Sunday Commentary II: Climate Change Beyond the Point of No Return?

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antarctic-iceHowever, the Debate Will Likely Continue About Its Basis in Reality: Last week it was reported by the New York Times, that a large “section of the mighty West Antarctica ice sheet has begun falling apart and its continued melting now appears to be unstoppable.” The Times adds, “If the findings hold up, they suggest that the melting could destabilize neighboring parts of the ice sheet and a rise in sea level of 10 feet or more may be unavoidable in coming centuries.”

“This is really happening,” Thomas P. Wagner, who runs NASA’s programs on polar ice and helped oversee some of the research, said in an interview with the Times this week. “There’s nothing to stop it now. But you are still limited by the physics of how fast the ice can flow.”

Two different groups of scientists released reports that found “that West Antarctic glaciers had retreated far enough to set off an inherent instability in the ice sheet, one that experts have feared for decades.”

“Today we present observational evidence that a large sector of the West Antarctic ice sheet has gone into irreversible retreat,” Dr. Rignot said in the NASA news conference. “It has passed the point of no return.

And yet, there is a good amount of uncertainty in the non-scientific world on the validity of the notion that this is caused by human activities.

However, an article in the Business Insider addressed the issue as to why facts do not sway climate deniers.

“There is a strong tendency, particularly in those supporting a scientific position, to think that if only the facts could be made clear, people would follow the logical pathway to an inevitable and common conclusion,” the publication notes. “We assume that our clarity of vision allows us to infer from a set of facts to a particular conclusion, and that those reaching alternative conclusions must be victims of bias or confused thinking. This often results in a conviction that saying something slower or louder will do the job.”

The Business Insider roots their discussion within the framework of Bayes’ theorem which they explain, “While being a statement about the probability of something being true, it can be thought of as the likelihood of someone believing that a view is true (say a particular theory or hypothesis), having assigned an initial subjective probability to that view and then processing some evidence in support of that view.”

Thus, new information is assessed not from a blank slate but rather as a means of accommodating new evidence, which leads us to an updated view of the world.

They write, “The likelihood of a rational person accepting a view after processing evidence in support of that view is a function of how likely they think the view is to be true before seeing the evidence (the prior belief); and how likely they think the view is to explain or predict the evidence – that is, the strength of the connection between the evidence and the view.”

My own research work found that the stronger that someone held beliefs, the less likely they were to change those beliefs upon receiving new information. Worse yet, there was a strong correlation between knowledge and strength of beliefs. This meant that the more knowledgeable were resistant to changing their beliefs, while the less knowledgeable were less likely to encounter new information.

As the article explains: “Providing a rational person who has a weak prior belief in anthropogenic global warming (AGW) with evidence of sea level rise and claiming that this is a result of AGW. Such a person could be less likely to accept both that sea levels are rising and that this rise is a result of AGW.” They add, “For the rational person, using Bayesian reasoning, it takes more to change an existing view than it does to reinforce it. “

They add, “This explains why so much effort has been expended by those with financial or political reasons to oppose the science of AGW to provide evidence against it. If people have reasons not to change an initial view, then change is less likely, even if evidence for change is strong.” They add: “After all, it’s not as if belief in global warming is all about the science. It’s the prior beliefs that drive acceptance of or opposition to an idea.”

Instead, they argue that using facts as weapons is counterproductive.

“Facts are too often weaponised, with the assumption that clear and forceful statements translate into ready acceptance. Unfortunately, for those whose minds are set against it, the opposite is likely to result,” they write. “To address both beliefs and reasoning, our arguments must be be as thorough, rigorous, accessible and respectful as possible. Just don’t forget to include the facts.”

It also does not help that the media over-hypes this. For example, in the Guardian’s article on Monday, they note, “The loss of the entire western Antarctica ice sheet could eventually cause up to 4 metres (13ft) of sea-level rise, devastating low-lying and coastal areas around the world. But the researchers said that even though such a rise could not be stopped, it is still several centuries off, and potentially up to 1,000 years away.”

New York Times’ Andy Revkin, their environmental writer and proponent of the anthropogenic view, stated in a tweet, “Awful misuse of ‘Collapse’ in headlines on centuries-long ice loss in W. Antarctica.”

There is a real crisis, but the overstatement by the mass media tends to feed into the climate deniers’ hands.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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75 thoughts on “Sunday Commentary II: Climate Change Beyond the Point of No Return?”

  1. Tia Will

    One important factor in this debate is the meaning of the word “crisis”, and more importantly, for whom it is truly a crisis.

    I doubt that you would find many residents of the Seychelles who do not view climate change with rising sea levels as a major crisis .With the possibility of depletion of their fresh water and food supplies within a matter of years to decades, not centuries I am sure that they perceive a “crises”.

    However, the prevailing trend in our country is to basically shrug and adopt an attitude the equivalent of “so what’s that to me ?” We seem to believe that if we are not directly negatively impacted by it, then it is not our problem even if we are aware that our preferred lifestyle is a major cause of someone else’s problem. Far easier to just deny that we have any responsibility for it and continue on our merry way.

  2. Don Shor

    New York Times’ Andy Revkin, their environmental write and proponent of the anthropogenic view stated in a tweet, “Awful misuse of “Collapse” in headlines on centuries-long ice loss in W. Antarctica.”

    Yes, and his statement also applies to headlines like “Beyond The Point of No Return?”
    Human activities account for less than 100% of the increased temperature. The earth is in a natural warming cycle. So “beyond the point of no return” is a misuse of a hackneyed phrase. The issue has never been about whether the earth will warm, the seas will rise; it is about the pace of those events. The Antarctic observations simply detail the mechanism of one part of the process. This has been one of the worst-reported stories on this issue across the whole range of media.

  3. Tia Will

    “Human activities account for less than 100% of the increased temperature.”

    It is equally important to note that human activities are 100% of the process that we can affect. While I agree that
    the reporting has been abysmal on many occasions, this does not mean that there will not be real impacts on humans depending on where we live and what resources we depend upon for our essentials. One problem I see is the tendency to pretend that because the reporting has been sensationalistic, that the problem is not real and therefore is not worthy of our time or efforts to mitigate both our contribution to the problem, and the inevitable impacts with prioritization based on a realistic assessment of the timeline.

  4. Frankly

    Good article. The inconvenient truth is the gap in trust that there is not a hidden political, profiteering and ideological agenda at work. That gap has to dealt with if we are all going to reach consensus on the extent of the problem and the solutions.

    1. Don Shor

      This is why I believe we (governments collectively, that is) should focus on adaptation to known consequences, continue to refine the predictions about regional consequences, and move away from the mitigation strategies that have dominated the international proceedings for so long.
      For example: almost anyone, from the most conservative to the most liberal member of Congress, can understand the impact of rising sea levels on coastal cities, and can agree that it is probably a reasonable use of tax dollars to start planning and implementing adaptation strategies.

      1. wdf1

        There is still the issue of how much worse can it get. We are at 400 ppm atmospheric CO2. Is it okay to let it go to 500 ppm? 600 ppm? 800 ppm? etc.

        And that discussion is still vulnerable to accusations of being alarmist.

          1. wdf1

            In your reference, Tol is referring a number of nearer-term issues and agendas. If you want to brush aside 800 ppm and lower, the follow up question, is any CO2 concentration threshold worth a response?

            I agree that there is no choice but to take a strategy of adaptation.

            My question: can you imagine a trend or situation that would allow you to seriously entertain the idea, “maybe we (as a society) have got to reduce carbon emissions a lot more than we have up til now”?

          2. Don Shor

            We don’t know what CO2 concentration threshold specifically merits any specific response. We should reduce our reliance on carbon fuels.

          3. David Greenwald Post author

            I understand that it will be costly to reduce emissions but with that be more costly than moving cities or building levies and dikes?

          4. Don Shor

            I assume we will adopt policies that, in the long run, do both. Why pose it as an either/or choice? The Dutch reclaimed 30% of their country by spending billions of dollars over decades to implement a drainage and protection plan. Technology will continue to help us reduce emissions. As will some energy policies such as increased use of natural gas to replace coal, and development of nuclear power, along with increased use of alternative energies.
            Areas that are low-lying will be protected because the property has value. We hardly need any policy to protect oceanfront land in Florida. It’ll happen in places where people value the property, and land will get submerged where they don’t. Bangladesh, on the other hand, could use some international help in planning and implementing land protection plans. And they need that help completely regardless of what happens in reducing carbon emissions, because it is going to happen in any case — whether ppm = 350 or 450 or any other specific amount.

          5. David Greenwald Post author

            I’m not posing an either/ or choice so much as a now and then.

  5. Topcat

    I don’t think that there is any debate about the fact that carbon dioxide is increasing in the atmosphere. There is also no debate about the fact that the climate is changing. It is abundantly clear that glaciers and ice sheets around the world are melting. It is also clear to most people that the earth is experiencing more extreme weather events such as droughts, heat waves, floods, etc.

    I think that the debate really centers on what should be done about the situation. Some people think that there should be drastic reductions in carbon based fuels. This upsets many people who rely on cheap, convenient fuels to power our homes and vehicles. It also upsets people who rely on extracting and processing fossil fuels. People in developing countries are more focused on their immediate needs for a better quality of life than on the long term effects of more energy use.

    1. Frankly

      Although I get your point, I think this oversimplifies the challenge for emerging economies. Think about it… They are struggling to get a piece of the good life that all the industrialized countries have achieved, and those industrialized countries say “too bad, so sad”… We burned too much fossil fuel. Now everyone needs to stop and learn how to survive on sunlight, wind and batteries.

      1. David Greenwald Post author

        Of course the emerging countries are also most likely impacted by the effect of rising coastal water. Think about what happens in the lowlands of India and Bangladesh.

        1. Frankly

          I had an interesting conversation with a neighbor recently about the connections with population growth, energy, fertilizer and global food production. His point was that we require manufactured fertilizer to make enough food to feed the world but that artificial fertilizer takes enormous amounts of energy to produce.

          Related to this I was remembering the human re-introduction of the Sierra Big Horn sheep along with the moratorium on killing mountain lions because they too had been determined to be endangered by humans. The lions started killing all of the sheep along with many pets and some humans in the area. Next was the debate about allowing the killing of more lions.

          What is my point?

          I have two:

          One – we tend to put human population in a box separate from our definitions of the natural world. Humans affect the natural world and they are affected by the natural world, but except for those few remaining loincloth-draped subjects, humans are seen as largely as a harmful and inconvenient adjunct to nature… not actually just part of it.

          Two – there is a tendency for certain humans to obsess over solving problems that they absolutely cannot solve without causing other bigger problems.

          Looking this from the perspective that humans are just part of the natural world, and human population has increased to the point that we are warming the earth temperature, why not consider this as a natural progression? Why not focus on adaption as adaption is required?

          Because if we jump the gun and start trying to solve these problems, we are just as likely to cause other problems. Because despite our ego that we are masters of the natural world, we really know very little.

          Humans adapt as they are required. They settle into a natural new normal when the old ways are no longer sustainable. In this way they are just like other animals on the planet. And like other animals on the planet, they don’t do very well being manipulated and pushed and pulled and forced to evolve in the model of those very smart elite people that always think they know better.

          1. Jim Frame

            In this way they are just like other animals on the planet.

            And some animals, when faced with enough change in their environment, become extinct.

    2. David Greenwald Post author

      Drastic reduction in carbon based fuels is one alternative. the other is moving whole cities and building an extensive levy system.

      1. Don Shor

        the other is moving whole cities and building an extensive levy system.

        This is a false premise. For an illustration of what will happen with gradually rising sea levels, look at what happened to New Orleans after Katrina. Because the most likely scenarios involve sudden submersion of populated areas during storms, not waves lapping higher and higher.
        Shortly after Katrina, 35 – 40% of the population of New Orleans had left. A decade later the city’s population is 24% lower than it used to be. The whole metropolitan area is only 8% lower population than it was pre-Katrina. Many people moved away. Some moved back. Some moved to nearby communities in the same area. Some neighborhoods — no surprise — have not repopulated.
        So you’re not “going to move whole cities.” People will move, or not, according to their own free will. Emergency responses to storms will be costlier than they are now. The major loss of wetlands around New Orleans in the decades leading up to Katrina should be a sobering reminder to land-use planners in the second-most-flood-prone city in the country — Sacramento — about the need for intelligent land-use planning and housing growth policies as we deal with stronger storms and changing hydrology.
        That’s what happens. David, you often resort to the same reductionism and alarmist rhetoric on this topic that I was criticizing earlier.

  6. tj

    None of this addresses the ongoing loss of species and crops and forests, devastating fires, collapsed infrastructure.

    There is so much stuff in the atmosphere that if pollution stopped today, it would take decades for the atmosphere to get back to its normal natural state.

    We go on day by day doing what we do, not facing what’s going to hit us hard.

    Some people are analytical thinkers, others are emotional thinkers. The later seem to be the ones who resist ideas about change, and are usually less educated, less intellectual, less able to see the big picture.

  7. tribeUSA

    A minor correction to the end of the article; of the ice loss event being ~200-1,000 “years off”: this is not an abrupt event that will occur suddenly, but an event that will occur graduallly and slowly over a period of ~200 to 1,000 years; contributing slowly to rising sea level over centuries.

    There are other related factors that might offset this contribution to sea-level rise: the same types of changes in ocean and atmospheric currents that are delivering warmer air and water to parts of the edges of Antarctica could also lead to changes in precipitation patterns over Antarctica. It is conceivable that snowfall patterns and characteristics could change such that total continental snowfall increases and/or a greater fraction of that snowfall “sticks” and accumulates, adding to the Antarctic ice sheet mass. Although Antarctica is a cold desert with very little snowfall, even a small increase in snowfall (if the same fraction or larger of that snowfall “sticks” and is not blown back out to the ocean) could easilly offset the increased rate of glacial flow out of Antarctica (same thing could happen over Greenland). Any water mass (in the form of ice) accumulating on the continental ice sheets (of Antarctica or Greenland) ultimately derives from the Ocean; and thus is a transfer of Ocean water onto land; thus acting to lower ocean levels.

    The investigation cited is a very valuable and important one; but of course there are many other changes that may occur as the planet continues to warm; some contributing to sea level rising and some contributing to sea level falling–to extrapolate net sea level change out several hundred years out is premature; we don’t have a good handle on all the processes and their rates yet (shifts or changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulation are particularly difficult to forecast).

  8. tribeUSA

    With regard to goverrnment support (verbal at least) of policy changes in the light of global warming:

    We are gradually depleting the earth’s stockpile of easy-to-get and thus inexpensive fossil fuel (watch out for natural gas prices turning sharply upward about a decade from now; even fracking everywhere won’t put this off more than about a decade; so yes in addition to much higher water bills in Davis you can also look forward to higher heating bills almost everywhere!). I’ve not seen anyone address that alternative energy development is essential from the standpoint of economic sustainability alone; regardless of the greenhouse gas effects–but since higher energy prices are inevitable since alternatives are not as cheap or abundant (in most places) as our diminishing cheap fossil fuel ; the sacrifice entailed in shifting toward alternative energies and perhaps lower per capita energy use is more palatably sold to the public as “saving the planet”, in terms of Greenhouse gas reductions. Not that the buildup of temperature with increasing CO2 is nonsense; but to some degree it is over-sold to the public to make the reality of increasing energy prices more palatable–people like to think they are doing something noble; less likely to rebel when asked to sacrifice.

    The more nefarious side of this, perhaps, are policy changes such as proposed Carbon Credit markets; where Greenhouse gas credits are bought and sold on the free market. It seems to me that Wall street and the financial and corporate interests that are goading the government into adopting such policies are now so corrupt; that the policies and rules adopted will be ripe for another massive Walll Street scam, with very little environmental benefit. If the government ever gets out from under the thumb of Wall Street and big finance; perhaps it will be possible that a carbon-credit (or greenhouse credit) trading system could be adopted with policies/rules that will ensure that scams will be difficult, and that environmental benefits will be significant.

  9. TrueBlueDevil

    I think some need to read more widely.

    1. There has been no global warming for 17 years. Or try search term hiatus.

    Google will come up with no global warming for 14, 15, 16, and 17 years. The current theory on top of a theory is that massive amounts of CO2 is magically stored beneath the oceans in an as yet undiscovered phenomena.

    2. Record Ice

    “NASA Announces New Record Growth Of Antarctic Sea Ice Extent”

    “Whenever the ice at the North and South Pole is mentioned, it is mostly in the context of melting ice triggered by global warming. However, the sea ice in Antarctica – in contrast to that in the Arctic – has proved to be remarkably robust. New measurements have now confirmed that. As the U.S. space agency NASA announced, the sea ice in the Antarctic has extended over an area of ​​19.47 million square meters at the end of September. That is the highest since measurements began in 1979.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/22/nasa-announces-new-record-growth-of-antarctic-sea-ice-extent/

    3. Years ago Global Warmists predicted that 50,000 islanders would have to relocate by now due to rising sea levels. As of now, 0 have relocated.

    Why do those peddling Global Warming – which they then rename to Climate Change – refuse to mention these facts?

    Why refuse to mention the critical 17-year hiatus?

    1. South of Davis

      True Blue Devil wrote:

      > Years ago Global Warmists predicted that 50,000 islanders
      > would have to relocate by now due to rising sea levels.
      > As of now, 0 have relocated

      Global “Warming” was the “old” term. It is now Global Climate “Change”…

      Now get back to work replacing your (now Illegal to buy) regular $0.50 60W light bulbs with $10 12W LED light bulbs and trade in that old $3K Honda that gets 35mpg for a $30K Prius that gets 50 MPG.

      If you really want to “save the planet” even more you can spend $35K on a home solar system and $70K on a Tesla Model S.

      P.S. This has nothing to do with making people rich and every time a Davis resident replaces the light bulb in their fridge it actually “changes the climate”…

        1. South of Davis

          TBD wrote:

          > It takes 7 years for a solar panel to replace the
          > energy needed to create it.

          True, but the companies selling the systems can book the profit (that often includes money from the government) TODAY (to pay big bonuses until they throw the company in to BK, default on the government loans and leave the “green” investors poorer, but happy that they helped to “save the planet”)

          http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Rest-in-Peace-The-List-of-Deceased-Solar-Companies

          I recently met a “green” friend that works in “green” PE at his office on Sand Hill Road. I was amazed how many Teslas were in the lot. There is a lot of “green” in going “green” since Elon Musk (the largest shareholder in both Tesla and Solar City) is worth over $10 BILLION and my friend (while worth a lot less) was able to tear down his (perfectly nice) 4,000sf home in Portola Valley an build a new “green” 6,000sf home in its place.

          P.S. My friend drives a Model S, His wife drives a Prius and all the lights in their home are LEDs. The higher percentage of “green” people on the Peninsula must be the reason it was cooler than Davis last week…

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            Tore down a 4,000 sf home in Portola Valley??? … I’ll pretend to be green for the next BBQ! … I read they have a horse park in PV! … lotta gov’t money there, general contractor’s also like the rebates that customers like… though the con. jobs still cost a lot of money!!

            On the other hand, double-pane windows and insulation make perfect sense.

    2. wdf1

      TBD: The current theory on top of a theory is that massive amounts of CO2 is magically stored beneath the oceans in an as yet undiscovered phenomena.

      Massive amounts of CO2? There is CO2 accumulating in the oceans, but I think you mean is heat. Water has a higher heat capacity than air, meaning it takes more heat to raise the temperature of water than atmosphere.

      Also, when you melt glaciers, that is a lot of heat that is being absorbed without raising the temperature. Melting a gram of ice absorbs 80 times the heat as raising the temperature of a gram of water by one degree C. Same thing with evaporation. Evaporating a gram of water absorbs 500 to 600 times more heat than raising the temperature by 1 degree C.

      2. Record Ice

      But that doesn’t make up for the amount of melting of continental glaciers. Glaciers on continents can get a mile+ thick. By contrast sea ice is equivalent to the top inch of a pond freezing over in winter before melting in the next thaw. Melting glaciers can raise sea level. Sea ice does not.

      3. Years ago Global Warmists predicted that 50,000 islanders would have to relocate by now due to rising sea levels. As of now, 0 have relocated.

      citation on that prediction?

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        It’s tough to google this exactly because so many predictions have been false. This list is fun, not sure how much has been verified.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/02/the-big-list-of-failed-climate-predictions/

        “99. 2005, Andrew Simms, policy director of the New Economics Foundation: “Scholars are predicting that 50 million people worldwide will be displaced by 2010 because of rising sea levels, desertification, dried up aquifers, weather-induced flooding and other serious environmental changes.”

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/02/the-big-list-of-failed-climate-predictions/

        1. wdf1

          TBD: desertification, dried up aquifers, weather-induced flooding and other serious environmental changes.”

          The full context of that quote includes more than just rising sea level. If you include all those other factors, you might actually get something credibly approaching that level of displacement. Hurrican Katrina in 2005 displaced New Orleans residents in a way that contributes toward that number. And your quote doesn’t refer to islanders alone.

      2. TrueBlueDevil

        wdf1, here we go, an even massively – horribly – false prediction by the Papa of Global Warming, Al Gore.

        “In his 1993 book, Earth in the Balance, Al Gore wrote:

        “About 10 million people in Bangladesh will lose their homes and means of sustenance because of the rising sea level, due to global warming, in the next few decades. Where will they go? Whom will they displace? What political conflicts will result? That is only one example. According to some predictions, not long after Bangladesh feels the impact, up to 60 percent of the present population of Florida may have to be relocated. Where will they go?[244]”

        “Between 1993 and 2011, the population of Bangladesh increased from 119 million to 159 million people (34%),[245] and between 1990 and 2006, the coastal population of Florida increased from 10.1 million to 13.8 million people (37%).[246] [247]”

        So Gore was terribly wrong by over 50 million people in Bangladesh, and wrong by about 9 million in Florida.

        1. wdf1

          TBD: Again, your citation refers to sea level rising in the next few decades, not 50,000 islanders by spring 2014, as your original quote claimed.

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            OK, I didn’t provide the link to 50,000 islanders not being displaced.

            Instead, I provided links to 60 million people not being displaced; I figured 60 million > 50,000.

  10. TrueBlueDevil

    BREAKING: THE “97 PERCENT CLIMATE CONSENSUS” CANARD

    “…Where did this 97 percent figure come from? This story has become interesting over the last few days. The most prominent form of it comes from Prof. John Cook of the University of Queensland in a paper published last year that purported to have reviewed over 11,000 climate science articles. Does anyone really believe that Cook and his eight co-authors actually read through all 11,000 articles? Actually, the abstract of the paper supports the point I made above that most papers don’t actually deal with what the Climatistas say:

    **We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW [Anthropogenic Global Warming], 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming….**”

    ** = this was in italics in the article, but the format didn’t transfer over

    “…The plot thickens. Prof. Cook refused to share his data with anyone. Shades of the East Anglia mob and their tree ring data. But also like the East Anglia mob, someone at the University of Queensland left the data in the ether of the internet, and blogger Brandon Shollenberger came across it and starting noting its weaknesses. Then the predictable thing happened: the University of Queensland claims that the data was hacked, and sent Shollenbeger a cease-and-desist letter. That just speaks lots of confidence and transparency, doesn’t it?…”

  11. Topcat

    I’m always amused by the statements that some people make about wanting to reduce their “carbon footprint” or be more environmentally conscious and then I see the line of cars at Davis schools where the parents are using fossil fuel to drive their kids to school. There isn’t anywhere in Davis that’s far enough away that the kids can’t walk or ride their bikes to school.

    1. Don Shor

      Yes, but a reasonable policy goal would be to get it so that cars that don’t use fossil fuels are readily available and affordable. Right now, owning a low-carbon vehicle is pretty much just a high-income option.

    2. wdf1

      Topcat: There isn’t anywhere in Davis that’s far enough away that the kids can’t walk or ride their bikes to school.

      There’s still a good amount of bike traffic to schools. I think there was a Vanguard piece on this very issue maybe a year ago. You’re also seeing the effects of school choice. Four schools have self-contained GATE (or AIM), Spanish Immersion at Chavez, Dual Immersion at Montgomery, Montessori at Birch Lane, and that’s just the elementaries. It all tends to create a greater likelihood for more families to drive, especially if they happen to live farther from those campuses.

  12. TrueBlueDevil

    Here is a rebuttal, and a scientific group that answers the political document put out by the IPCC.

    Sorry Global Warming Alarmists, The Earth Is Cooling
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2012/05/31/sorry-global-warming-alarmists-the-earth-is-cooling/

    “…Check out the 20th century temperature record, and you will find that its up and down pattern does not follow the industrial revolution’s upward march of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), which is the supposed central culprit for man caused global warming (and has been much, much higher in the past). It follows instead the up and down pattern of naturally caused climate cycles.”

    “…Easterbrook shows that by 2010 the 2000 prediction of the IPCC was wrong by well over a degree, and the gap was widening. That’s a big miss for a forecast just 10 years away, when the same folks expect us to take seriously their predictions for 100 years in the future. “

    1. wdf1

      TBD: Sorry Global Warming Alarmists, The Earth Is Cooling

      What you’re missing is that not all heat build up will raise surface temperatures. Heat build up also changes matter (water) into different states — melting, evaporation — often referred to as latent heat, without changing the temperature. What you’re not addressing is why all that ice in Antarctica is melting? That was the key point of this blog article. And your link doesn’t address that. Is there a way to cause the melting described above that doesn’t involve heat build up?

        1. South of Davis

          BP wrote:

          > Why have the ocean levels actually dropped in
          > two of the last four years?

          The good news about ocean levels and ice thickness is they depend on when you take measurements. The oceans are rising and ice is melting people take measurements at high tide and in the summer while the oceans are dropping and the ice is getting thicker people take measurements at low tide and in the winter.

          At the end of the day the people paying for the studies get what they want either “we need to ban light bulbs and build more solar plants so the ice does not melt and flood the world” or “cars and power plants don’t cause any problems, look the sea levels are dropping and the ice is getting thicker”.

        2. Frankly

          Come on BP… it is global climate change. Warming, cooling, melting, freezing, floods, droughts… and any and all severe weather. The alarmists have cornered the market on all of this so you will buy what they are selling…. Teslas, solar panels, wind generators, votes, ideology, grants, tax increases, books, movie… and finally… and largely insatiable need to be party to a group that is blessed with the knowledge to save us all from our ignorant selves.

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            It’s funny how they have problems with even basic contradictions, like the earth cooling during the Industrial Revolution, or the last 17-year hiatus on “warming”.

          2. Frankly

            Yes – the fact that Greenland was actually green 1000 years ago. They have their little arguments all wrapped up though. They remind me of Jehovahs Witness explaining their interpretation of Christian scripture… they have answers for everything! If you have to defend your belief system you can get very creative in weaving your defense.

            By the way, their explanation for Greenland being green 1000 years ago is that it was only a micro climate change phenom and that global temparatures were much cooler than today when Greenland is still covered with ice. They “prrove” this with some pretty weak theories since obvioulsy there were no tempature probes scattered around the globe at that time. And don’t you dare challenge those weak theories unless you are a climate scientist and a registered Democrat!

          3. wdf1

            Frankly: the fact that Greenland was actually green 1000 years ago.

            Citation? I’d really be interested to know about this.

            Why do you say that? Because of the name, Greenland? I’ve always understood that the name, “Greenland” was a sell job by Erik the Red to make the place seem more attractive to other settlers (source)

            But you can see places in Greenland that are green today. (source)

          4. Frankly

            Medieval Warming Period followed by the Little Ice Age. All before fossil fuel burning Republicans and Democrat climate change alarmism and a green agenda.

            No citation needed. These two periods are scientific fact.

          5. Frankly

            Yes – again… based on all those year 1030 temperature probes installed throughout the globe compared to the 2014 readings. I get it.

          6. Frankly

            Proxy = substitute.

            And the substitute is very weak and full of theory and conjecture. It is one of those many pieces of shaky foundation that the entire theory of global warming is propped up on.

          7. Don Shor

            So you don’t believe in any of the proxy data research? How much have you examined? What makes you think the proxy data is “very weak and full of theory and conjecture?” And exactly what do you mean by “full of theory?” Can you tell us what you think a “theory” is?

            I’m curious: do you believe the world is getting warmer? Do you believe humans are responsible for any percentage of the increase in global temperature?

          8. Frankly

            I think the point here is that the earth has grown warmer and colder before there was the .00007 increase in atmospheric C02 attributed to human industrialism. I don’t think we can rely on the selected proxy data collected in 1030 to “prove” that average global temperatures were colder. There is other proxy data that indicates that areas where warmer. However, the “science” community conveniently pulls those out of the dataset as local or regional abnormalities.

  13. wdf1

    SoD: The good news about ocean levels and ice thickness is they depend on when you take measurements. The oceans are rising and ice is melting people take measurements at high tide and in the summer while the oceans are dropping and the ice is getting thicker people take measurements at low tide and in the winter.

    I’d be interested where you got that information. Mean sea level is an average taken over time.

    MSL (Mean Sea Level)

    1. South of Davis

      wdf1 wrote:

      > I’d be interested where you got that information.
      > Mean sea level is an average taken over time.

      I have read HUNDREDS of articles that talk about fake global warming data (both supporting it an denying it). Sea level data is easy to manipulate since the sea level is ALWAYS changing. The link you provided above says:

      “Precise determination of a “mean sea level” is a difficult problem because of the many factors that affect sea level”

      Google fake global warming data and you get 2.6 MILLION hits. One interesting site that popped up was:

      http://ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/images/fake-images

      It seems like you are a smart person (despite having different views on Unions than I do) and probably know that the “climate” has never been the “same” so we have always had “climate change” (and even if the cave men drove electric cars charged by solar panels some species would still be extinct).

      Today we have two groups with tons of money spinning data trying to get even more money by saying “our stuff (e.g. power plants gas powered cars) does not cause climate change” and “our stuff (e.g. LED lights and electric cars) will help stop climate change”.

      1. wdf1

        SoD: “Precise determination of a “mean sea level” is a difficult problem because of the many factors that affect sea level”

        It doesn’t mean that it is impossible to determine, though.

        Google fake global warming data and you get 2.6 MILLION hits. One interesting site that popped up was:

        http://ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/images/fake-images

        You can do a google search like that, but it might be important to examine the search results carefully.

        Is there something specific in that website that you want to refer to? Because by and large, it is a website that supports conventional research that demonstrates “global warming” (if that’s the term you prefer to use, I’ll go with it). A search of that website sites a number of sources that show steady average rise in sea level. Nothing that says sea level rise isn’t happening.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          One of the articles I read said that water in oceans aren’t spread out evenly like a lake (small body of water). Some oceans are higher, some lower. Gravity and other factors come into play. The ocean outside the SF Bay has risen and fallen 6 inches … this isn’t new.

          1. wdf1

            TBD: One of the articles I read said that water in oceans aren’t spread out evenly like a lake (small body of water). Some oceans are higher, some lower. Gravity and other factors come into play.

            I agree with that. The Pacific Ocean is ~20 cm higher than the Atlantic at the Panama Canal, for instance. Source, but then you probably shouldn’t rely on it, because that same page explains that sea level has been rising over the past few decades.

            The ocean outside the SF Bay has risen and fallen 6 inches … this isn’t new.

            Over what period of time? source? I’d be interested.

            All this doesn’t exactly negate the observed trend of a gradually-rising sea level over the past several decades.

  14. Tia Will

    OK guys, you can argue global warming back and forth all you like with study vs study cherry picked to prove what ever your ideologic preference is. Two simple questions. 1) Does any of you believe that the air quality is not better with reduced emissions. 2) Does any of you believe that it is not healthier to walk, or skateboard, or bike or use public transportation than it is to use one’s gasoline burring car ?

    1. Frankly

      Does anybody believe that restrictions on carbon emissions restrict economic grown and energy production which both hurt millions of people?

    2. TrueBlueDevil

      1. Yes, I prefer reduced emissions. But at what cost? There are rational tradeoffs, and for example, a family struggling to put food on the table is getting killed by $4.30 a gallon gas given to us by Obama’s failed policies.

      2. Walking or biking are preferred, when possible. But America is a large nation, and we are car dependent, and most will be for a long time. I’d make insulation a top priority, nuclear power, and Natural Gas, especially for cars.

      1. Tia Will

        ” we are car dependent, and most will be for a long time. ”

        What you are not stating is that this is a matter or choice. Other options are available.
        One example. Imagine that we had put all the money that we spent on foreign wars / and or military actions abroad into high speed rail for the corridors identified as benefiting from this approach ? Would we not have a system that encourages people to get out of their cars ?

        Or what if we had decided to put that money into funding for clean transportation development ?

        Or what if we incentivized companies that are involved in producing products designed specifically to harm people, weapons for example, into retooling so as to produce goods that actually benefit people.

        None of this is impossible, it is all a matter of choice. True, we cannot go back and redo the decisions made in the past, but we could certainly chose as a society to stop walking down the same destructive paths that we have previously chosen.

        1. South of Davis

          Tia wrote:

          > What you are not stating is that this is a matter or choice.
          > Other options are available.

          True, but other options don’t work well for most people (I’m betting that you like most others that can afford one owns a car). I can ride my bike to work since I live and work in Davis, but that is not as easy for my neighbor that works in Vacaville…

          > One example. Imagine that we had put all the money that
          > we spent on foreign wars / and or military actions abroad into
          > high speed rail for the corridors identified as benefiting from
          > this approach ?

          I’m no fan of “foreign wars” and since there is so much money in in most politicians of BOTH parties (I may not agree with Barbara Lee on everything but was happy to see that ONE member of Congress can say no to defense industry money) just can’t say no. High speed rail will only get a “few” people out of their cars, since “high speed” rail does not have many stops (it a train has a lot of stops it is not “high speed” any more)

  15. Tia Will

    Does any one believe that industries that can be updated with old technologies made obsolete has not happened over and over again in the history of humans, and that we could not do this again if we had the will to change in a more healthful direction ?

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Thank you! Yes. See Obama’s economy and Australia for proof.

      Imagine how many tens of millions of middle class and poor families would benefit from $3.00 a gallon gas.

      1. South of Davis

        TBD wrote:

        > Thank you! Yes. See Obama’s economy and Australia for proof.
        > Imagine how many tens of millions of middle class and poor
        > families would benefit from $3.00 a gallon gas.

        Gas in Australia is closer to $6.00/gallon than $3.00/gallon, I don’t get your point. Just going by gas price (not getting care at a VA hospital) we are doing better under Obama than Australia and the (workers paradise) in France where gas is about $9.00/gallon (and the toll roads are now so expensive that Ryanair and cabs is a far cheaper way to get around France than driving (even a tiny rental Fiat that uses cheaper diesel and gets 50mpg)…

    2. Frankly

      They are. They will. Inventions from free market change the world for the better. Government intervention to try and change the world for the better usually results in making things worse.

  16. Tia Will

    “Inventions from free market change the world for the better. ”

    Agreed, but you forgot the last part of your sentence……and for the worse.

    Do you honestly think that the manufacturers of tobacco and or meth, both free market enterprises are making the world better ?
    Cars have made our world faster and more readily accessible. They have also been the cause of untold numbers of deaths, both directly and indirectly from declining environmental quality.
    Antibiotics have saved countless lives, and killed some folks either directly through anaphylactic reactions or by overuse leading to the existence of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.
    Examples placed in order deliberately from drugs which are known to produce no good effects for people, to cars which clearly could be innovated to cleaner models faster if auto manufactures had not fought forever to avoid doing so, to medications designed to help, but also having clear downsides.

    Darn, there I go with those nuances again.

    Every law that we have is a response to someone’s perceived unfairness or fault in others. If everyone decided tomorrow to not make a profit off killing others ( weapons manufacturers, tobacco companies) or producing products that are known to be detrimental to the individual or the society, I would agree, no government regulation needed. I don’t think we live in that world yet, do you ?

    1. wdf1

      Scientists Politely Remind World That Clean Energy Technology Ready To Go Whenever

      CAMBRIDGE, MA—Stating that they just want to make sure it’s something everyone keeps in mind going forward, an international consortium of scientists gently reminded the world Wednesday that clean energy technologies are pretty much ready to go anytime. “We’ve got solar, wind, geothermal—we’re all set to move forward with this stuff whenever everyone else is,” said Dr. Sandra Eakins, adding that researchers are also doing a lot of pretty amazing things with biomass these days. “Again, we’re good to go on this end, so just let us know. You seriously should see these new hydrogen fuel cells we have. Anyway, just say the word, and we’ll start rolling it out.” At press time, representatives from the world’s leading economies had signaled that they would continue to heavily rely on fossil fuels until they had something more than an overwhelming scientific consensus to go on.

      source

  17. Tia Will

    “Government intervention to try and change the world for the better usually results in making things worse.”

    Except when it is laws you favor ? Should we have no immigration law, just open borders ? I’m game, but I doubt that you are ?
    How about no anti gang laws ? I am quite sure that gang members consider their activities their legitimate business. We allow tobacco companies to knowingly kill. So why prevent some from killing, but allow this privileged to others ?
    How about no laws on where people can live ? Just find an open spot and pitch your tent ? Would that be ok with you ?

    It seems to me that the laws that you favor all are designed to protect the possessions that you and I enjoy.
    The laws and regulations that you do not favor are those that protect us from those who would make a profit regardless of the harm caused by doing so. And even in that, you are inconsistent with you favoring some laws and seeing others as needless government regulation.
    Both sets of laws are created by our very own government which is exactly the same as we the people have elected. So whose fault is it really ?

  18. wdf1

    Frankly: There is other proxy data that indicates that areas where warmer.

    …and data from other areas that indicates cooler temperatures at the same time. Globally it doesn’t indicate any notable warming period as much as it does in the North Atlantic.

    However, the “science” community conveniently pulls those out of the dataset as local or regional abnormalities.

    You prefer that the “science” community instead be less global in perspective and focus just on the North Atlantic?

    Why would that be preferable to you?

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