General Question

ETpro's avatar

Do you believe global warming is manmade and a threat to our future?

Asked by ETpro (34600points) July 9th, 2010

I know this has been discussed, but it came up again in this question about the debunking of the ‘Climategate’ critics, so I decided to revisit it.

NOAA has a great FAQ online answering a number of important questions about GLobal Warming. The bulk of the world’s climatologists appear to be convinced that:
1—Earth is warming,
2—Human activity and fossil fuel burning is contributing to that warming in a way never before seen,
3—Unless we take steps to reverse the trend, it will pose serious threats to life as we currently live it.
In a study of the world’s climate scientists, 97% said they felt warming was happening and was influenced by human activity.

In the debate, there appear to be three positions.
1—Global Warming is happening and is man made.
2—Global Warming is happening, but is natural and will take care of itself.
3—Global temperatures haven’t increased, sea levels haven’t risen, and glacial retreat is a lie.

Which position do you favor, and why?

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63 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

Is it really any more a matter of belief at this point? Do you believe in gravity? Or the Ford Escort?

PoiPoi's avatar

We’ve added to the problem, but this has been happening ever since the earth was born. The climate fluctuates all the time, it’s never constant.Global warming is just a phase, maybe another ice age will come after this.

Austinlad's avatar

Suggest you and everyone else with a position (mine is #1) read EEARTH, available for download from iTunes and Amazon.

cookieman's avatar

How about 2.5: Global Warming is happening and is natural and man made.

BhacSsylan's avatar

As a scientist, I can tell you, from everything I’ve seen, is that 1 is almost certainty true (despite what some news outlets would have you believe. It’s snowing! Global warming is a myth! Idiots). There is very, very little intelligent criticism of 1.

Now, 2 and 3 get very funky. As @PoiPoi said, the earth goes through definite cycles of heating and cooling, and this has been proved many times over. This, also, is pretty much uncontested unless your’re a young earth creationist. But it’s hard to accurately measure how much and how quickly climate changes. We’re bad enough at predicting weather now, 50% accuracy is almost never seen for long range predictions, as in longer then a few days. We’re trying to understand and measure average weather patters over the whole earth over eons. It’s very hard.

The state of the debate is this:
1. The earth is warming. No contest.
2. The earth has done this before. No contest.
3. What hand do we have?

And 3 is where we’re stuck. Do fossil fuels, CFCs, aerosols, etc cause a major impact? it’s very hard to say. We can prove the greenhouse effect. Carbon emissions do cause it. But are our emmisions that bad? Will the earth really be endangered? Various carbons sources have existed for eons as well. Most land animals release methane, as many of us know, and tons of it, and methane is a very bad greenhouse gas. yet the earth has survived the advent of cows.

So, i guess my input is this: We really don’t know. We have theories and hypotheses, but frankly we are just plain bad at climate prediction right now, and no one has a decent grasp on what will happen for certain.

Now, does that mean we should not work to curb it? Of course not. I think it’s an excellent idea to work on it, as carbon emissions are bad for other reasons beyond climate change. Acid rain, for instance. So there’s that, at least.

Facade's avatar

In short, which is the way I like it, yes. But it’s not all our fault.

marinelife's avatar

Yes, it is not a matter of belief, but a scientific fact.

ragingloli's avatar

We know that CO2 and CH4 are potent greenhouse gasses.
We know that we have been pumping these gasses into the atmosphere in large amounts since the beginning of the industrial revolution.
We know that green plants convert these gasses back into O2.
We know that we have been destroying forests and rain forests on a massive scale, thus severely diminishing nature’s ability to reduce CO2.
We know there has been a steady increase of global average temperature levels since the beginning of the industrial revolution.
The only logical conclusions are, that:
a.) Global Warming is a fact, because it is directly measurable
b.) Humans have at the very least a partial responsibility for Global Warming.

ChocolateReigns's avatar

I can’t decide whether it’s real or not. I think it could be a hoax, because God said He would provide all we need. It could be real, because God told us to be good stewards of all He gave us. And don’t try to change my opinion. If you want a discussion, I can give you my reasoning. But you won’t be able to change my beliefs.

BhacSsylan's avatar

@ChocolateReigns This may get edited, but I must contest your last statement. Discussion without hope of changing opinion is just random noise. If you refuse to allow the possibility of a change in your opinion, you have no right in giving your own. If all you can do is spout dogma and go “Lalala I can’t hear you” you have no place in a rational discussion.

ETpro's avatar

@PoiPoi You are totally correct in saying that Earth’s temperature has fluctuated from natural causes. However, it has never had man driving the atmospheric CO2 (a known and proven greenhouse gas) continuously upward before. To understand what that will do, we cannot turn to a study of past ice ages and interglacial warm periods. They do not fit the new model

@cprevite By what logic would you think you can pump 29 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air each year with no effect. It is a known greenhouse gas and has a 38 year half life in the atmosphere. That means that half the CO2 we add each year will still be in the atmosphere 38 years from today. Obviously, that will keep acculturating. See the chart of atmospheric CO2 buildup in recent time for proof.

@BhacSsylan and @ragingloli Thanks for GAs.

Cruiser's avatar

I see a lot of jellies have said GW is a fact….show them please! Experts would love to see them too!

Climate forcing agents as it is known is what has been driving the Climategate school of thought.

From Wiki….New studies on climate forcing agents not conventionally considered have, however, raised doubts as to the continued viability of the radiative forcing concept. For example, the climatic effects from light-absorbing aerosols or land-use changes do not lend themselves to quantification using the traditional radiative forcing concept. Aerosol effects on clouds are difficult to describe in terms of simple radiative forcing. These challenges have raised the question of whether the radiative forcing concept has outlived its usefulness and, if so, what new climate change metrics should be used.

That being said and as I usually do, I dig a little deeper and found a study/report/analysis on the uncertainties of this climate/radioactive forcings by the…

Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects on Climate

Climate Research Committee

Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate

Division on Earth and Life Studies



and they kinda don’t think that the data surrounding this concept is really relevant given the short term actual data and the supplied proxy data isn’t all that it adds up to be…

New studies on climate forcing agents not conventionally considered have, however, raised doubts as to the continued viability of the radiative forcing concept. For example, the climatic effects from light-absorbing aerosols or land-use changes do not lend themselves to quantification using the traditional radiative forcing concept. Aerosol effects on clouds are difficult to describe in terms of simple radiative forcing. These challenges have raised the question of whether the radiative forcing concept has outlived its usefulness and, if so, what new climate change metrics should be used.

So they are looking for new ways to quantify climate data and our reliance on estimates since the 1700’s or the beginning of the industrial revolution may very well be a natural occurring temp swing as has been since the earth was created. These other forces could be orbital issues and other naturally occurring physical forces, such as volcanic or organic in nature. In a sense experts on both sides simply don’t know enough to really drive legislation in how we should or should not conduct ourselves.

Anyone really invested in either side of the equation here really should read for yourself the conclusions in this study starting on page 100 here (it’s a free read ignore the request for payment and keep hitting the page arrows) and especially look at the global emissions chart predictions on pgs 102 and 103 and see we do have a monster of an “issue” at hand and clearly steps do need to be taken but how big and how fast is still clearly unknown.

My take away is this climate issue is one of the biggest political footballs ever and to approach the subject matter first and foremost as such. Follow the money!!!

Nullo's avatar

Not really and not really. Potential, certainly—we need but look at Venus—but not the bogeyman that Gore was painting it as.

josie's avatar

For starters, what is the ideal temperature of the Earth? When was it reached? When was it surpassed? What is the evidence that any such change is actually harmful to the Earth in the first place? Or, in the long run, to mankind? So sorry, but change in ambient temperature is part of the deal on Earth. There seems to be evidence of, again, a rise in ambient temperature on Earth. It was the last big warming spell that improved agriculture in Europe so much that people who once scrabbled to merely survive began to have enough surplus to imagine that they did not need a King anymore, and thus was born the notion of the soveriegn individual that led to the Declaration of Independence. Perhaps mankind does make some contribution to this change. So what. Only the most extreme hubris would allow a particular species to imagine that they could alter the course of natural events when THEY THEMSELVES are offspring of “Mother Nature” and are thus limited to what they can do by Mother’s own laws. It is in the nature of man to tinker with his physical surroundings. If it comes to pass that mankind must destroy himself, rather than wait for an asteroid or supernova or something, then mankind will do it one way or another. Imagining a dreamy return to the halcyon days before the Industrial Revolution does not change the species. The biggest problem that I see with the people of the Industrialized world is not whether or not they are causing global warming. It is their collective low self esteem, imagining that they are an evil presence on Earth, combined with stunning arrogance that they can actually compete with the juggernaut of natural history. A waste of time, money and lives.

cookieman's avatar

@ETpro: What the hell are you on about? I never even referenced any of what you cited. Perhaps you mean someone else.

ETpro's avatar

@Cruiser The follow the money argument is a loser for you. First, who funds a study has nothing to do with whether its conclusions are accurate. If funding always corrupted studies, most of modern medicine would be a hoax because medical industries paid for the double-blind studies. We know that penicillin and most modern drusgs work, however.

Worse, let us do follow the money if you want to insist that’s edifying in every case. The worldwide alternative energy industry last year was $400 billion. In contrast, the fossil fuel industry totales $27 trillion. So if money does corrupt science, it is FAR more likely its corrupting the denier camp’s press releases and not these of the IPCC.

The National Academies has a name suspiciously close to The National Academy of Science. The anti tobacco junk science effort routinely used the tactic of founding prestigous sounding organizations with a few paid PhDs on board to sew doubt about legitimate scientific inquiry that jeopardized the lucrative industry’s profits. I am not saying this group is that. I don’t know. But the climate forcing issues they cite have long since been investigated and dismissed as not the cause of what we have seen in climate change in the past 100 years.

@josie If the warnings of climatologists are right, we will witness flooding in all the major coastal cities and towns of earth in this century. If sea temperatures rise enough to begin melting the methane hydrate on the sea floor and releasing the methane trapped in frozen tundras, we can expect all the earth’s great ice masses to melt within 100 years, raising sea levels 200 feet and drying up many of the world’s great rivers. We can expect storms to be far more potent and damaging. If there is only a 25% chance of that happening, it is definitely worth switching from fossil fuels as quickly as we can. Even with no such threat, fossil fuel use is siphoning #1,000,000,000 a day from the USA and threatening our national security.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t care whether man is a contributor or not to global warming. Everything we are supposed to do to help manmade global warming sound like a good idea to me anyway, I don’t need that scare tactic added on. Why is anyone ok with raping the earth, polluting the air, being dependent on other nations, and giving money every month to big corporations and big government.

I do lean towards believing there is truth to global warming being influenced by man, if you make me choose. Why not? Weren’t we destroying the ozone layer? I think a lot of people resisted that idea back in the day, looks like they were right.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

the seas will turn to blood
3 days of darkness
increase in knowledge
Terrorism, Violence, Evil, Falling Away From The Faith
Middle East Tension
The Spread of Nuclear Weapons
The Revived Roman Empire
Return of the Jews To Their Land
Israel As A Nation with Jerusalem As The Capital

the end

Cruiser's avatar

@ETpro Sorry I should have been more specific in to me follow the money I mean follow “Who” is using these studies and the data sets to further their agenda as in “politically” influenced agenda and you almost always will find someone waiting to make big bucks on the policy changes proposed. This issue IMO is all about the money…who will gain and who will lose and both sides IMO could give a rats ass about the carbon emissions and if they do it is because they stand to make coin from it big time coin. The worst part is the politicians who hang their hat on this issue because they feel they need it to ensure their re-election bid.

Also to clarify your suspicion is unfounded as they are part of them…the report is the real deal and even commissioned by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) who is front and center on the Climategate issue.

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

Support for this project was provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under Contract No. NASW-01008. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

warn people help rehabilitate people and all will be fine

JLeslie's avatar

@daytonamisticrip Are you sure you are answering the right question? I have no idea what you are talking about. Your first answer sounds like some biblical prophecy.

ETpro's avatar

@Cruiser I looked further into the National Academy. They are definitely the NAS. My apologies on suspicions. But here is the Nationa Reasearch Council’s 2001 statement. “The changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities, but we cannot rule out that some significant part of these changes is also a reflection of natural variability. Human-induced warming and associated sea level rises are expected to continue through the 21st century… The IPCC’s conclusion that most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations accurately reflects the current thinking of the scientific community on this issue.”

Qingu's avatar

Earth does get warmer and cooler by itself.

Humans are speeding up the process, and it’s dangerous.

This really isn’t that complicated. Think of it this way: your living room gets hotter during the summer and cooler during the winter. But if you burn a fire in your living room in the fall, it’s going to get hotter, fast, and in a dangerous way.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

pollution = global warming + many particles in the air = block out the sun = 3 days of darkness= end

Qingu's avatar

@Cruiser, what do you mean by “Climategate”? There was no scandal.

Qingu's avatar

@daytonamisticrip, are you talking about the end times from Revelation? I could have sworn that was about the Roman emperor at the time.

josie's avatar

@ETpro I will make a deal with you or anybody else that buys into the Global Warming hysteria. I will join your team and talk your talk as long as you agree not to take this “problem” to the government so that they can use it as an excuse to steal more of my money and exert more control over my life.
Because that is what has happened to the Global Warming debate.
It is no longer a discussion of our (human) habits and choices, but instead it has become one more avenue for the materialist statist Marxists in our midst to have their way with a hopeful but all too often naive population. It was bad enough when they took power by the application of violence. You know it is a problem when people actually start ELECTING such folks. So anyway, you want Global Warming, you can have it without argument. Just keep those assholes in government off my back.

JLeslie's avatar

@josie The thing is nothing changes if the government doesn’t do something to help it along. People are reluctant to change, and government is not the only entity in power, big business is also. I hate them both at times. But, the corporations have little to no incentive to do the right thing if it will negatively impact their bottom line.

Cruiser's avatar

@Qingu You are asking the wrong guy as it is news to me and this is not my thread and was presented as such by @ETpro in the body of the question!

Maybe you can answer your question here

Cruiser's avatar

My own opinion on this matter as a response to @ETpro original question is that global warming and climate change are related but 2 distinctly separate issues and need to be approached as such.

Man obviously has had an impact on this planet and anyone who says otherwise is insane. That being said the biggest question is what do we intend to do about this rampant abuse of our planet and atmosphere?? Some quite obvious solutions are right in front of us others not so.

The biggest sticking point to either issue is for the better part of 200 years the industrialized and specifically the Western World has had their way with regards to pollution and only recently got a conscious over this pollution abuse. The rest of the world is finally catching up to us and wanting their crack at industrializing their countries and want to do so with the same disregard we had the luxury of….it’s only fair! Right?

I digress…I would like to know who is willing to get on board to pay their fair share in higher costs for everything we buy to help “pay” for the damage that has been done and minimize any future preventable abuse. The cost will be high…very high!

josie's avatar

@JLeslie So what good is a nice cool Earth when you are a slave to the State, and it’s capricious whims? I will take a hot Earth, shrinking coaslines etc before I let myself be subjected to the American version of the Cultural Revolution, or the Taliban. Anyway, what exactly has the government ever done that makes you or anybody else think that they suddenly have become competent. They effectively caused of the global economic problem. Are you really willing enough to let them have the whole Earth?

TooBlue's avatar

No matter who or what causes global warming, we can’t slow it. Even stopping all atmospheric pollution right now, the carbon dioxide will remain in the air for the next 100 years (can’t remember the exact figure). Why fight something you can’t win? We’re human, we think we can do and solve anything if we put our minds to it, which is good I guess…but maybe a little naive.

JLeslie's avatar

@josie Why is it all or none for you? No one wants to be a slave to the state. We don’t want to be slaves to anyone. People are slaves to their jobs right now if they have an illness that needs ongoing treatment and they will lose health coverage if they change jobs.

The public school system is something overall the government did right, athough very criticised lately, overall it has been a great thing for America. If we had left that solely to the private sector we would be like the third world. Affording everyone a basic education is part of what makes us a great country. I think the federal government should be more involved in having basic standards across all states then it is now.

Regulations I am happy about would be a huge list. OSHA, minimum wage, safety regulations on consumer goods, standards for medication, the list could go on.

The governement has screwed up stuff also, and some programs and regulations need modifcation or to be dumped altogether, but a blanket statement that everything the governent does is a mess, bad for the people, and enslaves people, is just too simplistic andnot true in my opinion.

josie's avatar

@JLeslie I really do not want to get into a fight, so I will leave my last comment, and I promise to read yours.
No one is a slave to a job in the USA. It is certainly true that changing jobs and everything that it involves represents in some cases a very tough decisions, but facing tough choices and being a slave are two different things.
The public education system has, because of government, gradually and progressively lowered academic standards until the US does not hold its own in math, science and reasoning skills in the industrialized world. These are the true “head courses” in school, and they have been neglected in order to make under achievers feel good, and thus imagine, because their reasoning skills are diminished, that the government is doing a good job.
Every regulation costs you (or somebody else) just a little bit more of the fruits of their efforts in order to support the corresponding bureaucracy. Since we are mortal, we only have so much effort to give. At some theoretical point, we could conceivably give our last mortal twitch to the State. There is NOTHING WRONG with the government being a clearing house for data and warning and advising people about medications, safety, consumer goods etc. But when the government actually controls the market, we no longer are informed consumers, asking probing questions in the market place and leaving to starve the charletons and cheats in our midst. We are simply helpless children, hoping our Fearless Leader, President Whomever, is looking out for us. But of course, he is not. And now we become vulnerable, less discriminating , less wise, falsely assured, and ripe for the government to offer us more “help”.
The minimum wage is a guarantee that somebody is not getting a job who otherwise might in a free labor market. It is a promise that some consumer goods and services will become more expensive, which means that one more person will not be able to pay for them. Which means one more demand for someone else to give up their money to the government to make up for the shortfall. Which means that just a little more of my (and your) mortal stuff is property of the State.
And just what is a “minimum wage”. Why not get it over with and establish the National Wage, the salary that each and every one of us is given no matter what we do? But I suspect that many folks, for example minimum wage earners who someday would like to be wealthy, would get a little nervous about that. But what is the difference? If you can make a moral case for establishing by fiat one level of compensation, why not the whole thing. Once you do a little version of something bad, it is much easier to do a bigger version. The government does it all the time. Since the minimum wage keeps going up, when does it stop. When indeed. It is when everybody is paid the same, by government directive.
Not for me.

JLeslie's avatar

@josie We can agree to disagree if you want. I feel like you look at the extremes. I don’t want the extremes either, I want a balance, I don’t want the government wildly out of control and all powerful. Since you said you don’t want to get into an argument I am fine with letting it lie, or I can respond to some of your points, up to you.

ipso's avatar

Strictly speaking, I have to answer “No”, to the question “Do you believe global warming is manmade and a threat to our future?”

Because, as worded, it sounds like global warming is 100% man made, or even significantly man made; and “threat to our future” can be easily construed as “threat to eliminating humanity on earth”.

However, I would respond Yes” to any of the following questions:

“Are humans tipping the natural balance of global temperature into the unknown which unfortunately, but quite realistically, could have monumental chaotic negative effects to our finely tuned eco systems, possibly killing tens of billions of individual instances of animal and plant life? YES. “Will there be more than a Billion people on earth who could not care less, as long as they continue to get their daily consumer fix?” YES

“Are humans fucking up the earth by almost every conceivable means for ravenous short term selfish profit (under the myth of unlimited growth) at the expense of everything reasonable and sound for long term sustainability, and are American’s most responsible for this state of global affairs, and thus most responsible for pulling us out of the eco/resource nosedive?” YES.

Is over population of humans in the eco system the single most important problem facing humanity – and the root cause for almost all human problems imaginable related to human suffering projected for the future? YES.

Will humanity look back in utter shame and profound crying sadness at the gluttonous wanton destruction and wrath our industrial technology fed era had on our eco systems worldwide? YES! Will there be a billion people who could not care less if a forest exists, as long as they can be “fiscally successful”? YES

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Please read @ipso ‘s ^^ answer again and reflect on what we are leaving for our descendants if we act as if human activity has not contributed significant to environmental changes that will drastically degrade the quality of life on this planet, our home.

The preexisting cycles are real but nothing has more dramatically altered the balance between plant and animal life on Earth than human activity.

Do we know everything about how these cycles work and how our activity has and will influence them? No, but that is no excuse for not taking responsibility for what humans have and are still doing to the environment and to climatic variation.

If we allow our impacts to increase or continue as is, our descendant will reap the whirlwinds of our ignorance, greed and laziness.

We can argue if we are currently seeing hints of the effects that are yet to come but that does no good!

Join with your friends and neighbours and your community to actively make changes to reduce our deleterious impact on the environment. This is better than continuing to dig graves to bury our descendants before their time.

rooeytoo's avatar

Wow, how things change in a short time. The last time this question was asked, many of those now saying man is __influencing__ the trend before said it was __absolutely positively__ the entire fault of man.

It is comforting to know that the absoluters are not as absolute as they used to be.

As I said the last time, I am not convinced that it is caused completely by man and his fossil fuels and cows and their methane, but it doesn’t matter. All humans should be doing their best to reduce their footprint on the earth. Stop buying anything packaged in plastic, if it sat in the sun it will probably kill you long before the oceans consume the land masses and you drown. The list of what individuals can do is endless.

So just do it!

gondwanalon's avatar

So many people seem to know all the facts and answers about topics such as this. Over the years the buzz was about global cooling…global waming…climate change..and now climate disruption. I don’t know the answers or who is right or wrong. Ice ages and huge inland seas have hit the middle of the U.S.A. twice before man was around. I doubt that man can stop such events should they present themselves again. We are just hapless riders on spaceship Earth. We really know only our own missfortune. Enjoy the ride people while it lasts!

ETpro's avatar

@josie I don’t buy the idea that all people working in private enterprise are perfect paragons of virtue, but the moment they transfer into elected office, they become the personification of evil. We have a long history in the USA to tell us that’s not so. In fact, the abuses of the British East India Company manipulating world tea prices were part of what touched off the Revolutionary War and gave birth to this nation. We have the robber barons(industrialist), the trust busting that Teddy Roosevelt and Taft had to do, the West Virginia Coal Mine Wars, wild leveraged speculation that led to the market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression, he Savings and Loan bailouts of the 1980s, The Exxon Valdez disaster, Enron, Worldcom, Bernie Madoff, the Great Recession we’re still digging our way out of… Knowing all that history, I can’t argue that government should just get out of the way and let the saintly fat cats of Wall Street do whatever they want.

When we saw rivers start catching on fire, acid rain killing our forests, people with respiratory difficulties dying on smoggy days in LA, and a wave of cancers from the chemicals Hooker Chemical Company had been dumping in Love Canal; most of us felt it was time for the government to act to clean up industry’s act. We passed tough new environmental laws, and we’ve made great strides through them. The Cuyahoga River is now safe for fishing and recreation. Acid rain has been greatly reduced and forests are recovering. Even smoggy LA has much cleaner air today than back in the 1970s.

But I would be thrilled if we could transition from sending $1 billion a day overseas for foreign oil to meeting our energy needs right here with clean, renewable resources; and we could do that through private enterprise. All it takes to do that is a technology breakthrough, and there are many very bright people searching for the breakthrough that will let us do that.

ETpro's avatar

@Cruiser Actually, if the government were to institute cap-and-trade in a well thought out way, the revenues sale of carbon credits generate will just about offset any increase in electricity costs. It’s not possible to predict how close they will come to doing so. That depends on the pace of technological developments in alternative energy. If we get real lucky, the rebates the government will pass on to consumers will actually lower their energy bills. But the revenue rebate will certainly make the migration

The advantage of fossil fuels is not a permanent thing anyway. The day is fast approaching when some clean, renewable energy will be far cheaper than oil or coal. And making carbon emissions cost more is a market-driven way to get there sooner rather than later. I far prefer that to the government picking its favorite technology and just dictating its use.

@josie I believe you will find that Wall Street building up $63 trillion in highly leveraged derivatives, much of it repackaged mortgage debt, is what caused the Great Recession we just experienced. Massive deregulation is why it was even possible for that to happen. Taking government out of everything is not a way to Camelot. Rather than a dream world of prefection you get something like Somalia when you do that.

If the wording of the question suggested that all global temperature change is man made, I worded it incredibly inartfully. I certainly do not believe anything of the sort. Climate change has, as best as we can tell, been with us form the beginning of time. THere have been ice ages and interglacial warm periods. The concern is that man in altering the natural thermostat that keeps the planet from getting too hot or too cold. If we keep turning up the thermostat year after year for hundreds of years, there is no model for what happens. And our best scientific guesses about what happens are pretty foreboding.

@TooBlue We can change it. We made great improvements in reducing acid rain. Our rivers that were poison are now safe for swimming and fishing. The atmospheric half life of CO2 is 38 years. So yes, it will take time for it to all get back to normal levels, but the sooner we start reducing CO2 emissions, the sooner we;ll stop the warming.

Nullo's avatar

@Qingu Revelations is about The End. No Roman Emperors need apply.

Jabe73's avatar

Just the fact the polar ice caps have receded is obvious proof of global warming itself. I remember looking at 2 seperate pictures in my newspaper that clearly showed a shrinking arctic ice cap when you compared the pictures from 1982 to 2002. I’m still not sure what has caused it for I havn’t researched this.

LostInParadise's avatar

With or without global warming, we are trashing the planet. Anthropocene Era Our way of life is not sustainable. Something has to give. And I do believe in global warming. It is just too much of a coincidence that we are seeing temperatures that have not been around for thousands of years.

The only good news in this is that the measures that can be taken to correct things will do quite a bit to make our lives more livable in every way – People concentrated in small cities following the principles of New Urbanism, with mass transportation and designed to encourage pedestrian traffic; restoration of natural environments; localization of economies and government.

ETpro's avatar

@Jabe73 Global glacial retreat is happening in nearly every glacial flow on Earth.

The largest current exception is the sea ice on one side of Antarctica, which is actually increasing due to larger snowfalls, which themselves are driven by climate change. However, Antarctic land ice is melting, and the melt rate is accelerating.

Glacial Collapse waves are devastating floods that happen when a melting glacier ‘s ice wall crumbles and collapses into the melt lake, pushing a tsunami across the lake and over the escarpment containing it to send a massive flash flood down the lake’s river. Glacial Collapse waves are now more frequent. Through the early 20th century there was 1 every 10 years. Since 2000, there’s been once every 3 years and in this decade there will be one every year.

Qingu's avatar

@Nullo, it’s Revelation, not Revelations.

Ron_C's avatar

I suspect that global warming is a fact. It is caused by everything from volcano activity and sun cycles to excess carbon monoxide in the atmosphere. I would guess that when there was more carbon monoxide in the atmosphere than oxygen, the plants that sequestered the carbon would object to reducing the carbon in the atmosphere.

Now we have large industrial interests that object to reducing those omissions because of possible profit losses. That doesn’t make the issue less critical but does muddy the waters of reason with false arguments and publicity campaigns.

The oil spill is releasing untold carbon into the atmosphere darkening the water to increase heat absorption from the sun, besides the obvious damages to beaches, marsh land, and animal life. The corporate inclination is to ignore all of that and keep drilling.

Unfortunately, the majority of congress is bought and paid for by the same people that say climate change does not exist and any change is natural.

Volcanoes are natural too, it doesn’t mean that we don’t monitor them and get out of the way when they start to erupt. The only logical thing to do is to err on the side of caution, like a doctor. In all cases, do no harm. The worst that can happen if we act to reduce carbon emission is to change the balance in big business. The worst that happen if we do nothing is destroy the planet for our children.

So the question boils down to who is more important you children or Exxon? The consensus to the conservatives seems to be “Exxon, of course”.

ipso's avatar

“Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain”

“And all the children are insane.” –Jim Morrison

Jabe73's avatar

@ETpro Thank you for the links.

Cruiser's avatar

Gee @ETpro this is where I exit the thread, you used “Government” and “well thought out” in the same sentence!

ETpro's avatar

@Cruiser Ha! I know that’s asking for a lot. But government is no more inherently stupid than private enterprise or individuals. It is, after all, made up of people.

Cruiser's avatar

@ETpro True! But when I pay someones salary I expect them to perform and at least earn their paycheck! To quote Bill and Ted…“Bogus”!!

ETpro's avatar

@Cruiser Had any experience with the Phone company, have ya? :-)

Cruiser's avatar

@ETpro No…they are quite reliable around here…Sat TV or WiFI!! Not enough time to vent tonight!

Ron_C's avatar

@Cruiser and @ETpro and instructor once told me that intelligence of an organization is the inverse of the number of its members.and it looks like the intelligence starts to drop when there are about 100 people involved.

The thing that keeps it under semi-control is the mission and limiting leadership. The result is that a big organization like a health insurance company, whose mission is to make money and has a captive market will have a bunch of middle managers dedicated to saving money and reducing costs regardless of the effects on its clients.

A similar government agency has the same problems but there are two differences, their mission is to deliver health care, and the middle managers are concerned with delivering that service as easily as possible. That doesn’t prevent them from doing really stupid things but they would tend to err in the direction of providing service. Another important distinction is their clients have recourse to use the law and representatives to force the issue and gain better control of the agency.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why a voter would reject a single payer system over a profit motivated one.

ETpro's avatar

@Ron_C There are some services that private enterprise is very good at delivering. Health insurance is decidedly not one of them. Just about every single-payer system on earth delivers far better health care to 100% of its people for about half the cost-per-person our for profit insurers get to leave 15% of the population uninsured.

Cruiser's avatar

@ETpro I have not been able to find examples that bear out what you just said. Help me understand.

Ron_C's avatar

@ETpro the secret to responsible private enterprise is reasonable regulation. The banking industry did quite well until the attack or regulation was started by Reagan, Air Traffic Control did quite well until Reagan killed the unions, American industries like Steel, TV and Appliance manufacturing, and the textile industry did quite well until regulation and level playing field effect of tariffs were removed. The worst thing that happened to the Middle class is the “free trade” agreements that were made without protections to our own industry.

@Cruiser none of the “free trade” agreements delivered as promised. Every agree make reduced middle class jobs and increased executive jobs and salaries. Every regulatory agency has been compromised and made impotent. From the FDA to the SEC and even American Prison system has sold out to administrators that believe government is ineffective and they set out to prove it.

We now have a Homeland Security Administration that is definitely anti-American, anti-freedom, and anti-middle class.

There is so much to fix and so little getting accomplished except for the protection of big banks and multinational corporations.

ETpro's avatar

@Cruiser The WHO surveyed healthcare delivery worldwide. They rated it not based on subjective standards ,but on strictly objective measurements of outcomes. The metrics were life expectancy, deaths per thousand from preventable causes, deaths per thousand in childbirth and infant mortality. The USA rated #37 in the world, just behind Costa Rica and ahead of Slovenia. France is number one. France covers 100% of their people. Even tourists visiting the country are covered while there. They do it with a single payer system. In onther words, Medicare for everyone.Instead of paying premiums to a for-profit private insurrer, you pay premiums in your taxes and the government reimburses medical expenses. And where the US devotes 17% of our Gross Domestic Product to healthcare costs and leaves 15% of our people with no coverage, France gets the top coverage in the world for 100% of its citizens with just 10% of its GDP devoted to healthcare costs.

In fact, the top 10 nations in healthcare outcomes all have single-payer systems. Note that single-payer does not necessarily mean that doctors and hospitals work for the government. In France and most of the other top healthcare systems, the providers are still private enterprise. The government just serves as the insurer. All are far less expensive in terms of GDP devoted to healthcare, deliver far better outcomes, and cover allo their people and in many cases even visitors.

Conservative, if you look it up in the dictionary, means preferring tried-and-true solutions. So the town hall bellowers who sought to ensure our failing system staeyd on track to go bankrupt were not conservatives, they were radicals who had been conned into shilling for a very profitable health insurance industry in the USA.

DocteurAville's avatar

Absolutely man made. If we keep burning fossil fuels at this rate, which tends to increase we are doomed. Imagine every chinese has a automobile in 15 years. Now, imagine 20% of them running on 12 cylinder automobiles…

There are many ways to produce energy without producing crazy gazes –question is, do we look at it seriously? The oil companies have congress on their pockets and possibly 100 years down the road this planet will in very bad shape.

The interesting thing is, we lack the will to change as we like to go around on our Cadillacs… Why we do that? Because none of us will be around to pay the bill – your grand sons and daughters will have to deal with it.

Shame on you !

mattbrowne's avatar

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.

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