Ecology and Political Strategy, was Re: Forwarded from Hans Ehrbar

Jose G. Perez jg_perez at SPAMbellsouth.net
Sun Jun 18 03:18:05 MDT 2000


[This post is about a week old; it hadn't been sent when I had the computer
problems that kept me off line until this weekend. The article I refer to in
today's NYT I think was last Sun. or Mon.]

>>This talk about water-vapour is a pure Greg Easterbrook/Fred Singer red
herring: and it is based on a simple (and in Singer's case, wilful)
misunderstanding of the issues. I don't think it is necessary to bore the
list any more with the details; they are out there on the web, anyone who
wants to can do the reading, and they will quickly discover that the UN
reports, individual reports by specific governments, and the IPCC reports in
1995 and afterwards are absolutely clear about the issue.<<

Let me remind people of what Mark is trying to cover up here. Mark's ally,
Louis, posted for our edification an article from Rachel's Weekly. The
article stated quite baldly that the main greenhouse gas is CO2. This is
simply false. The main greenhouse gas, the one that keeps the earth livable,
is water vapor.

And I noted that people who could be so ignorant about the basic scientific
facts involved were not to be taken seriously, and it leads one to wonder
what it is about global warming that causes Louis and Mark to suspend
disbelief when they see howlers like that.

It is also interesting to see the degree to which Mark and Louis have been
reduced to ad hominem attacks, with the chief boogey man being this Singer
person.

It may well be true that Singer works for the bourgeoisie; presumably, the
scientists on the other side of the debate all work for the revolutionary
proletariat. But even so, it is NECESSARY to demonstrate that what the other
side is saying is mistaken; you can't simply dismiss it.

>>To speak of 'uncertainties' is simply disingenuous, it is false reporting:
there simply are no longer uncertainties about the principal facts of
anthropogenic climate warming.I do not know why you are avoiding the facts,
but you are. Global warming is a terrifying fact.<<

Thrice happy people! There simply are "no ... uncertainties" about the
"principal facts."

For a while I contemplated going back in my "clippings" file of NYT articles
on climate change over the past year or so, but as it turns out the Clinton
administration had a panel of scientists release a summary of an unfinished
report today, and the NY Times article should undoubtedly register the
disappearance of uncertainty. Let's see:

"Increasingly, mainstream scientists are concluding that a buildup of
heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has contributed to
warming in the last 100 years, and they say the trend is likely to carry
well into the new century."

"Some of the growth in these so-called greenhouse gases, scientists say, is
caused by the burning of fossil fuels, destruction of forests and other
human activities."

Contrary to the usual litany of catastrophes, you know, mile-high glaciers
covering New York as the city slips beneath the waves in blistering
120-degree heat, the report notes that climate change will be somewhat shy
of apocalyptic and even have positive aspects:

"The biggest benefits are likely to come from the positive effect of rising
carbon dioxide concentrations on plants, which rely on the gas for
photosynthesis. Using computer models of climate, crops and forest health,
the study found that the country could see rising yields and falling prices
for food and timber," the Times says.

Not mentioned by the Times, but singled out in NPR, is that this report is
based on two climate models. Both agree the U.S. will be warmer but
sometimes come up with diametrically opposite conclusions: one says the
southeast will be turned into dryer savanas, the other, into a wet,
quasi-tropical zone.

Summing up, the Times writes:

>>The authors stressed that the consequences described in the study -- like
the visions of Scrooge's future in "A Christmas Carol" -- mainly represent
developments that may be, not things that must be.

>>And there will always be surprises, said Dr. Karl, one of the main
authors. "There are a lot of uncertainties with respect to interactions
between natural systems, human systems and climate." <<

People should also remember where all my claims of uncertainty came from:
>From an article Mark himself posted, claiming it showed how much certainty
there really was. A thoughtful reading of the article showed the opposite to
be the case.

José






----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Jones" <jones118 at lineone.net>
To: <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Monday, June 12, 2000 12:18 PM
Subject: RE: Ecology and Political Strategy, was Re: Forwarded from Hans
Ehrbar


Jose wrote:

>     Consider the kind of material you and others have been posting on the
> list for our edification. Mark posted a scientific summary of some of the
> literature, which careful reading shows argues against those who believe
> that CO2-induced global warming has been proven. As that article itself
> reflects, the science is not there yet.

It's hard to know how to answer this, except to repeat that the science
unquestionably IS there; climate forcing by GHG emissions, primarily but not
only C02 and methane, is accepted as a fundamental mechanism influencing
climate, and it is also accepted by the scientific community that
anthropogenic focing is occurring because of the massive quantities of C02,
methane and other GHG gases emitted by or as a result of human activity.
This talk about water-vapour is a pure Greg Easterbrook/Fred Singer red
herring: and it is based on a simple (and in Singer's case, wilful)
misunderstanding of the issues. I don't think it is necessary to bore the
list any more with the details; they are out there on the web, anyone who
wants to can do the reading, and they will quickly discover that the UN
reports, individual reports by specific governments, and the IPCC reports in
1995 and afterwards are absolutely clear about the issue.  To speak of
'uncertainties' is simply disingenuous, it is false reporting: there simply
are no longer uncertainties about the principal facts of anthropogenic
climate warming.I do not know why you are avoiding the facts, but you are.
Global warming is a terrifying fact.


Mark









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