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Thread: Global Warming and Politics ~~News & Views~~

  1. #1
    Persona Oblongata OrionzRevenge's Avatar
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    Angry Global Warming and Politics ~~News & Views~~

    It is an issue deserving of great attention. I personally see it as a paramount concern.

    I'm here installing the latest segment of a long-running argument from elsewhere as our first entry.

    Last night on PBS' Charlie Rose, E.O. Wilson was asked to assess the threat we face from Global Warming.

    "It's potentially lethal."

    Quote Originally Posted by R---- View Post
    The sky is falling! The sky is falling! It never gets old. It's the gift that keeps on giving. They can't help themselves. They have an irresistible fixation on controlling the lives of others.
    Quite the contrary actually. I have a fixation about making sure Big Oil and the Far Right no longer control the debate as they did in the 2012 election.

    Quote Originally Posted by n---- View Post
    OMG he must be an expert

    what bit again makes him an expert? Was it winning the Pulitzer or believing in God?
    Firstly, I have no issues with a person's faith as such, but where I have lampooned (for religious beliefs) the *smirk* 'sources' you & Raydiculous have presented is when they are on record saying that 4000 year old mythology trumps scientific reasoning. Persons such as this truly have no place in science.

    E.O. Wilson is world renowned for basically inventing Sociobiology and attempting to understand how social animals won evolution's favor. Moreover, his life-long study of social insects lends credibility to his observations on the environmental impact of AGW. Especially given that much research has already been recorded about AGW's impact at truly a Grass-Roots level.

    Climate change affects ants and biodiversity

    “If the temperature increases by just a half a degree Celsius, the most important seed-dispersing ants basically shut down,” said Sanders. “They do not go out and forage and do the things they normally do.”

    Stuble observed that, on average, the ants foraged for about ten hours a day at normal temperatures. When temperatures were raised just a half a degree, the ants stayed in their nests underground and foraged just an hour.

    The absence of ants’ seed dispersal and nutrient cycling could have profound influence on biodiversity.


    Global warming could trigger ant invasions

    The study of 665 ant colonies in environments ranging from tropical rainforests to frozen tundra suggests that in warmer environments the ants' body size shrinks, on average, while the number of individuals in the colony booms.

    Global warming might shrink ant workers by as much as a third, says Michael Kaspari at the University of Oklahoma, US, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, who carried out the study: "And since ant species with small workers appear to be particularly successful at invading, ant invasions - already destructive - may become more common in a warming world."

    Climate change aids spread of stinging ‘needle’ ants

    The Asian needle ant no longer lives in just Asia. In the 1900s, the bugs reached eastern North America and quickly spread. In a 2006 study, researchers examined the effects of the ant’s sting after the invaders began assaulting zookeepers at a South Carolina zoo. The ants often stung people on the legs, buttocks, arms, and hands; victims complained of swelling, pain, and itchiness lasting up to two weeks. In Asia, the venomous pokes have been reported to cause severe allergic reactions.

    Since ants are sensitive to climate, researchers wondered how global warming would affect the spread of this unpleasant species. So they ran computer models to predict which parts of the globe would become suitable for Asian needle ants over the next century. By 2050, the species’ potential habitat will expand by 29 percent, the team reports in PLOS ONE. And by 2080, it will rise by roughly 65 percent.

    Global Warming and Pest Species

    As climate change causes winters to warm and seasons to shift, a host of exotic invasives and destructive natives are marching their way into our lives at an ever increasing rate.

    According to a report from the National Wildlife Federation, these climate invaders will continue to spread disease, destroy valuable natural resources and push out the native plants and wildlife Americans cherish if global warming continues unabated.

    They Came from Climate Change (pdf) profiles seven species that are primed to expand in range, increase in toxicity, or grow in number due to warmer winters and a shift in seasons caused by global warming. According to the report:

    Deer Tick

    They crawl! They bite!They can give you Lyme disease! With a lust for blood and a penchant for warm weather, deer ticks will encroach on more land than ever before thanks to climate change. Milder winters are projected to increase the range of deer tick populations by 68 percent in North America by later this century.

    Poison Ivy

    Poison ivy is expected to become more “toxic” as a result of increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Fire Ant

    Within the lifespan of a child born today, the range of the red imported fire ant in the United States could expand northward by about 80 miles and expand in total area by 21 percent as climate change makes new areas suitable for their survival.

    Asian Tiger Mosquito

    Climate change is likely to aid further range expansion northward in the United States of the Asian tiger mosquito, increasing disease transmission potential.


    If summer precipitation declines significantly, this could expand the amount of suitable land for cheatgrass by up to 45 percent, bringing increased wildfire risks with it.

    Salt Cedar

    Several species of the water-hogging salt cedar shrub are poised to take full advantage of a changing climate in the western United States, where water is already scarce.
    Pine Bark Beetle

    Absent the severe winter cold which kills over-wintering beetle larvae, pine bark beetle populations have exploded to unprecedented levels across the Western United States, killing billions of trees.

    But of course, you'll have to first set aside notions like God made this planet just for his cute little naked apes, and he/she wont allow us to destroy it.

    And, you'll have to decide that the red bars below aren't a fiction.

    NOAA Graph.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    It is hard to formulate a coherent post, there are so many angles to this issue.

    First off, by design or just being against what the other guy says, being anti-global warming has entered the sacred dogma of the right along with unlimited guns, creationism, jesus, government is evil etc.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say there is significant overlap here. The science angle has limited appeal to many people - clearly. A sizable minority of Americans are already delusional with respect to basic science and another large group is willing to attribute some divine guidance to a natural process.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starjots View Post
    It is hard to formulate a coherent post, there are so many angles to this issue.
    This. The problem is the issue is so politicized that no global approach seems feasible.

    Everybody wants to spend endless hours bickering over the science of it all, when the fact remains, even if we all agreed on the science issues (which we don't of course), the scientific bickering would pale in comparison to the political bickering.

    I can see no sensible course of action ever being agreed upon. In the meantime, I will campaign against all knee jerk attempts to increase taxes under the guise of fighting climate change.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Makers's Avatar
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    I look at this issue as call for people to take individual action in reducing the shit they put into the atmosphere. Stop driving so goddamn much, turn off your lights, and shun assholes who commute in their king-sized ranch trucks to their accounting job in the city. In fact, maybe we go Militaristic and spray paint the trucks red, like fur wearers. This world's such a clusterf* because of humans, truly. We are the scourge of this planet. Outside of trangressive actions, there's nothing anyone can do but be a drop in the pale.

  5. #5
    Persona Oblongata OrionzRevenge's Avatar
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    The third National Climate Assessment, released by the White House, says the number and strength of extreme weather events have increased over the past 50 years.

    Infrastructure is being damaged by sea level rise, downpours and extreme heat.
    The report says these impacts are likely to worsen in the coming decades.

    Coming hot on the heels of the trio of reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the assessment re-iterates the finding that climate change is real, and "driven primarily by human activity".
    National Climate Assessment 2014 (released 5/5/14)

    Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present.
    Corn producers in Iowa, oyster growers in Washington State, and maple syrup producers in
    Vermont are all observing climate-related changes that are outside of recent experience. So,
    too, are coastal planners in Florida, water managers in the arid Southwest, city dwellers from
    Phoenix to New York, and Native Peoples on tribal lands from Louisiana to Alaska. This National
    Climate Assessment concludes that the evidence of human-induced climate change continues to
    strengthen and that impacts are increasing across the country.

    Americans are noticing changes all around them. Summers are longer and hotter, and extended
    periods of unusual heat last longer than any living American has ever experienced. Winters are
    generally shorter and warmer. Rain comes in heavier downpours. People are seeing changes in the
    length and severity of seasonal allergies, the plant varieties that thrive in their gardens, and the
    kinds of birds they see in any particular month in their neighborhoods.

    Other changes are even more dramatic. Residents of some coastal cities see their streets flood
    more regularly during storms and high tides. Inland cities near large rivers also experience more
    flooding, especially in the Midwest and Northeast. Insurance rates are rising in some vulnerable
    locations, and insurance is no longer available in others. Hotter and drier weather and earlier snow
    melt mean that wildfires in the West start earlier in the spring, last later into the fall, and burn
    more acreage. In Arctic Alaska, the summer sea ice that once protected the coasts has receded,
    and autumn storms now cause more erosion, threatening many communities with relocation.

    Scientists who study climate change confirm that these observations are consistent with significant
    changes in Earth’s climatic trends. Long-term, independent records from weather stations,
    satellites, ocean buoys, tide gauges, and many other data sources all confirm that our nation,
    like the rest of the world, is warming. Precipitation patterns are changing, sea level is rising, the
    oceans are becoming more acidic, and the frequency and intensity of some extreme weather
    events are increasing. Many lines of independent evidence demonstrate that the rapid warming of
    the past half-century is due primarily to human activities.

    The observed warming and other climatic changes are triggering wide-ranging impacts in every
    region of our country and throughout our economy. Some of these changes can be beneficial over
    the short run, such as a longer growing season in some regions and a longer shipping season on
    the Great Lakes. But many more are detrimental, largely because our
    society and its infrastructure were designed for the climate that we have
    had, not the rapidly changing climate we now have and can expect in the
    future. In addition, climate change does not occur in isolation. Rather,
    it is superimposed on other stresses, which combine to create new


    1. Global climate is changing and this is apparent across the United States in a
    wide range of observations. The global warming of the past 50 years is primarily
    due to human activities, predominantly the burning of fossil fuels.

    Many independent lines of evidence confirm that human activities are affecting climate in
    unprecedented ways. U.S. average temperature has increased by 1.3°F to 1.9°F since record
    keeping began in 1895; most of this increase has occurred since about 1970. The most recent
    decade was the warmest on record. Because human-induced warming is superimposed on a
    naturally varying climate, rising temperatures are not evenly distributed across the country or
    over time.21


    2. Some extreme weather and climate events have increased in recent decades,
    and new and stronger evidence confirms that some of these increases are related
    to human activities.

    Changes in extreme weather events are the primary way that most people experience climate
    change. Human-induced climate change has already increased the number and strength of
    some of these extreme events. Over the last 50 years, much of the United States has seen an
    increase in prolonged periods of excessively high temperatures, more heavy downpours, and
    in some regions, more severe droughts.22


    3. Human-induced climate change is projected to continue, and it will accelerate
    significantly if global emissions of heat-trapping gases continue to increase.

    Heat-trapping gases already in the atmosphere have committed us to a hotter future with
    more climate-related impacts over the next few decades. The magnitude of climate change
    beyond the next few decades depends primarily on the amount of heat-trapping gases that
    human activities emit globally, now and in the future.23


    4. Impacts related to climate change are already evident in many sectors and
    are expected to become increasingly disruptive across the nation throughout this
    century and beyond.

    Climate change is already affecting societies and the natural world. Climate change interacts
    with other environmental and societal factors in ways that can either moderate or intensify
    these impacts. The types and magnitudes of impacts vary across the nation and through
    time. Children, the elderly, the sick, and the poor are especially vulnerable. There is
    mounting evidence that harm to the nation will increase substantially in the future unless
    global emissions of heat-trapping gases are greatly reduced.24


    5. Climate change threatens human health and well-being in many ways, including
    through more extreme weather events and wildfire, decreased air quality, and
    diseases transmitted by insects, food, and water.

    Climate change is increasing the risks of heat stress, respiratory stress from poor air quality,
    and the spread of waterborne diseases. Extreme weather events often lead to fatalities and
    a variety of health impacts on vulnerable populations, including impacts on mental health,
    such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Large-scale changes in the environment
    due to climate change and extreme weather events are increasing the risk of the emergence
    or reemergence of health threats that are currently uncommon in the United States, such as
    dengue fever.25


    6. Infrastructure is being damaged by sea level rise, heavy downpours, and
    extreme heat; damages are projected to increase with continued climate change.

    Sea level rise, storm surge, and heavy downpours, in combination with the pattern of continued
    development in coastal areas, are increasing damage to U.S. infrastructure including roads,
    buildings, and industrial facilities, and are also increasing risks to ports and coastal military
    installations. Flooding along rivers, lakes, and in cities following heavy downpours, prolonged
    rains, and rapid melting of snowpack is exceeding the limits of flood protection infrastructure
    designed for historical conditions. Extreme heat is damaging transportation infrastructure such
    as roads, rail lines, and airport runways.26


    7. Water quality and water supply reliability are jeopardized by climate change in
    a variety of ways that affect ecosystems and livelihoods.

    Surface and groundwater supplies in some regions are already stressed by increasing demand
    for water as well as declining runoff and groundwater recharge. In some regions, particularly
    the southern part of the country and the Caribbean and Pacific Islands, climate change is
    increasing the likelihood of water shortages and competition for water among its many
    uses. Water quality is diminishing in many areas, particularly due to increasing sediment and
    contaminant concentrations after heavy downpours.27


    8. Climate disruptions to agriculture have been increasing and are projected to
    become more severe over this century.

    Some areas are already experiencing climate-related disruptions, particularly due to extreme
    weather events. While some U.S. regions and some types of agricultural production will be
    relatively resilient to climate change over the next 25 years or so, others will increasingly suffer
    from stresses due to extreme heat, drought, disease, and heavy downpours. From mid-century
    on, climate change is projected to have more negative impacts on crops and livestock across
    the country – a trend that could diminish the security of our food supply.28


    9. Climate change poses particular threats to Indigenous Peoples’ health, wellbeing,
    and ways of life.

    Chronic stresses such as extreme poverty are being exacerbated by climate change impacts
    such as reduced access to traditional foods, decreased water quality, and increasing exposure
    to health and safety hazards. In parts of Alaska, Louisiana, the Pacific Islands, and other
    coastal locations, climate change impacts (through erosion and inundation) are so severe that
    some communities are already relocating from historical homelands to which their traditions
    and cultural identities are tied. Particularly in Alaska, the rapid pace of temperature rise, ice
    and snow melt, and permafrost thaw are significantly affecting critical infrastructure and
    traditional livelihoods.29


    10. Ecosystems and the benefits they provide to society are being affected by
    climate change. The capacity of ecosystems to buffer the impacts of extreme
    events like fires, floods, and severe storms is being overwhelmed.

    Climate change impacts on biodiversity are already being observed in alteration of the timing
    of critical biological events such as spring bud burst and substantial range shifts of many
    species. In the longer term, there is an increased risk of species extinction. These changes
    have social, cultural, and economic effects. Events such as droughts, floods, wildfires, and
    pest outbreaks associated with climate change (for example, bark beetles in the West) are
    already disrupting ecosystems. These changes limit the capacity of ecosystems, such as
    forests, barrier beaches, and wetlands, to continue to play important roles in reducing the
    impacts of these extreme events on infrastructure, human communities, and other valued


    11. Ocean waters are becoming warmer and more acidic, broadly affecting ocean
    circulation, chemistry, ecosystems, and marine life.

    More acidic waters inhibit the formation of shells, skeletons, and coral reefs. Warmer waters
    harm coral reefs and alter the distribution, abundance, and productivity of many marine
    species. The rising temperature and changing chemistry of ocean water combine with other
    stresses, such as overfishing and coastal and marine pollution, to alter marine-based food
    production and harm fishing communities.31


    12. Planning for adaptation (to address and prepare for impacts) and mitigation
    (to reduce future climate change, for example by cutting emissions) is becoming
    more widespread, but current implementation efforts are insufficient to avoid
    increasingly negative social, environmental, and economic consequences.

    Actions to reduce emissions, increase carbon uptake, adapt to a changing climate, and
    increase resilience to impacts that are unavoidable can improve public health, economic
    development, ecosystem protection, and quality of life.32

  6. #6
    Persona Oblongata OrionzRevenge's Avatar
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    JOSH LEDERMAN, Associated Press
    WASHINGTON — Within weeks, President Barack Obama's administration is set to unveil unprecedented emissions limits on power plants across the U.S., much to the dismay of many Democratic candidates who are running for election in energy-producing states. Fearful of a political backlash, they wish their fellow Democrat in the White House would hold off until after the voting.

    But Obama can't wait that long.

    Unlike the Keystone XL oil pipeline, whose review the administration has delayed, probably until after November's elections, the clock is ticking for the power plant rules — the cornerstone of Obama's campaign to curb climate change. Unless he starts now, the rules won't be in place before he leaves office, making it easier for his successor to stop them.
    So even though the action could bolster Republican attacks against some of this year's most vulnerable Democrats, the administration is proceeding at full speed. Obama's counselor on climate issues, John Podesta, affirmed that the proposal will be unveiled in early June — just as this year's general election is heating up.

    "Having this debate now will only injure Democrats," said Hank Sheinkopf, a longtime Democratic strategist. "Democrats are in trouble. The best thing when you're in trouble is to avoid further controversy."
    To be sure, Americans generally support cutting pollution. A Pew Research Center poll late last year found 65 percent of Americans favor "setting stricter emission limits on power plants in order to address climate change," while 30 percent were opposed.

  7. #7
    Persona Oblongata OrionzRevenge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Senseye View Post
    ...Everybody wants to spend endless hours bickering over the science of it all, when the fact remains, even if we all agreed on the science issues (which we don't of course), the scientific bickering would pale in comparison to the political bickering.

    Hashing this stuff out elsewhere caused me reason to create another graphic that speaks to this point.

    Also, this insight is an important one too. IMO

    A think tank partly funded by Exxon Mobil sent letters to scientists offering them up to $10,000 to critique findings in a major global warming study released Friday which found that global warming was real and likely caused by burning fossil fuels.
    The American Enterprise Institute sent the letters to scientists offering them $10,000, plus travel and other expenses, to highlight the shortcomings in a report from the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group widely considered to be the authority on climate change science.

    "The purpose of this project is to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the IPCC process, especially as it bears on potential policy responses to climate change," said the memo, which was sent to a professor at Texas A&M University.

    "We are hoping to sponsor a paper...that thoughtfully explores the limitations of climate model [forecasting] outputs as they pertain to the development of climate policy..."

    The letter was obtained by through ExxposeExxon, a coalition of environmental groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and the Union of Concerned Scientists.
    Frontline: A Climate of Doubt

    Explains the corporate efforts to "Own the Science.", and they freely admit to doing so in this video.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    This is just snapshots of people's opinions. Was this shift in opinion driven by new science?

    No, guess not.

  9. #9
    Persona Oblongata OrionzRevenge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starjots View Post

    This is just snapshots of people's opinions. Was this shift in opinion driven by new science?
    No, guess not.

    In a way, in part, it was driven by clumsy science spun into conspiracy by big $ and Fox News: Climategate

    which hit the fan in late 2009.

    There is an element of the far right that will always consider science suspect. As it's explanations contradict a literal reading of Christian scripture.
    Too, it doesn't help that Al Gore is the poster child for environmental responsibility. AND, there is no getting around government regulations and a hit to the wallet. A cost that was somewhere off in the distance back in 1998, but is very real here & now.

    Democrats get points for being more on the right side of the issue, but it's still politics first. As many up for re-election want Obama to hold off on an initiative till after the mid-term. (Which means it probably wont be enacted till after the next presidential election ~ and might sway that election towards a still-born promising candidate.)

    Personally, I wish both extremes would STFU & GTFO.

    The real concern is the moderate middle (as it should be), and they have been bombarded by the same folks that tried to spin tobacco now spinning webs for big oil. The hour is late and efforts to sway the middle instead of polarized entrenchment should be the agenda IMO.

    The news that weather extremes, due to AGW, are happening NOW need to be publicized more.

    One expects global warming to cause more violent storms, and the parallels on these two graphs are very compelling.

  10. #10
    Senior Member jyng1's Avatar
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    I was listening to an economist talking about the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Funds move to invest in Green energy the other day.

    As the worlds biggest investment fund at $860 billion I imagine that might have a bigger flow on impact than anything politicians or scientists might do.

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