20071222

A Moderates View of Global Warming

A Moderates View of Global Warming.

An alternative title might have been: "Global Warming - Alternative Theories".

Before I go any further, let me identify myself as being somewhat of an AGW (anthropogenic global warming) skeptic (but not a denier). I try to not be a green house gas bigot who insists the issue has been decided and I try to maintain a healthy level of open mindedness to arguments that present an alternative explanation for why the Earth is experiencing warming. I do believe that the evidence is overwhelming that warming is occurring. However the debate is still open as to what is the cause of the warming. (See here) where Newsmax reports on the results of one study that was published in the International Journal of Climatology of the Royal Meteorological Society which offers:
...observed patterns of temperature changes ("fingerprints") over the last 30 years disagree with what greenhouse models predict and can better be explained by natural factors, such as solar variability.
Now this is not just an isolated opinion. (See here) a US Senate report, published by the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works which seeks to publicize the opinions of an impressive lineup of distinguished and learned fellows who hold opinions that global warming could be explained by something other than anthropogenic causes. For any high school or college student who is given the unenviable assignment to defend "the other side" of the Global Warming debate, this webpage will provide a wealth of quotable opinions from distinguished individuals. I will show a sampling of these opinions.

Quoting Dr. Boris Winterhalter, retired Senior Marine Researcher of the Geological Survey of Finland and former professor of marine geology at University of Helsinki:
The effect of solar winds on cosmic radiation has just recently been established and, furthermore, there seems to be a good correlation between cloudiness and variations in the intensity of cosmic radiation. Here we have a mechanism which is a far better explanation to variations in global climate than the attempts by IPCC to blame it all on anthropogenic input of greenhouse gases.
Quoting One of India's leading geologists, B.P. Radhakrishna, President of the Geological Society of India:
We appear to be overplaying this global warming issue as global warming is nothing new. It has happened in the past, not once but several times, giving rise to glacial-interglacial cycles.
Quoting Internationally renowned scientist Dr. Antonio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists and a retired Professor of Advanced Physics at the University of Bologna in Italy, who has published over 800 scientific papers:
Significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming.
Now it is not my agenda to argue that until the science is hashed out we should do nothing. However what if these skeptics are correct? What if green house gasses are not the cause - or not the complete cause - of global warming? If they are correct, does that mean we should do nothing? That any attempt to limit green house gasses is wasted effort?

Well, my argument to these skeptics is that even if mankind can not do anything about global warming, efforts to cut back on greenhouse gasses are not wasted time, effort and money. Even if green house gasses are one day proven to not contribute what-so-ever to global warming, some of our efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions are actually killing two birds with one stone. Some efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions will also aid us in "breaking our addiction to oil" and these steps are going to one day (and my opinion that "one day" is TODAY) going to have to be made anyway due to the reality that we are also going to have to deal with the issue of "peak oil".

All efforts to reduce our dependence on crude oil and natural gas as energy sources will be a wise investment for our society and for our entire species even if it turns out greenhouse gas emissions have zero impact on global warming. Since our society is not going to be successful in reducing all emissions overnight, it is my opinion that if there is going to be limited funding available for research and implementation of alternative energy sources, we should concentrate our efforts on first breaking our addiction to crude oil and natural gas which will simultaneously yield greenhouse gas emission reductions. Even if it turns out our efforts do not yield reduced warming due to human causes, the money and effort involved will still have been wisely invested. While we concentrate on breaking our addiction to oil and natural gas, we can continue to study and argue as to whether additional steps really are required. By the way, I also do not see any problem with also insisting that if we are going to continue to rely on the still plentiful supply of coal as an energy source, it will not be wasted effort to insist that this reliance be through developing "clean coal" technology with capture and sequestering of greenhouse gasses. While capture and sequestering might be an unnecessary expense, the rest of the use of the technology might not be a waste because it will still yield results which our society should view as being desirable.

While I do try to maintain a healthy level of skepticism, and I appreciate the efforts of those who courageously seek to explore alternative explanations for why our earth is warming, I will continue to argue that limiting greenhouse gasses does not automatically have to qualify as a wasted investment even if the skeptics are correct. We're going to have to start somewhere. I suggest we first concentrate our efforts on reducing greenhouse gasses by simultaneously breaking our addiction to crude oil and natural gas. Here the return on investment is guaranteed and even the AGW deniers will be forced to agree.

One need not be a tree hugger to realize that the development of alternative energy sources is a sound investment. And who knows, the skeptics might be wrong, and it might even help us to save our planet. That would turn out to be a wise investment indeed.

I believe that on the above expressed opinion, mankind should be able to form a consensus. It is my viewpoint that THIS opinion of what we should do is eminently reasonable, and that any remaining dissenters are just "gosh darned" (alternatively insert God damned) unreasonable. Now let's get to work on solving the problem, the clock is ticking.

5 Comments:

Blogger Kurt said...

David, just wanted to express my kudos for being the first moderate blogger on this issue I think I've seen yet.

I really think you're too sensible to blog, but I don't recommend stopping. Moderation is a rare commodity these days and we need all we can get.

K

PS I picked up your post via a daily google news/blog "watch" that sends me anything related to this topic.

12/23/2007 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger Cory said...

Kurt,

As you read Davids blog, you will realize he is far from a moderate on most issues. In fact, the subjects of fair tax, socialism/communism, and equal rights for homosexuals, are just a few issues he will directly take up the sword against, and with highly bias, often illogical or outright incorrect banter.


Any how, on the subject at hand, I think the debate on emissions has become far too restricted to the global warming arena. Why is it just a simple manner of the gases causing global warming? What about the continuous cloud of smog places like Houston, LA and Atlanta spend half the year in? What about acid rain? Deformed animals? Increased instances of asthma, breathing disorders, cancer and autoimmune disease? Most of these things are indisputably linked to the junk humans are shooting in to the air and the enviroment, and I think enough to control emissions with out even the consideration of impending environmental doom from global warming.

2/07/2008 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger Little David said...

Cory,

Just because I disagree with some of your own extremist viewpoints does not make me less of a moderate.

I'm an extremist because I am against communism? Absurd.

By the way, you can take any number of moderates and they will not agree on all issues. In fact, a person could disagree with me on everything and, while diametrically the opposite, still be a moderate. In fact, considering the number of moderates there are in our nation, I can be reasonably certain that such a moderate might exist.

I take great offense that just because I disagree with your opinions, you label my own opinions as being "often illogical or outright incorrect".

As for your opinion about control of emmissions there is some truth about what you state in regards to emissions in general. However if one does not take into account the possible danger of CO2 emissions being a cause of global warming, there is no need to control CO2 emissions as CO2 is not otherwise a hazardous emission and need not be controlled.

2/09/2008 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger Cory said...

1. Actually a moderate is, by definition, a person who does not sit on one side or the other or is able to at least acknowledge argument from an opposing side. I have been in numerous arguments with you, namely over the mentioned subjects, where you are so dead set against them, that you refuse to even acknowledge there IS another side at all. That is not a moderate


2. C02 is rarely a gas emitted by itself. It comes out of smoke stacks, car engines, coal plants, and countless other items. Each one of these sources spews hundreds of chemical compounds in to the air, some of which is carbon. Yet the only thing we all seem to be concerned about IS carbon emissions. There is no doubt that we could easily piggy back controls on ALL chemical emissions, but it is simply ignored for the "sexy" carbon emissions.

2/12/2008 03:24:00 PM  
Blogger Little David said...

Sorry, I consider all arguments posed. Just because your arguments fail to convince me does not prove that I am not a moderate.

Actually, there are attempts to reduce emissions of harmful compounds. Air quality is better today by many measures then it was during my childhood years.

Clean coal efforts will result in further reduced levels of emmissions of many compounds that are considered harmful. Where clean coal suffers is from the continuing production of CO2. It is only through CO2 capture and storage that clean coal would result in any assistance in reducing global warming if greenhouse gasses are part of the cause.

2/15/2008 03:03:00 PM  

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