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Climate Warming concerns from Isaac Asimov Ph.D. (not an honorary degree)

Isaac Asimov on PBS
Isaac Asimov PhD
(Biochemistry)

The following material demonstrates yet again that the broad outlines of the climate change story have been understood for decades by, well, intelligent people who are guided by science. I should not need to point out the obvious: climate change science was essentially complete long before Al Gore, long before the IPCC, long before the Hockey Stick.

Comment: Between 1940 and 1990, there existed a cadre of "great American explainers" who were able to inform the public about topics involving science. Examples include people like Isaac Asimov, Richard Feynman, and Carl Sagan to only name three of many. But since their deaths I have noticed the public slowly shift from science toward politics; meanwhile it would seem that intelligent conversation is on the decline.

Title Time Notes
Isaac Asimov on the Greenhouse Effect: 1977-05-21
www.youtube.com/watch?v=iz1g55H6XgA
4:58 Broadcaster: CBC Radio
Program: Quirks and Quarks
Host: David Suzuki
Isaac Asimov on  The Greenhouse Effect   - 1989-01-14
www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6tSYRY90PA
2:38  
Isaac Asimov -January 1989-01-14 Part 1 - The Threats to Humanity
www.youtube.com/watch?v=LO0sCs8jI4k
10:04  
Isaac Asimov -January 1989-01-14 Part 2 - The Answer for Humanity
www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpHPQCnHHl4
10:19  
 
Why is it called the greenhouse effect?
CBC Radio Broadcast Date: May 21, 1977

What does the greenhouse effect have to do with a greenhouse? And how does it work? In this 1977 clip from CBC Radio's Quirks and Quarks, popular science author Isaac Asimov tells us all about the greenhouse effect and how it could be warming up the Earth. He also explains why we should care. "This greenhouse effect can be very serious," says Asimov, "and it's something that we have to take into account."

http://www.cbc.ca/archives/categories/environment/climate-change/turning-up-the-heat-four-decades-of-climate-change/why-is-it-called-the-greenhouse-effect.html

Program Transcript (by NSR)
David Suzuki Isaac, we've been talking about a lot of words this year that most of our listeners may never have heard before. Do you have one that has become common in our everyday language?
Isaac Asimov Well, how about "Greenhouse Effect"? We know what a greenhouse is. Its a very common thing. Now, as you know, a greenhouse is made almost entirely of glass. And you figure, why glass? And the answer to that is that glass is transparent to visible light but not so transparent to infrared light. Infrared light is like visible light but has got longer waves. The longer the waves, the less energy it has. Now here's what happens; the high energy visible light from the sun goes through, and it heats up whatever is inside the greenhouse. Whatever is inside the greenhouse reradiates energy but at a lower energy intensity. So it doesn't reradiate visible light, it reradiates infrared. And that wont go through the glass very well so the heat is trapped inside the glass. The sunshine comes down, gets inside, stays there so to speak, so that the temperature inside the greenhouse is always higher than it is outside. And you manage to keep the plants growing even when, outside, it would be too cold for them to grow. Well then, anything which has this effect of allowing visible light to pass and being a barrier to infrared is said to have "a greenhouse effect" 
David Suzuki Um..hmm...
Isaac Asimov Now, one of the substances that has a greenhouse effect is carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is transparent to visible light but it absorbs infrared; it acts as a heat shroud. Now in our atmosphere there are 3 hundredths of a percent of carbon dioxide. This isn't much but it is enough to trap some heat and make the surface of the Earth warmer by a little bit then would otherwise be. Now when we are burning fuel at all times, coal and oil, we are always pouring carbon dioxide into the air. Some of the carbon dioxide dissolves in the oceans, some of it reacts with certain chemicals in the soil, but there's enough that gets into the atmosphere so that its going up slightly. And possibly by the time, um, say, another 50 years or so, it might, instead of 3 hundreds of a percent, it might be 5 hundreds of a percent. Well we'll never know the difference; carbon dioxide isn't particularly bad for us in that small quantity, we'll just breathe. But, its going to stop enough extra heat so that the surface of the Earth might be just a degree, or so, warmer on the average than it is now. Well this, too, isn't too bad. We can manage. The summers will be a little warmer and the winters a little milder. But, the peculiar thing is that perhaps this little additional heat on the Earth, generally, might suffice to start melting the ice caps. In other words, right now they melt a little in the summer and they freeze a little in the winter, and there's a balance. But if the Earth gets even a little warmer, maybe a little more will melt in the summer and a little bit less will freeze in the winter, and little by little they'll start melting. And all that water will run into the ocean and raise the level 200 feet (~ 51 m) and drown all the coasts, so that this greenhouse effect can be very serious and is something we have to take into account as we're working along. Now the planet Venus has a thick atmosphere which is 95 percent carbon dioxide. It has a runaway greenhouse effect and the temperature on the planet Venus is something like 500 degrees Centigrade (932 F) [which is] hot enough to melt lead. Entirely because of the heat trap of the atmposphere.
David Suzuki That really worries me because my wife and I live right on the ocean, in the ah, Pacific Ocean.
Isaac Asimov Well, I need not say that New York is right on the Atlantic Ocean.
David Suzuki Right. What was the, ah, concern, a while back, with the SST; that it might increase the greenhouse effect. What was the argument there? Do you know?
Isaac Asimov Well, the SST would release... see, carbon dioxide isn't the only molecule, uh, that acts as a greenhouse effect, there are other complicated molecules that do so, also. Ah, nitrous oxide, methane, and so on. Uh, but they are present in the atmosphere is far smaller quantities. But, the SST can release these molecules in the upper atmosphere, and uh, even small quantities can trap a little more heat. Also, they can react with the ozone layer...
David Suzuki Um..hmm...
Isaac Asimov ...so that it also might threaten the ozone layer. This is not something which is absolutely certain but some scientists thought we oughtn't to have taken chances like that either
David Suzuki Thanks a lot Isaac.
 

More Videos: http://vidgrids.com/interview-with-isaac-asimov

A recently discovered nugget

Recently discovered nugget:

Dr. James Hansen of the NASA Goddard Institute delivers a lecture (2010-09-15) on:

Human-Made Climate Change: A Moral, Political, and Legal Issue.
http://ww3.tvo.org/video/163807/dr-james-hansen-human-made-climate-change

Quote (first few sentences):
This topic, Human-made Climate Change, is a moral issue because of the tremendous potential for intergenerational injustice. And unfortunately, the political system seems to be unable to deal with it, or is unwilling to deal with it. So I think it is going to become a legal issue because young people deserve equal protections of the laws. I mean, [in] the same way that civil rights was eventually dealt with by the courts requiring governments to desegregate and provide equal rights to minorities, I think, as I will discuss in a bit, I think that that is going to be an essential part of the solution to get the legal (court system) involved. Which is perhaps less influenced by fossil fuel money than the executive and legislative branches of the governments.

Three good 'Climate Science' information sites for citizens and laypeople

Site name Science Level URL
Climate Denial 'Crock of the Week' General http://climatecrocks.com
Climate Progress Medium-Low http://climateprogress.org
Skeptical Science Medium-Low
to
Medium-High
(user selectable)
http://www.skepticalscience.com

An introduction to climate change science for the citizen/layperson.

The "truth" about the email thefts from the University of East Anglia known as Climategate.

Shocking Revelations about American Climate Denial

UCSD (University of California at San Diego) Professor of History and Science Studies Naomi Oreskes Ph.D. presented this 58 minute lecture on the History of Global Warming Science titled The American Denial of Global Warming

Do Climategate Emails Cut Both Ways? (yes)

Preface (face-value of the internet)

The internet is fantastic for locating things to buy (e.g. new books, out-of-print books, etc.) but I hate using it for doing research. Why? Search engines preferentially return links to blog entries which appear to me to be no more useful than restroom graffiti. For example, it is a mystery to me why anyone places any value in blog entries which:

The internet can be useful if you use it to locate high quality data sources but this activity is a lot like "separating wheat from the chaff" which can be tedious while never perfect. These two search tools allow me to locate higher quality data:

URL Notes
http://www.google.ca/advanced_search be sure to select "READING LEVEL" to "intermediate" or "advanced"
http://scholar.google.ca then enter the scholar's name

Introduction

For some reason unknown to me, one of my co-workers prefers the publications of two scientists (Roy Spencer and John Christy) at the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH). Personally speaking, I believe their scientific reputations are diminished whenever they publish for conservative think-tanks like the Heartland Institute or the George C Marshall Institute (where Roy Spencer is on the board of directors) but I digress.

My Personal Investigation

While I was in the middle of researching the published works of "John Christy and Roy Spencer", an e-friend sent me this URL ( http://www.EastAngliaEmails.com ) which will allow any visitor to search through the stolen emails at the heart of the Novermber-2009 controversy known as Climatgate. I pulled up the main web page then entered the phrase “spencer christy” into the search box which brought up 34 hits. One of them presented this 2005 email:
http://www.EastAngliaEmails.com/emails.php?eid=526&filename=.txt
 
From: Phil Jones <p.jones@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>
To: "Michael E. Mann" <mann@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>
Subject: Empire Strikes Back - return of proper science !
Date: Fri May 20 13:45:26 2005

Mike,

Just reviewed Caspar's paper with Wahl for Climatic Change. Looks pretty good.
Almost reproduced your series and shows where MM have gone wrong. Should keep
them quiet for a while. Also they release all the data and the R software. Presume
you know all about this. Should make Keith's life in Ch 6 easy !
Also, confidentially for a few weeks, Christy and Spencer have admitted
at the Chicago CCSP meeting that their 2LT record is wrong !! They used the wrong
sign for the diurnal correction ! Series now warms - not quite as much as the surface
but within error bands. Between you and me, we'll be going with RSS in Ch 3
and there will be no discrepancy with the surface and the models. Should make Ch 3
a doddle now ! Keep quiet about this until Bern at least. Can tell you more then.
RSS (Carl Mears and Frank Wentz) found the mistake !
The skeptic pillars are tumbling !
Cheers
Phil

Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) 1603 592090
School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) 1603 507784
University of East Anglia
Norwich Email p.jones@xxxxxxxxx.xxx
NR4 7TJ
UK
Well, this was the first time I heard of this issue which prompted me to look elsewhere.

Using Search Engines to Learn More

  1. Dropping the next line into a Google text box will allow you restrict your search to the IPCC site:

    site:www.ipcc.ch Mears Wentz Spencer Christy

    note: the "site:" parameter can be used to restrict Google searches to any web site you specify. Not just the IPCC
  2. Now Google these phrases (blogs will be less useful to you than scientific journals or pages from NASA or NOAA):

    Mears Wentz
     
    Mears Wentz Spencer Christy
  3. One interesting hit came from a 2005 article in Science ( www.sciencemag.org ) titled: "The Effect of Diurnal Correction on Satellite-Derived Lower Tropospheric Temperature". Since I didn't have a subscription to AAAS (the publishers of Science), I dropped the quoted title into Google which yielded this hit:
    Abstract: "The Effect of Diurnal Correction on Satellite-Derived Lower Tropospheric Temperature" by Carl A. Mears and Frank J. Wentz

    Satellite-based measurements of decadal-scale temperature change in the lower troposphere have indicated cooling relative to Earth's surface in the tropics. Such measurements need a diurnal correction to prevent drifts in the satellites' measurement time from causing spurious trends. We have derived a diurnal correction that, in the tropics, is of the opposite sign from that previously applied. When we use this correction in the calculation of lower tropospheric temperature from satellite microwave measurements, we find tropical warming consistent with that found at the surface and in our satellite-derived version of middle/upper tropospheric temperature.

    http://www.remss.com/papers/mears_science_2005.pdf - original paper published in SCIENCE

The "Coles Notes" Summary of this Dispute

Introduction to Climate Measurements

Radiosonde weather probes are launched from balloons at eight hundred locations every day. Nearly all routine launches occur 45 minutes before the official observation times of 0000 UTC and 1200 UTC, so as to provide an instantaneous snapshot of the atmosphere. The measurements are sent to various groups like the World Meteorological Organization where they are made available to other climate researchers including those who create computer climate models. Since humans were involved in collecting radiosonde data, many believed more accurate and consistent measurements could be obtained using weather satellites.
 
But satellites can't measure temperature directly so how do they do it? Most people reading this will already possess some hands-on practical experience using microwave ovens where microwave radio waves are employed to induce water molecules to oscillate, thus producing kinetic energy in the form of heat. It turns out that the reverse is also true; atmospheric heat will induce atmospheric molecules to oscillate which, in turn, will release microwaves which can be detected by specially constructed radio receivers. The intensity and frequency of these microwaves enable satellites to infer the temperature and composition of the atmosphere below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_temperature_record

Each molecule has its own signature microwave frequency. It is really important to properly interpret satellite spot measurements from successive orbits. For example, after you remove the changes due to a rotating tilted Earth, if you compare measurements at 7:09 today with measurements from 7:10 yesterday, you might falsely infer a cooling trend (because today's measurement was one minute closer to sunrise).
 
Two Groups, Two Results

It turned out that there had been previous disagreements between the two published interpretations of publically available raw NASA satellite measurements.
  1. One interpretation came from RSS (Remote Sensing Systems) and indicated global warming. This agreed with radiosonde data.
     
  2. The other interpretation came from UAH (University of Alabama at Huntsville) and indicated global cooling.
Apparently it took some time (possibly 10 years?) for the RSS researchers to get access to the algorithms used by the UAH researchers. The RSS people noticed two critical errors: One of them was a sign error in the diurnal correction term, the other was an algebraic error. Mears and Wentz of RSS published their findings in the 2 September 2005 paper issue of Science which is a weekly publication of the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science). In the letters area of the same issue, Roy Spencer and John Christy acknowledged the errors then added "that the UAH numbers now indicate a slight warming”. The letters go back and forth for a few months.
Access Note: signing up for a free guest account at SCIENCE will allow you to search the articles and read abstracts. Paying $99 will allow you full access to articles and letters for 12 months. If you can't afford to pay $99 then contact your college or university library to access SCIENCE using their subscription.
This is why this corrected chart titled "Surface and Satellite Temperatures" contains almost identical trend lines (slopes) for RSS and UAH. Reading the text description under the chart will throw more light on the subject.

Articles describing Satellite Temperature Measurement Science can be found here (listed in order of simplicity):
Satellite measurements of warming in the troposphere
http://www.skepticalscience.com/satellite-measurements-warming-troposphere-basic.htm
http://www.skepticalscience.com/satellite-measurements-warming-troposphere-intermediate.htm
http://www.skepticalscience.com/satellite-measurements-warming-troposphere-advanced.htm

Of Satellites and Air – A Primer on Tropospheric temperature measurement by Satellite
http://www.skepticalscience.com/Primer-Tropospheric-temperature-measurement-Satellite.html

Climate Change & Tropospheric Temperature Trends
http://www.scottchurchdirect.com/docs/MSU-Troposphere-Review01.pdf

The Political Controversy

No scientists have ever, or would ever, fault Roy Spencer and John Christy for making mistakes. Humans make mistakes. Even though scientists are trained to avoid the pit-falls which usually trip up non-scientists, they still make mistakes. This is why scientists value the peer-review publishing process so that errors don't escape into the wild where they would be picked up by the popular press.

However, it now appears that while Spencer and Christy admitted their mistakes to other scientists in 2005, they presented an opposite face to the North American public. When non-science people began searching through the Climatgate emails meant to discredit climate science (as well as the climate scientists at the CRU), they stumbled on the names of Spencer and Christy. Oops! Hey, aren't these two guys always on FOX News and conservative talk radio saying Earth is cooling? Once you learn that Roy Spencer is on the board of directors of George C Marshall Institute (an organization previously known for publishing misleading papers doubting the hazards of "smoking tobacco", "second hand smoke", etc.) then you realize that the invisible hand of big business is involved.
My 2-cents
I used to think that Roy Spencer and John Christy were honorable but misguided.

Academic Proof (from 2003)

Original Paper (from 2005)

Abstract: "The Effect of Diurnal Correction on Satellite-Derived Lower Tropospheric Temperature" by Carl A. Mears and Frank J. Wentz

Satellite-based measurements of decadal-scale temperature change in the lower troposphere have indicated cooling relative to Earth's surface in the tropics. Such measurements need a diurnal correction to prevent drifts in the satellites' measurement time from causing spurious trends. We have derived a diurnal correction that, in the tropics, is of the opposite sign from that previously applied. When we use this correction in the calculation of lower tropospheric temperature from satellite microwave measurements, we find tropical warming consistent with that found at the surface and in our satellite-derived version of middle/upper tropospheric temperature.

http://www.remss.com/papers/mears_science_2005.pdf - original paper published in SCIENCE

Those questionable blogs

I decided to search a little further and came up with theses blog pages which do not contain the academic coolness of a published peer-reviewed science paper. Nevertheless, it throws a little more light on the bad science produced by some people (Caveat: beware, almost all blogs contain questionable material)
So, thank god (small “g”) for the Climategate hackers because I might have never found out about this HUGE mistake. My main questions now are:
  1. If Roy Spencer and John Christy knew about their mistake in 2003 why did they not come clean until 2005?
     
  2. Why do Roy Spencer and John Christy still claim that they are correct while the combined efforts of several thousand, actively publishing, peer reviewed scientists in this field are wrong? Are they just saving face? Did they think Joe Citizen wouldn't read the papers published in professional scientific journals?

Dr. Roy Spencer "Fesses Up" (sort of)

Dr. John Christy "Fesses Up: (sort of)

The truth about the Climategate Emails (what they contain, and what they do not)

Words and Phrases Taken Out of Context

Examples:
  1. Most Christians are shocked to learn that the Bible actual says "There is no God" and it will be found between double quotes.
     
    Yep. The actual quote comes from Psalm 14-1 and you should all look it up.
     
    But the quote I just gave was take out of context. Here is the full quote:
     
    The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt. They have done abominable works. There is none who does good.
     
  2. This quote comes from Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642)
     
    "If you give me six lines written by the most honest man, I will find something in them to hang him."
     
    (which reminds me of things written about what went on when the church attacked the work of Galileo)
     
  3. During Climategate 2009 many phrases were taken out of context then presented to the public (by the science-denial echo-chamber) as evidence of various conspiracy theories.
     

How Did Some Scientists Get So Far Off Track?

Before launching satellites which were incapable of direct temperature measurements, mankind had access to daily world wide temperature measurements going back to 1860 (after mass production and distribution of the Fahrenheit Thermometer) as well as radiosonde data going back to 1958, both which always indicated global warming. So when new experimental satellite technology indicated a slight cooling, why where some researchers willing to discard two previous data sets without an explanation?

Climate Change #1 - "Global Warming" Food-For-Thought

Climate Change #2 - "It Is All About the Ice" (polar as well as glacial)

Climate Change #3 - "Global Dimming" A temporary reprieve?

NOVA | Dimming the Sun | PBS - Many non-scientists think global warming has stopped (see this graph: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming ) but this temporary (but still slowly rising) trend seems to be related to something called "global dimming".

Oversimplifying the global warming equation to just two terms:

 Resultant environmental temperature  =  Global warming (via greenhouse gases)  -  Global dimming (via cloud formation) 

With "global dimming", certain kinds of visible pollution (smoke-stack and tail-pipe emissions, volcanoes, etc.) stimulate white-cloud formation which reflects incoming solar energy back into space before it can be converted to trapped heat. This "Global dimming" theory gained unexpected real-world proof when the 9/11 attacks on New York resulted in the grounding of American aircraft for three days. During this time, scientists measured a very noticeable increase in surface temperature.

Climate Change #4 - A closer look at CO2 (Earth vs. Venus)

An optimal CO2 level is required for complex life but too much may be as dangerous as too little.
 
To see what I mean, consider the Wikipedia-sourced data in the following table (last column is derived from calculations):
 
Object Temperature Distance
from Sun
km
Atmo-
spheric
Pressure
kPa
Notes Mean
Radius
km
Apparent
2-d Area
(million
sq-km)
Min Mean Max
Moon
100 K
-46 C
220 K

390 K
150 million ~ 10-7 Same distance from the Sun as Earth
Atmosphere is very close zero
Temperature extremes would kill all life
1,737 9.48
Earth -89 C
184 K
14 C
287 K
57 C
331 K
150 million 101 Same distance from the Sun as our moon
Percentage of CO2: 0.039
~ 9% greater atmospheric pressure than Venus
6,371 127.52
Venus - 462 C
735 K
- 108 million 93 Hotter than Mercury while further from the sun
Percentage of CO2: 95
~ 9% less atmospheric pressure than Earth
6,051 115.03
Mercury
100 K
67 C
340 K

700 K
46 million
to       
70 million
0 Cooler than Venus while closer to the sun
No atmosphere to speak of
2,439 18.69

Initial Observations:

We can see CO2 in action (as a warming blanket) by comparing Earth to Venus:

 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000011111111111111111111111111 }
 0    1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    0    1    2    3    4    5 } - million km
 0    0    0    0    0    0    0    0    0    0    0    0    0    0    0    0 }
 |                        |                           |                     |
Sun                    Mercury                      Venus                 Earth
                       50 M-km                    108 M-km              150 M-km
A B C D E F G H I J
Planet Mean
Temp
Mean
Temp
Ratio
Mean
Radius
km
Apparent
2-d Area
(for solar
collection)
M sq-km
Solar
Distance
M km
Solar
Distance
Squared
(F^2)
Inverse
Solar
Dst Sq
(1/G)
Relative Solar
Collection
Factor
(E x H)
Adjusted
Ratio
Earth 287 K 1.000 6,371 127.5 150 22500 4.44e-5 0.0056673 1.0000
Venus 735 K 2.606 6,051 115.0 108 11664 8.57e-5 0.0098618 1.7401

Current 'Climate Change' Items

  1. A very simple introduction to climate modeling for non-science people
  2. www.CO2now.org - resource for CO2 emissions
     
  3. What do you get when you put a climate scientist and 52 skeptics in a room?
  4. What Climate-Change Deniers Fear Most: Thorough Explanations
  5. Visit www.skepticalscience.com to compare "what climate-change deniers wrote" vs. "what peer-reviewed climatologists published".
  6. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/ncdc.html - open access publicly available data from the U.S. government
  7. www.GlobalChange.gov - United States Global Change Research Program
     
  8. The scientific "facts" of climate change:
  9. Learning about Climate Change: I have read six books on climate change in the past year (two for, two neutral, and two against) and have come to the conclusion that learning about this multi-discipline problem is a lot like solving a complicated jig-saw puzzle: So what does puzzle-solving have to do with climate change? One Parting Caveat  
  10. Climate Denial Crock of the Week
  11. It Is All About the Ice (polar as well as glacial) <<<--- click here for the details
     
  12. Climate Change is causing extinction before our eyes:
  13. There have been five mass extinction events. One of them was caused by a 10 km wide asteroid impact while the other four were caused by events related to global warming. Question: How could warming cause death? Answer: High heat enables a population explosion of anaerobic microbes which, in turn, kills aquatic life involved in oxygen production. Atmospheric oxygen drops causing animals to die.
     
    Name Million
    Years
    Ago
    Reason
    Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event (K-T extinction) 65 Asteroid impact at Chicxulub Mexico
    Triassic-Jurassic extinction event 205 Climate Change (warming)
    Permian-Triassic extinction event 251 Climate Change (warming) caused by CO2 release from volcanoes
    Late Devonian extinction 360-375 Climate Change (warming)
    Ordovician-Silurian extinction event 440-450 Climate Change (warming)

  14. The Dirty-dozen of climate change denial - In 2006, according to the Pew Research Center, 77 percent of Americans saw "solid evidence" for global warming. By the fall of 2009, that figure had dropped to 57 percent—and just 36 percent said they believed that humans are to blame. That's good news for climate change sceptics and deniers, who have spent years trying to perpetuate the illusion that the reality of climate change is up for debate. Never mind that the scientific consensus is firmly on the side of global warming—for anyone seeking an alternate view, there's an entire parallel universe where junk science and bogus statistics ricochet through an echo chamber of kooky blogs, "nonpartisan" institutes, and fake "green" and "citizen" groups that are often acting on behalf of the oil and coal industry.
     
  15. www.climateprogress.org featuring Diagnosing a Victim of Anti-Science Syndrome (ASS)
     
  16. "Global Warming" Food-For-Thought:
     
  17. Want to learn the basic science behind climate change? Check out this link:
    http://climateprediction.net/content/basic-climate-science
    A related link at this site will explain the basics of computer climate modeling.
     
  18. George Monbiot on climate change: "The denial industry"
    For years, a network of fake citizens' groups and bogus scientific bodies has been claiming that science of global warming is inconclusive. They set back action on climate change by a decade. But who funded them? Exxon's involvement is well known, but not the strange role of Big Tobacco. In the first of three extracts from his new book titled "HEAT: How to Stop the Planet from Burning", George Monbiot tells a bizarre and shocking new story
     
  19. Union of Concerned Scientists
     
  20. RealClimate - "climate science" from "the climate scientists"
     
  21. Global Warming: Man or Myth?  
  22. ZERI.org (Zero Emissions Research Initiatives) has successfully reforested 8000 hectares of acidic (pH 4) savannah in Columbia. Projects like this are probably the only practical way to reduce atmospheric CO2.

    Comment:  why do we dream about terraforming Mars when we have Mars-like places on Earth requiring our immediate attention? Since plants need sunlight, we should terraform all currently unusable land between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. To do this, the United Nations should start their own version of a group of volunteers similar to the Peace Corps. Perhaps non-violent federal prisoners volunteering for this program could have their sentences reduced by 67%.
     
  23. For the past 16 years, Norway (an oil producing & exporting nation) has been creating an economy less dependent on oil. What prompted all the forward thinking? A carbon tax introduced in 1992. Read the article online without charge at Canadian Geographic Magazine: www.canadiangeographic.ca/magazine/oct08/feature_norway_carbon_tax.asp
    1. Norway implemented a carbon tax to avoid the "so-called" "Dutch Disease" which is economic label to describe something that happened to the Netherlands when off-shore oil was discovered in 1959. Off-shore oil raised the value of their currency which then made it impossible for manufacturers to export products. This is happening now in Canada as Albert expands while Ontario shrinks. East coast oil will only make things worse.
    2. Norway has been doing CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) since 1996. So why does Stephen Harper say that measures like these will hurt Canada's economy? Oh yeah I forgot: he is an elected member of parliament representing Alberta (home of "the tar sands")
       
  24. Introduction to Climate Modeling for non-science people

Marketing Trumps Science?

Web sites are popping up claiming to be "Junk Science whistle blowers" but these propaganda sites are actually funded from the advertising budgets of oil companies (like ExxonMobil, Imperial Oil, etc.) and tobacco companies (like Philip Morris, Brown and Williamson, etc.) with the intention of convincing citizens to doubt science and then believe absurd non-sense.
Quote: As a memo from the tobacco company Brown and Williamson noted, "Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy." Both industries also sought to distance themselves from their own campaigns, creating the impression that they were spontaneous movements of professionals or ordinary citizens: the "grassroots".
These denial web sites tend to use the phrase "junk science" when referring "to peer-reviewed scientific research" and "sound science" when referring to "wishful thinking". To make matters worse, these companies fund many conservative think tanks making sure they get the academic opinions they desire. These denial sites and think tank people reference each other during debates which later filter down to newspapers or other web sites. Many employ scientists who "have not published any peer-reviewed material for more than 10 years" or "are working outside their area of expertise". For more information on this scam, please see pages 31-35 of the 2006-2007 book "Heat" by George Monbiot (with research by Dr. Mathew Prescott) or visit one of these links:

Art Imitates Life?

Quotes from the 1973 movie "Soylent Green"

A popular song from the 1980's

"Land of Confusion" (1986) by Genesis

A song about "nuclear war" or "ecocide"?

I must've dreamed a thousand dreams
Been haunted by a million screams	(starvation, disease, death)
But I can hear the marching feet	(the climate refugees?)
They're moving into the street.

Now did you read the news today?	(all corporate propaganda)
They say the dangers gone away		(climate denial)
But I can see the fires still alight	(world is overheating)
There burning into the night.		(fires from drought)

There's too many men,			(over population)
too many people,			(over population)
Making too many problems	 	(over population)
And not much love to go round		(except love of money)
Cant you see
This is a land of confusion?

This is the world we live in
And these are the hands were given Use them and lets start trying To make it a place worth living in. (nothing to add here) Ooh superman where are you now? When everything's gone wrong somehow? The men of steel, the men of power (uber-capitalism)
Are losing control by the hour. (the truth is coming out) This is the time, this is the place So we look for the future But there's not much love to go round Tell me why, this is a land of confusion. This is the world we live in And these are the hands were given Use them and lets start trying To make it a place worth living in. I remember long ago Ooh when the sun was shining Yes and the stars were bright All through the night And the sound of your laughter As I held you tight So long ago I wont be coming home tonight My generation will put it right (push the old farts aside) Were not just making promises ("we" will "fix" this problem) That we know, well never keep. (wealthy people lied to us) Too many men, there's too many people Making too many problems And not much love to go round Cant you see This is a land of confusion? Now this is the world we live in And these are the hands were given Use them and lets start trying To make it a place worth fighting for. This is the world we live in And these are the names were given Stand up and lets start showing Just where our lives are going to.

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Neil Rieck
Kitchener - Waterloo - Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.