The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
Kevin, do some more digging. There is more to this story than what you have presented here. Start here
Oh, yeah, Mark, that really helped.
I repeat: I'll believe we're in a crisis when the people telling us we're in a crisis start acting like we're in a crisis.
Like, that is so yesterdays news. Where've you been. And yep, Snopes is always the first place to go to double check.
First I'd seen it. I'm sure it received major coverage in the legacy media.
When this first came out there were liberals who were fit to be tied over how "hateful" it is to point this out.
ben, I was going to say the same thing but I didn't want to be mean :)
Kevin, I would suggest that you spend some time looking into the global warming thing. I have found that the serious researchers-real scientists-say global warming is just a theory...a theory that they are 90 percent certain is accurate. So they allow 10 percent for the fact that they could be wrong...and they could be but chances are they aren't.
Do your own research. Stay away from Al Gore and the debunkers of Al Gore, for that matter, and I think you might change your view.
Mark, I have looked enough into those reports and have come to the conclusion that we do not know enough about the systems that control weather to adequately pinpoint the warming to human activities.
We cannot accurately predict the path of a hurricane, a localized weather phenomenon, and yet somehow we have enough data to determine *climate* in a hundred years.
There is no doubt the Earth is warming. What is completely in doubt is man's ability to radically change the temperature of the entire planet. It's hubris, pure and simple, since termites produce a rather significant amount of methane (up to 15%!) which is a stronger greenhouse gas than CO2.
And even if it's true, so what? You're commenting on this blog. That means you're using electricity as well as the servers this blog sits on. I bet you run your AC to stay cool in the summer. I bet your drive from time to time (regardless of the efficiency of the vehicle, it uses gas). You enjoy foods that have been preserved by wrapping them in plastic. You probably even recycle, which is being proven to be worse on the environment in many aspects than recycling saves. The trucks require energy to pick the materials up, and massive amounts of energy go into separating, cleaning, and reprocessing.
When it truly is a "crisis", we'll know and we'll adapt. Right now, it's bullshit to the nth degree. Nobody is going to wake up next week under 25 feet of water. Next year isn't going to be 12° hotter than this year. The whole change will be gradual enough that we will figure out ways to deal with it.
Hell, Mars and Neptune are showing the same signs of increased temperature. It's beyond a doubt that the sun has a lot more to do with it than we do.
I'm not saying we don't contribute something, especially when considered at a local level. But we are specks of sand on this massive beach. We don't have enough data, nor enough understanding of how climate systems work to make sweeping statements about how we're all going to die and take the earth with us.
You and I are part of evolution. We haven't "magically" become unglued from how this planet evolves. This planet will survive without us or with us and there's nothing we can do about it.
Robb said it pretty well. I don't doubt that the world has been warming over the last few decades, but from all appearances Mr. Sun is the culprit. Further, Earth's climate has been much warmer than it is now (medieval warming period) and much cooler than it is now (little Ice Age) in recent geological history, and Man survived those.
I'm sorry, but the evidence that CO2 levels are the primary, secondary, or even a significant contributor to the rise in global temperatures is, to me, unconvincing.
This appears to be just another in a long list of "GLOBAL CRISES!" that are seized upon by people who believe that central planning of all aspects of our lives is not only something to be desired, it is something that must be achieved through any means possible!
I think the first major example of this trend was Marxism, in which a really huge number of people accepted the proposition that centralized planning of economies was the only way to do away with economic inequality - you know, "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs."
Well, that didn't work, so the adherents of Marxian philosophy were left in the proverbial dust. What did they glom on to? ENVIRONMENTALISM! Starting with Rachel Carlson's Silent Spring (a success), and proceeding on to Paul Erlich's The Population Bomb (an abject failure which taught them not to give specific dates for the coming catastrophe that justified forming a totalitarian government that would save the small remnant of humanity that would survive.)
Now we have GLOBAL WARMING!!! (I would pick one of those really ominous fonts, but HaloScan doesn't offer that option.)
Sorry, Mark, but - while I believe the climate really is changing - I don't buy into the idea that anything we can do will affect that change noticeably, either to cause it, or to avert it.
Mr. Sun runs the show.
There is no consensus or near-consensus. Fran Poretto links to this article that shows less than half of published scientists endorse the global warming theory.
I believe the climate is changing.
I believe carbon dioxide does speed warming.
I remain far less convinced that CO2 will produce positive feedback processes that will escalate warming in an out-of-control fashion that will produce global catastrophe. Right now the only confirmed natural runaway positive feedback process is nuclear fission; I've seen plenty of sound research on points one and two but goddamn little on this one, and it's by far the most important one.
And I'm pissed off that this scenario has become the American be-all and end-all of environmentalism. Most of the major conservation organizations in this country have become little more than subsidiaries of the Democratic party dedicated to non-solutions to this hypothesis.
LabRat, what bundles my undies is that I actually DO care about the environment, but all options for "caring" these days involves a fairy tale that I don't subscribe to.
Do I want to see less pollution? Absolutely. Do I want to see woodlands protected? Yes. Do I think we need to take care of the wetlands? Not only no, but FUCK NO. "Wetlands" are the exact same thing as "Swamp".
Of course, I believe that private ownership and the self-limiting resource management of capitalism provides better protection than government oversight, but that's just me.
Some people call it Global Warming. Others call it Climate Change. I like to call it....Weather.
Ah, but Robb, swamps are nature's kidneys!
Is that why they smell like urine??
I was bitching about development to a co-worker. (Just in case any of it matters, the co-worker was a TG, M-T-F rabidly anti-gun atheist Jew.)
Co-worker: "What? You're not an environmentalist! You HUNT!"
Me: "Who the hell do you think is more worried about keeping things "natural? Who were the first "preservationists? Who set aside the areas?"
Co-Worker: "Huh. But, you're a hunter!"
As LabRat notes:
I believe carbon dioxide does speed warming.
I think we can all agree that's a "proven fact". But as I'm sure LR knows, when you take that fact into the real world, you find that there's never a 1:1 correlation.
Which the "Environmentalists" (that we're deriding) can't understand. Willing to do anything to save the Earth! (other than take a Science Class, man. Or stop with the weed, bogus, dude!)
CO2 can increase temp, and hold onto solar energy, so like, it's bad, right?
Err, no. Not by itself. 3/4 of the earth is under water with an ecosystem we have the merest glimmer about. With plants! That like CO2! As do trees!
With any complex system (also seen in the body, you can't just change 1 parameter, because there are other things depending/backing almost any system up, and their corresponding changes change what you're trying to change.
"Increased" CO2 will likely have a similar effect - other things will hop in to take advantage of it. That's been what I think you can map out (as others have pointed out, we've already had much warmer and colder average temps, and handled it fine.)
(Ok, those who blame humans for "Global Warming", how do you explain the "GW" on Mars?")
(Bonus Question: Given that most "Environmentalists" tend to be leftish, given that leftists tend to berate Bush for his "failure" at "restoring New Orleans"... And they believe that sea levels are going to rise 5-20 feet, how can they possibly support not evacuating the entire town and make the port into a floating one?)
(oh, and the 2004 election did Snopes in for me as a "reliable resource".
It's now considered on a par with Wikipedia - might be true, might not, take it with a large grain of salt.)
Kevin: Actually, yes, it is. Swamps, marshes, and bogs are ecologically important in part because they're a huge part of the nitrogen cycle. The piss smell is ammonia and other readily bioavailable nitrogen compounds before the bacteria oxidize them.
Unix-Jedi: Yep, and one other thing you won't see too many greenies even KNOWING is that pretty much all the real scientists, even the ones convinced of catastrophic global warming, acknolwedge that CO2's warming effect will reduce and eventually vanish at high enough concentrations- and only a few degrees of warming. They rely on the posited positive feedback loops for the additional warming.
Also, I'll come back when I have time to discuss "environmentalists" who think that hunting is anti-environmentalist. I could scream about them for at least an hour given a good dose of caffeine.
How convenient you've got your own blog for that now! (Not that I'm chasing you out of here, I'm just congratulating you on joining the rest of us pod peop... Uh, cool people! Yeah, that's it...)
I look forward to your rant.
Well, I agree with the old George Carlin line about how we are vain enough to think we are destroying the planet. Perhaps that is why God created us-to develop plastic :) so the new pardigm would be the Earth + Plastic.
So, I want it noted that I don't think WE are destroying the Earth. We are, however (and that includes all of us on the Earth, not just America) making it a less pleasant place for us as humans to live on. We are doing this in a myriad of ways, included CO2 emissions.
I don't think that conservatives are anti-environment. I do think that they hate Al Gore and will do anything in their power to debunk everything he says. This shouldn't be a political issue. It is a human one. Every hunter I know (and being a Minnesotan, every one I know is a hunter)takes care of our natural habitiats. So, people that say that they aren't are just plain wrong.
Sarah, just for future reference...if Fran Poretto's name comes up again in any debate, I will immediately tune out from anything you say. I respect you. I have no respect for him whatsoever. To say his view of US History is deluded is being kind.
Kevin, you brought up Marxism. I still am thinking about a comment on communism-just wanted to let you know that I haven't forgoten. Maybe I'll post something on my blog about it soon.
No Mark, liberals like to hide behind Gore and say things like the only reason conservatives disagree with AGW is because of the Goracle. That's a lie. Plain and simple.
Those who don't believe in it don't because the facts do not support it. And a warmer planet would mean more life support, not less. More things would grow, growing seasons would be longer, there would be more fertile land than there is now.
Yes, certain things would die off, but hey, evolution has a tendency to do that. Humans would more than likely not be in that category (but if so, well, Yay Evolution!).
Like the gun control movement, it's not about the object, it's about control. Global Warming is just another wedge to try to control your life.
Robb, all science begins with a theory. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, that has around a 95 percent likelihood of being true. This is based on the collection of data and rigerous analysis. Global Warming or Climate Change due to human involvement is a theory, not a fact. It is a theory, however, that has a 90 percent likelihood of being true. This is based on the collection of data and rigerous analysis. Al Gore and the rest of the evil liberals trying to control your life did not make this up on a whim to screw with conservatives. Much of the debunking that is going on is very much politically motivated and funded.
That is not to say that the theory could be wrong. It could be. But is it definetly wrong, as you have suggested? No, sorry.
I think you are more willing not to believe because of the source of the information that is being disseminated. I don't see it as a way to control my life, although I have switched my electricity with my power company to come from wind energy. It's cheaper and it's cleaner. So, the electricity that is powering my computer that is allowing me to type these words comes from windmills in southern Minnesota:)
"It is a theory, however, that has a 90 percent likelihood of being true. This is based on the collection of data and rigerous(sic) analysis."
Evolution is a theory, not a fact, that has around a 95 percent likelihood of being true.
This shows a fundamental misunderstanding of Theory, Fact, and Law. (In a scientific sense).
Evolution is a theory.
Which is why there are small, minor changes as new information comes in, new discoveries. But notice that in the last 50 years, there haven't been any major new changes? They've been incremental to the basic theory.
New facts increase our understanding of the "Theory of Evolution". Yes, it is a theory. If Gawd shows up tomorrow and says "Hey! Gotcha!" that would change things.
Not so with "Global Warming". Even notice how you're backpedalling heavily from hard claims!
Global Warming or Climate Change due to human involvement is a theory, not a fact.
20 years ago, the bed-wetting was over the coming Ice Age we were bringing in. Now, it's warming. Or wait, maybe not.
The only constant is that there's an insistance that us peons need to have our "needs" evaluated by someone smarter than us. (And of course, those rules won't apply to the Important People.)
There is nothing analogous between Global Cooling, wait, no, Global Warming, wait, no CLIMATE CHANGE and Evolution.
Sure, us humans have changed the environment. That's without any real comment. We've deforested. Stopped native peoples from burning to flush game animals, and thus started having huge fires..
Our levee systems around New Orleans have demolished the replenishing and regrowth of the barrier islands and mangroves and increased the damage that hurricanes do - including the surge that comes inland, raising levels in the inland lakes....
Sure, we've had an impact on the environment. The question is, is that's what's driving global warming trends? (While ignoring known history, the increased solar activity...)
The problem with the shrill "Global Warming, wait, no, Climate Change" lobby, is it undermines real science.
(Want to convince me? OK, Give me a 60 day forecast. If your charts are correct, it should be trivial. Remember how it was "predicted" that Katrina was the "tip of the iceberg", and that last year there were going to be All Those Hurricanes?)
Mark, please do biology and science in general a courtesy and never compare evolution and anthropogenic catastrophic global warming again. Even if the ACGW guys are 100% correct, there are deep oceans of difference between their levels of development as science, scope of evidence, and general status as a capital-T scientific Theory. Here's a hint: one of them has a hundred and fifty years of work and study behind it and is now considered as fundamental to biology as atomic and molecular structure are to chemistry. The other is a prediction of the future of global climate based mostly on new science and a few assumptions that have only barely been investigated, as with the positive feedbacks posited to take over to drive warming to uncontrollable heights after sufficient CO2 concentration.
As far as I'm concerned, you've pretty well lost ALL credibility to comment on science issues at this point. If you cannot or will not do your homework- to the point where you can even muster an argument that's not "you just don't like Al Gore because you think life is a liberal conspiracy, so you're unwilling to hear it!"- an argument that might be based on some of the specific issues brought up- then you cannot expect to be taken seriously.
LabRat, originally I was commented on a political point that was made in the original post. That post made by Kevin was not scientific in nature. The labels were "politics" and "snark", not "science" and "debate." Hence, the Al Gore references etc.
I did a column a while back on my take on global warming. Here it is...politics..science..the whole she- bang. Sorry, though, I do compare evolution and climate change again. Try to have an embellism.
It contains links to the IPCC report on climate change which I urge you to read if you want the whole picture, not just one side.
Oops...it should read "Try NOT to have an embellism....
a)I have, in fact, read the IPCC climate change report, as well as many others. I have this crazy-go-nuts habit of reading the referenced studies before thinking I have any right to an opinion on a scientific issue.
b)Learn to spell "embolism". Jesus wept.
Swamps are important. They support a very dense and diverse collection of animals, plants, and microorganisms that play a major role in filtering nitrogen and other stuff out of ground water and cycling it back through the ecosystem. Once a swamp like this is destroyed, it is nearly impossible to bring it back - because we don't even know half of the species that need to be re-established, and they're all interdependent.
However, federal "wetlands" regulation is about grabbing power for federal agencies far more than it is about protecting that kind of useful swamp. That is, if a federal bureaucrat sees water standing in the ditch alongside the road by my place, he might classify it as a "wetland", and then any change to it requires tons of paperwork and years to get an approval. Never mind that the ditch is way too small to get the sort of ecosystem wetland regulation is supposed to protect going. Never mind that the ditch was artificially created by the country road department when they paved the road just a few years ago. Extending federal jurisdiction over it accomplishes just one goal, but that one is paramount: extending federal jurisdiction. It gives that bureaucrat power over us.
And for that matter, never mind that the Constitution gave the feds jurisdiction only over navigable waters, and that ditch is miles from anything that would float a canoe. I'd be far more comfortable with state regulation of most wetlands - the power centers are smaller, closer to the people, more easily brought under control when they forget their real mission and just grab power. But the feds have persuaded the courts that this gives them jurisdiction over water that might eventually work it's way through the ground water and into a navigable stream. I don't know if the judges who ruled this way realized that this reasoning gives the feds jurisdiction over their own bladders...
Finally, federal wetlands regulation is run so as to screw landowners. If preserving that swamp is that important to you, pay the owner to preserve it. But not even the federal treasury could stand paying compensation to the owners for regulating ditches all over the country - and so they don't pay anyone for effectively taking away the use of their land.