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Hermit
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Re:The Flipping Point
« Reply #135 on: 2007-09-10 17:00:01 »
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Acknowledging scientific uncertainty is far from acknowledging that the denialists have a point. Stating that there are some unknowns and acknowledging that "global warming" confuses some people who don't realize that just because the temperature might be constant or even declining in some places doesn't imply agreement with denialism. All that denialists reflect is that they have not examined the evidence or are incompetent at interpreting evidence (and sometimes, that while they are capable of fabricating evidence, that they are not competent to sustain their fabrications.) As opposed to the may uncertainties, scientists know with virtual certainty that:
  • Human activities are changing the composition of Earth's atmosphere. Increasing levels of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere since pre-industrial times are well-documented and understood.
  • The atmospheric buildup of CO2 and other greenhouse gases is largely the result of human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels.
  • An “unequivocal” warming trend of about 1.0 to 1.7°F occurred from 1906-2005. Warming occurred in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and over the oceans (IPCC, 2007).
  • The major greenhouse gases emitted by human activities remain in the atmosphere for periods ranging from decades to centuries. It is therefore virtually certain that atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases will continue to rise over the next few decades.
  • Increasing greenhouse gas concentrations tend to warm the planet.

Now here is CO2 and Methane (CH4) shown on the same chart against Deuterium [ 2H ]which has an excellent correlation with temperature.



Note that current CO2 levels (at 382 ppmv http://epa.gov/climatechange/science/recentac.html) and Methane (CH4) (at ppmv 1750 http://www.epa.gov/methane/scientific.html) are both off the charts (on the left) as these levels have not been seen for at least the last 650,000 years. Carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the atmosphere increased from approximately 280 parts per million (ppm) in pre-industrial times to 382 ppm in 2006 according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Earth Systems Research Laboratory, a 36 percent increase. Almost all of the increase is due to human activities (IPCC, 2007). The current rate of increase in CO2 concentrations is about 1.9 ppmv/year. Present CO2 concentrations are higher than any time in at least the last 650,000 years (IPCC, 2007). Methane (CH4) is also more abundant in the Earth’s atmosphere now than at any time in at least the past 650,000 years (IPCC, 2007). Methane concentrations increased sharply during most of the 20th century and are now 148% above pre-industrial levels.
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Re:The Flipping Point
« Reply #136 on: 2007-09-14 15:54:05 »
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[Blunderov] In the interests of objectivity I feel compelled to post this report now that  have seen it. My confusion is growing daily. If the sun is increasing its output Occams razor would suggest that this must be the principle reason for global warming. if not the only one.

At least I'm still tolerably certain that it is "warming". Four days after Spring arrived in Johannesburg we were having temperatures of 30 degrees. Darwin knows what midsummer will be like but I'm dreading it.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=HUD20070913&articleId=6764

Global Research Editor's Note

The following report emanates from the Hudson Insitute, which is supported by big business including the oil companies.

The suppression of this research on Global Warming, however, is nonetheless corroborated. And consequently we felt that it was important to bring this article to the attention of our readers. For further details, see our dossier on Climate Change

Moreover, there is evidence that big business is also supporting the Global Warming Consensus, which serves broad geopolitical interests. 

13 September 2007



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new analysis of peer-reviewed literature reveals that more than 500 scientists have published evidence refuting at least one element of current man-made global warming scares. More than 300 of the scientists found evidence that 1) a natural moderate 1,500-year climate cycle has produced more than a dozen global warmings similar to ours since the last Ice Age and/or that 2) our Modern Warming is linked strongly to variations in the sun's irradiance. "This data and the list of scientists make a mockery of recent claims that a scientific consensus blames humans as the primary cause of global temperature increases since 1850," said Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Dennis Avery.

Other researchers found evidence that 3) sea levels are failing to rise importantly; 4) that our storms and droughts are becoming fewer and milder with this warming as they did during previous global warmings; 5) that human deaths will be reduced with warming because cold kills twice as many people as heat; and 6) that corals, trees, birds, mammals, and butterflies are adapting well to the routine reality of changing climate.

Despite being published in such journals such as Science, Nature and Geophysical Review Letters, these scientists have gotten little media attention. "Not all of these researchers would describe themselves as global warming skeptics," said Avery, "but the evidence in their studies is there for all to see."

The names were compiled by Avery and climate physicist S. Fred Singer, the co-authors of the new book Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years, mainly from the peer-reviewed studies cited in their book. The researchers' specialties include tree rings, sea levels, stalagmites, lichens, pollen, plankton, insects, public health, Chinese history and astrophysics.

"We have had a Greenhouse Theory with no evidence to support it-except a moderate warming turned into a scare by computer models whose results have never been verified with real-world events," said co-author Singer. "On the other hand, we have compelling evidence of a real-world climate cycle averaging 1470 years (plus or minus 500) running through the last million years of history. The climate cycle has above all been moderate, and the trees, bears, birds, and humans have quietly adapted."

"Two thousand years of published human histories say that the warm periods were good for people," says Avery. "It was the harsh, unstable Dark Ages and Little Ice Age that brought bigger storms, untimely frost, widespread famine and plagues of disease." "There may have been a consensus of guesses among climate model-builders," says Singer. "However, the models only reflect the warming, not its cause." He noted that about 70 percent of the earth's post-1850 warming came before 1940, and thus was probably not caused by human-emitted greenhouse gases. The net post-1940 warming totals only a tiny 0.2 degrees C.

The historic evidence of the natural cycle includes the 5000-year record of Nile floods, 1st-century Roman wine production in Britain, and thousands of museum paintings that portrayed sunnier skies during the Medieval Warming and more cloudiness during the Little Ice Age. The physical evidence comes from oxygen isotopes, beryllium ions, tiny sea and pollen fossils, and ancient tree rings. The evidence recovered from ice cores, sea and lake sediments, cave stalagmites and glaciers has been analyzed by electron microscopes, satellites, and computers. Temperatures during the Medieval Warming Period on California's Whitewing Mountain must have been 3.2 degrees warmer than today, says Constance Millar of the U.S. Forest Service, based on her study of seven species of relict trees that grew above today's tree line.

Singer emphasized, "Humans have known since the invention of the telescope that the earth's climate variations were linked to the sunspot cycle, but we had not understood how. Recent experiments have demonstrated that more or fewer cosmic rays hitting the earth create more or fewer of the low, cooling clouds that deflect solar heat back into space-amplifying small variations in the intensity of the sun.

Avery and Singer noted that there are hundreds of additional peer-reviewed studies that have found cycle evidence, and that they will publish additional researchers' names and studies. They also noted that their book was funded by Wallace O. Sellers, a Hudson board member, without any corporate contributions.


Global Research Articles by Hudson Institute

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Re:The Flipping Point
« Reply #137 on: 2007-09-15 01:55:42 »
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Ice loss opens Northwest Passage

Source: BBC
Authors: Not Credited (ESA)
Dated: 2007-09-14

The most direct route through the Northwest Passage has opened up fully for the first time since records began, the European Space Agency (Esa) says.

Historically, the passage that links the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the Canadian Arctic has been ice-bound.

But the agency says ice cover has been steadily shrinking, and this year's drop has made the passage navigable.

The findings - based on satellite images - have raised concerns about the speed of global warming.

'Extreme'

The Northwest Passage is one of the most fabled sea routes in the world - a short cut from Europe to Asia through the high Arctic.

Recent years have seen a marked shrinkage in its ice cover, but this year it was extreme, Esa says.

It says this made the passage "fully navigable" for the first time since monitoring began in 1978.

"We have seen the ice-covered area drop to just around 3m sq km (1,2 sq miles)," Leif Toudal Pedersen of the Danish National Space Center said.

He said it was "about 1m sq km (386,000 sq miles) less than the previous minima of 2005 and 2006".

"There has been a reduction of the ice cover over the last 10 years of about 100, 000 sq km (38,600 sq miles) per year on average, so a drop of 1m sq km (386,000 sq miles) in just one year is extreme," Mr Pedersen said.

The Northeast Passage through the Russian Arctic has also seen its ice cover shrink and it currently "remains only partially blocked," Esa says.


'Battle for Arctic'

Scientists have linked the changes to global warming which may be progressing faster than expected.

The opening of the sea routes are already leading to international disputes.

Canada says it has full rights over those parts of the Northwest Passage that pass through its territory and that it can bar transit there.

But this has been disputed by the US and the European Union.

They argue new route should be an international strait that any vessel can use.
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Re:The Flipping Point
« Reply #138 on: 2007-09-15 07:01:29 »
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Solar Forcing of Global Temperature

My memory was telling me that acknowledged solar contributions to climate forcing were credited in the range of 5-20%. A brief and informal metareview (googled for "solar contribution warming") (caveat metareviews are becoming increasingly skewed and dangerous due to denialist hyperactivity*) informed me that  a range for prima fascias credible papers is now 0% to 30%, with a decided majority of infield expertise centered on 14%.

Kindest Regards

Hermit

For Blunderov, a few useful links:

*Here is how I figure this. I grabbed a randomish collection of hits from the above search and checked the links including the google ads displayed on the page. e.g. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070801174450.htm a quasi respectable site, had pointers to:
Global Warming Debate: Warming is not a crisis! Gore won't debate. Learn the truth about CO2. - http://www.globalwarmingheartland.org Denialist
Global Warming Facts: Are you worried about climate change? Get the facts.- http://www.GetEnergyActive.org Denialist
Carbon-Based Energy: Carbon Dioxide & Climate Change. How BP Is Rising To The Challenge. - http://BP.com Oil industry
Prepare to be Shocked: Millions have already taken this amazing test. What's your RealAge? - http://www.RealAge.com Irrelevant
Advances in Solar Power: G24i: Access to Power 24/7. Flexible, Lightweight and Durable. - http://www.g24i.com Hype
Solar Energy: The Home Depot Professional Solar Power System Installation! - http://www.HomeDepot.com Hype
Global warming Info: Search For The Latest Information Worldwide Or By Specific Region! - http://geointel.metacarta.com Oil Industry
Global Warming: More Sources - Better Results Metasearch Global Warming now! - http://webcrawler.com/GlobalWarming What looks initially like "Neutral relevant" turns out to be a link to a wikiword massively dominated by oil industry and denialist links
Global Warming Debate: Warming is not a crisis! Gore won't debate. Learn the truth about CO2. - http://www.globalwarmingheartland.org Denialist
Global Warming Swindle: Channel 4's documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle - http://www.greatglobalwarmingswindle.com Industry sponsored denialism
Global Warming Facts: Are you worried about climate change? Get the facts. - http://www.GetEnergyActive.org Denialist
Global Warming: Join Chevron's Forum & Voice Your Opinion on Environmental Issues. - http://www.WillYouJoinUs.com Oil Industry
50W Solar Kit: Check out the 50W Solar Kit that is ideal for cottages, cabins, RV's. - http://www.envirolet.com Hype
=======
This is clearly is like an article advocating Linux - surrounded by ads extolling the virtues of Windows and slamming Linux in every possible way, some by Microsoft and the rest from Microsoft sponsored organizations, placed there to be quoted. Perhaps the oil industry uses the same Advertising companies.
« Last Edit: 2007-09-15 07:07:35 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

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Re:The Flipping Point
« Reply #139 on: 2007-09-15 14:31:34 »
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One moment while I ROTFLMAO ... all this "virtual certainty" and yet AGW hypothesis * fails by not being in accordance with known facts. Off the top of my head, for e.g. there was a Medieval Warm Period, and Little Ice Age; most climatic feedbacks appear to be negative, rather than positive. AGW hypothesis has failed due to lack of supporting empirical evidence. AGW’s scientific predictions appear to also falsify the hypothesis; e.g. summer soil moisture levels in the People’s Paradise have increased, rather than decreased, as the region has warmed, etc.

*
The matter is important because some scientists, media representatives and politicians clearly think that AGW is a scientific theory (i.e. of similar status to the theory of gravity).  But others - including me - think AGW is merely an hypothesis and should not be afforded more weight than any other hypothesis that has been suggested to explain global climate change.  Indeed, the AGW hypothesis should be afforded much less weight than theories of global climate change (e.g. global climate changes that are observed to be induced by effects of ENSO).

Please note that if my definitions and argument are accepted then they provide a strong logical argument against AGW-alarmism.  However, most AGW-alarmism is emotional (see Hermit's latest hilarious post re "hype" "oil industry" "denialist"  ... if he comes from a side with "virtual certainty" there should be no need to attack anything but the science and yet here deals the warmers favoured card i.e. can't address the science attempt to discredit the integrity and honesty of your opponent **) and cannot be countered by logic.

My understanding is based on the following definitions;

Hypothesis.
A suggestion to explain an observation or observations that lacks corroborative evidence.
(There can be no confidence that the explanation is correct because it has no corroboration, but the explanation is a tool that can be used to indicate likely sources of information that would corroborate or disprove it.)

Theory.
A suggestion to explain an observation or observations that has corroborative evidence.
(The corroboration provides confidence that the explanation is correct and, therefore, the explanation is a tool that can be used to provide explanations of other matters ).

Scientific Law.
A tenet accepted as being true for the purpose of scientific discourse.
(This definition insists that scientific hypotheses and theories must not conflict with scientific laws.  However, agreement with scientific laws is not corroborative evidence (it is merely lack of contrary evidence).  Also, scientific laws may change depending on available evidence (e.g. thermodynamic laws are empirical) or context (e.g. quantum physics).)

I contend that the above definitions are the basis of science.  But there are other explanations than those I state above;  for example, some will strongly disagrees with my above definitions and argument because they assess that any circumstance which does not contradict an explanation is corroborative evidence for the explanation.

Importantly, according to my above definitions, AGW is a scientific hypothesis and it is not a scientific theory.  And, therefore, using AGW as a predictive tool is contrary to science (i.e.  it is pseudo-science).

**
I contend that this is the case for the simple reason that in reality, there is no evidence for man-made global warming:  all recent climate changes are within the range of natural changes that have happened in the past (anyone who doubts this should read the recent report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPPCC). A claim that man-made global warming exists is merely an assertion: it is not evidence and it is not fact. And the assertion does not become evidence or fact by being voiced, written in words, or written in computer code.

-iolo

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Re:The Flipping Point
« Reply #140 on: 2007-09-16 00:16:44 »
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Dear Iolo,

Did you bother to check the links before rolling on the floor and writing a response? I'm puzzled, because had you done so, you probably would have discovered that "hype" merely tagged material marketing a product rather than information on the AGW issue and was not a comment on the goodness (or lack of it) for the product. So far as I am aware, BP and Chevron are part of the oil industry, let me know if you think otherwise.  http://geointel.metacarta.com announces itself as providing data for the oil industry in its header.

So for the enumerated examples of why you found my post hilarious, perhaps you should be more specific and detailed so that the rest of us can share the joke. For the balance, denialism as used here refers to the stance, opposing the scientific consensus and asserting that AGW is faulty. The fact that most organizations taking this stance are funded and supported by the fossil fuel industry isn't of particular interest in addressing the simple fact that denialism appears to be a very much better funded (in terms of saturation coverage) than the consensus position. Funny that, given how much money you have claimed is being channeled into the AGW side of the discussion.

Virtual certainty is the consensus position covering every infield academic I have spoken to, as well as the IPCC itself - which is a consensus organization -  along with respected agencies such as NASA, DNR and EPA. Also while I make no claims to expertise or qualifications in this field, I have done as much homework as somebody out of field yet with a very solid scientific background and comprehension can reasonably do, and have validated that the claims I have investigated (including a number which you have railed against) seem to stand up to the degree of inspection I can bring to bear on them: the predictions seem reasonable, the founding evidence solid, the assumptions credible and the conclusions unexceptional. I have attempted to post those things, and only those things, which I think reflect supportable trend indicating data.

Let me quote the IPCC via wikipedia And I strongly advocate you read the entire article):

Attribution of recent climate change is the effort to scientifically demonstrate which mechanisms are responsible for observed changes in the Earth's climate. The endeavor centers on the observed changes over the last century and in particular over the last 50 years, when observations are best and human influence greatest. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report concluded that, "Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations." The report defines "very likely" as a greater than 90% probability and represents the consensus of the scientific community. Over the past 150 years human activities have released increasing quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This has led to increases in mean global temperature or global warming. Other human effects are relevant—for example, sulphate aerosols are believed to lead to cooling—and natural factors also contribute. According to the historical temperature record of the last century, the Earth's near-surface air temperature has risen around 0.74 ± 0.18 °Celsius (1.3 ± 0.32 °Fahrenheit). An important question in current climate change research is over attribution of climate change to either natural/internal or human factors over the period of the instrumental record—from about 1860, and especially over the last 50 years. In the 1995 second assessment report (SAR) the IPCC made the widely quoted statement that "The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate". The phrase "balance of evidence" was used deliberately to suggest the (English) common-law standard of proof required in civil as opposed to criminal courts: not as high as "beyond reasonable doubt". In 2001 the third assessment report (TAR) upgraded this by saying "There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities". The 2007 fourth assessment report (AR4) report strengthened this and noted, "Discernible human influences now extend to other aspects of climate, including ocean warming, continental-average temperatures, temperature extremes and wind patterns".

It probably could go without saying that I not only agree with this consensus opinion, I have been noting more and more evidence from more and more fields which seems to point to not only accepting that climate change (in the form of Global Warming) has, is and will continue to happen, but also more and more accessible reports which make the likelihood of an anthropogenic source for at least a significant proportion of current climate change unexceptional.

As for your charges of "AGW-alarmism" you are invited to bend, fold, spindle and mutilate them and stick them somewhere where the sharp edges will cause you some discomfort. The consequences of some of the effects suggested as following from the current and ongoing changes to the climate would be catastrophic for many species - humans not least - sharing this planet - which, it might be worth mentioning, is the only one we have got.

When you agitate - as you repeatedly have - against information which is physics based, as opposed to interpretive, as well as railing against multiple cases of exceptional and becoming-more-extreme weather outliers, I suggest that it only demonstrates a lack of analytic capability. When somebody drills a hole in the earth and measures the temperatures going back 100s of years and shows strong warming, and that ties in with ice records from both poles, as well as with IR sensor data and gravitational data which matches photographic data showing massive ice loss of long established shelves and glaciers, along with record after record being exceeded, then the fact that there is change, and indeed, "Global Warming," no matter how many people are confused by the term, is fairly thoroughly substantiated. When this is coupled with the fact that it matches the predictions made only by those claiming an anthropogenic basis and no other group (of which I am aware); and that the anthropogenic group which comprises a massively overwhelming scientific consensus, has proposed mechanisms, established models, and to an extent unmatched by any other group provided predictions, the undisputed consequence of which could be calamitous, we would be very remiss to ignore them. Further, when you claim that the models developed by the consensus are not predictive, you fly in the face of validatable evidence. For example, see the following graph and discussion of it at wikipedia



Your caviling when I don't have the time to dissect your mewling here is all very well, but it doesn't change a thing; neither does calling me names while accusing me of the same. Tu quoque, particularly when aimed as poorly as your's appears to be, must always fail. I recommend you check your comprehension of the scientific method, the difference between hypothesis and theory (for what little it is worth) and the process of validation (which is where your worst weakness in this may be). Bear in mind that we can't "validate" we can only invalidate. Of course, invalidation is only applicable to something sustainable in the first instance. I haven't mentioned "Scientific Laws" because we haven't had those for the last 100 years or so; only strong and weak theories. A local University probably offers a summer school class in the theory and philosophy of science, you may find it advantageous to attend one if you wish to argue in these areas (where I may be a little dated but was once in field).

Global climate change happens. You didn't address, let alone begin to invalidate, the graphs I have shown or the data I have provided. You haven't shown that the correlation between methane and CO2 and temperature is faulty. You haven't addressed a natural alternative to the methane and CO2 budgets which reflect mankind's role in increasing them. And thus you are left with the (insurmountable?) burden of trying to show why the historic linkages no longer apply and will not apply in the future if you want to make your argument. You don't seem to have attempted this to now, and I don't think you will be persuasive if you do attempt it. Which is why I don't need to call you names or answer your every assertion. I just point to your silences. They can, and I suggest do, speak volumes.

Yours Sincerely

Hermit
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Re:The Flipping Point
« Reply #141 on: 2007-10-02 16:08:59 »
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Arctic ice island breaks in half

Source: BBC
Authors: David Shukman (BBC science and environment correspondent)
Dated: 2007-10-01

The giant Ayles Ice Island drifting off Canada's northern shores has broken in two - far earlier than expected.

In a season of record summer melting in the region, the two chunks have moved rapidly through the water - one of them covering 98km (61 miles) in a week.

Their progress has been tracked amid fears they could edge west towards oil and gas installations off Alaska.

The original Manhattan-sized berg (16km by five km; 10 miles by three miles) broke off the Ayles Ice Shelf in 2005.

I joined a team that landed on the ice island in May to carry out the first scientific investigation into what many see as a key indicator of global warming.

It is an unsettling thought that the very ice we landed on - and filmed on - for several hours has since ripped apart.
 
http://See a map of the region

One of the scientists on that mission was Luke Copland of the University of Ottawa, and he told BBC News that the fact that the island had headed south was significant.

"The island became more vulnerable to breaking up with the warmer temperatures in more southerly latitudes, together with having less protection from the smaller amounts of surrounding sea-ice.

"It's relatively unusual for the ice island to drift so far south so quickly - many ice islands in the past have stayed within the Arctic Ocean, or within the northern parts of the Queen Elizabeth Islands."

Dr Copland said that the island had travelled so far south because of the small extent of Arctic ice this summer, influenced in turn by warmer conditions.

"The low sea-ice conditions this year have played a role. The sea-ice normally blocks ice inflow into the Queen Elizabeth Islands, but with less ice this year it has made it easier for the Ice Island to make its way in."

And his conclusion is clear: unlike ice islands which in the past might have lasted in the Arctic Ocean for 50 years or more, this one is destined to be shorter-lived.

"Ultimately, the ice island should break up faster because of the warmer temperatures - I'd be surprised if it lasted more than a decade or so."

The team which landed on the Ayles ice block in May found it to have an average thickness of 42-45m (138-148ft) - the equivalent of the height of a 10-storey building. The great mass of ice has now split apart.

Arctic sea-ice shrank to the smallest area on record this year, as measured by satellite.

The US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) said the minimum extent of 4.13 million sq km (1.59 million sq miles) was reached on 16 September.

The figure shattered all previous satellite surveys, including the previous record low of 5.32 million sq km measured in 2005.
[ Hermit : A reduction of 1.19 million sq km or 22.3% in two years ].

Click here to see the Canadian Ice Service website tracking the ice blocks.


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Re:The Flipping Point
« Reply #142 on: 2007-10-13 11:44:56 »
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Rebuild or retreat: US debates evacuation of Gulf coastline

[ Hermit : Clearly some people do get it. Now the question is whether they can persuade the sheeple to move. Despite the "rebuilding" - like every other plan to come from the Bush White House - making no sense, my betting is no, or at least not yet. Also worth noting that "another Katrina" is greatly to be desired because many of the possibilities are a great deal worse.]

Another Katrina cannot be prevented, plan concludes
Cash earmarked to buy up 17,000 Mississippi houses


Source :The Guardian
Authors: Ewen MacAskill (Washington)
Dated: 2007-10-11

The United States is working on a multi-billion-dollar plan to depopulate vast swaths of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico in a move which it is hoped would help re-establish a natural barrier against the catastrophic flooding caused by the likes of Hurricane Katrina.

In the first sign that the federal government is favouring a retreat from the coast rather than rebuilding, the Army Corps of Engineers is to present to Congress a radical plan which includes rebuilding the wetlands that have been disappearing at an ever-accelerating rate in recent years.


The Corps, the engineers responsible for protecting the coastline, has been working on the plan since Katrina struck in August 2005. President George Bush promised after the floods to rebuild New Orleans and other Gulf communities.

But federal agencies and environmentalists have concluded that climate change has increased the threat of further devastation and continued rebuilding makes no sense. To be included in the overall plan is $40bn (£20bn) to be spent on the Mississippi coast. Part of this would be for a voluntary buyout of 17,000 houses in Mississippi, particularly in Bay St Louis, east of New Orleans. The corps is likely to extend the plan to New Orleans and Louisiana.

Susan Rees, project director, said: "The whole concept of trying to remove people and properties from the coast is very, very challenging. The desire to live by the water is strong."

The plan has had a mixed reception. While some have welcomed the chance to leave the area rather than face further storms, others have rebuilt their homes and are reluctant to leave. Local politicians said the plan would destroy communities because they could not be sustained if many people opted to take the money. Fishing and tourist villages on the coast were already fragile after Katrina, with many families opting against return.

Among those opposed to the buyouts is Gene Taylor, a Democratic congressman: "It ain't going to happen. There's no money for it, there's no will for it and there's no public support for it." He is rebuilding his home in Bay St Louis, which could lose about 60% of its land to buyouts.

William Walker, director of Mississippi's marine resources department, said some communities had opted to move out en masse. "These areas probably should not have been developed in the first place. It's not practical to ask the federal government to keep rebuilding and repairing after repetitive floods," he said.

Oliver Houck, a professor at Tulane University who has studied coastal controls, called buyouts a reasonable option. "Any programme that attempts to subsidise their continuing to stay in place is simply subsidising another wipeout," he said.

Part of the $40bn would also be spent on rebuilding the fast-disappearing wetlands, which provide a natural barrier against flooding. The loss of wetlands is partly man-made: silt from the Mississippi that built them up has been prevented from reaching the Gulf by flood-protection levees constructed by the army corps.

Orrin Pilkey, director of a shoreline programme at Duke University, said the coast was eroding, sea levels rising and hurricanes may be becoming more forceful. "A retreat is our only solution," he said. [ Hermit : This is a false assertion. They could stay, wasting billions in a futile effort, and then be drowned. This may be the most likely future scenario. But given the National Flood Insurance's 3 strikes and you are out basis, and that many of the payouts after Katrina/Rita were of the three R's nature (Roll, raise, or raze your house), and that non-government insurance is prohibitively expensive (yet arguably still too low), the consequences of the next moderately serious storm will likely be a far greater economic disaster than the last. ]
« Last Edit: 2007-10-13 11:54:39 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
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Re:The Flipping Point
« Reply #143 on: 2007-11-19 15:19:25 »
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[Blunderov] There is no shortage of bad news around at the moment. I'm sorry to say what follows looks like the worst of it all.

The key point: "Environmentalists point out that the increasing acidification of the oceans would in itself provide ample reason to curb emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels and felling forests even if the dwindling band of skeptics were right and the gas was not warming up the planet."


http://www.countercurrents.org/lean191007.htm

A World Dying, But Can We
Unite To Save It?

By Geoffrey Lean

19 November, 2007
The Independent


Humanity is rapidly turning the seas acid through the same pollution that causes global warming, the world’s governments and top scientists agreed yesterday. The process — thought to be the most profound change in the chemistry of the oceans for 20 million years — is expected both to disrupt the entire web of life of the oceans and to make climate change worse.

The warning is just one of a whole series of alarming conclusions in a new report published by the official Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which last month shared the Nobel Peace Prize with former US vice president Al Gore.

Drawn up by more than 2,500 of the world’s top scientists and their governments, and agreed last week by representatives of all its national governments, the report also predicts that nearly a third of the world’s species could be driven to extinction as the world warms up, and that harvests will be cut dramatically across the world.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who attended the launch of the report in this ancient Spanish city, told The Independent on Sunday that he found the “quickening pace” of global warming “very frightening”.

And, with unusual outspokenness for a UN leader, he said he “looked forward” to both the United States and China — the world’s two biggest polluters — “playing a more constructive role” in vital new negotiations on tackling climate change that open in Indonesia next month.

The new IPCC report, which is designed to give impetus to the negotiations, highlights the little-known acidification of the oceans, first reported in this newspaper more than three years ago. It concludes that emissions of carbon dioxide — the main cause of global warming — have already increased the acidity of ocean surface water by 30 per cent, and threaten to treble it by the end of the century.

Achim Steiner, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), said yesterday: “The report has put a spotlight on a threat to the marine environment that the world has hardly yet realized. The threat is immense as it can fundamentally alter the life of the seas, reducing the productivity of the oceans, while reinforcing global warming.”

Scientists have found that the seas have already absorbed about half of all the carbon dioxide emitted by humanity since the start of the industrial revolution, a staggering 500 billion tons of it. This has so far helped slow global warming — which would have accelerated even faster if all this pollution had stayed in the atmosphere, already causing catastrophe — but at an increasingly severe cost.

The gas dissolves in the oceans to make dilute carbonic acid, which is increasingly souring the naturally alkali seawater. This, in turn, mops up calcium carbonate, a substance normally plentiful in the seas, which corals use to build their reefs, and marine creatures use to make the protective shells they need to survive. These include many of the plankton that form the base of the food chain on which all fish and other marine animals depend.

As the waters are growing more acid this process is decreasing, with incalculable consequences for the life of the seas, and for the fisheries on which a billion of the world’s people depend for protein. Every single species that uses calcium in this way, that has so far been studied, has been found to be affected. And the seas are most acid near the surface, where most of their life is concentrated.

A report by the Royal Society, Britain’s premier scientific body, concludes that, as a result, of the pollution, the world’s oceans are probably now more acidic that they have ever been in “hundreds of millennia”, and that even if emissions stopped now, the waters would take “tens of thousands of years to return to normal”.

Professor Ulf Reibesell of the Leibnitz Institute of Marine Sciences in Kiel, Germany’s leading expert on the process, concludes in an issue of UNEP’s magazine Our Planet, to be published next month, that, if it continues to the levels predicted by yesterday’s report for the end of the century, the seas will reach a condition unprecedented in the last 20 million years.

He recalls how something similar happened when a comet hit Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula 65 million years ago, blasting massive amounts of calcium sulphate into the atmosphere to form sulphuric acid, which in turn caused the extinction of corals and virtually all shell-building species.

“Two million years went by before corals reappeared in the fossil record,” he says, adding that it took “a further 20 million years” before the diversity of species that use calcium returned to its former levels.

Scientists add that, as the seas become more acidic, they will be less able to absorb carbon dioxide, causing more of it to stay in the atmosphere to speed up global warming. Research is already uncovering some signs that the oceans’ ability to mop up the gas is diminishing. Environmentalists point out that the increasing acidification of the oceans would in itself provide ample reason to curb emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels and felling forests even if the dwindling band of skeptics were right and the gas was not warming up the planet.

But yesterday’s cautiously worded report, which was agreed by the US government, also provides ample evidence that climate change is well under way, and is accelerating. It concludes that the warming is now “unequivocal” and “evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level”.

It adds: “Eleven of the last 12 years rank among the 12 warmest years in the instrumental record of global surface temperature”. It goes on: “Observational evidence from all continents and most oceans shows that many natural systems are being affected by regional climate changes, particularly temperature increases.”

If humanity were not affecting the climate, it concludes, declines in the sun’s activity and increased eruptions from volcanoes - which throw huge amounts of dust in the air that screen out sunlight - would have been likely to “have produced cooling” of the planet.

But emissions of all the “greenhouse gas” pollutants that cause global warming increased 70 per cent between 1970 and 2004 alone, it reports, adding that levels of carbon dioxide, the most important one, in the atmosphere now “exceed by far” anything that the Earth has experienced in the past 650,000 years. And it goes on to conclude that “continued greenhouse gas emissions at or above current rates would cause further warming and induce many changes in the global climate system during the 21st century.”

It makes a host of specific predictions for every continent and warns that “impacts” could be “abrupt” or “irreversible”. One example of an irreversible impact is an expected extinction of between 20 and 30 per cent of all the world’s species of animals and plants even at relatively moderate levels of warming. If the climate heats further, it adds, extinctions could rise to 40 to 70 per cent of species.

The IPCC scientists and governments say that they are also more concerned about “increases in droughts, heatwaves and floods” as the climate warms. They believe that the damage to the world’s economy would be even greater than they had previously predicted, and were even more certain that the poor and elderly in both rich and poor countries would suffer most.

Yet the report also concludes that, while some climate change is now inevitable, its worst effects could be avoided with straightforward measures at little cost if only governments would take action. It says that the job can be done by using “technologies that are either currently available or expected to be commercialized in coming decades”. It could be done at a cost of slowing global growth by only a tenth of a percentage point a year, and might even increase it.

The missing element, virtually everyone agrees, is political will from governments. Next month they meet in Bali to start negotiations on a new treaty to replace the current provisions of the Kyoto Protocol, which run out in 2012.

The timetable is desperately tight; time lags in the process of getting a new treaty ratified by the world’s governments means that it will have to be agreed by the end of 2009 — and there is no sign of anything on the horizon.

Yet the treaty will have to go far beyond the protocol in order to put the whole world on track rapidly to reduce emissions if the world is to achieve the pollution cuts that the scientists say will be needed to avoid catastrophe. And it will have to ensure rapid action. Dr Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC’s chairman, yesterday repeated a consensus among experts that the world as a whole will have to start radical reductions within eight years if there is to be any hope of preventing dangerous climate change.

Stephanie Tunmore of Greenpeace International said: “It is clear from this report that we are gambling with the future of the planet — and the stakes are high. This document sets out a compelling case for early action on climate change.”

The UN Secretary-General, agreed. The effects of climate change have become “so severe and so sweeping” he said “that only urgent, global action will do. There is no time to waste.”

Mr Steiner called the report “the most essential reading for every person on the planet who cares about the future”. He added: “The hard science has been distilled along with evidence of the social and economic consequences of global warming, but also the economic rationale and opportunities for action now. While the science will continue to evolve and be refined, we now have the compelling blueprint for action and, in many ways, the price tag for failure — from increasing acidification of the oceans to the likely extinction of economically important biodiversity.”

And Yvo de Boer, the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change — the parent treaty to the Kyoto Protocol — told the IoS that reaching agreement was “incredibly urgent”.

He pointed out that the world would replace 40 per cent of its power generation capacity in the next five to 10 years and that China is already building one or two coal- fired power stations a week. Those installations would last for decades - and the nations that built them would be reluctant to demolish them any earlier - so that unless the world rapidly changed direction it would be all the more difficult to avoid climate change running out of control.

Sticking point: It is crucial to get the US and China on board

Getting agreement on a new treaty to tackle climate change hangs on resolving an “after you, Claude” impasse between the United States and China, the two biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, the main cause of global warming.

China insists - with other key developing countries like India and South Africa — that the United States must move first to clean up. It points out that, because of the disparity in populations, every American is responsible for emitting much more of the gas than each Chinese. But the US refuses to join any new treaty unless China also accepts restrictions.

There is hope of breaking the logjam. Chinese leaders know their country would be severely affected by global warming, and have done more than is generally realized to tackle it, not least by rapidly expanding renewable energy. The US will have a new leader by the time negotiations are completed, and even President Bush is backtracking, at least rhetorically.

Yesterday UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said he was optimistic. “I look forward,” he said, with a hint of steel, “to seeing the United States and China playing a more constructive role in the coming negotiations.”

Arctic

Greenland ice sheet will virtually completely disappear, raising sea levels by over 30 feet, submerging coastal cities, entire island nations and vast areas of low-lying countries like Bangladesh

Latin America

The Amazon rainforest will become dry savannah as rising temperatures and falling water levels kill the trees, stoke forest fires and kill off wildlife

North America

California and the grain-producing Midwest will dry out as snows in the Rockies decrease, depriving these areas of summer water

Australia

The Great Barrier Reef will die. Species loss will occur by 2020 as corals fail to adapt to warmer waters. On land, drought will reduce harvests

Europe

Winter sports suffer as less snow falls in the Alps and other mountains; up to three-fifths of wildlife dies out. Drought in Mediterranean area hits tourism

Africa

Harvests could be cut by up to half in some countries by 2020, greatly increasing the threat of famine. Between 75 million and 250 million people are expected to be short of water within the next 30 years

© 2007 Independent News and Media Limited

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Re:The Flipping Point
« Reply #144 on: 2007-11-29 12:41:09 »
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[Blunderov] A theory that I happened upon somewhere on the bit bucket held that the inevitability of the drastic consequences of climate change have been fully comprehended in the upper echelons of the American powers-that-be for some time. The theory also holds that a decision has been taken to throw the rule books out of the window and to make sure that as many Americans as possible survive the catastrophe ("get over the hump") at no matter whom else's expense.

It seems to have something to recommend it, this theory. Nothing that I can recall of in America's recent behaviour seems to falsify it. The USA has all too obviously been behaving as if there is no tomorrow economically, militarily and politically.  And it might explain why the strategy of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) is all of a sudden a complete non starter in the nuclear arena. God forbid that resource rich countries should have an effective means of defending themselves.

http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/Mr-Bad-Example-lyrics-Warren-Zevon/54F138901359668248256C95000CE2B3

Mr. Bad Example Lyrics
Artist(Band):Warren Zevon

Written By Warren Zevon & Jorge Calderon
c. 1991, Zevon Music,
administered by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing corp./Googolplex Music BMI

I started as an altar boy, working at the church
Learning all my holy moves, doing some research
Which led me to a cash box, labeled "Children's Fund"
I'd leave the change, and tuck the bills inside my cummerbund

I got a part-time job at my father's carpet store
Laying tackless stripping, and housewives by the score
I loaded up their furniture, and took it to Spokane
And auctioned off every last naugahyde divan

I'm very well aquainted with the seven deadly sins
I keep a busy schedule trying to fit them in
I'm proud to be a glutton, and I don't have time for sloth
I'm greedy, and I'm angry, and I don't care who I cross

I'm Mr. Bad Example, intruder in the dirt
I like to have a good time, and I don't care who gets hurt
I'm Mr. Bad Example, take a look at me
I'll live to be a hundred, and go down in infamy

Of course I went to law school and took a law degree
And counseled all my clients to plead insanity
Then worked in hair replacement, swindling the bald
Where very few are chosen, and fewer still are called

Then on to Monte Carlo to play chemin de fer
I threw away the fortune I made transplanting hair
I put my last few francs down on a prostitute
Who took me up to her room to perform the flag salute

Whereupon I stole her passport and her wig
And headed for the airport and the midnight flight, you dig?
And fourteen hours later I was down in Adelaide
Looking through the want ads sipping Fosters in the shade

I opened up an agency somewhere down the line
To hire aboriginals to work the opal mines
But I attached their wages and took a whopping cut
And whisked away their workman's comp and pauperized the lot

I'm Mr. Bad Example, intruder in the dirt
I like to have a good time, and I don't care who gets hurt
I'm Mr. Bad Example, take a look at me
I'll live to be a hundred and go down in infamy

I bought a first class ticket on Malaysian Air
And landed in Sri Lanka none the worse for wear
I'm thinking of retiring from all my dirty deals
I'll see you in the next life, wake me up for meals


http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=KEN20071129&articleId=7484

UN report: Severe climate change may now be 'inevitable'

by Zoe Kenny

Global Research, November 29, 2007
Greeen Left Review 

Despite the fact that the November 24 federal election was supposed to be a “climate-change election”, the release on November 17 of the fourth and final report from the UN’s Intergovernental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) barely garnered manstream media attention.

However, along with all the “usual” warnings about the dangers of climate change — the increase of extreme weather conditions such as droughts, floods, fires and storms and the escalation of human suffering due to hunger, malnutrition, disease and displacement — the report contained another crucial finding that has profound implications for humanity. It warned that we may have already passed the threshold beyond which dangerous climate change is inevitable.

“What the report establishes is that the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is already above the threshold that could potentially cause dangerous climate change”, Tim Flannery, one of Australia’s best known scientists and the winner of the 2007 Australian of the Year award, told the ABC’s October 8 Lateline program about the latest IPCC report.

Flannery, who had access to a preview of the report before its public release on November 17, said: “We thought we’d be at that threshold within about a decade, we thought we had that much time. But the new data indicates that in about mid-2005 we crossed that threshold. So as of mid-2005, there was about 455 parts per million of what’s called carbon dioxide equivalent…

“So I guess if I was trying to summarise it, what it says is that we already stand an unacceptable risk of dangerous climate change and the need for action is ever more urgent.”

The language of the synthesis report is stronger than previous IPCC reports, which have been criticised for their overly conservative assessments of the threat posed by global warming. The latest report, however, warns of “abrupt or irreversible” impacts due to global warming.

“IPCC chiefs headed by chairman Rajendra Pachauri were stung by criticisms from scientists that their report on the physical science of climate change, agreed in February, had painted too rosy a picture”, the November 22 New Scientist reported. “The charge was that their efforts to concentrate on findings with a 90 per cent certainty or better had resulted in them leaving out scarier but less certain scenarios. The synthesis report tries to make amends. For instance, the February report predicted that sea levels will rise between 18 and 59 centimetres by 2100.”

Releasing the latest report, Pachauri acknowledged that a minimum sea level rise, even if emissions dropped rapidly, would be between 0.4 and 1.4 metres. He also accepted that if there were to be partial melting of polar ice sheets, this could lead to metres not centimeters of sea level rise.

However, even these predictions already seem out of step with the rapidity of climate change currently occurring. For example, a report by Australian-based climate change lobby group, the Carbon Equity Project, entitled The Big Melt, notes that the current rate of melting and disintegration of Arctic Sea ice could mean open blue seas in the northern summer as early as 2013 — a full century ahead of the IPCC’s projections.

The Big Melt concludes that the rapid melting of Arctic Sea ice shows that the currently politically acceptable goal of aiming for a maximum of 2oC increase in global temperatures above the pre-Industrial Revolution level is no longer tenable. Instead, the current effects of an almost 1oC rise could already be triggering runaway climate change.

Unsurprisingly, the daunting scale of the problem, and the limited time-frame for which effective action can be taken, has newly dramatised the issue for most people, particularly over the last two years.

In the rich countries of Australia, Western Europe and the US demonstrations for action on climate change are becoming increasingly frequent and action groups are proliferating — no doubt spurred on by the realisation that the rich countries have been primarily responsible for creating the problem and thus have the greatest responsibility for solving it.

However, another potentially deadly reaction can also result — despair that anything can be done or at least done in time. The November 15 Canberra Times reported on a British survey that found that almost a quarter of respondents had become “bored with eco news”. The report noted that while 77% were “still engaged” with the issue, “it would be a mistake to ignore the fact that some have gone from ‘aware’ to ‘despair’ in a very short period of time”.

For those who are daunted but not despairing, there is another equally dangerous conclusion that can be drawn — that it is too late to change the existing political and economic structures that are the chief obstacles to solving the problem and therefore that environmental activists should confine themselves to working within these structures.

But how far will attitudes like these take us? Isn’t it the current system that has brought us to the point of disaster? Scientists have been warning about global warming for more than 20 years, but this hasn’t spurred on the ruling political elites, tied as they are to the polluting corporations, to take serious measures to halt global warming.

Today the talk from governments in the highest per capita CO2 emitters, like Australia and the US, is all about promoting illusory solutions such “clean coal” and pollution trading scheme — “solutions” that entrench, rather than challenge, the interests of a wealthy business minority that has huge financial investments in the use of fossil fuels.

We need radical political and economic change in order to break the bonds between those in political power and those who profit from the use of fossil fuels, the source of global warming. Only then can the path be opened for a rapid “de-carbonisation” of our electricity generation and transportation systems.

But we don’t only need fundamental political change to stop global warming, but also to be able to minimise the impact of its effects on the lives and livelihoods of working people in both the rich and poor countries.

The fact is today’s world, dominated by voracious profit-hungry neoliberal capitalism, is utterly incapable of either minimising the extent of global warming or ameliorating its worst effects on the poor and vulnerable.

Certainly this is most evident in the Third World. In his article “2007: The Year of Climate Catastrophe” (posted on the British Marxsite.com website), British socialist Phil Hearse listed just some of the climate-change related natural disasters that have occurred this year, including:

“•Two waves of massive flooding in China in June and September-October in the centre and south of the country that have killed more than 1000 people. Connected with the same storms over southern China, Vietnam suffered widespread flooding in October and November which by the time this was written (early November) had killed more than 120 people.

“•The worst floods in living memory in Central Africa, stretching from coast to coast, devastating crops and drowning hundreds…

“•What the Mexican president called the ‘greatest natural disaster of the country’s history’ as the state of Tabasco was submerged for the second time in a decade, leaving dozens dead and making 100,000 homeless.

“•Hundreds died in India in several waves of flooding from Mumbai, where 500 died, to Bihar where a similar trail of devastation occurred.”

What has been the response of ruling elites in the rich countries to these disasters? Hearse wrote: “Much of this catastrophe has hardly been reported in the Western media — the fire risk to homes of Malibu celebs [during the major summer fires in California in late September] is of course of much more interest to the right-wing media than millions of workers and peasants in Africa or Asia!”

This is not to say that climate change induced suffering and exacerbated inequality will only affect those in poor countries. The horrendous neglect by President George Bush’s administration of New Orleans’ mainly poor black residents in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina was a stark warning that the poor and marginalised within the wealthy countries will most likely be left to fend for themselves when the catastrophic effects of climate change hit.

It seems that the US ruling elite is more interested in planning for a proliferation of climate change-induced wars over increasingly scarce supplies of food, water and oil than actually acting to stop climate change.

In February 2004, Fortune magazine reported that the Pentagon’s latest planning for future wars is centred on “the eruption of desperate, all-out wars over food, water, and energy supplies”.

The article reported that the Pentagon’s planners envisage the US building “a fortress around itself to preserve resources. Borders are strengthened to hold back starving immigrants from Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean islands — waves of boat people pose especially grim problems.”

This the barbaric “vision” that the rulers of the world’s richest country have for dealing with the social consequences of rapid onset of global warming.

There is an alternative path, exemplified by socialist Cuba. Despite being a poor country subjected for 45 years to US economic blockade, Cuba has made some unparalled environmental achievements. Through transforming its agricultural system from fossil-fuel intensive farming to organic agriculture, reforesting significant sections of its land area, and implementing large-scale energy-efficiency measures, Cuba has become the only nation to achieve sustainable development, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Cuba’s approach to minimising the impact of natural disasters on its population also contrasts starkly with the approach of the US after Hurricane Katrina. A 2002 Oxfam report concluded that Cuba’s “Civil Defence Force, early warning system, well-equipped rescue teams, emergency stockpiles and other resources ... are impressive, but if they were the only determining factor, then other wealthier countries such as the United States would have lower disaster death tolls. Thus, it is equally important to consider the role played by other ‘intangible’ qualities in making the Cuban system work so well. These include community mobilization, solidarity, clear political commitment to safeguard human life and a population that is ‘disaster-aware’ and educated in the necessary actions to be taken in the event of a disaster.”

The Oxfam report noted that “Cuba achievements in [natural disaster] risk reduction” are founded on a “socio-economic model that reduces vulnerability and invests in social capital through universal access to government services and promotion of social equity”.

These achievements are a product of the Cuba’s socialist orientation following its 1959-60 anti-capitalist revolution. As a result, Cuba has a government that seeks to look after the needs of the majority of its people, instead of the profits of a tiny minority of big-business-owning families.

Combatting the mounting climate-change catastrophe will require similar radical changes across rest of the world, so that we can create an international social and economic order based on human solidarity, not private greed.


Global Research Articles by Zoe Kenny

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Re:The Flipping Point
« Reply #145 on: 2007-12-14 11:09:20 »
Reply with quote

Interestingly this theory is much more than a theory, its strategic doctrine. But it isn't limited to the US.

In the early 1970s the Rand Corporation developed models based on the results of the Club of Rome studies. These models proved what is intuitively obvious. When resources are overstrained, that the greatest number of survivors, and the best outcomes for the survivors all occur when the population is rapidly reduced to sustainable levels rather than through long, slow attrition.The most acceptable way of achieving this was deemed to be the launching of a preemptive strike to reduce population levels. A significant part of the calculation was the expectation that this preemptive strike would be responded to and thus the reduction would be on both sides of the iron and bamboo curtains. This was adopted as doctrine by 1976 and was updated in 1986 and worryingly in 1996 after the collapse of the Soviet Union.I don't know if it was addressed in 2006, but given the Bush administration's talent at never missing an opportunity to make a bad situation worse, I would be surprised had it not been.

While the Club of Rome was wrong about the when, and failed to predict the havoc we would cause ourselves with Global Climate Change it looks as if the places are now thoroughly set at this table.It would go a long way to explaining the interest by the elite in Northward circulating areas in the Southern Hemisphere (which may be the healthiest places to be living for some time). The sad part of this is that like many strategic policies, implementation is not driven by a particular decision maker, but is determined by a model based in a complex array of interlinked factors - many of them economic - which means that at some point the model will say, "this situation is recognized as having been triggered" and the humans will say, "Well what is the correct response" and the system will say "Here is the best plan" and boom, there we go.

Stopping this progression probably entails persuading a large number of people that there are, in fact, viable alternatives. A space elevator might do that. So might some of the things I'm working on. But I am concerned that the time to act might be far shorter than most people imagine. Rather than the 2025 era projected by most sources; the interlinked nature of everything seems to be pushing multiple crises neared and faster. And paralysis caused by the Bush unregimes immense stupidity and vast squandering of resources has played a significant role in this.

Probably none of this is what 1066 and all that* would have referred to as "a good thing".

0413775275

Kindest Regards

Hermit

*http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0413775275/thechurchofvirusA]1066 & All That: A Memorable History Of England, Comprising All The Parts You Can Remember, Including 103 Good Things, 5 Bad Kings And 2 Genuine Dates, W. C. Sellar , Methuen Humour, 1930
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With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
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Re:The Flipping Point
« Reply #146 on: 2007-12-14 12:24:04 »
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2007 among warmest years on record


Source: Associated Press
Authors: Jennifer C Kerr(Associated Press Writer), Seth Borenstein (AP Science Writer)
Dated: 2007-12-13
Dateline: Washington

Refer also: National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration

A vast swath of the United States was warmer than usual this year, leading to severe drought conditions and wildfires in the West and Southeast. Texas, the Lone Star state, stood alone, the only one to record below average temperatures.

Preliminary data released Thursday by federal scientists predict the annual average temperature for 2007 across the contiguous United States at near 54.3 degrees Fahrenheit — making the year the eighth warmest since records were first kept in 1895. Worldwide, the average temperature for the year, expected to be near 58 degrees Fahrenheit, is on pace to be the fifth warmest ever, said the report by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center.

"Within the last 30 years, the rate of warming is about three times greater than the rate of warming since 1900," said Jay Lawrimore, chief of the climate monitoring branch at the center. "The annual temperatures continue to be either near-record or at record levels year in and year out."

In the United States, the months of March and August were the second warmest in more than 100 years. Six states — Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida — had the warmest August month on record.

In 113 years of record keeping, all but four states — Texas, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont — experienced either above average or significantly above average temperatures from January through November. Wyoming had its second warmest year; Idaho and Utah had the fifth-warmest years on record.

North Carolina had the driest year so far. From midsummer into December, more than three-quarters of the Southeast was in drought, the report said.

The problem in Texas, Lawrimore said, was too much rain that led to flooding and the wettest summer on record. The cloudy and rainy weather for much of the year contributed to the cooler temperatures for the state, he said.

Globally, seven of the eighth warmest years on record have occurred since 2001, and the 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1997, said the report.

"When you see these numbers, it's screaming out at you, 'This is global warming,'" said climate scientist Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria in Canada. "It's the beginning and it's unequivocal."

Weaver said previous warm weather records probably would have been broken this year were it not for some cooling toward the end of the year because of La Nina — a cooling of the mid-Pacific equatorial region.

At a U.N. climate conference on Bali this week, delegates from nearly 190 nations, including the United States, have been trying to hammer out a roadmap for negotiations for a new global warming pact that would take effect in 2012 after the current one expires. Former vice president and Nobel laureate Al Gore told delegates Thursday that the United States was "principally responsible" for blocking progress toward an agreement on launching negotiations to replace the Kyoto Protocol.

Gore won this year's Nobel Peace Prize for helping alert the world to the danger of climate change.

As the world warms, scientists fear an increase in disease, killer weather and the extinction of vast numbers of species.

Globally, the greatest warming took place in high altitude regions of the Northern Hemisphere, the NOAA report said. The impact of that can be seen in the large reductions in Arctic sea ice, which is melting so rapidly that some scientists have predicted it could disappear entirely by the summer of 2040. The U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center in September estimated the surface area of the Arctic sea ice nearly 23 percent below the previous record set in 2005. [Hermit: As this ice is already floating, its melting does not affect global sea levels except in so far as the warmer temperatures have already caused a rise in sea levels due to thermal expansion. However, as it melts it also reduces the amount of heat that can be absorbed before air temperatures rise causing faster melting of the Greenland ice cap. And once that has melted, sea levels will be far higher than they are today. Refer e.g. http://geongrid.geo.arizona.edu/arcims/website/slrworld/viewer.htm for an interactive map.]

The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration will update its data in early January to reflect the last few weeks of December.
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Re:The Flipping Point
« Reply #147 on: 2008-02-15 17:33:46 »
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Past greenhouse warming events provide clues to what the future may hold


If carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels continue on a "business-as-usual" trajectory, humans will have added about 5 trillion metric tons of carbon to the atmosphere by the year 2400. A similarly massive release of carbon accompanied an extreme period of global warming 55 million years ago known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM).


Source: University of California, Santa Cruz
Authors: Not Credited
Dated: 2008-02-15

Scientists studying the PETM are piecing together an increasingly detailed picture of its causes and consequences. Their findings describe what may be the best analog in the geologic record for the global changes likely to result from continued carbon dioxide emissions from human activities, according to James Zachos, professor of Earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

"All the evidence points to a massive release of carbon at the PETM, and if you compare it with the projections for anthropogenic carbon emissions, it's roughly the same amount of carbon," Zachos said. "The difference is the rate at which it was released--we're on track to do in a few hundred years what may have taken a few thousand years back then."

Zachos and his collaborators have been studying marine sediments deposited on the deep ocean floor during the PETM and recovered in sediment cores by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. He will discuss their findings, which reveal drastic changes in ocean chemistry during the PETM, in a presentation at the annual meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston on Friday, February 15. His talk is part of a symposium entitled "Ocean Acidification and Carbon-Climate Connections: Lessons from the Geologic Past."

The ocean has the capacity to absorb huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But as carbon dioxide dissolves in the ocean, it makes the water more acidic. That, in turn, could make life more difficult for corals and other marine organisms that build shells and skeletons out of calcium carbonate.

Technically, the "acidification" is a lowering of the pH of ocean water, moving it closer to the acidic range of the pH scale, although it remains slightly alkaline. Lowering the pH affects the chemical equilibrium of the ocean with respect to calcium carbonate, reducing the concentration of carbonate ions and making it harder for organisms to build and maintain structures of calcium carbonate. Corals and some other marine organisms use a form of calcium carbonate called aragonite, which dissolves first, while many others build shells of a more resistant form called calcite.

"As the carbonate concentration starts to decrease, it becomes harder for some organisms to build their shells. They have to use more energy, and eventually it's impossible--in laboratory experiments, they precipitate some shell during the day, and overnight it dissolves," Zachos said. "If you lower the carbonate concentration enough, corals and eventually even calcite shells start to dissolve."

The effect of ocean acidification on the chemistry of calcium carbonate is reflected in the sediment cores from the PETM. Marine sediments are typically rich in calcium carbonate from the shells of marine organisms that sink to the seafloor after they die. Sediments deposited at the start of the PETM, however, show an abrupt transition from carbonate-rich ooze to a dark-red clay layer in which the carbonate shells are completely gone (see earlier press release).

Ocean acidification starts at the surface, where carbon dioxide is absorbed from the atmosphere, and spreads to the deep sea as surface waters mix with deeper layers. The calcium carbonate in marine sediments on the seafloor provides a buffer, neutralizing the increased acidity as the shells dissolve and enabling the ocean to absorb more carbon dioxide. But the mixing time required to bring acidified surface waters into the deep sea is long--500 to 1,000 years, according to Zachos.

"We are adding all this carbon dioxide in less than one mixing cycle. That's important for how the ocean buffers itself, and it means the carbonate concentration in surface waters will get low enough to affect corals and other organisms, assuming emissions continue on the current trajectory," he said.

In a recent article in Nature (January 17, 2008), Zachos and coauthors Gerald Dickens of Rice University and Richard Zeebe of the University of Hawaii provided an overview of the PETM and other episodes of greenhouse warming in the past 65 million years. These "natural experiments" can help scientists understand the complex interactions that link the carbon cycle and the climate.

Christina Ravelo, a professor of ocean sciences at UCSC and coorganizer of the symposium at which Zachos will speak, said climate records preserved in seafloor sediments provide a valuable test for the climate models scientists use to predict the future consequences of greenhouse gas emissions.

"There are no exact analogs in the past for what is happening now, but we can use past climates to test the models and improve them," Ravelo said. "The ocean drilling program is the only way to get really good records of these past warm periods."

Current climate models tend to have difficulty replicating the features of warm periods in the past, such as the PETM, she said. "Even though the models do a great job of simulating the climate over the past 150 years, the future probably holds many climatic surprises. As you run the models farther into the future, the uncertainties become greater."

A particular concern over the long run is the potential for positive feedback that could amplify the initial warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions. For example, one possible cause of the PETM is the decomposition of methane deposits on the seafloor, which could have been triggered by an initial warming. Methane hydrates are frozen deposits found in the deep ocean near continental margins. Methane released from the deposits would react with oxygen to form carbon dioxide. Both compounds are potent greenhouse gases.

"We have some new evidence that there was a lag between the initial warming and the main carbon excursion of the PETM," said Zachos, who is a coauthor of a paper describing these findings in the December 20/27, 2007, issue of Nature. "It's consistent with the notion of a positive feedback, with an initial warming causing the hydrates to decompose," he said.

Although this raises the possibility that the current global warming trend might trigger a similar release of methane from the ocean floor, that would not happen any time soon. It would take several centuries for the warming to reach the deeper parts of the ocean where the methane hydrate deposits are, Zachos said.

"By slowing the rate of carbon emissions and warming, we may be able to avoid triggering a strong, uncontrolled positive feedback," he said.
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Re:The Flipping Point
« Reply #148 on: 2008-02-16 03:23:39 »
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Quote from: Hermit on 2007-12-14 12:24:04   

2007 among warmest years on record

Or, to say it another way, using HadCRUT's station-based data, the coldest year this century with December 2007 being the coldest month this century.

January 2008 gave us record cold temperatures in Iowa, United Arab Emirates, North India, South Carolina, Washington State and Oregon. Places like North Carolina, Pakistan, Canada, etc. having near to record cold temperatures.

But, it isn't 'global warming' anymore, it is 'climate change,' which means no matter what happens with the climate the hypothesis fits.

-iolo



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Re:The Flipping Point
« Reply #149 on: 2008-02-16 07:24:49 »
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[Hermit] Data cherry picking can be such fun.

[Iolo Morganwg] <snip> using HadCRUT's station-based data <huge snip>

[Hermit] However from the cited [without qualification and thus unimpeachable] source at http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/



Which, like the averaged datasets themselves, tells a somewhat different story to the perception which Iolo Morganwg might be attempting to project here.

[Hermit] Does somebody have an axe to grind? Perhaps it isn't the IPCC.
« Last Edit: 2008-02-16 07:26:13 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
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