Jim your post is dead on correct in explaining the technical aspects of global warming/climate change. Where the controversy lies is in the assertion by some that humans are causing this.
If that is the case then we should not post out of context snippets from data sets that would indicate there was some question of that fact, and then have a collective mental ejaculation about how clearly the misconstrued evidence shows there is no "global warming."
Where the specific rub lies is that those who are saying that global warming/climate change is a human caused event blame the rise in CO2 specifically. Gore does this in his presentation and in his book (page 65 "An Inconvenient Truth"). We therefore ideally, can combat global warming by eliminating CO2 emissions.
This was the aim of the Kyoto fiasco.
This is where we disagree. No one credible is saying humans alone are the cause of the present climate change. What is being postulated is that humans are contributing to the natural causes, and the consequences may be quite dire for the human species. The difference is how you view the extent of the oscillations of an unstable system when you add a new stimulus to it. It is this concern that people who advocate instituting controls of human civilization's emissions into the troposphere are addressing.
What is coming to light and more and more people are seeing this, is that where the money is so lies the "truth" as one member put it here in this thread.
This is more political propaganda. Money, in great quantities is at risk for those who derive their income from selling more carbon based fuels. A lot more than is being given away in grants to study global climate change mechanisms. This is one of the aspects of your particular argument that screams "RED FUCKING HERRING" and makes your entire perspective sound like baloney.
None of us (I think at least none of us) here are arguing that there is a climate change occurring. What is being argued is whether or not we can do anything to make it worse or make it better.
If that is the case we should be arguing completely different points. Such as, what the specific mechanisms are and how humans can influence them. Instead we hear your and others with similar POLITICAL outlooks chant about how global climate change is not real because somewhere the temperatures are lower than they were last year and that this is all some conspiracy by Al Gore to fuck the oil companies. So, lets talk about whether what can do is what we should do and if that will have any effect.
My particular point of view is that we are being taken to the cleaners by political groups and in fact nation states, by spending all of these funds on studies, on reduced emissions, cap and trade, and of course the lost production that really can not be quantified accurately.
The only reason there is any lost production is because we are at our core, for sale for a dollar. Don't allow people who don't share the values of America to sell shit in our country, or, really, don't allow Americans to buy shit in countries that don't share our basic values with the intent to import them into the United States.
But strip away all the fluff and your argument is the same, greedy, selfish and essentially morally empty argument that if doing the right thing costs you anything you vote to fuck the right thing because in your lifetime the bad shit won't manifest. This and the RED FUCKING HERRING feature of your argument make it all about your money
, which has no scientific value to the discussion.
We have hard empirical evidence by many studies (I cited several in and earlier post) that shows increased CO2 levels are a result of higher temperatures not a cause. This is further compounded by the fact that if we were to cut off all human made CO2 emissions if would not reduce the total parts per million by even a full percentage point. This according to Jim Hansen, a climate researcher at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He says:
“If we stopped producing GHGs, some of the amounts in the air would plummet pretty fast. Even CO2, with its long lifetime would be losing more than 1 ppm [part per million] per year."
So what is the current level of CO2 in the air you may ask? According to a recent report it is at 385 PPM (BSP ::
) Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim? Volume 2 pp.217-231 (15) Authors: James Hansen, Makiko Sato, Pushker Kharecha, David Beerling, Robert Berner, Valerie Masson-Delmotte, Mark Pagani, Maureen Raymo, Dana L. Royer, James C. Zachos
So if we were to "flip a switch" and eliminate CO2 emissions tomorrow we would reduce it by one (1) PPM per year. That is a 0.25974% yearly decrease if I did my math correct (please check it, seriously math makes my head hurt).
So then that begs the question how much can we influence it if we keep on emitting CO2? Let's look at the Greenpeace website (CO2 emissions | Greenpeace USA
) where they say the following:
"the US is the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases and is responsible for almost a quarter of global emissions of carbon dioxide."
So if we in the U.S. quit emitting CO2 tomorrow that means we would reduce the CO2 levels by .064935% per year.
This is another misuse of data. If you understood the problem better you would be happy to be able to drop 1 PPM/year.
Think of the analogy of the straw that broke the camel's back. If we manage to slow the rate of CO2 contributions to the troposphere that are due to man's activities, or even, as you suggested reverse it, it is feasible we will not "break the camel's back."
The rate of change in any oscillating system in nature is linked to the amplitude of the oscillations. In this case the issue boils down to whether or not mankind's contributions (from all mankind driven sources) to the mechanisms responsible for the rate at which global climate change is coming will drive a temperature excursion that is abnormally high. And, if it is, can we do something to damp rather than excite the amplitude?
As for your CO2 concentration timing based on ice cores, I would agree that at the times of highest temperature in the excursion the mechanisms causing the excursions should be liberating CO2 from the storage areas in ice and water at the fastest rate. All this indicates is that when it gets really fucking hot, some forms of life will thrive, while others won't, and some of the other mechanisms involved with the warming side of the equation will peter out faster and have a more controlling aspect on global climate change. After all, it does "return to normal" eventually, and it is unlikely that CO2 alone is the culprit.
What you miss is the only aspect we are aware of that mankind contributes to, and therefore mankind can affect, is the CO2 part of the problem.
All of this is to illustrate 2 points:
1. We do not have a significant effect on CO2 levels (either increasing or decreasing) to warrant a change in current emissions.
That is just blatantly bullshit. Being able to change the CO2 levels by 1 PPM one way or another per year is hardly insignificant.
2. Any "reduction in emissions" that is to be accomplished would have no therapeutic effect on the climate.
Also essentially rubbish. Dropping 1 PPM per year would completely negate the human contribution to the existing CO2 levels inside of a single generation.
The real issue here is that for convenience your political bent to this issue depends on making it a black and white issue. All or nothing. Which does favor the "fuck it, let the good times roll" agenda you represent. In reality the issue is can we damp the system response to human activity and preserve the human species by curtailing our growing poisoning of the atmosphere (troposphere in particular) through the use of our combined technical capabilities?
The answer is not clear, but for you that means don't try since you might suffer some inconvenience, personally or collectively with those of your political outlook, and not reap some kind of reward in your lifetime. For many of the rest of the people, that means we should try because the consequences are unimaginable. And, if the space program is any indicator, the benefits of the technologies such an endeavor will spawn are going to make a bunch of new wealth. I would also prefer that wealth be American, and that can only happen if the effort is led by America.