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December 2, 2008

Melting glaciers vs. melting economy

Posted: 02:50 PM ET

Ten thousand delegates are gathering this week in Poznan, Poland to hammer out a successor to the less-than-successful Kyoto accord on climate change.  But with a dizzying array of world events, from an exploding economy and U.S. presidential handoff to terrorists, rebels, and pirates in Asia and the Middle East, the world's attentions are mightily distracted elsewhere.

As arguably the biggest of those stories, the financial meltdown may have the most profound effect on the Poznan meeting.  “The financial crisis will have an impact on climate change. You already are seeing around the world a number of wind-energy projects being pushed back,” said Yvo de Boer, head of the UN's Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  One of them is the high-profile U.S. effort from Oklahoma oilman T. Boone Pickens.   Pickens launched a massive media campaign calling on the U.S. to increase wind and natural gas production in place of oil imports this summer, then said last month that portions of the project were "on hold" due to the global economic turmoil.

Hosted by a nation with one of the most coal-intensive economies in the world, the Poznan meeting is the second of three global gatherings to hammer out a "shared vision" and agreement on reducing greenhouse gases to replace the less-than-spectacularly-successful Kyoto accord.   By design, Kyoto focused on industrialized nations, leaving developing-world giants like China and India on the sidelines.   The U.S. chose to sit it out as well.   Neither the Clinton nor Bush Administrations forwarded the Treaty to the U.S. Senate for approval.   China has insisted that developed nations not only need to take the first steps, but also need to provide financial and technological aid to the developing world before real climate gains can be achieved.    To date, the U.S. has been unwilling to jump in while little is asked of India, China, and others.

So, a stalemate between the biggest greenhouse culprits continues.   As scientist Mark Levine of the Lawrence Berkeley National Labs told Congress, the U.S. and China are trapped in “a vicious circle in which neither country will act boldly unless the other acts first, and neither appears willing to act first.”

A subsequent meeting in Copenhagen next summer will set the stage for a potential agreement.  The Bush Administration has endured global criticism for its resistance to setting targets for greenhouse gas reductions.   The Obama Adminstration has promised change: A target of 80 percent greenhouse-gas reductions by mid-century. 

But the questions remain:   

Will a melting economy stop the climate change effort in its tracks?

Can Obama and successive presidents deliver on what amounts to a wholesale change in our energy strategy?

And will China and India play along?   By some measures, China may have already passed the U.S. as the world's largest greenhouse emitter.

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

Filed under: climate change • environment

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Lola   December 2nd, 2008 5:12 pm ET

Hmmm...something doesn't add up. All of a sudden, it's no longer GLOBAL WARMING but CLIMATE CHANGE – a less alarming term. Perhaps Al Gore's claim of global warming is a hoax after all? Let's see if CNN will post this. I doubt it...CNN's the mother of CLIMATE CHANGE bandwagon. I guess my point is, global warming/climate change has been nothing but a media hype...leftist media, that is. How about just promoting clean environment, clean water, etc., you know, common sense stuff?

Ting-Fan   December 2nd, 2008 5:44 pm ET

A fish is still a fish even if you call it a shipitiydoodaday- They might have titled this climate change for a refreshing change in vocabulary- it's not a hoax. Hopefully leaders of nations will realize that global warming/ climate change is a top priority- we won't even have a possibility of piracy if the world is ruined by pollution

Tyler W (Portland, OR)   December 2nd, 2008 5:44 pm ET

Well if our climate changes enough, The Economy and Pirates wont matter because everyone will be DEAD.

so i think that deserves attention.

Wisdom   December 2nd, 2008 6:13 pm ET

Our climate will change... without doubt... I believe if Saber Toothed Tigers could talk they would assure us of that fact...

That and I'm sure China would love for us to stifle our companies while theirs are allowed to do buisness for less money... they are taking over markets daily... and this would only make them stonger.

Fear Mongery   December 2nd, 2008 7:20 pm ET

Temperatures have been trending down for a decade while co2 levels have been rising, what's up with that?

Stubborn glaciers fail to retreat, awkward polar bears continue to multiply do2310b.xml

Alaska cooling trend continues 9355

2008 in Top Five for Sunspotless Days in Last Century Century

Perhaps the sun really does drive our climate.

Bob Maginnis   December 2nd, 2008 8:27 pm ET

We need to spend $100 billion per year in the USA on energy efficiency, financed by a $50 per ton carbon tax.

I recommend Realclimate for info about climate change:

Rebecca   December 2nd, 2008 8:41 pm ET

In response to Lola: the change in terminology from "global warming" to "climate change" is because the second is correct, for not all of the world is in fact warming. Parts of the world are experiencing some of the worst winters in a century, while other areas are warming, such as the ice caps. Scientists just came out with a report concerning life in the Arctic. That is fact. What would the media have to gain by making up something like climate change? There is a reason Al Gore won a Nobel Prize for his work on the subject. This idea has been around for years, and there are facts and statistics to back it up. Go buy a high school environmental science textbook and read for yourself.

Dee   December 2nd, 2008 8:50 pm ET

I am hopeful for my children that the changes coming to Washington will mean dramatic changes in US and global energy policy. The global warming deniers astound me. The greenhouse effect is grade school science. Current CO2 concentrations in our atmosphere are higher than any time in the past 650,000 years, with a corresponding increase in global average temperatures. For all of our sakes, let the US swallow its pride and take the first bold steps to reduce CO2 emissions. Improvement in the economy will certainly follow as green collar jobs are created, industries become more efficient and renewable energy technology is exported.

Harry Hobbit   December 2nd, 2008 9:20 pm ET

Lola, your observation is spot-on. A covert initiative is well underway. There is a lot of scrambling going on as REAL SCIENCE and natural climatogical cycles are quickly making the global-warming alarmists look like the blind sheep that they are. "Green" and environmental responsibility is one thing, the suggestion that mankind is responsible for impacting climate change is yet another. Manmade Global Warming is, in fact, the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on mankind...and mankind has been gullible enough to buy the hype.

Franko   December 3rd, 2008 12:36 am ET

CO2 on Earth is 385 parts per million (10^6)
CO2 on Venus, same pressure as Earth is ~ million parts per million
Invert to get CO2 ratio to Earth, (385 10^6)^-1 ~ 2,597 times Earth's
concentration, 50 km up, inside the 40-60 km H2SO4 aerosols))
allows -100C, at twice the solar radiation.

Radiated from below, and radiated from above,
CO2, on Venus, is doing a disservice to the temperature.

I am wondering if CO2, on Earth, has, really, a net negative effect.
H2O steals some of the CO2 effect below. — But, at the Tropopause, CO2 radiates extremely well. After all, CO2 going up, while temperatures going down.

High altitude clouds are calculated to insulate, equivalent to closing the
InfraRed window. If we jam up the whole InfraRed spectrum, say SF6,
NF3, close to ground level; Will there be no energy left for the high
altitude clouds ? Or complete Venus H2SO4 cloud coverage, here we
come ? Increased NF3 from solar call, and flat panel monitor
manufacturing as a WarmHouse gas ?

jimbo   December 3rd, 2008 8:32 am ET

There are simply too many people on the planet. Nothing will change while every politician preaches the "we need growth" mantra. There are millions or people already homeless or shanty town dwellers all across the world. We are at a crossroads in history. We are supposedly intelligent life.

We do have many technological marvels that could help the world and each person but politics and global corporations don't want to help the basic poverty level people. Why would they ignore the obvious? To fuel growth and profit. It never has been about the planet it is and has always been about money.

Many tree hugging non profit organizations have taken up partnerships with global corporate businesses they fight all in the name of endorsing a company as green and of course receiving the all important green contribution back to the non profit.

Dave from Oceanside   December 3rd, 2008 9:11 am ET

Climate models have estimated the strength of water vapor feedback, but until now the record of water vapor data was not sophisticated enough to provide a comprehensive view of at how water vapor responds to changes in Earth's surface temperature. That's because instruments on the ground and previous space-based could not measure water vapor at all altitudes in Earth's troposphere - the layer of the atmosphere that extends from Earth's surface to about 10 miles in altitude.
AIRS is the first instrument to distinguish differences in the amount of water vapor at all altitudes within the troposphere. Using data from AIRS, the team observed how atmospheric water vapor reacted to shifts in surface temperatures between 2003 and 2008. By determining how humidity changed with surface temperature, the team could compute the average global strength of the water vapor feedback.
"This new data set shows that as surface temperature increases, so does atmospheric humidity," Dessler said. "Dumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere makes the atmosphere more humid. And since water vapor is itself a greenhouse gas, the increase in humidity amplifies the warming from carbon dioxide."
Specifically, the team found that if Earth warms 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, the associated increase in water vapor will trap an extra 2 Watts of energy per square meter (about 11 square feet).
"That number may not sound like much, but add up all of that energy over the entire Earth surface and you find that water vapor is trapping a lot of energy," Dessler said. "We now think the water vapor feedback is extraordinarily strong, capable of doubling the warming due to carbon dioxide alone."
Because the new precise observations agree with existing assessments of water vapor's impact, researchers are more confident than ever in model predictions that Earth's leading greenhouse gas will contribute to a temperature rise of a few degrees by the end of the century.
"This study confirms that what was predicted by the models is really happening in the atmosphere," said Eric Fetzer, an atmospheric scientist who works with AIRS data at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "Water vapor is the big player in the atmosphere as far as climate is concerned."

Floyd Juillard   December 3rd, 2008 10:02 am ET

The continued lack of sunspot activity is a strong indicator that we are entering an ice age and not global warming.

Floyd Juillard   December 3rd, 2008 10:10 am ET

According to past history, the lack of sunspots, as we are now viewing. is equivalent to the 400 year ice age we had between 1600 and 1650. Al Gore would have made a good president but he is wrong on global warming.

Marc M   December 3rd, 2008 10:43 am ET

Maybe this recession will kill this left wing agenda once and for all.

It's all a farce and anyone with more than 5 brain cells should recognize it's nothing more than propaganda to advance these activists own needs and agendas.

Yea the climate is changing. No, we are not causing it.

There has been times in the past when man was not an industrial society, when man did not exist, and there was no ice, it's simple logic if you take the rhetoric and ideology out of the question.

J   December 3rd, 2008 12:25 pm ET

Dr. Levine might need a little help with his "vicious circle" analysis; The consequences of taking immediate action within a national "front" or better yet, a focus with regards to global environmental problems would in fact involve large allocations of public funding money and results that would take, presumably, decades to produce.

Perhaps an affordable approach that took into account the results of the study focus of say, nuclear fallout "scenarios" could be written and distributed.

Also, more importantly, "differentiated" and "important" studies of nuclear power locations, using a governmental and/or professorial "synthesis" and publications about action taken that have contained nuclear accidents (Three Mile Island, etc.) can be looked at again, and again. And, detailed reports and studies for prevention of said accidents, also publishable, inclusion of severly important peace efforts and verifiable, as well as confirmed and honestly written qualified publishable collaborations, at international levels of science, government and education (carefully) can be a part of Levine's own scientific method and processes.

John   December 3rd, 2008 12:31 pm ET

ok seriously, there are people that still want to claim this is all a left wing plot and doesnt exist? An agenda for what? Seriously, for what? Oh thats right, all the left wing governments just want to get more money from you and roped in all the scientists to do it by lying or fixing data right?

Sorry but you are the sort of people that denied the smoking / cancer link for so long.

And to Lola...........Climate change has been the phrase of choice for a few years now. Sorry if you have your head shoved somewhere that you didnt notice that. It is used for the idiots who believe that the phrase 'global warming' means that everywhere will get get hotter when that isnt actually the case.

Yes there have been other climate changes, well done for noticing.
However people must be stupid to think that our presence on this planet has no effect on the atmosphere on it.
Why do people insist on thinking that we are not part of the whole process of life and that our actions do not affect this planet?
All the armchair experts passing comment on how stupid the scientists must be etc.

John   December 3rd, 2008 12:34 pm ET

This entire 'issue' is about one thing and one thing only: money.

The climate will change; always has and will continue to do so. The primary cause for climate change is here:


It's the Sun, stupid!!

Tyler W   December 3rd, 2008 12:40 pm ET

Marc M;

I wouldnt call it a "Left Wing" agenda because many people on both sides of the political spectrum have included climate change and global warming in thier agenda. I guess George Bush is "Left Wing" now according to your "5 brain cells". Apparently thats about all youre working with. Actually im sure youre quite intelligent, just have a hint of ignorance and anger in there.

The climate would change without us, yes. We are not CAUSING the change.. but we are Accelerating it at an Exponential rate.

The cars you drive, the food you eat, clothes you wear, the computer that you typed on to write that message, all are processed, create or use chemicals and gasses that do, without any debate, have a direct effect on the earth's ecosystem. For you to say we are not causing it is assuming you live in a cave and have no contact with civilization.

Its not a Left or Right wing matter, its really just a human problem.

You are correct, there was a time when we did not exist, when there was no ice. Note the Did Not Exist part. Now that we do exist, there are a few conditions that our planet must meet for it to be inhabitable by us.

Thats simple logic, if you take the denial and ignorance out of the question.

James   December 3rd, 2008 12:58 pm ET

Didn't we cause the hole in the ozone? If we caused this, what makes one think that we couldn't have an effect on the climate of the planet?

Edgar   December 3rd, 2008 1:19 pm ET

Sadly, while emotional outburst are satisfying they don't make for very good policy.

Western society has a fairly short-term outlook. Otherwise we would not be in the financial mess that we are now in.

Human civilization impacts the environment. Just take away the civilization and look at the difference. Meadows don't get as hot as asphalt, the air in a forest smells better then air on the freeway.

The climate does change on its own, but many of the unpleasant changes scheduled for the next century we can take credit for.

Should our economy simply stop in order to limit greenhouse gases? Either way, I doubt anybody could stop the American Economy.

Should we rampantly continue to consume resources to the detriment of future generations and other people on the planet? Well if you have any shred of empathy for your fellow human beings then the answer is NO.

Are there other options? Yes, but if we are not willing to adapt to cleaner technology and better habits then it won't work.

What will you have to give up? Well, what are you willing to give up? Do you need a car that gets 15 miles to the gallon but can go really fast or drive through walls? Do you need to have a thousand pieces of plastic crap on your lawn to celebrate a holiday? Do you need to eat out every night of the week?

Seriously, so many people sound like spoiled children. What happened to the American values of self sufficiency, ingenuity, community and foresight?

The environment and the economy are very interconnected. So don't think that by just fixing one you can ignore the other. It will come back and wreck havoc if you do.

Larian LeQuella   December 3rd, 2008 1:28 pm ET

What I can't understand about the folks who don't want to admit that we may be having an effect on the global climate, is what is their goal? Do they just want to keep doing everything as they have before? Do they think the pollution is no deal at all? Do they just want to defer the whole mess to their children and grandchildren? Do they enjoy living IN a toilet?

made for 2012? « harman on earth   December 3rd, 2008 1:29 pm ET

[...] CNN's SciTechBlog this [...]

AzureHawk   December 3rd, 2008 1:31 pm ET

It's the Sun, Stupid!

These meetings/committees/interset groups all want the same thing: your money. Do your own research. Draw your own conclusions. Beware of 'experts.'

Tim   December 3rd, 2008 1:32 pm ET

Hey John – Lighten up. There are tens of thousands PHDs and other scientists that oppose the idea of AGW and the numbers are growing. They are not "armchair scientists". Rather they reject computer models and look to real observations and real data. I think the time has come for real debate on this topic instead of name calling. Unfortunately, your pals in the main stream media, to-date, have not provided a fair forum for such a debate which is why so many folks believe in AGW. Do you really think Al Gore believes in AGW? Look at his carbon foot print! (Also ignored by the mainstream media).

Edwin Arroyo   December 3rd, 2008 1:36 pm ET

Global Climate Changes and policies are tough on every economy and some find them burdensome, however some governments treat these warnings as if they were some Environmentalist Nightmare and not a reality. Global warming is here, drastic environmental and geological changes are taking place whether we, humans, realize it or not. However, protecting the species and the environment is being displayed as a social responsibility with our natural surroundings when it is really a matter of survival of the Human Species. We are one of the weakest and less adaptable of species taking tens of thousands of years to evolve. Taking that into consideration, if our planet decides it is time for a reset, it will hit the re-start button and let it start all over again. The planet, and nature, will re-invent itself, without the human species. So, if nobody wants to do anything about it, it will only affect the current living Earth population. As nature will have it the next intelligent species may not try to destroy the planet but to live and share along with all the other species; and if that does not work, lets "Restart" until the right species takes over the "thought" process that we humans so much treasure. I leave the different countries with this thought, "Being and environmentalist is more a matter of survival than a matter of conviction."

AzureHawk   December 3rd, 2008 1:40 pm ET

Alert! Alert! Alert! Climate change is happening right now:

The sun determines how hot or how cold our planet will be, not mankind. These meetings on, uh, climate change are but for one purpose: money. (How's that CNN? going to censor me again? sheessh!)

Andre from NJ   December 3rd, 2008 2:01 pm ET

A large chunk of rock rotating around a fusion reaction in near absolute zero space. How can anyone believe that it will stay at a consistant temperature. And why should we have to bribe countries to reduce their emissions. Is anyone going to pay us to reduce ours? We need either more goodwill, or more reasonable terms

Franko   December 3rd, 2008 2:01 pm ET

RealClimate George Soros James Hansen
Google the above; who is changing the crimate of public opinion
Luboš ; “I would answer that it is a big scale organized crime.”

Frauded, hypnotized lemmings, jumping to Nirvana; Canute the climate?
Fallow the cash flow, Forsenic Accounting, Carbon Tax Speculating ?

For the Science,
Follow the energy, Maximize the Entrophy,
Water flows Uphill, self destructive pole, an imaginary transfer function?

Real scientists, observe, theorize, observe theorize
Not fraudently declaring; Debate is Over
Game modelling, Carbon Tax Speculating,
The Tulip and Bulb Craze - the next Crimate Bulb to Riches.

Tom   December 3rd, 2008 2:16 pm ET

Excuse me, but why don't they mention at theior conference anything about it getting COLDER, not warmer, in the last ten years? This is a fact, conviently ignored.

AzureHawk   December 3rd, 2008 4:09 pm ET

Nice to see that censorship and bias are alive and well at CNN.

Eugenia-San Francisco, Ca   December 3rd, 2008 5:05 pm ET

How can we even begin to compare the two?

Franko your brain is too big for me!

Mike S   December 3rd, 2008 5:33 pm ET

All you climate change skeptics, why don't you look at the raw data yourselves if you don't trust the scientists' interpretation. It's readily available on the internet. From what I've seen, solar radiation has not increased in over 30 years, yet most of the hottest years on record are in the last decade. If it's not the sun, then what's been causing the warming? In fact in the last few years the sun's radiation has been very weak for unusually long, yet we're barely cooling off and temperatures are still well above average. I fear when the sun returns to normal, probably in a few years, we'll be really roasting given our elevated and ever-increasing CO2 level which traps the heat. I think it's very naive & dangerous to just dismiss CO2 and pretend all is good.

E Fernandez   December 3rd, 2008 6:55 pm ET

Step one is to contain the damage, we need to dramatically reduce the burning of fossil fuels.....our cars, our homes all burn these fuels. Do you really see any way you are going to take tens of millions of cars, and take tens of miilions of homes and convert them to alternative energy users? Get real.....the US taxpayer has its money invested in the failure of its financial institutions, its foreclosing public, and soon to be its overly compensated, under achieving, poorly managed auto industry.....

Cynthia Ingram   December 3rd, 2008 6:58 pm ET

I don't believe that e-retailers are. If people are shopping carefully and less that means online too!

Brian   December 3rd, 2008 7:14 pm ET

I see absolutely no negatives to reducing/curbing pollutant levels over a reasonable span of time. Regardless of your views on the issue of global warming or recent "green" trends, I would be entertained to hear arguments in favor of increased pollution.

Luria Dicksona   December 3rd, 2008 9:05 pm ET

I am very sad to hear that Miles O'Brien is leaving CNN. What a loss and it is also sad that they are dismanteling this department. Is it going to make room for more fluff and talking heads? He is a thoughtful and talented journalist and I have not enjoyed American Morning since in and Soladad were replaced. I hope he finds a home that allows the public to fully enjoy his insightful talents as a journalist. Please let the "big wigs" at CNN see this comment. This time they did not earn their pay. Shame on them!

Bill Meaney   December 3rd, 2008 10:26 pm ET

With the increasing push for a "climate change" treaty does it strike anybody as strange that climate data from a number of sources is now pointing to a disturbing trend...the globe is getting cooler despite increasing CO2 levels. This was forcast (accurately) by various researchers whose work was dismissed and ridiculed when it did not conform to majority opinion. In short, the sun is far and away the predominate source of heat for our planet. It is well documented that our climate has always changed in conjunction with sun spot activity cycles. We have recently entered a quiet period that based on historical data will last for some time. The earth appears to already be responding. I know this post will bother some folks. All I ask is that you open your eyes to real data and demand that our politicians and the people they are listening to do the same.

Bill Meaney   December 3rd, 2008 10:39 pm ET

PS-As to why politicians are so intent on "controling global warm," it all comes down to money as it always does with politicians. Carbon credits and trading will involve a huge transfer of wealth. Companies and countries who produce more than they are allowed must pay for that right. This creates a means for politicians to subsidize industries, companies, and even countries they favor and skim tax revenues at the same time. They don't have to answer to the public for raising taxes. They let the violating companies (big bad oil, coal, and automakers) take the rap when they have to raise prices to pay for the carbon credits. It's really pretty ingenous.

Larian LeQuella   December 3rd, 2008 11:13 pm ET

To expand on my thoughts a little: As for Global Climate Change (Global Warming, whatever you want to call it), I am still confused by those who deny it. Okay, I know that there are some aspects of the studies that didn't have the best data, and there are numerous unknown factors. But what do they hope to gain by denying it? Do they want to keep doing things like they always have? Do they think that pollution is harmless, like smoking was considered harmless? Do they just want to shirk their responsibilities as compassionate human beings, and leave that to their children and grand-children? Do they think it's fun to live inside a toilet?

Also, I have noticed that a lot of the deniers use poor science to back up their beliefs (which would perhaps indicate they are ill-informed and wrong). Those who talk about Mars and Pluto warming should look up the inverse square law, and realize that if the sun were wholly responsible, the amount of energy required would not only have heated the Earth, but fried it to a crisp! Those phenomenon are local phenomenon to those planets.

Even if we don't know the full extent of the causes of Global Climate Change, there is no way you can deny that the pollution we are pouring out isn't HELPING the situation! Wouldn't it just be more responsible from every conceivable angle for us to clean up our act? Is there any real harm in reducing our dependence on petroleum? Are we hurting things by doing our best to preserve the food chain? Does having a wide variety of species living on this planet cause harm?

I suppose those who deny Global Climate Change and wish to keep polluting are of the same ilk as "Flat Earthers" and other delusional conspiracy theorists... I just wish they weren't so prevalent and so destructive!

Franko   December 4th, 2008 12:32 am ET

Eugenia-San Francisco, Ca
"How can we even begin to compare the two?"
Reminds me of the phrase "irrational exuberance" (housing bubble)
Bubble of cultural misdirection, profiting those who understand.

"Franko your brain is too big for me!"
Actually not.
I have been following the climate wars, climate of Phd level insults
There is a GreenHouseFactor = pressure of Radiation emitted by the Atmosphere, on the Earth's surface. - Orbiting molecules (IsoVirial - if not radiating) determine kinetic (temperature) and potential (hydrostatic~convection) - But radiation is to IsoThermal (equalized temperatures, Kirchoff is radiation contained by mean free path) - Amazing is the regulator to near constant temperature – Optical Depth. - The Optical Depth has stayed the same past 60 measured years; No Human effect detected. – See Zagoni; "Developments in greenhouse theory"

Franko   December 4th, 2008 12:36 am ET

Eugenia-San Francisco, Ca
“How can we even begin to compare the two?”
Reminds me of the phrase “irrational exuberance” (housing bubble)
Bubble of cultural misdirection, profiting those who understand.

“Franko your brain is too big for me!”
Actually not.
I have been following the climate wars, climate of Phd level insults
There is a GreenHouseFactor = pressure of Radiation emitted by the Atmosphere, on the Earth’s surface. — Orbiting molecules (IsoVirial — if not radiating) determine kinetic (temperature) and potential (hydrostatic~convection) — But radiation is to IsoThermal (equalized temperatures, Kirchoff is radiation contained by mean free path) — Amazing is the regulator to near constant temperature – Optical Depth. — The Optical Depth has stayed the same past 60 measured years; No Human effect detected. – See Zagoni; “Developments in greenhouse theory”

jfz   December 4th, 2008 12:40 am ET

Climate change? I'm still waiting for the "CHANGE" promised us on November 4, 2008. I only hope, when it comes, that it will be good for American taxpayers. Or will the change be "pay and wait" until November 2012?

jimmyc   December 4th, 2008 2:33 am ET

Why did CNN fire Miles 'Brien? For shame CNN. He could be (and is to me) the face of science on CNN. He brings excitement, charisma, and intelligence the likes of which are rare in TV journalism.

Franko   December 4th, 2008 3:08 am ET

Miles O'Brien knows the secrets behind the veils of deception.
Will he start a blog of truth, explain Kyoto, Gore, Szuzuki, Hansen ?

Franko   December 4th, 2008 4:52 am ET

Larian LeQuella
“ I am still confused by those who deny it” - People see the truth;
- Do do not have to deny the falsity of the IPCC Fantasy

“Okay, I know that there are some aspects of the studies that didn’t have the best data” - Good data is 1934 was warmest, 1998 second warmest; 1970 was not the beginning of the next Ice Age

“But what do they hope to gain by denying it?”
– Reality is not a deniable

“Do they want to keep doing things like they always have?”
- Change when reality elicits

“Do they think that pollution is harmless,”
– No, CO2 is Plant Food useful - Plants are people food

“like smoking was considered harmless? “ –
- Good stimulant for some, allergy to others, but not a climate driver

“Do they think it’s fun to live inside a toilet?”
- The Gyre of a Toilet, God intended, fun or not.

“Also, I have noticed that a lot of the deniers use poor science to back up their beliefs” – Follow the photon, energy gravity, reality, science, not your belief

“(which would perhaps indicate they are ill-informed and wrong)”
- Apply this; insult yourself till the undeniable reality emerges

“Those who talk about Mars and Pluto warming should look up the inverse square law,” - Do it, and understand that radiation increases, even on Pluto, linearly (with solar output), and Squirrelly (with distance)

“deny that the pollution we are pouring out isn’t HELPING the situation!” - CO2 is helping, feeding the plants, phytoplankton oil aerosol; 10 times more than human production

“Wouldn’t it just be more responsible from every conceivable angle for us to clean up our act?” – No, dispose it conveniently, beyond our comfort horizon, economically, flush it.

“Is there any real harm in reducing our dependence on petroleum?” - No, but cost effective is best for US

“Are we hurting things by doing our best to preserve the food chain?” - Emit CO2, feed the plants that feed US

“Does having a wide variety of species living on this planet cause harm?” Kill the inconvenient ones (mice and mosquitoes, volcano deafened whales clogging shipping lanes). Others will fill their niche.

“I suppose those who deny Global Climate Change and wish to keep polluting are of the same ilk as “Flat Earthers”” People linking pollution climate, to the flat Earth, are a bunch of Dunderheads

“other delusional conspiracy theorists… I just wish they weren’t so prevalent and so destructive!” - Are you looking for the money trail of fraud and corruption ? How Al Gore,s carbon footprint is financed ?

Larian LeQuella   December 4th, 2008 8:22 am ET

Ray G   December 4th, 2008 9:05 am ET

Just heard rumor that CNN is getting rid of Sci-Tech department. Any truth? If so, this is terrible news!

abby brody   December 4th, 2008 10:09 am ET

CNN management: Do NOT let Miles O'Brien go!!!

Once again, you've shown that you choose style over substance when money gets tight. Flashy, blowhard anchors and ditzy entertainment stories are ruining your credibility (what little you have left, and no, Christiane Amanpour cannot carry the whole station's credibility on her back).

Miles is smart, knowlegeable, reliable and can tell a tech or science story like nobody else in commercial broadcast. Why do you think guys like Robert Krulwich wind up on PBS? Because that network understands that sci/tech stories are not only more important than flash and trash, but they can and should be told in an entertaining way.

Susan Standora   December 4th, 2008 11:06 am ET

If you are really considering the elimination of your science unit and Miles O'Brian from your station, my husband and I will be eliminating CNN from our viewing time. Miles O'Brian's segments were our favorites on CNN. Your management must be as good as the big three automakers!

Eugenia-San Francisco, Ca   December 4th, 2008 12:27 pm ET

What is upsetting to me is that AP states that it "occurred without any seismic activity". Which is absolutely incorrect, I look at USGS earthquakes everyday and the amount of eq's in Puerto Rico in the last two weeks has been off the charts. I thought the trench was going to go. We have warnings for these type of things whether it be earthquakes related to volcanoes or higher emissions of sulfur dioxide or lightening coming from the prior to earthquakes. Watching earthquakes has become my obsession, having lost 3 generations of family in an earthquake I guess it was also inherited!

12/2/08 SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The volcano on the tiny Caribbean island of Montserrat has burst into action, spewing columns of ash and hurling glowing red rocks that set vegetation and a few buildings ablaze in the island's deserted capital, scientists said Wednesday.
The explosion late Tuesday at the cloud-shrouded Soufriere Hills volcano — the first in nearly six months — occurred without any seismic activity, according to scientists who monitor any the volcano.
None of the island's 4,500 people were injured or evacuated.
Chief scientist Roderick Stewart said by telephone that bushes and a few buildings burned for several hours in Plymouth, the capital city that was abandoned when volcano erupted in 1997 and killed 19 people.

Eugenia-San Francisco, Ca   December 4th, 2008 12:29 pm ET

"Lightening coming from the ground"

Eugenia-San Francisco, Ca   December 4th, 2008 12:42 pm ET

Miles O'Brien will soon be leaving CNN after 16 years.

O'Brien, who has been CNN's chief technology and environment correspondent since ending his stint as anchor of "American Morning" in April 2007, is departing as the network dismantles its science and technology unit. Six producers also will be leaving.

CNN's coverage of science, technology and the environment has been integrated into the general editorial structure, according to spokeswoman Christa Robinson.

It looks as though CNN is cutting jobs, I wonder if they will state that on air? I really like Miles O'Brien and wish him well.

Tyler W   December 4th, 2008 12:44 pm ET

Some say a comet will fall from the sky.
Followed by meteor showers and tidal waves.
Followed by faultlines that cannot sit still.
Followed by millions of dumbfounded dipsh*ts.

Some say the end is near.
Some say we'll see armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will cuz
I sure could use a vacation from this

Silly sh*t, stupid sh*t...

One great big festering neon distraction,
I've a suggestion to keep you all occupied.

Learn to swim.

Mom's gonna fix it all soon.
Mom's comin' round to put it back the way it ought to be.

Cuz I'm praying for rain
And I'm praying for tidal waves
I wanna see the ground give way.
I wanna watch it all go down.
Mom please flush it all away.
I wanna watch it go right in and down.
I wanna watch it go right in.
Watch you flush it all away.

Time to bring it down again.
Don't just call me pessimist.
Try and read between the lines.

I can't imagine why you wouldn't
Welcome any change, my friend.

I wanna see it all come down.
suck it down.
flush it down.

Eugenia-San Francisco, Ca   December 4th, 2008 12:53 pm ET

Franko, I also think that the Earth is going through a cycle that it has gone through before, granted it we are not helping the planet by the things we do but to be so narrowed minded that things will remain the same is crazy. But that's if I understand you correctly.

Vicki   December 4th, 2008 12:57 pm ET

We treat the matter as if we had a choice. It is obligatory that we cease worrying about scaring people with the truth of the matter, tell them what's waiting for us and our children in 20, 30 years, and get busy fixing what we've broken, no matter the cost.

kevin   December 4th, 2008 1:14 pm ET

Global warming, whether man-made or natural, causes climate change. So I would say "climate change" is a more accurate term of our concern. "The Earth has warmed 5.2 degrees" sounds benign to most people. "Much of Florida is underwater because several ice sheets have melted" doesn't sound benign at all.

The problem with this debate is we have a brick wall mentality though we have to wait 30-50 years to hit the brick wall head-first. But no one right now is doubting that the ice caps/glaciers/ice sheets are melting, right? So why aren't we doing something now to try to stop that?

Also, remeber that while the debate over CO2 continues, other associated and proven emissions like NOx and SOx continue to fowl the air and hurt aquatic life. Coal and oil need to be put to rest for several reasons – CO2 emissions is just one of them. So every country on this planet should have goals to start reducing CO2 levels.

Bill - San Jose   December 4th, 2008 2:54 pm ET

10,000 delegates gathered for any purpose will not accomplish anything. If something comes out of this meeting, it will have come from back room meetings and groups of people that can't be identified or held accountable.

The whole Global Warming thing was renamed to Climate Change because corrected data pulled the under pinnings out from under warming. The climate isn't warming right now. It is however, constantly changing. Always has been and always will.

The question is: does the science show that human activity is a significant contributor to climate change?

In my opinion, the answer to that is NO. Everything I've been able to find shows that solar cycles are by far the most significant contributor to climate change. Everything else is so small that no case can be made for it. My source is the study commissioned by the Canadian government to study the "magnitude" of the coming temperature rise. This was completed in about 2005. After the study, Canada stopped preparations for Winnipeg to have the climate of Houston. (As fas I know.)

When the major proponents of this position are saying that we should have Nuremberg type trials for those who don't believe, it's political. Not scientific.

Mike S   December 4th, 2008 3:46 pm ET

Originally posted by Franko:

"I have been following the climate wars, climate of Phd level insults
There is a GreenHouseFactor = pressure of Radiation emitted by the Atmosphere, on the Earth’s surface. — Orbiting molecules (IsoVirial — if not radiating) determine kinetic (temperature) and potential (hydrostatic~convection) — But radiation is to IsoThermal (equalized temperatures, Kirchoff is radiation contained by mean free path) — Amazing is the regulator to near constant temperature – Optical Depth. — The Optical Depth has stayed the same past 60 measured years; No Human effect detected. – See Zagoni; “Developments in greenhouse theory”

LOL, you sound like Palin when she talked about the bailout and health care. Just a bunch of catch words & talking points scrambled randomly together. How about saying something that actually makes sense.

SecularAnimist   December 4th, 2008 3:47 pm ET

The ignorance of right-wingers and other cranks who deny the reality of anthropogenic global warming is shocking.

Right-wingers seem to imagine that the basic laws of physics can be overruled by the fake, phony, corporate-sponsored, so-called "conservative" ideology of Rush Limbaugh and his ilk. Guess what, folks? Sneering at Al Gore won't change the basic laws of physics.

Then there are the cranks, who demonstrate little or no actual knowledge of actual climate science, who cling to ridiculous, long-discredited pseudo-science promulgated by the paid propagandists of the fossil fuel corporations and their fake "think tanks". Guess what folks? You think you and a tiny handful of fellow cranks have discovered the simple and obvious reason why anthropogenic global warming is not occurring and cannot occur - a simple and obvious reason that has completely escaped the attention of tens of thousands of climate scientists who have studied this issue intensely for decades? Well, think again. They are right, and you are wrong.

Here are the facts:

1. Human activities, principally the burning of fossil fuels, along with agricultural practices, deforestation, etc., have emitted large amounts of carbon dioxide, methane and other so-called "greenhouse gases" into the atmosphere over the last century, with the emissions increasing at an accelerating rate in recent decades. This is not a "theory". It is an empirically observed FACT.

2. The anthropogenic increase in the concentration of these gases is causing the Earth system to retain more of the sun's heat. As a result, the Earth is heating up - getting "globally" warmer - at a rapid rate. Again, this is not a "theory". It is an empirically observed FACT.

3. The anthropogenic warming is already causing rapid, extreme changes in the Earth's atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere, which if allowed to continue unmitigated, will be disastrous not only for human civilization but for all life on Earth: melting ice caps and glaciers; rising sea levels; intense, prolonged droughts that will devastate agriculture; loss of fresh water supplies for hundreds of millions of people; and mass extinctions that threaten the viability of the entire biosphere. And if that's not bad enough, the anthropogenic warming is triggering other processes, such as the release of methane from thawing permafrost, that will reinforce and amplify the anthropogenic warming. These changes are already occurring - they are not "theories", they are empirically observed FACTS.

Quit listening to "climate science according to Rush", quit listening to the industry-funded frauds and their pseudoscience, study the actual facts of actual climate science, and wake up before it's too late. If it isn't already.

Deanna   December 4th, 2008 3:52 pm ET

So long Peter! I'll miss reading these blog posts.

lip   December 4th, 2008 3:58 pm ET

I like what Bill Carlin said: "People tend to over-rate themselves ; visualize the earth as a giant dog with fleas; when it is tired of us he will simply shake us off."
We have way to many Phd's out there trying to make a little money on the side, telling us what is and isn't. The earth is simply a big ball, rolling arouund in space and being influenced by many other objects, such as our sun, the other stars and the galactic movements of the Milky Way Galaxy. Nothing stays the same and glaciers come and go and have done so for millions of years. Ask the Dinosaurs if you don't believe me.
We are in for a real wide folks and I can see it in the near future, and some of us may survive and some of us may not, so fasten your seat belts.

Franko   December 4th, 2008 3:59 pm ET

Eugenia-San Francisco, Ca

"Franko, I also think that the Earth is going through a cycle that it has gone through before" - Cycles of day and night, cycles of yearly seasons, cycles of Milankowich, cycles of Milky Way Spiral Arms; producing harmoniccs, subharmonics, weather, climate, Ice Ages. An amplifier with cyclical inputs, cyclical power to the supply. Dinosaurs smoking Cuban Cigars, caused their extinction ?

"granted it we are not helping the planet by the things"
We only produce one tenth atmospheric aerosols, compared to the plankton produced aerosol oil in the oceans. The Omega3 oil in your Sushi, excluded. Then think about the H2O aerosols, the clouds.

"we do but to be so narrowed minded that things will remain the same is crazy." - even Greenier Minded is to try for a Visionary Nirvana of Self Righreousness, imposed on others,

"But that’s if I understand you correctly."
I tend to visualize, and see how the physics pulls the strings
Instead of a nightmare, of Devils poking me with hot pitchforks
Clouds percolating, with Guardian Angels, and flyng Mermaids

PaulB   December 4th, 2008 4:46 pm ET

Well now, it appears that global warming has been debunked! The new buzz word is climate change ......whatever ........

Let's just get going on reducing REAL pollution and resource abuse.

Although not as dramatic, pollution and resource abuse is a priority NOW ........not only 500 years or more but NOW. Trying to force efforts from a global perspective is a recipe for failure. Kyoto is a prime example of this! .....all sizzle but no steak!

If individual nations do not treat these problems locally, they never will be treated at all. Forget scare mongering and doctored data to produce a false hysteria! The problems are simple and can be easily fixed in each back yard, without all the politicians trying to find more excuses to increase taxation.

If we can't fix this on a local scale, climate change (or whatever) is clearly not the REAL problem nor is the "fix" honest.

Eugenia-San Francisco, Ca   December 4th, 2008 7:26 pm ET

I tend to visualize, and see how the physics pulls the strings
Instead of a nightmare, of Devils poking me with hot pitchforks
Clouds percolating, with Guardian Angels, and flyng Mermaids

i love it!

Franko   December 5th, 2008 2:42 am ET

Obama will be gone by 2020, before the CO2 accounting
However, the sitting taxpayers, are the ducks, all lined up.

From the blog "The Air Vent" - "Global Warming Theft" - "Antarctic Just Won’t Melt" - "The ugly secret is that he and the rest of the democrats know that this issue is bogus"

Bogus Obama, not an inspiration, Arkangel sent from Nibiru ?
Dishonestly intelligent ? A Corporate Owned Puppet ?
On a short leash ? Only a four year Global Emperor ?

Franko   December 5th, 2008 3:26 am ET

Mike S
“How about saying something that actually makes sense.”

What part do you need explained, expanded ?

The really interesting insight, (for me), is that each bouncing little molecule is in a limited orbital arc. From the Kinetic comes temperature, and from the Potential comes the hydrostatic. Once you marvel at this, - what role does radiation play ?

Max   December 5th, 2008 12:17 pm ET

Harry Hobbit, you said

"Manmade Global Warming is, in fact, the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on mankind…and mankind has been gullible enough to buy the hype."

Ah, but you forget the biggest hoax of all...religion!

Tyler W   December 5th, 2008 12:42 pm ET

"Bogus Obama, not an inspiration, Arkangel sent from Nibiru ?

If Nibiru sent obama who the hell sent Palin?

Dishonestly intelligent ? A Corporate Owned Puppet ?

yeah thats basically a description of every politician

On a short leash ? Only a four year Global Emperor ?"

I'd bet he goes for 8 years. Notice the pattern of 2 term presidents? Global Emperor may be a little far fetched, I'd go for western hemisphere Emporer. I think China's head might get hotter than Kung Pao Chicken in July if they heard someone else was thier emperor 🙂

Franko   December 5th, 2008 5:05 pm ET

Barrock Canute will be able to change the crimate of the climate
To warm medidevil - Universal free lunch where the flying pigs feast
Print money honestly, yes Barrock can, hydrino powered maybe ?
Just gone, blown away, with the wind, a four year presidency ?

The real savior of US science, beautifying US reputation
Sequestering the CO2, scientifically, pumping down to Hell
Up come fountains of highly refractive perfectly careted Clean Coal
Constitutionally acclaimed Diamond Touch Dictator Emperor Eternally

Bill Mosby   December 5th, 2008 10:15 pm ET

What could be better for greenhouse gas reduction than tanking economies? If we can just keep them down for a while, it might be a useful timeout. A great big "reduce" in the reduce, reuse, recycle ethic. We might learn to like being less materialistic. In the long run, we'll have to become so; might as well get started early.

Franko   December 5th, 2008 10:59 pm ET

Bill Mosby

“.. better for greenhouse gas reduction than tanking economies?”

The extra greenhouse effect, near the surface, is quickly convected. CO2 removes the effect of the GreenGiant GreeHouser H2O. Resulting change in surface temperature is a giant goose egg – Zero

“might as well get started”

Zero temperature effect, Zero motivation,
More plant food is the goal, my motivation

B.L.Biddle   December 6th, 2008 7:49 am ET

Gets hotter than normal..Global Warming. Gets colder than normal....Global warming. Gets really cold ...Antartic ice shelf growing faster than ever recorded..must be got it Global warming.

This psychosis called global warming...or as I learned the cute story in elementary school...Chicken LIttle is almost amusing if it weren't so damning, freedom taking and economically irresponsible.

Man once again trying to figure out some way...anyway to put himself in the center of the big and important that "he" caused this problem and only ...of course "he" can fix it with the right mix of pure crap science..denial of all things sensical and add in just the right measure of socialism: after all...the real root of this is man thinking for himself and capitalism.( T. Boone Pickens NOW says he has to hold off on the windmill for my electricity, car and toilet plan...because in a great economy it could survive its gross inefficiency...but it surely can't be in an economy in the toilet.)

Goodness to listen to some of the hysteria smack talk OH MY GOD WE ARE ALL GOING to DIE! this column. You know, Jim Jones took years to lead all those people to drink that fatal dose of Kool-aid...but man, you guys are cutting in line for seconds.

I am going to go get in my Hummer....exceed the speed limit, drink coffee in a non recycled cup, from non fair labor practices harvested coffee beans, eat a cholestoral filled non free ranged egg, bacon from a factory farm and pancakes smothered in butter breakfast.

Leaving the franchised non union restaurant, where employees work 2.5 jobs to keep up their cut rate mortgage and still have no health insurance, I will go cut down an Old Growth 200 year old tree, dislodging some nearly extinct species of newly discovered tree fungus that perhaps will offer the illusive cure to a few planks for building a hot tub deck, and then burn the rest in my open pit inefficient fireplace. Hopefully if I offend some Islamic terrorist that observed me eathing that unclean pig, I won't have to pull out my Smith and Wesson 50 Caliber handgun to keep him and his buddies from going CABAL and Jihad on me.

And I love idiots have made it so easy now to buy a Hummer now...the price is down almost by 1/2..I am going to own 3 by years end and make sure each of my teenage daughters knows how safe and secure they are when they drive to school, work or athletic events and precious and special to their mom and I ...that if they are involved in an accident they are more than 400% more likely to survive than in a damn Toyota Prius!

DJ   December 6th, 2008 2:32 pm ET

I'm surprised there is any argument at all about the validity of climate change. If you have an opinion, good for you. If your opinion is not based on the experimental evidence, then your opinion is not valid, seriously. You are exercising philosophical whimsy and travelling further from reality.

Overwhelmingly, the global scientific community has come to the conclusion that climate change is occuring, and is influenced by human activities. Stop your pointless arguing, it's like you are trying to break a rock by bashing your head into it.

A better solution would be to get an education so that you can understand what is happening, most dissenting viewpoints are based on ignorance and fear of what isn't clearly understood. Become a scientist and conduct your own research! Or accept the educated opinions of some of the finest minds the world has yet produced.

Franko   December 6th, 2008 6:05 pm ET


“I’m surprised there is any argument at all about the validity of climate change.”

Climate is changing - who is disagreeing ? -
Are you setting up a Straw-man of dishonesty ?

“If you have an opinion, good for you. If your opinion is not based on the experimental evidence,”

Projections are not experimental evidence, based on incorrect equations, incorrect assumptions - experience the self-evident global cooling

“then your opinion is not valid,”

Deck of cards constructed from “if” jokers

“seriously.” - Runaway global CO2 taxation – sequestering the capital of the world economy.

“You are exercising philosophical whimsy and travelling further from reality.”

Tie your models to the crimate funding of the IPCC modelers.

“Overwhelmingly, the global scientific community has come to the conclusion that climate change is occuring,”

Straw-man repeated, absolutely good propaganda ?

“and is influenced by human activities.” -

My Solar powered toaster, cooking the ToFoo burger – still cold, the the real cause, A climate criminal am I ?

“Stop your pointless arguing,”

Stop the runaway train of economic pain,
CO2 taxation caused financial Hell

“it’s like you are trying to break a rock by bashing your head into it.”

Better to use your head to think, agreed ?

“A better solution would be to get an education so that you can understand what is happening,”

Do it – start at Niche Modeling

“ most dissenting viewpoints are based on ignorance and fear of what isn’t clearly understood.”

Dissenting from reality, actually disagreeing.
Religion of the ManBearPig; Dogmas and mysteries

“Become a scientist and conduct your own research!” - Try it

“Or accept the educated opinions of some of the finest minds the world has yet produced.”

Your educated opinions, included ??

DJ   December 7th, 2008 9:36 am ET

Franko: "Your educated opinions, included ??"

I didn't call you out, extend me the same courtesy.

As for the quote above, no, I am not talking about my educated opinion. I am still completing my undergraduate studies, and my field of study is somewhat removed from this subject.

As for your accusation of me setting up a Straw Man argument I would say you were absolutely right except that I was responding to a specific post, which I in my desire to not single anyone out neglected to identify. I apologize for that mistake, I would hate to resort to informal fallacy to "win" an argument amongst so many people interested enough in science to read the scitech blog. I was responding specifically to the first posted comment, which struck me as a denial of evidence in favor of conspiracy theories.

Thank you for your interest in science.

Franko   December 7th, 2008 1:26 pm ET

"Thank you for your interest in science."

Energy constrained theories of the atmosphere are emerging in the scientific literature. Exciting times, when scientists are disagreeing with Virial Theory application; connecting the Potential and Kinetic energies to radiation fluxes. The past inaccurate theories, are soon to be gone, with the energetic kinetics of convection ?

Basics concepts, everyone can look at.
Even try online integrators, equation solvers.

Accusations from all sides, declaring their righteousness, are entertaining. And do fuel the path to understanding. CNN is a good place for a rumble, bring your knives, baseball bats, motorcycle chains. Virially Theory constrained ?

Randy   December 11th, 2008 9:24 am ET

The comments were found on

CNN will not print this.

Please read this and realize there are many scientists throughtout the world who disagree.

“I am a skeptic…Global warming has become a new religion.” – Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.

“Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly….As a scientist I remain skeptical.” – Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology and formerly of NASA who has authored more than 190 studies and has been called “among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years.”

Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” – UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

“The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesn’t listen to others. It doesn’t have open minds… I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists,” – Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University and a board member of the UN-supported International Year of the Planet.

“The models and forecasts of the UN IPCC "are incorrect because they only are based on mathematical models and presented results at scenarios that do not include, for example, solar activity.” – Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, a researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico

“It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming.” – U.S Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA.

“Even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will.” – . Geoffrey G. Duffy, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering of the University of Auckland, NZ.

“After reading [UN IPCC chairman] Pachauri's asinine comment [comparing skeptics to] Flat Earthers, it's hard to remain quiet.” – Climate statistician Dr. William M. Briggs, who specializes in the statistics of forecast evaluation, serves on the American Meteorological Society's Probability and Statistics Committee and is an Associate Editor of Monthly Weather Review.

“For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?" – Geologist Dr. David Gee the chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress who has authored 130 plus peer reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.

“Gore prompted me to start delving into the science again and I quickly found myself solidly in the skeptic camp…Climate models can at best be useful for explaining climate changes after the fact.” – Meteorologist Hajo Smit of Holland, who reversed his belief in man-made warming to become a skeptic, is a former member of the Dutch UN IPCC committee.

“Many [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out quietly (from promoting warming fears), without having their professional careers ruined.” – Atmospheric physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh.

“Creating an ideology pegged to carbon dioxide is a dangerous nonsense…The present alarm on climate change is an instrument of social control, a pretext for major businesses and political battle. It became an ideology, which is concerning.” – Environmental Scientist Professor Delgado Domingos of Portugal, the founder of the Numerical Weather Forecast group, has more than 150 published articles.

“CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another….Every scientist knows this, but it doesn’t pay to say so…Global warming, as a political vehicle, keeps Europeans in the driver’s seat and developing nations walking barefoot.” – Dr. Takeda Kunihiko, vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University in Japan.

“The [global warming] scaremongering has its justification in the fact that it is something that generates funds.” – Award-winning Paleontologist Dr. Eduardo Tonni, of the Committee for Scientific Research in Buenos Aires and head of the Paleontology Department at the University of La Plata. # #

Steve MacLeod   December 11th, 2008 11:43 am ET

Has anyone heard of the saying "fiddling while Rome burns" or how about this one "we live in perilous times"
It is not surprising that efforts to move to more green power like wind and solar would not be affected by the global finacial crisis. Yet what to do.
Change is costly and it takes some vision. To cut greenhouse gasses will take not just years but more like a decade and a half. Changing the world never happens overnight. We need someone who will move the Agenda on this issue. I would like to think Barack Obama will do this but the leadership of China and India need to help. What an opportuinity for India to use Solar power with all the available sunshine. The wind power sources in China. Not just big wind farms like the rest of the world but small factory sized models.

Sean   December 11th, 2008 2:41 pm ET

Just out of curiosity, why was there no mention of the 650 scientists who just signed on to say that global warming is NOT man made?

Also, there seems to be a few people here that may be able to answer these questions...

1) If global warming was indeed man made, then why are we not seeing average temperatures rising at disproportionately higher rates in certain places like Los Angeles and Beijing, where there is a lot more polution?

2) Why would CO2 be bad for the environment, when plants thrive off of CO2?

steve jones   December 11th, 2008 3:43 pm ET

2° of Separation

It was noted in the recent issue of the Cincinnati Enquirer that the average temperature in Cincinnati has risen 2° in the past 8 years.

Two degrees seems like a huge number. From all the scientific data I’ve read, a single degree around the globe may effect our food stock, cause ice melts, cause more intense storms, etc. etc.

I don’t want to be an alarmist – no one ever listens to alarmists. As someone who’s always been a little green, I consider myself a pragmatist. People will listen to pragmatists for hours.

This past year as I’ve researched reasons for bird habitat loss, (Audubon Watchlist 2007 notes that 25% of U.S. bird species are diminishing or rare) I’ve felt myself becoming either greener or a pragmatist with a capital P!

The 2° number made me think of the top ten consequences of global warming.

1. 2° can separate the Chinese from their main water supply. (Tibetan glaciers).

2. 2° can separate birds from their insect feed stocks that hatched before the birds arrived.

3. 2° can separate Miami and New York City residents that can and can’t swim.

4. 2° can make beaches in Maine more fun.

5. 2° can make Michigan’s Upper Peninsula a major corn producing area.

6. 2° can make Iowa look a lot like Arizona – without all the cool mountains.

7. 2° can make many rivers dependant on snowfalls become a trickle. Interestingly this reduces hydropower and increases the need for carbon power.

8. 2° can make downtown LA the world’s most productive squid fishery.

9. 2° means hurricanes don’t stop in Alabama anymore.

10. 2° means you should do all you can to help all the things you love and cherish.

Aaron   December 11th, 2008 9:38 pm ET

Your local weatherman is wrong frequently.

The National Hurricane Center has been completely off the last couple years.

The ice age ended without factories and SUVs plus Greenland was named that because at the time it was green.

Most scientists believe in evolution.

Nature produces more CO2 than humans do and it only makes up a fraction of the gasses in our atmosphere.

We're trusting in (often corrected) computer models to reach decisions that will crush our economy why??

Let's work on giving the world good water and end starvation first.

Trickster   December 12th, 2008 12:23 am ET

Bad economy stalling alternative energy, rising CO2 levels... To me the solution is obvious. Save the $billions worth of auto maker bailout money. Let the US auto makers go belly up so everyone will have to drive more fuel efficient foreign cars.

Chris   December 12th, 2008 1:47 pm ET

Perhaps you should read less of the mass media and more scientific journals. Global warming is a scientific fact and something you need to warm up to whether you like it or not. Whether it is called climate change or global warming does not change what it is: a scientific fact confirmed by empirical evidence. It amazes me that there are people out there who think they can pick and choose which scientific facts to believe in, as if this were something merely contingent on their personal opinion.

Audrey   December 16th, 2008 7:47 pm ET

sooooo, if the polar ice caps melt, wouldn't the sea levels stay the same since the ice caps are currently displacing a large amount of water anyway? Simple science experiment at the fourth grade level to disprove the stupid media hype.

DJ   December 19th, 2008 6:34 pm ET

"sooooo, if the polar ice caps melt, wouldn’t the sea levels stay the same since the ice caps are currently displacing a large amount of water anyway? Simple science experiment at the fourth grade level to disprove the stupid media hype."

Antarctica is a continent. A continent is a land mass, fyi. About 98% of Antarctica is covered in ice upwards of 1 mile in thickness. It is NOT displacing seawater, it is sitting on the land mass of Antarctica. Projections indicate that if this ice were to melt sea levels could rise as much as 200 feet. Don't believe me? That's ok, find any educated person you trust and ask them, they will agree.


"Just out of curiosity, why was there no mention of the 650 scientists who just signed on to say that global warming is NOT man made?"

Good question, there is no doubt that great leaps in scientific understanding have been brought to the forefront of the scientific community by minority groups facing derision from the majority. It remains to be seen here. So far the overwhelming consensus is that it is, and these 650 among others are incorrect in their assessment of the evidence, but that could be wrong. It remains to be seen.

"1) If global warming was indeed man made, then why are we not seeing average temperatures rising at disproportionately higher rates in certain places like Los Angeles and Beijing, where there is a lot more polution?"
I wish I knew, my sense is that it is explainable through models and systems studies of climate and weather patterns, but I have no knowledge of these areas of science, pure speculation on my part.

"2) Why would CO2 be bad for the environment, when plants thrive off of CO2?"

There are many factors that explain why excess CO2 is "bad" as you say.
Plants sequester carbon from the air and incorporate it into their structure, this is true. But not all plants are created equal. Trees, which are being clearcut at an ever increasingly alarming rate, are our biggest helpers when it comes to carbon sequestration. We are shooting ourselves in the foot so to speak by clearcutting in the amazon and africa and the upper northwestern united states and canada. Much of this stems from poverty and hunger which another commentor said we should deal with first, I say they are connected and there are enough of us on this planet to deal with more than one issue at a time.anyway....
CO2 is considered a greenhouse gas because it transmits visible light but absorbs infra red and near infrared wavelengths, which means it warms up. Increases in the atmospheric levels of CO2, which are not being properly offset by plant carbon sequestration, lead to a gradual change in climate patterns. The intricacies and variances in the change of climate of different areas is not something completely understood, but research is ongoing. Some areas are warming, some are cooling, some are experiencing drought, others flood, and extreme versions of common weather patterns as well. I wish I knew more about it, but I am a layman when it comes to this.

James Feagans   December 20th, 2008 1:32 am ET

We can and will, fix the economy, the global warming thing,
the infrastructure and the manufacturing structure in the U.S. and
in the World. I begin with a simple axiom: Just Do it.
First we will custom build an energy efficient monorail interstate system which our current cars can drive onto and go.
Eventually we will all have cars and a social system of high tech
vacume tubes we all travel in. We can also sell this intrgrated
and retrofitable system to every country in the world!

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