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Weather or Not there is Climate Change


© Tom Toles

Yes, I know that weather is not the same as climate, but since conservative pundits repeatedly called global warming a big hoax every time there was a snow storm last winter, I wonder if they are saying anything now that this year is turning out to be the hottest in recorded history.


© Dan Wasserman

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13 Comments

  1. bmeyer wrote:

    Admit to global climate change? No, I’m just waiting for the “Obama’s fault”……

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 1:32 am | Permalink
  2. patriotsgt wrote:

    Like it or not global climate change has been going on about 4 billion years before we arrived for our 2 seconds of relative time on the planet. Global climate change will go on another 4 billion years after we’re gone.
    The question is how much of the current change is is owned by us, versus the natural cycle of things and what can we do about it.
    We can go back to horse and buggy, use conestoga wagons to get to CA. and drag out the sailboats. I doubt that will happen and the rest of the world will just laugh, especially china.
    By the time we create a viable and affordable alternative to fossil fuel to power everything and then convince the world to use it, we’ll be past global warming and heading into the next mini ice age.
    Space exploration seems like the only long term logical alternative, but since we’re ending that program I guess we’ll have to just wait.
    Lets get out of the way and let mother nature take over.

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 6:46 am | Permalink
  3. Iron Knee wrote:

    Spoken like a true dinosaur, PatriotSgt. It is your right to not want to evolve, but please kindly get out of the way of those of us who do. If you love oil so much, maybe you can go find a nice tar pit somewhere. Are you really that afraid of China laughing at you? Sad.

    If we stopped subsidizing the large oil companies and started charging the true cost of oil, the price of gasoline would go up so fast that we’d find a whole bunch of alternative fuels in a heartbeat. That would be a truly free market response.

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 10:13 am | Permalink
  4. mickey wrote:

    I am conservative and I dont know a single person who doesnt believe in climate change. I know quite a few, however (myself included) who do not believe in MAN MADE climate change.

    SO….why do you think the oil companies are being subsidized?

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Permalink
  5. Sammy wrote:

    Mickey, instead of asking silly rhetorical questions, why not Google “oil industry subsidies”? I did so and there are over one million results. A quick skimming of a few articles (didn’t fact check them all) found reference to billions of dollars in federal tax breaks and low liabilities in cases of environmental disasters.

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Permalink
  6. Iron Knee wrote:

    Mickey, for subsidies, see http://articles.latimes.com/2010/may/25/nation/la-na-oil-spill-subsidies-20100525

    So many tax breaks for oil exploration that Exxon made record profits and didn’t pay any US tax. Not taking into account the true cost of using oil — wars, pollution, cost of environmental cleanups like Alaska and the Gulf (and many others), health costs, many other externalities.

    As for climate change being man made, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

    There is no scientific organization that disagrees with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, who say: “There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.” The last organization to disagree was the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, who in 2007 changed their opinion from dissenting to non-committal. Hundreds of scientific organizations agree. None disagree. Not one.

    Ten years ago, scientists were still trying to figure out if global warming was man-made. In particular, they were trying to verify the mechanism, so they would have proof. We now have proof, beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Arguments against man-made climate change now fit into the same category as people who think evolution is an untested theory.

    A more enlightening argument would be about what can be done about climate change, both from a scientific and a political perspective. Who knows, it might be too late to do anything about global warming. It is entirely possible that we passed the point of no return a while ago, and even if we stopped burning all carbon-producing fuels today, we would still have to kiss all of our coastal cities good-bye.

    However, there are tons of other benefits to reducing our dependence on oil. Wouldn’t you like to avoid being held hostage by Saudi Arabia? Wouldn’t you like to have cleaner air and water so you can breathe easier? Wouldn’t you like your children to be healthier? Wouldn’t you like to be able to go swimming in the gulf?

    Energy is not the problem. We have plenty of energy all around us — sunlight, nuclear, wind, tidal, geothermal, and many others. If we weren’t subsidizing oil so heavily, many of these would be cost competitive. All of them (including nuclear) are better than oil and coal, and even if you reject nuclear, there is plenty of energy in the others.

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Permalink
  7. Sammy wrote:

    And one more thing. Why in our planet’s history do scientists find evidence that previous ice ages and warming periods took hundreds of thousands to millions of years to evolve (excepting maybe a meteor strike), while the current warming the past decade has outpaced any other other whole periodic ages?

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Permalink
  8. patriotsgt wrote:

    AH Sammy, thats not quite correct. The last mini ice age occurred over several centuries at the end of the middle ages. The one before that which created many of our natural wonders such as the great lakes ended 10k years years ago. Before and after both were periods of substantial global warming.
    @ Iron Knee, you got me. Evolve yes, but the far far left doesn’t want to drill and doesn’t want to use nuclear. I agree on cutting subsidies to big oil, but without a viable alternative to gas, at this point we’d crush our struggling economy. I think hydrogen powered vehicles is the technology of the furture. Exhaust = H20 and no worry of runnung out of the recurring gas. Now can we invest some big bank bailout and oil company money into that and get this thing moving already.

    Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 4:09 am | Permalink
  9. Sammy wrote:

    Patriot, didn’t you just prove my point; not contradict it? My point was that previous warming periods didn’t happen over such short periods as the current one.

    Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 9:33 am | Permalink
  10. patriotsgt wrote:

    Well, they didn’t take 1000’s of years or millions. During the most recent “mini” ice age of the middle ages the sketchy written history suggests a rapid climate shift within years that lowered temps throughout europe causing alot of starvation, and migration. It is estimated to have lasted on and off (intermittant periods of warming/cooling) for 400 years. Big ice ages, however take a while, and last a while (like 1000 years) Our primitive human ancestors did survive that last one, so i’m sure we will too.
    Here’s 1 link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age

    And here is a UK fellow that thinks currently it is the start of a similar period of warm/cold:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1242011/DAVID-ROSE-The-mini-ice-age-starts-here.html

    And yet further evidence suggests that when the north atlantic current gets diluted with fresh water from melting ice caps, it causes the warmer salt water to sink below the fresh, cooling it and causing a miniice age that can happen in as short as months, th ten years. It is likely the cause of most of our last flip/flops cool/warm over the last 400 yrs. Some scientists say the last mini ice age ended in the 1930’s. Some scientists think we are entering or in a mini ice age now. Last link

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091130112421.htm

    Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 10:33 am | Permalink
  11. Jonah wrote:

    IMO the issue should not be whether global warming is man made or not but what if those claiming it is man made are right. While natural global warming could be reversed what is the likelihood that the added effects of man made warming pushes the natural cycle over the edge that it becomes irreversible? If that does happen then we won’t have to worry about what would happen to a fragile economy because there won’t be any economy to worry over. It seems fairly obvious that the safe choice would be to accept the potential of man made warming and do whatever we can to reduce it. Incentivizing other cleaner sources of energy will create jobs. While in the short run the economy may be adversely affected, a slow economy should be the preferred outcome over a “2012” the movie like outcome.

    Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 10:50 am | Permalink
  12. patriotsgt wrote:

    Excellent sum up Jonah. I agree, bring on the hydrogen the most abundant element in the universe. I think a contest between MIT and CALTECH, (we could invite some foriegn brain centers to participate as well) each one gets a billion in seed money from unspent stimulus funds. First team to produce a cost efficient hydrogen motor (can be adapted for cars, trucks, boats, planes, lawn mowers, generators, trains) wins. The gov’t owns the intellectual rights as part of the agreement, and companies can bid on for development, sales and distribution rights. The winning participant gets funding for continued innovation and refinement of the technology for like 20 years.

    Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Permalink
  13. mickey wrote:

    Patriot, producing a cost effective motor that runs on hydrogen isnt a problem.
    The problem with hydrogen is the cost of producing hydrogen. Separating water into H2 and O2 requires you to put more energy into the process than you could get out by burning the hydrogen. Very inefficient.

    Knee, I dont agree with subsidizing ANY industry for ANY reason. However, whether you subsidize oil or not, NONE of the other energy sources you mentioned would even come close to being cost competitive. To even suggest that solar, wind, or geothermal would do so is laughable and makes you look foolish for even bringing it up.

    Nuclear, on the other hand, could be cost effective if the govt would just leave them alone. Compliance with regulations alone costs the nuclear industry tons of money. Permits, operating licenses, etc…that all costs tons of money that no company is willing to risk on the chance that govt says no to them in the end. Also, what would you say if I told you nuclear power was subsidized as well?

    With all that said, I do agree with you on nuclear power being the way to go. Partly because besides having my business, I am a reactor operator in a nuclear facility :)

    Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Permalink