Wow! Colder than Mars in Minnesota

Bundle up, people. Global warming will be here soon! Remember! It’s only climate when it’s climate. When it’s not climate, it’s just weather, and that doesn’t count.

  • Dave G.

    Well, the folks being interviewed on MSNBC said the extreme cold is likely the result of climate change.

    • chezami

      Of course they did. What climate does is change. Perpetually.

      • Rebecca Fuentes

        I hope the next change includes less wind.

    • The Deuce

      Which illustrates why they’ve stopped calling global warming “global warming”: They’d sound even more ridiculous trying to explain away the discrepancies if they still called it that.

    • Ye Olde Statistician

      And the orbit of Mars is due to location change.

  • Scott

    I live here in Minnesota. Just wondering if Algore could make a speech up here and help warm things up a bit!

  • Marthe Lépine

    For more details:

    From: http://www.cbc.ca/newsblogs/yourcommunity/2014/01/canada-as-cold-as-mars-not-quite-eh.html
    Canada as cold as Mars? Not
    quite, eh?
    by John Bowman Posted: January 3, 2014 12:58 PM Last Updated: January 3, 2014 1:06 PM

    As far as I am concerned, in the mid-70′s I had a job in Yellowknife, NWT for a couple of years and the main (only) thing I enjoyed there was the climate. I guess that the Lord gives each of us a different set of physical abilities to withstand our environment…

  • Elmwood

    Mark, why do you dismiss AGW? Do you think all those scientist are making it up? Are you a climate scientist? Do you think it’s a good idea that we all drive in cars wasting fossil fuels so we can get from point A to B quicker only to stuck in traffic? Don’t you think this is a waste of God’s creation?

    please go to this website help form your opinion on AGW.

    skeptical science

    don’t you realize there are agendas out there who try and sow the seeds of doubt about AGW? they represent some of our fossil fuel industry, don’t be fooled.

    • The Deuce

      Oh look, Skeptical Science, the site that everyone who dares to draw a reasonable conclusion from the repeated failures of the models has been linked to a hundred times.

      • Elmwood

        If a scientific model doesn’t fail, it’s surprising. The truth or untruth of AGW doesn’t rest entirely on the shoulders of climate models. There is broad consensus among differing scientific fields that AGW is real. besides, i believe AGW models have proven to be fairly robust.

        I think this website does an excellent job addressing most of the skeptical arguments. You should go through it and make up your own mind.

        BTW, Pope Benedict Emeritus called for action;

        I hope that all members of the international community can agree on a responsible, credible and supportive response to this worrisome and complex phenomenon, keeping in mind the needs of the poorest populations and of future generations.

        But what does he know, or that new “Marxist” pope!

        • pRinzler

          Elmwood, thanks for your comments that are based on clear thinking about AGW.

          A proper skeptic will consider a challenge to any scientific conclusion, but should also not continue to doubt in the face of clear and compelling evidence. AGW has withstood, in general, its challengers, even as the science continues to be refined.

          Conclusions based on clear and compelling evidence should drive our actions and decision until, and only until, they are shown to be wrong.

          • Ye Olde Statistician

            GW is not the same as AGW. All during the ramp-up to Solar Grand Max, Earth and Mars were getting warmer, shrugging out from the Little Ice Age. We haven’t gotten back to the point of dairy farming in Greenland, but it’s definitely warmer than it was when Washington crossed the Delaware. But Solar Grand Max seems to be over now and a new Dalton Minimum seems in view. Stay tuned.

            • Elmwood
              • Ye Olde Statistician

                Real science evidently excludes astrophysics. Who knew?

                1. Any model with at least seven variables can be made to fit a data set by proper choice of coefficients.
                2. Given that model, any effort to find the effect of an eighth variable will always “discover” that it has a minimum contribution.
                3. Autocorrelation among variables can effect not only the magnitude, but even the sign of the partial correlations.
                4. Direct solar irradiance has no more effect than CO2. Both depend on various feedback loops to “boost” the effect.
                5. Solar effects are being discovered, including the magnetic blanket shielding the Earth from cosmic rays, and the weird plasma tubes that pop in and out of being and directly connect the sun and the earth.
                6. Current expectation is that, if the sun continues quiet, cooling will last to about 2030. This is similar to the cooling that excited everyone between 1940-1970.
                7. What’s the rush? In 1970 we thought a new ice age was immanent. In 1990 we thought the planet was going to bake. By 2010 it was clear that the slope had flattened out and may have started to decline — which is what you might expect from an inflection point in a sinusoidal pattern.
                8. Keep your fingers crossed. Cold kills. Warmer northern hemisphere winter nights, as predicted by the models, would be beneficial. A new ice age would be far worse than a balmier climate.

                • said she

                  Will it help if I buy a bigger, gas-guzzling SUV, drive it many scenic miles every day, and have a BBQ every night? Cuz, if so, I’m ready to start. Anything I can do to help!

    • Ye Olde Statistician

      The Puritans have never gone away.

  • R. Howell

    Conservative blogs just write themselves in winter, don’t they? “Cold weather somewhere, global warming haw haw haw.”

  • Elaine S.

    Believe it or not, there is SOME scientific evidence to suggest that due to a recent drastic downturn in sunspot activity, the earth COULD actually be entering a period of cooling:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/24/newsbytes-sunspot-enigma-will-inactive-sun-cause-global-cooling/#comment-1370335

    Past sharp declines in sunspot activity have coincided with periods of lower global temperatures (e.g. “Maunder Minimum” and “Dalton Minimum”). Also, it appears that sunspot activity was at a peak in the 1980s and ’90s, which was — you guessed it — precisely the period when global warming was at its most rapid.

    If — and it’s still a big if — low sunspot activity DOES lead to global cooling, that could cause far more human misery than global warming ever did… because a colder world means shorter growing seasons that make it harder to grow crops, which in turn, means higher food prices, more inflation, more hunger and more poverty. Combine that with the push in recent years to turn food crops such as corn and soybeans into “biofuels” in the name of preventing global warming (a practice that has already done much more harm than good to the environment: ) and you have a potential recipe for real disaster.

    And don’t forget about the expedition of climate researchers to Antarctica, which, apparently, went looking for evidence that the South Pole ice cap is melting… only to get stuck in ice … along with BOTH of the ships sent to rescue it from the ice.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/pj-gladnick/2013/12/28/msm-glosses-over-irony-global-warming-scientists-trapped-antarctic-ice

    • Rebecca Fuentes

      I read an article about a year ago about one of the settlements along the Indus River. It was, at one point, one of the largest cities along the area, and it had grown rapidly, stayed large for centuries, and declined just as rapidly. The articlec connected the rise to a decrease in monsoons, allowing the flooding in the area to less destructive, and the decline to a decrease in monsoons that left the area to dry to be productive–then said that the monsoon increase or decrease was caused by sunspot activity.
      I think now, this would be attributed to AGW, but 5000+ years ago, it was sunspot activity affecting the monsoons.

    • introvert_prof

      As to the Antarctic researchers, you are confusing land ice with sea ice. If land ice melts and slides into the ocean, the ocean gets colder and you get more sea ice.

    • introvert_prof

      I have observed previously that the last two solar minima (the roughly 60-year cycle) led to a significant drop in global average temperatures. The best the current/just past solar minimum could do was flatten the rise. That alone should be scary, and more evidence for AGW.

      • Ye Olde Statistician

        There are solar minima roughly every 11 years. The current Grand Minimum has only just started. This would involve, just like the last time, several consecutive cycles of very low amplitude. Currently the sun has almost no magnetic field and the polarity reversal that marks the end of the Schwabe cycle has only half-happened. One hemisphere has flipped polarity, but the other has not. For the first time in observational history, both hemispheres of the sun have the same polarity. What this will mean is utterly unknown.

        • introvert_prof

          Thanks for the correction.

      • Elaine S.

        Pardon the pun but I think there are “degrees” of belief in AGW. It is true that most scientists believe human activity such as generation of greenhouse gases has an effect on climate. I believe this myself. The difference is in 1) how much of an effect human activity has when compared to other factors (e.g. sunspot activity), 2) whether this effect is likely to be minor, moderate or catastrophically drastic; and 3) what kind of action or response to this change is warranted — it is such a serious threat that it demands massive and immediate government intervention, is it a minor problem only that can be dealt with through voluntary measures, or is it in the long term a problem that will correct itself through natural cycles. There are some who consider anyone who fails to insist that AGW is the greatest environmental disaster in the history of the world a “denier” even if they do acknowledge a human effect on climate.

        It’s one thing to believe that humans have an effect on climate and suggest ways to mitigate that effect; it’s another thing entirely to go into full-bore panic mode about it and insist upon onerous, invasive and in some cases dangerous measures that could ultimately backfire, especially if and when a cooling period occurs.

  • A Philosopher

    There’s this annoying pattern that secular critics of religion sometimes display. They wade into a complicated theological matter that they have absolutely no expertise in, and then construct their own radically oversimplified view of what’s going on. Then they launch a barrage of criticisms of the stupidly simplistic view they’ve built for their opponents, and declare the opposing view hopeless. And for the final coup de grace, when the people who actually know some theology point out that what the critics are attacking wasn’t a view that anyone ever held, the critics mock them for constantly changing the view, or for refusing to admit that they really believe the stupid view the critics made up.

    Apropos of nothing. Just some thoughts I found myself having.

    • Dave G.

      You’ve basically said that critics of MMGW happen to follow the bad arguments of everyone who makes bad arguments. Well, here’s the thing. I’m no scientist. So I’m at the mercy of those who are. And in just about any subject within the realm of science, I’m stuck wondering who is telling the truth, and who isn’t. Since I don’t know the science, I have to watch other things. Like who do I believe. Right now, the advocates of MMGW change faster than the tree salesman in A Christmas Story (hell that ain’t no tree!). That’s not counting those who flagrantly exploit MMGW for clearly partisan agendas and goals (vote for liberal Democrats or you hate the planet and don’t believe in science). That doesn’t mean I reject it all. But it’s hard to sift the BS from the real science when the terms and lines keep getting changed by those trying to communicate to us simple folk, sometimes multiple times in a season.

      • The Deuce

        The position of global warming advocates at this point basically consists of saying that we must slavishly accept the latest iteration of the “scientific consensus” to its every jot and tittle without questioning, no matter what we observe for ourselves. The possibilities of dishonesty or political spin among advocates are ruled ontological impossibilities, which non-experts may never conclude, no matter how observably manifest the goalpost-moving, shifting of terms, failed predictions, and blatant partisanship. There’s *no* point at which the masses are “allowed” to call BS on anything.

        We’re not to trust our own rational faculties at all, except where it comes to accepting the argument that the folks hammering on “the consensus” are experts and therefore to be blindly trusted.

        • introvert_prof

          “no matter what we observe for ourselves”

          Pray tell, what have you observed other than weather? Do you have many decades of temperature records that contradict the accepted temperature records? Do you have paleoclimate data that contradict what the majority of paleoclimate experts are saying? In other words, have you actually observed something to do with climate?

          In other words, you’re allowed your own interpretation, but not your own facts. Please enlighten us on how your interpretation makes better sense of the facts than that of those who don’t believe in perpetual motion machines.

          • The Deuce

            Pray tell, what have you observed other than weather? Do you have many
            decades of temperature records that contradict the accepted temperature
            records?

            No, I have their own data, those temperature records of which you speak, vs their predictions of what would happen based on levels of greenhouse gasses.

            I have the IPCC, for instance, admitting that warming has “paused” (a loaded term that assumes it will begin again) for 17 years contrary to their predictions, while simultaneously claiming that they’re even more sure than ever that their assumptions are right. I am left to wonder what kind of mindset becomes more doggedly certain in its assumptions in the face of failed expectations.

            I have obviously false predictions that both ice caps would be gone by now, and multiple failed predictions of catastrophic 10-year “tipping points” from the likes of James Hansen. While I see AGW proponents pointing out that these failed predictions don’t disprove AGW now that they’ve failed, I didn’t see any of them calling out the people who made them at the time they were made, or pointing out that these were merely very uncertain speculations, or even denouncing the people who made such claims for their sensationalist scare tactics after the fact. I am left with no clear explanation for this failure other than rampant and collective political partisanship driving the narrative.

            I have the spectacle of AGW proponents recently speculating that the heat they expected has gone deep in the ocean where it isn’t observable, only to drop that speculation a few weeks later on the grounds that heat rises, and to replace it with speculation that the rising heat from greenhouse gasses has been offset by the closing of the ozone hole in recent years. I don’t know why the fact that heat rises didn’t dissuade them from the “deep oceans” theory in the first place. I don’t know why they didn’t predict a heat reduction from the closing ozone hole in the first place. What I do know is that they’re producing these speculations because the heat they expected to observe is not in fact observable, that they don’t know why it is (hence the changing speculation), and that they therefore don’t understand things as thoroughly as they made it appear.

            I have all kinds of ridiculous hijinks being employed to produce claims like “97% consensus of experts agree with AGW,” a tactic meant to cow opponents into submission. The hijinks give me reason to doubt their honesty, and the tactic to doubt their ability to argue or approach the topic in anything like good faith.

            So those are some of the observations. And, above all, there’s the one I previously mentioned: That the response whenever I or anyone else notice such things amounts to an insinuation that it’s an ontological impossibility for the narrative to be wrong or oversold, and that therefore we should shut up, stop thinking, and blindly trust whoever we are told are the experts.

            • pRinzler

              Have you explored explanations for the pause? I just googled “IPCC warming pause” and came up with some explanations as to why the “pause” does not disconfirm AGW.

              So, you trust yourself to interpret data and distrust thousands of professionals because . . . .?

              • said she

                You should read The Deuce’s entire post, this time, actually paying attention. He gave LOTS of reasons to distrust those “experts”.

                So many that he turned this AGW agnostic into a full-on denier. How do you like that? Yes: it’s true. He was that convincing. Of course, I’m no scientist. But I have enough sense to know that those who move the goalposts and change the lingo and stick to their story, never mind the failed predictions are not the kind of people I trust. ESPECIALLY not at the enormous price tag, inconvenience, and population-reduction plans they are pushing for. Nope. Sorry. I’m done being agnostic.

                Thank you, Deuce!

              • The Deuce

                pRinzler:

                Have you explored explanations for the pause?

                Yes, if you’d read my post, you would’ve seen that I specifically mentioned TWO of the explanations: the “deep oceans ate my warming” explanation and the “shrinking ozone hole offset my warming” explanation.

  • Joejoe

    I feel like if we can just throw enough money at people who hate those who have the audacity to procreate, we can fix this whole climate situation once and for all. It only makes sense!

    • said she

      I doubt there’s enough money.

      • Joejoe

        So do the people who want to implement “carbon offsets” and punitive taxes for polluters (read: everyone), but they’re willing to take it all and try anyway!

  • introvert_prof

    Mark, you’re using the Climatic Variability Ratchet. Whenever temperatures get warmer, folks like you say it’s natural variability; when they get colder, it’s because global warming is a hoax (e.g. it’s climate). In fact, both are weather; it’s the long term trends that matter.

    So look at the long-term trends. Over the past half-century or more, we’ve had many more record highs than record lows. Climate is warming quite a lot faster than it usually does, and there’s a ready explanation to hand: we’re pumping out significant quantities of carbon dioxide, which has been known to be a greenhouse gas for almost two centuries.

    I used to have respect for you.

    • Dave G.

      On the other hand, when temperatures get crazy hot, the term ‘Global Warming’ is more common, and we’re told that is evidence of Global Warming. When it gets crazy cold, suddenly it’s more common to use Climate Change, and suddenly the Cold is just weather, or it just proves climate change. And that’s another thing. At this point, no matter what happens, we’re told it proves climate change. Well, yeah. If no matter what happens, it proves it’s true, then it must be true. But that’s when that little voice says ‘wait a minute.’

      • Mitch

        Climate change in the warmer direction will increase weather variability. There is more moisture being evaporated, more warm water vapor in the air as well as warmer oceans changes atmospheric patterns, which means we will have interesting consequences including cold snaps, massive storms, droughts in formerly humid places and monsoons in formerly arid regions, weather becomes less predictable.

      • introvert_prof

        That’s because Climate Change is established by multiple lines of evidence. To use a reductio, you could also complain that “no matter what happens, we’re told it proves the conservation of energy” as a complaint that the Conservation of Energy is a science-proof assertion. No, it’s just that the Conservation of Energy is quite well-established and successful.

        Climate Change isn’t at the same level of certainty; I think we could probably get a consensus of energy scientists to agree that the First Law of Thermodynamics is true to a 99% confidence level, while climate scientists have a merely 95% confidence level in the assertion that humans have significantly contributed to AGW.

        • Dave G.

          “Climate Change isn’t at the same level of certainty.” You’d never know it given how people react to a negative answer to the rather vague ‘do you believe in climate change’ question. For me, that’s a silly question. But for those curious, I believe 1. the climate changes, 2. all that we have pumped into the air over the centuries probably hasn’t been good, 3. it wouldn’t hurt us to stop thinking the future lies in a laboratory (that is, learn the right lessons from history). .

          With that said, I also believe that 1. scientists who are critics aren’t the only ones with dubious motivations 2. what is said to us simple folk does seems to change over the years without a sense of consistency, 3. majority rule does not determine truth,, 4. people who are advocates of MMGW shove a lot of their own agendas into the debate about Global Warming (see point 1).

          That’s where I stand. I haven’t seen much to convince me otherwise.

          • Rebecca Fuentes

            I think if we focused on smart ways to have clean air, water and soil, any impact we are having on GW would either reverse or ease. Those are things with more direct, doable solutions.

      • wlinden

        *I* have not forgotten that it was not long ago that the doomsayers were telling us that we were on the verge of a new Ice Age. And I actually heard one of them assert that disagreement between “warmists” and “coolists” PROVED that they were right, since “everyone” (i.e., him and his friends) agreed that SOMETHING awful was going to happen.

        • introvert_prof

          Um, that was a few people in the 1970s; I remember that, too. That doesn’t mean that such claims mean jack today.

          In 1900, no less a scientist than Ernst Mach was still advocating the view that atoms are just convenient fictions. Does that mean that we shouldn’t trust physicists today who tell us of the measurements they’ve made on atoms?

          Science does progress, sometimes. And I’ll see your ice age doomsayers and raise you Frank Capra’s 1958 “Bell Telephone Science Hour” documentary, “Meteora: The Unchained Goddess.”

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-AXBbuDxRY

          • wlinden

            I yield to no one in my fondness for Bell Science films (and where can I get a copy of The Restless Sea?), but don’t see the relevance.

            Yep, “a few people in the 1970s”, just like I am now told it was just “a few people” rioting on campus, and I should have been worrying about “rightwingextremists” instead of the extremists who were beating me up. You missed the point, which is their insistence that no matter WHAT the facts turned out to be, it supported them.

            And neither do I have much faith in a hypostatized Science, whose connection with any concrete sciences or scientists is problematic.

  • Eve Fisher

    Considering that every one of us uses science every day for communication, travel, food, entertainment, and health, it’s amazing the number of people who have decided that scientists have an evil agenda. Well, actually, it isn’t: oil companies have invested a lot of money into “proving” that MMGW is a hoax. Favorite headline from Fox News: “Only corrupt scientists believe in global warming”, i.e., in typical FN reverse-speak, the ones that cannot be bought.

    • Dave G.

      Well, if the only evil scientists are the ones saying MMGW is a hoax, then it must be true! You’ve just gone a long way in demonstrating why there are so many skeptics. Not that we can’t figure that something is going on, and that all the contaminants we’ve spewed into the air aren’t a good thing, but it’s also clear that there is quite a bit of non-scientific thinking being tossed into the pure and pristine world of scientific inquiry when it comes to advocating MMGW.

      • introvert_prof

        On a rather conservative estimate, 97% of scientists actively working in climate studies of one sort or another recognize a significant or dominant human contribution to AGW. Of the few who don’t, the majority can be shown to be influenced by their funding sources; a few have been hired outright to sow doubt.

        Not all of the scientists funded by vested interests can be bought; I give you as an example Richard Muller.

        • Dave G.

          I’ve never been impressed by majority equals truth. The Bible itself is a minority witness more often than not. And besides, the majority of science has said plenty of things that later generations turn away from. No, I’m no skeptic about the probability that having given science and technology a blank check at the dawn of the industrial revolution, we are now seeing the fruits of our lack of vision. Nonetheless, I can also see that the goal posts are moved, the terms are changed, and sometimes listening to advocates of MMGW is like listening to that tree salesman I mentioned. When those things happen, no matter what the science is, I’m sure the important thing will be how we end up reacting. Since many of those scientists I see interviewed also link MMGW to the very presence of too many people, right there I have to draw a line, since I don’t support their ideas of thinning the human herds as a solution.. From there, I have to make other judgement calls. And while the climate is changing as it always has, and likely we have contributed in some ways to faster change, it’s those ‘here’s the solution’ calls that I’m interested in. And when the argument is ‘shut up and obey or you hate science and are part of a vast conspiracy’, you can bet your bottom dollar I’m going to proceed with caution when it comes to finally putting my stamp of approval on a given solution.

          • introvert_prof

            As I’ve argued before, we don’t have to “believe blindly” to be apprehensive about our climatic future and to recognize that we need to do something about our CO2 emissions. All we need to do is pay attention to a few, well-known and undisputed facts:

            1. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and when dissolved in the ocean it lowers ocean pH.

            2. Human activities are putting significant quantities of carbon dioxide into the air, roughly 1% of the total atmospheric CO2 burden per annum. A fair bit of this ends up dissolved in the oceans, simply because the volume of the oceans is so much greater than the volume of the air. (This figure doesn’t even count stronger greenhouse gases, which can be neglected because either they have short lifetimes — methane — or the quantities are low. But as an aggregate they don’t help.)

            You might dispute this, but all you have to do is two rough estimates: first, estimate the total tonnage of CO2 in the atmosphere by using the weight of the atmosphere and the ca. 400 ppm concentration of CO2; next, use the CIA World Fact Book or some other reputable almanac to estimate total human CO2 emissions per annum.

            3. Climate — as measured by average global temperatures — has some sensitivity to CO2 concentration; best current estimates are that doubling CO2 concentration is worth about 3 Celsius degrees.

            4. Atmospheric CO2 concentration has risen 40% since 1900. This is entirely due to human activities; we haven’t had extraordinary levels of natural emissions during that time.

            Based on the physics of CO2 (and of blackbodies such as the Earth’s surface), and the observable fact that CO2 emissions by human beings are very large and accelerating, any so-called pause in warming is pretty much guaranteed to be due to one of two things: noise in the data (and the temperature data are quite noisy) or a need to completely rethink our understanding of radiative physics. Counting on reduced solar output to save us is probably a very bad idea, as it’s going to rise again before too long.

            See, I didn’t need a tinfoil hat or any accusations of perfidy. :)

            P.S. Back to my point #1: ocean pH, which is largely a function of dissolved CO2 and its equilibrium with carbonate, is measurably lower than it was 150 years ago. That trend has been fairly smooth, just like the rise in global temperatures. It’s not at a tipping point yet — effects on carbonate- and silicate-dependent organisms like corals seem to be mostly from increasing temperatures — but I have heard that we’re seeing a measurable decrease in the ability of organisms to build shells; both carbonate and silicate are more soluble as pH falls.

            • Dave G.

              To be honest, I don’t think the debate is with ‘can too much artificial contaminants hurt the natural order’, as much as it’s with some of those side issues that seem to attach themselves to the topic. .

  • Elmwood

    Anyone who is honestly searching for the truth or untruth of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) owes it to themselves to check out this website which should address most of the skeptical criticisms of this phenomenon.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/

    I work with both industry and government scientists in Alaska. I approached AGW with an open mind and in fact initially I was a skeptic/denier, bur found after talking with the “experts” of their personal opinion, that they all thought it was real and manmade.

    • Dave G.

      Curious. Were these experts the ones I see interviewed who say it’s not just industrialization and such things, but the very presence of too many people? Or do they have no designs on reducing human populations, but put the burden solely on artificial causes? The ones I see or read about seem to think it’s the fact that there are so many people that is as much the problem.

      • introvert_prof

        Dave, I share your aversion to “culling the herd.” But the bald fact is this: even if human population doesn’t rise at all, these people all aspire to a U.S.-level standard of living. You can have that with just half the per capita emissions — see Europe — but if you use emission rates in, say, Germany and give everyone in the world that per capita emissions rate, we’re looking at catastrophe. Rising standards of living are almost entirely to blame for the fact that China passed the USA recently in total CO2 emissions; their population growth has been quite low compared to, say, India.

        A Chinese-born colleague who is a climate scientist says that we’re just going to have to come up with ways to adapt, since his countrymen (and a lot of other people) aren’t going to give up trying to raise their standard of living. But shouldn’t we at least *try* to find ways for third-worlders to increase their standards of living on a low- or no-emissions basis? That’s the argument: we have to find ways to stabilize the world standard of living at a higher level, without continuing to pump out CO2.

        Given that the U.S. has one of the highest standards of living on the planet, that could very well mean that we will need to dial ourselves back.

        • Eve Fisher

          Thank you, introvert_prof for your post. You said it far better than I could, and I believe you are absolutely right. Our current standard of living in the US is based on the assumption (rarely directly stated, but implied) that we get first crack at the resources of the world, and we get all that we want of them, and everyone else can have the leavings. But at 7 billion people and counting on this planet, those leavings aren’t enough to go around unless we are willing to either (1) let most people live in poverty or (2) dial back; share; work to develop a way that everyone can have some of the basics and perhaps even some of the luxuries of life that we take for granted, including clean air and water. And the choice (short of war) isn’t really ours any longer: China and India are not going to willingly give up their hopes of a middle-class lifestyle just because it inconveniences us, or because it damages the planet.

          Finally, everyone talks about the cost of renewable energy. However, the person or country that develops the means to generate reasonably-priced, renewable energy that is not based on fire (oil, coal, gas, etc.) for transportation, heating, and communication, will (among other things) become multi-billionaires and the scientific center of the world. Someone will do it; some country, or some corporation, will pursue it the way the US set up the Manhattan project to develop nuclear weapons. It would behoove the United States to be the that developer.

        • Dave G.

          I’m fine with dialing back. Given that our current trajectory is helping to dig a generation of early graves, my vote is yes. My point is, there are many out there who say Climate Change is man made, including because of the very existence of too many men (people). When people say ‘the majority says’, that majority includes those. So if we say ‘we disagree with that view’, we’ve just demonstrated a willingness to parse that majority that is so important in these debates. Again, I have no bones with the overall theory. I think the lesson is ‘don’t say salvation lies in the laboratory with a blank check.’ But I think there is a whole lot of non-scientific baggage that has been tossed on the Climate Change train. That’s what makes more skeptics than there probably otherwise would be.

  • Joe

    Being in Ohio, I enjoy a front row seat.


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