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  • LETTER OF THE DAY

    Filed at 6:35 am under by dcobranchi

    From my local fish-wrap:

    Truth: Global warming is happening

    The standard example of irresponsible speech is the cry of “fire” in a crowded building, when there is no fire. However, even worse may be shouting that there is no fire in that crowded building, if, indeed, there is one. The Dec. 6 cartoon stating that “an inconvenient truth” is that Gore is “wrong again,” is the latter irresponsibility.

    Global warming is happening. It will get worse. Understanding that truth is important.

    Over 20 years ago, while president of the Sierra Club, I asked the staff to prepare a briefing for our board of directors on global warming. They assembled the top experts from government and academia. I recall saying, after that two-day presentation, “Anyone that does not get this, is just not paying attention.” I should have added, “or there are self-serving reasons for them to deny the truth.”

    In this country, there are a number of people who hold beliefs removed from reality and truth. Some believe there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when we invaded. Some believe that Iraq was behind 9/11. Some believe there is no global warming.

    The Observer reinforcing their stupidity is irresponsible.

    Denny Shaffer
    Fayetteville

    I’d argue that the scientific evidence 20 years ago wasn’t compelling and that no consensus had been reached, even among climate scientists. That’s no longer true.

    16 Responses to “LETTER OF THE DAY”


    Comment by
    speedwell
    December 13th, 2006
    at 11:50 am

    Daryl, I seem to have been out of the loop when the final pieces of the puzzle were put in place and intelligent people changed their minds in favor of the global warming theory. I’m not saying it isn’t happening, but I’m not aware of the reasons for the rather sudden shift of opinion that I’m seeing in the science and politics blogs and online opinion mags. Was there really some trustworthy new research in the past few months that tipped the scales? Clue me in?


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    December 13th, 2006
    at 12:27 pm

    I’m no expert but my understanding is that the climate models really came together about 10 years ago as computing time got dirt cheap. By about 5 years ago, all of the models had converged and predictions about what we would see if global warming was occurring began to be routinely confirmed.

    There’s no question at this point that the Earth is warming. And that the warming is anthropogenic is probably 99+% certain.


    Comment by
    speedwell
    December 13th, 2006
    at 2:11 pm

    OK, I like what you say about how various predictions have been confirmed. I may be a hard sell, but I’ll stay sold if I can find good examples of this.

    Other readers, if you would like to help educate a global-warming “not so convinced,” feel free to get in touch with me at my username at Hotmail.com


    Comment by
    Nance Confer
    December 13th, 2006
    at 3:05 pm

    rather sudden shift of opinion that I’m seeing in the science and politics blogs and online opinion mags.
    ***
    Not even vaguely science-y, but it seems to me a lot of people — blog writers included — have suddenly remembered how to have a spine. Something about an election overwhelmingly rejecting a worldview based on superstition, half-truths and outright lies. . . it’s OK again to be a stickler about having actual scientific evidence where, for a while there, it was “rude” to insist on such things or to block misguided and uninformed decisions.

    Nance


    Comment by
    speedwell
    December 13th, 2006
    at 4:44 pm

    “…it’s OK again to be a stickler about having actual scientific evidence…”

    I’ll take that as a compliment 🙂


    Comment by
    Nance Confer
    December 14th, 2006
    at 9:18 am

    You can take it any way you want.

    There is plenty of info online about global warming. The readers here can’t Google it any better than you can.

    Nance


    Comment by
    sam
    December 14th, 2006
    at 12:22 pm

    Damn, Nance! Someone’s a little grumpy maybe?


    Comment by
    speedwell
    December 14th, 2006
    at 1:21 pm

    How about if I take it as a tribute to my well-known crack skills with search engines?


    Comment by
    Nance Confer
    December 14th, 2006
    at 3:14 pm

    Were we dating? This isn’t about how grumpy I am or how sweet someone else is. This is about looking at scientific information and trying to understand it and learn from it or trying to figure out a way to deny it.

    Nance


    Comment by
    speedwell
    December 14th, 2006
    at 3:52 pm

    Good, because we’re in complete agreement. If you have (or anyone else has) anything pertinent to that aim you would like to share, I’d like to hear it, or does the position of dog in a manger especially appeal?


    Comment by
    Nance Confer
    December 14th, 2006
    at 4:41 pm

    You’d like readers here to personally send you information about the past 5 to 10 years of research on global warming? That seems like an odd request to me.

    Nance


    Comment by
    speedwell
    December 15th, 2006
    at 9:37 am

    Only if they want to. Google isn’t particularly helpful because most of the results appear to point to name-calling playground rants instead of actual hard science. The reason I asked was to get focused and cogent results from people who know a lot more about the issue than I do and have been following it much more closely and critically than I could. Know anyone like that?


    Comment by
    speedwell
    December 15th, 2006
    at 9:42 am

    OK. Are you a homeschooler or aren’t you, dammit? What would you do if a kid came up to you and said they were having trouble sorting out fact from fiction on this issue? Would you gripe and point fingers and pretend they were unscientific losers trying to troll the discussion?


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    December 15th, 2006
    at 11:41 am

    Try these guys. The blog is written by a couple of climate scientists who know their stuff and present it well.

    Sorry it took so long for me to remember their URL.


    Comment by
    Nance Confer
    December 15th, 2006
    at 1:11 pm

    Well, Daryl has helped you in the right direction.

    And, yes, I’m a homeschooler. And if I thought my child was just being argumentative, I’d feel free to point that out.

    If I though he had a genuine interest in a subject, I’d help him. Or he’d help me. 🙂 He’s pretty bright and able to look things up himself.

    Nance


    Comment by
    speedwell
    December 15th, 2006
    at 2:00 pm

    That really gives me a good head start, Daryl, thank you so much. 🙂