Sunday, May 28, 2006

Apocalypse Watch

Okay, so what is the deal with global warming?

I'll be honest- I have little understanding of climate change. From what I can determine, there are a lot of people talking about it, some of whom understand it, and many of whom don't, and I'm the only one I know saying "I think I get it, but not really."

But, I will say that not everyone can be right here. One group claims it will be catastrophic for all life on earth, the sort of claim that I usually take to be a bit hyperbolic. From the other side, we hear that there is no such thing as global warming and, according to an ad campaign that was really made to be ridiculed: "Carbon dioxide is life!" Of course, this is from producers of carbon dioxide. I'm guessing Dave Thomas would have said that "hamburgers are life", and cows would have disagreed. It doesn't help me.

I know the hyperbole doesn't help the global warming people- my father was told in school that New York City would be underwater by 1999! On the other hand, the scientific opinion doesn't seem to be nearly divided as the political opinion on this, and that's disconcerting. Since I don't know much about it, I tend to bow to those who do. Also, I can't see how the arguments against global warming make much sense in the case of meteorologists. I mean, we can't say that they're making this up because they've got a lot to gain. Now, if the world's scientists put out a statement reading:
"World's Scientists agree that Global Warming is Deadly- and that the only protection is the Anti-Global Warming Hats that they are selling!" I'd be more suspicious.

Anyway, here is a blog published by real climate scientists about climate science:
Their concensus? Well, I'm no scientist, but it sounds like they're saying we're fucked.

How fucked? Again, I'm not an expert here, but apparently, really fucked.

"Two papers appeared in Geophysical Research Letters today claiming that the warming forecast for the coming century may be underestimated, because of positive feedbacks in the carbon cycle. One comes from Torn and Harte, and the other from Scheffer, Brovkin, and Cox. Both papers conclude that warming in the coming century could be increased by carbon cycle feedbacks, by 25-75% or so."

And that's just the most recent post. Many of the others are similarly depressing. And they don't even sell Anti-Global Warming Hats.

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