Monday, April 28, 2008

Two completely different climate change articles. Or are they?

Let’s see if we can find any connection between them. In the first story, we find out that greenhouse gases rose sharply in 2007.

Last year alone global levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, the primary driver of global climate change, increased by 0.6 percent, or 19 billion tons. Additionally methane rose by 27 million tons after nearly a decade with little or no increase. NOAA scientists released these and other preliminary findings today as part of an annual update to the agency’s greenhouse gas index, which tracks data from 60 sites around the world.

And later in the article:

Viewed another way, last year’s carbon dioxide increase means 2.4 molecules of the gas were added to every million molecules of air, boosting the global concentration to nearly 385 parts per million (ppm). Pre-industrial carbon dioxide levels hovered around 280 ppm until 1850. Human activities pushed those levels up to 380 ppm by early 2006.

The rate of increase in carbon dioxide concentrations accelerated over recent decades along with fossil fuel emissions. Since 2000, annual increases of two ppm or more have been common, compared with 1.5 ppm per year in the 1980s and less than one ppm per year during the 1960s

There is still a fairly large contingent of people who honestly believe that while there seems to be global climate change occurring, there is no proof that it is human induced and, further, that it is beyond our control. This is despite the bulk of scientific evidence running contrary to such a viewpoint. And, even if you accept the position, would it not be better for us on a number of levels to curtail the waste products we dump in our air and oceans? What’s the downside of taking the warnings seriously?

The only downside is the apparent “suffering” of multi-national corporations that are directly involved in making enormous profits off keeping the status quo for as long as possible. Which brings us to the second article; government interference at the scientific level. This is nothing new under the bureaucrats of the Bush Administration. There is surprise however in the level of interference.

...political appointees have edited scientific documents, manipulated scientific assessments, and generally sought to undermine the science behind dozens of EPA regulations." The study found the White House Office of Management and Budget to be the worst culprit. A stunning "889 scientists (60 percent of respondents) personally experienced at least one incident of political interference during the past five years," while "among EPA veterans (scientists with more than 10 years of experience at the agency), 409 (43 percent) said interference occurred more often in the past five years than in the previous five-year period."

It’s pretty clear how these two stories connect. I won’t insult you by going into details.


the chaplain said...

Is Bush's reign over yet? We're not going to let him turn the throne over to Jeb, are we?

PhillyChief said...

I did some probing awhile back because I couldn't fathom why some people were trying to find ANY answer to counter the claim that humans were responsible for global warming. I mean everything from denying global warming outright to accepting it but dismissing humans as responsible in favor of solar radiation and other shit. Well the curious, skeptical and sorta pattern conscious being that I am (not in that Beautiful Mind, psychotic break kinda pattern conscious though... yet) thought this behavior seems familiar, especially when some of their arguments contradicted one another. Gosh, where have we seen that before?

That's right, christian are behind it. I only scratched the surface, but I think it all boils down to if god made the Earth, then humans are simply incapable of destroying it because it's god's creation (nevermind the countless creations of god humanity has hunted to extinction), plus the end is explained in the bible and it's god's plan, so.... etc.

Now of course, imo, there are companies who foster evangelical bullshit because it helps nonsense like this which helps them of course, which is like the post I made today (2 in one day, pretty rare). You have the Hudson Institute feeding religious bullshit and downplaying environmentalism so that people will support them drilling in the National Parks and invading those godless muslim countries, who just happen to be sitting on a lot of oil and not pumping nearly enough of it to satiate our thirst.

Marx was wrong, but not in the way these fuckers always go on about. It's not just an opiate, it's a fucking carrot, and these dicks dangle it on a stick and the masses dance and do EXACTLY what they want.

John Evo said...

Philly - I like your comparison with creationists, but I diverge with you on it just a bit. I don't think it's the only group involved in getting hoodwinked by Big Business, but there is certainly the same element of a lack of reason in the thinking process. Denialists all.

Intelligent design, Climate change denial, holocaust denial, AIDS dissent, vaccine=autism, alien abduction, 9/11 conspiracy, accepting the Iraq war as legitimate - all require a certain mind-set that precludes accepting the best available evidence in favor of any tangential facts which seem supportive of the given position.

If you assume that not all of these people are of Christian groups (while allowing that there must be SOME overlap) then there are a whole bunch of folks out there who are a problem to free-thinkers, whether we have religion or not.

Just a little Monday night happy talk in paradise….

Brendan said...

I think there are other types who deny AGW, who work from motivations different from fundamentalist religious beliefs. There are plenty of people who don't want to take a hit on how they make money (energy companies, trucking companies, airlines, etc.) and plenty of others who fear that the Demoncrats and the leftist academic conspiracy are going to hurt their luxurious lifestyles. Their attitude, in short, is not religious fervor but plain selfishness.