August 26, 2006

Warmer... Cooler.... etc.

Saturday has apparently degenerated into global warming climate change day here at


    Abdusamatov and his colleagues at the Russian Academy of Sciences astronomical observatory said the prediction is based on measurement of solar emissions, Novosti reported. They expect the cooling to begin within a few years and to reach its peak between 2055 and 2060.

    "The Kyoto initiatives to save the planet from the greenhouse effect should be put off until better times," he said. "The global temperature maximum has been reached on Earth, and Earth's global temperature will decline to a climatic minimum even without the Kyoto protocol."

Can we settle on a direction here?

Environment Posted by AlexC at August 26, 2006 2:50 PM

But it's clear there is "no debate amongst serious scientists" that global warming is real and poses a threat to Earth.

Posted by: johngalt at August 27, 2006 12:10 PM

So with published articles running thousands to one supporting versus refuting global warming you figure it's about a draw? I know I am alone around here, but to review the facts, there are multiple independent sources of data showing warming of the earth and lower atmosphere, lab tests that show the IR absorbing capability of CO2, and fairly simple chemical equations showing CO2 as a byproduct of combustion. Can we completely and irrefutably connect the dots? No. Will we ever? Perhaps not, when your "system" is basically the entire world we live in with all of the variables that suggests. Valid discussion still exists on the topic, but the amount of BS hoisted out there by the "refuters" borders on the ridiculous. To be clear, recent and current models do predict actual measurements we are seeing, the global cooling JK often refers to from the '70's was a very short lived prediction at the very beginning of the study of climate change, and water vapor is part of all of these studies, in fact there are wavelengths of IR that pass through water vapor but are absorbed by CO2 so while the concentration of these gases relate to each other, their affects can still be additive.

So while I agree with JK that more research is needed I disagree with the notion that no policy decision should be made at this time. I don't see it as a leap of faith to accept the theory that we have the capability to upset the balance of nature, small scale evidence of that is all around. The points of discussion should be more about what the opportunities are for greener energy, for economic as well as environmental reasons. Even taking the most cynical attitude that this global warming is a liberal myth and nothing more than environmental marketing, good marketing is a proven money maker and investing some of our energy dollars away from oil and gas exploration and toward "greener" sources seems like a very good bet.

Posted by: silence dogood at August 28, 2006 2:51 PM

You just wanted to comment 'cause we have your favorite password today.

The reasons that you describe support Global Warming as a theory. I just think it ignores two small things: the amount of plant life on this planet and that hot, round thingy in the sky. These variables make computer modeling difficult at best.

I've seen zero studies where predictions matched future data but many results where they shoehorned exigencies to fit theory. That is one step above "making stuff up."

In the post below, I point to serous flaws in the theory vs. data sphere, by two people who believe in man-made global warming. To defer to Dr. Popper again, science is not a democracy. You probably had 1000-to-one scientists believing Aristotelian dynamics. But they didn't settle it by election, Signori Galileo apocryphally dropped some stones off a tower.

No, it would not hurt to invest some money in other technologies; private firms likely should. But that is NOT what the climate change lobby is calling for. A large contingent are anti-moderns who want to impede progress and punish prosperity. When they will come out and admit the Kyoto treaty is one of the stupidest ideas of all time and seek -- like the folks in my post below -- some realistic solutions based on science and not politics, I might just surprise you and climb aboard.

Posted by: jk at August 28, 2006 4:32 PM

Guess I better get another one in before my favorite password expires!

Point taken concerning Mr. Galileo, but if I had quoted a UP article from the Russian Academy of Sciences would you have rushed to support me? My point was that you can find hundreds of papers that make the opposite case and yet this is the one you cling to.

So, you know greenhouse gases exist, it is this effect of our atmosphere that keeps us from looking like Mars. You know that the primary two are water vapor and CO2 and it is easy to measure the increase in CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. Further it is proven that CO2 absorbs IR and we see evidence of warming from melting ice and shrinking glaciers. From here however you are not willing to even entertain the concept that we could be changing our environment as a whole? Maybe the dots aren't all connected, but there sure are a lot of dots.

I can't speak for this climate change lobby but I do know that there is lots of discussion of alternative energy. This is not no energy, but alternate sources and systems. I think you demonize too much the whole topic based upon the shoutings of a few fringe elements.

Posted by: silence dogood at August 29, 2006 12:29 AM

Go Blue Devils!

Back to Popper. A thousand articles supporting a theory are not as important as one refuting it. Thousands supported Aristotelian, then Newtonian mechanics, the final word was Mr. Einstein's Special Relativity in 1905.

I'm not saying the Russian paper is somehow dispositive of Global Warming. To be fair, this is Alex's post and JohnGalt's comment. I will say that it reinforces my opinion in the post below that we do not know enough to affect policy.

I might demonize the environmental movement -- they give me a lot of material. I'm cool with alternative energy sources and continued research. overturn Raich v Gonzales and let the hemp people power our cities. But the Sierra Club and other K Street environmental groups want us to all live in Manhattan densities and return everything else to the wild. There is a huge anti-modernity base in that movement. Were it expunged, I would probably sign up.

Posted by: jk at August 29, 2006 10:04 AM

My intent was to transparently bait Silence on this post. He's been absent far too long 'round here.

But my comment is valid: Silence has said before that there is "no debate amongst serious scientists" that man-made global warming is real, and he apparently continues to do so.

JK and Karl Popper's excellent points about science and democracy address the veracity of the theory. My point regarded the claim that the debate was settled at all, without regard for whether that "consensus" is (or was) wrong.

I'll certainly give a little credit to the scientific wherewithall of the Russian Academy of Sciences astronomical observatory. After all, it's not the "astrological" observatory.

Posted by: johngalt at August 29, 2006 2:59 PM | What do you think? [6]