General Question

ETpro's avatar

Isn't global warming a "pay me now or pay me later" proposition?

Asked by ETpro (34216 points ) December 12th, 2013

Those who want to deny climate change and the impact of CO2 emissions seem concerned with the cost of fixing the emissions problem. But is this a cost we can avoid? “Pay me now of pay me later.” means if you invest now, you can save paying a huge penalty at the later date. Fram (the auto oil filter company) coined the term to point out the truism auto mechanics pass on to their customers. You can pay a little bit to change your oil, and your air and oil filters on a regular basis; or you can save that small cost, but you will soon have to pay a steep price for a complete rebuild or replacement of the engine due to wear from dirty oil and grime buildup.

Isn’t unrestrained CO2 emission a “Pay me now or pay me later.” proposition? The UK’s Prince Charles recently added his warning of the increasingly ominous consequences of doing nothing about curbing greenhouse gas emissions just because doing nothing is cheaper than doing something. Don’t we yet realize that while curbing carbon emissions does carry a cost, the cost of NOT doing so will be far greater and far more disruptive to global economies?

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109 Answers

Darth_Algar's avatar

It snowed here over the weekend, global warming is a hoax.

JimTurner's avatar

I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed but the earth has been taking care of itself for many years.

It seems man is the one who may reach extinction. However if a catastrophic event was to happen again a few people will survive and start the process all over again building a new civilization.

johnpowell's avatar

I will dick-punch the next ass that says, “it was cold today so climate change is bullshit.”

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Darth_Algar's avatar

For clarification I was being sarcastic in my above post. It seemed obvious in my head, but sarcasm doesn’t always convey well in text. Even beyond the issue of global warming it is imperative that we develop alternate energy sources sooner rather than later. Environmental devastation aside the fact is that fossil fuels are not unlimited. They’re going to run out and we cannot afford to wait until we’ve sucked the last drop of oil out of the ground to come up with an alternate.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
rojo's avatar

Anywayyy….
Yes, it is, in my opinion, just such a scenario. It happening, is has been happening and will aways happen, that is the way the world works. I don’t care to argue over whether or not humans are directly or indirectly involved or not involved at all. The thing is, it is happening and we can either start to structure our society to absorb or adapt to the change or we can stick our heads in the sand and wait ‘till Mother Nature kicks our upturned asses and then try to minimize our losses that could, potentially include the loss of civilization as we know it.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Ugh! The planet is constantly changing. We have gone through many climate changes – ice ages, warming trends. Even the poles have changes places over and over, the continents drift, there are earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and tidal waves. So what are you going to do? Pass a law against Mother Nature?

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt We’re having a real, tangible effect on the environment. Should we not do something about? Should we just throw our hands up and say “ah well, the planet changes so fuck it”?

rojo's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt No, and yes. The planet is constantly changing, poles shift, continents drift but now,as a species, WE have to deal with it. It did not matter to us when we lived in the trees but we don’t anymore. WE have a civilization to maintain and climate changes change the rules. A cursory review of our history will show you that changes in climates alter our societies. Ice ages bring extinctions, Volcanic eruptions alter the weather patterns bringing crop failures and famine to some areas. Floods and Tsunamis bring devastation and death to humans and their food animals, not to mention instigating populations shifts.
The question is do we just let it happen and deal with the consequences or do we plan ahead like thinking, rational, planning creatures.

Jaxk's avatar

In an effort to avoid being dick punched (which ever way you read it, it sounds unpleasant) I will avoid the debate on whether humans are destroying the environment. I am curious however, on what those that advocate drastic measures, feel what those measures should be.

The basic issue, as I understand it incorporates both fossil fuels that put carbon into the air and deforestation that removes it. Deforestation is the result of requiring more farm land for food and bio-fuels. Yet we don’t want those things that might improve our farm yields, GMOs, pesticides, and industrial farming. Seems like we have to give up something or reduce the world population by some large factor. That’s OK if you’re one of the lucky ones to survive but kinda sucks if you’re one of those targeted for removal. Of course the other side is fossile fuels which unfortunately we don’t have an alternative. Bio fuels contribute to deforestation and wind and solar simply won’t supply enough energy, let alone drive our transportation (driving from LA to NY sucks in an electric car and I’m not sure I’d trust a wind powered airplane.

So other than just complaining, what is the proposal? All I seem to hear is that we should stop doing what we’re doing but no real alternative. And just saying that “if we can put a man on the moon, we can solve this” is not a solution. It may however be a good reason to resurrect the dick punch threat.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I personally advocate an electric grid with a backbone of nuclear power augmented wherever and to whatever extent possible by alternates such as wind, solar, geothermal, etc.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@rojo Well, see, that is my problem. I don’t believe that we are doing anything to “cause” the climate change, therefore I don’t think there is anything we can do to stop it. I think that is the crux of the argument. It is not that people don’t believe that it is happening – there are just those that don’t believe that we can stop it, any more than we can stop continental drift.

johnpowell's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt Have you ever noticed that a sunny day can be really cold and the next day is a lot warmer but cloudy? Science covers that. Think about how that and pollution fit together.

tom_g's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt: “Well, see, that is my problem. I don’t believe that we are doing anything to “cause” the climate change, therefore I don’t think there is anything we can do to stop it.”

Have you stopped to consider why this is one area of science that you happen to know more than the scientists who actually study this stuff?

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@johnpowell Not really. I have never felt a sunny day that was cold. Clouds hold the heat in, so many cloudy days are warm. @tom_g I don’t believe the scientists, not because I know more than they do, but because I don’t trust them to tell the truth. Not like we haven’t been lied to before, to get the people all riled up, create a political issue that doesn’t exist, and sell a lot of very expensive, green cars.

tom_g's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt: “I don’t believe the scientists, not because I know more than they do, but because I don’t trust them to tell the truth. Not like we haven’t been lied to before, to get the people all riled up, create a political issue that doesn’t exist, and sell a lot of very expensive, green cars.”

So, what you are saying is that this is a global conspiracy. Any evidence for this?

drhat77's avatar

I think that the ones with the most to lose, oil companies, etc, would be able to ride out the climate change by building higher, or otherwise insulate themselves from the fallout of climate change. So they will not be the ones paying later. It’s the poor people, the people in the developing world, the people who’s entire islands will be underwater who will pay later. So the equation is more like “I pay a little now, or other people pay a lot later”.

@Darth_Algar @johnpowell when global warming was first introduced to congress, the scientists deliberately picked a sweltering hot day, and they turned off the AC to the room where they presented it! But seriosuly, I think that’s why they call it climate change now: it’s not just about heat, it’s about more volatile weather.

drhat77's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt in the past 2–3 million years of ice cores that we have, never has the CO2 in the air gone above 300, until now. For reference, the past 2–3 million years is when apes evolved into humans, so we may not be at all adapted for the climate of >300 CO2

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@drhat77 and @tom_g So what is the big plan to fix it? I thought so – nothing we can do, except maybe try to convince everyone in the civilized world to run out and buy a new car – because we can all so afford to do that.

tom_g's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt: ”@drhat77 and @tom_g So what is the big plan to fix it?”

Nope. Come back. Is this a giant global conspiracy or isn’t it? And if it is, do you have evidence for that claim?

RocketGuy's avatar

Follow the money. Scientists gain millions in research money, but oil and coal companies stand to lose billions…

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I think it’s bullshit. So there. All it takes is a couple of experts to come up with a bullshit theory, and everyone believes it. I don’t.

tom_g's avatar

@tom_g: “Is this a giant global conspiracy or isn’t it? And if it is, do you have evidence for that claim?”

@Skaggfacemutt: “I think it’s bullshit. So there. All it takes is a couple of experts to come up with a bullshit theory, and everyone believes it. I don’t.”

So, I’ll take that as a no, you don’t have any evidence for this claim?

Additionally, you seem to lack an understanding how science actually works. Were you kidding about the “all it takes” comment?

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt wow….just wow…. Is there any science that you do believe? Like do you take your medication when you get sick or do you also believe the doctors are just lying to you so that they can make money?

Population growth over time CO2 increase over time Temperature increase over time I’m just going to go ahead and leave these three (totally unreleated~) graphs here.

@rojo here ya go

Kropotkin's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt It’s interesting that you believe that the climate has always changed, that it went through warming and cooling periods—models of Earth’s past climate reconstructed by the very same scientists who state that the current climate change is unprecedented in its speed, and almost certainly caused by the excess CO2 in the atmosphere, released by human activity since the beginning of the industrial revolution.

Why do you believe the same scientists for the one thing, but cynically dismiss them as liars in the latter case?

Do you realise that the science that established CO2’s greenhouse effect is over 150 years old?

Do you know that the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are higher than they’ve been in millions of years, and that the current change in climate is faster than at any time in the existence of our species?

You are right about one thing—there’s no plan to fix it, and no possibility of reversing the trend. And that is because of millions like you, who would rather deny reality and invent the most delusional, conspiratorial narratives to essentially do nothing.

drhat77's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt we do have answers for the problems, but they aren’t easy and they aren’t cheap. there isn’t one solution with an industry that stands to profit big from a global warming conspiracy. There are however many well entrenched interests that stand to lose if we make changes to combat global warming. Alternative energy isn’t very effeciant or cheap or pretty now because it hasn’t been developed like conventional energy. Cars used to look like Model T’s, loud, uncomfortable, and unsafe. But LOTS of R&D made it the reliable thing we have today. Similar R&D can make green technologies viable alternatives, but right now they aren’t even close to there yet. But since they threaten auto makers, and oil companies, they make sure such efforts are overlooked by research grants and venture capitalists.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Climate change is a political battle and both sides use science as their ammunition. There is a lot at stake and it does not really matter which side wins because in the end we will loose. I’m sorry but some people believe that science and our scientific institutions are immune to this kind of political infection but they are extremely vulnerable. I have no problem with reducing CO2 emissions but I have doubts that this is the cause. I have doubts if there is any warming outside of what would be happening anyway. In the end it seems like the political goal is to continue to pollute and tax the crap out of it. If we just stop polluting then it’s all moot and it makes all of these arguments silly. These political games just divide us. 20 years from now I bet we will not be talking about this anymore when it is clear that the real elephant in the room is just pollution in general.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Why is it that the less a person understands a subject the more opinionated about it they are?

Kropotkin's avatar

@Darth_Algar I’m guessing you know why, and ask a rhetorical question to highlight the irony of the situation..

kritiper's avatar

No. It’s a “payment is inevitable.” No need to worry about “when.”

ibstubro's avatar

What a flippin awesome observation, @Kropotkin. The Earth is flat, Daddy created it in 7 days and global warming isn’t happening.

I agree with @ARE_you_kidding_me. Just shut up and do it. I have a long-standing theory that the Human Race is a literal cancer on the Earth. We do our best to consume was much as possible and use the consumption to produce toxins. In the past the Earth has been fairly good at keeping us in check by fighting back with plagues and natural disaster. Aids and Ebola were near misses. I think our choices are scale back or be hit with a humdinger. The biggest challenge is convincing emerging nations that what the United States did was wrong and that a consumption scale back is not just a ploy for the US to stay top dog forever.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Kropotkin You guess correctly.

RocketGuy's avatar

For several years now, the Philippine UN rep has been begging developed countries to reduce CO2 emissions to prevent wild-ass storms from whipping his country. Two years in a row, they have been battered by record-breaking hurricanes.

Yes, the planet will survive, but maybe not certain people.

ETpro's avatar

I’m just going to watch and hand out lots of great answers to any that deserve them. And I saved this question for a time when cold Arctic air had pushed into most of the US just to see how many would jump on the idea that you can measure global temperatures and their rate of change over a 100 year period by picking a particular day to stick your head out of your window. Thankfully, my patience was rewarded.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@RocketGuy If you haven’t seen it, check out The Island President

rojo's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt As I tried, unsuccessfully it seems, to point out it matters not whether mankind caused it or exacerbates the problem or has nothing to do with it. It is happening and actually we both agree that there is nothing we can do to stop it. Where we seem to differ is that I think we can take steps to minimize the impact on human civilization while you seem to want to focus on assigning blame. I would guess that we differ in whether or not we SHOULD take steps to do whatever we can to minimize our impact but regardless of that the question remains should we do something to prepare.

RocketGuy's avatar

It will either be bad or really bad, depending on what we humans do. Remember, we are all generating plenty of CO2, which makes Climate Change more severe.

rojo's avatar

From what I have garnered, the CO2 that we generate, while bad, is not anywhere near what the earth itself put into the atmosphere. As much as I hate to say it, I am beginning to thing that it is somewhat of a red herring.

ETpro's avatar

@rojo It’s true that natural sources of CO2 generate the lions’s share of it, and natural CO2 sinks absorb that. But we are deforesting the Earth, removing one of the main sinks that remove both natural and man-made contributions. At the same time, we are dumping 34 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. The average atmospheric half-life of the gas is 37 years. It it ridiculous to claim we can keep adding far more per year than all Earth’s volcanic activity contributes, while removing the forests (often by slash and burn farming) that help absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, and nothing will ever change. The CO2 levels have been steadily rising since the start of the industrial revolution, and the rise is constantly ramping up. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what this means. It takes a chemist or geologist employed by the $40 trillion per year fossil fuel energy complex to push junk science claiming all the BS we’ve seen regurgitated above.

RocketGuy's avatar

@rojo – the planet evolved over millions of years to have a delicately balanced carbon cycle. Our CO2 contribution is pushing it over a balance point, sending it onto a different path. This path is bad for humans.

rojo's avatar

While chancing the possibility of being dick-punched I would like to share this Link

drhat77's avatar

DICK-PUNCH!!!!
Global warming makes the average yearly temperature rise, and that extra energy makes the weather more volatile. The colds get colder, and the hots get hotter, but since the hotter hots are stronger than the colder colds, warmth wins out.

I need a lie-down

Response moderated
Skaggfacemutt's avatar

You totally missed the point. Yes, I do believe that the climate is changing, has changed, and will continue to change. I made that perfectly clear. What I don’t agree with is the reason for the change. On the subject of why, I strongly believe that it depends on who you ask, what their agenda is, and who stands to gain or lose if the answer is this or that. Not to mention that there are still some natural occurances that even scientists don’t fully understand. And then there is the question of whether there is really anything we can do about it. If we all stopped driving this very day, would it stop the warming trend. I don’t think so, and it would be impossible for all of us to stop driving this very day, even if it would. So it seems like a moot point to me. That being said, why do the politicians keep bringing it up? To sell millions of new cars, maybe, and therefore get the auto industry out of the crap? Or because it sounds good in a political debate, and might get votes from environmentalists?

By the way, why was the earth so warm and swampy when the dinosaurs lived here? There were no greenhouse gasses then. Just wondering. And what caused the many ice ages, before industry, automobiles, or anything man-made. After all, the climate can’t change by itself with no reason, right?

JimTurner's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt Preach Sister Preach!

Man thinks he is the end all. He likes to believe he is so grand and mighty but he does not control the land the sea and the stars.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt Please stop commenting on topics you clearly know nothing about. Arguing from ignorance does not behoove anyone.

@rojo What exactly do you think that link proves? Do you think that snow in Cairo, a rare, but not unheard of, occurrence, somehow disproves global warming?

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@Darth_Algar I don’t agree with your views, either, but I don’t ask you to stop commenting. Don’t call me ignorant, I take exception to that. I have read your posts, and you don’t sound like a genius to me.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt I call you ignorant because you’re ignorant on the subject of global warming. This isn’t a matter of differing opinions, it’s a matter of you not understanding the subject. I freely acknowledge that there are plenty of subjects I’m ignorant on. The difference is I try to refrain from commenting on thing I have little knowledge or understanding of.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Well, the experts must be igorant on the subject as well, since they can’t agree, nor do they profess to understand. They have theories.

Darth_Algar's avatar

98% of the world’s relevant scientists are in agreement. And I doubt you understand what the word “theory” means in the scientific sense.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I have a theory – the theory is that you sucked those statistics out of your thumb. I could be wrong, after all, it’s only a theory.

RocketGuy's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt – a layman’s theory is something anyone can pull out of the air (speculation). A scientist’s theory is an statement based on tested and repeatable phenomena that supports a certain hypothesis.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt “I have a theory – the theory is that you sucked those statistics out of your thumb. I could be wrong, after all, it’s only a theory.”

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

drhat77's avatar

Thr problem is nothing we do today will change anything tomorrow. It will probably be 50–100 years before we see the change we affect today. That’s why it is so challenging to enact the legislation we need when our reps need to be re-elected every 2–6 years.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, @ETpro. We make our grandchildren pay for our ignorance and greediness.

The climate change denial movement will eventually fail. Like the nicotine addiction denial movement failed. Most likely human greenhouse gas emissions contribute to global warming and climate change. There might also be natural cycles adding to the effect.

Refusing to apply the precautionary principle is a serious crime against humanity. Our atmosphere is a global common good, not a national asset. Overusing it cannot be free. We have to make it very expensive.

We need to get away from a discussion about data. From now on it’s all about emotions. It’s all about metaphors. I said this before:

Ending climate change denial is difficult, because the fossil fuel industry has hired excellent marketing professionals. It is possible to come up with simple messages to spread doubt about the seriousness of the climate problem. It is far more difficult to refute these simple messages, because climate science is complex. Still, the people who are concerned about the climate have to create good marketing strategies as well using powerful messages. Here are some I find useful:

1) Denying man-made climate change is like denying that cigarettes are addictive.

2) Denying global warming is like denying an increasing population of the United States.

3) Denying that CO2 and CH4 are greenhouse gases is like claiming that the planet Venus is made of green cheese.

4) Telling people that CO2 is fertilizer for plants is like telling people to eat more vitamin D pills.

5) Telling people that the use of fossil fuels is cheaper than green technology is like telling people that cars without seat belts are cheaper.

6) Pointing to colder winters as a sign that global warming isn’t real is like pointing to the smiles of a raped woman as a sign that she was never raped.

Jaxk's avatar

Just to throw a monkey wrench in the works here, a couple of statistics. Antartic ice has been expanding about 1% a year for thirty years now. To add insult to injury, the artic ice has expanded by 50% since last year. Global warming advocates say pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. To make it even worse the coldest temperatures ever recorded on earth came in 2010 and 2013. Quite a feat for the middle of a global warming event.

It may be wise to get new spokesmen for climate change other than Al Gore and Prince Charles. Those two seem to have trouble with their predictions.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I don’t think that many people get the global warming “debate.” The debate is silly…it’s moot. We need to conserve our resources regardless. It is a “pay me now. ” I still feel like most people do a surface scan of the “evidence” or lack of evidence and never really think too much about it. C02 is likely not the problem and I think many people use it to rally the people for a good cause regardless if they buy it or not. Warming could be happening but I doubt it’s us. Water vapor and methane are the primary greenhouse gases and we are not really increasing those. That said, we need to do something about the elevated CO2. Some of the crap we put in the air that have never been in our atmo before could be doing things but we don’t really know because it’s such a complex relationship. I think it’s crazy that we will strip mine a mountain to get at coal to burn. I think it’s insanity that we’ll waste the most potent source of relatively free concentrated energy sitting idle in traffic. That is f’ing STUPID. I think it is equally insane that we use fission to boil water to run a generator. I also think that we need to look at our energy usage closer. Why are we wasting ~10% on transmission lines when residential power could be made closer with location-appropriate generation technologies. Why do people think it’s ok to charge an electric car with power from burned coal that’s delivered over a lossy transmission line to charge batteries that have been constructed from very toxic and environmentally costly materials? F*ck! We must think deeper than “oh we’ll use solar!” No we won’t because folks will not give up their high power appliances. You can run a house on solar if you give up things like clothes dryers and electric stoves. That’s IF you live in an area where it makes sense. We need to develop greener power while reducing consumption. We can do this through better engineering using technologies that make sense for the context it is being used. We really need to focus on solving the energy problem before we go to war, build McMansions or smoke a bong while philosophising about the virtues of socialism. Kick the politicians, special interests and “intellectuals” out of this and get good ol’ American ingenuity rolling and Git R’ Done.

rojo's avatar

@Jaxk A couple of things,

1. First line from the article on Antartic Ice – “Ice around the South Pole has expanded to cover a record area, scientists revealed yesterday – a month after saying that the North Pole had lost an unprecedented amount of its ice.” (Italics mine)

2. Second line from the article or Antartic Ice – “Researchers say – rather confusingly – that both occurrences are down to the ‘complex and surprising’ effects of global warming.” (Italics mine)

3. “*The extent of Arctic sea ice reached a new record low. The alarming rate of its melt this year highlighted the far-reaching changes taking place on Earth’s oceans and biosphere. *Climate change is taking place before our eyes and will continue to do so as a result of the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which have risen constantly and again reached new records,” added Mr Jarraud.

The Arctic reached its lowest annual sea ice extent since the start of satellite records on 16 September at 3.41 million square kilometers. This was 18% less than the previous record low of 18 September, 2007. The 2012 minimum extent was 49 percent or nearly 3.3 million square kilometers (nearly the size of India) below the 1979–2000 average minimum. Some 11.83 million square kilometers of Arctic ice melted between March and September 2012. – from this article from the World Meteorological Organization. So a 50% increase from a record decrease (which is also noted in the article you reference) is not the positive you imply.

4. There is this quote from the article on the coldest temperatures – ”….is likely an unusual random reading in a place that hasn’t been measured much before and could have been colder or hotter in the past and we wouldn’t know.” (Again, Italics mine).

Jaxk's avatar

@rojo

Your argument that any increase in ice means nothing while any decrease proves global warming is simply not believable. A 50% decrease and then a 50% increase in sea ice may not bring us back to where we were but it is certainly significant. Especially since we don’t know if where we were is optimal or not. It’s rather funny that all this global warming tracks temperature since 1850. Or since the end of the Little Ice Age. I hope we’re not looking at the Little Ice Age as optimal. If you’re pushing Global Warming, you have to take the good with the bad. There are things happening that contradict ‘Man Made Theory’. From the Artic Ice article:

“But this past summer, it stayed in place because of a change in wind patterns. And so there’ll likely be more multi-year ice next year than there was this year.”

“This is good news for the Arctic, but presents somewhat of a tough problem for environmentalists and some climate scientists who have been pummeled with evidence this year contradicting the theory of man-made global warming.

Scientists have been struggling to explain away the 15-year pause in rising global temperatures. Some have turned to solar activity or natural climate cycles to explain the hiatus in warming.”

Darth_Algar's avatar

And never use the Daily Mail, who have been successfully sued (more than once) for straight making shit up, as a source.

Jaxk's avatar

How about the BBC, they seem to be saying the same thing.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Jaxk Out of curiosity, are you actually reading these articles you’re linking to, or do you just see the headline and think that proves your point?

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

You’re not kidding, @ARE_you_kidding_me ! There are two arguments going on in this thread. One is global warming, and the other is pollution. No one here is suggesting that we shouldn’t minimize pollution and conserve resources, for our own health and for future generations. How much pollution has to do with global warming is where we don’t agree. If you want to talk about pollution and conservation, then let’s talk about that. When you throw in the whole global warming thing, that is different.

I know that environmentalists would like everyone to just stop their lives and turn Amish or something. Not gonna happen – and not practical. We need someone to come up with a practical solution, and alternate energy source that works, or mass transit that works. We talk so much about it but nothing changes. My city has spent millions on a public transit system, added two commuter trains, and still – I looked up the bus route because a relative didn’t have a ride and needed to get somewhere. We are talking about a 17 mile trip. She would have had to get off the bus twice, and walk to another stop, and it would have taken her 3 hours to get there. And this is supposed to be the answer? Really?

RocketGuy's avatar

The world is getting more complex, so people need to find reliable sources of information. Yet I keep hearing about those “intellectuals” not having a clue. Meanwhile, complex decisions are being made for them by “experts” and politicians:
http://www.upworthy.com/a-science-icon-died-17-years-ago-in-his-last-interview-he-made-a-warning-that-gives-me-goosebumps-5
Basically, he is saying “If people don’t understand science… we don’t run the govt, the govt runs us”.

Jaxk's avatar

@Darth_Algar Yes, I read them. And I think they do show my point which is that there is significant conflicting data.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Jaxk There really isn’t. That there’s a surprising increase in arctic ice this year doesn’t necessarily mean much when measured against the longterm trend.

Jaxk's avatar

@Darth_Algar

They expect growth in the ice again next year. Doesn’t sound like a one year event.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Jaxk I did not say it was a one year event necessarily. But again – look at the longterm trend. A year or two does not make a longterm trend. Even still the particular conditions in one locale don’t really say anything about the overall picture. It’s like these yahoos that confuse their local weather with the overall global climate.

Jaxk's avatar

@Darth_Algar

That may be true but artic ice (and ant-artic ice) pack have been used for some time now to represent the effects of global warming. Just because they turn around and now start growing again, you can’t change and say they don’t represent your point anymore.

RocketGuy's avatar

When Glacier National Park has glaciers again, let me know.

tom_g's avatar

So, @Jaxk – do you believe that this is a global conspiracy? The fact that we’re approaching something of a consensus here is further proof of this conspiracy? @Skaggfacemutt has already said that it was. I’m trying to determine if this is your position as well?

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Jaxk Again you miss the longterm trend. It’s important. The arctic may have gained more seasonal ice than anticipated this year. It may do so again next year. But the overall trend for decades is that it has been losing permanent ice.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysenkoism
Anyone with strong opinions on either side the global warming debate should read up about the Lysenko affair. It can apply to any science where ideology has the potential to intervene.

Jaxk's avatar

@tom_g

No, I wouldn’t call it a global conspiracy. Global Warming has however become an emotional issue. Skeptics are viciously attacked while proponents are embraced. If you want grant monies, be a proponent. If you want your work peer reviewed, be a proponent. People like Al Gore become rich off this stuff. No one gets rich being a skeptic and no one gets stoned being a proponent.

tom_g's avatar

^ It sounds to me that you are saying that at the very minimum, the scientific process is broken here. Why do you feel that the whole process has completely fallen apart? And why is the money on the “side” least likely to be the most profitable?

This sounds very much like you are describing a vat global conspiracy.

Jaxk's avatar

^ No more than political correctness is a vast global conspiracy. In either case you must go along to get along.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk That’s the most preposterous claim about Global Warming I think I have heard yet. Grant money? Who do you turn to? The global fossil fuel industry is worth $40 trillion per year. The right-wing money the Koch Brothers and the Waltons alone spend outweighs all the money the alternative energy lobby can muster.

Jaxk's avatar

Nobody out-spends government.

tom_g's avatar

Just so I understand, @Jaxk – can you in detail describe how this conspiracy works exactly, and what the motivations are? For example, “Nobody out-spends government” is a good starting point. Now connect the dots. “Government” is out-spending the fossil fuel industry by __ %. They are doing this because ___.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@ETpro For the record I don’t think this is a conspiracy but the university systems have what can best be described as the moral high ground. If the media is on board to propagate those ideas wrong or right there is little that can go up against that. Even the billion dollar fossil fuel industry can’t overcome it once the public is on that side. I don’t think they care much though, they can truly afford to just ignore it. The process of defining science is unfortunately political when results are statistical, open to alternate interpretation or just extremely complex. I look at it more like an engineer would. Engineers basically already know the science, we are in the business of applying it. Consequently we think more about how things can go wrong rather than what makes something work. I can see some things that could go wrong with the arguments for “man made” climate change, so I’m a skeptic but not a denyer. Calling skeptics denyers is very harmful for the proponents of man-made change. Shutting down the discussion like that is essentially deciding not to defend a position. That said politicians would love another revenue stream and another way to more or less control the little guys. The big oil companies have a free pass of course and they may even profit from some of the cap & trade, carbon taxes….. A healthy amount of skepticism is not unwarranted here. For me to be convinced I need to see more data and documentation to go with it. Documentation like the calibration data for the temperature sensors used in some of these studies, where they were placed….etc. I want to see all of the data streams that lead to the “consensus” that many say we have. I have never really seen some hard convincing evidence. A summary of a study or a chart isn’t going to cut it because that is not evidence. It is just someones word.

Jaxk's avatar

@tom_g

I’ve alrady said I don’t see this as a conspiracy. The online dictionary defines conspiracy as: An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act. I think that definition is pretty good. While I was working on how to explain all this @ARE_you_kidding_me posted a fairly good explanation. The Environmental movement has way too much invested to even consider any alternatives.

tom_g's avatar

^ Ok, replace conspiracy with an economic or institutional analysis, and then connect the dots. for us. Make sure to include whether or not climate science is similar to or unique in the pressures that drive the data. Also include why two of the most politically controversial (not scientifically controversial) just happen to be biology (evolution) and climate.

I’d be interested to know if the amateur scientists who are “skeptics” (important to note that we’re not talking about “scientific skepticism” here, which is odd) spend as much time peer-reviewing the data in other areas of research that don’t have religious or economic/political implications.

ETpro's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me The increase in atmospheric CO2 year by year is FACT, not open to interpretation. Global temperatures have been ramping up in step with the increase in atmospheric CO2. Fact.

That we are adding 34 billion tons of CO2 to the atmosphere, up 3% from last year, it not open to interpretation. It’s fact. CO2 is a greenhouse gas with a 37-year average atmospheric half-life. Fact. Ice cores show that previous warm periods correspond to very high atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Fact.

The Earth’s natural CO2 absorption mechanisms can handle natural emissions just fine. They always have. What they can’t handle is an additional 34 billion tons per year increasing at 3% per year.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Anyone can just throw a chart up or spout science as their argument on this. This science is not as cut and dry as saying water boils at this temperature and pressure. I have never found anyone on either side of the argument who was really able to throw up a convincing analysis that shows we know this like we know water boils. One of the charts you threw up is commonly used to dispel man made global warming. It comes from this site: http://climatephysics.com/80/ No supporting data there either. http://www.ux1.eiu.edu/~cfjps/1400/FIG01_010.JPG We have contributed ~3–10% of of CO2 in our atmo. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Earth Other gasses, especially water vapor are much larger contributors to our climate. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cmb-faq/greenhouse-gases.php I don’t think scientifically we have a good grasp of how all of this fits together on the whole. I really don’t think we really have a good grasp of how our climate really works enough to show that a smidge of Co2 is enough to cause serious climate effects. CO2 is rising that is fact. Is c02 really the cause of the warming though? Have we been warming outside of natural cycles? That’s the part I question. I don’t think we can answer this with certainty right now. I think politics is involved. Like I said before sitting idle is not the solution. We need to be proactive anyway so as far as our future actions are concerned it does not matter if we are causing any warming or not. The past is the past and we will make our own future regardless. Lets just not let politics decide our for us. For whatever reason people get an emotional attachment to which side of the argument they buy into. I don’t know why this is but I see it all the time. I really don’t buy either side. I’m unconvinced that CO2 is causing harm but I’m also not convinced that our actions are benign.

rojo's avatar

I always thought science was exactly as cut and dry as saying water boils at this temperature at this pressure.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@rojo It’s not always the case especially when you get down into layers of decimal places and all of the constraints have not been properly defined or well understood.

ETpro's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Yada, yada, yada. No matter how solid the science, those with an economic interest in denying it will spin and spin to say it ain’t so. Thermometers lie, but you never could possibly bend the truth. Are you kidding me?

ETpro's avatar

There’s this news on accelerated melting of the Greenland ice sheet and this on warming increasing the intensity of North Atlantic hurricanes over time.

RocketGuy's avatar

Those are not believable sources. When will the Pope make the official proclamation? Then maybe some of the skeptics will be turned.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated
ETpro's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Here’s an explanation of the problem that should be clear enough for anyone to grasp. The current atmospheric CO2 level of 400 PPM is the highest it has been in 800,000 years, and likely the highest in 20 million years‘s_atmosphere. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations are increasing at 2 PPM, or 0.5% per year, which means it will double to 800 PPM in 140 years. But long before that, it will so drastically alter the climate Earth will no longer be survivable for humans and most other species of flora and fauna. Increasing ocean and tundra temperatures will trigger a massive release of frozen methane clathrates, a greenhouse gas 70 times as damaging in greenhouse effect as CO2.

ETpro's avatar

The broken link above should point here.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

There is no evidence to support that a small increase in Co2 will cause a catastrophic methane hydrate release. We know that Co2 is increasing and about half of the increase is our fault. We are still talking about such a small component of our atmosphere and one that thankfully is a poor warmer. I kinda have to laugh at this ecological fear mongering. Now, nobody should disagree that we need to clean things up and act like a mature and responsible species. Methane is a larger concern. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/cow-emissions-more-damaging-to-planet-than-co2
Co2 is about politics. Alarmists on one side and complete denial on the other. I’m a skeptic of Co2 but not about pollution and environmental stewardship. That needs our attention…right now. Many focus on this co2 thing and basically forget about this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habitat_destruction which is problem #1. Co2 and global warming politics is about this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigovian_tax which is really about this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil

mattbrowne's avatar

There is no global warming debate, unless you live in the stupidest parts of the US and watch the stupidest channels FOX network. Like there is no flat earth debate or evolution debate, unless you live in the stupidest parts of the US and watch the stupidest channels FOX network.

RocketGuy's avatar

Germany and Philippines got smacked good by Climate Change. America – not so much. A lot of Americans are hoping that other people will make the hard choices so they can keep living the good life.

ETpro's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Going from 320 PPM to 800 PPM IS NOT a small increase. It’s not just a doubling. It is an increase of 250%. You would have to convince yourself that CO2 isn’t even a greenhouse gas to conclude that will not increase global temperatures. You would have to convince yourself that air and ocean temperatures increasing have no ability to melt methane clathrates to conclude that such a CO2 increase and its concomitant rise in atmospheric and ocean temperatures would do nothing to defrost frozen methane clathrates. We are already seeing massive methane releases in the Arctic ocean and in tundras.

Jaxk's avatar

Is it cold enough for you yet? Maybe a few extra degrees wouldn’t seem so bad about now.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Ohhh it snowed it’s clearly all a hoax -_ – .

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Jaxk Stop confusing weather with climate.

tom_g's avatar

@Jaxk: “Is it cold enough for you yet? Maybe a few extra degrees wouldn’t seem so bad about now.”

We know you’re a relatively bright guy. You can operate a computer, and you are old enough to have gone through this topic before with people (likely here). You can’t claim that you don’t know better when you type this. The only reasonable conclusion is that you are intentionally confusing weather with climate for ideological purposes.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk And the fact the current winter Super-storm Hercules is predicted by the same climate models that predict global warming doesn’t concern you? Why? Do you simply not care if we so alter the environment that it kills us? Is protection of the fossil fuel industry really that important?

RocketGuy's avatar

Wow, that’s like the guy on YouTube using satellite images to prove his Flat Earth belief.

Jaxk's avatar

You guys don’t have much a sense of humor or a sense of irony. When Al Gore chose to give his big Global Warming speech in NY on Jan 15, 2004, it was the coldest day in 50 years. The big Global Warming protest in Washington in Mar. of 2009 was snowed out. Nobody could get there. In fact these events happen so often they’ve coined the term The Gore Effect. These events may not amuse you but they certainly give me a chuckle. Just like those global warming guys that took a boat down to Ant-Artica to prove the ice was melting and got frozen in place with ice so thick even our best Ice-breakers couldn’t cut them free. These are the same guys that can spout how thick the ice has been for the last several million years and how thick it will be for the next hundred years. Unfortunately they couldn’t predict how thick it is right now. They didn’t see it coming. I’m sorry that’s funny.

Apparently if we want lower temperatures, all we need is a bunch of you guys to scream GLOBAL WARMING and the temperature drops like a rock. You have your solution in hand.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Trust me, when you’ve spent years trying, in vain, to dispel the very type of ignorance you proudly spout here you’d begin to find it a bit humorless as well.

mattbrowne's avatar

Global warming is very likely increasing extreme weather phenomena.

RocketGuy's avatar

Changes in weather patterns pushed the jet stream south, bringing frigid air from the north. All this time I thought the movie The Day After Tomorrow was full on BS.

Ironic that Global Warming is bringing really cold air to the biggest deniers. God is playing tricks on Bible Belt Christians.

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