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David Hall
2002-Mar-31, 04:24 PM
I just finished reading this interesting NYT article about a warming period that happened around 1000 years ago. It doesn't go into any detail as to the causes, but at the end it suggests it was due to a brightening of the Sun.

http://nytimes.com/2002/03/26/science/earth/26TREE.html

So how accurate is this? The article says that warming in the early 1900's was caused by solar brightening. Is this a confirmed observation or just a hypothesis? And if so, does it have anything to do with the mini-ice-age that followed in the 1400's as well?

Silas
2002-Mar-31, 04:46 PM
I couldn't read the article... Was it referring to "Maunder" periods? This was covered in the last earth-sciences class I took -- but in the intervening years, I'll bet that a lot has been discovered...

(For instance, there's an island continent south of Malaysia!)

Silas

DStahl
2002-Mar-31, 07:15 PM
I am not registered for the NY Times webpage either. On the same subject, Oregon's State Climatologist George Taylor has noted that during the Medieval Warm Period sea levels were higher than they are now, implying that the current warming is well within the range of normal terrestrial climate variation. He also notes, however, that the CO<sub>2</sub> level is currently much higher than during the Medieval climatic optimum. This page (http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/lia/vikings_during_mwp.html) explores some of the hypotheses about causes--if the page is up-to-date then it seems there may not be a clear single cause identifiable at this time. (Scroll to the bottom of the page and find the link labelled "Possible Causes").

Incidentally, some researchers suggest that the MWP was limited to northern Europe and was not a global phenomenon. Other researchers assert that Argentine glaciers showed a pattern of retreat consistent with climatic warming during the MWP, so the episode was global...I dunno the evidence or the issue in enough detail to come down on one side or the other, personally.

--Don Stahl

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DStahl on 2002-03-31 14:21 ]</font>

Jigsaw
2002-Apr-01, 01:46 AM
Selections from the article.

March 26, 2002

Tree Rings Show a Period of Widespread Warming in Medieval Age
By KENNETH CHANG

A new study of old tree rings shows that 1,000 years ago, long before power plants and sport utility vehicles, temperatures across North America, Europe and Asia rose in a period of unusual warmth.

Temperatures were known to be warm in Europe between 900 and 1100, what is known as the Medieval Warm Period. Collecting wood samples in 14 locations that cover a swath of the globe from New Orleans north to the top of Alaska, researchers from Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the Swiss Federal Research Institute found evidence that the warm temperatures extended to much of the Northern Hemisphere.

Writing in the current issue of the journal Science, the scientists say the data demonstrate that temperatures naturally rise and fall over the centuries. The scientists, however, add that their data do not argue against the view that artificial emissions — so-called greenhouse gases — have set off the global warming of recent decades.

"I never intended or meant to imply that that's the case," said Dr. Edward R. Cook, an author of the Science paper and an expert at Lamont-Doherty on reconstructing climate from tree rings.
So, tree rings and another argument about global warming.

jrkeller
2002-Apr-01, 02:41 AM
Global warming is one topic that gets discussed quite frequently here at the Johnson Space Center espeically in our thermal group (at least during those times of friendly discussions). One of the reasons that this topic comes up quite frequently is that we need to know the amount of solar heating so that we can design our thermal control systems. We have spent years and years and many experiment trying to figure out what the solar constant is. Our conclusion, is that it's variable even over short times like a year or two.

When it comes to global warming, most of us feel that while CO2 does have an impact, the variation in the solar output seems to be ignored, or least it doesn't get much press.

Kaptain K
2002-Apr-01, 03:30 AM
It seems to me that the "greens" try to blame all of the recent warming on CO2 build-up and their opponents say that it is just solar variability. If solar variability is/was enough to make Greenland truly green a thousand years ago and industrial emissions have doubled the CO2 content of the atmosphere in the past century, a rise in solar output now or in the near future has frightening implications.

David Hall
2002-Apr-01, 11:10 AM
Hey guys, if you are interested, why don't you just sign up for the Times? It's easy and free to do, and they have a great science section.

I know it can sometimes be risky to put your name and email up, but come on, this is a venerable and trusted company here, not some fly-by-night organization. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Anyway, so what is the extent of observed fluctuations in solar brightness? I mean in percentage terms or the like. And for example, how would a 1% change affect the amount of energy flooding the Earth?

jrkeller
2002-Apr-01, 03:23 PM
I don't know how much of a change in temperature occurs with a 1% variation in solar output, but I can tell you that amount of energy the Earth receives from the sun varies by as much as 8%. This is based on extreme measurements, which may only last for a short period. About 3% of this variation is due to the eccentricity of the Earth's orbit.

I also don't know the accuracy of our measuring instruments.

John Kierein
2002-Apr-02, 06:16 PM
Don't forget that the arctic and antarctic circles are retreating. This has a lot to do with the breakup of ice shelves and tundra melting near there.
http://earth.agu.org/sci_soc/eischao.html

This has a bigger effect at the south pole than at the north because perihelion occurs when the sun is almost at its southernmost. So not only is the sun shining further south and north, due to the changing angle to the ecliptic, it also is brighter at the south because it's nearer. This may be why there seems to more dramatic devastation to the Larsen Ice Shelf.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: John Kierein on 2002-04-02 13:23 ]</font>

Jigsaw
2002-Apr-03, 01:22 AM
Ditto on going ahead and registering--I've been registered there for a long time now and I've never had any spam that I could trace back to them, at the e-mail address I used.

It's worth it to be able to read the articles.

dgruss23
2003-Apr-15, 12:56 AM
There is a lot of compelling evidence for the Sun's role in climate changes on Earth. Here are a few links:

http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs-0095-00/fs-0095-00.pdf

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2002-06/dc-1c060602.php

http://www.geotimes.org/june02/WebExtra0621.html

http://www.co2science.org/edit/v4_edit/v4n48edit.htm

http://www.fraserinstitute.ca/admin/books/chapterfiles/The%20Varying%20Sun%20and%20Climate%20Change-Baliunas.pdf

http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/1997/11.06/BrighteningSuni.html

Colt
2003-Apr-15, 03:30 AM
The Viking's settling down at the beginning of the warm period was significant to history in Europe. It reminds me of the Ender series' pygmies (?) culture and life cycle being determined by the temperature. -Colt

g99
2003-Apr-15, 03:35 AM
From what i have heard the little ice age around the time of the Vikings was the reason why they left greenland and North America. (along with the Native Americans). It just got to dang cold for them.

RafaelAustin
2003-Apr-15, 08:10 AM
And also the intense drought about that time brought the fall of the Mayan civilization.

Argos
2003-Apr-15, 01:28 PM
Ditto on going ahead and registering--I've been registered there for a long time now and I've never had any spam that I could trace back to them, at the e-mail address I used.


True. Now that the American press lost much of its credibility, NYtimes remains as an island of high quality, in a sea of mystification.

[edited for fixing grammar]

irony
2003-Apr-15, 01:42 PM
At least we're past the phase when blaming global warming on anything but human activities is considered politically incorrect. I had to slog through the stupid environmental propaganda unit in grade five science. For our exam at the end of the unit, we were told to 'write an essay on whether or not you believe global warming is a problem and support your position with evidence.' I'm pretty sure those were the exact words, because I heard them quoted a lot when my parents went in to yell at the teacher after she gave me an 'f' on the thing. I was an astronomy geek even back then, so I was able to suggest a long list of things besides human activity that might account for global warming... I did it basically just to play devil's advocate, because I knew that everybody else in the class was going to tow the party line. Excuse me for thinking for myself. :roll:

Er... sorry. :oops: That's just something I like to rant about now and then.

dgruss23
2003-Apr-15, 03:54 PM
I asked my environmental science class to carefully read the textbook and list all evidence cited for global warming. They found nothing because the book skips from the greenhouse effect and the increase in CO2 right to what should be done about it. So then I asked them to go on-line and find evidence. They found this remarkably difficult. "Evidence" in the minds of global warming advocates constitutes the global warming theory itself and anything computer models spit out.

In the 1970's they were concerned about the coming ice ages (contributed to by pollution of course). Then in the 1980's it was catastrophic global warming. Yet despite the hysteria the actual evidence for global warming is scant.
In the meantime there is a growing body of evidence for a strong connection between the Sun and changes in the Earth's climate - from the Maunder Minimum, medieval maximum to the evidence uncovered by Sharma and Baliunas in the links above.

Instead of asking for equal time for creationism, how about equal time for the Sun-climate connection.

crazy4space
2003-Apr-15, 04:52 PM
[quote="dgruss23"] Yet despite the hysteria the actual evidence for global warming is scant.

First, how long have we been tracking this? Not so long I think. Second - most of the data that I have seen shows less than 2 degrees flux over the last 75-100 years. My gut feeling is that the sun could more than account for this. I am also glad to know that there are still some science teachers out there with open minds and willing to look at the emperical data.

My initials are on the moon because Gene Cernan put them there.

dgruss23
2003-Apr-15, 05:30 PM
crazy4space wrote: First, how long have we been tracking this? Not so long I think.

That's an important point. Think about it. They went from catastrophic ice ages in the mid-70's to catastrophic warming in the mid-80's - about as long as a sunspot cycle. Meanwhile researchers are finding evidence for Sun-climate links over time spans of hundreds of years on up to hundreds of thousands of years. One also has to wonder why the planet was cooling between 1940 and 1970 if carbon dioxide increases are supposed to be causing a warming - a point made by Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon in the December 1996 Sky&Telescope.

aurorae
2003-Apr-15, 07:39 PM
One also has to wonder why the planet was cooling between 1940 and 1970 if carbon dioxide increases are supposed to be causing a warming - a point made by Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon in the December 1996 Sky&Telescope.

There are many factors that influence the earth's climate, as you know.

CO2 levels is only one.

But, if CO2 increases high enough... Venus.

dgruss23
2003-Apr-15, 08:06 PM
One also has to wonder why the planet was cooling between 1940 and 1970 if carbon dioxide increases are supposed to be causing a warming - a point made by Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon in the December 1996 Sky&Telescope.

There are many factors that influence the earth's climate, as you know.

CO2 levels is only one.

But, if CO2 increases high enough... Venus.

The atmosphere of Venus is 96% Carbon dioxide and the pressure of the atmosphere is 98x the Earth's atmospheric pressure. Venus does not have weathering processes like those on Earth or life that we know of to trap the CO2 in rocks. Even the most radical estimates of global warming computer models don't leave us with something that looks like Venus.

I guess what it boils down to is whether or not global warming advocates can produce credible evidence that significant warming is happening. But even if they do - Is that warming because of increased CO2 levels or because of increases in solar energy output? Or is it a combination of both along with other factors.

This is part of the problem. The environmental movement is turned global warming into a political movement and effectively brainwashed a generation into believing that every time they turn on their minivan/SUV/whatever they are contributing to catastrophic climate change. So lets say the planet does begin to exhibit convincing warming in the next decade or two. Global warming advocates will say "You see ... we were right." But it is just as possible that the Sun will be the cause of that warming. The links I've pointed to above indicate that it doesn't take a dramatic change in solar irradiance to induce changes in the Earth's climate.

crazy4space
2003-Apr-15, 08:27 PM
[quote="aurorae"][quote="dgruss23"


[quote]I guess what it boils down to is whether or not global warming advocates can produce credible evidence that significant warming is happening. But even if they do - Is that warming because of increased CO2 levels or because of increases in solar energy output? Or is it a combination of both along with other factors.

I would almost bet that a volcano, any old volcano puts more into the atmosphere than all the cars combined. You will be glad to know that 4 years ago all the insulation manufacturers changed their blowing agents from CFC's to HCFC's. What they did was hydragenate the atom so that it breaks down lower in the atmosphere and doest mess up the ozone in addition, the earth naturally creates ozone when sea water runs into limestone cliffs.

My initials are on the moon because Gene Cernan put them there.

g99
2003-Apr-15, 09:27 PM
Right now Global warming is not a problem. If it happens like this for hundreds more years, we might have to really worry.

During much of the Mezozic, the entire earth was warmer and there were no ice caps at the poles and we still lived. The reason was from the intense volcanic and plate tectonic activity back then. It has calmed down now. Well at least for now.

A few degrees warmer will not kill us all instantly. But a few degrees a year for a few hundred years will melt the Ice caps and drown coastal cities (and all of Florida. Yikes!!). Then we will have to worry about all that extra co2 and methane we are putting into the atmosphere. The SUV next door will not do that. Heck the Methane produced by the hundreds of cows in the farm down the road produces much, much more greenhouse gasses than that car nextdoor.

But most likely by the time we really have to worry about significant warming like on Venus, we would have much cleaner ways of making energy and running our cars.

Right now i am more worried about the smog cloud caused by that SUV next door, than anything else.

Argos
2003-Apr-15, 10:12 PM
Right now Global warming is not a problem. If it happens like this for hundreds more years, we might have to really worry.

(...) During much of the Mezozic, the entire earth was warmer and there were no ice caps at the poles and we still lived.


I would say it is not a problem for Russians, Canadians, Brits, Swedish, and anyone who lives upwards of paralel 50, or in other frigid zones. Indeed it can improve living conditions in those regions (maybe England becomes a pleasant resort.:)). But when you have a summer like the last one here at 23S the things get pretty worrisome.

During the mezozoic there was no man over the Earth. Of course it´s possible for man to survive in a warmer Earth. The question is on what basis; the quality of the survival. Global warming will add further spice to our pot of social problems, since a massive movement of people in search of a shelter from the inclement weather is expected to occur when the problem reaches a certain threshold. The political strains derived from this condition will be of great magnitude.

The irony of destiny: the nations beneficiary of the indiscriminate pollution of the last 250 years are the same to which global warming will be most beneficial.

snowcelt
2003-Apr-15, 10:41 PM
Argos said that "the nations beneficiary of the indiscriminate pollution of the last 250 years are the same to which global warming will be most benefical." I do not think so. Life on the arid western plains of Canada are at best marginal. If I understand the global warming model correctely, a mere couple degree average rise in temperature globally could result in micro- climatic temperature changes of 10+C degrees. A temperature change of this magnitude would be devistating: Canada's south-western plains would be turned into desert. Furthermore, Canada's high artic would be drastically changed, traditional hunting culture would end. These are but a couple cases of global climatic changes that would be experienced in Canada alone. Personnally I think the evidence is not in yet, there is still much work to be done.

dgruss23
2003-Apr-15, 10:50 PM
snowcelt wrote: If I understand the global warming model correctely, a mere couple degree average rise in temperature globally could result in micro- climatic temperature changes of 10+C degrees. A temperature change of this magnitude would be devistating: Canada's south-western plains would be turned into desert. Furthermore, Canada's high artic would be drastically changed, traditional hunting culture would end. These are but a couple cases of global climatic changes that would be experienced in Canada alone.

I wouldn't get too worried about the computer models snowcelt :D :

http://www.techcentralstation.com/1051/envirowrapper.jsp?PID=1051-450&CID=1051-062802B

snowcelt
2003-Apr-15, 11:08 PM
Thanks dgruss23, I was becoming worried that I would have to change my user name to sweatingcelt!

g99
2003-Apr-15, 11:18 PM
Inland areas would be more effected than coastal areas initially by temp changes. Costal areas are regulated by the oceans. So at first move to the coast, then once the waters start to rise, Kansas here we come.

Argos
2003-Apr-16, 12:48 AM
then once the waters start to rise, Kansas here we come.

I wouldn´t do it. Deep in the heart of the continents is where temperatures will undergo the most extreme variations. My advice: once the oceans start to rise, move some few meters back into the land, but stay close to the sea (always keeping an eye on it). :wink:

dgruss23
2003-Apr-16, 10:57 AM
Has anyone been able to demonstrate that the oceans are rising?

ToSeek
2003-Apr-16, 02:57 PM
Has anyone been able to demonstrate that the oceans are rising?

Yes (http://www-aviso.cls.fr/html/applications/niveau/niveau_hausse_uk.html)

informant
2003-Apr-16, 03:30 PM
This is part of the problem. The environmental movement is turned global warming into a political movement

Assuming that the problem exists, how else could something be done about it, other than through politics?



(...) and effectively brainwashed a generation into believing that every time they turn on their minivan/SUV/whatever they are contributing to catastrophic climate change.

And now a big economical movement is effectively brainwashing another generation into believing there's really no problem with exploiting the environment without a care?

dgruss23
2003-Apr-16, 03:43 PM
Here is a nice well referenced link on sea level change:

http://earth.agu.org/revgeophys/dougla01/dougla01.html

dgruss23
2003-Apr-16, 04:07 PM
This is part of the problem. The environmental movement is turned global warming into a political movement

Assuming that the problem exists, how else could something be done about it, other than through politics?



(...) and effectively brainwashed a generation into believing that every time they turn on their minivan/SUV/whatever they are contributing to catastrophic climate change.

And now a big economical movement is effectively brainwashing another generation into believing there's really no problem with exploiting the environment without a care?

In the political arena the scientific evidence ceases to be as important as political considerations. The link I noted above about the climate models demonstrates one example. The evidence for the Sun's role in climate change has been around for a long time and certainly during the last 10 years solid evidence has been accumulating - but where is this evidence in the textbooks? Where is it in the political discussions about global warming? Its not there. Whether intentionally or through ignorance on the part of those writing the textbooks, the scientific evidence for a Sun-climate connection is not being included in science classes. So students are not getting it in school, and they're certainly not getting it from politicians, celebrity advocates or the media. If not brainwashing then then certainly unbalanced presentation of the scientific evidence.

Economic movement - You have to do a cost-benefit analysis. You can't just say - "No drilling for oil, No SUV's" without expecting negative impacts upon national economies. That in turn hurts individuals and ultimately the ability of nations to deal with real environmental problems. Until economically viable alternatives come along (such as hydrogen fuel cells or others) you have to use the the technology available to keep the economy going. When businesses make money they invest it in research and development (at least responsible businesses do). That's one way new technologies develop. Sure people can make responsible choices to cut down on fossil fuel usage - choices that save money and cut down on pollution, but the global warming movement in the political arena sees no limits on restrictions to everyday life that should be imposed based upon a theory which at this moment has scant evidence in its favor.

I've never seen anybody that would be considered mainstream on either side of the political aisle advocating exploitation of nature. That's a classic mischaracterization of those that advocate a common sense approach to dealing with environmental issues.

The political edge goes to environmentalists on this one. Its simple to say "We must rapidly eliminate fossil fuels to prevent global warming, sea level rise and dramatic climate changes."

It takes a little more discipline to listen through an explanation of evidence for the Sun-climate connection and then discussion as to what it means in the context of global warming theory.

But if you make such an argument you're quickly labeled as someone that advocates "exploiting" nature. Well nobody wants to be labeled as someone who is against nature. But in fact its not a for nature or against nature choice. It boils down to differences of opinion regarding what the actual risk to nature is and how those risks should be handled.

informant
2003-Apr-16, 06:22 PM
The evidence for the Sun's role in climate change has been around for a long time and certainly during the last 10 years solid evidence has been accumulating - but where is this evidence in the textbooks? Where is it in the political discussions about global warming? Its not there. Whether intentionally or through ignorance on the part of those writing the textbooks, the scientific evidence for a Sun-climate connection is not being included in science classes. So students are not getting it in school, and they're certainly not getting it from politicians, celebrity advocates or the media. If not brainwashing then then certainly unbalanced presentation of the scientific evidence.

(...)

But if you make such an argument you're quickly labeled as someone that advocates "exploiting" nature. Well nobody wants to be labeled as someone who is against nature. But in fact its not a for nature or against nature choice. It boils down to differences of opinion regarding what the actual risk to nature is and how those risks should be handled.

If there is a genuine divergence of opinion among specialists - I admit that I know next to nothing about environmental studies - then I agree that all legitimate explanations should be given equal ground in schools.

However, I'm very skeptical about this whole new trend of saying that "there's nothing wrong with the environment after all". Maybe that's the result of new and better research (And, if that's the case, I'm sure it will find its way into schools eventually. There's a certain inertia in any curriculum.)... or maybe it's just another kind of propaganda. It's no secret that in the sixties influential tobacco companies payed for studies that "proved" that smoking was good for your health.

Let me also note that environmentalists's "propaganda" didn't help them much when the time came for Clinton and Bush to make important decisions regarding the environment.

dgruss23
2003-Apr-16, 07:10 PM
informant wrote: However, I'm very skeptical about this whole new trend of saying that "there's nothing wrong with
the environment after all". Maybe that's the result of new and better research (And, if that's the
case, I'm sure it will find its way into schools eventually. There's a certain inertia in any
curriculum.)... or maybe it's just another kind of propaganda.

You'd have to be an extremist to say there are no environmental problems. I'd say there are two things at work here. First, the environmental movement of the 60's and 70's certainly had plenty of serious environmental problems to push. But since that time numerous laws have passed and as would be hoped for those laws have resulted in better environmental conditions. I'm certainly not saying that environmental protection is not an important issue. What was happening up until the environmental movement of the 60's was certainly not good. Second, with regard to some issues, environmentalists may have been wrong - or based their views on scientific studies that were wrong. Its certainly happened with some endangered species which have been listed based upon population studies that turned out to be incorrect.

I've stated my major concern with the global warming issue above: In sum - no compelling evidence that its happening, unreliable computer models, and a complete failure to acknowledge the growing body of evidence for the Sun-climate connection.

Actually, I think there is a tremendous scientific opportunity for the global warming advocates. I imagine that with continued satellite measurements it should become possible to predicted how much the Earth should warm/cool based upon changes in solar output. If it can be shown that there is a warming occuring that significantly exceeds what can be accounted for by the Sun, then you would have possible evidence that the greenhouse gases are affecting temperatures. However, without looking at that angle, any measured warming cannot be declared a result of greenhouse gases, because the Sun may be the reason for the warming.

I fear what could happen is in fact there may be some warming due to a warming Sun (recent solar activity seems to indicate that trend) and global warming advocates will point to that warming as evidence for their theory when in fact it might have very little to do with greenhouse gases. A population that has not seen the Sun-climate evidence will be easily convinced by that argument.


It's no secret that in the sixties
influential tobacco companies payed for studies that "proved" that smoking was good for your
health.

I don't like that kind of activity either - but I don't think exxon is behind the Sun-climate studies.


Informant wrote: Let me also note that environmentalists's "propaganda" didn't help them much when the time came
for Clinton and Bush to make important decisions regarding the environment.

That depends upon what you mean by important decisions. I know Clinton was very successful at setting aside large tracts of land which are no longer accessible to the public. Nor is there new oil drilling Alaska. Every time they bring up the issue in congress the environmental activists throw a fit and it never gets passed. They love to talk about the Caribou population, but I've read a research report which documented an increase in a Caribou herd from 5000 to 27000 after the pipeline was put in. In contrast the herd that was nowhere near the pipeline or any drilling dropped from 180,000 to 120,000 animals. The irony of that report is that despite the actual number counts, the author of the study writes the report in a tone that makes it sound as if the caribou have been devastated by the pipeline.

nebularain
2003-Apr-17, 10:07 PM
Unfortunately, I don't have the stats, nor do I know where to find a reference, but I had heard on either TV or radio there was also a concern about the impact on the Inuits with the oil drilling, and the research result they gave stated that the new oil fields would be damaging to their lifestyle.

Boy, there are no easy answers.

dgruss23
2003-Apr-17, 10:45 PM
nebularain wrote: I had heard on either TV or radio there was also a concern about the impact on the Inuits with the oil drilling, and the research result they gave stated that the new oil fields would be damaging to their lifestyle.

I checked on that and it turns out that the Inuits WANT the oil drilling to help their economy and health (economy is so poor they don't have good sewage). Here are two links:

http://www.evworld.com/databases/shownews.cfm?pageid=news010402-03

http://www.turtletrack.org/ManyVoices/V_1/Issue_03/Drilling.htm


I wonder what the news report you saw/heard was all about when the people themselves are asking for the drilling. If the global warming issue was balanced in the media with the Sun-climate science this issue could be more reasonably evaluated.

g99
2003-Apr-17, 11:54 PM
Someone did a op ed: in our local student newspaper about this:
(I am giving a entire quotation because the site really, really sucks at archiving. Just look at their archives to see my point.)

"Drilling in Alaska will harm wildlife:
Editor: I am writing this letter in response to the substantial misinformation that Sheri Valera in her Monday column, “Drilling won’t harm nature,” and drilling proponents tout as reasons for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. As someone who worked in the Alaska coastal plain this past summer, I cannot let these inaccuracies stand unchallenged.

She begins by stating that the area of the Arctic Refuge being proposed for drilling is “desolate tundra … uninhabitable for animals and humans.” Drilling proponents repeatedly assert this statement as fact, but it is absolutely false. The drilling site is replete with wildflowers, musk oxen, caribou, grizzly and polar bears, 135 species of birds and numerous other species.

She pleads that “only 2,000 acres…is needed” (for drilling?). However, these 2,000 acres only represent the area needed for drill pads, not the roads, pipelines, production facilities, barracks and other infrastructure needed for drilling.

Why do drilling proponents have to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge when they already have the drilling rights for the entirety of the rest of the arctic coastal plane? Furthermore, why drill in the pristine arctic refuge when the Bush administration has already opened many other national forests, wildlife refuges, and other federal lands to resource extraction? It makes you question whether this issue is motivated by energy
independence or politics"

From: http://www.alligator.org/edit/opinion/issues/03-spring/current/opinion.html

--------
Just thought the coincidence of the two subjects coming together at the same time (here and there) was surprising. :-)

tracer
2003-Apr-18, 12:15 AM
Economic movement - You have to do a cost-benefit analysis. You can't just say - "No drilling for oil, No SUV's" without expecting negative impacts upon national economies. That in turn hurts individuals and ultimately the ability of nations to deal with real environmental problems. Until economically viable alternatives come along (such as hydrogen fuel cells or others) you have to use the the technology available to keep the economy going.
The biggest producers of greenhouse gasses world-wide aren't the highly industrialized countries, where clean-burning fuel-efficient cars and pollutions controls on factories and power plants are firmly in place. They're the 3rd-world countries, the "developing" nations, where in order to be competitive with the more prosperous countries (and to have "luxuries" like reliable electricity and indoor plumbing) they have to cut as many corners as they can. That means burning coal in their power plants without emission control devices in place, driving gas-hog smoke-spewing older cars because they're more affordable, and clearing out new farmland by slash-and-burn because it's the least labor- and equipment-intensive method of clearing land.

Trying to reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions by imposing more limits on the high-tech nations is like fixing a sinking boat by carefully patching the 2-inch hole in its bow while ignoring the 7-inch hold in its stern.

ToSeek
2003-Apr-18, 12:52 AM
The biggest producers of greenhouse gasses world-wide aren't the highly industrialized countries, where clean-burning fuel-efficient cars and pollutions controls on factories and power plants are firmly in place. They're the 3rd-world countries, the "developing" nations, where in order to be competitive with the more prosperous countries (and to have "luxuries" like reliable electricity and indoor plumbing) they have to cut as many corners as they can.

This is untrue (http://www.newint.org/issue230/fridge.htm) (well, except for Brazil) - scroll to the bottom of the page. Though I do understand the third-world countries are catching up fast as they industrialize without the benefit of the EPA or pollution-control laws.

g99
2003-Apr-18, 12:54 AM
Economic movement - You have to do a cost-benefit analysis. You can't just say - "No drilling for oil, No SUV's" without expecting negative impacts upon national economies. That in turn hurts individuals and ultimately the ability of nations to deal with real environmental problems. Until economically viable alternatives come along (such as hydrogen fuel cells or others) you have to use the the technology available to keep the economy going.
The biggest producers of greenhouse gasses world-wide aren't the highly industrialized countries, where clean-burning fuel-efficient cars and pollutions controls on factories and power plants are firmly in place. They're the 3rd-world countries, the "developing" nations, where in order to be competitive with the more prosperous countries (and to have "luxuries" like reliable electricity and indoor plumbing) they have to cut as many corners as they can. That means burning coal in their power plants without emission control devices in place, driving gas-hog smoke-spewing older cars because they're more affordable, and clearing out new farmland by slash-and-burn because it's the least labor- and equipment-intensive method of clearing land.

Trying to reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions by imposing more limits on the high-tech nations is like fixing a sinking boat by carefully patching the 2-inch hole in its bow while ignoring the 7-inch hold in its stern.

While this does make sense, the amount of acid rain and air pollution is greater in developed countries like: N.E. U.S. and Canada, Europe, East China, s.e. Australia, and India. The only third world countries that have a significant amount of air pollution are: Brazil, West africa coast, and the middle east.

From Allen, John L. "Student atlas of world politics" 5th ed. 2002. University of Wyoming. Map on Pg. 84.

g99
2003-Apr-18, 12:56 AM
Dang! ToSeek beat me to it. :-) Well it is good to be verified right?

DStahl
2003-Apr-18, 08:46 AM
degruss: "I know Clinton was very successful at setting aside large tracts of land which are no longer accessible to the public."

BEEP! False. You should have written, "...no longer as accessible to resource extraction industries." Wilderness lands remain accessible to the public--I access them quite regularly. No one keeps me out. On the other hand, certain spectacular areas--like Steen's Mountain in southeastern Oregon--have been (partially) removed from use as leased cattle-grazing lands, and some areas have been closed to timber harvest. Public access remains unhindered, however.

Bush, as a corporate shill, will try to reverse this. It's bad policy, though--most of the high-altitude timberlands in Oregon have such a short growing season that timber production runs on a 200+ year cycle and the land is, quite frankly, more valuable for recreation than for logging. These lands should be removed from the extraction industries' roster. And most open-range cattle ranching is simply subsidization of a preferred lifestyle--feedlots produce more beef more cheaply. "Open range" usually translates to giving ranchers preferred access to public lands (cow crap in alpine meadows) at ridiculously low leasing rates just in order to preserve the ranchers' "romantic western lifestyle." That's stupid.

But to the topic: I really hate to see the alpine glaciers in Oregon disappearing, but they are. The topographic maps from my father's time--the 1950s--show glaciers and icefields that no longer exist on the ground. Global warming and rising sea level are factual. We have to try to find the cause, and if we can't remedy it then we have to model the changes as best we can and try to act proactively to adjust our society. Here in Oregon, developers are marketing beach homes built on sand spits a few feet above current sea level--how stupid is that?!? It doesn't matter whether the Sun or CO2 is the culprit, these properties are going to be in the surf in a few decades.

We urgently need to understand planetary CO2 cycling, short-term luminosity changes in the Sun, and the effects of changes in cloud-cover and polar snow- and ice-caps on global climate. Climate has been a crucial determining factor in man's past, and despite our hubris it will continue to be so. The Green's prodding is useful because it makes recalcitrant, business-comes-first types like the current Prez of the USA bow to public pressure and give at least some attention to global climate change.

dgruss23
2003-Apr-18, 11:49 AM
Dstahl. Thanks. I should have said "less accessible to the public - or perhaps more restricted access". Clinton did create quite a few national monumuments. Here are a couple of links that illustrate what I was thinking about:

http://www.envirofront.org/Issue_Ref_Library/Nat_Res_IS/ORV_Recreational%20Access.html

http://www.house.gov/resources/press/1999/991103post-hearingroadlessareas.htm

I'd be happy if extremists positions on both sides of the spectrum had less influence on the discussion. There are those out there that would be happy if we all went back to the Hunter-gatherer days (or the even more extreme "Voluntary Human Extinction Movement"). Then there are those that will fight any requirements to reduce pollution emissions - no matter what the science might say.

The common sense approach is to find the balance between the environmental impact and the economic impact. In order to do that it will become necessary to acknowledge the evidence for a Sun-climate connection because its becoming apparent that the Sun is a variable in this global warming issue. I still argue that you cannot demonstrate global warming is caused by greenhouse gases without establishing the contribution from the Sun first.

It is possible to be Pro-business and Pro-environment. Extremists on both ends seem to take the position that you're on one side or the other.

DStahl
2003-Apr-18, 09:03 PM
[deleted by DStahl as rampantly off-topic and perniciously political--sorry.]

Kaptain K
2003-Apr-18, 09:43 PM
A local community, concerned about mining companies' plans to strip mine sand and gravel right up to people's backyards, incorporated to give itself some control over the situation. The mining companies threw money at the state legislature and got bills introduced that would retroactively negate this community's land use control. These bills are so narrowly written that they would only affect this community, even though the state is (supposedly) forbbidden to do so.

http://www.statesman.com/metrostate/content/auto/epaper/editions/
friday/metro_state_4.html

Dang! Someday I've gott to learn BBCode :oops: Copy and paste the whole link. :roll:

Argos
2003-Apr-18, 10:11 PM
The biggest producers of greenhouse gasses world-wide aren't the highly industrialized countries, where clean-burning fuel-efficient cars and pollutions controls on factories and power plants are firmly in place. They're the 3rd-world countries, the "developing" nations, where in order to be competitive with the more prosperous countries (and to have "luxuries" like reliable electricity and indoor plumbing) they have to cut as many corners as they can

Can you direct us to the source of this info? I may be wrong but, it seems that mainstream theories say the contrary. A chart:

http://www.ucsusa.org/global_environment/archive/page.cfm?pageID=965

tracer
2003-Apr-19, 04:14 PM
Um ... uh oh ...

Oh darn.

Now I remember.

I'd read an article somewhere predicting that, as the various 3rd world countries all tried to play catch-up with the fully industrialized nations, they would turn to burning coal, driving cheap-and-dirty cars, etc.. It was a speculative piece that was looking toward where we should be directing preventative measures to keep greenhouse gas emissions down in the future.

Somehow, I conflated this with the present situation. :oops:

tracer
2003-Apr-19, 04:19 PM
the amount of acid rain and air pollution is greater in developed countries like: N.E. U.S. and Canada, Europe, East China, s.e. Australia, and India.
:: nitpick ::

Um ... should India really be on the list of "developed" countries? My understanding is that most of India is pretty squalid. (Not as squalid as, say, Mexico, and most of said squalor in India is primarily due to overcrowding, but still.)

g99
2003-Apr-19, 04:32 PM
the amount of acid rain and air pollution is greater in developed countries like: N.E. U.S. and Canada, Europe, East China, s.e. Australia, and India.
:: nitpick ::

Um ... should India really be on the list of "developed" countries? My understanding is that most of India is pretty squalid. (Not as squalid as, say, Mexico, and most of said squalor in India is primarily due to overcrowding, but still.)

I always thought if it as developed (I.E. not thrid world). I knew it was not anywhere like us, but i just thought of the cities and local towns and not doing as bad as the thrid world countries.

Hmm...Must of gotten the wrong impression. I guess i was biased from the large amount of smart richer people here from India.

Thanks. So move India to the other list. I guess you can say the same about the majoroty of china then too.

Argos
2003-Apr-19, 06:28 PM
Um ... uh oh ...
I'd read an article somewhere predicting that, as the various 3rd world countries all tried to play catch-up with the fully industrialized nations, they would turn to burning coal, driving cheap-and-dirty cars, etc

Ok. In fact, the developing countries exhibit a higher rate of growth in CO2 emisions, and that´s worrisome. But, so far, the "developed" countries account for most of the greenhouse effect substances in the atmosphere.

{edited to fix spelling}

Argos
2003-Apr-19, 06:36 PM
I always thought if it as developed (I.E. not thrid world). I knew it was not anywhere like us, but i just thought of the cities and local towns and not doing as bad as the thrid world countries.
m India.


You´re right. Labeling countries as first, third, or Nth world is to simplify things. The division of the world into only three categories of nations doesn´t seem to be reasonable. The world is far more complicated, and such things are not so easy to define.

How can we label "third world" a nation capable of setting Asia on fire?

David Hall
2003-Apr-19, 07:28 PM
Dang! Someday I've gott to learn BBCode :oops: Copy and paste the whole link. :roll:

C'mon Kaptain. It's easy enough. Just read the BBcode (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/faq.php?mode=bbcode) FAQ. The basic form is exactly the same as using italics or bold. just substitute "url" for the "i" or "b" in the brackets. You can even use the little button above the edit box to do it for you. Just highlight the link and click on it.

http://www.statesman.com/metrostate/content/auto/epaper/editions/friday/metro_state_4.html

8)

Hat Monster
2003-Apr-19, 09:21 PM
It's an odd phenomenon is global warming.

It is happening. That much we do know.

However, we have multiple explanations.

The Sun may be getting warmer, but we have very thin evidence for this. However, we must not equate lack of evidence with lack of effect. We do not fully understand the Sun's effect on our climate other than the climate can and will buffer it. How effective this buffer is in the short term remains unknown.

CO2 levels may be rising. We are pumping a hell of a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere and it's not well determined how much the Earth can sink. CO2 is a known and proven agent that will increase temperatures. With a small increase in temperatures, we get more water vapour up there and that increases temperatures too. Increased temperatures themselves cause more forest fires. Two positive feedback effects that may lead to a runaway. But again, we do not know enough to make valid assertions.

The position of the scientist and the intelligent mind here is to evaluate what we do know against the best estimates as to what we don't.

Some very good minds argued, in the 1950s, that any lunar landing was doomed to failure due to a kilometer thick layer of dust on the lunar surface. They were proven inaccurate, but their argument was very sound. It's the same here. One side will be proven inaccurate, but we just don't know yet.

ToSeek
2003-Apr-19, 10:25 PM
I'd read an article somewhere predicting that, as the various 3rd world countries all tried to play catch-up with the fully industrialized nations, they would turn to burning coal, driving cheap-and-dirty cars, etc.. It was a speculative piece that was looking toward where we should be directing preventative measures to keep greenhouse gas emissions down in the future.

Somehow, I conflated this with the present situation. :oops:

Well, if you look at the growth rate for third world countries in Argos's link, it's pretty scary: on the order of 40-70%. So they're catching up fast.