Romm on the Top 10 Global Warming Stories of 2008

Good, if depressing, stuff from Joseph Romm: The top 10 global warming stories of 2008.

18 Responses to “Romm on the Top 10 Global Warming Stories of 2008”

  1. shcb Says:

    And you’re not skeptical about this?

  2. jbc Says:

    No. My version of skepticism operates as actual skepticism, meaning it directs me to examine the available evidence as a means of determining truth. That examination supports the view that anthropogenic climate change is real, and happening now, and will have effects that can best be summarized as, “Yea, verily, we and our descendants are almost certainly befucked, and shall be unto the five hundredth generation.”

    I also believe that such befuckedness will be enhanced to the extent that global warming denialism succeeds in passing itself off as skepticism.

    So again, no, I’m not particularly skeptical about this, at least as I infer what I think you mean when you use the words “skeptical” and “this”.

  3. shcb Says:

    Huh, so it doesn’t bother you that we only have a couple years to fix this (2012, what else happens in 2012, hmmm). You guys have the helm, suck the economy dry, at some point you have to ask yourself why are we calling it climate change instead of global warming now. Answer: we are cresting and starting to cool. I even heard someone say the other day that this cooling trend is proof of global warming…. Ok…..

  4. jbc Says:

    You’re free to attribute whatever beliefs you want to me. Your attributing those beliefs doesn’t actually change what I believe, but just as with “global warming” (which I use as shorthand, not because it requires that every effect of anthropogenic climate change manifest as locally measured warming), I’m not going to be too surprised if you (like me, and Romm, and everyone else, to some degree) exhibit an epistemology that works roughly like this:

    1) Examine a situation from an a priori position that is heavily slanted based on one’s existing politics.

    2) Cherry pick a few facts that support one’s pre-existing conclusions.

    3) Share a few high-fives with oneself, and move on.

    I don’t think Joseph Romm is necessarily right about everything he ever says. It bothers me a little when debunkers get up a good head of steam, because I think it’s human nature to demonize one’s opponent, and I also think that the truth is a delicate butterfly (hm. or a snowflake? pick your own metaphor to convey delicacy), and it is easily crushed (melted?) when you start throwing righteous beliefs around too cavalierly.

    I also genuinely like the fact that you contribute in the comments here, and help keep things interesting, even if I mostly skip over the back-and-forth after the third or fourth round. But I think your epistemology needs some work.

    We all do it. And maybe your failings are particularly obvious to me because of the differences in our starting points. Just like, I guess, it’s especially obvious to you when I do the same thing.

  5. shcb Says:

    I understand what you are saying. The last time I saw my grandfather a couple weeks before he died I told him I was moving to Denver, this was 30 years ago. He was the kindest man I ever knew and yet he said as he lay there dying that he hoped it wouldn’t work out for me, he hoped I would fail and have to move back home because that was where I belonged “we’re country people we don’t belong in the city”. He didn’t know anything else than farm life and to him that was the only kind of life to live. I thought of him a silly old man as I made a life in the city until one day I realized I had always lived on the very outskirts of the city, as close to the country as I could get. So while he was wrong, he was also right.

    There are many aspects of this current climate change hysteria that are good, sustainability, recycling where it makes sense, reusing instead of recycling, some forms of alternative energies. These are just old common sense things that need to be done, but when you yell fire in a crowded theater when someone lights a cigarette someone is needlessly going to get hurt.

  6. NorthernLite Says:

    Get used to the following phrase, you’re going to start hearing it a lot:

    “We need to impose a tax on the things we want less of (pollution and carbon dioxide) and reduce taxes on things we want more of (income and jobs).”

    Whether you believe the science or not, it’s hard to argue with a statement like that.

  7. NorthernLite Says:

    Oh and btw, if the earth is in a “cooling phase”, why are the polar ice caps melting at an accelerating pace? Come visit Northern Canada and see some facts first hand, then we’ll talk.

  8. shcb Says:


    Of course what you tax you get less of, I have been saying that for years, not that I invented the phrase, it’s old as the hills and just as true. I’m a big supporter of lowering income tax or in this case at least making the Bush tax cuts permanent and lowering corporate and capital gains taxes (income and jobs) glad to see you are finally coming around from the dark side to the light.

    If you impose a confiscatory tax on say new coal plants like Obama has said he will do, I believe his words were “if you want to build a coal fired plant that is fine but we will tax you into bankruptcy” then you will force power companies to use a different source of power. If that source of power is more expensive than coal the consumer will pay more, you could make a good argument that that is a tax increase since the rise in prices was due to government regulation. Then you need to weigh the outcome with the cost, if manmade global warming is a farce you have made a big bo bo.

    From what I understand the global ice caps melting is overblown, there is ice being formed over hear and ice melting over there, but people like AlGore are only telling you about the ice over there. No one (of any credibility) is disputing the earth is going through a change, it always does. We have been coming out of a cooling period for the last century or so and are cresting, the upper atmosphere temperatures are starting to drop but the oceans lag that a bit. We have only been studying things like polar ice caps and upper atmosphere temps for something like 50 years, we just didn’t have the technology before, we are still learning. A thousand years ago Greenland was, well, green. When I flew over it last year it was pretty icy. So it may lose a few feet this hundred years and gain a few in the next hundred, nature can move at a really slow pace.

    What makes me skeptical is when I was a kid pollution was going to bring on global cooling like a nuclear winter (Carl Sagan) then the loss of jungle was the culprit, now it is the tundra giving off methane, I thought it was co2? The earth is warming, but the cooling trend is proof it is warming, The hurricane season of Katrina was proof, and they are only going to get worse, but they haven’t, didn’t hear much about global warming caused hurricanes in the last couple years did you? During Katrina a meteorologist I was watching said the temperature was rising in one area, I don’t remember if it was the north or south Atlantic, this is what is causing this increased activity. Then he said these things run in about 50 year cycles where the north cools for a while and then the south cools, when that interview was repeated later in the day they cut it right before he said it was cyclical, giving you the impression global warming was causing these hurricanes even though he said just the opposite, then they played the cut version over and over.

    I’ll take you up on your off to come up there and see things first hand though, should we do that before or after our Amsterdam trip? Oops, “fact finding mission”

  9. NorthernLite Says:

    I don’t think I have ever met someone with a complete disregard for facts as you have, shcb. I understand your desire to be the “other voice” and I respect that, but dude come on. NASA satellite images clearly show ice caps melting – not growing. Look at pictures of the world’s glaciers over the past 100 years, there is so much evidence to look at if you choose to look instead of relying on lies from conservative hacks who know they have lost this battle and who are now throwing up hail mary’s.

    I’m just thankful that in less than 15 days, action to protect our planet will finally begin and scientific facts will guide public policy. The rest of the civilized world has been waiting for a long time for the US to join us.

    Quite being duped by the coal industry. I know you’re smarter than that. Or were you the type of person who used believe the tobacco industry when they said smoking was harmless?

  10. shcb Says:

    Thank you for the kind words I really appreciate it, the part about me being smarter than that, I am.

    Problem is you aren’t listening to me, happens a lot here. I said the loss of ice is exaggerated, not nonexistent. The earth is in a warming period, we (global warming skeptics) aren’t denying that, we are using the science available. We are just using all the science, not cherry picking. You say I am being duped by the coal industry, are you being duped by the environmental industry? We are just saying that this warming trend is natural, that man made influence is very insignificant, not that it is not nonexistant. 1998 was the warmest year since 1840 when we started keeping track of these things, this was a year of a particularly intense El Nino, since then temperatures have been flat with the last couple years dropping off. We are in no way saying we are positively in a cooling period, a single decade is way too short a time period to definitively say this or that about the global climate, but since Co2 rose 5% in that time and that is what the global warmers say is causing global warming shouldn’t temperatures have risen dramatically?

    This reminds me of the evolution and creation argument. I always wondered why the two can’t coexist. Couldn’t God have just created evolution, then he could just sit on a beach on some far away planet and drink margaritas for few billion years. Does man create a mess, of course, just as any animal does, we just happen to be smart enough to clean it up. Should we get off oil? Sure we should just as we got off wood and whale oil. But let’s do it for the right reasons and let’s do it in an organized, thoughtful manner.

  11. NorthernLite Says:

    You know the craziest thing about this? You’re all scared that if America switches to sustainable energy, cleaner industry, etc. that it will destroy your enonomy. When in fact, Obama is going to save your already destroyed economy by investing in green technology. Deliciously ironic.

    Plus, it’s hard to take economic advice from someone who supports a president that was handed a 200 billion dollar annual budget surplus and is handing off a 1.2 trillion dollar annual budget deficit just eight years later.

    With each day, right-wing conservatives are becoming less and less relevant.

  12. shcb Says:

    You didn’t read a word I wrote did you?

    Obama is going to save our economy with green technology? Do you know anything about economics? I’m certainly going to try and get my little piece of the pie, and a few others will make some money on it, mostly contractors and suppliers to contractors (me) but for the most part the American taxpayer will pay more and not get much.

  13. shcb Says:

    We have infused money into the system already, and it hasn’t helped, at some point it will cause inflation. It hasn’t yet in large part because economies of other countries are retracting as well.

    This is reminiscent of Clinton’s 100,000 new cops, the feds paid for the cop’s wages for the first two years and they paid for some equipment but then the locals had to pay after that, and the reason the locals didn’t have the extra cops in the first place is that they couldn’t afford them. In this case we will be building more schools that will have to be staffed and that staffing expense will be on local taxpayers, the reason they don’t have more schools now is they don’t have the money. Same with energy, if we invest in more windmills to produce electricity less efficiently than coal, in the long run we will have to pay for that more expensive energy, the only two places that money can come from is either taxpayers or consumers, so as long as you aren’t a taxpayer or a consumer your energy costs won’t go up.

    In my particular case we have a product we patented a few years ago that we haven’t released because we couldn’t find a market for it. In the Boston area in the last two years it has maintained a 62 degree temperature in test sheds without any other input in heat throughout the winter. We have decided to cash in on Obama spending federal funds on schools, we figure schools might be a good market, it’s government work so once you’re in you’re in. Now this is an area of funding local and states are better equipped to do but we would have to market this product to many, many people. But now we only have to impress the Chosen One, YES WE CAN! Our guy in Boston designed the product and got it patented, I have to figure a way to manufacture it and my tall Dutch colleague has to figure a way to get the Messiah to pay for it so we can enrich our Netherland residing masters so we can avoid being part of the unemployment figures and maybe even get a modest raise, or at least recoup the 10% cut in pay we received a month or so ago. Myself I’m in it for my ceremonial $1.00 bill for a patent or two.

  14. shcb Says:

    I’ve been reading about Obama’s economic stimulus plan, what a hoot. Now Obama may end up being the best president since Reagan, the bar’s not that high, but when I think of how excited you guys got about him being a new kind of politician that will do things differently I get a chuckle. After 911 Bush decided that the best way to stimulate the economy was to prop up the construction industry by continuing to give loans to people who weren’t credit worthy. Obama’s plan is to prop up the construction industry by eliminating the middle man and just build stuff owned by government. Quite a departure from Bush.

    But the really funny part of the plan is the Making Work Pay part, this is just an extension of the EITC, in one of his campaign publications he was boasting that this would make 10 million voters, oops, taxpayers not be liable for any federal taxes, on second thought I was right the first time, they aren’t taxpayers they are voters, bought and paid for. Anyway the funny part is that when I was Googling Making Work Pay I found that was what Clinton had called his expansion of the EITC in 1992! Same name! it’s one thing for the guy to not have any new ideas, but for Christ’s sake, he can’t even come up with a new name for his socialism? Will he call his version of socialized medicine Hillary Care?

  15. NorthernLite Says:

    Like I told you before, you guys have zero, I say again, zero credibility when it comes to fiscal policy. Absolutley zero. That’s why no one is listening to you. And no none will, for a very, very long time.

    You had your time. It’s over. Now, it’s our time.

  16. shcb Says:

    But didn’t you vote for change? (well, support those that could vote for change). from what I see he is just taking a bit from Bush and a bit from Clinton and not even bothering to change the name and calling it his.

  17. NorthernLite Says:

    Bush opens Gitmo – Obama closes it = Change

    Bush cancels Kyoto – Obama appoints scientists to environmental positions = Change

    Bush screws the middle-class – Obama supports them = Change

    Republican facist in office – Democrat coming in = Change

    I could keep going, but 24 is on.

  18. shcb Says:

    what does that have to do with his stimulus plan?

    but I get your drift, the next question is are the changes you’re talking about changes for the better? I guess we’ll have to wait and see, you guys have the ball, fair and square.

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