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Unforced variations 2

Filed under: — gavin @ 1 January 2010

Continuation of the open thread. Please use these threads to bring up things that are creating ‘buzz’ rather than having news items get buried in comment threads on more specific topics. We’ll promote the best responses to the head post.

Knorr (2009): Case in point, Knorr (GRL, 2009) is a study about how much of the human emissions are staying the atmosphere (around 40%) and whether that is detectably changing over time. It does not undermine the fact that CO2 is rising. The confusion in the denialosphere is based on a misunderstanding between ‘airborne fraction of CO2 emissions’ (not changing very much) and ‘CO2 fraction in the air’ (changing very rapidly), led in no small part by a misleading headline (subsequently fixed) on the ScienceDaily news item Update: MT/AH point out the headline came from an AGU press release (Sigh…). SkepticalScience has a good discussion of the details including some other recent work by Le Quéré and colleagues.

Update: Some comments on the John Coleman/KUSI/Joe D’Aleo/E. M. Smith accusations about the temperature records. Their claim is apparently that coastal station absolute temperatures are being used to estimate the current absolute temperatures in mountain regions and that the anomalies there are warm because the coast is warmer than the mountain. This is simply wrong. What is actually done is that temperature anomalies are calculated locally from local baselines, and these anomalies can be interpolated over quite large distances. This is perfectly fine and checkable by looking at the pairwise correlations at the monthly stations between different stations (London-Paris or New York-Cleveland or LA-San Francisco). The second thread in their ‘accusation’ is that the agencies are deleting records, but this just underscores their lack of understanding of where the GHCN data set actually comes from. This is thoroughly discussed in Peterson and Vose (1997) which indicates where the data came from and which data streams give real time updates. The principle one is the CLIMAT updates of monthly mean temperature via the WMO network of reports. These are distributed by the Nat. Met. Services who have decided which stations they choose to produce monthly mean data for (and how it is calculated) and is absolutely nothing to do with NCDC or NASA.

Further Update: NCDC has a good description of their procedures now available, and Zeke Hausfather has a very good explanation of the real issues on the Yale Forum.


1,394 Responses to “Unforced variations 2”

  1. 1351
    Jim Galasyn says:

    How will we plant, harvest and deliver food in sufficient quantities without fossil fuel?

    Will it be possible to feed nine billion people sustainably?

    Sometime around 2050 researchers estimate that the global population will level-out at nine billion people, adding over two billion more people to the planet. Since, one billion of the world’s population (more than one in seven) are currently going hungry—the largest number in all of history—scientists are struggling with how, not only to feed those who are hungry today, but also the additional two billion that will soon grace our planet. In a new paper, published in Science, researchers make recommendations on how the world may one day feed nine billion people—sustainably.

    The difficulties are many and large, according to the paper: “growing competition for land, water and energy, and the over-exploitation of fisheries, will affect our ability to produce food, as will the urgent requirement to reduce the impact of the food system on the environment.”

    The finiteness of arable land and freshwater will be further strained by what the authors call “higher purchasing power”, which increases the demand in the developing world for “processed food, meat, dairy and fish, all of which adds pressure to the food supply system.”

  2. 1352
    Rattus Norvegicus says:

    Hank, the way to do this is to use HTML entities, the string to get a quote is " that should get you a double quote. You can get less than and greater than by using < and > also.

  3. 1353
  4. 1354
    John E. Pearson says:

    As long as we’re waaaaayyyyyy of topic:

    Ray Ladbury says (1313):

    “As to human origins, David says, “One would be uninclined to mate with a specimen of homo sapiens from 30,000 years ago. Think about it.

    Dude, we had probably even domesticated the first animal by then (the dog)”

    Dogs were most likely domesticated a bit later that that. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;298/5598/1610

  5. 1355
    Rattus Norvegicus says:

    Remember, the semi-colon at the end of an entity is important, I did not put it there as punctuation!

  6. 1356
    David Wright says:

    “Dude, we had probably even domesticated the first animal by then (the dog)”

    Have you seen the video of the orangutan playing with his pet dog?

    http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/the-orangutan-and-the-hound/FF83E4DCA84FF3D160C6FF83E4DCA84FF3D160C6

  7. 1357
    Doug Bostrom says:

    Jim Galasyn says: 29 January 2010 at 8:45 PM

    “Will it be possible to feed nine billion people sustainably?”

    Soylent Green?

    This site ought to be rated NC-17. Also, if you have SAD, live above the 40th parallel and are not medicated or sitting under a bright lamp, maybe stay away during winter.

  8. 1358
    David Wright says:

    Still OT, sorry, cannot help it…

    Doug Bostrom says:
    29 January 2010 at 11:01 PM
    “Soylent Green?
    This site ought to be rated NC-17…..”

    Why does our culture embrace so many doomsday scenarios?

    http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/does-the-moon-control-fate-of-humanity/26owf1ii

    Perhaps the photos of the whole earth during our lunar missions frightened us. An astronaut might have used his thumb to occlude the earth while walking on the moon. Surely that was a powerful feeling at the time, but he left no discernable thumbprint upon the planet.
    The imprint was left upon the human psyche.
    Just one theory.

    Technology has always frightened us, probably beginning with the harnessing of fire. The modern tale of Frankenstein highlights that fear.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankenstein

    As a whole, we are safer than we have ever been thanks to science, technology, and perhaps relative climate stability. Why can’t we allow ourselves to enjoy it?

  9. 1359
    dhogaza says:

    As a whole, we are safer than we have ever been thanks to science, technology, and perhaps relative climate stability. Why can’t we allow ourselves to enjoy it?

    True, why don’t we just drop the big one, and see what happens?

    Would all be good fun, since science and technology has made us safer than we have ever been …

  10. 1360
    Ray Ladbury says:

    David Wright asks: “As a whole, we are safer than we have ever been thanks to science, technology, and perhaps relative climate stability. Why can’t we allow ourselves to enjoy it?”

    There is nothing stopping you from enjoying it. However merely enjoying prosperity without taking steps to guard against threats to it is a recipe for us being the last generation to enjoy it. Scientists, engineers, statisticians and other risk professionals are constantly assessing and mitigating such threats–and usually (events like Katrina being an exception) they do a good enough job that folks like you are unaware of their efforts.

    You seem to think that prosperity is not the now the natural state of man. Not true. Malthus was not wrong–he’s only been wrong so far. Migration to the New World bought us 200 years. Now there are no new worlds. Discovering we could turn petroleum into food bought us another 50 years–now the petroleum is gone. If we can work similar miracles with coal, tar sands and Oil shale, we can maybe buy another 30 years. And each step of the way we are decreasing the ability of the planet to sustain us.

    By all means, enjoy your prosperity, but realize that it is yours to enjoy because of the tireless efforts of those who came before to mitigate the threats they faced. Human culture and civilization is about paying it forward. We have a large debt to pay.

  11. 1361
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “How will we plant, harvest and deliver food in sufficient quantites without fossil fuel?”

    By not demanding fertilisers from fossil fuels.

    By not transporting lemons half way across the world to sell.

    By not hauling sheep from New Zealand to the UK.

    By working smarter, not harder: stop trying to force nature to obey us and start working with it.

  12. 1362
    Doug Bostrom says:

    David Wright says: 30 January 2010 at 10:15 AM

    “As a whole, we are safer than we have ever been thanks to science, technology, and perhaps relative climate stability. Why can’t we allow ourselves to enjoy it?”

    My car has airbags but that does not mean my responsibility to drive safely has ended.

    If relative climate stability is a benefit we’re supposed to enjoy, why would we ignore information that strongly suggests we’re threatening that stability?

    Another question: why am I bothering to hit this ball back to the other side of the court?

  13. 1363
    David Wright says:

    “Another question: why am I bothering to hit this ball back to the other side of the court?”

    Would you prefer to have an echo chamber like so many other blogs?

    Am I coming across as an attack dog?

    “True, why don’t we just drop the big one, and see what happens?”
    An extremely unfair analogy.

    “now the petroleum is gone”
    Hyperbole erodes the argument.

    “If we can work similar miracles with coal, tar sands and Oil shale, we can maybe buy another 30 years.”
    This prediction is probably short by at least 100 years.
    Are you familiar with shale gas?
    http://geology.com/articles/marcellus-shale.shtml
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shale_gas_in_the_United_States
    We may be energy independent soon, and for the forseeable future.
    Yes, we will likely run out someday, well beyond the forseeable future.

    “Scientists, engineers, statisticians and other risk professionals are constantly assessing and mitigating such threats–and usually (events like Katrina being an exception) they do a good enough job that folks like you are unaware of their efforts.”

    I agree. We have done a very good job of it. That does not justify engaging in overkill.

    “My car has airbags but that does not mean my responsibility to drive safely has ended.”
    Let’s install governors on autos so that they cannot go faster than 20 mph. That would eliminate deadly collisions.

    “And each step of the way we are decreasing the ability of the planet to sustain us.”
    I doubt this. We certainly will have to find a way to either support 9 billion folks without fossil fuel or diminish our population……someday. We do need to work on efficiency and/or alternative energies in an orderly fashion. Surely an advanced civil society can do this without using so blunt a tool as creating artificial shortages of cheap energy.

    “By all means, enjoy your prosperity, but realize that it is yours to enjoy because of the tireless efforts of those who came before to mitigate the threats they faced. Human culture and civilization is about paying it forward. We have a large debt to pay.”

    I wholeheartedly agree, but perhaps in a different way.

  14. 1364
    Ray Ladbury says:

    David, did you even bother to read the Wikipedia article–proven reserves of shale gas are barely a couple of decades worth at current consumption levels! And it is always a mistake to assume demand won’t rise. Likewise, coal demand will increase dramatically as the supply of petroleum decreases. Taking that increased demand into account, we have about 5 decades of coal and maybe 3 decades of oil shale tar sands, etc.

    And with all due respect your doubt that we are degrading global carrying capacity derives more from the fact that you haven’t looked for evidence than it does from the evidence that exists. Global fisheries are near collapse. Large regions of the ocean are now dead zones. Global warming will worsen those trends.

    Desertification is an increasing problem, along with depletion of aquifers. Once an aquifer is depleted, do you know that it will never flow again? And again, climate change will make this worse–with more impulsive rainfall, which runs off rather than replenishing aquifers–and more periods of drought that will exacerbate demand and depletion.

    Basically, David, the planet is in pretty poor shape–and climate change makes all of its problems worse.

    These are real threats, David, and somebody has to look at them and figure out ways of dealing with them. Now that somebody doesn’t have to be you, but the solutions will affect you–or the consequences will severely affect your grandchildren. Your choice.

  15. 1365
    Hank Roberts says:

    > eliminate deadly collisions

    Traffic collisions are a problem similar to that of reducing smoke and soot–bottom-up individual choice doesn’t solve the problems; you need epidemiology to understand them and how they’re connected, to solve them.

    Example:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.trstmh.2007.07.010
    “… anecdotal evidence suggests that smoke may play an important role by providing protection from biting insects and that efforts to reduce smoke may increase exposure, particularly to mosquitoes and malaria. This paper reviews the literature … and finds that there is currently no evidence that smoke from domestic fuel use provides effective protection from mosquitoes and malaria. Given the limited number and quality of studies, this finding cannot be interpreted as conclusive…..”

    You can look this sort of thing up and conversations about choices will begin to make more sense. Most require actions that are top-down design choices, not simple optimism about bottom-up individual options.

    http://safety.transportation.org/htmlguides/HOcrashes/exec_sum.htm

    “… Another approach to addressing safety problems in a comprehensive way is to replace the independent activities of engineers, law enforcement personnel, educators, judges, and other highway safety spe-cia-lists with cooperative efforts, an approach reiterated in these guides.”

  16. 1366
    dhogaza says:

    “True, why don’t we just drop the big one, and see what happens?”

    An extremely unfair analogy.

    It’s not an analogy, it’s a refutation of your claim that all of the fruits of science and technology are nourishing, and none poison.

    For example, automobiles have made life much more convenient for very large numbers of people. It’s also true that automobile accidents are on average far more violent and deadly than, say, those among horse-drawn buggies and wagons.

    Automobiles are a mixed bag – not even considering CO2 emissions. This is true of most technological advance.

  17. 1367
    David Wright says:

    Ray,
    “David, did you even bother to read the Wikipedia article–proven reserves of shale gas are barely a couple of decades worth at current consumption levels!”

    It’s a wikipedia article, for general information purposes. We have barely scratched the surface of these, and what’s being reported in the wiki article is “proven” reserves. Look up what that means. Internationally, there are many more similar shale formations which have not even been tested.

    “And with all due respect your doubt that we are degrading global carrying capacity derives more from the fact that you haven’t looked for evidence than it does from the evidence that exists. Global fisheries are near collapse. Large regions of the ocean are now dead zones. Global warming will worsen those trends.”

    An increase in population does not degrade carrying capacity. It lessens the margin. Once again, I repeat, there is more arable land available now, set aside for subsidy, than there has ever been. Farming is more efficient now, with more protein per acre being produced than ever in history.

    Dead zones do not cover substantial regions of the oceans. They affect certain isolated regions seasonally due to fertilizer runoff. I agree that they are a problem, but they are one to be addressed locally. I discussed this earlier with regard to the Mississippi River. Diverting the water through the marsh puts the fertilizer and silt laden water to good use restoring the marsh and removing the chemicals prior to the water reaching the Gulf. The same technique is being practiced upriver as well. Farmers are now encouraged to set aside wetlands to filter their runoff before it gets into the river. You cannot pretend that efforts are not underway. This is not a Global Warming issue at all.

    Global fisheries are suffering due to overfishing, not Global Warming. Neither are they “near collapse” as you say.

    “Desertification is an increasing problem, along with depletion of aquifers. Once an aquifer is depleted, do you know that it will never flow again? And again, climate change will make this worse–with more impulsive rainfall, which runs off rather than replenishing aquifers–and more periods of drought that will exacerbate demand and depletion.”

    Desrtification may be an increasing problem in some places, and in others deserts may be returning to arable conditions. Even Global Warming advocates admit that local affects of Global Warming cannot be predicted. What makes you think you know more than them?

    Aquifers can recharge, otherwise they all would have been depleted long ago. Granted, it takes a long time for the typical aquifer to recharge once depleted. No doubt, water is a big problem when we use too much of it and waste it. Conservation and recycling is the best solution to that problem. This is nothing new, particularly in the West. Here in Louisiana, it’s not much of an issue. The biggest water issue here is where ground water has been polluted by leaky service station tanks. A lot of work has been done to remediate those locations and to prevent this from happening in the future.

    “These are real threats, David, and somebody has to look at them and figure out ways of dealing with them. Now that somebody doesn’t have to be you, but the solutions will affect you–or the consequences will severely affect your grandchildren. Your choice.”

    You cannot deny that we are addressing environmental issues. You have wrongly labeled my attitude as “pollyanna-ish”. I can assure you that I treat real environmental issues with the seriousness they deserve. The vast majority of them are local problems which demand public funding to identify and address. If we divert the needed public funding to a Global Warming issue which may or may not exist, and for which no one has proposed a practical means of addressing, people will continue to suffer needlessly.

    The sooner we drop the hyperbole surrounding Global Warming, the sooner the will be able to rationally decide where it really stands on our list of environmental priorities.

  18. 1368
    David Wright says:

    “Most require actions that are top-down design choices, not simple optimism about bottom-up individual options.”

    Putting myself in the shoes of the Global Warming camp for a moment, your statement is true. If the danger were as serious as Al Gore claims, then yes, it would take strong action by all of the governments of the world to solve.

    The media seems to take the tack that it’s an individual effort, and that things such as using one sheet of toilet paper is a solution. That’s pandering to folks who just want to be a part of a movement, to “do something good. It also may indicate that most folks don’t really take the issue seriously, they’re “posing”.

    Try thinking of the automobile as a survival tool. Beyond the obvious convenience of being able to run to the grocery, or take a trip somewhere, the automobile does provide us the ability to escape from dangers such as hurricanes, wildfires and (heaven forbid) rioting. Is that something that you think folks will soon be willing to give up? I don’t.

  19. 1369
    David Wright says:

    “If the danger were as serious as Al Gore claims, then yes, it would take strong action by all of the governments of the world to solve.”

    And that’s about as realistic as the proverbial “lasting peace”.

    In that respect, you can label me a pessimist.

  20. 1370
    Jim Galasyn says:

    But David, where will all the water come from to produce that shale? You do know that the US West is rapidly drawing down its freshwater resources, right?

    Drought lowers Lake Mead to 1965 level
    Lake Mead could dry up by 2021 amid Western water shortages
    How Oil Shale Could Dry Out Denver

  21. 1371
    Tom Dayton says:

    The Texas State Climatologist has posted a second comment on D’Aleo, Watts, and Smith’s screed against GISS land surface station measurements. He compared in detail Smith’s claims, the GISS computer code, and the previously published documentation by GISS.

  22. 1372
    Jim Galasyn says:

    David Wright makes the hopeful claim: global fisheries are suffering due to overfishing, not Global Warming. Neither are they ‘near collapse’ as you say.

    Important fisheries have already collapsed, for example, North Atlantic cod. The North Pacific kelp forests were destroyed by a trophic cascade that resulted from 20th-century industrial whaling. Now climate change and ocean acidification threaten to wipe out the survivors, especially coral ecosystems. If you think the oceans aren’t in serious trouble, please watch this presentation by Jeremy Jackson, of Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Take a X-A-N-A-X first.

    Jeremy Jackson: Brave New Ocean/a>

    Here are a few more stories plucked from my collection. See them all with this query.

    Graph of the Day: Sequential Collapse of Marine Mammals in the North Pacific Ocean and southern Bering Sea
    Graph of the Day: N. Carolina Great Shark Abundance, 1972-2007
    Graph of the Day: Trends in Marine Fishery Catches, 1950-2005
    Graph of the Day: Biomass Distributions for N. Atlantic Fish, 1900-2000
    Graph of the Day: Frequency of Coral Reef Organisms over Human History
    Climate change and overfishing are altering the Atlantic ocean ecosystem
    Climate change played key role in B.C. sockeye stocks collapse, say scientists
    Climate change causing radical North Sea ecosystem shift
    Tropical regions to be hardest hit by fisheries shifts caused by climate change
    Jellyfish swarming northward as world warms, destroying fisheries
    Jellyfish threaten to ‘dominate’ oceans
    North Sea cod ‘doomed by climate change’
    Ocean dead zones number 400, doubling every decade
    Ocean ‘deserts’ have expanded greatly in ten years
    Ocean acidification rates pose disaster for marine life, major study shows
    Ten percent of the Arctic Ocean to be corrosive to shellfish within a decade
    Acid in Arctic waters eating away at shellfish
    Major losses for Caribbean reef fish in last 15 years
    Dolphins and whales starving as prey species vanish
    Fishermen say carbon dioxide having ‘really scary’ ocean effect
    Dolphin population stunted by overfishing
    Desperate plan to freeze coral samples as reef ecosystems die
    Dwindling fish stocks force pelicans to eat gannet chicks
    European eel stocks below 10% of 1970s levels
    Grizzly bear decline alarms conservationists in Canada

  23. 1373
    Hank Roberts says:

    David Wright:
    Listen to Jim. He knows what he’s talking about. You don’t.

  24. 1374
    David Wright says:

    “But David, where will all the water come from to produce that shale? You do know that the US West is rapidly drawing down its freshwater resources, right?

    Drought lowers Lake Mead to 1965 level
    Lake Mead could dry up by 2021 amid Western water shortages
    How Oil Shale Could Dry Out Denver”

    Jim,
    If you read back, I was referring to shale gas, not shale oil. You keep reverting back to shale oil. They are two different technologies. Once the gas shale is producing, there is no ongoing need for water. The fracing process does involve lots of water, which can be recycled for fracing the next well.
    http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/barnettshale/wateruse_barnettshale.php
    Beside that, the majority of the shale gas trends are not in the West at all.
    http://energyindustryphotos.com/shale_gas_map_shale_basins.htm
    Please don’t assume that I don’t know what I’m talking about. I can be wrong, as can any human, but it’s rude to assume.

    “Hank Roberts says:
    31 January 2010 at 11:46 AM
    David Wright:
    Listen to Jim. He knows what he’s talking about. You don’t.”

    LOL…maybe I’m the Alan Colmes of this thread, the token antagonist.
    Everyone has a purpose here, if only to provide grist for the mill.
    If you would prefer I go away, just say so.

  25. 1375
    Jim Galasyn says:

    Thanks, Hank, but I’m no oceanographer, just an interested — and alarmed — observer.

  26. 1376
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “1369
    David Wright says:
    30 January 2010 at 7:15 PM

    “If the danger were as serious as Al Gore claims, then yes, it would take strong action by all of the governments of the world to solve.”

    And that’s about as realistic as the proverbial “lasting peace”.”

    And what do you base your assertion that it is not as serious as Al Gore claims?

    Hope?

    Denial?

  27. 1377
    David Wright says:

    “Jim Galasyn says:
    31 January 2010 at 11:22 AM
    David Wright makes the hopeful claim: global fisheries are suffering due to overfishing, not Global Warming. Neither are they ‘near collapse’ as you say.

    Important fisheries have already collapsed, for example, North Atlantic cod. The North Pacific kelp forests were destroyed by a trophic cascade that resulted from 20th-century industrial whaling. Now climate change and ocean acidification threaten to wipe out the survivors, especially coral ecosystems. If you think the oceans aren’t in serious trouble, please watch this presentation by Jeremy Jackson, of Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Take a X-A-N-A-X first.”
    I listened to part the lecture. I object to the speaker’s apparent disdain for those who do the work to quantify impacts. He also engages in very broad, unscientific generalities. Hyperbole always raises my BS antennae. It really creates an “us versus them” environment which is not beneficial to the effort toward mitigating problems. Such a delivery makes it very difficult to sit through the whole thing unless you are the type that enjoys doomsday scenarios which may be as much fantasy as fact.

    I’ve already acknowledged my agreement that overfishing is a serious problem.
    I’ve also discussed the dead zones and our efforts to resolve the problem (at least in the US).
    These are serious problems, I don’t disagree.

    One caveat of mine would be that if a fishery is severly depleted, then the industry which overfishes it will collapse long before the last specimen is harvested. The same can be said of the Rays in Chesapeake Bay, for example. An abundance of rays should serve to help the hammerhed population to multiply. If the Mussels are reduced to a certain point, the rays will either go away or be reduced in numbers. Then the mussels will recover. So long as some members of a population survive, the species is capable of recovery.

    That’s certainly not the way one would like to regulate fisheries, but it is what is happening given that there are sovereign nations out there willing to ignore common sense and long standing international law.

    How are either of these issues connected with Global Warming? Are we OT?

  28. 1378
    David Wright says:

    PS,
    I have fished in the area affected by the Gulf dead zone since I was a child.

    The dead zone has had an affect on our fishery on a seasonal basis, but overall the fishery is quite robust. Shrimpers have a difficult time making a living because of the expense of maintaining today’s more advanced equipment and due to heavy foreign competition. They have also suffered with high fuel costs and the recent hurricanes (none this year, knock on wood).
    This is purely a non-scientific personal observation, but after Katrina, when the shrimping fleet was nearly wiped out , the fishery recovered very quickly and very strongly. It was a banner year for sportfishermen, IMHO because the shrimp population exploded. I have caught my limit of shrimp, speckled trout and redfish nearly every time I have gone out since Katrina (not bragging, many friends have also). IMHO fisheries in general are much more robust than we might expect them to be.

  29. 1379
    David B. Benson says:

    David Wright — Acquifers become compressed when water is withdrawn; the central valley of California is over 10 meters lower in the middle because of that. If left alone the rechange rate is very slow indeed since it requires water pressure to reopen the pores.

  30. 1380
    Jim Galasyn says:

    David: If you read back, I was referring to shale gas, not shale oil.

    My bad. But you’re seemingly unmoved by my larger point: the US West is running out of freshwater.

  31. 1381
    Jim Galasyn says:

    David Wright says: I listened to part the lecture…So long as some members of a population survive, the species is capable of recovery.

    If you listen to the rest of the lecture, Prof. Jackson explains how it’s not individual species, but entire ecosystems becoming extinct — to be replaced by much less complex ecosystems that are dominated by microbes.

    David asks: How are either of these issues connected with Global Warming? Are we OT?

    Please re-read the links I posted here, especially those with “climate change” and “warming” in the title.

  32. 1382
    David Wright says:

    “And what do you base your assertion that it is not as serious as Al Gore claims?”

    Is there a word limit for these posts? You’re asking for quite a bit of information here. Basically, everything I have ever learned in science class. Global Warming advocates don’t base their opinions on a single factor, why should I?

    [Response: This is not any answer. No-one here is in dispute over the conservation of energy, or Newton's Laws, or the photo-electric effect. I (and many commenters) presumably have had as thorough a science education as you, and yet see no impediment to understanding the risks inherent in continued and increasing emissions of CO2. - gavin]

  33. 1383
    David Wright says:

    “Thanks, Hank, but I’m no oceanographer, just an interested — and alarmed — observer.”
    Jim,
    Do you fish?

  34. 1384
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “How are either of these issues connected with Global Warming? ”

    They’re not, they’re related to your blase attitude that species loss is not a problem, so we shouldn’t stop corporations doing what they like to avoid AGW which would cause it.

  35. 1385
    David Wright says:

    “Please re-read the links I posted here,”
    I looked at several of the links. That website is themed around “The end of the World” and as such is inclined to only publish doomsday scenarios. If you spend much time there, I can see how you might become convinced that the end is near.
    Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I suggest you try some fishing, hiking or other physical outdoor activity (assuming you are of good health). It’s recommended as a treatment for depression, but it’s good for anyone who might be feeling a little down.
    Further, you may also discover that nature is more robust and resilient than you previously expected. Regardless, it’s just plain good for the body and mind.

  36. 1386
    Doug Bostrom says:

    Nice to see the “David Wright Thread” chugging along. Anything solved, yet? Actual discussion? Serious engagement, acknowledgment of facts, that sort of thing?

  37. 1387
    Ray Ladbury says:

    David,
    I can only conclude that we are playing different games. We are using scientific studies and evidence, while you respond with bland and blanket assertions that “it’ll be all right.”

    Since bland assertions are more plentiful than credible information–and evidently more believable to you, I wish you luck in your fantasy world. I am certain that YOU will have better luck than your progeny.

  38. 1388
    tamino says:

    David Wright:

    I suggest you take a break from writing and talking, and try some reading and listening. It’s recommended as a treatment for ignorance. It’s also good for those who are just too smarmy for their own or anyone else’s good.

    Further, you may also discover that life is more fragile than you previously expected.

  39. 1389
    David Wright says:

    “This is not any answer. No-one here is in dispute over the conservation of energy, or Newton’s Laws, or the photo-electric effect. I (and many commenters) presumably have had as thorough a science education as you, and yet see no impediment to understanding the risks inherent in continued and increasing emissions of CO2. – gavin”

    Gavin,
    I expect that most posters here are much better educated than I.

    You know as well as I that, regardless of how well educated you are, there is no one paragraph answer to the question of why you believe it is serious or not. It takes the IPCC hundreds of pages with hundreds of caveats to state their opinion.
    The answer lies somewhere in the sum of the dialogue.

    Totally untrue comments like this do not contribute to the dialogue:
    “Fed-up:They’re not, they’re related to your blase attitude that species loss is not a problem, so we shouldn’t stop corporations doing what they like to avoid AGW which would cause it.”

    Fed Up,
    It’s not a blase attitude about species loss. It’s an opinion that Global Warming is not causing it. I know you guys will never accept it, but Global Warming could just as easily be beneficial to species survival overall.

    Furthermore, you seem to feel that corporations are allowed to run amok like so many bulls in a china factory. That’s more hyperbole. Corporations are subject to very stringent environmental regulation. These regulations have been very successful in reducing pollution in the US. You cannot deny this.
    Every once in a while a bull does break lose, as with our recent AIG, et al crisis, and lots of people are hurt financially. Surely you agree that the environment cares very little about the financial problems of men.

    This discussion, unless I am mistaken, is not about corporations, it’s about the by-product of combustion, CO2. Sure, corporations supply us with fuel, but it is the you and I who are responsible as the consumers of this energy. As I wrote earlier, none of us are serious about giving up that which provides us and our families with safety and comfort. There are, however, many posers.

  40. 1390
    Hank Roberts says:

    > Global Warming could just as easily be beneficial

    Rate of change, David. There’s plenty of evidence of how fast changes in the natural world have happened before and what the effect was on ecosystems. There is no evidence that the rate of change, and the rate of extinction, that we’re experiencing now has any precedent short of past major extinction events.

    This is Ecology 101 stuff. You’re imagining what you want to think.

    All of us here wish you were right. But wishing isn’t enough to make plans.

  41. 1391
  42. 1392
    David Wright says:

    “Sure, corporations supply us with fuel”
    OT, but……
    Private landowners in the US also stand to gain financially by leasing their gas bearing land to these corporations. It’s one of the few heavy industries still producing a valuable commodity right here at home. Watch us gain energy independence through these shale gas finds.
    http://www.slb.com/images/services/solutions/reservoir/shalegas1.gif
    It’s a job creator to boot.

    If we’re wise (and a little lucky), we’ll use these new gas discoveries to make a painless, orderly transition to renewable energy during this century.

  43. 1393
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “You know as well as I that, regardless of how well educated you are, there is no one paragraph answer to the question of why you believe it is serious or not.”

    No, because the scientific edifice of facts and inevitable conclusions is not a one paragraph treatise.

    “It’s not a blase attitude about species loss. It’s an opinion that Global Warming is not causing it.”

    And how do you know this? Upon what do you base this?

    You are blase. If there’s a risk but it would mean you have to do something about it, you’d really rather not, thanks all the same.

    Go have a look at the growing regions that the farmers and gardners unions are putting out and how they’ve changed.

    These are not model outputs, these are growing regimes for certain plants.

    And they are changing.

    And humanity occupies so much out there and use it for something that will not allow animals to migrate to these new pastures when their old pastures are no longer abundant.

    So what happens then?

    They die off.

    “Corporations are subject to very stringent environmental regulation.”

    Yeah, really? When Valdez went down they got fined. But their fine was massively reduced because it was considered pubishing. Yet Jammie Thomas gets a 2 million fine for 24 songs shared on P2P and that was fine and dandy (until the judge was told “making available” wasn’t against the law). Still want 2000x the cost of the goods, mind.

    Then again, there’s the Banks and, in the US, there’s medical insurance companies.

    All extremely regulated…

    Oh, no, they’re robber barons, aren’t they.

    “it’s about the by-product of combustion, CO2″

    It’s also about your faith in the resilience of species to climatic change for no apparent reason except you’d rather not have to do anything different.

  44. 1394
    David Wright says:

    “Acquifers become compressed when water is withdrawn; the central valley of California is over 10 meters lower in the middle because of that. If left alone the rechange rate is very slow indeed since it requires water pressure to reopen the pores.”

    I suppose it depends on the type of aquifer. In Louisiana, there is enough hydrostatic pressure from below (due to proximity to the Gulf perhaps) that fresh water is replaced by the salt water below. That makes the well unuseable until recharged but the aquifer does not collapse.

    I’d be interested to read about aquifer collapse, never heard of it. I thought the central valley was a tectonic feature. I’ll look back and see if you already posted an article, sorry if I didn’t read it.


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