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Climate Change Passé?
Old 07-21-2011, 08:49 AM   #1
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Climate Change Passé?

A few years ago, whenever we'd have a heat wave like this, the news media would always say "Is this global warming?" and the answer would be something like "Who knows?"

But with this recent heat wave and drought, there hasn't been any mention of climate change on NBC nightly news, at least. Is it just out of fashion to talk about that? Old news like freeway shootings and shark attacks?
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:01 AM   #2
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Yeah, it is not new any more and media need "news".
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:26 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
But with this recent heat wave and drought, there hasn't been any mention of climate change on NBC nightly news, at least. Is it just out of fashion to talk about that? Old news like freeway shootings and shark attacks?
Hopefully it's just an improvement in science literacy finally making it to the newsroom. Heat waves and droughts are no more indicative of global warming than record cold temps are an indicator of global cooling. Usually when someone on either side cites current weather as evidence for anything regarding climate, you're about to have a political discussion rather than a scientific one.
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:40 AM   #4
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Hopefully it's just an improvement in science literacy finally making it to the newsroom. Heat waves and droughts are no more indicative of global warming than record cold temps are an indicator of global cooling. Usually when someone on either side cites current weather as evidence for anything regarding climate, you're about to have a political discussion rather than a scientific one.

Not sure where I read or heard this... (heck, it could have been here).... but I believe I saw it on TV....

They were interviewing someone about global warming and asked a like question... his response was something like this "that is weather and not climate" IOW, weather is happening 'now', like the heat wave. Climate is more global and over time....
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:49 AM   #5
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I don't know. It's really tough , I think our own perceptions affect what we think we hear. Like you buy a new car, then you notice that same model all over the place.

Anyway, I got curious, and a very unscientific google news search of "climate change" "heat wave" for the dates 6/30 - 7/21 came up with:

2011 - 65
2010 - 56
2009 - 14
2008 - 26
2007 - 34

Of course, this would vary depending on whether (weather?) there was a heat wave in those time periods those years. But I wasn't that motivated to try to map it to the weather patterns, just curious enough to do that simple search.


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Old 07-21-2011, 10:26 AM   #6
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The fact that the earth is getting warmer can't be refuted. One of the effects of global warming is the severity of the weather. Not just heat waves but also winter storms and hurricanes. The actual overall increase in the temperature is unnoticed by most humans but the more violent weather won't be unnoticed. Here is one reputable site showing some of the FACTS of global warming: Global Warming Fast Facts
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:03 PM   #7
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Here is one reputable site showing some of the FACTS of global warming: Global Warming Fast Facts
If they want to be considered reputable they'll drop the references to the IPCC (a political organization under the UN with a history of controversial "research" and findings that don't need to be exposed again here) and instead cite real research. There's plenty of that to go around, much of it supports the observation that temperatures are increasing, and that much of this is likely anthropogenic.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:41 PM   #8
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The current financial crisis tends to make Climate Change less of a news issue.
It is still talked about, but not as loudly or often as financial issues as people are more concerned about finances that climate.
Funny thing is, adapting to climate change will incur more physical and financial hardships as it progresses.
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:43 PM   #9
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Funny thing is, adapting to climate change will incur more physical and financial hardships as it progresses.
So true. Expensive if we deal with it now, expensive down the road if we don't: UN says climate change threatens global security | World | Deutsche Welle | 21.07.2011.

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What might appear self-evident to many took days of complicated discussions and negotiations at the UN Security Council in New York. But in the end, the 15 member states of the most powerful UN body agreed that a rise in global temperatures could pose a serious threat to world peace.
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Old 07-21-2011, 02:08 PM   #10
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So true. Expensive if we deal with it now, expensive down the road if we don't: UN says climate change threatens global security | World | Deutsche Welle | 21.07.2011.

DD
Is there an update to these two scenarios?:

A) We take drastic measures to reduce carbon output.

B) We take only the easiest, least costly measures to reduce carbon output.

From what the IPCC was saying earlier, because there is such a 'the horse has already left the barn' effect, that in either case, we would have to make big adaptations. So much so that their predictions for each overlapped.

So I don't think we can frame this as "do 'A' and we fix the problem." I think the understanding is closer to "Do 'A', and we still have a lot to deal with, and all we probably did is push the effects out by 20 years or so, so we will still need to deal with the effects."


I'm not saying we should do nothing - I'm saying we need to make sure the cure isn't worse than the disease. The 'A' case was really drastic, IIRC. Like getting off almost all fossil fuel in a few years, something like that. It's fine to say 'we should do something', but we ought to understand just how much that 'something' is really going to help. It could even back-fire. People 'do something', and then fail to plan for the changes because they thought it was all fixed now. The newspapers told them so, just like they told them that electric cars are pollution free.

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Old 07-21-2011, 02:47 PM   #11
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I have no idea where the answer lies. Like I said, expensive either way, and predicting the costs and outcomes are likely impossible. The best case scenarios I have seen have the world achieving a new, warmer steady state decades down the road to which we will have to adapt, nothing I have heard would suggest we turn back the climate clock.

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Old 07-21-2011, 03:17 PM   #12
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I think it would niave to think that man isn't having some type of effect on the environment including the weather.
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:31 PM   #13
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I wonder what the "best" worldwide temperature is (for mankind's happiness, for the creatures on the planet, etc), and if there's any reason to believe it just happens to be the one we've got right now. I'm sure there would be winners and losers with any cooling or heating, and that heating and cooling has happened before.
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:51 PM   #14
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Here is one reputable site showing some of the FACTS of global warming: Global Warming Fast Facts
Facts? The second fact given is:
Quote:
• The rate of warming is increasing. The 20th century's last two decades were the hottest in 400 years and possibly the warmest for several millennia, according to a number of climate studies. And the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that 11 of the past 12 years are among the dozen warmest since 1850.
But the problem is that none of the actual facts referenced supports the contention that the rate of warming is increasing. This does not inspire great confidence in just how factual these facts are.
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:02 PM   #15
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But with this recent heat wave and drought, there hasn't been any mention of climate change on NBC nightly news, at least. Is it just out of fashion to talk about that? Old news like freeway shootings and shark attacks?
Somehow this turned into a debate about the legitimacy of global warming. But let me try to answer your original question.

I think the news has found the subject "too hard" since celebrities like Al Gore are no longer freely available to explain it to us lumpen masses. They're waiting for something new to take the public stage, like the entire population of Kiribati having to vacate their atolls for higher ground in another country.

But oooh, look over there! The first documented case of a human being bit by a cookie-cutter shark!!
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:09 PM   #16
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I think it would niave to think that man isn't having some type of effect on the environment including the weather.
I think it would naive to think that man is having some type of effect on the environment including the weather.

Global warming is not proof of man made global warming. 1 volcano can spew more gases into the environment than man could in 1000 years. The climate always has been and always will be changing. You want to know why? Look up, see that bright thing in the sky - it drives our planet's weather and climate. Always has, always will.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:23 PM   #17
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I guess the issue is this: if it is real, and man-caused, the short attention span of the population means that it's less likely that effective steps will be taken to do anything about it. We're like an ADD teenager who starts one project, then moves on before it's completed.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:21 AM   #18
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1 volcano can spew more gases into the environment than man could in 1000 years.
Do you have some numbers to back that up ? Obviously it'll be hard, what with 98% of the world's climate scientists being in on the conspiracy to poison our precious bodily fluids and impose a UN one-world Muslim Communist jackbooted distatorship, but presumably the other 2% could sneak a memory stick out of their labs every now and then without the black helicopters detecting it.

Volcano activity is a series of acute events which, over time, average out to be essentially constant. Their principal effect on the climate is due to particles (solid) and droplets of H2SO4 forming at altitude, not "gases" in the sense of CO2/CH4's greenhouse effect. Even some of the 2% of scientists who haven't been brainwashed by the liberal media conspiracy on this issue know the difference between solids, liquids, and gases, I believe.

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Look up, see that bright thing in the sky - it drives our planet's weather and climate. Always has, always will.
Ummm... yeah. And the amount of the 140W/square metre which gets trapped to warm everything up is a function of how much CO2 and methane is in the atmosphere to trap it.

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I guess the issue is this: if it is real, and man-caused, the short attention span of the population means that it's less likely that effective steps will be taken to do anything about it. We're like an ADD teenager who starts one project, then moves on before it's completed.
I'm afraid that that's probably true, especially since - at least historically - a lot of the people telling us what to do about it were taking great delight in saying we'd all have to cut back on economic growth. Finally, the environmentalists who'd got the past 10 panics wrong, were right about something, but because they sounded like (and in many cases were) tree-hugging hippies, it at got the right's back up and they haven't brought it down since.

The best communication initiative I've seen about this was a web site (I've long since lost the URL) which framed the CO2 debate entirely in terms of US dependence on foreign oil. It was pro-nuclear, pro-wind, etc, and the official point of view was "national energy security", which of course ought to be a big thing for Teabaggers. The real agenda was CO2 reduction, but that wasn't mentioned anywhere on the page. I suspect that things like that are going to be the only way to reach some people (kind of like making genetically-engineered green vegetables that taste like fried chicken as a way to combat obersity).
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:39 AM   #19
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Anyway, I got curious, and did a very unscientific google news search of "spaghetti sauce" and "delicious" for the recent years:

2011 - 45
2010 - 61
2009 - 110
2008 - 141
2007 - 374

I am not ready to make any conclusions about anything based on google news search results.
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:10 AM   #20
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I guess the issue is this: if it is real, and man-caused, the short attention span of the population means that it's less likely that effective steps will be taken to do anything about it. We're like an ADD teenager who starts one project, then moves on before it's completed.
The government will solve global warming right after it gets its budget balanced. One minor miracle at a time please.
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