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Man-Caused Global Warming - Who's right, and why?

By maxwell edison ·
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America's Al Gore, author of "Earth in the Balance", has called the internal combustion engine, a primary contributor to greenhouse gasses that cause "global warming", a worse threat to the Earth than nuclear weapons.

Australia's Cooperative Research Center for Greenhouse Accounting has recently suggested that the Earth may be more resilient to global warming than first thought.

Sir David King, Britain's Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of the Office of Science and Technology, described the "global warming" threat worse as than terrorism.

Philip Stott, professor emeritus of biogeography at the University of London said, "The notion that human activity is the controlling factor (of climate change) is inherently bogus. To believe that, you would have to believe that the sun, the oceans, the clouds, volcanic activity, and countless other factors do not play a major role in the weather.

Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman (D) said, "The question of how and when we deal with the threat of global warming is one of the great tests for our generation of elected officials. The question is do we have the courage to begin to bring about the changes to protect us, our children and grandchildren?"

Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe (R) said, "Global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people."

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry (D) said, "Global warming is America's biggest threat since the Cold War."

The Bush White House has said there was not enough scientific evidence to blame industrial emissions for global warming.

Okay, what do the experts at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) think?

Professor Ronald Prinn, Head of MIT?s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, and Co-Director of MIT?s Joint Program on the Policy and Science of Global Change, said that, "global warming is the most difficult and important environmental problem that we face this century, and that it is a problem that we are going to have to solve, and we need to start forming solutions now.?

However, Richard Lindzen, professor of meteorology at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, said in a paper titled, Scientists' Report Doesn't Support The Kyoto Treaty, "There is no serious evidence that man-made global warming is taking place. The computer models used in U.N. studies say the first area to heat under the 'greenhouse gas effect' should be the lower atmosphere - known as the troposphere. Highly accurate, carefully checked satellite data have shown absolutely no such troposphere warming. There has been surface warming of about half a degree Celsius, but this is far below the customary natural swings in surface temperatures." (Published in The Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2001.) Professor Lindzen has also pointed out that, "Claims that scientific opinion is nearly unanimous on the subject of global warming are wrong. The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine received signatures from over 17,100 basic and applied American scientists, two-thirds with advanced degrees, to a document saying, "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate."

For argument's sake, let's concede that the Earth's surface has warmed a bit (a very little bit) over the past century. But is that warming caused mainly by humans or by natural cycles?

Is all this man-caused "global warming" propaganda real or imagined? What do you believe, and why? Who do you believe, and why? And the $64,000 question, therefore what?

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Urban Sprawl

by TheChas In reply to Man-Caused Global Warming ...

In my mind, there are many things that we humans can (and should) do to reduce our impact on the resources of planet earth.

Industry groups spend far too much time and effort to attempt to prove that environmental problems don't exist. Yet, we regularly hear of companies who invest in efficient environmentally friendly processes and find their costs reduced.
The main difference, is that these companies take a long term view and are willing to make investments that payoff beyond a 6 month time-frame.

But first, I should keep to the topic.

The motor vehicles main contribution to environmental problems is that it allows people to live further and further from where they work.

The infrastructure to support our suburban life-styles provide acres of solar heat absorbing concrete and asphalt.

The acres of concrete have replaced acres of agricultural land, forests, and plains that provided natural evaporative cooling.

On a clear sunny day, there can easily be a 10 degree (F) temperature difference between a parking lot and a field near each other.

The heat absorption impact of parking lots and roads extends into the winter. Preventing the complete snow cover that there used to be just a few decades ago.

Another major culprit in man related warming is air conditioning.

Air conditioning adds to the global heat load in at least 3 ways:

The heat generated producing the electricity to run the air conditioner.

The heat from the condenser coil. (up to twice the BTUs removed from the cooled air)

And building design "choices" that require excessive amounts of air conditioning.
Prior to the invention of air conditioning, a dark colored roof was a rare site.
Now, with mechanical cooling, a dark roof is considered "fashionable".

Without air conditioning, there would also be few if any glass walled buildings.

Yes, it is very easy to dismiss concerns about global warming as periodic changes. It is also probable that the earth can "compensate" for some of the added warmth.

My concern is that there is some threshold where once we cross it, the planet will not be able to recover on it's own.

My overall view on global warming is that it is selfish to believe that human activity does not impact the environment in a negative way.

One need only review the global impacts of the last few major volcanic events to see the potential.

If we all would make a few minor changes in how we abuse the earth's resources, it would be fairly easy to reduce our impact.

Together, we have the ability to make global warming become a non-issue.

Chas

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A view from the countryside

by gbrownlee In reply to Man-Caused Global Warming ...

I live in a rural area in West Central Alberta, thats in Canada, and I spend a great deal of time outside. In the past 5 years the changes that have ocurred to the long term weater patterns here are unprecedented. Even out here, on a calm morning, there is a brown tinge on the horizon.

Then what I have come to call the daily hurricane starts to ****, and all the airborne pollution is blown into Saskatchewan, also in Canada. This brown haze is homegrown. The oil and gas industry is mercilessly raping our countryside in the quest to sait the Americans insatiable thirst for oil and gas.

As a former gasprocessing plant operator, I can bear witness to willful dumping and atmospheric releases of hydrocarbons and other extemely toxic wastes.

So you see, the source of major carbon dioxide release starts right at the source and just gets worse from then on.

Do I believe in global warming? YES. Thirty years ago, scientists were already warning those who chose to listen, that if we kept on the present course of hydrocarbon consumption, what is happening to our weather right now, would come to pass.

But then as one of my neighbors says " I dunno bout dis global warmin thing ".

Who's right? Only time will tell. But for the sake of our planet, could we please err on the side of caution.

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another rural view

by wiremaster In reply to A view from the countrysi ...

I was born in Rome and lived there for 20 years, then i moved to the countryside; i studied some agricultural science at the university and a lot of environmental-climate-bio-chemical-stuff.
One thing that drives me insane is that we don't ever seem learn: in the 70's they said CFC are bad and we still use them somewhere; PCB are perhaps worst and you can find them everywhere; a lot of chemicals, medicines, pesticides supposed to help us are now known to be worst than the problems/diseases they were supposed to cure (think about the resistant bacteria coming out every now and then).
It is proven and written that a lot of things we do can make changes in the weather, both in local and global scale but everybody just seem to care about the 5700cm3 V8 engine inside the hood and cheap fuel to let it run...
I think that we humans are just planning a mass suicide; i am lucky 'cause i still can see some grass and trees but how long will it last?
That's for the posterity to answer, if there'll be one.
I beg your pardon if i sound pessimistic, but i wanted to express my thought; ciao, wiremaster.

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I will not disagree about polution

by JimHM In reply to A view from the countrysi ...

I will not disagree with you about polution of the air, water and land - and companies need to be held financially and morally accountable to clean-up their mess. I flew in the 1970's and you wouldn't see brown air until maybe 10 or 30 miles from a major city (say LA) - now you can't find clear air anywhere.

But for global warming - no way - now NASA is saying that clouds made by jets are causing an increase in temperatures - right! NASA hasn't done anything right since landing on the moon.

But I will argee 100% with you on Polution - and cleaning it up - AIR / WATER / LAND - hold these companies accountable... Global Warming - Red/Green party BS.

As others have said - to many factors - man maybe a small part - but there are just to many factors involved to say "Man and Fossil Fuels are the killers" ...

Fossil fuels are making the air brown - earth has been around a long time before man - and will be around a long time after man...

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While true Jim there is always the matter of mans

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to I will not disagree about ...

Actions upon the planet.

While the planet may be able to save itself from natural occurrences we may just be pushing it that little bit that causes the whole thing to break. If you take a close look at mans activities on the planet and only restrict this look to modern times like the last 100 years or so just how many species of animals have we wiped out? How much land have we cleared for no reason other than wood chipping? While we continually rape the planet it only stands to reason that the delicately balanced system must eventually break down and no longer be able to support itself.

However on the bright side it will eventually repair itself as well although man might no longer be around to witness this event.

Col

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Something To Remember

by Rabbit_Runner In reply to I will not disagree about ...

In all of this discussion, I believe that there is somehing being forgotten. Nearly all of the comments I have read (and heard) deal with man's actions/inaction on the environment.
My thought is, "What about the Sun?" The sun goes through cycles of giving off more or less heat. This does affect the earth. I believe that there is an 11 year cycle for sun spots. And this will affect the amount of radiation being given off. Or perhaps the lack of it.
I will agree that on a limited local level, creating areas of cement will cause warming. Also larger metropolitan areas will have slightly differnt temperatures than the surrounding countryside. However this will not prove or disprove global warming.

For anyone to prove to me, or disprove to me, that Global warming is a fact, it will require taking the sun into the equation. Until then, the items that may point towards the theory of global warming are simply ideas being present. No positive proof is being given.

Just my two cents.

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True

by Oz_Media In reply to Something To Remember

Unfortunately we cannot control the universe's natural evolution. We CANM crontrol out own harmful emissions though. Let's just permit nature to take it's own course and not coaz it along. We KNOW we polute and that this pullution may or may not have an effect on global warming, BUT it DOES have an effect on all life forms and the atmosphere.

Do we wait 30 years for proof of global warming even though itr is proven that we are the most destructive force upon the Earth?

Do we wait for proof of global warming before we save ourselves AND every other form of life on our planet from extinction de to our own pollutants?

What does it take for some people to see we are killing each other and the world around us, if this is also causing Gobal warming then so be it, but there is NO question that unless we get our act together every form of life will be extinct long before we find out about global warming.

What more proof do we need that we are killing ourselves and everything else around us? This we know, this we can stop, this we try top stop, this MANY ignore.

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Oz - you illustrate my point

by maxwell edison In reply to True

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I think everything in your message is a bunch of unsubstantiated, and yet to be proven B.S.

The most destructive force on Earth? I think not - not even close.

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Well,

by voldar In reply to Oz - you illustrate my po ...

this is just for thought, would you be so kind to give me an example of another species on the earth that cause the extinction of another one? I can give you in a blink two examples about what man did in less than 150 years:
- the MOA bird from New Zeeland
- the marsupial tiger from Australia
And I can go more and more with Panda bears (which are only 10 raised in captivity etc.)
You have to admit the facts, as I know you love facts (as much as I do also). What can be more destructive than killing a specie?

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Whatever

by Oz_Media In reply to Oz - you illustrate my po ...

Max you have already shown your true ignorance toward your planet.

Beavers are the second greatest 'changers' of our environment and are second only to mankind. We move and change our landscapes like no other, we use products that emit noxious gases (who else does that?) werefine natural minerals from our Earth and create sources of energy that when used create even more unnatural emissions.

Who else destroys the planet more than man?

Woodchucks? Whales? Trees?

Prove otherwise, you can't simply call BS unless you can provide alternate facts. You've really been losing your cool lately Max, you are right back in true form again and it doesn't look very good.

Innocent until proven guilty I think it is, unless you now have a different set of core values you support.

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