Cliffs Notes for Climate Change? Science Panels Create a Primer on the Planet’s Fate

No wonder so many scientists are at their wits’ end when it comes to climate change: Despite an overwhelming scientific consensus that the planet is warming—and that human activity is much to blame—the public remains skeptical. In fact, one poll indicates that nearly 2 out of 5 Americans believe global warming is just a hoax.

Not to mention that some of those climate change deniers are member of Congress.

So the leading science panels in the United States and the United Kingdom have released a plain-spoken primer on the subject, now available in print and online. The publication aims to be scientifically sound but unflinching. It confirms that human activity, primarily the burning of fossil fuels since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, have caused a 40 percent increase in heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In the 20th century, that marked a 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit rise in the average surface temperature of Earth. If emissions continue unabated on their current trajectory, the report notes, scientists are “very confident” that by the end of the 21st century, the planet will have heated up an additional 4.8 to 8.6 degrees.

Say, hypothetically, that the whole world suddenly stopped burning fossil fuels overnight? Problem solved? Not by a long shot—in fact, the report says temperatures would still remain elevated for about a thousand years. And sea levels would continue to rise for hundreds of years beyond even that.

“The current CO2 -induced warming of Earth is therefore essentially irreversible on human timescales,” the report declares. “The amount and rate of further warming will depend almost entirely on how much more CO2 humankind emits.”

The 36-page report was produced by the National Academy of Sciences and The Royal Society, and its lead U.S. author is UC Berkeley atmospheric science professor Inez Fung. The goal was to be succinct—as Fung told The Daily Californian, “you don’t have to wade through a thousand pages to get to what we’re talking about.”

Organized with a Q&A format, it asks and answers twenty common questions, including “Climate is always changing. Why is climate change of concern now?” and “Does the recent slowdown of warming mean that climate change is no longer happening?” and “If the world is warming, why are some winters and summers still very cold?”

Some responses address the seemingly obvious, such as why a few degrees of global warming matter that much:

“Both theory and direct observations have confirmed that global warming is associated with greater warming over land than oceans, moistening of the atmosphere, shifts in regional precipitation patterns and increases in extreme weather events, ocean acidification, melting glaciers, and rising sea levels (which increase the risk of coastal inundation and storm surge.) Already, record high temperatures are on average significantly outpacing record low temperatures, wet areas are becoming wetter as dry areas are becoming drier, heavy rainstorms have become heavier, and snowpacks (an important source of freshwater for many regions) are decreasing. These impacts are expected to increase with greater warming and will threaten food production, freshwater supplies, coastal infrastructure, and especially the welfare of the huge population currently living in low-lying areas.”

To those unconvinced that humans are responsible, the report explains how scientific inquiry works—and concludes that both the fundamental physics of greenhouse gases and “fingerprint” studies isolating unique factors show that recent change can’t be due only to natural causes such as volcano eruptions or variations in the sun’s output.

In the past decade, American public opinion about the threat of global warming has become a partisan divide. Republicans are far less likely to believe humans play a significant role in climate change, or to regard it as a problem. But Gallup and other pollsters find that gap is beginning to narrow a bit. 

“As two of the world’s leading scientific bodies, we feel a responsibility to evaluate and explain what is known about climate change, at least the physical side of it, to concerned cititzens, educators, decision-makers and leaders,” said Academy of Sciences president Ralph Cicerone, “and to advance public dialogue about how to respond to the threats of climate change.”

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There is no “overwhelming scientific consensus that the planet is warming”. There IS overwhelming consensus that the media are covering overwhelming loads of not-necessarily-scientific reports on “global warming”, as they dismiss any opposing views as non-scientific. We have Global warming each year in our state. It is called “Spring”. After about 8 month of “global warming”, then “global cooling” arrives, locally known as “Fall”. Current weather models can’t even predict last years temperatures, rainfall, or hurricanes. Neither can it tell you what the weather will be in 2 weeks. The idea that it can accurately predict weather decades into the future is, well, unscientific. Predictions are guesses, nothing more, nothing less. Karnak the Great must be rolling over in his grave. In February it was 74 degrees here. Today, March 5, it is 38. It’s called weather. It changes daily. You don’t know now what April will be like. It’s nothing to lose sleep about. Good night. Rest well.
You don’t even know the difference between weather and climate. There is overwhelming scientific consensus - just take a look at the peer reviewed journals. You’ll have a hard time finding a study that disputes AGW. Also, it is almost unprecedented for the NAS to issue such a statement. Obviously the people that make up the most prestigious body of scientists in the world are concerned about our level of inaction. But you know better than them.
Yep 90% plus is really not “over” whelming and dismissing opposing views on global warming is kinda like dismissing views arguing the earth is not round.. Totally unfair.„ those gosh darn scientists that require documented evidence are just part of the media cover up… Best just to think folksy thoughts and sleep well.. So much easier to accept”… Plus I would never be caught agreeing with those commie liberals
Your comment about checking the peer reviewed journals shows a remarkable lack of understanding about the peer-reviewed process and the propensity of scientists to malign those that disagree with the “consensus.” The “blackballing” of “deniers” is a much too common activity within the scientific community, the one place it should never exist. The results, current scientific journals refuse to accept papers disputing AGW and then their numerous minions tout the fact that articles disputing global warming can’t be found in the journals. Prior to the AGW controversy, the most egregious case was the treatment of scientists that believed that they had proof of human settlements in the Western Hemisphere prior to the Clovis people. This delayed critical research in early human settlements for decades. Scientists don’t like their pet theories debunked, especially when their reputations and funding is dependent on them. The fact that 99% of the scientific funding goes to scientists who support AGW exacerbates the issue significantly. When the political scientific consensus makes a decision about what is “fact,” it becomes known within scientific circles very quickly that if you want funding you’d better write your proposals a certain way, and you damn well better come to the “right” conclusions. Those that don’t have their reputations threatened, watch their funding dry up, and receive rejection after rejection when trying to publish their papers; which peers wouldn’t seriously review anyway, out of fear for their own reputations. Regardless, more and more scientists are disputing AGW, stating very clearly that we don’t know the causes, the process that causes climate change, and that the focus on AGW is hampering the research to discover the actual processes involved. They believe that the inability of the previous scientific models to predict the future shows that AGW is a extremely weak hypothesis and “moving the goal posts” doesn’t change that fact. The problem, of course, is that many AGW supporters are essentially religious fanatics who, much like conservative Christians and Muslims will not allow “sacrilege” to take place and like jihadists will murder/destroy anyone who disagrees. This is “Groupthink” in its ultimate manifestation, where dissenting voices are not allowed. If you don’t believe this is taking place your head is buried in the sand. Here’s an article summarizing a recent senate report that proves the reality of my comments:
For those of you with open minds and scientific curiosity here’s a link to another article that speaks to the how unscientific, unethical the “consensus” is. Of course it’s not in a scientific journal, if you expect it to be, you are naive AGW fanatic and I didn’t post it for you. Trying to convince you if the truth would be as much a waste of time as trying to convince a creationist that the universe, the earth, etc. wasn’t created in seven days 8,000 years ago.
Assuming that this article is accurate and global warming is happening and it is due to mankinds burning of fossil fuels and assuming that this global warming will continue and sea levels will continue to rise for hundreds of years even if no more CO2 is released into the atmosphere, why do we continue to allow new contruction to go on at or near current sea level? Should the climate alarmists be focused more on the evacuation of metropolitan areas that are bound to be under water any day now? Should we move everyone out of New York, DC, the States of Florida and Louisiana and parts of the West Coast?
Great update to your most excellent “Global Warning” issue. Some of the comments prove that much more effective interactive communications is imperative by uniting academics to focus on educating and motivating the public to join together to take actions to save our future quality of life with the greatest sense of urgency. We need global warming spokespersons with the credibility of Winston Churchill and FDR to make the right things happen just like they did to save our civilization during WWII.
Citing a US Senate report from 2007 to affirm your point is, well….I don’t think I can even find the words to describe how ridiculous that is. Science is about using the best available data to predict what an outcome might be. The data gathered thus far have been reviewed by thousands of scientists and the vast majority agree with high confidence that burning fossil fuels at the rate we are will result in catastrophic consequences for future generations. Physicians tell us that a diet high in vegetables and low in saturated fats will help prevent heart disease. However, you can flip on the TV just about any night and find somebody posing in a white lab coat saying you can lose weight while sitting on the couch if you just take the pill he developed. Bolster up this kind of garbage? Do what you want, but it’s irresponsible. Your opinion is your opinion Mr. Fregger……but that’s all it is, an opinion. I’ll stick with the data. The data are sound and its telling us we need to stop burning fossil fuels now.
This sounds a lot like Pope Francis in the 1500’s. All of you followers of Martin Luther renounce your heritc ways and save your souls from eternal damnation. You’ll be burned at the stake if you don’t. In a nutshell that is how anyone that questions man made global warming is treated.
“…thousands of scientists and the vast majority agree with high confidence that burning fossil fuels at the rate we are will result in catastrophic consequences for future generations.” Can we get a source on that please.
Excellent point! And you can add to that the fact that Al Gore purchased ocean front property in California. The reason, of course, is that they aren’t concerned about the oceans rising a actuality, only for political reasons.
I, of course, chose that 2007 article to emphasize that nothing has changed in the 7 years, including the climate, as we are in a phase in the so called warming. Nor, has the ability of scientists to be able to publish, which is why Dr. Roy Spencer has called the consensus Nazis. You can pooh pooh what many scientists are telling about the sloppy research standards and nazi techniques of those scientists whose reputations and funding depend on the AGW hypothesis but that will not change the facts.
To BIGGG EDDD AMEN ! Well said !
RICHARD PETTIT: “This sounds a lot like Pope Francis in the 1500’s.” No it doesn’t. You and Brad Fregger are more than welcome to dispute the current science of climate change. You’re encouraged to 1. Provide alternate theories about the greenhouse effect, solar irradiance, Earth’s energy balance 2. Provide data to support your science 3. Provide evidence for your claims that alternative views are being suppressed. (If you want to be taken seriously, I’d avoid references to “CanadaFreePress”.) SNOW: “…thousands of scientists and the vast majority agree with high confidence that burning fossil fuels at the rate we are will result in catastrophic consequences for future generations.” Can we get a source on that please. Here you go: Whether or not you agree with IPCC, like or dislike the UN, that’s the definitive source for current science about climate. Like I said above, by all means disagree with the conclusions, but you won’t be taken seriously unless you can provide a workable explanation and supporting data.
Richard, we are under no obligation to prove that other processes are involved in climate change, what those processes are, or how they operate. Our whole point, which you seemed to have missed in your readings of our posts, is that the science had not matured to the point where these processes are well understood by anyone. It is human hubris to believe that the understanding has been achieved. Personally, it’s kind of ridiculous to suggest that we solve a major scientific problem that we and others are aware of and that a few honest scientists are spending years and jeopardizing reputations and funding to solve. It is obvious that the initial hypothesis (AGW) was wrong. It may be that human caused CO2 plays a role, but extent it plays in the total process is not well understood and any scientist, or group of scientists, that say they know are no better than the evangelist who tells his flock that he knows the day and time of Christ’s return.
I guess I was responding to Greg … Sorry Richard.
We are skeptical because we know that while we contribute to the problem,man is only a small part of the warming of the Earth and this is another scam run by the mainstream. Here’s a video series done on the scam being run on us. Peace Y
A paramount fact of life is that we have far too many Us/Them dichotomies (political, religious, academic, cultural, racial, etc.), and they may well destroy our civilization if we don’t discover a way to adapt in time.
Brad: “we are under no obligation to prove that other processes are involved in climate change, what those processes are, or how they operate. Our whole point, which you seemed to have missed in your readings of our posts, is that the science had not matured to the point where these processes are well understood by anyone. ” Sorry Brad, but this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The basics of climate science have been around since the 1830’s, when it was observed (that means “no, it’s not a guess”) that CO2 absorbs infrared radiation (heat). In addition, people have been taking measurements of ocean and air temperatures all over the world for hundreds of years, and trying to figure out methods of estimating the temperature history going back thousands of years - and doing it successfully, I might add. (If you want to know more, this is a good place to start: Is there more work to be done? Yes, absolutely, but claiming that the science isn’t “mature” doesn’t mean much unless you know something about the field. Science is about making testable predictions about how the world works, which is what climate science is based on. If you want to make claims that are in direct opposition to the conclusions of the current science, you ARE under an obligation to support those claims. Otherwise you’re just trying to bully people into taking your word for it. Here’s an example: You say, “more and more scientists are disputing AGW”. So prove it: Demonstrate that more actual (that means “Published”, not random engineers or economists or tv weathermen) climate scientists are disputing AGW.
Amazing. Forty lines of text that manages to insult scientists and impugn their motives, without a shred of data or a single-yes!-refereed reference. A Senate Republican report cannot be taken seriously. I Fear people like this are beyond hope.
In fact, I propose a corollary to Godwin’s Law (whoever first compares their opponent in an argument to Hitler loses the argument): whoever first brings up an ad hominem attack on Al Gore loses the argument.
I’m sorry Greg, your presenting an hypothesis, in fact the exact hypothesis that became AGW. Observations and conjecture don’t prove a thing. Are you aware that a significant percentage of people believe that the Sun revolves around the Earth. We may be surprised that they are that ignorant in this day and age, but simple observation supports that belief. Once we’ve got an hypothesis we figure out a way to test it, in this instance we produce some computer models and a hockey stick. If the models and scenarios don’t predict, there are major problems with the hypothesis. This is scientific process 101. Well, they didn’t predict and no moving of the global posts will change that fact. Bottom line, science has not discovered the complex processes that drive climate change and until we accept that fact, the advancement of scientific is being hampered.
That’s “scientific knowledge”
Brad: “Observations and conjecture don’t prove a thing.” No, but explanations with supporting observations (evidence) are worth more than wild claims and irrelevant examples. Please note that I’m not talking about climate models. I’m talking about observations, measurements, and radiative physics. If you want more information about OBSERVED climate change, have a look here: Your point about “a significant percentage of people believe that the Sun revolves around the Earth.” illustrates this nicely: Yes, lots of people are ignorant about the behavior of the Earth and Sun. However, we KNOW that the Earth revolves around the sun because of observations, measurements, and the THEORY of gravity. As with AGW, you’re welcome to submit your own observations, measurements and explanation if you disagree. - Please provide evidence of your claim above that “more and more scientists are disputing AGW”.
Greg, per your request here’s some information from Wikipedia: Peer review Scientists questioning the accuracy of IPCC climate projections Scientists in this section have made comments that it is not possible to project global climate accurately enough to justify the ranges projected for temperature and sea-level rise over the next century. They may not conclude specifically that the current IPCC projections are either too high or too low, but that the projections are likely to be inaccurate due to inadequacies of current global climate modeling. Judith Curry, climatologist and chair of the school of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology[17] Freeman Dyson, professor emeritus of the School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study; Fellow of the Royal Society [18] Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan emeritus professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and member of the National Academy of Sciences[19][20][21] Nils-Axel Mörner, retired head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics department at Stockholm University, former chairman of the INQUA Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution (1999–2003).[22] Garth Paltridge, retired chief research scientist, CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research and retired director of the Institute of the Antarctic Cooperative Research Centre, visiting fellow ANU[23] Peter Stilbs, professor of physical chemistry at Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.[24] Philip Stott, professor emeritus of biogeography at the University of London[25] Hendrik Tennekes, retired director of research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute [26] Fritz Vahrenholt, German politician and energy executive with a doctorate in chemistry[27] Scientists arguing that global warming is primarily caused by natural processes Graph showing the ability with which a global climate model is able to reconstruct the historical temperature record, and the degree to which those temperature changes can be decomposed into various forcing factors. It shows the effects of five forcing factors: greenhouse gases, man-made sulfate emissions, solar variability, ozone changes, and volcanic emissions.[28] Scientists in this section have made comments that the observed warming is more likely attributable to natural causes than to human activities. Their views on climate change are usually described in more detail in their biographical articles. Khabibullo Abdusamatov, mathematician and astronomer at Pulkovo Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences[29] Sallie Baliunas, astronomer, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics[30][31] Tim Ball, professor emeritus of geography at the University of Winnipeg[32] Robert M. Carter, former head of the school of earth sciences at James Cook University[33] Ian Clark, hydrogeologist, professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa[34] Chris de Freitas, associate professor, School of Geography, Geology and Environmental Science, University of Auckland[35] David Douglass, solid-state physicist, professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester[36] Don Easterbrook, emeritus professor of geology, Western Washington University[37] William M. Gray, professor emeritus and head of the Tropical Meteorology Project, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University[38] William Happer, physicist specializing in optics and spectroscopy, Princeton University[39] Ole Humlum, professor of geology at the University of Oslo[40] Wibjörn Karlén, professor emeritus of geography and geology at the University of Stockholm.[41] William Kininmonth, meteorologist, former Australian delegate to World Meteorological Organization Commission for Climatology[42] David Legates, associate professor of geography and director of the Center for Climatic Research, University of Delaware[43] Tad Murty, oceanographer; adjunct professor, Departments of Civil Engineering and Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa[44] Tim Patterson, paleoclimatologist and professor of geology at Carleton University in Canada.[45][46] Ian Plimer, professor emeritus of Mining Geology, the University of Adelaide.[47] Arthur B. Robinson, biochemist and former faculty member at the University of California, San Diego[48] Nicola Scafetta, research scientist in the physics department at Duke University[49][50] Tom Segalstad, head of the Geology Museum at the University of Oslo[51] Fred Singer, professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia[52][53][54] Willie Soon, astrophysicist, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics[55] Roy Spencer, principal research scientist, University of Alabama in Huntsville[56] Henrik Svensmark, Danish National Space Center[57] Jan Veizer, environmental geochemist, professor emeritus from University of Ottawa[58] Scientists arguing that the cause of global warming is unknown Scientists in this section have made comments that no principal cause can be ascribed to the observed rising temperatures, whether man-made or natural. Their views on climate change are usually described in more detail in their biographical articles. Syun-Ichi Akasofu, retired professor of geophysics and founding director of the International Arctic Research Center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.[59] Claude Allègre, politician; geochemist, emeritus professor at Institute of Geophysics (Paris).[60] Robert C. Balling, Jr., a professor of geography at Arizona State University.[61] John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, contributor to several IPCC reports.[62][63] Petr Chylek, space and remote sensing sciences researcher, Los Alamos National Laboratory.[64] David Deming, geology professor at the University of Oklahoma.[65] Ivar Giaever, professor emeritus at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.[66] Vincent R. Gray, New Zealander physical chemist with expertise in coal ashes[67] Antonino Zichichi, emeritus professor of nuclear physics at the University of Bologna and president of the World Federation of Scientists.[68]
Brad: It’s the “Who’s Who” of climate change denialism. Where’s the “more” part? Most of these people are the same ones who have been arguing against the basic science for years and years (Christy, Lindzen, Singer, Plimer, Spencer), some of them are public figures who talk big but aren’t actually climate scientists (Dyson), and some of them are plain ol’ wingnuts (Ball, Soon) whose work has been discredited. Many of these folks also take money from oil companies and conservative think tanks. Why should I listen to them instead of the IPCC? What about the hundreds of published climate scientists who contribute to the IPCC reports? Who keep saying saying the same thing, which you can read above.
Of course that list was on the same page. I wasn’t keeping it a secret. It seems to me we’ve both had our say, but like a Muslim arguing with a Christian, neither of us is going to convince the other. I’ve enjoyed sparing with you but I’ve got to get back to my life now. If the warming gets dangerous, I’ll know that you were right. If you are a typical progressive/AGW fanatic you will never admit you were wrong; not even if hell freezes over. Much like the creationists nothing will be able to convince you. Hopefully, you’re not of that ilk.
Brad, you’re right - I am a “typical progressive/AGW fanatic”. I’m also a scientist (biology) who has spent the last 20 years trying to learn as much as I can about climate change. I also claim to be a skeptic when it comes to the evidence, and I have lots of questions about the published literature and the claims of people on both sides of this “debate”. So I’ll repeat what I said earlier: if you can provide substantive evidence that the current theory (mostly the greenhouse effect) is wrong, and provide a better explanation of why the Earth appears to be warming, I HAVE TO take what you say very seriously - otherwise I’m just another loudmouth on the Internet.
Hey Brad. I am “a typical progressive/AGW fanatic”. But I’m also a scientist (biology) who has spent the last 20 years learning about climate science, and a skeptic. In other words, I could be wrong. Like I said earlier, if someone can provide a realistic alternative explanation for the observed warming of the Earth, melting icecaps, changes in growing seasons, etc., based on solid evidence, I’ll be glad to listen. - But please go back and read the article again, because it’s a good summary of where we’re at.
As I said, the future will tell whose right and whose wrong. Scientists are often wrong and, to be honest, my heroes are the ones who challenge the consensus. NOVA had a great program this week about Mt. St. Helens coming back from the dead. It shows scientists being extremely surprised at his fast the Earth was able to heal itself. Those scientists approached data the conflicted with the consensus opinion with open minds. … That’s the way it’s supposed To work. My academic degree (Masters) is in societal futures. I, too, have been studying for years the way societies approach problems and opportunities and how that effects the socioeconomic health of that society. My research convinces me that we are approaching the issue of climate entirely wrong and that our socioeconomic health will suffer greatly, while having an insignificant impact on the global climate. It does surprise me that, as a scientist, you ignore the lack of AGW models to predict. Or, even worse, you buy into the data manipulation and time changes that attempt to prove that the models were not that far off.
Sorry about the typos, I’m late to take a friend to the airport. I’m sure you can figure out what I meant.
Brad: My research convinces me that we are approaching the issue of climate entirely wrong and that our socioeconomic health will suffer greatly, while having an insignificant impact on the global climate. Could you please expand on that a bit? …it does surprise me that, as a scientist, you ignore the lack of AGW models to predict. Well, it’s clear that the job of the models is to project, not to predict. This specific confusion has been cultivated by promoters of climate “skepticism” to further the - incorrect - notion that our understanding of AGW rests solely on computer models.
As long as scientists fight scientists, religions battle religions, cultures hate other cultures, politicians demonize other politicians, academicians marginalize other academicians ad nauseam we cannot possibly protect our civilization from self-destruction we are enabling today. We must learn to cooperate to protect our civilization like we did during WWII or we shall most certainly fail to have an acceptable future.
Expanding “a bit”; this could easily take a book. Essentially, societies have limited money and resources with which tackle serious problems. The bigger the society the harder it is for some to realize that there is a limitation to what can be accomplished, so intelligent priorities must be set. The problem, of course, is that within any group there are powerful differences regarding which priorities are most critical; Lomborg covers this issue as it relates to global warming best. While Anthony St. John is calling for all of us to agree on this issue and many others, that, of course, is a naive approach. World War II was a special case in that there were easily identified enemies that were universally agreed upon, plus the fact that there was only one major voice, the USA. However, there was not a single voice in America prior to our entering the conflict, in fact, there was strong opposition, many influential people who supported Hitler and his ultimate socialist goals. Luckily, for our future, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and we were forced into the war. However, it wasn’t long afterwards that the Soviet Union acquired the atomic bomb and the Cold War began. Back to the subject at hand. The second issue has to do with the availability of cheap energy to run our complex society. Anyone who believes that alternative fuels are within decades of solving this problem are whistling in the wind. We will remain dependent on fossil fuels for decades to come and only a major scientific breakthrough (impossible to anticipate) will change that. Millions of lives are at stake, way beyond any potential loss due to global warning’s most liberal predictions. We are extremely adaptable but we must eat, keep warm, and escape the heat. Grocery stores, during a panic empty in two hours, heating oil must be available, and deaths from over heating do happen, although cold is a much bigger problem. Finally, global warming will not destroy the planet and hopefully we will be able to adapt to any climate changes, except possibly another full-blown ice age. It has, after all, been much warmer in the past and life on the Earth thrived. However, pollution is an immediate danger to millions around the world and, like it or not, CO2 is not a pollutant, it’s a life-giving gas. Therefore, the extreme focus on a life-giving gas is taking us off focus from the immediate issue of chemical pollutants; the situation in China is a prime example. In addition, not allowing third world countries the opportunity to take advantage of cheap energy is an extremely negative impact to their socioeconomic health. In addition, we need the jobs that the search for all forms if cheap energy will provide us, while supplying the rest of the world with the energy modern human civilization needs. We can go back to the days before fossil fuels but hundreds of millions must die for that to happen. In essence, the AGW fanatics have chosen one number and the roulette wheel is spinning. The odds are not on our side.
Thanks Brad. I hope I’ll have time to get back to you tomorrow.
Brad, we keep proving our worst case scenario failure mode is failure to cooperate for the common good as well as for acceptable long-term quality of life for the human race. The worst case fact of life is that the United Nations, the U.S. Congress, as well as all other social, political and economic institutions are failing to cooperate at our increasing peril. The question still remains “Can We Adapt in Time?”:
Anthony, I’m not against cooperation and agree that it us needed during critical times. The problem is, that it is impossible under circumstances that exist today. The agendas are too different, the goals are to personal, and the methods are worlds apart. The Muslims are willing to cooperate as long as we agree to become Muslims; the progressives will agree to cooperate as long as we agree that AGW is a threat, that abortions should be allowed through the ninth month, that government can continue to grow and ultimately gain total control of our lives, etc. Russia will agree as long as we allow them the opportunity to rebuild a Soviet empire; and Iran will cooperate as long as we let them build a nuclear bomb and drop it on Israel and the United States. You can suggest the importance of cooperation all you want but history has shown us the danger of reaching out to those that would destroy us. Although, I do admit that there are those with a strong propensity to “compromise” all if their freedoms and rights away … The ones that would “rather be red than dead.”
Brad, so what you are saying is that our educational, scientific and religious institutions are incapable of saving us from ourselves, and we have absolutely no leaders like Churchill and FDR anymore, so we should just surrender. Whatever future generations that are left shall most certainly remember our surrender of their future.
Anthony, your examples don’t work for me. First, Churchill wasn’t respected until England was on its last legs, which supports my contention that things need to get terrible before people come together. And, if you’ll remember, once the war was over Churchill was quickly out of favor again; we have very short memories. Roosevelt was the opposite case. He was pretty worthless until Pearl Harbor, when he didn’t have a choice. World War II did have a silver lining, it got us out of a decade long depression, one that was exacerbated by the policies Roosevelt implemented. I have very little respect for our educational institutions and zero faith that they can solve any of our major problems. Scientists are fairly narrow minded, with their primary focus being their specific area of study. In addition, it usually takes years if not decades for any research to become worthwhile for our society and most has a very minor impact. I’m not sure what you expect our religious institutions to accomplish. To me it looks like they are struggling to survive, at least in the western world. As our society becomes more secular it becomes harder and harder for our religious institutions to have an impact. There has always been evil in the world, it would be terrible to surrender to evil. But freedom is not free, so we have to be willing to fight for our freedoms. My fear is that many will acquiesce in favor of security and this experiment in a representative democracy (republic), a system of government that has freed more people from true poverty than ever before in human history, will end.
Brad, we must find a better way.
Anthony, I don’t know … Republics seldom last more than a couple hundred years. They fail as soon as the majority of people realize they can vote for politicians that will give them “free” stuff. And, there are always politicians willing to do that to assure that they stay in power. We are to the point where more people are dependent on the government for handouts, salaries, or contracts than people who receive their compensation from other sources. In my opinion this is a great danger to our societies socioeconomic health, but others don’t see the problem, so the democrats and the main stream press attack anyone who desires a return to a common sense approach to these problems. If we continue down this path, I am afraid that we will devolve into a dictatorship within 50 years, or become a country under the thumb of the communists.
Brad: I really don’t know how to respond to some of the stuff you write. This, for example:
The Muslims are willing to cooperate as long as we agree to become Muslims; the progressives will agree to cooperate as long as we agree that AGW is a threat, that abortions should be allowed through the ninth month, that government can continue to grow and ultimately gain total control of our lives, etc. Russia will agree as long as we allow them the opportunity to rebuild a Soviet empire; and Iran will cooperate as long as we let them build a nuclear bomb and drop it on Israel and the United States.
Brad, the paramount fact of life today is that we are running out of time and the ways we deal with social, political, economic and environmental problems today are failing to make the right things happen. Our newest and future generations are at greater risk than ever before and we must focus on protecting their future. The paramount question is how can we protect their future in time to prevent our failures from destroying their future?
Sorry, hit Save too soon… - Look, I’m a 57-yo adult who reads a variety of news sources. Everything you’ve written above seems like the kind of paranoia promoted by FOX News. 1) You can claim that “The Muslims are coming! The Muslims are coming!” until you and Mark Steyn are blue in the face. That doesn’t make it true. I know and work with lots of Muslims, and they are grown-ups who recognize that our country is a great place to live, and that heaping a bunch of religious nonsense on people is not a strategy to accomplish anything. You and Mark should figure that out some time. 2) Please re-read the article at the top of this page. The scientific community is telling us in a loud voice that AGW IS a problem, whether you like it or not. Much as FOX & Co would like to make it into a partisan issue, Science doesn’t give “Right” answers and “Left” answers. 3) Nobody in their right mind is suggesting abortions in the 9th month. This is an outright lie. 4) Who controls our lives now? Government? Or large corporations and advertisers who need constant capital growth to keep their shareholders happy? I’ll quote Oliver Wendell Holmes at you: “I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization.” Please note that I’m not saying that government should be allowed to grow out of control, but it has its uses. Look - we live in a high-tech society that depends on a huge investment in education, R&D, and having a regulated, well-run economy. Who do you think should be organizing those things if it isn’t your democratically-elected governments? Would you prefer Ron Paul? How about Bill Gates? Charles Koch? Brad Freggers? 5) Russia is currently an oligarchy run by oil and gas barons with a wanna-be dictator at the helm. They are politically unstable, and their economy is coming apart at the seams. Again, the idea that they want to re-establish a “Soviet Empire” is paranoia as far as I can see. I’ll agree that they’re dangerous though. 6) I don’t like the idea of Iran having nuclear weapons. I don’t like the idea of Israel having nuclear weapons either. You could argue that they both have the right to defend themselves, or that letting either of them have nuclear weapons was a bad move, especially if you want to see some sort of peace in the Middle East in the next 200 years. The likelihood of Iran dropping some kind of bomb on the US is so tiny that I’m pretty sure we can dismiss it as another paranoid fantasy. 7) “Communists!” Brad, this is 2014. Yelling about Communists in the US is extremist button-pushing designed to scare the ignorant into agreeing with you. It doesn’t work on the Internet. The problem is that Conservatives in the US believe their own propaganda about Obama, Liberals and the evils of Socialism. It’s nonsense because most of it is simply not true, but you think it excuses you from coming up with any real criticism of your own government, which is a pretty big failure in my book. - I’ll leave you with a quote from the article, which is what we’re talking about here:
…human activity, primarily the burning of fossil fuels since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, have caused a 40 percent increase in heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In the 20th century, that marked a 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit rise in the average surface temperature of Earth. If emissions continue unabated on their current trajectory, the report notes, scientists are “very confident” that by the end of the 21st century, the planet will have heated up an additional 4.8 to 8.6 degrees.
Again, I challenge you to provide factual evidence that there is another explanation for the science behind these statements.
Well, it does look like we’ve reached an impasse. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you, getting in the same page at this point is impossible. I will take the time to respond to each of your progressive positions, but not right now. However, I will that I’m 73 and with a Masters in Societal Futures and I’ve lived through much of this roller coaster ride for the past 5 decades. In addition, I was a conservative decades before FOX News existed. In fact, they came about because there wasn’t anyone discussing the issues conservatives care about. If you’re not watching The Kelly File, you, honestly, have no idea what’s going on. I’ll be back to straighten you on the other issues you obviously don’t understand.
Let’s tackle the Muslim question first, which I have been studying since the early 9os since you both (Anthony and Greg) seem very confused about the threat. In fact, at that time a progressive futures organization asked me to evaluate some 20-year scenarios, where the progressive futurists had predict world peace because societal enlightenment had spread throughout. I told then less than .01 percent of that happening. They came back and asked me what I thought might have a greater chance of happening. Remember this was the early 90s, I said a major attack on NYC by fanatical Muslims followed by a conservative president determined to make the world safe for democracy. The first president to fight the Muslims was Thomas Jefferson, he was determined to understand them, a copy of the Koran was found in his library. In addition, I have lead leadership workshops for Muslim executives in Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Dubai, Lebanon, and Tunisia. Finally, I have a Muslim “grandson” who was the number one high school scholar on the Koran in Kuwait. So here’s some facts for you: The ultimate goal of the Muslim religion is a world with only one religion. This has been commanded by Allah through Mohammed. This goal is supported by Muslims the world over. Over 80 percent of Middle Eastern Muslims believe that terrorism and jihad are acceptable methods toward the achievement if that goal. My grandson was asked to leave the Muslim organization in his Eastern University because he had become an American citizen and let it be known that he would fight for America if there was ever a conflict between a Muslim country and the United States. For Muslims nothing trumps the Muslim goal of a Muslim world, Allah demands it. The Muslims cannot be trusted in regard to any treaty or agreement. The Koran instructs leaders to sign all agreements until they are stronger than the enemy and then to break the agreement and wage a surprise attack, defeating the enemy. I am, of course talking about fanatical Muslims probably at least 20 percent of all Muslims, or about 250 million … Or the total population of the United States. This is best scene in regard to Israel. In 1947 the British controlled the Palestine territory and the entire Indian sub continent. The Palestine territory had been the home for Christians, Jews, and Muslims for centuries, although the Muslims were relative new comers (Mohammed was born almost 600 years after Jesus and 2000 years after Moses). Well, the Jews wanted a homeland of their own and had been purchasing large tracts of the Palestine territory for decades. And, the Muslims wanted a country of their own in the Indian sub continent (they had been murdering Hindus in order to force this to happen). In addition the British were tired of trying to control all that they had procured. There was a problem in India in that the Hindus essentially controlled it all. But, the British convinced Nehru and Gandhi to give up Pakistan and Bangladesh, which resulted in millions of Hindus being murdered, their property stolen and their women sold into prostitution or forced marriages. For this. 350 million square miles of territory the Muslim countries agreed to the formation of Israel (a bit over 8,000 square miles) and thus signed, sealed, and delivered at the League of Nations. Of course, the Muslims thought they could destroy Israel and it didn’t take them long to attack, breaking an agreement that the ink had barely dried on. As far as Muslims in Israel, it is the only country in the Middle East where Palestinians can become citizens and hold public office, one of their Supreme Court justices is Muslim. All Muslims kept their land and their businesses and none if their women were sold into prostitution. We published the autobiography of a man who as a young boy lived through the Muslim genocide of Hindus in Bangladesh in 1964. He was an eye witness to the chopping off of the heads of Hindus who refused to convert. This is still going on today and will only increase as the jihadists gain more power. In addition, of course is the treatment of women in Muslims countries, including the forced marriage of girls as young as nine. To believe that this is not a significant problem for Western societies is to completely ignore the facts. In my academic studies I was taught that the past is the best measure of the future, that is why the study of what really happened is so critical to futurists. Nothing I have stated is conjecture, everything is provable … I’ve been studying this issue for a quarter of a century. Excuse any typos I don’t have time to proof it and sometimes the iPhones auto correct does some weird stuff.
Brad: “The ultimate goal of the Muslim religion is a world with only one religion. And the ultimate goal of the Christian religion is… a world with only one religion. Good luck to all of them!
Greg and Brad, what we appear to be accomplishing is proving in our own ways that it is much easier to disagree and divide than it is to solve our problems together to accomplish long-term survival of the human race. My first vote was for Ike when I was stationed on Okinawa during the Cold War, and he was the best president I ever voted for. The GOP went to hell ever since Nixon. Ike said a great deal that we should have learned from in his 1961 Farewell Address: We failed to heed his words, at our increasing peril.
The Christians want a one world religion, too! Thank you for pointing that out. The big difference is that the Christians only want to talk your head off. They quit killing infidels centuries ago. And they don’t murder artists that show Jesus in ridiculous situations, By the way, atheists also want the world to get rid of this silly dependence on a god that doesn’t exist,
Regardless of our thoughts about the causes of Global Warming, we are in fact experiencing severe climate changes this year and we (especially including Berkeley faculty) must find a solution to this grave problem which threatens our civilization, because history books document that many previous civilizations have been destroyed by the consequences of drought, etc. We must find a way to unite all nations to cooperate in the solution, but the UN fails to be able to accomplish this magnitude of action because they have not been able to overcome the power of money yet. Historians Will and Ariel Durant have said that one way to unite all nations in fighting in a common cause is that the cause would have to be something like the threat of an alien invasion from outside our solar system that would destroy our civilization. In reality, Global Warming can very well be as big a threat to our survival as any we shall ever experience. Therefore, we must first find a way to overcome the power of money that has always prevented the UN from actually uniting all nations in any common effort in the past, except to fight wars, in order to protect an acceptable quality of life for future generations now that Global Warming is a fact of life today.
Anthony, while you seem to be determined to approach this from the negative, there have been some recent articles, in places you wouldn’t look, suggesting from a study of climate in the past, that a warming of the planet would be a boon to humanity and that additional CO2 is already a boon to plant growth. From my point of view, those scientists committed to stopping “climate change” have the hubris and intelligence of the Emperor Without any Clothes. While I doubt very much that they can have any long-term impact (thousands of years) on the climate (Mother Nature is infinitely better at causes major problems for the Earth), there is a better than even chance that the possibility that they will screw things up for our civilization is even better than the chance that they will have a positive impact. In other words, they are nothing better than kindergarteners playing with fire; something I’m very familiar with since I almost burnt down a number of houses when I was about that age. It is very distressing when a bunch of arrogant, ignorant individuals come together in a group determined to “fix” problems that they have no business sticking their noses into. It’s all the same, whether they are progressives trying to “fix” society or “scientists” trying to “fix” the climate. In both cases they don’t have a clue, while at the same time believing that they know more than anyone else … such hubris.
Brad, I must agree that we have a history of screwing things up, that’s why people are constantly slaughtering other people, serving the interests of the power of money, with no end in sight. All I’m trying to do is encourage our best and brightest (I frequently wonder who they may be) to work much harder (like another Manhattan Project or Apollo Space Program) to unite to find a way to produce an acceptable quality of life our newest and future generations, because the alternative of another climate change disaster is totally unacceptable. Sadly, I must admit that up until now there is no united effort by our best and brightest to accomplish this so your wish is coming true by default. Leadership is what is needed and that is not happening because too many of us are fighting any effort at all to overcome the unacceptable consequences of the power of money so we continue to fail to protect an acceptable quality of life for the human race. We must not give up.
Anthony, I don’t criticize you for doing what you believe is necessary. However, you are completely wrong in your contention that it is money and power that is the problem. This is especially not true in regard to the AGW issue. If you don’t realize who your opponents are, you don’t have a prayer of changing anything. The amount of money spent by governments and extremely wealthy people for climate change “research” and propaganda to support the AGW hypothesis is easily 100 times what’s been spent by the opposition. The problem isn’t the effort to prove that AGW is nothing to worry about, the problem is that there is significant data to disprove the hypothesis and, to the intelligent, informed common person, it just doesn’t make sense. In my opinion, you could jail every denier and a significant percentage of the population still would not buy into AGW. So … You might quit blaming “greedy ” capitalists and vocal deniers for the lack of interest. Especially don’t blame the oil companies, they want to be out front on any energy solution, they don’t want to make the same mistake the railroads made; they are NOT in the oil business, they are in the energy business.
Brad, Pogo said it best during the first Earth Day 1971 when he (Walt Kelly) said “We Have Met The Enemy and He Is Us” and that is still true because we still haven’t solved the problems after over 40 years of disunity, so now the CO2 is above 400 ppm and accelerating, and we have had an extraordinary winter already this year that weather people don’t have a clue about how to predict with their $Billion computer systems. Relative to power of money, Ike warned us best in his 1961 Farewell Address: “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.” So even Ike has been marginalized by the power of money. Until we can find people who are capable and willing to join together to make the right things happen, we can’t even begin to argue back at what you say.
By the way, maybe the weather people with all their equipment and expertise, didn’t anticipate this winter, but the Farmer’s Almanac did. There have been winters like this long before we were putting CO2 into the air. If I remember my research correctly, during the American Revolution it was cold like this. Here’s a prayer for you: Lord, give in the courage to change the things I can change, The patience to except what I can’t change, And, the wisdom to know the difference. By the way, thank you for affirming my statement that is government money and power that is essentially driving this AGW hypothesis. However, the truth will eventually win, hopefully not to late. Peace, Brad
QUESTION: How Do We Unite To Survive? The IPCC now appears to be certain that we are less than two decades from unacceptable climate problems for the human race. We need cultural leaders such as Robert Reich, political leaders such as Obama and religious leaders such as Pope Francis to unite us to take action to survive. The greatest challenge appears to be our mental machinery that is overwhelming wired to create Us/Them dichotomies that prevent uniting us for survival. We have not yet found a way to communicate with each other to get us to even discuss problems together, much less come up with solutions we can agree on implementing before the window of opportunity closes. There has to be a better way and I hope and pray that UC professors and scholars can find that way with the required sense of urgency that now threatens us overwhelmingly.
I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you are putting your faith and your future in the wrong hands. Everyone you’ve mentioned except Pope Francis has already proven to be incompetent in many ways. In addition, the IPCC is NOT a scientific body, it is a political body with an agenda. In fact, the final results were written to meet the needs of governments, not to reflect the findings of the organization. You would be better off to worry about pollution effecting your local environment and quit worrying about CO2, which is nowhere near the threat that the IPCC is making it out to be. You need further education. Go to this link and familiarize yourself with the opposing view. It’s foolish to not be aware that there are other opinions. Of course it’s a “realist” site … you won’t find this information on an “activist” site.
Brad Fregger, thank you for your feedback, more proof that we must find a better way to communicate.
There are no people on earth more capable of educating the general public than Berkeley professors and scholars. and the following AP poll on the failed credibility of scientists proves they must speak out and educate the general public today or Global Warming shall overwhelm our planet within decades per the latest IPCC report. “Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans” By SETH BORENSTEIN and JENNIFER AGIESTA Associated Press Apr 21, 3:42 AM EDT
Will someone please recommend a good psychiatrist for Brittny; she has some serious problems and way too much time on her hands.