Home > Uncategorized > Global Warming in the Driveway… Again

Global Warming in the Driveway… Again

This isn’t a post claiming global warming is bunk because it’s cold out, i do know the difference between climate and weather.

In case you don’t, climate is aggregate weather. That’s the simplest way to put it.

The only thing I want to do is ask a question of those that think global warming is man made or something we should try and intervene with. What would change your mind?

It’s a fair question. I’ll answer the opposite question just to be a nice guy. What would make me change my mind? Evidence. Show me evidence that the negligible increase in global temperature, gleaned from suspect measurement sites is a direct result of human activity. I just don’t see it.

As a student of history I can tell you there have been many ups and downs in human history, many of them more drastic than what we see today and all of them prior to the internal combustion engine. I’m not quite as informed on modern history but I know that during the period of WW2 global temperatures went down slightly, while CO2 output sky rocketed.

Of course there are things that point to humans having a role in these “higher” temps. Among them a net temperature increase over the time period since the industrial revolution. We also have ice core samples and other things that show a correlation between CO2 levels and global temperature. The problem is that correlation isn’t causation.

The big debate here isn’t over whether you think that it is our fault or that it isn’t our fault. It’s not about whether you think the whole thing is a hoax or not. The big debate is over what to do about it.

I say nothing, either way. Keep doing what we are doing and move to cleaner forms of energy as they become cheaper, don’t rush.

There are a lot of people who would rather we pour money into the pit that is renewable energy. RIGHT NOW, CAN’T WAIT. Shut down the power plants or takes steps that would make that energy prohibitively expensive. Stop driving. Stop raising livestock.

Cripple society on behalf of something that is far from proven. PROVEN. That doesn’t mean show correlation, that means direct observations, of which there are none.

 

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. 2011/02/03 at 18:06

    I presume your citation of measurement sites comes from that fellow who claimed a number of sites were subject to particular fluctuations and were not representative. As I recall, some simple statistics using the actual data from those sites slapped that one down. And as for the “negligible increase in global temperature”, it’s driven by the “negligible” increase in oceanic temperatures. Since water has such a high specific heat capacity, it means a lot when it warms up or cools down.

    And where CO2 is concerned, it is causative. We absolutely are pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere and as a result contributing to the greenhouse gas effect.

  2. 2011/02/03 at 18:27

    I’m not talking about the small number of sites found to be complete garbage. I’m talking about the sites they make corrections to and it’s a ton of them. It makes them better, but still garbage.

    No one disputes whether or not CO2 is a greenhouse gas. What I dispute is whether our particular contribution is responsible for all of the increase. Given that there are thousands of variables at work, not just the levels of CO2 and methane and the like, I feel it really isn’t worth destroying the developed world.

    Particularly given the possibility that if we were able to remove all of what we claim to be our influence we might still find the world one half of a degree Celsius warmer.

    If you want to talk about a ‘consensus’, lets remember that a person can be smart, people are almost always the opposite. Keep that consensus, there was a general consensus that Einstein was wrong about relativity before WW1, we all know how that turned out, Newton was partially dethroned.

  3. 2011/02/04 at 01:04

    Of course the CO2 we contribute is adding to the increase in temperature. There isn’t some other mystical source that’s adding to the environment; it’s us. I think most denialists even admit that. Then the question is whether or not that is why the climate is warming, and again, of course. By adding a greenhouse gas, we increase the greenhouse effect, thereby increasing the temperature, especially as it pertains to the oceans.

  4. 2011/02/04 at 04:54

    You think that CO2 is the only thing that effects global temperature?

  5. 2011/02/04 at 11:19

    Yeah it doesn’t help that their dire warnings keep failing to materialize.

    The interesting aspect of this is that a number global warming predictions are coming due – should the effects fail to materialize, the science will only cause skepticism to continue to grow.

  6. 2011/02/05 at 19:04

    Hello, I’ve just happened upon your place and thought I’d give your questions a shot. You asked…

    What would change your mind?

    Relative certainty that we’re not destroying the world by our actions.

    You continued…

    I’ll answer the opposite question just to be a nice guy. What would make me change my mind? Evidence.

    For the record, I’m not a scientist. Science is not my area of expertise. I’ll gladly own up to that. I do think, though, that I’m a rational guy and can understand some basic evidence by what I see with my own eyes and read.

    Also for the record, I don’t know if global climate change is impacted by humanity. It seems the bulk of scientists agree that it is, but that does not mean that it is.

    What I DO know with relative certainty is that human activity impacts the environment every day and in destructive ways. If I walk outside, I see my city is sheathed in concrete to better accommodate the personal auto that our policies and subsidies are encouraging. I can see that this concrete sheath helps pour toxins into our waterways and heats up our cities. I can see the personal autos we’re driving is dirtying our skies with enough toxins to cause some of our sickest people to have to stay inside some days or risk dying.

    This is not a good thing and I am opposed to furthering the damage done to ourselves and this world by our pollution.

    So, given that I can SEE that our behavior is impacting the environment, it’s not a big step to think that perhaps those scientists who believe there is a human impact contributing to climate change might have a point.

    Regardless, the possibility that human actions contribute to global climate problems is just ONE more reason for thinking our policies need to change. For me to change from THAT opinion would take significant evidence and assurance that we won’t be destroying the world. Evidence that I do not see forthcoming.

    Prudence calls for better reasoning and policy.

  7. 2011/02/05 at 19:05

    “ARE dirtying the skies,” of course, not “IS…”

  8. 2011/02/05 at 19:11

    Nate…

    What I dispute is whether our particular contribution is responsible for all of the increase. Given that there are thousands of variables at work, not just the levels of CO2 and methane and the like, I feel it really isn’t worth destroying the developed world.

    1. I don’t know of any scientists who are saying that human activity is contributing to ALL the increase. Every scientist I have read on the topic says just what you are saying, that there are thousands of variables at work. INCLUDING man-made ones. And that those man-made ones are contributing to global climate change.

    2. I think it might be a big assumption to guess that changing our policies to produce less pollution and CO2 is going to “destroy the developed world.” Is that perhaps a bit of hyperbole? For my part, I think that attempting to live in more responsible and sustainable ways will always be better for the economy, at least in the long-run.

    As I’ve heard pointed out: We need to keep in mind that the economy is a subset of the environment, not the other way around. If we create an unhealthy environment, we will have an unhealthy economy, eventually.

  9. 2011/02/05 at 19:50

    I say “destroy the developed world” because as one IPCC scientist says

    “But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.”

    Every ‘solution’ proposed to ‘stop’ climate change rely on two things:

    1. The willingness of the developed world to place enormous strain on their economies.
    2. Reducing CO2 emissions greatly would fix the problem.

    I can’t see doing number 1 without being absolutely sure of number two. We have to face the fact that science is no longer “pure”. Money influences people there is no money out there for researching alternate explanations, or to weigh exactly how much of this is actually our fault.

    Clearly CO2 does have a role. I would never dispute that. How much of one? I don’t know. I studied history and anthropology in school, I can tell you that the climate has changed many times over the course of recorded history. Sometimes colder, sometimes warmer.

    There are simply too many variables at work for a reasonable person to say: “lets force industry to spend trillions to solve a problem we may not be contributing to in as significantly a way as the recipients of billions in grants”.

    The fact is this is more about punishment than it is about the climate.

  10. 2011/02/05 at 19:52

    And welcome!

  11. 2011/02/05 at 20:01

    Nate…

    Every ‘solution’ proposed to ‘stop’ climate change rely on two things:

    1. The willingness of the developed world to place enormous strain on their economies.

    Again, this sounds like a presumption that I don’t know to be true or that can be supported. If we, for instance, tried to increase fossil fuel taxes so that the price of gas, oil, coal came closer to being their True Cost and not artificially low (as has been pointed out by many), would that destroy our economy or even place “enormous strain” upon it?

    OR, would we collectively change our habits and wise entrepreneurs would come up with other solutions that don’t rely upon cheap fossil fuels?

    I’m of the mind that living more responsibly will always be the most economically sound way of living, in the long run and see no evidence to think that moving away from a fossil fuel economy will be anything but healthy for us along with the rest of the world.

    I live here in the US. I have no desire to punish myself or my family or my community. I know of very few who are coming at this from a punitive point of view (some, yes, but very few).

    From where I sit, our current fossil fuel-based economy is perhaps our greatest strain on our economy. Having and depending upon cheap fossil fuels IS smart – but only if one is looking years or decades into the future. If you are considering the world for our grandchildren, then by all means, we need to remove this strain upon our economy that cheap fossil fuels are placing upon us. Seems to me.

  12. 2011/02/05 at 20:02

    And, thank you!

  13. 2011/02/05 at 20:41

    I agree to a point. The problem is that “alternative” sources of energy are not cost effective yet. The best way to get people to do anything is to make it cheaper.

    If I ever build a house, it will have solar panels. Why? Because while I don’t believe in anthropomorphic global warming, I also don’t believe in electrical bills.

    People will never take a long view on this subject. It’s wonderful to say that we need to think of our grandchildren but what of the people today who can’t afford their heating fuel right now.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “artificially low” gas prices. They aren’t artificially low, they are low because oil is priced in dollars. If you want oil, you must buy it with dollars. Even if gas prices were kept artificially low, is giving the government more money to waste a good idea? Does anyone think that would help the economy?

    You can’t force innovation. Raising the price of gas might spur people to innovate but it would also hurt countless people. I keep insisting that the goal is punishment because none of the solutions that have been proposed internationally have been fair. If their goal is CO2 reduction than the plan should reflect that across the board, not only to developed countries. Why should China have no restrictions while North America and Europe reduce their output drastically and at a severe financial cost.

    We are still assuming that a reduction of CO2 would have any effect at all on global temperatures. Take a look at the Kyoto Protocol. Although it has cost billions and billions of dollars and adversely effected the economies of signatory states, we find that there was no consensus as to whether it would have any effect at all. In fact it clearly hasn’t.

    Even over the last 100 years, some of the points of our highest CO2 output correspond with lower global temperatures. I don’t think it has a cooling effect but certainly that correlation doesn’t seem to be straight forward.

  14. 2011/02/05 at 20:58

    The problem is that “alternative” sources of energy are not cost effective yet. The best way to get people to do anything is to make it cheaper…

    I’m not sure what you mean by “artificially low” gas prices.

    If you don’t mind a link, I can link you to some sources of information on the topic. My point would be that, while it is a flawed economic system (as all economic systems are flawed), I think a regulated capitalism is the best game in town. And for a capitalistic system to work best, we generally need to be paying real costs for things.

    If a widget maker can make his widgets for $10 each responsibly, BUT discovers that by dumping his waste into the stream out back, he can bring down the cost of his widgets to $1 and he starts selling them at $1, he’d make a bundle, BUT ONLY because his widgets are priced artificially low. $1 is NOT the Real Cost of those widgets, he’s passed the Real Cost on to someone else (or everyone else) by dumping his waste into the stream.

    Our gas prices are artificially low because society and the world are bearing a cost that is not being included into the gas price. It has been estimated by many people that the Real Cost of gasoline is somewhere between $5-25/gallon. If we were paying the Real Cost of gasoline, then suddenly “alternative” energy costs would start to look amazingly cheap and the free market could work more effectively.

    The possibility of Anthropogenic Global Climate Change (AGCC) is just one more reason to change our behavior and policies, it seems to me. Given the preponderance of evidence of the harm of fossil fuel over-usage in many areas, this is just one more straw on the camel’s back.

  15. 2011/02/05 at 21:04

    You can’t force innovation. Raising the price of gas might spur people to innovate but it would also hurt countless people. I keep insisting that the goal is punishment because none of the solutions that have been proposed internationally have been fair.

    I don’t guess I’m talking about forcing innovation. I’m talking about finding ways to build in actual costs in the price of things, including fossil fuels. Especially in areas where there is the reality and potential of so much harm. You are right in saying that raising the cost of gas would hurt some people. JUST AS leaving the price of gas artificially low hurts some people.

    Raising the cost of gas would potentially hurt car companies and oil companies. It might hurt the working middle class who have built a dependence upon cheap oil. It might even hurt the poor if we’re not careful, insofar as the cost of heating could go up.

    It could also help people – bike builders, bus builders, mass transit workers, those with lung disease and asthma (ie, the children and elderly and poor, especially).

    On the other hand, leaving the price of gas where it is also hurts people. It hurts those people who are trying to build more sustainable technologies. It hurts those with lung diseases and asthma.

    It’s a trade-off, but a reasonable one. The free market will find a way to compensate. It always has.

  16. 2011/02/05 at 22:44

    The issue you seem to be missing, the one that is the biggest for me, is how these solutions treat the third world.

    They focus on “wealth distribution” instead of addressing the perceived problem.

    If the third world is unregulated while everyone else go ahead and move to more expensive forms of energy production than the result will simply be the exportation of jobs and production. As you say, the free market will find a way.

  17. 2011/02/05 at 23:47

    To whom much has been given, much will be expected, at least one wise person has noted.

    We are in probably the best position to lead the way in reducing our hyper-consumption of resources and finding more sustainable options, at least that is what seems reasonable to me.

    As to how any proposed solutions treat the Third World, I guess I would have to have some specifics. I’m speaking in generalities and principles.

  18. 2011/02/06 at 07:32

    Hey, if they prove that human impact is by far the biggest contribute to a change in the climate than by all means, lets spend ruinous amounts of money to stop doing that.

    Where as right no they simply have no other explanation than man’s impact, It’s premature to do anything.

    And yes everyone should expect more from America. But only because we do the most. If you are requiring cuts to 1990 levels minus 5.2% on CO2 emissions in the developed world, than don’t try to tell me its fine if the third world doesn’t do that. In that case everyone can go to hell and I’ll start burning tires in my back yard to even things back out.

  19. 2011/02/06 at 08:33

    Nate…

    If you are requiring cuts to 1990 levels minus 5.2% on CO2 emissions in the developed world, than don’t try to tell me its fine if the third world doesn’t do that. In that case everyone can go to hell and I’ll start burning tires in my back yard to even things back out.

    Wouldn’t that be a bit immature and irrational?

    As to the specifics, I’d have to see the specifics. IF they were requiring the developed world (which has had decades to get wealthy irresponsibly by over-using artificially cheap fossil fuels) to cut back first, leading the way in more sustainable living, then that would only seem right and fair.

    It would not be a good (for them or us) in the long run for the Third World to employ irresponsible methods of growth, any more than it was for us to do so, but as a temporary chance to “catch up,” maybe it would be justified.

    Your burning tires in your back yard (and thus adding toxins to your and MY air) would only be punishing yourself and your neighbors and your neighbors would be justified in turning you in to the authorities for dangerous/unhealthy behavior. Then you’d go to jail.

    I don’t see that as a rational or adult response. I’m willing to bet that was just a little joke to blow off steam, eh?

  20. 2011/02/06 at 08:54

    Of course it was a little joke, the black smoke would be a give away that I was up to no good I imagine. I wouldn’t go to jail though, a fine would be likely.

    If it needs to be done than it needs to be done by all. If too bad for the environment for us to do it than it’s just too bad.

    If it can be allowed in place A than it should be allowed in place B. Otherwise, it amounts to punishing the developed world for being developed.

    When clean power becomes the cheaper option than it will replace what we have, but like I said, we can’t force that kind of innovation just by being restrictive. At this point the only thing these kind of selective restrictions accomplish is hamstringing us while permitting countries with no environmental restrictions do as they please in the name of “catching up”.

  21. 2011/02/06 at 08:59

    Another good question is how much money would be lost that is currently given in aid to the developing world? By placing restrictions on industry tax revenue would certainly fall, reducing the amount the “west” is willing to give to actually develops cleaner ways in the developing world.

    Like I said the biggest problem is simply going to be the export of dirty industry to places where they can do what they want. Outside of our currently pretty strict regulation.

  22. 2011/02/06 at 11:15

    Nate…

    By placing restrictions on industry tax revenue would certainly fall

    You keep making presumptions about the doom and gloom that would befall the economy if we started living more responsibly. I don’t know that I believe it. “Would certainly fall??” You’d have to produce some sort of evidence before I could find that believable.

  23. 2011/02/06 at 19:31

    What more evidence do you need other than the fact that requiring billions if not trillions in spending by companies won’t drive many out of business or out of the country? To less restrictive third world countries with no labor laws. Not all, and I never said it would collapse the economy, but it wouldn’t help it stay competitive.

  24. 2011/02/07 at 06:49

    Something other than a hunch. Policies ALWAYS have effects on companies. If a change of policies hurts the business of some car companies, it will help the business of other companies (bikes, mass transit, electric car companies, etc).

    I’d have to see something other than a hunch by a fella on the internet (no offense) that such policies would have an overall detrimental effect, especially when I know that the current policies are already having an overall detrimental effect.

    Look, your premise on this post was…

    I’ll answer the opposite question just to be a nice guy. What would make me change my mind? Evidence.

    I’m just saying the same thing. You want me to believe that these policies will have an overall negative effect? You’d have to provide some evidence.

    The evidence is already there that current policies do have a negative effect (AGCC being just another possible reason on top of all the other more certain reasons). So, I’m inclined to change our policies towards more responsible ones unless I see compelling evidence that it’s not a good idea.

  25. 2011/02/25 at 11:15

    I loved the article but the debate beneath it was an even better read!

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