Environmental concerns

Satcomer

In Geostationary Orbit
The author just wants to connect was trying to use Rush Limbaugh's popularity with conservatives and his thing against Global Climate Change and tie him to Cooks heated words to that stupid question (IMHO to get page hits).

Before to attack me I don't really listen to Rush anymore and have gone to the undecided side. In my beliefs the Republican Party went off the tracks a while ago. I also believe yes Climate Change is real but it the real causes have yet to be identified. Something is happening to really raise ocean temperatures the way Article ocean water is heating up. Plus some strange weather has been happening since the early 90's (think the Halloween Storm), and please don't say carbon dioxide.
 

Cheryl

Rosie Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Humans have not been tracking the earth’s climate long enough to determine exactly what is happening. Could the change really be the life cycle of earth? It’s not only people and their inventions that may be the cause. Earth itself with volcanos and earthquakes are making the change as well. Heck, the scientists can’t even agree on exactly what caused the demise of the dinosaur. And that was a Big change on earth.
 

Rhisiart

Registered
The author just wants to connect was trying to use Rush Limbaugh's popularity with conservatives and his thing against Global Climate Change and tie him to Cooks heated words to that stupid question (IMHO to get page hits).
Yes, I agree. It was really about getting at Limbaugh.

Before to attack me I don't really listen to Rush anymore and have gone to the undecided side. In my beliefs the Republican Party went off the tracks a while ago. I also believe yes Climate Change is real but it the real causes have yet to be identified. Something is happening to really raise ocean temperatures the way Article ocean water is heating up. Plus some strange weather has been happening since the early 90's (think the Halloween Storm), and please don't say carbon dioxide.
Climate change is very real. But I agree that the science is still fuzzy with regards to the actual cause of climate change. Is it man-made? Is it a natural cycle?

I suspect myself that it is a bit of both.
 

bbloke

Registered
To be honest, I'm often puzzled by perceptions that scientists are quite so divided on the subject. The following is not an attack on anyone here, I assure you, it's only that this subject sometimes surprises me and I wonder about the origins.

True, there are and always will be disagreements regarding scientific theories and that is a good thing. We always need debate to constantly challenge our understanding, as this ensures that theories can develop further and stand up to scrutiny.

In my experience, however, this great split in the scientific community about climate change just does not seem to exist. I've actually never met a scientist who disagreed with anthropogenic (i.e. human caused) climate change, although I know some will be out there.

That is anecdotal evidence, however, so let's see what the data out there actually says. A recent article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (a prestigious journal) states:

Here, we uanthropogenic climate changese an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field surveyed here support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers."
(where "ACC" is "anthropogenic climate change")

In a study from a few years earlier, in Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, (alternative link for those who don't have direct access) around 90% of scientists surveyed felt global temperatures had risen (question 1), compared to pre-1800 levels, and 82% felt that "human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures" (question 2). Note that this was for a broad range of scientists, and that the "yes" vote for question 2 rose to 97.4% when only considering the replies of specialists in the field. One of the things I found most interesting, however, was Figure 1. This showed the answers to question 2 from members of the public and of scientific contributors in different categories. The percentage of members of the public who believed that human activity was not significantly to blame was about five times higher than amongst scientists. It is worth asking why this is.

Alternatively, one could have a look at a graph on Wikipedia that has compiled the results of different surveys of scientists. The percentage of scientists feeling that climate change is largely anthropogenic ranges between 82% - 98%. Further statements from organizations can be found on NASA's web pages. So the surveys mentioned so far would appear to support my feeling that the public perceives a great scientific divide on climate change which scientists themselves do not perceive.

So where is the controversy coming from? Well, it is worth having a look at who is advocating climate change denial and who funds it. An article in Scientific American describes the search to identify these sources:

In the end, Brulle concluded public records identify only a fraction of the hundreds of millions of dollars supporting climate denial efforts. Some 75 percent of the income of those organizations, he said, comes via unidentifiable sources.

And for Brulle, that's a matter of democracy. "Without a free flow of accurate information, democratic politics and government accountability become impossible," he said. "Money amplifies certain voices above others and, in effect, gives them a megaphone in the public square."

Powerful funders, he added, are supporting the campaign to deny scientific findings about global warming and raise doubts about the "roots and remedies" of a threat on which the science is clear.
There was also an interesting article in The Guardian (if not using only US sources :) ), where it stated:

Conservative billionaires used a secretive funding route to channel nearly $120m (£77m) to more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change...
Again, this is absolutely not an attack on anyone here, I've just been perplexed by the controversy I've often seen in the US media and so thought I'd chime in! :)
 
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Rhisiart

Registered
A very good, thorough post bbloke. However I am a bit of a stuck in the mud and so it's hard to shift my view that climate change is both natural and man made.

However, anyone's views on this depends largely of whether they are challenging a general scientific consensus that climate change is due to the activities of human beings based on counter-scientific arguments, or some hidden right-wing pro-free market economic and/or fundamentalist religious agenda.
 

g/re/p

I can haz cigar?
My problem with the whole climate change thing is the fact it has become politicized, and government(s) are attempting to use unproven theory to scam us out of our hard earned money - and with no real results to show for it.

IMO, the whole "Carbon Tax" thing is nothing but a confidence game - paying a carbon tax does NOT reverse pollution or make greenhouse gases go away like they never existed.
 

reed

Registered
Check out the latest UN five year study on climate change. Just out.
 

g/re/p

I can haz cigar?
The UN has no credibility, so any study from that entity is automatically suspect, AFAIAC.
Also - a five year study would be inconclusive at best.
 
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