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Global warming is real, scientists agree


Flying_Mollusk
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Im gonna post the whole article, but one chunk seems to reveal the real problem IMO:

 

 

 

Despite the mounting risks of inaction, and growing scientific evidence, many Republicans have been trying to obscure the issue to encourage doing nothing.

 

Frank Luntz, an influential Republican communications strategist who helped craft Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America," wrote a memo in 2002 not about how political leaders should address global warming, but how they should spin the issue.

 

Under the heading "Winning the Global Warming Debate," Luntz wrote, "The scientific debate is closing [against us] but not yet closed. ... Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming in the scientific commuity. Should the public ever come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly."

 

The public doesn't know the scientific issues were settled a decade ago because of a failure of the news media, Gelbspan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who worked for The Boston Globe and The Washington Post, writes in Boiling Point.

 

Disinformation campaigns by the coal and oil industries - including fake surveys of scientists, purporting to list scores of experts who don't believe in global warming - have had a profound effect on journalists and therefore the public, Gelbspan wrote.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The debate is over. The scientific consensus is that global warming is real, and that human industry is to blame.

The question is now whether the public - long distracted by an industry disinformation campaign - can focus on practical solutions to a problem that is subtle, seemingly distant and likely to wreak its real damage decades in the future. Three new books on climate change, The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery, Field Notes from a Catastrophe by Elizabeth Kolbert and Boiling Point by Ross Gelbspan, illuminate the wide gulf between small-bore attempts to address the issue and the much more drastic measures that might be needed to prevent widespread floods and droughts.

 

Arguments over how to tackle global warming are boiling in the Maryland General Assembly. Lawmakers are debating the Healthy Air Act, which would require power plants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 10 percent by 2018 and cut other pollutants.

 

The goal is to curb greenhouse gases, which wrap around the planet like a blanket, trapping heat, melting glaciers and nudging sea levels higher.

 

There's no doubt among researchers that this change is happening. But it's a legitimate question whether this bill - or any other similarly modest steps, such as the Kyoto Protocol - would do anything to prevent global warming's damage. At special risk are low-lying waterfront areas, such as Baltimore's Fells Point and parts of Dorchester County on the Eastern Shore, that may be flooded as sea levels rise and storm surges sweep further inland.

 

The nations of the world would need to act together much more aggressively - cutting emissions by 70 percent by 2050 - to stabilize the amount of carbon dioxide cooking the Earth's atmosphere, Australian zoologist Tim Flannery writes in The Weather Makers. And even this would not stop the rising of oceans, which is caused in part by the natural thermal expansion of water as it warms.

 

"Even if greenhouse gas levels are eventually stabilized, sea levels will continue to rise for several centuries, owing to the ocean's thermal inertia," writes Kolbert, a staff writer for the The New Yorker, in Field Notes from a Catastrophe.

 

If this is true, the question becomes: Should Maryland require power companies to spend millions of dollars in an effort that will show no local benefits in our lifetime?

 

You've got to begin somewhere, advocates for the legislation argue. Theoretically, passing the Healthy Air Act could help persuade neighboring states and eventually perhaps the federal government, China and India, to take action against global warming.

 

A 10 percent reduction in carbon dioxide may be too small to save Fells Point from the next major storm. But even a slight reduction in global-arming gases would be a step in the right direction and could encourage meaningful reductions later, advocates for the legislation argue.

 

Taking such incremental steps without any hope of a concrete economic payoff is really a moral decision. It's like deciding to pay thousands of dollars more to buy a hybid car even though you know your neighbor's new Hummer will cancel out any air quality improvements you hoped to achieve.

 

The real challenge is convincing the guy next door - or, in the case of global warming, the guy in the White House.

 

And this task has been complicated by a propaganda campaign funded by the coal and oil industries, which, as Flannery writes, employed both President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

 

Flannery describes the efforts of the Global Climate Coalition, which spent more than $60 million from oil, gas, coal, auto and chemical companies to lobby and advertise against action to reduce greenhouse gases.

 

"The industries who oppose action on climate change are little different than the asbestos and tobacco companies who, by constantly challenging and clouding the outcomes of research into the link between their products and cancer, seek to buy themselves a few more decades of fat profits," Flannery writes. "Asbestos and cigarettes can kill individuals, but CO2 emissions threaten our planet."

 

The facts about carbon dioxide and climate change are clear to the majority of researchers.

 

More than 2,000 scientists from 100 countries, participating in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, concluded in 1995 and 2001 that global warming is happening and that carbon dioxide produced by humans is largely to blame.

 

Before the Industrial Revolution, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was about 280 parts per million. Driven by the burning of coal and oil, today the level is 380 parts per million - about a third higher - representing the fastest rate of increase in the world's history, Flannery writes.

The concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could soar to 550 parts per million by 2100, almost double pre-industrial levels, Flannery writes.

 

Were it not for plants, which absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, humans would soon suffocate.

 

 

 

"The atmosphere of Venus is 98 percent carbon dioxide, and its surface temperature is 477 degrees Celsius" (891 degrees Fahrenheit), Flannery writes. Today, Earth's atmosphere is .038 percent carbon dioxide, by volume. "Should carbon dioxide ever reach even one percent of Earth's atmosphere, it would - all other things being equal - bring the surface temperature of the planet to the boiling point of water," Flannery writes.

 

Global warming skeptics often point out that that the climate, without any human influence, has changed dramatically over Earth's history.

 

But Flannery notes that the temperature change since the Industrial Revolution is happening 30 times faster than ever before.

 

Nine of the 10 warmest years ever recorded have been since 1990. In summer 2004, Antarctica was so toasty that green meadows began spreading across areas that were buried under snow.

 

Flannery also points to what he calls a disturbing rise in the number of devastating storms that correlates with the warming trend. In 1998, Hurricane Mitch killed 10,000 people and left 3 million homeless in the Caribbean and Central America. Four tropical storms ripped across Florida in 2004. Last fall, hurricanes Katrina and Rita ravaged New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

 

Earth's past temperature swings caused mass extinctions that killed off 95 percent of living creatures. This last happened about 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs vanished.

 

There is no guarantee that the current climate swing - this time caused by humans - won't hurry us along the path of the dinosaurs, Flannery says.

 

Despite the mounting risks of inaction, and growing scientific evidence, many Republicans have been trying to obscure the issue to encourage doing nothing.

 

Frank Luntz, an influential Republican communications strategist who helped craft Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America," wrote a memo in 2002 not about how political leaders should address global warming, but how they should spin the issue.

 

Under the heading "Winning the Global Warming Debate," Luntz wrote, "The scientific debate is closing [against us] but not yet closed. ... Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming in the scientific commuity. Should the public ever come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly."

 

The public doesn't know the scientific issues were settled a decade ago because of a failure of the news media, Gelbspan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who worked for The Boston Globe and The Washington Post, writes in Boiling Point.

 

Disinformation campaigns by the coal and oil industries - including fake surveys of scientists, purporting to list scores of experts who don't believe in global warming - have had a profound effect on journalists and therefore the public, Gelbspan wrote.

 

"For many years, the press accorded the same weight to the 'skeptics' as it did to mainstream scientists. This was done in the name of journalistic balance. In fact, it was journalistic laziness," Gelbspan wrote. "The ethic of journalistic balance comes into play when there is a story involving opinion. ... But when it's a question of fact, it's up to a reporter to dig into a story and find out what the facts are."

 

Some of the blame for the public's failure to understand global warming also belongs with environmentalists. Frustrated with the wimpishness of the press and the mendacity of the White House, some activists have become shrill, warning that climate change may trigger an imminent collapse of civilization and a new Dark Ages.

 

This overheated rhetoric plays into the hands of the oil industry and turns off many mainstream voters.

 

Average people perceive a gap between the language of apocalypse and the evidence they see in the landscape around them. Sea levels are rising, but at a rate that is about a fifth as fast as hair grows. Yes, plants are blossoming earlier every spring and birds are expanding their ranges into cooler regions, but these are subtle shifts.

 

Environmentalists - perhaps for political reasons - aren't always clear that the pace of climate change is not nearly as rapid in temperate areas, like Maryland, as at the poles. Or that most of the harm of global warming will not fall on us but on future generations.

Another problem is that the activists pushing for limits on greenhouse gases warn of dire consequences but shy away from tough-minded solutions.

 

During a recent debate over the Healthy Air Act before a state Senate committee, Sen. Allan H. Kittleman, a Republican from Howard County, asked activist Brad Heavner, executive director of the Maryland Public Interest Research Group, whether he would support the construction of an additional nuclear reactor in Maryland as a trade-off for tighter air pollution regulations.

 

 

 

A third reactor at the Calvert Cliffs plant would produce zero carbon dioxide while compensating for the electricity lost through the Healthy Air Act's requirement that less power be generated from coal. Such a compromise might bridge the gap between Republicans and Democrats and provide a practical alternative to burning coal.

 

"Absolutely not," Heavner said of the nuclear option. He explained that he would prefer government programs that encourage greater energy efficiency in homes and businesses.

 

"It would be terrible if that were our choice, nuclear power or global warming," he later said.

 

But a political stalemate would also be terrible because it means more inaction and continuing air pollution. As it is, soot pouring from Maryland's six largest coal-fired power plants kills 700 people a year, according to a recent study by a Harvard researcher.

 

An additional 26 people die every year in coal mining accidents across the country. At least 100 more die every year working in the oil and gas industry.

 

By contrast, nobody has ever died from a nuclear power plant's radiation during the industry's nearly 50-year history in this country. Certainly, nuclear power has disadvantages, notably the difficulty in storing spent fuel rods.

 

But nuclear reactors already generate 20 percent of the nation's electricity, without producing any greenhouse gases. By contrast, wind turbines and solar cells - despite decades of similar government subsidies - generate only 2.8 percent of our nation's power.

 

Perhaps the solution to global warming starts in the cooling of rhetoric about a nuclear industry that isn't politically correct but has a safe and powerful record.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/books...-artslife-books

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Changes in global climate are SOOOOO unusual.

 

Global warming skeptics often point out that that the climate, without any human influence, has changed dramatically over Earth's history.

 

But Flannery notes that the temperature change since the Industrial Revolution is happening 30 times faster than ever before.

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Changes in global climate are SOOOOO unusual.

 

Global warming skeptics often point out that that the climate, without any human influence, has changed dramatically over Earth's history.

 

But Flannery notes that the temperature change since the Industrial Revolution is happening 30 times faster than ever before.

 

How in the f***ing world can this metro know what kind of climate variations occured during PREHISTORY and at what rate?

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Changes in global climate are SOOOOO unusual.

 

Global warming skeptics often point out that that the climate, without any human influence, has changed dramatically over Earth's history.

 

But Flannery notes that the temperature change since the Industrial Revolution is happening 30 times faster than ever before.

 

How in the f***ing world can this metro know what kind of climate variations occured during PREHISTORY and at what rate?

How do we know dinosaurs existed? Fossils. Rocks. You know you can tell a lot about rocks and all that stuff. I am sure there are other ways too, but that is what came to mind first.

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Changes in global climate are SOOOOO unusual.

 

Global warming skeptics often point out that that the climate, without any human influence, has changed dramatically over Earth's history.

 

But Flannery notes that the temperature change since the Industrial Revolution is happening 30 times faster than ever before.

 

How in the f***ing world can this metro know what kind of climate variations occured during PREHISTORY and at what rate?

So...the enormous climate changes in the past are measurable when they fit your argument but not measurable when they dont?

 

 

 

 

I'm watchful of the issue, but not concerned yet. I don't believe it has been monitored long enough to run around and act like the sky is falling. You guys should chill out before you say "OMG TOLD YOU SO!"

 

Youre comparing a solid scientific consensus to chicken little?

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I'm watchful of the issue, but not concerned yet. I don't believe it has been monitored long enough to run around and act like the sky is falling. You guys should chill out before you say "OMG TOLD YOU SO!"

 

 

 

I have never said the sky is falling. But I have said that we are in many ways causing the warming of the Earth...so yes for more and more to finally 'get it' is a validation for all the efforts I have put forth in the past 5+ years.

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Run it's global warming!!!

 

 

It's coming the other way!

 

 

Anyways, emissions of greenhouse gases are a problem, which is why they're developing lower emission cars and zero emission coal power plants. The developed world should have the problem of emissions completly under controls in about 20 years. The problem is the damage already done.

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The data on the global climate that goes into prehistory is actually taken from Antarctic ice samples. By drilling into the ground there, and removing small ice core samples, scientists can analyze the traces of various gases that were in the atmosphere many years ago.

 

If you saw the film "The Day After Tomorrow," the movie begins with Dennis Quaid in Antarctica drilling for these ice samples.

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The data on the global climate that goes into prehistory is actually taken from Antarctic ice samples. By drilling into the ground there, and removing small ice core samples, scientists can analyze the traces of various gases that were in the atmosphere many years ago.

 

If you saw the film "The Day After Tomorrow," the movie begins with Dennis Quaid in Antarctica drilling for these ice samples.

 

 

They do that at tOSU! :)

 

That's their speciality, is getting those deep chunks of ice, determining how old it could be and opening it up to determine the trace elements of the air caught in the ice. That's how they determine what the earf was like in earlier times.

 

I have no opinion on this subject. I will remain quiet.

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The data on the global climate that goes into prehistory is actually taken from Antarctic ice samples. By drilling into the ground there, and removing small ice core samples, scientists can analyze the traces of various gases that were in the atmosphere many years ago.

 

If you saw the film "The Day After Tomorrow," the movie begins with Dennis Quaid in Antarctica drilling for these ice samples.

 

 

They do that at tOSU! :)

 

That's their speciality, is getting those deep chunks of ice, determining how old it could be and opening it up to determine the trace elements of the air caught in the ice. That's how they determine what the earf was like in earlier times.

 

I have no opinion on this subject. I will remain quiet.

 

As you should! :lol :mischief

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I'm of the opinion that global warming is real and something should be done about it, though it's not one of those arguments I'd comfortably be able to back up.

 

The scientists/'experts' on both sides are so uber-biased one way or the other, imo, that I tend to just discount everything I come across on the subject. Hell, even the journalists (e.g., this one) have froth coming out of their mouths when they attempt to cover the issue.

 

Froth is such a turnoff.

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Run it's global warming!!!

 

 

It's coming the other way!

 

 

Anyways, emissions of greenhouse gases are a problem, which is why they're developing lower emission cars and zero emission coal power plants. The developed world should have the problem of emissions completly under controls in about 20 years. The problem is the damage already done.

 

 

Problem also are the developing countries like India and China.

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Of course global warming is natural. Just like the damn Ice Age 40,000 years ago.

 

Is it happening now? I think it's been happening for a while. I mean, these types of phases don't just turn on and off. It takes thousands of years to warm, and thousands of years to cool.

 

And if fossil fuels are becoming problematic with the warming of the Earth, then it should be as big of an issue in about 35-40 years, when coal becomes obsolete. :mischief

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Run it's global warming!!!

 

 

It's coming the other way!

 

 

Anyways, emissions of greenhouse gases are a problem, which is why they're developing lower emission cars and zero emission coal power plants. The developed world should have the problem of emissions completly under controls in about 20 years. The problem is the damage already done.

 

No it won't, one of the major problems to climate change is air travel, the effect of depositing greenhouse gases high in the atmosphere is far greater than a similar act at sea level. Planes such as concorde which flew aroun 51000 feet were even worse, as again the higher the gases were deposited the bigger the effect is. After 9-11 the US cooled by 1 degree due to the discontinuity of air travel. It is a real effect, and there is no easy solution to reducing air travel. It is widely accepted that other than walking or cycling, travelling by sea is the least damaging form of transportation, and no one wants to do that, Rail travel has large costs associated with track maintenance, etc. There is no simple solution, except cutting the number of needless journeys.

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Obviously global warming is real.

 

Obviously the earth has natural cycles of cold and hot.

 

Obviously, their data indicating the rapidity of global warming is questionable at best.

 

The question that is virtually impossible to answer is this: are HUMANS speeding global warming? This is impossible to answer because there is no control set. How many tons of greenhouse gases do humans create versus the natural green house gases created by volcanoes and other natural factors? We've killed off so much livestock, how do they know how much we have SAVED by eliminating their methane [from gas and stool, etc]?

 

I am an environmentalist at heart. I strongly support any action that protects wildlife. I am a huge advocate of use-reuse-recycle. I carry a garbage bag out on hikes with me to clean up after all of the pigs that have gone before me. That?s just what I do.

 

Now that I have established that my natural predilection is to blame humans for all of the problems with this earth, I have to restate that there is no possible way to definitively prove that humans have the type of effect on global warming that scientists are trying to burden us with. Hey, if some legislation passes to further protect our environment as a result of this study? Bonus. BUT ? you can?t prove anything.

 

Here?s an interesting fact, there are more trees in the US in 2006 than there were in 1906. Each couple of generations finds a new and inventive way of raping Mother Nature of her natural resources? We have gone from burning wood to burning coal to burning oil to splitting atoms. Every technology has it?s downside.

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Obviously global warming is real.

 

Obviously the earth has natural cycles of cold and hot.

 

Obviously, their data indicating the rapidity of global warming is questionable at best.

 

The question that is virtually impossible to answer is this: are HUMANS speeding global warming? This is impossible to answer because there is no control set. How many tons of greenhouse gases do humans create versus the natural green house gases created by volcanoes and other natural factors? We've killed off so much livestock, how do they know how much we have SAVED by eliminating their methane [from gas and stool, etc]?

 

I am an environmentalist at heart. I strongly support any action that protects wildlife. I am a huge advocate of use-reuse-recycle. I carry a garbage bag out on hikes with me to clean up after all of the pigs that have gone before me. That?s just what I do.

 

Now that I have established that my natural predilection is to blame humans for all of the problems with this earth, I have to restate that there is no possible way to definitively prove that humans have the type of effect on global warming that scientists are trying to burden us with. Hey, if some legislation passes to further protect our environment as a result of this study? Bonus. BUT ? you can?t prove anything.

 

Here?s an interesting fact, there are more trees in the US in 2006 than there were in 1906. Each couple of generations finds a new and inventive way of raping Mother Nature of her natural resources? We have gone from burning wood to burning coal to burning oil to splitting atoms. Every technology has it?s downside.

 

 

Good response. I agree 100%, only its reduce-reuse-recycle!

Good to see there's people like you out there!

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