Quantcast
Opinion

My view: Climate change is an urgent issue

Comments

Return To Article
  • chilly Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2013 7:32 a.m.

    David Folland knows perfectly well that James Hansen's 1988 predictions have proved to be laughably wrong.

    Hansen's team presented three model scenarios, the "best case" of which claimed that if CO2 stopped increasing after 2000, we would only experience modest warming by now. The actual measured temperature increase has been even less than this benign prediction.

    There is no climate crisis. Real temperatures are increasing at about the rate we would expect after the last ice age. We have much more to fear from the next ice age than the modestly warming and greening (from increased CO2) planet we are experiencing now.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 11, 2013 7:49 a.m.

    End political paralysis? It is too profitable to keep things as they are (at least for some).

    The problem is we understand so little about science.

    We see models change and improved and think "the old one was totally wrong and this one could be too" when the lesson is the old one was less precise than the new.

    We see a handful of scientists who disagree and think "they are the mavericks who will be one day proven right". Maybe. But overall science moves in a distributed fashion with thousands of scientists making minor improvements each day. There are relatively few instances of qualitative leaps by one great mind. Also, predicting who is the great mind is awfully tough.

    We see that the science is still developing and think "better to act when it is proven fact". But science is ALWAYS developing and tinkering with the model (that is its nature). So there is never a point of now we are done. Also, "proven" in this sense will mean the negative effects are so strong that countermanding them will be very tough.

    Finally, we just need to divest ourselves of conspiracy theories. Wide ranging, multinational conspiracies simply cannot work.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    June 11, 2013 8:07 a.m.

    I was thinking about Jerusalem, the climate changed a large city that had farms into a desert. Who is to say that it won't change again to be farming crops again. Every one on earth can all have space to live in the state of Texas. Zoom out and think of the size of Texas and earth. Is there any thing that a pin head can make a difference. or is it our ego that is larger than life. Who'll stop the rain.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    June 11, 2013 8:33 a.m.

    Re: "A promising bill to reduce greenhouse gasses was halted in the Senate."

    The bill was promising in only one respect -- it promised to flush more and more resources down that giant AGW toilet, making EVERYTHING in the world more expensive and unaffordable to its people, to no salubrious effect.

    Would it have reduced global greenhouse gases? Not at all. ALL honest experts agree.

    AGW alarmists demanding ever-increasing percentages of people's wherewithal have yet to meaningfully answer the question, "Why?"

    There's no evidence, either that the deranged "green" spending they demand will reduce greenhouse gases, or that that any reduction that may occur will have the slightest effect on global climate.

    In the absence of such evidence, new tax scams are not only unnecessary, but provide conclusive evidence that AGW alarmists are dangerously unhinged and out of touch with real people.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    June 11, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    If you’re tired (or bored to tears in my case) of the usual players spouting the same old talking points, half-truths, and even bold face lies, you might instead enjoy playing “find the denier.”

    David Brin’s article “Climate Skeptics v. Climate Deniers” is a good resource to help hone your skills.

    Have fun...

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    June 11, 2013 9:29 a.m.

    I think it's funny when a conservative calls anyone else "alarmist."

  • Grandma Char Kaysville, UT
    June 11, 2013 10:00 a.m.

    Is this editorial the position of the Deseret News?

    At any rate, there is a reason why "Global Warming" was changed to "Climate Change". There was no global warming that could be considered a problem.

    Obama's stated goal to tackle climate change is nothing more than a redistribution of wealth. I imagine it wouldn't hurt him much either, he and his cronies, who stand to make
    money in the buying and selling of carbon credits!

    Affordable clean energy is a myth still. You need look no further than the California company who just recently found their solar panels failing after 2 years when they expected them to last 25.

    If this is the position of the Deseret News, it won't be long before my family doesn't subscribe to their paper any more.

  • Pete1215 Lafayette, IN
    June 11, 2013 10:43 a.m.

    I hope people don't think we can whistle past the grave yard on this. There is no doubt we are putting more and more carbon into the atmosphere. Wherever the laws of Physics is taking us, thither we will go.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    June 11, 2013 11:13 a.m.

    New York Times
    By JUSTIN GILLIS
    Published: June 10, 2013
    The rise in the surface temperature of earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace.

    But given how much is riding on the scientific forecast, the practitioners of climate science would like to understand exactly what is going on. They (the practitioners of climate science) admit that they do not, even though some potential mechanisms of the slowdown have been suggested. The situation highlights important gaps in our knowledge of the climate system, some of which cannot be closed until we get better measurements from high in space and from deep in the ocean.

    In the mean time will an AGW adherent please tell us what is the correct earth temperature we are going to hold at?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    @procuradorfiscal
    "ALL honest experts agree."

    What a revealing statement. You won't even accept the idea that people could disagree and just merely be wrong. Nah it's straight to the conspiracy theories for you. Besides, we did cap and trade with acid rain producing/enhancing compounds and that went quite well so it's not like there isn't evidence this kind of thing can work.

  • okeesmokee SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    June 11, 2013 12:18 p.m.

    Nuclear power must be part of the solution. Only form of base power that isn't dependent upon mother nature.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 11, 2013 12:43 p.m.

    "A promising bill to reduce greenhouse gasses was halted in the Senate...."

    If you're waiting for Congress to solve your problem... I wouldn't hold your breath. They take forever to do ANYTHING, and usually find a way to make it WORSE.

    Congress can't help you unless there's bipartisan agreement that what you want to do will benefit everybody (which means "Votes" to them)... Till then they won't do anything.

    Truth is... Congress can't solve Global Warming. Name the bill that IF passed would solve Global Warming.

    If you want to solve the problem you need to convince the PEOPLE that what you want is needed (Not Congress). The people need to support you. Bottom_up works. Top_down doesn't. When you go straight to Congress and insiste they give you a law that will FORCE people to live your way... and skip convincing the people first... it fails.

    Congress can't force people to change lifestyle. Congress reports to the people and does what they want (most of the time). Because if they don't... we'll vote them out.

    I think you should convince the public first and let THEM pressure Congress.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    June 11, 2013 12:57 p.m.

    Facts:
    1- Carbon dioxide emissions cause the atmosphere to warm up.
    2- Humans are emitting huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
    3- Global warming is a myth because hate radio tells me it is.

    Only possible conclusion: Global warming is a myth.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    June 11, 2013 1:36 p.m.

    Elevated carbon dioxide making arid regions greener
    31 May 2013
    AGU Release No. 13-24
    WASHINGTON, DC
    …a study of arid regions around the globe finds that a carbon dioxide “fertilization effect” has, indeed, caused a gradual greening from 1982 to 2010.
    …given the 14 percent increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration during the study period. The satellite data shows an 11 percent increase in foliage.

    New York Times reports, "The rise in the surface temperature of earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace."

    1- Carbon dioxide emissions (should) cause the atmosphere to warm up.
    2- Humans are emitting huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (at a record pace)

    But apparently CO2 is not the driving force and is not bad in and of itself. The AGU reports include the south western US, like Utah and Arizona, we are on average 11% greener than 15 years ago. How bad is that. And again why is a warmer temperature bad?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    June 11, 2013 2:02 p.m.

    Re:Jsf

    The NY Times part you left out:

    "As you might imagine, those dismissive of climate-change concerns have made much of this warming plateau. They typically argue that “global warming stopped 15 years ago” or some similar statement, and then assert that this disproves the whole notion that greenhouse gases are causing warming.

    Rarely do they mention that most of the warmest years in the historical record have occurred recently. Moreover, their claim depends on careful selection of the starting and ending points. The starting point is almost always 1998, a particularly warm year because of a strong El Niño weather pattern.

    Somebody who wanted to sell you gold coins as an investment could make the same kind of argument about the futility of putting your retirement funds into the stock market. If he picked the start date and the end date carefully enough, the gold salesman could make it look like the stock market did not go up for a decade or longer."

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 11, 2013 2:04 p.m.

    I am all for quoting the AGU. Here are a few:

    Human responsibility for most of the well-documented increase in global average temperatures over the last half century is well established.

    AND

    The Earth's climate is now clearly out of balance and is warming. Many components of the climate system . . . are now changing at rates and in patterns that are not natural and are best explained by the increased atmospheric abundances of greenhouse gases and aerosols generated by human activity during the 20th century. Global average surface temperatures increased on average by about 0.6°C over the period 1956–2006. As of 2006, eleven of the previous twelve years were warmer than any others since 1850.

    AND

    The geological record indicates that the current rates of sea-level rise in many regions are unprecedented relative to rates of the last several thousand years.

    Sea-level rise will exacerbate the impacts of extreme events, such as hurricanes and storms, over the long-term.

  • Fitz Murray, UT
    June 11, 2013 3:21 p.m.

    Isn't it interesting that he points to heat waves like we have now. The temperature yesterday tied a record high for June 10 at 100 degrees. The date that it tied with as in 1918, nearly a century ago. These "heat waves" aren't new, the claim that the sky is falling and the earth will no longer sustain us, is also not new. But, like all the previous claims, the changes in the climate will not be the end of civilization as we know it.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    June 11, 2013 3:46 p.m.

    RE: Truthseeker

    Did I claim temperatures were not rising? You also forgot the part in the article saying scientist have no clue why temperatures are leveled off against a drastic rise in CO2.

    In all the reading what is the temperature suppose to be at? In all the AGW studies, you have read what is the earths balanced temperature suppose to be? And why?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    June 11, 2013 3:48 p.m.

    Re: "What a revealing statement."

    Aren't you kind!

    I mean comments to be revealing. Unlike liberals, who love to hide their real ideas behind misleading sloganeering -- like calling it "pro-choice" to remove all choice, forever, from an unborn baby. Or "safe sex" to engage in dangerous, soul-destroying behaviors.

    Or to do a quick switcheroo to "climate change," when foundational AGW models and predictions prove to be monumentally, laughably wrong.

    Any scientist, of any stripe, who maintains that a deranged new America-only tax scam, one that'll increase the cost to Americans of EVERY product and commodity, will somehow "solve" the AGW "problem" is not just mistaken, he's selling something.

    It simply cannot be demonstrated, to any meaningful confidence level, that ANY American action would produce ANY retreat in atmospheric carbon levels, or that ANY such retreat would produce ANY effect on global climate.

    That won't stop doctrinaire political hacks and "greenies" posing as scientists from bleating about hope and change.

    But, it ought to give us pause.

  • PunkJones Bountiful, UT
    June 11, 2013 4:23 p.m.

    Hansen's prognostications have proven to be alarmist and dangerously obstructive to the poor in developing countries and their access to affordable energy. Hansen and his friends at U. of East Anglia have led the global warming argument for more than two decades (with Al Gore). The email scandal a couple of years ago should serve as a reminder that they will not only bend science to make a profit, but will also make stuff up and conspire with one another to hide it. And in case you missed it, Hansen's hockey stick graphic in the movie was also proven false. So excuse me for not worshiping at the altar of Mr. Hansen.

    Studies show that fluctuations of earth's temperature coincide directly with sun activity--not CO2 levels. Rises and falls in temperature have occurred throughout our planets history long before the fossil fuels industry. So, using logic, what affected temperatures. Is it a miniscule rise in CO2 levels (which is less than 2 percent of all greenhouse gasses), or could it be the big ball of fire in the sky that generates heat for our entire solar system? You be the judge.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    June 11, 2013 5:19 p.m.

    In the 25 years since James Hansen testified before Congress about global warming, there were 9 years of warming followed by 16 years with no warming - not exactly as compelling a case as Dr. Hansen might have liked. Quite simply, there is no correlation between the industrial-age increase in atmospheric CO2 and global temperature.

    When former Australian PM Kevin Rudd objected to Patrick Michaels' assessment that the former's global warming stance had resulted in his electoral loss, he complained: "Well, what should I have done? My scientists, I say, my scientists, told me this is an important problem." To which Patrick Michaels replied, "Your scientists said exactly what you paid them to tell you."

    Global warming alarmism is the not-so-surprising result of Big Government funding Big Science. Unless and until that conflict of interest is removed, we cannot expect to get much untainted science from our government-funded scientists. We are fortunate that there are quite a few scientists with sufficient integrity and intelligence that they are still capable of doing accurate scientific research. (Of course, they struggle due to lack of funding.) We may not be so lucky in the future.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    June 11, 2013 6:10 p.m.

    PunkJones:

    Which studies? Can you give me a resource? What sun activity, again do you know how the sun fluctuates?

    The sun has been fairly stable for a long time. And our climate is much more complex than just 'sun activity'?

    It's really easy to make these right wing cut-and-paste simplistic arguments without having a clue to what they mean. BTW there have been mass extinctions associated with climate change. See the Permian extinction. There was a large increase in CO2 and then methane. Temps rose by 10 degrees and nearly everything on earth died. It didn't have anything to do with the sun

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2013 7:27 p.m.

    @Fitz
    If you go through the records and look at how many record highs were set in the 2000s vs the number of record lows, you'd find that highs are much more frequent.

    @Punk Jones
    CRU's dataset shows the same warming trend since the satellite era began (late 70s) as NOAA, NASA, RSS, and UAH (the latter is run in part by an anthropogenic climate change skeptic and the latter two are satellite based datasets).

    "Studies show that fluctuations of earth's temperature coincide directly with sun activity"

    They've moved in opposite directions since the early 80s.

    @procuradorfiscal
    The change to using climate change is not because of any halt to warming (the 2000s were .2F warmer than the 1990s) but because the effects are more than just an increase in temperatures. There are impacts on floods, droughts, sea level, ocean acidification, ice extent... the term global warming didn't represent the comprehensive nature of the issue.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2013 8:42 p.m.

    I am glad the good doctor has retired from practice, otherwise he might think that charging more would lead to less sick people coming in to see him and he could then claim to have cured them.

    Raising taxes to turn down the heat, I disagree.

    Is it getting warmer? Possibly. If weather comes in cycles, as evidenced by ice ages and mammoths (large herbivores) found in today's icy regions, maybe we are a blip on a large cycle.

    It is foolish to tax people who want to stay warm, cook their food and have a job directly or indirectly tied to energy consumption.

    Oh, did a rough calculation a few days ago. I divided the estimated population of Earth into area of Texas and if I am correct the density is roughly the same as New York City.

    There is enough room, and food growing space if we would learn to share and play nice with each other. Taxing the cold and hungry will get you kicked out of the sandbox.

  • Allisdair Thornbury, Vic
    June 11, 2013 10:13 p.m.

    What is funny is every few days out comes another editorial, then deniers and supporters man the trenches for the normal exchange of fire. No territory gained as the deniers trot out the normal half truths.

    David Folland recommended a Carbon Tax to charge users for the hidden costs of burning Fossil Fuels just like a “Toll Way”. Deniers say why should we be first to pay a realistic cost for using fossil fuels forgetting: -

    CHINA seven key cities and provinces introduce a Carbon Tax from 2013, covering 250,000,000 people, nation-wide after 2015

    CANADA, Quebec and British Columbia have existing carbon taxes

    INDIA, tax on coal since July 2010

    SOUTH KOREA, emissions trading scheme from January 2015

    JAPAN October 2012 introduced a carbon tax

    EUROPE - emissions trading scheme began in 2005 covering 27 countries. Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and UK have carbon taxes

    IRELAND A tax on oil and gas came into effect in 2010

    COSTA RICA, enacted a tax on carbon pollution 1997

    SOUTH AFRICA is planning to introduce a carbon tax from 2013

    AUSTRALIA introduced a Carbon Tax in 2012

    NEW ZEALAND set up an emissions trading scheme in 2008

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    June 12, 2013 5:43 a.m.

    No, it’s not an urgent issue. It’s foolish to divert large amounts of finite resources to attack a bogeyman (man-made global warming/climate change) that is a dubious theory at best. Scientists such as James Hansen should be ignored, because they practice climate alarmism, not science.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    June 12, 2013 6:36 a.m.

    @Allisdair - not everyone is in it simply to assert a political position. Comparing Dr. James Hansen's adjustment of data with Dr. John Christy's careful handling of satellite data, it's not difficult to prefer the latter. Dr. Gavin Schmidt's refusal to debate - or even share the stage with - Dr. Roy Spencer, inclines one to believe the latter is acting as a scientist might be expected to act, while the former is not. Comparing Dr. Richard Lindzen's credentials with those of Dr. Michael Mann, it is another easy choice. And look at the spokesmodels for the two sides - it's much easier to side with Christopher Monckton, who can do the math, carry on an intelligent conversation, and welcomes debate, as opposed to Al Gore, who won't allow the press into his speeches, can't do the math, lives a high-carbon lifestyle, and is the only one in the entire landscape who actually has significant ties to and has received Big Money from Big Oil.

    And since nobody has successfully correlated temperature to CO2 in the empirical data, it's pretty obvious that CO2 isn't a problem.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    June 12, 2013 7:20 a.m.

    @Ernest T. Bass

    Facts:

    1- During previous ice ages, CO2 levels were between 4000 and 8000 ppm; far above Al Gore’s histrionic 400 ppm levels. Despite bullying to the contrary, there is no clear cut correlation between CO2 levels and global temperature.
    2- Humans are emitting huge amounts of gunk into the air that should be cleaned up, but carbon dioxide is NOT a poison any more than water is: particulates and carbon monoxide are more immediately dangerous.
    3- Science is all about questioning: those who claim that anyone who questions unyielding politically correct dogma can only do so because they listen to “hate radio”, immediately lose credibility.

    One possible conclusion: Global warming fundamentalists are not very scientific



    @Tyler D

    I agree that we should all do our best to keep the environment clean. However; to use your own terminology: I am tired of the usual players spouting the same old talking points, half-truths, and even bold face lies promoting over-the-top hysteria; since evidence that contradicts fundamentalist scare tactics and bullying is out there for anyone with an inquiring mind to easily see. NOT questioning is inherently anti-scientific.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    June 12, 2013 7:23 a.m.

    "Scientists such as James Hansen should be ignored, because they practice climate alarmism, not science."

    Well that's a smear on James Hansen's character. Do you have anything at all to back it up? I mean other then because Glenn Beck or Limbaugh told you?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    June 12, 2013 8:06 a.m.

    Re: "Deniers say why should we be first to pay a realistic cost for using fossil fuels . . . ."

    Thanks for making my point! Untold billions flushed down that giant "green" toilet. To what effect?

    Are atmospheric carbon levels retreating? No.

    And, even if they did, has anyone ever demonstrated to any meaningful level of certainty that it would have any effect on global climate? No.

    But, there have been effects. Progress on feeding hungry children has slowed significantly since 2008.

    The best indicator of global child-nutrition levels is the state of the global economy. And, since, one of the most potent economy killers is high-priced energy, how many of the 2.6 million children that died of nutrition-related causes last year could have been saved if deranged energy-related taxation were not such a huge anchor, preventing economic growth? Of if those untold billions had been properly directed to those most in need?

    The original article's author would do well to look to his Hippocratic Oath -- "first, do no harm."

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    June 12, 2013 10:09 a.m.

    Just a temperature please? And why the temperature is the right one? Species extinctions, rising sea levels are not arguments to support a temperature. Extinctions have been going on for millions of years, sea levels have risen and subsided for millions of years, temperatures have risen and fallen for millions of years. With the increase of CO2, arid regions in the world have had a 11% increase in greening, implying increases in temperature and CO2 is beneficial. So if you want to presume to be God and control the earth, what temperature? All the efforts to control, and the only hype is the temperature is going up, we have to stop it, implies theorists must have a temperature they are trying to lock into. The IPPC chairman said, the only reason for the Carbon Tax is wealth redistribution. That means politicians and their cronies get really rich and the poor get really poor. This is the third time posting with the question, "what is the correct temperature and why?" Surely, with 99% on board they know the correct temperature to lock into. What is it?

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    June 12, 2013 11:50 a.m.

    @jsf – “All the efforts to control, and the only hype is the temperature is going up, we have to stop it, implies theorists must have a temperature they are trying to lock into.”

    This is a false argument…

    What scientists are really arguing against is non-natural changes in climate (i.e., AGW) that occur relatively fast in terms of geologic time. And especially damaging is when these changes are driven by sustained and ever growing actions, which is quite different that the one-off anomalies (e.g., volcanos, meteors, etc…) that have sometimes driven climate fluctuations in the past.

    For me, it comes down to two things –

    Do you trust God/Nature to regulate the climate by natural means or do you trust that man can do anything to upset this balance without consequence (and 97% of climate scientists assert we are upsetting the balancing at a growing rate)?

    If you think the later, are you willing to take the risks with the only home we have understanding that the risks could be anywhere from benign to catastrophic?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    June 12, 2013 12:49 p.m.

    Re: ". . . are you willing to take the risks with the only home we have understanding that the risks could be anywhere from benign to catastrophic?"

    There's the nub of the problem -- radical liberal greenies are completely unwilling to consider the risks on the other side. They're perfectly willing to destroy economies [which would be devastating to nearly all environmental programs], waste resources, and limit freedoms, with not the first thought for even first-order effects, let alone second and third-order catastrophes.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    June 12, 2013 2:38 p.m.

    Science and politics are too mixed up in this whole debate. Both sides have been "bunked" and "de-bunked". Rush and Glenns scientists might be just as correct as Al Gores. What I want are scientists who agree that 2+2 equals 4 regardless of politics. Until then, you can drive your green electric, and I'll live a 12 MPG life.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    June 12, 2013 2:58 p.m.

    @procuradorfiscal – “radical liberal greenies… They're perfectly willing to destroy economies.”

    That’s a fair point (giving you the benefit of the doubt that this is not just another Limbaugh inspired red herring).

    So here’s an idea – let’s not let the “radical liberal greenies” make policy on this issue. Why not turn to the same conservative think tanks that gave us cap & trade (which worked brilliantly for acid rain) or other market based approaches that would be at worst economically neutral?

    Would you be on board then?

    Most scientists think that in 100 years (assuming we make it that far) the Sun will be our primary source of energy and will be perhaps the greatest economic boon the world has ever seen.

    Why not do a bunch of things today that we should be doing anyway – things like researching the technology that could shrink that 100 year time-line down a few decades, promoting energy efficiency, becoming more energy independent (with the huge added benefit of reducing the influence of petro-oligarchs and countries that don’t like us), reducing pollution in general, etc…

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    June 13, 2013 11:49 p.m.

    Isn't carbon dioxide used by trees and other plant life to produce much needed oxygen. Just wondering why we fear it so much since it is actually part of the chain that sustains us all.