Bjorn Lomborg pushing global serfdom, again


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Initial post: Aug 17, 2007 3:33:17 PM PDT
Funny how Lomborg thinks we can solve malaria without tackling global warming, even though mosquito habitat is being expanded to the point that they're worried about a resurgence in England. Does he know that insects reproduce according to degree days; above a certain baseline, increases in temperature speed their rates of metabolism and reproduction. The tropics aren't crawling with a larger proliferation of year-round insects because there's something in the food, it's the heat. Temperate regions have fewer insects because not only is it cooler overall, our cold winters kill a lot of them off outright and slow their spread. Malaria will migrate northward and higher in altitude as the earth warms, and there isn't enough DDT anywhere to prevent that.

It's even more hilarious that he thinks we can secure the world's fresh water supplies without addressing climate disruption. The snow pack that provides much of the world's water is decreasing, droughts continue to advance desertification, and underground aquifers are being drained far faster than they can be replenished. And warmer air, yay chemistry, holds more water than cooler air. So our atmosphere will be more humid and we'll get less rain, even as the heat pulls moisture from the ground where we'll be needing to grow our food. Then when it does rain, the increased moisture capacity of the air will make for more flooding events. Good times, farmers always love it when it doesn't rain for long periods of time, then unpredictably floods.

Lomborg's not a scientist, and the person he turns to for a favorable book review on this complex, scientific topic is an author of medical fiction who's also fallen prey to delusions of environmental literacy. Lomborg wants everyone to calm down, but ....

- many animal and plant species are dying off or radically altering their behavior and habitat,
- farmers in developing nations are already falling prey to increased drought,
- sea levels are already endangering some island nations,
- the arctic permafrost is melting,
- scientists studying glaciers are alarmed to see them melting much faster than they'd previously thought they would,
- hurricanes have increased their intensity, and major insurers are backing away from offering coverage,
- the Pentagon's own threat assessment of likely global warming scenarios (which are conservative and almost optimistic according to recent data) indicates that climate disruption poses a serious security risk,
- and Americans can see in their own gardens that plants are thriving outdoors in regions where they couldn't before.

The world is changing, and fast. And it's doing so in a way that will permanently reduce our future ability to use our resources productively, as opposed to responding to ever larger disasters.

And he entirely misses the boat on economic productivity, because the new technologies and industries we need to create to have a carbon neutral society would generate a wave of new jobs. New manufacturing jobs, new construction and retrofitting jobs, new transportation jobs, new environmental restoration jobs, and all the economic activity that those positions would support. We're talking about good, middle class jobs that allow for a decent living on a high school or trade school education, exactly the kind that have been disappearing for years, that would have to be created in every city, town and region of the US in order to make the necessary changes.

Lomborg wants us to accept an ever-diminishing world, a slow crash in our standard of living and an always widening gap between the haves and the have-nots, a world where every city is a Third World city and there is no middle class. But transforming our industrialized economy into a sustainable economy, one that doesn't destroy the only habitat we have, could ensure prosperity and abundance for generations to come. The only downside to that sustainable world is that our industries would have to be transformed, and some would lose power, like the coal industry. Looking at how they treat their own mine employees, I don't like to think how little they care for the rest of us.

So what I want to know is whether Lomborg is a twit not to want a world where there could really be enough for everyone, or is he just another useful shill for the energy companies who've spent millions of dollars lying to the American public? This is the only country on earth where that sort of ridiculous public relations scam has been successfully tried, and also the only country on earth where the public has been lied to enough about the consequences of global warming to take someone like Lomborg seriously.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2007 7:38:11 AM PDT
K. Hosenfeld says:
Nicely put, Natasha.
I think that this book will be bought by folks looking for a reason to justify their inaction on such an important issue. It is easier (and for some, more desirable) to bury their heads in the sand and pretend that the most difficult problems (that insist we make changes and own up to our responsibility in creating this problem) would just go away. People need to be reminded that this problem will not go away. And, that we created it.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2007 12:49:26 PM PDT
Did you even read the book? If not, try cracking one open to the first few pages. This issue is about money and who is going to get it. If we take the $180 billion that we usually give to developing countries and throw it at carbon offsets the developing countries are going to lose. Simply put. On a more local front...

You appear to be in favor of just letting the Katrina victims remain homeless and hungry while we build a few million wind turbines to power our plasma TVs. Bush is quite adept at ignoring New Orleans without climate change policies to distract him. It's a good thing this climate change hysteria came along, otherwise we might have concentrated on getting him impeached...phew!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2007 3:39:40 AM PDT
Ms. Chart,

You make some interesting points, but...you lost my sympathy by the gratuitous name-calling.

Lomborg took global warming (and in his book, "The Skeptical Environmentalist" just about every other environmental issue) very seriously indeed. At no point does he maintain that it isn't real or that humans have not contributed to it.

Global warming is like a ship broken free from its moorings. One can attempt to resplice the anchor rope (the global warmists) or one can concentrate one's efforts on warning people to get out of the way if it heads towards the dock.

Perhaps not the best metaphor in the world, but it's hard to express how extremely difficult it is to take seriously the idea that malaria can only be mitigated by stopping global warming.

Lomborg I can take seriously. You, I can't.

Steve Erbach
Neenah, WI
http://TheTownCrank.blogspot.com

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2007 7:30:16 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 25, 2007 7:37:16 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2007 2:55:44 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 2, 2007 3:14:44 PM PDT
gilgamesh0 says:
Er, Ms. Chart, I'm not sufficiently informed to evaluate your points "in the middle", but I have to call foul on your first point, about malaria, and your last point, about economic productivity.

Can you provide any peer-reviewed sources on those assertions? The idea that warming leads to an increase in mosquito habitat and consequently malaria, has indeed been proposed by a couple contributors ("contributors" -- not entomologists) to the IPCC report, but has not to my knowledge been supported by peer-reviewed studies, and has been vigorously refuted by at least one prominent specialist in the field, Dr. Paul Reiter (see, e.g., http://commerce.senate.gov/pdf/reiter-042606.pdf; browsing around will explain more about how this totally unsupported claim ended up in the IPCC report). Indeed, as Dr. Reiter points out, malaria carrying mosquitos are quite comfortable in cold climates, and some of the worst epidemics have occurred in Siberia! This is unfortunately another one of those cases in which someone transmits bad information, which is then self-righteously repeated ("doesn't he know?").

As far as "missing the boat on economic productivity" -- the above argument is just about the oldest economic fallacy in the book, as T. Lawson observes above. If you in fact don't want to miss the boat, read about some fundamental economic concepts -- as Frederic Bastiat described well over a century ago, re "what is seen and what is unseen", when people simplistically look at at a broken storefront window, they naively think about the new work that will be created for the glazier, happily considering the "economic growth" brought about by the kid who heaved the brick through the window... while completely forgetting that the money the store owner will need to pay the glazier would have instead gone to someone else for some good or service that he will now not have... Whether such constraints are demanded by a global warming *crisis* is its own debate (and one which from what I can tell is not even close to being "over", Al Gore notwithstanding), but the idea that that they would even be economically neutral, let alone economically beneficial, is absolutely ludicrous.

(And to accuse this author of "pushing global serfdom" in your title, is totally offensive and unjustified.)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2007 6:21:53 PM PST
Observer says:
Natasha:
There is no evidence whatsoever that Hurricanes and Tropical Storms are increasing in intensity. The data shows that once you correct for changes in identificiation techniques that storm frequencies and the associated energy are well within historical bounds. The very rough 2005 season has been followed by two relatively benign seasons. I urge you to look carefully at the available data before diluting your arguments by embracing clearly and readily disprovable statements.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2008 1:14:33 PM PDT
Observer says:
Adam:
Your broken window analogy is well taken. My wife has a store. A broken window means less inventory and not new inventory software ergo less revenue, higher longterm costs and lower productivity. Only someone who has never met a payroll would blithely assume that "replacement" expenditures have the same economic multiplier as "investment" expenditures.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 14, 2008 12:44:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 14, 2008 12:56:57 PM PDT
Natasha,

Lomborg wants us to acknowledge that climate change is only one of many seemingly intractable issues which we need to address with finite resources, based on cost/benefit analyses. I'm not qualified to pass on the right or wrong of what he's saying, but he at least wants us to ask the right questions about public policy, and not base it on Al Gore's pseudo-science.

It's my understanding that historically some of the worst outbreaks of malaria have occured in places like northern Siberia.

(As I see now Adam Almog has already pointed out.)

I applaud the Bastiat quote. His parable about the broken window is all that's needed to put the lie to the efficacy of government spending, and he told us about it in the middle of the nineteenth century.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2008 6:03:40 PM PDT
Mr Wright
"and not base it on Al Gore's pseudo-science." - do u mean the science that the overwhelming majority of scientists accept?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2008 6:33:04 AM PDT
Observer says:
The science that Gore used in his book has significant limitations. It is Gore's failure to add caveats and to acknowledge the uncertainties around his projections that are problematic. What is interesting is the apparent lull in AGW and the emergence of new ocean-temperature data that seems to reuire a significant re-assessment of existing GCMs. There may well be significant AGW as Lomborg acknowledges, but to argue that the science is settled reflects a failure to understand the fragile basis upon which catastrophic AGW has been constructed. The multi-million Argo system float project is a perfect example of the need for more and better data.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2008 6:24:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 27, 2008 6:28:19 PM PDT
van de mark says:

"Mr Wright
"and not base it on Al Gore's pseudo-science." - do u mean the science that the overwhelming majority of scientists accept?

Unfortunately not. The UK government disseminated copies of The Incovenient Truth to every school in the nation and asked them show them to the students. One school governor sued claiming this was political speech, not educational. The courts allowed the showing of the films, but only if the students were educated on nine specific errors in claims made by Al Gore during the film. Curiously, the list of the nine errors is similar to the list provided by Natasha Chart above.

If you are interested in his errors, see the BBC report on the subject at:
http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/news_press_release,195044.shtml

One curiosity is Natasha's claims: "and Americans can see in their own gardens that plants are thriving outdoors in regions where they couldn't before."

Is this a problem?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2008 6:50:55 AM PDT
Mr Tay
Ah the denier lie about what the Judge said
The actual opinion
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2007/2288.html
" It is substantially founded upon scientific research and fact, albeit that the science is used, in the hands of a talented politician and communicator, to make a political statement and to support a political programme."

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2008 4:22:59 PM PDT
I appreciate the citation, as I found it difficult to find a source that listed the nine errors succinctly. I don't believe that your source & the one that I referenced are materially different. My point is that there is nine errors in the film, and they are not small errors. The court listened to all of the proposed errors, allowed the defense to present evidence to correct these errors, and found nine claims by Al Gore to be unfounded. All of his claims are not accepted by the majority of scientists.

Whenever I discuss global warming, I find these errors repeated many times as fact. For instance, Hurricane Katrina is almost always listed as an indication of problems associated with global warming. This is simply incorrect.

I do not appreciate the term "denier". The biggest problem with the global warming 'debate' is that there is no debate. Anyone who disagrees with the broad assumptions of global warming -- is labeled as a 'denier'. This has given the press and the IPCC license to exaggerate their claims without discussion.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2008 4:53:31 PM PDT
Absolutly true - most of the nine went beyond what the conservative (since it has to take in deniers positions) IPCC was willing to go, that does not mean they are not supported by studies, they are just areas where the overwhelming majority of scientists have yet to agree is happening.
That does not make Al Gore's movie psuedo science, it does not make the claims unfounded - in fact the Judge ruled it is substantially founded upon science and fact. The Judge also ruled that 9 go beyond the IPCC - that does not make them not supported by science. That just makes them further then the conservative IPCC is willing to go. I do agree that there is very little evidence (though some studies suggest) that hurricanes are connected to global warming.
There are two others lake Chad and Kiliminjaro - it is fairly clear that Chad is probably from overuse not global warming. The evidence on Kiliminjaro is sketchy but he could have used almost any other ice field and supported his point.
The Greenland assertion - the IPCC agrees that if Greenland melts the rise will be about 7 meters - the only issue is how quickly will Greenland meet - Gore expressed no opinion.
At that time there was no evidence that any islands had been evacuated - islands are schedulled for evacuation in 2009.
Some scientists believe the conveyor will shut down, most believe it will "merely" slow down.
Next the graphs - the judge merely says the graphs used do not support the assertion, though the assertion is true.
Polar bears - recent study by USGS says yep they will go extinct because of global warming
Judge' acknowledges that warming will hurt reefs but says it is hard to say whether other factors may not cause more harm - true

You are absolutly right there is no debate - "the overwhelming majority of scientists" agree that warming is happening and there is a greater then 90 percent chance that man is the primary cause. The debate is long over, the debate in science has been happening for a decade - that is why the IPCC was created - it is over.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2008 5:54:18 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 28, 2008 6:02:39 PM PDT
Wow! wrong on almost every count. You are correct in that the judge ruled it is substantially founded upon science and fact.

1) "The IPCC must take into account the "denier" positions"

-- are you kidding me?? The IPCC summary for policy makers takes into account the positions of the members of the board. There is no voting by scientists. There is simply no such thing as an "overwhelming consensus of scientists". There are individual scientists who publish individual studies. The board members decide which studies to cite. Where is the "consensus of scientists?" The only "denier" positions that they consider are the members of the board of the IPCC who draft the summary statement.

2) "The Judge also ruled that 9 go beyond the IPCC - that does not make them not supported by science."

-- The judge allowed the attorney to present studies that supported Al Gore's statements. When there were no reasonable studies that could be found, these were listed as errors. This makes them "not supported by science." This has nothing to do with the IPCC.

3) "The evidence on Kiliminjaro is sketchy but he could have used almost any other ice field and supported his point."

-- I'm not sure why he didn't. That's why it's pseudo-science. My understanding is that there have been very few of the hundreds of thousands of ice fields actually studied.

4) "the only issue is how quickly will Greenland melt - Gore expressed no opinion"

-- Gore stated "in the near future". I'm pretty sure that constitutes an opinion.

5) "Next the graphs - the judge merely says the graphs used do not support the assertion, though the assertion is true."

-- What is the assertion that is true? That CO2 increases caused global warming over the last 650,000 years? What caused the CO2 to increase? Isn't it more likely that the warming from natural causes caused the increase in atmospheric Co2?

6)"At that time there was no evidence that any islands had been evacuated - islands are schedulled for evacuation in 2009."

-- Could you cite this? I could not locate this fact. What Gore was discussing in the movie was several thousand islanders from Tuvalu who moved to New Zealand for economic reasons (i.e. better jobs) What islands are scheduled to be evacuated?

7) "Polar bears - recent study by USGS says yep they will go extinct because of global warming"

-- At the same time, polar bear populations are increasing. Either way -- Al Gore's claim had no basis in fact, whatsoever.

8) "Judge' acknowledges that warming will hurt reefs but says it is hard to say whether other factors may not cause more harm - true"

-- not quite -- the judge ruled "The actual scientific view, as recorded in the IPCC report, is that, if the temperature were to rise by 1-3 degrees Centigrade, there would be increased coral bleaching and widespread coral mortality, unless corals could adopt or acclimatise, but that separating the impacts of climate change-related stresses from other stresses, such as over-fishing and polluting, is difficult. " My point is that the statements made by Al Gore & the media exaggerate fact. This does not enhance the debate, but diminishes it.

9) "You are absolutly right there is no debate - "the overwhelming majority of scientists" agree that warming is happening and there is a greater then 90 percent chance that man is the primary cause. The debate is long over, the debate in science has been happening for a decade - that is why the IPCC was created - it is over."

-- There is no debate because active disagreement is squelched. There is no place for scientists to vote, so there is no such thing as an "overwhelming majority of scientists". In fact, who would vote? Physicists, chemists, nutritionists? These are scientists, but do they know anything more about global warming than you or I.

I agree that the earth is warming, and that man is a significant contributior. However, that is where the debate begins -- not where it stops. The actual harms & benefits need to be debated. Is the solution worse than the problem? This needs to be debated. Is there even a realistic solution? (ethanol -- are you kidding?, Kyoto -- that's ridiculous)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2008 6:22:31 PM PDT
Sorry but wrong - I know u believe the propoganda
1. "By excluding statements that provoked disagreement and adhering strictly to data published in peer-reviewed journals, the IPCC has generated a conservative document that may underestimate the changes that will result from a warming world, much as its 2001 report did."
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=conservative-climate&colID=5
see also
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/19981
""In a way, it is one of the strengths of the IPCC to be very conservative and cautious and not overstate any climate change risk," said Stefan Rahmstorf, a physics and oceanography professor at Potsdam University in Germany, in a Jan. 28 AP story."
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070129/ipcc_faq_070129/20070129?hub=SciTech
2. read the opinion the judge specifically says he is basing the errors on the IPCC (as we know is conservative) "All these 9 'errors' that I now address are not put in the context of the evidence of Professor Carter and the Claimant's case, but by reference to the IPCC report and the evidence of Dr Stott."
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2007/2288.html
3 - 5 irrelevant already addressed - why he put in Kilimanjaro - who knows the science of ice field retreat is settled.
4. "Isn't it more likely that the warming from natural causes caused the increase in atmospheric Co2?" ah no science does not support this - C02 causes warming has been recognized for over a century. While in the past some natural phenomena - the sun, Mihlankovitch cycle etc.. caused warming which released C02 which prolonged the warming, what we have done is skip step one - at least according to the overwhelming majority of scientists.
6 . The Cateret Islands.
http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/02/16/untold.stories/
http://www.foe.org.au/climate-justice/activities-and-projects/people-on-the-front-line-of-climate-change/people-on-the-frontline-of-climate-change-carteret-islanders-speaking-tour
7. there is no evidence polar bear populations are increasing - they did increase because of hunting regs - currently the evidence is that they r decreasing because of global warming
http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/special/polar_bears/
http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2006/1337/
8. Already addressed above
9. Since u agree that there is no debate about human caused global warming - do u have a point? If your point is that cost benefit analysis must be done - sure - step 1 is to call the deniers what they r deniers - flat earthers - and move onto to what to do.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2008 10:17:51 AM PDT
Mr. Van De Mark,

Interesting post.

I'm curious, though, about such an absolute assertion as
» science does not support this - C02 causes warming has been recognized for over a century. While in the past some natural phenomena - the sun, Mihlankovitch cycle etc.. caused warming which released C02 which prolonged the warming, what we have done is skip step one - at least according to the overwhelming majority of scientists. «

I'm sure you didn't mean that the sun no longer causes warming. I just did a double-take when I read your message. "...in the past...the sun...caused warming." I hope it still does!

As to your 9th point, Mr. Tay agreed that the slight warming we've experienced and will likely continue to experience has, in part, been human-caused. Any assertion that humans are the primary cause is simply an opinion. We don't know how much of the warming we've experienced in the past century is due to human activity. Some, yes. The majority? No one knows.

"step 1 is to call the deniers what they r deniers - flat earthers" ... While it may be comforting in some way to characterize your opponents with demeaning terms, that really won't help your cause. No one is denying that global warming is occuring. What we are denying is that there is an overarching reason to do anything about it.

Lomborg makes an excellent point, since you asked for one. I believe as he does that it would be far more cost-effective to help those likely to be most affected by global warming to mitigate the (unknown) effects as they arise. What I've seen of the proposals and the evidence tells me that the overall effects of warming will be positive.

There is no possible way on earth that I could be persuaded that the effects will be ALL negative. We've been fooled too many times in the past by dire predictions of disaster to take seriously yet another gloom and doom scenario raised by those clearly hungry for political power.

Steve Erbach
Neenah, WI

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2008 11:41:15 AM PDT
Mr Erbach
Of course the sun warms the earth, but according to the scientists if the sun was the only thing to take into account we would be cooling right now.
As to point 9 - I am not sure what you mean by an opinion, according to the overwhelming majority of scientists say there is a greater then 90 percent chance that the current warming is caused by man - I guess u could call that an opinion, an opinion based on scientific research, much like gravity is an opinion.
If you r not denying that global warming is happening and that there is a greater then 90 percent chance that it is caused by man then you r not a denier or a flat earther - but step 1 is still to call the flat earthers what they are, and then move onto the next step what to do - Much like u said to me, this absolute statement "No one is denying that global warming is occuring" is absolutly false - lots of people believe it t'ain't happening fueled by an entire denial industry in fact.
If we want to do a cost benefit anaylsis we have start with what could happen
First off I guess we could ignore the 150000 deaths a year currently because of global warming.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/03/04/tech/main604166.shtml
We could ignore what the Pentagon study says could happen
http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/international/press/reports/an-abrupt-climate-change-scena.pdf
Granted the Pentagon said this is not the most likely outcome of our actions but is a plausible outcome according to scientists.
We could ignore the harvard study on this issue
http://www.climatechangefutures.org/pdf/CCF_Report_Final_10.27.pdf
We could ignore the study done by a team of scientists on the impact of global warming.
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v438/n7066/abs/nature04188.html
We could ignore the studies that say there will be water shortages.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/11/17/MNG4EFPHK51.DTL
http://news.mongabay.com/2007/0214-nasa.html
We could ignore the impact on agriculture
http://www.cgdev.org/content/publications/detail/14090
We could ignore the change in weather patterns.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050922015634.htm
We could ignore the changes in animials and the impact on our food supply.
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/MediaAlerts/2004/2004110817850.htm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/mar/27/biodiversity.climatechange
We could ignore the rising seas studies
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/04/0420_040420_earthday_2.html
http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/mar2006/2006-03-13-03.asp

We could ignore that scientists are saying what could happen would be like a nuclear war
http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/09/12/3791/

All right what could happen - now cost of doing something
currently - according to a report (the Stern report) released by the British Government investing 1 percent of GDP now, will save 20 percent GDP in the future.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/30_10_06_exec_sum.pdf
Now this report has been criticised, notably by Lomborg himself. While there are issues with the report, the idea that really smart people are saying the greatest threat since nuclear war (Hawkings) seems worth almost any cost to mitigate against.
But as I said - step 1 is to call the deniers what they r - flat earthers, and only then when we all acknowledge it is real, and there is a greater then 90 percent chance it is caused by man can we even begin to talk about mitigation.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2008 1:00:38 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 29, 2008 1:01:10 PM PDT
Observer says:
Joseph:

I am not persuaded by your citations... They seem to lack the precision that warrants a wholesale panic reaction.

"Uncertainty remains in attributing the expansion or resurgence of diseases to climate change, owing to lack of long-term, high-quality data sets as well as the large influence of socio-economic factors and changes in immunity and drug resistance."
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v438/n7066/abs/nature04188.html

"Climate models suggest average temperatures in the West will be about 1 to 3 degrees warmer by 2050 than at present. Even though total precipitation isn't expected to change by much, because of the higher temperatures more of it will come as rain rather than snow. At the same time, the spring runoff will come about one month earlier in the year. "
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/11/17/MNG4EFPHK51.DTL

"The model showed that while incidence of drought may increase in some parts of the world, precipitation may increase in other regions including western Pacific, equatorial areas, and in parts of southeast Asia. "

"Precipitation is hard to predict because it is so highly variable, but these results increase our confidence that continued warming will be associated with large-scale changes in rainfall," said Shindell.
http://news.mongabay.com/2007/0214-nasa.html

"Previous research has shown that over the past thirty years air pressure trends have contributed about 1°C to warming over the UK in winter and up to 3°C in Siberia, as well as 60% of the rainfall increase seen in Scotland. Over Southern England, the air pressure trends have likely made the winters milder and windier. Dr Gillett's findings indicate that these changes are not well-captured by climate models."
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050922015634.htm

"Studies already suggest that the ranges of species are shifting towards the poles at around six kilometres a decade, but what will happen when the rate of change intensifies?" (I.e. in roughly 600 years Boston will be as warm as New York)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/mar/27/biodiversity.climatechange

"Glaciers and sea ice in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres are already melting at a rapid pace, placing animals like polar bears at risk. " (The other animals at risk being...?)
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/04/0420_040420_earthday_2.html

"While everyone had now started to recognize the threat posed by climate change, no one was taking effective leadership to tackle it and no one could tell precisely when and where it would hit hardest, it added." (i.e., the ultimate precautionary principle...)
http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/09/12/3791/

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2008 2:32:25 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 29, 2008 2:37:15 PM PDT
Oh the cherry picking principle
The first one - why don't u finish the paragraph
"Here we review the growing evidence that climate-health relationships pose increasing health risks under future projections of climate change and that the warming trend over recent decades has already contributed to increased morbidity and mortality in many regions of the world. Potentially vulnerable regions include the temperate latitudes, which are projected to warm disproportionately, the regions around the Pacific and Indian oceans that are currently subjected to large rainfall variability due to the El Niño/Southern Oscillation sub-Saharan Africa and sprawling cities where the urban heat island effect could intensify extreme climatic events." Meaning uncertainity remains but there is an increased health risk already known and people already dying.
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v438/n7066/abs/nature04188.html
" warmer world is virtually certain to be much thirstier, too, according to a new study by West Coast researchers of the impact of global warming on water supplies. Climate change experts led by Tim Barnett at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla (San Diego County) found that at least one-sixth of the world's population, including much of the industrial world and a quarter of global economic output, appeared vulnerable to water shortages brought about by climate change"
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/11/17/MNG4EFPHK51.DTL
"A new NASA study says that global warming could increase droughts in southwest United States, Mexico, parts of North Africa, the Middle East, and Australia -- areas already stressed by periodic water shortages."
' "These findings strongly suggest that greenhouse gases and long-term changes in solar activity both can have major influences on climate via similar processes," said Dr. Drew Shindell, lead author of the paper that appeared in the Dec. 27, 2006, issue of Geophysical Research Letters and a scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. "There is some evidence that rainfall patterns already may be changing. Much of the Mediterranean area, North Africa and the Middle East rapidly are becoming drier. If the trend continues as expected, the consequences may be severe in only a couple of decades. These changes could pose significant water resource challenges to large segments of the population." Droughts over significant parts of the world
http://news.mongabay.com/2007/0214-nasa.html
"The impact of global warming on European weather patterns has been underestimated, according to a new report published in Nature this week." The previous models have underpredicted what the changes will be in the weather patterns.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050922015634.htm
"The team reports in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that by 2100, between 12% and 39% of the land surface of the Earth will have a new climate, while the combination of climatic conditions on 10%-48% of the planet will have disappeared altogether. This is using one of the IPCC's business-as-usual global development scenarios. Using a different scenario that assumes more environmentally friendly development, the corresponding predictions are 4% to 20%."
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/mar/27/biodiversity.climatechange
"A recent Nature study suggested that Greenland's ice sheet will begin to melt if the temperature there rises by 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit). That is something many scientists think is likely to happen in another hundred years.

The complete melting of Greenland would raise sea levels by 7 meters (23 feet). But even a partial melting would cause a one-meter (three-foot) rise. Such a rise would have a devastating impact on low-lying island countries, such as the Indian Ocean's Maldives, which would be entirely submerged.

Densely populated areas like the Nile Delta and parts of Bangladesh would become uninhabitable, potentially driving hundreds of millions of people from their land.

A one-meter sea level rise would wreak particular havoc on the Gulf Coast and eastern seaboard of the United States. " (not sure what your snide comment about polar bears means - u r aware that there are a lot of animials in the arctic right)
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/04/0420_040420_earthday_2.html
"The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) security think-tank said global warming would hit crop yields and water availability everywhere, causing great human suffering and leading to regional strife."
"Overall, it said 65 countries were likely to lose over 15 percent of their agricultural output by 2100 at a time when the world's population was expected to head from six billion now to nine billion people."
(again not sure what your snide comment meant - because we don't know where the worse will be we should ignore - did u really mean to say that?)
Noticed u ignored the 150,000 dying currently - the Pentagon study - the Harvard study,. the Nasa Study etc...
http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/09/12/3791/

As for precision - do u understand the language of science - until it actually happens science can only say this may happen, or probably will happen, or should happen.
Hmm I wonder who was talking about panic - oh yeah strawman.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2008 4:17:35 PM PDT
Sorry, I don't have as much time to spend here as some. Anyway:

Mr. De Mark writes "Sorry but wrong - I know u believe the propaganda" This sounds a lot like the pot calling the kettle black. I guess if the source agrees with you it's fact & if it disagrees, then it is propaganda. You continue to use derogatory terms such as "deniers" or "flat-earthers" to denigrate those who disagree with you. There needs to be a term for those who accept the Gospel of Al without question. For future reference, I'll refer to you as "the faithful" - there must be something better, but I don't have it.

Unlike some, I have not fully made up my mind on this issue. However, I do follow it with a natural skepticism that derives from what I have observed. For instance, we have completed ~140 years of warming, yet the world prosperity is unparalleled. Disease is down, food production is up, and the world is thriving. The only period in history that compares to this is the onset of the medieval warm period.

In addition, the IPCC reports "facts" in their summary report that we know are wrong. For instance, they report that the medieval warm period is localized & a much smaller magnitude than the current warming trend. This has been proven wrong by countless studies, and it disagrees with what is commonly known. In addition the IPCC report claims that hurricanes will be made worse by global warming (disproved) and that Malaria is worsened by global warming. I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure that Malaria was a major health issue in the United States 150 years ago. This is why I am skeptical of anyone quoting the IPCC as unbiased.

I have noticed that you cannot read an article about global warming without two constant phrases:

a) "According to the IPCC ......."
b) If,...then (for example, if the Greenland ice sheet melts, then Ocean levels will rise by x)

Both of these are weak arguments & adds to my skepticism.

One more request for Mr. De Mark - If you are going to argue my points, please argue the point I made - not the point you wanted me to make.

1. "In a way, it is one of the strengths of the IPCC to be very conservative and cautious and not overstate any climate change risk," said Stefan Rahmstorf, a physics and oceanography professor at Potsdam University in Germany, in a Jan. 28 AP story. - He is one of the lead authors of the IPCC summary for policy makers. The other sources are equally as biased. In the group of lead writers there are those who believe the report is conservative & those who do not. Just because the report does not include worst case scenarios that are not substantiated does not make it conservative.

2. read the opinion the judge specifically says he is basing the errors on the IPCC (as we know is conservative) "All these 9 'errors' that I now address are not put in the context of the evidence of Professor Carter and the Claimant's case, but by reference to the IPCC report and the evidence of Dr Stott." - No, in many of the cases, the judge reported that "no such study could be found" indicating that Al Gore fabricated or exaggerated the data. If you are American & have a long memory, then this is not a surprise. He has done this before.

4. "Isn't it more likely that the warming from natural causes caused the increase in atmospheric Co2?" ah no science does not support this - C02 causes warming has been recognized for over a century. While in the past some natural phenomena - the sun, Mihlankovitch cycle etc.. caused warming which released C02 which prolonged the warming, what we have done is skip step one - at least according to the overwhelming majority of scientists.
-- it sounds like you are agreeing with me. Al Gore mislead the viewers of the film on this graph. I would also argue that extending the warm periods between global ice ages was probably a good thing. Perhaps not -- maybe 100 feet of ice over the US is a good thing.

6 . The Cateret Islands. You are correct - ten families from the Carteret Islands are scheduled for evacuation. I was unaware of that. However, the link to global warming & rising sea levels seems to be weak. For instance, this may be due to erosion caused by blasting of protective reefs (for fishing) - it could also be because this island is sinking from tectonic action. I've read that the ocean levels in the region are not rising, but that could be "propaganda".

7. there is no evidence polar bear populations are increasing - they did increase because of hunting regs - currently the evidence is that they r decreasing because of global warming
Did you read these studies or did you copy the citations from a source provided by another of "the faithful"? -- you overclaim (exaggerate?) the conclusions. These studies do not state that the populations are decreasing - they state that under certain conditions the populations of specific areas could drop in the future. They also state that under other conditions the populations could rise.

8. Already addressed above
- my point is that you left out the "if's" -- in the judges one sentence there were two "if's" - once again, the information is exaggerated.

9. Since u agree that there is no debate about human caused global warming - do u have a point? If your point is that cost benefit analysis must be done - sure - step 1 is to call the deniers what they r deniers - flat earthers - and move onto to what to do.

- Just because I agree, doesn't make the debate settled. I'm not that arrogant. My point is the warming that the debate is much more nuanced than you give it credit. There has never been a reasonable proposal to reduce CO2 emissions that I have heard. Most of the proposals I have seen amount to a shell game that enriches the wealthy (ex. trading carbon credits), wishful thinking (ex. ethanol or conservation), or far worse than the problem (ex. Stopping all transportation & electricity generation). And I am not convinced at all that global warming is even a problem. I am convinced that "the faithful" consider it a problem and that the rest of us are "deniers".

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2008 4:39:06 PM PDT
Mr. van de Mark writes:

"As to point 9 - I am not sure what you mean by an opinion, according to the overwhelming majority of scientists say there is a greater then 90 percent chance that the current warming is caused by man - I guess u could call that an opinion, an opinion based on scientific research, much like gravity is an opinion."

I think you overclaim what the IPCC states (let along what the majority of scientists state - again, I have never seen this vote). They state that there is a greater than 90 percent chance that "Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic (human) greenhouse gas concentrations." Most not all & only the last half century, not the entire current warming trend. This is a gross exaggeration on your part

If you r not denying that global warming is happening and that there is a greater then 90 percent chance that it is caused by man then you r not a denier or a flat earther - but step 1 is still to call the flat earthers what they are, and then move onto the next step what to do - Much like u said to me, this absolute statement "No one is denying that global warming is occuring" is absolutly false - lots of people believe it t'ain't happening fueled by an entire denial industry in fact.

- You are right some (even some scientists) argue that the majority of the current warming trend is not man-made. But I would argue that calling them derogatory names is childish. Step one is to measure the benefits vs. the cost. In the first downward temperature spike during the little ice age (1315-1317), two-thirds of the population died due to starvation and disease. It is difficult for me to imagine any problem of this magnitude during an equivalent warming period. Step 2 would try to develop alternatives that are not worse than the problem. Step 3 would be to begin implementing these solutions. Notice in none of these steps is name calling an option.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2008 5:00:48 PM PDT
I am trying to understand all of your arguments, but I really have to get busy.

On the question of world-wide water shortages. Of the citations that I read, it seems that (surprise, surprise) you overclaim what the cite points out. For instance, most of the water shortages are caused, at least in part, by overpopulation in areas with constrained water supplies. This means that any stress, such as a drought, will lead to shortages.

It doesn't take global warming to create this scenario. Many areas (such as the pacific southwest) are growing rapidly in population and have always been constrained by water supply.

The citations go on to point out that instead of winter snow runoff, there will be more water runoff from rain. The main conclusion is that these areas will need more water storage capacity.

I'm sorry there are a lot of citations & I can't read them all. I especially avoid sites that look like "commondreams.org", as they don't sound exactly precise.

I am especially critical of arguments that sound like "The complete melting of Greenland would raise sea levels by 7 meters (23 feet). But even a partial melting would cause a one-meter (three-foot) rise. Such a rise would have a devastating impact on low-lying island countries, such as the Indian Ocean's Maldives, which would be entirely submerged. "

By using only a one meter raise in ocean levels, this sounds conservative when compared to a 7 meter rise. But you know what, 7 meters is conservative when compared to 21 meters -- it doesn't make it any more accurate. I have continually found that reliable measures or prediction of sea-level rises is the most difficult piece of information to gather in this debate. There is plenty of exaggeration on both sides. From what I have read, the most likely increase for the next century is about the same as the last century. That being said, I have no confidence in this estimate -- but there sure are a lot of wildly varying predictions out there.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2008 8:39:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 29, 2008 8:41:41 PM PDT
Observer says:
George:
My reading of Joseph's citations is the same as yours. Most if not all are reworks of what the scientists say with the journalists providing the punch-lines and spin. If you have not already found it take a look at Matt Brigg's site - www.wmbriggs.com - he is immensely careful about what can and cannot be said based on statistical climate models. Joseph should take a look also.

Just for the record - that latest Agra flotation data indicates that there has been no warming of the oceans over the last four years
http://climatesci.org/2008/03/19/comments-on-the-npr-story-by-richard-harris-entitled-the-mystery-of-global-warmings-missing-heat/
More or less in line with this finding is the recognition that while Arctic sea ice has declined slightly, Antarctic sea ice has increased - not withstanding the loss of some sea ice around the Wilkins Peninsula.
http://climatesci.org/2008/03/27/reality-check-on-antarctic-sea-ice/

By the way, I do not deny the fact that man impacts climate - UHI is a perfect example of his influence - the question is always a matter of degree and net consequences.

Finally, it is always informative to ask proponents of catastrophic AGW such as Joseph whether they are in favour of nuclear power replacing fossil fuel power plants. If they are not, then I know I am debating individuals with a weak grasp of their own argument.
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Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming by Bjørn Lomborg (Hardcover - September 4, 2007)
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