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David Blumentritt

There's definitely a school of thought that this article is fake news feeding an agenda meant to instill fear and allow elites to gain control of the means of production. There may have be some hesitation but we now know it gets cold on the gulf coast of Texas...and stop the presses...it gets hot...and we have hurricanes...and there's no excuse not to be prepared.

Bailey Jones

There is no "school of thought" - climate change deniers utilize neither of those facilities.

Gary Scoggin

Bailey, you win the Internet for today. perfect.

Carlos Ponce

Even President Trump believes in climate change. MAN-MADE climate change .... not so much.

Gary Scoggin

The four stages of acknowledging climate change...

1. It isn't happening.

2. It's happening but it's not man's fault.

3. It's man's fault but there's nothing we can do.

4. There are things we can do and should be doing.

Welcome to Stage 2, Carlos.

Carlos Ponce

And that's as far as it goes. #s 3 and 4 have been brainwashed. Looks like Gary Scoggin is there.

Joel Martin

Spot on Mr. Blumentritt. This is right out of Goebbels playbook. The Arctic's not melting and sea level isn't rising any faster than it has for years. Oh, by the way, the Polar bears are doing just fine.

Bailey Jones

I'm curious where you get your science news because everything you've written is false.

The artic is melting. Sea level rise is accelerating. The polar bears are headed towards extinction.

https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/arctic-sea-ice/

https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-sea-level

https://www.mmc.gov/priority-topics/species-of-concern/polar-bear/

Please share the sources of your information.

Gary Miller

Bailey> Yours is defective. The product of climate change propaganda. As far as polar bears the countries around the Artic report counting rapidly growing populations. Four are expected to resume hunting soon. Less ice in summer lets Artic produce more food which let's polar bears get fatter in fall and survive winter in better shape. It's hungry time when Artic is frozen,

Gary Miller

Joel>Polar bears are not doing just fine. They have multiplied to the point they are becoming overpopulated. Population doubling every 12 years. Sea level is up 400 ft since it's record low during the Ice age. If all winter ice melted each summer earth would be in temp ballance.

Gary Miller

During the "global warming" fears it was winter getting warmer with summer stable or slightly cooler. Yearly average temp counts summer and winter.

Ted Gillis

Thanks for your helpful comment David. Wow, if only I had known to be prepared!

Diane Turski

The federal government will finally be providing extra funding for climate infrastructure when President Biden's infrastructure bill is passed and enacted!!

Michelle Aycoth

Not a chance, does not even have the support of some Democrats.

Bailey Jones

[thumbup] Our climate is changing before our eyes. Idiots have their blinders on.

Gary Miller

Bailey> Climate seems to be about same as it was when I was young, 86 years ago.

Carlos Ponce

74 years ago my Dad told me it was a cool day in April the day of the Texas City disaster. The Galveston Daily News reports a high of 71, a low of 58. At this moment there is a high temperature of 72. About the same.

Gary Scoggin

When you taught math, I hope you didn't teach statistics because you obviously don't understand them.

Carlos Ponce

I taught statistics, I understand statistics. Apparently you were asleep when it was taught in your school.

Gary Scoggin

Well in the six hours of graduate level statistics that I took they didn't teach me that two random measurements of a robust system taken 74 years apart are directly correlated and evidential of a trend (or lack thereof). But evidently there are kids who took math at Hitchcock HS who were taught to believe that.

Carlos Ponce

Take a look at my post. When did I use statistics? Apparently graduate school did not teach you the difference between a sampling and actual statistics.You must have been absent that day.

Gary Scoggin

Silly me. I thought there was a point to your story. I'll not make that mistake again.

Carlos Ponce

Gary Scoggin, I was relating what my father told me about his experiences during the Texas City Disaster. It was a cool April 74 years ago. No statistics given at all. Just remembering my dear departed dad.

Gary Scoggin

Companies with huge financial stakes at risk to climate change are certainly taking it very seriously. Beyond the big energy companies look at the agendas of companies such as BlackRock, the world's largest investment advisor, and the big re-insurance companies. These entities are spending real money on adjusting their portfolios to acknowledge the risk.

Bailey Jones

Not to mention our illustrious military -

https://www.vox.com/2020/2/24/21145687/climate-change-usa-military-book-interview

https://www.army.mil/article/238014/new_directive_to_prepare_army_installations_against_extreme_weather_climate_change

Gary Miller

Sea levels 400 ft lower than today? Daily high temp records 20 to 100 years old? Cold snaps every generation? Biggest hurricanes years ago? Politicians thinking they can get rich by scareing people. More property damage than before because there is more property to damage. More people die because there are more people living. All in my 86 years but same expected in next 86 years.

Wayne D Holt

The thrust of this feature story is something difficult to deny: climatic extremes seem to be more prevalent than in the past.That's the easy part.

Here's the hard part, figuring out a consensus on 1) how much of that is due to natural cyclical changes in the environment due to solar and geological changes that have occurred for hundreds of thousands of years that we can't change; and 2) how much of that is due to human impact on these extremes due to our presence on the planet that we can change.

Once we have arrived at something approaching verifiable conclusions there, the even harder questions for me are; 1) why are carbon credit clearinghouses set up to make profits for an intermediary conducting the swapping instead of as a public good and most importantly 2) why are green scolds like Greta Thunberg lecturing Western societies on this topic rather than spending the majority of their time sermonizing to the two greatest planetary polluters overall, i.e. China and India?

Gary Scoggin

Wayne, you raise some good points that merit discussion. I’d like to hit a few.

The IPCC reports speak to the amount of warming due to man’s activity vs earth’s activities (volcanism, primarily) and variations in solar output. The first two are pretty easy to determine as the historical and geological records are pretty clear. We’ve only been able to directly measure solar output for about fifty years via satellite but it’s my understanding there are ways to estimate it going back much further. I don’t know much more than that. According to IPCC, we are currently slightly above an average level of solar output. It has an effect but is not strong enough to account for the warming being experienced. (Disclaimer: it’s been awhile since I read into all of that so I had to dust off a brain sell or two to recount it.)

Carbon clearinghouses serve a purpose in that they allow money to flow to cheaper sources of carbon reductions. People that create low carbon sources of energy or carbon stores are able to sell those benefits to others who want to offset their carbon emissions. These are almost exclusively free market operations where the prices and benefits are determined by what the market will bear. Emission markets are capitalism at its best.

I agree with you about Greta Thunberg. I regard her as a distraction at best. I doubt she’s changed a single mind that mattered.

Carlos Ponce

"I doubt she’s changed a single mind that mattered." You're right about that. Greta became a joke. Shame on environmental zealots for taking advantage of a girl with Asperger's syndrome -"a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests".

Gary Miller

Gary S.> Al gore made millions selling carbon credits for tree planting in Africa, then made more millions selling fire wood from same trees.

Gary Scoggin

Gary M....

1. I doubt that's true. Actually, I think you're confusing this with an episode of King of the Hill where Dale did that, except he did it in Arlen.

2. Carbon markets today are run with a lot more rigor and assurance than they were a few decades ago.

Gary Miller

Good questions Wayne.

Bailey Jones

Greta, who I guess is the new boogeyman (boogeygirl) now that Al Gore has faded from the scene, is irrelevant to the science and a discussion of climate change. Science says that China and the US are the greatest sources of carbon pollution on the planet - at 30% and 15%, respectively. The EU is third at 9%, India is fourth at 7%.

Carbon dioxide levels today are higher than at any point in at least the past 800,000 years. We have evidence of very considerable changes in climate during the last 800,000 years (100s of feet changes in sea level, for instance), so we know the effects of temperature on sea-level rise. If you overlay temperature on sea level rise (you can do that here - https://www.sealevels.org/) there is an absolute correlation; 2 degrees C corresponds to >40 meters of sea level rise. Our CO2 pollution is trapping thermal energy in a system that is very sensitive to temperature. It's not a question of if, but when, the sea washes over us. Any reaction to this crisis other than reducing our carbon emissions is just madness.

America must lead this effort. China, India, and all the rest are technological followers, not leaders. The technologies and techniques that we create and demonstrate here in the US, and the EU, are the only hope for saving our civilization. Pointing fingers at other countries accomplishes nothing.

Carlos Ponce

No, Bailey the boogeymen (and boogeywomen) are those who take advantage and use a young lady with a neurodevelopmental disorder.

Bailey Jones

Carlos Ponce - unwittingly proving my points for over three years now.

Carlos Ponce

Wrong again, Bailey.

Gary Scoggin

Bailey - maybe I mistinterpreted the site but I think you mean > 40 cm of rise, not 40 meters. I haven't seen any mainstream prediction for >120 feet of sea level rise at 2C.

Also, as important an issue as I think climate change is, I don't consider it a matter of "saving our civilization." Unabated, climate change will cause economic and societal disruption but I don't think its an existential crisis for humanity or, even, life as we know it. Personally, I have little confidence that we will hold warming to 2C. This will force adaptations in how we live, especially those of us on the Coast, but we will continue to adapt as the impacts become more apparent.

I do agree with you that the US must get its own house in order before lecturing others. Our nation has long been the world's greatest innovators. We need to continue to innovate, coming up with new technologies and approaches that can be adapted (and sold) to the world.

Bailey Jones

Gary, it depends on what time scale you're looking at (on the graph). It defaults to the last 1000 years - and the verticle scale is cm, as you note. Click on the weird clocklike icon on the upper left and it zooms out to 800,000 years, and the verticle scale goes to meters. The delta between the minima and maxima in the roughly 100K year cycles is about 120 meters.

I agree that no one is predicting that sort of sea rise. I suspect there are two reasons - first, we're already at the high end of sea level - the highest in the last 800,000 years is 13 meters above present sea level, at about 404K years ago. There's just not enough ice left to melt. The second reason is that sea-level change lags temperature by 2000-3000 years (it takes a long time to melt all of the ice on Earth). If you click on the icon that looks like a globe with a thermometer (next to the clock-like thing) it will add temperature to the graph. You can easily see that a 2 C increase in temperature is followed by about 40 m of sea-level rise.

I do believe that climate change is a threat to civilization. Climate change has destroyed civilizations in the past - https://climate.nasa.gov/news/1010/climate-change-and-the-rise-and-fall-of-civilizations/

The difference now is that man-made climate change happens much faster than previous natural cycles. There was a time when a change in climate simply meant migrating to a new place. Nowadays, migration means war. Many nations, US included, are running out of water. Crop patterns are already changing. Conflicts over resources are inevitable. Weak states will collapse and powerful states will turn inward to protect what they have. How do you maintain 8 or 9 billion humans without food or water?

The threat to our whole ecosystem is just as real. As I said, there was a time when a change in climate simply meant migrating to a new place. There is no habitat left for non-human life to migrate to anymore. How many links can you knock out of the food chain before it collapses? We're already seeing the most abrupt and widespread extinction of species since the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event 66 million years - and they had an asteroid to blame it on.

Setting all of that aside, the potential for $$$profit$$$ in the new clean energy economy is just too huge to ignore. This is why anyone who is serious about making money in the future is already getting on board, as you have noted. America, and Texas, in particular, should be leading the way. We've both seen how a single new technology - the PC - has completely transformed the world, and we saw it happen again with the Internet. It's happening again with clean energy.

Gary Scoggin

Thanks for the clarification, Bailey. I couldn't quite master the website. Relevant to us is the predicted sea level rise over this century which is about 2 meters. Since my house sits at elevation 2.3 meters, this risk is not theoretical except that I don't plan to be around in eighty years or so. But sea level rise in the meantime could make it hard to get out of my garage.

With regard to the threat posed by climate change, semantics are important. I think I said that climate change will not be an existential threat - i.e., a threat to our existence as a species - but I do believe that unabated, it will be a very disruptive one. There will be re-allocations of resources and associated conflicts. Parts of the coast become uninhabitable, possibly including my neighborhood, and extreme weather events increase in magnitude and frequency. But mankind is adaptable and I have no doubt that we'll see it through. I am not saying that adaptation will be easy but I'm not as pessistic here are many are.

Personally, I don't see the international community coming together to hold temperature rise to 2C, let alone the 1.5C some folks are calling for now. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try - every little bit helps - but we have to shake the excessive doom and gloom and develop some realistic new scenarios.

The international efforts, such as the Paris accords, are nice but let's see them for what they are: A means for the developing world to assign blame to the developed world and, in the meantime, shake them down for money. China, India, the US, the EU, Russia and Japan account for 70% of the world's GHG emissions. While some reductions in Paraguay or Suriname would be nice, it's the big guys that make a difference. China will come around on this - not out of altruism, instead they see it as an opportunity to further spread their influence to the developing world. Russia, I think sees Climate Change as a good thing. Their foreign policy is based on creating mayhem around the world and picking up the pieces. What better way to do this but through events which are easily blamed on the US? (Plus, it's cold as hell there and a few extra degrees wouldn't hurt.) Europe will lead, followed grudgingly by the US. India is politically and socially chaotic and, I think will remain at the tail of the pack, constantly pleading for foreign investment. All of this to say that each country will look at this issue through its own lens of self-interest. There's nothing new about that in any diplomatic realm but I thing the realist in me sees the issue for what it is.

The answer is capitalism. Society needs to continue to come to the realization that using the atmosphere as a free dumping zone for excess carbon is not an economically sustainable nor wise policy. We do this through instituting carbon pricing across as much of the economy as possible. This is doable. Pricing system exist in Europe, parts of the US, China (more or less) and in many other developed nations. Expand that across more of the US, to India and the rest of the bigger emitters, make emissions fungible across international boundaries and cap emission limits at reasonable but constantly declining limits and then let the marketplace go to work.

Sorry for the length of this post!

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