The Global Warming Debate Continues

Okay. I’m following up a global warming article with another global warming article. I know. However, my level of concern increases as the evidence or lack of becomes more apparent, and the scientific testimonies keep rolling in.

I live in arguably one of the most eco-friendly places on the planet, Sweden. Swedes are usually on top of their game when it comes to things green. Nevertheless, when it comes to the global warming debate, some of them, like a lot of folks in the U.S., approach the issue with a zealousness normally seen in some fundamentalist groups. I like to try and follow the evidence on such matters. Here’s some more evidence to consider.

After reading such an article I can’t help but wonder why I’m not hearing about such testimony in the mainstream media. Personally, I like the idea of cleaner alternative energy sources, but getting them deceitfully takes a toll on public trust which is crucial for good government. In other words: don’t lie to us to get us on your side. If the evidence for man-made global warming is lacking, it needs to be said so. Surely after the recent oil pricing roller coaster, folks can see a need for alternative energy sources existing. Just be honest about it! I can’t count how many times I’ve heard or read stories of imminent climate danger that we need to act against now lest the earth suffer damage on an apocalyptic scale. The science says otherwise.

It was quite predicatble that governments and the United Nations would latch onto the man-made global warming issue with vigor, eventually proposing tax-increases to try and solve the problem. Tax increases aren’t always bad (though I usually look with suspicion on the bulk of them nowadays), but if they’re going to be raised let’s at least be sure why. This does not seem to be the case with global warming. When I see entire multi-billion dollar industries (e.g. automobile, food) being affected without the science being even slightly conclusive I get concerned. I know I can’t be the only one.

I leave it to you to make up your own mind, of course, but the least I can do is shed light on what you’re not likely to see in the press. However, I do ask that you honestly consider following the evidence where it leads.

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4 thoughts on “The Global Warming Debate Continues

  1. I think it would be wonderful if we could better understand the effects that our CO2 emissions have on earth’s climate, but I think that the human influence on greenhouse gases has been SO great that we need to go with the precautionary principle and slow down these emissions. Never mind that this is tied to our use of non-renewable fossil fuels…we need to make the transition to other fuels anyway as petroleum runs out. However, I have a hard time accepting David Evans (author of article you cite) as any sort of expert on the matter–he is an electrical engineer and computer programmer; his work on the carbon programs was apparently from a programming standpoint if you read his resume.

  2. Gaj, forgive me, but I’m hesitant to accept someone simply saying “the human influence on greenhouse gases has been SO great” without providing some sort of convincing evidence, and that simply is not the case. I’d love to take the precautionary route, but I’m concerned it’s more expensive than most governments are taking into consideration or being forthright about, not to mention the obvious impact such precautions have on world food markets. Additionally, how do I, a Westerner in good conscience, with few worries about what and how I will eat on a daily basis, convince folks in developing nations they need to find alternatvie sources for fuel, when their number one concern is simply finding food, shelter, and clean water, while the science is obviously debatable?

    Regarding the author of the article, I’m all for expert opinion (hence the article preceding this one); however, the evidence he presented was, in my humble opinion, convincing enough as to warrant respectful attention. If anything, a plus of the article is that it did NOT require the normal deciphering that comes with the territory. This is a strength the experts often lack in the debate. From what I see in the article, he has an impressive grasp of the issues. Also, Mr. Evans is asking for a public debate by experts before any potentially rash spending decisions are made, which I’m all for. If you don’t like someone with his resumé speaking about such matters, then surely you’ll side with him on that, right?

  3. I have seen no one on any side of the issue argue that humans have increased carbon dioxide (the most prevalent greenhouse gas) in the atmosphere, thus my assertion that the human influence on greenhouse gases has been so great (see http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/pastcc_fig1.html for the CO2 record for the past 650,000 years or so). What Evans, and other skeptics, dispute is the effect of those gases and whether they contribute to climate change.
    I appreciate your concern about forcing people who are simply trying to subsist to adjust their habits. However, the contribution to CO2 emissions is primarily by developed nations, specifically transportation, electricity production, and industry (the same culprits who are rapidly using up the fossil fuel supply) and that is where the responsibility for change should rest. Western nations need to rapidly turn out greener technologies if they want to maintain their standard of living, because depending on a non-renewable resource is clearly not feasible in the long term. If it takes a little climate change hysteria to do it, I’m willing to tolerate a little hysteria. I think Evans raises interesting questions, but I also know that most climate scientists believe we will be in a catastrophic place before we have the precise scientific answers to the problem. If we look at scientific research on childhood exposure to lead, when experts recommended that lead-based paints be outlawed and environmental limits set, there was not exactly incontrovertible evidence that lead caused the number of long-lasting problems that we continue to discover today after long-term studies. But the scientists who devoted their careers to studying lead exposure knew that playing it safe was the best course. I find that most people willing to devote their lives to study of a topic have a better sense of the real story than those of us who just read about it. (I say that, of course, as a professional scientist, although on a much less popular topic).
    Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts and opinions and sources, and putting up with random responses!

  4. (The coffee is slow in sinking in today, that first sentence should read ‘humans have NOT increased”…but the graph gives the right idea, and pictures speak louder than words…)

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