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I like nature- I am a dirty, crunchy, organic-eating, bike-riding hippie.
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mark henley
(flash582) - F
But ... what about the good things? on 12/29/2006 15:02:14 MST Print View


The US government has, since the early 70's, been FORCING automakers to develop technology to improve the gas milage of automobiles through Economic sanctions. Hybrid cars are on the horizon, not because capitalisim has developed a concience, but because rising fuel costs and economic incentives are pushing technology in that direction. And, before anyone starts talking about Oil policy, there are economic tools that could be utilized to "improve" and stablize gasoline prices, but then, unfortunately, free market incentives to develop alternatives would largely dry up, much as they did in the late 70's.

There is a lot of truth in much of what everyone has touched on here, but one thing I remember very well .... my generation, at least in my little part of the midwest, was convinced that nuclear war was a fact and we were all just waiting patiently for the missles to fly. We were also convinced that the rainforest was already to have disappeared. We were convinced that solar and geothermal heat was the only pratical solution to the "energy crisis".

Man has not yet developed the knowledge to fully understand such complex systems such as our climate, our weather, and population behavior.

With this all said ... I think that there are a lot of people who have more than just a scientific interest, on both sides of the discussion, for and against the case for global warming. Those kindly professors and at our universities and research scientists are standing in line for BILLIONS of dollars in grant money, in a high pressure, publish or your out the door world, and as such have a vested interest in the results of their research.

Industry (which, I'm sorry to tell you, if you own one share of a mutual fund, consume anything other than what you yourself grow, or work for a living, you're part of Industry) is modivated by stockholders to maximize profits, and thereby, utilize the least expensive option to accomplish it's ends. Change is never cheap, therefore, Industry also has a vested interest in the issue of global warming.

Authors, even as acclaimed as Crition (who happens to be an MD, by the way) have a vested interest in selling books, and as such, take a postion that helps them to maximize their economic gain.

Lastly ... the Media, those defenders of truth, justice, and the way of CASH, exist to sell mouthwash and Chevy's, and are also looking to maximize their profits. As such, the more viewership they have, the more advertising dollars they can sell. They, then, are highly modivated to do whatever they have to to get you, the viewer, to spend at least an hour of your life tuned in to their broadcast. How? Well, the easiest way to get you to keep tuning in is to feed your fear.

Think about it ... whould 70% of America tune in to the news every night just to listen to how peachy keen everything is ... no ... they tune in to see what they need to be scared of now. Violent crime has been on the decline in the country since the 1980's but the media would insulate that you can't leave your house at night without some there being some violent criminal waiting behind every corner to have their way with you.

My Point? Well ... enviornmental issues are subject to this same media pressure ... if they can make you scared, make you believe that the world is coming to an end unless you buy this magazine or watch this program to learn how to stop it from happening, they sell more soft drinks.

So ... Did the missles fly while I was out to lunch today? Is the world going to end tommorow when that unseen dinosaur killing comet slams into the eastern seaboard? Or is the climate going into a runaway greenhouse effect that will kill your grandchildren unless you stop buying gasoline today?

The real issue is not whether or not the enviornment is at risk, with the population of the planet ever increasing the enviornment is CERTAINLY at risk, at least as long as people are so stupid as to toss their soda cans down by the side of the trail rather than carrying them out.

The real issue is how do we separate the wheat from the chaff, the fact from the "gee you need to believe me so you'll give me that billion dollar research grant", and make reasonable choices that allow us to make informed decisions based on FACTS, and utilize the most powerful tool that we possess, CASH, to promote economic incentives to modivate people in the right direction?

My opinion is that our Government is trying, modivated by your and my votes every few years, to do what's best for our people. But change takes time and modivation sometimes has to be created to "suggest" that people do the right thing.

BTW ... I read the other day that the increasing number of cattle in this country will produce enough methane to seriously change the chemistry of our atmosphere, making it unbreathable in 200 years.

So ... my new motto is .... Have a cheeseburger ... Save the planet.

Edited by flash582 on 12/29/2006 15:29:55 MST.

Erin McKittrick
(mckittre) - MLife

Locale: Seldovia, Alaska
Re: But ... what about the good things? on 12/29/2006 17:14:02 MST Print View

Mark - thanks for the comments. I'm going to try to pick out what I see as some of the main points here.

1: Everyone has economic incentives.
Yep. The popular media is certainly trying to sell papers and magazines. Sometimes they do a good job reporting science. Sometimes they try to "spice it up". This can lead to a number of distortions of scientific research, such as overstating the life-saving/world-changing potential of a preliminary discovery, overstating potential risks, or overstating controversy. I spent a number of years in molecular biology, and am married to a geologist studying tsunuamis, and have certainly seen plenty of these distortions.
The last one, overstating controversy, is particularly interesting. The media like debate, and like to have "both sides" of an issue. So the media spends a lot of time talking about the controversies over the basic concepts of things like evolution and global warming - where scientists don't. (a study of scientific papers on "climate change" from 1993 to 2003 found none that rejected the consensus position that anthropogenic CO2 releases were causing global climate change).
Scientists hunting for research grants have economic incentives too, of course. But the biases this creates tend to be in research subject (studying current "hot topics", and those with more funding available), not in results. The peer-review system requires scientists, unlike the media, novelists, and politicians, to report all the details of their data and analysis. And other scientists _love_ to attack them when their reasoning is faulty. So the consensus, in the end, is the most trustworthy information we have.

2. The public has in the past held erroneous beliefs about the environmental future (as well as nuclear war, etc...).
Sure. People are wrong about all sorts of things. Sometimes they read things that are wrong, sometimes they spread things they hardly remember, remember only the most shocking things, etc... We all do.
For the environmental stuff, I would be more interested in what the scientific consensus was at the time, and what if any actions were taken to mitigate the problem.
After all, the public also believed we'd all be driving flying cars and have robots performing every household chore. Is that a critique of the field of engineering?

3. Economics is important.
Sure, on both sides. There are economic costs, large and small, to new environmental regulations. There are also economic costs to doing nothing (in the case of global warming, some potentially enormous ones). And economic incentives do motivate people.

4. The government has our best interests at heart.
This is the only one I'll have to disagree with. The government is made of people. People as biased by their economic incentives, as likely to be wrong or confused, and as likely to be lazy as the rest of us. Are most of them basically good people? probably. Does this mean they'll make the right decisions? I don't believe that follows.


Ernie Elkins

Locale: North Carolina
Re: Re: But ... what about the good things? on 12/29/2006 18:20:11 MST Print View


I realize that your comment about eating more cheeseburgers was delivered tongue in check, but I can't resist the urge to point out that the best way to reduce the number of cows producing methane is to stop eating them. Eating more only encourages the industry to keep growing, and there's plenty of solid evidence that cattle production has a serious impact on our environment.

I might also point out that your analysis of the media's role is a little off target. Thanks to continuing claims from the right about the "so-called liberal media" (to borrow a phrase), the media has a growing tendency to try to "balance" stories by giving equal time to advocates on both sides of an issue. So as not to appear biased, the arguments from both sides are given equal weight, even when the evidence (as with climate change) is clearly in favor of one position over the other. Hence, as Erin rightly points out, they create a controversy where one really doesn't exist.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: Re: Michael Crichton on 12/29/2006 18:35:02 MST Print View

Worth noting: The Bush administration just declared the polar bear an endangered species due to population loss related to arctic (they just can't say "global") warming. Chunks are coming off Antarctica and the Ayles ice shelf broke off Ellesmere Island two years ago but was just announced today (Dec. 29,'06) and NASA climate scientists have been fired. So, who needs Houston anyway? God riddance (SIC, intentional, and appologies to anyone living there.)

Scott Robertson
(SRPhotographic) - F
All you need is... money on 12/29/2006 21:34:41 MST Print View

Mark Henley, thank you very much for your reply, it is very good and hits on some good key points. I sit here as I watch CNN and Fox (I flip between the two as I watch the news) covering the execution of Saddam Hussein. It seems so strange to watch the coverage of one man's execution and wonder how I really feel about it. One one hand, Hussein did order the genocide of thousands; on the other hand, the USA put him into power and gave him the presidency of Iraq. Not to mention that while all of this is happening- they speak of the possibilities of International Curfews (what and why?) and flash the elevated Terror Alert Level on the bottom of the screen. Of course, I get to take a breath every 8 minutes to listen about Chevrolets, Crest toothpaste, and how I can lose 12lbs in a week (news to me).

I once watched a documentary about corporations and was disgusted to learn about the examples that perpetuate the one thing that is behind the wheel of ALMOST everything: money.

The war is about control of land in control of oil in control of: money.
The news stations cover the most enticing stories in the most enticing ways to gain more viewers to get more demand for time from advertisers to get more: money.
Kids go to 12 years of school to learn basic skills to do well on the SAT (which is written and regulated by a private corporation) to get into 4-9 years of college to get a better job to get more: money.

And my last one. (certainly a RANT)
Advertisements on television which are there because college graduates who studied marketing and advertising knew that viewers watching television news would see them because they are watching to see the most enticing stories and get a rush of adrenaline see ads pushing the idea of buying the perfect man-made stuff for "the holidays" so they can be happier and have more so they will be successful and get more so they can buy more follow the idea of the lights and the trees and the BLACK FRIDAY and the AFTER CHRISTMAS SALES and "oh, no parking! life is hell! traffic is not fair! why does gasoline cost so much even though I drive a 12mpg Hummer so I can look more successful to trick people into wanting be like me so I can be happy" and make sure to get their 4 cups of coffee because they're "so not a morning person" and make sure to take their prozac which was prescribed for mild depression caused by work stress to get more money from doctors who went to 8 years of college to get more money and retire early and get free money who didn't even get the idea to prescribe the prozac because the person saw an advertisement on tv for it saying it would relieve all of their problems while they waited in fear for the next terror attack which would surely surely probably maybe imminently strike their little town because the terror alert is at least orange eventhough they don't have a reference to base the rating off of but the government made it for the news stations to use to get more viewers to attract more advertising dollars to make more: money.

*big breath, small sigh*

But personally, I'm doing pretty well. I watch television once a week, help my mom with the dishes, help once a week at the soup kitchen, and buy my clothes second-hand. and eat some dark chocolate because it actually tastes good.

As a small digression- the idea of advertising is sad but makes a lot of things move. I'm the editor in chief of my school paper and we must sell $400 in ads for each issue. If it weren't for those dollars, my editorials about environmentalism, the possible caveats of the information revolution, and how to stay upbeat by removing yourself from reality (what is reality anyway) would never be published and read by a few thousand eyes.

Good needs evil to survive. Capitalism needs Communism; Saddam Hussein needs George Bush; Backpackers need Day-trippers. It's the yin and the yang. The real raw question when you boil it down is this: where does the balance lie, and more importantly why should we care?

PS- AOL/TimeWarner copyrighted the "happy birthday" song not too long ago. One-time-use rights for publication start at $10,000.

Scott Robertson
(SRPhotographic) - F
To get back on topic... on 12/29/2006 21:46:18 MST Print View

To get back on topic, I want to explore the fact that backpacking can help us to refute the old adage the "nothing is ever free".

I don't like to believe this statement because it sets in stone each thing's worth. If you think about it- the worth of anything is so temporary and subjective that to label something with worth would be a bad idea. To me, the electric guitar is worth very little but a cello is worth very much. Tomatoes could go rot in a hole for all I care, but I might cry if I don't have zucchini at least three meals a week.

Backpacking equipment IS monetarily expensive. No denying that. However- how could you, being a backpacker, say that it cost you anything? The value of one camping trip trumps any amount of dollars I have spent on camping equipment and gasoline to get to the trailhead. To me, backpacking is more than free because I can only gain from my experiences. Freedom exists only in liberation and I cannot find anything more liberating than pitching my tent on the beach and imagining the ancients looking to the sky and seeing exactly what I see.

To explore this, talk about what makes your life as a backpacker "free".

Lorraine Pace
(SowthEfrikan) - F
Backpacking is not free on 12/30/2006 08:17:05 MST Print View

A basic law of economics, there are always costs involved.

There were some really excellent points in this discussion, especially in Mark's rant. I'm also chuckling at Erin's observation that experts have found we, the people, have been found to be responsible for global warming (or is it the new Ice Age?).

This is because it immediately brought to mind how we, the people, were held responsible for the ozone hole - we are all going to die! - by those same scientists until very recently.

We, the people, don't hear too much about it as the ozone hole healed, and the grant dollars went away when eventually someone had the integrity to report that the ozone was most affected by solar activity and we, the people, were but blips. Who wants to kill a grant cash cow? Same thing with avian flu.

That said, listening to scientists is a whole lot better than listening to environmentalists.

Michael Crichton as a writer - thought that point was very clearly made but apparently needed to be reiterated - cited journals like Science and Nature, published by - errrm - scientists. What makes him notable is as a voice of dissent who gives another side of what is usually a very one-dimensional media/environmentalist picture which is usually something about us destroying the planet and dying. *Yawn*

I didn't know Bush had taken other voices into account, and have just given your prez extra credit. Here I was thinking he simply had the economic good sense to see Kyoto exactly for what it was.

Mark's assessment that we simply do not know or understand the complex system of earth is the core truth. Everything else is speculative, based on tiny parts of a huge picture. Ice shelves break off here, but thicken over there. Hmm.

By the way Scott, marketers are tearing their hair out as advertisements work less than ever before in a highly fragmented market that increasingly demands personalized information and service. Your readers are probably ignoring your environmental articles just as much as they are ignoring those advertisements, while half the forum ignores this thread.

And just touching on politics briefly, the US may have put the deceased Saddam into power but I doubt Americans expected him to slaughter his own people in the future. Or did you? But if your point is Americans care most when they find themselves in danger, I agree. Rwanda comes to mind. But then, self-preservation is an instinct that applies to everyone, not just people in this country. Not a whole lot of nations went to Rwanda - no danger - and that includes we Africans who lived just down the road.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Backpacking is not free on 12/30/2006 10:53:27 MST Print View

The next thing you know those ozone scientists are going to try and tell me that humans evolved from apes..what a laugh!

Ernie Elkins

Locale: North Carolina
Re: Backpacking is not free on 12/30/2006 10:56:54 MST Print View

Despite Scott's valiant efforts to get this discussion back on topic, I'm going to go on another tangent -- I feel that it's necessary given Lorraine's misinformation about ozone depletion, Michael Crichton's crackpot theories, etc.

1. The threat of ozone depletion has abated because scientists saw the problem and governments and corporations took action. It's a good example of how we CAN avoid potential catastrophe when we put our best foot forward. I'm far from an expert on the field, but I do know that, as Lorraine says, solar actitivity plays a role in ozone levels. The scientific consensus, however, is that solar activity's role is relatively minor in the overall scheme of things, especially in the middle and lower stratosphere where ozone is most concentrated. Large-scale ozone depletion, as we've seen over Antarctica in the last 15 years, is widely agreed among scientists to be caused by human-made CFC's. Climatic conditions in the spring over Antarctica (specifically polar stratospheric clouds) enhance the reaction between UV light and CFC's and so make the problem most severe in that region of the atmosphere.

2. Are Michael Crichton's claims about the science of global warming accurate? Not according to the scientists who actually do the research and understand the data. Take a look at this article from the Boston Globe:

Edited by EarthDweller on 12/30/2006 12:05:10 MST.

Ernie Elkins

Locale: North Carolina
Re: Re: Backpacking is not free on 12/30/2006 11:21:34 MST Print View

Oh, and by the way, the ozone layer has NOT "healed." Ozone levels over Antarctica aren't expected to return to 1980 levels for another 50+ years. And the "one-dimensional media/environmentalist picture" is absurd. If anything, the media has done the public a grave disservice by NOT accurately reporting the risks of climate change. After all, their advertisers have a vested interest in business as usual. Here's an exerpt from an article published two years ago on the website:

"In our study called "Balance as Bias: Global Warming and the U.S. Prestige Press"—presented at the 2002 Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change in Berlin and published in the July 2004 issue of the journal Global Environmental Change —we analyzed articles about human contributions to global warming that appeared between 1988 and 2002 in the U.S. prestige press: the New York Times , Washington Post , Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal .

Using the search term "global warming," we collected articles from this time period and focused on what is considered "hard news," excluding editorials, opinion columns, letters to the editor and book reviews. Approximately 41 percent of articles came from the New York Times , 29 percent from the Washington Post , 25 percent from the Los Angeles Times , and 5 percent from the Wall Street Journal .

From a total of 3,543 articles, we examined a random sample of 636 articles. Our results showed that the majority of these stories were, in fact, structured on the journalistic norm of balanced reporting, giving the impression that the scientific community was embroiled in a rip-roaring debate on whether or not humans were contributing to global warming.

More specifically, we discovered that:

53 percent of the articles gave roughly equal attention to the views that humans contribute to global warming and that climate change is exclusively the result of natural fluctuations.

35 percent emphasized the role of humans while presenting both sides of the debate, which more accurately reflects scientific thinking about global warming.

6 percent emphasized doubts about the claim that human-caused global warming exists, while another 6 percent only included the predominant scientific view that humans are contributing to Earth's temperature increases.

Through statistical analyses, we found that coverage significantly diverged from the IPCC consensus on human contributions to global warming from 1990 through 2002. In other words, through adherence to the norm of balance, the U.S. press systematically proliferated an informational bias."

Here's the address for anyone who would care to read the article in its entirety:

Edited by EarthDweller on 12/30/2006 11:54:24 MST.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Michael Crichton on 12/30/2006 12:27:40 MST Print View

Noooo!!!! Michael Crichton again!!! I was really, REALLY hoping we were done with him.
It's like calling George Clooney in as an "expert witness" on a medical malpractice suit because he once played a doctor.
It's also intellectual fraud.
Well stated responses Erin and Ernie!

Edited by xnomanx on 12/30/2006 12:34:49 MST.

Jay Draiman
(yjdmd1) - F

Locale: West coast


In order to insure energy and economic independence as well as better economic growth without being blackmailed by foreign countries, our country, the United States of America’s Utilization of Energy sources must change.
"Energy drives our entire economy." We must protect it. "Let's face it, without energy the whole economy and economic society we have set up would come to a halt. So you want to have control over such an important resource that you need for your society and your economy."
Our continued dependence on fossil fuels could and will lead to catastrophic consequences.

The federal, state and local government should implement a mandatory renewable energy installation program for residential and commercial property on new construction and remodeling projects with the use of energy efficient material, mechanical systems, appliances, lighting, etc. The source of energy must by renewable energy such as Solar-Photovoltaic, Geothermal, Wind, Biofuels, etc. including utilizing water from lakes, rivers and oceans to circulate in cooling towers to produce air conditioning and the utilization of proper landscaping to reduce energy consumption.

The implementation could be done on a gradual scale over the next 10 years. At the end of the 10 year period all construction and energy use in the structures throughout the United States must be 100% powered by renewable energy.

In addition, the governments must impose laws, rules and regulations whereby the utility companies must comply with a fair “NET METERING” (the buying of excess generation from the consumer), including the promotion of research and production of “renewable energy technology” with various long term incentives and grants. The various foundations in existence should be used to contribute to this cause.

A mandatory time table should also be established for the automobile industry to gradually produce an automobile powered by renewable energy. The American automobile industry is surely capable of accomplishing this task.

This is a way to expedite our energy independence and economic growth. It will take maximum effort and a relentless pursuit of the private, commercial and industrial government sectors commitment to renewable energy – energy generation (wind, solar, hydro, biofuels, geothermal, energy storage (fuel cells, advance batteries), energy infrastructure (management, transmission) and energy efficiency (lighting, sensors, automation, conservation) in order to achieve our energy independence.

Jay Draiman
Northridge, CA. 91325

P.S. I have a very deep belief in America's capabilities. Within the next 10 years we can accomplish our energy independence, if we as a nation truly set our goals to accomplish this.
I happen to believe that we can do it. In another crisis--the one in 1942--President Franklin D. Roosevelt said this country would build 60,000 [50,000] military aircraft. By 1943, production in that program had reached 125,000 aircraft annually. They did it then. We can do it now.
The American people resilience and determination to retain the way of life is unconquerable and we as a nation will succeed in this endeavor of Energy Independence.

Lorraine Pace
(SowthEfrikan) - F
You are kidding me on 12/31/2006 08:22:15 MST Print View

Just a cursory glance at, with it's focus on WalMart and Hugo Chavez - who is being painted as a dictator - tells the story. Not to mention lines like the media licking the hands that feed them.

So the bottom line IS we are destroying the earth, and we are all going to die! (But the good news is that we can save ourselves, too).


Ernie Elkins

Locale: North Carolina
Re: You are kidding me on 12/31/2006 10:54:56 MST Print View

Hmmm...that response doesn't surprise me. After all, why bother with facts of your own when you can create a nice diversion by attacking the credibility of the messenger. In fact, you didn't even do that fairly -- you just dismissed because they write about Wal-Mart and Hugo Chavez. You didn't provide any evidence whatsoever that the study in question was flawed or incorrect, nor did you offer alternative studies that prove your own point.

As to your comment about "destroying the earth," once again your conduct is (not surprisingly) quite juvenile. Are we destroying the earth? I doubt it -- life on earth will most likely survive anything we do to it. Are we in danger of changing the earth's climate in ways that will make life extremely difficult for future generations? The scientific consensus is that this is real possibility. That's it in a nutshell.

So, if you'd like to continue this discussion, please start by providing some well-documented alternative evidence that, unlike speeches from Michael Crichton, hasn't been thoroughly debunked.

mark henley
(flash582) - F
Re: Re: Re: But ... what about the good things? on 12/31/2006 23:21:37 MST Print View

No .... we just have to eat the cheeseburgers faster!

mark henley
(flash582) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: But ... what about the good things? on 01/01/2007 00:12:30 MST Print View

Some great points made by all.

Is global warming actually happening?

Can man actually have an impact on global warming or is man's influence simply a drop in the bucket compared to other factors such as natural climate shifts over time, volcanic activity, ect.

I don't pretend to know the answers. In fact ... I don't believe that anyone KNOWS at this point. I'm an engineer by training .. sort of a "aplications science major" so to speak, or someone who utilizes science to make things work. As such, my question would be this ... what is a Theory but a SWAG backed up by emperical evidence?

5000 years ago Man believed that Stars in the sky were nothing more than lights in the sky. People were running around yelling that the world was going to end because the Gods were punishing everyone because man was bad.

500 years ago everyone was convinced that the world was flat and was the center of the universe. The world was going to end because Man was bad and were living bad lives.

50 years ago, it was believed that smoking wasn't bad for you and that the world was going to end because man was stupid and was going to push the button, ie, the world was going to end because of what man was doing.

Today ... Meat bad, Carbs bad, Fat bad, Sex bad, drinking bad, and guess what, man is still bad and the world is going to end because of something that man is doing.

The point is that I keep hearing that the world as we know it will end because I drive my car to work every morning, like to read by electric light instead of moonlight, and have a cheeseburger every once and a while. I don't doubt that there is a real issue in there somewhere, but frankly I'm sick and tired of some talking head on TV telling me Oh S**T, were all gonna die if we don't drink the right kind of soda or have the correct cell phone provider.

So ... I will conceed the point that there are people in this world who are both smarter and better educated than I.

I will also conceed the point that Man, in his arrogance, hasn't taken very good stewardship over this wonderful world that we live in.

I will also give on the point that man is a big self destructive by nature.

But ... you must give in on the point that what the public is suffering from is simple Information Overload!

To that end .... a few definitions:

Money .... a method of transfering units of work or effort.

Economics ... the study of how individuals, groups, and populations expend their work's value.

Politics .... the science of how people interact in groups and populations.

Everything is Economics or Politics when your talking groups or populations of people. Additionally , each fuels the other ... economics fuels politics because of taxes, dues, or other funds collected for the common good of the group. Politics fuels economics because everyone has a vested interest in how common funds are expended.

The media is a poor messenger for science.

Many scientists have difficulty working within economics and politics, and therefore rely on the media to influence the public at large to place political pressure on governments so that the government will expend economic resources on the issues they present.

Perhaps our educational system should include more training in econ and poli sci in masters and doctorate programs irregardless of specialty, including a mandatory media/public relations course?

Lorraine Pace
(SowthEfrikan) - F
It's 2007 and we can still save the world on 01/01/2007 07:39:50 MST Print View

Erin, I am not a scientist, and you want ME to produce evidence? The world truly is doomed.

You totally disregard the point that we simply DO NOT UNDERSTAND what is happening with the planet, provide as a citation, and then skitter into the personal. Sounds like I stepped on your toes. Ouch.

Don't you think biased messengers bring bias, or do they suddenly switch into neutral? Who funds anyway? Poor debunked Michael Crichton, you may remember, cited Science and Nature (journals written by scientists). Not That is probably where he made his great mistake.

BTW, in the paper today, the link talks about using fossil fuels and the extinction of species (we destroying the earth and are all going to die!). What was that about alarmist predicitions, anyway?

Dr Hansen said: "We just cannot burn all the fossil fuels in the ground. If we do, we will end up with a different planet.

"I mean a planet with no ice in the Arctic, and a planet where warming is so large that it's going to have a large effect in terms of sea level rises and the extinction of species."

The good news, however (we can still save ourselves), is ...

"The warning, from Professor Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, was one of four sobering predictions from senior scientists and forecasters that 2007 will be a crucial year for determining the response to global warming and its effect on humanity."

Turn off your power now. It's not too late. It's 2007.

The only thing I would add to your post, Mark, is that humans in their arrogance really think they are more powerful than the planet on which they live.

Shawn Basil
(Bearpaw) - F

Locale: Southeast
Why I Hike....... on 01/01/2007 10:52:54 MST Print View

You know, when I taught for NOLS I always felt good about helping young adults see true wilderness so they would appreciate its value and work to defend it when they heard about opening up that area for drilling. Almost none of my students were hippies - a NOLS course costs way too much. But most all of them left with an appreciation of what the natural world has to offer. I never needed to lecture or cajole. The process was natural.

I think that sums up the whole essence of backpacking.

I backpack to get away from people telling me how to live my life. And let the backcountry remind me of what it means to simply live.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Impact on the earth on 01/01/2007 12:36:59 MST Print View

As I am reading these threads it becomes obvious that there are a few different generations of age groups that tend to agree - disagree with each other.
As all the nano gear comes out better and lighter, the impact on buying each new gadget seems to lesson as the age groups get younger.

There seems to be a point in time among Americans aged in there mid 20's and younger that they or many of there friends were raised by the Internet and/or Play station.

As the younger are more irregardless to the impact needing all this gadgetry has, you must realize that wanting something doesn’t make it there’s. This gear was bought by most of those older generation adults, but they would rather submit than hear there kid crying/nagging about it all the time.

Every generation has to out due the other. I believe the coming generation will fell it is necessary to have a cell phone and computer by the time they can talk and know how to ask for one.

It’s hard to take a stand on these issues, but impossible to dismiss them. The good ol US of A in a whole will never take a step back to help the world.

If you want to take a stand, we have to start with convincing the next generation to do with out.

Ernie Elkins

Locale: North Carolina
Re: It's 2007 and we can still save the world on 01/01/2007 16:02:11 MST Print View


I'm not asking you to go out and conduct scientific studies on global warming; I'm merely requesting that you support your claims with documented evidence. Instead, your approach seems to be to brush off any evidence that I cite by saying "we're all going to die. LOL!" or to claim that my sources are "biased."

As for the story that you did reference, I'm not sure that it proves what you think it does. Does it prove that the writer at the Independent accurately represented the facts as leading scientists see them? Yes it does. As the study I cited makes clear, roughly a third of the newspaper articles they looked at DID accurately report the reality as scientists see it. Does it prove that scientists are being alarmist? No it doesn't. For them to be alarmists, they would need to be exaggerating the dangers -- I'm inclined to agree with the consensus of scientists who say that they are not. Since you don't agree, I invite you (once again) to provide some evidence to support your position.

As for Michael Crichton's citations from scientific journals, the Boston Globe article that I referenced makes it pretty clear that those citations were in fact distortions. So, unless you have evidence otherwise, let's please remove Mr. Crichton the discussion.

Finally, I'm not disregarding the point that we don't fully understand what's happening with the planet. Of course we don't. I'm not claiming that we do. But I am claiming that a consensus of scientists who understand these issues better than you or I feel strongly that the evidence points to a likely shift in global climate if we continue business as usual, and that this shift could dramatically alter the world as we know it in the relatively near future.


BTW -- you never responded to my rebuttal to your claim that the ozone hole was caused by solar activity. Are you conceding the point, or do you have contrary evidence that you simply haven't shared?

Edited by EarthDweller on 01/01/2007 16:09:42 MST.