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What is your glacier doing?

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41. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 9y

I have to agree with Madpoet about the polution in China - when we were in Beijing it was hot but you could not see any blue in the sky and the sun was hazy - it took a while to dawn on us that it was smog - at first l thought it was just overcast! The amount of Chinese spiting on the streets (which is disgusting!) to get the gunk out of their systems was unbelievable. I dont think l have ever experienced anything like that before!

42. Posted by HafJafMark (Respected Member 291 posts) 9y

Dukepa

Of course there is global warming-That is obvious-look at the history of glaciers receding since the 1880's. The question is ----What if any human contribution is causing any effect????? I know that no cars were around in the 1880's the to have any effect. Go look at the
Alaskan glacial history DOCUMENTED RECORDS
What was causing this effect in the 1880's, certainly not the exhaust from automobiles.

All previous instances of GLobal warming co-incide with a sharp rise in CO2. If you examine the alaskan records im sure youll find the same for this period. Increases in CO2 can be caused by many natural things, like volcanoes, forest fires - even solar flares (some scientists beleive). According to geological evidence however, the CO2 has never (until late 20th centaury) reached above 1 third of the current levels. So in actual fact we are 3 times above the natural cycles. This cannot be explained by natural causes, it is clearly man-made.

43. Posted by jehan (Full Member 4 posts) 9y

There was a very interesting program on Channel 4 recently called The Great Global Warming Swindle. The contributors may all have been oil company stooges, but they were pretty convincing in their arguments. Summed up by a layman these were:

Historical CO2 levels lag global temperature rises i.e. CO2 levels are an effect not a cause of global warming.

The Earth's weather is mainly driven by that huge nuclear reactor in the sky, not insignificant little us.

Global temperatures have been much higher (in the terms we are talking about) in the last few thousand years, and the polar bears are still here.

The main problem with all this, is that unless you are the climatologist actually doing the research, who do you believe?

One thing is for sure, consuming less of the Earth's resources can only be a good thing. I' m sure we'll be killing each other for oil long before the planet burns up.

44. Posted by HafJafMark (Respected Member 291 posts) 9y

I also saw that program, and most of its arguments have been widely discredited. The international magazine 'the economist' has recently reversed its opinion, and admitted that mad made climate change is happening. This was when NASA data proved that the Artic Ice cap had reduced by one third in thirty or so years.

As you say, unless you are a climateologist, how can you know for sure? There is the peer review system. When any scientific article is puplished, it undergoes rigourous scrutiny by other experts in the field. If the science is sound, then it is forwarded to a further panel of experts from related fields and picked apart. If it is agreed that the paper is authoritive, it becomes known as peer-reviewed. In the academic and scientific world, a paper is not taken seriously unless it is peer-reviewed. There has never been a peer-reviewed paper denying that climate change is being caused by man. Governments use the Peer review system when selecting advisors.

I am not saying that man-made climate change is 100% proven, but the sheer weight of evidence pointing to that theory, makes it extremly likely that it is so. Given the gravity of the threat it poses, complacency based on sceptisicm is extremly dangerous. Luckily, ever since NASA released their data, nodoby takes the sceptics seriously anymore. Even the current US administration (with their history of hostility to environmentalism) has had to acknowledge the truth.

45. Posted by jehan (Full Member 4 posts) 9y

Quoting HafJafMark

There has never been a peer-reviewed paper denying that climate change is being caused by man.

A quick search on google reveals plenty of examples of peer-reviewed papers that deny, or rather consider insignificant the effect of mankind on global warming. There are also many people claiming that the fact that these papers get through the peer-review process proves it's ineffectiveness. Either way, as an ordinary joe, you are still left with 'Who do I believe'. Obviously the question is not 'is global warming happening?', but 'are the attempts we are making to slow or halt it going to make any difference?'
As I said in my last post, I can see no downside in reducing our individual consumption of the Earth's finite resources. I myself do all the 'right' things, (buy green electricity, recycle, shop local, even cycle to work when its not hissing down) but I still do not know whether this has anything to do with halting global warming.
The most interesting aspect of the GGWS program for me was the political aspect, and I still worry that global warming is used by politicians of all creeds to keep our minds off the things we should be doing something about.

Anyhoo, I'm still about to circumnavigate the world in a jet plane, but at least through this thread I've discovered that I can buy my way into ecological heaven via an offsetting website.

46. Posted by HafJafMark (Respected Member 291 posts) 9y

A quick search on google reveals plenty of examples of peer-reviewed papers that deny, or rather consider insignificant the effect of mankind on global warming.

From dodgy sites no doubt. Check the Washington Post:

The Institute for Scientific Information keeps a database on published scientific articles, which my research assistants and I used to answer that question with respect to global climate change. We read 928 abstracts published in scientific journals between 1993 and 2003 and listed in the database with the keywords "global climate change." Seventy-five percent of the papers either explicitly or implicitly accepted the consensus view. The remaining 25 percent dealt with other facets of the subject, taking no position on whether current climate change is caused by human activity. None of the papers disagreed with the consensus position. There have been arguments to the contrary, but they are not to be found in scientific literature, which is where scientific debates are properly adjudicated. There, the message is clear and unambiguous.

To be sure, a handful of scientists have raised questions about the details of climate models, about the accuracy of methods for evaluating past global temperatures and about the wisdom of even attempting to predict the future. But this is quibbling about the details. The basic picture is clear, and some changes are already occurring. A new report by the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment -- a consortium of eight countries, including Russia and the United States -- now confirms that major changes are taking place in the Arctic, affecting both human and non-human communities, as predicted by climate models. This information was conveyed to the U.S. Senate last month not by a radical environmentalist, as was recently alleged on the Web, but by Robert Corell, a senior fellow of the American Meteorological Society and former assistant director for geosciences at the National Science Foundation.

Despite what people may tell you - there is scientific consensus on Climate Change.

47. Posted by jehan (Full Member 4 posts) 9y

Quoting HafJafMark

From dodgy sites no doubt.

My point exactly. How would one know? They all look kosher to me.

I'm not sure what makes the Washington Post such an unimpeachable source either. Check the dates too - 2003, hardly the latest views.
I agree that there is a scientific consensus, that still doesn't make it right. Scientists are notorious for espousing the detached objectivity of the scientific method, and then acting like the human beings that they are - witness the number of scientists lining up to rubbish global warming in return for petro-dollars.

I'd love to be convinced one way or the other, thanks for trying.

48. Posted by Peter (Admin 5808 posts) 9y

Quoting jehan

There was a very interesting program on Channel 4 recently called The Great Global Warming Swindle. The contributors may all have been oil company stooges, but they were pretty convincing in their arguments. Summed up by a layman these were:

Historical CO2 levels lag global temperature rises i.e. CO2 levels are an effect not a cause of global warming.

The Earth's weather is mainly driven by that huge nuclear reactor in the sky, not insignificant little us.

Global temperatures have been much higher (in the terms we are talking about) in the last few thousand years, and the polar bears are still here.

The main problem with all this, is that unless you are the climatologist actually doing the research, who do you believe?

One thing is for sure, consuming less of the Earth's resources can only be a good thing. I' m sure we'll be killing each other for oil long before the planet burns up.

This "documentary" was discussed on a blog I read. If you're going to take such propaganda at all seriously, then you owe it to everyone to look into the backstory.

More here

And I'm with HafJafMark. I'd rather believe the consensus scientific view than risk the earth listening to a few Exxon Mobil puppets. I don't need to be a climatologist to know who to trust, just like I don't need to be a doctor to listen to their advice when I'm sick.

49. Posted by HafJafMark (Respected Member 291 posts) 9y

My point exactly. How would one know? They all look kosher to me.

I'm not sure what makes the Washington Post such an unimpeachable source either.

The Washington Post, Like the economist is an internationally renowned publication and highly respected, unlike www.newsmax.com or the media outlets climate change deniers employ.

I agree that there is a scientific consensus, that still doesn't make it right. Scientists are notorious for espousing the detached objectivity of the scientific method, and then acting like the human beings that they are - witness the number of scientists lining up to rubbish global warming in return for petro-dollars.

Of course dissent should be allowed in the scientific community, otherwise wed all still think the earth was flat, but the problem is that the arguments against Climate change dont come from the scientific community - they come from the political or economic communities.

I'd love to be convinced one way or the other, thanks for trying.

Your welcome, but if the sheers weight of evidence that suppports the theory, doesnt convince you, I dont think anything ever will. Perhaps when the houses of parliament are knee deep in water, youll change your mind.

Do you also hold the belief of the cigarette companies that smoking doesnt cause cancer? Because that cant be 100% proved either you know.

50. Posted by jehan (Full Member 4 posts) 9y

Quoting HafJafMark

Your welcome, but if the sheers weight of evidence that suppports the theory, doesnt convince you, I dont think anything ever will. Perhaps when the houses of parliament are knee deep in water, youll change your mind.

Do you also hold the belief of the cigarette companies that smoking doesnt cause cancer? Because that cant be 100% proved either you know.

To recap: I do as much as the next man to reduce my carbon footprint, and I agree that we are in a period of global warming (even I can read a graph of temperature over time without becoming confused). My original post was prompted by the GGWS program, which I have heard being both rubbished and supported since.
To use Peter's analogy, I'm quite happy to take a doctor's advice when I'm sick, but I don't like it when two doctors give two different diagnoses and ask me as a layman to chose between them. (I know, one of them is obviously a quack and I should be able to spot him)

No I don't hold the belief that smoking doesn't cause cancer (nor I suspect do the cigarette companies, I think it's just a position they have to take what with them selling cigarettes). I think this is about as good an argument as ner-ner-na-ner-ner.