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ETpro's avatar

Can Global Warming Deniers Ignore this?

Asked by ETpro (34208 points ) December 18th, 2011

As this article shows the permafrost is melting in Alaska and around the Northern Hemisphere. Scientists have detected a large plume of methane released from the warming Alaskan permafrost. There are millions of gigatons of methane locked in permafrost and methane clathrates frozen at the bottom of cold oceans around the world. The gas is extremely flammable, poisonous in high concentrations when breathed by human and animal life, and 20 times as powerful a greenhouse gas as the CO2 that’s been driving up global temperatures since coal and then oil began to drive the industrial age.

Are the vast majority the world’s scientists, governments and ,IPCC members really involved in a vast worldwide conspiracy to harm their own economic interests by paying to put people to work curing a global warming problem they know is a hoax? Or, is it even remotely possible that the right-wing leaders who are heavily funded by the $37 trillion per year Fossil Fuel industry are the ones doing the lying and spreading deliberate disinformation to protect their profits—just like the Big Tobacco industry did in the recent past?

Do global warming deniers find it at all strange that the same PR firms and junk science institutes that led the fight to “prove” nicotine is not addictive and tobacco smoke does not cause health problems are now working to “prove” man-made CO2 isn’t causing global warming?

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39 Answers

El_Cadejo's avatar

GQ. My guess would be the same usual bs line we hear so many times. “The earths climate fluctuates through out history, this is the earth just going through another one of those changes.” Problem is these people total neglect charts like this

Blondesjon's avatar

This is what happens when you put the needs of the many in the hands of the few.

Qingu's avatar

Without even reading the details I can answer “yes.”

Ignorant is as ignorant does.

Linda_Owl's avatar

The earth’s climate has had some extreme changes in its past, but that does not mean that humans are not impacting our environment. Ever since industrialization started, we have been pouring pollutants into our environment. At first we really did not know that chemicals dumped on land could damage fresh water supplies, when plastic was invented – no one imagined that it would one day contribute to piles of trash in our oceans that are larger than some states, when cars were first manufactured, no one knew that one day that our fuel to run these cars would foul our air, when electricity was made available, the generators were, basically, run on coal & no one thought about the damage that mining the coal does to the land & what burning it does to the air. But now we do know & we also know that the sheer volume of people who live on earth means that our environment is being polluted every single minute of every single day. So the only reason that any person would argue about Global Warming would be if they were making money from the industries that do the most harm. Otherwise, you would have to be standing totally outside of reality to think that humans are not contributing to our deteriorating environment.

YARNLADY's avatar

The so-called deniers are denying that people have anything to do with it, and that changing our habits will reverse the trend. As above ^^ this is a normal cycle, and I deny that humans have accelerated it or can reverse it.

jrpowell's avatar

Where is the down-vote button when you need it?

SavoirFaire's avatar

Isn’t ignoring stuff their superpower?

gondwanalon's avatar

I can’t ignore that some scientist think that man is causing global warming. But I also can’t ignore that literally 10’s of thousands of international scientists disagree that man’s influence has caused global warming. See this Also see this

Which group of scientists are correct? Perhaps it is too early to tell.

Qingu's avatar

@YARNLADY, that’s like saying that, because your living room gets hotter in the summer and colder in the winter, burning a fire in the middle of your living room won’t make it hotter.

Qingu's avatar

@gondwanalon, how many of those scientists are climate scientists?

Because creationists distribute the same kinds of lists of thousands of scientists who don’t believe in evolution. Just like the lists you cited, they tend to have PhD’s in subjects like engineering, psychology, and Biblical history from Bob Jones University.

Hm, I wonder which group is more authoritative.

ETpro's avatar

@uberbatman Well, it’s 7 billion now, and will hit 8 billion in in just 14 more years. But the right-wing lives in an evidence free zone. Only what their aurhoritarian handlers tell them matters.

As @Qingu also notes, Facts that disagree with the new Con Men’s ideology are irrelevant. And so yes, as some here prove, they will simply scoff at this additional proof, and support their authoritarian handlers who profit from their carefully developed attitude.

@Blondesjon Very well Put. GA..

@Linda_Owl When you combine what you said with the graph that @uberbatman provides, that nails it. GA!

@YARNLADY I;m going to proceed in the hope that you are not yet immune to all truth and logic other than that that Fox News feeds Americans You are right that the climate has varied from long ice ages to brief interglacials through millions of years. But your are absolutely wrong that this variation is no different from any other. Here’s a chart of CO2 levels over the last 400,000 years. Atmospheric CO2 has topped out in the warm peaks at about 300 PPM. The oceans absorb it, as do large areas of forest and vegetation. But since the dawn of the industrial age, we have driven CO2 levels up to almost 400 PPM, and it is VERY rapidly climbing. With all the deforestation we have done, we are pouring CO2 into the atmosphere far faster than the Earth’s natural systems can absorb it.

You have to go back 15 million years to find a CO2 level close to what we have today. And of course, then the Earth had far more forest cover, and nothing artificially pumping many gigatons more CO2 into the atmosphere every year, and constantly ramping up that amount.

@SavoirFaire
See my comment to @uberbatman &
@Qingu above.

@gondwanalon That “study” has been so debunked so often for so long it is a true Zombie, but nevertheless, the right-wing supporters of pollute for profit trot the junk science out every time this topic arises. Dr. Robinson is a discredited chemist who formerly worked with Sr. Linus Pauling, the crank who preached that enormous mega-doses of vitamin C were essential for human health, and eventually killed himself proving it. How any scientist could believe that human hunter gathers in the stone age evolved to need vitamin c supplements by the bottle full from a health food store defies understanding.

Anyhow, Robinson and 4 colleagues have been running a junk science “institute” heavily funded by the oil and gas billionaires, the Koch Brothers, and by Exxon Mobil. Their “survey” was mailed out to oil company engineers, chemists,and geologists. Only a handful were even PhDs and 5 had credentials in climate science. Since the publication, one of those 5 has looked at further evidence and withdrawn his support of the “study”.

YARNLADY's avatar

@ETpro Thank you for your thoughtful response. That is why I love Fluther.

ETpro's avatar

@YARNLADY Thanks for being open to a well researched answer. That’;s why I love you.

ETpro's avatar

More news on this today. Up to 40% of the world’s ecosystems are already in the midst of shifting. Tundras are shrinking, woodlands and grasslands are moving and shifting. Such changes will put enormous stress on efforts to grow enough food for a mushrooming population.

Also, there’s this on the original concern of methane releases from melting permafrost and methane clathrates currently frozen at the bottom of the Earth’s cold-water oceans, seas and lakes as global warming raises their water temperature..

gondwanalon's avatar

Understanding the complexities of the Earth’s climate is no simple matter. It is no wonder that many scientist don’t agree especially with there being so much at stake. There are over 1000 active volcanos on Earth. 20 of which are spewing out massive amounts of poisonous gasses into the atmosphere at any given time. Also there cycles of the sun to consider….as well as the political climate. HA!

Man-made or not an increase in the earth’s temperature will have major consequences for all life on this planet for sure. Some scientists even think that an increase in global temperature, could be a sign of an impending ice age and could actually increase the amount of ice on the earth’s surface.

Speaking of ice age, the last one was only 11,000 years ago and so will not likely occur anytime soon. By the way the last ice age covered over 10 million square miles of North America, Asia, and Europe with ice. Surely Man’s activity didn’t warm the Earth out of it.

Qingu's avatar

@gondwanalon, climate scientists all take volcanos and the solar cycle into account. They are known quantities.

You also don’t really seem to have responded to my point about the scientists—the “many” scientists who disagree are not climate scientists. They often have PhDs in fields completely unrelated to climate science. There is a reason I don’t care what a trained sociologist thinks about the latest evidence of the Higgs boson. Likewise with this business.

And I’m not familiar with any climate scientists who believe that global warming signals an impending ice age. The arctic ice cover has in general never been lower, and what’s more if that ice cover disappears that triggers a warming feedback mechanism because open ocean water (dark) absorbs more heat than ice cover (white) ... in which case we’ll all be even more screwed.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Two resources for skeptics: comical, and serious.

Paradox25's avatar

It is extremely frightening how many people do not do any research on their own and blindly believe what others (including biased sources) tell them. I call this trend that exists in the conformist thinking mindset deliberate ignorance. I can forgive stupidity but not ignorance.

Unfortunately for me living in a very conservative area my arguments are futile. In fact I’m not sure how much more evidence one needs to see not only that the global warming ‘hoax’ is occuring but that we’re likely responsible for it. You can eventually convince a misinformed person but not an ignorant person the truth of something. I didn’t need to read that article.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I’ve always liked this video when it comes to the whole global warming argument.

gondwanalon's avatar

@uberbatman That video shows sound reasoning but fails to indicate the very worst case scenario which would be if man-made global climate change was happening and we took all actions to prevent it to no avail. We would be worse off than it we did nothing at all because of the extra economic drain. The video assumes that man-made global warming can be slowed, reversed and or stopped. Well maybe. Maybe not. Who knows? It might already be too late.

ETpro's avatar

@gondwanalon The current cvolcanic action and solar radiation levels are all VERY well understood and can in no way account for the melting of polar sea ice, the defrosting for permafrost that has been frozen solid for 15 million years, and the rise in CO2 levels that now fare exceeds antyhing seen in 15 million years. THat’s all disinformation that big oil and big coal puke in your ear so they can go right on profiting frrom killing you. You really need to watch the video that @uberbatman posted immediately above. It’s so logical that unles you decide to apply willful ignorance to it, you will see it makes perfect sense.

@SavoirFaire Great links. Thanks.

@Paradox25 Willful ignorance can only be cured by reality. When someone swears that gravity is an illusion that only works if you believe in it; you aren’t likely to provide ANY level of evidence that convinces them otherwise. Only when they try to walk out on thin air like Wile Coyote can do till he realizes it’s happened, does the willfully ignorant person come crashing into the truth in an undeniable way—assuming he even survives.

@uberbatman That is a super line. Thanks for posting it.

@gondwanalon That is the most ridiculous denier argument I’ve ever heard. Do you own an oil company? If man made global climate change is happening and we take all possible actions to prevent it, even if those actions fall short of preventing it, we will mitigate it to some extent, and thus perhaps ensure the survival of mankind. If it is happening and we do nothing but keep tamping up pollution to drive it faster, and the millions of gigatons of methane currently locked in permafrost and methane clathrates at the bottom of cold bodies of water bubble up into the atmosphere, we are talking the end of humanity, and most other advanced life on earth, period. By what logic is that a better outcome than acting and not fully succeeding?

SavoirFaire's avatar

@gondwanalon The possibility of failure is no reason not to try. The fact that we’re all going to wind up dead no matter what we do doesn’t prevent us from trying to live good lives while we can. Similarly, the fact that every species is ultimately destined for extinction doesn’t mean we should be racing ourselves to the edge of the cliff. We do what we can. And if that makes it worse, so be it. Better to have tried and failed than to have done nothing at all.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@gondwanalon even still, I’d like to be in the category of we tried and it didnt work and the shit still hit the fan, rather than the we just sat there and let it happen and helped it happen category.

gondwanalon's avatar

@ETpro Relax man. I never said that I denied that man-made global warming is occurring. By the way isn’t the proper terminology man-made climate disruption? Any way there are numerous so called experts who are for and against this (theory?) and I’m simply saying that I’m undecided. Also I agree with the video presented by @uberbatman. I just wanted to point out a 5th situation that the video failed to show.

Finally I’m all for keeping the Earth as unpolluted as possible just because that is the right thing to do. I don’t need a reason such as man-made global warming for supporting such actions.

ETpro's avatar

@gondwanalon I’m quite relaxed, but thanks for your concern. BTW, I don’t take outside orders on how to feel, so you’re wasting your time telling me how I ought to react. There are a number of terms proposed, Climate Change and Global Warming are the two I most often encounter. Call it a grand piano if you like, it is what it is. But Climate Disruption is a fairly accurate one, getting at the fact that it is anthropomorphic in genesis.

I’m totally with you on keeping the population in control. That’‘s a whole “nother” crissis a-brewing. Peace, my friend. Live long and prosper.

Qingu's avatar

@gondwanalon, are you even reading the responses to your posts? The “experts” against anthropocentric global warming are not experts in climate science.

Can you please acknowledge this so I can at least know that I’m not talking to a wall?

gondwanalon's avatar

@ETpro
I didn’t intend to order you to do anything. It was just a suggestion. Good health to you too!
@Qingu
I don’t mean to insult you by not responding to you. You are a bit intimidating to me. But that’s my fault. You make a good point about the areas of expertise of the scientists. FYI the “College of American Pathologists” presented to me the credentials of “Medical Laboratory Scientist”. Hey, I though scientists were supposed to be smart people. HA! Anyway…Of course I don’t have time to investigate all the credentials of all the scientists. But just a cursory look gave me this quote from the Tulsa Beacon 12–21-2011: “Bob Unruh of WorldNetDaily reported that 31,000 U.S. scientists – 9,000 with doctorate degrees in atmospheric science, climatology, Earth science, environment and other specialties – have signed a petition rejecting global warming.” Surely some of those “scientists” are worth listening to.

Qingu's avatar

Not if only a tiny fraction actually have credentials in climatology. That quote is absurdly hedged.

Note that “Earth science” includes geology—and oil companies employ many geologists.

Also, I wouldn’t take it as an insult, and I’m sorry if I was intimidating (you probably wouldn’t say that if you saw me in real life, lol).

ETpro's avatar

@gondwanalon WorldNetDaily is as authoritative as The Drudge Report or Rush Limbaugh., They have a long history of printing and standing by wrong-wing lies. I know this sounds like an ad hominem but feel free to check its accuracy. It is true.

gondwanalon's avatar

@Qingu and @ETpro Thanks for your input on this. You two have been very helpul.

By the way did you happen to see a report at “EarthSave.org” by Noam Mohr “A New Global Warming Strategy: How Environmentalists are Overlooking Vegetarianism as the Most Effective Tool Against Climate Change in Our Lifetimes”

The bottom line is that human and farm animal generated methane is far more influential in causing global warming than man generated CO2 (in the short term at least). Also if humans simply switched to a vegetarian diet then man-made global warming would be slowed considerably if not stopped.

The data that supports this came from Dr. James Hansen (Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies who has been called “a grandfather of the global warming theory”.)

Why don’t environmentalists support vegetarianism and methane reduction? All I hear about is CO2 reduction.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@gondwanalon Most environmentalists I know support both of those things. I’ve gotten any number of lectures about how I’d go vegan or vegetarian if I really cared about the environment. I point out that the real problem is the amount of meat we eat, not the fact that we eat it at all.

ETpro's avatar

@gondwanalon There you go again. You insist you are not a denier, then one by one you trot our the denier’s zombie arguments, each long since killed by scientific inquiry. Yes, herd animals such as cattle and sheep do contribute to methane emissions, and methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. Yes, we could reduce the greenhouse effect somewhat by not eating meat. But blaming steak for global warming is BS.

But before we kept large herds of cattle, massive herds of bovines such as bison, buffalo and such roamed the earth. Further back, herds of incredibly large herbivorous dinosaurs were around. The animal population has fluctuated, but human influence has reduced it, not increased it.

What has changed dramatically and in ways never before seen is human burning for forests for slash-and-burn farming, burning of fossil fuels, and deforestation.

gondwanalon's avatar

I’m not a denier of man-made global warming. I’m also not a true believer. I do think that it is highly likely.

I just wanted to see what others thought about vegetarian diets helping our man-made global warming problem. It does seem very far fetched to me also. When you think of how the truly immense the planet Earth is compared to all the cattle, chickens etc. it doesn’t seem probable that eliminating them all would have much of an effect in stopping global warming.

Qingu's avatar

@gondwanalon, farm animal methane is considered “man-generated” CO2. Agriculture in general is a major contributor to global warming.

It would probably help if more people were vegetarians. IT would also help if more people ate organic food and/or sustainable/local food. Because monoculture industrial agriculture of crops also contributes a bunch.

ETpro's avatar

@Qingu & @gondwanalon I am sure it would help some. But perhaps not that much if we reduced the head count of herd animals to just enough to supply needs other than meat. After all, humans produce methane too when they try to digest vegatable matter. We;d make up for a fair amount of what cows currently emit.

ETpro's avatar

BTW, Here’s one more piece of evidence to add to the growing list of things needing denail if you wish to believe that we should burn all the Earth’s Coal and Oil as quickly as possible, and get rid of all those ugly trees. This is not to say that we can definitively prove that this past year’s storms are directly “caused” bu nothing but global warming. We cannot—yet. But more extreme weather is one of the things we know is likely to result from continued global warming. So it’s just one more marker leading to an increasingly unexceptionable conclusion. The planet IS warming, and human activity IS the cause.

gondwanalon's avatar

@Qingu Of course you know that methane is CH4 which is different form carbon dioxide = CO2. The combustion of methane yields among other products, CO2, H2O and energy. However the methane that people and farm animal generate mostly doesn’t undergo combustion. So it is not accurate to consider CH4 and CO2 as one in the same.

By the way, back in the olden times when I was a kid there were 3.5 billion people on this planet. Now there are 7 billion. In other words the human population is exploding. This situation is surely contributing to not only global warming but also to general global destruction. I know that this is straying from the topic. But….Can the Earth support 14 billion people if the human population doubles again in 40 years? Sadly our over population problem doesn’t get much attention.

@ETpro Good piece of evidence! Mother nature can be very brutal. I guess that it is pay-back time. In Tacoma/Seattle area where I live it has been an unusually cold Winter, Spring and Summer in 2011. It looks like more of the same for this year. I wish that the global warming wasn’t so damn cold. HA! just a little global warming joke. Too bad that the jokes on us.

Qingu's avatar

@gondwanalon, fair point! I feel dumb now. I was seizing on the “man-generated” part. Methane is of course not CO2. The point I was tring to make was that climatologists generally do take methane into account when discussing man-made global warming.

Overpopulation… is a tangent. But I’ve always been interested in the fact that these Malthusian scenarios don’t seem to be coming to pass. As civilizations get more advanced, the birthrate plummets. Europe for example actually have a negative population growth rate especially if you cut out immigrants. So I dunno. It almost seems like society self-corrects as economic development encourages people to stop having so many damn kids.

ETpro's avatar

@gondwanalon My sympathies. We were unusually cold in June, but other than that, every month this year has been above average and most were WAY above average. Last month and this month look to both be nearly 6° F above average. I wish we could trade and get back to where we should be. We’d have had a white Christmas instead of a heavy rain a few days before the big event. Like bring a pot full of peas to a boil, global warming starts curents swirling in the air and water. One place gets excess cold dragged down from the Arctic and another gets hod, humid air pulled up for the tropics. The poor saps in between get tornadoes and winds like California has seen this fall and winter.

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