Focus on real global threats rather than end-of-the-world wackiness

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  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Dec. 30, 2012 8:47 a.m.

    at Mountanman Dec. 25

    "Why try to force the rest of us to adapt our lives to your fears?"

    You mean like society is crumbling because we have allegedly shunned deity?

    at Mountanman Dec. 26

    Is this doctor you mention a psychiatrist & can we sue him for incompetency?

    So, the left uses climate change like the right has been known to use terrorism? Rather pathetic for both sides.

    Dec. 28, 2012 8:03 p.m.

    Melting sea ice has no effect on sea level. Arctic sea ice melt is driven largely by ocean currents and storms. For example, read about the effect on Arctic sea ice of the "great Arctic cyclone of August 2012" in Geographic Research Letters. And no, the cyclone was not caused by atmospheric CO2. Cyclones and hurricanes have always happened and always will, and are happening at a lower than normal rate at present.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 2:09 p.m.

    There's one little catch about the Venus thing. Yeah absolutely CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but one of the quirks with the radiation spectrum is that eventually when you add more and more CO2, the less additional warming you get from the greenhouse effect part of it. The main reason why Venus is so many degrees warmer than Mercury is because of the sheer pressure (93x that of Earth if I remember right) and so you get a higher temperature based on the ideal gas law where pressure and temperature are positively correlated.

    There's a quirk about sea level rise. Lately the fastest melting areas have been Arctic sea ice. But think of a glass of water with ice cubes. Ice is less dense than water. When it melts it takes up less space as liquid water than when it was ice. So sea ice melt, or at least melting of the portions of sea ice below the ocean surface, actually slows sea level rise. It's when continental ice melts that the sea level rise occurs. (Granted there's also thermal expansion of water with warmer temperatures).

    Dec. 26, 2012 10:32 p.m.

    @Twin Lights

    You apparently don't observe the climate science community. There are plenty who don't agree with catastrophic AGW, such as Richard LIndzen (MIT), Roy Spencer and John Christie (UAH), Judith Curry (Georgia Tech), Roger Pielke Sr., etc. There are, as the popular media likes to observe, many scientists who don't do primary climate research who have hopped on the bandwagon on the assumption that the peer review process would (should) weed out obvious silliness. So because your "outright denial" is a straw man, your two options are meaningless.

    The trick by which the science was corrupted was (and still is to a great extent) that control of the relevant scientific journals - and with it the peer review process - was coopted by a few folks with a political agenda. It will be an interesting case study once we manage to collectively get back to reality.

    Speaking of predictions, we shouldn't forget what Dr. David Viner (CRU, East Anglia) said 12 years ago, that within a few years winter snowfall would become a very rare and exciting event, and that "Children just aren't going to know what snow is."

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Dec. 26, 2012 7:47 p.m.


    I leave it to others to suss out the details of Hansen’s statements. But climate science is not based on one individual or one set of predictions.


    Though this is no laughing matter, unless you are saying we should all have advanced degrees in climatology, I recommend not going down this path. We are all amateurs here.


    Yes he is obligated to have malpractice insurance. But that doesn’t obviate my point. You still go to a doctor and (I assume) listen to the best advice available despite the potential for error.


    We can argue about how much climate change is happening and how much of it is due to human activity. But there are only two options for outright denial.

    One is that every climate scientist is wrong but the amateurs know the real truth. I know – it’s the money. Like the Al Gore and the tiny green energy industry could outspend even a single oil industry.

    The other is that there is a global conspiracy across national, cultural, language, and political borders causing thousands of scientists to lie. But who could exercise control over such a diverse group?

    Dec. 26, 2012 5:30 p.m.

    What is the right temperature? What is the right level of atmospheric CO2? Is the effect of increased CO2 amplified by increased humidity or counteracted by increased cloud cover? How much of the increased atmospheric CO2 is due to warming oceans? How much Arctic melting is due to storms and ocean currents, and how much to warming of the air? Are we really better off with less CO2, given that plants prefer far more than we currently have? These are questions that climate researchers are trying to answer. Those who pretend to have the answers are, well, pretenders.

    James Hansen of NASA/GISS is fond of making predictions. It has been more than twenty years since he predicted that New York City's West Side Highway would be underwater in 20 years due to rising sea levels. Are you sure it would be wise to fundamentally restructure the world's governments and economies on the basis of what this man says? I don't think so.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Dec. 26, 2012 1:48 p.m.

    Hayden, ID
    @ airnaut Venus? You are trying to say Earth is becoming like Venus because of CO2? LOL

    10:35 a.m. Dec. 26, 2012


    No - I'm just calling right-wing-political bull...oney to the retold Limbuagh-lie the CO2 is not a greehouse gas -- when if FACT it is.

    The main atmospheric gases are carbon dioxide and nitrogen.
    Carbon dioxide 96.5%
    Nitrogen 3.5%

    The large amount of CO2 in the atmosphere ...creates a strong greenhouse effect, trapping solar energy and raising the surface temperature to around 740 K (467°C),[10] hotter than any other planet in the solar system, even that of Mercury despite being located farther out from the Sun and receiving only 25% of the solar energy Mercury does.

    And no, this is not a LOL matter.

    BTW - Mountaman, I see you commenting here daily and having so many answers, I'm curious -- For credibility's sake; what college do you attend, what degree did you earn, and at what level of education did you gratuated at?

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Dec. 26, 2012 11:46 a.m.

    I keep asking global warming deniers to get a tattoo so their grandchildren know who to slap.

    But Christians as a whole including Mormons are "end of days" kind of people which makes it hard to convince anyone that we need to plan for 100 years in the future. The first Mormons were all convinced the end was near as well. Don't laugh at anyone else until we laugh at ourselves first.

    It's a shame to leave our children with an environmental debt that can't be paid.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Dec. 26, 2012 10:35 a.m.

    @ airnaut Venus? You are trying to say Earth is becoming like Venus because of CO2? LOL

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 26, 2012 10:25 a.m.


    And what should be the penalty for the Republican Party, if the 98% of scientists are proven right, that man-made climate change is happening and is going to kill tens or hundreds of millions of people? What should happen to those who stood in the way of measures to minimize global warming/climate change?

    The stakes are pretty high to be be engaged in this type of poker game.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Dec. 26, 2012 10:08 a.m.

    Salt Lake City, UT

    My point (in my second post) is that the strong link between CO2 and temperature, claimed by many climate scientists and used as the main driver in the climate models... is being proved more incorrect with each passing year.

    2:48 p.m. Dec. 25, 2012


    Tell us oh most intelligent one;

    What is the atmospheric compostition of our sister planet - Venus?
    [And her 400 - 600+ degree surface temperature.]

    Hint: it starts with a Carbon and ends with Di-Oxide.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Dec. 26, 2012 8:03 a.m.

    My doctor is obligated to have malpractice insurance for when and if he is wrong and people are harmed. Wouldn't it be interesting if climatologist and environmental scientist could be sued for malpractice as well when what they say causes harm to people while producing noting of value to society except irrational fear?

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Dec. 25, 2012 6:47 p.m.


    The frustration is because we have to move on this together.

    Let’s say you and I live on a river and the folks downstream are worried about water quality. You are careful not to pollute but I toss everything I’ve got into the river. It will make only limited difference what you do as long as I am still polluting, right?

    The same with the atmosphere. We need a coordinated effort. It does only limited good for one community or nation to restrain itself.

    There are cold spots and warm spots on the planet and cold and warm days. The issue is the global trend over time.

    And yes, doctors or scientists can be wrong. But I notice you still go to one. Also, if you had a heart problem would you really go against the advice of nearly every cardiologist?


    Seriously, you need to look at better data. Businesses that rely on the weather are making plans for long term change. These are numbers oriented folks getting the best data they can for their business plans not wild eyed environmental radicals.

    Why do you assume that you know what professional climatologists do not?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 25, 2012 6:21 p.m.

    "By falsely equating knowledge with opinion, postmodernists and antiscience conservatives alike collapse our thinking back to a pre-Enlightenment era, leaving no common basis for public policy. Public discourse is reduced to endless warring opinions, none seen as more valid than another. Policy is determined by the loudest voices, reducing us to a world in which might makes right the classic definition of authoritarianism.

    Postmodernism infiltrated a generation of American education programs, It also infected journalism, where the phrase "there is no such thing as objectivity" is often repeated like a mantra.

    Reporters who agree with this statement will not dig to get to the truth and will tend to simply present both sides of contentious issues, especially if they cannot judge the validity of scientific evidence. If the press corps does not strive to report objective reality, for which scientific evidence is our only reliable guide, the ship of democracy is set adrift from its moorings in the well-informed voter and becomes vulnerable once again to the tyranny that Jefferson feared."
    (Scientific American: "Antiscience Beliefs Jeopardize U.S. Democracy")

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 25, 2012 5:41 p.m.

    "It is hard to know exactly when it became acceptable for U.S. politicians to be antiscience. For some two centuries science was a preeminent force in American politics, and scientific innovation has been the leading driver of U.S. economic growth since World War II. Advances in biology, based on evolutionary theory, created the biotech industry. New research in genetics is poised to transform the understanding of disease and the practice of medicine, agriculture and other fields. The Founding Fathers were science enthusiasts.

    Yet despite its history and today's unprecedented riches from science, the U.S. has begun to slip off of its science foundation. Indeed, in this election cycle, some 236 years after Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence, several major party contenders for political office took positions that can only be described as “antiscience”: against evolution, human-induced climate change, vaccines, stem cell research, and more.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 25, 2012 5:23 p.m.

    "Why is the fact that if is colder in some places today than normal is not proof of the global warming hoax but some of you say that because it may be warmer in other places today it is solid proof that global warming is real?"

    I would say neither are evidence for or against on their own and are only useful with proper context.

    I am part of a forecasting contest, I'm plenty capable of knowing how badly I can miss a forecast. However, we have 100 years of data and a strong scientific knowledge of how the greenhouse effect works. The evidence strongly suggests a human component to recent climate change in addition to natural components which are always in play too (it's not a coincidence that 2007 1998 and 2010 were all El Nino years and are the top three warmest, in various orders depending on dataset).

    True, we beat many 1934 and 1936 records this year. The thing is, 1934 was not globally warm compared to present, only regionally. Extreme anomalies occur. This year will be the warmest for the US and 15-25 states but is set to probably be 9th warmest globally.

  • Bifftacular Spanish Fork, Ut
    Dec. 25, 2012 5:09 p.m.

    Didn't the dynosaurs die when the earth cooled? What caused that warming and then subsequent cooling? Probabaly those selfish Triceratops.

  • chilly Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 25, 2012 2:48 p.m.

    One old man: "...ATL. Facts only confuse some folks..."
    Notice that atl134 didn't refute my "facts". He merely accused me of "cherry picking" the most recent 16 years. He did it by cherry-picking even shorter time intervals.

    I'm thankful that we are still having warm decades. Good for earth's inhabitants! We are still emerging from the last ice-age. Some decades will be warm and others cooler. A good student of meteorology would know that most of the all time US State heat records were set in the 1930s. But that doesn't quite fit the narrative, does it?

    My point (in my second post) is that the strong link between CO2 and temperature, claimed by many climate scientists and used as the main driver in the climate models... is being proved more incorrect with each passing year.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Dec. 25, 2012 1:15 p.m.

    Its really cold here today and it is going to snow later. It may be warmer than normal somewhere else today. Why is the fact that if is colder in some places today than normal is not proof of the global warming hoax but some of you say that because it may be warmer in other places today it is solid proof that global warming is real?

    Atl 134. My doctor has a medical degree, has a license to practice medicine and has studied for years but he has made incorrect diagnosis many times to his admission. He is still a good physician but isn't correct all the time, no one is! Perhaps he isn't alone?

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 25, 2012 12:52 p.m.

    Shhhh. Be quiet, ATL. Facts only confuse some folks.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 25, 2012 12:27 p.m.

    We're heading for the warmest year on record for Utah and the U.S. We've had 14 record highs at Salt Lake City to 0 record lows this year.

    "None of the global warming doom and gloomers predicted this "pause". "

    The 2000s were .2F warmer than the 1990s, not quite the 2-3C/century pace, but the idea that there is a pause... why'd you pick 16 years? Because you're cherrypicking a span of years where the first year was very anomalously warm (1998). Climate scientists use 30 year climate norms, but you can't use that, since it would get in the way of the point you're trying to make. 14/14 warmest years in the modern record are 1998-2011.

    "Why do those of you who buy into this man made global warming nonsense get so angry with those of us who don't? If you who have fallen for this hoax"

    I have a degree in meteorology and obviously as a result also have a lot of friends who study meteorology and climate and people like you claiming we're all fraudsters promoting a hoax... and you wonder why someone like I could find it frustrating?

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 25, 2012 12:24 p.m.

    There is already enough wackiness in the world without adding any more.

    God doesn't need to do any work to bring about the end of the world.

    Just let us humans take care of it.

    We're already doing a very good job.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 25, 2012 12:06 p.m.

    Are you kidding me?

    This the kind of fools gold that has made Glenn Beck $millions

  • chilly Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 25, 2012 9:52 a.m.


    No statistically relevant warming in the last 16 years, despite atmospheric CO2 concentrations increasing by one twelfth. None of the global warming doom and gloomers predicted this "pause". The climate modelers have been dead wrong.

    I trust you are not using fossil fuel for heating in your -28C location. Merry Christmas to you too. Try to relax a little!

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Dec. 25, 2012 9:37 a.m.

    Why do those of you who buy into this man made global warming nonsense get so angry with those of us who don't? If you who have fallen for this hoax and believe it, go ahead and sit in your hybrid, shut off your electricity, abandon your modern polluting conveniences and go on believing you are saving the planet and leave the rest of us alone while we enjoy our lives without all the irrational fears that you embrace! Why try to force the rest of us to adapt our lives to your fears?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 25, 2012 9:36 a.m.

    Chilly, it's -28 C (about -18F) where I'm at today, although only a few centimetres of snow on the ground. Nonetheless, this does not discredit the evidence of man's influence on the climate. Merry Christmas.

  • chilly Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 25, 2012 8:55 a.m.

    For Pete's sake Des News, it's 21 degrees with a foot of snow at my house right now. How cold would it have to be to make you feel like global warming doom wasn't lurking around the corner?

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Dec. 25, 2012 5:39 a.m.

    This should have been published before December 21, then I would have been impressed that there was still some sanity in this world.

  • Demo Dave Holladay, UT
    Dec. 25, 2012 12:23 a.m.

    For the sake of political expediency, it's easier to deny man-made threats to the planet than to confront the awful facts. This is especially true of Republicans. I suppose that ignorance really is bliss, but nothing goes away by pretending it isn't real.