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June 25, 2008

Comments

EB Christen

Reason #7:

If we are very, very lucky, then higher oil prices may slow down global warming enough to allow our little islands to stay above sea level for a little longer... Wrestling with a tiger shark on my way to work doesn't sound fun.

TT

There won't be any tiger sharks left to wrestle EB!

http://archive.gulfnews.com/articles/05/05/02/163143.html

http://www.greendiary.com/entry/shark-population-dwindling-in-the-mediterranean-another-alarm-bell-ringing/

joan thompson

Good column.

After looking at the website below you may want to reassess linking energy prices and climate change.

Yes, there are good reasons to find alternative energy sources for the legitimate purpose of improving living standards - not to reduce CO2. or Global Warming.

Global Warming hysteria is cooling off as the duped or fellow travelers are challenged. This is a must read/hear for a journalist writing about Climate and attendant issues.

The Video “Dispelling the Myth of consensus” - is a must watch. Many articles also paint a different picture from that of contemporary media myths.

http://www.climatescienceinternational.org/

Gerald

The oil companies are, like the tobacco companies before them, spending money to try to discredit the science that threatens them.

Most of the global warming dissenters can be found to be funded by the oil companies, don't actually do climate science, and conveniently ignore the actual scientific data.

In particular you may want to check out http://www.sourcewatch.org to find out who funds many of these people and organizations, as well as http://www.realclimate.org where scientists actually discuss the research data being generated.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/01/what-if-you-held-a-conference-and-no-real-scientists-came/ is an example of how the climate change dissenters work.

larry smith

Every major scientific institution dealing with climate, ocean, and/or atmosphere agrees that the climate is warming rapidly and the primary cause is human CO2 emissions.

Specifically, the "consensus" about anthropogenic climate change entails the following:

* the climate is undergoing a pronounced warming trend beyond the range of natural variability;
* the major cause of most of the observed warming is rising levels of the greenhouse gas CO2;
* the rise in CO2 is the result of burning fossil fuels;
* if CO2 continues to rise over the next century, the warming will continue; and
* a climate change of the projected magnitude over this time frame represents potential danger to human welfare and the environment.

Source: Grist, a nonprofit organization funded by foundation grants, reader contributions, and just a touch of advertising.

Grist: it's gloom and doom with a sense of humor. So laugh now -- or the planet gets it.

EB Christen

I am really tired of people with a very obvious 'agenda' denying global warming. It is exhausting.

CO2 levels are climbing. The planet's temperature is rising. The ice at the poles is melting. We are responsible. Just because these facts don't fit one's theory of economic development and private property rights doesn't make them any less true. Get over it already. Global warming is real. The UN and the world's top climatologists all agree. Who cares how many studies the oil companies and right wing nut jobs finance now? Let them preach their lies, but the time for calling them lies has come. The world's leading scientists on the issue have spoken. The issue is done.

The question now is and should only be: how do we use free market economics to find solutions? How do we get alternative energy into the free market as a viable option? STOP DENYING WARMING! All it does is put the NI's agenda, which has very valid concerns, way out of touch. Young people want free markets, but they also want an understanding of environmental concerns. Blind ideological loyalty to the free market is just as destructive as blind ideological loyalty to socialism or any other set of beliefs. Scientific, realistic, open minded and problem solving minds are needed now. The rest should get out of the way before humanity chokes and drowns on its own exhaust.

Rick

Etienne:
You have so much to offer, yet when Global Warming is questioned you seem to revert to ad hominem attacks.
Surely the debate is more important than bashing each other?
"Solutions" if you will, are starting to emerge with Fuel cell and electric vehicles.
However, these will not impact your crisis in any meaningful way, any time soon.
Why not spend the time educating people, leading by example and drive a fuel efficient vehicle, install solar panels in your house etc.
The more if us that do these things, if only to save on our fuel/electricity bills, less CO2 will be emitted and we can move on to resolving The Bahamas economic and political problems.

Joan Thompson

Dr. Vincent Gray, Climate Consultant and IPCC Expert Reviewer, Wellington, New Zealand makes the following observation: "The Global Warming Scam has been perpetrated in order to support the Environmentalist belief that the earth is being harmed by the emission of greenhouse gases from the combustion of fossil fuels. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was set up to provide evidence for this belief. They have published four major Reports which are widely considered to have proved it to be true. This paper examines the evidence in detail and shows that none of the evidence presented confirms a relationship between emissions of greenhouse gases and any harmful effect on the climate. It is the result of 18 years of scrutiny and comment on IPCC Reports and of a study of the scientific literature associated with it.

In order to establish a relationship between human emissions of greenhouse gases and any influence on the climate, it is necessary to solve three problems :

To determine the average temperature of the earth and show that it is increasing
To measure the concentrations of greenhouse gases everywhere in the atmosphere
To reliably predict changes in future climate
None of these problems has been solved."

Readers of Larry Smith's column would do well to read objective comments by scientists whose work is subject to peer review such as work by that of scientists like Dr.Lewis.


EB Christen

Rick,

Good to see you the other day. The ministers weren't that enlightening, but it was a worthwhile experience either way.

As to your response to my post, my polemically styled response, while bordering on an ad hominem argument, actually refers to some pretty simple and clear cut facts that the world's leading climate scientists have virtually unanimously advocated. So, it may appear prima facie that I am making an ad hominem argument, but this isn't really the case.

As you know, I fully support free market solutions to the challenge, so we have no difference of opinion there. However, I strongly believe that the time for calling a spade a spade has come. Those who deny the reports of the world's leading scientists on climate change are doing so solely for the pursuit of their narrow agenda - be it economic 'freedom' or support of the oil industry.

The Nassau Institute's position on this matter hasn't changed, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence and the strong statement supporting human induced global warming from over 3000 of the world's top scientists. If the world's 3000 top cardiologists came out tomorrow and strongly supported a statement pertaining to the heart and some narrow focused groups selling a product went against them... who would you listen to?

My final point is, free market solutions are what is needed, but if the Bahamas top free market institution is still denying warming, then free market solutions won't be pushed for as strongly and much stronger government involvement, far beyond what either you or myself would be comfortable with, will be the more likely result.

The choice is up to all of us to accept the reality and move forward in full consciousness of what is going on, so that the best solutions can be found to what is a very REAL problem. Again, stop denying warming, I implore the NI to be on the right side of history on this issue. They do too much good work to be so egregiously wrong.

A spade is a spade! Stating so is now essential to humanity's continued prosperity, happiness and possibly even survival.

All the best.

EB Christen

@ NI, Joan

This is precisely the sort of ridiculous information that is cited. The world's top climatologists are all in agreement. They found it important enough to go to the UN and make a very vocal and deliberate statement to that effect. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why you persist in denying this.

Citing one 'rogue' scientist and making it sound like his evidence is credible simply because he gels with big oil and so called 'free' market thinking is exactly the problem. You do this only because it conveniently supports your 100% free market agenda, but what you don't realize is that you are doing more harm than good to your own cause.

In denying the reality, you run the massive risk that governments will intervene in the problem without keeping market considerations at the forefront. This is the primary problem I have with the big oil, right wing nut job agenda. They don't seem to appreciate the massive risk they are taking in adopting such a position. Every denial, leads to a popular backlash, as it should, so why adopt the position? It isn't the truth. The UN and the top climatologists have spoken. Is the NI actually advocating that they are lying, are wrong or have somehow made this up?

If the NI is, then the NI fully deserves strong arguments, ad hominem or otherwise, against their position. I say again, stop denying warming. It is harming the NI's credibility and that can only be harmful when it comes time to find solutions to these very real problems.

EB Christen

One more thing:

On your final point, suggesting that readers should read scientists who are peer reviewed, it is unbelievable that you can cite something like this.

It suggests that the UN's top climatologists were somehow not peer reviewed. This is a most egregiously fallacious argument. If anything, it is the scientists that you are citing who are usually not peer reviewed. Furthermore, being peer reviewed by your fellow peers in the employ of big oil and/or a right wing nut job organization doesn't count. Peer review refers to being published in an acknowledged and acredited scientific journal. The vast majority of these global warming dissenters are never peer reviewed in such journals. A few are published in such journals, but their views, while read, are summarily discredited by the majority of actual non-biased scientists who aren't in the employ of big oil or some right wing nut job organization. This is the key difference. They may be published in such journals, but their opinions are simply not the general scientific consensus and this is the crux of the matter.

Please, stop ignoring the overwhelming majority of the world's climate scientists. Have the intellectual honesty to admit that you don't have science on your side, what you have is an ideological agenda and there is nothing scientific about that.

If you truly care about preserving the free market, then you will advocate that global warming is real and you will use free market solutions that put the western world in the forefront of leading the transformation to renewables. Otherwise, you risk that communist regimes or dictatorships are the only governments leading for big change and this would reinforce the idea that free markets and democracy are incapable of tackling the 'big issues'. This is already a big perception problem in the world. Don't be on the wrong side of history. If you truly care for free markets and democracy, then you will choose to push for free market solutions to the very real problem of climate change. The tide is rising and the choice is ours. Don't squander the good work being done already by the NI, by defending the indefensible.

A spade is a spade.

Cheers.

larry smith

Joan's citation is meaningless. One can find so-called experts to present any point of view.

The overall position is that the peer-reviewed scientific literature supports the reality of global warming.

And as noted above, so do all the major scientific institutions and most of the world's leading climate scientists.

And just for the record, Dr Gray is an advisor to the International Climate Science Coalition, which is funded by Exxon (not that there's anything wrong with that).

All of the scientific work that has been done over the years is dismissed as a conspiracy by wild-eyed, hairy environmentalists seeking to take over the world.

I just don't get it.

Especially when there are so many other excellent reasons to end our reliance on fossil fuels.

Rick

Lomborg's recent column on this subject is worth a read:

He points out:

"The answer is to dramatically increase research and development so that solar panels become cheaper than fossil fuels sooner rather than later. Imagine if solar panels became cheaper than fossil fuels by 2050: We would have solved the problem of global warming, because switching to the environmentally friendly option wouldn't be the preserve of rich Westerners."

Here's a link to the full article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/25/AR2008062501946.html

larry smith

The global warming sceptics cited by Joan and others allege a global conspiracy by Al Gore and the UN to force the world to accept energy rationing.

To my mind, this is worse than the Marxist perception that the world is being run by a handful of capitalists! Why not add Elmer Fudd to the list of conspirators?

The Oregon petition so often cited by sceptics as evidence that a scientific consensus does not exist was co-sponsored by the Oregon Institute and the Marshall Institute.

Frederick Seitz initiated the petition in 1998 and it has recently been re-issued. Seitz has ties to both the tobacco industry and ExxonMobil. He was hired by R J Reynolds as a scientific propaganadist in 1979 and his name appeared on a variety of overlapping boards for groups that are funded by Exxon. He died in March.

Seitz co-authored a report asserting that carbon dioxide emissions pose no warming threat. The report was not peer reviewed, But it was formatted to look like an article from The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a leading scientific journal.

The National Academy of Sciences had this to say about the Oregon petition and Seitz' report:

"The NAS Council would like to make it clear that this petition has nothing to do with the National Academy of Sciences and that the manuscript was not published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences or in any other peer-reviewed journal."

It also said "The petition does not reflect the conclusions of expert reports of the Academy."

There are said to be 31,000 names attached to the petition but no indication of how those names are verified. There have been many challenges to the petition signatories.

Scientific American estimated that approximately one per cent of the signatories might actually have a Ph.D in a field related to climate science.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, ExxonMobil funneled millions between 1998 and 2005 (the most recent year for which company figures are publicly available) to a network of 43 ideological and advocacy organizations that seek to confuse the public on global warming science.

Many of these organizations have an overlapping—sometimes identical— collection of spokespeople serving as staff, board members, and scientific advisors.

That sounds like a more realistic conspiracy to me.

Here is more evidence that the science of global warming is generally accepted:

"The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action. It is vital that all nations identify cost-effective steps that they can take now, to contribute to substantial and long-term reduction in net global greenhouse gas emissions.
—JOINT STATEMENT By THE SCIENCE ACADEMIES OF 11 NATIONS, JUNE 7, 2005

EB Christen

Thank you for citing these most pertinent sources. Generally, you can also access good information on the matter on the UN's website.

The following link is useful.
http://www.un.org/climatechange/

The science is clear.

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