the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Seven Points About Climate Change

Posted by Jeff Id on February 20, 2009

dem-gas-planThose of you who stop by regularly know how I feel about the climate alarmism and political pressures behind it.  You also know I have a bit of a temper about it which I try to keep in check.  I read this article with as open a mind as I could, it contains seven points so let’s see if we can agree with any of  them.

McKibben outlines climate change effects

1. Scientists are divided. There has been astounding consensus throughout the scientific community that global warming is real, dangerous, and caused by humans. Although the details of future forecasts remain unclear, there’s no serious question about the general shape of what’s to come.

By September 2007, there was 25 percent less ice in the Arctic Ocean than ever measured before. By the end of the summer season in 2008, so much ice had melted that both the Northwest and Northeast passages were open.

Scientists are breathless. The computer models said this shouldn’t have happened until sometime late in the 21st century. Even skeptics can’t dispute such alarming events.

Right off the bat he’s swinging all over the place.  Scientists agree, he cliams.  Sure a lot of government sponsored climatologists agree, but so far it’s been pretty hard for me to locate convincing evidence that anyone knwos what’s happening today let alone in a hundred years.  Then he makes claims about sea ice being down by 25% which is at best a cherry pick of one area in the arctic.  Then he says computer models say this shouldn’t have happened yet.  What’s he talking about?  Temps have lagged a bit behind the models the last time I checked.

2. We have time. The melting Arctic ice will help speed up global warming. The white ice that reflects 80 percent of incoming solar radiation back to space is being replaced with blue water that is absorbing 80 percent of the sunshine. As northern permafrost thaws, huge amounts of methane gas (an even more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide) long trapped below the ice are escaping into the atmosphere.

Global warming suddenly feels less like a huge problem, and more like an Oh-My-God Emergency.

This is some familiar tipping point alarmism.  Well I can’t prove it wrong, is there any proof it’s right?

3. Climate change will help as many places as it hurts. Recent models are showing that after a certain point almost everyone on the planet will suffer. Crops might be easier to grow in some places for a few decades as the danger of frost recedes, but over time the threat of heat stress and drought will almost certainly be stronger.

A 2003 Pentagon report forecasts the possibility of violent storms across Europe, megadroughts across the Southwest UnitedStates and Mexico, and unpredictable monsoons causing food shortages in China.

The scenario suggests that as the planet’s carrying capacity shrinks, an ancient pattern of desperate, all-out wars over food, water, and energy supplies will reemerge. Warfare may again come to define human life.

You can see him reaching here, looking for the words yet not quite connecting.  He’s trying to win the world renown and prestigious most extreme predictions contest on the Air Vent. But in his haste he can’t quite make a predication he only repeats some others, a good first attempt.  It’s difficult in the face of Hansens stiff entries in the competition.

4. It’s China’s fault. China has overtaken the U.S. as the world’s biggest carbon dioxide (CO2) producer, and everyone has read about the pace of power plant construction there. But a lot of that CO2 was emitted to build products for Western consumption.

Furthermore, China has four times the population of the U.S., and per capita it’s really the only way to think about these emissions. By that standard, each Chinese person now emits just over a quarter of the CO2 that each American does.

Not only that, CO2 lives in the atmosphere for more than a century. China has been at it in a big way less than 20 years, so it will be many, many years before the Chinese are as responsible for global warming as Americans.

Also, unlike many counterparts in the U.S., Chinese officials have begun a concerted effort to reduce emissions in the midst of their country’s staggering growth. China now leads the world in the deployment of renewable energy — barely a car made in the U.S. meets China’s tougher fuel-economy standards.

Uh oh, Lefty alert.  Even though the other guys are making more it’s not a big deal cause they have more people.  He totally misses the point that the two countries he names are the two largest exporters of goods and services to the world.   That last sentence makes me a little crazy though.  Kind of pushing me over the edge a bit.  Unlike the US CHINA is making an effort.  What a Fargin joke.  He’s never been there has he.  I’m trying to keep it even but I have to call it like it is, an extreme lefty supporting the communist policies and wishing the US could be more like them.  China’s policies do nothing like the current stimulous package and most government programs I can think of it’s all talk and no result.

I don’t like this guy much.

5. Climate Change is an environmental problem. While environmentalists were the first to sound the alarm, CO2 is not like traditional pollutant. There’s no Clean Air Act that can solve it.

We must make fundamental transformations in shifting away from fossil fuels to something else. For the U.S., it’s at least as much a problem for the Commerce and Treasury departments as it is for the Environmental Protection Agency. And because every country on Earth will have to coordinate, it’s far and away the biggest foreign policy issue we face.

Yes we’ve all heard about change, and those in the US who are paying attention know exactly what we’re supposed to change into.  Even if you have different ideas about what made America work we can clearly see socialism hasn’t worked in other countries, why do we want it?  This guy says fundamental shift from fossil fuels to something else, THERE IS NOTHING ELSE. The closest we can come is nuclear and we don’t have the technology to make our cars work as electrics yet!  Like other envirowhackos such as Tamino, he doesn’t care.  That’s just money they think, buck up we can do it.  These pseudointellectual fools don’t understand the costs of what they are proposing.

6. Solving it will be painful. How painful addressing climate change will be depends. On one hand, you’re talking about transforming the backbone of the world’s industrial and consumer system. That’s certainly expensive.

On the other hand, if you manage to convert to solar or wind power, you’d save a lot of money on fuel.

Spend some time with a calculator, there isn’t enough capturable solar energy striking the earth to power what we use.  There’s just not enough wind or land area to generate the power we need reasonably.  I’ve done several posts on biofuel, solar and other technologies.  There isn’t enough power available to make them work, they aren’t feasible and it is easily demonstrated.  So I ask you, if these intellectuals tell us to change and only give us unreasonable things to change to, no nuclear, no coal.  What is their real motive?

7. We can reverse climate change. The warming is happening faster than we expected, and the results are more widespread and more disturbing. None of that is going to stop, even if we do everything right from here on out. The only question now is whether we can hold off catastrophe.

It won’t be easy, because the scientific consensus calls for roughly 5 degrees more warming this century unless we do just about everything right. And if our behavior up until now is any indication, we won’t.

The earth didn’t warm at all for a decade and we get these quotes???  There are no known results directly attributable to global warming. Then he quotes 5 degrees per century, that’s a half degree per decade!! Crazy BS for sure.

People like McGreggor are the reason people like me are skeptics.  They say one false thing after another using fear and doom and gloom to make unworkably expensive world policies while offering no solutions.  The key to understanding him is his praise for communist governments.  That’s exactly the purpose of polyscienticians.  Nothing but Leftist policies.

Now I know I have a lot of much more even headed readers than myself.  Smart people who really believe our best bet is to relax and let it go.  Many think it would be good to do just a little tax, after all we can then feel good about ourselves right? Now I believe some percentage of the witnessed global warming is possibly man made, it makes sense but I haven’t run the numbers on CO2 myself.  But I know politics when I see it and the scientists are being used, in some cases voluntarily, to push the leftist views of world government.   They are in turn using the government right back for funding in a self fulfilling spiral always heading in one direction.

I wonder who’s paying for Dr. Steigs stay in the Antarctic?



8 Responses to “Seven Points About Climate Change”

  1. Matt Y. said

    I’d pile on, but I’m afraid of sounding like a broken record. I assume you saw the debate between Schlesinger and Christy. I’m still waiting for a compelling case for AGW.

  2. RoyFOMR said

    How did you get past the “Science is settled” bit without blowing a gasket?
    I loved the Juxtaposition of the source article with the advert for Cardiothoracic Surgery!

  3. Curt said

    Here’s what gets me about the “tipping point” arguments: there is an implicit assumption that these positive feedbacks — ice-albedo and permafrost methane release — are new ones, only coming into play in the AGW era. And this is quite simply nonsense.

    However strong the positive feedback of the ice (and snow)/albedo effect is, it has been in play for a very long time. As the earth has warmed over the last several hundred years (or on a different time scale, since the last glacial period) there has been less ice and snow across the northern hemisphere, meaning more solar absorption. Whatever additional warming that has caused is already incorporated into the temperature record that has already occurred. And there has been no runaway, and no tipping point.

    The same with permafrost. The permafrost has been melting for centuries, so whatever effect its feedback has on the climate has already been in play. The Idsos have recently linked to some interesting papers on permafrost; one shows that Alaskan permafrost has been in decline for several hundred years, and not accelerating recently. A couple more claim that in melting, increased photosynthesis occurs, causing uptake of CO2 more than compensating for any methane outgassing, meaning that permafrost melting is a net negative feedback on greenhouse warming.

  4. page48 said

    What great writing. What great research. What a hack.

    According to the bio given at his website, McKibben was president of the Harvard Crimson newspaper in college, so I’m assuming he was a journalism major. He went to work at the New Yorker after that (he wrote much of the “Talk of the Town” column from 1982 to early 1987 – no doubt “must have” training for a good grasp of the science behind AGW) but left in 1987. He appears to have been a free-lance writer since then. Currently, he is a “scholar in residence” at Middlebury College.

    No other educational credentials are given in his bio, so I’m guessing he’s not reading and evaluating for himself even the simplest scientific papers on the subject of AGW and probably doesn’t even understand the basic physics. Not deterred by lack of knowledge, however, he wrote a book about Climate Change in 1989 called, The End of Nature, so maybe, like Gore, he “steeped himself in science,” learning by osmosis, to prepare the book.

    He appears to have a lot of time on his hands. His second book, The Age of Missing Information (1992) is (according to his website), “an account of an experiment: McKibben collected everything that came across the 100 channels of cable tv on the Fairfax, Virginia system (at the time among the nation’s largest) for a single day. He spent a year watching the 2,400 hours of videotape, and then compared it to a day spent on the mountaintop near his home. This book has been widely used in colleges and high schools, and was reissued in a new edition in 2006.”

    Didn’t somebody do this as a project way back when I was in college?

    Does one really have to spend 2,400 hours (that’s 200 12-hour days – a little less than 2/3 of a year) watching TV to conclude that time spent contemplating nature on a mountain top is possibly more educational than vegging out in front of the boob tube? Wouldn’t the kids at high schools and colleges likewise get more out of an afternoon on said mountaintop than reading his book in a classroom?

    He’s written a lot of other books that I don’t care to read – with titles like, Maybe One (one child per couple?) and Wandering Home (a contemplative hike?). It’s not hard to intuit the contents without ever opening the books. Actually, I could swear that most of them have been written before.

    From the hysterical tone of the piece that you’ve quoted above, I suspect McKibben is an anal retentive misanthropist who would be writing on the same themes (personal sacrifice for the greater good or the good of Gaia; the nobility of personal poverty, and so on) no matter what the external or temporal circumstances of his life. Historically, “Repent now or be damned” is a fairly common theme.

    I can’t add much to what you’ve already said about his article except that there are some really interesting papers on permafrost over at CO2Science. Here’s the link (hope I did it right):

    http://www.co2science.org/cSearch.php?action=SEARCH&lan=&keyword=permafrost&limit=5&extracts=1&perpage=10

    Have a pleasant evening everyone!

  5. John F. Pittman said

    The one that always gets me is the one about high temperature and droughts. This is not what has been pieced together by the geologists and paleo people concerning warm periods in the Holocene. Warmer got rid of the great deserts such as Gobi, Sahara, and was considered wetter for the US southwest and the Australian continent, results vary. That is the part you have to pay attention to. Even though they yell about “noise” and the chaotic nature of weather, when its over with, for the water cycle to work, the wetter parts are wetter and drier parts are drier. That there is a conflict with the fact that these two conditions are contradictory means they are “moving goalposts” in discussions, and efforts to correct this continue to fall on deaf ears. They have refused to acknowledge pubicly the problems with regional models predicting future conditions as shown by Koutsoyiannis http://www.itia.ntua.gr/getfile/864/2/documents/2008HSJClimPredictions.pdf , yet publish their problems with such as this http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/tebaldi07ptrsa.pdf

  6. Stefan said

    Page48 wrote:
    “He appears to have a lot of time on his hands. His second book, The Age of Missing Information (1992)”

    Ah, looking that that book on Amazon I see he’s one of these sorta Westernised Eco-Buddhists. I’ve talked to people like this and they can be very nice, very sensitive and dedicated people. It is hard to fault them. However…

    When you are out in nature, just feeling your senses, grounding yourself, “being there”, you are indeed entering a good state of mind. But, and this is the big but, it is only a STATE of mind. Like, some people enter a jovial and happy state of mind when they get drunk. They become more sociable, more amiable, they become the life of the party and enjoy the moment. But it is only a state and it passes. Now I’m not saying communion with nature is like being drunk… I’m sure communing with nature does put you in a higher, more free, more alive state of mind than being drunk, but it is still only a state of mind. When you paint a picture of a landscape, that is also a very connected and immersive state of mind. Again, only a state.

    So, when you are out there in the wilderness, by your log cabin, in this free state of mind, feeling the mud between your toes, you look up and you notice a person coming towards who who looks very ill and wants help. Now you have to think… what is wrong with them? What is their illness? Is it contagious? Can I diagnose it? What is it likely to be? They are shivering, should I take them indoors to my hut and put them in my bed? What if I get sick too? How will I gather the wood for the fire or the food? Will I freeze and starve? What if I need antibiotics? What if I need complicated blood tests? What if I need hospitalisation? What if the infection causes organ damage? How do I SOLVE these problems?

    The point is, a free state of mind does not in itself solve all your problems, it does not in itself make you smart, it does not in itself give you greater ability to handle difficult problems. Clean water used to be a problem. Sanitation used to be a problem. The parts of the world where they still have those problems we call “underdeveloped”. An uneducated workforce used to be a problem. Teaching kids so we could have skilled labour that could design the MRI scanner to diagnose a disease was a problem. These are things that have been solved. Really, someone should write a compendium of the technological and social structures that explain just how many problems we have specialised labor for solving. All that knowledge. All that problem-solving skill. Every time you flick a switch or get on a bus. Hundreds of thousands of people thought about how to make each and every component.

    OK, so TV is trashy entertainment–seems the point of his book. But it is just entertainment. Why didn’t he spend a year reading the specialist knowledge in the university library, and then compare THAT to “mud between your toes”. What would win out there?

    Basically he picked one small trashy aspect of our ARTS culture, decided it did not put him into a good state of mind (if you really want that, go learn Zen meditation), and came away thinking that the smart way to solve it is to destroy our TECHNOLOGICAL infrastructure. He is not only confusing state of mind with intelligence, he is also confusing art culture with scientific material capability.

    Yes, our arts are in many ways impoverished. It is highly ironic that he as an arts person uses that as a reason to attack our intellectual scientific material capabilities which actually HAVE been improving life and solving problems. And how WOULD you solve global warming, if it were real, other than with intellectual technological progress?

    Perhaps when he’s out there on that mountain, as well as training his mind to feel freedom, he should also try training his mind on how to THINK.

  7. PeterA said

    Never mind the Alfred Hitchcock’s birds, now AGW is causing NZ to be overrun by poisonous spiders!
    see http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/24/2499571.htm

  8. I was searching on bing for this post and I am thankful I found it again. I originally found it on twitter posted by radjane, she really likes the stories on this website

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