly believes it sounds superior. Self-delusion. Taking care of the environment would need the republican to perhaps get a smaller car (which means a smaller penis), or even share the car with another person, aka "bus". He would also have to pay more for his energy, and waste disposal. These are not very fun things to do if you value money a lot, thus, in order to protect themselves, the brain actually makes you believe what's best for you to be the right thing.

Re:Please explain Republican attitudes toward this (1)

mikem170 (698970) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842474)

Some of it may be a learned knee-jerk reaction to the liberal "crisis politics" of the recent past. In the 80s and 90s it seemed that a lot of problems were exaggerated for publicity, such as homelessness, starving children, AIDS, smoking, etc. Even global warming: In the 70s there were predicitions of a coming ice-age and in the 80s there were literal predicitions getting press that the world would end in our lifetimes. It seems there are those who stretch and distort the facts on both sides. All this makes it easy for a skeptic to remain a skeptic.

Re:Please explain Republican attitudes toward this (1)

Heddahenrik (902008) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842486)

>I don't get why the skeptisism is drawn by party lines.

There has been a previous Slashdot article about this some year ago. It seems that otherwise smart people when they feel like they are part of a group tend to think as the group in all sorts of ways.

It's like as if the brain just stops working and says "My group thinks this, so it's probably so.", and then spend all it's power on motivating why it is so.

Therefore a group can sometimes get stuck with an obviously stupid idea that only a mad man would stay with if it was only one individual.

Another conclusion is that if a group totally agree on something, then it's probably a really stupid idea.

Re:Please explain Republican attitudes toward this (4, Insightful)

chris88 (62904) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842510)

I think it's the Christian leaning most conservatives have.

They believe the earth and everything on it is here for them to use. Burning lots of fossil fuels is their god-given right. The fact that there might actually be repercussions to this might (just maybe) indicate that they cannot, infact, use all of earths resources however they please.

The joke is... (3, Interesting)

TransEurope (889206) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842084)

that it's primary irrelevenat that humans are responsible for
global warming or not. Even when not, the politicians have to do something.
The reactions may be different in the two cases, but something has to be done do be
prepared. But have you ever heard that a politician said "hey, it's not us,
but we have to cut down CO2-emissions, reduce the pollution and restructure
the coasts to prevent the biggest desasters in the future"?

Uh-Oh (4, Funny)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842090)

Dear Lara,

On second thought, Earth is a little....eh.
I'll keep looking.

Love,
Jor-El

What Happens if it is all SOLAR (1, Insightful)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842140)

Scientists on Earth have noted the following:

1. Earth's polar cap ice is getting thinner, thus leading credence to "global warming", and is probably TRUE.

2. Mar's polar ice cap is getting thinner over the last half century, thus leading credence to...um...global warming.

3. Since there are humans on Earth, but no plants or people on Mars, there is a strong suspicion that increased Solar activity is the culprit.

Amazing things are found by scientists, as long as they get their noses out of their offices.

It's a legitimate question... (4, Insightful)

raygundan (16760) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842498)

...but it's one that is widely addressed. Solar intensity is certainly variable. It's also easily measurable. So here's the question: given how much more energy we're getting from the sun, are we as warm as we expect to be? The answer is currently no. We're warmer than we can account for by solar intensity alone.

Responsible scientists are not simply talking about warming. They're talking about climate change that is both more complex than simply "it's warmer" and they're talking very specifically about change that they can't account for when they take everything else they know about into account. Natural greenhouse emissions (methane, CO2), solar intensity, how long you leave your XBox 360 on, etc... if it's warmer than we expect from all of those things, then we've got issues.

Re:What Happens if it is all SOLAR (5, Insightful)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842500)

That's been debunked pretty thoroughly, see e.g. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=192 [realclimate.org] .

Firstly of course, we have several satellites monitoring the Sun constantly, and its activity has been declining in recent years, as it goes towards the minimum of its well-known 11-year cycle (the article is from 2005, I guess it's probably reached by now).

As for the Mars ice cap, see the article; it gives many reasons why it is wrong to consider this 3-year regional change to be an indication of global warming on Mars. It's not special. The article concludes:

Thus inferring global warming from a 3 Martian year regional trend is unwarranted. The observed regional changes in south polar ice cover are almost certainly due to a regional climate transition, not a global phenomenon, and are demonstrably unrelated to external forcing. There is a slight irony in people rushing to claim that the glacier changes on Mars are a sure sign of global warming, while not being swayed by the much more persuasive analogous phenomena here on Earth...

What the fuck is wrong with this administration? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17842162)

According to Representative Jim Cooper, the Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, http://thinkprogress.org/2007/01/30/negroponte-glo bal-warming/ [thinkprogress.org] was banned from mentioning the words "global" and warming" together in the same sentence. So in a recent speech he gave when he was given an environmental award, he played a game to try and get the words as close together in his sentences without actually saying them in the same sentence. Funny on one level, but how sad. We're approaching environmental crush depth and the administration is still pulling this pathetic little game about "climate change not global warming".

Frankly, I'm starting to agree with those who are talking about an environmental Nuremberg.

Oh boy.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17842214)

" the hearing began by Committee members, including most Republicans, stating that global warming was happening and greenhouse gas emissions from human activity were largely to blame"

  Wow... I feel so much better knowing that a bunch of politicians think we're all gonna fry because of eeeeevil SUVs.

Katrina (1)

glas_gow (961896) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842242)

The really worrying thing is reading something like this:

According to the report, in 2005, the White House stepped in to block an interview MSNBC sought with NOAA scientist Thomas Knutson, who a year earlier had published a modeling study on the potential link between hurricanes and global warming.
and not being the least bit suprised or outraged anymore.

Is there nothing the current administration won't do?

Re: Katrina (0, Troll)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842410)

> Is there nothing the current administration won't do?

Raise the minimum wage? Admit Iraq was a fuck-up? Put the public interest ahead of its sponsors' interests? Recognize the reality of global warming?

A 90% chance (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842246)

"A 90% chance humans are responsible for climate change"? Do they mean a 90% confidence? Or are they all Bayesians? Or am I too pedantic for my own good?

Muzzled Scientists (1)

JerryLs (587277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842252)

It is interesting that 120 scientists, greatly concerned about these issues would roll over and play dead. Is there not one person willing to let go of position, money or carrear for what he believes in?

Oh, that's different. (3, Informative)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842338)

I know there are some scifi nuts of a certain age around here.. anyone else watch "V" [wikipedia.org] back in the 1980s?

Interesting show. There are these aliens who land and ingratiate themselves with humanity. They seem friendly, wise, and charismatic, but they're really planning to take over the world. In the course of this they spread lots of FUD about scientists (who are of course the ones most likely to discover the truth about them) to the point where scientists the world over are discredited, and ultimately persecuted by humanity just for being scientists.

Science fiction, eh? Where do they come up with this ker-ray-zee stuff?

My future's so bleak... (1)

recursiv (324497) | more than 7 years ago | (#17842342)

... I gotta wear shades. (rose tinted glasses)
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