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What should we do to mitigate climate change?


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In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2008 5:23:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 29, 2008 5:41:06 PM PDT
Yet again, wow r u dense, I even posted the entire page this time so u don't have the excuse that you can't cut and paste the link and see for yourself that on the very page I gave NASA talks about the error u r so hung up about - that is within the margin of error.
For the fifth time - the lower 48 is not the world! How many people have to tell u this. Try and understand this - there is this place called the United States, it is part of a thing called the earth - the earth is larger then the US, many other land masses and water masses make up the world then the US. U r not even talking about the entire US, a land mass 1/3 the size of the US is not included in the contigious US. NASA acknowledges this in the page I gave u. To repeat it yet again (is this the fourth or fifth time)

Data Flaw
Finally, we note that a minor data processing error found in the GISS temperature analysis in early 2007 does not affect the present analysis. The data processing flaw was failure to apply NOAA adjustments to United States Historical Climatology Network stations in 2000-2006, as the records for those years were taken from a different data base (Global Historical Climatology Network). This flaw affected only 1.6% of the Earth's surface (contiguous 48 states) and only the several years in the 21st century. As shown in Figure 4 and discussed elsewhere, the effect of this flaw was immeasurable globally (~0.003°C) and small even in its limited area. Contrary to reports in certain portions of the media, the data processing flaw did not alter the ordering of the warmest years on record. Obviously the global ranks were unaffected. In the contiguous 48 states the statistical tie among 1934, 1998 and 2005 as the warmest year(s) was unchanged. In the current analysis, in the flawed analysis, and in the published GISS analysis (Hansen et al. 2001), 1934 is the warmest year in the contiguous states (not globally) but by an amount (magnitude of the order of 0.01°C) that is an order of magnitude smaller than the uncertainty.

Figure 4, above. Global and U.S. temperature anomalies with and without the data processing flaw. (Figure also available as large GIF or PDF)

Notice the words - obviously the global temp was unaffected (after all we are talking about an area that is 1.6 percent of the world),
1934 is the warmest year in the US by less then the margin of error.
You will also notice that the blog (yes blog) you post is dated 8/7/07, the NASA site I posted is dated 1/28/08 - again since simple concepts like the difference between the world and the lower 48 appear beyond your comprehension I will inform u that the year 08 is closer in time to today then the year 07.
How many times do you have to do the same ridiculous thing?
I guess can't expect much from a person who thinks that dictionaries are written by Stalin.

How many people have to tell u (Mr Kaminski showed u also)the same exact thing - show it to u in actual print - give you the actual url before you stop such ridiculous nonsense?
On May 21 you provided the below link
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/
Yes that is the error NASA has acknowledged - now open that link - see up at the top there is a bit of blue writing - it says "2007 temperature summation " if u click on that link u find the page I keep showing you over and over and over. How about if we read the page you put up as a source
"Several minor updates to the analysis have been made since its last published description by Hansen et al. (2001). After a testing period they were incorporated at the time of the next routine update. The only change having a detectable influence on analyzed temperature was the 7 August 2007 change to correct a discontinuity in 2000 at many stations in the United States. This flaw affected temperatures in 2000 and later years by ~0.15°C averaged over the United States and ~0.003°C on global average. Contrary to reports in the media, this minor flaw did not alter the years of record temperature, as shown by comparison here of results with the data flaw ('old analysis') and with the correction ('new analysis'). "

Everyone is saying the same exact thing to u (including NASA, including the page I keep giving you date 08 over and over and over) VRWC but yet you keep saying the opposite - doesn't that even make you stop and think?

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2008 10:32:22 PM PDT
VRWC says:
It sure wasn't a "minor" flaw when 1998 was the hottest year by the same "insignificant" margin.

And no one was dismissing those numbers as "just the lower 48" either. It was Page 1 in the NY Times.

Of course, the corrections did not receive quite the same notice.

This was all part of the great global warming spin machine and a good part of the reason many of us now consider a sizable portion of the AGW believing scientific world to be full of crap.

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2008 6:04:12 AM PDT
Joseph,

Do you really believe all the nonsense you spout, or do you just want the rest of us to believe it?

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2008 6:10:04 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 30, 2008 6:21:52 AM PDT
VRWC
"This flaw affected temperatures in 2000 and later years by ~0.15°C averaged over the United States and ~0.003°C on global average. Contrary to reports in the media, this minor flaw did not alter the years of record temperature, as shown by comparison here of results with the data flaw ('old analysis') and with the correction ('new analysis'). "

Yes it had an effect of .0003 C globally from 2000 forward - way inside the margin of error. Way below the level of uncertainity according to the actual scientists.

It didn't even really affect the ranking in the lower 48 since 1934, 1998, and 2005 were all within the realm of uncertainity of each other, according to the actual scientists.

Wow because a minor data processing error is discovered (affecting only 2000 -2006 and only because of a failure to apply an adjustment from the data base) and then corrected you leap to thousands of scientists and thousands of scientific studies are all full of crap. I guess that explains the leap that the US is the entire world.
Come on - no one can be that paranoid.

I suggest staying off the blogs and find out what the actual facts say.

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2008 6:14:15 AM PDT
Ah Mr Wright
I spout - sorry it is NASA/GISS saying it - perhaps you have a scientific study that shows that they r wrong? How come I think I will be struck by the deafening silence?

Again the difference between you and me Mr Wright - you spout and don't support - I pull up what NASA/GISS (and also HADCRU which is also within the margin of error of NASA/GISS using different stations and sats), and show what they say, or what the actual studies say.

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2008 7:50:50 AM PDT
VRWC says:
Mr Van De Mark,

You are about to be struck by deafening silence, not because you are correct but because you refuse to get the obvious point.

The data errors of NASA were small, but the Public Relations use to which that incorrect data was put was massive.

The two most important PR events in the history of the global warming political movement were the "hockey stick" and the announcement that 1998 was the "hottest year ever" and the 1990's the hottest decade.

These are the twin foundations of the public case that advocates and the media used to foster AGW hysteria, and both have now been shown to be wrong.

So while the change in the science is miniscule, you are not being honest in acknowledging the importance of the change.

And yes I'm tired of repeating myself, so you can post your numbers one more time and then we'll be done.

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2008 7:52:22 AM PDT
VRWC wrote

"Even if I believed that Exxon intended to taint the scientific world, that is no different than what the environmental lobby has done. The mainstream press is completely in their pocket and I believe that a lot of the science that so impresses you is just as tainted as anything coming out of Exxon."

Sorry, VRWC, you are wrong here. The corporately controlled mainstream media publish just as many anti global warming articles as global warming articles. Peer reviewed scientific journals on the other hand have published 98% solidly pro-Global Climate Change. The environmental lobby can afford only a tiny fraction of numbers of the corporate lobbyists, and they are usually unpaid volunteers (unlike the corporates who are usually paid up parts of Corporations PR teams).

VRWC why are you so adamant that Global Warming and Climate Change is not occurring? It seems you have other motives! In the South West corner of Western Australia where I live, rainfall since 1975 has fallen by 20%, evaporation has increased, runoff is down 50% and our dams are no longer filling. All of our winter rains come from mid-latitude storms incubated off the edge of the winter sea ice, which is now 200 km further south. The storm tracks fall away to the south. This is real VRMC, and as a result the state government is having to build desalination plants to provide us with water!

Regards

John

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2008 9:49:05 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 30, 2008 10:01:31 AM PDT
John:

(And VRWC, I apologize for jumping in your stuff)

Neither I or any of my contrarian sources believe or say that global warming is not happening!!!

I expect that kind of thing from the idiot Van De Mark, but you strike me as fairly perceptive.

Your slant on the affect of political activism, media bias and funding mechanisms on research outcomes is truly bizarre.

Pat Michaels can help you on that. His book "Meltdown" deals in a masterful way with how federal funding poisons the research well.

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2008 10:09:03 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 30, 2008 10:20:32 AM PDT
Mr Wright
Perhaps u have some credible sources (not a man who committed fraud in front of Congress) in regards to federal funding - it appears that the current admininistration has done everything it could to cut funding to climate research - see news sources previously cited repeatidly.
Perhaps u care to explain how Mr Croft's "slant on the affect of political activism, media bias and funding mechanisms on research outcomes is truly bizarre"
It appears that factually the federal funding (at least in the US) is pro-flat earth (amazing how the deniers never can come out with an actual scientific study).
Media bias - hmm since there are only about thirty deniers and thousands of scientists on the other side, the deniers get an awful lot of media coverage - it should be about a month 24/7 of the actual science and about 30 seconds of deniers. Perhaps you would care to prove your allegation of media bias.
Political acitivsm - oh u mean the current admininistration using politics to stifle the science - sources already provided.

It is amazing to me the blinders these people have on, they toss out spew - people bother to go and show them the spew is factually incorrect, and yet they keep spewing the same nonsense.

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2008 10:59:04 AM PDT
VRWC
Actually the fact that 1998 was a hot year is irrelevant, since - as NASA points out - the excessive heat that year was due to El Nino - perhaps reading what NASA actually says is in order?
What public relations use - as u keep ignoring - the fact the US may be warm or cold is completly irrelevant - it is called Global warming (remember the little geography lesson) and the facts are that the earth is warming.
The twin foundations? Oh come on - the IPCC ( a decade of work) and every major academy of science, thousands of studies, the overwhelming majority are what the science of Global warming is built on - give me a break. U r the one being dishonest here - an error within the realm of uncertainity is important - that idea is inane.

The hockey stick wrong - well not according to the National Academy of Science and the National Research Council but hey it is irrelvant also.
What u r not grasping is the thousands of scientific studies, thousands of scientists, facts galore, and the utter lack of anything on the other side, ignore them - ok - but then admit what u r - antiscience - the Dark Ages.
It is amazing that u feel that 1998 and the hockey stick are the basis of over a decade and a half of actual research - that idea is kinda of funny actually.

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2008 11:10:30 AM PDT
VRWC says:
Mr. Croft,

I'm adamant because I believe that there is zero evidence that anthropogenic global warming is happening at all beyond natural variations, and yet a movement is afoot to restrict the use of fossil fuel to such an extent that it would destroy the world's economy, not only making us all poorer and sicker but in the long run doing more damage to the world's environment.

Your local anecdotal evidence sounds like something you should worry about, but is it global and outside the scope of natural variability? I don't think so. San Diego is going to have to turn to desalinization in the next few decades as well, but it has to do with the way we manage our water and the fact that we live at the edge of a desert, not global warming.

By the way, I was in Perth years ago and remember a local telling me, "We have the weather San Diego thinks it has." Beautiful place, if that's where you are.

Here is a link to a site that provides a pretty wide database of the skeptical research available, click on it if you have an open mind;

http://z4.invisionfree.com/Popular_Technology/index.php?s=ea571fcd85dc7b9071a44da19df871de&showtopic=2050

The notion that corporate control of media makes them shills for Exxon is ludicrous. In America ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, The NY Times, Washington Post are all openly on the pro AGW side of the debate. Time and Newsweek magazines have announced that they are so certain AGW is real that they are no longer bound by journalistic ethics to present the other side. From what I see of overseas media, especially the BBC, they are worse.

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2008 11:21:07 AM PDT
VRWC says:
Mr Van De Mark,

I agree that the fact that 1998 was a hot year is irrelevant, but that hasn't stopped your side from yapping about it constantly for the last 10 years. At least until it was proven to be false.

If the Hockey stick is still right, how come they pulled it from the last IPCC report? That's your Bible, isn't it?

Here's the story on that;

http://www.climateaudit.org/?cat=3

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2008 11:55:57 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 30, 2008 11:58:50 AM PDT
VRWC
Please provide some fact that says science has been yapping about 1998 for the last ten years?
In fact it is the denier camp that keeps using 1998 -there is that Australian sea shell guy who keeps saying we are in global cooling since 1998 was so warm. What is his name - oh yeah Bob Carter, another fav of deniers. In fact just put 1998 global warming into google and the number of denier cites all touting global cooling is immense.

Uh they didn't pull it from the last IPCC report - other more up to date science was used. In fact here it is in the summary
"Average Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the second half of the 20th century were very likely higher than during any other 50-year period in the last 500 years and likely the highest in at least the past 1300 years."
http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/docs/WG1AR4_SPM_Approved_05Feb.pdf
In the science section
"Mann et al. (1998) made a notable advance in the use of proxy data by ensuring that the dating of different records lined up. Thus, the
true spatial patterns of temperature variability and change couldbe derived, and estimates of NH average surface temperatures were obtained."
http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_Ch01.pdf

Bible - huh - did you just use the word Bible to describe science - perhaps another trip back to the dictionary for u is in order (oh wait I bet Stalin changed the defintion of Bible to not include scientific studies)
Please no blogs. Stay off the blogs haven't u figured out yet that the blogs u keep using r all lying to u.
(See evidence laid out above re the hockey stick - see evidence laid out re the US not being the world).

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2008 12:01:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 30, 2008 12:02:46 PM PDT
VRWC
"I'm adamant because I believe that there is zero evidence that anthropogenic global warming is happening at all beyond natural variations, and yet a movement is afoot to restrict the use of fossil fuel to such an extent that it would destroy the world's economy, not only making us all poorer and sicker but in the long run doing more damage to the world's environment. "

And u base that belief system on nothing more then just believing! That is a religion dude.
Of course if u would care to show a scientific study that forms the basis of your belief system I am sure all would be grateful.

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2008 3:24:26 PM PDT
VRWC says:
Bishop Van De Mark,

Are you seriously contending that proclaiming 1998 as the hottest year ever has not been exhibit #1 in the pro AGW case? That little factoid, now proven false, has been highlighted by every major media outlet on the planet, very few of which have bothered to retract it.

I gave you a link to a site with something like 500 to 1000 links to everything from peer reviewed papers and scientific journals to articles backing up every word I've said, but you refuse to read them so I'm going to stop wasting my time.

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2008 4:08:14 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 30, 2008 4:42:36 PM PDT
VRWC
Uh, yes - science would never proclaim one year as anything more then one year - to even have a possible trend based on one year is not science - I asked for proof - u failed to provide - assume your postion is nonsense.
As I have said 1998 is the mainstay of those deniers who say global cooling is happening. In fact here is one of Bob Carters numerous op eds
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/04/09/do0907.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/04/09/ixworld.html (notice the date - it would be before NASA discovered the minor data processing error - meaning that what u hear about 1998 is a denier myth, not some mainstay of decades long research.)

I am not surfing some blog that leads to some other blog that leads to - if u have a study provide it, not what someone who has a blog says a scientific study says. Please some blog, the sheer guilibility of some people.
If you can back up any word you have typed, any allegation, provide the direct link to the actual study, or a reputable news source discussing the study - not some blog.
Bishop? Hmmm - who belives just because they have faith and who is basing what is typed on science?
I do believe by this point it is fairly obvious that u have nothing to back up any words u have typed - in fact you were accussing me of posting faulty NASA data when in fact it was you who did not realize the US and the world are different. U have made a lot of accusations, I went out and found facts that contradict them, asked you for facts that may support what you allege - the silence became deafening, what can everyone presume?

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2008 8:22:46 PM PDT
VRWC says:
What everyone can presume is that if you don't understand the difference between the NY Times and "science," then you are a complete moron.

I don't have to prove that 1998 was an important piece of propaganda for AGW religious fanatics because it is common knowledge. And the distinction between global and US temps didn't come up until your case fell apart.

Can't help it if your heros at NASA botched the job.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2008 6:27:47 AM PDT
VRWC,

Have you noticed that Van De Mark is the biggest "denier" in the crowd?

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2008 10:44:34 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 31, 2008 11:11:55 AM PDT
VRWC
Please show where I said there wasn't a difference between the NYT and science - or are you putting forth false allegations again? I graciously allowed u the opportunity to not have to search for actual scientific sources (after repeatidly asking u for the scientific sources that support any of your positions) and rather allowed u the opportunity to provide reputable news sources reporting on studies to support any allegation. U have repeatidly failed, what can we presume from that?

Uh yes u do have to prove your allegation - it appears contrary to the actual facts as provided. This appears to be a common problem of yours - say something, have facts pointed out in contrary, and your response is to call people morons, or say it is a religion etc... That is not a form of argument, that is the retreat of the vanquished.

Another false allegation - for months now I have been telling u that there is a difference between the US and the world - even provided the actual links - u choose to ignore them. In fact I kept telling u to read the actual link provided and what NASA said, and it wasn't until I actually had to copy the entire page (do u have a cut and paste problem) that u appeared to acknowledge that what u were typing was complete nonsense. This would have been so much easier if you had actually read what the scientists said (as I have tried repeatidly to get u to do), or even read what your blog said since even your blog kept saying the US, not the world. In fact I have went backed and looked, by post, on March 31, on one of Mr Wright's interminable propaganda spew threads I said:
"VRWC
Oopsie those pesky facts getting in your way again. If you had bothered to open the link provided u would have discovered this at the bottom
"Finally, we note that a minor data processing error found in the GISS temperature analysis in early 2007 does not affect the present analysis. The data processing flaw was failure to apply NOAA adjustments to United States Historical Climatology Network stations in 2000-2006, as the records for those years were taken from a different data base (Global Historical Climatology Network). This flaw affected only 1.6% of the Earth's surface (contiguous 48 states) and only the several years in the 21st century. As shown in Figure 4 and discussed elsewhere, the effect of this flaw was immeasurable globally (~0.003°C) and small even in its limited area. Contrary to reports in certain portions of the media, the data processing flaw did not alter the ordering of the warmest years on record. Obviously the global ranks were unaffected. In the contiguous 48 states the statistical tie among 1934, 1998 and 2005 as the warmest year(s) was unchanged. In the current analysis, in the flawed analysis, and in the published GISS analysis (Hansen et al. 2001), 1934 is the warmest year in the contiguous states (not globally) but by an amount (magnitude of the order of 0.01°C) that is an order of magnitude smaller than the uncertainty."
http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2007/
You will notice 1934 is the warmest year for the lower 48 - not the world - oopsie pesky facts."

You will notice I pointed out to that 1934 was the warmest year in the lower 48 - not the world.

Heros? can't really say any scientists is a hero of mine - so sorry. I am just not arrogant enuf to believe that I know more then what the actual scientists say are happening - other people - u and Mr Wright for example - suffer from arrogance that I have yet to see any proof either of u have a right to have. I wonder if the arrogance is based on the ignorance a lot of Americans have about science (as Mr Croft pointed out).

Mr Wright
Please show how asking you to support your spew is denying? Or yet again spew from the King of spew.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2008 7:33:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 1, 2008 7:37:19 AM PDT
Joseph Van De Mark adopts positions, looks for internet sources to "support" them, rejects any opposing viewpoints out of hand, and attacks and insults anyone who holds them. Vintage Van De Mark, and about as interesting as ditch water.

And all in a semi-literate text messaging/chat room style.

Presto-another "discussion" thread dies aborning.

Sayonara, Joseph.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2008 11:01:47 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 1, 2008 3:43:58 PM PDT
Mr Wright
I am always willing to accept a supported opposing viewpoint - the operative word being supported - when people just spew nonsense - see every thread u have ever started, of which there are many, they should be called on that nonsense.

"So, the point being here is that Richard is simply keen to be a victim and call people who disagree with him, "fascists", but has no real interest in engaging. "
R. Ross

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2008 11:22:20 PM PDT
VRWC says:
Mr. Van De Mark,

The "evidence" that you don't understand the difference between the NY Times and science is in every post you make regarding this subject.

The difference between 1998 being the hottest year on record and 1934 is mathematically tiny. But the propaganda purpose to which that tiny mathematical difference was put in the mainstream press was massive. Every article on the subject of global warming over the last decade made use of the fact and none of these media outlets have retracted their statements now that the tiny difference has been changed in the opposite direction.

In a similar deception, the fact that 1998 was the hottest year only for the lower 48 United States was never, not even once, mentioned in the mainstream press. Once it became clear that 1934 was hotter in the US, all of a sudden every page B24 article announcing the change made mention of the fact that the global temps had barely changed as a result.

There is simply no consistency on your side regarding which facts are important and which are not. You simply emphasize whichever points look good for your case at any given point in time and discard them as the facts change, and this is why it is so hard to take your argument seriously.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2008 6:57:35 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 2, 2008 8:07:08 AM PDT
VRWC
"The "evidence" that you don't understand the difference between the NY Times and science is in every post you make regarding this subject. " - since u can provide no evidence, it would appear to be a false allegation. One has to merely look at this page - 5 urls provided linking to science - the IPCC and NASA/GISS - one url provided linking to the UK Telegraph - used to show that it is Bob Carter, denier who uses 1998.

U state that " Every article on the subject of global warming over the last decade made use of the fact and none of these media outlets have retracted their statements now that the tiny difference has been changed in the opposite direction." I asked for proof of this - not provided - presume false. I have provided an op ed by Bob Carter, denier, showing that it is he who uses 1998. I will provide a NYT article from 1998 specifically mentioning that El Nino is among the factors driving the warm temps that year. The reason the NYT is provided is because u state that it was media outlets that used 1998 as proof of global warming but yet even in 1998 the media outlets were acknowledging that it was El Nino that was driving that year.
"This time, the global average for January through May jumped half a degree from the same period a year earlier. In the last months of 1997 and the first months of 1998, the natural warming of the Pacific Ocean known as El Nino was responsible for much of the increase in temperature, scientists have said all along."
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9401E0D8173AF93BA35755C0A96E958260
Again the NYT is provided because your allegation is against media outlets - the NYT is a media outlet - and it appears to flie directly in the face of your unsupported allegation that 1998 was a pillar of the science of global warming, since it was acknowledged even in 1998 (as shown by the article from 1998) that El Nino was the primary driver in 1998.

"announcing the change made mention of the fact that the global temps had barely changed as a result." uh yeah since it is called global warming, the temp in the US alone would be irrelevant.

Perhaps u would care to prove this allegation "There is simply no consistency on your side regarding which facts are important and which are not. You simply emphasize whichever points look good for your case at any given point in time and discard them as the facts change" I am giving u the opportunity to prove this though I am sure you will provide no proof and just say it is "blantantly obvious" or some such unsupported allegation.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2008 9:33:41 AM PDT
VRWC says:
Environmentalism as Religion [Andrew Stuttaford, National Review Online]

There's nothing very new about the idea that environmentalism (in at least some of its forms) is evolving into a form of religion. After all, it's over ten years since Harvey Mansfield described it as 'school prayer for liberals'.

http://pajamasmedia.com/rogerkimball/2008/05/25/the-new-opiate-of-the-intellectuals/

Following that logic, a blind faith in the direst consequences of global warming fits nicely into the apocalyptic traditions of many religions. Ragnarok? The Last Judgment? An Inconvenient Truth? Take your pick.

It may, alas, be necessary to pay some lip service to this new religion, but lip service is all it should be. Dealing with the real problems that there are (or may be) will require something else, the adoption of an environmentalism of doubt, questioning, skeptical and incrementalist. Above all, there must be a willingness to shove back against the worst of the nonsense that's now being preached.

Here, via the Daily Telegraph is Nigel Lawson, Mrs. Thatcher's legendary finance minister, doing just that:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/04/06/ealawson106.xml

"One useful thing Lord Lawson does is to examine what the IPCC is actually saying in the small print of its latest report, as compared with the wilder exaggerations favoured by the Stern Review and Al Gore. "If you look at the IPCC's detailed predictions, on such issues as food and water shortages, sea-level rise and health, they paint nothing like the catastrophe we are made familiar with by the media. A maximum sea-level rise of 23in over 100 years hardly compares with the 20ft predicted by Mr Gore's film."Indeed, from the IPCC's predictions," he says, "we can calculate that the upshot of this great disaster facing the world might be that our great-grandchildren, instead of being slightly more than 4.8 times as well off as we are, would be only 4.7 times as well off.'...He goes on to contrast some of the crazier predictions on such matters as the melting of polar ice or the shifting of the Gulf Stream with the much less alarmist views of genuine experts in these fields - showing how the "threat from which the planet must be saved" has been almost laughably exaggerated.

So what then should we do about it? Lord Lawson discusses the familiar implausibility of reaching any worldwide agreement on massive cuts in CO2, when developing countries such as China and India cannot see why they should be denied the hope of emulating the living standards of the West.He similarly dismisses the futility of most of the techniques being proposed to "mitigate" those emissions, from "cap-and-trade" schemes to reliance on biofuels, which "even the most zealous environmentalists now realise do far more environmental damage than anything they might seek to cure".

As for "such feelgood measures as driving a hybrid car or not leaving our television sets on standby, in this context they are trivial to the point of irrelevance"."Our politicians," he says, "need to be honest with the people. If they believe that we need to cut back drastically on carbon dioxide emissions today, at considerable cost and disruption to our way of life, because there is a remote risk of major disaster some time in the distant future, they should make the case explicitly in those terms.
"Lord Lawson closes on a note that others of us have struck in trying to puzzle out the deeper reasons for this great climate panic. He recognises that in many ways the global warming ideology has filled the vacuum left by the collapse of Marxism: "Green is the new red."He sees parallels with the apocalyptic visions held out by certain religious movements in the past. He is alarmed by the fanatical intolerance shown by many believers in global warming to any heretic who dares question their certainties.

He ends by describing "the new religion of global warming" as "the Da Vinci Code of environmentalism. It is a great story and a best-seller. It contains a grain of truth and a mountain of nonsense."We have entered," he says, "a new age of unreason, which threatens to be as economically harmful as it is disquieting. It is from this, above all, that we really do need to save the planet."

And when it comes to mountains of nonsense, bishops, like Marxists, are rarely far from the peak. Here right on cue is the Rt. Rev. Gordon Mursell, the Anglican Bishop of Stafford, busy comparing those who refuse to "face the truth about climate change" with Josef Fritzl, the monstrous Austrian who has recently been so much in the news.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2008 9:38:40 AM PDT
VRWC says:
More than a decade ago, the philosopher Harvey Mansfield noted that "environmentlaism is school prayer for liberals." The scientist Freeman Dyson would not, I'd wager, agree with Harvey Mansfield about much, but he recognizes Mansfield's point about the nature of environmentalism: "There is a worldwide secular religion," Dyson wrote in a recent review about the "global warming" (my scare quotes),

which we may call environmentalism, holding that we are stewards of the earth, that despoiling the planet with waste products of our luxurious living is a sin, and that the path of righteousness is to live as frugally as possible. The ethics of environmentalism are being taught to children in kindergartens, schools, and colleges all over the world.

Environmentalism has replaced socialism as the leading secular religion. And the ethics of environmentalism are fundamentally sound. Scientists and economists can agree with Buddhist monks and Christian activists that ruthless destruction of natural habitats is evil and careful preservation of birds and butterflies is good. The worldwide community of environmentalists-most of whom are not scientists-holds the moral high ground, and is guiding human societies toward a hopeful future. Environmentalism, as a religion of hope and respect for nature, is here to stay. This is a religion that we can all share, whether or not we believe that global warming is harmful.

Unfortunately, some members of the environmental movement have also adopted as an article of faith the belief that global warming is the greatest threat to the ecology of our planet. That is one reason why the arguments about global warming have become bitter and passionate. Much of the public has come to believe that anyone who is skeptical about the dangers of global warming is an enemy of the environment. The skeptics now have the difficult task of convincing the public that the opposite is true. Many of the skeptics are passionate environmentalists. They are horrified to see the obsession with global warming distracting public attention from what they see as more serious and more immediate dangers to the planet, including problems of nuclear weaponry, environmental degradation, and social injustice. Whether they turn out to be right or wrong, their arguments on these issues deserve to be heard."

There is a lot to conjure with in those paragraphs from the conclusion of Dyson's review essay. My own view is that 1) Dyson is right that environmentalism really is a secular religion, more particularly a species of paganism but 2) that the "moral high ground" he identifies is an illusory elevation achieved by a gaseous mixture of self-righteousness and political correctness. Yes, waste is bad; yes, we are stewards not only of the earth, but also of civilization, and it is incumbent upon us to regard both with just solicitude. Attending to both may sometimes pull us in different directions: it is a sign of maturity to ignore neither. But something profoundly damaging occurs when habits of regard harden into ideological animus. We then move for intelligent regard for the environment-three cheers for that-to environmentalism. And as with most isms, this hankering after utopia is as eager to identify and segregate heretics as it is impervious to suasion by facts. Environmentalism is the new opiate of the intellectuals.

Roger Kimball, 5/25/08
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Discussion in:  Climate Change forum
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Initial post:  Mar 11, 2008
Latest post:  Jan 26, 2011

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