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11 Mar 2009

A Reporter’s Field Notes on the Coverage of Climate Change

For nearly a decade, The New Yorker’s Elizabeth Kolbert has been reporting on climate change.  In an interview with Yale Environment 360, she talked about the responsibility of both the media and scientists to better inform the public about the realities of a warming world.

As a journalist, Elizabeth Kolbert has played a major role in trying to bring the issue of climate change to the attention of the U.S. public. Her award-winning series on climate change in The New Yorker in 2005 became the basis for her influential book, Field Notes From a Catastrophe, and she has traveled from Greenland to Alaska to the Netherlands reporting on the emerging impacts of global warming.

In an interview with Yale Environment 360 editor Roger Cohn, Kolbert discussed a wide range of issues: how the media and scientists are both responsible for the lack of public understanding on climate change; the Obama administration’s chances of passing climate-related legislation; and the prospects of geoengineering the planet to mitigate the effects of warming. On whether there is a moral or ethical dimension to this issue, she observed, “It seems to me that if there’s not a moral dimension to potentially leaving a totally impoverished planet to future generations, all future generations, I don’t know what would be.”

Yale Environment 360: Surveys show that most Americans don’t actually know that much about climate change and don’t consider it much of a priority in terms of issues that need action or attention. Why do you think that’s true? And related to that, how good a job has the media done in conveying the issue to the public?

Elizabeth Kolbert: I think the reason it doesn’t register in the polls is partly just due to the nature of the problem. I mean, if you look at polls,
Kolbert
Elizabeth Kolbert
you see right now, for example, that obviously the economy is just through the roof. So whatever is going on at that particular moment that is really affecting people’s lives, that’s what ranks high in the polls. And climate change has often been described as a slow-moving catastrophe, and it’s precisely the kind of issue that once you actually really feel the dire effects in your own life, then it’s way too late. That’s what the science tells us and what scientists have been telling us for 25 years now really. So it’s a very, very difficult problem for the political system to deal with.

I went to interview John McCain, and he made this point. He was very honest and it was back in the straight-talking John McCain days, where he said, "It’s very unclear whether our political system can deal with a problem like this because usually we wait for a crisis and then we deal with the crisis, and that’s just not the way climate change works. You can’t deal with it once the crisis hits."

I think that’s one of the reasons that it doesn’t register very high in polls as a concern — it’s just not in people’s faces all the time right now. So it really is the obligation, you could argue, of the media and also of the political system, to put it there. And the political system has been very consciously ignoring the problem for a long time now, eight years of really trying to suppress discussion of climate change and reports about climate change. So I think that also contributes to the public sense of “I don’t have to worry about that,” because they’re not hearing people talking about it in Washington. And now that is changing to a certain extent.

I think that the media has contributed to the general sense of it not being an urgent problem because it’s not the lead story of the paper every day. It’s a very hard issue for the media to deal with precisely because the news business is about news — it’s about something that happened yesterday. And global warming is just happening all around us all the time, and it’s going to continue to happen and it doesn’t present itself as news very often.

e360: But why has the media not done more to get it out there? Is it more than just the headline issue?

Kolbert: Well, look, the Australians are now having a terrible heat wave, and they’re having a terrible drought. And it’s just generally agreed that
I think that the media has contributed to the general sense of it not being an urgent problem because it’s not the lead story of the paper every day.”
they’re having a long-term drought, and that this is climate change, a climate change signal. They’re really in dire straits. They have no water in parts of the country that used to be significant agricultural areas, the Murray-Darling Basin. And it has woken the Australians up pretty quickly, and there’s a lot of coverage on climate change issues if you are reading the Australian media.

So unfortunately, I think it does take something that’s very, very palpable, really affecting people’s lives. And as I say, precisely the message that scientists have been trying to give us is, do not wait until that drought hits you, because that’s too late.

e360: You did your series in The New Yorker on global warming in 2005 and that became the basis of your book Field Notes From a Catastrophe. But you had actually been writing about global warming even before that series. How was it that you, who came not out of the history of writing about environmental issues but had written about New York politics, how was it you came to focus on this issue?

Kolbert: I just really was interested in it and thought that even I, who read the papers every day, didn’t really have a very clear sense of what was going on. Even at that point, it was basically 12 years or whatever after [NASA’s] Jim Hansen had announced that we can see evidence of global warming. He was 99 percent sure that we were seeing global warming happening. But we were just sort of in this fog. Nothing was happening. It wasn’t really being talked about. And so, in part to satisfy my own interest of what was going on, I set out to write a piece.

e360: What was the first story you did on global warming?

Kolbert: Well, a couple of years earlier, I had gone up to an ice-coring operation in the middle of Greenland, which was a very, very eye-opening experience. It’s now become sort of a standard line in global warming coverage to note that we’re seeing the beginnings of the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, which could eventually raise sea levels by 20 feet. And it seems perplexing if you’ve never seen the ice sheet, because like, what could raise sea levels globally by 20 feet? When you actually stand on top of almost 11,000 feet of ice, it becomes more comprehensible. It’s such an amazing place, and you realize how startling the world is and how very contingent and fragile the conditions that we live under are.

There’s a lot of water locked up in that ice sheet. That’s a function of having been through an Ice Age not that long ago in geological terms, and we’re sort of still living off of the ends of that Ice Age. And if you start pushing things too far in one direction, you’re going to change the planet very, very radically. And it really struck me in ways that I hadn’t really comprehended before when I went up to the top of the ice sheet. So that had a big effect on me. It’s still one of my favorite places in the world, just to be on top of the Greenland ice sheet.

e360: We've talked about journalists and generally the challenges in conveying this issue to the public. But what about scientists? I mean, scientists have a responsibility to get their information out to the public whether it’s through the media or through their own writings and work. How good a job do you think they have done in conveying this whole issue?

Kolbert: Oh, I don’t think they’ve done a good job. They have some of the same problems that journalists have, which is that scientists are interested in introducing something new in their work. They want new results, new information. They want to break new ground. They need to do that to get funding, really. And global warming, the fact that global warming is happening, that is really old news in scientific circles. It’s just a settled question in scientific circles. So scientists moved on to other issues having to do with climate change…

e360: But not whether it exists?

Kolbert: No, absolutely not. That would be considered — you’d just be laughed at in a scientific discussion. But that message really never reached the public, and you could argue that that’s the journalists’ fault, and I do fault journalists for that. But I also fault scientists because they sort of have just left things to the journalists. And now that we’ve sort of moved to a new stage of the debate, a policy debate, they’re not going to be involved in that either. They’re going to leave that to the economists or to the political scientists.

And I think that’s a big mistake because when you read a lot of economic
What you need in order to grapple meaningfully with global warming is to believe that this is not a speculative thing.”
analyses of climate change, you are struck with a very worrisome sense that the economists don’t understand the science, don’t appreciate the gravity of the situation. And they don’t seem to be factoring in the notion of we’re not talking here about small, inconvenient changes that are not worth changing our lifestyle to avoid. We’re talking about a desolate planet, not really in that long a time, okay?

In terms of generations that we will touch, certainly our grandchildren will be facing a very, very bleak future if we just sit on our hands for not that much longer. So I really urge scientists to make their voices heard, and I think there’s a certain moral urgency to that — and I think some scientists feel that way.

e360: There have been scientists who have been out there — James Hansen, most publicly and most notably — trying to get the message out in every way they can. But when this message does get out, there is some public reaction that these scientists are like Chicken Little — you know, the sky is falling.

Kolbert: Right.

e360: If you turn on the TV news, the weathermen are making global warming jokes, saying, “This isn’t global warming. Hey, who said anything about global warming? It’s cold today.” There’s still this reaction, even when the facts are presented to them.

Kolbert: Absolutely. This is a total system failure, okay? We’re not talking about an isolated little problem, and that’s the problem. It's a total system failure that we’re in this situation and it’s a total system failure that we can’t seem to steer away even when the evidence is absolutely overwhelming that we better do something.

It gets back to this issue of whether the public believes in science, which, to be honest, we do not. You can still find a lot of people who don’t believe in evolution, okay? So we’re talking about a country that has a very lax relationship to science. And what you need in order to grapple meaningfully with global warming is to believe that this is not a speculative thing. This is the way geophysics work, and we have established that very clearly both in a laboratory setting and on the ground — and we need to take very seriously these predictions.

I mean, Freeman Dyson has done a tremendous amount of damage saying, “I don’t believe models. We can’t model this.” Well, we actually can model

Yale e360 Interviews

Click below to read more interviews from Yale Environment 360.

Michael Pollan: What’s Wrong With Environmentalism
Thomas Friedman: Hope in a Hot, Flat Crowded World
Rajendra Pachauri: The World's Global Warming Challenge
Robert Bindschadler: Watching Unstable Antarctic Ice
David Keith: Time to Consider Manipulating the Planet?
it very accurately, it turns out. And we’re talking about very fundamental science. It’s not a very complicated science. And so when you have people like that out there sort of blowing smoke, really, I would say, it is hard for the public to know what to do. So I think scientists need to try to convey how virtually unanimous this consensus is, because otherwise people will just believe that the science is fuzzy or foggy.

e360: Well, we now have a new administration that certainly has come into office with very different ideas about this issue and the urgency of dealing with it than the previous administration. What do you see as the prospects for some real meaningful action on climate change by the U.S. and by the world community?

Kolbert: Well, I think it's going to be really hard. I think Obama's platform was very ambitious. He has a good plan put together by good people, but to translate that into a legislative action is going to be very, very difficult because of the way that our system can be held hostage by a minority. My fear is that in order to get something through Congress, it will be so watered down as to be meaningless.

But Obama has a lot of people around him who know a lot more than I do about climate change and are very passionately concerned about this issue and know what needs to be done to have a meaningful effect. So we'll see whether they can prevent that sort of inevitable watering down.

e360: What is it that the U.S. needs to do that shouldn’t be watered down?

Kolbert: What the U.S. needs to do — and it's like so simple as to be almost laughable — is it needs to start bringing its emissions down. We just need to do that virtually immediately, and we need some intermediate targets, and we need some long-term targets. Obama's long-term target was 2050 — that’s when we’re going to have an 80 percent reduction in CO2. Well, you can't get that all in 2045. You need to start yesterday…

If we start on a downward trajectory, we will be doing the right thing. We need to start turning this line that's sloping upward — it needs to peak tomorrow and then start turning downward. And if we did that, or if you've just committed to doing that, we would send a very strong signal to the world that a new era genuinely was beginning. You can yak all you want about green jobs, about green stimulus, blah-blah-blah. But until you actually turn emissions down, it's pretty meaningless.

e360: Do you think that there is a moral and ethical dimension to the issue of climate change?

Kolbert: Yeah. Well, I’m no moral philosopher, but it seems to me in that if there’s not a moral dimension to potentially leaving a totally impoverished planet to future generations, all future generations, I don’t know what would be.

These are changes that last thousands of years. They’re not things that you could turn around. What we’ve done to the oceans, for example, in terms of adding CO2 or, really, carbonic acid to the oceans, changing the chemistry of the oceans. That is irreversible for on the order of 10,000 years, okay? So we’re talking about, basically, for all intents and purposes, forever... What is our ethical obligation if not to hand off a planet that’s habitable? I can’t really see a higher ethical obligation.

e360: There's increasing talk recently about the need to proceed with adaptation strategies to find ways to geoengineer or manipulate things on Earth to compensate or reduce the impact of climate change. What do you think about that and the prospects of that?

Kolbert: Well, I think that you do hear more and more conversation about geoengineering, absolutely. A lot of people are thinking about it, but I have
What is our ethical obligation if not to hand off a planet that’s habitable? I can’t really see a higher ethical obligation.”
personally yet to hear a credible sort of scheme. All these things so far that people have come up with have significant damaging properties of their own. What you’re talking about, you’re talking about trying to block sunlight basically. You're literally talking about trying to have less sunlight reach the Earth. That's pretty serious. And then you have to think about if you keep adding CO2 to the atmosphere, then you have to block more and more sunlight, so eventually it really gets pretty ugly.

I think that some emergency measures will have to be taken to, for example, prevent Greenland from melting. But it has to be in concert with bringing emissions down, because otherwise you’re just in this kind of arms race of combating more and more CO2. You’re forcing the climate in one direction basically, and then you have to force it back in another direction. It sort of comes to this game of tug-of-war, and you could see how that would really get out of control.

And I should also point out that there’s a U.N. treaty that prevents us from screwing around with the weather, and there are a lot of international impediments. You can’t just go up there, one country, and shoot something into the upper atmosphere that will have a global effect. You need international cooperation on that too. And it seems like the fact that we’re willing to contemplate these things as opposed to taking the steps we already know how to do to reduce CO2 emissions — which have to do with such simple things as mass transit systems — that we'd rather totally change the atmosphere in a new way strikes me as kind of this techno dream we’ve been living in for a hundred years now or whatever. And it seems to me this is like a bad science-fiction story, and you kind of know where that one's going to end.

e360: You’ve covered the science of this, covered the politics of it. How optimistic are you that we’re going to actually do what needs to be done to deal with this?

Kolbert: Well, I’m not at all optimistic. I do see a lot of energy in Washington from very smart and committed people, so that’s a very helpful sign. But I don’t see any sign as a society that we're really willing to do what needs to be done.

That being said, I think that people surprise you, and I’m hoping to be surprised. I mean, I was one of those people who was pessimistic about Obama, the prospect of electing a black president seemed to be not that plausible, and here we are today. So things do happen that surprise you. And I’m hoping to be surprised over the next four years and to see some really serious legislative action.

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COMMENTS


Many thanks to Elizabeth Kolbert - how we convince good-hearted people to overcome their very real fears and take this on is one of the most intractable questions surrounding human climate disruption.

Global Warming

When his ship first came to Australia,
Cook wrote, the natives
continued fishing, without looking up.
Unable, it seems, to fear what was too large to comprehend.

Jane Hirshfield

Posted by Tim Hogan on 11 Mar 2009


Elizabeth Kolbert was far from the first to focus on climate change. Phillip Shabecoff of the New York Times was one of the first US reporters to give the story national prominence, in 1983.
See: http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:P2s7tzJAScUJ:research.greenpeaceusa.org/%3Fa%3Ddownload%26d%3D3438+philip+shabecoff+climate+change+1983&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=7&gl=ca&client=firefox-a
Posted by Michael Keating on 11 Mar 2009


Global warming may be caused by man and CO2, but environmentalists' unwillingness to admit the benefits of nuclear power could be the biggest error in judgment in this country's history.

I think e360 would do Yale a favor if it started asking these folks where they stand on Nuclear power.
Posted by f1fan on 11 Mar 2009


Thank you Elizabeth. The concepts for solutions may be relatively simple to visualize, like extensive mass transit or tonight's solar program on Discovery. However, it will take many, many years to transition a nations energy and transportation infrastructure and we have hardly begun. The US and China are still building coal fired electric stations! So I agree that we need dramatic change in policy.

Some other reasons for delay of response in the face of a clear and present danger are discussed in The Tyranny of Oil by A. Juhasz, Boiling Point by R. Gelbspan and Big Coal by J. Goodell.

The drunken captain of the SS United States has just handed off the wheel but, like the Exxon tanker, the vessel's political momentum is carrying it toward obvious global disaster.
Posted by James Newberry on 11 Mar 2009


You're right, Michael, Phillip Shabecoff did some good early reporting on climate change, as did others. But Kolbert really was among the first at a major news outlet to really go out in the field and report on the impacts -- current and future -- of climate change.
Posted by John Morris on 12 Mar 2009


A heroic and honorable career.
Some things I was hoping to find but did not.
1. State media. Let's face it, we live in a fascist system and we do not have a free press. http://www.freepress.net/rfk
2. American newsrooms are lazy, snarky, scared, clueless about POV they represent.
3. Somewhere along the line, American journalists bought into balance as bias trap, giving a platform to all the Myron Ebells of the world a legitimate voice. http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1978
4. The failure of financial reporting on these issues and opportunities, though there are some hopeful signs.
Posted by Will on 12 Mar 2009


Absolutely! The problem is that the media hasn't hyped this problem enough!
Posted by tim maguire on 12 Mar 2009


Elizabeth is no longer a journalist. She abdicated that role when she chose to become an activist for an agenda driven cause.
A journalist would be reporting both side of the debate and providing the public with the newest scientific information that refutes AGW and show conclusively that Global warming stopped years ago and we are now in the cooling trend of a completely natural climate cycle.
No different than the last 5 cycles that were actually warmer than this one. She should stop pretending and admit that she is just another activist.

Posted by Gary on 12 Mar 2009


Yes people will surprise you, but sometimes they do exactly what they want to do, and that is scary.
I live in downtown Washington DC w/o a car to my name, but take 2 subway trains and a bus transfer to get work in suburban Virginia in the Tyson's Corner area, in an office building with a large outdoor parking lot.
During the summer months, when it's hot, you can venture outside the building at lunch hour and wander into the parking lot and find at least 5 or 6 office workers with suits and ties on, and post-graduate degrees in their pockets, sitting parked in their individual cars, windows rolled up, A/C cranked up, eating their lunches and talking on cell phones.
Zero MPG. Infinite carbon emissions per mile. For a full hour or more. I see this with my own eyes, every day, all summer long. That is the face of climate change in America.

Posted by Bruce Radford on 12 Mar 2009


Kolbert says:

"I mean, Freeman Dyson has done a tremendous amount of damage saying, “I don’t believe models. We can’t model this.” Well, we actually can it very accurately, it turns out."

This is the entire problem. We have people like Kolbert who knows nothing about the science behind numerical models making claims that are completely false. The fact is the models have done a rotten job of predicting future climate and they only look ok if one cherry picks the few successes and ignores the larger number of of failures.

What she does not say is she relies on climate modellers to tell her how good their models are. It should come as no surprise that the climate modellers will insist that their models are accurate just like Bernie Madoff insisted that his investment plan was sound.

Enough is enough. After being duped by the 'experts' on wall street and we should smart enough now to recognize that experts are not necessarily reliable and we need a system of checks and balances to ensure that we don't get misled by experts who are mostly interested in promoting themselves.


Posted by Raven on 12 Mar 2009


The models for climate change are not reliable in general because there are too many variables.

And not all environmentalists are against nuclear power. I'm not against it if the waste issue can be intelligently dealt with. The other problem is that they take so long to build.


Is there an audio of this interview?

Posted by Shelly on 12 Mar 2009


Kolbert says: "I mean, Freeman Dyson has done a tremendous amount of damage saying, “I don’t believe models. We can’t model this.” Well, we actually can it very accurately, it turns out."

Mathematics is a part of physics. Physics is an experimental science, a part of natural science. Mathematics is the part of physics where experiments are cheap.

This statement from one of the giants of 20th century mathematical physics shows the reality:

"….At this point a special technique has been developed in mathematics. This technique, when applied to the real world, is sometimes useful, but can sometimes also lead to self-deception. This technique is called modelling. When constructing a model, the following idealisation is made: certain facts which are only known with a certain degree of probability or with a certain degree of accuracy, are considered to be "absolutely" correct and are accepted as "axioms". The sense of this "absoluteness" lies precisely in the fact that we allow ourselves to use these "facts" according to the rules of formal logic, in the process declaring as "theorems" all that we can derive from them.

It is obvious that in any real-life activity it is impossible to wholly rely on such deductions. The reason is at least that the parameters of the studied phenomena are never known absolutely exactly and a small change in parameters (for example, the initial conditions of a process) can totally change the result. Say, for this reason a reliable long- term weather forecast is impossible and will remain impossible, no matter how much we develop computers and devices which record initial conditions.

In exactly the same way a small change in axioms (of which we cannot be completely sure) is capable, generally speaking, of leading to completely different conclusions than those that are obtained from theorems which have been deduced from the accepted axioms. The longer and fancier is the chain of deductions ("proofs"), the less reliable is the final result.

Vladimir Arnold

There is a significant distance in intellectual and mathematical skill compared to the very ordinary Journeymen that tend to construct climate models.
Posted by maksimovich on 12 Mar 2009


You have got to be kidding. The media are totally biased, blind to any sort of balanced reporting of both sides of the issue (No, there is no scientific consensus and no the debate is not over – notwithstanding the AGW/CC zealots and industry keeps madly trying to suppress open debate for fear of disclosure.) And the media is more concerned about churning (without any intelligent enquiry/commentary) outrageous alarmist ‘we are all going to die’ articles based on mad ‘maybe/possible’ science fiction scenarios – e.g. Field Notes From a Catastrophe, An Inconvenient Truth. Also of course there are a lot of ‘scientists’, researchers, journalists/reporters (e.g. Elizabeth Kolbert) etc who are financially reliant upon dishonestly perpetuating the unproven theory of AGW/CC. They are going to look stupid and totally discredited when the great global warming myth is eventually disproved, hopefully the world will wake up before they cause too much more damage - shame on them all.
Posted by Wake up World on 12 Mar 2009


It's good to hear Elizabeth Kolbert speak out on this issue -- especially the job she thinks journalists have done in covering climate change. I read her New Yorker pieces and I read her book, and I think her writing gives a very thoughtful and thorough picture of climate change science. Glad to see her taking her journalist's hat off for a bit, and giving a sense of how she sees it.
Posted by M Thomas on 12 Mar 2009


Thank you, Raven and Gary, I entirely agree with you. Kolbert talks about the loss of life in the Australian bush fires as though its obviously due to climate change, whereas the reality is that those deaths were due to ridiculous green policies to "protect the environment". We've had worse droughts before, in 1900 and 1914 the Murray river actually ceased flowing altogether, and we now have one poor fellow trying to recoup the $100000 fine he wa given for chopping down the eucalyptus surrounding the house on his bush property. He is showing the land and environment court the aerial photographs of his town, totally destroyed except for, you guessed it, his house. Meanwhile our government is handing out $100000 to every destroyed household,whether insured or not, as many houses were un-insurable due to fire risk, due to council regulations written by environmentalists. But Environmental Journalists [always spelled with a capital E] like Kolbert are not going to report his story [he is broke] because it runs counter to their beliefs. Almost every night this week ,for example, our national TV news has run stories of even bigger environmental catastrophes to come, from scientists at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. The problem is that the UN sponsored conference doesn't start till december 2009, and that this conference was organised by a {deep green } marine biologist at Coenhagen University in an very good attempt to ramp up rhetoric before the real conference, and also of course to drown out the 700 or so sensible scientists at the Second International Conference On Climate Change In New York. By a staggering coincidence , both conferences run over the same week. And we all know : the scary stories make the news. Not a single mention of the New York conference in any of the Australian Media. The ABCs funding is up for review, and both our government and yours are counting on those carbon "indulgences " to repay the recent financial bailouts. Dont bite the hand that feeds you would appear to be the environmental journalists motto.
Posted by DR IAN HILLIAR on 12 Mar 2009


The official rainfall records in the Murray-Darling basin show that more rain fell in the past half century than the 50 years prior to that.
It is only dry because it is a dry country anyway, and too much water was taken out of the system. Nothing to do with climate change.
Posted by doctor rob on 12 Mar 2009


Hey Bruce Radford, What's your point? Just another example of the failure to disconnect conservation/management of energy resources (in this case oil) which is logical and to be very much supported with 'climate change' and the AGW/CC myth. There is no material correlation whatsoever between Co2 emissions and the climate of the world so no need to stress.
Posted by Wake up World on 13 Mar 2009


Totally agree with Doctor Rob. The Federation Drought in Australia from 1895 to 2003 was just as bad as this with the Murray/Darling drying up in parts. Some of the hottest summer months on record were in 1906, 1908 and 1939. Although some places experienced extreme heatwave
conditions this year, the heat didn't kill 400+ people that the 1895 and 1939 heatwaves did. In
fact, while southern Australia had warm average temps in 2009, northern Aust had some of their coolest temps for many years. The longest heat wave on record was Marble Bar 1923/24. Ms Kolbert should have checked her facts.
Posted by Kasphar on 13 Mar 2009


Kasphar you said: 'Ms Kolbert should
have checked her facts' - she probably did but don't you know how these AGW/CC alarmist perpetrators work?, they have no need for any inconvenient truth that would spoil the myth that man can materially effect the climate of the world - or indeed somehow 'optimise' it like we have access to some kind of giant thermostat.

Posted by Wake up World on 13 Mar 2009


E.Kolbert goes to Greenland and then says..."we're sort of still living off of the ends of that Ice Age".

There you have it. Rising temperatures.
Posted by Stillcold on 13 Mar 2009


The vitriol aimed at those who wish to stop the rape of the planet never ceases to amaze....
In the last 100 years or so, man has incinerated roughly 75% of the earth's deposits of concentrated solar energy - oil, coal and natural gas - energy that took hundreds of millions of years to accumulate, not to mention the burning of wood, dung and other combustibles for eons. Add to that the releasing untold toxic aerosols and chemicals into the atmosphere. To think that all that could be done WITHOUT any environmental consequences is ludicrous on its face.

Posted by galen on 13 Mar 2009


Galen, Yet again you are another person to confuse (accidentally or otherwise) the absolutely legitimate issues that need to be definitely addressed of real pollution, real resource (water/energy/land) management, real adaptation to non stoppable climate change to the falsehood linking manmade Co2 emissions to global warming or indeed as that is inconvenient now climate change.

You must disconnect the false from the real so that you are not conned by the AGW/CC industry.
Posted by Wake up World on 13 Mar 2009


Just to give a perspective on why global warming proponents are considered quite correctly as alarmists. If it were warm enough to melt all the ice in the Artic Ice Cap the seas levels would not increase at ll.

You see when water freezes it expands and when it floats it weighs just as much as when it is liquid, so if the entire Artic cap melted ocean levels would stay the same. Don't believe it...take a glass, fill it with ice cubes and water. Float the ice over the top of the glass. When it melts it will overflow, right? Not so, the level will stay the same.

Now, of course, the ice in Antartica is another matter as it is on top of land. If this melted sea levels would rise. You will notice that Antartic ice melting is never mentioned as NOAA satellite records have shown Antartic ice areas increasing for the last 30 years. Also, the author fails to explain that most of the Artic ice melting is due to natural current and wind changes, not temperature...also, there has been a large increase in ice coverage during the last two years, probably because of cooling temperatures, or maybe reversal of currents and wind patterns.

One poster above states that when Cook came to Australia the natives were too busy fishing to look up. I would say that global warming proponents are too busy preaching about global warming to take the temperature outside. It is cooling, not warming. This trend even according to some IPCC "scientists" will probably continue for another 6 to 7 years. It was deemed impossible by all seven IPCC computer programs and it is happening, thus prompting the change from global warming to climate change. After all, it is little rediculous to call it global warming when it is cooling. Don't you think?
Posted by Dahun on 14 Mar 2009


Individuals CAN prevent Global Warming

I am not completely convinced CO2 has anything to do with Global Warming. That notwithstanding, I am certain that reducing our reliance on fossil fuels is both a good idea and necessary, for a large number of obvious reasons.

The good news is that we can all make a difference. It goes way beyond buying a few (polluting) low energy light bulbs, and will have a real impact if even half of those concerned about Global Warming follow the proposals. The beauty is that even if only half do this, it makes no difference what the rest do! Renewable energy will become cheaper than fossil fuels with enough investment in the technology, and everyone will move over naturally!

Firstly, buy renewable energy.

As far as I am aware, you have the choice to buy renewable electricity in all developed countries. If you cannot now, you should campaign for that inalienable right immediately. Currently our own household buys 25% of our electricity as renewable, costing us about US$33 extra per year. 100% would cost US$183)*.

Some argue that if millions of householders (and industries, I would hope) buy renewable energy, there will not be enough. If you do not buy it, there will NEVER be enough. If you do, the money will be used to INVEST in infrastructure for future renewable energy, so making the expense just as effective.

Merely by choosing to buy this, you are immediately and directly investing in the renewable energy industry, and sending a powerful and undeniable message to those who matter, the people who actually generate electricity, not environmentalists or politicians who may have different agenda.

Secondly, stop investing in 'Big Oil' and 'Big Coal'.

It comes as a shock to many ordinary citizens to be told that the huge greedy corporations actually make money for THEM, not for some faceless consortium. Sure, corporate flunkies may make millions of dollars, but WE, as investors, make billions, and even trillions. Their huge payouts and massive junkets are insignificant compared to the profits the companies make for their investors.

You may well think that you do not invest in these companies, but if you have a pension or investment fund, you almost certainly do. These funds will, quite obviously, be invested in the very companies that make the most profits and returns for their investors. All these corporations are doing is actually acting effectively YOUR instruction, ie to get the best possible return. If WE stop investing in them, they fail, and will be forced to change their practices to survive in a capitalist environment.

The answer is to choose ethical investments (there may be different names). Talk to your financial adviser and make the switch now. ONLY YOU control your investments. Make the choice and stop letting others do it for you.

The message is that YOU control the future of energy production with your wallets. The bad news is that it will cost, but nothing the environmentalists or governments will ever do about this issue will cost you less than this, and most of what they want to do will take control away from you and waste most of your expenditure in bureaucratic bungling and misguided foolishness, in my opinion. This simple two-step approach has all the potential to work and with no complex side effects that I can see immediately. It has a direct and immediate effect.

It is so rare that we are able to do something so straightforward in this complex world. If Global Warming concerns you, I urge you to put your money where your mouth is, and make an immediate difference TODAY, before the power is taken away from you.

* Based on a usage of 5,000 kWh of electricity.
Source: http://www.originenergy.com.au/1142/Green-energy-FAQs#extracost

http://www.carbonclimate.info/2009/03/individuals-can-prevent-global-warming.html
Posted by JER0ME on 14 Mar 2009


Jerome, It is great to conserve and recycle. It is laudable to own efficient appliances and drive economical vehicles. It is not a good idea to buy renewable energy that is available today.
- First there is ethanol and biofuels which do not save energy, pollute in their manufacture and because of their lower btu value they actually lower gas mileage.

Buying wind or solar makes no sense. They are several times the cost, require 100% back-up from fossil fuels and are very inefficient in cleaning the air. Renewable energy in the form of wind and solar is pork, plain and simple. there is no financial, environmental or ethical reason to use it.

The rouse of global warming is over and done. Much to the surprise of proponents it is getting cooler. It has for eight years. I know the IPCC and the deniers like to fog the issue by stating it is warmer than their hand-picked averages, but there is no question despite the dire warnings and absolute guarantees of record warming; it is cooling. Seems 450,000 years of solar activity and it's correlation to temperature on earth have been proven correct again.

You are correct, vote with your wallets. I would only add that you vote with your brain as well. Do not waste any more of your money than you are already forced to on wind and solar. Insist on real solutions; develop our energy resources and become 100% independent of foreign oil and gas. Develop nuclear and actually clean the air rather than just cleaning out our wallets.

Posted by Dahun on 14 Mar 2009


Climate always changes.

Global temperatures are dropping slightly and ice levels are about the same as 1980. George Will was right by reporting data from ice centers. Human-induced Co2 is about 0.03% of the overall GHG effect when water vapor is considered. There are 38 molecules of carbon in every 100,00 molecules of air.

Chris Monckton has just challenged John Kerry to debate. I think he will probably refuse like Al Gore usually does when challenged.

Gore says there will be no ice in five years. Let's wait and see.

IPCC overstated the effects Co2 has on temps. They have not challenged Spencer and Monckton on this.

Hockey stick was flawed and made people think there was a sharp rise in Co2 levels towards the end of the 20th century.

Hockey stick omitted medieval warm period and little ice age. Why? Hockey stick should not be used by IPCC anymore.

More than 10,000 Phd climate related scientists and specialists reject man made global warming (Oregon Petition Project/Senate EPW Report) Under 100 IPCC Reviewers explicitly endorsed that man made global warming is leading to climate catastrophe.

IPCC executive report has many "what ifs, maybes, could-be's, uncertains," etc. The rate of skeptics is growing faster than alarmists. Polar bears are doing just fine. There is no Co2 generated climate crisis. Co2 is a trace gas necessary for life, healthy and green vegetation. There is no Co2 climate crisis.

Is there an agenda behind AGW that has nothing to do with the climate? What do you think?




Posted by Jim Black on 15 Mar 2009


I think our president should utilize the extensive scientific apparatus he has access to and educate himself to the fact that a mere 0.6% of the oil we use is used for power generation. I have heard him state many times how wind and solar will keep us from being dependent on foreign energy. This is a completely false statement. No power generation source can reduce oil use. Not even nuclear can do this. We have no shortage of inexpensive, domestic energy for power generation. Also, wind and solar cannot add any capacity and can only add cost and unreliability to the power grid and the unreliability and absolute need for 100% back-up cleans no measurable pollution from the air.

Either president Obama is woefully misinformed or he is purposely misstating the facts. He is certainly intelligent enough to grasp the facts. I do not like to ascribe motives, but to continually make these misstatements suggests an intended dishonesty to garner political support for pork projects or from people too unsophisticated to understand.

That would not be anyone in this discussion, I am very sure. I know you are all intelligent enough to understand this, although some perhaps have not considered the facts or been exposed to them.
Posted by Dahun on 15 Mar 2009


As a journalist, Betsy Kolbert is on a par with Rachel Carson. I share both her pessimism and her optimism. I'm pessimistic because our political system - particularly the Senate - does indeed give far too much weight to "minority" aka special interest considerations. I'm optimistic because, as Kolbert says, there are a lot of smart, committed folks named Obama, Pelosi, Waxman, Boxer, Bingaman, Browner, Jackson, Clinton, Stern, Chu, Salazar and others fully committed to getting good legislation out this year, and negotiating a robust treaty in Copenhagen. The Senate's bizarre rules, of course, are holding up two more champions, Holdren and Lubchenco.
Posted by Bill Hewitt on 15 Mar 2009


Computer model predictions in 1998 by James Hansen have been grossly inaccurate. Bigger and faster computers will be no more accurate since the same assumptions underly the newer more "sophisticated" Global Climate Models. Even the most knowledgeable AGW proponents will concede that increasing CO2 levels alone will result in an increase in temperature of 0.6 C. The runaway heating predicted by the models assumes other positive (increase temperature) climatic forcings such as increased levels of water vapor which is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. The problem is that in the real world, it appears that water vapor is a negative forcing (reduces temperature) due to increased cloud cover and precipitation. The old computer programming adage "garbage in, garbage out" is still true and applies to GCM's. Changing the model parameters so the results accurately match what has happened in the past in no way guarantees accurate prediction about the future. That is much of what Freeman Dyson was referring to.

As an aside, if AGW actually is occurring, is there anybody who can say with a straght face that all the ice on Greenland and Antarctica is going to melt so fast that the sea levels are going to increase 20 feet in any time period less than millenia? The average annual coastal temperature is -17 C and inland, the average annual temperature is -50 C. Even if the temperature were to rise in Antarctica by 10 C, very little if any melting would occur. I specifically did not reference the Antarctic Penninsula since it is less than 3% of the continent and extends far north into unfrozen oceans. It is not a representative sample of the Antarctic continent's climate.

No "AGW Denier" claims that temperatures did not increase starting in the late 1970's. The difference is that many of us believe that the rise in temperature is more likely the result of natural cycles and orbital perturbations. There may also be a linkage between sunspots and global temperatures; the fewer the sunspots, the colder the temperatures. This possible linkage has been conceded by NASA and other scientists and scientific organizations.

I am sure that I will be called a Luddite, Flat-Earther, denialist, and other far less-flattering terms but there is enough peer-reviewed scientific and observational evidence to suggest that man may play only a very small part in climate change.
Posted by Chuck L on 15 Mar 2009


"And global warming, the fact that global warming is happening, that is really old news in scientific circles. It’s just a settled question in scientific circles. So scientists moved on to other issues having to do with climate change…"

So when a scientist examines the global surface temperature record and concludes that no warming has occurred since 1998 (excluding the El Nino that year) can he not wonder, in a wcientific way, why the warming is not occurring? The science is not settled, then, is it?

When scientists show that water vapor has declined in the high atmosphere over 35 years, instead of rising as AGW theory predicted, thus proving that humidity has not magnified an initial warming, those new observations are still real science, aren't they? So, again, the science is not settled, is it?

No warming is occurring now and no evidence exists that it will occur in the future. Further, no evidence exists to link warming with our emissions of carbon dioxide, now or in the future. We don't really know how the warming has been caused.

The only thing that is settled seems to be your opinion.

Cheers,
Richard Treadgold,
Convenor,
Climate Conversation Group.
Posted by Richard Treadgold on 15 Mar 2009


From 1910 -1940 there was a CO2 increase of only 10ppm which resulted in an 0.5C increase in temp. From 1978 to 2008 there was an increase of 50ppm in CO2 and the same 0.5C rise (now dropping). So would someone out there who believes in AGW please explain these figures. It seems as if something else is driving CC. And remember, between 1940-1975 temps dropped but CO2 increased 25ppm!
Posted by kasphar on 16 Mar 2009


Alarmist global warming proponents are living off illogical, unscientific, historically disproved fear. They eschew debate not because the science is settled, but because there is no science. The entire global warming movement was based on the fact the climate was warming. No calculation, test or historic evidence shows anything but the fact that this is a natural occurrence.

Politicians and alarmist profiteers cling to disproved theories and miserably failed computer models to "prove" global warming. They ignore the indisputable facts that there is no scientific proof of even suggestion that man-made CO2 has or can heat the earth. They squirm and devise all sorts of "average comparisons" to dismiss the fact that temperatures are dropping. They excuse dramatic drops in temperature which completely disprove their predictions as "weather" or beyond credibility try to calm that any extremes in weather; heat, cold, rain, drought, hurricanes, typhoons....are all caused by man-made CO2.

It is a corruption of science, history and common sense to believe in the most thoroughly disproved scam in history.

As shown in the many comments on this thread proponents are incapable of defending this theory. They seem to be content to parrot tired disproved mantra.

Posted by Dahun on 16 Mar 2009


This forum appears to have degenerated into a voice for the naysayers. Their ravings remind me of the ugly, negative things said about Obama during the campaign. To no avail. Their foot-dragging is merely the tail of the dragon, wavering more violently when progress is nigh. So this shrill anti-campaign may actually be a good sign.

Kolbert: "This is a total system failure, okay? We’re not talking about an isolated little problem, and that’s the problem. It's a total system failure that we’re in this situation and it’s a total system failure that we can’t seem to steer away even when the evidence is absolutely overwhelming that we better do something."

Yes!

To believe that we can cut down our forests and put ever more CO2 into the air and it won't matter is like believing housing speculation bourn by ever rising prices would meet no reckoning. The two issues are related, by the way.
Posted by TRB on 17 Mar 2009


Bill Hewitt puts Kolbert "on a par with Rachel Carson" and I must agree - Ill-informed , conceited and dangerous. Carson's thesis was that widespread use of DDT would kill off all the insects of the world and lead to pandemic breast cancers. Banning DDT has lead to about 30 million deaths, but they were mostly in poor countries, so they don't count. After all, malaria is just "nature's way of keeping the population down". And DTT is harmless to humans, most insects, bald eagles and other birds and fish, as has been proven over and over again in the last 40 years.
Posted by ian hilliar on 17 Mar 2009


Elizabeth Colbert writes: "Well, I’m not at all
optimistic. I do see a lot of energy in
Washington from very smart and committed
people, so that’s a very helpful sign. But I don’t
see any sign as a society that we're really
willing to do what needs to be done."

We have only to look at the total failure of
wetland protection, despite the investment of
billions of dollars in badly degraded places like
the Everglades, to fear that the conversation
about global warming will be just that: talk. Our
politics are simply not up to the challenge. Read
a wonderful new book by St. Pete Times writers
Craig Pittman and Matthew Waite: "Paving
Paradise: Florida's Vanishing Wetlands."
Posted by Alan Farago on 17 Mar 2009


'To believe that we can cut down our forests and put ever more CO2 into the air and it won't matter is like believing housing speculation bourn by ever rising prices would meet no reckoning. The two issues are related, by the way'

Posted by TRB on 17 Mar 2009

TRB - could you please provide proof for your religious belief that increased atmospheric levels of Co2 will have any materially detrimental effect on the climate of the world. Proof please - not those bogus manipulated 'models' much loved by the AGW/CC industry but real proof - oh and by the way don't spend too much time looking because notwithstanding decades of research costing billions of dollars there is no proof - only theory. In fact there is more proof to support the argument against AGW/CC.

But of course maybe you just fall into the camp of the blind green supporters who don't need any proof - just blind faith. If so do you really think that you and people like you should be taken seriously?

Posted by Wake up World on 17 Mar 2009


Since of the 385 PPM of CO2 in the atmosphere 3% is caused by man this means man is responsible for 11.55 PPM or .000001 part of the atmosphere and since CO2 only slows down a certain narrow long wave band of reflected solar radiation it is absurd to suggest that this warms the earth. It is more than absurd to say that it is possible to reduce this small portion of carbon dioxide by say even 5 PPM. It is insane to suggest that if this were possible that this small amount of reduction could possibly make any difference to the earth's temperature.

Human caused global warming is without any question an invented theory with no plausible chance of occurence. It is being used as political tactic to frighten the timid, fool the gullible and fleece the piblic.
Posted by Dahun on 17 Mar 2009


“TRB - could you please provide proof for your religious belief that increased atmospheric levels of Co2 will have any materially detrimental effect on the climate of the world.”

I was not driven to activism 40 years ago to fleece the public or to make money (which has remained an elusive commodity in my universe). No one spoke about global warming then. But with eyes well trained by art schools I could see that the kinds of development reshaping the world (post WWII) was wrong for people and the earth. My convictions of that time have merely been corroborated by the ensuing science on global warming.

So I can’t give you a treatise on global warming, content with near universal scientific agreement that increased Co2 is what’s behind those melting ice caps. Someone, maybe you, also affirmed that sea levels won’t rise if ice caps melt. Try convincing the people of Kiribati (who are being flooded out of their land as we speak). Funny too, sea levels are demonstrable rising in the coastal place where I grew up.

Maybe you’ll try to convince us that these reflect some cyclical blip that we must adapt to. After all, we’re just evolving like other species, right. So what if there’s some die off of the non-fit?

By the way, I also believed the holocaust happened, though I can’t really prove it. And I believe the earth is round, although I don’t suppose you’ll argue with me on that score.
Posted by TRB on 18 Mar 2009


Seas have risen and fallen for eons. After the last ice age, seas rose 50m in a short space of
time. Tasmania was joined by land to mainland Aust and New Guinea to northern Aust. The
seas around Greenland were higher 1000 years ago as evidenced by where the piers were for
the Viking boats and 1000 year plant fossils found under the ice. In the early part of last
century and up to the 1930's, ice thickness and coverage was similar to 2007 - the Northwest
passage was even used in some of that time.
The earth has warmed because of the end of the Little Ice Age and will continue to warm regardless of our efforts to control CO2 - and if it goes into a cooling trend, it will do it. The most important issue is to try to achieve green, sustainable energy sources, because it makes sense. The earth will keep doing what it will.
Posted by kasphar on 18 Mar 2009


This is puzzling. On one hand nothing needs to change, since nothing we can do will have an effect on the climate. But when great swathes of forests have been cut, droughts have been seen to follow. And paved areas are hotter than unpaved ones.

In my sketchy take on science, every substance appears to DO something, even if it’s catalytic. So, wildly escalating levels of atmospheric Co2 has to be DOING something, although you don’t say what. You are certain, however, that it doesn’t and could never have an effect on climate.

Then on the other hand you say we must “achieve green, sustainable energy sources, because it makes sense.” It would be nice to know how you think it makes sense. Politically? Economically? Clearly not environmentally, by all accounts.

Posted by TRB on 18 Mar 2009


What I object to are alarmists' claims of
extreme weather to scare people. Many of the
events they point to have happened in the past
without the help of increased CO2. For instance,
the 0.5C temp rise in the last 30 years (CO2
increase of 50ppm) matches the 0.5C temp rise
from 1910-1940 (only 10ppm increase).
Climate fluctuations are natural.
CO2 is hardly a pollutant - it's plant food. At
worst it is a passive insulator which may
influence night time temps. According to
scientists, less than 5% of yearly CO2 output is
produced by human activity.
Of course it makes sense to invest in alternate
energy sources because solar, geothermal, etc
are sustainable and the primary sources of the
energy (ie sun, hot rocks) are free.
Posted by kasphar on 19 Mar 2009


I attended the last Heartland conference, and have a duty to report that, like the recent one,
it ranks as an acute embarrassment to the scientific commonsense of the Republican party.

Far from featuring "700 or so sensible scientists" the organizers, and despite offering a
handsome honorarium to all comers, the organizers again failed to muster more than
two dozen bona fide scientists, and only a handful of those of those presenting have
published anything of relevance in recognized atmospheric science journals in recent years.


Freeman Dyson was conspicuously absent, and though Dick Lindzen was there with as cogent a critique of the modeling enterprise as can be mustered , he and a few other honorable
exceptions were vastly outnumbered by a constellation of lobbyists, religious enthusiasts, and outright cranks competitive in its tendentiousness with any Deep or Dark Green
rally on record.

If the event did not exist, it would be necessary for Al Gore to invent it.
Posted by Russell Seitz on 19 Mar 2009


Kasphar: "What I object to are alarmists' claims of extreme weather to scare people. Many of the events they point to have happened."

Just to be sure I wasn’t heading into the Twilight Zone, I looked online to see what leading figures and organizations have been saying or doing about climate change. Along the way, I found the negative trash of Dr. William Campbell Douglass, with whom you are likely familiar. But on to other things.

I started with our president, whose climate views obviously found widespread agreement among American voters. “Now is the time to confront this challenge once and for all,” Mr. Obama said. “Delay is no longer an option. Denial is no longer an acceptable response.”

Then, not to be partisan, I checked on G. W. Bush, widely seen as a climate-change denier: “I’ve put our Nation on a path to slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of our greenhouse gas emissions. In 2002, I announced our first step: to reduce America's greenhouse gas intensity by 18 percent through 2012. I am pleased to say that we remain on track to meet this goal even as our economy has grown 17 percent.”

Then John McCain: In 2003, he and Sen. Joe Lieberman introduced the first-ever climate bill to the Senate: the Climate Stewardship Act, which would establish a carbon cap-and-trade system to reduce U.S. emissions. It was introduced and voted down in 2003 and again in 2005. He acknowledges, without hedging, that anthropogenic climate change is real, and speaks eloquently about the need to address it. He has frequently criticized the Bush administration for inaction.”

Then arch devil Al Gore: “If Gore made global warming a cause celebre, the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of more than 2,000 scientists from 130 countries, has provided the scientific heft. Its series of reports released this year definitively blamed humans for global warming and said that rising temperatures, if left unchecked, would lead to widespread coastal flooding, starvation and species extinction.

And ex-president Clinton, who is nobody’s fool: “President Clinton launched the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) in August 2006 to make a difference in the fight against climate change in practical, measurable, and significant ways.”

This is not a lunatic fringe! To baldly dismiss the climate views of these stalwarts that have access to the world’s greatest scientists as irresponsible scare mongering is hard to fathom.

Your position has to be that of an iconoclast (good), a reactionary (not so good) or a charlatan (bad). These “statistics” you present are out of symmetry with those of the world’s respected leaders and scientists. I recommend that readers get Al Gore’s video, “An Inconvenient Truth.” It was part of the work for which Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

If you are an iconoclast, with an honest conviction that this weight of opinion is misguided, more power to you. But you have a lot to do to convince me. And if Al Gore (and the climate-change-activist crowd) is even remotely correct, a measure of alarm would not be misplaced.

I know many who believe that climate change is alarming and are trying to do something about it. I don’t agree with everything many of these people do, but I can’t think of one who is sounding the alarm only to get money. To keep insisting as does Dr. Douglass that those of us who advocate for new climate policies are doing it for the money has me reaching for my weapon. I've always been among the "voluntary poor," enduring great material privation because I refused to do lucrative things that I don’t believe in.

I hope you know (or care) what it is to be constructive. If there’s a constructive reason why we should forget about climate, and just relax, I haven’t heard it. Instead, what you’re effectively doing is discouraging resolve among those who are new to the issue. From where I sit, that sounds just like what big oil would want you to do. And that would be charlatanism.

Unlike the tobacco execs who personally denied the dangers of smoking, big oil executives use online deniers to muddy the waters about climate change, forestalling reform, and maintaining their profits. This ends up increasing the difficulty and expense (human and economic) of change, ensuring that it will come in the most oppressive way possible.

Posted by TRB on 20 Mar 2009


I was responding to Kolbert's statements above
which in part reads;
'Well, look, the Australians are now having a
terrible heat wave, and they’re having a terrible
drought.' 'They’re having a long-term drought,
and that this is climate change, a climate change
signal.' Yes, we did have those weather
conditions, but we also had a similar drought
100 years ago (Federation drought) and we've
had extreme heat waves before (longest was in
1923/4).
Claims like this are 'part and parcel' of both
sides of the AGW argument. They make it hard
for people like myself to find the truth. Has
anyone actually completed a scientific
experiment which proves CO2 raises temps to
such a degree that it creates excessive positive
feedback causing catastrophic warming and
climate change (please provide link)?
I don't know how to say this as I have said it
before - I believe in green, sustainable energy.
If this AGW proves to be a 'scare tactic', a
furphy, then this dream of sustainable energy
could be set back decades.
Posted by kasphar on 21 Mar 2009


All the info in this link, which uses studies and surveys, say that the recent warming is a result of AGW (the IPCC says it is 90% sure). Some so-called deniers even say that CO2 can cause some warming but not the positive feedback mechanism needed to produce catastrophic CC. Consensus and world government acceptance of AGW doesn't necessary make it right (remember the world-wide acceptance of eugenics early last century). I suspect no-one has conducted a physical experiment with CO2 feedbacks because there are so many naturally occurring factors it would be impossible.
Posted by kasphar on 21 Mar 2009


I’m sure Ms Kolbert is a nice person. But there is a difference between ‘reporting on’ and ‘understanding’ any issue. She has ignored the first law of objective reporting: recognize that there are two sides to every story; report on both; take sides with neither.

We are faced with global warming fiasco fed by models that can neither reproduce the past nor predict the future. This isn’t science. It’s political manipulation of the worst order. Meanwhile, true environmental disasters await us but are of no interest to the Gore-afobes of the world, as there is no money in their solution for them.

If the UN and the our honorable politicians really want to do something beneficial, clean up China’s air and reduce real air pollutants. Protect ecosystems. Protect ocean fisheries. The list is very long and very critical.

Posted by jose on 08 Apr 2009


This is 2010 by now and we have experienced the failure of Copenhagen. We are now facing the risks of a confusion between the mismanagement of this conference, the reluctance of some countries to commit and, on the other hand, the attacks against the credibility of the climate change theory.

We should pay attention to the fact that 2010 has begun by strong revival of climate negators, probably supported by a public opinion overloaded by the climate change communication that ended in the collapse of Copenhagen.

The big question is now then: how to face the post Copenhagen drama? How to wake up?

Before Copenhagen, Cefic, the European Chemical Industry association had sponsored a book authored by the climate specialist Robert Kandel: Turning the Tide on Climate Change:
http://www.cefic.org/files/publications/Book-climate-change/).

Now we still think that this book addresses many climate challenges. The debate is note over.

Posted by Philippe de Casabianca on 03 Mar 2010



 

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