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Some people wonder how CO2 can have such a big influence on global warming since it is such a small part of the atmosphere -- only 0.04% (390 parts per million or ppm).  It turns out that CO2 is very efficient in trapping infrared radiation, which is better known as heat and it is transparent to visible radiation, which is better known as light.  This makes it an effective greenhouse gas.  But is it possible for something to have such a big impact when it is such a small percent of the atmosphere?  Since CO2 is transparent to light, it's hard to show it working (though with a bit of expensive equipment, it can be visualized).  So instead of using CO2, I have put together a demonstration using a material that is very effective in blocking light, even at extremely low concentrations... ink.

I've been striving to come up with ways for people to visualize the impacts of climate change.  Even though scientists are telling us we are heading for +5ºC (+9ºF), this information is not usually covered by the media and when it is, people don't react to it because it doesn't mean anything to them.  That's why I consider climate change to be the biggest psychology and marketing communications problem we have ever faced.

What suggestions do you have on how we can get people to understand the threat we are facing so that they demand that our leaders take action?  I think it's an important question.

Dan Miller

Originally posted to dannym999 on Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 11:39 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (208+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JD SoOR, SarahLee, Geenius at Wrok, RonV, badger, Snuffleupagus, maynard, PeterHug, RunawayRose, Robespierrette, simaramis, tacet, polecat, Sandy on Signal, freelunch, frisco, MarkInSanFran, mataliandy, hubcap, silence, Paulie200, housesella, Gustogirl, concernedamerican, raines, bronte17, 88kathy, BlackGriffen, srkp23, Agathena, RabidNation, buckeyekarl, otto, antirove, wader, IM, psnyder, Dr Colossus, leevank, Samer, Ready2fight, defluxion10, nika7k, hazzcon, jmknapp, side pocket, JayDean, jcrit, vacantlook, Schwede, Marc in KS, rapala, G2geek, humphrey, sd4david, sandblaster, marina, jrooth, greycat, David R, newfie, truong son traveler, Hind2, dewtx, orson, McMeier, John DE, GreyHawk, Little Lulu, onanyes, techno, deepsouthdoug, Land of Enchantment, cscanzoni, BlueInARedState, Hobbitfoot, A Siegel, Ashaman, arbiter, Crashing Vor, happy camper, armadillo, MarciaJ720, ER Doc, JugOPunch, profh, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, WarrenS, B Amer, DBunn, tonyfv, pgm 01, Cali Techie, Loudoun County Dem, dmh44, possum, ninkasi23, vets74, yoduuuh do or do not, Van Buren, FishOutofWater, NorthAndEast, dotcommodity, Cofcos, SJLeonidas, Jimdotz, DWG, Geek of all trades, jimotto, Seneca Doane, ubertar, Demi Moaned, Uberbah, Ken in Tex, millwood, journeyman, LWelsch, Zydekos, BasharH, rmonroe, Argyrios, mamamedusa, elwior, skohayes, Cat Servant, slapper95, lineatus, Akonitum, jamess, mikeconwell, geomoo, home solar, ShempLugosi, mofembot, Seamus D, petulans, huntergeo, luckylizard, Karl Rover, Nica24, In her own Voice, billmosby, forgore, LaFeminista, satanicpanic, Bule Betawi, Steve Everett, sustainable, greengemini, welso, maryabein, chikindolfin, notrouble, h bridges, velvet blasphemy, LibrErica, Daily Activist, Mercuriousss, elziax, bfitzinAR, Plubius, jfromga, davespicer, Randtntx, Leftcandid, French Imp, LookingUp, BigVegan, marabout40, patrickz, LaughingPlanet, marsanges, stunzeed, freeport beach PA, BonnieSchlitz, sullivanst, ItsSimpleSimon, axel000, NYWheeler, Unenergy, klingman, elengul, bvig, Bob Duck, Hopeful Skeptic, Wolf Of Aquarius, BlackQueen40, elektra, Treghas, marleycat, gater2112, muddy boots, rexymeteorite, dibsa, curtisgrahamduff, Archie2227, Dbug, Snarkalicious, skeptiq, just another vortex, sharedferret, PrometheusUnbound, chparadise, Dakit, Flying Goat, FireBird1, OHknighty, DixonCider
    •  you also hit a very good one at the end: (73+ / 0-)

      One blanket vs. two blankets.

      This is something people can immediately understand:

      "The blanket of CO2 in the atmosphere in pre-industrial times was exactly right for human society to evolve.  We're on track to double that blanket during our lifetimes.  If you don't think that's significant, try doubling the number of blankets on your bed and see if you can still get a good night's sleep."  

      Three sentences and an analogy that people will immediately grasp from their own experience.  

      •  This is why the arguments which come up (24+ / 0-)

        or should I say theories, that we had more atmospheric CO2 back 300,000 years ago and the Earth was covered in ice, are so blatantly dishonest.
        Fact is we have had 10,000 years where the Earths systems have been balanced enough for a species to be able to evolve to a level that it could engineer and impact its own environment.
        Mind you we have not evolved enough that our survival instinct is outdoing our willingness to believe our 'balanced' media and politicians who are working overtime to make sure no effort is taken to change direction to clean up the way we produce energy.

        Those folks who are trying to get in the way of progress - let me tell you, I'm just getting started. I don't quit. I'm not tired; I'm just getting started.

        by Unenergy on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 01:00:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  that's because..... (18+ / 0-)

          Our survival instincts are tuned to more obvious and immediate threats, we have no visceral understanding of the meaning of exponentials, and there are a bunch of unhelpful instincts around "feeding, fighting, and f---ing."

          •  And we have no visceral understanding of (14+ / 0-)


            Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning.

            by hestal on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 05:12:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  yes, good point. (5+ / 0-)

              Normally I include that in my rant about not getting exponentials but for some reason I forgot this time.  I must have a hole in my head:-)

            •  People deal with probability all the time (0+ / 0-)

              Which route do I take on my daily commute?  I listen to the traffic and weather reports before I start my drive and then may have to add in the probability of bad weather.  Then I need to decide whether the quickest route is the safest one or not.  I can ask: what's the riskiest:
              --taking the quick route (less traffic, but a 2-lane winding mountain road is involved and it's not as safe as the longer route if there's rain or snow) that gets me to work in time to meet with people who are arriving for an early conference?


              --taking the slower, wider highway that goes around the mountain and risk getting tied up in traffic and in trouble because I am delayed getting to the meeting?

              I then have to calculate the risks of each choice and decide whether to make a conservative decision or to try the path of greater uncertainty and perhaps more problems.

              So humans tend to be wired to weigh probabilities like this all the time.  We are not so wired to plan ahead in order to make sure that our grandchildren will have enough to eat by 2050 and that the marine life that produces 50% of the planet's oxygen will still be alive (this means drastically reducing the ocean's carbon dioxide uptake to stop acidification of seawater and extinction of marine organisms).  

              Even environmental organizations that profess to be worried about the impacts of global warming continue to promote fossil fuel combustion and to oppose GHG-free nuclear power.  Apparently they do not understand the risks involved with this foolish choice.

              Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

              by Plan9 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 10:41:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Traffic probabilities are based on experience. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                They are not based on visceral understanding.

                I spent my working life teaching and applying mathematics to real life situations and I saw it over and over, people do not have an intuitive feel for probabilities and they make mistakes all the time.

                If you want to see a classic, widespread, example of this google "marilyn vos savant game show." You will see lots of commentary on this national thought experiment and you will see many experts in the field of probabilities who let their errant "guts" override their powers of reason.

                I read vos Savant's puzzle in parade magazine when she published the solution and by coincidence I attended a dinner party two nights later. One of the guests I had known for quite some time and he had two Phd's one in physics and the other in mathematics. He was the director of research for a very large electronics company. I brought up her puzzle and before I could finish he angrily announced that she was wrong. A few more days passed and he called me to say that he was embarrassed because she was clearly correct. And of course she was correct.

                it is a delight to read on the Internet actual correspondence from so many people who were experts and who called her names. There is no doubt that human beings simply are not wired to have an intuitive grasp of probabilities.

                Wall Street would not have gone through the latest debacle if they did.

                Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning.

                by hestal on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 06:14:02 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I appreciate your insights (0+ / 0-)

                  I understand your discrimination between weighing probabilities based on experience and an intuitive gasp of probabilities.  Very interesting.  Thank you.

                  Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

                  by Plan9 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 09:17:31 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  thanks to Disney and I Love Lucy (10+ / 0-)

            I think most Americans have a visual of exponentials, which we just don't exploit well.

            The Sorceror's Apprentice.

            Lucy and the washing machine.

            Exponential growth and unintended and unforseen consequences.

            •  LOL! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I was picturing Lucy in the chocolate factory...

              •  yes, but that was (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                just geometric

                •  Hope you don't think I'm stalking you, (0+ / 0-)

                  but this was the fastest way I knew to reach you.
                  You are apparently the only person who read the "what's wrong with getting the free health car" - "because it's stealingfrom Canadian taxpayers?" who rec'd it.
                  It bothers me a lot that so many kossacks passed through that thread and didn't seem to see anything wrong with that. Any thoughts?

                  I heard some guy say that the arc of history bends slowly, but that it bends towards justice.

                  by DaNang65 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 01:36:16 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  to some extent (0+ / 0-)

                    I understand why many don't spend time in Palin diaries at all, to give any attention is to give her more credit than she deserves.

                    How people missed the point that going to Canada just for health care is stealing, I don't know.  Many people confuse no charge as 'free', when, of course, the reality is that someone is paying.  And to take advantage of that system when you are not the one paying is in fact stealing.  But don't mind me,  I was against all those programs that took and shared music for free because I considered that stealing just as much as if I walked in the store and took the CD.   Artists deserve their pay.  The taxpayers of Canada would probably agree that any visitor, business traveler or tourist, was welcome to share in their health care system if they unfortunately became ill while visiting.  But I doubt they could appreciate Americans routinely abusing that system to get 'free' health care, and especially if they abused the very idea of such a system as they stole from it.

        •  There's nothing "blatantly dishonest" about that. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ManhattanMan, teachergonz, Zydekos

          If the CO2 was twice as high 300,000 years ago, then it was.

          Question gets to be: what was offsetting the CO2 effect back then ?

          BTW: we didn't evolve very much in 10,000 years. Not generally, not our whole bodies.

          The specific mechanisms for memory -- maybe memory connected to language ??? -- is what exploded in that tiny period. Before that spectacular DNA "invention" there was nothing to indicate that we had complicated language.

          10,000 years or 50,000 years are eye blinks for genetic change. Its just where there's a killer new feature that you get spectacular eye-blink expansion like this.

          And a killer feature is just that. It forces its way out at lightning speed -- eliminating any "primitive" non-feature populations. Such as the Neanderthals and half-language humans are gone in a flash.

          Angry White Males + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians


          The GOPer Base

          by vets74 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 04:58:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Of course, CO2 wasn't twice as high back then (18+ / 0-)

            CO2 concentrations have varied between ~180 and ~300ppm over the past 800k years, right up until the industrial revolution:

            One of the major problems with "debating" those who deny that humans have caused climate change is that lies are easy to invent and difficult to debunk.

            •  What's the CO2 + Water vapor figure ? (0+ / 0-)

              Or is it possible to get anything on water vapor ?

              (My premature senility has matured.... Can't remember a damn thing there.)

              Angry White Males + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians


              The GOPer Base

              by vets74 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 07:21:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not sure they could collect history (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Water vapor is much more localized than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

                The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

                by freelunch on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 08:09:53 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Don't think I've seen a direct reconstructions (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Water vapor tends to not be well-mixed in the lower atmosphere, so its hard to do a reconstruction -- though evaporation and precipitation rates depend on temperature, so it is possible to estimate concentrations based on temperature.

              •  Water Vapor (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                apsmith, silence, jrooth, vets74, geomoo

                While water vapor is a strong greenhouse gas, it's concentration in the atmosphere varies hour by hour and depends on local factors, including temperature.  CO2 stays in the atmosphere for hundreds of years and, therefore, ends up controlling water vapor in a sense.  The CO2 traps heat so the air heats up and warm air holds more water vapor, which in turn heats up the planet more.

                Water vapor helps multiply the effect of CO2.


                •  A local effect (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  freelunch, pacotrey, vets74

                  Incidentally, while the subject is up, two recent studies indicate that irrigation in the Great Plains is resulting in lower temperatures and increased rainfall in the Midwest.

                  Rather than being just a statistical anomaly, the recent cool temperatures seem to be part of a steady long-term decline in summertime highs in Chicago,... The team noted a comparable decline in unusually hot days at 13 other sites in a swath stretching from western Iowa through Illinois to eastern Indiana.

                  Changnon suggested that fewer hot days and more precipitation are linked, because humid air warms more slowly than dry air does. One likely source of the extra moisture is the region’s agriculture. Plants pump vast amounts of water from surface soil into the atmosphere as they grow, and thirsty row crops such as corn and soybeans are much more prevalent in the region these days — about 97 percent of farmland is planted in those crops now, versus about 57 percent in the 1930s, Changnon notes. Also, the plants are spaced more closely now (about 30 inches apart, versus the 40-inch spacing typical in the 1930s), a trend that has boosted the numbers of water-pumping plants per acre by about 60 percent.

                  Even if much of the extra summer rainfall in the Midwest derives from water in local soils, the original source of that moisture might be an irrigation spigot somewhere on the Great Plains. A rapid rise in irrigation in that region apparently has boosted precipitation downwind in the Midwest, Alan Robock, an atmospheric scientist at Rutgers University...

                  Um, just to be clear, pumping water from aquifers into the atmosphere is NOT, I repeat NOT, a solution to global heating.

                  Hope has never trickled down. It has always sprung up.

                  by geomoo on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 10:40:50 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Water is a greenhouse gas. (0+ / 0-)

                    This has two effects:

                    1. The overall average temperature goes up.
                    1. Extremes of heat and cold will be mitigated. Fewer super hot, fewer super cold.

                    Increases humidity works against seeing multiday heat bubbles -- the 110-degree killers like 1996.

                    The Heat Dome effect does not develop.

                    Angry White Males + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians


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                    by vets74 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 10:58:43 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Water vapor in the atmosphere (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                silence, jrooth, vets74

                is heat related.  The warmer the air, the more water vapor it can hold.  That's why humidity is relative.  Which is why our focus needs to be in reducing the temperature even though the greatest greenhouse gas is water vapor.  The only viable way to remove water vapor from the atmosphere is to lower the temperature.

                •  Irrigation ???? (0+ / 0-)

                  Temperature determines maximum saturation.

                  Table 1: Saturation

                  Celsius - to - Vapor/KG of Air

                  50 88.12
                  40 49.81
                  30 27.69
                  20 14.85
                  10 7.76
                  0 3.84


                  But these are maximums. 100% humidity points.

                  Temperature limits humidity. It doesn't put water into the atmosphere.

                  Irrigation does that. For example.

                  Angry White Males + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians


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                  by vets74 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 01:00:19 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And swimming pools and (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    golf courses - many things put water into the atmosphere, but barring a few weird years like one summer in my childhood in Houston where we had temps of upper 90s and 105% humidity, temperature regulates how much - in that nice mathematical formula you posted - the air can hold.  If you are talking to someone who points out that water vapor is a much greater ghg than CO2 and why aren't people talking about reducing that, the response is that to reduce the amount of water in the air, you have to drop the temperature.

                    (And oh, is your sig line ever right!)

                    •  The sig line reflects Lee "Bad Boy" Atwater. (0+ / 0-)

                      Imagine a straight version of Karl Rove.....

                      My guess is that less irrigation would matter. We're running out of water table, too.

                      Less fertilizer means needing less water. Southern India is in deep trouble from using urine for fertilizer. The water is need gone in places.

                      Angry White Males + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians


                      The GOPer Base

                      by vets74 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 03:47:59 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Absolutely less irritation - (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        especially spray irrigation would be a good thing all around.  I remember my mother ranting about the evaporation rate differences between spray irrigation and drip irrigation in the 1960s.  I also remember that they were already overdrawing the Ogallala aquifer in 1958.  Yes, less fertilizing means less water demand - everything really is connected to everything else.

              •  Water vapor is confounded (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                vets74, geomoo

                I think the problem with using H2O is that long term observations about water vapor are much harder because it becomes confounded by local short term oscillations.

                CO2 is much more stable and leaves other traces behind because of its chemical interactions.

                If you think about it, though, you COULD make an argument that AGW reflects a CO2 cycle similar to the water cycle with one crucial difference.

                water evaporates from lakes, rivers, and oceans...vapor turns into precipitation which falls on water or land...precipitation eventually filters back to the sources of water, except for small amounts that fall out frozen (snow/ice) and stay that way in longer term storage (glaciers, snow pack).

                Living things are made of organic compounds. That is, they're made of carbon bonded to other stuff.  

                When a tree dies and goes in the ground, the bacteria that decompose it can't use the carbon, so they break it out and bond it to oxygen as a way to get at the other stuff.  A lot of that CO2 and other byproducts vent into the atmosphere, but a good portion of it never releases and gets buried in the ground.  It is, effectively, sequestered.  It then condenses with other dead stuff and, under great pressure, turns into some of the various fossil fuels.  This process takes millions of years and acts as a means for nature to take CO2 out of the atmosphere and bury it under the ground (a natural filtering process).

                When we dig it out of the ground as coal or natural gas or crude oil or other fossil fuels...we are releasing all the carbon that's been sequestered for many millenia.  We're unlocking the "glaciers" of CO2 and dumping it into our climate.  Burning those fossil fuels is like instantaneously teleporting in a few billion cows, all busily mooing, belching, and farting away.

                We're taking what nature has carefully sequestered over time and dumping it out in a binge of consumption.

                A left-of-center blow-harded member of the goose-stepping blog-stapo since 2004.

                by floundericiousMI on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 09:54:46 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Another great visual for understanding this. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mataliandy, floundericiousMI, vets74

                  Burning those fossil fuels is like instantaneously teleporting in a few billion cows, all busily mooing, belching, and farting away.

                  This could be a useful cartoon, first showing generations of animals and plants living and dying over thousands of years, sequestering carbon the whole time, then showing them all being brought back up in a relatively short time.

                  Hope has never trickled down. It has always sprung up.

                  by geomoo on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 10:43:57 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Not quite (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  floundericiousMI, vets74

                  CO2 is released from decaying plant matter by respiration. The bacteria are using the carbon, in the same way you do, turning carbon compounds like sugars into energy by oxidizing them (a process known as oxidative phosphorylation, if I recall correctly). The result is the carbon is combined with oxygen to form CO2.

                  Hydrocarbon fuels are made from long buried plant matter. When we burn hydrocarbons, we're just rapidly oxidizing them to get the energy that is released.

                  -8.75, -8.21 - on the far left of the spectrum...

                  by pacotrey on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 10:48:31 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I would look into the impact of agriculture (5+ / 0-)

            and animal husbandry around that time.

            We went from hunter/gatherer to farmer/landlord and started producing excess food stores that became items for trade.

            •  Yes, the human effects of global climate (6+ / 0-)

              first started via agriculture some 5 to 8 thousand years ago:

              a research paper

              an internet link

              from Science Daily

              •  There's large scale irrigation in Iran... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Roadbed Guy

                from thouasnads of years back.

                Irrigation is a major contributor to new water vapor.

                Whole rivers get diverted to the sky. E.g., the Colorado.

                Angry White Males + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians


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                by vets74 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 11:10:18 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Rivers come from the sky, so (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  I suppose that diverting them back up there is merely poetic justice, or something like that . . .

                  In any event, the connections between water vapor in the atmosphere and global climate change remain poorly understood . . .. for example, see Stratospheric Water Vapor Is a Global Warming Wild Card

                  •  I saw that. (0+ / 0-)

                    Didn't know what to make of it.

                    One similar wild card is the effect of airliner contrails. Apparently the short term effect is to reflect sunlight, causing cooling. The two days after 9/11 showed increased surface temperatures.

                    But the long term effects could still be on the side of warming.

                    Its too complicated for me. Way too complicated.

                    "Current climate models do a remarkable job on water vapor near the surface. But this is different -- it's a thin wedge of the upper atmosphere that packs a wallop from one decade to the next in a way we didn't expect," says Susan Solomon, NOAA senior scientist and first author of the study.

                    Since 2000, water vapor in the stratosphere decreased by about 10 percent. The reason for the recent decline in water vapor is unknown. The new study used calculations and models to show that the cooling from this change caused surface temperatures to increase about 25 percent more slowly than they would have otherwise, due only to the increases in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

                    An increase in stratospheric water vapor in the 1990s likely had the opposite effect of increasing the rate of warming observed during that time by about 30 percent, the authors found.

                    Interesting diagram

                    Angry White Males + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians


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                    by vets74 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 04:07:15 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  By the way ... (8+ / 0-)

          "more atmospheric CO2 back 300,000 years ago ..."  simple does not comport with any of the records. Essentially, for about a million years (seen graphics going back, I think, 850,000 years ...) the Co2 concentrations fluctuated between about 180 (global ice age) and 280-285 (development of modern human civilization) ppm == modern industrial society has driven CO2 levels above that.  Have to go back millions of years, as I understand it, to be above today's CO2 level.s

          •  There is one spike, not fully explained (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            freelunch, Unenergy

            During the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), between 55 and 56 million years ago, global temperatures shot up by around 10 degrees Fahrenheit, starting a planetary heat wave that lasted over 150,000 years.  The jump in temperature was most likely the result of a precipitous release of CO2 into the atmosphere.

            Prior to the PETM, CO2 levels may have been between 500 and 750 ppm--it's hard to be sure.  Then during the PETM, they shot up as high as 1800 ppm.  The reason is under investigation.

            Of course, all of this pre-dates human presence on the planet.  Still, there is no reason to be reassured by these events.  The PETM was a period of sweeping ecological change.  The Big Horn Basin in Wyoming had a climate similar to that in south Florida today.  Some mammals, such as horses, were diminutive, perhaps reflecting a shortage of plant protein as a result of high CO2 levels.  Insects were especially voracious, either because of the lower protein in plants or because the high temperatures led to high metabolism and year-round breeding.

            There is absolutely nothing in the climate record to encourage complacency.  Quite the contrary.

            Hope has never trickled down. It has always sprung up.

            by geomoo on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 11:05:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Me legs get all sweaty and uncomfortable. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RunawayRose, billmosby, forgore

        And I get nightmares that involve a naked Karl Rove, a hunk of cheese and two leaves of lettuce....and the soundtrack to Fandango. I wake up sobbing on the floor.

        If ACG is anything like that...we're screwed.

      •  Blankets (6+ / 0-)

        is the analogy that I use when giving the Climate Project presentation to school children.

      •  "Exactly" ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RunawayRose, G2geek

        is a bit of a problem ... "Was right" rather than "exactly right ..."

      •  I wonder what effect hydrogen cyanide (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, vets74

        would have at 400 ppm?

        I believe it would be curtains for everything requiring hemoglobin to carry oxygen.

        But, but, it's only 440 parts per MILLION!!!

        Remember, every time you listen to right wing radio, Dick Cheney kills a kitten . . .

        by Pale Jenova on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 07:03:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Melt the arctic and see what pops up.... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Plan9, G2geek

          How's that for a plan ?

          BTW: I did read where there's a zillion tons of methane under there.

          What a XXXXXXX mess.

          Angry White Males + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians


          The GOPer Base

          by vets74 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 07:24:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  mass suffocations. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Plan9, vets74, bfitzinAR

            What happens when all that methane starts coming to the surface is, in places where enough of it comes up and then blows inland, people along coastlines suffocate to death in large numbers: a few hundred thousand here, a million or two there.  

            The first time it happens might be enough to make people sit up and pay attention.  Maybe.  If it's not too late by that point.

            •  Some coastlines would be noticed... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek, vets74, dotcommodity

              not sure the media will pay attention if an American coast with big cities is not involved, or maybe an Alaskan coast.  Even then, I suspect it would be treated as some sort of 'freak' accident, or worse, as caused by terrorists due to negligence of Democrats.  As gas & oil companies (US, Russian, Chinese, UK, etc. ) compete within the Artic circle to exploit the reserves there, we can expect more tundra disturbances, more gas and oil leaks.

              When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

              by antirove on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 10:08:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Methane is worse than CO2 as heat-trapper (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek, vets74

              As permafrost melts and oceans warm, more methane is being released.

              Then there is the methane from natural gas extraction and transport and from the fossil fuel industry in general.

              Also the methane from rotting vegetation in rice paddies and at dam sites.

              Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

              by Plan9 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 10:45:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  The prolonged exposure limit (0+ / 0-)

          is on the order of 10 ppm.  400 ppm will start the suffocation process rather rapidly, if it doesn't outright kill you.

          The Taliban and al-Qaeda use bombs to try to terrorize the people; the Republicans use the media.

          by grada3784 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 10:14:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  the "failure" of most scientific argument (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RunawayRose, mataliandy, bfitzinAR

        is that it's addressed to other scientists, or at least folks with scientific literacy. That's why the blanket metaphor works so well -- it presupposes nothing other than common experience.

        I remember back in college a debate between Tim White (of A. afarensis fame) and Dwayne Gish, an infamous creationist. Gish trotted out the old thermodynamic argument against evolution -- the 2nd Law mandating an increase in entropy over time, while evolution suggests an increase in order (and thus a decrease in entropy). White's response, that the 2nd Law assumes a closed system and Gish's argument ignores energy input from the sun, worked for us science majors -- but I suspect he lost all the humanities majors in the auditorium.

        We drew our heavy revolvers (suddenly in the dream there were revolvers) and exultantly killed the gods. -- Jorge Luis Borges, Ragnarok

        by Hobbitfoot on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 08:46:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But evolution doesn't increase order (0+ / 0-)

          It increases diversity (aka, creates a chaotic mix of new creatures). We have humans with different skin colors, coinciding with the amount of sun in their local area, those who are immune to certain diseases, but afflicted with others (like cyctic fibrosis suffers, who are immune to cholera). Just because our bodies are largely similar in shape, doesn't mean that we don't vary considerably.

          •  it increases order (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mataliandy, Hopeful Skeptic

            inasmuch as a living organism is more orderly than the various atoms and molecules of which it is composed. What the second law states is that in a closed system, entropy must increase. It's a question of how large you draw your box (i.e., how do you define the closed system) and on Earth, it's nonsensical to draw the box around Earth and ignore the enormous energy input from the sun. It would be like saying baked bread is more orderly than the dough of which it is formed, without giving the oven any credit.

            We drew our heavy revolvers (suddenly in the dream there were revolvers) and exultantly killed the gods. -- Jorge Luis Borges, Ragnarok

            by Hobbitfoot on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 12:36:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  How about a similar hydrogen sulfide smell test? (9+ / 0-)

      Maybe a whiff of that might make an impact.

      GREAT video!

      The Big Lie is this: That there is not enough to go around.

      by jcrit on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 04:06:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great demo. Here's a suggestion... (13+ / 0-)

      After you've set up the series of inks, expose the whole set to sunlight on a bright day and record the temperature rise in each beaker.
      My daughter did something like this as a grade school science project (long time ago), using clean white snow and snow that had been mixed with some powdered charcoal. The dirty snow obviously melted much faster.

    •  CO2 does not warm the earth (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mataliandy, grada3784

      CO2 traps the sun's heat which causes the earth to become warmer. There is a distinction and the title should reflect that.

      Practice tolerance, kindness and charity.

      by LWelsch on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 06:51:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've got a middle school class visiting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      my lab on Thursday.  I hope you don't mind if I steal your demonstration...

      Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. H. L. Mencken

      by David R on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 09:21:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A suggestion if you do this again. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, mataliandy

      Use a backlight for each container.

      "the work goes on, the cause endures .. "

      by shpilk on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 10:28:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  well done (5+ / 0-)

    I didn't quite understand the passing reference to dilution of the ink so it was only 28 ppm.  ??

    It's all Nixon's fault.

    by J Orygun on Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 11:58:24 PM PST

    •  Reason for diluting the ink (24+ / 0-)

      When used at full strength, 280ppm of ink will turn the water black, so it's hard to show that 390ppm is blacker.  It's amazing how effective ink is in blocking light, even at 28ppm (0.003%)!

      •  Reason for diluting the ink - continued (12+ / 0-)

        And as mentioned in the video, I used an "ink solution" of 9 parts water to 1 part full strength ink for the demonstration.  So the "ink" I put in the water was already diluted and was just 10% ink.  So, the 280 ppm container really had just 28 ppm of ink in it.

      •  If you used a smaller beaker/flask (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        for example, a tube with a pathlength of 1 cm or so, that problem might be ameliorated.

        Alternately, have you tried shining a light through the ink solution?  In that case, even if diffences (e.g., 280 ppm v. 450 ppm) are not immediately obvious to the visible eye, there might be an easy to see difference between the light the shines through the two solutions.

        And if so, that would be a nice illustration of how CO2 can block radiation . . . .

        •  Why is it a problem? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RunawayRose, A Siegel, mhw

          For the purposes of the demonstration, it's arbitrary whether the test liquid is off-the-shelf india ink, or a 10:1 solution of same. After all, the off-the-shelf ink is probably more than 90% water to begin with.

          Appropriately, the "payload" of india ink is carbon!

          •  The stated purpose of the demonstration (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            was to show that 0.04% (of something) could have a measurable effect.

            So, if you then go off and use some other concentration, that change more or less negates the original intention of the experiment . . .

            •  Not at all (5+ / 0-)

              The middle beaker had 280ppm of the test liquid in the syringes. Call it India Ink Recipe 9 (tm). Good scientific data for the log book.

              Again, india ink is mostly water right out of the bottle, so it's an abstract distinction. Or does manufacturer's water not count?

              In fact "Indian Ink" traditionally comes in dried cakes, with water to be mixed in by the user. Here's a cool recipe:

              INK (Indian). Syn. China Ink; Atramentum Indicum,—Lat.

              Lamp black (finest) is ground to a paste with very weak liquor of potassa, and this paste is then diffused through water slightly alkalized with potassa, after which it is collected, washed with clean water, and dried; the dry powder is next levigated to a smooth, stiff paste, with a strong filtered decoction of carrageen or Irish moss, or of quince seed, a few drops of essence of musk and about half as much essence of ambergris being added, by way of perfume, towards the end of the process; the mass is, lastly, moulded into cakes, which are ornamented with Chinese characters and devices, as soon as they are dry and hard.

              •  I think you made my point perfectly . . . . (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                namely, who knows exactly what India Ink is made of?   Further, who really knows what concentrations of what chemicals are present in the beakers shown?

                If anything, they are probably way more potent than the 380 ppm they are meant to illustrate.  In reality, the uncertainties involved are excellent fodder for obsfuscation by the ilk of climate change deniers.

                Which is a real shame, because with a little bit of effort I suspect that there are many colorimetric chemical compounds out there that would be ideal for showing color changes visible to the naked eye in the concentration range in question.

                •  Hopeless n/t (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RunawayRose, mhw
                •  You may be getting confused by homeopaths (0+ / 0-)

                  His test showed less than 380 ppm. You keep complaining that it is more. Why?

                  The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

                  by freelunch on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 08:14:48 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And you are apparently confused as well (0+ / 0-)

                    since this statement of mine from just above

                    If anything, they are probably way more potent than the 380 ppm they are meant to illustrate.

                    implicitly acknowledges that *there is less than 380 ppm* present in the current experimental set up.

                    I never once complained that there is more.  Why are you lying and misrepresenting what I said?

                    •  And it was explained (0+ / 0-)

                      Changes near 380 ppm was too strong to recognize with the india ink. The solution was to make it weaker so the variation was noticed by those viewing the demonstration.

                      Examples of changes at weaker concentrations are valid examples of changes at the original concentration.

                      The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

                      by freelunch on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 08:44:30 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  That's still no reason to lie about what I (0+ / 0-)

                        posted, it it?

                        All I tried to do is offer some constructive criticism on how to improve the diarist's presentation (so as to avoid some obvious refutations that could be leveled against the experiments) using a couple of straightforward suggestions.

                        But ok fuck it, I can see there was no point in trying to help.

                        •  I commented on how it read (0+ / 0-)

                          I had no intention to lie. I commented on my understanding of your post. Don't assume that I was lying. If I misunderstood what you wrote, then your first attempt should be to clarify, not attack.

                          The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

                          by freelunch on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 08:52:04 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Sorry for being overly antagonistic . . . (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            guess it was that I was just through the discussion where I wondered whether

                            1. based on the diarist's stated goal of illustrating 380 ppm, wouldn't it be best to do just that?
                            1. especially since there are simple changes to the experimental set up and optimization of conditions that would allow precisely that to be done?

                            Perhaps an analogy would be the if somebody doubted that Canadian music was good, one mihgt attempt to show that it is OK by playing Neil Young  . . . but then, not finding the Neil Young cd deciding to play Bryan Adams instead - yup, it's still good (compared to some alternative out there at least), but not quite the same nevertheless. . .

                          •  Actually, my goal... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            ... was to show that things in small quantities can still have big effects.  I think that using diluted ink (at even smaller quantities) still shows this.  

  •  All the industries who have profits threatened by (11+ / 0-)

    climate change already have marketing departments working full tilt to debunk it all.

    * sigh *

    " It's shocking what Republicans will do to avoid being the 2012 presidential nominee."

    by jwinIL14 on Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 11:58:47 PM PST

    •  They are trying to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      srkp23, Rei

      "bunk" it all :)

    •  but ink is naturally occurring so (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Plan9, Gustogirl

      it cant be bad for the environment - think of the great squid explosion of the 1300'S and we are still here!

      You never know who will show up at Netroots Nation. Will you be there?

      by ETinKC on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 08:01:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  In the long term, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      we are simply going to have to find a way to bend corporate interests into the kind of decision making that is not entirely based on profits.

      How to get there is beyond my ken, but social and moral responsibility are sadly lacking in our current "greed is good" system.  

      dannym999 - very nice demonstration you put on video.  It answers your own question in a way:

      People need to get educated about global climate change.  We are so dumbed down, short vids like yours are the most effective way to do it.  I believe a series that starts with our 800,000 year evidence and how we get it and evaluate it - all the way through to ways we can individually and cooperatively address the problem - could become very popular on youtube and other such venues.

      The only constant is change - Heraclitus

      by Gustogirl on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 08:31:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  d (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And when he came back to, he was flat on his back on the beach in the freezing sand, and it was raining out of a low sky, and the tide was way out. --DFW

    by klingman on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 12:17:53 AM PST

  •  Thanks Dan. I'd like to see more video (4+ / 0-)

    diaries at Kos or at all blogs really.

  •  Hi Dan, this is a good practical demonstration (24+ / 0-)

    of how a little bit of a pollutant can make a major impact a clear liquid.

    There is another demonstration I think would be useful - energy needed to turn ice to water...

    Don't know how you'd show energy in to heat ice to water - water to boiling point, but it would go well with this heat anomaly graph to make a point :

    Those folks who are trying to get in the way of progress - let me tell you, I'm just getting started. I don't quit. I'm not tired; I'm just getting started.

    by Unenergy on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 12:22:42 AM PST

  •  Nicely done!! nt (5+ / 0-)

    "When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

    by Bob Duck on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 12:27:34 AM PST

  •  great diary. n/t (4+ / 0-)

    You're watching Fox News. OH MY GOD--LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU

    by rexymeteorite on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 12:47:05 AM PST

  •  Suggestions. (9+ / 0-)

    More analogies. But not all apocalypticlike. It's not only about the threat we're facing, it's also about the opportunity we're being given. Remember that. Takes both. Analogies. Historical comparisons to nonscientific events. Details. "Climate change" is too big. How can you make it smaller? Learn to say "fuck the science" and come at it from another angle.
    What is really going on here? Sure as hell not "climate change", it's energy, national security, economics...
    starving cattle
    desperate farmers
    the men and women in our military
    murderous foreign regimes
    deadly battles for resources
    amplification of current conflicts
    poisoned streams
    sickened children.

    homegrown energy
    American jobs
    American power
    American manufacturing
    American industry
    energy efficiency
    American efficiency
    safety and security for our children.
    future prosperity.
    morality and religion

  •  Awesome visual demo. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, Orinoco
  •  one picture=1000 words (15+ / 0-)


    When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.

    by rmonroe on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 01:36:13 AM PST

    •  Yes, that picture needs to be shown (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      everywhere.  I can just hear that doomed polar bear crying out for us to limit our CO2 and prevent global warming.  I can hear him blaming us for melting his home and sending him to his death, and pleading us to not do this for future polar bear generations.  That picture tells it all about the truth of globat warming.

      •  well, yes & no, (0+ / 0-)

        I think that is exactly the kind of image people have trained themselves to

        "We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard." ~JFK

        by spiraltn on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 11:16:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps it might play to the emotions... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hopeful Skeptic

        but that's not an accurate representation of that picture.  Polar bears are excellent swimmers.  They only will drown if there's no ice or land around for extremely long distances.

        The real threat to polar bears is starvation, as their habitat diminishes.

  •  Not yet 0.04% (12+ / 0-)

    But at the rate things are going, it'll be there in about 4 years, maybe 5 (if we're lucky).

    About the 5°C increase:

    1. It'll happen relatively gradually, so we'll notice the effects in slow stages.  The old frog in a pot scenario applies (actually the frog DOES notice it, but it spoils the anecdote.)
    1. It won't be uniform.  The colder areas will for the most part see higher increases, the temperate zone will see "5", the tropics a bit less.
    1. Where you'll see the greatest increase will be in the winter, and in nighttime.  And this of course is where the irony of greater winter storms might kick in- warmer wetter air in the winter means more snow!  
    1. The greatest effects will be seen in crops that are temperature sensitive.  Rice has a narrow germination and flowering range; increase temps a little, you might push it over the edge and it won't flower, won't produce grains, and those grains won't turn into plants when seeded.
    1. Hydrology- this is literally anybody's guess.  If you think they are having problems with the Colorado and Red rivers now, wait until it warms up a few degrees!  Don't need the full 5°C, one or two will cause problems.
    •  The additional effect of methane locally (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      pushes the total well past .04% in the Arctic.

      "the work goes on, the cause endures .. "

      by shpilk on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 10:25:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How long will that last? (0+ / 0-)

        What I mean by that is, the mean life expectancy of methane is about 20-something years.  As it breaks down it will be more easily disbursed, but I think there will be a further (I really have to diary this) feedback effect as the peat breaks down, and the trapped hydrates become more free.

        In geological terms, this is insignificant.  But it might lead to seriously odd weather in many of these parts.  Now it gets really interesting because the amount of incoming heat in these areas is less seasonally symmetrical than the tropics or temperate zone- you will see hotter summers in the Great White North, rather than the warmer winters we are seeing due to CO2-based warming.

  •  This is an important point (9+ / 0-)

    The argument that there is too little CO2 in the atmosphere to produce change in the climate system is quite popular among "skeptics." Thank you for this effective demonstration that small concentrations must be too small to impact the climate system. Here is one example of the application of this argument by "skeptics."  You can frequently find comments attached to media articles on climate change that also trumpet the argument.

    Another example is the concentration of arsenic in drinking water. If you routinely consume drinking water with arsenic concentration greater 300 ppm, you will develop skin lesions (blackfoot disease) and have a 1 in 2 chance of developing skin, lung, or bladder cancer.

    Please help the people of Haiti

    by DWG on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 02:57:24 AM PST

    •  CO2 is only one greenhouse gas. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Methane is another, as is water.  As the temperature rises, so will the contribution to climate change from water vapor.

      The Taliban and al-Qaeda use bombs to try to terrorize the people; the Republicans use the media.

      by grada3784 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 10:19:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, they need to debunk the argument (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        that CO2 is irrelevant because of water vapor -- a 2-ink approach would work well for that (demonstrating how they absorb in different bands).

        Another good one would be the "CO2 is already saturated" argument, showing that even if you saturate the main bands, the side bands become increasingly relevant, and that even on the main bands, you increase the length of time it takes heat to radiate.  I'm not sure of a good demo for that one.

      •  Read a study last week suggesting H2O actually (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        going down in some parts of the atmosphere, which has reduced by a hair the amount of warming in the last decade.

        Is this a new "feature" or is this simply a very transient effect, which will go as fast as it came?  Will this reverse?

        The science is very complex, the potential for serious problems very great.

        •  The pressure from water vapor (0+ / 0-)

          is directly related to temperature.  If localized temperatures go down for a time, so will the levels of water vapor.  Likewise, as temperature goes up, so does water vapor pressure.  This is not a first order effect at the amount of water vapor will also affect heat absorption.

          My sense is that the effect is similar to that of the trace from a dropping mercury electrode in polarography - it will oscillate around a center point, but there will be a trend.  In the DME, it's related to the size of the mercury droplet.  With climate, it's how fast and how far the effect will spread before it peters out.

          The Taliban and al-Qaeda use bombs to try to terrorize the people; the Republicans use the media.

          by grada3784 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 07:23:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Nice visualization (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, A Siegel

    One improvement I'd suggest would be to also put the (approx.) years on the cards with the concentrations; but very well done as it is.  Kudos.

  •  Or another way to look at it.... (10+ / 0-)

    ....that might make sense for some people:

    The lethal dose of arsenic for an adult human is between 70 and 200 milligrams.

    Average mass of an adult male human is around 100 kilograms.

    So a dose of arsenic several orders of magnitude less than .04% of your body weight will kill you in short order.


  •  A Physicist Explains (12+ / 0-)

    the effective heat trapping power of CO2 by saying that the band strengths for absorption of infrared light are very high.  Quantum mechanics explains the band strengths; if you really want to get into it you say the electric dipole matrix elements are very large.  Methane also is effective at absorbing infrared, apparently more effective than CO2 on a per molecule basis.

    We are hearing a lot more about methane, and expect to hear more Republican jokes about cow farts.

  •  Very Well Done. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, marabout40

    This has a very strong visual impact and is explained in easily understood terms with a calm authoritative presentation.  Thanks for making it.

    "I always found it interesting that people would cast aspersions on failure, as if it were a bad thing." -- Michael Steele, RNC Chairman

    by journeyman on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 03:40:37 AM PST

  •  nicely done! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Orinoco, marabout40

    I always had trouble visualizing the problem--this does a great job

    "The Universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it." Marcus Aurelius

    by Mosquito Pilot on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 03:45:38 AM PST

  •  What I like most is how easy it is to reproduce (7+ / 0-)

    I could probably do this.  Any HS science teacher could do it.

    What I think is maybe hardest for people to understand, however, is how CO2 stays in the atmosphere ... whether it can be pulled out, and how ... and what the impact of deforestation is on nature's ability to "breathe" the CO2 out of the air.

    Because it's not just what we're putting into the air - it's not just the pollution (which is significant!).  It's also the inability of green plants to pull the pollution out of the air.

    "It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses." - CS Lewis, Weight of Glory

    by Benintn on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 04:00:45 AM PST

  •  Have emailed (8+ / 0-)

    the science teacher in our building.  I subbed for her recently and the kids were studying this very thing.  I'm hoping she'll be able to squeeze this video in.  It's just the kind of graphic illustration that kids will understand  without a lot of explanation.  Thanks!  :-)

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 04:06:22 AM PST

  •  thanks for the demonstration (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, RunawayRose, marabout40

    I have wondered that very thing myself.

    Great Example!

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act -- George Orwell

    by jamess on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 04:10:14 AM PST

  •  Great job, Dan. (6+ / 0-)

    I posted your video, with hat-tip and links back to here and to, over on ePluribus Media as the Monday Morning Open Thread.

    A corrupted government. Patriots branded as renegades. This is how we roll.

    by GreyHawk on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 04:17:43 AM PST

  •  Thanks, Mr. Wizard! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, the fan man, marabout40


  •  You're Mistaken, It's a Propaganda Not Psychology (10+ / 0-)


    Madison Avenue has been selling goods and services for well over a century by exaggerating the scientific "proof" of their effectiveness. Suddenly most Americans belief that science is false? It's completely preposterous that the public could make such a 180 turn against what's been the single most trustworthy sector of society.

    Some of the very same individuals are driving the climate science skepticism propaganda war who led the tobacco science skepticism propaganda war.

    Now it may be that your approach might win some hearts or minds. But the problem is not one of people being unable to understand an issue that's dimensions beyond their ability to understand, it's their being massively propagandized to mistrust what's been deservedly their most trusted element of our society.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 05:19:57 AM PST

    •  Propaganda is a psychology problem (0+ / 0-)

      Why do some people allow themselves to be misled by some propagandists while being sensible skeptical of others? Why was Lincoln roughly right? Why can you fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time?

      The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

      by freelunch on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 08:24:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great job. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, Orinoco

    But I don't think the skepticism circles around the PPM issue. I think it's hearing that co2 release has from industrialization has already raised temps by 1.7 degrees (or whatever it is). People hear that and think, "after all the decades of spewing this stuff, that's ALL? Then why should I care?"

  •  Great demo! Have you tried other colors? I was (8+ / 0-)

    thinking red ink might be good. Pink to deeper red, warm vs hot.

  •  Why not focus more attention (6+ / 0-)

    On ocean acidification? At this point, there has been relatively little attention, so framing it should be a bit easier, the science is very straightforward and not in dispute, and the threat is potentially more serious than that of global warming, considering how much of our food relies upon coral reefs. It would also require that we take direct action against CO2 emissions, rather than simply trying some geoengineering that would only treat the symptoms.

    Do Pavlov's dogs chase Schroedinger's cat?

    by corwin on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 05:31:03 AM PST

  •  Returning to observe in more detail. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Tip and rec! is unfortunate that the opposition to the Democrats in this country now consists entirely of crazy people. - NNadir

    by RunawayRose on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 05:48:28 AM PST

  •  Acidic Oceans (6+ / 0-)

    I have had some luck with pointing out that increased CO2 is turning the oceans more acidic. Unlike global warming,which they view as depending on 'models', the acidification of the oceans is easily measured and is a well understood process.  

    Well, even if you don't agree that CO2 is raising the atmospheric temperature, don't you agree that we need to reduce CO2 to save the oceans?

    They don't know how to counter that. It is not address in any of the right-wing-industry blogs they read. And for good reason, there simply isn't any sane argument against it. Like I say it is based on well understood, measurable science.

    Anyway, you will get a confused look on their face for a moment or two.

    Four out five sock puppets agree

    by se portland on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 05:55:20 AM PST

    •  Atmospheric temperature (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Plan9, jmknapp, se portland, Zydekos

      and CO2 concentration graphs should be every bit as straightforward if not more so than water pH ones - even the densest bagger has seen a thermometer.

      No, the problem is that critical analysis skills have been intentionally wiped out of the experience of a significant percentage of Americans.

      This diary, though well meant and useful to a point, addresses the symptom and not the problem. You can come up with models until you are blue in the face but if an ignorant idiot on TV who has never been within a mile of a laboratory says that there is no climate change then there is no climate change in what passes for these people's minds.

      Harry Reid's lack of backbone is an act, his obstructionism isn't.

      by stevej on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 06:05:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Portland, I find the same response (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      se portland

      Acidification has been on my mind since the acid-rain era.

      GW deniers do not know what to say when you point out that at some point the ocean is not going to be able to act as a carbon sink because it will have reached saturation.

      So then they just attack the messenger.

      Then when I tell people who are concerned about global warming and fossil fuel combustion that there's a reliable, large-scale way to make electricity without putting huge quantities of CO2, NOX and SOX into the environment, they want to know more.  

      Then I explain that, in the course of studying habitat and species decimation due to fossil fuel combustion waste, I have discovered that nuclear power is the only expandable, low-risk solution to meeting increased electricity demand and avoiding greenhouse gas production.

      Then some of the people want to learn more and to discuss nuclear power.  And some people put their fingers in their ears and loudly attack the messenger.

      Amory Lovins: "Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy....." IPCC: Anthropogenic greenhouse gases will cause extinction of up to 70% of species by 2050.

      by Plan9 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 11:02:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Problem isn't knowledge, it's future discounting (4+ / 0-)

    This is a great presentation.  But unfortunately I think the main problem is that people discount future problems to large degree.

    There are a lot of people who believe all of this, but just don't think it's that big of a deal.  I've heard the argument that is basically "other people are arguing about it and they'll figure it out."

    It's why our failure of leadership is so debilitating on issues like this.  We need strong leaders who take far future issues seriously, people who people can trust, because these kinds of issues are so difficult to get groundswell support on.

    Think you have all the answers? prove it

    by Snuffleupagus on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 05:57:00 AM PST

  •  Weren't the Himalayan Glaciers - (0+ / 0-)

    Supposed to be gone by 2035, too?

    AGW is the biggest boondoggle since Rain Follows the Plow and for many of the same reasons - - it meshes with a cultural expectation for many Americans.  That is not to say that there has not been a significant increase in atmospheric CO2 -  - but the predictions of impending doom are grossly exaggerated and very much like those made by Paul Ehrlich in The Population Bomb.

    There are far greater environmental threats which will have baleful impacts on far more species far sooner than any climate change - namely continued human population growth with its concomitant resource use and accelerated habitat loss.

    Millerism is alive and well.

    •  When they are gone a few decades later (7+ / 0-)

      Will you be satisfied?

      I agree that many of the predictions are a bit overdone, but in all honesty most people (and you may need to look in the mirror to see one) aren't going to do shit about anything until it is too late.  Hyperbole in the service of sanity, especially when there are so many ill-informed and willfully ignorant out there is far better than the potential consequences of inaction due to complacency.

      •  Vulgar Language - (0+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:

        And character attacks are indicative of the increasing weakness of your position.

        While you have been preening in the mirror, progressive parties across Europe have been taking a beating. The working class is adrift and increasingly taken in by right-wing parties - no better example than the forthcoming Dutch elections.

        Until some red ink is put back into the cartridges of the red/green alliance, the self-flagellations and hairshirts of the AGW crowd will not play in Yorkshire or West Virginia. To advocate a doubling of the gas tax when people have to drive twice as far for a minimum wage job is an invitation to electoral disaster. And the Palins of this world will coast to political power.

        •  Odd you should mention vulgarity (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RunawayRose, shpilk, forgore, axel000

          The word "vulgar" means common.

          So if it takes common language to knock some common sense into you, so be it.

          Your response was to say the least, about as weak in terms of scientifically and rationally backing up your position indeed as the Palins you mention.

          You are far more their kin, than you realize.

          •  More Ugly Character Attacks - (0+ / 0-)

            Only give greater credence to the comment above.

            •  When character is so lacking (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RunawayRose, Derfel, axel000, newusername

              it isn't an attack, but a definition.

              I wasn't attacking your character, I was attempting to bring it to attention.

              Thank you for helping me so generously.

              I ask a more pertinent question of you- do you think our race towards 400ppm isn't a serious concern?  Do you really think, against all of the clear and pervasive data that CO2 and CH4 concentrations aren't leading to heightened global average temps?

              •  Do You Think - (0+ / 0-)

                That I should bother discussing anything with people who call me a shill, an illiterate, and willfully ignorant. Right out from the gate?

                I have had civil discussions with people like BilllaurelMD - even though we disagree fundamentally.  The likelihood of such a discussion with you is less than the CO2 concentration - so, no, I think the exercise would be futile.

                If a discussion is what you wish to have, then stop the personal attacks and the abusive language.

                •  Avoidance (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RunawayRose, trashablanca, Derfel

                  You avoid the topic to deal with language.

                  You dear sir, attacked both me and Boreal NOT on position or data, but on use of words.

                  So my response to this is, to use even more vulgarity, that your are fucking weak.  And it makes you look not just weak, but childish and useless.

                  Good bye, I hope to never see you again.  But sadly, I know that isn't the case.

                •  If you aren't getting paid by Coal, Gas & Oil (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RunawayRose, trashablanca, Derfel

                  Then why are you posting the lies that the lobbyist for coal, gas and oil routinely spout?

                  The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

                  by freelunch on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 08:37:46 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  More Violations of Policy - (0+ / 0-)

                    Meteor Blades made it amply clear that accusations of shilling -
                    Are HRable.

                    •  That's nice (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      RunawayRose, trashablanca, Derfel

                      If you don't want people to accuse you of shilling, maybe you need to stop saying that scientists are fascists and that you won't accept any of their scientific evidence at all any more because you claim they are fascists.

                      We're still waiting for your evidence to support your claim.

                      The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

                      by freelunch on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 09:06:04 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Do not say or imply that someone is ... (4+ / 0-)

                    ...a paid shill unless you have evidence. (Just because their point of view aligns with certain economic or political entities is not evidence.)

                    I refuse to accept "no can do" as a proper slogan for progressives.

                    by Meteor Blades on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 03:38:31 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I will (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      Where should we should complain when there are people who are posting lies that look just like the lies that lobbyists and other shills tell are posting them on Daily Kos and refuse to take correction about the falsehoods they are posting?

                      I will make sure only to say that the posters who are repeating those lies are acting like fools who have been taken in by the lobbyists and other professional liars and not imply at all that they could be the professional liars themselves.

                      The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

                      by freelunch on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 04:11:18 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yet he remains silent about johnnygun's (0+ / 0-)

                        WATB moaning about lack of civility and respect for his useless and dishonest denial of climate change.  MBs definition of moderation doesn't have any moderating in it, apparently.

                        "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." John Lennon

                        by trashablanca on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 04:37:24 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  We'll give him a chance (4+ / 0-)

                          MB has a thankless job, but he was willing to take it.

                          Johnnygun has been around for quite a while. He didn't drop in just to sell his conspiracy theories and doesn't have a history of that stuff either.

                          The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

                          by freelunch on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 04:50:45 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  The community has been doing ... (4+ / 0-)

                 excellent job of moderation in this diary, challenging johnnygunn's "facts", his changing of the subject, and his overall stance on this issue, and HRing him appropriately )in most cases). In a couple of instances here he has come close, imo, to conspiracy theorizing and he has been warned for it outside the comment threads. I do not moderate by taking sides in every political discussion, even though I think my position on climate change is quite clear.  

                          I refuse to accept "no can do" as a proper slogan for progressives.

                          by Meteor Blades on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 05:31:09 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  johnnygunn has been warned about the ... (5+ / 0-)

                        ...his conspiracy theorizing in this matter. I think everyone is doing a creditable job of challenging his "evidence."

                        I refuse to accept "no can do" as a proper slogan for progressives.

                        by Meteor Blades on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 05:32:38 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                •  Funny you should mention him. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ahianne, trashablanca, B Amer

                  I noticed his reaction to a comment of yours in a recent diary. Your comment was a bit obscure, and he obviously wondered if it was an attack.

                  You do seem to have anger issues, and tend to resort to taking offense rather than arguing substance.  Pity, since you do seem to read widely, and I liked your snowshoe diary.

         is unfortunate that the opposition to the Democrats in this country now consists entirely of crazy people. - NNadir

                  by RunawayRose on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 08:43:55 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You Tend - (0+ / 0-)

                    To compare those with whom you disagree on the climate change issue to fascists.
                    You uprate HRs that are made only to preclude opposing views.
                    You freely use the term "denier" - sometimes with slashes -
                    As if that absolves you or the implication.

                    So spare my your psychoanalysis.
                    When you can treat others with some level of civility -
                    then, perhaps, there will be an opportunity for discussion.

                    •  Since you are so touchy (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      shpilk, Ahianne, trashablanca, Derfel

                      (almost irrationally so) about the term denier, I have carefully avoided it for quite a while.  How long ago are the comments about which you complain?

                      Furthermore, I complimented you on your reading, and on a diary I liked.  How does that show a lack of civility?

             is unfortunate that the opposition to the Democrats in this country now consists entirely of crazy people. - NNadir

                      by RunawayRose on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 09:03:49 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Civility - (0+ / 0-)

                        Is not something that is selective.

                        The fact that you liked one diary -
                        Does not negate the comparison to Nick Griffin.

                        And not one of you has ever even come close
                        to offering the remotest of apologies for that.

                        What was the "crime"?
                        That I suggested that Indian scientists were qualified to disagree with the IPCC assessment on Himalayan glaciers. Pachauri called them "arrogant".  Guess who was wrong?  And in the process I am compared to a British fascist.

                        Have you considered removing this most recent HR?
                        How many times have you HRed me?

                        You may not like that I believe that the IPCC Himalayan glacier statement was intentional, you may disagree vehemently, but in a document with that many people involved in every aspect it is highly plausible to come to the conclusion that the Himalayan glacier material was no simple numeric accident.

                        But instead, you choose to HR and to uprate those who HR as well.

                        You may be successful in marginalizing me here a DKos -
                        But in the larger political community, the fact that you do marginalize people like me (and I do not claim to be the leader of any great movement) suggests that your appeals will increasingly fall on fallow ground.

        •  AGW Denialists bring out anger because they lie (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Liberal Thinking, RunawayRose, shpilk

          The argument is over. The denialists lost. Now they tell lies and get people to ignore the threat.

          The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

          by freelunch on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 08:36:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  another victim playing the "harsh language" card? (6+ / 0-)

          puh-leaze - now that's the indication of not having a leg to stand on.

          I have my retirement money invested in show turtles. And they can be converted into soup turtles if the need should arise.

          by mydailydrunk on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 09:04:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  HR'd for... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ... preening, hairshirts and red ink.

          •  No - (0+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            Hidden by:

            You HR because you are intolerant of opposing views.
            But I will laugh when all is said and done. The game is up on AGW and the vindictiveness of the warmers is worse than ever now that they have painted themselves into a corner.

            Unfortunately, you and your ilk are going to fuck over progressive politics for a generation. Watch what happens in the Netherlands and Britain in June - - and then the U.S. in November.

            When people don't have jobs or have to drive over to the next county to get a minimum-wage job, the warmers don't win any friends or votes by telling them how evil they are to pour out all that carbon.

            Marie Antoinette must be spinning in her grave.

    •  Only some of them. (10+ / 0-)

      An honest person could chose to focus their conservation efforts on habitat loss.

      No honest and literate person could content that AGW is a boondoggle.

      You are paying highly selective attention to one small aspect of the IPCC report, which was merely exxagerated, and reportedly not even incorrect in any material sense incorrect. This error does not support your hysterical or fabricated and slanderous claims.

      I hope you are getting paid well for this.

      A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger (Proverbs 15:1)

      by Boreal Ecologist on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 06:12:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No. (6+ / 0-)

      Are you so perfect that you never make a mistake?

      That's all that was.  A mistake in one date in a really huge report.  In fact, the correct timeframe for the melting of the Himalayan glaciers appeared in two other places in the same damn report - but you'll cheerfully ignore that fact won't you?

      He took a duck in the face at two hundred and fifty knots.

      by jrooth on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 06:50:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That Person - (0+ / 0-)

        Suggested that I was illiterate.

        Of course, I am not perfect - by a far stretch.
        And one of my faults is an excess of snideness.
        But the irony in the spelling error was irresistible.

        •  Huh?? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          True North, RunawayRose, Derfel

          I'm responding to your direct reply to the diary.  What the heck does any of that other crap have to do with my response?

          The fact is, you're jumping on something which was simply a mistake in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report - a mistake in a piece of data which was correctly stated in two other places in the same report - as some sort of "snide" effort at dismissing the point this diary.

          Sorry, but that's so illegitimate it's worthy of a vulgar response.

          He took a duck in the face at two hundred and fifty knots.

          by jrooth on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 07:04:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Rain Follows the Plow? (6+ / 0-)

      Seriously? You're reaching back to a discredited climate theory from 1860 to justify your stance about Global Warming? Really? Was that the zenith of scientific advancement?

      Thank you for your concern.

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 08:07:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If humans heed warnings, the warnings were wrong? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, shpilk

      How stupid do you think we are?

      The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

      by freelunch on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 08:35:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Straw glacier alert. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Liberal Thinking, RunawayRose, Darmok

      "the work goes on, the cause endures .. "

      by shpilk on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 10:01:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, Shpilk (0+ / 0-)

        It's called juxtaposition.
        Placing of one argument next to another.

        Especially if the claims about the glaciers and the rise in temperatures may both be exaggerations.


        Most warmers seem utterly unable to see that the CRU and IPCC events - called Climategate by some - have permanently damaged the credibility of the AGW movement. It is not possible to return to the status quo ante. All the disclaimers notwithstanding.

        In the case of the IPCC, the fact that Pachauri called the Indian government scientists "arrogant" before it was shown conclusively that the IPCC predictions were fraudulent is even more damning - more so because Pachauri refused to apologize.

        Most warmers fail to realize that even if the science is perfect - which it is not - if the process and methods are flawed and belligerent it will all come to naught.

        •  Actually... (4+ / 0-)

          The science of global warming is well understood and has not changed because of a few mistakes in the IPCC report about the Himalayan glaciers or the frustration shown by scientists of the effectiveness of the deniers efforts.  While the deniers are very effective, it is sort of like convincing people that the world is flat.  It doesn't change the reality of the situation.

          The reason I call them deniers and not skeptics, is that they only look for errors in one direction.  For example, the IPCC report is actually quite wrong in a fundamental respect, it seriously underestimates the speed and potential impacts of climate change.  The IPCC report predicted sea level rise of 1 to 2 feet this century, but now it is clear that it will be 4 to 6 feet.  Why aren't the deniers harping about that mistake?  Similarly, the IPCC predicted that the Arctic summer sea ice would be gone around 2100, but it is going to be gone much sooner than that.  Silence from the deniers.

          I'm sure (or at least I hope) that most people that deny climate change are just misinformed.  However, some clearly know that they are creating disinformation.  I don't understand how they can be willing to sacrifice the lives of their children and grandchildren for short term gain.

    •  Which Predictions? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The main prediction of The Population Bomb was that population was "exploding" and that this would cause problems. As near as I can tell the doom predicted in the book is pretty real. Science and technology has bailed us out to a large extent, but there are volumes beyond which technological fixes don't work.

      As you wrote, human population growth is causing accelerated habitat loss. That's putting it mildly. Fish catches in two out of three of the world's oceans are declining. That isn't because there are less fishing boats out there. We are essentially out of fresh water resources in most of the U.S., but the population keeps growing. We are using up arable land to house people, taking it out of production. This leads to imports of food to make up the difference. The average distance food travels now is around 1500 miles from source to mouth.

      All of this excess population is supported on the use of fossil fuels, which are necessary for artificial fertilizers, pesticides and transportation. The cost of food is tied to the cost of oil. Oil is in the $80-90 a barrel range now. What will food cost when it goes back to $150 a barrel? That's what will happen if there's any real worldwide economic recovery.

      Since oil cannot be pumped and converted to CO2 indefinitely, we've built this house of cards on a resource we can't continue to use. What happens when we can't use that oil for food production? What happens to the billions of people it supports?

      They die. That's my prediction.

      •  Ehrlich - (0+ / 0-)

        Made specific predictions by date for a range of issues -
        Not unlike the IPCC's Himalayan snafu.

        Ehrlich claimed that there would be massive worldwide starvation by 1980 and that it was essential for world governments to implement forced sterilization programs through food and water systems.

        "The first task is population control at home. How do we go about it? Many of my colleagues feel that some sort of compulsory birth regulation would be necessary to achieve such control. One plan often mentioned involves the addition of temporary sterilants to water supplies or staple food. Doses of the antidote would be carefully rationed by the government to produce the desired population size." — Prof Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb, p.135

        Whoo-hoo!! - if that didn't do wonders to advance the cause of population science.

        •  Interesting -- I must have missed the time... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          when Ehrlich morphed into several thousand people comprising 97% of active, publishing climate scientists and cited tens of thousands of peer-reviewed papers, getting a result backed up by almost every prestigious scientific organization on the planet.

        •  What Predictions? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hopeful Skeptic

          Obviously, this isn't a prediction. It's a recommended solution. You might not like the solution, but when the problem is big enough, you'll get that solution because there won't be alternatives. China got there. We're only a few generations behind them.

          The "Himalayan snafu", as you wrote it, is that the glaciers will melt by 2035. It's not 2035. How do you know this is a snafu?

          It doesn't appear that you're part of the estimated 1 billion people on the planet that are chronically hungry. We're not talking about a little hunger pangs, here, we're talking about full-blown hunger, where you simply aren't getting enough nutrition. Let's just call them starving. Why do we have so many staving people on the planet? We don't need to have this many. We just have them because societally we don't care and because it helps profits. As soon as someone came up with a temporary fix (by jacking up food production) we all went back to sleep about the problem, postponing it for a future generation where it will be harder to solve.

          No one is creating more land or more fresh water. No one is creating more energy resources. If you live here with us in the U.S. then you are using five times the average amount of energy. In order for everyone on the planet to use the same amount, you are going to have to cut back. You can't get more by burning more fossil fuels into the atmosphere. Even if you could, we are maxed out on oil production. You could make up the difference by burning coal and suffering the many extra deaths that would cause from cancer and other derivative diseases, not to mention the environmental damage. You could get it from the Canadian tar pits if you don't mind destroying vast swaths of wilderness and paying a foreign country for it.

          No matter how you slice it, it isn't an easy fix and population growth is relentless. We've been protected from the impact because the country has been strong and could elbow its way around the planet with relative impunity. We'll be lucky to be one of the super players in the near future.

          Of course, you could have another scientific miracle, comparable to the green revolution. I'm not good at predicting miracles, but it's a possibility.

          •  The Prediction - (0+ / 0-)

            Was massive starvation by 1980.
            His remedy was forced sterilization.
            Can you read?

            •  Can You See the Forest for the Trees? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RunawayRose, bluegrass50

              Just BTW, it wasn't "his" solution. If you read what you quoted, you'd notice.

              People did starve by the millions and they are still starving. We would not have a billion people going hungry every day of their lives if we had cut down on population growth.

              He was entirely right that population was and is growing too fast for the earth's resources. Clever management of those resources might have stopped worldwide starvation, but that's not much consolation.

              Your original point was that the IPCC predictions are like Ehrlich's book. Just the first point is that his book isn't so easy to laugh off. The second point is that their predictions have been verified by a lot of scientists over a very long period of time. Their predictions have a lot more backing.

              I won't have to tell you if they're correct. You'll find out yourself.

    •  No (4+ / 0-)

      Weren't the Himalayan Glaciers supposed to be gone by 2035, too?

      No.  Anyone who wanted to know the state of glacier research would have turned to WG1, which had an in-depth discussion and got it right.  WG1 is written by climate scientists, covers the science of global warming, and is the most intensely reviewed part of the report.  WG2 (the part with the error) is about adaptation, is written by ecologists, and is more like a glorified news report.  The 2035 remark was practically an aside, warranting a sentence or two in a nearly thousand-page document.  Which, as stated, is not about the science of global warming (which is WG1).

      Anyway, whenever you want to talk, just come here with an error-free 3,000 page scientific report you've worked on that has not a single error in it.  I'll be waiting.

      •  Didn't Pachauri - (0+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:

        Call the Indian government scientists "arrogant" for suggesting the error in the first place? That, alone, is telling.

        •  I Demand - (0+ / 0-)

          To know what kind of vendetta is going on here.

          Here's the link to the Guardian - the left-wing Guardian article that quotes Pachauri calling the Indian scientists "arrogant".

          I am so disgusted with the people at this website.
          It is so patently obvious that its only function on many subjects is that of echo chamber. I cannot believe the nature of the HRs here in this thread - and nary a supporting voice. There is no tolerance for diverging views.

          I call you on your violation of the FAQ in fact and in intent.

          •  I wasn't the one who HR'ed you. (6+ / 0-)

            But if you're expecting support for asserting that 97% of the world's active publishing climate scientists are either idiots or in on some sort of conspiracy, don't expect any more support than if you came here and asserted that the moon landing was faked or Elvis was alive.  This is a community that respects science, and even more importantly, hates transparently BS arguments (including the one you're making right now -- see below post)

        •  Funny math (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RunawayRose, Ahianne, silence

          A) "Himalayan glaciers will be largely gone by 2035."
          B) "Himalayan glaciers aren't declining."

          In your world, A = B.

          In everyone else's world, not even close.

          "Arrogant" was probably the wrong word, IMHO.  Idiotic is probably more appropriate.

  •  Blocking light is not intuitively compelling. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Orinoco, A Siegel

    This experiment is a good first step. But it is missing something important.

    Nothing gets heated up.

    This needs to match up to a working CO2 demonstration. And any effective CO2 demonstration needs heat. Its all about heat.

    What's with this demonstration by itself ??? There's no air. There's no CO2. No water vapor. There's no infrared source. There's no thermometer. Half the demonstration look to be missing.

    The ink demonstration, by itself, has a similar basic problem.

    There's water. There's ink. There's no infrared source. There's no thermometer.

    How does ink-and-water thermal opacity match up to CO2 ??? Thermal opacity, absorption coefficient.

    *********** And what matters ? **********

    How does CO2 opacity compare with water vapor opacity ???

    On Earth, the temperature of the atmosphere is overwhelmingly dominated by water's opacity in the thermal infrared -- between 2 and 10 microns. You've probably noticed this yourself; when the air is humid, the change in air temperature from day to night is relatively low. But if there is very little humidity (as in the desert), the day-night variation in temperature can be huge.

    Is it possible that soot on ice and other factors have bumped up humidity by 4% -- overwhelming any and all CO2 effects ??? Cities and farming have raised overall humidity.

    Global warming, yes indeed. CO2 maybe not the most important. There's a simple fact: at 20-degrees C and 50% humidity, you've got 7 grams of water per kilogram of air.

    7,000 PPM.  


    How hard is it to simulate all the CO2 in the atmosphere ? Make a little cloud-chamber looking thingie -- meter long, rectangular prism, infrared source and detector inside at the ends, control on the density of CO2, and thermometers ???

    Show the build-up of temperature in this CO2 chamber with different levels of CO2.

    Then do the same thing with ink in water.

    Heat up the damn water. Show how it heats up for different concentrations, different thermal opacities.

    Measure opacity to infrared. Get the CO2-in-air to match up to ink-in-water.

    Very low level rocket science.

    Don Herbert was really, really good. Brilliant guy. I was raised on his original series -- totally hooked. (Mr. Wizard.)

    Sorry to bitch at you..... I do a lot of that.

    This demo looks to me to be the germ of a solid, really compelling demo. Look to the Berkeley cloud chamber experiments from back in the 1970s for simple construction examples. PPM CO2 meters are cheap enough. Every home-grown marijuana farm has one.

    Then there's that water vapor factor..............

    Angry White Males + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians


    The GOPer Base

    by vets74 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 06:25:18 AM PST

    •  BTW: a diary from 2007 needs reposting. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marina, A Siegel

      Earth Science: Water -- humidity -- by alefnot

      Dense with scientific terminology and basic facts.

      But if you don't understand this material, not sure how you're going to be literate for climate, weather, the whole Al Gore space.

      Angry White Males + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians


      The GOPer Base

      by vets74 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 06:37:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree. (0+ / 0-)

        The diarist and the video did exactly what they set out to do.

        Implying the diarist doesn't understand the basic principles is sort of insulting, don't you think?

        "the work goes on, the cause endures .. "

        by shpilk on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 10:24:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The two have nothing to do with each other. (0+ / 0-)

          Trying to put words into another kossack's comments is kinda dumb. Period.

          Angry White Males + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians


          The GOPer Base

          by vets74 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 11:06:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  You're right (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, leevank, vets74

      The demonstration had little to do with actual warming by CO2. However, he wasn't addressing that. He demonstrated the effect of tiny amounts of something (parts per million, not tenths, not hundredths, but millionths) on large quantities of something else.

      I thought the demonstration was effective, for what it was trying to do.

      Global Warming deniers put a penny on a basketball court and say, "Look there, that's one part per million. Is that going to affect anything?" This demonstration corrects that misconception.

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 07:57:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, there you go again! (0+ / 0-)

      Get to work! ;p

      [Good idea, I just felt like channeling Ronnie Raygun for a moment]

      Orinoco is right however: the intent of the video was quite clear, and the focus of it was aimed at non-scientific yahoos.

      While your idea is laudable, it's too complex for most of the Fox-watching, knuckle-dragging idiots that deny climate change in the first place.

      They'll never understand it.

      "the work goes on, the cause endures .. "

      by shpilk on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 10:22:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How about a movie about the world crawling (6+ / 0-)

    with bugs because the winters don't kill them off any more?

    Health Care for Profit. More Profit less Health Care.

    by 88kathy on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 06:27:32 AM PST

    •  You must have read by diary (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, 88kathy, marina, snafubar

      on Saturday. :)

      Insects and Global Warming

      I think bugs are where your average Joe, who occasionally wears a tennis shoe, is going to see the effects of global warming first.

      Four out five sock puppets agree

      by se portland on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 06:32:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I missed it. I am here all the time and I miss (0+ / 0-)

        so much.

        What you said is true.  But get ready for major creepy.  I had a centipede in my bed last night.  I was reading and he crawled up my bedspread on my shoulder.

        Here's the t-shirt.

        Does Global Warming BUG you?

        Health Care for Profit. More Profit less Health Care.

        by 88kathy on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 07:35:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nope. They'll call it's God's vengeance (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        88kathy, chrismorgan

        for a gay pride rally in Tuscaloosa Alabama or Sparrow Fart, Utah.

        George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

        by snafubar on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 07:39:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Only if you think there won't be winter (0+ / 0-)

      Are the GOP right then for building igloos in DC, to say that the fact that it snowed in DC in winter proves climate change isn't real?  You want to restart that whole mess, of confusing climage change with a uniform warming that eliminates winters?

      Climate change isn't going to stop winter from comming each year.  It'll still snow, it'll still be cold.  The Earth's tilt isn't changing, there will still be seasons.

      If you tell people that global warming will leave them covered in bugs, then don't complain when they call you out on it each time it snows in January.
      Next year they'll build a cemetary for bugs in the DC snow.

      If you want to get a skeptic on board, just stick to the facts and don't invent wild scenarios.

      My dad rejected environmentalism because in college a professor told him the oceans would be dead in 5 years.  6 years later the oceans were still alive, so he tossed everything that prof said into the memory hole.  That's how people work.  Act accordingly.

      •  Snow isn't cold. I've been in cold winters in DC (0+ / 0-)

        I don't know why they weren't called on that.

        Where does the snow come from, water in the sky.  How does water get in the sky, warm oceans.

        Health Care for Profit. More Profit less Health Care.

        by 88kathy on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 11:31:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  New hit Comedy TV series (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "Everyone loves Palmetto Bugs"

      "the work goes on, the cause endures .. "

      by shpilk on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 10:18:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, vets74

    Thanks for that.  

    I do a science demonstration about global warming gases, and this is a neat way of demonstrating this particular concept.

    "I tell her I don't think there is a god. And if there is I'm nothing like him."

    by otto on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 06:39:42 AM PST

  •  Personally I think most deniers (though not all) (5+ / 0-)

    are pretty well away that we're on an unsustainable path.  Global temperature, depleting resources of water and fossil fuel, accumulating toxins, crashing fisheries and dying coral ... I think it is probably the case that most people don't need a college education to notice that there's serious problems down the road.  

    So what's with all the bogus resistance? Whistling past the graveyard.  Let's pretend it's not happening.  Let's get ours while the getting is good.  No stopping this train now.  Ride it on down, Slim!

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 06:42:08 AM PST

    •  sadly, I also believe that you are correct (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      My neignbor keeps saying the same thing - since it's already too late, there's no need to wreck the economy to fix soemthign we can't change.

      Gotta love teh stoopid.

      (same guy says that the Y2K was all bullshit - all that money spent on reprograming and there was no great crisis....

      ...same guy says that the "hysteria" over the ozone hole caused by CFC's was also a fraud, because since we don't hear about the ozone hole any more there must never have been one....

      SO every problem that science fixes only inspires the troglodytes to cry "fraud" because now that it's fixed that's only proof there was never a problem to begin with.


      George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

      by snafubar on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 07:38:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What a sociopathic attitude (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgmcp, snafubar

        Ask him why he wants his grandchildren to suffer because he wouldn't even sacrifice a little.

        The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

        by freelunch on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 08:32:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "It's God's Will" is codespeak for (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          freelunch, snafubar, Calamity Jean

          "I can't be bothered."

          "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

          by lgmcp on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 08:46:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  You don't want me to go there. He's got cancer (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          freelunch, lgmcp

          and although he's been through 2 years of chemo, a colonectomy, and is now in the last stages of more chemo, he's happier and more cheerful than I am.

          I'm 42 and in near perfect health, and I frequently obsess with suicide.

          When I ask him about his daughter or future generations, he just figures it's all going to end somehow, so when doesn't really matter.

          The sick/wierd part *(and part of the reason I got myself booted out of StreetProphets) is because he's one of the worst examples of how blind faith can be - blind.

          he's not a pentecostal or a millenialist.

          he's a CATHOLIC - so this "end of days" crap is not even supposed to be in his religious frameset; and yet he's spouting all the fatalist talking points of the Protestant eschatology embodied in Revelation.

          He even told me that based on the speech Obama gave in Germany (I think it was before the election) that (my nieghbor) believed Obama was the Antichrist.

          When I told my nieghbor that Catholics weren't supposed to be worried with such matters, he seemed confused.

          In other words, he beleives what sounds good to  him - reason or logic or even common sense is not a condition for any idea to be atdopted.

          Want more?

          The 1982 tax cuts are what created the boom of the Clinton years (but it was GHWB's failure and he lost the election because he raised taxes). See? It was tax cuts that made Clinton prosperous, even though four years earlier GHWBush betrayed Ronnie Reagan by raising taxes.

          If chronological intgetrity cannot be used to reason with this guy, what scientific evidence could anyone come up with to change his mind when he could not even be bothered with (nor does he know) with how many valence electrons an atom of Carbon has....

          There's great line from Jurassic Park delivered by Ian Malcom. He said, something like the Jurassic Park builders stood on the science that was discovered by others, took no intellectual responsibility for it, and built a theme park without any thought for the consequences.

          I think this is part of - the essential part of - our problem.

          Politicians who make policy take no intellectual resonsibility for science that they dont' even understand as they enact policies that (by virtue of those deterministic scientific principles) will change our world - whether they understand it or respect it or not.

          In other words, the scientists need to start being as obnoxious as  the politicians who deny them, because in the end the science won't give a shit about the politics when it proves itself to be right.

          Ok. Got to go calm down now.

          Thank you for tolerating this burst of free therapy.

          George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

          by snafubar on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 09:21:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Anti-intellectualism has always been (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            snafubar, Randtntx

            a potent strain in American life.  Recently I re-read "Babbitt" by Sinclair Lewis.  Its portrait of chamber-of-commerce boosterism in the 1920s, seemed remarkably contemporary.

            "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

            by lgmcp on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 09:33:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Swine Flu = Another Example (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgmcp, snafubar

        The amazingly swift development and deployment of vaccine, along with school closure in affected areas, accompanied by a pretty good public health campaign about washing your hands, staying home when sick, etc., successfully mitigated a serious outbreak of a deadly new influenza virus. So its just a matter of time before we hear the right bitching about how much money was "wasted on a non-issue", and anyone who had any health problem at all within months of getting vaccinated will be suing the federal government.

        Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives. - John Stuart Mill

        by vulcangrrl on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 09:07:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Question for them: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, lgmcp

      "Why do you hate your grandchildren?"

      I think the window of opportunity for fixing carbon dioxide levels directly was passed sometime in the '80s or '90s. Now we'll have the much more expensive task of cleaning up our mess, building a lot of dikes and new aqueducts, and making sure that those hit the worst don't go to war.

      Humans can be so stupid. The folks who stopped us from doing anything will deny that it was their fault.

      The US Senate is begging to be abolished. Let's fulfill its request.

      by freelunch on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 08:30:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  An immediate conservation program (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, Norm in Chicago, axel000

    would bring home to people the need to be less wasteful of all resources. Carpooling, bicycling, low-impact mass transit, energy saving tips, and all the rest.

    These are things that people can understand, and will open the way for the bigger truths that are so much harder to handle. Gulp.

  •  Question ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, Hopeful Skeptic

    What is the reference to 28 parts per million mid way (just about 2 minutes) through the presentation?

    -- Very good analogy and presentation.  I think 'next step' might be to shine an incandescent on four containers (0, 280, 390, 560 ppm) with thermometer as an analogy.

    --- Would you mind if I cross-posted to GESN?

  •  .000001% exposure to Benzene is toxic (18+ / 0-)

    Boy, deniers are such morons. Does it matter how much CO2 there is? 1 part per million of Benzene exposure is the limit or gov't has set for toxicity.

    Whats the percentage of the size of a bullet as compared to your body mass? A small bullet can kill you.

    A blood clot the size of just a few cells in the right spot can kill you.

    A virus can kill you. And thats small.

    Size isn't important is it when talking danger.

    Unless you're a small minded buffoon who thinks "science" is the opposite of the "bible".

    In this case, people with just a few brain cells will end up killing all of us. Another example of how low concentrations can be toxic.

  •  Sure it can (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, vets74

    just like a trigger on a gun. It is a small part of the gun, but without it, it doesn't work.

    To paraphrase Warren Ballentine: "We may have come here in separate boats but we're in the same one now"

    by OHknighty on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 07:15:30 AM PST

  •  Dan, a question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North

    Al Gore uses the figure

    "90 million tons of global warming pollution currently being emitted each day into our atmosphere."

    Is this correct? Sounds like a lot.

    If it is right, we should all be using that figure to explain how big the problem is.

    "One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

    by greendem on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 07:49:27 AM PST

  •  I'm going to be an asshole here - (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    this is a great demo.

    But I think we're dealing with Republican/ Conservative minds even so simple that they can dismiss this.

    Lets' face this (and see if it scares you as much as it does me).

    Global climate change - something that even if we understand, we have ABSOLUTELY no control over.

    The same people who say that anthropomorphic climate change is impossible because humankind is too SMALL compared to the size of the planet that we could not have caused it, somehow are going to come around to the idea that we can be influential enough to change it because we choose too?

    The only argument that will ever get through to to their Ayn Rand/laissez-faire/conservative minds them is economics, so the only demo we ever really need to blast them with is supply and demand.

    Oil, coal, natural gas (for the most part) are finite resources. With the exception of landfill gasses and other biomass that can produce natural gas (but never on a scale to sustain us), there will never be any more oil and coal than there is right now.

    Meanwhile, capitalism is a system predicated upon and dependent on increasing growth and consumption.

    So the simple problem is this:

    We're growing more and more people

    each generation consumes more and more resources per capita than ever before

    The resources are finite, getting smaller, and they will get smaller FASTER as the population grows.

    These two curves are going to cross some day

    (we've been debating "peak oil" for almost 50 years)

    So eventually,  unless we move to renewable, sustainable sources of energy  -  climate change or no climate change -

    we're headed for a Mad Max world even if the planet gets knocked out of it's orbit by a huge comet and becomes 100 degrees cooler by next Tuesday.

    I believe in climate change.

    But it's not our biggest problem.

    We need to stop trying to teach science to people who think science is evidence of evil (despite the fact they ignore they love a lot of science that they don't have a problem with)

    George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

    by snafubar on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 07:55:32 AM PST

    •  Good point. Even conservatives will be too stupid (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      too understand that if you can visually see that if 280 ppm of ink will darken water, then of course 280 ppm of CO2 will cause global warming.  Anyone not seeing the connection is just one dumb moran.

    •  You're missing part of the conservative mindset (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      True North, ManhattanMan, snafubar

      There are a couple of obvious flaws in trying to make the argument based on supply and demand to the conservative mind. One, conservatives believe we have many times more oil and coal reserves than we are being told. They believe the timetable for running out is centuries in the future. Two, with that being the case, there is no need to worry about it now. The idea of planning for centuries into the future just doesn't hold much weight with a conservative. Half of them believe the end times is nigh anyhow, so it doesn't matter. And the other half believe the problem will be solved when it has to be solved.

      •  Well your argument seems to be that they (0+ / 0-)

        are so belligerent and stupid that no argument will sway them - therefore whether it's PPM of CO2 and global warming or Mad Max chasing the last tanker of gasoline -

        ...the stupid is going to dictate how the rest of us die and spend our remaining days chasing ghosts?

        I guess I'm about to make the argument that although they are the ones brandishing weapons and claiming its' time to overthrow the government to stop socialism, maybe it's time to well-arm the Democrats and the scientists to club these neandrathals before they drown us all.

        After all, any good lifeguard is taught how to subdue the person they are rescuing before the flailing panic of the drowning person takes the lifeguard down too.

        I'm not missing part of the conservative mindset; I'm saying that if we can't reason with them because reason and logic pay little if any part in their thinnking, then lets quit trying to be polite and follow parlimentary proceedure and just be as forceful as they think is warranted.

        They made the call that the country is being "lost".

        I agree with them, although for much different reasons.

        SO let's follow their lead and start this revolution already.

        George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

        by snafubar on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 09:08:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Yes, as a whole, they are belligerent and stupid. Sadly, though, they see themselves as just the opposite. It is the rest of us who are being intentionally misled on the amount of oil and coal reserves and climate change. It does no good to cite science or anything else except their approved sources, because the rest is nothing but liberal propaganda. They have effectively shut out all dissenting opinion to their world view.

          As for arming and starting a revolution ourselves, I think that's probably the only thing that will save this planet. Tell me where to sign up.

  •  this video will be sent to all those (0+ / 0-)

    who hassle us for refusing to breed. thank you.

    If God didn't want me to believe Creationists are stupid, why did s/he create Sarah Palin?

    by whataretheysmoking on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 08:28:05 AM PST

  •  Nice. For more of a discussion on... (0+ / 0-)

    solar spectra, Earth emission spectra and greenhouse gasses, this:

    covers it pretty well.

  •  Great analogy. Here's another one: (4+ / 0-)

    If I stand in 4 feet of water, I am perfectly safe.  If I stand in 7 feet of water, I will drown.  

    These kinds of analogies are really powerful, and if the deniers and skeptics aren't convinced of the effect of CO2 on global warming after hearing these analogies, then they are even dumber than we thought.

  •  But biofuels are a crime against humanity... (4+ / 0-)

    And nuclear power must be protested at all costs.  And wind turbines are ugly, etc ad nausium.

    How many of you have your computer plugged into a coal plant right now?  How many of those coal plants are still spewing C02 because we freaked out about nuclear power 30 years ago?

    You keep talking about the deniers, about the need to convince everyone.  Well look in the mirror.  Let's say we get everyone on board.  Everyone finally admits it.  Great, now what?  What action do you propose to take that some environmental group hasn't already shot down?

    Are biofuels still crimes against humanity?  Fine, then we keep burning oil.
    Is a new nuclear plant going to be protested?  Fine, then we keep burngin coal.

    So you tell me what it's going to take to get the Left to wake up and stop waiting for magic technologies to save us, and start embracing the technologies we have?  How much longer are we planning on waiting?

    We are literally paying our farmers not to farm, to keep crop prices high.  There is land for bio-fuels.  There is desert area for algae to oil farms.

    But then some do-gooder says that the poor should be eating those soybeans instead, so we keep burning oil.

    Take action or stop complaining.

    •  Heh (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Norm in Chicago

      Had to rec this.  Republicans are actually a lot more consistent and honest on their energy views -- whatever we can get our hands on, drill for it, burn it, use it, period.  

      There are environmental and practical concerns on EVERY form of energy.  Current solar cells to power an average home cost $90,000, and over the entire life of their existence, they will produce only $19,000 - $51,000 of energy.  So we subsidize them.  That seems dumb to me.  Why not wait until the technology allows PVs to at least break even?  Solar cells take a lot of energy and natural resources to produce, too.

      And, prominent Democrats have been shamefully hypocritical even on new clean technologies, taking a "not in my backyard" attitude toward wind farms and solar panels on nearby houses.  Remember Ted Kennedy's refusal to allow the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound, even though it was miles into the water and would barely even be visible on the horizon?  

      Nuclear power is currently the greenest form of mass energy available.  It doesn't mean it's perfect, but if you care about global warming, being anti-Nuke is more than a little silly.  Solar and wind are nice and all, but currently can't power our nation until the technology improves (and it will, but it will take decades, not years).

      "The majority of a single vote is as sacred as if unanimous." - Thomas Jefferson

      by cartwrightdale on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 11:16:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Suggested followup diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cartwrightdale, jrooth

    How can I be drunk when my blood alcohol level is only 0.08%?

  •  A reply that needs to be highlightes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hopeful Skeptic

    (I was going to originally have this as a reply, but it needs more exposure)

    Here's the deal- yest most of the warming is the first 20-100 ppm.  But do you know what the earth's surface temperatures would be if we had no atmosphere at all?

    We'd be at roughly 255K.  But we have an atmosphere, and are about 288K.  The atmospheric effect is about 33°C.

    So if 90% is with the first 100 or so PPM, the next 300 has been worth about 3.3°C, or close to 6°F.

    If you think 6°F isn't significant, you aren't very good at math or science.

    •  You make an important argument... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that unfortunately may be lost on many people.

      You may want to clarify the switch between Kelvin and Celsius.  I get it, because I'm a scientist... but most laypeople don't even know about Kelvin.

      May be easier to just stay in Celsius, and maybe even give the Fahrenheit figures too (since most Americans don't think in C).

      "The more the Democrats pursue the center... the further to the right the "center" moves." -fellow kossack vacantlook

      by Hopeful Skeptic on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 03:44:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Most Americans can only deal with F (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hopeful Skeptic

        If you tell them the temp should be around -5°F or whereabouts, but it is about 50°F, they can't really deduce how much of the effect ratiometrically is caused by the atmosphere.

        It is hard to deal with a lay audience, when you try to introduce more complicated science and math.  So few have been able to do it with great ease, and those who can are often attacked by the scientific community as "popularizers".  If people had a better scientific background, or even simply paid attention in high school, this wouldn't be a problem.

        OTOH, if they paid more attention, we wouldn't have a lot of the problems we face today!

  •  Really small time constant (0+ / 0-)
    Great demonstration.  

    One other point that's hard for non-scientists to grasp is the extreme inertia of the global climate system.  The forcings can (and do) increase dramatically, but the system warms very slowly on the human time scale; we're nowhere near equilibrium.  Non-scientists typically have difficulty appreciating the very large and the very slow.

    A demonstration I imagined for this would be to light a candle or some similar small flame under a very large pot or tub of water.  What will be its equilibrium temperature?  How long will it take to get 90% of the way to that temperature?  Adding greenhouse gasses could be lighting the flame, or one say the flame is insolation and then put a lid on the pot to simulate adding more CO2 to the atmosphere.  

    Are you just going to gripe about it, or are you going to do something to change it?

    by smithbm on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 09:47:32 AM PST

  •  Do the same with methane .. (0+ / 0-)

    and realize that methane has 20 to 30 times the effect as a GHG.

    .. atmospheric methane concentrations have varied between about .3 to .4 parts per million during cold periods to .6 to .7 parts per million during warm periods. Current average methane concentrations in the Arctic average about 1.85 parts per million, the highest in 400,000 years, she said. Concentrations above the East Siberian Arctic Shelf are even higher.

    Here's my hypothesis, one which I don't see discussed much in the media:

    This increase in localized GHG effect could result in methane becoming a significant player locally in areas like the Arctic; keep in mind that atmospheric mixing takes time. Methane levels will remain high locally near areas where it's released, potentially creating a local feedback loop as heat is trapped, releasing yet more methane.

    Each relative increase or roughly an extra ppm of methane adds a CO2 equivalent of 20 to 30 ppm. So parts of the Arctic are already seeing not 390 ppm, but well over 400 ppm. There have been few studies of methane prior to very recent times, and I wonder if the local knock on effect of increased methane in the Arctic could be a contributing factor in explaining why Arctic temps are already higher.

    "the work goes on, the cause endures .. "

    by shpilk on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 09:53:28 AM PST

  •  The micro-scale chemistry is not in dispute. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It really isn't.

    Nice illustration on some of the principles that should be required knowledge for ANYONE who opens their mouth on the topic. Thanks.

  •  Elegant demonstration (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Puts the argument in terms even the mouth breathers may be able to grasp.

    Money=speech; every dollar has a right to be heard. The Supremes

    by orson on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 10:17:03 AM PST

  •  Yeah, but I don't see Jesus in your "lab" (0+ / 0-)

    If God had wanted those bottles to remain clear, they would remain clear.

    Very cool demo.  Quite en"light"ening.

    I notice that when an outside door is open on a cold day, the cold air coming in is much more real to me than to my wife and kids.  I visualize the air flowing in along the floor and gradually building up.  I also picture the hot and cold molecules colliding, stealing heat from the room.  This seems to make me much more aware of energy inefficiencies than the rest of my family.  I've been wondering how to make this more real.

    I'm trying to think of something that makes real the invisible gases emitted any time an internal combustion machine is running.  If everyone saw CO2 streaming from cars along our roads, and streaming out of our lawnmowers, I believe it would lead to more efficiency.  There is a lot of energy to be saved just by not gunning the car for one block, only to stop at the next light.

    Uh, I guess I haven't offered any good visualizations.  I would like to think of a demonstration to make these invisible things more real to people, just as you have done here.

    Hope has never trickled down. It has always sprung up.

    by geomoo on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 10:28:44 AM PST

  •  Very Creative!!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Great example!!

  •  A few things that were impactful for me (0+ / 0-)

    as I learned about climate change (I like to call it global climate heating)
    1)water is one of the few things that floats when it is frozen. Most people don't understand how rare the frozen environment is.
    2)And a change of a few degrees doesn't seem like a big deal. Unless it's the few degrees of difference from frozen water to liquid water. Then it's a big deal. Ask people if they can feel the difference between 71 & 75 degrees F. outdoors? no. inside? yes. They have to compare the temp of the whole planet to inside. We are all inside one big atmosphere.

    "We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard." ~JFK

    by spiraltn on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 11:12:16 AM PST

  •  I didn't like it (0+ / 0-)

    The big hole in the demonstration is that in order for it to be valid, the transmissive properties of the ink to visible radiation should match the transmissive properties of CO2 to infrared radiation.

    Also, calling infrared radiation heat is a little too dumbed down for my taste. It's not heat. It's radiation. If it were heat, when you pass it through nitrogen and oxygen, they would get warm, but they don't. Heat is a measure of molecular and atomic kinetic energy, ie., vibrational (intramolecular movement between atoms), rotational and translational (straight line motion) energies. Absorbed infrared radiation causes vibrational enery that matctches the energy of the frequency of infrared light absorbed. That increased vibrational energy becomes rotational and translational energy via molecular collisions and heat is the outcome.

  •  If You Paint Your Roof Black (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hopeful Skeptic

    If you paint your roof black will it warm your house even if it's only 0.04% of the mass of your house?

    Does Fox News ruin the media even if it's only 0.04% of the hot air on TV?

    I don't know. What do you think? Everyone needs to know about these controversies.

  •  $0.02 (0+ / 0-)

    Good demonstration.  I've come to the conclusion that in the U.S. people don't buy into the whole global warming thing because in a very fundamental way they just don't understand science.  An atmosphere with 500 ppm of CO2 is just not going to behave in the same way as an atmosphere with 300 ppm.  For someone who understands science it's indisputable; for someone who doesn't it doesn't even register.  And those are the people who are getting in the way of effective action against climate change. And even those who are somewhat on the bandwagon are unclear on the concept: One hears a lot of talk these days about negotiations, conferences, legislation, etc. with the intent to "reduce emissions" by X%.  Great.  Now figure out what to do about the emissions THAT ARE ALREADY IN THE ATMOSPHERE AS A RESULT OF TWO HUNDRED YEARS OF FOSSIL FUEL CONSUMPTION.  Hmph.  Didn't think so......

    Well, it sure is a mess, ain’t it, Sheriff....
    Yep, and if it ain’t it’ll do ‘til the mess gets here.

  •  Great Video (0+ / 0-)

    Very well done!

    Most people would have a very hard time understanding how something so small could have such a big effect. Perhaps this will help them visualize it.

    One minor point about the text that you might consider. Infrared is a type of light.

    It turns out that CO2 is very efficient in trapping infrared radiation, which is better known as heat and it is transparent to visible radiation, which is better known as light.

    I suppose that technically heat is a measure of the motion of molecules. What we think of as heat is a sensation from our nerves measuring the local motion of molecules. When we touch something colder than our fingers, heat is transfered from our fingers and the nerves sense this drop in their heat.

    Heat can be transfered directly by molecules in one body colliding with those in another or by electromagnetic radiation (the motion of photons). Infrared and visible light are different wavelengths of such radiation. With infrared you feel the heat transfer without seeing any light, so it feels like "heat".

    Good luck with the video!

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