The Climate Crisis

December 6th, 2006

Wow.

We just watched An Inconvenient Truth. Not much in there was new to me, but to see it all presented at once is amazing.

There are vast undisputed scientific facts out there — for instance, that CO2 content in the atmosphere is higher than it’s been ever — and we can go back 650,000 years. The linkage between that and temperatures is inescapable.

Gore makes a good point: shouldn’t we be worried about more than terrorism?

Does the thought of parts of Manhattan, San Francisco, and large parts of Florida going underwater suggest a problem exists?

This really is critical and urgent.

We’ve already been thinking about it lately as we renovate our house. We’re paying a little more now for things like airtight insulation, low-energy lighting, efficient heating. Not only will it save us money in the long run, it will help improve our lives and Jacob’s life down the road.

The movie’s website is over at climatecrisis.net.

Categories: Society, Uncategorized

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  1. Anonymous

    So, first of all, please don’t take any of this as an attempt to argue against global warming; I strongly agree that the problem exists and that we need to address it.

    However, your statement “The linkage between that and temperatures is inescapable.” seems like either a non-sequitur (since it builds on evidence you haven’t mentioned) or, if you actually intended it to build on the previous statement, a case of the correlation-implies-causation fallacy. The correlation between CO2 levels and temperature does not imply a causative relationship. *Other* evidence, however, does strongly suggest such a causative relationship.

    Reply

    John Goerzen Reply:

    Fair point. I didn’t word that very well. You’re right, there is evidence of causation, and it is also very solid.

    Reply

    Andrew Reply:

    What is this evidence of causation, anyway? I’m glad you both realize correlation does not imply causation (many ignore this), but I want to know about the evidence that:

    1) Global temperature is increasing considerably (I’ve heard 0.5-1 degree F in the past 100 years, and even some of that data is suspect).

    2) The increases in the levels of greenhouse gases (including but not limited to CO2 and NH3) are primarily responsible for the increase in temperature.

    Decreasing consumption is not bad by any means, but I saw a Newsweek article from 1973 (I think) about global cooling, saying the decreased temperatures would lead to “more extreme weather”, including “floods, droughts, more powerful hurricanes, increased tornado activity, and even localized areas of warming”. Funny, if global warming AND global cooling lead to more extreme weather, we’re in really deep trouble.

    Is the fact that historically, the Earth’s climate has varied considerably, taken into account? The Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period were global events (though the claims have come up they were local), yet are ignored in many current analyses.

    Personally, I think our climate is far, far, far too complex for us to even imagine we can model it accurately, even today. We’ve only had weather satellites for the past 30 years (and they show less warming in the upper atmosphere than on the surface, yet the models predict the opposite should happen), the bias of urban heat islands for a very large number of surface stations is not addressed, and there is no accurate temperature data prior to 1900! (Tree rings are not accurate indicators of historic temperatures)

    But yeah…I say conservation is good, alternatives are good, but labeling CO2 (which is a byproduct of breathing…) as a pollutant may be a little too far until we actually have accurate models. What’s next? Will water vapor be pollution as well?

    Reply

  2. Paul Johnson

    Major US cities underwater? Ridiculous! The government would never let that happen.

    Paul.

    Reply

    John Goerzen Reply:

    Heh. And that was just part of one city. Imagine what would happen if its dozens all at once.

    Reply

  3. Anony#2

    I also want to start off by saying that I’m not arguing against global warming, but I also like the checks and balances provided by sites like [url=http://www.climateaudit.org/]Climate Audit[/url].

    Reply

  4. Robin Green

    A good companion to this – from someone a tad more radical than Gore – is George Monbiot’s new book “Heat: How to Stop the Planet Burning”, and its associated website, [url=http://www.turnuptheheat.org/]Turn up the Heat[/url]

    To quote from the front page of his site:

    “Few corporations or public figures are now stupid enough to deny that climate change is happening, or that we need to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases. Instead, most of them now claim to be on the side of the angels. They make public statements or publish reports designed to persuade us that they are “working towards sustainability”.

    In a few cases, they really are. But for every genuine reformer, there are half a dozen who are simply greenwashing their existing practices. The people who will destroy the ecosystem are not, or not only, sneering industrialists in pinstriped suits, but nice-looking people in open-necked shirts who claim that they are just as concerned as the rest of us to save the planet [...]“

    Reply

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