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Excellent Global Warming News

by richardk Wed Feb 14th, 2007 at 08:54:53 AM EST

Well, there's some excellent news on the global warming front thanks to NASA. For all the people who aren't praying humanity goes extinct. I suppose that makes it bad news for environmentalists.


2006 Fifth-Warmest Year on Record

You see, the coldest places on Earth seem to be roasting first. Now naively this might seem to be a bad thing. But as it happens, this is exactly what we want to happen. Again, assuming we care about human beings which not everyone does.

If we look at the map, a big exception to the "coldest places are roasting first" rule seems to be Antarctica. Which is exactly what we want since we don't want the Antarctic ice sheet to melt away. It's melting plenty fast enough as it is thank you very much.

The Arctic is melting but so what? Arctic ice is floating on the ocean so it doesn't matter if it melts. Aside polar bear's cute and cuddly factor which will make environmentalists moan in pain as if they've been gutshot, this isn't going to affect us.

Another thing that's conspicuously missing from the map is heating of the equator. No heating! Or well, only insignificant heating. Which is good. Pffft, good? It's fantastic! It means a whole bunch of equatorial rainforests aren't going to spontaneously combust and turn into deserts. Again, fantastic news, something well worth repeating.

About the only still-bad news from the new weather map is the Himalayas and Greenland still melting.

Overall? Only a third of the apocalypse promised so rejoice and celebrate!

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Aside polar bear's cute and cuddly factor which will make environmentalists moan in pain as if they've been gutshot, this isn't going to affect us.
Polar bears are not cute and cuddly! They are godless killing machines! They might look cute and cuddly, but that is just part of their devious plan to seduce people into their sharp claws and teeth. They will hunt people for food, making them one of the rare predators to do so.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Wed Feb 14th, 2007 at 09:09:04 AM EST
To put a finer point on it, it will affect us as the cute and cuddly monsters are driven into areas populated by humans, adorable little toddler-size humans out playing in the snow, looking for FOOD, which to a starving polar bear looks a lot like adorable little toddler-size humans.

I know, it must be the weak-kneed environmentalist in me that shudders at the thought of little kids being eaten alive by bears, or any other attrocity resulting from the destruction of the eco-system.  Like, erm, the unnecessary starvation and suffering of animals.

Oh fucking wow.  I just stumbled upon the fundamental flaw in your argument, rk!  The reasoning that it's not worth our time looking for solutions for anything that doesn't directly affect us (just the polar bears, or sick people in Africa, or poor people in NOLA, or Tutsis in Rwanda or whoever else we are lucky enough not to be...) is exactly the kind of arrogant and simplistic logic that actually engenders crisis!  Because it's a small world, none of us live in a vacuum, and we can ignore the poor, the sick, the bears, but so long as we share the same planet, we are going to feel the repercussions of the suffering of others, weather it means eruptions of violence which hinder our ability to travel, trade, research, etc, being faced with waves of refugees from the Sudan, from Nola, from the Balkans, from the north pole, or losing forever plants, animals, etc. wich play vitals roles in the stability of the ecosphere and from which we still have so much to learn...  there are consequences to our actions.  Even for those of us who are among the most priveledged on this planet.  

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Wed Feb 14th, 2007 at 09:46:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well first of all, this year's temperature data, is hardly indicative of warming/climate change patterns in the long run, and no one claims that they are.

Second, I fail to be relieved by the fact that average temperatures in Western Europe (say) appear to be up by 1-2 degrees Celsius since 1980. If one could project this rise linearly (and one can't) in all such areas, one would discover that, for example, in 20 years time vast areas of fertile land will be uncultivatable and tropical diseases will have moved significantly northwards.

Third, the statement "Arctic ice is floating on the ocean" is false. Greenland alone, were the ice sheet to melt would cause a rise in sea levels of up to seven meters.

Finally, the relevant facts, the facts that scientists are discussing, are to be found in the IPCC's latest report, whose Summary for Policy Makers, is quite accessible and much more explicit about what is happening than this year's record temperatures...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed Feb 14th, 2007 at 09:36:55 AM EST
I think perhaps this diary is supposed to be a bit tongue-in-cheek?
With the last line: "Overall? Only a third of the apocalypse promised so rejoice and celebrate!"
That's the way I read it, at least.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Wed Feb 14th, 2007 at 09:54:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what I want to believe, but this diarist has made some nasty remarks about environmentalists before.  I think it is "kidding on the square": saying what you really think with some snark thrown in to CYA.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Wed Feb 14th, 2007 at 09:57:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's possible to consider environmentalists a stain upon the Earth and still be worried about global warming.

It's exactly like hating market economists yet still being worried about a market failure they're predicting. There's not a whiff of contradiction in disconnecting something objectively real from the people who distort it to push their own agenda.

So how about it, why don't you stop cheering on the end of human civilization and possibly humanity and try to think of solutions to the problem? Because up to now, environmentalists have been part of the problem (anti-nuclear activism) more than the solution.

For the record, I'm not too worried about global warming since peak oil and the collapse of the American empire should greatly ameliorate the situation. And once the marketistas are permanently out of power, progress should be swift.

by richardk (richard kulisz gmail) on Wed Feb 14th, 2007 at 10:47:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When you are capable of nuggets like this, Richard, I confess I find it difficult to understand why you see the need for gratuitously provocative statements re polar bears and panda's.

FWIW I think a market solution is necessary, but not necessarily markets as we know them, based upon conventional Debt and Equity

As for anti-nuclear activism, I prefer to address the marketistas on the own ground and examine the economics of nuclear vs the rest if we use different financial tools.

I think a long cool look at the total cost over time is overdue using realistic assumptions in respect of likely uranium supply and demand and the costs of decommissioning.

In view of the fact that the "fuel" of tidal, solar and wind energy is free, then in the medium and long term an "asset-based" financing model (ie returning investment capital in energy and thus receiving an interest-free loan in return for the sale of a proportion of future energy production) will come out ahead of nuclear.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Feb 14th, 2007 at 02:16:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
3 parts condescension, 5 parts egotism, 2 parts nether eye.

I've yet to see "wanting humans to die" as a common thread among the hard core greens.  And I don't think I'd come close to fitting into that group.

The conclusions presented are also classic hand waving.  Pretty hopeful assertion that having the northern icecap melt away will have no effect anywhere else.  Or that one year's data mean anything.  But hey, why let a rational analysis derail an agenda..

by HiD on Fri Feb 16th, 2007 at 12:24:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems you haven't bothered to look at the IPCC report summary. The total sealevel increase that can be expected from the arctic icecaps melting (only most of which are floating) is 0.45 meters. That's the same as the increase from all glaciers everywhere melting. And it pales in comparison from Greenland melting.

You know HiD, rational analysis usually depends on some set of facts. As opposed to fears.

by richardk (richard kulisz gmail) on Sat Feb 17th, 2007 at 06:28:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, yes... If so my sarcasm detector is fantastically slow and malfunctioning today... But then, this is exactly the sort of story I read on various fora all over the web and have developed a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to them.

Anyway... apologies...


The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed Feb 14th, 2007 at 09:58:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
check the hidden comments list.  It was virtually empty for months until this cretin came along.
by HiD on Fri Feb 16th, 2007 at 12:26:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That third of the apocalypse looks an awful lot like this previous catastrophe:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleocene-Eocene_Thermal_Maximum

It doesn't seem like something to find comfort in, what with having wiped out larger mammals among other human-unfriendly things.

I've a further concern in that sure, Peak Oil may eventually slow down our GHG gas production (well, at least until coal, methane hydrates and less desireable petroleum sources fill the gap) but given what we know of how slow recovery from high atmospheric concentrations of CO2, would that be enough to avert disaster? And what if we manage to release large amounts of GHGs currently sequestered in frozen soil? Sure, I'm not a climate scientist -- just a concerned layman, but I'm thinking that your cynical optimism is just a tad misplaced.

-----

'It depends on which research report you read,'says Hattie, 'and sorry about this, but I do tend to believe the ones that suit me.'

by JQL (deinikoi at gmail dot com) on Wed Feb 14th, 2007 at 12:50:26 PM EST
> well, at least until coal, methane hydrates and less desireable petroleum sources fill the gap

Methane hydrates are a wet dream. Coal can't be expanded, regardless of the IEA's and the USGS' wet dreams. The same for "unconventional" petroleum. Basically, wet dreams, all of them.

Plus there's the fact that all of these sources of energy suck. This is a fundamental unavoidable inescapable fact. And what that means is that they are incredibly expensive. And what that means is the cost advantage of nuclear over these other forms of energy is going to be fantastic.

Even existing coal production is going to fall under the purview of European regulations. Australian coal may be profitable but soon enough the EU is going to decide to leverage a green tax upon it. Already the French are mooting the idea. What's the use of having an environmental policy if the people you trade with subvert it?

> but given what we know of how slow recovery from high atmospheric concentrations of CO2, would that be enough to avert disaster?

All the worst-case scenarios are built on the assumption that we not only continue to output the same amount of CO2 in the future but that the amount we output keeps growing. But this is unrealistic. Even the "optimistic" scenarios where CO2 emissions are stabilized (kept constant) are unlikely. Realistically, CO2 emissions will crash.

Economics will solve the global warming problem exactly as the economists have predicted. Of course, economics won't solve the problem in exactly the way economists have predicted. Not by developing substitutes or spurring innovation, but by wiping out economies and killing tens or hundreds of thousands of people.

Remember all the accusations that economists are callous sons of bitches? It's true. When economists smile and tell you to not worry because everything's going to be fine, they really don't care that thousands will die. They know but they don't care. So don't worry because everything's going to be fine.

> And what if we manage to release large amounts of GHGs currently sequestered in frozen soil?

I would be shocked if this wasn't assumed in every climate scenario. It's already starting to happen.

The free variable is how much we output into the atmosphere. That's it. Everything else is dependent on that so there's no use moaning and agonizing about it.

by richardk (richard kulisz gmail) on Sat Feb 17th, 2007 at 07:16:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
is it really possible for antartica to melt ?
going from -40 to -36 should not change a dam thing, isnt it?
by fredouil (fredouil@gmailgmailgmail.com) on Wed Feb 14th, 2007 at 05:18:45 PM EST
It will change the viscosity of the ice sheet, and its mechanical strength. It is possible that large chunks of the ice sheet will break off, or flow into the sea faster. It should not be thought of as one big ice cube.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 14th, 2007 at 05:40:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yet another big fan of nuke power whose salesmanship skills seem unlikely to benefit the cause... :-)

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...
by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Wed Feb 14th, 2007 at 07:07:04 PM EST


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