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Global warming is real, and caused by humans.

By Absolutely ·
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"Hurricanes are born in the warm waters of the tropical Atlantic and Pacific oceans, which are both getting warmer. Over the 20th century, ocean surface temperatures increased by between 0.32 degrees Celsius in the Pacific tropical region and 0.67 degrees C in the Atlantic tropical region. This has correlated with a twofold increase in category-4 and -5 hurricanes over the last 30 years (ScienceNOW, 17 August). Some researchers maintain that these changes in sea surface temperature (SST) are within the natural variability of climate. Others say that the human-caused climate change is the culprit.

"To figure out just how much people are to blame, atmospheric scientist Ben Santer of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and colleagues compared observed SSTs with the predictions of 22 global climate models. They ran the different models under various physical scenarios, including changes in solar irradiance, volcanic eruptions, and increased sulfate aerosols and greenhouse gas emissions. Only model simulations that included the known human-caused increases in greenhouse gases replicated the observed rise in SST. In total, the team found an 84% probability that two-thirds of the observed temperature changes were caused by human activities. "There is no way of explaining the observed increases without positing a large human impact on these ocean temperatures," Santer says."

Maxwell, don't even start with your BS about political bias: Ben USED the competing models, and they all FAIL to account for the measured change. Address the science, or STFU, please.

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STRATFOR Public Policy Report

by deepsand In reply to I take issue:

Stratfor Public Policy Intelligence Report

Strategic Forecasting

Corporate Campaigns Find a Peak
By Bart Mongoven

The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility's (ICCR) annual meeting of investors, shareholder activists, religious activists, issue advocates and business representatives took place Sept. 21 and 22 in New York. Participants usually discuss new or emerging issues concerning such things as corporations' labor practices, environmental policy and performance, and so forth. This year, however, participants spent very little time on discussions of how to encourage corporate change -- traditionally their focal point -- and spoke instead about root issues (such as AIDS in Africa and access to health care in the United States), and politics (the midterm election and goals for the next Congress) without regard to corporations and their role in policy.

ICCR pioneered the use of shareholder activism as a means of swaying companies to voluntarily change corporate policies, and it has been among the most influential corporate campaigning groups of the past two decades. It excelled during the corporate campaigns of the 1990s and first years of this decade -- before a recent wave of market campaigns convinced corporate managers that a new era was dawning. In the previous era, campaigns usually caught corporations by surprise; activists often made a barrage of allegations against a company to capture the attention of media and shareholders, and strove to keep the corporation off-guard and on the defensive. ICCR representatives would step into this controversial and occasionally acrimonious environment and chart a reasonable path the corporation could follow to satisfy its critics. In the ensuing negotiations, ICCR often elicited significant concessions from targeted corporations.

We noted in June that shareholder activism has reached a plateau, and that winning new levels of support from shareholders is a growing challenge for such activists. It now appears this problem goes even deeper. Corporate campaigning appears to be nearing its zenith, and soon could become a less powerful tool for winning policy changes.

Several factors have acted as catalysts for this change. These include the development of measurement systems to track corporations' social performance and progress, the creation of management structures that are designed to deal with social controversies and growing adoption of voluntary codes of conduct by corporations. In short, corporations are changing their behavior adroitly, but they are also doing so in manageable increments. The businesses are doing the driving, rather than being driven -- and activists, as a result, are looking for other venues through which to bring change.

The Rise of the Market Campaign

During the past six years, the number of nongovernmental activist groups that criticize corporations, in attempts to push corporate policy changes, has boomed. Corporate campaigning is as old as the modern corporation, but the surge of campaigns in recent years was intended to augment the government's de jure regulatory structure with a public policy regime developed and enforced by a vocal political minority.

This trend was driven by two coinciding factors. First was the perception that a new era of globalization had begun. Activists in the United States and Europe who wanted to change the way business was conducted in far-off developing countries found it was difficult or impossible to effect change through the governments of those countries -- and that it was critical to change the activities of corporations instead.

The second factor was frustration among activist groups who were unable to achieve their key objectives through normal political processes. This was most acute in the United States, where liberal activists found little opportunity to instigate regulatory change during a period of Republican control in the House, Senate and White House. Activist groups saw the marketplace as their best alternative venue for bringing change. That said, as market campaigning proved effective, the trend was not limited to the U.S. political left; it was picked up by conservative groups as well. Over the past three years especially, groups from the religious right have waged a number of high-profile corporate campaigns against corporations they view as supporting corrosive or damaging moral values.

Corporate campaigning of all types has slowed in recent months, and new approaches and relationships are developing among corporations and activist groups. Large companies have adjusted to the new campaigns, and consequently, the way activists run corporate campaigns is shifting.

Changing Business

One of the most significant outcomes of the trends of recent years among nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) is the fact that companies now have infrastructure for dealing with corporate campaigns. Large corporations have offices and staff who specialize in dealing with these challenges. As professionals whose job is to work on broad issues of corporate social responsibility have emerged in the market, there also have come waves of innovation in measuring and tracking a company's progress on these issues. The development of management systems and rules for the measurement of social performance has been the most significant driver of the recent changes in corporate-NGO relations.

The most significant innovation has been the monitoring and management systems developed through the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Initially drafted by the corporate social responsibility group Ceres, GRI is an effort to promulgate uniform guidelines for corporate reporting on a wide array of environmental and human rights issues. More than 1,000 major companies, including more than half the Fortune 100, follow GRI's guidelines, and they are rapidly emerging as the basis for a common language for discussions of companies' environmental and social performance.

GRI was initially written by activists for their own purposes, and most NGOs accept reporting that follows GRI requirements. Herein lies its power for corporations: Management systems developed according to the guidelines are generally considered credible. This means that corporations following GRI can set a benchmark based on rules that activists established and constantly measure their performance against that benchmark. Though it is expensive to implement and is still flawed in many ways, GRI -- by providing objective measures, using universally agreed-upon systems and setting out clear management standards -- provides a new level of insurance against activist allegations that have no basis in fact. For those allegations that do have a strong factual basis, corporations, working with NGOs through other management systems, are adept at addressing problems.

Meanwhile, an effort to provide measures for broader corporate social responsibility is in the works at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). These standards, known as ISO 26000, will be complete by 2010. This standard will usher in a new era in corporate-NGO relations and, in so doing, bring new challenges for major corporations. Over the next few years, however, the attention being paid to measuring performance will provide some peace on the corporate campaign front.

From Measuring to Certification

A second important set of steps that corporations have taken in response to the increased use of corporate campaigns involves the development of certification systems -- or at least agreements to develop them. These systems, developed by corporations and their activist critics working together, usually rely upon quantifiable variables and dictate an acceptable set of corporate behaviors. As the number of corporate campaigns has increased, so has the demand for certification systems.

The number of certification systems in place is growing rapidly, and few major industries are not covered by at least one significant code of conduct or certification regime. Activists have been instrumental in developing certifications for the ways companies and banks:

* Market infant formula

* Test and sell drugs in developing countries

* Harvest timber

* Lend to development projects in poor countries

* Catch fish

* Mine gold

* Trade diamonds

* Market alcoholic beverages and tobacco

* Manufacture palm oil

* Grow soybeans

* Recycle computers

* Test products on animals

* Source textiles

and perform other functions.

Most of the certification systems in these examples began with a single corporation reluctantly coming to the negotiating table, under pressure from activists. A code of conduct can take years to develop, but when complete it usually sets a standard that satisfies activists' key concerns and that most corporations can reach while remaining competitive.

The development of codes of conduct and certification systems accelerated when many businesses recognized that if a certification system was being built, it was better for them to be involved than remain passive.

For instance, when the code of conduct on computer recycling was introduced in 2004, a critical issue for the activists at the Computer Take Back Campaign was whether companies would recycle all computers made after a certain date or whether they would be responsible for all the computers they ever sold (products referred to as "legacy waste"). Dell Computer Corp. was the first to begin negotiating the code of conduct with activists, and its interest in the legacy waste issue was clear: It had a distinct advantage if it could develop an industry code that saddled rivals HP (which had merged with Compaq in 199 and IBM with responsibility for recycling all of their old machines, as well as products that would become waste in the future.

Similarly, in the 1980s Nestle was reluctantly brought to negotiate a code of conduct on the marketing of infant formula. After a decade-long market campaign, the company's brands were beginning to suffer and Nestle's business focus was distracted. Suing for peace, the company pledged in negotiations with activists and the World Health Organization not to employ a number of marketing tactics, many of which it had used in the past -- and many others that Nestle had never used, but which its competitors did. In essence, the company used the fact that it was brought to the negotiating table alone to some advantage.

Almost every significant certification regime contains similar opportunities to wrest out a competitive advantage, and as a result, new movements toward a code of conduct bring most of the large corporate players to the negotiating table. As a result, corporations are beginning to write rules almost as quickly as activists raise issues. This has been clearly seen in the debate over regulation of nanotechnology; industry is working with NGOs and government to write rules proactively, before opportunistic groups use any lack of regulation as a foundation for a broad market campaign. It is also visible in the reaction of Wal-Mart, which has begun to react quickly (usually by making significant concessions) to complaints leveled against the company.

Looking Forward

Any element of society that is as large and as powerful as multinational corporations will be subject to criticism. The question now is whether the trend will be toward continued use of market campaigns to make increasingly incremental changes, or whether activist groups will return to relying primarily on the government to regulate the behavior or corporations.

Corporations' heightened attention to standards and certification regimes has allowed them to enter into negotiations with activists groups with confidence that they will, to a large extent, be using the same language and factual foundations. Critically, because companies are agreeing on the fundamental terms of the debate, the truth of any allegations leveled by activists are not at issue as often as they were in the past. Corporations therefore no longer rely solely on public relations staff to resolve the issues raised by activists, but assign technical experts to lead negotiations and work closely with the activists as well.

As a result, corporate-NGO negotiations take place on far more realistic grounds than ever before. At the same time, the changes that companies agree to come with slow deliberation. Because the corporation's negotiator knows the technical details of the company's products and processes, campaigns seldom end with massive concessions in which management sues for peace and only later tries to figure out how to abide by its agreement.

In light of these shifts, corporate campaigns as we know them seem to be waning. Companies are better equipped for dealing with them; they have developed standards for measuring performance and progress, and when a controversy appears inevitable, they are acting quickly to preempt and satisfy the key demands likely to be raised by activists. With these changes emerging, it is little surprise that the professional corporate campaigners who meet at ICCR's annual event were looking for different ways to achieve their objectives. The playing field is changing -- they have changed it -- but now they have to adjust.

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Cooling Down The Climate Scare

by maxwell edison In reply to Global warming is real, a ...

The following is a cut-and-pasted story from:

Environment: The country is drowning in wild alarums warning of impending doom due to global warming. Yet there has risen -- from the U.S. Senate, of all places -- a lone voice of rational dissent.

While Al Gore drifts into deeper darkness on the other side of the moon, propelled by such revelations as cigarette smoking is a "significant contributor to global warming," Sen. James Inhofe is becoming a one-man myth-wrecking crew.

Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, took to the Senate floor two days last week to expose the media's role in the global warming hype. This is a man who more than three years ago called the global warming scare "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people" and has made a habit of tweaking the left-leaning environmental lobby.

One member of the media, Miles O'Brien of CNN, responded last week to Inhofe's criticism of the media with a piece criticizing Inhofe and challenging his arguments. If anything, it seems that O'Brien's reply simply motivated Inhofe to continue his effort to undress the media's complicity and bring light to the issue.

We hope so. The "science" on global warming and the media's propaganda campaign need to be picked apart.

The assumptions made by gloomy theorists should be revealed for what they are: mere conjecture.

The lies and carefully crafted implications, many of them discharged like toxic pollutants by a former vice president, deserve a thorough and lasting deconstruction.

What the public needs -- and deserves -- is a credible voice to counter the sermons from Gore, on whose behalf cigarettes were distributed in 2000 to Milwaukee homeless people who were recruited by campaign volunteers to cast absentee ballots. Inhofe could be that voice.

He's no John the Baptist crying out in the wilderness. What he is, in fact, is a thrice-elected senator, a former member of the House and, before that, a state senator and representative.

For those not impressed by a political background -- after all, Gore, far out of proportion to his qualifications, rose to the second most powerful position on Earth -- consider that Inhofe is an Army veteran and longtime pilot, and has actually worked in the private sector.

Unlike most in the Senate, Inhofe is willing to stand on a soapbox and expose his head to his opponents' rhetorical stones. Name another in that august body who would dare label as a hoax the premise that undergirds the day's most trendy pop cult. Is there anyone there who would want to try to stand up to the likes of O'Brien?

O'Brien's biased report is not exactly the type of exposure global warming skeptics hope for, though. The goal, say the skeptics, should be to teach and inform, to provide an alternative to the flood of hyperbole and intentionally misleading thunder that's passed off as settled science.

There are enough scientists to fill a fleet of Humvees who can express scepticism over global warming, despite Gore's claims that the matter has been resolved in favor of his conclusions. But none has the forum a U.S. senator can command. With rare exceptions, scientists can marshal media attention on the climate change issue only by spouting the party line that man-made emissions are causing Earth to warm. That's the sort of stuff the press laps up like a starving dog.

Without the wind of a compliant media at his back, Inhofe nevertheless got his message out to America, primarily through C-Span and the Drudge Report, which linked to his speeches at the Web site of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Among those responding to Inhofe's first speech included a scientist and a meteorologist. Both hold views on global warming that are in line with the senator's -- which puts them at odds with the environmental lobby's assertions of "consensus" that have been relentlessly beaten into the masses for more than a decade.

The most important audience, though, is among the Americans who have no links to science. They're the ones who have a lot to learn and will benefit the most from someone who has mass access to the public and is willing to challenge the widely -- and often uncritically -- accepted claims about climate change.

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by neilb@uk In reply to Cooling Down The Climate ...

I thought that you might give this guy up as he's

a) A religious flake,
b) Bought and paid for by oil and gas companies: Inhofe has received almost $300,000 in campaign donations from oil and gas interests and nearly $180,000 from electric utilities. In the 2002 election, he received more oil and gas contributions than any senator except one.

I could go on.

A bit of consensus: The 2001 report by the US National Academy of Sciences, commissioned by the Bush administration, confirmed the reliability of the earlier studies by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In its opening sentences, that report stated point-blank, "Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. Temperatures are, in fact, rising."

So, that's the fifteen years research findings of a body established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to assess the "risk of human-induced climate change" confirmed by the premier scientific body in the United states.

But, of course, that amounts to nothing when compared with the Bible-inspired ravings of the oil companies' top pimp.

Maxwell! Be ashamed...

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Your points a and b on Senator Inhofe

by maxwell edison In reply to Inhofe

A. I suppose anyone who is a devout Christian would fall under the definition of a "religious flake" to a devout Atheist. So I'll take your comments through the filter of your Atheism.

B. Oklahoma is an oil state, and it's right and proper for a Senator to not only represent those interests, but even possibly -- heaven forbid -- to receive campaign donations from them. For better or worse, that's how our system works -- for ALL Senators.

C. Oh, never-mind. You didn't go on.

Even in the tripe posted by the tripe-hound, deepsand, it eluded to the fact that the issue is driven by the media and politicians, not the scientific community, per se, which falls in line with my biggest objection.

Oil and coal are at issue. Go ahead, all you environmental nut-cases. Just do it! Just develop an alternative to oil driven vehicles, market those vehicles, and not only solve "your problem", but <sarcasm> put those conniving oil barons out of business by competing with them </sarcasm>. And why do these same environmental nut-cases continually block attempted alternatives to coal, such as nuclear and wind?


As long as you people use this issue as political leverage, it's YOUR motives that are in question, not the ones resisting. Why can't you understand that?

P.S. I find it interesting that you continually trash President Bush and his administration, except in this one case where you find support for your issue. What happened to automatically discrediting and dismissing "religious nut-cases"? Neil! Be ashamed!

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Bush and shame

by neilb@uk In reply to Your points a and b on Se ...

I always give credit where credit is due. There just happen to be very few occasions in these discussions where I feel Bush is worthy of credit. Most of my serious anti-Bush feelings have been vented over Iraq. I see no reason to change that view!

"Religious flake". My point - in an earlier post - was that Inhofe is not just religious but is an "End Times" fundamentalist. This flavour of Christian has a proven track record of basing their actions on the belief that The Apocalypse is imminent and that long-term planning is therefore a waste of time.

The fact that Inhofe is a religious flake and is at every level bought and paid for by the Oil and Gas industries and yet is set as Chairman of The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is something that we foreigners have trouble getting our heads round. It may be the "way that you do it" but it doesn't seem particularly rational! It just makes it far more political than it needs to be.

To be honest, after a bit of Googling around Senator Inhofe, I found myself laughing out loud.

The climate debate is nowhere near as political in the UK as it is in the US. We do have a consensus. And our scientists are equally as competent as yours.

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At best, being a Senator merely means that ...

by deepsand In reply to Your points a and b on Se ...

you convinced a sufficient number of people to not vote for your opponent(s); at worst, that you had the means to buy the office.

It is you who should be ashamed of your persistent intellectual dishonesty.

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Maxwell, at this point you have lost the argument

by ralphclark In reply to Your points a and b on Se ...

Utterly and completely. Mainly thanks to deepsand who called your bluff.

1. The scientific community are shown to have reached a solid consensus on global warming and climate change.
2. Most of industry capitulated two years ago.
3. Only the oil industry still pretends the question hasn't been settled, since the necessary reduction in oil consumption must hurt their profits.
4. The only person you can find to champion the head-in-sand position is the oil industry's paid shill. And all <b>he</b> can come up with is empty rhetoric.

Game over, dude.

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In some ways I agree

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Cooling Down The Climate ...

The media and political hype around the issue is not helping.
Whether it's the radicals and reformists trying to scare people into being environmentally friendly, or the conservatives trying desperately to keep their status quo.

Why have these tactics been resorted to?. Because both sides are scared by their ignorance.

You're an intelligent bloke, can you say hand on heart that there's no chance at all of us impacting our climate, never mind the whole environment.

No one is saying you have to go out and hug a tree, adopt environmentally friendly policies as good business if you want.

In the UK. The big retail chains are now selling solar panels and wind turbines. ?1500 a pop, theoretically they'll cut energy use off the national grid by 30% for a household.

At the moment out of something like 30 million houses in the UK they think about 82,000 have the technology. So there's a potential ?450 billion to aim at, and 30% isn't too hard to improve on either.
That's just the UK, your energy is cheaper though rising in cost, but the market is HUGE.

It's cheap because it's self financing for the customer, there's a decent profit to be made, the market is enormous and you need a sizable service industry to support it.

A capitalist's wet dream if your marketing is good, you can even do a deal with a finance company for the initial capital outlay to ease the sales.

Wish I'd have thought of it.

Environmentally friendly is only anti-capitalist, if you want it to be.

Have a cleaner environment, make money and mitigate the possible danger of human caused global warming. How can you argue against it ?

A fun thought may be all the scare tactics is a way to beef up the market potential so someone can make a killing.

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Tony, it's really quite simple

by maxwell edison In reply to In some ways I agree

I've said it dozens of times in these "global warming" threads. There are tens of millions (or perhaps hundreds of millions) of you global warming advocates who want some sort of change. WELL CHANGE! JUST DO IT!

<Repeated comment>

Oil and coal are at issue. Go ahead, all you environmental nut-cases. Just do it! Just develop an alternative to oil driven vehicles, market those vehicles, and not only solve "your problem", <sarcasm> but put those conniving oil barons out of business by competing with them </sarcasm>. And why do these same environmental nut-cases continually block attempted alternatives to coal, such as nuclear and wind?

As long as you people use this issue as political leverage, it's YOUR motives that are in question, not the ones resisting. Why can't you understand that?

</Repeated comment>

By the way, Tony, I concede that "environmentally friendly is not anti-capitalist", and I've even suggested as much myself. I'm an environmentally friendly advocate -- but by personal choice, not by political force or coercion. And the longer you people try to force and coerce, and the longer you, yourselves, DO NOTHING, the more resistant I will be, and the more I will seriously question your own motives.

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"environmentally friendly" ???

by deepsand In reply to Tony, it's really quite s ...

Try convincing the Polar Bears of that.

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