Doug Vining Climate change and global warming 1

Global warming is a controversial issue which has become highly politicised. On the one hand is Al Gore with his movie An Inconvenient Truth who argues that it is already happening and with dire consequences. The opposite view is taken by Michael Crichton in his book, who says there is no evidence that increased CO2 is causing warming (true) and that the whole thing is a sham. Some skeptics even say it is a conspiracy to deflect funds away from alleviating poverty in developing economies. The main reason for the great debate is the fact that the science is uncertain. While its true that CO2 in the atmosphere and global temperatures are highly correlated over hundreds of thousands of years, their fluctuations have both been caused by changes in sunlight. Only in the last hundred years has there been a steep increase in CO2 in the air due to industrialization. This has not resulted in a steep increase in temperatures, but it is expected that it ultimately will contribute to the greenhouse effect. When and how much is totally uncertain, but will probably be a problem for our grandchildren rather than us.
Posted: 5 July 2006 at 00:00

Doug Vining Climate change and global warming 2

Professor Philander from Princeton points out that the earth has been cooling for 60 miliion years. It is only in the last three million years that temperature levels have become more volatile to sunlight changes, and this has resulted in ice age cycles of approximately 100,000 years duration. We are currently at an interglacial (warm) point in the cycle.
Posted: 5 July 2006 at 00:00

Doug Vining Economics

Fundamental to the question of climate change and global warming is the fact that global economic growth is dependent on the burning of fossil fuels - at least with current technology. China is a case in point. It is only possible in the short term to reduce carbon emissions by putting brakes on economic growth. This raises the moral dilemma: should we make current populations (poor masses whose only hope is high economic growth) suffer for the sake of future generations (who might be affected by global warming)? The wiser answer might be that future generations will take care of themselves. Let's not forget that before the invention of the automobile there was great concern in London and Paris that there would be a huge shortage of horses and stables to cater for transportation needs in the future. Finally, each faction has its own agenda - the scientists must come out strongly about the dangers of global warming to ensure funding and action; the skeptics must be equally vociferous to ensure money is not diverted away from growth and poverty alleviation. The wise must choose a path between the two, and caution against precipitous action, when we understand the long term dynamics so badly. The scenarios are wide open - anything could happen in the long run. But ultimately the planet is not at risk - humans are.
Posted: 5 July 2006 at 00:00

Doug Vining Interglacial point 1

Almost all human development, including population growth and advancement of civilizations has taken place during the current interglacial, ie the last 8000 years. We are thus in a unique position where our planetary system is more volatile than ever, and we are having the greatest effect on it than ever. Unfortunately we do not understand very well what will happen. The oceans definitely play a big part in climate as does the atmosphere, but we do not understand it very well. The 'Conveyor Belt' or Gulf Pump is admittedly a big part of the puzzle, but is not necessarily affected only by surface temperatures in the northern hemisphere. In fact, it seems that the major contributor to oxygen in the atmosphere is bacteria in the southern ocean! Satellite photos of the earth which reveal the presence of chlorophyll show that the southern ocean (between Argentina, Cape Point and Antarctica) is very rich, while other oceans are biological deserts by comparison.
Posted: 5 July 2006 at 00:00

Doug Vining Interglacial point 2

Of course, carbon has been recycled between the soil, air and ocean for millions of years. We are just upsetting the balance by accelerating the transfer to the atmosphere. 50% of the CO2 we release gets absorbed - half by plants, the rest it is assumed by the ocean. Recent studies suggest that glaciation is caused more by changes at the tropics than anything else - with a substantial lag effect. But the likelihood of abrupt climate change as in the Day After Tomorrow is extremely low.
Posted: 5 July 2006 at 00:00

Doug Vining Blair and Brown speak out

Tony Blair said the Stern Review showed the scientific evidence of global warming was "overwhelming" and its consequences "disastrous". And chancellor Gordon Brown promised the UK would lead the international response to tackle climate change.
He said the green challenge was also an opportunity "for new markets, for new jobs, new technologies, new exports where companies, universities and social enterprises in Britain can lead the world".
Posted: 30 October 2006 at 14:23

Doug Vining Climate change threatens agriculture
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Immediate steps are needed to avert a potential catastrophe as climate change dries up water resources in drought affected areas, hitting poor farmers, a United Nations report said on 9 November.
The vast majority of the world's malnourished people, estimated at about 830 million people, are small farmers, herders and farm laborers, pointing to devastating effects from global warning and requiring a tripling of yearly farming aid to poor countries.
Posted: 13 November 2006 at 11:17

Doug Vining Nairobi conference a lot of hot air

THE United Nations conference on climate change, which closed on Friday in Nairobi, was distinguished mainly by its ineffectualness.
Posted: 21 November 2006 at 07:52

Peter Naegeli Subscription

Posted: 23 November 2006 at 07:27

Willem van der Merwe New Ice Age

I think the date should have been 29 February 2007.
Great publication.
Posted: 2 February 2007 at 10:52

Doug Vining Give it six months

Last Ice Age Took Just SIX Months to Arrive - [Daily Mail] It took just six months for a warm and sunny Europe to be engulfed in ice, according to new research.
Posted: 23 November 2009 at 07:10

Wolfgang Grulke How to survive the coming ice age

This was a cover story of Time Magazine in the 1970s. Temperatures had been falling since the 1940s and every climatic disaster was being blamed on "global cooling". During the past decades the fashionable scapegoat has become "global warming" - more and more, it seems, based on flawed evidence. Don't put those wooly hats away just yet!
A FuturesForum post (titled: "How to survive the coming ice age") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here:
Posted: 17 March 2013 at 14:24
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