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Author Topic: Global warming, I need an answer  (Read 11449 times)

Offline Jonathan

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Global warming, I need an answer
« on: March 12, 2007, 08:39:44 PM »
Bear with me here as I try and ask this question.  In regards to the global warming debate, I get why the industries and therefore the politicians that represent them are fighting against it for at least the short term reasons of costs and legislation that will hurt them.  What I don't get is what do these same people think the so called "liberal radical left" will get out of it? If they really think the left is making it all up, what is the reason?  I am not asking for rhetoric here but some sort of real answer.

I do know it is more than likely it is just their way of keeping the fight going but what do they claim the left has to win by creating the so called myth of global warming?  What evil does Al Gore and company have planned according to Cheney and co.


Offline NYCMacUser

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2007, 08:47:55 PM »
It's all about money. Profit. Shareholders. Big bucks. No-one really believes it is a myth. No-one sees it as a liberal, radical left-wing conspiracy anymore. It is just that the cost of doing business will go up in order to protect the earth. Money. Profit. Capitalism. Same word, different pronunciations. Disgusting.
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Offline enigmacat

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2007, 09:01:00 PM »
Actually, some major corporations are starting to address climate change as a business risk.

Check the "Ethical Consumption" stickie in Local Chat for more information.

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2007, 09:03:08 PM »
I know all this.  But what are they claiming the left will win from this battle.

Offline Melee

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2007, 09:07:59 PM »
AFAIK, nothing sensible. I also wonder what it is the scientists are plotting in this version of the world. As a scientist, I'm insulted not to have been invited to the conspiracy!

This really is the problem, when you start thinking the propaganda through, it falls apart.


Offline megc

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2007, 09:08:52 PM »
Jonathan, this might hold some opinions/links/info that you're looking for:

http://www.redstate.com/blogs/steven_foley/2007/jan/25/global_warming_the_debate_rages_on

I did a search in the site and here are the results:

http://www.redstate.com/search/node/%22global+warming%22

Disclaimer:  I don't read this blog, I just know it exists.

Offline enigmacat

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2007, 09:09:10 PM »
I think NYCMU's got it. There's something about a concept that requires you to make major changes and threatens the way you see the world that is very, very hard to take in.

I don't think I've ever heard anyone claim that liberals will get anything out of it, though. I think they're more likely to dismiss liberals as shrill and paranoid than scheming.

Offline Harlan

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2007, 09:15:14 PM »
Really good question... I think the right sees the left as being anti-capitalism, anti-industry, and in the end, a bunch of hippies who want to live in the woods and eat nuts and berries. Being concerned about global warming is just an excuse to be against big oil and big multinational corporations. If there's no oil, thinks the right, there'll be no economic growth, no progress, and we'll all be poor, unwashed dope-heads. Which is what the right thinks the left wants.

And, like any good stereotype, it's almost entirely untrue.


Offline Frappe

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2007, 08:29:26 AM »
Really good question... I think the right (stereotype) sees the left as being anti-capitalism, anti-industry, and in the end, a bunch of hippies who want to live in the woods and eat nuts and berries. Being concerned about global warming is just an excuse to be against big oil and big multinational corporations. If there's no oil, thinks the right(stereotype), there'll be no economic growth, no progress, and we'll all be poor, unwashed dope-heads. Which is what the right (stereotype) thinks the left wants.

And, like any good stereotype, it's almost entirely untrue.
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Offline Harlan

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2007, 09:02:57 AM »

Offline lizluv43

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2007, 09:51:46 AM »
There was a very good program last night on HBO about global warming and they said something that made a lot of sense.

The Federal government should be involved, give corporations incentives that if they're earth concious they will receive funds to help them achieve that goal but since it's NOT happening it should be up to the people and each individual State to do something and come together on this issue.

Try to catch the show, it's excellent.
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Offline essen

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2007, 11:33:47 AM »
The Federal government should be involved, give corporations incentives that if they're earth concious they will receive funds to help them achieve that goal

This is exactly what I've thought and part of what pisses me off so much about this administration. It's Bush's job to think above the fears of these people and offer them reasons to do this that will benefit them in some way that they can see. Personally I don't understand why everyone doesn't automatically want to try to conserve and be more energy efficient, but since they don't, that's when the government is supposed to step in and either make them want to or have to. Same thing about how car companies are allowed to sell cars that get horrendous mileage.

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2007, 01:30:15 PM »
Bear with me here as I try and ask this question.  In regards to the global warming debate, I get why the industries and therefore the politicians that represent them are fighting against it for at least the short term reasons of costs and legislation that will hurt them.  What I don't get is what do these same people think the so called "liberal radical left" will get out of it? If they really think the left is making it all up, what is the reason?  I am not asking for rhetoric here but some sort of real answer.

I do know it is more than likely it is just their way of keeping the fight going but what do they claim the left has to win by creating the so called myth of global warming?  What evil does Al Gore and company have planned according to Cheney and co.

Jonathan, I'll try to answer your question directly, but I'm speaking for myself, not "the Right". 

There are many incentives for politicians, regardless of affiliation, to want a moral blank check to enact policies that will enrich them and boost their power. Who stands to gain from promoting the popular perception that government will save America/the world, not figuratively but literally, from polluting industry? From Islamic terrorists? From _(insert threat proposal)_? Politicians and bureaucrats and the industry of fund-raising lobbyists, special interest groups, and think tanks do. Want to raise money? Invoke a crisis. Want to stay in power? Take the side of dealing with a crisis and paint the opposition as unwilling and ill-equipped to address it.

Now I'll speculate a little.

On a simple, Darwinian level, strategists on the Right do not want to concede the (popularly perceived) moral highground on addressing an issue as emotionally charged as global climate crisis to the Left, because it renders election/reelection more difficult.

On another level, some on the Right perceive that a significant number of proponents of anthropogenic global warming theory advocate increasing government control over the economy. This is nothing new. The institutional Left has always advocated increased government control of the economy, but now they're positioning themselves as saviors of the environment to do so. This certainly upsets the religious Right because they're not accustomed to being on the negative side of a moral contest; the "god" card may still reverberate in some debates, but it isn't the trump card in a debate over saving the world, which is a topic with the oomph needed to upstage the debates the Right wants people to focus on.

Finally, there certainly are folks on the Right who grasp that increased taxes and fees and regulations will have a variety of effects-- increased prices for consumers, job losses, disincentives to start new businesses or to keep them in America-- considered by them far worse than the effects some attribute to global warming.

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Speaking for myself, regarding the global warming debate, there is a distinction worth noting between the science of climatology, on the one hand, and, on several other hands, the presentations of the science of climatology (1) by politicians seeking re-election, (2) by bureaucrats seeking increased budget allocations, (3) by leftist and right-wing special interest groups raising money using the issue of global warming, and (4) by scientists seeking new or increased funding for their research from the government.

The science is far less conclusive than the presenters of the science listed above, far less certain than most of the people who take sides on this issue on message boards like this one.

Scientific propositions are different from political causes; they do not prevail because of a majority. Evolution is true because it accurately describes phenomena in the world. Global climate change is a reality, but I believe that we're still lacking accurate theories about the proportions of influence exerted by solar radiation, greenhouse gases (which may or may not be produced by humans in sufficient quantities to constitute "the" deciding factor in climate change), and other factors. The science isn't even conclusive about global warming being a net negative for human beings.

Science is being polluted by "intelligent design" advocates on the religious right and by "humans-are-the-primary-drivers-of-catastrophic-global-warming" on the environmentalist left.

I adopt a skeptical, "first do no harm" rule about public policy. So, before I would implement any public policy solutions based on athropogenic global warming theory (-ies), I'd conduct a study designed to identify which of models upon which catastrophic predictions are based can reproduce accurate forecasts, not 100 years from now, but 2 years, 5 years, 10 years from now. And I'd have such a study funded anonymously to keep the findings as impartial as possible. I'd say this would be a good start.

Offline Melee

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2007, 02:14:04 PM »
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Scientific propositions are different from political causes; they do not prevail because of a majority.

Well maybe not a public majority. But intelligent design loses to evolution because many more scientists are convinced by evolutionary arguments than they are by the non-existent scientific basis of intelligent design. Same deal here. We're convinced. You can chose a fact-based reality, and have your policy guided by science, or you can carry on in faith-based reality and have policy guided by corporations. Its up to you America.

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Global climate change is a reality, but I believe that we're still lacking accurate theories about the proportions of influence exerted by solar radiation, greenhouse gases (which may or may not be produced by humans in sufficient quantities to constitute "the" deciding factor in climate change), and other factors. The science isn't even conclusive about global warming being a net negative for human beings.

Of course, global climate change is a historical reality. Its nonsensical to say 'I believe the climate changes'. We can show that. Are you instead trying to say 'I believe there is warming?'. The factors of influence you list are a very few of the major complicating influences actually at work in any sophisticated model of change. This isn't easy to model - it just isn't, and its not going to be. There are too many feedback cycles, both positive (ie: increase warming) and negative, and a bunch of unknowns. But we have been crunching what data we have through supercomputers for nearly 50 years now. The models are getting better and better. For example, the 1980s model by Hansen et al. accurately predicted a significant amount of change over the past 20 something years - including accounting for major volcanic eruptions (1).

I'm not sure what 'conclusive' science you would like to show you that warming might be a net negative for human beings. As temperatures rise, sea levels might also rise. Okay, maybe that's not a big deal - sea level rises are hard to predict accurately, and are very long term. But here's a taste of some of the rest of it. Water: rainfall patterns are shifting, in some areas quite dramatically (talk to Australia sometime). This means areas that have been the 'breadbaskets' of the world are no longer necessarily going to be able to rely on rainfall to grow crops. Drinking water resevoirs are in places that also can predict their rainfall - when that stops, drinking water supplies to major metropolitan areas decline. Weeds and Disease: These are together because they're much the same - shifting climates mean expansions of species such as poison ivy, ragweed, mosquitos. More serious agricultural pests as well. Mosquitos are already on the move in many places, warming allows them to expand upwards, for instance. If you've ever been in a malarial area, you'll know the cities and towns are often in the hills, away from the mosquitos - no more. West Nile and NYC anyone? And for the rest, well - some understanding of ecology would probably help. Humans are actually still part of the environment, no matter how urban and electronic your life might be. Changes to the flora and fauna outside of our cities will affect us as well. And then there's the ethical arguments - is it okay for us to drive even more of the world's species to extinction?

Finally, we can show on any scale you like (geological history, recorded history) that CO2 (the major anthropogenic greenouse gas, although methane and water vapour are also important) is linked to changes in temperature. We can even measure about how much CO2 has been around at various times, including post-industrial revolution vs. geological history. And guess what? every time there's a ton of it around, the earth gets warmer. That's simple enough for everyone to understand. Fact 2: we've put a whole lot of CO2 out there - and yes it is significant. Whaddya think is going to happen? can you add two and two? And what the hell is the problem with cutting down on what we're putting out there? I really don't get why this is so hard to do. Change technologies - we do it all the time. Government incentives rather than regulation, if you're really that concerned about it (and America always seems to be - but the rest of the world gets along just fine without this attitude). We could actually end up growing the economy quite significantly! let's have some foward thinking and innovation! isnt that what this country is supposed to be great for? let's go!!

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So, before I would implement any public policy solutions based on athropogenic global warming theory (-ies), I'd conduct a study designed to identify which of models upon which catastrophic predictions are based can reproduce accurate forecasts, not 100 years from now, but 2 years, 5 years, 10 years from now. And I'd have such a study funded anonymously to keep the findings as impartial as possible. I'd say this would be a good start.

You've got to be effing kidding me. 5 years? 2 years? That's absolutely impossible and sheer nonsense but see given reference for accurate predictions over a 20 year time span. That's pretty damn close to your demand. We're doing this science. We've been doing it for 30 years. Just because now is the moment that its good enough to take to the politicians and say okay, now ACT doesn't mean that we haven't effing thought about this. To turn around and say 'oh but its not good enough because you didn't predict that on Jan 12, 2007 the temperature would be 35 degrees' is the most insane s___ I've heard in a while (and I routinely deal with creationists). I also take umbrage at this implied notion that scientists simply give the answers their funding agencies want. Firstly, there are many and varied sources of funding, secondly the ONLY situations in which any of that has been shown to be going on is where agencies such as NASA are gagging their own climate scientists at the behest of this current administration. In fact, they've done it again just recently - now no one on their payroll is allowed to mention polar bears ffs.

1. Hansen, J., Sato, M., Ruedy, R. Lo, K. Lea, D.W. and Medina-Elizade, M. 2006. Global Temperature Change. Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, USA 103(39) p. 14288 - 14293

Offline Harlan

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Re: Global warming, I need an answer
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2007, 02:36:32 PM »
Melee knocked it out of the park. I would just add one thing. Of course there's uncertainly about this. But the worst-case scenarios are so bad, in terms of crop changes, disease, refugees, etc., that even a small chance of it happening is unacceptably risky. Better to spend a little money now to be fairly confident that the worst-case scenario doesn't happen then to risk that worst-case. That money is like insurance.

car wreck : car insurance :: climate wreck : climate insurance


 

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