Global Warming Or Climate Loonies - You Make The Call

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Mr. Anderson, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Forget about hurricanes — why are the polar caps melting at such an uncanny rate?
  3. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Anyone who denies that climate change/global warming is making significant changes are "loonies".
  4. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    They would like to spin the glaciers as a normal process :D
  5. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    Exactly - that's going to be a huge deal quite soon. Especially when there isn't any ice on the seas up north......I can't wait to hear what will be said then :rolleyes:

  6. EGT macrumors 68000


    Sep 4, 2003
    Our climate is changing, "weather" or not its happening at the rate with think it is is a different story.

    About the ice caps: i read somewhere that on the whole this year there was a 20% increase than the previous years ice reduction. Is this true? Because it's quite a scary thought if it is.
  7. cr2sh macrumors 68030


    May 28, 2002
    That's where my money is at.

    This scientists likens us to the cancer/smoking argument... I see him with a 'world is flat' type mindset.

    While I agree, pollution is bad, we need to limit emissions and pollution, and get a grip on our consumption... I'm not sure global warming is causing all of this. I believe it's part of a much larger global natural trend.
  8. stubeeef macrumors 68030


    Aug 10, 2004
    There is no argument about warming, you would have to be crazy to not undersand it.

    The questions revolve around the mechanism. There is a substantial body of data that we are simply in a normal cycle. And that we are actually coming out of a "mini ice age" since the mid 1800's. There is another major contributor to data error-technology-more accurate thermometers than previous centuries. (it was once thought that the human body temperature was 100 deg F, then down to 98.6, now they think it is actually lower-victims of body cooling? IDK)
  9. apple2991 macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2004
  10. FoxyKaye macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2004
    Livermore, Terre d'Ange, Bas Lag, Gallifrey
    Actually, shipping companies are salivating over the prospect of having an
    "over the top" shipping route to Europe and Asia.

    Undeniably we're experiencing global warming - it almost seems like people who try to prove otherwise are resorting to pseudo-science to make their points.

    The problem, it seems to me, is that everyone is focusing on the wrong aspects of it all. Instead of wondering why sea-level is getting higher, coastal communities are building levees and houses on stilts. Instad of analyzing why Katrina and Rita got so powerful in the Gulf (warmer surface water temperatures), folks are more concerned with their impact on offshore drilling rigs.

    Its all about priorities.

    Sure, everything on the planet is "cyclic", like folks claim is the reason for the really strong Atlantic hurricane season. Maybe there's some truth to this, but even the best established cycles can be thrown off kilter by the influence of humanity - greenhouse gasses really do exist, they really do change global warming and cooling patterns. Ice ages are also cyclic too, but smash a meteor into the planet or detonate a bunch of A-Bombs and we'll also be in an ice age - I couldn't imagine people making a "cyclic" argument in those circumstances. The nature of global warming makes it an incidious beast - it's not sudden like a meteor impact or nuclear war, it takes time to show its complete symptoms and by the time it does there won't be an immediate fix. Meanwhile, the fact that it isn't a change that one notices day-to-day is being used to justify industrial conditions that are leading to global warming in the first place.
  11. mcadam macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2004
    Quite a statement considering the amount of respected scientist who are working with this question.

    And there is obviously also a very substantial body of data suggesting that global warming is caused by our use of fossil fuel.

    This is off-course a case where it's impossible to be 100% sure since we can never how it would be if we did not burn off so much oil. But to simply ignore all the indications that what we are facing might be a manmade climate change seem quite foolhardy...

    How can you be so sure? I mean - you can afford to be arrogant in this case. Are you sure your children can to? What if you're wrong then...

    Anyway, the problem might solve itself - in 50 years or so the oil-wells have probably all run dry.

  12. bankshot macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2003
    Southern California
    I've always felt that global warming is much more of a political issue than scientific. The vast majority of scientists agree - the earth is warming. They also agree that it is unclear what the cause of that warming is. Is it more due to a natural cycle or is it more human-produced greenhouse gases? Is it about 50/50? Nobody knows, and they all agree on that. Of course, various experts lean one way or the other, further or not. But they all agree that it's still up in the air (so to speak). Those few who claim to be 100% certain of their position on one side or the other, I believe, have probably allowed their political views to taint their scientific views.

    I took a class in college on global warming. The purpose of the class wasn't to teach "facts" as much as it was to do joint research as a group (it was a small class). We scoured all the latest available scientific literature at the time and came to the above conclusion - that the cause cannot be pinned on either climate or human society alone with current information. We just don't know.

    Historical data suggests that even within the past 10,000 years, the earth experienced much wider climate swings than we are measuring right now. And most of that was obviously without human waste in the atmosphere. Who's to say this isn't also one of those cycles?

    At the same time, our production of greenhouse gases is definitely damaging the environment. We must continue to reduce emissions - even more drastically than we already have. I absolutely agree that we don't do enough to protect the environment, and even if it's only a small possibility that reducing greenhouse gases will measurably reduce catastrophic weather, we should do it. The other benefits to the environment - our home - will be well worth the trouble.

    What upsets me about the whole debate is that it's become political. The facts don't ever enter into the equation. People take a stance without looking at data, backing whichever side will help further their beliefs.

    You have people on the far left crying that the sky is falling, taking as fact that humankind is solely responsible for the measured increases in temperature. As I heard somewhere else recently, some extremists would undoubtedly blame humankind for killing the environment if it were measured that temperatures were in fact decreasing. It doesn't matter what the scientific facts are, they're just using them as ammunition: a way to reinforce what they've already decided. They act like the current administration in the US is solely responsible for the last century of industrial waste we've dumped into the air, using it simply as another reason to hate their political enemies.

    And you have people on the right claiming that there's no such thing. Flat out denying that the earth's temperature is rising, that there's even the tiniest chance that we had something to do with it. Labeling the people concerned with emissions as wacko hippies or something like that. That's just as bad as, if not worse than the other side.

    The truth, of course, lies somewhere in the middle. We don't know whether greenhouse gases are responsible for 90%, 50%, or 1% of the observed temperature increase. To rush to conclusions without rigorous analysis and further data collection would be to deny any scientific validity of the results that were found in the first place. But because this is such a politically charged issue, people like to take one little factoid and run with it for their own purposes.

    I believe the US isn't doing nearly enough to curb harmful emissions. We've made serious progress over the last few decades, but we could be doing a lot more. I pin that on the current administration as well as those preceding it. I also believe that using global warming as a rallying cry against current environmental policy is disingenuous at best. Not while the verdict is still out. There are plenty of other, much more tangible ways we can show how the environment is suffering at our hands.
  13. barneygumble macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2005
    Thank you, you saved me from writing something like that, as you say the truth is we have always had climate change, the earth is dynamic on a scale we cannot possibly imagine, we have always had both cool and hot periods, hell the quantity of oxygen in the atmosphere is also highly variant (well over large time frames)
  14. TheMonarch macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2005
    Bay Area

    Don't worry guys/gals. Bush and I are working with others to find a solution.

    After a long debate. It seems the Freeze Gun™ is out only solution :rolleyes:
  15. ham_man macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2005
    It was 106 degrees today. Global warming is real, and has been for the last few million years. How much humans are affecting it is the real debate...
  16. Apple Hobo macrumors 6502a

    Apple Hobo

    Mar 19, 2004
    A series of tubes
    How convenient: an opposite-side article by CNN.

    Sir John Lawton comes off sounding like a total wanker in that 'loonies' article. :rolleyes:

    By the way, post #12...good stuff. :cool:
  17. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

    Jan 30, 2004
    having a drink at Milliways
    except, that is only half of what s/he said, the other half is that human emissions could also be equally responsible to most or some of it, and scientists disagree on what that contribution might be. :rolleyes:
  18. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    What I find most offensive about his article is that anyone who doesn't subscribe to the theory of global warming is automatically classified a 'loony'... of course, this is exactly the sort of Philistine, blinkered pig-ignorance I've come to expect from folks on that side of the "does global warming exist?" argument.

    The science is what matters. Sure it's warmer in SOME places, but it's also cooler in OTHER places. No one can say for sure what humanity's contribution to the global temperature is, and how much it's affected by the Sun, by the Earth itself, and by global weather patterns, which we STILL cannot predict with any degree of certainty.

    I do agree that it's probably a good idea to cut back on CO2 emissions... but I don't think it's fair at all to expect the US and Europe ONLY to cut back, at great expense and inconvenience, while developing countries like China and India are allowed to do whatever the hell they want. The net effect of the Kyoto treaty is an extortion of money out of the West, paid to the countries of the developing and Third Worlds.
  19. mus0r macrumors regular


    Mar 27, 2005
    Well, I'm not scientist, but it seems to me that the weather is really only getting warmer later in the year. I mean, it's been in the 80s for most of Sept. but it really didn't start to get warm till June.
  20. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Perhaps because the US's CO2 emissions were twice those of China and almost 6 times the amount of India's in 2000 according to the EPA.

    But as long as it doesn't inconvenience you...
  21. whocares macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2002
    <disclaimer>I'm *not* denying global warming, nor its potential cause(s)</disclaimer>

    Which brings us to my point: we only have a few hundred years of precise weather data, and maybe 100-150 years of reliably *measured* weather data. Though we have climate data for millions of years, it doesn't have the same precision, nor detail.

    Saying average temperature has risen .5°C over the last 50 years is, IMHO, irrevelant in relation to global warming and its causes: what was average temperature 500 years ago? (yeah, I know, colder; but what was it 2000 years ago?). We just don't have enough statistical data to objectively set aside global warming trends from natural climate/weather cycles.

    My gutt feeling is fossil fuels are causing global warming and bad stuff _could_ happen. How ever nobody (even top-notch scientist) don't have the faintest idea how the planet will react to global warming. Will the ocean start stocking all the extra carbon dioxyde through biogenic precipitation of carbonates? Will ocean warming leed it to releasing its carbon dioxyde, inducing a positive feedback on climate? How much carbon dioxyde will be fixed due to increased weathering caused by acid rain? What will the implications of the melting of polar ice caps and changes in global oceanic currents be? (this _could_ lead to refrezing of ice caps if hot ocean water no longer heats them). Will higher evaporation and clouding increase the planets albedo, hence reducing the amount of solar energy that hits the Earth?

    The bottom line is, IMHO: global warming is measurable and its cause is most likely linked to fossil fuels. What will the consequences be: bad, very bad, desastrous, mild? Nobody really knows. Will Earth survive? Yes. Will the human species survive? Probably. My Guidelines: reduce fossil fuel consomption as much as economical possible (what's the point of having a clean planet if we can't feed ourselves), & sit it out and see what happens (nothing we can do, realy).

    Scientists in & few million years might not even see any geological record of this 'global warming' thing. "What ever happened to Homo sapiens sapiens?" "They seemed to exterminate themselves over some cooked-up bacterial sluggy remain stuff..." :rolleyes:
  22. whocares macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2002
    And I don't think it's fair that developping countries should be denied the cheap energy we built our western society on and dominated them with.

    Face it, we can afford to be environmentally friendly, they can't (yet)!

    But the best solution would be to help those countries develop without the need of cheapo-energy, say help them set up wind turbines and solar panels from day one...
  23. eva01 macrumors 601


    Feb 22, 2005
    Gah! Plymouth
    I do not believe global warming is caused by humans, but is a natural cycle that the earth goes through every few thousand or millions of years. People are blowing this way out of proportion in my mind and have been for years. The earth is going to do what it wants with no input from any of its inhabitants.
  24. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    Nobody is denying that natural cycles occur but they have taken place over far longer time periods giving species and plant-life time to adjust migration patterns and/or evolve.

    Unfortunately, the geological records show that rapid climate change is usually triggered by catastrophic events — meteors, volcanoes etc. which have lead to mass extinctions affecting the food chain and thus placing all life on this planet at risk.
  25. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    That way of thinking only leads to trouble for humans - if we leave it up to the earth, of course it will survive and continue on with the natural cycle. The issue, though, is that humans are affecting that cycle by just living here. If push comes to shove and we change the climate (which is changing) its going to be harder for a lot of people.

    That's the big deal - if we were just worried about the planet, that's one thing, but the concern is *humans* and our way of life along with many other species will be dramatically affected. There have been numerous mass extinctions as is evidence by the geologic and fossil record - but we all don't want one now, especially if there is something we can do about it.

    Here's a nice new article on permafrost concerns....


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