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Scientists and Engineers are upset

If you read this site often, you will know that I am an engineer by training (even though I don’t currently practice). I tend to respect this profession a great deal as being fairly straight-forward and hard working. As a group, they also tend to be a pretty smart bunch.

One of the major trade rags in engineering is C&EN (Chemical and Engineering News). It is edited by Mr. Rudy Baum. If you aren’t in that trade, you would probably never pick up an issue so you may not be familiar with it. I haven’t read the publication in a long time but was recently made aware of a bit of controversy by Climate Depot. While the readers of C&EN are likely not climatologists, the science of CO2 and its affect on the atmosphere is very steeped in chemistry which their target market knows a bit about.

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Climatologist slams RealClimate.org for ‘erroneously communicating the reality of the how climate system is actually behaving’ – Rebuts Myths On Sea Level, Oceans and Arctic Ice

I have talked about RealClimate.org many times in the past. In general, the gentlemen over there are pretty smart but they do tend to be one-sided in their analysis. They consistently take the side of “global warming is caused by humans” and they don’t treat others with much respect.

I started questioning their partisanship when they lashed out at the UK judge that said that “An Inconvenient Truth” was not 100% factual. They didn’t like me calling them out on that.  They then spiked some of my comments on their site when degraded scientific discussion to a challenge of who has a bigger wallet.

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The Anti-Industrial Coup

Mr. Tracinski at TIADaily.com had a very interesting commentary on the recent decision to treat carbon dioxide as a pollutant but not water vapor.  While I think that his end conclusion that this could be the beginning of the end of a representative government are likely overblown, his logic and discussion is worth reading and considering.

I originally found this article at RealClearPolitics so please click over there if you want to read every sentence.  Here are the highlights that I found interesting.

We all expect that there will be a contest in Congress this year over global warming and a “cap-and-trade” bill limiting carbon dioxide emissions. After all, the government cannot impose sweeping new controls on our lives without extensive public debate and a vote in Congress that must gain the support of a clear majority of the representatives of the people.

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Alternative Energy Revolution

I saw this humorous cartoon on Web Funny and thought you would enjoy it.  Click the image to go to their site and see a larger size image or go to the artist’s page.

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Nuclear war would cause more global warming

I don’t understand why this study was commissioned.  Isn’t the death and destruction of nuclear war bad enough to deter pushing the button? Does anyone really believe that a leader of a nuclear power or a terrorist would be about to start the holocaust and then pause because they were concerned about the environment?

I guess when you work at Stanford though, such thoughts cross your mind.  Or maybe it is just the constant pressure within acedemia to “Publish or Perish” to keep your job. Or maybe it has some deeper and political purpose.

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Put oil firm chiefs on trial, says leading climate change scientist

The Guardian – June 23, 2008

Jim Hansen of NASA must have finally gone off the deep end.  While the man is probably brilliant, his call to put the CEOs of companies on trial for global warming is one of the most radical statements that I have heard in this global warming discussion. He states that he is 99% certain that carbon dioxide has already passed the safe level.

Mr. Hansen is certainly free to challenge the election of politicians and to speak on what he feels needs to be done.  However, when someone calls for radical measures such as putting CEOs on trial for high crimes against humanity, I immediately put him into the weirdo bucket and dismiss him as a heretic.

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Hurricane Expert: School Silencing Me Over Global-Warming Views

FoxNews – April 29, 2008

I just wrote an article where I discussed that William Gray was being vilified for his comments and stance on global warming.  Now I read that his employer, is cutting back on his funding. Dr. Gray says that this is due to his beliefs and accused the school of “capitulation” to the forces of global warming.

I don’t know what Colorado State University has as its true goals in this move. It is almost always possible to assume that hidden motives are in play when it comes to money and quite often the motives are honorable. However in the words of Kurt Cobain:

“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you”

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Alaska town sues over global warming

Portland Business Journal – February 27, 2008

I need to file this one under Ridiculous. How can a town in Alaska sue over global warming?  To make matters worse, they are suing oil companies and utilities! If they want to sue someone, they should sue you and me. Filing suit against the providers of a product that is bought by consumers, is like filing suit against the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association for the high rate of heart attacks.

For those that live in other countries than the USA, I must explain.  The US is a very litigious society.  I can’t find accurate statistics on the number of suits filed in a given year but it is shameful. We have crazy stories of lawsuits for hot coffee and lost laptops. Just to give you an example, there is even a site that is dedicated to tracking stupid lawsuits!

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Thinking Big on Global Warming

Wall Street Journal – October 15, 2007

I think that this is a terrible idea!

This opinion published by the Wall Street Journal suggests that mankind release more pollutants into the atmosphere that will deflect some of the sun and thereby reduce the amount of global warming that we are incurring.

How does adding more stuff to the atmosphere help? What are the side effects? Isn’t this a cosmetic surgery approach to being overweight?

Just like the case of an individual being overweight. The last remedy to save that person should be surgery. Rather, diet and exercise should be employed to make the individual a healthy being. Adding pollutants to the atmosphere as a “sunscreen” has the potential to cause more harm than good and the bad part of the bargain is that we won’t know the side effects until we take the medicine.

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Warming Called a National Security Issue

Sci-Tech Today – April 30, 2007

This is an excellent viewpoint on why we need to understand what is happening to our climate. The author says that we need to understand the ramifications of massive climate changes because, if they are dramatic enough, we will surely have more human suffering and more regional hostility as nation-states aggressively try to protect or acquire resources. Their is little disputing the fact that the Earth is a little warmer today than 100 years ago and, based on this trend, it will likely increase some more (although some scientists say that a cooling period is imminent). Any change that would impact a country’s ability to feed, clothe, and protect its citizens is worth discussing.

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