A blogger recently said to me: "BBC reported in 2007 global warming would leave Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013."
Followed by a second quote:
“Publication of UN climate change report suggesting global warming caused by humans pushed back to later this month"
The second part of this wonderful information refers to the delay of a report, not a delay of an ice-free Arctic in summer by 2013 as reported by the BBC, assuming the report is as stated. The first part neglects to say who the BBC was quoting in 2007 as a source and how credible or not they were (obviously not very, in hindsight). This is such a wonderful example of cherry picking and twisting words by combining “information” from "scientific" news sources.
Who knows? Maybe Al Gore or someone like him said that, but I didn't know Al Gore is a scientist. I pay zero attention to what he says about AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming or human-caused global warming) for precisely that reason. And more importantly, why should anyone care? He's a politician. Politicians of any stripe are generally the absolutely worst sources of objective information in the entire universe.
It's not proved beyond any shadow of a doubt, but solid science indicates strongly, extremely strongly, that AGW is real and already causing big problems around the globe and will get worse before it gets better. It will only get better if we respond intelligently to prevent it from getting worse than it absolutely has to at this point. The effects of what has already happened aren't even close to coming home to roost yet, so yelling loudly that we're at 400 ppm CO(2) in the atmosphere and doing fine is just mindlessly silly.
I guess some people think that political sources of information are scientific method? I don't care whether it's Al Gore or Rush Limbaugh. That's not scientific method. Show me the scientific method that shows there is no risk of problematic global warming and the proof it provides that humankind could not possibly be causing it. Let’s reverse their glaring double standard for evidence and see how they fare?
Oh…maybe some people assume the burden of proof is on us? OK, I'm going to play ignorant, brainless conservative now. I'm going to put my preferred beliefs ahead of reality, any semblance of scientific understanding, or the security of the human race on this planet. I'm going to ignore any indications that an earthquake is about to destroy our small Oklahoma town because none ever has before.
So we put the burden of proof on the "alarmists" and just sit there confident that an earthquake couldn't possibly happen here. After all, it's natural and has happened many times in the past, but never here or in our lifetime, so what's the big deal? Besides, no quake is the status quo and nothing quakes for ever so much longer than something quakes. Yeah! The burden of proof is definitely on those who think the status quo is going to change.
Oh, yes, I forgot. Earthquakes are natural and not caused by humankind. So we should reject out of hand this goofball idea that it's going to happen, since we're not causing it. Oops! It might kill us anyway? Yeah, but what can we do about it? Well, but it's not going to happen in the first place, so that really doesn't make any difference, does it?
But then, what if something we're doing triggers a quake, like fracking, for example? Naaah! Nature is way too big and powerful for us to have any effect like that on it. We're just tiny little ants on a huge, quasi-infinite planet, so it's absurd to think we could have a significant impact on nature in any really global way.
Ok, yeah, I know! The Soviets did indeed explode a 50-megaton bomb in 1961. But see? We're all still alive, so it didn't really matter. We're too insignificant for our technology to do anything to change nature’s behavior. Of course Sakharov, the bomb’s designer, was just full of stuff when he began to think otherwise.
“…Sakharov…started his practical thinking about world war and peace in 1958...He wrote about the so-called ‘clean bomb’ promoted in the U.S., a nearly pure fusion bomb that produced almost no radioactive fallout. However, any atmospheric explosion of an H-bomb produces radiocarbon from atmospheric nitrogen. And Sakharov calculated, on the basis of available biological data, that radiocarbon produced by a one-megaton clean bomb would result in 6, 600 deaths worldwide over a period of 8,000 years. So, his scientific conclusion was quite definite.
“Sakharov, however, went beyond science to ask: "What moral and political conclusions should be drawn from these figures?" The figures meant that the atmospheric testing of any hydrogen bomb—"clean" or not—is harmful to humans.” (From http://people.bu.edu/gorelik/Strasbourg_99.htm)
[Note: A 50 megaton bomb is 50 times one megaton. If one megaton kills 6,600 people in 8,000 years, then 50 would kill 330,000 people in 8,000 years, but then that’s only barely more than 41 people a year. No big deal, right? Oh, it was your grandmother or daughter who died of cancer? Well, I’m so sorry. Luck of the draw, I guess, if we can call it that.]
Does it really matter either that in 1804 we were already one billion total, double the world population we had in 1650 in only barely more than a century and a half? Now we're seven times the 1850 level and so fourteen times the 1650 level. And what about our vastly increased consumption per capita, coupled with the power of our modern manufacturing technology, its exponentially growing need for energy and fossil fuel (so far), not to mention waste disposal and other kinds of pollution? After all, the real increase in GDP per capita in constant dollars has only doubled in the U.S. since 1969. Even in the world as a whole, it increased by only 89%, a whole 11% short of doubling. OK, so we doubled world population in the same time frame. That multiplies world consumption by almost four (3.8) in 44 years, about half a long human lifetime. So what?
Oh my! We're growing exponentially? What's that?! We conservatives know very well that things don't change like that. Things really stay pretty much like we always thought they were, don't they? Change is a stupid liberal idea! We don’t even believe linear projections into the future from what we've already done, so forget about exponential growth and doubling every 50 years or so. We don’t even know what exponential means. Yikes! We've deforested half of the original forest land worldwide in the time since the year 1620? But that’s a full four centuries out of the thousand centuries (100,000 years) or 0.4% currently estimated as the time humankind has been around (unless you believe the universe was created 6,000 years ago in our local Milky Way galaxy, which requires light 100,000 years to cross and is only one out of hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe).
Now the so-called independent, but in reality the stinking liberal we conservatives think he actually is, says the calculations that follow are not intended to be perfectly accurate, but only pretty good estimates. He doesn’t even claim them to be perfectly representative of how it all actually works. He dumbly thinks they should serve to give us some feel, though, for the order of magnitude by which human impact on the planet is growing, especially if we're extremely conservative with the numbers we're not fully certain of.
So world population has increased by a factor of 14 since 1650. We have deforested half the original forests in the world since 1620, roughly the same time period. In only the last 50 years we have increased human consumption by a factor of four. The best estimates show real GDP per capita (constant dollars) increased by about a factor of 40 since 1650. If we average these two figures, pretending in the 50-year case that nothing changed before then, we average the increase by four times in that period with a factor of 40 since 1650 and we get (40 + 4)/2 for a factor of 22 for the time since 1650, an extremely conservative estimate. OK, so let's see:
14 (population factor) X 22 (GDP per capita increase) = 308
Factoring an extremely conservative worldwide GDP per capita increase since 1620, we have multiplied the human load on the forest land that keeps nature nurturing life on the planet in 2013 on about half the forested land we had back then by a bare minimum of more than 300. That makes at least 600 times the load on natural forest we had in 1620 (but more likely double that). This even ignores the effects of waste and pollution products of every kind. Hmmm...yes, this is conservative indeed (anything but politically conservative, though).
Now let us suppose again that we human beings are too insignificant to affect the natural world significantly, 50 megaton H-bombs notwithstanding. Never mind that our consumption is increasing exponentially and we've increased the responsibility of existing forested land to keep the planet healthy by at least 600 times since 1620 by the most absurdly conservative estimate. Let’s just ignore the increasing power of our technology to affect the environment, plus the waste and pollution we continue to produce. Make sense to you?
It sure does to us conservatives! Yes, we're just too insignificant and puny as human beings to do anything significantly bad to our world and our environment, the air we breathe, the water we drink, or hurt the wildlife and forests that keep nature in balance, etc. We can just go forth happily and unthinkingly screwing around with nature with impunity all we want to and nothing bad will ever come of it.
It's just those damn, frickin' liberals who imagine any of this could possibly be important! Yes, our politics are really messed up, but that's only because we've got an n-word socialist for a president. That he wants to do anything about any of this is just a despicable strategy to implement socialism. If it weren't for that, I mean if we could just eliminate all the stinking liberals and leave the world like it always was and ever will be, forever and ever, Amen, then we could all just be happy together, especially when we find the few disgusting liberals still hanging around and have lots of fun torturing and/or lynching the suckers.