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Government Science

India Ditches UN Climate Change Group 403

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the shoddy-work-breeds-contempt dept.
Several readers have told us that the Indian Government is moving to establish its own group to address the science of climate change since it "cannot rely" on the official United Nations panel. "The move is a severe blow to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) following the revelation parts of its 3000 page 2007 report on climate science was not subjected to peer review. A primary claim of the report was the Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035, but the claim was not repeated in any peer-reviewed studies and rebuffed by scientists. India's environment minister Jairam Ramesh announced that the Indian government will established a separate National Institute of Himalayan Glaciology to monitor climate change in the region. 'There is a fine line between climate science and climate evangelism,' Ramesh said. 'I am for climate science.'"
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India Ditches UN Climate Change Group

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  • by ground.zero.612 (1563557) on Friday February 05, 2010 @04:55PM (#31040036)
    I wish we had more people like that in government in the US.
  • by Rei (128717) on Friday February 05, 2010 @04:56PM (#31040042) Homepage

    ... written by hundreds of individuals = "climate evangelism". Apparently.

  • by garyisabusyguy (732330) on Friday February 05, 2010 @04:58PM (#31040064)

    Sounds like India intends to continue to use coal fired power plants and will not recognize studies that put coal plants in a bad light.

    Where have I heard that before?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 05, 2010 @05:00PM (#31040098)

    This is good news. I hope more countries follow their approach.

    In general, the UN is nothing but a scam. It has no accountability, and due to how it panders to politicians and their whims, it should have absolutely no involvement in science.

    Frankly, people are fed up with these supranational organizations that do nothing but cause problems. In this case, you have the UN hyping what is perhaps the biggest scientific fraud of all time. Then you have other organizations, like the WHO, hyping false "pandemics" again and again. Then there are all the copyright and IP shenanigans with the WTO. Plus the crap the IMF and World Bank pull.

    To hell with those organizations.

  • Inconclusiveness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by swanzilla (1458281) on Friday February 05, 2010 @05:02PM (#31040126) Homepage

    'There is a fine line between climate science and climate evangelism,' Ramesh said. 'I am for climate science.'

    That was nicely worded. The line is not very fine in many cases, however. The biggest difference between a climate evangelist (read: Al Gore) and a scientist is the presence of uncertainty in reporting the state of the climate. It is hard to be preachy when data remains inconclusive.

  • How is this news? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zero_out (1705074) on Friday February 05, 2010 @05:05PM (#31040162)
    I'm sure that most countries, at least most relatively developed ones (and I consider India as such), already have their own group investigating climate change. Besides, I don't see any mention from the article that India is actually "ditching" the UN group. It's just establishing its own group, rather than relying 100% on the UN group to base their national policies and laws upon.
  • by nicknamenotavailable (1730990) on Friday February 05, 2010 @05:05PM (#31040166)

    ... written by hundreds of individuals = "climate evangelism". Apparently.

    No, preaching something that doesn't exist and then claiming that science supports what you preach is "climate evangelism".

    I'm looking forward to visiting those glaciers with my great-grandkids.

  • by ground.zero.612 (1563557) on Friday February 05, 2010 @05:14PM (#31040288)

    Sounds like India intends to continue to use coal fired power plants and will not recognize studies that put coal plants in a bad light.

    Where have I heard that before?

    Sounds like you'd rather have someone waving their arms around chanting some mystical mumbo-jumbo than someone that understands the value and merits of the scientific method.

    Because that's exactly what the CRU data is: mystical mumbo-jumbo. That entire set should have been tossed after Berkley discovered that they placed the majority of their instrumentation in areas outside of specification.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 05, 2010 @05:15PM (#31040300)
    <quote><p>... written by hundreds of individuals = "climate evangelism". Apparently.</p></quote>

    No, putting in primary claims which are known to be suspect from a non-peer-reviewed journal with an agenda, for the ADMITTED purpose of 'influencing policymakers'... THAT is evangelism.
  • by e2d2 (115622) on Friday February 05, 2010 @05:19PM (#31040348)

    Yeah a couple of errors in a scientific document that happens to impact everyone on the planet along with emails implicating some of those scientists were "massaging" the results to prove their hypothesis.

    Kind of important to ensure accuracy. They haven't grasped that. Their too busy building their own unquestionable institution with grandiose threats.

  • by Ron Bennett (14590) on Friday February 05, 2010 @05:22PM (#31040376) Homepage

    Speaking of "climate evangelist", there are many on Slashdot.

    Questioning global warming / climate change is a near sure way to get modded down.

    Many don't want to believe that the environment is far bigger than us - not to say humans don't influence it, because we do, but much of the effect is from outside forces outside of human control, in particular, the Sun.

    How else does one explain global warming / cooling periods in the past long before modern civilization?

    Or more immediate, how come, according to some reports, Mars may getting warmer!

    How could that be ... unless it's likely the Sun doing it - and if so, that would likely explain much of the warming* here on Earth.

    * there's scientific debate on what the extent of warming there is, if any; could be staying about the same or even getting colder.

    Ron

  • by Rei (128717) on Friday February 05, 2010 @05:24PM (#31040404) Homepage

    No, putting in primary claims which are known to be suspect from a non-peer-reviewed journal with an agenda, for the ADMITTED purpose of 'influencing policymakers'... THAT is evangelism.

    Let's be more succinct: Do you or do you not believe that a 3,000 page set of documents written by hundreds of people quoting from thousands of authors and tens of thousands of research papers can be invalidated by a handful of errors? And if so, how can *ANY* set of documents that big ever be considered valid? There *always* will be at least a couple mistakes.

    Yes, there were a couple mistakes in a 3,000 page document written by hundreds of people quoting from thousands of authors and tens of thousands of research papers. While you're at it, you might as well find that the friend of one of the author's sons once downloaded an MP3, and thus they're a family of criminal enablers, and thus untrustworthy, and thus all of the other authors who work with them are equally untrustworthy, and the entire report is invalidated. That might be an equally useful tack for you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 05, 2010 @05:24PM (#31040414)

    First of all, there were more than just "a couple" of errors. That report is full of just plain shitty science. It's the sort of stuff that no self-respecting scientist would ever want to be associated with, in the slightest way.

    It doesn't matter what percentage of scientists "believe" a certain idea. Science isn't built upon "belief". Religion is.

    Finally, don't mistake holding scientists to a high standard with ignoring their findings. Nobody is saying that climate change isn't happening. There is just a lot of doubt about whether it is caused by humans, or caused by some other factor (the sun, for instance). We just don't want shitty, politicized "science" being treated as anything more than the crap that it is.

  • Re:cold and ironic (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ColdWetDog (752185) on Friday February 05, 2010 @05:26PM (#31040438) Homepage

    And speaking of global warming, isn't this this coldest winter on record?

    Let's try to get this one out of the way early: Weather is not climate [google.com].

  • by Rei (128717) on Friday February 05, 2010 @05:29PM (#31040488) Homepage

    Yeah a couple of errors in a scientific document that happens to impact everyone on the planet

    0.2 pages erroneous.
    2999.8 pages not erroneous.

    What a travesty!

    And yes, some science does affect the entire planet, there's no getting around that. But saying "I need complete perfection or we never act on anything", you'll never act on anything.

    along with emails implicating some of those scientists were "massaging" the results to prove their hypothesis.

    Oh please. The decade-old emails involving two scientists, one quoted wildly out of context (the "decline" issue mentioned by Mann -- the paper the data came from *explicitly stated* that the data was invalid after that point, and what idiot would think that dendrochronology data trumps thermometer data anyway?) and the other trying to avoid having to hand over data to a bunch of amateurs who he viewed as deliberately trying to waste his time by filing spurious requests, and one of whom had previously tried to get his partner arrested?

    You're not even barking up the wrong tree; you're barking up a paper cutout of a tree.

    Kind of important to ensure accuracy.

    I can thus only assume that if you wrote a 3,000 page document, there wouldn't be a single error in it.

  • by quanticle (843097) on Friday February 05, 2010 @05:35PM (#31040522) Homepage

    It certainty of the data depends on the question you're trying to answer. Is the earth warming? Absolutely. We have numerous bits of evidence from ice cores, tree rings, and soil samples that confirm that the earth's climate is warmer now than it was before. Is mankind causing this warming? There is more uncertainty here, but signs are increasingly pointing towards the affirmative.

    The real question is, "Does the cost of adaptation outweigh the cost of going carbon free?" Humanity is the most adaptable species on the planet. It may very well be the case that the cost of adapting to climate change outweighs the cost of stopping climate change.

    Besides, even if prevention is conclusively proven to be more cost efficient, I'm not sure that we have a choice anymore. Most climate scientists say that the Earth is headed for a 4 C rise in temperature, regardless of what humans do at this point. To put that into context, 4 C was the worst case scenario being considered during the 1990s. So, even while the scientists argue about what's causing global warming, I think its worthwhile that we as a nation figure out how to deal with global warming. There will be significant changes in rainfall and temperature patterns. If we do some advance planning now (like not subsidizing building in low lying areas, or encouraging agriculture in places that are going to dry out), we can make the future significantly more comfortable, regardless of whether global warming is our fault or not.

  • by Rei (128717) on Friday February 05, 2010 @05:36PM (#31040530) Homepage

    First of all, there were more than just "a couple" of errors. That report is full of just plain shitty science.

    Citation needed.

    or caused by some other factor (the sun, for instance)

    The sun? Oh my god, what a brilliant idea! Nobody has ever thought of that one before! Quick, young lad, make haste! Inform the world that people ought to consider the sun -- the single most widely studied object outside of Earth, monitored by thousands of ground-based instruments, satellites in various Earth orbits, and even custom satellites in our Lagrangian points. That data might be useful! Perhaps a couple dozen people people should write several dozen papers studying what sort of direct and indirect effects the sun might have on our climate! And then perhaps they should be summarized in the IPCC report! .... oh wait....

    An XKCD comic comes to mind [xkcd.com].

  • by chill (34294) on Friday February 05, 2010 @05:39PM (#31040570) Journal

    Try again. That wasn't the only error.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100023598/after-climategate-pachaurigate-and-glaciergate-amazongate/ [telegraph.co.uk]

    They make a major claim about the affect of climate change on the Amazon. The problem is the original study was done by an advocacy group (WWF), wasn't peer reviewed, and wasn't even on the subject of global warming! It was a study on wildfires.

    And keep going in that vein...

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/24/the-scandal-deepens-ipcc-ar4-riddled-with-non-peer-reviewed-wwf-papers/ [wattsupwiththat.com]

    These reports are NOT peer reviewed science and DO NOT belong in the IPCC report, which claims to be properly peer reviewed.

    The IPCC fucked up big.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 05, 2010 @05:45PM (#31040634)

    No, I don't think anyone thinks that a 3000 page set of documents can be invalidated by a handful of errors.

    However, I do think it is rational and logical to think that if a misleading narrative was intentionally constructed from that set of documents then that narrative might not be valid.

    The problem is that you (and people like you) try to make the reductive claim that all that was wrong with the documents were "a handful of errors." That is being disingenuous, and I am pretty sure you know it.

  • by Rei (128717) on Friday February 05, 2010 @05:45PM (#31040642) Homepage

    Because that's exactly what the CRU data is: mystical mumbo-jumbo.

    Just because you're too stupid to read how the data is processed [uea.ac.uk] or compare it to what naive processing would yield [realclimate.org]... oh who the f*** am I kidding? Yes, it's mystical mumbo-jumbo. They're just trying to make the lightning-power that walks through wires into your house and runs your picture box and your clickety email machine cost more. CARBON GOOD!

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Friday February 05, 2010 @05:56PM (#31040744) Journal
    The reason is that we NEED others to check the work. Look, I have little doubt that this is occurring. BUT, this really needs to be checked.
  • Re:Don't be fooled (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nashv (1479253) on Friday February 05, 2010 @06:02PM (#31040790) Homepage

    Yeah, that's called argumentum ad hominem. Fine, India has a ton of issues - water, poverty etc. Firstly, India is very heterogenous, far more than most Europeans and Americans can fathom. There is a large educated middle class that actually does care about the environment, and by the way does enjoy clean drinking water. Does it follow that because a substantial fraction of the country has to deal with issues the Western countries have solved, that Indians must be bound to accept the conclusions of a UN body ? Does it make them automatically incompetent to derive their own conclusions ?

    It is irrelevant. If they want an independent assessment, its a good thing. After the CO2 emissions/Kyoto fiasco, Indians are wary of Western environmental policies. Most Indians see any limitation on their CO2 emissions as retarding their development due to a problem that is created largely by the now-developed nations, in the last century.

    In any case, in science, as many independent investigations there are , the better the confidence in the findings. And trust me, the Indians know the entire Ganges plain is fed by Himalayan glaciers. They have a very large stake here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 05, 2010 @06:02PM (#31040794)

    Nice if you to minimize the issue and fail to take into account how important those errors were.

  • by Lost Race (681080) on Friday February 05, 2010 @06:02PM (#31040796)

    "Global warming" is not the problem. "Climate change" or whatever they're calling it this week is not the problem. Deglaciation is not the problem.

    The problem is the billions of tons of ancient fossil carbon we're removing from the ground and adding to the atmosphere. All the climate / ocean / ecology effects are symptoms of that problem. That problem doesn't need "more study" or evangelism or scientific consensus, it's a simple obvious fact that anybody with high school education (even a politician or a capitalist) can understand. It's been obvious for decades, since long before "global warming" started getting any traction in public discourse.

    The possible effects of the problem range from trivial and insignificant, to serious hardships of various sorts (well publicized by Gore et al), to utter catastrophe. The chances of serious hardship are high enough that we can't afford to dick around with study after study after study of complex chaotic systems trying build a model that can predict exactly, precisely, what is absolutely guaranteed to happen over the next 100 years. The chances of utter catastrophe, while still really unknown and probably very small, are still enough that we should ask ourselves why the fuck we're playing russian roulette with the whole world, when all we have to do is Stop. Putting. So. Much. Carbon. Into. The. Atmosphere.

    I guess this attitude makes me an "evangelist" since I'm not advocating that we go full bore status quo until we're absolutely, positively, 100% certain with no doubt whatsoever what precise effects all this new CO2 will have in the long term. The problem is simple, the solution is obvious, the consequences are uncertain but why fuck around when the stakes are so high? How exactly are we benefiting by continuing to burn more and more and more petroleum and coal every year, mindlessly jerking around the delicately balanced ecosystem that keeps us alive?

  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Friday February 05, 2010 @06:04PM (#31040822)

    Yes, there were a couple mistakes in a 3,000 page document

    These weren't "mistakes", they were intentionally included for the purpose of raising hysteria. The people composing the report were warned by scientists that these claims were not supported before the report was written. A company partially owned by the head of the IPCC received a multi-million dollar grant to investigate the supposed loss of the glaciers in the Himalayas by 2035. Oh yeah, he then hired the guy who was the source for it (n a casual conversation with a journalist as an off the cuff comment not based on anything). So the head of the IPCC is told that there is no science behind the claim, but includes it in the report anyway and then takes a grant for millions of dollars to investigate it.

  • by DesScorp (410532) <<DesScorp> <at> <Gmail.com>> on Friday February 05, 2010 @06:07PM (#31040848) Homepage Journal

    The sun? Oh my god, what a brilliant idea! Nobody has ever thought of that one before! Quick, young lad, make haste! Inform the world that people ought to consider the sun -- the single most widely studied object outside of Earth, monitored by thousands of ground-based instruments, satellites in various Earth orbits, and even custom satellites in our Lagrangian points. That data might be useful! Perhaps a couple dozen people people should write several dozen papers studying what sort of direct and indirect effects the sun might have on our climate! And then perhaps they should be summarized in the IPCC report! .... oh wait....

    Yes, we've studied the Sun intently. Is that supposed to mean that we have a complete understanding of its effect on the climate? Really? Do you honestly think we have all the answers now? That we're even close to having all the answers?

    That's my whole problem with the "science is settled" meme. Science is never settled. It's constantly progressing, proving old assumptions wrong much of the time. Not only is the science not settled here, its becoming more and more apparent that we don't have near the understanding of the climate that we thought we did. After all, even most of the die-hard warming advocates admit that they can't explain the current cooling trend in their models.

  • by Pax681 (1002592) on Friday February 05, 2010 @06:09PM (#31040870)
    LOL it was on BBC TV that the "expert that the IPCC got the "data" from was a geography students Dissertation

    it was also splattered all over the Telegraph LINK HERE [telegraph.co.uk]

    the IPCC is so full of it that they have to use info from a student , which is not peer reviewed and is just an opinion of a pup in the greater scheme of things.

    i think i'll take the word of the Indians and take my hat off to them for taking a stand against the UTTER SHITE that that IPCC spews! just goes to show the sheer desperation of them to use such flimsy nonsense especially after all the leeks showing the gaming of the numbers and the selective use of the Data
  • by Dr. Sp0ng (24354) <mspong@@@gmail...com> on Friday February 05, 2010 @06:14PM (#31040924) Homepage

    The chances of utter catastrophe, while still really unknown and probably very small, are still enough that we should ask ourselves why the fuck we're playing russian roulette with the whole world, when all we have to do is Stop. Putting. So. Much. Carbon. Into. The. Atmosphere.

    And where, pray tell, did all that carbon come from in the first place? The atmosphere. Carbon levels in the past were way higher than they are today, and the planet survived just fine.

  • Re:Don't be fooled (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sdnick (1025630) on Friday February 05, 2010 @06:16PM (#31040942)
    Come on people -- when you think of clean water, clean air, and sustainable living, doesn't your mind immediately jump to India?

    Nope. When I think of India I think of hundreds of millions of people finally making the climb out of poverty to a decent standard of living. Granted, that standard of living won't let the average Indian squander nearly as many resources as the average environmentally aware American, but it's still a huge accomplishment that deserves applause and support. I'm glad to see the Indian government is not prepared to slow down or stop that economic progress to please some self-appointed guardians of the earth in the US and Europe armed with questionable data and questionable science.

    Perhaps their new research group could use this as a slogan: "India: #1 In Environmental Stewardship Since The Bhopal Disaster".

    Very cheap shot. The Bhopal Disaster was a disaster caused by Union Carbide, an American company.
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday February 05, 2010 @06:20PM (#31040976)

    How else does one explain global warming / cooling periods in the past long before modern civilization?

    Are you seriously trying to use the "climates change through the natural course of events therefor man's activities can not change the climate" argument?

    Or more immediate, how come, according to some reports, Mars may getting warmer!

    Wow. Mars is getting warmer and there are no men on Mars. Ergo, the full extent of global warming on Earth has nothing to do with man.

    Apparently you really are that naive. And then you whine about getting modded down - have you ever considered that you aren't being modded down for heresy but rather just for failing logic 101?

  • by nautsch (1186995) on Friday February 05, 2010 @06:22PM (#31040988)
    The problem here is, that 97% have to BELIEVE in it. Nothing is proven. Everybody just BELIEVES in it. I stopped believing, when I started thinking. Thanks.
  • by the grace of R'hllor (530051) on Friday February 05, 2010 @06:25PM (#31041016)
    The problem isn't simple at all, since we don't even know that there IS a problem here. You're suggesting cutting off a patients arm because he has an odd rash on his little finger; no idea what it is, what it's going to do, or whether it'll do anything, but since it *might* kill him, let's lop off the arm.

    Yes, we're removing large amounts of fossil carbon and releasing it into the atmosphere, but how is that necessarily a problem? Does this CO2 have an effect on climate? Well, we just don't know. The group that's been saying that it *is* having an effect, has been doing incredibly bad science, so all their work has to be redone. Their work, just so you know, is measuring and calculating global temperature.
  • Worst case (Score:3, Insightful)

    by garyisabusyguy (732330) on Friday February 05, 2010 @06:27PM (#31041046)

    US acquires Canada, lets Mexico manage the 'former' US states of the southwest

  • by the grace of R'hllor (530051) on Friday February 05, 2010 @06:30PM (#31041090)
    They used two different measuring systems, and diddled the numbers until the graphs overlapped. They used data from measuring stations that were not properly shielded from mundane human activity (I think one was actually near a pub, in Australia?) and whose data could not be normalized using nearby measuring stations. They declined to use proper measuring stations that showed a decline in temperature. And they actively, and conciously, LIED about this.

    Carbon good, carbon bad, we don't know. Possibly it's not good, probably we should limit our output of it (can't hurt to be neutral), but to suppose we should spend billions of dollars on fixing a potential non-problem, trusting in what we know to be bad science, that's just fucking bullshit.
  • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Friday February 05, 2010 @06:47PM (#31041234)
    The correct spelling is "trillions", not "billions".
  • yes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Friday February 05, 2010 @06:53PM (#31041288)

    Do you or do you not believe that a 3,000 page set of documents written by hundreds of people quoting from thousands of authors and tens of thousands of research papers can be invalidated by a handful of errors?

    Yes, finding several major errors makes the entire document suspect. Especially given the amount of time and money that went into it. The errors that have been found are inexcusable.

  • by Cyberax (705495) on Friday February 05, 2010 @06:57PM (#31041314)

    "How could that be ... unless it's likely the Sun doing it - and if so, that would likely explain much of the warming* here on Earth."

    How come the current year is tied for the warmest on records while we're in a deep solar minimum?

  • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Friday February 05, 2010 @06:58PM (#31041326)

    Let's examine two hypothesis:

    1. We mod you down because we've been indoctrinated into a vast left-wing conspiracy to cripple the economy on the pretext of saving the environment; or
    2. we mod you down because you're wrong, and every reputable scientist disagrees with you

    Occam's razor shows that we should go with #2 until you can support your opposition to 50 years of climate research with something more substantial than the latest easily debunked [realclimate.org] talking point.

    You're not entitled to your own interpretation of the facts. Climate change is real. Tax cuts aren't an economic panacea. Obama's health care plan will not kill people. The Great Depression was not prolonged by the New Deal. Evolution by natural selection, not intelligent design, explains the complexity of life.

    If you differ about policy choices within the framework of well-established facts, great. We can talk about that. But if instead, you obstinately deny any facet of reality that's hostile to your theory, then there no choice left but to moderate you into oblivion and make room for people mature enough to face the world as it is, not as they think it ought to be.

  • That's not correct at all. If the BBC said that, then they are wrong.

    The information came from an Indian scientist, reported be New Scientist. No it should not be use as an example of the effects of Global Warming, but it in no way invalidates the science. By the way the people claiming this isn't true are also basing that on a non peer reviewed paper.

    See, it's a tad more complex then a simpleton like you can conceive, so you have broken it down to a boolean thinking.

    SO tell me, after you read the IPCC which, specifically, part of the science is 'SHITE"? You have read it, right? No? STFU

  • Based on... what? The non peer reviewed and questionable paper they used to show they aren't melting?

    Interesting how people will complain about a problem with a large study, but ignore those same problems with the study the supports the belief.

    I sure as hell hope those glaciers are still there for you grand kids to enjoy. If the paper they based criticism is true, the glaciers wont' be there for you grand children, children.

    My Bias? facts as the current data support them. The few errors in a study this large really isn't unexpected. Science. Sadly, instead of learning context of the error, it's impact, and what part of the IPCC it occurred in, people jump to their pet belief and how this mistake 'proves' the other hundreds of papers are wrong.

  • by huckamania (533052) on Friday February 05, 2010 @07:15PM (#31041456) Journal

    Hubris, much?

    We learn new things all the time about our planet, the sun, the solar system and this wonderful universe. It wouldn't take long to make a list of things we only recently learned that overturned previous 'settled science'.

    This has been a bad year for your side, so I can understand your obvious frustrations.

  • by Bemopolis (698691) on Friday February 05, 2010 @07:18PM (#31041482)

    Just as Carbon Dioxide traps heat on Earth is an unproven, yet indisputable fact...

    Yes, it's completely unproven, except for the millions of spectra taken of the molecule, which show its resonance in the infrared part of the spectrum. Science, bitches — it works. Now, had you said something about the AMOUNT of heat it traps and whether that amount is significant, then we could be having an actual debate. I'll be bringing my physics Ph.D. with me, how about you?

    The first of course, belonging to the humble humanitarian who has never pulled any political stint or canvassed bullshit as science to make himself money, Al Gore.

    And here you reveal the biases that inform your decision — not against the science based on any understanding of physics and chemistry, but because one of the advocates is someone with which you disagree politically. Pathetic.

    Still, kudos on your all-too-accurate Slashdot ID.

  • by CorporateSuit (1319461) on Friday February 05, 2010 @07:20PM (#31041508)
    Except that the fossil fuels we are digging up and burning were ALL once part of the atmosphere. Fossil fuels are made up of dead plants, algae, critters, and other sorts of swamp muck after it's been stewing for a sufficient timeframe. These chemicals are in oil because they were once absorbed by plant life, from the atmosphere. The Earth, as an ecosystem, thrives on the carbon we're dumping into the air. The more carbon, the more plantlife thrives. It's becoming healthier in that respect. The carbon will be absorbed in a positive way; either by plants, deserts, or settling. It's the other chemicals that should be discussed. Sulphur, methane, mercury, chlorine, and other such chemical cusswords are arguably bad for the planet when they're in our air supply (arguably), but the carbon is a good thing. The problems with the carbon are whether it can be converted back into a fuel fast enough to keep up with our oil demand, and if the atmosphere turns into a coal mine, we'll all get blacklung.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 05, 2010 @07:28PM (#31041568)
    Wait... isn't that what Bush did with terrorism?
  • by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Friday February 05, 2010 @07:39PM (#31041662) Journal

    And THAT my friend, is indeed the problem. Folks see Goldman Sachs and the other leeches lining up to cash in on "carbon credits" which is the biggest load of horseshit tried to stuff down the people's throats in decades, and they are sick of it.

    If you were simply putting limits and forcing everyone to use less, like in the 70s gas crisis? That would be one thing. But when you have those pushing AGW all set up to become carbon billionaires [telegraph.co.uk] while they fly around in their lear jets telling us we need to change? Well fuck you buddy, we can smell hypocrisy a mile away and we are about knee deep in it now.

    If you want folks to get on board AGW? Get rid of the fricking leeches like GS set to cash in on everyone elses misery and assholes like the Al Gore that have quietly set themselves up to make out like fucking robber barons if they manage to get this shit passed. Otherwise expect the repubs to ride this anti AGW wave to a good decade or two of one party rule. There are enough people here sick of Nobama and his flip flops, hell I wouldn't be surprised if Caribou Barbie ended up the president.

  • by Muros (1167213) on Friday February 05, 2010 @07:56PM (#31041830)

    And where, pray tell, did all that carbon come from in the first place? The atmosphere. Carbon levels in the past were way higher than they are today, and the planet survived just fine.

    I don't really give a shit about the planet surviving if humans don't. Or if we do but have to revert to a pre-technological society. This whole natural cycle bullshit completely misses the point that nature isn't some benign force that looks out for us out of the goodness of its heart; it is something that is just there. Humans should steward the planet in such away that makes it best for us. If the place is getting too hot, we need to combat that, be it through cutting co2 emmisions, developing more efficient carbon sinks, or just launching a dirty big sunshade into an earth-sun lagrange point.

  • by nicknamenotavailable (1730990) on Friday February 05, 2010 @08:56PM (#31042278)

    Based on... what? The non peer reviewed and questionable paper they used to show they aren't melting?

    I don't think I know what you're talking about. What paper (peer reviewed or otherwise) showed that they are not melting?

    Interesting how people will complain about a problem with a large study, but ignore those same problems with the study the supports the belief.

    What large study? 35 year quote that was used by a magazine, and then quoted in the report.

    I sure as hell hope those glaciers are still there for you grand kids to enjoy. If the paper they based criticism is true, the glaciers wont' be there for you grand children, children.

    Perhaps you haven't heard, but according to some scientists, global warming is taking a break [dailymail.co.uk]
    I think it's safe to say that the glaciers will still be there.

    My Bias? facts as the current data support them. The few errors in a study this large really isn't unexpected. Science. Sadly, instead of learning context of the error, it's impact, and what part of the IPCC it occurred in, people jump to their pet belief and how this mistake 'proves' the other hundreds of papers are wrong.

    For science to truly be science, it must be unbiased. When science is used to manipulate people, and all those scientists with views to the contrary are shunned and gagged, it ceases to be science - and becomes an abomination.

  • by proslack (797189) on Friday February 05, 2010 @09:21PM (#31042468) Journal
    It isn't that simple. Plants don't just convert co2 into o2 through photosynthesis, they also respire, which releases co2. Besides, the fluxes involved will not significantly be affected by "thriving plantlife" (sic), especially seeing that we (humans) are currently cutting down biota faster than it grows (deforestation). Temperature is a moot point anyway; the real problem, to me, is ocean acidification i.e. the largest scale titration of the oceans. Sea water pH is decreasing, and will continue to decrease. The oceans are the cradle of life as well as the planet's lungs. Carbon, and especially carbon dioxide, chemistry is complex and counter-intuitive, especially on global scales. Trying to apply common sense without a solid background (textbook, not Discovery Channel) in the science will lead you astray.
  • by hey! (33014) on Friday February 05, 2010 @10:16PM (#31042794) Homepage Journal

    The scientific consensus amounts to this: (1) climate is changing (2) human activities contribute to it, (3) nobody can say for sure what fraction of (1) is accounted for by (2), or how much impact we can have by altering human activities.

    Are some of the reports and studies contributing to this consensus faulty. Yep. That's always the case.

    What we are having though is a political debate disguised as a scientific one. The biggest determinant of position taken outside the scientific community is determined by the following factors;

    A. How much you believe climate change will affect you (negative mostly or if you are Russian perhaps positive).

    B. How much you believe measures to curb human contributions to climate change will help you or hurt you.

    Once you've done the hedonic calculus for this, you either accept the scientific consensus and exaggerate it, or you go shopping for dissidents in the scientific community.

    Personally, I suspect that even if we are the lion's share of the cause of climate change we'll never, ever manage to do anything constructive about that until we've run out of fossil fuels, because this is how people with a dog in the fight think.

  • by Skidborg (1585365) on Friday February 05, 2010 @10:44PM (#31042974)
    Correction: A couple detected errors in a 3000 page document.
  • by presidenteloco (659168) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @02:34AM (#31043968)

    Annual Revenues

    Oil industry (Exxon,Shell,BP,Chevron,...) $2,000,000,000,000

    Fossil-Fuel-based Major Retail (Wal-Mart,Carrefour,...) $1,000,000,000,000

    Automotive Industry (Toyota,Ford,Volkswagen,GM,Daimler,...) $2,000,000,000,000

    Yes folks, that's 5 trillion (= 5,000 billion) dollars per year revenue, for industries
    directly dependent on continuation of our massive fossil fuel burn.

    ---
    IPCC-related scientists
    Assume 4,000 scientists.
    Assume average one gets $1,000,000 grant money per year. (Overestimate).
    That's $4,000,000,000 at stake, (assuming, falsely, that the money is all or
    mostly dependent on their finding that human GHG emissions cause global
    warming.)

    So let's see.
    -Scientists have 4 billion dollars at stake. (Not really at stake,
    but we'll imagine it was)
    -Directly dependent industries have 5,000 billion dollars at stake.

    That's a factor of over a 1000x more money at stake for those whose agenda
    is to promote the status quo and to discredit the science.

    Just putting things in perspective. Which side do YOU think is going to
    have the massive public relations campaign, and massive release
    of spun dis-information going on? Hmmmmm.

  • by vk-agency (1701136) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @04:55AM (#31044330)

    However, GHGs are by far the largest factor, and of those, CO2 is the largest.

    No. Water vapor is the largest greenhouse gas factor by a large margin. It completely swamps any possible CO2 contribution because, unlike CO2, which remains generally stable regardless of atmospheric temperature change (that's most of the basis for the claim that CO2 will incur warming, in fact), the evaporative cooling process accelerates enormously when the atmosphere warms. Warm water goes up, radiates at least half its heat spaceward in energy ranges that CO2 is largely transparent to, and then comes down (much) cooler. This cycle serves as a self-regulating heat pump from surface to space. Heat radiated in this manner is gone forever.

    The real question here, especially after the scandals of the tweaked data, the lockout of contrary input, the use of glacial statistics that were entirely false, the unforgivable falsification of the "hockey stick"... the real question is: Can we call AGW good, established science?

    To answer that question, one asks: Does the the global warming hypothesis give rise to models with testable predictions? Yes. There have been numerous models.

    So, critically, are the results of the models compatible with the predictions made? If so, we have a theory.

    But the answer to that is a resounding no. We have this stall in temperature rise; we have the failure of all the models to predict results across all latitudes at once; we have sea level changes that don't match the predicted results; we have wildly varying predictions from different models indicating fundamental disagreement among the AGW hypothesis proponents. In many cases, the models results are not in yet (predictions are for the future, and the future, to be blunt, is not here yet) and so we literally have no results at all -- merely speculation based upon models that have demonstrated themselves to be flawed over and over again. So it tuns out that we have no more than an unsubstantiated idea, a hypothesis with holes in it.

    Given this situation, we reasonably can, and we should, ask the proponents of the AGW hypothesis and the resulting models to go back to their workbenches and refine those models until the predictions work out to within a reasonable margin of error. When they get it right (and they may yet do so), that is the time to get behind policy decisions that use the science -- because when the predictions work, then it is science, in the sense that now, finally, one has a theory.

    Right now, AGW is a hypothesis, no more, and an entirely unsupported one at that. We don't actually know what our contributions to warming or cooling are, consequently deciding to spend huge amounts of money and effort to further muddy the waters is foolish in the extreme.

  • by that this is not und (1026860) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @05:11AM (#31044388)

    The correct spelling, at least in the US, is 'huge new energy tax that can be used by politicians for other spending programs.' As such, science be damned! Let's just do it! (as overheard in the Congressional cloakroom)

  • by 21mhz (443080) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @05:56AM (#31044548) Journal

    Sure, the scientists who are busy researching the matter, as opposed to creating phony "doubter" websites, use only those faulty stations that said doubters managed to find and photograph, and never cross-check these data with other sources.

    The front page of surfacestations.org has a funny image: a location photo made in 2000s with a parking lot, a cell tower and its AC exhaust ducts near where the temperature sensor is supposedly hosted, superimposed with the graph from the same sensor that shows a steady rising trend since about 1950s. So all those asphalt coatings over the years, the cell tower installation and so on all conspired to create a neat smooth trend that keeps rising. The asphalt must have been aging without renewal, cars radiate ever more heat, and the ACs are dutifully cranked up a notch every few years. Finally, some solid debunking of climate change.

    And I wrote the above even before I did a two-minute Google search that gave me more [yahoo.com] than [scienceblogs.com] enough [wikipedia.org] information as to why surfacestations.org is full of shit.

  • by mpe (36238) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @07:42AM (#31044920)
    It certainty of the data depends on the question you're trying to answer. Is the earth warming? Absolutely. We have numerous bits of evidence from ice cores, tree rings, and soil samples that confirm that the earth's climate is warmer now than it was before.

    Depending which "before" you choose... A different choice and you can state that "The Earth's climate is cooler now than it was before."

    Most climate scientists say that the Earth is headed for a 4 C rise in temperature, regardless of what humans do at this point. To put that into context, 4 C was the worst case scenario being considered during the 1990s.

    In a different context this would be about the temperature of a period known as "The Holocene climatic optimum"
  • by hey! (33014) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @07:54AM (#31044964) Homepage Journal

    By definition, every scientific debate is a political one as well.

    That you define "scientific debate" as "political debate" probably explains why you can't take part in a "scientific debate" as defined by others (notably scientists).

    When you say "deal with it" you mean that anybody who wants to have a scientific debate has to do it on your terms. I have no idea where you got that notion.

  • by nautsch (1186995) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @09:58AM (#31045526)
    OK. Your choice. Believe in it. But look it up and compare to CO2 levels 2 thousand or more years ago. They were higher than today and they were lower than today. I don't see the 3%-5% CO2 addition by humans to have such an effect. The problem here is the money involved. There is a whole economy out there living on the fear of people like yoo who just believe. Imagine Obama saying: "Lets just kill this multimillion dollar, multimillion job economy and move the f*** on." I don't see it.
  • by Arthur Grumbine (1086397) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @11:20AM (#31046002) Journal

    Humans should steward the planet in such away that makes it best for us.

    While I agree with this statement completely, the far majority of environmentalists I have met do not hold this stance, and the far majority of the arguments here on /. are not made with this idea in mind. I do heartily believe that the studies about impact should be focused completely on weighing the benefits and risks in terms of our well-being/survival instead of "the planet's", or various other species/ecosystems.

    Personally, I don't care about the continued survival of the flora and fauna of the tundra nearly as much as I care about the survival/expansion of mankind. "Too hot"?! We still have an entire continent that is uninhabitable because it is too cold.

    Humans are amazingly adaptable, especially when combined with modern technology. I only have an inkling, based on Wikipedia trails from here [wikipedia.org] about what the likely impacts are, and all the studies seem to focus only on damages, not benefits, but it still seems likely that mankind will be better off, in the long run, with more warming. Not to say there won't be short term (50 - 150 years) losses, but that the increased access to global resources will have benefits that will, over this next millenium, far outweigh the initial potential losses.

    Then imagine how much the potential losses could be mitigated by focusing all resources/energy that is currently being requested to fight global warming - instead towards preparing for adaptation to take advantage of the coming changes.

  • by 21mhz (443080) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @01:29PM (#31046920) Journal

    I bring the entire combined ignorance of the world that says "We don't know, we haven't tested it yet. LoL!" which nullifies your point.

    Fixed that for you.

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