Role of the sun in global warming


by Sunny
24th July, 2007 at 2:51 am    

For global warming deniers it has become one of their biggest pet theories – that it is actually the sun that is causing the rise in global warming, not man-made activity. Except now that is also been proven wrong.

A spokesman for the Royal Society, the UK’s leading scientific academy, said: “This is an important contribution to the scientific debate on climate change. At present there is a small minority which is seeking to deliberately confuse the public on the causes of climate change. They are often misrepresenting the science, when the reality is that the evidence is getting stronger every day. We have reached a point where a failure to take action to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions would be irresponsible and dangerous.”

Channel 4 and Martin Durkin, producer of The Great Global Warming Swindle, declined to comment.

More at New Scientist and Nature magazines. [via Dal Nun Strong]


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  1. Joe G. — on 24th July, 2007 at 6:20 am  

    Those global warming deniers are traitors to their species! Our precious Mother Earth is in trouble and humans are like a virus on the earth! They would have us beleive the sun varies so much in energy that it can vary the coldness or warming of the Earth but that is not true at all and has been misproved as the article says. The time is now! much too late almost for us to take action. The real answer is also reducing the worlds population to a sustainable level and also cap the carbon outputs. Everybody must do there part. I hope my grandchildern don’t have a hot flodded world.

  2. ChrisC — on 24th July, 2007 at 8:08 am  

    “The real answer is also reducing the worlds population to a sustainable level”

    How exactly? And what is that level?

    Anyway, if your apocalyptic view is right, global warming will sort that out!

  3. ZinZin — on 24th July, 2007 at 9:00 am  

    Its not the number of people ChrisC thats the problem. Its energy consumption. Westerners use more energy than third world slum dwellers.

    Calm down you climate change deniers no one is suggesting that we turn off the leccy and that we all live in teepee villages.

  4. ChrisC — on 24th July, 2007 at 9:09 am  

    ZinZin – out of interest, what have you done personally?

  5. GM — on 24th July, 2007 at 9:57 am  

    Joe G – I would have thought that given your concern about a population cap, you will be taking the lead and limiting (somehow) the number of grandchildren you have to get flooded (oh, and hot).

    The population argument is problematic and has emerged from an odd coalition of environmentalists and those concerned about (any) immigration (for which ‘population’ is the euphemism) – see Furedi’s article on this.

  6. Adnan Y. — on 24th July, 2007 at 10:55 am  

    “Channel 4 and Martin Durkin, producer of The Great Global Warming Swindle, declined to comment.”

    *Snicker*

  7. Rumbold — on 24th July, 2007 at 11:36 am  

    I thought that everything had already been proven beyond doubt Sunny. That is what you told us last time.

    Perhaps deniers should be prosecuted, then interned, as they are a danger to the public. It would not suprise me if there were moves to make opposition to the theory that humans cause climate change a crime. It sounds fanciful perhaps, but just you wait.

  8. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 24th July, 2007 at 1:30 pm  

    Come on Sunny, the people that say the global warming is caused by the Sun, don’t deny global warming by definition. I suggest changing your wording slightly.

    For man made global warming deniers it has become on of their biggest pet theories – that it is actually the sun that is causing the rise in global warming, not man-made activity.

    TFI

  9. ZinZin — on 24th July, 2007 at 3:38 pm  

    First it my viewing habits now its my carbon footprint/sex life. For gods sake Chris; what are you asking me? Is it what have I done to cut my energy usage? or do I use a condom?

    Please clarify.

  10. Soso — on 24th July, 2007 at 4:02 pm  

    There,s a case to be made that the anti-global warming crowd are blinded by right-wing ideologies and/or are shilling for the oil companies. At least with some of them that’s certainly the case.

    The collapse of The Roman Empire ( yes, I’m going back THAT far!) was largely due to the fact that both the Rhine and Danube rivers began to freeze over in the early 5th century.

    The Romans had occupied these lands for some 4 to 5 centuries, and yet in all that time had never ONCE observed these rivers freezing solid in winter. They constituted a formidable barrier to the barbarian hordes, but when covered with two feet of ice they became busy traffic arteries facilitating the influx of millions of starving Germans.

    In the early 5th century there was a dramatic shift in climate, and it’s a shift that NO climatologist would ever claim was the result of human activity. The Romans didn’t use fossil fuels, so just how did this climate change come about?

    When climatologists can accurately explain what happened back then, explanations backed up with tangible proof, I’ll then….well…. warm up to theories on global warming.

  11. Rumbold — on 24th July, 2007 at 4:06 pm  

    “The collapse of The Roman Empire ( yes, I’m going back THAT far!) was largely due to the fact that both the Rhine and Danube rivers began to freeze over in the early 5th century.”

    Not really. The barbarian tribes only revolted because the Romans, who had promised to feed them and give them land, failed to do so. Even then, the Western Roman Empire struggled on, dying out thanks to the failure to properly integrate the Arian Goths into the Empire. The Eastern Roman Empire continued for another 1000 years.

  12. Katherine — on 24th July, 2007 at 4:26 pm  

    Oh Soso, you do realise that dramatic climate shifts don’t all have to have the same explanation? It is, for example, not argued by anybody that previous Ice Ages were caused by human activity. There are many reasons a climate may shift without there being a human cause. It does not therefore follow that current trends aren’t. Current trends have been overwhelmingly shown to be the result of human activity. Just deal with it.

  13. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 24th July, 2007 at 4:41 pm  

    Once upon a time we looked the heavens and said “God what have we done to provoke your wraith?”, today we look to the sky and say “Enviroment what have we done to provoke your wraith?”.

    It really does bug me that if you question the causes of climate change you are called “a climate change denior” despite not denying the fact that climate change is a reality.

    This whole thing stinks to much of religious belief for my tastes.

    TFI

  14. Puffy — on 24th July, 2007 at 5:52 pm  

    FI, good point – calling people who question the global warming orthodoxy “Global Warming Deniars” is a bit like calling people who question Israel anti-semites.

    Maybe they have got it wrong but it doesn’t mean that they should be demonised.

  15. ZinZin — on 24th July, 2007 at 7:05 pm  

    Puffy Global warming deniers are similar to that other group of deniers Holocaust deniers. They have little evidence to prove their case and claim that global warming is a conspiracy put forward by lefties/greens to tax them.

    The deniers don’t want to face reality for one reason only; they don’t want any curtailment on their cushy lifestyles. That is the sole motivation for global warming deniers. Not that they would admit it.

  16. ChrisC — on 25th July, 2007 at 9:10 am  

    Zin – holocaust deniers? Calm down!

    I agree that there is a bit of cushy lifestyle-ness around. Who can doubt that?

    But there is a serious cost/benefit debate to be had which has hardly started. And hysterical language will probably ensure that it doesn’t get started.

  17. Dave S — on 25th July, 2007 at 9:22 am  

    Few if any of the acknowledgers of anthropogenic (human induced) global warming are denying that climate change doesn’t happen “naturally”. That it does is beside the point, and a straw-man argument.

    What is the problem is that we humans are contributing to it, and increasing the *rate* at which it happens here to the point where it will enter positive feedback and continue accelerating, wiping out up to 90% of life on Earth.

    What part of the greenhouse effect science don’t you sceptics accept?

    1. CO2 is a greenhouse gas and an increase in CO2 levels will retain more heat – this has been accepted science for over a century.

    2. CO2 levels have risen by 30% since 1750 and levels are now far higher than any time in the last 600,000 years – this is a measurable fact.

    3. We are pumping out 27Bn tonnes of CO2 each year by burning fossil fuels – again, this is a measurable fact.

    Which bit of that is actually debatable, let alone *up* for debate?

    Besides, if you’re saying that humans aren’t having any effect, you need to explain where that extra 27Bn tonnes of CO2 per year are going, and why they are defying accepted behavioural properties and having no effect whatsoever?

    Evidence of human-induced global warming is based on an enormous body of research by thousands of scientists over more than a century that has been subjected to intense – and sometimes ferocious – scrutiny.

    What aspects of it are still debateable? (Because y’know, I’d really *LIKE* to be absolutely wrong about all this.)

    Please pull your heads out of the sand and realise that there is no “climate change debate” – it’s here and happening already.

    What we do now decides what the future holds. Those who came before us didn’t know the problem, and those who come after us will have severely limited options. We have both the power and the responsibility to act and make a radically better world.

    To all those who will cling to their cushy consumerist existence while our only life support system burns, I say this: That our current way of life is imminently coming to an end is beyond a certainty. It’s a sinking ship that is taking on water fast, and there will come a point where you have nothing left to cling to.

    The only question remaining is when it will happen (though if you are currently under 50 years old, it’s going to be in your lifetime), and how you will deal with it.

    Aside from climate change, viable oil is going to run out within a matter of years. Which happens first remains to be seen, but when you take into account that currently for every calorie of food you buy and consume, at least ten calories of fossil fuels (and usually more) have been used to produce it, you will start to see the nature of the problem. By the time the oil runs out, our communities (that means you) need to have made the transition to producing our own food, locally and organically.

    Forget your job, forget your pension plan, forget saving for a house or a car, forget saving for your kids to go to college, forget whether you get a criminal record in the process of confronting those who will be counting their profits while their home burns, because all of that is about to become utterly irrelevant over the coming years, within *OUR* lifetimes. This problem affects *YOU* personally and you can’t run or hide from it, because nobody can.

    It is time to wake up and do something about it.

    We might as well jump now, rather than waiting to be pushed, because if we don’t make the transition needed in a number of small, manageable steps, the resulting carnage at the point of crash is going to be seriously ugly.

    However, this isn’t a “the end is nigh and we’re all doomed” prediction – far from it!

    “Out of adversity comes opportunity”, as the saying goes.

    There’s still everything to play for, because if we get this right, we are all going to be “rich” (in terms of happiness, freedom and quality of life) beyond our wildest dreams in the future. That kind of wealth isn’t based on property or bank balances or rampant exploitation of natural resources, and thus can easily be cultivated and sustained for everybody in a future society who’s measure of value will be personal and collective fulfilment in harmony with our environment, not the latest consumer products.

    In short, if we get this right, our lives in the future are going to be incredible, fulfilling, fun and free, and we will look back to 2007 aghast, as if we had been living in the dark ages (because verily, we are).

    Humanity liberated by impending environmental collapse and resource depletion, eh? Who’d have thought it! I hope we’ll live to laugh about it in disbelief, while supping glasses of home-made wine.

    Despite the upheaval that it’s going to entail, I for one am actually looking forward to this unmissable opportunity to turn the world upside down and play my part in creating the amazingly cohesive, vibrant society we so badly need. Indeed, I’ve already started, and so have thousands of other people, but there’s still much work to do.

    The opportunity to stop being a part of the problem and be a part of the solution is here right now. Will you take it in time, or will you just slide into the dustbin of untold history without even so much as a wriggle?

  18. Leon — on 25th July, 2007 at 9:59 am  

    Dave S, stick around, we need more posts like that on PP.

  19. ChrisC — on 25th July, 2007 at 11:11 am  

    “That our current way of life is imminently coming to an end is beyond a certainty.”

    That hyperbole just turns people off, I’m afraid.

    Calmer language and small steps are the only way to get people to do anything.

  20. Dave S — on 25th July, 2007 at 11:19 am  

    Thanks Leon, I’m really glad my words resonate with you!

    But really, all I’ve said is that we’ve got to do something… and maybe you’re wondering what that something is?

    I can tell you, even being someone who thinks about this every day, the path out of this mess isn’t always completely obvious. (Though quite a lot of it is, if you are first prepared to take a few steps back and merely observe with open eyes.)

    Governments tell us to drive and fly less and change our lightbulbs, while building more airports and roads and nuclear power stations, and rubbing their hands together at all the money they’ll make from so-called “green” taxes.

    Supermarkets tell us to buy organic, while ramping up the price and using countless amounts of fossil fuels to bring us a plastic-packed shadow of what real vegetables taste like, as they dominate our towns, taking up huge swathes of land upon which we could just grow our own organic vegetables virtually for free.

    Live Earth tells that watching jet-setting rockstars on TV will save the world.

    And you know what? These bastards are all, without exception, nothing but cynical profiteers, complicit in the creation of the disaster they profess to care about. (Well, they do care about it in a sense, but purely from a profit/loss economic perspective.)

    There are industries and people who will watch the planet burn while they count the money they make from the fire. But if you recognise their bullshit for what it is, you can step out of their plan for you life, demand the “impossible”, and start building a better world right under their noses.

    You are unstoppable. We are unstoppable. All we have to do is realise it and unleash ourselves!

    So, if you want to find out what you can really do about climate change, I hope you’ll consider coming to The Camp For Climate Action, from August 14th-21st near Heathrow airport.

    See: http://www.climatecamp.org.uk/

    I went last year when it was at Drax power station, and it was one of the best, most inspiring, inclusive and life-changing things I have ever done.

    You’ll learn more than you thought possible, meet all manner of amazing people, actively participate in some real democracy, and come away knowing that you (and your friends) can actually change the world if you really want to.

    It’s also bloody good fun!

    See you there?

  21. Dave S — on 25th July, 2007 at 12:23 pm  

    ChrisC: “That hyperbole just turns people off, I’m afraid. Calmer language and small steps are the only way to get people to do anything.”

    Sorry ChrisC, but there was a time for calmer language and small steps, and it was at least 10 years ago, probably longer.

    Sure, maybe when introducing the concept of this to someone for the first time, I might tread carefully, but come on, this is nothing new, and we are discussing the topic in depth here, are we not?

    That I choose to say it so outright may put you off slightly, but I feel the time has come to say it outright, because it’s not so much hyperbole as raw statement of fact. Whether you choose to acknowledge it as such is up to you.

    But the thing is… you shouldn’t do something because I say you need to. Even the most selfish person has interest in preserving their home, and I’d wager you’re not a particularly selfish person?

    I’m telling you, as a friend, that your home is about to go up in smoke, unless you take some easy steps to prevent that from happening.

    Shall we stand around “debating” whether your house is about to burn down, or waiting for someone else to put it out for us after it’s already on fire?

    Or do you want to do something easy to stop it happening? Isn’t it a no-brainer?

    If you want calm language, ask Gordon Brown, and he’ll reassuringly tell you to carry on shopping as usual.

    Don’t get me wrong though – I do see your point in some ways, but how can this not be a situation that warrants a certain degree of shock and alarm?

    Should I calmly tell you that you are screwed?

    Or, alongside my alarmism, point out that actually it’s really rather simple to sort this problem out, and that if we do what needs to be done now, we can stop worrying about it altogether?

    The problem may be big, but the solution to our survival is actually very easy if we want it enough.

    At the moment, I’m just not sure all of us want it enough – but I think that’s already beginning to change.

  22. Chris Paul — on 25th July, 2007 at 2:31 pm  

    “Proven wrong” is much too strong Sunny. Much much too strong. Those believing this model is a better predictor are suggesting that there will be a downturn in temperatures c 2030 and until then I’d say all this is moot. And I’d also say that the “climate scientists” are (a) mostly no such thing and (b) have been getting it wrong themselves for decades.

    The other thing to consider is Bjorn wotsit’s point that it is more cost effective to use big billions on other matters than on this. Even Greenpeace and the like admit his arguments have some merit and that must be the other part of the equation.

    X is happening, is Y or Z a better response?

  23. Soso — on 25th July, 2007 at 3:01 pm  

    You know, the tone and content of the words of SOME tenors of global warming reminds me of those brimestone ‘n hellfire sermons spit out by evangelicals.

    To what extent is this all about the guilt we feel as consumers?

    Is part of this merely the latest re-work of the old “the-wages-of-sin-is-death” line?

    Like, we’re all getting set to run right out and purchase a sale-of-indulgences carbon-credit to soothe the angst.

    The end of the world nigh, it appears.

    Climate change/disaster risks being elevated into the new Christian eschaton, as articulated by filthy- stinkin’-rich, guilt-ridden rock stars and entertainers, most of whom, ironically, feel they’re far too sophisticated for religion.

    I’m surpised that more people don’t pick up on that.

    And you know, it’s as important to the debate as the temperature charts and CO2 estimates.

  24. Sunny — on 25th July, 2007 at 3:33 pm  

    You know, the tone and content of the words of SOME tenors of global warming reminds me of those brimestone ‘n hellfire sermons spit out by evangelicals.

    And the deniers of man-made global warming remind me of the creationist crowd. And your point is what Soso?

    The other thing to consider is Bjorn wotsit’s point that it is more cost effective to use big billions on other matters than on this. Even Greenpeace and the like admit his arguments have some merit and that must be the other part of the equation.

    Chris, I don’t disagree with that. No one said the arguments of the environmentalists came from a narrow frame or had narrow solutions. That is merely the rhetoric of hardcore libertarians who would rather stick their head in the sand than pretend man-made activity is having no effect on the climate for the worse.

  25. Soso — on 25th July, 2007 at 5:06 pm  

    My point, Sunny, is that there is a crypto-religious component to all of this that many are unaware of.

    Listening to some of the more shrill proponents of global warming is quite akin, at times, to reading Revelations.

    I’m sure you’re in favour of maintaining a solid barrier between hard science and soft religious sentiment, are you not?

    However, some of the higher profile promoters of this issue have effectively fudged that distinction by appealing to emotions and irrational fears, rather than science fact, in an effort to further the agenda.

    What, exactly, motivated Madonna ( not that she’s a global warming point-man) to hop abord a private jet, thereby spewing tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, to come to London for a global warming concert? Concern about the enviroment?

    Naw, she was moved by a bout of good, old-fashioned, crypto-Catholic guilt about her wealth, that’s what.

    Her gesture was an irrational and self-centered act of pennance beamed into millions of gullible households in an effort to support a supposedly rational, science-based theory of climate change.

    We should be wary of that as we attempt to separate fact from fiction.

  26. ZinZin — on 25th July, 2007 at 5:24 pm  

    “That our current way of life is imminently coming to an end is beyond a certainty.”

    That hyperbole just turns people off, I’m afraid.

    Calmer language and small steps are the only way to get people to do anything.

    ChrisC you do know that fossil fuels will run out eventually and that if you want electricity you will have to find new ways to get it ie renewable.

    Asd for the hyperbole argument that is another straw man. Just because you don’t like the truth does not make it hyperbole. Heres an idea Chris why not watch science programmes that cover the topic of global warming. The best programme on Global warming was entitled global dimming which dealt with the effects of pollution such as sulpher on rainfall.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/horizon/dimming_prog_summary.shtml

    As for the small steps argument, George Monbiot ridiculed it as being for people who don’t work. Middle class fads are not going to prevent/minimise global warming.

    Renewable energy is required as for the greens they have to drop their opposition to nuclear power.

  27. Don — on 25th July, 2007 at 5:41 pm  

    Soso,

    Links to the appocolyptic shrillness?

    Besides, what has Madonna or or any other pop star got to do with this? No one is citing them, people jumping on the band-wagon doesn’t mean the wagon isn’t real.

  28. Bishop Hill — on 25th July, 2007 at 7:49 pm  

    Why do you think that the case against a solar influence is proven? There is no shortage of scientists saying that Lockwood has it wrong.

    Nir Shaviv
    Willson & Scafetta

  29. Sunny — on 25th July, 2007 at 7:57 pm  

    Why do you think that the case against a solar influence is proven?

    And how do we know these aren’t the kind of “scientists” that ended up on The Great Global Warming Swindle?

  30. Bishop Hill — on 25th July, 2007 at 8:17 pm  

    Do you think that appearing on GGWS means that everything you say on everything henceforth is incorrect?

  31. Bishop Hill — on 25th July, 2007 at 8:20 pm  

    Incidentally, IIRC Shaviv was on it, and Willson & Scafetta weren’t.

  32. Don — on 25th July, 2007 at 9:03 pm  

    Just watched Top Gear at the North Pole. Compelling entertainment, but what an aresehole Clarkson is.

  33. sid — on 25th July, 2007 at 9:13 pm  

    Clarkson is indeed the arsehole’s arsehole.

  34. ChrisC — on 26th July, 2007 at 8:35 am  

    Don – from Dave S above – “That our current way of life is imminently coming to an end is beyond a certainty.” That has rather an apocalyptic ring.
    I especially liked “beyond a certainty”.

    Dave – what exactly is everyone doing in the main climate camp picture?! Yoga against climate change?

  35. Dave S — on 27th July, 2007 at 6:09 am  

    ZinZin: “as for the greens they have to drop their opposition to nuclear power”

    Nope, that’s not going to help anything.

    When you take into consideration the amount of CO2 released in the mining, refining, processing, transportation, decommissioning and storage of nuclear fuel, it’s actually about 70% as polluting as burning natural gas.

    Furthermore, although there’s a lot of uranium in the world, most of it is U-238 and nuclear power needs U-235, which makes up only 0.7% of available uranium.

    I went to a talk by expert Paul Mobbs, and he said that if enough nuclear power plants were built to pick up the slack from the depletion of fossil fuels, we’d run out of usable uranium in about 10-15 years anyway.

    Newer reactor designs aren’t proving very successful – only last year, Japan closed it’s Fast Breeder prototype, the last in the line of all the countries that have tried it, as far as I know.

    To the best of my knowledge, there isn’t currently a viable “new type of reactor” that has got past prototype stage.

    Finally, there’s the waste legacy. We’re not even sure we can store radioactive waste safely for 50 years, let alone several thousand years. Remembering that uranium is toxic as well as radioactive – does this seem like a good idea?

    Is sweeping our dirt under the carpet and expecting our children and grandchildren (to the Nth generation) to deal with it a sustainable (meaning can be carried on forever) way of life? Hardly!

    Nuclear power is the epitome of stealing from future generations to feed our own insatiable greed. What’s more, any ideas that nuclear is in some way “green” or “sustainable” are pure fantasy.

    Forget it!!

    (And that’s before we even get onto the risks of long-term radioactive contamination of a large area of land if there’s ever another accident.)

    (*And* and that’s before we even get on to the sizeable government subsidies that the nuclear industry enjoys in the UK, without which it wouldn’t exist, and also without which there would be far less fissile material produced for Britain’s nuclear missiles. Seems the “innovative” way to deal with the waste problem is to turn it into weapons of mass destruction, because that’s obviously the path to a sustainable future for all humanity… NOT!)

    ChrisC: “what exactly is everyone doing in the main climate camp picture?!”

    You weren’t there? ;-) They’re sticking their heads in the ground and ignoring the problem.

  36. Dave S — on 27th July, 2007 at 6:15 am  

    Plus, I’m still waiting for a skeptic to explain why that extra 27Bn tonnes of CO2 humanity pumps out each year is defying over a century of accepted greenhouse-effect science and having zero effect on global temperature whatsoever?

    Anyone?

  37. Bishop Hill — on 28th July, 2007 at 7:36 am  

    Dave S

    I think this is something of a straw man. The argument that tends to be made is that the effect is small, because CO2 represents a small proportion of total greenhouse gases. I’ve also seen it pointed out that the effect will not rise linearly with increasing CO2, but will tend to a maximum. As I understand it this second point is not in dispute.

  38. douglas clark — on 28th July, 2007 at 8:22 am  

    Bishop Hill,

    You said:

    “I’ve also seen it pointed out that the effect will not rise linearly with increasing CO2, but will tend to a maximum. As I understand it this second point is not in dispute.”

    As my understanding was exactly the opposite – in other words that it was exponential – I’d be obliged if you could provide some references. Maybe we’ve all been worrying about nothing much, eh? Though I suppose it depends on what that maximum might be.

  39. Bishop Hill — on 28th July, 2007 at 9:29 pm  

    Douglas

    Here’s one from an AGW skeptic. The graph includes references to the original papers.

    Here’s another from a pro-AGW site.

    Here’s an excerpt from a colloquium of the US National Academy of Sciences.

    Is that enough?

    I’m interested to know whether any of this shakes your confidence in what you are being told?

  40. Dave S — on 31st July, 2007 at 3:26 pm  

    Hi Bishop Hill,

    Thanks for the links. You said: “I’m interested to know whether any of this shakes your confidence in what you are being told?”

    Well, I’m afraid it doesn’t – if anything, the links you posted seem to back up my side of the argument (that we are indeed having a significant effect, though the amount is hard to work out exactly).

    That the exact amount is hard to calculate is no excuse for inaction and carrying on as we are now, in my opinion. If one possible and highly likely outcome is disaster and the rest are at best rather uncertain, it makes sense to proceed with extreme caution, given what is at stake, no?

    So, the stuff you posted is helpful, because I have seen it stated in various forms all over the internet “humans are too small to have any effect on the environment”, when really it’s self-evident if you look out of your window that we have a massive effect, and the graphs you posted appear to back this up (just differ on the exact amount).

    I still haven’t seen this successfully refuted, because really, I don’t think it can be. Such is the body of observable evidence that it speaks for itself.

    Here’s a few more examples of humans having massive effects on our environment: dams, landfill sites, mining, pollution of rivers and seas, airborne pollutants, deforestation, nuclear contamination, the Panama Canal(!!)… and that’s just off the top of my head.

    I mean, can any living thing not affect it’s environment? I really wish it were so easy as a one-way process which contained us and that we had no influence over, but it seems to me that it’s an observable fact that we are involved in a multi-way process.

    We are part of a living, breathing ecosystem – it contains us and it allows us to live. The sooner we stop denying that and keep up our part of the bargain (I mean really, it’s not hard: take good care of your home), the better.

    “What I am being told” is of little significance compared to what I can easily observe myself, and our destruction of our planet (the thing that’s keeping us alive) is absolutely rampant.

    Can anyone really fail to see that, or would we rather just not think about it?

    Cheers,

    ~Dave

  41. Bishop Hill — on 31st July, 2007 at 7:21 pm  

    Dave

    The links and the accompanying remarks) were addressing Douglas’s particular question of whether the relationship between CO2 and temperature is exponential or not. I think I’ve shown that the scientific community agrees that the relationship is logarithmic, which is considerably less alarming, or course. Do you accept this?

    The other part of my earlier comment was that most skeptics reckon the effect of all that CO2 is small. It may be that you have seen people claim that humans can have no effect, but there is all sorts of nonsense out there isn’t there? Among the saner sorts, around whom we should base our discussion, the argument is made that the effect is likely to be small because, as I’ve said, the concentration of CO2 is small.

    If this is correct, then your comment about what we should do is horribly misguided. You say:

    “That the exact amount is hard to calculate is no excuse for inaction and carrying on as we are now, in my opinion. If one possible and highly likely outcome is disaster and the rest are at best rather uncertain, it makes sense to proceed with extreme caution, given what is at stake, no?”

    This is very bad economics and very bad environmentalism. If the impact of your proposed actions are worse than the impact of doing nothing then you will damage the environment, not make it better. We currently have rubbish shipped to China in the name of recycling; we have proposals to plant monocultures of biofuels in the name of fighting global warming. This is immensely damaging to the environment and it’s environmentalists who are to blame.

  42. Kismet Hardy — on 1st August, 2007 at 5:37 am  

    The important thing is, we should all set our washing machines to 30. But shh don’t tell those africans

  43. Dave S — on 1st August, 2007 at 3:55 pm  

    Hi Bishop Hill,

    (I’m afraid I don’t have as long today so this’ll have to be a quicker one than previously.)

    You’ll probably be glad to hear that I’m not going to oppose you merely for the sake of it. If the link between CO2 is indeed logarithmic, that would be a good thing as far as I’m concerned, though I am as yet unconvinced that this is the case. I have seen graphs that suggest the opposite, and I think at best, we’re unlikely to really find out until it’s too late to do anything about it.

    What it seems we do know (and agree on) is that there is a tangible link, and that we appear to be of significance in it. I think our significance is sizeable, and it seems you don’t – fair enough.

    I think the uncertainty should suggest we proceed with caution, which is impossible under the type of “continual growth” society that virtually all corporate and government interests are based around – hence the need to take action against that.

    Of course it’s crazy that we’re shipping recycling off to China, or planting monocultures for biofuels, and these are things that I would never support. If anything, they are prime examples of the braindead realities of global industrial capitalism, where short term profit (facilitated by exploitation of the environment and impoverished cheap workforces elsewhere) always comes before doing what is clearly better for humanity in the long term bigger picture.

    Capitalism does not care about these things, which is why it and it’s profiteers must be opposed.

    The Climate Camp is all about people-based solutions: empowering us to make our lives and our communities more self-sufficient, less resource hungry, more efficient, less polluting, and more rewarding and enjoyable.

    The solutions to climate change and resource depletion are very simple, and in the long term I think will actually make nearly all of us all a lot happier with our lives and our place in the world.

    That there is so much opposition to them from the corporate sector, and only token “support” from government which switches to outright oppression in reality is a sign of just what is at stake here.

    Because if we realise we can have fantastic lives, work far less and far closer to our actual needs, not really need short periods of escape called “holidays” when every day is enjoyable… we won’t need their products or their control of our lives (green taxes!?), and their gravy train will come off the rails.

    That’s what’s really at stake here, and as with every type of “alternative” culture that has emerged and briefly flourished before being mercilessly crushed in the UK over the years, why the corporations and authorities are so determined that we won’t succeed in our aims.

    But there are ALWAYS more of us than there are of them – our dream never dies, and we are already winning.

    Our way of life is the opposite of what they wish it was. We can sustain our actions, because they are based around human communities living sustainably (both environmentally and cohesively). Everything that corporate capitalism strives for depends on the exploitation of people and the environment, and thus, at some point (I think it’s happening already) it will come crashing off the rails, as the things that have supported it begin to fall away one by one.

    Capitalism is always teetering on the verge of collapse – all we have to do is wait, and hope that it’s collapse comes soon enough, aided by our efforts to give it the final shove.

    Cheers,

    ~Dave

    (Perhaps that was no shorter than usual!?)

  44. JFR — on 2nd August, 2007 at 6:43 pm  

    For the truth about Global Warming please take time to read the article entitled Nothing New Under the Sun hosted by the website http://www.thegiftofgod.co.uk

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