Earth: Game Over?

climate-change-earth-day-carbon-tax-fossil-fuel-renewable-energy-mass-extinction

Not even counting Noah’s flood, Earth has “rebooted” a number of times through mass extinctions. But the next one we see may be our last. (Photo: Mykl Roventine / Flickr)

Video games usually provide you with multiple lives. If you step on a landmine or get hit by an assassin, you get another chance. Even if such virtual reincarnation is not built into the rules of the game, you can always reboot and start over again. You can try again hundreds of times until you get it right. This formula applies to first-person shooter games as well as simulation exercises like SimEarth.

The real Earth offers a similar kind of reboot. Catastrophe has hit our planet at least five times, as Elizabeth Kolbert explains in her new book, The Sixth Extinction. During each of these preceding wipeouts, the planet recovered, though many of the life forms residing in the seas or on land were not so fortunate (“many” is actually an understatement—more than 99 percent of all species died out in these cataclysms). As Kolbert points out, we are in the middle of a sixth such world-altering event, and this will be the first—and possibly the last—extinction that we will witness as human beings. The planet and its hardier denizens may soldier on, but for us it will be game over.

A subset of environmentalists is already preparing for the end game. In the latest New York Times Magazine, Paul Kingsnorth—the author of the manifesto Uncivilizationconfesses that he has given up trying to save the planet. He rejects false hopes. “You look at every trend that environmentalists like me have been trying to stop for 50 years,” he says, “and every single thing had gotten worse.” He’s heading to the wilderness of Ireland to grow his own food, homeschool his kids, and prepare for the difficult days ahead.

Survivalism: it’s not just for right-wing wackos any more.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are still trying to figure out how to avert disaster. The United Nations recently released another in its series of reports on climate change. This one tries to put a price tag on what we need to do over the next 15-20 years to stop the global mercury from rising.

To implement the recommendations of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), governments must dramatically increase their investments in low-carbon energy sources. Each year, governments will have to spend an additional $147 billion on such renewable sources of energy as solar and wind power. On top of that, governments need to put $336 billion each year into greater energy efficiency in public and private infrastructure. If we follow all the IPCC recommendations, we can expect to save about $30 billion from eliminating subsidies to industries in the dirty energy sectors.

That still leaves an annual bill of more than $450 billion. This is probably a lowball figure, given the commitment that the industrialized world has made to help the developing world continue to grow economically without expanding its carbon footprint. This figure also doesn’t cover current climate change costs associated with extreme weather events, droughts in food-growing areas, the preservation of coastal areas, and other catastrophes in the making. The bill for upgrading U.S. infrastructure alone will run into hundreds of billions of dollars each year.

If you’re planning to remodel your kitchen, you’re supposed to get a couple of different estimates. So, with a task as large as saving the world, it’s probably wise to check in with a couple other sources.

But those looking for salvation on the cheap are going to be disappointed. The International Energy Agency, an intergovernmental organization connected to the OECD, estimates that the world needs to invest a trillion dollars into clean energy—every year between now and 2050. Then there was the Stern Commission report on the economics of climate change that came out in 2006. At the time, Nicholas Stern estimated that stabilizing the current level of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere would require an investment of 1 percent of global GDP, which at the time was a little more than $300 billion. He revised that up to about $600 billion a couple years later, though nowadays he’s talking more in the trillion-dollar range as well.

Of course, these costs should be compared to the price tag for not addressing climate change quickly and resolutely. This, Stern estimated, would add up to 20 percent of global GDP. At some point, of course, we will hit a tipping point at which no amount of money can turn back the clock.

Where will the money come from? A “climate security” tax on military spending would make sense, forcing governments to turn swords into windmill blades. We’re currently wasting over $1.7 trillion a year on the enormous potlatch otherwise known as the global military budget.

Another “simple” answer is to not only remove subsidies from dirty energy but to tax it as well. In this way, governments discourage the use of coal and oil and raise the revenue necessary to invest in clean technologies. It seems an elegant solution, except that the energy companies and their political representatives have bitterly fought against carbon taxes. In 2011, the Labor government in Australia pushed through a carbon tax and established a $10-billion “green bank” to support sustainable energy projects. That hasn’t lasted long. The new center-right government has vowed to repeal the tax, but the Australian parliament has so far turned back the government’s repeal effort.

Denmark offers a less fractious alternative. The country is currently planning to unshackle itself completely from fossil fuels by 2050. And it plans to do that without relying on nuclear power. The country has invested heavily in wind power, and last year, for the first time, wind supplied more than 50 percent of the country’s energy consumption for an entire month. How much will this 40-year transition cost? The estimate is roughly 1 percent of the country’s GDP. By the end, Denmark will have cut its carbon emissions by 80 percent.

The Denmark model requires a few caveats. The entire scheme involves significant investment in new technologies and infrastructure upgrades. It also depends on a critical variable—the increasing cost of fossil fuels. If oil and gas and coal remain cheap, capital will not flow into the new technologies. In other words, the possibility of the earth burning up is not sufficient to concentrate our minds and mobilize our efforts. It comes down to a pocketbook issue. Only astronomical prices at the gas pump will force us to change our behavior, individually and collectively.

We could wait for the market to push up these prices, but that will likely be too late. Instead, we need to artificially raise the costs of fossil fuels, and that brings us back to some form of carbon tax. Another part of that strategy would be to leave some of that ancient, liquefied plant and animal matter in the ground and at the bottom of the ocean, forgoing deep sea drilling, refusing to rip up forests for the treasures beneath, and leaving the tar sands be.

But perhaps the most important caveat is this: Denmark will only succeed if we are all on board. We don’t have the luxury of sitting back, seeing if the calculations involved in Denmark’s fossil-free scenario work out, and then following suit if we like the results. By that time, it would be too late.

As with our individual lives, there is no reset button for the human race (Noah’s flood notwithstanding). Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska put it well in her poem “Nothing Twice” (translation by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh):

Nothing can ever happen twice.
In consequence, the sorry fact is
That we arrive here improvised
And leave without the chance to practice

Even if there is no one dumber,
If you’re the planet’s biggest dunce,
You can’t repeat the class in summer:
This course is only offered once.

If humanity fails this particular science class, we’re done. It doesn’t matter whether we’re straight-A students from Denmark or flunkards like congressional climate change denier James Inhofe. We won’t be given another chance at the global joystick.

Earth: game over. For us at least.

John Feffer is the co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus.

  • Michael Leone

    “Only astronomical prices at the gas pump will force us to change our behavior, individually and collectively.”

    Yeah, the fossil fuel industry will allow that to happen… They’re intent on fracking the fracking planet to death.

    This story isn’t just about “behavior” its also, much more importantly, about power, not to mention finance, credit, war and the very nature of capitalism itself. I can see where the Irish farmer is coming from…

  • Erik Christensen

    Man made climate change is a myth

    • pk

      Right, so 99% of scientists doing research in this field are lying. and there’s no correlation between Temperature and CO2 levels in the atmosphere?
      Well done Erik, you are a hero, a beacon of light. What else, the moon-landing was faked? Vaccines cause autism? I am interested to learn everything you know

      • Chad Burke

        Look at what you just said. “99% of scientists in this field…”. Right there is part of your answer. Scientists researching climate change kind of need said climate change to occur to keep the dollars rolling in, don’t they. If you change your sentence to include scientists of all relative fields you will find thousands who aren’t part of All Gore’s 99%. In fact, one of the researchers on the just released IPCC report quit and demanded his name removed because the summary, the part you read or heard about, did not reflect the actual findings of the research and grossly exaggerated what potential change is possible. Never mind that global temps have flatlined since 1998,the arctic ice sheet is as robust as ever, if not more so, and the fact that catastrophic weather events are actually down from norms. Get your heads out of your rears and look at the raw data, its very simple.

        • Travis S

          I’ve been constantly reading that strong majority, (whether it’s 99% or 90% I don’t care) still agree. I also keep reading that global temps have been rising steadily every year. That and sea levels are consistently rising as well. Arctic ice is dissipating, not robust. Why do we apparently read wildly differing articles?

          • Guest

            A single volcano emits more CO2 than man has emitted since the dawn of the industrial revolution.

            Sorry but climate change is not man made

          • Travis S

            I’ve read that a single volcano emits less than 1% of what humans produce in CO2 on a yearly basis.

          • Erik Christensen

            You read wrong.

          • Travis S

            Or did you?

          • serious joe

            Oh, as much as I am on your side, against all this alarm-ism, one volcano is not enough. Sorry. But hey, more than 90% of all the CO2 in the atmosphere today is natural, not from mankind burning anything, you’re headed in the right direction.

          • Erik Christensen

            Global temperatures have flatlined in the last 16 years… no warming since 1998

          • Travis S

            I’ve read that global temperatures are higher now than they were 16 years ago.

          • Erik Christensen

            You read something inaccurate

          • serious joe

            Wrong. Global average temperatures seem to have gone up about 0.6K, then stopped, and have been flat for more than seventeen years. See RSS (Remote Sensing Systems) at http://www.remss.com – 213 months, since August of 1996, the temperature averages to a flat line. Meanwhile, “scientists” have been busy “adjusting” the historical temperature data – really – they have been changing the data, and in all cases, the overall effect has been to LOWER temperatures from long ago, and RAISE recent temperatures. They use excuses, such as “this compensates for a change in the time-of-day that the thermometers were read, so the old data can be compared to the new data” or “this compensates for the fact that sailors used to hoist up a bucket of sea water, shove in a thermometer, then read it, but the bucket was wood, then later the bucket was canvas, then later the bucket was rubber, and then, someone mounted a temperature sensor into the cooling water intake pipe (for the seawater that cooled the engine), and these adjustments compensate for those things” or “the deck-level on the ships used to be eight feet about the sea, but then later the deck-level was thirty feet about the sea, so these adjustment allow us to compare the thermometer readings in spite of the deck levels” …. yet the aggregate changes always make the 1900-1950 data cooler, and the recent data hotter, thus re-creating the heartfelt desire of Michael Mann’s hockey stick, after it was thoroughly discredited as a scam, a sham, a set of lies.

            “hottest temperature on record” headlines are also, quite often, carefully crafted true lies. For example, if I set up a weather station yesterday, and today, I recorded a warmer temperature, can I clam a new record? Yes, for my station, that would be true. Is it right to clam “hottest temperature on record’? Well, yes, for my station, but otherwise, it is lie. The largest number of real record hot temperatures for the united states were set in the 1930s. The adjustments (described above) and movement of stations or elimination of old weather stations and the installation of new stations, well, they create lies. Thus, you read so much about “this is the hottest decade ever”. Look into it. Don’t take my word for it. Search – it is hard work, but you’ll come to see the lies for what they are. Facts: It was hotter during the medieval warm period, the roman warm period, and in the 1930s… todays temperatures are nothing unprecedented.

            Have you ever heard of isostatic adjustments to sea level? If you cannot explain the isostatic adjustments, then you have no authority to discuss changes in sea levels… not that you have, but I’m just bringing up yet another way that ‘scientists’ are sticking their thingies into the historical record.

          • pk

            1998 was the an El Nino year, and one of the hottest years on record. If you take that as your starting point, then you can claim that there’s been no warming since then. In fact, 9 of the hottest years on record have all occurred in the last 14 years
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instrumental_temperature_record#Warmest_years

            It’s quite simple Erik, but you obviously have made your mind up and decided that the infinitesimally small percentage of scientists (not even climate scientists) who are skeptical of climate change are somehow right despite not working in the field. Good luck with that

          • Erik Christensen

            The only reason so many “scientists” push the man made climate change myth is to keep the grants coming.

            Period. End of story.

          • pk

            yes that’s the only reason, scientists are obsessed with material wealth and have no interest in discerning the truth.

            Compared to the Koch brothers, Big Oil and Energy companies that really care for the earth and are not at all interested in insuring the sources of their massive profits are maintained.

            How dumb are you Erik, what does it take to turn a reasonable human into a complete tool of mainstream media?

          • Erik Christensen

            Climate change is simply not man made.

            Climate has been changing constantly throughout the planet’s history. We have nothing to do with it. Thinking we do is just retarded

          • Travis S

            Climate change is simply man made.

            Climate change has been increasing more so in recent years than ever before recorded and all conflicting accounts have very little (if any) evidence to suggest otherwise. We have everything to do with it. Thinking we don’t is just retarded.

          • Erik Christensen

            LOL

            You’re funny

          • Travis S

            Thanks. You’re pretty hilarious yourself.

          • serious joe

            BS. The earth recently had “the little ice age”, and not long before that, full-on glaciation. Sure, the earth has warmed up a bit since those freezing times… but, other than that, just natural variations. For example, the earth has not warmed for seventeen and a half years now. Not a bit, not a tenth of a degree; not by one measure, but by three measures. That time period, where it has not warmed at all, is more than half of the time period in which we have had satellites measuring the earth’s temperature. All data prior to the satellites is far more unreliable – some poor underpaid soul venturing out of his shack to go read a thermometer somewhere…

            The “corn belt” of the United States has had no warming for FORTY YEARS. That’s the actual record, that’s the “evidence to suggest otherwise”. The Arctic is a little warmer, but other places are colder. ‘Severe weather’ by any and all definitions, is less.

            Both the count and the ferocity of all storms, tropical, cyclone, hurricane, tornado, has gone DOWN. Those who whine about supposed increases in “extreme weather” need to learn a little history, and read a few charts. Actual data, actual historical records, trump mathematical models. You know how kids these days spend more time playing nintendo or x-box, as opposed to going outside to play? Well, those kids who grew up on too much pong, asteroids, and mario brothers are STILL INSIDE playing with computers – Michael Mann, and his buddies – instead of going outside and actually taking measurements.

            You can have your own opinion, but you may not have your own facts. See RSS (Remote Sensing Systems) at http://www.remss.com – 213 months, since August of 1996, the temperature averages to a flat line.

            Oh, Climate Change, it’s worse than we thought …”The sky is falling” – look, Chicken Little, did you know that hurricanes are way below normal? See http://www.weatherstreet.com/h

            Mankind’s “Climate Change” – supposedly through the emissions of carbon dioxide – is considered to have kicked in, staring in 1950. Prior to that, there just wasn’t enough carbon dioxide from man to have made a gnat’s mass of difference. Note that the USA hurricanes were the worst, prior to 1950 (1941-1950)

            http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/L

            Hurricanes, cyclones, typhoons (by count) have been on the decline since 1996, when the count last broke 60. Tropical storms, by count, have been on the decline since 1998. See http://policlimate.com/tropica

            Hurricanes, cyclones, etc and tropical storms (by ferocity) peaked in 1993, with a smaller peak in 1998, and an even smaller peak in 2006. See http://policlimate.com/tropica

            The criteria for what is a “named storm” has been lowered, in the past few years. Thus, one would expect the count of “named storms” to be higher, even for the exact same weather.

            Tornados are also way below normal. Three things about tornado data

            (1) Doppler radar wasn’t around before. With radar, we detect more tornados, now.

            (2) People report tornados; fewer people back then, we missed some. More people now, we report more tornados.

            These two things would make the tornado count trend upward, even if the real number of tornados was absolutely flat, so the fact that the count of tornados is down, in spite of the detection bias, makes your claim of ‘extreme weather’ even more silly, but wait,

            (3) the rating of the ferocity of a tornado is based upon the damage, and the width of the swath of destruction it leaves on the ground. Two identical tornados, one through a grassy pasture, and the other through a town, well, the one through the town would receive a higher rating, even though the two were identical. More people, more towns, one would expect more damage, higher ratings, if tornados were constant. Truth is, even the ferocity ratings are down. Ah, but lately, the “width” factor was changed from the average width, to the maximum width, thus tornadoes in the recent year or so will be rated higher than they would have been, prior to the “rule change”… even so, the numbers, and ratings, are lower. Tornado data: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/wcm/to

          • Travis S

            Ah, in case you didn’t notice, I was mocking the simple accusations being made. There’s still more to take into consideration than an increase or decrease in storms. That’s hardly a concern in my book. I’m more concerned about ecological imbalances which are hardly ever mentioned in these debates.

            As I said before, in a different response. Statistics are always skewed. On both sides of the argument.

            Regardless, everything on Earth is quite good at adapting. Thus is the nature of evolution. After several mass extinctions, the Earth still exists. Life has always come back. Etc. etc. What people aren’t really thinking about is how fast… or slow that usually takes. Then go look at that disgusting cloud above China most of the time.

            But look at Chernobyl, wildlife prospering again after how many years following a Nuclear Meltdown. But how? With all the radiation there? Blah blah. Easily anyone can construe this into meaning “What we do has very little effect, nature adapts. Nature does more than we can possibly…” blah blah.

            And even if it all were make belief one way or another… What kind of world do you want to live in? China? Put forth your ideas of a future.

          • serious joe

            I wish, for the future (staring now) that we all stop wasting time and money on this artificial fuss about carbon dioxide, and focus on REAL problems. Government debt and spending is the biggest problem that will plague my children and grandchildren, not “climate change”. Malaria is a real problem, DDT is the answer. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria might be a real problem, I’m ignorant on that subject, but it keeps me concerned. Oxides of nitrogen, and sulphur, are real pollutants, not carbon dioxide. Reduce them (i.e., china). Generating electricity from the weather (sun, wind) is wasteful and foolish (at present). Stop deploying tech that doesn’t work well (costs to much, wastes land, makes the grid unstable) … most of this is nothing to do with REAL reasons, because it is driven by the “Climate Change” aka carbon dioxide lie. Set them aside for now, continue research and development on alternatives, because someday, we will need them… but “peak oil” has been another lie, since the 1960s… We have no need for alternative power (yet) so why waste money, effort, land-space on things that don’t work (yet)?

          • Travis S

            Ah yes. The comfortable family life. Your views of REALity are quite skewed though themselves I’m afraid to inform you. But people like you choose not to face reality, and I know you don’t care to see it. Just as I don’t care to see various truths (promotes insanity). You just admitted you care simply about yourself, and your family. Would you think this way if you were located on the other side of the world?

            The tech is more promising than I think you’re aware of. Sure, examples in the past decade aren’t very impressive. I can absolutely agree with that statement. But how is progress made without demand? It’s a core psychological principle that has presented itself among the ages of human history. The fact of reality is, there’s a lot of /shit/ (to put it bluntly) going on in this world. You simply can’t attack the problem head on like arresting a criminal and throwing him in jail. The only solution is resolving the need to act unnecessarily. This, I would imagine is what Al Gore is probably trying to represent (I don’t personally know, I don’t even know what the guy looks like.)

            We’ve known the issues of humanity have existed for centuries, and people have been seeking to resolve them for just as long. As I see it, this project is soon (hopefully) coming to an end.

            Alternative fuels aren’t necessary just for powering the homes you live in, but more so perhaps the robotics that build them. Imagine what we can’t see so easily.

            I know to you it sounds malicious, but sometimes people need to be manipulated to help each other out.

          • serous joe

            Quite the opposite, on several accounts. My family certainly does not want me on line, discussing stuff with you. I don’t do this for them. They, however, will live on past me, and I used that phrase to illustrate the time line, nothing else. You’re too quick to pounce. This is taking the thread in the wrong direction.
            As for my views on reality – well, all we can do on that is disagree. I’ve spent months and months now, studying the subject. I have the education and intellect to understand it, and I clearly see a scam (that is, carbon dioxide and “Climate Change” is a farce). Sorry you don’t see it as a scam. I suggest you study more. As for “issues of humanity” – you’ve drifted too far off topic.

          • Travis S

            That’s never too far off topic, it is the center of the topic. But you make my point clear. You’re still not seeing the real issue. You’re picking at small parts of a bigger picture. I’ve done all of this already. All I can say I guess if you just want to remain in disagreement with me is to keep picking away. Don’t ever stop and remain content. You don’t need me to tell you anything.

          • serious joe

            My concern over antibiotic resistant bacteria may be well-founded, but it is interesting to note that mankind’s gross overuse of antibiotics hasn’t caused the phenomena… the genetic traits for resistance are found in “bugs” isolated in ice for hundreds if not thousands of years, so it has been around before mankind and antibiotics…
            “…in a survey of 71 different environments, researchers led by Joseph Nesme, a graduate student in Environmental Microbial genomics at the University of Lyon in France, found that drug resistance isn’t just the product of man-made forces. Reporting in the journal Current Biology, they found antibiotic resistant genes are already present in locations like Arctic permafrost as well as in waste water and indoor air. The fact that the genes even appear in bugs located in remote locations suggests that they may develop even without antibiotics.” – but this is off-topic.

          • pk

            climate has been changing throughout history, nobody denies that. however, there’s never been a time in the last few million years where there’s been so much CO2 released in such a short space of time. if you track the change over the past few hundred thousand years (using ice-core data) you see the direct correlation between CO2 and temperature. this simple fact it undeniable, and we’re on a collision course with a terrible fate if we don’t drastically change civilisation. one last fact, you are a dick

          • serious joe

            Except that the ice core data shows clearly that the temperature rises first, then the CO2 levels; CO2 levels respond to the rise in temperature, CO2 does not cause the rise (ignoring pk’s qualifier that limits the scope to the “last few million years” – CO2′s abilities certainly don’t change over time, do they, pk?). This is called the lag; the lag is many years. In ice cores, the lag is about 800 years. CO2 levels, as shown in ice cores, have been WAY higher than the current 400 ppm and the planet was colder; CO2 has been lower than the current 400 ppm, and the planet has been hotter. CO2 has a relationship with water (the oceans)… solubility. As the oceans warmed, water’s ability to hold dissolved CO2 reduced, so the oceans outgassed. As the oceans cooled, water’s ability to hold dissolved CO2 increased, so the oceans stored more CO2. The climate warmed and cooled for reasons other than CO2, and the oceans released or stored CO2 in response, simply due to solubility. pk wrote that “there’s never been so much CO2 released in such a short space of time” – that can’t be proven. The time-resolution in ice cores just isn’t good enough to say that with authority, pk. CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have been way higher, and lower, during times when mankind wasn’t around to be blamed. If CO2 in the atmosphere drops much below 200 ppm, all plant life stops. For our purposes, that means the earth is a dead rock. Right now it is at 400 ppm or so. Most of the CO2 in the atmosphere now did not come from mankind’s actions; in fact, most of the recent rise in CO2 is not from mankind, it is from natural sources. Isotopic analysis isn’t as revealing as pk might suggest… The carbon, in CO2, comes in different isotopes, 13C, 14C, nuclear decay and atomic transmutation from cosmic rays, are difficult subjects – the count of the number of neutrons varies; some isotopes last, essentially, forever; some decay. The carbon atom in a CO2 molecule can be analyzed to see which isotope it is; if it is one of the more radioactive variety, the carbon atom is assumed to be young, thus suggesting it couldn’t be an ancient one from ancient carbon reserves (like coal). A simplified “thought experiment” can lead you to believe that analysis of the isotopes can (with assurance) identify if the carbon came from ancient sources (like coal or volcanoes) or, if the carbon in a CO2 molecule came from a recent grass fire (or other burring of biomass on the earth’s surface, “young” sources). However, the absorption of CO2 by cold water, and the release by warm water (and other complicated interactions) make this analysis, which sounds logical, not so reliable. So, the outrageous claims by some “scientists” that they know, by isotopic analysis, of CO2 in the atmosphere, that the recent rise in CO2 came from fossil fuels, isn’t as reliable as they say; warming ocean water releases CO2 from ancient AND recent sources. Volcanic CO2 contributions have been seriously underestimated. The accounting for CO2 from volcanoes was limited to obvious (active) volcanoes, but then it was discovered that inactive volcanoes release CO2, as do mid-oceanic ridges and vents. Scientists don’t have a count of how many volcanoes are under the ocean, or the quantity of ridges or vents, or how much CO2 they release. Calculations for the gross amounts of fossil fuels burned by mankind come up short, really short, to account fro the recent rise in CO2 in the atmosphere… The arithmetic can only account for about ten percent, so, it would appear that ninety percent of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere since, say, 1900 or 1950, comes from sources not related to mankind. Scientists cannot account for all non-anthropogenic sources of CO2 released to the atmosphere; calculations for fossil fuels burned don’t account for the CO2 in the atmosphere, and isotopic analysis is inconclusive in identifying the source or sources of CO2 in the atmosphere… So the “proof” that mankind is the cause of CO2 in the atmosphere falls apart under scrutiny; certainly the fossil fuels burned account for about 10% of the recent rise, but that leaves roughly 90% as natural. Now here’s the concept that will make pk puke… CO2, at the present 400 ppm, is low, TOO LOW, and doubling the CO2, even twice, will be beneficial! This concept has several branches to discuss. First, CO2 is a “greenhouse gas” (a really poor descriptive word, as the actual effect has nothing to do with a greenhouse… the action is that of a gas molecule that absorbs electromagnetic radiation (we’re concerned about radiation in the infrared spectra) and then re-emits electromagnetic radiation… this interferes with the radiative transfer of heat energy from the earth’s surface to the cold of deep space, but it has nothing to do with how a real greenhouse works… since the term is “out there” in public use, we’ll let it slide, and call CO2 a greenhouse gas). CO2 absorbs certain wavelengths of infrared radiation, and has no effect on other wavelengths. Water, as a gas (water vapor) also is a greenhouse gas, and it absorbs certain wavelengths, too. Water’s interaction with infrared radiation significantly overlaps CO2′s territory in the spectrum, and water molecules in the atmosphere are much more in number, volume, and mass, than CO2… so CO2′s ability to interfere with radiative transfer is dwarfed by water vapor’s presence. Same with methane. The amount of interference that a greenhouse gas has, in the transfer of heat energy from the earth to space through radiation, is not linear… there are diminishing effects for each bit of greenhouse gas added. Think of salt, added to a glass of water. A pinch of salt makes the water salty; two pinches make it twice as salty… it follows a straight line, straight enough for this discussion. However, take a planetary atmosphere just like earth’s, but with no CO2 in it, and measure the radiative heat transfer into space, then add 20 ppm of CO2, and you’ll see a significant shift in the heat transfer (just like what the alarmist global warming scientists say). Add another 20 ppm, and you see another significant shift, but not quite as big. Keep going, and you’ll see that each incremental addition of CO2 produces a smaller shift. By the time you reach 200 ppm, each increment of 20 ppm is so tiny, it is lost in the noise. This is a basic principle called “diminishing returns”. Whatever “heating” or “forcing” that CO2 can add to the earth’s heat balance, well, it’s done. Same for methane. Bear in mind that as you add anything to the mix, the processes that remove that gas from the mix, well, they don’t just stay the same. Add CO2 to the atmosphere, and other processes will act to remove it… Add methane, same thing… like adding water to a leaky bucket, as you add water, the rate of water leaking out of the bucket goes up, too. It is true, that if you increase the rate of adding water to the bucket, the water level in the bucket will rise; but it isn’t as though the bucket is perfect and will hold all the water you add… the atmosphere is even more “leaky”- in that, as you add CO2 and reach higher levels, – things like plants (which remove CO2 from the atmosphere) will grow and become more numerous (essentially, the leaky bucket will develop NEW leaks).
            So, one branch of why more CO2 is good – listen to pk puking over there – is that, whatever “warming” or “forcing” that CO2 might be able to muster, it has already accomplished that. Due to diminishing returns, adding more CO2, by mankind burring fossil fuels, isn’t going to heat the earth. As an aside, the pre-industrial levels, before mankind’s burning of fossil fuels, the CO2 levels in the atmosphere were not zero, and the “heating” or “forcing” effect was already petered out. It was all done by the time it got to 100 ppm. After that, yeah, in theory, there is a tiny increase, incrementally, but that is lost in the noise of natural variation. It is a gnat’s mass. Next branch: CO2 going up will green the earth. CO2 is plant food, and plants have been starving! Actual greenhouses, where industrious humans grow plants for food and profit, use extra CO2 inside. The owners and operators of greenhouses go to the effort and expense to artificially add CO2 to the inside of greenhouses, because the increased production of tomatoes, or whatever, is worth the expense and hassle of making and adding and controlling CO2 levels. Levels around 1,200 – 1,500 ppm are typical – that is THREE TIMES and more, of the CO2 levels in the earth’s atmosphere now. Plants love it. Workers don’t die in it. Next branch of CO2: how increasing CO2 will affect the pH of waters on the earth… Alarmists know that people react more negatively to words like “Acid” and “Acidification” than they do to words like “Alkaline” and “Alkalinity”. It is basic alarm-ism. Do they teach y’all this crap in environmentalist-alinsky-school? Ocean Acidification… it’s worse than we thought… Most of y’all slept through chemistry class. I didn’t. I took chemistry again, after high school, as part of my Nuclear Engineering school, and again in University, I took chem 1, chem 2, and organic chem. Acidity or alkalinity is measured in pH units. pH is the negative log of the hydronium ion concentration. Pure water has a pH of 7.0 and seawater has a pH that is alkaline, which means the pH is greater than 7.0; anything with a pH measurement under 7.0 is acidic. Pure battery acid, or stomach acid, has a pH around 1.0 (roughly). If you add an acid to pure water, the pH drops (dramatically), if you add the correct amount of an alkaline substance, you can bring the pH back to 7.0, but the combination of the acid and the alkaline produces a salt. Now that there is a salt in the water, adding that same amount of acid still causes the pH of the water to drop, but it drops a lot less than it did the first time… because the salts “buffer” the added acid. The oceans are salty, and there is a lot more stuff in seawater than just sodium chloride (table salt). CO2 dissolves in water, and some of that CO2 reacts to form carbonic acid… which is a really weak acid, to start with. That tends to lower the pH of the seawater, but… for starters, seawater is alkaline, and strongly so; it is highly buffered by stuff dissolved in it, and there is and was and ever will be a whole lot of CO2 already dissolved in seawater… so adding some CO2 does not shift the pH of seawater very much… it becomes a tiny bit less alkaline,but still has a pH over 7.0 (heck, over 8.0) and remains alkaline… There is no way mankind’s burring of fossil fuels can ever, EVER add enough CO2 to the atmosphere to cause the ocean’s pH to drop below 7.0, so “ocean acidification” is a lie, the oceans are not going to be come acidic. Throw away the inflammatory “ocean acidification” and let’s talk about anthropogenic decreases in ocean alkalinity. Go back to salts acting as buffers. If you add a lot of buffer stuff to water, you can add enough to max it out – not all the stuff will dissolve (that’s called saturation). The excess buffer stuff settles like mud to the bottom. If you add acid, initially, the pH will shift lower, but then, the undissolved buffer stuff on the bottom, some more of it will dissolve, and shift the pH back up (not all the way, but a lot of the way). Well, you may think of buffer stuff as nasty chemicals, but really, everything is chemicals… like the rocks at the bottom of the ocean. If the pH of the ocean gets lower, then some of the rocks will dissolve, and raise the pH back up… this buffering action is so strong, CO2 (carbonic acid) so weak, and the oceans so HUGE, that the oceans will always be alkaline. Always, as far as anthropogenic carbon dioxide arguments are concerned. No guarantees if the nearest star happens to swell into a red giant. Not only that buffering from non-living actions, but life in the oceans readily converts CO2 into carbonates, into lime, eventually into limestone – and guess what? Limestone is a pH buffer against acid… that same carbon-oxygen-oxygen molecule, through the magic of chemistry, ends up neutralizing the carbonic acid from gaseous CO2 entering the system… It isn’t a static system. As far as acids go, there are other processes flowing around out there. Fresh water from rain becomes rivers, but river water isn’t as buffered as seawater… it hasn’t dissolved as much stuff, so adding acid to river water causes a more dramatic shift in pH. River water can be acidic. Before you blame mankind’s pollution, first recognize that tannic acid, like brown tea from tea leaves… like rain water percolating through piles of autumn leaves becomes brown, and acidic, from the tannins in the tree leaves… is a significant organic source of river acidity. Nothing to do with mankind. As this organic acid mixes with seawater, it will be buffered and neutralized, and the oceans will eternally be alkaline, but transient surges of acidic river water can kill shellfish. Anthropogenic CO2 and weak carbonic acid is not the cause of “acid kills” of coral, sea stars, or oysters. Look elsewhere.
            Hey, it’s been fun, but I gotta go.

          • serious joe

            I’m not funded at all, not by the Koch brothers, not by the Styer brothers. I’m an engineer, which is way better than being a climate scientist. We deal with reality. PK, Erik is not dumb, and besides, the mainstream media is on the alarmist side, and Erik is clearly not an alarmist… it is you who side with the mainstream media.

          • Travis S

            And the only reason the few “scientists” suppress the man made climate change myth is to keep their paychecks coming.

            Period. End of story.

          • serious joe

            pk, you lose all credibility when you cite Wikipedia for controversial stuff like that. Wikipedia is fine if you want to know how a Kelvin degree compares with a Fahrenheit degree, or how many watt hours in a BTU. Ever heard of William Connolley? You can have your own opinion, but you may not have your own facts. See RSS (Remote Sensing Systems) at http://www.remss.com – 213 months, since August of 1996, the temperature averages to a flat line. Not that the starting point is set to the El Nino year, but the starting point is TODAY, and the criteria is to go backwards in the data – how far back can you go and have a flat line, no trend upwards or downwards… RSS is just one of the three major temperature datasets, the other two are slower in reporting each month, so I cannot say seventeen years nine months, for the other two, but I can say, “over seventeen and a half years by three different temperature datasets” …

          • serious joe

            Nine of the hottest years … none of the data since 1900 has exceeded the medieval warm period, the roman warm period, or the holocene climactic optimum, let alone the unadjusted temperature readings from the 1930s in the USA. The present (1950-today) is not unprecedented. It has been hotter, and the significance of that is that it was hotter, recently, before anthropogenic increases in carbon dioxide.

          • serious joe

            pk, it is quite simple, you have been duped. In 2008, Margaret Zimmerman conducted a computerized survey that asked two questions of 10,257 Earth Scientists at academic and government institutions. 3,146 of them responded. That survey was the original basis for the famous “97% consensus” claim. Of 3,146 who responded, 75 said “yes” to both questions. Cherry picking reformatted those three thousand to just 79, and 96.2% (76 of 79) answered “risen” to question 1 and 97.4%(75 of 77) answered yes to question 2. Thus, seventy some out of three thousand is the basis for your belief? On the other side, 31,487 American scientists have put their names to a petition against this foolishness, including 9,029 with PhDs, plus, for me, I’ve been reading and reading and reading, and I came to my own conclusions. All the above is but an “appeal to authority” – what is the basis for your belief?

          • pk

            are you still talking?

          • pk

            Great story joe, what were the questions?

          • serious joe

            PK, you’re just yanking my chain, but since you asked:
            This was the full set of questions that Zimmerman asked in their survey:

            Q1. When compared with pre-1800′s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?

            1. Risen

            2. Fallen

            3. Remained relatively constant

            4. No opinion/Don’t know

            Q2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures? [This question wasn't asked if they answered "remained relatively constant" to Q1]

            1. Yes

            2. No

            3. I’m not sure

            Q3. What do you consider to be the most compelling argument that supports your previous answer (or, for those who were unsure, why were they unsure)? [This question wasn't asked if they answered "remained relatively constant" to Q1]

            Q4. Please estimate the percentage of your fellow geoscientists who think human activity is a contributing factor to global climate change.

            Q5. Which percentage of your papers published in peer-reviewed journals in the last 5 years have been on the subject of climate change?

            Q6. Age

            Q7. Gender

            Q8. What is the highest level of education you have attained?

            Q9. Which category best describes your area of expertise?

            If a respondent answered “remained relatively constant” to the first question, then he wasn’t asked the second question!

            That’s obviously why only 77 answers were reported to the second question. Two of their 79 top climate specialists had answered “remained relatively constant” to the first question, and those two were not asked the second question, and were not included in the calculation of the supposed 97.4% agreement.

            That means only 75 of 79 (94.9%) of their “most specialized and knowledgeable respondents” actually gave them the answers they wanted to both of their questions.

            So, despite asking “dumb questions” that even most skeptics would answer “correctly,” and despite excluding over 97% of the responses after they were received, they still did not find 97% agreement. They actually found only 94.9% agreement.

            http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/watch-the-pea/

          • Erik Christensen

            Someone else put it better than I could… there is no “majority consensus” when it comes to the global warming myth.

            The 97% figure you idiots keep spouting is severely flawed. But you’re too dumb to realize it and continue to parrot what your TV tells you

          • pk

            Neither of us watches TV, so we have that in common

          • Erik Christensen

            http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/science/article4091344.ece

            Sorry but your side of this debate is yet again trying to demonize opposing views

          • serious joe

            0.343% or 41 out of 11,944 papers – not much of a consensus!

            A 15 May 2013 paper by Cook, and his pals, (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article) claimed a 97.1% scientific consensus that mankind had caused at least half the 0.7 Cº global warming since 1950. Cook and his volunteers read abstracts of papers relating to global warming, and graded them into seven endorsement levels. Note that they didn’t read the actual papers, just the abstracts. 0.343% or 41 out of the 11,944 papers explicitly endorsed the “Global Warming” viewpoint.

            According to a paper by the climatologist, Dr David Legates, and his colleagues, published in Science and Education, only 41 out of the 11,944 published climate papers that Cook examined, explicitly stated that mankind caused most of the warming since 1950. Cook himself had flagged just 64 papers, as explicitly supporting that consensus, but 23 of the 64 had not, in fact, supported it.

            Dr William Briggs: “[Cook] arbitrarily excluded about 8,000 of the 12,000 papers in his sample on the unacceptable ground that they had expressed no opinion on the climate consensus. These artifices let him reach the unjustifiable conclusion that there was a 97.1% consensus when there was not. “In fact, Cook’s paper provides the clearest available statistical evidence that there is scarcely any explicit support among scientists for the consensus that the IPCC, politicians, bureaucrats, academics and the media have so long and so falsely proclaimed. That was not the outcome Cook had hoped for, and it was not the outcome he had stated in his paper, but it was the outcome he had really found.”

          • Erik Christensen

            Just another fine example of how the left wing lunatics will twist reality to fit their small-minded viewpoints.

          • Erik Christensen

            and lookie at what the mainstream media is going to completely ignore

            http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/science/article4091344.ece

          • serious joe

            Global average temperatures have not changed in seventeen years, nine months, according to RSS data. Two other major data sets (not model output, but actual measurements) show seventeen years, six months DEAD FLAT NO GLOBAL WARMING. The other two are just late in submitting monthly data, otherwise I’d be saying they were 17 y 9 mo as well.

          • serious joe

            Travis S, you should look into it. Dig out the numbers. There are actually several sources for the “98% consensus” crap. The first one had 75 answer “yes” to both questions, out of three thousand, one hundred and forty six responses. Over 10,000 were asked, about 3k responded, and 75 said yes. How is that the majority of anything?

            I swiped this text from David Burton’s post…. (Sorry, David)

            In 2008 Margaret Zimmerman asked two questions of 10,257 Earth Scientists at academic and government institutions. 3,146 of them responded. That survey was the original basis for the famous “97% consensus” claim.

            For the calculation of the degree of consensus among experts in the Doran/Zimmerman article, all but 79 of the respondents were excluded. They wrote:

            “In our survey, the most specialized and knowledgeable respondents (with regard to climate change) are those who listed climate science as their area of expertise and who also have published more than 50% of their recent peer-reviewed papers on the subject of climate change (79 individuals in total). Of these specialists, 96.2% (76 of 79) answered “risen” to question 1 and 97.4%(75 of 77) answered yes to question 2.”

            The basis for the “97% consensus” claim is this excerpt:

            [of] “the most specialized and knowledgeable respondents (with regard to climate change)… 97.4% (75 of 77) answered yes to question 2.”

            But that is a false statement.

            The two questions were:

            Q1: “When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?” 76 of 79 (96.2%) answered “risen.”

            Q2: “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?” 75 of 77 (97.4%) answered “yes.”

            My nagging question was, why did different numbers of people (79 vs. 77) answer the two questions? What happened to the other two respondents?

            The answer to that question is not in the Doran article.

            But it is in the Zimmerman report, a copy of which I bought back in March, 2012. The reason I feel stupid is that I read it and even quoted the relevant part way back then, and itstill took me until now to realize the obvious answer to my nagging question.

            This was the full set of questions that Zimmerman asked in their survey:

            Q1. When compared with pre-1800′s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?

            1. Risen

            2. Fallen

            3. Remained relatively constant

            4. No opinion/Don’t know

            Q2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures? [This question wasn't asked if they answered "remained relatively constant" to Q1]

            1. Yes

            2. No

            3. I’m not sure

            Q3. What do you consider to be the most compelling argument that supports your previous answer (or, for those who were unsure, why were they unsure)? [This question wasn't asked if they answered "remained relatively constant" to Q1]

            Q4. Please estimate the percentage of your fellow geoscientists who think human activity is a contributing factor to global climate change.

            Q5. Which percentage of your papers published in peer-reviewed journals in the last 5 years have been on the subject of climate change?

            Q6. Age

            Q7. Gender

            Q8. What is the highest level of education you have attained?

            Q9. Which category best describes your area of expertise?

            Do you see it? If a respondent answered “remained relatively constant” to the first question, then he wasn’t asked the second question!

            That’s obviously why only 77 answers were reported to the second question. Two of their 79 top climate specialists had answered “remained relatively constant” to the first question, and those two were not asked the second question, and were not included in the calculation of the supposed 97.4% agreement.

            That means only 75 of 79 (94.9%) of their “most specialized and knowledgeable respondents” actually gave them the answers they wanted to both of their questions.

            So, despite asking “dumb questions” that even most skeptics would answer “correctly,” and despite excluding over 97% of the responses after they were received, they still did not find 97% agreement. They actually found only 94.9% agreement.

          • Travis S

            That’s fine, thanks. Now it’s nice to know exactly where everyone keep pulling that specific number from, but that’s not at all what I was referencing personally. (as I said, I don’t care what the number is)

            Personally I go over everyone’s arguments and conflicts and try to overview their sources or opinions. Whether it’s a scientist, person, news agency or whatever. It’s important really to know WHY people think one way or another, and not so much heavily rely on a probably skewed statistic. I hate statistics because there’s always so much behind them that go unheard, undocumented, etc.

            But let’s look at the actual arguments presented and apply all logic, and scientific fact that we can. Let’s take into consideration the actual changes that are being reported vs. the database of past information we have. Make our own informed choices, not absorbing the stats based simply on the opinions of others.

            But at last, I shall admit one thing. That amidst the argument of global warming vs. not, the resulting action plan (that removing carbon producers, reduce need on coal, lessen pollution, etc.) are all GOOD things that we should be doing regardless, but we’re not. So, even if I was wrong, and everyone who’s saying there’s a problem is wrong, or even if everyone’s just lying… What does anyone have to GAIN by lying about this other than helping the globe out with their health and futures. Tell me that’s a bad thing.

            The best answer I ever hear to THAT question is “So the scientists keep their paychecks rolling in” Which can be said about everyone on any side of the fence in any situation, anywhere. That’s just no a valid argument. It means nothing, even if it were true. (Which I highly doubt EVERYONE is in it for the money, how greedy do you really think the human race is? You want to play with statistics? Apply statistics to that.)

          • Serious Joe

            Oh my – I posted my answer to your earlier question (above) and then read this one… You’re one of “them” ;-)

            If you regard your fellow man as a flock of “sheeple” and you as their shepherd, and you use a gunshot to scare the flock in one direction or another, I suppose a lie is like the gunshot, you’re heart is in the right place… or is it?

            However, I’m not a sheeple, and I’m calling them out on the lies. I’m told that I’m a criminal for not believing in “Climate Change” (I have quotes from significant players in the environmentalism, political, and “Climate Change” crowd to support the claim that some wish violence upon me and other ‘deniers’) – Isn’t the lie getting out of hand?

            As to the overall benefit – have you examined that, carefully? IF we put aside the “Global Warming” crap, that is, let’s take it as “true” that CO2 is not bad, in fact good (just go with it…) then, what is the advantage of solar electrical generation, or wind power? Have you thought that through? Here’s some of the obvious: Eagles, bats, slaughtered by windmills. Remember, DDT was banned because it was thought to weaken the eggshells of raptors like eagles. DDT is so safe, you could bathe in it. Since DDT was banned, millions have died of malaria (mostly children, who suffered greatly as they died). This is the first holocaust that greenies are guilty of, but I digress…

            Are you so certain that it is good, that you will sacrifice your reputation, your core beliefs? Have you been misled, by those willing to lie for their cause, so you – perhaps mistakenly – believe that these other paths (just one is “green energy) are the best? Here are some of the concepts that are often omitted by the proponents – which is a lie of omission…

            Land area – a modern natural gas electrical generation facility fits neatly on a dozen acres or so, but the equivalent peak-power installation of windmills consume thousands of acres. Windmills generate unknowable, unpredictable, and uncontrolled amounts of power. That creates problems of power management, on “the grid”. Solar installations of equivalent peak power (to the gas plant) also consume thousands of acres, and, on average, produce only 20% of their peak power. Solar also generates unpredictable, unstable power, but it isn’t quite as bad as wind. I call these, “weather power” because they produce unpredictably, just like the weather. A field of solar photovoltaic panels apparently looks like the shiny surface of a lake, to birds. The solar-concentrating (mirror) systems also attract birds, which get torched by the concentrated sunshine.

            The cost – A few days ago, Warren Buffet was reported to have said, “For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot ofwind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense …”

            Germany has gone for weather power in a big way, and the impact on the cost of electricity has been dramatic – and that is just the price the people pay for electricity (it doesn’t include the government-subsidized costs, which are hidden in taxes and government debt)… In 2000, the price was 0.20 for a unit of electricity, and in 2013 that same unit cost 5.277 (don’t know if those are dollars, euros, deutchmarks…) There’s a whole new category in the social domain, the “energy poor” … those who make a choice between food and electricity. Germany, right now, is commissioning coal-fired power plants just as fast as it can.

            Stability: Do you expect reliable electricity, day in, day out, or would you like a third-world-type system, where electricity comes on, some time during the day, for a while, and then quits? (assumed that you answered in favor of the stable grid): Then you need to learn some things about power generation.

            First, the whole thing, the “grid” – a network of generators, interconnecting wires, and user’s loads… the grid cannot store electricity. At any given moment, the electricity generated must match, exactly, the electricity used. When the sun doesn’t shine when the winds don’t blow, other generators must pick up the slack. Picking up the slack is called “dispatching” electricity. Or, cutting some slack, when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing and nobody is using electricity at the moment, what happens then? Normally, a “dispatchable” source (like a natural-gas-fired electrical generation facility) would be ramped down, because wind and solar don’t regulate themselves. So, a gas plant has to be on-line to pick up the slack, or to cut some slack as the weather-power fluctuates. Hydro-power doesn’t start up fast enough, or shut down fast enough, to meet the dispatching demands that weather-power brings. Nuclear is a bit more able. Coal really can’t do that. Diesel generators do it pretty well, but at great expense. If you have a bunch of conventional (like nuclear, coal, natural gas, and hydro) then you can add about ten percent, maybe twenty percent, maximum, of weather-power to that system. Any more, and the system can’t pick up the slack or cut the slack fast enough, and the grid becomes unstable, resulting in blackouts, power failures, and the whole third-world sorta thing. Costs soar. Coal and nuclear are at their most affordable when they run at a steady rate – that’s called ‘baseline’… hydro is often at the whims of the weather, the drought, the flood, so hydro has to do what hydro has to do, and the other baseline generation facilities have to gently ramp up or down to make up for it. But the violent, unpredictable variations brought in by solar and wind, they can’t be so easily balanced. To keep things reliable, a natural gas generation facility has to be kept burning all the time, whether it is generating electricity or not. It takes about $10,000 worth of gas, and about eight hours, to take a typical gas plant from cold to hot-n-ready, so you can’t just shut it off and turn it back on as wind and solar demands and supplies change. It is necessary to match the generation capacity of the gas plant to the weather-power, such that, when the weather quits, the gas generation facility is not overloaded, and when the sun shines and the wind blows, the gas generation facility is not completely idle… A gas plant, like your car, gets good economy when a steady foot is pressing on the pedal…. if you floor it, then brake hard, then floor it, then brake hard, your car doesn’t perform in an economical fashion… neither does a natural gas electrical generation facility… so for every megawatt of weather-power you add, you have to have a megawatt of gas, too… because you just can’t count on the weather. So you end up wasting money at about the same rate as if you had NO solar and NO wind, and ran the gas facility at its most economical steady-state…

          • Travis S

            I’m aware fully of where you stand, as you do me now. I actually personally like to let people discover whatever truths of life on their absolute own. Perhaps I influence or manipulate others here or there, but who doesn’t? (Honestly now)

            As far as my extent of understanding or whatever… Let’s just put it this way: Personally I would set to live my life in a cardboard box if one day it meant no one would ever have to do that again. Before you bring up the many arguments of cost (too late), remember what money (or time) really is.

          • serious joe

            The inconvenient truth, sea level is not changing much, must be concealed, so an enormous, bogus “adjustment” is made to the data. The official sea level data are mathematically masturbated by a factor known as the “global isostatic adjustment”. The excuse for this adjustment, which amounts to a significant portion of the difference between the satellite measurements and tide-gauge records, is that the land is still rising, after recently being relived of the burden of miles of ice on it, from the last glaciation, and the sea-bottom, lowering.

            Niklas Mörner calls these tamperings “personal calibrations” – a polite form for what is in essence, fiction. After all, in the previous century, up to 1950, mankind’s carbon dioxide contributions, which had not yet amounted to more than a gnat’s mass, could not have had any significant influence on climate or on sea level. Yet sea level rose. Why is that?

            In the past decade or two, sea level has not really been rising much, as the Envisat and then the Grace satellites have confirmed, suggesting that all of the major global temperature records are correct in showing that global temperature has not been rising recently. No change in global temperature for 17 and a half years now, by three major temperature datasets. A warming ocean expands, due to the thermal effects alone. That produces a bit of sea level rise. The warming stopped, at the surface of the earth, seventeen and a half years ago, and the oceans are slower to respond.

            A recent paper by Beenstock et al. concluded, about the rate of sea level rise: “Consensus estimates of recent Global Mean Sea Level rise are about 2mm/year. Our estimate is 1mm/year. We suggest that the difference between the two estimates is induced by the widespread use of data reconstructions which inform the consensus estimates.”

            In short, they made stuff up. Again.

            When Niklas Mörner was invited to give a presentation on sea-level rise at an international climate conference in Cambridge, he arranged for a copy of his paper to be circulated. The organizers agreed, but the moment they saw the title, “Sea Level Is Not Rising”, they not only refused to allow the paper to be circulated – without actually reading it – but collected the few copies that had already been handed out.

            Sea level was significantly higher in the Roman Warm Period than today. As recently as 1066, when the Normans conquered England, sea levels were quite a bit higher than today.

            (significant portions of this text were swiped from friends)

          • Travis S

            Okay. So let’s assume for the sake of this argument that all of this data manipulation is in fact true. (Which honestly, I wouldn’t doubt in the slightest. And in fact, already assumed. Because any reasonable person can realize that tech changes rapidly and methods of measuring also change, adjustments are made constantly… everywhere.) That Global Warming as we see it is in fact false. What’s the affect on the globe of these debates? What are the action plans being taken? What is the absolute loss or the absolute gain? Or anything in between?

            What do we imagine is the true goal of pursuing a path of “reducing global warming effects” in this case?

            We can debate our assumed facts all day, but the real question remains: Why (would they do this/that)?

            Do I absolutely believe Global Warming is a 100% fact? No, honestly. But do I believe people need a reason to smarten up? Absolutely. Because let’s face it, the argument that surrounds this ends up with the average person saying “I don’t have to make a change, it doesn’t matter. Everyone just makes stuff up, let me go back to my simple life and maintain the few things I care about.” While worldwide problems everywhere persist… I’d be one to believe there’s a far bigger picture to look at here.

            There’s a few far more important actual facts I’ve realized about humanity and life as a whole. That’s my agenda. What’s yours?

          • serious joe

            Travis, you asked, “why would they do…that?”

            You’re asking me to transition from science and engineering into psychology… I cannot say why others do what they do, but I can offer my opinions and some stuff to back up why I have that opinion…

            First, most people are smart but too busy to dig into the “Climate Change” scam, so they are good people who have been influenced; they’re not dumb, or malicious.

            However, the hard-core that has propagated this influence is a bunch of human-haters. People who seriously believe the best thing is for humans do die, ether all of us, totally, as in human extinction, or, a holocaust-like elimination of ‘deniers’ like me, or just a pandemic to kill off most humans indiscriminately.

            This hard-core bunch is willing to use any means to influence the good people who are just too busy to pay attention. You seem to be paying attention… So as a generalization, the “Earth First” types have an agenda, to eliminate humankind completely, an extinction. That might be “the cause” …

            Following them, but not necessarily wanting human extinction, are “the powerful” who are willing to lie for “the cause” (which likely is something less than human extinction, but is likely something that has nothing to do with a warming earth or environmental impact, but might be power, world domination, socialism, communism, whatever floats their boat).

            For example, AlGore 09May2006: “I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.” AlGore seems to be interested in solving “the crisis” and not necessarily the extinction of mankind; to the Earth First types, he’s a useful idiot. He indicates, with the fine phrasing of a veteran politician and lawyer, that he’s willing to lie “for the cause”. Next, let’s hear from a man who is not an idiot:

            Daniel B Botkin, PhD: 17Oct2007, WSJ Online, “Global Warming Delusions”: Without naming names, Mr. Botkin, president of the Center for the Study of the Environment and professor emeritus in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, lamented,

            “Some colleagues, who share some of my doubts, argue that the only way to get our society to change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe, and that therefore it is all right, and even necessary, for scientists to exaggerate. They tell me that my belief in open and honest assessment is naïve. “Wolves deceive their prey, don’t they?” one said to me recently. Therefore, biologically, he said, we are justified in exaggerating to get society to change.”

            So, Dr. Botkin warns us that he has witnessed real scientists willing to lie “for the cause”. Please keep reading, it gets worse.

            Rod Lamberts: Deputy Director, Australian National Centre for Public Awareness of Science at Australian National University: “What we need now, is to become comfortable with the idea that the ends will justify the means.”

            “the ends” = accomplishing “the cause”, “the means” = lying, or worse.

            Monika Kopacz, atmospheric scientist: “… only sensational exaggeration makes the kind of story that will get politicians’ — and readers’ — attention. So, yes, climate scientists might exaggerate, but in today’s world, this is the only way to assure any political action and thus more federal financing to reduce the scientific uncertainty.”

            Former US Congressman and long-standing president of the United Nations Foundation, Timothy Wirth’s “cause” seems to be reduction in energy consumption He spelled out this strategy in 1998, when he said, What we’ve got to do in energy conservation is try to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, to have approached global warming, as if it is real, means energy conservation, so we will be doing the right thing, anyway, in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.

            Paul Watson, former board member of Greenpeace: “It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.” “If you don’t know an answer, a fact, a statistic, then … make it up on the spot and deliver the information confidently and without hesitation.”

            Lie, without hesitation, and with confidence.

            Dr. Dixy Lee Ray wrote “Environmental Overkill”. She recognizes that the ultimate goal of Bründtland, Rocard, Strong, et al, is to undermine and destroy national sovereignty — especially American sovereignty — and she cites many statements, by these principals, blatantly advocating exactly that. “The objective, clearly enunciated by the leaders of UNCED,” Ray notes, “is to bring about a change in the present system of nations. The future is to be world government, with central planning by the UN. Fear of environmental crises, whether real or not, is expected to lead to compliance. If force is needed, it will be provided by a green-helmeted police force….” Source: Environmental Overkill, by Dixy Lee Ray with Lou Guzzo, 1993

            Jim Sibbison, former EPA Press Officer: “We routinely wrote scare stories … Few handouts, however, can be completely honest, and ours were no exception … We were out to whip the public into a frenzy about the environment.” Source: Environmental Overkill, by Dixy Lee Ray with Lou Guzzo, 1993, page 165.

            “The press” is also willing to lie “for the cause”:

            Ross Gelbsan, former journalist: “Not only do journalists not have a responsibility to report what skeptical scientists have to say about global warming. They have a responsibility not to report what these [skeptical] scientists say.”

            Charles Alexander: “As the science editor at Time I would freely admit that on this issue we have crossed the boundary from news reporting to [global warming] advocacy.”

            Andrea Mitchell, NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent: “Clearly the networks have made that decision now, where you’d have to call it [global warming] advocacy.” … at a September 16, 1989 global warming conference at the Smithsonian Institution as quoted by David Brooks in an October 5, 1989 Wall Street Journal column.

            These quotes indicate, for these individuals, what they mean by “for the cause”:

            “Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental.” – Dave Forman, founder of Earth First

            “Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs” (John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal).

            “Mankind is a cancer; we’re the biggest blight on the face of the earth” (president of PETA and environmental activist Ingrid Newkirk).

            “If you haven’t given voluntary human extinction much thought before, the idea of a world with no people in it may seem strange. But, if you give it a chance, I think you might agree that the extinction of Homo Sapiens would mean survival for millions, if not billions, of Earth-dwelling species…. Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental” (Ibid).

            Quoting Richard Conniff, in the pages of Audubon magazine (September, 1990): “Among environmentalists sharing two or three beers, the notion is quite common that if only some calamity could wipe out the entire human race, other species might once again have a chance.”

            Environmental theorist Christopher Manes (writing under the nom-de-guerre Miss Ann Thropy): “If radical environmentalists were to invent a disease to bring human population back to ecological sanity, it would probably be something like AIDS.”

            Environmentalist Thomas Berry, “humans are an affliction of the world, its demonic presence.”

            “The ending of the human epoch on Earth would most likely be greeted with a hearty ‘Good riddance!’”(Paul Taylor, “Respect for Nature: A Theory of Environmental Ethics”).

            “If we don’t overthrow capitalism, we don’t have a chance of saving the world ecologically. I think it is possible to have an ecologically sound society under socialism. I don’t think it is possible under capitalism” (Judi Bari, of Earth First!). –

            Robert Stavins, the head of Harvard’s Environmental Economics program: “It’s unlikely that the U.S. is going to take serious action on climate change until there are observable, dramatic events, almost catastrophic in nature, that drive public opinion and drive the political process in that direction.”

            Sir John Houghton, lead editor of first three IPCC reports: “If we want a good environmental policy in the future, we’ll have to have a disaster.”

            Pentti Linkola, a Finnish ecological philosopher: “An ecocatastrophe is taking place on earth … discipline, prohibition, enforcement and oppression are the only solution.” “As for those “most responsible for the present economic growth and competition”, Linkola explains that they will be sent to the mountains for “re-education” in eco-gulags: “the sole glimmer of hope,” he declares, “lies in a centralised government and the tireless control of citizens.”

            Maurice Strong, a Canadian billionaire elitist, essentially the founder and creator of the UN’s environmental bureaucracies that eventually became the IPCC member of board of the World Economic Forum; chaired the Rio Earth Summit and was the senior advisor to Kofi Annan (the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations), Maurice Strong described himself as “a socialist in ideology, a capitalist in methodology” He made his billions, mostly in the energy and fossil fuel businesses.

            Back in 1992, Maurice Strong was at the height of his immense influence in the United Nations. It was then, that Strong told a reporter about his fantasy plot, supposedly a scenario for a book, that takes place at the World Economic Forum meeting. Strong’s fantasy involves an elite group of world leaders that plan to bring about a worldwide economic collapse. He wonders aloud, “What if a small group of these world leaders were to conclude the principal risk to the earth comes from the actions of the rich countries?… ” In his book plot, the group concludes: “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring this about?” “This group of world leaders forms a secret society …” continued Strong, warming to his fantasy. But, then Strong catches himself. “I probably shouldn’t be saying things like this.”

            Thomas Lovejoy, scientist, Smithsonian Institution: “The planet is about to break out with fever, indeed it may already have, and we [human beings] are the disease. We should be at war with ourselves and our lifestyles.”

            Susan Blakemore, a UK Guardian science journalist: “Finally, we might decide that civilisation itself is worth preserving. In that case we have to work out what to save and which people would be needed in a drastically reduced population – weighing the value of scientists and musicians against that of politicians, for example.”

            John Shuttleworth, founder of Mother Earth News magazine: “The only real good technology is no technology at all.”

          • Travis S

            Wonderful. Psychology is a very enjoyable topic. Overall I’m sure we can at least somewhat agree that the world is a series of manipulations driving individual’s agendas and preferences. I can at least say I’m no “hardcore” as you’ve labeled it though. Perhaps at one point, when my hatred was high enough. This argument still interests me though.

            I see you aim to disarm those with the agenda to “provide a better earth” (Whatever that means to the individual person…)

            Everyone has an agenda, and if they don’t, then what are they doing other than being pawns? It’s what it nevertheless ends up coming down to unfortunately. I think you already know this. Perhaps you were hoping to make me aware. It’s fun to discuss this in public as well.

            What I see in this mostly, is: Reduce pollution, increased funding and pressure on advancing technologies. Technologies that could/should benefit the world as a whole. Certain companies profit, others die out… “natural cycle”. Unlike the industrial age, this one seems a bit more promising. Ideal for a world where you don’t have to collect donations to help poor children in Africa, they won’t need it. And the Global Warming aspect, true or false is a small step forward regardless. So like most of your quotes, I couldn’t care less as well. You may call that malicious, but look at the people manipulating the facts on the other side as well. What’s their end game? What do they want to see the future like in 50 years from now? I’ve only ever discovered more greed than anything in that pool, and I spit on that.

          • serious joe

            Again, too far off topic, but at least it isn’t hostile. I don’t wish to discuss who has an agenda and whether or not it counterbalances another agenda. My point is simply that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant; in fact it is beneficial. There has been a satellite-detected 11% increase in the greening of the earth, particularly around arid regions of the globe, and that was attributed to the increase in carbon dioxide. I don’t think any cause is worth lying about.
            Politicians are ineffective in picking winners to fund, so putting pressure on funding for advancing technology should be left to venture capitalists, not politicians. Finally, I disagree – hopefully in a pleasant way – with “Global Warming…true or false… small step forward” – it is a large step, and certainly not forward. Sounds like we remain in disagreement. See ya.

        • serious joe

          “The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot,” according to a Commerce Department report published by the Washington Post.

          Writes the Post: “Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers. . . all point to a radical change in climate conditions and . . . unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone . . . Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones . . . while at many points well-known glaciers have entirely disappeared.”

          More evidence of human-caused global warming? Hardly.

          The above report of runaway Arctic warming is from a Washington Post story published Nov. 2, 1922

          Swiped from Examiner.com

          Glaciers disappeared, seals find the water too hot, unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic… in 1922

          “The United States and the Soviet Union are mounting large-scale investigations to determine why the Arctic climate is becoming more frigid, why parts of the Arctic sea ice have recently become ominously thicker and whether the extent of that ice cover contributes to the onset of ice ages.”

          From an article in the NY Times, “Climate Experts Assay Ice Age Clues”, January 27, 1972, ThursdaySpecial to The New York TimesSection: BUSINESS/FINANCE, Page 74, 731 words

          Arctic ice ominously thicker, Arctic climate becoming more frigid, in the seventies…

          So, in the twenties, Arctic ice was sparse, but in the seventies, Arctic ice was extra thick. The onset of mankind’s large contributions to atmospheric carbon dioxide, the theoretical cause to the supposed “Climate Disruption”, began to be noticeable in the fifties. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations show a steady rise since then. So if CO2 was rising, how did Arctic ice go from sparse in the twenties to extra thick in the seventies? That is the opposite direction of the CO2 concentrations.

          Arctic ice is following a multi-decade natural cycle. Nothing to worry about, it has happened before, it will happen again. The sky is not falling.

          • Chad Burke

            Excellent argument. Didn’t know about the 1920′s melting. I do know the primary study used to support the Antarctic melt claim focused on an area equal to 2% of the continent while the other 98% showed no change. If you are interested there is another article on disinformation.com titled Top Ten Good Skeptical Arguments Against Global Warming. The supporters are out in force over there. Happy debunking.

      • Chad Burke

        Oh I forgot. There actually is a correlation between CO2 and atmospheric temperature, but its not the one you think. Historically CO2 levels rise following years of warming temperatures. Exactly opposite what the AGW crowd would have you believe.

        • serious joe

          Ice core data shows clearly that the temperature rises first, then the CO2 levels; CO2 levels respond to the rise in temperature. CO2 does not cause the rise in temperatures, it seems to be caused by the rise in temperatures. This is called the lag; the lag is many years. In ice cores, the lag is about 800 years. CO2 levels, as shown in ice cores, have been way higher than the current 400 ppm and, at times, the planet was colder than it is today, in spite of the much higher CO2 concentration; CO2 has been lower than the current 400 ppm, and, at times, the planet has been hotter, in spite of the reduced CO2 concentrations. CO2 has a relationship with water (the oceans)… solubility. It appears that, according to the ice cores, as the oceans warmed, water’s ability to hold dissolved CO2 reduced, so the oceans outgassed. As the oceans cooled, water’s ability to hold dissolved CO2 increased, so the oceans stored more CO2. The climate warmed and cooled for reasons other than CO2, and the oceans released or stored CO2 in response, simply due to thermal variations in solubility. Alarmists claim that “there’s never been so much CO2 released in such a short space of time” – that can’t be proven. The time-resolution in ice cores just isn’t good enough to say that with authority. CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have been way higher, and lower, during times when mankind wasn’t around to be blamed. If CO2 in the atmosphere drops much below 200 ppm, all plant life stops. For our purposes, that means the earth is a dead rock. Right now it is at 400 ppm or so. Most of the CO2 in the atmosphere now did not come from mankind’s actions; in fact, most of the recent rise in CO2 is not from mankind, it is from natural sources. Some scientists say that they have performed radioactive isotope tests that prove that the CO2 increase is from mankind’s actions. Isotopic analysis isn’t as revealing as scientists might suggest… The carbon, in CO2, comes in different isotopes, 12C, 13C, 14C, but nuclear decay and atomic transmutation from cosmic rays, are difficult subjects – the count of the number of neutrons varies (12 13, 14 neutrons); some isotopes last, essentially, forever; some decay. The carbon atom in a CO2 molecule can be analyzed to see which isotope it is; if it is one of the more radioactive varieties, the carbon atom is assumed to be young, thus suggesting it couldn’t be an ancient one from ancient carbon reserves (like coal). A simplified “thought experiment” can lead you to believe that analysis of the isotopes can (with assurance) identify if the carbon came from ancient sources (like coal or volcanoes) or, if the carbon in a CO2 molecule came from a recent grass fire (or other burring of biomass on the earth’s surface, “young” sources). However, the absorption of atmospheric CO2 by cold water (young carbon, and old carbon), and the subsequent release of mixed, old and young carbon, as carbon dioxide, by warmed water (and other complicated interactions besides dissolution in water) make this analysis, which sounds logical, not so reliable. So, the outrageous claims by some “scientists” that they know, by isotopic analysis, of CO2 in the atmosphere, that the recent rise in CO2 came from fossil fuels, isn’t as reliable as they say; warming ocean water releases CO2 from ancient AND recent sources. CO2 comes from sources other than mankind’s burning of fossil fuels. For one thing, not all oxidation of fossil fuels is burning by mankind. Half of all the oil floating around on the oceans is not from mankind’s oil spills. That half is from seeps (like cracks in the ocean floor where crude oil leaks out). That oil from natural seeps does not remain oil, forever. Some of it is oxidized by geothermal, biological or photochemical actions into carbon dioxide and water vapor. For that matter, untapped hydrocarbon reserves in the earth are leaking all the time, and the good crude or gas in them is being degraded by geologic or perhaps biologic forces into carbon dioxide and water vapor, all the time. The best thing to do, to clean up nature’s half of oil spills, is to drill into the leaking spots, pump the oil out, and burn it!

          • Chad Burke

            Awesome comments, thank you for taking the time to educate people. Those of us who’ve figured out the truth don’t have the podium of liars like Gore, Hansen or the clowns at the IPCC, but we can pick off the poorly informed one by one.

          • serious joe

            My wife will not be pleased that I spent hours and hours writing; however, I will cherish your comment for quite a while….

      • Erik Christensen

        A single volcano emits more CO2 than man generates in a decade

        • John Feffer

          You must have accidentally left out an article. A single volcano emits more CO2 than “a” man generates in a decade — that would be correct. Otherwise, your statement is so patently false as to edge into parody. All volcanoes on land and sea produce an estimated 200 million tons of CO2 in a year. That’s not a small amount. But compared to what humans generate in a year — much less a decade — it is a tiny amount. Humans produced 26 billion tons in 2003, for instance — volcanic CO2 is less than one percent.

          The other assertions of “facts” by the “CCD crowd” (climate change deniers) are equally ludicrous. It’s too bad that climate change doesn’t restrict its effects to those who deny its existence.

          http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch/archive/2007/07_02_15.html

          • Travis S

            Hey look, we read similar articles. That’s good to know… What are all these other people reading?

          • serious joe

            Volcanic CO2 contributions have been seriously underestimated. The accounting for CO2 from volcanoes was limited to obvious (active) volcanoes, but then it was discovered that inactive volcanoes release CO2, as do mid-oceanic ridges and vents. Scientists don’t have a count of how many volcanoes are under the ocean, or the quantity of submarine ridges or ocean floor vents, or how much CO2 they release. Scientists don’t even have a handle on geologic CO2 sources on the earth’s land surfaces, let alone what is hidden under the oceans. Calculations for the gross amounts of fossil fuels burned by mankind come up short, really short, to account for the recent rise in CO2 in the atmosphere… The arithmetic can only account for about ten percent, so, it would appear that ninety percent of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere since, say, 1900 or 1950, comes from sources not related to mankind. Scientists cannot account for all non-anthropogenic sources of CO2 released to the atmosphere; calculations for fossil fuels burned don’t account for the CO2 in the atmosphere, and isotopic analysis is inconclusive in identifying the source or sources of CO2 in the atmosphere… So the “proof” that mankind is the cause of the recent increase of CO2 in the atmosphere falls apart under scrutiny; certainly the fossil fuels burned account for about 10% of the recent rise, but that leaves roughly 90% as natural.

          • serious joe

            “…the oceans act like a great blue curtain, completely shrouding our view and muting the sound. About 80 percent of all volcanic and earthquake activity on Earth occurs on the seafloor…” Hydrophones reveal a whole lot of previously undetected seafloor shaking: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 2004

            …and that makes reference to “activity” – recent discoveries show that CO2 is emitted from inactive volcanoes and other, apparently inactive, geologic sites.

          • serious joe

            The ONLY thing that says we’re heading for “game over” is the GCMs, the General Circulation Models – fancy computer software that predicts that CO2 causes “Climate Change”… The models are wrong (in so many different ways).

            This week there’s a new paper from the University of Texas at Austin “…you can’t make accurate predictions about future carbon cycling without thinking about how [symbiotic fungi, ecto- and ericoid mycorrhizal (EEM) fungi and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi] interact.” “The role of these fungi is currently unaccounted for in global climate models. Some types of symbiotic fungi can lead to 70 percent more carbon stored in the soil.”

            “…unaccounted for in global climate models.”
            Just another revelation as to why the models are so wrong…

            “Natural fluxes of carbon between the land and atmosphere are enormous and play a crucial role in regulating the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and, in turn, Earth’s climate,” said Colin Averill, lead author on the study and graduate student in the College of Natural Sciences at UT Austin. “This analysis clearly establishes that the different types of symbiotic fungi that colonize plant roots exert major control on the global carbon cycle, which has not been fully appreciated or demonstrated until now.”

            “Natural fluxes of carbon between the land and atmosphere are enormous and play a crucial role in regulating the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and, in turn, Earth’s climate,” said Colin Averill, lead author on the study and graduate student in the College of Natural Sciences at UT Austin. “This analysis clearly establishes that the different types of symbiotic fungi that colonize plant roots exert major control on the global carbon cycle, which has not been fully appreciated or demonstrated until now.”

            Peer-reviewed, published science from reputable sources, and the take-away is: You can’t possibly model the CO2 cycle correctly without taking this into account…

            Chris Folland of UK Meteorological Office: “The data don’t matter. We’re not basing our recommendations [for reductions in carbon dioxide emissions] upon the data. We’re basing them upon the climate models.”

            Those models are wrong.

            Kevin Trenberth, a lead author of 2001 and 2007 IPCC report chapters, writing in a 2007 “Predictions of Climate” blog appearing in the science journal Nature.com, admitted: “None of the models used by the IPCC are initialized to the observed state, and none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed state”.

            They know the models are wrong.

            David Frame, climate model designer, Oxford University: “Rather than seeing models as describing literal truth, we ought to see them as convenient fictions which try to provide something useful.”

            They admit the models are fiction… useful, but fiction.

      • serious joe

        Yes, they are lying. It’s “for the cause”

      • serious joe

        A 15 May 2013 paper by Cook, and his pals, (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article) claimed a 97.1% scientific consensus that Man had caused at least half the 0.7 Cº global warming since 1950.

        According to a paper by the climatologist, Dr David Legates, and his colleagues, published in Science and Education, only 41 out of the 11,944 published climate papers that Cook examined, explicitly stated that Man caused most of the warming since 1950. Cook himself had flagged just 64 papers as explicitly supporting that consensus, but 23 of the 64 had not, in fact, supported it.

        Dr William Briggs: “[Cook] arbitrarily excluded about 8,000 of the 12,000 papers in his sample on the unacceptable ground that they had expressed no opinion on the climate consensus. These artifices let him reach the unjustifiable conclusion that there was a 97.1% consensus when there was not. “In fact, Cook’s paper provides the clearest available statistical evidence that there is scarcely any explicit support among scientists for the consensus that the IPCC, politicians, bureaucrats, academics and the media have so long and so falsely proclaimed. That was not the outcome Cook had hoped for, and it was not the outcome he had stated in his paper, but it was the outcome he had really found.”

        Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, an expert reviewer for the IPCC’s imminent Fifth Assessment Report, who found the errors in Cook’s data, said: “It may be that more than 0.3% of climate scientists think Man caused at least half the warming since 1950. But only 0.3% of almost 12,000 published papers say so explicitly. Cook had not considered how many papers merely implied that. No doubt many scientists consider it possible, as we do, that Man caused some warming, but not most warming.

        Dr Legates said: “It is astonishing that any journal could have published a paper claiming a 97% climate consensus when on the authors’ own analysis the true consensus was well below 1%.”

        Dr Legates: “It is still more astonishing that the IPCC should claim 95% certainty about the climate consensus when so small a fraction of published papers explicitly endorse the consensus as the IPCC defines it.”

    • colinjames71

      First let me say I respect this author, this blog, and people who are concerned about the fate of the earth and the environment. I strongly believe we need to switch to new forms of energy, and energy distribution, the world over. Ocean acidification, deforrestation, habitat loss,spills, fracking, mountaintop removal, the poisoning of land, air, ocean and fresh water resources- all pressing, immediate concerns. Deep-water drilling is madness, the Gulf is ruined for generations if not ages. Fracking is insanity. Tar sand extraction and transportation, dangerous idiocy. Arctic exploration? Words fail me.

      BUT… Eric is correct. I used to be a true believer, but I’ve come across purely scientific info to come to the conclusion that mankind doesn’t affect climate nearly to the extent, if at all, you’ve been led to believe. It’s the sun, actually the electrical interactions between the sun and earth that are the driving forces. The “scientific consensus”, specifically the Montford paper, is extremely flawed, as is the IPCC process. I do believe most of the scientists working on climate change believe in the AGW hypothesis, and most of the fossil-fuel funded denier industry uses bad science and dirty tactics to muddy up the debate. But, fact is, climate science just isn’t settled science. The cries of “where are the papers” seem rational until you understand how completely effed up the peer-review process and scientific establishment works, along with the grant/funding mechanisms. The precise scientific arguments are complex and too much to get into in depth, and I know this opinion isn’t going to be popular here, but there is so, so much we have yet to understand about climate, weather, and the sun (starting with the fact that it is most definitely not a nuclear furnace), and the computer models are worthless.

      My concern is that most people who don’t believe in AGW think it’s okey-dokey to go on with the status quo, and of those who do believe, many believe so fervently that climate becomes their only concern, and deride any and everyone who disagrees. The other issues become an afterthought. It’s a polarizing debate that causes divisions when we desperately need new appliances. I implore people to keep an open mind, and put more emphasis on the real, firmly established, and visibly damaging effects of oil, gas, and coal that everyone can agree upon. Nuclear too for that matter.

      Beyond the pollution and poisoning et al, the mad drive for energy is a major driving force behind our awful foreign policy, afflicts global geopolitics, and corrupts domestic politics. The same goes for carbon taxes and credit schemes, subsidies for food-based alternative fuels, etc- so be wary of the elites sucking more money out of the working class and enriching the already enriched elites while delaying the real, massive change needed. Don’t trust the UN for sh*t, and I’m no right-winger, trust me on that.

      My views were changed by the scientists at Thunderbolts Project, check their youtube channel. They’re astronomers and plasma physicists and electrical engineers and more- not political at ALL, and climate science is not their chief concern, just an offshoot of their research into an alternative theory of how the Universe really operates. Electric Universe model. It’s really fascinating, actually, touching upon many areas of scientific inquiry. and these people are committed to intellectual and scientific integrity. I can’t recommend this site highly enough, they are simply awesome, and more and more people are getting on board. It’s truly revolutionary.

      I should also mention I’ve spent years as an environmental activist, have a degree in environmental studies, and care very much about the fate of the planet, its ecosystems, wildlife, oceans and lakes and rivers and forests, and every person on earth. So please, while I don’t expect to change anyone’s opinion with this one, way-too long post, just keep an open mind, don’t mock those with opposing views, and focus more on the alternate issues I mentioned- even if you still believe we’re headed for extinction in fifty years or whatever due to warming. Peace and aloha, all.

      • Erik Christensen

        FINALLY! Someone who knows what they are talking about! Nice to know that at least some people here use their brains and look at the evidence instead of listening to what their TV tells them to think.

        • colinjames71

          Hey thanks.

          • Erik Christensen

            no… Thank YOU for using your head instead of having your TV think for you

  • BJArias

    … we can’t stop marching rapidly forward, so taking any steps back is
    completely out of the question.. and our present concentration of
    atmospheric co2 has not been seen for how many millions of years? .. and
    what was climate (/ life) like back then?

  • shaun

    sea levels have not risen otherwise the navigation charts all around are wrong and they are not. I should now as I sail often.

    • serious joe

      “We spent a year sailing the Tonga Islands in the South Pacific. The charts were drawn by none other than William Bligh, when he sailed with Cook on the Resolution 1776-1780. They are a masterpiece of precision, from a time before chronometers were available to calculate longitude.

      There is a reef on the charts, in the Vava’u island group. The reef is important because if provides a short cut between two major sailing areas, cutting a day off travel time. The chart shows 1 fathom depth on the reef (at low tide). Our boat also draws 6 feet (1 fathom). At low tide we used to bump across the reef in the slightest waves, as we made our way across the shortcut.

      More than 200 years after the charts were drawn, not enough sea level rise to notice.”
      -ferdberple said, May 3, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      The inconvenient truth, sea level is not changing much, must be concealed, so an enormous, bogus “adjustment” is made to the data. The official sea level data are mathematically masturbated by a factor known as the “global isostatic adjustment”. The excuse for this adjustment, which amounts to a significant portion of the difference between the satellite measurements and tide-gauge records, is that the land is still rising, after recently being relived of the burden of miles of ice on it, from the last glaciation, and the sea-bottom, lowering.

      Niklas Mörner calls these tamperings “personal calibrations” – a polite form for what is in essence, fiction. After all, in the previous century, up to 1950, mankind’s carbon dioxide contributions, which had not yet amounted to more than a gnat’s mass, could not have had any significant influence on climate or on sea level. Yet sea level rose. Why is that?

      In the past decade or two, sea level has not really been rising much, as the Envisat and then the Grace satellites have confirmed, suggesting that all of the major global temperature records are correct in showing that global temperature has not been rising recently. A warming ocean expands, due to the thermal effects alone. That produces a bit of sea level rise. The warming stopped, at the surface of the earth, seventeen and a half years ago, and the oceans are slower to respond.

      A recent paper by Beenstock et al. concluded, about the rate of sea level rise: “Consensus estimates of recent Global Mean Sea Level rise are about 2mm/year. Our estimate is 1mm/year. We suggest that the difference between the two estimates is induced by the widespread use of data reconstructions which inform the consensus estimates.”

      In short, they made stuff up. Again.

      When Niklas Mörner was invited a couple of years ago to give a presentation on sea-level rise at an international climate conference in Cambridge, he arranged for a copy of his paper to be circulated. The organizers agreed, but the moment they saw the title, “Sea Level Is Not Rising”, they not only refused to allow the paper to be circulated – without actually reading it – but collected the few copies that had already been handed out.

      Sea level was significantly higher in the Roman Warm Period than today. As recently as 1066, when the Normans conquered England, sea levels were quite a bit higher than today.

      Sea levels rose significantly after the last glaciation, then fell during the Little Ice Age. In fact, Roman Empire and Medieval port cities are now miles from the Mediterranean, because sea levels fell during the Little Ice Age. The Little Ice Age turned substantial water from the oceans into ice on land, lowering sea levels, and leaving former ports stranded. Not enough ice has melted since 1850 to make them harbors again. Sea levels have been rising again, since the Little Ice Age ended around 1850 – at a steady rate, with no correlation to the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. If the present 400 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere had actually upset the earth’s energy balance, then the net difference in energy should be producing a steady temperature climb. A steady temperature increase would produce a steady rise in sea levels, if only for reasons of thermal expansion of the ocean water… if additional land-locked ice was melting, then the sea level rise would not be so steady, but should be increasing at a greater rate than the temperature is rising. Given that carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is on a steady, linear rate of increase, any “forcing” or “heating” from CO2 should be increasing, so the corresponding thermal expansion should produce an accelerating rate of sea level rise… but the actual data has shown not an acceleration, but a steady rate of sea level rise, until recently, when the sea level rise rate began to decline!

      The ancient city of Ephesus was an important port city from the Bronze Age to the Minoan Warm period, and continuing through the Roman Empire. An historic map shows its location right on the sea. But today, in modern-day Turkey, Ephesus is 5 km from the Mediterranean. Some historians erroneously claim “river silting” caused the change, but the real “culprit” was sea level change.

      Ruins of the old Roman port Ostia Antica, are extremely well preserved – with intact frescoes, maps and plans. Maps from the time show the port located at the mouth of the Tiber River, where it emptied into the Tyrrhenian Sea. The Battle of Ostia in 849, depicted in a painting attributed to Raphael, shows sea level high enough for warships to assemble at the mouth of the Tiber. However, today it is two miles up-river from the mouth of the Tiber. An important turning point in British history occurred in 1066, when William the Conqueror defeated King Harold II. When William landed, he occupied Pevensey Castle, which at the time was located on a small island in a harbor on England’s south coast. A draw bridge connected it to the mainland. Pevensey Castle is now a mile from the coast – further proof of a much higher sea level fewer than 1000 years ago.

      Before modern Italy, the region was dominated by the famous City States of the Mediterranean, among which is Pisa. Pisa’s reign ended after 1300 AD, the onset of the Little Ice Age, when sea levels fell and ships could no longer sail to her port. Once again, some say “river silting” was the cause. However, Pisa is now seven miles from the Tyrrhenian Sea

      - with thanks to Christopher, whom I copied extensively from…

    • serious joe

      While pontificating about Climate Change causing sea level rises, AlGore, Tim Flannery, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, and Greg Combet all bought expensive beach-front property, subject to flooding if sea levels actually rise, as they predict.

  • serious joe

    The world’s average temperature has not changed a bit for seventeen years, nine months… now that the latest RSS data is in… 17 years 6 months of no temperature rise, by two other independent measures (that are slower to report the data, than RSS). How is it that “Climate Change” affects the Caribbean, when the global temperature has held steady for almost two decades? (longer, in some areas… cooler, in some areas… really, it is only warmer in parts of the arctic). You can have your own opinion, but you may not have your own facts. See RSS (Remote Sensing Systems) at http://www.remss.com – 213 months, since August of 1996, the temperature averages to a flat line. That’s actually more than half of the total time the satellites have been measuring temperature.