Alarming News

January 30, 2006

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Today- Climate risk ‘worse than thought’

January 8, 2004- Global Warming ‘far, far worse than we thought’

April 18, 2002- Climate change worse than predicted

July 12, 2001- Global warming ‘worse than feared’

Posted by Karol at 02:09 PM |
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Those quotes sound the same as these quotes:
Meteorologists disagree about the cause and the extent of the cooling trend

Posted by: Jake at January 30, 2006 at 2:36 pm

Those are excellent, Jake. I love reminding people that our big concern in the 70’s was Global Cooling.

Posted by: Karol at January 30, 2006 at 2:44 pm

Yes, it’s good to keep perspective. We shouldn’t necessarily trust the experts, particularly on a system as inherently chaotic as climate.
However, I think there’s reason to put more stock in the current predictions over what people thought in the 70’s.
First of all, we have vastly more powerful computers and more accurate models of climate.
Secondly, the ice is in fact melting.
Finally, the scary thing is that the dire predictions of the 70’s weren’t entirely wrong. The particulates caused by pollution are in fact reflecting sunlight and causing global cooling.
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/world/13728474.htm
The fact that the temperature continues to rise just means that the greenhouse effect (and increased solar activity) are causing the Earth to warm up despite the cooling effects of particulates.
I’m convinced we’re in for a very rough ride.

Posted by: scotch at January 30, 2006 at 3:00 pm

But in our lifetime we should be fine. So who cares, right?

Posted by: PAUL at January 30, 2006 at 3:10 pm

Scotch, don’t you think people in the 70’s also thought they were right because they had the most powerful computers up to that point and the most information?

Posted by: Karol at January 30, 2006 at 3:19 pm

>But in our lifetime we should be fine.
Maybe, maybe not. Depends where you live, I think. No one knows for sure what’s going to happen and when. I recommend reading “Chaos” by James Gleik in order to understand the difficulties of predicting complex systems.
>So who cares, right?
You know, a lot of my friends have just decided not to have children and to party it up. This is a sensible way to live if you believe in the doom-and-gloom scenarios and don’t think there’s anything to do about it. At least it avoids having your progeny grow up to blame you for using up all the fossil fuels and destroy the environment in the process.
I understand the sentiment, but this doesn’t seem like a good answer, any more than pretending there’s nothing wrong. I’m a solar panel and biodiesel user and advocate, although I don’t think alternative energy is the answer alone. Seems to me that avoiding catastrophe would have to be a coordinated effort, taking care not to reduce particulates without sequestering more atmospheric carbon and other greenhouse gases.

Posted by: scotch at January 30, 2006 at 3:27 pm

>Scotch, don’t you think people in the 70’s also thought they were right because they had the most powerful computers up to that point and the most information?
Again, they weren’t entirely wrong, it’s just that their models were incomplete. They recognized the cooling effects of pollution, just not the warming effects.
You’re right, in the future we’ll have more powerful computers and better models and be able to make more accurate predictions than we can now. This doesn’t change the fact that because of our current technology and understanding, we can now make better predictions than we could thirty years ago. I’m not saying the current predictions will definitely come to pass, but it’s unfair to compare them to predictions made thirty years ago when climate modelling was in its infancy.
Have you heard of Pascal’s Wager? The idea is that if you believe in God and you’re right, you go to Heaven. If you’re wrong, you haven’t lost anything. Therefore, it makes logical sense to believe in God. I view climate change caused by human activity in the same way. If humans are responsible for imminent catastrophic climate change, then it’s a win to reduce our impact. If we’re not, then we haven’t lost anything by reducing our impact.
To be fair, this isn’t entirely true. Shifting away from fossil fuels would be very expensive, but I think it’s offset by the benefits even if it didn’t help with climate change.

Posted by: scotch at January 30, 2006 at 3:39 pm

Its quite simple. Most meteorlogical themometers are located at large airports which are usualy located in or near major metropolitan areas. Thes areas have higher concentrations of concrete, metal, and asphalt that retain heat.
Watch your local wether forcast notice the lows occur in the burbs while the highs occur closer to the city. Its not exact but a general trend.
The models may be right but the data is skewed. Place a thermometer on a tarmac and its going to record a higher than normal reading.

Posted by: Michael C at January 30, 2006 at 5:15 pm

That’s an interesting point, assuming that problem isn’t being corrected for. However, it doesn’t explain the observed warming of the oceans or the melting of the ice-caps.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4275729.stm

Posted by: scotch at January 30, 2006 at 5:51 pm

Scotch:
“Secondly, the ice is in fact melting.” Ice is melting in certain spots, but overall the ice at the poles is growing. Further proof that we are entering an Ice Age. I am not ready to give up the doomsday scenario of the 70s.
“Furthermore, studies have been made investigating the overall status of sea ice around Antarctica. NASA announced the results of their study in 2002 with a press release headlined “Satellites Show Overall Increases in Antarctic Sea Ice Cover.” While there are regional variations from this trend, including a decline in sea ice around the Antarctic Peninsula, the area of sea ice around much of the remainder of the continental margin has been increasing, at least over the past 25 years. Obviously, a story proclaiming “Antarctic Sea Ice Rapidly Diminishing” and focusing on the Peninsula region would paint an incomplete and unfair picture of the actual circumstances there.
Just last month, using satellite altimetry, O.M. Johannessen published a remarkable finding in Science that the trend in Greenland ice is a gain of 5.4 cm (two inches) per year.
Almost all of the gain in Greenland is for areas greater than 5000 feet in elevation (which is most of the place). Below that, there is glacial recession. It shouldn’t be lost on anyone that because no one ventures into the hostile interior of Greenland, all we see are pictures of the receding glaciers near the coast!
The temperature situation in Greenland is more mixed than in Antarctica. Over the last 75 years, there’s been cooling in the southern portion (where the recession is greatest) and some warming in the North”.

Posted by: Jake at January 30, 2006 at 6:03 pm

That report begins “While recent studies have shown that on the whole Arctic sea ice has decreased since the late 1970s…”.
The fact that the interior is growing in height is interesting, but it doesn’t say much about the overall trend. It could be that warmer weather means more humidity, which condenses as ice in the higher altitudes.
Here’s another take on it:
http://www.climatehotmap.org/antarctica.html
Science Magazine published the estimation that “…from 1965 to 1995, an extra 19,000 cubic kilometers of freshwater found its way south” as melt-off from the poles. If this continues, some believe it could cause the Gulf Stream to stop or reverse, which could cause your ice age.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0623/p17s02-stss.html
http://www.centredessciencesdemontreal.com/en/centre/centre_mag_archives68.htm
Look, I hope the doomsayers are wrong. It just seems to me that we should take the warnings seriously. We now have computer models that are consistent with decades of data, we have conclusive proof that global temperature and atmospheric CO2 are linked with the Vostok core samples, and we know that warming would be worse if pollution wasn’t blocking sunlight.
We may NEVER be able to prove causality, but there’s a strong enough case to justify taking action to reduce emmissions and try to sequester what’s already in the air.

Posted by: scotch at January 30, 2006 at 6:56 pm

The polar ice cap is definately melting.
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2005/Canada_Ice.html
The pack ice season in Candada keeps getting shorter which is changing the ecology of the region.
My theory is that the anti-environment, pro-industry, anti-regulation people who mostly belong to the right wing purposely play up the global warming debate.
They want to focus our attention on global warming because it is hard to prove and easy to critisize. See this post by Karol for example.
This turns our attention from other problems of pollution such as air quality, acid rain, deforestation, desertification, water quality, and the health of our oceans and more.
These things are bad and clearly exists and it’s clearly humans causing it.

Posted by: PAUL at January 30, 2006 at 7:23 pm

The Hockey Stick Graph of Global Warming Hysteria

From Alarming News: Today- Climate risk ‘worse than thought’ January 8, 2004- Global Warming ‘far, far worse than we thought’ April 18, 2002- Climate change worse than predicted July 12, 2001- Global warming ‘worse than feared’…

Posted by: Les Jones at January 30, 2006 at 9:14 pm

Scotch–
Im going to change your life by setting you straight on global warming; Im putting a post up in two weeks. Be ready.

Posted by: Dorian Davis at January 30, 2006 at 9:24 pm

No matter who is right or wrong. We must get to were France is. France gets 80% of their electricity from nuclear power and we must get 95%.

Posted by: Jake at January 30, 2006 at 9:50 pm

“Climate Change” Coverage “Worse Than Thought”

Hilarious comparison of headlines over the past five years from Karol. If climate change gets worse and worse every year, how come I got coffee this morning without scuba gear?…

Posted by: Ace of Spades HQ at January 31, 2006 at 1:26 am

They want to focus our attention on global warming because it is hard to prove and easy to critisize. See this post by Karol for example.
Whaa? I thought the SCIENCE. WAS. UNANIMOUS.
ONLY A FOOL WOULD THINK IT HARD TO PROVE.
Damn those sneaky climate scientists and enviromentalist groups, cleverly drawing us all into their global warming trap. They must all be corporate stooges. Thank you, PAUL, for OPENING MY EYES.

Posted by: Sortelli at January 31, 2006 at 3:07 am

Has anyone taken notice that most of the global warming stories (that I see) come from the U.K.?
What’s up with that?

Posted by: Mike Williams at January 31, 2006 at 6:10 am

Anger: NOW PEOPLE

OMG! If we don’t do something drastic right now it will just contiunue to get worse and worse!

Posted by: 7 Deadly Sins at January 31, 2006 at 8:48 am

Dubya must be one hell of a powerful President. All of the measures we took in the 80’s and 90’s against global warming, like changing refrigerants, phasing out aerosols, and reducing emmissions from factories and automobiles were COMPLETELY WIPED OUT in one Presidential term.
But that’s okay, because Dubya’s going to fix that whole global warming problem just as quickly as he caused it, while simultaneously reducing terrorism. He is the greatest bi-partisan President ever.

Posted by: Sue Dohnim at January 31, 2006 at 8:52 am

I hate doing this…just a drive-by really. At work and don’t have time to fill this out, but I have to call BS on some of Scotch’s assertions.
“We now have computer models that are consistent with decades of data,”
No, we don’t. There is not one computer model that has accurately predicted backwards the weather that is known to have ocurred over the past decades or centuries. How are we to take those models seriously for predicting what we don’t know in the future?
“we have conclusive proof that global temperature and atmospheric CO2 are linked with the Vostok core samples,”
Linked in what way? My recollection of the studies (again I apologise for not citing) is that an increase in CO2 levels occurs near the end of warming cycles, and is actually at least as relevant in predicting cooling trends.
“and we know that warming would be worse if pollution wasn’t blocking sunlight.”
This is hardly a proven. Some types of pollution have a net effect of cooling, some of warming. I haven’t seen any definitive evidence that the the sum of these effects trends towards a cooler Earth.
I agree that we should trend towards cleaner energies. I like fresh air as much as the next. But we need to accept economic realities as well. The environmentalists have removed economics from their calculations.

Posted by: krakatoa at January 31, 2006 at 10:25 am

Actually, the aerosols were phased out to save the ozone layer.
Evidence since the ban has shown that the ozone layer tends to grow and shrink pretty much when it damn well pleases.
As for “doing something” right now to affect conditions we can’t reasonably predict, what’s to say that the something that we do won’t make the problem worse?
I mean, there’s that recent study that says planting trees actually increases greenhouse gases. That’s about as counterintuitive as you can get.
If someone can propose changes in the way we go about emissions control that is not a barely concealed resources redistribution scheme, then I’m willing to give it a shot. I’m not a big fan of linking Marxism with science. Mostly because I’m not a big fan of linking Marxism with anything.

Posted by: Steve in Houston at January 31, 2006 at 10:32 am

“Whaa? I thought the SCIENCE. WAS. UNANIMOUS.
ONLY A FOOL WOULD THINK IT HARD TO PROVE.”
Then you need to go back to school or at least read the above comments to see it’s far from UNAMIMOUS.
“Damn those sneaky climate scientists and enviromentalist groups, cleverly drawing us all into their global warming trap. They must all be corporate stooges. Thank you, PAUL, for OPENING MY EYES.”
I appreciate the thanks but you missed the lesson and lost the point. So don’t thank me yet.
This is a conservative blog and like many other conservatives the only time it discusses the environment it’s about global warming because it’s easy to attack because the science is NOT UNANIMOUS.
By critisizing environmentalist on global warming as looney and using junk science it undermines the entire enviromental movement. And that is really the objective.
By undermining the enviromental movement it will be easier to roll back protections for air quality, acid rain, deforestation, desertification, water quality, and the health of our oceans and more.
If you can comprehend this then you can thank me now.

Posted by: PAUL at January 31, 2006 at 1:51 pm

Wha?
“This turns our attention from other problems of pollution such as air quality, acid rain, deforestation, desertification, water quality, and the health of our oceans and more.”
Air quality, a good thing to be concerned with, definitely a problem. However, also definitely getting better over the past decade.
Acid Rain? Man, I haven’t heard about that in forever. Is that even still the problem it was in the 80’s? If it is, maybe we do need more focus…
Deforestation? You must be talking Globally, not Locally (or not be in the US). Otherwise again we’ve been making steady progress since the 80’s. Forested lands in the US have been steadily on the rise.
Desertification, hunh? Sorry, must have missed this one when I was growing up.
Water quality, slowly getting better, not as fast as I’d like, but still not getting worse (anymore).
So Paul, want to pick something that isn’t already being done and hasn’t been improving steadily since the 80’s?
Or are you looking for an economy crippling, but faster solution?
I’m not generally too worried about a problem that is in the process of getting better; which I suspect is why Global Warming is the only bugaboo that’s getting any traction.
Oh, and a pseudo cheap shot at Scotch (undeserved), but I love the Methane/CO2 issue… Thank GOD we killed all those Buffalo in the 1800’s and reduced their emissions or we’d be screwed today. :-p Sorry, several logical fallacies there, but they’re nicely hidden. :)

Posted by: Gekkobear at January 31, 2006 at 3:30 pm

Paul;
Here’s what I comprehend:
a. The science is not unanimous
b. The models are not precise
c. A small group of very committed idealists want to SCARE the rest of the world into making radical changes to their way of life (without any knowledge of whether it makes any impact at all).
So you see, its the last part that is ‘right-wing’ wackos don’t like, and its the point that you miss in our criticisms.
We don’t want to have to give up our way of life based on a statement of faith by some diehard idealogues.
Provide more conclusive evidence, and the discussion changes.

Posted by: Jet at January 31, 2006 at 3:42 pm

My experience with these sorts of blogs are that people are more interested in winning arguments and defending their positions than uncovering the truth. Because of this, the standards of proof get a bit ridiculous. I mean, can anyone PROVE that the South lost the Civil War? Don’t send me links to any BS websites…anyone can put up a website.
I’ll admit that I’ve made up my mind on this issue, at least to the point where I think the threat should be taken seriously. However, I’m more interested in pursuing the truth of the thing than being right. That said, I’ve been called a BS’er and now have to set things right.
>>We now have computer models that are consistent with decades of data
>No, we don’t. There is not one computer model
>that has accurately predicted backwards the
>weather….
Again, I recommend reading “Chaos” by Gliek. The weather is impossible to predict past a few days because it’s a chaotic system – small factors like the proverbial flapping of the butterfly wings get amplified and make cause major effects. On the other hand, the orbits of planets can be predicted fairly accurately, so the lesson is that some systems can be predicted more accurately than others. Climate change is also a chaotic system, but more stable than the weather, because oceans retain heat and the composition of the atmosphere changes much more slowly than its temperature. Here’s one of the models I was talking about: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4275729.stm
>>we have conclusive proof that global temperature
>>and atmospheric CO2 are linked with the Vostok
>>core samples
>Linked in what way?
Please read this. The Vostok core samples give us 16,000 years of direct corellation between temperature and atmospheric CO2. It doesn’t prove causality, but given that we’ve been increasing CO2 in the air through industrial production, it’s pretty damning.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/warnings/stories/160000bp.html
>>and we know that warming would be worse if pollution wasn’t blocking sunlight.
>This is hardly a proven. Some types of pollution have a net effect of cooling, some of warming.
Yes, my point exactly! Which is to say, global warming is worse than it appears because we’re blocking sunlight at the same time.
>But we need to accept economic realities as well.
I agree completely. As an environmentalist, I will gladly admit the cost of shifting to more sustainable, lower-impact technologies if we’re fair and look at the costs of our current practices. There would have been no war in Iraq if we weren’t dependent on oil – that’s $2 trillion right there by some estimates. Buying foreign oil means money flows out of the U.S. – this is a drain on our economy. Oil spills are expensive to clean up, pollution may lead to costly health problems, bad logging practices hurt fish populations, et cetera.
The government has many times launched bold initiatives – the gearing up of industry to fight in WWII (supported by a 94% tax rate on the upper brackets!), the space race, the Cold War, the (idiotic) Strategic Defense Initiative. There’s no reason we can’t have a massive sustainability initiative.

Posted by: scotch at January 31, 2006 at 4:18 pm

Gekkobear,
Of course i’m talking globally. The planets environment is global.
All the problems I mentioned are very real and have not been solved. Air quality, acid rain, deforestation, desertification, water quality, and the health of our oceans and more. Somethings have improved in the US but with regulations being rolled back so will the improvement. Anyway I am talking globally and not just about the US. China needs a kick in the ass.
Ignorance is bliss and easy to maintain when we can turn all topics about the environment into a debate over global warming.
Jet,
I agree with what you say. But if you read what I wrote I am debating if global warming is man made and is happening. I did say that the North Polar Ice Cap is melting and that is a fact. But how that is connected to man made global warming is debatable.
Anyway, are you missing my point about ignoring all the other pollution problems?
Although I am not sure what the impact humans have had on global warming some of the measures to reduce this impact also have other benefits. Reducing greenhouse emmissions also reduces air pollution such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, photochemical smog and ozone depleting gases.
But all those benefits get lost if we make it into a one show debate.

Posted by: PAUL at January 31, 2006 at 7:13 pm

Ahem…that should have been 160,000 years of data from Vostok.

Posted by: scotch at January 31, 2006 at 8:21 pm

scotch,
I meant no disrespect actually when I called bs… I use that as more of a colorful figure of speech and didn’t mean it as a pejorative. My apologies.
I followed the link to “one of the models” which led to a year old report in BBC. It didn’t actually link to the study.
I did a little digging and found the original study. It claims that the increase in ocean temperature of about a half a degree farenheit over the past 40 years is predictable by a model which infers human causation for that warming.
However, 40 years is hardly a test. Let’s see how his model handles the last couple millenia, eh?
I see your model, and raise you a graphic:
http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/Moberg2005.htm
Yes, my point exactly! Which is to say, global warming is worse than it appears because we’re blocking sunlight at the same time.
You missed my point, which was, the data is inconclusive on whether the net effect of man-made pollution is to warm or cool the earth. Without knowing one way or another, you can hardly make a determination as to how warm or cold it should be with no manmade pollution whatsoever.
Vostok ice core data:
Please read this. The Vostok core samples give us 16,000 years of direct corellation between temperature and atmospheric CO2. It doesn’t prove causality, but given that we’ve been increasing CO2 in the air through industrial production, it’s pretty damning.
You said it. “It doesn’t prove causality.” Without that, you have an observation that is fairly useless for determining anything. The Vostok samples show that CO2 rises and falls above and below current levels without any help from humanity at all. That’s pretty revealing.
Lets look at some other Vostok core data though, that I find even more revealing:
http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/Vostok_short.htm
Wow… to use your term… that’s pretty damning.
http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/Vostok_long.htm
I find the longer graph interesting. We appear to be in an extended period of stable global warmth relative to epochs past. If this is indeed because of human influences, we should probably be very careful about over-correcting, lest we find ourselves in the climate of 13000 years past, and very cold indeed.
You agree to an economically realistic approach to environmentalism, but procede to make irrelevant and at the very least, debatable statments about the Iraq war and oil in general. I’ll ignore those, as they have no bearing.
A couple of things to consider:
Our dependence on foreign oil is a boon to the world economy. It provides desperately needed revenue for otherwise barren nations.
Oil spills are expensive. Pollution does lead to costly health problems. At the same time, the human life span of 1st world countries has never been higher, in spite of increased pollution. For the free market to work, money needs to change hands. Oil spills are ugly and destructive… I personally haven’t bought Exxon gas since the Valdez… but oil spills do create a whole cottage industry of environmental clean-up companies. Likewise, pollution related illnesses create economic opportunities for many people. Yes there is short-term pain involved for some, and yes that sucks royally. But take the objective and long view: every generation for the past century (give or take a few decades) has enjoyed a higher quality of life than its predecessor.
So on balance, not even reviewing all the positive products we derive from petroleum (your keyboard for instance), it seems to me that continuing to use this resource is a net gain.
Would I personally like energy independence? You betcha. Do I think the world would be a better and cleaner place with us using less? Not likely, considering that if we pulled out of the petroleum marketplace, prices would drop, making it less economically feasable for other countries to move away from fossil fuels.
After another gratuitous and debatable slur, this time at Reagan, you say There’s no reason we can’t have a massive sustainability initiative.
Well, Bush did just that. Hammered out an initiative with Pacific Rim nations aimed at an economically viable plan for reducing emissions. Let’s see what happens.
http://www.crosswalk.com/news/1342672.html
In the end, I do agree that the Earth is experiencing global warming. What extent humanity is the cause of it is extremely debatable. All evidence I’ve seen though is that net global warming up to another 5 to 7 degrees farenheit benefits humanity , and my love for cute fuzzy animals aside, I’m far more interested in humanity’s survival than all the jumping field mice in the world. The last thing I want to see is an over-correction leading to a sharp cooling. My desire would be to wait out the current period of increased solar activity, and then make adjustments if the climate continues to warm.

Posted by: krakatoa at January 31, 2006 at 8:43 pm

Is my comment being held for approval or did it not go through at all. Because scotch comment worked…

Posted by: PAUL at January 31, 2006 at 9:01 pm

krak,
>However, 40 years is hardly a test. Let’s see how his model handles the last couple millenia, eh?
Even if the model was perfect and the system was non-chaotic enough to model, I don’t think we have the data to do that. So, back to the Vostok samples. What do they tell us?
* Temperature fluctuations have occurred over a long period of time without human interference.
* Fluctuations in levels of CO2 and methane have occurred without human interference.
* Increases in temperature are definitely linked to higher levels of atmospheric CO2 and methane.
So, do increases in temperature cause increases in CO2 and methane, or is it the other way around? Well, I don’t think we can know for sure, but we know a few things about the present situation. Human action has caused an increase in atmospheric CO2. We have a good understanding of the mechanism of how CO2 and other so-called “greenhouse” gases can increase temperature. Finally, the temperature has risen despite particulates blocking sunlight. And yes, we are in a period of increased solar activity, which does muddy the waters.
>Our dependence on foreign oil is a boon to the world economy. It provides desperately needed revenue for otherwise barren nations.
I have to disagree. Oil extraction has been devastating to Nigeria, poisoning the water and destroying fishing industries. Our dependence on Venezuelan oil lead us to back a coup against the democratically elected government of Hugo Chavez (who has been the target of a propaganda war, but Amnesty International reports show that human rights violations have significantly decreased since he took office). It’s lead us to form alliances with actual dicatorships in Saudia Arabia and Kuwait. Because oil is a finite resource, I’m not sure if buying it is that helpful to the otherwise barren nations in the long term. Finally, if global warming caused by greenhouse gases is a fact, and this will be mostly harmful to humanity, then oil is not a boon to anyone.
>irrelevant and at the very least, debatable statments about the Iraq war…another gratuitous and debatable slur, this time at Reagan…
Yes, I knew those statements would be provocative to say the least, but I think it’s worth looking at how our resources are being used. Reagan did in fact slash Carter’s alternative energy initiatives, and pursued a very costly missile defense system that scientists and common sense (decoys are cheap) told us would never work. The very costly war in Iraq may not have been directly about oil, but it certainly had something to do with Saddam’s decision to sell oil by the Euro. Our policies seem to be organized around staying the predominant military power in the world in order to control access to a limited resource, with little or no thought given to conservation or alternatives. Just imagine the wind farms that $3 trillion dollars would have bought. We could be selling hydrogen instead of buying foreign oil.
> my love for cute fuzzy animals aside, I’m far more interested in humanity’s survival
It’s hard for me to admit my speciesism, but I actually agree with you. This is one reason I’m convinced we need to stop using fossil fuels and start thinking about sustainability in a big way. Let’s not forget: fossil fuel is currently the backbone of the world’s civilization. We use fossil fuel to make chemical fertilizers and pesticides, to plow and harvest, to move food, to desalinate water. It’s not just keyboards and fuel for cars, it’s food. If we don’t change our ways we’ll be forced to fight wars for shrinking resources, extract from the most sensitive places on earth, continue to alter the atmosphere and eventually hit the wall when the fossil fuels inevitably run out. Yes, dire predictions have been made before – finite still means finite.
>My desire would be to wait out the current period of increased solar activity
That sounds extremely sensible, but I don’t think we have the time to wait. In my mind, it’s probably already to late to turn the ship around, and we’re going to have a major population correction. A major investment in sustainability, including both reducing our impact on the environment and pursuing an economy based on renewable resources, seems like the only way out.
I’m going to let someone else have the last word, because I do need to get back to work. It’s been an interesting discussion.

Posted by: scotch at February 1, 2006 at 3:41 pm

scotch you are very knowledgable and respectful, thanks for your comments.

Posted by: PAUL at February 1, 2006 at 6:30 pm
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