Time is Running Out

"What we need more than anything else is a mass movement of young people," Peter Goldmark, director of EDF's Climate and Air Program, who recently announced his retirement at the end of the year. "In American culture, it is youth that sets the agenda. It's always been this way.  Think who was driving change in the anti-Vietnam war movement, in the civil rights era. They have to mobilize, now, and demand action against global warming."

The wheel of change is turning in spite of our government's inactivity

We are sitting in Goldmark's small, spare office at EDF's Manhattan headquarters. He has had a distinguished and varied career, which included stints as Director the Port Authority of New York, President of the Rockefeller Foundation and publisher of the International Herald Tribune. I've come to talk to Goldmark, as he prepares to leave EDF, about what he has learned during his tenure. He speaks angrily of the "shameful paralysis" of the U.S. Senate, and says his focus is now is almost entirely on the next generation.

"My generation has failed," he says flatly. "We are handing over the problem to our children. They—and their children—will live with the worst consequences of climate change. Make no mistake, global warming is happening right now. It is only going to get worse."

In a 2003 paper, "Before the Storm," he wrote: “We are, I believe, living in the time before a storm of historic proportions, a period of searing difficulty for the peoples of the world and the planet itself."

Peter GoldmarkGoldmark: A tough negotiator who draws inspiration from a Chinese poet.

But the world, Goldmark added, was failing that challenge: "We all—citizens, governments, and foundations—face in common the imperative to respond constructively to the crises of our times. And we are not responding. We are drifting."

That drift continues, he says. Nor does he expect the marketplace to solve the crisis of climate change for us. Markets, he notes, may respond to social agendas, but they do not set them. But Goldmark isn't entirely disheartened. "When historians look back at this decade, from 2000 to 2010, they will see that the wheel of change began turning in spite of our government's inactivity," he says. "We have begun a very slow transition to a low carbon, high efficiency energy system." The problem is that we are not moving fast enough.

What Goldmark—along with all leading authorities on climate change—fears most is that we still do not understand the urgency of the problem. "When I think about how I would address a group of young people, my message is not a gentle one," he says. "This is the hardest, most terrible, thing to say to a young person, but we have no choice: it is five minutes before midnight. Time is running out."

That means we no longer have the luxury of polite, time-consuming public debate on the issue. "We have to be much more aggressive about pinpointing our enemies, and doing it early—showing how and where they are spending their money to undermine our efforts," he says. "We need to learn how to inflict pain on the opposition."

The environmental movement must also do a better job of linking climate directly to shrinking harvests, falling water tables, receding glaciers, extended droughts and more violent storms. Already, food, water, and climate problems are simultaneously hitting many nations. It's happening now, and we need to connect that to climate change in the minds of all people.

Environmentalists also need to reach small and medium size businesses with this message. We've done well in educating the GEs of the world, but we need to convey the urgency of climate change to the people who run or work at the smaller enterprises, because their numbers, and their voices, carry influence. That's what made the Chamber of Commerce such a powerful voice against progress in the Senate debate on climate change.

While at EDF, Goldmark has traveled the world with his message and helped to extend the organization's global reach. He has worked on projects in India, Mexico, Brazil, and China, as well as in the United States. Everywhere he went, he tried, indefatigably, to raise the awareness about the need for prompt action.

There is, he emphasizes, "no such thing as an American solution to global warming." Slowing global warming down demands international efforts to reduce carbon emissions. "Either we all get there together, or no one does."

The need for global solutions is another reason Goldmark is now putting his hope into a youth movement. "Young people are already transnational thinkers. This is one of the great gifts of the Internet culture. Fifteen to 35 year-olds are used to thinking globally. They are the ones who are going to insist that the United States get on board with international solutions."

Unfortunately, Goldmark believes that the United States will continue move slowly on climate legislation. "We will need other countries to lead the way," he says. "We even have to remain open to the possibility that China will emerge as at least a co-leader once others begin to move. China is choking on its economic boom supported by conventional, high carbon energy, and the pollution is getting worse daily. Even though the country is investing heavily in alternative energies—and threatening to penalize heavy polluters—we have not yet seen them move off reliance on coal."

I ask Goldmark about hope, a subject much on my mind these days, as science delivers ever more bad news about the condition of the planet. It's a question he gets asked a lot.

Goldmark begins by noting that the world still has enough time to draw down carbon emissions to forestall the consequences of climate change. Also, there is much we do not know about how climate change will unfold, he points out. This reminds me of a recent conversation on the subject with Jeremy Grantham, Chairman of the Board of GMO, a Boston-based fund, who told me, "While we deal in probabilities, there is hope. It is only when we deal in certainty that things become hopeless. And the outcome is not yet certain."

Goldmark agrees, and points out that countless polls show that Americans understand that climate change is a problem, and want it addressed. The problem is only that it is never high on anyone's agenda.

"It has got to be said, over and over again," Goldmark says, "this is an urgent situation. We must act."

In his work with EDF, Goldmark has done more than most to get us closer to solving the climate crisis. Yet he hesitates to predict what is going to happen. "I do the best I can, without being able to see how it is going to come out."

Still, he adds, history shows that people have a remarkable ability to blunder into solutions. Several days after our talk, he sent me a poem about hope, written by the Chinese poet, Lu Xun.

Hope is like a path in the countryside.
At first there is no path.
And then, as people are all the time coming and walking in the same way,
a path appears.

Personal Nature

Help support the fight against global warming.

71 Responses

Comment from richardpauli
October 14th, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Thank you so much for this interview. Excellent and inspirational.

I must say about hope: Hope is tied in with the science of global warming. Discovering and realizing how we have caused this excessive global warming, clearly means that we can halt and reverse it.

We have discovered that we were experimenting with the atmosphere and oceans – now we have observed and learned – now we hope the experiment will go forward. We trust science and we must go forward with the grand experiment.

Thanks for all that you do.

Comment from L Brigance
October 14th, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Really awesome article! I'm so glad to hear him say the things that he did. My dad farmed for 30+ years (NOT organically) and won't even admit that global warming is real. We have had several arguments and he just won't give in or even compromise on any of his non-beliefs. Pretty much all of that generation that I personally know feel the same way, and it's so frustrating for them to look at you and treat you as if you are just 'going through a phase'. I do, however, have hope in the following generations. Now if we can just get prices on eco-friendly products and foods affordable for everyone…

Comment from Vlatko Vergic
October 14th, 2010 at 4:21 pm

hydrogen “energy of the future”
We are hearing lot of polemics about renewable energy, hydrogen as the energy of the future, practicality of renewable energy devices, economical value of renewable energy projects, economical value of research and development of such projects, environmental impact on flora and fauna and so on and so on.
While preoccupied with this irrational polemics we tend to forget about our current energy affairs and the state of our environment. Perhaps fossil fuels and nuclear energy are much cheaper to extract, refine, convert and implement but there is no money on this earth enough to clean pollution and damage to nature created by use of these energy sources.
So, what kind of energy is than more economically viable in the long run, fossil or renewable?
We are investing enormous amount of money to build huge fossil fuel plants all around the world at great cost to our environment and then we stand back and say “now this is an economical giant” but when renewable energy developers put a small prototype built out of the pocket money (because there are no other financial supports or resources) then we say “this is never going to work”.
Well, this better be working very soon or we may just run short of oxygen.
Our greatest and perpetual sources of energy are the Sun and the Oceans and sooner we start basing our economies on these power sources sooner we will set foundations for an healthy, economically prosperous and environmentally clean future.
And most of all this is not a dream any more, this is reality that is waiting to be implemented.
It’s final time to start thinking and acting big when renewable energy is in question.
Solar, wave and tidal energy plants have to be built, complemented with hydro energy, wind energy and bio fuels. Some of energy generated in this way it’s to be used for extraction of hydrogen out of the oceans and there you have it: “Hydrogen Future”
Hydrogen can and it will power all automotive industry, all factories that currently using fossil fuels, it can and it will replace domestic gas and most importantly it can and it for sure will replace fossil fuels because they reserves are running shorter as you read this article.
It’s our final time to start thinking and acting big when Hydrogen, “economy of the future” is in question.

Comment from deadrock
October 14th, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Thanks for laying it out on the line like this. I'm proud to see another key EDF leader sounding the alarm and dispensing with politeness. It *is* five minutes to midnight and we must *all* take up the cause.

Comment from Sam Far
October 15th, 2010 at 7:26 am

'Red Button' reasoning as per the 10:10 movie:

'That means we no longer have the luxury of polite, time-consuming public debate on the issue. "We have to be much more aggressive about pinpointing our enemies, and doing it early—showing how and where they are spending their money to undermine our efforts," he says. "We need to learn how to inflict pain on the opposition." '

Shame on you.

Comment from Neal J. King
October 15th, 2010 at 8:24 am

Sam Far,

I think it's clear that Goldmark is talking about inflicting political pain, not blowing people up, as in that stupid film.

We can't let the Chambers of Commerce hide behind slogans that they're "just protecting the US economy" from dangerous alarmists.

Comment from Mike M.
October 15th, 2010 at 10:47 am

Funny, that's exactly the attitude "the enemy" has taken towards you people. The difference is that we actually organized and I can guarantee you we will be the ones inflicting the pain in November. And it will be worse for you in 2012.

Comment from Mark Sales
October 15th, 2010 at 11:40 am

"My generation has failed", he's going for the soundbite. Not debating or laying down a logical, reasoned arguement. The debate is not over; the evidence may be clear to some, but they generally lack the cultural background to reach the mass of decision-makers.

Where the soundbite fails is that it suggests that his generation was tasked with this issue. Since he is likely around his sixth decade the referential decades were the fifties and sixties. The environmental issues of those times have now been reduced to residual concerns. Waters are much cleaner and the atmosphere doesn't have the anti-knock compounds that we had then.

Climate change is a relatively new concern, the data is basically post space shuttle – since the mid eighties. Lest we forget the science of the late seventies and early eighties, beyond disco, revolved around the on-coming ice age. Other generations may well laugh at the boomers – please do – but also be aware that they also have faced several more decades of media-induced crisises du jour. It may well be that a slow, reasoned approach to remediation is better for the long term.

I say this because I see this issue as being more dimensionally complex than most media seem to portray it. The political aspects alone, developing versus developed nations – leaving aside who gets to assign whom to which teams reveals that there are at least two major powers planted right in the middle that actually are both the fastest growing and potentially the most adaptable. The economic concerns; who pays for all this new technology – not the boomers; they're lining up for Social Security and Medicare (can anyone say "fixed-income") who does this leave? The issue necessarily also involves population growth (which carries with it a host of cultural – and it's own political- complications); even with improved technology, power needs are multiplied by the numbers of users so technology's GHG reductions have to meet shifting goals. Then the technology itself; the boomer generation's technological bias grew out of the summer of love in the late sixties. The green of that period was not entirely logical, "back to the earth" was vaguely practical then, but Woodstock has been paved over since then.

So rather than decrying steady gains, they should be acknowledged and celebrated. Slow is not necessarily bad, stupid is bad. Frankly electric cars and hydrogen may well have higher carbon footprints – to develop and support, than efficient carbon-buring power generation. Bio-rediation remains in it's infancy, long-term it's potential cannot be discounted.

Comment from Roger Potash
October 15th, 2010 at 11:59 am

I appreciate the work you are doing at EDF. You and other like organizations are contributing to the solution by addressing the science and policy issues which are key to our society's well being. This interview helps to focus the debate on moving forward with fundamental changes in social policy towards a sustainable, low-carbon energy economy. I agree with Goldmark that the Senate is failing to act responsibly, and that the younger generation will have to work harder at living sustainable lives and putting in place policies that re-direct our economy and way of life. I recently returned from a vacation in Denmark and Greenland, where I saw for myself both the ways at least one country is addressing these issues in a positive way, and another is experiencing serious impacts from global climate change. As a Californian, I think our state is making a good effort to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, by incentivizing renewables, creating new jobs in this industry, and enacting forward looking policies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I hope that other states will follow California's lead, and that the Federal government will eventually follow suit.

The fossil fuel industry, both here and abroad, managed to squelch a similar thrust back in the early 80's, following the oil embargoes of the late 70's. They kept lowering the price of a gallon of gasoline until Americans started driving SUVs. Before we knew it, we were more dependent on foreign oil. OPEC and others won't give up without a fight. Lets not let this happen again.

Comment from Donna Laframboise
October 15th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Certain personality types always insist their concerns are urgent. It was the same back in 1976. Climate change hadn't appeared as a concern yet, but we were being told to sacrifice for the good of the planet back then, too:

Global Disaster is So 1976

People who continue to believe that climate skeptics are fueled by money, will remain trapped in a perpetual hamster wheel. It's organizations like the EDF that have the money these days. But they, of all people, should know it doesn't make the world go 'round:

Independent Bloggers vs Corporate Environmentalists

Comment from Curtis Griffin
October 15th, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Mike M.,

The point is that it is getting worse for you too, both in November, 2012 and beyond. Ignoring the fact that the earth is becoming less and less habitable for human kind will not make your organization or perceived victories any less painful.

Research as many sources and you can. Then focus on the real enemy and pain: shrinking harvests, falling water tables, receding glaciers, extended droughts and more violent storms.

Whether we are the root cause or not, 95% of scientists understand the evidence shows that the earth is warming and that human emmisions contribute. Your selfish, short term, minority view of these facts will be resented by all people generations from now.

Comment from D. Fuchs
October 15th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

"Hope in C 21"

It may be little more than naivete.
But COULD develop into strength,
Intense enough to move whatever forces lie behind the uphill slide to fiery finality.

We must, (not only HOPE)
if we are yet to BE.

Comment from humanpersonjr
October 15th, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Ah yes, the eco-doom awaits us.

At least the eco-wackos aren't like the Millerites of the 19th century. The Millerites were so stupid as to put a date on the end-all, be-all apocalypse.

It's nice to have the projections run out to the year 2100. Many alive today won't be there in 2100, to chortle at the idiocy. For a more recent comeupppance of a famous doomsayer, look no further than John Holdren's best bud, Paul Ehrlich. What a laugh!

Comment from carlos castillo
October 15th, 2010 at 1:26 pm

estamos desarrollando un sistema de readaptacion tecnologica para todo tipo de motores a combustion interna existentes y sera un gran placer establecer contactos con los interesados para hacer el proceso de convesion tecnologica a un sistema de no carburantes fosiles bien sea para barcos, aviones, automoviles, entre otros solo pregunten…
estamos al servicio de la humanidad.
carlosaugustocastillo@hotmail.es

Comment from Tony
October 15th, 2010 at 1:38 pm

This is all good stuff if it was supported by facts. The more AGW is looked into the more it is found to be a political concept not a scientific one. Everytime those of us who support the theory ask scientists to illustrate the correctness of the theory they are shown to have doctored the evidence. AGW as a theory has lost and we should accept it.

Comment from GoFigure
October 15th, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Did you not notice how it's mostly the retired scientists, or those who have not been involved in the enormous funds available for government grants tied to global warming?

The entire concept of man-made global warming rests on the basis that (1) industrial caused CO2 is significantly affecting the temperature, and (2) our current temperatures are warmer than it's ever been, hence must be due to man.

We are contributing to CO2, so will have to do something about that. But at its current growth rate of 2 parts per million by volume PER YEAR, it's not a crisis. The current level of CO2 is about 400 ppmv. It's a trace "greenhouse" gas. Incidently, water vapor, which occupies 50X more volume than CO2, is also a greenhouse gas, but the EPA is somehow ignoring that fact. Also, our submariners operate in an atmosphere containing 3000 to 4000 ppmv. Nurseries pump up the CO2 in their greenhouses by 4 or 5X because it is beneficial to plant life.

Finally, the Medieval Warming Period, some 1000 years ago, was warmer than today. There are some 800 peer-reviewed documents, and more coming in every week (see co2science.org) The Vikings not only named Greenland, they lived there until it cooled off, and while there they managed to map the entire cost. (not possible unless the coast was ice free during MWP). Then there are those ancient vineyards discovered, which are at latitudes where grapes cannot even now be grown.

See the Climate Tutorial (a google-doc) at:
http://docs.google.com/View?id=ddrj9jjs_0fsv8n9gw

Comment from TheChuckr
October 15th, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Your "generation has failed" because none of the alarmist Armageddon predictions of James Hanson (1988 – "New York's West Side Highway will be underwater by 2008")and his ilk have come to pass. Even NASA's cooked numbers show virtually no warming since 1998. Sea level rise is not accelerating, the number and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes has not changed compared to the past, and the "hockey stick graph" of rising temperature "caused" by rising CO2 levels has been proven to be statistically invalid at least three times in the past 5 years.

Comment from mkjon
October 15th, 2010 at 3:03 pm

This is the same old exaggeration, speculation and scare tactics that Al Gore uses. They never will look at the data and true science of CO2 and its many benefits. CO2 is the true green.

Comment from lauriebowen47
October 15th, 2010 at 3:24 pm

The Global Climate Change Debate

Climate change, Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Floods, Droughts, Tsunamis, Tornado's, Hurricanes, Blizzards etc . . . have been a matter of living or dying since time began . . . . . the search for the cause other than . . . "We (you) all made God Angry". . . gave rise to the discipline we call Meteorology today . . . just as Astronomy had it's roots in "Astrology" and Chemistry had it's roots in "Alchemy". None of the science's were considered a discipline until Copernicus, Galilao, Newton . . . . Einstein etc . . . were finally accepted.

Basically, and very over simplified, I surmise: most of Climate change is caused by the fact that Earth hurls around the sun as a part of our solar system. We, in error, think 'we' are very big and very powerful . . . . . when in fact, compared to the big "scheme" of physics, we are really quite small . . . . especially when you consider just the size of the milky way . . . . . and smaller and smaller when looking at the 'scheme' of the entire universe. When you look at it that way . . . (from another dimensional perspective). . . .we may just be part of "itty, bitty, teensey, weensy" little speck that is part of a "yellow polka dot bikini". . . . hardly and barely noticeable to anyone except maybe . . .'god'. . . .

To flip the perspective again . . . ever notice what a family of beavers can do to a river in just the right place . . . . . then notice what happens in spring . . . . if there is an extra heavy blizzard . . . even they know they have to rebuild all over again.

Humans can and have had even more profound effect because we seem to leave to much 'garbage' behind.

Everything we have came from 'earth' . . . and CAN be turned back to 'earth'.

For example, the red sludge in Hungary today is a byproduct of refining bauxite with research and chemical engineering can and should be reconstituted into a stable composite itself. Manure is turned into fertilizer . . . you get the picture.

I pro-ject (forecast) that when the Meteorology and Astronomy "marry" 'we' will not accurately be able to project future "Climate Changes". As well the other disciplines like chemistry & bio-chemistry ect. . must "co-operate" or 'we' will not accurately be able to adapt to future "Climate Changes" well because we spent more resources trying to change something that is beyone our control

Essentially, the climate debate for; "It being all our fault", . . will continue for a long time simply because of superstition, religious fundamentalism, the ignorance of the many, and lack of parochial earth & science education. . . . . (You must remember the earth didn't "become a "round" planet" until after Magellan and Columbus. Heck! . . . they didn't even know the America's existed. . . . . Socrates story of "Atlantis" was a "myth" of epic proportions . . . . even though someone was trading with "Peru" some 1,000 of years before the earth became round and not the center of the universe. . . . . Blah Blah Blah. . . .I could go on and on and on.)

Finally, I assert Global Warming debate due to man made causes was a cover for a massive regressive taxation scheme via Cap-N-Trade proposals. These kinds of CON's have gone on since the beginning of societies and will last for as long as there are people willing to jump on that "bandwagon" or are forced to join that "party". For now this CON has played itself out . . . and all that money . . . is gone. Ah . . but gone where?

'Anyway'. . . Maybe we would consider expanding our horizons . . . . Just remember . . . the famous last words of Socrates were. . . . . . . "I drank what?"

The answer to life . . . the world . . . and everything is really 4 too!

Comment from Lex
October 15th, 2010 at 3:44 pm

What public debate you eugenicist gaia worshipping trash

Comment from Steve D
October 15th, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Incoherent rants in response to global warming articles are everywhere. Even here on EDF's website. Disheartening to say the least.

Those of us who understand are burdened with perseverance in the face of American voter apathy and even hostility in response to the scientific consensus. We've no choice to maintain the pressure to act anywhere and everywhere we can.

Will our efforts alone be enough? No. Will human civilization succeed in saving itself? Only the laws of physics know. As Lester Brown says so well: "Nature is the timekeeper and we cannot see the clock." But the bottom line is that optimism combined with perseverance is the only possible choice for anyone who cares about the lives of their descendants. I'll write a letter to mine. My oath to them will be this: "I recognized the problem and I knew what I owed you. I never gave up trying to deliver it. I tried everything I could until the day I died."

Peace.

Comment from Untamed
October 15th, 2010 at 4:30 pm

*What Goldmark—along with ALL leading authorities on climate change—fears most is that we still do not understand the urgency of the problem.

WRONG!!! Hundreds of leading authorities on climate change have joined the ever increasing number of AGW skeptics and for good reason.
Why is it that the alarmists skillfully avoid debating this subject with skeptic scientists? In fact, they are unwilling to do so.

Why is it that the sun and sun spots are never mentioned in the alarmists propaganda? One would think that the sun has something to do with the planet's climate.

Truth of the matter is that the world's climate has been subject to change ever since the earth was created. Man has nothing to do with it.

Comment from anon
October 15th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Every prediction of the end of the world has been wrong. This kind of thinking has a very bad track record…

Comment from fred marshall
October 15th, 2010 at 4:37 pm

The theory of anthropogenic global warming has failed. It is well known that CO2 at 4/10,000 of the atmosphere cannot by itself cause harmful warming even if its concentration doubles. Believers in global warming have posited that CO2 has positive feedback effects on more powerful drivers of climate such as water vapor. However Richard Lindzen's (MIT) research has demonstrated that there are NO positive feedback effects of CO2 on major greenhouse gasses like water vapor. Lindzen's data shows such feedback effects are actually NEGATIVE. Without positive feedbacks to the effect of CO2 on the major greenhouse gasses there absolutely is no harmful warming from increases in CO2 levels. Lindzen's work is a knockout blow to the idea that CO2 can cause harmful warming.

Listen to this talk by Lindzen to get the reality on CO2 and "global warming:"

http://www.heartland.org/bin/media/dc09/audio/Richard_Lindzen.mp3

Or see this 9-part You-Tube video of his recent presentation at Fermilab which begins at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMkyjyk-VEk

Lindzen is widely regarded as one of if not the top atmospheric scientist on the globe.

In addition, believers in global warming have consistently denied the role of changes in solar activity on climate, saying that CO2 overrode any such effects. This view has also been proven wrong. Listen to this great talk by Willie Soon (Harvard):

http://www.itsrainmakingtime.com/_recent/climate_part2.html

The Danish physicist Henrick Svensmark has proposed an interesting theory on the sun's role in climate change. His ideas are just a theory but are the subject of a major research project at the CERN facility in Europe. Results on his research are expected to be ready this year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1qGOUIRac0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTqBrML4nsc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yv06IyygoUs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y87vLJrh2AY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pRmbBsdhNE&feature=related

Here is a link to an interview with Joe D'Aleo which covers the lack of any causal relationship between CO2 and climate:

http://itsrainmakingtime.com/2010/joedaleo/

The sad thing is that the global warming theory has wasted billions of dollars that could have gone to productive scientific research. It has hurt our overall economic development and standard of living by pushing the US away from developing its fossil fuel resources.

Comment from samtparry
October 15th, 2010 at 4:52 pm

No one is saying the world is going to end. No one is saying that the planet will become uninhabitable. No one is saying that humanity will collapse.

However, the trends are very clear. Carbon dioxide is a heat-trapping gas, we're burning billions of tons of it into the atmosphere every year, it has been accumulating in the atmosphere since the dawn of the industrial revolution, the planet is getting hotter, and there will be a very serious and increasing price to pay.

Global warming is like steroids applied to the planet's climate. Look at what's happened just this year — record summer heat in nearly every state in the union, 1000-year flooding in Tennessee, deadly flash floods in Arkansas, bleaching coral reefs, thousands of dead in Moscow from record heat, thousands dead in Pakistan and China from epic flooding, walruses beaching themselves in northern Alaska (they normally congregate on ice floes, but there aren't any to be found), record low Arctic ice volume, 113 degree day in Los Angeles in September, etc, etc.

Every year the planet's climate gets a little whackier, a little warmer, a little more dangerous. And this will continue unless we get a handle on the pollution that is causing this.

Denial isn't just a river in Egypt. Then again, if we keep this up, there may not be any more rivers in Egypt.

Comment from shempus
October 15th, 2010 at 4:54 pm

I do feel pity for the many who have bought into the AGW hoax, hook, line, and sinker. But not enough pity to not try and shake them up enough that some of these vassals clear the zombie-like fog from their eyes and awaken. It's hilarious to watch, save for the fact it's not a comedy movie.

Comment from Jack Savage
October 15th, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Veneffer I hear ze word "Rockefeller" I am reaching for my REVOLVER! The man "in his small spare office" is a multi-millionaire for heavens sake.
Do not believe a word these lizard people tell you. They want it all for themselves!
Do not take my word for it. Google the Rockefeller Foundation and the Council for Foreign Relations. The real Government of the USA.
Do not say you were not warned.

Comment from lauriebowen47
October 15th, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Sam T. Parry

You haven't lived long enough . . .should you live 1,000,000 billion years. . .

Comment from Kelly
October 15th, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Is it any wonder that people who don't "believe" in global warming are usually the same people who believe in the rapture, armageddon or the end times, whatever you want to call it. In their thinking, nobody is going to stop them from exploiting the earth as much as possible before Jesus comes. They think they are taking their riches from "the wicked". That's us, apparently, anyone who actually cares about clean air, clean water, trees, wildlife, etc. They think that "liberals" are trying to interfere in their lives and created global warming as a hoax to try to make everyone a hippie. Seriously.

Comment from Stardance
October 15th, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Those of you who use "AGW" should clarify what YOU mean, because Acronym Finder reports 21 definitions, some opposite the meaning of others. Even the 10 for Science & Medicine may not be what YOU intended when you used "AGW" in an attempt to impress the rest of us with your "insider/expert" jargon. (http://www.acronymfinder.com/AGW.html)

Unfortunately, arguments such as many of the ones presented here generate more heat than light. The scientific facts are that a molecule of carbon dioxide absorbs 8 times as much heat as a molecule of oxygen. Then it exchanges that heat with other molecules in the air, until the entire atmosphere reaches an unstable equilibrium with a much higher latent heat content. Continuing to add carbon dioxide molecules without removing them inevitably increases the latent heat content of the atmosphere as a whole, and most of the atmosphere is closer to the surface of the planet than to the relative vacuum above it.

This property of carbon dioxide was discovered by a scientist in the 1920s. He speculated that the continuing growth in carbon dioxide produced by burning coal and petroleum products would inevitably affect the heat content of the atmosphere. He was right. It has done that and continues to do that. Carbon dioxide is not the only "greenhouse gas" (methane, among others, is worse) but it is the one most abundantly produced by human activities.

Global warming is real. Anyone who does not accept this truth is an ignoramus.

The question then becomes: what will be the consequences of the rising amount of heat that is retained in the atmosphere? It is a perfectly reasonable, and safe, assumption that the atmosphere will NOT continuously absorb carbon dioxide, thus heat, WITHOUT any consequences for Earth and its inhabitants.

Although all of the specific consequences are not yet known exactly, it is also perfectly reasonable to realize that sooner or later most of the consequences are much more likely to be adverse than beneficial. We are, in fact, beginning to see many adverse events, such as the extinction of species and increasing violence in storms, which have been previously predicted.

They will be and are aggravated by many other human activities, such as logging the rainforests of the Amazon and Congo river basins, and on the islands of Indonesia and in southwest Asia. First, logging removes the plants that could sequester a modestly-increasing part of the growing carbon dioxide that we produce. Second, logging is accompanied by burning about 90% of the plant matter, returning most of the carbon that it contains to the atmosphere from whence it was previously removed.

Traditionally, scientists have defined the "climate" of an area by temperatures (low, high, average and median) and by the amount of precipitation, over a 30-year period. By those measures, changes in the climate of many areas have become evident during the past 30 years: temperatures are higher and precipitation has been either lower, higher, or become highly unpredictable.

Of course, climates of some areas have changed in the past and there is always some change in progress, but not on such a widespread scale as we have began seeing during the past 30+ years. (The most recent time during which massive, widespread climate change occurred was during the Second Ice Age, and, as far as I know, no one is certain as to why it, and the First Ice Age, occurred.)

Please feel free to keep your hands firmly covering your eyes and/or ears!! In my opinion, we are beginning to witness changes that will eventually lead to the collapse and extinction of human civilization as we have come to know it, because too many people are unwilling to acknowledge, let alone confront, the changes that are beginning to occur as we continue to heat the atmosphere. We will destroy our home with our own wastes. Personally, I really do not care. I will probably be dead before any of them seriously affect me, personally.

Comment from kapow
October 15th, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Get your collective heads out of the AGW sand!
Look at the actual data rather than listen to the nonsense that is touted in this article.
The globe has not warmed in the last decade.
The ice is not continuing to melt – it's recovering
The sea levels are not rising significantly (or any differntly to the trend for the last 100 years)
Water tables are dropping because of overuse (which is bad and should be stopped) NOT because of temperature
The food shortage is caused by government sponsor biofuels meaning crops that would normally be for food are made into fuel – so that's your own feel good solution exacerbating the problem
The storms are NOT getting more severe – the opposite is happening.
And now we find that the so called climate scientists have cooked the actual historical temperature data to make it look colder in the past and slightly warmer in current years – making the change appear significant.
And now this guy wants you to inflict pain on those who disagree with you? Hmmmmm, where have we seen that before…
If you are going to give away your freedom, make sure its for the correct reasons. Do your research first.

Comment from Norma J F Harrison
October 15th, 2010 at 7:40 pm

need a mass movement of young people etc – The Dumbest most irritating message so far. Look where the 'young' movement of the 60s-70s got us. Dopes -dope users – with a whole lot more STDs – and I strongly advocate for sexual pleasure – of any kind not abusive – rape, etc.

Those movements like any huge uprisings you can name were CONTENT-less!!!
Old people KNOW the stuff – yeah not all of them, not all the stuff. But the content old people bring works for the radical – as in root searching – directions in which we need to go.

Comment from @motsatt
October 15th, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Can you feel the Climat Depot effect?

Since the environmental movement is hijacked by old communists may I propose dusting of the good old armed revolution rhetoric?

Comment from janet
October 15th, 2010 at 9:52 pm

The #1 most affordable form of energy is the energy not used. Keep that in mind.

The gallon of gas not burned is free. The gallon of oil not burned is free. The ton of coal not burned is free. Every item not purchased is free.

Efficiency is the absolutely most effective and most affordable form of energy on Earth. Stop wasting our planet. Stop wasting our children's futures. If you want to fix this problem, stop wasting at home, stop wasting at work, stop making wasteful purchasing decisions. Stop making wasteful travel decisions. Did it come from China? If you live in the US, the waste was built into the product before it ever got to the store. Eating beef from the other side of the continent? Buying exotic fruits from faraway lands? Before you buy *anything* ask yourself: how much oil is embodied in it? How much coal was burned to produce it? Do I need it more than I need a livable planet?

When you discover you've left a light on ask yourself: does brightening an empty room mean more to me than life itself? When you look at all the digital clocks on every appliance in the house, ask yourself if having them plugged in at all times, so the time can glow from their happy little faces all night and all day is worth more than access to water.

Every single decision we make from now on matters more than ever before. Make good ones.

Comment from Robert of Ottawa
October 15th, 2010 at 11:07 pm

What you need is a Greenler Youth! Jawhol!

Comment from RAJENDRAN.A
October 16th, 2010 at 2:47 am

DEAR,

Brothers and sisters we are responsible for globale warming effect. Beacuse ennarmus consumtion Oxigen (O2) deflition of ozone layer.Save the environment each induvitual take action avoiding use petrolium product diesel consumtion.switch ower to naturale energy like wind, Earth gravity forces, new energy consept only way for coserving living being in the Earth for few century. So please funding for new enegy consept today do and doing today
Thank you for adapting all

Comment from Peter D
October 16th, 2010 at 3:43 am

Goldmark's attitude and work is viewed as the new face of Western Economic Imperialism in developing nations. It's seen as an attempt to prevent citizens from adopting new (more efficient) technologies.
Living in a developing nation at the moment, I agree with them. EDF and fellow travelers are successful in projects that prevent schools and hospitals being built, stop the introduction and adoption of simple home ownership and many other crimes. These people IMPOSE there views on the locals. I find Goldmark evil for what he has done.

Comment from Bill Yarber
October 16th, 2010 at 5:17 am

Hope is vital to human existence and better tomorrows. However, science, true science, deals with observations, verification and facts, not threats of harm to skeptics who challenge the conventional wisdoms!

Is this idiot willing to fall on his sword when AGW is proved to be the biggest scam ever foisted upon mankind? Don't hold your breath.

Trust observations, unhomogenized data and geological records, not computer models which predict the doom of mankind! Humans have flurished during warm periods like the Roman Warm Period (0 AD), the Midieval Warm Period (1,000 AD) and today. We have suffered and nearly perished during cold periods like the Little Ice Age (1600-1850) and the relapse around 10,000 BC when the Clovis culture disappeared from eastern USA and only survived by migrating to the warmer southwest. Geological data, supported by ice core data, show that we are nearing the end of the Holocene (interglacial) and are 500-3,000 years from the coming Ice Age.

Man has been both a negative and positive influence on Earth. But our impact has been tiny and is dwarfed by natural forces and cataclysm! To think that we, and a trace gas (CO2), have a catastrophic impact on Earth is the Hightower of hubris! Read all the ClimateGate emails, it will soon be very obvious to you that scientists have been manipulating the data to promote AGW to line their pockets with government funding! It is a scam, open your eyes and do your homework!

Bill Yarber

Bill Yarber

Comment from Michael
October 16th, 2010 at 7:40 am

It is time to admit we have been conned, face the horror and go through the process of bring the criminals to justice.

During the course of the AGW scam humanity has been well educated about the environment and can now work to solve real environmental problems facing humanity such as depleted uranium, GMO's, toxic chemicals in food and water supplies etc.

This catharsis is going to be very good for our society.

Comment from Mark
October 16th, 2010 at 9:11 am

More let's kill the skeptics hysteria. Stop and think.

Sea level not rising.

Arctic sea ice growing.

Antarctic sea ice growing at record levels.

No increase in tropical storm activity.

Desertification not increasing.

No tropospheric hot spot.

In fact, none of the alarming predictions of man made global warming are coming true. Yet, the rue believers are more and more alarmed.

Try something new. Try science. Science where you can prove or disprove something. Science where hysteria has no place. Cold, dispassionate science.

Comment from sentient
October 16th, 2010 at 10:42 am

Goldmark is right, we most likely will see dramatic climate change as the Holocene winds down. At half a precession cycle old (~11,500 years) this interglacial could very well end up like 5 of the last 6 interglacials did, about half a precession cycle. Interestingly, and this will take you some time to do the literature research, the end interglacials seem to be a rather wild climate ride, with rapid warm and cold pulses occurring on the decadal to centennial time scales. As the proxy data is picked apart with ever final detail from all over the world, the end interglacials are coming into clearer focus and its even worse than I once thought.

A few thoughts on the end Eemian (MIS-5), the last interglacial back, and orbitally considered not as good an analogue as MIS-11 or MIS-19:

Quaternary International 207 (2009) 137–144

Instability of climate and vegetation dynamics in Central and Eastern Europe during the final stage of the Last Interglacial (Eemian, Mikulino) and Early Glaciation

Tatjana Boettger, Elena Yu. Novenko, Andrej A. Velichko, Olga K. Borisova, Konstantin V. Kremenetski, Stefan Knetsch, Frank W. Junge

"In terrestrial records from Central and Eastern Europe the end of the Last Interglacial seems to be characterized by evident climatic and environmental instabilities recorded by geochemical and vegetation indicators. The transition (MIS 5e/5d) from the Last Interglacial (Eemian, Mikulino) to the Early Last Glacial (Early Weichselian, Early Valdai) is marked by at least two warming events as observed in geochemical data on the lake sediment profiles of Central (Gro¨ bern, Neumark–Nord, Klinge) and of Eastern Europe (Ples). The pronounced climate and environment instability during the interglacial/glacial transition could be consistent with the assumption that it is about a natural phenomenon, characteristic for transitional stages. Taking into consideration that currently observed ‘‘human-induced’’ global warming coincides with the natural trend to cooling, the study of such transitional stages is important for understanding the underlying processes of the climate changes."

and

Quaternary Science Reviews 20 (2001) 1881–1895

Rapid sea level and climate change at the close of the Last
Interglaciation (MIS 5e): evidence from the Bahama Islands

Paul J. Hearty, A. Conrad Neumann

Abstract
The geology ofthe Last Interglaciation (sensu stricto, marine isotope substage (MIS) 5e) in the Bahamas records the nature of sea level and climate change. After a period of quasi-stability for most of the interglaciation, during which reefs grew to +2.5 m, sea level rose rapidly at the end ofthe period, incising notches in older limestone. After brief stillstands at +6 and perhaps +8.5 m, sea level fell with apparent speed to the MIS 5d lowstand and much cooler climatic conditions. It was during this regression from the MIS 5e highstand that the North Atlantic suffered an oceanographic ‘‘reorganization’’ about 11873 ka ago. During this same interval, massive dune-building greatly enlarged the Bahama Islands. Giant waves reshaped exposed lowlands into chevron-shaped beach ridges, ran up on older coastal ridges, and also broke off and threw megaboulders onto and over 20 m-high cliffs. The oolitic rocks recording these features yield concordant whole-rock amino acid ratios across the archipelago. Whether or not the Last Interglaciation serves as an appropriate analog for our ‘‘greenhouse’’ world, it nonetheless reveals the intricate details of climatic transitions between warm interglaciations and near glacial conditions.

This then becomes the climate background "noise" from which we must discern our anthropogenic "signal".

Comment from sentient
October 16th, 2010 at 11:35 am

Of course, if one accedes to Mark's predilection regarding "Cold, dispassionate science", then one might be reminded of one of the cornerstones of the scientific method, the theory of multiple working hypotheses. For each hypothesis there might very well be an antithesis.

And this is where it gets very interesting, very interesting indeed.

Expanding a bit on Bill Yarber's comment, we will proceed to build that interesting antithesis. The GISP2 ice core data (Greenland) was studied by Sole, Turiel and Llebot writing in Physics Letters A (366 [2007] 184–189) where they discerned three classes of Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) oscillations in the Greenland GISP2 ice cores A (brief), B (medium) and C (long), reflecting the speed at which the warming relaxes back to the cold glacial state.

“In this work ice-core CO2 time evolution in the period going from 20 to 60 kyr BP [15] has been qualitatively compared to our temperature cycles, according to the class they belong to. It can be observed in Fig. 6 that class A cycles are completely unrelated to changes in CO2 concentration. We have observed some correlation between B and C cycles and CO2 concentration, but of the opposite sign to the one expected: maxima in atmospheric CO2 concentration tend to correspond to the middle part or the end the cooling period. The role of CO2 in the oscillation phenomena seems to be more related to extend the duration of the cooling phase than to trigger warming. This could explain why cycles not coincident in time with maxima of CO2 (A cycles) rapidly decay back to the cold state. ”

D-O oscillations are more readily discerned in glacial records as rapid warmings that occur in from just a few years to never more than a decade or so, and result in an 8-10C warming (D-O 19 achieved a 16C rise), with the nominal difference between the glacial and interglacial states being about 20C. There were 24 D-O oscillations between the Holocene and the Eemian during the Wisconsin ice age.

What Sole, Turiel and Llebot found isn't that CO2 causes the warmings, it seems it ameliorates the relaxation back to the glacial state.

And so what about the purported length of the Holocene? Working through a truly stunning recitation of multi-faceted works examining the MIS-19, MIS-11, MIS-1 eccentricity minima in extraordinary detail, in March of this year Tzedakis (2010) writing in European Geosciences Union free online publication process (without question the most open, collaborative peer-review process I have yet seen) Climate of the Past Discussions concluded with this:

""On balance, what emerges is that projections on the natural duration of the current interglacial depend on the choice of analogue, while corroboration or refutation of the “early anthropogenic hypothesis” on the basis of comparisons with earlier interglacials remains irritatingly inconclusive"

Lisiecki and Raymo in a landmark paper (Paleoceanography, 2004) stated:

“Recent research has focused on MIS 11 as a possible analog for the present interglacial [e.g., Loutre and Berger, 2003; EPICA community members, 2004] because both occur during times of low eccentricity. The LR04 age model establishes that MIS 11 spans two precession cycles, with 18O values below 3.6 o/oo for 20 kyr, from 398-418 ka. In comparison, stages 9 and 5 remained below 3.6 o/oo for 13 and 12 kyr, respectively, and the Holocene interglacial has lasted 11 kyr so far. In the LR04 age model, the average LSR of 29 sites is the same from 398-418 ka as from 250-650 ka; consequently, stage 11 is unlikely to be artificially stretched. However, the June 21 insolation minimum at 65N during MIS 11 is only 489 W/m2, much less pronounced than the present minimum of 474 W/m2. In addition, current insolation values are not predicted to return to the high values of late MIS 11 for another 65 kyr. We propose that this effectively precludes a "double precession-cycle" interglacial [e.g., Raymo, 1997] in the Holocene without human influence.”

So, constructing the antithesis, and applying the precautionary principle, we are left to ponder that if CO2 was not the causative agent for the D-O warmings, nor the last ice age termination, but apparently can function as a thermal "security blanket", if you will, ameliorating the drop back to the cold glacial state, one might very well wonder if reducing its concentration in the late Holocene atmosphere might actually be the wrong thing to do.

Cold, dispassionate science……..

Comment from Robert of Ottawa
October 16th, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Another fascist who wants to take over the world.

Comment from Joe Scamolla
October 16th, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Blah, Blah, Blah, more greenie propaganda from an EDF minion singing for his supper. Sorry Peter, but your god has failed, Global Warming, Climate change or whatever you are calling an excuse to make other peoples money, your money, is dead. Outside of your small circle of co religionists, the cult of AGW is dead, dead, dead! Despite billions of dollars spent on research, the only result, aside from shill AGW koolaid drinkers, is a set of second grade computer models based on faked data. Time to find another scam to fleece the great unwashed; try eugenics, and then apply it to yourself. I promise I will cheer you on before you enter the afterlife.

Comment from Rose
October 16th, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Man is the only animal in the world that has the ability and duty to learn from whatever happenings we see, hear and find.
Keep awake when we are awake!

Comment from Bill Haley
October 16th, 2010 at 10:03 pm

The deniers generally ignore the fact that the think tanks and most science among the deniers are funded by special interests. They ignore the fact that 85 percent of the science still finds that we have a major effect on the environment…..and seldom join any attempt to find common ground. A good share have political interests including eliminating or at least reducing government. Lastly they are often nasty in their approach. So the idea of "inflicting pain" is not new. The deniers have done it through boorishness and, I fear, through the ancient use of the "big lie." It's perfect for libertarians and Palinists. There is no way for these no-nothings to find common ground..at least for now…and we can only hope! Meanwhile, the oceans rise.

Comment from Peter D
October 16th, 2010 at 11:35 pm

Bill, when you look at the various petitions, it would appear that most scientists are skeptical of anthropomorphic global warming. There are only a few people in the "85% majority" by comparison. Also, looking at the funding sources such as big government, big oil, industry etc, almost all the funding goes to Global Warming Alarmists. Go look it up for yourself, stop parroting your fellow travelers comments. Despite this, skeptics use there own money to publish verifiable results. Thank god for the Internet. But I admit, they are not politically correct, which in our society, is a major crime.

Comment from Ben D.
October 17th, 2010 at 3:37 am

We will see when the natural variation turns to its 30 year cold period in the next 5 years and with no cap and trade to claim that "we are making the difference" … well we can all see the big picture of what will happen to these people that put all their eggs in this very unsteady basket.

Of course its a crisis mode right now. They have to scare people into action NOW. If they don't pass something soon in the states and in several other countries, how can they claim they solved our problems when the 30 year cold spell hits, and then we have to hear about "the next ice age" all over again?

The movement will die very quickly when the next few years get colder and colder. Its too bad they never tried to prove the case that the warming was not simply natural variation and the natural 30 year climate cycle..otherwise maybe climate science would be worth something today.

And for the record, most climate skeptics do believe mankind has an effect on nature, just not to the extent others believe. I do believe our increase of CO2 is something to be concerned about, but until the science is divorced from the state, it can not be trusted. Throw it all away, and start from scratch. Until then, scaring children is simply an unethical desperation move.

Comment from Paul J.
October 17th, 2010 at 4:24 am

samparry writes. "Carbon dioxide is a heat-trapping gas,"

When making such statements, it might be wise to research the behavior of C02. It is NOT a trapping gas. Never was and never will be. C02 absorbs and releases that which it absorbs.

Comment from sdcougar
October 17th, 2010 at 9:26 am

"…That means we no longer have the luxury of polite, time-consuming public debate on the issue."

A big part of the problem with the misunderstandings in this issue has been the denial that there is anything to debate in the first place–you know, the "settled science" oxymoron.

Read the Climate gate emails–they were about surpressing scientific debate.

Get a grip on the science:

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/lindzen_heartland_2010.pdf

Comment from Jack Monday
October 17th, 2010 at 1:05 pm

So what we need is an army of eco-youth in green shirts to inflict pain on the enemy. No need for logical arguement, debate, or even democtacy for that matter.

Eco-fascism, pure and simple.

Comment from krakatoa663
October 17th, 2010 at 3:36 pm

After all that has happened in the last few years, how much credibility do you think the environmental movement has now? The climate scientists, competing for research money, benefit when the public believes in AGW.

Certainly, scientists supported by large polluters have a conflict of interests, but environmentalists do also. The more dire their "findings", the more likely it is that they will get government grants from a panicked public.

Your "science" is little different from a religious belief. You ignore data that doesn't support your cause. You have faith in things you can't see, and when your predictions don't come true, it doesn't phase your beliefs one bit.

You make press releases about polar icecaps melting in one area but ignore the fact that they are getting thicker in other areas. I could go on. As someone who was formerly neutral in this area, I just marvel at how you can go on as though nothing has changed.

In the end, all the environmental movement will have done is to make the public skeptical of all science.

Comment from Shane O.
October 17th, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Perhaps the reason why oldtimers don't get worked up about the eco-fad of the day is that they've been around long enough to know it's never as bad as it's hyped to be. Especially farmers, who make a living watching the weather, noticing subtle climate changes – noticing that changes happen cyclically, and that there is no evidence of runaway global warming. The reason why youth are typically at the forefront of societal movements is that they don't have the experience to know these kinds of things. They've been used as political pawns by a variety of sheisters throughout the ages who don't have the ability to convince more mature segments of the population of the merit of their ideas. The only ones who will buy into some of these weak arguments are those who don't have the experience base to know better – thankfully, I left this group in my teens, after spending years worrying about the coming ice age of the 70's, which had as much doom and gloom credibility (actually, probably a bit more) as today's global warming crusaders have. I'm a high school teacher, and I can honestly (and thankfully) say that I see NO generaly interest among my students to remake the world because of overhyped global warming.

"Everybody wants to save the world, but nobody wants to clean their room"

Comment from Idewole Afeyofun
October 17th, 2010 at 5:11 pm

On the same subject, will one of my fellow "denialists" PLEASE let me know how to get hooked up with that Big Oil Money that's funding our campaign? I check the mailbox every day for those big paycheques and – nothing!

Comment from Michael H Anderson
October 17th, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Climate is not "getting wackier" – it is weather that is getting more mainstream media focus, since Impending Global Doom sells lots and lots of little bottles of ketchup.

People who refuse to understand this this are pathetic troglodytic gulls and deserve to be fleeced – but not the rest of us, and not our children.

Comment from Kevin
October 17th, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Here's even more alarming news about the environment. Scientists say that the sun will go 'red giant' in about 10 billion years. But according to my peer reviewed study, it's going to happen in less than NINE billion!!!

People, we've got to do something about the sun before it's too late. I suggest a tax on hydrogen plasma, or maybe on helium creation. That should put a damper on all things solar.

Comment from Ralph
October 17th, 2010 at 7:33 pm

What a crock!

Comment from Lazlo Toth
October 17th, 2010 at 7:55 pm

I am willing to run the risk of the earth becoming warmer and having to live with that or die by it, because it's better than the slow death and torture of listening to sanctimonious people who refuse to debate and seek to stifle dissent and disagreement by harming them personally. People who try to harm their opponents for debating already make the air smell foul. As one of the other commenters says, SHAME ON YOU.

Comment from John Farouk
October 17th, 2010 at 7:56 pm

A typical blog of a typical person with a useless degree, too much time, and a zeal to do "good", which is actually window dressing for arrogance.

In the real world people work, earn money, raise a family, and don't whine about econonsense. They are good stewards of nature without the eco-fascism etc.

Comment from Dirtman
October 17th, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Let's see, shrinking harvests? No, that's what comes with global cooling. Warming increases harvests.

Falling water tables? In some places. In others they're rising. Nothing either new or scary about that.

Receding glaciers? That's a problem? If they were advancing I'd be concerned.

Extended droughts? Where? Back in the little ice age there was a 70 year drought on the praries. Nothing to compare with that now.

More violent storms? Not according to the stats.

Food, water, and climate problems are simultaneously hitting many nations? Well yeah, but that's always been the case

So tell me why I should be worried.

He thinks China might lead the way? China??? What a laugh! They're building dozens of nuclear power plants (something the environuts oppose) and thousands of coal fired plants. They've made a tiny token move on wind energy, and that's all they're going to do. They're threatening to penalilze heavy polluters, true, but they mean REAL polluters, not CO2 emitters. China wants its competitors to take action which will give China a substantial trade advantage, but they're not going to do anything themselves.

Comment from F. N. Wagnel
October 17th, 2010 at 11:05 pm

For those young pups out there;

I was 5 years old (I'm turning 50 in 4 months) when the UN had all the children in Canada, and other contries, collecting for the UNICEF fund to help out Bangladesh. IO can clearly remember the commercials on the B&W TV, about how the UN was going to get the people of Bangladesh back on their feet. Now, 45 years, I hear about chicken crap digesters….

After 45 years of support the UN, and the NGOs for that matter, have clearly failed to make any substantive progress in Bangladesh, despite the billions and billions of dollars in funding.

So let's all get these chicken crap digesters and we will heat our homes with them in the winter – right? The fact that they can produce enough methane for a gas lamp is not going to solve a heating problem in North America. Further just the thinking behind this whole idea is a clear indication why the NGOs have failed.

Any other suggestions to make your back yard in N.A. just a little more like Bangladesh?

Comment from Richard
October 18th, 2010 at 6:04 am

samtparry

Oh, dear.

"However, the trends are very clear" No they aren't. They are, in fact, entirely unclear.

"Carbon dioxide is a heat-trapping gas, we're burning billions of tons of it into the atmosphere every year" So what? How much is needed to trap more heat? At what rate does that increase in trapping decline? This is meaningless hyperbole, using big numbers to scare.

"…it has been accumulating in the atmosphere since the dawn of the industrial revolution…" No it hasn't. There is a carbon cycle, it enters and leaves the atmosphere. It does not accumulate.

"…the planet is getting hotter…" What evidence is there for this?

"…and there will be a very serious and increasing price to pay" How do you know? What is the basis for your assumption that a warmer climate is worse for humanity?

"Look at what's happened just this year — record summer heat in nearly every state in the union" and here in the UK one of the coldest summers in years, after the coldest winter in years. Did you know that the greenhouse effect has less effect on peak daily temperatures than on minimums? So your statistic, if true (I don't think it is) is not caused by the greenhouse effect.

"…bleaching coral reefs,

"…thousands of dead in Moscow from record heat…" only they are dead from swimming drunk, not from heat. If all stations are taken into account, without the selective bias of the climate industry, Russia is cooling very slightly.

"…thousands dead in Pakistan and China from epic flooding…" caused by deforestation in Pakistan and increased habitation of flood plains in China. No connection with climate, which has not changed.

"…walruses beaching themselves in northern Alaska (they normally congregate on ice floes, but there aren't any to be found…" just like few were found in the Mediaeval Warm Period

"…record low Arctic ice volume…" during a very short recording period, but then followed by increasing ice volumes.

"113 degree day in Los Angeles in September" and -17 degree day (Celsius) in Oxfordshire. Remember that the greenhouse effect has more influence on minimums than maximums.

"Every year the planet's climate gets a little whackier…" No it doesn't

"…a little warmer…" Nope, no evidence for that either.

"… a little more dangerous…" nor that – in fact a specific study has shown no increase in dangerous weather events.

"And this will continue…" Yes it will

"… unless we get a handle on the pollution that is causing this" It is not pollution. It is plant food. Helps to feed the world. In fact as a geologist I can tell you that CO2 levels are currently very low indeed.

"Denial isn't just a river in Egypt" No indeed. So why don't you just pop along to http://www.bishop-hill.net and look up the story of the CRU scandal, so you can lever yourself out of the denial that what is in catastrophe here is not the Earth's climate but the Left's multi-billion-dollar-a-year climate panic industry.

Comment from Brian G Valentine
October 18th, 2010 at 6:56 am

To think people get paid for idiocy like Goldmark's makes me sick to my stomach.

Is it possible to be immune to such nonsense and not let it bother me? I wish.

Comment from Michael H Anderson
October 18th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Well, you sure killed the comments quickly when more anti-alarmists kept posting, didn't you?

Comment from Luis Aponte
October 18th, 2010 at 2:44 pm

I'm just concerned about whether we have done too little too late. When it comes to environmental issues, the most radical changes are in reaction to catastrophic events instead of anticipation of them.

Then again it begs the question, is crisis inevitable? I read a report from the EPA that stated, even if we cut-of all CO2 pollution today, the long term global warming effects will continue to happen anyways.

I'm trying to do my part by creating an online community that discusses how we can eliminate dependence on petroleum (for example), but is it truly enough? Will it ever be enough to simply eliminate fossil fuels and create renewable and sustainable means of energy and fuel?

Thank you for posting this article.

Warm Regards,
~Luis Aponte, author

Comment from Sharon from Louisiana
October 19th, 2010 at 1:26 am

To Dominique Browning, thank you for a great article that addresses my concerns. To Mr. Goldmark, thank you tremendously for all the hard work you've done to spread the word about what needs to be done, and the urgency of stopping climate change.
To Sam T. Parry, thank you for a voice of reason, in response to the comments from those who choose to believe what they WANT to believe instead of scientific facts, and those who choose to put their heads in the sand and pretend nothing is wrong, and those who are absurdly calling leaders like Goldmark prophets of the end of the world. All these denial responses are a big part of the reason why our country is making such slow progress in shifting over to renewable energy sources, and reducing greenhouse gasses. These people are the uninformed, the misinformed, the cynics who are cynical about everything, and those who think they know all about our world's climate cycles, who actually know very little, compared with the scientists who have called the alarm about climate change. And of course there are the self-centered people who just don't care about what we leave for future generations, just so their lives are kept convenient and not disturbed for any type of sacrifice for the future of the planet. And there are the philosophers who think they have it all figured out, because they've studied human nature and history, and therefore they know all about this particular issue, which has nothing to do with whatever they have learned. Wake up people, get your heads out of the sand, and do some factual research, and stop just listening to your existing beliefs and opinions. I am sure that when it was discovered that the earth was round, there were many people arguing against it with all kinds of opinions and false facts. But in the end, the truth prevailed, as it always does. The sad thing is that so many people will cling to their doubts about climate change until it may be too late to do anything about it. That's what scares me. And that's part of what's slowing down Congress in acting on this. There are just not enough of us who do take it seriously to convince them to take action and ignore the oil lobby. That has to change if we are going to ever make any progress.
And I agree with Mr. Goldmark that the younger generations will have to play a big part in making changes. But I think a lot of older adults see the truth and logic too, just not as many of them perhaps. And there are a lot of young people who are caught up in the me generation and wasting energy and thinking everything is disposable. We have a big challenge in trying to reverse that kind of thinking.
I like the words of the promise that one woman is making to her children: that she saw the problem, and is doing everything in her power to change it, until the day she dies. That's how I feel. That's taking responsibility.

Pingback from “Time is Running Out” — Chilling and Insightful Comments from Retiring Legend Peter Goldmark – Planetsave
October 20th, 2010 at 7:14 pm

[...] check out the whole piece, Time is Running Out, which, again, is excellent and worth a full read, head on over to [...]

Comment from Adonis Karmiotis
October 20th, 2010 at 7:26 pm

I feel great full to to live on planet Earth!
I feel I am living on an amazing, bounty planet with extraordinary beauty of natural wonders… and that's of whats left of it.
I actually believe that if we really wanted we could make this planet the paradise we were once taught.If we believe we could one day in time manage to make this planet the paradise of Adam and Eve
Its (the way that we live) that we should t like, at least i feel that i know it could be far better!And then someone could start thinking; I actually feel privileged to also live in a generation where humanity is going through our ultimate test.The test to prove if we were worthy to be given the privilege to be the "dominant species "of this planet.Do we accept that greediness and materialism are the attributes that at this critical moments in time characterize all fellowman and all our ancestors.What about wisdom, hope, love , courage, awareness, moral consciousness, universal values, etc? I am sure we have evolved enough to be able to acquire those attributes.In the past when it was needed from us for various reasons to prove our nobility we used wisdom, hope love, bravery and so many other "values".As long as our commitment stays honorable and true to the right values we will provail.
Why can t we do it now that it s needed the most.Why can't we consciously acknowledge the evolution of human kind and the bonding with our mother planet and our mother nature ? Why can t we through new moral systems become a positive part of nature,a positive part of our planet and remain living proof of a successful species in this abundance universe.We can give it a chance. I mean what do we have to loose ? The past 10 years we consciously acknowledged the impact of all species on this planet including ours.
As long as we were ignorant it could be OK but since we know then we ask questions like

Is this who we really are ?

Is this the final destination of our evolution?

Do we accept that this is the reason we are here?

Could there a better reason for existence ?

We have managed to evolve to a level that allows us to understand how extraordinary and sophisticated our planet and nature are.Humanity as well as the future of all life as we now know it depends solely to our generation.We have to do the right thing , We have to give a guarantee to Nature our planet and even to the positive parts of the universe that our species may be greedy and materialistic but we are also intelligent, wise and above all we are moral.We need to cultivate our moral conciosness into our economic systems that are so unfairly and unconditionally exploiting our planet which so far remains unique in the known universe.
If we could succeed with out expecting a reward we could be rewarded!We could send beacons of hope to all parts of the universe that we are successful species and that we would always do the right thing to allow existence and a moral conscious awareness to co-exist.

Comment from sentient
October 25th, 2010 at 4:30 pm

For Ben D.

I think you will appreciate this:

http://www.fel.duke.edu/~scafetta/pdf/scafetta-JSTP2.pdf

Comment from sentient
October 25th, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Adonis Karmiotis, it is interesting that you mention evolution as related to our species. In most of your points I would heartily agree, though I am not so sure if there is really a reason why we are here save this.

We live today in Marine Isotope Stage 1 (MIS-1), otherwise known as the Holocene Epoch or the 11,500 years since we melted our way out of the Wisconsin Ice Age, which is also the 6th interglacial dating back to the Mid Pleistocene Transition (MPT) when we switched from the 41kyr ice age/interglacial couple periodicity (which matches the obliquity in our orbit) to the 100kyr one (which matches the eccentricity in our orbit) we have been in since the MPT. Five of those 6 interglacials have each lasted about one half of a precessional cycle. The precessional cycle ranges from 19kyr to 23kyr, and we are at the 23kyr point today, making 1/2 11,500 years, the present age of the Holocene. If we are still on the 100kyr/half precessional cycle clock, then this interglacial is just about kaput. But what about that 6th cycle, the one that wasn't on the half-precessional clock?

That would be MIS-11 (or the Holsteinian interglacial), about 400kyrs ago. Or 4 eccentricity cycles back. That interglacial lasted about 30kyrs, or 1.5 to 2 precessional beats (depending upon who you quote). Many MIS-11 workers have suggested it "skipped" a precessional beat.

As it turns out, during both MIS-1 and MIS-11 we just happen to be at an eccentricity minimum, when our orbit about the sun approaches its most circular path. Eccentricity minima and maxima occur every fourth cycle offset by half a 4th cycle, or 200kyrs. So, in 200kyrs we will be at another maxima, another 200kyrs beyond that (400kyrs from now), we will be at another minima, and so on.

Interestingly, the 4th cycle maxima correlate rather well with hominid evolution:

“An examination of the fossil record indicates that the key junctures in hominin evolution reported nowadays at 2.6, 1.8 and 1 Ma coincide with 400 kyr eccentricity maxima, which suggests that periods with enhanced speciation and extinction events coincided with periods of maximum climate variability on high moisture levels.”

state Trauth, et al (2009) in Quaternary Science Reviews. As it turns out, periods of wet maximum climate variability (in modern lingo, global warming/global cooling correctly re-branded as climate change), cook-up the larger braincases. We went from 500-550cc braincases 2.8 mya to the average of about 2,500cc today in the most rapid encephalization of any mammal in the fossil record.

The last maxima, since we are at a minima now, occurred during MIS-7, about 200kyrs ago. Homo sapiens appears in the fossil record at that time and coexisted with H. neanderthalensis for about 30kyrs before they got rubbed out.

So we find ourselves about 200,000 years away from our next opportunity (an eccentricity maxima) for a natural "hardware upgrade", assuming we make it that long, and assuming that "periods of maximum climate variability on high moisture levels" manage to produce another braincase expansion since MIS-7 really didn't.

So at 6.8 billion of us, finite resources, bickering over a climate that naturally swings 400 feet of sea level and 20C so regularly you can set your geologic clock by it anyway, we are going to have to do it with what is between our ears right now. Having said that it occurs to me that every penny not spent on fusion research might very well turn out to be a penny wasted, particularly if the Holocene turns out to be nearly kaput.

Personal Nature is powered by WordPress.

RSS feeds are available for posts and comments.

Share this Blog

Subscribe

Subscribe to Personal Nature by RSS feed or email: