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Climate Change Action Delayed Due To Extreme Weather

2011/11/14

It sure would be nice if this was just a joke.

via Union of Concerned Scientists

 

15 Comments leave one →
  1. 2011/11/14 8:52 am

    Yeah, this comic doesn’t have that much exaggerating to do. Very funny way of putting it, nevertheless.

  2. Christine permalink*
    2011/11/14 11:21 am

    Humour, even dark humour, is always helpful!

  3. 2011/11/16 12:46 pm

    You know. I applaud your efforts to do what you think is a great thing for mankind, but consider the following…
    madnessorgenius.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/climate-change-as-a-left-wing-fear-tactic/

    • Christine permalink*
      2011/11/16 9:35 pm

      LOL – yep, every National Academy of Science on the globe, NASA, the NOAA, not to mention the Pentagon, World Vision, etc – just a bunch of raving left wing pinkos worried about saving the planet to line their pockets. And those really nice, compassionate oil companies who rake in profits in the trillions while polluting our water and our air, they are just worried about saving us from the nasty greenies. Nice one, Darren!

      • 2011/11/17 11:53 am

        Hmmm…I thought we would be able to have an educated discussion. Clearly you are unwilling to listen to other opinions and recognize that not all issues are black and white. Hopefully you can recognize that an attitude like the one you are presenting makes you look weak. I encourage you to take some actual time, reread what was in my blog and then craft a proper professional response before casually dismissing it because it happens to be a different opinion. And I invite you to write that response on my blog too. The whole point of my blog was to encourage discussion.

        As for the response you left me…have you ever read the statements of every “National Academy of Science on the globe”? Essentially, they all say the following, that A) Global warming/Climate Change is happening & B) that man is an influence. And I agree with these statements. But none of the reports identify man as the only factor. And none of the reports say if climate change can be stopped. And, more importantly, none of the reports identify how climate change is going to effect you… because how can they? There are far too many factors at play to understand what the final outcome will be. All they can do is say, “We are concerned”.

        All I was asking, was for people to stop running around screaming the “sky is falling” and question how much they can trust the reports of various activists. Try to remember that Greenpeace makes over US$250Million/year in donations. It’s clearly in their best interest to keep people worried about the environment. But the reality is, climate change is happening, and you can either devote your efforts to slowing it down or devote your efforts to adapting to it.

      • Christine permalink*
        2011/11/17 5:36 pm

        LOL – again, pulling out that “Greenpeace is making money hand over fist argument” is amusing, considering the trillions that the fossil fuel industry makes while polluting our air and water.
        BTW, climate change is complicated in its nuances but its really not that hard to understand the basics. Check out Bill Nye the Science Guy explaining Climate Science 101 http://bit.ly/oYy8UE

  4. Christine permalink*
    2011/11/17 5:44 pm

    Darren – here’s climate scientist and evangelical Christian Katherine Hayhoe explaining the basics of climate science, in case Bill Nye doesn’t make it clear enough for you:
    http://bit.ly/q7tbB1

    • 2011/11/18 12:49 pm

      I find it amusing that you think I don’t understand how the greenhouse effect or climate change work. I’m a professional geologist. You know… AN ACTUAL SCIENTIST! I get paid to understand how the earth works. And not just now. I get paid to understand how the earth has always worked. And as I’ve stated many times already… I believe in global warming. But I also know that this process started LONG BEFORE the industrial revolution. Global Warming is a natural process. Are we speeding the process along?.. most likely. To what extent? That’s impossible to quantify. What are the long term effects? That’s impossible to quantify. Should you be scared? Perhaps. It’s human nature to fear the unknown.

      I openly admit, as I do on my blog, that I work for an oil company. And I would be the first in line behind you to acknowledge that it’s in the best interest of oil companies to see climate science squashed. But what’s definitely true is that Climate Science is a new science. It raises a lot of red flags(which is good), but a lot of those flags disappear as quickly as they were raised because new data is constantly pouring in and interpretations are constantly being rewritten. And because it’s such a young science, it tends to draw in alot of activists disguised as scientists who only want to use the science to stand on their soap boxes. Dr. Hayhoe (who has a PhD in Political Science… and thus not a real scientist) states in the article that “if our planet were being controlled by the sun, or by natural cycles, it would have cooled over the last few decades as we’ve received less energy from the sun than we did before”. That’s absolute bullshit. Solar Radiation has increased 0.5% every decade since NASA started taking measurements in the 70s. Dr. Hayhoe is a liar. As is her statement about “dismissing hundreds of years’ worth of science”. More like decades. She’s an activist, not a scientist. True Scientists follow the scientific method. Ask a question, do some research, propose a hypothesis, test, analyze, revise hypothesis if needed, and post results. When you take it a step further to guess what the results could mean, you risk the integrity of the experiment. And when your job is to draw attention to what the results of an experiment could mean… you become an activist.

      You might think that I’m anti-activist, but I’m not. Activists play an important role in society to ensure that, in particular, big industries aren’t able to operate without consideration for others. Oil companies today operate far differently than they did in the 70s thanks in large part to the environmental movement. HS&E departments play key roles in every major oil company today. And that doesn’t mean that activists should leave them alone. It’s good that they know someone is watching them. My only beef with activists is when their issues are based solely on what-if scenarios instead of on tangible effects. Because running around screaming the sky is falling is just as damaging as doing nothing at all. It creates panic. It creates fear. It can disrupt society, and it can all be for nothing. Climate Science is still young, and by ignoring the possibility that it could be flawed, you are showing that you have no respect for the science.

      • Christine permalink*
        2011/11/18 1:22 pm

        Interesting that you claim Dr. Hayhoe is not a climate scientist because her Ph.D. is in political science, yet you feel qualified to comment on climate science even though your training (without a doctorate) is in geology. Dr. Hayhoe, on the other hand, is the director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, and her work has resulted in over 50 peer-reviewed publications and many key reports including the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s 2009 report, “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States,” the U.S. National Academy of Science 2011 report, “Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millennia,” and the upcoming 2013 U.S. National Climate Assessment. What peer-reviewed articles related to climate science have you published?

        And, as you can’t deny that CO2 is a heat-absorbing gas, you choose to deflect from that fact and make the unsubstantiated claim that climate science is “young”, once again showing how little you know about climate change/global warming. Is something older than 180 years immature? The existence of global warming gases were first proposed by the great mathematician Joseph Fourier in the early 1820s to explain why the Earth was warmer than one would expect given its distance from the sun. Tyndall discovered in 1859 that carbon dioxide and water were transparent to the light from the sun but absorbed heat energy, and then radiated that heat energy, somewhat like glass in a greenhouse. By 1896, Svante Arrhenius completed laborious numerical computations that linked the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to the temperature in Europe. To this date, these calculations remain accurate.
        In the 21st century, 97 per cent of climate scientists agree that human greenhouse gas production by burning of fossil fuels and land use practices are causing drastic changes in the climate. If 97 out of 100 doctors gave you a diagnosis that you had a terminal condition you could cure if you gradually eliminated one bad habit, would you not take that advice?

        This discussion reminds me of a quote I heard the other day: “When an honest man discovers he is mistaken, he will either cease being mistaken, or cease being honest.”

  5. 2011/11/18 2:44 pm

    See… was that so hard to get some real discussion.

    I’m not denying that CO2 effects temperature. I’m not sure why you believe that. The Theory of global warming has been tested and validated many times over. My questions have only revolved around how much of an effect man has. I have to assume, based on your responses, that you only believe global warming is caused only by man-made CO2, but we know that’s not the case. The earth produces significant amounts of CO2, solar radiation is increasing, plate tectonics are shifting the sizes of oceans, the earth’s core is getting hotter, the mass of the planet is increasing, etc. All of these factors contribute to the climate, but I also believe that man plays a part in this process too. Unfortunately… NOBODY can quantify this amount. All we can do is speculate. That’s why statements like “97 percent of climate scientists agree that human greenhouse gas production are causing drastic changes” is falsified, because “drastic” is a subjective term and no scientist would make such a statement. When words like “drastic” are added, you know the statement was filtered through an activist or a politician. BTW, that statistic usually refers to the percentage of scientists that believe in the theory of global warming. It has been bastardized and reworded by many groups since.

    Climate Science, as it known today, is very young. Most universities only started offering degrees in climate science in the past couple decades. Prior to that, climate science fell under the branch of many other departs including physical geography, meteorology, and GEOLOGY. Fourier was a mathematician. Tyndall was a physicist. Arrhenius was a physicist/chemist. Their work lead them to postulate theories about the atmosphere. These theories have been incorporated into modern day climate science, but calling them early climate scientists is just as ridiculous as calling Newton a climate scientist, yet his theory of gravity explains how the atmosphere stays around the planet.

    FYI. Geology means “study of the earth”. To have a degree in Geology requires a Bachelor of Science, and to practice geology requires approval and regulation from ethical boards and committees. Political Science is about politics. To have a degree in Political Science requires a Bachelor of Arts. But… then again… you are a nurse, so I forgive your ignorence.

    • Christine permalink*
      2011/11/18 7:46 pm

      Darren, you are going to have to work a little harder at not sounding condescending about things you don’t know anything about. I’m fairly familiar with both geologists (living in a mining community) and universities (having 2 university degrees of my own, and between my husband and I, 18 years of university education between us. As well, I’ve been a member of 2 different professional licensing boards during my career). And if you think that nurses are ignorant of science, I pray that you and yours never have a health crisis.

      I understand that you live in Alberta and work in the oil patch, so I’m not surprised that you are having a hard time with the concept of the science of climate change being well established. It is, but those who realize that the implications are going to require a radical shift in our society’s habits will affect their bottom line have been working extremely hard to make it seem like the science is still unsettled. And I’m not going to debate the science with you, as neither you nor I are climate scientists (and you’re dreaming if you think a bachelor’s degree in geology qualifies you in any way as an expert). Your point about CO2 is not true, because carbon isotopes are easily identified and catalogued by those scientists who study them. This is not revolutionary – if you want to read more, check out skepticalscience.com (http://www.skepticalscience.com/human-co2-smaller-than-natural-emissions-intermediate.htm)

      I approach this issue not as a climate scientist, but as a mother. You may love to debate these issues, but my heart breaks when I look at my children, who are part of the ecosystem of this planet. Their fates are intertwined with it, so when we poison our water and our air in our pursuit of the all-mighty dollar, we are stealing their future. It’s not something I can be glib about. As a mom, my job is to be my children’s protector, as biologist and mother Sandra Steingraber says: When the air, food and water surrounding my kids is filled with toxic chemicals and I can’t prevent them from entering the bodies of my kids, I’m really not their protector anymore. And when climate change threatens to destabilize the planetary ecology on which my children’s future depends, I can’t plan for their future.

      • 2011/11/19 1:12 am

        Oh. So you do read my posts. Or at least, you try to. Forgive my nurses comment. But since you were so quick to dismiss my geologist position, I felt I was entitled to remind you of yours. And not to belabour the point further but geology is often incorporated into climate science, and vice versa. Geology is an all encompassing science. The goal is to encorporate as much information from other, more specific, sciences to better understand the Earth as a whole. In other words, it’s not the job of a climate scientist to predict the rammifications of higher CO2. It’s just their job to say that it’s increasing. The findings are incorporated into the world of geology.

        (Christine: In 2006, the Geological Society of America adopted a position statement on global climate change. It amended this position on April 20, 2010 with more explicit comments on need for CO2 reduction:

        Decades of scientific research have shown that climate can change from both natural and anthropogenic causes. The Geological Society of America (GSA) concurs with assessments by the National Academies of Science (2005), the National Research Council (2006), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) that global climate has warmed and that human activities (mainly greenhouse‐gas emissions) account for most of the warming since the middle 1900s. If current trends continue, the projected increase in global temperature by the end of the twentyfirst century will result in large impacts on humans and other species. Addressing the challenges posed by climate change will require a combination of adaptation to the changes that are likely to occur and global reductions of CO2 emissions from anthropogenic sources.

        Obviously Darren isn’t up on what his own peers are saying about climate change.)

        Interesting website you listed. Did you read it? It reinforces my point and then some. It clearly states that nature produces FAR MORE CO2 than man does (to be fair, the article tries to state that nature also consumes more CO2 than it creates and thus the net effect is less than zero) The excess CO2 is considered man-made. Regardless, natural CO2 production is still significant, as is natural CO2 consumption. The article doesn’t address sudden volcanic eruptions either. The Icelandic Volcanoe that erupted a few years ago grounding airtraffic across Europe was pumping out over 300000 tonnes of CO2 per day. Sorry, I hate to bring geology back into the picture.

        Regardless, I didn’t come here to debate whether global warming or climate change is happening, and you keep avoiding my main concern. Why do you feel we must fear climate change? Humans are the most adaptive species to ever exist on the planet (Sorry… more geology). Do you actually believe you can stop climate change? What would be the cost of trying to stop climate change? How would those efforts effect the planet? How many resources would have to be drained to accomplish these goals? How many people would we have to sacrifice in order to limit the energy demands? Can real clean energy be created without massive fabrication demands?

        (Christine: Unlike Darren, I’m interested in hearing about what those people who are being forced to adapt to climate change already think about how “marvelous” it is to be put in this position by the industrialized world’s dependency on fossil fuels. Darren would be wise to research before he speaks – fyi, World Vision: The relationship between poverty and the environment is very critical in much of the developing world. Climate change just adds to that. Poor people living in degraded environments already find it very difficult to earn a living. When you add the increased variability of climate change it becomes even more challenging to survive.
        Or this: During a media conference call, Canadian scientists noted that a country like Canada could face higher economic losses than a developing country due to the anticipated rise in extreme weather events since it has more infrastructure. But the report also said that fatality rates and the proportional losses in developing countries, based on the size of their economies, could be relatively greater.
        http://bit.ly/sFyqz3

        Darren is saying that because humans are highly adaptable (which is true) we should continue to use our atmosphere as a sewer. I disagree, as would most sensible people. It’s not like there isn’t an alternative – renewable energy initiatives are growing, and create jobs (just not jobs in the oil patch).)

        I’ll refer you to my initial post, which was that I applaud your efforts to do what you think is a great thing for mankind. Your desire for universal clean air and water for your children is a goal we all want… but that’s a seperate issue. Pollution and climate change are not the same issue. Pollution is tangible. Climate change is a cause. We can all see pollution. We can see the effect it has, and we can all agree that it’s bad. We also have the ability to remove it. Climate Change on the other hand… well this is just becoming a broken record isn’t it.

      • Christine permalink*
        2011/11/19 7:47 am

        Darren, you obviously aren’t interested in the facts or preserving your children’s future, you are a mouthpiece for the oil industry. Move along!
        (And here’s one geologist you SHOULD read – Naomi Oreskes is a geologist and a science historian – check out “Merchants of Doubt” – I’m sure you’ll find your employers in there)

  6. 2011/11/18 3:56 pm

    BTW… I apologize if I seem like an ass. I love these kinds of discussions.

  7. 2011/11/21 7:22 pm

    On the solutions end of things, it’s good to know that cycling – as a share of total transportation is on the rise. It’s the fastest growing form of transportation in Vancouver! In 2009 the mayor’s of the 25 largest cities in Europe agreed to increase bicycle mode share to 15% by 2020. Take a look at this website to see how things are faring in 193 cities on the other side of the Atlantic. http://www.epomm.eu/tems/index.phtml?Main_ID=2928

    Rural cycling is an important gap in this picture. Not so much because of the numbers, but because the increasing number of people who cycle in cities will inevitably mean that more people will cycle beyond city boundaries and into the country. There are already 11,000,000 cycle tourists in the United States! But if country cycling isn’t safe or doesn’t enable cyclists, then that will take us backwards.

    This is all to say that between 21 & 23 June 2012, Salt Spring Island will be hosting Velo Village – a 3 day celebration of cycling. Really, bicycle heaven-on-earth. Take a look at our blog and if you know someone or some organization with a rural cycling success story, then drop us a note at velovillage2012@gmail.com. There’s more info on the blog: http://velo-village2012.blogspot.com

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