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View Diary: Global Warming - Creating the Conditions for a Cronkite Moment (183 comments)

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  •  Blue Aardvark (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Wells

    That is one awesome, narrative destroying graph!!

    Rule of acquisition # 185. If you want to ruin yourself ..... banks are the most reliable way

    by wrights on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 09:41:50 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

      The same argument can be made in other direction. Why do we start with 1979? Why not start with the 1940's and show how the climate cooled from then until the 1970's, prompting Newsweek and Time to warn of the coming of a new Ice Age? Why don't we show the temperatures going back to the Medieval Warm Period, when there were farming communities in Greenland? Shit, why not just show them going back to the end of the last period of glaciation to show that temperatures had been warming for 12,000 years without any CO2 emissions from us whatsoever?

      •  Sure, let's see the graph. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alice in Florida, G2geek

        And if you can produce the graph, I'm sure it's gone up, not down since the 40's.

        You are demanding that I produce proof, but the burden of proof is on you, since you keep changing the argument.

        Rule of acquisition # 185. If you want to ruin yourself ..... banks are the most reliable way

        by wrights on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 10:44:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  In other words, put up or shut up. (0+ / 0-)

        Rule of acquisition # 185. If you want to ruin yourself ..... banks are the most reliable way

        by wrights on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 10:45:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But for the benefits of others: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bnasley, FishOutofWater

          It's been going up since we started using fossil fuels.

          Rule of acquisition # 185. If you want to ruin yourself ..... banks are the most reliable way

          by wrights on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 10:49:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, nice graph (0+ / 0-)

            It appears to show that current temps are more or less where they were during the Medieval Warm Period. Were we to blame for that period of global warming too?

            •  Perhaps you have trouble reading graphs. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Either that or you are invested in denial. Anyone who can make that statement after looking at those graphs is beyond any rational arguments.

              Future discussion on this topic in this thread is conter productive in my opinion. If any one else cares, go ahead.

              Rule of acquisition # 185. If you want to ruin yourself ..... banks are the most reliable way

              by wrights on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 11:13:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's pretty clear (0+ / 0-)

                I may not have trouble reading graphs, but I don't know how to post one here. But there are only two points on that entire graph that poke above zero, the top of the Medieval period at the beginning and during the 1998 to present period.

                •  If it was only current temperatures (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bnasley, wrights, FishOutofWater

                  Then it would be no worse than your average global issue.  The problem is the trajectory.  The last temperature shown on the graph is "only" higher than the Medieval Warm Period peak by 0.3C, being about 25% of the entire temperature range of the graph.

                  Ok, that's the 390 ppm condition, and also includes various kinds of latencies (some continued warming would reasonably be expected even if elevated CO2 levels stayed the same).

                  The real issue is what will be the result at 500, or 600, or 700 ppm CO2.  Recent business as usual results not only do not show GHG reductions, we have actually had  accelerating increases.

                  We shall not contribute to our own destruction.

                  by James Wells on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 11:51:49 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thanks. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    James Wells

                    Just look at the ski jump at the end of the graph. You said it much better than I did.

                    Rule of acquisition # 185. If you want to ruin yourself ..... banks are the most reliable way

                    by wrights on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 02:50:51 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  You can only get .3C if you really (0+ / 0-)

                    defy logic in looking at that graph. There's no legend of course, but the black line clearly seems to be an outlier amongst the data sets, and there is a note marking that last year at the very top as 2004, which we know for a fact was not warmer than 1998, so something is seriously amiss.

                    All of the other data sets peak out right at about 0.0C, which is exactly where the Medieval Warm Period evidently peaked (actually we don't know that from the graph, because we don't see anything before 1000AD).

                    Yes, we don't know what will happen at 5, 6, or 700 ppm, but that fear is only based on the assumption that the warming of the last century or so has been caused by CO2 as opposed to a natural cycle coming out of the cool period that followed the Medieval Warm Period, which included I believe a couple of Little Ice Ages.

                •  you do realize, you just said that it is warming? (1+ / 0-)
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                  because 0 is the 20th century average, which means that if only recent and the middle ages anomoly are the only two above zero, what we are facing now is well beyond the normal range of variability for the last 2,000 years.  (that graph is alos on that page)

                  •  I don't deny that it is warming (0+ / 0-)

                    I acknowledge that the Earth has been warming, and human activity likely has something to do with it. I take issue with the theory that our activities are going to be the predominant influence on climate to catastrophic effect within the next decade or two if we don't radically change our way of life.

                    •  That's not super controversial (1+ / 0-)
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                      It is possible that big catastrophe will happen on the next decade or two. (see Texas) however the predictions really are that the main  effects will arise after 2050

                      I would also point out that I am not sure anyone is talking about a massive change of way of life.  For example, I personally changed over to a 100% renewable energy package for my home electricity for around $10 a month.  Now I will be in the market for a car next year.  If I choose to get a new car instead of used then I will probably get a volt or a leaf.  Between those two things my lifestyle will actually be unchanged but my daily carbon budget will drop my a fairly large fraction just by choosing the right alternatives.   It is actually trivial to do if we didn't have entrenched interests who will suck the US dry for their own benefit.   Fortunately, California has a history of having some independence and fosters other ways to go.  Funny thing how those states that talk about how bad environmental regulation is gets their clocks cleaned regular by us tree hugging Californians and we have to pick up the tab for their welfare checks.  

                      But whatever  Amerivans aren't so keen on reality

                      •  California has an unemployment rate (0+ / 0-)

                        that is just south of Michigan, which is ridiculous considering the natural and human resources that we have here. I certainly have no problem with any individual who chooses to reduce their carbon footprint. I've spent the better part of my life as an adult without the use of car, relying on bicycling and public transit for nearly all of my travel needs. I have a home that is so naturally climate controlled that I've never even used a fan or a/c, and my wife and I might put the heater on for an hour or so maybe 30 times a year. I live in a common interest community with 2000 trees that we care for, so my personal carbon footprint is probably not that bad, compared to the average American.

                        And keep in mind, I'm very much opposed to climate change legislation or treaties, but I'm very much in favor of most other environmental causes. I'm actively involved in getting diesel pollution out of low-income urban areas around Los Angeles, I've helped fund parks and open space, I believe in protecting biodiversity, clean water, getting rid of dams, restoring native plants. I'm all over all of that. It's just the climate change thing that I don't buy into.

                        •  well (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          That's good I suppose.  You might want to learn a little more about how science is done and how it works, though admittedly climate science is among the trickiest areas because it is largely not experimental and relies on data analysis, which is a pretty technical area.  All I can say is that the scientists who do this for a living from a vast number of fields have all reached this conclusion, so that's fairly hard to argue with.  Most who do are doctors or physicists or folks who don't really ahve any background in the area I notice.

                          In any event, we can talk about Californias unemployment rate and the numerous factors that go into that, but it is still one of the richest states in the union, and 40% more energy efficient that the US average.  I know Republicans are fond of saying that regulation is bad, but that too flies in the face of the facts.   We have other issues to be sure.  That's a whole other kettle of fish.

                        •  and you probabnly don't have to change (0+ / 0-)

                          I was thinking of course (you've made me think about climate change more than Bill McKibben!  Take a bow!) and from the sounds of it, your lifestle might not change much at all.  If you meet your other goals, particularly about air quality, by conversion from fossil fuels both for utility generation and what car/transportation/trucking needs you have, then I'm going to bet you'll have done most of what needs to happen to deal with carbon change.  

                          If you like, you might sneak over to, because they keep track of a lot of technological advances and changing economics.  For example, solar has come down in price so much, it is starting to displace coal because it is cheaper.  Building wind has also done its share (see Muskegon Critic's diaries)

                          I might even adopt a slogan for this effort:  "We're closer than you think"  

                          anyway, thanks again!

                          •  And I would again emphasize that if (0+ / 0-)

                            solar is cheaper, then great, why not? And if there are things that we should do anyways, climate change or not, then great, let's do them. But you and I both know that the stakes are not ultimately about taking the bus to work, or installing a solar panel. If humanity is to reduce carbon emissions to a level that would stabilize atmospheric CO2 at 350 ppm, there is going to be real pain. People who are now on the margins of the energy economy will suffer and die. I know that you don't want to admit that, but the fact is that people already suffer because the price of energy is higher than they can afford, whether it's to be able to get transportation to work, or fertilize and cultivate their crops, or enable their children to study at night. And even here in the "first world" there are millions who are affected on a daily basis negatively by the price of energy. And there is no way to get to 350 ppm without increasing the price of energy, and every increase in the price of energy is going to mean that that many more people on the margins will suffer. Even a .01% increase, will mean a .01% increase in the suffering.

                          •  I don't want to admit that (0+ / 0-)

                            because there's not really any evidence to support the notion that people will suffer and die.

                            You have perhaps heard of LIHEAP, food stamps, and medicaid?  As a society, we have it entirely in our power to shield the most vulnerable.  The fact that we tend not to is not an argument that we can't.  This is a non starter and a fallacy.

                            Yes, the price of energy will increase for a time (after which it is likely to fall, because after all, there are no feedstocks to pay for with wind or solar once instaleld, which means that installing a lot of renewables is terrible news for the fossil fuel industry because once the investment is made, they won't be able to compete)

                            So, yes, as a start we should do renewables if they are cheaper.  Of course, the only way that will happen is if we stop subsidizing dirty fuels out the wazoo.  Make coal companies pay the health care costs where they pollute and fully clean up.  Ditto for oil companies.  Put that carbon tax on.  I'm sure that if we stop letting polluters have a free ride, things will change pretty quickly.  As it is, we are just siphoning wealth from average people and funnelling it to giant corporations with our current policies.

                          •  You are seriously on crack if you believe that (0+ / 0-)

                            low-income people all over the world will be fully compensated for any increase in energy prices related to efforts to reduce GHG emissions. If you gave every poor person on Earth $200 a year, you're talking about $1 trillion annually. Do you really think that's going to happen? Countries that are themselves deeply in debt and staving off bankruptcy are going to donate $1 trillion a year to make sure that poor people don't suffer the impacts of higher energy prices.

                            I also challenge you to consider whether you really believe that alternative energy is going to be cheaper than carbon-based fuels in any forseeable timeframe. You do realize that investors have no problem investing in ideas with long time frames. They write 30 year mortgages on houses millions of times a year. They invest in oil pipelines that will take decades to come to fruition, real estate developments, etc. If alternative energy was such a great investment on its own merits, there'd be no need for us to be having this debate about public policy. It would happen on its own.

                            One thing that we can absolutely agree upon however is that there shouldn't be subsidies for carbon-based fuels. Why hasn't the global warming movement started with that, with calling for all governments to stop any form of subsidy to carbon-based fuel industry? That would seem to be something that the left and right could agree upon.

                          •  poor people worldwide aren't the issue (0+ / 0-)

                            it's poor people in the rich world only.  That's where the emissions are. And let's not forget, except for the US, these countries have a strong tradition of doing this.

                            Yes, I do believe it.  After all, we're early on and if early adopters pay only $200 a year, unless the current decline in solar panel prices stops (which the rate of new discoveries suggests will continue).  In fact, there's a lot of investment going in here.  Europe's already seen it, and now the US (especially California) is seeing a lot of money pouring in.

                            that said, the global warming movement has targetted oil subsidies, and the ending of oil subsidies was brought up in Congress, Republicans voted it down unanimously, I believe.  

                            But, so long as there's a consensus that carbon is no big deal in the US, then nothign will happen.  Sad, but true.

                          •  I don't remember that vote (0+ / 0-)

                            The Dem's had the House for four years though, so they could've passed something along those lines.

                            And, why are you saying that poor people outside of the first world aren't at issue? Isn't the major issue in climate change talks whether or not China and India and other developing countries will sign on to CO2 limits? Isn't that the reason cited by Canada in dropping out, that unless you get those kinds of countries to also sign on, it will all be for naught?

                            And it's not like as things now stand, everyone in even the U.S. for example is being fully compensated. Plenty of poor people live in places where the only way to find work is to drive. Are they being reimbursed for higher gas prices? Would they be under cap and trade?

                          •  so the argument is (0+ / 0-)

                            that because we can't take measures to make sure every poor person is compensated, we should just wreck the planet?  The impacts on the world's poor from climate change are going to be one heck of  alot worse.

                            The problme is the disastrous socio economic organization we have

                            (and the democrats had the house, but not the 60 votes in the senate)

                          •  Nice of you to sacrifice the lives of today's (0+ / 0-)

                            poor in favor of poor people decades from now who will theoretically receive the benefits. I wonder how they would feel about that . . .  

                          •  Well (0+ / 0-)

                            this is an empirical difference.  
                            1) I have seen no analyses suggesting that this would be some back breaking impact that could not be mitigated,
                            2) in fact I have seen a fair number suggesting that it might well improve the plight of the poor (whow disproportinately suffer the impacts of localized pollution)

                            3) I think all analyses suggest that the impacts of climate change will be faced most by the poor (see for example the demands of African countries for action at Durban
                            4) and the poor people decades from now would be wiped out.
                            5) All analyses that I have seen are clear that the costs of avoidance are substnatially less than the costs of adaptation or damges from climate change.  Even if it's 30% likely, the bet is that avoidance is cheaper.

                             I suppose we can argue that we owe nothing whatsoever to future generations.  I do not hold this view.

                          •  I think you have to consider the reality (0+ / 0-)

                            that billions of people already live on the margins, barely surviving, often not. People live without reliable electricity, heat, a/c, sufficient food, transportation, etc., and all of these things are at least in part dependent on affordable energy. If you make energy more expensive, all of those things will also become more expensive, and less available. That is an impact on poor (and middle class) people that is not likely to be fully mitigated.

                            Fighting localized pollution can be in conflict with cutting greenhouse gases. I've worked a lot for example on cleaning up diesel pollution at the Ports of LA and Long Beach. Our best solution would be some sort of electrified cargo mover. That would clean up pollution at the source, but it would also require massive amounts of electricity, much of it provided by coal fired power plants in the Mojave Desert. Personally, I don't give a shit if we burn coal in the desert if it means that poor people in Long Beach and East Los Angeles can breath cleaner air. Others may differ.

                            Again, any analysis that says that poor people today should suffer a little bit more in order that poor people in the future will suffer much less is asking today's poor people to sacrifice in favor of some nondescript group of "poor people" living at some point in the future, who if today's poor people have anything to say about it, will NOT be the descendants of today's poor people. I don't think very many of them will voluntarily take that deal. Their "representatives" at climate change talks are people who are personally not going to suffer either way, and if the talks are successful, they will personally be the beneficiaries of the funds that are going to those countries supposedly to mitigate the suffering of the people there. That you have to know is a very old story throughout the world.

                            "The poor people" in the future are not going to be wiped out. Again, if there are poor people in the future who will be wiped out, they won't be the same ones now making the sacrifice, but more importantly, I plain don't believe in those kinds of catastrophic scenarios. Human beings aren't anything if we are not adaptable, and we live in the tropics, in the arctic, in the desert, in the mountains. We developed from apes into human beings during the period in Earth's history when we went from no glaciers on Earth to an ice age, and we developed into the advanced civilizations that we have now AFTER the receding of the last glaciation 12,000 years ago. I strongly believe that we will survive and thrive in any climate scenario.

                            The analyses I've seen of the cost of avoidance versus the cost of suffering from climate change are highly speculative at best. If you want to make that argument, you need to present a real scenario where we are able to actually control global CO2 emissions. If I'm not mistaken, a lot of countries put in a lot of energy and resources to complying with Kyoto, yet emissions have risen apace nonetheless. I think Canada said when they walked out of COP17 that there was no point in it if every country wasn't going to have emissions reductions requirements, and China and India are not going to subject themselves to that. So in the end we end up paying the "cost" but we will still suffer from whatever effects are coming.

                            I'm not sure what we particularly owe to future generations, but I would think a free and prosperous economy that can provide for their needs and comforts would be the most important thing I'd like my soon-to-be born son to be able to enjoy when he becomes an adult.

                          •  And one more thing (0+ / 0-)

                            If you are in SF join up with the SF kossacks if you aren't already or pm me.   I'm buying!

                          •  I dunno if I qualify . . . (0+ / 0-)

                            I live in LA, but I find myself SF quite a bit because most of my family and friends are there, having grown up and lived there for many years. Maybe I can be an honorary SF Kossack!

                •  Are you really that obtuse? (0+ / 0-)

                  Or are you willfully illogical?

                  Since 1978 global temperatures have been shooting up at a rate far above and beyond anything seen in the last 1000 years.

                  That should concern you.

                  look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

                  by FishOutofWater on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 07:08:34 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And since 1998 they've been leveling off (0+ / 0-)
                    •  Wrong. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      People, including me, have shown graphs and articles that show you are wrong, but you deny it.

                      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

                      by FishOutofWater on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 07:40:20 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No you are wrong (0+ / 0-)

                        I don't get why we have to continually go back and forth on this aspect of the discussion when YOUR SIDE has already conceded this point and moved on to the discussion of WHY temperatures have leveled off since 1998, with the answer being natural factors such as variation in solar energy, volcanic activity and ENSO. I think it's a good argument, but it's frustrating that you guys are still arguing this stupid point when the data is clear: the upward trend for the two decades leading up to 1998 leveled off thereafter. Yes, 2009 and 2010 were hotter than 1998, but not by much and there have been quite a few years that were significantly cooler, including 2011.

        •  Hmmm (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wrights, ScottDog

          I hope you will stay entirely on factual questions.  I get that "Put up or shut up" is a common phrase, but the "shut up" part is to me less helpful.

          While I obviously disagree with Pilkington on the facts of the matter, or interpretations thereof, that's where it would be great to stay.  I appreciate your links and content in the other comments, thanks!  

          We shall not contribute to our own destruction.

          by James Wells on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 10:55:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree, shut up isn't helpful. (0+ / 0-)

            I meant it as an expression, not as giving directions.

            Rule of acquisition # 185. If you want to ruin yourself ..... banks are the most reliable way

            by wrights on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 11:01:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, science = put up or shut up (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, FishOutofWater, mkor7

            After all, that's the basis of the scientific method.

            A hypoothesis is put forward

            A test is designed where the outcome can either support or contradict the hypothesis

            The test is run

            then, based on the data, the hypothesis is retained or accepted or dropped from consideration as plausible*

            That is, if the data doesn't support the idea, and there's no evidence for it, it's dropped.

            That is, stated more pithily, "put up or shut up"

            Otherwise, we are doomed to continually debate long discredited theories and ideas out of some notion of democratization.  INteresting, but not scientific, really

      •  Sure, thing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Wells

        here's the graph going back to the start of temperature records

        Of course 1979 is used for more recent data analysis because several additional climate and temperature records were started about that time because people recognized that we needed better tracking at that time.

      •  There's this little thing called science (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        that scientists do.

        That Time and Newsweek don't do.

        Without the greenhouse effect earth would be a icy rock.

        You are making a fool out of yourself.

        look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

        by FishOutofWater on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 06:58:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's the equivalent (0+ / 0-)

          of arguing that if he leaves his car in the sun with the windows shut, that it won't get any warmer inside.

          Rule of acquisition # 185. If you want to ruin yourself ..... banks are the most reliable way

          by wrights on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 05:04:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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