Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Summary of the Tentative Conclusions I Made From My Climate Research

Here are my own answers to my Climate Change survey. In writing these down, I was tempted to go into detail and cite all my sources, but I decided just to summarize my view in the clearest language I can. If you are interested in getting further information on any of these tentative conclusions, let me know.

1. Has the globe been heating up?
The mean global temperature has risen a bit over the last 120 years, but it is still about 16 degrees Celsius.
We aren't entirely certain of exactly how much it has risen.
We aren't entirely certain of the exact timeline associated with this.
We aren't entirely certain of what the relevant timeline to look at is.

2. What are the causes of this?
The causes are primarily natural.
The primary natural cause is the sun.
Natural atmospheric carbon dioxide plays a marginal role.
There are also causes associated with human activity.
The primary human cause is the creation of urban areas that heat their immediate surroundings.
Another human cause is local deforestation.
Human generated atmospheric carbon dioxide plays a marginal role.

3. Will the globe continue to do so?
We aren't entirely certain exactly how much.
We aren't entirely certain of the exact timeline associated with this.

4. What will be the effects of this?
The warming trend will bring environmental and societal gains and losses, but will likely bring a net minor benefit to the globe as a whole.
The sea level might rise a couple of inches in places.
If the Antarctic trend continues, the continent will have significantly more ice 100 years from now, and Antarctica contains 99% of the world's ice, so a net rise in sea level is unlikely.
Canada, Scandinavia, Russia, and Alaska might gain a centimeter of useable latitude.
My Dad might sell one more air conditioning unit over the course of the century.

5. Is there a scientific consensus on this?
It seems that most scientists agree that the globe is warming due to natural and human related causes, including solar variations and the Urban Heat Island Effect. Most scientists agree that CO2 has some effect. Most scientists agree that atmospheric CO2 is increasing.

Though there is legitimate disagreement about a lot issues related to these things, such as how much warming will likely occur, how much of an impact human generated atmospheric CO2 can have, and whether a little warming will be bad.

Many scientists, even Global Warming theorists, agree that the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide is largely influenced by the mean global temperature, and not the other way around.

There is a decently large intergovernmental consensus on the necessity for alarm.

6. How should we proceed?
We should mitigate genuine pollution.
We should study the climate.
We should blind scientists to their funding.
We should invest in the developing world.
We should encourage a free exchange of ideas.
We should continue to perform and esteem peer review.
We should rethink how we patronize our news sources.
We should not worry about CO2 emissions.
We should hold politicians accountable for their claims.
We should require transparency of all our authorities on all subjects.

7. Should we ratify Kyoto?
No, nor anything similar.

8. Do you have any other notes?
Al Gore is a fraud by anyone's standards.

Check out this clip:

Casual propagation of the major claims of the Global Warming theorists only serves to further convince the general public that there is reason to prevent the developing world from developing, purchase carbon credits that will likely line the pockets of the biggest carbon emitters in society, initiate unnecessary policies that will stifle the economy, and split prizes with politicians who get criticized even by Global Warming theorists.

It is very difficult to accurately record temperatures long-term or worldwide. It is also extremely difficult to measure sea level (which makes sense). We should distinguish between local weather patterns and long-term global trends. Global climate is non-linear and chaotic, in the technical sense of the term. Correlation does not imply causation.

There is propaganda, bias, and corruption in both major camps.

Brush your teeth. Feed the poor. Recycle. Think critically about how to study and manage the environment. Invest in science. Rebel against censorship. Love humans. Be a good citizen. Write to local newspapers and congressmen. Enjoy public beaches and natural foods.

Also, instead of using inflammatory terms like "Global Warming alarmists" and "Global Warming deniers", we should opt for more neutral terms like "Global Warming theorists", and "Global Warming skeptics" where possible.

Further Reading:
Climate Skeptic
Global Warming

If you want to be really fair and balanced, you should really read what the critics of any survey or argument say about it. Then hunt down the original source's response, and continue oscillating until you get to the end of the published conversation. But don't assume that the guy who got the last word in has everything right. Examine the data and weigh the testimonies. Then, don't stand by your conclusions if new evidence pops up that seems to undermine your original conclusions. Investigate it. Godspeed and good luck.

Parting Remarks:
While we should recycle and generally study and care for the environment, we shouldn't buy Kyoto, carbon credits, or anything like them.

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