On 1/17/2013 4:02 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:
I'm agnostic about the environmental apocalipse. Producing useful scientific theories about complex systems is already a daunting task. When the issue is so heavily politicised by both sides, it becomes almost impossible. Anyone that has ever done experimental research knows how easy it is to lie with statistics and graphs. One would have to study climate science for years just to get to the point of being able to have an informed opinion. The thing is so ideological now that you can't trust anyone to tell you the truth.

Is big industry funding a misinformation campaign to protect their profits? Sounds plausible.

Are bureaucratic anti-capitalist "scientists" distorting the facts to protect their careers? Sounds plausible.

Sounds completely implausible to me. What scientist is "anti-capitalist"? How would it protect the careers of people like Jim Hansen, Michael Mann, Gavin Schmidt,... to distort data? Hansen was forced to quit his NASA job and go to academia in order to speak freely - and neither job is going to make him rich. They are all in academia now and have tenure, so their careers are secure. The only thing they have to protect is their scientific reputation.

Things we know for sure: fossil fules are a finite resource. The current human population is only possible because of fossil fuel energy. If we don't find an alternative, we will eventually face a mass extinction event. I'm not sure such an alternative exists, but maybe I'll be proven wrong (at least for my 1p) by MWI and QS.

We also know for sure, from laboratory measurements, that CO2 is a "greenhouse gas". That increasing its concentration in the atmosphere reduces the radiative heat loss to space, has been known since Svante Arhennius first estimated the effect in 1896 (being Swedish, he thought warming due to CO2 greenhouse effect was a good idea).

We know that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased from 335ppm in 1980 to 395ppm now. We know that that the release of CO2 from burning fossil fuel over this period is about twice the amount necessary to account for that increase.

We know that cycles of temperature over the last 400,000yrs, with a range of about 11degC, were strongly correlated with variations in CO2 concentration over a range of 190ppm to 280ppm during the period from 400,000BCE till 1900. And only since then has it risen above 300ppm. http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/last_400k_yrs.html

We know that the average temperature of the Earth has increased about 1.2degC since 1900. Coincidental with the industrial burning of coal, oil, and natural gas. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/globtemp.html


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