Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ice Core Data

I haven't posted a global warming post in quite some time. Allow me to correct that merely by linking to this post, which I visited via Kerplunk.

Please note the two graphs showing data from the Vostok ice core and tell me why I should be worried about global warming.


allen (in Michigan) said...

Why should you be worried about global warming?

How do you plan to demonstrate that you're more environmentally-aware, environmentally-responsible and just, plain smarter then the average dope unless you're up in arms about global warming?

Just how do you plan to feel smugly superior to many of those around you, and with very little effort on your part, if not by loudly and continuously worrying about global warming?

mazenko said...

The reason I'm worried, or even care, is because there's no good reason not to. Arguably, the whole system of where it's getting warmer and colder is incredibly complex. I think evidence shows it's clearly somewhat related to human activity. To argue about extent is a bit superfluous.

Realistically, what could be bad about reducing carbon emissions by reducing the burning of fossil fuels? The idea of pollution is not in doubt. It's certainly not a good thing to be breathing in all those fumes - that's why I turn my car off in the garage when I get home. I'm asthmatic, as are many more people each year, so it matters to me.

I'm worried and I care and I don't have a problem with efforts to decrease emissions because it's simply not a bad idea.

Darren said...

I have no problem curbing pollution. I have a big problem with using non-existent human-caused global warming as an excuse to destroy Western-style capitalism, and then hiding behind the excuse of "I just wanted to curb pollution".

Darren said...

Just checked out your profile. Greenwood Village? Nice! I lived in Colorado Springs for 3 years and still adore the place. Took my son on a visit there a couple summers ago, I like Colorado so much.

mazenko said...

Yes, it is quite nice here in "God's Country," as a friend likes to call it. I'm also a six-minute walk from my classroom, so I couldn't be happier.

Before we moved to Greenwood Village from Illinois, we looked around the country for where to settle. We had narrowed it down to Greenwood Village and Davis, California. When I got the job here, I cancelled my interview at Davis High School, and we became Coloradoans.

However, we still want to travel on the West Coast, which we've never done.

Darren said...

Davis? Ugh. I trust you read the post I wrote immediately before (below) this one, mentioning Davis? =)

mazenko said...

Yes, I read it.

The appeal for me was purely scenic and overall quality of life, notably parks and schools.

An hour from the ocean and an hour from Tahoe? Sign me up.

But, alas, it wasn't meant to be, and now I look at the Rocky Mountains from my front porch.

allen (in Michigan) said...

If there were one thing you could say with certainty about climate science it's that the whole system is incredibly complex.

Since that is the case claiming that there's evidence which relates human activity to climatic changes means that however complex the climate is it isn't complex enough to mistake a naturally-occurring change for a human-induced change. I think you can have it one way or the other but not both; either the system's exceedingly complex except in the area of human-induced changes and that's a pretty peculiar exception to the complexity of the system, or it *is* too complex to determine if there's human-caused changes.

If it's the latter then reducing carbon usage, i.e. taking a legally-mandated vow of poverty which is what global warming alarmists want, is a stupid thing to do. If it's the former then the people who assert that human influence is the one area of climate science that's sufficiently well understood to determine cause and effect are on the hook to demonstrate that connection between the cause and the effect. So far that hasn't happened.

The closest anyone seems to have come to demonstrating that relationship is via the use of deliberately misleading charts. Beyond that there's been the effort to present computer-modeling results as determinative when they're not much good for anything other then keeping grad students busy and the generalized assault on contrary views as either dishonest, evidence of insanity or of stupidity.

Fortunately pollution's related to wealth and technological sophistication.

Rich people expect, and can afford, clean air and water. So that's what we set out to get ourselves starting back a couple of decades ago.

Steel-making used to be a horrendously polluting process. Open-pile coking gave way to coking ovens which gave way to increasingly sophisticated and efficient processes until now steel-making hardly produces any pollution. Same for aluminum production and on and on. But that increasing sophistication doesn't come about because some environmental palladin says "make it so". It comes about because newer, better process render older, lousier processes uneconomic. Take away the economic incentive and you get what became visible with the fall of the Soviet Union, an industrial plant that's simultaneously very expensive and an environmental disaster.