Shout Box

Who's Online
2 registered (2 invisible), 2 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Page 7 of 12 < 1 2 ... 5 6 7 8 9 11 12 >
Topic Options
#27870 - 03/27/07 12:51 PM Re: Step It Up 2007 [Re: Smike]
alicex4 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 3400
Washington Times Commentary:

Al Gore likes to present himself as a tribune of science, warning the world of imminent danger. But he is more like an Old Testament prophet, calling on us to bewail our wrongful conduct and to go and sin no more.
He starts off with the science. The world's climate, he reports, is getting warmer. This accurate report is, however, not set in historic context. World climate has grown warmer and cooler at various times in history. Climate change is not some unique historic event. It is the way the world works.
Not this time, Mr. Gore says. What's different is that climate change is being driven by human activity -- to wit, increasing carbon dioxide emissions. That means, he says, we have to sharply reduce those emissions. But what the scientists tell us is that some proportion of climate change is caused by human activity and some proportion by natural causes -- and that they can only estimate those proportions.
Their estimates have varied sharply. The climate change models developed don't account for events of the recent past, much less predict with precision the future.
To which the prophet replies, with religious intensity, that all debate should be over. Those scientists with inconvenient views should be defunded and silenced. We should replace scientific inquiry with faith. We should have faith that climate change -- "global warming" -- is caused primarily by human activity. And we should have faith that the effects will be catastrophic, with rising oceans flooding great cities and pleasant plains and forests broiled by a searing sun.
Even the New York Times bridles at this. After Mr. Gore won the Academy Award for his film on climate change, the Times printed an article in which respected scientists -- not Republicans, not on oil company payrolls -- charged Mr. Gore has vastly exaggerated the likelihood of catastrophic effects.
When you read the fine print of even the scientific reports Mr. Gore likes to cite, you find the same thing. Mr. Gore foresees a 20-foot rise in sea level -- 240 inches. The IPCC panel report foresees a maximum of 23 inches. Mr. Gore says "our civilization has never experienced any environmental shift remotely similar to this." Geologist Don Easterbrook says there have been shifts up to "20 times greater than the warming in the past century."
Science says we should learn more about possible bad effects of climate change and calculate rationally how we can mitigate them. Economic journalist Robert Samuelson notes there is little we can feasibly do in the short term to reduce carbon emissions; in the long term we may be able to develop substitutes for carbon fuels.
As the environmentalist Bjorn Lomberg points out, the Kyoto Treaty Mr. Gore helped to write (but which the Clinton administration never asked the Senate to ratify) would produce very little reduction in climate change at very high cost.
But religious prophets are not concerned about costs. Mr. Gore calls for an immediate cessation of new carbon-burning facilities. In other words, stop economic growth. But stopping economic growth in the developing world means consigning millions to miserable poverty. And we know what stopping economic growth in the developed world can mean. Read the history of the 1930s: fascism, communism, world war. There are worse things than a rise of 1 or 2 degrees Centigrade.
The natural human yearning for spirituality has produced in many people educated in secular-minded universities and enveloped in an atmosphere of contempt for traditional religion a faith that we vulgar human beings have a sacred obligation not to inflict damage on Mother Earth. But science tells us the Earth and its climate have been constantly changing.
Mr. Gore and his followers seem to assume the ideal climate was the one they got used to when growing up. When temperatures dropped in the 1970s, there were warnings of an impending ice age. When they rose in the 1990s, there were predictions of disastrous global warming. This is just another example of the solipsism of the Baby Boom generation, the pampered and much-praised age cohort that believes the world revolves around them and that history has become irrelevant.
We're told in effect that the climate of the late 1950s and early 1960s was, of all those that have ever existed, the best of all possible climates. Not by science. But as a matter of faith.

Top
#27871 - 03/27/07 12:58 PM Re: Step It Up 2007 [Re: Smike]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
Well Einstein, isn't that the root of about 99% of the debate.

Of course it is. My point was that it doesn't involve any "ethics." We're making best guesses on the basis of incomplete information given the probabilities of incurring potential costs. That's not an ethical calculation; it's a hard-headed analytic one.

Top
#27872 - 03/27/07 01:09 PM Re: Step It Up 2007 [Re: alicex4]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
Mr. Gore calls for an immediate cessation of new carbon-burning facilities. In other words, stop economic growth.

Whaaaaa? How does ceasing carbon-burning facilities imply stopping economic growth?

There are many energy production methods that do not burn carbon: nuclear, hydro, solar, wind. Plus there are many ways of increasing efficiency so that we get more out of the carbon we do burn, which would increase economic growth without new carbon-burning facilities (indeed, without any new energy sources at all).

As I wrote above, there can be reasonable disagreements about the effects of human activity on the environment and the costs of changing and not changing our behavior (though I'm skeptical of those running the Washington Times to be impartial evaluators of the evidence). But the idea that putting a ceiling on carbon emissions means stopping economic growth is ludicrous. Maybe the editorial staff at the Washington Times should consult a smart junior high school student to check for logical consistency next time.

Top
#27878 - 03/27/07 02:57 PM Re: Step It Up 2007 [Re: alicex4]
spasmatron Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 49
Loc: Betwixt yonder and hither
It's a shame that Al Gore is repeatedly vaunted as somehow having the authoritative say in the discussion on climate change. Why is his movie even being discussed?

The relevant facts are those in the IPCC report and The Inconvenient Truth is a Convenient Strawman for GW deniers to knock down.

Top
#27879 - 03/27/07 03:52 PM Re: Step It Up 2007 [Re: alicex4]
mworking Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/26/04
Posts: 764
 Originally Posted By: Daniel
Mr. Gore calls for an immediate cessation of new carbon-burning facilities. In other words, stop economic growth.

Whaaaaa? How does ceasing carbon-burning facilities imply stopping economic growth?

There are many energy production methods that do not burn carbon: nuclear, hydro, solar, wind. Plus there are many ways of increasing efficiency so that we get more out of the carbon we do burn, which would increase economic growth without new carbon-burning facilities (indeed, without any new energy sources at all).


And most important is that source of virtually all the earths pollution problems is growth, economic and otherwise. Stopping growth would be a good thing, and it needn’t have any impact on “consigning millions to miserable poverty.”

Top
#27881 - 03/27/07 04:21 PM Re: Step It Up 2007 [Re: socialist1]
parrhesia Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 4
 Originally Posted By: socialist1
The immediate reaction of the preserve was to attempt to shut down any actions but upon hearing the details the preserve changed its tune and wanted to join in. Apparently the preserve wanted to make it a town-wide day for the step it up campaign. Now Im not so sure what the status is and Im guessing nothing will take place.



Does anyone know if any alternative/Preserve sanctioned Step It Up actions are still being considered at or near the cliff? If so we would be very interested in participating, as would many of our friends. Please let us know how we can help.

Top
#27883 - 03/27/07 04:26 PM Re: Step It Up 2007 [Re: parrhesia]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2675
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Troll?

Top
#27893 - 03/27/07 10:23 PM Re: Step It Up 2007 [Re: chip]
rg@ofmc Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2467
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Does anyone know if any alternative/Preserve sanctioned Step It Up actions are still being considered at or near the cliff? If so we would be very interested in participating, as would many of our friends. Please let us know how we can help.

The Preserve offered their headquarters as a focal point, with the banner hoisted there. Apparently, the organizers declined.

Top
#27907 - 03/28/07 02:38 AM Re: Step It Up 2007 [Re: rg@ofmc]
parrhesia Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 4
 Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
The Preserve offered their headquarters as a focal point, with the banner hoisted there. Apparently, the organizers declined.


So, perhaps we could try to organize something else. Forget the banner. What about asking Ed Cook, or someone else doing real climate research at the Preserve, to speak about their work, about the local impact of global warming. The event could be held in the evening at the visitors center and people could climb at the uberfall during the day with Step It Up t-shirts and an informative poster at the kiosk promoting that evening's event. I was planning to go in to NYC for the Step It Up event there, but I would prefer to do something local if we can come up with an event which will engage the community instead of alienate them. Since the original event seems to have angered so many people on this board, I would love to hear what sort of event you think might be more effective.

Top
#27909 - 03/28/07 03:49 AM Re: Step It Up 2007 [Re: mworking]
Smike Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: in your backyard
 Quote:
And most important is that source of virtually all the earths pollution problems is growth, economic and otherwise. Stopping growth would be a good thing, and it needn’t have any impact on “consigning millions to miserable poverty.”

Might as well just ask the worlds population to just stop breathing since it contributes to hot air as well.

Top
Page 7 of 12 < 1 2 ... 5 6 7 8 9 11 12 >


Moderator:  webmaster 
Sponsored