Hard to believe you've had three wee ones in the time since we met in person years ago. I bet they are just adorable. Love to your family from me. We had a marvelous time with you and your wife.
Let's not start talking about banning. Believe it or not, James V. was one of the first people on this forum, years ago. We have plenty of leeway here for civil debate about any subject, and I find this one to be of utmost importance. I am completely open to hearing the "other side" of this debate here, and there is no need for rancor, as James personally is not responsible for what is happening. (I should note that I do
approve of such rancor now and again, when it is directed at people who have been attacking me personally with the most venomous and vile calumny and mendacity.)
I can understand not wanting to give "link love" to websites pushing what appears to be an abhorrent and erroneous perspective - who is funding that site, by the way? We have removed live links in the past with sites that attack me personally with all manner of calumny and libel. Note that I did not have anything to do with Robert's decisions in this regard. We can leave the polar link standing, but I would submit that the science on that issue appears to be up in the air, as I could provide any number of links that say otherwise, such as:
Polar BearPolar bears are in serious danger of going extinct due to global warming.
Polar bears were the first vertebrate species to be listed by the US Endangered Species Act (ESA) as threatened by extinction primarily because of global warming. This listing happened in 2008 because of the ongoing loss of critical habitat for polar bears, the arctic sea ice on which they live and depend to hunt their almost exclusive prey, seals.Shrinking Sea Ice
Rising temperatures in the world’s oceans are causing sea ice to disappear for longer and longer periods during the late summer, leaving polar bears insufficient time to hunt. This is a worldwide problem and the ESA has listed polar bears as threatened everywhere in the world they occur. This species occurs only in the arctic and in the subarctic Hudson Bay area. Polar bears can only survive in areas where the oceans freeze, allowing them to hunt seals living under, on or in the frozen polar ice cap.
Orbiting satellites have been able to track the seasonal extent of sea ice since 1979, and the trends are very disturbing for the future of the polar bear. The minimum extent of sea ice occurs in mid-September and new records lows for this minimum are now regular events. The most recent minimum low was set in 2012, surpassing the previous minimum of 2007. The trend is for the last summer sea ice in the arctic to be farther and farther from shore, making it necessary for polar bears to swim increasingly long distances from shore to reach the ice. Worse, the last remaining sea ice is over deep and unproductive waters that yield less prey....
Polar bears need our help and protection to ensure a long, healthy future for the species. The best way you can help polar bears is by reducing your carbon emissions and working with National Wildlife Federation to campaign for reductions in global warming pollutants....
Moreover, we are still evidently dealing with a disturbing decline in the penguin populace in Patagonia
, for example, and all the rest of the examples I've already given. Orange County Denialists
You are correct that I am not an expert on the science of gasses, but the "C02 is good for you" argument is directly out of the denialist playbook - I call such individuals the "Orange County" denialists, because it was from that part of California where I first heard these denials many year ago, shocking at the time. These views were held by Christian fanatics who both denied that humanity was harming the environment and claimed that the world needs to be destroyed for Jesus to return, all at once. At the time, there was no serious science behind these claims, which went like this: Volcanos pump loads of C02 into the environment, much more than humans; therefore, we shouldn't worry about what humans are doing to the environment.
Also, American secretary of the interior James Watts
- is that where the website in question gets its name? - became a menacing laughingstock with his Christian fanatical beliefs that it mattered not whether or not we protected the environment, because Jesus would return after everything was destroyed. So, my eyebrows raise just a tad when I hear a rationalist towing this party line.
Moreover, this same religious 'tude is present in what I call the "Stinkin' Earth
" mentality, as I have outlined in various articles.
Note that I did not associate you personally with murderous dictators. What I said is that the death toll from climate change will easily give the most murderous human dictators a run for their money. Nothing has changed my opinion in that regard. 1.5 billion people without water could turn out to be the most appalling genocide in history.
Many Himalayan Glaciers Melting at Alarming Rates
Washington, DC 14 September 2012 – Glaciers in the east and central regions of the Hindu Kush-Himalaya (HKH) region are retreating at an alarming rate according to a new report released this week by the National Research Council. While the glaciers in the western HKH appear to be stable and possibly growing, glaciers over the rest of the HKH are melting at rates similar to the collapsing glaciers in much of the rest of the world.
Warming is particularly acute at higher elevations of the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau, which over the past fifty years have warmed at three times the global average.
The report, which analyzes current scientific knowledge about the glaciers in the HKH region and impacts on water resources, notes that glacier melt provides needed water during extreme weather events such as droughts, acting as a ‘buffer’ when water needs are more desperate, although it found that the melt is not likely to significantly impact water resources in the near-term at low elevations where rains and snow-melt are more important. The glaciers are the headwaters for rivers that provide fresh water and irrigation for as many as 1.5 billion people in Asia.
“The number of disastrous droughts and extreme temperature events in Asia have more than doubled over the past twenty years and they are only expected to increase as climate change gets worse,” stated Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development. “This report underscores the need to take fast action to protect this critical region including rapid reductions of short-lived climate pollutants particularly black carbon.”
Just reading these articles makes me groan, as the situation seems so very dire, yet we fiddle while Rome burns. As I explain in my "Stinkin' Earth" articles, I myself became involved increasingly in debunking religion after it was made clear to me that religious fanatics cared not for the planet and would not make any effort to help prevent environmental destruction. I've been an environmentalist since the 1960s, when my family was already recycling and using biodegradable products - I thought everyone was, and I was shocked by the lack of action in other parts of the world when I left my childhood home.
As concerns the melting glaciers, note that it's not just scientists in the U.S. or elsewhere making these observations but the people who actually live in these areas. For example, one "guardian" of the Ganges living near its source was quite alarmed some years ago. Again, the people in mountainous regions have observed the glaciers shrinking - and, according to the scientific reports I've seen, they are
shrinking. That fact will spell tremendous disaster for much of humanity, not to mention plants and animals.
Despite the debate over the polar bears and the C02 issue, what I said above remains valid. Native peoples everywhere are concerned about environmental degradation, with good cause! Their climate is
changing, and pollution seems to play a very big factor in that problem. We cannot pump tons of pollutants into our environment and expect nothing bad to happen. Rationally, we cannot have enormous patches of trash in the oceans and wonder what is killing off marine life. Arctic Inuit sue U.S. government over global warming pollution
Furthermore, with this climate change, we are evidently seeing much larger and more destructive weather patterns, such as the storms that are the subject of this original discussion.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest report (2007) states it is likely that “future tropical cyclones (typhoons and hurricanes) will become more intense, with larger peak wind speeds and more heavy precipitation associated with ongoing [sea surface temperature increases]”. The scientific, peer reviewed studies used to inform the assessment, as well as studies that have since been published, indicate that climate change will affect the intensity, frequency and paths of strong storm and wave events. They also indicate a global trend towards increased intensity of hurricanes over the past few decades – most notably in the North Atlantic and Indian oceans. Coastal planning efforts rely on historical estimates of sea level, storm frequency and storm wave heights, and hundred year flood levels. This bias on historical data could leave many coastal communities unprepared in the face of climate change.
Is it not claimed that Hurricane Sandy was the biggest in the Atlantic in history