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View Diary: Global Warming: Cure Worse Than Disease (44 comments)

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  •  The difference is the rate of change. (0+ / 0-)

    Does it mean the end of our civilization? No. To argue that it does, diminishes the credibility of the whole GW debate.

    Of course there have been warm (and cool) periods in the past, but the significant ones have changed on a geologic time scale.  The current rate of change is unprecedented over at least the past 650,000 years, and likely greatly exceed previous warming events.  That's what has people worried.

    •  I won't argue that. (0+ / 0-)

      But does it mean the end of civilization as we know it? That was my question that you quoted, and you did not address.

      Again I say, if you argue that, or other doom and gloom scenarios, you do the issue a disservice.

      •  Doom & gloom scenarios (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Steven D

        I don't think anyone can accurately predict what will happen over the next 100 or 200 years, but the likely effects of reduced habitable coastal area (where much of our population is concentrated), increased desertification, water scarcity (and thus reduced arable area), intensified storms, and disease, are pretty obvious.  Not necessarily a civilization-ender, but I was trying to indicate that the concerns of those on the hysterical end of the spectrum have some validity, especially with the dramatic 5-fold increase in human population over the past 150 years, and that the warming trend seems to be self-reinforcing.  Some hysteria might be what is needed to wake people up, since there's a strong movement to ignore the problem by oil companies and others with a profit motive.

        •  IMHO hysteria never (0+ / 0-)

          accomplished much

          •  Usually it doesn't... (0+ / 0-)

            but ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away.  And misrepresenting the scientific data, as Crichton, Horner, and the Bush administration have all done, is far worse.

            •  I agree I think (0+ / 0-)

              Although I've heard way way way too many GW advocates do too much of the same thing, only in the opposite direction. Which is my point. This door swings both ways.

              Hysteria does not accomplish the goals of the hysterical (no matter how well intentioned), just as denying the obvious does not. There is no meaningful distinction.

              •  Go here (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                skrekk

                It's a blog by real climate scientists, some of whom have been involved in the IPCC process: Real Climate.  It's a little rough sleding for those without a science background, but well worth the time, especially as the blogging scientists often answer questions in the comment threads.  There is no hype.  Everything they discuss is based upon actual research, studies and peer reviewed articles.

                IPCC did not include in its "Summary for Policymakers the dire prediction of global warming continuing for a millenium regardless of what we do to curb the current rate of greenhouse gas emissions  just because the IPCC authors wanted to create hysteria or panic in the world's populace with over-exaggerated threats of doom and gloom scenarios.  They did so because there is more than ample evidence to back up the climate change models that are used to generate that and the other predictions set forth therein, and studies which have demonstrated the accuracy of the models when applied to past data sets.

                My father in law was a meteorological research scientist who ended his career at the Hurricane Research Division or HRD of NOAA based in Miami.  He prepared some of the first computer models to predict the formation, intensity and projected track of hurricanes and cyclones.  Indeed, one of the computer models he prepared is still being used today, and was named after him (google "VICBAR" and "hurricanes" if you doubt me; he was a Japanese immigrant whose first name was considered unpronounceable by many of his American colleagues, so he took a new middle name "Victor" because his his name in Japanese meant "victory", and thereafter was known as Vic to his co-workers and friends).  

                He told me in numerous conversations before he died this last December that the research he was involved in, and that of which he kept abreast in his field, left no doubt in his mind that 1) global warming was real, 2) it was being driven primarily by human activity, and 3) it would have dire consequences for humanity, among which were more intense hurricanes due to the increase in ocean temperatures.  He was not a very hysterical or anxiety prone individual; quite the opposite: his personality was characterized by his stoicism, bookishness, and self-absorption in his work.  So, I didn't need Al Gore to convince me that global climate change is occurring, though the movie Gore made is an excellent summary and explication of the current science regarding  global warming for a nonscientific audience. My father-in-law had already convinced me a long time ago.

                "I just had the basic view of the American public -- it can't be that bad out there." Marine Travis Williams after 11 members of his squad were killed.

                by Steven D on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 01:45:53 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

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