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November 5, 2008

How will a President Obama impact science, tech and the environment?

Posted: 12:22 PM ET

An eight-year presidency is coming to an end, and so is a two-year campaign full of hope, mud, hockey moms and long-forgotten candidates (Where have you gone, Vilsack and Tancredo?).  But in the end, "change" is the word of the day.

What will an Obama presidency mean for science and tech?

The transition from a Bush Administration to a Barack Obama Administration implies enormous policy differences in just about every one of the issues we cover in this blog.  

Here are some questions for the next four years:

Science:  The Bush Administration drew heavy criticism for allegedly censoring or softening federal scientific reports on global warming, endangered species, and other issues when the science didn't match Administration policy.   Will Obama clean this up?  Or will he draw fire from the opposite political direction?

Space:  The Space Shuttle faces mandatory retirement in two years.  Is Obama, and is America, ready to commit the money to continue exploration in the wake of our financial meltdown?

Tech:  From the classroom to the R&D lab, concerns are mounting that America has lost its research and innovation mojo.  Can the new administration turn this around?

Environment:  Both Obama and McCain drew sharp distinctions with the Bush Administration on addressing global warming.  Obama's campaign called for 80 percent reductions in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050.   Are we ready?  Can he deliver?

Energy:  Obama belatedly, and not too enthusiastically, embraced the possibility of expanding offshore drilling during the campaign.  He did so after the polls showed McCain scoring points with the "Drill, Baby Drill!" mantra.  Did Obama really mean what he said?  And now that gas is under $2.50 a gallon again for most Americans, do we still care?

Here are quick links to President-Elect Obama's campaign pledges on energy/global warming, environment, technology, and space.   Feel free to hang on to these links to see how many campaign promises are broken or kept.  

And let us know what you think.

–Peter Dykstra, Executive Producer, CNN Science, Technology & Weather

Filed under: environment • Politics • science • Space

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Larian LeQuella   November 5th, 2008 1:32 pm ET

Well, considering that President Elect Obama actually can identify science in a field of superstition bodes well. The loss of the republican party can be attributed to the party selling out to an extremist, fundamentalist sub-section. They couldn't identify science if it bit them.

I know that most in the scientific community are breathing a sigh of relief.

Franko   November 5th, 2008 2:40 pm ET

"Obama actually can identify science in a field of superstition "

He will be a modern day King Canute.
Commandeth the climate from warming to cooling !
A puppet on the string of the CO2 fraud ?

Mike   November 5th, 2008 8:22 pm ET

I would suspect Obama will go after some "certain victories" out the gate. I think it will be important for him to have momentum and show early successes to keep America behind him. Whether it's energy policy, science, or other, I think he'll go for what's popular and what he can get support for. For example, initiate programs exploring alternative energy that creates jobs to collectively show an effort to stimulate the economy, get us off fossil fuels, and that we're investing wisely in the process. Funding for the space program might be necessary at some level to preserve jobs, but without a commitment to any major initiatives. I'm not sure any president could walk in and make sweeping changes, especially the first year so I'm not realistically expecting any major programs that cost a lot of money, are unpopular, or that will take time to get through the system. Just some little stuff. Off shore drilling? I'm not sure that will happen any time soon considering the leased land available and unused. It's unpopular, shows no short term benefits, and I don't see it happening without some serious changes to how big oil operates.

Ray Ladbury   November 6th, 2008 12:52 am ET

While it is true that not many scientists well lament seeing the back of Dubya, Obama has not exhibited any spark of enthusiasm for science himself. He seems to grasp of the idea that technology is important to the economy, and he also seems to understand that "No Child Left Behind" translates into "No Child gets Ahead". Personally, I think a lot depends on whether Obama revitalizes the office of Science Adviser, which has been moribund under Bush. Without a dynamic science adviser who can explain the importance of science, the new President will find plenty to divert his attention away from it.

Jahn Yukn   November 6th, 2008 3:12 am ET


In your magical kingdom, reigning in destructive and runaway industrialization might be a fairytale but seriously, enjoy the next 8 years.

Trip   November 6th, 2008 3:14 am ET

I think if Obama does nothing there will be a lot of ticked off people in the country. There are plenty of voters out there that had major concerns for McCain's scientific policies and with the current state of the nation and world Obama would only be a fool to really not do something about it. In other words; he has to take care of at least some of these issues or he will drown sitting in a Bush pillion.

jimmyc   November 6th, 2008 4:52 am ET

sciencedebate2008 has a response from Obama on science and policy issues. This will be a handy reference for the science minded people out there.

Traci Engel   November 6th, 2008 4:54 am ET

I currently have a degree in science and have seen during my lifetime a decrease in funding for science programs in schools of all levels.
I would love to have our schools and universities back on top of the research in science disiplines. I would be more than willing to beg our new president for funding to go toward our schools and libraries.
In regards to the space program, this is a program that has always inspired young people to strive to achieve; it would be an awful shame to have the program scrapped due to funding and interest.

paula   November 6th, 2008 8:28 am ET

American lost 8 precious years in the fields of science & medicine. I believe Obama will forge ahead and redeem our country.

6ftrabbit   November 6th, 2008 11:59 am ET

Obama will be too busy consolidating his power for a run at "President for Life", to be overly concerned about anything else. That is the first item on the agenda of all socialists, is it not? How else can they control everything and everybody?

Don   November 6th, 2008 12:15 pm ET

Obama' intelligence is a breathe of fresh air. It doesn't have to be said, he will put things back on course. Science seeks the truth by experimentation, not mythology.

Bubba   November 6th, 2008 12:43 pm ET

6ftrabbit, I think his first agenda item is likely to be yo mama. But I digress; expanded offshore drilling in some areas would be useful but add to the likelihood of oil spills. Palin was drooling to able to give away Alaska drilling rights to her Big Oil friends; now that she's not likely to be involved I expect her support to waver. Someone who's educated and doesn't think the planet is 400 years old is going to be a nice change for sure.

EricG   November 6th, 2008 12:44 pm ET

If you don't have at least education on and understanding of political and economic concepts, please stop stating your beliefs as facts. Just as Communism does not equal totalitarianism, Socialism does not equal totalitarianism. Totalitarianism, democracy, monarchy, republicanism (not the party), and consitutional monarchy (not a complete list), are all forms of government. They do not speak to economic policies. Communism, capitalism, and socialism (also probably not a complete list) are economic models.

It is just as possible to have a socialistic democracy (look at many Scandanavian countries) or a capitalistic totalitarian regime. Each government type and each econimic model has an "ideal" or "pure" concept. In real life, there is no such thing as a "true" capitalistic society, or "communist" society, or even a "democratic" society,

The real world colors things in shades of gray. take the U.S. as it currently stands, for example. We claim to be a capitalist democracy. However, not only do we have government regulations intended to prevent businesses from doing whatever they damn well please and letting consumers be the judge of what they want to buy (who really needs the FDA to protect us from people selling thalidomide?), but we also elect our president based on a system that has an incredibly high possibility of being completely out of step with the popular vote.

If you read up on how the Electoral College works, it's a little scary how uncontrolled it is. An oversimplified version (it's a bit different for each state) is that each party chooses electors that pledge to vote for the party cnadidate, and people are actually electing those electors. However, those electors are not, in fact, required to vote for their pledged candidate. A few states have laws in place to somewhat hold the electors accountable, but the system is not set up to speak the mind of the people, but rather to, in the most literal sense, speak for (as in, instead of) the people.

In the interests of full-disclosure, I am an independent with Democrate leanings, but I have to say that anyone who claims any of these particular ideologies is "best for our country", is failing to take into account the fact that life is a little messy, and chances are pretty damn good that the best for our country is going be a gray area between ideologies.

Paul   November 6th, 2008 1:57 pm ET

May God help us to survive the Obama-Pelosi reign!

Wayne in Maine   November 6th, 2008 2:46 pm ET

Obama will make great progress in dealing with global warming, especially when compared to Bush's corporate-greed, screw-the-people mentality.

Obama is not only willing to listen to scientific reason, he intends to surround himself with subject matter experts, and act based on their best judgement.

Bush's censoring of science data is an attack on america and the rest of the world. But, I could be wrong...maybe Bush does know more about science than the 900 scientists in the IPCC.

Hey Franko, ever heard of the IPCC? Maybe you should see what they have to say.

The real question is how much of Bush's damage to the world can Obama undo in only 8 years?

John   November 6th, 2008 3:15 pm ET

Scary that people like Franko, perennial uncensored lunatic of the scitech blog, are able to vote.

Good inspiration for somebody sane to vote to try to cancel them out.

robertf36009   November 6th, 2008 3:28 pm ET

Please keep in mind that global warming is a cyclical event. Our current warming trend began prior to the industrial revolution with the end of the last ice age. Although human releas of sequestered carbon by burning fossel fuels may speed up the process humans did not start it nor can they stop it. Even if we could stop global warming it probably would not be a good idea. Just as stopping hurricanes would ultimately be very bad. We should be focusing on how to deal with global warming as the inevitable event it is. Not on futile attempts to stop it.

jason   November 6th, 2008 4:37 pm ET

Eric G, you have to be the most learned and rational blogger I have ever seen on this site. Thank you, I was beginning to think that everyone in the world was an extremist nutcase (left or right). The world is not just black and white, there are MANY shades of gray.

JP Los Alamos, NM   November 6th, 2008 5:17 pm ET

Well Obama knew enough to recognize the need for a new planetarium projector at the Adler Planetarium. McCain sounded like he was complaining about 3 million dolars being wasted on a simple office overhead projector.

Helen   November 6th, 2008 5:59 pm ET

Re offshore drilling: the oil industry will only commit the money if they think they can earn a huge profit. With the cost of oil dropping, they will not drill, just as they don't on all the land leases they now hold.

Wisdom   November 6th, 2008 6:42 pm ET

My guess is a 6.5% increase in payroll tax will lead to layoffs in tech companies.

A 65% captital gains tax will cause money to leave US banks and move to forign establishments.

A mandatory corp payed national health plan will cause companies to move out of the US.

Just my opinion... however if the above comes to pass I think science and technology will grow at an increased rate... in other countries.

Sandra L. Reed-Mansfield Ohio   November 6th, 2008 8:29 pm ET

I believe that President-Elect Barack Obama will do just fine in every aspect of governing this country, including science, technology and the environmental concerns. Considering the low IQ's and lack of credentials in the intelligence department demonstrated by George W. Bush and his Administration and tolerated by this country for 8 years, I would think that even my 6 month old Granddaughter would be a creditable replacement. American's are still way behind other countries in scientific achievements, so I hope he doesn't waste too much money on unproven talents here. Better to put our money and hope in increasing the educational budget for our future scientists. Remember, the past generation put Bush in Office twice and almost elected those other candidates, McCain and Palin who made George look like a rocket scientist.

Chris   November 6th, 2008 8:34 pm ET

I think first and foremost, P.E. Obama will be much more connected with the facts than the outgoing administration. I think he'll surround himself with objective, if hardnosed "hawks" that are fact driven and make the best decision he can.

On science, I think you'll see an increase in innovation on a number of fronts funded out of federal sources..It won't be huge initially, but if the economy settles a bit, it will grow.

On Space, I grew up in Titusville, FL...literally in the shadow of the space program. Our orbiter fleet must be simply has to be. I believe the space program will continue, but continue to be underfunded as well. Hopefully, we will eventually realize the number of cutting edge technologies we've acquired as a result of our exploration of space, and get hungry for more.

On Environment, I think Obama's going to be one of the most effective agents of change we've ever seen.

On Energy, I encourage P.E. Obama to engage with those in the industry to find strong, and sustainable solutions. T.Boone Pickens has some of the best ideas out there on reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and creating sustainable energy. I hope Mr Obama asks a question or two of him, and listens closely. I DO however disagree with his (Obama's) reluctance to pursue more nuclear energy in the short term.

Dr. Steve Watkins   November 6th, 2008 9:38 pm ET

If for no other reason, Barack Obama will allow scientists to be scientists and focus on doing research that will restore America' s edge. As a Republican, I have seethed at the stupidity of the current moron in the White House, who has done everything in his power to thwart American research and development. We fall behind the Japanese on hybrid research because this would make this administration uncomfortable with the reality of global warming. We cripple ourselves on stem cell research because he does not want to anger his fundamentalist idiotic fanbase. This country has so much work to do in catching up on basic research; this hidden story is another crisis on top of the financial one.

Trudy   November 7th, 2008 6:15 am ET

I just wanted to thank Eric G for posting the first intelligent post that I have seen on in a while.

Steve   November 7th, 2008 10:22 am ET

Hopefully we can put the stem cell issue to bed. No matter where you stand on the issue, I'm sure we can all agree that having to buy one set of equipment for federally-funded research and another (completely separate but identical) set of equipment for privately-funded work is ludicrous and a waste of time, money, and energy. Under the Bush administration, federally-funded research scientists have had to jump through more hoops than circus performers.

On the space front, I know it is important but I also think we would do ourselves a favor to be grounded for a while. We need fresh blood and money in the space program, and a short layoff will generate new enthusiasm when the program is started up again. Meanwhile, provide incentives for innovation in the private sector– how about an x-prize-like competition for designing the next NASA space vehicle? Private corporations on a budget are almost always more efficient and innovative than a government program with (nearly) endless resources.

Steve   November 7th, 2008 10:28 am ET

On the topic of nuclear energy, I'm not in favor of it. Yes, it is much safer than it used to be, but it still has more potential for disaster than any other source of energy–if a wind turbine of a solar panel fall over, thousands of people are not going to get sick and die.

Safety issues aside, nuclear power requires a huge amount of capital to create and it's one of the most expensive sources of energy we have. Much like new drilling, new nuclear power would take years before we see any increase in energy output.

Wind and solar, however, can be built and brought online in weeks, not years. Both are cheaper to maintain than nuclear power and when built in sufficient quantities can produce power for as little as 4.6 cents per kWh.

Franko   November 7th, 2008 11:56 am ET

Obama is an intelligent, but ignorant, (not dumb or stupid) puppy dog
Congress of special interest, lobbyists, easy to wonder off

Restarting the economy, deal with the Commie Greenies;
Seek advice from economists. President of Check Republic
Ravi Batra: World Poverty; Others – Ralph Nader; Ron Paul

Mark R   November 8th, 2008 8:49 am ET

This is in response to Steve's comments made on November 7 it 10:28 AM:

I like to see you provide a basis for your comments. The technology may exist for solar and wind power but it certainly could be implemented in weeks! That's a very stupid statement. The technology that does exist needs to be refined and the manufactoring ability for large scale implementation needs to be developed. Also the distribution network would have to be huge to take advantage of the area's with the energy sources are feasible.

Your facts about nuclear energy are also way off base. It is actually a very cheap source of energy, just look at Duke Power companies average cost per Kw, it's one of the lowest in the nation and they are one of the biggest nuclear generating companies.

The only fact I think you have correct is a nuclear would take quite a while to get online (about 10 years if politicians and environmentalists don't get in the away ).

John   November 8th, 2008 2:14 pm ET

I teach 8th grade science at a Texas junior high and oversee the spending budget for equipment, supplies (classroom and lab), and curriculum supplements (any teaching aid besides our textbook) for our 6th – 8th grade science classes (almost 300 students). From a budget of $2000 we do our best to make science exciting. I feel that there is so much more that could be done to capture students’ imaginations in science if the monies were there to purchase additional tools and equipment. Instead we are working on a shoestring budget that allows us to just eek by. Students are being short changed. Our nation will only continue to lose ground in areas of science and technology if substantial investments are not made in our children’s educations. If children are going to grow a true interest in science it needs to begin in elementary and junior high schools. I hope our next administration has the foresight to correct the retreat we are in.

Hank Bretz   November 8th, 2008 2:49 pm ET

Saturday, November 8, 2008
CFL's Shamefull Deception
So you want to be green, save energy, reduce carbon foot print and stop global warming? Well that's great. We should all be conscience of our impact on the planet. After all, it's the only one we have. So go out and buy that hybrid vehicle you've been looking at. Oh, why not stop at Home Depot on the way home from the car dealership and stock up on all the energy saving products we've been hearing about. Let's see, you might need attic insulation, weather stripping, window film and don't forget the insulated jacket for the water heater. Have I missed anything? Oh ya, don't forget a pack of CFL bulbs. That's those new compact florescent lights. They use one tenth the power of incandescent bulbs and last ten times as long. How can you go wrong? Well "WRONG" is the perfect word for these dastardly devils. Just check the side of the box. You will see that these perilous polluters contain a measure of Mercury. It won't tell you how much, but who cares, any amount is too much. Mercury is well documented as a highly toxic substance that any human or animal would do well to stay away from. We've all heard the saying "Mad as a hatter". This is not a fable our old wives tale, it's a fact that decades ago dry cleaners would use a liquid solution to clean men's hats. The problem was that the cleaning solution was loaded with a toxic substance called Mercury. It seems that Mercury has a profound effect on the human brain and nervous system.
The Mercury in CFL's is no different. You are actually quite safe though, as long as you DO NOT BREAK them. But let's face it, accidents do happen, and when it does, you have a real problem on your hands. Your house has just become a toxic waste dump. You won't see it, you won't taste it nor will you smell it but there it will be. So now what do you do? If it was my house I would call the Enviorment Protection Agency of the Federal Government, next you should move to temporary living quarters until the toxic waste clean up crew completes their unenviable job.
It really doesn't seem worth it to me to endanger the entire family in order to save a few bucks. Why not just turn off the lights when you leave a room and enjoy the secure feeling you'll have just knowing your not living with the danger that is packaged inside these prolific polluters.
Posted by Hank Bretz at 10:14 AM

Oil Man   November 8th, 2008 3:36 pm ET

I hope the price of gas goes back up to 4 or even better 5 bucks a gallon

JC   November 8th, 2008 4:25 pm ET

Robert 39006 simply repeats a total fallacy assembled by the Bushies: long, slow climate change IS cyclical, but NOT (repeat *NOT!*) anything like the geologically rapid warming we are currently seeing. What is happening now is UNPRECEDENTED in the climate record. It is NOT part of any so-called "cycle". As a PhD scientist I must say that you serve no good by spreading George Bush misinformation Robt. It is also significant that it is the very same idiots who have delayed our response to this threat are the ones now advocating giving up and and putting our heads back in the sand. All of them should be required to live on Manhattan Island.

As far as the space program goes, americans get what they pay for. Want a leading space program? Then here's a clue: simply throwing unfunded mandates at NASA (ie. the so-called "Vision" program) is nothing but hot air. And the human spaceflight aspect of NASA needs to be scrapped altogether and rebuilt around a goal of moving outward. The Shuttle is a hazardous, incapable albatross, the ISS has become an orbiting money pit (and richie rich tourist destination), and the Ares rocket program has turned into an expensive mess. All of these have put the brakes on NASA's productive science programs. What a deal.

JC   November 8th, 2008 4:33 pm ET

Oh, and another thing, almost everybody in science is indeed about to breathe a sigh of relief. The way science has been bent and twisted by that idiot is a total disgrace. Virtually every science has been damaged by it.

renate   November 8th, 2008 7:11 pm ET

Obama will do only what will help him to make the history books.

Dan   November 8th, 2008 9:38 pm ET

What about reproductive rights for squirrels? Do the squirrels consent to this 'vaccine'? If they trap them prior to giving them the shot, why not just euthanize them or ship them back to the Midwest?

Don't tell me they are not native! People are not 'native' to California either! Should this vaccine be used on all non-native species, or just those that the non-native decision-makers choose?

Squirrels are people too!

Let some oxygen into those ivory towers!

Franko   November 9th, 2008 6:17 am ET

Wayne in Maine;
"maybe Bush does know more about science than the 900 scientists in the IPCC.

Hey Franko, ever heard of the IPCC? Maybe you should see what they have to say."

=== See Zagoni; ==
"• „it is impossible that the atmospheric absorbed
would always be equal to the downward emitted”.
• „it is a nonsense to assume that the upward
atmospheric emitted is always just the half of the
surface upward emitted longwave”.
• Then I showed him the book from which he learnt
climatology 30 years ago.
• I proved that these relations were there in his book.."

IPCC reads tea leaves - incorrectly - not 30 year old textbooks
(random photon walk distance increases as the square root)

I   November 10th, 2008 11:45 am ET

My concern is that people don't realize that big oil is going to keep the price down now to discarge alternative energy. I beleive it is exactly the time to wean ourselves from opec reign. Now that big oil is out ot the white house we can fix this with intelligent public support.

Franko   November 10th, 2008 12:42 pm ET

"What is happening now is UNPRECEDENTED in the climate record"

Newer is UNPRECEDENTED, but happens all the time
Think basic physics, available energy. All PRECEDENTED, constrain

SigIntSPC   November 10th, 2008 1:27 pm ET

Franko my friend, If a rogue AI with a penchant for pseudo-haiku ever gets loose on the web, I think it may look a lot like you. You keep hiding basic profound truths in a format that most people automatically discount as nonsensical.

RE: the space program and it's future, take a look at


Look at the kind of money the DOD and Air Force in particular are throwing around for space research and development, materials, and most tellingly, systems for energy weapons and spacecraft defenses. Yes, they want proposals on new technology for space-based warfare...and not just orbit-to-earth warfare, true Buck Rodgers style ship-to-ship space warfare.

If DOD, run by some fairly conservative folks, is taking space seriously, the Obama administration had better do likewise.

Mike   November 10th, 2008 5:39 pm ET

The only reason that "global warming" and "alternate energy" has any following at all is the lousy state of science and finance education in the USA.
12,000 years ago there was enough ice on the continents of the world that the sea levels were *at least* 440 feet lower than present. The coast of South Carolina was 63 miles further east at that time. There were over 9 million cubic kilometers in the ice over North America (Canada and northern USA). The ice pack on the Atlantic ocean connected the continent to Greenland, and possibly even to Ireland. The sea ice on the southern hemisphere nearly reached New Zealand and Australia.
Between 12,000 and 8,000 years ago, MOST of that ice melted (before man discovered fossil fuels). This was enough to spill over the previously dry straits of Gibraltar, refilling the Mediterranean ocean. Also note that most of the Great Barrier reef off Australia is less than 400 feet deep now, so it was dry land during the ice age...
These are geologic FACTS. The rest of that ice is melting now, getting back to the ecologic state that existed about 60,000 years ago when alligators lived in what is now Alberta Canada.
The Energy Resource Council Of Texas, which manages the electrical supply network in Texas, only relies on 8.7% of the massive wind farm's electrical capacity to be available at any particular time. Either the wind is not blowing hard enough, or blowing too hard the rest of the time. So all those billions of dollars of turbines are only producing less than 10% of the time. Not what I want to count on for my electricity.
Solar electric power is available at best 50% of the time (averaged over the year). The rest of the time it is dark or cloudy, just when you need the electricity most. Not exactly what we need, is it?
Do we base our electrical supply future on these expensive, unreliable, uncertain sources? I would hope not.

Oh, on fetal stem cells. What definitive benefit has come from any of the world-wide research into this? There are only USA Federal restrictions on money for this, no restrictions anywhere else in the world. There will be billions of funding available in California alone. The answer is: Nothing. Nada. Zilch. There have been MANY benefits derived from adult stem cell research across the world.

Franko   November 11th, 2008 1:32 am ET

"rogue AI with a penchant for pseudo-haiku"
One online integrator, equation solver, or another, same result
Symbolic logic is in the crucible of, (limited by), skillful definitions
The mind is in the "crucible of survival" - limitless reality or lunacy

Military secret science research, is the producer of results
Morally right or wrong, does not apply,.
Trumped by the necessity of survival, is the reality
Obama, style with misdirected substance, bail out Ford, Megasoft ?

Nic   November 11th, 2008 1:48 am ET

You said:

"global warming is a cyclical event. Our current warming trend began prior to the industrial revolution with the end of the last ice age." (...) "humans did not start it nor can they stop it."
(I'm paraphrasing to keep this short but everyone can find the full quote by scrolling up)

This is incorrect, I'll give you some facts based on an essay called "Ambush: the warming of the world" by Carl Sagan. Hopefully Carl Sagan is known at least as well for his brilliant career in astronomy as he is for his TV show. If not, you should read up on him.

You're right that climate is naturally cyclical. BUT:
Over the past 150,000 years the global mean temperature of the earth has slowly oscillated within a bracket of about 5 degrees celcius.
Suddenly at the industrial revolution the temperature begins to shoot up DRAMATICALLY. Ie:
The temperatures we measure today, are not only the warmest in the past century, but the warmest in the past 150 THOUSAND YEARS.
I wish I could reproduce the graph here but essentially the temperature skyrockets in the past 50 years faster than in the past 25,000 years, and again, reach temperatures HIGHER THAN EVER RECORDED in 150 MILLENIA, PERIOD.
So clearly, there's something going on, and it's easily explained by the chemistry of greenhouse gases (see below) and agreed upon by essentially the ENTIRE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY for the past 30 YEARS. Can we PLEASE MOVE ON and start dealing with the problem?

You burn fossil fuels, you emit carbon (C) it mixes with oxygen in the air (O2). C+O2 = CO2, and CO2 is a greenhouse gas. If you studied chemistry the equations are really straightforward. Why is there such resistance to this idea? Because of some notion that it is "arrogant" for man to believe he can impact the earth thus? Haven't we already proven that with the ozone layer and the nuclear bomb? Is it anything to be proud of anyway? An 8-year old with a firearm can do substantial damage, just because we are a frail and insignificant species doesn't mean our out-of-control technology can't bring considerable harm to a delicate ecosystem.

Venus, our neighboring planet, is a great example of what awaits us if we don't act: Venus is a bit closer to the sun than we are, but its cloud cover should compensate for that, and all in all, its surface temperature should be the same as Earth's. But they are not. On an average day on Venus it's about 900 degrees farenheit – because the atmosphere is full of carbon dioxide. That's a good cautionnary example of a planet pumped full of CO2.

Franko   November 11th, 2008 4:12 pm ET

"Hopefully Carl Sagan is known at least as well for his brilliant career "
A dope smoking hippie, Could not get Venus greenhouse naked.

"You’re right that climate is naturally cyclical"
No ! Google Panama: Isthmus that Changed the World Climate
That is the reason, for the season, of the Ice Ages

"CO2 is a greenhouse gas. If you studied chemistry the equations are really straightforward. Why is there such resistance to this idea?"
Zagoni: " doubling CO2 theoretically would be about 0.24 K, according to the semi-transparent solution of the radiation equations in a bounded atmosphere. But taking into account all the energetic constraints, the actual value is 0.0 K."

Venus ... because the atmosphere is full of carbon dioxide"
"Venus: totally different (CO2 atmosphere, closed cloud cover, volcanism) — no runaway greenhouse effect;"

bob   November 11th, 2008 4:40 pm ET


bob   November 11th, 2008 4:41 pm ET


Bill   November 11th, 2008 8:28 pm ET

People, the solution to carbon pollution (global warming, climate change, etc) is not how we produce energy. It's how we STORE energy.

Electricity will move your SUV better than gasoline will. Yes, that's right better, faster, quicker, all those things we like in our cars. But you can't go to a "service" station and fill up on a "tank" of electricity that would move your car for 300 miles or so. Neither can you store enough electricity to heat or cool your home for the following week or month. So we have to be constantly producing it to meet our huge needs.

So, the technology we REALLY need is a way to store enough electricity to heat/cool your home or drive your car – hotrodding a 2 ton piece of iron as is the right of every American. Then the level of electric production wouldn't need to be so high. We could cover it with wind, solar, ocean current, and hydroelectric production. We wouldn't be held captive to burning coal, or splitting atoms, or even drilling oil and refining it into gasoline.

So, SOMEONE out there find a way to make a better battery!! Then we can leave all this nasty carbon in the ground where it's supposed to be.

Franko   November 12th, 2008 10:05 am ET


Pay attention, and you will not be Venus scared;
Temperature inversions exist frequently
Density inversios are quickly convected (T^4)

DanicaConway   November 12th, 2008 12:07 pm ET

I voted for Obama because he stands for the opposite of Bush on science. I am waiting and watching to see that he delivers. I just hope he doesn't get distracted by the more immediate troubles that always come up. Solving the climate change situation is the biggest thing we face, and we can't do it without a strong understanding of science.

I see a lot of climate change skeptics use the term 'fairy tale', but this problem will not disappear just because you wish it away. I trust a PhD climatologist FAR more than I trust some person with an opinion on the Internet.

As far as a Mars mission goes, I favor the use of robots to explore the other planets. It's cheaper than sending humans, less risky, and more likely to result in good scientific data coming home. Our country is drowning in debt right now, so I think we should be prudent even in our space program.

DanicaConway   November 12th, 2008 3:13 pm ET

Franco said: But taking into account all the energetic constraints, the actual value is 0.0 K

Give those constraints please. I'm not afraid of the math, so show me.

Franko   November 12th, 2008 10:09 pm ET

The quote was, not from me, but from Zagoni: "actual value is 0.0 K"

Greenhouse factor is the infrared radiation pressure, on the ground, from the atmosphere. The greenhouse effect is energy constrained. Increased effect of one greenhouse gas, reduces the effect of another. Earth has near infinite supply of greenhouse H2O. - H2O is the regulator to 1.87 optical depth, by varying cloud cover, (to optimize most efficient infrared radiation to space). As a starting point to understanding, do a gedaken; throw up more H2O, - H2O removes itself. (energy limited)

Satellite measurements were used as the basis.
You would have to see if Zagoni will give you a copy of his program.

Franko   November 13th, 2008 1:21 am ET

"I trust a PhD climatologist"

Which one ? Predictions range from 0.0°C to 6.0°C
But not Pizza Oven Venus ?

We need actual experiments;
Gravity Acceleration = G*M*r^-2
Centrifugal Acceleration = ω^2 * r

Both are monotomic functions in r
Map from one to another - r r^-2

Make a large centrifuge, a disk. Fill with your desired fluids and gasses. Spin to vacum, read out and transform the results

A 1 dimensional scaled atmosphere model.
For 2 dimension mapping, need more transforms.

DanicaConway   November 13th, 2008 3:07 pm ET

I will read this paper, thanks for providing it. I can't tell if the paper was published in the Quarterly Journal of Hungarian ... or if that was a reference used for the paper?

Franko   November 13th, 2008 3:51 pm ET

The paper is the producer of numerous Phd level insults
The optical depth (1.8414) satisfies 2 boundary conditions

Math looks ok (trying online integators and equation solvers)
The discussion, at - - is drifting towards methaphors

"Give those constraints please"
Constraints are Solar energy incoming, and albedo

James Newman   November 13th, 2008 5:57 pm ET

The long term prognosis for the availability of petroleum is unchanged and not favorable to the cash flow of the United States.

To not maximize the use of our own resources based on a very temporary drop in oil prices is foolish.

In the long term, the use of renewable resources will be mandatory. So, it would behoove us to get on with drilling and exploration that can be done without damage to the environment while simultaneously investing in technology to use renewable energy resources.

Franko   November 14th, 2008 9:34 am ET

Infinite supply of H2O greenhouse vapor, but,
limited by incoming energy, means greenhouse effect is at maximum

Atmosphere, self optimizes for most effective infrared radiation to space
Energy minimum principle (stream self optimizes efficient energy flow)

From the two effects, constant optical depth emerges

Gulf Oil Claim Jumpers/Strategic Defense Innitiative   November 14th, 2008 4:18 pm ET

Two highest priorities: Republicans must filibuster every liberal mesure brought to the floor of congress until Obama relents and allows offshore, and (Deep Well) drilling off in the Gulf of Mexico and Californoa coast. Chevron Oil discovered that oil in the gulf, and we'll be dammed if we're going to stand by and allow Venezuela, Cuba, and China drill our oil 50 miles off our shores, and turn around and sell that black gold, back to us. Shall we let these renegades get wealthy like the Arabs selling us our own oil! You can see the serious stratecic national security, and financial ramifications here. Mr Obama, don't make US the sport of our enemies.

The second highest priority is that we, as wise Republicans, need to f to make sure we protect our nation by increasing funding for the Strategic Defense Initiative, championed by President Ronald Wilson Reagan. They major national media networks kept deriding President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative back in the 1980s by calling it The Star Wars Defense Initiative, to imply that the concept of a missile and laser defense shield for the United States was just science fiction fantasy. Wise Republicans have known, and it is now a proven fact that missile defense is now a reality and has great potential to protect the US and needs atequate funding; Even the technological reality of an anti ballistic laser defense shield applications realized. Go to the Heritage Foundation website for a chance to hear the other side of the story that the major mews networks have largely overlooked.

Franko   November 15th, 2008 3:11 am ET

The Emperor of Earth, Obama, will have to be extremely active in
doing nothing. "JADE-EMPEROR is a master of winning without really doing anything .. The Way (DAO) and its Principle of Least Action (Wu Wei)"

Time Magazine has insights: "How to Do Nothing Well"

Larian LeQuella   November 17th, 2008 6:04 pm ET

What I find interesting is that the people who argue against Global Climate Change do so in the principle that they want to keep doing business as usual. i.e. keep polluting like we always have, it can't hurt...

Do you pee in your Corn Flakes before you eat them as well?

Franko   November 17th, 2008 8:11 pm ET

Larian LeQuella
"nteresting is that the people who argue against Global Climate Change"

Otical depth of Earth's atmosphere has not changed for 60 years of
available data: read "Miskolczi's model discussed by Ken Gregory"

"Harsh winters force Mongolian horsemen to abandon nomadic life"
Local climate has not been this cold for hundreds of years

"Do you pee in your Corn Flakes before you eat them as well?"
You, Larian LeQuella, are just peeing your pants of percetption.

Rob   November 19th, 2008 5:50 pm ET

Keyboard Transmitters: That 'test' is comically inept. I can't imagine a test less likely to reveal real-world conditions. An unplugged laptop with an external keyboard. Who does that? I often attach an external keyboard attached to my laptop, but only for long work sessions that require it to be plugged in. The conditions under which people use unplugged laptops make an external keyboard extremely unlikely.
I test technology for a living, and I would sack any employee who presented me such 'test' results.

Justin Val   November 30th, 2008 11:42 am ET

You should send this off to him. He's doing all those web forum things, right?

Mary   December 7th, 2008 5:38 pm ET

Grant That Fosters Unity in the Research Community

Lab unity is not encouraged in the scientific research community. Many labs are searching for similar answers but work in parallel. This tends to delay the discovery process. I have had an experience in which a similar lab group was working on a project that was searching for the same answer as our group. I suggested that we follow up on their future directions because we had that capability. This initiative tends to not be fostered. What seems to be important is who initiates the discovery of a mechanism or leads to a therapeutic approach to a disease. Those that do this are likely to have a paper excepted to a major scientific journal and this improves the lab’s reputation. It is the individual lab’s reputation that promotes the reception of grants from institutions like the National Institute of Health. Although encouraging competition does lead to scientific discovery, I believe that scientific collaboration will be even better. Lab collaboration is better because it decreases the time in which a discovery is made. It brings all the important information to the table. It allows for labs to find a particular niche to study instead of researching something that has already been proven or another lab is already working on. So my question is:

Is it possible for a major institue like the NIH to provide a grant that encourages labs working on a similar project to work together?

MONICA   October 13th, 2009 9:06 pm ET


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compare car insurance uk   August 1st, 2011 6:07 am ET

There is no reason why you cannot get your car insurance online. After all, every other kind of business is being transacted over the internet these days. You must agree with me also that they are often cheaper and faster to transact, which of course is a major plus for you. Now you have nothing to worry about. No?

Eduarda   April 1st, 2012 9:19 pm ET

Scusate l'intervento che esula dall'argomento proposto ma vreroi sottoporVi queste domande:Perch sono state eliminate queste funzioni dal sito?:I voti nei post sono stati eliminati, perch ?Penso che se un intervento risulta essere maleducato o insolente, sottolineando la disapprovazione degli altri utenti si instauri in chi l ha lasciato un timore o una riflessione su quanto ha scritto.Altrimenti, a meno che non ci sia una supervisione accurata degli amministratori, essendo il messaggio anonimo si potrebbero verificare degli abusi. Bannarli servirebbe a poco essendo l iscrizione anonima. Questo senza nulla togliere agli iscritti che mi sembra siano molto corretti e responsabili.Un altra cosa, molto pi importante di questa, ho notato che non pi possibile scrivere recensioni. E una cosa momentanea o c stata qualche decisione in merito? Sarebbe un peccato perch molto utile sapere com' un determinato gioco e come viene considerato

Terrence Deckman   May 4th, 2013 7:14 am ET

Modern dry cleaning uses non-water-based solvents to remove soil and stains from clothes. The potential for using petroleum-based solvents such as gasoline and kerosene was discovered in the mid-19th century by French dye-works owner Jean Baptiste Jolly, who noticed that his tablecloth became cleaner after his maid spilled kerosene on it.;"

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