Category Archives: Global Warming

What David Siegel Learned about Climate Change: The Science is not Settled

I have read a lot on the subject of climate change.

There is a lot of misrepresentation and foolishness on both sides of the issue but this very long article is among the most thorough and best written that I have read in a long time. It is about 9000 words so you are going to have to sit and read for awhile. Also, you would be wise to click on his sources but since there are so many that will increase the time you spend.

@Pullnews asks hard questions about climate change, read and tell him what you think on Twitter and give me your thoughts on Twitter or below.

http://climatecurious.com

The Honor of Being Mugged by Climate Censors

I believe in global warming, Bjorn Lomborg writes, but also in responsible policies to address it. That can get you in trouble.

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Copenhagen Consensus research shows that policy makers considering climate change have practical solutions. Cutting fossil-fuel subsidies is a great idea. Each year $550 billion is wasted, mostly by developing nations, on subsidies that mainly help the rich. A dramatic increase in spending on green-energy R&D is needed, as innovation will drive down the price of green energy to the point that it can outcompete fossil fuels. A well-crafted carbon tax would help too.

But our analyses also show that Kyoto-style approaches—poorly designed EU climate policies, or the pledge to hold warming to two degrees Celsius—are costly and ineffective. There are much better ways we could spend money to help the planet.

Old prediction: The end is near!

We have all heard the cries of doom.

The oceans are going to rise and destroy mankind! The animals that we are used to in our local environment are all going to die. The tornados will cause mass destruction. Hurricanes will destroy our coastlines.

These have been going on for a LONG TIME now.

One of the biggest fear mongers was Jim Hansen. In 1988, he was looking out on Broadway in New York City and observing the Hudson River. Here is his prediction as remembered by the reporter beside him:

Should scientists stay out of politics

Interesting post over at “Is It Getting Warmer?“.  It is a discussion of scientists and their thirst for getting too involved in politics.

It is an unfortunate turn of events that most big scientific discussions (such as global warming, in this case) turn into political discussions.  This could include other things such as abortion, stem cell research, and the teaching of evolution in the classroom.  All of these things have a strong scientific discussion which implies that there is a truth somewhere.  However, in these cases, the truth is not clear cut and the science is probably not solid.  In most of these cases, there is some level of gray in the conversation and much of what is discussed as fact is simply hypothesis.

Newt’s list is awesome!

Newt Gingrich wrote a great editorial in the Wall Street Journal recently that includes 7 “achievements” that he thinks should be offered as prizes similar to the X Prize Foundation’s prizes.  Personally, I think the idea of prizes to drive innovation is great and wish that the government would do this on a regular basis.  Newt’s list is a great first start and there are probably others but if we have too many it would dilute the importance of the targeted list.

I do question Mr. Gingrich’s 7th item.  While certainly noble in intent, it doesn’t appear that it is measurable enough to warrant a big prize.  Perhaps a prize for the public school system that gets 99% of their non-special needs kids to some extremely high level of attainment on a standardized test.  If we use the SAT as an example, the school system that can get 99% of their kids to over 600 on the SAT test (the average is 515 out of a possible 700 and that was for college bound seniors – the challenge would be for ALL students in a public school organization).

Immediate drop of oil prices

In my opinion the best way to quickly drop the price of crude oil is to announce that the US is going to build 30 nuclear reactors in the next decade.

This would send a strong message to the world community that we are serious about energy independence. One of the big perils with electric cars is the lack of availability of infrastructure to charge them.

We need to stabilize the world energy market and this would show everyone that we see serious about getting our house in order.

I know that John McCain has advocated a similar suggestion but I haven’t heard anything of this from Obama.

RANT! What is up with Live Earth – 2 of 2

My last post on this subject was about rock stars not spending enough time on today’s problems but instead they are spending time on a theoretical problem for the future – global warming.

I realize that some stars like Bono have done a great job of trying to use his status to create awareness of issues that he cares about. That is awesome! More big personalities should do this.

So here are some small facts:

  • More than 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981. Africa has 12 million AIDS orphans. (source)
  • Every year 15 million children die of hunger. (source)
  • Up to 2.7M people die of malaria every year (source) which is incredibly preventable. (source and source)
  • More than 70% of all cancer deaths occur in low and middle income countries, where limited or no resources are available for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. (source)

RANT! What is up with Live Earth – 1 of 2

The party is over. There were thousands of people in attendance and hundreds of people playing musical instruments. Supposedly, there were millions of people watching the show on TV but who really knows the correct number.

There was a lot of controversy, ranging from trash pickup to the lack of reality for the 90% reduction pledge. There was also some good music played so I am sure there will be a CD put out for the greatest hits (which will use more energy in creating).

Overall, I have a hard time with all of this attention. Yes, there does seem to be some validity to the argument that Earth is getting warmer but the science doesn’t seem to be conclusive that it is being caused by humans (check out Is It Getting Warmer for a bunch of articles on both sides of the subject – for and against).