Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Climate Change Review 4 of 4: Skeptics, Campaigning, Reports and The Rest


Are you a climate skeptic? Explain your reasoning and read some replies to the most common points of skepticism from Scientific America. Ok so by the fact you are reading this blog you probably aren't a climate skeptic but you most likely have spoken to one or two; to make these conversations more effective you might like to read some of the links provided by World Changing. Another interesting article on marketing Global Warming' can be read here, this is a very interesting article that makes a few very good points. Alternatively you may like to just ignore these skeptics, as suggested by Grist.

Reports/Feature Articles
World Changing continues to provide interesting reading. An interesting book for any of you concerned with sustainable cities is "Alternative Urban Futures".

Cities hold the key to a sustainable future. If we can build bright green
urban communities -- cities with compact neighborhoods, pedestrian-friendly
streets, smart places, green buildings, effective transportation and natural
systems that intertwine with the built environment -- we suddenly gain a huge
lever with which we can roll over a variety of other problems, from energy and
water use to consumption and waste. Exploring how to do this has been a major
thread on Worldchanging from the beginning.
Wired news has a green issue including a fascinating interview with Al Gore. This is a fascinating issue and highly recommended, its take on technology is particularly interesting

"How tech is dragging environmentalism out of the anti-business, anti-consumer
stone age."
Technology is certainly a powerful force in American society, and indeed to a lesser degree, across the whole developed world. Technology per se cannot possibly provide us with the emissions reductions required over the coming 50 years, I say this not as a Ludite but as a realist, there have been numerous models looking at what is required and technology per se is only one part of this, due to the rate of change required we also need behavioral change. However, technology can act as a catalyst, I certainly see it as possible that high technology will provide a change in societal values...'extreme' efficiency may become asperational as a result of its association with leading edge technology, this change in perception may play an important role in encouraging more considerate use of energy.

Most of you will be aware of the almost directly proportionate relationship between GDP and Energy usage. But are you using GDP as a metric for development? Two problems with this, firstly the relation only holds strongly for low levels of GDP where each dollar makes a huge difference in terms of health and basic education. Secondly(just as an aside) ever wondered why we are dealing with GROSS domestic product, not NET? The reason is that this is far easier to measure, the problem is that it is really bad accounting, many countries have far lower NDP than GDP.

The rest

Interested in a few random articles that I thought where to good to leave out but not easy to label? Bellow is a small selection of such articles.

Climate Change Action

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At 8:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You could consider me a skeptic. I'm a realist. I believe there is global warming, but I'm not convinced that humans have such an influence as is reported. The biggest problem for me is the truth. Where is it? As with most topics of discussion, there's a pro side and a con side. There's no middle ground. I believe Al Gore is sincere about global warming. But, as far as I can tell, the Carter Administration did more for the environment in four years than the Clinton Administration did in eight years. In the 1970's, there was a fear of a global cooling. Studies have shown that the earth's mean temperature was rising faster prior to the 1950's as compared to after 1950. Humans have been accurately forecasting the weather only for the last 140 years. In geologic time, that's nothing. How can we base global warming only on 140 years of accurate forecasting? What about reports that colonial america was colder than today? Or the Middle Ages was warmer than today. And what about the melting icecaps. A book I read on mass extinctions throughtout geologic time proves anytime the ocean levels rise (which is the case with melting polar icecaps) biodiversity increases. Isn't that a good thing for the environment? In a certain way, this shows hypocrisy on some environmentalists point of view, in which the welfare of the planet is more important than human welfare. The only downside to raising of ocean levels is that people living on the shorelines of continents would have to move or die to avoid the water. Again, this topic has too much to do with politics. As a realist, a scientist and a historian I want to know the facts, not someones agenda. The world is very old and, contrary to popular opinion, can survive without humans. Even if we've permanently harmed the atmosphere with CO2 and CFC's, the world will continue to turn and LIFE will go on.

An American


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