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"You might think that, by now, people would have become accustomed to the idea of natural catastrophes.
We live on a planet that is still cooling and which has fissures and faults in its crust; this much is accepted even by those who think that the globe is only six thousand years old, as well as by those who believe that the earth was "designed" to be this way.
Even in such a case, it is to be expected that earthquakes will occur and that, if they occur under the seabed, tidal waves will occur also.
Yet two sorts of error are still absolutely commonplace:
The first of these is the idiotic belief that seismic events are somehow "timed" to express the will of God. Thus, reasoning back from the effect, people will seriously attempt to guess what sin or which profanity led to the verdict of the tectonic plates.
The second error, common even among humanists, is to borrow the same fallacy for satirical purposes and to employ it to disprove a benign deity."
- Christopher Hitchens
I would also include gaiaism among the wide range of errors that result from idiotic beliefs.
Hello Patrick Anthony Pierson, for a moment I thought I have read the words of the sadly missed Carl Sagan, the famous astronomer. Dan and Patrick, no doubt about that. Scientist are aware and have know for quite sometime now. It is what it is, sure we can slow down the process but the damage has been done. And its not going to correct itself. Has anyone stopped to think why exactly did NASA discontinue exploration of space All those billions of dollars.
Well, they want to send man to mars, the polar caps are melting here on earth, and sure enough they are depleting on Mars, the scientist do know the earth has gotten warmer, the sun is expanding. They say one day the sun our star will burn itself out and become a nova, and then we will never be present but now they claim matter is being sucked into the mystery of the universe the infamous Black Hole. All mater is being consumed, is it a portal, a breech in the galaxy,
Can not wait to see the new series Under The Dome. it will no doubt be the biggest hit of the summer.
Has anyone stopped to think all this technology, how fast if was created, makes you think are we really alone. What could possible top off what we already have now.
We are not alone, we never have been alone. There is more in this vast universe than just little earth revolving around out star.
Has anyone noticed there is no more talk of cloning, it was banned right or they ay it was. I have no doubt some mad scientist has already done it cloned a human.
Carmen, did you really see that on the news, I can not sleep tonight and I was lost in Patrick's words, well we all know it can not be fixed but slowed down.
We all know scientist are doing a man made fix, chem trails to close the gaps in the upper atmophere, makes you wonder the new TV series this summer or very soon Under The Dome, perhaps we have always been under the dome in a matter of speaking..
Well Dan, that is very true, I am now 61 all my life my body has been in tuned with my surroundings since I was younger than kindergarden, I can not explain it but is that because when we are young our brains do not perceive as we mature. and our body adapts and responds to the changes.
Earth had another close call with the meteor over Russia, reality is no doubt it will occur and I do think it will be in our live time.
And surely if scientist did know there is no way they would think about announcing to the world oh duck we are going to be hit by a meteor.
They know more than they want us to know. And I have noticed at the coffee shop just listening earth awareness is on everyone's mind.
I'm not sure about how much the earth is still cooling - but the crustal plates are certainly still moving. Ice ages have come and gone - and will still come and go probably long after we've poisoned ourselves off the planet. How and why OUR planet is what it is seems all relevant as to our distance to the sun, our spinning round and round and our continued travel around the sun while all the time traveling through our galaxy, universe and space. MOST if not all of what happens to the earth is the direct response to what the sun does in spewing out huge gouts of energy at us.
Y'all can do and believe anything you like. It doesn't matter what you believe - it won't change what is happening around the world to the earth - except how we continue to poison ourselves, the animals and vegetables that make up life on this planet. Go get you some herbicide, pesticide, and keep throwing your trash out onto the earth along with polluting the water - which is the other necessity for life on this planet. Mother earth is just trying to clean off the parasites that are infesting it.
Yes the planet is changing, but of course it exists and has existed in a state of flux long before it was capable of supporting life and it will still spin for aeons long after Man has gone and is devoid of life until finally consumed in our Sun's death throes. It's called Nature and nothing Man does now or in the future can ever change Nature's course, therefore I, for one, refuse to lose any sleep over "Global warming". Aside from great natural disasters on a day to day basis the Sun calls the shots on Earth's weather, we can do so much but generally given the effect in the long run it is hardly worth the effort.
The trick is to accept it, live with the reality or it will screw you up, a good example of this for those of you who might have heard of it was provided during the London Blitz when night after night the bombers came over to rain down indiscriminate death onto the population. Of course faced with this people took to the air-raid shelters but there were numerous incidents when refuge in a shelter could not protect you in the case of a direct hit. Because people still had their lives to live they learned to live with this true reality of the situation which was that you can do so much to protect yourself but if that bomb had your name on it there was nothing you could do to change it and therefore why worry about something that you cannot possibly change.
A few years later Berliners suffered bombing on a much larger scale but that very same fatalistic attitude helped them deal with it. To prevent us all becoming gibbering wrecks I suggest we learn from their example, live our lives and let Nature take its inevitable course.
JC you are completely wrong, youtube it- there was one guy who collected the subtance and took it to a lab and had it analized. (shocking what the government is dumping on the populous) here in florida I see them all the time the criss cross patterns. maybe you need to flip up that visor and look up every now and then. but then again you are probably just trolling.
youtube is not a good source for information. chemtrails are contrails that settled into the atmosphere in a stripe. jc is a pilot, and knows a bit more than a you-tubian claiming some truth which is all propaganda. tossing chemicals into the air makes no sense at all. and how did he collect this stuff? it's a vapor in the air.
ghosts are real
ufos are real
big foot is real
rods are real
the list goes on and on. everyone wants their moment of fame and that's what that place is for. you can't believe everything you see especially from unknown people. on discovery they had a special about a mermaid skeleton, which looked a lot like the fiji mermaid. and there were people on facebook saying it was so amazing until it was pointed out in the credits that it was all fiction. people will believe anything if they sound scientific.
Florida has four busy airports: I live in Florida and the only chem trails is the crap we send up incinerating waste & people burning junk, old tires, can's of paint and the good lord knows what else in their back yards - those contrails from behind commercial jets may have a little of the residue from the engines and what they pick up from the crap rising from us down below - but they are not the "chem trails" of the people that believe in such things. I be much more worried about the hollow point bullets this administration is buying by the millions.
We should be much more worried about the chemicals that we spray around our houses and in our yards to "control the weeds and pests" - do you think it just "evaporates" into nothing - or does it seep down into our water supply, streams, creeks, rivers and lakes and into the gulf and ocean to taint the plants and animals that eat them - which are caught and sent back for your to eat. And in Florida - where the sunshines most every day - what isn't leached down into our water goes up with the water vapor to make clouds - that then rains the crap back down on our heads.
I just happen to know for a fact that what the chem trail crowd calls chem trails is nothing more than contrails, which contain no chemicals beyond engine exhaust and are actually nothing more than water. Really basic science, but they do make for some pretty pictures. It is even explained in the description on the beautiful shot below.
But, for those that wish to believe it is a government plot, there is nothing I can say that will change their mind as places like youtube and the WWW at large will always have data to "back it up." (much like 911 was also a government plot and can also be proven via youtube.) So, carry on.
As a former geologist, I have some knowledge of our planet's history. Global climate change has been studied in the rock record for many years. This planet has undergone many of these changes in it's history. But the change we are experiencing now is different. It's not the fact that overall the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere is increasing, it's the rate of this change that is potentially catastrophic. This vastly increased rate of change has been directly linked (by the great majority of climatologists) to our influence on the atmosphere. The recent rash of violent storms is possibly only temporary and next year we may see much less severe storms. But the trend we see over the next 100-500 years will most likely be towards increasingly violent storms and weather changes. This climate change will not only effect our species, but all other species and some may not be able to adapt.
To say there is nothing that can be done is the proverbial "head in the sand" position. We can't change what has already started, but we can help minimize the long term effects. Reducing your individual carbon footprint is a start. Favoring those organizations/companies that are "green" will also help. Voting for those running for public office that agree with this stance is another way. There are many other ways to do your part to slow this rate of change. But don't sit back and let someone else act on this. It is truly up to us.
It's true earth goes through natural cycles. It's true there have been several ice ages, it's true there's nothing we can do to stop the cycles, but it's also true that we affect the planet with how we dispose of all our trash, and what chemicals we create to control pests, make plastics, etc.
It's untrue that all global warming is caused by man. It's also untrue that the rate of all global warming is natural.
And if I remember my earth science correctly, the jet stream moves northward every year until it reaches a certain point, then goes south and starts over. That's why we have a tornado season in Michigan about once every 5 or 6 years. Unfortunately, Oklahoma seems to be in the crosshairs this year. Let's hope it calms down now. They've had enough!
EDIT - we crossed in the mail, Robert - excellent points.
JC I know what a vapor trail, I flew an airplane as well...you can see the difference, a vapor trail as the yet is traveling in the upper atmosphere they evaporate in front of your eyes, and others with in a matter of minutes are producing clouds which rapidly expand which was moments solid blue sky into a complete overcast sky.
Well I suppose you could say earth is having a cycle now.
@Robert you are correct as a whole everyone is trying to do there part and go green.
@KC what ever could be in the exhaust or the jet is in a different layer of the atmosphere, the higher up less oxygen so the vapor trails evaporate, the lower to earth where there is oxygen the vapor trail turns into a cloud. Surely everyone has seen this photos taken. There are different types of vapor trails....
Who said you were trolling........you are not trolling, its a discussion thread you are commenting....I have always like scientific topics.....
Folks, the world is not ending. The reason you hear so much about it now is the ease of getting things covered and shown on prime time. Fo sho nuf the climate and earth are changing, but we ain't doen et.
Remember how the earth formed and what it has been through getting here. It is still evolving and will continue to. Change like du du occurs.
The list of events in the thread title are perfectly normal phenomena (and meteors missing us by a few million miles has nothing to do with events on Earth). There's plenty of evidence that we should be paying more attention to our impact on the planet, but tsunamis, earthquakes, meteors and volcanoes have nothing to do with it. Whether tornadoes do may be an open question.
We now have the technology for the public to be aware of every single storm across the globe - as it happens.
It used to be Grandpa's stories & news print handed down of " The great storm of '43....."
& today we have TWC. " Up to the minute live coverage " & "Storm stories".
I am sure the climate is changing, but I have only been here for about the last 50 yrs of this Earth's life cycle.
Awareness will also teach us what to stop doing. If it doesn't belong in your body - it probably won't be good for the earth.
Convenience and consequence.
Man has always liked to believe he can out smart nature.
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Paul - I know it won't, but too many people are too ignorant of science so I must continue.
Regarding the fracking,that may be the case, but it can also cause larger earthquakes to occur, if i remember correctly. A lot of the fracking is done in places where the seismic risk is very low (e.g. Pennslyvania, Dakotas). They may be creatiing a problem that would not exist. The larger problem is pollution of groundwater ( the companies inject along with water and sand a slew of proprietry chemicals, often quite toxic, to facilatate the recovery of oil). I don't know what is worse - this or the tar sands in Canada..
True enough, John, but it doesn't mean we can't - or shouldn't - think about ways of reducing our consumption. There are many things oil is used in where there are perfectly adequate alternatives - plastic bags are an obvious example.
BTW, here http://www.skepticalscience.com/imbers-et-al-2013-AGW-detection.html#commenthead is a report of newly published research in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, which does the useful job of separating out the signals from volcanoes, ENSO (El Nino/Southern Oscillation), solar variation etc from the overall measured temperature. This removes the noise from global temperature measurements so that the contribution from CO2 can be more clearly seen.
Because ENSO and solar have both been on a negative trend for the last few years, when their masking influence is removed you can see that the warming effect of CO2 has continued unabated since 1998.
“The larger problem is pollution of groundwater ( the companies inject along with water and sand a slew of proprietry chemicals, often quite toxic, to facilatate the recovery of oil). I don't know what is worse - this or the tar sands in Canada..”
Water and sand makes up 99% of the fluid in the fracking process leaving a very small percentage of chemicals whose function is to prevent bacteria growth and pipe corrosion among other things. The DOE and the Groundwater Protection Council formed a website that provides a list of chemicals used to provide public awareness while some states enforce their own regulations for disclosure of chemical additives. Here is a link to the site with more info about chemicals.
There has been no proof of groundwater contamination even with several investigations in a few states. In Wyoming a couple filed a $6 million lawsuit but it was overturned after it was discovered that the EPA provided faulty data. Even so the EPA is now funded by millions of taxpayer dollars to continue their investigations superseding state regulators that have thus far managed to maintain a successful environmental record. The new technology of hydraulic fracturing has created an energy boon that is reducing our dependence on foreign oil and creating millions of jobs across the country. It is the luminary in a time of economic revival and the most realistic interim towards achieving more green energy goals.
I could add a chart showing the climate record going back 3 billion odd years. Yes it shows that climate varies considerably, being both colder and warmer than it is at present. However what's more important from the charts I used is the sudden and dramatic increase in temperature over the last 100 yrs. these sort of changes have not occurred for a very long time. If things go as forecast, by the end of this century, we will have the warmest temperatures for 40 million years. Of course the Earth will survive, but will we?
We live on a rather insignificant planet who's life span is only a brief moment in space-time. Yet, here we are arguing about things we know little or nothing about. While scientists ponder the fate of the universe there is no final decision on any of these subjects that you seem to know so much about.
I love the sceptic argument that "since I don't know what's going on, neither does anybody else, so there's nothing to worry about". Let's start off with the age of the Earth, Raffi, which you apparently know so much about: why do you consider one third of the age of the Universe to be a "brief moment", and what is "space-time" when it is at home? Do you mean "time"?
Paul Cowan: Whenever I use the expression, 'weak-minded,' I am, of course, referring to the low-information crowd; not necessarily unintelligent, just brainwashed. Perhaps a bit dim, though.
Your bullet numero duo suggests that you have incorrectly inferred from my statement something I did not claim: The Pacific Decadal Oscillation, or PDO, refers to a natural cycle that occurs every 25 to 30 years, during which time the colder water below churns to replace the warmer water at the surface, and that affects global temperatures by fractions of a degree. The PDO was cold from the late 1940s to the late 1970s, and it was warm from the late 1970s to the late 1990s, similar to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, or AMO.
I simply coupled the waning frequency of sunspot activity with the PDO and stretched it out over a greater period of time. No matter how you slice it, Paul, this stuff still smells like a cooling trend to me, but what the hell do I know...after all, I'm just a casual observer trying to make sense out of all this crap, not an expert global warming alarmist like you.
Speaking of global warming alarmists, among these people are the 'political scientists' who freely admit they can't defend their cockamamie AGW theory in public debate, and must therefore resort to ad hominem arguments and personal attacks on the character of those whom they vehemently oppose.
Paul, you wrote: "...97% of climatologists and an overwhelming majority of active scientists of all disciplines agreed," and I suspect you gleaned this choice little tidbit of nonsense from a 2009 American Geophysical Union (AGU) survey consisting of an intentionally brief two-minute, two question online survey sent to 10,257 earth scientists by two researchers at the University of Illinois, didn't you?
Wrong, that isn't where I got the 97% from. I was referring to the latest research, which was based on an analysis of all the published peer-reviewed climate papers of the last 25 years or so. It's been quite talked about recently. You can read it here http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article
The Pacific Decadal Oscillation is simply background noise, like the El Nino/La Nina, whose 1998 performance so entrances the sceptics. Neither of them affect the long term temperature trend because their impact is neutral overall. They don't trap heat or send it back to space, they simply exchange it to-and-fro between the atmosphere and the sea. You have already had a quiet period on the Sun coupled with the negative impact of the PDO for a decade or so, along with limited El Nino conditions, and the combined effect of all of those has not resulted in a drop in temperatures, just a temporary plateau. So the things that "smell like a cooling trend" (and in ordinary circumstances that would be a reasonable assumption) don't deliver the trend that they should. Why? Because they are battling a much more fundamental warming trend and, right now, the result is neutral.
The sceptics have been arguing for years that global warming was simply a natural consequence of the solar cycle, but if that were so then we should now be in a period of severe global cooling as solar activity has been unusually weak for several years. Where has that gone?
It is extraordinary how you sceptics project the tactics of your side onto your opponents. You must know very well that the ad hominem attacks are the stock-in-trade of your side, not of the scientists - look at the attacks on Hansen or Mann. for example. At http://www.climategate.com/climate-quacks-professional-suicide-ends-lie-of-man-made-climate-change here's the description of a respected academic: "Disheveled and drawn, Jones looks a modern-day Piltdown man, hardly the figure of authority you would expect was responsible for the compilation of the IPCC’s historic global temperature data from the late 1800s to the present". Apart from the fact that they apparently don't know that Piltdown Man never existed, you will note that sceptics think that academic merit is synonymous with sartorial elegance (it's not a joke, either: the intention is to imply that sharply dressed oil executives are more trustworthy than shabby-looking scientists). You may notice that they call him a quack and liar in their title, nothing ad hominem there, then. The internet is awash with this sort of "evidence" from the sceptic side (it took me about 10 seconds to google some up).
I don't know who the "political scientists" you refer to are. Names rather than wild, unsubstantiatiated, cockamamie, sweeping claims would be useful.
I'm not an expert on global warming at all. I'm just someone who tries to keep abreast of the science and gets a bit irritated by people who think that expediency and wishful thinking are reality and reality is alarmism, and who can't be bothered to make the effort to get to grips with the science themselves - because any old half-baked affirmation of what they want to believe is good enough to be swallowed as absolute truth. Any expertise I have has been acquired precisely because I take the trouble to examine the claims of both sides carefully.
However you cut it because nobody yet truly understands how climate change is driven the Man -made theory is still just that----- a theory. However this speculation for a myriad of reasons has been accepted for many years as an indisputable fact which of course it manifestly is not. Any dissent from this is discredited one way or another by the biased interpretation of figures to favour this theory while information that might possibly contradict it is debunked or ignored. This as I have tried to point out is not good science but exhibits all the hallmarks of a dictatorial dogma based more on faith than fact.
Those of you who would like to inform themselves of the fragility of the Man-made theory of climate change might like to visit http://www.climatedepot.com/ where a more balanced open debate by well meaning people is searching for the answer to what is looked on by some as a problem that can be solved.
Mike - you're not serious about that site, are you? It's just people babbling discredited conspiracy theories and debunked nonsense at each other without offering any serious evidence in support of their opinions. It's just a mountain of confirmation bias (or wishful thinking and mutual back-slapping, if you prefer).
Here's just one example, linked from that page: http://www.cfact.org/2013/05/26/17-year-cicadas-outraged-to-find-temperatures-unchanged/
Ho-ho-ho! Idiot climatologists proved wrong again. And these beasties are really temperature sensitive as regards emergence dats.
But, hang on, then we have this, from May 4 this year: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/05/theyre_here_cicadas_are_beginn.html
And in the article it says "David Robinson, the state climatologist at Rutgers University, said he can remember cicadas swarming around him in droves in Warren County 17 years ago. He even remembers the date: June 8.
"I’m a little surprised to hear they’re out," said Robinson, who said with more sophisticated data-collecting methods scientists will be able to predict their emergence better next time around."
So it seems that cfact.org just guessed that the cicadas would arrive at the same time as 17 years before, because climate change is nonsense, right? And wrote according to their own biases. How unfortunate that the cicadas actually appeared surprisingly early (at least in New Jersey). There is no acknowlegement that the claim in the sceptics' post turned out to be the reverse of the truth, and the false claim just sits there, deceiving people who think there is any merit in the rubbish dished up on that site.
Of course, you need more than one local result to use insects as an indicator of climate change, but there are plenty of other insect indicators and given the importance of insects to agriculture and disease there are plenty of studies being done on the effect of climate change on insect distribution and disease (more money wasted on the lying climate change gravy train, I suppose you would say) http://www.idosi.org/wjas/wjas8%283%2912/4.pdf
So there we have it Paul,apparently what you have read about this to support your argument is fact but anything to the contrary is propaganda or nonsense, enough said. The one fact is that the case that Man's activities being the cause of global warming is still only a theory because nobody, not even you, understands completely what really causes these changes.
Because the jury is still out on this one I will reserve my judgement and continue with my waste not, want not lifestyle but am still required to pay my green taxes that my government has foisted on me at the insistence of a minority, the green lobby.
I did it again, wrote something and forgot to copy it.
Mike, the point is that I examine the claims made by both sides. I only know as much as I do about this because of checking out, in detail, all the "sceptic" claims that have come up in discussions over the years. When you do that, you find a clear pattern that the sceptic side presents small fragments of the picture and says "see, that proves it", while hiding the bigger picture which shows that what they are saying is nonsense.
Take "sea levels are falling", which is a current canard. I think it is based on the out-of-date (but, of course, never corrected) post on Wattsup http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/24/nasa-notes-sea-level-is-falling-in-press-release-but-calls-it-a-pothole-on-road-to-higher-seas/. You will note that Watts ridicules the explanation for the data, but doesn't actually provide his own theory, probably because he knows he would look like an idiot if he stated that this was evidence of global cooling. Fast forward a few months and it turns out that we have, indeed, climbed out of the other side of the pothole (and look how wobbly the road has been, Watts must have known that the "pothole" was not unique but he chose to ignore it).http://sealevel.colorado.edu/
You say "the jury is still out on this one", I don't know what you base that on, because it came in a long time ago. Remember the Global Climate Coalition? Throughout the 90s and up to 2002 when they threw in the towel they were the major energy related/consuming industries' spokesmen on climate change - and they were able to reveal that it was all a scam and the science was unproven. Only a court case, long after they disbanded, revealed that as far back as 1995 their own scientific advisors told them that the scientific case for global warming was irrefutable. I think the denial industry's own scientific experts make a pretty good jury, don't you? Here's the story http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/24/science/earth/24deny.html and the link to the advice they were given is contained within the story. The relevant wording is: "“The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied,"
Well, Mike, I hope you will take the trouble to examine at least some of the complete data sets that are available, rather than relying on political chat sites to tell you what they want you to think the science means. It's actually quite interesting and it is extraordinary how robustly everything fits together - sea currents, insolation, ice cover and volume, insect and insect-borne disease migration, sea-level rise, glaciation and glacial melt, CO2 concentrations, temperatures both for the land and air and in the deep sea (which is rarely mentioned), severity and frequency of extreme weather events....
The world is fine and doesn't need saving. Only when a bunch of biased scientists and liberal do-gooders get together to formulate socialist regulations and fear tactics do we get "global warming" and fools like Al Gore as well as the conspiracy clubs with HAARP and chemtrails and the world dying...
Funny thing is, that in my experience you simply can't find Left-wing radicals in university science departments. They are full of deeply conservative people who have little or no interest in politics. I guess you might find the occasional radical over in the biology block if you look hard enough.
The earth is roughly 4.5 billion years old. The age of the universe has been changed by scientists 11 billion years to 14.5 billion and is still being argued over. The universe could survive for untold billions more. Our time here is much shorter than the 4.5 billion years projected since our sun will seal our fate in a much shorter time. If a large enough asteroid or comet strikes the earth all bets are off. There are countless calamities that could destroy us including our own careless behavior. War is a good example. Enjoy your art while you can.
Paul, all very interesting stuff and food for thought but throughout all this data not much about the Sun, presumably because it is deemed by the authors to have so very little to do with climate change compared to the awesome power Man exercises on climate due to his excesses. I am not discrediting or crying down these observations but the statement "“The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied," is to my mind a little too hasty given that nobody yet really knows that to be the true conclusion of a study of the all the data available. Also the use of the word potential leaves a bit of a question mark over the impact, if any, of past emissions.
However by its very phasing it implies to outlaw any dissent or even discussion of this party line, once again I say that is bad science where opinion is taken as truth.
Mike, bear in mind that quote is taken from the scientific advisors appointed by the climate-sceptic outfit the Global Climate Coalition, and it was made way back in 95. Since then, things have only got more thoroughly firmed up.
The sun is very important, it is - after all - the source of most of the heat arriving on Earth. The reckoning is that the quite solar cycle is one of the factors masking underlying warming at the moment. According to a report by Hanson, there has been less heat arriving from the sun for several years but, of course, the variation between an active and an inactive sun is not huge and it is reasonable to assume that the Sun will revert to normal within a few years. In the very long term, changes in Earth's orbital path make a big difference and are responsible for the onset and ending of ice ages (and once the Earth moves closer to the sun and some of the ice starts to melt, it releases greenhouse gases which feed back into greater atmospheric warming and speed up the melt). These are the Milankovic cycles (I might have spelt his name wrong).
All these things need to be taken into account in building up the picture. There was a link I gave earlier which separated out the effects of the solar cycle and various other factors from the overall signal (the fact that solar was one of the four or five factors highlighted in that study shows that it is given importance). It was this link http://www.skepticalscience.com/imbers-et-al-2013-AGW-detection.html (I think that has only been published this month). If you enlarge the chart you can see that the Sun has been estimated to have resulted in a cooling component equal to about 0.1C over the last decade..
I think, Paul, that you and I must agree to beg to differ as we wade though all this data and the way it can be interpreted. I am of the opinion that despite the undoubted pollution that Man's activities have caused over the years it is not a factor in climate change for which the Sun's moods are solely responsible and therefore I can do nothing to change the awesome forces of Nature. You of course think the opposite and it follows you consider that counter action can make a difference and support measures to reduce emissions
While I am no advocate of multi-national big business having carte-blanc freedom to do as they please with the planet's resources I do believe that a reasonable balance needs to be achieved by minimizing pollution to realistic, but not impossible, targets. England, for instance, sits astride vast reserves of coal which we are to be forbidden to use by a European diktat regarding burning coal and as a result have to resort to buying natural gas from Russia to fuel our power stations. This is an impossible situation which makes no economic sense but just one of a number of expensive options that are left after pandering the green lobby's demands. Mother Earth isn't screaming, Dan, but we are when the less well off among us have to chose between paying their inflated energy bill or buying food!
I have always thought that we can make our local environment more pleasant for ourselves and those around us by a more frugal use of depleting resources but this waste not, want not lifestyle will not make the slightest difference to the Earth's climate.
Well, Mike, as far as I am concerned the economic issue is nothing to do with it. Science isn't altered by economics, so you analyse the scientific data and reach your conclusion. You use that to work out what needs to be done and then modify your solution according to the economic issues in order to reach an optimum result. But whether or not people are causing global warming is an entirely different question from whether or not tackling global warming will do severe damage to the economic system.
Obviously, from the social point of view you weigh up the likely consequences of effective action, the likely consequences of inaction and the likely consequences of something in between. But I'm afraid what a lot of people do is look at the apparent consequences of major cuts in CO2 emissions, conclude that they really don't like the idea and then adopt a rejectionist attitude towards the entire scientific case regardless of the facts (egged on by scare-mongering and misinformation from those with vested interests in the exploitation of fossil fuels - the visceral hatred you see expressed towards partial solutions such as solar technology and wind-farms, for example, scarcely seems rational) .
On a side-note, it really seems bizarre that the EU yesterday imposed punitive anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar panels, given the EU's own commitment to hefty cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
BTW, you really are out on a limb saying the Sun is solely to blame. Even Prof Lindzen, the most highly respected scientist of all on the sceptical side, freely admits that the increase in CO2 is responsible for a large part of the rise in temperatures. That's anothing thing about the sceptic side: different sceptics grab on to different fragments of the science and proclaim that that explains evertything - some say CO2 is good, some say it is the Sun causing heating, some say it is the Pacific currents, some say it just happens because it's "natural" for climate to change, some say that the world is cooling and the measurements are wrong, somw say it's arrogant for people to think they can change the world, so it can't be true, some say that 400 parts in a million is too few to change anything, (apparently they are unaware of what an hour sitting in an atmosphere contaminated with 300ppm of hydrogen cyanide will do to you). Yet none of the sceptics have any interest in discovering why there is no agreement among them on what they think is wrong about the science - imagine what a field day you would have with the climatologists if their theories were as contradictory and incoherent at those of the sceptic side, where anything will do as long as it ends up with "so there isn't a problem".
The economics of the madhouse are the result of taking as gospel the theory that Man is responsible for climate change on a global scale and although it may well be fine for scientists to live in a purely scientific world where economic consequences are not even considered in the pursuit of a THEORY the rest of us who are railroaded into ever more drastic measures in our lifestyles are expected to pick up the bill.
What I object to is the utter rejection of any argument that you could possibly be wrong and at the risk of repeating myself THAT in itself is bad science. Our very presence on Earth will have an effect on a pristine world, but so have vast eruptions of volcanoes, meteor strikes, methane gases from vast herds of grazing herbivores and a million other factors of Nature's doing which makes our puny tinkering for apparent good or ill insignificant.
It doesn't follow that just because sceptics are not in agreement on what is causing climate change that your theory is the is right one, they cannot agree to as to what the cause is among a myriad of reasons in the search for the truth whereas you will have no truck with any theory but your own and by doing so and drawing a line under it have closed your minds.
One little point, being English I have no idea what BTW is supposed to mean but I think get your drift.
Mike, surely the economics of the madhouse would be economic actions based on wishful thinking, rather than on the best understanding we have of the real world? Isn't the madhouse the place where people prefer fantasy to reality? It's entirely possible that there is no good outcome from following either path (rather like the Greek crisis, where there were only two options - keep the euro or ditch the euro - but both options were going to lead to catastrophic results).
It is NOT bad science test objections raised to an established theory to see if they provide a better explanation of the observed facts than the theory does, and then to reject those theories which fail the test. And it's NOT bad science to reject them all if they are all wrong.
Suppose that the chef in your favourite restaurant was told to make you a stew and was given 10 different pieces of meat to choose from, all of which were rotten. Would you call him a bad chef if he refused to make you a stew from even one of those ingredients? You can serve me as many pieces of gone-off science as you like but don't insist that I have to swallow at least some of them or be guilty of bad science.
If you want me to agree with something, then come up with an objection that holds water. For example, you could tell me that the last IGPCC report's estimate of the number or people relying on glacial meltwater from the Himalayas and the rate of ice-loss given for those mountains was a load of nonsense.... and I would agree with you. So would the IGPCC, which has admitted the mistake http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=ipcc-slips-on-himalayan-ice.
There have been a couple of other sceptical objections over the last 10 or 15 years that have been found to be right and have led to significant corrections to the data, but none of them has been game-changing.
In a way, your side has a problem because on the odd occasions when your experts are right, the climatologists adjust the model accordingly and then it becomes a non-issue. It is perfectly normal to fine-tune a scientific theory as more and better information becomes available, But that means that all the sceptics are left with is a bunch of objections that have already been shown to be wrong, but which are recycled endlessly.