TCS Daily


Something to Worry About

By Nick Schulz - March 31, 2006 12:00 AM

The alarm bells are ringing louder than ever in global warming circles. An impressive amount of ink has been spilled to scare you in to thinking that the planet is doomed if we don't do something about climate change, and soon.

As alarmists flood the media with scare stories, however, they are distracting the public from the economic and practical realities that will determine planetary health. And they are doing so just as some less heralded news reports demonstrate that the alarmists' prescription for our ailing planet is failing badly.

But first, the alarm bells. Consider:

  • This week Time magazine has a "special report" on global warming with the cover blaring "Be Worried. Be Very Worried."

  • Australian alarmist Tim Flannery has a new doomsday book out "The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What I t Means for Life on Earth."

  • The Washington Post recently featured a front page article about melting ice in Antarctica.

  • ABCNews recently attacked skeptic scientists such as the University of Virginia's Pat Michaels.

  • A cover story in the New Republic this month attacked the popular writer Michael Crichton for his skeptical views on catastrophic anthropogenic climate change.

  • The New Yorker's Elizabeth Kolbert recently published a book with the telling title "Field Notes From a Catastrophe."

  • And the Advertising Council and Environmental Defense have just launched the first "public awareness" campaign on global warming.

Phew. That's considerable output in just a few weeks. And later this year Al Gore has an alarmist documentary he has produced coming out called An Inconvenient Truth so expect the bells to keep tolling.

According to Time, "the global climate seems to be crashing around us," and that "this is precisely what [scientists] have been warning would happen if we continued pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, trapping the heat that flows from the sun and raising global temperatures." Time points to heat waves, floods, storms fires and glacial melts as evidence that we've reached a "tipping point" and says "scientists have been calling this shot for decades."

Time is right about scientists issuing warnings for decades. It just hasn't always been about global warming. Three decades ago, as Rich Karlgaard of Forbes reminds us this week, Newsweek magazine was warning not about global warming, but about global cooling. And the rhetoric was just as alarmist then. According to Newsweek at the time, "There are ominous signs that the Earth's weather patterns have begun to change dramatically...with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth."

But just because scientists and their acolytes in the media were badly wrong a mere thirty years ago, doesn't mean they are wrong today. It doesn't mean they are right, but let's stipulate that the planet is warming and greenhouse gases due to man's activities have some effect. What then should we do?

Alarmists have called for curbing greenhouse gas emissions and pushed for a global treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, to enforce reductions in emissions. All along, skeptics have pointed out that mandating curbs on greenhouse gas emissions is unlikely to work -- the technologies to do so don't yet exist so reducing emissions means a costly reduction in energy use, one that would place considerable burdens on the poorest in society. Evidence is beginning to come in that bolsters the skeptics' arguments.

The countries of Europe have been the most enthusiastic proponents of the Kyoto Protocol. And in recent years they have been trying to meet their targets under the treaty. Trying, but failing.

According to a recent report compiling statistics from the European Environment Agency:

"Total greenhouse gas emissions in the EU-15 decreased by a mere 1.7% between 1990 and 2003 with CO2 alone growing by 3.4%... Under the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, the EU has committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 8% compared to 1990 levels."

Even Britain, whose Tony Blair has frequently been one of the chief boosters of Kyoto-like reductions, will not make its targets, according to a report just out this week.

Keep in mind that the overall effect of Kyoto, while costly, would be insignificant -- no bang for a lot of bucks. As Bjorn Lomborg and many others have pointed out, using the assumptions of alarmists, Kyoto would delay the warming of the planet for a mere six years. In other words, the earth's temperature in, say, 2100 without Kyoto in effect will be reached in 2106 instead if Kyoto is widely adopted.

To achieve the ultimate goals of the alarmists, it would require several Kyotos to meet their demands. And if Europe, the most enthusiastic backer of Kyoto can't meet its emissions targets under Kyoto, what hope is there that many more draconian Kyoto-like initiatives are possible?

It is curious that the alarmists are largely silent on the failures of Kyoto in Europe. Skeptics have been pointing out the economic and technological realities of mandatory emissions reductions for years now. Skeptics have also raised alternative ways of tackling problems associated with climate change and extreme climate scenarios -- problems that exist whether or not we pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

But so blinded are the alarmists that they are largely ignoring potentially beneficial initiatives. One such effort is the Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate Change (AP6) which is backed by the governments of the United States, India, China, South Korea, Japan and Australia. The AP6 is designed to permit the robust economic growth that the developing world so badly needs while beginning to address concerns over pollution, energy efficiency and emissions. To get a sense of how out of touch the alarmists are on practical realities, in its nine(!) articles on global warming in its latest special issue, Time didn't devote a single one to AP6.

Amazingly, one article Time suggests "maybe we can begin by living more like the average Chinese or Indian - before they start living like us." According to the CIA World Factbook, the per capita GDP on India is $3,400 a year, and $6,200 a year in China. In the United States it's $41,800. So yes, Time is indeed advocating cutting living standards by as much as ten times. If you want something to "be worried" about, as Time asserts on its cover, well there you have it.

Nick Schulz is Editor in Chief of TCSDaily.com.

Categories:

275 Comments

You Have Just Read A Paid Political Advrtisement
Or is it a commercial?
Or an Advertorial?
Or just an honest polemic ?
Any way you cut it, it is no substitute for the primary literature expositing current research on the geophysical basis of environmental change.

Methane from melting permafrost ice will soon flood the air
Fact 1:

• There is an estimated 400 billion tons of methane trapped in permafrost ice.

Bacteria digest carbon in the soil, and a by-product is methane. As the gas rises to the surface, some got trapped by permafrost ice rather than entering the air slowly over tens of millions of years.

Fact 2:

• An estimated 50% of permafrost will melt by 2050, and 90% by 2100.

As a little permafrost ice melts, methane is emitted into the air, leading to more warming and more melting.

Methane is more than 20 times as strong a greenhouse gas as CO2.

Fact 3:

• A large peat bog in western Siberia is proving this positive feedback loop.

The peat bog is the size of France and Germany together, and is estimated to contain 70 billion tons of carbon. It has already warmed 3C, and the methane level is 25 times higher there.

Conclusion:

• An estimated 5 times more greenhouse gas will be emitted by the earth in the next 50 years than mankind throughout the entire Industrial Revolution.

An estimated 200 billion tons of methane will flood the atmosphere in the next 50 years (50% of the estimated methane in permafrost ice). Mankind has emitted an estimated 800 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

200 billion tons of methane is equivalent to 4000 billion tons of CO2 (because methane is 20 times as powerful a greenhouse gas as CO2), so 5 times as much greenhouse gas is expected to be emitted by the earth than mankind has emitted during the entire Industrial Revolution.

Analysis:

• The effect of methane flooding the atmosphere is runaway global warming.
• It is a potential bottleneck for mankind and an existential threat to the US.

I will furnish additional information upon request. Furthermore, I believe I have the only solution to this threat.

Suggested reading:

http://planetsave.com/ps_mambo/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6724&Itemid=69

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0222-27.htm

http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/articles/2006/02/26/news/opinion/opin820.txt

dobermantmacleod@aol.com

But...
We burn the meth for energy and convert it back to CO2!!!

Now we just need a big bag to collect it. Umm...

The Climate Will Change No Matter What We Do
Geologic history tells us that the global climate was much warmer than it is now, and much colder than it is now. There are many factors (temperature oscillations in the oceans, the Sun's 30% year increase in energy output over the last 1000 years) besides the human production of CO2 that can lead to polar ice melt, intense local storms and yes, even global warming.

If the preponderance of the scientific literature at this time points to human causes, perhaps it is because that's the area we're devoting most of our research dollars to. If that's all we study, that's all we're going to find out.
Skeptics have been largely shut out of the discussion.

Getting back to the subject, the climate will eventually change with catastrophic consequences for current life on Earth no matter what we do. The Sun may continue its increase in energy output, or it may take a nap. An asteroid may smash into the Earth again, as what scientists believe happened when the dinosuars disappeared. Earth's orbit or rate of rotation may change. In any case, something beyond human control will happen to cause a major shift in Earth's climate. A mass extinction will take place as it has so many times before, and life will start over again. Those of us who are "fittest to survive" - that is, able to adapt technologically, economically and socially to the new condition - will do so. Those of us who are not will die off. From an evolutionary perspective I don't see what the big deal is. This is simply nature doing its work. This massive attempt to cling to current environmental conditions is completely out of step with the way nature works.

If these greenie politicians, pseudo-scientists and their squawking parrots in the media truly wish to help humans survive a shift in climate, they'd hitch their wagon to technological and economic development, not forcing Americans to adopt the standard of living of countries where slash and burn agriculture is still widely practiced, where raw human sewage flows freely in canals, where factories operate in residential areas, and where garbage is routinely burned on street corners.

President Bush proposed the technological adaptation approach some time ago, but of course the haters didn't take him up on it. A victory for science and humanity, to be sure.

bad doesn't mean wrong
> The alarm bells are ringing louder than ever in global
> warming circles. An impressive amount of ink has been
> spilled to scare you in to thinking that the planet is
> doomed if we don't do something about climate change,
> and soon.

Environmental scientists around the world, liberal and conservative, overwhelmingly believe that human caused and reversable greenhouse gases will lead to disasterous climate change in the next 50 to 200 years.

When this was first suggested decades ago it caused serious scientific controversy: people questioned the models and the data were inconclusive. The controversy in scientific circles is fading as the last die hard scientific skeptics are converted. The only controversy left is from Exxon funded hacks like the author of the above quote.

He should read Ibsen's play "Enemy of the People" (or "Public Enemy"?). Making fun of scientists and peole who take them seriously will not make the problem go away, though it might help the beers go down in the mean time.

Essay questions for Russell
1. Are all articles tainted if they run in publications that have sponsors or advertisers?
2. Are such articles OK, however, if they oppose the interests of the sponsors or advertisers?
3. Are articles relevant to scientific topics only worth reading if they part of the primary scientific literature? (It is stipulated that the secondary literature is 'no substitute' for the primary.)
4. Are your TCS articles exempt from such moral qualms?
5. Are your comments posted on TCS articles a new form of meta-literature redolent of Wilde and Mencken?

Ken

Dear Nameless...
You've penned a stirring anthem to the virtues of technologic change. But it is in fact this increasing pace of change that's making the balance of nature increasingly untenable. By every measurement we're changing the face of the place.

The albedo of the surface is nothing like it was a century ago. Neither is the chemistry of the oceans, or of the atmosphere. We have convulsed the character of the place, and there is little doubt that this convulsion is putting us in fresh territory in terms of habitat.

One can certainly find instances of our ability to problem-solve coming to our rescue. But the problems we need to face and solve are increasingly of our own making. Among other problems, we are now witnessing the extinction of temperate and tropical rain forests on a scale never previously seen in earth history-- save for the occasional giant bolide strike. The same applies to our coral complexes, and in fact to the general populations of higher oceanic life forms. We are rapidly approaching the state where we share the planet only with food animals, pigeons, rats and roaches. To me, this is not the time to just wax philosophical and say terrible things have happened before in earth history. It's time to try to save what we can.

Getting rich from the wreckage is also a popular approach. Only trouble is, it won't benefit our grandchildren.

BTW, slash and burn agriculture os no longer widely practised. You are talking about the world as it was when you were in college.

Tactical Game Play
>Environmental scientists around the world . . . overwhelmingly believe that human caused and reversable greenhouse gases will lead to disasterous climate change....

"Overwhelmingly"? Please cite statistics and sources to back this up, otherwise it's merely dismissable advocacy hyperbole.

>The only controversy left is from Exxon funded hacks like the author....

The fact that any corporation may or may not have provided funding to anyone is irrelevent to the facts under discussion (in this case, the human element responsible for global warming). The "Exxon funded hacks" quip is a textbook example of the Genetic Fallacy tactic, a method of argumentation used to bypass any actual assertions made and attacking their origin. This is an imputation of motives, not an examination of facts -- it's akin to a prosecuting attorney saying, "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you can dismiss any evidence advanced by the defense. After all, he's being paid by the defendent!" Motives in and of themselves are irrelevent to any facts presented until those facts are proven to be wrong. In order to present a logical refutation, cite where the arguments themselves are erroneous -- THEN you may question why those incorrect assertions were presented (i.e., because of paid interests, etc). By simply asserting a kneejerk "guilt by association" you're obviating a logical refutation.




It Ain't So!!
1. There is no such thing as a singular global warming trend.
2. The theory was developed by some yahoo at Scripps Institute of Oceanography who didn't expect that it would be such a big deal in the first place.
3. Some scientists love this because of the first two rules of grant writing (as my professor taught me):
a) Whatever you are working on presents a crisis to humanity and the world.
b) Whatever you are going to do is the most sweeping solution to the problem.
4. The third reason some scientists love it is that there is no way to quantify their results on a reasonable scale. So, they can never be wrong. Theory in; theory out. Or, in this case GIGO --- Garbage In; Garbage Out.
5. There is SLA (Selective Liberal Amnesia) with regard to global warming --- they forget all the data that speaks against global warming.
6. That Man should have such hubris as to think he can produce such a significant effect on such a large climatic system --- that is ALWAYS CHANGING --- is worthy of another great flood --- although God has promised that He will not do it again.
7. Do you remember "acid rain?" Remember its "global" implications? Wonder whatever happened to that? Wonder why you NEVER hear of it anymore --- haven't for years? Because it never was true!!!! After literally billions were spent to "reduce acid rain" --- something that would have taken more than a decade to achieve --- it quietly faded away. Not even an, "Oops! We're sorry. We screwed up. Not necessary."

tiring
"...the per capita GDP on India is $3,400 a year, and $6,200 a year in China. In the United States it's $41,800. So yes, Time is indeed advocating cutting living standards by as much as ten times."
I wonder how many magazines Time would sell if that actually came to pass--alarmist headlines and all?
This subject has been discussed on other TCS forums. The simple fact is that nobody knows how the complex interaction of the earth's 5 sub-systems affects the climate. If humans in fact have any influence (which common sense dictates we must) on our climate, how MUCH of an effect we have cannot possibly be quantified even by the most well meaning and educated among us. That doesn't even touch on the subject of whether or not the effect is
positive, negative, nullifying, at the macro or micro level or neither or both. Complex climate models are hardly infallible.
"The Sky Is Falling" will sell more magazines and books than "The Sky is Not Falling."
I really think it's that simple.

My point exactly
Thanks for better expressing it than I did.

Galactic Merry go round
How are humans causing this?
How can we stop it?

"The solar system's up-and-down motion across our galaxy's disc periodically exposes it to higher doses of dangerous cosmic rays, new calculations suggest. The effect could explain a mysterious dip in the Earth's biodiversity every 62 million years."

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8923&feedId=online-news_rss20

I love it!
GREAT!!

You know, this global warming thing reminds me of the March of Dimes. --- Stay with me on this.

When I was a kid, the March of Dimes was founded to fight polio. At that time, it was a very real healthcare crisis. Little folders with slots for dimes were found in every store. Then came Salk and Sabin. Polio went the way of the dodo. Nobody was putting dims in those little folders any more and the March of Dimes was running out of pennies.

So, what did they do (other than hiring those morons at McKinsey to tell them)? They changed their focus to BIRTH DEFECTS. Wanna take a bet on when birth defects will be totally defeated? Hey, the march of Dimes did it to polio --- they can do it to birth defects. Can you say "lifetime job security based on pandering to a misinformed public?"

Ditto global warming.

Actually, I'm thinking of starting a foundation to fight the number one killer in the world ---- NATURAL CAUSES!

Conspiracy
ver think that global warming is a vast left-wing conspiracy focused on bringing down the success of the US and spreading the wealth in a more equitable (read "communist") manner? Let's face it --- all we ever hear is how the US is using 25% of the world's energy. Do these bozos every mention that we PRODUCE some 35% of the world's goods and services with it?

Give the same resources to some dictator in a Third World country and just how much good do you think would be produced? How much pollution?

The Useless Nations has even proposed a tax on the people of the industrialized nations to support its operations in the Third World. Can you say, "taxation without representation?"

The myth of global warming is an interesting strategy for achieving the same "equalization" effect.

Acid rain: "It ain't so" fantasy, EPA fact
You seem to be completely ignorant fo the facts of this issue.

You write:

7. Do you remember "acid rain?" Remember its "global" implications? Wonder whatever happened to that? Wonder why you NEVER hear of it anymore --- haven't for years? Because it never was true!!!! After literally billions were spent to "reduce acid rain" --- something that would have taken more than a decade to achieve --- it quietly faded away. Not even an, "Oops! We're sorry. We screwed up. Not necessary."

You can read the EPA report on the problem, its consequences, and the (so far pretty successful) effort to regulate the pollutants that cause it here:
http://www.epa.gov/region1/eco/acidrain/history.html

>Wonder why you NEVER hear of it anymore --- haven't for years?

Because lakes are no longer being emptied of trout by rain because of successful regulation is why you are aren't hearing about it.

>Because it never was true!!!

Denial.

>Not even an, "Oops! We're sorry. We screwed up

I believe that's the line you should now be saying.

Pull your tinfoil hat down tightly
>r think that global warming is a vast left-wing conspiracy

otherwise the leftist conspiracy mind-control vibrations may take over your thinking

No Subject
"Environmental scientists around the world, liberal and conservative, overwhelmingly believe that human caused and reversable greenhouse gases will lead to disasterous climate change in the next 50 to 200 years."

This is completely false, which is why "LiberalGoodman" doesn't provide any citations - he can't.

On the other hand, we have the 6,000 scientists with earned PHd's in physical sciences who have publicly signed their names to the Oregon Petition *against* "disasterous climate change" due to human addition of CO2 to the atmosphere.

http://www.oism.org/pproject/index.htm - and I am well aware that the leftists here will go into a torrent of malicious smears against those who organized and signed this petition, but note they will not be willing to discuss the facts and data presented, or present any honest data or citations in support of the phoney claims of disaster made above.

We also have the 2001 admission in PNAS by James Hanson, that he believes the temperature increase will only be 1/2 to 1 degree C over the next 50 years - and that is from all sources, natural and manmade. Anyone who claims one degree C increase will lead to massive disasters is probably someone who thinks Paul Ehrlich is a great prognosticator.

Andrew

Polemics
Not only is Nick a paid hack of Exxon but his sister is a thespian.

Agenda for 2025
Remarks of David Hone, Group Climate Change Adviser, Shell International Limited
February 8, 2006

Shell is pleased to be here today and to support the launch of this document [Agenda for Climate Action]. We would welcome a Federal initiative as an alternative to bottom up development from the States, which can mean a multiplicity of differing regulatory regimes for business to operate within...

We have recently completed a study with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development which outlines an illustrative pathway for the world to follow to MEET A 550 PPM TRAJECTORY [currently CO2 is 381ppm] -- one that many think is the minimum required to address the climate change issue. Within it, the USA (and Canada) figures and just by example (as an illustration) let me outline the types of changes needed by 2025 to contribute to this global trajectory;

- Carbon emissions down in the transport sector by 10-20%, despite continued strong growth in mobility (up over 20%).

- Over 70 large coal fired power stations with CCS

- Two million hydrogen vehicles on the road and biofuels making up over 10% of the fuel mix

- Nuclear power at todays or greater levels

- Continued energy efficiency improvement in buildings etc.

- Continued growth in natural gas supply, especially for powergen.

- Strong growth in windpower, at over 15% per annum

These are all significant changes, and not ones that will simply happen by chance. A clear agenda will be needed to drive this forward, to give industry the certainty it needs to make the significant investments required and to remove barriers to progress. After all, industry is the key enabler.

http://www.pewclimate.org/global-warming-in-depth/
all_reports/agenda_for_climate_action/business_support.cfm

russell, is that you?
is this russell seitz?

try a better argument
you might want to actually try an argument as opposed to the ad hominems on display here

my sister
you found her? how is she doing? damn i miss her

ah yes
the old, anyone who disagrees with me is a paid hack defense.

The primary literature shows that global warming is mild to extremely mild. Even the alarmist IPCC is leaning towards 1.6 degrees increase over the next century, and that's using CO2 increases that even the IPCC board agrees are badly exagerated. (They don't have time to re-run the economic forecasts, so they'll just continue using base numbers that they know are bad.)

The March of Dimes
Interesting story. The March of Dimes was organized around raising money for research, to defeat polio. So they raised money. And there was research. And polio was defeated.

Then they turned their attention toward birth defects. After all, they had a viable money-making machine and a good name with instant recognizability. So now they have a foundation funding research, information outreach to parents, employer programs... it's all just too sinister and scary.

It's just like the field of climatology. I see your point... I guess.

how is a 1 degree increase in temperature
going to result in disasterous changes in the climate.

Especially considering it's been warmer than that in the last 1000 years.

facts
1) Methane is converted to CO2 in a matter of months.
2) The artic regions have warmed even more than this in the past, without a catastrophic loss of permafrost.

eric in denial
The acidification of northeastern lakes was being cause by reforestation, not acid rain.
That was proven decades ago.

Wow, what an argument
Considering that everything on the earth's surface that's frozen is now melting, I would imagine there's more to the story than just a "one degree increase in temperature". We don't have to know all the details of HOW it's happening to be able to see that it is in fact happening.

The Polarity Divide
As always, this article has spawned notable debat on both sides. What i find amazing is that no one is addressing the real issue; what to do about it.

This time the issue is the acceptance of a decline in standard of living for the top economies in the world and the potential stagnation of the top developing economies.

Are all you "greenies" willing to accept riding in wagons, on bicycles or walking everywhere? Are you willing to accept 105 degree days with no air conditioning or -10 nights with limited heating? No more jetting around the world unless you are a world leader; no more taking a trip to the coast for the weekend.

Or, are you guys willing to finally get together and push hard for the development of more nuke power plants, better exaust filtration for your gas burning cars, increased production of bio-deisel and ethanol, improved technology for the use of coal, more drilling and mining to improve the availability of materials, etc.

Either of these will do wonders for reducing GHG emmissions. Which do you perfer?

One note on GW. It is real, it is natural and it will end as it always has; with another glacial advance. We want long term solutions, lets staart preparing for the coming cold that will devestate the planet much worse than anything man can even dream of doing.

What is scary is…
the fact that you are both right.

Both analogies work very well while making the opposite point on using the same basic facts. A lot like climate science does.

What to do about it
Pauled, if you read my comment 'Agenda for 2025,' then you will find that Corporations are already deciding "what to do about it." Why should they do anything at all? Just ask the reinsurers:

Opportunities and risks of climate change
Swiss Re, 2002

In a constant climate, the sum of all weather-related losses and damages would be calculable over long periods. The more variable the climate, the more difficult to to estimate weather risks and reliability. For the insurer, this translates into an increased risk of being ruined by a sudden, unexpected high loss burden.

The insurance industry can react to this only by INCREASING THE BURDEN ON THE INDIVIDUAL INSURED PARTY, whether by limiting the benefits paid in the event of loss, by raising premiums or by demanding greater efforts to mitigate the extent and probability of the damage of losses to be insured...

...If individual members suffer regular losses because they have failed or were too slow to adapt to the changed climate, the other members will not be prepared to share the burden, especially if they themselves have made great efforts to adapt to the new conditions. And if damage becomes the rule for all members because they were unable to adapt in time, THERE WILL NO LONGER BE ANY NON-VICTIMS WHO COULD BEAR A PART OF THE BURDEN. In an extreme scenario, everyone would pay for his own loss or damage, in which case insurance would not be necessary.

Insurance alone will not reduce the total loss burden. THE AIM MUST BE TO PREVENT AN INCREASE IN WEATHER-RELATED DAMAGE AND LOSSES AS A RESULT OF CLIMATE CHANGES -- not just in the interests of the insurance industry, but in the interests of everyone.

The total loss burden is determined by how we intervene collectively in the natural climatic system and how we cope with the RISKS OF NATURAL AND MAN-MADE CLIMATE CHANGE. For both of these cases, the insurance industry is no more and no less responsible than any other industry. However, due to its special experience in dealing with risks, it can make a decisive contribution to comprehensively mastering risk.

http://www.swissre.com/INTERNET/pwsfilpr.nsf/vwFilebyIDKEYLu/ULUR-5BXDYE/$FILE/Klimaaenderung_en.pdf

What to do about it -- fixed
Pauled, if you read my comment 'Agenda for 2025,' then you will find that Corporations are already deciding "what to do about it." Why should they do anything at all? Just ask the reinsurers:

Opportunities and risks of climate change
Swiss Re, 2002

In a constant climate, the sum of all weather-related losses and damages would be calculable over long periods. The more variable the climate, the more difficult to to estimate weather risks and reliability. For the insurer, this translates into an increased risk of being ruined by a sudden, unexpected high loss burden.

The insurance industry can react to this only by INCREASING THE BURDEN ON THE INDIVIDUAL INSURED PARTY, whether by limiting the benefits paid in the event of loss, by raising premiums or by demanding greater efforts to mitigate the extent and probability of the damage of losses to be insured...

...If individual members suffer regular losses because they have failed or were too slow to adapt to the changed climate, the other members will not be prepared to share the burden, especially if they themselves have made great efforts to adapt to the new conditions. And if damage becomes the rule for all members because they were unable to adapt in time, THERE WILL NO LONGER BE ANY NON-VICTIMS WHO COULD BEAR A PART OF THE BURDEN. In an extreme scenario, everyone would pay for his own loss or damage, in which case insurance would not be necessary.

Insurance alone will not reduce the total loss burden. THE AIM MUST BE TO PREVENT AN INCREASE IN WEATHER-RELATED DAMAGE AND LOSSES AS A RESULT OF CLIMATE CHANGES -- not just in the interests of the insurance industry, but in the interests of everyone.

The total loss burden is determined by how we intervene collectively in the natural climatic system and how we cope with the RISKS OF NATURAL AND MAN-MADE CLIMATE CHANGE. For both of these cases, the insurance industry is no more and no less responsible than any other industry. However, due to its special experience in dealing with risks, it can make a decisive contribution to comprehensively mastering risk.

http://www.swissre.com/INTERNET/pwsfilpr.nsf/
vwFilebyIDKEYLu/ULUR-5BXDYE/$FILE/Klimaaenderung_en.pdf

I liked your 2025 post
as it echoed my thoughts. As for the insurance industry, who cares. They are always going to find a way to make a buck.

I'm more worried about the need to get something done (less for GW in my opnion that to reduce polution in general) to make the world a better place.

Wind is just a very small part of the answer; if even that. Without proper energy storage, wind doesn't reduce our reliance on, or need for, other electrical generation. Without storage capacity wind is a money loser and, therefore, a lost cause. I would like to see technology R&D money poured into electrical storage capacity instead of loser technologies like wind.

I say this with some real knowledge of wind generation. Though I'm no expert, wind generation is the big buzz where I live but, it is acknowledged that the wind simply doesn't blow 24/7/365. Without constant wind, we need other generation sources to take up the slack, and massive amounts of it. The same with solar.

But, with proper storage capacity, the two could become huge electricty suppliers in the future. Better yet, with proper storage, we could harness lightning as well.

You can back with distributed natural gas generators
For quick response. The slower to start up power generataor (coal) can come on like later.

Wind is best used where you have better weather predition. They have poured a lot of money into weather prediction in Germany and the Netherlnds where wind carries a large part of total generation capacity.

Of course there is hydrogen fuel cells. These are currently adequate for the short term energy storage solutions required to use wind power.

What's amazing is that EU has been able to decrease greenhouse gas emissions
by 1.7% between 1990 and 2003. Actually, since Kyoto went into effect after 2000, the rate of greenhouse gas emission reduction is very high indeed. Because in a few years EU was able to reduce emissions to below those of over a decade ago.

Wow. That is impressive. They did that and still maintained their industrial base.

So where's all the good old yankee know-how I grew up hearing so much about?

You can't read!
First, the article you cite says that lakes were acidic --- but doesn't directly attribute that to "acid rain." It is more likely to be run-off.

Second, while the article talks about all the NOx and sulfates removed by whatever processes, it in no way links this to any impovement in "acid rain." It doesn't link any of this to improvements, if any, in those lakes.

The article neither substantiante the existence of "acid rain," nor does it prove that anything that has been done has improved the "acid rain" situation.

A froend of mine in the EPA, now retired, once told me that acid rain was an albatross hung around the neck of the EPA that was there for political reasons and would never be gone, for political reasons.

Tin foil hasn't worked for you
You watch too many movies --- but then again, you probably believe in Swillary Clinton's vast right-wing conspiracy. So, tin foil hasn't worked for you.

Obviously, you don't
The March of Dimes did a good job on an achievable goal. doing this essentially put them out of business. So, they sought a new goal --- but one that wouldn't put them out of business --- an unachievable one.

Re the environment --- cleaning up rivers, waste sites, etc are achievable goals. Influencing a vast global climate system is not. Therefore, permanent employment for those who adopt the goal.

melting
A few glaciers are melting, most however are growing. The two largest, Antartica and Greenland, which between them have something like 90% of the ice on the earth are both growing.

Of the ones that have been shrinking, most can't be traced to the alleged global warming. Kilamanjaro is the result of the rain forest being cut down, which has resulted in decreased snowfall.
Glacier National Park has been melting for the last 10000 years. So continued melting there is not surprising.
The melting in the artic is nothing more than the result of the warm cycle of the PDO and NAO both being in the warm phase at the same time. The last time this happened, around 70 years ago, there was a similar amount of melting.

Think about it, if you can. Antartica averages something like 30 to 40 degrees below freezing.

tenability
The only thing that is growing increasingly untenable, is the excuses those who seek to enslave others to their outworn ideologies will use.

Not Really
Actually EVERYTHING isn't melting. Except for some sublimation, the ice cubes in my freezer --- and well as the steaks, fish and frozen pizza are doing just fine.

bad cites
eric has a long history of citing articles that actually undercut his argument.

Good job!
But the greenies don't care.

Yes, but ---
Look who they're talking about --- the INSURANCE industry --- people who wear suspenders AND a belt and believe that actuaries know something about the world. (About as much as Robert MacNamara and his Whiz Kids did about running the DOD in the Vietnam era.) It's all based on numbers and what-ifs and very little reality. They won't take a chance if there's a POSSIBILITY --- and never consider the PROBABILITY.

Presently, uh no
Again, it is unlikely wind or solar will become more than 10% of our generating capacity without some sort of reliable storage. Too much multiple redundancy needed and too expensive. With storage, it would become the definate wave of the future.

Our area, right off the Rocky mountain front, is consider nearly optimum for wind generation. The 2 year wind study done here shows that the wind only blows (hard enough to power a major wind generator) about 250 days a year and for an average of about 18 hours in those days. About a 50% wind/hours capacity.

This is Great!! Turbines are going up all over the place. Why? Government mandates are the only reason. All that wind power is unreliable and must be backed up by standard generation facilities.

Frankly, at present, Nuke and clean coal technology are the only real option for new generation of any real consequence.

We must stop the building of all natural gas fired generators as that is a commody best suited for household heating. Get the entire nation on natural gas and get rid of those polluting fuel oil heaters and wood heaters.

In reality, no matter what we do, we are trading one GHG source for another. the only minimizing option is nuke.

entirely too true in most cases
that is the real problem. Instead of wailing about the problem, they should be screaming out the real world solutions. But most don't have any solutions, so this is really about hurting the top economies.

Huh?
Roy says "Considering that everything on the earth's surface that's frozen is now melting" which is not just not a fact, it is false. There are areas of antarctica that are actually getting COLDER! Only a small area is actually melting. Google it, and find the truth.

-Bob

Isn't CO2 the biggie?
and that has risen by more than twice the overall reduction. Plus, that is less than a quarter of the reduction they are suppose to reach by the looming deadline.

Amazing, not really.

Hot Air
You know, all this talk about wind, wind, wind is a lot of hot air. There is no commitment to doing anything sweeping here --- just cosmetics. I've been trying to get across a windpower system for homes for several years now. No big tower. No big propellers. Installed on the roof of a house --- the size of a small desk, and generates 500 kw/mo --- the average home usage. Moreover, it's scalable. Can be scaled up for industrial use. Already installed in homes in Israel and being used by the Israeli army. No pie in the sky. You can't get government or anybody else to move off dead center to back it. Developers say, "It's great and we'd love to offer/install it. Let us know when you've got it installed elsewhere."

Instead, they push that low-output, high-cost, high-maintenance solar technology. Yeccch!

Those big whup-whup-whup windmill things are a drop in the bucket as far as energy generation is concerned. But if our systems were installed on individual homes/offices --- what a grass roots effect that would be. However, it would really screw the electric utilities and oil companies and nobody wants to take them on. So, our technology languishes.

Know what's amazing?
This is God's honest truth --- the US government gave a research grant to some researchers who were studying the methane content of cow farts to determine the effects of cattle herds on the climate. It was several million dollars as I remember it. It got a Golden Fleece Award.

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