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Science secondary to politics
mikec711   2/6/2012 10:19:13 AM
My concern is that there is way too much money to be gained or lost based on the "truth" about this subject.  People who believe manMade global warming is real are "alarmists" and those who do not believe are "deniers".  To state an opinion brings horrific ridicule from people whose background includes reading 9 blog entries.  For me, I see people with far more context-knowledge falling on both sides of this argument.  Unless one truly combs through all of the data, all of the dis-proven data, and questions every piece of "evidence" ... it is horrifically narcissistic to believe that all folks on one side or the other of this argument are "in it for the money" and that all the folks on the other side are people of integrity searching for truth.  There is too much money, too much passion, and too much politics involved.  Science has lost this battle ... if a finding that made one argument or the other "incontrovertibly true" (unlikely to happen) occurred, the louder folks on the other side would attack it and ignore it (attacking can be healthy if done scientifically ... but we're way beyond that).  It is a huge impact on science, but it will be a political/opinion-based impact, and not a scientific one.

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Re: Global Warming - manmade?
GlennA   2/6/2012 10:13:43 AM
Cassiopeia;  After reading some posts earlier and later than yours, you seem to have the most complete and reasoned content.  What I especially liked about your post was looking at who was funding the opinion.  I have read articles 'disproving' human-caused global warming.  I always look to see who the authors have been sponsored by.  The skeptics always seem to be funded by the fossil fuels industry.  While I can't prove that the 97% opinion is not sponsored by an 'interest  group', I can be skeptical that the 3% opinion aligns with their sponsors' best interests.

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How about a timeout here?
Island_Al   2/6/2012 10:13:00 AM
Geologists tell us we had a huge ice sheet over a mile deep covering most of what is today the US.  It seems it also extended over much of Europe too.  And this was not the first ice age by any means.  It took a period of global warming to melt these.  Calculate the BTUs to melt an ice block 1/3 the surface area of the globe and a mile thick!  Something caused this.  Any theory that includes Fortean, pre-humans (or even alien) technology might have a few skeptics.

Global climate change appears to be a rather poorly crafted political ploy to lower the standard of living of everyone on the planet.  As I include myself and rather large family in this grouping, I am involved.  One does not need to be a "climate scientist" to have reasons to be involved.  Reducing out carbon footprint is another scam to take our collective livelihood away.

Next assume these people are absolutely correct in every prediction and humidity and CO2 increases.  Perhaps we will lose low laying areas from floods.  But we might also get bumper crops of food as our growing areas move northward.  Does growing bananas in Quebec sound like a face worse than death?

The "science" covers 50 years of fair sea and land temperatures and historical temps go back about 100 years.  I'm not an ME, but I do know that heat and temperature are very different quantities.  Think heat content and latent heat.  It's much like using a voltmeter to measure watts or joules.   (Yes, I am one of those electric guys.)  The subject is far more complex than we can even imagine.  As far as the scientific method, think BioDome near Tucson.  It did not work as the science predicted and the attempts to support humans for a year failed after a few months.  It seems pretty clear to me that all we have hear at this time is expert opinion while real science is being ignored.

Study the subject; yes.  Make it a political tool; hell NO!


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It's Really Three Questions
mr88cet   2/6/2012 10:02:56 AM
  • istheincreaseincarboncompoundsintheatmospheresignificant?
  • aretemperaturesonaglobalscaleandoverthelongtermrisinganysubstantialamountasaresult?
  • howdirewilltheconsequencesbe?

i'dbeinterestedwherethesescientistsop-edfallsoneachoftheseindividualquestions,andespeciallythesecond. besticantellfromthisarticle,regardingthethirdquestion,theydon'texpectdireconsequences,butiwasn'tclearwheretheystandonthefirsttwo.


ithinkthequestionthatisn'tdiscussedanywherenearenoughistherateatwhichwemustreplaceenergyinfrastructurebeforewerunoutoffossilfuelsaccordingtotheusdepartmentofenergy(http://www.eia.doe.gov/aer/pdf/pages/sec2_6.pdf),theusused94,578trillionbtusofenergyin2009. let'sguessthatoilwillbecomeuneconomicalin2050-nobodyknowsforsure,butthat'saguess. supposewedecidethatourcurrentcoalandoilinfrastructureneedstobereplacedwith1/3nuclear,1/3wind,and1/3photovoltaicby2050. ifyoucrankthroughnumbers,it'salmostbeyondbelief: thedeploymentrateworksouttosomethinglike:

1600sq.ft.ofsolarpanelspersecond,onelargewindturbineevery3minutes,and onefull-sizednuclearpowerplanteveryweek.
continuously,for40years! thisisaccordingtoasciencechannelprogramawhilebackcalledpowerplanets. ididalittlewebresearch,andthesenumbersseemaboutright(actually,mynumberscameoutconsiderablymorepessimistic).

thisisnoteventalkingaboutthecostofthisinfrastructure; it'sjusttherequiredrateofdeploymentinordertohaveitalltherebefore2050. ifthe2050guessiswrong,andit'sactually2100,theneven~halfthatrateofdeploymentisstaggering!

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Lets Take a Step Back
ervin0072002   2/6/2012 9:52:46 AM
Let's take a step back and think about this. We really need to carefully analyze this before we sell our souls to the devil. It is true people use public paranoia for personal gain. This could very well be the case. I am not saying change your beliefs. All i ask is keep an open mind. It is true plants love CO2 so it is not a far-fetched idea that as we increase CO2 content in the atmosphere our forests grow at an accelerated rate to compensate. This is just an opinion in my part. I have still not chosen which side i should take.

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Re: Consensus
Yury   2/6/2012 9:51:34 AM
According to http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204301404577171531838421366.html#articleTabs%3Dcomments:
"Happer's statement that "there has been no warming since 2000" is simply false, (and he receives the 2010 climate BS (Bad Science) award for making that statement) and his statement that "the IPCC models are exaggerating the global warming trend" is statistically insignificant. He might as well have stated "the IPCC models are underestimating the global warming trend" and that also would have been statistically insignificant.

Every student with at least one course in statistics understands that Happer is "cherry-picking" in the noise, and that the timeframe (a decade) is simply too short for any significance claims,. Thus, either Happer is knowingly misleading his audience, or he is seriously statistically incompetent. Either way he just blew his scientific credibility."

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Re: Consensus
OnnaSinkinShip   2/6/2012 9:49:32 AM
Yes, I am willing to bet that my descendants will not suffer if we resist the panic attack by AGW proponents.

Hysteria over "statistic-based" scientific conclusions does not have a good track record.

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Global Warming
EricMJones   2/6/2012 9:44:38 AM


We live in the Holocene interglacial epoch. In this period the earth has been warming and virtually all recorded human history from about 11,550 years ago took place in it. There is every reason to believe we will return to mile-thick glaciers sometime in the future.


Whether or not human civilization is mostly responsible for the increase in global warming has been the popular argument. (Not all temperatures records agree even on this basic issue!). Humans are certainly partly responsible for this Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). But there are some issues that should be considered, and there are many reasons for taking a less rabid view:


1)    Science is not a matter of getting everyone to agree. Really it isn't. Honest!


2)    In the words of Dr. David Deutsch, it is too late to prevent a global-warming disaster if there is to be one. In fact, it was too late to stop the global-warming disaster even in the 1970's when the best scientific theory said that atmospheric pollution was going to cause a new ice age that would kill millions. We can fix the current problem somewhat, but we can't prevent it.


3)    When the pilgrims landed in 1620, one could walk across New York harbor on the ice. The Earth is now, not as much warmer than average, as it then was colder than average. Hmmmm..


4)    Have you seen the Sun recently? It is now quieter than any time in the last century. No sunspots mean a cooler Sun. Many AGW people are in a panic over this. Google "Maunder Minimum" to see why.


5)    Check "Milankovitch Cycles". Milankovitch calculated the various components of Solar system mechanics to show what caused the ice ages. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles
ALL the calculations point to a coming ice age.


6)    Having a baby is the super-humongous-GIANT carbon footprint. Little has been said about this. A US baby generates a lifetime 1,000,000 kg of CO2. Until environmentalists look at population growth, they're just whistling past the graveyard. But even so, population rate of increase has been declining for a century. Best estimates are 9.2-9.5 Billion people in 2050 and that's about the maximum. It looks like a slow reduction after that. Don't panic. Read:



So call me a "Biostitute" "Denier"or whatever. I'll take the long bet. In the meantime, let's clean up the planet and live a good life.


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gVOR08   2/6/2012 9:39:50 AM
WTF is this political article doing in my Design News? 

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jljarvis   2/6/2012 9:38:54 AM
Can you say Milankovitch?   Milan Milankovitch calculated the 70,000 year occultation period of the earth's orbit, and discussed the implications for climate shifts as the north and south poles are progressively more exposed to solar flux.  This was done a hundred years ago, and seems never to enter our current discussions.

I have yet to see a computer model which shows a clear Milankovitch related baseline, and then posts the modelling for AGW above that.  

I have no doubt that there are climate shifts in process...warming some places and cooling others.   Look at Europe this year!   But that may be an indicator of a weakening gulf stream/labrador current, which is itself an indication of shifts in the thermohaline circulation in the north atlantic, and a symptom of increased solar flux on the north polar regions.

There is no doubt....NO DOUBT... that we need to look after our use of energy, minimize our production of waste, and secure clean potable water.   But we must separate responsible environmental conservation from the heated political debate about AGW.

From an engineering perspective, by the way, it's a lot easier to measure the BTU or KWH input to a system than it is the trace gas effluent.   If AGW is real, we're focussing on the wrong variable to monitor....not to mention that CH3 is 30 times worse, as a greenhouse gas than CO2...and bovine flatulence is a major component of atmospheric methane.

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