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Jake Maddox

Field Service Engineer,

TEDCRED 10+

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Global Warming Caused by Human Impact is Negligible

Global warming. The term evokes visions of scorching global temperatures, droughts of biblical proportions, deserts forming on an epic scale, and death for mankind. And yet synonymous with the term is that humans are solely responsible for this cataclysm. But is this really the case? The fact is, most people are simply not well enough informed on the subject or have not looked closely at the historical evidence. They are simply left to being persuaded by the negative dogma surrounding the subject that is being perpetuated by those with their own political agendas.....sorry Mr. Gore. The earth is a very dynamic planet, sure it may seem very static and unwavering, but you must think beyond your frame of reference. Our short lives are very insignificant compared to the life cycle of the earth. Ice core data taken from Antarctica reveal that for as long as the records go back, nearly 800,000 years, that the earth has experienced a cyclic pattern or warming and cooling that revolves on a 100,000 year cycle. We are currently in what is known as an interglacial period which is why the glaciers are receeding. In fact, they have been receeding for at least the last 15,000 years, well before human influence and the burning of fossil fuels. Accordng to the latest core samples taken from the sea floor under the Antarctic ice shelf, the glaciers have to melt much more to return to levels that were seen in previous interglacial periods. In February 2013, global warming activists were stunned by the retreat of one of their former UN scientists. Top Swedish Climate Scientist Dr. Lennart Bengtsson, formerly of the UN IPCC, declared CO2”s “heating effect is logarithmic: the higher the concentration is, the smaller the effect of a further increase.” So let us try and mitigate our influence upon the earth the best we can, but most importantly, we need to accept that the earth's climate does and will change. Let us prepare for how we will deal with these natural changes when they occur

Topics: global warming
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    Jun 26 2013: I'm glad this debate is getting attention and flaring tempers as i knew it would. We need people to get passionate about their views and beliefs in science. We shouldn't be afraid to ask difficult questions or propose controversial ideas. I think some people are misunderstanding my debate and assuming I am for the continued burning of fossil fuels, which is not the case. People tend to associate themselves in groups. I this case you're either in the group of "CO2 increasing is a joke, long live oil companies! " or the other group "CO2 is caused by humans, we're all going to die!" My sentiment is that we should make efforts to mitigate our dependency and decrease polution and the effects of over-population, but that our warming trend is cyclic and the earth will continue it's dynamic climate. CO2 levels have been much higher in the past and life flourished, great plant food, which in turn increased oxygen levels. And even though humans are responsible for increased current CO2 levels, we can still change and stop interfering with natural processes. The tipping point of 400ppm is not true, we will not perish, we will adapt to climate change and eventually the earth will start to cool. Humans in 45,000 years might try and introduce greenhouse gases to stop the glaciers from advancing, who knows. It's all cyclical.
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        Jun 28 2013: We're having a mature discussion and debate xyz. Arguing is something children do, well children and politicians. ;-)
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      Jun 30 2013: Hi Jake, This is a good debate to have. My point here is simple. Scientists follow rules. Those rules are called the Scientific Method. The Scientific Method is taught in high school. Check it on Wikipedia.

      Do you have a car? Thank the Scientific Method for the basic discoveries that made all that possible. Do you own a TV. Thank the Scientific Method. Do you have a personal computer? Thank the Scientific Method. How about a cell phone, Hot & cold running water, air conditioning, food, clothing, insulated homes - all that comes from the Scientific Method. That's how Scientists were able to discover & prove how the world works. All that is the Scientific Method. That's the way that Engineering Scientists were able to engineer the good technology stuff we enjoy today. That's what improves stuff.

      Now let's make this personal! Your profile says that you are a field service engineer. That means you probably use technology every day. You might install or repair or service all kinds of wonderful engineering. Most of that probably did not exist or was not even possible when I was born. Some of the best stuff you use, might not have been even thought of when YOU were born! Technology is that impressive. You know that.

      Now let's make this even more personal. Have a tool box? Do a Wikipedia search, by name, on every single took you have in your kit. That means everything from the electronics you may use to hammers & nails & screws. On every page, the Scientific Method & that KIND of THINKING & THOSE RULES made it all possible.

      So Global Warming is a Big Political Issue! Big Deal! Politicians can all go buzzard themselves for all I care. They milk important issues like Global Warming for all they are worth. And that does no one any good! But here is the rub for me! And by "rub" - I mean the BIG problem!

      Scientists, using the SAME Scientific method say: WORRY. I'll continue this little diatribe here soon.
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      Jul 1 2013: Jake, I'm going to continue this both here & in the box above.

      Scientists, using the Scientific Method and the Rules of Science say one thing: Worry! Justifiably, that scares me a little. Sometimes it scares me a lot. Why? Because I know how SCIENCE works! Specifically, it's all about the Scientific Method! Scientist's work using proven methods. And the RULES are concrete & rock solid as far as what has to go on to make things possible & then make what's scientifically possible into an iPad.

      Scientists do their thing. They first come up w/the idea of the internet. Then they experiment. They prove it is possible for the Department of Defense. They build it. They perfect it. Then after a while, they make it possible for all of the rest of us! Next, Al Gore comes along and tells us that he invented the internet. Buzzard droppings! Science did that!

      Scientists compete like professional athletes. They politic & wheedle & wrangle, & plot like the rest of us. And they check up on each other's homework like you would not believe! They all want to get it RIGHT. That's the big payoff. That is what makes you a superstar.

      Know what Albert Einstein looks like? He's a superstar scientist. He made the big nuclear discovery. The rest is history. But the SCIENCE is the big thing! It's the only thing!

      When the Scientists say WORRY, I have no choice but to pay attention!
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        Jul 1 2013: I'm not questioning the scientific method, I'm questioning the variables and controls used. Sure, it is a known fact that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, nobody is disputing that. However, it's the predictions regarding it's global impact that myself and many other scientist question. It's like knowing what happens inside the singularity of a super-massive black hole. There are missing variables and scientist draw the best conclusions based on the information available. That's why there are many hypothesis and possible outcomes. The same is true of our climate. There are many variables when it comes to climate predictions that climatologist are simply guessing at. For me it easy, just look at our past. Look at the earth's history and see what CO2 has done in the past and if life has flourished. Is the earth currently in an abnormally low state of CO2? Answer....yes. One of the lowest levels in earth history. The oceans aren't going to boil because of a .01 percent global atmospheric increase in CO2.
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          Jul 1 2013: And I grudgingly agree. Although I find the rhetoric is persuasive (i.e. fewer greenhouse gasses = less pollution = a better environment = a more stable, less polluted environment for our children); the science is not unanimous. And the government knows it.

          Our government does not hesitate to spend BILLIONS when all the players agree that spending the money is critically important. Here are two examples. First, remember the TARP? The government spent over 400 Billion Dollars bailing out the banks. Bush signed that into law in 2008. He originally authorized 700 Billion. There wasn't much debate about it. Why? Because everyone knew what would happen if they did NOT take that action. The entire economy might have collapsed.

          In other words, every economist who looked at the numbers knew what they meant. And every economist the politicians asked about the problem said things that added up to "we're in BIG trouble!" So the politicians took their advice and acted. No sound bites. No long-loud debate. No name calling. No face-making. Everybody got in line & got it done. That much tax money going to bankers is always suspect. But nobody complained because everyone knew the alternative was really BAD!

          By contrast, the Manhattan Project cost less than 2 billion dollars (28 billion in 2013 dollars). That project, arguably, had a much bigger impact on world history. That project cost the equivalent of 9 days of all the other fighting going on [Wikipedia]. Also, the bomb ended WW II & saved millions of lives.

          These examples tell me two things. First, Scientific Research is a great way to spend government money. But only if it is spent on good science. That assertion seems to have proven out in many different ways. Second, if global warming was all that bad right now, we'd find a way to fix it, right now! The Scientific Jury is still out as to how bad it will be in 20, 40, or 60 years. Better to find THAT out now & plan for a fix while we can.
    • Jul 2 2013: I think a healthy paranoia of climate change is a good safety precaution. Scientists should continue to study the effects of CO2 and it is a subject that should stay in the publics mind since industrialized humans choose to emit it into atmosphere. Humans and their machines wield great power. We shouldn't get blinded by quick progress.

      My question is if the speed of climate change we have experienced in the last couple decades typical to past climate changes?
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        Jul 2 2013: Yeah you're right Brian, if not paranoia, what else would be as effective at pushing change? Doubtful anything. Climate has changed this rapidly in the past. At the end of the LGM (last glacial maximum) the earth was warming significantly. The ice free corridor had opened up in Beringia and humans were taking advantage of the warm weather and bountiful fauna, expanding into new lands. Then around 13000 years ago, the climate cooled very rapidly. Within a matter of a few decades, the earth had returned to an ice age which lasted for 1000 years. This event is known as the Younger Dryas Period, and was thought to have been caused when Lake Agassiz flooded the Atlantic through Hudson Bay, disrupting the salinity levels which affected ocean currents. So climate change can and has changed rapidly through natural processes.

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