Global warming


Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2006
I don't know if this has been discussed before, it probably has. But with the new report being put out yesterday claiming that it's all mankind's fault that there's global warming, I wanted to hear what you thought.

I've heard it said both ways - that global warming is caused by greenhouse gases, brought about by the use of fossil fuels - and that the earth is just going through a cycle of being warmer, like it's done on countless occasions in the past. So, which do you think it is? Our fault, or a cycle?
I believe that it is probably a combination of both mankind and just a cycle that we have no control over. I know that there are some weathermen that have come out the last couple of weeks saying that global warming is more of a cycle that the earth goes throught every so many years.
I have to say I went back and forth on this for awhile before the latest news. Climate science is complicated, and doesn't boil down to something laypeople (like me) can use to predict whats correct. Given that I have to go with the consensus of the scientists who've dedicated their lives to understanding it. So my running assumption has to be that we are materially responsible for the current global warming.

That said, there is a lot of money on BOTH sides of this argument. For each scientist who's directly funded by big oil, there's another one who's grant money depends on him saying something catastrophic is coming. Anyone claiming that climate science is clear cut is selling you a bill of goods.

I wouldn't be surprised if the science does a 180 in the coming decades. I'm not predicting that it will, I just see it as a possibility. The variables are so complex, and the nature of the problem makes it hard to actually test a hypothesis. That makes it extremely difficult to do good, predictive science. All the money and politics on both sides of the arguement further that problem.
I believe that it is probably a combination of both mankind and just a cycle that we have no control over. I know that there are some weathermen that have come out the last couple of weeks saying that global warming is more of a cycle that the earth goes throught every so many years.

That is my understanding as well. Certainly, the earth goes through cycles. However, this is the first cycle where humankind has contributed directly to the escalation of the warming effect. I wonder what we will see happening over the next few decades.
You know reading the above post when you think about it here is a problem that can effect all of us maybe some day and it is still being batted around by the politicians and the big companies. It's sad when you cannot even take the time to listen and see if this is really a problem or not.
I think that what we do DOES affect the earth, I'm just not sure I buy into how MUCH the scientists say it does. To hear them tell it, we're headed for having an el Nino year again. Then a few years down the road, they'll tell us we're going to have to deal with a small ice age. They change their minds more often than my kids do. I don't think they KNOW, I think they're guessing on so much of it.
I think that we just don't know enough to say things very conclusively at the moment. The evidence for global warming stems from this warming-phase getting warmer more quickly than other warming phases.
My bottom line: we're going to have to do something about it ANYWAY because our current resource usage is unsustainable for earth. This is either because our lifestyles are in general too costly or there are too many humans on the earth. We have a gift for suspending dynamics.
Who was it that talked about exponential resource usage? It came up alot in Victorian England...
I think “Global Warming” is a big crock. The planet goes though many changes. There are climate changes that have come and gone before mankind was ever even here. Not many people are aware of this, but our Magnetic pole flux’s every year, and from time to time has actually switched. There is geological evidence that at some points in the past, the magnetic North Pole was at the geographic South Pole. I say all this just to illustrate that our planet goes through changes that have nothing at all to do with mankind.

I do believe the Planet is going through a climate change. I am sure some of the things man has done has impacted that to some degree. However, anytime you start talking about “consensus” in science, you aren’t really talking about science, you are talking about politics. If you can prove something using the scientific method, you are doing science. If it takes a room full of people to form an opinion, then you are doing a survey. For all the “science” that points to global warming, there is an equal amount of science that points the other way.

We have a responsibility to protect the only planet we live on. However, some of the measures that have been legislated in the name of protecting the planet have hurt the planet more than it has helped. My opinion is: The Earth goes through normal climate change. We have a responsibility to take care of our planet. Legislation involving global warming is political and has nothing to do with Science.
It seems to me we would all benefit form understanding more about the past cycles of global warming, what happened in those cycles, how it impacted humankind at the time, and then take a good long look at where we are today and identify what each of us can do to minimize our interference with the earth's natural cycles. I do noth think this is something that can be legislated. Rather, I think that each of us have to determine what we can do in order to aid in utilizing the earth's resources in the most respectful and logical manner.
Assuming humans are responsible for the bulk of this round of warming, I don't think it would work to say "please do your best to cut it out". It most likely has to be legislated. Over our history humans have shown they just cant make good decisions on things as distant seeming as global warming. Its why we have to have things like social security, because otherwise far too many people will procrastinate until its too late "oh yeah, I have to retire someday.." If there's no near term incentive, there won't be enough action.

I still agree with the US not signing Kyoto. The protocol left out too many countries that matter in the pollution business. I'm all for going strong to address the problem, but we can't expected to carry the bill for it without guarantees that other nations will participate as well.

If the UN can craft a truly universal agreement, I think the US should sign it. It would better guarantee that we aren't "pissing into the wind" so to speak, and would have the incidental bonus effect of helping us get out of the middle east oil business. It will be interesting to see if congress has the guts to try and pass something, considering it will most likely enrage every lobbyist with deep pockets.
I totally agree with your first argument, framed. Most people just aren't naturally very forward thinking and can't adhere to some sort of resolution without some sort of incentive that will benefit them directly.
Two questions for you at this present moment Andy, not necessarily related to global warming per se, but very related to human causes of climactic change:

Do you think that the rapid depletion and geographically significant holes the ozone layer goes in cycles too?

Why have carbon levels exponentially increased since the prehistory, and not gone in cycles?

My point is this: discussion may be overpoliticised, but to entirely dismiss the effect of human civilisation and industry and claim that "nature will absorb our current costs" is to ignore natural laws. Hence, without direct legislation for global warming, how else do you propose we take care of this planet, given that the numerous other pacts and treaties from Warsaw to Kyoto have gone unpracticed?

On the flip side of the coin: I would agree with your sentiment in many other areas of discussion related to physical geographical changes. Predictions of more unstable weather, for example, is not a sign of "end-times due to man's immorality", nor is it actually the effect of man's habits itself- tectonic movements and resultant instability are permanent and a part of earth's continuous flux. Same with actual weather patterns- they too are much larger than we currently comprehend.
Dong, unlike most politicians, I will give you direct answers to your questions:

1)[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Yes, I do believe that holes in the ozone layer go through cycles as well. There is scientific proof that our ozone layer has the ability to repair itself. In addition, there have been measurable changes in the make up of the hole in the ozone layer.
2)[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]I don’t know the answer to the second question. I would attribute the increased carbon levels to mankind, but I really don’t know enough to say that for sure.

My turn, here are my two questions for you:

1)[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]If man is destroying the climate, why do almost all global warming reports list methane from cows as the number one pollutant destroying our atmosphere?
2)[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]If we are destroying the ice caps, why are the polar ice caps on Mars going through a melting stage?

I agree that our environment is changing, I am not sold on how much of it is human fault.