Climate Change: ‘Abrupt,’ ‘Unpredictable,’ ‘Irreversible’ and ‘Highly Damaging’

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Waves crash against the cliffs of Big Sur, Calif. A new report says erosion could cause coastal cliffs to retreat more than 100 feet by 2100. April 2005. (AP Photo/Anja Schlein, FILE)
(AP Photo/Anja Schlein)

In a rare move, the world’s largest scientific society released a report nudging the public to wake up to the scientifically sound and increasingly frightening reality of climate change.

“As scientists, it is not our role to tell people what they should do or must believe about the rising threat of climate change,” the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) wrote in the introduction to its new report, “What We Know.” “But we consider it to be our responsibility as professionals to ensure, to the best of our ability, that people understand what we know: human-caused climate change is happening, we face risks of abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes and responding now will lower the risk and cost of taking action.”

“They are very clearly saying that we as the scientific community are completely convinced, based upon the evidence, that climate change is happening and human-caused,” said Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, the director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. “The more people understand that the experts have reached this agreement, the more they in turn decide, ‘well, then I think it’s happening, and I think it’s human-caused, and I think it’s a serious problem, and in turn it increases people’s support for policy.”

The report noted that even though 97 percent of experts agree climate change is happening and we humans are causing it, Americans remain under the impression that the question is still unsettled. According to a 2013 report by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, 33 percent of Americans said they believed there was widespread disagreement among scientists and four percent said that “most scientists think global warming is not happening.” Only 42 percent of Americans knew that “most scientists think global warming is happening.”

These numbers suggest that disinformation circulated by the fossil fuel industry, utility companies and their political and media allies has successfully confused the public about the truth of global warming. Spreading the perception that scientists are still undecided is key to their strategy.

Leiserowitz likened it to the campaign waged for decades by tobacco companies. “This in fact was [Big Tobacco's] primary strategy — to sow doubt,” he said. “They literally wrote, ‘doubt is our product.’ As long as they could give people a false perception that the health community was still undecided about whether smoking caused human health problems, people would continue to smoke. They used that strategy very successfully to delay action on smoking for many years. And it’s been very well-documented that the groups that oppose climate action lifted chapter and verse the exact same strategy right out of the tobacco playbook.”

“That’s the backdrop to this particular statement — that is said very clearly by AAAS — and why it is so important.”

The evidence that human behavior — such as our economies’ reliance on fossil fuels — is causing our climate to change and putting our planet and society at increased risk is overwhelming, the report authors write. “[L]evels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are rising. Temperatures are going up. Springs are arriving earlier. Ice sheets are melting. Sea level is rising. The patterns of rainfall and drought are changing. Heat waves are getting worse as is extreme precipitation. The oceans are acidifying.”

Whether they link it to global warming or not, Americans already detect that something is changing. In 2013, the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication report found that 51 percent said weather in their local area had been worse over the past several years. That observation is in line with research. “These problems are very likely to become worse over the next 10 to 20 years and beyond,” the AAAS authors write. By becoming aware of the science behind global warming now, Americans will be better prepared to make “risk management” choices.

The AAAS says that “What We Know” will have an associated outreach campaign to scientists, economists, community leaders, policymakers and the public through media and meetings.

Read the report and learn more about it at whatweknow.aaas.org »

John Light blogs and works on multimedia projects for Moyers & Company. Before joining the Moyers team, he was a public radio producer. His work has been supported by grants from The Nation Institute Investigative Fund and the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards, among others. A New Jersey native, John studied history and film at Oberlin College and holds a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. Follow John on Twitter @lighttweeting.
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  • Anonymous

    Is anybody surprised that those who WORK FOR, and get their income from organizations that exist solely to flog the lame climate-change horse, are now sounding increasingly shrill and desperate?

    Considering their vaunted models have abjectly failed to predict ACTUAL climactic trends, despite a steady increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, it isn’t surprising how desperate they’re sounding.

    They sound just like the “young-earth creationists” — they tell a great story, and have a shallow, unsubstantiated answer for everything, but don’t really have ANY empirical science on their side.

  • Cameron Casinni

    I’m ready to live my life in the reality that I must change my ways to stop contributing to the problem. I would like very much to reduce as much as possible my money spent on fossil fuel products. While we’re at it, I’d like to stop being affected by stupid people.

  • Surge Smits

    But he’s a neocon. He’s obviously going to take the side of $$$ and corporations.
    He only sees the $$$ conspiracy about anything such as this. As if these scientists NEED all this “new” research $$. As if it was flowing like mad ever since a few hundred of them decided to conspire to start a climate scare.
    See, these are your basic neocons. Hundreds of worldwide scientists are involved in a plot. A ploy to get rich! Get it everyone!?

  • bb

    Good luck on that last one.

  • Joan Harris

    Growing up amidst oil refineries and steel mills, it is imbedded in my memories what it is like to live around absolute pollution when it was accepted as ‘normal’. With fracking and oil sand tars being pushed as a way of becoming independent of foreign oil, the oil industry is taking me back to when pollution was a by-product of making money. My home is heated and cooled with a geothermal system now. Our country seems to be afraid of taking a real plunge into renewable clean energy. The EPA under the Obama administration is passing strict laws enforcing The Clean Air Act. It is a start.

  • Anonymous

    Only people driven by an agenda first, and science second (if at all) conflate “pollution” and CO2 emissions. The EPA & the clean air act have, for the most part, accomplished what they were created to do. It’s time to move on.

  • Anonymous

    Lefties never seem to understand the motives or the goals of the right. That’s why they always make up nonsense like that which you’ve asserted. Studies have PROVEN this trait.

  • Anonymous

    Your type always, and rather predictably, fails to understand those who stand in opposition to your agenda. That’s a rather pathetic and pervasive weakness you have, even though it makes you feel smug, self-satisfied, and superior. Keep at it. It’s a win for me.

  • Anonymous

    only people ignoring the heat characteristics of CO2 could think doubling its concentration in the atmosphere is cost-free

  • Jack Wolf

    The people that haven’t figured out what’s going on are going to be really PO’ed when they realize they’re screwed. I

  • Ted Eischeid

    Sparafucile, other than using a lot of pretty words from a dictionary, your post really makes no sense. Keep digging…

  • Anonymous

    Well, then, you should have an proven-accurate model of how earth’s climate relates to atmospheric CO2 concentration. Can you point to one, or do you have one yourself?

  • Anonymous

    Oooh! Good one! Is that your next step up from “I know you are, but what am I?”

  • Anonymous

    Yea!! The last-chance desperate clasp of the global-warmists — “ocean acidification”!! Their doom & gloom prognostications of global warming failed to come to pass. And so did their prophecies of a new worldwide scourge of cat-5 hurricanes. Now this straw is all they have left. How to spin it…..I wonder……oh! the answer is above!….”mass marine extinction”!!

    Sure thing, Chicken Little. (Sorry to mix metaphors) Keep crying wolf. Nobody’s listening any more.

  • Jack Wolf

    The scientists scream for an 80% reduction immediately. Obama asks for 17% in his climate action plan. There seems to be a disconnect here. Combine that with Obama’s record on fossil fuels, and I think we’re sunk. He pushed fracking as clean (the process leaks methane, pollutes water, and causes earthquakes), opens the Arctic for drilling, pushes the notice that the BP spill is all cleaned up, and allowed fossil fuel production to reach record levels. On climate change and fossil fuels, his legacy will be mud.

  • Anonymous

    This sort of movement just dooms the poorest billion in the world to shorter unhealthy lives. While the alarmists shower in hot water and charge their ipads, the poorest burn wood and manure for cooking, warmth and light. They breathe the fumes and suffer for it. It would be the epitome of compassion, progress, and benevolence if currently available energy supplies were exploited and energy became cheaper and more accessible. Even some of your neighbors might truly be liberated from work. But, hey, you have yours and can afford to pay more. Everyone else can just fend for themselves.

  • Jack Wolf

    LOL.

  • Anonymous

    right, because the Righ Wing cares so deeply for the poor

  • Anonymous

    It’s downright fascinating how prevalent a refusal to embrace safe, modern nuclear power is amongst global warming adherents, too.

    Then again, they ARE the true anti-science crowd.

  • Anonymous

    Nuclear power is ludicrously expensive, and no, most people with brains think Nuclear is better than coal

  • Anonymous

    Tell us all about your advocacy for widespread safe, modern nuclear power. Oh … you forgot that part? You’d prefer a return to the stone age, then?

  • Anonymous

    You’re proving my point, about the Left being anti-science, anti-data. Nuclear costs apx $.003/kwh to construct and operate, when unburdened from lawsuit-associated risk & expenses. That is one of the few things that can actually be FIXED with government action.

    (Don’t believe me? Look up the construction & operating-life costs of the CANDU plants being built in Canada.)

    Funny thing is, that even with the comparatively high (compared to coal) costs in this current legal and permitting environment, you’re quick to disregard nuclear. Seems your panic over global warming just isn’t that great, is it?

  • Anonymous

    Sure, those “lawsuit related risk expenses” are people’s lives and safety, but who needs safety standards? Why don’t we give up any expectation whatsoever for quality of life. Great. That way we can be willfully ignorant in the short term which is totally worth impoverishing and endangering future generations.

    There’s a reason nothing you say makes sense. Because you don’t know what you’re talking about

    The safest way to take coal off the grid is with wind and natural gas. It’s not the lefty plan, it’s the actual plan. If you think all scientists are lefty, you don’t know many scientists. If you think Chemistry is Lefty, you’re probably a Tea nut. Get a clue, CO2 warms the atmosphere

    Sparafucile • a minute ago

    You’re proving my point, about the Left being anti-science, anti-data. Nuclear costs apx $.003/kwh to construct and operate, when unburdened from lawsuit-associated risk & expenses. That is one of the few things that can actually be FIXED with government action.

    (Don’t believe me? Look up the construction & operating-life costs of the CANDU plants being built in Canada.)

  • Joan Harris

    The EPA has my states rural electric company running scared appealing to customers to support coal power lest jobs in the coal industry will be lost. They are scaring consumers into believing our bills will increase by 80%. No more new coal plants being built. There is more going on than just a few regulations.

  • Anonymous

    No, those lawsuits are from NIMBYs, BANANAs, and eco-wacko-activists (Sierra Club types, adhering to SC’s charter, which opposed nuclear power because it might create “energy over-use”, and “excess economic activity”.)

    But I expect opposition to nuclear power from global warmists, especially ones like VWWV, who have promoted building “carbon-free energy plants”, as though those even exist (in a form that can scale to supply an entire grid’s baseline power).

    Unicorn power, indeed, is your plan.

  • Anonymous

    My understanding is that scientists are roughly divided on Nuclear power while pretty much entirely convinced that doubling CO2 is dangerous

  • Anonymous

    I’d love to see the predicted costs of plants “being built” actually play out accurately once they “are” built

  • Anonymous

    You mean the costs of your unicorn-power (solar and wind)? Or that of the Canadian plants? (pre, post, and during data is all available online)

  • Anonymous

    Again, learn to read. The cost of wind is roughly $70 mw/h installed. what’s your nuclear again?

  • Anonymous

    in the business we call it predicted cost, installed cost, and operating cost

  • Anonymous

    Read WHAT? And why? When your math skills are so poor that you can’t value the difference between your wind power costing (as you say) $.07/kwh, and nuclear costing $.003/kwh?

  • Anonymous

    I never proposed solar power for one. Read what I post, instead of responding to straw men that aren’t actually reading your ignorant posts.

    There are no operating nuclear plants with total annualized costs of $.003 kw/h, sorry. In the industry we rate plants in MW

  • Anonymous

    and no, no operating nuke plants cost $.003 kw/h annualized, sorry, that’s ridiculous

  • Anonymous

    And that’s only because you DIDN’T BOTHER TO LOOK UP THE CANADIAN COST DATA.

    Do some research, before you bleat about unicorn power.

    And you indeed DID propose both solar and wind, along with “carbon-free energy plants”, though not necessarily in THIS thread.

    Yet, you have no reply to my crushing your (unsubstantiated) wind cost data with substantiated & sourced nuclear cost data (I’ve described where you can find the data … if your math skills are at an eigth-grade level or better, you can figure out the 4-year operating cost, including amortized capital cost, from those data.)

  • Anonymous

    Why don’t you actually look up the data? It’s provided by tha Canadian government, which oversees the nation’s nuclear program.

    Oh, that’s right … the left IS THE ANTI-SCIENCE CROWD. Actual data is anathema to you.

  • Jack Wolf

    They always say that, and I no longer buy into it. There simply aren’t many jobs left anymore. Coal companies mechanized and the number of employees has dropped to a fraction of what it was. I remember the 1960s – there used to be lots of miners, but no more.
    And, if they switch to a naturally driven process, whether it is wind or solar, the inputs of energy are freely given by nature. Can you get coal for free? No. Right there that should tell you something. It’s all about gaining efficiency in the conversion and distribution end of things. To not use that free input is like walking by money laying on the ground. And other costs are much lower now that the industry is more mature.
    Plus he cost of using coal is staggering to society. And, don’t forget to add the cost of future climate change, cause that genie is already out of the bottle. It’s getting progressively worse and will continue to do so. At this point, scientists openly talk about human extinction. That should give you pause. Long pause.
    Good luck with that coal plant. The only good thing going for coal at this point is that its emissions include sulfur dioxide, a compound that reflects light and therefore helped keep the atmosphere cool.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t see where you post it. Repost it and I will interpret it for you. I also posted installed wind costs but spambot doesn’t like it. It’s as simple as a google search

  • Anonymous

    You offered a fully amortized cost for wind of $70/mwh (=$.07/kwh). That’s actually more expensive than the most expensive nuclear plant operating presently in the US, and more than 20x the fully-amortized cost from the new Canadian plants. I didn’t “post” the CANDU data, because it is an expansive set of data, not easily summarized. You can look it up, though (links won’t work on this system). WHY DON’T YOU????

  • moderator

    Sparafucile,

    If you cannot comment or be part of the community without constantly bullying people and attempting to start fights, you will be unable to contribute in the future. This is the last warning.

    Sean @ Moyers

  • Anonymous

    your cost quotation is ludicrous. It doesn’t even make sense. No operating nuke plant is getting $.003 kw/H. NONE

    You need me to repeat that for you?

    The installed capacity cost of nuclear power is NOT $.3 mw/h

    You can try quoting a realistic figure, but that’s silly

  • Anonymous

    Really….you can go look it up yourself. The Canadian government publishes the data online. Without looking up the data, you have nothing other than an opinion.

    Also: $.003/kwh is not $.3/mwh — it’s $3/mwh. And the units are not mw/h (megawatts per hour), they’re mwh (megawatt-hours).

  • Anonymous

    Wind doesn’t scale, is unreliable, and costs 20x the true cost of safe, modern nuclear. Also, interestingly, wind power has been responsible for more deaths than commercial nuclear.

  • Anonymous

    That’s not a climate model. It’s not even close to being one. Earth is a complex system with more perturbation than you can count, most of which are not well understood.

  • Anonymous

    Fukushima, and Chernoble are still dangerous places years after their initial melt down and they are still causing massive birth defects and other health issues.

  • Anonymous

    Neither, NEITHER, was a modern reactor. And one of them wasn’t even engineered for power generation in the first place.

    Your comparison is like comparing 1880s oil drilling in Pennsylvania with modern drilling.

  • Anonymous

    What to do with all the spent fuel rods? Yucca Mtn, where they were supposed to go is sitting above an aquifer. Not to mention it’s in an earthquake zone. Speaking of earthquakes, how about that diablo plant in CA, or the one sitting just outside of NYC. There are cancer clusters around the nuclear power plant in S central WA and that’s just the stuff I know about.

  • Anonymous

    what do you mean it doesn’t “scale”? There are wind fields running multiple gigawatts. The unit is called a turbine, and currently they’re rated for 3MW. Build as many of them as you want.

    As far as reliability, they’re quite reliable. I think what you mean to say is, they’re “intermittent”, which is true. So its a good thing we have other sources of energy to balance them. No one is proposing an all-wind grid.

  • Anonymous

    again, your cost figure for nuclear is preposterously bogus

  • Anonymous

    and furthermore, if nuke power was safe or cheap, I’d be all for it as a carbon-free source

  • Anonymous

    What about the spent fuel rods? Where to put them? Yucca Mtn is sitting above an aquifer and in an earthquake zone. The Diablo plant in CA and the nuclear facility outside of NYC are both in earthquake zones. There are cancer clusters and birth defects around nuclear power plants in St Louis and S central WA state.

    Moyers wouldn’t let me post backup arguments.

  • Anonymous

    You didn’t look it up, did you?

  • Anonymous

    I did actually. No mention of $3/MWH. I googled exactly what you posted

  • Anonymous

    ” in 1994 power from CANDU was predicted to be well under 5 cents/kWh.[62] In 1998, Ontario Hydro calculated that the cost of generation from CANDU was 7.7 cents/kWh”

    so…$50-$70/MwH, roughly the same as wind…

  • Anonymous

    I tried to find your “data”. All I found about those plants was saying 7.7 cents kw/h, which is $77/MWH

  • Anonymous

    That’s not for the rebuilds I was describing. That’s for (a single) original-design plant, and one that (20 years ago, the time frame from which your number comes) was unusually problematic.

  • Anonymous

    You are cherry-picking the wrong data.

    Look up “candu refurbishment cost” and do a careful analysis.

  • Anonymous

    It is safe. In fact, it is about the safest baseline power source there is — even safer than hydro, statistically.

  • Anonymous

    right, if you exclude all the catastrophic failures, totally

  • Anonymous

    a careful analysis? I just posted you the costs. Why on earth would I try to replicate your “analysis”? It’s bogus. No operational nuke plant is putting out $3 MwH energy. Your report doesn’t even count construction cost. Why would I dig through “data” that doesn’t even account for the cost of operationalizing the facility? It’s not relevant to the debate…

  • SavaShip

    You are right, Wind turbines have an incredibly high cost, low output and are prone to failure. Not to mention Windmills are a danger to many species of bird. An extremely rare White Throated Needletail in the UK was being observed and studied, onlookers watched the bird smash into the turbine. The bald eagle was taken off the endangered species list to protect wind farms as well. I read that over 130 bald eagles have died by wind turbine. Nuclear is a fantastic option assuming that protesters don’t keep Yucca mountain from opening so we can store our spent fuel rods safely. Alongside safer newer nuclear plants, printable low cost PV is where I would think the future lies. If each house contributes to the grid, it not only makes the grid stronger with fewer fail points, but also saves people money.

  • mountaingirl

    Paid trolls for the nuke industry are at it early, I see.

  • bergyman

    As one of the doubters, I just would like to say that it’s not the Koch Bros or the spin sites that make me disbelieve. My doubt comes from your confident arrogance that you are right. To me, saying you know without a shadow of a doubt that climate change is an irrefutable fact, is like following me around for an hour or two and telling me that I’m becoming a psychopath, a danger to society when I wasn’t before.

    We don’t really know if this is a natural shift that IS due to humans or this is just a shift that was going to happen, or even if this was a shift and humans are worsening it by say 10%. So when you guys say it’s a fact, you guys know you are taking evidence that has a huge amount of variables and extrapolating the resulting “climate change-we’re doomed unless we change our ways” conclusion, you’re gonna have doubters. Some doubters are sheep that may be reading the oil industry spinnings. But that’s not all of us. The fact that you guys don’t use the words “we believe this to be happening” or “all the evidence we have seems to support this theory” … we get “this is fact” which to me means you have a ulterior motive to make sure we all switch over to your side.

    I believe that we should be good managers of this world, not be wasteful, not create extra garbage for our air, our waters and our dumps. Having said that, I also believe we’ve played the chicken little card many times causing public fear unnecessarily. I’m just telling you from my side, the stronger you push the “Climate change is a fact… like gravity” we’re going to dig our heels in and fight it.

  • Edward Moriarty

    It would be insane to enter a conversation on Climate change and it’s effects on humanity and the planet, if you are involved in the discussion.
    if your goal is to stifle thoughtful conversation, congratulations, you are very successful at disrupting meaningful conversation and deflecting reality from discussion.

  • Edward Moriarty

    Just plain RUDE!

  • Dano2

    To me, saying you know without a shadow of a doubt that climate change is an irrefutable fact, is like following me around for an hour or two and telling me that I’m becoming a psychopath, a danger to society when I wasn’t before.

    Wow.

    It’s not like that at all, but if that’s what you need to get through the day, more power to you.

    It’s actually like following you around for an hour or two and pointing out you are stuck to earth by gravity. Physics works here on earth too. We are not exceptional in the multiverse.

    HTH

    Best,

    D

  • Dano2

    So you not only don’t understand science, but you are saying we are too stoopid to figger it out. What a ray of sunshine you are!!!!!!!!!!!!!11one!!

    Best,

    D

  • Anonymous

    yeah….I guess data just isn’t that important to you.

  • Anonymous

    Reprocess….something we’ve legislatively forbidden in the US, out of a misplaced fear of weapons proliferation.

  • bergyman

    Thank you for your kindness in your response. Sometimes these discussions on forums can be filled with personal attacks. My desire in this is not to attack but to provide the other side of the argument.

    Having said that, I hear what you’re saying but it doesn’t counter my concern. Gravity has been a constant in my life. You coming along for 2 hrs and reiterating it… no-one is going to dispute you. The “climate change” people are saying we’ve changed the climate by emitting record amounts of CO2/methane which have created a greenhouse effect. You’re not just stating a change in temperature or varying unprecedented climatological conditions (which would be an observable fact), but with all the possible variables and natural explanations possible, you guys have said “No question about it. It’s humans that are causing this.” You may be right. but to say “no question about it” is flawed. Of course there is a chance your conclusion is flawed. Of course there are probably countless other explanations as to whether this was going to happen whether man was here or not.

  • Td Jordan

    Take a statistics course and then explain how good your results are without a complete data set. You guys do not have a complete data set and so all you can measure is the data from the past couple hundred years with any accuracy. That’s like looking at 1 hour of stock market activity and making buy sell decisions on it. Crazy to think its anything other than an opinion and you know what they say about those…. Stay sane.
    Past couple

  • Wade

    Eh em….. Volcanoes produce more co2 than ALL of mankind….should we ask these mountains to please stop passing gas? Another point….aside from the volcanoes, China is the country that produces the most co2 and pollution. Do you think your biased and fact omitting words can persuade the Chinese to alter their ways?

  • Dano2

    This is basic physics. Physics works everywhere in the universe, including on earth.

    In the 1850s, man figured out there were greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In the 1890s a Nobel was awarded to the man who calculated what the new earth temperature would be after a doubling of CO2.

    So.

    but with all the possible variables and natural explanations possible, you guys have said “No question about it. It’s humans that are causing this.”

    Nope.

    The scientists have done the work that show the additional GHGs in the atmosphere are man-made (isotopes).

    They then quantified all the forcings that have increased the energy re-radiated to the earth’s surface and have said “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of observed warming since 1950″.

    They said “No question about it. It’s warming“. They did not say “No question about it. It’s humans that are causing this.”. That is: they did not say “No question about it. It’s humans that are causing this”, they said “No question about it. It’s warming“.

    So your assertion that they said “No question about it. It’s humans that are causing this.” is incorrect because what they said was “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of observed warming since 1950″. That is: they did not say “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of observed warming since 1950, no question about it.

    Plus, no one has done the work to show that all these increased forcings are natural. No one. No denialist, skeptic, septic, confusionist, PR firm employee has done any of their own work to support the wish that man is not the dominant cause of the warming and climate changes. None. No one. Zero people. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Null set.

    HTH.

    Best,

    D

  • Dano2

    False.

    And total emissions since the start of the industrial revolution by China are dwarfed by the west.

    Better informed commenters please!

    Best,

    D

  • Dano2

    So evolution and geology and anthropology and paleontology are opinion too. Brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11one!!

    Best,

    D

  • Anthony Endres

    Hmm. The point of no-return has long ago ben over-stepped, rest assured about that, be it via nuclear testings, using nukes twice on real-life population even, or the ever-on-going drone-bombing, nuclear and Industrial pollutions, drill and hydro-f*cking-it-up operations led by sheer bottomless Earth-shattering destructive growth,growth uber-alles greed led by the self-proclaiming greatest god-given US.

    Such endlessly dumb human Corporate greed is the assured sign that Homo Sapiens Sapiens is in deed a mentally ill specie. What, explains why we believe uniformly to be so “unique” , so god-like in our lack of reason and inability to work together for the survival of the whole specie. The human “race” is truly one imbecile specie, no?
    Am I seeing us idiotic humans too dark, too “negative” for the American sentiment, hmm?

  • bergyman

    My point is not that the temperatures measured or the GHG’s are not rising and that even the gases are human generated or even that the greenhouse gas concept isn’t valid. My point is that (see the article above from whence I quote) the climate change folks say “human-caused climate change is happening” which forces some us to label that statement as flawed. I’m just saying if you change your statements and use descriptors like “strong possibility” and “reasonably sure” some of us might acknowledge the likelihood. Any scientist realizes that the process of extrapolation (which is what climate change is all about) has flaws and can be less reliable than interpolation. Correlation does not always produce causation.

  • Anonymous

    Also what happens when we run out of uranium in 50 to 100 years? By then we will have run out of oil as well. Then what? I suspect we would have to move on to solar at that point, so why not bypass nuclear entirely and go to solar now?

  • Dano2

    the climate change folks say “human-caused climate change is happening” which forces some us to label that statement as flawed.

    If you need to deny objective reality and label that statement as flawed. (with no evidence available on earth to support the assertion) to get through the day, good for you! Go you!!!!!!

    I’m just saying if you change your statements and use descriptors like “strong possibility” and “reasonably sure” some of us might acknowledge the likelihood.

    I just showed you just above how there is no need to change the statements – because such statements are not made. No such statements were made. The statements with descriptors like “strong possibility” and “reasonably sure” are used today, were used yesterday, will be used tomorrow and have already been used, just like you wish. There is nothing to change, as what you wish is already happening and has been happening for longer than your lifetime. Yay! The conditions you require have already been met, decades ago!

    Unless, of course, you mean that you should change your erroneous statements falsely attributing things to scientists that they didn’t say.

    Come now.

    Best,

    D

  • Mr. Mirth

    To mitigate human caused global climate change, simply reduce the number of humans.
    We don’t have to do it all at once, just a few more every day.
    Think of all the additional parking spaces for the rest of us!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interglacial_period
    Every ice age ended with global warming and, there weren’t even any humans around.

  • Anonymous

    Know what might work better for you? Facts, instead of guessing.

    We *ALREADY* have enough fuel, in the form of already-mined uranium and reprocessable “waste” to power ALL of the US’s electricity needs for the next 700 years.

    But the real amplifier comes when we deploy breeding reactors, which will create fissionable fuel out of otherwise-discarded U-238 — something of which we have a practically inexhaustible supply.

  • Anonymous

    Modern reactors aren’t susceptible to meltdown. They require continual neutron activation to keep a reaction going. The reactors are incapable of reaching criticality.

  • Bruce de Graaf

    Td Jordan, the atmospheric data examined includes analysis of Antarctic ice cores that provide CO2 content going back goes back about 800,000 years to the dawn of human existence. Geological data provide climate data that goes even further back. I would recommend that you learn more via the following links:

    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/ice_core_co2.html

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/02/27/nasrs-report-on-climate-change-evidence-and-causes/

    http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    People could decide to smoke or not but many were addicted and couldn’t. One thing that makes carbon so evil is we are going after every pool and the dirtiest carbon of Tarsands that looked at comprehensively is so damaging it is a crime against humanity even before global warming is considered. When we see rare and aggressive cancers going from 10 percent to 30 and KeystoneXL and other pipes would lock us into decades of mad war on ourselves it becomes a huge net negative no matter how much short term money is made. Other negatives are so vast it is like the idea of cancer itself which is what the industry depends on the way they are going or going after growth at all costs. Most of the real costs are kept off their books and paid by the public.

  • Nicholas Stu

    Dont find that alarming in the least. Whats alarming is how many people you want to condemn to third world living conditions by supporting the economic restrictions promoted by climate alarmists. Why do you not want to lift millions out of deep poverty?

  • Nicholas Stu

    Ummmm…yes. They are opinions. Happens to be opinions you believe in… but opinions nonetheless. Before you call someone else “Brilliant” you should check the ole mirror first.

  • Anonymous

    So children breathing polluted air have no choice and most often can’t move from downstream cleaning or poor areas near refining.

  • Nicholas Stu

    Do you not find it equally amazing how so many on the left will blindly follow whatever nonsensical cause of the moment that is peddled to them?

    Climate science has been exposed as a sham to serve as a front for a pure power grab and wealth redistribution scheme.

  • Nicholas Stu

    This article you linked to is pure nonsense. From the beginning of time islands have shifted and changed shapes from the movement of the oceans. This is not climate change. Have you ever been to a barrier island? Same thing happens constantly. The ocean is powerful and easily reshapes land.

  • Nicholas Stu

    “The reckless use of fossil fuels”… be honest…do you use fossil fuels recklessly? Does Al Gore use fossil fuels recklessly? Does Obama use fossil fuels recklessly? Of course not. Only the evil conservatives are reckless. If this is truly a problem…why dont progressives lead by example? Why do their actions speak volumes as to their true beliefs…and their words ring hollow?

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  • Nicholas Stu

    Seriously???? You have a commenter who calls half of America xenophobic racists…proclaims them to be vile creatures…and espouses the belief that the world would be a better place with them gone…and Im the one committing a personal attack????

    Afe you completely blind to the absolute filth and hatred your leftist readers promote???

    Its disgusting. If this commenter would have said the same things about the Jews… or Blacks…or Gays… would you tolerate it? Of course not. But you are blind when it comes to well meaning conservatives. Simply disgusting!

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  • Joan Harris

    Sean, I have refrained from joining the general comments and instead I comment on the discussion portion because it has been more civil, exhilarating and enlightening. Your intervention is appreciated.

  • Dano2

    Me loves me some Internet Performance Art!

    Best,

    D

  • Dano2

    I hope your firm pays you by the word rather than by cogent argument, because you’ll be on food stamps soon if you get paid by cogent argument.

    Best,

    D

  • David Beveridge

    To which I would add: we only recently developed the massive computation power to accurately simulate planetary climate over significant time. We have used these models to predict the weather for YEARS on other planets in the solar system to check their accuracy, and they work exceptionally well.

    The only thing that makes terrestrial prediction anymore complicated are gauging changes in human behaviour, which is hardly changing.

  • David Beveridge

    I know it’s a bit off-topic, but I’ve always wondered if Ayn Rand was actually a Soviet plant–sent here to represent an insincere argumentum ad absurdum for to undermine capitalism (by nourishing an nonviable philosophical extreme for it).

  • David

    It is called Greenland because it used to be green when the Vikings lived there and if it turns green again it will be suitable for farming and livestock again.

  • AndyF

    Interesting quotes. However, in all fairness does the credibility of opinions expressed by various individuals 44 years ago really compare with the enormous weight of consensus that exists in relation to climate change now?

  • AndyF

    1. A lion in a cage might be described as unpredictable. I doubt you would argue it is therefore pointless taking measures to escape the cage. The unpredictably refers not to the question of existence, but rather to the intensity, frequency and velocity of change.

    2. You are right, the 97% refers to high level consensus. It’s comparable perhaps with the consensus around the conclusion smoking causes cancer. We don’t have a 100% solid experimental proof that smoking causes cancer. But we can safely infer the risk and evidence of probably causation is strong enough to take action. Whether everyone agrees as to exactly which compounds in cigarette smoke are the most dangerous or what the precise mechanisms are the most likely cause cellular mutation is largely irrelevant when it comes to deciding what top level action to take.

    3. This article is reasonably consistent with many of the concerns scientists have made through formal channels.

    4. World leaders make many decisions which are largely tactical. They deal in politics. Getting elected matters more than what will happen in 20, 40 or 100 years. If world leaders were truly acting in our best interests, there would be no wars, no cancer producing chemicals, no turning a blind eye to human suffering, the list goes on. I think you’re looking to the wrong place for validation that the problem is real or otherwise.

    5. Freedom and liberty to smokers who care not that the smoke they puff out causes cancer in people nearby? Is that your idea of freedom and liberty? Furthermore, it is well established that smoking causes disease that burden society with an enormous cost in terms of treatment and care. Smoking is not merely a personal choice, because it effects many other people directly and indirectly.

  • Dano2

    Hence the reason why we use a range of scenarios to test model runs.

    Best,

    D

  • Dano2

    This example is why we don’t allow logical fallacy to drive public policy, especially by people who don’t know the basic rules of rhetoric and literacy.

    Thanks for reminding us of how NOT to think and analyze and cite!!!!!!

    Best,

    D

  • Kyle

    Roughly 80% of people live within 64 miles of the coast. If Greenland melts you’re looking at roughly up to 20 feet of sea level rise.

    Oceans reshape the land because of changes in the climate…the rate of spreading of MORBs and the age of oceanic lithosphere.

    One is not independent of the other.

  • Dano2

    Greenland got its name because it was “Green” and life flourished in Medieval times, including grapes in England [10 points]

    https://www.facebook.com/ClimateDenialistTalkingPointGame

    Best,

    D

  • scotch

    Ive read so many comments here, eventually had to participate, couldn’t help but go on a bit, tried hard to keep it short.
    Some
    spat one off asked, “if its true, why our governments are not doing
    anything to stop this devastating climate change,” well they are. Just
    not the way you would think or want. We are overdue for a super-volcano
    or an asteroid or something monumental, something that takes a couple of
    hundred years to stabilize, so why worry about CO2. All that is
    important is that there is enough taxpayers money to invest in
    underground bunker development. (probably everyone has seen a video by
    now) The massive underground bunkers work like cities have
    interconnected railways and harbours. This will of course shelter the
    wealthy and/or most intelligent people on the planet,
    leaving the rest of us billions of workers to die off.
    Then a new world will be built.
    That
    is the only plausible argument i can think of as to why so many smart,
    powerful people just dont seem to care about creating a more sustainable
    society and infact just want to speed up the timetable. I watch TED
    talks and see some smart people passionate about doing good things
    because they can and realize the only opponent to a better more
    productive world is politicians.

    On science & environment I
    dont need the weatherman to know its cold outside, i dont need a
    scientist to tell me what my eyes can see. . .CO2 is not our only
    problem or our biggest!!! (anyone got a picture of the diagram showing
    the critical points of the bioshere & and how they are all under
    severe pressure)(pls insert)

    Our lifestyles/capitalism is killing
    us, from melting glaciers, to dying coral, depleting ozone, increased
    dead zones in the ocean, deep sea fishing as most of the fish are gone,
    deforestation, increased desertification, polluted rivers, over
    pesticide use-creating dead land for generations, space debris, plastic
    in the ocean-going in the food chain, and to top it all off there are
    now 3 mystery substances in the atmosphere that are going to be much
    more immediate and devastating than CO2. Look who quickly the world
    acted when CFC was a problem, and that problem was created with a tiny
    global popuation(even smaller the group using the gases) over a mere 50
    years. Why did we act so promptly? Maybe just how immediate that seemed,
    the devastation would occur before the technology advances and super
    comfy bunkers built.

    All this absolute madness going on to sustain
    a lifestyle that we generally dont enjoy, increased stress, rates of
    suicide, inequality, so we can go to jobs that dont fulfill us, and all
    the passionate people are discussing irrelevances in forums with
    troll/morons/stooges (unsure).

    Lastly the thing that annoys me
    most about peoples point of view against the science or scientists. That
    view of “They dont seem to agree, there is uncertainty, the phrases
    highly likely, extremely likely dont give us any certainty or policy .. .
    you know the words. Maybe its just the way i read between the lines but
    the one thing they ALL have in common is, yes they are unsure of the
    exact process of climate change the exact way the interconnected
    biosphere will react, but they do agree that its going to be bad for
    life on the planet and we sure better do what we can to help the
    equilibrium and do it pretty F##*n immediately!!
    Interestingly one
    of the top scientists arguing about mans affect on the planet 30 years
    ago, was interviewed recently in Britain. (seeming as a bad storm
    creates great political press to jump on the bandwagon of) Now that
    everyone seems to be agreeing with what he has been saying for years,
    what did he have to say? “everyone should stop worrying its too late,
    imagine the climate as a massive cargo ship once it gathers speed it
    takes a long time to slow down, never mind reverse.”!!

  • Tim

    Live evolves, live adapts, and humans are the most adaptable species the planet has ever seen.

    Nothing, short of an asteroid impact, is going to extinguish life on Earth — and even that’s not true! Stomping out life on Earth is perhaps the most difficult thing to do.

  • scotch

    climate change is a fact. The process has never stopped. The only thing that is disputable is HOW much humans have affected it and do we want to continue with our actions if they could be POSSIBLY detrimental.

  • Anonymous

    Are you implying that “discussions” must only occur in self-affirming echo chambers?

    That’s just SO lefty — no opposing analyses are permitted.

  • Anonymous

    That’s too bad, Joan — as you’ve proven to be a thoughtful and insightful commentor, disinclined to engage in question-begging, baiting, trolling, stalking, and absurdist hyperbole. We may disagree on substance, but you have one of those heads that doesn’t spin off when you learn you aren’t commenting in an echo chamber.

  • Anonymous

    Then you should be champing at the bit for widespread nuclear power deployment, if you genuinely believe your hyperbole to be the global reality.

  • Anonymous

    The anti-science left also rejects the myriad benefits of nuclear power. Most-interestingly, they do so, wallowing in a pool of willful ignorance, complaining about non-issues (like safety of modern designs, cost w/o eco-wacko lawsuits, and waste).

  • Anonymous

    And Antarctica is gaining ice. So? Climate changes. But, thus far, no IPCC (or anybody else’s) model has been able to correctly approximate how, why, or how much.

  • Anonymous

    Please research the difference between “fact”, “theory”, and “hypothesis”.

    To long-accepted scientific standards, AGW hasn’t even graduated beyond “hypothesis”.

    But, instead, if you are saying “climate change is a fact” in sole reference to climate history, then you are indisputably correct. Climate has changed: fact. Climate will change (hard to dispute, but correctly-termed “fact”.)

  • Anonymous

    Did you bother to note that that relationship between CO2 and Earth’s global climate remains, to this date, unproven? It wasn’t proven (with accurate models & predictions) in 1890, nor in 2009.

  • Anonymous

    “The only thing that makes terrestrial prediction anymore complicated are gauging changes in human behaviour, which is hardly changing.”

    WHAT???

    We can no better predict the weather three weeks out than we can climate (due to unknown feedbacks and complexities). Man’s behaviour has little bearing on either.

  • Anonymous

    Yet, despite all those simulations, none has agreed with empirical reality in any predictive sense. Backtesting doesn’t count.

  • Anonymous

    Sean *is* a careful moderator, but he does have an inescapable bias. Thankfully, his bias is not as obnoxious as others’.

  • Anonymous

    Which modern reactor has experienced a catastrophic failure?
    (Yes, that’s a rhetorical question … there aren’t any. Ask the French.)

  • Anonymous

    This coming from the expert who didn’t know the difference between MWh and MW/h ?

    The US needs 600+ GW of BASELINE generation capacity — and that doesn’t include expansion for electric cars and local hydrogen electrolysis. That can be accomplished (using your number of 3MW) with 800,000 wind turbines, plus 3.2 million acres (5000 square miles) of land, and untold costs for a grid rebuild.

  • Anonymous

    You’re operating under the flawed assumption that fact needs consensus support to remain fact. The personal attacks on me have been coming fast and furious, yet NOBODY has been able to point to a single global climate model that has been demonstrated to be accurately predictive.

    Accurate, predictive models are the essential hallmark, the sine qua non, of good science. Without them you have mere hypotheses. And in this crowd of Leftists, you have an agenda lacking in evidentiary support. That tends to make adherents rather angry and mean.

  • David Beveridge

    Weather and Climate are two separate but related things.

    Just like it is difficult to predict the actions of one creature, but easier to predict the herd: it’s nearly impossible to say where a particular butterfly will land in a tree on a particular day–but we can know and understand and predict the species migratory habits quite well.

  • Td Jordan

    What was the temperature back then?. Isnt that the correlation they are trying to make?. Oh. No data on that…. guess what; OJ was found innocent too. Extrapolated models and give results you expect. I beg to differ.

  • Anonymous

    Sean- your diligence and fairness is lacking, as it seems Dano2 is free to troll, stalk, and lob off-topic personal attacks with impunity, while offering nothing related to the actual conversation at-hand.

  • Anonymous

    You offer a great analogy. But you missed my point. My point is not that we can’t do one, because we can’t do the other. Mine was that we can’t do one, and in a SIMILAR FASHION we can’t do the other.

    The reason we cannot predict the weather three weeks out is because the complexity of perturbations is both too difficult to measure (a data collection problem) and too complex to analyze (a modeling & computation problem). The reason we can’t (yet) predict climate trends thirteen years out, globally or regionally, is that we don’t understand the feedback mechanisms well enough to create a working model. (Previous attempts, despite being backtested, and presented as definitive, have proven themselves incorrect on both regional and global scales.)

  • Anonymous

    Keep in mind, that “97%” is not a count of scientists … it is a count of PAPERS. From a data set of papers, 97% of them contained some acknowledgment that man has an effect on climate. I’m actually surprised it isn’t 100%! Nobody I can imagine doubts that urban heat islands or regional deforestations represent significant climate perturbations.

    But those who tout the “97%” figure to support their AGW conclisions (and consequently, their policy prescriptions), are engaging in nothing less than FRAUD to promote an agenda.

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  • Bruce de Graaf

    T Jordan, you sound like a Paleoclimatology denier as well as a Climate Change denier. I suggest that you do some research and get an education in the sciences. In the meantime, I doubt that anything anyone would tell you would change your mind.

  • Anonymous

    I’m saddened you count your “community” to include person(s), who troll about, with impunity, assigning “climate denialist” points to others’ comments…..

  • moderator

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  • Anonymous

    Your strategy is so obvious. If it weren’t so dangerous we’d all be laughing . Attacking the person rather than the opinion is as old as the hills. Perhaps it would be better for your arguments if you talked first to the 3% scientists who do not agree with the 97% and find out what their position is built on.

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  • Jane Peters

    We need more solar and wind power world wide.

  • CEvonK

    LOL. You both obviously never read the Sagas. The name Greenland was a marketing gimmick. It was a trick to get people to come there to live.

    It was about the same as it is today, in terms of habitable area, but it was slightly (maybe 2F) warmer there for a few hundred years during the MCA. When the temperature changed back to what it had been, things fell apart for the society.

    We are looking at a much larger temperature change globally in the next century. Expect the effect to be as dramatic for our society as it was for Greenland society.

  • CEvonK

    Before humans were around, there were forest fires, but that doesn’t mean humans cannot be the cause of forest fires today.

    Before humans were around, there were earthquakes, but we know that human activity (fracking) can cause earthquakes.

  • CEvonK

    Your information is inaccurate. Human activity produces about 52X more CO2 than ALL geologic processes combined, not just volcanoes.

    Of course I’d be glad to look at any data you have to back your claim (but unfortunately, you cannot produce any such data, as there is none.)

  • Fran Grimmer

    I wish that global warming is not mentioned when talking about climate change. It is not the same thing. Climate change is a cycle that comes around once every hundred years or so, caused by natural events or humanity. People have caused it this time with their lack of respect for the planet. And yes Jane we need more solar & wind power. I always thought the earth tilted a bit and the scientists where not saying anything!

  • Susan Brewer

    7.2 billion people on the planet, many of whom are busy overlooking the fact that their presence has got to have an impact (7,221,313,703 – but a new one is added every second or so) upon the globe’s well-being, or sustainability. In fact, our survival depends upon it. Think about how much effort is involved in keeping a house or car clean, or clothes for that matter, and we feel challenged to think the planet is any different! So the planet should require no care – though it provides the very air we breath, the water we drink, the food we consume? Well, that is just not true! All resources we use are finite: they and we won’t last much longer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.sweeney.108 Jon Sweeney

    I kep forgetting why they don’t use global warming anymore? Oh that’s right, it stopped.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.sweeney.108 Jon Sweeney

    C02 is plant food…

  • Pappy Baitsmacker

    Note to liberals. Next time you people come up with a fake crisis, remember to give it a name that gives you some credibility. You really screwed up when you named it “global cooling” in the 70s and then again a couple of years ago when you claimed “global warming.” Keep at it ….you’ll get it right someday.

  • Anonymous

    Well– yes, when you consider that it was the “consensus” a half-century ago being cited. Once bitten, twice shy?

  • Anonymous

    The Medieval Warm Period, which was obviously caused by all the pollution from heavy industry and automobile exhaust emissions. Followed by the Little Ice Age, which was caused by heavy industry and auto exhaust emissions.

  • Anonymous

    “…[B]ut we know that human activity (fracking) can cause earthquakes.”
    I call BS.
    Show reliable studies, and not some tweet from Pelosi’s daughter, either.

  • Anonymous

    Much of this is coming true in places where we don’t live. Starvation in India – unknown for decades – is back, communities in low lying areas are being swamped from rising seas, furious and deadly storms of unprecedented magnitude are hitting Europe, China DOES have to wear masks – we in the U.S are getting off lightly for the moment. That it isn’t happening to us doesn’t mean it’s not happening at all. Katrina, Sandy, drought that is terrifying farmers – it’s beginning to have a serious impact on this nation as well. Pretending it doesn’t matter if you are not – for the moment – personally affected does not mean it’s not happening at all.

  • Jane Peters

    The planet is heating up. We’re setting records every year. Too much carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere along with deforestation. Lying from the oil, coal and gas industry won’t make it go away. Oh and for the record, 97% percent of scientists thinks it’s real and man made.

  • Philip Pease

    Should we believe scientists? Like the article states the climate scientist are overwhelming in their conclusion that fossil fuel use is causing our planet to get warmer. Scientists do not just think that something may be true; but take measurements (observations) and gather data to confirm or deny what they think might be happening before they conclude what is actually happening.

    Scientific experiments demonstrated that certain gasses absorbed heat (Carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor and others) and were given the label of greenhouse gasses for that reason. Measurement have shown that the concentration of these greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere have risen to levels significantly greater than historic values and continue to rise. Certainly that fact makes sense since we continue to burn fossil fuels at an enormous rate.

    When scientists found that air temperature measurements were not increasing as fast as would be predicted by the rate of greenhouse gases increase they discovered the reason was that most of the heat increase was being absorbed in the oceans. When their understanding was called into question by measurements they looked into what is actually going on to understand why predictions were not accurate. In this case air temperatures were not rising as fast as predicted because most of the heat was being stored in the oceans.

    Why do we fail to accept what climate scientists are telling us? I think it is that the general population does not understand the scientific process that says theories about what is happening are questionable and those questions are answered by careful measurement to identify the true nature of reality.

    When 97% of all scientific investigations confirm that greenhouse gasses are causing our world to get warmer then scientists become convinced that humanity’s use of fossil fuels are heating our planet and as a result changing our climate.

    The research now is focused on the effects of climate change. So far the effects are happening faster than scientists have predicted. Scientists as a group are very conservative as they do not like to be ridiculed for predicting something and then proven wrong. This is why the predictions made a few years ago have underestimated the rate at which the effects of climate change is happening.

    Not only should we believe what climate scientists are telling us, we should anticipate that the dire effects they are predicting may happen earlier than expected.

  • Anonymous

    For a deeper exploration of the neoliberal playbook on sowing doubt and mistrust in our once-proud democracy, see Philip Miroswski’s book Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste.

  • Anonymous

    The earth spent 600 million years sequestering carbon so humans could evolve. We burned it all in about 100 years. So much for this experiment in life.

  • Eric Hongisto

    Troll away. And on a bill moyers blog post? Desperate.

  • Anonymous

    “grid rebuild”? Hydrogen electrolysis? I’m glad you’re capable of dividing, and that you realize they’re big numbers, but they’re numbers the market will bear. Millions of acres are already strip mined, how do you feel about that?

    “grid rebuilds” don’t cost “untold” amounts, they cost specific amounts, but since you’re terribly convinced that we need one, why don’t you go ahead and tell us why renewables force us to rebuild? Don’t you mean upgrade?

  • Anonymous

    rather than demanding I go through a bunch of information you googled and calculated, why don’t you find some clearer data on costs of nuclear deployment? You already quoted a preposterously cheap price that isn’t born out in the literature you cite, why don’t you just get some more reliable information to start out with?

  • Robert

    What’s the difference, what future other than an Orwellian police state does the World have?

  • Michael Lucas Monterey

    All the arguing and talking about solutions is pretty irrelevant now. The effects of our mass-insanity and stupidity will keep mounting. There’s a 40 year lag between the causes and their globally manifested effects. Over 70% of humans live in coastal disaster zones. The dominant Consumer Society is doomed by its own irresponsible actions that keep aggravating the problem, causing ever escalating climate change at an ever-accelerating rate. Guy McPherson thinks we’ll all See the end happening by 2030 CE. I tend to agree. Who’s preparing us or building the Arks and sanctuaries? Did I miss something or is nobody, no organization, no government engaged in realistic preparations? The English transformed their national industrial technology from an 18th century infrastructure to 20th century industry in one year, while the Nazis were bombing them every night. we have almost 16 years to create an alternative to extinction or worse HELL on Earth. Who is even thinking about the possibility, other than me and a few other Visionary designers? I hope you’ll correct me – if I am mistaken.

  • Anonymous

    Elizabeth – yes, it IS testable, has been tested any number of ways, and always comes up the same – humans are responsible for all of the warming we now see, and in fact may be responsible for as much as 120% – yes, that’s right, more than 100% – of the warming that has occurred in the last 150 years. (According to NASA, were it not for human-sourced emissions, the globe would be slowly cooling at about 1/5th the rate we see in the other direction – hence, 120%.) Once the basic physics is settled – and it has been for well over a century (CO2 traps heat; burning of fossil fuel generates gobs of previously sequestered CO2) – It’s easy enough to determine how much of the CO2 in the atmosphere is human caused using isotopic analysis (CO2 from fossil fuel burning is a very different and easily identifiable isotope than that of CO2 emitted by natural surface processes such as exhalation and organic decomposition).

    I do agree, however, that overpopulation is a serious problem, and that many experienced scientific observers concur.

  • Anonymous

    Plants on earth today cannot possibly absorb all the CO2 we pump out. We care pumping out the equivalent CO2 of a hundred million years’ worth of plant AND animal growth in just a century or two – do you expect to see a million times more vegetation on the planet in the next century?

    Before the present crisis, we had a nice balance in the O2 – CO2 cycle on earth. The values fluctuated slowly and all animals had plenty of vegetation to eat, and the vegetation had just the right amount of CO2 to reproduce for continued dynamic equilibrium on Earth, and Earth with a good temperature and well-established climatic cycles along with which the current batch of animals and plants (humans included) evolved and grew accustomed.

    We have changed all that.

  • William Leslie

    Thanks for this link, bpn. Best article I’ve read on the history of climate change science.

    As for trolls like Baitsmacker, I’m reminded of what JFK said about the generals who were pushing for war with the Soviets during the Cuban Missle Crisis, “They won’t be around to say ‘Oops, guess we were wrong!’. Watch the film “13 Days” to see it depicted.

  • Anonymous

    Whew – thanks, William – I was starting to think I was all alone out here :-) Thanks for the “13 Days” reference!

  • Raymond DeBrane

    Somebody I know told me that the military has D.U.M.B’s. deep underground military bases. We all ain’t gonna fit down in those bases. A small fraction of necessary technical personnel and human breeding stock will get to go into them. I suspect that the billionaires won’t even be invited, even though they may be promised a spot, a pretext I think, to get money out of them to build the bases, along with our taxpayer money.