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Global Warming’s Impact on Lobsters Has Scientists in a Stew

The Ellsworth American – December 27, 2007

I have written before on the possible repercussions of global warming on plant and animal life (a few examples are here, here, and here).  Most of these repercussions come off as solid conclusions even though they really are just educated guesses on the reaction of the given species. In this case, the author was much more balanced and more fair, as he states that it could be good for lobsters or it could be bad. This acknowledgement that a complicated climate model interacting with a complicated species is not a sure science is refreshing. (Follow the feed link to read the rest of the story).

How the Oceans Once Ended Global Warming

Discovery News – December 26, 2007

Understanding the workings of our climate is incredibly difficult due to the large number of influences and combinations. Therefore, it is important to gain clues on this behavior by analyzing the past. In this case, scientists have studied the amounts of barite on the ocean floor and hypothesized that marine life increased during high levels of carbon dioxide and sequestered that carbon down to the ocean floor.

While this study does not conclusively prove causation of the end of a global warming period, it does create new scenarios that factor in the increase of marine life during a time of higher carbon dioxide. Many people have hypothesized that marine life would diminish in a climate of greater carbon dioxide but this study tends to suggest otherwise.

Federal energy ‘independence’ act threatens to chill solar industry

December 21, 2007 – Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal

The tax subsidies for the solar industry are in danger of expiring. This could be a significant damper on the development of this industry. While I am rarely a proponent of government propping up an industry, I also do not think it is wise to abruptly halt a program which sends that group into a tailspin.

Regardless of your thoughts on global warming, I think we can all agree that we need to reduce our current consumption of energy from other nations, and solar is a possible way to help.

Will Global Warming Trigger Next Ice Age?

This article discusses a series of events that have already started that could cause the next ice age. This series of events is the same as the one that theories say caused the last ice age. It is an interesting series of events that seems just as likely as the world getting dramatically warmer. In fact, since many of the mechanisms are already in place, this likelihood seems even stronger.

I usually put the title of the article that I am referencing in the title of my post but in this case the title resides in a technical journal and it is so boring that I elected to write my own.  For the purposes of this discussion, I am referencing “Climate Control Requires a Dam at the Strait of Gibraltar” which was published by the American Geophysical Union on July 8, 1997 by the now Professor Emeritus Dr. R. G. Johnson.

E.P.A. Says 17 States Can’t Set Emission Rules

New York Times – December 20, 2007

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just decided that 17 states could not have a waiver that allowed them to mandate their own standards for the regulation of carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles. This comes after the EPA had previously granted approximately 50 waivers to California over many years allowing California regulators special privileges as they combat their unique pollution issues.

Gore hits at US over climate change

Financial Times – December 13, 2007

Former Vice President Al Gore stood in front of the Bali conference several days ago and accused the US of obstructing progress on global warming. While Mr. Gore is certainly entitled to his opinions, it seems a little callous for a former leader of the government to so blatantly come out against the US position in an international body.

To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Gore was not representing the US in this meeting. He was likely invited to the meeting on behalf of his activism in this area.

Study: Climate change could cost economy billions

Jacksonville Business Journal – December 14, 2007

There has been a great deal of analysis on the costs of curbing emissions to the US economy but very little in analysis on a local scale of the costs of the change in climate if global warming continues. This study allows for causation to be a mixture of natural and human and doesn’t allocate responsibility to either side.

There are a few things in the article that don’t appear to be substantiated.

  • pointing to Ponte Vedra Beach as an indicator of the bad things to come for Florida seems like a red herring. Does the study really think any changes at that particular beach are due to the changes in the climate to date? Ocean levels have not increased that dramatically compared to 2 or 3 decades ago
  • there is quite a bit of counter-proof regarding increased hurricane activity. I have written on this several times.

Companies try to make going green easier

Denver Business Journal – December 7, 2007

I haven’t made any secret of my distrust of the carbon credits (or carbon trading) programs that are on the market. I have written about them often and have pointed out multiple times where they are more scam than good. While I am certain that there are some programs that have good intentions, the devil is usually in the details and the details are usually not very good.

I can’t tell if the two programs in this article are good or bad.  They don’t give enough details in the article but I am suspicious.  While the companies that ShipGreen and AllState are donating to appear to be above board, they simply are not sharing enough information to tell if the money is doing any good.  I am reminded that BusinessWeek did an article on this type of effort only to find that little of the offset money did any good.

The Greenest Hypocrites of 2007

FOXNews.com – December 6, 2007

Steven Milroy is the author of Junk Science which is a great site for exploring more information on scientific concepts, particularly on global warming. He also writes a regular column for Fox.

In this column, Steve itemizes the top ten greatest “green” hypocrisies. Personally, I think he is stretching on several of them – especially number 4 since it is impossible with today’s current technology to truly have a worldwide active discussion without physically being co-located. Yes, it is easy to get half a dozen people together online but getting hundreds together is simply a nightmare and not easily handled with today’s bandwidths.

New Study Increases Concerns About Climate Model Reliability

ScienceDaily – December 12, 2007

If you read this site on a regular basis, this will be no surprise to you. A couple fairly prominent and outspoken scientists are trying to explain that the computer models that are used for predicting the massive problems of the future are not quite as accurate and foretelling as some will have you believe.

Many people will say that the climate projections are good enough and we should go into massive retooling of the worlds economy based on this small amount of information. This is the common theme over at RealClimate. While the jury is still out, in my opinion, as to what the future holds for us, there is no question that we do not have very good evidence on either side of the issue. The current models make numerous assumptions and any errors in the logic will tend to exaggerate over time.