- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Frenchy has news articles he read from free-marketeers; they must be true!

Posted by: Farinata ( L'inferno ) on December 29, 1999 at 11:55:21:

In Reply to: Envirowackos, or, Extra!! Extra!! Read all about it!! posted by Frenchy on December 27, 1999 at 13:43:04:

: Global climate contortionists

: Michael Fumento

Like MDG says, not a promising start. What's next, a paediatric column by King Herod?

: Likewise, an annotated map in the fall issue of the Natural Resources Defense Council magazine, Amicus Journal, makes the same claims. Yet both are merely tricks, by tricksters who are not overly bright.

No they're not. They're demonstrable by Boltzmann's Law; if you put more energy into a gaseous system, you get a greater number of molecules with kinetic energy above the critical temperatures for various atmospheric reactions.

This is known and demonstrated physics and has been for the last 150 years.

: For example the NET ad tacitly admits that things like hurricanes and heat waves are nothing new, but says that "severe weather event costs in the 1990s were three times more than a decade ago."
: In other words, weather extremities should be measured in dollars. That's awfully convenient for NET, considering the effect of inflation and of ever-increasing building in hurricane and flood zones.

Not so. Typically, the costs of cleanup are counted in dollars, since it costs money to clean up; but as groups like the International Red Cross said, "More major natural disasters occurred in 1998 than in any other year on record."

Look, no dollars...

(And, for the record, this year is set to top last year.)

: But what if we use fatalities as a measurement? Suddenly things don't look so bad these days.
(cutting out various examples)

These are limited to the USA only. That just tells us that modern-day USA has better defences against natural disasters than it did 100 years ago; tell us something that isn't obvious.


: Nor is it just heat events that NRDC uses as evidence of global warming. Believe it or not, go straight above Edmonton on the map and you'll find an annotation declaring, "Heavy snowfall and freezing rains have helped reduce Peary Caribou from 24,000 to as few as 1,000, 1961-1997."

This isn't silly at all; global warming doesn't stop localised cooling. If global warming causes the Atlantic Conveyer to switch off, then the climate of Western Europe is going to cool down a lot; the UK and Ireland are going to start resembling Newfoundland in general climate; which will result in the destruction of a lot of the UK's agriculture.

Since London is one of the major world markets, it's naive to assume that this won't have severe knock-on effects throughout the world.

: Some of the annotations are so ambiguous as to be meaningless. In "Central England," it says, "cold days rarer, 1772 to present." Why 1772 as the comparison date?

Because that's the date thorough daily records are kept from. Compare the US, which only has reliable data going back to 1880.

: Some of the alleged weather events have nothing apparent to do with weather at all, such as a reference to butterfly species shifting their habitats. Rain is weather;insect movement isn't.

Frenchy, you've really managed to pick up a boneheaded source here; he can't tell the difference between weather and climate.

Fact; animal species are sensitive to climate changes; especially ones that interfere with their normal living. Which is why there aren't many Atlantic cod any more; they're retreating to more northerly waters.

: The only pattern here is no pattern. The NRDC picks whatever it believes serves its purpose and ignores everything else.

Says the man who cited any number of small American events and ignored the global trends.

: Yet the ultimate problem with both the NET and the NRDC games is that both substitute "weather" for "climate." Florida's climate, for example, is officially labeled "subtropical," but it occasionally has days of frost. If the climate were changing as a whole, you'd be seeing
: true patterns in climate change, not the mishmash of unusual weather events the environmentalists present.

*sigh*

Day-to-day, or even week-to-week weather is short-term and chaotic. So occasionally you will get frost in Florida or snow in Spain; it doesn't alter the fact that the overall trend is for warming.

Weather is highly variable in the short term; but the total amount of latent heat in the system on a long-term basis shapes the short-term weather patterns.

: When it comes to weather, the unusual is usual.

The higher the temperature goes, the more that applies; putting more energy into the thermodynamic system results in more extreme events.

:"Global average yearly temperatures have risen about one degree Fahrenheit since 1900 a mere blip in the eyes of your weather forecaster," states the NRDC below

Actually, as the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), UK Meteorological Office and US National Oceanic and Atmsopheric Administration (NOAA) stated in a recent letter, the global mean surface temperature has risen by 0.5 degrees C (~1 F) since 1976; rather more severe than your source thinks, Frenchy.

(the rest is just dross)

Consider this joint statement by the three largest atmospheric research bodies in the world;

"Articles in the US press imply that the global warming threat is being oversold, by citing particular examples of short-term natural changes. But the overall pattern of recent short-term changes in in fact consistent with scientists' projections of the impacts of global climate change."

Frenchy, please do some basic reading on the subject and educate yourself - don't rely on the half-cocked statements of a deus ex machina just because you like the noises he makes.

I don't know what you do as a job; but you're probably much better at it than I would be, since I don't have the training. As such, my butting in and insisting that you were doing it all wrong would be foolish of me; I'm not qualified to comment on your areas of expertise.

This cuts both ways; you don't appear to have the discrimination to tell when a free-marketeer is spouting junk science in the face of all the evidence.

I'm not telling you to respect my authority, as Eric Cartman would put it, merely to try boning up on a bit of atmospheric physics yourself. Read around the subject. Examine the data. Then trying making your mind up.

Farinata.


Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup