Friday, April 21, 2006

Global Warming, so what?

A week or so ago my bother-in-law pointed me at the trailer for An Inconvient Truth. A new movie about Al Gore and global warming. So I watch it, and Al talks about retreating glaciers, the disappearance of snow from Kilimanjaro, rising sea levels, all pretty standard stuff. Then he whips out a power point presentation which shows what various places will look like if the sea level goes up. There's New York, Florida, Shanghai, and a couple of others. Like I said all pretty standard.

From there, as you may expect, he starts talking about Katrina, which in my opinion is where he starts treading on shaky ground, but it's nothing compared to the quicksand he disappears into just a few seconds later. See as he's talking about Katrina, he makes reference to the enormous number of refugees left in the wake of the hurricane, and then... and this is low even for a politician... he starts talking about that instead of thousands of refugees that those rising sea level pictures he showed of New York, Florida, Shanghai, etc. are going to create hundreds of millions of refugees, and of course all of this is accompanied by pictures of Katrina refugees wading through waist deep water.

Now think about this for a second. How long do you figure it's going to take for those sea levels to rise? Most estimates speak in terms of the next 100 years with estimates ranging from 20 cm to 1 meter. Let's say it's a meter, then that's 1 cm a year? How is this going to cause an unmanagable supply of millions upon millions of refugees again? What's very interesting here, is that this is clearly fear-mongering, which is precisely what people seem to be so upset with Bush about, but I digress.

So I gave my brother three links:Of the three only one is a scientist actually involved in climate research, but that's okay, because I imagine no one who reads this blog is either. Rather we're people trying to evaluate what the climate scientists (and politicians like Al Gore) are telling us, which is exactly what Crichton and Card are doing, and very well.

100 years? I'm having difficulty grasping the concept of September


Anonymous ttocS O:) said...


most of these articles say that science is not being used to subsantiate claims of global warming. Yet the references to support their claims are missing as well. (OK Crichton is not talking about global warming, but the dangers of science being public opinion. But come on! the title is clearly implying that global warming is ludicrous-no wonder if people will mis-quote/form policy on/publicize/ his article "against" global warming.)

OK I have taken for granted that global warming is scientifically true and that human increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is the (primary) cause. I will have to now double check all the sources instead of just listening to the bit on the late show.

That being said, PBS's NOVA has always seemed to me to present the facts (yeah maybe I need to double check their sources as well). Here is a link to last week's (alarming) episode on "Global Dimming".

The producer started a discussion on why people do not hear the science. (just to bring relevancy to back to VftB O:)

1:25 PM  

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