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Curbing global warming or adapting to it?

It pains me to hear that some people have given up on their efforts to curb global warming. They are now up to save humans once again by adapting to the changes brought about by our own doing.

Should we curb to save mother earth and moderate our way of living? Or adapt and focus more on the human race than mother earth?

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    • Jun 18 2013: we're on the same side lamar! :)
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    Jun 20 2013: Between the two

    Curbing is beneficial , permanent and affects all living and non living.
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    Jun 16 2013: I see curbing is the ideal solution and without any doubt, cause have you ever heard of some adapted to live with cancer, I guess not! Global warming is the malignant tumor of mother nature and earth, as a result we should look and search for the cure and to limit the effects.
    We should stand and think seriously cause if we destroyed our home planet mars would not be happy to welcome us.
    • Jun 17 2013: i like your metaphor :)) really. thank you for sharing. and plus, i agree with your statement. i am for curbing.
  • Jun 22 2013: We need to curb and adapt, but we are doing neither. Hurricane Sandy should have been a wake-up call, but nothing has happen. We need to seriously consider geo-engineering, a bad idea whose time has come.
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    Jun 22 2013: We should curb and moderate our way of living.

    Just making an attempt to adapt leaves us, and other species, vulnerable to change which we cannot adapt to.
  • Jun 21 2013: I suggest we go with local adaptations to weather-pattern changes. I have followed the coming ice age/global warming arguments since the 1960s. The big-picture climate fluctuations and changes have been too complex for people to agree on national or global issues and solutions, for fifty years now. We can, however, quite quickly agree, locally, on whether a certain part of town needs higher dikes along the riverbank; or storm-water runoff should be collected or distributed differently instead of aiming it like a water cannon at the properties in the valley. We can also readily agree on the need to conserve local water and increase community reservoir storage capacity. Let's do what we can at home and in our communities, one step at a time, to deal with potential weather issues. Our local successes, like any pilot project, can then be adapted to regional, national, and global projects; and, our small failures will not break the world economy.
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      Jun 21 2013: So Frank, you are saying that we adapt to changes as they occur. I so agree. That is the smart thing to do.
      What has troubled me is all the conversation on if the world just does this then all climate changes will stop and all will be as it was.
      • Jun 22 2013: I agree with your concerns too. It has been said many times, "the only constant is change". Unless we discover time travel, we can never go back to the" Good Old Days." The world is covered in countless micro-climates. The plants and animals living in each one have always had to adapt to changing conditions, or leave, or die off. I believe we should not squander all our natural resources as fast as we can. Hydro-carbons (so-called fossil fuels) will always be valuable as starter chemicals for industry. If our power consumption (wastage) was reduced as efficiently as the electronics industry operates, that might slow down man-made climate changes. Also, if we shipped ideas world-wide and got back to local manufacture and food production, that would at least conserve precious resources, employ more citizens, and may lesson man's impact on climate.
    • Jun 24 2013: adapting as we curb... that's a fine idea :)
  • Jun 20 2013: Unless we curb our environmental impact, we will cease to exist as a species. The necessary "adaptations" cannot possibly keep up with our environmental destruction.
    • Jun 20 2013: Since this is posted under Global Warming, I will make an assumption you are talking about climate change. Are you saying humans cannot survive dramatic changes in our environment? There are very few species that live in every possible combination of weather and climate extremes on the Earth. One of those is humans. Humans will survive. The question is how ugly will the death and distruction be? Of course the decisions we make as individuals and societies will determine just how bad things will be.

      Thanks for your thoughts.
      • Jun 20 2013: Yes, I'm saying that I highly doubt we'll survive the climate change. We are so busy polluting the air, the ground and our rivers that by the time we realise it and act, it will be too late. We cannot survive without oxygen (created by the trees we are cutting), and what little we have is being polluted We cannot survive without drinking water and this too,is depleting (desertification).. Why are we so afraid to make changes which might make life possible for future generations? Laziness or stupidity...either way, doing nothing only ensures our eventual extinction.
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          Jun 20 2013: I am not sure where you are living, but it's not so bad that you have to go chase the lemmings.
          I lived in Europe of a number of years and my neighbor who was a forestmeister told me how proud he was that the forest was bigger then ever. The USDA tells us forest covers more acreage then ever in the USA. The great lakes are as full as ever and they are looking for people to move to Detroit Mi. Fresh water for the rest of your life.
          Doing something....doing nothing.... each of us will become extinct some day.
        • Jun 24 2013: "Doing something....doing nothing.... each of us will become extinct some day."

          why are you living mike? why do you continue to eat, sleep and feel the simple pleasures of living when you will just die later on in life?

          that's the same thought as what you said. why do we have to curb climate change when all of us will become extinct later on?

          you are living for the sole purpose that you still want to experience more in life. and other people want to experience something great too. but obviously they can't because we're too busy not caring because we're going to become extinct anyway!

          that is certainly not the case mike! we have to curb (as well as adapt; but more emphasis on CURB) climate change. we are given the option to either feel a sense of urgency or feel apathetic. and that's just a slap to our pride as humans -- who have invented some great technologies to ease our lives but not for our survival -- to feel apathetic about climate change.

          we have to curb!
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    Jun 18 2013: We definitly have to curb it, because a runaway greenhouse effect makes our much more like planet Venus.
    It seems that despite all the the attention on the issue, it seems still not clear that is a chain-reaction to come, which becomes increasingly harder and way more expensive to stop.

    "If the Arctic were ice free throughout the sunniest months of summer (something that could happen within 20 years at the current pace), then even if we ended all human CO2 emissions, the planet would keep warming at a pace similar to the one that it’s on now. And of course, if we don’t end human CO2 emissions, the increasing energy absorption of a dark Arctic will accelerate the pace of warming.

    As the Arctic sea ice melts, it exposes darker waters below that capture far more of the sun’s energy, speeding warming of both the region and the planet. Image: NASA

    Nor do the feedback loops stop there. As the Arctic melts, the permafrost in Siberia, Canada, and Alaska is melting with it. Below that permafrost is another trillion tons or so of carbon. As the permafrost melts, some of that carbon will emerge into the atmosphere. And a fraction of it will emerge in the form of methane, a gas that is 25-30 times more powerful in its greenhouse effect than CO2. How much warming that’s likely to contribute is still a topic of much debate, but at the upper end, it could also equal human emissions."

    Article as found in Scientific American (to boost the quality of this discussion):
    Search and read from "The Tipping Points":
    Further reading:

    Endnote quote Milo Kelley:
    "Having said that, here is a recent article that likely neither side will appreciate. [link]"
    This is not a scientifc article! It is biased by accountants! I deeply disagree in quoting these.

    Here you find why (from 6:47 in english, but you should watch it all)
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    W. Ying

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    Jun 18 2013: .
    The only way is to curb it.
    Our evolution is too slow to adapt to it.
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    Jun 17 2013: Well, there is some dispute about whether global warming really exists. What is your proof?

    I haven't heard that anyone who believes global warming exists has given up. What have you heard?
    • Jun 18 2013: actually, i read it on a news article stating that along with curbing the effects of global warming (climate change, as the more preferred and correct term), it is a good thing that people will now adapt to the changes in nature. even Al Gore stated it that we need to curb AND adapt.

      but my main concern is that, what if people will stop curbing and we will simply have all the technologies to adapt to the new and more unpredictable conditions? will we just leave mother earth behind?
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        Jun 19 2013: well, it would be better to curb, because I think it's dangerous to change mother nature too much. Also, if we get used to adapting, we may keep adapting and adapting, and then we'll hit changes we can't adapt to, and then we'll be in trouble.

        But you know, even if we adapt, we won't leave mother earth behind. I think people are talking about small adaptations, if the adaptations are too big we cannot handle them. Even if we adapt, people will still love nature, still want to be close to her. People will still fight to curb as much as possible, because they know that it is dangerous to adapt too much.
  • Jun 17 2013: We'll have to adapt. Apparently most resist this.
    IMO global warming is a form of, or is caused by, pollution. What kind of pollution? The kind that set global warming into action or the kind that aids this kind of change in the earth that the earth has regularly had, over millennium.
    But I'm not sure what you mean by global warming. Do you mean the melting of the ice caps?
    If you do, then rest assured more resources and easier access to those resources will be a result of melting ice caps.
    If we harvest the fresh water from them instead of just letting them melt and drift into the salt water oceans, while simultaneously cleaning up what water we have and not polluting more, then we will begin ending a serious oncoming water problem. We already have one, or at least almost 2 billion humans currently do.
    But I don't think humans can curb global warming. It pisses me off no end the way humans think and then act. Like they can destroy something irreplaceable and next think they can somehow save it or heal it. They only make things worse.

    The real problem, the really real problem is the mismanagement of the earth's resources by those who have no right to own them, control them and use them for profit by mismanaging them with the use of scarcity and fear-mongering to make more money from them.
    We cannot cure or heal but we can, as a global community, stop polluting, in every way that we do pollute, even amenities in life we think we can't live without. That is adapting, not what most might think of when they hear or read that word. I'm guessing many think about where they might be and will their government be strong enough, nasty enough and murderous enough to get what they need before their own financial and power elite cut their own citizens off.
    And it isn't money.
    Things don't....."get done".... because of money.
    Things....,,,,,"don't get done"......because of money.
    Nothing costs money.
    Everything costs people.
    What will you do when money collapses? Not work?
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    Jun 17 2013: Curb it!

    There's no way that we can adapt to those conditions and not loose billions of lives. People from EVERY coastal city (and most cities are coastal) will have to flee eventually. And there's no infrastructure to support billions of humans moving around the world in some decades, it will be total anarchy.

    *Edit: I was thinking of the rising sea levels mostly.
    • Jun 18 2013: i thought so too. :)
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    Jun 17 2013: Humans are not suited to the projected conditions. Adaptation is not looking feasible.

    Given that no one has ever made an accurate prediction, but that probabilities are generally useful within a margin of error:

    All that remains is a vanishing hope that we can find a way forward through the error margin in the form of adaptation.

    The thing called human that can get through that window could not possibly be called human under our current definitions.

    I think that humanity is finished. We can only hope that if any life follows us on this planet - it has any regard for what we are now and what we have been.

    We may rate no more than an archaeological item on the shelves in a museum run by some other species - assuming such a species gives a damn about museums.

    Just enjoy the time you have - there is no hope - there never was.

    There were only ever you and the moments you had - don't waste them.
    • Jun 18 2013: you mean to say that you are neither for curbing nor adapting?
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        Jun 18 2013: I think Didier Sornette's talk today has the heart of this topic.
        We are engaged in the systematic destruction of the planet - and I mean systematic in the pure sense of the word. We have created an earth-destroying machine that is doing what it was designed to do.
        Now - can you ask the cogs of that machine to stop being the cogs that they are?
        They cannot do that - their very existence depends on all the cogs around them - if they try to change, the other cogs will prevent them.
        There is only one thing that can stop it - that is to throw a big spanner amongst the cogs.
        There is only one such spanner that can be 100% guaranteed - and that is the destruction of the earth - the conclusion of the systemic project.
        All the talk of prevention and adaptation is focussed on adjusting the wheels and knobs of the machine - which has no affect on the purpose of the machine.

        Here's an insight - Look at Elon Musk - the patron saint of the machine. Have a look at his youtube video at the annual general shareholder meeting of Tesla motors.
        He is a wonderfully honest man - all the machine definitions of him are satisfied - his shareholders love him so much it's like watching a religious festival.
        And what does he say?
        He says that he intends to retire on Mars - and it is looking like he will actually achieve that - all his efforts are bent to getting off planet Earth before it turns into Venus - and he says that in bald honesty .. I doubt that anyone realises that .. they think he's joking, but Elon does not joke.
        The only other spanner I can see halting this machine is massive, global violence - carnage and chaos.
        By the time we hit Sornette's Dragon King, all that remains to us is the margin of error - and that becomes smaller as the phase change approaches.
        It becomes the mandate of all humans to do as Bin Laden did - he is to me at the stature of Christ - as his action unfolds, we may see the dissolution of the machine.
        (edit: Savour your moments - they are yours).
  • Jun 16 2013: I am for saving Mother Earth but ya just can't do it with only a handful of people! It's always been about money and it takes tons of money to do what needs to be done & most folks just can't afford it. And even if they could, what bang will they get for their bucks? That is how most folks feel. It will take "everyone" working together, and I do mean everyone, to even slow down global warming (if even that is possible at this point). I personality don't believe we can "curb" global warming at this point- we should have started in the 60's when we first learned about it!
    As far as focusing on the human race to adapt: Mother Nature is just getting started and I expect, once she really gets rolling, there will be few humans to adjust & adapt. Which just might be a good thing!!!
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    Jun 29 2013: That's a false choice my friend. We actually don't have a choice. Now that the "ninny headed" US congress has decided oil industry propaganda , political bribes, and superstitious fantasies are more important than science, we will all have no choice but to stop or reverse CO2, and warming, and at the same time adapt to it's NOW inevitable affects. The criminal barbaric denial and foot dragging of world leaders and corporate juggernauts has left us no choice. If we don't act hundreds of millions of people face greater starvation, disease, poverty,and regional wars than ever before. There is no choice. LIfe as we know it will no longer be possible in as little as 50 years. Get busy!
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      Jun 30 2013: Absolutely, we should shut off all this CO2 generation as soon as possible. The president has the USA. But, there are nearly 200 other countries, what about them? The USA has a large percentage of CO2 generation but not all. If only the USA stops, the forth coming disaster would only be delayed a few years. It has to be a global
      commitment. So, are all nations in agreement?
  • Jun 27 2013: IF we hope to survive our damage, we had better do both, starting yesterday!
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    Jun 25 2013: Our President has just announced that he is concerned about Global Warming and he is going to take effective action to curb the use of fossil fuel use by creating standards that would effectively end the use of coal as a fuel for electrical generation in the next decade. That is about 50% of the total power generation in the US. This is a fulfillment of a campaign promise made in 2008.

    There is no combination of new power generation medium that could be brought on line in the next decade to replace the loss of coal generation.

    The president quoted data as justification that two weeks ago was published in major news papers as being tainted.

    So, in reference to item 6 in my 10 problems with Global Climate Change addressing political involvement, I am suggesting that all the coal fired plants in the US be shut down for some period of time, maybe one month, and new readings of CO2 be taken to insure that the data is correct and not tainted as previously suggest two week ago. I wouldn't want our President to make lasting political policy based on faulty evidence.
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      Jun 29 2013: Sorry but Obama is pretty lame on energy. He hasn't done ANYTHING for 6 years and now announces he's gonna do something in 2?
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    Jun 24 2013: Hi LaMar,
    You have addressed all the issues I find with this premise. There has always been cycles in the "Global" climate.
    GC as I have said is very dynamic. It can be effected by a thousand things, including stuff in the air. So here are my ten problems with climate science and the projection of gloom and doom.

    1. Fifty years ago CS (Climate Scientists) were just as adamant that we were headed for an ice age.
    2. Air pollution in theory could effect, but a gas (CO2) is not near the top of the list.
    3,. Ocean water temperature most effects CO2.
    4. CS point to bad (warm) weather recently in the US seemingly overlooking the severe cold weather in other parts of the world.
    5. Regional Climate aka local weather is fairly accurate only a few days out... predictions of Global weather to 50 or one hundreds years out stretches my limits of credibility
    6. Solutions to the "problems" presented by the CS seem to address political objectives without any reasonable alternatives.
    7. CS make projections based on computer models from collected data. Data has been challenged as incorrect or altered.
    8. Computer projections are linear and cannot anticipate the multitude of future situations that could effect future climate.
    9. Lack of positive peer review from other sciences.
    10. Unacceptable response to challenges or questioning on findings

    Could they (CS) be absolutely, 100%, positively, correct? I just don't think so.

    I am more worried about being trampled by a herd of wild elephants at high noon in front of the Alamo as I was struck by lightning on July 4th.
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    Jun 24 2013: In every corner of world some peoples tries to curb this warming but the major population dont so that minor population also gets lossen for that
  • Jun 24 2013: we can't adapt to it. we'd need to be able to move whole cities and create new food plants able to survive higher temperatures. it's not even humanly possible let alone feasible. we don't need to moderate our way of living, the framework is already there it's just a matter of getting the vested interests who make a lot of money from causing the problem out of the way and building the alternatives.
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    Jun 22 2013: How do you tweak an engine when you have no relative experience in building one? I'm not against the curb idea or the warming - climate change argument but we played a hand in the mammoth extinctions ( though only mildly if not negligible) What most people are freaking on is uncontrollable unpredictable freak weather events that might affect their lives at any moment.

    We will adapt and move even if it kills 90% of us off, we cannot stop whatever may come, i suppose someone could design an app for it.
    • Jun 22 2013: Exactly! When the time comes when we realize that have no choice but to tweak the climate with geo-engineering, we will need to have created the knowledge base so we know what will work. We need to do it now while there is still time for careful experiment.
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        Jun 23 2013: I'm actually all for a run away flash warming event yet not months ago i was pro mini ice age. This attitude is not because i believe it is a natural process of the planet and sun but rather from "Let's get it over the first wave because the second is going to be worse.

        I'm a native indigenous first people of my homeland and for all indigenines the planet over the earth reaches up into you building up around your knees, that's the closest i can come to a description of how it feels or UB40's "The earth dies screaming" but in reality she just changes. Life pays a price to hold on here and every now and then she collects.
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    Jun 22 2013: In my view, your question is no one of choice anymore but a description of chronological order ...
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        Jun 22 2013: You don't have children, do you?
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        Lejan .

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        Jun 22 2013: Hi Juan,

        I was provocative on purpose in my last question to get to see your 'true colors' and I am not surprised to see them matching mine.

        My original reply to Cheyenne was not meant provocative at all and just reflecting my pessimistic view on this topic and my own species, which usurp to name themselves 'homo sapiens'.

        If you read it again, you may notice by the word 'anymore' that I am referring to our generation to have had a choice in this, yet we failed. And this is what we do consciously till today since we know about the scientific data presented to us. Further I assume, that we are going to take actions in curbing global warming, yet I am not convinced, that we will do it consequent enough to avoid the 'tipping point', by which, once passed, we have no other choice but to adapt to whatever climate there comes.

        Regarding this topic, there are not many views of mine of which I wish to be as wrong as one could possibly be in it, as anything else would help this our planet and therefore any single being on it, nevertheless, I almost lost all my optimism to be proven wrong at all.

        Therefore, Cheyenne's question does not appear as a question to me and I commented on it,as what it appears to me instead. If this causes confusion 300 years from now, my apologies shall be given here alongside as well and ... just in case.

        Will they hate us? Maybe, probably but what difference would it make? In my view, the best they can do is to 'learn' from us and to ensure, that something alike will never happen again as long as, at least, they live. This is how I deal with the history of my very nation, as there is nothing else I can do with it but to be ignorant about it, which I refuse to be.

        The same goes for my current responsibility, in which I am trying to do my best in my own contradictoriness, fastidiousness and convenience in which I grew up and settled as if it was for granted, yet since I know better, there isn't much to hide myself behind while judging myself.
        • Jun 24 2013: so you guys are giving up? there's just nothing we can do to AT LEAST curb climate change? that's it?
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      Jun 22 2013: G'Day Lejan,

      I am not sure of curbing Global Warming... Can it be curbed?
      Some groups of "scientist" say to stop using fossil fuels and the CO2 will go down and all will be cool... which I think is a metaphor.
      Another bunch of "Scientist" say to kill all the cows, their flatulence is polluting the skies and causing global warming.
      Another group of "scientist" say... Oh forget it.
      The only way to survive is to become a world of horse riding vegans...
      Wait a minute, where are we getting all that hay and who is going to clean up all that horse sh.....

      Life is never that simple.
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        Jun 22 2013: I think there were many horse riding vegans, including us, if this was the only way to escape a personal terminal illness.

        The problem with consequences is, that they only come alive the very moment we directly face them, despite the capacity of our imagination and this probably as a mechanism of 'self-defense' not to paralyze in a multitude of 'what if's' ...

        Unfortunately this 'mechanism' short-circuits our actions against better knowledge by simple ignorance, which has the same source which keeps smokers smoking, overweight people eating and drug addicts having their dose ...

        Also by the pace of our 'biorhythm' we can not observe the 'slow motion' of drifting changes within the climate, especially by the fact, that the weather changes every day anyway. And how many people actually 'absorb' the meaning and findings in weather statistics?

        And to make things even more confusing for 'the masses', you just negate scientific data if it servers your own agenda, of which, so it seems, is no lack of.

        As the consequence of curbing global warming would reduce the quality of life 'we', the 'first world' is used to directly, which by itself would be difficult enough to deal with, having 'the people' willingly and additionally 'dis-informed' is what keeps the status quo as it is and alternative solutions off the given and lucrative markets.

        And as you said, 'Life is never that simple', we can be certain by the way we cope with this problem at the moment, that this is not going to become better any soon, if ever ...
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      Jun 22 2013: Great experiment, except for one little flaw. it has nothing to do with people or earth. Won't even address scale. Man is not the most prevalent life form on earth... I think it was cockroaches that held that honor.
      But you make some good points... Our current fuel reserves will be economically unapproachable in several hundred years, so we better get working on new technology to meet future demands.

      But, what idiots recently thought it was a great idea to use foodstuffs for the conversion to fuel.
      Poor of the world starving and we are using corn to create alcohol to add to automotive fuel. Never mind that it takes more fuel to make alcohol then the fuel energy we get from alcohol.

      Thinking about your experiment.... I think it would be more accurate to use an egg. The egg shell is much greater then ratio of the earth's crust and any bacteria on the egg shell is all living life on the planet, not just mankind. We'll have to create the thin shell of the atmosphere and consider a food source to sustain the bacteria... geez, this is harder then i thought.
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    Jun 21 2013: I do think that humanity as a whole is vastly superior than the one little rock we live on. If worst comes, we can hopefully just move (given that we are developed far enough in space exploration). Although if we actually do get a second chance, hopefully we won't be so stupid as to make the same mistakes and kill yet another beautiful home.
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    Jun 21 2013: M-L and all,
    I know I sound like a broken record, for those old eough to know what records are...
    Global climate is a dynamic thing it is constantly changing with the the temperature raising and falling due to a number of factors sometime within years, sometimes within millennium... While people point to warmer temps in the US, they seem to ignore that Russia froze so that the global temp was actually a little lower. But if we just stop using fossil fuels everything will go back to normal. ... in the US or Russia? What seems to be ignored is that Global level of CO2 is most effected by ocean temperatures. But, all this talk of global climate change is based more on political correctness rather the real science.. It's not without precedence...
    The Greek story teller Aesop tells of " Chicken Little"....
  • Jun 21 2013: Certainly not dear Pinter. If someone is seeking solution then and only then my comments apply. Otherwise they can be ignored. Choice is yours. One cannot live by values of others unless chosen.
  • Jun 21 2013: Not the FACTS I have...i.e. Amazon forests going fast, drought in midwest, CA. and CO.,deserts appearing everywhere etc., fresh water being siphoned off for agriculture etc.
  • Jun 20 2013: Jeff, To answer your question about what part of climate change don't I get. The part where you reference a survey and call it scientific research and then blogs and "news" stories to support your opinion. But actual data even though referenced in a readable article, you say is not valid. If we can't agree on the facts we certianly can not agree on the impact or solution. Now note that I do (I DO, I DO, I DO) acknowledge that the earth is getting warmer - your words climate change. So you tell me what part of climate change do you not get? Look at factual data instead of surveys.

    I also have to wonder if your comprehension of what you read is sound. If you actually could comprehend (more likey just failed to read) you would have noticed that I full well understand that the average earth temperature is getting warmer, what you refer to as climate change. You have adopted the politically correct term because you and your scientists are not sure your data actually supports global warming. Which is what is occuring. So call it what it is.

    Now to ask you a similar question what part of my statements do you not get? Remember comprehension! I quote "I believe for now our earth will be getting warmer for a while. Ocean levels will rise and those humans that fail to adapt will eventually no longer exist. " First read to understand then respond.

    You don't have that many friends that you can alienate those that have some support for you position. For me global warming. Not all the other issues tied up in climate change. But there is data where consensous is possible and solutions may be developed.

    It doesn't matter the number times you make the same statement it doesn't make it's impact any stronger. And I'm sure you know until you can put it in economical terms and show it's benefit, most others that can actually help fix whatever is determined to be the concern, you will just be yelling in the wind.

    Let's see are there any other things we can agree on?
    • Jun 21 2013: To clarify, Milo, there is a difference between global warming and climate change. Global warming refers to changes in average global temperatures with time. Climate change, which is not a politically correct term, is a scientific term referring to changes in climate: temperature, precipitation, wind, humidity, sky condition, averaged over 30 years.
  • Jun 20 2013: In either case we all will have to stop using un-needed, unnecessary, unwanted, useless things which do not affect quality of life and quality time. According to me there are thousands of such things in the world. But can we? In this world of so called progress,development, growth for very few, will we have courage not to be with the society or our peers? Can we walk alone? Once many start walking alone they will not be 'alone'! We are regressing and not progressing.
    Bhupendra, Mumbai, India
  • Jun 19 2013: The world works in cycles. Todays global warming being helped along with greenhouse gases is no different from volcanoes causeing the same thing. If we cannot live with an agrarian society in totality, there is no choice but to look to technology to save ourselves. The tipping point has been reached anyway, we need to adapt, mother earth can always start over.
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    Jun 19 2013: Jeff,
    I never said that there wasn't any evidence of tainted CO2 in the findings. I am also sure that if we could have done the these studies in 1600 we would find that the CO2 was from brown coal dug in Wales. And if we go back to 1400, there would be evidence of wood smoke. But, you keep going on this point of the CO2. What I have been saying and one more time for emphasis....
    I am not convinced that the level of CO2 is a precursor to climate change. I am not convinced that by eliminating fossil fuel use, the climate would return to it's previous state and all would be as it was..

    What I am convinced of is that climate is a dynamic state and has dips and bumps through out the ages, some big some small. I am not even convinced that we are under going any radical change now.

    Could I be wrong, sure. But, I am not convinced

    I am even less convinced when they say in 50 years, we'll be so hot the polar caps will melt and New York will be under 20 feet of water. They can't even tell me if it's going to rain next week.
    Worse, when I examine the evidence presented, I find more conflicts with other sciences. I find only compelling evidence is presented contradictory evidence is squelched. But, the most compelling evidence for me that this is not true... When any of this information is questioned, the response is quick and vile. There is no quiet response of scientific discussion, there are cries of "denier" "earth killer" blah, blah, blah.
    So, rather then discuss carbon analysis, go on line and look what scientists in other fields are saying about global change.
    When you have checked oceanographers, paleontologist, etc, examine their comments and conflictions and then maybe we can have some more conversation.
    • Jun 20 2013: Jeff, Here is one such look at the data. I will at the risk that if you know the ending you will likely not review the article for yourself. It clearly shows CO2 levels rise and fall after the change in temperature. CO2 changes do not lead (or cause the) changes in temperature.

      From what I see many will talk about ice ages as if they were normal and warming of climates as normal but continued warming (our current vocabulary - climate change) as abnormal. I believe for now our earth will be getting warmer for a while. Ocean levels will rise and those humans that fail to adapt will eventually no longer exist. Those that survive, and most will survive, will look back on us as we do those before us and wonder why and how they managed, how could they have believed that, and why they just didn't ....?
      • Jun 20 2013: When discussing scientific issues, Milo, one must use scientific sources. If I wanted to discuss theological issues I wold use theological sources, not scientific ones. The Cornwall Alliance is a Christian organization, not a scientific one. As a teacher I would not accept this as a scientific source from my students, and as an adult in this conversation I categorically reject it as a valid source in this scientific debate.

        To the point: 97% of climate scientists, the people who are the trained experts, agree that (a) the climate is changing and (b) the cause is anthropogenic. If you had lung cancer, Milo, would you go to a foot doctor? After all, the foot doctor is a doctor, right? Of course you wouldn't. Likewise, when discussing the climate we should go to the experts, climate scientists.

        Another interesting way to investigate the validity of climate change is to follow the money. The Koch brothers fund all sorts of disinformation about climate change, because they have a monetary vested interest in fossil fuels. However, even they may have seen the futility of denial. Here is my source, conservative learning US News & World Report:

        As another example of business and climate change, look at what Starbucks is doing. They, too, have a vested interested in the climate, though they need the climate to remain stable. Here is my source:

        In closing, climatologists tell us the climate is changing, and we are to blame. Business is spending money due to the reality of climate change.

        Not to be rude, but I have a question: what part of climate change do you not get?
      • Jun 24 2013: Climatologists only observe or follow the pattern of the climate. They don't necessarily have the knowledge of what is the "cure" of the "disease" (global warming). In other word, the epidemiologists are the expert to observe or even study the cause of the disease, but know nothing or very little about how to cure. Even when we look at some diseases, the experts who found the origin of many infective diseases were laboratory experiment scientists who first discovered the bacteria and viruses. Even cancer would not be successfully cured or patients' life prolonged without laboratory research. All theses contributions to the clinicians were given by the physical and biochemical scientists. Climatology is no exception. It needs more observations and additional statistical analysis and physical verifications in order to confirm the cause and effect of the greenhouse gasses and "global warming".
        For example for any treatment method to be approved to be used legally by clinicians in practice, there must be a study group, consisted of clinicians, lab scientists, biostatisticians (to analyze the clinical trial data) and (optional ) epidemiologists, (who serves as consultant similar to the role of a climatologist, in how to stop or reducing the effect of global warming), for the legal permit by the FDA.
        Can an epidemiologist "tell us the disease is caused by the microbes and the microbes are to blame WITHOUT help from the scientists who discover and identify the bacteria/virus even in current practice of medicine? Even for cancer patients, the diagnosis and treatment can't be done without certain lab confirmation on the type of cancer cell-biology.
        Furthermore, we all recognize the warming of the temperature, but the real cause of it is still not clear. And the treatment "prescription" by the climatologists is not necessarily reliable, regardless of how large the "consensus percentage" among
  • Jun 19 2013: Vincent B, Thanks for the links. They provided some reasonable speculation about trends. Most of which I agree with. I like Ramez Naam believe we are well on our way to doing the things necessary to improve the world overall. In almost every area invloving human comsumption, there are dozens of new and innovating possibilities to satisfy the need and reduce the enviromental impacts. I know for my short 60 years, it is amazing how humans have changed our environmental impact mostly for the better. I still believe we have not yet seen our best days.

    However, for the estimated rise in ocean levels, we will see if people and governments to be effected by them will take the necessary actions now to mitigate those likely effects.
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      Jun 19 2013: Hi Milo,
      I am still not too upset about raising oceans.... I know, poor fishermen in Bangladesh.... But have you been to New York? Over crowded, poorly laid out, a hundreds of years old water system that leaks more then is drunk. garbage galore from all those people, There should be not city larger then 100,000 according to F.L. Wright and I have to agree with him in one of my former occupations as a city planner. Don't get me started on building in flood zones, or major cities in storm areas and on fault zones. All those people, some 20 million paved over one of the most beautiful garden spots in the world ...the LA basin... you talk about violating the environment...I got your violations...
  • Jun 18 2013: There is no curbing of global warming available.
    The Earth will get hot or cold without our help.

    Believe the soothsayers if you will.
    It makes no difference.
    Just gossip.
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    Jun 18 2013: Why should we need to choose between curbing and adapting? It would be better to work on both ends of the problem. And maybe that's what people are doing, not just stopping to curb the problem, but switching to adapt to it.

    I do research (in the US by the way) on how agriculture can prepare for more extreme weather (like the drought we had last year. Extreme weather like droughts and heavy rain is believed to be one by-product of rising temperatures and a changing climate. Adapting to that is important for food security and stable markets not only in the US but worldwide, since the US are a major crop exporter.

    So I work on the adaptation side, and I'm totally happy with that. There is nothing I could do better than this. But if others are better at curbing I am the last person to stop them.

    Of course, curbing would be the moral choice. But let's face it: we're not going to stop China, India and Brazil from growing their economy, needing more energy, building more coal power plants and buying more and bigger cars. Neither are the US likely to invest big-scale in renewables if coal and oil are more economical. It is a painfully slow process to convince politics and the public that rising temperatures and all the consequences (shifting vegetation and disease patterns, changes in atmospheric circulation due to more warming around the poles etc.).

    All things aside, I think we can all try and do our little part, like saving energy, bicycling instead of using a car, buy electricity from renewable energy. I'm confident that this wil help at least to some degree.
  • Jun 18 2013: Jeff, Great link. However from your link it linked to this link Which fairly convincingly argues that the temperature changes leads the changes in CO2. Not that CO2 changes lead the changes in temperature. This goes for both the last million years and the last 50. So predictions about CO2 levels can be determined by the rise in temperatures, but not the reverse. At least according to the article.

    Mike, great analysis. "Your cite basically says there is a problem and we are not sure. ... and ... In fact, most of the science behind the theories of climate change is all SWAG and your cite pretty much confirmed that." So back to my original point. Let's define the problem. We can fix lots of stuff and waste a lot of resourses fixing the wrong problems.

    We have to remember often times the salesman sells us twice. First sells us the problem and then his/her solution. Climate change has lost of dollars tied up in it and many salesmen. So I'm skeptical of most of what "scientists" are telling me. I want to closely review the studies and data each claim they have and then draw my own conclusions.

    In one of my previous jobs I was an Assistant Inspector General. When inspecting, we verified each data element with whomever we were inspecting. However, we were also very clear we, the IG, would determine the implications and interpretation of those facts. While we might listen to how they wove them together, much of the time behind the scenes was figuring what the fact actually meant.

    Thanks for all the thoughts. To again answer the introductory question, we need to do both. I'm just not certain how soon and how many resources to each. If the sky is truly falling, then radical investments must be made. But if only leaking some, then let's match the right amount of resources to that and use the rest for other amazing and wonderful priorities.
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    Jun 18 2013: Juan brought up a point about a super eruption in the US and it is a real threat. He says that the surviving American would quickly move north and south and when Canada and Mexico try to close their borders and that would cause war. Plausible.

    Biut, I see another scenario.

    The super volcano erupts and the only the very southwest and the very northeast states have any real chance to survive. There may be movement north and south, but the national grid would have failed, availability of fuel would be very limited like what is in your tank is what it is. the same with food. Almost no cross country movement.
    Very annoying set of circumstances, but not the problem. The ash that is airborne and there will be a lot of it. It would probably cover the globe in 24 to 48 hours. Then virtual darkness. And cooling. How long? Maybe a couple of years. How cold? Temps world wide at 32F. Quality of air, almost not breathable. Catastrophic loss of life, no food crops, Almost total loss of domestic animals. During this time weather will be all over the place making matters worse.
    Survivors may have to resort to cannibalism.
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    Jun 18 2013: I assume it is by design that you have, by the construction of your Curb/Adapt menu, excluded those who do not view cycling atmospheric conditions as cause for widespread panic. Can we assume that some fraction of the folks who view this as a non-problem are not mindless, politically motivated idiots? That fraction of intelligent skeptics exist because they are not convinced of the truth of human-caused atmospheric modulations. If you know of conclusive proof that Al Gore's Nobel prize winning Inconvenient Truth is based upon honest, true scientific proof (not just temperature/ Co2 fluctuations) please share it. Without such proof your menu should include a third option.
  • Jun 18 2013: Thanks for the comments. One thing I have learned is to define the problem before deciding the course of action. I understaand many on here have already defined the problem. I also read a number of closed conversations about climate change. You will find I'm a skeptic. Skeptical that humans will respond appropriate once we have actually defined the problem. Skeptical that we have not really defined the problem. Skeptical that humans can create climate change. Skeptical that either side will take the time to really understand the impact, on the earth and humans or on the economy and humans. Skeptical that the intentions of each player are altruistic.

    Having said that, here is a recent article that likely neither side will appreciate. But this helps clarify what the magnitude of the problem may be. This gives those that believe we should do somethign to curb and adapt a more realsitic goal to achieve. It also provides those says let's not throw out the bady with the bath water, i.e. kill the economy just to deal with something happening a 100 years from now.

    The real reason I'm posting here, is to really look at new data, new models, and figure out what is the best definition of the problem. If we can first agree on what is going on, how it is going on, what effects humans have on things, and what is beyond our control, we can then really begin to address whatever it is we end up defining it as.

    Also just to make a couple of observations. Before humans, the earth had much higher concentrations of CO2. So how did that happen without us? The global temperature has been flat for 10 years. Why? China is now the biggest producer of CO2 and not likely to show improvement. It is possible temperatures would continue to escalate even if all cars, heating and cooling systems and other sources of greenhouse gases were suddenly eliminated. So adaptation is likely required.
    • Jun 18 2013: Milo draw a line on a piece of paper that zig-zags up left to right. Any two points may have the same vertical (y) component, but the line of best fit trends up; the slope is positive. Such is the case with global temperatures. Also, the carbon in the atmosphere is decidedly anthropogenic as its isotopic composition is only present in sources that have been burned, i.e., coal and oil. There is no question that there is a direct correlation between atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and temperature, there is no question that humans are responsible for the additional CO2 in the atmosphere. To reinforce these concepts, check out this graph:

      You seem like you are open minded, I hope these observations from atmospheric science make sense to you because they are our reality.
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        Jun 18 2013: Jeff,
        Your science only reflects current conditions, it does not assign sources of atmospheric contents,
        History tells us that the atmosphere has had a wide variety of contents over the years. Further, much of these various variations occurred before mankind was in being.
        One question I have not seen addressed in all the information presented in this conversation...
        Is the increase in CO2 the cause or the result of global warming.
        • Jun 18 2013: Mike, did you read the part about the isotopic composition of the carbon in the atmosphere. As a geologist I ask you to re-read it because that's what makes this so much different than other other climate changes in earth's history. We are directly responsible for the rise in CO2 in the atmosphere, now over 400 ppm, and therefore indirectly responsible for the concomitant climate change.
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        Jun 19 2013: Jeff,
        OK, CO2 is raising and temperature is falling. What I noticed in all those charts, that the charts that implied CO2 was highlighted and some that sort of pointed in another direction, you really had to look for. The one chart I did not see was the chart that showed whether CO2 changes was a cause or effect of global .temperature.
        Also, much of the data was particular to our quarter of the globe....Does that eschew the outcome by much. Again SWAG, aka computer projection models base on......
        • Jun 19 2013: Mike,
          CO2 readings are currently being taken all over the globe. It started in 1957 by then graduate student (now Dr.) Keeling. He took measurement on top of a mountain in Hawaii so as to be as far away from human sources of CO2 as possible. He found an elevated level and it has been rising ever since. You'll note seasonal variations in CO2 and that is directly correlated to seasonal changes in photosynthesis: plans, when photosynthesizing, consume CO2 and global decreases in CO2 are recorded. The situation changes when the season changes and plants stop photosynthesizing. Three important points: the CO2 is anthropogenic as verified by carbon isotopes, its concentration has not been this high in hundreds of thousands of years and began to rise with the advent of the industrial revolution, and temperature rises in direct correlation with CO2. In this case correlation is due to causation. I hope all of that made sense.
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        Jun 19 2013: Jeff,
        Sorry if I misled you. I am not disputing that CO2 is in the atmosphere. Not even levels. I am just not seeing evidence that directly connects the industrial revolution with Global climate change and if we just cut back on fossil fuels use, the climate temperature would stop raising and all would be right with the world. All the influences on global climate, and we hang our hat on a pollutant way down the list of pollutants, a pollutant that is greatly effected by ocean temperatures, And the one that bothers me the most ... found to be a problem after a concerted effort was made to reduce fossil fuel use.using other reasons.
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        Jun 19 2013: Hi Jeff,
        Sorry, but,
        I have read all (maybe most) of the data by the climate scientists and I find it tainted. It doesn't work for me. If you have followed this from the beginnings, they had determined the solution before clearly defining the problem. They built on the freon pollution science that sold. I see more holes, more twisting of findings, more ignoring of contradictory findings, more SWAG then I could accept as real.
        Let me put it this way. When I was young, a lady of the evening told me that I was the love of her life...
        she had more credibility then what I have read about pending climate change and the causes
        • Jun 19 2013: The beginnings were in the late 1800's. Have you been following over 120 years of science on climate change?

          Please detail the twistings of findings, the ignoring of contradictory findings, with citations. I've provided you with scientific data and you make accusations without backing them up, rather like a 6th grade playground argument. I'm confident you can do better, Mike.
          Which makes more sense to you, 97% of climate scientists coming to the same conclusion, or greedy oil companies and conservatives like the Heritage Foundation distorting and outright lying to promote their economic agendas? Who has more credibility, Mike?

          I seriously would love to see your sources for your claims. What is your science background? Mine includes degrees in geology and mathematics.
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        Jun 19 2013: Hi Jeff,
        Don't get overwrought that I am not as enamored with the 97% of climate scientist as you.
        No, I am not over 120 all though some days... I actually went into a number of sites that did climate as far back as there is to go. Further, I am retired for years and I have nothing but time on google. So, I am not going to list many years of reviewing this subject, what is it... a decade ago when Al Gore jumped up? So, here is my suggestion...go on line and read the sites that have questions about global warming, sorry climate change. Scientists in other fields that can not rectify the climate guys with their stuff. Then read the summaries of the climate guys... if we just stop using fossil fuels all would be well.... Then there are you own charts, some show high CO2 and low temperatures.
        Sorry Jeff, First rule of scientific fact, outside replication is mandatory. That's not happened, too many holes.
        You show me yours and I show you mine... diplomas? Come on, we are better then that.
        • Jun 19 2013: Mike, explain the Keeling Curve in conjunction with isotopic evidence that the additional carbon is anthropogenic. Then we'll talk.
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      Jun 18 2013: Milo,
      Your cite basically says there is a problem and we are not sure. The only point they made was concerning the increase in CO2 since 1750 was that man contributed 25% to that level and future projections could show doubling in shorter periods. Why 25%. Not 20 or 40? Because 25% is known in scientific terms as a SWAG.
      In fact, most of the science behind the theories of climate change is all SWAG and your cite pretty much confirmed that.
      So, is our Globe under going climate change. Climate is a dynamic condition on our planet. It is always changing.
      Volcanic activity can chill us except if undersea, that could warm us. And then there are meteor strikes. those could turn the earth into a snow ball,.but solar flares could melt it, etc., etc.
      So, what to do? One thing is to tell all if mankind does this one little thing to reduce our carbon emissions and all will be right with the world and everything will return to what it was..
      Another is to recognize that there are global forces in play and our best reaction is to remain vigilant and adaptable to what ever the planet gives us.
      Q. Can mankind destroy the world?
      A. No, Mankind can only destroy mankind. Cockroaches will always have the world.
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    Jun 18 2013: Thaw.....Freeze.....Thaw..... and so on and so on, planet tilts, big warm period, it tilts back and we freeze down again. Each time we freeze down we lose unique environments and species like the neanderthals. life is tenacious, it has been dragged to it's grave but always claws itself back out and each time it does it wears a different face.You want to save our planet then work to get us off our planet, well, some of us atleast. We are only young and are still enthralled to our wants and petty desires and maybe we need to lose what we have to appreciate what we had. We have one saving grace, the ability to save for a rainy day.
  • Jun 18 2013: When it comes to scientific ideas that contradict the current paradigm regarding man's place in the world, history shows us there is a path that is continually followed: First deny the idea; second accept the idea, but deny humans are involved; finally, admit the idea is true and humans are involved, but deny any culpability. Climate change fits this pattern perfectly, and we are at stage II in the minds of most politicians which is is why the question posed above contains the word 'or.'

    Climate change is here (stage III) and we have to curb it now AND adapt to it. To do neither makes no sense. Sadly some politicians, in the U.S. on the conservative side of the spectrum, deny it exists. Some cities and states are beginning to adapt to it by spending large sums of money building sea walls and the like. The prudent approach is to do acknowledge it exists, do a lot about it while adapting to it.

    The question should not ask about global warming, it should ask about climate change, which is a much better descriptor of the problem. Some regions of the planet will get warmer, some will get cooler; some will get drier, some will get wetter; some will have more frequent and more powerful storms, others will have less storms. The entire climate is changing, not just temperature and not always an increase in temperature. Furthermore, the question is much too simplistic, we must curb climate change and adapt to it if we are to maintain a healthy environment in which to not only survive but to thrive.
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      Jun 18 2013: very nice cherry picking / quote mining you had there. here is the actual data, from the same link:

      "Observational and modelling studies of mass loss from glaciers and ice caps indicate a contribution to sea-level rise of 0.2–0.4 mm/yr, averaged over the 20th century."

      "Climate changes during the 20th century were estimated from modelling studies to have led to contributions of between −0.2 and 0.0 mm/yr from Antarctica (the results of increasing precipitation) and 0.0 to 0.1 mm/yr from Greenland (from changes in both precipitation and runoff)"

      please note that the ice is actually thickening on the antarctic ice cap. if this trend continues, philippines will be under water not before hundreds of years in the future. plenty of time to prepare and act.
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          Jun 18 2013: maybe you need to calm down? just sayin

          imagine folks in the 1800's discussing whether they need to stop doing an activity, giving up a great deal of their wealth and progress, in order to solve a problem that is due today. what would you say to them?

          that is what i would say: no no, you have other tasks. you need to get children in schools, discover germ theory to stop endemics, go on with the industrial and scientific revolution, implement technologies, increase wealth and knowledge, and so on. that is your task. we, the people of the 2000's are much better equipped to solve those problems with the very technology you have created for us.

          and that is the message you get from our grand children. they ask us to develop science and technology, so when the problem is at the gates, they have the toolset to solve it. with our rudimentary 21st century tools, it is foolish to throw away the future in order to solve problems that are just too big for us, and they are far in the future. rather, we need to work on creating the technology our grand grand children will need.

          you are hindering this process with your fear mongering and deception. nothing but greenpeace propaganda.
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          Jun 18 2013: "I agree with what you say."

          then what are we talking about?

          "I have nothing to do with GreenPeace"

          yes you do. you echo their worldview, even if you don't know. but greenpeace was only a metaphor. there are other organizations with the same mindset. at the end: crying wolf when we face a staggering 1-2 (!) celsius warming in the next century (!) is not a good strategy. all it does is clouding public discussion and alienating the public from the issue.

          yes we need to take it seriously. and that includes for example dropping propaganda, and starting to pay attention to facts. also it is time to get our a...s together, and create the necessary conditions for technology to thrive. hint: politics usually does not help things to thrive.
  • Jun 18 2013: I think the signs are clear. And they are positive signs.

    There is another talk on here about why Shell Oil are seemingly thinking there are a lack of engineers, and that's a good thing, here's why...

    As long as young people see a better way than the past, as long as they are part of the solution, as long are they are encouraged - I believe we can solve this issue and many more problems that face us.

    After all young people want to change the world, I say we don't only let them try, we actively support them.
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      • Jun 18 2013: I mean by "actively" supporting them, we work with them, now.
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    Jun 18 2013: I don't don't think that there is a way to curb climate change, not positive, just have been convinced. If there is a major rise in global temperature and it is sustained for some period, there very well could be changes to the environment. These changes will necessitate adaptation of some magnitude. People need to be relocated, Agriculture cycles could be disrupted with loss of crops. The list goes on. Once thing that doesn't concern me is mother earth. Her temperature has been up and down, struck by meteors, her land masses split apart... No, mother earth will be OK....
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      Jun 18 2013: Yes, it's very true that earth will be alright (if we don't literally blow her to pieces) seeing as at least 99.9 percent of all life that ever existed on earth is now extinct. Climates change all the time. But this one is man made, and it will greatly hurt our species, our children and grand children will suffer for this...

      I think that we can curb it and if we can't put enough effort into doing it right there's always the "last-approach"-approach
      Where we have many grand schemes for cooling our planet.
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        Jun 18 2013: Cooling is simple. Mankind has all the tools readily available. Of course, it could lead to a new ice that's a thought. The last one if I understand the story reduced human population to about 30,000. Let's it took 15,000 years to go from 30,000 to 7 billion. So, we could take the hit now and let those future generations to deal with the problem then. So, who wants to freeze to death?
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        Jun 18 2013: I've been in most of those cities, convince me that if they were all submerged, the people living there could not build better communities then the one they left... overcrowded, no real planning in layout , pollution, etc, etc. No, we really wouldn't be losing much in the way of living well.
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    Jun 18 2013: Global warming again. OK, Have we determined if global climate is a dynamic force or natural system that is at the control of mankind. in some manner? Let see, We can't control local or regional weather, volcanoes.... Floods and forest fires, we respond but really can't control them. Tornadoes? All we do is run and hide. Then there are the droughts. These are natural phenomenon that occur on a local or regional level. But here we are talking about the temperature of the entire planet. The temperature as an average is recorded on a global scale. If I understand it, if we just lower our carbon footprint to say a level preindustrial revolution, our global climate will cool to a temperature that will sustain polar ice, bring polar bears to higher population, reverse raising sea levels, etc. etc.. Does anyone see the ridiculousness in this .
  • Jun 17 2013: This will be a great problem in all areas The Porkers will always do what they want.