Do you believe in man-made climate change?

12468086's picture
Rank: Neanderthal | 2,143

Interested to hear what WSO thinks of this. I am in two minds with this one, Its a tough one and in general you can't dare to question the validity of some government scientists

Comments (144)

Best Response
Dec 8, 2016

It's pretty simple for me. I trust scientists with my air travel, medicine, etc and I'm not going to cherry-pick one thing to be super skeptical about just because it's inconvenient to me. Also, who stands to profit in this scenario? If I look at oil companies vs. academics, the answer is pretty obvious, even though I've seen hilariously construed arguments arguing that it's actually the scientists.

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Dec 8, 2016

Records in regard are well less than a century old. Earth is billions of yrs old. It is a simple fraction. 50yrs/billions of yrs equals not conclusive. Don't take your daily vitamins every day Corey.

Love your neighbor as yourself. The enemy is rarely the men in opposing uniforms.

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Dec 8, 2016

Again, don't you think scientists take that into account? Also they can infer climate circumstances from other means besides thermometer records. But hey I'll defer to the risk management college student over PHD's. Sorry bro, didn't mean nothing by it.

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Dec 8, 2016

you're an ignorant moron. no offense.

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Dec 8, 2016

I am pretty sure the consensus is that the climate is changing and certain green house gases produced by man contribute to this i.e CO2 (fossil fuels), CH4 and N2O; however, in my CHEM 2200 class we performed an analysis to derive the relative level of green house gases produced by man, and it was about 5% of total green house gases currently in our atmosphere (not including water vapor). One thing my professor mentioned is that water vapor is the most prevalent green house gas and is often ignored when we talk about green house gases.

This is the first link that is displayed when I googled "man made green house gases vs total green house gases"
http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data....
To my understanding, this analysis is pretty easy to replicate (seeing as we did it as sophomores in college).

Since vegetation takes CO2 out of the atmosphere (CO2 is between 70% and 85% of all non-water vapor GHGs, depending on the resource you rely on), and man is responsible for various deforestation initiatives, man's contribution of additional greenhouse gases does not fully gauge it's contribution to climate change. I am sure there are other talking points I am not aware of as well. The debate is whether or not man's impact is material.

Charts like this are a little short sighted
https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/state-temps/data/NewYork_tavg_Annual.png

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/state-te...
Earth is 4.5 billion years old, so 120 years is hardly a data set. However, there is technology which can estimate the temperature thousands of years back. The question is how reliable is this technology and is 10,000 years even a significant data set?

The climate change theory has created an entire industry. To ask who stands to profit from it makes me question your financial aptitude.

Dec 8, 2016

Totally an off-topic tangent here, but I started reading the first link "g-e-o-c.... GEOCITIES?!" Obviously finished but I had completely forgot about those Geocities websites from the 90's. That's probably back when we used Netscape too.

Dec 8, 2016
Brosef Stalin17:

Earth is 4.5 billion years old, so 120 years is hardly a data set..

Well put

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Dec 14, 2016

An entirely new industry? What's wrong with that. especially since there are real economic advantages to be gained regardless of whether climate change is man-made or not?

Dec 8, 2016

But in reality it's not that simple. Unlike pregnancy, you can be a little in and a little out. There are nearly limitless positions one can have on climate change, ranging from the position that the climate is changing, it's caused by man, the climate changing is completely bad, and we have to do something yesterday to avoid catastrophe and that policy prescription is centered on cap-and-trade and "clean" renewable energy to the position that the climate is changing, mankind has some influence, there are pros and cons to climate change, and the cons are manageable and that one of the policy prescriptions is nuclear. The problem is, the former position in my list has turned into a religion and anyone who doesn't hold that position is a "denier," or, as you insinuate, doesn't "trust scientists."

Dec 9, 2016

Under your assumption people were right to believe cigarettes weren't harmful in the 50's? Or that it could even benefit a mother during pregnancy?

I'm not trying to nitpick, and it is 2016 not 1950, but I think your logic regarding the scientific community could be flawed. My belief is we probably don't have nearly enough information to make a case either way.

Dec 8, 2016

It's obviously the polar bears.

Dec 8, 2016

Man-made climate change is a hoax!!
It's God-made. It was the flood last time. This time its the oven :)

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Dec 8, 2016

What do "government scientists" have to do with this? You need to do more scientific research on this (if you've done any at all). I am not referring to blog posts and conspiracy theories - I'm referring to peer-reviewed, scientific research.

There is absolute scientific consensus (based on evidence) that climate change is a man-made phenomenon, and if left unchecked will result in disastrous consequences for future generations of humans (and indeed, all other life on Earth). Denying anthropogenic climate change is no less idiotic than denying evolution - it is a fact.

You state that you are "of two minds" with regards to climate change. Are you a scientist with enough knowledge and evidence capable of refuting the entire scientific community and the associated body of research on anthropogenic climate change? If so, feel free to publish your research - the world would like to see it. If not then what are you hesitant about? Are you "of two minds" when you cross a bridge constructed by engineers? What about when flying on a plane? Although not all humans are scientists, they don't need to be; rational individuals trust in the scientific consensus (based on evidence) of the professionals.

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Dec 8, 2016

OP was trying to start a discussion. You belittle him saying he needs to do more research and then fail to cite anything when you assert there is "absolute scientific consensus (based on evidence)." You also deride OP for saying he is "of two minds." Why is it so hard to comprehend someone is spending time coming to an independent decision and not immediately hopping on one pole or the other?

You are everything that is wrong with our country.

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Dec 8, 2016
trader_timmy:

OP was trying to start a discussion. You belittle him saying he needs to do more research and then fail to cite anything when you assert there is "absolute scientific consensus (based on evidence)." You also deride OP for saying he is "of two minds." Why is it so hard to comprehend someone is spending time coming to an independent decision and not immediately hopping on one pole or the other?

You are everything that is wrong with our country.

I am unable to comprehend why my post triggered you. If it truly did upset you as much as you claim, might I suggest leaving the internet and returning once you gain more maturity.

My post was written as a response to the OP - it was not made to troll or degrade him.

If you would like further information then might I suggest you scroll down to my other post.

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Dec 8, 2016
QGKZ:

What do "government scientists" have to do with this? You need to do more scientific research on this (if you've done any at all). I am not referring to blog posts and conspiracy theories - I'm referring to peer-reviewed, scientific research.

There is absolute scientific consensus (based on evidence) that climate change is a man-made phenomenon, and if left unchecked will result in disastrous consequences for future generations of humans (and indeed, all other life on Earth). Denying anthropogenic climate change is no less idiotic than denying evolution - it is a fact.

You state that you are "of two minds" with regards to climate change. Are you a scientist with enough knowledge and evidence capable of refuting the entire scientific community and the associated body of research on anthropogenic climate change? If so, feel free to publish your research - the world would like to see it. If not then what are you hesitant about? Are you "of two minds" when you cross a bridge constructed by engineers? What about when flying on a plane? Although not all humans are scientists, they don't need to be; rational individuals trust in the scientific consensus (based on evidence) of the professionals.

Evolution is a fact? Are you retarded? Even Darwin doesn't agree with you.

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Dec 8, 2016
vik2000:

QGKZ:What do "government scientists" have to do with this? You need to do more scientific research on this (if you've done any at all). I am not referring to blog posts and conspiracy theories - I'm referring to peer-reviewed, scientific research.There is absolute scientific consensus (based on evidence) that climate change is a man-made phenomenon, and if left unchecked will result in disastrous consequences for future generations of humans (and indeed, all other life on Earth). Denying anthropogenic climate change is no less idiotic than denying evolution - it is a fact.You state that you are "of two minds" with regards to climate change. Are you a scientist with enough knowledge and evidence capable of refuting the entire scientific community and the associated body of research on anthropogenic climate change? If so, feel free to publish your research - the world would like to see it. If not then what are you hesitant about? Are you "of two minds" when you cross a bridge constructed by engineers? What about when flying on a plane? Although not all humans are scientists, they don't need to be; rational individuals trust in the scientific consensus (based on evidence) of the professionals.

Evolution is a fact? Are you retarded? Even Darwin doesn't agree with you.

Indeed, I must be.

Dec 8, 2016
vik2000:

Evolution is a fact? Are you retarded? Even Darwin doesn't agree with you.

What? The theory of evolution is universally accepted by the scientific community.

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Dec 8, 2016

Dude, what? Evolution is a rudimentary fact. Go to a fucking children's museum if you can't comprehend research on it.

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Dec 8, 2016

Let me preface my statement by saying that I do respect your viewpoint, but the problem is, it's NOT a scientific fact that climate change will have "disastrous" consequences--that's a matter of opinion or interpretation. And therein lies the key disagreement--what public policy, if any, should be implemented to deal with anthropogenic climate change. There are tangible, calculable consequences of cap-and-trade or shutting down the coal industry, ranging from lost jobs to higher energy prices for all Americans. The consequences of climate change, however, are left largely to speculation, even if, in reality, the consequences do turn out to be dire. My larger point is, there is a balance between dealing with climate change and the human consequences of those polices, and good people have come to wildly different conclusions about the proper public policy.

Dec 8, 2016

It's important to note however, there is a difference in magnitude between the costs of cap and trade and associate programs and the effects of what most climate change science is saying will be happening in the next 50-100 years. Although there are costs, its well worth it to do as much as possible.

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Dec 8, 2016
Virginia Tech 4ever:

Let me preface my statement by saying that I do respect your viewpoint, but the problem is, it's NOT a scientific fact that climate change will have "disastrous" consequences--that's a matter of opinion or interpretation. And therein lies the key disagreement--what public policy, if any, should be implemented to deal with anthropogenic climate change. There are tangible, calculable consequences of cap-and-trade or shutting down the coal industry, ranging from lost jobs to higher energy prices for all Americans. The consequences of climate change, however, are left largely to speculation, even if, in reality, the consequences do turn out to be dire. My larger point is, there is a balance between dealing with climate change and the human consequences of those polices, and good people have come to wildly different conclusions about the proper public policy.

The t-stat is probably on the order of 3-4 that the costs of dealing with global warming are lower than the costs of doing nothing.

That said, there are cheaper approaches than cap and trade. We should also discuss using cheap, abundant sources of energy like fusion or nuclear reprocessing to reclaim atmospheric carbon.

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Dec 12, 2016

You have to look at funding sources for scientific studies, who is actually doing the studies on both sides of the argument. Consensus is not science, it is merely people agreeing. I can find tens of thousands of people who agree bigfoot is real, doesn't make their consensus valid.

I've read reports from people studying global warming and believe it is 100% true and is happening. Then I go and look at their sources of funding for the study and find things like NGOs that receive funding from governmental orgs that have a vested interest in global warming being real. This same thing can be said in reverse for those who object to global warming.

The biggest key factor for me, when it comes to data, is the timing of when these debates are hitting their peak. You have to look at everything, which political movements are at their peak globally , which long term weather patterns are happening, etc. The biggest pushes for global warming always happen during El Nino climate patters because that climate pattern happens to provide positive numbers for the global warming camp. While the La Nina climate pattern appears when the talks about global warming subside because the data doesn't skew that direction.

The biggest factor period is the language that is used surrounding the discussion. I use global warming because that is an anchor point and can always accurately describe what is trying to be pushed. You can make arguments about global warming, you can't make arguments about climate change because that is just a reality of time regardless of the activities of any animals on the planet. So to say there is a consensus that climate change is happening is about as useful as agreeing that gravity is real, even though there are idiots that would disagree with that.

To say that all major scientists agree that climate change is man made is also a vastly inaccurate statement. Roughly 30,000 scientists signed a letter to the UN that provided a shit load of data about how the current climate cycle we find ourselves in is completely natural and there is basically nothing we can do about it in any shape be that slowing it down by limiting our outputs or speeding it up by increasing our outputs.

I for one just don't give a shit either way, both sides do downright dispicable things trying to get their point across, be it completely falsifying data to prove their preconceived point, taking money to find a result that the people providing the money find agreeable. Or even more simple than that, finding results that seemingly justify your job title.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

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Dec 12, 2016
heister:

You have to look at funding sources for scientific studies, who is actually doing the studies on both sides of the argument. Consensus is not science, it is merely people agreeing. I can find tens of thousands of people who agree bigfoot is real, doesn't make their consensus valid.

I've read reports from people studying global warming and believe it is 100% true and is happening. Then I go and look at their sources of funding for the study and find things like NGOs that receive funding from governmental orgs that have a vested interest in global warming being real. This same thing can be said in reverse for those who object to global warming.

The biggest key factor for me, when it comes to data, is the timing of when these debates are hitting their peak. You have to look at everything, which political movements are at their peak globally , which long term weather patterns are happening, etc. The biggest pushes for global warming always happen during El Nino climate patters because that climate pattern happens to provide positive numbers for the global warming camp. While the La Nina climate pattern appears when the talks about global warming subside because the data doesn't skew that direction.

The biggest factor period is the language that is used surrounding the discussion. I use global warming because that is an anchor point and can always accurately describe what is trying to be pushed. You can make arguments about global warming, you can't make arguments about climate change because that is just a reality of time regardless of the activities of any animals on the planet. So to say there is a consensus that climate change is happening is about as useful as agreeing that gravity is real, even though there are idiots that would disagree with that.

To say that all major scientists agree that climate change is man made is also a vastly inaccurate statement. Roughly 30,000 scientists signed a letter to the UN that provided a shit load of data about how the current climate cycle we find ourselves in is completely natural and there is basically nothing we can do about it in any shape be that slowing it down by limiting our outputs or speeding it up by increasing our outputs.

I for one just don't give a shit either way, both sides do downright dispicable things trying to get their point across, be it completely falsifying data to prove their preconceived point, taking money to find a result that the people providing the money find agreeable. Or even more simple than that, finding results that seemingly justify your job title.

The consensus of the scientific community and the consensus of non-scientists are not equivalent. We did not develop modern-day medicine, communications, space travel, etc, using the consensus of non-scientists - we did it based on the consensus of the scientific community.

Wikipedia defines science as:

"... a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe."

We do this using the scientific method (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method) and peer review (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method#Pe...).
I am not aware of any scientific consensus that claims Bigfoot is real. However, I am willing to correct my views if they are found to be false. What evidence do you have to support your claim?

Scientific consensus:

100% - Oreskes, 2004: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/306/5702/168... 97% - Doran, 2009: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2009EO0...
97% - Anderegg, 2009: http://www.pnas.org/content/107/27/12107.abstract 97% - Cook, 2013: http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-932...
91% - Verheggen, 2014: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es501998e 93% - Stenhouse, 2014: http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/BAMS-D...
97% - Carlton, 2015: http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-932...

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Dec 8, 2016

See I always thought it was the fish. The fish poop in the oceans. The bacteria in that poop heats up to reproduce, warming the ocean...causing the icebergs to melt.

The fish are clearly the problem.

Perhaps the USDA should make Sushi its own food group.

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Dec 8, 2016

So the Asians killing off sharks and whales are doing so for good purpose afterall?

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Dec 8, 2016

On a related note, the Youtuber Potholer54 has made a number of thoroughly enjoyable videos refuting anthropogenic climate change deniers:

Dec 8, 2016

If this is the same guy that cooks Steve Harvey for saying that evolution is BS, guy is hilarious. If not, look up that video.

Dec 8, 2016

climate change is real, I just don't believe it's solely a human thing. looking at this chart by NOAA (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/temp...) it's pretty evident that there's a strong correlation between CO2 and temperature change. there were no SUVs 300,000 years ago so it's very possible for the planet to cool and warm without human intervention. if you didn't take geology in college, essentially we go through eons of glaciation and warming due to all sorts of things like orbital wobble. there have been times where the arctic was a dense forest, and times when Africa was covered in ice. humans alone will not change that.

do I think humans have exacerbated/not helped the problem? absolutely. do I think anything can be done to stop climate change? fuck no. even if we stop using cars, stop using coal fire plants, and go back to subsistence living, the earth is still in a warming period. the ice caps will melt, the polar bears will adapt, and life as we know it will change but still go on. the earth has been through these cycles before, and they will continue if humans ever become extinct.

what I do think is an issue is pollution affecting water & air quality. I could give a fuck less about CO2 emissions because until alternative energy sources are vastly cheaper and there's infrastructure in place globally (not just your bubbles in San Fran or Denver), it's not a viable replacement. I think Cali did a nice thing by banning plastic bags, I think Sweden's burning of garbage and harvesting the energy is a good step as well, but many parts of the world don't have access to clean water, why don't we fix that before giving me the stink eye at Trader Joe's because I don't have 15 lululemon bags for my bananas. sorry, that was a bit of a tangent.

there's 2 issues here. shiite environmentalists believe that the problem is solely a human problem and if we get rid of all of the plastic, gasoline, coal, nuclear, and convert everything to wind/solar right now, all the problems will be solved. no doubt we'd improve our air quality, no doubt that'd be a step in the right direction, but the problem with environmental intervention on the economy is it creates waste. either wasted spending on subsidies for alternative energy or by preventing expansion of existing energy infrastructure (pipeline protesters trying to protect a contaminated water source, great fucking idea). is that waste outweighing the negative externalities by companies harming the environment? I don't know, it's been a while since I took environmental econ. poorer countries literally could not survive without fossil fuels. you care about the middle east? take away oil and watch the crusades break out again. you care about starving kids in india/nepal? take away oil and watch them die. it's a nice thought, but the economics don't warrant a 100% exit from fossil fuels...yet. invest in the technology, sure, but don't demonize oil companies when you don't understand basic econ.

the other issue is close minded god fearing republicans don't understand science and they believe the Donald when he says retarded things like global warming is due to the chinese. sure, the chinese have terrible air quality, but can we really believe it's all on them? fuck no. so they claim all sorts of conspiracies when the fact of the matter is whether or not humans are causing climate change, CO2 levels are rising. we can make a choice as to whether or not we want to do anything about it, and I think the vast majority of people would agree that it makes sense to keep the earth clean while not infringing upon basic freedoms. for example, I'm not going to start walking to work, but if the new Audi Q5 came out and still could go offroad with an electric/hybrid motor and didn't cost a fortune, I'd buy it. but if my building decided to only use HVAC when there was enough solar/wind power to make it work or we had to suffer brownouts, fuck that.

if the two sides could stop arguing about what's causing climate change and just say something like this, the world would be a better place: "look, whether you think it's a human problem or not, CO2 is rising, and the more that rises, the worse air & water quality get. you may not give a fuck about the polar bears, but I bet you care about not breathing in smog when you're in a deer stand exercising your 2nd amendment rights. so let's come together and just try to leave the planet a little better than we found it, just like they taught you in Sunday school."

I really fucking hate people sometimes, because this issue moreso than many others.

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Dec 8, 2016

Extremely well said, and pretty much exactly how I feel/think about it. I often click on topics, read them, and think about making a comment only to scroll down and see that you've already written almost everything I wanted to say. Clutch.

Member of the Year 2016. FtB is funny, but like Bo--thebrofessor knows.

bro

http://imgur.com/zcnaZ2Z

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Dec 8, 2016

thanks tybro brahe

Dec 8, 2016

What movie is this from

Dec 9, 2016
thebrofessor:

climate change is real, I just don't believe it's solely a human thing. looking at this chart by NOAA (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/temp...) it's pretty evident that there's a strong correlation between CO2 and temperature change. there were no SUVs 300,000 years ago so it's very possible for the planet to cool and warm without human intervention. if you didn't take geology in college, essentially we go through eons of glaciation and warming due to all sorts of things like orbital wobble. there have been times where the arctic was a dense forest, and times when Africa was covered in ice. humans alone will not change that.

do I think humans have exacerbated/not helped the problem? absolutely. do I think anything can be done to stop climate change? fuck no. even if we stop using cars, stop using coal fire plants, and go back to subsistence living, the earth is still in a warming period. the ice caps will melt, the polar bears will adapt, and life as we know it will change but still go on. the earth has been through these cycles before, and they will continue if humans ever become extinct.

what I do think is an issue is pollution affecting water & air quality. I could give a fuck less about CO2 emissions because until alternative energy sources are vastly cheaper and there's infrastructure in place globally (not just your bubbles in San Fran or Denver), it's not a viable replacement. I think Cali did a nice thing by banning plastic bags, I think Sweden's burning of garbage and harvesting the energy is a good step as well, but many parts of the world don't have access to clean water, why don't we fix that before giving me the stink eye at Trader Joe's because I don't have 15 lululemon bags for my bananas. sorry, that was a bit of a tangent.

there's 2 issues here. shiite environmentalists believe that the problem is solely a human problem and if we get rid of all of the plastic, gasoline, coal, nuclear, and convert everything to wind/solar right now, all the problems will be solved. no doubt we'd improve our air quality, no doubt that'd be a step in the right direction, but the problem with environmental intervention on the economy is it creates waste. either wasted spending on subsidies for alternative energy or by preventing expansion of existing energy infrastructure (pipeline protesters trying to protect a contaminated water source, great fucking idea). is that waste outweighing the negative externalities by companies harming the environment? I don't know, it's been a while since I took environmental econ. poorer countries literally could not survive without fossil fuels. you care about the middle east? take away oil and watch the crusades break out again. you care about starving kids in india/nepal? take away oil and watch them die. it's a nice thought, but the economics don't warrant a 100% exit from fossil fuels...yet. invest in the technology, sure, but don't demonize oil companies when you don't understand basic econ.

the other issue is close minded god fearing republicans don't understand science and they believe the Donald when he says retarded things like global warming is due to the chinese. sure, the chinese have terrible air quality, but can we really believe it's all on them? fuck no. so they claim all sorts of conspiracies when the fact of the matter is whether or not humans are causing climate change, CO2 levels are rising. we can make a choice as to whether or not we want to do anything about it, and I think the vast majority of people would agree that it makes sense to keep the earth clean while not infringing upon basic freedoms. for example, I'm not going to start walking to work, but if the new Audi Q5 came out and still could go offroad with an electric/hybrid motor and didn't cost a fortune, I'd buy it. but if my building decided to only use HVAC when there was enough solar/wind power to make it work or we had to suffer brownouts, fuck that.

if the two sides could stop arguing about what's causing climate change and just say something like this, the world would be a better place: "look, whether you think it's a human problem or not, CO2 is rising, and the more that rises, the worse air & water quality get. you may not give a fuck about the polar bears, but I bet you care about not breathing in smog when you're in a deer stand exercising your 2nd amendment rights. so let's come together and just try to leave the planet a little better than we found it, just like they taught you in Sunday school."

I really fucking hate people sometimes, because this issue moreso than many others.

You're invoking a straw man by stating that humans are not solely responsible for changes in the Earth's climate. I am not aware of any research that claims humans are 100% responsible for the Earth's changing climate - that would be an absurd violation of established science.

In science asking the correct question is everything. The question is not whether humans are the sole cause of climate change; the question is to what extent humans are affecting the natural climate cycle and what are the consequences of this. In answering this question, scientists must isolate the natural climate cycle and then compare that with recent evidence to check for divergences. After doing so, there is a clear divergence between the natural climate cycle and recent evidence.

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-07... https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-07...
http://www.skepticalscience.com/images/EOS_Chapman... http://pages.uoregon.edu/rdorsey/geo334/Chapman&Da...

"if you didn't take geology in college, essentially we go through eons of glaciation and warming due to all sorts of things like orbital wobble. there have been times where the arctic was a dense forest, and times when Africa was covered in ice."

Correct.

This is why scientists can ascertain that the level of warming we're currently experiencing is far beyond anything accountable by natural climate cycles.

"humans alone will not change that."

Again, the problem is not that the climate is changing - natural climate cycles have always been here. If that was all then there would never have been any discussion on climate change in the first place. The entire reason we are discussing climate change is because of the disastrous human contribution - not the natural cycle. As such, your statement is incorrect - humans can absolutely change that.

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-07...
"even if we stop using cars, stop using coal fire plants, and go back to subsistence living, the earth is still in a warming period."

This is false.

The Earth has been witnessing record warm temperatures despite the fact that the Earth should have been cooling due to increasing pollution and decreasing solar activity.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/images/tsi_vs_temp... http://www.geol.umd.edu/sgc/lectures/climatepart4....
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GlobalWa... http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GlobalWa...

Our long-term climate models have been extremely accurate in predicting the continuous changes in the Earth's climate for the past 500 million years. Long-term changes in carbon dioxide explain almost all of the changes in temperature.

http://droyer.web.wesleyan.edu/PhanCO2(GCA).pdf http://earth.geology.yale.edu/~ajs/2001/Feb/qn0201...

What the research shows is that human activity is significantly affecting the Earth's natural climate cycles (the ones you alluded to in your post). What makes it significantly worse is that the Earth's climate is a delicate dynamic system consisting of positive and negative feedback loops. Because of these positive feedback loops any artificial contribution by humans results in disproportionately greater damage to the environment (higher sea levels, stronger hurricanes, increased salination, drought and flood, coastal erosion, and acidification of the oceans). That is why relatively small increases in global average temperatures can have such disproportionately disastrous consequences.

"I don't know, it's been a while since I took environmental econ. poorer countries literally could not survive without fossil fuels. you care about the middle east? take away oil and watch the crusades break out again. you care about starving kids in india/nepal? take away oil and watch them die."

You think taking away the oil will cause upheaval in developing nations? What happens when there are (even greater) water and food shortages? Perhaps they can eat and drink the oil?

And its not just developing countries that will suffer. Higher sea levels, stronger hurricanes, increased salination, drought and flood, coastal erosion, and acidification of the oceans - these will have catastrophic effects on the world's resources.

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Dec 8, 2016

If I could give you 2 SBs, I would. Man-made climate change is a disaster, and anyone who argues otherwise hasn't looked at the science.

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Dec 8, 2016

your points are well taken, they still don't solve the issue. the issue is that regardless of the causes of climate change, people disagree on how to tackle the problem. you arguing your point about humans being a bigger contributor than I believe doesn't solve that. I can tell you feel strongly about it, so I'm not here to debate the causes, I'm here to see if we can solve the problem with practical solutions. I don't know what the solution is, but I think debating about the level of human influence or whether or not you think we're "supposed to be" in a cooling period when we're in a warming period is foolish since we both agree that climate change is real.

I appreciate your votes in the WSO poll, you're clearly more educated than me on the subject, but at some point you should ask yourself: if we both agree it's a problem, why am I arguing about the details? it'll save you some stress, and we can peacefully agree to disagree.

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Dec 8, 2016

Government lobbyists and Washington insiders want you to believe this nonsense. Climate change is a hoax. Boeing makes too much money. Sad! Cancel order!

    • 2
Dec 8, 2016

Troll post of the year! Congrats

    • 1
Dec 8, 2016

Climate change!? Bullshit. It's a hoax created by China.

Dec 8, 2016

Plot idea: 97% of the world's scientists contrive an environmental crisis, but are exposed by a plucky band of billionaires & oil companies.

    • 7
Dec 8, 2016

I believe man does impact the climate, but not at the rate that "scientists" have led us to believe over the years (but ~.00000001 impact overall). If man-made climate change were real, why would these scientists skew data to more easily tell the story to fit their narrative? If the data indicated their narrative they would simply have to provide evidence, not tamper with it.

Additionally, the earth goes through warming and cooling cycles, that much is known and understood I believe. according to scientists we should be living in an ice age/hottest temperature of our lives in 2016 when forecasted years ago, yet other data (such as ocean levels, arctic ice, temperature levels) prove otherwise and we are within a normal amount of variation.

I don't believe there are enough datapoints to prove humanity's effect on a planet billions of years old that has gone through extreme amounts of climate change in its history.

    • 4
Dec 8, 2016

Scientists are taking all your factors into account and still believe that global warming is caused by humans. How is this so hard to understand?

    • 6
Dec 8, 2016

I'm not disagreeing with human impact accelerating the speed of the natural climate change process. I am sure it does. but cases like Al Gore selling his company to Qatar a leading oil-producing nation makes you question what the pushers ultimately care about. It's like Dicaprio telling us he believes man needs to change and revert back to Stone Age technology while he can jetset and ride around on his yacht all over the world.

The thing I hate the most is that nobody ever is suggesting a realistic solution to the problem of human pollution, that does not reverse us back to pre-industrial times. I don't know what the solution here is at the end of the day either.

    • 2
Dec 12, 2016

It's hard to understand because half of the data is complete bullshit.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Dec 8, 2016

I think the the one thing both sides of this issue can agree on is pollution. Like @thebrofessor said, there have been warming stages and cooling stages. We won't really be able to stop the warming now, or a cooling in the future. What we can do is be more efficient with resources and figure out better waste management.

Dec 8, 2016
American Psycho:

I think the the one thing both sides of this issue can agree on is pollution. Like @thebrofessor said, there have been warming stages and cooling stages. We won't really be able to stop the warming now, or a cooling in the future. What we can do is be more efficient with resources and figure out better waste management.

@thebrofessor is wrong.

It is disheartening that so many people on WSO are willing to believe opinion posts with no evidence. I realise that people seek confirmation for their biases at the expense of facts, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't expect better from the people on WSO.

As I have previously stated, @thebrofessor is a great contributor. In fact, I gave him my vote (again) for member of the year.

I've attempted to contribute meaningfully, but at the end of the day, people must decide for themselves what to believe. It's always chilling to remember that the only person one can control is oneself.

Best of luck to all.

    • 1
Dec 8, 2016

which post(s) was (were) the opinion post(s)?

Dec 8, 2016

I do believe the scientists on the warming 'consensus.'

But I believe it's perfectly reasonable to question their certainty and question whether there aren't greater factors. Shitting on the 'skeptics' is anti-intellectual even if they're wrong .

And I think some of the proposed solutions are absolutely dumb and hamhanded.

Dec 8, 2016

QGKZ dude, you got the jimmies rustled the fuck out of you. Is there some carbon tax you don't see going through unless brofessor and others agree with you immediately? Panic and scorn won't solve a thing

Dec 8, 2016

If these posts are any indication of popular sentiment, the world needs to accelerate space-related R&D.

Dec 8, 2016

there's a significant amount of sarcasm and climate change acceptance in this thread. I don't think a single person disagrees that the climate is changing. what I think is disagreed upon (and rightly so) is how to solve the problem and to what degree should we attempt to solve the problem. the science is clear, the solutions are not.

Dec 8, 2016

I think the relevant question is the derivative of the one that you posted.

Logically we should proceed to the next step; what are the pros/cons of dealing with it. My ultimate issue is with the liberal argument to the third world "We raped the planet and industrialized, but sorry Asia/Africa, you don't get to". As a bit of an anecdote, the guy who lives in Sub-Saharan Africa in a hut can't afford to buy solar panels, he needs to burn whatever the hell he can find.

It's very easy to legislate Clean Energy when you can afford it. This, in my opinion, is the real discussion that we should be having.

My .02

    • 2
Dec 8, 2016

First, WSO, good job for this thread (mostly) not devolving into a pissing contest. Now onto the topic.

Is the climate changing somewhat? Yes.

Is if affected by mankind? Almost certainly.

To what degree? That's the big question.

Regardless of if humans are here or not, the climate is going to change. We are also looking at a relatively extremely small time series. We should make efforts to cut down on unnecessary pollution, but some of these "environmentalists" go overboard.

Also, scientists really need to stop crying wolf. It hurts their credibility. Back in the 1990's and 2000's scientist claimed that if we didn't do something within a couple years the ice caps would melt, yet they're still here. In 2005 the UN said that by 2010 there would be 50 million "climate refugees," and if there are any now it's a tiny fraction of 50 million.

It's like a guy on TV who is constantly predicting a huge market collapse. One day he will probably be right, but crying wolf doesn't make many people take him seriously.

Dec 8, 2016

THANK YOU

Dec 8, 2016
knowitall:

You think taking away the oil will cause upheaval in developing nations? What happens when there are (even greater) water and food shortages? Perhaps they can eat and drink the oil?

Is this guy for real? Fucking 2016 - taking away oil would definitely cause a reverberating effect in emerging markets and developing nations.

Dec 8, 2016

About the crying wolf stuff, we also saw this with peak oil--for decades scientists and analysts were saying that we've likely reached peak oil and that the consequence is economic calamity, but year after year oil prospectors made further scientific advancements for economically reaching new oil reserves. The U.S. is now the new Saudi Arabia.

From a public policy standpoint, I'm convinced that we will scientifically overcome any potential calamities that lie ahead with climate change, solutions that are both economical and effective. And on this point, there is simply no scientific consensus because future human innovation can't be measured in a lab.

Dec 8, 2016

lmao "believe in" as if we're talking about Santa and not a scientific community consensus based on a very large amount of tangible evidence

might as well ask if we "believe in" dinosaurs

    • 4
Dec 13, 2016
IBERST:

lmao "believe in" as if we're talking about Santa and not a scientific community consensus based on a very large amount of tangible evidence

might as well ask if we "believe in" dinosaurs

I AM A BELIEBER!!!!!

Dec 8, 2016

Here is a good link on this: http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/
Also what do you mean by "government" scientists? University PhDs perpetuate their research through government grants, same for NASA. What in your opinion are "non-government" scientists? Those employed by private corporations? Self-employed?

    • 1
Dec 8, 2016

From reddit:
In the last 650k years, Earth has gone through 7 periods of glacial advance and retreat. The last was 7k years ago, marking the end of the Ice Age.

CO2 was demonstrated to trap heat in the mid 19th century. In the course of the last 650k years, Earth atmospheric CO2 levels has never been above 300ppm, and we know that through mineral deposits, fossils, and arctic ice leaving telltale predictable signs of how much CO2 must have been in the air at the time. Today, CO2 is over 400ppm. Not only have we kept fantastic records pre-industrial revolution, especially the Swedes for centuries, but arctic ice has acted as a more recent history of the last several dozen centuries. CO2 levels has been growing at unprecedented rates and achieving levels higher than we've ever known to occur that wasn't in the wake of planetary disaster and mass extinction. It follows that if CO2 traps heat, and there's more CO2 in the atmosphere than ever before, it's going to trap more heat than ever before.

Sea levels are rising. 17cm over the last century. The last decade alone has seen twice the rise of the previous century. So not only are the oceans rising, but the rate of rise is increasing exponentially.

The Earth's average temperature has increased since 1880, most of that has been in the last 35 years. 15 of the 16 hottest years have been since 2001. We're in a period of solar decline, where the output of the sun cycles every 11 or so years. Despite the sun putting out less energy, the average continues to rise and in 2015 the Earth's average was 1C hotter on average than in 1890. That doesn't sound like much, but if we go some 0.7C hotter, we'll match the age of the dinosaurs when the whole planet was a tropical jungle. That's not a good thing.

The ice caps are losing mass. While we've seen cycles of recession and growth, you have to consider ice is more than area, it's also thickness and density. Yes, we've seen big sheets of ice form, but A) they didn't stay, and B) how thick were they? Greenland has lost 60 cubic miles of ice and Antarctica has lost at least 30 cubic miles, both in the last decade. Greenland is not denying global warming, they're feverishly building ports to poise themselves as one of the most valuable ocean trading hubs in the world as the northern pass is opening, and it's projected you'll be able to sail across the north pole, a place you can currently stand, year-round.

Glacier ice is retreating all over the world, in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, Alaska and Africa.

The number of unprecedented intense weather events has been increasing since 1950 in the US. The number of record highs has been increasing, and record lows decreasing.

The ocean absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere. CO2 and water makes carbonic acid, - seltzer water! The oceans are 30% more acidic since the industrial revolution. 93% of The Great Barrier Reef has been bleeched and 22% and rising is dead as a consequence. The ocean currently absorbs 9.3 billion tons of CO2 a year and is currently absorbing an additional 2 billion tons annually. Not because the ocean is suddenly getting better at it, but because there's more saturation in the atmosphere.

    • 3
Dec 8, 2016
Charizard:

The Earth's average temperature has increased since 1880, most of that has been in the last 35 years. 15 of the 16 hottest years have been since 2001. We're in a period of solar decline, where the output of the sun cycles every 11 or so years. Despite the sun putting out less energy, the average continues to rise and in 2015 the Earth's average was 1C hotter on average than in 1890. That doesn't sound like much, but if we go some 0.7C hotter, we'll match the age of the dinosaurs when the whole planet was a tropical jungle.

Here's what I don't get as a layperson--wasn't the climate warmer 1,000 years ago than it is today? England used to be a hub for wine making due to the much warmer climate. Didn't the Earth enter a "little ice age" from the 14th to 19th centuries? Wouldn't we have expected the climate to have warmed from the late 19th century to today considering that the Earth exited the little ice age around 1870?

Honest question--what am I missing here?

Dec 9, 2016
Virginia Tech 4ever:

Charizard:The Earth's average temperature has increased since 1880, most of that has been in the last 35 years. 15 of the 16 hottest years have been since 2001. We're in a period of solar decline, where the output of the sun cycles every 11 or so years. Despite the sun putting out less energy, the average continues to rise and in 2015 the Earth's average was 1C hotter on average than in 1890. That doesn't sound like much, but if we go some 0.7C hotter, we'll match the age of the dinosaurs when the whole planet was a tropical jungle.

Here's what I don't get as a layperson--wasn't the climate warmer 1,000 years ago than it is today? England used to be a hub for wine making due to the much warmer climate. Didn't the Earth enter a "little ice age" from the 14th to 19th centuries? Wouldn't we have expected the climate to have warmed from the late 19th century to today considering that the Earth exited the little ice age around 1870?

Honest question--what am I missing here?

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GlobalWa...
The current climate is warmer or approximately as warm.

Did you read my above post? It contains information that addresses your question.

"Again, the problem is not that the climate is changing - natural climate cycles have always been here. If that was all then there would never have been any discussion on climate change in the first place. The entire reason we are discussing climate change is because of the disastrous human contribution - not the natural cycle. As such, your statement is incorrect - humans can absolutely change that."

"The Earth has been witnessing record warm temperatures despite the fact that the Earth should have been cooling due to increasing pollution and decreasing solar activity."

http://www.skepticalscience.com/images/tsi_vs_temp... http://www.geol.umd.edu/sgc/lectures/climatepart4....

"These natural causes are still in play today, but their influence is too small or they occur too slowly to explain the rapid warming seen in recent decades. We know this because scientists closely monitor the natural and human activities that influence climate with a fleet of satellites and surface instruments."

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GlobalWa... http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GlobalWa...

The post you quoted also contains similar information.

I want to stress - and hopefully this will help you (and others) understand the problem - that the issue is divergence from the natural climate cycle.

In the immediate period it may SEEM fine to have temperatures equivalent to those of 1000 years ago. However, it is a major divergence from what the present climate SHOULD be had humans not influenced it. The climate actually should have been cooling, due to increasing pollution and decreasing solar activity. However, human activity prevented this from happening by keeping global temperatures artificially higher. Think of this as an 'offsetting' effect - like a 'hedge' in finance.

I will continue using a financial analogy, since it may be effective for this audience.

So what happens in the future when the natural climate cycle starts entering a warming period? Then you have a double-whammy - your 'hedge' and the market (natural climate cycle) start moving in the same direction. What happens in this situation? Your P/L (global temperature) starts increasing in one direction more drastically than it otherwise would have (had the human influence been absent).

Again, look at this graph: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GlobalWa...

    • 1
Dec 8, 2016

If the government is so concerned about global warming, why are they going about solving the issue in the most inefficient way imaginable? Giving billions in subsidies to renewable energy companies and allowing utilities to pass the cost of foolish investments to their customers through price increases with guaranteed rates of return? Why not invest that money in tried and true technologies such as nuclear fission?

As others have mentioned, the American people are getting their eyes fucked out by some very powerful people.

    • 1
Dec 8, 2016

To your point, Al Gore losing the presidency was probably the best thing ever for him--he's made literally hundreds of millions of dollars in the "Clean Energy" racket, and yet for all the wealth he's created for himself, it has had less than zero impact (possibly negative impact) on combating climate change.

And again to your point, if these people--in their heart of hearts--REALLY were concerned about the catastrophic consequences of anthropogenic global warming they'd be absolute prostitutes for nuclear fission.

Dec 8, 2016
Virginia Tech 4ever:

To your point, Al Gore losing the presidency was probably the best thing ever for him--he's made literally hundreds of millions of dollars in the "Clean Energy" racket, and yet for all the wealth he's created for himself, it has had less than zero impact (possibly negative impact) on combating climate change.

And again to your point, if these people--in their heart of hearts--REALLY were concerned about the catastrophic consequences of anthropogenic global warming they'd be absolute prostitutes for nuclear fission.

Who are you referring to? Scientists love nuclear; it's the greatest source of energy humanity has ever created. You need to practice nuance in differentiating between scientists and environmental activists with degrees in sociology.

    • 3
Dec 9, 2016

I'm confused here. What is there to "believe" in? You either trust scientific consensus or you don't. Unless you have an academic background in climate science, your "belief" in it or how to solve it is pretty much irrelevant.

Dec 9, 2016

I wasn't aware that there was a "scientific consensus" on how to solve global anthropogenic climate change. Scientists don't make public policy, they don't negotiate international trade deals, and they don't deal with the political fallout of lost jobs and higher energy prices; that's what politicians do, hence the intensity of the debate. You shut the coal industry down, for example, then you completely fck over the state of West Virginia. West Virginia has 2 senators and several congressmen who represent human beings who may suffer the immediate consequence of climate change public policies. Those politicians--from both political parties--see no "consensus" on how to "solve the problem" if that consensus is to fck over their constituents.

This is the political reality that many of the environmentalist activists have not grasped.

Dec 9, 2016
Virginia Tech 4ever:

I wasn't aware that there was a "scientific consensus" on how to solve global anthropogenic climate change. Scientists don't make public policy, they don't negotiate international trade deals, and they don't deal with the political fallout of lost jobs and higher energy prices; that's what politicians do, hence the intensity of the debate. You shut the coal industry down, for example, then you completely fck over the state of West Virginia. West Virginia has 2 senators and several congressmen who represent human beings who may suffer the immediate consequence of climate change public policies. Those politicians--from both political parties--see no "consensus" on how to "solve the problem" if that consensus is to fck over their constituents.

This is the political reality that many of the environmentalist activists have not grasped.

I do not agree with government intervention and the infringement of economic or social freedoms. As such, I think the argument becomes a moral one - how do we safeguard the planet for future generations without infringing upon people's freedom? This in turn places the responsibility on individuals and depends on their morality as human beings. However, can we depend on individuals to be moral? Can we depend on people to actually accept anthropogenic climate change in the first place? Can we then depend on them to change their habits to combat it (electric vehicles, etc)? If current US politics is any indication of morality then the future of humanity is ...

Dec 9, 2016

Completely and utterly irrelevant. Whether or not West Virginia is screwed over has nothing to do with what the scientific consensus is for combatting climate change. No "environmental activists" deny the political reality that politicians face. Climate scientists just want people to accept the overwhelming evidence that climate change is caused by humans and the consequences of climate change will be destructive if action isn't taken. Republicans in congress block funding for climate change research so it seems like many politicians would rather not even try to "solve the problem".

Dec 9, 2016

I believe in climate change the same way that I believe in gravity, the existence of dogs, or that the Earth is round. I do also think that environmentalists should be more open to nuclear power, especially the technology that is now emerging to re-use previously generated nuclear waste. For those of you with some free time, check out Pandora's Promise on Netflix. It's about environmentalists (all liberal by their own admission) who support nuclear power. It's a great documentary.

    • 2
Dec 9, 2016

Also +1 to the guy differentiating scientists and activists with sociology degrees.

    • 1
Dec 10, 2016

Regardless of it's happening, let me pose a question to readers. Are you dumb enough to think the government, that can't even deliver the mail, will morph into Captain Planet and stop it? Or do you have enough brains to realize it's another excuse to steal your money?

    • 1
Dec 10, 2016

A gentleman sent me a comforting message regarding this thread. I think my response to him would also serve well as a response to some of the opinions voiced in this thread:

It's important to remember that, as human beings, we all want what's best for humanity. We can disagree about how to go about enacting change, but it is unacceptable to dismiss science simply because it reveals an inconvenient truth. Reality is so, regardless of whether we want to accept it or not. And in this case, reality demands urgent change.

Dec 12, 2016

Your comment about we all want what is best for humanity, is complete bullshit. Reference ISIS.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Dec 13, 2016
heister:

Your comment about we all want what is best for humanity, is complete bullshit. Reference ISIS.

It would be beneficial to you to disregard the views of terrorist organisations.

Dec 12, 2016

I don't. Not a big enough sample size and not enough evidence. There are obviously motives behind claiming that our civilization is causing this warming trend...

We are in a warming period, yes....

This was pretty good read IMO

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-12/climate-c...

Dec 13, 2016

I'm confused here. Are climate change skeptics denying the science behind CO2 being a greenhouse gas or is the argument that humans are adding a negligible amount of CO2 to the atmosphere?

Dec 14, 2016
Comment
Dec 13, 2016