Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

The Global Warming Debate: “People always complain about the weather, now they’ve done something about it.”

with 10 comments

greenland_melts.jpg
Greenland melting. Credit: Russel Huff and and Konrad Steffen, CIRES

Humans are doing something about global warming. Humans are dumping ever larger amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. The burden of proof is not on global warming theorists, it’s on the advocates of continued CO2 production, they need to prove that what’s already being done is safe and sensible. This is what people need to be debating.

The global warming debate. Myself, I’m not terribly interested in debating the issue more, I will be convinced that anthropogenic global warming theory is wrong if the Earth starts to cool or someone comes up with a better theory about why our planet is heating up. As Jack asked, where are the skeptics? Well, it’s pretty simple, most of them have been convinced over the last decade that anthropogenic global warming science and theory is sound. The page I posted previously is my response to the objections that have been raised so far. Nonetheless global warming is a fascinating topic, I will continue to post on it, and any and all comments are welcome. For me however, like evolution, anthropogenic global warming is a fact until a better theory or conflicting observation comes along.

For some people though, the jury is not yet in. My hope at this point is global warming will get so bad so fast that no one will be able to ignore it anymore. That’s what happened in the Ozone Hole crisis of the seventies and eighties, after dithering awhile the damn hole started growing at an alarming rate. The Montreal Protocol was signed, the world phased out CFCs, and the hole began shrinking rapidly. In fact the Montreal Protocol has been called “Perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date…” by Koffi Annan. We did it once, we can do it again when it becomes obvious. I hope.

And oddly enough as some have feared, the global warming curves seem to be following worst case predictions at this point. The Arctic ice cover situation is alarming for one, it’s disappearing faster than our best models predicted. This is not a good thing. And just for fun, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere seems to have surged upwards even faster starting about 2000, again, a worst case scenario. If this acceleration continues even modestly we will be seeing dramatic changes in the world within a few years. Lots of interesting blog posts there no doubt.

Of course I don’t really want to experience calamitous results from global warming, I’ve experienced close up an earthquake and a fire, they cured me of any desire to experience any further disasters thank you. I’d prefer that the Earth’s temperature and climate stabilized, that would be my druthers. Even if the warming stopped now we’d muddle through just fine. Or at least the rate of warming needs to slow, that’s the heart of the problem. It’s not that a warmer Earth wouldn’t have it’s advantages, there were even wild schemes hatched in the seventies to melt the Arctic, it’s the uncontrolled high rate of change that’s the problem.

In other words, a warmer Earth as a destination isn’t the issue, it’s getting there safely. The Earth’s climate has never warmed so far so fast from what we can tell, so it’s any body’s guess what will result. As in waging war, messing with ecosystems is beholden to the law of unintended consequences. It could be a wild ride, experimenting with the planet’s atmosphere is a much bigger proposition than blowing up a few countries. Because irregardless the merits of the global warming debate, for now humans are continuing to dump CO2 into the air in ever increasing amounts. We are quite literally testing anthropogenic global warming theory as I type, using ourselves and our planet as test subjects. Whatever the result, it’s going to be fascinating. Life on Earth always is.

And worse case scenario, ecosystems are remarkably adaptable, it’s not like we aren’t already causing a mass extinction. I mean it sounds cold, and it is, but life will go on. And as long as some humans survive, there’s hope we can learn from our mistakes and do it better next time. So we lose some apex predators, in a way that just makes us the ultimate apex predator. Go team, yeah. And heck, we will still have Polar Bears in zoos, it’s not like they will be extinct. And if global warming all turns out to be a hoax after all, why, the skeptics are welcome to give me endless grief in the future! I’d much rather be teased than be right in this case. Anyhow, speaking of apex predators…I have some thoughts about the Taliban and Saddam…but that’s for another post.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit and is central to illustrating the post. It was produced by the University of Colorado Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.)

Written by unitedcats

May 22, 2007 at 11:06 am

10 Responses

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  1. Hi Doug!

    There are a couple of things that really concern me that I wish the left would stop ignoring. First is the potential results of alarmist policy.

    This man, for example, proposes Nuremburg type trials for global warming deniers. Why stop there, why don’t we just have ourselves a Spanish Inquisition for the heretics?

    http://gristmill.grist.org/print/2006/9/19/11408/1106?show_comments=no

    When this fascist made this comment, it was widely published. There was a deafening silence on the left–I know–I looked hard for such criticism.

    I’m no alarmist, but I have witnessed countless times where it leads. And even while enabling it, it will be the hand-wringing liberals on the left who will be the results harshest critic. Talk about playing into structures like the Neocon Empire!

    Second, (forgive me, I’m trying to be brief:) is that everything advocated by AGW is based on an assumption that GW is BAD. I’m very wary of any construct that deals in absolutes and presents in absolutes. That is fundamentalism–and todays GW movement is as linear and rigid as fundamental Islam or Christianity ever was.

    So instead of debating GW, how about we move into the political and ideological ramifications of either position?

    Just an idea.

    -Jack

    bereans

    May 22, 2007 at 12:12 pm

  2. Evolution is a fact as well as this global warming. The people who deny both must open their minds.

    Just listen to Michael Bloomberg NY Mayor who has a plan to change all NY cabs to Hybrid in five years. Also he has acquired some new fuel efficient bush and garbage trucks. Bloomberg wants New Yorkers to commute. He is doing all he can with Arnold to fight global warming.

    Quran Bible

    May 22, 2007 at 3:17 pm

  3. Is it not curious that the Warming crowd has become an intolerant religion..

    If a Christian were to say the end is near they are laughed off and dismissed..

    But if anyone does not ‘believe’ in Gores BS statements that the end is in 15 years if nothing is done to stop ‘warming’ they are hooted and spat on!

    LOL !

    There may be warming, or not, but the earth will do what it will..

    The Gore believers are just the next ‘Hale-Boppers’, let they will never admit it.

    E

    PS, standing by for the onslaught..

    ET

    May 22, 2007 at 6:05 pm

  4. OK, that Hale Bop comment was over the top, but I stand by the rest.

    ET

    May 22, 2007 at 7:04 pm

  5. Oh, I forgot.. Since Gore said 15 years a few months back, we must only have about 14.81 years left !

    After all, Gore said it so its ‘real’.

    E

    ET

    May 22, 2007 at 7:08 pm

  6. Gore, the same man who lets his gas-lamps burn day and night at all three of his mansions !

    Gore, the man who thinks its ok to burn 20,000 pounds of jet fuel to showboat his carcass around instead of teleconferencing !

    Gore the fraud.

    ET

    May 22, 2007 at 7:11 pm

  7. Bereans: If the alarmists are right and global warming turns into a catastrophe, I think it’s more likely the hue and cry in the streets will be “Let’s kill all the scientists who predicted this, so it can never happen again.” :)

    I’m not terribly into politics but do occasionally venture into the realm and I’m going to keep posting about this topic. You always give me food for thought, thanks.

    Q.B. The people still doubting aren’t going to be persuaded, everyone else is moving ahead without them by fits and starts. It’s hard to imagine how cutting pollution and being efficient with energy use is going to cause problems, so if people work together it’s all good.

    ET: Al Gore is a jerk, I agree. However, attacking the messenger is not a valid argument.

    unitedcats

    May 22, 2007 at 8:50 pm

  8. Like Al Gore very much.

    Global warming now is the intolerant religion. I have also read a statement that fighting poverty is Liberals favorite issue.

    Politicians and people whether Republicans or Democrats who work for the benefit of mankind have all my support and respect.

    Quran Bible

    May 23, 2007 at 6:35 am

  9. Also I am sick of these religious nuts who are bigots and hypocrites who opposses Embrynonic Stem Cell research because they believe it destory life and on the other hand they support wars which takes millions of lives.

    Quran Bible

    May 23, 2007 at 7:00 am

  10. Looks like you’ve attracted the full complement from the 101 Fighting Keyboarders !
    I’ve linked you in to my site. Have a look around. Mostly I don’t link without reading enough to see if someone is worth listening to – not because of courtesy. Have fun !

    opit

    May 24, 2007 at 11:11 am


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