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Science

Global Warming Exposes New Islands in the Arctic 645

Posted by Zonk
from the go-north-young-man dept.
circletimessquare writes "The New York Times has a sobering article about the rapidly accelerating pace of glacial melting across the arctic, focusing on the discovery of new islands and the fact that this is occurring far faster than climate scientist's models predict. What were called Nunataks or 'lonely mountains' in Inuit, trapped in the ice, only a few years ago, are now in the open ocean by kilometers. Off of Greenland, what was known previously as peninsulas have been revealed to be islands as the ice retreats. Dennis Schmitt, a modern day explorer and discoverer of one of these new islands and fluent in Inuit, has named it Uunartoq Qeqertoq: the warming island."
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Global Warming Exposes New Islands in the Arctic

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  • Islands (Score:2, Insightful)

    by certel (849946) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @12:20PM (#17629870) Homepage
    It will be interesting to see what else is under the ice. The melting is definitely something we should be concerned about.
  • Re:Islands (Score:1, Insightful)

    by servo335 (853111) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @12:22PM (#17629922) Homepage
    They said global warming didn't exist! They said there was nothing to worry about! Lets see all these "experts" debunk this!
  • by KalvinB (205500) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @12:28PM (#17630052) Homepage
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenland [wikipedia.org]

    The fjords of the southern part of the island were lush and had a warmer climate at that time, possibly due to what was called the Medieval Warm Period. These remote communities thrived and lived off farming, hunting and trading with the motherland, and when the Scandinavian monarchs converted their domains to Christianity, a bishop was installed in Greenland as well. The settlements seem to have coexisted relatively peacefully with the Inuit, who had migrated southwards from the Arctic islands of North America around 1200. In 1261, Greenland became part of the Kingdom of Norway. Norway in turn entered into the Kalmar Union in 1397 and later the personal union of Denmark-Norway.

    After almost five hundred years, the Scandinavian settlements simply vanished, possibly due to famine during the fifteenth century in the Little Ice Age, when climatic conditions deteriorated, and contact with Europe was lost.

    ----------------

    So Greenland used to be green. Then it froze. Now it's turning green again. It's almost like it's a natural cycle.
  • Eh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @12:31PM (#17630124) Journal
    Just start buying up inland real estate, 'cause beachfront's gonna be moving.

    It's interesting that the models are proving to be conservative...Makes the case that the current warming trend is more closely related to a solar upswing (than greenhouse gas buildup) more persuasive. Either way, I think we need to start putting less thought into "how are we going to slow down our greenhouse gas emissions" and more thought into "what steps are we going to need to take to deal with the inevitable consequences of the current warming trend."
  • Don't Panic (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ibirman (176167) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @12:36PM (#17630204) Homepage
    According to the article, Greenland has 630,000 cubic miles of ice. If all of it melted it will raise ocean levels by 23 feet, but the article also says we are losing only 80 cubic miles per year. At that rate it will take over 300 years to raise sea levels by a foot. This is reason for concern, but don't buy that inland beachfront yet!
  • Re:Islands (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @12:36PM (#17630214)
    this is occurring far faster than climate scientist's models predict

    Then the models should be considered inaccurate.
  • Re:Eh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @12:40PM (#17630294)

    Makes the case that the current warming trend is more closely related to a solar upswing (than greenhouse gas buildup) more persuasive.

    What reputable scientist ever argued that it was one or the other? Every recent study I've seen not funded by oil companies includes solar cycles as one factor, but which is not sufficient to explain the trends on its own. We expect the temperatures to go up due to solar cycles, but they don't come close to explaining the aberrant rate of increase unless there have been developments I haven't heard about.

    Either way, I think we need to start putting less thought into "how are we going to slow down our greenhouse gas emissions" and more thought into "what steps are we going to need to take to deal with the inevitable consequences of the current warming trend."

    Accepting global warming as inevitable for a time is a thing of the past. We can't turn this around in a short time period. We need to be figuring out how to deal with warming, but we also need to be figuring out if there is anything we can do to deter it before we get drastic climate shifts or before we're committed to 1,000 years of climbing temperatures around the globe.

    And now the inevitable analogy. We don't look at an incident of shooting in the inner city and say, "well people have been shot now, lets not worry about catching the shooter and focus on treating the wounds." We need to work on both.

  • The end is nigh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ZombieSquirrel (978302) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @12:46PM (#17630414)
    I saw some ass hate on Fox New the other day saying that global warming was good for the economy. Knowing that there are many in this country (including our own freaking president) who feel similarly, I can't help but think it might be too late. I honestly don't think the human animal can over come its greed and hunger for power. It might be time to accept the great purge is coming. Now, if only there was away to make sure that only the idiots perish.
  • Re:Eh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @12:46PM (#17630416) Journal
    I shall reiterate: "more closely related"

    I don't think it's an either or situation, but if we're getting a spike that is outside the bounds of models based primarily on increased greenhouse gas composition in the atmosphere, which indisputably contribute to warming, then we might want to factor in increased solar activity into our models to more accurately predict the climate trends into the next century.

    Participating in fricking global warming discussions is almost completely pointless...Whatever you say, there is bound to be someone who will latch on to one word and accuse you of being a hippy or an oil company shill.
  • Re:The usual steps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @12:47PM (#17630430) Homepage Journal
    Oil companies produces global warming


    Oh? Think so?

    I'll bet you have a car or maybe even an SUV. I'll bet it runs on gasoline, too. And I'll bet you drive it every day. I'll bet you have a home and I'll bet you have a furnace, too.

    You really do have a choice. You are at least, in part, responsible for global warming, like or not. It's not that d4 3v1l 01l c0mp4n13z are forcing you to use their products. You use their products because they are plentiful, available, and cheap. It's the fact that the oil companies have made it plentiful, available and cheap and that they have used their powerful PACs and lobby groups to make sure that oil remains the most used energy product that relieves you of at least some of the responsibility.

  • by jesterpilot (906386) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @12:51PM (#17630494) Homepage
    If you RTFWA, you'd prabably noticed Erik the Red called it 'Greenland' for the same reason Vista is called "The most secure OS in existance'.
  • Re:Eh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by A beautiful mind (821714) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @12:58PM (#17630628)
    And now the inevitable analogy. We don't look at an incident of shooting in the inner city and say, "well people have been shot now, lets not worry about catching the shooter and focus on treating the wounds." We need to work on both.
    To develop your analogy more, we need to work on both especially because the shooter is a known serial killer and we have 100% certainty that he's escalating and will kill more and more people unless stopped.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:00PM (#17630656)
    I realize you think the science is fully conclusive on the subject, and that no debate is required, but ask yourself, is scaring the population (which, to steal a quote is comprised of "panicky animals") really the responsible way to go about making the point? I fear an overreaction that could make things vastly worse.

    Ultimately my point is, people like me who desire intelligent, open minded discussion don't bother listening to people like you anymore, because even if I had stone-cold dead on proof Global Warming wasn't happening, you stopped listening to ME a long time ago.

    I don't know why you think rushing to a conclusion about the how and why of CLIMATE CHANGE which is what real scientists call it these days, is a good idea. All you do with your vitriol and fear mongering is to shut out discussion of the topic. Which as we all know is what science is about...

    And you'll notice, at no time did I even imply Global climate change wasn't occurring, I simply asked why you think forcing your conclusions on those of us who desire intelligent discussion of the subject is a good idea.

  • Re:Islands (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gfxguy (98788) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:00PM (#17630666)
    Nobody I know denies that the planet has cooling and warming trends, and that we are probably in a warming trend, and even that mankind has had some kind of influence.

    What we argue (not deny) is how much influence mankind has had, and we call bullshit on people who think the climate would, right now, be different if only Bush had signed the Kyoto Accords.

    So here's a question: if we stopped emitting burning fossil fuels entirely, right now, would the earth start cooling?
  • by RyoShin (610051) <tukaro AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:00PM (#17630670) Homepage Journal
    Since this will devolve into a debate about global warming in general, I'd like to jump the gun a bit.

    I'm not entirely certain if global warming is entirely the cause of humans. The limited research and reading I've done makes me learn towards the side that says it is, but my degree-in-earning is Computer Science, not Environmental Science, so I won't rule without doing far more research.

    However, I think there are two facts that can't be denied by anyone:
    1) The Earth is, in general, becoming warmer.
    2) Polution and trash from humans is affecting the environment in some negative manner.

    I know of no person who will deny that CFCs [epa.gov] (Chlorofluorocarbons- say that three times fast) affected the ozone layer (oddly, I haven't heard much about that in the Global Warming blurbs I see on Slashdot daily), though I'm sure a few exist, mainly in the industry that made their money off such things. No one thinks smog is a good thing.

    So, whether we like it or not, humans are contributing in some form to the degredation of the environment, which can include global warming- I'll let the scientists hash out just how much. So, with that in mind, something should be done. Perhaps not the far-reaching suggestions some of the more "hardcore" environmentalists suggest, but a gradual process to decrease trash and pollutants would be useful.

    As the saying goes, "A pinch of prevention is worth a pound of cure". Or something like that.
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:02PM (#17630700) Homepage Journal
    It is just as likely to be cyclical (see Wikipedia entry on "Greenland")

    The Medieval warm period was fairly regional, and GLOBAL temperatures at the time were fairly well-maintained. That is a red herring. You are either ignorant or shilling.

    or due to sun activity, or other long term and non-mankind effects.

    The thing is that many of mankind's effects are far outstripping some of nature's effects. For example we strongly suspect that volcanic CO2 is a significant force in climate, yet we (humans) put out several times as much CO2 as all volcanoes combined, every year. We also create numerous compounds which nature would probably never create, and which there has never been any sign that nature could create - so to argue that our impact is probably negligible is to deliberately ignore several important reasons why our impact is different and probably greater than any prior species.

    In fact we have had such a dramatic effect on the planet's surface, especially through deforestation, that it would be extremely foolish to assume that we have not changed global weather significantly. We do things that we KNOW affect global weather - when a huge fire sweeps through and takes out a forest for a while, we know that makes changes. Yet when we wipe out forests so that we can grow food and raise cattle, we act like that will not make any difference. Clearly this is inconsistent at best, but is probably deliberate hypocrisy in the majority of cases.

    Mankind isn't the Star (pun intended) in this movie, no matter what Al Gore believes.

    Even if we didn't CAUSE this problem we have to deal with it. We can be part of the solution, or part of the precipitate (and that means we drop out and are left lying around on the bottom of the flask, just a bit of excess, rejected sludge.)

  • by mr_death (106532) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:06PM (#17630776)
    5. Given that the climate scientist's models aren't predicting very well right now (by the climate scientist's own admission), why is so much faith put in the predictive ability of the models further down the road?

    I'll be the first to admit that adding CO2 to a closed system can raise the temperature; the real question is "how much?" and "what other factors are involved?". Constant curve-fitting of the climate models (euphemistically called "calibrating" and "tweaking") to make CO2 the primary driver of temperature may not be the right approach.

  • by Blappo (976408) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:07PM (#17630808) Journal
    "We can be part of the solution"

    And how is calling people ignorant shills being part of the solution?
  • by Billosaur (927319) * <wgrotherNO@SPAMoptonline.net> on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:09PM (#17630848) Journal

    It has long been known that the Greenhouse Effect exists, causing temperatures to rise by trapping heat. The more gases that trap infrared radiation that exist in the atmosphere, the more heat is retained and the faster the atmospheric temperature rises. This is mitigated by other factors, but the basic mechanism is pretty simple. I think the why question has a pretty decent answer, making the real question: Is this part of a natural warming trend, part of the natural fluctuation that happens after an ice age, or has the current warming trend been triggered, or is it being accelerated, by the rate of Greenhouse emissions?

    I think it's safe to say that claiming our activities have no impact is facetious at best; adding Greenhouse gases to the atmosphere is altering a natural process by overloading the atmospheric system and causing the other systems that provide re-uptake and moderation of these gases to be stretched to their limits more quickly. In the end, the question becomes: is the natural system capable of absorbing the extra gases we create, or are we pushing the global systems toward catastrophic failure?

  • Re:Islands (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AoT (107216) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:24PM (#17631136) Homepage Journal
    The ozone hole has nothing to do with global warming and is getting smaller precisely because we took action to make it smaller. As for how much we influence the climate,you seem to lack any justification, besides your flawed ozone argument, for believing we have little influence on the climate.

    All that said, yes, Kyoto is not going to deal with the problem. However, given that we have enough poeple, such as yourself, who refuse to acknowledge the extent of the climate change problem, I hardly expect that an international treaty which includes more strict emmission curtails will ever come into being.

  • Re:Eh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:25PM (#17631172) Journal
    While we may (possibly) still have time to prevent extreme climate change, I think we're definitely going to have enough climate change to cause problems, and if we start addressing them now, that is a much better idea than waiting until we're in a state of emergency.

    I doubt we'll do it though. You can put me on the record for saying that we'll stop using fossil fuels only when a cheaper alternative is created and widely accepted, and that we won't do a damn thing to prepare for the side-effects of climate change until it's already a serious issue.
  • Re:Islands (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daddy_was_a_donkey (857723) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:26PM (#17631190)
    I don't get why the "man has no effect" crowd are so vehemently against taking any action. If we assume man has no effect and global warming is a natural phenomenon, what's so wrong with taking steps to (a) reduce pollution and (b) reduce dependency on fossil fuels?

    (a) Pollution does f*cked up things quite apart from global warming. Remember those picture of forest in Germany and Sweden, algae blooms, "clean" rivers and streams etc etc, so what's wrong with trying to reduce it?

    (b) Why would anyone want to be so dependant on another countries resource? The oil is finite, it's going to run out, this is a bad thing. Developing new tech and their associated industries, this is a good thing. What's the problem?

    Look, if it helps all the naysayers, claim you're being patriotic, claim that you want to wean your country off the petrochemical teat, claim that you want to save you glorious forests and lakes for "the kids". You don't have to say you're doing it because you've changed your mind about global warming, you just have to do it.
  • MOD PARENT UP (Score:4, Insightful)

    by businessnerd (1009815) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:41PM (#17631438)
    The parent is right. Global warming argument aside, no one wants to live in a garabage dump.

    p.s. No offense to the residents of Staten Island
  • Re:Islands (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rilister (316428) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:55PM (#17631696)
    Why do people feel the need to be so "smart" about this? Why is it cool to use your half-formed scientific knowledge to criticise something you clearly know nothing about? The Ozone Hole connection is the screaming give away, but before that, what is this?

    "we certainly are not as significant as the political rallying groups would like you to believe"
    says who? you, according to what analysis of what data? Or is it just your opinion, based on the feeling that you like being counter to "the liberal agenda"? You see, the "rallying groups" might be wrong, but don't go taking the high ground without actually contributing knowledge or, you see, you are just like them.

    I've *never* flamed anyone personally on Slashdot before (call me on it, please), but it's part of a wider symptom that's going to be a real problem for US. You and me and everyone we care about.

    Listen, learn, read. Scientists are not out to bring America down, or trying to stop us having fun in cool cars. They're totally regular people whose only crime is knowing about the frickin topic they're talking about, and smart-arses like you seem to hate them for it.
  • by samj (115984) <samj@samj.net> on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @01:56PM (#17631704) Homepage
    1. Grab an iced drink and hang on to it.
    2. Observe the temperature stay relatively constant so long as there's ice, and that ice melts quicker as there is less of it.
    3. When the ice is gone observe that your refreshing drink is now warm as piss and you have to go find another new one.

    This is a very serious issue that needs to be responded to immediately, and given its size it is unfortunately the responsibility of the US to lead the way on this one (though they have done a woefully inadequate job so far).

    More generally people need to get better at risk management and focus on things that will certainly affect them (global warming, privacy, etc.), even if less interesting than the more sensational yet relatively insignificant 'global issues' (terrorism, nuclear energy, etc.).

  • Re:Islands (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tanktalus (794810) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @02:02PM (#17631826) Journal

    As a member of the "Man has [little] effect" crowd, I'd rather see everyone focus on issues that we actually have, rather than fabricating new ones.

    As for reduction: I'm all for electric vehicles, nuclear/wind/solar power (though those wind-powered turbines are ugly, IMO), and I live in oil-rich Alberta. The best I can do, personally, is to get the best use of the gas I use: house was built in 2001 so it's pretty energy efficient already, and I just bought a hybrid vehicle (no EVs that I know of to purchase). Yes, it's an SUV, but I also need space to hold all that comes with having an infant (car seat, stroller, diaper bag, and still gotta carry the groceries or whatever we're going out for).

    As for dependent on another country's resource: I think we're pretty self-sufficient on the oil here in Alberta ;-) However, you're right - there are other technologies that can and should replace this. Great. Let's look at them. Let's develop them. I like nuclear - too bad the eco-wackos prevent their very salvation. I'm kind of unsold on hydrogen, mostly because we need another technology to create the hydrogen. To me, it looks like the potential to become a large capacity battery - nothing more. We need the other energy source to create it. I'm afraid, however, that if we don't get another technology in place, we'll end up using more fossil fuel to create the hydrogen than we'll get back out of the hydrogen, which will make things worse rather than better. I get that it's like a stepping stone - but it's a risk to take that the next generation of energy creation will be here really soon thereafter.

    Personally, I'm doing it to save $$ - on my energy bills and at the pump ;-)

  • Re:Islands (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LaughingCoder (914424) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @02:12PM (#17632018)
    Scientists are not out to bring America down, or trying to stop us having fun in cool cars. They're totally regular people whose only crime is knowing about the frickin topic they're talking about
    While all of that may be true, it is also true that they (scientists) are being used as tools by people with political agendas (most certainly including those with an agenda to "bring America down"). I wish we really could remove all the geo-political crap around this issue and get to the bottom of it from a purely scientific perspective, but with all that is at stake (economically and politically) that is simply never going to happen. It's clear to me that *both sides* are guilty of twisting the facts and exaggerating the consequences of action/inaction. To make matters worse, most of the time when this topic is discussed it decays very quickly into name calling (like "smart-arses"), which certainly doesn't foster reasonable discussion. Just read the other posts on this thread to see what I mean.

    PS. Sorry, but you *did* ask someone to call you on it.
  • Re:Islands (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AikonMGB (1013995) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @02:14PM (#17632042) Homepage

    Look, if it helps all the naysayers, claim you're being patriotic, claim that you want to wean your country off the petrochemical teat, claim that you want to save you glorious forests and lakes for "the kids". You don't have to say you're doing it because you've changed your mind about global warming, you just have to do it.

    That's like giving in and saying "I love really thin pancakes!" When you get down to it, you're still talking about crepes.

    Aikon-

  • Re:Don't Panic (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hamburger lady (218108) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @02:20PM (#17632130)
    thing is, as ice melts the earth's albedo drops. that means more energy from the sun is absorbed, causing the rate of ice melt to go up higher and higher.
  • Re:Islands (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ednopantz (467288) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @02:20PM (#17632136)
    >I don't get why the "man has no effect" crowd are so vehemently against taking any action.

    Or because "taking action" is hugely expensive, not effective, and diverts resources from real here and now problems. Just look where global warming lies on the Copenhagen Consensus project's to do list: dead last. No matter what happens, internal combustion engines are on their way out. Why burn enormous political and economic capital kicking them to the curb 10 years earlier to cut global temperatures by .005 degrees?

    GW has the advantages of fueling into peoples apocalyptic fantasies while blaming fat SUV driving red-staters for all the world's problems. That's why the Guardian and BBC both run a "the sky is falling" article every single day. They love this stuff.
  • Re:Islands (Score:2, Insightful)

    by letxa2000 (215841) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @02:24PM (#17632200)
    I like nuclear - too bad the eco-wackos prevent their very salvation. I'm kind of unsold on hydrogen, mostly because we need another technology to create the hydrogen.


    You're right in both cases. And the technology we need to create hydrogen is nuclear. To heck with the eco-wackos, we can "save the environment" with nuclear energy even if the eco-wackos fight against saving the environment the whole way. :)

    Personally, I'm doing it to save $$ - on my energy bills and at the pump ;-)

    And that's ultimately how/why everything in this world happens. Government cannot institute cost-ineffective technology before it's ready; and when the technology is ready, it'll be adopted even without government insistence.

  • most certainly including those with an agenda to "bring America down"

    Who are these people with this agenda, and how are they influencing scientists? Do you realize how paranoid you sound?

    It's clear to me that *both sides* are guilty of twisting the facts and exaggerating the consequences of action/inaction.

    It's clear to me that *one side* is horrendously guilty of twisting the facts, and that occasionally media types (who are hardly on the other side) are guilty of playing chicken little. However, if you actually RTFJs, you'll find the side that does not tend to twist the facts nor exaggerate the consequences. (I'm talking about the science, not the literal politics. Gripe about Kyoto to your hearts content, but don't paint scientists as pawns.)

    Seriously, try reading a journal dedicated to climatology. If you're not able to understand it, then please don't argue about the science.

  • Re:The usual steps (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sebastopol (189276) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @02:58PM (#17632794) Homepage
    You use their products because they are plentiful, available, and cheap. ...and because there are no alternatives, thanks to the companies.

    OilCo's do everything in their power to make life virtually unlivable without dependence on their products. The only people who truly are free are the hippies in Marin County who live off the grid in tee-pees. I could give up my life to live in a tee-pee, because everything up to this point has been my choice, but it has been a choice between shitting behind a bush and not showering, or living in the modern world where oil is a necessity.

    Another example, cities used to get money to promote mass-transit systems, until BushCo. cut those subsidies at the behest of the oil companies. This means people now have the choice of living far from work and commuting, or taking a job that pays much less somewhere else. And if they do drive, they could have a choice of driving a more fuel efficient vehicle, but due to the oil industry lobbyists and BushCo., gas standards are set to improve 5% over the next 13 years.

    So you can see that there is always a choice, but the options are often so extremely far from each other as to make one option unrealistic, and the reason for this is influence of the evil (yes, evil), oil companies who care about their 10-billion a quarter earnings.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @03:00PM (#17632822)
    Do you use incandescent light bulbs? Then YOU are part of the problem. Do you leave your PC on 24/7? Then YOU are part of the problem. Do you leave your laser printer on all day? Then YOU are part of the problem (laser printers suck more juice than all other computer components combined; they're mini space heaters).

    Do you Drive an SUV? Then YOU are even more of the problem and a sociopath as well. Do you race to the next red light instead of taking your foot off the gas? Not only are you part of the problem, then you are an idiot to boot.

    If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then please stop fucking up my planet. Thank you.
  • Clarify (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Khammurabi (962376) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @03:06PM (#17632958)
    Why would we do that? A report by the UK government said that preventing extreme climate change is much cheaper than dealing with its consequences
    True, prevention is most likely cheaper. However, businesses stand to lose a ton of money following all the limits and restrictions, so they will lobby. While overall it would be cheaper to prevent the underlying causes, most big businesses stand to make more money letting it happen and have the average joes pick up the check. People may vote, but politicians listen to lobbyists more often.
  • Re:Islands (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Original Replica (908688) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @03:24PM (#17633326) Journal
    "There will be no serious consequences in my life-time. "

    Comments like this really make me look forward to when DisneyWorld is underwater. Unfortunately that requires that Calcutta will also be below the new sea level.
  • by Rob Y. (110975) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @03:41PM (#17633632)
    ...and I just bought a hybrid vehicle... Yes, it's an SUV, but I also need space to hold all that comes with having an infant (car seat, stroller, diaper bag, and still gotta carry the groceries or whatever we're going out for).

    I just love this kind of self-justification. You don't 'need' an SUV. I think you could carry all that stuff pretty easily in a small hatchback - or a minivan - or any of several vehicle types that have plenty of room for such everyday suburban needs. You bought an SUV because the culture, fed by the car companies, taught you to *want* an SUV.

    Now you may *need* 4 wheel drive up there in Alberta, but you certainly don't *need* a big, heavy truck.
  • Re:Islands (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BitHive (578094) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @03:59PM (#17634020) Homepage

    This is the centrist fallacy in action. "Well, both sides have lied (or have been wrong on some points) so the truth must be somewhere in the middle." Except, you take it one step further and cast doubt on the efficacy of the pursuit of clarity. You use the fact that the issue is political to write people off as "tools" and despair of ever having access to unbiased truth, when it is in fact staring you in the face. Like with any issue, insight is gained through the critical examination of the claims presented, and the merits on which they attempt to be relevant. Inventing an unknown median state of "truthiness" based on some notion of intellectual responsibility to maintain doubt and respect "both sides" is simply avoiding the responsibility to actually think critically altogether.

    This is the same thing that bugs me about "South Park Republicans", whose basic M.O. is to ridicule both parties for the worst behavior of their respective adherents, and then pat themselves on the back for reaching some kind of moral compromise.

  • by sulfur_lad (964486) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @05:25PM (#17635842) Homepage

    Also agree here. As another proud Albertan I pride myself on being a curmudgeon, but I'd call myself a practical and progressive one at least, and I don't work in the Oil industry. I drive a Corolla and take my entire mobile DJ Rig (2 turntables, case with mixer, cables and other stuff, records, monitor and amp, rented speakers and tripods) on the road no problem. I take the same Corolla skiing (haven't managed to spin out and fly off the Sunshine Road yet), mountain biking, rock climbing etc on lots of backcountry roads. All involve lots of gear. It's handled the crappy winter roads we get occasionally (anymore) without missing a beat, I see more SUVs in the ditch. 4WD/AWD is not safer, it just lets you accelerate faster on the slick; it's how you use the technology of course that's the ticket. I don't even have ABS. I commend you on getting a hybrid SUV: they will get you roughly the same gas mileage as my Corolla, which is impressive. Think about the kind of mileage (kilometerage?) you'd get out of a hybrid the size of my car...

    We bought an older house for Calgary last year (built 1987), and one of the first things we did was replace the furnace with a more efficient one. This year we'll be doing more energy upgrades. Yes, this will cost money, but my bills go down so it must eventually pay off, and I feel better at using less. It bugs me to no end to see neighbours who weekly produce 4-6 bags of garbage, when our entire household can't fill one, even when we have parties.

    This comment is made elsewhere in this discussion: Nobody wants to live in a dump. Choosing a hybrid or low consumption vehicle is great. Whether it affects the climate or not (I don't see how it can be ignored), nobody wants to walk around breathing like they're following a diesel pickup. People are stupid if they refuse to help out for political / business reasons. How about the practicality of having a clean house? I don't want to come home to filth, and small efforts make a big difference in coming home to my house, not to mention removing fire and health hazards like garbage and dust. Same thing should apply to all of us living on the planet. It's the only one we've got, better safe than sorry, because this one doesn't have an insurance policy that I'm aware of.

  • Re:Islands (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ReTay (164994) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @05:49PM (#17636304)
    "All that said, yes, Kyoto is not going to deal with the problem. However, given that we have enough poeple, such as yourself, who refuse to acknowledge the extent of the climate change problem, I hardly expect that an international treaty which includes more strict emmission curtails will ever come into being"

    Ok I am going to wade in here.
    The latest tactic I have seen is people pretending that all discussion is over on this issue.
    It is not even close to an agreement. Now climate change is a fact anyone that looks at the facts of the matter will agree that the climate swings even radically at times. The example I like to use to illustrate this is the T-Rex. Show of hands from the people that believe that the T-Rex was stomping around in snow?
    Right it sucks to be cold blooded. I *think* most paleontologists agree they lived in a tropical climate.
    The first response I hear is usually that the continents are drifting and the T-Rex existed when Montana and South Dakota were far further south. I would invite you to go to UCLA Berkley's quick time movie showing the drift of the continents over the last 750 million years. It shows the position of North America 65 Million years ago. It was at the roughly the same latitude as it is now but further east from its current position.
    So unless you think that the Dinosaurs lived in snow you can not logically state that the climate does not change all the time and can change wildly. Then the entire matter comes down to how much effect if any man is having on the climate.

    http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/geology/anim1.html [berkeley.edu]
  • by David_Shultz (750615) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @06:39PM (#17637224)
    So what makes you a christian? You don't believe what christians are supposed to believe (creation story for example), so maybe you should stop flying under their banner. Do you believe there was a magic man named jesus, who was nailed to a cross thus removing "sin" from humankind (and that "original sin" was started by eating an apple, and this sin was passed down through the male line)? If you don't believe this nonsense, then why call yourself a christian? Is it because you believe in so called "christian values"? Well guess what, all those values are available to non-christians as well -nothing about doing good to others, and not lying, cheating, or stealing, is inherently christian. I think you should stop supporting this backwards religious thinking. You are supporting their nonsense by flying under their banner by calling yourself a christian. If you don't believe this christian nonsense, then you are not a christian -you are a christianity-flag waving hypocrit. You are a christian by name only, probably because you were raised by christians. By continuing to call yourself a christian, you support their backwards thinking that admittedly you disagree with. You can't have your cake and eat it too -either the christians are right, or they are wrong- so pick a side. You are committing intellectual dishonesty of the most egregious kind.
  • by pkbarbiedoll (851110) on Tuesday January 16, 2007 @07:03PM (#17637644)

    whoooaa... hang on a second. First and foremost I think for myself. Honestly, I think your personal attack on me is odd, assuming you're not christian.. I mean really, a non-christian dictating what christianity should or shouldn't be.. odd.

    Most fundamentalist christians wouldn't have a thing to do with me for many reasons, but they (or you) will not dictate my spirituality to me. Jesus was alive and was nailed to a cross beside two criminals, that I believe. Crucifixion was common practice in those days. Christ was perceived a political threat to the Romans and was killed for it. Yes I happen believe he was devine, too. You're free to think differently.

    I also try to live by what he said was the greatest law of all, which is love. So many xians conflate love with old covenant law, such as we hear from those godhatesfags freaks. Christ was very much a radical peace loving liberal in his time. That is why I choose to identify with Christianity. Between you and I, I can't stand the christian church and organized religion of all stripes. I hate religious fundamentalism (whether it comes from christians or muslims or atheists or __________). So yes, I try to follow Christ but that does not mean I have all the answers. If you study the Christian church in early American history you'll see that many many christians believed in evolution and thought creationism (as it's taught now) was bullshit. Fundamentalists do not own God, even though they may act like it.

The one day you'd sell your soul for something, souls are a glut.

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