In 1929 this documentary interviewed people in their 80’s and up. Average life span at that time was probably in the 40’s or 50’s so these are rare beings given their age and the times they were in.
Quantum computing explained in 5 levels of difficulty – kids to experts
“An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.” – Plutarch.
“There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credite expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved” – Ludwig von Mises
Depends on what you want to optimize.
If you know what you’re doing, want the fastest code possible, and do not care about optimizing development time, then assembly is the best. If you want function abstraction and named variables with your assembly, use C and accept a small runtime vs. development time tradeoff. If you want object abstraction, use C++ and accept a larger runtime vs. development time tradeoff. If you want automatic garbage collection, use a garbage-collected language (Java, C#) and accept a larger runtime vs. development time tradeoff. For the same applications you’ll want more memory as well. (I’ve been told you can run Java programs at the same speed as the equivalent C++ programs if you have 80% more memory.)
If you want a language with an easy learning curve and great libraries, use Python an accept a huge runtime vs. development time tradeoff. If you are doing web programming, you should probably use something like Python for your backend language. (It’s also possible to use Java, Ruby, or even Go.)
If you are looking for specialized routines, then MATLAB/Fortran (scientific computing) or R/Stata (statistical analysis) may be most powerful for you.
There are functional languages (categorized as such because they have higher-order functions, partial application, and all that jazz) all along this spectrum. Conventional wisdom says that with functional languages you accept a runtime vs. development time tradeoff, but the more familiar you are with the language, the less the tradeoff is.
If you are choosing the most powerful language to learn, I would recommend learning a statically typed functional language like OCaml or Haskell. While learning something like Python will have the highest immediate payoff because of the shallow learning curve and its abundant library support, learning a functional language will teach you to think about programming in ways that make you more effective in all languages. For instance, working with algebraic data types and pattern matching in a strongly typed language teaches you to reason explicitly about what your data should look like and helps you organize your code in languages as low-level as C. Having constructs such as higher-order functions, algebraic data types, polymorphic functions, and type classes (for organizing overloading polymorphism) in your mental toolbox can make you a much more powerful programmer. A downside of many of these languages is that there is only a small community that uses them–hence lack of tool and Q&A support.
Scala lives in a nice sweet spot of providing functional features while having a healthy and growing community using it for development code.
A few decades ago, I read an insightful column by a writer who said that opposition would proceed in the following steps:
(1) Denial that that climate change is happening.
(2) Admission that climate change is happening but insistence that it isn’t man-made.
(3) Admitting it, but arguing that nothing can be done about it without abandoning civilization.
(4) Admitting it but arguing that fixing it is too expensive.
(5) Criticism of the missteps and failures of those who are fixing it.
(6) Admission that it was fixed followed by dismissal of the efforts of those who did it.
(7) Denial that human effort had anything to do with correcting climate change.
(8) Conspiracy theories insisting the whole thing never happened.
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Background on American views of climate change
First, I don’t think it’s limited to Republicans. Americans in general are less likely to believe climate change is real compared to those in other nations.
The majority of scientists believe that human caused climate change is real. But unfortunately detractors have tried to deny these statistics. Only 16% of Americans realize that the expert consensus is over 90% on climate change. As expertise on climate science increases, so does belief in climate change. Right now we typically put the level of consensus around 97%. Read the link below for the studies that have found a large-scale consensus on human caused climate-change by the experts.
However the unfortunate reality is that not very many of us are using the science to inform our views on climate change.
On controversial topics such as climate change, a significant number of Americans do not use science to inform their views. Instead, they use political orientation and ideology, which are reflected in their level of education, to decide whether humans are driving planetary warming.
So clearly party identification does play a significant role in belief around climate change.
Another problem is that although the majority of Americans believe in climate change, we tend to give it a low priority.
In anof 39 publics last year, Americans were among the least concerned about climate change threatening their country.
Arguments for and against climate change
Some will also maintain that while climate change is real, it is not caused by humans and therefore no action need be taken. They are correct, that changes in climate do naturally occur.
warming—and cooling—has happened in the past, and long before humans were around. Many factors (called “climate drivers”) can influence Earth’s climate—such as changes in the sun’s intensity and volcanic eruptions, as well as heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere.
However there is still evidence that the changes we are seeing today are human caused.
For a computer model to accurately project the future climate, scientists must first ensure that it accurately reproduces observed temperature changes. When the models include only recorded natural climate drivers—such as the sun’s intensity—the models cannot accurately reproduce the observed warming of the past half century. When human-induced climate drivers are also included in the models, then they accurately capture recent temperature increases in the atmosphere and in the oceans.
When all the natural and human-induced climate drivers are compared to one another, the dramatic accumulation of carbon from human sources is by far the largest climate change driver over the past half century.
Another argument against climate change is that it’s being caused by fluctuations in the sun.
Over the past few hundred years, there has been a steady increase in the numbers of sunspots, at the time when the Earth has been getting warmer. The data suggests solar activity is influencing the global climate causing the world to get warmer.
This however, has also not been supported by the evidence.
The boundary between the lower atmosphere and the higher atmosphere has shifted upwards. This is likely caused by the build up of gases accumulating in the lower atmosphere, causing it to heat and expand. As less escapes to the higher atmosphere it begins to cool. If the sun was responsible for the changes we are seeing, this would not be happening as it would warm both layers of the atmosphere, not warm one and cool the other.
Furthermore, the sun has been showing a slight cooling trend recently. The sun and the climate have been moving in opposite directions, not together.
Another argument against climate change is that the current carbon levels in the atmosphere are completely normal and not the result of human causes.
Scientists actually have a way of determining the sources of carbon in our atmosphere. This is done by studying isotopes. Carbon isotopes are lighter or heavier depending upon their sources. Carbon from the ocean for example is at 0, while carbon from fossil fuels ranges from between -20 to -32. Carbon in the atmosphere is becoming lighter over time as carbon fossil fuels become more abundant in the atmosphere.
Still others will argue that Co2 has always been present in the atmosphere and that it’s fluctuations are normal and have remained normal. But this simply isn’t true. The historical high for Co2 in the atmosphere was measured at 300 ppm. It then dropped from its historical high until around 1950 Co2 levels rose drastically to over 380 ppm.
People have tried to take prior historical data to indicate that changes in C02 follow changes in temperature by 600 hundred to 1000 years and this leads them to the conclusion that Co2 and temperatures have no relationship. This argument leaves out relevant information.
The initial changes in temperature during this period are explained by changes in the Earth’s orbit around the sun, which affects the amount of seasonal sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface. In the case of warming, the lag between temperature and CO2 is explained as follows: as ocean temperatures rise, oceans release CO2 into the atmosphere. In turn, this release amplifies the warming trend, leading to yet more CO2 being released. In other words, increasing CO2 levels become both the cause and effect of further warming.
The only conclusion that can be reached from the observed lag between CO2 and temperatures in the past 400,000 years is that CO2 did not initiate the shifts towards interglacials. To understand current climate change, scientists have looked at many factors, such as volcanic activity and solar variability, and concluded that CO2 and other greenhouse gases are the most likely factor driving current climate change
What has persuaded Americans thus far?
American belief in climate change is increasing and now fewer doubt that climate change is real, with significant changes in republican views. But what was the driving force behind their change in belief?
Americans cited drought most often as having a “very large” effect on their attitudes, including 61 percent of those who believe climate change is occurring, according to the poll.
As noted earlier, people are not basing their perceptions on the science. But another factor that influences their belief is their own perceptions of what’s happening.
“People are often responding to their perception of weather or weather experience,” Rabe said. “Rather than look at scientific journals or U.N. reports, they have a tendency to look at what last summer or winter was like. So the drought issue has gone up dramatically.”
Pew poll investigated some of the largest influences on belief in climate change:
More said the biggest influence on their views has been education (28%), the media (24%), personal experience (18%), or something else (11%). Another 6% said friends or family had the biggest influence on their views.
So what does it take?
Education of the evidence that supports the existence of human cause climate change. Many of the arguments against it demonstrate a lack of knowledge around the full extent of supporting evidence of climate change or a misunderstanding of the evidence they are using to argue against it. Access to information, explanation of the evidence and coverage of the various effects of climate change on the world around us will spur more people into action.
Loss of money. The one thing Republicans care about even more than Christian evangelism or abortion is money. When the rising sea levels flood their beachfront houses; when the droughts kill their crops; when the property values of their homes plummet as the water dries up; when the price of food shoots up, they will at long last start to care.
They might still deny that it’s man-made, but whether man-made or not, they will be forced to acknowledge that they have to do something about it. Of course, by that time it may be too late.
The presumptive Republican candidate stated that climate change is “voodoo science”, that climate changes have always happened, etc. However it was reported on NPR that his lawyers have used the argument that global warming has caused higher ocean levels, more powerful storms, and increased beach erosion that could endanger his condominiums in Ireland.
So climate change is a total myth, unless it directly affects you and your profits. Than it is actually occuring if you want taxpayers to fund the construction of seawalls.
The answer is very simple. Stop committing the logical fallacies of false cause and confirmation bias.
False cause is presuming a connection when there is no evidence to support it. In the scientific community, we describe this by saying “correlation is not causation.” I.E., just because two things may be correlated, doesn’t mean one causes the other.
The AGW movement commits false cause largely with the insistence that manmade co2 is driving rapid climate change. Its just not. Let me explain.
Looking at co2 and temp levels prior to the industrial revolution, we see that Co2 has always followed temp change for the last 600,000 yrs of data we have. By an average of 800 years.
Co2 is historically released as the planet warms, not the other way around. Let me be specific and ultra-clear here. All throughout the last 600,000 years we have ice core data for, the planet does not warm up because co2 is released, co2 is released because the planet heats up. Something else caused the climate to change first, and it wasn’t co2. Co2 therefore, has never driven temperature. If it has never driven temp in the past, there is no reason to think it does now.
If you look at the entire time span at once, it looks like Co2 and temperature rise and fall together, a fact Al Gore exploited for his movie. But if you look at the data on a tighter time scale, Say 10K years at a time, you see that Co2 rise lagged behind temp rise by an average of 800 years. This is true for the last 600K yrs.
CO2 has never driven climate in the past, and if not, then why do you think it would drive climate now? What scientific evidence is there really? Yes, Co2 went up dramatically last century, and temp went up a little, but does that really mean there is correlation? or causation? Literacy rates worldwide went up last century as well. Does reading books cause global warming too? This is the false cause fallacy.
Now lets look at after the industrial revolution, since that’s what all the hubbubs about.
There STILL just isn’t the temperature and co2 correlation that people think there is. The earth was warming from the late 1800′s till 1940, even though there were very few industrialized countries and mans worldwide production of co2 was insignificant. If Co2 levels were virtually unchanged, why the warming?
After 1940, when worldwide production of co2 exploded after ww2 and worldwide industrialization kicked into high gear, temps went down for 35 years, prompting fears of an ice age. If Co2 was suddenly and massively increasing, why the cooling? In the 1970′s, even though co2 production was increasing at a steady rate, the cooling trend reversed itself and started to climb. With no significant change in Co2 production, why the switch from a cooling trend to a warming trend?
Now, even though co2 production is still increasing and higher than ever, the warming trend stopped and temps remain statistically stable since 1998. If Co2 is going up why the change in the trend again?
My point is, what temperature has done over the last 200 yrs and the slow steady increase in co2 levels for the last 200 yrs do not correlate at all. Not on a yearly or even a decadal basis. Co2 has never been shown to drive climate in the past. Yet, there are many points in earths history where co2 levels have been higher, temps have been higher, ocean levels have risen faster than they are today. AGW alarmists conveniently forget to tell you that the temp has slowly been increasing for about 11k years now, since the last ice age. But that wouldn’t help the narrative, would it?
All they have……..and I mean the ONLY evidence they have is the very weak correlation that after a certain, arbitrary period of time, (the last 200 years) temp is up a little and co2 levels have increased. In the last 200 years co2 has gone form .02% of the atmosphere to .04% of the atmosphere and the temp has gone up about 1.5 deg C. They choose this 200 year period because if they go back any further, co2 and temp start doing things that the AGW cant explain. But even WITHIN the 200 yr time period, what temp and co2 does are not correlated with each other. They don’t want you to look at any of that. they only want you to focus on temp and co2 are slightly higher after this particular period of time, nothing else. False Cause.
Confirmation bias is all around you. “The tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s preexisting beliefs or hypotheses, while giving disproportionately less consideration to alternative possibilities.”
When its cold, its AGW. When its hot, its AGW. When its a flood, its AGW. When its a drought, you guessed it, its AGW. No other possibilities are even remotely considered. We are flooded with “news” stories every day that say things like “scientists predict could be underwater by 2030.” Stories are full of could be’s and might be’s and probably’s, but its all passed of as if its legitimate science. They forget that they’ve been making gloom and doom predictions for 30 years now and none of them came true. it has the veneer of science but none of the substance.
yes, the earth is getting warmer. No, this is not the fastest it has ever warmed. All around you will see news stories related to a warming planet, and this is presented as evidence of AGW. but its not. If rain patterns shift due to a warming planet, that is proof the planet is warming. it is not proof that man made co2 caused the warming. But you will see this passed off as evidence that it is. Go through your favorite news source and look at the articles related to GW. They will all provide evidence that the planet is warming, and this will be used to prop up the AGW theory, that man made co2 is causing the warming. But its not evidence of that at all. its just evidence that the planet is warming, it proves nothing about the cause. Confirmation Bias.
Lastly, if you want republicans to pay attention, let the science speak for itself. If climate science is so settled, why should it fear a little debate? The competition and evidence of competing ideas is the cornerstone of the scientific process, something I fear those firmly entrenched in the AGW camp have forgotten.
Why the urge to clamp down on alternate views? They want to make denying AGW a crime. Seriously?
The more people treat AGW like a religion, the more they use terms like “denialist” and “heretic,” the more they try to end all discussion, the more they try to tell you the case is closed when their own facts and data models don’t match what they say is going to happen………….well frankly, the more red flags that sends up and the more people start to question.
Climate science is not faith. Its supposed to be science. If it cant withstand competing ideas, if it cant withstand alternate explanations, then the science probably isn’t very good and it sure as hell isn’t settled. Science is NEVER settled and when they repeat that it sounds very much like the Wizard of Oz insisting that no one look behind the curtain. But that just makes us want to look even more.
being a science amateur, and with not any degree on science, it took a long while to believe in AGW because, I lacked the data. Only the repetitions that “it’s gonna be a catastrophe” of colossal dimensions aroused my interest.
But I am a natural skeptic since I was 8 years old. I was raised with an aunt that went not to school but, as I discovered years later, she was very intelligent, in spite of not being able to read. With 8 years I had not been yet in school, but I was able to talk a lot. One day, my aunt asked something I do not remember now, and I replied. It was a complex reply. My aunt asked, “how do you know this?”
“I had heard it here. I think someone told it. You told this perhaps.”
“But this can be false.”
“But you said that!”
“Yeah, but how would I know if this is true? I went not to school. I cannot read books or newspapers.”
I was a little amazed and asked,
“then this thing is not true?”
“How could I know? Not even if you read something in a newspaper or a in book, you can be sure it is true.”
Since then on, I had been an skeptic. Not that I would doubt about trivial questions. It does not make any sense to doubt of trivial question. But it is mostly obligatory, when a question is not trivial, and you ignore the data in which some assertion is based.
Then AGW. Of course I do not have any sympathies for the GOP, and less of all for a person like Trump. But this lack sympathy for the GOP do not push me to believe in AGW.
Where are the data? I want them, not because I am a great scientist with a degree in physics or whatever. But looking at the data would make me more comfortable, even I do not not understand the damn data. For more than 2 decades or so, I had not seen the data on AGW. Only the preaching that we were riding on a wave of AGW. Recently, I thought, my god! Let me look for the data! Then I googled “theories opposing AGW” and there appeared lots of links with information. Some were a little trashy, other not. Then, I got cue that we can see the graphic of the Antarctica ice cores, specially those of Vostok-Petit.
Other sites (there are several) extracting ice cores in Antarctica had not published their data. I watched the graphics of Vostok, and… well the correlation between temperature and CO2 was real, but… The CO2 was coming after the temperature rising, not before. And later, in the periods coming directly towards a glacial age, the temperatures plunging but a lot of CO2 remained still in the atmosphere. Then, I could understand this with the physics I studied in my grammar school. The oceans or water when cold, can contain a lot gases, CO2 by example; but as the water is a little warmer, it gave off gases, like methane and CO2 or others like oxygen, etc. But what if there are great amounts of CO2 like in the past 500 million years? Can we check that? Not sure if it is good. But I came out with data from someone called Jan Veizer, of Toronto’s University.
I had watched some graphics from Jan Veizer and other data on past temperatures, like GISP2 on the ice cores of Greenland, and I thought that AGW do not deserved any credibility. I cannot be impressed with assertion that tens of thousands of scientist are kissing the holy knee of Little Child Jesus. (This is some catholic liturgy by the 6th January, the birth of Jesus and we all the children had to go to kiss the knee of Little Child Jesus; it is a figure) This image come to my mind as a sign of the faith of 20,000 scientists in AGW. I recalled as well that during 7 decades the scientific community (the academia) was rejecting the theory of “Continental Drift” even after some data (radioactivity) appeared to explain why the interior of the earth was hot. But eventually the old dinosaurs of academia died and the “continental drift” reappeared as “Plate Tectonics”
The less we can say is the climate is rather complex and we barely know what are main variables involved in the ups and downs of the planet’s climate.
I had been collecting many different data, and it seems to me the theory is leaking a lot of oil.
Excellent question. Since the determinations of science have no influence on many republican leaning people, and they refute facts, which is by definition, irrefutable, what path to enlightenment is left for them? Clearly, the tenacity with which they cling to their established beliefs, in spite of withering evidence to the contrary, indicates that whatever it is that may work, it will not be grounded in rationality or critical thought. It is possible that there is no argument that will cause them to change their positions.
The only thing worse than Republicans denying climate change is the presupposition that they do so in sufficient numbers to establish some reliable connection between political affiliation and opinions about “man-made” climate change.
But at least the idea of Republican denial and the ideas of climate change share one thing in common: a SERIOUS data problem.
Judging from what I have seen, no one denies that human activity has an impact on climate, not even the most skeptical critic of climate change theories denies that. No hard science is needed to state the case, really. Obviously EVERYTHING has some impact.
The questions are, What is the impact, How much is the impact, and, Is the impact good or bad for us? That’s where the data problem comes in; for climate change, there are not enough data points accumulated over a long enough period of time to do anything more than make gross generalizations. Pretty much the same issue for the political identity – who has surveyed enough registered republicans to make a general statement supported by data?
This whole thing has become a media feeding frenzy and is so grossly blown out of proportion by zealous advocates on all side of the issue as to warrant dismissal of all the hype.
My 2 cents.
There are already a few very good answers here, but I’d say the simplest way to phrase an answer would be to say they’ll change when it’s in their interest to do so. Since many supporters of the Republican party belong to evangelical Christian groups, a shift in the beliefs of these groups would have a strong influence on Republican rhetoric. The same could be said for any group the Republican party courts for votes. And these groups will change their views when it is in their interests to do so. And as Ernest Adams has already noted, money is a tremendously influential factor.
Like most people who deny that Climate Change needs our attention now, it will take a bush-fire, flood or drought that empties their bank accounts.
So we do not have to long to wait.
But it will also need a logical verified explanation with a new system to cope with the changes required without affecting economic productivity.Something the Republicans have never had. Note. Economic Productivity is a sustainable approach to Economic Growth.
We also have to look at modern political History. Democrats pay for Jobs whilst Republicans earn them.
The problem would appear to be not that they deny the climate is becoming more unpredictable, but that we cannot do anything about making it a climate we are able to manage and engineer and provide the Republicans with Job Guarantees.
If America reduces Greenhouse by x and loses 20,000 jobs is China going to do the same?
I can convince any Republican that Climate Change is man-made, provided I can also assure him America will not lose out – that has been a major factor in the Republican mindset.
The other is this. We have been able to engineer a climate that has the ability to destroy mankind. Therefore we should be able to engineer a climate that is able to be ‘ the best climate for the survival and prosperity of mankind, creatures great and small and the Planet itself.
This is an important point and one that very much needs to be developed.
Can we engineer a climate that we can control? Can we control the climate to the extent that a desert will receive annual rain. Can we create inland lakes where there is only drought? Can we have snow without bringing North America to a halt. Can we change the earth’s pressure relief valve system of volcanoes and earthquakes by controlling the parameters of the pressure equation?
Perhaps if I had not been stopped by Obama and Cameron from developing my Climate Change Systems , we might have been able to answer the questions I have just asked.
It is that question that the Republicans have never asked and have never considered. Therefore, the only option they have is to wonder if the money being spent on Climate Change is being used to for the right reasons.
I do not blame anybody for doubting Climate Change is man-made. Obama has been President for 8 years. It is only at the end of those 8 years has he agreed to a Paris 21 that is not even worth the Paper it was signed on.
It does not start till 2020. Its first report back is not till 2025. It does not reduce greenhouse to a level that they say is required in order for mankind to survive till 2050. It is not mandatory and it hands our $100 billion a year to ‘fantastically corrupt’ Governments.
Surely the Republicans must be questioning an agreement that is not mandatory but provides $100 billion a year. It is not as if we can rely on China to be climate-change neutral. If it was a business deal you would laugh it out of Congress.
The Republicans have had to listen to a whole range of arguments .There has not been one set of verified and secure set of numbers,,and one person(s) to explain those figures to the Republicans. The Republicans on the other hand have spent too much time denying and not enough looking and listening – and ignored my ideas.
Some Greens have set them offside by making unreasonable economic demands. Some skeptics are only against admitting Climate Change is man-made, because they are paid to or because it suits their bottom line.
The Republicans will listen to reason and logic and that has been missing in the Climate Change debate. I think when the reality of Paris 21 sinks in they will want to know ‘Why, if Climate Change needs an agreement worth $100 billion a year, is that agreement not mandatory?
Looks like it will be up to Donald Trump to find out why.
No offense but the effort to get consensus by reference to evidence and facts won’t make progress until and unless two other obstacles are neutralized. For human beings do not choose what to believe by reference to fact and evidence above all, but only turn to that after reference to the filters of identity and morality (not necessarily in that order). If and only if these have not produced certitude do we consult reason.
This is a feature, not a bug, of human cognition, which has served us well for tens of thousands of generations. Mostly hunting and gathering in groups of a few dozens. The most important issue for any human being, after having a minimum sufficiency of food, is security in the social group(s) that make one’s own continued existence, and the success of one’s relatives and progeny, possible. Failure in the group is fatal. Every human therefore looks first to what his identity group expects of him, and acts to secure this acceptance by word and deed. Only where this is not determinative does he have liberty to ponder and question.
It also saves immense trouble and prevents many mistakes. Drinking the kool-aid, not having to worry about how the world actually works or needing to figure it out for one’s self, frees up needed cognitive bandwidth for other critical tasks. Generally what the group thinks, whether or not it is true, at least has the merit of not (hitherto) having killed it off, and also incorporates a large reliable body of practices that are useful and productive. Also, by being seen to enforce the identity consensus on morals, theology, and purity, one gives assurance of dependability and trustworthiness to the group as a whole.
This has a downside, obviously. If a fact about the world happens to get bound up in an identity marker, then minds of group members are not going to address the fact by itself, they are going to address it as a possible challenge to the group identity. In fact often propositions are created for that very purpose— totally ridiculous dietary restrictions, for instance— as test markers for loyalty.
It happens that climate change and acknowledgement of evolution have been turned, quite intentionally, into identity marker beliefs. And these are not very susceptible to reason. Even when they do gradually get eroded and change, it happens in a context of alienation from social environments— either the individual literally separates, for instance by moving away and attending college in a different cultural mileau, where the idea actually is acceptable, or the individual finds himself isolated in situ (the lone atheist in Alabama, for istance) and seeks out a handful of other cast-out like minded souls to form community with. (Hence tiny little groups like the Oklahoma Athiests).
By the way, identity marker beliefs (and memes) can be and are intentionally manufactured for purposes of influencing and controlling groups. The past two or three decades, by the way, have seen the creation of some of the most effective tools for doing this ever devised (Fox News; Talk radio; the Internet and social media) and the destruction of some institutions which would in the past have presented some resistance (newspapers, national broadcast mainstream news).
Of course I’m not saying one should not keep trying to use fact and information to inform and persuade. It’s essential. But one is not going to make headway unless one can also see where identity heuristics are operating. These need to be neutralized.
And in fact this is the reason for the “97% of all scientists accept human cause for climate change” statements. But it’s not working very well, or at least, where it is not working, it’s because the 97% are presented as Not My Identity… anti-denialists in fact are drawing attention to one of the very identity markers that tell me they are NOT my group. After all, how many times have you heard from denialists “I’m no scientist”? Few “ordinary people” are scientists, and while they may have respect for scientists as an expert group, it’s as an elite, and as a category of Other.
There are a lot of other identity markers associated with “scientists”, and these don’t help: “scientists” = not religious; = highly educated elitist; = politically liberal; = weird…
What “scientist” does have going for it is “expertise”. Which has been completely neutralized, as a conspiracy of Others to get money by lies, and by “teach the controversy”.
I’m afraid the 97% thing has become a case of scoring own goals. It’s backfiring but anti-denialists don’t realize it.
What needs to happen is not experts telling denialist identity groups that they are wrong — that is totally counterproductive, producing only increased defensivesness— but visible members of those identity groups showing that identity can be maintained without denialism. In other words, move the question of denial out of the circle of essential identity beliefs.
This will be hard because a lot of power and influence has labored mightily to turn denialism into just that: a deeply entrenched core identity marker. And with considerable success.
Most Republcans I know, including myself, don’t deny climate change and don’t deny it is contributed by human activities. The problem, as someone else has pointed out, is money. Politicians are reelected with support of entities that want to keep the status quo. The democrats have the same issue, but the republican leadership is vocal about the issue and some of them really do believe their rhetoric. Unfortunately, people, not just republicans, most of us, are not willing to pay the price for alternatives to fossil fuel. Nancy if the people hat express a concern about the environment scream if the price of gas goes up 20 cents or if the electronic company wants to build a new plant. Everyone wants their cake and to eat it too.
Honestly, I don’t think they all “deny” it, internally. I think a lot of them look at it more through the lens of group identity more than anything else.
I think to many of them, it seems unfair that liberals get to be right and they get to be wrong. In their mind, they’re just believing what their parents told them to believe and now they’re being scolded. Obviously, that’s over-simplifying it and I’m not justifying it either.
So, they fight things like climate change as a means of evening the score. Obviously they can’t admit that, so they cherry pick every “study” they can find to validate it.
In the meantime, if Trump came out and said that “climate change is real, of course, believe me, but I don’t trust the Democrats to fix it. I will,” I think a lot of them would accept it.
They only deny it because they see it as something that will affect their bottom lines.
When you can show them that there is MORE profit to made from renewable resources than fossil fuel -if such a thing is possible right now- they will believe anything.
You can’t. Look at evolution deniers: the denial is based on a deep ideological commitment wrapped up in the core of their identity. To admit the evidence is to challenge one’s very identity, so it will not occur. Right now there are many evangelical groups which interpret scripture literally when it claims the earth was created recently and that animals were put here in their present form. I have met a few who told me that scientists conspired to bury fossils to then dig up to mislead us.
This is the same with the climate change deniers. The Petroleum Institute of America finally admitted last year that human burning of fossil fuel is the principal cause of global warming. The physics has been understood since the 1900s: sunlight hits the ground and ocean, turns into (in part) infrared which reflects upwards, and if it hits CO2 less escapes, warming the planet. More CO2 more warming. It is that simple; methane likewise.
But people who have a philosophical opposition to group action of any type do not like the science since it commands group action. That is all. Libertarians are committed at their core to this political principal. Oil, gas, and coal interests of course are committed to it when it comes to stopping people from burning fossil fuel, hence the Koch brothers’ opposition to solar and wind power subsidies but silence about the hundreds of billions of dollars these industries have received around the world since the early 1900s. A massive oil and gas and coal industry disinformation campaign using the playbook and same personnel at the Heartland Institute and other fake “sciency” organizations has been working for 30 years to confuse people; Exxon was revealed in the last year to have concluded 30 years ago that global warming caused by humans would massively increase its expenses due to rising seas etc. but kept its scientists from going public out of fear the effect on its profits.
Anti-environmentalists also are ideologically committed to raping the planet no matter what the externalities are. Libertarians are notorious for ignoring externalities as if their actions had no negative effects we are being forced to pay for. If every species on the planet other than humans and their food animals and plants die they would not care one bit.
Do not expect this to change. Evolution has been accepted science for 150 years and they still deny it. The Heartland Institute still denies that tobacco causes cancer. When the Florida Everglades and Miami and Pacific Island nations disappear they still will be denying it. When the Oglala reservoir disappears and the midwest wheat and soybean fields become an area too hot to grow them on they still will be denying it. More people in the US already die from heatwaves rather than freezing to death; as this continues they still will be denying it. Do not expect people driven solely by ideology to ever admit to science.
Probably the same thing as it will take for Democrats to stop pretending that GMO’s and vaccinations are dangerous.
The issue of climate change is used as a bludgeon by the left to demonstrate how evil and backward Republicans are. But the Democrats have their own stable of anti-scientific views, including the two I listed. In fact, I would argue that the entire basis of Democratic policy — that the government can successfully improve our lives through central control of the economy — is anti-scientific.
It has nothing to do with being Republican.
Repeal the Beer-Lambert law of radiation absorption which explains why the Franhofer lines are black and implies there is a limit to how much of the very narrow band of radiation the CO2 can absorb (that’s Einstein’s law — the one he got the Nobel for — CO2 is not like an all encompassing insulating blanket).
Explain what causes a glaciation period and how close are we to the next on. Global warming is a management problem (like when the monsoons that turned the Sarah green and dried out again). A glaciation period is a survival of the species problem (c/o Scientific American Aug 2010 if I remember right)
Properly account for the known climate cycles starting with El Nino that really cause the climate changes. I remember the 1975 Time cover — the ice age is coming!
Do the science including the Geology and not push environmentalist agendas. The good old days weren’t that good even Thoreau only lasted 2 years on Walden!
First of all where do you get the idea that it is the Republicans “denying” man-made climate change?
But to answer the real question, what will it take for those that DON’T ACCEPT man-made climate change.
Well that would take some good, solid evidence. Something that has not yet been made available.
The prime source of evidence, from East Anglia, is not capable of being reproduced since the data was destroyed.
There is evidence that CO2 is following the temperature, rather than the other way ‘round.
The link to man is tenuous AT BEST.
There has been no significant warming in nearly two decades.
No one in the global warming crowd has any clue what the proper temperature of the planet should be.
Which is worse a slightly warmer planet, which has happened many times in the past, or a new Ice Age, brought about due to actions to prevent global warming.
No, global warming is not a “hoax”.
There are many more interesting questions, such as: is global warming real, what is the evidence that global warming is occurring, what is the rate at which it is occurring, is global warming primarily human-caused, and so on. But a “hoax” is a deliberate attempt to fool people. For global warming to be a “hoax”, there would need to be a world-wide conspiracy of scientists and many other people, all trying to fool us. This is extremely implausible, given how scientists love to advance their careers by gaining attention – and the best way to gain attention would be to reveal the existence of this world-wide conspiracy.
If global warming were a hoax, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would need to be part of this conspiracy:
The National Academy of Sciences, an organization whose members include
2,200 top scientists from the US, would also need to be part of this conspiracy. They write:
Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, concentrations of greenhouse gases from human activities have risen substantially. Evidence now shows that the increases in these gases very likely (>90 percent chance) account for most of Earth’s warming over the past 50 years.
This is one sentence from their free online book on global warming:
The Economist, a top-notch business magazine with a strong free-enterprise ideology, would also need to be part of the conspiracy. They have a special issue on what should be done to stop human-caused global warming:
The Chinese government would also need to be part of the conspiracy. As the Economistreport points out:
UNLIKE America’s leaders, China’s bosses are not much troubled by recalcitrant legislatures. The government has therefore had no difficulty in executing a smart volte face [turnaround] on climate change. Around three years ago its fierce resistance to the notion of any limit on its greenhouse gas emissions started to soften. It now seems to be making serious eff orts to control them.
One reason for this change is the country’s growing awareness of its vulnerability to a warming world. The monsoon seems to be weakening, travelling less far inland and dumping its rainfall on the coasts. As a result China is seeing floods in the southeast and droughts in the northwest. At the same time the country’s leaders are deeply concerned about the melting of the glaciers on the Tibetan plateau, which feed not just the Ganges, the Indus, the Brahmaputra and the Mekong but also the Yangzi and Yellow rivers (see map).
And so on – I could go on for hours. If global warming is a hoax, it’s the world’s biggest hoax.
Here’s an interesting fact. If you ask climatologists, paleoclimatologists, meteorologists, atmospheric chemists, atmospheric physicists, geophysicists, oceanographers, and those that study aeronomy, 98% agree that climate change is real and 90% of scientists from all fields of science in general believe it is real. 97.1% of all scientific papers which take a position on climate change agree that it is real, is caused by humans and serious.
If you ask the average non scientist American it varies between 40-60% believe it is happening. Recently one climatologist explained his reasoning for why he thinks most Americans are out of tune with what most scientists believe. He said it is the media’s tendency to have “expert guests” on shows and always put one that supports the idea on TV and one that doesn’t. If they wanted it to be accurate they would pick Ten scientists at random to debate the issue and odds are at most 1 would disagree that global warming is a reality the rest would tell you it is happening and we need to take serious steps to prevent it from getting worse…
Scientific opinion on climate change >>
No scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion;
Wikipedia has a good list of scientific organizations and references to studies and surveys you can look up and see that there is a clear consensus and for 90%+ of scientists to agree on something like this, we should be taking this FAR more seriously than most people do.
EDIT: See the comments for some great discussions on the related science.
EDIT2: It’s great to see so much interest in this question here around Earth Day let us hope we do not forget these things as the year wanes on. Combating Climate Change requires commitment to big and little changes and we can all do our part. From recycling, low flow shower heads and LED light bulbs to supporting stronger anti-pollution laws we can all make improvements.
EDIT3: Article on a recent study that shows how recent weather trends can not be explained by random chance alone. If global warming was not happening the recent series of events year after year could not be explained as mere spikes in probability. Each event would be a 1 in a million year event instead they are happening repeatedly decade after decade. Written by the study author. James E. Hansen directs the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
EDIT4: Adding from the comments to the answer..
I’m really astonished that somehow humans are solely responsible for “global warming” let alone a significant contributor. We’ve been burning fossil fuels, clearing trees and the like for 2000 years. The Sahara Desert isn’t claimed to be a man made disaster, nor the global cooling of the 1970’s. We can’t predict the weather, we just report what is observed to be heading in one direction or another. Until we can grasp our complex environment and start understanding all the factors that go into warming and cooling of our planet, I prefer not to be blamed as the major contributing factor to our planet warming up for a couple hundred years.
We may not like it. We may not want it. We may feel powerless to stop it but that does not mean we are not responsible for it. I am partially responsible for my local landfill, nuclear waste produced in powering my home and many other icky things and so are you, this is true if we like it or not.
We produce 26 Gigatons of CO2 per year and we do not absorb any.
That’s 29,000,000,000 tons of CO2!
58,000,000,000,000 pounds CO2 PER YEAR! No joke. It’s an unfathomable number. We are producing that much of a GAS per year. When you put it in that perspective it’s pretty scary.
The environment naturally absorbs and produces CO2. With 6 billion people we are enough to offset a natural balance that never had to deal with us before.
About 40% of human CO2 emissions are being absorbed, mostly by vegetation and the oceans. The rest remains in the atmosphere. As a consequence, atmospheric CO2 is at its highest level in 15 to 20 million years. A natural change of 100ppm normally takes 5,000 to 20.000 years. The recent increase of 100ppm has taken just 120 years.
We are just enough to be too much.
Man-made CO2 emissions are much smaller than natural emissions. Consumption of vegetation by animals & microbes accounts for about 220 gigatonnes of CO2 per year. Respiration by vegetation emits around 220 gigatonnes. The ocean releases about 332 gigatonnes. In contrast, when you combine the effect of fossil fuel burning and changes in land use, human CO2 emissions are only around 29 gigatonnes per year. However, natural CO2 emissions (from the ocean and vegetation) are balanced by natural absorptions (again by the ocean and vegetation). Land plants absorb about 450 gigatonnes of CO2 per year and the ocean absorbs about 338 gigatonnes. This keeps atmospheric CO2 levels in rough balance. Human CO2 emissions upsets the natural balance.
Not a perfect list but a good start to simple changes to be more responsible.
Global warming is actually happening. Here is the theory behind it:
1. There is CO2 gas, the direct result of people burning things like fossil fuel, which has become a larger constituent of the Earth’s atmosphere than it was previously.
2. The molecules of this gas are large enough to scatter heat back to the Earth’s surface — so the Earth is less effective at radiating heat out into space. Any molecule which has three or more atoms is large enough to scatter heat. (According to a lecture I heard by the Nobel Laureate Sherwood Rowland, who has just left us.) This heat scattering is called the ‘greenhouse effect’ in popular and some scientific literature.
3. Heat drives storms. Storms are based on convection — the movement of material based on its density difference compared to its surroundings — which, in the case of the near atmosphere, is akin to saying based on heat — since heat sets up great density differences. The rock record shows a huge amount of extra weathering during the most recent previous warming period where the climate change happened as rapidly as in our current world (Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum). Cores drilled and retrieved show a hugely thick layer of sedimentary rock formed from weathered continental material correlated with the last global warming period. That weathering was most likely due to storm activity. Big storms are incredibly dangerous.
Here is the paper I’ve referenced about the increase in weathering during the last period of warming:
Here are some observations supporting the reality of global warming. These are from the following NASA website:
1. Sea Level Rise: Global sea level rose about 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in the last century. The rate in the last decade, however, is nearly double that of the last century.
2. Global Temperature Rise: All three major global surface temperature reconstructions show that Earth has warmed since 1880. Most of this warming has occurred since the 1970s, with the 20 warmest years having occurred since 1981 and with all 10 of the warmest years occurring in the past 12 years. Even though the 2000s witnessed a solar output decline resulting in an unusually deep solar minimum in 2007-2009, surface temperatures continue to increase.
3. Warming Oceans: The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) of ocean showing warming of 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.
4. Shrinking Ice Sheets: The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometers (36 to 60 cubic miles) of ice per year between 2002 and 2006, while Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kilometers (36 cubic miles) of ice between 2002 and 2005.
5. Declining Arctic Sea Ice: Both the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice has declined rapidly over the last several decades.
6. Glacial Retreat: Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the world — including in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, Alaska and Africa.
7. Extreme Events: The number of record high temperature events in the United States has been increasing, while the number of record low temperature events has been decreasing, since 1950. The U.S. has also witnessed increasing numbers of intense rainfall events.
8. Ocean Acidification: Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the acidity of surface ocean waters has increased by about 30 percent. This increase is the result of humans emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and hence more being absorbed into the oceans. The amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the upper layer of the oceans is increasing by about 2 billion tons per year.
There are lots and lots of things a person and communities can do to reverse this trend. Personally, I think the easiest thing is for people to get serious about planting trees, while larger entities are sitting on their hands deciding what to do. Trees sequester CO2, and I would think that a concerted effort has some good potential to reverse the global warming trend. Here are some other things I favor:
1. Industry might make more of an effort to use bio-based plastics and composites. (Basically, making plastic from things like soy or corn oil instead of petroleum. Growing crops pulls CO2 out of the atmosphere.) Who wouldn’t like to combat global warming by generating plastic to be thrown out? That’s something we’d all be good at doing!
Here is a link to books on bio-based plastics and composites.
2. Governments and science might start looking at creating extra ice in the polar regions, to create a heat sink, artificial ice fields. This is feasible — but the infrastructure to transport water for deposition (and later freezing) on high-latitude land in the Fall or early Winter would be significant. The extra ice would serve to sequester some of the heat from the atmosphere in the Springtime, as the ice fields melt. I do not know if it is possible to trap all of the extra heat in this fashion, but it is an interesting proposition. Artificial ice fields would have a stabilizing effect on global temperatures.
3. Stop burning fossil fuels. These put extra greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as the endproduct of combustion, and this is a source of carbon which had been previously sequestered in the ground. It is much better not to introduce any of this fossil carbon into the atmosphere — and make fuels from plants or other means. Research on alternative energy is progressing well. I’ve got a paper published on catching lightning for alternative energy. There are many, many more untried or up-and-coming technologies and ideas for energy.
4. Do anything that strikes your fancy which will result in sequestering CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Give more cut flowers, use wood which would otherwise be trashed for a project — anything which pulls CO2 out of the atmosphere.
5. Put yourself squarely behind wanting to make this change. It will happen if enough people get active. Some solutions (like switching from petroleum to bio-based plastics) are technological — beyond most peoples’ immediate reach. But others, like planting a tree every two weeks, as weather permits, are reasonably achievable.
Finally, governments need to put plans in place for how to deal with more catastrophic storm events. Municipalities ought to have new plans drawn up, with contingencies for several major storms, back-to-back, and start training for this kind of emergency.
I’m not sure I like the tone of my answer — much too didactic. Forgive me! Thanks for the question!
This answer was originally written for a question that made the following point:
A very interesting paper claims that the human contribution to CO2 and greenhouse emissions is puny compared to nature. Events such as volcanoes and geysers release far more.
It is easy to be confused about the human contribution to CO2 and whether it is puny compared to nature. What is important is how much greenhouse gas builds up in the atmosphere, not how much flows in and out of the atmosphere.
In thethere are huge flows of carbon to and from the atmosphere (we call this the carbon ‘flux’). For instance, microbes alone create about 60 billion tonnes of carbon that enters the atmosphere. In contrast, the flow from humans is indeed tiny (about 9 billion tonnes a year).
Here’s the thing though: the emissions from microbes is matched by absorption elsewhere but most of the carbon we add to the atmosphere stays there. Some man-made CO2 is absorbed by the oceans and some of it is absorbed by plants but over half of stays in the air, and it builds up over time. 30% of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today was put there by us.
Think of a powerful tap pouring water into a bath in which the plug is out. The water pouring out is matched precisely by the water pouring in – the bath is in equilibrium even though the ‘flux’ is high. Now imagine adding just a trickle from another tap – a tiny amount compared to the main tap. It may take a while, but eventually the bath will overflow. That’s what happening with greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.
This ‘tiny trickle’ isn’t actually so tiny. Today it is over 330 tonnes of carbon every second (or in other terms 1,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide every second or 107 million tonnes every day). This short animation shows what that looks like:
To bring home the significance of what we are doing to the atmosphere think of the air in the room you are in right now. If you could extract the man-made carbon dioxide from the air in the room you would get several gallons of it.
In the air in a small room 20′ x 20′ x 9′ (6.1 x 6.1 x 2.7 metres) there will be 3.2 US gallons of man-made carbon dioxide (12.2 litres). That to me is quite a significant amount of pollution! It’s only because it is odourless and invisible that we don’t worry about it.
A commenter (made the following point:
“… lets think about what really matters – how much difference does that make to the optical properties of the atmosphere. As CO2 absorbs a narrow band of infrared radiation and the atmosphere is already virtually opaque to that band – adding a little more CO2 isn’t really going to change the climate significantly is it?”
The answer to his question is: yes it will. Adding CO2 to the atmosphere has already changed the energy budget (how much energy escapes into space) and the build up of heat energy is already changing the climate.
TL;DR: The Earth radiates infrared radiation into space. Much of it gets through the atmosphere (which is not as opaque as Ben O’Regan claims) but carbon dioxide prevents some of it getting away, which is good because it keeps the Earth warm. Excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means that less infrared escapes into space, which means that heat energy stays at the surface of the Earth. The excess heat caused by the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is equivalent to every man, woman and child on Earth having 82 hairdryers (2 kW) blasting away all day and night.
Longer, more detailed answer:
To understand the difference greenhouse gases make, let’s get down to basics. The Earth radiates infrared radiation because all warm things ‘glow’. If they are hot enough (about 800 °C) they glow ‘red hot’. That is, at 800 °C objects are so hot that they glow with visible light. At lower temperatures you can’t see the glow but you can sometimes feel it.
The average temperature of the surface of Earth is only 15 °C, which is not hot enough to glow with visible light but is hot enough to glow with infrared radiation. Electromagnetic radiation is characterised by its wavelength – shorter wavelengths are more energetic. Red light has a wavelength of about 0.75 micrometers (0.75 millionths of a metre). The symbol for a micrometer is µm because µ is the greek letter ‘mu’ and means ‘micro’. Infrared wavelengths that the Earth emits are about 10 micrometers (10 µm) which is 10 millionths of a metre. The atmosphere is by no means opaque to the infrared light at these wavelengths:
The diagram shows how transparent Earth’s atmosphere is to radiation of different wavelengths (source:)
The graph above is a picture of how the Earth ‘glows’. It shows how much energy escapes from an object (any object) at the same temperature as the Earth. It also shows how the escaping energy is shared between different wavelengths of radiation. The peak is at 10 µm and most energy is carried away at wavelengths between 5 µm and 30 µm. Carbon dioxide absorbs infrared in two broad bands centred at about 5 µm and 15 µm, and so any carbon dioxide in the atmosphere catches much of the escaping glow.
How much difference does this make? (Radiative Forcing)
But the question is, how much difference has this CO2 made? How much of the heat energy that would have escaped into space is being trapped on Earth? The technical term for this is ‘radiative forcing’ and it is measured in Watts per square metre. That is, radiative forcing is the extra energy that an average square metre of Earth receives every second because of the extra greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
By looking at all the published estimates and selecting the most robust of them, the IPCC concluded that radiative forcing had reached a level of 2.29 Watts per square metre by 2011. This is an estimate, but the data is good enough to say that the true figure is somewhere between 1.13 Watts per square metre and 3.33 Watts per square metre.(page 13)
2.29 Watts is about the same energy as a tiny torch (flashlight) that you might keep on a keyring. It doesn’t sound very much, but you have to remember that we are talking about alot of square metres (the Earth’s total surface area is 510 million square kilometres).
To put it another way, the radiative forcing in 2011 was equivalent to having an array of 1 kW fan heaters spaced 11 metres apart that covers all land on the planet. Picture it – a fan heater every 11 metres everywhere, in all directions from coast to coast. To put it another way, it is equivalent to every man, woman and child on Earth having 82 hairdryers (2 kW) blasting away all day and night for all time. So yes – adding CO2 to the atmosphere really is making a significant difference to the climate.
OK, here goes.
The thesis that global warming is a result of man-made CO2 is open to legitimate criticism. We live in a culture where such skepticism is essentially considered heresy; this is both an unscientific and undemocratic trend.
First, let me be ad hominem. Anthropogenic global warming is refuted by MIT atmospheric physicist
Second, let me try to be factual. Al Gore loves to go around the country showing this graph, which displays global temperature along with atmospheric CO2 levels. (This information is gleaned from ice core data in the arctic, see) :
Yellow is temperature. Red is C02 in the atmosphere.
Wow. Sure looks like CO2 drives climate change. It even appears that CO2 is the onlydriver of climate change. So we’re done – anyone who denies this is crazy, on-the-take from big oil, stupid, or all three.
As Columbo used to say in the old TV-series, “Um … Just one more thing before I go, ma’am.”
Isn’t a little weird that CO2 is the only driver of climate change? Water vapor retains more heat, as does methane and sulfur dioxide. Strange.
But never mind that. Let’s take those two graphs and plunk them on top of each other. Superimposing them gives :
OK, look really carefully. CO2 (blue) is lagging slightly behind temperature (red.) The average lag is 800 years.
A cause must precede an effect. The ice cores show temperature driving CO2 levels, and not the other way around.
And more than this. Look at the big red dip, around 125,000 years ago. Even though CO2 is at a peak level – the temperature dives, dragging CO2 down with it.
Put simply – CO2 is not seen to drive climate change in the past.
You might protest – but we *know* CO2 is a greenhouse gas. If we put more in the atmosphere, the temperature *must* increase. It’s simple physics.
Too simple. The earth’s climate is a complex system, involving feedback loops and mathematically “chaotic” behavior (). If we simply calculate the effect of CO2 added by humans to the atmosphere we get less than a degree Celsius of warming.
The thesis that the added CO2 will result in several degrees of warming is based on models which invoke feedback loops and “tipping points”. This is very tricky business; very sensitive to assumptions and omitted dynamics (like cloud cover, ocean currents, etc.) We haven’t got this complex mechanism figured out. We don’t know how to model it. This is what happened when we tried :
So the projections don’t seem to work. It’s only 10 years – fair enough. But our models didn’t exactly get a standing ovation from nature.
To recap : We don’t see CO2 driving climate change in the past. Our attempt to predict it in the future failed. Oh – and what are temperatures doing dropping anyway, given that man-made CO2 emissions are at their highest ever?
“And one more thing, ma’am.”
Take a look at the first two graphs. Those warm spikes – don’t they seem to be pulsing ? Like there is some sort of rhythm involved? We might be so reckless as to use the termcyclic?
Last graph, I promise :
Oh. That top line is the shape of the earth’s orbit. The earth’s 0rbit changes shape in a rhythmic cycle, going from nearly circular to more eliptical and back again. These are called .
The earth’s orbit doesn’t give a crap how hot or cold earth is or what’s in its atmosphere. Nothing is going to push it around.
And this graph shows two things : Ice ages recur about every 100,000 years, just as the earth’s orbit starts to become less eliptical. And … we are right on schedule for another one.
So Dr. Lindzen – “The Dean” is not crazy. “Deniers” – can we call them skeptics? – are by no means crackpots. They should be heard. The future of mankind may depend on it.
If they are right – a new ice age is coming no matter what we do. So we must prepare for it; build lots of nuclear reactors, reduce global population, develop ways to produce food in cold climates. By running around chasing CO2 we are solving the wrong problem.
Our engines will be silenced soon enough by glaciers.
Quora seems to be a highly educated community, and I imagine most reading this thread already understand that GW is real and is a big concern.
As others have pointed out, the interesting question is why many people in the U.S. do not realize this. Until voters in the U.S. widely recognize global warming as a serious threat, things are going to continue to get worse, at terrible risk to humans and risking virtually permanent damage to the biosphere.
I was formerly a hard-line conservative who was skeptical about climate issues, (until some smart and very patient people showed me the corrupt roots of my beliefs). Reflecting on that part of my life, I think I know a part of the answer to this.
I think some of the biggest issues are bias that comes from the media and self-confirmation bias. When you’re a conservative and a disproportionately large portion of your life communication is listening to clowns like Rush Limbaugh, or talking with other conservatives, etc, it seems unthinkable that the huge wall of people and information that backs up your beliefs doesn’t have at least some reasonable grounding. It just feels too ridiculous, and creates too much cognitive disonnance, to think that all of the “backing” that you have behind your skeptical GW beliefs is groundless.
As best as I can tell, these kinds of opinions are generally only influenced slowly. I think education can bring people to realize that something’s wrong with the way their current beliefs are justified — but only a small number of people will ever achieve this. Otherwise, I think that its important that one not be too harsh or vehement in disagreeing with GW skeptics. Rather, I think a calm, simple statement of disagreement does a better job at influencing them over the long term (and not causing cognitive backlash that re-inforces existing beliefs). However, people do slowly change their beliefs when they see that a majority of people around them disagree with them, so its important to let people know that your opinion is that GW is real and that being skeptical of it in the way that many people are is indefensible.
Further, in conversations with a GW skeptic, I think its highly counter-productive to talk about details about the science, examples of weather patterns, etc. In that arena, people who deny GW can generally come up with several scientific “counterexamples” or other garbage, but without being a scientist or being intimately familiar with the subtle problems with this kind of argument, you aren’t going to get anywhere.
In the end, very very few people come to a belief about GW actually do so through first-hand evaluating of the scientific data. Rather, what separates a GW skeptic and someone who understands that GW is true, is that the latter understands what sources or people are worthy of their trust, and which are bogus. It is NOT about understanding science properly. Until GW skeptics can see that they’re being deceived by dumb or untrustworthy people, they’re stuck.
“Hey, I never said the global warming hoax wasn’t elaborate…”
One could add the thousands of scientists who are part of the conspiracy, all the faked temperature measurements, the insurance companies who are lieing to their investors about future costs, the fraudulent measurenents of sea levels….
The overwhelming consensus among climatologists is that climate change is real and it is at least partly human caused. Most of these climatologists would go further and say it is probably mainly caused by human activities.
You can find a lot of articles out there by people who do a pretty good job sounding like they know what they’re talking about, saying it’s all a scam, but for every one article like that, there are probably 100 from reliable sources saying the opposite. There are hardly any actual scientific, peer reviewed articles that conclude global warming is not real and not human-caused.
There are a lot of corporate interests spending a lot of money to try to create confusion to delay governmental action that could impact the profits they make related to pumping damaging greenhouse gases into our atmosphere.
If a doctor told you you have cancer and you need surgery soon, you’d be wise to get a second opinion. If you went to 30 doctors, and 29 said you need the surgery, but one said he didn’t think you needed it, would you go with the 29 or the 1?
Here’s are some articles you might look into:
The answer is Yes and the scientific consensus is very strong. In a seminal article, Naomi Oreskes conducted a systematic review of 928 scientific papers in peer reviewed journals and found that not a single paper disagreed with the consensus position that human activities cause climate change. (
). Link to video lecture with Naomi Oreskes:
(This answer was moved after a different question was redirected here.)
No, it’s not a hoax.
Where do you look for the heat? In the oceans. The oceans hold a lot more heat than the atmosphere. That’s where the heat is going.
The question was, “Is global warming really happening?” Yes, the best information as I understand it is that surface temperatures on land and in the oceans are rising slowly and steadily. You can have a debate about the possible causes, but it is true that the warming correlates with a rise in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.
As for my specific country, Canada, it is warming. Still, in particular winters, it can still be very cold. However, our weather service uses a 20-year rolling average for “normal” temperatures, and every few years, they must bump that up slightly to the new, warmer average. In British Columbia, we have pine beetle infestations of the forests that are thought to be due to the new, warmer habitat being more hospitable to the beetles. In Alberta, as elsewhere in the world, glaciers have been been in retreat since the mid-to-late 1800’s. In more and more parts of Canada, we have new concerns with Lyme disease due to the warmer temperatures affecting the spread of the ticks that carry the disease. In the Arctic Ocean, the situation is complex, but ice-free periods are becoming more frequent and longer
So I would say that my part of the planet is warming, and that I think that it is most likely anthropogenic, caused by humans using fossil fuels. You might have an alternative explanation, but it is warmer.
Not very many people, including political conservatives, disagree that climate is changing and that there is some sort of warming going on.
The issue that is being debated is the cause of this change.
One group believes that human industry over the past 150 years or so has resulted in a massive increase in the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. It is known that CO2 is a ‘greenhouse gas’, that is, one that traps heat in the atmosphere. Due to the presence of large amounts of CO2, temperatures on the Earth must increase and that the increase is going to lead to severe environmental problems. This belief, known as Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), leads to certain ideas about how to solve the problem, including the reduction of CO2 output by factories, power plants, etc.
Another group believes that there may be causes other than AGW. Among these are solar cycles, natural variation in the climate over extended periods, cloud cover, etc.
Skeptics point to less-than-transparent reporting on global warming on the part of some climate researchers. They note that climate modeling is poor and does not entirely account for a plateau in temperature rises that has occurred over the past decade or so. The cynical of the critics also point to the possibly venal motivation of some climate scientists, noting that there’s big money to be made — in the form of grants and government spending — in calling for urgent action.
If climate change is driven by human activity, then it is quite possible that changes in that activity can reverse or at least halt the changes. If climate change is driven by non-human events, then forcing expensive changes in human behavior will have no effect, other than to make people poorer.