George Taylor on Global Warming.

By: Suzanne Penegor

Oregon State Climatologist George Taylor returned to the Lane County Rubicon Society on Sept. 27th to speak as a private citizen regarding global warming issues. The political climate for Taylor has been heated since he disagreed with Gov. Kulongoski by refusing to toe the “politically
correct” political line.

Taylor said he still expects the governor to take away his title of state climatologist because of a slight disagreement on global warming issues. When Kulongoski developed the Oregon Strategy for Greenhouse Gas Reductions recently, he didn’t even ask for Taylor’s input.

Taylor discussed the history of climate cycles and how, for example,
Oregon’s climate was actually much warmer in the 1930s than they are
today. Also in the early 1800s there were 2 years where we had no
summers in the US. Taylor said World War II enhanced a temperature
increase and discussed how cities’ temperatures tend to be higher than
rural areas due to human development. Taylor noted that where
measurements are taken can affect the temperatures and the data we use to determine climate changes.

Taylor said the greenhouse effect is invisible and essential to life on
Earth. He said 90% of it is water vapor and then the rest of it is
methane and carbon dioxide.

Taylor noted that the tropical pacific patterns, the El Nino and La Nina events, and the impact they have on global temperatures overall. He said humans have some impact, but not nearly as much as sunspot activity or natural disturbances like volcanic activity over time.

Taylor went on to say that those who espouse the global warming line often point to the snowpack levels. He said a Washington climatologist was fired over

climate issues that were not politically correct regarding snowpack levels and left sided concerns. Taylor said there are cyclical periods of La Nina and El Nino which effect snowpack levels.

He said the debate over sea level changes is an ongoing debate over whether the current changes are steady and reliable trends. He also mentioned how it is estimated that at the current rate, the global sea level may rise 8 to 17 inches per 100 years.

Moreover, heating the ocean takes a considerable amount of time. He
said in the 1940s there was also an increase in arctic temperatures. And in the 1970s the big concern in the media was the possibility of another ice age or global cooling.

Taylor goes on to say scientists believe that in 2020 the global climate could return to a cooler period as sunspot activity is expected to change.

Taylor addressed the issue of whether the glaciers, sharing how they are shrinking due to human impact. He said there was much melting of the glaciers before 1950 and the SUV theory was a bit off. Taylor said surface temperatures may not be the best measure of climate change anyway, particularly on where the measurements are taken.

It was noted that the Montreal Protocol banned the use of human-made
compounds that were suspected of damaging the ozone layer; however, no apparent change has occurred since that Protocol was created, so it
begs the question of whether humans really impact the ozone layer as
scientists predicted.

Taylor is a published author of several books regarding Oregon’s climate history.

Suzanne Penegor is a Local Activist serving to educate the community by building bridges to civic understanding.

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  • Jerry

    Remember this people: The sun has more to do with the temperature on earth than anything man can do, has ever done, or ever could do.
    The governor doesn’t want the truth – he can’t handle the truth – the governor wants more control over people’s lives and more money collected from the people. Plain and simple.
    The governor doesn’t care about the global climate in any way shape or form.
    The global warming loonies are about one thing, and one thing only, CONTROL.
    And guess what? Most of them have no knowledge of science. They just believe what they hear when it fits their notion.
    AlGore is a god to them.
    Even though AlGore knows nothing about the science either.
    This would all be funny if their plans to “save us all” weren’t so damaging to the economy and our way of life.
    But that is just the poin, isn’t it? Our way of life is BAD. But it is not bad if you are AlGore. Then private jets and big SUV’s are ok because he is so smart and gifted and so better than the rest of us.
    You wacked out warmists make me sick.
    George is the KING for speaking the truth.
    He should be supported – not treated like dirt by a know-nothing loser of a governor.

  • Homer

    Are you questioning our newly annointed Nobel Prize winner?

    • DMF

      Absolutely

  • John Fairplay

    Taylor’s point about where you take temperature readings is important, and one you hardly ever hear made. I would be interested in knowing, for instance, how many temperature readings were taken in 1960 and where vs. how many are being taken today and where.

    When temperatures do retreat sometime in the next 20 years, I am very much looking forward to Gore and the global-warming supplicants claiming it was their efforts in demanding whatever insignificant changes were adopted that led to the cooling period. Gore may get another Nobel Prize then.

  • Gienie

    George brought pictures of different reading locations around the state, and I was shocked to see where they were situated! I too have never heard that point brought up, and I find it interesting how so many people just ignore this point as if it really is of no importance! Sad really!

    I’ve had the priviledge of hearing George speak twice now, and each time I have come away with new found knowledge about global warming, green house gasses etc. He seems to be the only person I’ve heard so far who is level headed about the issues and provides excellent information. The other thing I like about George is that he’s not focused on making/forcing people to agree with him. He has no hidden agenda which makes what he says more credible to me. He also plays a mean guitar…always a plus! :O)

  • CRAWDUDE

    I watched a Discovery Channel documentary last night called the ” Little Ice Age” . Listening to it, I have to conclude that its not one of Algore most watched. During the Dark ages the temperature dropped a few degress, this lasted a couple hundred years and they’ve been slowly rising ever since.

    This alleged global warming problem is merely part of a natural cycle of things. Eventually this planet will experience another period of global cooling, like it has many times before. Then warming again, etc…etc…etc….

    Once again people the human has only been here a short time in consideration of the planets age. I think some of us need to get over ourselves.

    • Gienie

      There was a period in the Middle ages too where global temperature was warmer than it is now. I cannot remember the reference/source… but.. if my memory is correct… I do not believe King Arthur and his knights of the round table drove SUV’s! Correct me if I’m wrong please!

      • CRAWDUDE

        Too clear up the historty portion these has never been any proof that a King Arthur ever lived.

        As for the documentary, no the tempature was not warmer than it is today it was approximately 3 degress cooler on global avarage. This little ice age occurred after many years of global warming the created many of the great societies that we read about in history due to the abundance of food and game that the warmer tempatures brought to Europe. The population jumped from 40 million to 60 million in less than a century.

        The little ice age that came after this warming period devastated crops and live stock crops brought disease and starvation. The Dark Ages can be found in many history books, it’s interestimng to know that they were brought on by a cooling environment, it’s gives one a chance to understand the mind set of the people.

        In fact, glaciers covered many portion of what we call fertile and primes land today. Once the warmth returned after a couple / few hundred years the productivity and industrialization returned as well. Leaving only stories and parables of the dark ages, and times prior. Hansel and Gretel ( If parents had too many kids they’d take them for a walk in the woods and leave them to die, thus that story). King Arthurs story was made up to show how beautiful the world once was prior to the dark ages………..it also gave people hope that it could once again become that way. A lot of other childhood tales I think we all heard were centered around this period.

        And No, I don’t believe they drove SUV’s back then………….of course the nutrients in their food was about 50 times less, their average age at death was 36, they had mass starving and disease and a whole host of other issues. All in all I’ll take the SUV’s.

        • Gienie

          Crawdude you make me pee my pants laffing! Thank you for the history lesson. I’m glad we cleared that up…. haha

          • CRAWDUDE

            Lol, I’m a history buff, it was the only subject I was great at in school so I get a little enthusiastic talking about it 😉

            Glad I made ya laugh Genie, I have a personal goal to make at least one lady laugh each day of my life. Of course, my looks alone can usually do that;)

  • eagle eye

    Re the temperature readings: Of course the location of the readings and the possible effects of “heat islands” have been considered. There isn’t complete agreement, but even serious global warming skeptics don’t dispute the overall trend of substantial warming in the 20th century and in the past few decades (the cause of the latter being the nub of the issue of whether there is substantial human caused global warming).

    • CRAWDUDE

      EE, great points! I don’t disagree with the global warming theory either and it’s effects may be being accelerated by our introduction of sulfates and nitrates into the atmosphere. I believe the warming itsself is a natural phenomanom (no points for spelling) that can’t be stopped by anything we do, perhaps slowed for a very short time but not stopped or reversed. The earth will decide when that happens.

      • eagle eye

        I neither believe nor disbelieve very strongly at this point that humans are the cause of the recent warming. I do think the temperature record showing a warming in the 20th century is pretty firm. The question is what are the causes and their relative weights.

        The sulphates, by the way, cause cooling. (“aerosols”). How much cooling is a pretty open question. That, in turn, makes the extent of the greenhouse gas warming open to question.

        • CRAWDUDE

          Honestly I read that the sulphates being released by China of all places were actually giving a temporary slowing of global warming, I didn’t know they were aerosols ( thanks for the info and spell check) . I can’t remember why it was a temporary effect, maybe their CO2 emissions will so over shadow the sulphate releases. I wish I could find that article, take the above with a grain of salt since I can’t find the article to make sure I am stating it correctly..

      • Jay Bozievich

        Actually, the Sun will decide when that happens. I highly recommend buying or renting a copy of the BBC documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle” I know it is available from a website http://www.demanddebate.com

        The scientist in the documentary make pretty clear how much solar activity is the main contributor to global warming through the supression of cloud formation.

        While I highly support using our resources in the most efficient manner, making policy based on carbon footprint is not supported by any real scientific method. Carbon footprint is just another substitue for wealth and income and the real agenda behind trying to legislate it is wealth and income redistribution. (Or a quaint notion that the world was a better place before the industrial revolution…)

        • Gienie

          JAAAAYYY!!! GOOD MORNING! GOOD TO SEE YOU!

        • eagle eye

          The view that the recent warming is mainly solar-caused has some scientific supporters, but it is definitely a minority view among climate and related scientists. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong, but just because some scientists are proponents, doesn’t mean it is right, either.

          You may be right about the motives of some of the global warming people, but motives are a bad way to judge scientific controversies. Myself, I try to stick to the scientific aspects. Except when in the presence of a true believer.

        • Jill

          Gore’s mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

          In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.

          The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh–more than 20 times the national average.

          Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh–guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.

          Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.

          Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year. In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.

          By the way, I checked my carbon footprint at http://www.carbonfootprint.com and it turns out my footprint is only 8.49. I really wanted to get away with saying something like “My Carbon Footprint is bigger than yours” but I guess I’ll have to sit that argument out!

  • Gienie
    • eagle eye

      Medieval warming

      Do a google on “global warming wiki” it will turn up this

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming

      which has interesting graphs with recent data, and “reconstructions” (down a few graphs) of temperature going back 2000 years. You will clearly see a medieval warming, a cooling to a “little ice age” that ended a few hundred years ago, and a long warming since then.

      • Zatwrite

        Confession…. I believe in Glabal Warming, it’s been getting warmer since I got up this morning! I have a very hard time believing its caused by human activity however, and that’s the real issue….PS I LOVE Wikipedia!

        I should also mention that graphs are only reliable if you see the entire span of time… not just pieces of it. For example, a graph Gore used in his latest film piece only showed partial truths regarding points of temperature change…many people do not know the difference and buy into those “generated” statistics! Unfortunate really!

        • eagle eye

          I wouldn’t buy into Gore’s movie. He is on the far end of the global warming spectrum.

          On the other hand, I don’t believe it is a “swindle”, as another movies suggests, unless the “swindle” refers to the far-left fringe of the controversy.

          • ZatWrite

            For the record, I didn’t buy into the movie. I chose to obtain information from many different sources. That way I feel I can make the best educated decision on how I personally feel on an issue.

            Even though you and I may disagree, some would say Al Gore is a credible source; which is why I listen to what he might have to say on the issue. That doesn’t mean I believe him… actually I never believe him, but it helps prepare me for what I might encounter when getting into a political debate with someone who leans left.

            I was just pointing out that many people.. like Gore use graphs to manipulate and spin one way of thinking. Depending on which point you start from the data can be swung into many different directions. Ordinary citizens who do no take the time to fully educate themselves on the issues wouldn’t know the difference. Then there’s people like Al Gore who balloon Issues and create uneccessary hysteria just to win over votes~ Lame!!!

      • CRAWDUDE

        That was pretty much what the documentary said last night, very interesting show!

        • deanapostol

          Global warming skeptics…

          It is darn hard to understand what is happening to the Earth’s climate when we are in the middle of it. But global warming as a consequence of burning fossil fuels and the greenhouse effect of carbon being trapped in the atmosphere, slowing the release of heat to outer space, WAS PPREDICTED well before it was actually measured. Most scientists were skeptical of this prediction, as they should have been.

          But over the next few decades the data that was collected confirmed the predictions. If anything, the climate is changing faster than had been thought. And the most recent data just continues to solidify the case.

          It must be hell for you all to live in a world that continuously disproves your core beliefs, but please, start to deal with it. The preponderance of evidence, supported by the vast majority of climate scientists is that
          (1) yes Virginia, the world is indeed warming, and right fast
          (2) this warming is tied in large part to carbon release
          (4) Not dealing with the issue is going to be way more expensive and disruptive than dealing with it, AND
          (3) we better do something about it before it is too late. As the nice voice on the MAX train says: “The door is closing.”

          If the scientific consensus turns out to be wrong, and the few remainings cientists like George Taylor turn out to be right, which is entirely possible, then investing in alternative energy, building and buying more efficient vehicles, building cities towns and neighborhoods that are easy to walk and bike in, and so forth WILL STILL help us reduce other forms of air polltion, help soften the landing when the oil wells go dry, make us slimmer and healthier, and maybe keep us out of future futile wars in the Middle east.

          Those who smirk at Al Gore and cherry pick your reading and radio listening material to confirm you pre-held views are playing Russian roulette with your and my kids and grandkids future. Please reconsider, and think of the investments in alternatives as a cheap insurance policy for the one planet we all have to share.

          • Anonymous

            “It must be hell for you all to live in a world that continuously disproves your core beliefs”

            Exactly what I would say to you. Human caused global warming is a complete and utter fraud driven by the desire for research grants and political agendas.

        • eagle eye

          The question really comes down to what the cause is of the very most recent warming. There was a period of pretty rapid warming at the beginning of the 20th century, then a period of cooling, then a period of pretty rapid warming again the past few decades. Only the most recent warming — since about 1975 — is attributed primarily to greenhouse gases by anyone — the earlier warming can all be accounted for mostly by natural causes.

          The concern with the most recent warming is it is not clearly attributable to natural causes, primarily the sun acting in known ways. So, the default is to attribute it to greenhouse gases. This is entirely plausible, but to me it hardly constitutes definitive proof. There could be other natural causes that are not presently understood; there could be small errors in the data — we’re talking about a few tenths of a degree Kelvin; there are large uncertainties in the magnitude of the cooling effect of aerosols.

          Even aside from the possibility of unknown natural causes, the other factors make the magnitude of the greenhouse warming effect subject to rather large uncertainties when you adjust the warming effect magnitude to fit the temperature data.

          What’s more, there are other “alternative” ways of getting at the magnitude of the greenhouse warming effect, and they don’t agree especially well among each other, or with the “standard” warming magnitude estimated by fitting the temperature data.

          In short, to me it’s “soft science” at this point.

  • eagle eye

    Dean — I think you’re naive (as are most people) about how firm is the evidence that the recent warming is mostly due to greenhouse gases. It’s “soft” science.

    Al Gore is a very poor authority on the science of global warming, such at it is. Talk about someone who has cherry-picked things!

    VERY naive about the ease of ameliorating greenhouse gas emissions. Even if the global warming adherents are correct, the Kyoto accords would only slow the warming by a few years — in other words, make almost no difference.

    And yet, there has been essentially zero compliance even with the weak Kyoto protocol. Greenhouse gas emissions keep going up, as they have been for decades.

    Just this morning, oil prices hit a new high. This is not a world that is cutting its demand for fossil fuels.

    In short, there is no “cheap” insurance policy and the “insurance” you talk about is not insurance at all.

    Maybe the things you talk about would be good things to get people to do, maybe not. But one shouldn’t pretend that it is going to do much about man-made global warming, if such a phenomenon turns out to be significant.

    • dean apostol

      All,

      Al Gore is not my source on global warming. I have not read his book(s) or seen the movie. He is using his bully pulpit to stir us to action, and has become increasingly effective not because he is a great speaker (he is not), but because the facts that back him up keep mounting.

      For those who think this is some sort of grand conspiracy so academics can get research grants, I can only say that i teach at a university. A single university is incapable of a consipiricy in its own interest (just think about the arguments at Oregon State over timber salvage last year as an example). To suggest that ALL universities around the world somehow made up global warming to increase their grants is too ridiculous to even bother with.

      What are the mostly agreed upon facts (among the experts)?
      1) The planet is warming and has been for a number of decades
      2) The warming is accelerating, particularly in the artic and sub-arctic regions
      3) There is an order of magnitude more “greehouse gasses” in the atmosphere than there has ever been (at least since the dinosaurs ruled).
      4) The main source of these gases is the burning of fossil fuels (the dinosauers, now there is irony for you).
      5) Computer modeling establishes a mathematical link between the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere and climate.
      6) The rise in temperature so far confirms the model

      By now, I think the above is agreed to by just about any climatologist who does not get a check from the oil companies. And the best representation of scientific consensus is the UN committee that shared the Nobel with Gore.

      Okay…what is in question?
      1) How much and how fast temperatures are going to rise
      2) How much of the total is a result of greenhouse gases versus other causes (i.e. sun spot activity)
      3) What will the environmental effects be and how fast will they show up (i.e. sea level rise)?
      4) Can we do ANYTHING useful to make a difference?
      5) SHOULD we do anything to make a difference?
      6) What if we are WRONG? We are being had. Gore is a fraud, Rush Limbaugh is truly an under-educated genus, etc…

      The latest estimates I have seen, from the expert consensus, is that if we can reduce greenhouse gas emmissions, not the rate of growth (as President Bush has suggested,) but the ACTUAL emmissions, by something like 25% in 25 years, then we could hold the overall average temperature rise fo about 3.5 degrees (not sure if that is F or C).

      And if we accomplish that, we would likely stave off the potentially disasterous ecological changes that otherwise hover over the future.

      And doing what we need to do would cost a fraction of our overall economic growth rate. Not doing so could end up costing serious money. Entire cities (give a shout out New Orleans) and whole parts of Nations (the Maldives, the Netherlands, Denmark) may have to be abandoned to rising seas.

      So I have to ask…for a few forgone shekles apiece, are you all really wiling to run the risk? Am I the one who is being naiive? Me and all those scientists?

      A carbon tax or a cap and trade system, plus modest investments in alternative technology research, plus some minor “lifestyle” changes like driving less, buying more fuel efficient vehicles, and paying attention to where the stuff you buy comes from (i.e. support your local farmer) taken together could secure our grandkids future. That is the game we are in friends, risk management. We spend $12 BILLION a month in Iraq. We can afford to reduce our carbon emmissions.

      I hope you all and Rush are right and this whole global warming business is a pile of crap made up by Al and a few sneaky scientists. Ha ha…jokes on us. And that anyway there is PLENTY of oil out there, and if the ice melts we will find more underneath where it was. I truly hope you are all right. But you had better hope so as well. Russian roullette is not very risky because you have a what, 6 to one chance to survive.

      • John Fairplay

        On average, there has been about 1 degree of warming over the last 100 years. It is warmer now then it was 30 years ago. It is cooler now than it was 70 years ago. There is no solid evidence that the 1 degree was caused by human activity. There is no evidence at all for dramatic warming in the future.

        For human-caused global warming to be an accurate theory, we should have seen average world temperatures increasing each year since human burning of fossil fuels began. Have we?

      • eagle eye

        You can make all the sarcastic allusions to Rush that you want to, but when you say something like

        “3) There is an order of magnitude more “greehouse gasses” in the atmosphere than there has ever been (at least since the dinosaurs ruled).”

        you expose yourself as somebody completely out of his depth. The statement you made is literally nonsensical. Any way you want to slice it. If it were true, the temperature would be thousands of degrees. The main greenhouse gas is water. Even if you only include CO2, the change is not “an order of magnitude”. It’s more like a factor of 2, actually less. And the CO2 level has varied quite a lot in the past.

  • Tim

    It’s either sad or funny the lengths the global warming husters will go to… I can’t decide which though. A few months ago I read an article printed by the Herald Sun, and it was so bad I had to check the URL and make sure I was not at a satire site. Scott Ott couldn’t have done this any better. Only THEY expect us to believe this…

    —Clips from an Article

    Fever claim on global warming

    GLOBAL warming will take a toll on children’s health, according to a new report showing hospital admissions for fever soar as days get hotter.

    The new study found that temperature rises had a significant impact on the number of pre-schoolers presenting to emergency departments for fever and gastroenteritis.

    ——–

    The two-year study at a major children’s hospital showed that for every five-degree rise in temperature two more children under six years old were admitted with a fever to that hospital.

    OK… Let go thru it again, this time with our brains engaged.

    A SINGLE STUDY lasting only TWO YEARS limited to a SINGLE HOSPITAL has shown that TWO EXTRA children will be admitted with the rise of temperature. AND the study was limited to children 3-5 years old so they had to cherry pick the data to get these results. AND (as if we needed more) it was only limited to 2 reasons for admission, fever and gastroenteritis. Overall admissions where not cited.

    So they base the whole story on what??? 4 Children being admitted to a single hospital in over 2 years? That the “admissions soaring” and the “significant impact” quoted above?

    BUT WAIT… The story continues…

    The University of Sydney research is the first to make a solid link between climate changes and childhood illness.
    I spit out my milk when I read that. That’s when I checked to see if this story was for real.

    A single 2 year study at a single hospital using cherry picked data shows an increase in admission probably less than one SD from the norm and they call it a “solid link between climate changes and childhood illness.”

    Its comedy and tragedy all rolled up in one.

    Comedy because these people say something so preposterous and expect the public to believe them and tragic because so many do.

    This is what passes for news today….

    BUT let’s play their silly little game. When is flu season? When do children get flu shots to prevent them from influenza, phenomena and death? That would be when it gets cold.

    If there really is such a thing a global warming, children won’t get as sick as they do during the winter. Lets even go as far as saying that Global warming WILL SAVE children’s lives if only we give it the chance. Can I get an Amen please???

    For the full article go to:
    https://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21269012-661,00.html

    • Anonymous

      If only this were an atypical example of global warming “science.”

      Time was that a “study” with such a small sample size and limited scope would have been laughed out of academia and earned its author(s) a well deserved one way trip to obscurity.

  • Sun Goddess

    Wait a minute didn’t Al Gore invent the Internet and Global Warming so he could sell his snake oil?

    What would Gore and co. do if they couldn’t stir up this kind of political stuff? He and Bill Clinton would both actually have to retire.

    • Gienie

      Yes.. I believe Al Gore did invent the internet… seems to me he could take all that money he made off of it and “fix” this whole global warming thing eh???? Someone should send him a memo!

      • Sun Goddess

        Right on, Gienie!

  • Shep

    Dean,
    You need to study more. Do homework.
    1) The planet has been warming for hundreds of years.
    2) The warming is not accelerating more so in the arctic and sub-arctic regions.
    3) There is not more “greehouse gasses” in the atmosphere than there has ever been.
    4) The main source of these gases is not the burning of fossil fuels.
    it’s water vapor.
    5) The computer modeling you cite has been corrupted by bad science. And greenhouse gases in the atmosphere fluctuate with and after the heating and cooling of the planet surface
    6) The rise in temperature has not confirmed any model you cite.

    Okay…what is in question?
    1) How much and how fast are you going spread more nonsense?
    2) How much contradictory science and scientists will it take for you to shut up?
    3) What will the effects on the environmentalists be and how fast will they make up excuses when the science finishes exposing them?
    4) Can we do ANYTHING useful to make them learn faster?
    5) SHOULD we do anything to make them understand?
    6) What if they never stop making up things? ,,, etc…

    • dean apostol

      Shep,

      Okay…you have enlightened me. No agreement on the facts.

      But riddle me this. Why have even most of the REPUBLICAN candidates for president: Romney, Guliani, McCain, Brownback, and Hucklebee, AND president Bush himself…why have they all said they do believe global warming is a fact, that it is caused at least in part by the increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (that does not exist) that has been exacerbated by fossil fuel burning? If this is a myth perpetrated by Al Gore, a few thousand climate experts, and now me, then why have they bought in?

      And Shep…WATER VAPOR? Are you serious?

      • Gienie

        Just for clarification: Greenhouse gases are gases in the atmosphere which, by absorbing thermal radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface, have a blanketing effect upon it.

        The most important of the greenhouse gases is water vapor, but its amount in the atmosphere is not changing directly because of human activities.

        Other greenhouse gases include but are not limited to…carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and ozone. These gases can be and are directly affected by human activity… but that doesn’t make it a “BAD” thing.

        Let’s just focus on carbon dioxide for a minute. Carbon dioxide provides the dominant means through which carbon is transferred in nature between any number of natural carbon reservoirs—a process known as the carbon cycle.

        We contribute to this cycle every time we breathe. Using the oxygen we take in from the atmosphere, carbon from our food is burnt and turned into carbon dioxide that we then exhale; in this way we are provided with the energy we need to maintain our life.

        Animals contribute to atmospheric carbon dioxide in the same way; so do fires, rotting wood, and decomposition of organic material in the soil and elsewhere.

        To offset these processes of respiration whereby carbon is turned into carbon dioxide, Nature herself provides other processes involving photosynthesis in plants and tress which work in the opposite way; in the presence of light, they take in carbon dioxide, use the carbon for growth and return the oxygen back to the atmosphere. Both respiration and photosynthesis also occur in the ocean. Hmmmm~

        Water vapor– Mr. Apostol, is important because of its associated latent heat (in other words, it gives out heat when it condenses) and also because the condensation of water vapor results in cloud formation, which modifies substantially the interaction of the atmospheric temperature with the incoming energy from the Sun.

        Variations in both these energy inputs modify the atmospheric temperature structure, causing changes in atmospheric density (since warmed gases expand and are therefore less dense). It is these density changes that drive atmospheric motions such as winds and air currents, which in their turn alter the feed back regarding atmospheric density, temperatures, as well as compositions.

        My source for this information comes directly from one of my text books “Earth Revealed”. I’m an Environmental Law student… I’m not an export on the issue, but in my experience, what has been said about Global Warming and the effects of Green house gases have been blown WAY out of proportion.

        Let me just reitterate.. in case I wasn’t clear… Water Vapor is the most important of all the green house gases… but its amount in the atmosphere is not changing directly because of human activities…but dont’ take my word for it…research it for yourself. That’s what I did!

        • dean apostol

          Gienie,

          Thanks for enlightening a crumpled old adjunct professor.
          But okay…water vapor is important. We don’t control its presence in the atmosphere. We do decide how much fossil fuel to burn.

          You say your textbook is your source. Why trust your textbook? Wasn’t it written by academic scientists? Aren’t they making all this up to scare us into giving them more money?

          And what is being blown out of proportion exactly? The amount of warming? the speed? The possible effects?

          Lastly, as a presumably young person, aren’t you at least a bit concerned that those blowing it out of proportion may end up being right, politics aside?

          And Crawdude…you may be right, or you may be wrong. Is it your position that we ought to just ignore the issue and don’t bother to reduce our greenhouse output? Is that a risk you are fine with? That is what perplexes me. With modest adjustments in our way of living, we can reduce greenhouse gasses. Even if we are wrong we gain other advantages. So why such fierce denial/resistance to sensible proposals? Help me out.

          • CRAWDUDE

            No, lessening pollution in the air, on the ground and in the water is something that I think most people would agree needs to be accomplished. I think it’s fallacy to embark on those programs as a cure for any particular item.

            Yes, we should decrease our dependency on fossil fuels but as a knee jerk reaction to an unproven theory. In fact, I’ll submit that the global warming argument is causing more problems than it solve. It’s deviding people who would otherwise be working on the same side into seperate camps. This has the effect of keeping all side working against each other instead of with each other.

            Everyone is now polarized into the thought of winning their side of the argument instead of trying to improve the quality of life in this world by lessening pollution.

            I honestly think that Al Gore missed a golden opportunity to be a uniter and instead decided wrongly to be a divider on this issue. I think an above poster stated that we need to look at the temperature charts of the last 2000 years or so to see the various trends not the last 50. Had he done that I think Mr. Gore could have used that information to build a ground swell of support for cleaning up our whole environment instead of trying to stave off a possibly naturally occuring change in the temperature.

          • Gienie

            “Why trust your textbook? Wasn’t it written by academic scientists? Aren’t they making all this up to scare us into giving them more money?”

            The above quote is what’s known as a Strawman fallacy–you’re arguing against a premise I never made. That’s all I have to say about that issue.

            Moving on…

            I would encourage you to look up the Special Pleading Fallacy. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_pleading) The rest of your arguments fall under this catagory.

            In the words of Dr. Madsene Pirie…Special pleading (what you’re doing) is normally resorted to by those whose case would not fare well in the general courts. Faced with a clash between their ideas and the evidence, scientists will change their ideas.

            The special pleaders, like social scientists, prefer to change the evidence, and show why normal judgments cannot be made in their particular case.

            Very often it is the supreme importance of the cause which is called upon to justify the special standards. ‘Normally I would object to spitting in public, but the threat of nuclear annihilation is so awful..’ (As is the threat of fluoridation, Sunday trading, and canine nudity.
            It depends on how strongly you feel about it.)

            Word of caution…when using special pleading in support of your own side, take care that you always supply some specious justification to account for the exception from the general rule. It is never just because it is your side which is involved; always there are special circumstances of public interest.

            ‘With any other boy I’d be the first to admit that burning down the school was wrong, but Michael is very highly strung, as talented people tend to be..’ (It is the argument that goes up in flames, not the school.)

            I would also like to point out that because the issue of Global Warming has been presented as being/having negative effects and that human activity is greatly increasing this “threat”.. One should incorporate precautionary principle! Here is a link which provides an explaination of what that means!(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_principle)

            I will end here by saying thank you for your compliment regarding my age. For the record, I am 25 years old, married to a wonderful man, and together we have 4 beautiful boys who’s lives might in all actuality be saved by global warming… you should know that they contribute daily to greenhouse gases as well by breathing! After some research I see you are 54 years in age…

          • dean apostol

            Gienie,

            You are a delight. I’m sure your family loves you dearly. I am indeed 54 dang it all. But the alternative is worse, or so I hear.

            But doesn’t your description of “special pleading” better fit your own arguments supporting the “don’t worry be happy” side of the global warming debate. Let me see if I have it summed up correctly:

            1) The world is not warming and no one can prove it is.
            2) Even if it is, it is not from burning fossil fuels
            3) Even if it is from burning fossil fuels, it is too hard to change what we are doing.
            4) Even if it isn’t too hard, global warming will be good for us. We live in the cool northern hemisphere, and Oregon could become the new California, and who needs all that ice anyway?

            Have I missed anything?

          • Gienie

            Good Morning Dean!!!
            Its 8am.. I’m drinking my herbal tea and ready for the day! How about you?

            Regarding your last post…I tend not to wrap myself up in urgency! Since we don’t know what the real problem is, or if whatever it is is really a threat, how would we know how to fix it?

            In reality, all you’re really saying is that “we should do something”, Well, what you decide to do to “help” in this “effort” may in all actuality be detremental. Wouldn’t you agree?

            The burden of proof lies on the side that made it an “issue”. I don’t have to prove anything. That’s the way our Justice system works. We truly live in the most amazing country!

            My apologies for not answering the last question you asked yesterday regarding what I concern myself with. I will say.. after thinking much about it… my only worry at this point, is the intellectual climate!

            Hope your day is golden!

            Cheers 🙂

      • CRAWDUDE

        Looks like he admits that the world has been warming, just over a longer period of time than you stated in your post, see his #1 answer.

        I hear many people state that they believe in the global warming situation, they just don’t all believe in the same theory for its cause.

        I believe its a natural occurance myself and it will be followed by a long period of cooling after it is complete, when that will be is another theory. This weather cycle has happen numerous times in history and will no doubt repeat itself again and again.

  • Trevor Stewart

    Taylor and several individuals on this blog are in a distinct minority in in viewing sunpots as a significant factor in global warming.

    Climate models actually account for the role of sunspots and recent research suggests that if they are wrong, they are probably wrong in overestimating the role of sunspots.

    A paper last year in Nature concluded that sunspot-driven changes to the sun’s power are simply too small to account for the climatic changes observed in historical data from the 17th century to the present.

    For more information see the Standford Solar Center website.

    https://solar-center.stanford.edu/sun-on-earth/glob-warm.html#factors

    In sum, there is far more evidence to support a human role in the rate and magnitude of global warming than there is evidence to support a significant role of sunspots.

    Trevor Stewart

  • Anonymous

    Wasn’t Nicolaus Copernicus in the distinct minority when he suspected the world was round?

    • John Fairplay

      Oh, yes! And the learned scientists before him who had irrefutable scientific evidence the sun revolved around the earth turned out to be….wrong!

    • sun Goddess

      Also why don’t we hear about the Global Cooling Scare of the 1970s where the media was all hot and bothered about a “new ice age” that never happened? How quickly the media and public forget these climate cycles. As I recall we had industrialization and cars in the 1970s. At least for those of us who weren’t high on something at the time on the left.

  • Shep

    Dean,
    At least you are consistent. Your perception of both global warming and M37/M49 are equally conveluted and cooked up.

    I’ll make a wild guess you are also among the blievers of the “911 inside job conspiracy”.

    Care to admit it?

  • Jared

    This is just soooooo amazing.

    EVERYONE — except the wacko fringe right — agrees global warming is a serious problem that we can do something about.

    Oil companies. Presidents. Republicans. Democrats. 99.9% of the respected scientists. International leaders.

    Stick a fork in your pseudo-science and get on the bus. If you don’t, say goodbye to Oregon’s ski areas, our crops, our wines, and our habitats.

    • eagle eye

      Really? agrees global warming is a serious problem that we can do something about? 99.9% of scientists agree to both? Where do you get that? Did you do a poll?

      Have you read what I wrote above about the uncertainties in global warming science? Do you have any refutation of it?

      My experience is that most climate scientists agree it’s a problem; many scientists in related fields are SKEPTICAL of their claims; and MANY MANY scientists are dubious that much can be done about it if it is true.

  • Shep

    Jered,

    The only possible way you could have such a bizarre opinion is if you have completely ingored and/or never seen any of the growing scientific contradictions coming from a growing list of repested, peer reviewed and published scientists.
    Someone has been using pseudo-science and his name is Al.

    And your hysteria is hysterical.
    See you on the slopes!

    One more thing, even the ICCP scientists, in their broad uncertainties, (inculding on the human role) say it may take 1000 years to see the kind of warming and melting that would present major problems.

    • dean apostol

      Shep,

      My whacky views on both M49 and global warming (and extending government funded health care to middle class kids and withdrawing from Iraq and dissaproving of our President and a whole lot of other things) are just as whacky as the 60% or more of fellow Oregonians and Americans who seem to agree with me on all of the above if the polls are accurate.

      (Being in the majority does not make one right, I admit that. I voted against M37, the majority voted for it, and I did not conclude that they were “right).”

      Sorry to dissapoint you, but I can’t admit to believing in the “911 inside job” conspiracy because as far as I have heard, there is no EVIDENCE to support the claim. And that Shep should tell you something about me. I might want to believe something is true, or something else false, but being a hopeless liberal (which means open minded to a fault) I tend to hold back on making up my mind about something until I see some convincing evidence. Or…if I believe something and the evidence is convincing in the other direction, I usually change my mind. THis makes me something of a “flip-flopper,” like Mitt Romney for example.

      I don’t think, and have never thought, that global warming is something to “believe” in or “disbelieve” in. And I don’t think this comes down to opinions. It either is happening or it isn’t. And it is either caused (in large part) by burning fossil fuels and releasing more carbon into the atmosphere than it can send back down to earth or it isn’t. My opinion…your opinion…does not matter a whit at the end of the day.

      What does matter is the decisions we make with respect to who to vote for, who to send money to, and how we choose to live out our meager little existince on the only planet we have (and have to share, in spite of our disagreements).

      I would prefer to not have the earth warm up at an accelerated rate. I would prefer it if we could just ignore the problem and it will go away on its own. But I am not willing to run that risk. I am a human being, not an ostrich Shep.

      And in all of the exchanges in this blog, I have yet to hear a good reason why we should not reduce our carbon generation. If Al Gore and the consensus scientific community turn out to be wrong, then at worst we can stretch out our oil supplies for a few decades longer, stop sending soldiers to die so we can control Mideastern nations, and maybe pay a bit more for energy and some unecessary baubbles. Big freaking deal. If they are right and we choose to do nothing, citing Wikipedia or Rush Limbaugh as our counter sources, and so forth, then we dig a deep hole and make a mutton pie of things.

      So Shep, explain to me why you want to run the risk?

      • eagle eye

        You are enormously naive if you believe that greenhouse gas emissions can be significantly reduced with only minor impact, on things other than the climate, like the economy. Why do you think world emissions keep shooting up? Why do you think oil is now near $90 a barrel? Some scenarios call for the U.S. to reduce its carbon use by 80%. Do you really think that would be a minor inconvenience? Do you have any idea what that would translate into in terms of the price of oil and coal?

        If it were so easy to cut emissions, why has the world increased emissions over the past twenty years, and done nothing but talk about global warming, rather than taking the inexpensive “insurance policy” you believe is possible?

      • Gienie

        Hi there,

        I just thought I would touch on some points you made.

        “THis makes me something of a “flip-flopper,” like Mitt Romney for example”.

        First, why the finger pointing, Romney isn’t the only “flip-flopper”. Aren’t we all “flip-floppers” when it comes to science. Sceince is all theory…NOT FACT…Theory…and it changes as new evidence comes to light.

        “It either is happening or it isn’t. And it is either caused (in large part) by burning fossil fuels and releasing more carbon into the atmosphere than it can send back down to earth or it isn’t.”

        No body is disputing the fact that the Earth’s temperature changes, heating, cooling you name it. That’s a premise that wasn’t made by anyone in any posting. Why are you making it an issue? You’re diverting from the real questions and wasting everyone’s time quite frankly.

        Global Warming is not caused (largely from) the burning of fossil fuels. You have not provided any scientific evidence of such and I haven’t seen any in all the research I have done. Here is a perfect oportunity to prove me wrong! Produce something with evidence that isn’t tainted and scewed and I will shut my mouth about it.

        On the other hand, you claim you haven’t seen any other references to claims that it isnt true…Let me remind you…I have provided links to different scientific studies on what caused “global wamring” before the burning of fossil fuels. Did you look any of those up? Here they are again just in case you didn’t:

        https://mysite.verizon.net/mhieb/WVFossils/ice_ages.html
        https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/070228-mars-warming.html

        Global Warming on Mars

        https://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/060504_red_jr.html
        https://www.scienceagogo.com/news/19980526052143data_trunc_sys.shtml

        These sources are NOT from Wikipedia or Rush! Please take note, they are from National Geographic as well as a scholarly journal called Science and Astronomy. These are well researched experiments which provide conclusions based solely on what the findings were. Let me reiterate, these are all “theories” and I believe that if you truly read them with an open mind, you might see a bit from my perspective.

        The problem I have with the theories surrounding Global Warming and the idea that the burning of fossil fuels is largely to blame is how these polls, tests, estimations, experiments, etc. are conducted.

        In almost every site I’ve researched… USAToday, Scholarly Journals like PEW Center, Wikipedia, and even PBS do not list their sources for information, nor to they reference the pool of statistics used or how they obtained the information they were writing/reporting about.

        Seems to me, if people sincerely believe Fossil Fuel burning is the true problem, then they would take the time to provide more credible evidence and use more efficient methods to prove these theories.

        Do you know of any tests that were conducted which show evidence in the true light, and not scewed to make a specific point… or enhance a poltical agenda? Please pass it along if you do. I would like very much to see them.

        “I would prefer to not have the earth warm up at an accelerated rate”.

        Where is the evidence the earth is warming at an accelerated rate? Please provide it.

        “I would prefer it if we could just ignore the problem and it will go away on its own.”

        This is another one of your famous strawmen. No one here is ignoring the problem, in fact for the last 3 days we have been debating it right here online. I think with the amount of time I’ve spent personally researching the issue, and commenting should prove to you I’m not “ignoring” anything. In fact I’m very interested in it and wish to learn more. That’s why I’ve challenged you to provide your proof.

        If you want to argue a point, bring everything you’ve got to the table as I tend to fight in an atristolian style…fuly loaded, prepared, and cool headed… bring it on!

        “I have yet to hear a good reason why we should not reduce our carbon generation”.

        I don’t believe anyone in any of these postings here has stated “our carbon generation” shouldn’t be reduced. I haven’t seen that argument at least. Can you show me where anyone has stated that?

        On the contrary, I believe most here believe we do need to find more efficient ways of producing energy, but the question isn’t… should we or shouldn’t we… the questions are…what is the cost to us economically speaking…and will it be self sustaining…etc. These are the real questions that deserve serious study and research.

        and finally you’re last comment:

        “at worst we can stretch out our oil supplies for a few decades longer, stop sending soldiers to die so we can control Mideastern nations, and maybe pay a bit more for energy and some unecessary baubbles”.

        This last statement truly said a lot about your education on this topic in particular… it also positively reinforced my husbands and mine decisions to homeschool our children.

        I’ll close with reiterating… as I’m sure you have heard before… it is always better to keep your mouth closed and look like a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.

  • Shep

    Dean says he looks at evidence and “if evidence is convincing in the other direction, I usually change my mind.”

    Nonsense, you don’t even look at the opposing evidence as was shown when you didn’t read Taylor’s comment about 90% of greenhouse gases being water vapor.

    The contracting evidence isn’t complicated, but yo have to at least look at it.
    You obviously have not.
    It’s easy to see the truth when one looks at the whole graphs which Gore and other’s cherry picked from to show a trend they wanted.
    The larger graphs that Taylor has obtained reveal that the trends are nothing like what you want to believe.

    Like I said before you don’t study well. Deliberately avoiding the opposing data.
    I don’t operate that way, I’ve looked at a lot of the hockey stick, Al Gore graphs and IPPC material. If I had not bothered to be curious enough to look at the other emerging contraditions I would thingking this is a pretty big problem. I would be like you.
    But I read, studied BOTH sides and discovered the human caused global warming and predictions of human caused calamity is a fraud.
    It’s not even a close call. Gore et al distroted so much it is stunning.
    Yet you seem to think no distorting was done at all.
    Only someone too lazy to look at the fraud acts like you.

  • Tim

    Here are some references if anyone is interested:

    (1) A scientific Discussion of Climate Change, Sallie Baliunas, Ph.D., Harvard- Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Willie Soon, Ph.D., Harvard- Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

    (2) The Effects of Proposals for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction; Testimony of Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, before the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment of the Committee on Science, United States House of Representatives

    (3) Statement Concerning Global Warming– Presented to the Senate Committee on Environmental and Public Works, June 10, 1997, by Dr. Richard S. Lindzen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    (4) Excerpts from,”Our Global Future: Climate Change”, Remarks by Under Secretary for Global affairs, T. Wirth, 15 September 1997. Site maintained by The Globe – Climate Change Campaign

    (5) Testimony of John R. Christy to the Committee on Environmental and Public Works, Department of Atmospheric Science and Earth System Science Laboratory, University of Alabama in Huntsville, July 10, 1997.

    (6) The Carbon Dioxide Thermometer and the Cause of Global Warming; Nigel Calder,– Presented at a seminar SPRU (Science and Technology Policy Research), University of Sussex, Brighton, England, October 6, 1998.

    (7) Variation in cosmic ray flux and global cloud coverage: a missing link in solar-climate relationships; H. Svensmark and E. Friis-Christiansen, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar- Terrestrial Physics, vol. 59, pp. 1225 – 1232 (1997).

    (8) First International Conference on Global Warming and the Next Ice Age; Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, sponsored by the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society and the American Meteorological Society, August 21-24, 2001.

    Additional Reading

    Understanding Common Climate Claims: Dr. Richard S. Lindzen; Draft paper to appear in the Proceedings of the 2005 Erice Meeting of the World Federation of Scientists on Global Emergencies.

    Geological Constraints on Global Climate Variability: Dr. Lee C. Gerhard– A variety of natural climate drivers constantly change our climate. A slide format presentation. 8.5 MB.

    Thoughts of Global Warming: “The bottom line is that climatic change is a given. It is inescapable, it happens. There is no reason to be very concerned about it or spend bazillions of dollars to try and even things out.

    NOAA Paleoclimatology: An educational trip through earths distant and recent past. Also contains useful information and illustrations relating to the causes of climate change.

    Cracking the Ice Age: From the PBS website– NOVA online presents a brief tour of the causes of global warming.

    Little Ice Age (Solar Influence – Temperature): From the online magazine, “CO2 Science.”

    Solar Variability and Climate Change: by Willie Soon, January 10, 2000

    Earth’s Fidgeting Climate: NASA Science News “It may surprise many people that science cannot deliver an unqualified, unanimous answer about something as important as climate change”

    Links to all of these references can be found at:

    https://mysite.verizon.net/mhieb/WVFossils/ice_ages.html

    • deanapostol

      Gienie etc…;

      I type with my mouth fully closed, and to the extent I look like a fool…well there is no one here to share the experience at the moment.

      But seriously folks…you and the others have thrown down a challenge (READ ALL THIS STUFF NOW!) I am just not up to. I don’t claim ANY expertise on global warming, and have no intent to become an expert, armchair or otherwise.

      My position, restated is that the preponderance of evidence is apparently strong enough that a large majority of reputable climate scientists agree on the core issues I stated earlier. ln short, if it is good enough for them, it is good enough for me, Al Gore notwithstanding.

      If Al “cherry picked” his data, then why didn’t the scientific community he purported to represent call him out? I know, they are in on the big conspiracy to get grants. But science just does not work that way.

      I remember my geology professor lecturing us on plate techtonics, and he put it this way. When the theory was first proposed that the Earth’s crust was like a giant jigsaw puzzle floating about, and that this explained volcanoes, mountains, continents, and so forth, the theory was ridiculed by the scientific community. But it sparked new research that tried to disprove the theory, and no one has managed to do so yet. So over the years the theory took hold as the best “story” about the earth’s geology, and it will remain so until comeone comes up with a better story that can’t be disproved.

      Now notice that the key word is DISPROVE, not PROVE. Scientists for the most part do not prove that their theories are true, they simply have to withstand efforts to show they are NOT true.

      So yes, various scientists have not accepted the fossil fuel – global warming connection fully. But to my knowledge, no one has disproved it yet. Including George Taylor. Are there alternative explanations? Sure. Are these accepted widely by peer climatologists? Apparently not yet. Will this debate within the scientific community go on for some time? I expect it will.

      in the meantime…what do we do? Wait for absolute proof until we start making adjustments? That seems too risky to me. Too much at stake. The warming is taking place (according to the main body of scientists) too fast for us and many speciesof plants and animals to adjust.

      The only sound argument for choosing to do nothing, or little to try and slow the train down is the one raised by eagle eye: that it will bankrupt us. If it was easy or cheap then why haven’t we done it yet?

      My answer is that it has taken the past 20 years for the world to come to grips with the problem, in part because oil companies funded scientists, like the tobacco companies used to fund scientists, to poke holes in the research data and analysis. I expect a lot of the citations above are from researchers who were paid by energy companies, who have a clear interest in delaying the response.

      The largest greenhouse gass emitter, US, has to date refused to do much of anything. China is so busy burning coal to make cheap crap for us to buy at WallMart that they have no interest in the problem, or ANY environmental problem resulting from their rapid industrialization. They are cutting their forests, sucking their water dry, and polluting everything in sight. Greenhouse gas reduction is way down their to do list.

      Others, mainly the Europeans (dang socialists) have stepped up. Denmark gets something like 30% of its electrical energy from wind. Germany is catching up, as is Britain. And to start with, the Europeans ALREADY burn half the carbon per capita that we do, largely because they tax the heck out of gasoline, drive small cars walk and take the train.

      So to sum up…I can’t prove or disprove anything pro or con on global warming. I can drive less, buy a more fuel efficient car, change my light bulbs, and support political efforts to create a carbon trading system or carbon tax.

      Will any of this work? Do we have the time? Will it cost too much?

      According to Bill McKibben (an environmental journalist, not a scientist) the present consensus is that if we invest a reasonable amount in alternative energy development, spurred mostly by a carbon trading system, we (the world) can hold the temperature increase to around 3.5 degrees total. That should be sufficient to stave off the worst.

      So I pose the question back to you again: why not?

      • eagle eye

        Bill McKibben can make all the claims he wants. The fact is greenhouse gas emissions worldwide have been going up for decades and show no signs of abating. We’ll see if the Europeans actually get anywhere. In the meantime, the developing world will be happy to burn all the fossil fuels the Euros and Americans feel like leaving behind.

        Figure what the price of oil would have to be to get Americans to use, say, half as much, or 20% less, or 80% less. Then propose taxing gas and electriciity to make it that expensive. See how far that gets with Congress and the American public.

        You — weall — better hope the global warming skeptics are right.

      • Gienie

        Interesting you bring up Plate Tectonics and the theories surrounding it. I just recently read a new theory, you might want to take a look at. Since you “claim” to enjoy research… here you go:

        https://www.hollowearththeory.com

        On that note…I have provided many links to support my thoughts on the different issues we’ve discussed… so has my husband (Tim)… once again, you have refused and failed to bring me any support for your own. Which varifies what I’ve thought about you all along….

        As an “54 year old adjunct professor”… which really means you are an “old” assistant professor… You really have no understanding of the different theories surrounding Global Wamring. You apeal to emergency fallacies and have no desire to think logically for yourself. What a waste Dean! Maybe that’s why you never graduated from being an assistant!

        You claim I don’t want to reduce consumption…On the contrary… as I’ve stated many times through out this blog…I’m an advocate for reducing consumption.

        I recycle, my husband and I run or rides our bikes to work and school. We shut off the lights in our home when the rooms are not in use. We rarely watch TV. I do not litter. I volunteer with my church to pick up litter around our town, I ask for paper bags at the grocery store instead of plastic, I do not leave my water running when I brush my teeth or when I’m washing my dishes, I water my yard on odd number days, we have a compost pile, and I’m teaching my children the same values.

        On top of that, my carbon footbrint is very low.. much much lower than Al Gores, and the amount of energy in Kwh. I consum on an annual bases is about 1100. If you would like to check up on that, you can contact the local power company here in Springfield, (SUB) 541-746-8451…my name is Gienie Assink :).

        I think it’s important to conserve. But I also feel its important to do so in a way that balances the budget fiscally and is well within our means… particularly since we really don’t know what the impact of “global warming” is.

        If you have a house payment due… do you chose to spend that money on a vacation package at some nice foreign resort… or do you pay what you owe? I’m guessing you pay your bill, becuase that’s the fiscally responsible thing to do. In the long run, being that responsible brings a return on your investment.

        I have no idea if you have had enough respect for me to research and look up any of the references I have so lovingly provided, but just so you know I respect you enough to look up the one person you mentioned regarding Global Warming.

        After about a half an hour of research this morning I see that his references (www.billmckibbon.com) are just as I’ve stated before. Nothing but a bunch of hooey. This person is busy touting negativity with regard to the earth warming, but provides no research statistics.

        He writes articles for the New York Times and other papers, but it’s all opinion based with no records of any research done on his side of the issue.

        He pulls numbers out of thin air, and neglects to back up what he’s saying, infact, Bill McKibbon references two of his own books as proof of his theories… WHAT? As a student, my professors would NEVER allow me to use myself as a credible reference when writing a research paper. (I attend the U of O). Here’s the link where I found this information, so you can see for yourself:

        https://www.billmckibben.com/fightglobalwarmingnow/global-warming-resources.html

        You’re a classic smoke blower Dean! When this whole exchange started, I thought I was debating with someone who might actually bring some intellegence to the table. I hope you were not as illfitted in the subject you tought as an “adjunct professor”. If I had been a student of yours…I would have asked for my money back!

        • dean

          Gienie,

          You are a tough, even relentless debater.

          In my defense, I am an “old adjunct” because teaching is and has always been a part time pursuit. My career has mostly been as a private, independent consultant, plus 11 years as landscape architect for Mt Hood National Forest. I can’t “graduate” from being an assistant unless I take the plunge to full time, tenure track teaching, and I don’t have much interest in that. By your judgement, the students should consider themselves lucky in that regard.

          The gold standard source for all things global climate related is the International Panel on Climate Change: http://www.ipcc.ch/. Given your web research accumen, I assume you are already familiar with them. They are also the main source for Bill McKibben’s writings, and for Al Gore’s book and movie. The IPCC share the Nobel with Al.

          Not to be flippant gienie, but I don’t care much about “different theories” about global warming. The job of the IPCC is to provide a comprehensive, objective, open, and transparent review of all the published, peer reviewed scientific and technical litterature on ‘human-induced climate change.”

          in other words, these hundreds of top scientists across the world from a wide range of disciplines does the reading of ALL the relavent research so that you and I don’t have to spend our time doing so. In fact, they do this so that the political leaders and policy makers of the world don’t have to. They synthesize the findings and lay out options. They do not make specific recommendations.

          In their latest paper, the IPCC Synthesis Report, 2007, helpfully titled “Cimate Change 2007,” they include an analysis of the economic costs of reducing carbon emmissions over time. THey concluded that we can get below the 2000 emmissions by 2010 or so, and keep the curve going down thereafter. The cost is estimated to be around .012% of world GNP per year, adding up to 3% total by 2030.

          Basically, there would be no negative effect on the standard of living we all enjoy.

          McKibben’s numbers are not out of “thin air.” He cites the IPCC’s findings. which as I said are based on the original research findings that manage to be peer reviewed and published. ALL of it. Including alternative theories.

          And for the record, McKibben was one of the first writer/journalists to get into the climate change issue. He published a book titled “The End of Nature” in the early 90s that caused quite a stir. And he has published several books and many journal articles since then. You dismiss him a bit too easily Gienie.

          Referencing one’s own writings is standard both in jounalism (not peer reviewed,) and in science. If I write a technical paper or book, and that passes peer review and is published, then it is par for the course to reference it in future work if I am borrowing anything from it. In fact it is REQUIRED to do so. You should know that. We are not talking about student papers here. Your professors should also mark you down if you cite Wikipedia by the way.

          I assure you that I am much better suited to teach what I teach tahn I am to debate climate change: landscape architecture, ecological restoration, forest planning, and related topics. If I was not suited then shame on the University for paying me the big bucks.

          Lastly, I am delighted at your light footprint lifestyle. But I still wonder, why are you so resistant to supporting sensible policies that would help reduce carbon emmissions?

          And Eagle Eye, the study from the IPPC says that half the “cost” of reducing emmissions can be paid for through the savings of not burning the fuel in the first place. The other half is primarily related to adopting technologies that already exist. We can do this. And we at least need to try. A global cap and trade system is all we need.

          • eagle eye

            So the IPCC claims that CO2 emissions can be reduced sufficiently at an annual cost of .01% of world GDP? That’s about $5 billion per year. That’s very roughly what the State of Oregon spends per year for K-12 school funding.

            You really believe the world can do this on $5 billion per year? If it was really that easy, it would already have happened. Why do you think that almost nothing has been done to achieve even the very modest (and completely ineffective) Kyoto accords?

            If the IPCC is really saying it can be done that cheaply — I haven’t checked your claim — that gives me even less confidence in the rest of what they are peddling.

            Meanwhile, oil has hit $90/barrel — meaning demand for fossil fuels in the real world has hit an all-time high.

          • Gienie

            Awwww EE you stole my thunder… I wanted to mention Kyoto 🙁 !!

            Dean… to answer your question “why are you so resistant to supporting sensible policies that would help reduce carbon emmissions?” I do not support it because every law inforced by government (besides the one that celebrates Mother’s day ;)) has a gun behind it! Big Government is a problem because of the force they use upon people.

            The government’s roll has been laid out very clearly in our Nations’ Constitution. They are to protect trade with-in and outside the United States as well as protect our boarders. Taking on any other task is stepping out of bounds… and taking over by force has never been effective… all one needs to do is look at the history of other countries like Germany, Russia, France, North Korea, Iraq and so on to see the truth in that.

            Now if the private industry wants to take on the task of cleaning up the environment, and use their own funding to help reduce carbon emissions.. be my guest… but don’t try to force me.. “Jane taxpayer” to pay for it, particularly since no one knows if the plans to reduce are even sustainable!

            The IPCC receives funding from Liberal Leaning/Earth muffinish Political PACS. I would encourage you to look up the C & E reports as all of that information and all the donations they receive are public record.

            You stated earlier that funds received don’t actually effect scientific findings because “Science doesn’t work that way”. On the contrary, it does, and would you believe that PAC money also effects other issues like the Department of Education and the NEA, Campaign Finance Reform, Telecommunications, Department of Transportation, the IRS… and the list goes on!

            Just because you chose not to do the research on your own for lack of time and committment or whatever, doesn’t mean you can come and spout off your “knowledge” as if it were something of value and truth. In fact, what you contribute is less credible because you’re trusting ONE 3rd party affilitate whose references are bogus to give you information, and trying to force people like myself to believe you! That’s just plain evil! EEEEEEVIL!

            As a voter, punching my ballot and turning it in isn’t my only job. I have a responsibility to research the issues.. One… because no body is perfect, and Two…because almost all political issues have hidden agenda’s. It’s my responsibility as a voting citizen to make sure I research and educate myself on those issues, and then hold my representatives accountable for their votes.

            On that note, if my mother were alive today, she would whole heartidly agree with you about my relentlessness..maybe even go as far as saying ruthless! You’re not the first to state the obvious however… which is why I’m pursuing a career in Environmental Law.

            And to answer your charge about my family loving me… people outside of my family love me too… I bet your kids would think I’m cool!

          • dean

            Eagle eye…I stink at math, but the investment they are talking about is a % of GLOBAL GNP per year. I think that is much more than $5 billion a year isn’t it?

            THe $90 a barrel price reflects both demand and supply. A number of researchers believe we are at or very near “peak oil,” where the demand curve outstrips the ability to find and develop new reserves. THat, if true would lead to wild price fluctuations, which seems to be what we are seeing.

            But also, consider that coal burning is much more important than oil and gasoline burning with respect to carbon release. Part of the reason Kyoto has “falied” (if that is the right word) is that China and the US and India are not signatories, and have done little or nothing to slow down our emmissions, and we are the largest emmitter.

            Kyoto should be seen as a first stab at the problem internationally. It was never intended to be the ultimate solution. It was meant to kick start reductions, mainly thorugh a cap and trade system that never got fully implemented because the US did not join.

            Gienie…okay. Your answer makes sense. Government can’t be trusted to do anything other than trade protection and border regulation. That leaves out schools, police, fire, social security, weather forcasting, national forest and park management, street maintenance, stream protection, sewer systems, fresh water systems, mail delivery, and too many other services to name. So why should they add implementation of a cap and trade carbon system to the pile they already have?

            For an answer, I would turn to your environmental economics textbooks. The free market system has a number of what economists call “market failures.” For example, a company that finds it cheap and effective to burn dirty coal to run its factories basically sends the air pollution away and downwind. People living downwind “pay” with their health and the dgredation of tehir land and water, but since the factory owner does not have to absorb that cost he or she goes on polluting as long as it is profitable. In the U.S. prior to the federal clean air act, this was the norm. Same thing with our individual cars. Back in the day every time we drove we spewed lead and other junk all over the place. But then the wretched GOVERNMENT stepped in and orderred car makers to isntall costly catalytic converters to reduce polution, and ordered the oil companies to phase out lead additives.

            The affected industries fought this unwanted government interference in their business. They said it would bankrupt them. But it didn’t and today the air is a lot cleaner, and YOUR KIDS are probably healthier as a result of a bunch of dang bureaucrats enforcing the rules.

            Individuals and private companies can’t and won’t solve global pollution problems on our own. Few choose to live as lightly as you and your fine family. So we need governments to step in and set the rules we all live by so we don’t end up choking on each others waste.

            im not a legal scholar, but it seems that the constitution was written to establish the rules of the political game. The authors never said government could not take on a new project or policy, but it took majority votes in two chambers, signing by the President, and upholding in the courts if a new law was challenged. They did set limits, helping to insure our basic rights. Over time it has apparently made sense (at least to some) for governments at all levels to take on more duties and provide more services. If these, including pollution regulation were “unconstitutional” wouldn’t that have been adjuticated by now in your favor?

            Clearly, I’m not going to change your deeply held beliefs, and you are not going to be able to convince me to ignore the IPCC findings on climate change in favor of George Taylor or anyone else who can’t make the grade at the highest science and technical level (which is the IPCC, regardless of where they get their funds). As a “3rd party by the way, consider that they include hundreds of the top scientists in this field. So lets agree to disagree on this one and move on.

            I can’t wish you success in your environmental law carreer unless somehow you have a change of heart and join my side. I fear with your relentlessnees, you will end up overturning some of our important environmental protections and the consequences will not be good. I would not agree with your mother on the ruthless part, at least not yet. But I do wish you well.

            I only have one son, off at college at University of Montana (taxpayer supported by the way and thank goodness for that.) He is farther to the left than I am, but I am sure he would find you a worthy and charming debate opponent, as I have.

            And with that I’ll grant you the honor of the final word Gienie.

          • Frank

            Dean, I’m saddened to see a fellow child of the sixties commit an “appeal to authority” fallacy. How could you have forgotten the motto of our generation: “question authority.” No person or organization is a “gold standard” in science. The only “gold standard” in science is reason, wherein the value of an argument is in the evidence and logic, not in the arguer. The suggestion that some quasi-governmental globalist bureaucracy sets the standard for acceptable thought in pursuit of knowledge harkens back to the dark ages of the Supreme Soviet with their Cheka thoughtpol and Psikhushkas for “delusional” doubters and skeptics. There are no elites or royalties In science, where even a lowly patent office clerk can dispute the greatest scientific icons of history and turn all of physics on its head.

            Though saddened, I don’t deny your right to adopt your values and liturgy secondhand through faith in your climate change priests. But I do strenuously object when you want to fashion your faith into public policy and use the coercive force of government to compel me to conform to your bizarre beliefs and rituals under the oversight of a climate caliphate. If you want to replace your evil incandescent bulbs with mercury filled fluorescents in your home, I’ll leave you free to do so, if you leave me free to keep mine.

          • dean

            Frank,

            If you only knew my history (and present) better. I have always been a poster child for questioning authority. I have NEVER accepted a “because I said so” argument from an authority figure, from my father forward. Its just not in my genetic makeup.

            But I don’t view the IPCC as an “authority figure” in this debate. I view them as representing the best scientific sythnthesis presently on the table. And I certainly do not see them as in any way related to the Soviets, a Caliphate, a Grand Poobah, or whatever.

            They study the issue, report findings, and put forth analysis and synthesis. They do not dictate to anyone. They do not stifle free speech. They have no authority to make anyone do anything, period.

            Could they be wrong, as the physics establishment was (in certain respects) until Einstein turned their views on their heads? Yes. This is certainly possible. But Einstein’s theory was testable and over the years it held up and was expanded upon. If George Taylor or anyone else wants to put a theory forward that can be tested, and this ends up creating a new story that global warming is bunk, or that it has nothing to do with carbon, etc…then I expect that this new theory will win out in the end. in the meantime, until such a new theory goes through the scientific wringer, the synthesis of the IPCC is the best story out there, even if it is telling us something we would rather not hear.

            So not to worry. You can go on burning up all the carbon you can afford. Most of the heavy lifting will be done by private capital responding to public regulation and incentives. The Gestapo will not be arriving at your door, and you may not ever notice the changes happening around you. Of course, that can be said when the pod people invaded as well.

            What I have “faith” in is “reason.” Based on reason, using our heads, paying attention to vetted findings, and working within a democratic system, I support public policies that will gradually reduce our collective carbon release. I will not support policies that would force you at gunpoint to change your lightbulbs or give up your Hummer. That my friend, is a promise.

            And since I previously promised Gienie I would give her the last word, I won’t poke further holes in her arguments.

      • sun Goddess

        Why hasn’t the climate situation changed since the new regs restricting aerosols, etc.? We always think we can play God and that we control our environment totally and I hate to disappoint the Greenies but we don’t have that much control. You can control humankind and ask them to jump off the planet, but the sun is going to do what it wants regardless of what we do.

        • eagle eye

          Hate to break the news but the long cooling period in the mid-twentieth century is largely attibuted to the heightened level of aerosols from mass industrialization back then. When the air got cleaned up, the aerosols diminished, and that’s one reason that warming took over again.

  • Gienie

    “So why should they add implementation of a cap and trade carbon system to the pile they already have?”

    Ok…. So let’s say I’m a citizen of a nation whose leader feels the need to get rid of anyone who is not pure in Germen heritage. Should I fight for my country even though it’s against my beliefs to participate in mass genocide…I mean everyone else is doing it right??

    Or maybe in lighter terms, since I just recently used this phrase on my 6 year old son, “if your brother were to jump off the edge of a cliff…would you jump too?”

    Yeah it makes perfect sense to indulge in government confusion with overwhelming fiscal problems…. In fact, while we’re at it, let’s create more chaos by adding a whole new set of problems on top of the ones we can’t seem to manage. I don’t mind throwing money to incompetent leaders… do you? I mean what else could I possibly spend my hard earned money on anyway?

    I should also point out that not all economists believe that market failures even occur, or even if they did exist they aren’t compelling arguments for government interventions, due to government failure itself. I’m not in full agreement with that, but still it’s a compelling argument! Government has been known to fail and therefore should not be completely trusted with anything, including doing the job it’s supposed to do i.e. protecting our boarders and regulating commerce. We should always question authority…because we’re imperfect people. This is why my mother would call me relentless!

    Here are my references for Government Failure:

    • Grier, Robin M. and Grier, Kevin B., “Political cycles in nontraditional settings; theory and evidence from the case of Mexico”, JLE vol. XLlll (April 2000), P. 239
    • Kolko, Gabriel (1977), The Triumph of Conservatism, The Free Press, ISBN 0-02-916659-0
    • Kolko, Gabriel (1977), Railroads and Regulation, 1877-1916, Greenwood Publishing Company, ISBN 0-8371-8885-7
    • Niskanen, William (1967), The peculiar economics of bureaucracy, Institute for Defense Analyses, Program Analysis Division (1967), ASIN B007H5TBG
    • Niskanen, William (1971), Bureaucracy and Representative Government, Aldine, Atherton, ISBN 0-202-06040-3

    You should know government failure has only recently come into common usage as the lenses of Public Choice Theory i.e. Political Economy, New Institutional Economics (NIE) or Transaction Cost Economics (TCE) have begun to explore the problems.

    As far as my kids’ health is concerned, they are in fact healthy! Only because we chose NOT to pump them up with Big Brother tactics like Tylenol every time they have a little fever or show symptoms of having a cold.

    “Individuals and private companies can’t and won’t solve global pollution problems on our own.”

    Well… why should they? If you want private businesses to invest in a product/issue, you have to come up with a compelling argument. That’s what “sales” is all about Dean. I mean sure you can get a good look at a t-bone steak by sticking your head up a bulls rear end… but wouldn’t you rather take the butcher’s word for it?

    Yes… as you’ve stated over and over again… but for me… If the packaged deal says “guaranteed”… all I can really be sure of is that they’re trying to sell me a guaranteed piece of crap! Hidden agenda’s are sneaky that way…why??? Because they’re “hidden”.

    As far as environmental protections are concerned… I have stated over and over that I’m an advocate for such; I just chose to find more efficient ways of funding those projects. More taxes to fund unsustainable proposals are NEVER the answer. But the next time Oregon tries to pass a law which uses taxpayer funds in that manner, I’ll be sure to pass along your email address… since you’ve stated you’re in support of it no matter “what” it is or its cost!

    On a non related topic: Montana is a beautiful state by the way; I’ve traveled there many times and have many friends over in Kalispell and Missoula… whom all love me… HAHA!

  • Gienie

    “So why should they add implementation of a cap and trade carbon system to the pile they already have?”

    Ok…. So let’s say I’m a citizen of a nation whose leader feels the need to get rid of anyone who is not pure in Germen heritage. Should I fight for my country even though it’s against my beliefs to participate in mass genocide…I mean everyone else is doing it right??

    Or maybe in lighter terms, since I just recently used this phrase on my 6 year old son, “if your brother were to jump off the edge of a cliff…would you jump too?”

    Yeah it makes perfect sense to indulge in government confusion with overwhelming fiscal problems…. In fact, while we’re at it, let’s create more chaos by adding a whole new set of problems on top of the ones we can’t seem to manage. I don’t mind throwing money to incompetent leaders… do you? I mean what else could I possibly spend my hard earned money on anyway?

    I should also point out that not all economists believe that market failures even occur, or even if they did exist they aren’t compelling arguments for government interventions, due to government failure itself. I’m not in full agreement with that, but still it’s a compelling argument! Government has been known to fail and therefore should not be completely trusted with anything, including doing the job it’s supposed to do i.e. protecting our boarders and regulating commerce. We should always question authority…because we’re imperfect people. This is why my mother would call me relentless!

    Here are my references for Government Failure:

    • Grier, Robin M. and Grier, Kevin B., “Political cycles in nontraditional settings; theory and evidence from the case of Mexico”, JLE vol. XLlll (April 2000), P. 239
    • Kolko, Gabriel (1977), The Triumph of Conservatism, The Free Press, ISBN 0-02-916659-0
    • Kolko, Gabriel (1977), Railroads and Regulation, 1877-1916, Greenwood Publishing Company, ISBN 0-8371-8885-7
    • Niskanen, William (1967), The peculiar economics of bureaucracy, Institute for Defense Analyses, Program Analysis Division (1967), ASIN B007H5TBG
    • Niskanen, William (1971), Bureaucracy and Representative Government, Aldine, Atherton, ISBN 0-202-06040-3

    You should know government failure has only recently come into common usage as the lenses of Public Choice Theory i.e. Political Economy, New Institutional Economics (NIE) or Transaction Cost Economics (TCE) have begun to explore the problems.

    As far as my kids’ health is concerned, they are in fact healthy! Only because we chose NOT to pump them up with Big Brother tactics like Tylenol every time they have a little fever or show symptoms of having a cold.

    “Individuals and private companies can’t and won’t solve global pollution problems on our own.”

    Well… why should they? If you want private businesses to invest in a product/issue, you have to come up with a compelling argument. That’s what “sales” is all about Dean. I mean sure you can get a good look at a t-bone steak by sticking your head up a bulls rear end… but wouldn’t you rather take the butcher’s word for it?

    Yes… as you’ve stated over and over again… but for me… If the packaged deal says “guaranteed”… all I can really be sure of is that they’re trying to sell me a guaranteed piece of crap! Hidden agenda’s are sneaky that way…why??? Because they’re “hidden”.

    As far as environmental protections are concerned… I have stated over and over that I’m an advocate for such; I just chose to find more efficient ways of funding those projects. More taxes to fund unsustainable proposals are NEVER the answer. But the next time Oregon tries to pass a law which uses taxpayer funds in that manner, I’ll be sure to pass along your email address… since you’ve stated you’re in support of it no matter “what” it is or its cost!

    Montana is a beautiful state by the way; I’ve traveled there many times and have many friends over in Kalispell and Missoula… whom all love me… HAHA!

  • eagle eye

    Dean — Your math indeed leaves something to be desired, but you are not alone in that. You said .012% of world GDP — not 1.2%, which I think is what you meant. 1.2% indeed is big money — about $500 billion/year. I see little willingness to spend that kind of dough on global warming. Even it were there, that doesn’t mean it would be effective.

    The fact is, greenhouse gas emissions have been climbing for decades and show no signs of stopping. Maybe peak oil or something will curb that — in which case, what you want will happen in the normal course of things. But I don’t see any sign of that happening, none whatsoever.

    You can blame the failure of the rest of the world to adopt Kyoto on the U.S. But the fact is, they could have done it without us, and they didn’t. They paid lip service, but with the partial exception of a few European countries, have done nothing about it.

    And as I (and others) keep saying, Kyoto will do next to nothing about global warming, if it really is a problem.

    The U.N. can make all the rosy projections it wants, I don’t see much of anything being done about greenhouse gas emissions.

    • dean

      Eagle Eye,

      I’am as much not an expert on economics as I am not an expert on climatology. But I went back and re-read the IPCC report summary just to double check.

      I didn’t say .012% of world GDP. The IPCC said it. It is in their report.

      In saying that, I don’t think they mean that is all that is needed in the way of investment. What they mean is that if the appropriate investments are made, and they point to either a carbon tax OR a cap and trade system as the 2 approaches (either/or) that would have to be adopted to spur the right investments, then the NET COST to global GDP would be .012% per year, expressed iin U.S. 1990 dollars, discounted at 5% per year, up until the year 2030.

      It does not stop at that point. What they say is that at that point the world will have stabalized its total carbon emmissions and perhaps begun a decline. The efforts have to continue well into the future o get real reductions.

      In other words, if we make the investments anticipated, the world economy continues to grow, albeit at a slightly slower rate than it would minus these investments, but discounting the costs associated with rapid global warming.

      And on this “glide path,” they estimate we could hold total global warming to 3.5 degrees F. This is a level of warming that is expected to avoid the worst predicted impacts, such as major sea level rise.

      The point seems to be, we can’t and shouldn’t use “it is unaffordable” as an excuse to continue to avoid kicking ourselves into gear.

      If they are wrong, either about global warming or about the level of investment needed, it still seems to me it makes sense to get ourselves (the US) into the game. As the world’s largest emitters, if we don’t step up the rest of the world combined CAN”T be successful.

      And, the European countries who HAVE stepped up have by and large had better economic preformance over the past 5-6 years than the US has had. Which perhaps demonstrates that doing the right thing ecologically may also be the right thing economically.

      It is not “the UN” making rosy predictions. It is the IPCC making statistically supportable scenario modeling.

      I encourage you to read over the IPCC synthesis summaries.

      • eagle eye

        “I didn’t say .012% of world GDP. The IPCC said it. It is in their report.”

        OK, then the IPCC statement is really as silly as I first said. 0.012% of world GDP is roughly what the state government of Oregon spends on K-12 schools per year. Absurd to think that such a piddling amount of money could slow or stop world greenhouse gas emissions. If it were possible, the whole world would have already done it. There would not have been 10 years or so of arguing about the absurdly ineffectual Kyoto accords.

        If they are really saying such nonsensical things, then all of their stuff is thrown into question for me, including the supposedly scientiific part. (I have read some of their reports, by the way).

        You say IPCC is not “UN”. Well, it is, it is under the auspices of the UN. Not an organization in which I have much confidence.

        It really trivializes the whole global warming controversy to say that it is a horrible looming problem, but it can be fixed at essentially no cost. If it can be fixed at all, it will be terribly costly. That is why it is absolutely necessary to have a better handle on what is really happening with climate change. The current science is very soft and uncertain.

        • dean

          EE,

          There is an interesting article on Slate Magazine (on line) this morning by Steven Landsburg, and economist, who addresses the core issue of how much (from an economists viewpoint) we (the current generation) ought to be willing to invest in order to protect future generations from excessive climate change. His summary conclusion below:

          “The most thoughtful assessment of climate change is the Stern Review, prepared in October 2006 at the behest of the British government. The Stern Review reaches conclusions generally compatible with Al Gore’s worldview, but only after laying out the underlying assumptions so clearly that skeptics like me can tinker around with them and see how the conclusions change. In other words, they’ve taken a hot-button issue and reduced it to its constituent pieces so that opposing parties can stop yelling at each other and say, “Let us calculate.” That’s what I call a contribution to world peace. I wish the Nobel Committee had agreed.”

          Al is essentially posing a moral question that says we should do whatever it takes to stave off future disaster. The economists are crunching the numbers. The reason it is not (so far) being calculated as “terribly costly” is (I think) because the savings from burning less carbon come close to equalling the costs of conversion.

          If this seems impossible, consider that the countries that have already led the way, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Britain, started from a point where they were ALREADY burning half the carbon that we in the US are burning, yet their standard of living is equal to or higher than ours. And that since they have invested in new alternative energy, their economic growth rates have been equal to or higher than here in the US, which by and large is not investing.

          The reason is that most of the technology we need already exists, and it is simply a matter of putting it more widely into use. Driving vehicles that get double our average gas mileage has little impact on one’s standard of life, and costs no more than the gas guzzlers. Sometimes less.

          The IPCC is sanctioned by the UN, but the over 1000 scientists who ARE the IPCC are for the most part independent of the UN. They are not UN employees. They are the leading researchers within their fields, something George Taylor (the initial cause of this exchange) most clearly is not.

          • eagle eye

            If you really think the standard of living in those places is as high as here, I suggest you compare GDP per capita, then see what it would take to get the U.S. to their level. In the case of the major countries of Europe, quite a drop. You might think it is nothing. Try asking the average person how they would feel about having their income drop by 20% or a third.

            And, if you really think it would be so easy to cut fossil fuel consumption here by a half, figure out the price of oil (and electricity) that that would take, and propose raising prices that high to Congress and see where you get.

            Anyone can talk about doubling gas mileage. I can more or less do it immediately by trading in my car for a Smart Car. Anyone can do it. But those aren’t the cars people want to drive.

            People drive them in Europe because (1) it is much more crowded there — W. Germany has sixty million people in an area the size of Oregon, do you want that? — so there is a lot more mass transit; and (2) they tax gas like crazy to dissuade people from using it. Think $6 gas. It would have to be a lot higher here to have the same effect, because we have a lot more money. $10/gallon gas? Send your proposal to our Oregon Congressmen and see where it gets.

            Anyhow, even if we did this, there are billions of people in emerging economies who will be very happy to burn the fossil fuels in our place.

            I really don’t see much happening to change this. Oh, we could convert as much of our electricity generation to nuclear power as possible. I would be OK with that. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  • Gienie

    Good morning you two… hope you are both well rested and had a phenominal weekend!!!!!

    “The IPCC is sanctioned by the UN, but the over 1000 scientists who ARE the IPCC are for the most part independent of the UN. They are not UN employees. They are the leading researchers within their fields, something George Taylor (the initial cause of this exchange) most clearly is not.”

    They may not be UN employees, but they still receive and accept funding through huge Political PACs. George Taylor, doesn’t receive funding from anyone. In fact he has nothing to gain by stating his findings out in the open, which is why I chose to listen to what he has to say.

    He has been ousted several times by politicos in Oregon for claiming clear discrepencies in his findings… which is unfortunate because all he has said in the matter is that through his research… he finds nothing to support claims that fossil fuel burning is the root cause of global warming.

    He doesn’t dispute the “fact” that the temperature of the earth is changing and we are in a warming period, he simply points out that throughout our history, the earth’s temperature has been changing in a natural process.

    • Alan

      Gienie,

      I think your skepticism is misplaced. You may not like it that Al Gore, a Democrat, is the leading messenger Global Warming but there is plenty of reason to be skeptical of the skeptics. Indeed if conservatives held their own spokespeople to the same standard of accuracy, there would be considerably less confusion about global warming and climate change.

      Scientific American Did a very interesting investigation of the leading skeptics of global warming, the Oregon-based Oregon Project:

      https://www.sciam.com/page.cfm?section=sidebar&articleID=0004F43C-DC1A-1C6E-84A9809EC588EF21

      SKEPTICISM ABOUT SKEPTICS

      Many conservatives regard the “scientific consensus” about global warming as a media concoction. After all, didn’t 17,100 skeptical scientists sign a petition circulated in 1998 by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine? (See http://www.oism.org/pproject and http://www.prwatch.org/improp/oism.html on the World Wide Web.)

      Scientific American took a random sample of 30 of the 1,400 signatories claiming to hold a Ph.D. in a climate-related science. Of the 26 we were able to identify in various databases, 11 said they still agreed with the petition, one was an active climate researcher, two others had relevant expertise, and eight signed based on an informal evaluation. Six said they would not sign the petition today, three did not remember any such petition, one had died, and five did not answer repeated messages. Crudely extrapolating, the petition supporters include a core of about 200 climate researchers–a respectable number, though rather a small fraction of the climatological community.

      • eagle eye

        Alan, I’m not sure that that Scientific American “analysis” demonstrates much, but I count myself as somewhat of a global warming skeptic, and I don’t base it whatsoever on that 10-year old petition.

      • Gienie

        Why is it I’m having to address the issue of skeptism in global warning?? Clearly you and others on this Blog have not read my comments FULLY.

        Although I do appreciate the healthy google rating… you’re incorrect in your accusations…take the time to read or don’t comment at all!

        LET ME THROW OUT FOR THE 3RD TIME NOW…BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY THE TWO OF YOU ARE JUST TOO NEIVE TO HAVE CAUGHT IT THE FIRST TWO TIMES…

        *I BELIEVE THE EARTH’S TEMPERATURE IS CHANGING. CLEARLY THERE IS SUCH A THING AS “GLOBAL WARMING”… I BELIEVE–I BELIEVE–I BELIEVE.. WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO.. CLAP MY HANDS?? FOR CRYAING OUT LOUD!

        *I BELIEVE THE CLAIM THAT THE EARTH’S TEMPERATURE IS WARMING AT AN ACCELERATED RATE AND THAT HUMANS ARE THE MAIN CAUSE FOR THIS WARMING IS DEBATABLE. THERE IS NO CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE WHICH WOULD SUPPORT THESE CLAIMS. I DO BELIEVE THE EARTH’S TEMPERATURE IS IN FACT WARMING!

        *I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH GOVERNMENT FORCING PEOPLE TO PUBLICALLY FUND UNSUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS… NOT JUST FOR GLOBAL WARMING, BUT WITH ALL ISSUES!!! AND…I BELIEVE THERE IS SUCH A THING AS “GLOBAL WARMING”!

        *I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH TAXES IN GENERAL AS I BELIEVE THEY ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL! I ALSO BELIEVE THAT THE GLOBAL TEMPERATURE IS IN FACT WARMING….

        *I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH PEOPLE MAKING ACCUSATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS ABOUT ISSUES THAT ARE NOT FACTS!!! FACT… I BELIEVE THE EARTH’S TEMPERATURE IS INDEED WARMING….

        *I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH PEOPLE WHO CHOSE TO THROW STRAWMEN ARGUMENTS WHEN CLEARLY THEY HAVE NOT TAKEN THE TIME TO READ EVERYTHING I HAVE STATED… I.E. YOU DEAN, AND WHAT’S YOUR NAME.. ALAN??? YOU SHOULD ALSO KNOW, I BELIEVE THERE IS SUCH THING AS GLOBAL WARMING!

        What’s wrong with asking for sustainable solutions? What’s wrong with holding scientists accountable for their findings? I believe its it my responsiability as a voting citizen to make sure laws are appropriately applied, I also believe it is the Elected Official’s responsiability to spend taxpayer money responsibly…. and just incase you missed it… I believe there is Global Warming!

  • Frank

    Dean, you said: “So not to worry. . . .Most of the heavy lifting will be done by private capital responding to public regulation and incentives. The Gestapo will not be arriving at your door, and you may not ever notice the changes happening around you. . . .I will not support policies that would force you at gunpoint to change your light bulbs or give up your Hummer.”

    “Private capital” is private property and regulation is force at gunpoint. Every enforceable law is backed by coercion through violence or threat of violence. The “heavy lifting” is ultimately done at the point of a gun, no matter how well the gun is concealed.

    Although the heavy lifting appears to be done at the cost of “big evil corporations,” it is really at the cost of workers and retirees like you and me. In 2005 institutional investors held 61.2% of total 2005 U.S. equities which included 67.9% of the largest 1,000 U.S. corporations. Their holdings are even higher now. The majority of institutional holdings are in pension funds (39%), personal retirement and savings through mutual funds and index funds (25%), personal annuities, life insurance, and other insurance benefits (23%), bank trusts (11%), and foundations (2%). (conference-board.org). When you steal from corporations, you are mostly robbing fixed income retirees and the working class of their present and future savings.

    When you steal American business assets, you are also endangering the livelyhood of American works. Government-on-business crime decreases profitability. This can have several effects, all bad. First, if the business operates with a lower profit, their investors will flee to more profitable companies, often outside the US, thereby sapping valuable capital from research and development of new products and manufacturing efficiency improvements. This destroys jobs immediately and endangers the future competitiveness of American works.

    On the other hand, if the businesses increase their prices to maintain the profit necessary to retain their investors and pay for future costs, the cost of government larceny is passed on to the consumer. Moreover, such price increases to keep their business sustainable usually result in further erosion of US competitiveness and ultimately result in further cuts in worker income and jobs. No matter how you cut it, you are screwing the working class.

    When you restrict what a company can sell, you restrict what I can buy. In some ways it is worse because, where it is feasible, I can still import through the Web and thereby send more business and jobs outside the US. But when I can’t import, banning the sale of a product is essentially the same as banning the purchase of the product.

    If the ban on sale is done through incentives instead of regulation, that adds insult to injury. Who do you think is ultimately paying the cost of the incentive that takes away my freedom? Me, the beleaguered tax payer.

    I’ve heard assurances like yours before: “Don’t worry, we’re only after the Jew’s… the bourgeoisie … the rich ….the intellectuals …the corporations.” Yes, I know there won’t be any Gestapo at my door: fascism has more subtle methods now. But these methods are just as repressive and brutal, though better concealed. You are right about one thing: most people will not ever notice the changes happening around them… until it is too late. History has shown that when fascists infringe on the property rights of businesses, it isn’t long before they take property from individuals.

    • Frank
    • eagle eye

      Frank, this is the kind of stuff that makes the right sound linke a bunch of lunatics to most of the rest of the population. We’re talking about whether there is a global warming crisis, right? I’m not convinced that there is, as anyone can tell from reading my posts on this subject, but equating consideration of the question, and its possible remedies, to fascism, is going to strike most people as just plain nuts.

      • Frank

        Wrong. My response was not on the question of global warming, but rather on Dean’s assertion that it is appropriate for the state to use coercive force against business since it doesn’t appear to hurt me personally. Most of the global warming argument is about whether the global warming theory is sound enough to justify the use of governmental force to coerce private people and companies to remedial behavior. As several of us have said, we don’t have a problem with sincere people believing there is global warming and taking personal actions to mitigate it. My disagreement is when they want to compel other people to adopt their beliefs and lifestyle.

        I see you haven’t rebutted the substance of my argument against global warming statism, but rather the one term I used to label it. Maybe “Marxism” would have been a better term, but “Fascism” isn’t far off. Modern fascists use the environment as their rational for statism.

        “Fascists opposed what they believe to be laissez-faire or quasi-laissez-faire economic policies dominant in the era prior to the Great Depression.[24] People of many different political stripes blamed laissez-faire capitalism for the Great Depression [now, for global warming], and fascists promoted their ideology as a “third way” between capitalism and Marxian socialism.[25] Their policies manifested as a radical extension of government control over the economy without wholesale expropriation of the means of production. Fascist governments nationalized some key industries [like health care (1/5th the economy) and education (1/2 of Oregons state budget)?], managed their currencies and made some massive state investments. They also introduced price controls, wage controls [like minimum wage laws?] and other types of economic planning measures.[26] Fascist governments instituted state-regulated allocation of resources, especially in the financial and raw materials sectors [like Oregon’s timber resources?].” For sources, see above numbered references in: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facism#Economic_planning. Other brackets are mine.

        • eagle eye

          Well if you’re saying that compliance with global warming remediation should be voluntary, I think that’s just plain nuts. Either we’re all going to have to do it or not, just like with air pollution, traffic laws, etc etc etc.

          You seem to be living some sort of libertarian fantasy land. If you want to try to persuade people that public schools and a national currency are fascistic, go ahead.

          I know quite a few people who were victims of real fascism or real communism who could help set you straight. Not a few of them would find your comparison grossly irrational, to say nothing of being grotesquely offensive.

          • dean

            We are drifting off topic a bit. Frank, if ANY regulation of business is off the table, or if you find it a too slippery slope to contemplate, well I can’t do much to convince you otherwise. Your beliefs are clearly deeply held and I respect that. I set my fascism/totalitarianism panic bar at a different point apparently, maybe starting at the Patriot Act and (wink wink) torturing people.

            Eagle eye…there are a number of ways to measure or evaluate a nation’s “standard of living.” Based on per capita income, the US is indeed richer than I think any European nation. But when you factor in income distribution, public health, access to services, education levels, and a whole range of other important factors, most western European countries either match or exceed us. This is even more true with the Euro and Pound rising and the dollar dropping.

            You can see this right off if you travel there. Very little if any visible poverty, and nothing like our extensive inner city slums or rural dirt farms in the south. Plenty of disposalble income, and 4-6 weeks off a year for everyone. Dang those socialists anyway!

            Yes, you are correct that they drive smaller cars due to high densities and high petrol prices. If we raised our gas tax to similar levels, we would probably initiate a pitchfork rebellion. But consider this. They (the Europeans) have been much better positioned to absorb the huge increase in crude oil because they can and do adjust their tax rate to maintain more stable prices. We are stuck cursing out our poor local station owner for rapid price rises.

            Oil is probably going to be purchased by someone no matter if we cut back. I tend to agree with that. Coal is the more important fuel source to reduce our use of. China is expanding its coal use a lot to burn energy to make stuff for us, so it seems to me we have some leverage there if we want to use it. But truly, it is our own house that needs to be put straight. The world is waiting on us. We are the largest emitters, and we carry the heaviest overall economic and political weight.

            I don’t usually make predictions but I’ll step out on a cyber limb here. No matter who wins the 08 presidential election, Congress is going to pass a carbon cap and trade system, as well as increased CAFE standards for the auto industry. And the President, whether he/she is an R or a D, is going to sign the legislation. And then we will have skin in the game.

            Maybe nuclear power is going to be part of the solution. I would leave that up to private capital though, including taking responsibility for their own liability insurance, waste disposal and/or reprocessing. Fat chance of that.

          • eagle eye

            Dean — you may be right about some kind of legislation, but I believe it will be ineffectual, harmful, or probably some of both.

            As for the Euros having a higher standard of living — I’ve been there a good many times, in many different countries, and I wouldn’t trade life here for life there. They may not have quite the slums that we have, but there are plenty of homeless people in Paris. We have simmering racial and ethnic problems that go far back in history. But given their large and growing unassimilated Muslim populations, I give us a better shot at domestic tranquility than them. When you compare apple to apples, I think we’re better off here. My ancestors were mostly fairly recent arrivals to these shores. I’ve never for a second regretted that they came here instead of staying there.

          • Trevor Stewart

            I think the question is just who is better off now but in the future. An interesting new book by Mark Shapiro “Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power” argues that the Europeon Union- which allegedly surpassed the United States in wealth and population in 2005- is now the world leader in developing regulatory safeguards for public health and safety in product production. It is setting the standards by establishing the burden on companies to demonstrate their products are safe rather than the public to demonstrate products are unsafe.

            Apparently the Bush Administration and corporate America lobbied hard in Europe to defeat new product safety standards adopted in 2006, something we’d would never tolerate of foriegn leaders and corporations in our country. Meanwhile other countries including China are adopting the standards and retooling production to serve the largest consumer market in the world: Europe.

            Schapiro’s shows how laws adopted by the European Union are forcing multinationals into manufacturing safer products. Short of such strong government action, the United States will lose its claim to both economic and environmental leadership.

            This is analogous to the economic race for a economy that doesn’t contribute to global warming. Economic competition is a good thing but not when the basic rules of the game make it easier for some to dump production costs on the rest of us rather than play clean. That is essentially what we let companies and individuals do when we let them use the atmosphere as a carbon sink and it is not going to change unless we apply the full range of regulatory and incentives to establish a new level-playing field for our economy. In the long-run it will put America at a competitive advantage.

            Trevor Stewart

          • eagle eye

            I’m not exactly sure but you seem to be saying that the United States will be at a competitive disadvantage if it doesn’t lower greenhouse gas emissions. The trouble with this as I see it is that I don’t see any region of the world lowering emissions except possibly some of the mature and slow-growing European countries. (Including slow population growth. If the Gore types really want to curb U.S. CO_2 emissions, they better do something about illegal immigration. But of course that would hoist them on their own sword.)

            In the rest of the rapidly developing world, I’m afraid there is nothing but more electricity generating plants and relatively primitive cars on the horizon. China is planning to build 1 coal plant per week and 1 nuclear per month indefinitely. The talk in the car industry seems to be about cheap small cars for the emerging world. As the Wall Street Journal put it in a recent article, those Indians and Chinese looking for a $7000 or $5000 or $3000 car are not going to be shopping for a Prius, not anytime soon.

            I really see nothing on the horizon that is going to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The most the U.S. can do is shift from coal to nuclear electricity relatively soon. But we are only maybe 25 – 30% of world GDP, and that share is probably going to go down. What we do is going to have a limited impact.

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