It is very hot as I type this.
June 11, 2000 10:10 PM   Subscribe

It is very hot as I type this. I'm glad to see global warming being treated seriously in the traditional press. This comes after 3 days of near record temperatures here.
posted by zenhues (10 comments total)
The press may be taking the report seriously, but from the sounds of the article, scientist are not, saying that it is more preaching then actual science.

Also, the result of global warming is not simply higher temperatures, but rather larger, unpredecitable temperature and weather fluctutions. In other words, we have finally succeeded in impacting our environment to the extent that the weather patterns that we have grown accustomed to in the past no longer exist.

posted by Calebos at 6:45 AM on June 12, 2000

Except, of course, that none of the models which supposedly predict global warming predicted the actual temperatures observed today. The truth is, they don't know what the hell is going on, and a few warm summer days does not constitute "climate change."
posted by mikewas at 11:39 AM on June 12, 2000

I hope your comment "a few warm summer days" is a joke. Scientists have been keeping statistics on temperature for almost a hundred years, and each new year breaks the previous record for high temperatures. Anyone who doesn't see that we have a serious problem is in serious denial.
posted by owen at 12:33 PM on June 12, 2000

So they called "a group of scientists critical of global warming" and got a quote. Big deal. The anti-global-warming organizations out there get a LOT of funding from, guess who, the energy industry. I'm so surprised.
posted by dhartung at 12:35 PM on June 12, 2000

mikewas: 100 years on this planet is an eye-blink. For all we know there could be millenial-length cycles of heat and cold.

That said, ripping our ozone to shreds and creating a toasty li'l CO2 oven for us to char ourselves to a crip in is most definetely a Bad Thing, and raising conciousness of ways to combat it is always a Good Thing.
posted by cCranium at 12:58 PM on June 12, 2000

The thing is, Mike, you and other critics can't make up your minds. Either it's

1) "Global warming isn't happening", and it's not us that's cooked, it's the numbers, or

2) "Climate change is perfectly natural", and humans not only had nothing to do with it, nothing we can do could affect it.

Both arguments are highly questionable.

Certainly 1) is open for some debate, but it seems unlikely that so many scientists around the world would agree that warming is occuring. 2) is the real question, and unfortunately, I know that it could never be proven to some peoples' satisfaction that warming is a result of human activity.

But even if human activity is only part of the equation, there's no doubt that vast climate changes would be devastating to existing societies in many ways. This report focused mainly on the simple questions of what impact global warming will have. We know it's getting warmer, we just can't predict how much warmer it will get or how long it will take to get there. And we sure as hell can't *prove* to your satisfaction that human activity has anything to do with it. All we can do is look at what is happening. And it IS getting warmer, no matter what you say. It's long past the point where 1) was debatable.

The biggest thing that damns global warming critics, in my mind, is the simple question of *special interests* -- not in the sense that Reagan abused it into, but of the original meaning that TR gave it, where an economic interest was meant. Who's against global warming? Why, anybody that believes it'll cost them money, that's who. Now who's biased?
posted by dhartung at 1:03 PM on June 12, 2000

ah nuts. My previous post should've been addressed to owen, not mikewas. Sorry.
posted by cCranium at 1:08 PM on June 12, 2000

I agree nobody really can say for sure what is really going on. I don't think for a minute that a few warm days in June constitutes global warming. I do think it is disturbing that the weather pattern seems to have changed quite a bit since I was a child.
posted by zenhues at 5:40 PM on June 12, 2000

While nobody can completely confirm or rebut global warming, the message that we as humans can seriously screw up our environment is a very important one.

All the research into global warming has definetely led to some excellent breakthroughs in how greatly we're botching things, and some excellent (and some not-so-excellent) solutions and alternatives.

Being Enviromentally Friendly, to coin an aging buzzword, is always a good idea.
posted by cCranium at 6:45 PM on June 12, 2000

Although climate shifts have occured in the past (see the Little Ice Age, scientists have a number of questions to answer:
  • Is there really a climate shift occuring?
  • Is it manmade, or at least influenced by human behavior?
  • Is this one worse than previous periods of global warming?
  • Can we do anything about it?
The mere fact that climatologists in the pay of fossil fuel companies are doing dubious research and arguing vehemently with the vast majority of their colleagues doesn't change the fact that these are still important questions to answer.

Mind, some would argue that "act in haste, repent at leisure" doesn't hold when you've got a deadline to meet. I'm sure that after a few decades of heavy weather, the fine folks at the Greening Earth Society and other such obfuscators will be willing to admit that yes, perhaps the climate is doing something funky.
posted by snarkout at 1:30 AM on June 13, 2000

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