Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Damn That Global Warming

A letter in today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News stated:
Not only virtually all climate scientists, but also our U.S. president and government departments acknowledge that global warming is caused by burning carbon fuels (coal, oil, gas, ethanol, biodiesel). At the same time, various politicians and commentators continue to deny it,...there is always the “rear guard,” a small gaggle of violently vocal advocates for ideas and beliefs whose time has passed. But time itself marches on relentlessly. The sooner all Palouse residents, including farmers, start preparing for the consequences of global warming, the longer we and future generations will enjoy this piece of paradise on Earth.
Meanwhile, let's check today's headlines in the real world:

  • For the first time in at least seven years – some believe 16 years – ice is capping large expanses of Hayden Lake

  • California sees $1 billion loss from cold weather

  • Snow, Ice Storm Blamed for 55 Deaths

  • Snow makes a mess of things, ice a concern overnight in Seattle

    Scotty said...

    Tom, Tom, Tom, Tom,... Don't you understand, it is getting colder because of global warming. So your evidence is only proving their point.

    Nic said...

    Hate to bicker, but just because it still gets cold doesn't mean that we shouldn't be concerned about the warming trend over the past century... especially when the EPA under W is acknowledging the trend and what it means.

    Satanic Mechanic said...

    Something else to consider, most temperature readings come from cities. Cities grow and cities put out heat. The increase in temperatures could be from "urban heat" and not global warming.

    Global warming caused by man is junk science in my opinion. It is not a theory but a hypothesis based on observations

    Tom Forbes said...

    Yes, this cold snap is a cycle. But that's the point. Weather is cyclical. Sometimes those cycles last hundreds even thousands of years.

    How do we know that man is reponsible for any warming trend? There simply is no data. Even the EPA site you list states that: "Areas of Uncertainty: Improving understanding of natural climatic variations, changes in the sun's energy, land-use changes, the warming or cooling effects of pollutant aerosols, and the impacts of changing humidity and cloud cover."

    Would you agree that the whole global warminh issue is just a convenient political cudgel? Can you imagine if the Al Gore and the media had been promoting "global cooling" instead of "global warming?" President Bush would be blamed for those 55 deaths and billions of dollars in damage and there would be calls for impeachment and investigations. Instead, it's just another news story that will be forgotten in another week.

    The liberals in this country only want to promote constant negativity to empower and justify the repressive and intrusive big government they so desire.

    April E. Coggins said...

    You seem like you have an open mind. This site may give you a different perspective:

    Nic said...

    Well, I'm not a climate scientist, and I am not saying that science can provide all of the answers, but I don't see why erring on the side of caution would be a bad thing in this case.

    As far as the junk science claim by Steven Milloy is concerned, anyone who aligns their self with a notoriously right winged news media outlet isn't credible as a person of science... but that's my opinion.

    Tom Forbes said...

    Earth is 4.5 billion years old. We only have about 150 years worth of instrumental weather observations, and even that is not for the whole world. For scientists to make any conclusions with such statistically insignficant data is disingenuous. How can they possibly know what cycles of weather the Earth has experienced and what is normal and what is not?

    "Erring on the side of caution" could quite possibly destroy the world's economy and cost trillions upon trillions. It's the equivalent of burning your house down because you thoght you heard a termite.

    Nic said...

    …and erring on the side of polluting could quite possibly destroy the environment, and all that other doomsday stuff. So, pick your poison. But, I think it would be nice to be able to walk the streets of Pullman, not to mention larger cities, and not choke on the diesel fumes from the buses.

    Scientists know that we are the cause of the increase in CO2 emissions. That is not a debatable point. The question is how much, if at all, that is affecting heat retention within the atmosphere.

    Erring on the side of caution would mean finding and investing in new, clean ways of producing electricity. I don't think that trying to create new industry that just happens to be a little more environmentally friendly would destroy the world's economy. For people that seem to be into big business, I have yet to understand why they would argue against the establishment of such an industry that has such a great profit potential.

    Tom Forbes said...

    I agree with you 100% Nic. The level of air pollution has decreased dramatically in the last thirty years but there is still much work to be done.

    Alternative energy sources make sense, from a national security standpoint if nothing else.

    But I prefer the free market solution you mention versus the totalitarian state solution we are currently pursuing.

    And speaking of "nuts," they're on both sides of the global warming argument:

    "The Weather Channel’s most prominent climatologist is advocating that broadcast meteorologists be stripped of their scientific certification if they express skepticism about predictions of manmade catastrophic global warming. This latest call to silence skeptics follows a year (2006) in which skeptics were compared to "Holocaust Deniers" and Nuremberg-style war crimes trials were advocated by several climate alarmists."

    The whole global warming issue is being polarized by fanatics, which automatically makes me suspicious of any solution they advocate.

    Nic said...

    Cheers to that. Any time people start making comparisons to Hitler, the Nazis, or the Holocaust they usually go on my "irrational persons" list.