March 22, 2007

I'm going to watch "An Inconvenient Truth."

I see it's on Showtime HD in about 15 minutes. I've never seen it, so... here goes. I'll drop some simulbloggish notes here as it unwinds... as the spirit moves me.

1. We see images of Al Gore with a sonorous voiceover. "I was in politics for a long time." Was? What sort of naif thinks Gore is not in politics here?

2. Now we're seeing him on stage talking and it's much less pretentious... and quite charming. He speaks of schoolteachers and makes us feel that he's explaining very simple points. It bothers me that he shows thick, dirty smoke pouring out of smokestacks and then green blobby cartoon characters to illustrate "greenhouse gases." Aren't we talking about a clean, colorless gas -- carbon dioxide?

3. We're seeing a lot of long horizontal time lines, with disturbing vertical spikes at the end. Now, a lot of images of hurricanes. Now, quotes from Winston Churchill, warning Europe about Hitler. Suddenly, we're following the story of the 2000 election. (Note: I voted for Gore.) We hear Gore saying "I accept the finality of this outcome." That was Gore at his best, accepting the Supreme Court's result as the end of the line. And, we're told, this led Gore back to his longtime interest in climate change. And back to the slide show.

4. The film weaves Al Gore's biography into the scientific lesson. What was the point of all that? Is this a big campaign informercial? In the context of the movie, the biographical material was used as a credential, as if growing up close to the land -- raising Angus cattle and working in tobacco fields -- imbued him with special understanding of the ways of Earth. It made the argument that he cares. In fact, the movie did a good job of building toward a passionate conclusion that we can and must act. So there was a scientific and a political argument combined and sold through the persona of The Man Al Gore.

5. In the end, I wondered: How do I know how much of all this to believe? I don't have the basis to test Gore's assertions. Some things looked impressive, but I couldn't know whether they are accurate or not. Some things struck me as implausible. (For example, Gore points to one segment of Antartica and claims that if it melts, the oceans of the entire world would rise 20 feet. ) Other things were inconsistent with what I've read elsewhere. (For example, Gore says that the U.S. contributes 30% of the greenhouse gases emitted, but in the oral argument in Massachusetts v. EPA, the pending Supreme Court case, the figure 20% was used and, I think, not contradicted.)

6. Clearly, the movie is propaganda -- extremely well-done propaganda -- but propaganda can be used to sell what is true. There's nothing inherently wrong with propaganda. I accept, for example, that there are campaign ads. I simply take them for what they are worth. But what is the process of determining what the information presented here is worth? I'm not a climate scientist. The answer, I assume, is the marketplace of ideas. I have to rely on the debate, the responses that the film has provoked.

7. Gore put his reputation behind this, and he asserted his set of facts. In doing that, he laid himself open to refutation. Taking that first, big step -- laying out his set of facts -- is important. How well has it held up? Anyone watching the film should be provoked to keep reading and thinking -- even though the film tries to end with a slam-dunk conclusion that you'd be a fool to see a reason to continue to think critically about.

8. The time for analysis is over, we're told sharply. Only bad people maintain doubt. (We're shown an old ad for Camel cigarettes to prove the point: those who wanted to keep selling cigarettes after the Surgeon General's report spoke of doubt as a product they needed to sell.) Good people accept the story told here and act.

9. Melissa Etheridge's voice fills the soundtrack and tiny white letters on screen spell out our instructions. And the instructions are not too demanding. Drive a hybrid car if you can, etc. We're left to feel good about ourselves (for believing, unlike those bad people), about the ease with which we can do the needed things, and -- above all? -- about Al Gore.

10. And dammit, it works. I do feel good about Al Gore!

172 comments:

B said...

Why do I get the impression that you would like to see Al run for President?

or am I just feelin the wrong vibe . . .

reality check said...

Emergy-C, The Low Wattage Palette

al said...

thick, dirty smoke pouring out of smokestacks

This must be from the power plant keeping his mansion lit up...

reality check said...

Ann,

Take a drink whenever Al does something "political."
Take two drinks whenever Al eats someone.

reality check said...

Aren't we talking about a clean, colorless gas -- carbon dioxide?

Yeah he's exaggerating again. Go strong on that meme!

We know that carbon dioxide comes from smokestacks that emit only carbon dioxide a clean colorless gas. As an example, a car's tailpipe never emits smoke. Coal plants aren't dirty.

Go big tonight on the exaggerating thing.

He invented the Internet! Love Story was based on him!!!!!

reality check said...

Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and three groups of fluorinated gasses (sulfur hexafluoride, HFCs, and PFCs)

reality check said...

Horizontal timelines make Al look fat!

Paul Zrimsek said...

Ann, you should put the Shih Tzu outside next time you want to watch a movie. How can you hear anything over all that yapping?

Maxine Weiss said...

Your son did a review on that, and told you it wasn't worth watching.

Don't you trust your son's film critiques?

Peace, Maxine

J said...

Is Love Story on next?

Eli Blake said...

al:

This must be from the power plant keeping his mansion lit up

It looks like you fell for that hit piece too.

A few facts, Sherlock:

1. The press release was sent to Matt Drudge (and thence out into the media) by The Tennessee Center for Policy Research (a previously unknown group whose only known address is a P.O. Box in Nashville)

2. They claimed that they checked with his utility company and that his average monthly electric bill was $1359. Nashville Electric Service spokesperson Laurie Parker responded in a news conference the next day that the company was never asked by the center, and never gave it, any information. Additionally, the figure was wrong; it turns out to be closer to $1,200. The point being that they were willing to make an educated guess and then claim it was fact.

3. Gore runs a major international foundation out of his home (which the movie and ensuing success has made that much more busy.) So the bill is not out of line at all. Plus, he never has to drive to work.

4. And that cuts to the biggest falsehood: the right, either by intent or by ignorance continues to propogate the 'freeze in the dark' view of green electricity and other use of natural resources. In other words, they argue that environmentally responsible energy means a reduction in lifestyle. They argue that to be 'green' means to use less, and that is all it means, and that if you are living with any modern uses of energy (be it electricity, a car or whatever) then you cannot be an environmentalist.

But this is absolutely false. Being 'green' means being cleaner and leaner-- but this does not have to mean any kind of a reduction in lifestyle. It is true that in terms of conservation, it means using less energy. But conservation means to reduce waste. Waste by definition is resources expended but not used. So, for example, if you turn off the television after your favorite show, keep your tires fully inflated in order to improve your gas mileage and reduce wear on the tire, turn down the thermostat when you are not at home, or caulk your windows so you will use less gas then you have conserved-- but it is hard to argue that any of these conservation measures impacts your lifestyle.

These of course are individual choices. Then there is societal environmentalism. This is environmentalism at the public policy level, and is more what a person like Al Gore is pushing. Even President Bush, after fighting it for a long time, reversed himself in January in his State of the Union address where he pushed for, among other measures, higher CAFE standards on automobiles. This means designing cars to use less fuel. The technology is already there, and in fact all other major industrialized countries (as well as China) have higher fuel standards on vehicles than the United States. If all cars were designed to have, say, five mpg better mileage, then the result would be less gasoline used resulting in less emissions, less demand resulting in lower fuel prices (so people would save on both ends-- by using less gas and paying less for what they used) and in the bargain less dependence by the United States' economy on the political stability of feudal monarchies like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait or feeding the regimes of people like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Hugo Chavez. Conservatives have long opposed these standards (and blocked their implementation in Congress) because of a desire by oil companies to keep prices higher and sell more product.

But go ahead. If you'd rather continue to spout a hit piece by a group that by now has been thoroughly exposed as a front for somebody (the question is, 'who?') then you have the right to do that. But even the right wing media has quickly backed off of this one once it started to smell like yesterday's diapers.

Gahrie said...

Wouldn't it be funny if Al Gore controlled millions of dollars of oil stock (say in a company like Occidental) and was making a profit off of a strip mine that pollutes rivers; the whole time he was preaching to the rest of us about global warming?

That would almost be as bad as having companies buy carbon offsets for you, from companies you own stock in, and then claiming that you were buying the carbon offsets...

George said...

Eli--

I would be a bigger fan of the former VP if he emphasized what you mentioned at the end of your post...

"less dependence by the United States' economy on the political stability of feudal monarchies like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait or feeding the regimes of people like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Hugo Chavez."

That position would bring more Republicans on-board.

What's more, if Pres. Bush could tell Americans that supporting his Iraq policy would reduce "global warming," that would be nice, too.

Truth is, there's too much panic and hysteria on both ends of the political spectrum...

ASX said...

Ann,
At any point will you tell us what you think about global warming? Or are we only going to get your observations on Gore's style, use of the word "politics," graphic design decisions, etc?

Often, it seems, you are unwilling to directly address the actual subject of your posts.

Seven Machos said...

Clearly, making a propaganda movie about a divisive political issue is apolitical.

Maxine Weiss said...

asx: It's called artful deference.

Althouse always defers to her readers to come to their own conclusions.

At best, she makes coy inferences, but not judgments....ever!

Peace, Maxine

ASX said...

Maxine,
I support letting readers draw their own conclusions, but that doesn't mean she has to keep her own opinions a secret. When it came to the link between racism and federalism, Ann did not shy away from frank endorsement of a specific idea: racism is repungnant and federalism is often code for segregation.

Personally, I don't see the appeal of a blog where the author refrains from offering opinions.

Of course, Ann doesn't refrain totally from offering opinions. It's just that she usually presents her opinions indirectly, in a way that will be hard for anyone to confront directly. For example, the quibble over Gore's statement that he used to be "in politics."

Bottom line: I'd like to see Ann take a stand.

Underlying suspicion: Ann refrains from offering opinions on any topic that will alienate her fan base.

Counter-argument: Ann did recently state that she simply isn't that concerned about politics, which explains described above. I'm willing to grant her this (big of me, I know).

But still, even a person not too interested in politics can offer a straightforward opinion about global warming.

It's one of the great, raging debates of our age, with conservatives firmly in the reality denial camp. I'd love to see if Ann is in the reality denial camp, too. Because most of her fans are.

Synova said...

You make it all sound so reasonable, Eli. No one is asking us, any of us, to sacrifice our lifestyle at all, just to take out the waste.

Coolies.

And that's enough to stop global catastrophe.

Again, coolies.

And Al Gore works from his home.

Um...

I thought he "worked" from a private jet.

Silly me.

ASX said...

Eli Blake:

Thank you for bringing facts to the discussion, even if the committed reality deniers will refuse to even read it.

It's still important to tell the truth and expose the lies of the right-wing hit squads.

Paco Wové said...

"At any point will you tell us what you think about global warming?"

But why is that important? What difference will the Althouse imprimatur make, whatever her opinion? Why seek out her opinion over that of J. Random Climatologist?

Synova said...

asx, most conservatives aren't in the denial camp. Not even close. Most of them are bought in without reservation. I get chain mail from them. It's annoying.

A noticable portion of conservatives who dink around on blogs and the internet are in the denial, or at least skeptical, camp because most of the "conservatives" who dink around on blogs and the internet are either libertarians or lean that way and see the *inevitable* necessity of the subjection of individual life and liberty associated with AGW.

Synova said...

Oh, and I particularly like the "reality denial" tag, as if there is no question and no place for honest skepticism.

The insistance that Ann take a stand is easy to understand when one realizes that the "reality accepters" view popular consensus as a method of scientific proof.

Gahrie said...

You guys still don't get it.

The Right is perfect willing to concede that the Earth is currently warming.

What we are not willing to concede is:

That's it man's fault, and not completely natural;

That man can do anything to affect it, or should if we could;

That global warming is necessarily a bad thing.

Maxine Weiss said...

ASX: What if Ann legitimately doesn't know? Does it not put her in a position of weakness to express that?

She's smart enough to keep mum about what she doesn't know...

...and yet offering up a slight deferential inference here and there..

...just to throw readers off the track.

Very clever--that Ann!

Peace, Maxine

Paul Zrimsek said...

If you'd rather continue to spout a hit piece by a group that by now has been thoroughly exposed as a front for somebody (the question is, 'who?')

Any substantiation for this charge, beyond the fact that the omniscient Eli Blake had never heard of the group before? (A bit of googling turned up a number of pre-2007 references to it, such as this one.)

Wade_Garrett said...

Gahrie,

All three of those points are completely full of shit. I'm sorry, they just are. Yes, I'm a liberal democrat. But the right just can't spout off this bullcrap and expect the rest of the country to treat you like something other than total illiterates. Call me a snob, but call me a snob who can read and who doesn't have his head in the sand.

There are legitimate arguments to be made that global warming is less pressing of an issue than Al Gore would have you believe. But the only way to argue that its not happening is if you pile coincidence upon coincidence. And anybody who thinks its a GOOD thing for the planet is a loon. On the positive side, it might open some acerage in Russia, Scandanavia and Canada for farming. On the negative side, it is making the tropics too hot to live, the sea levels rise, soil too dry to farm within a couple of decades, making delicate species die out . . .

AJ Lynch said...

ASX said:

" It's one of the great, raging debates of our age, with conservatives firmly in the reality denial camp. I'd love to see if Ann is in the reality denial camp, too. Because most of her fans are."

So it is a raging debate but the right is in the "reality denial camp". That is the kind of debate you libs hide behind- one where you have anointed yourself the 'decider" beforehand.

And Eli - that is such a big :)difference you claimed - $1359 vs. $1200 for a home a month!! And you want to use that as evidence that Gore was what "swiftboated" ? Do you think the group called the utility company to find out what Gore's bill was? Do you think the utility comany would admit it gave out that kind of evidence?

I'll bet you $500 to the charity of our choice that Gore's monthly utility bill not including phone bill is closer to $1500 than the $1200 you claim. Will you take the bet?

ASX said...

Synova said:
most conservatives aren't in the denial camp. Not even close.
And in fact, you're right. You've hit on something significant. A recent Pew study of American poltiical attitudes shows that a majority of Republicans (58%) believe more should be done to protect the environment.

What you hit on is the interesting fact that the Republican Party doesn't really represent the true views of the rank and file in the party. If you look through the whole study, you will see this time and time again. For example, a majority of Republican rank and file support affirmative action. But that is also sharply at odds with the party leadership.

In an important respect, this doesn't speak too well of Republican rank-and-file, who can't seem to connect their wishes with a political party that would deliver them, although the study indicates an increasing trend towards better public awareness of which party represents the wishes of the American people.

(Hint: It's not the Republican Party.)

If you want to see the study, visit Kevin Drum's blog.






Synova said:
Oh, and I particularly like the "reality denial" tag, as if there is no question and no place for honest skepticism.
Of course there is place for honest skepticism. Skepticism that is bought and paid for by the oil and gas industry and fed through a propaganda system (right wing media, to include Washington Times, Drudge, Rush, Fox News, the right wing blogs) does not qualify as "honest skepticism" in any sense of the word.

Those people are paid to represent the anti-global warming theory regardless of the truth, just as a defense attorney is paid to represent his client's innocence, regardless of the truth.



Synova said:
The insistance that Ann take a stand is easy to understand when one realizes that the "reality accepters" view popular consensus as a method of scientific proof.
I am not insisting. I merely expressed my wish that Ann would share with us her opinion on the validity of Gore's underlying claim.

I personally find it frustrating to read Ann's blog post on Al Gore's major motion picture and not get any clue what she thinks of it!

Do I care about the trite observations around the periphery of the subject?

Of course not.

Who would?

Al Maviva said...

I feel great about Al too.

Let's park our cars permanently, stop using all that polluting electricity in our homes, foreswear heat in the winter, cooling in the summer, refrigerated food, meat products, and possibly farting.

It still won't be enough, but hey, good people don't question the solution, they just carry it out.

Tim said...

Mommy Earf has a fever and unless we all impoverish ourselves NOW, we're all gonna DIE - Women, Children and Minorities first, of course.

The New York Times, algore and countless secular Druids and Shamans told me so - so it MUST be true.

Synova said...

Illiterate, Wade_Garrett?

So you pull out the "my position is the intelligent one" old canard so popular on the left... the party of intellectuals who tirelessly defend the unfortunate while making it clear that anyone who doesn't immediately see the wisdom of their... wisdom, is by definition and default, an idiot.

No room for honest, or intelligent, disagreement. No room for scepticism or even cold scientific inquiry. Everyone on your side is right and if anyone on the other side could so much as find their *ss to wipe it, they'd be on your side too.

Warming a good thing?

What an appalling suggestion! Good or not it's *natural* and it's going to happen, even if the deniers are right and humans contribute to it not at all. Boo-freaking-hoo. Probably we'll have an iceage sometime too, since the Earth does stuff like that.

But is warming bad? Were the tropics uninhabitable in the middle ages? Did warmer temperatures in Greenland really mean that mid-Africa had no animals and no people? Did the polar bears die? How bad was it, Wade_Garrett? Do you know?

We're going to get warm again and we're going to get cold again.

The fact that humans might make some tiny contribution to the warming frightens me not at all compared to the horrific thought that we might figure out a way to make the Earth STOP being the Earth. That we might in our amazing hubris think that we know better and try to fix it.

Ever seen a small child try to fix something they don't understand?

ASX said...

Update: I see Ann has updated her post with points 5-10, which do, in fact, address the questions I had earlier: what does she think of Gore's underlying claims.

I'm now satisfied. (Even if I am more convinced about the seriousness of the problem than she is.)

Thanks, Ann.

HaloJonesFan said...

I love the way that a cattle-rancher tobacco-farmer is going to tell me how to preserve the environment.

ASX said...

Ann Althouse said:
10. And dammit, it works. I do feel good about Al Gore!

Ann, I will never understand why you are so conflicted, so torn in two directions. It's a compelling drama, if nothing else.

I note your juxtapositioning "dammit" with "I do feel good about Al Gore," as if you can't stand the fact that you feel good about him.

What's going on with that? If you feel good about him, why can't you feel good about feeling good about him?

I'm confused.

Joe said...

Wade_Garrett,

Under your, and Al Gore's, retarded theory any increase in temperature is bad. So, winter is safer and better than summer. The conditions at the height of the mini-ice-age were better than today. If not, please, tell us what the optimal temperature of the earth should be. The temperature of 1600, 1750, 1923?

The historical record is that under the medieval climate optimum, when temperatures were higher than today, mankind thrived. Under the mini-ice age, they suffered.

Let's do another exercise--if the intensity of the Sun doubled, would the earth's temperature go up, down or stay the same? Okay, what if the intensity of the Sun increased only a small amount?

Please explain why the temperature of the earth declined from the mid-1940s to the late-1970s in spite of the massive increase in CO2 emissions. And why did the temperature of the earth increase drastically and quickly during the Holocene climate optimum? Why has the temperature been stable for the past 9 years? Shouldn't it be increasing?

Art Hippler said...

Please watch the BBC film which has actual science in it called the Global Warming Swindle.

Arthur Hippler

Tim said...

Of course, as the UN pointed out, activities related to livestock production for meat consumption are the leading human contributor of greenhouse gases, but that isn't quite the same enemy as "Big Oil," the enviro-whackos' bete noir.

I'll take the "Global Warming" advocates warning imminent death and destruction more seriously when they start telling us solutions should correspond to causes - you get no points for political courage or honesty blaming "Big Oil" or other energy producers for "Global Warming" - it's like stealing candy from a baby. When the "Global Warming" scientists start seeing the need for mass conversion to vegetarianism to save the planet, I'll listen. Until then, stop playing stupid politics.

Fen said...

Of course there is place for honest skepticism. Skepticism that is bought and paid for by the oil and gas industry and fed through a propaganda system does not qualify as "honest skepticism" in any sense of the word.

How convenient for your side, since you guys tag ALL such skeptics as on the payroll of the oil and gas industry.

ASX said...

Synova said:
Ever seen a small child try to fix something they don't understand?

There you go arguing for human incompetence, again.

I personally have a higher opinion of the human race, and think we are capable of incredible advancement, insight, and mastery of our environment.

What other animal (or small child) could build a vehicle that would literally allow it to depart the ecosystem?

Whether you believe it or not, advanced problem solving is not beyond the reach of the human race.

Tim said...

"Whether you believe it or not, advanced problem solving is not beyond the reach of the human race."

Except, of course, we still have liberals, which many of us would argue should be much easier to resolve than "Global Warming." Yet here we are...

Synova said...

asx, Don't worry about the scientists who work in industry. If they get fired for not delivering the correct message on global warming they can always apply for a grant and work for the other side.

Money is the lamest of the lame reasons to view one side as more trustworthy than the other. Global Warming is a cash cow. It gets people all het up and motivated to vote for public funding. If the Pro-human caused global warming side's scientists ever announced that it wasn't anything to worry about anymore, they'd be out of work, out of grant money, and out on the street.

Does that mean they are lying? No. But it does mean that looking at who is paying the bills isn't proof that anyone is lying.

It's handy though, to not have to dispute anything produced by scientists who say what you don't like. You don't even have to look at it, or see what they have to say, just "They're being paid by industry!"

And that is that.

As for the fact that 58% of Republicans agree that global warming is caused by people. I believe that's what I said.

And the fact that the overwhelming public opinion on the matter is used to suggest some sort of scientific proof only illustrates my other point. Consensus is not equal to scientific evidence. The fact that x number of scientists and x percentage of people believe something has no scientific relevance whatsoever. It means nothing whatsoever.

Two things are irrelevant and beyond irrelevant...

1) who's paying the bills

2) how many people agree with you

Fen said...

And anybody who thinks its a GOOD thing for the planet is a loon

I think you meant for humans, not the planet.

Synova said...

asx : There you go arguing for human incompetence, again.


No.

What freaks me out is that we might actually have the ability, not incompetence, but the ability to make changes to the way this Earth functions.

A few years ago people were scared of an iceage on its way.

What if we'd tried to fix that?

Where would we be now?

I don't doubt the ability of human beings. I doubt their *judgement*.

Simon said...

I find it intriguing that a significant portion of those most alarmed by global warming and about sea levels rising ten of feet choose to live in coastal states. A rational actor who believed the apocalypse was imminent, I would think, would make for the high ground.

Fen said...

Active link for arthur's post: Global Warming Swindle

Synova said...

I like Ann's point #8.

Only bad people doubt it.

Wade_Garrett said...

Al Maviva and Tim:

Yours are EXACTLY the sort of over-the-top exaggerations that the right always uses to scare people, and not coincidentally they are EXACTLY the sort of things that An Inconvenient Truth goes our of its way to avoid. Nobody's telling anybody that they have to stop eating refridgerated food, and you know it. Your exaggerations do not flatter you.

Beth said...

Simon,

I've read recently that about 54 percent of us live on coasts--East, West, Gulf and Great Lakes. Then there are the ones who live in valleys protected by levees and dams from melt and runoff, those who live along the major rivers, and others who live on fault lines. There are dangers in all of those choices, but are you willing to cede control of the Mississippi River, for example, to someone else? If we move our cities away from our coasts, we invite problems with national security, our economy, oil production, seafood production (we sell alot of that, all over the world), distribution of goods...well, that's a start. When you look at a city like New Orleans and ask why the hell did people settle there, the answer is it was imperative. Someone else, perhaps Cuba, would control the mouth of the most powerful river in the country. We wouldn't be the country we are without New Orleans here for nearly 300 years. I think it's worth investing in learning how to adapt to our changing coastlines and protect what we have.

Beth said...

Tim, how would you "resolve" liberals?

Jim said...

Gore for was for tobacco before he was against it.

In 1988 (the year his sister died of cancer) Gore campaigned as a tobacco farmer who told voters that "all of my life," I hoed it, chopped it, shredded it, "put it in the barn and stripped it and sold it".

Of course the left lives in a fantasy world where statements like that go down the memory hole. The disconnect between reality and what the hard left belives couldn't be larger.

Fen said...

Tim, how would you "resolve" liberals?

Thats an easy one: reinstate the draft, they'll all flee to Canada.

Wade_Garrett said...

Canada, the country that's going to benefit even more than the rest of humanity from global warming?

Fen - I'm not going to respond to your irrelevant, ad hominem attack with one of my own. However, you should know that by 2008, your wing of the Republican party -- the Coulter/Limbaugh/Hannity wing -- is going to be a liability to the rest of the party. Mark my words.

Joe said...

Al Gore has a direct financial interest in advocating global warming. His conflict of interest is simply astounding, so why is this being glossed over?

Eli Blake said...

Ann: Here is the math on the ocean rise: The west Antarctic ice sheet has an area of about 800,000 square miles. Ice thickness varies, from minimal at the edges up to two miles or more in the interior. Apparently the average ice thickness (based backwards on the calculation in the movie-- I couldn't find a number for the overall average online) is somewhere around 4,000 feet (a very likely number in fact, given the variation between just above zero and two miles plus (which is over 10,000 feet.) If it all melted, it would equal just over 600,000 cubic miles of ice. Multiply that by .9 (since an amount of water only occupies 9/10 as much volume as the same amount of ice) and get 540,000 cubic miles of ice. Divide that by 150,000,000 square miles of ocean on our planet and get .0036 miles thick if spread over the entire ocean. Multiply that by 5,280 feet per mile and you get 19 feet. Since some these numbers are rounded, 20 feet is a rounded but entirely reasonable number.

Paul Zrimsek:

Good comeback. Although they still operate out of a P.O. Box.

A.J. Lynch:

The number in question had to do with the electric bill, which is what the electric company spokeswoman said-- you can take it up with her. All utilities are $1500? You are probably low on that. I have a relatively modest house, in a warmer climate and my heating bill for January was over $300. So clearly that is a sucker bet, and no I won't take it.

Fen:

Tim, how would you "resolve" liberals?

Thats an easy one: reinstate the draft, they'll all flee to Canada.


No, thanks to conservatives we won't need to. We will just write a letter to the draft board announcing that we are gay.

MadisonMan said...

Global Warming is a cash cow. It gets people all het up and motivated to vote for public funding.

Just like the ozone hole was. In that example, atmospheric chemists quickly hypothesized (correctly) the cause of ozone depletion. Not the entire mechanism, that would require many more observations of polar stratospheric chemical reactions. Curiously, there was also a group back then that insisted that talk of anthropogenically caused ozone depletion was just a scare tactic to get money. They suggested, for example, that chlorine entered the stratosphere in volcanic eruptions, like El Chichon (despite ample evidence that such chlorine quickly is washed out). Know what? The scientists were right and the anti-man-made contingent was very wrong.

Atmospheric Science, like any other discipline, is full of big-egoed people who delight in displaying their brilliance by showing how theories are wrong. It's really how you become famous -- by disproving old theories. I see lots of words that suggest people do not believe the theory of Global Warming. It's not a religion -- it's a growing set of facts and observations. If you do not think the facts show the Earth is warming, or that increased CO2 is responsible, you should have a set of facts to back up that assertion.

Eli Blake said...

I might also add that there is some concern now also about the possible early stages of melting of the Greenland ice sheet, which is an ice sheet comparable in size to the west Antarctic ice sheet, so if they both melted the sea level rise would be substantially higher than 20 feet.

Revenant said...

I have a strong dislike for just about all documentaries that are not made by Errol Morris. Film is just too manipulative a medium. Books and essays are the way to go if you want to find out what's real and what isn't, not least because the footnotes make it easy to stop at any point and chase down the basis of an assertion.

Wade_Garrett said...

Eli Blake - Yes! Its nice to have an ally here.

The next time Americans die because valuable intelligence went untranslated, it will be really hard not to say "I told you so" to all of those people who think that there is not place in the military -- even in the rear echelons, even in stateside intelligence-evalating offices -- for homosexuals.

Internet Ronin said...

I thought Al Gore spent almost all his time as a child living in Washington, D.C. At the Hays-Adams Hotel, in fact. I know he went to prep school there. I wonder how much time he really spent in Tennessee. It is a trivial question, I know, but it seems to me that he stresses his roots as a farmer and cattleman.

Did he really farm or did ride the range in his Ford V-8?

[Cue "I'm an Old Cowhand," -Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks]

Gahrie said...

I might also add that there is some concern now also about the possible early stages of melting of the Greenland ice sheet, which is an ice sheet comparable in size to the west Antarctic ice sheet, so if they both melted the sea level rise would be substantially higher than 20 feet.

1) The Antartic ice sheet is growing, not melting.

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0520-08.htm

2)There was a time in recent human history when Greenland had no glaciers (which is why it was called Greenland..), and the planet, eco-system and human civilization were all doing just fine thank you very much.

reality check said...

Constitutional Law Professors tell me all sorts of stuff about the law, but why would I believe them when all sorts of random people on teh Intartoobs tell me that the Council on Foreign Relations and the Illuminati run the country?

Ann, Why would you believe Gore? As you say, you don't know shit about science, so why should you believe what the vast majority of scientists say?

Twenty percent IS not thirty percent! And the Supreme Court briefs ARE WRITTEN BY SCIENTISTS and Scalia as you said yesterday IS THE CHIEF SCIENTIST AT THE SUPREME COURT, so if it says thirty percent in Gore's presentation and twenty percent at the Supreme Court and no one contested it, WHY IT MUST BE 20% AND GORE MUST BE A LIAR!!!!!!

So why should you believe Gore when Gahrie and Revenant and so many people here with lawyerly credentials will tell you that he lied about Love Story?

No reason to Ann.

Anti-Impact Ann.

Synova said...

Gays: An ally about gays in the military? I think gays should be allowed in the military. Of the milblogs I read about half the commenters and milblog hosts think that gays should be allowed in the military. Most of the rest think it would be an unnecessary distraction, though they agree that gays could make fine soldiers.

Greenland: Probably always had glaciers but it also had land capable of supporting farms and a settlement. During that warm period around 1000, how deep were the oceans?

These "disasters", even if human caused global warming doesn't exist, will happen again as the Earth goes through warming and cooling cycles. We can (and maybe should) reduce polution and greenhouse gasses that we produce but if we disappeared from the face of the Earth tomorrow and all human production of any sort of gas ceased, the glaciers would still melt. The Earth would get warmer and it would get colder. Because that's what the Earth does.

Greeland will become green again, as it did before. It will not wipe out life on Earth when it happens.

Ozone hole: Haven't heard about that lately. I don't recall doing a whole lot to fix it... a little bit of change in the rules about refrigerators and AC units. Did we fix it or what?

MadisonMan said...

Ozone hole: Haven't heard about that lately. I don't recall doing a whole lot to fix it... a little bit of change in the rules about refrigerators and AC units. Did we fix it or what?

Chlorine gases are increasing at a slower rate now in the stratosphere. Still increasing, but the curve is concave down. I recall reading that most of the anthropogenic ozone should wash out in 100-150 years.

1) The Antarctic ice sheet is growing, not melting.

This observation -- for the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (much larger than the more unstable West Antarctic Ice Sheet) has been predicted by numerous studies on global warming.

Paul Ciotti said...

Two things about "An Inconvenient Truth" that bug me: The ads for the documentary show a hurricane (as photographed from space) coming out of a smokestack. The implication is that pollution causes global warming causes hurricanes. In fact, most hurricane experts agree that global warming had nothing to do with Katrina or any other hurricane.

Secondly, "An Inconvenient Truth" presents this stunning "hockey stick" graph showing temperature and CO2 levels rising together. An even more striking graph would be to show world population versus CO2. The ultimate cause of all our problems isn't CO2. Carbon dioxide is just a byproduct of too many people. If the world's population were about two billion instead of six billion we wouldn't have any CO2 problem. Yet Al Gore doesn't even mention overpopulation. He's he skips over it entirely. I guess he knows it's not a popular sell with his liberal constituents. To them, it's politically incorrect even to whisper the word.

Bruce Hayden said...

Eli,

Ok, I get it. Since it is possible that an average of 4,000 feet of ice might conceivably possibly somehow melt in Antartica, Algore's 20 foot rise in sea levels is possible. (Actually, to get that figure, you would need all 10,000 feet to melt, but...)

Sure, and it is possible that a big enough meteor might hit the earth that all higher forms of life are extinguished.

But the question is not what might possibly maybe happen, but what is likely. And to answer that, I would think that you would need to show at a minimum how much energy would be required to melt all that ice. And you wouldn't be starting at freezing, but substantially below (remember, the second Bancroft Expedition aborted recently in its attempt to recross Antartica, because it was too cold). We are talking 20, 30 below. Thus, we may be talking 40, 50, maybe even a 60 degree temperature swing to melt all the Antartic ice.

If Global Warming has heated the Earth up by maybe 1 degree F in the last century, and if that increase was constant, that would translate to somewhere between 3,000 and 6,000 years. Given that Abraham left Ur some 4,000 years ago, and Moses left Egypt some 3,000 years ago, this sort of time frame doesn't really bother me that much. Just think of how many times towns and cities in that part of the world have been rebuilt in that time. Besides, we will probably run out of relatively cheap fossil fuel long before that.

Of course, I don't know that it will take 3,000 years, or 6,000 years, but that seems far more plausible and likely than the 100 years apparently projected by Algore.

MadisonMan said...

In fact, most hurricane experts agree that global warming had nothing to do with Katrina or any other hurricane.

I doubt you could find a credible hurricane expert who would make so definitive a statement. A very recent paper by the UW's Jim Kossin shows that hurricane intensity has increased in the recent past (I think the time frame is 30 or 40 years) over the Atlantic Basin. You probably can't show that this increase is tied to Global Warming...but you can't rule it out either.

Joe said...

Most sources estimate that the US contributes about 22% of the world CO2. (One reference: http://blogs.business2.com/greenwombat/2007/02/report_us_green.html)

RE: CFCs and Ozone depletion.

Recent studies have found that cosmic radiation destroys ozone. One theory is they interact with manmade CFCs, so they aren't off the hook. However, since the ozone layer has been burned off before without manmade CFCs, the evidence seems to be that CFCs are not the sole cause of ozone depletion. (One further problem is we really don't know what the "normal" concentration of ozone really should be. There is growing evidence that the ozone "hole" [a misnomer, it fluctuates seasonaly]over the south pole is a normal phenomenom.

Revenant said...

I recall reading that most of the anthropogenic ozone should wash out in 100-150 years

Er, what?

The idea behind CFCs and the ozone layer is that CFCs take a very, very long time to break down, and O3 molecules tend to react with each other and form O2s in the presence of impurities. Hence, when CFCs or other long-lived molecules reach the ozone layer they "destroy" the ozone by precipitating its reaction from 2O3 to 3O2.

"Anthropogenic ozone" was never the problem. Anthropogenic ozone causes smong, not holes in the ozone layer -- and it doesn't stick around for long at all anyway, since ozone reacts like crazy.

Wade_Garrett said...

Greenland was named Greenland by Eric the Red, to make it sound more appealing to his fellow Norsement living in Iceland and other Scandanavian countries, so that they might move there. Very little of it was actually green or brown, and those are the same parts that are green/brown today,

MadisonMan said...

Bruce, Ice sheets don't have to melt to cause a catastrophe. They can also slide off a continent. Not only does that raise sea levels, but it also causes tidal waves to boot! This wouldn't happen, I don't think with the West Antarctic Ice Sheet -- which is partially in the water already. It could happen with Greenland or parts of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. If you get melt water at the bottom of a glacier, the liquid acts like a lubricant and speeds the flow of the ice downhill towards the ocean. So the collapse can be fairly rapid.

I am unsure of how probable such a scenario is. Not very, I hope.

Joe said...

Hurricane intensity:

Actually, studies have NOT established hurricanes have strengthened. Quite the opposite. The most recent studies have found that hurricane strength and frequency fluctuates in cycles.

It happens that the main hurricane cycle is about 40 years, so what we're seeing with claims of increased intensity is simple statistical tricks--pick the low and the high is exagerated.

(The same tricks have recently been done with college student alcohol and drug consumption.)

MadisonMan said...

anthropogenic ozone

Oops. Chlorine. Sorry.

Ample proof I should be sleeping.

MadisonMan said...

Joe: The paper you want to read is A globally consistent reanalysis of hurricane variability and trends here

It will clarify things for you.

Atlantic Basin: Intensity up.

Other basins: Can't tell.

Joe said...

wade_garret,

While greenland may have been so named to encourage immigration, do note that many of the original settlements are under ice and/or permafrost. So we do know it was warming back then. There is a multitude of evidence supporting the claim that the name Greenland had bearing in reality.

I'm curious, though. North America has been under ice sheets several times in the last million years. Is this the ideal temperature? How about the Holocene climatic optimum? The mini-ice age? Come on, what's the best temperature for earth?

Bruce Hayden said...

I guess I am an evil person (#8) because I continue to doubt. Not disbelieve, but doubt.

I start from the point of view that I am being told by someone who likely barely passed basic science courses in college that the time for doubting is past. That the scientific investigation is complete, and that there is no room left to doubt, by someone who probably couldn't understand the models being used if his life depended on it.

It is the repeated argument by appeals to authority that sets off my alarm bells. No one who has tried to convince me that man caused Global Warming is a critical ecologoical problem now has used any arguments other than argumentum ad verecundiam (appeals to authority), argumentum ad populum (arguing by popularity), and a combination of post hoc ergo propter hoc and cum hoc ergo propter hoc (mostly, an assumption that correlation equals causation). Of course here, argumentum ad verecundiam predominates, but we saw some of the later earlier in this thread.

The other place where my alarm bells go off is the jump made by almost all, including Algore, to that Global Warming is BAD, and that we therefore have to make huge sacrifices to avert it. (Yes, Algore, I esp. mean your Kyoto treaty).

Yet, I have yet to see any serious discussion about the tradeoffs. For example, Global Warming, by whatever means, would seem to allow for a significant increase in agriculture. After all, probably half of each of the two largest countries on the Earth are currently too cold to farm. Might we as humans be better off trading a 20 foot higher sea level for billions of acres of additional farmland? Or, more likely, the 2 feet predicted by the UN? With the later, we probably wouldn't even lose Manhattan.

Joe said...

MadisonMan, the study you sited has been largely discredited. http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2007/03/21/signal-vs-noise-in-atlantic-hurricanes/

(It points out that the noise is as large or larger than the signal.)

Moreover, it still plays statistical trick with the 40 year hurricane cycle.

If you look at just landfall hurricanes, a recent study found that hurricane strength and frequency has oscilated over the past several hundred years, but does hold to a definite pattern of. Other preliminary studies going back to prehistoric times support this.

c327 said...

If we reinstate the draft, the liberals fleeing to Canada will be in a footrace with the conservative military age students who, like Dick Cheney, will find they have other priorities.

Synova said...

That's the question, Joe.

The Earth has been much warmer. The Earth has been much colder.
And baby bear tried the third bowl of porridge and it was *just right*.

The claim that Greenland has been the same ever since Eric the Red demonstrated the fine art of marketing is a stretch. It supported a colony for some years. It wasn't cushy and if the settlers could have made better use of Vinland (dratted savages) they might have managed longer. But the old reprobate died and the settlements in Greenland and Newfoundland dwindled and disappeared. The vikings stopped being quite so expansionist and quite so violent (dratted missionaries).

But to claim that climate change is a disaster I suppose it's necessary to pretend that warm periods in the past weren't so warm after all.

Synova said...

And since when has over-population NOT been a concept embraced by liberals?

Elizabeth said...

I don't think there's much to show that frequency or intensity of hurricanes is the only issue to worry about. One problem is loss of wetlands, and losing the green space, the moors and bogs, we've depended on the lessen the effect of a hurricane once it makes landfall. There are man-made hazards contributing to that, including oil exploration, building homes and businesses in flood zones, and building poorly placed and designed canals, like the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MR-GO), that allow water to come in from all sides rather than wash out through the wetlands.

Mississippi Gulf towns took a direct hit from the storm, receiving worse wind damage than most of Louisiana did; that may seem to make sense, as towns like Biloxi and Ocean Springs are right on the water, but earlier hurricanes, like Camille, were slowed slightly by barrier islands a few miles out. The antebellum homes on the water's edge would not have survived Camille otherwise. But they're almost all gone now because the hurricane met no resistance until it hit the beach.

Bruce Hayden said...

MadisonMan

Sure, possible, but not probable. If it is 30 below, you are unlikely to get a lot of ice melting at the bottom to provide a lubricant for the glaciers to slide. And, yes, some of the Antartic ice is already over the ocean, but much is not, and the 20 foot sea level rise seemed to require all of it to melt. All apparently 10,000 feet of it in some places.

Of course, I tend to live between 6,000 and 9,000 feet, so 20 more feet of water is not something that keeps me up at night worrying. There is nowhere near enough water locked up in ice on this planet to come anywhere near Colorado here. Heck, if all the ice on the planet were to melt, the increased sea level probably wouldn't even make it all the way up the Mississippi valley.

My point there with all that is that we have decades, if not centuries, if not maybe even millenia, to compensate for any really conceivable rise in the sea level due to Global Warming (regardless of cause). Yes, we may lose New Orleans - some of which is already below sea level. But little else in my lifetime, or that of my children.

Tim said...

"Yours are EXACTLY the sort of over-the-top exaggerations that the right always uses to scare people, and not coincidentally they are EXACTLY the sort of things that An Inconvenient Truth goes our of its way to avoid. Nobody's telling anybody that they have to stop eating refridgerated food, and you know it. Your exaggerations do not flatter you."

Indeed. Read this:
http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000448/index.html

Bruce Hayden said...

Synova

You seem to be suggesting that climate change was not a cause of Vinland failing and Greenland almost doing so. Yet, there seems to be quite a bit of evidence to the contrary.

Or to be a bit more blunt, do you believe that Vinland and Greenland (and Europe, etc.) were warmer or colder back then? And if you believe they were colder, what is your evidence to back that?

Elizabeth said...

"Yes, we may lose New Orleans"

Well, let me just stand up and shout, really loudly, that that's just not acceptable. And it doesn't have to happen.

Elizabeth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Hayden said...

I doubt you could find a credible hurricane expert who would make so definitive a statement. A very recent paper by the UW's Jim Kossin shows that hurricane intensity has increased in the recent past (I think the time frame is 30 or 40 years) over the Atlantic Basin. You probably can't show that this increase is tied to Global Warming...but you can't rule it out either.

So, since we can't rule it out, we should spend trillions of dollars conforming to Kyoto?

Also, my understanding is that while there was some increase in hurricanes in the Atlantic, there was an even greater decrease in the Pacific. Of course, the Atlantic hurricanes are mostly what hit the U.S. and thus make the evening news...

Again though, if hurricanes bother you, then move uphill. I can safely say that I have never been closer than 500 miles and at least a thousand feet of elevation from one. And mostly a thousand miles and a mile of elevation.

Now avalanches are a different thing. Most of you worrying about the next big hurricane to hit you probably don't even own an avalanche beacon or how to use one if you did.

Wade_Garrett said...

I realize that the earth's temperature naturally fluctuates, but when its fluctuated in the past, its been able to cool off again because there weren't as many greenhouse gases in the air. Even if the current warming is just part of a natural cycle, what are the odds that it will cool off with our atmosphere in its current state?

Elizabeth said...

Bruce, I'll put one in the old survival pack. My house is 14 feet above sea level (and that's plenty, as Katrina proved) so you never know what might come rolling down the levee.

Meanwhile, no, thanks, I'm not moving inland. No Gulf sky at sunset? No shrimp boats trawling? No sharks to worry about? What kind of life is that?

Cedarford said...

Eli Blake - And that cuts to the biggest falsehood: the right, either by intent or by ignorance continues to propogate the 'freeze in the dark' view of green electricity and other use of natural resources. In other words, they argue that environmentally responsible energy means a reduction in lifestyle.

A yearly electric bill of between 14,400 and 16,300 dollars would definitely result in a reduction in lifestyle in about 98% of American families.
Green power is far more expensive than fossil, hydro, nuclear. 5 to 25 times as much, before tax subsidies.
Ethanol is 2.5 times as expensive as gasoline, before taxpayer subsidies. And arable land used for corn ethanol is limited to only 10% of our gasoline needs. Unlike Brazil, we have no free rain forests to cut down and plant monoculture on. (Rain Forests..wasn't that the Big Greenie Sacred Worship, never ever cut them down - Thing back in the 90s?? You know, the "Save the Amazon!!" spiel??)

*****************
ASX said...
Eli Blake:

Thank you for bringing facts to the discussion, even if the committed reality deniers will refuse to even read it.

It's still important to tell the truth and expose the lies of the right-wing hit squads.


He brings no facts. He brings no solution to America's critical energy, not global warming problem.

America uses 108 Quads of energy. 40 of those Quads are oil. 16 of them private transportation. Thanks to an unholy alliance of Lefties, Corporate Republicans, secular progressive Jews, and various Latino and church interest groups and their love of Open Borders - we are on our way from the 140 million we had in 1945, the 300 million now, to 420 million Americans in 2050.

Even if we follow the Gore sermon and "conserve with all our might" and achieve a 20% reduction each in energy use (except those with "carbon offsets" who can guzzle away), that only gets us down to 86.4 Quads, then add in 120 million Abduls and Pedros also committed as Gore is and also using only 80% of present USA energy levels --and we will need 121 Quads of energy in 2050.

Scientists say we can only count on 5-8 Quads of "exciting, (highly expensive) alternate energy by 2050. Where does the rest come from? Even more carbon spewing? Will Noble Algore bite the bullet and tell his worshipful Greenie and technologically illiterate liberal fans that the answer is Noooo-Cleeee-Arrr?

Bruce Hayden said...

But this is absolutely false. Being 'green' means being cleaner and leaner-- but this does not have to mean any kind of a reduction in lifestyle. It is true that in terms of conservation, it means using less energy. But conservation means to reduce waste. Waste by definition is resources expended but not used. So, for example, if you turn off the television after your favorite show, keep your tires fully inflated in order to improve your gas mileage and reduce wear on the tire, turn down the thermostat when you are not at home, or caulk your windows so you will use less gas then you have conserved-- but it is hard to argue that any of these conservation measures impacts your lifestyle.

I would have to disagree there. Living in a 1,000 square foot house and leaving the TV on is likely to use a lot less energy than living in a 10,000 square foot house and turning the TV off when you are done watching it.

No one is forcing Algore to own three houses, the one in Tenn. using 20X the national average of power. No one is forcing John Edwards to live in a 20,000 square foot house, or Bill Gates, a 50,000+ square foot house. They could all live in 1,000 square foot houses. They don't out of choice. Which is just fine with me.

The problem is your implication that the problem isn't the absolute amount of energy someone uses, or the absolute amount of CO2 they indirectly expel into the atmosphere, but rather how much do they reduce it. But it is the absolute amount that really matters.

Otherwise, you are suggesting a double standard - those who have a lot of money can use a lot of limited resources, just so long as their nonuse is as great as other's nonuse. Which, of course, it will be, because it is far easier to reduce your absolute resource consumption when the absolute amount is orders of magnitude greater than the average.

But I don't buy that if man caused Global Warming is a threat, that those who use the most critical resources shouldn't reduce their consumption the most.

Let's take an example. A lives in a 1,000 square foot house, that uses 10,000 units of resources a year. B lives in a 10,000 square foot house that uses 100,000 units a year.

So, if both reduce their consumption by 5,000 units, A now has only 5,000 to spend, while B has 95,000. But note that this means that the ration between the two has gone from 10:1 to 29:1. I don't call that a fair and equitable sacrifice.

These of course are individual choices. Then there is societal environmentalism. This is environmentalism at the public policy level, and is more what a person like Al Gore is pushing.

I am glad that Algore is pushing societal choices, because he obviously isn't making any personal sacrifices.

Synova said...

I don't think that the settlements in Greenland were there long enough to have been driven out by climate change. It was tough at the time but I think other elements probably were primary. The Norse weren't going to be run out by some cold weather.

It was warmer. Vinland confused people for a long time because everyone knew that there weren't grapes as far north as what the Norse called Vinland.

We know it was much warmer in the middle ages.

And there isn't any real reason to abandon New Orleans. That's what technological advancement is *for*.

Wade_Garrett said...

The Norse settlements were there for several hundred years, were they not? It was significantly warmer in the middle ages, then cooler during the 'mini ice age,' but the real question is whether this current heating cycle will spin out of control and lead to enough melting to make the entire world dramatically cooler. I'm not a scientist, but from the evidence I've seen I don't like where we are headed.

Cedarford -- If you think that global warming is the fault of "secular Jews" and immigrants, then we are so far beyond the point of rational debate that I'm not even going to bother to respond.

Elizabeth said...

Synova,

Indeed!

If you are inclined to read some more on that subject, technology and NOLA's coasts, go to www.nola.com, scroll down till you see a little box titled "Last Chance" on the left. It's a recent, three-day series on what's involved.

dave™© said...

I am glad that Algore is pushing societal choices, because he obviously isn't making any pe--

ZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Synova said...

Wade, If you couldn't follow what Cedarford said, it probably is best that you don't try.

And I'm sorry someone has got you scared of natural cycles spiraling out of control. I'm scared of humans trying to correct natural cycles and making it worse.

We don't understand the interactions that everything has. And if you're worried now, think of this... sometime in the next several centuries the magnetic poles are going to flip over. The reasons scientists were even looking to find the evidence of this is that they observed odd things happening with our magnetic field. They don't know what will happen to the magnetic field for certain but it's already being odd and might get patchy or something. The magnetic field is what protects us from the solar wind. The solar energy reaching the Earth is likely to increase significantly leading up to the flip and afterward while the magnetic field stabilizes again.

Logially, the Earth will get warmer.

Good news is this happened before and everything on the Earth did not die. The Earth is resilient and has had a very *very* long time to adjust to all the things the cosmos has to throw at it, including times of more volcanoes and widespread tropical zones and low CO2 and really high CO2 and all sorts of things.

Change is life.

Technology is how humans adapt.
(And I will look that up Elizabeth.)

Elizabeth said...

I stop taking people seriously when they use little names like "algore."
What's the point?

Elizabeth said...

synova,

Of course, you have to use the damn technology right.
And double-check your math.

Anyone living within the protection of the more than 120 public safety projects nationwide designed and maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers, and considered to be flawed and at risk, might want to move inland, or upland, or overland, just the hell out of the way.

johnstodder said...

I don't see what the big disagreement is really about.

Global warming is occuring. Whether it's due to evil mankind or a fickle sun, it's going to change Earth's environment. Don't we need to prepare for that?

The left's stupidity on global warming is its insistence on fixing blame. Why is that relevant?

The right's stupidity on global warming is its insistence on an endless argument until absolute certainty is achieved. In science, there is no absolute certainty. But there are trends, and they are obvious.

We will not rid the atmosphere of C02 by stopping energy production. And dramatic cuts are simply unfeasible. Maybe liberals want to beat themselves up over this inability to face the truth or some such thing, but the fact is, the poor will suffer far more than the comfortable if we try to cut radically the energy we use. We can cut emissions at the margins. We can slow the growth somewhat. We can boost the adoption curve for alternative energy technologies. We might even be able to find more efficient ways to sequester CO2 emissions.

But what we really need to figure out is how to adapt to a warmer planet, with all that implies in terms of coastal environments, agriculture, increased storm strength, etc. We're smart enough to do this, and we should start. Gore is doing the right thing raising the alarm, but it's unfortunate that his personal life doesn't match his rhetoric.

One thing I found funny in Eli's post:

If you'd rather continue to spout a hit piece by a group that by now has been thoroughly exposed as a front for somebody (the question is, 'who?')

If the group were "thoroughly exposed," we'd know "who?", wouldn't we? It seems like your main evidence they are a front group is they use a P.O. box. Since when did P.O. boxes become so sinister?

Whatever. All the politics are a distraction. Rather than bragging about the roster of scientists each side brings to the table, why not just let them work the problem?

Paul Zrimsek said...

Good comeback. Although they still operate out of a P.O. Box.

That's nothing. I've heard of one liberal organization that operates out of some guy's house!

Cedarford said...

Synova -

Wade Garrett's assignment is to confirm US Census projections for 363 million in 2030 and 420 million Americans in 2050 with current Open Borders immigration policies. Then to square that with current energy use and explain how "conservation and exciting alternate energy" will somehow get us to the 1990 Kyoto CO2 figures our biggest competitors are exempt from if we keep Open Borders.

Wade's next project would be to learn who was behind the 1965 Immigration Reform Act, and which 6 groups are the most potent forces for making the US take in the highest number of immigrants in the world - despite the wishes of it's citizenry.

After all that, perhaps Wade could give us his solutions.

My solution is - if global warming is a true danger and it comes from man - for a near total end to immigrants, refugees coming here. No more family reunification. Requirement that our biggest competitors all agree to limits on CO2. DRilling what oil we can domestically, working to tap Canada, USA, and Venezuela's shale, bitumen, oil sands reserves rather than China getting them. And building 200-250 new nuclear power plants of the Gen IV breeder type that recycle their unburned uranium and fission-generated transuranics until 99% of the uranium feedstock is fissioned instead of current 2% use. Created plutonium is used to make electricity with recycled and fresh uranium in the same mixed oxide (MOX) fuel now used in France, S Korea, Japan, Russia, Sweden, and Belgium. No CO2, make more fuel than they burn, minimal waste (mostly short-lived radioisotope actinides 50-280 years to decay away 97%, intensely radioactive stuff, but only a few pounds created per each 1,000 MWE electrical nuke plant's 18-month core load )

And each person work to cut consumption 20% from 2007 levels in 10 years, with oil use targeted 1st and foremost. If we don't have a global warming problem, we still have a major oil problem that will get worse if the Open Borders elites add the 120 million extra people. And we don't start doing serious conservation and synthoil investment. (Ethanol is a pipe dream for those counting on it replacing more than 5% present oil use) We use 30% less oil per capita than in 1973, yet use 15% more overall in 2004, because of population growth. Growth mainly driven by illegal immigration, anchor babies of illegals, and immigrant chain migration rules...

hdhouse said...

Put an ice cube in a filled glass and watch it overflow. Melt the ice cube separately and refill the glass. Pour the melted ice (now water) in the glass and compare to spillage from the ice cube to the spillage from the melted water. GET IT???? Now think ice shelfs.

While you stupidass neo-cons listen away to Rush (hey, from his drug induced view from the Penn Station Towers in NYC his earth looks flat - so I suppose that is next)and bitch and moan about Gore's electric bill:

1. he runs a business with employees out of his home and while you are at it,
2. how much does it cost to keep the lights on in the White House every month? It is clear that no one works there and to keep the lights on 24/7 for Alfred E. Newman seems to me a waste of taxpayer money.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The reason that conservatives get in a twist over Gore is that he’s a hypocrite, period. Forget the mansion in Tennessee, the man owns 2 other homes in addition to that yet tells us we have to live leaner for the good of the planet. I’m a hunter and fisherman so I have a lot of self-interest in insuring a cleaner environment but I resent someone who certainly doesn’t practice what he preaches telling me how to live leaner when he certainly doesn’t.

Finally I question global warming just like a lot of people questioned whether we were entering an ice age 30 years ago. The scientific community seemed to be pretty darned sure we were all going to freeze to death in the early 1970’s so you’ll pardon me if I am a wee bit skeptical on the new apocalypse.

Look at it from this perspective; the scientific community screwed the pooch on the coming ice age in the 70s like the intelligence community was wrong over Saddam’s WMDs. Yet while none of the liberals will ever trust the Intel community again it seems the scientific community gets a pass and its position on global warming is sacrosanct.

al said...

Wow - 8 paragraphs of spew responding to an 11 word comment. Not bad :-)

Whats so bad about P.O. Boxes? My employer operates out of one. Our operating budget this year is approaching 350 million and we have over 2500 employees. Are you saying we're not real?

As for the other 7 paragraphs - work calls.

Pogo said...

I remember still reading my grade school Scholastic News, and Time magazine, and the Star Tribune, being worried about the Population Explosion, and the Coming Ice Age, and We're Running Out of Oil (and precious metals and trees and water), and how we'd better do something about it right damn now.

I see Paul Ehrlich, despite having been massively and completely wrong about overpopulation, is still active in the gloom n' doom game. Heh.

Those past "certainties" were debunked. The current "truths" will be, too. The same demand for massive governmental mischief is likely to prove more harmful to human life than the temperature rising 1 or 2 degrees.

It was in part this sort of nonsense that caused me to read more on conservative and libertarian thought.

The belief that man is the primary cause for global warming is largely a religious one. It is a product of leftist thought as applied to earth sciences, and is why non-liberals chafe at their conclusions.

Liberal science views modern man primarily as a blight on earth, unnatural and destructive. In contrast, the primitive (and rare) Natural Man (wild type, see Rousseau) was in a paradise. Civilization came along and screwed it all up. All man's subsequent efforts have made things worse. War, technology, capitalism. All bad, all the fault of Society. The only hope is fewer people, and that the impact of these remaining few must be controlled by an unelected elite. In short, each additional human is just another useless mouth to feed.

In contrast, I found the conservative view of man as creative, improving, and full of hope more in line with the arc of history.

Consequently, I view Al Gore's stunt as bullshit, a mere grab for power existing solely because he failed to be elected President. His hypocrisy is evidence enough that he means to be among the nomenklatura for whom the rules won't apply.

The leftist view sees man as a cost. The right sees man as a benefit. Leftist theories on economics were dead wrong. Their theories on science have been erroneous as well. Pardon me if I don't buy into their latest 'Man Is Evil' attempt at controlling the lives of others (For Your Own Good) hobby horse, but oppose them at every juncture.

MadisonMan said...

Joe, the proper place to refute an article is not a website. If the paper is going to be refuted (I like that word better than discredited), I'll rather read about it in a journal, where the views have been vetted by more than one person.

If I get students giving me scientific opinion from a website, they are told to re-think what they're doing. Opinion on the internet is just that -- when it's written into peer-reviewed journals, then it has the credence that you can't have in opinion blogs. (worldclimatereport isn't loading this morning, either -- never have that problem with a journal in my office) :)

Ann (or others who've seen it): does An Inconvenient Truth mention nuclear as a way to reduce CO2 emissions? It ought to.

Simon said...

Bruce:
"A lives in a 1,000 square foot house, that uses 10,000 units of resources a year. B lives in a 10,000 square foot house that uses 100,000 units a year. So, if both reduce their consumption by 5,000 units, A now has only 5,000 to spend, while B has 95,000. But note that this means that the ration between the two has gone from 10:1 to 29:1. I don't call that a fair and equitable sacrifice."

By the same reasoning, do you reject flat and sales taxes, insofar as they, too, are trapped by the "identical requests act unequally on differently-situated persons" principle?


johnstodder said...
"The left's stupidity on global warming is its insistence on fixing blame. Why is that relevant?

It's relevant to the extent that if increased solar activity causes global warming, all we can do is prepare for the consequences, while if enhanced CO2 output as a result of human activity causes global warming, it's at least conceivable that we can offset the damage.

Fritz said...

Catastrophic climate change is the meme of environmental marxism. The earth has always enjoyed greater prosperity when the temperature is warm. In the 70's when the worry was about global cooling, those concerns were genuine. Much of the theory of CO2 emissions as a driver of temperature to possibly warm the earth or stop the cooling were a byproduct of that. The only greenhouse gas humans could increase on a large scale was CO2. Thus climate change funding focused on CO2. When the earth began to warm the focus on CO2 was picked-up by the anti-capitalism left. How convenient to use the driver of capitalism, energy, as a culprit in climate change. Couple that with the collapse of the beloved Soviet Union, the new religion we see today is man destroying the planet. When cold fussion hit the fan, these same climate change experts were in fear that the restraint they were advocating on capitalism would be squashed. "How dangerous for mankind to have so much energy," said one scientist. The main reason behind the "consensus" trope, the theory of sun spot effects on weather could be in play. If the lessening sun spot activity begins to cool the earth, CO2 as a factor is dead and so is their movement.

Hoosier Daddy said...

hdhouse said: 1. he runs a business with employees out of his home and while you are at it,

2. how much does it cost to keep the lights on in the White House every month? It is clear that no one works there and to keep the lights on 24/7 for Alfred E. Newman seems to me a waste of taxpayer money.


1. Does he run businesses out of his other 2 houses too?

2. Well would you not agree that Dubya's environmentally friendly and efficient house in Crawford would qualify as a suitable offset?

Sloanasaurus said...

I am not sure why global warming is considered bad. Global warming would be good for mankind. Considering that most of the land mass is in the northern hemisphere, global warming would increase the production of this land mass. A 6 degree increase in the ave temp (most occurring at night) would be a boom to people living in the north, especially poor people. Right now it costs someone $500k to buy a small condo in Florida for retirement. With some global warming, you could find the same climate in northern Georgia or Arkansas, where Real Estate is cheap.

People point to increases in disease in some places or rising oceans, but these should be of little concern. Disease used to be a problem in Wash DC, and it was largely eliminated through civil planning. So what if the ocean rises 20 feet over 50 years? How will that really damage anyone? Some cities have been built in less time.

RogerA said...

Couple of thoughts on reading this thread all the way through (note to self: you HAVE to get a life):
Seems to me John Stottard comes the closest to a "realist" position: However global warming is caused (and I assume by a combination of human activity, solar intensity, a precession and other planetary variables) it does appear to be getting warmer and that will have some impacts.

The proper course of action is to determine what those impacts are, how much it might cost to fix them or adapt to them, prioritize them into what can be done and can't be done within our capacity of humans to act, and get on with it.

Actually, I did have a major brain flatulant (methane generation and all): Lets do more strip mining, so when the oceans rise, all the water will fill those holes, we will have more lakes, and can sell more lake front property for homes like Al Gore's and John Edward's. And think of all the new riparian habitat we could create.

hdhouse said...

Hoosier -

The lights are on in each but noooobody's home.

Much can be said of the ignorance and intellectual sloth exhibited in this thread. What scares you neo-nitwits so much about global warming and cause and effect? Is it that you don't wish to take any responsibility for anything? Or is it that you see yourself so insignificant that anything you do will have no effect.

Maybe its just that you have worshiped at the GOP induced altar of denial for so long you are brain dead.

Now before you go Pooh Pooh...another liberal...have you looked at the CO2 measurements in ice? Does it matter to any of you that you have NEVER seen the real color of the sky?

RogerA said...

"ignorance and intellectual sloth..." followed by "neo-nitwit..altar of GOP denial etc etc.
HD, my man (or woman as the case may be): you DO set the bar low for intelligent discourse. Thanks for you continuing contributions to scholarship, debate and civil discussion!

AlphaLiberal said...

Ann,

Nobody said or implied this: "Only bad people maintain doubt.."

The whole point behind this, supported by the context, is that overwhelming scientific consensus exists that we have a problem. There's a very small handful of scientific skeptics opposing action, they don't publish their arguments in peer-reviewed journals, and they restrict their arguments to the political sphere.

Furthermore, fossil fuel industries are spenind gmassively on propaganda - bad propaganda.

So, let's get out of the playground make-fun-of-Al mode and act like responsible adults. This is no parlor game.

sonicfrog said...

I said it last June, and I'll say it again - Al Gore is going to run for POTUS, and maybe win!

P. Rich said...

The bottom line: fundamental "truth" for the believers is that Gore cannot be wrong. After all, they voted for him, and they cannot be wrong. So, the arguments and refutations from all the lib non-scientists here are really mostly about defending their belief system.

There are a few generally accepted facts, and they are mostly not Gore's personally constructed ones:

1. Some recent small amount of positive temperature variation has been detected.
2. Prior to that, a small amount of negative temperature variation was detected. These both occurred within the last few decades.
3. Models used to make long-term global predictions are not valid. Why? Because fed with historical data they do not reproduce actual outcomes. The predictive science just isn't there yet. And the original basis for the hubub, the infamous hockey stick curve, has been shown to be mathematically in error.
4. There have always been climate cycles. In fact, absence of climate cycles would be a real story and cause for concern. But, we don't know why the cycles occur, or why they occur when they do, or reverse when they do, or are of a particular magnitude.

So, given that we don't know what is going to happen over the next several decades (never mind centuries), or to what extent, or why, or when, or what if anything we could afford to do about it, then Gore's little film (along with his ignorant support for Kyoto and such) achieves the credibility level of your average comic book - for all but the true believers of course.

M. Simon said...

Let us start at the beginning. Before the advent of fuel burning industry the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was 288 parts per million (ppm). By the year 2000 man had added 11.88 ppm to that total and nature has added 68.52 ppm to the total.

The rest of the story with calculations:

See CO2?

RogerA said...

Alphaliberal: some points to consider: (1) nearly ALL science these days is bought and paid for, either by taxpayer dollars, foundations, or corporations. If money is a factor, please be aware that it is a factor across all science. The vision of a solitary scientist at work in her laboratory creating "things," is long since over. (2) scientific consensus is NOT the way science works; it is equivalent to a poltical poll. Recall what the "scientific consensus" was about continental drift until wegener proposed his theories in 1915 and consensus that ulcers were caussed by excess acid primarily a function of stress until Dr. Barry Marshall isolated and then infected himself with the bacteria that actually causes ulcers in the 1980s. Good thing that both Marshall and Wegener ignored consesus, what?

Kirby Olson said...

The Environmental Skeptic in Denmark who I trust more than Gore (although I, too, voted for him), says that almost all the sky is falling stuff is statistically bunk. Gore says the ocean will rise 20 feet. The Skeptic says one foot, at most. We have more trees in America now than we did in 1900. The water is much cleaner. Read the Environmental Skeptic.

Gore probably believes what he's saying. I don't know: does he have a sense of humor at all? If not, I think ultimately he deserves the sense of humor we have about him.

Sloanasaurus said...

an overwhelming scientific consensus exists that we have a problem. There's a very small handful of scientific skeptics opposing action, they don't publish their arguments in peer-reviewed journals, and they restrict their arguments to the political sphere.

This is the big lie about global warming. It's gross that it keeps being repeated by the leftists on this board. The UN Panel itself keeps changing it's opinions.

John said...

Simon, help me out, I'm having some trouble with the math showing that flat rate taxes and sales taxes are not equitable across incomes. If I pay a 15% sales tax, I'm paying the same percentage of my spending as everyone else. That sounds equitable, especially since high income families spend far more than low income families and so will pay increased tax in proportion to their increased spending. Similarly, if everyone reduced their carbon footprint 20%, that would be equitable, or so it seems to me. Do you disagree?

MadisonMan said...

sloan, it is a true statement that there are very few articles that contradict general Global Warming assertions in peer-reviewed literature. (I'm not sure if that was alphaliberal's point or not, however).

The scientific consensus, if there is one, is that the Earth is warming. There is little consensus after that. Most of the statements I hear always have qualifiers. Politicians want absolutes that scientists cannnot give and they (politicians) usually gloss over the qualifiers.

Fritz said...

Alpha Lib,
Throw me a bone! A single model that could replicate climate change of the past would do. I'm still waiting. Acid rain was disproven. Lake Erie is alive and well. Alaskan waters recovered. How many times will your catastrophe memes be tolerated?

Simon said...

John - the point isn't whether or not I agree, the point is that the same reasoning that Bruce is applying to the instant question would also, as you acknowledge, apply to tax questions.

LarryK said...

Ann

Don't believe the hype - 20 years from now "An Inconvenient Truth" will be the second act of a midnight double feature, along with the more balanced and scientifically accurate classic documentary "Reefer Madness."

There is SO much wrong with Reverend Al's documentary, but let's just take the "hockey stick" graphs you mentioned. These were deliberately and conspicuously omitted from the 2006 IPCC report after appearing in the 2001 document. The notion that the earth is hotter now than ever, and the warming experienced in the last 100 years is unprecedented, is flat-out, unambiguously wrong. Anyone who says otherwise is either uninformed or lying. And if what's happening now has in fact happened in the past (which it has), before man-made industrialization and the acceleration of hydocarbons into the atmosphere, then the argument that we are in a "crisis" falls flat on its face.

Now, that's not to say that it doesn't make sense to begin transitioning to greater reliance on non-carbon based energy sources - but we shouldn't do this in an atmosphere of hysteria and falsehoods whipped up by environmental extremists. Rev. Al is pushing the totalitarian view that the time for debate is over. I think the time for debate is never over, and in fact the debate over "climate change" is really just beginning. It's just one that the alarmist crowd doesn't want to have, because it will lead the public to discover some very inconvient truths.

Freder Frederson said...

We have more trees in America now than we did in 1900. The water is much cleaner. Read the Environmental Skeptic.

And your point is? It must be that government regulation of the environment is a very good thing.

Your 1900 date is probably correct for trees but not for water (1940 or 50 would probably be a better date for water).

Well, yeah from the time white people landed in the Americas until the early twentieth century we had completely unregulated logging in the country (until the early 19th century probably more trees were growing than being cut because of the population crash of the Native Population outstripped the immigration of Europeans). By the early twentieth century, almost the entire forest from Maine to Minnesota had been cut. Practically all that was left east of the Mississippi was the Cypress Swamps, and they would mostly be gone by the '40s. Government mandated management practices of the eastern forests were introduced to prevent that happening again.

Likewise, water quality was getting so bad that the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1898 was the first federal legislation that attempted to regulate the pollution of water. But it would be another 70 years before federal legislation with teeth would begin to seriously address water (and air and land) pollution in this country. It is only because of the Clean Water Act that our water is so much cleaner than it was 35 years ago.

Jim said...

One very telling factoid about the difference between left and right political leaders is to look at how they live their personal lives. Clinton, Gore, Edwards, and their Hollywood fellow-travelers all own multiple huge mansions, constructed on an 'energy is no object' basis.

President Bush's Crawford ranch house, on the other hand, is greener by far than the homes of any of the left wing hypocrites.

The Crawford house is about 4,000 square feet. It uses wind, geothermal, and passive solar power. The Bush family recycles their gray water and have a 25,000 gallon cistern. The house is made from natural local materials, including 18 to 24 inch limestone walls.

The Gores, Clintons, and Edwards may talk the talk, but President Bush walks the green walk.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Much can be said of the ignorance and intellectual sloth exhibited in this thread.

Indeed.

What scares you neo-nitwits so much about global warming and cause and effect?

Who said I was scared?

Is it that you don't wish to take any responsibility for anything? Or is it that you see yourself so insignificant that anything you do will have no effect.

I won’t speak for others but I take responsibility for my actions as opposed to blaming adverse consequences on race, sex, society, et. al. As for insignificance, have you ever been out on the open seas? Get out there and you’ll see how insignificant you really are.

Maybe its just that you have worshiped at the GOP induced altar of denial for so long you are brain dead.

You know what happens when you assume don’t you? The fact that I don’t drink at the global warming Kool aid stand doesn’t mean that I’m a Republican.

Now before you go Pooh Pooh...another liberal...have you looked at the CO2 measurements in ice?

Nope, been busy.

Does it matter to any of you that you have NEVER seen the real color of the sky?

Have you?

See the problem you have is that you don’t understand why I am not getting worked up over something that has precedent. The earth was obviously a lot warmer at one time than it is now. Why are the ice caps on Mars melting? Do you think that big fireball in the sky has any impact on the earth’s climate? Are you willing to reduce CO2 emissions by replacing our coal fired plants with nuclear ones? If not, why and what alternative.

Mike said...

OK, I'm tired of all assertions by people who have put no effort into forming their opinion. Can any of the scientists here point me to recent review paper(s) on the validaiation of the climate models which couple global warming with CO2?

HazBen11 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RogerA said...

Mike--start here. It's an on-line journal out of the Netherlands; choose some articles based on the title; and then read the bibiliographies for other articles you might find of interest. Good luck--

RogerA said...

sorry about link: http://springerlink.metapress.com/content/1573-1480/

HazBen11 said...

So to summarize, there is no consensus by any means as there are issues on both sides that neither side can refute. I personally don't by into the "man is responsible for this catastrophy" line. What I do buy into is lower bills, solar power, wind power, hydrogen power, cleaner air, etc. The reason for this is I hated the days in grade school of not being able to play outside due to smog alerts. That is lame. So, I'll stay republican, I'll stay a global warming sceptic, and I'll stay environmentally friendly. How bout that.

My brother sent me this site in one of our email exchanges. For all you gw advocates out there, I don't recommend using it too much because on actually reading through the various answers and links, it became rather evident that many of the arguements are very circular in nature.

Hazy Dave said...

"...an intelligence source, working for a government agency. He's not a spy, he's an analyst. He uses computers to crunch numbers and at the end of his work, out pops the truth that was hiding in the original data. Let's call him 'Mann'. The trouble with Mann is, he has an ideology. He knows what he wants his results to be. And the original numbers aren't giving him that data. So the agency he works for won't be able to persuade people to fight the war he wants to fight..."

Read More...

It's a long article, but not as long as this Comment thread, possibly due to its lack of personal insults.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dbp said...

Hi Ann,

This link has been posted here earlier in the comments thread, but is now buried.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XttV2C6B8pU

A BBC documentary which debunks most of what Vice President Gore claims.

dbp

Fen said...

The next time Americans die because valuable intelligence went untranslated, it will be really hard not to say "I told you so" to all of those people who think that there is not place in the military -- even in the rear echelons, even in stateside intelligence-evalating offices -- for homosexuals.

Don't forget to stand up for the fat people - we discriminate against them too. And drug addicts. In fact, I'm certain there is some fat pothead out there right now who could save us all from the next 9-11, if ONLY the military would lighten up on who it admits...

Patm said...

everybody just shut up and believe al gore.

if he can't be president, he'll be your savior.

Thorley Winston said...

As for the fact that 58% of Republicans agree that global warming is caused by people. I believe that's what I said.

I thought that the claim was that Pew did a study claiming that 58% of Republicans said that “more should be done to protect the environment.” I’m not sure how ones goes that from that rather general statement to the specific claim “58% of Republicans agree that global warming is caused by people.”

I find it intriguing that a significant portion of those most alarmed by global warming and about sea levels rising ten of feet choose to live in coastal states. A rational actor who believed the apocalypse was imminent, I would think, would make for the high ground.

I think the reason they don’t flee is that the claims that the sea levels will rise show that if it does, it will occur gradually over time rather than a massive flood all at once. However I think you do raise an interesting issue, when Bjorn Lomborg critiqued the Stern Report which professed to do a cost-benefit analysis of the “problems” created by global climate changes, they found that most of the danger (about 87% IIRC) to people and property on the coastal areas attributed to global climate change was actually demographic. In other words it’s not so much that global warming leads to that many more hurricanes or hurricanes that are that much more severe – it’s that there will probably be more people living in places where hurricanes strike and more property that could potentially be destroyed.

Kirby Olson said...

Freder, I think all the candidates even in the Republican party (Brownback, Huckabee, etc.) are entirely FOR environmental controls, the push for ethanol (esp. if they're from breadbasket states).

The Danish Environmental Skeptic too is a Greenpeace type, he just disputes Gore's statistics. He thinks he's WAY off into alarmism. His book The Environmental Skeptic was roundly attacked when it appeared. If you read it, I'm just saying that it depicts a much more balanced and nuanced picture than Gore's whipped up Sky is Falling rhetoric.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

I had to do a little math myself after reading the supporting math for the 20 foot rise in see levels.

First, lets assume that the ice shelf is, in parts 10,000 feet thick. ALMOST 2 MILES!?!?! does that mean that the ce extends to a mile in depth below sea level, and standing on top I would be a mile above sea level? What unmitigated garbage.

Even at 4000 feet we are looking at, split evenly around sea level, a half mile of depth and a half mile of height.

Then lets take into account that the ice is ice, and 90% of it's bulk is below sea level. Tip of the iceberg, so to speak.

Since as this ice would return to water and lose 10% of its mass, adding in the 10% that would stop being above sea level, and return to sea level, shouldn't we have a zero gain?

Factoring in evaporation, which would increase because of the increased temperature, we should have a net lose of depth, not an increase.

And, all this depends on the temperature at the pole increasing not one degree, but 40 to 60.

Makes sense to me, but them I'm just a redneck.

daw9857us said...

Here is a good debunking of a lot of the peer-reviewed "science" behind Global Warming:

Climate chaos? Don't believe it

(supporting data)

Wrong problem, wrong solution

And no, the author is not on the payroll of the oil industry.

Joe said...

MadisonMan said...

Joe, the proper place to refute an article is not a website. If the paper is going to be refuted (I like that word better than discredited), I'll rather read about it in a journal, where the views have been vetted by more than one person.


Now you're getting a tad hypocritical. You made a reference to an article that's been widely discredited. I posted a link to one article discussing this--the article wasn't just an op-ed piece, but a reference to a published paper.

Years ago Noam Chomsky came up with his theories of linguistics. His ideas were so dominate, for a relatively long time it was difficult for anyone to publish a dissenting paper. This same type of thing happened with Mayan research in the mid-20th century and Egyptian research earlier. Back in the 1800s, the theory of ether was so prevalent, those disagreeing with it were simply shut out. Same thing happened with eugenics in the early 20th century (and, to a smaller extent, scurvy.)

The point is that while the scientific process is the best method we have of discovering the truth about us and our environment, it is still far from perfect. It is made even more imperfect when the scientific method is not being followed and you add a strong dose of demagogery.

It is critical to point out that many of the conclusions of catastrophic anthropologic global warmists is they are using highly flawed models which can't even predict the past, yet are claimed to predict the future.

A second, critical point, is the saying there are lies, damn lies and statistics. Perverting statistics is precisely what Mann did to product the infamous Hockey Stick graph. It's the same with the alleged Hurricane intensity study MadisonMan referenced.

Has the earth warmed over the past hundred years? Yes, but not by much, especially if you factor in the margin of error. Did it cool from about 1945 to 1978? Yes. Did it warm again from 1978 to 1998? Yes. Has is stagnated since? Yes. Has the earth experienced periods where it has been much warmer in the past twelve thousand years? Yes. And we're all still alive.

That aside, I still go back to my basic question that I've been asking since we were heading into a new ice age--what is the correct temperature of the earth? (I would guess that nobody would nominate the Paleocene era or the Younger Dryas.)

And what about all those plate tectonics? Good God, that's going cause chaos with national borders.

Joe said...

One more issue everyone is avoiding. Why is nobody questioning Al Gore's blatant, and quite extreme, conflict of interest between his preaching and businesses? Gore's proposals stand to make him billions and nobody sees a problem with that?

RogerA said...

Joe: nice post. It is also worth noting that hallmark of a scientific mind is (or should be skepticism). And yet global warming skeptics are being demonized by the chattering classes for their skepticism. No irony there!

RogerA said...

Joe: see Ann's post on the opportunity, crisis, danger canard. I suspect she is making one of her sly implications that Al Gore may be using GW as a financial opportunity--which is demonstrably true. But thats just me.

chickenlittle said...

Elizabeth said:

"Well, let me just stand up and shout, really loudly, that that's just not acceptable. And it doesn't have to happen."

And it shouldn't if the people of New Orleans really care enough. But the events of Katrina have me wondering if they really do.
"Ask only what your country can do for you..."

Hazy Dave said...

Hey, Edjamikated, I believe the Antarctic ice shelf in question is primarily resting on seabottom where it's not on the continent itself, so well more than 10% is above sea level. Even hdhouse knows that a tumbler of scotch won't overflow when the floating ice in it melts, which is why they talk of polar bears, rather than Miami residents, drowning from the predicted melting of the Arctic icecap.

Greenland's ice sheet covers about 2/3 of a million square miles. I don't know how thick it is, but its weight has evidently sunk the interior of the island by up to 1000 feet below sea level. Not that I believe everything I read on Wikipedia...

chickenlittle said...

I haven't found a convenient time to see the the movie, but has AG put on even moore weight since?

Just wondering!

rhodeymark1 said...

http://www.climateaudit.org/

There are scientists - and even better for auditing purposes - engineers and mathematicians who are painstakingly trying to review the data. They see a general tendency to bias earlier temps colder th make recent temps look alarming. Best bet is that the temp is going up slightly and smoothly (the last being the "big" news - no spike). The hockey stick diagram has been refuted by the data itself. A doubling of CO2 - a minor greenhouse gas compared to water vapor - hasn't been shown to be anything near catastrophic. And Eli, please, to shill for Gore's energy usage? Pathetic. If he can't even give up a heated poolhouse, then your ballwashing looks as ridiculous as the "carbon offsets" in the Oscar gift bags.

daw9857us said...

Speaking of Gore's "carbon offsets", did anyone see the video of Gore's testimony yesterday? It looks like he's buying a lot of "calorie offsets" as well. I suspect that somewhere in Africa there's a whole village starving on Gore's behalf.

gekkobear said...

So we don't really need to gut our lifesyle, just cut waste.

And that will account for the 90% reduction in CO2 output that Gore told Congress we needed just a few days ago...

Wait, I think Al Gore's speech to Congress may have contradicted what you claim Al Gore wants us to do...

"Gore advised lawmakers to cut carbon dioxide and other warming gases 90 percent by 2050 to avoid a crisis." http://localnewsleader.com/jackson/stories/index.php?action=fullnews&id=83749

Doesn't a 90% cut affect your lifestyle just a smidge?

"Being 'green' means being cleaner and leaner-- but this does not have to mean any kind of a reduction in lifestyle."

Ok, fine. Show me how to cut 90% of my CO2 production without a lifestyle reduction. Or admit that you're the one spouting crap that doesn't match even Al Gore's recommendations.

Exactly how much electricity will this country have with a 90% cut in warming gases? How many cars? How do you not see a recommended 90% and anything but a huge lifestyle change for all America?

RogerA said...

Gekkobear: I have an idea: lets all hold our breath for 54 seconds every minute--would that help?

Fen said...

chickenlittle: And it shouldn't if the people of New Orleans really care enough. But the events of Katrina have me wondering if they really do.

I have to agree. Not only is it unwise to rebuild in a flood plain, but to entrust such a colossal effort to a community that prides itself on its corruption [Big Easy] seems foolish. You don't reinforce failure.

viacalx said...

These days liberalism is spelled "S A N C T I M O N Y." Policy success does not matter, as long as one feels good about being SOOOOOOOO aware and really, really, really wanting to do good things.

People who care more about how they feel than whether or not their actions are actually based on facts are ripe for tyranny. It just takes a demagogue who'll say sweet words as the bodies are hauled off - for the good of "_________" (you fill in the blank).

But, let's ALL take the pledge: I will maintain a carbon footprint no larger than Al Gore. Now we can all feel good!

chickenlittle said...

daw9857us said:

"he's buying a lot of "calorie offsets" as well"

No, he's just practicing a new personal form of carbon sequestration. Of course, the tough sell will be Hollywood.

RogerA said...

Chickenlittle: given the nature of the alimentary canal and peristalsis, would not carbon sequestration lead inevitably to increased methane production?

chickenlittle said...

RogerA:

that might explain the photo found here:

http://gorenetwork.ning.com/photo/photo/show?id=448544:Photo:2004

Synova said...

It's fair to pay a percentage of your income as taxes and rich people pay far more taxes and still have more left over because taxes aren't causing a global crisis.

If we're really looking at a man-made global warming crisis it's the total amount of CO2 that needs to be reduced. This silly idea that no one has to reduce their lifestyle, just be frugal about the energy you use could be looked at this way...

Suppose I get richer.

I have a house and kids and use a certain amount of energy and I can take energy saving measures (which will help my bills, so good idea) and reduce the energy we use.

But suppose I get richer.

Suppose I finally finish a book and turn around in a daze to find out that I'm the next Rowlings? And I think, cool beans! And I buy the ancestral farm and put a nice house on it. It's in Minnesota so even if I'm not there I can't let it freeze. And Costa Rica rocked! So I buy a house in Costa Rica and that has to be kept up while I'm not there, too. And, this house is okay, but if I've got funds I'm going to buy a different one, have one built, and it's going to be bigger, even if not by much (never did see the point of a huge house... more to clean) and I can follow Bush's example and make each of these houses as efficient as possible.

My CO2 out put is still going to go up. The fact that I have money excuses that in what way? What if everyone got rich? What if standards of living go up all over the world?

Total CO2 production will not go down, it will go way way up.

It all depends on keeping the standard of living down for most people. It has to. Unless those with higher standards of living actually *really* reduce their *real* CO2 output down to something that could be considered their "share" of it, someone else is going to have to do the conserving *for them*.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Hazy Dave, I appreciate the info, but doesn't that even make the claim of 10,000 feet of ice even more ridiculous? I was assuming a half mile of water depth, not a 1,000 feet.

I can by a couple of thousand feet of ice, but even an average of 4,000 seems padded for immoral purposes.

Revenant said...

So why should you believe Gore when Gahrie and Revenant and so many people here with lawyerly credentials will tell you that he lied about Love Story?

Er... what? I'm not a lawyer and I have NO idea what Al Gore has to do with Love Story. I just noted that I don't like documentaries because film is too manipulative for nonfiction.

AJ Lynch said...

Hazy Dave said:

"Greenland's ice sheet covers about 2/3 of a million square miles. I don't know how thick it is, but its weight has evidently sunk the interior of the island by up to 1000 feet below sea level. "

So the heavy ice may be sinking the earth's surface. Well then, global warming may actually be saving us from a calamity where the thick ice sinks so far it came out on the other side of the planet. Even Republicans would agree that wouldn't be good :).

And Edjumacted, I thought the same thing as you did. I looked at Antartica on Wikipedia and saw it had big high mountains but the alarmists seemed to be assuming it was 100% ice and not partly land mass topped by some ice.

MadisonMan said...

So the heavy ice may be sinking the earth's surface.

Ice is heavy. The Earth's surface around the Great Lakes is still rebounding from the last Ice Age.

AJ Lynch said...

Madison Man:

Do you have any sense of humor?

Hazy Dave said...

It seems like a lot of ice, but it's been cold there for quite a long while, so absent any conflicting data, I'm willing to accept an estimate of up to 2 miles thick, averaging less than half that over the glacier/ice shelf... The quantity of water tied up in frozen form on the surface of the planet is probably one of the least controversial aspects of this "issue".

BTW, I challenge you to prove there aren't flying saucers imbedded in that ice.

(Also, if monkeys flew out of Al Gore's butt, they could fly to the South Pole and melt all the snow and ice with their flying monkey emissions and raise sea levels by more than 100 feet! Immediate action to avert this urgent crisis is called for by up to 58% of the voices in my head.)

Internet Ronin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

AJ: I used to have a sense of humor, then Bush was re-elected.

On another topic, why was so much energy expended in finding out who made the (most excellent) anti-Hillary ad that's a rip-off (homage?) to 1984? Does it really matter if the person who made it works for B.O. or not (I'm guessing there could be a law?) If only I were uber-creative, I'd make a nice political ad for You-Tube, put it out there, and let the speculation fly.

Revenant said...

Does it really matter if the person who made it works for B.O. or not (I'm guessing there could be a law?)

If it was found that the Obama campaign was involved in the ad's creation then that would, I believe, violate that dippy law that requires "My name is _____, and I endorse this ad" at the end of every political ad.

Odds of the Obama campaign being directly involved, though, are in my opinion pretty low.

MadisonMan said...

Oh yeah, I'd forgotten about that law because I've not watched TV during an election cycle in so long. Well, that makes sense then, I guess.

What someone will do is make a highly inflammatory ad, and then grab a "I'm Candidate X and I approved this message" sound bite and append it to the end, put it on YouTube and then sit back and watch the fireworks.

I wonder if that might be legal speech, if crafted as a protest against the requirement of the approval voiceover.

Fen said...

I wonder if that might be legal speech, if crafted as a protest against the requirement of the approval voiceover.

Interesting point. I'm hoping that alot of amatuers from both sides of the aisle flood the net with YouTube ads that defy McCain-Feingold.

Chip Ahoy said...

Thank you for watching An Inconvenient Truth.

Now I don't have to.

Doc Mara said...

Unlike the Ad Hominem attacks on this thread (and Ann asks why "The film weaves Al Gore's biography into the scientific lesson. What was the point of all that?" Your own commenters just answered the question.).

Instead of all of the sideshow misdirection offered by the unqualified lurkers here, you might want to read an extensive, cited, and inclusive discussion of climate science here: Real Climate.

It answers many of the questions that skeptics pose, complete with references and data. It debunks many of the sacred-cow counter-propaganda being pushed in the comments. The authors are climate scientists, but they are pretty good at explaining the important points of the science without misrepresentation or watering them down (they won't endlessly rehash the same misdirection if you refuse to understand them or wilfully misstate what they say). Don't go to the website if you just want to blindly hold onto your ideology--which is what I suspect most of these ad hominem attacks on ex-Senator Gore is really about anyway.

DR said...

For simplicity, the issue isn't: is the earth warming? We know the earth has warmed 1 deg F since 1850, perhaps 0.5 deg F since 1970. That's not the issue and that's not the problem.

The way we get to climate apocalypse is the warming rate will accelerate dramatically according to the alarmists so we get 5-10 deg F of warming in the next 100 years.

In other words the warming rate goes up by a factor of 5-10 times the current rate.

Why should the warming rate increase so dramatically? What's the scientific evidence such a huge change will occur? There's no evidence for this; it's all in the climate models.

In other words, there'slenty of good scientific reasons for doubting such an imminent dramatic change. If you cant see that, then you have belief, not facts on your side.