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We have 10 years to save the Planet from Global Warming?

Ted Balaker and Sam Staley, coauthors of “The Road More Traveled: Why the Congestion Crisis Matters More Than You Think, and What We Can Do About It”, have written what will be a very controversial piece in the Washington Post. The long and short of it, is the premise that increased wealth is the reason for increased individual automobile driving and that there are many myths about suburbanization and the automobiles relation to Global Warming. The five myths are discussed at the end of the post.

Today is a particularly good day to discuss this as the American automobile is now “Public Enemy Number One” to the newly formed “Global Warming Coalition against the Automobile”. Can you stop Global Warming by walking? We will see.

“Global Cool” launched in London and LA today is a brand new worldwide movement of celebrities, musicians, politicians and business leaders who will use their vast scientific knowledge to tell you how to live. Energy conversation is a magnificent idea and is something I do personally and believe in but you know the material has hit the fan when the rock stars and actors form another “We are the World” group of human micromanagement.

The idea that the planet has only ten years to stop Global Warming is being repeated so often that it is approaching the critical mass of universal acceptance. Never mind that no scientific proof exist to prove this. Also never mind that the people who will preach from the high alter of Global Warming understand nothing about science. Again we will suffer through another assault of “Social Democracy” and junk science. Yes the planet is warming. But is it the sun or humans that are causing Global Warming? Only actors and musicians Josh Hartnett, Leonardo Di Caprio, Orlando Bloom, KT Tunstall, Pink, The Killers, and Razorlight know the truth. And they will tell you how to live.

How long will it take for “Global Cool” to reveal its real agenda?

The Washington Post article by Ted Balaker and Sam Staley discusses 5 Myths About Suburbia and Our Car-Happy Culture:

1.Americans are addicted to driving.

Some claim that Europeans have developed an enlightened alternative. Americans return from London and Paris and tell their friends that everyone gets around by transit. But tourists tend to confine themselves to the central cities. Europeans may enjoy top-notch transit and endure gasoline that costs $5 per gallon, but in fact they don’t drive much less than we do. In the United States, automobiles account for about 88 percent of travel. In Europe, the figure is about 78 percent. And Europeans are gaining on us.

2.Public transit can reduce traffic congestion.

Like auto use, suburbanization is driven by wealth. Workers once left the fields to find better lives in the cities. Today more and more have decided that they can do so in the suburbs. Indeed, commuters are now increasingly likely to travel from one suburb to another or embark upon “reverse” commutes (from the city to the suburbs). Also, most American commuters (52 percent) do not go directly to and from work but stop along the way to pick up kids, drop off dry cleaning, buy a latte or complete some other errand.

3.We can cut air pollution only if we stop driving.

Air quality has been improving for a long time. More stringent regulations and better technology have allowed us to achieve what was previously unthinkable: driving more and getting cleaner. Since 1970, driving — total vehicle miles traveled — has increased 155 percent, and yet the EPA reports a dramatic decrease in every major pollutant it measures. Although driving is increasing by 1 to 3 percent each year, average vehicle emissions are dropping about 10 percent annually. Pollution will wane even more as motorists continue to replace older, dirtier cars with newer, cleaner models.

4.We’re paving over America.

How much of the United States is developed? Twenty-five percent? Fifty? Seventy-five? How about 5.4 percent? That’s the Census Bureau’s figure. And even much of that is not exactly crowded: The bureau says that an area is “developed” when it has 30 or more people per square mile.

But most people do live in developed areas, so it’s easy to get the impression that humans have trampled nature. One need only take a cross-country flight and look down, however, to realize that our nation is mostly open space. And there are signs that Mother Nature is gaining ground. After furious tree chopping during America’s early years, forests have made a comeback. The U.S. Forest Service notes that the “total area of forests has been fairly stable since about 1920.” Agricultural innovations have a lot to do with this. Farmers can raise more on less land.

5.We can’t deal with global warming unless we stop driving.

What should be done about global warming? The Kyoto Protocol seeks to get the world to agree to burn less fossil fuel and emit less carbon dioxide, and much of that involves driving less. But even disregarding the treaty’s economic costs, Kyoto’s environmental impact would be slight. Tom M.L. Wigley, chief scientist at the U.S. Center for Atmospheric Research, calculates that even if every nation met its obligation to reduce greenhouse gas, the Earth would be only .07 degrees centigrade cooler by 2050.

62 Responses to “We have 10 years to save the Planet from Global Warming?”

  1. Captain Holly Says:

    I’m not a big fan of keeping a dead thread going, but Sebastian’s slavish devotion to Mann’s Hockey Stick needs to be addressed. Quoth he:

    The hockey stick has not been debunked at all.

    Uh, yes, it has. And so he doesn’t accuse me of recycling Rush Limbaugh, here’s the exact quote from last year’s National Research Council’s executive summary of global warming research:

    Based on the analyses presented in the original papers by Mann et al. and this newer supporting evidence, the committee finds it plausible that the Northern Hemisphere was warmer during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period over the preceding millennium. The substantial uncertainties currently present in the quantitative assessment of large-scale surface temperature changes prior to about A.D. 1600 lower our confidence in this conclusion compared to the high level of confidence we place in the Little Ice Age cooling and 20th century warming. Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that “the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium” [ie, the Hockey Stick — CH] because the uncertainties inherent in temperature reconstructions for individual years and decades are larger than those for longer time periods and because not all of the available proxies record temperature information on such short time scales.

    (Page 4, emphasis added)

    In other words, the NRC panel of scientists looked at Mann’s data, said “Yeah, that could happen”, and then said in polite scientific language that he’s full of crap.

    Everyone should go and read the whole thing. The report is alot less apocalyptic and alot more uncertain about the reality and effects of Global Warming. Quite an eye-opening experience.

  2. Sebastian-PGP Says:

    Nice selective emphasis.

    Let’s look at the parts Holly hopes you’ll ignore.

    Based on the analyses presented in the original papers by Mann et al. and this newer supporting evidence, the committee finds it plausible that the Northern Hemisphere was warmer during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period over the preceding millennium

    Actually sweetcheeks, that’s the Hockey Stick. Nice try though.

    You need to go here http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=11 , as I suggested earlier, and read number three and four on their mythbusting list.

    Essentially, multiple independent studies have confirmed that it is indeed true that the last few decades of the 20th C were the warmest on record for the last millenium. They’re kind enough to provide the links if you care to read them (which I rather doubt, since it doesn’t support your foregone conclusion that AGW can’t possibly be happening). The Hockey Stick is, in point of fact, largely correct.

    Same question to you: you AGW deniers all agree that volcanoes warm the earth…if they’re warming the earth, how is it that the 150 times more CO2 we’re adding isn’t?

    Until you can answer that question, you’re just spittin in the wind.

  3. Sebastian-PGP Says:

    You can also go here: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/312/5782/1854?rss=1

    Sayeth the NRC:

    The last decades of the 20th century were most likely warmer than any comparable period in the past 1000 years, a National Research Council panel announced at a press briefing here last week

    I have read their findings, and their conclusion clearly was that the Mann team’s conclusion that warming in the last few decades of the 20th century was unprecedented over the last thousand years was sound.

  4. Phil Says:

    Are you still here blowing hot air, Sebastian? I’m going to stop being gentle here, because you obviously need to get a life. I’ll deal with the inaccuracies in your previous comment in a moment, but first I’d like to tell you why you and your “scientific consensus” are wrong.

    We’ll start with the glacial ice caps: They are thickening in the Antarctic. Earlier in this century it was reported that they were melting. Now the data say that they weren’t melting at the rate previously thought then and that they are currently actually getting larger. Why is this? Why is it that the ice caps in the southern hemisphere, the area which was getting warmer throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries, are now showing signs of growing?

    Is the whole world getting warmer, hence the phrase “Global Warming”, or is it just certain spots? I mean, the ice sheets on Greenland are melting. They aren’t melting anywhere near as fast as your “scientific consensus” cohorts previously claimed, but they are melting. Why is it such a worry that Greenland (which was named Greenland when it was first discovered hundreds of years ago because it was not covered with ice then) has melting ice? If history has shown that this particular patch of land fluctuates between frozen and unfrozen, why should we suppose that it is our fault? Also, since the melting has slowed down, why isn’t anyone trying to figure out where it will eventually stop?

    You can’t answer those questions. In fact, none of your “scientific consensus” cohorts call tell anyone why this is happening. The best answer they have is “The Antarctic is an anomaly, but trust us, everything else is melting and were all going to die!” End of story. Period. It might be what you call a “consensus”, but it is by no means “scientific”.

    Only reasonable scientists, some who agree with your cult’s theories, and some who do not, give us an honest answer: That the earth has its own cycle of warming and cooling and that they have no means of predicting these at this time.

    Which leads me to re-ask the question in my second comment which you avoided: In 1976 the “scientific consensus” was that they didn’t have the means of determining climate change. What happened in the approximately decade and a half between 1976 and 1990, when the “scientific consensus” suddenly decided that they DID have the ability to do so?

    Sure, computer technology advanced, but universities in 1976 had machines that could run climate models, otherwise the people who wrote about the “impending ice age” theory wouldn’t have had the ability to forecast what they did.

    What actually happened was the money for predicting catastrophic climate changes multiplied thousand-fold. When people heard “impending ice age” it scared the pants right off the people holding the purse strings.

    So now we have all of these scientists, getting money by the truckload to forecast doom and gloom. If their data started to project a reverse in warming or a flat line in global temperature, do you think they’d report that? Of course they wouldn’t. They would just take it as insufficient data because to admit that would mean an end to their precious money supply.

    Anyone can lie with statistics. And just as the great leftist conspiracy theory with voting machines goes, anyone can make any program spit out any answer they want it to. Excepting “anomalies” and the constantly changing numbers in incoming research data skews final program output. Oddly enough, I think that the preceding paragraphs have examples of both of those. Imagine that, money talks and the world keeps changing without our help.

    Are we adding GHG to the atmosphere? Surely. Enough to create a change in our environment on a global scale? Nope.

    More proof is that the Global Warming Death Cult’s Messiah, Al Gore, doesn’t even take his own information seriously enough to change his lifestyle, yet he wants me to do so. The people who belong to NGO’s that profess the urgent need to make changes to “Combat Global Warming” are no better. All burning fossil fuels while demanding everyone else stop, excepting two of the largest contributors of GHG from their world-wide treaty, and just generally filling up what ever space they can find with hot air from their blathering; all the while making unreasonable demands on other folks.

    What I find most hilarious from your last comment is that you think you can compare “Global Warming Science” to evolution. Evolution is a Theory (notice the upper case ‘T’ right there), which has been tested and proven to be true. We can replicate it in a lab in under an hour on the micro-scale. The only debate is between scientists and people who want to confuse their religious beliefs and factual, proven scientific fact.

    “Global Warming Science”, on the other hand is all theory (notice the lower case ‘t’ there) whose only basis in science are the numbers that are thrown at it. Everything else is guesswork and interpretation. I’ll even give you that it is an “educated guess”, but it is no more than a guess.

    “GWS” has no baseline to work from. “GWS” has no way of replicating the planet’s systems on any kind of scale. You still can’t tell me where the tens of thousands of years of crap that gets put up into the atmosphere goes or what happens to it all. For all you know, the planet needs these things, which is why it puts it all up there in the first place.

    “We think”, “Our studies show”, “This model contends that” are the basic statements in GW theory. However, when you factor in the anomalies, all of that gets tossed out the window and were back down to “The earth’s cycles fluctuate between warmer periods and cooler periods” again.

    Since GW theory is hotly contested, with equally qualified scientists on both sides of the debate, you will need to know the total number of persons on either side of the debate to be able to claim “consensus”. Likewise, to be able to say that the majority of data/papers/theses on GW theory are on your side, you have to add them all up and divide them between the sides. Without doing so, you are making false claims.

    I think it would be fairly safe to say that you have read very few papers on GW theory that you disagree with. You instead make due with listening to what others have told you. Don’t be a fool, do your research before believing in what others claim.

    “NOT A SINGLE piece of peer reviewed work has been published that refutes or disputes the basic premise of AGW theory.”

    Oh really? Since when? 1998? 1995? 1988? Ever? And is your “basic premise” the same as mine? Is it even the same as Al Gores?

    Btw, how many pieces of pro-GW theory work have been peer reviewed and then tossed as BS? If you cannot answer this, then all you have is a group of over-financed researchers that were assembled post-global warming scare who claim that they are “The Consensus”

    Hell, mainstream astronomy groups are still having a difficult time deciding whether or not Pluto is still a planet. We can see it. We know it is there. It was classified as a planet for a very long time. But some anti-Planet Pluto dunderheads got into the leadership positions and have declared it “less-than-planetary”. There still isn’t a consensus. And when these guys leave their positions, Pluto may well be re-labeled a planet again.

    As for your volcano links, the first one only contains the abstract and studies the taking away the effects of volcanic effects from models because they cause anomalies. Mostly because they cannot be reproduced in model simulations due to their different warming rates on different layers of the atmosphere as a whole.

    The second on focuses on large scale eruptions and their effect on regional climate change (like how the year after the Mt. St. Helens eruption it to snowed in Montana on the 4th of July).

    Your third one is where the numbers are actually told. Your cut/paste work is to be commended, but again, you didn’t read my statement all the way through. You mention only the CO2 numbers, but what about the other GHGs included in the report?

    Hydrogen Sulfide, Hydrogen Chloride, Hydrogen Flouride, Hydrocloric acid vapor and the worst of the bunch, Sulfur Dioxide aren’t even measured. Also, where are the water vapor numbers caused by underwater volcanoes?

    “Measurements from recent eruptions such as Mount St. Helens, Washington (1980), El Chichon, Mexico (1982), and Mount Pinatubo, Philippines (1991), clearly show the importance of sulfur aerosols in modifying climate, warming the stratosphere, and cooling the troposphere.”

    And exactly where and how do humans produce these in significant number? I know we make them somehow, somewhere; but how much? How strange that you can’t find a study that will fulfill those requirements.

    Same question to you: you AGW deniers all agree that volcanoes warm the earth…if they’re warming the earth, how is it that the 150 times more CO2 we’re adding isn’t?

    Until you can answer that question, you’re just spittin in the wind.

    Because CO2 isn’t the most harmful of the GHGs, Sebastian. You’ve said that yourself. It’s on the list, but how much CO2 equals a ton of the most harmful GHG?

    So, to summarize: Sebastian and a bunch of researchers who do not have a baseline to work from, cannot replicate their work in a lab, and have to use computer models that refuse to factor in anomalies, whose entire ability to feed, cloth and house themselves, as well as maintain their pseudo celeb status relies on their ability to forecast doom and gloom to their waiting Death Cult with a messiah who, like the researchers and their NGO’s, is refusing to modify their behavior or make demands on non-1st world countries, even though said countries are currently in the Top 5 polluters (and poised to take over the top two spots)…

    Versus

    Hundreds of millions of years of history, which we can read, of the earth cleaning up after itself, despite numerous interstellar collisions and thousands, if not tens of thousands, of eruptions from inside it’s own core despoiling the atmospheric layers, as well as dealing with fluctuations of the amount of energy coming from its nearest star, not to mention dealing with the fact that its only satellite is getting farther and farther away from it every year.

    Hmmm, let me think for a second here.

    Yep, I’m going to go with history and not the self-serving junk science.

    You seem like a reasonable enough fellow, with reasonable requests to try and stop whatever it is you think the human species is doing to this third rock from the sun.

    However, your cohorts in the “scientific consensus”, as you call it, are not so reasonable. Living in Seattle, so near the epicenter of “Global Warming Scareville”, I am bombarded every single day, on TV, on radio, on this here interwebbie thing and with stupid near-weekly, traffic clogging demonstrations, by freaks who demand that I trade in my trucks for a vehicle with less of a “carbon footprint”, revert to a 17th Century lifestyle and just “stop killing the earth” in general.

    The vast majority of the crowd on your side of the argument want everyone to stop what they’re doing until we can find a way to live on some magic pixie dust. They have no solutions, only restrictions. In addition, these restrictions are only being placed upon 1st world nations.

    They demand that we shut down the hydroelectric dams that have given us cheap power for decades, they refuse to invest in clean incinerator technology and then they bitch about landfills, they are afraid of nuclear power, they won’t let the Montana Governor (who has a degree in soil science) dig up the coal that is just feet under the surface of the eastern half of his state, no new electrical grid improvements, no new roads, no free use of the wilderness areas, no on fucking everything.

    And to top that all off, a large majority of them are plainly under the influence of groups whose main goal is to collapse the US Republic and bring it under the control of either an international body, a foreign power or just their own form of “democracy” (depending on the specific group).

    Neither they nor their agendas can be trusted. “Global Warming Science” makes up a large portion of this agenda, once you follow the money.

    “GWS” is the perfect idea to play with Liberal Guilt. We all saw the indian cry because of litter in the 70’s, and today’s “GWS” is just an expansion of that same premise, except we now have upper-class white liberals doing the crying themselves. First they hated their parents for being rich capitalists, now they hate them for destroying the planet.

    You’re not going to change my mind any more than I am going to change yours. However, I have nothing to win in this debate, whereas you have an ego to keep up. When this agenda dies its hopefully swift death in the next decade, I hope that counseling will help your bouts with depression.

  5. Sebastian Says:

    This is the energizer bunny thread it seems

  6. Sebastian-PGP Says:

    Phil,

    Sorry. But you’re an idiot whose irrational fear that AGW means giving up his car and paying taxes is driving you to say some really stupid shit.

    Your understanding of the science involved is so facile that I’m tired of explaining it to you. At this point I couldn’t care less about condescending to you: you’re not even up to date on the basic facts of the case or the science behind the debate. It’s like teaching dentistry to a third grader.

    Your comments about my ego and bouts of depression are the childish nonsense of a guy who was caught being DEAD WRONG ABOUT THE VOLCANO thing and isn’t man enough to admit it. You said the following: The planet is the main contributor of CO2, via volcanos, both on land and underwater. Ruptures in the earths surface put out more CO2 and other GHG than we could dream of

    That is WRONG. Just sack up and admit you were regurgitating some nonsense you heard on right wing radio and know nothing about.

    The scientists have spoken. Disagree with them all you like. Promulgate your pathetic misunderstandings of their work as though they represent factual analysis all you like. I really am done trying to save people from embarrassing themselves.

    I have work to do, so consider this a placeholder, but

    A) You’re just wrong about the volcanic eruption thing–accept it. The fact that we spew more CO2 than volcanoes do is widely documented, and I’ve provided the relevant info. You’ve provided nothing to counter it.

    B) It is important despite CO2 being less of a powerful GHG motivator because CO2 is being supplied from under the earth by our activities–the normal ebb and flow of climate is certainly effected by volcanic emissions, but only a temporary basis as sulfur aerosols and the other particulate emissions of volcanoes settle back to the earth rather quickly, whereas CO2 stays in the atmosphere more or less indefinitely by comparison. In addition to the natural ebb and flow of such things, we’re adding a LOT more CO2 and the pace at which we add it is rapidly expanding. The water vapor thing is a red herring, as explained–we’re not adding it to the atmosphere from under the ground. Net levels of the other GHGs are relatively static, whereas CO2 is gaining ground quickly. Doesn’t take a genius…

    C) Your understanding of Theory vs. theory and your naked assertion that GW isn’t reliable science because it’s just guesswork is wrong. Don’t think so?

    Then why haven’t the small cadre of anti-GW scientists been able to produce any papers, studies, or documentation that that’s the case? I’m not talking about editorials and letters to the editors. Why haven’t they produced collections of empirical data, observations, and experiments, and analyzed the data to show that in fact the earth isn’t warming?

    Climatologists have stated in peer reviewable documents that they have the data they need. Your simple say so that they don’t isn’t compelling–if it was really the case that climate scientists are just “guessing” and don’t have the data to support the AGW position, Lindzen, Gray, Singer etc would be able to publish a paper explaining that that’s the case. They’d be able to make that argument in writing and submit it for scrutiny and public review by the likes of me and you. The fact that they can’t do that should tell you what you need to know.

    You’re making a statement you’re simply not qualified to make because it’s what you WANT to believe. Either post your climatology credentials immediately, or politely STFU about it.

    The IPCC report comes out today. The light is coming on, and you anti-science cockroaches are gonna be scattering.

  7. Sebastian-PGP Says:

    Just for giggles, on the IPCC report:

    Given all of the hoopla since the TAR, many of us were curious to see what the new report would have to say about paleoclimate reconstructions of the past 1000 years. Contrarians will no doubt be disappointed here. The conclusions have been significantly strengthened relative to what was in the TAR, something that of course should have been expected given the numerous additional studies that have since been done that all point in the same direction. The conclusion that large-scale recent warmth likely exceeds the range seen in past centuries has been extended from the past 1000 years in the TAR, to the past 1300 years in the current report, and the confidence in this conclusion has been upped from “likely” in the TAR to “very likely” in the current report for the past half millennium. This is just one of the many independent lines of evidence now pointing towards a clear anthropogenic influence on climate, but given all of the others, the paleoclimate reconstructions are now even less the central pillar of evidence for the human influence on climate than they have been incorrectly portrayed to be.

    Ooops. So much for the “hockey stick has been debunked” myth.

  8. #9 Says:

    This week on three different blogs I have asked a simple question, what should be done about Global Warming?

    For months on KnoxViews I have written about coal gasification, solar panels, electric cars, and compact fluorescent bulbs. Ironic since I am also accused of being an AGW (Anthropogenic — human caused — Global Warming) denier.

    So far I have gotten two responses. One from Lean Left suggesting a punitive tax on carbon use. Another at Say Uncle saying we need to get away from a carbon based energy economy.

    No offense, but that is pretty weak. How in any way can a tax based on carbon use make any difference?

    How can any economy just up and change to a non-carbon based energy economy? Nuclear is not an option because too many people will never accept it. It also has a very long build cycle. It takes many years to bring a new nuclear power plant on line. Then of course terrorists will blow it up and some people say disposing of the nuclear waste will kill all mankind. I support nuclear but I do not see how it can be cost effective compared to other technologies.

    I wrote last week that Global Warming has become a religion. This week the major conservative radio pundits hammered that theme into the ground. I guess that idea got more popular. At least in some quarters.

    Tonight on ABC Television News Charlie Gibson said we have ten years to solve Global Warming but that nothing we do will matter in the next fifty years. Can anyone make sense out of that? A cry to arms but a recognition that it is hopeless in our lifetime.

    I ask again, what can reasonably be done about Global Warming that will not be worse than the cure? Will anyone be willing to wreck the economy knowing that nothing we do will matter in our lifetime?

  9. # 9 Says:

    Phil, I did not know you lived in Seattle. My condolences. Great place but it must be tough to co-exist with that many hippies. Great writing. I get the feeling you have been down this path before.

  10. Phil Says:

    Great googly-moogly, Sebastian, you’re still here. How pathetic.

    BTW, your IPCC “report” is nothing of the kind. It is a brief (that stretches 20 some-odd pages). It will be the basis of the actual report which will be revealed in April or so, whenever they can get the report to match the brief. Why would they need to work that backwards if the evidence was there? And will they show us the report before the bureaucrats got it changed?

    But anyway, even the bureaucrats won’t commit 100% to “Man-Made Global Warming”. What do you think the actual report says?

    Also, they say that the actual report says that there is nothing humans can do to stop “Global Warming”. We’re already screwed.

    Sounds to me like it is a natural cycle of the planet that man had nothing to do with and can do nothing to stop.

    Sorry Sebastian, but your science is junk. Your “Scientific Consensus” is bunk and you are just wrong. Not only that, but your own evidence shows you and them to be fools and liars.

    Go to hell, you egotistical, narcissistic baby. And get a life while you’re there.

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  12. SayUncle » Are Global Warming Skeptics criminals? Says:

    […] I was wrong. I thought the whole man made Global Warming issue had been thoroughly fisked and dissected. I thought the hockey stick had been reduced to splinters. […]