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DAVID ROSMAN: Cold winter doesn't mean the end of global warming

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 | 11:33 a.m. CST; updated 9:43 a.m. CST, Thursday, January 27, 2011

* This story has been edited to remove an erroneous temperature conversion.

“So, how’s your snow? I read you had over eight inches last week. It was 48 degrees here in Miami tonight. How’s that for global warming?”

My dad is not usually sarcastic, but this global climate change thing has had him going since Al Gore was elected president. You remember; that was the election where the loser won the contest. But that’s another column.

The problem is that many climate change opponents only look at the short term, what is happening this week — not this century. They are looking at the immediate, what is going on in their visible world, and not at the entire planet. The glaciers melting in Glacier National Park, Greenland and Europe do not seem relevant because we have no glaciers in the middle of Middle America. Or, in my dad’s case, southeast Florida.

Scientific American has also discussed this. Quoting Eoin O’Carroll of the Christian Science Monitor, it reported, “You can’t tell much about the climate or where it’s headed by focusing on a particularly frigid day, or season, or year, even.”

Science looks at the big picture, at least 30 years. Or a century or two — or millions of years. Inter Press Service reported on the 2010 freeze of Europe, the coldest in 50 years. Yet Energy and Environment Publishing’s Climate Wire reported that the melting season in Greenland has increased by 50 days in the last 30 years.

Frank Boettcher, director of the German Institute for Weather and Climate Communication, told the Inter Press Service, “Right now, temperatures in Greenland are *15 degrees Celsius above the season's long-term average … a good indicator that we cannot rationalize global warming away.”

We have seen a year with a lot of snow and cold reaching into the southern-most panhandles of the North American continent. Yet the record cold may be the proof of climate’s warming and change.

James Overland of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told the New York Times that the unusually warmer air worldwide causes the jet stream to “bulge,” bringing colder air further to the south, like to Florida.

In a study published in the American Meteorological Society’s online journal, Edwin K. Schneider, Ben P. Kirtman, and Richard S. Lindzen of the Center for Ocean–Land–Atmosphere Studies reported that the increase in overall temperature of the planet has increased the water vapor in the atmosphere. This factored with the dipping jet stream accounts for the snows. It also accounts for the massive flooding in Australia and Brazil this year.

And the flooding of the Missouri River? Let’s see. The Missouri River is fed, in part, by the Platte, Cache la Poudre and Big Thompson rivers in Colorado. Those rivers are fed by mountain snows. As of Sunday, Loveland Ski Area in Colorado had an-above average 74-inch base, and March is the snowiest month in the Rockies. My prediction is the Missouri River will flood this spring. As will the Mighty Mississippi. Blame global climate change.

Newscientist.com reported in 2007 about something known as the faint sun paradox. The sun is cooler now than 4 billion years ago, but the planet is hotter. Why? According to the article, “The reason: higher levels of greenhouse gases trapping more of the sun's heat.” And that is the problem.

With the increase of carbon dioxide gases, more heat is trapped. With the advent of man’s pollution, factoring in increasing 20th and 21st centuries’ transportation and energy needs, there has been a significant increase in man-made carbon dioxide. A warmer planet brings more atmospheric water vapor and a rerouted jet stream. Combine the two and we get the great and continuing blizzards of the winter of 2010-11.

The bottom line is we may be responsible for the snow we are experiencing. Buy a shovel and deal with it.

David Rosman is an award-winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in communications, ethics, business and politics. You can read more of David’s commentaries at InkandVoice.com and New York Journal of Books.

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Comments

Michael Williams January 26, 2011 | 2:18 p.m.

BR says, "......since Al Gore was elected president. You remember; that was the election where the loser won the contest. But that’s another column.
_________________________

I look forward to it. But, please, don't continue the myth that the SCOTUS vote was 5-4.

Heck, even Bill Clark in a recent column on the Trib side-of-things, great knowledgeable guy that he is, fell for the 5-4 myth.

(Report Comment)
Christopher Foote January 26, 2011 | 4:33 p.m.

@MW, Not to rehash ancient history, but the per curiam vote was 5-4.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Per_curiam_....
Breyer and Souter dissented. They did not concur in part and dissent in part. They did not join the equal protection analysis of the majority.
Four justices (Justices Stevens, Ginsburg, Souter and Breyer) dissented as to stopping the recount. Two of those four dissenters (i.e. Justices Breyer and Souter) acknowledged that the counting up until December 9 had not conformed with Equal Protection requirements. However, Souter and Breyer favored remanding the case back to the Florida Supreme Court for the purpose of crafting specific guidelines for how to count disputed ballots, in contrast to the majority's decision to halt the recount altogether.
That was a 5-4 majority that voted to halt the recount altogether.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 26, 2011 | 7:50 p.m.

I dunno, Chris. Which part of the following paragraph is unclear?

"Seven Justices of the Court agree that there are constitutional problems with the recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court that demand a remedy. The only disagreement is as to the remedy. Because the Florida Supreme Court has said that the Florida Legislature intended to obtain the safe-harbor benefits of 3 U. S. C. §5, JUSTICE BREYER’s proposed remedy— remanding to the Florida Supreme Court for its ordering of a constitutionally proper contest until December 18-contemplates action in violation of the Florida election code, and hence could not be part of an “appropriate” order authorized by Fla. Stat. §102.168(8) (2000).

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/pdf/00-...

The fact is that 7 of the Supremes believed that the recount, as constructed, was a violation of the Constitution. That "7" included two of the four precious liberals. The dissenting opinions all ran afoul of various Federal dates, to the point where one (I think Ginsberg) of the remedies actually would have been a violation of a separate election law.

Remanding back to the Florida Supreme Court would have run afoul of dates, too. There is NO way that court could have constructed a new set of guidelines, then implemented and completed them within the date demands.

You can call it 5-4 if you want to, I guess, but only if you support a remedy that would run afoul of other laws....but the fact is that it was a lost cause for Gore no matter how you cut it. After all, given what was happening, the Florida legislature could have put the kaibash on the whole thing.

On the question of whether what was going on in Florida (county by county, precinct by precinct changing/evolving standards), SCOTUS voted 7-2. INO, the Gore strategy was a sham and completely unconstitutional. That 7-2 vote threw the election to Bush.

(Yer frothferous, ain't ya?)

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 26, 2011 | 7:56 p.m.

This is a good, clarifying paragraph, too.

December 12 is the date to keep in mind.

"The Supreme Court of Florida has said that the legislature intended the State’s electors to “participat[e] fully in the federal electoral process,” as provided in 3 U. S. C. §5. ___ So. 2d, at ___ (slip op. at 27); see also Palm Beach Canvassing Bd. v. Harris, 2000 WL 1725434, *13 (Fla. 2000). That statute, in turn, requires that any controversy or contest that is designed to lead to a conclusive selection of electors be completed by December 12. That date is upon us, and there is no recount procedure in place under the State Supreme Court’s order that comports with minimal constitutional standards. Because it is evident that any recount seeking to meet the December 12 date will be unconstitutional for the reasons we have discussed, we reverse the judgment of the Supreme Court of Florida ordering a recount to proceed."

(Report Comment)
James Sexton January 27, 2011 | 12:28 a.m.

* This story has been edited to remove an erroneous temperature conversion.

Well, at least that got corrected. Let's work on some other erroneous statements, or at least misleading statements.

"The problem is that many climate change opponents only look at the short term, what is happening this week — "

Yeh, that's different than viewing a flood or a warm spell as proof of global warming. Weather events that occur can only be seen as proof of global warming, else, it is short sighted. Ok, on to more tripe. You quoted O'Carroll as saying, “You can’t tell much about the climate or where it’s headed by focusing on a particularly frigid day, or season, or year, even.” Excellent, we should never hear of the "hottest year evuh" as proof of global warming. Later you go on about Greenland. And reported, "Yet Energy and Environment Publishing’s Climate Wire reported that the melting season in Greenland has increased by 50 days in the last 30 years." Ok, well, Greenland is a huge island so I'm not sure where exactly they're speaking of, but for argument sake, let's say that's happening over the entire island. Check the weather stations. It melts a bit during the summer. Guess what happens for the rest of the year? Freezing. It freezes there more than it melts. Then you bring out this year's meme, "Yet the record cold may be the proof of climate’s warming and change."...yes, I've often suspected that cold is caused by hot, now its official. Dr. Syme from the dept. of lexicography is writing a study on this. It's a new found phenomenon we like to call warmcold. It used to be that cold was caused by cold, but no more, the climate has changed and now warm causes cold. Syme's colleague, Eric Blair, believes this is the cause of another new found climate dynamic called drywet. We saw this in the SW U.S. late last year when a desert in the depths of a drought was rained upon. Once, this was called a seasonal rain in an otherwise arid place. Now, it is flooding caused by climate change.

One of your best pieces of misinformation though, is when you mentioned, Edwin K. Schneider, Ben P. Kirtman, and Richard S. Lindzen and then state, "This factored with the dipping jet stream accounts for the snows. It also accounts for the massive flooding in Australia and Brazil this year."

I'm not sure which study you are referring but Lindzen didn't state, insinuate, or even hint that the floods were caused by global warming. I truly hope he sees this article. Anyone semi knowledgeable with the debate of global warming is familiar with Lindzen's work.

The Mississippi is going to flood? And GW will be to blame, as opposed to the other times it flooded before the GW hypothesis. It's cold this year and the cold and snow this year are because of global warming.

The problem is that many climate change PROPONENTS only look at the short term, what is happening this week — not this century.

Nice piece of misinformation and circular logic.

(Report Comment)
Paul Homewood January 27, 2011 | 7:33 a.m.

The world's climate has been going through a totally natural warm cycle caused by the PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation) which lasts about 25 years. This cycle began winding down about 10 years ago which explains why global temps have stabilised for the last 15 years.

The PDO is now entering a cool phase which will bring us lower temps in the coming decade. These cycles are well known to climatologists and I have to question why certain climatologists refuse to mention the PDO when looking at recent warming.

David Rosman quite rightly states that we should look at long term trends and yet goes on to talk about 30 years of climate, which in the overall view of things is a mere blip.
For instance he conveniently ignores the fact that US temperatures were higher in the 1930's than now.

Indeed as you can see from the attached graph Missouri temps were consistently higher between 1920 and 1960 than the last decade.

We are told though that the rest of the world is much hotter than then. However temperature records were simply not reliable enough over much of the world in those days to make any comparison meaningful. Many scientists doubt whether they still are.

Finally if David is worried about the Arctic, he can rest assured that similar conditions existed there in the 1920's. Eventually the climate grew colder again and the ice returned. This natural variation happens all the time.

I suggest to David that he comes back in 30 years time to see if trends have changed. Perhaps his son will be the one to criticise him for his reactionary views whilst at the same time trying to alarm him with the latest scare story.

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistem...

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 27, 2011 | 8:26 a.m.

You know, it doesn't matter if the warming is natural or not. If it's natural, nothing we do (short of injecting aerosolss into the high stratosphere) will change it. If it's man made, the level of conservation required to stabilize CO2 levels near where they are now would decimate our (and the world's) economy. No politician would advocate that.

Even with a crash program of efficiency, wind, solar, nuclear, and smaller sources of energy, we will not be able to materially change our carbon emissions quickly without drastic conservation. We simply use too much carbon based energy, and manufacturing capacity for carbon-lite (no alternative is carbon free) alternatives is limited. So we will see who is right (or if both sides are a little right). We won't stop it, no matter who is right.

DK

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 27, 2011 | 8:34 a.m.

Mike W.,frothferous, J. Sexton, P. Homewood - Thanks, very interesting. All but one posted good information and a great laff for a dreary, cold, GW, day.

Another question has occurred to me. How much energy has been provided by Solar Panels in month of January 2011?

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 27, 2011 | 8:43 a.m.

Mark - More good info, except, "If it's man made, the level of conservation required to stabilize CO2 levels near where they are now would decimate our (and the world's) economy. No politician would advocate that." The Pelosi, Democrat controlled House of Representatives did exactly that with their passage of the Cap n'Trade bill. If not stopped in Senate, Progressive D's would have served it to us on a platter.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 27, 2011 | 9:20 a.m.

frank christian wrote:

"The Pelosi, Democrat controlled House of Representatives did exactly that with their passage of the Cap n'Trade bill."

When did they pass that? I don't think they did.

Cap and trade is nothing compared to what actually needs to be done to stabilize CO2 levels. There are almost 7 billion people on the planet, and the earth can absorb about 5 billion tons of CO2 every year. That means each person can make only about 3/4 of a ton of CO2 per year to stabilizee levels. Americans make 20 tons per capita. Reducing that by 20% might be possible without a lot of economic pain, but 95% is completely another animal. It won't happen.

"How much energy has been provided by Solar Panels in month of January 2011?"

Well, we don't know yet because the month is not over, but in 2009, US grid-tied solar capacity was 1256 MW. On average, these panels in January have an effective peak sun of about 4 hours (most are in California and the southern US), so that comes out to roughly 5 gigawatt hours/day or 150 GWH/month. That's enough energy to run 150,000 average homes for that month.

DK

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 27, 2011 | 10:29 a.m.

Mark F - "Nov 9, 2009 ... On June 26, Pelosi passed cap and trade out of the House. ... The House legislation would languish as it waited for the Senate, and angry ...
voices.washingtonpost.com/.../nancy_pelosis_risky_cap_and_tr.html - Similar".

You obviously know what you are talking about in regard to CO2, but in my opinion your premise is wrong if you believe BO, Pelosi and the Progressives care about our emissions. From the UN on down (up?)it's about, control, taxation and the reduction of the U.S. economy to the level of the other sheep on our planet.

My solar energy question was meant to be tongue in cheek and started to correct it to read "in Boone County", but decided no one would bother with it anyway. It would seem with the effort promote Solar energy, statistics on number or % of needed sunny days would be readily available, but I have never been able to locate any. I put 12ft of glass on south side of my house and covered floor with black slate 30 yrs ago and get help from that, on sunny days. This has also made me aware of how few sunny days are experienced around here in winter time. I read that panels need several hours of sunshine daily for maximum performance, but can collect 25-30% from UV through clouds. Is this accurate? Could "solar" do any real good in regard to heat during winters like ours? Thanks

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller January 27, 2011 | 11:01 a.m.

Carbon dioxide comprises less than 4 one hundreths of one percent of our atmosphere. The greatest concentration of CO 2 was found to be in the Pleistocene Era (Ice Age), a period in which there were no humans to operate the SUVs, burn fossil fuels, incandescent light bulbs and all the various and sundry enemies of our planet. Without CO 2, there would be no trees, no shrubbery, no flowers and no people. Those who buy into the EPA's serial silliness in declaring CO 2 a dangerous pollutant can do your part in reducing carbon dioxide may elect to cease exhaling CO 2 into the atmosphere.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 27, 2011 | 11:09 a.m.

Frankly fRANK, I'm amazed that Mark took the time to answer your frivolous stupid question. I wouldn't have.

Just remember. They want to destroy you because they hate your freedom. You know who "they" are. Be afraid.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 27, 2011 | 11:39 a.m.

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends...

J. Miller, a couple days ago Rick was fairly persuasive when stating why I should show you more respect than the average person. Now you have been more persuasive in affirming that I shouldn't.

Here is my critique of your statement...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hfYJsQAh...

(Report Comment)
James Sexton January 27, 2011 | 2:07 p.m.

lol, wow Paul's a regular keyboard commando! The article talks about short term and he shows us a graph going all the way back to 2006. Paul that is a useless graph. Its only use is to scare children. You don't know what it showing. It could be a natural process. We don't know how "well mixed" the atmosphere is. You could just as easily put a graph of pirate attacks out there. It would roughly show the same trend. But while we're on trends, here's one, http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut...

Now, put that against your Muana graph. You see the correlation? Neither does anyone else.

Awfully difficult to maintain a correlation when it so obviously doesn't.

(Report Comment)
Christopher Foote January 27, 2011 | 2:25 p.m.

@Mr. Sexton,

Perhaps you can see a correlation in this graph:

http://zfacts.com/metaPage/lib/zFacts-CO...

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 27, 2011 | 2:49 p.m.

frank christian wrote:

"it's about, control, taxation and the reduction of the U.S. economy to the level of the other sheep on our planet."

I don't think so. What self interested politician would want to reduce the economy? It'll reduce itself just fine without Republicans or Democrats. We've been running on debt for the past three decades, and our only solution has been to "get another credit card". There's little any politician can do about it except stop spending money we don't have, and that would be far worse for the economy in the short term. The pooch has been screwed and we will have to live with the litter.

"I read that panels need several hours of sunshine daily for maximum performance, but can collect 25-30% from UV through clouds. Is this accurate? Could "solar" do any real good in regard to heat during winters like ours? Thanks"

The performance of different types of PV panels is different in low light vs. full light, and concentrating solar is a different animal still. It's not really "maximum performance", but economic performance, i. e. given the average sun intensity for an area, are you willing to pay for the number of panels you need to generate a given amount of energy?

PV panels generate most efficiently at lower wavelengths - more green and blue light. A lot of atmospheric heating happens at higher wavelengths - more toward infrared. However, if you're heating a slab through glass, there is only a certain spectrum of light that passes through that glass, and cloud cover will block almost all of it. In MO, you can get a significant amount of space heat through passive solar, but not on cloudy days like we commonly have in the winter here.

Just incidentally, my PV system has about a 6 day battery backup (in winter) because of our cloudiness. If I had a wind turbine also, I could get away with less, but intermittency is the biggest problem with wind and solar, and a very tough one to handle on a utility scale.

DK

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller January 27, 2011 | 3:11 p.m.

Mr Allaire..In lieu of posting your cute but otherwise irrelevant and non responsive rebuttals, perhaps you can dazzle the readers with the geological and scientific research you performed to prove me wrong? It is apparent that you play to impress the peanut gallery; however, you would be more credible if you actually addressed the subject.

(Report Comment)
James Sexton January 27, 2011 | 3:43 p.m.

@ Mr. Foote,

Boy, I sure can. Perhaps you can see the same with these.....

http://joannenova.com.au//globalwarming/...

http://www.autismstreet.org/images/blog/...

http://www.climate-skeptic.com/photos/un...

So no comment on the last decadal temp trend compared to increased atmospheric CO2? Ok.

The point is, no one really knows what it means. We do know that at times, the oceans act as a CO2 sink, other times it out-gases CO2. You, me, nor James Hansen knows whether or not this is what we are seeing. Further, while there are several examples of other locations having similar CO2 levels, there are many measured areas that don't. So much for well mixed...

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 27, 2011 | 4:01 p.m.

Mark Feocking - Thanks for the information. You presented it in the same context as "dooberheim" in another venue. As I recall he signed DK as well, any relation? If there is, we have already discussed GW and Democrats, but if not, "I don't think so. What self interested politician would want to reduce the economy?" Could you not imagine the "self interested" politician that would not think twice about destroying our economy while enhancing his/her own multi-million dollar position? Wonder why else would a Democrat President and D' Congress add 5.2T$ to our debt in 4 years with spending that arguably has benefited no one except those who received the money and express the intent to continue the spending as long as he/they are in office, though most in the World have told them they will destroy our economy in the process?

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush January 27, 2011 | 4:38 p.m.

David,
Another thoughtful article!
You clearly present the difference between climate and weather. The Maori, the Tuvalus and the republic of Kiribati face a stark reality that is far removed from the rhetorical banter that we can afford North America.
Some will take it seriously only when it is a direct existential threat - not a threat that requires empathy to comprehend.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 27, 2011 | 6:26 p.m.

Gregg Bush - "“Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” Steven Chu, the Obama Sec Energy. He thinks $7-9 gasoline would get us off of fossel fuels and into electric autos. That, in my opinion,is as stark as I want my reality to be. Americans will suffer in this occurrence and so will those you name, whether you care to admit it or not. The elitists among us who promote this, many call themselves "environmentalists", will, with their wealth do just fine. You, as do they, veil the threat to sound as though only you can see through the mist, to the real devastation to our planet. I submit that the devastation to the U.S. and world economies are more of a threat to the third world populations than the changes to the climate professed by the ilk of Al Gore, who is already making millions from his new related business. What is he doing for your threatened people? Encouraging them to plant trees rather than food? In my opinion, the writer, as well as you, do us a dis-service with publication of this propaganda.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 27, 2011 | 6:37 p.m.

The schwartz had it right when he said "Stop trying to teach the constitution to people who can't read." I DO waste my time here. A great example...

"lol, wow Paul's a regular keyboard commando! The article talks about short term and he shows us a graph going all the way back to 2006."

And I am to believe someone is that shortsighted. Scroll down.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 27, 2011 | 6:43 p.m.

A proud ignoramus says...
(to anyone who will listen)
"So no comment on the last decadal temp trend compared to increased atmospheric CO2? Ok."

Yeah right. Last year was the hottest on record.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 27, 2011 | 6:49 p.m.

J Karl Miller says...

Mr Allaire..In lieu of posting your cute but otherwise irrelevant and non responsive rebuttals, perhaps you can dazzle the readers with the geological and scientific research you performed to prove me wrong? It is apparent that you play to impress the peanut gallery; however, you would be more credible if you actually addressed the subject.

Oh, but Mr. Miller, if it weren't for the peanut gallery, who would read your fine articles? You would be more credible had you read the link that I posted!

(Report Comment)
Christopher Foote January 27, 2011 | 6:55 p.m.

@Mr. Sexton,

Yes, but those other examples have not been shown to absorb infrared radiation as Arrhenius demonstrated for CO2 back in the 1890s. Moreover there are numerous climate models in which the warming can only be explained by the energy contribution from the increased concentration of CO2 gas in the atmosphere. Not to mention the historical record which rather consistently demonstrates that elevated temperatures in the past correlate with elevated levels of CO2. If it was just happenstance one would expect an equal amount of the time that high temperatures in the past coincided with low levels of CO2. Rarely has that been the case.
It is good to be skeptical. However, there is no compelling data that argues against the theory, in contrast to the wealth of data that supports it. If you applied the same degree of skepticism to the notion that CO2 doesn't cause global warming you would find quite a lot of data to justify that skepticism.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 27, 2011 | 6:57 p.m.

Paul,

Ya gotta admit, Mr. Miller "gotcha" in his last post... Your retort was on par though....

I think you may want to follow up with a "Send Him To Iraq"; for which he may be able to reply "I've Already Been"... LOL.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 27, 2011 | 7:18 p.m.

Actually, at this point I am unsure what we are debating. That makes the process more tedious.

First the morons try to tell us that the climate is cooling. So we have to prove them wrong. But they can't read. So they continue saying what someone told them to because they like the sound of their own ignorance.

Then, when confronted with reality, they will change their argument to something like, "So what. The weather is changing. The weather always changed..." etc. If they are industrious, they will try to blame it on the sunspots.

At some point they will say that the data was manipulated by someone who sneakily pulled out so many weather stations or something along those lines. They will point out that there is increased snowfall somewhere in Antarctica. They will find one example of a glacier that is not receding or they will attempt to have you believe that one that is moving downhill at an increased rate indicates that it is growing.

They will inevitably say that it is "arrogant" to assume that people can have an impact on the environment, probably while they sip their bottled water

Here are some "cute" facts.

The sea level IS rising.
Last years temperature WAS a new record.
The amount of ice cover in the Arctic circle has been shrinking.
Missouri is now zone 6 rather than zone 5 if you are a gardener.
The range of most birds and wildflowers in Europe shifted about a hundred miles northward over the last century.
If you are building a house locally you only need to go thirty inches to be at the frost line instead of thirty six inches as it was when I moved here.
I could rattle on all day with basic obvious stuff like that, but why?

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 27, 2011 | 7:25 p.m.

And as far as this being a "cold" winter... I think it got below zero degrees ONE WHOLE NIGHT.

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller January 27, 2011 | 8:08 p.m.

Mr Allaire--As to your "cute facts", if you had actually read and/or comprehended my posting, you may have realized that I made no reference whatsoever to global warming. Accordingly as you say "I could rattle on all day with basic obvious stuff like that," but, where is your relevance to the status of CO 2 in the atmosphere?

No intelligent person disputes the evidence of climate change-the earth has experienced 4 different ice ages and subsequent periods of "global" warming. One thousand years ago, Greenland experienced a temperate climate suitable for farming.

The one area in which we are in agreement is that you "unsure what we are debating." You have yet to address my issue, Carbon Dioxide. Perhaps it is time you cease "rattling on all day with basic obvious stuff" and realize there is one less intellectual in Columbia than you think.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 27, 2011 | 8:26 p.m.

What is it about carbon dioxide that you wish to debate?

J Karl Miller said...

"No intelligent person disputes the evidence of climate change-the earth has experienced 4 different ice ages and subsequent periods of "global" warming."

But before that Paul Allaire said...

"... when confronted with reality, they will change their argument to something like, "So what. The weather is changing. The weather always changed..." etc."

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 27, 2011 | 8:57 p.m.

And I'm buyin' farmland in Saskatchewan an' Siberia.

Gonna be the breadbaskets of the world, ah tells ya!

(I never liked Florida or New York, anyway. Keep yer current land on the Missouri and Mississippi River bluffs.....frontage for a REALLY big lake. The NEW and improved coastline vacationland)

(Report Comment)
James Sexton January 28, 2011 | 12:18 a.m.

@ Mr. Foote. That is a wonderful response. Errant, but a wonderful response. First and foremost, you said, "Moreover there are numerous climate models in which the warming can only be explained by the energy contribution from the increased concentration of CO2 gas in the atmosphere."

Mr. Foote, I don't know your level of knowledge in regards to climate models and who makes them, so, if this sounds demeaning, I apologize in advance. Climate models are computer programs. Any programmer will tell you, the program will offer the result it was programmed to give. Mr. Foote, I know people that believe computers have intelligence. As a network administrator, I am here to affirm that programs will only offer results which are already programed into the computer. There is no artificial intelligence inherent to climate models. I should probably leave it there to let that soak in for a bit, but I'll venture on for a short time.

You said, "Not to mention the historical record which rather consistently demonstrates that elevated temperatures in the past correlate with elevated levels of CO2. If it was just happenstance one would expect an equal amount of the time that high temperatures in the past coincided with low levels of CO2. Rarely has that been the case."

Nice. I enjoy the "rarely" part of the quote. That's like saying "almost never, except sometimes." You care to explain the "sometimes"..or does anyone care to explain how high temps and low CO2 levels can occur? Better, explain how high CO2 levels and ice ages occurred. Ages. And I showed decadal temps indifferent to CO2 levels. Is that part of their GCMs? Ages, and decadal, both say CO2 don't have anything to do with anything, but because there is a centennial correlation, that's money! Why? Because the computer, which I programmed, said so. Beautiful. Who could argue with that?

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 28, 2011 | 4:18 a.m.

J Karl Miller wrote:

"No intelligent person disputes the evidence of climate change-the earth has experienced 4 different ice ages and subsequent periods of "global" warming."

OK, let's talk about the Pleistocene. This was a time of huge weather cycles that alternatively glaciated and melted vast land areas. During this time, vegetation and animal biomass was sequestered in the deposits that now give us fossil fuels. Over millenia, the CO2 levels were dropped, largely by this sequestration, to where they are approximately today.

A lot of scientists feel this is why we've been able to grow crops and live with relatively predictable climate. Greenhouse gases retain more of the sun's energy, and this means a more active and changing climate - there's more energy for extreme weather events to happen.

We are pumping 500 years worth of sequestered carbon into the air every year, and our CO2 levels are climbing back toward Pleistocene levels. I hope we're wrong, but I see it as quite possible, based on past climate, that this may start more cycles of glaciation and retreat which would wreak havoc on our world as it is today.

We're performing a huge experiment with the only world we have, and while we may learn a great deal about weather and climate by it, we may also cause a lot of problems that will be very difficult, if not impossible, for us to fix. Not that this will stop us, of course. The economy will always trump the environment, and we should plan with this in mind.

DK

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 28, 2011 | 4:33 a.m.

James Sexton wrote:

"You care to explain the "sometimes"..or does anyone care to explain how high temps and low CO2 levels can occur?"

Because CO2 isn't the only variable. Solar output is also a biggie, as is the inclination of the earth (polar precession). But just because high CO2 doesn't correlate exactly with periods of high temperature doesn't mean it's not important.

DK

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Mark Foecking January 28, 2011 | 7:00 a.m.

frank christian wrote:

"You presented it in the same context as "dooberheim" in another venue. As I recall he signed DK as well, any relation?"

I thought everyone that posted around here regularly knew that. My username here is "dooberheim" also. Hover the mouse over my name and you'll see.

I don't really want to derail the topic, but as far as deficit spending, both Dems and Repubs have plenty to answer for. Bush authorized the first stimulus package and Obama kept on. The problem is not a one party problem. The problem is that our economy has fundamentally changed in many ways, with the trade deficit, oil imports, and production costs that have driven manufacturing to other countries. The only way we keep our standard of living from slipping is to borrow money, whether individually, corporately, or in government. Recent times have just made that worse.

DK

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frank christian January 28, 2011 | 10:49 a.m.

Mark F. - Sorry, I'm relatively new around here, but am glad to read you again. Your scientific information is invaluable. Your politics, incredibly simplistic, though it tracks the defense most liberals provide when defending the mess, that they have created. "Both parties do it!" Liberal W. Bush signed TARP, devised by liberals Larry Summers and now, Tres. Sec Geithner and passed by liberal Pelosi and Reid, Democrat controlled Congress. W. was gone when BO and aforementioned Congress passed the "stimulus" bill.

"The problem is not a one party problem." Beg to differ again. The spending by the liberals in controlling Democratic party has added 5.2T$ in four years and has cost them the House and will undoubtedly cost the Senate and Pres. We do not have to continue "borrowing" and as a matter of fact we Can't. This spending and borrowing has kept us at near 10% unemployment. Is that not a slip in our standard of living? Just hang on, you will see a balanced Federal Budget and reduction in our debt, all around improvement in our standard of living and "one party" will fight it every step of the way. Liberal Democrats.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 28, 2011 | 11:16 a.m.

Um... Mark isn't a liberal or a democrat.
Just someone with an objective view.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle January 28, 2011 | 11:30 a.m.

LOL @ Frank... So quick on the uptake, so proud of that collar. I still love you, man!

(Report Comment)
Jim Jones January 28, 2011 | 11:40 a.m.

WOW! It is a good thing that this is not an emotional issue! Or maybe I should try to figure out what the real issue is here.

Oh well, let the CIVIL DISCOURSE continue. I'll just go listen to Rush and find out what the facts really are.

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Christopher Foote January 28, 2011 | 11:58 a.m.

@Mr. Sexton,
The models are published in peer reviewed journals, and thus subjected to rigorous scrutiny. You seem to imply that they should be discounted because one can fairly easily construct a model to generate whatever conclusion one wants. These models are not simple algorithms cobbled together over a weekend. A great deal of effort has been invested in constructing them and they are constantly evolving to take into account new data as it arises. It seems highly unlikely that there is a conspiracy afoot, encompassing the vast majority of climate scientists as well as the journals they publish in, to present erroneous models of the earth's climate.

"And I showed decadal temps indifferent to CO2 levels."
My short answer response is that over small time periods and due to other contributing factors that affect temperature there will be anomalies in the model. Temperature is a noisy phenomena, in the short term it is highly variable, and you can certainly find anomalies. However, over the long term, there is a clear trend. Here's a well written article, including your graph of the past 10 years not showing a correlation, illustrating this point in much more detail (compare figure 1 vs. figure 2):
http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-temp...

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane January 28, 2011 | 12:17 p.m.

From what I've read, our climate goes thru normal warming & cooling cycles every few hundred years causing "Mini ice ages" to develop. (The last mini ice age I read was an underlying cause of the Black Plague). Scientists hypothesize that the earth has even gone thru "Snowball Earth" periods where the earth entire surface was covered in hundreds of feet of ice.
.
I've read that we are actually heading back into a Mini-ice age period again. If we are trully causing the greenhouse effect perhaps the onset of the next mini ice age will help keep the climate in check until humans can come up with economical fuel alternatives.
.
I haven't decided yet on whether I believe in the humans causing global warming idea. But we do our best to be as "Green" as possible. My small business even won an award for our green initiatives. The way I see it, reducing waste, reusing materials where possible & recycling when not possible to reuse just makes sense both economically & enviornmentally.
.
If we do our best to keep a clean enviornment, and the scientists are CORRECT about humans causing global warming, then we can reverse the effects hopefully.

. On the flip side...If we do our best to keep a clean enviornment, and the scientists are WRONG about humans causing global warming, then we are living in a clean, pretty world with natural beautiful horizens!
.
MSL

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frank christian January 28, 2011 | 12:27 p.m.

Derrick F. - "I still love you, man!" Aw, Gawd!

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle January 28, 2011 | 1:22 p.m.

There's more than one truth, more than one lie, more than one problem, and more than one solution.

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Tyree Byndom January 28, 2011 | 2:05 p.m.

David,

I am so glad that I actually took the time to subscribe to your blog and articles. I love them and I learn so much about writing, from reading your writings. I am almost finish the other thing by the way. Brillant. I have a lot of points to share though. Dinner maybe?

I see that there are alot of intellectual sparring going on and I will not jump into the fray but I will share a few points, in simple laymans terms, and hopefully it wont offend any of you intelligensia type chaps.

A friend of mine said something profound "the season's are reversing" about 8 years ago. He use to sit in his backyard watching the tree's as he made portraits.

Oil, was pushed into the crevice of the Earth so that it would not pollute us and lower our life span and this process took millions of years. In less than 160 years, we, humans, have drilled and used it, and put it in the air, and in the process lowered the lifespan of all humanity, collectively by at least 20 years per person. There has been about 105 billion people born since the dawn of time, and 70 during this last 6,000 years of history that we have, and 40 during the last 160 years. 40 billion x 20 years = 8,000,000,000 years we have lost as a species. No matter what option we seek, seek we shall. The answer is thermonuclear fusion. Give the scientific team that figures out how to contain the fission, properly 2 billion dollars and it will happen with this decade. Then compliment it with green economy. First find a way to transition and elolutionize the oil industires and military industrial complex, into considering this a value.

The electoral college is a fossil. There are other better options and methods and there is one real good example. Check out the election process for the Bahai Faith.

We are the most corrupt country on Earth, but have the best potential. Also we dont have a democracy. We have a working plutocracy.

I know that we will achieve our spiritual destiny like we have acheieved our material one.

Tyree Byndom
www.koppa2goldentertainment.com

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frank christian January 28, 2011 | 8:58 p.m.

Derrick F. - "There's more than one truth,". Absolutely, dead on, Wrong! The rest of your proclamation can well be true.

Sounds as tho Marina and Tyree, above, might buy the whole thing.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle January 28, 2011 | 10:27 p.m.

Frank, I still love you, even if you couldn't navigate a maze any more complex than a straight hallway.

(Report Comment)
David Rosman January 28, 2011 | 11:27 p.m.

I did not realize I had so many responses to read. I got busy in the last couple of days an neglected all of you. So…
Mr. Williams – Tell me more about this myth. I just love conspiracy theories.
Mr. Saxton – You make some reasonable arguments, but have no p[roofs to your statements. I am quoting some highly respectable organizations. Where are your proofs? According to a National and Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), ice melt in Antarctica, Greenland and Iceland is happening from the bottom up, based on warmer water temperatures year around. Your premise that the islands “refreeze” in the winter may be factual on top, but not where the water meets the ice.
Mr. Homewood – I did a more complicated graph than you provided for the same information. Though it looks like the temperatures were uniformly higher, in fact they are not. The chart is showing a one degree rise in temps over the entire period. Some of this has to due with sun spot activity and some with other natural causes. But if you examine the graph closely, you will see that the trends have not shown as many or as deep of cold spells as 100 years ago.
Gentlemen – It is not just Carbon DIoxcide but Carbon MONoxcide that we are concerned with. According to Cleanairtrust,org “Carbon monoxide enters the bloodstream through the lungs and reduces oxygen delivery to the body's organs and tissues. The health threat from carbon monoxide at low levels is most serious for those who suffer from cardiovascular disease, such as angina pectoris. At much higher levels, carbon monoxide can be poisonous. Even healthy people may be affected. Visual impairment, reduced work capacity, reduced manual dexterity, poor learning ability and difficulty in performing complex tasks are all associated with exposure to carbon monoxide.
Sources: Motor vehicles produce about 60 percent of carbon monoxide nationwide; in cities, it may be as high as 95 percent. Other sources include industrial processes, non-transportation fuel combustion, and wildfires.
For more information: http://environmentalchemistry.com/yogi/e...

(Report Comment)
David Rosman January 28, 2011 | 11:27 p.m.

Con't.

Mr. Allaire – I would appreciate if you would not insult others in this or any thread attached to my column. And if I may speak for Karl, his also.
I believe that the graph provided by Mr. Foote may also be a bit off, but is much more accurate than a simple point graph by NASA.
Mr. Christian – Please refer to the note for Mr. Allaire. In addition, demonizing any one political party or political leader does not make a counter argument.
Mr. Sexton – Your Woodfortrees graph is interesting but is for only 10 years. Look at this version for one century. http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut... There my friend is the graph you should be consulting. Same graph – more years.
Misters Bush, Byndon and Fogle – thank you for thoughtful responses. Tyree, where do I send the check.
Ms. Shane – Welcome to the madness. That question remains, but there is evidence of an unnatural acceleration of warming not due to the same causes 500 years ago. And some of those “mini-ice ages” were caused by volcanic ash, not from an otherwise natural cycle.
Karl – You are the best, even when we disagree.
It took about an hour to read and analyze your comments. Thank you all.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 29, 2011 | 8:55 a.m.

Mr. Rosman - "In addition, demonizing any one political party or political leader does not make a counter argument."

Sir, if accurately reflecting the actions and consequences of a political party and anyone in it is, in your book "demonizing" them,I think, in my case at least, your column should be avoided.

Don't question, just follow? No thanks.

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Mark Foecking January 29, 2011 | 9:27 a.m.

TYyree Byndom wrote:

"in the process lowered the lifespan of all humanity, collectively by at least 20 years per person."

Well, then why does our life expectancy keep getting longer?

"Give the scientific team that figures out how to contain the fission, properly 2 billion dollars and it will happen with this decade."

Good luck with that.

Actually wer could use fusion energy today, but it would involve detonating hydrogen bombs in rock formations and running steam passages through the hot rock. Not something anyone is likely to do anytime soon.

"We are the most corrupt country on Earth, but have the best potential."

You're kidding, right? Spend some time is Africa or South America (even Mexico) and you won't believe that anymore.

DK

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Michael Williams January 29, 2011 | 9:36 a.m.

David asks that I tell him about my "myth".

It's not a conspiracy...the words are there for everyone to read. I don't know what to tell you regarding a plain English interpretation of the following sentence...taken from the actual decision: ""Seven Justices of the Court agree that there are constitutional problems with the recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court that demand a remedy."

This means that 7 justices thought the selective and changing standards for counting votes was unconstitutional. The TV specter of county officials looking for chads with squinty-eyes was a sham and mockery of the Constitution, and SCOTUS put a stop to it.

Which part of this is unclear??????? Which part is the "myth"???????

Here's the entire decision, which you should read. I triple-dog dare ya:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/pdf/00-......

I might also remind you that SCOTUS had already savaged the Florida Supreme Court 9-zip because that body changed Florida election laws AFTER the vote.

Whatever the case, Gore's goose was already cooked; all he could do was create public sympathy and chaos. There are 4 reasons for this: (1) No new votes could have been added to totals without certification by the Florida secretary of state. She and she alone had this legal right. SCOTUS said it was a violation of FL law to force the secretary of state to accept ANY votes after the date of certification had passed, (2) After the original SCOTUS ruling against the Florida supremes, SCOTUS had a dog in the fight. They were not going to let that dog get mauled by another sloppy FL court decision, (3) the Florida legislature was rumbling about stepping in. Keep in mind that, under the Constitution, a President CANNOT be elected without a State's legislature, since they are the ones who set the rules about electing electors. The legislature could (and can) have chosen their own electors, (4) if it came to that point, the US Congress would try to elect the President. The scenario is long and I won't outline it here, but the final decision would eventually involve the decision of Jeb Bush, governor of FL, after deadlocks in Congress (due to the makeup of Congress at that time). I think one thing a person can count on is his brother.

These were the Republican trump cards, and they were lethal to Gore. Gore was toast.

There is no conspiracy except from those who (1) are numerically challenged when it comes to the numbers "7" and "2", and/or (2) cannot interpret the words "Seven Justices of the Court agree that there are constitutional problems..."

And two of your precious liberals on SCOTUS saw and knew it was a constitutional mess. David Boies was on a fools errand.

5-4 indeed.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 29, 2011 | 10:46 a.m.

Mike - "David Boies was on a fools errand." As was Bob Beckel, who tried to buy, with money, Bush's electoral votes.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle January 29, 2011 | 11:25 a.m.

What's so difficult about understanding that mining and burning materials that took the earth millions of years to create, in the time frame of a few thousand years, is going to have consequences?

Besides the obvious head in the sand mentality, I mean.

@Frank on Jan. 25: "Wish you were listening to R & B., instead of your internet sages."

@Frank on Jan. 29: "Don't question, just follow? No thanks."

In other threads at other times, when confronted with reckless spending policies or tax increases attributed to the GOP, Frank has responded by calling out almost every prominent Republican politician at one time or another as a "Liberal." Yet somehow the GOP is still the answer to stop liberal spending and taxation policy?

I've also read Frank as he's championed every tax cut attributed to the GOP, yet derided every tax cut attributed to Democrats as nothing more than a gift to their rich Dem friends.

There surely is more than one truth. That some of these truths seem to be entirely compartmentalized inside people's minds, so that only one can be accessed at a time and there's no recognition that they might conflict, is not encouraging.

Frank, I still love you. You've got the heart of a lion. But, you've taken on a fox as an advisor. Ironically, I blame liberal policies of enacting social safety nets for this.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 29, 2011 | 12:27 p.m.

Someone will have to forgive me for deriding those who deserve. In one of my above posts I went through some of the more common arguments I have heard only to have them repeated to me by someone who thought that he was cutting new ground. I actually only gave a small portion of the garbage that I have been familiarized with. It's really hard to be nice when confronted with so much willful ignorance.

But hell, I don't care who I annoy.

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frank christian January 29, 2011 | 12:38 p.m.

Derrick F. - It's my fault. You were here first, but here I sit again, debunking your faulty posts.

You are apparently following the liberal doctrine that "truth is perception". You display that and the habit of sticking with generalities, when specifics are necessary.

As I recall the only Republicans, prominent or not, that I have "called out" are W.Bush, who joined with Liberal Ted Kennedy to give us No Child Left Behind and Medicare Prscrptn Drugs which gave us the large part the debt he left us, and his daddy, HW Bush who is a Globalist, one world gov't, UN advocate. I blame the R' Congress that passed the Kennedy legislation, but nearly everyone of them have apologized publicly and did balance the Federal Budget 4yrs in a row and reduced our debt by 490B$, must add, with Clinton's signature. You may have Reagan in mind, though I have accurately described needed SS repair and underhanded tactics by O'Neal and D Congress, which you and yours love to point to as enormous unfounded tax increases. If there are others, feel free.

It may be true that you don't know the difference between "across the board tax cuts", for all and the specific "targeted" tax cuts benefiting only the few that receive them. "Clinton" and Bush tax cuts left 4.6 unemployment. Obama's have given us 9+ with no sign of improvement anytime soon.

"Yet somehow the GOP is still the answer to stop liberal spending and taxation policy?" John Sununu said last night, Republicans plan to present proposed spending cuts week by week. Rand Paul said the work to repair SS will begin in two to three weeks. as I recall, You said "no politician will ever touch SS or Medicare"

But, of course, John and Rand made those statements on Willis Report, Fox Business Channel. That invalidates them, doesn't it.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 29, 2011 | 12:56 p.m.

And then fRANK has to bring the above into a discussion about climate change. Why? Because he felt it necessary to add more hot air...

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 29, 2011 | 7:05 p.m.

frank christian wrote:

""Clinton" and Bush tax cuts left 4.6 unemployment. Obama's have given us 9+ with no sign of improvement anytime soon."

Well, mightn't that indicate tax cuts don't have much to do with economic performance?

A much closer correlation can be shown with energy prices (mostly oil) than individual tax rates. Since the nation runs on oil, not the investing power of a small part of the population, that makes more sense intuitively.

DK

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 29, 2011 | 11:02 p.m.

Mark - Please, try to grab it and if you can hang on for dear life. Employed people have to do with economic performance and Government and the regulations imposed by them/it are the obstacle to this end. Isn't your favorite,in general, cause and effect? What we do and how it effects our environment, in this case? Doesn't the housing bubble caused by Gov't that burst 3 yrs ago,in your opinion have any effect on the condition of our economy and rate of employment?

"Since the nation runs on oil, not the investing power of a small part of the population, that makes more sense intuitively." You know better than I that if not for the investing power of a small part..... The ARAMCO six oil companies that developed the Saudi oil fields, we would still be digging in Pennsylvania for the black gold that has provided transportation, warmth, etc., etc., most of what we now have. You seem to be among the crowd that would take this away from the average, us, for their personal gain. Hope I'm wrong.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle January 29, 2011 | 11:45 p.m.

Frank claims to debunk my assertion that he calls prominent R's "liberal", but admits that he levels this charge at both Bushes. He gives Reagan mixed reviews, despite the fact that Reagan set new records for postwar deficit spending, and is arguably the father of modern deficit spending.

But this is, of course, almost completely off-topic. I apologize for my part in that.

The article, and this discussion thread, should be discussing global warming, or 'climate change' if you prefer that label. I return to this topic with my simple assertion that human use of fossil fuels has most certainly played a part in the increase in global temperatures.

To deny this, you've got to first prove that global temps have not, in fact, been going up. Good luck with that. There abundant evidence, including migrations in flora and fauna that no scientist or politician could possibly lie about or influence.

Then, you've got to counter the evidence of CO2's role in global temperatures that Mark, as well as thousands of other scientists, have brought to the table. Do you believe, as many of the skeptics point out, that the earth used to be much warmer millions of years ago? Can grasp the fact that, as the earth has been sequestering millions of years worth of carbon biomass production in the form of fossil fuels, it has cooled? If so, why would you deny that the mining and release of that very same carbon at a rate hundreds of times faster than it was sequestered would not tend to increase the earth's temperatures?

Yet, this is all academic, as Mark has pointed out. Our entire economy, and quickly growing masses of the world's civilization, are reliant on the use of oil. No meaningful reduction of use can occur without economic collapse. In fact, the financial crisis of 2008 caused a greater reduction in emissions (almost 10%) than any conservation or renewable energy programs.

What will really hurt is if we don't focus the use of our remaining easy-to-recover fossil fuel resources to create and deploy alternative energy sources. Virtually every model of probability indicates we are at "peak oil" right now, and no matter how much effort is put into discovery and production, we will start experiencing diminishing returns on investment. Overlay a global explosion of energy demand on top of that, and the situation becomes urgent.

No single (or consortium of) private enterprise is going to undertake the scope of work that energy independence will require. No private enterprise could have built our current transportation infrastructure; it was accomplished through socialist government funding and action.

Where would we be without that massive social program? Perhaps with more efficient (rail) transportation, less carbon in the atmosphere, and more fossil fuel left to burn? But, less relative mobility, and no "bikes on the road" debates?

I guess this is where the topic of government spending meets the topic of "global warming".

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle January 30, 2011 | 12:50 a.m.

Frank, you'd probably be dead right now without government regulations. Hello? Food safety, traffic control, airline safety, drug prohibition, water safety, electrical standards, waste management... Some of these things really do improve our nation's safety, health and productivity; others are things I've seen you defend even though they are nothing more than a horrendous, expensive, socialist government over-reaction to a problem.

Which comes back to my point about mental compartmentalization. You're certainly against any kind of government regulation that intends to enforce some kind of moral standard on a business or industry (don't poison the water with industrial waste), but you seem very comfortable with other government regulation that intends to enforce moral standards on individuals, or provide little relative safety at great cost (TSA).

I'll be the first to agree that some regulations go way too far. We could probably reduce nuclear regulation by 80% and still be "safe enough" while reducing the cost of licensing a new plant from $40M to $5M. That, like drug prohibition, is just a massive and damaging over-reaction to a problem. But industry is capable of harming a lot of people, and most certainly will without some regulation. There must be a balance between business profit and the overall harm / good the business does to society.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 30, 2011 | 8:56 a.m.

Frank, for one thing, there usually is not just one cause for something. In the case of the 2008 credit bubble, everyone from government, to banks, to individual mortgagees played a part in it. Banks were able to sell their debt and "protect" themselves from the risk caused by lernding to high risk clients. After a while, we had a bunch of overvalued properties, paid for with undervalued loans, and those obligations were being bought and sold in one of the biggest legal Ponzi schemes ever dreamed of. it would have collapsed no matter what government did or didn't do.

"Government and the regulations imposed by them/it are the obstacle to this end."

I think Derrick answered this quite well, but I also need to point out that China has very low unemployment, few safety or environmental regulation, and they are a planned economy that has been outperforming ours for a couple of decades now. Who makes the rules and investments is less important than the nature of those rules and investments.

"You seem to be among the crowd that would take this away from the average, us, for their personal gain. Hope I'm wrong."

We have been a net oil importer for the last 40 years, and one of the biggest drags on our economy is our massive imbalance of trade, a lot of which involves importing 12 million barrels of oil every day. Every other oil importing nation has taken steps (usually a fuel tax, although Britain is talking about a rationing scheme) to reduce demand for petroleum products. We use them tremendously inefficiently. I think it's time we did something about it.

If we could produce 18 million barrels a day of our own oil, I wouldn't feel this way. But we can't. In parts of the country, they have to ration water, because there's just not enough of it to go around, and since it is so important for life, they don't want to ration it by price. I can argue that oil is almost as important as water in this day and age, and I think it's a legitimate function of government to assure that it's used wisely.

Again, not that it's likely to happen until a crisis forces our hand. I'd like it if we would just face problems before they turn into crises. Good luck with that.

DK

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 30, 2011 | 11:14 a.m.

Derrick, Mark - You guys leave a lot to talk about as usual. Here we go. "Reagan set new records for postwar deficit spending, and is arguably the father of modern deficit spending. Specifically, (remember?) Reagan ( I'm getting tired of repeating this) borrowed the money for O'Neal's D's excessive spending. By doing so he abandoned the print presses used by Carter that caused 12-15% inflation of price of milk and bread the "masses" of poor the D's claim to want to help. I made liberal MU economist W. Johnson admit this on KFRU. Reagan created the most honest solution to pay for deficit spending, borrowing. Grandfathers go back to L. Johnson and Hubert Humphrey.

"No private enterprise could have built our current transportation infrastructure; it was accomplished through socialist government funding and action." Our highway has been built in the main by taxes on gas sent to gov't to distribute to States which pay private contractors to build the roads. The most honest reference to socialism would be when B. Clinton withheld these needed funds while cooking the books to show he was "reducing the deficit"

"I'll be the first to agree that some regulations go way too far." Wouldn't you have made more sense and used less time to address the regs we Both now appear to agree upon. I was certainly talking about the ones that "go way too far". "There must be a balance between business profit and the overall harm / good the business does to society." You can't/won't accept that without business, there would be no society as we now know it. Soviet Union, Nazi Germany are examples, I don't think you want to throw back at me. I have read, but can't remember the record setting, astronomical number of regulations Obama has imposed upon business in two years. Look it up.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 30, 2011 | 11:47 a.m.

Derrick, Mark - The "2008 credit bubble," can be explained in far fewer words than you used. It was created from changes in regulations of lending practices incurred by Clinton, Dodd and Frank, prior to 1994. This is now widely known. Why can't you include it and the millions stolen from Fannie/Freddy in your analysis. The Savings & Loan scandal was created by changes in those regulations by Democrat Congres and signed by HW Bush. More money was extracted from Gov't by the required "environmental impact" statement for every house that was re-sold out of the debacle. You are certainly right about our inability to produce our own needed oil. Of the hundreds of pending exploration permits, Two have been allowed since the BP spill. Why is your complaint about needed oil never directed at Gov't who's actions over the 40 years have curtailed production and put us at the point we all detest today?

I'm sorry, but you appear to me as one speaking from a cloud high above the fray, who's remedy before a "crisis", would create a crisis for millions of us, daily.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush January 30, 2011 | 12:46 p.m.

Derrick, Mark, frank -
Two of you are engaged in futilism - the other is an apologist for feudalism.

Next the feudal apologist will blame FANNIE and FREDDIE for the housing bubble implosions in Ireland, Spain, the UK, and northern India. He's an unashamed member of the "Blame America First" crowd.
Pitiful.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 30, 2011 | 2:12 p.m.

Derrick wrote: "Then, you've got to counter the evidence of CO2's role in global temperatures...Do you believe, as many of the skeptics point out, that the earth used to be much warmer millions of years ago? Can grasp the fact that, as the earth has been sequestering millions of years worth of carbon biomass production in the form of fossil fuels, it has cooled? If so, why would you deny that the mining and release of that very same carbon at a rate hundreds of times faster than it was sequestered would not tend to increase the earth's temperatures?
_________________

Derrick's statement implies that a hypothetical, gradual cooling of the earth is due entirely to sequestration of carbon into gas, oil, and coal. But, doesn't this hypothesis ignore the fact that calcium carbonate (limestone, containing ~12% carbon) is also a sequestered form of carbon? Both originate from carbon dioxide removed from the more active part of the carbon cycle and placed into more permanent carbon sinks. The only difference is one is limestone and the other is biomass.

So, what percent of the earth's carbon is sequestered as oil, gas, and coal versus that sequestered within limestone?

Because if the limestone carbon mass vastly overwhelms stored-biomass carbon mass, then the release of all that biomass carbon (via combustion) WILL NOT return the earth to the hot environs implied in Derrick's statement.

To state in another way, let's assume the entire earth WAS indeed warmer all the way back to Cambrian times. Let's further assume that a millions-of-years-cooling DID occur, mainly due to sequestration of carbon by removal of CO2. What percent of that "cooling" was due to sequestration of carbon in limestone, versus in oil, gas, and coal?

Because if most (i.e., >99%, which I suspect is the case) of that "percent" was due to sequestration in limestone, then release of biomass carbon isn't even a spit in the wind when it comes to returning the earth to higher temperatures.

What do y'all think?

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle January 30, 2011 | 2:56 p.m.

Sorry, I'm busy, done commenting here. Will chat l8tr!

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 30, 2011 | 4:06 p.m.

Gregg Bush has a time ever "getting it right". Somehow ignores the facts about the criminal activities going on and requiring bailout after bailout at "F&F. Then uses the label rightly attached to those on his side, who Always blame America first in their efforts to get it changed to the Progressive "heaven" they envision, to describe me. Completely aware that I love my country as it is and blame only the corrupt and damaging actions of those in our gov't. That this occurs often and Always seems to include Progressive Democrats is not my fault. That he and the others blindly defend them is, in my opinion, Pitiful!

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 31, 2011 | 9:42 a.m.

Michael Williams wrote:

"then release of biomass carbon isn't even a spit in the wind when it comes to returning the earth to higher temperatures."

I've seen it somewhere that burning all technically recoverable fossil fuels would give us a CO2 concentration of about 1100 ppm - I'll try to get a source for that.

I suspect you're right about CO2 sequestered in limestone, and that's also a biological process (sea shells and the like) that takes carbon more or less permanently out of the atmosphere. But it's still felt that we have enough biomass carbon as fossil fuels to put a lot more CO2 into the atmosphere.

DK

(Report Comment)
Marina Shane January 31, 2011 | 10:59 a.m.

I thought I read somewhere that the real threat comes into play when the climate warms to the point when the permafrost thaws & the methane trapped under the permafrost is released. I think the article said something to the effect of methane release being a threat 20 times greater than CO2 emmissions to global warming (I'm not 100% on that statistic) and would be the catalyst to massive polar ice melt with sea levels rising to the height where the Florida would be almost completely underwater. Anyone else read that or have more information on it?

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 31, 2011 | 11:20 a.m.

Marina Shane wrote:

"I thought I read somewhere that the real threat comes into play when the climate warms to the point when the permafrost thaws & the methane trapped under the permafrost is released."

Yes - that's one of the "positive feedback" processes that climate scientists are concerned with.

Sea level change is not proceeding as fast as some of the models predict, but it is rising. A series of South Pacific islands (Tuvalu?) are almost uninhabitable due to sea level rise.

DK

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 31, 2011 | 11:36 a.m.

Mark: I don't deny that burning sequestered biomass puts CO2 into the atmosphere...CO2 that hasn't been there for millions of years.

I was simply pointing out that, if the earth was indeed warmer long ago, and if removal of carbon from the oceans/atmosphere contributed to cooling of the earth, then it is NOT just biomass carbon that has been removed. Limestone carbon was removed, too. IMO, the amount of carbon sequestered in limestone is FAR greater than any sequestered biomass carbon which, if correct, means a total release of biomass carbon will NOT return the earth's temperature to any purported historically-high levels under the parameters of Derrick's original statement.

(PS: Yes, limestone is basically "biomass" also since it was derived from the "skeletons" of small critters. When using these terms in the current context, I am using "biomass" to mean "stuff that can be burned", recognizing that technically limestone is "biomass", too. It just doesn't burn worth a tinker's damn since the carbon is already in fully oxidized form).

I'm unsure if the hypothesis that the past earth was "warmer" (in a general sense) is supported by data. Somebody in-the-know should comment on this. I think science supports a notion that certain areas of the world WERE lots warmer at one time. In the US, we certainly had tropical areas as evidenced by the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods. But, when assigning a "warmer" moniker to these eras, one has to ask, "Was this because the whole earth was warmer, or was it because these continents were...at that time...at a lower latitude nearer the equator."

There is abundant geological evidence that tectonics happens. Continents move. Continents shift. Continents subduct. Seafloor spreading happens. And the US was once on-or-near the equator....probably more than once. My guess is that the greater latitudes were far colder. Hence, I don't have the data to say "The whole earth was warmer"....or colder, for that matter, although I have heard rumblings of a "global ice" era.

(Note added upon preview: It IS important to realize that while limestone is ca. 12% carbon, burnable biomass IS much higher in carbon on a mass basis. This would tend to lessen any impact of my own argument, except I will say I believe limestone carbon vastly outweighs any biomass carbon).

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle January 31, 2011 | 11:59 a.m.

It's not like we aren't cracking limestone at a pace similar to burning oil anyway. Arguing that limestone is bigger than oil fails to exonerate a problem with CO2 release.

There are a lot of amplifying (and muting) forces at work. We hear that water vapor is a powerful greenhouse gas; a little more CO2 rises temps a little, and we get more water vapor because of evaporation as well. Also, warmer water holds less CO2, so a small raise in ocean temps because of CO2 causes even more to be released from the ocean. OTOH, the CO2 in the atmosphere exhibits diminishing effects: the more there already is, the less impact a given additional amount will have. Then there's the methane...

There's not exactly a 1-to-1 relationship between carbon that used to be in our atmosphere, and carbon that is now found in fossil fuels and limestone, either. It's my understanding that there's a lot more carbon found in these sources than there ever was at any given time in our atmosphere.

Then, there's the apparent history of global temperatures. They look like a sawtooth, with very slow warming over centuries, up to approximate current temps we have now, and then a very sudden cooling spell. Looking at those, and overlaying previous warming / cooling cycles, it would appear we're due for another ice age.

It's very messy, very complicated science, and we're far from having all the answers at this point. I understand why most people latch on to simple, single-point explanations. But doing so doesn't really help the situation much. Any single-point explanation as to why we are or aren't experiencing AGW is almost certainly wrong.

The first most important reason to transition away from fossil fuels is not environmental, anyway. It's economic, as in: Competing with emergin markets (China and India) for limited energy resources. The second most important reason is likely to be other pollutants besides CO2 that are directly toxic to biology. The CO2 problem is still there as a 3rd concern, but at this point, we're faced with dealing with whatever long-term consequences that brings. It's too late to stop the release.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 31, 2011 | 12:19 p.m.

Derrick: Your original paragraph implied that the earth cooled solely because carbon was removed from the environment and converted into sequestered biomass (coal, gas, and oil). Further, the paragraph implied that release of the carbon from that biomass by we humans would return the earth to that purported "much warmer" period.

Let A = all the carbon removed from the atmosphere, causing the earth to cool.

Let B = all biomass carbon removed.

Let C = all limestone carbon.

Then, A = B + C

So, if B + C equals an amount of carbon needed to give your cooling, then a release of ONLY B does not return to the same level of warming.

Especially if C is far greater than B.
_____________________________

I'm not being critical. I just wanted to fine-tune the science thinking a bit. I didn't want anyone to think that a cooling earth caused by biomass accumulation would automatically reverse if that carbon was returned to the carbon cycle. When it comes to past carbon sequestration/release, limestone is THE huge elephant in the room.

Why? Because tectonics happens, and all that limestone subducting beneath continental crusts is under high pressures and temperatures, and when you heat limestone to those temperatures, you get lots and lots and lots of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide....especially when the earth gets a volcanic upset stomach and starts belching.

After all, heating limestone IS the way we humans start making concrete.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle January 31, 2011 | 12:54 p.m.

My original paragraph might have implied that, but that's certainly not entirely accurate. I suspect overall heat loss from the earth's core has something to do with epochal global cooling as well. I've already stated that I don't believe "A = B + C" is accurate; I think there's always been far more carbon mass on the planet that's not all been in the atmosphere at once. I think the atmosphere plays a role in carbon migration, but only ever carries a very small portion of total earth carbon at any given time.

While the calculations and data on carbon sequestration in limestone vs. fossil fuels is interesting, the only thing that actually matters from a global temperature and AGW standpoint is how much carbon actually in the atmosphere at the present, how much more we are projected to release in the future, and what effect that has on global temperatures.

It's my understanding that volcanic matter ejections are not generally very high in CO2. Very high in other gasses and particulates, but not that much CO2 specifically.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 31, 2011 | 1:11 p.m.

Derrick:

I do think we agree on this:

The sun or a fusion facsimile are our only ultimate source of power on earth. Oh, we might make things work with fission for a while (how much uranium do we have?), and perhaps breeder reactors may work (but who want's to deal with THAT?), but the sun is the ultimate.

I'm of the opinion that we should have a worldwide Manhattan-style project searching for highly-efficient catalysts that will convert sea water to hydrogen and oxygen gases using wattage from the sun....within 100-150 years. I have no idea if this can happen since I have no idea if the 92 letters of our universal alphabet soup of chemicals can be combined into such a catalyst. Yep, that's all we got....92 starting ingredients. That's it. Ain't no more.

With hydrogen and oxygen gases for power, we can make anything: electricity, reduction of metals, power transportation, make our OWN oil and gas and coal, cut wood, make gasoline, power tractors, make fertilizer, etc., etc.

The byproducts? Water. That's it. No other wastes. Since we will just be using sunlight that hits the earth's surface, there will be no net heat increase we have to deal with (that WOULD happen if we tried to harvest sunlight outside our own atmosphere).

100-150 years. We should start tomorrow. Use more nukes to get us from here to there.

I'm ready.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 31, 2011 | 1:33 p.m.

Derrick: CO2 in volcanic gases.

http://www.geology.sdsu.edu/how_volcanoe...

http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hazards/gas/in...

Water vapor (steam) is the big one for most volcanoes. But CO2 is not insignificant(second link). Past times of volcanic activity have been much greater than recent times, and I'm confident that volcanoes have played a huge role in cyclic warming/cooling of the earth.

The only factual statement I can make about this topic is that we don't know the facts.

Fortunately, science is self-corrective.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush January 31, 2011 | 3:20 p.m.

Mark - you may be thinking of the Maldives in addition to the others I mentioned above.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle January 31, 2011 | 4:15 p.m.

We can already crack apart water; it takes a little more energy than we get back, but that's par for the course. The problem is storage. Hydrogen fuel cells need a lot more more work in the safety department. Gasoline tanks, when ruptured, burn really really fast. Hydrogen fuel cells literally explode.

According to your links, some volcanoes emit more CO2 than others. I remember during the recent debate about the Icelandic volcano eruption, it turned out the CO2 the volcano was estimated to be putting out (150K-300K tonnes / day) was roughly equal to the CO2 estimated the cancelled flights would have emitted.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 31, 2011 | 6:35 p.m.

Derrick:

Problems with H2? That's why I said 100-150 years.........We can do anything we want in 100-150 years, if we put our minds to it.
__________________________

As far as sequestered calcium carbonate goes, ya just gotta ask, "Where does all that subducted limestone go, and what happens to it when it gets there?"

Volcanoes are a major source of recycled carbon...has been, and will always be. Tectonics happens.

A bit more info...did you know there are many underground coal seam fires going on right now? Many are naturally occurring, and they really aren't "fires". "Smolders" would be a more accurate word.

And they emit, each year, as much CO2 as would have been saved by Kyoto.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith January 31, 2011 | 7:31 p.m.

Carbon sequestered in limestone (and dolomite) is liberated when making clinker for Portland cement. It happens during the burning process, at high temperature, which means kiln exhaust gases have a "double dose" of carbon dioxide: one liberated from the raw material being processed and the other as a product of fuel combustion. Typically the fuel used is pulverized coal or natural gas (depending upon fuel avilability and cost).

The clinker is dry milled along with additives to make the final product, hydraulic-setting cement. The cement in turn is mixed with coarse and fine mineral aggregates and water to make concrete, probably our most important construcion material.

Making the clinker is not a thermally efficient process, and there's ongoing work to improve that.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle January 31, 2011 | 9:07 p.m.

And the Kyoto treaty is mere lip service to what it would really take to make a difference in emissions.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks February 1, 2011 | 7:50 a.m.

@Frank: I had the Solar One project booked marked on the GoColumbia website and it game real-time solar tracking and historical numbers for the Panels in Columbia. Both on Ash pumping station and on top of the Career Center. I see that they removed the link and I spent about 20 minutes clicking around but could not find it. Not sure why they got rid of it or changed the link. My guess is that is was because the numbers last time I looked really make the program loose credibility. This is all I could find.

The Solar One projects can generate up to 38.3 kilowatts. We are estimating the total amount of energy generated for one year will be 37,735 kilowatt hours. To get an idea of how much energy our Solar One projects are generating, our average residential customer uses 822 kilowatt hours of electricity in one month.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks February 1, 2011 | 8:37 a.m.

That was "Bookmarked" not "Booked Mark"

(Report Comment)
frank christian February 1, 2011 | 9:55 a.m.

Corey P. - Thanks, I had not even heard of Solar One. Am an amateur researcher, but would think those selling Solar would have average % of sunny days for an area ready available. I, however, have never been able to find any. I understand clouds reduce panel capacity to 25-30% of maximum. Maybe Jan. in Boone County had something to do with removal of the link. Though Mo Utilities (I believe) refused to allow new gas meters for some time in the 70's my guess is that most Columbia are still heated with natural gas. Would not an electric substitute appliance have to be purchased to avail one of Solar?

I note, Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, has written off any chance of wind or solar of providing any significant portion of our future energy needs. Promotes nuclear and questions why anyone truly interested in our needed sources would be against it. Moore has left Greenpeace, because "it has been taken over by radical leftists". He also disputes the need for all the damaging solutions we are hearing about for "climate change". He says that those claiming to have the answers are coming "from way out in left field", because, "we do not know". Stu Varney of Fox Business noted the reference to "left" field.

(Report Comment)

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