Top blog postings: IS THE EARTH WARMING?

Revisiting the top 50 blog postings, this one is from February 2009.

IS THE EARTH WARMING?

New studies released over the weekend warn of triggers in the natural environment  – including a green-house time bomb in Canada a nd Siberia – that could   dramatically worsen global warming.

Thawing subactic tundra could unleash billions of tonnes of gases  that have been safely stored in frosty soil, while oceans and forests are becoming less able to suck caron dioxide out of the atmsophere.  Together these phenomena mean more heat-trapping gases will enter the atmosphere which in turn will stoke global warming, thrusting the machinery of climate  change into high gear.

The new estimate of  the total amount of carbon that is frozen in permfrost is in the order of one trillion tonnes.  By comparison the amount of caron dioxide that has been released through the burning of fossil fuels since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution is about 350 billion tonnes.  Thes tundra gases come from the decayed remains of vegetation that dies long ago.

Do these figures of increased global warming concern you?

There is a small coterie who think global warming is a hoax perpetrated by charlatans like Al Gore.

What do you think?

 

Posted by Neil McKenty on February 16, 2009 at 7:05 pm
Filed under current events, Politics  |  Leave a comment  |  Trackback URI

 

39 Comments »

1

pj Says:

The overall climatic warming trend observed over the last five hundred years is a fact. However, the anthropogenic theory of global warming is speculative and based upon insufficient data. The math used to create the models predicting the impact of atmospheric carbon dioxide discharge produce a wide range of potential outcomes including both disaster and benefit. It is significant that we have seen a moderate cooling trend over the last decade. As significant is the discovery that plants increase their use of carbon dioxide, taking advantage of the increased atmospheric levels to speed growth by producing larger leaves. Axial precision, variability of Earth’s orbit and the level of solar activity are incompletely understood contributors to global climate. The argument is not over the facts of the current trend but over the precise causes and our ability to impact the process.

Posted on February 16, 2009 at 7:41 pm e

2

The Commentator Says:

But what if there’s a positive consequence of global warming?

Posted on February 16, 2009 at 8:23 pm e

3

Paul Costopoulos Says:

What is so positive about sinking buildings in Northern Canada and Siberia, disappearing Pacific Island countries and coastal flooding all around our oceans due to rising sea level caused by melting ice caps at both poles?
Of course to few, and fewer, individuals all this is nonsense based on non science. However scientific evidence and observed facts and events pile up and the end result becomes ever more evident, Tony not withstanding.

Posted on February 16, 2009 at 9:00 pm e

4

Tony Kondaks Says:

Neil writes:

There is a small coterie who think global warming is a hoax perpetrated by charlatans like Al Gore.

Actually, it is a quite large “coterie” and getting larger all the time.

There is zero evidence that there is any catastrophic man-made global warming and charlatans like Al Gore are causing horrible burdens for the poor of the world.

Even the pro-global warming crowd at the United Nations released a report claiming that the methane from the livestock industry is much more of a danger than the carbon-release from the burning of fossil fuels.

If people like Al Gore were truly serious about global warming (and not out to make a buck, like Al Gore’s $100 million he has made in green equity), they would stop riding in private jets and stop eating meat.

Posted on February 16, 2009 at 10:15 pm e

5

SUZANNE Says:

We’ll live.

How come we survived the last global warming? We didn’t even have technology to help us.

This is just the secular form of apocalyptism.

Posted on February 17, 2009 at 3:49 am e

6

Paul Costopoulos Says:

Suzanne, the last global warming, some 60 000 to 100 000 years ago brought us out of the last Ice age that ended some 35 000 years ago. It took some 30 000years to bring temperatures up enough to pull back the ice caps where they were about 1 000 years ago. The global temperature has gone up more in the last 150 years than over the last 1 000. There has to be something going on. Apocalypse or Armaghedon, probably not, worrying trend? Certainly. Man made? Partially. We can not control everything but we must look at our role and what can be done about it, even if it hurts.

Posted on February 17, 2009 at 12:10 pm e

7

Peter LeBlanc Says:

Tony, “Methane from the livestock industry is much more of a danger than the carbon release from the burning of fossil fuels” This additional information makes the situation more alarming, not less.

You seem to be against people making a buck, re Al Gore. I am a democratic socialist and thats even left of me. If one person can make a l00 million in green equity, think of how many jobs that creates and the wide support there is for this shift in global consiousness.
Private jets are also on the way out, re., the recent change in the automotive execs.

The poor of the world will suffer even more, if flooding arises from global warming. Suzanne, thats the problem the Rich, us ,We’ll Live”. The rest of the earths population species and poor humans will die.

Pro Life groups need to examine their narrow view of life and see life as a seamlest garment.

Posted on February 17, 2009 at 2:08 pm e

8

Tony Kondaks Says:

Peter writes:

The poor of the world will suffer even more, if flooding arises from global warming.

Sure…if flooding would ever arise…of which there is zero proof that it will occur.

In the meantime, global warming policies are already killing the poor…much of it thanks to that monster, Al Gore.

As for Al Gore making money: I have absolutely no qualms about it. But there is an obvious conflict of interest, one that should be known and factored in to every consideration the public at large takes whenever listening to the words he utters.

Posted on February 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm e

9

Joe Agnost Says:

“there is zero proof that it will occur.”

The only POSSIBLE “proof” will be when (or if) it actually occurs. That is what “proof” is.

What we need to look at is not “proof” but EVIDENCE. The evidence indicates that there is a good chance of more flooding.

Posted on February 17, 2009 at 4:58 pm e

10

The Commentator Says:

I’m with Suzanne. We’ll survive. I’m more worried about the aliens who are getting ready to attack.

Paul, my question is this: what if we gain access to important precious resources? What if there’s new plants and vegetation under all that ice? What if what global warming brings is good for mankind?

Tony, my sister just came back from South Africa. The irony is that environmental policies are killing Africa. That and Western agric. subsidies or course.

Posted on February 17, 2009 at 8:01 pm e

11

Paul Costopoulos Says:

Your question, Commentator has some value. Problem is: does the cost/benefit justify the risk.
I do believe that western agricultural subsidies are more noxious than environmental policies intelligently applied.

Posted on February 17, 2009 at 9:10 pm e

12

Chimera Says:

This is much too complicated a subject for simple Q & A. It’s not simple at all.

And to find the causes (yes, plural) of global warming, I think you need to go back before the Industrial Revolution with its belching smoke stacks…back to whenever it was that Somebody decided that humans were too different from all other animals on earth, and that we didn’t have to abide by the rules of nature under which all the other animals live. To begin with — and this is the most important point — we are the only animal that insists on out-breeding its capacity to feed itself. Then we insist on invading the domains of other animals and eradicating them in order to make room for ourselves. Then we eliminate the natural flora to make room for our own, temporary flora, because we need it in order to eat at all. And because we temporarily have something to eat, we breed even more of ourselves. We spread across the earth like a rash.

We’re not the cause of global warming? Maybe, maybe not, but we’re sure helping it along.

And blaming Al Gore for bringing it to your attention is just shooting the messenger. If he hadn’t said anything, it would still be happening. Except that now, nobody can claim ignorance of the fact, even if you don’t believe in it. Naysayers of the world: You have now been informed. What you do with that information is up to you. But since Al Gore’s book and video were released, you can no longer claim ignorance of the issues.

Oh…I was just wondering…if there is no global warming, what’s melting the ice caps?

Posted on February 17, 2009 at 10:16 pm e

13

Tony Kondaks Says:

Commentator writes:

Tony, my sister just came back from South Africa. The irony is that environmental policies are killing Africa. That and Western agric. subsidies or course.

That fanatics like Al Gore — awash in their big bucks and shielded from the realities of life — have the luxury of waxing fearfully about something of which there is zero evidence (thank you for your correction, Joe) and do so without burning one calorie of energy worrying about the poor in Africa and other countries is criminal.

And the Western agricultural subsidies are made from the same cloth. How dare we call ourselves globalists when, from one side of our mouths, we declare ourselves free-marketers and then, out of the other, provide agricultural subsidies to our domestic farmers which unfairly skewer agricultural markets in our favor…at the expense of the poorest of the poor. Shame on us.

Posted on February 17, 2009 at 10:26 pm e

14

Tony Kondaks Says:

Chimera:

What is melting the polar ice caps?

Activity of the sun.

The same sun whose lesser activities of late have caused the ice to return in those areas.

Posted on February 17, 2009 at 10:27 pm e

15

Paul Costopoulos Says:

Dear Tony, up north it’s winter, down south it’s summer and a huge chunk of the Antarctic is on the verge of sailing away from the continent. Swiss Alps are getting bare of snow and ice as our Rocky’s are. In the mean time, Arizona, Nevada and New-Mexico are fast drying up their meager water reserves. How about stopping irrigating the golf course you live on?

Posted on February 17, 2009 at 10:47 pm e

16

Chimera Says:

“Activity of the sun.”

Nope. The solar energy emitted by the sun has always been there and will always be there as long as the sun burns. Nothing has changed on the sun.

What has changed, though, is the ability of those rays to reach the surface of the earth.

We now receive much more radiation from our star than ever in the history of the earth, because the layers of gases that shield us and reflect that radiation back into space are diminishing and being depleted by our own activities. Emissions from our machines and other activities produce compounds of gases that act as solvents on other gases, making them disappear. We are dissolving the only protection we have against solar radiation. And that is what’s behind global warming.

Posted on February 18, 2009 at 12:40 am e

17

The Commentator Says:

Tony, zero evidence? But what about all those charts and graphs Gore had?

Chimera, I fear we’ll never have any sort of consensus. Heck, we still argue about whether Wayne Gretzky is the greatest hockey player ever! Which of course he was.

Posted on February 18, 2009 at 1:37 am e

18

Peter LeBlanc Says:

I agree, Commentator, that evidence, someone will dispute. I think that is why God, Yaweh, the no name God, doesn’t supply evidence. He,She, doesn’t want to be contained by humans in any particular place. That is why the everywhereness of God is so important.

If a person came back from the dead, most people would refuse to believe it. If God came back from the Dead, most people would refuse to believe it.

Posted on February 18, 2009 at 4:09 pm e

19

Joe Agnost Says:

“If a person came back from the dead…”

People come back from (the?) dead all the time. A person might die on an operating table only to be brought ‘back’ to life. If person’s heart stops beating they are clinically dead but are often brought back to life.

What is your point?

Posted on February 18, 2009 at 4:50 pm e

20

Peter LeBlanc Says:

“If a person came back from the dead”..

Joe, you proved my point. These people were arguably dead by most people.

Posted on February 18, 2009 at 5:03 pm e

21

Joe Agnost Says:

I still don’t get your point… can you make it clearer?

“These people were arguably dead by most people.”

So? What are you saying? Is it that not everybody would agree that these people ~were~ dead?

Posted on February 18, 2009 at 5:13 pm e

22

Peter LeBlanc Says:

Joe, Yes.

Posted on February 18, 2009 at 5:38 pm e

23

Joe Agnost Says:

But there isn’t a belief involved then. It’s ignorance. It isn’t a “belief” that those people died – they died. Medicine and the language of medicine make this a fact – no belief necessary!

That’s the problem with religion – there is no evidence any of it is true. None – it’s ALL belief!

That people die and are brought back is a medical fact.

Posted on February 18, 2009 at 5:43 pm e

24

jim Says:

People who are brought back from the dead are not the same people. If you ask them if this is true, they will agree with you.

Posted on February 18, 2009 at 7:49 pm e

25

Joe Agnost Says:

“People who are brought back from the dead are not the same people.”

What does that even mean? Their DNA changes? Personality? Has this been tested and shown to be true or is it purely anecdotal?

And if it’s true – what does that have to do with what Peter is saying?

Posted on February 18, 2009 at 7:51 pm e

26

Cate McB Says:

Joe,

As an ICU nurse, I’ve been involved in bringing back literally hundreds of people from the “dead”. Certainly, most are not the same people, although different changes will affect different people differently. Although DNA has obviously not changed, some have suffered such irreversible brain injury during the “dead” part &/or the resuscitation part that they are no longer the same people from a cognitive or even a reflex point of view.

Some, as Jim points out, will wake up & agree with you that they are not the same people, but in my experience, these are the lucky (& usually the enlightened) ones. I had one patient who was resuscitated on the squash court, who was so changed in the thankfulness dept. that family & friends hardly recognized him.

And does the anecdotal nature of this “truth” bother me? Not a bit Joe! because I’ve seen it so many times that I don’t need a study to validate my own experience.

Posted on February 18, 2009 at 8:59 pm e

27

Joe Agnost Says:

Thanks for your input Cate!

But how does this tie into what Peter was saying – which (I think) is that it doesn’t matter WHAT the evidence is, somebody will be there to NOT believe it.

I think Peter is mistaking “evidence” with “proof”. Evidence needs to be interpreted, proof does not. You cannot deny 1+1=2 – this I can prove, but you can deny that smoking pot makes you sleepy, this I have evidence for but cannot prove.

When Peter wrote: “I think that is why God (snip snip) doesn’t supply evidence.” he meant PROOF. Unless he agrees with THIS atheist (me) that there is ZERO evidence for god(s).

There is ample evidence that our planet is experiencing a global warming – but is it man-made? I don’t know, but I think there is ample evidence that it’s certianly PARTLY man-made.

Posted on February 18, 2009 at 9:20 pm e

28

Cate McB Says:

Joe,

From what you’ve said, I come away only with the idea that maybe “proof” is merely more convincing “evidence”. Within our western frame of reference, yes, 1+1=2, but from another frame of reference, eg., a Martian’s, or that of someone who doesn’t find mathematics inherently convincing, 1+1 may not equal 2. The key thing is a shared frame of reference. When that is not there, there will be disbelievers of anything, regardless of whether we’re talking about “evidence” or “proof”.

Posted on February 18, 2009 at 9:38 pm e

29

Peter LeBlanc Says:

Cate, 1+1 = 2, is conecptual knowledge. Actual knowledge reveals that 1+1 = 2 and more. If you put a male and female rabbit in a cage and come back a little later. There could be 2 and more.

Jesus, in his wisdom died for three days, before He came back to life. I think he was well aware that evidence and belief are important. I believe there is a God and have ample evidence to support my belief, not my disbelief.

Posted on February 18, 2009 at 11:10 pm e

30

Cate McB Says:

Peter,

You only proved my point yet again. Its all about frames of reference!!!!!!!!!!! as I already said above.

If your frame of reference is conceptual western mathematics, 1+1=2.

If you have another frame, regardless of whether its a Martian one or that of “Actual knowledge” as you call it, 1+1 may even = more than 2.

And if someone shares your point of reference, they may believe what you believe. And if they don’t share your point of reference, they may view your belief with complete disbelief!!!!!!! (whatever your belief may be).

Posted on February 18, 2009 at 11:27 pm e

31

Peter LeBlanc Says:

I believe that people are dead when they are” dead as a doornail”. Whether belief or not I think that goes over in anybodys language. Martian, Christian, or Atheist.

Posted on February 18, 2009 at 11:35 pm e

32

Cate McB Says:

Peter,

Believe it or not, one of the most (if not the most) controversial definitions in our North-American frame of reference is the definition of death.

Posted on February 19, 2009 at 2:27 am e

33

Man of Roma Says:

I liked this whole conversation a lot. You shifted a bit, which is even more fun.

Regards

MoR

Posted on February 19, 2009 at 12:14 pm e

34

Peter LeBlanc Says:

“Believe it or not, one of the most {if not the most} controversial definitions in our North American frame of reference is the definition of death”. I don’t agree with you, Cate, I know when a person is dead, as most people do. And yet Jesus, might agree with you, that is why He remained dead for 3 days, to ensure His Ressurection was well evidenced.

Posted on February 20, 2009 at 11:56 pm e

35

Cate McB Says:

Peter,

A person can be brain dead, but otherwise alive, meaning the organs are being perfused adequately. Some would consider this state death. But is a person dead when they’re brain dead but their heart is still going? Or is “dead” only when the heart stops? For how long & in what situations should we try to get the heart going again? And what criteria of “dead” should we accept for the purposes of organ donation? These are open & quite controversial questions. That’s what I meant.

Posted on February 21, 2009 at 1:12 am e

36

Peter LeBlanc Says:

Cate, the people your are describing are still alive. Medicine has evolved to the point that is confusing people whether they are alive or dead. The classical ethical position in these sisituations is whether or not to
remove life support.

The relatives have to decide, rightly so. Ethicaly speaking from a Roman Catholic perspective is that artificial life support needs only be sustained if precedent has proven results, in a reasonable amount of time. I am 70 years old, give me a week, if I don’t revive, pull the plug.

Peace, Blessings, God is Great.

Posted on February 22, 2009 at 1:21 am e

37

Joe Agnost Says:

Peter: “Jesus, might agree with you, that is why He remained dead for 3 days, to ensure His Ressurection was well evidenced.”

Heeheehee…. sorry Peter – but I had to laugh out loud at your “well evidenced” statement there!

Surely you’re joking no? Or do you truly believe there is strong evidence that JC rose 3 days after dying…. because there isn’t.

Posted on February 23, 2009 at 9:32 pm e

38

Peter LeBlanc Says:

I’m glad you had a good laugh Joe. Your agnosticism is valid in that, in the absence of proof you don’t know, if there is a God.

The Holy Bible and two thousand years of believers is pretty good evidence in my mind.

When a person enters into a Christian belief system, it is based on the gift of Faith.

However, my study of the Christian teachings keeps me in awe of the Wisdom of God in the transmission of knowledge.

God says My ways are not your ways. An example humans are forever trying to destroy evil with more evil. Jesus says the only way to destroy evil is by forgiveness.

Posted on February 24, 2009 at 3:33 pm e

39

Joe Agnost Says:

“The Holy Bible and two thousand years of believers is pretty good evidence in my mind.”

In that case – since this is “evidence” in your mind – what about those thousands of years humans thought lightening was god’s wrath… is that evidence that it’s true?

Right now there are thousands of humans that believe if you kill an innocent jew you will get a bunch of virgins in heaven… that’s been their belief for going on hundreds of years now – does that make it true?

The point I’m making is that just because someone believes something – no matter how much they believe it, or how many thousands of years the beliefs survive – that isn’t evidence that the beliefs are correct.

And the holy bible is evidence to you? Really? It’s filled with contradictions, untruths and cruel mysogynist stories. What, exactly, does THAT prove??

(PS – sorry for ragging on you peter, I do respect your right to believe what you do, I’m just trying to understand why. Peace.)

Posted on February 24, 2009

2 Comments »

  1. 1

    I’m a retired clinical psychologist and now conflict expert…I enjoy very much getting involved in other people’s conflicts and give tools and ideas to
    solve them. Conflicts are great to foster our self-growth!

    so, if you haven’t thought about it before, I’m inviting you to go out and get yourself a good enemy.
    Then, you can get to know yourself, what are your goals in life,
    your values and how to manage real anger in a productive way.

    What else can you wish for? Appreciate your enemy today, for teaching you so many things.
    … And, if you manage to solve the dispute and reconcile, its
    time to find another enemy!

  2. 2
    Lorne Marr Says:

    Well, I believe the latter part was just an argument about semantics and that never ends well. Or with some productive result at least.

    Also, why do people have problems with believing or not believing? If I’m a Christian, God exists even when someone doesn’t believe he does. Duh.


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