Fighting Trolls...

Over on Jeff Alworth's post on global warming, this comment from "alantex" just appeared. It's a great idea, so we thought we'd promote it to the front page.

Back before November's election, someone on Blue Oregon, tiring of the right-wing trolls who popped up and annoyed folks, pledged to make a contribution to Democratic candidates every time a troll sounded off.

I, too, am disgusted by the global warming denier trolls (considerable overlap with the ordinary right-wing trolls, I believe) who barf on this blog all too regularly. So, I hereby pledge to make a contribution to the Sierra Club or the Natural Resources Defense Council every time a global warming denier troll pukes out that stuff here. That way, those trolls will know that their junk science and BS is just helping the organizations whose programs and ideals they despise.

Both Sierra Club and NRDC are national organizations which have major efforts underway to get our government to do what any self-respecting government would have done about 1992 -- that is take major steps to reduce carbon emissions, including increasing transportation efficiency, a massive renewable energy building program, and major incentives to reduce home, commercial, and industrial energy use along with strictly and fairly enforced regulation (carrot _and_ stick are both necessary).

Discuss!

Comments

  • (Show?)

    Amen. I too am tired of arguing about whether global warming is real. I'd much rather spend my time reading about possible solutions.

    Can we get a button up on BlueOregon that allows for donations? I'm ready to jump in right now with $1 for NRDC and $1 for Sierra Club, and again and again and again....

  • jim karlock (unverified)
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    BlueOregon (considerable overlap with the ordinary right-wing trolls, I believe) who barf on this blog all too regularly. JK: I presume you mean me?

    BlueOregon So, I hereby pledge to make a contribution to the Sierra Club or the Natural Resources Defense Council every time a global warming denier troll pukes out that stuff here. JK: Let me help you go broke.

    BlueOregon That way, those trolls will know that their junk science and BS is just helping the organizations whose programs and ideals they despise. JK: Don’t accuse me of junk science. Why don’t you have a look at real science (or do you call the NAS, and Science junk?):

    1) Start with this: www.nap.edu/catalog/11676.html. Its conclusions say the following: a. We are warming up after the little ice age, 400 years ago. b. The little ice age existed c. The medieval warm period most likely existed. (my note: neither of the above appear on Gore’s hockey stick - therefore the hockey stick is wrong) d. “Very little confidence can be assigned to statements concerning the hemispheric mean or global mean surface temperature prior to about A.D. 900 ” ( My note: this means we can’t compare today’s temperature with anything further back.) e. They analyze each of the methods used on paleoclimatology and severely criticize some of them, including some that made up the Al Gore’s hockey stick.

    That pretty much destroys the credibility of the alarmist claims.

    2) then you can read this: Length of the Solar Cycle : An Indicator of Solar Activity Closely Associated with Climate Science,254,698,1Nov91) A set of data that supports the suggestion of a direct influence of solar activity on global climate is the variation of the solar cycle length . This record closely matches the long-term variations of the Northern Hemisphere land air temperature during the past 130 years .

    3) Then check out this: Experimental evidence for the role of ions in particle nucleation under atmospheric conditions Proc. R. Soc. A doi:10.1098/rspa.2006.1773

    To any thinking person, the above MUST raise questions, not about the existence of warming, but about the alarmist viewpoint.

    Thanks JK

  • YoungOregonVoter (unverified)
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    I don't see the big deal with trolls. I visit this site and NW Republican daily. NW Republican is filled to the brim with trolls, but they usually get knocked out when the reply comes. The only problem trolls are the ones who take excerpts from books or articles that fill up 75 percent of the comment page.

    If one's argument is logically perfect and backed by credible evidence, then what do you have to fear? I thought Democrats were the "big tent" party and champions of the Freedom of Speech?

    I agree that the global warming deniers are f**** ludicrous, but if their arguments are so weak, then why does BlueOregon need a racket to keep them out? I suspect that those here who are true believers in global warming do not necessarily have the best logic and evidence to support their point of view. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  • Bert Lowry (unverified)
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    Jim:

    Why are you so worked up about this issue? It seems like you've done a lot of research, and fairly difficult research at that -- one of your citations was 16 years old, another is a highly technical report on climate reconstructions. Neither is exactly riveting reading.

    With all of the problems, lies, half-truths and mistaken ideas in the world, why are you focusing on this one? I can only surmise that you have some emotional investment, but I can't fathom what it is. At any rate, it's a little weird.

    I suggest you read Bertrand Russell's book Skeptical Essays. It provides some good guidelines about what rational skepticism looks like.

  • (Show?)

    JK-- "To any thinking person, the above MUST raise questions, not about the existence of warming, but about the alarmist viewpoint."

    ...which doesn't explain why the OVERWHELMING consensus of world scientists indicates man-induced warming, does it? Or why Mexxon felt it needed to spend millions to fund bogus studies to discount legitimate research?

    I wouldn't dispute that there is environmental alarmism afoot in some quarters, but that doesn't mean man isn't warming the globe. HTH.

  • Anonymous (unverified)
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    My thoughts on JK: Global Warming is not "alarmist", neither is talk of the Holocaust, which you probably also deny.

    The only people seriously talking against Global Warming have never been "peer reviewed". JK, just for your knowledge that means that people who are their "equals" academically in the same field have reviewed their work. I know that is a hard one for you to grasp (oh, wait... I promised not to say anything about your sexual preference!).

    Keep right on trolling, JK, meanwhile, those of us that actually have a college education, do try to keep up on issues and are not glued to FoxNews will go about our business saving our nation and the world from the likes of insane idiots like you.

  • (Show?)

    uncool, anon. I think Jim's dead wrong, but that's no reason to attack him personally (and question his sexuality? WTF?)

  • Dave Lister (unverified)
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    Thanks torrid. I was about to make the same observation.

    My question:

    What's to keep folks from imitating trolls just to up the ante? Would that make them trolls? I think there's too many loopholes in this troll donation system.

  • (Show?)

    YoungOregonVoter--

    It's not about having anything to fear. It's about trolls who come onto the board to just fill it up with junk, post the same things over and over again, etc. They are people who are here not to participate in the conversation, but to just cause trouble. People who disagree are not trolls.

    During the Dean campaign we did this as well-- a certain amount of money (plus, say a penny or nickel) would be donated every time a troll came on and posted. These were often one-liners that were there just to be mean, cause trouble, etc. They weren't there for a discussion.

    It's hard to have a discussion when these people are filling up the blog. It's even worse when the trolls are "pagers" instead one one-liners (people who post tons of stuff, all of which is just junk, completely off the topic, etc.).

  • Craig Ireneus (unverified)
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    Finally, there's someone not afraid to point out the man behind the curtain!

    I always thought that it was a little immoral for the leftists to decry SUVs. I mean, the more energy our county consumes, the stronger our economy is- it's so obvious. But I didn't want to come off sounding as trite as a bumper sticker. Luckily, my man Dr. Lewis is unwilling to sacrifice some sacred cows....

    Response to Al Gore

  • Chris (unverified)
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    Bert,

    A+ for the mention of Bertrand Russell's Skeptical Essays! Definitely one of my favorite books ... I recommend it to everyone.

  • YoungOregonVoter (unverified)
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    Jenni,

    Thank you for clarifying that for me in a civil way. I have posted on other political blogs liberal and conservative and there is always some commentator who feels that I have wronged them and they reply with righteous indignation. Thank you for clarifying what a troll is and teaching me a new term "pager." My point is made; I reside to anonymously browsing.

  • Garrett (unverified)
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    I enjoy those who don't believe in global warmning. They probably question if dinosaurs existed, and if they did exist how did the scientists got the carbon dating so wrong because there is no way that anything could have existed more that 4,000 years ago. Those are the kinds of people that don't believe in global warming.

  • jim karlock (unverified)
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    Bert Lowry Why are you so worked up about this issue? ....With all of the problems, lies, half-truths and mistaken ideas in the world, why are you focusing on this one? I can only surmise that you have some emotional investment, but I can't fathom what it is. At any rate, it's a little weird. JK: I ignored the whole field for years. It only became of interest when the beliefs started to work their way into public policy. The proposals have the potential to do a great deal of harm to our country, especially the lower income people. Especially when many of the most vocal are completely ignorant about their proposals.

    How long did it take for the proponents of hydrogen to realize that hydrogen doesn’t just magically appear out of water?

    How many still hawk solar panels, even though they cost several times as much as coal and only work a few hours out of a 24 hour day. If you want $0.50 per KW-hr electricity then go solar and let the poor die off.

    They talk of protecting the poor from the ravages of a carbon tax, but they won’t. The poor will be screwed again.

    Right now, screwy ideas about land use have priced housing out of reach for many Oregonians. Around HALF of the cost of a home is now due to regulations, mainly the artificial shortage of land. Real people are being hurt by these actions of government and I just don’t want to see it continue.

    Another place low income people are being hurt is by cannibalizing the bus system, used mainly by lower income people, to get the money to build light rail which is used by upscale people.

    I am constantly amazed by how quickly well meaning activists will junk on some band wagon without being sure that they will do more good than harm. Unfortunately, on complex subjects, you cannot even trust the newspapers or other media. For instance very few newspaper science sections are written by people with science education.

    Few appreciate just how much energy is in ONE gallon of gasolene (125,000 btu x 777 ft-lb/btu = 97 million ft-lb) Enough to lift 10,000 pounds straight up almost two miles. Try that with your little pedal machine to make alternative energy.

    Thanks JK

  • jim karlock (unverified)
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    Garrett I enjoy those who don't believe in global warmning. They probably question if dinosaurs existed, and if they did exist how did the scientists got the carbon dating so wrong because there is no way that anything could have existed more that 4,000 years ago. Those are the kinds of people that don't believe in global warming. JK: Does this mean that you read my references and disagree with what I stated, or do you just have a mindless reaction to anything that challenges your beliefs, like a Bush Christian.

    Thanks JK

  • jim karlock (unverified)
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    torridjoe ...which doesn't explain why the OVERWHELMING consensus of world scientists indicates man-induced warming, does it? JK: Do they? Repeat a lie often enough and it will be accepted as the truth.

    torridjoe Or why Mexxon felt it needed to spend millions to fund bogus studies to discount legitimate research? JK: who / what is Mexxon?

    torridjoe I wouldn't dispute that there is environmental alarmism afoot in some quarters, but that doesn't mean man isn't warming the globe. HTH. JK: But how mauch is man caused? That is one of the crucial questions. Because if the answer is only a little bit, then there is little man can do to stop it. If stopping warming is even desirable. Don’t forget the other possibility: an ice age. Little. like 400 years ago, or big like 12,000 years ago.

    BTW, joe, what did you think of the articles that I referred to?

    Thanks JK

  • (Show?)

    YoungOregonVoter--

    Not a problem. Having worked as an online moderator in both professional and volunteer positions for several years, I have quite a bit of experience with trolls.

    Glad to see more "young" Oregon voters around here. I'm one myself, although maybe not as young as you. I'll turn 29 tomorrow.

  • (Show?)

    This is a very instructive thread!

    Jim Karlock referenced some very interesting studies that call into question the global warming hypothesis, and the only person who even mentioned them objected on the grounds that 1) it wasn't riveting reading, and 2) the study about solar output variation was 16 years old (as if sunspots are a recent phenomenon.)

    Everyone else either ignored the research completely, or made an ad-hominem attack.

    Nobody dealt with his point that the NAS showed that Gore's hockey stick (and therefore pretty much the entire basis for his cataclysmic hysteria) was bunk.

    Just brush over it, and call him names! Great!

  • Mike (unverified)
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    Great idea!

    What about the Union of Concerned Scientists? Wouldn't that be another good one to donate to?

  • (Show?)

    Rob:

    The age of a report matters, as we have learned a lot more about global warming in recent years. We've also had some of the wackiest weather, hottest average temps, etc. over the past 10 years or so-- well after the 16 year-old report was researched and written.

    We have permafrost melting in Alaska, along with other weather phenomenon that is causing insect infestations, ice shelf breaking apart, thinner ice packs that stay around longer (which is detrimental to many types of penguins, polar bears, seals, etc.), and more near our poles. Some scientists believe that many types of penguins, including emperors, could go extinct in coming years if something isn't done. As someone who has loved penguins since she was little, that really concerns me.

    But this post wasn't for debating global warming and the environment. It was about dealing with trolls and how that commentator is going to give to environmental groups.

    The recent post on global warming is the place to debate whether or not it is happening-- not here on a posting about dealing with trolls.

  • Tired (unverified)
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    Rob,

    The only thing instructive about this thread is that some people never learn. Probably the reason that Karlock has not received much substantive response to his "points" is that he has made them countless times on multiple threads on a host of blogs. Really, it's tedious. During that time he has demonstrated little evidence of wanting to engage in a conversation, frequently resorts to name calling, and often avoids questions. To confirm this I would suggest that you head over to Portland Transport's recent thread on global warming or Sam Adam's blog.

    As to his points- they have been thouroughly debunked. If you are interested in learning about this from real climate scientists, I'd suggest that you head over to www.realclimate.org

    But somehow Rob, I bet that you are not really interested in learning and that you, too, are adding chum to the trolling waters. That's fine...reading this junk has motivated me to make a donation as suggested. I appreciate your encouragement.

  • Harry (unverified)
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    A troll is a many splendid thang. Many people have many different defs.

    I prefer Wiki myself.

    A troll includes those who call others trolls.

    So keep on hitting the tip jar: -when you perceive a troll strolling by (60%) -when somebody calls somebody else a troll (35%) -when a troll actually does stop by (5%)

  • lin qiao (unverified)
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    Someone in this thread remarked that Karlock had "done a lot of research, and fairly difficult research at that." Nope. What he has done is regurgitate material from various other websites. Several months ago, when I first posted to this website, I attempted to engage Karlock about some technical matters. (I'm a geoscientist.) I took his comments at face value, as being someone sincerely interested in the topic of climate change. I went to the trouble of reading in detail some scientific articles that Karlock was alluding to (but which I sincerely doubt he had ever read, unless he's either in the habit of hanging out at university libraries or actually subscribes to, say, Reviews of Geophysics) and attempting to answers some specific queries he made. After doing this, I finally realized I had been played for a fool. Karlock is not interested in trying to get at the science. No, he's obviously not a dumb guy, but neither is he interested in actually delving into some very difficult scientific literature. Fundamentally, he is interested in scoring debating points. To this end he quotes stuff out of context and acts like a prosecuting attorney. Those of us who actually do scientific research know that being explicit about the potential errors, and exploring a range of hypotheses, are simply part of what one is expected to do. Those who are interested in scoring debating points pounce on this this sort of routine, professionally expected discussion to claim, look, these experts are waffling, they're not at all sure.

  • ws (unverified)
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    JK: "I ignored the whole field for years. It only became of interest when the beliefs started to work their way into public policy."

    Or, we might surmise, when he figured out that attacking the common sense logic of heeding human contribution to the escalation of global warming would generate even more of the attention Mr. JK aparrently craves.

    "a. We are warming up after the little ice age, 400 years ago.

    "d. “Very little confidence can be assigned to statements concerning the hemispheric mean or global mean surface temperature prior to about A.D. 900 "

    Something a considerable bit of confidence can be assigned to is the fact that prior to A.D. 900, or even as late as A.D. 1800, humans were not dumping automobile pollution into the air, period, or likely, industrial pollution at levels that scientists responsibly point up as issues of concern for the possible solar heat retentive contribution they represent to rising earth surface temperatures.

    "JK: But how mauch is man caused?"

    Well, Jim, we don't know that exactly, do we? Nobody, not even scientists know that for sure, despite endless hours of research done and being done. Nevertheless, it seems prudent for them and others who are to concerned, to get the public and policy makers up to a level of consciousness about the potential dangers of man caused global warming in the event it is significant. What do you expect them to do...just sit there on their research and say nothing until it really is too late?

    Now Mr. Karlock, try to get a grip on. Calm down. The issues are important, but it would be terrible for you to have a heart attack over them. If you're truly having some mental issues, I'm sure everybody here, in the final analysis, is concerned for your health and would encourage you to seek therapy. If you're poor, low cost services may be available to you.

  • Silence Dogood (unverified)
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    It's important to keep in mind that there are scientific experts who believe that global warming can cause global cooling, and we really need to beware of global cooling, too. We ignore 1/2 the problem at our own risk!

  • Jim D (unverified)
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    Posted by: Rob Kremer "Nobody dealt with his point that the NAS showed that Gore's hockey stick (and therefore pretty much the entire basis for his cataclysmic hysteria) was bunk"

    Read the National Academy of Sciences report, Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years. It does NOT say this. In fact, it supports, in large part, the "hockey stick" graph of Mann et al (it is not Gore's idea).

    JK seems to have a strange idea about the Medieval Warm Period and its relation to global temperatures.

    I suggest that any interested reader posting here - especially skeptics - take the time to explore the Medieval Warm Period and all of these issues at real climate.

    I don't want to get into rebutting the obviously wrong. As a physcial chemist, I do not find the arguments of the skeptics very compelling. The one habit they seem to have in common is a fascination with out of date references in the literature.

  • lin qiao (unverified)
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    The posting by Silence Dogood is so bizarre it's hard to know how to respond. Has he/she actually read the pertinent scientific literature? The scientific issue is this: at the end of the last major glaciation roughly 10,000 years ago, as the Laurentide Ice Sheet (which covered much of what is now Canada and the northern US) retreated, some enormous glacier-dammed lakes drained to Hudson's Bay and thence into the North Atlantic Ocean. There is a body of opinion that this event altered the thermal structure of the North Atlantic so radically that ocean circulation was severaly disrupted, and in particular that the Gulf Stream, which is a huge conveyor belt of heat from the equatorial region to high latitudes, shut down for awhile.

    Needless to say, there is no ice sheet over North America at present, no giant ice-dammed lakes, etc.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
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    JK wrote: "How many still hawk solar panels, even though they cost several times as much as coal and only work a few hours out of a 24 hour day. If you want $0.50 per KW-hr electricity then go solar and let the poor die off."

    You must be referring to noted global-warming hoax proponents and socialists, Wal-Mart, who are adding solar energy systems to their facilities on a massive scale?

    Or do you mean to infer that Wal-Mart hates the poor and wants them to die off? :-)

    • Bob R.
  • (Show?)

    Jenni wrote: It's not about having anything to fear. It's about trolls who come onto the board to just fill it up with junk, post the same things over and over again, etc. They are people who are here not to participate in the conversation, but to just cause trouble. People who disagree are not trolls.

    Thanks, Jenni. That's exactly correct. Disagreement is fine. Dropping turds and running is not.

  • (Show?)

    Leslie asked: Can we get a button up on BlueOregon that allows for donations? I'm ready to jump in right now with $1 for NRDC and $1 for Sierra Club, and again and again and again....

    Leslie, I'm not going to start putting up buttons for every cause that people want to donate too. In fact, I've been thinking of taking down the election-season one we've got up (though it seems to work as a talisman to ward off trolls.)

    In any case, if you want to make an Anti-Troll Donation, go ahead and do so... and then tell us, and be sure to post a link to the donate page. Others can then follow suit.

  • nottroll (unverified)
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    Quite apart from the global warming issue, the use of the "troll" designation for anyone who disagrees with the most common perspectives is wrong.

    Once one is called a "troll" on this and other lists, threatening and/or ad hominem attacks are then deemed acceptable.

    Democrats and Republicans are usually very good at recognizing each other's crimes, but very poor at acknowledging their own.

  • (Show?)

    nottroll--

    As said above, trolls are not those who disagree. They are those, as Kari put it, who drop turds and run.

    They are people not here to engage in a conversation. Not to participate. But to try to stop the discussion, cause problems, etc.

    It's similar to a troll under a bridge, other than that instead of trying to stop your journey, they're trying to stop or hinder discussions.

  • (Show?)

    In any case, if you want to make an Anti-Troll Donation, go ahead and do so... and then tell us, and be sure to post a link to the donate page. Others can then follow suit.

    Because I'm partial to Oregon non-profits, I went ahead and made a donation to The Climate Trust, which works to provide high quality greenhouse gas offset projects and advancing sound offset policy. They also have a cool personal carbon calculation and offset partnership with Mercy Corps here.

  • Silence Dogood (unverified)
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    lin qiao:

    My previous post contained links to 2 short technical articles - not opinions. If there is something "bizarre" here then I'm merely pointing it out ... I am not making it up.

    If Earth were thought to be cooling instead of warming, then who among us does not believe that - in our present political climate - there would be an earnest effort to prevent global cooling.

    But if the goal was, instead, to limit "climate variation", and we have the power/ability to do something about it legislatively without incurring unintended/unwanted results, then our politicians ought to be equally concerned with global warming and cooling -- and a dispute about whether one or the other is correct would be meaningless.

  • Daddy Conc (unverified)
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    If global warming is man caused -- oops, person caused -- then shouldn't we put an immediate limitations on the unnatural, artificial irrigation of arid lands? The most extensive green house gas is water vapor. The father of global warming isn't Art Bell like most of you believe, it's Archimedes and his darn screw.

    If the City of Portland really wanted to do something symbolic and substantive then how about putting a recommended cap on the amount of heated space a person can live in? One of the Kafoury dynatsy has a 6603 square foot fuel sucking monster uses more BTUs in a day than if I drive my Dodge hemi a hundred miles.

    Fight man caused global warming? Require Irvington to be re-zoned for no more than 1500 sq feet per person.

  • Gary S (unverified)
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    After reading this entire thread I think that most of you are missing a very salient point.

    In the framework of geology the current "global warming" trend is not even equivalent to a second of your life.

    Just as we cannot make any accurate prediction based on one second of our life its very questionable if even the smartest scientist can make accurate prediction ten, hundred or thousands of years from now.

    The earth has warmed and cooled many times in its history and even in retrospect scientist cant say definitively what triggered the up and down cycles.

    There is enough questionable science on both sides of the argument to discourage anyone interested in the truth. As for the suggestion that articles need to be peer reviewed we don't have to look too far to find examples of peer reviewing being used as a sledge hammer to quiet dissenters from the populist line.

    Peer reviewing is not the end all or be all for truth as the "piers"(sic) are often not independent in their thinking but defending their position. If you don't believe me take a look at the damage that string theory has done to the field of physics.

    If you really want to do something about global warming why don't you try turning down your thermostat one degree or making one less useless trip to Starbucks for a latte for every comment that you don't agree. That would do more for the reduction in "global warming" than any donation to fringe environmental groups. (Of course you could make a donation to my favorite environmental group The Oregon Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.)

    So to head off any diatribe about my sexual preferences or education that seem to be popular I have been married for over thirty years to the same person and I have several advanced degrees so I can read and probably read more than most of the posters on this forum.

  • Old Man Winter (unverified)
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    Starting about next Wednesday, you're going to [b]wish[/b] we had Global Warming!

    It's gonna get really, really cold!

    Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!

    LOL!

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    I find it surprising that all that book-learning didn't lead 'Gary S' to view the current global warming trend in the framework of climatology rather than geology...

  • nottroll (unverified)
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    Gary S's argument is primarily epistemological. It's the same kind of argument made by the tobacco industry, i.e., that there's "enough questionable science on both sides" that we really can't know for sure. The problem, of course, is that this nihilistic argument applies to even Gary S's beliefs. Do you really not believe anything when science proposes two or more possibilities, Gary?

  • Greg Tompkins (unverified)
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    What's with the insults? Just because someone doesn't have the same opinion as YOU doesn't mean that HE'S an idiot! I thought liberal meant open-minded? I must be mistaken.

    Anyway, that being said....

    I agree that global warming is happening and that in fact, had we not been spewing carbons into the air over the last 200 years we may be in the next ice age right now. There are some positive effects to global warming, such as opening up additional areas for agricultural output so we can feed the booming worldwide population and opening up shipping channels across the arctic. Why all the doom and gloom and naysaying? How many of you would prefer to go to some cold location on vacation versus a warm one? If we really wanted to do something about this perceived "problem", then we would! We could build some giant smokestack like contraption up into the air and suck all the bad stuff out. The environmentalist alarmists would rather just have us all living in fear and put up objections to everything possible.

  • Jim D (unverified)
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    It is too bad that "several advanced degrees" didn't include any education in manners. Now I see what the trolls do. I plan on a donation to my favorite envionrmental cause. IMO, it does make a difference.

    I want to clear up some scientific errors.

    (1) Yes, water is the most abundant greenhouse gas. However, because we live on a planet 3/4 covered by water, the hydrologic cyle is tied strongly to sea temperature, not how much water vapor man produces or consumes.

    (2) Greenhouse gas production associated with industrial production and all forms of transportation are an order of magnitude greater than those associated with residential heating. Changing your thermostat is a good idea, but improving CAFE standards 100% would be a hundred times more effective.

    (3) It is true that "The earth has warmed and cooled many times in its history and even in retrospect scientist cant say definitively what triggered the up and down cycles" but we can say with certainty that both the material composition and energy content of the atmosphere is now significantly different than anything in the geological record. We can say with less certainty what will happen due to that circumstance, but our current climate models do indicate that it is probable that these conditions will cause climate change on a time scale that is rapid enough to be observed in our lifetime.

    (4) That nonsense about the deficencies of peer-reviewed literature is just that. I look at non-reviewed literature in my discipline (physical chemistry) with a skeptical eye. My colleagues have similar views.

  • Joe12Pack (unverified)
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    Easy true believers. Questioning some of Al Gore's statements regarding global warming is neither heresy nor blasphemy. Reacting as such only gives creedence to folks like Ann Coulter theorizing that modern liberalism resembles some kind of narrow, intolerant religion.

    Most of us can agree that global warming IS real and can also agree that humans are contributing to it to some degree. It's also a no-brainer that we should reduce emissions, minimize pollution and become more responsible managers of planet Earth, whether or not such acivities are PROVEN to contribute to atmospheric warming. The methods in which we achieve that, if in fact we really want to remains the fundamental sticking point.

    Rather than make the knee-jerk troll accusation against anyone who dare question popular thinking and view them as flat earth evil cretins, understand that we all still have much to learn about the current phenomenon known as global warming.

  • Pizzaman (unverified)
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    A point for those who argue that we don't need to do anything about global warming because they think it isn't happening (or that we're not causing it): Everything that is proposed by environmentalists to reduce global warming would be a good thing to do even if global warming weren't a problem.

    1) Reduce fossil fuel burning -- make our limited supplies of fossil fuels last much longer, reduce air pollution and all its associated health effects and destructive effects on plant life and human artifacts,

    2) Change over to renewable energy production -- see (1) above;

    3) Reduce deforestation -- hard to come up with any downside to this one;

    4) Increase energy efficiency -- any engineer can appreciate this one as can any accountant;

    5) Decrease industrial agriculture -- better food, reduced soil erosion, reduced pesticide residues in everyone and everything, increased employment, fewer disrupted ecosystems;

    6) Build modern public transportation pervasive enough that virtually everyone can use it -- streets become much safer, congestion is drastically reduced, massive amounts of street and highway funds are freed up, massive quantities of energy are conserved;

    Oh, and, by the way, the costs have been worked out. It's basically a wash. And even if there were net costs, isn't a cleaner, healthier environment worth some cost. As long as we are building gigantic cruise ships, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, billion dollar resorts, massive 2nd-home subdivisions, $50 million yachts, multi-million dollar penthouses, providing 3 or more vehicles for 2-person families, there's no way to claim that we can't afford what it might cost us to build a sustainable society in a healthy environment.

    All this is not say that everyone would benefit to same extent, but everyone would benefit.

  • Leo (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Love to hear people on here talk about the environment etc---how many of the "good Portland Liberals" are driving SUV's and nice little Subaru's that have SUV standards? Start acting and a little less bitching would be nice.

  • lw (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Ed Bickford: geological history is climatology history, they are concurrent.

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