Climate Change skeptics? [ot]


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An Oil Field
Sep 28, 2009 - 06:53pm PT
I flatly refute the statement that sea level is higher than 125 million years ago.

That was during the early Cretaceous. At that time practically any shoreline on Earth was unrecognizable in any but a general sense.

Also there is the whole problem of the Cretaceous Interior Seaway. That's right. During the Cretaceous, there was an inland sea that more or less split the middle of the North American plate in half. Just go Wiki a few things before you post them.

Sh#t, Dingus, the Dinosaurs didn't croak until the end of the Cretaceous, 65 ma.

edit: cut up some pointless chest beating.

I should say to Dingus: He is either reading a poorly written book very well, or he is poorly reading a well written book.

Sometimes I get a little dizzy from flexing on the crapper myself.
norm larson

wilson, wyoming
Sep 28, 2009 - 06:56pm PT
The absolute best reason (from a Idaho Republican) that I'm familiar with blamed it on Daylight savings time. It seems they thought that extra hour of sun every day is warming the earth. Too much.

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Sep 28, 2009 - 07:06pm PT
I was just down at the coast (Long Beach) a couple days ago, and the ocean is still right where it always was.

It hasn't gone anywhere in at least 40 years that I know of.

Gym climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 28, 2009 - 07:20pm PT
Almost hate to bring up a liberal media OpEd, but I found this interesting:

"Even as climate modelers have been reaching consensus on the view
that the threat is worse than we realized, economic modelers have
been reaching consensus on the view that the costs of emission
control are lower than many feared."

An Oil Field
Sep 28, 2009 - 07:26pm PT

You might have been cracking a joke, but it raises a good point.

In most situations that I am aware of, blaming things that happen on a short time period are not of statistical significance when dealing with something which happens slowly.

IIRC, Al Gore used photos of Katrina to make a point. The connection between global warming and hurricanes hasn't been worked yet, as far as I know. Certainly that it is driving things at present. When I saw that, I sort of cringed.

There are some interesting things, though. Summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is shrinking and thinning. We all know of retreating glaciers outnumbering the growing glaciers by a significant number. Those are easily measured.

Fewer are taking the position that the world is not warming. The numbers have been fairly clear that it is. So the argument has shifted more towards "Is it anthropogenic?" You can look at some of the statements already posted here that people have thrown out two arguments at once. Being, "It hasn't been proved that it is caused by humans, and besides it would be too expensive."

One at a time, please.

You can pull trapped atmospheric gasses out of very thick ice cores in Antarctica. Greenhouse gasses are the highest that they have been in 300,000 years. Pulling things out of rocks, crystals, etc. has a solid history, and is very useful in geochemistry, albeit in minerals. Now don't get us started on the question of whether ice is a mineral or not. The science is pretty simple and straightforward, though.

I wish that I could reference the above paragraph back to the publication. I should look it up to be thorough here. It is very meaningful, because I often see the mistake of people mistaking cause and effect. We see many causes and many effects. Are they meaningfully related? This is just how science works. You try to "explain" observation and reconcile it with theory, or the other way around.

An example of NOT statistically related or in other ways related would be:

A dog bit me in the ass, and there was a full moon that night.

I don't go out on full moons anymore because dogs bite you on the ass.

I shouldn't laugh. I can almost guarantee that there is stuff in the literature about this VERY topic!!

I am not trying to step on toes here. This topic should not be filled with too much emotion. I have it. We all have it. I think we should just talk this out carefully.

On Supertopo? Not a chance!!!

edit: I LIVE science every waking moment, so I like these discussions. They are all too often drowned in hysteria and machine gun fire ad-hominem attacks.

A good read is the chapter titled "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection." in Carl Sagan's book, The Demon Haunted World. It will really open your eyes. You can occasionally find it on the web before the publishers take it down. The entire book is great if you don't mind some of your baloons being punctured.

We waste too much time here.
the Fet

Supercaliyosemistic climber
Sep 28, 2009 - 07:45pm PT
It's funny when people are ready to believe there's a big well funded industry of selfish people trying to fool us about climate change to create opportunities for themselves (those damn scientists with their intellect and computers), but they don't worry about the biggest industry in the world with companies like Rockefeller's Standard Oil (aka ExxonMobil) with revenues of $500 billion a year, and they aren't trying to sabotage efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Oh brother.
Brian Hench

Trad climber
Laguna Beach, CA
Sep 28, 2009 - 07:55pm PT
Chevron is the company that used to be Standard Oil, if I am not mistaken.

Sep 28, 2009 - 07:55pm PT

Glaciers, ice caps and continental ice sheets are the most obvious physical manifestation of a warming climate. If the data presented by science and witnessed by climbers is not convincing of a hotter planet I must ask what evidence do you have do counter this?

The science is here and it is dire.

Extent Northern Ice
This was the 17th of September. The ice began growing back that day and winter is returning for all of here at the lower latitudes. 2007 was the thinnest ice year.

The trend is....

The parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere is another indication of a warming planet. In the Cretaceous (the last period of the mesozoic era) the ppm level was around 1000. The sea level 65.5 to 145 million years ago was estimated to be 200m above current sea level. There were no glaciers.

We are now increasing the C02 in our atmosphere at a rate that the natural climate can not absorb it.

For all us us... we'll live though this on the coat tails of the big carbon orgy. For humans 200 years from now their climate and planet is something we can only imagine. Will there still be carbon? What will the earth's temperature be? How many billion people will live on our planet?

We owe it to the future to care about our planet.

Cool ice studies from a fellow climber.

Davis, CA
Sep 28, 2009 - 07:57pm PT
Almost every american oil company is a descendant of standard oil.

An Oil Field
Sep 28, 2009 - 08:00pm PT
Oh my god! Data!

Buy you a beer, Conrad

The eskimos up on the north slope believe in global warming. The open water between land and ice during the late summer whale season has been increasing for quite a while, and makes it harder to get a whale in the increasing open water. I have heard an earful.

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Sep 28, 2009 - 08:04pm PT

Reading Krugman's piece could lead one to think the costs of combatting global warming are relatively low. This surprised me, because I have been scouring the economic literature looking for studies of marginal costs and benefits. As I posted earlier, such data has eleuded us.

Re-reading his opinion piece, he says economic modelers have "been reaching consensus on the view that the costs of emission control are lower than many feared." This says nothing. What are the costs? "[L]ower than many feared." That really nails it down.

The issue is whether the marginal cost of pollution control is worth the marginal benefit. Krugman, a Nobel laureate economist, knows this. The fact that he doesn't confront that in this piece essentially admits what those who've studied this already understand, namely, we don't know in anything but the broadest strokes.

Krugman's work in economic geography was path-breaking. Unfortunately, he's branching out in his opinion pieces to areas where he has no recognized unusual expertise, rather like Linus Pauling (Nobel laureates in Chemistry and Peace) and his crusade for vitamin C, which was distracting but harmless, or worse, William Shockley (Nobel in physics) with his theories on intellectual abilities.

So I guess what I'm really saying is that you're right -- you should be reluctant to cite a liberal op-ed piece.

the Fet

Supercaliyosemistic climber
Sep 28, 2009 - 08:06pm PT
I don't think we should or need to do anything so drastic that it would have a significant negative impact on our economy.

But there are so many things we can do with little or no cost, or actually save us money, that we are not doing.

I can't believe people buy into the bullshit propogated by big oil (on which they spend tens of millions of dollars) to spread doubt about the science. But they are skeptical about scientists working for non-profits, NASA, and NOAA. Seriously who has the greater incentive to lie? Who has the funds to spread the lies?

Sep 28, 2009 - 08:07pm PT
Of the 612 glaciers that the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research (Chinese Academy of Sciences) is studying 95 % are retreating. Fully 1/5th of the world's population get their water from the Himalaya (recall the range splits China and India).

Thomas Friedman on China.

Orville Schell on glaciers.


Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Sep 28, 2009 - 08:11pm PT
Where'd all that melted ice (water) go?


Social climber
Falls Church, VA
Sep 28, 2009 - 08:13pm PT
in 2007, nat geo predicted that ALL arctic ice would be gone by 2013...the prediction was made using COMPUTER MODELS, you know, the models al gore bases his hysteria on


last week, nat geo declared that the arctic ice would last until 2030...or was that 2040?

damn those computer models!

then, of course, there's this little tidbit:,27574,25348657-401,00.html

you'd think the two poles would get their stories straight though i suspect the arctic senses an opportunity to steal some tourist dollars with the world's recent love affair with polar

on the other hand:


here's one for dingus:

then there's this...

or more recently:

of course, you can't trust this guy--he's obviously a flip-flopper:

An Oil Field
Sep 28, 2009 - 08:18pm PT
Water runs downhill. Half of my geology degree was about just that topic....

Much of the glacial ice is not going to cause a significant sea level rise. They are dramatic examples, though. Two things can cause a glacier to shrink. Less precip, higher temps, or some of both.

Even ice in the Arctic is pretty thin stuff.

Where the real ass kicker is, is the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets. On land, ice can be incredibly thick. If those two places were to melt, the coast would be near Denver or something (joking. Conrad could probably answer this).

Under any circumstances, those two places would take a LONG time to melt. However even a small percentage would probably put a lot of shoreline under water. I am not saying that this would happen quickly.

Trad climber
Sep 28, 2009 - 08:29pm PT
"in 2007, nat geo predicted that ALL arctic ice would be gone by 2013...the prediction was made using COMPUTER MODELS, you know, the models al gore bases his hysteria on


last week, nat geo declared that the arctic ice would last until 2030...or was that 2040?"

Bookworm, you have your articles confused. Read the article you linked (the 2007 article):

"Just last year the National Snow and Ice Data Center's Serreze said that the Arctic was "right on schedule" to be completely free of ice by 2070 at the soonest. He now thinks that day may arrive by 2030."

Sep 28, 2009 - 08:50pm PT
I have often agreed with things DMT has posted in the past, and I haven't read the whole thread so there may well have been a retraction...

However, "we DO NOT KNOW several ways to reduce CO2 emissions. WE... don't know any" is frighteningly inaccurate. If Dingus meant that implementing those several ways is fraught with political and economic uncertainty and that they would be difficult to enforce, well that's another matter. However, the fact is that we can list multiple changes in land use and fossil fuel use that we know, yes know, would decrease the CO2 saturation in the atmosphere.

I keep up to date on the science, economics, and politics of climate change as part of my professional interests. I don't know everything, but I'm probably closer to the issues than most folks. It aint pretty.

Although I put a substantial effort into addressing the issue in personal and social terms--the former through fairly serious changes to my lifestyle and the latter through writing and political activism--I'm sad (and frightened, and ashamed) to say that our collective ignorance, selfishness, and laziness is very likely to be our undoing.


Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Sep 28, 2009 - 08:56pm PT
The crux is "how".

What do you do with the Americans who don't feel like making serious changes to their lifestyles?

Do you want to lock up people who don't go along with *the program*?


Social climber
So Cal
Sep 28, 2009 - 09:06pm PT
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