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Sunday, July 01, 2012

The Strange Case of 'Global Warming'???

Oh my -- am I reading this correctly? This is an abstract from one of the talks tomorrow (and I hope the science is more accurate than the date given for the talk, it should be July 2, not July 3):

The Strange Case of "Global Warming", by Ivar Giaever: Lecture: Monday, 3 July, 12.00 hrs
In 2008 I participated on a panel at the Lindau meeting discussing "Global Warming" and to prepare, I looked into the subject using the internet. I found that the general belief is that the average surface temperature over the whole earth for a whole year has increased from ~288 oK to 288.8 oK in roughly 150 years, i.e. 0.3% and that it is due to increased CO2. If this is true, it means to me that the temperature has been amazingly stable.
In the same time period the number of people has increased in the world from 1.5 billions to over 7 billions. Is it possible that all the paved roads and cut down forests have had an effect on the climate?
The American Physical Society think differently, however, as its public position is:
Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.
The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.
I believe that nothing in science is "incontrovertible" thus, in my view, APS has become a political (or religious?) society. Consequently, I resigned from APS in the fall of 2011.
In this talk I will explain why I became concerned about the climate, and terrified by the one sided propaganda in the media, In particular I am worried about all the money wasted on alternate energies, when so many children in the world go hungry to bed.
If you still believe that global warming is occurring and that the main cause is CO2 when I have finished this talk, I urge you to argue for two things to save the world:
1. Introduction of nuclear power
2. Limit the population increase by allowing only one child/woman

Surprise! Fox News highlighted this.

This lecture is just before the one above:

The Science and Policy of Climate Change, by Mario J. Molina: Lecture: Monday, 3 July, 11.30 hrs

Climate change is the most serious environmental challenge facing society in the 21st century. The basic science is clear: the International Panel on Climate Change concluded that there is more than 90% probability that human activities are causing the observed changes in the Earth’s climate in recent decades. The average temperature of the Earth’s surface has increased so far by about 0.8 degrees Celsius since the Industrial Revolution, and the frequency of extreme weather events such as droughts, floods and intense hurricanes is also increasing, most likely as a consequence of this temperature change. There are scientific uncertainties that remain to be worked out, connected with issues such as the feedback effects of clouds and aerosols. Nevertheless, the consensus among experts is that the risk of causing dangerous changes to the climate system increases rapidly if the average temperature rises more than two or three degrees Celsius. Society faces an enormous challenge to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid such dangerous interference with the climate system. This goal can only be achieved by taking simultaneously measures such as significantly increasing energy efficiency in the transportation, building, industrial and other sectors, using renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal and biomass, and possibly developing and using safer nuclear energy power plants.

These are Nobel Prize winners in physics. I thought physics and its adherence to the scientific method was supposed to be free of the kinds of controversy over models, politics, etc. that plagues economics.

    Posted by on Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 02:43 AM in Economics, Environment, Science | Permalink  Comments (70)

          


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