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THE QUESTION

What information do policymakers need?

As the controversy swirling around the IPCC deepens at the same time some are questioning the significance of global warming now that large portions of the U.S. are buried under record-breaking snow, what kind of information do policymakers need to make decisions about climate change?

Posted by Washington Post Editor on February 17, 2010 1:32 PM
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dominion3 Author Profile Page :
 

A commenter on Reassess Scientific Knowledge suggested that the blog denied that CO2 increases do not contribute to increases in temperature. The blog doesn't say that. The fact is that doubling CO2 will increase temperatures by about 1 degree f according to most scientists. Larger increases require an increase in water vapor to produce a positive feeback. Recent peer reviewed articles have found no increase in water vapor in the lower troposphere.

 
DavidH3 Author Profile Page :
 

The climate deniers typically use simplistic arugments about natural cycles being able to explain climate change, and they hoot about a coverup or conspiracy to effect climate protective legislation. They point to right wing websites and they cherry pick data to show that there "obviously" has not been global warming. Meanwhile the great majority of evidence continues to pile up on the side of climate change being real, being due to human activity, and being a threat to human economies and social systems. The difference between climate deniers and climate change scientists is that you really do have to look at the evidence to be convinced. You CAN try to separate out natural cycles from human activity. If the great bulk of such analysis strongly suggests climate change is real, then why do climate deniers reject it so strongly? Even throwing out the data from those irritated Brits, the evidence is still overwhelming.

I suggest looking up the work of Jim Hansen (he's from Iowa, not a foreigner, for those of you who distrust foreigners). For those of you willing to accept the work of other nationalities, look up "IPCC climate change". Then decide for yourself. Don't rely on internet armchair philosophers.

As for a "conspiracy" and being corrupted by funding, that only gets you so far in science, which is not very far. If your science is bad (never mind whether your manners are bad), you will be found out. Climate change science has been around long enough a strong consensus has been established. The amount of legitimate disagreement in the field now is pretty tiny, compared to many other fields of science (I am not a climate scientist myself). I believe the climate scientists are largely right. Let's get past this and start talking about what to do about it.

It is also good to remember that climate change has been suppressed by the prior administration for 8 years. If there is a conspiracy, it has been from those who have most contributed to climate change and who stand to be harmed by efforts to contain it. Follow the money, there is a lot more money on that side than on the side of climate scientists.

 
msilva2 Author Profile Page :
 

Weather and climate change are 2 different things. Why is it so difficult for the public to understand that?

 
Benblanken Author Profile Page :
 

Reading a bunch of comments like these is instrsctive. Being a skeptic and feeling that climate change is natural and something we can do little about, I ran across a comment the other day that put it gloriously in perspective for me:

"The world is about 4.5 billion years old. Judging by such things as the Medieval Warming Period and the Little Ice Age together with previous events, it seems that there is significant ‘Climate Change’ two or three times every thousand years. This means there would have been about 10/15 million such warming or cooling events in Earth history.
There are two schools of thought ...:
1. The sceptic camp say that all of these 10/15 million climate change events are natural.
2. The AGW camp say that all but one of these 10/15 million climate change events are natural. What they don’t explain is why natural climate change has taken a holiday just this once."

 
txpenguin Author Profile Page :
 

A couple more winters in D.C. like we had this time around, and the global warmers will fall into the dustbin of history.

 
dnjake Author Profile Page :
 

The first reality to understand is that no particular weather event has any significance. The noise that gets generated in the media in response to an event like the recent Washington storm is just a distraction. The second reality to understand is that the climate is not stable. The emergence of a very large human population certainly has some relationship to particularly favorable environmental conditions for human life. The third reality to understand is that science does provide plenty of reason for us to be concerned that the Earth's climate could be affected by massive and ever increasing changes to the Earth's environment caused by human activity. The fourth reality to understand is that there is little near term prospect of a scientific understanding of the Earth's climate at the level of detail and confidence needed to be a useful guide to specific government policy actions. Human beings are in the middle of an unprecedented (at least on Earth) explosive change in the nature of life. Our genetically determined behavior is poorly adapted to the world we are creating for our selves. There is little doubt that we need to focus less on consumption and more on controlling the waste that we create and release into the environment. But, there is also little doubt that human beings are very resistant to this kind of constraint. The best policy makers can do is try to take some steps towards a more rational approach to consumption and waste. The other reality is that changes to the environment are only one thread of several that are likely to explosively impact human society over the next hundred years. There is a good chance that global warming is a real concern. But, it is much less clear, that it will be the first to cause a major disruption in human life.

 
JohnGalt9 Author Profile Page :
 

In "Robbing America Series: Deciphering the Obama Mystery", they explore a new chapter, that of Global Warming.

They say,....."All the pieces keep adding up for what seems to be the end game of the Obama mystery. In this case is the fantastic sham that is "global warming" and how the Obama Doctrine is using it to add to the intrusion of the government in American lives.

The short piece breaks the latest of the Climategate from England. They use this shocking information to make a clear point of Obama's irrational push for climate legislation in America, which doesn't after all seem so irrational, but not for the reasons that most people imagine.

Judge for yourselves at http://www.robbingamerica.com

Part of deciphering the mystery of Obama's push for Global Warming legislation.

 
greg46 Author Profile Page :
 

Global warming is a concern but its principally driven by natural processes on a 100,000 year cycle, and we are now at the peak of the current cycle. Yes man does contribute to the warming but not enough to matter. 50,000 years from now we will be trying to add CO2 to combat the global cooling!

 
greg46 Author Profile Page :
 

Global warming is a concern but its principally driven by natural processes on a 100,000 year cycle, and we are now at the peak of the current cycle. Yes man does contribute to the warming but not enough to matter. 50,000 years from now we will be trying to add CO2 to combat the global cooling!

 
oracle2world Author Profile Page :
 

Climate is a great place for do-gooders to work off their excess energies.

Like Don Quixote.

Not only does the knight lose to the windmill, the windmmill doesn't even know the knight exists.

 
FredinVicksburg Author Profile Page :
 

Global warming means that the average temperature is rising (globally averaged). The correct term to consider the problems is climate variability. Scientists are still studying cause and effect relationships. Changes in the average global temperature affect the ocean/atmosphere relationships. You can get shifts in the jet stream, changes in atmospheric moisture, changes in storm frequency, etc. Some areas may be warmer, some cooler, some wetter, and some drier. A general global warming trend has been there for millenia. The present problem is a more rapid warming that can produce changes in climate faster than people can adapt to the changes. My home area in Washington State gets its summer water supply from glacial melt using a gravity fed system. Now the glaciers are retreating and there is a deficiency in winter snowpack. It takes time and money to change a water supply system

 
Wanderer13 Author Profile Page :
 

"What information do policymakers need to make decisions?"

(1) Money corrupts scientists just as well as it corrupts politicians.

(2) Modeling an ultra-complex system without representing or accounting for ALL inputs is preconditionally doomed to bad results; modeling the Earth's atmosphere and weather is beyond current science's ability.

(3) Established constituencies will lie, deny and cover up the truth to keep the funding flowing.

(4) The physicians say, "First, do no harm..." ; this is an admirable sentiment, and if implemented would kill 95% of all proposed legislation, every year, forever.

(5) We were watching the climate alarmists, and have seen enough evidence in the last year to recognize a con job when we see it. We are now also watching you for signs of the same sickness.

What else would you like to know?

 
AJAX2 Author Profile Page :
 

No Harm From Cap-and-Trade? You Lie!


The truth is the truth and lies are lies. Neither politicians nor government nor the media can change that. In Spain, an economics professor calculates that green jobs schemes have destroyed more than 110,000 jobs in that country, or 2.2 jobs destroyed for every one created. The CEO of the world’s largest renewable energy company, Eon, is warning the EU that further cuts to CO2 emissions will only raise the cost of energy, putting the region at a competitive disadvantage and driving production overseas.

The truth about global warming alarmists in the business community who say Congress must pass laws immediately to stop the planet from warming is that they are driven more by pursuit of profit than pursuit of science and real atmospheric temperatures. These companies lie for profit and at the expense of American families’ budgets, American’s homeland security, and the quality of the world’s air and water.

You see, they know cap-and-trade will hurt the American economy. That it will cost American jobs. That it will increase our dependency on foreign energy. And yes, they know that it will increase global pollution by moving production to unregulated countries like China. They also know the world is cooling. They know that cap-and-trade won’t lower the earth’s temperature. To those saying otherwise I say simply,“You lie.”


http://thehill.com/opinion/op-ed/63983-no-harm-from-cap-and-trade-you-lie


 
AJAX2 Author Profile Page :
 

No Harm From Cap-and-Trade? You Lie!


The truth is the truth and lies are lies. Neither politicians nor government nor the media can change that. In Spain, an economics professor calculates that green jobs schemes have destroyed more than 110,000 jobs in that country, or 2.2 jobs destroyed for every one created. The CEO of the world’s largest renewable energy company, Eon, is warning the EU that further cuts to CO2 emissions will only raise the cost of energy, putting the region at a competitive disadvantage and driving production overseas.

The truth about global warming alarmists in the business community who say Congress must pass laws immediately to stop the planet from warming is that they are driven more by pursuit of profit than pursuit of science and real atmospheric temperatures. These companies lie for profit and at the expense of American families’ budgets, American’s homeland security, and the quality of the world’s air and water.

You see, they know cap-and-trade will hurt the American economy. That it will cost American jobs. That it will increase our dependency on foreign energy. And yes, they know that it will increase global pollution by moving production to unregulated countries like China. They also know the world is cooling. They know that cap-and-trade won’t lower the earth’s temperature. To those saying otherwise I say simply,“You lie.”


http://thehill.com/opinion/op-ed/63983-no-harm-from-cap-and-trade-you-lie


 
MisterGuerilla Author Profile Page :
 

The policy-makers will always cave to the corrupt populace. The populace only cares about money and breeding lots of filthy children. So it's pointless to go through the system to effect change. Just look at how fast they worked to remove the snow with pollutive salts. They gave ZERO consideration to the environment when they cleaned the roads. The system must be destroyed.

 
alance Author Profile Page :
 

Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!

Sir Walter Scott

 
labman57 Author Profile Page :
 

Sarah Palin is not proof positive that all Alaskans are morons, and a severe winter in the Northeastern U.S. does not nullify the existence of "global warming".

On the contrary, unusual weather phenomena and extreme storm activity are totally consistent with the climate change model. No one who understands how science works would suggest that the storms in the Northeast prove global warming is real. However, it is totally valid to argue that these storms do notdisprove it.

The supporting evidence lies elsewhere -- NASA has recently released some very compelling data supporting the validity of the climate change theory.

 
gneubeck Author Profile Page :
 

With the Nation in economic distress and actual unemployment above 10% , the Democrats in the House Of Representatives and, now a Senate, Committee, without even knowing the content blundered thru Obama's "Cap and Tax Bill". Legislation that could well topple our economy into a depression. Pure fiscal insanity. For the Kool-aid addicts who believed Obama when he said that he would give a tax break to 95% of Americans, hold on to you wallets and prepare for the largest single regressive tax increase in American history. This "Global Warming" fraud will prove to be the biggest jobs killer ever conceived; and, simply ship millions of America jobs overseas to countries such as China and India. The next time you hear the ranting of an Obamanite, ask them why there is "NO" statistical correlation between atmospheric CO2 levels and global temperatures (the latter which actually have slightly decreased over the last decade) -and- why the temperature trend lines on Mars tracks identically with that on earth. ((Hint: the Sun is the only common denominator.)) In brief: global temperature variations correlate precisely with Solar activity. As for the sustained hype over Ice Cap melting and sea level rise, Ice core drilling in the fast ice off Davis Station in East Antarctica shows that last year, the ice had a maximum thickness of 1.89m, its densest in 10 years. The average thickness of the ice at Davis since the 1950s is 1.67m. To emphasize the importance of these statistics, Antarctica contains 90% of the world's ice pack. And since 2007, Arctic summer ice has actually increased by approximately 26%. Now you know why the inventor of the internet, Albert Gore, refuses to debate the issue. "If" the Global Warming enthusiasts were sincere in their intent to reduce manmade CO2 emissions, which constitute less than 0.00022 percent of the total naturally emitted from the earth s mantle, they would be actively promoting the significantly expanded use of Nuclear Power for America's electrical energy generation. An endeavor intended not only to reduce CO2, which constitutes only about 0.037% of total atmosphere gases ; an atmospheric fraction that has remained constant for over a century and a half of record keeping; but, as well, to dramatically reduce our dependence on imported energy resources; and, to provide a distributed grid with dormant interconnectivity. The logic in this dilemma is exceedingly transparent, our Dictatorial Marxist, Barack Obama, simply wants more control over your activities and lifestyle; and, the health of the American economy be dammed. It's essential that we clean house in the upcoming elections. Greg Neubeck

 
sonofliberty09 Author Profile Page :
 

The philosophy of Global Warming was dreamed up to tax the masses. It was Global Cooling when I was a child. All it is is a money fleecing scheme.

 
spamsux1 Author Profile Page :
 

The question is:
"What information do policymakers need to make decisions?"

They need ALL the information that is available.
That includes all information used for or generated by government-funded researchers.
That information should be easily and freely available to everyone since everyone is paying for it.

All means and methods of collecting, collating and analyzing data. Source code used in computer models predicting climate must be public.

The cult of secrecy and elitism is slowly being exposed and it should continue. Science hasn't been treated this way in decades.

Climate science, like any other field, must be open and verifiable.

Science is the search for truth and is advanced most rapidly by the collaboration of all.

 
jrsconstruction Author Profile Page :
 

I'd have to say that global warming is a myth. So the U.S. has to send another hundred billion to these worthless dictators of the third world? Is that the point?

 
GaryEMasters Author Profile Page :
 

Where are the comments?

 
drjcarlucci Author Profile Page :
 

The leaked memos are proof that many of teh key climate scientists had an agenda to support the conclusion of man-made climate change.

This subverts the scientific process.

An ethical scientist starts with a hypothesis and then gathers evidence or performs experiments.

The chips then fall where they may.

Often the end result of the process contradicts the scientist's initial intuition. But that's how science progresses.

Climate researchers have fallen prey to group think that demands support for man-made global warming.

If a researcher does not support that pre-determined conclusion, he is ostracised, demonized as a "denier", cut off from grant money and advancement in his career.

With those pressures in mind, no wonder teh majority of climate researchers publicly agree with climate change dogma.

The leaked memos just underline how tainted the scientific process in this field has become.

The sloppiness at the IPCC adds fuel to the skepticism fire, and rightly so.

ALL of the "evidence" for climate change has been called into question.

We need a true scientific process. Meaning, research that is sound.

But especially not undertaken with bias, or underhandedly in support of a preordained conclusion.

 
GaryEMasters Author Profile Page :
 

Most of us are reasonably sure that adding more "greenhouse gases" will give us a warmer Earth. That much science is a solid strong link in the chain of logic we use. But many are not also aware that there are more cycles that contribute to our future weather. One is the post ice age trend to warmer and the other may be the return of the ice age for its next cycle. There are reasons to think the next ice age is on the way back. Many of the facts deal with astronomy and are hardly every day concerns of those who study the atmosphere. So we have different trends studied by different people.

The real question is what will the future bring and how do we deal with it. Much as a home owner looks at the calendar and decides if the thermostat goes to "warm" or "cool" we have to know if we want to warm the Earth or cool it. Once we know that, we will be able to decide if we want more or less greenhouse gases.

That is easy, and nobody has to deny anything. Yes it is getting warmer. But that might be exactly what we want.

Is warmer good or bad?

That is the question to ask.

Along with many other questions.

Did you ever think you could get through life with only one question to answer?

 
GaryEMasters Author Profile Page :
 

Most of us are reasonably sure that adding more "greenhouse gases" will give us a warmer Earth. That much science is a solid strong link in the chain of logic we use. But many are not also aware that there are more cycles that contribute to our future weather. One is the post ice age trend to warmer and the other may be the return of the ice age for its next cycle. There are reasons to think the next ice age is on the way back. Many of the facts deal with astronomy and are hardly every day concerns of those who study the atmosphere. So we have different trends studied by different people.

The real question is what will the future bring and how do we deal with it. Much as a home owner looks at the calendar and decides if the thermostat goes to "warm" or "cool" we have to know if we want to warm the Earth or cool it. Once we know that, we will be able to decide if we want more or less greenhouse gases.

That is easy, and nobody has to deny anything. Yes it is getting warmer. But that might be exactly what we want.

Is warmer good or bad?

That is the question to ask.

Along with many other questions.

Did you ever think you could get through life with only one question to answer?

 
GaryEMasters Author Profile Page :
 

Most of us are reasonably sure that adding more "greenhouse gases" will give us a warmer Earth. That much science is a solid strong link in the chain of logic we use. But many are not also aware that there are more cycles that contribute to our future weather. One is the post ice age trend to warmer and the other may be the return of the ice age for its next cycle. There are reasons to think the next ice age is on the way back. Many of the facts deal with astronomy and are hardly every day concerns of those who study the atmosphere. So we have different trends studied by different people.

The real question is what will the future bring and how do we deal with it. Much as a home owner looks at the calendar and decides if the thermostat goes to "warm" or "cool" we have to know if we want to warm the Earth or cool it. Once we know that, we will be able to decide if we want more or less greenhouse gases.

That is easy, and nobody has to deny anything. Yes it is getting warmer. But that might be exactly what we want.

Is warmer good or bad?

That is the question to ask.

Along with many other questions.

Did you ever think you could get through life with only one question to answer?

 
 
 
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