September 3, 2013

Climate Change (human caused)

I get in arguments about climate change from time to time. I’m no expert, of course, but I do as questions and really try to have an answer to climate change skeptics. Lately I’ve been getting two links that say climate change is false.

  1. Forbes
  2. Wall Street Journal

Climate science is complicated. With the increases of CO2 in the air it turns out that plants grow faster. Is that something that was figured into climate models? No idea. But we KNOW how that CO2 is getting into the air (a million barrels of oil getting burned every month). What’s funny is that when you talk about CO2 you’ll get the people saying that COWS put more CO2 in the air than humans do. That, of course, is FALSE by a factor of over 100x. But still, those cows wouldn’t exist if it were not for humans so even if cows are contributing it’s still ultimately a human caused problem.

Both of those articles are in the op-ed section of each paper. It’s not like they are reporting news. And I read both and neither are very specific and mostly rely on generalizations. And it’s pretty easy to find something that IS scientific that refutes the claims made by each author. Here is one:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/don-easterbrook-heartland-distortion-of-reality.html

That one is about Don Easterbrook and how what he is saying is way off. He’s using ONE of several models to prove a point that he wants to believe. And even in that one model he’s exaggerating the data.

The second link you sent was about Ivar Giaever who doesn’t even try to use science to refute the claims about climate change. He’s just saying that “it’s become a religion” and that he is skeptical of it. It’s great to question things (i.e., be a skeptic) but in order to change MY mind he needs to have some science to back up his claim and he has NOTHING and isn’t even trying. He’s saying that he is right in the same way that Mormons say they are right about what happens after you die.

Another thing to note is that we’ve been experiencing much higher temperatures right here in Phoenix. The irony is that it’s not the HIGH temperatures that are increasing but the LOW temps. The nighttime low temp has been getting higher and higher over the past 50 years. To be fair, the reason isn’t because of global warming . . . it’s mostly attributed to the “Urban Heat Island” effect that is observed in every big city with lots of concrete and asphalt (both of which hold the heat from the sun longer than the natural landscape and therefore, the temp never gets a change to go down before the sun is back up).

Oh, and I love this gif. Found it here: http://www.skepticalscience.com/big-picture.html

SkepticsvRealistsv3

Sheldon