Mike Colera


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Why won't the Global Climate Debate end.

Here we go again. The USA administration is definite on Climate Change and is spending a billion dollars to explore containment, Al Gore is in Kansas City warning of the return of the great dust bowl, but if we just stop burning fossil fuels... implying all would be as it was if we do.
OK, Back to basics.
What is global climate. It is the running average of weather metrics from worldwide sources over a long period of time. Temperature, humidity, all the stuff you see on TV. So, how do you change a running average.... with great difficulty. Many metrics have to change to make a noticeable swing in the Global Climate numbers. So, what changes weather. A thousand TV stations would like that information. But, local weather anywhere is a best a guess... a calculated guess but a guess never the less.
There are too many things that effect weather. Granted, 20 million cars in the LA basin burning gas can have an effect on local weather. But a massive undersea volcanic eruption can affect water temperatures changing current flows and bring differing weather in many parts of the world.

So is there Global Climate Change? Yes, always was and always will be.

Can mankind bring it to a screeching halt? Ok, too strong a question! Can we stop one tornado from tearing up Oklahoma City... still beyond the pike...

But, if we just stop using fossil fuels all will be right with the world....????

Will Kansas not have another dust bowl and will that billion dollars be well spent?

I know many scientist agree on this... and I am not a scientist and I don't have an agenda...

But, I am from Texas and I do know BS when I step in it.

  • Mar 3 2014: The cartoon on this link sums it up for me.


    Edit: (punchline for those that don't like checking out links)- "What if its a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing? "
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      Mar 3 2014: Jacob,
      It's not the goals, it's what I see as the means I am not convinced that the ends justify the means.
      Any religion can offer peace, serenity a belief, and most do. But, under this US Constitution, a state religion is most illegal.
      • Mar 3 2014: I understand the dangers of having a state religion and even see the sometimes unthinking fanaticism of environmentalism as seeming to at least approach the borders of being a "religion". But thats where we part I guess, because I see "energy independence,preserve rainforests, sustainability, green jobs,livable cities, renewables, clean air, water, healthy children, etc etc"(from the link) as the goal not the means. I understand that the science is not there to accuratly predict the temperature and precipitation for march 3, 2114, but the science is there to detail how destuctive our current lifestyles are for the ecosystems we inhabit. Sure itd be nice if everyone took thetime to fully research and contemplate the consequences of every decision, but that is unrealistic and impractical. Unfortunately fear is a powerful motivator, as any government or religion can attest to and we rely on what we know "works".

        Edit: I think I misunderstood you and maybe misspoke as well. What means are you referring to. Is it just the amount of money being spent on research? Or is it the fearmongering that is being down to spur action and grab attention? Is there any argument for the sustainability of ourcurrent way of life, even ignoring potential environmental consequences?
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          Mar 3 2014: Again, I have no problem with individuals doing what ever they feel is appropriate to mitigate their impact on the environment. I do things that may be described as "environmentally appropriate" but my reasons are not so magnanimous, it just saves me money.
          But, as we both have noted, weather is not an understood science and therefore any conclusions made about accurate predictions of our future in this ecosystem are matters of faith.
          To examine specifically all summations of future climate effects, the computer generator models would reveal a definitive linear progression with little or no allowances for variances and variances are in the realm of chaos. Then when I hear the rejection of questioning with the name calling... "Climate Deniers" I heard, almost religious epitaphs
          when I see cloaks of righteousness wrapped around proponents, when I see political investment, I see a state religion.
      • Mar 3 2014: Maybe believing in the complete accuracy of any prediction would be a matter of "faith", but allowing for variance of known variables can give reasonably reliable predictions. For example, the amount of waste going into landfills. We don't have to rely on any predictions when common sense tells us that as we become a more "disposable" culture, there will come a point in time when our population growth will restrict the amount of land set aside for landfills. We don't have to have conclusive studies outlining every effect that chemicals in landfills leaching into water supplies will have to see that its not something that can be healthy for those living near them. We can at least try being proactive in preventing some future problems. By the way I'm not defending any politician, ha ha, thats not something I do too often (or ever that I can think of) but if you're really worried about the state religion, I believe it goes by the name greed, and its not new to this or any country. Environmentalism is likely just its latest tool.
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          Mar 3 2014: Then we agree. Maybe with differing motives, but, as I said, I have no problems with these issues, just the high priesst and the politicians seeking powers
      • Mar 3 2014: I'll finish(probably should have started with) by saying that as a cabinet/furniture maker, I am, in the eyes of many environmentalists, the damned devil. I do my part to deforest the rainforest by catering to the whims of the wealthy. Nothing I say in the name of environmental causes carries much weight and as always anything I say should be taken with a grain of salt.
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    Feb 28 2014: The debate probably will not end Mike because some folks get stuck in a certain belief, and fail to look at any other information.

    My perception is that there is a change, there have been changes as long as the earth has existed, and human behaviors can make a difference.

    To me, it seems to be a waste of time and energy to go round and round in circles with this debate. Time might be better spent by learning to be good stewards of the earth that sustains us. I like to be aware of our environment whether or not it makes a drastic difference. It just makes sense to me to live sustainably, conserve our precious resources, and take care of the earth. I learned that as a child, when global warming/climate change was not even considered.
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      Feb 28 2014: You are absolutely correct Colleen, people can be pigs and I apologize to pigs for that comparison. I spent a number of years in management of power, water and waste with full focus on the environment. What has annoyed me is the current official focus of resources on what I consider is a narrow area and nothing on all the other contributors to possible weather changes.
      I am fully concerned on the use of fossil fuels for energy production but instead of finding new technology the focus is on the old. As a boy, I remember going out to visit an uncle on his farm... the battery room kept going by a windmill and the black tank out back that collected sunshine to heat water.
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        Feb 28 2014: Yeah Mike...."pigs" is not a very good label to use.....I agree.

        I have been aware of the use of resources my whole life. As a kid, anyone who left a light on, or the water running when not actually using it would be punished! We had a HUGE garden and grew our own food. My father had a "rag bag", "metal bag", "paper container" etc. in the cellar, and when there was enough stuff to recycle, he sold it......that was 60-70 years ago when the practice of "recycling" was not even in the radar of most people.

        I've burned wood that is given to me for over 40 years, thereby decreasing fossil fuel consumption. I have a wood burning cook stove, so the electric stove is rarely used at all in the winter. Love hanging cloths on the line rather than using a dryer....even in winter, cloths are dried on a rack in the house. I've always had a vegetable garden, and produce is frozen or stored for winter use. I reuse, recycle, restore, renovate all the time to decrease the amount of "stuff" in our landfills, walk or bike wherever I can, whenever I can, rather than using a vehicle. Take showers in the rain in the summer, which is really fun:>)

        This lifestyle, which has been going on for 60+ years, is enjoyable for me, because I know I am helping to protect our earth and resources, it is a healthier lifestyle, and it is pretty creative sometimes! How many times can I reuse something before it is no longer usable in any way??? LOL:>)

        I get kind of annoyed when people first discover they may be living extravagantly, they become afraid of climate change/global warming, have certain practices they think we all ought to embrace and expect everyone to follow in their footsteps, when some of us have been very aware of our environment and living sustainable for a very long time!
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          Feb 28 2014: Sheets dried on a line in bright sun... is there any better sleeping? Although I am not living at your level, I have one of the few smallest houses in this subdivision. I have installed solar screens, sky lights, timer on the water heater, thermostat set at 80 for the cooler, low wattage bulbs through out, ...
          I like to say it's my altruism, but as a retiree living in an all electric home... It's my electric bill. I have got it down to less then $125 a month.
          Now, if I can just get a solar powered PC as my wife says, we could get down to half of that. I guess I do spend a lot of time on the network.
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        Mar 1 2014: It is pretty special to cuddle into sheets dried on the line in sun and summer breezes Mike! I have been doing it for 60+ years, and the whole process is enjoyable every single time:>)

        There is a cloths dryer in the house, and I think the only time it has been used is when the kids came home from college, and needed to wash weeks worth of laundry in a couple days! Other than that, I much prefer cloths dried hanging in the sun and fresh air:>)

        I do what I do, and live as I live because I care about our environment, which sustains us, and I'm grateful I learned that as a wee little lass....without being frightened or threatened about the condition of our environment. Kudos to you for your efforts Mike! Everything helps, and whatever motivates each of us as individuals, is important!
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    Feb 27 2014: As we know, forty thousand years ago there were glaciers as far south as Kentucky. Several million years ago there were tropical jungles all the way north to the Arctic Circle. This tells us three things:

    1) the Earth's climate has, can, and will change to either extreme without any help or interference from modern civilization,

    2) the climate mankind has experienced these past tens of millennia cannot be taken as a normal baseline, or that something is going 'wrong' if it begins to change,

    3) and the might of this planet's climate is many orders of magnitude stronger than mankind's ability to alter, whether purposefully or no.

    The debate goes on mostly due to the amygdala bias, or negativity bias, in which people tend to attribute much more credibility to negative news.
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      Feb 27 2014: Lawren,
      You took the words right out of my mouth.
  • Feb 25 2014: There actually is no debate.

    There are people with data and cogent argument that can clearly demonstrate man's effects on the climate....

    And then there are a lot of people, with a lot of money, and a vested interested in continuing to burn every bit of fossil fuel we can get out of the ground, that like to pretend that there is a debate.
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      Feb 27 2014: Wikileaks has proven the data has been deliberately corrupted, and without confirmable data all arguments are nothing more than theories.

      Both sides have lot of money and vested interest to continue, that is irrelevant to the goal in many ways.

      As I pointed out below, arguing/debating is pointless.
  • Feb 24 2014: Completely ignoring for a second whether our current stretch of climate change is man made or otherwise, I can explain why the debate won't end. Too many groups have too much money and political credit invested and potential for even more money and political credit to be made, on both sides of the fence.

    Fossil fuels and all that relies on them make up for a respectable part of our economy. On the other hand, there's no shortage of money to be made by selling "green" alternatives to people, and its easier to gather political favor by being anti-fossil fuel (being on the "change" side of the debate as opposed to the "don't fix it if it ain't broke" which is harder to campaign with).

    Simply put, there are too many vested interests on both sides of the fence to go down without a fight. It also hardly helps that the media likes a sensationalist story (even if they have to make it sensationalist when it really isn't), and therefore regularly stokes the flames this way or that, depending on political affiliation and other agendas.
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      Feb 24 2014: Nadav,
      You are so right.
      Money is the root of all evil as it says in the song.
      I am not sure that we can attribute modern weather variables to manmade screw-ups. Last winter it was above average weather here in the states and the Russians were freezing their backsides to the bus stop seats. This year, not as horrendous as shown on TV, the winter was more like it was when I was a kid.
      Media does add fuel to the climate change fire and I hope is wasn't fossil fuel.
      The point I was making is that global climate is that running average of many years of weather reports.
      So changing a few variable here and there are not going to bring the giant swings that Al Gore has proposed.... mathematically impossible.
      A recent explanation of why the global climate has not really warmed in the last decade was attributed a couple of volcanos that went off. And that was always my point. We get almost no warning about volcanos, or most anything else that has to do with weather.
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      Mar 3 2014: Not a fan of Bob Dylan either,
      Regardless of my left - right problems, The climate is always changing and the biggest influence on weather by man is urbanization.... look for my conversation coming on this as soon as I tune out my emotional side....
      However, when all is said and done, weather is a phenomenon man can no more control then his ego for thinking he can. And you may quote me.
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          Mar 3 2014: Brendan,
          Don't let my avatar distract from my words. But, if you are that interested, it is a close interpretation of my real appearance at that age.
          However, that was some time ago and a current picture would only assure the world that time has no respect for age. In Texas, we would say that I was rode hard and put away wet.
          However, when all is said and done, weather is a phenomenon man can no more control then his ego for thinking he can. And you may quote me.
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    Mar 2 2014: In all fairness, I have to address a message I receive concerning this conversation. I was roundly chastised for some of my comments that would appear to have challenged someone's beliefs. I have tried to be very sensitive to someone's beliefs.
    But, I gave this a lot of thought and what I think happened was my response to the government and it's officials that were addressing this issue. Has Global Climate Change become a new state religion? I feel that it has. And I think that is why my guttural reaction has been such it has.
    So, If you believe in climate change and you take actions to better the environment, good for you. I try to do some things that may appear to be environmentally appropriate, but in all honesty, I do it to save money, no philosophical issues, just simple frugality.
    But, I am so adamant about the establishment of state religions. I do not want the state to create a priesthood, or erect monuments or tithes to support this new religion.

    Climate has become the new state religion.
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        Mar 3 2014: Brendan,
        The pentagon.... I was employed by the Army, Navy and the Air Force, in my 40 odd years of Federal Employment. I know where a lot of bones are buried... that's another conversation.

        Global does imply the globe. However, I can only speak of my government and what I perceive to be their creation of the state religion of climate.. I hear the President saying it is a done deal and we have to spend billions on it. The Secretary of State, Heads of EPA, NASA, NOAA all expounding the scripture of carbon restrictions and all will be well.
        All BS
        All to promote agendas far removed from the weather.
        As I have said time and again. Climate is a running average of weather and until man can bring rain to drought ridden Texas.... I ain't buying all the threats of rising tides and sun baked polar bears...Here is my point, The climate is a record of weather, man can have a little effect weather and carbon is way down the list, so having done a little research on Al Gore and the IPOC I find they are all full of crap.

        Carefully read my comments in this conversation and I think you will discern my position and rational...
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        Mar 3 2014: Brendan,
        This conversation is about climate... not the military.
        I have seen a number of earth from space pics, one of them is my screen saver.
        I don't look at utube or TED talks or any outside commentators, express yourself and your ideas.
        Further, I am not a fan of Bowie.
        My rhetoric needs no support, it is my opinion and that information upon which I base my opinion.
        That information is readily available on google or any number of other web sources.
        Also, learn about sarcasm, it's a useful tool
  • Mar 1 2014: It will never end until A. everything swings back to "normal" or B. the climate swing dramatically out of whack. In either case, one side must admit that they are wrong. Since that won't happen, the debate will continue ad naseum.

    I would just be happy if countries like China would take their air quality more seriously and quit belching out toxic clouds which spill over into other countries and affect the health of people there. Right now, some of the Chinese cities are toxic to live in. Maybe start there.

    I think I recall an editorial cartoon that went something like "if you make all the changes that climate change scientists suggests, the world would at least be a better place". Making some changes would be a good start. Not studying them.
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      Mar 2 2014: Everett,
      Wait a minute, what is normal? Climate is determined by taking weather readings from all over the world and calculating a running average. So the question begs what is normal in a running average. I say that a global average temperature of 85F is normal.

      You're right about some countries spewing toxins into the air and that is a big issue,

      And what the editorial cartoon didn't say was how that world would be better. If your idea of a better world would have everyone living on a small self sustaining farm using draft animals and hand tools, that is where the world would become if we make all the changes the "climate academics" suggests.

      Have you noticed that many of the climate academics have degrees in the arts... not science
      • Mar 2 2014: Exactly the problem. There are those who would argue with your very definition of "normal".

        I am a big fan of "let's start with the things we can make significant changes with". I am not so much a fan of the apocalyptic pronouncements.

        The climate appears to be changing. We can make limited strides in fixing that issue. But, we can make huge strides towards reducing pollution, which can cause climate change in the long run. And, pollution is just nasty when you have to deal with it in the air or around you.

        My idea is not draft horses and hand tools. But our heavy reliance on fossil fuels and even nuclear energy is concerning. Reducing our carbon footprint in reasonable ways would be a great start. Not back to horses and handtools, but less time in our cars, less trash produced, less electronic waste, greater recycling. Things that can be managed easily and at a low cost. A lot of small changes do make a difference.
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          Mar 2 2014: OK,
          Your point to clean up, recycle, reuse and plant new trees and do not waste fuels, etc etc'
          are all great points and we should all do them.
          But those activities have little or nothing to do with the Global Climate warming or changing or what ever the fear mongers are selling. Their message is to severely curtain the use of fossil fuels and if the country, worse the world were to do as they propose, It would certainly guarantee we all are back to horse and buggy days.
          In stead of all the BS on fossil fuels the origin of our energy life blood, we would be better expending this fervor on finding new sources of sustainable energy.
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    Mar 1 2014: Mike, Mostly because it makes good press ... good press makes for votes .... is the billion dollars being spent wisely ... I guess that each of us need to answerer that for ourselves. The last mega bucks the administration spent on the environment was straight down the tubes and in my opinion political pay off to the companies that took the money and ran like the devil.

    Those not on the far left or right ... Lets call centralist or Independents .... and are capable of informed thought are well aware of Al Gore and his fake sincerity toward the environmental cause. and his giant carbon footprint.

    Do we need to be the guardians of the environment ... no doubt. But to stop the one product that provides the most energy to the grid (Fossil fuels) without a plan to replace the loss is nothing less that stupid or crazy ... you pick em.

    A billion dollars could make the difference to a few states that are about to go bankrupt ... repair some bridges ... fix some highways ... repair a lot of schools.

    I have also been in a few pastures .... and the aroma from the East brings back farm memories.

    Be well my friend. Bob.
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    Mar 1 2014: Again, I do not deny the climate is changing. What I find incredible is Al Gore and his cronies are attributing this to the combustion of fossil fuel, I do not deny that the combustion of fossil fuel doesn't have some effect on weather when millions of cars are parked most days 8 wide and a hundred miles long as seen on the I-10 in Los Angels county. I am not sure of the effect but I would not be surprised. What I question is that Al Gore and friends who say that if we stop combustion of fossil fuels, the climate will quiet and we will not face the projected drastic climate changes of melting polar ice caps, raising seas, and the displacement of coastal inhabitants to higher ground. There is also the implication of habitat loss for cold weather species such as polar bears, etc.
    So the question begs, why am I not convinced. Everyone who knows me will speak highly of my gullibility. I own a Kirby vacuum cleaner.
    So what is my problem? OK. Back in the 70s, respectable scientists had looked at past climate figures and calculated that by the year 2000, the world would be much cooler and that chilling effect would effect food product resulting in food wars and other world hardships that would mean the death of millions of people. Well, we dodged that bullet.. So, today's "scientist" using the same old data projecting cold are saying that now it will be hot due to the combustion of fossil fuels. But, in the old days there was probably a significant larger problem with combustion. It was much dirtier. Coal fired steam engines on trains and more of them. There may be more cars today but they are no where near as polluting as the old ones. Back then most of our power came from coal fired power plants,as I remember all this smoke was going to blot out the sun and that was the source of cooling. So, we cleaned up the smoke now the CO2 in the atmosphere is going to concentrate the sunlight and the heat will come. Same data, different answers? Explain.
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        Mar 3 2014: Water vapor is the prime atmospheric pollutant. CO2 is way down the list, a fraction of one percent.
        However, Al Gore, as I remember, never said anything about water vapor....
  • Feb 28 2014: Moment ago on CNBC, a pro-renewable energy guy was chatting with the host.

    Pro-renewable energy guys asks, "How do you know human induced global warning is not happening?"

    Before I give the answer, I must go back almost 25 years to the Clarence Thomas hearings for the Supreme Court. My step-mother's mom was convinced this man was the WORST sexual harasser in the history of humanity based on the testimony of a women that followed him from job to job for decades.

    Finally, I ask her point blank, "How do you know he committed sexual harassment?" Her answer, "Because he wants to take away a woman's right to an abortion."

    This is called a non-squitter, an argument that does not support the conclusion.

    Back to this morning. The anchor's response to the question on how he knows that humans are not causing climate change?

    "Because we need access to cheap energy to keep the economy growing."

    And there you have the case against global climate change.

    On one side, scientific data and logical argument explaining how CO2 would increase global average temperature, and how that will alter everything from ice pack to global ocean currents.

    On the other side we have "but it can't be real, because it would hurt the economy."

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    Feb 27 2014: This morning, I read an article by the Fed's National Science bunch. The paper published reaffirms the inconvenient truth and we have to do much before we are all doomed, climate-wise. So, an advisory board who meets bimonthly advised the country to take action. So, I checked...the director of this agency is a nice lady who has a doctorate in....sociology and spent a good part of her career, before becoming a civil , supervising college enrollees.
    But, to be fair, the lady in charge of NASA another agency warning all of the global dangers is a zoologist.
    Now, sociology and zoology have... points of view and the climate must stay fixed if their studies are to be successful. So, there is a vested interest if you will to keep all as it is.
    Now, if these two agencies were headed by meteorologists or mathematicians or physicists and addressed all the math and probabilities, well these pronouncement may have been a matter of further studies.
    Not the Chicken Little "sky is falling science" we are hearing today.
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    Feb 27 2014: No I'm afraid it won't change mainly because the reality (that has been created) we have makes Al Gore a boat load of money. This is because Americans are stupid and believe this crap.

    Of course we have global warning the correlation to man is not there, let alone causation. A more likely connection is sun spots.
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      Feb 27 2014: I wouldn't say stupid as much as gullible. Back in our day, the schools taught us to be discerning, examine hypothesis, and a little skepticism is not a bad thing. That is all gone. Now days, if it is on the 6 o'clock news or on Face Book, it is the whole truth, not to be questioned..
      What I find is so funny, today many people are very quick to attack others who have faith in religious scriptures. Yet, they will accept anything from a 30 second TV sound bite or someone with a title even a self awarded title as more of a gospel then any TV evangelist holding up a bible.
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        Feb 28 2014: No they are stupid. I think it is a predictable characteristic in the degradation of a country.
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    Feb 27 2014: Unfortunately the debate will never end because somewhere back in the past some idiot decided that it would be a great idea to have Al Gore present "An Inconvenient Truth" which (due to him being a politician with a very well known personal ideology) resulted in the whole discussion being tainted by political ideology. Neither side will accept anything said by the other under any circumstances.
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      Feb 27 2014: Peter,
      You said it. What befuddles me it that any high school graduate with access to Google can see the falicy...all the numbers are there. So, what about this matter which can cause supposedly rational people to accept "An inconvenient truth" seemingly without confirming the information, who will fall over their swords to defend Al? That is my inconvenient truth.
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      Feb 26 2014: Carolyn,
      You must be living in Texas Hill Country.
      Seriously, there are people living outside of town with private wells, solar panels, pretty much off the grid as we say here. And this is great. It shows an independence, not usually seen in city slickers.
      However, I do not believe we are facing all the calamity that Al Gore has said for us. I don't not believe any great change in weather will destroy civilization. That is not to say that a big volcanic eruption couldn't give us another mini ice age.
      However, living in the hills is pretty much self sufficient living and does not leave much time for developing the new sciences for future energy sources, advances in medicine, etc., etc. All the skills necessary to advance society. ,
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    Feb 26 2014: Why spend time and money on a pointless debate, when we all want clean air and water, healthy soil, more nature/green space, and less blacktop (aka; Reduction in city heat Islands).

    Few would argue over money spent on a national holistic management* program, that would greatly reduce flooding and droughts, produce healthier and better tasting crops, and the fact it would help global warming would only matter to those who believe in global warming.

    * http://www.ted.com/talks/allan_savory_how_to_green_the_world_s_deserts_and_reverse_climate_change.html
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      Feb 26 2014: And you make a good point. There are a number of things that can be done to make our global environment better. But, our government has focused much monies into a narrow ban of actions that sound good but are somewhat meaningless. For example, billions has been wasted in failed green industries, wasted because the investment was made because the company had green in it's name, not because it had a successful business plan.
      What we need is a good plan to manage our resources including consideration for economic reasons.
  • Feb 26 2014: The climate is, has, and always will be changing. Any attempt of Man to control it is doomed to fail. While calamities such as the Dust Bowl do happen, its not possible to prevent them, nor should we try. (The Dust Bowl has been attributed more to farming methods of the time than anything associated with climate.)

    Now certain actions should still be taken, such as the banning of CFC's was in the past. Pollution should certainly be reduced. Water conservation is a really good idea. But to me, Global Warming or Climate Change implies that we somehow hit a 'perfect' spot that we should try to maintain. While it is true that the past 500 years have been amazingly mild and temperate from a historical perspective, it is not the norm of Planet Earth. Unfortunately, (or perhaps BECAUSE of this mild period) almost all of human's recorded history happened in those 500 years, so we think it is normal. Therefore any change is interpeted as 'bad'.

    I believe that Al Gore and the rest of the Climate Change proponents have simply hit upon a gold mine and don't want to give it up. Images of Polar Bears floating off into the ocean to die because the ice is melting certainly tugs at the hearstrings, which loosens the pursestrings. (Polar Bears can swim, by the way.) Serious consequences such as rising ocean levels or melting permafrost releasing methane are alarming, but only because they threaten Human property.

    Park Rangers used to use a policy of stopping all forest fires, as it was quite obvious that fires were Bad. Then after decades of prevention, and the resulting pile-up of dead underbrush, fires got out of control and burned massive amounts of land. They have since allowed fires to burn and the forests are much healthier for it. The same fate awaits Climate Changers, in my opinion.

    Change happens. Its called Evolution. Deal with it. But stop it? No.
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    Feb 25 2014: I'm afraid the Great Global Climate Debate may never end because global climate and other global environmental, social, economic, and political issues are getting worse - not to mention the greatest reason of all, HUMAN NATURE.
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      Feb 25 2014: I am perplexed because there is no rational for a debate. In a debate both sides have to be equal in fact and this is not the situation here. The idea that changes of a minuscule proportion of a fraction of one percent of a component of the atmosphere can cause massive temperature increases, polar ice cap melt and sea rises that would displace millions in my mind is more incredulous then those who say that the earth was created in 6 days some 8000 years ago.
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        Feb 26 2014: Mr. Colera, it seems that your position on the topic you posed for discussion is that there should be no discussion or debate on the issue because it's pointless, it's a waste of time and resources, and nothing can be done about it.

        Generally when a sentence starts with why it ends with a question mark. In your case you ended your topic sentence with a period. Is this a typographical error or what? What do you really mean? What do you really want when you posted your topic. Are you trying to know who among us can determine a BS or not? And what do you think of those who step on a BS? Are you just trying to be sarcastic?

        The other thing though is that while you said you're not a scientist, you are implying you know a lot about science. Really?
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          Feb 26 2014: Mr. Feliciano,
          Yes, there is a debate among a great number of people about climate. I do not believe the discussion meets the parameters for debate. There are other commenters who agree with me. However, this conversation was posted as a question, not a debate. I had hoped in my comments that I had made clear that I believe some people who portend to be "scientist", some even have degrees and agendas could make such claims about what causes climate change and how curtailment of fossil fuel combustions would mitigate the situation and return the climate to "normal". All these claims range from mathematical impossibility to down right fabrication. Worse, there are a number of hopeless fanatics who expound these fallacies from podium to press to marching in streets.
          And no, I am not a scientist. I am an Engineer. And yes, I was being sarcastic.
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        Feb 26 2014: For years many people including my mother, who was a heavy smoker, did not believe that cigarettes cause lung disease. Since I was nine I tried to stop my mother from smoking, showing her literature about the dangers of smoking. For years she ignored my pleas scoffing that I was just a mere child - questioning whaI I know about smoking and health. To make the long story short, at the young age of 37 she was diagnosed with Ephysema, a debilitating desease that eventually caused her untimely death some years later. Before she died she did not admit to me that she was wrong but she admitted how sorry she was to my aunt.

        My grandmother on my dad's side had been saying for years that global climate has changed so much and that hurricanes/typhoons and floods have bee increasing in frequency and intensity. Knowing that my grandma was not a scientist, I doubted her pronouncements. She died some years ago. I never had a chance to tell her that she might have been right about some things including her position on climate change.

        I'm not intending to change anyone's postion on anything. But through the years I learned, though slowly, about giving some people the benefit of the doubt because of the possibility that they might be right.

        This is what I read recently about global climate change, including some of the controversies:
        "Climate scientists, especially in the US, have reported official and oil-industry pressure to censor or suppress their work and hide scientific data, with directives not to discuss the subject in public communications. Legal cases regarding global warming, its effects, and measures to reduce it, have reached American courts. The fossil fuels lobby and free market think tanks have often been accused of overtly or covertly supporting efforts to undermine or discredit the scientific consensus on global warming."
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          Feb 26 2014: Sorry to hear of your losses of family caused by smoking. I have loss several member of my wife's family for the same reason. But you last paragraph is what I fault. If all these "climate" scientist have been muzzled by evil people why is there so much climate information out there. And the reason they are being discredited is that their climate opinions are not supported by mathematics, or history. ,
      • Feb 26 2014: Mike

        " The idea that changes of a minuscule proportion of a fraction of one percent of a component of the atmosphere can cause massive temperature increases, polar ice cap melt and sea rises that would displace millions in my mind is more incredulous then those who say that the earth was created in 6 days some 8000 years ago. "

        You are familar with positive feedback? Being an engineer also, I have seen small pertubations in junction temperature lead to thermal runaway.

        For those wanting more information on dynamic systems. Galloping Gertie is a great place to start.
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          Feb 26 2014: Joe,
          True, The old "straw that broke the camel's back" paradigm. However, What I have learned is the massive energy requirement to bring the running average of world weather (aka climate) to a level where all the ice is gone and the seas flood New York. ( I am not sure the flooding New York would be a bad thing) is beyond any thermal cascade that could be imagined. I said earlier it would nearly require a solar nova. I also learned that in earlier times... Way BCE.... there were periods of higher CO2 levels and cooler temperatures, which conflict current "Climate Claims"
          Further, here is my problem. Global climate is a running average, if you will, of weather metrics from global sites. So, what metrics are necessary to change a running average, especially when they are saying they have real data going back "hundreds" of years.
          Further I will agree that human activities can effect weather, I have addressed great heat sinks around metropolitan areas. But of all human activities, their biggest redress is the combustion of fossil fuels and CO2 emissions.. And the crowning principal of "If we just stop burning fossil fuels all will be right with the world" I have read that statement almost verbatim.
          So, What I see is a group of people with agendas who have wrapped themselves in academic cloaks of "climate scientists" and have roused the rabble into an hysteria about natural phenomenon that very well be threating, but let's address all the manmade mistakes that could effect weather.
  • Feb 25 2014: Debates are great. They give us something to do. It is boring at the top of the food chain.
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    Feb 25 2014: I believe deforestation has a profound impact on global weather systems for multiple reasons. The properties of water storage, carbon fixation and oxygen production of trees are vital to the state of the climate.

    Every year an area the size of Great Britain is deforested. This might not sound like much to you, yet when you drive down every single road in England and imagine how many trees it would actually take to cover the whole surface area, the abundance is hard to even vaguely comprehend. More than 50% of a tree's weight is composed of water, and over an area the size of England the amount of water that is held within these towering organisms is extremely vast. Much of the rest of a tree's mass is carbon, which contributes further to weather systems.
    Every day an unbelievable amount of water vapour and moisture is released to the air with little to reabsorb it.
    There is enough water on the Planet to flood all continents, although a large proportion of this is frozen at the poles. Deforestation and a decrease in the volume of ice caps greatly increases the risk of flooding and severe storms across all continents, as well as many other affects which may arise from this situation.

    Although many people are becoming aware of the scale of this issue, it seems that corporate businesses care more for profits than stable and habitable climates. The demand for wood, and the requirements of space for expanding human habitats and farmland are antagonising this issue further.
    Again this has a chain-effect since the sharp rise in the number of farm animals has a massive impact on the gaseous composition of the atmosphere.

    The Earth's climates have always been changing, fluctuating through periods of stability and cataclysm, and humans are certainly contributing to such changes, yet I find content in the thought that despite Earth's turbulent history, life continues to thrive, and will endure the affects of human endeavours to come.
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      Feb 26 2014: David,
      I have not read a great deal about deforestation and it's contributions to climate change. I have heard that there is loss of forests in many parts of the world. Here in the states we have replanted trees to the effect that we are now supposedly as well forested as we were in 1800, However, trees are a renewable resource, If they have an effect on weather, that is one that should be easy to fix. Maybe not easy but doable.
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        Feb 26 2014: Deforestation greatly affects atmospheric and hydrological cycles, which are intimately a part of our weather systems, as well as soil and land erosion, and the loss of biodiversity, which induce many unforeseen affects.

        As easy as it may be to conceive, 46-58,000sq miles of forest are still lost annually to this day. Reports can be very misleading, the number of trees cut down may decrease, yet there are still far more cut down than are planted. Also, whilst trees may be planted, they take decades or even centuries to mature and reach the same volume as the forests that are cut down, therefore even if the same surface area was to be replenished, the actual volume would be no where near equivalent.
        Recent trends aggravate this issue, yet it's also worth considering the vast forests that rapidly declined as people went to war in wooden boats. A single of these wooden ships may have taken literally thousands of elderly trees each, and in places such as around the Mediterranean these forests have never recovered. This has all occurred in a relatively short amount of time.

        Within a millennia we have deforested far more land than we could hope to replenish in any short amount of time, for a start it takes a long time just for people to become aware of such issues. Many people plant trees across the world, yet often such efforts only prevent the spread of accumulating desertification which has already cost far more than their efforts. Spreading agriculture also continues to greatly impact such amiable endeavours.

        Imagine if the Earth were one of your lungs and the alveoli, representing the trees, were hacked down by a parasitic organism. This would cause great disturbances, and even if the alveoli were capable of growing back, such an impact would have a rippling effect that comes to surface in time.
        An absence of trees or tall plants is a characteristic of mass extinctions, ice ages and great floods. They certainly play a large role in the regulation of the climate.
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          Feb 26 2014: David,
          I must agree. Your point on the effect of forests on weather conditions is well noted.

          But, as I said before, the issues of deforestation has not seemed to be a major player in the old Global Warming now Climate Change conversations. As Al Gore said, we have to stop drilling for oil.

          I can't address all the issues of forest management in the world, but I know from living in Europe and even here in Texas, people are managing the forests. In some areas, a tree cut is replaced by two seedlings, Starting a forest fire is a major crime and forests are being prepared to resist loss from fire. I know that there is much more to do in this area, but at least it is not being ignored.
  • Feb 25 2014: What is our effect on the climate?

    As stated, natural events can affect climate, asteroids and volcanoes are two of those natural events which can do damage to our frail ecosystem. Now factor in our damaging actions to the equation and the recipe grows dire.

    I see it two ways.

    1 Fossil fuels are causing a global effect on climate
    2 We will stop using them either by depletion or self destruction.

    Why not began the process now?
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      Feb 25 2014: And I see it two ways.
      1. Fossil fuels are not having that big an effect on affecting local weather. Some, but not as much as the concentration of people, and people use fossil fuels, I use the LA basin as my example, 20 million people have paved or roofed over some hundred square miles of what was the most pristine lands in the world according to Spanish explorers. Yes, there are millions of cars and trucks using fossil fuels, but that huge heat sink of millions of people caused more local weather effect then the cars. Ask any weather guy about the effects on local weather caused by big cities.

      2. We can't stop using fossil fuels because there is nothing to replace them. We have based our entire modern civilization on cheap energy. The current consumption of energy is a huge number with many zeros.
      But, interconnectivity of global society has placed a demand on current energy resources that have those taxed to the maximum. Our destruction may not be from using fossil fuels but from not finding another source and soon. Current clamor for so called renewables are merely a call back for very old technology that has almost no capacity to meet current needs.

      I am not so concerned about changing climate as I am about the collapse of modern civilization.
      • Feb 25 2014: Mike,
        I agree with your diagnosis of our real problems, and the prognosis to where it could lead to the collapse of human civilization. That's why I was the only one put a thumb up to your original topic. I also agree with David's comment in deforestation. One of my thinking is that the increase in CO2 on the global basis is probably much more due to the devastation of the dual effects of the man-made deforestation and the recent forest fire loss of so many trees/plants, so that we suffered both the CO2 increase due to the burning and the loss of the source of the CO2 conversion to O2 in the atmosphere by photosynthesis. This destructive force could be equivalent to the effect of the burning of fossil fuels, and I am certain that it should be more "destructive" than that of the government policies on regulating greenhouse gas emissions on the industries, trying to "avoid" the CO2 increase (of course, this is only partially effective on the global basis, because there won't be big effort made by policies of the developing countries in the world, anyway).
        Finally, there is one of my projection; if we finally depleted the fossil fuel resources,before we could discover the nuclear fusion or other energy from a large scale hydrogen fuel cells, we could end up by burning forest wood to supplement the "renewable energy sources". This will be like drinking sea water on a ship, far away from land, without fresh water.
        • Feb 26 2014: bart hsi

          " we could end up by burning forest wood to supplement the "renewable energy"

          To take your projection further..

          I have never seen a wood fired stealth fighter.

          Maybe you are on to something there.
      • Feb 26 2014: Local weather is global weather, the weather does not adhere to county lines. Smog in China reaches us just as LA smog reaches eastward.

        We need to find an alternative to fossil fuels and one way to do this is to acknowledge that burning them has a negative effect on climate, health and our modern civilization.

        Cold turkey stoppage is ridiculous, and no one is suggesting that we do so. The first step is realization that sucking exhaust fumes from cars or industry is bad. To claim that there are only “local” effects or no effects is filibustering progress.
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          Feb 26 2014: True enough. Wind currents travel world wide and LA smog reaches us in Texas, although there is less today. And I am going to admit that what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas.
          But, that is not my issue.
          My issue has been formed when I came to suspect that certain people who for their own reasons had determined that Exxon or BP were big bad companies that had to be destroyed and to do that they had to make oil bad.
          I know... a stretch, However, I also know that if you already have the answer,
          it is easy to make up the question.
      • Feb 26 2014: Joe
        I was explaining things figuratively, as being sarcastic. But as we all know that ethanol can be derived from wood/plant cellulose in Brazil, so it's not impossible that jet engines could be modified to use ethanol.as fuels.
  • Feb 25 2014: It has been clear indication the the"global warming" can't stand on its own feet. Now they change the course of the debate to "climate change", which happens to be the eternal pattern of the global natural weather conditions. Thus we can't simply claim that the weather doesn't change under any condition. Now I would suggest that if anybody can demonstrate that how they could make less "climate change" with more versus less CO2, that would make a clear distinction in the so called "climate change". Then that will convince me the effect of the so-called greenhouse gas effect. Otherwise, there will always a debate, whether they like it or not. Actually all their previous "global warming" blahs were not holding up, And I wouldn't have faith in the new upcoming "theories" again. The recent doomsday prediction without new scientific support wouldn't be any better than the prediction of doomsday by the Mayans, etc.
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      Feb 25 2014: Bart,
      Back in the 70s there was a concern that we were headed for a global cooling, by 2000 there would be wars over the limited world food supplies due to crop failures from the cold. My grandfather had told me of stories of how cold it was in the early 1900s, the Niagara river froze as did Niagara Falls. I told him that that cold snap was pretty much in our part of the country and the world crops came out ok, but they are saying the one coming in 30 years could be world wide.
      Well it didn't happen. Ok, mistakes are made.
      Now came Al Gore. Now I had internet. So, in the spirit of fool me once.... I checked out Globe Climate and the effects of carbon dioxide.
      So, what I learned.
      >Global Climate is a compilation of weather effects of reports from all over the globe including temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, etc. etc. in effect a running average extending over time.
      >CO2 is a atmosphere "pollutant", number seven on the list and is measured in a fraction of 1% of the atmosphere.
      >Combustion of fossil fuels will add CO2 and a number of other pollutants to the atmosphere.
      >Weather prediction in most parts of the world is at best an educated guess often expressed in percentages of probability.
      >Many phenomenon affect weather, to include wind patterns, ocean currents and more dramatically volcanic activity.
      >The only climate change that would fulfill Al Gore's prediction of total ice cap melt, sea rise and temperature hike by 2100 would be.... a solar nova

      Barring the sun exploding, there is a case to be made for man made weather aberrations.
      Combustion of fossil fuels I would place way down the list.

      But, I am the first to admit, that we are falling way behind on getting a new source of energy. There is a finite limit to fossil and nuclear fuels and we are even not being that smart about so called renewables. Our wind and solar energy gathering is old technology and squanders energy in the conversion to useable power..