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The heat is on
The Economist ^ | Sep 7th 2006 | The Economist

Posted on 09/10/2006 12:35:39 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

The uncertainty surrounding climate change argues for action, not inaction. America should lead the way

FOR most of the Earth's history, the planet has been either very cold, by our standards, or very hot. Fifty million years ago there was no ice on the poles and crocodiles lived in Wyoming. Eighteen thousand years ago there was ice two miles thick in Scotland and, because of the size of the ice sheets, the sea level was 130m lower. Ice-core studies show that in some places dramatic changes happened remarkably swiftly: temperatures rose by as much as 20°C in a decade. Then, 10,000 years ago, the wild fluctuations stopped, and the climate settled down to the balmy, stable state that the world has enjoyed since then. At about that time, perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not, mankind started to progress.

Man-made greenhouse gases now threaten this stability. Climate change is complicated and uncertain, but, as our survey this week explains, the underlying calculation is fairly straightforward. The global average temperature is expected to increase by between 1.4°C and 5.8°C this century. The bottom end of the range would make life a little more comfortable for northern areas and a little less pleasant for southern ones. Anything much higher than that could lead to catastrophic rises in sea levels, increases in extreme weather events such as hurricanes, flooding and drought, falling agricultural production and, perhaps, famine and mass population movement.

Nobody knows which is likelier, for the climate is a system of almost infinite complexity. Predicting how much hotter a particular level of carbon dioxide will make the world is impossible. It's not just that the precise effect of greenhouse gases on temperature is unclear. It's also that warming has countless indirect effects. It may set off mechanisms that tend to cool things down (clouds which block out sunlight, for instance) or ones that heat the world further (by melting soils in which greenhouse gases are frozen, for instance). The system could right itself or spin out of human control.

This uncertainty is central to the difficulty of tackling the problem. Since the costs of climate change are unknown, the benefits of trying to do anything to prevent it are, by definition, unclear. What's more, if they accrue at all, they will do so at some point in the future. So is it really worth using public resources now to avert an uncertain, distant risk, especially when the cash could be spent instead on goods and services that would have a measurable near-term benefit?

If the risk is big enough, yes. Governments do it all the time. They spend a small slice of tax revenue on keeping standing armies not because they think their countries are in imminent danger of invasion but because, if it happened, the consequences would be catastrophic. Individuals do so too. They spend a little of their incomes on household insurance not because they think their homes are likely to be torched next week but because, if it happened, the results would be disastrous. Similarly, a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that the risk of a climatic catastrophe is high enough for the world to spend a small proportion of its income trying to prevent one from happening.

And the slice of global output that would have to be spent to control emissions is probably not huge. The cost differential between fossil-fuel-generated energy and some alternatives is already small, and is likely to come down. Economists trying to guess the ultimate cost of limiting carbon dioxide concentrations to 550 parts per million or below (the current level is 380ppm, 450ppm is reckoned to be ambitious and 550ppm liveable with) struggle with uncertainties too. Some models suggest there would be no cost; others that global output could be as much as 5% lower by the end of the century than if there were no attempt to control emissions. But most estimates are at the low end—below 1%.

What Kyoto did The Kyoto protocol, which tried to get the world's big polluters to commit themselves to cutting emissions to 1990 levels or below, was not a complete failure. European Union countries and Japan will probably hit their targets, even if Canada does not. Kyoto has also created a global market in carbon reduction, which allows emissions to be cut relatively efficiently. But it will not have much impact on emissions, and therefore on the speed of climate change, because it does not require developing countries to cut their emissions, and because America did not ratify it.

The United States is the world's biggest producer of greenhouse gases, though not for long. Every year China is building power-generating capacity almost equivalent to Britain's entire stock, almost all of it burning coal—the dirtiest fuel. It will shortly overtake America, and India is not far behind. Developing countries argue, quite reasonably, that, since the rich world created the problem, it must take the lead in solving it. So, if America continues to refuse to do anything to control its emissions, developing countries won't do anything about theirs. If America takes action, they just might.

Two measures are needed. One is an economic tool which puts a price on emitting greenhouse gases. That could be a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system, such as Europe's Emissions-Trading Scheme, which limits how much producers can emit, and lets them buy and sell emissions credits. Ideally, politicians would choose the more efficient carbon tax, which implies a relatively stable price that producers can build into their investment plans. The more volatile cap-and-trade system, however, is easier to sell to producers, who can get free allowances when the scheme is introduced.

Either of these schemes should decrease the use of fossil fuels and increase the use of alternatives. In doing so, they are bound to raise energy prices. To keep down price rises, and thus ease the political process, governments should employ a second tool: spending to help promising new technologies get to market. Carbon sequestration, which offers the possibility of capturing carbon produced by dirty power stations and storing it underground, is a prime candidate.

Although George Bush now argues that America needs to wean itself off its dependency on oil, his administration still refuses to take serious action. But other Americans are moving. California's state assembly has just passed tough Kyoto-style targets. Many businesses, fearing that they will end up having to deal with a patchwork of state-level measures, now want federal controls. And conservative America, once solidly sceptical, is now split over the issue, as Christians concerned about mankind's stewardship of the Earth, neo-cons keen to reduce America's dependency on the Middle East and farmers who see alternative energy as a new potential source of energy come round to the idea of cutting down on carbon.

Mr Bush has got two years left in the job. He would like to be remembered as a straightshooter who did the right thing. Tackling climate change would be one way to do that.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: carbon; climatechange; economics; emissions; energy; floods; globalwarming; ice; oceans
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

I am suprised they allowed that second paragraph to go to print. They took a survey?
It goes downhill from there
But the first paragraph is a keeper.


51 posted on 09/10/2006 5:41:25 AM PDT by winodog (Buchanan is the new Perot.)
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To: winodog

I take that back. I just reread that first one and it wont fly either. Why would a "serious" paper allow this garbage?


52 posted on 09/10/2006 5:43:41 AM PDT by winodog (Buchanan is the new Perot.)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
****Do you know what Pascal's wager is?****

I do, I do.
It's $4.00 an hour because Pascal is an illegal!

53 posted on 09/10/2006 5:45:12 AM PDT by Condor51 ("Alot" is NOT a word and doesn't mean "many". It is 'a lot', two separate words.)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
Afterall, this is more about science and economics than about partisan politics.

This ALL about partisan politics and economics (as in destroying the economies of the West) and nothing about science.

Twenty years ago the same quality of "scientists" were telling us we were absolutely causing a brand new ice age--and they were just as positive about that as they are about global warming.

Check out some of the global warming sales groups like that group of "Concerned Scientists". See how many of their "scientists" have degrees in Library Science, Psychology, Sociology, etc. and how few in the hard sciences.

Are you aware that over 17,000 REAL scientists have signed a petition questioning the authenticity of the science re: global warming?

54 posted on 09/10/2006 5:49:30 AM PDT by Sal (Once you know they sold USA out to Red China, what do you think they would NOT do?)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
If global warming is to be blamed on green house gases then why are the rest of the planets in the solar system heating up also?

Scientist were recently surprised to find the unexpected temperatures on Pluto. Of course we should completely ignore that old Bible that states that in the end times power would be given to the sun to scorch men with fire.

So if indeed that is true and we are entering that phase of history I doubt that a giant pair of sun glasses placed on the Earth is going to help much.
55 posted on 09/10/2006 6:09:13 AM PDT by MissAmericanPie
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
"Regardless, at least using less oil is good for security."

I disagree. Having a strong economy is the key to our security. That is how we won WWII and how we defeated the Soviet Union.

The most important thing for our economy is the use of the most economical source of energy. Right now that is oil. Doesn't matter if it comes from Saudi or Alaska or Nigeria.

56 posted on 09/10/2006 6:56:41 AM PDT by Boss_Jim_Gettys (Willing to compromise...NOT)
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To: Outland
I'll take an interest when someone proves to me that 0.04% of the atmosphere can produce more than a negligible warming impact on the remaning 99.96%.

BTTT

57 posted on 09/10/2006 6:58:04 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
at least using less oil is good for security

No, paying for a more expensive fuel while others use a more economical one is not good for our security. Producing our own resources would be good for our security. Instead we let environmentalists and democrats hold us hostage while we fund our enemies.

58 posted on 09/10/2006 7:00:42 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
"The cost that would be associated with action in this Pascal's wager is far below the cost of being wrong."

Given that the article states that climate has changed dramatically, and with absolutely NO HUMAN INFLUENCES IN THE PAST, on what basis do you justify human changes being suddenly so significant?

Your analogy argument using insurance costs is best seen in terms of buying a policy alleging to insure against fire where there are no data regarding future fire frequencies or intensities, where there are no data regarding fire protection mechanisms, and there there is absolutely no fire suppression mechanism possible ( barring Divine Intervention on the behalf of the insured).

Not a policy with much appeal to any but the socialism impaired, would be my assumption.

Regarding your statement: "Afterall, this is more about science and economics than about partisan politics.", I can only ask that you add a keyboard alert to such posts in the future. I nearly spilled my coffee laughing at that line.

As for spending money to read such trash, may I suggest keeping your money securely in your bank (or other investments) and Google-ing climate papers by Dr. Patrick Michaels? Also read Professor Linzden (MIT). More data, no Libroid BS factor, peer reviewed, and available free.
59 posted on 09/10/2006 7:27:40 AM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon Liberty, it is essential to examine principles, - -)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
which just so happened to coincide with an exponential increase in human burning of fossil fuels

It also coincides with an exponential increase in the number of humans that die every year. So, clearly, human death causes global warming. It also coincides with an exponential decrease in the number of pirates in the world. So, clearly, piracy was keeping global warming in check.

Association isn't causation, my FRiend.

60 posted on 09/10/2006 7:33:56 AM PDT by Terabitten
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

"Reading comprehension my FRiend.' - how about a bit of historical comprehension?

The "minor" changes which have occurred resulted in Greenland going from a place where Vikings lived in a grazing based farm system to a frozen wasteland.

To assume that man can control climate reminds me of what Robert Ardrey called the "Illusion of Central Position". It is a reference to the infantile assumption that the world revolves around the infant.

Perhaps Ardrey was correct when he said that many of the Liberal delusions can be traced to arrested development and retention of the Illusion of Central Position into adulthood.


61 posted on 09/10/2006 7:35:02 AM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon Liberty, it is essential to examine principles, - -)
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Comment #62 Removed by Moderator

To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

"Fifty million years ago there was no ice on the poles and crocodiles lived in Wyoming."

Fifty million years ago Wyoming would have been on the equator.


63 posted on 09/10/2006 9:24:27 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
The uncertainty surrounding climate change argues for action, not inaction.

The liberal mindset at its finest.

64 posted on 09/10/2006 9:26:33 AM PDT by dirtboy (This tagline has been photoshopped)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

"The fact that it is happening about 100 times faster than naturally and coincides with an exponential increase in CO2 in the atmosphere which just so happened to coincide with an exponential increase in human burning of fossil fuels is what leads me to believe that humans are affecting the change to some degree."

There's correlation, yes, but not necessarily causation.

For example, humans first started developing agriculture at the beginning of the Neolithic Revolution. At this time, humans started living in permanent settlements and finally gained control of their food supply, which led to a skyrocketing of the human population. Now, hominids have been using fire since Homo Habilis, but never in the numbers that our Neolithic ancestors did. The rate of usage of firewood jumped enormously at that time.

The time period in question also corresponded to a dramatic rise in Earth's temperatures and the receding of the glaciers. Could the increased prevalence of fire use by Man have dumped enough CO2 into the atmosphere to perhaps trigger the end of the last Ice Age?

Uh. No.

Because Earth's climate exhibits a bi-stable state, like the author describes (i.e. either very hot or very cold, never in between), then the transition from one state to the other HAS to be fast. It would be fast with or without our intervention, regardless of whether we try to help it along or try to hold it back.

We would do much, much better to allocate our hard-won intelligence to trying to figure out how to live in the soon-to-be warmer planet, rather than bickering about why it's happening or, even worse, exerting Herculean but ultimately futile efforts to stop it.


65 posted on 09/10/2006 10:59:32 AM PDT by Omedalus
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To: Omedalus
"We would do much, much better to allocate our hard-won
intelligence to trying to figure out how to live in the
soon-to-be warmer planet, rather than bickering about why
it's happening or, even worse, exerting Herculean but
ultimately futile efforts to stop it."


How do we know the planet is not going to go through a cooling phase?
66 posted on 09/10/2006 12:08:47 PM PDT by DaveTesla (You can fool some of the people some of the time......)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

Humans thinking that they can adjust the gasses in the atmosphere by ANY MEANS is arrogant.. Just ONE volcano will change it again..


67 posted on 09/10/2006 12:14:46 PM PDT by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole.)
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To: DaveTesla
How do we know the planet is not going to go through a cooling phase?

We don't know for certain. Right now, based on evidence we've accumulated, we believe that we're in a rare temperate plateau between normally hot and cold extremes, and that we're accelerating in a slide towards the hot state.

This is all based on large amounts of inference. It could be completely wrong, but right now it matches the accumulated evidence to the best of our ability to compare and analyze.

Of course, just because you know your world model may be faulty, doesn't mean you should live your life catering to the possible faultiness. In other words, just because you can hedge your bets on your belief doesn't mean you should hedge your actions. I recognize that there's an outside chance that I may be hallucinating the chair in front of my computer desk right now, but I'm still going to sit on it without even pausing. :)

68 posted on 09/10/2006 12:40:36 PM PDT by Omedalus
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

Are you saying you don't understand a changing environment and evolutionary changes thereof?


69 posted on 09/10/2006 1:54:53 PM PDT by timer
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To: Dallas59

Why would wood smoke be cleaner?
The city of Spokane, located in a broad valley and troubled occasionally by temperature inversions, often on such occasions bans heating with wood stoves, of which there are many in that city, or imposes regulations requiring what is called "clean" burning, which, as I understand the matter, is detectable by the visual density/color of the smoke emitted. This is done for air quality considerations (i.e., human health, livability), not because of the Global Warming Syndrome.
(I don't live in Spokane, but nearby in Idaho and every day get news from Spokane TV)


70 posted on 09/10/2006 2:23:32 PM PDT by Elsiejay (.)
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To: Revolutionary

The result, in the case of large glaciers, can depend on whether the ice has accumulated on land or on(in) water.


71 posted on 09/10/2006 2:26:35 PM PDT by Elsiejay (.)
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To: Omedalus
"We don't know for certain. Right now, based on
evidence we've accumulated, we believe that we're in a
rare temperate plateau between normally hot and cold
extremes, and that we're accelerating in a slide towards
the hot state."


Correct, the point is we don't know what is going to happen.
Imagine if we wrecked our economies and placed billions
in misery only to find out this:

Russian scientist predicts global cooling
MOSCOW, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- A Russian scientist predicts a
period of global cooling in coming decades, followed by a
warmer interval.

Khabibullo Abdusamatov expects a repeat of the period
known as the Little Ice Age. During the 16th century, the
Baltic Sea froze so hard that hotels were built on the ice
for people crossing the sea in coaches.

The Little Ice Age is believed to have contributed to the
end of the Norse colony in Greenland, which was founded
during an interval of much warmer weather.

Abdusamatov and his colleagues at the Russian Academy of
Sciences astronomical observatory said the prediction is
based on measurement of solar emissions, Novosti reported.
They expect the cooling to begin within a few years and to
reach its peak between 2055 and 2060.

"The Kyoto initiatives to save the planet from the
greenhouse effect should be put off until better times,"
he said. "The global temperature maximum has been reached
on Earth, and Earth's global temperature will decline to a
climatic minimum even without the Kyoto protocol."
72 posted on 09/10/2006 6:02:09 PM PDT by DaveTesla (You can fool some of the people some of the time......)
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To: Omedalus

F.Y.I.
Khabibullo Abdusamatov is chief of the Space Exploration Department of the Central Astronomical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the supervisor of the Astrometria project of the Russian part of the International Space Station, Doctor of Physical Sciences.


73 posted on 09/10/2006 6:07:18 PM PDT by DaveTesla (You can fool some of the people some of the time......)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

Ping


74 posted on 09/10/2006 6:11:02 PM PDT by bkwells (Liberals=Hypocrites)
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To: Omedalus
Have a look at this:

Long Range Solar Forecast

05.10.2006

Solar Cycle 25 peaking around 2022 could be one of the weakest in centuries.

May 10, 2006: The Sun's Great Conveyor Belt has slowed to a record-low crawl, according to research by NASA solar physicist David Hathaway. "It's off the bottom of the charts," he says. "This has important repercussions for future solar activity."

see captionThe Great Conveyor Belt is a massive circulating current of fire (hot plasma) within the Sun. It has two branches, north and south, each taking about 40 years to perform one complete circuit. Researchers believe the turning of the belt controls the sunspot cycle, and that's why the slowdown is important.

Right: The sun's "Great Conveyor Belt" in profile.

"Normally, the conveyor belt moves about 1 meter per second—walking pace," says Hathaway. "That's how it has been since the late 19th century." In recent years, however, the belt has decelerated to 0.75 m/s in the north and 0.35 m/s in the south. "We've never seen speeds so low."

According to theory and observation, the speed of the belt foretells the intensity of sunspot activity ~20 years in the future. A slow belt means lower solar activity; a fast belt means stronger activity. The reasons for this are explained in the Science@NASA story Solar Storm Warning.

"The slowdown we see now means that Solar Cycle 25, peaking around the year 2022, could be one of the weakest in centuries," says Hathaway.

This is interesting news for astronauts. Solar Cycle 25 is when the Vision for Space Exploration should be in full flower, with men and women back on the Moon preparing to go to Mars. A weak solar cycle means they won't have to worry so much about solar flares and radiation storms.

see caption

Above: In red, David Hathaway's predictions for the next two solar cycles and, in pink, Mausumi Dikpati's prediction for cycle 24.

On the other hand, they will have to worry more about cosmic rays. Cosmic rays are high-energy particles from deep space; they penetrate metal, plastic, flesh and bone. Astronauts exposed to cosmic rays develop an increased risk of cancer, cataracts and other maladies. Ironically, solar explosions, which produce their own deadly radiation, sweep away the even deadlier cosmic rays. As flares subside, cosmic rays intensify—yin, yang.

Hathaway's prediction should not be confused with another recent forecast: A team led by physicist Mausumi Dikpata of NCAR has predicted that Cycle 24, peaking in 2011 or 2012, will be intense. Hathaway agrees: "Cycle 24 will be strong. Cycle 25 will be weak. Both of these predictions are based on the observed behavior of the conveyor belt."

How do you observe a belt that plunges 200,000 km below the surface of the sun?

see caption"We do it using sunspots," Hathaway explains. Sunspots are magnetic knots that bubble up from the base of the conveyor belt, eventually popping through the surface of the sun. Astronomers have long known that sunspots have a tendency to drift—from mid solar latitudes toward the sun's equator. According to current thinking, this drift is caused by the motion of the conveyor belt. "By measuring the drift of sunspot groups," says Hathaway, "we indirectly measure the speed of the belt."

Right: Hathaway monitors the speed of the Conveyor Belt by plotting the drift of sunspot groups from high to low solar latitude. This plot is called "the Butterfly Diagram." The tilt of the wings reveal the speed of the Conveyor Belt. [More]

Using historical sunspot records, Hathaway has succeeded in clocking the conveyor belt as far back as 1890. The numbers are compelling: For more than a century, "the speed of the belt has been a good predictor of future solar activity."

If the trend holds, Solar Cycle 25 in 2022 could be, like the belt itself, "off the bottom of the charts."


75 posted on 09/10/2006 6:48:10 PM PDT by DaveTesla (You can fool some of the people some of the time......)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
Hans Labohm:
"If we apply this reasoning to the global warming issue, there can hardly be any doubt that that the warming threat will be used to legitimize all kinds of new regulation, even to the extent that they will undermine our basic free market system, thereby paralyzing its wealth creating capacity. This is reason enough for business to remain cautious and critical. That is not to say that one should not enhance efforts to boost energy efficiency. For many reasons this is quite desirable. But as far as I am concerned, global warming is not one of them."
76 posted on 09/10/2006 6:59:58 PM PDT by DaveTesla (You can fool some of the people some of the time......)
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To: DaveTesla



77 posted on 09/10/2006 7:09:50 PM PDT by DaveTesla (You can fool some of the people some of the time......)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit
"Good attempt to use a Rush /Exxon talking point though."

I've been following the anthropogenic induced climate change scam for many years and I don't use talking points.  Perhaps your views on "global warming" are further symptoms of your jumping to conclusions.

The point I made remains the same.  How does one molecule trap and redirect enough heat to noticeably warm 2500 other molecules?  While you made a clumsy effort at deriding my comment, you didn't offer anything to provide insight into it.

Whether it's part of someone's talking points or not, it is still a relevant point.  Adding up all of the earth's greenhouse gases (manmade and natural) excluding water vapor, it only adds up to 0.04% (generously rounded off) of the entire atmosphere.  Presented graphically, that ratio of GHGs to the rest of the atmosphere would look like this:

Of the GHGs (the red dot in the upper left corner), the gray section in the enlarged red region below is presumed to be contributed by human activity:

I can't say I feel all too guilty about that gray area.

You also stated:
"The earth's system is a balance. If you ever tilt a sensitive balance by .04% you see that it changes."

Every physical state in nature is a balance.  Your phrasing with import to the earth's system almost smacks of gaia fanaticism.  You infer that this balance is sensitive.  If you know that it is sensitive, exactly how sensitive is it?  What are the tolerances?  If you can't answer that with any specificity, then you should not infer that this balance is especially sensitive.  Such presumptions equate to baseless conjecture on your part.

Over half of that 0.04% of GHGs has been in the atmosphere for over a century, yet regardless of the slow but steady increase, GTAs have gone down as well as up even during periods where aerosols were not a cause of temperature decreases.  To say that the atmosphere's meager amount of GHGs is the main contributor to warming must infer that, barring events of high levels of aerosols and global dimming and such, the GTA should always be increasing along with GHG levels.  We know that this isn't true. So much for being a sensitive balance.

I could continue this discussion on other numerous points, but after reading your replies to other posts here, it becomes abundantly clear that your real argument is something along the lines of, whether climate change is factual or not, we conservatives ought to bring about our own Kyoto so the liberals don't beat us to the punch.  If that's truly the case, that logic would be akin to saying that we should all slit our own throats so Islamofacsists won't do it first.  At this rate, you entirely miss the point.

While the climate may be warming for a period, there is no sound proof to reason that (a) it will continue unabated, (b) that GHGs are mainly to blame, (c) that mankind is solely at fault and (d) that mankind can do anything meaningful about it.  Doing "something" about it is a waste of time and would amount to reckless political posturing at enormous costs.  The end result in reality would be that conservatives would get the blame for creating costly policies that would wreck the economy and do little to affect climate change.  I don't think we need that in our historical record.

The climate change issue is merely a convenient vehicle for socialists to kick the West right in it's energy based heart.  We don't see climate change protests in China where energy use is just as rampant and energy waste is worse.  I believe that if the US were to suddenly change all energy consuming devices to use some magical zero-pollution, free energy system, the leftist wackos would attack that as well on some unfounded grounds until the US bowed to a socialist agenda.  As I have posted on numerous forums over the years, the bulk of the "scientists" on the pro-GW side are rife with socialist causes and are deeply entangled with the like of Sierra Club, Greenpeace and similar groups and this influence runs from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute right on through into NOAA and NASA.

"Global warming" is a farce and a scam used by socialists to push their agenda.  Don't drink the warm kool-aid.
78 posted on 09/10/2006 9:52:48 PM PDT by Outland (Socialism IS the enemy.)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

Thanks for the "ping".

From the article, I gather that "The Economist" needs a new "science editor".

The following excerpts are especially goofy:

"...Then, 10,000 years ago, the wild fluctuations stopped, and the climate settled down to [a] balmy, stable state..."
[Tell that to the Greenland's Viking settlers!]


"...Climate change is complicated and uncertain...climate is a system of almost infinite complexity. Predicting how much hotter a particular level of carbon dioxide will make the world is impossible....the precise effect of greenhouse gases on temperature is unclear...The system could right itself or spin out of human control [HUMAN control? LOL!!]...This uncertainty is central to the difficulty of tackling the problem. Since the costs of climate change are unknown, the benefits of trying to do anything to prevent it are, by definition, unclear..."

NEVERTHELESS:

"The uncertainty surrounding climate change argues for action, not inaction."
[Yes, indeedy, let's do SOMETHING so we can all "feel" self-righteous!]


"...The Kyoto protocol...was not a complete failure...[because]...Kyoto... created a...market in carbon...which allows emissions to be cut...But it will not have much impact on emissions, and therefore on the speed of climate change..." [ and the difference between "not much impact" and "failure" is?? LOL!]


"Carbon sequestration, which offers the possibility of capturing carbon produced by dirty power stations and storing it underground [but NOT in the continuing low-cost re-forestation of places like Vermont], is a prime candidate."


IMHO, if there were more "truth" to the global warming story, there would be no need for such breathless "hyping" of the issue by profit-seeking entities like "The Economist".


79 posted on 09/11/2006 6:36:24 AM PDT by pfony1
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To: pfony1

Indeed, I pointed out some of those problems as well.

Ultimately, it seems like regardless of the certainty or lack thereof of human involvement we are going to get action on it.

Better to have a Republican do it to minimize the impact rather than a leftist who will maximize the power-grab.


80 posted on 09/11/2006 7:41:48 AM PDT by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit (War is Peace__Freedom is Slavery__Ignorance is Strength)
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To: Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit

I think we have a difference in opinion of whether it is better for America if Republicans:

(1) Cooperate with Democrats to enact harsh "Environmental Laws" or

(2) Resist (perhaps futilely) efforts by Democrats to enact harsh "Environmental Laws".

I believe that Republican cooperation with Democrats on this issue, will:

(a) result in harsher, more damaging environmental laws because conceding [in error] that a "global warming problem" actually exists will also concede "leadership" to the Democrats on this political issue and

(b) mean that Republicans will have to share the blame when those harsh laws cause massive job losses in the US -- while doing nothing at all to effect either CO2 levels or global temperatures. Moreover, this "shared blame" will make it harder for Republicans to use the "I told you so" argument to rally support to repeal those damaging "feel-good" laws.

As they say: "Sleep with dogs, catch fleas."


81 posted on 09/11/2006 8:13:35 AM PDT by pfony1
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To: DaveTesla
Correct, the point is we don't know what is going to happen. Imagine if we wrecked our economies and placed billions in misery only to find out [about global cooling].

Agreed, to an extent. I wholly agree that allocating the quantities of mankind's effort to the kind of reforms that the environmentalists advocate is a huge, huge mistake, especially if they intend to put the power of government (i.e. the use of force) behind them.

Rather, I take a quintessentially capitalistic approach to this whole thing. If you really believe that the Earth is warming, then rather than screaming your head off like a little sissy about it, invest in beachfront property in Nevada. Buy futures in tropical-friendly foodcrops. Sell off your time-share in Honolulu. Put your money where your mouth is!

The whole point of having a human brain is to use it, with some modicum of reliability, to predict the future. You can't guarantee that the sun will rise tomorrow, but that's certainly the way to bet! You don't know that winter will follow fall this year - maybe some heretofore unknown gravitational wave of gargantuan proportions will fling the Earth backwards in its orbit! - but fall is still when you should harvest and store your crops.

So, insofar as we can use our brain to process the information of our senses, some people "know" that the Earth's temperature is rising. And if that's their knowledge, then they should damn well act on that knowledge, just as someone who knows that winter is coming should start harvesting their crops in fall.

P.S. Interesting articles about that Russian guy and about the solar storm cycle!

82 posted on 09/11/2006 11:15:49 AM PDT by Omedalus
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