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-   -   Global warming one big hoax? (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1769)

Ionstormsucks May 2nd, 2007 10:26

Global warming one big hoax?
 
In Germany everyone is talking about global warming at the moment, which has probably much to do with the fact that we had an extremly mild winter this year. Two months ago or so I read an interview with a climate expert in the German magazine "Der Spiegel," and I was very surprised that this expert was having serious doubts about the global warming phenomenon. From that point on I began to read up of global warming and found that it is a rather controversial topic. A few days ago I stumbled across this video from the BBC:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do…+swindle&hl=en

Now, the video does of course show just one side of the discussion. Still, I think it's kinda interesting.

What do you think? Is the global warming just a big hoax, and not nearly as dangerous as experts are saying? Or is it indeed something we should pay attention to?

fatBastard() May 2nd, 2007 11:48

If you want the other side of the debate you should watch Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth".

As far as I'm concerned the question is not whether Global Warming is an issue or not because there are a myriad of evidence that this is indeed the case (glaciers melting all over the world, the polar ice getting thinner and thinner, deserts growing, etc, etc). No, the real debate is whether the Global Warming we're experiencing is caused by man or if it is a natural cyclic phenomena.

Either way mankind has a tendency to turn the blind eye when money is involved. All the way up until well into the 90'ies a so called "study" would pop up and claim that smoking was in no way dangerous to your health every time another study would say that smoking was indeed bad for your health. Of course these counter studies were paid for by the tobacco companies and there was not a single shred of scientific evidence in them. They were all smoke and mirrors (no pun intended).

The same is true today. If we really want to do something about the green house gas emissions and vastly reduce the CO2 emissions and all the other causes for Global Warming, it would mean a drastic change in our daily life. Specifically it would shatter the power the oil companies have today and I can't see them give up that power without a fight, just like the tobacco companies did for decades. This time around, however, I don't think we HAVE decades if we want to do something before it is too late …

Then again, I can only speak for myself and I'm not exactly known as Mr. Positive Optimist, so I may have donned my :end: sign too early, but I'd rather be positively surprised than fatally disappointed.

txa1265 May 2nd, 2007 12:56

When you look at what impacts what in terms of chemistry, it is really impossible for rational people to believe that the amount of noxious gases we continuously pump into the environment cannot have some impact. Seriously, this is just like all of those companies taking the 'dilute away the impact' theory to the extreme of dumping all kinds of crap into rivers and expecting that it would all be diluted into harmlessness.

My basic thought on this is the bottom-line common sense rule - would a reasonable person think that there is a negative impact of certain activities? That goes for personal health as well as environmental health. Is it reasonable to think that smoking had no impact after it was declared hazardous in the 60's? No, but people who had a vested interest in believing that it was benign chose to believe the bad science that let them keep smoking or marketing to kids. Same is true here - we pump poison into the air and cut down acres of forests and expect no impact? There is very likely a cyclical aspect to nature, but that is a 'dog ate my homework' excuse.

nameless hero May 2nd, 2007 15:09

I don't know enough on the subject to have a detailed opinion, but I know that over the last 40 years, climate has been getting hotter. Last year when I visited Germany, there was 40 degrees (celcius). I don't need to be an expert to know that THAT is DAMN HOT for any European country connected with the Baltic sea.

Maylander May 2nd, 2007 15:24

There can't be much doubt anymore that we're, pardon my French, screwing ourselves up the ***. This has been known for quite a few years: You only need basic chemistry lessons to realize the magnitude of the damage our ozone layer is taking from all the pollution the human race is pouring out as we speak.

The ozone layer is capable of repairing itself, but not nearly fast enough to cope with our pollution. We're getting bigger and bigger holes in the layer, and once the layer is thin enough, we'll not only see the dramatic climate changes we've seen so far, but also a huge increase in the number of people affected by skin diseases (cancer and similar).

All in all this is a race against time - if we can stop polluting before the ozone layer has reached a point of no return, we're saved. If not, we're screwed. Even if we are capable of coping with the climate changes, the melting polar regions and so on, we won't be able to cope with the increase in UV rays that is incoming. Certainly, humans can run around with sunblock 2000 on at all times, but the ecosystem can't, and once that is shot.. and we're on top of a food chain that is no more.. we're doomed.

Yes, I know I sound a tad negative about all of this, but I really have no faith in anyone being able to turn this. It's been known for so long, but only recently anyone started to care about the environment. You can't shut down pollution in a heartbeat and expect the planet to restore itself - in general, the planet evolves over centuries and millenniums, not days or weeks.

We need to act right now or tomorrows generation will have drought, lack of food and a ruined ecosystem. We don't want that for our children, do we?

nameless hero May 2nd, 2007 15:41

I never knew the Ozone could repair itself…Interesting.

JemyM May 2nd, 2007 17:28

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SX2PMz-iMQ

Ionstormsucks May 2nd, 2007 20:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by fatBastard() (Post 27374)
As far as I'm concerned the question is not whether Global Warming is an issue or not because there are a myriad of evidence that this is indeed the case (glaciers melting all over the world, the polar ice getting thinner and thinner, deserts growing, etc, etc). No, the real debate is whether the Global Warming we're experiencing is caused by man or if it is a natural cyclic phenomena.

Yes, I'm sorry… I should have made myself more clear. That's of course the question we're dealing with.

To be honest, I pretty much agree with what most people here were saying, but for the sake of this discussion I'll play the devil's advocate. I can only recommend to watch the BBC documentary (I know it's rather longish), it is interesting… as I said, it is problematic since you hear only one side of the story, but it's still very informative.
Their strongest argument is probably that we all believe that Co2 is responsible for the atmosphere heating up, but that it is in fact vice versa - the heating of the atmosphere is responsible for the increase of Co2 (they claim that there is an 800 year time lag between the atmosphere warming up and the increase of Co2). There are of course many more arguments, but that was in fact the one that made me think - what if the very basis of the theory of man-made global warming is wrong?

Now, I have to admit that I'm a person who is usually very much for the protection of the environment, and I think that this is probably one of the most valuable outcomes of the whole global warming discussion, that for the first time in maybe 20 years the majority of the western world (including the USA) has become aware of environmental issues.
On the other hand, I see that most politicians focus on golbal warming and are not really interested in a more general discourse about how we should treat our planet. Just to give you an example of what I mean - whenever there is a discussion about global warming going on in Germany, it doesn't take long until the first politician pops up and suggests that we should build more nuclear power plants, after all it's such a "clean" source of energy. They seem to be fairly ignorant to the fact that here one environmental issue is replaced with another one…

One of the topics covered in the BBC documentary that very much impressed me was the one dealing with energy production in Africa. Let's face it - the first world fucks Africa whenever possible. We do it on a daily basis, we're basically living in relative wealth and Africa pays the bill. No matter who is right or wrong in this discussion, can we really expect countries like Africa to use alternative sources of energy production, when it hinders their development?

Moriendor May 2nd, 2007 20:35

@ Maylander: Aren't you mixing up two different subjects there? As far as I know, there is only a very small correlation between the ozone layer issue and the greenhouse effect. Yes. The greenhouse effect is marginally increased by the lack of the ozone layer in the polar regions because more UV rays reach the surface but since this only happens to a larger degree in the polar regions, it isn't really a major factor. After all it's not the carbon dioxide that destroys the ozone layer. It's the fluor carbon hydro stuff (dunno the English term… FCKW in German) that is responsible for the destruction of the ozone layer. The emission of FCKW has already been heavily reduced 15+ years ago. Positive effects are already apparent since the hole in the ozone layer at least in the Northern hemisphere is receding and the hole in both polar regions has become much smaller over the years. Therefore, I believe that we need to be vigilant but that we can call the ozone hole problem nearly fixed. It doesn't seem to be a big issue anymore.

Now on the topic of global warming being a hoax or not… who really cares? What do we have to lose if we reduce the carbon dioxide emissions? Right. Absolutely nothing. We can all only benefit from reducing the emissions. A large variety of diseases of the respiratory system is caused by industrial emissions. Even if global warming is a hoax (which is very questionable) our quality of living will only improve if we reduce the carbon dioxide emissions. So why not just do it regardless of whether it will really reduce the greenhouse effect or not? It will be beneficial for us and our environment in the long run so why not just do it? Do we really need the risk and danger of impending doom to get our asses in gear? Obviously yes or these hoax debates wouldn't exist… *sigh*

Moriendor May 2nd, 2007 21:01

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ionstormsucks (Post 27428)
what if the very basis of the theory of man-made global warming is wrong?

How can it be totally wrong? What is happening to the man-made CO2? Is it -contrary to natural CO2- leaving the earth's atmosphere and flying to the moon or what? :biggrin:
OK. Seriously. If we go by that study that you mentioned, it should take 800 years for the effects of man-made global warming to show up, right? Well, why not begin now to do something about it? We do have a responsibility for future generations long beyond our own lives IMHO. We have pumped trillions of metric tons of CO2 into the earth's atmosphere since the industrial age began. If the 800 year theory is correct then it will bite us ("us" as in mankind) in the arse one day. The sooner we do something about it, the better.

Quote:

One of the topics covered in the BBC documentary that very much impressed me was the one dealing with energy production in Africa. Let's face it - the first world fucks Africa whenever possible. We do it on a daily basis, we're basically living in relative wealth and Africa pays the bill. No matter who is right or wrong in this discussion, can we really expect countries like Africa to use alternative sources of energy production, when it hinders their development?
I think it makes sense to prevent African, Asian and South American nations who are on the verge of entering the industrial age from repeating the mistakes we made in the 1st world. I agree that we are scewing them over badly enough lots of times but as far as alternative sources of energy production are concerned, it will be for their and our benefit in the long run.

Cleric May 2nd, 2007 21:44

Comparing the documentary linked to in the first post with Gore's, I'd have to say that the evidence is severely tilted in Gore's favor. The scientists in the first video presented next to no scientific evidence to support their claims, other than the comparison of solar activity vs world temperature over the last 100 years.

Interestingly enough, I notice that the scientists in the first video agree with Gore's technique of measuring temperature and CO2 levels from glacial core samples. If they accept that information as true, then I don't see how they can argue with the core sample evidence Gore presents showing the correlation of temperature and CO2 levels for the last 650,000 years. Which, by the way does show that there has been a little cooling tick over the last thousand years.

All in all, the information they present is interesting, but it just can't compare with the 650,000 years worth of evidence from the glacial record presented by Gore.

Ionstormsucks May 2nd, 2007 21:58

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moriendor (Post 27433)
How can it be totally wrong? What is happening to the man-made CO2? Is it -contrary to natural CO2- leaving the earth's atmosphere and flying to the moon or what? :biggrin:
OK. Seriously. If we go by that study that you mentioned, it should take 800 years for the effects of man-made global warming to show up, right? Well, why not begin now to do something about it? We do have a responsibility for future generations long beyond our own lives IMHO. We have pumped trillions of metric tons of CO2 into the earth's atmosphere since the industrial age began. If the 800 year theory is correct then it will bite us ("us" as in mankind) in the arse one day. The sooner we do something about it, the better.

No, you slightly misunderstood something here… I have to admit I wasn't very clear, but it's not that easy to explain. Ok, the general consensus is that there is a direct connection between an increase in Co2 and the atmosphere becoming warmer. According to the "consensus theory" there is first an increase in Co2 and therefore the atmosphere is heating up. So the Co2 is directly responsible for the rising temperature.
The "contrarian view" is featuring a different theory. They say that Co2 is not causing the temperature increase, but is following the increase. First the temperature goes up and then Co2 follows. So for them Co2 is not responsible for an increase in temperature (they trace the earth's rising temperature back to solar activity). If you look at how Co2 is actually produced (in nature) that makes sense. The ocean is in fact the biggest source of Co2 - if the temperature goes up then the direct consequence is that more Co2 will go from the ocean into the atmosphere.

And this is really where the question of the 3rd world comes in. If Co2 is not responsible for global warming can we we still demand that… let's say Africa… should not use its coal as a reliable source of energy? It is as you're saying, the industrialized countries of the 1st world have nothing to lose if they reduce their emission of Co2 since we have nuclear power to replace it. Africa on the other hand… The problem is that solar energy or better the technology to produce it is expensive, but Africa is poor. And it is inefficient compared to coal-burning power plants. So, while we might have nothing to lose, the 3rd world has.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not speaking in favour of this particular argument, but I thought it would be a good thing to mention it, because it complicates things.

Ionstormsucks May 2nd, 2007 22:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cleric (Post 27436)
Interestingly enough, I notice that the scientists in the first video agree with Gore's technique of measuring temperature and CO2 levels from glacial core samples. If they accept that information as true, then I don't see how they can argue with the core sample evidence Gore presents showing the correlation of temperature and CO2 levels for the last 650,000 years. Which, by the way does show that there has been a little cooling tick over the last thousand years.

All in all, the information they present is interesting, but it just can't compare with the 650,000 years worth of evidence from the glacial record presented by Gore.

That's not quite true. They admit that there is a correlation, but they say the conclusions that consensus experts drew were wrong. See what I wrote above.

Cleric May 3rd, 2007 00:21

I understand what you're saying. But it brings us to a "which came first, the Chicken or the Egg?" scenario. Unfortunately, as I stated previously, they only present information of solar activity for the last 100 years.

So you can interpret it one way based on 100 years of data, or interpret it the other way based on 650,000 years of data.

But if we wait for another 100 years of solar data and Gore's right, many of our coastal cities will be under water, millions of people will have died or been driven from their homes and it will be too late to do anything about it.

Considering that we're talking about something this major, I simply don't feel that we can afford to take the risk.

Squeek May 3rd, 2007 01:33

I'm ready to accept that global warming is really happening and that it's probably an effect of industrialization. I'm just not thrilled with the solutions being advocated.

If I'm understanding it right, the US and its allies are supposed take a big financial hit while other countries all over the world start experimenting with nuclear energy. No thanks.

There are alternative energy sources being developed now, but they all depend on a strong US economy to move ahead and eventually compete with fossil fuel. Hurting ourselves economically will make those solutions less likely to mature or succeed and will make alternatives like nuclear power inevitable.

roqua May 3rd, 2007 02:25

It doesn't really matter if its a hoax or not. Science, facts, and proof are now propaganda tools. People have made up their mind, closed it, and the subject is not open to debate. Science loses to fiction whenever a political issue is involved.

Moriendor May 3rd, 2007 02:33

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeek (Post 27462)
I'm ready to accept that global warming is really happening and that it's probably an effect of industrialization. I'm just not thrilled with the solutions being advocated.

If I'm understanding it right, the US and its allies are supposed take a big financial hit while other countries all over the world start experimenting with nuclear energy. No thanks.

There are alternative energy sources being developed now, but they all depend on a strong US economy to move ahead and eventually compete with fossil fuel. Hurting ourselves economically will make those solutions less likely to mature or succeed and will make alternatives like nuclear power inevitable.

Well, I think that your country could save a couple billions here and there if it would bury its global domination fantasies or whatever you want to call it and if it would focus more on life preserving issues instead of the destruction of lives ;) . Anyway, if only a fraction of the money spent on the military and missile defense systems would be invested in the research of alternative energies, we'd probably make some real progress in that area really fast.

Also, the argument of "cost" of alternative energies in general is a very short-sighted one if you neglect to factor in the cost (of possibly human lives and definitely cash) of the consequences of global warming.
The costs of the relocation of coastal cities, the damages caused by mega hurricanes and floods or droughts and other environmental catastrophes will exceed the investments in alternative energy sources by a factor beyond our imagination.

The economy doesn't even have to suffer. No one is suggesting to turn off power plants over night. What everyone is talking about is a long term plan (over several decades, not just a few years) to slowly phase out the sources of high CO2 emission and to replace them with alternative, renewable energy sources. This process is going to affect the economies of all Western nations much less than the consequences that are expected from further global temperature increases.

Squeek May 3rd, 2007 03:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moriendor (Post 27469)
Well, I think that your country could save a couple billions here and there if it would bury its global domination fantasies or whatever you want to call it and if it would focus more on life preserving issues instead of the destruction of lives ;) .

I suppose you Germans know a thing or two about global domination fantasies. OK. I'll concede the point ;) .

Seriously though, I do see what you mean. I'm all for the goverment spending money intelligently. All my life people have been asking for that. When is that ever going to start happening, anyway?

magerette May 3rd, 2007 04:04

In my opinion, this is an issue of guilt and ego, not science and fact. Human beings like to feel they have power and control, and one of the few things they have little control over is nature and the cosmos.

I agree there are too many little human bugs crawling around on the face of the earth leaving a trail of pollution and waste. We know it's wrong, we feel guilty about it, we demonize ourselves and make laws about it. Whether this is something that will resonate through the ages by destroying an entire planet is another thing.

I have no idea who's right or wrong, but I am willing to listen to those on both sides who might. (I have a good friend with a Masters in Environmental Science and he literally shudders with disgust every time the GW phrase is mentioned.)

Anyway, here's a rather long article playing Devil's advocate by a scientist—not by an Activist, Politician, or "Environmentalist"—(my Bold):

Quote:

Global Warming: The Cold, Hard Facts

By Timothy Ball

Monday, February 5, 2007

Global Warming, as we think we know it, doesn't exist. And I am not the only one trying to make people open up their eyes and see the truth. But few listen, despite the fact that I was the first Canadian Ph.D. in Climatology and I have an extensive background in climatology, especially the reconstruction of past climates and the impact of climate change on human history and the human condition. Few listen, even though I have a Ph.D, (Doctor of Science) from the University of London, England and was a climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg. For some reason (actually for many), the World is not listening. Here is why.

What would happen if tomorrow we were told that, after all, the Earth is flat? It would probably be the most important piece of news in the media and would generate a lot of debate. So why is it that when scientists who have studied the Global Warming phenomenon for years say that humans are not the cause nobody listens? Why does no one acknowledge that the Emperor has no clothes on?

Believe it or not, Global Warming is not due to human contribution of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). This in fact is the greatest deception in the history of science. We are wasting time, energy and trillions of dollars while creating unnecessary fear and consternation over an issue with no scientific justification. For example, Environment Canada brags about spending $3.7 billion in the last five years dealing with climate change almost all on propaganda trying to defend an indefensible scientific position while at the same time closing weather stations and failing to meet legislated pollution targets.

No sensible person seeks conflict, especially with governments, but if we don't pursue the truth, we are lost as individuals and as a society. That is why I insist on saying that there is no evidence that we are, or could ever cause global climate change. And, recently, Yuri A. Izrael, Vice President of the United Nations sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed this statement. So how has the world come to believe that something is wrong?

Maybe for the same reason we believed, 30 years ago, that global cooling was the biggest threat: a matter of faith. "It is a cold fact: the Global Cooling presents humankind with the most important social, political, and adaptive challenge we have had to deal with for ten thousand years. Your stake in the decisions we make concerning it is of ultimate importance; the survival of ourselves, our children, our species," wrote Lowell Ponte in 1976.

I was as opposed to the threats of impending doom global cooling engendered as I am to the threats made about Global Warming. Let me stress I am not denying the phenomenon has occurred. The world has warmed since 1680, the nadir of a cool period called the Little Ice Age (LIA) that has generally continued to the present. These climate changes are well within natural variability and explained quite easily by changes in the sun. But there is nothing unusual going on.

Since I obtained my doctorate in climatology from the University of London, Queen Mary College, England my career has spanned two climate cycles. Temperatures declined from 1940 to 1980 and in the early 1970's global cooling became the consensus. This proves that consensus is not a scientific fact. By the 1990's temperatures appeared to have reversed and Global Warming became the consensus. It appears I'll witness another cycle before retiring, as the major mechanisms and the global temperature trends now indicate a cooling.

No doubt passive acceptance yields less stress, fewer personal attacks and makes career progress easier. What I have experienced in my personal life during the last years makes me understand why most people choose not to speak out; job security and fear of reprisals. Even in University, where free speech and challenge to prevailing wisdoms are supposedly encouraged, academics remain silent.

I once received a three page letter that my lawyer defined as libellous, from an academic colleague, saying I had no right to say what I was saying, especially in public lectures. Sadly, my experience is that universities are the most dogmatic and oppressive places in our society. This becomes progressively worse as they receive more and more funding from governments that demand a particular viewpoint.

In another instance, I was accused by Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki of being paid by oil companies. That is a lie. Apparently he thinks if the fossil fuel companies pay you have an agenda. So if Greenpeace, Sierra Club or governments pay there is no agenda and only truth and enlightenment?

Personal attacks are difficult and shouldn't occur in a debate in a civilized society. I can only consider them from what they imply. They usually indicate a person or group is losing the debate. In this case, they also indicate how political the entire Global Warming debate has become. Both underline the lack of or even contradictory nature of the evidence.

I am not alone in this journey against the prevalent myth. Several well-known names have also raised their voices. Michael Crichton, the scientist, writer and filmmaker is one of them. In his latest book, "State of Fear" he takes time to explain, often in surprising detail, the flawed science behind Global Warming and other imagined environmental crises.

Another cry in the wilderness is Richard Lindzen's. He is an atmospheric physicist and a professor of meteorology at MIT, renowned for his research in dynamic meteorology - especially atmospheric waves. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has held positions at the University of Chicago, Harvard University and MIT. Linzen frequently speaks out against the notion that significant Global Warming is caused by humans. Yet nobody seems to listen.

I think it may be because most people don't understand the scientific method which Thomas Kuhn so skilfully and briefly set out in his book "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions." A scientist makes certain assumptions and then produces a theory which is only as valid as the assumptions. The theory of Global Warming assumes that CO2 is an atmospheric greenhouse gas and as it increases temperatures rise. It was then theorized that since humans were producing more CO2 than before, the temperature would inevitably rise. The theory was accepted before testing had started, and effectively became a law.

As Lindzen said many years ago: "the consensus was reached before the research had even begun." Now, any scientist who dares to question the prevailing wisdom is marginalized and called a sceptic, when in fact they are simply being good scientists.
This has reached frightening levels with these scientists now being called climate change denier with all the holocaust connotations of that word. The normal scientific method is effectively being thwarted.

Meanwhile, politicians are being listened to, even though most of them have no knowledge or understanding of science, especially the science of climate and climate change. Hence, they are in no position to question a policy on climate change when it threatens the entire planet. Moreover, using fear and creating hysteria makes it very difficult to make calm rational decisions about issues needing attention.

Until you have challenged the prevailing wisdom you have no idea how nasty people can be. Until you have re-examined any issue in an attempt to find out all the information, you cannot know how much misinformation exists in the supposed age of information….

Dr. Tim Ball, Chairman of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project (www.nrsp.com), is a Victoria-based environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg.

Corwin May 3rd, 2007 05:11

What is most intriguing for me in this article, is that I could say exactly the same sort of thing about the THEORY of evolution as he is saying about climate change or global warming. There is NO proof for that either, but if you challenge it, you're told 'intelligent design' (for example) is not science, while evolution has to be!! It's not good logic either!!!! :)

A most interesting read, thank you!!


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