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June 20th, 2003, 05:51 AM
June 20, 2003

Censorship on Global Warming

When it comes to global warming, the Bush administration seems determined to bury its head in the sand and hope the problem will go away. Worse yet, it wants to bury any research findings that global warming may be a threat to human health or the environment.

The latest example of this ostrichlike behavior involves some heavy-handed censorship of a draft report that is due out next week from the Environmental Protection Agency. As described by Andrew Revkin and Katharine Seelye in yesterday's Times, the report was intended to provide the first comprehensive review of what is known about environmental problems and what gaps in understanding remain to be filled. But by the time the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the Office of Management and Budget finished with it and hammered the E.P.A. into submission, a long section on the risks posed by rising global temperatures was reduced to a noncommittal paragraph.

Gone is any mention that the 1990's are likely to have been the warmest decade in the last thousand years in the Northern Hemisphere. Gone, also, is a judgment by the National Research Council about the likely human contributions to global warming, though the evidence falls short of conclusive proof. Gone, too, is an introductory statement that "Climate change has global consequences for human health and the environment." All that is left in the report is some pablum about the complexities of the issue and the research that is needed to resolve the uncertainties.

This is the second shameful case of censorship involving global warming in less than a year. Last September, a whole chapter on climate was deleted from the E.P.A.'s annual report on air-pollution trends. That deed was done by Bush appointees at the agency, with White House approval, possibly because the White House had been angered by a previous report from the State Department suggesting the dire harm that could come from climate change. President Bush had dismissed that report as "put out by the bureaucracy."

The justifications offered for such censorship are feeble. One excuse is that global warming has been discussed in other reports and thus need not be dealt with again. But surely reports billed as comprehensive reviews should be comprehensive.

Another excuse is that the administration's new climate research plan will grapple with the issue. But given what we know about this administration, it seems almost inevitable that the experts who are mobilized to study the question will wind up focusing on uncertainties and the need for further research rather than facing up to the policy implications of the existing data.

Christie Whitman, the E.P.A. administrator, is putting on a brave face after her agency's capitulation. She says she feels "perfectly comfortable" issuing the broader assessment of land, air and water quality without waiting to resolve differences over climate change, where the evidence is less solid. But this sorry trampling of her agency's best judgment suggests that Congress, in confirming a successor after she steps down next week, will need to look hard at how free that person will be to offer the best scientific judgment on environmental issues.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

June 20th, 2003, 08:48 AM
I think the people should know about this problem and the Bush administration is making a bad decision by not telling the people. Everyday I see more H2's and Escalades and those thing are gas guzzlers. That isn't good for the environment and I think that not only the gov't should try and do something, but also these car companies. Have you seeb one Americann hybrid car? Well I haven't and America, being a top world leader in technology, should work towards this goal of fuel efficent cars.

June 21st, 2003, 01:40 AM
June 21, 2003

When Politics Trumps Science (4 Letters)

To the Editor:

"Report by E.P.A. Leaves Out Data on Climate Change" (front page, June 19) says that an Environmental Protection Agency report due next week on the state of the environment is being edited by the White House to play down the risks of global climate change.

Having served as E.P.A. administrator under both Presidents Nixon and Ford, I can state categorically that there never was such White House intrusion into the business of the E.P.A. during my tenure. The E.P.A. was established as an independent agency in the executive branch, and so it should remain. There appears today to be a steady erosion in its independent status.

I can appreciate the president's interest in not having discordant voices within his administration. But the interest of the American people lies in having full disclosure of the facts, particularly when the issue is one with such potentially enormous damage to the long-term health and economic well-being of all of us.

Washington, June 19, 2003

To the Editor:

The Environmental Protection Agency is about to issue a report that was edited by the White House to leave out an account of the risks from global warming (front page, June 19). This comes at a time when every day seems to bring new revelations that the administration cooked the books in its drive to plunge the nation into war in Iraq.

The most important issue in the 2004 election should not be national security or the economy. It should be which candidate will tell the unvarnished truth to the American people.

Boston, June 19, 2003

To the Editor:

The report that the Environmental Protection Agency has omitted data on climate change in its "comprehensive review" is extremely disturbing (front page, June 19). Climate change is a scientific, not political, issue. The facts are clear. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen from 280 to over 360 parts per million as a result of burning fossil fuels. All climate models show that the addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will lead to global warming and changes in precipitation.

Sound governmental policy regarding climate change requires complete, unfettered access to scientific information. Omission of data can lead to policies that endanger the welfare of the nation.

New Brunswick, N.J., June 19, 2003
The writer is a professor of earth systems at Rutgers University.

To the Editor:

The Bush administration's politically motivated "editing" of the Environmental Protection Agency report on global warming (front page, June 19) ought to worry all Americans, whether liberal or conservative. This is another example of the top-down methodology used by members of the administration, in which they first decide on the conclusions they want and then set down to work on providing evidence for them, no matter how flimsy or inaccurate.

When political forces influence scientific inquiry, the result is a misinformed public and a government that fails in its obligation to uphold the public interest.

Berkeley, Calif., June 19, 2003

To the Editor:

Re "Censorship on Global Warming" (editorial, June 20):

The moral integrity of any society is measured, at least in part, by its determination to secure the future for generations that will follow. In this regard, the state of the environment that our children will inherit should be a primary concern.

The Bush administration, however, has exploited the fears resulting from the 9/11 attacks to remove environmental issues from our radar screen. It is the duty of responsible Democrats and Republicans to put these issues back on center stage. Winning the war on terrorism will be pointless unless we are devoting at least as much effort to the war to save the planet.

Lincolndale, N.Y., June 20, 2003

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

June 26th, 2003, 07:57 AM
June 26, 2003

An Environmental Report Card

On her way out the door, Christie Whitman has issued the Environmental Protection Agency's first statistical assessment of the nation's environment. The bottom line is that although much remains to be done, things are greatly improved from 30 years ago. The air is healthier, the water cleaner. But underneath the numbers, and of course unobserved in the report, lies an exquisite irony: what has brought us here are the landmark environmental laws of the early 1970's — laws that the industries bankrolling the Bush administration have been fighting tooth and nail ever since, laws that the administration itself has tried to amend or weaken.

The report has already acquired a certain notoriety because it omitted, on White House orders, any meaningful discussion of global warming, a problem that President Bush seems to think will go away if nobody talks about it. In a sense, this may have been the administration's final insult to Mrs. Whitman, who has been bounced around on other issues during her two-plus years as the agency's administrator. Now most people are likely to remember her report, which she had intended as an apolitical statistical portrait, for what it leaves out rather than for the useful information it contains.

On the plus side, the report shows that air pollution has declined by 25 percent over the last three decades even as the country's population, economy and vehicle traffic have exploded. Fully 94 percent of Americans are served by drinking water systems that meet federal health standards, as opposed to 79 percent 10 years ago. Major rivers, like the Hudson, are no longer used as industrial and municipal sewers. Yet in a sense we have just begun. More than 125 million Americans suffer from intermittent unhealthy air, 270,000 miles of rivers and streams remain too polluted for fishing and swimming, coastal estuaries are in generally poor shape, and suburban sprawl continues to devour open space at an alarming rate.

The report is a compelling argument for preserving — and broadening where necessary — the reach of environmental law. Mrs. Whitman recognized as much when, in one of her last acts, she proposed tough new regulations on construction equipment and other diesel-powered off-road vehicles, a huge and lightly regulated source of air pollution. But she has spent most of her tenure playing defense. The administration moved to weaken the existing Clean Air Act without putting anything in its place. It has done little to regulate farm runoff, a major source of water pollution. And Mrs. Whitman herself has set in motion a review of the Clean Water Act that could leave over 60 percent of the nation's streams and 20 million acres of wetlands exposed to development and pollution.

Indeed, before she leaves town, and as a final legacy, Mrs. Whitman might consider taking that unfortunate proposal off the table. That could make her agency's next report even rosier.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

(Edited by Christian Wieland at 7:58 am on June 26, 2003)

August 23rd, 2003, 06:59 AM
August 23, 2003

Fouling the Air

In defiance of Congress, the courts and the requirements of public health, the administration is on the verge of effectively repealing a key section of the Clean Air Act. According to a report yesterday in The Times, the Environmental Protection Agency plans to issue a final rule next week that would allow thousands of industrial sites, including hundreds of old coal-fired power plants, to make major upgrades without installing new pollution controls, as currently required by law. Eliot Spitzer, New York's attorney general, has rightly vowed to sue the moment the rule becomes final. We are eager to hear Gov. Michael Leavitt of Utah, President Bush's nominee to run the E.P.A., try to defend this decision when he comes up for confirmation in September — especially in light of his own clean-air director's vigorous opposition to the change.

At issue is a provision called "new source review," part of the Clean Air Act amendments of 1977. It requires companies to install modern pollution controls in new plants, and in old plants when they make significant modifications leading to increased emissions. The rule was aimed mainly at older coal-fired power plants, which were temporarily exempted from the act's requirements in the expectation that they would install pollution controls later. New-source review has been in the administration's sights ever since Vice President Dick Cheney all but ordered its abolition in his 2001 energy report. Industry and the administration have argued that the rule is impossibly cumbersome and that other Clean Air Act provisions can achieve the same results. These arguments are only partly true and largely beside the point, which is that until something better comes along, new-source review is an indispensable tool for cleaning the air.

What really bothers industry is that the rule requires significant capital outlays. Many companies have therefore tried to evade it, leading to lawsuits by, among others, Mr. Spitzer. Confronted with industry's howls, the administration decided simply to scuttle the rule. This is hardly the first time that the White House has ordered the rollback of a law that discomfits its friends. But this is a particularly egregious example, and one that could do the environment great harm.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

August 28th, 2003, 02:18 PM
August 28, 2003

Politics and Pollution

President Bush's critics have watched with mounting frustration as his administration has compiled one of the worst environmental records in recent history without paying any real political price. One reason may be that the issues at stake are too regional, like forest fires or salmon recovery, or too remote, like global warming. But the administration itself may now have witlessly altered this dynamic with its reckless and insupportable decision to eviscerate a central provision of the Clean Air Act and allow power plants, refineries and other industrial sites to spew millions of tons of unhealthy pollutants into the air.

The proposed changes in the act, formally announced yesterday, are so transparently a giveaway to Mr. Bush's corporate allies and so widely unpopular among the officials responsible for air quality in the individual states that they have already assumed a place in the nascent presidential race. Democratic candidates are competing to see who can express more outrage — John Kerry, for instance, calls the changes a " `get out of jail free' card" for polluters. Moderate Republicans are dismayed and embarrassed. The issue will acquire even greater momentum when the new rules are published as a fait accompli in the Federal Register, and a dozen or more states sue in federal court to have them stayed and then overturned.

These suits could easily succeed. The new rules are a clear violation of Congress's intent in 1977, when it required utilities and other polluters to install modern pollution-control technology whenever they modified their plants in ways that increased emissions. The Justice Department identified 51 plants that were in violation of the 1977 rule because they had been upgraded without the required pollution controls. Several of these cases have been resolved in the government's favor, but the administration's action clearly jeopardizes the remaining lawsuits.

As the administration's defense takes shape, the public should beware of half-truths and artful demagogy. One specious line of argument is that the old rule inhibited companies from doing routine maintenance and making plants more efficient. The administration has offered no compelling evidence to support that beyond the anecdotal say-so of a few utilities. A companion argument, made by apologists for the White House, is that the old rule contributed to the blackout. This, too, is nonsense. The blackout was caused by deficiencies in the transmission grid or its management and had nothing to do with environmental regulations or a shortage of power.

This line of reasoning is eerily reminiscent of the efforts to blame environmentalists for the California energy crisis, and is equally as hollow.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

September 13th, 2003, 01:56 PM
September 13, 2003

Baked Alaska on the Menu?



Skeptics of global warming should come to this Eskimo village on the Arctic Ocean, roughly 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle. It's hard to be complacent about climate change when you're in an area that normally is home to animals like polar bears and wolverines, but is now attracting robins.

A robin even built its nest in town this year (there is no word in the local Inupiat Eskimo language for robins). And last year a (presumably shivering) porcupine arrived.

The Okpilak River valley was historically too cold and dry for willows, and in the Inupiat language "Okpilak" means "river with no willows." Yet a warmer, wetter climate means that now it's crowded with willows.

The warming ocean is also bringing salmon, three kinds now, to waters here. The Eskimos say there were almost no salmon a generation ago.

"The weather is different, really different," said 92-year-old Nora Agiak, speaking in the Inupiat language and wearing moose-skin moccasins and a jacket with wolverine fur. "We're not getting as many icebergs as we used to. Maybe the world moved because it's getting warmer."

In the past, I've been skeptical about costly steps (like those in the Kyoto accord) to confront climate change. But I'm changing my mind. The evidence, while still somewhat incomplete, is steadily mounting that our carbon emissions are causing an accelerating global warming that amounts to a major threat to the world in which we live.

Alaska has warmed by eight degrees, on average, in the winter, over the last three decades, according to meteorological records. The U.S. Arctic Research Commission says that today's Arctic temperatures are the highest in the last 400 years, and perhaps much longer.

The U.S. Navy reports that in areas traversed by its submarines, Arctic ice volume decreased 42 percent over the last 35 years, and the average thickness of ice below water declined 4.3 feet. The Office of Naval Research warns that "one plausible outcome" is that the summer Arctic ice cap will disappear completely by 2050.

"We've got climate change," Robert Thompson, a native guide, says flatly. He notes that pack ice, which always used to hover offshore, providing a home for polar bears, now sometimes retreats hundreds of miles north of Kaktovik. That has caused some bears to drown and leaves others stranded on land.

(After a polar bear was spotted outside Kaktovik's post office one snowy morning, the locals explained what to do if you bump into a famished polar bear: Yell and throw stones, and above all, don't run!)

For hundreds of years, the Eskimos here used ice cellars in the permafrost. But now the permafrost is melting, and these ice cellars are filling with water and becoming useless.

Kaktovik's airstrip, 50 years old, has begun to flood because of higher seas, so it may be moved upland. Another native village, Shishmaref, has voted to abandon its location entirely because of rising seas.

In the hamlet of Deadhorse, I ran into an Arctic native named Jackson Snyder, who said that winters were getting "a lot warmer — doesn't get much below 50 below anymore."

That may not seem so bad. But while there will be benefits to a warmer Alaska (a longer growing season, ice-free ports), climate change can also lead to crop failures, spread tropical diseases and turn Bangladesh into tidal pools. The pace of warming may be far too fast for animals, humans or ecosystems to adjust. My advice is that if you're planning a dream home in New Orleans or on the Chesapeake, put it on stilts.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, reflecting a consensus of scientists, concluded that human activity had probably caused most global warming in recent decades. It predicted that in this century, the seas will rise 4 to 35 inches.

Some 14,000 years ago, a warming trend apparently raised the sea level by 70 feet in just a few hundred years. Today's computer models don't foresee a repeat of that, but they also can't explain why it happened then.

That's why I'm changing my mind about the need for major steps to address carbon emissions. Global warming is still an uncertain threat, but it may well become one of the major challenges of this century. Certainly our government should do more about it than censor discussions of climate change in E.P.A. reports.

Unless we act soon, we may find waves lapping the beaches of Ohio.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

September 20th, 2003, 04:41 PM
I really don't expect any surprises from a Republican Administration that doesn't even PRETEND to beenvironmentalist.

September 25th, 2003, 12:11 AM
Thinning Ice

There has been no end of scholarly studies confirming the gradual rise in global temperatures over the past century. Yet nothing focuses the mind on global warming and its potential consequences quite so sharply as the occasional news flash from some remote corner of the globe documenting startling changes in landscapes once thought to be immutable. Two years ago, for instance, scientists told us that the snows of Kilimanjaro, which inspired Ernest Hemingway's famous short story, could vanish in 15 years, and that the seemingly indestructible glaciers in the Bolivian Andes might not last another 10. Last year brought evidence of disturbing and apparently irreversible changes in Alaska's environment — melting permafrost, sagging roads, dying forests — arising from an astonishing rise of 5.4 degrees in Alaska's average temperature over the past 30 years.

Now comes more unsettling news: a report from three scientists that the Arctic's largest ice shelf — a 150-square-mile, 100-foot-thick mass of ice that has been sitting more or less intact off the northern Canadian coast for 3,000 years — is disintegrating. The scientists say the breakup results from a century-long warming trend that has accelerated in the last two years. It is not yet possible, they say, to tie the melting directly to rising atmospheric concentrations of so-called greenhouse gases, or to the human activities — chiefly the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil — that create these gases. But they warn that a "critical threshold" has been breached, and that on the other side of this threshold lie abrupt changes in natural conditions we have long taken for granted.

There could be a bright side to all this, if it persuaded the Bush administration and Congress to take the issue of climate change more seriously. That is not happening. Mr. Bush remains fixated on a voluntary approach that offers little hope of meaningful reductions in industrial emissions of carbon dioxide, the main global warming gas. Congress, meanwhile, is fashioning an energy bill that will do little to reduce these emissions, and indeed could increase them by heaping new subsidies on the oil, gas and coal industries. Washington's carapace of denial seems sturdier than any glacier.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

October 27th, 2003, 05:36 AM
October 27, 2003

Testing the Senate's Mettle

There is a good test of senatorial courage coming this week. For the first time, senators will be asked whether they are prepared to do something serious about global warming. The question comes in the form of a bill by John McCain and Joseph Lieberman that would impose mandatory caps on industrial emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases thought to be heavily responsible for warming the earth's atmosphere. The bill is a long shot. But it will provide the first true test of the sincerity of senators who say they care about the problem and have faulted President Bush for not doing enough.

More broadly, it will also tell us whether the politics of global warming are finally beginning to catch up to the science of global warming. The science seems clear enough, and surveys suggest that the public and many local politicians are worried. But Washington hangs back, fearful of asking the country to make the investments in cleaner fuels, cars and power plants needed to start bringing emissions down.

This fear has been engendered in part by Mr. Bush, who remains stubbornly positioned at the rear of a parade he ought to be leading. Warning of job losses, he has opposed not only the 1997 Kyoto Protocol but even the mildest variations on that agreement. Instead, he offers research into technological fixes (fine, as far as they go) as well as a voluntary program that will allow industrial emissions to grow as long as they increase more slowly than the economy itself, which of course misses the point. The carbon in the atmosphere, already dangerously high, is likely to stay there for a long time. Thus the name of the game is to stabilize and reduce emissions, not merely to slow their growth.

Senators McCain and Lieberman have it right. Their plan would require energy, transportation and manufacturing companies to cut their emissions to 2000 levels by 2010. That isn't asking a lot. According to two reputable studies, the cost would be less than $20 per family per year, and there would be no negative impact on employment. Indeed, the investments in new technologies necessary to achieve the reductions, as well as the money saved on gasoline from more efficient cars, could actually boost the economy. The bill also offers a range of clever economic incentives — chiefly a market-based system of emissions trading, patterned after the highly successful acid rain program in the 1990 Clean Air Act — to help industries keep the costs of compliance low.

Three hours of debate will be allowed for the McCain-Lieberman forces, three for the opposition. The point will undoubtedly be made that America is under no obligation to act as long as developing countries like China increase their emissions. The truth is just the reverse: One cannot expect developing nations to do anything until the United States, the biggest polluter, takes the lead. McCain-Lieberman is a splendid chance to do so.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

October 27th, 2003, 12:48 PM
Images from the NASA Earth Obervatory webpage:

The minimum concentration of polar sea ice for 1979

The mininum concentration of polar sea ice for 2003

The reduction was measured to be 9% per decade.

Freedom Tower
October 27th, 2003, 10:29 PM
Look though, the ice increased by Japan. How can that be explained?

October 27th, 2003, 10:49 PM
Japan :?:

October 27th, 2003, 10:57 PM
Someone should have paid more attention in geography class.

October 27th, 2003, 10:59 PM
So is that Australia all covered in ice?

October 28th, 2003, 10:18 AM

Novaya Zemlya [nô"vIu zimlyä'] , archipelago, c.35,000 sq mi (90,650 sq km), in the Arctic Ocean between the Barents and Kara seas, NW Russia. It consists of two main islands (separated by Matochkin Strait) and many smaller ones. The mountains, rising to c.3,500 ft (1,070 m), are a continuation of the Urals. In the north the archipelago is glaciated and covered by arctic desert; the southern part is tundra. Copper, lead, zinc, and asphaltite are found there. Fishing, sealing, and trapping are the chief occupations of the small population, which lives mainly along the western coast. The islands were used for thermonuclear testing by the Russians, who still maintain a nonnuclear weapons test site there. Explored by Novgorodians in the 11th or 12th cent., the islands were sighted by explorers searching for the Northeast Passage in the 1500s. Since the mid-1800s Russians have built settlements and scientific stations there.

Source- The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia

Freedom Tower
October 28th, 2003, 05:18 PM
OK, not Japan. But it's that Japan-shaped island north of Russia. That's what I'm talking about. If you still don't see where the ice increased then I'll just go ahead and say it: On the top of the picture. I wonder why there is an increase of ice there. Maybe the changing ice has nothing to do with global warming if it is increasing in some areas...

Freedom Tower
October 28th, 2003, 05:21 PM
Stockton, that is Greenland covered in ice. Australia is closer to Japan. Which is why if you just skim the picture, as i did, you can mistake the areas for Japan and Australia, although I should've realized there was no ice there.

October 28th, 2003, 05:43 PM
Yeah Stockton, I won't hold it against you. Is Stevie Wonder your geography tutor? :wink: :lol:

Free-T, are you sure it's not Iceland?

October 28th, 2003, 05:50 PM
So you were just skimming the picture, but you were looking carefully enough to notice that there's slightly more ice in one corner of the image.

The point is that there's less ice, not where it is. It's a computer-generated image anyway.

So Australia is closer to Japan? About as close as we are to Argentina.

You clearly know next to nothing about this topic, other than some propaganda you're ready to spew about doom-and-gloom liberal tax-and-spend tree-hugging environmentalist scientists who are going to destroy America. Spare me.

October 28th, 2003, 09:14 PM
President Bush's critics have watched with mounting frustration as his administration has compiled one of the worst environmental records in recent history without paying any real political price. One reason may be that the issues at stake are too regional, like forest fires or salmon recovery, or too remote, like global warming.

So Bush should pay the political price for forest fires? I thought that was Gray Davis's fault?!

I'm all about holding politicians accountable, but give me a break...forest fires?!

Who is responsible for hurricanes, Fidel Castro?

October 28th, 2003, 09:47 PM
Bad comparison. Unlike hurricanes, forest fires are influenced by environmental policy.

FT, I would have explained, but if you really thought Japan was next to the ice cap...well, here goes:

The size of the ice cap determines how much sunlight is reflected back away from the earth. The more radiant energy that gets through the atmosphere, the higher the temperature, which in turn melts more ice. The danger is that you can reach a point where the process spirals out of control, and is not affected by any action we take.

The reverse of this process is how an ice-age develops.

October 28th, 2003, 10:27 PM
Bad comparison. Unlike hurricanes, forest fires are influenced by environmental policy.

Zippy, I am not trying to be argumentative, but this just seems absurd.

As far as I know Bush has advocated for more logging and forest management by lumber companies, the very people who would have a great deal to gain if forests were healthy and reached full maturity, not a scorched pile of cinders.

I thought my comparison was apt, in that both phenomena rely on atmospheric conditions, (which can be loosly corrolated to environmental policy), but are random and unpredictable forces of nature that operate in cycles beyond our control.*

*Before settlers moved to California the natives would conduct controlled burns every year to keep these unpredictable fires from popping up, (of course white men knew better than these savages.)

If Bush is against controlled burns conducted by forestry experts then I think his environmental policy stinks with regard to this subject, barring that I think making political hay out of natural disasters is distasteful at the very least.

October 29th, 2003, 03:36 AM
October 29, 2003

The Warming Is Global but the Legislating, in the U.S., Is All Local


Workers installed solar panels atop the San Francisco convention center in August, a result of a new California energy initiative.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 — Motivated by environmental and economic concerns, states have become the driving force in efforts to combat global warming even as mandatory programs on the federal level have largely stalled.

At least half of the states are addressing global warming, whether through legislation, lawsuits against the Bush administration or programs initiated by governors.

In the last three years, state legislatures have passed at least 29 bills, usually with bipartisan support. The most contentious is California's 2002 law to set strict limits for new cars on emissions of carbon dioxide, the gas that scientists say has the greatest role in global warming.

While few of the state laws will have as much impact as California's, they are not merely symbolic. In addition to caps on emissions of gases like carbon dioxide that can cause the atmosphere to heat up like a greenhouse, they include registries to track such emissions, efforts to diversify fuel sources and the use of crops to capture carbon dioxide by taking it out of the atmosphere and into the ground.

Aside from their practical effects, supporters say, these efforts will put pressure on Congress and the administration to enact federal legislation, if only to bring order to a patchwork of state laws.

States are moving ahead in large part to fill the vacuum that has been left by the federal government, said David Danner, the energy adviser for Gov. Gary Locke of Washington.

"We hope to see the problem addressed at the federal level," Mr. Danner said, "but we're not waiting around."

There are some initiatives in Congress, but for the moment even their backers acknowledge that they are doomed, given strong opposition from industry, the Bush administration — which favors voluntary controls — and most Congressional Republicans.

This week, the Senate is scheduled to vote on a proposal to create a national regulatory structure for carbon dioxide. This would be the first vote for either house on a measure to restrict the gas.

The proposal's primary sponsors, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut, see it mainly as a way to force senators to take a position on the issue, given the measure's slim prospects.

States are acting partly because of predictions that global warming could damage local economies by harming agriculture, eroding shorelines and hurting tourism.

"We're already seeing things which may be linked to global warming here in the state," Mr. Danner said. "We have low snowpack, increased forest fire danger."

Environmental groups and officials in state governments say that energy initiatives are easier to move forward on the local level because they span constituencies — industrial and service sectors, Democrat and Republican, urban and rural.

While the coal, oil and automobile industries have big lobbies in Washington, the industry presence is diluted on the state level. Environmental groups say this was crucial to winning a legislative battle over automobile emissions in California, where the automobile industry did not have a long history of large campaign donations and instead had to rely on a six-month advertising campaign to make its case.

Local businesses are also interested in policy decisions because of concerns about long-term energy costs, said Christopher James, director of air planning and standards for the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. As a result, environmental groups are shifting their efforts to focus outside Washington.

Five years ago the assumption was that the climate treaty known as the Kyoto Protocol was the only effort in town, said Rhys Roth, the executive director of Climate Solutions, which works on global warming issues in the Pacific Northwest states. But since President Bush rejected the Kyoto pact in 2001, local groups have been emerging on the regional, state and municipal levels.

The Climate Action Network, a worldwide conglomeration of nongovernment organizations working on global warming, doubled its membership of state and local groups in the last two years.

The burst of activity is not limited to the states with a traditional environmental bent.

At least 15 states, including Texas and Nevada, are forcing their state electric utilities to diversify beyond coal and oil to energy sources like wind and solar power.

Even rural states are linking their agricultural practices to global warming. Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wyoming have all passed initiatives in anticipation of future greenhouse-gas emission trading, hoping they can capitalize on their forests and crops to capture carbon dioxide during photosynthesis.

Cities are also adopting new energy policies. San Franciscans approved a $100 million bond initiative in 2001 to pay for solar panels for municipal buildings, including the San Francisco convention center.

The rising level of state activity is causing concern among those who oppose carbon dioxide regulation.

"I believe the states are being used to force a federal mandate," said Sandy Liddy Bourne, who does research on global warming for the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group contending that carbon dioxide should not be regulated because it is not a pollutant. "Rarely do you see so many bills in one subject area introduced across the country."

The council started tracking state legislation, which they call son-of-Kyoto bills, weekly after they noticed a significant rise in greenhouse-gas-related legislation two years ago. This year, the council says, 24 states have introduced 90 bills that would build frameworks for regulating carbon dioxide. Sixty-six such bills were introduced in all of 2001 and 2002.

Some of the activity has graduated to a regional level. Last summer, Gov. George E. Pataki of New York invited 10 Northeastern states to set up a regional trading network where power plants could buy and sell carbon dioxide credits in an effort to lower overall emissions. In 2001, six New England states entered into an agreement with Canadian provinces to cap overall emissions by 2010. Last month, California, Washington and Oregon announced that they would start looking at shared strategies to address global warming.

To be sure, some states have decided not to embrace policies to combat global warming. Six — Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Wyoming — have explicitly passed laws against any mandatory reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

"My concern," said Ms. Bourne, "is that members of industry and environment groups will go to the federal government to say: `There is a patchwork quilt of greenhouse-gas regulations across the country. We cannot deal with the 50 monkeys. We must have one 800-pound gorilla. Please give us a federal mandate.' " Indeed, some environmentalists say this is precisely their strategy.

States developed their own air toxics pollution programs in the 1980's, which resulted in different regulations and standards across the country. Industry groups, including the American Chemistry Council, eventually lobbied Congress for federal standards, which were incorporated into the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments.

A number of states are trying to compel the federal government to move sooner rather than later. On Thursday, 12 states, including New York, with its Republican governor, and three cities sued the Environmental Protection Agency for its recent decision not to regulate greenhouse-gas pollutants under the Clean Air Act, a reversal of the agency's previous stance under the Clinton administration.

"Global warming cannot be solely addressed at the state level," said Tom Reilly, the Massachusetts attorney general. "It's a problem that requires a federal approach."


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

October 29th, 2003, 08:19 AM
If you believe that our influence over hurricanes and forest fires is comparable, then yeah, you're right.

Freedom Tower
October 29th, 2003, 04:33 PM
So you were just skimming the picture, but you were looking carefully enough to notice that there's slightly more ice in one corner of the image.

The point is that there's less ice, not where it is. It's a computer-generated image anyway.

So Australia is closer to Japan? About as close as we are to Argentina.

You clearly know next to nothing about this topic, other than some propaganda you're ready to spew about doom-and-gloom liberal tax-and-spend tree-hugging environmentalist scientists who are going to destroy America. Spare me.

Stockton I find your attitude towards me apalling and offensive and I'd appreciate it if you'd cease to talk to me like that. All I pointed out was that for some reason or another a certain part of the globe had an increase in ice. I found that odd. That gives you no right to talk to me as if I am just out to spread propoganda. I clearly know next to nothing? Excuse me for saying so, but I wasn't speaking about this topic in detail. All I did was point out an increase in ice, no harm done. I skimmed the picture quickly, yes. Which is why I mistaked a big island for Australia and a little one for Japan. I should've, obviously, realized that there was no ice cap there. But for some reason I did not realize it. So with that passed, the ice did INCREASE in a certain area. If this change in ice was due to global warming I would just assume there would be NO increase at all. I just pointed out that in the picture ice did increase in some area. Automatically you start typing that I'm out to get liberals. Perhaps there is an error, or maybe there just is more ice there, I don't know. All I did was point it out. But your mocking my mistakes and then turning around to nearly curse me off for being a conservative is nothing less than evil. I expect an apology.

Btw, Jasonik, I know you are just being sarcastic, but no it's not iceland. Iceland, surprisingly is much warmer than Greenland. It's much smaller too.

And Zippy, thanks for explaining some more about this. I didn't realize that ice-caps were important to reflect sunlight. At first I only thought their melting was considered a problem because it was an affect of global warming. In other words, I thought so much attention was being paid to them becuase they showed that the earth was getting increasingly warmer. I didn't know that they also serve a useful purpose in cooling the planet by reflecting sunlight. Interesting stuff.

October 30th, 2003, 12:18 PM
I'm sure your interest in pointing out what you saw as an anomaly -- even though you admit you didn't even know what you were looking at -- was purely objective and soley in the interest of detached curiosity.

Freedom Tower
October 30th, 2003, 04:12 PM
Yes, that is true. I wasn't here for any political agenda. It was completely objective, even though I was confused. I just was curious as to why the ice gained in one place, while decreasing everywhere else. It is obvious global warming is a problem, I wasn't trying to disprove that fact, and it is doing harm to the world. All I was wondering abot was what caused the increase in that location. The decrease in overall ice is alarming, I agree.

October 30th, 2003, 05:14 PM
In the Atlantic, the Gulf Stream carries warm surface water up past Norway. Climate and water temperatures are warmer there than in Alaska even though they are the same latitude because Alaska has no warm current along its coast.

If the world grows warmer, the ice caps start to melt, and cold fresh water is released into the adjacent ocean. Scientists fear that this would stop the Gulf Stream from coming as far north, so even though temperatures rise globally, they may plummet locally in places in the north Atlantic. That's how ice can build up in some places where it wasn't before (like in that picture) even though there's lots more ice melting everywhere else.

So global warming doesn't necessarily mean it gets warmer everywhere - Britain and Ireland could become frigid - but it could wreak havoc on the climate, affecting temperatures, rainfall, storm patterns, the list goes on. And sea levels would rise the more the polar ice caps melt. For coastal cities like New York, well, click here (http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewtopic.php?t=816&highlight=).

Freedom Tower
January 21st, 2004, 08:44 PM
NYatKnight, you must know a lot about this process. Just today I found an article online making what you stated a few months ago seem as a new shocking revelation. It is shocking, though. Look, this is from www.cnn.com:

(I sure hope this is not why it is so cold in the Northeast right now)

N. America, Europe to cool as world warms?
Wednesday, January 21, 2004 Posted: 11:26 AM EST (1626 GMT)

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (Reuters) -- Parts of Europe and North America could get drastically colder if warming Atlantic ocean currents are halted by a surprise side-effect of global warming, scientists said on Wednesday.

The possible shut-down of the Gulf Stream is one of several catastrophic changes -- ranging from collapses of fish stocks to more frequent forest fires -- that could be triggered by human activities, they said in a book launched in Sweden.

"In the worst case it (the Gulf Stream) could shut down... it might even happen this century," said Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. "This would trigger a regional cooling, but not an Ice Age."

Climate models indicated a surge of fresh water into the North Atlantic from a melting of northern glaciers caused by global warming could stop the current that sweeps warm waters from the Gulf of Mexico toward Europe.

"The Eastern coast of Canada and the United States would also be affected. This is sometimes wrongly perceived as a European problem by American politicians," he told Reuters.

He said the Gulf Stream had collapsed about 20 times in the past 100,000 years, most recently at the tail of the last Ice Age about 8,000 years ago after an abrupt melting of icecaps.

If the Gulf Stream stopped, average temperatures might fall by 5-10 Celsius (10-20F) in Scandinavia or by 3-4C in Germany.

By contrast, global warming, widely blamed on emissions of gases like carbon dioxide from cars and factories, is expected to raise global average temperatures by 1.4-5.8C by 2100.

The U.N. Kyoto Protocol on limiting global warming hinges on Russia's yes or no. Moscow is undecided and President Vladimir Putin said his country might benefit from warmer world weather, though a halt of Gulf Stream would make northwest Russia colder.

Rahmstorf's study was included in a new book, "Global Change and the Earth System: a planet under pressure," which looks at the impact of the surge in the human population to six billion people, ranging from stripped forests to rising temperatures.

"A major finding is that change will not be progressive. There will be abrupt changes and tipping points," said Will Steffen, executive director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program which issued the book based on work by 5,000 scientists.

"Never before have we seen the range of change or the rate of change at the same time," he told Reuters.

"You can get to a point where forests are too hot and too dry and sudden fires rip through them," he said, referring to blazes last year in nations from Australia to France. "Global warming may make these events more frequent."

And another report indicated that fish stocks might not recover even if nations ban fishing. Depletion of cod stocks, for instance, lets smaller species flourish and these may prey on the young of any surviving cod and prevent stock recovery.

January 22nd, 2004, 11:36 AM
Last week, conservative media attempted to make Al Gore look foolish for making a speech about global warming on the coldest day of the year. The joke's on them though, extreme hot AND cold weather is a direct result of global warming. Not that our current cold weather is necessarily the result of global warming, but the freezing weather in no way undermined the speech.


January 22nd, 2004, 12:29 PM
And they don't bother to explain that global warming would affect climate, which is more important than hot and cold weather.

January 22nd, 2004, 02:46 PM

January 25th, 2004, 04:48 AM
January 25, 2004

Warming Up

That President Bush ignored the environment in his State of the Union address was either an admission that he has nothing to boast about on the issue or a judgment that nobody cares enough about it to make a difference in the presidential race. Whatever the reason, he has created a policy vacuum that offers substantial rewards for any ambitious Democrat willing to fill it.

Nowhere is this truer than on global warming. Each day brings evidence that the climate is changing, that the consequences are likely to be unpleasant and that the responses offered by the administration and its allies in Congress are inadequate.

Two recent reports illustrate the dangers. A study by an international research team, published in Nature, warned that unabated warming could drive 15 to 37 percent of 1,103 living species the team studied toward extinction by 2050. Shortly thereafter came an ominous report by The Times's Andrew Revkin on warming's impact in the Arctic, where the sea ice is in rapid retreat, and its potentially devastating effect on Alaska's fragile tundra.

Two other reports, meanwhile, documented the need for more aggressive public policies. A Washington Post survey found that only a tiny number of American companies, 54 at last count, have agreed to participate in Mr. Bush's program of voluntary reductions of global warming gases — the strategy Mr. Bush chose when he rejected the mandatory emissions caps called for in the Kyoto Protocol. As further evidence of industry's indifference, The Times's Danny Hakim disclosed recently that Subaru — a company that has marketed itself as environmentally friendly — had decided to redesign its popular Outback wagon as a "light truck," so as to avoid the tougher fuel economy standards that apply to ordinary cars.

Subaru, of course, is hardly the first car company to take advantage of this country's porous fuel economy regulations. But like the companies that feel safe in ignoring Mr. Bush's half-hearted appeals for voluntary restraints, Subaru's decision reflects the failure of the administration and Congress to send tough regulatory signals that will make industry sit up and pay attention.

As this page has noted before, simply closing the so-called S.U.V. loophole, and making light trucks as efficient as ordinary cars, would save a million barrels of oil a day, reducing global warming gases while easing our reliance on imported oil. More broadly, the country needs something along the lines of the bill sponsored by Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman, which would require economywide reductions in emissions while establishing market mechanisms to ease the cost of compliance. It is encouraging in this regard that nearly all the Democratic candidates, some more aggressively than others, have embraced the idea of binding limits on emissions of carbon dioxide.

Mr. Bush regards mandatory emissions caps as "top-down" regulatory management and therefore unacceptable. But his own bottom-up voluntarism is going nowhere. Meanwhile Alaska melts. The McCain-Lieberman bill did better than anyone expected last year. It deserves another try.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

January 28th, 2004, 01:27 AM
January 28, 2004


Global Chilling


BOSTON — It seemed incongruous when former Vice President Al Gore gave a speech on global warming on a bitterly cold day in New York City this month. But in fact it was an appropriate topic: New Yorkers may be able to blame the city's current cold spell — the most severe in nearly a decade — on global warming.

Global warming doesn't mean that every place on the globe gets warmer. The weather history that can be read in polar ice-core samples indicates that previous periods of warming affected North America and Europe far differently than they did the tropics — the Northern Hemisphere got a lot colder.

It's far too early to say for sure, but the same processes may be at work today. In the past 50 years, the top two miles of the world's oceans have warmed significantly, and that warming is melting sea ice. In just four decades, the thickness of summer North Polar floating ice shrank 44 percent. In addition, warming makes droughts drier and longer, and when the evaporated water returns to earth it does so in heavier downpours.

Normally, water circulates in the North Atlantic like this: Cold, salty water at the top sinks; that sinking water acts as a pump, pulling warm Gulf Stream water north and thus moderating winter weather. But now, fresh water from the thawing ice and heavier rain is accumulating near the ocean's surface; it's not sinking as quickly. (The tropics are faced with the opposite phenomenon. According to Dr. Ruth Curry and her colleagues at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the tropical Atlantic is becoming saltier; as warming increases, so does evaporation, which leaves behind salt.) The "freshening" in the North Atlantic may be contributing to a high-pressure system that is accelerating trans-Atlantic winds and deflecting the jet stream — changes that may be driving frigid fronts down the Eastern Seaboard. The ice-core records demonstrate that the North Atlantic can freshen to a point where the deep-water pump fails, warm water stops coming north, and the northern ocean suddenly freezes, as it did in the last Ice Age. No one can say if that is what will happen next. But since the 1950's, the best documented deep-water pump, between Iceland and Scotland, has slowed 20 percent.

Why now? After all, the planet's previous periods of global warming resulted from changes in the earth's tilt toward the sun, and recent calculations of these cycles indicate that our hospitable climate was not due to have ended any time soon. But because of the warming brought by the buildup of carbon dioxide, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels, the equations have changed. We are entering uncharted waters. It's something for New Yorkers to ponder as they bundle up.

Paul R. Epstein is associate director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

January 28th, 2004, 09:49 AM
How Oceans Regulate Climate (http://terra.nasa.gov/FactSheets/Oceans/)

Gulfstream images from TERRA satellite. The colors represent differences in water temperature from cold to warmer PURPLE BLUE GREEN YELLOW RED. Black areas are land or missing data.


The Gulfstream passes the New York Bight

The Gulfstream is one of the strongest ocean currents, moving northeast from the Gulf of Mexico at 4 miles per hour. The warm moist air it carries influences climate in northwestern Europe.

February 23rd, 2004, 07:09 AM
February 23, 2004

Uses and Abuses of Science

Although the Bush administration is hardly the first to politicize science, no administration in recent memory has so shamelessly distorted scientific findings for policy reasons or suppressed them when they conflict with political goals. This is the nub of an indictment delivered last week by more than 60 prominent scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates. Their statement was accompanied by a report published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, listing cases where the administration has manipulated science on environmental and other issues.

President Bush's supporters promptly denounced the statement and the report as an overdrawn and politically motivated work issued in an election year by an advocacy group known for its liberal disposition. Tellingly, however, neither Mr. Bush's friends nor the White House denied that any of the incidents listed in the report — all had been reported before in newspapers, trade magazines and scientific journals — had occurred. The best they could muster was a lame rejoinder from Dr. John Marburger III, Mr. Bush's science adviser, who said that these were disconnected episodes reflecting normal bureaucratic disagreements, none of them adding up to a "pattern" of distortion or disrespect for science.

We respectfully urge Dr. Marburger to look again. On global warming alone, the administration belittled, misrepresented, altered or quashed multiple reports suggesting a clear link between greenhouse gas emissions and the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil. A study detailing the impact of mercury emissions from power plants was sanitized to industry specifications. Another study suggesting that a Congressional clean-air bill would achieve greater pollution reductions than Mr. Bush's own plan, at approximately the same cost, was withheld. It does not take much effort to find a pattern of suppressing inconvenient facts that might force Mr. Bush's friends in the oil, gas and coal industries to spend more on pollution control.

The report details similar shenanigans involving other agencies, including Agriculture, Interior and even, on reproductive health issues, the Centers for Disease Control. It also criticizes the administration for stacking advisory committees with industry representatives and disbanding panels that provided unwanted advice. Collected in one place, this material gives a portrait of governmentwide insensitivity to scientific standards that, unless corrected, will further undermine the administration's credibility and the morale of its scientists.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

February 25th, 2004, 10:57 AM
Architectural Global Warming (http://www.architectureweek.com/2004/0218/environment_1-1.html)

June 15th, 2004, 06:41 AM
June 15, 2004

California Leads on Warming

Filling a leadership vacuum left by President Bush and Congress, states have been forced to lead the fight against global warming. Yesterday California unveiled an ambitious proposal to require automakers to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases linked to global warming by as much as 30 percent over the next decade.

The plan will almost certainly be challenged in court by the automakers and possibly by the Bush administration. Given California's long history as an innovator in environmental policy, however, the initiative is likely to inspire similar efforts in other states and may have the further salutary effect of forcing the issue of climate change — which even Senator John Kerry has shown little inclination to tackle — onto the campaign agenda.

The plan grows out of legislation passed by the California Legislature two years ago. It would require manufacturers to start reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the 2009 model year with the aim of achieving a 30 percent reduction by 2015. Since carbon dioxide and other gases linked to global warming cannot be filtered in the same way that catalytic converters filter out harmful smog-forming particles, the only way to cut global warming emissions is to reduce fuel use. That means making more fuel-efficient cars.

The manufacturers are likely to argue in court that this is merely a backdoor way of mandating a tougher fuel-economy standard, which under current law is a federal responsibility. The manufacturers will also complain about having to sell cars in states with different regulatory mandates. This is a legitimate problem, for which Washington must be blamed. Given the federal indifference, California cannot be expected to refrain from acting on its own to address global warming.

The state's plan still faces further regulatory and legislative review. Nevertheless, whatever emerges is likely to serve as a template for similar action in other states, particularly on the East Coast, where concern over global warming runs high. In New York, Gov. George Pataki, for instance, is organizing a 10-state regional plan to cut power plant emissions, and he has announced that he will follow California's lead on automobiles. Altogether, more than 30 states have approved global warming laws of one sort or another, many of them aimed at encouraging greater use of less-polluting fuels.

All of that leaves Washington bringing up the rear of a parade it ought to be leading. Mr. Bush reneged on his 2000 campaign promise to impose mandatory caps on carbon dioxide, and Congress has rejected all efforts to mandate meaningful increases in fuel efficiency.

Local measures alone are never going to solve the climate-change problem, which will ultimately require a global response. And that battle will never be fully joined unless America joins it. But the palpable concern on the state level may in time serve as a goad to national action.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

July 21st, 2004, 10:16 AM

July 21, 2004

ALBANY — Eight states and New York City will announce a lawsuit today seeking to force five of the country's largest power producers to cut carbon-dioxide emissions and curb global warming, according to a draft statement obtained by The Associated Press.

The suit is being filed in Manhattan federal court.

The five utilities own 174 fossil fuel-burning power plants that produce 646 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, about 10 percent of the nation's total, the suit will charge.

A spokesman for New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said the lawsuit would, "for the first time, put global warming on the litigation map." AP

Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc.

July 23rd, 2004, 09:55 PM
Global warming is just so much bile. Ugh! Such pap!

Look, the Earth has gone through many hot/cold cycles in its billions of years of existence. We had ice ages as recently as several thousand years ago, with ice as much as a mile thick covering what is now New England and New York. Where did the ice go? The Earth warmed up and the ice receded. Mother Nature globally warmed!

Now, come on you big environmentalists. Are you against Mother Nature? What if she wanted to globally COOL? Would you be against that?

OK, I know what your answer will be: this time, we're doing it instead of Mother Nature. So, that makes it bad. Sorry, folks, but I don't buy any of it. "Global warming" is junk science!

July 23rd, 2004, 10:28 PM
Your post is "no science."

What is occurring now is not as gradual as movement in and out of ice-ages.

The last glacial period ended 10.000 years ago. We are now in an interglacial period, which statistically lasts about 12,00 years. It is interesting to note that human civilization, with the beginnings of agriculture, began after the last ice-age. Maybe our destiny is to solve this problem between the extremes.

You can allow global warming to quickly cause environmental changes that we will be in no position to rectify, but I would rather wait the 2,000 years and deal with the next ice-age.

We should be off-planet by then. We have to get off eventually anyway. The earth has about a half billion years left.

July 23rd, 2004, 11:35 PM
http://www.bobfromaccounting.com/3_11_02/sunlarge.gif (http://www.bobfromaccounting.com/3_11_02/bushputsmanonsun.html) :wink:

July 28th, 2004, 05:53 AM
July 22, 2004

City Joins Suit Against 5 Power Companies


New York City officials, evoking an apocalyptic vision of Manhattan's tunnels flooded and Kennedy Airport under water, joined a federal suit brought yesterday by New York and seven other states against five of the country's largest power companies in an effort to curb global warming.

New York was the only city to join the suit, which was brought by states dissatisfied with the Bush administration's policies on controlling emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that has been linked to the significant warming of the earth in recent decades.

Painting a scenario that could have come from "The Day After Tomorrow," the city's top lawyer, Michael A. Cardozo, detailed the "extraordinary impact" he said global warming could one day have on New York. It could bring a sharp increases in asthma cases, he said, as well as erosion of beaches in Queens and the Bronx and flooding of Staten Island wetlands.

"And it can mean, to put this most dramatically, flooding of the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels and on the landing strips at La Guardia and Kennedy Airports," Mr. Cardozo said.

While city officials did not suggest that any of those calamities were imminent, they accepted Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's view that the scientific evidence was "rock solid" that carbon dioxide concentrations contributed to global warming.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg decided to participate in the suit - a clear challenge to President Bush's approach to pollution control - because he believes that the city should not delay action on the issue, Mr. Cardozo said.

The companies named in the suit, which was filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan, are the American Electric Power Company, the Southern Company, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Xcel Energy and the Cinergy Corporation. The other states participating are Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin, Iowa and California. The companies, the largest emitters of carbon dioxide in the United States, do not, for the most part, operate in the Northeast. The suit is the first by local governments to try to force companies outside their jurisdictions to curb carbon dioxide emissions.

The companies condemned the suit yesterday, accusing the attorneys general of the eight states of trying to dictate federal pollution policy and punish a small group of utilities for a worldwide problem.

"We view this simply as an effort to legislate through litigation rather than pursuing standards through Congress," said Steven Brash, a spokesman for Cinergy, which is based in Cincinnati.

The lawsuit divided environmental groups, dismaying some who had been working with big power companies, including several of the defendants, to get them to reduce emissions. Representatives of several groups said the suit erred by lumping the companies together, regardless of whether they had made efforts to curb carbon dioxide.

American Electric Power, while long criticized for its sooty pollution, has gained praise from environmentalists for its commitments to cut emissions. Eileen Claussen, the president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, which has worked with the company, called the suit "slightly perverse."

"Of course we need a national program and of course we need some legislation," she said. "The real question is, does this help you get there? It's not clear to me that this lawsuit will help."

In a new approach, the suit charges that the utilities are creating a "public nuisance," global warming, that harms residents in the states bringing the action. The suit seeks a court order requiring the companies to reduce their emissions by at least 3 percent per year for 10 years, said Richard Blumenthal, the Connecticut attorney general. No monetary damages are sought.

"We're here because the federal government has abdicated its responsibility and has in fact resisted our court action," Mr. Blumenthal said.

During his 2000 campaign, Mr. Bush promised to restrict carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, but abandoned that pledge early in his term. The Bush administration has called for voluntary measures to slow the growth of emissions.

Most scientists now agree that most of a decades-long warming trend is caused by rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Yet scientific projections of the possible local impacts have remained laced with caveats.

One of the hardest things to predict is the potential impact of shifting climate conditions on health. In a 2001 report, for example, the National Research Council of the National Academies said projections of health impacts were "highly uncertain."

July 28, 2004

A Novel Tactic on Warming

Moving aggressively to compensate for Washington's unwillingness to tackle the threat of global warming, New York, seven other states and New York City filed suit last week against five of the country's largest power companies. Though the suit's legal prospects are unclear, its political implications are not. Once again, the states are asserting their right to remedy environmental problems that the Bush administration and Congress have ignored.

The lawsuit is the first by local governments aimed at forcing companies outside their jurisdictions to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, the gas believed to be largely responsible for the warming trend. The list of defendants reads like a who's who of the industry: the American Electric Power Company, the Southern Company, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Xcel Energy and the Cinergy Corporation. Together, they own or operate 174 power plants in 20 states that emit almost a quarter of the utility industry's carbon dioxide emissions and about 10 percent of the nation's total emissions.

The companies do not dispute the notion that carbon dioxide is a big contributor to climate warming. They complain instead that they are being unfairly singled out and, further, that the states are usurping Congress's power to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. But since neither Congress nor the administration has shown much interest in pushing comprehensive legislation to regulate these gases, the states can hardly be blamed for using the levers at hand.

The attorneys general, including Eliot Spitzer of New York, are to some extent in uncharted legal waters. The novel basis for their action is the common law of public nuisance, and the states will have to persuade a judge that global warming is a "public nuisance'' that harms, or might harm, the residents of the states bringing the action.

They could well prevail. Few mainstream scientists doubt that the threat of warming is real and that carbon dioxide is a major cause. Moreover, this particular group of attorneys general, mostly Northeasterners, have already demonstrated an ability to use the courts to force action on problems that Washington ignores - most recently lawsuits pressuring utilities to reduce emissions of nitrogen and sulfur dioxide. Their hope now is to do the same with a gas that could ultimately prove far more dangerous.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

October 26th, 2004, 09:02 AM
October 26, 2004

NASA Expert Criticizes Bush on Global Warming Policy


A top NASA climate expert who twice briefed Vice President Dick Cheney on global warming plans to criticize the administration's approach to the issue in a lecture at the University of Iowa tonight and say that a senior administration official told him last year not to discuss dangerous consequences of rising temperatures.

The expert, Dr. James E. Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in Manhattan, expects to say that the Bush administration has ignored growing evidence that sea levels could rise significantly unless prompt action is taken to reduce heat-trapping emissions from smokestacks and tailpipes.

Many academic scientists, including dozens of Nobel laureates, have been criticizing the administration over its handling of climate change and other complex scientific issues. But Dr. Hansen, first in an interview with The New York Times a week ago and again in his planned lecture today, is the only leading scientist to speak out so publicly while still in the employ of the government.

In the talk, Dr. Hansen, who describes himself as "moderately conservative, middle-of-the-road" and registered in Pennsylvania as an independent, plans to say that he will vote for Senator John Kerry, while also criticizing some of Mr. Kerry's positions, particularly his pledge to keep nuclear waste out of Nevada.

He will acknowledge that one of the accolades he has received for his work on climate change is a $250,000 Heinz Award, given in 2001 by a foundation run by Teresa Heinz Kerry, Mr. Kerry's wife. The awards are given to people who advance causes promoted by Senator John Heinz, the Pennsylvania Republican who was Mrs. Heinz Kerry's first husband.

But in an interview yesterday, Dr. Hansen said he was confident that the award had had "no impact on my evaluation of the climate problem or on my political leanings."

In a draft of the talk, a copy of which Dr. Hansen provided to The Times yesterday, he wrote that President Bush's climate policy, which puts off consideration of binding cuts in such emissions until 2012, was likely to be too little too late.

Actions to curtail greenhouse-gas emissions "are not only feasible but make sense for other reasons, including our economic well-being and national security," Dr. Hansen wrote. "Delay of another decade, I argue, is a colossal risk."

In the speech, Dr. Hansen also says that last year, after he gave a presentation on the dangers of human-caused, or anthropogenic, climate shifts to Sean O'Keefe, the NASA administrator, "the administrator interrupted me; he told me that I should not talk about dangerous anthropogenic interference, because we do not know enough or have enough evidence for what would constitute dangerous anthropogenic interference."

After conferring with Mr. O'Keefe, Glenn Mahone, the administrator's spokesman, said Mr. O'Keefe had a completely different recollection of the meeting. "To say the least, Sean is certain that he did not admonish or even suggest that there be a throttling back of research efforts" by Dr. Hansen or his team, Mr. Mahone said.

Dr. Franco Einaudi, director of the NASA Earth Sciences Directorate at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and Dr. Hansen's supervisor, said he was at the meeting between Dr. Hansen and Mr. O'Keefe. Dr. Einaudi confirmed that Mr. O'Keefe had interrupted the presentation to say that these were "delicate issues" and there was a lot of uncertainty about them. But, he added: "Whether it is obvious to take that as an order or not is a question of judgment. Personally, I did not take it as an order."

Dr. John H. Marburger III, the science adviser to the president, said he was not privy to any exchanges between Dr. Hansen and the administrator of NASA. But he denied that the White House was playing down the risks posed by climate change.

"President Bush has long recognized the serious implications of climate change, the role of human activity, and our responsibility to reduce emissions,'' Dr. Marburger said in an e-mailed statement. "He has put forward a series of policy initiatives including a commitment to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of our economy.''

In the interview yesterday, Dr. Hansen stood by his assertions and said the administration risked disaster by discouraging scientists from discussing unwelcome findings.

Dr. Hansen, 63, acknowledged that he imperiled his credibility and perhaps his job by criticizing Mr. Bush's policies in the final days of a tight presidential campaign. He said he decided to speak out after months of deliberation because he was convinced the country needed to change course on climate policy.

Dr. Hansen rose to prominence when, after testifying at a Senate hearing in the record-warm summer of 1988, he said, "It is time to stop waffling so much and say the evidence is pretty strong that the greenhouse effect is here."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

October 31st, 2004, 07:42 AM
October 30, 2004

Big Arctic Perils Seen in Warming, Survey Finds


A comprehensive four-year study of warming in the Arctic shows that heat-trapping gases from tailpipes and smokestacks around the world are contributing to profound environmental changes, including sharp retreats of glaciers and sea ice, thawing of permafrost and shifts in the weather, the oceans and the atmosphere.

The study, commissioned by eight nations with Arctic territory, including the United States, says the changes are likely to harm native communities, wildlife and economic activity but also to offer some benefits, like longer growing seasons. The report is due to be released on Nov. 9, but portions were provided yesterday to The New York Times by European participants in the project.

While Arctic warming has been going on for decades and has been studied before, this is the first thorough assessment of the causes and consequences of the trend.

It was conducted by nearly 300 scientists, as well as elders from the native communities in the region, after representatives of the eight nations met in October 2000 in Barrow, Alaska, amid a growing sense of urgency about the effects of global warming on the Arctic.

The findings support the broad but politically controversial scientific consensus that global warming is caused mainly by rising atmospheric concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, and that the Arctic is the first region to feel its effects. While the report is advisory and carries no legal weight, it is likely to increase pressure on the Bush administration, which has acknowledged a possible human role in global warming but says the science is still too murky to justify mandatory reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions.

The State Department, which has reviewed the report, declined to comment on it yesterday.

The report says that "while some historical changes in climate have resulted from natural causes and variations, the strength of the trends and the patterns of change that have emerged in recent decades indicate that human influences, resulting primarily from increased emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, have now become the dominant factor."

The Arctic "is now experiencing some of the most rapid and severe climate change on Earth," the report says, adding, "Over the next 100 years, climate change is expected to accelerate, contributing to major physical, ecological, social and economic changes, many of which have already begun."

Scientists have long expected the Arctic to warm more rapidly than other regions, partly because as snow and ice melt, the loss of bright reflective surfaces causes the exposed land and water to absorb more of the sun's energy. Also, warming tends to build more rapidly at the surface in the Arctic because colder air from the upper atmosphere does not mix with the surface air as readily as at lower latitudes, scientists say.

The report says the effects of warming may be heightened by other factors, including overfishing, rising populations, rising levels of ultraviolet radiation from the depleted ozone layer (a condition at both poles). "The sum of these factors threatens to overwhelm the adaptive capacity of some Arctic populations and ecosystems," it says.

Prompt efforts to curb greenhouse-gas emissions could slow the pace of change, allowing communities and wildlife to adapt, the report says. But it also stresses that further warming and melting are unavoidable, given the century-long buildup of the gases, mainly carbon dioxide.

Several of the Europeans who provided parts of the report said they had done so because the Bush administration had delayed publication until after the presidential election, partly because of the political contentiousness of global warming.

But Gunnar Palsson of Iceland, chairman of the Arctic Council, the international body that commissioned the study, said yesterday that there was "no truth to the contention that any of the member states of the Arctic Council pushed the release of the report back into November." Besides the United States, the members are Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden.

Mr. Palsson said all the countries had agreed to delay the release, originally scheduled for September, because of conflicts with another international meeting in Iceland.

The American scientist directing the assessment, Dr. Robert W. Corell, an oceanographer and senior fellow of the American Meteorological Society, said the timing was set during diplomatic discussions that did not involve the scientists.

He said he could not yet comment on the specific findings, but noted that the signals from the Arctic have global significance.

"The major message is that climate change is here and now in the Arctic," he said.

The report is a profusely illustrated window on a region in remarkable flux, incorporating reams of scientific data as well as observations by elders from native communities around the Arctic Circle.

The potential benefits of the changes include projected growth in marine fish stocks and improved prospects for agriculture and timber harvests in some regions, as well as expanded access to Arctic waters.

But the list of potential harms is far longer.

The retreat of sea ice, the report says, "is very likely to have devastating consequences for polar bears, ice-living seals and local people for whom these animals are a primary food source."

Oil and gas deposits on land are likely to be harder to extract as tundra thaws, limiting the frozen season when drilling convoys can traverse the otherwise spongy ground, the report says. Alaska has already seen the "tundra travel" season on the North Slope shrink to 100 days from about 200 days a year in 1970.

The report concludes that the consequences of the fast-paced Arctic warming will be global. In particular, the accelerated melting of Greenland's two-mile-high sheets of ice will cause sea levels to rise around the world.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

October 31st, 2004, 10:00 AM
Oh no! The sky is falling. We'd better legislate something!

October 31st, 2004, 05:25 PM
When one has no factual argument, ridicule is usually the best course.

All the benefits of a cleaner environment that we enjoy today were legislated. If you don't think the Clean Water Act is important, then you are dumber than a bear - who doesn't pee where he drinks.

November 3rd, 2004, 09:52 PM
A major difference between leftists and everybody else is that leftists appear to have no sense of humor. DARE to even slightly disagree with a leftist, and you risk being called stupid, a moron, a monkee, etc. etc. (look at what passes for "discourse" on these pages.)

Well, here's some news. I am not a leftist. Count me as one of many who oppose your tired litany of "social causes" and bankrupt idealogies, and who are sick of the left's lack of civility, unwillingness to tolerate dissent, and a tendency to rapidly foam at the mouth. The left has no concept that it's possible to disagree with someone, without being disagreeable.

In short, the left needs to LIGHTEN UP. And THEN, it can go on and legislate something.

November 3rd, 2004, 10:25 PM
The reason that discourse is not generally exchanged with you (not a group, but you in particular) on social issues in this forum, is that you don't seem to be willing to engage in it. Rather, you make cryptic, one liners that are curiously third person. You don't seem to actually take a position on anything, instead resorting to dissmissive sarcasm.

You might refer to your own posts in the Bush Police State thread. Are your replies informative, are they discourse?

If you were in disagreement with the article, you could have responded to it with your own views. I am going to respond to your condesending remarks in kind.

December 8th, 2004, 11:34 AM
Meteorologist Likens Fear of Global Warming to 'Religious Belief'
By Marc Morano
CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer
December 02, 2004

Washington (CNSNews.com) - An MIT meteorologist Wednesday dismissed
alarmist fears about human induced global warming as nothing more than
'religious beliefs.'

"Do you believe in global warming? That is a religious question. So is
the second part: Are you a skeptic or a believer?" said Massachusetts
Institute of Technology professor Richard Lindzen, in a speech to about
100 people at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

"Essentially if whatever you are told is alleged to be supported by 'all
scientists,' you don't have to understand [the issue] anymore. You
simply go back to treating it as a matter of religious belief," Lindzen
said. His speech was titled, "Climate Alarmism: The Misuse of 'Science'"
and was sponsored by the free market George C. Marshall Institute.
Lindzen is a professor at MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and
Planetary Sciences.

Once a person becomes a believer of global warming, "you never have to
defend this belief except to claim that you are supported by all
scientists -- except for a handful of corrupted heretics," Lindzen added.

According to Lindzen, climate "alarmists" have been trying to push the
idea that there is scientific consensus on dire climate change.

"With respect to science, the assumption behind the [alarmist] consensus
is science is the source of authority and that authority increases with
the number of scientists [who agree.] But science is not primarily a
source of authority. It is a particularly effective approach of inquiry
and analysis. Skepticism is essential to science -- consensus is
foreign," Lindzen said.

Alarmist predictions of more hurricanes, the catastrophic rise in sea
levels, the melting of the global poles and even the plunge into another
ice age are not scientifically supported, Lindzen said.

"It leads to a situation where advocates want us to be afraid, when
there is no basis for alarm. In response to the fear, they want us to do
what they want," Lindzen said.

Recent reports of a melting polar ice cap were dismissed by Lindzen as
an example of the media taking advantage of the public's "scientific

"The thing you have to remember about the Arctic is that it is an
extremely variable part of the world," Lindzen said. "Although there is
melting going [on] now, there has been a lot of melting that went on in
the [19]30s and then there was freezing. So by isolating a section ...
they are essentially taking people's ignorance of the past," he added.

'Repetition makes people believe'

The climate change debate has become corrupted by politics, the media
and money, according to Lindzen.

"It's a sad story, where you have scientists making meaningless or
ambiguous statements [about climate change]. They are then taken by
advocates to the media who translate the statements into alarmist
declarations. You then have politicians who respond to all of this by
giving scientists more money," Lindzen said.

"Agreement on anything is taken to infer agreement on everything. So if
you make a statement that you agree that CO2 (carbon dioxide) is a
greenhouse gas, you agree that the world is coming to an end," he added.

"There can be little doubt that the language used to convey alarm has
been sloppy at best," Lindzen said, citing Nazi propagandist Joseph
Goebbles and his famous observation that even a lie will be believed if
enough people repeat it. "There is little question that repetition makes
people believe things [for] which there may be no basis," Lindzen said.

He believes the key to improving the science of climate change lies in
altering the way scientists are funded.

'Alarm is the aim'

"The research and support for research depends on the alarm," Lindzen
told CNSNews.com following his speech. "The research itself often is
very good, but by the time it gets through the filter of environmental
advocates and the press innocent things begin to sound just as though
they are the end of the world.

"The argument is no longer what models are correct -- they are not --
but rather whether their results are at all possible. One can rarely
prove something to be impossible," he explained.

Lindzen said scientists must be allowed to conclude that 'we don't have
a problem." And if the answer turns out to be 'we don't have a problem,'
we have to figure out a better reward than cutting off people's funding.
It's as simple as that," he said.

The only consensus that Lindzen said exists on the issue of climate
change is the impact of the Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty to
limit greenhouse gases, which the U.S. does not support.

Kyoto itself will have no discernible effect on global warming
regardless of what one believes about climate change," Lindzen said.

"Claims to the contrary generally assume Kyoto is only the beginning of
an ever more restrictive regime. However this is hardly ever mentioned,"
he added.

The Kyoto Protocol, which Russia recently ratified, aims to reduce the
emission of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by the year 2010. But
Lindzen claims global warming proponents ultimately want to see a 60 to
80 percent reduction in greenhouse gasses from the 1990 levels. Such
reductions would be economically disastrous, he said.

"If you are hearing Kyoto will cost billions and trillions," then a
further reduction will ultimately result in "a shutdown" of the economy,
Lindzen said.

December 8th, 2004, 02:04 PM
I certainly don't put any energy into the Chicken Little hystericism regarding global warming. Why just the othe day, I -- hmmm, does the floor seem damp to you? -- Anyway, as I was say (glub, glub) ing . . . . (gluuub.)

December 9th, 2004, 01:54 PM
I think there should be cause for concern, not alarm over Global Warming.

At the VERY least, reducing the gasses that are reputed to cause it would make us all, literally, breathe easier.

Is there some development that would be hindered by more restrictive environmental strictures? Will we not get the Super Ford Explorer out in time to drive the kids through 14 feet of snow in the suburbs. On a snow day? (I hate those commercials).

I don't know.

All i know is that the only arguement about these regulations and taking it seriously is that companies would not be able to make as much as they could without them.

So, while this scientist is fair in asserting that this should not be blown out of proportion due to the sheer # of scientists supporting it (most scientists agree that Sex transmits diseases and causes unwanted pregnancies, but I do not see them screaming about that.....much.), it should also not be swept under the rug just because a few make fun of it (like bob) crying "the sky is falling".

December 9th, 2004, 03:29 PM
His interpretation of the data is as valid as the opposing viewpoint, and is crucial for scientific inquiry, but he loses a bit of credibility by associating his opposition with uninformed alarmists.

The argument about the economic costs is an old one - the same complaints over automobile emissions werer made decades ago by the industry.

We can't develop the technology.
We won't be able to sell cars.

Now, when the subject of further restrictions comes up, they say

Look how we have reduced emissions.

December 9th, 2004, 04:30 PM
When they get their emmissions to 0, then we will talk.

December 9th, 2004, 05:49 PM
The global warming does exist, and there is good data to support it, however whether this warming is caused by human activity is not currently known. When there is no clear answer from science, public policy still has to be made.

There is a limited amount of money to be spent, whether it’s public money, or corporations. Ideally the money would be spent proportional to the risks. However frequently the money is being spent based on perception of risks. For example, billions are being spent on cleaning up every atom in the nuclear industry, with no measurable benefit to society. The same money spent on cleaner air – closing the coal powered power plants - will result in measurable benefit – less asthma and lung cancer. The same money spent on transportation safety would result in measurable benefit – less accidents.

At the VERY least, reducing the gasses that are reputed to cause it would make us all, literally, breathe easier.
Not really. Implementation of Kyoto protocol will not make your breathing easier.

Is there some development that would be hindered by more restrictive environmental strictures? Again – if the global warming is not caused by human activity – then there are many places where money could be spent with benefit to society.

December 10th, 2004, 02:07 PM
But if the theory is that global warming is caused primarily by carbon dioxide emmisions, and that a reduction in these emmisions would help to eliminate the man-made portion of GW, what is the point in not allowing them?

I have not read the Kyoto agreement, so i am not familiar with its specifics, but since when is reduction in CO2 emmisions bad for breathing?

And what benefits are we restricting by increasing envirnmental restrictions?

December 10th, 2004, 03:19 PM
Read the second paragraph in my post above. If the money is spent on reducing CO2 emissions, it is not spent on some other projects. If the global warming is not caused by human activity, then there is no public benefit in spending the money. And if this money would have been spent on some other projects - for example, reducing air pollution by closing coal power plants - there would be a public benefit.

December 13th, 2004, 03:24 PM
I see what you are saying Ed, but equating the ammount of funds available as if it came from one source is not exactly valid.

Making emmission standards higher on automobiles does not mean that the $$ for reducing coal emmisions would be reduced. The two industries are not directly related.

Requiring the US to actively participate in funding these requirements would cause a shortage, but so long as the restrictions are gradual enough, the need based innovations would be encouraged to develop at a sustainable rate when funded by public need.

December 13th, 2004, 05:59 PM
Making emmission standards higher on automobiles does not mean that the $$ for reducing coal emmisions would be reduced. The two industries are not directly related.

My statement referred to a much broader scale, you are interpreting it too narrowly. Stricter environmental standards will increase cost of doing business and everyone will ultimately pay for it - the price of your bus or subway or plane ticket will increase, you books or MP3 player will cost more etc.

Don't get me wrong - I am not against stricter environmental standards. I just think that the policy decisions have to take into account actual risks, not perception of risks or political games.

December 14th, 2004, 09:05 AM
Well, I guess that is why they have to work to get these things implemented, not decree them with a short timetable.

Do not allow these power companies to "buy back" environmental restrictions (I heard they can do that in some areas) to lessen their overall costs.

Too much pressure stifles change, but a little incentive promotes more efficient modes of achieving the needs of the company.

September 29th, 2005, 12:15 PM

Continued Sea Ice Decline in 2005


Since 1978, satellites have made continuous observations of Arctic sea ice. In that time, sensors have found an overall decline in its extent. Beginning in 2002, this decline steepened, with early onset of springtime melt north of Siberia and Alaska. Beyond summertime melt, Arctic sea ice further surprised researchers in the winter of 2004-2005. “Even if sea ice retreated a lot one summer, it would make a comeback the following winter, when temperatures fall well below freezing,” explains Florence Fetterer of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). “But in the winter of 2004-2005, sea ice didn't approach the previous wintertime level.” With the exception of May 2005, every month between December 2004 and September 2005 saw the lowest monthly average since the satellite record began.

This graph shows the five-day mean sea ice extent for July through September for the years 2002 through 2005. All four years were below the average sea ice extent for 1979-2000 (gray line). In fact, recent sea ice extent falls below the 1979-2000 average by an area twice the size of Texas. On September 19, 2005 (the latest date shown on this graph), Arctic sea ice extent fell to 5.35 million square kilometers (2.06 million square miles). It continued to decline until September 21, 2005, when it dropped to 5.32 million square kilometers (2.05 million square miles). This new low was 670,000 square kilometers (approximately 258,000 square miles) below the previous record low in 2002.

From 1979 through 2001, the rate of September Arctic sea ice decline was just over 6.5 percent per decade. The September 2002 minimum increased this rate to 7.3 percent. Incorporating the sea ice extent projection for 2005 increased the rate to approximately 8 percent per decade.

Patterns of natural variability play a part in Arctic sea ice decline. The Arctic Oscillation is a major atmospheric circulation pattern that can take a positive or negative mode. In its positive mode, it sets up winds that tend to break up sea ice and flush it out of the Arctic, and the thin ice left behind is more likely to melt. In its strongly positive phase in the early to mid-1990s, the oscillation may have made sea ice more vulnerable to summertime melt. Since the late 1990s, however, the Arctic Oscillation has exhibited a more neutral mode, while sea ice has continued to decline. Sea ice decline has persisted through different patterns of precipitation, wind, and local temperature variation. Researchers have found marked declines in sea ice difficult to explain without considering overall Arctic warming.

Sea ice decline is likely to affect future temperatures in the region. Because it is white or light in color, sea ice reflects much of the Sun’s radiation back into space, whereas dark ocean water absorbs more of the Sun’s energy. As sea ice melts, more exposed ocean water changes the Earth’s albedo, or fraction of energy reflected away from the planet. The increased absorption of energy further warms the planet. “Feedbacks in the system are starting to take hold,” says NSIDC’s lead scientist Ted Scambos. “There doesn't appear to be a way to turn this around, or even slow it down,” in a warming climate. Claire Parkinson, senior scientist of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center points out a potential mitigating factor, noting that “the reduced sea ice coverage will lead to more wintertime heat loss from the ocean to the atmosphere, and perhaps, therefore, to colder water temperatures and further ice growth.”

Still, recent trends caused concern. Walt Meier of NSIDC remarks, “Having four years in a row with such low ice extents has never been seen before in the satellite record. It clearly indicates a downward trend, not just a short-term anomaly.”



June marks the beginning of the melt season for Arctic sea ice, which reaches its minimum extent at the end of the season in September. In the past few Septembers, Arctic sea ice concentration (the amount of ice in a given area) has been markedly reduced. September 2002 set a new record low at 15 percent below average. It was followed closely (http://nsidc.org/news/press/20041004_decline.html) by September 2003 and September 2004. So far, 2005 is shaping up to be another record-low sea ice year in the Arctic.

This image shows places where Arctic sea ice was above (blue) or below (red) average in June 2005, the end of the first month of the melt season. The images are made from data from the satellite-based, Scanning Multi-channel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) and Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I). Ice-free areas appear in light gray, and landmasses appear in dark gray. The black line shows the median ice edge for 1979 through 2000. Except for a small area in the East Greenland Sea, Arctic sea ice has retreated almost everywhere in June 2005. The month set a new record low: 6 percent below the long-term mean for June sea ice extent. During the melt season in any year, some areas may experience positive anomalies—higher than average sea ice concentration—or negative anomalies—lower than average ice concentrations. Most anomalies occur along the margins of the ice cap, but they can also occur near the pole at the end of the melt season. Few if any anomalies occur near the pole in June.

Different explanations have been proposed for Arctic sea ice decline, including the strong positive mode of the Arctic Oscillation (AO). This oscillation is an alternating pattern of atmospheric pressure at polar latitudes and mid-latitudes. In the early 1990s, the AO was in positive mode. In that mode, the AO produces a strong polar vortex, and resulting winds tended to flush older, thicker ice out of the Arctic. Since the late 1990s, however, the AO has been much more neutral, yet Arctic sea ice decline continues. Another explanation for declining sea ice is climate change. Global temperatures have risen, and climate models generally agree that one of the strongest signals of greenhouse warming is a loss of Arctic sea ice. Changes in surface albedo provide another, related explanation. Just as light clothes reflect the Sun’s heat on a hot day, bright sea ice reflects much of the Sun’s energy back into space. As sea ice melts, less energy is reflected back into space, and more energy is absorbed by the darker ocean waters. This creates a “feedback loop” in which sea ice decline fosters further decline.

Even after warm summers, Arctic sea ice has typically recovered in wintertime, but this has changed in recent years. Besides showing dramatic retreat in the summer, Arctic sea ice has begun to decline in the wintertime (http://nsidc.org/news/press/20050318_arcdec.html) as well. Some scientists have begun to wonder whether Arctic sea ice has crossed a critical threshold from which it can’t recover.

Image courtesy of Ken Knowles and Terry Haran, National Snow and Ice Data Center (http://nsidc.org/). Information provided by Julienne Stroeve, Walt Meier, Florence Fetterer, Ken Knowles, and Mark Serreze, NSIDC.

Funny stuff on page 1 of this thread. Worth a look.

September 29th, 2005, 04:34 PM
Is this the result of evolution or intelligent design?

September 29th, 2005, 04:47 PM

Perhaps we should pray to the Flying Spaghetti Monster (http://www.venganza.org/) for ice.

September 29th, 2005, 09:11 PM
Tonight (9.29.05) on CNN Lou Dobbs had a guest named Scott Stevens, a former weather forecaster who now has a website called www.weatherwars.info (http://www.weatherwars.info/) and he is of the belief (seemingly well thought through and documented) that various governments are playing with the weather as a weapon.

It could be that this guy has too much free time on his hands, or he could be on to something. If nothing else the website has some very cool video.

The transcript from that show explains the premise http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0509/29/ldt.01.html (scroll down -- it's the last segment of the show).

Here's what was said on the show:

LOU DOBBS / CNN 09.29.2005

DOBBS: My next guest tonight is make some remarkable assertions about the causes of our recent violent weather. He says we face the manmade threat of terrorist hurricanes. He says Katrina, for example, was created by the Japanese mafia using Russian-made technology. I'm joined now by former TV weatherman and operators of Weatherwars.info. Scott Stevens.

Scott, by any standard, this is about as outlandish an assertion as I've heard made recently. What has been the reaction?

SCOTT STEVENS, WEATHERWARS.INFO: Reaction has certainly been mixed. Some people have been familiar with the man's work that I referenced, which is Lieutenant Colonel Tom Bearden's (ph) material who was in the know through the 70s, and 80s, and 90s when this technology was first made aware to those in power. But the problem with this technology -- Scalar waves, is we don't really know who is doing it. One thing we do know is that it is being done.

DOBBS: Well, you say we do know that. What evidence do we have of any part of these assertions you're making?

STEVENS: OK. What we're looking at is a quote by Defense Secretary Cohen back in 1997 where he specifically stated that others, terrorists, were engaging in a type of ecoterrorism where they could alter the climate, set off earthquakes and volcanoes. So, that technology has been developed. The question we've all wondered was it deployed. And the Russians boasted they had in the past.

And what got my attention was viewing satellite imagery where the clouds and storm behavior was simply not natural.

DOBBS: In putting forward your theories, which are remarkable, what -- is there anything about Katrina, for example, any part of that storm that is a clue to what you're saying?

STEVENS: Well, getting a category 5 in any location is an incredible achievement. And then to have back-to-back inside of a month is just astounding. But there was geometry, and once you learn that this technology is at work and study the signatures that result in the cloud cover, these hurricanes are replete with these odd signatures, these geometries. And they become more pronounced as they approached category 4 and 5 status.

DOBBS: Let me ask you, we talked with NOAA, we've talked with Goddard Space Center and weather people, none of whom would talk to us on the record about you. Has any professional meteorologist, any group, assessed what you've done and said this makes sense or you're just as crazy as you can be?

STEVENS: No. I get encouragement. Actually there's both. There's those that assume straight up that it can't happen, and in scientific method you can't go into any discussion assuming that it's an impossibility. The only thing keeping us from doing it is our intention to do it.

DOBBS: Scott Stevens, weatherwars.info, we thank you for being here. Intriguing assertion. Thank you, Scott.

September 30th, 2005, 09:04 AM
What a whacko.

Science can't say it is impossible, but it is awfully difficult to be able to say that a thing like this could happen by shooting ray-guns at it.

UNLIKE an earthquake or Volcano, a hurricane does NOT have the energy already stored up. You have to GET THAT ENERGY into the storm somehow. The main way is through thunderstorm formation and evaporation of warm waters (etc), to say that you could shoot a beam at it......

Scalar waves, phegh.

And as for Earthquakes and volcanoes, I love how pseudo-science gets everyones attension in things like this. Puh-lease. You can say that something is used, such as possibly an explosion, to weaken the holding sones that keep plates from slipping and whatnot, but trying to do something that would be a low-energy method (like harmonic resonance) would not be wide-scale applicable and it would be VERY difficult to use properly to achieve the desired result.

I really hate death-ray scientists.

September 30th, 2005, 09:20 AM
Tesla's Death Ray


Nikola Tesla's historic laboratory and wireless communications facility known as Wardenclyffe, located about 65 miles east of New York City on the North Shore of Long Island.

The distinctive 187 foot tall tower was demolished in 1917, but the sturdy 94 foot square building still remains standing in silent testimony to Tesla's unfulfilled dream.



Tesla's Wardenclyffe laboratory,
where he tested his death ray.

September 30th, 2005, 10:42 AM
What a whacko...And as for Earthquakes and volcanoes, I love how pseudo-science gets everyones attension in things like this. Puh-lease. You can say that something is used, such as possibly an explosion, to weaken the holding sones that keep plates from slipping and whatnot, but trying to do something that would be a low-energy method (like harmonic resonance) would not be wide-scale applicable and it would be VERY difficult to use properly to achieve the desired result.

I really hate death-ray scientists.

The knee jerk reaction is amusing. It seems people give zero credence to anything that is outside their own range of knowledge or believe. The guy is a scientist and his explanations and photographic back up is impressuve.

I find the reaction very limited view and just surprising. No curiosity. No consideration that everyone and thing in the world is not necessarily benevolent. We know governments can play with weather (cloud seeeding for one) why not develop a weapon that has built in plausible denial.

With regard to earthquakes, you don't find it at all suspect that a major earthquake (9.0?) off the Indonesian Banda Aceh coast in December 2004 sets off a monstrous tsunami, yet, an earthquake of the same magnitude in March, the same place, doesn't cause a ripple? There are arguments out there that the tsunami was, in fact, caused by joint nuclear testing by Israel and India in that volatile part of the Indian Ocean. Seems plausible to me. It was convenient enough to scrub Banda Aceh clean of rebels and armed militants - it was like pinpoint accuracy the way ir cleansed the island in the exacrt location of Exxon's gas reserves.

September 30th, 2005, 11:52 AM
There is so much non-science, or maybe science laziness, evident in some of these theories, which tend to involve malevolence by one or more governments.

The obvious question is how much energy is released by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, and how does that compare to a nuclear detonation? This same question came up in the Tsunami thread, and I searched and found many sources of data and posted:

The largest nuclear explosion was the 1954 test Castle Bravo, 20 megatons. 20 megatons is 1300 Hiroshima bombs. A 9.0 earthquake releases the energy of 25-30 Castle Bravos, or 32,500 - 39,000 Hiroshimas

As to why an earthquake will produce a tsunami and another of equal magnitude in the same place will not, the answer is simple and readily available online.

The plate movement must vertically displace the water to produce the wave. A horizontal movement will not produce a tsunami (or at least not one as significant in size). However, a seismometer will not differentiate between the two events, and will record both as 9.0. If the seismometer could detect the vertical movement, there would be no need for tsunami detectors throughout the ocean.

September 30th, 2005, 12:05 PM
As to why an earthquake will produce a tsunami and another of equal magnitude in the same place will not, the answer is simple and readily available online.

Wet blanket. The conspiracy theories are waaay more interesting.

September 30th, 2005, 12:18 PM
Wet blanket. The conspiracy theories are waaay more interesting.

I at least gey to exercise my neck by constantly looking over my shoulder.

I guess I just feel we live in a largely malevolent world, where power and greed are the driving forces - against man's better nature.

I find it peculiar that people think that scientists are somehow more honest than anyone else. We are in the age where scientists are funded to support preordained outcomes. I think everyone is suspect. Self-preservation and a big paycheck - not a bad motivator.

September 30th, 2005, 12:28 PM
Wet blanket. The conspiracy theories are waaay more interesting.Well...I thought about posting pornography along with the info.

September 30th, 2005, 12:33 PM
The knee jerk reaction is amusing. It seems people give zero credence to anything that is outside their own range of knowledge or believe. The guy is a scientist and his explanations and photographic back up is impressuve.

Impressuve? Don't call me a knee-jerk and mispell the criticism.

This is not Knee-Jerk. Trust me. I LIVE science.

Besides, what is wrong with a knee jerk if you are whacked in the knees anyway? You don't jerk, something is wrong with you! ;)

I find the reaction very limited view and just surprising. No curiosity. No consideration that everyone and thing in the world is not necessarily benevolent. We know governments can play with weather (cloud seeeding for one) why not develop a weapon that has built in plausible denial.

Not the way he describes it. I do the same with movies. I can believe that people are researching for the dooms day device, but when they try to get technical about it, they seem to forget science and go strait to fiction.

Lemme get my light saber.

With regard to earthquakes, you don't find it at all suspect that a major earthquake (9.0?) off the Indonesian Banda Aceh coast in December 2004 sets off a monstrous tsunami, yet, an earthquake of the same magnitude in March, the same place, doesn't cause a ripple?

Nope. I am a structural engineer. You have to know about S and P waves. All earthquakes are not the same. You have a plate drop and a hige displacement of water, you get a wave. You get a plate shift you get mostly horizontal wave action that does not generate, well, waves.

Put a plate of water on a shake table and watch it ripple. No big waves. Now take a tank and shove a portion of the base up, you will get quite a wave.

There are arguments out there that the tsunami was, in fact, caused by joint nuclear testing by Israel and India in that volatile part of the Indian Ocean. Seems plausible to me.

Until you realize the ammount of energy needed, and that the wave would lose energy as a function of R squared. It would have also shown up as a blip on the radar AND seismic data would have shown an explosive event.

It was convenient enough to scrub Banda Aceh clean of rebels and armed militants - it was like pinpoint accuracy the way ir cleansed the island in the exacrt location of Exxon's gas reserves.

Nope nope nope.

BR, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Just because Amonia and Bleach are both good cleaners does not mean that they would be better mixed.

Sometimes these guys deliberately leave out all the facts that would discredit or disprove their arguements, or keep them sufficiently vague as to make them hard to absolutely refute.

Butr trust me, they are as plausable as the Batman Microwave machine... ;)

September 30th, 2005, 12:44 PM
...But trust me, they are as plausable as the Batman Microwave machine...

Are you trying to tell me the Batman Microwave is a hoax?

September 30th, 2005, 01:31 PM
Are you trying to tell me the Batman Microwave is a hoax?

Are you questioning me?

September 30th, 2005, 07:58 PM
Yous guys crack me up...

BTW: Middle of the 3rd; Red Sox: 2 / Yankees: 1

TLOZ Link5
October 1st, 2005, 04:35 PM
I own the Batman Microwave, but the Joker toaster oven is much more efficient. Sometimes it burns whatever I put in it and then omits a eyebrow raising laugh that sends chills down your spine. Its a great gift.

Is it a Jack Nicholson laugh or a Mark Hamill laugh?

October 1st, 2005, 07:29 PM

http://www.findagrave.com/photos/2002/176/1329_1025151794.jpg (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pis&GRid=1329&PIgrid=1329&PIcrid=8074&PIpi=269162&ShowCemPhotos=Y&)


http://www.geocities.com/~1966/jokers.jpg (http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Hills/7537/joker.htm)

October 25th, 2005, 12:53 AM
October 25, 2005
The Big Melt

No Escape: Thaw Gains Momentum

By ANDREW C. REVKIN (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=ANDREW C. REVKIN&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=ANDREW C. REVKIN&inline=nyt-per)

In 1969 Roy Koerner, a Canadian government glaciologist, was one of four men (and 36 dogs) who completed the first surface crossing of the Arctic Ocean, from Alaska through the North Pole to Norway.

Now, he said, such a trek would be impossible: there is just not enough ice. In September, the area covered by sea ice reached a record low. "I look on it as a different world," Dr. Koerner said. "I recently reviewed a proposal by one guy to go across by kayak."

At age 73, Dr. Koerner, known as Fritz, still regularly hikes high on the ancient glaciers abutting the warming ocean to extract cores showing past climate trends. And every one, he said, indicates that the Arctic warming under way over the last century is different from that seen in past warm eras.

Many scientists say it has taken a long time for them to accept that global warming, partly the result of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, could shrink the Arctic's summer cloak of ice.

But many of those same scientists have concluded that the momentum behind human-caused warming, combined with the region's tendency to amplify change, has put the familiar Arctic past the point of no return.

The particularly sharp warming and melting in the last few decades is thought by many experts to result from a mix of human and natural causes. But a number of recent computer simulations of global climate run by half a dozen research centers around the world show that in the future human influence will dominate.

Even with just modest growth in emissions of the greenhouse gases, almost all of the summer sea ice is likely to disappear by late in the century. Some of the simulations, including those run on an advanced model at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., show much of the summer ice disappearing by 2050, said Marika Holland, a scientist there who is working on the sea-ice portion of that model.

Of the various simulations, all done for an international scientific report on climate trends to be issued in 2007, the only ones that retain much summer sea ice in the Arctic by 2100 are those that assume global greenhouse-gas emissions are held constant at rates measured in 2000 - something that only five years later is already impossible.

The other models all produce an Arctic Ocean in summer akin to the "open polar sea" that was sought by oceanographers and explorers in the mid-1800's. "There would definitely be shipping along the Eurasian coast, and the polar bears would have some serious issues," Dr. Holland said.

The models are, of course, impressionistic views of a far more complicated Arctic reality, so their projections are uncertain. But what worries field scientists, who form their opinions based on empirical clues embedded in ice or recorded by thermometers, is that observations of change and evidence pointing to past patterns are agreeing with the models.

David Barber, an Arctic expert at the University of Manitoba, said emissions needed to be cut quickly to avert even greater damage. Skeptics who use the uncertainties to justify delaying such actions forget that uncertainty cuts both ways, and things could be far worse than forecast, Dr. Barber and others say.

"I wish we would have started 50 years ago, but to not start now would be a real tragedy," Dr. Barber said.

But, he added, it is important to accept that shrinking summer sea ice over the next century is inevitable and that humans need to adapt.

That inevitability presents a sticky problem for environmental groups, many of which have suggested that cutting greenhouse gases could save the polar bear and Eskimo traditions, both dependent on sea ice.

"Even if you would stop every engine right now, there is no escape unless you physically take the CO2 out of the air again," said Henk Brinkhuis, an expert on past Arctic ecosystems at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He added that this would have to be done on a vast scale, far beyond simply planting trees or the like.

"You may argue for a long time whether this process will take 20, 50 or 100 years, but it doesn't change the fact that it will happen," Dr. Brinkhuis said.

A Work in Progress

The emerging picture of great Arctic changes ahead comes from the interlaced efforts of the modelers in their climate-controlled computer rooms and field scientists with numb toes and frosted beards. It will long remain a work in progress. But the underlying trends are robust, many Arctic scientists say.

Field work suggests that past Arctic warm spells, like a stretch through the 1920's and 1930's, were limited to certain regions, while the recent warming has largely progressed in concert with rising temperatures around the Northern Hemisphere - a sign of large forces at work, climate scientists say, not regional variability.

Field studies have also provided information on how energy flows from air to ocean and into melting ice, how melting ice freshens water and growing ice makes it saltier - all dynamics that have helped modelers refine their programs.

Recent expeditions on icebreakers have started building the first detailed picture of the communities of algae, plankton, small cod, seals and polar bears that form an ice-based ecosystem as tenuous as the ice itself.

In the virtual Arctic of computer simulations, thousands of lines of computer code mimic how ice, oceans and the atmosphere interact and are components of larger global models of earth's climate and oceans.

The models are the only way to test how the planet may react to various human actions. Because there is only one earth, there are no other options for such studies, given that the real earth is already well along in an unintended experiment - the rapid buildup of long-lived greenhouse gases.

Those who work in that realm have steadily improved their simulations. A decade ago, for instance, most depicted sea ice just as static reflective slabs, and almost all now replicate how ice is tugged by wind and ocean currents, Dr. Holland said.

The inevitability of summer ice retreats, she and other Arctic experts say, is a result of the nature of the climate system, which is something like a heavy flywheel. Once started, flywheels tend to keep going. Within a few decades, say many scientists focused on the region, the insulating power of greenhouse gases will dominate natural climate fluctuations, possibly for centuries.

And the flywheel in the Arctic moves faster than in other areas because the region amplifies change. The most obvious mechanism is the difference in how bright white sea ice and the dark sea act under sunlight. Ice reflects most of the solar energy striking it back into space. Water absorbs most of it.

A result is that each area of ocean exposed by melting ice soaks up heat, melting more ice, exposing more sea, soaking up even more heat - and so on, until the annual marathons held each spring on the floating ice near the North Pole are replaced by boat races.

Saving Greenland

Warming has already caused anger and confusion among native peoples on one hand and enthusiasm for new shipping routes among entrepreneurs on the other. But scientists are still grappling to describe what is going on. "You might call it the temperatization of the Arctic; we haven't really invented a word for it yet," said Charles Vörösmarty, the director of the Complex Systems Research Center at the University of New Hampshire and one of 21 co-authors of a recent article in Eos, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, about the changes.

The article grew out of several gatherings of Arctic scientists organized by the National Science Foundation over the last two years.

Titled simply "Arctic System on Trajectory to New, Seasonally Ice-Free State," it says, "There seem to be few, if any, processes or feedbacks within the Arctic system that are capable of altering the trajectory."

Those authors and many other experts have settled on the same picture of the region late this century: tundra retreats and forests spread; most sea ice disappears in late summer; coastlines wear away under the assault of wind-driven waves on waters that previously were sheathed in ice; permafrost turns to bogs; and ancient lakes that once sat atop permanently frozen ground drain like unplugged bathtubs.

Climatologists say the effects eventually could extend far beyond the sparsely populated north, contributing to climate and ocean shifts that could dry the American West and possibly slow north-flowing warm currents in the Atlantic Ocean that keep northern Europe milder than it would otherwise be.

The effects could also include a sharp increase in the rate at which seas are swelled by melting glacial ice and far greater warming as even more greenhouse gases, locked in permafrost and the Arctic seabed, are liberated by warming.

For example, American and Russian scientists studying lakes in northeastern Siberia recently reported that the melt of permafrost is generating methane, a potent greenhouse gas. In spots, so much methane is being released that roiling streams of bubbles prevent the surface from freezing even in the depths of the Siberian winter.

The most that can be expected, some climate scientists say, is to limit the human contribution to warming enough to forestall the one truly calamitous, if slow motion, threat in the far north: the melting of Greenland's ice cap.

Rising two miles high and spreading over an area twice the size of California, this vast reservoir - essentially the Gulf of Mexico frozen and flipped onto land - contains enough water to raise sea levels worldwide more than 20 feet.

In recent years, the ice sheets of Greenland have been building in the middle through added snowfall but melting even more around the edges in summer. Many Greenland experts say the melting is already winning out.

James E. Hansen, a scientist for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration who has been designing simulations of earth's climate for nearly four decades, is among those who say prompt cuts in emissions can avert a Greenland meltdown.

Dr. Hansen said that while the Arctic's amplifying effects, like the transition from white ice to dark water, are substantial, they still occur only when the region is feeling some big external warming influence, like the transport of heat from the rest of a greenhouse-warmed planet.

If prompt action is taken to slow growth in carbon dioxide releases, and other, easier efforts are begun to cut emissions of methane, soot and other sources of warming, he said, then it may be possible to retain some summer sea ice and prevent rapid deterioration of the Greenland ice sheet.

"It is physically and technologically possible, but there has to be a will to achieve it," Dr. Hansen said.

Other scientists are not as optimistic.

Fresh studies of ancient glacial ice and sea-floor sediments show that, if anything, the computer simulations projecting strong warming and ice retreats in the region over the long run may be substantial underestimates, Dr. Brinkhuis said.

"Everything we are seeing shows things can move more and faster than we think," he added, referring to geologic and glacial records of past Arctic changes.

The current increase in greenhouse gases, he continued, is similar to past natural changes that profoundly altered the world.

"We have not seen such fast carbon dioxide rises as we have now other than in extreme cases in the past," Dr. Brinkhuis said, including periods like one about 50 million years ago that turned the Arctic Ocean into a warm, weed-covered lake.

Confounding Turbulence

Dr. Brinkhuis and many other veteran Arctic researchers caution that there is something of a paradox in Arctic trends: while the long-term fate of the region may be mostly sealed, no one should presume that the recent sharp warming and seasonal ice retreats that have caught the world's attention will continue smoothly into the future.

"The same Arctic feedbacks that are amplifying human-induced climate changes are amplifying natural variability," explained Asgeir Sorteberg, a climate modeler at the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research in Bergen, Norway.

Indeed, experts say, there could easily be periods in the next few decades when the region cools and ice grows.

The natural Arctic variability is shaped by basic geography and physics.

Near the Equator, climate is as predictable as the age-old trade winds that blow there, fueled by steady streams of sunlight and shaped by the planet's rotation. But toward the poles - and particularly the North Pole - everything gets stirred up, said David Atkinson, an atmospheric scientist at the International Arctic Research Center of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.

The region has just about the most turbulent climate on earth, he said, one in which conditions are shaped by slow cycles of temperature changes in the Pacific Ocean, pulsing shifts in areas of high and low barometric pressure over the pole and North Atlantic, and fundamentally chaotic flutters in the atmosphere.

The North Pole climate is even more variable than that at the other end of the earth in part because the Northern Hemisphere is a mix of continents and islands topped by the small but dynamic Arctic Ocean, which is partly ice covered.

The Southern Hemisphere is mostly ocean with a permanently ice-sheathed continent at the pole.

Because of that natural turbulence, a significant camp of Arctic specialists say they are not convinced that humans are driving the changes in the North.

"It's definitely true that the level of variability in high-latitude regions is huge, and trying to separate this from a human-induced trend is very difficult," said Igor Polyakov, another expert at the school's Arctic research center.

In the short run, the natural fluctuations will most likely sustain those on both sides of the debate over how to respond to global warming, with cool years embraced by skeptics and hotter ones by proponents of cutting the heat-trapping gases, said Dr. Richard B. Alley, a geoscientist at Pennsylvania State University.

But he and other scientists say it is clear that in the long run, the Arctic will get warmer, a conclusion at the heart of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (http://www.acia.uaf.edu/), a report commissioned by the eight Arctic nations and released last year.

Dr. Koerner, the Canadian glaciologist, pointed out on time scales of millenniums, the recent warming has even trumped a long cooling trend.

"The warming trend is even more significant," he said, "because it's not on a flat background but something that maybe should be getting colder."

For now, the modelers and field researchers continue to work at least in parallel, if not in tandem.

For example, Dr. Holland, a modeler, has never seen the real Arctic. She said a colleague who spends most summers slogging through ponds of meltwater on Arctic Ocean floes recently proposed creating a program called "Take a Modeler to the Arctic." The proposal was only half in jest, she said.

Just two weeks ago, she and that researcher, Donald Perovich, renewed the discussion, with fewer chuckles.

"I'd like to see what it's like before it actually disappears," Dr. Holland said.

Craig Duff contributed reporting from Churchill, Manitoba, for this article.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

TLOZ Link5
October 25th, 2005, 02:02 PM
If arctic ice floats and displaces water, then wouldn't it cause the sea level to drop upon melting?

The Greenland glacier is a different story because it's on land and not water, of course, but wouldn't melting sea ice have a negligible effect?

October 25th, 2005, 02:32 PM
TLOZ, i think that is one reason we are not 5 feet below sea level right now.

But it depends on how the sea-ice is supported. If it is floating, then the displacement is the same as it's weight, regardless of whether it is ice or not. But what about the levels of other ice? What about the freshwater ice on the mainlands? Or what about sea-ice that is partially supported by land?

I think the sea-ice is just a good smoke alarm.

October 25th, 2005, 02:39 PM
Ice floats because as water freezes, its molecules spread, so there is a slight reduction in density and increase in volume. Unlike a boat, the ice is solid throughhout, so most of it is submerged. The melting ice below the surface would raise the sea level because that water occupies less volume than the ice. However, the portion of the ice above the water line would also melt.

I have no idea what the net effect would be on sea level.

However, if this scenario accelerates the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, I do know that there is enough water locked up in that ice to raise the sea level worldwide by over 20 feet.

October 25th, 2005, 04:37 PM
Zip, you need to read up a bit buddy.

There are the same ammount of molecules in a larger chunk of ice as there are in the smaller ammount of water.

The ammount of displaced water is equal to the mass of the object floating on top.

This is a little thing they teach you in Middle School science, if you have the right teacher:

Take a glass of water and fill it almost to the top. Add a few ice cubes to get the water to the point where it is almost over the top. Now let the ice melt.

By your statement, the water should rise and spill. but the truth is, it melts and the ice that was poking out above the surface dissapears. It does not spill.

It does not seem to make sense until you start looking at buoyancy with a very discerning eye... ;)

TLOZ Link5
October 25th, 2005, 05:29 PM
I think that we should still be very worried about a potential (possible? probable?) Greenland thaw. That is all land ice which, if it melts, would have the effect of pouring more water from one container into a second, dangerously near-full one.

Antarctic ice, likewise, is half an ice shelf on the open ocean and half a landmass glacier. That would be a Greenland effect on a massive scale.

November 22nd, 2005, 09:25 PM
Nations set to feud over global warming

By Alister Doyle, Environment CorrespondentTue Nov 22, 7:35 AM ET

About 190 nations meet in Canada next week to try to enlist the United States and such developing nations as China and India in the U.N.-led fight against global warming beyond 2012.

Negotiators will meet in Montreal from November 28 to December 9 for talks on how to replace the U.N.'s 1997 Kyoto Protocol, a tiny first step to curb rising emissions of heat-trapping gases from power plants, factories and cars.

Environment ministers from around the globe will attend the final three days in Montreal. Some predict the negotiations they launch may last 5 years.

"It will be very complex," said Elliot Diringer, a director of the Washington-based Pew Center on Global Climate Change. "Any agreement has to be more flexible than Kyoto but at the same time has to deliver real cuts in emissions."

"And the Bush administration is adamantly opposed to any process aimed at widening Kyoto," he said.

Many scientists say that a buildup of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels could have catastrophic effects on the climate by spurring more hurricanes, spreading deserts, driving thousands of species to extinction and raising sea levels.

Under Kyoto, which entered into force in February after years of dispute between Washington and its main allies, about 40 rich nations have to cut emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide by 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12.

One trick will be to extend a U.N. scheme to poor countries, which reject Kyoto-style caps because higher energy use -- like bringing electricity to slum dwellers or building roads to help trade -- is a key to ending poverty.


Adding to the tangle, the world's biggest polluter has rejected Kyoto. President George W. Bush pulled the United States out in 2001, saying Kyoto was too costly and wrongly excluded developing nations before 2012.

Paula Dobriansky, U.S. Under Secretary for Global Affairs, who leads U.S. climate policy, will lead the U.S. delegation in Montreal.

Businesses planning long-term investments in new technologies, and investors in carbon markets set up to squeeze industrial emissions, want to know what to expect after 2012.

A report for the European Commission said the climate talks were "a Gordian knot that will need much creativity to unravel."

"Developed countries should continue after 2012 with Kyoto-type commitments with ever deeper cuts," said Jennifer Morgan, climate policy director at the WWF environmental group. "But developing countries should start with less strict goals."

Goals for poor nations could include brakes on the rise of emissions, promises to clean up heavy-polluting industries like coal-fired power plants or targets for higher use of non-polluting solar or wind power.

Some experts favor goals for industrial sectors, such as a target for how much carbon dioxide is emitted per ton of steel or cement, for instance, or global auto emission standards.

Some nations favor a revival of nuclear power, which produces no greenhouse gases. The United States is expected to push at Montreal for a scheme to bury carbon dioxide underground.

"There are, let's admit it, very wide differences of opinion amongst governments," said Richard Kinley, acting head of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

"It will be over the course of the next say 2-3 years that the process of coming to grips about what needs to be done about climate change could be addressed," he said. Many nations indicated agreement could be reached around 2008-10, he said.

And global warming will worsen if poor nations follow the rich in use of fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution. Average per capita emissions of greenhouse gases worldwide, for instance, are 3.6 tonnes against 20.1 per American.

Copyright © 2005 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

November 22nd, 2005, 09:26 PM

No Easy Way Out of the Greenhouse

Heading toward twice the CO2 in the atmosphere by 2100

By Brad Lemley
DISCOVER Vol. 26 No. 10 | October 2005 | Environment

Wallace Broecker, Newberry professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at ColumbiaUniversity, has some advice for global warming activists to follow over the next 100 years or so: Get real. Ecologists, he argues, have wrongly focused on developing power-generating technologies that don’t use fossil fuels and don’t spew carbon dioxide, which can trap solar radiation and warm the planet. “But we are a very long way from being able to get 30 or 40 percent of our energy from solar power,” Broecker says. “If we bank on that, and it does not happen, we will be stuck.” In his view, no carbon-free technology—including nuclear, wind, geothermal, and tidal—is likely to be deployed quickly enough to head off increasing accumulations of the greenhouse gas.

Even if easy-to-access oil begins to run out in a few years, as some geologists predict, Broecker says nations will simply switch to other relatively cheap fossil fuels. “The Athabasca tar sands in Canada are being mined and converted to petroleum at a cost of about $20 a barrel,” he says. As long as oil prices remain at more than $50 a barrel, that’s irresistibly profitable. “The next step would be to make petroleum out of coal, much like the Nazis did in World War II when their supply was cut off. It might double the price of gasoline, but that would still be cheaper than other alternate forms of energy.”

Broecker adds that what the developed wealthy world will do is largely irrelevant, because China, India, and much of the third world will grow increasingly wealthy and thirsty for fossil-fueled growth. “Since there are a billion and a half of us, and 5 billion people in the poorer parts of the world, it is more what they do to increase their fossil-fuel usage than what we do to decrease that matters,” he says.

In short, there is simply no realistic way to clamp down on carbon-generating technologies before they fill the skies with high levels of carbon dioxide. Atmospheric CO2, measured in parts per million, has been climbing steadily for more than 150 years and threatens to keep doing so. “We are headed toward 900 parts per million early in the next century,” or more than double the current level of 380 ppm, Broecker says. “That would mean four to five Fahrenheit degrees of warming for the world as a whole, raising sea levels by a meter or more.” And it won’t stop there, he says. Sea levels might eventually even rise five meters, submerging the world’s low-lying lands, including most of Florida.

The answer? “We need to work out a way to take CO2 out of the air and bury it,” Broecker says. He points to Klaus Lackner, a ColumbiaUniversity geophysicist, and Alan Wright, an engineer formerly with the Biosphere 2 project, who are designing and building the first atmospheric CO2 extraction machine. Gary Comer, founder of the Lands’ End clothing company, is funding the project. Although he won’t divulge exact figures, Broecker says “the cost of development is peanuts. If it turns out that the models that predict warming are not right, we can leave the technology on the shelf. But if we need it, it will be there.”


Klaus Lackner is a geophysicist at the Earth Institute at Columbia University and codeveloper of the synthetic tree, a device designed to remove carbon dioxide from the air. By Lackner’s calculations, one synthetic tree could absorb 1,000 times more CO2 than a living tree.

How would the synthetic tree remove carbon dioxide from the air?
L: The device itself would look something like goalposts with venetian blinds. It would be equipped to use liquid sodium hydroxide, which converts to sodium carbonate as it pulls CO2 from the wind stream.

How much could one tree remove?
L: The unit, which has a collection area of 50 meters by 60 meters, could gather 90,000 tons of CO2 a year. That means one synthetic tree could handle an amount equivalent to the annual emissions of 15,000 cars.

How many of these synthetic trees worldwide would be needed to soak up the 22 billion tons of CO2 produced annually from fossil fuels?
L: About 250,000.

To make this process efficient, you need to recycle the sodium hydroxide, which means you need to take the absorbed carbon back out. How do you do that?
L: You percolate the liquid sodium carbonate over solid calcium hydroxide, and the calcium catches the carbon. So you have taken the carbon out of your sodium hydroxide, and you can use it again. But then you have to get the carbon out of the calcium so that you can repeat the process. You do this by heating the calcium carbonate to 900 degrees Celsius, and it lets loose the CO2. So now we have the CO2 back in hand as a concentrated stream, with which we can do whatever we want.

What do you suggest?
L: It can be sequestered underground. The question is, is there enough capacity? Short term, it will work, but for the long term we need to develop other alternatives. I have proposed mineral sequestration. There are entire mountain ranges made of magnesium silicates that over millions of years would naturally turn into magnesium carbonate. We could speed up that process in an industrial fashion. We could make a stable, harmless solid.

What percentage of the energy in, say, gasoline would be consumed in the process of cleaning it up?
L: About 40 percent. People say 40 percent is a big hit. But it’s not, compared with producing hydrogen from coal, which I think is the most likely way large quantities of hydrogen would be made. Those guys also have a 40 percent energy hit, if not larger. So in a sense, the cleanup will cost that much, whether it is converting hydrogen from coal or pulling carbon dioxide from the air. In one case, you pay for the energy upstream; in the other you pay for it downstream.


November 22nd, 2005, 09:38 PM
If we were to come up with cleaner, cheaper methods of energy storage and accumulation the third world countries would not have to resort to fossil fuels.

We have the research power, we should research this and become the New Worlds Solar OPEC.

November 22nd, 2005, 11:21 PM
There is so much hypocrisy and propaganda surrounding global warming and Kyoto – on any side of the debate.

When it comes to power generation aspect of the global warming, there are only two serious options at this moment – fossil fuels and nuclear power. Politicians feed the naïve public with promises of imminent discovery of cheap, clean, plentiful power source – but it does not work this way. It will take decades before solar or wind or any other power generation source would be able to have any real impact compared to fossils and nuclear. And the alternative sources mature, nobody is going to be happy when wind turbines would be killing thousands of birds a day; when it will come to disposing old solar panels, the heavy metals there are more toxic than radioactive waste, and unlike radioactivity, they are toxic forever.

So at this moment, aside from energy-saving technologies, on the generation side, the only way to accomplish anything is to use less fossil fuels and more nuclear power. It’s that simple.

Now, US is getting a lot of (rightful) criticism about Kyoto. But look at the Germany – they close nuclear power plants, and instead of burning fossil fuels in Germany, import coal-generated energy from Dutch. That’s hypocritical – they don’t use less energy, and instead of clean nuclear they use the most polluting source – coal, but it’s not from Germany, so they can comply with Kyoto quotas.

The only nation making any sense is France – quietly and safely producing most of their energy from nuclear sources – perhaps because the government does not listen much to general public.

November 23rd, 2005, 12:25 AM
We've seen this coming for the past 30 + years and have utterly failed to solve the problem -- that is 3 decades lost.

TLOZ Link5
November 23rd, 2005, 02:44 AM
Nations set to feud over global warming

By Alister Doyle, Environment CorrespondentTue Nov 22, 7:35 AM ET

About 190 nations meet in Canada next week to try to enlist the United States and such developing nations as China and India in the U.N.-led fight against global warming beyond 2012.


Copyright © 2005 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

No mention at all of the fact that Australia, the world's second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases per capita, has also refused to comply with Kyoto. Australia emits about 17 metric tons of CO2 per person per year.

Nor is there mention of the fact that the vast majority of Americans, on both sides of the aisle, are in favor of supporting Kyoto.

November 23rd, 2005, 09:30 AM
... the vast majority of Americans, on both sides of the aisle, are in favor of supporting Kyoto. That's the same people that preferer SUVs to economy cars and want their gasoline to be cheap.

TLOZ Link5
November 24th, 2005, 10:55 PM
That's the same people that preferer SUVs to economy cars and want their gasoline to be cheap.

Who support Kyoto?

December 5th, 2005, 08:03 AM
December 4, 2005

On Climate Change, a Change of Thinking

By ANDREW C. REVKIN (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=ANDREW C. REVKIN&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=ANDREW C. REVKIN&inline=nyt-per)

IN December 1997, representatives of most of the world's nations met in Kyoto, Japan, to negotiate a binding agreement to cut emissions of "greenhouse" gases.

They succeeded. The Kyoto Protocol was ultimately ratified by 156 countries. It was the first agreement of its kind. But it may also prove to be the last.

Today, in the middle of new global warming talks in Montreal, there is a sense that the whole idea of global agreements to cut greenhouse gases won't work.

A major reason the optimism over Kyoto has eroded so rapidly is that its major requirement - that 38 participating industrialized countries cut their greenhouse emissions below 1990 levels by the year 2012 - was seen as just a first step toward increasingly aggressive cuts.

But in the years after the protocol was announced, developing countries, including the fast-growing giants China and India, have held firm on their insistence that they would accept no emissions cuts, even though they are likely to be the world's dominant source of greenhouse gases in coming years.

Their refusal helped fuel strong opposition to the treaty in the United States Senate and its eventual rejection by President Bush.

But the current stalemate is not just because of the inadequacies of the protocol. It is also a response to the world's ballooning energy appetite, which, largely because of economic growth in China, has exceeded almost everyone's expectations. And there are still no viable alternatives to fossil fuels, the main source of greenhouse gases.

Then, too, there is a growing recognition of the economic costs incurred by signing on to the Kyoto Protocol.

As Prime Minister Tony Blair (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/tony_blair/index.html?inline=nyt-per) of Britain, a proponent of emissions targets, said in a statement on Nov. 1: "The blunt truth about the politics of climate change is that no country will want to sacrifice its economy in order to meet this challenge."

This is as true, in different ways, in developed nations with high unemployment, like Germany and France, as it is in Russia, which said last week that it may have spot energy shortages this winter.

Some veterans of climate diplomacy and science now say that perhaps the entire architecture of the climate treaty process might be flawed.

The basic template came out of the first international pact intended to protect the atmosphere, the 1987 Montreal Protocol for eliminating chemicals that harmed the ozone layer, said Richard A. Benedick, the Reagan administration's chief representative in the talks leading to that agreement.

That agreement was a success, but a misleading one in the context of climate. It led, Mr. Benedick now says, to "years wasted in these annual shindigs designed to generate sound bites instead of sober contemplation of difficult issues."

While it was relatively easy to phase out ozone-harming chemicals, called chlorofluorocarbons, which were made by a handful of companies in a few countries, taking on carbon dioxide, the main climate threat, was a completely different matter, he said.

Carbon dioxide is generated by activities as varied as surfing the Web, driving a car, burning wood or flying to Montreal. Its production is woven into the fabric of an industrial society, and, for now, economic growth is inconceivable without it.

Developing countries - China and India being only the most dramatic examples - want to burn whatever energy they need, in whatever form available, to grow their economies and raise the living standard of their people.

And the United States - by far the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases - continues to say that emissions targets or requirements would stunt economic growth in both rich and poor nations. All this has turned the Montreal meeting, many participants have conceded, into, at best, a preliminary meeting on how to start over in addressing the threat of global warming.

Indeed, from here on, progress on climate is less likely to come from megaconferences like the one in Montreal and more likely from focused initiatives by clusters of countries with common interests, said Mr. Benedick, who is now a consultant and president of the National Council on Science and the Environment, a private group promoting science-based environmental policies.

The only real answer at the moment is still far out on the horizon: nonpolluting energy sources. But the amount of money being devoted to research and develop such technologies, much less install them, is nowhere near the scale of the problem, many experts on energy technology said.

Enormous investments in basic research have to be made promptly, even with the knowledge that most of the research is likely to fail, if there is to be any chance of creating options for the world's vastly increased energy thirst in a few decades, said Richard G. Richels, an economist at the Electric Power Research Institute, a nonprofit center for energy and environment research.

"The train is not leaving the station, and it needs to leave the station," Mr. Richels said. "If we don't have the technologies available at that time, it's going to be a mess."

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

December 5th, 2005, 10:05 AM
This article is such a bunch of nonsense. The writer pretends that nuclear power does not exist. Not one word in the whole article.

Research is needed to find a viable power source not producing carbon dioxide? Here is a research tip for the New York Times correspondent - ask French where they get most of their energy - all without producing carbon dioxide.

So what's Revkin's answer? "focused initiatives" - hey, those always work well, whatever they are, and stop surfing the web for god's sake, you are killing the earth. Applause.

December 5th, 2005, 12:04 PM
I had to roll my eyes at the sattement that Surfing the Web produces CO2....

Hmmm, what about those hundred or so people that actually have their own solar or wind powered station?

There are even some in some areas that use Geo-thermal!

The main prblem is that the US and China are at odds with each other about development. China is plowing through seeing success in its futuure, even at the loss of others, and the US does not want to be toppled as #1.

Then you get places like England and Australia just shrugging and going on about their daily buisness.

So whatever.

Also, him stating that reductions now would not help us, he seemed to have left out a crucial qualifier to that statement, that it would not help us now.

If it means that it will take 20-100 years to return to normal, that is better than having the oceans rise 10 feet in my lifetime just so we can have the Lincoln Dominator with Hi-Def plasma in the back seat so the kids can play on their XBox 9000.

January 29th, 2006, 12:50 AM
Climate Expert Says NASA Tried to Silence Him

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
James E. Hansen, top NASA climate scientist, on Friday at the Goddard Institute

By ANDREW C. REVKIN (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=ANDREW C. REVKIN&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=ANDREW C. REVKIN&inline=nyt-per)
New York Times
January 29, 2006


The top climate scientist at NASA says the Bush administration has tried to stop him from speaking out since he gave a lecture last month calling for prompt reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming.

The scientist, James E. Hansen, longtime director of the agency's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in an interview that officials at NASA headquarters had ordered the public affairs staff to review his coming lectures, papers, postings on the Goddard Web site and requests for interviews from journalists.

Dr. Hansen said he would ignore the restrictions. "They feel their job is to be this censor of information going out to the public," he said.

Dean Acosta, deputy assistant administrator for public affairs at the space agency, said there was no effort to silence Dr. Hansen. "That's not the way we operate here at NASA," Mr. Acosta said. "We promote openness and we speak with the facts."

He said the restrictions on Dr. Hansen applied to all National Aeronautics and Space Administration personnel. He added that government scientists were free to discuss scientific findings, but that policy statements should be left to policy makers and appointed spokesmen.

Mr. Acosta said other reasons for requiring press officers to review interview requests were to have an orderly flow of information out of a sprawling agency and to avoid surprises. "This is not about any individual or any issue like global warming," he said. "It's about coordination."

Dr. Hansen strongly disagreed with this characterization, saying such procedures had already prevented the public from fully grasping recent findings about climate change that point to risks ahead.

"Communicating with the public seems to be essential," he said, "because public concern is probably the only thing capable of overcoming the special interests that have obfuscated the topic."

Dr. Hansen, 63, a physicist who joined the space agency in 1967, directs efforts to simulate the global climate on computers at the Goddard Institute in Morningside Heights in Manhattan.

Since 1988, he has been issuing public warnings about the long-term threat from heat-trapping emissions, dominated by carbon dioxide, that are an unavoidable byproduct of burning coal, oil and other fossil fuels. He has had run-ins with politicians or their appointees in various administrations, including budget watchers in the first Bush administration and Vice President Al Gore (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/al_gore/index.html?inline=nyt-per).

In 2001, Dr. Hansen was invited twice to brief Vice President Dick Cheney (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/dick_cheney/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and other cabinet members on climate change. White House officials were interested in his findings showing that cleaning up soot, which also warms the atmosphere, was an effective and far easier first step than curbing carbon dioxide.

He fell out of favor with the White House in 2004 after giving a speech at the University of Iowa before the presidential election, in which he complained that government climate scientists were being muzzled and said he planned to vote for Senator John Kerry.

But Dr. Hansen said that nothing in 30 years equaled the push made since early December to keep him from publicly discussing what he says are clear-cut dangers from further delay in curbing carbon dioxide.

In several interviews with The New York Times in recent days, Dr. Hansen said it would be irresponsible not to speak out, particularly because NASA's mission statement includes the phrase "to understand and protect our home planet."

He said he was particularly incensed that the directives had come through telephone conversations and not through formal channels, leaving no significant trails of documents.

Dr. Hansen's supervisor, Franco Einaudi, said there had been no official "order or pressure to say shut Jim up." But Dr. Einaudi added, "That doesn't mean I like this kind of pressure being applied."

The fresh efforts to quiet him, Dr. Hansen said, began in a series of calls after a lecture he gave on Dec. 6 at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. In the talk, he said that significant emission cuts could be achieved with existing technologies, particularly in the case of motor vehicles, and that without leadership by the United States, climate change would eventually leave the earth "a different planet."

The administration's policy is to use voluntary measures to slow, but not reverse, the growth of emissions.

After that speech and the release of data by Dr. Hansen on Dec. 15 showing that 2005 was probably the warmest year in at least a century, officials at the headquarters of the space agency repeatedly phoned public affairs officers, who relayed the warning to Dr. Hansen that there would be "dire consequences" if such statements continued, those officers and Dr. Hansen said in interviews.

Among the restrictions, according to Dr. Hansen and an internal draft memorandum he provided to The Times, was that his supervisors could stand in for him in any news media interviews.

Mr. Acosta said the calls and meetings with Goddard press officers were not to introduce restrictions, but to review existing rules. He said Dr. Hansen had continued to speak frequently with the news media.

But Dr. Hansen and some of his colleagues said interviews were canceled as a result.

In one call, George Deutsch, a recently appointed public affairs officer at NASA headquarters, rejected a request from a producer at National Public Radio to interview Dr. Hansen, said Leslie McCarthy, a public affairs officer responsible for the Goddard Institute.

Citing handwritten notes taken during the conversation, Ms. McCarthy said Mr. Deutsch called N.P.R. "the most liberal" media outlet in the country. She said that in that call and others, Mr. Deutsch said his job was "to make the president look good" and that as a White House appointee that might be Mr. Deutsch's priority.

But she added: "I'm a career civil servant and Jim Hansen is a scientist. That's not our job. That's not our mission. The inference was that Hansen was disloyal."

Normally, Ms. McCarthy would not be free to describe such conversations to the news media, but she agreed to an interview after Mr. Acosta, at NASA headquarters, told The Times that she would not face any retribution for doing so.

Mr. Acosta, Mr. Deutsch's supervisor, said that when Mr. Deutsch was asked about the conversations, he flatly denied saying anything of the sort. Mr. Deutsch referred all interview requests to Mr. Acosta.

Ms. McCarthy, when told of the response, said: "Why am I going to go out of my way to make this up and back up Jim Hansen? I don't have a dog in this race. And what does Hansen have to gain?"

Mr. Acosta said that for the moment he had no way of judging who was telling the truth. Several colleagues of both Ms. McCarthy and Dr. Hansen said Ms. McCarthy's statements were consistent with what she told them when the conversations occurred.

"He's not trying to create a war over this," said Larry D. Travis, an astronomer who is Dr. Hansen's deputy at Goddard, "but really feels very strongly that this is an obligation we have as federal scientists, to inform the public."

Dr. Travis said he walked into Ms. McCarthy's office in mid-December at the end of one of the calls from Mr. Deutsch demanding that Dr. Hansen be better controlled.

In an interview on Friday, Ralph J. Cicerone, an atmospheric chemist and the president of the National Academy of Sciences, the nation's leading independent scientific body, praised Dr. Hansen's scientific contributions and said he had always seemed to describe his public statements clearly as his personal views.

"He really is one of the most productive and creative scientists in the world," Dr. Cicerone said. "I've heard Hansen speak many times and I've read many of his papers, starting in the late 70's. Every single time, in writing or when I've heard him speak, he's always clear that he's speaking for himself, not for NASA or the administration, whichever administration it's been."

The fight between Dr. Hansen and administration officials echoes other recent disputes. At climate laboratories of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, for example, many scientists who routinely took calls from reporters five years ago can now do so only if the interview is approved by administration officials in Washington, and then only if a public affairs officer is present or on the phone.

Where scientists' points of view on climate policy align with those of the administration, however, there are few signs of restrictions on extracurricular lectures or writing.

One example is Indur M. Goklany, assistant director of science and technology policy in the policy office of the Interior Department. For years, Dr. Goklany, an electrical engineer by training, has written in papers and books that it may be better not to force cuts in greenhouse gases because the added prosperity from unfettered economic activity would allow countries to exploit benefits of warming and adapt to problems
In an e-mail exchange on Friday, Dr. Goklany said that in the Clinton administration he was shifted to nonclimate-related work, but added that he had never had to stop his outside writing, as long as he identified the views as his own.

"One reason why I still continue to do the extracurricular stuff," he wrote, "is because one doesn't have to get clearance for what I plan on saying or writing."

Copyright 2006 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html)The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

January 30th, 2006, 09:09 AM
Warm day today.

The trees are starting to Bud....

TLOZ Link5
January 30th, 2006, 11:25 AM
Maybe people will start moving to New York for the weather. An unexpected benefit of global warming.

January 30th, 2006, 12:04 PM
^ Does that mean we'll get those same type folks who have moved to Florida (seemingly for the weather) and made that state such a workable / livable place to be?


Bring on the snow .................

January 30th, 2006, 01:30 PM
^ Does that mean we'll get those same type folks who have moved to Florida (seemingly for the weather) and made that state such a workable / livable place to be?


Bring on the snow .................

You don't want golf carts on Park Avenue?

January 30th, 2006, 03:22 PM
I hope it's going to get warm enough in New York in the next 20-30 years so I won't have to retire in Floriada... Palm trees would look great on Park Ave.

TLOZ Link5
January 30th, 2006, 04:29 PM
^ Does that mean we'll get those same type folks who have moved to Florida (seemingly for the weather) and made that state such a workable / livable place to be?

You mean New Yorkers? After all, Miami is practically the Sixth Borough :D

January 31st, 2006, 12:05 AM
Yeah -- NYers that couldn't hack it here anymore. :cool:

One thing that makes NY great is that it is a HARD place to succeed / live / interact. Think about it -- 300+ years ago these people sail across the Atlantic and up the Hudson and set camp. Winter comes and it is COLD. And Snowy. And miserable? Do these people leave? NO they stay. They become the first NYers. And they put up with year after year of 4-5 months of nasty frigid damp bone-chilling feet-freezing cold.

Me? After one winter without heat & insulated boots I probably would have said "Outta Here!" ...

February 8th, 2006, 11:30 AM
Climate Expert Says NASA Tried to Silence Him

New York Times
January 29, 2006


The top climate scientist at NASA says the Bush administration has tried to stop him from speaking out since he gave a lecture last month calling for prompt reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming.

The scientist, James E. Hansen, longtime director of the agency's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in an interview that officials at NASA headquarters had ordered the public affairs staff to review his coming lectures, papers, postings on the Goddard Web site and requests for interviews from journalists.
A Young Bush Appointee Resigns His Post at NASA

By ANDREW C. REVKIN (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=ANDREW C. REVKIN&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=ANDREW C. REVKIN&inline=nyt-per)
NY Times
February 8, 2006


George C. Deutsch, the young presidential appointee at NASA who told public affairs workers to limit reporters' access to a top climate scientist and told a Web designer to add the word "theory" at every mention of the Big Bang, resigned yesterday, agency officials said.

Mr. Deutsch's resignation came on the same day that officials at Texas A&M University confirmed that he did not graduate from there, as his résumé on file at the agency asserted.

Officials at NASA headquarters declined to discuss the reason for the resignation.

"Under NASA policy, it is inappropriate to discuss personnel matters," said Dean Acosta, the deputy assistant administrator for public affairs and Mr. Deutsch's boss.

The resignation came as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was preparing to review its policies for communicating science to the public.

The review was ordered Friday by Michael D. Griffin, the NASA administrator, after a week in which many agency scientists and midlevel public affairs officials described to The New York Times instances in which they said political pressure was applied to limit or flavor discussions of topics uncomfortable to the Bush administration, particularly global warming.

"As we have stated in the past, NASA is in the process of revising our public affairs policies across the agency to ensure our commitment to open and full communications," the statement from Mr. Acosta said.

The statement said the resignation of Mr. Deutsch was "a separate matter."

Mr. Deutsch, 24, was offered a job as a writer and editor in NASA's public affairs office in Washington last year after working on President Bush's re-election campaign and inaugural committee, according to his résumé. No one has disputed those parts of the document.

According to his résumé, Mr. Deutsch received a "Bachelor of Arts in journalism, Class of 2003."

Yesterday, officials at Texas A&M said that was not the case.

"George Carlton Deutsch III did attend Texas A&M University but has not completed the requirements for a degree," said an e-mail message from Rita Presley, assistant to the registrar at the university, responding to a query from The Times.

Repeated calls and e-mail messages to Mr. Deutsch on Tuesday were not answered.

Mr. Deutsch's educational record was first challenged on Monday by Nick Anthis, who graduated from Texas A&M last year with a biochemistry degree and has been writing a Web log on science policy, scientificactivist.blogspot.com (http://scientificactivist.blogspot.com/).

After Mr. Anthis read about the problems at NASA, he said in an interview: "It seemed like political figures had really overstepped the line. I was just going to write some commentary on this when somebody tipped me off that George Deutsch might not have graduated."

He posted a blog entry asserting this after he checked with the university's association of former students. He reported that the association said Mr. Deutsch received no degree.

A copy of Mr. Deutsch's résumé was provided to The Times by someone working in NASA headquarters who, along with many other NASA employees, said Mr. Deutsch played a small but significant role in an intensifying effort at the agency to exert political control over the flow of information to the public.

Such complaints came to the fore starting in late January, when James E. Hansen, the climate scientist, and several midlevel public affairs officers told The Times that political appointees, including Mr. Deutsch, were pressing to limit Dr. Hansen's speaking and interviews on the threats posed by global warming.

Yesterday, Dr. Hansen said that the questions about Mr. Deutsch's credentials were important, but were a distraction from the broader issue of political control of scientific information.

"He's only a bit player," Dr. Hansen said of Mr. Deutsch. " The problem is much broader and much deeper and it goes across agencies. That's what I'm really concerned about."

"On climate, the public has been misinformed and not informed," he said. "The foundation of a democracy is an informed public, which obviously means an honestly informed public. That's the big issue here."

Copyright 2006 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html)The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

February 8th, 2006, 12:55 PM
We've seen over and over that the administration has no problem filling posts with unqualified crony frauds who march in lock step with the extreme right wing agenda.

TLOZ Link5
February 8th, 2006, 05:48 PM
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Global Warming Top 10

As seen on The Late Show with David Letterman

George W. Bush's Top Ten Solutions For Global Warming...

10. NASA mission to turn down the sun's thermostat

9. Federal subsidies to boost production of Cool Ranch Doritos

8. Fast track Rumsfeld's "Colonize Neptune" proposal

7. Convene Blue-Ribbon Committee to explore innovative ways of ignoring the problem

6. Let Hillary worry about it when she takes over

5. I dunno---tax cuts for the rich?

4. Give the boys at Halliburton 90-billion dollar contract to patch hole in ozone

3. Switch to Celsius so scorching 98 becomes frosty 37

2. Keep plenty of Bud on ice

1. Invade Antarctica

February 9th, 2006, 12:20 PM
February 9, 2006


Censoring Truth

The Bush administration long ago secured a special place in history for the audacity with which it manipulates science to suit its political ends. But it set a new standard of cynicism when it allowed NASA's leading authority on global warming to be mugged by a 24-year-old presidential appointee who, quite apart from having no training on that issue, had inflated his résumé.

In early December, James Hansen, the space agency's top climate specialist, called for accelerated efforts to reduce industrial emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases linked to global warming. After his speech, he told Andrew C. Revkin of The Times, he was threatened with "dire consequences" if he continued to call for aggressive action.

This was not the first time Dr. Hansen had been rebuked by the Bush team, which has spent the better part of five years avoiding the issue of global warming. It was merely one piece of a larger pattern of deception and denial.

The administration has sought to influence the policy debate by muzzling the people who disagree with it or — as was the case with two major reports from the Environmental Protection Agency in 2002 and 2003 — editing out inconvenient truths or censoring them entirely.

In this case, the censor was George Deutsch, a functionary in NASA's public affairs office whose chief credential appears to have been his service with President Bush's re-election campaign and inaugural committee. On his résumé, Mr. Deutsch claimed a 2003 bachelor's degree in journalism from Texas A&M, but the university, alerted by a blogger, said that was not true. Mr. Deutsch has now resigned.

The shocker was not NASA's failure to vet Mr. Deutsch's credentials, but that this young politico with no qualifications was able to impose his ideology on other agency employees. At one point, he told a Web designer to add the word "theory" after every mention of the Big Bang.

As Dr. Hansen observed, Mr. Deutsch was only a "bit player" in the administration's dishonest game of politicizing science on issues like warming, birth control, forest policy and clean air. This from a president who promised in his State of the Union address to improve American competitiveness by spending more on science.

Copyright 2006 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html)The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

February 9th, 2006, 01:56 PM
This article inspired me to watch "Soylent Green" tonight, about which I heard good things. It's a great old movie about NYC in the year 2022 when
global warming and overpopulation have wreaked havoc on humanity. Has anyone here seen it?

February 9th, 2006, 02:50 PM
Interesting premise, not well developed.

Technically, it's no Blade Runner. It has a low-budget quality.

Charlton Heston was past his Biblical epic period; this was his fourth bleak-future film starting with Planet of the Apes, and it shows. Even being cast with Edward G Robinson didn't seem to wake him up.

Worth a video rental, but not a theater ticket. Much better than the usual crap movies on Sc-Fi Channel. I think it's prime for a remake.

February 9th, 2006, 03:22 PM
According to his résumé, Mr. Deutsch received a "Bachelor of Arts in journalism, Class of 2003."

Nevermind that he never GOT that degree.

What the hell is a BACHELOR OF ARTS IN JOURNALISM student doing as the chief, at 24 years old, of public releases of information of NASA??!?!?

You think they would have found a guy that faked a MS in journalism and a BS in some science or engineering!

Holy Cronies Batman!

February 19th, 2006, 08:51 AM
Bush's Chat With Novelist Alarms Environmentalists

By MICHAEL JANOFSKY (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/j/michael_janofsky/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
NY Times
February 19, 2006


WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 — One of the perquisites of being president is the ability to have the author of a book you enjoyed pop into the White House for a chat.

Over the years, a number of writers have visited President Bush, including Natan Sharansky, Bernard Lewis and John Lewis Gaddis. And while the meetings are usually private, they rarely ruffle feathers.

Now, one has.

In his new book about Mr. Bush, "Rebel in Chief: Inside the Bold and Controversial Presidency of George W. Bush (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/george_w_bush/index.html?inline=nyt-per)," Fred Barnes recalls a visit to the White House last year by Michael Crichton, whose 2004 best-selling novel, "State of Fear," suggests that global warming is an unproven theory and an overstated threat.

Mr. Barnes, who describes Mr. Bush as "a dissenter on the theory of global warming," writes that the president "avidly read" the novel and met the author after Karl Rove (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/r/karl_rove/index.html?inline=nyt-per), his chief political adviser, arranged it. He says Mr. Bush and his guest "talked for an hour and were in near-total agreement."
"The visit was not made public for fear of outraging environmentalists all the more," he adds.

And so it has, fueling a common perception among environmental groups that Mr. Crichton's dismissal of global warming, coupled with his popularity as a novelist and screenwriter, has undermined efforts to pass legislation intended to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, a gas that leading scientists say causes climate change.

Mr. Crichton, whose views in "State of Fear" helped him win the American Association of Petroleum Geologists' annual journalism award this month, has been a leading doubter of global warming and last September appeared before a Senate committee to argue that the supporting science was mixed, at best.

"This shows the president is more interested in science fiction than science," Frank O'Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, said after learning of the White House meeting. Mr. O'Donnell's group monitors environmental policy.

"This administration has put no limit on global warming pollution and has consistently rebuffed any suggestion to do so," he said.

Not so, according to the White House, which said Mr. Barnes's book left a false impression of Mr. Bush's views on global warming.

Michele St. Martin, a spokeswoman for the Council on Environmental Quality, a White House advisory agency, pointed to several speeches in which Mr. Bush had acknowledged the impact of global warming and the need to confront it, even if he questioned the degree to which humans contribute to it.

Copyright 2006 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html)The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

March 24th, 2006, 09:31 AM
London 'under water by 2100' as Antarctica crumbles into the sea

By Mark Henderson
Science Correspondent
The Times
March 24, 2006



DOZENS of the world’s cities, including London and New York, could be flooded by the end of the century, according to research which suggests that global warming will increase sea levels more rapidly than was previously thought.

The first study to combine computer models of rising temperatures with records of the ancient climate has indicated that sea levels could rise by up to 20ft (6m) by 2100, placing millions of people at risk.

The threat comes from melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, which scientists behind the research now believe are on track to release vast volumes of water significantly more quickly than older models have predicted. Their analysis of events between 129,000 and 116,000 years ago, when the Arctic last warmed to temperatures forecast for 2100, shows that there could be large rises in sea level.

While the Greenland ice sheet is expected to start melting as summer temperatures in the Arctic rise by 3C degrees to 5C (5.4F-9F), most models suggest that the ice sheets of Antarctica will remain more stable.

The historical data, however, show that the last time that Greenland became this warm, the sea level rise generated by meltwater destabilised the Antarctic ice, leading to a much higher increase than can be explained by Arctic ice alone.

That means that the models of sea-level rise used to predict an increase of up to 3ft by 2100 may have significantly underestimated its ultimate extent, which could be as great as 20ft.

Such a rise would threaten cities such as London, New York, Bombay and Tokyo. Large parts of the Netherlands, Bangladesh and Florida would be inundated, and even smaller rises would flood extreme low-lying areas, such as several Pacific islands and New Orleans.

“Although the focus of our work is polar, the implications are global,” said Bette Otto-Bliesner, of the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, who led the study. “These ice sheets melted before and sea levels rose. The warmth needed isn’t that much above present conditions.”

Her colleague, Jonathan Overpeck, of the University of Arizona, said: “This is a real eye-opener set of results. The last time the Arctic was significantly warmer than the present day, the Greenland ice sheet melted back the equivalent of two to three metres (6ft-10ft) of sea level. Contrary to what was previously believed, the research suggests the Antarctic ice sheet also melted substantially, contributing another 6ft to 10ft of sea level rise.”

The findings, which are published today in the journal Science, have emerged from a study that used data from ancient coral reefs, ice cores and other natural records to reconstruct the climate during the last gap between Ice Ages. In this interglacial period, between 129,000 and 116,000 years ago, temperatures in the Arctic were between 3C and 5C above present levels — a similar level to that predicted for the end of this century.

The scientists found that meltwater from Greenland raised the sea level by up to 11ft, but coral records showed that the total global rise was between 13ft and 20ft. Dr Overpeck said that the melting of Antarctic ice sheets was the most likely explanation. As sea levels rose, the floating ice shelves off the coast of the continent would have become more likely to break up. That in turn would have allowed glaciers to dump more ice from the continent itself into the sea.

He said that this was particularly worrying at present as the base of the West Antarctic ice sheet lay below sea level, which would allow ice to escape to the sea easily. Several recent studies have indicated that the Greenland ice sheet, which contains enough water to raise sea levels by 23ft, and the West Antarctic sheet, which holds enough for a 20ft rise, are thinning. Both are expected to take several centuries to melt completely, but could release substantial quantities of water by 2100. Dr Overpeck said that the results added to the urgency of measures to control the greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global warming.

Copyright 2006 (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/section/0,,549,00.html)Times Newspapers Ltd.

March 24th, 2006, 12:56 PM
Wow we are in trouble. The whole tri-state area could be under water in less than a century. This sucks. :(

March 24th, 2006, 07:39 PM
Nobody really knows what will happen, these experts are just speculating and there's a billion theories out there. I for one think we'll go the other way and NY won't have to worry about water....


March 24th, 2006, 11:18 PM
Based on the same non-theory that Jake uses to support his argument I think that everyone will be rich in 5 years and that poppies will be sprouting from the sidewalks.

Don't worry --- Be Happy!

March 25th, 2006, 07:55 AM
Glad I won't be around to see New York get abandoned.

Let my kids worry about it.

* * *

What a big pickle the Great Idiot has helped get us into!

And he's certainly not man enough to reverse course.

Let the next guy do it.

March 25th, 2006, 09:26 AM
Science and Politics

Transcript from a CBS 60 Minutes report on NASA scientist James Hansen.

March 25th, 2006, 09:34 AM
From the transcript:

"We have to, in the next 10 years, get off this exponential curve and begin to decrease the rate of growth of CO2 emissions," Hansen explains. "And then flatten it out. And before we get to the middle of the century, we’ve got to be on a declining curve.

"If that doesn't happen in 10 years, then I don’t think we can keep global warming under one degree Celsius and that means we’re going to, that there’s a great danger of passing some of these tipping points. If the ice sheets begin to disintegrate, what can you do about it? You can’t tie a rope around the ice sheet. You can’t build a wall around the ice sheets. It will be a situation that is out of our control."

But that's not a situation you'll find in one federal report submitted for review. Government scientists wanted to tell you about the ice sheets, but before a draft of the report left the White House, the paragraph on glacial melt and flooding was crossed out and this was added: "straying from research strategy into speculative findings and musings here."

Hansen says his words were edited once during a presentation when a top official scolded him for using the word danger.

"I think we know a lot more about the tipping points," says Hansen. "I think we know about the dangers of even a moderate degree of additional global warming about the potential effects in the arctic about the potential effects on the ice sheets."

"You just used that word again that you’re not supposed to use — danger," Pelley remarks.

"Yeah. It’s a danger," Hansen says.

March 25th, 2006, 10:38 AM
From the transcript:

"Yea its a danger" said Hansen

I call BS -
Excerpt from State of Fear - ("environmental hysterics who are innocent of information but overflowing with certitudes and moral vanity")

Best book since Atlas Shrugged, by ayn rand

(Note) By "State of Fear" , I am referrring to the Novel by Micael Crichton.

March 25th, 2006, 11:36 AM
State of Fear

Michael Crichton

Novel, fictional thriller (2004)

In my opinion, not one of Crichton's best efforts. And already dated as to the latest available data.


March 25th, 2006, 11:54 AM
State of Fearhttp://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=74

Excerpt from reeal climate.org.- Finally, in an appendix, Crichton uses a rather curious train of logic to compare global warming to the 19th Century eugenics movement. He argues, that since eugenics was studied in prestigious universities and supported by charitable foundations, and now, so is global warming, they must somehow be related. Presumably, the author doesn't actually believe that foundation-supported academic research ipso facto is evil and mis-guided, but that is an impression that is left.

In summary, I am a little disappointed, not least because while researching this book, Crichton actually visited our lab and discussed some of these issues with me and a few of my colleagues. I guess we didn't do a very good job. Judging from his reading list, the rather dry prose of the IPCC reports did not match up to the some of the racier contrarian texts. Had RealClimate been up and running a few years back, maybe it would've all worked out differently..
Good article Thanks Zippy. I can only surmise - they may know better.

Another quote from Stare of Fear. - Montaigne's Axiom: "Nothing is so firmly believed as that which least is least known.''

Well, I can admit my ignorance on a subject - hey, what hell do "I" know LOL. Being dogmatic, particularly on the complex subject of global worming, is just foolish.

March 25th, 2006, 12:05 PM
I've been following this topic for a long time, and what has changed recently is that the evidence has reached (if I may borrow the phrase) the tipping point as to the seriousness of Global Warming.

March 25th, 2006, 01:46 PM
Why do you find my ice age theory sooooo ridiculous? Just as your "leading experts" state that global warming is in fact occuring because of greenhouse gases, my "leading experts" say that we're due for an ice age very soon. This isn't something I just thought up but rather a fact that Earth experiences periods of sudden temperature changes regularly. Without digging up my Scientific American issues, I know that ice ages occur every so and so many thousands of years and I think we are currently overdue for one. We are also currently overdue for a polar change.

Should we curb our emissions, I absolutely think so. Should we follow the beliefs of people who can't predict tomorrow's weather? I'm not sure. NOONE knows how the Earth works, and I'm simply arguing for events that have been shown to occur regularly such as ice ages and polar switches. Periods of warming and cooling also occur naturally and while this one is occuring fast you don't really know if it's something that would happen even if we weren't here.

I agree that global warming is probably occuring and that we should stop polluting, but don't dismiss my opposite opinion when it is supported by the same kind of expert opinion as your argument.

March 25th, 2006, 02:45 PM
Why shouldn't we dismiss your opposite opinion; you dismissed it yourself.

March 25th, 2006, 03:12 PM
What I mean is that global warming may be insignificant if we're going to freeze over anyway.

March 25th, 2006, 10:09 PM
Ice Age cycles range from 40,000 to 100,000 years. We are now 10,000 years into an Interglacial period, so we have a long way to go before "everything freezes over."

If you are talking about Global Cooling from the effect of aerosols in the atmosphere, that theory was popular in the 1970s, but increased knowledge had discredited the model.

March 25th, 2006, 11:52 PM
Tipping points seem to be coming fast. Will there be time to save Venice, London, Florida, New Orleans...and New York?

March 26th, 2006, 12:21 AM
London is already saved thanks to the Thames Barrier, which could easily be reinforced. Manhattan could survive high sea level rises, although the outer boroughs might need to be abandoned along the oceanfront. As for New Orleans and Venice, it's time for them to hire some Dutch engineers. And there's nothing in Florida worth saving anyway.

March 26th, 2006, 12:30 AM
As for New Orleans and Venice, it's time for them to hire some Dutch engineers. And there's nothing in Florida worth saving anyway.

Miami Beach. Oh, and Seaside.

Add Palm Beach to that list.

And Key West.


March 26th, 2006, 10:52 AM
Manhattan could survive high sea level rises, although the outer boroughs might need to be abandoned along the oceanfront.
Not just the outer boroughs, according to the news this week from those in charge:

City Storm Evacuation Plan Is Unworkable, Report Says

By THOMAS J. LUECK (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/l/thomas_j_lueck/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
NY Times
March 24, 2006


Raising the specter of a hurricane inundating low-lying sections of the city with a 25-foot storm surge and shattering skyscraper windows into razor-like projectiles, a State Assembly committee yesterday criticized the city's storm evacuation plan.

"The city's plan simply cannot protect life, property and public safety," said Richard L. Brodsky (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/richard_l_brodsky/index.html?inline=nyt-per), a Westchester Democrat who is chairman of the Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions.

"This isn't something that requires tinkering. It just won't work," he said of the city's plan, an evolving set of contingencies and procedures that was drafted in the 1990's and has undergone extensive review since Hurricane Katrina last year.

The committee's report, which followed six months of hearings and evaluations, said the city had not produced an effective strategy for evacuating sick, elderly and disabled people from nursing homes and hospitals, and had failed to inform the public of the risks of hurricanes.

The report also said the city should abandon a strategy, in the event of a major hurricane, of directing people first to "reception centers" and then on to shelters. Mr. Brodsky said the system could result in chaos.

The hurricane contingency plans are the province of the city's Office of Emergency Management, where a spokesman, Jarrod Bernstein, said the criticism was off base and unfair, because the plans are undergoing extensive revisions.

"The report says last year's milk is sour," he said.

By July 1, which is generally regarded as the start of hurricane season along the East Coast, the department will release a revised plan, Mr. Bernstein said.

He did not dispute the Assembly committee's warnings that the city was overdue for a major hurricane, which, because of New York's geography and density, could be catastrophic.

Among the most vulnerable points is the geographical angle at which Long Island juts out, which could intensify the danger to the city from a storm surge, a wall of water that precedes a hurricane.

In a Category 3 hurricane like Katrina, the surge in low-lying areas, which range from the Rockaways in Queens to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, could exceed 25 feet, more than double the levels of a similar storm along the Gulf Coast, the Assembly report said.

The region's last Category 3 hurricane was in 1938, the report said, and experts have calculated that a storm of that magnitude would occur here about once every 80 years, the report said.

"There is no regular rhythm to hurricanes, but New York is in some sense overdue," said Jeff Warner, a meteorologist at the Pennsylvania State University, who was asked to respond to the Assembly committee's warnings.

Mr. Brodsky, a candidate for attorney general, said the city's hurricane plan was likely to break down because of the two-tier system in which people are first sent to reception centers, which are distributed across the city, before being sent to shelters. He said people would ignore city instructions and go directly to shelters, undermining plans for orderly distribution of emergency beds and supplies.

Mr. Bernstein said late yesterday that the city did not plan to eliminate its two-tier contingency plan, but would broaden it to include more reception centers. There are 23 in the current plan, he said, and there will be about 80 when it is revised this year.

Mr. Bernstein acknowledged that the city needs to do more in planning for the evacuation or protection of people in hospitals and nursing homes. But he said its options are limited, because there are far too few ambulances in the city to transport every patient on short notice.

He said the agency was "working on striking the right balance" between planning to call in large numbers of ambulances from elsewhere and planning a phased evacuation system that would start 48 hours before a major storm hits.

Copyright 2006 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html)The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

March 26th, 2006, 11:04 AM
Tipping points seem to be coming fast.
Yep, according to various indicators ...


Be Worried. Be Very Worried.

The climate is crashing, and global warming is to blame.
Why the crisis will hit so soon—and what we can do about it

By JEFFREY KLUGER (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0))
TIME Magazine
Mar. 23, 2006


No one can say exactly what it looks like when a planet takes ill, but it probably looks a lot like Earth. Never mind what you've heard about global warming as a slow-motion emergency that would take decades to play out. Suddenly and unexpectedly, the crisis is upon us.

It certainly looked that way last week as the atmospheric bomb that was Cyclone Larry — a Category 5 storm with wind bursts that reached 180 m.p.h. — exploded through northeastern Australia. It certainly looked that way last year as curtains of fire and dust turned the skies of Indonesia orange, thanks to drought-fueled blazes sweeping the island nation. It certainly looks that way as sections of ice the size of small states calve from the disintegrating Arctic and Antarctic. And it certainly looks that way as the sodden wreckage...

Copyright © 2006 Time Inc.

March 26th, 2006, 11:14 AM
And from another item from this week ...

Glaciers Disappear in Before & After Photos


By Bjorn Carey (http://www.space.com/php/contactus/feedback.php?r=bc)
LiveScience Staff Writer
24 March 2006


Glacier National Park might soon need a new name.

The Montana park has 26 named glaciers today, down from 150 in 1850. Those that remain are typically mere remnants of their former frozen selves, a new gallery (http://www.livescience.com/php/multimedia/imagegallery/igviewer.php?imgid=626&gid=42&index=0) of before and after images reveals.

All arguments about global warming aside, now is a time of clear retreat by age-old ice packs in many locations around the world. Some retreat just a few inches or feet per year, but others are melting (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=snow+cone&spell=1) faster than a snow cone in Texas.

80 feet per day

Montana might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of glaciers. Elsewhere, however, the situation is similar.

The Columbia Glacier (http://www.livescience.com/imageoftheday/siod_051208.html) in Prince William Sound, the world's fastest-melting glacier, slides into the ocean at a rate of 80 feet per day. This tidewater glacier is up to 3,000 feet thick, but it has thinned up to 1,300 feet in places during the past 25 years, and researchers say it's stretching like taffy. Each year, it dumps 2 cubic miles of ice into the sound.

In Greenland (http://www.livescience.com/forcesofnature/041209_runaway_glacier.html) it's not uncommon nowadays for glaciers to recede several miles (http://www.livescience.com/forcesofnature/041209_runaway_glacier.html) in one year.

Fast or slow, the melting is usually a gradual process compared to, say, a flooded, rushing river. But sometimes glaciers can weaken to the point where they suddenly, and noisily, collapse (http://www.livescience.com/forcesofnature/ap_060315_glacier.html). One dramatic example of a quick break is the Larsen B ice shelf (http://www.livescience.com/environment/050206_new_iceberg.html) in Antarctica (http://www.livescience.com/environment/050421_glacial_retreat.html) (this collapse also revealed a surprisingly thriving underwater world (http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/050718_antarctic_life.html)).

Along with glacial melting, permafrost around the globe is turning to mush (http://www.livescience.com/forcesofnature/041222_permafrost.html), causing ground to simply collapse.

All this melting might lead one to believe that land is being freed up (http://www.livescience.com/forcesofnature/041222_permafrost.html), but a new study suggests just the opposite. Melting glaciers (http://www.livescience.com/forcesofnature/041209_runaway_glacier.html), a result of global warming (http://www.livescience.com/environment/060201_temperature_differences.html), could cause sea levels (http://www.livescience.com/forcesofnature/041209_runaway_glacier.html) to rise as much as three feet per century (http://www.livescience.com/environment/060323_ice_melt.html), submerging coastal regions.

Summers in parts of the Arctic could be ice free (http://www.livescience.com/environment/050823_ice_free.html) in the next 100 years, which could prove daunting for the existence of polar bears (http://www.livescience.com/environment/ap_polar_bears_050131.html).

Closer to home

Ice in Glacier National Park is also disappearing.

In 1997 the U.S. Geological Survey began the Repeat Photography Project in the Montana park to compare how glaciers have changed over the last century. Photographers returned to locations where old-timers had taken photos long before they could possibly have imagined their scientific value. Locating these vantage points was the trickiest part of the project, as some required extensive off-trail hiking.

The before and after pictures [Gallery (http://www.livescience.com/php/multimedia/imagegallery/igviewer.php?imgid=626&gid=42&index=0)] released this week are dramatic—all that remains of some glaciers are big puddles. Others have simply faded away to expose bare mountainsides. The images were taken at similar times of year under similar conditions.

Based on the pictures and global recession rates, scientists predict that the park will be glacier free by 2030.

While global warming (http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/060112_frog_warming.html) gets most of the blame for glacier recession, soot pollution (http://www.livescience.com/environment/050328_arctic_soot.html) from automobiles and industrial chimneys might also play a role. Clean, shiny ice reflects sunlight and remains cool. But dirty, soot-covered ice absorbs more warmth from the sun, causing a glacier to melt more quickly.

© 1999-2006 Imaginova Corp.

March 26th, 2006, 11:19 AM
low-lying areas

Oh well, good luck, Lower East Siders. I'll be high and dry on Morningside...Island?

March 26th, 2006, 01:59 PM
Snowmelt occurring earlier in N. America


RESTON, Va., March 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. Geological Survey says eastern North America is having snow melt and runoff into rivers earlier than it did in the first half of the 20th century.

The study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, says flows in many rivers in the northern United States and Canada are occurring earlier by 5-10 days.

"We studied rural, unregulated rivers with more than 50 years of USGS and Environment Canada river flow data," said lead researcher Glenn Hodgkins at the USGS Maine Water Science Center.

Most rivers north of 44 degrees north latitude -- roughly from southern Minnesota and Michigan through northern New York and southern Maine -- showed earlier winter-spring streamflows. In contrast, many stations south of this line in Iowa, southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois had later streamflows.

"Some 179 rivers in eastern North America met the criteria of our study with 147 in the United States from the Dakotas to New England and 32 in Canada from Manitoba to Newfoundland," said co-author Robert Dudley. "These rivers are sensitive to changes in precipitation and temperature."

© Copyright 2006 United Press International, Inc.

April 2nd, 2006, 01:19 PM
News of one scientist's IDEAS (http://www.sas.org/tcs/weeklyIssues_2006/2006-04-07/feature1p/index.html) on how to deal with Global Warming and other earthly problems ...

... I watched in amazement as a few hundred members of the Texas Academy of Science rose to their feet and gave a standing ovation to a speech that enthusiastically advocated the elimination of 90 percent of Earth's population by airborne Ebola. The speech was given by Dr. Eric R. Pianka (http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/%7Evaranus/eric.html)(Fig. 1), the University of Texas evolutionary ecologist and lizard expert who the Academy named the 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist.

... Pianka then began laying out his concerns about how human overpopulation is ruining the Earth. He presented a doomsday scenario in which he claimed that the sharp increase in human population since the beginning of the industrial age is devastating the planet. He warned that quick steps must be taken to restore the planet before it's too late.

... Then, and without presenting any data to justify this number, he asserted that the only feasible solution to saving the Earth is to reduce the population to 10 percent of the present number.

... After praising the Ebola virus for its efficiency at killing, Pianka paused, leaned over the lectern, looked at us and carefully said, “We've got airborne 90 percent mortality in humans. Killing humans. Think about that.”

... he revisited his call for mass death when he reflected on the oil situation.

“And the fossil fuels are running out,” he said, “so I think we may have to cut back to two billion, which would be about one-third as many people.” So the oil crisis alone may require eliminating two-third's of the world's population.

How soon must the mass dying begin if Earth is to be saved? Apparently fairly soon, for Pianka suggested he might be around when the killer disease goes to work. He was born in 1939, and his lengthy obituary appears on his web site (http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/%7Evaranus/obit.html).

... The audience laughed when he said, “You know, the bird flu's good, too.” They laughed again when he proposed, with a discernable note of glee in his voice that, “We need to sterilize everybody on the Earth.”

April 3rd, 2006, 12:46 PM
Although I do not agree with his methods, there is a certain truth to what he is saying.

We are not going to sit around and not schtup just because one country is overcrowded. It is not in our biology. AAMOF, sometimes when we have less, we produce more in hopes that some will survive, or that some can help the family survive.

We need to look at this stuff very carefully and take words from guys like this nut job with a healthy sized grain of salt.

How do we force economization and more societal conciousness on people before the locomotive which is our own growth and consumption hits the brick wall of lack of space and supply?

April 3rd, 2006, 11:56 PM
Oooops ... it looks like I got sucked into someone's skewed rant ...

News of one scientist's IDEAS (http://www.sas.org/tcs/weeklyIssues_2006/2006-04-07/feature1p/index.html) ...

a speech that enthusiastically advocated the elimination of 90 percent of Earth's population by airborne Ebola. The speech was given by Dr. Eric R. Pianka (http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/%7Evaranus/eric.html)(Fig. 1), the University of Texas evolutionary ecologist and lizard expert who the Academy named the 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist.
“Mr. Hyperbole” Meets “Dr. Doom” (http://austringer.net/wp/?p=253)

Heads up, folks. Forrest M. Mims III is on a new rampage. This time, he is targetting Eric R. Pianka (http://www.sas.org/tcs/weeklyIssues_2006/2006-04-07/feature1p/index.html), noted ecologist and Denton A. Cooley Centennial Professor of Zoology at the University of Texas at Austin, whom Mims is calling “Dr. Doom”...

As for the “Mr. Hyperbole” title, Forrest M. Mims III is a long-time antievolution advocate. His notoriety in antievolution comes from his failed bid to become a staff writer for Scientific American magazine. During his job interview (something that everyone at the outset apparently thought was a mere formality), they noticed several church publications on his resume’ and asked him about his views on biology. He’s a creationist and antievolutionist. SciAm decided not to hire him. Mims screamed bloody “religious discrimination”, going so far as to provide Harper’s Magazine with a tape-recorded conversation with SciAm editor Jonathan Piel. Mims hadn’t bothered to tell Piel that the conversation was being recorded. Since then, Mims has repeatedly claimed that he was “fired” from Scientific American (http://wiki.cotch.net/index.php/Talk:Mims_was_fired_because_he_was_a_creationist) and that this constituted religious discrimination.

My take on this is that we are witnessing an intellectual mugging here...

April 24th, 2006, 11:49 PM
Bush Faces Growing Dissent From Republicans on Climate Change

By Kim Chipman
April 24, 2006

bloomberg.com (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=washingtonstory&sid=aiUC2JB2UcGA)

April 24 (Bloomberg) -- Representative Bob Inglis, a South Carolina Republican, says he "pooh-poohed'' global warming until he trekked to the South Pole in January.

"Now, I think we should be concerned,'' says Inglis, who heads the U.S. House Science Research subcommittee. "There are more and more Republicans willing to stop laughing at climate change who are ready to get serious about reclaiming their heritage as conservationists.''

U.S. companies including General Electric Co. and Duke Energy Corp. have come out in support of national limits on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse-gas emissions that scientists say contribute to global warming.

They are now being joined by Republican lawmakers who have parted company with President George W. Bush on the issue.

In addition to Inglis, who says he saw evidence of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere during his trip to Antarctica, the list includes Senators Pete Domenici of New Mexico, the chairman of the chamber's Energy Committee; Mike DeWine of Ohio; and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, as well as Representative Jim Leach of Iowa.

"Resistance to action on climate change is crumbling,'' says Reid Detchon, an Energy Department official under former President George H.W. Bush who is now head of energy and climate at the United Nations Foundation. "The business community has a number of prominent leaders arguing for action, and the science on climate change becomes clearer and more inescapable by the day.''

Republicans also are under pressure from one of their core constituencies: fundamentalist Christians. In February, 86 evangelical leaders called on the government to curb greenhouse gases emitted by cars, power plants and other sources, saying they felt a moral duty to speak out because global warming is endangering the earth.

'No Safe Ground'

"A lot has changed in the last year, largely because of a grassroots movement of people who for varied and sundry reasons care about this cause,'' says the Reverend Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs at the National Association of Evangelicals, a Colorado Springs, Colorado-based group that represents 30 million Christians. "There's no safe ground anymore for Republicans to ignore this issue or call it a hoax.''

The shift has given fresh hope to lawmakers such as Senators John McCain, an Arizona Republican, and Joseph Lieberman, a Connecticut Democrat, who are co-sponsors of legislation to limit carbon emissions. McCain is expected to push for another Senate vote on the measure this year and says he's prepared to make climate change a campaign issue if he runs for president in 2008.

McCain says he and his allies "will make the Senate keep on voting and voting and voting'' and, in time, "we will win.''

Matter of Time

The measure has twice failed to pass the Senate and, along with other climate-change legislation, lacks support in the House of Representatives. Still, many companies say they think it's just a matter of time before Congress approves a carbon cap.

"Two years ago, we weren't talking about it; it's a dramatic change,'' John Krenicki, head of Atlanta-based GE Energy, a unit of Fairfield, Connecticut-based General Electric, said in an interview. He predicts that a greenhouse gas limit will be in place in less than five years.

GE Energy, the world's biggest maker of power-plant equipment, and Charlotte, North Carolina-based Duke Energy, the largest U.S. utility owner, are among companies that told the Senate Energy Committee earlier this month they welcome carbon regulation.

The companies say they want certainty before making billions of dollars in investments in "clean'' technologies. They also are wary of having to deal with a hodgepodge of state standards.

'Nightmare' for Business

"It's a nightmare for any business,'' says Christine Todd Whitman, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during President George W. Bush's first term. "We need one standard nationally.''

GE and other companies also face carbon restrictions in Europe, Japan, Canada and other countries participating in the Kyoto Protocol that restricts carbon emissions from cars, power plants and other sources. Bush rejected the accord in 2001 because of concern that it would make U.S. businesses less competitive.

Instead, Bush has called on companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions voluntarily. His top adviser on climate change, White House Council on Environmental Quality Chairman James Connaughton, says the president also supports some mandatory policies that would reduce carbon emissions, including new fuel- economy standards and a requirement for more ethanol in gasoline.

Connaughton says activists merely are annoyed that Bush isn't talking nonstop about climate change. "We don't need to say it three times in the same 15-minute speech,'' he said in an interview.

Mandatory Approach

Inglis insists more is needed and is drafting legislation that would make Bush's greenhouse-gas limits mandatory.

Former Vice President Al Gore, who has campaigned about the need to act against climate change for decades, says Republican support is critical.

"It may fall to us as Democrats to push the political consensus across the tipping point and I hope we will, but we need to bring Republicans along with us,'' Gore said at an April 10 Democratic fundraiser in New York.

Gore wants to persuade more Republicans and the general public about the dangers of climate change next month when Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures releases ``An Inconvenient Truth,'' a documentary about his campaign to get Americans to take global warming seriously.

'We Beg to Differ'

Not all Republicans are convinced. Senator James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican who in 2003 called man-made global warming a "hoax,'' still opposes mandatory emission limits and says they could result in lost jobs and higher energy prices. "To those out there saying a federal carbon cap is inevitable, we beg to differ,'' says Bill Holbrook, a spokesman for Inhofe, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Nevertheless, Whitman says the time for legislative action may be right because "being seen as against doing something on climate change isn't a place Republicans want to be.''

Last month, an ABC News-Time magazine-Stanford University poll showed 85 percent of Americans believe global warming probably is occurring, up from 80 percent in 1998.

The change is palpable in the Senate. Graham, who has said in the past that he was "on the fence'' about climate-change legislation, became a stronger advocate for taking action after a trip to Alaska in August with McCain and Senators Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, and Hillary Rodham Clinton, a New York Democrat. They heard from Native Alaskans who are experiencing melting permafrost, coastal erosion and other effects of climate change.

'Seeing is Believing'

"Seeing is believing,'' says Graham spokesman Kevin Bishop. Bishop says Graham believes global warming is a problem that must be addressed, while declining to say if Graham would support specific legislation such as the McCain-Lieberman measure.

"When you have the overwhelming evidence from eminent scientists on one side, and a few skeptics on the other, we are guided by the thoughts of the overwhelming, not the few,'' says Representative Sherwood Boehlert of New York, who heads the House Science Committee.

©2005 Bloomberg L.P.

May 23rd, 2006, 08:05 AM
it's gona happen, it's alreday started getting warmer in the UK, it reached 11 degrees C the other night! and trust me, thats warm for us Brits

June 5th, 2006, 07:17 PM
Chill out over global warming

By David Harsanyi*
Denver Post Staff Columnist
June 5, 2006

(*NOTE: Harsanyi is also a regular guest on radio talk shows across the country
and has appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, PBS, NPR and Fox News.)

Denver Post (http://www.denverpost.com/harsanyi/ci_3899807)

You'll often hear the left lecture about the importance of dissent in a free society.

Why not give it a whirl?

Start by challenging global warming hysteria next time you're at a LoDo cocktail party and see what happens.

Admittedly, I possess virtually no expertise in science. That puts me in exactly the same position as most dogmatic environmentalists who want to craft public policy around global warming fears.

The only inconvenient truth about global warming, contends Colorado State University's Bill Gray, is that a genuine debate has never actually taken place.
(NOTE: More info at RealClimate (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=188) on Prof. Gray, regarding his testimony before the US Senate last September; surely you remember that: he was joined by science fiction writer Michael Crichton -- both were brought forth to instruct the American people on the folley of Global Warming)Hundreds of scientists, many of them prominent in the field, agree.

Gray is perhaps the world's foremost hurricane expert. His Tropical Storm Forecast sets the standard. Yet, his criticism of the global warming "hoax" makes him an outcast.

"They've been brainwashing us for 20 years," Gray says. "Starting with the nuclear winter and now with the global warming. This scare will also run its course. In 15-20 years, we'll look back and see what a hoax this was."

Gray directs me to a 1975 Newsweek article that whipped up a different fear: a coming ice age.

"Climatologists," reads the piece, "are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change. ... The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality."

Thank God they did nothing. Imagine how warm we'd be?

Another highly respected climatologist, Roger Pielke Sr. at the University of Colorado, is also skeptical.
NOTE: From Wikipedia: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_A._Pielke)
Pielke has a somewhat nuanced position on climate change, which is sometimes mistaken for skepticism, a label that the explicitly renounces. He has said:
the evidence of a human fingerprint on the global and regional climate is incontrovertible as clearly illustrated in the National Research Council report and in our research papers (e.g. see http://blue.atmos.colostate.edu/publications/pdf/R-258.pdf (http://blue.atmos.colostate.edu/publications/pdf/R-258.pdf)

Pielke contends there isn't enough intellectual diversity in the debate. He claims a few vocal individuals are quoted "over and over" again, when in fact there are a variety of opinions.

I ask him: How do we fix the public perception that the debate is over?

"Quite frankly," says Pielke, who runs the Climate Science Weblog (climatesci.atmos.colostate.edu), "I think the media is in the ideal position to do that. If the media honestly presented the views out there, which they rarely do, things would change. There aren't just two sides here. There are a range of opinions on this issue. A lot of scientists out there that are very capable of presenting other views are not being heard."

Al Gore (not a scientist) has definitely been heard - and heard and heard.

His documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," is so important, in fact, that Gore crisscrosses the nation destroying the atmosphere just to tell us about it.

"Let's just say a crowd of baby boomers and yuppies have hijacked this thing," Gray says. "It's about politics. Very few people have experience with some real data. I think that there is so much general lack of knowledge on this. I've been at this over 50 years down in the trenches working, thinking and teaching."

Gray acknowledges that we've had some warming the past 30 years. "I don't question that," he explains. "And humans might have caused a very slight amount of this warming. Very slight. But this warming trend is not going to keep on going. My belief is that three, four years from now, the globe will start to cool again, as it did from the middle '40s to the middle '70s."

Both Gray and Pielke say there are many younger scientists who voice their concerns about global warming hysteria privately but would never jeopardize their careers by speaking up.

"Plenty of young people tell me they don't believe it," he says. "But they won't touch this at all. If they're smart, they'll say: 'I'm going to let this run its course.' It's a sort of mild McCarthyism. I just believe in telling the truth the best I can. I was brought up that way."

So next time you're with some progressive friends, dissent. Tell 'em you're not sold on this global warming stuff.

Back away slowly. You'll probably be called a fascist. Don't worry, you're not. A true fascist is anyone who wants to take away my air conditioning or force me to ride a bike.

Copyright 2006 The Denver Post

June 6th, 2006, 09:20 AM
We all know it is better to wait 15-20 years and see what happens than to try to do something like, I don't know, pollute less and see what happens.

Those crazy Environmental loonies!!!

And It is a good thing we stopped nuking all those countries around the world or we would have had that Nuclear Winter!!! I guess that is one instance where "brainwashing" prevented us from nuking ourselves into oblivion!!!


June 6th, 2006, 10:08 AM
... It is a good thing we stopped nuking all those countries around the world or we would have had that Nuclear Winter!!! I guess that is one instance where "brainwashing" prevented us from nuking ourselves into oblivion!!!

Edward Teller (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Teller), the so-called "father (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teller%E2%80%93Ulam_design)" of the Hydrogen Bomb, stated that he believed the only way to insure that thermonuclear devices were never used was to build a bomb so BIG that it would scare humankind to the point that the use of H-Bombs would be unimaginable.

The first H-Bomb test in 1952 -- aka "MIKE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_Mike)" -- yielded an explosion estimated to be 450 times + more powerful than the Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima; subsequent "moderate" sized H-Bombs were estimated to be 10,000 times more powerful than the A-Bomb, with a destructive area of 360 square miles.

The Holocaust Bomb: a Question of Time
by Howard Morland (HBMorland@aol.com)


... the civil defense aspects of fallout during the 1950s had been a ruse, an excuse to use fallout to tell the bomb-makers' secrets. And the biggest secret of all, the only one that really matters, is that the H-bomb is actually a uranium fission bomb. The lethal zone from fallout would vastly overshadow the lethal zone from blast and fire. A serious war fought with such weapons would poison entire continents. It would be war against the planet.

Copyright &#169; Howard Morland

June 11th, 2006, 09:54 AM
Pollution From Chinese Coal Casts a Global Shadow

The Energy Challenge

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
Coal has given parts of China a Dickensian feel, with miners coated with black soot
and air that is thick with pollution.

By KEITH BRADSHER (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/keith_bradsher/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and DAVID BARBOZA (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/david_barboza/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/11/business/worldbusiness/11chinacoal.html)
June 11, 2006

HANJING, China — One of China's lesser-known exports is a dangerous brew of soot, toxic chemicals and climate-changing gases from the smokestacks of coal-burning power plants.

In early April, a dense cloud of pollutants over Northern China sailed to nearby Seoul, sweeping along dust and desert sand before wafting across the Pacific. An American satellite spotted the cloud as it crossed the West Coast.

Researchers in California, Oregon and Washington noticed specks of sulfur compounds, carbon and other byproducts of coal combustion coating the silvery surfaces of their mountaintop detectors. These microscopic particles can work their way deep into the lungs, contributing to respiratory damage, heart disease and cancer.

Filters near Lake Tahoe in the mountains of eastern California "are the darkest that we've seen" outside smoggy urban areas, said Steven S. Cliff, an atmospheric scientist at the University of California (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/u/university_of_california/index.html?inline=nyt-org) at Davis.

Unless China finds a way to clean up its coal plants and the thousands of factories that burn coal, pollution will soar both at home and abroad. The increase in global-warming gases from China's coal use will probably exceed that for all industrialized countries combined over the next 25 years, surpassing by five times the reduction in such emissions that the Kyoto Protocol seeks.

The sulfur dioxide produced in coal combustion poses an immediate threat to the health of China's citizens, contributing to about 400,000 premature deaths a year. It also causes acid rain that poisons lakes, rivers, forests and crops.

The sulfur pollution is so pervasive as to have an extraordinary side effect that is helping the rest of the world, but only temporarily: It actually slows global warming (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/science/topics/globalwarming/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier). The tiny, airborne particles deflect the sun's hot rays back into space.

But the cooling effect from sulfur is short-lived. By contrast, the carbon dioxide emanating from Chinese coal plants will last for decades, with a cumulative warming effect that will eventually overwhelm the cooling from sulfur and deliver another large kick to global warming, climate scientists say. A warmer climate could lead to rising sea levels, the spread of tropical diseases in previously temperate climes, crop failures in some regions and the extinction of many plant and animal species, especially those in polar or alpine areas.

Coal is indeed China's double-edged sword — the new economy's black gold and the fragile environment's dark cloud...


Copyright 2006 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html)The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

June 11th, 2006, 11:13 AM
How Melting Glaciers Alter Earth's Surface, Spur Quakes, Volcanoes

June 9, 2006
WSJ Online (http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB114981650181275742-sOx58NXvfKz2szefZXutgTSbaDI_20070608.html?mod=rss_ free)

Imagine the surface of Earth as a giant trampoline that accumulated a slab of ice over the winter, and you can get a sense of what a growing number of scientists say is in store for the planet as glaciers keep melting.

Once the trampoline's ice turns to water that drips over the edges in the warm days of spring, the concave elastic slowly rebounds to its original flat shape. That's how Earth responds as glaciers retreat, and the consequences promise to be ... interesting.

The reason is that one cubic meter of ice weighs just over a ton, and glaciers can be hundreds of meters thick. When they melt and the water runs off, it is literally a weight off Earth's crust. The crust and mantle therefore bounce back, immediately as well as over thousands of years. That "isostatic rebound," according to studies of prehistoric and recent earthquakes and volcanoes, can make the planet's seismic plates slip catastrophically, and cause magma chambers that feed volcanoes to act like bottles of shaken seltzer.

"It's unavoidable that glacial retreat will induce tectonic activity," says geoscientist Allen Glazner of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

The connection between melting glaciers and earthquakes isn't to be confused with a myth that zipped through cyberspace after the 2004 Asian tsunami. It claimed that global warming (which is not even two degrees above historical averages so far) heated magma, causing seismic plates to shift. No.

Instead, the world-wide melting of glaciers portends a seismically active future because of isostatic rebound and also because the meltwater from liquefying glaciers adds mass atop oceanic plates. That creates a teeter-totter effect, further destabilizing the planet's crust. "Recent findings reinforce the idea that the solid earth and the climate are inextricably linked," says Prof. Glazner.

That link has reared its ugly head in the past, especially during periods of rapid climate change such as the end of ice ages. When ice sheets retreated 10,000 years ago, for instance, Iceland experienced a surge in volcanic eruptions. Volcanoes in the Mediterranean, Antarctica and eastern California also seem to have been awakened by retreating ice.

When he analyzed 800,000 years of activity from about 50 volcanoes in eastern California (the age of rocks formed from volcanic ash can be determined by radioactive dating), Prof. Glazner found that "the peaks of volcanic activity occurred when ice was retreating globally. At first I thought it was crazy, but other scientists also found evidence that climate affects volcanism." The likely mechanism: glacial retreat lifts pressure that had kept the magma conduit closed.

The retreat of ice sheets 10,000 years ago also triggered a wave of powerful earthquakes in Scandinavia. Since isostatic rebound continues for thousands of years, it may still be contributing to quakes in eastern Canada, says geoscientist Patrick Wu of the University of Calgary.

That area has no plate boundaries, the usual site of quakes. But 9,000 years ago, when glaciers retreated, the region began experiencing frequent "intraplate" quakes up to magnitude 7, he finds. They continue to this day, with quakes such as the 6.3 Ungava event that struck northern Quebec on Christmas Day 1989.

"The pressure of the ice sheet suppresses earthquakes, so removing that load triggers them," says Prof. Wu. That creates weakened zones that remain vulnerable to seismic activity to this day, including in northern Europe. "Present-day earthquakes may have their origin in postglacial rebound," he says.

In southwest Alaska, where the Pacific plate thrusts under the continental plate, the immense mass of glacial ice counters the tendency of the plates to slip catastrophically. As global warming melts the glaciers, however, the ice load is diminishing. As a result, Earth is springing back there, too, removing the check on seismic activity. The magnitude 7.2 temblor that shook the area in 1979 is linked to a bounce-back of the crust, conclude geoscientists Jeanne Sauber of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and Bruce Molina of the U.S. Geological Survey.

"In southwest Alaska, glaciers have been thinning and retreating by hundreds of meters for 100 years," says Dr. Sauber. "Huge ice loads suppress earthquakes for a while, but when you remove the ice it is easier for them to occur." She therefore calls them "promoted" earthquakes. Glacial retreat, she says, "is another factor that has to be looked at when we assess seismic hazard."

Alaska isn't the only place where glacial retreat due to the current warming coincides with active faults. It does so in the Andes, the Swiss Alps, the New Zealand southern Alps, the Rocky Mountains, the Himalayas and the edges of Greenland (where scientists recently reported that the melting of the ice sheet has accelerated), says geologist Bill McGuire of University College London.

He wrote in the magazine New Scientist that "it shouldn't come as a surprise that the loading and unloading of the Earth's crust by ice or water can trigger seismic and volcanic activity." He told me that "no one knows how much unloading there can be before you trigger certain faults."

Copyright &#169; 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc (http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB114981650181275742-sOx58NXvfKz2szefZXutgTSbaDI_20070608.html?mod=rss_ free#)

June 11th, 2006, 12:01 PM
Scary stuff. Seems too late to stop it.

June 12th, 2006, 10:23 AM
Scary stuff. Seems too late to stop it.

The scariest stuff is still in Iran...

June 12th, 2006, 10:35 AM
No it isn't. It's in Washington DC.

June 12th, 2006, 11:00 AM
The scariest stuff is still in Iran...

You mean refineries they started because we would not negotiate with them? They are doing the same thing as NK, when your "enemy" is extended beyond its means, pressure them into agreements that they would not normally agree to. In this case, start your own enrichment program and let the US come to them to offer deals at the hopes it will slow their development.


The global warming thing is scary, but the thing I do not like about that whole CO2 comparison there is that it only showed coal CO2 production, not total. I know it is there to illustrate the problem that coal consumption would cause, but this comparison is not a good overall indicator of global environmental hazards.

June 12th, 2006, 11:14 AM
NASA Shelves Climate Satellites: Environmental Science May Suffer
By Beth Daley
The Boston Globe

Friday 09 June 2006

NASA is canceling or delaying a number of satellites designed to give scientists critical information on the earth's changing climate and environment.

The space agency has shelved a $200 million satellite mission headed by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor that was designed to measure soil moisture - a key factor in helping scientists understand the impact of global warming and predict droughts and floods. The Deep Space Climate Observatory, intended to observe climate factors such as solar radiation, ozone, clouds, and water vapor more comprehensively than existing satellites, also has been canceled.

And in its 2007 budget, NASA proposes significant delays in a global precipitation measuring mission to help with weather predictions, as well as the launch of a satellite designed to increase the timeliness and accuracy of severe weather forecasts and improve climate models.

The changes come as NASA prioritizes its budget to pay for completion of the International Space Station and the return of astronauts to the moon by 2020 - a goal set by President Bush that promises a more distant and arguably less practical scientific payoff. Ultimately, scientists say, the delays and cancellations could make hurricane predictions less accurate, create gaps in long-term monitoring of weather, and result in less clarity about the earth's hydrological systems, which play an integral part in climate change.

"Today, when the need for information about the planet is more important than ever, this process of building understanding through increasingly powerful observations ... is at risk of collapse," said Berrien Moore III, director of the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space at the University of New Hampshire.

Moore is cochairman of a National Research Council committee that will recommend NASA's future earth science agenda later this year. It is unclear, however, whether NASA will follow those recommendations.

"NASA has canceled, scaled back, or delayed all of the planned earth observing missions," he said.

Despite NASA's best-known role as a space agency, one of its key missions is to study the earth. Scientists collect data through ground- and space-based observatories using instruments that can sense heat and through which they can see with exquisite detail from many miles up. In recent years, these missions have increased in importance and visibility as global temperatures rise and scientists rush to better understand the phenomenon and the role of humans in it.

While NASA is proposing similarly deep cuts to other important science programs such as astrobiology - the search for life in space - the earth science mission cancellations and delays take on greater significance, some scientists say, given recent allegations by a top NASA researcher and other government scientists that the Bush administration tried to silence their warnings about global warming.

While scientists interviewed for this story said they do not believe the earth science cuts are a deliberate attempt to stall science on climate change, they say it comes at a time when more research, not less, is needed. NASA's earth science budget also has sustained a prior round of cuts during the last two years.

NASA, which projects its budget five years out, intends to cut the overall science budget about $3.1 billion below program projections over that time. In 2004, the overall science budget was projected to grow from about $5.5 billion to about $7 billion in 2008. The new projections provide for $5.38 billion in 2008, and less than the cost of inflation after that, according to a report issued last month by the Space Studies Board, a National Research Council committee charged with analyzing NASA's science program. The exact amount of cuts to earth science programs could not be determined because they are not listed separately in the budget proposal.

A NASA earth science official acknowledged that the proposed earth science cuts are steep, and said the agency is attempting to replace some of the funding. He noted the satellite data are used by other agencies, from the military to the US Department of Agriculture. But given competing priorities, there is little chance all the money will be replaced, he said.

"Right now, we are going through the program carefully looking for efficiencies to restore some of these cuts," Bryant Cramer, acting director of NASA's earth science division, said in an interview. "We are keenly aware of the shortfall, of the necessary research that should be funded, and we are trying to respond. I can't tell you a solution yet."

Almost every planned earth studying mission, all that have some contribution to understanding global warming, has been affected. The $100 million Deep Space Climate Observatory , already built, was canceled earlier this year. First proposed by then-Vice President Al Gore in the 1990s, the satellite was planned to give researchers a continuous picture of the sunlit surface of the earth and allow the first direct measurements of how much sunlight is absorbed and emitted, key information that could serve as an indicator of global warming.

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission, designed to record rain, snow, and ice fall more accurately, has been delayed 2 1/2 years. It is meant to replace another satellite whose mission was extended last year. Now, scientists do not believe the older satellite will last until the Global Precipitation mission is launched, creating a big gap in data collection for weather prediction and climate modeling.

Another key satellite, the $10 billion National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System, is over budget and has been delayed at least 18 months. And while NASA previously told earth scientists to start developing proposals for other earth-centered missions to be chosen in 2004, no such round of proposals will be analyzed until 2008.

Scientists at area universities say that they are worried most about a proposed 20 percent cut to research and analysis in the earth science budget, which funds smaller-scale projects. Many of these projects analyze data from satellites and help with long-term monitoring of earth systems. The cuts also may have a chilling effect on attracting and retaining university scientists, who realize their research could be only partially funded - or not at all.

"Missions can be delayed a year or two, but the most urgent issue right now is to restore the cuts to research and analysis," said Ronald G. Prinn, director of the Center for Global Change Science at MIT. "We need to understand the climate system much better than we do."

NASA's earth science program was fairly robust until about two years ago, when several missions were canceled or delayed - a situation that has made the current round of cuts all the more painful, scientists said. Last month, a report by the Space Studies Board concluded that the space and earth science program is neither robust nor sustainable.

"There is a widespread sense that earth sciences has been suffering more than its fair share," said Drew Shindell, a physicist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

June 12th, 2006, 11:36 AM

Shoot for the moon, just don't shoot yourself in the process.

July 17th, 2006, 12:26 PM
Why does Al Gore fly around in a G-4? Hasn't Mr. Global Warming heard of commercial jet aircraft?

July 17th, 2006, 01:59 PM
Why does Al Gore fly around in a G-4? Hasn't Mr. Global Warming heard of commercial jet aircraft?

Blah blah blah, typical comeback.

Until you catch the RoadRunner and strap a car seat to his back, I would like to see you suggest something that will get him around faster to the places he is speaking at.

Just because your doctor is fat does not forbid him to tell you that you need to diet. At best, it only can be used to tell the doctor he needs to o the same, not invalidate/relieve both from responsibility.

July 22nd, 2006, 08:34 AM
NASA’s Goals Delete Mention of Home Planet

NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/22/science/22nasa.html?hp&ex=1153627200&en=7a71420a9103fea3&ei=5094&partner=homepage)
July 22, 2006

From 2002 until this year, NASA’s mission statement, prominently featured in its budget and planning documents, read: “To understand and protect our home planet; to explore the universe and search for life; to inspire the next generation of explorers ... as only NASA can.”

In early February, the statement was quietly altered, with the phrase “to understand and protect our home planet” deleted. In this year’s budget and planning documents, the agency’s mission is “to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research.”

David E. Steitz, a spokesman for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, said the aim was to square the statement with President Bush’s goal of pursuing human spaceflight to the Moon and Mars.

But the change comes as an unwelcome surprise to many NASA scientists, who say the “understand and protect” phrase was not merely window dressing but actively influenced the shaping and execution of research priorities. Without it, these scientists say, there will be far less incentive to pursue projects to improve understanding of terrestrial problems like climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

“We refer to the mission statement in all our research proposals that go out for peer review, whenever we have strategy meetings,” said Philip B. Russell, a 25-year NASA veteran who is an atmospheric chemist at the Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. “As civil servants, we’re paid to carry out NASA’s mission. When there was that very easy-to-understand statement that our job is to protect the planet, that made it much easier to justify this kind of work.”

Several NASA researchers said they were upset that the change was made at NASA headquarters without consulting the agency’s 19,000 employees or informing them ahead of time.

Though the “understand and protect” phrase was deleted in February, when the Bush administration submitted budget and planning documents to Congress, its absence has only recently registered with NASA employees.

Mr. Steitz, the NASA spokesman, said the agency might have to improve internal communications, but he defended the way the change was made, saying it reflected the management style of Michael D. Griffin, the administrator at the agency.

“Strategic planning comes from headquarters down,” he said, and added, “I don’t think there was any mal-intent or idea of exclusion.”

The line about protecting the earth was added to the mission statement in 2002 under Sean O’Keefe, the first NASA administrator appointed by President Bush, and was drafted in an open process with scientists and employees across the agency.

In the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which established the agency in 1958, the first objective of the agency was listed as “the expansion of human knowledge of the earth and of phenomena in the atmosphere and space.”

And since 1972, when NASA launched the first Landsat satellite to track changes on the earth’s surface, the agency has been increasingly involved in monitoring the environment and as a result has been immersed in political disputes over environmental policy and spending, said W. Henry Lambright, a professor of public administration and political science at Syracuse University who has studied the trend.

The shift in language echoes a shift in the agency’s budgets toward space projects and away from earth missions, a shift that began in 2004, the year Mr. Bush announced his vision of human missions to the Moon and beyond.

The “understand and protect” phrase was cited repeatedly by James E. Hansen, a climate scientist at NASA who said publicly last winter that he was being threatened by political appointees for speaking out about the dangers posed by greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr. Hansen’s comments started a flurry of news media coverage in late January; on Feb. 3, Mr. Griffin issued a statement of “scientific openness.”

The revised mission statement was released with the agency’s proposed 2007 budget on Feb. 6. But Mr. Steitz said Dr. Hansen’s use of the phrase and its subsequent disappearance from the mission statement was “pure coincidence.”

Dr. Hansen, who directs the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, a NASA office, has been criticized by industry-backed groups and Republican officials for associating with environmental campaigners and his endorsement of Senator John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election.

Dr. Hansen said the change might reflect White House eagerness to shift the spotlight away from global warming.

“They’re making it clear that they have the authority to make this change, that the president sets the objectives for NASA, and that they prefer that NASA work on something that’s not causing them a problem,” he said.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

July 25th, 2006, 01:13 AM
Sen. Inhofe Compares People Who Believe In Global Warming To ‘The Third Reich’


thinkprogress (http://thinkprogress.org/2006/07/24/inhofe-third-reich/)
Posted by Judd (http://thinkprogress.org/author/judd/)
July 24, 2006

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) is the nation’s most prominent global warming denier. He famously declared that global warming is “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people (http://inhofe.senate.gov/pressreleases/climateupdate.htm).”

Now, he’s taken the argument a step further.

In an interview with Tulsa World, Inhofe compared people who believed global warming was a problem to Nazis (http://www.tulsaworld.com/NewsStory.asp?ID=060722_Ne_A1_Heatw72040):

In an interview, he heaped criticism on what he saw as the strategy used by those on the other side of the debate and offered a historical comparison.

“It kind of reminds . . . I could use the Third Reich, the big lie,” Inhofe said.

“The big lie,” is a propaganda technique Adolf Hitler attributed to Jews in his book Mein Kampf. It involves telling lies “so colossal” that no one would believe “others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.

Inhofe added that every claim in An Inconvenient Truth “has been refuted scientifically.” He also admitted he’d never seen the movie.

UPDATE: Inhofe also compared An Inconvenient Truth to Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf.

July 25th, 2006, 10:19 AM
So he has not seen it, and he is comparing it to Hitler.

I guess hybrid cars are like baby killing?

I SERIOUSLY hope the American people are not SO stupid as to believe him on this. But the sad part is, I think they are.

I heard that on the internet "tubes".

July 25th, 2006, 12:02 PM
I guess hybrid cars are like baby killing?

Maybe, but stem cell research clearly is akin to killing toddlers in their sleep. So... not a big jump to assuming all science has the direct effect of murdering children.

The inter-web is made up of tubes - special tubes, that only Mult-billion telecom corporations know how to roter-ruter. They are clogged with pornography and divergent opinions.

July 25th, 2006, 01:06 PM
Maybe, but stem cell research clearly is akin to killing toddlers in their sleep. So... not a big jump to assuming all science has the direct effect of murdering children.

NO NO NO!!!!

It is killing little talking zygotes that kids of senators make little crayon drawings of!!!


The inter-web is made up of tubes - special tubes, that only Mult-billion telecom corporations know how to roter-ruter. They are clogged with pornography and divergent opinions.

And trucks.

July 25th, 2006, 01:17 PM
And trucks.

Which is exactly why we can not agree to Kyoto accord. We need to put gas in those trucks, or else the inter-web goes really slow. So many people have the internets now that we need to import more oil to run all the trucks...hence Iraq. Now you see. The circle of life.

July 25th, 2006, 01:42 PM
Which is exactly why we can not agree to Kyoto accord. We need to put gas in those trucks, or else the inter-web goes really slow. So many people have the internets now that we need to import more oil to run all the trucks...hence Iraq. Now you see. The circle of life.

Actually, the Kyoto accord is something TOTALLY different.

You see, our leaders know that Kyoto, spelled sideways is Tokyo, and they just do not want to have to import from SONY.

They are even more worried about the Tooky accord, from Honda.

July 25th, 2006, 03:12 PM
^^ well yea... That's in the Bible.

July 25th, 2006, 05:15 PM
More from the Nazis on the Big Lie...or is it from the Jews?...or, er...

Global warming puts 12 US parks at risk: report

By Deborah Zabarenko

WASHINGTON (Reuters, July 25, 2006) - Global warming puts 12 of the most famous U.S. national parks at risk, environmentalists said on Tuesday, conjuring up visions of Glacier National Park without glaciers and Yellowstone Park without grizzly bears.

All 12 parks are located in the American West, where temperatures have risen twice as fast as in the rest of the United States over the last 50 years, said Theo Spencer of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

"Rising temperatures, drought, wildfires and diminished snowfalls endanger wildlife and threaten hiking, fishing and other recreational activities" in the parks, Spencer said in a telephone news conference. "Imagine Glacier Park without glaciers or Yellowstone without any grizzly bears."

Most climate scientists believe Earth's surface temperature has risen over the last century or more, spurred by human activities that produce greenhouse gases, which trap heat like the glass walls of a greenhouse. Some skeptics doubt that people affect global climate change and say temperature fluctuations have occurred throughout history.

The report released by the council and the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization stressed the connection between global warming and environmental damage at the parks, including the loss of specific wildlife, and called on the U.S. government to cut greenhouse gas emissions significantly in 10 years.

The report blamed global warming for threatening grizzly bears, an iconic species in Yellowstone Park.


The bears feed on whitebark pine seeds, but global warming has encouraged beetles to infest whitebark trees that grow at high altitudes where grizzlies feed; cold weather would normally kill the beetles but this has not occurred in recent years, said Janet Barwick of the council's Wild Bears Project.

This in turn forces the bears to move to lower altitudes to look for food to fatten up for the winter, making them more likely to move into areas where there are people and that leads to an increase in grizzly mortality, Barwick said.

Glaciers and ice caves have melted in North Cascades and Mt. Rainier parks, and mountaintops in Western parks could be snow-free in summer within decades, said Stephen Saunders of the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization. He said all glaciers in Glacier National Park could be gone within 25 years.

The report said the parks at greatest risk are:

- Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico;
- Death Valley National Park, California;
- Glacier National Park, Montana;
- Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah and Arizona;
- Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California;
- Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming;
- Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado;
- Mount Rainier National Park, Washington state;
- North Cascades National Park, Washington state;
- Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado;
- Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho;
- Yosemite National Park, California.

July 26th, 2006, 12:45 AM
So he has not seen it, and he is comparing it to Hitler.

I guess hybrid cars are like baby killing?

I SERIOUSLY hope the American people are not SO stupid as to believe him on this. But the sad part is, I think they are.

I heard that on the internet "tubes".
We all know they are... Well. ones who reelected BUSH anyway....

July 26th, 2006, 08:38 AM
I think I found an issue that President Dimwit can hang his hat on. I mean, do we want to get all our wine from them French people.

Posted on Tue, Jul. 11, 2006

Global warming seen as threat to vineyards


By Robert Lee Hotz
Los Angeles Times

Global warming could wither many premium U.S. vineyards by the end of the century, according to a new computerized climate projection released Monday.

A predicted rise in the number of days in the growing season hotter than 95 degrees, due to rising levels of greenhouse gases, could sharply reduce the areas suitable for vintage wine-grape production, threatening areas such as Northern California's Napa and Sonoma valleys, an international team of scientists concluded in research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Although wine is produced in 48 states, California's $16.5 billion industry, with more than 500,000 acres of vineyards, accounts for almost 90 percent of the nation's wine grapes.

``We found that at elevated greenhouse-gas concentrations, the frequency of extremely hot days increases to the point where it is impossible to grow premium wine grapes in many areas of the country,'' said Noah Diffenbaugh, a member of the research team that studies the impact of climate change at Purdue University.

``Certainly, the Napa Valley, the Sonoma Valley and the Santa Barbara area all exhibit enormous losses of production in the future climate,'' Diffenbaugh said.

Several wine-industry experts not connected with the new study initially were skeptical of the new climate projection and its dire prediction.

``If their definition of an extreme hot day is 95 degrees, I'd tell them that they don't know squat about grapes,'' said James T. Lapsley, an expert at the University of California-Davis on the economics of wine and the history of California wine.

If temperatures do rise high enough, however, ``Ultimately we will have to be looking for other places to grow grapes,'' Lapsley said. But ``what these guys are saying is a little more stark.''

Gladys Horiuchi, a spokeswoman for the Wine Institute in San Francisco, said, ``It raises a lot more questions than it answers.''

Until now, climate studies centered only on the impact of average temperature increases on wine production and concluded that wine growers might, if anything, benefit from the temperature increases anticipated in coming decades.

In the main wine-grape regions of California, Oregon and Washington, the growing-season temperatures have already warmed by about 1.5 degrees since 1948 -- promoting larger grape yields and higher-quality wines -- records show.

The new study, funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Purdue University, involved five months of supercomputer calculations.

For the purposes of their computer simulation, the researchers assumed that levels of carbon dioxide and other gases would continue to rise to more than twice their current level by 2100, as outlined in standard global-warming scenarios.

As growing seasons become hotter, suitable wine-growing areas would shift north and to higher elevations, the researchers said. Suitable grape-growing areas in California would shrink to a narrow coastal band.

Premium wine-grape areas would shift into New England and the Pacific Northwest.

``This is a call to arms,'' said Karen Ross, president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers, which represents 1,000 growers in the state. ``We need to pay attention now. We ought to start thinking about what can be done now to impact the severity of what might happen.''

© 2006 MercuryNews.com and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

July 26th, 2006, 12:32 PM
Silly Zippy,

The prez is a recovering booze-hound, he welcomes less temptation.

Besides - wine is only drunk by Bolsheviks, Homosexuals, Intellectuals, and other un-American types. Now if "global warming" was going to bomb a Coors plant, then we would have a meeting. But since it does not exist, that meeting has been canceled ... on account that it is really hot outside today.... and everyday...

October 3rd, 2006, 11:51 PM
Something to brighten your day ...

The century of drought

One third of the planet will be desert by the year 2100, say climate experts
in the most dire warning yet of the effects of global warming

Raw Story / The Independent (http://rawstory.com/showarticle.php?src=http%3A%2F%2Fnews.independent. co.uk%2Fenvironment%2Farticle1786829.ece)
By Michael McCarthy
Environmental Editor
04 October 2006

Drought threatening the lives of millions will spread across half the land surface of the Earth in the coming century because of global warming, according to new predictions from Britain's leading climate scientists.

Extreme drought, in which agriculture is in effect impossible, will affect about a third of the planet, according to the study from the Met Office's Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research.

It is one of the most dire forecasts so far of the potential effects of rising temperatures around the world - yet it may be an underestimation, the scientists involved said yesterday.

The findings, released at the Climate Clinic at the Conservative Party conference in Bournemouth, drew astonished and dismayed reactions from aid agencies and development specialists, who fear that the poor of developing countries will be worst hit.

"This is genuinely terrifying," said Andrew Pendleton of Christian Aid. "It is a death sentence for many millions of people. It will mean migration off the land at levels we have not seen before, and at levels poor countries cannot cope with."

One of Britain's leading experts on the effects of climate change on the developing countries, Andrew Simms from the New Economics Foundation, said: "There's almost no aspect of life in the developing countries that these predictions don't undermine - the ability to grow food, the ability to have a safe sanitation system, the availability of water. For hundreds of millions of people for whom getting through the day is already a struggle, this is going to push them over the precipice."

The findings represent the first time that the threat of increased drought from climate change has been quantified with a supercomputer climate model such as the one operated by the Hadley Centre.

Their impact is likely to even greater because the findings may be an underestimate. The study did not include potential effects on drought from global-warming-induced changes to the Earth's carbon cycle.

In one unpublished Met Office study, when the carbon cycle effects are included, future drought is even worse.

The results are regarded as most valid at the global level, but the clear implication is that the parts of the world already stricken by drought, such as Africa, will be the places where the projected increase will have the most severe effects.

The study, by Eleanor Burke and two Hadley Centre colleagues, models how a measure of drought known as the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) is likely to increase globally during the coming century with predicted changes in rainfall and heat around the world because of climate change. It shows the PDSI figure for moderate drought, currently at 25 per cent of the Earth's surface, rising to 50 per cent by 2100, the figure for severe drought, currently at about 8 per cent, rising to 40 cent, and the figure for extreme drought, currently 3 per cent, rising to 30 per cent.

Senior Met Office scientists are sensitive about the study, funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, stressing it contains uncertainties: there is only one climate model involved, one future scenario for emissions of greenhouse gases (a moderate-to-high one) and one drought index. Nevertheless, the result is "significant", according to Vicky Pope, the head of the Hadley Centre's climate programme. Further work would now be taking place to try to assess the potential risk of different levels of drought in different places, she said.

The full study - Modelling the Recent Evolution of Global Drought and Projections for the 21st Century with the Hadley Centre Climate Model - will be published later this month in The Journal of Hydrometeorology.

It will be widely publicised by the British Government at the negotiations in Nairobi in November on a successor to the Kyoto climate treaty. But a preview of it was given by Dr Burke in a presentation to the Climate Clinic, which was formed by environmental groups, with The Independent as media partner, to press politicians for tougher action on climate change. The Climate Clinic has been in operation at all the party conferences.

While the study will be seen as a cause for great concern, it is the figure for the increase in extreme drought that some observers find most frightening.

"We're talking about 30 per cent of the world's land surface becoming essentially uninhabitable in terms of agricultural production in the space of a few decades," Mark Lynas, the author of High Tide, the first major account of the visible effects of global warming around the world, said. "These are parts of the world where hundreds of millions of people will no longer be able to feed themselves."

Mr Pendleton said: "This means you're talking about any form of development going straight out of the window. The vast majority of poor people in the developing world are small-scale farmers who... rely on rain."

A glimpse of what lies ahead

The sun beats down across northern Kenya's Rift Valley, turning brown what was once green. Farmers and nomadic herders are waiting with bated breath for the arrival of the "short" rains - a few weeks of intense rainfall that will ensure their crops grow and their cattle can eat.

The short rains are due in the next month. Last year they never came; large swaths of the Horn of Africa stayed brown. From Ethiopia and Eritrea, through Somalia and down into Tanzania, 11 million people were at risk of hunger.

This devastating image of a drought-ravaged region offers a glimpse of what lies ahead for large parts of the planet as global warming takes hold.

In Kenya, the animals died first. The nomadic herders' one source of sustenance and income - their cattle - perished with nothing to eat and nothing to drink. Bleached skeletons of cows and goats littered the barren landscape.

The number of food emergencies in Africa each year has almost tripled since the 1980s. Across sub-Saharan Africa, one in three people is under-nourished. Poor governance has played a part.

Pastoralist communities suffer most, rather than farmers and urban dwellers.
Nomadic herders will walk for weeks to find a water hole or riverbed. As resources dwindle, fighting between tribes over scarce resources becomes common.

One of the most critical issues is under-investment in pastoralist areas. Here, roads are rare, schools and hospitals almost non-existent.

Nomadic herders in Turkana, northern Kenya, who saw their cattle die last year, are making adjustments to their way of life. When charities offered new cattle, they said no. Instead, they asked for donkeys and camels - animals more likely to survive hard times.

Pastoralists have little other than their animals to rely on. But projects which provide them with money to buy food elsewhere have proved effective, in the short term at least.

&#169; 2006 Independent News and Media Limited

October 4th, 2006, 09:23 AM
Regardless of wether or not we have a global drought or if 1/3 of the world turns to desert we will have other problems with climate changes, not the least of which being shifts in entire nations agricultural and civil bases.

Imagine if you took all the water resources of the world and shifted them around a bit so that the nations that once had lakes and aquefers in some areas all of a sudden had to change their entire civil infrastucture because the water did not dissapear, but simply moved a few hundred miles north.

Imagine the political upheaval in areas that are not as stable or internationally networked as the US and Europe. If some of these already conflicting political factions have a water crisis where their people are dying and they need it from the other, I doubt we will see friendly negotiations.

Israel might be a very good example in the future of what happens when the wells run dry as it looks like the zionist colonization/claim lies mostly at civil infrastructure junctions for things like water and transportation. If the water moves, so will they.

SO I am not forecasting doom with supercomputer models. We can pretty much tweak a model to do lots of things, but one thing they do indicate is that there ARE changes happening and that they CAN produce something very undesirable. Even if we were to go completely green this very moment, we would probably still see some of the effects already set into motion.

How it is not seen this way by governments is not beyond me, but is pityful none the less. What we should be doing as a nation is preparing for eventualities that may not be easily rectified in any of our lifetimes by reform or ecological preservation. We have to prepare for the worst (put our seatbelts on) and start putting the brakes on now. Hopefully the collision will not be that bad....

October 5th, 2006, 03:09 PM
Forecast for Jersey: Carolina-like climate
Newest study on warming focuses on likely changes to Northeast

Thursday, October 05, 2006
Star-Ledger Staff

Imagine the scene:

Steamier summers with at least 20 days reaching 100-plus degrees.

Wimpier winters with half the amount of snow we get today.

Far more frequent droughts and bouts of intense rain.

It's all coming if carbon emissions continue to rise, according to a report released yesterday. Residents of the Northeast, it adds, should expect their once-moderate climate to resemble South Carolina's later this century because of global warming.

"The very notion of the Northeast as we know it is at stake," said Cameron Wake, a research professor at the University of New Hampshire's Climate Change Research Center, who was one of the lead authors of the report. "The near-term emissions choices we make in the Northeast and throughout the world will help determine the climate and quality of life our children and grandchildren will experience."

The study was released by the Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment, a collaboration between the Cambridge, Mass.-based Union of Concerned Scientists and a team of independent scientists from universities across the nation.

Many recent scientific reports have focused on pinpointing the exact levels of carbon concentrations in the atmosphere and examining evidence for a connection between human activity and warming.

Investigators on this study decided instead to zero in on local effects because so few studies have done so. The researchers employed the best available data from the most advanced computer models of the atmosphere -- the same models relied upon by scientists for a United Nations-sponsored study whose findings are to be released in February.

Two years in the making, the Northeast climate study projects what will happen to the nine-state region under two differing scenarios -- one following current escalating energy-use practices, the other tracking the effects after a shift to clean and renewable power.

Annual average temperatures currently range between 40 and 50 degrees at the northern and southern edges of the region. The study predicts that, in the worst case, those averages will increase by 9.5 degrees by the end of the century; in the best scenario, they will increase by 5 degrees.

As winter temperatures have risen, more precipitation has fallen in the form of rain rather than snow. The number of snow-covered days in the lower parts of the Northeast, including New Jersey, historically has been between 10 and 45. By the end of the century, the study finds, there could be as few as five to 10 snow days.

Precipitation will increase by as much as 4 inches a year in the last quarter of the century, according to the projections.

"This report is not exaggerating anything, it says exactly what the science tells us," said Alan Robock, a Rutgers University professor and climate change expert who was initially leery the report would not be adequately rigorous because of its association with the Union of Concerned Scientists, an advocacy group.

The list of scientists who had been deeply involved in its preparation -- a who's who of climate-change experts from esteemed academic centers and federal agencies -- quelled his worries. The conclusion, Robock said, "looks bad" but is "based on reality."

Another scientist was not as convinced.

John R. Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at University of Alabama-Huntsville, said regional analyses his center has done indicate the latest climate models "do not have the predictive skill needed, especially with regard to rain and snow."

He said the report's recommendations -- mostly centered on replacing or upgrading buildings, cars and appliances with more energy-efficient ones -- won't have much effect on the total amount of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere, partly because energy demand will continue to grow.

Ranked against the nations of the world, the Northeast is the seventh-largest emitter of carbon dioxide, the most important heat-trapping gas. Historically, the region also has been a policy leader.

"As a recognized innovator on many levels, from policy to technology, the Northeast region is poised to lead the way on emissions reductions, nationally and globally," said Peter Frumhoff, an ecologist and director of the global environmental program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. "We can use our intellectual capital to lead the world in innovative technologies and practices that we will all need to leave a healthy climate for future generations."

The population needs to reduce emissions by 3 percent a year over the course of the next few decades to make a difference, he said. This can be accomplished through buying more fuel-efficient cars like hybrids, purchasing energy-efficient appliances and installing compact fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs.

If people cut back on their energy use, average annual temperatures won't increase as much, there will be fewer higher-degree days and there will be more snow, according to the report.

"Individual choices, summed up across our population, can make a very large difference," Frumhoff said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Kitta MacPherson writes about science. She may be reached at kmacpherson@starleger.com or (973) 392-5836.

October 5th, 2006, 04:19 PM
...the report's recommendations -- mostly centered on replacing or upgrading buildings, cars and appliances with more energy-efficient ones -- won't have much effect on the total amount of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere, partly because energy demand will continue to grow.

The population needs to reduce emissions by 3 percent a year over the course of the next few decades to make a difference, he said. This can be accomplished through buying more fuel-efficient cars like hybrids, purchasing energy-efficient appliances and installing compact fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs.

If people cut back on their energy use, average annual temperatures won't increase as much, there will be fewer higher-degree days and there will be more snow, according to the report.
All this is a drop in the bucket compared with building sensible cities that are walkable and equipped with public transport. Per capita energy use and consequent CO2 emissions are much lower in Manhattan than Memphis.

Time to revise zoning which mandates the suburb in all but a very few places in America.

Why is no one talking about this?

October 5th, 2006, 08:12 PM
People are talking about it ^^^ but the F***ing idiots in Washington are consumed with assorted BS and can't see 2 years ahead of themselves.

Most of the developed world is in favor of the KYOTO Accords, but Bush scuttled it.

We'e our own worst enemy -- and if we don't make a big change we'll have no one to blame but ourselves (as the largest consumers of energy in the world).

October 31st, 2006, 05:48 AM
October 30, 2006

The Energy Challenge

Budgets Falling in Race to Fight Global Warming


DENVER — Cheers fit for a revival meeting swept a hotel ballroom as 1,800 entrepreneurs and experts watched a PowerPoint presentation of the most promising technologies for limiting global warming: solar power, wind, ethanol and other farmed fuels, energy-efficient buildings and fuel-sipping cars.

“Houston,” Charles F. Kutscher, chairman of the Solar 2006 conference, concluded in a twist on the line from Apollo 13, “we have a solution.”

Hold the applause. For all the enthusiasm about alternatives to coal and oil, the challenge of limiting emissions of carbon dioxide, which traps heat, will be immense in a world likely to add 2.5 billion people by midcentury, a host of other experts say. Moreover, most of those people will live in countries like China and India, which are just beginning to enjoy an electrified, air-conditioned mobile society.

The challenge is all the more daunting because research into energy technologies by both government and industry has not been rising, but rather falling.

In the United States, annual federal spending for all energy research and development — not just the research aimed at climate-friendly technologies — is less than half what it was a quarter-century ago. It has sunk to $3 billion a year in the current budget from an inflation-adjusted peak of $7.7 billion in 1979, according to several different studies.

Britain, for one, has sounded a loud alarm about the need for prompt action on the climate issue, including more research. [A report commissioned by the British government and scheduled to be released today calls for spending to be doubled worldwide on research into low-carbon technologies; without it, the report says, coastal flooding and a shortage of drinking water could turn 200 million people into refugees.]

President Bush has sought an increase to $4.2 billion for 2007, but that would still be a small fraction of what most climate and energy experts say would be needed.

Federal spending on medical research, by contrast, has nearly quadrupled, to $28 billion annually, since 1979. Military research has increased 260 percent, and at more than $75 billion a year is 20 times the amount spent on energy research.

Internationally, government energy research trends are little different from those in the United States. Japan is the only economic power that increased research spending in recent decades, with growth focused on efficiency and solar technology, according to the International Energy Agency.

In the private sector, studies show that energy companies have a long tradition of eschewing long-term technology quests because of the lack of short-term payoffs.

Still, more than four dozen scientists, economists, engineers and entrepreneurs interviewed by The New York Times said that unless the search for abundant non-polluting energy sources and systems became far more aggressive, the world would probably face dangerous warming and international strife as nations with growing energy demands compete for increasingly inadequate resources.

Most of these experts also say existing energy alternatives and improvements in energy efficiency are simply not enough.

“We cannot come close to stabilizing temperatures” unless humans, by the end of the century, stop adding more CO2 to the atmosphere than it can absorb, said W. David Montgomery of Charles River Associates, a consulting group, “and that will be an economic impossibility without a major R.& D. investment.”

A sustained push is needed not just to refine, test and deploy known low-carbon technologies, but also to find “energy technologies that don’t have a name yet,” said James A. Edmonds, a chief scientist at the Joint Global Change Research Institute of the University of Maryland and the Energy Department.

At the same time, many energy experts and economists agree on another daunting point: To make any resulting “alternative” energy options the new norm will require attaching a significant cost to the carbon emissions from coal, oil and gas.

“A price incentive stirs people to look at a thousand different things,’ ” said Henry D. Jacoby, a climate and energy expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

For now, a carbon cap or tax is opposed by President Bush, most American lawmakers and many industries. And there are scant signs of consensus on a long-term successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the first treaty obligating participating industrial countries to cut warming emissions. (The United States has not ratified the pact.)

The next round of talks on Kyoto and an underlying voluntary treaty will take place next month in Nairobi, Kenya.

Environmental campaigners, focused on promptly establishing binding limits on emissions of heat-trapping gases, have tended to play down the need for big investments seeking energy breakthroughs. At the end of “An Inconvenient Truth,” former Vice President Al Gore’s documentary film on climate change, he concluded: “We already know everything we need to know to effectively address this problem.”

While applauding Mr. Gore’s enthusiasm, many energy experts said this stance was counterproductive because there was no way, given global growth in energy demand, that existing technology could avert a doubling or more of atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide in this century.

Mr. Gore has since adjusted his stance, saying existing technology is sufficient to start on the path to a stable climate.

Other researchers say the chances of success are so low, unless something breaks the societal impasse, that any technology quest should also include work on increasing the resilience to climate extremes — through actions like developing more drought-tolerant crops — as well as last-ditch climate fixes, like testing ways to block some incoming sunlight to counter warming.

Without big reductions in emissions, the midrange projections of most scenarios envision a rise of 4 degrees or so in this century, four times the warming in the last 100 years. That could, among other effects, produce a disruptive mix of intensified flooding and withering droughts in the world’s prime agricultural regions.

Sir Nicholas Stern, the chief of Britain’s economic service and author of the new government report on climate options, has summarized the cumulative nature of the threat succinctly: “The sting is in the tail.”

The Carbon Dioxide Problem

Many factors intersect to make the prompt addressing of global warming very difficult, experts say.

A central hurdle is that carbon dioxide accumulates in the atmosphere like unpaid credit card debt as long as emissions exceed the rate at which the gas is naturally removed from the atmosphere by the oceans and plants. But the technologies producing the emissions evolve slowly.

A typical new coal-fired power plant, one of the largest sources of emissions, is expected to operate for many decades. About one large coal-burning plant is being commissioned a week, mostly in China.

“We’ve got a $12 trillion capital investment in the world energy economy and a turnover time of 30 to 40 years,” said John P. Holdren, a physicist and climate expert at Harvard University and president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “If you want it to look different in 30 or 40 years, you’d better start now.”

Many experts say this means the only way to affordably speed the transition to low-emissions energy is with advances in technologies at all stages of maturity.

Examples include:

¶ Substantially improving the efficiency and cost of solar panels;

¶ Conducting full-scale tests of systems for capturing carbon dioxide from power plants and pumping it underground;

¶ Seeking efficient ways to generate fuels from crops;

¶ Finding new ways to store vast amounts of energy harvested intermittently from the wind and sun.

Carbon dioxide levels will stabilize only if each generation persists in developing and deploying alternatives to unfettered fossil-fuel emissions, said Robert H. Socolow, a physicist and co-director of a Princeton “carbon mitigation initiative” created with $20 million from BP and Ford Motor.

The most immediate gains could come simply by increasing energy efficiency. If efficiency gains in transportation, buildings, power transmission and other areas were doubled from the longstanding rate of 1 percent per year to 2 percent, Dr. Holdren wrote in the M.I.T. journal Innovations earlier this year, that could hold the amount of new nonpolluting energy required by 2100 to the amount derived from fossil fuels in 2000 —a huge challenge, but not impossible.

Another area requiring immediate intensified work, Dr. Holdren and other experts say, is large-scale demonstration of systems for capturing carbon dioxide from coal burning before too many old-style plants are built.

All of the components for capturing carbon dioxide and disposing of it underground are already in use, particularly in oil fields, where pressurized carbon dioxide is used to drive the last dregs of oil from the ground.

In this area, said David Keith, an energy expert at the University of Calgary, “We just need to build the damn things on a billion-dollar scale.”

In the United States, the biggest effort along these lines is the 285-megawatt Futuregen power plant planned by the Energy Department, along with private and international partners, that was announced in 2003 by President Bush and is scheduled to be built in either Illinois or Texas by 2012. James L. Connaughton, the chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said the Bush administration was making this a high priority.

“We share the view that a significantly more aggressive agenda on carbon capture and storage and zero-pollution coal is necessary,” he said, adding that the administration has raised annual spending on storage options “from essentially zero to over $70 million.”

Europe is pursuing a suite of such plants, including one in China, but also well behind the necessary pace, several experts said.

Even within the Energy Department, some experts are voicing frustration over the pace of such programs. “What I don’t like about Futuregen,” said Dr. Kutscher, an engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., “is the word ‘future’ in there.”

Beyond a Holding Action

No matter what happens in the next decade or so, many experts say, the second and probably hardest phase of stabilizing the level of carbon dioxide will fall to the generation of engineers and entrepreneurs now in diapers, and the one after that. And those innovators will not have much to build on without greatly increased investment now in basic research.

There is plenty of ferment. Current research ranges from work on algae strains that can turn sunlight into hydrogen fuel to the inkjet-style printing of photovoltaic cells — a technique that could greatly cut solar-energy costs if it worked on a large scale. One company is promoting high-flying kite-like windmills to harvest the boundless energy in the jet stream.

But all of the small-scale experimentation will never move into the energy marketplace without a much bigger push not only for research and development, but for the lesser-known steps known as demonstration and deployment.

In this arena, there is a vital role for government spending, many experts agree, particularly on “enabling technologies” — innovations that would never be pursued by private industry because they mainly amount to a public good, not a potential source of profit, said Christopher Green, an economist at McGill University.

Examples include refining ways to securely handle radioactive waste from nuclear reactors; testing repositories for carbon dioxide captured at power plants; and, perhaps more important, improving the electricity grid so that it can manage large flows from intermittent sources like windmills and solar panels.

“Without storage possibilities on a large scale,” Mr. Green said, “solar and wind will be relegated to niche status.”

While private investors and entrepreneurs are jumping into alternative energy projects, they cannot be counted on to solve such problems, economists say, because even the most aggressive venture capitalists want a big payback within five years.

Many scientists say the only real long-term prospect for significantly substituting for fossil fuels is a breakthrough in harvesting solar power. This has been understood since the days of Thomas Edison. In a conversation with Henry Ford and the tire tycoon Harvey Firestone in 1931, shortly before Edison died, he said: “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”

California, following models set in Japan and Germany, is trying to help solar energy with various incentives.

But such initiatives mainly pull existing technologies into the market, experts say, and do little to propel private research toward the next big advances. Even Vinod Khosla, a leading environment-oriented venture capitalist who invests heavily in ethanol and other alternative energy projects, said in an interview that he was not ready to back solar power because it did not appear able to show a profit without subsidies.

The Role of Leadership

At the federal level, the Bush administration was criticized by Republican and Democratic lawmakers at several recent hearings on climate change.

Mr. Connaughton, the lead White House official on the environment, said most critics are not aware of how much has been done.

“This administration has developed the most sophisticated and carefully considered strategic plan for advancing the technologies that are a necessary part of the climate solution,” he said. He added that the administration must weigh tradeoffs with other pressing demands like health care.

Since 2001, when Mr. Bush abandoned a campaign pledge to limit carbon dioxide from power plants, he has said that too little is known about specific dangers of global warming to justify hard targets or mandatory curbs for the gas.

He has also asserted that any solution will lie less in regulation than in innovation.

“My answer to the energy question also is an answer to how you deal with the greenhouse-gas issue, and that is new technologies will change how we live,” he said in May.

But critics, including some Republican lawmakers, now say that mounting evidence for risks — including findings that administration officials have tried to suppress of late — justifies prompt, more aggressive action to pay for or spur research and speed the movement of climate-friendly energy options into the marketplace.

Martin I. Hoffert, an emeritus professor of physics at New York University, said that what was needed was for a leader to articulate the energy challenge as President John F. Kennedy made his case for the mission to the moon. President Kennedy said they were imperative, “not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

In a report on competitiveness and research released last year, the National Academies, the country’s top science advisory body, urged the government to substantially expand spending on long-term basic research, particularly on energy.

The report, titled “Rising Above the Gathering Storm,” recommended that the Energy Department create a research-financing body similar to the 48-year-old Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa, to make grants and attack a variety of energy questions, including climate change.

Darpa, created after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957, was set up outside the sway of Congress to provide advances in areas like weapons, surveillance and defensive systems. But it also produced technologies like the Internet and the global positioning system for navigation.

Mr. Connaughton said it would be premature to conclude that a new agency was needed for energy innovation.

But many experts, from oil-industry officials to ecologists, agree that the status quo for energy research will not suffice.

The benefits of an intensified energy quest would go far beyond cutting the risks of dangerous climate change, said Roger H. Bezdek, an economist at Management Information Systems, a consulting group.

The world economy, he said, is facing two simultaneous energy challenges beyond global warming: the end of relatively cheap and easy oil, and the explosive demand for fuel in developing countries.

Advanced research should be diversified like an investment portfolio, he said. “The big payoff comes from a small number of very large winners,” he said. “Unfortunately, we cannot pick the winners in advance.”

Ultimately, a big increase in government spending on basic energy research will happen only if scientists can persuade the public and politicians that it is an essential hedge against potential calamity.

That may be the biggest hurdle of all, given the unfamiliar nature of the slowly building problem — the antithesis of epochal events like Pearl Harbor, Sputnik and 9/11 that triggered sweeping enterprises.

“We’re good at rushing in with white hats,” said Bobi Garrett, associate director of planning and technology management at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “This is not a problem where you can do that.”

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

October 31st, 2006, 05:50 AM
October 31, 2006

Britain Warns of High Costs of Global Warming


LONDON, Oct. 30 — Britain warned Monday that failure to act swiftly on global warming would have a cataclysmic effect on the global economy and said it was stepping up efforts to get other nations involved.

A report commissioned by the government predicted apocalyptic effects from climate change, including droughts, flooding, famine, skyrocketing malaria rates and the extinction of many animal species during the current generation if changes are not made soon.

It said the costs related to climate change, if it is allowed to continue unmitigated, could devour as much as 20 percent of the world’s gross domestic product.

“The consequences for our planet are literally disastrous,” Prime Minister Tony Blair said in a speech on the report, one of the most comprehensive attempts to predict the economic impact of global warming.

“This disaster is not set to happen in some science-fiction future, many years ahead, but in our lifetime,” he said. “What is more, unless we act now, not some time distant but now, these consequences, disastrous as they are, will be irreversible.”

On the other hand, success in slowing carbon emissions could bring great savings to the world economy, possibly in the range of $2.5 trillion a year, the report estimated. This emphasis seems aimed at the few industrial nations, including the United States, that have refused to join initiatives like the Kyoto Protocol, citing economic reasons.

President Bush has called Kyoto “unrealistic” and its emissions targets arbitrary, saying it would cause layoffs and price increases.

The presence at the news conference on Monday of Mr. Blair and the chancellor of the exchequer, Gordon Brown, who hopes to succeed him, reinforced the impression that the governing Labor Party was committed to acting on the challenge.

Britain intends that “the report should be discussed as widely as possible throughout the world, not just among governments but among international institutions, business leaders, NGOs and civil society,” Mr. Brown said. He also said he had made former Vice President Al Gore an adviser on environmental issues.

The 700-page report was compiled by Sir Nicholas Stern, chief of the government economic service and former chief economist of the World Bank. It evaluated a body of scientific studies of global warming from an economic perspective.

If the sources of greenhouse gases continue unchecked, average temperatures could rise by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius in the next 50 years, the report says. That could leave one-sixth of the world’s population facing floods or droughts and reduce crop production in Africa enough to put several hundred million people at risk of starvation.

Britain produces 2 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases, but it has been one of the loudest voices on global warming and has established some of the world’s most punitive taxes on carbon emissions. It already has met its Kyoto emissions-reductions targets, but most European nations are trying to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases by 8 percent by 2012.

A United Nations report released Monday said that greenhouse gas emissions of industrial nations that are part of the United Nations panel on climate change increased 11 percent between 1990 and 2004.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

October 31st, 2006, 06:48 AM
Let's get some proper perspective on the issue rather than be brainwashed by the Green fascsists.


October 31st, 2006, 09:13 AM
Let's get some proper perspective on the issue rather than be brainwashed by the Green fascsists.


So you qoute an opinion piece?

And automatically call the people bringing this up "Green Fascsists"?

Come on man! I do agree that they pile it on rather heavily, but the one thing you learn in politics is that if you actually speak the truth, people try to "negotiate" the truthe with you untill you can come to some sort of "middle ground".

So, as a scientist, you state the worst case scenario and hope that with all the political BS around that the real, highly feasable threat is "agreed" apon.

November 1st, 2006, 08:22 AM
Take a look at the following links:



November 1st, 2006, 09:23 AM
Your first link starts like this:

Two of the world's leading scientific journals have come under fire from researchers for refusing to publish papers which challenge fashionable wisdom over global warming

Fashionable? Nice way to start a balanced discussion by relegating one position to a trivial social proclivity rather than a scientific contention.

I will read the rest later when I need to get pissed at something slanted.

PS - On skimming, all I see is him complaining about not being published, but not giving any of his points or why he believes they should be spoken.

If this was such an important issue, why didnt the Telegraph mention some of them rather than focusing on the disagreement?

November 1st, 2006, 09:25 AM
Let's get some proper perspective on the issue rather than be brainwashed by the Green fascsists.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/04/09/do0907.xmlI'm someone who could be termed as an eco/environment-capitalist. I've currently got a few things planned that are tapping into the vast sums of money that can be made from sustainable and environmentally productive practices and it has a lot of scope for future growth.

The fact is, climate change/global warming are immensely complicated subjects. Not one single body (let alone individual) can comprehend the situation that we face as the situation is leading towards a weather system that is bordering erratic, ie our climate will be composed of more extremes. This means models will become practically useless as the system is distorted. Now most people usually butt in and state the argument that this isn't new, and of which the answer is yes...but the difference is in the speed of changes is unlike anything understood - the equivalence being cataclysmic global disasters like a meteorite crash of which have not experienced.

What facilitates the problem is that the Industrial Revolution and globalisation aren't where it all began - the domestication of animals for instance has been one of the more critical problems that our planet has faced, yet without domestication, we wouldn't have sourced enough iron to develop the sufficient brain size in relation to body mass to become the humans we are today. McDonalds for instance is probably one of the worst polluters in the world - simply by the volume of methane produced, yet unless its immediately noticed, ge fumes from a car. Yet the most wasteful usage of land on our planet, isn't to do with rearing animals but growing salads - yes salads are the lest productive in regards to energy gained by us and wastage produced. Tobacco, sugar cane, etc also fit this bill and highlight a situation whereby less visible wastage is as crippling as CO2 being emitted from your average 4x4.

The entire situation is that it goes beyond pollution, it revolves around unsustainable consumption levels and the ecological footprint every human has. Quite simply we all consume far too much, which produces too many emissions and too much waste that is affecting everyones lives.

Britain I believe has found a role in the world that I believe is roughly equivalent to that it created during the age of slavery. It like other countries back then traded in slaves, realised that it was wrong and then tried to and then succeeded in enforcing (albeit with military strength) other countries to accept that it was wrong also. The result a success: slavery was abolished. Now I don't think Britain would use its strength to attack non-environmentalist approaching countries as Britain has both not yet attained a completely sustainable society, the likelihood of a non-emission society is relatively unlikely and military intervention in todays world simply wouldn't work....but by setting an example that the economy can grow without massive job cuts (as Bush believes), while at the same time reducing emissions is something physically possible.

Britain for instance has cut its Kyoto 6GHG's emissions unlike most countries in Europe...yet its unemployment rate is pretty low and its growth rate in relation to population (and population growth) is easily comparable to that of the US.

Can the US change? Possibly, but it'll need a complete catastrophe along the lines of say a Hurricane Katrina creating an immense storm surge hitting say Manhattan which would cost the American economy significantly.

What is even more worrying is that New York isn't even protected by something like the Thames Barrier...in the situation that a surge could seriously happen - London is even planning a larger version (10km in length) to counter the problems of this century.


Afterall we all need to go further than reducing the problem, we have the plan to counter the problems that we are already creating.

And I go back to my first point: money can be made out of this and London is a classic example of the markets adopting a stance that money can be made.

November 1st, 2006, 09:26 AM
Well Ninja lets not forget the heap of propaganda shovelled out by those who support the flawed "fashionable" theory of "global warming".

Don't forget it was once "fashionable" and accepted fact that the world was flat! :)

November 1st, 2006, 09:36 AM
There is doubt about the integrity of Dr Peiser and his analysis:


November 1st, 2006, 09:41 AM
Don't forget it was once "fashionable" and accepted fact that the world was flat! :)People of science have known for a looong time that the earth is a globe.

November 1st, 2006, 09:43 AM
There is also doubt about the whole concept of "global warming" as its currently presented. The flat-earthers of yesterday could be the global warmers of today in my view - the jury is still out.


November 1st, 2006, 09:50 AM
Well Ninja lets not forget the heap of propaganda shovelled out by those who support the flawed "fashionable" theory of "global warming".

Don't forget it was once "fashionable" and accepted fact that the world was flat! :)

You are bringing up totally incongruent comparisons. AAMOF, your use of the word "fashionable" and its comparison to a scientific absurdity only gives more strength to my argument that it is being used as a derogatory comment and not as an actual feasable criticism of the issue at hand.

Do us all a favor Bird, and get off yoru high horse about this. You are throwing slander around left and right without any real solid backing of what you are saying. The articles linked are not backing what you are saying, they are literally GIVING you what you are saying.

I do not follow Susan Sarandan (Sp?) and her views on the world/economy/ecology, but I do know that it is really weird to be sitting here in NYC at the beginning of November in 70 degree weather.

I also know that someone yelling that we should not do something to reduce a POTENIALLY hazardous condition is just plain stupid. Wearing your seatbelt does not mean you will ever get into an auto accident, but it minimizes damage should that come to pass.

What we SHOULD be focusing on here is that if global warming is a definite possibility, that it is not something that will stop on a dime. Getting a planet moving in a different direction takes a long time, and if we have already started it along one path with the apst 100 years of industrialization, we need to look to minimizing our continued contribution so that if there are any results, they are minimized.

November 1st, 2006, 09:52 AM
There is also doubt about the whole concept of "global warming" as its currently presented. The flat-earthers of yesterday could be the global warmers of today in my view - the jury is still out.


It is a small jury, and you are hanging it.

Why are you diametrically opposed to the concept that our species has an effect on the environment?

You think mankind is so weak that it cannot effect the global climate?

Come on!

November 1st, 2006, 09:53 AM
People of science have known for a looong time that the earth is a globe.

And we all know Scientists, for the most part, don't know how to match a shirt and tie, let alone be "fashionable"

Why do you think they all wear white? ;)

November 1st, 2006, 09:56 AM
The flat-earthers of yesterday could be the global warmers of today in my view

The "flat earthers of yesterday" were ignorant people. Navigators who set sail fully understood that they weren't going to fall off the earth.

Even discounting global warming, are you against the environmental policies that would be instituted?

Seems to me that you've adopted a political stance - no government interference.

The smoking lobby once did this, by refuting data.

November 1st, 2006, 10:05 AM
I do know that it is really weird to be sitting here in NYC at the beginning of November in 70 degree weather.
During Roman times Britain was a wine producing region, so what? Weather patterns changes and the Earth has gone through many many climate changes. We need to lighten up and enjoy life, for tomorrow we die!

November 1st, 2006, 10:05 AM
The "flat earthers of yesterday" were ignorant people. Navigators who set sail fully understood that they weren't going to fall off the earth.

Even discounting global warming, are you against the environmental policies that would be instituted?

Seems to me that you've adopted a political stance - no government interference.

The smoking lobby once did this, by refuting data.

I actually deleted that from my post!!!

"Smoking MAY cause cancer" was their slogan for a while. No direct proof, so why should you stop? :P

November 1st, 2006, 10:08 AM
During Roman times Britain was a wine producing region, so what?

Um, yea, so what? So the weather in NYC changes in the 20 years I have been aware of it and you are comparing that to a 2000 year climate change?


Weather patterns changes and the Earth has gone through many many climate changes. We need to lighten up and enjoy life, for tomorrow we die!

Um, what the hell are you talking about? You have yet to bring up one solid argument in this discussion. "Lighten up" and not buy SUV's are not diametrically opposed. You can still be a free spirit and do things that will keep the world healthy.

November 1st, 2006, 10:15 AM
The "flat earthers of yesterday" were ignorant people.
That's where you're wrong Zippy, the concept of a flat earth was the accpeted wisdom of its day supported by eminient thinkers of the time.
Its even still alive today! http://www.alaska.net/~clund/e_djublonskopf/Flatearthsociety.htm (http://www.alaska.net/%7Eclund/e_djublonskopf/Flatearthsociety.htm)

Even discounting global warming, are you against the environmental policies that would be instituted?
If I discount global warming why would I still want all the Green taxes and policies?

Seems to me that you've adopted a political stance - no government interference.
I haven't.

November 1st, 2006, 10:16 AM
There's a preponderance of evidence that the earth is currently in a period of accelerated warming (shrinking glaciers, thawing permafrost, late arctic ice, shifting migration patterns in animals, etc., etc.). Here's an easy-to-understand link(http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/12/1206_041206_global_warming.html). There is no serious debate about whether global warming is happening.

The semi-serious debate is over whether it is a natural occurence or caused by human carbon emmissions. The vast majority of the respected scientific community believes it is man-made or man-aided.

Even if you don't like what the scientists have to say about what your consumption patterns are doing to the planet's biosphere, it's as easy to apply Pascal's Wager.

Pascal's Wager: If you believe in god, you go to heaven. If you don't, you go to hell. If God doesn't exist, you die whether or not you believe. So why not believe in God just in case He exists?

Emitting pollutants (inc. C02) into the atmosphere is analagous to pissing in a well. Common sense dictates that sooner or later the water won't be as potable. All 6 billion plus of us are pissing in the atmosphere, so it makes sense to me that the atmosphere has changed over the past 200 years and not for the better. Like Pascal's Wager, why not believe gobal warming is human-driven, and strive to reduce our impact of the earth (reduce carbon emissions, plant trees, protect parkland, recycle, etc.). What have we got to lose.

November 1st, 2006, 10:22 AM
Pascal's Wager: If you believe in god, you go to heaven. If you don't, you go to hell. If God doesn't exist, you die whether or not you believe. So why not believe in God just in case He exists?

Always liked that one. ;)

November 1st, 2006, 10:29 AM
That's where you're wrong Zippy, the concept of a flat earth was the accpeted wisdom of its day supported by eminient thinkers of the time.
Its even still alive today! http://www.alaska.net/~clund/e_djublonskopf/Flatearthsociety.htm (http://www.alaska.net/%7Eclund/e_djublonskopf/Flatearthsociety.htm)

That does not help your argument.

And it was not the scientists and navigators that believed it. Your link is monsterously irrevelant and quite frankly STUPID.

I hope for all our sakes that these people aer only being sarcastic, because if they arent, it is a sad world indeed.

If I discount global warming why would I still want all the Green taxes and policies?

Ah, so you are saying that if you do not believe it, you should not have to pay.

That sounds like greed motivation, not actual proof.

I haven't.

You have failed to prove any of your scientific contentions and repeatedly link us to political observations, slanted sites, and most recently a completely idiotic site that seeks to speak of the "ether" in relation to the calculation of the speed of light.

And most recently, your arguement shifted slightly to say "hey, if I don't belive is why should I pay?". It seems like you are not basing any of this on actual fact, but rather searching the internet for statements that will back up your reluctance to pay.

"It is not true"
"the money is not spent to fix the environment"
"They aren't doing it, why should I?"

Very selfish and immature.

November 1st, 2006, 10:33 AM
Over to you guys across the pond:

"Though Americans make up just 4 percent of the world's population, we produce 25 percent of the carbon dioxide pollution from fossil-fuel burning -- by far the largest share of any country. In fact, the United States emits more carbon dioxide than China, India and Japan, combined. Clearly America ought to take a leadership role in solving the problem. And as the world's top developer of new technologies, we are well positioned to do so -- we already have the know-how."

So why isn't George W doing something about it?

November 1st, 2006, 10:35 AM
The easiest way to look it is to look at a smoker - put that person in a room and over time they'd die from poisoning and lack of oxygen. The exact same thing is happening to our planet, except its a far larger problem and far more complicated.

November 1st, 2006, 10:47 AM
From Zippy's link:

This isn't so much refuting Gore as proving his point: that while their is a debate about the consensus in the media, there isn't one in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. The people he lists aren't disputing the science in scientific journals but in opinion pieces in newspapers. Except for Patrick Michaels in this paper where they got degrees and radians mixed up.


November 1st, 2006, 10:49 AM
Over to you guys across the pond:

"Though Americans make up just 4 percent of the world's population, we produce 25 percent of the carbon dioxide pollution from fossil-fuel burning -- by far the largest share of any country. In fact, the United States emits more carbon dioxide than China, India and Japan, combined. Clearly America ought to take a leadership role in solving the problem. And as the world's top developer of new technologies, we are well positioned to do so -- we already have the know-how."

So why isn't George W doing something about it?

We have been askinghim why. And if you look at most of the people posting here, not a single one has agreed with Bush and his policies.

Bringing up Bush and what he believes in on a NYC site is not too bright there Cap'n. ;)

And we are now getting back to "Well if HE doesn't do is, why should I?"

November 1st, 2006, 11:12 AM
Um, yea, so what? So the weather in NYC changes in the 20 years I have been aware of it and you are comparing that to a 2000 year climate change?
The Earth has ben around 4.5 Billion years and you are talking about the weather changing over the last 20 years!!!!! :)
Weather patterns change, the Earth changes, life changes, get used to it my friend .....

Um, what the hell are you talking about? You have yet to bring up one solid argument in this discussion. "Lighten up" and not buy SUV's are not diametrically opposed. You can still be a free spirit and do things that will keep the world healthy.
Enjoy life, if you want to drive a gass-guzzling 4X4 do so, if you want to smoke do so, if you want to fly regularly do so, just forget all this Green fascism and get on living a life! Governments are out to frighten us with talk of AIDS, Bird Flu, WMD, Global Warming, etc etc - and there'll be more scares to come, each scare story rachets up their control over how we live. Resist!

November 1st, 2006, 02:28 PM
That is a very narrow-minded view, Capn. Especially when you take into account just how reluctant many governments are towards taking anti-global warming measures.

A few years ago, I used to think global warming was exaggerated. I remember reading some of Patrick Michaels' literature and being convinced. Boy, was I wrong. I'm not going to devle into details, but to deny that global warming doesn't exist is lunacy. There's more proof than you could possibly want to confirm it.

Furthermore, your statement about 20 years is clearly uneducated. If you looked at long term trends of global temperatures and carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, you'd realize that over the past 100 years or so, we've seen both measures increase drastically, so much so that they resemble previous instances of cataclysmic climate change. Recent estimates have shown that as much as 20% of global GDP could be lost due to events caused by such climate change within the near future (20-50 years). How would you feel about that?

To sit idly back in your chair and say, "Que sera, sera," is incredibly ignorant on your part. Have you no concern for your progeny and their well-being?

November 1st, 2006, 02:47 PM
Governments are out to frighten us with talk of AIDS, Bird Flu, WMD, Global Warming, etc etc - and there'll be more scares to come, each scare story rachets up their control over how we live. Resist!AIDS????

That's funny. I remember when that epidemic was first emerging, governments (at least my government) were accused of not paying any attention to it, referring to it as the the gay man's disease, or worse, God's punishment.

So now global warming is a vehicle for mass control. Strange how the Bush administration, always looking for new ways to control us, hasn't been clued in to this management tool.

November 1st, 2006, 03:02 PM
The Earth has ben around 4.5 Billion years and you are talking about the weather changing over the last 20 years!!!!! :)
Weather patterns change, the Earth changes, life changes, get used to it my friend .....

Um, yes I am.

You are talking about a climate shift over 2000 years and I am talking about one over 20. Take the first derivative of each to determine the rate of change and you too would be alarmed. It is one thing to talk about seasonal changes and all that, but it is another to see things first hand that also coincide with global effects on masss that are supposed to be much more stable (ice melting, etc).

Your cavalier attitude toward the subject is wat to glib and does not lend any creedence, or respect for that matter, to the arguments you are making.

Enjoy life, if you want to drive a gass-guzzling 4X4 do so,

Then also do not cry when you are forced to pay for teh damage you are doing to teh world that we all have to pay for.

if you want to smoke do so,

You are combining things in the wrong manner. We did not compare smoking to 4x4s in the manner that you are. They do not relate.

Unless, of course, you enjoy paying higher medical insurance or fees because of the increase of cost for cancer patients that cannot be covered by them or their families.

if you want to fly regularly do so, just forget all this Green fascism and get on living a life!

This has nothing to do with what we are saying. You are straw-manning again. You are also exaggerating the Green position to a totalitarian state that you feel are robbing yourself of your 4x4 habit.

You still hav enot admitted or replied to any of my points about your vehicular ownership and your apparent lack of pleasure at having to PERSONALLY pay for the "luxury" you seem to feel entitled to.

Governments are out to frighten us with talk of AIDS, Bird Flu, WMD, Global Warming, etc etc -

No they aren't. AIDS is a real concern. Moreso that it can effect world healthcare more than just the individuals infected. Alst there is that annoying thing about evolution. You give a virus enough permutations and one day one like ADIS could become airborne. Nice thought. A cure now would help things before it becomes a major threat.

As for Bird Flu, that is hyped by our MEDIA, not our government. I do not know where you get the association so freely. WMD's were a political tactic to get us into a war with a non-invloved country after a terrorist attack. And GLOBAL WARMING HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY OF THEM!

and there'll be more scares to come, each scare story rachets up their control over how we live. Resist!

Um, you still do not want to pay the 450, do you. Man you are so transparent!

November 1st, 2006, 11:09 PM
There is NO WAY to eliminate fossil fuel emissions, in fact we will have to increase them a lot just to keep the electricity grid functioning. There are really big problems forming already like the fact that there will soon not be enough water for everyone.

This is not a rant, this is simply reality.

I strongly suggest that anyone interested reads through the workshops found at the link below


This is a congressional study with data as reliable as you can expect from anyone.

This is taken from this report, essentially by 2020 all areas in red will not have either enough electricity or water to sustain their populations.


November 2nd, 2006, 08:58 AM
I live in Russia(Ural) and as I see global warming here is appreciable. For example, 5 years ago at this time of the year all around have been covered with a snow, the temperature did not rise above -10C, but now there is no snow and is very warm
I know English very bad so excuse me if I have incorrectly written this message.


November 2nd, 2006, 09:15 AM
Ninjahedge, I drive a BMW X5, 3.0i SE Excl edition, that cost me £44k, my wife drives a 3-series BMW. We bought these cars because we like them and no amount of extra tax, (or envy from others), will put us off having them. We're fortunate insofar as we can afford them because our business is successful but I do feel sorry for other people who like nice cars and who are going to struggle to keep them just because the Green fascists want to level everyone down to basics! I am sure their agenda is to destroy capitalist economies, create another Great Depression, bankrupt businesses, and force us all into government-approved homes, cars, jobs, schools, etc.
The New World Order is creeping ever closer and it does so under many disguises, the Green agenda being one of them. Resist now while we can because we are sleep-walking into totalitarianism where the State will have total control over all our lives!

November 2nd, 2006, 09:32 AM
If you are buying an expensive vehicle, you should not have any problem paying the extra tax.

If you have problems keeping it, it is a LUXURY and you should not feel like you are being cheated by having to go to something more practical.

Stop with the fear mongering.

"OH NO!!!! First SUV's, next Plasma TVs!!!!"


November 2nd, 2006, 09:50 AM
I am sure their agenda is to destroy capitalist economies, create another Great Depression, bankrupt businesses, and force us all into government-approved homes, cars, jobs, schools, etc.This same tired argument was made 40 years ago when environmental laws were being proposed.

We'll never be able to sell cars with the added expense of fuel efficiency and devices sych as catalytic converters.

The rise and current dominance of the Japanese auto industry can be attributed to their taking advantage of these regulations in the 70s and 80s. There's money to be made in sound environmental practices.

Most of us here like to provide data and facts to support arguments. Your silly rantings about Green Fascists and some secret agenda fall on deaf ears.

November 2nd, 2006, 10:24 AM
I notice no-one has responded to Jake's excellent posting! Why I wonder? :)

November 2nd, 2006, 10:35 AM
We're fortunate insofar as we can afford them because our business is successful but I do feel sorry for other people who like nice cars and who are going to struggle to keep them just because the Green fascists want to level everyone down to basics! I am sure their agenda is to destroy capitalist economies, create another Great Depression, bankrupt businesses, and force us all into government-approved homes, cars, jobs, schools, etc.

Yes, that must be true, because Lexus now offers two hybrid vehicles - an SUV, and a sports sedan. Looks like rich people are really sufferring.

I notice no-one has responded to Jake's excellent posting! Why I wonder?

We all pretty much agree with Jake. It's you who should be responding, because you obviously think it's just another attempt from the Green Fascists to ruin our lives. Yet, you choose to somehow put the burden of proof on us? Please.

November 2nd, 2006, 10:39 AM
Jake said: "There is NO WAY to eliminate fossil fuel emissions, in fact we will have to increase them a lot just to keep the electricity grid functioning. There are really big problems forming already like the fact that there will soon not be enough water for everyone.
This is not a rant, this is simply reality."

I agree with that, I'm pleasantly surprised to hear you do pianoman! :)

November 2nd, 2006, 10:41 AM
I notice no-one has responded to Jake's excellent posting! Why I wonder? :)There is an open topic on the Water Supply (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4831&highlight=water)

Any more questions, Capn?

November 2nd, 2006, 10:43 AM
Jake said: "There is NO WAY to eliminate fossil fuel emissions, in fact we will have to increase them a lot just to keep the electricity grid functioning. There are really big problems forming already like the fact that there will soon not be enough water for everyone.
This is not a rant, this is simply reality."

I agree with that, I'm pleasantly surprised to hear you do pianoman! :)
Exactly how does that advance your position that "the jury is not in on the effects of Global Warming?"

November 2nd, 2006, 10:47 AM
Jake said: "There is NO WAY to eliminate fossil fuel emissions, in fact we will have to increase them a lot just to keep the electricity grid functioning. There are really big problems forming already like the fact that there will soon not be enough water for everyone.
This is not a rant, this is simply reality."

I agree with that, I'm pleasantly surprised to hear you do pianoman! :)

You're twisting the argument around. We agree that it's a problem; you deny it. Got it?

November 2nd, 2006, 10:54 AM
He is changing the subject of the argument to avoid having to admit he is wrong in what he is saying.

Bait and switch, or a variant of Red Herring.

November 2nd, 2006, 10:58 AM
As Jake said "there is NO WAY to eliminate fossil fuel emissions", in fact we have to increase them" - could it be clearer?

Professor Unwin said the IPCC, in becoming "fixated on the control of carbon dioxide as a measure to tackle global warming", had allowed other issues such as energy conservation and cleaner air to slip off the agenda.
"And it has made light of all the other levers that society could pull to aid and adapt its way out of the problem that we may or may not have. All the social science evidence on weather hazards shows that, by and large, trying to modify the hazard isn't a strategy that works.

"There is a lobby which makes money out of global warming promotion and research, and governments around the world collect taxes on the back of it all" - Piers Corbyn, weather forecaster

"I would like the IPCC to stress the steps that society could take to adapt better to the consequences of global warming if it is happening - and that includes managed retreat from the shoreline, not building on flood plains, care with water conservation and scheduling, and so on."
Piers Corbyn of Weather Action, a company that provides long-term forecasts to UK industry, claimed the IPCC had quite simply got it wrong. Corbyn, like a large group of solar scientists, believes the UN body has underestimated some of the indirect effects of the Sun on the Earth's climate.
"Particles and magnetic effects from the Sun are the decisive influence that controls world temperatures," he said. "The evidence can be seen in the graphic representation of geomagnetic activity plotted alongside world temperatures. The two correlate very closely.
"I think there is a political agenda here. There is a lobby which makes money out of global warming promotion and research, and governments around the world collect taxes on the back of it all. If governments are serious, they should support research into solar effects."



November 2nd, 2006, 11:13 AM
As Jake said "there is NO WAY to eliminate fossil fuel emissions", in fact we have to increase them" - could it be clearer?http://news.bbc.co.uk/furniture/grey_pixel.gifCould what be clearer?

November 2nd, 2006, 11:15 AM
Could what be clearer?
If you don't know then I'm not going to tell you my friend.

November 2nd, 2006, 11:19 AM
What you refuse to realize, Capn, is that it is precisely our current over-reliance on fossil fuels as a source of energy that makes the situation so difficult to change. When you take into account the developing economies of the world, especially the BRIC countries, it's unlikely we'll lower global CO2 emissions anytime soon. However, that still does not constitute an argument for your side. Acknowledging the difficulty in solving a problem is not the same thing as choosing not to address it. Not even close. Those countries that are most able to reduce their greenhouse emissions should do so as soon as possible, with the USA near or at the top of that list.

Your point about the global warming lobby is bogus. It is well-known that global warming detractors like Patrick Michaels are heavily funded by the energy industry.

Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly accepted that a switch to cleaner technology, while costly at the beginning, will greatly increase efficiency and productivity in the future, more than paying for itself.

Read some: The Economics of Climate Change (http://papers.nber.org/papers/w11923)

November 2nd, 2006, 11:28 AM
If you don't know then I'm not going to tell you my friend.Humor me.

November 2nd, 2006, 11:30 AM
Global warming, economic cooling?

Oct 30th 2006

From The Economist Global Agenda

A report on the economics of climate change is really about politics and the need to persuade America to offer leadership on the issue


SIR NICHOLAS STERN, the head of the British Government Economic Service, has produced the world’s first big report on the economics of climate change. But his 700-page effort, although stuffed with figures, is not really about economics. It is about politics—the politics of getting America to lead a global effort to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The purpose of Sir Nicholas’s report—commissioned by Tony Blair—is to deal with the argument of people who accept that climate change is happening, but who say that trying to do anything about it would be a waste of money. This argument is heard occasionally in Europe and frequently in America, where, for added potency, it is combined with the notion that European attempts to tax carbon are part of a conspiracy by socialists determined to undermine the American way of life.

Sir Nicholas’s argument is that, far from undermining the American way of life, attempts to mitigate climate change may help preserve it. He argues this by setting the costs of allowing climate change to happen against the costs of mitigating climate change.

Previous estimates of the costs of climate change—as a result of more hurricanes, more floods and rising sea levels, for instance—have been somewhere between nothing and 2% of global GDP. But Sir Nicholas says those figures were wrong, for two reasons. First, the science has changed, and global warming seems to be happening faster than was previously believed. Second, those estimates have looked only at the likeliest outcomes from climate change, not at the outlying catastrophic possibilities. As a result, Sir Nicholas maintains that if greenhouse gas emissions go on increasing at their present rate, global output is likely to be between 5% and 20% lower over the next two centuries than it otherwise would have been.

Compared with those figures, the costs of mitigating climate change look quite moderate. Sir Nicholas reckons that stabilising concentrations of greenhouse gas equivalent at 550 parts per million (ppm) is a reasonable objective (current levels are at around 380ppm). He reckons that, partly because of falling alternative energy costs, the world could achieve that at a moderate cost. Global output is likely to be around 1% lower by 2050 than it otherwise would have been.

The choice does not look like a difficult one: costs of 5%-20% of global GDP versus costs of 1% of global GDP. Unfortunately, that’s not the difficult bit. The difficult bit is the politics. Climate change is an exceedingly hard issue. It is uncertain: nobody really knows how much it is going to cost. It crosses generations: this generation will have to bear some of the costs while the benefits will accrue to future generations. It crosses boundaries: no one country can solve the problem.

But there is one country towards which Sir Nicholas gestures when he writes of the need for “demonstrating leadership” and “working to build trust”, without which all efforts to deal with the problem will fail: America. (China may well become a bigger polluter than America, but persuading it to do something about climate change will be near impossible if America does not act first). Sir Nicholas does not explain how to solve the difficulty of getting America on board. But if he succeeds in persuading policymakers that the American way of life is better preserved by dealing with climate change than by ignoring it, he himself might be part of the solution.

Copyright © 2006 The Economist Newspaper and The Economist Group. All rights reserved

November 2nd, 2006, 11:33 AM
Jakes comments about fossil fuels are correct, we'll have to increase usage to keep our industries and homes going.

The US is nowhere near accepting any responsibility for implementing change. Russia, China, India etc are all increasing usage of fossil fuels.

I don't accept the "Global Warming" theory, its unproven. But even if it was true, there is a reluctance on the part of many nations to play any constructive part in a solution. I say again, if its a global problem then it needs a global solution.

I don't believe in whistling in the wind just for the fun of it!

The Green fascists are simply trying to concentrate a massive amount of industrial and social change within a very short time span and they're doing this through fear, taxation, and social control policies.

You mention Patrick Michaels but you do not allude to the many vested interests that are going to make billions upon billions from aggressively pursuing the Green agenda - of course all in the name of "saving the planet", who can argue against that, its akin to not liking babies and puppies!

November 2nd, 2006, 11:43 AM
Jakes comments about fossil fuels are correct, we'll have to increase usage to keep our industries and homes going.If that's as clear as you can get, I think you should drop the water reference. The existence of a water shortage problem does not negate the existence of a global warming problem.

November 2nd, 2006, 11:47 AM
Remove user from ignore list Capn_Birdseye
This message is hidden because Capn_Birdseye is on your ignore list.

Good article Piano. I think the only way to convince companies to start pushing for change on their level is to push for legislation to force universal capitulation (so you do not get one making money by spending less to mitigate).

Convincing these companies that the short term expense, at a reasonable level, will save money long term is the only thing that can be understood.

A little change by all will have more effect than drastic targeted changes, although some may be needed in certain special cases.

These things need to be addressed, and if that is at the expense of 1% of the GDP for the next 20 years, so be it. I would rather have one less TV, or 100 less Sq Ft in my house than water up to my ankles by the time I have grandkids.

November 2nd, 2006, 11:52 AM
You mention Patrick Michaels but you do not allude to the many vested interests that are going to make billions upon billions from aggressively pursuing the Green agenda - of course all in the name of "saving the planet", who can argue against that, its akin to not liking babies and puppies!

How can you even begin to talk about vested interests when Big Oil companies have lobbied so long and hard to protect their industry? ExxonMobil just recorded the second largest quarterly profit by any single company in US history. The largest? ExxonMobil, one year ago. Do you honestly think that they and other fossil fuel companies haven't spent billions over the years to prevent the very type of legislation that leads to more alternative fuels and more restrictions on them? Come on.

You really need to get a grip on reality. You're choosing to believe a scientific minority that is so miniscule and so readily linked to the interests of the energy industry, over an overwhelming majority where everyone has independently concluded that global warming is a real, major issue. It's not opinion; it's fact. All that's left is choosing how to respond.

I agree with you that the US should lead the way in this battle, as should other countries that already have a developed infrastructure. There's no way you can justify restricting China's fossil fuel emissions when the US became the wealthy country that it is because of the same kind of polluting industry. But the US has already reduced per capita energy consumption, and the emissions growth rate has begun to decrease from its peak in the 90's. It doesn't appear too difficult to stabilize greenhouse gases; eliminating them completely will take a long time, but how else do you accomplish that if not by government legislation? The general public certainly won't volunteer to do it on its own initiative.

November 2nd, 2006, 11:58 AM
More proof that government initiative can successfully combine emissions reductions with increased economic growth is in the recent history of Portland, Oregon (http://www.theclimategroup.org/index.php?pid=567).

November 2nd, 2006, 12:18 PM
I am sure their agenda is to destroy capitalist economies, create another Great Depression, bankrupt businesses,

You mention Patrick Michaels but you do not allude to the many vested interests that are going to make billions upon billions from aggressively pursuing the Green agenda - of course all in the name of "saving the planet", who can argue against that, its akin to not liking babies and puppies!


November 2nd, 2006, 12:41 PM
The Green fascists are simply trying to concentrate a massive amount of industrial and social change within a very short time span and they're doing this through fear, taxation, and social control policies.

Originally Posted by Capn_Birdseye http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?p=128578#post128578)

I am sure their agenda is to destroy capitalist economies, create another Great Depression, bankrupt businesses,

The Mad Max Syndrome ^^^

Yearning for Dystopia :cool:

November 2nd, 2006, 03:12 PM
You all said you agreed with Jakes comment that "there is no way to eliminate fossil fuel emissions, in fact we have to increase their usage."

Yet according to those who believe in the fairy story aka "Global Warming", we must eliminate fossil fuel emissions or at least reduce them substantially.

Possible conflict here chaps? More clarity of thought required perhaps?

There is no consensus on the subject as well you know, despite the flat earthers, sorry, Global Warmers, pretending otherwise.



November 2nd, 2006, 03:38 PM
I never agreed with that statement in its entirety.

You have avoided explaining how the admission of a water supply problem validates your contention that global warming is a fairy tale.

Please explain this.

November 2nd, 2006, 03:42 PM
I said I agreed with Jake's comments, not his posted link.

You seem to be backtracking a bit now Zippy ...... has the illogicality of your position suddenly struck home? :)

And so too is it an outrage for Al Gore to tell you that most true scientists now agree that global warming is a fact.
What he doesn't tell you is that almost 500 scientists from around the world signed the Heidleburg Appeal in 1992 just prior to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, expressing their doubts and begging the delegates not to bind the world to any dire treaties based on global warming. Today that figure has grown to over 4000.
He also doesn't tell you that recently a Gallup Poll of eminent North American climatologists showed that 83 percent of them debunked the global warming theory.

Well chaps I'm waiting ...... responses please!!!!

November 2nd, 2006, 03:50 PM
I used the word statement, not link.

How am I backtracking?

Again, you are not explaining yourself.

November 2nd, 2006, 04:00 PM
Zippy, this is Jake's statement:

"There is NO WAY to eliminate fossil fuel emissions, in fact we will have to increase them a lot just to keep the electricity grid functioning. There are really big problems forming already like the fact that there will soon not be enough water for everyone.

This is not a rant, this is simply reality."

Now what bits do you not agree with?

November 2nd, 2006, 04:14 PM
You will get a more detailed answer when you have answered the question I have asked several times:

You have avoided explaining how the admission of a water supply problem validates your contention that global warming is a fairy tale.

Until you do, you are on ignore.

BTW, your two links are a joke. Essex and McKitrick are peddling their book. There's even a webpage

The second link doesn't deserve comment.

November 2nd, 2006, 04:59 PM
And so too is it an outrage for Al Gore to tell you that most true scientists now agree that global warming is a fact.
What he doesn't tell you is that almost 500 scientists from around the world signed the Heidleburg Appeal in 1992 just prior to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, expressing their doubts and begging the delegates not to bind the world to any dire treaties based on global warming. Today that figure has grown to over 4000.
He also doesn't tell you that recently a Gallup Poll of eminent North American climatologists showed that 83 percent of them debunked the global warming theory.

Well chaps I'm waiting ...... responses please!!!!

I don't know where you get your sources, but they are obviously not credible. The bulk of the global warming "debunkers" do not even publish in peer-reviewed journals anymore. The 2500 scientists of the IPCC however, are all in consensus that the problem exists. You should visit their website at some point. Next year will be their 4th iteration of a periodic assessment report on the state of the global climate. Meanwhile, there are tons of resources on their current site (http://www.ipcc.ch/index.html). And here's a scholarly article that examines the consensus beyond the IPCC and among the most prominent academic and governmental organizations studying climate change: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/5702/1686.

Your self-denial is bordering on delusion.

November 2nd, 2006, 08:55 PM
from america's finest news source:


November 2nd, 2006, 09:32 PM
umm my argument started a few pages back but nevertheless I will clarify.

I'm not saying global warming is a fairy tale, I think it's very real BUT what most environementalists are trying to solve the problem by putting plastic bags on smokestacks while the root of the problem remains untouched.

I know people currently in decision making positions of the EPA responsible for the New York and New Jersey region. They tell me that the current trend is water energy and not carbon emissions.

What they are proposing, other than the formation of more agencies like the one I cited earlier are water resources study subagencies within the department of interior and its various subagencies like land management.

You can't eliminate fossil fuels because the electricity demand will be so high we need an extra 1900 COAL power plants NOW just to keep the lights on 10 years from now. Nuclear plant prototypes are ten years away in perfect condition and many decades away from being utilized.

So it seems the real problem of emissions is in fact rooted in overpopulation. Overpopulation leads to astronomical energy demand and emssions. If that wasn't enough roughly 40% of ALL freshwater in the US is used as power plant coolant! This water is released warmed and polluted disrupting virtually all natural means of carbon capture.

Look at the graph provided by pianoman, the increase in emissions is directly proportional to population rise.

As stupid as it may sound in a nutshell the real cause of global warming is people who don't know how to use condoms.

November 2nd, 2006, 09:59 PM
They tell me that the current trend is water energy and not carbon emissions.

Can you elaborate on that?

November 2nd, 2006, 10:02 PM
As stupid as it may sound in a nutshell the real cause of global warming is people who don't know how to use condoms.
One kid per family, Chinese style?

Actually, I think the problem is suburban zoning. If everybody lived in a place like Manhattan the problem would go away.

November 2nd, 2006, 10:19 PM
Why don't we combine the two, and just call it "inefficient allocation and usage of natural resources"? ;)

November 2nd, 2006, 10:46 PM
Can you elaborate on that?

Water energy refers to the use of freshwater resources for electricity production. The problem of fighting emissions is being entirely eclipsed by the coming water shortage arising from unsustainable electricity demand. So if it makes everyone feel better the EPA and local DEPs are shifting from emission regulation to water conservation. The two are very much interconnected, it's just that one is horribly imminent.

The apocalyptic numbers I've seen for water shortage make the average temperature rise seem like nothing. Even worse is the fact that these numbers are for YEARS and not decades in the future.

One of the people I talk about this every day is the EPA liaison to NYC and his exact words were "be afraid, be very afraid" now granted it was Halloween but he sounded serious.

One kid per family, Chinese style?

Actually, I think the problem is suburban zoning. If everybody lived in a place like Manhattan the problem would go away.

New York state is only facing a 4% population rise vs California's 54%. The northeast is a largely water rich area that will be spared the worst. The problem is three-fold. California and Florida have become the most obvious destinations for latino immigrants. Many northeasterners move to Florida and Arizona/New Mexico to retire. Blame it on immigrants or whatever but those areas also have the largest natural population growth. The northeast is the 7th largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world despite having the largest and most efficient transportation system in the world. There are simply too many people running iPod chargers all night and it shows. Forget China and India, they'll just face billion person starvation, we have crossed the 300 million mark and have already passed sustainable numbers. I personally think we should start shipping out useless people but most probably won't agree.

I admit I have always been a pessimist about many macro things related to the envrionment but some of the conferences I've been attending have been mind blowing. It is no longer the case where some hippy environmentalist preaches doom, these events are now organized by people that you know have a stake in being worried. Companies like GE are spending billions on environmental restructing because they see what's happening and don't want it to ruin them.

November 2nd, 2006, 11:46 PM
New York state is only facing a 4% population rise vs California's 54%. The northeast is a largely water rich area ...

And SoCal is a desert pretending to be the tropics -- for 20,000,000 people.

Doesn't take a genius to see that's a recipe for disaster.

A house on lots of land way out in the country with a well, some windmills and lots of solar panels may be the only answer.

(or a stash of cyanide tablets)

November 3rd, 2006, 03:20 AM
One kid per family, Chinese style?

Actually, I think the problem is suburban zoning. If everybody lived in a place like Manhattan the problem would go away.I don't think even that solves the problem as I believe New Yorkers despite having a lower footprint than the average American still outweigh most Europeans including Brits.

Simply put having high-density environments can be just as bad as sprawl and what it comes down to is simple unsustainable building practices - that require lots of energy be it the construction process or the materials themselves - and our consumption habits (most Manhattanites are unlikely to be poor and have un-lavished lifestyles).

I think the push has to come from both sacrafices and massive input into alternative renewable energies. That way we'd be negating any losses and shouldn't lose too much of our standard of living....although it could be argued that Britain and the Scandinavian countries have excelled that (and its something the HDI really ought to push for in my belief).

November 3rd, 2006, 05:06 AM
This debate is simply going nowhere and I'm making no further contribution to it, which will no doubt please all you "Global Warmers"! The Earth is 4.5 Billion years old, has undergone many cyclical changes, and will continue to do so. The arrogance of Man is that he believes he can control Nature - he can't, the trouble is we're all going to pay a heavy price for that arrogance. End.

November 3rd, 2006, 09:10 AM
WHat needs to be explored, especially with things such as Global Warming and the like, is the possibility for harnessing the additional thermal energy that is collecting in the biosphere.

IS there any way to harness the additional thermal currnets and other events that are occuring because of the climate shift? Something akin to magnetic kenetic dampers that would be able to take the energy from an earthquake and actually gain power from it, but more dependable and reliable. Storm "suckers" almost.

We already harness some of this energy in wind farms and hydroelectric dams, but there has to be more.

As for the west? The reason why there are 54% more people out there is not because of the "latino influx" as Jake wants to label it, but the mere fact that DESERT LAND IS CHEAP! Why do you think we have so many brushfires now? Not because of the envirnment, per say, but the fact that we stuck so many people out in an area that is dry 90% of the year. It is like packing a retiree in polyester fiber fill and giving them a space heater. You ARE going to get a fire.

Solution? Stop trying to pack so much into so small an area. Getting these 3500 SF places side by side in a stretch of desert and then expect to be able to generate the power needed to air condition them is rediculous! And the waty these places are built ignore the materials and methods used in older buildings in the same arid lands that helped ameliorate the heat and cooling problems (thick adobe walled constructions and tile rooves being two examples).

Sadly, the only way any of this will be realized is if things like price for electricity or other necessities goes up, which will force an evolution in how we are building our cities. But it will do that at the cost of others that do not have the money to stay afloat.

November 3rd, 2006, 10:58 AM
World population is certainly a key component of the problem. The exponential growth occurred over the last two centuries:


The "good" news is that birth rates are declining, and there are many studies that estimate zero population growth at about 10 billion in mid century.


November 3rd, 2006, 12:08 PM
WHat needs to be explored, especially with things such as Global Warming and the like, is the possibility for harnessing the additional thermal energy that is collecting in the biosphere.

IS there any way to harness the additional thermal currnets and other events that are occuring because of the climate shift? Something akin to magnetic kenetic dampers that would be able to take the energy from an earthquake and actually gain power from it, but more dependable and reliable. Storm "suckers" almost.

We already harness some of this energy in wind farms and hydroelectric dams, but there has to be more.

As for the west? The reason why there are 54% more people out there is not because of the "latino influx" as Jake wants to label it, but the mere fact that DESERT LAND IS CHEAP! Why do you think we have so many brushfires now? Not because of the envirnment, per say, but the fact that we stuck so many people out in an area that is dry 90% of the year. It is like packing a retiree in polyester fiber fill and giving them a space heater. You ARE going to get a fire.

Solution? Stop trying to pack so much into so small an area. Getting these 3500 SF places side by side in a stretch of desert and then expect to be able to generate the power needed to air condition them is rediculous! And the waty these places are built ignore the materials and methods used in older buildings in the same arid lands that helped ameliorate the heat and cooling problems (thick adobe walled constructions and tile rooves being two examples).

Sadly, the only way any of this will be realized is if things like price for electricity or other necessities goes up, which will force an evolution in how we are building our cities. But it will do that at the cost of others that do not have the money to stay afloat.I don't even know about technologies to 'suck' energy generated by the climate, let alone whether its possible....

Britain is gearing itself up to generate 50% of its total energy consumption from renewable sources (25% from wind, 25% from wave)...the largest off-shore wind farm is currently being built out in the Thames Estuary, while the movement to build a barrage across the River Severn are pretty advanced:



Quite simply with current technologies we could easily rely upon renewables to power our lifestyles. Oil however is still too cheap.

The London Array - largest off-shore wind farm on the planet, will provide one quarter of the electricity for London (ie 2mn people). More are being built and who are building them - Shell and BP of course! Hell, BP are the world leaders in soar panel manufacture!


November 3rd, 2006, 12:26 PM
I was wondering when the link would be shown.

It would be STUPID for the Oil companies not to invest in PRIVATELY OWNED sources for energy and resource generation.

They could donate that money for the greater good, but it would not give them a return on their investment!

November 5th, 2006, 08:33 PM
Global Warming Could Trigger Insect Population Boom


livescience.com/animalworld (http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/061104_gb_insects.html)
By Abigail W. Leonard
Special to LiveScience
November 4, 2006

A rise in the Earth’s temperature could lead to an increase in the number of insects (http://www.livescience.com/insects/) worldwide, with potentially dire consequences for humans, a new study suggests.

New research shows that insect species living in warmer areas are more likely to undergo rapid population growth because they have higher metabolic rates (http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/060501_tropics_evo.html) and reproduce more frequently. The finding has scientists concerned that global warming (http://www.livescience.com/globalwarming/) could give rise to more fast-growing insect populations and that we could see a spike in the number of six-legged critters.

The consequences could be more serious than just a few extra bug bites each summer. “If they’re crop species, we could count on needing to use more pesticides and it could be very costly,” said Melanie Frazier, a doctoral student at the University of Washington and lead author of the study.

Insect-borne diseases are also a worry. Malaria (http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology/050120_mosquito_sense.html), Lyme Disease (http://www.livescience.com/environment/051101_insurance_warming.html) and a host of others rely on insect vectors to spread among humans, and a swell in their populations could mean more infections.

Already, scientists have observed a widening of malarial zones (http://www.livescience.com/environment/060515_african_glaciers.html) with new cases appearing in previously unaffected areas. The change is thought to be due to rising temperatures (http://www.livescience.com/environment/060201_temperature_differences.html) and an expansion of areas habitable for mosquitoes. The new research, detailed in the October issue of The American Naturalist, shows rising temperatures would mean insects would not only spread out, but also multiply more quickly.

Still, Frazier says it’s too soon to predict which species will adapt and which might even face extinction. She and her colleagues looked at 65 insect species and found a correlation between warm climes and population growth across the board – but, she cautioned, the scientists have no way of predicting which species will eventually adapt to new, warmer areas.

We won’t have to wait long to find out. Insects adapt quickly, so we will likely see changes within our lifetime, Frazier says.

More Oxygen Could Make Giant Bugs (http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/061011_giant_insects.html)
Evolution Occurs Faster at the Equator (http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/060501_tropics_evo.html)
How Global Warming is Changing the Wild Kingdom (http://www.livescience.com/environment/050621_warming_changes.html)
Secret Weapons: Defenses of Insects, Spiders, Scorpions and Other Many-Legged Creatures (http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/secretweapons.html)© 1999-2006 Imaginova Corp.

November 30th, 2006, 09:40 AM
November 30, 2006

Justices’ First Brush With Global Warming


WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 — A Supreme Court argument Wednesday on the Bush administration’s refusal to regulate carbon dioxide in automobile emissions offered three intertwined plot lines to the audience that had come to watch the court’s first encounter with the issue of global climate change.

On one level, the argument was about the meaning of the Clean Air Act, which the Environmental Protection Agency maintains does not treat carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases as air pollutants and thus does not give the agency the authority to regulate them.

On another level, the argument was about whether the dozen states, three cities and many environmental groups that went to federal court to challenge the agency’s position had legal standing to pursue their lawsuit.

And on still another level, the courtroom action was an episode in a policy debate that began well before this case arrived on the Supreme Court’s docket and that will continue, in the political sphere, no matter what the justices decide.

By the end of the argument, that continuing debate appeared the only certain outcome.

The justices seemed deeply divided on the question of standing. Any plaintiff in federal court must establish standing to sue, by proving there is an injury that can be traced to the defendant’s behavior and that will be relieved by the action the lawsuit requests.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., along with Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel A. Alito Jr., expressed strong doubts that the plaintiffs, represented by Assistant Attorney General James R. Milkey of Massachusetts, could meet those interrelated conditions by showing that global climate change presented a sufficiently tangible and imminent danger that could be adequately addressed by regulating emissions from new cars and trucks.

“You have to show the harm is imminent,” Justice Scalia instructed Mr. Milkey, asking, “I mean, when is the cataclysm?”

Mr. Milkey replied, “It’s not so much a cataclysm as ongoing harm,” arguing that Massachusetts, New York, and other coastal states faced losing “sovereign territory” to rising sea levels. “So the harm is already occurring,” he said. “It is ongoing, and it will happen well into the future.”

Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito both suggested that because motor vehicles account for only about 6 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, even aggressive federal regulation would not be great enough to make a difference, another requirement of the standing doctrine.

When Mr. Milkey replied that over time, “even small reductions can be significant,” Chief Justice Roberts responded: “That assumes everything else is going to remain constant, though, right? It assumes there isn’t going to be a greater contribution of greenhouse gases from economic development in China and other places that’s going to displace whatever marginal benefit you get here.” At another point, the chief justice said the plaintiffs’ evidence “strikes me as sort of spitting out conjecture on conjecture.”

On the other side, Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Paul Stevens and David H. Souter appeared strongly inclined to find that the plaintiffs had met the standing test.

Justice Souter engaged Deputy Solicitor General Gregory G. Garre, the lawyer who was defending the administration’s position, in a long debate. When Mr. Garre said the plaintiffs “haven’t shown specific facts which should provide any comfort to this court that regulation of less than 6 percent or fewer greenhouse emissions worldwide will have any effect on their alleged injuries,” Justice Souter demanded: “Why do they have to show a precise correlation?”

“It is reasonable to suppose,” the justice continued, “that some reduction in the gases will result in some reduction in future loss.” It was “a question of more or less, not a question of either/or,” he said, adding: “They don’t have to stop global warming. Their point is that it will reduce the degree of global warming and likely reduce the degree of loss.”

Mr. Garre replied that given the problem’s global nature, “I’m not aware of any studies available that would suggest that the regulation of that minuscule fraction of greenhouse gas emissions would have any effect whatsoever.”

Then Justice Breyer took on the government lawyer. “Would you be up here saying the same thing if we’re trying to regulate child pornography, and it turns out that anyone with a computer can get pornography elsewhere?” Justice Breyer asked, adding, “I don’t think so.”

By the end of the argument there appeared a strong likelihood that the court would divide 5 to 4 on the standing question, with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy holding the deciding vote. His relatively few comments were ambiguous. Early in the argument he challenged the assertion by Mr. Milkey, the states’ lawyer, that the case “turns on ordinary principles of statutory interpretation and administrative law” and that there was no need for the court “to pass judgment on the science of climate change.”

That was “reassuring,” Justice Kennedy said. But, he added, “Don’t we have to do that in order to decide the standing argument, because there’s no injury if there’s not global warming?”

The justices eventually discussed the substance of the Environmental Protection Agency’s position. Mr. Garre said the agency had “responsibly and prudently” reached the conclusion that “Congress has not authorized it to embark on this regulatory endeavor.”

But the government lawyer seemed defensive when challenged by Justice Scalia on the agency’s view that carbon dioxide was not an air pollutant within the meaning of the Clean Air Act. Mr. Garre referred several times to “the conclusion the agency reached,” an unusual locution that seemed something short of the full embrace that lawyers from the solicitor general’s office usually offer the agencies whose positions they defend.

The Bush administration’s conclusion that the Clean Air Act does not authorize the E.P.A. to address climate change marked an about-face from the agency’s previous view of its legal authority.

The agency’s current position is that even if it had authority, it would choose for various policy reasons not to exercise it. That position was upheld in a fractured ruling by the federal appeals court here, a decision that led to the Supreme Court appeal, Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 05-1120.

At this stage, even if the plaintiffs survive the challenge to their standing and the court finds that statutory authority exists, it is highly unlikely that the court would order the agency to undertake regulation. It would be a victory, Mr. Milkey agreed, if the justices went so far as to tell the E.P.A. to reconsider its position.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

December 22nd, 2006, 05:47 PM
What is our woe is the male grey seal's delight:

December 14, 2006

Climate change enhances grey seals' sex lives

LONDON (Reuters) - Climate change could be disastrous for some animals, but male grey seals are probably not complaining -- it has improved their sex lives.

Weaker males would not normally have a chance with the females, who usually go for the more dominant types.

But lower rainfall levels have forced female seals on the remote Scottish island of North Rona to travel further from their partners to find fresh water, giving the weaker males more opportunity to mate with them.

"The increased movement amongst the females allows the weaker males to mate," said Dr Sean Twiss of the University of Durham in England.

Dominant males typically mate with 10-15 females, which they guard on their territory, according to a study published in the Royal Society's journal Biology Letters.

"These males' ability to dominate is easy when rainwater pools are abundant and females cluster in a small geographical area, but during the dry season the area in which the females are located becomes too big and they can no longer successfully keep an eye on them all," Twiss said in a statement.

During a 9-year study of the seals on North Rona, Twiss and scientists from the University of St Andrews in Scotland recorded a 61 percent increase in the number of males contributing to the genetic pool.
"These findings show that climate change, whilst endangering many species, could also help to increase the genetic diversity of some species," Twiss said.


Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus) adult male (bull) emerging from sea onto breeding grounds. UK. November 2005.

And he scores!!

Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus) close-up of male (bull) and female (cow) nose to nose. UK. November 2005.

Photos from:

December 22nd, 2006, 08:44 PM
What is our woe is the male grey seal's delight:I wouldn't think so.

Having the weaker males pass on their genes is ultimately detrimental to their species as a whole.

So no, GW is bad for them as well.

December 23rd, 2006, 05:42 AM
Having the weaker males pass on their genes is ultimately detrimental to their species as a whole.

This may or may not be correct. The increased genetic diversity may offset the decreased physical strength. We just don't know.

Science aside, my opening statement was satirical; I thought people would figure this out, but perhaps I should have put a ;) after it.

December 28th, 2006, 12:03 AM
Govt. sees polar bears as 'threatened'

AP Photo: (http://news.yahoo.com/photo/061227/480/ny19312271645&g=events/lf/022504polarbears) This file photo provided by Mary Sage
shows a polar bear watching a whaling crew...

By JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press Writer
December 27, 2006

WASHINGTON - Polar bears are in jeopardy and need stronger government protection because of melting Arctic sea ice related to global warming, the Bush administration said Wednesday.

The Interior Department cites thinning sea ice as the big problem; outside the government, other scientists studying the issue say pollution, overhunting, development and even tourism also may be factors. Greenland and Norway have the most polar bears, while a quarter of them live mainly in Alaska and travel to Canada and Russia.

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne on Wednesday proposed listing polar bears as a "threatened" species on the government list of imperiled species. The "endangered" category is reserved for species more likely to become extinct.

"Polar bears are one of nature's ultimate survivors, able to live and thrive in one of the world's harshest environments," Kempthorne said. "But we are concerned the polar bear's habitat may literally be melting."

A final decision on whether to add the polar bears to the list is a year away, after the government finishes more studies.

Such a decision would require all federal agencies to ensure that anything they authorize that might affect polar bears will not jeopardize their survival or the sea ice where they live. That could include oil and gas exploration, commercial shipping or even releases of toxic contaminants or climate-affecting pollution.

Kempthorne, however, said his department's studies indicate that coastal and offshore oil and gas exploration — heavily promoted by the Bush administration, particularly in Alaska — shouldn't be curtailed.

"It's very clear that the oil and gas activity in that area does not pose a threat to the polar bears," he said.

Similarly, Alaskan natives and other people who depend on hunting the bears as part of their subsistence diet probably will not be affected, Kempthorne said.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (news (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/DailyNews/politics/news/ap/ap_on_sc/polar_bears/21392525/*http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news?fr=news-storylinks&p=%22Sen.%20Barbara%20Boxer%22&c=&n=20&yn=c&c=news&cs=nw), bio (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/capadv/bio/ap/ap_on_sc/polar_bears/21392525/SIG=11779k8ub/*http://yahoo.capwiz.com/y/bio/?id=358), voting record (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/capadv/vote/ap/ap_on_sc/polar_bears/21392525/SIG=11g37t61u/*http://yahoo.capwiz.com/y/bio/keyvotes/?id=358)), D-Calif., the incoming head of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said the polar bear's plight reflects the health of the planet.

"Global warming is melting polar ice at an alarming rate and we are now beginning to realize the consequences of this," she said. "This news serves as a wake-up call to the U.S. Congress and the administration that we must quickly begin to address global warming through legislative action."
Environmentalists hope that invoking the Endangered Species Act protections eventually might provide impetus for the government to cut back on its emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping "greenhouse" gases blamed for warming the atmosphere.

The proposed listing also marks a potentially significant departure for the administration from its cautious rhetoric about the effects of global warming. Kempthorne cited the thinning sea ice brought about by global warming as the main culprit, although he said his department wasn't required by the endangered species law to study climate change.

President Bush (http://search.news.yahoo.com/search/news/?p=President+Bush)'s steadfast refusal to go along with United Nations (http://search.news.yahoo.com/search/news/?p=United+Nations)-brokered mandatory controls on carbon dioxide, the chief global warming gas, has contributed to tensions between the United States and other nations.
Polar bears, an iconic and cold weather-dependent animal, are dropping in numbers and weight in the Arctic. In July, the House approved a U.S.-Russia treaty to help protect polar bears from overhunting and other threats to their survival.

That vote put into effect a 2000 treaty that sets quotas on polar bear hunting by native populations in the two countries and establishes a bilateral commission to analyze how best to sustain sea ice. It also approved spending $2 million a year through 2010 for the polar bear program.

The Polar Bear Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union, based in Gland, Switzerland, has estimated the polar bear population in the Arctic is about 20,000 to 25,000, put at risk by melting sea ice, pollution, hunting, development and even tourism.

The group lists the polar bear among more than 16,000 species threatened for survival worldwide, and projects a 30 percent decline in their numbers over the next 45 years. It says sea ice is expected to decrease 50 percent to 100 percent over the next 50 years to 100 years.

The decision from Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service, which oversees endangered species, coincides with a court-ordered deadline. In February 2005, the Center for Biological Diversity, Natural Resources Defense Council and Greenpeace petitioned Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the polar bears. After Fish and Wildlife officials missed a deadline for deciding earlier this year, the groups sued and agreed on Wednesday's deadline.

"This is a victory for the polar bear, and all wildlife threatened by global warming," said Kassie Siegel, a lawyer for the Center for Biological Diversity. "There is still time to save polar bears but we must reduce greenhouse gas pollution immediately."
On the Net:
Fish and Wildlife Service: http://www.fws.gov/endangered (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ap/ap_on_sc/storytext/polar_bears/21392525/SIG=10vfarb9q/*http://www.fws.gov/endangered)
World Conservation Union: http://www.iucnredlist.org (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ap/ap_on_sc/storytext/polar_bears/21392525/SIG=10s57cl06/*http://www.iucnredlist.org)
Center for Biological Diversity: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ap/ap_on_sc/storytext/polar_bears/21392525/SIG=11aa0tc1c/*http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd)
Slideshow of Polar Bears: http://news.yahoo.com/photos/ss/events/lf/022504polarbears

A.P. Article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061228/ap_on_sc/polar_bears