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Global warming in a nutshell.

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  • Global warming in a nutshell.

    Everything you need to know about global warming, or climate change, in a few short paragraphs.

    Bob Carter is right. We should adapt to whatever climate change that happens. There is no point trying to stop burning fossil fuels. Its not going to happen, and it may not be having much of an effect on the climate in any case.


    Deal with climate reality as it unfolds
    Special to Financial Post May 23, 2012 8:58 PM ET


    Policymakers have quietly given up trying to cut carbon dioxide emissions

    By Bob Carter

    Over the last 18 months, policymakers in Canada, the U.S. and Japan have quietly abandoned the illusory goal of preventing global warming by reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Instead, an alternative view has emerged regarding the most cost-effective way in which to deal with the undoubted hazards of climate change.

    This view points toward setting a policy of preparation for, and adaptation to, climatic events and change as they occur, which is distinctly different from the former emphasis given by most Western parliaments to the mitigation of global warming by curbing carbon dioxide emissions.

    Ultimately, the rationale for choosing between policies of mitigation or adaptation must lie with an analysis of the underlying scientific evidence about climate change. Yet the vigorous public debate over possibly dangerous human-caused global warming is bedevilled by two things.

    First, an inadequacy of the historical temperature measurements that are used to reconstruct the average global temperature statistic.

    And, second, fuelled by lobbyists and media interests, an unfortunate tribal emotionalism that has arisen between groups of persons who are depicted as either climate alarmists or climate deniers.

    In reality, the great majority of working scientists fit into neither category. All competent scientists accept, first, that global climate has always changed, and always will; second, that human activities (not just carbon dioxide emissions) definitely affect local climate, and have the potential, summed, to measurably affect global climate; and, third, that carbon dioxide is a mild greenhouse gas.

    The true scientific debate, then, is about none of these issues, but rather about the sign and magnitude of any global human effect and its likely significance when considered in the context of natural climate change.

    For many different reasons, which include various types of bias, error and unaccounted-for artifacts, the thermometer record provides only an indicative history of average global temperature over the last 150 years.

    The 1979-2011 satellite MSU (Microwave Sounding Units) record is our only acceptably accurate estimate of average global temperature, yet being but 32 years in length it represents just one climate data point. The second most reliable estimate of global temperature, collected by radiosondes on weather balloons, extends back to 1958, and the portion that overlaps with the MSU record matches it well.

    Taken together, these two temperature records indicate that no significant warming trend has occurred since 1958, though both exhibit a 0.2C step increase in average global temperature across the strong 1998 El Nino.



    In addition, the recently quiet Sun, and the lack of warming over at least the last 15 years and that despite a 10% increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide level, which represents 34% of all post-industrial emissions indicates that the alarmist global warming hypothesis is wrong and that cooling may be the greatest climate hazard over coming decades.

    Climate change takes place over geological time scales of thousands through millions of years, but unfortunately the relevant geological data sets do not provide direct measurements, least of all of average global temperature.

    Instead, they comprise local or regional proxy records of climate change of varying quality. Nonetheless, numerous high-quality paleoclimate records, and especially those from ice cores and deep-sea mud cores, demonstrate that no unusual or untoward changes in climate occurred in the 20th and early 21st century.

    Despite an estimated spend of well over $100-billion since 1990 looking for a human global temperature signal, assessed against geological reality no compelling empirical evidence yet exists for a measurable, let alone worrisome, human impact on global temperature.

    Nonetheless, a key issue on which all scientists agree is that natural climate-related events and change are real, and exact very real human and environmental costs. These hazards include storms, floods, blizzards, droughts and bushfires, as well as both local and global temperature steps and longer term cooling or warming trends.

    It is certain that these natural climate-related events and change will continue, and that from time to time human and environmental damage will be wrought.

    Extreme weather events (and their consequences) are natural disasters of similar character to earthquakes, tsunami and volcanic eruptions, in that in our present state of knowledge they can neither be predicted far ahead nor prevented once underway. The matter of dealing with future climate change, therefore, is primarily one of risk appraisal and minimization, and that for natural risks that vary from place to place around the globe.

    Dealing with climate reality as it unfolds clearly represents the most prudent, practical and cost-effective solution to the climate change issue. Importantly, a policy of adaptation is also strongly precautionary against any (possibly dangerous) human-caused climate trends that might emerge in the future.

    Deal with climate reality as it unfolds | FP Comment | Financial Post

  • #2
    Re: Global warming in a nutshell.

    Nice to see that nobody disagrees with Carter on this. Hopefully that means we can stop spending trillions on useless attempts to reduce CO2 emissions.

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    • #3
      Re: Global warming in a nutshell.

      Well you guys can stick your head in the sand and just carry on screwing up the planet but I'm glad I live in Europe where we're at least trying to cut our emissions and leave the environment in a better state than we found it. I'd rather live in a slightly poorer but less polluted country.

      ?


      • #4
        Re: Global warming in a nutshell.

        Originally posted by PeterUK75 View Post
        Well you guys can stick your head in the sand and just carry on screwing up the planet but I'm glad I live in Europe where we're at least trying to cut our emissions and leave the environment in a better state than we found it. I'd rather live in a slightly poorer but less polluted country.
        Who is "You guys"? Bob Carter is an Australain proffesor. Show me how any carbon emission reduction has resulted in a less polluted world. Last I looked we all shared the same planet.

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        • #5
          Re: Global warming in a nutshell.

          Originally posted by JDJarvis View Post
          Who is "You guys"? Bob Carter is an Australain proffesor. Show me how any carbon emission reduction has resulted in a less polluted world. Last I looked we all shared the same planet.
          By you guys I mean the countries who don't seem to see climate change as a problem.

          ?


          • #6
            Re: Global warming in a nutshell.

            Originally posted by PeterUK75 View Post
            By you guys I mean the countries who don't seem to see climate change as a problem.
            We see it as a problem. A manufactured problem.

            ?


            • #7
              Re: Global warming in a nutshell.

              Originally posted by PeterUK75 View Post
              Well you guys can stick your head in the sand and just carry on screwing up the planet but I'm glad I live in Europe where we're at least trying to cut our emissions and leave the environment in a better state than we found it. I'd rather live in a slightly poorer but less polluted country.
              More coal plants are being built in many countries around the world, including China and Europe. What do you think you are going to accomplish by trying to cut your emissions? Besides, there is no evidence that cutting CO2 emissions would "leave the environment in a better state than we found it".

              ?


              • #8
                Re: Global warming in a nutshell.

                Yes we can abandon hope that we might be better stewards of the planet for the sake of our posterity. While we are at it we can stop trying to reduce the corruption of our republican government. We can give up the fight for preservation of our civil liberties. We can surrender to the fait accompli of the dictatorship of multinational corporations and the sacrifice of everything we hold dear in the name of increased profits.

                Or we can follow our conscience and do what is right even if we think we may fail.

                ?


                • #9
                  Re: Global warming in a nutshell.

                  Originally posted by PeterUK75 View Post
                  By you guys I mean the countries who don't seem to see climate change as a problem.
                  So that would be... everyone BUT Europe.

                  China, India, Africa, South America... nobody else buys into it either...

                  ?


                  • #10
                    Re: Global warming in a nutshell.

                    Originally posted by tsquare View Post
                    So that would be... everyone BUT Europe.

                    China, India, Africa, South America... nobody else buys into it either...
                    Nobody except for vast majority of the scientists who actually know something about it.

                    Is there a scientific consensus on global warming?

                    In the scientific field of climate studies which is informed by many different disciplines the consensus is demonstrated by the number of scientists who have stopped arguing about what is causing climate change and thats nearly all of them. A survey of all peer-reviewed abstracts on the subject 'global climate change' published between 1993 and 2003 shows that not a single paper rejected the consensus position that global warming is man caused. 75% of the papers agreed with the consensus position while 25% made no comment either way, focusing on methods or paleoclimate analysis (Oreskes 2004).

                    Several subsequent studies confirm that ...the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes. (Doran 2009). In other words, more than 95% of scientists working in the disciplines contributing to studies of our climate, accept that climate change is almost certainly being caused by human activities.

                    We should also consider official scientific bodies and what they think about climate change. There are no national or major scientific institutions anywhere in the world that dispute the theory of anthropogenic climate change. Not one.

                    In the field of climate science, the consensus is unequivocal: human activities are causing climate change.
                    (Bold text in original)



                    NAS Recognizes Global Warming as Established Theory - Softpedia

                    The rest is just politicians pandering to the ignorant.

                    ?


                    • #11
                      Re: Global warming in a nutshell.

                      OK, so what sort of a world do you foresee for the human race with the constraint in place of not releasing any CO2?

                      Doesn't breathing release CO2?

                      ?


                      • #12
                        Re: Global warming in a nutshell.

                        Originally posted by timj219 View Post
                        Yes we can abandon hope that we might be better stewards of the planet for the sake of our posterity. While we are at it we can stop trying to reduce the corruption of our republican government. We can give up the fight for preservation of our civil liberties. We can surrender to the fait accompli of the dictatorship of multinational corporations and the sacrifice of everything we hold dear in the name of increased profits.

                        Or we can follow our conscience and do what is right even if we think we may fail.
                        No, we shouldn't do any of that, but there is no sense spending huge amounts of money trying to reduce our CO2 emissions. Carbon taxes, cap and trade, wind farms, solar panels - none of these have cut global emissions. They are higher than ever. It would take a global economic depression to reduce CO2 emissions, and what good would that do? Put off the looming climate catastrophe for a few years?

                        ?


                        • #13
                          Re: Global warming in a nutshell.

                          I think this argument is making the problem out to be too black and white. It is not a light switch, not a yes or no proposition. Instead it is a problem a degrees (pun intended I guess), where efforts to slow things down, even if we can't stop it, would still save billions of dollars in crop losses, water distribution problems, and coastline economic losses. We may all be able to agree that we cannot stop things, and also that the most dramatic solutions might cause more harm to the economy than good, but some solutions should actually successfully slow things down

                          ?


                          • #14
                            Re: Global warming in a nutshell.

                            Originally posted by poliblogs View Post
                            I think this argument is making the problem out to be too black and white. It is not a light switch, not a yes or no proposition. Instead it is a problem a degrees (pun intended I guess), where efforts to slow things down, even if we can't stop it, would still save billions of dollars in crop losses, water distribution problems, and coastline economic losses. We may all be able to agree that we cannot stop things, and also that the most dramatic solutions might cause more harm to the economy than good, but some solutions should actually successfully slow things down
                            By "slow things down" I assume you mean cut CO2 emissions. I don't know what solutions there are that would do that. Governments around the world have thrown billions - probably trillions in total - of dollars at various attempts to cut CO2 emissions. Solar, wind, biofuels, cap and trade, huge rebates on hybrid or plugin cars - none of this has even slowed down the growth of CO2 emissions let alone cut them.
                            If burning fossil fuels is actually going to cause warming we will have to adapt to it because we aren't going to stop it.

                            ?


                            • #15
                              Re: Global warming in a nutshell.

                              Originally posted by Brexx View Post
                              Nice to see that nobody disagrees with Carter on this. Hopefully that means we can stop spending trillions on useless attempts to reduce CO2 emissions.
                              Well at least you're not denying that global warming due to human activity is real.

                              Progress. :rolleyes:

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