Perhaps it is the way things are today. There is no issue that is not somehow, inexplicably partisan.

The topic of climate change has been reenergized by hurricanes Irma in Florida and Harvey in Texas – the first time in recorded history that two category 4 hurricanes have ever made landfall on the continental U.S. in the same year.

In Florida the writing seems quite menacingly on the wall. In April, Chris Flavelle, writing for Bloomberg, described the very real possibility that changing weather conditions and the threats they pose could be catastrophic for the state. And not just for its coastline but its real estate market.

“Relative sea levels in South Florida are roughly four inches higher now than in 1992,” Flavelle wrote. “The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts sea levels will rise as much as three feet in Miami by 2060. By the end of the century, according to projections by Zillow, some 934,000 existing Florida properties, worth more than $400 billion, are at risk of being submerged.”

The first sentence is scientific fact. The rest is scientifically based predictions. None should be ignored.

Yet we’re debating man’s role in climate change. From where I stand, it’s a moot point.

Regardless of what is causing climate change, its consequences are beginning to add up. Anything that human beings can do to help at this point would be a step in the right direction. Instead so much effort is put into a logically faulty series of assumptions that would urge us to ignore positive steps to lessen our output of climate changing chemicals because, well, climate change isn’t our fault.

The denial can run even deeper. Beyond a refusal to believe humans have accelerated climate change, many believe there’s a left-wing conspiracy to promote climate change, for a whole host of difficult to comprehend reasons.

Even Pope Francis, a man in charge of an organization not renowned for its adherence to scientific principles, has taken the side of science on climate change.

“Anyone who denies [climate change] should go to the scientists and ask them,” he said recently. “They speak very clearly … climate change is having an effect, and scientists are telling us which path to follow. And we have a responsibility — all of us. Everyone, great or small, has a moral responsibility … we must take it seriously … history will judge our decision.”

And, to be honest, his advice might be the best. Our responsibility to the planet is a moral one.

As extreme weather patterns intensify – as storms submerge more and more areas around the world and set others on fire, the debate about what causes climate change really needs to end. Unlike other debates we have over policy – from taxes to health care to human rights – none is nearly as important to get right as our response to a changing climate. If we screw up on climate, there’s no easy fix.

Pete Mazzaccaro

 

  • Robert Fox

    Oh no, surely the left would never seek political causes that would
    enable them to implement more control, grab more power, and take away
    more personal liberties, all the while providing them a delicious and
    convenient air of moral superiority on which to hang their hat. Surely
    the left would NEVER stoop to such a level as that. Bwahahahahaha!
    Sorry, I couldn’t hold it anymore. Anthropogenic climate change is
    what is being debated. There is no conclusive evidence that humankind is contributing to climate change but that is brushed away as a mere inconvenience by the author, as he says “regardless” of what is causing it we should all submit to the control of government in the hope (?) that it would have a reversal effect. Clearly this is about control and power, much more than the health of the planet.

    • 9.8m/ss

      No conclusive evidence? The behavior of CO2 and water vapor in infrared was measured accurately over a century ago, and explained (by quantum mechanics) a few decades later. Downwelling longwave radiation from CO2 has been directly measured in the atmosphere. The energy imbalace between the earth system and space is surveyed every two weeks, current value about two thirds of a watt per square meter. What more evidence do you want?

      • Robert Fox

        Oh well when you put it that way

        • 9.8m/ss

          The question was, what more evidence do you want?

          • Joe

            9.8m,

            Don’t try to reason with Robert… he is pretty resistant to any form of logic. He has a very conservative “anti left” agenda. I’m just glad we greatly outnumber him around here anyway. Keep up the good fight.

          • Robert Fox

            How about you can be glad liberals outnumber conservatives in the leafy enclave of Chestnut Hill and I can be glad Democrats are outnumbered in the White House, House of Reps, Senate, state houses, state senates, and governorships. Deal?

          • CB

            “you can be glad liberals outnumber conservatives in the leafy enclave of Chestnut Hill”

            Why would any of that matter?

            Unless there’s been a “liberal conspiracy” going on for over a century that no one on Earth has been able to detect but you, how does “liberalism” enter into the picture?

            “The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was demonstrated in the mid-19th century”

            climate.nasa.gov/evidence

          • Robert Fox

            Was responding to “Joe” if you’ll notice who said he was “glad we greatly outnumber him (me)” around here anyway”. ….

          • CB

            “Was responding to “Joe” if you’ll notice….”

            What I noticed is that you aren’t explaining yourself.

            The very first person to prove anthropogenic global warming is a fact was named Eunice Foote, and she made her discovery in the year 1856.

            If she had been engaging in some liberal plot to “implement control”, what might have been the point, and how is it possible you’re the only person on Earth who has noticed in all that time?

            “Overlooked by modern researchers is the work of Eunice Foote, who, three years prior to the start of Tyndall’s laboratory research, conducted similar experiments on absorption of radiant energy by atmospheric gases, such as CO₂ and water vapor. The presentation of her report at a major scientific convention in 1856 was accompanied by speculation that even modest increases in the concentration of CO₂ could result in significant atmospheric warming.”

            http://www.searchanddiscovery.com/documents/2011/70092sorenson/ndx_sorenson.pdf

          • Robert Fox

            How can I fail to explain myself about anthropgenic global warming in a conversation that is NOT ABOUT anthropgenic global warming warming?

          • CB

            “How can I fail to explain myself about anthropgenic global warming in a conversation that is NOT ABOUT anthropgenic global warming”

            Sorry, wasn’t it you who said this?:

            “Anthropogenic climate change is what is being debated.”

            Did you not know heat energy drives the global climate?

            “Carbon dioxide (CO₂) is the primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activities… The main human activity that emits CO₂ is the combustion of fossil fuels”

            www3.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gases/co2.html

          • Joe

            Deal! – We can revisit this a in few years and see how things stand in Washington. I suspect things in CH will be more liberal, as evidenced from the lawn signs, your kind is dying out 😉

          • Robert Fox

            Cool. Oh those sanctimonious hate-filled lawn decorations? Yeah, don’t kid yourself about those, libs have always been much more eager to share their political viewpoints with people who didn’t ask/don’t care than conservatives. 😃

          • Joe

            Just like you Robert? I love how those signs get under your skin. I think I’ll add one to my lawn 🙂

            Btw, is that your real name? If you actually live in CH, we should meetup and have an live debate, friendly of course, over coffee.

          • Robert Fox

            Thanks for the offer, but I don’t meet up with people who delight in angering me and who hate me. Thanks though.

          • Joe

            Figured, oh well. For the record, I don’t hate you.

          • 9.8m/ss

            Robert could be the guy they’re talking about in The Brainwashing of my Dad. That’s where my interest in this issue focused. It’s an amazing phenomenon. A propaganda system so powerful it can take a finding from a branch of applied physics and turn it into a question of cultural identity. If you’re on the “red team,” you must believe that all the world’s scientific institutions are telling the same lie about the effects of waste CO2, and the PR flacks working ultimately for oil and coal investors are telling the truth. If you know any scientists and how their careers work, you’d understand that “climate scientists are lying to keep the grants coming” amounts to a wackadoodle conspiracy story, impossible in the real world. This is no accident. Some really smart people, with a lot of money behind them, have pulled off an astounding feat of social engineering. The result is a war on science, a war on facts, a war on reason and rationality.

          • Robert Fox

            Yes, yes, we’re all just “brainwashed.” Whatever you have to tell yourself I guess.

            I don’t associate the existence of man-made climate change with cultural identity, and neither do most conservatives. We’ve just been down the road before with the left and don’t wish to go down it again. We prefer a more pragmatic approach. There are trade-offs to everything and the sudden and violent reaction to perceived man-made climate change that the left advocates would have other dire consequences that must be balanced.

          • 9.8m/ss

            One of the differences between skeptics and deniers is this. A skeptic considers evidence that he’s been misled, investigates the new information, and changes his mind. A denier takes that same evidence as a personal insult, and doubles down on the false belief. Skeptics learn. Deniers can’t.

            And you never said what evidence would convince you to reconsider your belief. I expect the true answer is “none.”

          • Robert Fox

            For one, I’m not a “denier” so let’s just be sure to set than in place. Secondly, the term “denier” is arrogant and disrespectful when you’re talking about computer model simulations, and not extermination camps – it’s really over-the-top alarmist phraseology. On the flip side, I think there are a lot of worshipers who don’t even take the time to read or consider viewpoints. They already know what they believe and the have their marching orders to destroy any and all who not willing to submit immediately.

          • 9.8m/ss

            Denier is the best noun in English for “one who is in denial.” People deny a lot of things. We have AIDS deniers, including a recent head of state in South Africa. I’ve met people who deny the efficacy of fluoride in the drinking water to reduce dental caries. Pretending you’re being compared to holocaust deniers is a dishonest excuse. Dismissing it won’t make it go away, no matter how emotionally appealing your excuse.

          • Robert Fox

            Okay, so I suppose we should start calling those who think life begins at birth “origin of life deniers”?

          • Joe

            No, actually we could call them “life begins at birth deniers” (big difference) – but yes, you are doing the math correctly.

          • Robert Fox

            Okay then you can call me a “human-carbon-consumption-is-the-main-force-behind-potential-climate-change denier” (big difference). That’s the “math” we’ll go with.

          • Joe

            Yeah… I think that much is clear Robert. Whether or not it’s the “major” or a “major” factor is kinda irrelevant.

            For example, say you are get cancer … and you are dying … it could have been the exposure you had to agent orange during the war, or it could be that you smoke 2 packs a day. Either way, it’s a good bet your doctor (and most leading scientists) will advise you to lay off the cigarettes.

          • 9.8m/ss

            What’s “the left” got to do with anything? Science isn’t about political opinion. Climate science isn’t “left” or “right” or “authoritarian” or “libertarian.” Science studies nature, and nature doesn’t care about stuff like that.

          • https://www.facebook.com/A-Better-Way-1621863571424331/ Elizabeth Whitehouse

            Dear 9.8m/ss,

            Some time ago you posted a killer definition of consensus- something about what is left when everyone has been heard. It was such a great quote that I KNOW I saved it somewhere, but I cannot find it, and I am going crazy. Please will you repeat it?

          • 9.8m/ss

            I seldom save or reuse my own writing, sorry.

            I have worked with peace and environmental groups that use consensus-seeking as a decisionmaking process. It works, in groups where everyone already agrees on a set of facts, including a common goal. You keep going until everyone’s concerns are heard and addressed, and they are either convinced of the decision or agree to “stand aside.” It worked for certain native American tribes and the Bethesda Avenue Food Co-op. It was an absolute disaster for Green political parties in the US, where Robert’s Rules of Order would have been far more appropriate.

            The claim is often made, and more often implied, that science reaches conclusions by a consensus-seeking process. That claim is false, and those who make it are either trying to deceive or just don’t know how the modern scientific process works. Science draws conclusions from preponderance of evidence, collected in an environment of intense competition to reveal mistakes, distortions, and omissions. Every research conclusion is subject to review in that environment, before and after publication. (Prepublication reviewers are chosen from the authors’ competitors, and participate anonymously.) Some conclusions stand up to ongoing testing so well that it becomes obvious there is no point in trying to bust them any more. That condition can only be observed after the fact, and when we observe it we call it scientific consensus. It’s superficially similar to the consensus-seeking of the Clamshell Alliance, except that it’s not part of the process used to reach the conclusion.

          • https://www.facebook.com/A-Better-Way-1621863571424331/ Elizabeth Whitehouse

            Not a problem. I actually found it just now by doing a Google search: Consensus is when everyone has been heard and no “concerns” remain. But I also like “You keep going until everyone’s concerns are heard and addressed, and they are either convinced of the decision or agree to “stand aside.”

            And just incidentally I learned what 9.8m/ss stands for, Mr. Gravity.

        • Joe

          Maybe I was wrong about you Robert… looks like you actually can take in and process new information in a rational way!

          It’s good to see you being convinced that man made climate change is real.

    • Joe

      Robert, I like how you direct your hate at “the left” and somehow you think your comments are not hateful. Hypocrite! (A word you constantly use, so I guess it’s not hateful)

      The general consensus (from the worlds leading scientists) is that climate change is real. The answer to the question if mankind is contributing to it, is “yes. This is also the general consensus of the scientific community (please challenge me to cite this 🙂

      The real question is “how much” … not “if” – but that question is moot, as we can take tangible steps to decrease mankinds negative effect on the environment.

      To prove that mankind is largely and singularly at fault – beyond a doubt, is impossible. Science just doesn’t work that way.

      For the children of the future – whattya say Robert !

      • Robert Fox

        Joe/Thaddeus… I admit to fighting leftism the way leftism fights conservatism/rational thought, but I don’t hate members of the left and, more importantly, don’t have a sign in my yard proclaiming my own virtue about it while implicitly calling my neighbors “hateful”. My comment was sarcastic and strongly worded but I don’t think it was hateful – at least the way the left defines hate – do you? Regardless, it certainly seems that when it comes to climate change the left is more concerned with demonizing those who refuse to submit to its authority than they are with proposing a real, workable solution. Rather, in line with “never letting a crisis go to waste” it seeks to exploit it as a means to wrest more freedom from the American people, and continue their onslaught on our God-given liberties. I agree that climate change may be real, and anthropogenic climate change may be real, but I’m also old enough to remember the hysteria frothed about several decades ago about “global cooling” and how we were headed for a new ice age. I’m all for taking “tangible steps” but I would suggest we pursue those outside of violent government force. Let’s just drive smaller cars, live in smaller houses, and fly less. Works for me!

        • 9.8m/ss

          As I pointed out to Pete here, there was NEVER any scientific consensus that “we were headed for a new ice age” in the next few hundred years. There wasn’t even a significant minority of scientists saying that in the 1970s. It’s a myth. What you remember isn’t a scientific consensus, it’s a false story that discredited the consumer-facing mass media outlets that carried it. And if you can’t tell the difference between the outlets where you saw it and the professional science literature, then it’s not plausible that you understand the issue well enough to form an informed opinion about it.

        • Joe

          Paranoid a bit, Robert ? You are funny.

  • pete’s_pulitzer_(not)

    And don’t you just love being lectured by some Liberal Arts grad with (maybe) six diluted science credits on his transcript?

    Newsflash, Mazzaccaro: 50 years ago, a New Ice Age was anticipated by scientists. The difference is that ACG is now established as part of the Left’s secular religion, and must not be questioned!

    Nice shot at the Pope and his *actual* religion, by the way. Wake us when you try that with a Muslim cleric.

    • 9.8m/ss

      There was never any scientific consensus on “a New Ice Age.” Not in the ’70s, not now, not ever. It was a journalistic stampede to a false story. It was all over the tabloids at the supermarket, and even made it into a few legitimate newspapers. But the scientifically illiterate journalists were set off by a couple of flawed papers, that never made it into the peer reviewed professional journals. All through the 1970s very few scientists were projecting climate at all, and the handful of papers published in that decade were six to one for warming due to manmade greenhouse gases. The 1970s “global cooling consensus” is a myth, kept alive by illiterates who will swallow any lie that lets them pretend science is unreliable.

      • pete’s_pulitzer_(not)

        Information that disputes the notion of ACC is readily available, but as a frequent internet commenter on the subject, you already know that.

        The number of “Climate Experts” has mushroomed in the past couple of decades, nicely coincident with the fiduciary interest in becoming such; skepticism among the plebs should abound, but instead there’s the disapproval of lightly-educated *journalists* and fully-indoctrinated adherents like 9.8m/ss.

        • 9.8m/ss

          “Information that disputes the notion of ACC is readily available”
          Unfortunately for climate science deniers, most of that “information” is invented by marketing creatives working for public relations and lobbying firms (e.g., Heartland Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute) hired by fossil fuel investors.
          Which makes it laughably unreliable compared to information discovered by scientists.

          Let’s follow the money. The typical climate researcher makes about $60K/year, with as much training as an MD. He could make twice that as an engineer, or four times as much programming high frequency trading machines. Nobody goes into scientific research for the money. The typical fossil fuels lobbyist makes half a $million/year, ten times that if he’s got good connections in the congress.

          • pete’s_pulitzer_(not)

            “Let’s follow the money”.
            That’s a joke, right?

            A “typical climate researcher” would plotz if Organic Chemistry was a requirement; that you can seriously compare their training with that of an MD is silly. The calculus, math, physics and chemistry requirements for an Applied Climate Science degree were *high school classes* 50 years ago; very little of this training goes beyond what used to be called a “core curriculum” for a baccalaureate.
            Whatever magical instruction that affords ACS grads the skill to confidently predict our future appears to be well hidden in the course descriptions. In truth, climate “science” is about as soft a hard science as can be found. It’s a whole lot closer to alchemy & phrenology than it is to engineering, where if one gets it wrong, things fall down.

            What *is* unfortunately preditable is your use of “deniers” to conflate anyone who might be skeptical of ACC with the truly contemptible Holocaust deniers. Or is that how you actually meant it?

          • 9.8m/ss

            There’s no such thing as an “Applied Climate Science degree.” Few universities offer degrees in climate science. Recent influential papers in climate science have been published by researchers from many fields: geography, applied mathematics, x-ray crystallography, astrophysics, numerical methods, geology. None of them were published by people who dropped out after freshman organic chemistry.

            I never use the word “denier” to describe scientific skeptics. Scientific skepticism is the OPPOSITE of science denial. We can spend some time going over the many differences if you like. But I think David Brin nailed it: “Skeptics versus Deniers: Creating a Climate of ‘No!’

          • pete’s_pulitzer_(not)

            Easy there, little fella…you’re yapping & frothing like a stepped-on chihuahua.

            There most certainly are degrees available to those in the Applied Climate Sciences curriculum; use your Google finger (it’s the same one that helps you copy & paste all of your internet science knowledge), and seek enlightenment.

          • TreeParty

            From where I stand, your demonstrably false opening comment about a “New Ice Age” proves that you are woefully under-informed about this topic; and yet in true Dunning-Kruger arrogance, you demean serious scientists who are doing very important social work by providing an understanding of a dangerous physical trend on the planet.
            “Information that disputes the notion of ACC is readily available”. What you have failed to take into consideration is that if the “information” is irrelevant or inaccurate (which it mostly is, as has been pointed out), then it is worthless at best, and potentially malicious.
            Let’s follow the science:
            1) The globe is demonstrably warming – there are multiple converging lines of evidence that prove it.
            2) There is, by now, almost no reasonable scientific doubt that human fossil fuel combustion is the single chief cause of the warming. The fact that the surfeit of CO2 in the atmosphere is now leaking into the oceans, causing the pH of the oceans to drop precipitously, is more strong evidence for the global impact of the dramatic increase in atmospheric CO2 in the last century.
            3) Predictions of the effects of increased global warming (and the associated rise in sea level and changes in patterns of precipitation ) are almost uniformly dire because of the economic, cultural, and ecological disruptions that will occur.
            Do you disagree with the strong scientific consensus on the fact and the causes of global warming? If so, can you provide any credible evidence to support your opinion instead of sophomoric insults?

          • pete’s_pulitzer_(not)

            “Sophomoric insults”?
            How dare you? Any insult directed at you is guaranteed to be at junior or senior level.

            Thanks for the invitation to engage in trading factoids, but pete’s_pulitzer_(not) doesn’t argue with religious zealots, especially those with as long and fervent a history of comments-section proselytizing as yourself.
            pete’s_pulitzer_(not) recognizes a sanctimonious fanatic / True Believer when he sees one, and he has no interest in debating the teleological roots of your newfound secular faith. Who wants or needs to be called a heretic, anyway?

            And Dunning and Kruger were my two best friends in Cub Scouts, so there.

          • Pete’s_Pulitzer_(not) assclown

            You are pretty full of yourself… and that response was basically “I have no good response”, so instead I’ll crack wise.” I was hoping for something more, petes_pulitzer… Lame.

          • TreeParty

            So you got nothing. Right. Why are you even here?!

          • pete’s_pulitzer_(not)

            pete’s_pulitzer_(not) doesn’t accept your evaluation of his motives or capabilities.

            pete’s_pulitzer_(not) has already explained that he is unwilling to wrestle with a religious fanatic; res ipsa loquitur, chum.

            pete’s_pulitzer_(not) is halfway happy that you’ve managed to find something in your tiny secular life that allows you a degree of joy, but is also fully aware that if the Vulcans were to arrive tomorrow afternoon and provide incontrovertible evidence against ACC and Mankind’s imminent doom, you would be crestfallen.

          • TreeParty

            Please refer to Pete’s_Pulitzer_(not) assclown’s recent reply. (You have your own assclown tormenter?! Very impressive!) Since you have NOTHING of interest or value to contribute to a discussion of global warming; and you have the VERY annoying (and creepy) habit of referring to yourself in the third person; why don’t you find another venue for your non-sequitur, irrelevant B.S.?
            Really; why don’t you? I’m sure you could find more satisfaction in a different forum that does not value scientific content..

          • Joe

            Yeah TreeParty… stop cutting and pasting links from disreputable sites like “NASA” where the scientific community almost wholly agrees with you on man made climate change. That’s just playing dirty… instead come up with ridiculous hypothetical scenarios that involve 60’s science fiction characters – now that’s my kinda science !

          • Theresa_cats1
          • pete’s_pulitzer_(not)

            What part of pete’s_pulitzer_(not) doesn’t engage with nutjob secular religionists don’t you understand?

            And leave poor Joe out of this, he’s clearly operating at some sort of diminished capacity.
            It just takes him longer, that’s all.

            pete’s_pulitzer_(not) now bids everyone bonne chance, and hopes you all get your wish and the seas boil away.

          • TreeParty

            “Our wish” is that humanity comes to its senses and transitions expeditiously to a low-carbon energy regime which is inevitable anyway. Oh, and that your brain “boils away”; good riddance.

          • Joe

            Petes_pulitzer_(not) clearly loses this dialog. His writing was as annoying and infantile as his thoughts.

            He refused to back up any of his opinions and resorted to some weird sociopathic, pseudo intellectual attempt at being comedic and hateful. Although I’m sure there was a position somewhere in his rants, it was mostly very hard to discern.

            Bonne chance, petes_pulitzer(not), even your handle is offensive.

    • PMazz

      Gotta admit, that’s a quality handle.

    • Joe

      You are a joke. Haha. I can’t even dignify you with a response.

      @pete – glad you have the helm man. The worlds leading scientists agree with you.

      • pete’s_pulitzer_(not)

        This is concerning, Joe – your writing has a strange, disjointed quality that doesn’t even rise to the level of non sequitur.
        Have you suffered some sort of head injury, lately?

        • Joe

          Good one! (Not)

          Not a head injury, maybe it’s all the CO2 and related pollution in the air.

          Your comment reveals your weak position 🙂

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/protestprotest/ Darryl Hart

    This is a debate and it explains why debate should happen. https://bloggingheads.tv/videos/33489

  • Bells Mill

    Man made climate change is a debate because it’s still a debate. Absent a few very established principles, the idea of ‘settled science’ is quite rare and even those concepts are dynamic. See today’s WSJ for an interesting take on ‘climate change’ https://www.wsj.com/articles/climate-change-hype-doesnt-help-1505672774

    • CB

      “See today’s WSJ for an interesting take”

      Yes. Very interesting.

      You’ve linked to the companies changing the climate.

      Are you actually having difficulty understanding why your source has a conflict of interest?

      “In addition to millions of dollars in support from its co-founders, the Koch Brothers, the Cato Institute has also received at least $125,000 from ExxonMobil.”

      http://www.desmogblog.com/cato-institute

    • 9.8m/ss

      You cited an opinion piece by a public relations man who works for a PR and lobbying firm (Cato Institute) funded by fossil fuel investors. Wall Street Journal and Forbes publish op-eds from Cato and Heartland every week. (So do Breitbart and Daily Caller…) Public relations men working for oil and coal investors are not a reliable source of science news.

      ANYONE who tells you “the science is settled” on a research field as old and wide and deep as climate science is either trying to deceive you or doesn’t know what he is talking about. And that is just as true of anyone who tells you “the science is not settled.” The fact is, it’s both. The behavior of CO2 (and water vapor) in the presence of visible and infrared light has been well understood and measured for a century. That’s the mechanism of the (misnamed) greenhouse effect in the atmosphere. Settled. Some of the mechanisms where non-condensing gas (CO2, methane) concentrations influence the amount of water vapor (a condensing gas) in the air are well understood, and others are areas of active research. Not settled.

      The public policy related question isn’t “is the science settled.” That question is nonsense. The question is whether the broad outlines of climate science are settled enough to inform a discussion on how much risk we can tolerate. (Would you play Russian Roulette? You probably won’t be killed on the first round, so why not? Would you play it if the gun were aimed at your great grandchildren? That’s a risk tolerance question, not a question of whether guns are well enough understood.) And for people who follow the science, and recognize actual climate science expertise, and understand that there are people with lots of money at stake lying to the public about the issue, that’s not a difficult question. Yes, it’s been settled enough since the 1990s.

  • Joe

    For those of you reading this article who are on the fence regarding climate change… allow me to state a few facts.

    1. When my father was born there were just over 2 billion people on earth. My dad is 75 now and we are approaching 8 billion.

    2. There are 3,200 tigers left.

    All of this “human” activity creates consumption, trash etc. resulting in mass amounts of CO2, more than has ever been present before. The balance of things is wildly off, and getting worse.

    Despite claims from those on this thread that the science is not definitive, it is. Most all scientists agree that humans contribute to global warming. Please read this link from NASA – https://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

    • CB

      “All of this “human” activity creates consumption, trash etc. resulting in mass amounts of CO2, more than has ever been present before.”

      It’s true, but it doesn’t need to be that way!

      Human beings are 100% carbon neutral, as is everything in the biosphere.

      What’s causing the atmospheric imbalance in CO₂ is our use of fossil fuels… and there’s absolutely no reason we need to continue doing that, and every reason to stop.

      “The primary cause of global warming is human activity, most significantly the burning of fossil fuels to drive cars, generate electricity, and operate our homes and businesses.”

      http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/global_warming_101

  • david russell

    The author doesn’t know what he’s talking about (e.g., Miami is subsiding, so said sea rise is bogus).

    The earth has warmed but CO2 can’t have been much of a reason. CO2 absorbs IR relevantly in the 15 micron bandwidth and all of this happens within a few meters of the surface. As CO2 holds on to the absorbed photon for .8 seconds, all of the photonic energy is transmitted to the kinetic energy of the surrounding molecules of air, thereby nullifying any re-emissions. And since above that altitude there is per force no more 15 micron CO2 IR, there is no CO2 related global warming. When the air gets thin enough for there be time for re-emission there’s no up-welling 15 micron IR, but may be some down-welling 15 micron IR from the sun (I say “some”, but no much). Anyway absorbed down-welling IR actually cools the surface as a sunshade cools you sitting on a hot beach at noon.

    • Dr. Jason Schwieber
      • david russell

        Your link shows a chart that confirms what I said, to wit, that the earth has warmed.

        It does not address why. Nor does it challenge anything I said in my above post.

        It then goes on to list a number of trade organizations talking their book.

        You might want to look at an emission spectrum for the earth as seen from outer space. There’s no emission from the 15 micron bandwidth. Wonder why? Well, it’s because it’s being absorbed and not re-emitted…..just as I said.

        • Joe

          “Trade organizations”

          You, my friend are a moron. Or maybe a shill for an oil company.

          And besides that… you have literally thousands of disqus comments. You seem like an insane person.

          INSANE !

          • david russell

            Did it take you 8 months to come up with this? Oh, I get it. You read all 43,700 of my posts. Impressive.

            Anyway, thanks for your belated and content-less post.

          • Joe

            Ass clown.

          • david russell

            You sound angry and deranged. Annoy someone else with your mindless rantings.

          • david russell

            I actually own an oil and gas drilling company.

          • Joe

            Of course you do. Again, weirdo… sane people don’t have 43,700 posts. You are insane and/or pushing an agenda full of lies.

          • david russell

            What number of posts is permitted for sane people? Who says so? I never lie.

          • Joe

            Anything less than a few per day is crazy. I’ve reached my quota… also i don’t like talking to insane people. by oil shill.

            Oh.. i found you on linkedin… i’m gonna hit up your boss and send him some links with all your craziness.

          • david russell

            Sorry, your opinion is just that ….. only an opinion.

            Also I don’t use ANY social media.

          • Joe

            And what do you think disqus is nimrod?

            Fortunately it keeps a list of all your insane posts.

      • CB

        Your link directs David Russell to science!

        Let me direct you to why David Russell is not going to be interested in that…

        “I do own an oil company”

        -David Russell

        disqus.com/home/discussion/phillydotcom/penn_state_climatologist_criticizes_terrifying_ny_mag_climate_change_story_that_went_viral/#comment-3411697250

        “Carbon dioxide (CO₂) is the primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activities… The main human activity that emits CO₂ is the combustion of fossil fuels”

        www3.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gases/co2.html

  • CB

    It’s not a debate… but I’ll tell you why people think it’s a debate: because fossil fuel firms have spent millions and millions of dollars brainwashing the American public.

    We may even have some of their PR lackeys in the thread with us!

    “The Koch Brothers have sent at least $100,343,292 directly to 84 groups denying climate change science since 1997.”

    http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/global-warming/climate-deniers/koch-industries

  • LD50

    Poor Pete doesn’t seem to even understand the phrases he’s repeating. He should pay attention to what Relative Sea Level actually means.

  • SLEcoman

    The question is not whether or not manmade CO2 emissions increase global temperatures, but by how much. There is general scientific agreement that a doubling of CO2 concentrations from 290 ppm (circa 1890) will DIRECTLY (i.e. with no positive or negative feedbacks) increase global temperatures by 1.2C. Proponents of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) theory say that positive feedback effects will multiply the direct impact of increased CO2 concentrations by several times. This seemed quite plausible in 1998 when global temperatures had risen by 0.8C and the warming directly attributable to increased CO2 concentrations was 0.4C.
    However, now almost 20 years later, global temperatures are essentially unchanged (factoring in the cooling over the last two years) but CO2 concentrations have continued to increase. Now the warming DIRECTLY attributable to increasing CO2 is 0.6C. Moreover various research including landmark research at CERN indicates that changes in GCR (galactic cosmic radiation) impact cirrus cloud formation, and, consequently, global warming. Thus, some portion of the global warming in the 20th century was due to changes in GCR (not be confused with TSI, which appears to have remained stable). If 25% of the observed warming had been due to GCR, then the remaining 0.6C of warming attributable to increased CO2 concentrations would indicate that there has been no observed positive feedback on global temperatures due to increased CO2 concentrations. Absent strong positive feedback, increasing CO2 concentrations cannot cause enough warming to produce catastrophic impacts.
    It should be noted that NONE of the computer models used by CAGW proponents predicted the now almost 20 year near plateau in global temperatures. Until CAGW proponents can explain why their past projections failed and their new models have demonstrated an ability to predict global temperatures, the debate will continue.

    • Joe

      And… in the meantime… we can continue to negatively impact the environment… instead of actually trying to reduce our footprint… ya know, lets just assume that things will be ok…

      (seems like you like to seek out research that supports your claims… i defer you to the nasa link above.)

      • SLEcoman

        Your reply seems to indicate that it is obvious that reducing man’s CO2 emissions will improve the environment. However a recent study shows that increasing CO2 concentrations has increased global biomass especially in rain forests. “From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25.” https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/carbon-dioxide-fertilization-greening-earth
        Please note the NASA participation in this study.

        Regarding the issue of GCR, my comments do not reflect some fringe research paper. A significant portion of “Chapter 7 – Clouds & Aerosols” of Working Group 1 (scientific basis) of the Fifth (latest) Assessment Report (AR5) of the UN’s IPCC discusses this issue in detail (begins on page 7-43). I would encourage you to read the Second Order Draft (SOD) because this is the last draft written by scientists before political types decide how the report needs to be modified to meet their goals. Alternatively, for grins & giggles, you could compare the Final Report with the SOD to see how the political types modify the science to fit their narrative.

        • Joe

          Believe me, I would like to believe you are right. That all of this is much todo about nothing. But there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary. I don’t think your belief that “all” the science and scientists for that matter are under the influence of radical liberal politics.

          You obviously have done some research, and I looked into some the points you referenced. What I can’t figure out is why are you cherry picking certain statistics to paint a picture that it’s all a myth? What’s your game? What’s your history? What’s your business? Who did you vote for? What’s your political affiliation?

          And why, oh why… would you support actions that are most obviously harming our children’s futures on this planet?

          Do you go to sleep at night and consider what if I am wrong” or are you cocksure in your beliefs?

          • SLEcoman

            When one is proposing a new theory (e.g. Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming). It is not incumbent on skeptics to prove all the theory is incorrect. All that is required is to show there are problems with the theory. It is then incumbent on the advocates of the theory to answer the skeptics or modify the theory. This is how science is supposed to work. Instead, CAGW advocates, rather than addressing real problems with their theory (e.g. globe is not warming as they predicted), they try to marginalize their opponents. You are doing the same thing. You have not addressed what is wrong with the significant scientific research I have cited that has led a significant portion of scientists to conclude there are serious problems with CAGW theory.

            I believe it is misguided at best, immoral at worst, for scientists and others to manipulate data and scientific research to get the policy outcome they want. And this what I am convinced that CAGW theory advocates are doing today.

            I remember in the late 1960’s when Paul Ehrlich and many other scientists advocated letting tens of millions, possible hundreds of millions, of people in underdeveloped countries starve to death to save the world. Fortunately, world leaders ignored these calls for ‘lifeboat’ philosophy. Instead, the green revolution, pioneered by Norman Borlaug, created agricultural productivity that Ehrlich, et al failed to foresee. Even today the population bomb advocates of the past have not apologized for advocating policies that would have killed far more people than died in either WWI or WWII.

            To me the tactics and ego of CAGW advocates are eerily reminiscent of population bomb advocates of 50 years ago. I believe it is incredibly egotistical, possibly immoral, for CAGW advocates to push policies that are already hurting, and will increasingly hurt, the middle and lower classes based on computer predictions which, to date, have demonstrated no ability to predict future temperatures.
            For example, tens of millions more people would have clean drinking water today if only a fraction of the $100s billions already spent on CAGW research and the EU’s flawed ETS had been spent drilling water wells in poor areas of the world. https://www.water.cc/

          • Joe

            I really think you have an agenda. I also think you are a dangerous person.

            And again, the large majority of the worlds scientists seem to disagree with you.

            But you will likely reply, with more on why your agenda is “right”. Please don’t bother.

            Instead, let’s talk about your political views. Did you vote for Trump? (Be honest) Are you vested (financially) in oil related business?

    • Jfreeman
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