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Warmer Oceans linked to Stronger Hurricanes 374

linguizic writes "According to Scientific American, global warming could be creating stronger hurricanes: 'Since the 1970s, ocean surface temperatures around the globe have been on the rise--from one half to one degree Fahrenheit, depending on the region. Last summer, two studies linked this temperature rise to stronger and more frequent hurricanes. Skeptics called other factors into account, such as natural variability, but a new statistical analysis shows that only this sea surface temperature increase explains this trend.'"
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Warmer Oceans linked to Stronger Hurricanes

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  • Um. . .Duh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Limburgher ( 523006 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @04:45PM (#14949118) Homepage Journal
    Didn't we already know this? Was it a total mystery that having a patch of water over which hurricanes generate, say, the Gulf of Mexico, will serve to strengthen them? Was it a total mystery that climate change might bring about nasty consequences?

    Ok, well, for some people [] it was. :)

  • by ChowRiit ( 939581 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @04:48PM (#14949128)
    Warmer sea leads to more viscous water, containing more energy. I don't see why it's any suprise...
  • by hunterx11 ( 778171 ) <> on Saturday March 18, 2006 @04:48PM (#14949133) Homepage Journal
    It sure would be nice if people could discuss science and not politics, especially for something so important. But I'm not holding my breath. Not as bad as evolution debates, I suppose.
  • What now? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gcnaddict ( 841664 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @04:49PM (#14949137)
    Granted the fact that, as someone already mentioned, we already knew this, we still don't have a definite explanation as to why the waters are warming up. Environmentalists say global warming thanks to oil. Oleum (latin for oil... it's where the term "Petroleum" comes from) companies say it's a result of excess water in the atmosphere or that it's part of a constant cycle. Each side needs to defend their cred, but one better turn out to be right, because these hurricanes/cyclones/typhoons are killing more and more people by the year.
  • by faramir_fr ( 831190 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @04:54PM (#14949162) Homepage
    One of the major origin of hurricanes is the ocean temperature. If enough water is above 27C you are likely to see hurricanes poping on the radar. If some still want to believe that it was bad luck/fate/god's vengeance/*pick dump excuse* that braught the south of the USA to the ground... let them do.
  • Re:Um. . .Duh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @04:55PM (#14949165) Homepage Journal
    Well, you may think there's an obvious connection, as do I, but there are still many doubters. The article (which the Slashdot headline, as usual, mischaracterizes) simply reports that there's a little more evidence on one side of the argument.

    Of course, it's all irrelevent if you're already convinced that this whole global warming thing is just a fantasy by tree-huggers and Bush-haters (no pun intended).

  • by amightywind ( 691887 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @04:56PM (#14949171) Journal

    Long term statistics [] suggest that the number of hurrican strikes is at a cyclic low. Kyotoists tend to use sensational single incidents to bolster their hysterical, political claims. Kyoto was rejected because it is an economic Jonestown that will do nothing to affect global warming.

  • by daeg ( 828071 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @05:00PM (#14949183)
    I'm cautious reading stories like these. TFA indicates that statistical analysis says the 1 degree warmer water increases hurricane intensity. That makes sense. Now what can they do with that information? Does it help prediction models? Even if we were a totally rational and science-founded world (which we are not), this study shouldn't sway us either way. Obviously we can't directly control ocean temperature. Can anyone quantify changes humanity can make and implement to lower ocean temperature directly? Nope.

    Maybe the study answers it, but what does the increased temperature do to other weather? Does it change, speed up, or slow down the oceanic currents and trade winds? Is the water temperature becoming less entropic, with higher temperature but smaller surface area or volume, or more? Is the depth of heating increasing or decreasing? "More hot water means stronger hurricanes" doesn't add much to what we already know.

    Obviously more study is warranted before we all go spaztastic.
  • by saforrest ( 184929 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @05:00PM (#14949184) Journal
    It sure would be nice if people could discuss science and not politics, especially for something so important. But I'm not holding my breath.

    Uh, is climate change not a political issue? Should we avoid political discussions whenever an issue is "important"? Seems like a strange idea to me.

    I think what you mean to say is that we should avoid political discussions that consist of braindead mudslinging (e.g. "Everyone who drives a car is a guilty of ecological genocide!", "If you criticize car culture, you're with the terrorists", etc., etc.).
  • Re:Kyoto (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rapierian ( 608068 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @05:03PM (#14949191)
    The Kyoto Protocol always was and always will be useless. Everyone would need to sign the Kyoto treaty some 50 times or so to even NOTICE changes in the environment. Secondly, the way the treaty is arranged no one who's signed it is actually meeting the requirements it sets, they're just trading their excess productions in each field with people who do. So why sign a treaty that's economically damaging since it's so useless? The only thing that will reduce our environmental footprint is creating and using cleaner technologies, and the best way to do that is to have as efficient and powerful an economy as possible, but direct it in the ways that we want to.
  • by atarione ( 601740 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @05:10PM (#14949228)
    ~~~~ Curry says. Her team will now focus on clarifying the mechanisms at work in the North Atlantic by separating out the 75-year natural cycle and climate change. "The last peak was in 1950, the next is in 2025," she adds. "We're only halfway up [the cycle] and we're already 50 percent worse [in terms of storms]. To me, that's a compelling issue that needs to be confronted." ~~~

    as i'm reading this they are saying the storms now are 50% worse than the storms in 1950 (which should have been the high point of storm activity based on natural cycle)... and that the natural cycle would point to natural warming for next 20~years........

    I'm honestly starting to wonder if humanity even has time left to get our stuff together or if we've already taken things to far, with our climate impacting activities.

    I was reading the other day about artic wild life...seals ..etc that were moving further north.. leaving local indiginous people that had lived in the areas affected for well..... a LONG ASS TIME. for the first time w/out the food recourses to survive as they have for centuries...

    human caused global warming is close enough to completely proved for me.
  • Re:Um. . .Duh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by syntaxglitch ( 889367 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @05:15PM (#14949242)
    Didn't we already know this? Was it a total mystery that having a patch of water over which hurricanes generate, say, the Gulf of Mexico, will serve to strengthen them? Was it a total mystery that climate change might bring about nasty consequences?

    None of that was unknown, no, but they're not logically connected by necessity. Global warming is an overall average temperature increase, and is quite capable of lowering average temperatures in some locations. Thus the jump from "global warming" to "zOMG HURRICANES" still strikes me as unlikely, and blaming last season's monsters on it even moreso.

    Oh, and just to make things clear--despite what some people like to think the world IS warming, the only question is by how much and how responsible humans are, and even if it's NOT our fault it isn't going to make our lives any better.

  • by brian0918 ( 638904 ) <> on Saturday March 18, 2006 @05:16PM (#14949249)
    "Warmer sea leads to more viscous water, containing more energy. I don't see why it's any suprise..."

    Warmer doesn't always mean more vicious storms. Uranus and Jupiter have constant winds over 300 mph (500 km/hr), because they have less energy--there is nothing to slow the winds down or dissipate the storms.
  • Re:Um. . .Duh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cluckshot ( 658931 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @05:19PM (#14949262)

    The fact of Global Warming isn't really in question. The place is warming up. The real question is why? There are people who take a warming trend to be evidence of human activity etc. There are others who question that. The rise in temperature really is not in doubt.

    There is extremely good evidence that the process is substantially if not entirely natural. I know that some will argue against this but there are several very good indicators. The sun has gotten brighter and in particularly it has also been much more electrically active in the last few years. There were 2 massive solar flares only a few days before Hurricans Katriana and Rita flared up. Wilma has a strong match to several solar flares.

    I know this ticks off the tree huggers but the process probably is entirely outside human control. Mankind probably has no hope what so ever of stopping or even mitigating the processes. At the same time the Bushies (a religious cult with G W Bush as their God and who live in a Karl Rove induced state of mind.) really cannot excuse off their policy of craping the planet up with their waste.

    The Democratic idiots on this issue and the Republican party idiots both need taken to the wood shed and whacked until dead with a 2x4 spiked with 20 penny nails. Since this is unlikely to happen, we are just going to suffer on.

  • by temojen ( 678985 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @05:22PM (#14949271) Journal

    I don't know what stypraphone is, byut Styrofoam has little to do with global warming. The CFCs used to expand styrofoam until the mid-1980s deplete ozone in the stratosphere. This causes an increase in UV radiation at ground level, not global warming.

    Recycling reduces the energy consumed in industry. On one extreme, aluminum takes huge amounts of energy to smelt from ore, but relatively little to melt and re-cast. On the other, seperating, transporting, and recycling paper products takes slightly more energy than using new material, BUT reduces deforestation, thus preserving the CO2 absorbtion capabilities of the worlds forests.

    Global warming is a global phenomenon, and weather patterns are changing over the whole world. There may be some areas that have lower temperatures, but this does not disprove global warming, since the aggregate temperatures are still higher.

    I suggest you go back to school and get brainwashed with grammer, critical thinking, composition, the scientific method, the meaning of a scientific theory and hypothesis, but mostly critical thinking.

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <> on Saturday March 18, 2006 @05:27PM (#14949302) Journal
    America accounts for 25% of all the world's energy consumption.

    That energy is not all consumed by Americans. Much of it is used in manufacturing products and raising food which is in turn exported all over the world.

  • by Sircus ( 16869 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @05:35PM (#14949341) Homepage

    How your comment should look:

    Seriously, when I was 10, it was easy to tell kids, "Oh, to prevent global warming, don't use Styrofoam", "Oh, recycle!", and "Save the rainforests!". This stuff is brainwashing kids who are so young that they can't form their own opinions. Schools shove their own agenda down the kids' throats until they believe all these crazy theories (especially global warming) which have no merit based upon anything that's going on and (in the case of global warming) has even been proven incorrect in several parts of the world, which have had the lowest temperatures of all time. Obviously global warming's not happening; I'm sick of people teaching theories when there's no proof. Luckily, I've learned the truth, ten years after being brainwashed.
    It's cost me 5 minutes to correct this gibberish. Wasted time, perhaps, considering that all I've ended up with is more grammatically correct gibberish. At least I now know two things I didn't before: a) what kind of person believes global warming isn't happening b) how that idiot got re-elected
  • by Aardpig ( 622459 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @05:36PM (#14949348)
    What, and we can trust the NOAA, after the recent evidence that the administration censors what they say?
  • Re:Um. . .Duh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hazem ( 472289 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @05:38PM (#14949365) Journal
    Global warming is an overall average temperature increase, and is quite capable of lowering average temperatures in some locations.

    The problem is that there have been measured increases in ocean temperatures. Hurricanes require energy to keep going (from a site about El Nino, about 81 degrees F). Warmer oceans mean more energy. It's not much of a leap to link stronger hurricanes with warmer oceans.

  • Re:Kyoto (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Bing Tsher E ( 943915 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @05:48PM (#14949404) Journal
    It's amazing how fully you understand the conservative point of view without even asking any of them.

    I would say "I don't think you get it" but you already used up that line.

    No, I don't fully embrace one 'side' or the other. I think, however, that polarizing dogmatists like you make the discussion worse.
  • by barawn ( 25691 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @05:49PM (#14949405) Homepage
    "We have not observed a long-term increase in the intensity or frequency of Atlantic hurricanes. Actually, 1991-1994 marked the four quietest years on record (back to the mid-1940s) with just less than 4 hurricanes per year.".

    Which is what makes this new study actually news.

    Note that NOAA is saying "we haven't seen a long-term increase in hurricane intensity".

    This study now says "well, now you have, because there is one."

    It should also be noted that this study studied all hurricane regions, not just the Atlantic region.
  • Re:Normal Cycle (Score:4, Insightful)

    by barawn ( 25691 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @05:53PM (#14949427) Homepage
    This is the normal cycle of hurricanes.

    Are you sure? From the article...

    "We're only halfway up [the cycle] and we're already 50 percent worse [in terms of storms]. To me, that's a compelling issue that needs to be confronted."

    Yes. They do, in fact know about the cycle.

    Many scientists have studied past hurricanes

    Yah, sure. That doesn't mean these guys are wrong. Scientists, y'know, discover stuff. And while a link hadn't been found before, it's entirely possible that it has been found now.
  • by WilliamSChips ( 793741 ) <full,infinity&gmail,com> on Saturday March 18, 2006 @05:53PM (#14949428) Journal
    Rush and Sean said so!
    That much, on any controversial issue, is enough to make me think something is false.
  • by metalogic ( 445469 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @05:55PM (#14949436)
    In what way does the table linked suggest "the number of hurrican strikes is at a cyclic low"? Perhaps you haven't notice that all except the last entry are for 10-years periods, while the last is only for 3?
  • Re:Kyoto (Score:3, Insightful)

    by johansalk ( 818687 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @06:11PM (#14949501)
    Hurricanes harm the poor far more than they harm the rich. An unrestrained economy on the other hand benefits the rich far more than it benefits the poor. Even if the US had a thousand hurricanes, the rich won't change their mind on this.
  • Re:Um. . .Duh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GooglePlexity ( 959033 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @06:14PM (#14949518) Homepage
    Then why do the overwhelming majority of climate scientists think that global warming is influenced by human activities? Yes, there are natural trends that cause cyclic temperature change, but in the last 100 or so years, we have seen a dramatic departure from that trend that couldn't be cause by natural effects.
  • Re:Normal Cycle (Score:2, Insightful)

    by anubi ( 640541 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @06:14PM (#14949523) Journal
    Here's the science as I see it.

    Global warming is going to result in more water in the atmosphere, as increased temperature permits air to hold more water. ( Decrease the temperature, as on the surface of a glass of cold beer, and you will see the atmospheric water condense out on the outside of the glass.)

    Water goes through a significant change in volume between the liquid and vapor phase. Enough to explode boilers or vacuum-collapse cans of steam which are capped then cooled.

    Couple the volume change of water passing from the vapor phase to the liquid phase, and throw in the velocity change as polar air is drawn equatorially by the sling of centrifugal force ( as cold air is heavier than hot air - hot air rises ), and you have the makings of hurricanes.

    Remember, polar air is moving about 0 mph at the exact North pole, but will have to be accelerated to ( circumference of the earth/24 hours )MPH as it goes to the equator. We have a significant coriolis effect here.

    I have cited my observation the very laws of physics themselves - which I understand govern this situation. It is my strongest belief that we are indeed making one helluva mess by messing with our planet's thermal systems.

  • Re:Um. . .Duh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GooglePlexity ( 959033 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @06:21PM (#14949547) Homepage
    and even if global warming was not mainly caused by human activity, that doesn't mean we shouldn't do everything possible to slow its rate.
  • Re:Kyoto (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18, 2006 @06:29PM (#14949590)
    "The Kyoto Protocol always was and always will be useless."

    That's oil-company FUD. First: While reducing CO2 emission may not do anything in the next five years, it will do something for long term climate change. CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas because of its quantity. Reducing it will have an effect, just not immediately.

    Second: Russia are meeting their requirements. Those are the only ones I know of, but they're also the only ones I've read about.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18, 2006 @06:38PM (#14949637)
    Yep, Global warming is just a myth until a hurricane hit Washington DC or New York City

    Then you can bet someone will declare, it is global warming
  • by Dr_Ish ( 639005 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @06:39PM (#14949645) Homepage
    Well, as a resident of Louisiana, I can attest that more hurricanes are a bad thing. We were not hit by Katrina, but we had the refugees staying in our houses. New Orleans is still on hell of a mess []. On the other hand, we did get hit somewhat by the hurricane everyone forgets, Rita. That really trashed our coastal parishes and poisoned the land with salt (for details see here []). A warmer Gulf means the risk of more storms and stronger storms. From where we sit, we really do not give a proverbial 'rats arse' about the politics. We just do not want hurricanes. If ANYTHING can be done to lower the temperature of the sea and thereby reduce the risk, I am for it. The politicos like to carp on about the causal link not being proved -- this was the line used by tobacco companies for years. Anyone who knows anything about the philosophy of science knows that it is almost possible to prove causation. What matters is strong correlation. This we seem to have, although I am sure whilst Haliburton runs the Whitehouse, nobody will pay any attention. Sorry, I needed to vent on this...
  • Re:Um. . .Duh? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18, 2006 @06:43PM (#14949660)
    Of course all of this additional warming could be explained by natural causes. Just like if you were to shoot a person to death, it could very well be that in fact they had a heart attack and died of natural causes just before your bullets entered their body. Would that be a reasonable explanation? No. Would anybody but a brainless dingbat believe it? Again, no. So why do all of you brainless dingbats keep repeating that this current warming is natural? Because you are brainless dingbats, thats why.

    Stupidity: it's a renewable resource!
  • Re:Um. . .Duh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by codguy ( 629138 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @06:53PM (#14949717)
    The fact of Global Warming isn't really in question.
    Let me applaud you on getting this correct because some still deny it is even occurring.
    There is extremely good evidence that the process is substantially if not entirely natural.
    But I won't let you get away with this because it is simply incorrect. The vast majority of the scientific community that has studied this has reached the conclusion that it is related to human activity. Even George W. Bush finally admitted before the start of the G8 summit last year that global warming was linked to human activity.

    Science, not just climate science, is overall a very conservative discipline. For the majority of the scientific community to have arrived at the conclusion that our planet is warming related to anthropogenic activity is not simply because a couple of scientists or even hundreds or thousands of scientists have said so. It is because an overwhelming amount of evidence from every corner of the globe has led them to this conclusion.

    Yes, there are still some climate scientists, by far a small minority, that still claim that either global warming is not occurring, or if so, it is not related to human activity. That's ok, that's part of the scientific process, and everybody has a different understanding of reasonable doubt. But as evidence continues to pour in day after day from around the globe, I think eventually even that small majority will have a change of opinion.

  • by 2marcus ( 704338 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @07:05PM (#14949763)
    You might want to check out the analysis [] by Prof. Kerry Emanuel at MIT. If you look at the statistical analysis, there is a very clear link between global hurricane intensity (as measured by area, duration, and wind speed) and ocean temperatures. While there has been no change in global hurricane frequency, Atlantic hurricane frequency _has_ been linked to ocean temperatures. Skeptics are still trying to claim that this is a result of the AMO, but many ocean experts are of the opinion that the AMO is a data artifact and not a good explanation for hurricanes.

    To sum up: the data DO show a change in hurricane patterns. (Of course, if you look at property damage caused by hurricanes, it is skyrocketing mostly because people are dumb and build lots of expensive property by the beach, but that doesn't mean that hurricanes aren't getting worse at the same time as people are building more stuff in their path)

  • by uncadonna ( 85026 ) <> on Saturday March 18, 2006 @07:48PM (#14949965) Homepage Journal
    While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, nobody is entitled to their own facts. (I need an atribution for that; it isn't original.)

    Muddling the population's grasp of the facts is not hard, as there is too much going on for us all to be an expert on everything. It nevertheless is cheating. There is much organized cheating going on, intended to confuse the population. The effects of this cheating are visible in any online conversation where science impinges on policy, and slashdot is hardly immune.

    Whether or not human activity is substantially changing climate, for instance, is not a speculative matter. Its truth or falsehood is established science. Nevertheless there is organized activity to convince you of the plausibility of impossible propositions.

    Splitting the difference is not as reasonable as it might appear, as the side which is lying is totally unconstrained by facts.

    Any debate on whether humanity is substantially changing climate constitutes a failure of the society to use the information it has, of the scientific community to convey it, and of the special interests to restrain vicious antisocial activity on the part of some of its key members.

    I do not specify which side is lying on this matter. It won't be hard for you to track down my opinion, but that's beside the point I'm making here. The point is that we are debating facts and not values or policies, which means that democracy is not functioning effectively.

    This is occurring in the context of a number of similar failures to come to grips with reality in the absurd noise that passes for public discourse in America, and the irresponsible power games that pass for politics. Climate change probably isn't the most harmful case, yet, though it's competitive...

  • Re:Um. . .Duh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by WoodstockJeff ( 568111 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @08:40PM (#14950182) Homepage
    Then why do the overwhelming majority of climate scientists think that global warming is influenced by human activities?

    I don't know - maybe because they are ignoring the evidence NASA has that global warming is also occuring on Mars, which doesn't have any SUVs to speak of, or coal-powered electrical plants, or any of those other nasty human-caused things?

  • Re:Um. . .Duh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Coryoth ( 254751 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @08:45PM (#14950203) Homepage Journal
    You are talking about the last spike in carbon dioxide. How big is that in relation to other spikes found in the ice record and what were their causes?

    The current level of atmospheric carbon dioxide is completely unprecedented in the last 650,000 years - the current spike is twice as large as any previous spike in the last 650,000 years and occurs over a shorter time frame than any previous significant spike. According to historical ice-core records the recent spike really is huge, and really is unprecedented in human history.

    How does this record correlate with the fact that we find evidence warm climate life forms having flourished in now arctic places? Historical records tell of much warmer periods also.

    That depends on exactly what you're talking about. Certainly in the distant past the earht has had much higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and much higher average global temperature - but that really is the distant past. How warm the planet was in the Jurassic certainly tells us the planet as a whole and life in general will deal with whatever happens, but it says very little about what the impacts will be for humans and other creatures currently adapted for the much narrower climate range of the last million years or so, nor what the impacts of the rapidity of the change occuring currently will be.

  • Re:Kyoto (Score:3, Insightful)

    by node 3 ( 115640 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @09:17PM (#14950299)
    Just because something doesn't have guaranteed benefits does not mean there are none.

    Here are three ways that, assuming your assertions are true, it still helps:

    1. Having to trade emission output with other nations is a negative force (you have to negotiate, you may even have to pay), and therefore will want to avoid it. At some point, it will be more cost-effective to actually cut emissions.

    2. Agreeing to it requires a nation to take stock of its contribution to global pollution. This may highlight problems not currently known or well measured. It also puts into place a system of actively addressing the issue of pollution, even if the treaty requires no changes to the nation's current industries.

    3. (And this is the very reason America hasn't signed the treaty) It legitimizes the concern of pollution as a global issue that nations need to work together on. Signing Kyoto sets the stage for the world to address it again and work on Kyoto II. Additionally, you do not know that your assertions are actually true. Your assertions may turn out to be unfounded, but in the case that they are correct, the signatory nations will be motivated to work on another treaty to address those shortcomings.
  • Re:Um. . .Duh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Xyrus ( 755017 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @09:32PM (#14950349) Journal
    "Thus the jump from "global warming" to "zOMG HURRICANES" still strikes me as unlikely..."

    A sea surface temperature increase of even a half-degree represents an enormous enormous amount of additional energy feeding into our planetary weather systems.

    It doesn't strike me as unlikely at all.

  • Re:Um. . .Duh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gutnor ( 872759 ) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @11:04PM (#14950576)
    "I don't think that the humans causation of global warming is an open and shut case to the extent that we should trash our economy on uncertain science."

    Trash our economy ? We don't know if it will *trash* our economy, it will change our economy. But nothing we need to do for this change is actually bad: most efficient energy production, most efficient business processes, less environmental impact, ...

    In fact, I don't understand why people are not happy to have the opportunity (even if later it appears manking had nothing to do with global warming) to dump all the old crap technologies still around by some state-of-the-art solution everywhere ? It would be a good way to use the truckload of overly qualified professionals our "First world" countries produce.

  • Re:Kyoto (Score:3, Insightful)

    by node 3 ( 115640 ) on Sunday March 19, 2006 @12:03AM (#14950724)
    In other words, you agree with me that the Kyoto treaty would have an effect, and disagree with your original statement that "The Kyoto Protocol always was and always will be useless."

    I've pointed out ways it will help, and you've agreed that they would. You still don't think it's worth it, and really, I don't care if you think it's worth it or not. That's your own decision to make. I was only pointing out your premise was demonstrably wrong.

    You can say the Kyoto Protocol doesn't do enough, or that it does more economic harm than it does environmental good. I disagree, but that's another topic altogether. But what you can't say is that it does absolutely no good.

    If the treaty would change absolutely nothing in America (as you claim), then why don't we sign it? It would garner good will, and cost us nothing in return, right? Wrong. The reason we don't sign it is because the Bush administration does not want to legitimize the issue it addresses.

    You mischaracterized my third point. I wasn't talking about "political brownie points" (a belittling term and in poor taste on your part). I wasn't talking about the government paying lip service on the PR front. I was talking about the government agreeing, in a meaningful way, that greenhouse gas emissions is a legitimate global issue that must be taken seriously. Even if the treaty would change nothing in the US, just signing the treaty would mean something, and it would pave the way for Kyoto II.

    The US is not keeping out of the treaty because it would be "useless". No one in the Bush administration is saying, "we really need to do something, but the Kyoto Protocol doesn't do enough". They are saying that it does too much and that we are beholden to no one. Whatever happened to responsibility for our actions?

    Again, I don't care if you agree with my support of the treaty, just don't mischaracterize it.
  • Re:Um. . .Duh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bagsc ( 254194 ) on Sunday March 19, 2006 @12:25AM (#14950776) Journal
    Geologic evidence shows the Earth has a long history of cooling dramatically then heating dramatically in a cycle. I don't know if its our fault (though I'm sure we're helping), but why should we try to alter this part of Nature? The world only has so many resources to throw at this "problem" that no one has ever shown can be "fixed."

    I am all about reducing pollution and improving energy efficiency, but not to impact "climate change." We may have cooled the climate by mass deaths in the Great Plague to create the Little Ice Age - but I doubt it was worth the cost.
  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Sunday March 19, 2006 @12:52AM (#14950855) Journal
    It would seem to me, irregardless of the causes to global warming, and irrespective of whether there is a solution, the industrialized world weening itself of its oil addiction as quickly as possible is a damn good idea.
  • by colmore ( 56499 ) on Sunday March 19, 2006 @03:38AM (#14951156) Journal
    I love how many people on one side of this debate (there are more than two) seem to think investing in new technology and researching effective ways of changing consumption patterns amount to "putting our economy on hold." Talk about futurephobia.

    If I had a cent to invest, I'd be looking for the intersection for emerging consumer economies (that is, formerly 3rd world countries with rapidly growing middle classes) and alternative energy sources, particularly those that will survive increased international pressure as evidence for climate change caused by human carbon emissions masses (the evidence is already pretty rock solid, but as more amasses, fewer and fewer in the international community will be able to ignore it.) So look for zero carbon (wind looks to be the most promising right now) and carbon-neutral (biofuels, you only release as much carbon as what you grew absorbed in its lifetime - as opposed to burning carbon you dig out of the ground) power solutions in the former 3rd world. Invest across a handful of technologies and markets, and you're pretty sure to do well.

    Put our economy on hold? WTF? Things are changing. Economies are always in states of flux. Don't deny science because it might be inconvenient to your pocketbook; reorient your pocketbook to the current situation.
  • Re:Um. . .Duh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Sunday March 19, 2006 @10:45AM (#14951835) Journal
    I don't think that the humans causation of global warming is an open and shut case to the extent that we should trash our economy on uncertain science.

    Amazing that you say this. Historically, change actually helps the economy, not destroys. Consider that when we introduced automobiles followed by roads, we destroyed the horse industry. But how many jobs have been created by automotive industry? Far more than horses would have. Even now, if we were to convert away from Oil and Coal, we would have to move to Nukes, and probably alternatives. In doing so, it would ultimately lower the cost of electricity to what we had eons ago. Why? Because alternative energy is much cheaper. In doing that, we would see automation come on strong. Basically, we would see new industries and a major expansion of jobs.

    As to wrecking an economy, well, it is when you try to keep things static that we destroy it. Look at an dictator who trys to control things; think cuba or old USSR.

    You can not show me any crediable evidence that moving away from Oil/Coal will hurt us long term.

MESSAGE ACKNOWLEDGED -- The Pershing II missiles have been launched.