Subtitle: “Hey, kids! Guess what time it is?”
”It’s Ecocidal Time, it’s Ecocidal Time!”
Commenting on a guest post by Ron Gremban to Green Car Congress, Bill Young responded to an uneducated objection to arguments from climate scientists with the following, which is well worth repeating:
Regardless of whether you believe an observational science to be true science, it is indisputable that humankind is pumping CO2 into the atmosphere and atmospheric CO2 is increasing. There is laboratory science which shows that CO2 is essentially opaque to infrared radiation. Global warming can be reasonably hypothesized merely based on these two factors. (This hypothesis was first presented over 100 years ago by August Arrhenius.)
Those who model the atmosphere, whom you claim are not doing ‘real’ science, use a multitude of factors and interactions in their attempt to do so rather than just these two.
Humanity is faced with a decision based on the increasing atmospheric CO2.
- 1. There is warming in the pipeline, like it or not. Today (pt. A) lies far outside the cluster of data points from the Vostok core. Those points represent a rough historical relationship between temperature presuming the climate is at equilibrium. Right now, we are experiencing what climate modelers call the transient response to CO2 forcing. If CO2 concentrations froze now, global temperatures would continue to rise until the climate reached equilibrium
- 2. That equilibrium point lies outside any experience the planet has had in the past 420,000 years, even without any future increase in greenhouse gas concentrations (as the current CO2 level is unprecedented). A further increase places the planet in an even farther outside the envelope of anything in the “recent” geological record, to use a geologists warped definition of the word recent.
- Do a variety of actions to try and reduce the rate of increase of atmospheric CO2 or possibly to reverse it. For society to do these actions will cost money and be disruptive. If global warming is real and environmentally disadvantageous, this choice will minimize the adverse effect. If GW is not real the money will have been wasted.
- Do not restrain CO2 emissions. Obviously, if global warming is not true, this is the wiser choice. If GW is real and disadvantageous, this choice maximizes the adverse environmental and social impact of GW.
Economists with the UN have projected that atmospheric CO2 can be stabilized at the current level for about 1% of world economic output. This gives an order of magnitude cost for option 1.
What are the costs of being wrong when you say CO2 does not cause GW? Some of the possible consequences of option 2 being incorrect:
The IPCC (Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change) has declared that global warming is ‘unequivocal’ and that human activity has played a significant role in these changes. Of course, some in government know on which side their bread is buttered (whatever that means), It is the side other than to which we would equate Justice and Environment. It is on the cide of killing a planet-wide ecosystem.
- Acidification of the oceans and collapse of fisheries.
- Desertification of the US midwest, currently the national breadbasket.
- Elimination of spring and summer snowmelt in the Rocky Mountains with resulting dramatic reduction of surface water for communities both east and west of the Rockies. Possible collapse of agriculture in irrigated California.
- Loss of land to sea level rising, particularly in low lying places such as Florida and Bangladesh.
- Possible disruption of the Gulf Stream with resulting collapse of agriculture in northern Europe and western Asia.
- Shifting the timing and severity of the Indian monsoons with adverse effects on agriculture in that country.
- Melting of the tundra permafrost in Alaska, northern Canada and Siberia with defrosting of methane hydrate and massive releases of methane.
I believe even for a GW skeptic, a serious investment in CO2 reduction is a good bet.