Climate Change

Sierra Vista, AZ(Zone 8b)

We've come here from the second GMO thread ( The climate change topic sort of veered off the GMO discussion). Anyway, let me start off with a comment and a question: I am unaware of any claims or reports that suggest sea level changes of the magnitude expressed by greenhouse_gal, yet she is obviously reporting something real that she is seeing. Any ideas?

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

We have a little place not far from here. It is called Devil's Lake, North Dakota.
It rises & falls at will.
It is now on the upswing. It has devoured farmland, houses, roads for many years. Some roads have been rerouted half a dozen times.
Scientists studying this thing said it has a long history of doing this. These are like hundred year cycles. Rising water, then receding water.

Vista, CA


GG could well have been right about the water reaching the dock, but it would not have been from the sea level rising. Subsidence is a very common thing along shore lines or many other areas. On the NW side of Long Beach CA, where oil was pumped out for many years, the ground surface around the oil wells are several feet below sea level and are protected by high Berms and dewatering systems.

If the dock piling had not been driven to bedrock, the dock would have settled along with the soil.


Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

>> We just pick what sounds best to us, what fits our core beliefs.

I mostly agree with Kirk- what we think about climate change seems to correlate 90-99% with our political philosophy, and I think that our ideologies mostly control which "facts" we accept.

Those who believe in minimum governmental intervention don't think we should do anything about anthropogenic climate change until the tropics dry up and catch fire and Kansas has been a desert for enough years to rule out random fluctuations (I apologize for exaggerating).

Those who believe in trying to fix national or global problems with governmental intervention think we should reduce CO2 production, industry and population until we have a return to am imagined pastoral Golden Age, no matter how much it costs anyone, by government fiat, because we "might" be facing a planetary crisis as bad as the dinosaur extinctions. (This is also an exaggeration, but that seems fair).

Personally, I think that comparing short term random weather fluctuations to glacial / interglacial changes supports the "Warmie" position much more than it supports the "Denier" position.

Patterns of crop growth and how many people the arable land in a region can support is sensitive to what, 0.5% of the climate change represented by the Ice Ages? As the climate flip-flops and seeks a new stability, agricultural regions will have to adapt (perhaps every year) to changes like that between the "Little Ice Age" and today. Even if we could have grown tropical crops in Kansas one year, or SHOULD have planted cool-weather crops in FL the next year, what it will really mean is terribly low yields until climate stabilizes again.

- - -

We are already in an interglacial, on the "warm" side of mega-climate variations. Going as much farther over the TOP of interglacial warming as that interglacial is already hotter than "Canada covered by mile thick glaciers" will put us into a climate region truly unprecedented on this planet. Even if that is only a "might", it seems worthy of preventive action.

The "Warmies" are concerned about exploring what the planet does when it gets even hotter than interglacial periods have ever been in the past.

Jumping into that climate regime and THEN finding out how many humans it can support seems overly risky. I wonder why conservatives seem willing to risk that much change?

I read that the DoD came up with threat assessments for scenarios where climate change made various regions unable to feed their populations. Some of them have modern weapons, and widespread famine seems like an essential national interest: "accept a few million immigrants or else" ... "ship us wheat or else" ... divert fresh water back to us or else" ).

- - -

The change in CO2 concentration from 200 to 300 ppm correlates with the change from the deepest Ice Age to hottest interglacial (whichever way the causation goes!) That is only 100 ppm.

We already broke that record by ANOTHER 100 ppm - we're up to 400 ppm!

And we're aimed straight for 500 ppm by simple extrapolation without any upward inflection in another 50 years. TWICE the change that correlates with ice ages, from humans, in 100 years or so.

That's why I think the burden of proof ("don't worry") is on anyone who can imagine that it might not be an unprecedented disaster in process.

That's what I mean by hitting a delicate, poorly understood machine with a BIG brick. Considering that our crops and our lives depend on that machine, I don't get warm fuzzies from the argument that we have not PROVEN yet that hitting a grandfather clock with a brick MIGHT not make it run faster or slower or do something unprecedented.

- - -

I do have some sympathy for the desire to avoid throwing bricks into every aspect of industry and the economy! Or spending giga-bucks of tax money on "maybes". That is a big problem and a huge cost. But the alternative is likely to be worse for our children and almost certain to be extremely worse for our grandchildren.

I guess "Deniers" believe that it will be relatively easy to set the clock back to 100 years ago, 50 years from now, so deferring the decision until glaciers are melting and oceans are rising makes sense.

Umm, wait. Glaciers ARE retreating at unprecedented rates and the ocean IS up 6" already.

Until 3-4 years ago, I was puzzled that the climate was so slow to respond to the "400 ppm brick". Now I've seen it responding, but deniers are still denying.

- - - -

Part of the "Warmie" concern is that climate change might be like weather (chaotic) and that it is hard to predict correctly what effect small changes will have. "Chaotic" also means that it might not be easily reversible. (True, it "might" not. But I wouldn't play Russian Roulette with your children's lives, whether there were 1, 2 or 4 bullets in the cylinder.)

In this case, since reversing the change would probably have to START with getting global CO2 from 400 or more ppm down to around 200 ppm to force the chnage, it would surely mean even greater changes to the global economy than we contemplate now, to decrease the rate of getting worse.

So there would be a built-in delay of what? 50 - 200 years to START the climate turnaround?

And I expect there to be crop failure, famine and extreme weather to stress the economy in the near future. So it will be many times harder to REVERSE climate change than to prevent it.

And if the idea of "tipping points" is true, and there are thresholds of resistance for flipping from one climate regime to another (like "climactic inertia") then the problem of recovery from climate change is even worse.

The "Warmies" won't be able to PROVE it to the "Deniers" until we've dropped into the unknown territory on the other side of this tipping point. And then changing back to an endurable climate might be even harder than "just" reducing the global CO2 from 450 or 500 ppm to 200 ppm (pre-industrial levels).

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Rick, I agree with you completely about the concerns you raise. I have grandchildren and I am really worried about the world we are leaving them.

However, you write "Jumping into that climate regime and THEN finding out how many humans it can support seems overly risky. I wonder why conservatives seem willing to risk that much change?"

The answer is that conservatives don't feel that there is any risk at all. They are convinced that climate change is simply a bugaboo created by liberal interests.

And Ernie, I'm not just talking about a dock. I'm talking about my own property which now floods routinely when it never flooded before, and towns that have gradually returned to the bay and now have left no signs that they ever existed.

Decatur, GA(Zone 7b)

I'm not a scientist, and I would say there are folks posting on this and the GMO thread who know a lot more about this than I do and I appreciate hearing everyone's offerings. Two things that jump out at me in the links below are first, that the CO2 level is much higher now than at any previous time in the earth's history. And second, that, while sea levels changed little from AD 0 to 1900 they have climbed since about the beginning of the 20th century and that the rate of increase in sea level rise has increased since 1990.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Setting aside for the moment which side is more likely to be right, and ignoring what level of proof is appropriate before damaging an economy to prevent possible global disaster, there is still one interesting thing that we seem to agree on.

Our ideologies color - or determine - what we will accept as facts, even when they seem to be as documented as glaciers retreating and "smallest amount of summer ice in recorded history".

Maybe from the other perspective it sounds like I'm confusing science fiction with fact.

But I bet you could find a REALLY high correlation between political party / ideology and opinion about how proven climate change is. If true, that almost proves that one or both sides are almost immune to evidence.

Even if part of the divide is what you habitually read and believe, I don't think anyone fails to hear the faithful on both sides singing their own hymns: "We're all gonna DROWN" and "Nonsense, the fact that I have seawater up to my knees doesn't PROVE anything! I've had wet knees before and will again, that isn't CLIMATE change."

Vista, CA


Have you or anyone in your area contacted the US Geodetic Survey, i believe that is the agency that sets Benchmarks with absolute elevations in different parts of the Country? They might be able to tell you whether or not the land in your area is subsiding, and it can do that.

There may be other explanations, but if Nasa is correct, and that has not been disputed, that the sea level has not risen but a fraction of an inch since 1995, there has to be some explanation of why you see the apparent rise in the sea water level there. I believe you are sincere in what you say, but the reason for it is not clear. If this has taken place in the last few years, there are probably the remains or stumps of Freshwater plants that would still be visible at low tide that were growing there before the change. That would confirm what you are saying.

While that would not settle the question of whether the ground sank or the water level rose, it would certainly prove that the change you describe has happened exactly the way you believe.

I think if i lived there i would ask the Corp of Engineers to explain to me why it happened.

If your property is back some distance from the ocean, and not in the tidal zone, the drainage for the fresh water at your place may be obstructed to keep it from reaching sea level fast enough.

We are all interested in whether the Sea Level is actually rising or not. as that will be a serious problem, IF it happens in large amounts.

And on your other comment, I for one certainly believe there are lots of risks in all parts of our lives, and since we do not know which ones are coming for sure we have to have a clear target before we shoot all our bullets at it.


Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

My background is in the sciences and I'd consider my beliefs pretty liberal...that being said...I have been lucky enough to have done a lot of traveling both in the USA and abroad...I am a firm believer in Climate Change not Global Warming....the earth has been changing for ions, there is too much evidence to even begin to site this. Just look at the Roman Aquaducts in Spain...after this winter of freezing my buns off the term "global warming" makes me laugh...I have plants that have been killed by this winter's cold....some got cooked to death in the summer of 2010 or 2011 i can't remember which. IMHO that's just the way things work...nothing is stagnant.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)


Thanks for those links.

"Since 1992, new methods of satellite altimetry ... indicate a rate of rise of 3 millimeters (0.12 inches) per year.

This is a significantly larger rate than the sea-level rise averaged over the last several thousand years. "


>> The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) of ocean showing warming of 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969. *8

*8 - - Levitus, et al, "Global ocean heat content 19552008 in light of recently revealed instrumentation problems,"
- - - Geophys. Res. Lett. 36, L07608 (2009).

Bummer. That would explain where the heat is going. Specific heat of seawater vs. air ... density of seawater vs air ...

"The amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the upper layer of the oceans is increasing by about 2 billion tons per year." *14, *15

*14 C. L. Sabine, The Oceanic Sink for Anthropogenic CO2, Science vol. 305 (16 July 2004), 367-371

*15 I. Allison, The Copenhagen Diagnosis: Updating the World on the Latest Climate Science, UNSW Climate Change Research Center, Sydney, Australia, 2009, p. 11 p. 36.

Oh, #@^#*!!

So the extra 200 ppm in the air is only part of what we'll have to work off? There's another 200 billion tons PER YEAR that the Keeling Curve doesn't even SHOW?

Gee, did I thank you for those links? Let me reconsider my words! (Just kidding - while I would rather know that I was being too alarmist, I would even more rather know the facts. The second link had the best "mega-Keeling Curve" I ever saw. That says it all.

(Expand to see the punchline.)

Thumbnail by RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

BTW, during a period of chaotic change, it is totally likely that "opposites" will occur. for example, suppose that the thermo-haline circulation slowed down as an early effect of warming seawater and melting Arctic floating ice. I don't know that that IS happening, but suppose.

Then it would carry less heat from the tropics up to the Arctic where it usually leaves behind some heat and some fresh water then "takes a dive" into the abyssal depths and circulates back to the tropics.

IF all that happened, then less heat would be provided to North America and we would have some cold winters.

My only point here is that the warming effect is sure to happen over centuries, and weird stuff is likely to happen as the climate flounders around, seeking a new equilibrium.

The long-term signals are unfortunately present: melting glaciers, warming sea surface and rising global sea level.

One guy just walked by my desk and reassured me that "natural processes will surely balance out" the warming effect of CO2.

"Starving nations will trigger nuclear wars, and then nuclear winter plus devastated economies and nine-times-decimated world population will cure the CO2-driven warming effect.

Problem solved."

He was joking, but I wish that were an unrealistic scenario following widespread crop failures.

Vista, CA


I am going to let Drobarr or someone else discuss the Carbon question with you, but i agree our beliefs are rooted in our own philosphy and that in turn influences our political leanings.

I am a firm believer in the old Aphorism that "The Boy is the Father of the Man", and i assume you were of the same philosphy when you were a boy as you are now, and i know i was, so that predates our choosing whether to be a liberal or a conservative.

I would never consider asking my neighbors to pay to have my teeth pulled now just because I am worried , if i live long enough, they will cause big problems later. But the Warmies are trying to have everyone else pay to ease those worries that only they have.

And another big reason i am not in favor of it ,. I grew up during the big depression, and saw far too much of real poverty, so i never grew away from a real concern for poor people. And the regulations that are being proposed to slow down Global Warming are going to destroy thousands of jobs in the coal mines, make it more difficult for other working people to pay for electricity, etc. that i just do not think if is worth it unitl we see real signs it is going to happen.

I was watching a Congressional hearing a few days ago, and a big shot from the Administration testified that the estimated costs of eliminating the coal fired Power plants will increase the wholesale cost of electricity 80 or 90%. That was not a rabid conserative that said that, He was from the Administration.

And, large parts of Kansas was a desert for several years during the mid 1930's, but the Climate Changed back, and it is no longer the desert that it was for a few years.


Vista, CA


>> The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) of ocean showing warming of 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969. *8

Read more:

I am sure the ocean does not warm all over at the same rate. The current reason for the CA and Southwestern drought we are currenly enduring is caused by the tropical Pacific Ocean being much cooler than normal. [Less evaporation, so less moisture in the air]

Measured by the Satellite telemetry, the Ocean is rising by 1/8" a year, 1" every 8 years,1' every 96 years. How does that compare with what Al Gore was warning us about a few years ago, when he was talking about Major Cities being unlivable soon. Could he have been wrong then? If he was, could he be wrong again?

I have not confirmed it, but i did read in a Wall Street Journal column, that so far, the Farmer's Almanac predictions have been more accurate than the Global Warming Scientists.


This message was edited Feb 20, 2014 8:24 PM

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I like the irony of many people from various parts of the world flying to Kyoto to meet at a conference to discuss how to get everybody else to use less carbon. I think it actually speaks volumes about human nature- "My wants are valid, your are negotiable" Oh by the way, just how big is Al Gore's house? How much personal climate controlled living space does he command?

Decatur, GA(Zone 7b)

I know that Al Gore has said a lot about climate change and irritated a lot of people, but why are we discussing him here? The climate will not be influenced by him, nor by what any of us has to say. I am thinking that there may be other ways of interpreting the data from the noaa and nasa links above. At least I hope there is. I believe it's data, not Al Gore, that should concern us.

Vista, CA


I agree with you, and everyone i talk to that does not believe in Global Warming does believe in Climate Change. I have not met any of the people that Rick being cavalier about the whole problem. We all believe it is possible, but not more than a fifty fifty chance as it can go either way, just as the world has been doing for countless years.

Sally, i agree with you, too.


Hummelstown, PA(Zone 6b)

There is no doubt the oceans have risen some. And temperatures have risen some.

What hasn't scientifically been established yet is the cause. There are many theories. But it is too soon in my opinion to come to a conclusion based on what little we know.

Vista, CA


Al Gore, like him or laugh at him, will always be a part of the Global Warming debate.

Dependable data should be, as you say, what concerns us. but being sure it is not biased before believing it is the big problem.

My Daddy told me many years ago, to always remember: "Figures don't Lie, But Liars can Figure." So after all the reports of cooked books on the data, I need to see more than just the data that has been interpreted by True Believers..

I have no problem believing the figures on the Ocean rising, as given by Satellite Telemetry or Nasa,, but i am very skeptical of biased predictions base on that data.


Decatur, GA(Zone 7b)

I'm not making any predictions and I am also skeptical of anyone, Al Gore included, telling me what is going to happen. I also believe that establishing a cause is a complicated task, certainly beyond me. Still I can't get myself to believe that we humans are not having a big effect on the process. I also don't claim to know what it is that we should do or if it even matters. Well, I guess I think that it matters, but what would it take and is it even feasible?

Vista, CA


That is just about how I feel about it. But the history of the world tells us that every species either adapts to the changes as they happen, or they go extinct. But until now, no one has had any success trying to guess what the next change will be, so it does not make any sense bankrupting our country trying to make major changes before we have identified what is going to happen and what it will take to prevent it.

The short term predictions for Global Warming have been so far off the mark, and so overhyped, that the majority of the people simply are not ready to make that sacrifice yet.

The figures Rick gave above on the rise of the Oceans that I extrapolated showing an increase of one foot in 96 years does not present much danger as our main cities waterfronts are several feet above sea level now, and will need rebuilding any way before the sea level becomes a problem,

If it does warm up, that will cause more evaporation from the oceans which will cause more rain, but slow down the oceans rise, and each one of those new problems will be handled as they occur, just like mankind has handled all the problems in the past.

So, i think this is something we all need to be aware of, but certainly nothing to panic over yet.


Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

It's complicated.

Enterprise, AL(Zone 8b)

With out knowing the cause or the cure, with the political systems we have in place, with countries not being able to solve even simple world wide problems, I think our world being destroyed my a meteor is more likely than us solving the climate change problem. Under the current system, it looks like to me any money spent on solving climate change is just going into some special interest groups pockets.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

ditto Seedfork

Decatur, GA(Zone 7b)

I really have no idea what should be done or if it really matters if anything is done about climate change. That would be an issue too complex for me to comprehend. I only wanted to know whether or not the data support the idea that the climate is indeed changing more or faster than at previous times in the earth's history and in terms of atmospheric CO2 and sea level the answers seem to be yes. I don't know nearly enough to say that those changes will not in the end make this a better world although my guess is that it will get pretty rough for a lot of people. To the extent that smog is a factor I would say that our government has done a good job with policy decisions at least compared to cities I've visited in Latin America and Asia. I expect to pass the remainder of my years happy in the garden.

Vista, CA


None of us know what is going to happen in the far distant future, but it seems pretty obvious to me that Life is going to be awfully rough for the Coal Miners that have their jobs destroyed in the next few years as our Coal fired power plants are forced to shut down while India and China are opening new Coal fired plants every few weeks.

I think the difference between the Warmies and the Coolies is simply a matter of confidence, in themselves and in the Human Race. Warmies do not believe they are smart enough and strong enough to meet the problems as they occur, While the Coolies look back and see that our ancestors have always been able to cope with whatever life drops on them,, and that we will most likely be able to do the same thing in the future.

It is just nonsense that the Warmies say the Coolies do not care about the future or are too dumb to worry. Everyone is scared of what the future may hold, but some people can control those fears better than others.

Or so it seems to me,

Alexandria, IN(Zone 6a)

I will introduce a third element here. I believe in God. I believe He made all things for His good pleasure. I believe that He knows ALL things from the beginning to the end . I believe that He is in total control. I also believe that He has given mankind a free will to choose right and wrong. Behind it all, I believe that His secret will is being done. Yes, mankind has caused a lot of suffering. God did not want puppets on strings though. Through it all He will have a redeemed people that have chosen Him rather than Satan and his flashy, speedy, evil, and corner cutting ways.

I believe that God knew all about the current topic being discussed here and is more than able to care for His children who trust in Him. I believe the end is at hand for this dispensation. I believe that God made man in His image with an intelligence to commune with Him...if we so choose. No, I am not a young earther. The first verse of the Bible says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." It does not give the year of that beginning. It appears at the present time to be about 14.4 billion yeas ago. The second verse in the Bible shows God custimizing the earth..from . material which was created "in the beginning." This could be 10 billion years after the universe was created. After that He is forming life out of the material created 'in the beginning.'

So I realize that mankind does cause problems, but I believe that God is more than man enough to handle it in His way. Yes, I expect to be here long after unbelievers are long gone.

This message was edited Feb 21, 2014 5:51 PM

Sierra Vista, AZ(Zone 8b)

Here's a link to an article written by two UAH professors of atmospheric science:

It makes me very uncomfortable to see them make the assertion that funding for climate research is based on the researchers view of the problem, in other words, funding goes to those who accept the idea of anthropogenic warming. It echoes something my a friend of mine--a PhD chemist at several major universities, has claimed for years.

My personal position has been as a skeptic (NOT denier) for a long time, recently deciding that AGW is likely and, even if it isn't a problem, it seems unwise to me for us to be altering the composition of the atmosphere.

The bigger issue, in my mind, is the global economic picture. IF we cease, or cut way back on, the use of fossil fuels, what happens to the world's poor. Is it OK for us to deprive them of energy? I don't see a cost effective alternative source for energy.

This leads me to another issue that has been tinged (an understatement)with political overtones--the use of nuclear energy. Tell me where you stand on this issue and I can, to a good first approximation, tell you what your political view is. The science of this issue is clear--nuclear is safe, clean, and available. It can help us bridge the gap between fossil fuels and future technologies like solar and maybe even fusion. France gets over 80% of its electricity from nuclear. For a factual discussion of all energy technologies, I recommend "Energy for Future Presidents", written by Cal professor Richard Muller, a physicist.

I know some of you are very skeptical of large corporations, and with many good reasons. I tend to view large government as at least an equally bad actor, mainly based on its inefficiency, its tendency to be influenced by $$$ and voter opinion (which is often ignorant). For instance, we've had an energy department at the federal level for over thirty years, but we still have no coherent energy policy. Our young men and women are still dying in the Middle East over, at the bottom line, oil. No, I don't believe we are there at the behest of Exxon to steal the oil. We're there because that oil is our life blood. If it doesn't flow, we are in trouble. If they didn't have oil, we wouldn't care what they did.

I wish our politicians could get past labeling their opponents as evil, that just spills down to all of us. We never see Coke describing Pepsi as evil. But virtually every politician refers to his/her opponent as a "baby-killer" "socialist", "wants to push granny off the cliff", whatever. There are objective answers to many problems, but the pols would rather be elected by supporting whatever group(s) will get them elected than try to lead us by presenting facts. Too many of us join in their lunatic methods, believing we're white knights and the other side is Satan.

Vista, CA


Courage to face the future unafraid is good, regardless of where it cones from..


Vista, CA


Very well said and i am sorry i do not have time to digest it now, and discuss in detail the points you make.

I too am not a denier that the climate is changing. I am just skeptical of the warming hype.


Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

>> i assume you were of the same philosphy when you were a boy as you are now

Actually, no. As a kid, I bought into a lot of conservative/libertarian ideas and still beleived that "laissez-faire capitalism" described the US economy, and that elections were decided by thoguthful people reasoning about the issues.

I still have a libertarian philosophy but I no longer beleive that it's a viable way to run a country. Many utopian visions "would" work if people were angels, or at least were exactly what the utopian authors thought that they were. But people are people, swayed by stupid and obviously decietful 30-second TV ads, unreasoned prejudices, ego, "me-too-ism" and devotion to panering political parties.

Cliches from childhood come back to haunt me: like de Toquville's critiques of democracy, us being the pot calling the kettle black and saying that some OTHER countries 'are not ready for democracy" when we aren't either (or we no longer are).

The outstanding cliche that seems true is that democracy may be very flawed (given the electorate we have to work with), but it is still probably the best system known. I hope that we keep trying for campaign financing reform and pulling our own heads "ex posteriori" to give democracy another try.

>> But the Warmies are trying to have everyone else pay to ease those worries that only they have.

My understanding of what I read is that the group that you think is a small, dleuded minority includes most climate scientists, NOAA, NASA, people with not much poolitical agenda, etc. I understand that we disagree about that.

Which reminds me - you said:

>> i agree our beliefs are rooted in our own philosphy and that in turn influences our political leanings.

I said something different, and I stand by what I said, that our ideologies very strongly affect what we believe is true.

That is to say, I see many people with strong conservative, anti-taxation and anti-regulatory ideologies denying what seem to me pretty clearly established facts that point very clearly to climate change already being underway and extremely plauibly pointing to severe consequences in the near future - a few decades to 50 or 100 years.

If I thought it was likely to be easy to fix AFTER the fact, I might accepot the idea of "do nothing until it is totally undeniable, even by Republicans, that we have already fallen off the climate cliff and have global famines".

Of course I don't think that. CO2 levels and climate are already extremely hard and expenisve to reverse and will get harder every year that we delay.

Two billion tons per year going into the oceans alone!
Another 1.6 ppm per year excess accumulating in the atmosphere!

I see that more like a house on fire, and I'm not moved by the counterargument that I haven't PROVEN that this fire will burn the WHOLE house down, and that we should not get out of the house or spend tax dollars on water to put the fire out, since we can always wait until later to start extinguishing the flames.

The poor will be hurt by anything we do, but they will be hurt most when crop failures make food unaffordable.
I agree that the changes needed to slow down or reverse climate chnage will be expensive and difficult. More so the longer we wait!

The Dust Bowl is a good example of climate change, so early in the anthropogenic CO2 era that it might have been a normal fulctuation. Trying to extrapolate the keling curve backwards to 1930, the CO2 level was maybe around 265 ppm. Comparing that to the mega-Keeling Curve, at least 265 ppm was a level the Earth had sxeen in the last 125,000 years.

The climate change "theory" is that things like the Dust Bowl will fairly soon become common, interspresed with monsoons where they never occured before and hurricanes more frequent and violent than usual. Then, as the warming trend continues, more unusally hot days, followed by higher average temps.

The article in Tech Review referred to one crop study / historical analysis that looked a at grain yields as a function of temp-extreme days and concluded that from 1980 to 2008, the yields from wheat and corn were depressed by 2-3% from what they would have been without the weather change. (Yields are still generally going up, but not as much as they would have in steadier weather). And yes, that could be fluctutaion and it does sound speculative. But if we trust a Stanford professor of earth science about crop crop yileds as much as we would trust a Stanford professor of GMOs, maybe he's telling the truth.

It seems that you're lumping anyone who thinks the evidence of climate change IS convincing must be a "Warmie", perhaps hopelessly liberal , and certainly deluded.

I'm with NASA, NOAA, most other countries, climatologists who aren't paid by conservative think tanks and authors in Tech Review

If our idieologies prevent us from agreeing on what constitutes scientific proof, we will have little success discussiong climate climate.

>> How does that compare with what Al Gore was warning us about a few years ago,

Argument ad hominem. That's as valid an argument as "one anti-GMO nut also believes in Yoga Flying, therefore GMOs are safe". NO ONE knew much about climate warming back then, and the ealiest models were excactly what you would expect from a young science (climate modeling). Why, back then we knew so little about global warming from CO2 that even some academices were not convicned yet!

>> I believe it's data, not Al Gore, that should concern us.

I agree with that. Interpreting the data is hard enoguh without denying the facts as Step One,

Ernie, when you say "climate change", do you mean natural fluctuations such as we have historical experience with, not much affected by CO2 changes, or do you mean climate CHANGE to unusual extremes of weather such as are NOT historically normal (which some people think are caused by man-made greenhouse gases).

I'm glad to find one thing to agree on. Sea level rise won't be as signifcant as crop loss and proerty dmaage due to extreme weather, unless you live on a low-lying island. I suspect that Gore and stuopid newspapers hyped that becuase it was dramatic and easy to demonise. Dumb stuff, but simple to print. Monsoons and hurricanes have alrewady killed many people.

I guess we could keep debating the statistics until the body count is PROVABLY UNDENIABLE. Let the problem get worse by many billions of tons before even starting to try to reverse it? That's a plan?

>> I think our world being destroyed my a meteor is more likely than us solving the climate change problem.

Yes, but having famines and thousnads of deaths from extreme storms is thousands of times more likely than a large meteor strike. Like, in my opinion, 60% likely in 30 years, 80% likely in 60 years and 90% likely i 100 years.

>> I believe the end is at hand for this dispensation.

I thoguht you were going to say that we had over-stayed our welcome and abused his patience too much, and he was going to allow the Flood in hopes that the survivors would find more wisdom and less greed.

>> nuclear is safe, clean, and available.

It can be, if the companies pay more attention to safety than increasing their profit margin.,

>> I tend to view large government as at least an equally bad actor, mainly based on its inefficiency, its tendency to be influenced by $$$ and voter opinion (which is often ignorant).

Yeah. Sigh!

>> warming hype

True, there is a lunatic fringe in the "Warmie" camp. And I admit that a few of those extremists want to compel something like a turning away from all technology and industry. That crazier than the Unabomber, who at least knew that eliminating industry would also require 8 or 9 out of every 10 people to volunteer to die ... and he knew there would not be enough volunteers!

But the fact that one "side" or another has some amazing Bozos is not what makes one side or the other right or wrong.

And it's true that everyone will suffer hugely if we try to eliminate or reduce fossil fuel use without replacing it with something besides "more efficiency".

Once again, Bean has the best summary: yeah, SOMEthing is happening, what what should we DO about it? What CAN we do?

Ernie, I hope that the change is "merely" as severe as Dust Bowls all over, half the time, and that we can stumble through those hardships without triggering major wars. AND then find a way to climb back up the cliff we are already falling down.

My pessimism comes partly from the fact that right now, we aren't even TRYING yet, and that it will get harder every year.

Vista, CA


I am leaving for the weekend in a few minutes, and very frustrated that i cannot take the time now to counter most of the points you make that, for the sake of truth, need to be balanced.

I will look forward to doing so Sunday or Monday..

And thanks again, for doing your part to help keep this discussion so lively.


Sierra Vista, AZ(Zone 8b)

Zounds, Rick. I believe you might be even more skeptical and pessimistic than I am!

Regarding your thoughts on the direction of the country and the mediocre success of democracy, I'll suggest one thought we both can agree on (I hope). We need better education--in science and in the liberal arts. This (here's my pessimism and skepticism showing) is another instance where federal government intervention has been a failure as well. Thirty plus years of the DoE and our schools continue to decline.

A true story: My son came home from either a physics or chemistry class in the late 80s and announced that hot water freezes faster than cold water. I called his teacher, who insisted this was true. He explained to me that, since hot water molecules are more 'mobile/energetic" than cold water molecules, they are more easily able to "snap into" the lattice structure that is ice. This is certainly not proof of bad schools, but it's a good story.

Yep, democracy is the worst form of government except all the others.

Decatur, GA(Zone 7b)

According to the Department of Physics at the University of California, the teacher was correct.
It does sound incredible, but I remember hearing the same thing from a friend who was a graduate student at Georgia Tech years ago.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)


I look forward to our discussion! Have a good weeekend.

Willy said:
>> Zounds, Rick. I believe you might be even more skeptical and pessimistic than I am!

Sad to say, yes.

>> We need better education

I think you're probably right, but I think that what is even more lacking is wisdom and willingness to make several kinds of effort. One effort is to do hard reading and hard thinking. Education can probably help develope those muscles and the habit of expecting to work for it if you wnatto understand anything more complicated than celbrity scandals or political party slogans.

i think the hardest and rarest kind of mental or psychological effort is hard to define. Something like honesty with self and wisdom - the ability to know when we're "just cranky" or "opinionated" or swayed by our biases (especially fears, ego and ideology).

If I knew ALL my own motives, maybe I would even question my skepticism and pessimism. I have read that the the most cynical skeptics are frustrated idealists.

Something like "Know thyself", or "to thine own self be truthful" But it's not hard. It's easy to think that we are ruthlessly honest with ourselves.

>> hot water freezes faster than cold water

Robert Heinlein said "Never underestimate the power of human stupidity." There was a clever episode of (I think) Voyager where they visited some planet of Vulcan-like people, very logical, but with per-mechanical industry and science. They were "logical" enough to know that things should make sense, especially scientific theories. A teacher was screamingly hilarious as she threw out simplistic, "logical-sounding" but silly theories to children exactly as if any thought that crossed her mind and could be made to sound scientific was proven knowledge.

"There but for the grace of God go all of us."

The version I like better is "cold water boils faster than hot water". You might even be able to win a bet in a bar with that one, if you define "boil" as "when the first bubble appears".

Warm up some water and cool down other water.

Have a beer.

During that time, more air will dissolve into the cold water and some dissolved air will escape from the warm water, since (most) gases are more soluble in (most) cold liquids than in warm liquids.

Now heat both slowly.

(Side Note 1: If you place both on a hot plate of the same temperature, the cold one will heat at a faster RATE than the warm one (in degrees per minute) because heat flows faster when the delta-T is greater. Thermodynamics!)

(Side Note 2: The warm one will always be hotter than the cold one because of its head start. Both would be obvious from a graph, sorry I said it uncleanly. But it doesn't matter.)

Very soon, the warming cold water will not be able to hold as much air in solution. Since it is warming pretty fast, the air won't have time to diffuse to the surface and all escape from the surface. It will form a few tiny AIR bubbles wherever the water is warmest.

Collect on your bet QUICKLY and leave fast, because obviously the other water will BOIL first.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Well, the stupidity was mine. I guess there are multiple circumstances under which that can happen, but they are still arguing about how and why.

I will stand by my theory that THIS is a stupid explanation ... until someone shows that it's the correct explanation:

"hot water molecules are more 'mobile/energetic" than cold water molecules, they are more easily able to "snap into" the lattice structure that is ice."

P.S. The Wikipedia article said in an ambiguous place that "In all cases the water supercools, reaching a temperature of typically -6C to -18C before spontaneously freezing." maybe they only meant in all of David Auerbach's experiments.

And it needs to be phrased as "can freeze sooner, under SOME initial conditions".

But that high school teacher [b]got me[/b] and my preconceived know-it-all notions.

Hope I'm wrong about AGW too! (Human-caused global climate change)

Alexandria, IN(Zone 6a)

>> I believe the end is at hand for this dispensation.

>>>I thoguht you were going to say that we had over-stayed our welcome and abused his patience too much, and he was going to allow the Flood in hopes that the survivors would find more wisdom and less greed.

Rick, You apparently believe that life would just continue on indefinitely on this planet unless something or things ended it. I have a different outlook. I believe in a plan for this mind boggling sized universe. I believe this little planet earth has a very specific purpose and that the initial phase is closing and that we will enter another phase soon. Scripture points to that.

I believe in good steward ship in what we have been entrusted with. I don't think that man's plans will come to any "salvation" for the topic at hand....climate change. As you said, perfect people with a perfect government could deal with so many of our problems, but we have neither.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

>> I believe this little planet earth has a very specific purpose and that the initial phase is closing and that we will enter another phase soon.

Respectfully, I hope that turns out not to be the case! I would rather see humankind evolve into an intelligent form of life, and demonstrate some basic stewardship skills and a higher percentage of virtues over vices then we demonstrate now, at least in large groups and large organizations.

Despite my cynicism, I do think that individual people have the potential to be pretty good and often are decent except under temptation (and sometimes even then).

We don't seem to have found the right way to nurture individuals' potential to bring out their best nature in large groups like political parties.

emerson, arkansas, United States

i remember in the in the early 70's that we would be in the next ice age if we didnt change. tornados, storms, ect. was blamed on global cooling. then 25 years later it was global warming. then the temp stopped rising for 15 years all of a sudden its climate change just like the earth has done from the beginning of time

Alexandria, IN(Zone 6a)

>>>Respectfully, I hope that turns out not to be the case! I would rather see humankind evolve into an intelligent form of life, and demonstrate some basic stewardship skills and a higher percentage of virtues over vices then we demonstrate now, at least in large groups and large organizations.

Rick, you have more faith in evolving and perhaps genetically modifying them, and perhaps selective breeding than I do. With all of the nuclear and bacterial potential dangers already developed by science, we don't stand a chance by our own "good" selves. Man by his fallen nature is selfish and needs a change...not a new leaf turn over.

Starkville, MS(Zone 8a)

It is kind of difficult keeping up with all this "information", when part of it is posted on the "GMO" and part of it is posted on "Climate Change". Both threads are under "The Vegetable Gardening" forum. It would be far simpler IF all these posts were under the Climate Change thread, don't you think?

Ken, confused in Mississippi

P. S. The area where I live in Mississippi averages about 300' above sea level, with our hills averaging around 500' above sea level. Huge areas of sea shells are located in my county, both in the "low-lands" and the hills. Frequently, fossilized sea life is found in these areas. At one time we were under the sea. You think the oceans might have covered a little bit more of the earth back then? This was 10,000-100,000 years before man.

P. S. S. I am also posting this on the Climate Change thread.

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