Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Global Warming - What should be done?
America's Debate > Archive > Assorted Issues Archive > [A] Science and Technology > [A] Environmental Debate
Google
Cube Jockey
I read in the news today that a new report had been released about global warming in Europe:
QUOTE
Rising sea levels, disappearing glaciers in the Alps and more deadly heat waves are coming for Europeans because of global warming, Europe's environmental agency warned Wednesday.

The European Environment Agency said much more needs to be done -- and fast. Climate change "will considerably affect our societies and environments for decades and centuries to come," its 107-page report said.

It said rising temperatures could eliminate three-quarters of the Alpine glaciers by 2050 and bring repeats of Europe's mammoth floods two years ago and the heat wave that killed thousands and burned up crops last summer. The rise in sea levels along Europe's coasts is likely to accelerate, it added.


The report itself seems to be very comprehensive and credible citing historical (estimated), current (measured) and future (predicted) global temperature averages as well as CO2 levels. Both of those factors would lead to ice melting and rising sea levels.

Starting with page 6 of the report, there is a table which summarizes some of the key findings of the report and then directly afterwards the report goes into great detail about each of them.

Starting with page 79, the report discusses some of the ways to go about formulating adaptation strategies. The thing I felt was unique about this report is that the writers admit that reducing greenhouse gases today won't fix the problem (although they might certainly reduce the impact), so coming up with strategies to deal with the problem now is important. The whole thing is really pretty interesting and worth your time to read.

One of the main problems I see is that the world in general and specifically the United States government seems to be in denial that this is a problem that will effect all of us in the not too distant future. Politicians by their nature are generally only thinking about the next election, not 20 years down the road.

Questions for debate:
1. On the basis of this report (and other studies), do you believe that global warming is a problem we'll all face in the near future or is this bad science?

2. Do you believe that the United States has been in denial about this problem for decades or that we are taking steps to correct the problem? Please cite examples for either position.

3. Should we focus more of our attention on the problem of global warming, embrace policies like the Kyoto protocol, create new long-term policies and look to find ways to "adapt" as the report suggests? If so, how do we go about sending that message to our politicians?
Google
Amlord
Sometimes you have to ask yourself whether or not the guys who write these reports even read their own report.

First things first: in order to fix a problem, you must establish the root cause of the problem. Saying that temperatures are increasing (which they are, no one is denying that) is simply the first step. A cause-effect relationship must be established between the results and proposed fix.

Does the fix address the cause of the problem?

That is exactly what is missing from the analysis here.

Let's examine the report:

QUOTE(Page 12 of the report)
2.1.1 Natural changes in the climate

Earth's history has shown many changes in climate conditions. Some of these are singular events, resulting in large changes in climate conditions within years or decades. Others show a regular behaviour following different cycles. Most of these other changes occurred over periods of hundreds, thousands or millions of years. They were driven by natural phenomena such as variations in the Earth's orbit around the sun, variations in the Earth axis, fluctuations in the sun's activity and volcanic eruptions. In the past
400 000 years, the climate has shown a periodic cycle of ice ages and warm periods (Figure 2.1). Compared with these variations, the climate of the last
8 000 years has been relatively stable with very small temperature fluctuations (less than 1 °C per century).
This stability offered favourable conditions for the development of human society in this period (Petit et al., 1999).


OK, "relatively stable" temperatures or "very small temperature fluctuations" are defined as "less than 1 °C per century".

So, what has been happening recently?

QUOTE(Page 12 of the report)
Human induced climate change

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the Earth's climate has warmed rapidly by about 0.7 °C, with an increase of 0.95 °C in Europe (Climatic Research Unit — CRU, 2003). These changes are unusual in terms of both magnitude and rate of temperature change. The warming exceeds by far all natural climate variations of the last 1 000 years (IPCC, 2001a) (Figure 2.2). The 1990s in particular were the warmest decade in this period (IPCC, 2001a) and the temperature is expected to increase further in the future (see Section 3.2).


So now, an increase of 0.7 °C over a century is warming "rapidly". Two paragraphs before this level of change was "relatively stable".

Although the section is entitled "Human induced climate change", it presents no evidence that human activity has caused the increase. It shows two sets of data points, but does not rule out other possible causes, such as increased sun activity.

Scientists blame sun for global warming
QUOTE
The sun is currently at its most active for 300 years.

That, say scientists in Philadelphia, could be a more significant cause of global warming than the emissions of greenhouse gases that are most often blamed.

The researchers point out that much of the half-a-degree rise in global temperature over the last 120 years occurred before 1940 - earlier than the biggest rise in greenhouse gas emissions.

Ancient trees reveal most warm spells are caused by the sun
Using ancient tree rings, they show that 17 out of 19 warm spells in the last 10,000 years coincided with peaks in solar activity.


What does the report say about the sun?

QUOTE(Page 24 of the Report)
Natural factors such as volcanoes and sun activity could explain to a large extent the temperature variability up to the mid-twentieth century, but they can explain only a small part of the recent warming (see also Chapter 2).


(Chapter 2 makes very passing reference to solar activity, nothing specific, certainly no data.)

I guess the report left out a large possible cause to the "rapid" global warming that would have been relatively stable had it occurred 200 years ago. hmmm.gif

Without pinpointing a cause, determining a solution is nearly impossible.

1. On the basis of this report (and other studies), do you believe that global warming is a problem we'll all face in the near future or is this bad science?
There is evidence of rising global temperature, but science has not determined a cause. We therefore have no idea whether the proposed solution is the correct one.

2. Do you believe that the United States has been in denial about this problem for decades or that we are taking steps to correct the problem? Please cite examples for either position.

The US correctly is waiting until some sort of conclusion is made pinpointing the cause. There is no conclusive evidence that even a zero greenhouse gas emission scenario would reduce global temperatures.

3. Should we focus more of our attention on the problem of global warming, embrace policies like the Kyoto protocol, create new long-term policies and look to find ways to "adapt" as the report suggests? If so, how do we go about sending that message to our politicians?
Kyoto is the wrong solution, regardless of the cause of global warming. Punishing current industrial countries while allowing developing countries to pollute at will is simply unfair. Selling excess "pollution credits" on the open market is silly. Kyoto is not the solution it is touted to be.
nileriver
Global warming is not going to be imortant until it starts to hurt in many ways. This earth is a system of systems really, a simple jog around say city can lead you into places that change in tempeture and so on. TO go more in depth, the simple air current system that allowed for world war 2 japan to send ballons full of explosive to california is a product of this. such things as salt transfer that runs in rivers in the ocean until the poles is a product of natrual factors that are not immune to the things we humans do. we do put much stuff in the air, or else cause and effect would not have deleated cfcs from being a product and so on. To take pics from long ago maybe like 100 years from around the north pole, it use to be just nothing but ice, these days the same areas have ice cubes maybe. To just nab on global warming, the side that says its not an issue is faced with loseing on its bottom line and why they are so against it. overall a green attitude is not something that is really cared on, such behavior and so on comes from not only those that will lose but people that dont think they are from the earth or organic, i wont go into details. Its known that humanity collectivly puts out green house gases that were not being put out at such rates before we started, let me say again green house gases just in case no one read that part. i wont also go into detail on why they have that name. I have had the plessure to go into industrial areas over here in the mid east that dont have any kind of standards really, people get lungs with blisters in them and get heavy metals in thier blood, the cloud of pollution is trapped and slowly transfers intp the atomspheres many layers and so on. i have seen clouds of nothing but oil being burnt, real life size giant clouds and this is normal practice, and this stuff does not go to some magical area, it comes down in the rain and you can look at all the sick plants and lack of life around these areas, and the sickly people. its in the foods you eat, and why your wife contracts breast cancer though its not in the family genetic history at all. Yes, more information is being collected on it, and even with the fact we have today and so on from many angles and differnet groups it still gets no care, why becuse it does not profit, its about as simple as that. I also dont care to soil this post with links to such, i should not have to really, i just wanted to post more out of anger then being rational i guess, sorry. Stupid should hurt and will, but i dont know how much it will matter.
Julian
1. On the basis of this report (and other studies), do you believe that global warming is a problem we'll all face in the near future or is this bad science?

Yes, I do. In fact, I think it is a problem that we already face and that we need to start reacting pragmaticlaly and effectively NOW rather than wait decades until anthropogenic theories of global warming can be proven or disproven, because global warming per se is uncontrovertibly happening NOW.

The argument over what is causing global warming is giving politicians a convenient smokescreen to avoid doing anything to mitigate its effects, beyond reactive moves to respond to disasters after the event. Is there such a thing as a tornado-proof or hurricane proff building? The answer must be we don't know, because nobody is spending any money trying to find out. Individuals don't have the resources; insurance companies structure their premiums so that they make money no matter what; and politicians are scared to be seen to spend public money on contingencies that may not pay off within their own term of office. It's far easier to argue amongst ourselves about who let the bull into the china shop than it is to try to stop it doing any more damage.

Flood defences, storm shelters, new building regulations, water conservations schemes, and so on - all these are needed already, based on the rises any fool can see on their thermometers or out of their windows. And here's the rub - they will be needed whether global warming is caused by burning fossils fuels and cattle farts; or by sunspots, volcanoes, sea currents, or the heat rays of mischevious alien spacecraft.

The short and medium terms effects of global warming will take place no matter what is causing them, so that's what we should be dealing with. Even if the anthropogeneticists are proven to be correct tomorrow and the whole world throws itself ehind their best ideas, it will only have long-term impacts.

Postponing all action until the anthropogenetic argument is won or lost is raising Nero to a planetary scale - playing fiddle while the whole world burns.

2. Do you believe that the United States has been in denial about this problem for decades or that we are taking steps to correct the problem? Please cite examples for either position.
As I've indicated, I think everyone, on both sides of the anthropogenic/non-anthropogenic argument is in denial, because the assumption on one side is "carry on as now" and on the other is "stop using fossil fuels and then we will be able to carry on as now in all other respects", when the real argument has nothing at all to do with fossil fuels and everything to do with changing agriculture, population management, water usage, and lots of even bigger issues.

For instance, why does the West use drinking water in toilet cisterns? Isn't that a collosal waste of resources (and the fossil fuels that power the pumps and sluices)?
I happen to subscribe to anthropogenesis as an aetiology, but even if we junk every internal combustion engine, aircon unit and coal fire on the planet, I think we've got at least a century of rising temperatures and climate change before things settle or reverse.

It may be that the change that has begun (even if we have caused it ourselves) is not something we can stop ourselves, so the practical changes we can make to adapt to living on a hotter planet are far more pertinent than arguing about Kyoto.

3. Should we focus more of our attention on the problem of global warming, embrace policies like the Kyoto protocol, create new long-term policies and look to find ways to "adapt" as the report suggests? If so, how do we go about sending that message to our politicians?
Absolutely, but once again, Kyoto is a flawed treaty even within an anthropogenic worldview, and because anthropogenesis is acting as a lightning rod for all of the thought being given over to global warming, we're missing the real needs that are already here.
Amlord
QUOTE(Julian)
Flood defences, storm shelters, new building regulations, water conservations schemes, and so on - all these are needed already, based on the rises any fool can see on their thermometers or out of their windows.


Julian,

I agree that as the climate changes, we must adapt to it. If water levels rise (or fall), we must adapt. (As an aside, this summer has been quite mild where I live.)

However, in order to come up with a "solution" as the Question for Debate asks us about, we must know the cause of the problem. It is irresponsible to place artificial limits on production if there is no conclusion that such production causes global climate shift.

Middle Ages were warmer than today, say scientists
QUOTE
Last year, scientists working for the UK Climate Impacts Programme said that global temperatures were "the hottest since records began" and added: "We are pretty sure that climate change due to human activity is here and it's accelerating."

This announcement followed research published in 1998, when scientists at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia declared that the 1990s had been hotter than any other period for 1,000 years.

Such claims have now been sharply contradicted by the most comprehensive study yet of global temperature over the past 1,000 years. A review of more than 240 scientific studies has shown that today's temperatures are neither the warmest over the past millennium, nor are they producing the most extreme weather - in stark contrast to the claims of the environmentalists.


We should not over-react, just as we should not jump to conclusions.
DaffyGrl
1. On the basis of this report (and other studies), do you believe that global warming is a problem we'll all face in the near future or is this bad science?

I think global warming is a very real trend, and yes, it is a problem. Whether or not those of us alive today will live long enough to experience any devastating effects is uncertain, but devastating effects will occur if the problem isn’t addressed now. For those who feel that we might as well “use what we got and damn the consequences”, global warming is one of those fou-fou, hippie-dippie issues they don’t want to acknowledge as factual, let alone have to deal with, and so it is easier to call it “junk science” than address the problem. Personally, I'd lend more credence to these scientists than to the politicians on environmental issues.

QUOTE
ITEM: Global average temperatures have increased by 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit over the last century -- warming faster than any time in the last 1,000 years. As a result, the 1990s was the hottest decade in the last 1,000 years.

ITEM: Scientists at the University of Washington and the Air Resources Laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that satellite measurements of lower atmospheric temperatures show as much global warming as surface temperature measurements when the data are analyzed correctly.

ITEM: Exposure to excessive heat caused over 8,000 deaths in the United States between 1979 and 1999, and the incidence of heat waves is expected to double by the middle of this century if heat-trapping pollution is not curtailed.

ITEM: Unless heat-trapping emissions are reduced substantially, Greenland is likely to warm by at least 3 degrees Celsius by the year 2100, enough to trigger the complete and irreversible meltdown of the Greenland ice sheet, reported scientists in the April 8 issue of Nature.

ITEM: The Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies wrote in the March issue of Scientific American that global warming can be controlled if we begin earnestly to improve our energy efficiency and increase our use of renewable energy sources.

National Resources Defense Council
Julian
QUOTE(Amlord)
However, in order to come up with a "solution" as the Question for Debate asks us about, we must know the cause of the problem. It is irresponsible to place artificial limits on production if there is no conclusion that such production causes global climate shift.


Really?

QUOTE(Cube Jockey)
Questions for debate:
1. On the basis of this report (and other studies), do you believe that global warming is a problem we'll all face in the near future or is this bad science?

2. Do you believe that the United States has been in denial about this problem for decades or that we are taking steps to correct the problem? Please cite examples for either position.

3. Should we focus more of our attention on the problem of global warming, embrace policies like the Kyoto protocol, create new long-term policies and look to find ways to "adapt" as the report suggests? If so, how do we go about sending that message to our politicians?


Where is the word "solution" in these debate questions? In fact, as of this moment, I did a quick <CTRL> + F for the word "solution", and you're the only person who has mentioned it. (Except me, where I've quoted you.)

But I think you've accidentally hit on a wider, if tangential, point. I think that the right, and their friends in industry and commerce, are happy to keep talking about how nobody has the "solution" and how anothropogenesis is an unproven theory, so let's do nothing, because:
1. They know that if we actually start being pragmatic, we will have to start spending serious money on practical protective measures (sea walls and storm drains cost money), and they know that this money will mostly have to come from higher taxes and/or government "interference".
2. They think that if we all wait until disastrous weather events become commonplace, they will be able to charge a premium rate for their services. Far better to rebuild ordinary houses once every ten years than spend money researching and building ones that don't blow over in the first place.
3. They are, almost by definition "conservative", and the nature of conservatism is to oppose change, because in the conservative worldview, change is, of itself, a bad thing, no matter where it might lead.
Chiefdork
1. On the basis of this report (and other studies), do you believe that global warming is a problem we'll all face in the near future or is this bad science?

Yes, but not for the reason the chicken littles state.

From an article by Steve Milloy and can be found on http://junkscience.com/

QUOTE
About 95 percent of the greenhouse effect (search) — the atmospheric warming due to the trapping of solar energy that makes life possible on Earth — is due to water vapor, 99.999 percent of which is of natural origin.

The other 5 percent of the greenhouse effect is due to carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other miscellaneous gases.

Although carbon dioxide is the most dominant of these gases by volume, comprising about 99.4 percent, the other gases trap more heat. So the contribution of carbon dioxide to the 5 percent of the greenhouse effect not due to water vapor is much less than 99.4 percent — it's about 72 percent.

Carbon dioxide, therefore, is responsible for roughly 3.6 percent of the greenhouse effect (5 percent, representing the percentage of the greenhouse effect not due to water vapor, multiplied by 72 percent, representing the percentage of that 5 percent due to carbon dioxide).

But carbon dioxide is produced both naturally and by humans. About 97 percent of atmospheric carbon dioxide is natural, in fact. Only about 3 percent is from human activity.

That means that only about 0.11 percent of the greenhouse effect (that is, 3 percent of 3.6 percent) is due to human releases of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Put another way, about 99.89 percent of the greenhouse effect has nothing to do with carbon-dioxide emissions from human activity.

Factoring in the other greenhouse gases, the total human contribution to the greenhouse effect is about 0.3 percent. In other words, about 99.7 percent of the greenhouse effect is due entirely to nature.


Add to that people forget that all this is cyclic and on a geological timescale so 120 years of data does not cut it when we know for a fact that Western Europe, China and the Desert SW was much hotter than we are today in the 10th century but it cooled off the cooling period lasted until the 18th century then it started warming up again. All this occurs naturally and there is nothing we can do about it




2. Do you believe that the United States has been in denial about this problem for decades or that we are taking steps to correct the problem? Please cite examples for either position.


No, see above.



3. Should we focus more of our attention on the problem of global warming, embrace policies like the Kyoto protocol, create new long-term policies and look to find ways to "adapt" as the report suggests? If so, how do we go about sending that message to our politicians?

To what end we end up with less energy more inconvenience for a problem we will have so control over until we figure out a way to control the earth's rotation and have the ability to adjust our orbit.
Beladonna
1. On the basis of this report (and other studies), do you believe that global warming is a problem we'll all face in the near future or is this bad science?

I am not sure global warming is a "problem". I am more afraid of a global freezing and just over thirty years ago scientists were telling us that was where we were headed. I understand the theory that global warming could potentially harm the environment and global agriculture, but there is also a theory out there that is will have positive effects.

2. Do you believe that the United States has been in denial about this problem for decades or that we are taking steps to correct the problem? Please cite examples for either position.

I wouldn’t say the US is in denial. We have an entire federal department dedicated to global warming:

Welcome to the EPA's Global Warming Site!

And from that site we see that our government is trying to take a reasoned approach to the issue.:

QUOTE
EPA and other federal agencies are actively engaging the private sector, states, and localities in partnerships based on a win-win philosophy and aimed at addressing the challenge of global warming while, at the same time, strengthening the economy.


3. Should we focus more of our attention on the problem of global warming, embrace policies like the Kyoto protocol, create new long-term policies and look to find ways to "adapt" as the report suggests? If so, how do we go about sending that message to our politicians?

We are working with the international community on global warming issues through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, however the Kyoto Treaty was not good for this country’s citizens and economy:

Consumers -- individuals, families, the elderly, and the poor -- would be hard hit.

I want our politicians to take a reasoned approach to this issue and base their decisions on ALL the scientific studies available to them. I believe they are already doing that.
Amlord
QUOTE(Julian @ Aug 20 2004, 05:13 PM)
QUOTE(Amlord)
However, in order to come up with a "solution" as the Question for Debate asks us about, we must know the cause of the problem. It is irresponsible to place artificial limits on production if there is no conclusion that such production causes global climate shift.


Really?

QUOTE(Cube Jockey)
Questions for debate:
1. On the basis of this report (and other studies), do you believe that global warming is a problem we'll all face in the near future or is this bad science?

2. Do you believe that the United States has been in denial about this problem for decades or that we are taking steps to correct the problem? Please cite examples for either position.

3. Should we focus more of our attention on the problem of global warming, embrace policies like the Kyoto protocol, create new long-term policies and look to find ways to "adapt" as the report suggests? If so, how do we go about sending that message to our politicians?


Where is the word "solution" in these debate questions? In fact, as of this moment, I did a quick <CTRL> + F for the word "solution", and you're the only person who has mentioned it. (Except me, where I've quoted you.)

Maybe it's just me, but "correct the problem" and "find a solution" are synonymous in my dictionary. whistling.gif

But thanks for the rant on Conservatism, I hadn't heard one all day laugh.gif .

Where we disagree is whether or not we are in a position to decide if anything can be done.

Does anyone really think it is within our power to control the climate? If they do, I want to reserve a clear, cool day for the next time I go golfing...

Also in question is the exact effect that the global rise in temperatures is actually having. The one article I referenced mentions that the global warming that occurred in the middle ages led to a boom in agriculture, which led to a great many scientific and cultural advances which were only possible when a smaller percentage of the population was tied to farming.

Today, we don't have exactly that scenario in the First World (where food is already plentiful), but I am sure that the Third World could benefit from an agricultural boom.

I agree that temperatures are rising; I dissent on the causes and the effects of these changes. I agree that if they are having an effect on tides, water levels, or any other environmental factors, that we should change our architecture to reflect the current realities of the global topology.

The causes of global warming have certainly not been proven beyond doubt. There is still much doubt. The effects are also not known. It is certainly different from what it was before, but is that necessarily a bad thing?

(And to correct you: Conservatism is not an opposition to change, it is a recognition that established norms and customs have value. That doesn't mean that all change is bad, only that we should examine the effects of change before we jump headlong into the ocean of change.)
Google
Ultimatejoe
I'm sorry Amlord, but it sounds to me like you're sitting on the prow of the Titanic and confidently stating "that Iceberg couldn't have caused that noise, it looks tiny from up here."

I will get into that more lately, first I want to address the point that Beladonna made.

QUOTE
I understand the theory that global warming could potentially harm the environment and global agriculture, but there is also a theory out there that is will have positive effects.


You should have a second look at that National Geographic article. What it says is that global warming could increase the VOLUME of agricultural output; but actually decrease the net nutrient output. I will explain. Global warming is both (in theory) caused by the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere, and stands to increase the production of CO2 in certain plant life.

Plants metabolize Carbon Dioxide in the same way (for all practical purposes) that we do air, and combined with the other nutrients that plants consume (Nitrogen, minerals, etc.) the plant survives and thrives. Increasing the amount of one of these nutrients though alters the ratio between CO2 and those other elements though. Unlike a human who can increase his sugar intake, a plant cannot take in more nutrients from the soil. While they can take in more CO2 from the air, they cannot take in more nitrogen from the soil; and that nitrogen is the building block for protein. In fact, the nitrogen levels in plants decrease; resulting in less nutritious food.

Here's what I culled from the National Geographic site that Beladonna linked to:

QUOTE
The researchers found that elevated carbon dioxide levels had an overwhelmingly positive effect on the reproductive traits of crop plants. The analysis revealed a 25 percent increase in total seed weight, a 19 percent increase in the number of flowers, a 16 percent increase in number of seeds, and a 4 percent increase in individual seed weight.

...

The increase in productivity does not make up for the fall in nutritional value of the crops, said Loladze. "Plants provide 84 percent of worldwide calorie intake, but they also are the major source of essential nutrients," he said.

Loladze's own research has shown that levels of other micronutrients such as iron, zinc, and iodine may also fall in carbon dioxide enriched species. High carbon dioxide levels may result in less "essential [dietary] elements per calorie," he said.


As far as the agricultural boom of the middle ages; you are using incomplete information. We have historical accounts of an agricultural boom in North and parts of Western Europe; and no records of how the temperature shift effected plant growth in other parts of the world. At that time a lot of people were still living in hunter gatherer-societies, and the millions of people in North and South America had no written tradition that can offer insight into how (or if at all) their food production (which was again largely hunter-gatherer based) went. For all we know people in Africa and elsewhere could have gone through a period of unprecedented starvation.

QUOTE
Where we disagree is whether or not we are in a position to decide if anything can be done.


Have you produced a study that shows that society cannot reduce the global rise in Greenhouse Gasses in the atmosphere. Because if you have, I haven't seen it. You seem to assume that we can't, by relying on the principle that we don't know for sure if we can.

QUOTE
Does anyone really think it is within our power to control the climate? If they do, I want to reserve a clear, cool day for the next time I go golfing...


Normally you're not so bald-faced in your use of fallacies; I'm surprised. It is possible to influence a system without controlling it, just as I manipulated children instead of controlling them when I was a camp counsellor. The fact is that hundreds of the worlds leading scientists think that we can influence atmospheric trends; which is why they suggested a Kyoto-like protocol in the first place. I was not aware the casting about sarcastic misrepresentations had the same scientific value as, you know, research.

Is there scientific consensus regarding Global Warming, or our ability to regulate it? Of course not. Thankfully though it's not like a Jury. Reasonable doubt won't cause us to destroy the planet; if anything it'll just make things a little bit cleaner, at the cost of some jobs IN THE SHORT TERM. I've yet to see a credible economic analysis that demonstrates a long-term job depression as a result of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Here is the conclusion on the EPA's position on Kyoto; pulled from a study on the literature used by the Bush administration when deciding whether or not to participate in Kyoto:

QUOTE
The overall conclusion is that the high-cost estimates drawn from this literature is either misleading or they demonstrate (1) the costs of making policy mistakes, for example, by too hasty, unexpected action, or sub-optimal use of revenues; (2) the costs of policies that do not include  the use of the Kyoto flexible mechanisms and/or (3) how a selection of worst-case assumptions and parameters can accumulate to give high costs.


(Emphasis mine.)

Here's the conclusion of the paper:

QUOTE
Taking all the literature into account he macroeconomic costs of greenhouse gas mitigation of the kind envisaged by the Kyoto commitments is likely to be insignificant in the US, provided that the policies are expected, long-term and well-designed.


Barker, Terry and Paul Ekins. "The Costs of Kyoto for the US Economy." Energy Journal, 2004, Vol. 25 Issue 3, p53, 19p, 2 charts
Dingo
On the basis of this report (and other studies), do you believe that global warming is a problem we'll all face in the near future or is this bad science?

There are plenty of charts showing a clear correspondence between CO2 build up and global warming over many thousands of years. No one seriously debates that our modern industrial practices, consisting of adding CO2 to the environment due to fossil fuel use plus deforestation, causing the loss of absorptive capability, have increased CO2 in the air. Nor is there any serious question that there is a more or less direct correspondence between between the increase in CO2 and the increase in global temperature over the last 100+ years since temperature measurements began. The fact that our modern societal practices may be piggy backing a natural warming trend does not make the matter any less of a concern. What right have we to add to the problem and seriously cast doubt on our future in order to preserve some short term financial advantages?

Someone mentioned the greater impact of water vapor as a greenhouse gas. But doesn't the addition of CO2 have a direct impact on that due to the greater evaporation of water from the increased increment of heat caused by the CO2? It's two for the price of one it seems to me.

My last point has to do with the burden of proof. If you have evidence that global warming could have fairly catastrophic consequences on a modern society and there are strong indicators that human social-industrial practices are contributing significantly to global warming, should the burden be to absolutely prove anthropogenesis or should the greater burden be to debunk it. I would think the latter because the consequences of being wrong in the former case are much less.
Chiefdork
As far as the agricultural boom of the middle ages; you are using incomplete information. We have historical accounts of an agricultural boom in North and parts of Western Europe; and no records of how the temperature shift effected plant growth in other parts of the world. At that time a lot of people were still living in hunter gatherer-societies, and the millions of people in North and South America had no written tradition that can offer insight into how (or if at all) their food production (which was again largely hunter-gatherer based) went. For all we know people in Africa and elsewhere could have gone through a period of unprecedented starvation.

Actually they can tell when the good times ended all around the world. It was around 1250 that the climate started to cool down and not coincidentally led to starvation in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. There was a baby boom in the 12th and early 13th century due to warming. When the bubble burst you simply had more mouths to feed than food. you also get a marked increase of people moving to cities to try to better their fortune wich laid the groundwork for the Black plague that ravaged Asia, Europe, and north Africa in the 14th century. The connection to the new world is the decline of the Anasazi culture, the beginning of the decline of Mississippian culture and several cities abandoned by the Maya and Toltecs all around the same time frame from 1250-1300.
Julian
Amlord

Let's pretend that we all live in the same house, and one day we come back to find a growing mound of human dung in the middle of the floor. Not only is it unsightly and smelly, it poses a long term health hazard.

Opponents of anthropogenic global warning, it would seem, are arguing that there is no dung. Others say that there's nothing we can do about it, and besides, unless someone can prove that someone in the house put it there, we must all sit and look at the ever-increasing pile or ordure because nobody should be asked to clean up someone else's mess. Some even suggest that it's a good thing because we can put it on the roses.

Some proponents of anthropogenesis are arguing that we genetically engineer or surgically re-plumb all the occupants of the house so that they no longer produce faeces. Others, more realistically, suggest that we should dig up the foundations of the house to relay all the sewer pipes, but even that would still be a huge disruption.

All I am suggesting is that we should buy a shovel!! Whatever the cause of the manure pile, sooner or later we need to start moving it out of our living space. If we wait until we know without a doubt what the cause is, we will all be hip-deep, and the best the anthropogeneticists will be left with is "I told you so". .

Oh, and "conserve" means "To keep in a safe or sound state; to save; to preserve; to protect." (Merriam-Webster) and "conservative" means:
1. Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change.
2. Traditional or restrained in style: a conservative dark suit.
3. Moderate; cautious: a conservative estimate.
4. Of or relating to the political philosophy of conservatism.
5. Belonging to a conservative party, group, or movement.
6. Conservative Of or belonging to the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom or the Progressive Conservative Party in Canada.
7. Conservative Of or adhering to Conservative Judaism.
8. Tending to conserve; preservative: the conservative use of natural resources.
(American Heritage Dictionary) (Both definitions obtained from Dictionary.com

I don't see how suggesting that opponents of taking action on global warming, like yourself, are by definition conservative qualifies as a "rant". I'm quite happy to provide one, should you so wish. mrsparkle.gif
Amlord
QUOTE(Julian @ Aug 24 2004, 04:52 AM)
Amlord

Let's pretend that we all live in the same house, and one day we come back to find a growing mound of human dung in the middle of the floor. Not only is it unsightly and smelly, it poses a long term health hazard.

Opponents of anthropogenic global warning, it would seem, are arguing that there is no dung. Others say that there's nothing we can do about it, and besides, unless someone can prove that someone in the house put it there, we must all sit and look at the ever-increasing pile or ordure because nobody should be asked to clean up someone else's mess. Some even suggest that it's a good thing because we can put it on the roses.

Some proponents of anthropogenesis are arguing that we genetically engineer or surgically re-plumb all the occupants of the house so that they no longer produce faeces. Others, more realistically, suggest that we should dig up the foundations of the house to relay all the sewer pipes, but even that would still be a huge disruption.

All I am suggesting is that we should buy a shovel!!

You missed my argument entirely.

What I am proposing is that we do not buy a new roof to the house at a large expense until we decide that the dung fell from the sky. blink.gif

I think that the evidence is there that global temperatures are rising. I have said this throughout. Given that as a fact, I support some moderate changes to our public policy that specifically address the effects of the higher temperatures (shore line maintenance, flood prevention, etc.).

What I cannot support is punishing the developed world (by capping its greenhouse gas emissions) while allowing under-developed countries to continue to pollute at an unbridled pace. That position is arrived at without consideration of whether or not greenhouse gasses have any short term or long term effect on the climate.

What I cannot support is jumping to conclusions to "fix a problem" without knowing the causes of the problem. I still feel (as many other scientists do) that solar activity can be pointed to as a possible (even likely) culprit here.

The temperatures today are not at their highest levels ever. They are not producing the most severe weather in history. We should keep a sense of perspective.
Ultimatejoe
Your continued reliance on the global "temperature" belies the weakness of your argument Amlord. Global Warming does not necessarily manifest itself as a steady constant ambient temperature increase. What global warming does do is effect the way the planet's climate works by initially trapping more heat energy. This can raise temperatures (and in a general sense, if measured over longer periods it does this universally), alter the flow of air and water currents, expand distribution cells, etc.

QUOTE
I still feel (as many other scientists do) that solar activity can be pointed to as a possible (even likely) culprit here.


A simple survey of the literature indicates that the majority of scientists, and almost of all the leading experts in the field, feel that this is an UNLIKELY possibility. Either you're an expert in the area of climatology, or you are picking and choosing the research based on how it safisfies what you choose to believe, as opposed to where it overwhelmingly leads. Is the research complete? Again, no. But when just about every researcher without a political agenda (e.g. continuing to receive funding from the oil company they work for) comes to the same (or similar conclusion) that's where I cast my line.

QUOTE
What I cannot support is punishing the developed world (by capping its greenhouse gas emissions) while allowing under-developed countries to continue to pollute at an unbridled pace. That position is arrived at without consideration of whether or not greenhouse gasses have any short term or long term effect on the climate.


Two things. First, how do you know what was considered in arriving at this formula? In reality it would appear that it was arrived at understanding that imposing pollution caps on the developing world would impose MASSIVE hardships on the population. China depends on coal for over half of it's energy needs; if they were forced to accept Kyoto the country would face unending national blackouts for years. Countries like Germany, or the U.S. can meet those same restrictions without much hardship, as I demonstrated (and you ignored) in my last post. I know it's not what you're saying, but it sounds like your argument amounts to "I'm not gonna unless he does too!"

The fact that you seem more concerned with a slight economic impact than the long-term health of the planet belies the fact that the science involved plays only a secondary role in your assesment of this debate.
Cube Jockey
1. On the basis of this report (and other studies), do you believe that global warming is a problem we'll all face in the near future or is this bad science?

I'd say that yes, global warming (and the negative effects of that) will most definitely be an increasingly dangerous problem in the near future. I think that UJ sums it up very well:
QUOTE(Ultimatejoe)
A simple survey of the literature indicates that the majority of scientists, and almost of all the leading experts in the field, feel that this is an UNLIKELY possibility. Either you're an expert in the area of climatology, or you are picking and choosing the research based on how it safisfies what you choose to believe, as opposed to where it overwhelmingly leads. Is the research complete? Again, no. But when just about every researcher without a political agenda (e.g. continuing to receive funding from the oil company they work for) comes to the same (or similar conclusion) that's where I cast my line.


2. Do you believe that the United States has been in denial about this problem for decades or that we are taking steps to correct the problem? Please cite examples for either position.

In my opinion, we are largely ignoring the problem.
1) Our government has rejected the Kyoto protocol, which was designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - a direct contributor to global warming according to scientists.

2) The Bush administration and the EPA have launched an assault on the environment rolling back some pieces of legislation, handicapping others. I first presented that in this post.
QUOTE(Cube Jockey)
First, there is the appointment of Gov. Michael Leavitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.  The EPA serves to protect the public from environmental dangers and one would naturally think that the head of the EPA would have a strong environmental record.  The following is a letter written by the NDRC detailing Leavitt's environmental record and why he is the wrong person for the job.  Gov Leavitt's record makes it pretty clear which side of the environmental debate he is on. 
 
Secondly, let's look at the budget decisions Bush has made regarding the environment.  The following is an analysis of the FY04 environment budget.  The tactics here largely involve cutting large amounts of funds to federal agencies that deal with the environment, cutting national parks budgets and passing on expenses for initiatives like the Superfund cleanup to tax payers, instead of having "polluters" foot the bill as originally intended. 
 
Finally, take a look at Rewriting the Rules: Third Edition (pdf).  This lengthy PDF details the 150 someodd attacks that Kennedy was referring to in his article.  This is the 2004 edition, the 2002 edition is also available on their website.  The PDF itself is 111 pages, but you can read the executive summary if you'd like to.  This report details some of the battles waged in the 107th Congress and describes how it was the senate that prevented the most damaging ones from becoming law.


Chapter 6: Global Warming Heating up on page 34 of that report is an excellent place to start reading regarding that specific topic. A few selected quotes:
QUOTE
News reports in July revealed that the EPA hid key information about congressional
legislation the administration opposed. Bush officials claimed that legislation by Sens.
John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT) to limit greenhouse gas emissions
would reduce the economic output by $106 billion in 2025, according to an Energy
Department estimate. However, an internal EPA analysis showed that the bipartisan
plan would reduce carbon dioxide pollution, the key cause of global warming, with
only a $1–$2 billion economic loss. The EPA never released its preliminary study
(dated May 23, 2003) even though the senators had requested it. - Page 36

QUOTE
The EPA ruled in August that it lacks any authority to require automakers and utility
companies to reduce global warming pollution under the Clean Air Act. The agency
rejected a petition filed by environmental organizations in 1999 urging the agency to
regulate carbon dioxide and other global warming gases due to public health threats
caused by climate change. The EPA’s decision favored automakers and utility companies,
two industries with plenty at stake:- Vehicles produce 20 percent and power
plants produce 40 percent of carbon dioxide pollution in the United States. - Page 36

QUOTE
In February 2003, the Bush administration abruptly reversed course and
began seeking exemptions from the treaty’s ban on the use of methyl bromide,
the most powerful ozone-depleting chemical still in use. This is the first time any
country has proposed to reverse the phaseout and increase production of an ozonedestroying
chemical. - Page 37


I would say that we are not only in denial of the problem, but we are deliberately exacerbating it for economic gain.
unabomber
global warming is a natural thing that we have little effect on. I've noticed no one has mentioned that just 11,000 years ago, we came out of a glacial period. 11,000 years is NOTHING on a geological timescale. earth itself is 4,000,000,000 years old, 11,000 is a small fraction of that. of that small part of earth's history we have been collecting data for an even smaller part of earth's 4,000,000,000 years, 124 years.

QUOTE
 
QUOTE
I still feel (as many other scientists do) that solar activity can be pointed to as a possible (even likely) culprit here.


A simple survey of the literature indicates that the majority of scientists, and almost of all the leading experts in the field, feel that this is an UNLIKELY possibility.


robin, let's rephrase what you imply: "a simple survey of leading experts shows most believe the earth to be flat OR everyone KNOWS the sun goes around the earth." science seems to have fallen into the trap of dogma. where anything that isn't supported by the majority of scientists is seen as false, and that they "know" what the cause of something is. in this case, it's greenhouse gasses. though someone else hs pointed out, these gases seem to be quite natural, and there IS evidence the sun MAY be responsible for a large part of global warming. but because it doesn't fit the model the scientists have created (greenhouse gases cause global warming) the ignore the evidence, and simply denounce it.

QUOTE
1. On the basis of this report (and other studies), do you believe that global warming is a problem we'll all face in the near future or is this bad science?


seeing as we happen to be living during a period when earth IS warming up it is something we need to deal with. this doesn't mean we should try to stop the earth from warming up. it would likely do so with or without us. it means we need to adapt to changing conditions. humans have been through far worse before, I'm sure. no reason we can't survive NOW.

QUOTE
2. Do you believe that the United States has been in denial about this problem for decades or that we are taking steps to correct the problem? Please cite examples for either position.


I think simply the united states doesn't really care that much. perhaps we realize it is a NATURAL phenomenom to which we contribute minutely. this seems to be the posistion taken by our government. as to correcting the problem I'm unsure of what you mean. if you mean our general apathy to the situation, I say we ratify treaties like koyoto and try to cut CO2 emmisions. what could it hurt? if you mean the trend of global warming, I think that could lead to disaster. see the earth was once covered in much much more water. millions of years ago, the isthmus of panama was formed. this caused warm water, and with it, moist air, to flow north. this caused it to snow at the north polar region. this snow slowly built up into ice caps. over the past millions of years these have grown and shrunk many times, plunging the world into ice ages which would end when the earth warmed again. I have no doubt this warming and colling that has been happening for millions of years is completely natural. something tells me to end that cycle would result in unforseen problems (what I can't say as I am no climatologist)

QUOTE
3. Should we focus more of our attention on the problem of global warming, embrace policies like the Kyoto protocol, create new long-term policies and look to find ways to "adapt" as the report suggests? If so, how do we go about sending that message to our politicians?


while I see global warming as a natural cycle of earth's and we likely only contribute a small amount to greenhouse gases, I don't see what adopting koyoto would hurt. of course we should adapt to our environment. wev'e don'e so for millions of years, why stop now? as to what we can do to "end" global warming, we may as well end volcanic eruptions. it is a natural phenomenom that has been happening for millions of years. it is arrogant, and a little egotistical, to think in 150 years, (about as long as mass industry has been around) we have affected the planet so much as to warm it dangerously. remember earth has been going in and out of wamr/cool periods for about as long as we've been around. it will likely to keep warming and colling until it dies.
Cube Jockey
QUOTE(unabomber @ Aug 24 2004, 03:18 PM)
global warming is a natural thing that we have little effect on. I've noticed no one has mentioned that just 11,000 years ago, we came out of a glacial period. 11,000 years is NOTHING on a geological timescale. earth itself is 4,000,000,000 years old, 11,000 is a small fraction of that. of that small part of earth's history we have been collecting data for an even smaller part of earth's 4,000,000,000 years, 124 years.

This is true, but the problem with your theory here is that it completely ignores human presence on the earth. 11,000 years ago the earth's population numbered in the hundred thousands and perhaps even low millions at most. Today, there are billions of people on the planet.

Furthermore, we have made huge technological advances and pumped tons of chemicals into the atmosphere, land and water that didn't even exist 11,000 years ago.

So, to suggest to global warming is strictly due to natural phenomena is completely innacurate. The thing that I think we don't know is how much of it is due to natural phenomena and how much of it is due to our actions. However, most scientists seem to think that we are mostly responsible for the acceleration of the trend and they have good evidence to support that theory.

So you are right, we are not at a point technologically where we can do anything about nature. We can however, certainly do something about our actions and try and reduce the impact on our planet. That starts with things as simple as clamping down on emissions from cars and factories. But there are numerous solutions with varying degrees of effectiveness.
Coco82
So, is this as bad as it is puported to be in this report? Is our world really in danger of an apocalyptic doom? I don't believe that a scenario like Day after tomorrow is realisitc IMHO. I think climate changes take decades if not hundreds of years. But are we really in that much danger? You have to admit the media makes it sound like we're done for. So, what say you?
Cube Jockey
QUOTE(Coco82 @ Aug 24 2004, 05:24 PM)
So, is this as bad as it is puported to be in this report? Is our world really in danger of an apocalyptic doom? I don't believe that a scenario like Day after tomorrow is realisitc IMHO. I think climate changes take decades if not hundreds of years. But are we really in that much danger? You have to admit the media makes it sound like we're done for. So, what say you?

I don't think anyone either in this thread or in the report has used the words "apocalyptic doom", that is the stuff of science fiction.

Climate changes do in fact take decades and even centuries, but the data is there to suggest that those changes are occurring now, and at a faster rate than could be expected based on historical data or natural occurences.

The time to do something about the problem is now, not 20 years from now when the average temperature has increased a degree or two and we are in danger of some serious problems. The question of when to act or whether we act at all is indeed the problem with our politicians.

As to your point about the media, I don't think they are making enough noise about the whole thing, but what little they have said certainly hasn't been talk about doomsday that I have heard.
unabomber
QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ Aug 24 2004, 04:32 PM)
However, most scientists seem to think that we are mostly responsible for the acceleration of the trend and they have good evidence to support that theory.

I agree that we may be accelerating the trend, but one must still remember we just came out of a glacial period, and earth is still warming up, regardless of wether we help or not. so instead of the temature reaching it's peak 1000 years from now, it may happen in a 100.
Beladonna
Not all data, maybe not even a majority of data supports the theory that we (humans) are mostly responsible for the acceleration of “the trend”. I even use that term "the trend" loosely, because I’m just not sure we have been recording temperatures long enough to know if this is a trend.

QUOTE
During the past 2 years, more than 17,100 basic and applied American scientists, two-thirds with advanced degrees, have signed the Global Warming Petition.

There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

Petition Project


I do not think anyone is saying we should not do everything within reason to preserve our environment. What we are saying is that the government needs to take a reasoned approach and they are.
Ultimatejoe
Well, I already demonstrated that the Kyoto protocol could be implimented without any serious financial implications. As a matter of fact, everyone who has called for a reasoned approach in this thread (and anywhere else I've seen) has not suggested any 'approach' that involves trying to improve the environment. hmmm.gif

Kyoto, or some other emissions reducing formula COULD end up 'saving the world', and at the very least it will make the air cleaner, yet everyone here seems so frightened of government interference of business that that they're willing to take the chance that global warming is a scientific myth when the literature STILL supports it. It is absolutely baffling.

As far as your list is concerned... to be honest it makes no difference. Science isn't conducted by polls; it is conducted by research. The scientific literature overwhelmingly supports the greenhouse-gasses model of global warming; with a few dissenting works that crop up ocassionally. I choose to follow research, not petitions, when forming opinions of science.
Hobbes
This seems like an appropriate topic to inject a general sentiment of mine. Environmentalis and business are NOT exclusionary terms--you can have both. Often, doing things that are good for the environment turns out to be highly profitable. But, business and environmental groups are so conditioned to be at each other's throats that they almost never sit down and realize this simple fact. The public, on the other hand, is very misinformed about many of the policies put in place to achieve environmental standards. For example, to combat global warming (and air pollution in general) many plants that achieve high marks by cleaning up their emissions are issued credits that they can then sell to other plants which have not upgraded their systems and are therefore still producing highly polluted emissions. How is this good? In two ways. First, it incents plants to upgrade, as they can cover the costs of the upgrade by selling their 'credits'. This results in an overall increase in air quality. Simply passing legislation would tend to drive these plants to foreign markets, where they are regulated and could therefore pollute at will. Second, it keeps people employed at the other plants, while at the same time imposing a cost which incents them to also upgrade their equipment.

Another facet of environmentalism that bothers me is the refusal (by business, yes) to face facts. Take global warming, for example. Is their really any need to discuss the simple fact that throwing up huge quantities of pollutants into the air is NOT a good thing? You don't need any data on this. The only thing that's questionable is 'how bad is it?' Given that its an indisputable 'bad thing', you can take steps to mitigate it without quantifying exactly how bad it is. Doing anything else is somewhat akin to standing in front of an advancing forest fire questioning exactly how much damage it will do, and exactly when it will reach you. That can be determined later--the prudent thing to do is to put the fire out. I am quite sure that, in the future, people will look back on this era and wonder how come it took us so long to realize that destroying the environment can't be a good thing. On the other hand, 'environmentalist' need to stop polarizing the subject by claiming 'we're killing the earth'. Poppycock. We don't have that capability. What we are doing is making the earth less hospitable for us. Many years ago Charlton Heston recited an envirnomental essay on the Rush Limbaugh show (yes, I know, strange source for many, but actually a very good bit on environmentalism). Gist of the essay was that we're just a very small little blip on the earth's history--it will almost surely succeed us regardless of what we do to it while we're here. (anyone out there have a link to this--it was an excellent short essay, brilliantly narrated). So, environmentalists out there (heck, I guess I'm one of you)--stop screaming about what we're doing to 'the earth'. Put things in pragmatic terms--how destroying certain portions of the environment is affecting quality of life for all of us. You'll get past the rhetoric then, and get much more support.
Ultimatejoe
Hobbes, you've managed to eloquently state what I've been huffing-and-puffing about for a while now.

Although I would like to clarify one thing for you; there ARE many environmentally friendly BUSINESS initiatives out there; they just don't necessarily get the press that they should. For instance, a group of buildings in downtown Toronto have joined a system to use lakewater from Lake Ontario to cool their A/C systems, greatly reducing their electrical demands. The whole procedure was set up by a private company.

One of the reasons why I am in favour of Kyoto is that it really does embrace the sort of entrepreneurial environtmentalism you are describing. It just sets goals in place for certain countries, providing incentives for governments and private organizations to move towards those goals.
Cube Jockey
QUOTE(Beladonna @ Aug 25 2004, 07:47 AM)
I do not think anyone is saying we should not do everything within reason to preserve our environment.  What we are saying is that the government needs to take a reasoned approach and they are.

How is the government taking a reasoned approach Bela - They aren't doing anything. I have pretty clearly shown the abysmal environmental record of the Bush administration, and in fact the only president in recent history that has really paid any attention to the environment was Clinton, and even he could have gone further.

I hardly see how we can claim to be doing something about global warming when we let the worst factories keep pumping chemicals into the air and we have taken an ultra conservative stance on fuel economy for cars (the standard is a joke in my opinion, because technologically we are capable of much more).
DaffyGrl
3. Should we focus more of our attention on the problem of global warming, embrace policies like the Kyoto protocol, create new long-term policies and look to find ways to "adapt" as the report suggests? If so, how do we go about sending that message to our politicians?

Yes, I believe more of our government’s attention ought to be paid to global warming and other environmental issues, and I think the Kyoto protocol is a good start. If Kyoto is flawed, work to fix it. Rejecting it out of hand is a cavalier attitude to a very real problem. The US has an incredibly small percentage of the world’s total population, but we are the world’s biggest polluter in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.

But until politicians become less beholden to the biggest polluters, they will turn a deaf ear to any option that would endanger that relationship. Cynical, yes, but it is what I believe. Hobbes put it quite well when he said:
QUOTE(Hobbes)
Doing anything else is somewhat akin to standing in front of an advancing forest fire questioning exactly how much damage it will do, and exactly when it will reach you. That can be determined later--the prudent thing to do is to put the fire out.

As for opinions such as these, I must disagree, as do scientists. The report I reference shows temperature recording from 1860, and while 144 years may be a blip in the earth's entire lifespan, it is enough to show a definite trend, imo.
QUOTE(Unabomber)
global warming is a natural thing that we have little effect on.

QUOTE(Beladonna )
Not all data, maybe not even a majority of data supports the theory that we (humans) are mostly responsible for the acceleration of “the trend”. I even use that term "the trend" loosely, because I’m just not sure we have been recording temperatures long enough to know if this is a trend.

Humans are the number one reason our environment is in the state it is in. What else dumps the amount of pollutants into the air if not humans? Carbon dioxide pollution stays in the atmosphere much longer than other types of pollutants. Temperature change is not the only indication of the damage being done to the environment. Precipitation and snowfall levels are all topsy-turvy in this country and in other areas of the world, and this has had and will have profound effects on the planet’s future climate. An interesting phenomenon called “ice-albedo feedback” is mentioned, where “increased warming diminishes snow and ice cover, making the planet darker and more receptive to absorbing incoming solar radiation, causing warming, which further melts snow and ice.” This report is an excellent overview of global warming, its causes and effects.
QUOTE
Science Magazine
Human activities also have a large-scale impact on the land surface. Changes in landuse through urbanization and agricultural practices, although not global, are often most pronounced where people live, work, and grow food, and are part of the human impact on climate (6, 7). Large-scale deforestation and desertification in Amazonia and the Sahel, respectively, are two instances where evidence suggests there is likely to be human influence on regional climate (8–10). In general, city climates differ from those in surrounding rural green areas, because of the "concrete jungle" and its effects on heat retention, runoff, and pollution, resulting in urban heat islands.

There is no doubt that the composition of the atmosphere is changing because of human activities, and today greenhouse gases are the largest human influence on global climate (2). Recent greenhouse gas emission trends in the United States are upward (11), as are global emissions trends, with increases between 0.5 and 1% per year over the past few decades (12). Concentrations of both reflective and nonreflective aerosols are also estimated to be increasing (2). Because radiative forcing from greenhouse gases dominates over the net cooling forcings from aerosols (2), the popular term for the human influence on global climate is "global warming," although it really means global heating, of which the observed global temperature increase is only one consequence (13) (Fig. 1). Already it is estimated that the Earth's climate has exceeded the bounds of natural variability (2), and this has been the case since about 1980.
<snip>
In the absence of climate mitigation policies, the 90% probability interval for warming from 1990 to 2100 is 1.7° to 4.9°C (19).
<snip>
The rate of human-induced climate change is projected to be much faster than most natural processes, certainly those prevailing over the past 10,000 years (2).
Beladonna
QUOTE
Well, I already demonstrated that the Kyoto protocol could be implimented without any serious financial implications.


Even your former Prime Minister didn't believe that, UJ:

QUOTE
MONTREAL - Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien sidestepped questions this week about reports that Canada could lose as much as C$16.5 billion ($10.39 billion) in economic growth and 200,000 jobs if it implements the Kyoto Protocol on reducing greenhouse gases to ease global warming.


We’ve already been discussed this issue here:Kyoto: Real Economic Impacts, Do you think Kyoto will be successful?, with Amlord giving some data to support the claim that Kyoto is bad for the economy.

QUOTE
I choose to follow research, not petitions, when forming opinions of science.


I don't mean to state the obvious and I've no doubt it will have no impact on your opinion, but the people signing those petitions were scientists, each stating that there is "no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate."

QUOTE
How is the government taking a reasoned approach Bela:


I’ve already provided that data here.

Welcome to the EPA's Global Warming Site!

Again, no one is saying we shouldn’t be doing what we can to save the environment. I for one am all for pre-emptive action. But, let’s drop the henny penny slogans when we are talking about our Earth.
Cube Jockey
QUOTE(Beladonna @ Aug 25 2004, 09:51 AM)
QUOTE
How is the government taking a reasoned approach Bela:


I’ve already provided that data here.

Welcome to the EPA's Global Warming Site!

Ok, I took a little bit of time to read through that website and specifically the Policies and Measures on this page.

So yes it is great we have a website that consolidates some of this information and we do in fact have some policies that deal with the root causes of global warming. I did notice that 1) most of these policies are voluntary and 2) there aren't any heavy hitting policies that will make a real impact by dealing with the big elephants in the room.

The EPA asking in the nicest way possible for everyone to use EnergyStar Monitors (pretty please!) to reduce power consumption is not nearly the same thing as having a policy to force grandfathered in factories to follow today's standards and upgrade their pollution controls.

I'd like to know what significant policies you think we have implemented. Everything I read in these reports seems to be fluff and measures aimed at tacking a very small part of the problem. I could have missed something, I just wanted to understand what policies you think we have that are working really well.
Hobbes
QUOTE
I hardly see how we can claim to be doing something about global warming when we let the worst factories keep pumping chemicals into the air and we have taken an ultra conservative stance on fuel economy for cars (the standard is a joke in my opinion, because technologically we are capable of much more).


CJ, the factory example you cite is what I was discussing in my example of using 'credits'. In this example, factories that do clean up their emissions to below standards are given 'credits' which they can then sell to 'bad' factories. This has been shown to be effective in dramatically lowering overall pollutants--as it incents the good companies and penalizes the bad ones. Not the environmental panacea many might want, but a workable and effective solution nonetheless. Keep in mind that the alternative would basically be fines, which would have the same effect on the bad polluters, but do nothing to incent the others to further clean up their emmissions, resulting in higher overall polution, not lower (and this is also an example of the pragmatic governmental approach Bela is talking about).

As for the cars--there are plenty of cars out there which emit virtually nothing--the hybrids come to mind. There is a very simple reasons these aren't being marketed more--by and large, people don't want them. So, yelling and screaming about the companies or the government is ignoring the real source of the problem--with most environmental issues, while most people will say they are for the environment, very, very few are willing to pay anything to keep it clean. (how many environmentalists drive to their demonstrations in an old, beat-up, gas-guzzlying emission-spewing pickup?) So, direct your criticism towards consumers, or offer incentives to companies to sell cleaner cars (which is what is being done)--otherwise you are simply legislating things people don't want.

Which isn't to say that much of the supposed economic impact of environmental regulation isn't greatly overblown. Business, reluctant to change the status quo, will always be Chicken Little. However, I would state that showing how such changes could be beneficial to them will get much better response than trying to cram legislation down their throat.
Ultimatejoe
QUOTE
Even your former Prime Minister didn't believe that, UJ:


Contrary to popular belief, Canada is not a left-wing paradise of nature-worship and government control. Your example, while cute, has no bearing on the facts of this debate whatsoever.

QUOTE
We’ve already been discussed this issue here:Kyoto: Real Economic Impacts, Do you think Kyoto will be successful?, with Amlord giving some data to support the claim that Kyoto is bad for the economy.


Nice try... Amlord provided two studies about THE UK, both of which coming from right-wing think tanks that actively pursue policies of deregulation and capital-first initiatives.

Again, neither mentions the U.S. in any scientific way, and both groups (which are nearly identical and one can assume funded from the same sources) have no credibility when it comes to environmental assesment.

QUOTE
Again, no one is saying we shouldn’t be doing what we can to save the environment. I for one am all for pre-emptive action. But, let’s drop the henny penny slogans when we are talking about our Earth.


We are talking about our earth. I'm just talking about it as more than something that we check in on every now and then. You say we need reasonable action... care to come up with any ideas, since that is the jist of this particular debate?

One change that I would like to see made is the tightening of standards around SUV's. They are by-and-large used as domestic vehicles, yet are held to emissions standards akin to heavy-duty trucks... which is one of the reasons they are relatively inexpensive.
Cube Jockey
QUOTE(Hobbes @ Aug 25 2004, 11:28 AM)
CJ, the factory example you cite is what I was discussing in my example of using 'credits'.  In this example, factories that do clean up their emissions to below standards are given 'credits' which they can then sell to 'bad' factories.  This has been shown to be effective in dramatically lowering overall pollutants--as it incents the good companies and penalizes the bad ones.  Not the environmental panacea many might want, but a workable and effective solution nonetheless.  Keep in mind that the alternative would basically be fines, which would have the same effect on the bad polluters, but do nothing to incent the others to further clean up their emmissions, resulting in higher overall polution, not lower (and this is also an example of the pragmatic governmental approach Bela is talking about).

This is a politically expedient solution, but it isn't the right solution. The factories that are dirty do need to be penalized. When their competitors spend money improving their plants to be more environmentally friendly and the government protects the old dirty plants, that runs counter the principles of competition and capitalism.

Additionally, I highly doubt the people that live next to those factories (or work in them) consider that to be a good solution. They don't care that some factory 200 miles away is cleaner and has "sold" them some credits - they want theit factory to be cleaner!

QUOTE(Hobbes)
As for the cars--there are plenty of cars out there which emit virtually nothing--the hybrids come to mind. There is a very simple reasons these aren't being marketed more--by and large, people don't want them. So, yelling and screaming about the companies or the government is ignoring the real source of the problem--with most environmental issues, while most people will say they are for the environment, very, very few are willing to pay anything to keep it clean. (how many environmentalists drive to their demonstrations in an old, beat-up, gas-guzzlying emission-spewing pickup?) So, direct your criticism towards consumers, or offer incentives to companies to sell cleaner cars (which is what is being done)--otherwise you are simply legislating things people don't want.

There are actually only two models of hybrids out in the US right now I believe - Toyota has the Prius and Honda has a hybrid Civic out. There are plans to bring out a hybrid SUV this year and there are more vehicles on the drawing board. I think the new Ford Focus is also more environmentally friendly, but it isn't a hybrid - just a redesigned combustion engine.

The fact that "by and large people don't want them" is also false. The Prius has a waiting list that is 6 months or longer in some places. Here in California I think it is approaching a year now. That certainly doesn't suggest that people don't want them. Once they bring the SUV hybrid out I'm sure that even more people will want to buy one of these vehicles.

Finally, the cars are not expensive. The Honda Civic hybrid is slightly more expensive than a regular Civic at about 18K. The Toyota Prius is going for about 22K right now. These prices are hardly out of line with current prices for cars. Granted they are not a bargin basement Saturn or Kia, but it also certainly isn't the same cost as a Lexus or something.

And as far as what the government can do while we are on cars? Well they could lift the bans on Diesel vehicles in many states. In California you cannot buy one, and they are using the standards from the 1980's and today's Diesel engines burn much cleaner (and are more fuel efficient) than gasoline engines in many cases.

So I am not suggesting we legislate things people don't want, I'm suggesting the government get on board with what people want which is a cleaner environment and reduced emissions.
DaffyGrl
QUOTE(UltimateJoe )
One change that I would like to see made is the tightening of standards around SUV's. They are by-and-large used as domestic vehicles, yet are held to emissions standards akin to heavy-duty trucks... which is one of the reasons they are relatively inexpensive.

QUOTE(Cube Jockey)
This is a politically expedient solution, but it isn't the right solution. The factories that are dirty do need to be penalized. When their competitors spend money improving their plants to be more environmentally friendly and the government protects the old dirty plants, that runs counter the principles of competition and capitalism.

I feel that a tremendous amount could be accomplished just by doing these two things. I am all for abolishing SUV’s…hmm, that’s going to tick some people off…how about this; abolish all SUV’s over a certain weight, tax the remainders as gross polluters (as they do for some of the high-performance vehicles), undo this silly incentive Bush put into place so that small businesses had an excuse to buy a Hummer (who needs one of those elephants, anyhow?). Those in power need to start thinking ahead to hydrogen vehicles, and get the infrastructure in place to service them (i.e. hydrogen fueling stations) because the technology is nearly here.

Cleaning up the plants is a tougher issue, seeing as how every time a company has to make a decision to spend money to improve anything, the first thing they think about is moving the plant out of the country (hello, Mexico).

If enough hybrid/zero emission vehicles were available, people would buy them. But, then again, if transportation systems were well designed and run, people would use them. A lot of the problem is behavioral. I’m as guilty as anyone else when it comes to preferring driving my own car over taking public transportation (though my car is small and economical). What can I say, I’m a Californian who absorbed the whole muscle car culture through her pores. Part of me still yearns to put my foot down on the gas pedal of a 1970 Chevelle SS 454 and watch the gas gauge head toward empty. mrsparkle.gif smoke.gif
Beladonna
Joe said: Well, I already demonstrated that the Kyoto protocol could be implimented without any serious financial implications.

I said: "Even your former Prime Minister didn't believe that, UJ" and then gave you a link which indicates how the Kyoto Treaty would harm Canada's economy.

Joe then respond: "Your example, while cute, has no bearing on the facts of this debate whatsoever."

Cute? You know, my response to you wasn't meant to be cute. It appeared that ONE of the issues we were discussing was the financial implications of implementing policies like the Kyoto Treaty, which is mentioned in question 3 of this topic starter. With that in mind and using your strict criteria of US only, let's look at what it might do to the US economy.

QUOTE
...the Energy Information Administration, the official forecasting arm of the Department of Energy, predicts meeting the Kyoto greenhouse gas limits would:

*Increase gasoline prices by 52 percent and electricity prices by 86 percent.
*Decrease Gross Domestic Product by 4.2 percent.
*Reduce personal disposable income by 2.5 percent.

<snip>

Stephen Brown of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank compared the estimated costs and benefits in terms of reduced human and environmental harm caused by global warming if the U.S. met its Kyoto commitments. Brown found:

*For the United States, marginal cost equals marginal benefit at about 14 percent of the CO2 reduction required by the Kyoto accord.
*Thus Kyoto requires about seven times more CO2 reduction by the United States than is cost-justified.
*Under pessimistic assumptions, compliance with Kyoto would reduce U.S. GDP by from 3.6 percent to 5.1 percent, representing a loss of $1,105 to $1,565 per person, per year by 2010.
*Under the most optimistic assumptions, compliance with the Kyoto accord would reduce U.S. GDP by from 3 percent to 4.3 percent, representing a loss of $921 to $1,320 per person, per year by 2010. 

NATIONAL CENTER FOR POLICY ANALYSIS


QUOTE
“Stabilizing emissions at 1990 levels will require that consumers and businesses pay for a permit to consume energy, effectively causing energy prices to rise,” the study notes. “To meet the target emission level, domestic tradeable carbon permit fees of $200 per metric ton would be required by 2010. Consumers would see energy price increases of 30 to 55 percent over baseline projections by 2010, and 40 to 90 percent by 2020.”

Global Warming Policies Will Hurt Low-Income Americans the Most: Study


QUOTE
Nice try... Amlord provided two studies about THE UK, both of which coming from right-wing think tanks that actively pursue policies of deregulation and capital-first initiatives.

Again, neither mentions the U.S. in any scientific way, and both groups (which are nearly identical and one can assume funded from the same sources) have no credibility when it comes to environmental assesment.


Nice try? Am I wasting my time posting here, Joe? That comment certainly makes me want to walk away from the discussion.

It is called "global" warming Joe. Not US warming. Why go after the source? Why not dissect the data.

One of my points when discussing global warming is that the data isn't conclusive.

QUOTE
Most of the warming occurred prior to 1940 - before most human-caused carbon dioxide emissions. Contrary to the predictions of global warming theorists, the current rate of sea level increases is slower than the average rate over the 18,000-year period.

Myths of Global Warming


And like this report, I believe that "rather than legislating in haste and ignorance and repenting at leisure, our government should maintain rational policies, based on science and adaptable to future discoveries."

QUOTE
We are talking about our earth. I'm just talking about it as more than something that we check in on every now and then. You say we need reasonable action... care to come up with any ideas, since that is the jist of this particular debate?


It is more important to you to state that you care more or to try and make it look like I care less about the environment?

BTW, the jist of this debate is the following:

1. On the basis of this report (and other studies), do you believe that global warming is a problem we'll all face in the near future or is this bad science?

2. Do you believe that the United States has been in denial about this problem for decades or that we are taking steps to correct the problem? Please cite examples for either position.

3. Should we focus more of our attention on the problem of global warming, embrace policies like the Kyoto protocol, create new long-term policies and look to find ways to "adapt" as the report suggests? If so, how do we go about sending that message to our politicians?

Forgive me for not realizing the jist had been reduced to listing ideas.

Instead, I'll provide a link to Bush's 2005 Environmental Spending Proposals.
Ultimatejoe
QUOTE
Cute? You know, my response to you wasn't meant to be cute. It appeared that ONE of the issues we were discussing was the financial implications of implementing policies like the Kyoto Treaty, which is mentioned in question 3 of this topic starter.


Well the article speaks of possible outcomes, for a country with a different economy than the U.S., and you tied it to remarks that were in fact presented as coming against Kyoto when in fact the person in question (Jean Chretien) was for Kyoto and insisted it could be implimented WITHOUT a major economic impact.

QUOTE
With that in mind and using your strict criteria of US only, let's look at what it might do to the US economy.


I'm sorry if you felt slighted by my previous post, but the fact remains that the U.S. and U.K. economies are different, and the impacts of implimenting far-reaching changes will by their nature be different. Your examples pertaining to the U.S. economy only raise more questions. The fact is that questioning the source is valid when that source has a vested interest. You will not that your first link goes to the NCPA, who describe themselves in this fashion:

QUOTE
The NCPA's goal is to develop and promote private alternatives to government regulation and control, solving problems by relying on the strength of the competitive, entrepreneurial private sector.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I doubt that a group that's committed to limiting government regulation is going to publish research that identifies potential GOVERNMENT regulation as beneficial.

Similar things can be said of the Heartland.org link; but that is not my primary concern. The fact is that neither one has been written in the last two years. The Heartland one is particularly dated, having been written in 1998. While it can be said that these aren't exactly old, the advances in industry and private innovation, as well as new ways of implimenting policy change, makes said 'research' dated and less valuable. They also depend on economic variables which have changed dramatically. More to the point, neither articles you provided are actual studies, instead they are merely journalistic endeavours, an attempt to convey a set of facts in the manner that the writer feels appropriate.

What would be more persuasive is some scientific or economic studies from the last year demonstrating the economic impact of Kyoto-like policies, preferably from the last two years.

QUOTE
It is called "global" warming Joe. Not US warming. Why go after the source? Why not dissect the data.

One of my points when discussing global warming is that the data isn't conclusive.


Because the data is taken from an economy that has different resources and mechanisms it is not as relevant. Considering the large sample size, even slight differences in the variables can produce vastly different outcomes.

QUOTE
And like this report, I believe that "rather than legislating in haste and ignorance and repenting at leisure, our government should maintain rational policies, based on science and adaptable to future discoveries."


Haste is one thing, but sitting around until you have to build a dike around Manhattan is another. There is enough evidence at this point that human-inflenced global warming is at the very least a real possibility. Given that, some action is necessary because IF the global warming scenario does pan out as environmentalists suggest it might, the time lost may be irretrievable.

QUOTE
It is more important to you to state that you care more or to try and make it look like I care less about the environment?


I'm sorry if that's the impression you got. I do not question your sincerity, I just feel that our concerns are different, with yours favouring economic interests and mine favouring environmental ones, at least within the boundaries of this debate.
fenrishero
I've done a great deal of research on this stuff, have a degree in Environmental Science and Policy, and have actually sat down and and read Kyoto and the proceedings around it. I've had entire classes on Kyoto, and the facts don't lie.

KYOTO WILL NOT WORK

Kyoto is such an anti-US piece of legislation that it would never have benefited the environment. I gave huge breaks to the concern in the environmental policy: developing countries. Like it or lump it, if you believe in global warming, you know that developing countries are a huge risk for the environment. If countries industrialize using the same pattern the US and Europe used, the world is screwed, and right now, there is no other model for development that works consistently.

On the topic of anthropogenic vs natural causes:

In the end, it doesn't matter. There is such a focus in this debate on who's to blame and why, and they manage to miss the point that there is a serious problem building up, and we need to find a way to defuse it. Human ingenuity may be the ultimate resource, but it requires time and resources to do its magic. Maybe the industry guru's should stop whining about the regulations, and find a way to improve greenhouse gas sinks and draw gasses out of the atmosphere. Find another solution, and we'll take it under advisement. Right now, we're doing the best we can given the science.

On the topic of fuel effeciency:

Several sports cars have worse emissions then most SUVs. Stop pretending SUVs are the answer. They're not.

On credits:

Credits are an interesting way of handling environmental regulations, but there's a huge hold up in the idea. You need to establish zones in which you can trade emissions credits, by using the approriate environmental surveys and zoning regulations. You can bet that the affected industries will want to have a hand in how they are zoned, and they'll use any means, legislative or judicial to make sure they get the best solution they can. In other words, you need to get generators of emissions to agree on who they can trade permits with. This can get kind of messy, and would be a big hold up to getting a permit trading market going.
Cube Jockey
QUOTE(fenrishero @ Aug 25 2004, 06:38 PM)
On the topic of fuel effeciency:

Several sports cars have worse emissions then most SUVs.  Stop pretending SUVs are the answer.  They're not.

I wasn't suggesting they were, but in response to your comment SUVs are far more prevalent than the kind of sports cars you are talking about. SUVs are quickly becoming "the family car" and there will always be far more of them on the streets than things like Corvettes that do in fact have worse fuel economy. Sometimes people use them to transport kids or take trips, but mostly you are wasting a lot of gas carting yourself and a bunch of cubic feet of air around.

If we really want to talk transportation, the real problem is that everybody has to drive their own car to work. We need to invest in public a transportation infrastructure. Cities like New York and San Francisco provide good US examples and you can also look at almost any major European city.
fenrishero
Having worked in the world in public transportation planning in DC, I've seen some of the fun problems you run into with mass transit that a lot of people don't know about. The major problem I've seen is that, when push comes to shove, cities don't want to pay for public transit. The DC government made it clear that they felt that the Metro System in DC was primarily used by non-residents of DC, and as such, they shouldn't have to pay for most of the upkeep for it. When pushed on what the alternative for commuters was if the Metro went bus, they responded "Move into DC."

Mass transit agencies are also notoriously alien in their communications. Trying to decipher the BART system map or the Metro Bus line map is like an exercise in ancient egyptian algebra. Metro also refuses to place maps at bus stops, for fear of promoting criminal activity at the bus stations ( I swear this is true). There's also the fact that mass transit fare rates are skyrocketing lately, due to the lack of funding from the states.

Mass transit systems are a good looking alternative, but there are problems with them. They're not the magic bullet to fix traffic problems.
La Herring Rouge
First, I hardly think that the present system of allowing factories to sell credits for retrofitting their facilities is good for anything but creating loopholes.

first, lets go after the logic of providing teasers to get some businesses make moral decisions and allow others to do nothing.
So if we determine that some certain illness can be deadly to people who get it and so ask people to get vaccinated. We allow those who got the vacccination to sell "vaccine credits" to those who refused to get it. In that way we are benefitting the public's health???

That's inane. If it has been determined that these pollutants are that dangerous then ALL factories that spew them should be asked to make changes. PERIOD.
Here's an east to find link detailing some of the negative human effects of air pollution.

Here are some possible abuses:
1) I own multiple factories. I make changes to factories of mine in states where it is cheaper or there are less statutes and then sell "credits" to my more poisonous or difficult to fix factories in other places.

2) I build a factory and factor in the "upgrades" as part of the opening of the plant. So I can build a cheaper, more polluting factory and then get paid (by selling credits) to finish it off the way it should have been done before.

3) In the big picture, the credits can become the focus of business expansion and development and NOT sound, healthy clean air policies. Then it just becomes a misdirection. The reality is that this new business model is already upon us.

I am not against business at all. The reality, for me, is that we are still functioning with an archaic, 19th century business model. Since the advent of middle management not much has reallly changed in the way we do business in the world. We use different (sometimes in name only) management structures. It seems that "modern business" only means that we bring all of the conveniences of life to the office building in order to keep people at work. Well isn't that what they did in the 19th century in "company towns"?
I suggest that businesses DO need motivations for them to make environmentallly sound decisions. Right now companies look at environmental friendliness as a calculus. They buy credits, change a few diesel engines, and buy a small company for the rest of its credits in order to meet the standards. It is essentially a game of "jump through the hoop to meet the arbitrary standard" ...oh yeah, and try to profit from it if you can.
Instead they need to learn to see "efficiency of production", "energy efficiency", and long term health benefits in a holistic way. Companies who do this should be the recipients of enormous tax incentives and development loans from the government.

Consider the developments in Japanese companies. They have created a culture of competition in energy efficient technology.

Here is an interesting publication on business practice and energy efficiency outlooks in PDF format.
There is a list of intersting bullet point that, I think, support my argument that our businesses are outdated in their methods. Check the list of points on page two..such as:

There is no Government regulatory support to improve energy efficiency such as in Taiwan, Japan, Australia.

and

It was noted that there is little incentive to make changes (ie no government incentives).


It is worth it, I think, to at least take a look at the core of our business practices BEFORE we worry about possibly hurting them with tough environmental standards. Possibly a realignment on the part of large, old companies might serve a greater good.
Doclotus
Rather than a new topic, I thought I would provide an update from the Bush administration. Well, I think its the Bush administration. hmmm.gif Here's the deal.

On Wednesday the Secretaries of Energy and EPA along with Bush's national science advisor released a report to congress a report noting the following link
QUOTE
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Warmer temperatures in North America since 1950 were likely caused in part by human activities, the Bush administration said in a report that seems to contradict the White House position there was no clear scientific proof on the causes of global warming.

In a report sent to Congress this week, the administration noted a recent government-sponsored study supported the view of many scientists that human action from driving automobiles to running power plants helped cause global warming.

"North American temperature changes from 1950 to 1999 were unlikely to be due only to natural climate variations," the report said.

Warmer temperatures that occurred from 1900 to 1949 were "likely due" to natural causes, the report added.


The reason I question if this is the Bush Administration, is the following from the New York Times:link
QUOTE
On environmental issues, Mr. Bush appeared unfamiliar with an administration report delivered to Congress on Wednesday that indicated that emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases were the only likely explanation for global warming over the last three decades. Previously, Mr. Bush and other officials had emphasized uncertainties in understanding the causes and consequences of global warming.

The new report was signed by Mr. Bush's secretaries of energy and commerce and his science adviser. Asked why the administration had changed its position on what causes global warming, Mr. Bush replied, "Ah, we did? I don't think so."

Scott McClellan, Mr. Bush's press secretary, said later that the administration was not changing its position on global warming and that Mr. Bush continued to be guided by continuing research at the National Academy of Sciences.


Christine Whitman must be giggling incessantly at this point. The timing of it certainly is interesting with the convention coming up next week but I seriously doubt the environment will get much press at the RNC (not that the DNC exactly put it front page, either).

Doc
Cube Jockey
QUOTE
The new report was signed by Mr. Bush's secretaries of energy and commerce and his science adviser. Asked why the administration had changed its position on what causes global warming, Mr. Bush replied, "Ah, we did? I don't think so."

That is Classic Doc! laugh.gif

Well, to Bush's credit I don't think he has changed his position on what causes global warming. His policies will still continue to support large corporations at the expense of the environment no matter what information crosses his desk. I mean you can't even make up stuff this good. whistling.gif

I do think it adds and interesting element to this debate, given this new report I wonder how those that have taken the position that it isn't a big problem or it is being handled feel about it. Please do share flowers.gif
This is a simplified version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2014 Invision Power Services, Inc.