Monday, June 23, 2008



I'll just 'assume' it's all in the pipeline like Dr. Hansen says it is.

Lucia muses on this. She's not a skeptic. She's also one of my favorite sites. I don't comment daily but I visit every day.

One of Anthony's guest posters also muses on this. They are skeptics who believe the solar cycle should be given much more credit then what it gets. I think their idea that cooling is on the way based on a prolonged Solar Cycle 23 and two predicted future wimpy solar cycles is speculative at best so I'm skeptical of it. The Earth is most definitely warming. Of course if they're right then everyone that's bought into the current scientific consensus is wrong and hundreds of millions will starve (which they'll probably do anyway if the warming accelerates after 2010, since it's not, now.)

For what it's worth, the skeptics have latched onto the fact that there's a noted divergence in the temperature record between the satellite and land-based records, as seen in this graph. Now I'm pretty sure the world will get back to boiling sooner or later, but if you want to know why they are the way they are (since even the religious right and the mainstream Republican Party has had its buy-in to AGW/ACC) this is why. The graph was created here and you can do it yourself. It's a cool, cool site. I'm glad I found it.

I am more or less done with my adventure in the skepticsphere. It was an interesting run. However I'm not convinced that the Earth is NOT warming, as it clearly is. Thus, Congress should do something but probably not cap-and-trade, as it just allows polluters to just trade their "pollutants" around (pollutants in this case being CO2). Nothing will change. But people will get rich off of it. Hmm, perhaps I should get in on that. I much favor a nice carbon tax with instant rebate. A nice fat check every year like the one we got this year? I'm game! I want solar panels on my future roof!

As my colleague Andy Revkin reported, the influential NASA climate scientist James Hansen is now pushing for a new approach to cutting greenhouse emissions. Instead of the cap-and-trade approach pushed by some politicians and environmentalists — and rejected in the Senate last week — he’s urging a “tax-and-dividend”: a carbon tax whose revenues would all be directly returned to citizens. The money would be divided equally, so that people who use less energy than average — like lower-income people — would get back more than they spend.

Dr. Hansen and I are not exactly public-policy soulmates, but I’m with him on this one. I’ve advocated a similar tax on carbon generally and gasoline specifically, with all the money refunded directly to citizens, either through simple payments or by depositing the money in new individual retirement accounts. Refunding money directly removes the temptation for Congress to treat a carbon-reduction revenues as a chance to dispense trillions of dollars worth of favors — as proposed in last week’s bill, which was aptly dubbed “pork-and-trade.”

And Dr. Hansen , who told Congress today that the world is probably going to end as we boil off the seas and atmosphere, is for it too.

I, however, don't and rarely ever have responded to appeals to emotion. Emotionality is why nothing is getting done. Bjorn Lomborg (and despite what everyone screams, he is not a skeptic!) more or less said this in his book, "Cool It" and got pies in his face for it. Some bloggers would rather name call instead of doing real action. And to be honest, I wish those dudes would just chill the fuck out and smoke some pot, clear their heads, and then come back and be rational about their work instead of screaming "DELAYER, DENIER, I WANT TO LOCK UP THE OIL EXECS FOR DISINFORMATION." Cause then, I'm just going to say "good luck with that" and not care about your cause and work on things that are important to me, like solving hunger in the third world and curing AIDS which would have much better socio-economic impacts on planet Earth then screaming epithets at each other. And yes, the skeptics and cooling alarmists are becoming as histrionic as the warming alarmists. It makes me wish I had gone into psychology. I could make millions writing pop-psych books on you people! and people would buy it and buy into that bullshit!

And that's all I have to say about that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

But emotions are so...POWERFULL!!
Every time I hear Bjorn Lomborg on Thom Hartmann's show, I think their debate ends up in a draw. Bjorn is no hysterical denier. And I personally think that all solutions should be considered rather than jumping on what appears to be a quick fix - cap and trade has become a political talking point now rather than a true solution.