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Sunday, June 29, 2008

That damned species

What's Mallard raving about today?

Climate Change, Polar Bears, Humans.

With Mallard providing the example, that Polar Bear's got a fair question.


exanonymous said...

Gee, Tinsley, I'm convinced. Polar bears were threatened by an ice age (wait, they were?) so obviously they cannot be threatened by global warming so the whole thing is a hoax.

The alarmists of 35 years ago are not the alarmists of today. Just like the republicans of 35 years ago are not the republicans of today. For one thing, they had actual values beyond "libruls are stoopid".

Mr. Fourdotellipse said...

The alarmists weren't even scientists, but rather reporters who took the most alarming things from scientific speculation. For example, a statement like "we need to study long-term climate to find out if mankind's activities could be causing warming or another ice age," became, " Scientists predict another ice age possible!" So, they did the studies and discovered warming which matches Carbon dioxide emissions. But the denialists scream we can't listen to them because back in the 70's....

On there's a clip from a 1958 movie (educational series on earth science) that talks about the potential for global warming due to Carbon dioxide. This was first noted over 100 years ago, and was speculated about until we had the capacity for gathering real data. Yet the denialists keep harking on ill-informed media articles from the 70's. Who d'ya think has a "hidden agenda" here?

Matt Ramone said...

"Who d'ya think has a 'hidden agenda' here?"

Industrialists too cheap to pay for their own cleanup efforts and their Republican lapdogs.

Celia said...

As I have said before, it will probably take Tinsley another decade to come to terms with this new idea. He's still not quite over communism.

nlc said...

Mr. Fourdotellipse make a crucial point here.

The Bush apologists and their ilk are trying to make a lot of this "scientists _used_ to claim that we are in for an ice age" meme, but the simple fact is that this is a fiction.

Now, no doubt we can find _somebody_ from a few decades ago that make a claim of this nature. But it is a simple statement of fact that it was never a major premise in atmospheric sciences that greenhouse gasses would, in and of themselves cause massive global cooling. That's just, well.... silly.

(Now, all that said, there have been studies that have suggested that *if* there were sufficient global warning to do something like, say, cause the ice cover on Greenland to slide off into the North Atlantic, then such a rapid influx of fresh water might disrupt the density-pump that drives the Gulf Stream. And this could, in fact trigger a new ice age --there's some evidence that things like this have happened in the past. But, of course, this is significantly different from arguing that greenhouses gasses can , themselves, cause cooling. And would, in fact, be the direct result of significant global warming. But subtle, reasoned argument is not MF's point here.)

Personally, my assumption is that the neocons are hoping to blur the distinction between the effects of greenhouse gasses and the effects of the so-called "nuclear winter" which much discussed in the time-range that MF mentions. But, it would be insulting the reader's intelligence to point out that this is a radically different concept.

rewinn said...

Global warming deniers are funny.

But not in the way they want to be; more in the way that flat-earthers are funny.

GeoX said...

Yeah, except that flat-earthers don't have political clout. That global warming deniers do really isn't funny at all.

rewinn said...

>flat-earthers don't have political clout. That global warming deniers do really isn't funny at all.

Hmmm .... well, at least they're a counter-argument to intelligent design. Would an intelligent designer create a species so stupid it can't figure out that adding greenhouse gasses to our one and only atmosphere will lead to a greenhouse effect?