Why are we still debating climate change?

Wild-Bill

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jan 10, 2007
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bleep
According to the Yale Project on Climate Change, Americans fall into six distinct categories with respect to their views toward climate change.


The first group, "The Alarmed," is made up 16% of the public. They believe climate change is an urgent problem but have no clear idea of how to fix it.
The second group (27%) is "The Concerned." They believe climate change is a problem but think it's more about polar bears and tiny islands than a problem that directly affects them.
The third group, "The Cautious" (23%), are people on the fence. They haven't made up their minds whether global warming is real or if it's a man-made problem.
The fourth group, "The Disengaged" (5%), doesn't know anything about climate change.
The fifth group, "The Doubtful" (12%), do not think climate change is man-made. They think it's natural and poses no long-term risk.
Leiserowitz says it's the sixth group, "The Dismissives," that is the most problematic, even though it comprises just 15% of the public.
"They say it's a hoax, scientists are making up data, it's a U.N. conspiracy (or) Al Gore and his friends want to get rich." Leiserowitz goes on to say, "It's a really loud 15%. ... (It's a) pretty well-organized 15%."

And thanks to the media and the political stage, that vocal minority is mighty.
LINK
 

alent1234

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2009
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for the last 20 some years i've read horror stories how climate change is going to kill us all the next year, and the next year it never happened

the earth has had severe storms for a LONG LONG TIME. in fact there were more severe hurricanes in the NYC area before global warming than there have been in the last 90 years
 

alent1234

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2009
5,654
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Citations?

after katrina the media was full of stories how we would get a horrific hurricane season every year with cat 5 storms.

hurricane sandy was a cat 1 storm when it hit NYC. it was huge, but it was cat 1. the damage was due to it hitting at high tide and around the time of the full moon where gravity pulls the water up

the last cat 5 storm to hit NYC was 1938 and killed 500 people. before that the average was every 70 some years and some storms were so powerful that they destroyed whole islands that dotted the area around NYC. check wikipedia

same thing with this idiotic polar vortex. when i was a kid, it was cold. the midwest always had winters with sub zero windchills. in 2014 its called a polar vortex, you are supposed to be scared of it and its due to climate change
 

Renzatic

Suspended
I'd put myself somewhere between the alarmed and the concerned. It's not just happening, it's already happened, and things will suck a bit in the near future.

But I don't think it'll lead to a global wide extinction event like some of the more shrill people believe. With careful planning, and a bigger reliance on clean/green energy technologies, we can mitigate quite a bit of the oncoming damage, and eventually prevent it from becoming considerably worse (which in this case would be like living in an atmosphere somewhere between what we have now, and what the earth was like during the Jurassic). We just need to take that first step to do something about it.
 

ElectronGuru

macrumors 65816
Sep 5, 2013
1,493
361
Oregon, USA
The problem with climate change isn't the believers vs non believers. It's the cost of doing anything about it. Even at the point when we'd have to redraw our maps because half of Florida was gone, the 'fix' is a massive restructuring of our society.

Individually and collectively, we have few incentives to change and many incentives not to. I think of it as good science vs bad. Good science tells us we get to do something more (adds to our lives), bad science tells us we have to do something less (detracts from our lives).

I don't see us accepting the costs of acting, until it costs more not to act.
 

Desertrat

macrumors newbie
Jul 4, 2003
2
706
Terlingua, Texas
We know that the climate varies over time. We know that there have been higher levels of CO2 in the past than in more recent times (from Greenland ice corings).

So I don't doubt that the climate is at some degree of change.

I am dubious--as in not convinced--as to the importance of CO2 on this change.

Several items: It has been established that the "hockey stick" was incorrect--if not an outright fraud, but I don't know about that aspect.

I have seen it reported by people with good credentials that the computer models do not accurately follow actual records.

There seems to be credible evidence that sunspot activity plays a larger part in climate change than has been considered in the computer models. Again, I don't know.

Pragmatically: If the present levels of CO2 are causative, the question then arises as to what the US and the Eurozone can do about it. China keeps adding coal-fired power plants (as are other countries) and has higher sales of automobiles than does the US. Emerging countries are using more energy via petroleum and natural gas, so that's an increase in CO2 output.

It thus seems to me that whatever is being done in the US and in the Eurozone to reduce CO2 output is dramatically outweighed by the increases in the emerging countries. And, factor in that Japan's nuclear problems have led to much higher use of fossil fuels.

The health of any country's economy--and thus the standard of living of its people--is a function of the amount of energy available. The population growth of the US means an increase in demand beyond the ability to increase non-fossil-fuel sources at a rate to meet that demand. (My opinion, anyway.)
 

SLC Flyfishing

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Nov 19, 2007
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Portland, OR
To me, it seems like common sense that we have altered the climate with CO2 emissions, what the ramifications are is the only thing that's up for debate IMO.
 

alent1234

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2009
5,654
122
The problem with climate change isn't the believers vs non believers. It's the cost of doing anything about it. Even at the point when we'd have to redraw our maps because half of Florida was gone, the 'fix' is a massive restructuring of our society.

Individually and collectively, we have few incentives to change and many incentives not to. I think of it as good science vs bad. Good science tells us we get to do something more (adds to our lives), bad science tells us we have to do something less (detracts from our lives).

I don't see us accepting the costs of acting, until it costs more not to act.
there is lots of historical evidence of the world warming and cooling in the past. is there any physical evidence that florida was underwater? if this was true, say around 1ad or 1000AD when the world warmed there should be lots of physical evidence for scientists. same with other coastal areas
 

zioxide

macrumors 603
Dec 11, 2006
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Climate change is definitely real. We can't measure the exact impact, or how much of it is caused by humans, but it's definitely happening.

And by that graph.. we can see that the climate definitely goes in cycles, but the huge CO2 spike in the last 50-100 years is waaaaay above a normal climate change cycle and no doubt caused by our modern technologies like the combustion engine and power plants pumping greenhouses gases into the atmosphere.
 

Wild-Bill

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jan 10, 2007
2,539
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bleep
I don't see us accepting the costs of acting, until it costs more not to act.
While I don't share your views, I wholeheartedly endorse the above statement. The human race has a tendency of springing to action only when the situation becomes dire. Since the oil and gas industry has this and I'm sure other governments bought and paid for, I'm sure that behavior will continue.
 

chabig

macrumors 603
Sep 6, 2002
5,909
3,149
"The third group, "The Cautious" (23%), are people on the fence. They haven't made up their minds whether global warming is real or if it's a man-made problem."

This is a biased question. How can one be on the fence over two choices that aren't opposites? People can be on the fence over whether global warning is real of not. They can also be on the fence about whether it's man-made or not. But they can't be on the fence about whether it's real or man-made because those aren't opposite sides of a single question.
 

Wild-Bill

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jan 10, 2007
2,539
605
bleep
Image


Climate change is definitely real. We can't measure the exact impact, or how much of it is caused by humans, but it's definitely happening.

And by that graph.. we can see that the climate definitely goes in cycles, but the huge CO2 spike in the last 50-100 years is waaaaay above a normal climate change cycle and no doubt caused by our modern technologies like the combustion engine and power plants pumping greenhouses gases into the atmosphere.
What's worse? That, or the fact that 15% of the American public think its a hoax and use their considerable power and influence to drown out science and logic?
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,409
after katrina the media was full of stories how we would get a horrific hurricane season every year with cat 5 storms.

hurricane sandy was a cat 1 storm when it hit NYC. it was huge, but it was cat 1. the damage was due to it hitting at high tide and around the time of the full moon where gravity pulls the water up

the last cat 5 storm to hit NYC was 1938 and killed 500 people. before that the average was every 70 some years and some storms were so powerful that they destroyed whole islands that dotted the area around NYC. check wikipedia

same thing with this idiotic polar vortex. when i was a kid, it was cold. the midwest always had winters with sub zero windchills. in 2014 its called a polar vortex, you are supposed to be scared of it and its due to climate change

You really need to cite where you're pulling your 'facts' from.

No storm has ever killed 500 in NY. According to Wikipedia, the deadliest hurricane to hit NY was 1938 with 60 deaths. Sandy killed 53, caused $68 billion in damage in NY. Only Katrina was bigger.

As for the Polar Vortex, it's a term that has been in use for decades. Heres a reference to it in 1950.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1111/j.2153-3490.1950.tb00325.x/asset/j.2153-3490.1950.tb00325.x.pdf;jsessionid=32AD95F7921E77E51328B6E06B3F6DA0.f03t03?v=1&t=hs1yxtnw&adc788ec


The term “polar vortex” has been around for decades, but it spent years relegated to science journals, postdoctoral studies and meteorological society lectures.

That changed in the late 1980s, when the depletion of the ozone layer over the arctic became a hot button issue (pun intended). A search of news articles for “polar vortex” showed that the term started cropping up regularly on the pages of publications like the New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today and The Guardian around 1989. Here’s an example from a May 1992 article in The Boston Globe about the role of chlorofluorocarbon in that ozone depletion:

That is, indeed, the case inside the polar vortex, the whirlpool of cold air that forms over the polar regions in winter. There, Anderson said, 80 percent of ozone loss is caused by chlorine compounds borne by CFCs , which are used in refrigerators, auto air conditioners and other products.

By January of 2005, “polar vortex” had it’s own Wikipedia page – a sure sign that it had truly arrived.
http://wgbhnews.org/post/polar-vortex-nothing-new
 

Michael Goff

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Jul 5, 2012
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no, but he was quoting one when he made those claims. bashlov maskowski or something to that extent. around 2:00 minute mark.

did you buy carbon credits? :D
Nope.

Also, yes, ONE SCIENTIST claimed it. But I don't take one scientist, without peer review, as being any more credible than some guy with a chalkboard.
 

jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2013
682
39,048
Criminal Mexi Midget
Nope.

Also, yes, ONE SCIENTIST claimed it. But I don't take one scientist, without peer review, as being any more credible than some guy with a chalkboard.
scientist get grants from the GOVT, the GOVT only tries to fund whatever suits them.

went from Global warming to "climate change", gee I wonder why? could be because plenty of states have been experiencing heavy snow & cool temps? :D

except Kommiefornia, it's been hot here.
 

Michael Goff

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Jul 5, 2012
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scientist get grants from the GOVT, the GOVT only tries to fund whatever suits them.

went from Global warming to "climate change", gee I wonder why? could be because plenty of states have been experiencing heavy snow & cool temps? :D

except Kommiefornia, it's been hot here.
Because global warming was a poor choice of words. It doesn't actually give much information about everything that's happening and gives a poor look as to what is happening. It allows people to say "but it's cold here" and then brush off the fact that. Also, global temperature is a much better indicator than local.
 

jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2013
682
39,048
Criminal Mexi Midget
Because global warming was a poor choice of words. It doesn't actually give much information about everything that's happening and gives a poor look as to what is happening. It allows people to say "but it's cold here" and then brush off the fact that. Also, global temperature is a much better indicator than local.
that "poor" choice of words stuck for a while , "warming" was the reason given as to why the polar bears would be extinct blah, blah, blah.

the only way the GOVT is interested in dealing GB/CC is to TAX it. they did not get enough suckers to buy into the carbon credit scam, GOD forbid you try alternative energy on your OWN.

http://herald-review.com/news/local/state-makes-big-fuss-over-local-couple-s-vegetable-oil/article_5dae2327-a3cb-5bba-ac4c-14dac3b83327.html

go ahead, try alternative energy & get sued by the GOVT. if it is NOT taxable, they are NOT interested.
 

alent1234

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2009
5,654
122
every time there is some out of average weather the media screams global warming

wikipedia says 600 people died in the 1938 storm. as for the polar vortex, when i was a kid in the 80's i never heard it on the TV news. maybe it was used in a NY Times science piece, but not everyday news. today any out of average weather is cause for hype and fear mongering on the normal news and print media people read and watch

there are photos of the east river freezing in the winter time in NYC around 1900. hard enough to walk across. i think it used to happen every year. this was pre-global warming weather. imagine if it happened next year. the media would scream its proof of climate change caused by humans


You really need to cite where you're pulling your 'facts' from.

No storm has ever killed 500 in NY. According to Wikipedia, the deadliest hurricane to hit NY was 1938 with 60 deaths. Sandy killed 53, caused $68 billion in damage in NY. Only Katrina was bigger.

As for the Polar Vortex, it's a term that has been in use for decades. Heres a reference to it in 1950.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1111/j.2153-3490.1950.tb00325.x/asset/j.2153-3490.1950.tb00325.x.pdf;jsessionid=32AD95F7921E77E51328B6E06B3F6DA0.f03t03?v=1&t=hs1yxtnw&adc788ec




http://wgbhnews.org/post/polar-vortex-nothing-new
 

Michael Goff

Suspended
Jul 5, 2012
13,262
7,298
that "poor" choice of words stuck for a while , "warming" was the reason given as to why the polar bears would be extinct blah, blah, blah.

the only way the GOVT is interested in dealing GB/CC is to TAX it. they did not get enough suckers to buy into the carbon credit scam, GOD forbid you try alternative energy on your OWN.

http://herald-review.com/news/local/state-makes-big-fuss-over-local-couple-s-vegetable-oil/article_5dae2327-a3cb-5bba-ac4c-14dac3b83327.html

go ahead, try alternative energy & get sued by the GOVT. if it is NOT taxable, they are NOT interested.
Gas taxes help pay for the roads that you're using.
 

jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2013
682
39,048
Criminal Mexi Midget
Gas taxes help pay for the roads that you're using.
$2500 charge for

A retired research chemist and food plant manager, Wetzel produced records showing he has used 1,134.6 gallons of vegetable oil from 2002 to 2006. At the higher rate, the tax bill would come to $244.24.

"That averages out to $4.07 a month," Wetzel noted, adding he is willing to pay that bill.
the only solution the GOVT sees in regards to GW/CC is to "tax" it.

David Wetzel was told to contact a revenue official and apply for a license as a "special fuel supplier" and "receiver." After completing a complicated application form designed for businesses, David Wetzel was sent a letter directing him to send in a $2,500 bond.

Eileen Wetzel, a former teaching assistant, calculated that the bond, designed to ensure that their "business" pays its taxes, would cover the next 51 years at their present usage rate.