Monday, May 21, 2007

Salem witch-hunt

Man's contribution to the greenhouse gases was so small we couldn't change the climate if we tried.

"We're all going to survive this. It's all going to be a joke in five years,"

"It's become a witch-hunt; a Salem witch-hunt,"


Teaparty said...

If the global warming denialist weighs as much as a duck, he's made of wood and is therefore...a witch.

It's science.

jkruse said...

Here's a brief description of what Augie's not telling you:

jroosh said...

Thanks for the comment.

I read the page you linked and it is a narrow rebuttal to an admittedly narrow claim.

It is still debatable however whether increasing CO2 is caused by man and then is heating the planet versus (in my opinion) that the sun is heating the planet, which as a result increases CO2.

In other words, I believe the cause and effect relationship of CO2 in the atmosphere and warming depicted by MMGW supporters is reversed.

jkruse said...

Maybe we can break the record here for comment stream length. Anyway, here's an article addressing the time correlation between co2 and temperature:

jroosh said...

backatcha my friend:

click me click me!

jkruse said...

I gave it a quick read. I'll do so again more carefully soon. Work's kicking my butt for the next couple of days.

Thanks for the article.

jkruse said...

All right, I'm back.

So I read the linked article carefully. The one that I had originally linked stated that there could be some effect that caused an initial rise in temp. The rise in temp. causes an increase in atmospheric co2 and CH4, which exacerbates the initial temp increase. They postulate that this has happened several times over the millenia. There's also (according to them) a limit to how much co2 can be outgassed through increasing temperatures and eventually the system swings back toward equilibrium. The physicist you linked to is certain there's no way such a system with positive feedback could ever return to equilibrium.

There are absolutely instances of runaway feedback in the physical world. If current flowing through a semiconductor device warms it, the resistance of the device can decrease, leading to more current, more temp, and eventually it burns up. However, as the first authors point out, there are also many instances of feedback loops that die off and return to equilibrium.

Maybe my guy is right. Maybe yours is. The vast majority of those who have spent their lives studying this stuff agree with my guy. Are they all on the take? I guess it could be. I'm guessing that most of them are tenured professors. The reason universities have tenure is to promote academic independence, such that their careers don't depend on promoting the status quo. Maybe they just want to fit in. Don't know how many university science professors you've hung out with, but in my experience the last thing any of them wants to spend their time doing is promoting the prevailing ideas. The way to achieve renown is to prove that everyone else has it wrong. I guess these guys are all just a bunch of pansies.

As for your more recent post about spreading disease - I guess I feel compelled to comment on the cognitive dissonance you're displaying here. To summarize your position, "There's no way we can know that global warming is a man-made event. "Scientists" think they know, but they're just stupid and insecure. Want proof? Here, read this article by a scientist."

Finally, maybe all of these guys are wrong, and in 5 years we'll be buying snowmobiles again and joking about the global warming hysteria. But what if they're not wrong? Are you so sure that your handful of scientists are that much smarter than all of the others? What makes you so certain their position is correct? What if there's a 10% chance the global warming crew is correct? Would it be worth taking some action to avert a potential disaster? How about if the likelihood is 20%? How good do the odds have to be before it's worth doing something about it? If you're heading out on a 100 mile bike ride and there's a 50% chance of rain, do you bring a rain jacket? (I know you think weather men are critically stupid and unable to ever get anything right, so maybe you don't. That' OK, but I'm begging you to understand that weather men have nothing to do with climatology. The fact that you keep bringing them up makes me a little sad.)

jroosh said...

Krusey, thanks for your comments. I may not agree with you but you are thoughtful and respectful.

The science can be argued to be flawed - quite convincingly - on either side. You and I could email each other oposing articles written by credible sources ad infinitum.

Throwing Meteorologists in with the MMGW scientists is to make the point that despite the application of our most advanced science and super-computer modeling, we can't predict the weather beyond dinnertime most days. I believe most meteorologists ironically also think MMGW isn’t valid – yet. This might not be good science, but it still resonates with me at least from a common-sense standpoint.

If the two sides of the scientific debate cancel each other out (for argument’s sake), then what are we left with? Who stands to gain or lose if we continue to marshal more and more resources to abate a crisis that may or may not exist?

What we are left with is the motivation for this movement and more interestingly its origins. That for me is the story behind the story and the motivation for me to continue to rally against the sky-is-falling/we-only-have-five-years-left hysteria.

MMGW is an attack on my personal rights without cause – at least for now. It is an attack on industry. It is an attack on third-world countries desperate to develop.

I do take a coat with me if I think its going to rain – even if it’s only a 20-50% chance. And that is a valid analogy but devoting all of this effort to MMGW is different. Unlike forgetting a coat and getting a little wet, there is a huge opportunity cost here, and unfortunately it will be born by those individuals and countries that can ill-afford it. I think our planet has much more pressing and proven problems to be solved and funded than MMGW. They just don’t have the liberal political appeal that MMGW does – at least not at this moment.

In the mean time, we have and will continue to make huge strides to reduce emissions and make our cars and industry more energy efficient. But it seems that for the MMGW proponents, it is never enough.

Chet said...

The sun's not getting any brighter, though. In fact the sun's radiation has been falling since 1990.

How could the sun be responsible for global warming if, indeed, the sun is getting cooler?

Because man's emission of greenhouse gases - the equivalent of 2-3 Pinatubo eruptions every year - traps more of the sun's heat down here at the surface. And there's nothing flawed about that science.