For the climate skeptics  

Friday, June 01, 2007

Gristmill has an article up about How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic. It's a really good article, linking to many skeptic objections and answering arguments to those objections. Here are a few from the article.


Global warming is nothing new!

If you have look at this graph of temperature, starting at a point when we were finishing the climb out of deep glaciation, you can clearly see that rapid warming ceased around 10,000 years ago (rapid relative to natural fluctuations, but not compared to the warming today, which is an order of magnitude faster). After a final little lift 8,000 years ago, temperature trended downward for the entire period of the Holocene. So the post-industrial revolution warming is the reversal of a many-thousand-year trend.

It's the sun, stupid
According to PMOD at the World Radiation Center there has been no increase in solar irradiance since at least 1978, when satellite observations began. This means that for the last thirty years, while the temperature has been rising fastest, the sun has not changed.

What about mid-century cooling?
If you look at the temperature record for the 1990s, you'll notice a sharp drop in '92, '93, and '94. This is the effect of massive amounts of SO2 ejected into the stratosphere by Mount Pinatubo's eruption. That doesn't mean CO2 took a holiday and stopped influencing global temperatures; it only means that the CO2 forcing was temporarily overwhelmed by another, opposite forcing.

Natural emissions dwarf human emissions
It's true that natural fluxes in the carbon cycle are much larger than anthropogenic emissions. But for roughly the last 10,000 years, until the industrial revolution, every gigatonne of carbon going into the atmosphere was balanced by one coming out.

What humans have done is alter one side of this cycle. We put approximately 6 gigatonnes of carbon into the air but, unlike nature, we are not taking any out.

Thankfully, nature is compensating in part for our emissions, because only about half the CO2 we emit stays in the air. Nevertheless, since we began burning fossil fuels in earnest over 150 years ago, the atmospheric concentration that was relatively stable for the previous several thousand years has now risen by over 35%.

So whatever the total amounts going in and out "naturally," humans have clearly upset the balance and significantly altered an important part of the climate system.

(via Pharyngula

Also, read George Monbiot's response to Alexander Cockburn on global warming.

(via denialism blog

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7 comments: to “ For the climate skeptics

  • Venjanz
    Saturday, June 2, 2007 at 5:21:00 AM CDT  

    Let me ask you yall, this is a serious question...

    Yes or No: Are atheists nihilisitc by definition?

    If yes, why do they care about global warming?

    If no, from what source was their morality derived?

    Please discuss.

    -Tommy

  • ordinarygirl
    Saturday, June 2, 2007 at 10:03:00 AM CDT  

    Classic misdirection! If you can't dispute the facts, then just attack the person who made them, right?

    But I'll answer them.

    Q: Are atheists nihilisitc by definition?

    A: No. If you read my previous post you would know that the simple definition of atheism is no belief in a god. That does not imply that there is no truth or no point in making action.

    Q: If no, from what source was their morality derived?

    A: The same source you get your morality. No one really gets their morality from a holy book and calls themselves moral. If so then we'd still have slavery and women would still be property and it'd be ok for me to be stoned as an unbeliever. Christians, Muslims, whoever usually cheery pick their book for the good bits and say the bits that don't line up with current-day secular morality are irrelevant.

  • Venjanz
    Tuesday, June 5, 2007 at 11:30:00 PM CDT  

    Misdirection? Personal attack? Where do you get that from? Come on, now.

    If you agree that we both get our respective morals (they are nearly identical, as you know) from the same place, than where would that be? I am certainly not a Christian, nor are you, yet we both have a Judeo-Christian moral base. We were not born that way, you know. I could just as easily be over in Iraq chopping off heads shouting ALLAHU ACKBAR, if I were born and raised in a different place.

    Check out my new post, Chris Hitchens busts is out better than I ever could.

  • ordinarygirl
    Wednesday, June 6, 2007 at 8:47:00 AM CDT  

    Misdirection? Personal attack? Where do you get that from? Come on, now.

    Mmm hmm. So why bring up atheist morals on a post about global warming?

    Yes, I'm sure the base of our culture is Judeo-Christian. It's been a huge influence over the European-based countries. But, our culture has developed its own set of morals that reject many Old Testament "sins". You bring up Middle Eastern morals, but what about other non-Muslim, non-Christian based cultures. Are they so different from us?

    And back to the original point, what about global warming?

  • Venjanz
    Thursday, June 7, 2007 at 2:16:00 AM CDT  

    Yeah, come on. You know very well my questions were not ad hominem. I thought you know me better than that. Asking a person the origin of their beliefs and how they evolved in to morals is certainly not “attacking” somebody.

    You want me to talk about warming in the last 100 years? Of course human industry is the main cause. I have told you before I don’t think the science is wrong, but the MSM hype is turning people like me and the MoD off, and the hypocrisy of the media darling advocates certainly does not help. My main hobby is weather. I find and take the AMS test yearly, and the lowest score I have ever received is 94.

    You want me to speak about non-Abrahmic religions, presumably Hinduism and Buddhism? Yes, they are so different. While mostly peaceful, Asian religion and culture does not put the premium on human life as we do in the West. Any Pacific WWII or Korean War vet can tell you that. And than again, who cares, in 2007? Hindus and Buddhists aren’t hijacking aircraft in the name of their God or blowing themselves up on buses and slaughtering innocent people on purpose to propagate their religions on a daily basis. Only the Religion of Peace does that, nowadays.

    I digress, though. I agree that we have evolved, as Christianity has, and when you talk about Old Testament sins, are you referring to the fluff non-sense or the 10 commandments? You didn’t specify, so I won’t presume you were talking about the 10 commandments. Please remember though that real Christians look to the New Testament for guidance (or at least they should), and the commandments as sort of a starting point, or they are not by definition Christians, like almost all Catholics, whom have been brain-washed for the last 1700 years.

    LOL I am done with this thread, and I will part with this: You are a good person, and life life is far more interesting with you in the world.

    -Tommy

  • ordinarygirl
    Thursday, June 7, 2007 at 8:52:00 AM CDT  

    You are a good person, and life life is far more interesting with you in the world.

    Thanks! You know I think the same about you too.

    Sorry if I was too argumentative. I always have trouble telling whether you're joking around or talking seriously.

    Anyway, hopefully we'll see you guys tomorrow. Matt's out of town again, but he might be back tonight.

  • glomgold
    Thursday, June 7, 2007 at 5:42:00 PM CDT  

    Maybe climate skeptics are all middle-aged and up. If they're wrong, who cares? They'll be dead anyway. And at least they got to drive that spiffy SUV with the magnetic ribbons on the tailgate up and down the highway to work every day. They might've even splurged for the fake mini-soccerball "cracked through" the back window! Clever!

 

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