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A Stark Warning On Climate Change 926

Posted by Zonk
from the that's-not-good dept.
cliffski writes "In a report based on computer predictions, UK government advisor Professor David King said that an increase of even three degrees Celsius would cause drought and famine and threaten millions of lives The US refuses to cut emissions and those of India and China are rising. A government report based on computer modeling projects a 3C rise would cause a drop worldwide of between 20 and 400 million tonnes in cereal crops, about 400 million more people at risk of hunger and between 1.2bn and 3bn more people at risk of water stress."
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A Stark Warning On Climate Change

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14, 2006 @08:24AM (#15128687)
    You do realise you're comparing the US to third world countries? Why not try a more valid comparison, like Europe?
  • by will_die (586523) on Friday April 14, 2006 @08:35AM (#15128759) Homepage
    It is even more meaningless. According to a scientist interviewed on NPR last week, who talked about localized glacier melting it, even if all humans on earth were to stop all emmisions the temperature would still increase by over 1 degree.
  • by cuzality (696718) on Friday April 14, 2006 @08:41AM (#15128802) Journal
    Climate of Fear [opinionjournal.com] (opinionjournal.com)
    Global-warming alarmists intimidate dissenting scientists into silence.

    BY RICHARD LINDZEN
    Wednesday, April 12, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT
    There have been repeated claims that this past year's hurricane activity was another sign of human-induced climate change. Everything from the heat wave in Paris to heavy snows in Buffalo has been blamed on people burning gasoline to fuel their cars, and coal and natural gas to heat, cool and electrify their homes. Yet how can a barely discernible, one-degree increase in the recorded global mean temperature since the late 19th century possibly gain public acceptance as the source of recent weather catastrophes? And how can it translate into unlikely claims about future catastrophes?

    The answer has much to do with misunderstanding the science of climate, plus a willingness to debase climate science into a triangle of alarmism. Ambiguous scientific statements about climate are hyped by those with a vested interest in alarm, thus raising the political stakes for policy makers who provide funds for more science research to feed more alarm to increase the political stakes. After all, who puts money into science--whether for AIDS, or space, or climate--where there is nothing really alarming? Indeed, the success of climate alarmism can be counted in the increased federal spending on climate research from a few hundred million dollars pre-1990 to $1.7 billion today. It can also be seen in heightened spending on solar, wind, hydrogen, ethanol and clean coal technologies, as well as on other energy-investment decisions.

    But there is a more sinister side to this feeding frenzy. Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis.

    To understand the misconceptions perpetuated about climate science and the climate of intimidation, one needs to grasp some of the complex underlying scientific issues. First, let's start where there is agreement. The public, press and policy makers have been repeatedly told that three claims have widespread scientific support: Global temperature has risen about a degree since the late 19th century; levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have increased by about 30% over the same period; and CO2 should contribute to future warming. These claims are true. However, what the public fails to grasp is that the claims neither constitute support for alarm nor establish man's responsibility for the small amount of warming that has occurred. In fact, those who make the most outlandish claims of alarm are actually demonstrating skepticism of the very science they say supports them. It isn't just that the alarmists are trumpeting model results that we know must be wrong. It is that they are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn't happen even if the models were right as justifying costly policies to try to prevent global warming.

    If the models are correct, global warming reduces the temperature differences between the poles and the equator. When you have less difference in temperature, you have less excitation of extratropical storms, not more. And, in fact, model runs support this conclusion. Alarmists have drawn some support for increased claims of tropical storminess from a casual claim by Sir John Houghton of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that a warmer world would have more evaporation, with latent heat providing more energy for disturbances. The problem with this is that the ability of evaporation to drive tropical storms relies not only on temperature but humidity as well, and calls for drier, less humid air. Claims for starkly higher temperatures are based upon there being more humidity, not less--hardly a case for more storminess with global warming.
  • by nursegirl (914509) on Friday April 14, 2006 @08:46AM (#15128824) Journal
    Part of it is that Canada has signed Kyoto, and we're being blasted by ads every day to join the "one tonne challenge" and decrease each individual's greenhouse gas emissions by one tonne. The government also has put a number of financial incentives in place (home retrofit grants, free vehicle inspection clinics) to encourage people to reduce their greenhouse gases.

    I don't know that it will work - there are a lot of cultural and socioeconomic factors that haven't been addressed. Also, right now the legislation governing corporate pollution is ludicrous. But, Canada doesn't get mentioned in these things because we look like the "good guys" because we signed Kyoto.

  • Reducing Emissions (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Stormcrow309 (590240) on Friday April 14, 2006 @08:46AM (#15128828) Homepage Journal

    Ok, first off, I reduced my individual emissions. I did this by buying a more efficient air conditioner and improving the insulating quality of my house. In addition, I replaced all of my light bulbs with low wattage, long life bulbs. Why? To save money. I reduced my electrical and natural gas costs by 30% per year. That is the financial incentive Americans need.

    Second, the Kyoto Accords are a socialist mandate to hurt highly industrial countries. Have anyone here seen the amount of pollution in Mexico City? How about mandating a reduction in emissions from third world countries' cars? If the US had decided to follow the Kyoto Protocol, we would be one of the few, because the other countries don't care. What about the pollution causes by burning rainforests for planting crops? And we need to cut back on the emissions from Volcanoes. Those things are worse then coal-fired plants.

    Lastly, what about this computer simulation? Is it available to the public? Is it open-sourced? We need to review every line of code to see if the researchers are just trying to grab headlines and research dollars. (Research dollars are smarter then the regular dollars) How about someone researching the researchers and the programmers? What did they base the data on? What is the error-ratio? Does their model predict the past knowns accurately? What has been the error ratio since this model has been created? Where did the input come from?

    Question everything you hear and all that you read. -- Besides me. ;-)

  • by MyNameIsFred (543994) on Friday April 14, 2006 @08:48AM (#15128841)
    Since we know our supplies of fossil fuels are reaching depletion...
    For as long as I can remember, and I am no youngster, fossil fuels have been on the verge of depletion. I can remember in college being shown predictions from before my birth that we were going to run out of fossil fuels in one or two decades. The point my college professor was trying to make was they we have a very poor idea of how much fossil fuel remains.

    In a similar vein, as prices go up, more expensive options open up. Do a Google on oil sands or shale oil. More expensive options than Saudi oil, but lots of fossil fuel remains.

    My point in all of this is that your hypothesis that we are on the verge of depleting fossil fuels is probably incorrect.

    Now watch me get hammered with strawman arguments that I am a Bushie with his head in the sand. Or that I don't believe in global warming. All which is untrue, but watch... :-)

  • Re:Exactly (Score:2, Interesting)

    by eno2001 (527078) on Friday April 14, 2006 @08:55AM (#15128894) Homepage Journal
    Are you nuts? Do you have any idea just how poisonous the foods on American grocer's shelves, dinner tables and especially restaurants are? And we're sharing that crap with the rest of the world. There are so many toxic chemicals, detrimental organisms and carcinogens in our food supply today it's no wonder that we've been seeing massive increases in:

    1. Colitis
    2. Chron's Disease
    3. Colon cancer
    4. ADHD
    5. Autism
    6. Depression

    And that just barely scratches the surface. We've got heavy metals in all of our fish no matter where you get them from which many suspect accounts for the increase in various diseases that affect the developing nervous systems of our children. The hormones we pump into our meat and poultry make it into us and are again suspects for the increases in many immune system disorders and psychological disorders, not to mention the possible cancer link. But I'm willing to bet that you sit down at a nice steak dinner thinking you're eating in style... Keep it up. Eat more steak. We could do with a bit of self-reduced population around here.

    I've been studying diet and the effect of foods on the body for the past few years now and I can safely say that what you eat is literally a matter of life and death and it's much more intricate than just the "food pyramid". Think of the food pyramid as the Windows OS. It works. Just barely. But it's good enough to make people think they're actually getting the most out of their machines. And an actual researched and controlled home made diet is more akin to Unix. It works VERY WELL. It's good for you. It might be harder to do and take up a lot more time, but he end results are far better than what you get from the pap that gets thrown on your plate in even the finest restaurants.

    I'm not kidding you. Take a look at how many foods on the shelves in your grocer's have white processed sugar in them (a substance that's more dangerous than you think if not taken in controlled amounts) that DON'T NEED sugar. Why on earth do they put sugar in canned beans? Why is there sugar in spaghetti sauce? And if there isn't sugar in a food then it's either going to have Nutrasweet or Splenda which are far worse than sugar where your health is concerned. The food production industry as defined by the US is an appalling mess of things that are BAD for you. And we're pushing this crap out to the rest of the world. The food won't kill you right away. It might take decades of decreasing wellness. But, is that any way to live? Why not live a healthful life all the way to your last days by eating REAL food produced the old fashioned way? Oh and who stands to make a lot of money off of the decades of decreasing wellness??? The pharmaceutical industry. Think about how popular medications like "Nexium" (The Purple Pill), "Paxil" and "Ritalin" are. If I wore a tin foil hat I'd make a connection but I draw the line there. I do find it very interesting though that the makers of artificial sweeteners that are bad for you (Nutrasweet et al) are pharmaceutical companies. Even more interesting is that a natural alternative sweetener was illegal in this country until 1997. It was made illegal because a nameless artifical sweetener comapany requested that it be outlawed just before Nutrasweet was approved for public consumption in the 80s. I leave you to draw your own conclusions. More and better foods worldwide, huh? Yeah and Bush is the saviour of the world.
  • The deuce you say?! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by argStyopa (232550) on Friday April 14, 2006 @09:17AM (#15129014) Journal
    Computer models predict it? COMPUTER models? Head for the hills!

    Oh wait, there's a little principle called GIGO that's been with us for ages:
    Table 6.1 of Chapter 6 in Houghton et al 1996 (Kattenberg et al., Projections of Future Climate) gives a range of --0.8 C to -1.6C as the calculated temperature reduction during the last century due to sulphate aerosols. Since this represented 29% of the warming to doubling of carbon dioxide, the range of adjustment to the climate sensitivity for 100% warming (climate sensitivity) if the effects of aerosols increase at the same rate, is -2.8C to -5.5C. The adjusted IPCC climate sensitivity range now becomes -4.0C to +1.7C, with the "Best Estimate" in the range -3.0C to -0.3C. The range covers the established "Best Fit" value of 0.8C ± 0.6C, but, this time, at the upper end of the calculated range. The range places predominance on negative predicted values of climate sensitivity.

    From http://www.john-daly.com/bull-123.htm [john-daly.com] :
    The IPCC, in Chapter 6 of Climate Change 1995 (Kattenberg et al) make two alternative assumptions for the future behaviour of sulphate aerosols for their future projections to 2100. One assumes a moderate continued increase in aerosols and the other that aerosol values will remain constant at 1990 levels,. If it is assumed that aerosols remain constant up to the doubling of carbon dioxide, then the modifications to the range of climate sensitivity are -0.8C to -1.6C, giving a revised IPCC range of -0.1C to +3.7C, with a "Best Estimate" at 0.9C to -1.7C. This time the "Best Estimate" almost equals the "Best Fit" from the temperature data, at its lower end. The IPCC avoids admitting that the models can predict a zero temperature change or a temperature drop by selecting a figure for the sulphate aerosol effect which is above the extreme high figure, for the future predictions.


    So essentially the 'models' 'predicting' global warming actually only predict climate CHANGE (wow, surprising to anybody?), and bias upward when the base assumptions predict inputs far outside the high-extremes observed so far.

    RIGHT.

    All I can say is that it must be a bloody disaster, if New York city's temperatures were to rise in 100 years....to almost the level they were 180 years ago: http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/425725030010. 2.1.gif [junkscience.com]

    New York Times 1956: "ICE AGE PREDICTED IN GLACIER STUDY"
    1968: "NEW STUDIES POINT TO ICE AGE AGAIN"
    1933: "America in Longest Warm Spell Since 1776"
    Sept. 14, 1975 NYT editorial: global cooling "may mark the return to another ice age," that "a major cooling of the climate is widely considered inevitable" and that it was "well established" that the Northern Hemisphere's climate "has been getting cooler since about 1950."
  • by IflyRC (956454) on Friday April 14, 2006 @09:32AM (#15129123)
    Australia also was a country that did not sign the Kyoto Protocol. I find it strange we don't hear how they are an evil nation contributing to the demise of our planet's climate..

    Keep in mind that the hole in the o-zone layer down in the southern hemisphere has a greater effect on Australia than anywhere on Earth (except for Antarctica). So if the treaty was really worth something, it seems they would be a country more than willing to sign, uphold and promote it.
  • by dpilot (134227) on Friday April 14, 2006 @09:43AM (#15129216) Homepage Journal
    >I used to really worry about China owning so much of the US debt, and how they had us by the balls until I realized we
    >have them in nearly the same situation. If China were to dump all it's US debt and force our interest rates to sky rocket,
    >basically crushing the US economy, it hurts them just as much. They are killing one of their biggest customers at that
    >point. I guess they could just say screw it and do something like that anyways and play the odds that they come out ahead
    >at the end of the day.

    Except things are changing. US corporations are not just looking to China as a source of cheap labor any more, they're starting to look at them as the next big market. As their level of economic development rises, China will become its own biggest customer, and at that point they could well afford to jettison their US debt and crush our economny.

    I remember hearing once that China could absorb EVERY job in the US, and still have an unemployment problem. It's a simple matter of numbers - they have over 4X the population of the US. Assuming they manage to modernize their country, and we appear to be doing about all we can to help them, they WILL have the largest economy in the world.
  • by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich@@@aol...com> on Friday April 14, 2006 @09:50AM (#15129277) Journal
    Is that why in 1998 the WHO found that 7 of the 10 worst polluted cities in the world are in China? I didn't see any data on your science mag site that supports your claim that the downward trend in Chinese CO2 emissions is still falling. Can you present some credible data to support that claim, or was it just knee-jerk leftism on your part to support your agenda?

    Here are some facts:

    China has no emission reduction requirements under Kyoto (source: The Kyoto Protocol)
    China is the second leading CO2 producer in the world (source: US Dept. of Energy)
    China is building 562 new coal-fired electricity plants by 2012 (Source, The McIlvaine Company, Northfield IL)

    Also, China is projected to exceed CO2 emissions of the US in the next couple of years (according to Robert McIlvaine, who makes his living doing market research in energy production). Yet, strangely, China has absolutely no obligations to reduce CO2 emissions. What's worse, the countries that ARE obligated under Kyoto are also obligated to pay the cost for China to implement emissions controls as they "develop."

  • by milimetric (840694) on Friday April 14, 2006 @09:52AM (#15129299) Journal
    That's a very interesting point you make, and I'd like to rant on a couple of tangents:

    1.) Very interesting that you mention obesity. I just ran through my mind the ways that obesity influence our society's use of energy
      - eat more food which creates demand for more water to feed crop and animals and gas for shipping that food and restaurants and stores that distribute it.
      - weigh more which causes tons of problems (no pun intended) - cars use more power to transport obese people, elevators use more power to lift them, buses and subways, etc.
      - create more waste like trash that needs to be disposed in plastic bags that use petroleum and by trucks that consume fuel, more human waste that needs to be handled by and water purifiers or just dumped into our ecosystem.

    These may not seem like a lot, but in Michigan, the state I come from obesity is over 50% and all those little tiny differences added up mean a lot.

    2.) What makes you think that it's unfair? I mean, we are using an immensely disproportionate amount of energy and it's all so that we can get wealthier and have more comforts. I'm not sure that human polution makes any difference in the world's climate. But if it does, Kyoto is certainly not unfair. It proportionately assigns blame. I think disproportionate fault warrants disproportionate blame, like the U.S. should be even MORE accountable. In the end though, countries around the world that are much worse off than us are thinking about how to help the environment. Whether or not it will help appease the gods of climate change, we should do whatever is in our power just because it's the right thing to do. Since we have disproportionate wealth and power, we should do more than the other countries, not less.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14, 2006 @09:52AM (#15129300)
    Energy consumption, million tonnes oil equivalent 2004 [geohive.com]:

    USA: 2,331.6
    China: 1,386.2
    India: 375.8

    Population of the World:
    USA: 300 million
    China: 1300 million
    India: 1000 million

    Comparative energy consumption per individual:
    USA: 7.7
    China: 1.1
    India: 0.4

    Globalization leads to the equalization of energy consumption per individual around the world. Americans had their industrialization, China is well on the way and India is just getting started based on these numbers.

    Now, what is so unfair about the Kyoto to Americans?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14, 2006 @09:55AM (#15129325)
    I know I'm stepping on the toes of members of the Religion of Global Warming, but please, how about some honesty? The US has successfully cut emissions by a greater margin than European countries -- countries which are still struggling to reach the Kyoto goals they set for themselves.

    Just because we reject an asinine protocol that would do little more than ruin our economy and prop up China, India, and the rest of the world, does not mean we "refuse to cut emissions."

    That is all. You may continue with your "US = evil" brainwashing. Good luck.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 14, 2006 @09:58AM (#15129359)
    So, in the face of mass starvation and dehydration, we're going to sit around and bicker about how unfair it is that some people will have to cut back more than others, and refuse to do anything at all in the hopes that maybe the problem will take care of itself.

    The worst of it is that of course it's going to be the least of us who are the first to die.
  • by bigpat (158134) on Friday April 14, 2006 @10:12AM (#15129489)
    Pointless SUVs carrying around just 1 person most of the time pisses me off when I see them on the road.

    How about a simple idea then, insure the driver and not the vehicle. Most people that need an SUV, for legitmate reasons simply can't afford to buy another car and insure it for one to two thousand dollars a year extra. You could buy a second hand car for less than the cost of insurance for one year. I think plenty of people driving big SUVs would be quite happy to drive pipsqueek cars half the time as it would probably save them about $1300 per year, given some ballpark estimations. But if you have a lot of kids, a boat, a contracting business, do a lot of outdoor activities you quite simply need an SUV at least part of the time and the savings of $1300 means you merely break even with the cost of insuring a second more fuel efficient car. And that is only counting operational and not the capital cost of the vehicle. So simple economics, under current US motor vehicle laws, dictate that if you need an SUV even just every couple weeks or every week, then you are better off just driving it all the time.

    Sure there are some people that maybe just need an SUV once or twice a year, and they would probably be better off renting. And some people in the 90s probably were just getting SUVs, just in case they ever did get a boat or married a supermodel and had 5 kids. At $0.90 a gallon 5 or 6 years ago, why the heck not? But do you really think the majority of SUV owners are getting SUVs now merely out of their own vanity?

    But your attitude, which is common amongst the do nothing, do gooder class, is that if it is good for you then it must be good for everyone. It is a false premise. You might as well get pissed about the city running buses with just one or two people in them. Maybe they should just make them walk home if it isn't economical to run the Bus or maybe they should change the route. But maybe nobody would take the bus at all if they couldn't rely on it being there later to pick them up. Sure these things should be looked at with discerning eye, but the overall efficiency must be considered. Otherwise you will be falling into the same trap as armchair efficiency experts everywhere.

  • by Nasarius (593729) on Friday April 14, 2006 @10:15AM (#15129512)
    I've been asking around for some time, and I've even done some literature searching myself (and found some really strange stuff, like "Application of Bayesian network to the probabilistic risk assessment of nuclear waste disposal"), but I haven't gotten a satisfactory answer yet:

    I'd like to see a complete listing of the wastes produced by a modern fission reactor. As a bonus, I'd like to see exactly what plans there are to dispose of it.

    Because: "However, at the rate waste is produced by the existing fleet of nuclear reactors in the US, new repository capacity equal to the statutory capacity of the yet-to-open Yucca Mountain would be needed about every 20 years." (Venneri, F; et al. NUCLEAR ENERGY-JOURNAL OF THE BRITISH NUCLEAR ENERGY SOCIETY 41 (3): 223-224 JUN 2002)

  • by The Fun Guy (21791) on Friday April 14, 2006 @10:23AM (#15129590) Homepage Journal
    I started drinking when this party first started.

    At first, I was just a little tipsy.

    Now, I am quite drunk.

    In fact, even though most of the other people at this party are also drunk, I am by far the drunkest (although the guys who just showed up are doing their best to catch up by sucking it down hard).

    If we all keep drinking, we will all get even more drunk, and we will eventually get into a fight when the keg runs low, fall down the stairs or otherwise hurt each other and probably trash this apartment.

    If we all agree to stop drinking right now, we will all still be quite drunk for quite some time.

    Even if we all agree to moderate our drinking to just maintain the buzz at its current level, I don't believe those guys when they say that they'll stop drinking if I do. They'll probably wait for me to stop, then keep hitting the keg when I'm not looking.

    There's only so much beer in the keg, so even if we all slow down our consumption, it will eventually run out.

    If somebody's going to get the beer, I want it to be me. I want mine while it lasts.

    Therefore...

    Where's my mug?
  • Playing it safe (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ajpr (921401) on Friday April 14, 2006 @10:55AM (#15129917)
    Why is it with everything BUT climate change we opt to play it safe? When we think we can make a difference on saving lives of people from our nation (whichever that is), we actually try to save them.

    A hospital attempts to save lives of people that are almost certainly going to die (from cancer patients to people with multiple gunshot wounds in the chest), because we know from experience that a small percentage will survive. With terrorism, we play it safe aswell. In general, we play it safe when we _know_ that people will die unless we try to save them. People will get insurance to protect them, even though it's unlikely they will need to claim it. The correlation is that we never play it safe when we haven't experienced terrible loss. We don't see the risk until people start dying.

    Look at NASA's Columbia and there were engineers that were concerned about the risk of the tiles being knocked off. They were pretty much ignored because there are many things that COULD go wrong with a shuttle and you cannot rule everything out. The lesson we learned from that is that we cannot decide the probability of something happening before it has happened without some sort of similar event occuring in the past. And therefore with climate change, we cannot see the risk. We cannot quantify it as we haven't experienced it yet (well the really bad stuff).

    Every first time disaster follows this process:

    1. Quiet warnings from people with authority(e.g. FBI intelligence in 911 hijackings, engineers in Columbia accident, geologists(?) in Katrina hurricane, going back further the Nazis were warned about in the early 30s but again the politicians weren't concerned)
    2. No-one REALLY listens, because if everyone listened to all the warnings we would never get anywhere, as we'd be busy fixing all possible signs of danger
    3. Lots of people die
    4. Mass reaction and political consensus goes to preventing disaster in first place
    5. Public complains that nothing was done when there were warnings
    6. Systems are setup to investigate why people died, who's responsible, and what we can do in future
    7. Insurance companies put figures to the odds of the disaster occuring again, having investigated all variables that affect the chance of said disaster happening

    The problem obviously is that climate change is on such a large scale that our current way of dealing with disasters just doesn't work. The only way I can think of solving this is to "Play it safe". And then at least we know we did everything we could, rather than looking for people to blame when X% of the world's land mass disappears under the oceans.
  • by spicate (667270) on Friday April 14, 2006 @11:32AM (#15130210)
    I think it should be pointed out again that your numbers seem to be made up:

    Check out the CIA world factbook [cia.gov]. Some quick math shows that in 2001, the US was($12.4 trillion / $59.6 trillion) about 21% of the world GDP.

    If we produce 25% of the world's pollution, as you claim, we are actually not the most efficient - far from it.

    Unless you can pull up some sources, I would say your argument fails.

  • by Riskable (19437) <YouKnowWho@YouKnowWhat.com> on Friday April 14, 2006 @11:40AM (#15130266) Homepage Journal
    The Prius actually goes 0-60 in about ten seconds... Equivalent to a PT Cruiser.

    I used to live in Massachusetts right off of Rt 1 in Danvers. I'd be amazed if there was a road like this anywhere else in the U.S. where you have to merge into 80MPH traffic from a *driveway*. The Prius didn't give me any more or less trouble that my Nissan Maxima did a 0-60 in 7 seconds.

    -Riskable
    http://www.riskable.com/ [riskable.com]
    "I have a license to kill -9"
  • Probably not (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday April 14, 2006 @12:02PM (#15130490)
    One of the disadvantages of being the big kid on the block is the spotlight is always on you, and people always criticize your actions. Many nations signed Kyoto with no intention of really doing what it takes to cut their emissions. The problem is, there's no teeth behind it. You essentially walk on the treaty at any time with no repercussions. There's no sancations, no fines, etc, you just walk on it. They figure, correctly so, that it probably won't be major news. However, the US is major news because, well the US is always major news. It's the only country that people from all over the world are hearing about all the time. So, regardless of how they play the Kyoto cards, it'll be scrutinized the world over.
  • Bullshit Alert (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Yonder Way (603108) on Friday April 14, 2006 @12:33PM (#15130829)
    "The US refuses to cut emissions"

    This is a very typical method used to win someone over to your side. Take a nugget of truth and twist it until it barely resembles the original fact.

    The fact is that the United States has refused to sign onto the Kyoto protocols.

    The other fact is that US auto makers are furious with the Bush administration for recent increases in demands on SUV fuel economy.

    The US has not refused to cut emissions. The US has been, and continues to push forward with emissions controls by its own sovereign processes.

    I will probably be modded down for being an American now.
  • Funding (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Marc2k (221814) on Friday April 14, 2006 @01:44PM (#15131551) Homepage Journal
    The best data has shown that warming is a poor term and ultimately has caused those who use it to lose credibility with much of the scientific community who is not politically motivated.

    Hah! Hahaha! By, "not politically-motivated", you mean the part that doesn't require funding, right?
  • by Alaska Jack (679307) on Friday April 14, 2006 @03:18PM (#15132355) Journal
    I don't get it, Doc - Even the most dire predictions I've seen about Global Warming don't include "the survival of the species as we know it." (unless you count The Day After Tomorrow). Are you seriously proposing that human society as we know it would cease to exist following an average rise of, let's say, 3C in temp?

        - AJ
  • by Alaska Jack (679307) on Friday April 14, 2006 @03:26PM (#15132427) Journal
    5) If "solving" the problem, or a small part of it, would cost an unimaginable amount of resource, convince me that those resources wouldn't be better spent some other way (per Lomborg, for example, providing everyone on earth with clean air, water and shelter).

        - AJ
  • by Ogemaniac (841129) on Friday April 14, 2006 @07:16PM (#15133584)
    would convince you of number two. Number one is rock solid. Number two, however, requires proving a causation, which of course is impossible. And since we do not have ten thousand earths where we can run ten thousand experiments, it isn't even possible to give you a nice statistical analysis to show a correlation.


    We are doing something that by our knowledge of science will cause warming. Warming is happening. That is ALL the evidence we can come up with. That is the nature of geoscience (and astronomy, and history, and much of economics).

Don't sweat it -- it's only ones and zeros. -- P. Skelly

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