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Cool Blue





Joined: 21 Sep 2006
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Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:26 pm    Post subject: Global warming's Middle Ground Reply with quote

January 12, 2007
NATIONAL POST

Global warming's Middle Ground
Colby Cosh in Edmonton, National Post

On New Year's Day, The New York Times delivered a surprising message from Earth scientists about global warming: Don't panic. The story by Andrew Revkin describes the increasing prominence of a "third stance" on climate change, held by qualified observers who believe that the world really is heating up but who have grown tired of exaggerated claims of imminent catastrophe made for political purposes. These scientists agree, Mr. Revkin writes, "that accumulating carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping smokestack and tailpipe gases probably pose a momentous environmental challenge, but say the appropriate response is more akin to buying fire insurance and installing sprinklers and new wiring in an old, irreplaceable house (the home planet) than to fighting a fire already raging." One political scientist has given this group a new name: the "nonskeptical heretics."

It turns out that many senior climate experts belong to the heretic party in one respect or another, and Mr. Revkin produces quotes that might surprise those who haven't noticed how often the catastrophist position is advanced by those who have no scientific standing at all. MIT's Carl Wunsch tells him, "Denying the risk [from warming] seems utterly stupid. Claiming we can calculate the probabilities with any degree of skill seems equally stupid." Mike Hulme of Britain's Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research complains that he has faced intimidation from the catastrophist side because his carefully modulated utterances on the subject have failed to slake their "thirst for environmental drama." Just one big question goes unanswered: Where exactly have these heretics been for the last 20 years?

The answer, of course, is that they were always there, and it's only now that the Times has gotten around to them. One gets the sense that they are becoming more visible now because Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth has fatally overplayed the environmentalist hand. The scientists in question seem to feel that the movie's lurid portrait of a ravaged near-future has made their work more inconvenient --and not because it is full of truth.

Unfortunately, politicians like Mr. Gore don't adapt well to the complexity that scientists live with as a matter of course. A Thursday morning headline

describes Jack Layton, for example, as drawing "a line in the sand" on climate change. As I write this, the outdoor temperature around my house is -30 C, and it would take more ingenuity than Mr. Layton possesses to find any exposed sand. But what I really wonder is why he insists on reducing climate change to a matter for chest-thumping and threats. He should try to understand that there are many possible reasons for "heresy," and admit that his view encompasses more than just a judgment in a scientific controversy.

Consider how many non-catastrophist views are available to a person who is completely, utterly convinced that the Earth is warming. He could conclude, for starters, that it is a good thing on balance; perhaps it's no coincidence that the Medieval Warm Period coincided with the intellectual and economic fertility of the High Middle Ages. He could believe that it is bad for the world as a whole, but good for his own country, adopting a posture of personal or national selfishness. He could look at the climate extremes in the European historical record, still clearly wider than those experienced by any living person, and deduce that mankind will adapt without large-scale organized effort. He could foresee significant pan-global costs from warming, but believe that the available solutions are even more expensive, or that other threats are more urgent.

He could be an optimist who prefers to delay policy action and bet on the arrival of a simple, cheap technological solution to warming. He could decide, like some economists, that the costs of warming should be borne mostly by future generations, who are likely to be wealthier than us. He could even think that the damage we have already done is irreversible, or that future damage is practically unpreventable, and that nothing remains for us but to go on enjoying the final decades before the global kablooie.

None of these positions, not one, involves any "skepticism" about climate change or its causes. Most are reasonable enough to have already been espoused publicly by distinguished figures. They all share the same climatological premise, but schemes for planned economic contraction like the Kyoto Protocol are scarcely consistent with any of them. This ought to be a strong hint that climate catastrophism isn't a pure scientific point of view, but a crude world-picture, one that divides our species neatly into the damned and the elect, and bifurcates the future into heaven and hell. In short, a dogma. It is no coincidence that the dissenters are being called "heretics."
Cool Blue





Joined: 21 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd consider myself one of these "heretics".

I believe the Earth is warming but I don't know how much of it is man made and I don't buy into the idea that if Canada doesn't meet its Kyoto targets that the world will end.

Fact 1: The Earth has warmed by 6 degrees over the last 100 years.

Fact 2: Canada gives out only 2% of global greenhouse emissions

Therefore, our 2% is responsible for .12 degrees of an increase in temp.

Will .12 degrees make much of a difference globally?

Is a reduction of .12 in temperature worth massive cuts that will harm our economy?

Is .12 worth the tens of billions of dollars that we'll have to send to other countries to buy credits from?

Couldn' t those tens of billions of dollars be put to better use here at home on non-kyoto environmental programs like cleaning up our water and air?
Bleatmop





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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool Blue wrote:


Fact 1: The Earth has warmed by 6 degrees over the last 100 years.


I hate to be antagonistic, but how is that a fact? Was anyone actually accurately measuring the temperature I all area's of the world for the entire past 100 years? If so who, and do they have credibility? What was the standard for measurement being used in all areas? Was there any standard or were different thermometers being used in each region? Made by different companies? What scrutiny was done to show that said thermometers were all accurate and reliable?

All those questions are only applicable if there has been some concerted effort to accurately gage the world's temperature for the past 100 years. Honestly, a difference in 1 or 2 degrees makes a massive difference, especially when there are claims like its a fact that the world's temperature has increased by 6 degree's over the past 100 years.
biggie





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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See, now I'm of the opinion that the biggest impact on global warming from the human side is just the massive population growth that has occured over the past century..

I don't think reducing our output is going to do much at all - the only real solution is inovation resulting in NO poluting emissions.

That takes time, and it takes demand from the public- government run initiatives will never end it, when people decide to invest in clean technology we'll start to see real change. With the side effect of not costing us our economy 8)
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point, biggie... How about instead of doing the Kyoto thing (sending billions of $$ to under-developed/over-populated countries) we wipe out a billion or so of that excess population? Just a thought... :twisted:

-Mac


Last edited by Mac on Sun Jan 14, 2007 1:48 am; edited 1 time in total
biggie





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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac wrote:
Good point, biggie... How about instead of doing the Kyoto thing (sending billions of $$ to under-developed/over-populated counries) we wipe out a billion or so of that excess population? Just a thought... :twisted:

-Mac


I can practically hear cherniak drooling over this comment 8)
Mac





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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

biggie rection wrote:
I can practically hear cherniak drooling over this comment 8)

Just my luck... I misspelled a word and cherniak will tell it to the world.

Here's a thought... what will those under-developed countries do with the billions of dollars if Canada should be stupid enough to buy carbon credits? Does anyone truly believe under-developed countries are going to use that money to create environmentally sustainable industries to enrichen their population? HA! Not freaking likely!!

The governments will buy guns and start killing their neighbours... or they'll start building palaces for themselves and their starving people will still be starving.

-Mac
Bleatmop





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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac wrote:
biggie rection wrote:
I can practically hear cherniak drooling over this comment 8)

Just my luck... I misspelled a word and cherniak will tell it to the world.

Here's a thought... what will those under-developed countries do with the billions of dollars if Canada should be stupid enough to buy carbon credits? Does anyone truly believe under-developed countries are going to use that money to create environmentally sustainable industries to enrichen their population? HA! Not freaking likely!!

The governments will buy guns and start killing their neighbours... or they'll start building palaces for themselves and their starving people will still be starving.

-Mac


Come now, I think you're being too practical and sensible for those idealists out there. Don't you know they've never let reality stand in the way of their grand social policies? I mean, after all, where could they buy the guns from after they institute a world-wide gun registry :lol:
kwlafayette





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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems to me there is no middle ground. You either believe that 4 billion people will die by 2012 because of global warming, it is entirely a man made problem, and China has nothing to do with it, or you are a dangerous skeptic who must be silenced by any means necessary.
Azimech





Joined: 11 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kwlafayette wrote:
Seems to me there is no middle ground. You either believe that 4 billion people will die by 2012 because of global warming, it is entirely a man made problem, and China has nothing to do with it, or you are a dangerous skeptic who must be silenced by any means necessary.


The apocalypses foreseen by environmentalists have repeatedly failed to occur. Classic environmental texts like Population Bomb and Limits to Growth have proven wildly inaccurate in their forecasts.

Greens operate like Jehovah's Witnesses. No matter how many times the end of the world fails to arrive, they still stand on street corners handing out the literature.
Joahob





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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The eco-disaster doomsayers have been spilling out one lie after another. Mass species extinction (1960s), global cooling ('70s), ozone holes ('80s), global warming ('90s), and climate change (2000s) have all proven or will prove to be false in that the end of the world will not arrive in the way that environmentalists keep telling us. No matter how smart you are, you canít predict the future.
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Global warming's Middle Ground

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