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I like nature- I am a dirty, crunchy, organic-eating, bike-riding hippie.
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Steve .
(pappekak) - F

Locale: Tralfamadore
Re: not for swindle either on 03/15/2007 13:30:22 MDT Print View

George, I completely agree with what you wrote.

Edited by pappekak on 03/15/2007 13:31:14 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: not for swindle either on 03/15/2007 17:07:26 MDT Print View

George, me too. There's an interesting article in this week's N.Y. Times, Science Tuesday, about the scientific community's reaction to Gore's film. Some, predictably, dismiss it as overblown hype. The majority, however, applaud his effort, exaggerated though it may be, as exactly what is needed to shake the citizenry out of its complacency while there may still be time to avoid the worst of a number of possible scenarios for climate change.
Gore is, after all, a veteran politician and undoubtedly realizes that, without a mobilized citizenry it will be difficult to
make the necessary changes in our lifestyle that will be required. At least that seems to me to be what he is up to.

Lorraine Pace
(SowthEfrikan) - F
The great global warming swindle and Al Gore on 03/15/2007 17:48:57 MDT Print View

Ice core samples seem to confirm CO2 levels FOLLOW temperature rise, they do not precede it.

As for being dangerously unconcerned, it's more like asking dangerous questions that threaten the collapse of the theory behind global warming.

Questions, incidentally, that should be welcomed as an opportunity to prove the science and the theory. Why are they so unwelcome if everything is so settled? What is with the character assasination?

I find it interesting that those who publicly question are often those with already established careers like Nigel Weiss. Here’s the url to his observation that the world is about to enter a cooling period following a decrease in solar magnetic activity:

Let's take note of stories creeping out into the mainstream about how cooler temperatures are caused by some manufactured chemical or a quirk of global warming – anything but solar activity.

Fortunately there is a remarkably strong groundswell against what has been sold to us over the past decade or so. The truth is out there somewhere, and I am betting on the cosmos rather than little ol' man and his puny fumes.

The observation about the extremes in political dogma is astute but misses that Gore is a cheap attention seeker, his carbon footprint is huge, and his predictions have failed.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: The great global warming swindle and Al Gore on 03/15/2007 18:31:17 MDT Print View

Hi Lorraine,
I don't recall anything being said CO2 levels preceding temperature rise, at least not by me. I was referring to ice core samples that go back 600,000+ years. As to dangerous questions threatening the HYPOTHESIS underlying climate change, I am all for questions. Let the debate rage on. That is, in part, what science is about. If you read scientific reports on what scientist think they know at this point it is usually couched in terms of relative likelihood, not certainty. As for character assassination, none intended. What I do take issue with, however, is calling the work of thousands of scientists who have devoted years to studying the issue a "great global warming swindle". That, to me, is the real character assassination. Also, no scientific report I have ever come across refers to "global warming". They use the term "climate change", which allows for both cooling and warming. Finally, I would suggest you read this Tuesday's N.Y. Times, Science Tuesday, for an excellent article on how the scientific community views Mr. Gore. I personally feel you are doing Gore a great injustice, but that is your right.

Steve .
(pappekak) - F

Locale: Tralfamadore
Re: The great global warming swindle and Al Gore on 03/15/2007 19:30:11 MDT Print View

it's more like asking dangerous questions that threaten the collapse of the theory behind global warming.

Questions, incidentally, that should be welcomed as an opportunity to prove the science and the theory. Why are they so unwelcome if everything is so settled? What is with the character assasination?

The behavior is typical in science.

Physicists were sitting fat and happy at the beginning of the 1900s. They thought everything had been explained by Newton’s work, just a few odds and ends to tie up here and there. Then along came Einstein with the Theory of Relativity. Physicists thought he was a nut job but he shook the very foundations of physics.

The same is true with mathematicians. Physicists were using impulse functions (Dirac delta functions) to solve problems but the mathematicians didn’t like it because there wasn’t a solid foundation behind it. The physicists were happy because problems were being solved and mathematicians complained and ridiculed them until someone rediscovered the work of George Green and was able to lay a solid foundation behind the technique.

Edited by pappekak on 03/15/2007 19:32:07 MDT.

Christopher Chupka

Locale: NTX
Money makes the World go Round on 03/31/2007 10:01:21 MDT Print View

[i]Let me explain to you how this works: you see, the corporations finance Team America, and then Team America goes out... and the corporations sit there in their... in their corporation buildings, and... and, and see, they're all corporation-y... and they make money[/i]

Here is the deal with money. I'll not be ashamed I want more. I want more stuff for me, more for my family. I am making my house more energy efficent so my electric bills will be smaller. We have a nicer washing machine now that uses less water, requires less detergent, less electricty. At my economic level, middle class, does not create more worries.

Just bought a new Toyota with better gas mileage, with my more money, and does not leak oil. Repaired the majority of plumbing in my house so it does not leak, to save money (wife complains less also). Will re-insulate attic next month, to save money.

Money is a good thing. Corporations want more so they produce more effecient eveything. Corporations in a hundred years, if population growth continues, just might be the only thing that will be able to feed this world. And if that is the case they will develop a way to do it as efficiently as possible without destroying the ground, water, or air that their money grows from.

There is just a lot of people on this planet, and they always don't do what we want. If you want to mobilize for something good, help the Indians develop better fuel than the animal dung that hung a black cloud over the indian ocean that is changing their weather patterns. Our the giant black cancer causing mess that hangs over 2/3 of China.

I remember driving into Denver as a kid and seeing the giant brown cloud that hung over it, late 70's.

Our air is better, our skies are clearer. It's the rest of the 3rd world that needs help.

Personally I purchase a lot of Patagonia gear, recycled, organic, 1% fund, etc. Been switching back to down insulation which is, what's the word, "environmentally reproducable" or something like that.

My views come from my CSCI degree in the Business department of a small private Baptist college, being Texan, assault rifle owning, voting republican, loving the outdoors, served 4 years in the 82nd (Army), National Guard now, and been a few places in the world I would rather not go back to.

Just my thoughts, kinda rambling though, sorry.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Money makes the World go Round on 03/31/2007 16:22:12 MDT Print View

Hi Chris,
A couple of observations: Most of the US cities I have visited recently have a brown cloud hanging over them, too.
Not as bad as, say, Calcutta or New Delhi, but bad enough to remind me that we've got a few problems of our own.
Also, as long as corporate America continues to depend increasingly on access to foreign markets and resources in 3rd world countries, a lot of our guys are going to be visiting places they'd rather not go (back) to. Iraq is just the beginning and I'd say it's a pretty sobering experience(or should be). These days I find myself wondering if it's not time to start rethinking our endless growth/consumption based economic system. Just my 2 cents worth.

Christopher Chupka

Locale: NTX
Agree on 03/31/2007 17:47:51 MDT Print View

[i]These days I find myself wondering if it's not time to start rethinking our endless growth/consumption based economic system[/i]

I agree 100%. It makes me wonder like others have stated if some ultralight equipment is too ultralight. Like BPL's inflatable pillows or the balloon beds.

The problem is spreading the ideas to the masses, like the plastic bags at Wal-Mart.

Ernie Elkins

Locale: North Carolina
Mountain Climbers Witness Global Warming on 04/07/2007 16:08:33 MDT Print View

I thought this story would be of particular interest to folks here at BPL...

Mountain Climbers Witness Global Warming

Saturday, April 7, 2007

BEND, Ore. - Mountaineers are bringing back firsthand accounts of vanishing glaciers, melting ice routes, crumbling rock formations and flood-prone lakes where glaciers once rose.

The observations are transforming a growing number of alpine and ice climbers, some of whom have scientific training, into eyewitnesses of global warming. Increasingly, they are deciding not to leave it to scientists to tell the entire story.

"I personally have done a bunch of ice climbs around the world that no longer exist," said Yvon Chouinard, a renowned climber and surfer and founder of Patagonia, Inc., an outdoor clothing and gear company that champions the environment. "I mean, I was aghast at the change."

Chouinard pointed to recent trips where the ice had all but disappeared on the famous Diamond Couloir of 16,897-foot Mount Kenya, and snow was absent at low elevations on 4,409-foot Ben Nevis, Britain's highest peak, in the Highlands of northwest Scotland. He sees a role for climbers in debating climate change, even if their chronicles are unscientific.

"Most people don't care whether the ice goes or not, the kind of ice that we climb on and stuff," he said. But climbers' stories, he added, can "make it personal, instead of just scientists talking about it. Telling personal stories might hit home to some people."

Alpine climbers are worrying about the loss of classic routes and potential new lines up mountains that are melting, from the Cascades in the Pacific Northwest and the Alps in Europe to the Andes in South America and the Himalaya in Asia.

Their anecdotes often reflect what science is finding, but with stories and pictures from places where most scientists aren't able to reach.

"As climbers we see these places, we go all over the world," Mark Bowen, a climber and physicist who wrote a book on climate and mountains, told the American Alpine Club at its annual meeting last week in Bend.

"We're in touch with the natural world like few people are. We can see the changes better than most people can," he said.

Scientists and diplomats at an international conference in Belgium predicted on Friday that global warming would turn many glaciers to lakes and cause rock avalanches because of frozen ground melting up high. People living in mountain areas can expect more risk of floods by glacial lakes.

Already, Switzerland's Matterhorn had to be closed to some climbing at times because of recent summer rockfall attributed to global warming and its Great Aletsch Glacier - Europe's largest - has retreated a couple miles from its peak of 14 miles in length in 1860. The Swiss Alps' icy soil that glues its rock faces together is thawing, causing instability.

At Montana's Glacier National Park, glaciers are vanishing like the storied snows of Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro. In South America, the great ice fields of Patagonia in Argentina and Chile are shrinking; Bolivia hopes to keep its only ski area open by using artificial snow as the Chacaltaya Glacier fades.

The glacier from which Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay made their first ascent of 29,035-foot Mount Everest in 1953 has retreated so much that mountaineers now walk hours longer to reach it. A mile-long lake replaced the glacier at 20,305-foot Island Peak in Nepal's Everest region.

Japanese mountaineer and explorer Tomatsu Nakamura, editor of the Japanese Alpine News, said climbers are seeing more melting and less snow and ice in the mountains of the eastern Himalaya, Tibet and Bhutan, home to many of the highest unclimbed peaks in the world.

Since the 1940s, when geologist Maynard Miller began conducting research on Alaska's vast Juneau Icefield, he has seen how global warming has affected glaciers studied in the longest continuous research program of any icefield system.

"We're going to be in one heck of a mess, I can guarantee that. We have mucked up the world's climate," said Miller, who was part of the 1963 expedition that got the first Americans to the summit of Mount Everest.

"Everything is changing, minute after minute, nothing is the same," he said. "Glaciers are extraordinarily sensitive indicators of climate change."


On the Net:

Mountain Research Initiative:

American Alpine Club:

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Mountain Climbers Witness Global Warming on 04/07/2007 17:29:58 MDT Print View

That was very interesting to read their firsthand accounts.

It will be interesting also to read Skurka's eyewithness observations during his Great Western Loop adventure.

Seems like the mountaineers and long distance hikers are the ones who really live the climate changes. These adventures are climate prophets.

Steve .
(pappekak) - F

Locale: Tralfamadore
Re: Mountain Climbers Witness Global Warming on 04/08/2007 08:38:17 MDT Print View

Thanks for sharing Ernie. I've seen pictures of the retreat in Glacier National Park and heard Switzerland has been experiencing serious mudslide/falling rock problems as a result of melting glaciers.

Pretty sad stuff.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Global warming evidence? on 04/08/2007 08:59:19 MDT Print View

Here in Japan, the lower terminus of the snow on Fujisan was 100 meters higher than its been in 30 years. Maybe a 30 year cycle, maybe not? Also much lower snowfall than the average thruout Japan. I could not get in a single day of ice climbing. :(

eric levine
(ericl) - F

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: I like nature- I am a dirty, crunchy, organic-eating, bike-riding hippie. on 04/08/2007 09:55:07 MDT Print View

A few fairly surprising responses for a crowd like this.

First, anthropogenic climate disruption is a recognized scientific reality. It's not up for discussion by serious people, at least since 1995.

Second, anyone who does not preach, educate, and practice environmentalism (whose cornerstone is the precautionary principle) does not in my opinion, belong on this site. Any enjoyment they derive from this planet is unearned and amounts to theft.

Edited by ericl on 04/08/2007 09:58:32 MDT.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: I like nature- I am a dirty, crunchy, organic-eating, bike-riding hippie. on 04/08/2007 10:45:32 MDT Print View

Hi Eric,

I agree with your first point- Global Warming is accepted as reality by the scientific community, and quite overwhelmingly. Any debate isn't a scientific debate, but a layman's debate that is propogated through politics and media. But in the worldwide scientific community (and most of the world's political community), this is a foregone conclusion.

I disagree with your second point though. For me, it's right to be an environmentalist (as much as I can in my 21st century U.S. context). I'm very aware of my carbon footprint and do what I can to minimize it. However, I love the differing opinions that occur on this site. Everyone is welcome, in my opinion.

And truth be told, if you drive to a trailhead, you aren't practicing sound environmentalism. If you live in an apartment in the city and use public transport, that's better. Or live on a subsistence commune, even better. But just having a computer, ordering UL gear through the mail, driving to the mountains, these all have impacts on the carbon footprint. It's all relative, really.

My 2 cents.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: I like nature- I am a dirty, crunchy, organic-eating, bike-riding hippie. on 04/08/2007 11:57:13 MDT Print View

Doug - And truth be told... yes those activities do have impacts but the knowledge available through this site also reduces our relative contribution.

By using a backpack for recreation rather than a gas guzzling RV, motor boat, or SUV, we help. By being well informed on clothing and sleeping options, we help by always require a heated or cooled environment for comfort.

john flanagan
(jackfl) - F

Locale: New England
Re: Re: I like nature- I am a dirty, crunchy, organic-eating, bike-riding hippie. on 04/09/2007 08:19:09 MDT Print View

Some observations - for what little they are worth. The way the thread topic topic is framed excludes a whole pile of folks...just a guess that most of us don't want to tagged as dirty and have (sadly) aged past crunchy. We do like nature, some of us probably eat organic, and I'm with you on the bike.

Eric - My guess is that the way you make your first point really P.Os Lorraine. Maybe that was your point? FWIW though, I agree that it is getting impossible to argue the science. Serious people are then left to figure out the path forward. That will involve science AND politics AND policy (not the same as politics) AND economics. It will involve lots of disagreement among serious people.

To your second point, its a rather undemocratic point of view isn't it? This is going to be messy. Lots of disagreement. It would be a lot neater if you could just exclude everyone with dissenting points of view from the party...if only we had a king of the world who happened to think just like me. (Oh wait...that hasn't gone so well in past attempts has it?)

To drop the sarcasm for a second, it is frustrating to perceive that the earth is in crisis and to be confronted with what seems to be persistent denial and foot dragging - I get that. However, dividing the world into those who are "OK" (i.e. agree with us) and those who are "Not OK" (i.e. don't agree with us) seems a terribly unproductive approach. It polarizes people and intensifies resistence rather than generating solutions.

Edited by jackfl on 04/09/2007 08:22:59 MDT.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: I like nature- I am a dirty, crunchy, organic-eating, bike-riding hippie. on 04/09/2007 20:56:26 MDT Print View

when is the air car going to be ready? articles a few years ago said march 2007.

uses air compression

a french company i think

if it works - it will change things.

if not something else will.

Lorraine Pace
(SowthEfrikan) - F
The real inconvenient truth - Camille Paglia, on 04/11/2007 17:01:33 MDT Print View

This was especially amusing coming from a liberal Dem.

As a native of upstate New York, whose dramatic landscape was carved by the receding North American glacier 10,000 years ago, I have been contemplating the principle of climate change since I was a child. Niagara Falls, as well as the even bigger dry escarpment of Clark Reservation near Syracuse, is a memento left by the glacier. So is nearby Green Lakes State Park, with its mysteriously deep glacial pools. When I was 10, I lived with my family at the foot of a drumlin -- a long, undulating hill of moraine formed by eddies of the ancient glacier melt.

Geology and meteorology are fields that have always interested me and that I might well have entered, had I not been more attracted to art and culture. (My geology professor in college, in fact, asked me to consider geology as a career.) To conflate vast time frames with volatile daily change is a sublime exercise, bordering on the metaphysical.

However, I am a skeptic about what is currently called global warming. I have been highly suspicious for years about the political agenda that has slowly accrued around this issue. As a lapsed Catholic, I detest dogma in any area. Too many of my fellow Democrats seem peculiarly credulous at the moment, as if, having ground down organized religion into nonjudgmental, feel-good therapy, they are hungry for visions of apocalypse. From my perspective, virtually all of the major claims about global warming and its causes still remain to be proved.

Climate change, keyed to solar cycles, is built into Earth's system. Cooling and warming will go on forever. Slowly rising sea levels will at some point doubtless flood lower Manhattan and seaside houses everywhere from Cape Cod to Florida -- as happened to Native American encampments on those very shores. Human habitation is always fragile and provisional. People will migrate for the hills, as they have always done.

Who is impious enough to believe that Earth's contours are permanent? Our eyes are simply too slow to see the shift of tectonic plates that has raised the Himalayas and is dangling Los Angeles over an unstable fault. I began "Sexual Personae" (parodying the New Testament): "In the beginning was nature." And nature will survive us all. Man is too weak to permanently affect nature, which includes infinitely more than this tiny globe.

I voted for Ralph Nader for president in the 2000 election because I feel that the United States needs a strong Green Party. However, when I tried to watch Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" on cable TV recently, I wasn't able to get past the first 10 minutes. I was snorting with disgust at its manipulations and distortions and laughing at Gore's lugubrious sentimentality, which was painfully revelatory of his indecisive, self-thwarting character. When Gore told a congressional hearing last month that there is a universal consensus among scientists about global warming -- which is blatantly untrue -- he forfeited his own credibility.

Environmentalism is a noble cause. It is damaged by propaganda and half-truths. Every industrialized society needs heightened consciousness about its past, present and future effects on the biosphere. Though I am a libertarian, I am a strong supporter of vigilant scrutiny and regulation of industry by local, state and federal agencies. But there must be a balance with the equally vital need for economic development, especially in the Third World.

Here's a terrible episode from my region that made the news just last year. A bankrupt thermometer factory in Franklin Township, N.J., vacated its building in 1994 but ignored a directive to clean the premises of residual mercury toxins. There was a total failure of oversight and follow-through at the state and local levels. The result: In 2004, a daycare center opened in the renovated building and for two years subjected children and pregnant women to a dangerously high level of mercury vapors from the contaminated site.

The degree of permanent health effects on those children is still unknown. This kind of outrageous negligence should not be tolerated in a civilized nation.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: The real inconvenient truth - Camille Paglia, on 04/11/2007 17:37:03 MDT Print View

This changes everything! Had I known that Camille Paglia was against global warming I would have never been led astray :). She very eloquently says little if anything about global warming and then, at the end, misdirects to some children and mothers exposed to mercury. What about the fathers, now that's the really tragedy! My sarcasm is directed at Camille, not you Loraine. Your previous posts have given me something to think about, this one gave me some mirth and that's valuable too.

Lorraine Pace
(SowthEfrikan) - F
Re: Re: The real inconvenient truth - Camille Paglia, on 04/11/2007 18:20:58 MDT Print View

No problem. So, liberal Democrats aren't in lockstep after all? Actually, I think she made the point about geology and climate change rather well, and her description of Gore was masterly. She also mentioned the environmentalism as a religion thang. Such fun. Who knew she had balls?