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Stop Climate Change Denial

Comment posted at Green Car Congress in response to other comments downplaying an alarming post about CO2-caused ocean acidification (which a new study shows threatens to affect the entire food chain):

I’m really tired of all the climate change skeptics. This blog is called "Green Car Congress," not "Oil Apologist’s Congress." If you really think climate change is bunk, why do you even care about green cars? Go hang out with the fossil fuel lobby.

Green technology not only means reducing CO2, but also increasing efficiency, thus making better use of scarce resources, achieving higher productivity, and many other benefits.

What’s more, it’s becoming clearer, as in this post, that simple warming is not the only effect we should be concerned with. The study about ocean acidification is only one of many effects which are sure to compound in their severity. The others are desertification, disruption of ocean currents, more and stronger hurricanes, and rising waters. The potential impacts on human civilization are simply enormous. Even the insurance industry is starting to pay attention.

What exactly is the intellectual point of questioning the 99% consensus on climate science? Is anyone here seriously arguing for continued and unmitigated burning of fossil fuels until they are all gone?? At what point do we acknowledge that policy needs to be changed, and begin to make the difficult transition. It could have happened 30 years ago, but oh, no. Better to keep sucking what might as well be called "black tar heroin" from the Middle East. Look where THAT got us.

Carbon mitigation, sequestration, and renewable technologies are justified WITHOUT even considering climate change. Oil and coal externalities are NOT being paid for by users. Government policy supports cheap fossil fuel use to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars a year. (Health costs, depletion costs, military expenditures, etc. – this has been exceedingly well-documented). Now comes the science to say "This is about more than money. We are ruining our future." The climate change deniers just want to keep their gravy-train free-ride going. They are looking for unattainable certainty before taking any action. Well of course they are. Because it would cost them dearly.

As Gore said in his movie "There’s a trillion barrels of easily recoverable oil still left to pump. At an average price of $100 per barrel, that’s $100 trillion dollars." But what is the financial value of a functioning ecosystem? What would be the true cost of ignoring this problem?

Climate change deniers are greedy thieves who want to keep stealing from our collectively owned natural capital, raising CO2 levels with no taxes or economic disincentives, and running the earth into the ground. Greed and mendacity are the ONLY explanations there could be for taking such a preposterous and anti-human position.

It would be only fair if the Michael Crichtons of the world were the first to feel the effects of their denial. But there is no justice–those who will suffer most will be the poorest citizens. The suffering won’t be felt as much by the pampered lobbyists and celebrity authors who are still trying to sell us their pathetic and absolutely unscientific snow job.

Enough is enough. Stop this nonsense. Let’s call a spade a spade.


Comments (9 comments)

Francois Tremblay / July 7th, 2006, 4:38 am / #1

Oh, is this another case of “if you disagree with me, you’re a rich bastard”? If I had a penny every time someone told me I must be rich, I would indeed be rich! But I’m a poor unemployed prole.

And yet I’m against global warming alarmism, I’m against Net Socialism (sorry… I mean “Net Neutrality”), and I’m against the minimum wage.

Go figure, huh?

BlackSun / July 7th, 2006, 8:46 am / #2

Franc, by “disagree” you mean you actually are going to take issue with the entire 96- page report on ocean acidification? (Have you even read it?) Or are you going to seriously tell me that the ice cores they’ve pulled showing our highest-CO2 concentrations in 600,000 years don’t matter? Or are you going to look at the unprecedented ice-melt in Greenland and Antarctica and say it isn’t real? Or what about the runaway methane cascade happening at the Siberian permafrost. Methane is 20 times as potent a greenhouse gas as CO2, and as the permafrost melts, it’s being released in large amounts, creating a runaway feedback loop of warming. This is not make-believe. And it’s all happened in the last 50 years as world carbon output has increased. The past 10 years have been the hottest on record, with the last 2 the hottest yet!

You must be turning into a RELATIVIST. It’s the only explanation for why you “disagree” with the undisputed facts accepted unanimously by over 99% of the scientists working on the problem.

My understanding was that you didn’t think science was open to dispute. You’re all about science when it comes to combating Intelligent Design nonsense, and other matters. But suddenly when we’re talking climate change, you’re cherry picking? What’s up with that?

Francois Tremblay / July 7th, 2006, 9:40 am / #3

I am not “cherry-picking science”. Politically paid opinions are not “science”. If the study you mention is based on actual science then I support it.

BlackSun / July 7th, 2006, 10:24 am / #4

Ocean acidification report from, NOAA, USGS, and the National Science Foundation. Since these are government agencies under a republican administration, if they were allowing political pressure to affect their reporting, it would seem to go the other way, not toward implicating human-caused environmental damage. (12MB download):

http://www.ucar.edu/communications/Final_acidification.pdf

Here’s the Bush-administration-influenced waffling statement by the US EPA. Even they state that “the low end of the projections would be greater warming than that seen in the last 10,000 years.”

http://yosemite.epa.gov/oar/globalwarming.nsf/content/climateuncertainties.html

Graphs from the intergovernmental panel on climate change:

http://www.ipcc.ch/present/graphics/2001syr/large/02.01.jpg

I think you get the idea, Franc. My idea here is not to be insulting, but to promote understanding. We really have to deal with this problem, and government inaction, specifically the U.S., Canada, and Australia, as well as developing nations like China and India, is making that well-nigh impossible.

a / July 8th, 2006, 10:07 am / #5

Is it a possibility that there is another variable in this debacle? Are “we” 100% sure it is CO2 causing the?

It was to my understanding that the changes were real(cyclical or otherwise) but the effects, the “hype”, were mostly political bullshit.

Btw- Have you ever heard of the “tipping point”?

BlackSun / July 8th, 2006, 2:50 pm / #6

a,

If even 20% of the scientific studies were true, it’s bigger than nuclear weapons, H5N1 flu, and religious tyranny combined.

Think about it: loss of the marine food chain, rising sea levels, and a dramatic decline in the amount of habitable land areas worldwide, just for starters. The result would be predictable–starvation, war, and general debacle of unimagined proportions. We take earth’s systems for granted, because we’ve always been able to rely on them.

There’s never been a threat like it. Funny you should mention “tipping point.” This is a relevant concept, since most of earths’ systems occupy punctuated equilibria, (a concept borrowed from biological evolution)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punctuated_equilibria

Earth’s systems can be thrown into vastly different states with unpredictable results. There’s been a lot of work done to understand what may cause shifts in the equilibria. We may be at or past the tipping point already. Tipping point is also a borrowed concept from sociology. A more relevant entry may be “catastrophe theory”:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catastrophe_theory

If we care about human survival and prosperity, it doesn’t seem too prudent to stake everything on the possibility that it may all be hype. I think we’re past that stage, and anyone who takes time to carefully review the evidence seems to agree.

We may not be able to stop it, but if there’s any chance, the first step would be to admit we have a problem.

a / July 8th, 2006, 8:57 pm / #7

“If we care about human survival and prosperity, it doesn’t seem too prudent to stake everything on the possibility that it may all be hype.”

Why not? And how should I go about being “prudent” in this ‘crisis’?

Mark / July 9th, 2006, 8:46 pm / #8

If we assume that the earth is warming a bit because of CO2 emissions, the questions to ask are:

1. What are the effects of global warming, good and bad? They can’t be all bad.
2. What can be done about the bad effects?
3. What is the cost of doing something going to be? Will it be worth the cost?
4. How does the “problem” of global warming compare to the problems of poverty, war and disease?

BlackSun / July 10th, 2006, 11:14 am / #9

Mark, it’s like the commercial says. “We don’t make all the products you buy…we make all the products you buy…better.”

Climate change will be: “We don’t make all the problems that plague your world, (like war, poverty, and disease), we make all the problems that plague your world…worse!”

a, like I said, acknowledging the problem is the first step. We’re all going to have to figure out the rest.

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