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What are the real issues with global warming?

Original post made by Kerry on Dec 9, 2009

Does anyone know of an Internet site that lays out the best arguments for and against global warming? I am not interested in a tit-for-tat, back-and-forth debate. I just want the best arguments laid out by either side. An executive summary, with beef, if you will.

I am completely confused about this subject. The 'science' is too arcane for me. I try to read about data series and tree rings and computer algorithms, smoothing factors, etc., but it makes my head spin.

Is Sarah Palin right, or is it Al Gore?

Comments (31)

Posted by Bill, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 9, 2009 at 6:36 pm

If this is an honest question and you want an honest answer, you're asking in the wrong place. All you'll get is bickering in this forum, then it will get censored and all the responses will be lost. Serious people don't bother responding to political topics anymore.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2009 at 6:48 pm

The Economist in its latest issue (last Friday) has done a special on global warming. I have read some of it and I find that this publication is usually well written, well researched and does a good job of giving both sides of an argument without being overly biased. It also manages to give this in a readable style which the average joe can understand.


Posted by Kerry, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 9, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Bill,

It is a serious question. I think I indicated that I am not interested in a big political harangue, nor a 'science' debate per se, although the answer to my question may help all of us decide it in a political way (e.g. Palin vs. Gore).

If anyone can point me to an executive summary-type of document, with the main points, pro/con, I would appreciate it.

I watched the PA council meeting on Monday, on television, and I heard Larry Klein declare that only "dinosaurs" can be skeptical of global warming. I find that to be an absurd statement. Maybe Mr. Klein can provide the summary that I am looking for. I might end up agreeing with him, but not until I am convinced by the evidence.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 9, 2009 at 7:02 pm


The changes in surface temperature on other planets in the solar system have changed along with those on Earth, which suggests the changes are caused by changes in solar flare activity.
Also, historically, increases in the Earths CO2 follows increases in temp, not the other way round.


Posted by Bill, a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 9, 2009 at 7:14 pm

Everything you need to know at the EPA web site: Web Link
They are a lot more trustworthy than any of the anonymous postings here.


Posted by Kerry, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 9, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Bill,

I have read the EPA site, on a frequent basis. However it does not provide a side-by-side critque of its conclusions and assumptions. It is biased in favor of demonstrating global warming. I am looking for a site that actually puts such statements, as on the EPA site, with the critque of such statements. For example, is the so-called "hockey stick" graph accurate, as the EPA states?

There must be a palpable summary statement out there that compares and contrasts the major assertions, pro/con. I have not been able to find it. I am not convinced by arguments that state that "most scientists" believe one way or the other. There is too much money and protection of position involved in such assertions. I want to be convinced by a real and concise argument.


Posted by Bill, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 9, 2009 at 7:58 pm

Try Scientific American or National Geographic if you want more of a journalistic instead of an educational presentation.

National Geographic's global warming web site: Web Link
Scientific American's global warming web site: Web Link


Posted by Daniel Mart, a resident of Mountain View
on Dec 9, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Daniel Mart is a registered user.

My argument is that ... if you don't wanna call a time when we're losing the greatest number of endangered species, ice is melting at faster and fasteer rates, and weather is getting warmer and warmer global warming, then call it something else; we won't shoot. :)

lol ... that's why all the defense of gloabal warming being a hoax is ludicrous.

"The Great Species Wipeout" ... how about that? If we called it that, everybody'd agree and there'd be no debate.


Posted by R Wray, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 9, 2009 at 9:38 pm

You might find a recent lecture by Dr. Richard Linzen interesting. He gives some background history of the controversy.
Web Link


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 9, 2009 at 9:52 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Find a description somewhere at a level commensurate with your education and comprehension, of "Scientific Method".
I find that I have one thing in common with Hansen, Schmidt, and the crowd of rent seekers now infesting Copenhagen - none of us are scientists. I am, though, an engineer with a half century measuring, analyzing and predicting natural and man made processes.


Posted by A Frustrated Scientist, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 9, 2009 at 10:42 pm

Kerry:

There is no "back-and-forth" summary as the science is settled - global warming is real, is caused by human activities and is a real and tangible threat to society.

Don't want to take my word for it? OK - Then check out this statement from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which is the world's largest general scientific society:
"The vast preponderance of evidence, based on years of research conducted by a wide array of different investigators at many institutions, clearly indicates that global climate change is real, it is caused largely by human activities, and the need to take action is urgent," said Alan I. Leshner, chief executive officer of AAAS and executive publisher of the journal Science.
Web Link

This notion of a "debate" is instilled by climate change deniers who take advantage of the media which loves to "debate" all kinds of things, because it brings in ratings.

This isn't about "Palin vs Gore" - this is about addressing a real and growing threat to the world as a whole that has scientists worldwide raising their arms frantically waving and saying "Do something, dammit, do something already."
And it has just about reached this point with many of us:
Web Link


Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community
on Dec 9, 2009 at 11:13 pm

One of the statements in poster "A Frustrated Scientist" web links is:

"we recommend that you begin research on federally funded, hydroelectrically powered 'eldercution camps,' where the teeming hordes of the aged can be disposed of quickly and painlessly." "

Need I say more.....


Posted by VoxPop, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 10, 2009 at 8:35 am

Wray: Of course Lindzen (proper spelling) also claims there's only a weak link between lung cancer and smoking.

Outside Observer: The link is to the Onion, a satirical publication, not a real one.



Posted by Dizz-E, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 10, 2009 at 10:08 am

"The changes in surface temperature on other planets in the solar system have changed along with those on Earth, which suggests the changes are caused by changes in solar flare activity."

Really? While there exists a very short record of Mars surface temperatures, and a far longer one of Earth temps, who's been monitoring the surface temperatures of Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto?

That quote is typical of the denialist arguments, Kerry: "facts" invented to order. They make my head spin.


Posted by Good luck, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Dec 10, 2009 at 10:53 am

Kerry I admire your trying to get to the bottom of this.

I have never found a site that lays out stuff side by side. I have only read "yes it is real, the debate is over and we are doomed if we don't x, y and z", and "no, it isn't real and this is the science that combats the myths"

The EPA site and the Economist magazine have a definite bend to them..more government. I have found neither to be helpful to me.

The following sites give the rest of the science and/or dissenting discussion.

www.junkscience.com Self-ironically named "Junk Science"

Web Link Senator Inhofe's site on this issue

Web Link
www. The Heritage foundation research site.


All the above help distill out the politics and rely on science and solutions that don't cause more harm than good.


Posted by Dizz-E, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 10, 2009 at 1:49 pm

"All the above help distill out the politics and rely on science and solutions that don't cause more harm than good."

Senator Inhofe, politician extraordinaire, distills out politics??? Oh, puleeze.


Posted by Reader Beware, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 12, 2009 at 9:34 am

"JunkScience.com" is a one-man website run by Steven Milloy, a PR hack with no scientfic background who is a regular commentator on Fox News, while the Heritage Foundation is a "hard-right" DC think tank.

Not exactly neutral sources of info.


Posted by Good luck, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Dec 13, 2009 at 6:47 am

Again, Dizzy and Reader Beware: What we are trying to do is give people an antidote to the constant politicization and no scientific background junk that people are spoonfed by the Al Gore religion/media/leftists of the world.

Of COURSE anything contrary to that constant push for more taxes/regulation/control will by its very nature draw conclusions that we don't need more taxes/regulation and controls..thus "politicization". As for "no scientific background"...huh?? Might want to read about Gore's scientific background..something about glass houses comes to mind.

So, to Kerry, again, I admire your attempts to find good reading.

BTW, I had forgotten to recommend, on the book level, "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming" ( all these "Politically Incorrect Guides" are great), and any of its sources cited in the book are great also.

Movies " Not Evil, Just Wrong, the Film Al Gore doesn't want you to see" by Heritage Foundation

There was also a very informational but EXTREMELY dry presentation a few years ago, perhaps someone else may remember it, I can't find the name ..by a professor of CLIMATOLOGY. Didn't get much traction because it was like sitting in a professor's classroom and required thinking, but if anyone else remembers it, let us know please.


Posted by R Wray, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 16, 2009 at 10:37 am

Here is a link to an article that gives the fundamentals.
Web Link


Posted by Dizz-E, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 16, 2009 at 3:27 pm

That link's a head spinner, all right. Now this one's REALLY fundamental: Web Link. Have fun.


Posted by Mercury Rising, a resident of Southgate
on Dec 16, 2009 at 9:52 pm

Kerry, if you're still reading this and interested, you might try this link for a point-counterpoint: Web Link


Posted by Abandon All Hope All That Enter, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 16, 2009 at 10:05 pm

After the link to the article from R Wray, entitled "The Post-Human Left Unleashes Species Warfare at Copenhagen," I would really hope that Kerry has abandoned his effort to find anything worthwhile from this forum.


Posted by R Wray, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 17, 2009 at 10:36 am

If you're more mathematical and computer oriented, try this excellent link on the analysis of temperature data.
Web Link


Posted by Kerry, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 17, 2009 at 11:55 am

Please allow me to be more specific. The computer reconstruction of the data (hockey stick)that "R Wray" provided was interesting. I have heard about such reconstructions. What I would like to see is a DIRECT response to such challenges by the pro-warming folks.

I have read that arctic ice has melted back before. Is the current melting, if there really is any, unusual? What is the effect of the termal-haline 'pump' on the gulf streams versus winds from the tropics? What are the effects of positive and negative feedback loops in atmospheric heat content?

I know I am asking a lot, but I would like to see side-by-side discusiions of these, and other, questions by the best and most articulate defenders of their views. The link provided by "Mercury Rising" was partially useful, but it was not fully what I am looking for.


Posted by Dizz-E, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 18, 2009 at 10:01 am

Kerry

What you are seeking may not exist. For example, I am unaware of any website where professional astronomers duke it out point-by-point with astrologers. Mercury Rising's link is the closest such thing I've seen on this topic.


Posted by Kerry, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 18, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Dizz-E,

I am just trying to figure out if the hockey stick belongs in the astronomy or astrology category. I don't think this is too much to ask, considering the stakes involved.


Posted by Good luck, a resident of Meadow Park
on Dec 19, 2009 at 5:58 am

Kerry, I am starting to wish I knew who you are. You seem quite intelligent. "astrology or astronomy" was a great metaphor...

Keep reading and thinking.

Our country needs more people like you.

Thanks.


Posted by Dizz-E, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm

"I am just trying to figure out if the hockey stick belongs in the astronomy or astrology category. I don't think this is too much to ask, considering the stakes involved."

Interesting question. I'd never encountered the term in either discipline, so I did some snooping. In the political arena, Sarah Palin would say the distinction is lipstick. Climatologically, you might try this link Web Link and this Web Link. The controversy is about the shape of the blade, but the story is the existence of the handle.

In the political arena, Sarah Palin would say the distinction is lipstick.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 21, 2009 at 8:53 pm

AGWs god is dead, India, China and the USA do not agree to this money grab-- so the fad is over.
we can understand the countries that would have gotten $billions from this are upset, but it is over.
People now understand that the main threat to the environment is Chinas pollution with mercury, other heavy metals, and SO2.

The world may be getting warmer as a result of Sun Spot activity, as is the surface of Venus, it happened before in the 10 Century and will happen again.

The attempt at UN world control through AGW failed.

Obamas confronting China on this issue was his best move

The question is what are the AGW going to create as their next cause?

In Europe it will morph into anti Islam immigration and maybe something more ugly, in the US will be population control and anti immigration.
Once these movements start they morph.

Hopefully in Palo Alto we will see a focus on fixing the roads, cutting spending on frivolous things and suppressing violent crime.


Posted by To Kerry, a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 4, 2010 at 5:51 am

Kerry:

Was it Yogi Berra who said "It is deja vu all over again"??

Ok, here we are ..

Web Link

I remember as a teenager planning to move as far south as I could to survive the (then) global freezing that was going to kill most of us.

Then, when it became "global warming" that was going to kill all of us, I had to scratch my head and say "what??" Did some research, and found we are on a roughly 30 years global temp swing cycle, and if you look at headlines in our papers since the mid 1800s, you find that this is now the 3rd time we are having "global freezing" headlines, after last 20 years of "global meltdown" headlines ( that was the second cycle in our journalism history of "global meltdown" headlines, with the first cycle coming in the early 1900s).

So, I await the next push for a World Govt, led by those who oppose freedom and capitalism and enlisting what Stalin called "useful idiots" into their cause in the name of "saving the world": A push for a World Govt to take from the developed, free countries and give to the less developed and less free countries ( distribute the wealth, it is only "fair") in the name of "global freezing and it is all our fault so we need to be regulated"

As Chavez said in the last UN Conference, Web Link

In Short: " He also asserted, "our revolution seeks to help all people…socialism, the other ghost that is probably wandering around this room, that's the way to save the planet, capitalism is the road to hell….let's fight against capitalism and make it obey us.""

I have concluded that has always been the real aim of most of the "leaders" of the "warmies", to kill capitalism and freedom.

Therefore, I await as the 'warmies" become "freezies" and use this as the battle cry to kill capitalism and freedom ( again...yawn).




Posted by To Kerry, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 9, 2010 at 6:58 am

Web Link

Link to AP article about the coldest winter hitting us since 1981..odd, that fits in with the 30-ish year warming/cooling cycle our earth has always been on in sync with the sun flare cycle and the cycling of our position to the sun.

I don't think CO2 has much to do with it, especially since Mars' ice had melted some a decade back also...do you?

I suspect Mars will start freezing back up.

It will be fun to watch what happens over the next 10 years.


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