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> The Fiction Of Climate Science, Why the climatologists get it wrong
Hey Hey
post Dec 09, 2009, 10:47 AM
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Forbes.com

The Fiction Of Climate Science

Gary Sutton, 12.04.09


Many of you are too young to remember, but in 1975 our government pushed "the coming ice age."

Random House dutifully printed "THE WEATHER CONSPIRACY … coming of the New Ice Age." This may be the only book ever written by 18 authors. All 18 lived just a short sled ride from Washington, D.C. Newsweek fell in line and did a cover issue warning us of global cooling on April 28, 1975. And The New York Times, Aug. 14, 1976, reported "many signs that Earth may be headed for another ice age."

OK, you say, that's media. But what did our rational scientists say?

In 1974, the National Science Board announced: "During the last 20 to 30 years, world temperature has fallen, irregularly at first but more sharply over the last decade. Judging from the record of the past interglacial ages, the present time of high temperatures should be drawing to an end…leading into the next ice age."

You can't blame these scientists for sucking up to the fed's mantra du jour. Scientists live off grants. Remember how Galileo recanted his preaching about the earth revolving around the sun? He, of course, was about to be barbecued by his leaders. Today's scientists merely lose their cash flow. Threats work.

In 2002 I stood in a room of the Smithsonian. One entire wall charted the cooling of our globe over the last 60 million years. This was no straight line. The curve had two steep dips followed by leveling. There were no significant warming periods. Smithsonian scientists inscribed it across some 20 feet of plaster, with timelines.

Last year, I went back. That fresco is painted over. The same curve hides behind smoked glass, shrunk to three feet but showing the same cooling trend. Hey, why should the Smithsonian put its tax-free status at risk? If the politicians decide to whip up public fear in a different direction, get with it, oh ye subsidized servants. Downplay that embarrassing old chart and maybe nobody will notice.

Sorry, I noticed.

It's the job of elected officials to whip up panic. They then get re-elected. Their supporters fall in line.

Al Gore thought he might ride his global warming crusade back toward the White House. If you saw his movie, which opened showing cattle on his farm, you start to understand how shallow this is. The United Nations says that cattle, farting and belching methane, create more global warming than all the SUVs in the world. Even more laughably, Al and his camera crew flew first class for that film, consuming 50% more jet fuel per seat-mile than coach fliers, while his Tennessee mansion sucks as much carbon as 20 average homes.

His PR folks say he's "carbon neutral" due to some trades. I'm unsure of how that works, but, maybe there's a tribe in the Sudan that cannot have a campfire for the next hundred years to cover Al's energy gluttony. I'm just not sophisticated enough to know how that stuff works. But I do understand he flies a private jet when the camera crew is gone.

The fall of Saigon in the '70s may have distracted the shrill pronouncements about the imminent ice age. Science's prediction of "A full-blown, 10,000 year ice age," came from its March 1, 1975 issue. The Christian Science Monitor observed that armadillos were retreating south from Nebraska to escape the "global cooling" in its Aug. 27, 1974 issue.

That armadillo caveat seems reminiscent of today's tales of polar bears drowning due to glaciers disappearing.

While scientists march to the drumbeat of grant money, at least trees don't lie. Their growth rings show what's happened no matter which philosophy is in power. Tree rings show a mini ice age in Europe about the time Stradivarius crafted his violins. Chilled Alpine Spruce gave him tighter wood so the instruments sang with a new purity. But England had to give up the wines that the Romans cultivated while our globe cooled, switching from grapes to colder weather grains and learning to take comfort with beer, whisky and ales.

Yet many centuries earlier, during a global warming, Greenland was green. And so it stayed and was settled by Vikings for generations until global cooling came along. Leif Ericsson even made it to Newfoundland. His shallow draft boats, perfect for sailing and rowing up rivers to conquer villages, wouldn't have stood a chance against a baby iceberg.

Those sustained temperature swings, all before the evil economic benefits of oil consumption, suggest there are factors at work besides humans.

Today, as I peck out these words, the weather channel is broadcasting views of a freakish and early snow falling on Dallas. The Iowa state extension service reports that the record corn crop expected this year will have unusually large kernels, thanks to "relatively cool August and September temperatures." And on Jan. 16, 2007, NPR went politically incorrect, briefly, by reporting that "An unusually harsh winter frost, the worst in 20 years, killed much of the California citrus, avocados and flower crops."

To be fair, those reports are short-term swings. But the longer term changes are no more compelling, unless you include the ice ages, and then, perhaps, the panic attempts of the 1970s were right. Is it possible that if we put more CO2 in the air, we'd forestall the next ice age?

I can ask "outrageous" questions like that because I'm not dependent upon government money for my livelihood. From the witch doctors of old to the elected officials today, scaring the bejesus out of the populace maintains their status.

Sadly, the public just learned that our scientific community hid data and censored critics. Maybe the feds should drop this crusade and focus on our health care crisis. They should, of course, ignore the life insurance statistics that show every class of American and both genders are living longer than ever. That's another inconvenient fact.

Gary Sutton is co-founder of Teledesic and has been CEO of several other companies, including Knight Protective Industries and @Backup.
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Rick
post Dec 09, 2009, 12:38 PM
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I suppose he hasn't seen the satellite data showing a dramatically shrinking north polar ice cap.
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Hey Hey
post Dec 09, 2009, 12:46 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Dec 09, 2009, 08:38 PM) *

I suppose he hasn't seen the satellite data showing a dramatically shrinking north polar ice cap.
Or you the data showing substantial areas of the Antarctic that have recent cooling.
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Hey Hey
post Dec 09, 2009, 12:53 PM
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http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/te...tarctic-cooling
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Rick
post Dec 09, 2009, 03:13 PM
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Maybe we haven't been burning enough coal!
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Rick
post Dec 09, 2009, 05:45 PM
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On the other hand,

"The decade of 2000 to 2009 appears to be the warmest one in the modern record, the World Meteorological Organization reported in a new analysis on Tuesday."

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/12/09
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Hey Hey
post Dec 10, 2009, 11:02 AM
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Anyone think they know why Greenland was named Greenland?
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Rick
post Dec 10, 2009, 12:57 PM
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Human activity:

From Wikipedia: "Interpretation of ice core data suggests that between 800 and 1300 AD the regions around the fjords of southern Greenland experienced a mild climate, with trees and herbaceous plants growing and livestock being farmed. What is verifiable is that the ice cores indicate Greenland has experienced dramatic temperature shifts many times over the past 100,000 years — which makes it possible to say that areas of Greenland may have been much warmer during during the medieval period than they are now and that the ice sheet contracted significantly.

These Icelandic settlements vanished during the 14th and 15th centuries, probably due to famine and increasing conflicts with the Inuit.[9] The condition of human bones from this period indicates that the Norse population was malnourished, probably because of soil erosion resulting from the Norsemen's destruction of natural vegetation in the course of farming, turf-cutting, and wood-cutting."

You see, if you cut all the trees, you have no more trees.
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Trip like I do
post Dec 10, 2009, 01:24 PM
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http://images.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http...sa%3DN%26um%3D1

Greenland really was green, world's oldest DNA reveals

Erik the Red, who settled in Greenland 1000 years ago, named it to lure more settlers, although a small area not covered by ice would then have been very green.
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Hey Hey
post Dec 10, 2009, 01:25 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Dec 10, 2009, 08:57 PM) *

Human activity:

From Wikipedia: "Interpretation of ice core data suggests that between 800 and 1300 AD the regions around the fjords of southern Greenland experienced a mild climate, with trees and herbaceous plants growing and livestock being farmed. What is verifiable is that the ice cores indicate Greenland has experienced dramatic temperature shifts many times over the past 100,000 years — which makes it possible to say that areas of Greenland may have been much warmer during during the medieval period than they are now and that the ice sheet contracted significantly.

These Icelandic settlements vanished during the 14th and 15th centuries, probably due to famine and increasing conflicts with the Inuit.[9] The condition of human bones from this period indicates that the Norse population was malnourished, probably because of soil erosion resulting from the Norsemen's destruction of natural vegetation in the course of farming, turf-cutting, and wood-cutting."

You see, if you cut all the trees, you have no more trees.
Don't tell me about no trees, I live in the East Ridings of Yorkshire, which once had oak forest that joined Sherwood Forest. But you distract us from the first paragraph that says climate changes without humans.
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Hey Hey
post Dec 10, 2009, 01:49 PM
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Maybe we should clarify the issue here. There is evidence (if you include with that term manipulated data - some say using accepted methodologies) that the Earth is warming. No-one knows whether this (if given) trend will continue or whether it is anthropogenic. That there are (if given) associations between warming and CO2 does not mean the link is proven as due to humankind CO2 emissions. The link could be artificial, like ulcers and blood group A (that correlate nicely); yet we know that 95+% of ulcers are caused by Helicobacter, though before the discovery we even thought the tenuous link with stress indicated the cause. We just don't know. Then there is conflicting evidence. Then there are the lies, from both supporters and sceptics. Then there is the downright unscientific approach of many scientists who will simply not tolerate criticism.

If there is the will to accept and act on global warming (and if it is true then whether anthropogenic or not does not matter) then so be it. But why we have to face the stoneage rather than the technological age to tackle the issue I do not know. Our general lifestyles of affluence do not need to be changed (more than becoming fairer and kinder). Rather we need to stop pouring money down the barrels of guns and instead direct it at technological solutions including cleaner usage of natural resources, recycling and development of newer energy generation methods. Presently developments lack imagination and often have political rather than environmental motivations. For example, one of the three disposal bins I have at my house (soon to be four) is brown for the disposal of garden waste. Aside from the energy considerations in collecting this rather than composting it at my house, I find out that the collection is merely to supplement the quantity of recycling obtained by the local authority to reach a target that then permits it defer fines and/or obtain government funds. For certain other types of collected waste, it has even been discovered that the material is transported to other countries (as far as India) to dispose of it, thus the targets of collecting tonnage of waste have been achieved and the government funds then approved.

Sorry, my discourse on global warming was interrupted by my reading of an article on the proposed holidays in space provided by Virgin for approximately the cost of a holiday in Australia, thus being within the reach of many middle class families in the decade. I assume that these aircraft/rockets will be powered by alchemists' spells or by passenger's farts. How can we get to grips with the issues when there are so many conflicting points of view on energy usage? Turn off your sitting room lights to save energy .... so that the rich bods can use it to fly into space for 20 minutes.
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post Dec 10, 2009, 02:07 PM
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Click here for: Cost of the War!
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Hey Hey
post Dec 11, 2009, 09:25 PM
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Some good news. Save tbd CO2, it's bacteria food!

Global climate change has prompted efforts to drastically reduce emissions of carbon dioxi
de, a greenhouse gas produced by burning fossil fuels. 

In a new approach, researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Appli
ed Science have genetically modified a cyanobacterium to consume carbon dioxide and produc
e the liquid fuel isobutanol, which holds great potential as a gasoline alternative. The reaction is powered directly by energy from sunlight, through photosynthesis. 

The research appears in the Dec. 9 print edition of the journal Nature Biotechnology and is available online. 

This new method has two advantages for the long-term, global-scale goal of achieving a cleaner and greener energy economy, the researchers say.  First, it recycles carbon dioxide, reducing greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the b
urning of fossil fuels.  Second, it uses solar energy to convert the carbon dioxide into a liquid fuel that can be
 used in the existing energy infrastructure, including in most automobiles. 

While other alternatives to gasoline include deriving biofuels from plants or from algae, 
both of these processes require several intermediate steps before refinement into usable f
uels. 

& quot;This new approach avoids the need for biomass deconstruction, either in the case of c
ellulosic biomass or algal biomass, which is a major economic barrier for biofuel producti
on," said team leader James C. Liao, Chancellor& #39;s Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UCLA and associate director of
 the UCLA-Department of Energy Institute for Genomics and Proteomics. & quot;Therefore, this is potentially much more efficient and less expensive than the curren
t approach." 

Using the cyanobacterium Synechoccus elongatus, researchers first genetically increased th
e quantity of the carbon dioxide-fixing enzyme RuBisCO.  Then they spliced genes from other microorganisms to engineer a strain that intakes carbo
n dioxide and sunlight and produces isobutyraldehyde gas.  The low boiling point and high vapor pressure of the gas allows it to easily be stripped 
from the system. 

The engineered bacteria can produce isobutanol directly, but researchers say it is current
ly easier to use an existing and relatively inexpensive chemical catalysis process to conv
ert isobutyraldehyde gas to isobutanol, as well as other useful petroleum-based products. 

In addition to Liao, the research team included lead author Shota Atsumi, a former UCLA po
stdoctoral scholar now on the UC Davis faculty, and UCLA postdoctoral scholar Wendy Higash
ide. 

An ideal place for this system would be next to existing power plants that emit carbon dio
xide, the researchers say, potentially allowing the greenhouse gas to be captured and dire
ctly recycled into liquid fuel. 

"We are continuing to improve the rate and yield of the production," Liao said. & quot;Other obstacles include the efficiency of light distribution and reduction of bioreac
tor cost. We are working on solutions to these problems." 

More information: Nature Biotechnology paper: http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v27/n12/abs/nbt.1586.html
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Rick
post Dec 12, 2009, 02:31 PM
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Nobody doubts that there are natural processes associated with climate change over long periods of time. I think most will agree we should think about it before we speed up these natural processes.

All earth hydrocarbons and bulk carbon (coal) eventually find their way to the surface naturally and oxidize because they are less dense than rock. When we pump oil and burn it, we are just speeding up the natural oxidation process. There's a natural oil seep off shore here in the Santa Monica Bay, not to mention the famous La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.

The November issue of Scientific American was devoted to sustainability by 2030 when all energy can be obtained from wind, water, and solar power. You should read it if you are not yet ready to believe.
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Hey Hey
post Dec 12, 2009, 02:55 PM
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So who's going to use all this stuff then?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8407274.stm
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Rick
post Dec 13, 2009, 10:04 AM
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Not to worry. Petroleum will always be a raw material for manufacturing of plastics, jet fuel, etc.
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Hey Hey
post Dec 13, 2009, 11:07 AM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Dec 13, 2009, 06:04 PM) *

Not to worry. Petroleum will always be a raw material for manufacturing of plastics, jet fuel, etc.
Uhm, dirty in abstraction and conversion. Plus if rapid (bio)degradation then CO2 output problems arise. And the amounts utilised are on the increase (presently about 10% used for plastics). Lignin could supply most of our materials needs and it's a renewable. (It gives wood its aroma - luverly!)
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post Dec 13, 2009, 01:13 PM
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Copenhagen police detain 200 climate protesters

http://news.sympatico.ctv.ca/abc/home/cont...n_summit_091213

Danish police cracked down on protesters outside the UN climate conference in Copenhagen Sunday, detaining more than 200 people as global environment ministers met for informal talks.

The latest arrests came hours after police announced that they released nearly all of the 1,000 protesters they detained Saturday during a mass climate-change demonstration.

According to police, only 13 of the 968 people detained during Saturday's protest remained in custody on Sunday.
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Hey Hey
post Dec 13, 2009, 01:15 PM
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QUOTE(Trip like I do @ Dec 13, 2009, 09:13 PM) *

Copenhagen police detain 200 climate protesters

http://news.sympatico.ctv.ca/abc/home/cont...n_summit_091213

Danish police cracked down on protesters outside the UN climate conference in Copenhagen Sunday, detaining more than 200 people as global environment ministers met for informal talks.

The latest arrests came hours after police announced that they released nearly all of the 1,000 protesters they detained Saturday during a mass climate-change demonstration.

According to police, only 13 of the 968 people detained during Saturday's protest remained in custody on Sunday.
968 eh? Definitely a minority then!
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Rick
post Dec 14, 2009, 01:35 PM
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Vietnam war protesters were a minority too, but they were right! Should have listened to them.
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post Dec 14, 2009, 08:32 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Dec 14, 2009, 09:35 PM) *

Vietnam war protesters were a minority too, but they were right! Should have listened to them.
Like the Iraqi and Afghanistan protestors? Or do you think they are a larger body? Are there any recent surveys in the US?

UK:

More than half of voters (52 per cent) want troops to be withdrawn from Afghanistan straight away, with 43 per cent disagreeing. Opposition to the military action is even stronger among women.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/28/a...v_n_246075.html

(There are few actual protests though in the UK)
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maximus242
post Dec 15, 2009, 02:18 AM
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I would like to know how releasing pollution in the atmosphere should ever be considered a good thing.
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post Dec 15, 2009, 03:49 AM
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QUOTE(maximus242 @ Dec 15, 2009, 10:18 AM) *

I would like to know how releasing pollution in the atmosphere should ever be considered a good thing.
One organism's pollution is another one's pleasure:


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post Dec 15, 2009, 08:51 AM
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> Like the Iraqi and Afghanistan protestors? Or do you think they are a larger body? Are there any recent surveys in the US?

The peace movement today is much smaller than it was in the 1960s. We have been in retrograde ever since. It's a shame, isn't it?
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post Dec 16, 2009, 07:14 AM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Dec 15, 2009, 04:51 PM) *

> Like the Iraqi and Afghanistan protestors? Or do you think they are a larger body? Are there any recent surveys in the US?

The peace movement today is much smaller than it was in the 1960s. We have been in retrograde ever since. It's a shame, isn't it?
It certainly is. War is a serious issue. So, back to the topic.
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jckkeith
post Mar 03, 2010, 10:37 PM
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But really, it assumes that humans maintain their technological civilization, and high technology continues to advance. So in that future, things worked out better than many other plausible scenarios.But it is also a harsh and difficult future, in its way. For a long time, I considered Heavy Weather to be my sort-of mental model of what the future would be like
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post Mar 04, 2010, 03:39 PM
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At a basic level I have no serious doubts that we are causing some warming. By itself this doesn't say much about the claims on either side of the debate. For me the issue with the IPCC is not so much with the climate science, but with the use of disparate data as a form of 'testimonial' to sell the science. Individual cold fronts, heat waves, droughts, etc., are as meaningless to the big picture as the momentum of a single air molecule is to the temperature of air. It's bad science for the skeptics and bad science for the climate scientist.

Consider the IPCC report claim that by 2020 75 to 250 million people will suffer water shortage stress. Yet the report this came from (Nigel Arnell) does not support such a claim, even warning against it. Essentially the report compared various scenarios showing simultaneous increases and decreases in water supply over the regions. The IPCC simply ignored the regions of increased water supply and presented only the population within the regions of decreased water supply areas as if they were the entire population, with no recourse from the mentioned alternative water supplies. Yet this same finger pointing at individual effects is what the skeptics point at in rebuttal to the science itself. Neither side is on solid ground playing this game.

In spite of these woefully misleading meta-claims about what global warming is, the underlying science is sound. It is going to increase a rate of change that'll stir regional and political changes worldwide. The changes themselves is nothing new, nature throw changes as big and bigger at us periodically. Most such changes are more gradual though, given the ecosystem far more opportunity to adapt, though not always. When I say gradual I'm talking thousands of years. Though the individual events may be the same size and time frame, the rate the events follow each other defines the overall rate of change. No matter how restrictive we are in our actions, nature is not a stable state system that allows long term validity of any ecological practice. The north pole itself was at one time a warm green place. It likely will be again in the future. Yet if it happened all this year it would be extremely catastrophic.

I see no reason to freak out over the CO2 issue, nor freak out over people freaking out about it. We very well should steer policy in a direction that is more ecologically conservative. We shouldn't sink our boat for fear of a storm on the horizon though. If fear helps drive the innovation toward efficiency and sustainability, I'll just shrug and say oh well. Sooner or later nature will hurt us very bad, with or without our input and moralizing. Personally I see our effect on the nitrogen cycle as far more severe presently.

With regard to the global cooling issue, I remember during the same time stories about how global cooling could be the result of warming. If you reduce the temperature difference between equatorial and polar regions, you reduce the efficiency of the ocean heat pump between the two. Thus at least initially you have a drop in temperature at certain latitudes. There was very few serious climate scientist studying the issue globally at the time. Both the medieval warm period and the so called little ice age were regional effects in the north Atlantic. Probably the result of ocean currents pumping heat from equatorial regions. Once the heat pumped reached a threshold the temperature difference no longer supported it. When the heat pump shut down or lost significant efficiency temperatures plummet in the north Atlantic, leading to a freezing of the Thames river. Yet this had little if anything to do with a change in global mean temperatures.
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post Mar 05, 2010, 02:16 PM
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Let me just throw in Al Gore's AIT. Specifically that bit where his movie shows the glacier breaking away. You remember, that bit shown to have have been stolen from the originator without permission. You remember, that bit that wasn't actually a real glacier, but a computer generated simulation. Poor Mr Gore, the information whore, who stole from the CGI store, against the law, whatever for, corrr - didn't know that ....
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wan
post Mar 05, 2010, 03:09 PM
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Never actually seen the movie. Never really figured is was worth my time.
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Hey Hey
post Mar 05, 2010, 04:22 PM
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QUOTE(wan @ Mar 05, 2010, 11:09 PM) *

Never actually seen the movie. Never really figured is was worth my time.
It's important to see what the rest of the world see and believe, maybe?
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