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Justin Spencer

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One of the problems with debates like is that the facts always get distorted to fit an agenda. That just fuels the speculation from both sides of issue. Basically, it makes it difficult to find good unbiased information these days.

Global warming, conservation/environmental issues, and alternative fuels/green energy all blend together to me. We find a better/cleaner source of fuel we fix many of the environmental issues we face and probably a lot of the political ones as well. I think people on both sides of the global warming debate would ultimately benefit.

As far the decrease in snow lately (I took a few meteorology classes in college)and statistically speaking the 70's and early 80's was a much higher than average period for snowfall. I couldn't locate any information through a quick google search, but I am pretty sure I am remembering it correctly. Anyway, anyone remember this storm http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lsx/?n=01_31_82. Good times.

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What is absurd is the amount of damage we (humans) have already done to destroy this planet.

What is absurd is that there are some among us that are so stubborn that they do not want to try to fix the mess we made.

What he said.

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you have good points, but equally opposed by the fact that if you leave something alone the earth cleanses itself. look at how fast things are overtaken when left alone. If EVERYONE on the planet disappeared the earth would be back to the way it was within a century(which is a tiny blip in the life of the earth).

You've got a valid point -- that the earth is self-cleansing. But, a century to clean it all up? I think that's probably optimistic. Lots of the stuff we've created is gonna last a heck of a lot longer than that. Anybody drink their coffee this morning out of a styrofoam cup or use a plastic fork on your Big Breakfast ™? And that's just stuff I can get my head around. Who knows what the local ABC or XYZ plant is burping up? I don't mind the self-cleansing argument -- unless it's used as an excuse to pollute. That's the mentality that leads people to just dump stuff in the river.

As for snowfall and such -- a decade or two is just too short a span to really reach a conclusion. Sure, I remember more snow when I was a kid, but I always figured that's because we had a ball when it snowed. Much more memorable than just another day at Three Trails Elementary.

We had an ice age up to about 10,000 years ago. The 'Little Ice Age' up to about 150 years ago; Dust Bowl in the 1930s; midwest drought of the 1990s. It's all over the board, all over the world. But why spend all our effort debating the statistics, when we know that what we're doing is having a negative impact?

We've made big messes, and we've also cleaned a lot of them up. Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, EPA etc. have had a major impact. Are they perfect? Hell no. Are there still problems? Hell yes. Are we too slow in reacting most times? Yep. Does that mean we shouldn't try?

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you have good points, but equally opposed by the fact that if you leave something alone the earth cleanses itself. look at how fast things are overtaken when left alone. If EVERYONE on the planet disappeared the earth would be back to the way it was within a century(which is a tiny blip in the life of the earth).

But the point is that we AIN'T leaving it alone. We continue to throw up more crap into the atmosphere, cut down rain forests, etc. And our numbers keep growing.

And just because nature is USUALLY able to fix itself more or less when we DO get smart enough to let it do so, that doesn't mean nature can ALWAYS clean up after us. There is such a thing as tipping points, times in which the cumulative effects get bad enough that things change permanently. IF...not certain it will happen but there is evidence it might...temperatures reach a certain point, then the earth changes to a place that is much less hospitable to not only humans but to a lot of other species.

An analogy I use is my capacity for beer. I can go and drink two beers after playing basketball. Quenches my thirst, without making me feel the least bit impaired. But if I drink that third one, I start feeling a little different. If I dared drink a fourth one, I'd be a complete idiot to drive home. Three is my tipping (tipsy) point. And most things, including the earth, are bound to have tipping points. Sure the earth would survive under a runaway warming scenario, and eventually it might fix itself. But in the meantime, we humans, and most of the other lives on earth, would suffer even if they survived. If we and they didn't survive, eventually evolution would develop replacements...but that doesn't do US much good.

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I don't think we've had a "major" impact on the climate. How do you quantify major anyway? More than 50% (as in majority), or major meaning statistically significant (as in 2-10%)?? My gut tells me we are very, very small factors, near the statistically insignificant end of the spectrum . . . . when compared to major factors like ice ages, volcanoes/seismic activity, sun spots/solar flares, magnetic/polarity changes on our own planet.

Still, I care about the environment just because I know I should. Reasons of sustainability, our health, and just preserving our wild places around the globe for our own enjoyment if nothing else, and reducing waste just makes a lot of sense. Those things matter. Worrying myself about a .5 degree fahrenheit average temp increase over the last 20 years seems kinda silly, and I ain't gonna make myself feel guilty about it. Averages will always be trending one direction or the other.

Global Warming is one of those overly broad and vague phrases that means so many different things to different people. Kinda like the "War on Terror". What is that? It sure sounds bad doesn't it? I'm definitely opposed to terror and man-made warming, but so what?

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The scary thing, the point that Al brings up, is if we reach a tipping point where warming climate becomes irreversible (at least in our lifetimes). But that seems to be how we do things in this country, we wait until it's a crisis, then we scramble like rats to fix it.

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The American Fisheries Society released a position statement on climate change today. Their position is in line with 97% of climate scientists and almost every scientific organization in the world that has taken a position on this issue.

American Fisheries Society issues policy statement on Climate Change

Bethesda, MD - The effects of global climate change on fisheries-and the

steps needed for successful adaptation to these effects-are the basis of a

new policy statement issued by the American Fisheries Society.

AFS emphasizes that successful adaptation also requires long-term monitoring

of sensitive indicators, predictive modeling, and adaptive management,

whereby the consequences of climate change and other stressors are detected

early, and appropriate responses or adaptations can be implemented and

continually evaluated. These adaptive measures should include:

. Water conservation measures, support, and sustainable use

. Decisions in which water priorities are constructed through

careful evaluation of market demands, weighed against the potential impacts

to sustainability of fisheries and aquatic habitats

. Continued research and monitoring of climate change

. Captive propagation of imperiled native fish species

. Resiliency of aquatic ecosystems, thereby increasing their ability

to withstand the many stressors associated with local impacts

An adaptive management framework to cope with uncertainty; policy and

management decisions using precautionary principles (e.g., decisions that

are deliberately conservative); and including a strong evaluation component.

The statement includes recommendations on what needs to be done in

addressing climate change and its effects. These recommendations include:

. Proceeding with emission reductions with no delay

. Reductions in anthropogenic sources of carbon dioxide and other

greenhouse gases.

. Economic mitigation options that indirectly or directly assist

with water conservation practices and watershed protection of policies and

laws that support wise and sustainable use.

. Integrating efforts to manage both fish and wildlife habitats.

(Developing partnerships with overlapping interests on shared concerns will

increase overall effectiveness, and temper uncertainty of difficult

decisions.)

. Encouraging education efforts aimed at federal and state agencies

and the private sector about the general effects of climate change to our

aquatic ecosystems. This would ensure the transparency of the principles and

practices employed for either mitigation or adaptation responses to climate

change in fisheries.

. Encouraging the implementation of national, regional, and local

monitoring programs to evaluate the effects of climate change in fisheries.

. Encouraging research activities to characterize climate effects in

marine, arctic and freshwater systems, reduce ecosystem stressors, and

optimize harvest quota for commercial fisheries stocks.

. Supporting provisions of dedicated funding for climate legislation

that would provide for conservation of fish, water and other natural

resources affected by climate change.

About AFS:

The American Fisheries Society, founded 1870, is the world's oldest and

largest fisheries science society, with more than 9,000 members worldwide.

Its mission is to improve the conservation and sustainability of fishery

resources and aquatic ecosystems by advancing fisheries and aquatic science

and promoting the development of fisheries professionals.

To obtain a copy of the policy statement visit

www.fisheries.org/afs/docs/policy_change.pdf

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I don't think we've had a "major" impact on the climate. How do you quantify major anyway? More than 50% (as in majority), or major meaning statistically significant (as in 2-10%)?? My gut tells me we are very, very small factors, near the statistically insignificant end of the spectrum . . . . when compared to major factors like ice ages, volcanoes/seismic activity, sun spots/solar flares, magnetic/polarity changes on our own planet.

Brian Pielke (EDIT: excuse me, that's Roger Pielke, not Brian Pielke) at the University of Colorado answers your question by estimating that greenhouse effect is responsible for about 25% of temperature variability on the planet. But really, that doesn't answer your real quesion at all. 25% of the control over global temperature variability is plenty enough to do us real harm.

If 25% of people have diabetes, why ignore it because 35% of people are going to die from cancer, especially when you've already got an infection in your foot? The chances the Yellowstone caldera will blow up enough to affect the climate in 100 years is small. The chances the planet will warm tremendously over that time frame because of greenhouse gases is very, very high.

Will the effects be major? One good way to quantify "major" is by the impacts on human societies. In a study based on predicted changes,in the Caribbean Basin, they expect to be spending 5% of their GDP cleaning up from climate effects by 2025. That number will be 21% by 2100. 45% of the resorts in the Caribbean will be underwater within 100 years. In the Albert Pike campground (where I often vacationed as a child) that 13 inch rain that killed all those people this summer took a pretty heavy toll too.

In Belize where I work, almost all of the coastal communities are already losing their beaches and there are already neighborhoods in standing water. Sea level rise is projected to be 0.5 to 1.2 meters over the next 100 years, yet people from the US are still building vacation homes less than 0.5 meter above the high tide mark.

The adaptive approach simply anticipates and side-steps emerging problems like that...

...but as long as people who think scientists are out to get them are driving the conversation, there are going to be a lot of nice vacation houses underwater in the years ahead.

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Who is Brian Pielke? And what exactly does he say about the "greenhouse effect"? What percentage of the "greenhouse effect" is directly attributable to human activities?

The question about quantifying major wasn't related to whether the EFFECTS will be major. The original question was, did human activities play a major ROLE in global warming.

If you got the cash to build a beach house .5 meters above high tide, then you got the cash to pay an insurance company big bucks to insure it against loss (I'm thinking a hurricane or small storm) would get it before rise in sea level.

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An analogy I use is my capacity for beer. I can go and drink two beers after playing basketball. Quenches my thirst, without making me feel the least bit impaired. But if I drink that third one, I start feeling a little different. If I dared drink a fourth one, I'd be a complete idiot to drive home. Three is my tipping (tipsy) point. And most things, including the earth, are bound to have tipping points. Sure the earth would survive under a runaway warming scenario, and eventually it might fix itself. But in the meantime, we humans, and most of the other lives on earth, would suffer even if they survived. If we and they didn't survive, eventually evolution would develop replacements...but that doesn't do US much good.

I love your analogy, however it proves my point. If you drink 4 drinks and stop, or 6 drinks and stop, in 8 hours you will be back to normal, like you havent had a drink.

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