Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Huh. Interesting.

Astrophysicists have noted that the sun is dimmer and less active than at any time during the past hundred years. I guess that would explain the unusual weather.

Although, I wish they'd keep their agenda and predictions out of it, and just put the facts out there--they're careful to state that this won't make a difference to global warming, and that carbon dioxide, which we all exhale every time we breathe, is still increasing.

Umm. Duh. So's the earth's population. Get over it.

I mean, either the earth will get warmer, or it will get cooler. It's a normal cycle, and we can't do as much about it as we think we can.

That's not to say I think we should damn the pollution, full speed ahead on industry. Nor do I think that the "carbon offset credits" are anything other than the modern version of the Medieval Catholic Church's buyable absolution for sin (given that simply breathing seems to be a sin for some environmentalists--see what I said about carbon dioxide), or the "cap and trade" legislation is anything other than a new tax in disguise.

Shut up, guys, and let the actual weather tell us what the results of lower solar activity will be.

7 comments:

  1. HH: "Although, I wish they'd keep their agenda and predictions out of it,..."

    DAR
    You want scientists to talk about climate and not make predictions? What use would that be? This is the very essence of how science operates. It makes predictions and tests them. If the predictions fail, the theory fails because it's bad science. The predictions regarding global warming, going back to the 80's have been very accurate and we are finding, if anything, too conservative.

    HH: "...and just put the facts out there--they're careful to state that this won't make a difference to global warming,..."

    DAR
    Actually they are careful to state they don't know, but there is good reason to believe this is much ado about nothing. To quote your article:

    "I think you have to bear in mind that the CO2 is a good 50 to 60 percent higher than normal, whereas the decline in solar output is a few hundredths of one percent down," Lockwood said."

    HH: "...and that carbon dioxide, which we all exhale every time we breathe, is still increasing."

    DAR
    CO2 is not increasing because of breathing. It is increasing because we burn 80 million barrels of oil every day and via coal pack hundreds of billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere (which stays there for a hundred years). Every gallon of gas burned adds 19 pounds of C02 to the atmosphere. The science of how CO2 warms the earth was understood 150 years ago.

    HH: "Umm. Duh. So's the earth's population. Get over it."

    DAR
    Holly, you're not a dumb person. You read Aristotle. Why do you post something so foolish?

    HH: "I mean, either the earth will get warmer, or it will get cooler."

    DAR
    We have about 95% certainty that it will get warmer, and a similar certainty that it is our actions which are a cause of this. This warming, and the speed of the change have a very high potential of having profound consequences for us and the planet.

    HH: "It's a normal cycle, and we can't do as much about it as we think we can."

    DAR
    Wrong. We have near 100% certainty that this not a normal cycle. We can actually measure the isotopes of the C02 in the atmosphere and know where the increase has come from, and it's coal and oil that we have drilled and mined and then burned.

    HH: "..."carbon offset credits" are... the modern version of the Medieval Catholic Church's buyable absolution..."

    DAR
    Do you have a better method for steering industry/markets away from their carbon reliance? There are two good reasons to do this:

    a) Carbon is a non-renewable dead end resource. The sooner we prepare for this inevitability the better.

    b) Human induced climate change.


    HH: "Shut up, guys, and let the actual weather tell us what the results of lower solar activity will be."

    DAR
    As the article says, for reasons given, it's unlikely to be significant. And very unlikely to counter the global warming effects we already have, and continue, to set in place.

    D.
    ----------------------
    "...the pace and scope of change surpasses even what scientists suspected a year ago [2006]:

    * The Antarctic ice core record, for example, now extends back to 800,000 years. Yet scientists studying that record warn that current trends render moot any comparison with information locked in ice: The planet, they say, is warming to a degree unseen in 40 million years, as the first mammals were evolving. Sea sediments bolster that hypothesis."

    --http://fayfreethinkers.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=897&start=0&hilit=hansen+warming

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  2. No one knows for certain precisely what the effects will be. Up until the late '70s, scientists were dead certain we were all going to die from a new ice age. Now they think we're all going to die from the earth broiling us slowly in our own juices. All the scientists have are hypotheses, not even full-fledged theories that are hypotheses borne out by multiple experimentation. They don't know, and we don't know, that global warming will continue with nothing more than a blip. Nor do they--or we--know when or if another ice age will happen.

    By the way--the Medieval warm period that ended in the mid-1300s was a bit warmer, according to physical evidence (tree rings, etc.) than today's global warming. With less than a sixth of the population, and no industrialization.

    I'm not saying that we have no effect--just that it's arrogant to think we have as much of an effect as the radical enviornmentalists do.

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  3. HH: "No one knows for certain precisely what the effects will be."

    DAR
    No one knows for certain that gravity will be in effect tomorrow. Science does not peddle in certainties but rather levels of probability. The science supporting climate change are extremely robust.

    HH: "Up until the late '70s, scientists were dead certain we were all going to die from a new ice age."

    DAR
    No, that's false. A lie peddled by dishonest commentators like George Will (who I usually like).

    For starters, see:

    http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/02/they-predicted-cooling-in-1970s.php

    And:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=94

    For a debunk of Will's latest howlers on this see:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/04/george_will_misrepresents_wmo.php


    HH: "Now they think we're all going to die from the earth broiling us slowly in our own juices."

    DAR
    No one makes such a claim. You might try not using such blatant strawman claims.


    HH: "All the scientists have are hypotheses, not even full-fledged theories that are hypotheses borne out by multiple experimentation.

    DAR
    No, you are wrong. The claims of climate change are far beyond the hypothesis stage.

    HH: "They don't know, and we don't know, that global warming will continue with nothing more than a blip."

    DAR
    We have about 95% certainty that it will be much more than a blip. There is a very small, about 5% chance, that your hope may be right.

    HH: Nor do they--or we--know when or if another ice age will happen."

    DAR
    Actually we do have good science on this. You can learn about this here:

    http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc_tar/?src=/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/fig2-22.htm


    HH: By the way--the Medieval warm period that ended in the mid-1300s was a bit warmer, according to physical evidence (tree rings, etc.) than today's global warming.

    DAR
    Sorry, that's rubbish too. I have debated this issue extensively. Hundreds of pages, hundreds of hours of research. The consensus is we are warmer now than during the MWP.

    See:

    http://www.desmogblog.com/nrc-exonerates-hockey-stick-graph-ending-mann-hunt-by-two-canadian-skeptics

    HH: "With less than a sixth of the population, and no industrialization."

    DAR
    As Mann demonstrated, the MWP was regional, not global. Many if not most of the anecdotes GW deniers pass around about this are false and this is very easy to show. Try a few and see.

    HH: "I'm not saying that we have no effect--just that it's arrogant to think we have as much of an effect as the radical enviornmentalists do."

    DAR
    I don't look to "radical environmentalists" for good science. I look to the best peer-reviewed science. And it shows, with near unanimous consensus and a very high degree of certainty, that the claims regarding climate change are serious and accurate.

    D.
    ---------------------
    "According to a recent article in Eos (Doran and Zimmermann, 'Examining the Scientific consensus on Climate Change', Volume 90, Number 3, 2009; p. 22-23 - only available for AGU members - update: a public link to the article is here), about 58% of the general public in the US thinks that human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing the mean global temperature, as opposed to 97% of specialists surveyed. The disproportion between these numbers is a concern, and one possible explanation may be that the science literacy among the general public is low."Note: "Not one single, solitary scientific professional or honorific science organization has dissented from the consensus opinion on climate change. Not one. And it’s been examined in minute detail by the NAS, AGU and a veritable alphabet soup of scientists [and science organizations]."

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  4. Actually, Newsweek published an article on global cooling in 1975, titled "The Cooling World." Global cooling was, at that time assumed to be settled science. Much like global warming is today.

    Environmental scientists may not believe that we're going to broil in our own juices, but some of the radicals that don't understand the science but BELIEVE to the core of their SOULS that humankind is a disease, rather than part of the normal biosphere for this planet sure do, and try to scare most of the rest of us into it, too (and no, I'm not making up straw men--I could name some of my students over the past six years that have believed in this harder than most Christians believe in Christ, or Muslims in Allah and Mohammed).

    As for the consensus--much of it ignores solar input and solar changes. Those that don't ignore it aren't really listened to.

    Global climate change happens. I don't deny that. We probably have an effect. I don't deny that, either. What I balk at is that those of us in first world nations, such as the United States and most of Europe, must cripple ourselves economically to be even more non-polluting than we strive to be already, while ignoring the pollution spewed by the nations either developing industry (like India), or that simply don't care that they pollute their water, land, and the air over their cities (like China).

    Most of all, I'm sick of the rhetoric. Publish the info, and let people draw their own conclusions from the facts.

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  5. HH: Actually, Newsweek published an article on global cooling in 1975, titled "The Cooling World.">>

    DAR
    Both of my references already given above reference this lone Newsweek article (which I have read).

    HH: Global cooling was, at that time assumed to be settled science. Much like global warming is today.>>

    DAR
    This is silliness on stilts. You really want to appeal, to a single article, in a non-science, non-peer reviewed, coffee table news magazine written for the lay public? This is your evidence for the "established science?"

    If this were how science is conducted I could see your Newsweek article and raise you a thousand similar articles. But I wouldn't bother to do that because that would be silly. This is not how science works.

    I will quote this fellow who makes my point:

    "There was some speculation on the part of some scientists, and it got picked up in the popular press. But there was no serious peer-reviewed work which supported this speculation.

    To imply any similarity, let alone equivalence, between such relatively unsupported speculation back in the 60's and 70's and the massive volume of peer-reviewed work on global warming today is dishonest in the extreme."

    Note:

    "Where does the myth come from? Naturally enough, there is a kernel of truth behind it all. Firstly, there was a trend of cooling from the 40's to the 70's (although that needs to be qualified, as hemispheric or global temperature datasets were only just beginning to be assembled then). But people were well aware that extrapolating such a short trend was a mistake (Mason, 1976) . Secondly, it was becoming clear that ice ages followed a regular pattern and that interglacials (such as we are now in) were much shorter that the full glacial periods in between. Somehow this seems to have morphed (perhaps more in the popular mind than elsewhere) into the idea that the next ice age was predicatable and imminent. Thirdly, there were concerns about the relative magnitudes of aerosol forcing (cooling) and CO2 forcing (warming), although this latter strand seems to have been short lived.

    The state of the science at the time (say, the mid 1970's), based on reading the papers is, in summary: "…we do not have a good quantitative understanding of our climate machine and what determines its course. Without the fundamental understanding, it does not seem possible to predict climate…" (which is taken directly from NAS, 1975). In a bit more detail, people were aware of various forcing mechanisms - the ice age cycle; CO2 warming; aerosol cooling - but didn't know which would be dominant in the near future. By the end of the 1970's, though, it had become clear that CO2 warming would probably be dominant; that conclusion has subsequently strengthened."

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/01/the-global-cooling-myth/

    DAR
    Anyway, any standard GW denier FAQ will include a roast of this terribly disingenuous "Global cooling myth."


    HH: "Environmental scientists may not believe that we're going to broil in our own juices,..."

    DAR
    None of them do. So why say this?

    HH: "...but some of the radicals that don't understand the science but BELIEVE to the core of their SOULS that humankind is a disease,

    DAR
    a) You don't understand the science
    b) Quote someone who says or believes "humankind is a disease."
    c) You make up strawmen arguments but when pressed you can't even produce the straw.
    d) Why do you traffic in such palpable nonsense?

    HH: ...rather than part of the normal biosphere for this planet sure do, and try to scare most of the rest of us into it, too (and no, I'm not making up straw men--I could name some of my students..."

    DAR
    This is your reference? You are reduced to saying you *could* name some of your students? You have had some students with idiotic beliefs? Really? This is supposed to be surprising or mean something?

    HH: "As for the consensus--much of it ignores solar input and solar changes."

    DAR
    What, did the scientist who devote their lives to studying this just forget? Perhaps you should send them a reminder.

    Of course this is ludicrous and you cannot support it. None of the science ignores this. But it is rather insignificant. Even your own article refutes this. Think about it. It reports that the sun has been dimming (ever so slightly) in the last hundred years, yet we know the earth has been warming. So either way your theory that solar input is causing this fails. Either the solar forcing is so insignificant it has no effect, or, gasp, it works in reverse.Note: "Even if the evidence for solar forcing were legitimate, any
    bizarre calculus that takes evidence for solar forcing of climate as evidence against greenhouse gases for current climate change is simply wrong.
    Whether cosmic rays are correlated with climate or not, they have been regularly measured by the
    neutron monitor at Climax Station (Colorado) since 1953 and show no long term trend. No trend
    = no explanation for current changes."
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/02/nigel-calder-in-the-times/

    There is no long term trend since 1953. See the graphs at this science site. Sun forcing refuted.


    HH: "Those that don't ignore it aren't really listened to."

    DAR
    I'll be blunt. You haven't the foggiest idea what you are talking about and are simply regurgitating right-wing disinformation you have heard. The people who aren't listened to are the people that can't back up their claims.

    HH: Global climate change happens. I don't deny that. We probably have an effect. I don't deny that, either.>>

    DAR
    Good, the evidence is now so strong it can hardly be denied. But why then why do you peddle the above twaddle? Old habit?

    HH: What I balk at is that those of us in first world nations, such as the United States and most of Europe, must cripple ourselves economically to be even more non-polluting than we strive to be already,..."

    DAR
    The US represents about 5% of the earth's population yet uses nearly 25% of the earth's most polluting energy. This is an astounding imbalance and any direct assault on carbon usage is obviously going to have a greater impact on our wasteful lifestyle. We can do it now, the easy way or we can do it later the hard way. Buy doing it now, we get a jump on the green industries which represent the future.

    HH: Publish the info, and let people draw their own conclusions from the facts.>>

    DAR
    The "info" has been published. You should read it. Start here. A good science site where climate science is discussed by climate scientists without reference to the politics.

    http://www.realclimate.org/

    Darrel.

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  6. Didn't mean to kick your puppy, Darrel. I said I didn't doubt that we had an effect, and that theories change. I stand by that. I don't appreciate the implication that I don't understand what I read--and that I don't read widely enough to make an informed opinion.

    In short, keep your arguments to fact, and don't attack the writer. Otherwise, as I tell my students with one of their assignments, you do nothing but damage your own ethos.

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  7. HH: "I didn't doubt that we had an effect, and that theories change."

    DAR
    We've had an effect and theories change. Well I can certainly agree with that, and keep my ethos intact.

    D.

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