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The Dust Bowl of the 1930s was the worst drought in US history
A primary tenet of global warming alarmism is invalidated.

A recurring theme in my past columns is that a moderate degree of global warming is likely to be beneficial to mankind. Al Gore, on the other hand, says climate change is already causing catastrophic results. In testimony before Congress last March, he stated, "droughts are [already] becoming longer and more intense". But the findings of a group of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers say otherwise.

The scientists, led by Gemma Narisma, examined 100 years of global rainfall data. Using sophisticated wavelet analysis methods, they identified 30 cases of severe droughts lasting 10 or more years. The results showed the number of droughts dropping sharply over time. From 1900-1920, seven droughts, another seven from from 1920-1940, and eight from 1940-1960. But after that, the picture changes. In the period 1960-1980, only five droughts were recorded, and from 1980-2000 (the warmest period of all), only three occurred. Furthermore, of the most severe droughts, none began in the last 30 years..

The researchers found another surprising result. Changes in rainfall levels are not only much more common than previously thought, but they tend to occur in a very abrupt, unexplained manner. More proof that climate change is part of nature.

The work represents the first systematic survey of abrupt climate changes that have occurred in recent history. Professor Johnathan Foley, who also participated in the research, says the study is important, "because previous work largely focused on ancient climates or theoretical changes in future climates".

The findings are published in Geophysical Research Letters.



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If you stop and think about it.....
By marvdmartian on 9/12/07, Rating: 0
RE: If you stop and think about it.....
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/12/2007 9:31:44 AM , Rating: 1
Indeed. The planet is warming, just like it was cooling 40 years ago. It's a continual balancing act. It is unlikely to go too far in one direction.


RE: If you stop and think about it.....
By Murst on 9/12/2007 9:47:51 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
It is unlikely to go too far in one direction.


Just what exactly is "too far"? If a single species goes extinct because of warming, is that too far? 10 species? 100?

If a single village has to be abandoned because of rising waters is that too far? What about the entire coastline of a country?


RE: If you stop and think about it.....
By TomZ on 9/12/2007 10:02:23 AM , Rating: 1
Why worry about things that are not under our (man's) control?


By nangryo on 9/13/2007 4:30:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why worry about things that are not under our (man's) control?


Because it was concerning with our lives, our daily lives. Indeed something are beyond man's control, but it doesn't make us to just sit there and do nothing. Everything that could help even a little to save our kind lives is worth a try.

Just like in example of tsunami, or volcanoes eruption. It's none of our control, nothing you can do to stop them. But you CAN lessen victim by place a sensor prior to detect them, although not 100% accurate, it does saves lives.

So, in this case, every little thing that can make the global warming less impact is welcome to try, and not to bashing studied that try to understand it and just do nothing.


RE: If you stop and think about it.....
By masher2 (blog) on 9/12/2007 10:03:49 AM , Rating: 4
> " What about the entire coastline of a country? "

Given that even the alarmist IPCC is predicting only a ~25 centimeter rise in sea level over the next 100 years, I think claims of having to abandon "the entire coastline" of a nation are a bit over the top.

The ice caps have been steadily melting for at least the last 7,000 years. If one looks at the overall history of the planet, permanent polar ice caps are a rare phenomena, existing only some 10% of the time. Do you suggest we should interfere with this natural process and prevent nature from taking its course?


RE: If you stop and think about it.....
By Murst on 9/12/2007 10:19:53 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think claims of having to abandon "the entire coastline" of a nation are a bit over the top.


It is about as unrealistic as having a single species go extinct due to global warming (as opposed to a large number of species).

quote:
If one looks at the overall history of the planet, permanent polar ice caps are a rare phenomena


Even the simplets multi-cellular animals are a rare phenomena in the history of the planet. However, if you look at the history of the planet during which humans thrived, I think you'll find polar ice caps quite common.

quote:
Do you suggest we should interfere with this natural process and prevent nature from taking its course?


I think we should STOP interfering with this natural process and let is go about its own slow pace, instead of hastening it. :)


RE: If you stop and think about it.....
By cochy on 9/12/2007 12:53:16 PM , Rating: 3
People are trying to point out that Humans aren't hastening it. It seems to be a pretty open question anyway at this point.

quote:
However, if you look at the history of the planet during which humans thrived, I think you'll find polar ice caps quite common.


You also missed the point that "the time which humans thrived" is a very small period of time and thus we need to examine how the polar ice caps have waxed and waned over much longer periods to reach any meaningful conclusion on the matter.


RE: If you stop and think about it.....
By Murst on 9/12/2007 2:31:36 PM , Rating: 1
Nah, I didn't miss the point. In fact, I don't care about any other point other than the one where humans have been around. Sure, it may be egotistical, but I'd prefer if humans were around in a million years. I don't want some rat-bear-monkey mix posting on an Internet site a million years from now about the downfall of the human race. :)


By Eris23007 on 9/12/2007 6:25:54 PM , Rating: 3
Watch out for ManBearPig!!!! I'm TOTALLY CEREAL!!!

/Al


By Pythias on 9/13/2007 8:48:51 PM , Rating: 2
Well you should. Otherwise, climate statistics are skewed.


RE: If you stop and think about it.....
By geddarkstorm on 9/12/2007 1:01:12 PM , Rating: 2
The End Permian event caused the extinction of 95% of the planet's species, and 50% of all phylogenetic families. The cause? Unknown; but things got quite a bit colder for awhile after that boundary before heating up into the Devonian.

We know there was a mini ice age in Europe in the 1800's, and I'm sure there were animals that went regionally or totally extinct from that, and that wasn't human fault at all. However, it is far easier for a species to adapt to heat and moisture than cold and dry. That is obvious since the hottest and moistest places on earth have the greatest biodiversity and density--and the warmest and moistest period theoretically in earth history, the Devonian, was also the richest in life of all. The converse is true, with extreme plant and animal species loss during ice age and cooling periods.

The fact the climate changes is irrefutable. Year to year the climate fluctuates, and century to century, so forth. Technically, we are still coming out of an ice age, so warming is to be expected, nor is it happening faster than per usual, especially now that NASA's data was corrected. There's nothing to be alarmed about. Did you know, that a year ago here in Kansas City on February 14, we had the coldest Valentine's in 30 years? And that incredible cold trend continued all the way up through March and April? Weather is always swinging about.

You don't have anything to worry about; if you really cared about species and the planet, you'd be more concerned with pollution and habitat loss than anything.


By Murst on 9/12/2007 2:34:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
if you really cared about species and the planet, you'd be more concerned with pollution and habitat loss than anything.


Right, because pollution, habitat loss, and global warming have absolutely nothing to do with each other. ;)


By Oregonian2 on 9/12/2007 2:38:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We know there was a mini ice age in Europe in the 1800's, and I'm sure there were animals that went regionally or totally extinct from that, and that wasn't human fault at all.


What happened in America? If that happened "here" it would have been totally the U.S.A.'s fault (even if it only took up a tiny part of the continent at the time). It's a well know given that anything bad is humanity's fault, especially Americans... and that's a truism whether factual or not.

Here in Oregon we've had a very cool Summer. We think we've global cooling going on.


RE: If you stop and think about it.....
By smitty3268 on 9/12/2007 10:56:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do you suggest we should interfere with this natural process and prevent nature from taking its course?

I HATE this argument, which someone always seems to make. The plague killing millions of people was a natural process, but no one is going to argue that we should let it go on. People change nature all the time for our own benefit.

quote:
Given that even the alarmist IPCC is predicting only a ~25 centimeter rise in sea level over the next 100 years, I think claims of having to abandon "the entire coastline" of a nation are a bit over the top.

Aren't there some coastlines that are already under sealevel, like maybe Belgium? I could be wrong about that. Anyway, I don't see this as a major problem either unless something unexpected and drastic happens (like the Greenland ice falling into the ocean).

I'm also not at all suprised that warming -> less drought. I've even heard that before for the midwest US, and extending it globally doesn't seem much of a stretch. As someone else said, more liquid water should intuitively lead to more total rainfall.


By TomZ on 9/12/2007 1:01:19 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I HATE this argument, which someone always seems to make. The plague killing millions of people was a natural process, but no one is going to argue that we should let it go on. People change nature all the time for our own benefit.

No, what happened is that humans evolved in order to avoid being killed by the plague - we improved sanitation and developed antibiotics. Same for global warming - humans will evolve to cope with the slowly-changing environment. I don't see any basis for concern.


RE: If you stop and think about it.....
By James Holden on 9/12/2007 1:38:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The plague killing millions of people was a natural process, but no one is going to argue that we should let it go on.

Lets we forget as well that the plague started as early forms of biological warfare. I'd hardly call that natural.


RE: If you stop and think about it.....
By smitty3268 on 9/12/2007 2:38:45 PM , Rating: 2
OK, fine, I'm changing my argument to say that no one should get MMR vaccines as a child. It's natural to get those diseases, and eventually we'll adapt everything will go as nature intended.

Ridiculous. (BTW, I'm also responding to the post above yours.)


RE: If you stop and think about it.....
By TomZ on 9/12/2007 3:01:12 PM , Rating: 1
LOL, now you're talking complete nonsense. Who is saying that we shouldn't adapt ourselves to better survive in our world?


By Kenenniah on 9/12/2007 3:47:57 PM , Rating: 2
One could even argue that nature itself gave us our intellectual capacity, therefore anything we do with it is entirely natural. Just as an animal using it's version of "intellect" tries to avoid danger, or keep warm by digging a burro, we use our intellect to protect ourselves from threats and maintain comfort.


By Hyperlite on 9/12/2007 10:05:16 PM , Rating: 1
i concur, that is way off base. The argument here (the one against global warming) is whether or not we are causing or can do anything to prevent what i also believe to be a naturally occurring trend. The fact that we can and have done something to prevent disease has no place here, in my opinion.


By nangryo on 9/13/2007 4:22:23 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Do you suggest we should interfere with this natural process and prevent nature from taking its course?


What if this 'natural' process cost the demise of very large of human lives, just like on ice age ago where many species becomes extinct, do you still think that we shouldn't interfere with it at all?

You may say it it's all right, but when your family and a whole town get pawned by a huge abnormal hurricane formed by the anomally of global warming, you my say otherwise..

I'm not saying that it will happen, just in case that it "might" happen.


By Moishe on 9/12/2007 10:09:24 AM , Rating: 2
I think what is "too far" will differ for everyone (opinion). If you're in a village that gets flooded you might have a different perspective.

I think the reality is that "nature" is not really worried about individuals and it doesn't have a measure of what "too far" is. Nature is not reasoning, it is simply adjusting and going through cycles. I highly suspect that plenty species died before any significant human civilization or technology was ever around. To try to "fix" (or worse yet, stop) a process that we don't understand I think it man's ultimate arrogance. Long before we recorded our imperfect recordings nature was still doing it's thing and getting along just fine. Death happens, extinction happens and it's really just part of the way things are.

Don't for one second believe that I think humans should not conserve or take care of the environment. Letting things flow as they will is not the same as purposeful waste and foolishness.


RE: If you stop and think about it.....
By borismkv on 9/12/2007 11:57:13 AM , Rating: 2
You do realize that literally billions (Probably trillions) of species have gone extinct without us ever even knowing about them, right? The number of animal species forced into extinction because of human involvement isn't even a drop in a bucket compared to the number that went extinct because of an inability to adapt to changes in the environment. What's funny is that humans are the only species on the planet that actually works to *prevent* the extinction of animals. Every other species works pretty hard to kill off every other species. Nature's pretty darn harsh, my friend.


RE: If you stop and think about it.....
By Murst on 9/12/2007 12:18:11 PM , Rating: 2
That's a pretty ignorant argument.

Sure, perhaps you really consider human beings to be just another animal on this planet, but I think most of us think of it differently. Its kind of like saying that trillions of organisims have died from starvation in the history of the planet, so if we humans were all dying from starvation, it'd be ok.

In the history of this planet, there has never been a living thing (that we know of) that has the ability to literally destroy the planet. We are capable of doing that, if we so choose. With that comes responsibility. Although you may consider responsibility a joke, I don't think at all its something funny.


RE: If you stop and think about it.....
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/12/2007 1:08:00 PM , Rating: 1
I think you need to recheck your logic. It is very egotistical to think we aren't just another animal on this planet. We are, that is the pure and simple truth of the matter. Anyone that thinks were "better" than that is kidding themselves.

We humans are the only ones to come up with all sorts of things. Mother nature changes constantly, this destroys old species that can't adapt to make way for new species that can. This is a continual cycle. The black plague wiped out 2/3 of europe. Who survived? People who could naturally survive the illness. That is an evolutional trait. The other 2/3 weren't capable of surviving and thus were eliminated from the gene pool.

Today humans can to some extent cheat the evolution system and provide vaccine's and technology to keep us alive even when naturally we would die. There are still other illnesses like AIDS, Ebola and others still keep a significant number of humans dieing. Welcome to reality. Humans have cheated evolution for quite some time and we may continue to do this indefinately, but unless we keep advancing technology and medicines we will sooner or later fail to cheat evolution resulting in a large portion of the human race (if not everyone) from being killed.

This is the reality of the situation. We may be capable of many things, but thinking you can beat mother nature is laughable at best. We can only Improvise, Adapt and Overcome whatever is thrown in our way. (Bonus to anyone who gets that reference)


By Martimus on 9/12/2007 2:19:13 PM , Rating: 2
The greatest thing about humans, is that we often don't need to adapt to our environment; we can adapt it to us.


RE: If you stop and think about it.....
By Murst on 9/12/2007 2:25:19 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
It is very egotistical to think we aren't just another animal on this planet.

quote:
We humans are the only ones to come up with all sorts of things


Isn't that a contradiction? Sure, if you take the view that everything that is made up of cells is equal, then yes, we're no different from a roach. However, I think you'll be in the minority here. I think most would agree that we are by far the most unique beings on this planet.

quote:
Mother nature changes constantly, this destroys old species that can't adapt to make way for new species that can.


Exactly. I completely agree with you there. However, the point I'm trying to make is that the same should not apply to humans, especially when we don't have clue as to the effects.

quote:
Today humans can to some extent cheat the evolution system and provide vaccine's and technology to keep us alive even when naturally we would die.


I'd have to disagree with you here. Just because we're not evolving to physically cope with these, it doesn't mean we're not evolving. Our evolution is in our mental abilities to deal with issues such as the ones you've listed.

quote:
We may be capable of many things, but thinking you can beat mother nature is laughable at best.


When have I ever stated we can "beat mother nature"? I've been arguing to let nature do its thing on its own all along. I think you missed my point completely.


RE: If you stop and think about it.....
By borismkv on 9/12/2007 4:19:13 PM , Rating: 2
Did I actually say that humans were "just animals"? No. I was pointing out that the argument, "How many lost species is too far?" was flawed, simply because that's what happens in nature. There have been periods in Earth's history of MASS extinctions on a global scale, none of which was caused by humans. From a biological standpoint, it makes complete sense that in periods of extreme change (following the end of an ice age, at the begining of an ice age, just prior to and immediately after a very hot period) that more species would become extinct, simply because they cannot adapt quick enough to the rapid changes that occur to their environment. What bugs me most about this whole global warming thing is that the people who are so vocal against the changes in America's security policy due to terrorist activities (The government shouldn't be butting into my life and taking away my freedom!!!) are the same people who think that the government should step in and wrangle the entire Industrial structure of our country into complying with guildlines that might not even work at all ("But go ahead and take away those evil corporations' freedom...that's not a problem at all."). Do you not see the hypocrisy in that?


RE: If you stop and think about it.....
By Murst on 9/12/2007 5:32:42 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, I completely agree that the government should not be involved (except maybe in some extreme cases), unless it is funding research, education, or something similar.

Minimizing our contributions to global warming requires action from people anyways... the government, through rules and regulations, is not willing nor capable of changing the lifestyles of its citizens.

However, I'm also against the government pretending it is not an issue. IMHO, the government should be encouraging "green" behavior, but unfortunately, I do not think it will happen with this administration, at least not at the level it should be happening.


By TomZ on 9/12/2007 7:50:23 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, I think that the so-called "green" movement is the only policy area where Bush has been successful. His sandbagging of initiatives like Kyoto has allowed us to avoid the humiliation of being in any way associated with that trainwreck.

Green is good, but it has to be based on good science, not junk science. AGW is pure junk science at this point.


RE: If you stop and think about it.....
By 3kliksphilip on 9/12/2007 10:14:58 AM , Rating: 2
...and wasn't the dust bowl a man made occurrence for over farming the same area of land?

Perhaps it should be Global Changing instead of Global Warming


By porkpie on 9/12/2007 2:07:06 PM , Rating: 1
During the Dust Bowl, rainfall decreased sharply and temperatures increased. Overfarming played a part in worsening the resulting erosion (as we were all taught in school) but natural climate change was the real trigger.


By Kuroyama on 9/12/2007 1:12:30 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, if we dump more water in the ocean it will not effect the amount of rain much because as the sea level rises the surface area (which is what matters for evaporation) will only increase minimally.

However, even if volume were what mattered, your point would not hold. The oceans have a total volume of water of 1.37 × 10^9 cubic kilometers. The Greenland glacier has a volume of 5 × 10^6 cubic kilometers, and the Antarctic ice cap has a volume of about 6.5 × 10^7 cubic kilometers. And of course, when ice melts it loses some of its volume in changing to water.

So, even if the Greenland glacier melts entirely then it will only add 0.5% to the volume of the oceans. Hypothetically, if the Antarctic ice cap were to melt then it woul raise the volume around 5%, which on the "more water = more rain" hypothesis would still only effect rainfall minimally (but would raise sea levels by 200 feet so rain would be the least of our worries).


By James Holden on 9/12/2007 1:32:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If global warming truly is happening

Very few people debate whether or not its occurring. People do debate its magnitude and origin. The new debate is whether or not its beneficial even.


By djkrypplephite on 9/13/2007 2:47:19 AM , Rating: 2
So by your logic, anything that happens in the weather means global warming. Sounds like a typical environmentalist.


Global dimming
By blackseed on 9/12/2007 9:32:29 AM , Rating: 2
I really don't know what's real and what is not any more.

I watched NOVA: Glabal Dimming two days ago, and I read Masher's articles.

I get confused more as I read more.

Masher, what do you think about glabal dimming?




RE: Global dimming
By Murst on 9/12/2007 9:57:26 AM , Rating: 1
Well, I'm not masher, but I doubt he would state that global warming is not "real". It certainly exists, although he seems to argue it has nothing to do with human behavior.

Also, you need to realize that no one is going to give you the entire story on something. Ok, so perhaps the largest droughts are not happening as often as they did in the early 1900s. But who's to say that the early 1900s did not experience an unusually high number of droughts? Also, this says nothing about droughts that are not extremely long in duration. The warming of a planet can still be causing, for example, year-long droughts to happen much more frequently (btw, I'm certainly not stating that this is the case, I'm just pointing out that the article doesn't really invalidate the theory that warming is causing more droughts).


RE: Global dimming
By masher2 (blog) on 9/12/2007 10:18:15 AM , Rating: 5
> "But who's to say that the early 1900s did not experience an unusually high number of droughts? "

Exactly. However the same logic applies to global temperatures. Perhaps the early 1900s were unusually cool, and we're simply returning to a more natural environment?

100 years of climate records -- be they temperature, rainfall, or storm activity -- is an incredibly small slice of planetary history. Drawing conclusions from them is always risky business.

> " I'm just pointing out that the article doesn't really invalidate the theory that warming is causing more droughts"

To be more precise, it invalidates the theory that warming is causing more serious droughts.

> "although he seems to argue [GW] has nothing to do with human behavior"

Certainly mankind is having some sort of impact; UHI (urban heat island) effects alone are unequivocal. However, the degree of is unclear, and anthropogenic effects may well turn out to be far outweighed by natural causes.

Furthermore, its even less clear what the overall impact of global warming will be. My personal opinion (supported by evidence in the "related story" above) is that the warming we're expected to experience over the next century or two will be primarily beneficial to mankind.


RE: Global dimming
By Lightning III on 9/12/07, Rating: -1
RE: Global dimming
By porkpie on 9/12/2007 2:03:28 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
and who knows what real beneficial impact...
The important point of your post is right there. Who knows? Certainly not you or anyone else. Homo Sapiens have been around for a few million years. We survived the last few times the ice caps vanished. I think we'll do just fine this time.

quote:
everything is pointing at co2 for the last mass extiction
Wrong again. The last major extinction was the K/T event, which almost certainly was caused by meteor impact.

quote:
No you myopic ass
Why so much emotion? Are you really such a fanatic you can't handle honest debate?


RE: Global dimming
By Lightning III on 9/12/07, Rating: 0
RE: Global dimming
By TomZ on 9/12/2007 4:20:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
to me he is the guy from the thank you for smoking movie, just insert global warming is a myth instead of smoking

I think quite possibly it's the other way around. The global warming enthusiasts, such as yourself, are like the general public who once believed from listening to the "consensus" from "health experts" (doctors) that smoking is good for you. At the time there were probably "smoking is healthy" skeptics, just like there are AGW skeptics today.


RE: Global dimming
By dever on 9/12/2007 2:04:03 PM , Rating: 2
Mature and compelling.


RE: Global dimming
By TomZ on 9/12/2007 3:03:02 PM , Rating: 2
NOT.


RE: Global dimming
By masher2 (blog) on 9/12/2007 9:58:30 AM , Rating: 5
Its a real effect, obviously. But just like global warming, what we don't know about it far outweighs what we do. We're not sure of its total impact, how much of it is due to anthropogenic (human) causes, or how long its expected to persist. We're not even 100% sure whether its increasing or decreasing in recent years (though the bulk of the evidence says decreasing).

In short, I wouldn't worry overmuch about either phenomena, as even the most pessimistic assumptions lie well within the means of our technology to compensate and adapt for them.


History and the preponderance of evidence
By lifeblood on 9/12/2007 10:05:43 AM , Rating: 2
I must admit to finding all the arguments for and against global warming to be misinformed. On a geologic time scale, Global warming is an event that has happen many times in the past, as has global cooling. It is self evident you had global cooling preceding ice ages, and global warming following ice ages. The last ice age ended about 10,000 years ago. Obviously we’ve warmed up since then. Our problem is that for the past 800 years we've been in a period of relative stability, a phenomenon that people seem to think is the norm.

Do we as scientists question whether the current warming trends are natural or man made? Absolutely. Weather and climatology are still not that well understood and we are hampered by limited data sets with which to make predictions. Is man having an effect on the climate? Almost certainly. How much of an effect is it and how is it manifesting itself? We're not sure. We are still trying to figure that out.

Unfortunate money for research has become very scarce. The cost of the war in Iraq/Afghanistan plus the fact that the Bush administration is hostile to global warming studies has resulted in a lack of funding for the studies. This may explain or contribute to the drop in research endorsing global warming referred to in one of masher's previous blogs.

If your point is to say that global warming is a natural process then I must agree with you. If your point is to say global warming will have some benefits, then I again must agree with you while also saying it will also have detrimental effects. If your point is to deny we are contributing to global warming then I must say you’re almost certainly wrong.




RE: History and the preponderance of evidence
By Kuroyama on 9/12/2007 10:52:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
the fact that the Bush administration is hostile to global warming studies has resulted in a lack of funding for the studies.

Don't know, but I would hope this is not true because their constant excuse to not do anything is that "we need more research".

Researchers in controversial areas such as global warming and sexuality have said that in recent years they are avoiding using certain words because congressman and right wing groups against these topics have been doing keyword searches and then have opposing anything involving stuff they don't like. So I don't really think that article pointed out anything of significance.

This article from a few weeks ago on just that topic has the humorous title Who’s Afraid of Incestuous Gay Monkey Sex?:

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/08/14/soc

From the article:
quote:
Nearly half said that they took steps to either lower their profile or to change the language in their projects to disguise those qualities that would attract criticism. As one scholar told Kempner of the change, “I do not study sex workers. I study women at risk.”


RE: History and the preponderance of evidence
By lifeblood on 9/12/2007 1:23:56 PM , Rating: 2
It's rather scary to see the lengths a politician will go to trying to disrupt activities they disagree with. A few years back my states Department of Environmental Quality had a GIS system to track land use near rivers and streams. It was to help in enforcing buffers and no build zones near the water. The incoming Republican governor ordered the GIS system transferred to the Department of Business Assistance where it sat collecting dust. This move made it much harder for the DEQ to find and act against violators.

Although this example was by a Republican, the democrats use the exact same tactics.


RE: History and the preponderance of evidence
By dever on 9/12/2007 2:18:40 PM , Rating: 2
Potentially missing the point. These were politicians who were intelligent enough to conclude that taking everyone's money by force via taxation and spending it on research that inflames many of those same people would not be considered "representation" of their constituency.


By Kuroyama on 9/12/2007 3:33:28 PM , Rating: 2
No, you are missing the point, because probably 100% of government spending pisses off someone.

- Defense spending? plenty of pacifists don't want to pay for it
- Police? plenty of African-American non-criminals don't like the police one bit
- Science? there are still plenty of Luddites left in the world
- etc. etc.

For instance, there was plenty of criticism some years ago on research on "cow flatulism". However, if say a cheap cow supplement could decrease their flatulence then this would do more for global warming than decreased carbon emissions, as Masher points out quite often. However, we spend billions on GW research, and nothing on "cow flatulism", because one sounds serious and the other sounds like a bad joke.

If you want to stop AIDS then you're going to have to study prostitutes, if you want to stop POTENTIAL man-made global warming then study cow flatulence too, and if want to stop teen sex then do a study into whether abstinence-only programs ACTUALLY work, etc etc. Otherwise you're just wasting our tax money.

Politicians should set the ground rules, and then let the scientists decide what research is relevant in reaching those goals (and this applies to Democrat politicians too).


RE: History and the preponderance of evidence
By Ringold on 9/12/2007 2:23:04 PM , Rating: 2
Is $50 billion over the last decade not enough money for you?

Compared to 19 million for groups challenging global warming theories?

http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=...

Not to mention Bush's support for the biofuel sham.

What more would you have the man do?

And "hostile"? I'd suggest reading some of the above blog -- the ones who get "hostile" are the environmentalists promising to "destroy" the careers of those who fail to toe the party line.


RE: History and the preponderance of evidence
By dluther on 9/12/2007 8:05:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not to mention Bush's support for the biofuel sham.

Biofuel is a great idea. The bad thing is that we're using all our corn to produce it.


RE: History and the preponderance of evidence
By Ringold on 9/13/2007 12:09:23 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, it's a great idea if you don't have to buy food, or care about silly things like a return on energy invested.

The impact on food prices has been much greater than I suspected it was (even though farmers ability to spool up production is also greater then I'd of guessed). That's a mere annoyance for even the poorest American's, but Mexicans and others in less wealthy countries are getting hurt.

Until it's vastly more efficient and can be made with industrial processes that doesn't involve arable land, it's a sham. A sham that farmers will wage a fierce political war, I might add, to perpetuate, as they've literally bet the farm in many communities on the success of this sham.


By dluther on 9/13/2007 12:51:48 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Sure, it's a great idea if you don't have to buy food, or care about silly things like a return on energy invested.

Which is why I strongly disavow ethanol production from food sources.

quote:
Until it's vastly more efficient and can be made with industrial processes that doesn't involve arable land, it's a sham. A sham that farmers will wage a fierce political war, I might add, to perpetuate, as they've literally bet the farm in many communities on the success of this sham.

We can create biodiesel and even crude oil from food and farm waste products by mimicking the same processes that nature uses to create it in the first place. Think of all the lawn and tree clippings, the mountain of cow shit that sits outside any stock yard, human waste, road kill, and poultry waste that can be put to good use (google thermal deploymerization). It can be done, and is being done, with very successful results.


By lifeblood on 9/13/2007 3:27:12 PM , Rating: 2
I apologize but I failed to see the point of your link. Following it took me to the minority BLOG page for the US Senates Committee on Environment and Public Works. The minority happens to be the Republicans currently. I did not see the $50 billion over the past ten years number you’re referencing although it could have been replaced by more recent bogs.

Unfortunately this site lacks credibility, especially as it’s a blog. How they count how much money is spent on what often varies with who's doing the counting. The whole site seemed based on discrediting Global Warming. If the majority party members of the committee i.e., the democrats, had a blog site (I didn't see one), I wouldn't trust it either as they would probably spend the whole time bashing the republicans environmental record. Quite simply, when it comes to a discussion on Global Warming the last person I'm going to trust on the issue is a politician, be it George Bush or Al Gore. I will stick with the peer reviewed scientific journals for my information.


Environmentalism, the new religion
By porkpie on 9/12/2007 10:33:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Environmentalism is the religion of choice for urban atheists...If you look carefully, you see that it is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.

There's an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there's a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all.

We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.
- Michael Crichton




RE: Environmentalism, the new religion
By Moishe on 9/12/2007 11:22:08 AM , Rating: 2
The more extreme environmental groups around do certainly have the appearance of being religious. And some are not peaceful religions, but are radical and militant.


RE: Environmentalism, the new religion
By Murst on 9/12/2007 11:44:24 AM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't "extreme environmental groups" be "radical and militant" by definition? :)

Ironically, the first thing I thought of when trying to think of the opposite extreme was the Bush administration. Religious, radical, militant, yet their policy is not very environment-friendly.

In any case, I think its some other agenda that's pushing everything. I'll never buy the argument that you need to kill people to save people (same thing can be said for bombing abortion clinics).


RE: Environmentalism, the new religion
By Schrag4 on 9/12/2007 12:34:52 PM , Rating: 2
"I'll never buy the argument that you need to kill people to save people..."

Wow, are you really so dense that you can't even come up with a single hypothetical situation? What if some monster, let's call him 'Hitler', just a hypothetical of course, was actually succeeding at wiping out an entire race? Couldn't you kill him and a few hundred thousand of his goons to save millions?

Ok, in all seriousness, a real hypothetical. What if you had a hostage situation where the hostage taker was killing a hostage every hour and he had already killed 2 of them after 2 hours? And he had no apparent demands? I can't think of a simpler situation where it's obvious that ending his life would indeed save many others. Of course you can try non-lethal means of stopping him, but that's not always an option that leads to the least loss of life.

Seriously, Murst, making such sweeping generalized statements really makes you sound either dumb or at least extremely political (in other words deceitful).


By Murst on 9/12/2007 3:05:53 PM , Rating: 2
You're right. I should not have phrased my statement as such. I will completely agree that if someone is threatening the right to life of another being, they can be killed (however, I will disagree that they should be killed after the fact - no death penalty)

My statement was meant more in terms of ideology such as environmental issues, abortion, etc.


By dever on 9/12/2007 2:12:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Wouldn't "extreme environmental groups" be "radical and militant" by definition?
Radical maybe, militant no. Are "Extreme Pacifists" militant by definition? What about "Extreme Mediators?" "Extreme Agnotstics?" "Extremely Dumb Posters?"


By Ringold on 9/12/2007 2:14:34 PM , Rating: 2
So what does a liberal Reformation look like?


Michael, time to pull your head out.
By dluther on 9/12/2007 7:49:20 PM , Rating: 1
Michael,

Here's a news flash: anthropogenic global warming is real, it's here, and we don't have much time to correct it. The only "debate" left is over what we can do to mitigate and possibly reverse it.

I live in the Midwest, and no amount of wavelet analysis will change the fact that only this year, a drought that lasted two years is finally over.

You keep presenting "evidence" that the things we can see happening right before our eyes really aren't, which is the equivalent of saying "if you cross your eyes and squint it kinda looks like a pony." Scientific measurements for drought conditions are measured by the amount of rainfall for a particular region. Not wavelet analysis of data for overlapping macro-regions, not by averaging rainfall for a particular hemisphere, and not by segmenting rainfall averages and sliding reporting intervals.

Putting it in simpler terms for you, surely last year you noticed the price of bread increased significantly. The reason that happened is because the Midwest -- the place where we grow wheat -- was IN A DROUGHT!

I mentioned earlier that the Midwest this year came out of a drought. The bad part of that is we're experiencing the opposite of drought: flooding. This week, Oklahoma City broke it's record for daily rainfall by a large margin -- in under an hour. Flooding is just as bad for crops, and you'll see futures for soybeans, corn, wheat, and beef (due to hay production) being steadily and dramatically increased.

Drought and floods are both items predicted by climate models based on global temperature increases. And while you are sitting in your perfect corner of the world, I have to live in the real one and deal with the consequences of the thing you say isn't happening.

So I think it's time to call you on your bullshit.

You can debate the minutiae of global warming all you want. You can talk about CO2 (while conveniently neglecting methane, hydrocarbons, NOx, and SOx) all you like and tell everyone that everything's really okay, and global warming is some crazy idea concocted by left-wing liberal environmentalists who are furthering their agenda through a terror campaign, but the reality is that people have to somehow live and thrive in an environment that is starting to reject them.




RE: Michael, time to pull your head out.
By TomZ on 9/12/2007 9:13:22 PM , Rating: 2
Get a clue; droughts and floods have been happening since way before the industrial revolution, and anecdotal evidence of some of these events happening this particular year is no proof of AGW.

Your belief in AGW is clearly based on emotion, not logic.

Thanks for playing, have a nice day.


RE: Michael, time to pull your head out.
By dluther on 9/13/2007 8:50:19 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Your belief in AGW is clearly based on emotion, not logic.

Tell me Tom, don't you think the stock "emotion based" reply is getting a little tired? It sure seems to get used a lot by you, Michael, and others, directed to anyone who has the temerity to independently weigh the evidence for and against a thing, draw their own conclusions, and refuse to be bullied by detractors from the other side.

Tom, you really cannot believe that we can dump billions of metric tons of volatile organic compounds into our air and water without any detrimental effects on the environment, can you? If so, then that's absolutely great, and I wish you well with that.

I've looked at the evidence of anthropogenic global warming, both for and against, and have drawn my own conclusions. And when you use the same old "your belief is based on emotion" statement to dismiss a dissenting opinion (which is the #1 missive used when the opinion is presented without an armada of links supporting the opinion), it tells me that I'm on the right track. So in your quest to dismiss my opinion, you inadvertently supported my position.


RE: Michael, time to pull your head out.
By TomZ on 9/13/2007 9:54:57 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Tom, you really cannot believe that we can dump billions of metric tons of volatile organic compounds into our air and water without any detrimental effects on the environment, can you?

OK, let's keep this in perspective - CO2 is the target of the AGW enthusiasts, not "volatile organic compounds" (that sounds so scary!). No, I don't believe that our causing some miniscule total increase in CO2 levels is going to have some tragic effect. You just have to look at the amount of CO2 that humans are responsible for as a percent of the total, and you also have to look at CO2 levels recorded in the past, to put that all in perspective. You know the numbers, right?

Also you have to put climate change itself in perspective. The problem is that most people somehow expect that global temperatures "should" be constant, which is incorrect if you look at past temperatures which have always been changing.

The emotion comes in because we are taught by the "green" types that we should feel guilty any time we use our car, turn on a light, take a shower, or throw away a piece of garbage - since by these types of actions we are "destroying the environment." It's hard to break free of this since it is so ingrained in our minds by parents, school, the media, and the government. It's all bullshit, however.

It's time we got past this irrational fear of AGW and focus our efforts on something more useful. Let's work on improving education, eliminating poverty, combatting terrible diseases like AIDS, bringing electricity to where it is lacking, etc. These are real problems that need to be solved, instead of AGW which is something imagined.


By dluther on 9/13/2007 12:39:18 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
OK, let's keep this in perspective - CO2 is the target of the AGW enthusiasts, not "volatile organic compounds"

Okay Tom, here's the deal that AGW skeptics like you and Michael Asher, as well as (and for reasons beyond my comprehension) anthropogenic global warming (AGW) proponents seem to fail to comprehend:

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is only one component of the complex mixture of greenhouse gases responsible for climate change.

I've never understood why critics and skeptics alike are so obsessed with CO2, and if there is any debate or dissent within the scientific community, it is that concentration on CO2 instead of the mixture of CO2, methane, hydrocarbons, fluorocarbons, nitrous oxides, sulfur oxides, and other chemicals that do cause atmospheric temperature increases, and can only be attributed to anthropogenic sources.

Even minor temperature increase could disturb the massive methyl hydrate deposits under the oceans, causing a massive spiral of greenhouse gas within the atmosphere, of which CO2 is only a component.

quote:
The emotion comes in because we are taught by the "green" types that we should feel guilty any time we use our car, turn on a light, take a shower, or throw away a piece of garbage - since by these types of actions we are "destroying the environment."


If you deconstruct what you just said there, you'll see that statement is pretty much based on insular thinking. Nobody lives in a vacuum, and like it or not, your actions have a profound affect on those around you. I am a "green" type, although I don't wear hemp sandals, drive an electric car, live in an adobe hovel, worship the sun, or join sit-ins against "the establishment". I do, however, recycle as much as I can, use fluorescent tubes instead of incandescent bulbs, insulate my home, advocate nuclear energy, and keep apprised of environmental issues that will affect me and my family. By painting me with the same brush as whatever militant environmentalists you have imagined, you do a disservice to both of us.

quote:
since by these types of actions we are "destroying the environment."

There's an old saying: "you don't shit where you eat". It's pretty much self-explanatory. However, if you shit where I eat, don't act so surprised if I do something about it.

quote:
It's time we got past this irrational fear of AGW and focus our efforts on something more useful. Let's work on improving education, eliminating poverty, combatting terrible diseases like AIDS, bringing electricity to where it is lacking, etc.


I don't think it's irrational to recognize the fact that collectively, human actions are causing irreparable harm to the environment in which we must live, and that something must be done to slow, stop, and reverse said harm. It's not fear, it's awareness. And while every one of the items you described are both noble and necessary pursuits, what's the point of doing all that if we're not here to reap the benefits of that labor?

Environmentalism is not about saving the environment, it's ultimately about self-preservation. The earth has been here long before humans were, and it will definitely shake us off like a mild cold.


RE: Michael, time to pull your head out.
By GeorgeOrwell on 9/13/2007 1:43:32 AM , Rating: 2
Several of the authors on this website write as if they were heavily funded by big oil. Intelligent readers will draw their own conclusions.

The oil companies, similar to the tobacco companies, know what they're responsible for doing. Global warming is the smallest part of what's really happened, the part that can be shared with the public without causing a panic.

You will not read about big oil's massive pollution of water tables on this site. You will not read about the new Trans-American oil pipeline being built from Canada across the Midwest to the massive oil processing center in Illinois. You will not read about the pollution that this pipeline will cause. Just like there is almost zero information on the pollution big oil has caused in Alaska and Canada.

The anti-global warming efforts by big oil are very similar to how the tobacco industry defended their industry. There are still many people who do not believe that cigarette smoking causes cancer. We will see similar disbelief in the causes of global warming, although the evidence, like cigarettes, is all around you and right in front of your face.

It is very easy to buy some scientists and have them produce reports that support a viewpoint. The tobacco industry was found to be massively guilty of this sort of crookedness. It should be no surprise that the oil industry is doing the same thing, buying scientists to produce reports and studies that global warming doesn't exist, isn't caused by man, etc.

Intelligent readers will broaden their reading beyond this website and draw their own conclusions.

As an aside, one might comment that when we look at the problems in America, and to some extent in the world, many of them come from allowing "freedom of speech" to mean "freedom to lie".

Be seeing you.


By Schrag4 on 9/13/2007 10:33:14 AM , Rating: 2
"Several of the authors on this website write as if they were heavily funded by big oil. Intelligent readers will draw their own conclusions."

Shouldn't this just come out and say 'If you agree with me then you are intelligent, otherwise your're not.'? Nice...

"It is very easy to buy some scientists and have them produce reports that support a viewpoint."

So, you're telling me not to listen to ANY scientists, because they may or may not have been bought. Yeah, that really helps your argument...

"As an aside, one might comment that when we look at the problems in America, and to some extent in the world, many of them come from allowing "freedom of speech" to mean "freedom to lie"."

You're right. None of the alarmist environmentalists would every lie to us to get us to change our ways. Ever. Or was your point that you don't want freedom of speech? Or is it ok to lie if you get someone to start doing what you think is the right thing?

Sorry for all the sarcasm, but your whole post was just a bunch of attacks against this site, which isn't debate and isn't helpful. You've persuaded nobody of anything. Very nicely done. Give us some counterpoints, stats, SOMETHING!

Also, isn't a pipeline the most efficient and least likely to pollute means of transporting oil (and other products)? In other words, isn't less oil burned if pipelines are used rather than trucking it around? It seems to me that opposing pipelines is asking for increased CO2 output. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.


RE: Michael, time to pull your head out.
By dluther on 9/13/2007 1:31:41 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Several of the authors on this website write as if they were heavily funded by big oil. Intelligent readers will draw their own conclusions.

If it were that simple, it would be almost understandable.

However, it appears that Michael Asher has fallen to a far more powerful force than money: pride.

Several conservative news sources have started using Michael Asher's blog here at DailyTech as a source for furthering AGW skepticism, including one of my US Senators -- Jim Inhofe.

It doesn't matter to these people that Michael Asher isn't a climatologist, or that he presents "evidence" from sources unrelated to climatology. For instance, a recent "news article" by Asher (http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=8641) states that "Comprehensive survey of published climate research reveals changing viewpoints". However, this survey was done by Dr. Klaus-Martin Schulte, a surgeon specializing endocrinology. Now, you may ask yourself what does endocrine surgery have to do with climatology, and if you come up with an answer, then you're doing a lot better than I am. However, I think that if a climatologist were to take exception to Dr. Schulte's research in the field of endocrinology, the conversation would be vastly different and very well justified. But since it's a detraction from anthropogenic global warming, it is accepted.

Michael Asher is a very well-spoken, intelligent person, with a keen ability to defend his positions with links to supporting research, and without stooping to name-calling.

However, I simply cannot agree with his positions or conclusions, because the evidence he continues to present doesn't come from reliable sources.


By GeorgeOrwell on 9/13/2007 7:37:30 PM , Rating: 2
The first step in helping to save our planet is not coming up with some indisputable grand unified theory of global temperature.

Though some people would have you believe that without such a theory, proven by at least 99.999% of all scientists on a scale from quantum mechanics to planetary ecology, progress is impossible.

These people are playing nothing more than the "divide and conquer" game. The division itself achieves the goal -- lack of ability to combat the big oil agenda.

To avoid being divided on an issue that is critical to the survival of this world, we must rely on common sense, wisdom, and morals.

Common sense tells us there are consequences for every action.

Wisdom tells us that science often takes decades, if not centuries, to really understand these consequences.

Wisdom also tells us that many scientific opinions that try to tell us that something obviously dangerous -- i.e. smoking -- is completely safe, are paid for by those who benefit from this deception.

And morality tells us that given the choice to do right by the world or to do wrong by the world, that it is our imperative to do right.

Hence, we do not need to pay attention to the cock fight that is pretending to establish truth through some one-sided presentation of so-called "scientific" research.

As governments, industry and individuals the world over make choices to save the world, the truth becomes obvious. And likewise the falsity of this blog becomes readily apparent to all.


By pliny on 9/12/2007 9:57:13 AM , Rating: 2
That is the title of the paper, which you can read at:
http://www.sage.wisc.edu/pubs/articles/M-Z/Narisma...
The key word is abrupt. Their "sophisticated wavelet analysis" is designed to pick up abrupt change, rather than the gradual drying that would be expected in many places from AGW.




By onelittleindian on 9/12/2007 11:02:56 AM , Rating: 2
According to a story I saw last year in Science Daily, the total desert area of the planet is on the decline. So I don't think any "gradual drying out" is happening.


Less droughts, but more floods
By PrinceGaz on 9/12/2007 10:38:28 AM , Rating: 2
There may be less droughts, but what about floods? The effect of increased temperature is to put more energy into the weather-system and an increase in rainfall is to be expected.

Droughts may be catastrophic, but floods are too and there have been a few of those recently.




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