Skip to comments.Debate on Climate Shifts to Issue of Irreparable Change
Posted on 01/29/2006 2:30:09 AM PST by neverdem
Some Experts on Global Warming Foresee 'Tipping Point' When It Is Too Late to Act
Now that most scientists agree human activity is causing Earth to warm, the central debate has shifted to whether climate change is progressing so rapidly that, within decades, humans may be helpless to slow or reverse the trend.
This "tipping point" scenario has begun to consume many prominent researchers in the United States and abroad, because the answer could determine how drastically countries need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years. While scientists remain uncertain when such a point might occur, many say it is urgent that policymakers cut global carbon dioxide emissions in half over the next 50 years or risk the triggering of changes that would be irreversible.
There are three specific events that these scientists describe as especially worrisome and potentially imminent, although the time frames are a matter of dispute: widespread coral bleaching that could damage the world's fisheries within three decades; dramatic sea level rise by the end of the century that would take tens of thousands of years to reverse; and, within 200 years, a shutdown of the ocean current that moderates temperatures in northern Europe.
The debate has been intensifying because Earth is warming much faster than some researchers had predicted. James E. Hansen, who directs NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies, last week confirmed that 2005 was the warmest year on record, surpassing 1998. Earth's average temperature has risen nearly 1 degree Fahrenheit over the past 30 years, he noted, and another increase of about 4 degrees over the next century would "imply changes that constitute practically a different planet."
"It's not something you can adapt to," Hansen said in an interview. "We can't let it go on another 10 years like this. We've..."
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Could someone post the idiotic Club of Rome predictions (i.e., the world will be out of oil by 1985, of copper by 1991, etc.) as well as the "futurist" Paul Erdman who made all sorts of bizarre predictions for things that never happened. I can remember the incompetent Robert McNamara ay(wish I could forget him!) when he was head of the World Bank in 1977 stating that overpopulation was as much a threat to the earth as nuclear war!! Most nations are no longer at the population replacement level.
Translation: Stand by to be assaulted by even MORE overheated(!) rhetoric as the increasingly irrelevant Left ratchets up the hysteria on the only topic it still owns.
The enviro-wacks don't want nuclear power.
That's the problem.
I'm all for saying sure, global warmimg is a problem, look at the French... they have nuclear power, so let's develop it ourselves.
Makes it much harder for the left to argue against. ;-)
Turns out Bush's push for clean coal technology has resulted in plans to build a prototype coal-burning power plant that sequesters Co2 in the ground. Four or five companies will each contribute 5 billion to do it. What? No public program or taxpayer boondoggle? Shocking!
We don't need a prototype nuke plant, we just need to build them. The technology is already in place.
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"Most scientists" are those that read the Washington Post and believe it! I'm reminded of film critic Pualine Kael's comment that she couldn't understand how Ronald Reagan won the presidency "since no one that I know voted for him". Thank God America is much, much more than the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
Stone age cultures adapted to the arctic and to the Saudi desert. What makes this guy think that we cannot adapt to climate change?
Howcome? I've thought about this in raspberry tones.
Ted Danson, in the 1970 - 1990 time period, predicted that the oceans were dying and that man had to do something. If not, within 10 years the oceans would be done in. Somehow, Ted missed his prediction. The oceans didn't pay a bit of attention to him.
We now see all the doomsday scenarios being written in models on every available supercomputer. You may note that almost every dire climate prediction is written in terms of having to do something now or in short order (within the magic twenty years) the planet will be gone. Poof! Hockeysticked into oblivion!
Nevermind the fact that whatever we do, the earth and sun together will interact to choose the future course of the climate. I can predict with utmost confidence that the planet's temperature (note the use of the portentious word PLANET) will either go up or go down or stay steady. It's very, very doubtful that we can do a darned thing to affect which way it goes. And any effective action we might take won't involve reducing "greenhouse" gases. I have no idea what it might involve, but we seem to have a bunch of scientists, MSM journalists and others who can only say "hockeysticked into ruinous temperature rises".
Back to the original question - Howcome? Man's life span is less than 100 years. In order for this generation to get in on the action, the grants, and the power redistribution which might ensue, the action must take place within twenty or thirty years. That's why all the predictions are near term, and hockeystick themselves into crises that only reducing average atmospheric CO2 will save. Well, Captain Marvels, have at it. Here's the puck.......
Just leave our economies alone, forget the idea of a Commissar of Carbon Dioxide, and other such hockeypuck ideas.
Be my guest, but I don't see any indication that enviorwackos will relax any of their dug in positions.
Dunno. They have to pay for gas, too. And their beloved French haven't had any nuclear disasters.