Global Warming Disease Hype

OK, OK, man-made global warming is real and it might pose some problems for humanity, but one of the most overhyped "problems" is the claim that GW will drive "tropical" diseases into temperate zones. One such over-the-top article "Climate Change Drives Disease To New Territory" appears in today's Washington Post. The article portentuously declares:

Global warming -- with an accompanying rise in floods and droughts -- is fueling the spread of epidemics in areas unprepared for the diseases, say many health experts worldwide. Mosquitoes, ticks, mice and other carriers are surviving warmer winters and expanding their range, bringing health threats with them.

Let's take a look at the diseases listed by the Post article that we in the United States will soon allegedly enjoy thanks for rising temperatures.

Malaria--This mosquito-borne parasite was probably first brought to the Americas 500 years ago by Spanish explorers. Historically, malaria outbreaks occurred as far north as Sweden and Finland. Malaria was endemic to most of the United States until the 20th century and it wasn't eradiated until 1950 in the southern U.S. when disease-carrying mosquitoes were controlled by the application of DDT. Fun fact: During the Civil War, one half of the white troops and 80 percent of the black soldiers of the Union Army got malaria annually. If malaria becomes epidemic in the United States again that will signal far worse public health problems than an increase in average global temperatures. And if malaria is still infecting 600 million people per year by 2100 that will mean that human ingenuity has failed to increase wealth for the poorest of the world's people, improve mosquito control and develop an effective vaccine.

Cholera--This water and food-borne bacterial disease arose in India during the early 1800s and spread along the world's trading routes very quickly. Outbreaks in New York in 1832 and 1848 killed thousands and periodic epidemics spread nationwide. It was defeated by creation of sanitary water supplies and sewage disposal. The disease returned to the Americas in 1991 apparently when a cargo ship dumped its contaminated bilge into the harbor at Lima, Peru. It spread rapidly because Peruvian public health authorities had stopped chlorinating public water supplies. Again, if the disease becomes epidemic again in the U.S., higher temperatures will not be the cause and will be the least of our worries.

Dengue Fever--This mosquito-borne viral disease apparently began in Africa and was spread by the slave trade. The first outbreak was recorded in Indonesia in 1779 and an outbreak occurred in Philadelphia a year later. The disease remained endemic in a swath across U.S. southern states until this century. Mosquito control finally eliminated it.

Lyme Disease--This tick-borne bacterial disease was first found in Lyme, Connecticut. The Centers for Disease Control believe that its spread is the result of reforestation around suburban communities that created the perfect habitat for burgeoning herds of deer and coincidentally deer ticks which carry the disease. White tail deer range throughout most of the United States. A few years back I actually got the characteristic Lyme bull's eye rash from a tick that I apparently picked up while working around my cabin. I took antibiotics and am fine. We await the development of a truly effective vaccine.

West Nile Virus--This mosquito-borne virus first appeared in New York City in 1999, apparently somehow arriving from Israel. It is quickly spreading across the country carried by birds on which mosquitoes feast. The Centers for Disease Control map of WNV and related viruses shows that WNV is not confined to tropical regions. WNV took hold here not because of increases in global temperatures, but because, like malaria, cholera, and dengue before it, an appropriate carrier finally made it across the Atlantic. Like all of the other diseases discussed by the Washington Post, lowering temperatures is not the way they will be controlled, effective vaccines is.

It is true that at the margin higher average temperatures may help some diseases and their vectors to spread a bit, but with regard to controlling infectious diseases we've got much bigger problems than that. The fact is we already know how to control diseases no matter what the climate is--better vector control and the development of effective vaccines. Focusing on anything else is just another exaggerated environmentalist scare story.

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  • Captain Holly||

    Boy, you're on a roll today, Ron.

    But for us fans, could you just include one snarky disclaimer, for old times' sake?

  • ||

    The way I see it, the disease threat as it applies to Global warming is that a sudden and significant rise of sea levels will force mass disorderly migration of humans around the globe. It is that migration and poor conditions which will be the disease vector problem problem. Minimizing that vector problem revolves around minimizing the rate of sea level change; which means minimizing the forces which trap heat; which means minimizing various greenhouse gasses.

  • Thomas Paine's Goiter||

    The way I see it, the disease threat as it applies to Global warming is that a sudden and significant rise of sea levels will force mass disorderly migration of humans around the globe.

    Disorderly migration? Do you think that the seas are going to come up in one month?

  • ||

    So, Sam, how do we go about minimizing "greenhouse gasses?"

    Whose national economy do we select to cripple by mandating reductions in carbon monoxide emissions? What form do those mandates take? How much gov't force is appropriate to employ to this end?

  • R C Dean||

    OK, OK, man-made global warming is real

    I think this is an over-reading of the NOAA report. I haven't read the original, but all the press release said was that the data was "consistent" with man-made global warming.

    That means man-made global warming can't be ruled out. That does not mean that we now understand the mechanisms and causation of the current warming trend enough to say that anthropogenic CO2 is making a contribution that matters.

    In other words, we can now say there is correlation. We are not to the point where we can reach a conclusion on causation.

    Unless somebody can point me to the language in the NOAA report that settles the issue of causation?

  • ||

    I thought that the sickle cell trait imparted resistance to the malaria parasite. Shouldn't blacks, as a general rule, be less susceptible to the disease?

    I'm building my global warming bunker. It's kind of dome shaped, and I'm going to have all of my residents kill themselves via some sort of, I don't know, carousel, when they turn thirty. What? Can't let the bunker get overcrowded, now can we?

    I'd run amok in terror, but I'm too filled with ennui. I do have one question: Would this issue be handled differently if the warming was real and fast-paced but not in any way attributable to man-made causes? I have a feeling the focus would be less on shutting everything down and more on adapting to the changes. But I remain ennui-filled, so don't go by my opinion.

  • ||

    I, too, remain skeptical of anthrogenic global warming. Past events such as the Maunder Minumum and developing data such as suggestions that Mars, too, is experiencing some form of climate change leave me unconvinced as to the proof.

    Too, the political eagerness to use anthrogenic global warming as a club with which to beat free-market economies into a bloody pulp makes me greatly inclined to skepticism.

  • ||

    "Disorderly migration? Do you think that the seas are going to come up in one month?"

    I don't thinik there are any real good numbers out yet on just how much and how soon a sea level rise there will be over the next 100 years. Using the 2001 IPCC numbers, it would be 0.2- 0.8 meters depending on how much greenhouse gasses are released. Comments from climatologists and other related scientists, suggest that it could be higher; at minimum (all Co2 stopped now) there is allegedly enough thermal inertia to result in at least 1 meter of sea level rise by 2100; with a probable range of 2-7 meters by then depending on uncertainties and what we actually do. I expect the new IPCC later this year will clarify some of this. Keep in mind we have for a few years now a few million refugees in Darfur that we can't do much about, those who make it to the refugee camps live in disease, squalor and somewhat less terror; imagine all the coasts of the world like that...with repurcussions in the interrior. Also there have been suggstions that in the past (this Holocene interglacial period) there were very sudden rises in sea level, though we may or may not see these. Reasearch is needed.

    "how do we go about minimizing "greenhouse gasses?"

    with good ideas.

    Start by ending subsidies/tax breaks to fossil fuels (thats %30 of the U.S. Kyoto goal right there). Follow by ending all corporate welfare (this helps enrich other nations so they can better deal with climate change). Get our governments to lead by requiring the government to pay for Carbon Credits for it's activities. Icould o on, byut my cat is annoying me.

  • ||

    Sorry, should have said anthropogenic.

    Man-caused, human-generated, whatever. That'll teach me to use a two-dollar word where a nickel word would do.

  • ||

    "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"

    From the one of the greatest enemies Rethuglians leaning Libertarians ever had, and founder of the Post Office.

  • ||

    Sorry, Sam, I'll plead ignorance -- what subsidies does the gov't supply to fossil fuels at this time?

    I wasn't aware that the fossil-fuel-derived energy industry required subsidy to turn a profit. If there are such subsidies in place, I'm all for removing them, though I must admit to being puzzled as to how that relates directly to the Kyoto Treaty.

  • ||

    So Sam's answer is "No, they won't rise in a month".

  • ||

    Even when that "ounce of prevention" is in lead, and is administered intracranially, Rich?

  • Neil||

    So all we need to do is create vaccines and we'll be fine? It all sounds so simple, except the, uh, science required to actually do it.

  • ||

    Poor Richard, the problem with that analogy--with apologies to Mr. Franklin--is that we may be looking at fifty pounds of prevention for one pound of cure. Get the politics out of the science, and maybe we can figure out what we should be doing. I doubt seriously that we're going to cut energy use enough on a global level to make a difference, even if man-made contributions to global warming are the big problem, so we're probably wasting time even discussing Kyoto, etc.

  • uncle sam||

    Start by ending subsidies/tax breaks to fossil fuels (thats %30 of the U.S. Kyoto goal right there). Follow by ending all corporate welfare (this helps enrich other nations so they can better deal with climate change). Get our governments to lead by requiring the government to pay for Carbon Credits for it's activities. Icould o on, byut my cat is annoying me.

    I'll agree to that except we should remove the qualifiers. end subsidies/tax breaks "period"
    Start by ending

  • ||

    Actually, if we'd quit being pussies about using nuclear power, we could probably go a long way towards reducing the most noxious energy-related emissions.

    I've read that a coal-fired plant puts out more externally-detectable radiation than your average US-construction nuclear plant. If we were to replace all of those coal-fired plants with nukes, THAT would probably account for your "30% of the Kyoto" Treaty goal, right there.

    But, since the REAL agenda here is to disrupt, distort and destroy the system of free market capitalism, it's rejected out of hand. Paugh.

  • ||

    Something to think about: Disease-carrying insects move north

    As the Earth warms, insects that carry disease are spreading into new areas, bringing the West Nile virus to Canada and malaria to high valleys. Dr. Paul Epstein, who teaches at Harvard Medical School and once worked in Africa, said the shift is coming faster than physicians anticipated ... The World Health Organization says at least 30 diseases are either new or making comebacks because of climate change, a shift in the pattern of infectious disease unlike anything seen since the Industrial Revolution.

  • ||

    Malaria? Bring it on, just load up on quinine.

    Gin and tonic bartender, and keep 'em coming.

  • ||

    Ronald Bailey,

    This mosquito-borne parasite was probably first brought to the Americas 500 years ago by Spanish explorers. Historically, malaria outbreaks occurred as far north as Sweden and Finland.

    Whatever the mnerits of your argument (and I think that they are basically sound) note that it was the least harmful of the malaria strains that Europe and North America experienced.

  • ||

    I thought that the sickle cell trait imparted resistance to the malaria parasite. Shouldn't blacks, as a general rule, be less susceptible to the disease?

    I'm building my global warming bunker. It's kind of dome shaped, and I'm going to have all of my residents kill themselves via some sort of, I don't know, carousel, when they turn thirty. What? Can't let the bunker get overcrowded, now can we?

    >"I'd run amok in terror, but I'm too filled with ennui. I do have one question: Would this issue be handled differently if the warming was real and fast-paced but not in any way attributable to man-made causes? I have a feeling the focus would be less on shutting everything down and more on adapting to the changes. But I remain ennui-filled, so don't go by my opinion.>"


    Liberate, that is funniest post I have read in weeks. You are absolutely right. And in answer to your question would be dealt with quite differently. Then of course if scientists said wealth redistribution programs, volvos, NPR and large scale "teachins" and "marches" caused global warming, I doubt many of its most dedicated Casandras would have much enthusiasm for the cause.

    Also, can I be one of the old guys who secretly runs your global warming bunker? Or, if not, one of the guys who hunts down those that try to get out into the "poisoned air"?

  • ||

    The following site:
    http://www.taxpayer.net/TCS/fuelsubfact.htm
    may be complete BS, but I haven't gotten through the other google links to 'fossil subsidies' quite yet. Nonetheless, they say that cutting the $5 Billion a year set of subsidies they receive would result in 30% of the U.S. Kyoto target...which is far from controlling the climate, but is a decent start.

    The real long term threat to avoid is some thing like the extinction event of 55 million years ago. This would take a while and alot of CO2, but after some point would be unavoidable. Preventing that is doable by replacing fossil fuels with Nuke power is probably the best thing, getting the world as rich as possible so we can cope with whatever whatver happens is the next hurdle. Obviously EnviroNazism might slow global warming, but won't really help humanity. Short of that extinction event is a complete melting of all ice caps; this means 80 meters of water higher than today. Unless we/something can somehow relatively quickly suck up the Co2 we have released, this is likely to happen...several thousand years from now.

    Don't panic. Get rich. Don't buy fossil fueled power if you can help it; take advantage of www.Carbonfund.org or www.terrapass.com when you can't. End Corruption and inneficiency; corporate welfare etc. Don't give in to EnviroNazis (they suck). Don't Panic. Get Rich.

  • ||

    So all we need to do is create vaccines and we'll be fine? It all sounds so simple, except the, uh, science required to actually do it.

    Or we could just control the mosquito population through targeted applications of pesticides, maintain our current water treatment and sewage disposal methods, and keep the deer population in check by hunting. Not very popular methods with the environmental crowd but effective.

  • ||

    Neil: Is "science" about to stop?

  • ||

    Science doesn't stop, htough it may get underfunded; but I'd be more worried about distibuting the vaccines and cures in the face of Darfur-like situations.

  • uncle sam||

    The members of the chicken little crew know how to work the system but fail to take the long term view. If they manage to panic the populace into supporting stringent controls on emissions, then, when the economy takes a downturn, the populace will throw out the bastards and put in a different set of bastards to change the policy.

  • ||

    Apropos of Global Warming(tm) panic, I heard on NPR this afternoon...god I hesitate to even type this out-- I mean, I nearly wrecked my car when the guy uttered it-- he made reference to insurance companies being a risky investment because global climate change is causing storms and... lord forgive me, this is hard:

    earthquakes

  • ||

    earthquakes...

    and baldness, halitosis, bedwetting...

  • ||

    Paul, the earthquakes are Gaia sobbing. May She forgive you.

  • ||

    Paul,

    Maybe he thinks that melting the ice caps will cause some shift in tectonic plates? *shrug*

  • ||

    Maybe he thinks that melting the ice caps will cause some shift in tectonic plates? *shrug*

    The guy wasn't a scientist, he just blurted it out and continued on with the primary subject. It's just that it's proof that so many people have bought into the hype, that the Truth(tm) may never actually be known.

    Regardless of how much C02 is contributing to global climate change- if a discernible amount at all- one can't cut to the facts without having to smack down 50,000 crackpot arguments forwarded by activist groups who have to "get some broadbased support, to capture the public's imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have."

    Whatever works for 'em, I guess...

  • ||

    Let me guess Paul, the NPR guy conducting the show didn't miss a beat. Didn't ask anything like "earthquakes? are you on drugs?" Nope, just took it as gospel and went on.

  • ||

    Let me guess Paul, the NPR guy conducting the show didn't miss a beat. Didn't ask anything like "earthquakes? are you on drugs?" Nope, just took it as gospel and went on.

    Oh no, there was no followup, but in defense of NPR (yeah, I know, 'defense' and 'npr' in the same sentence is difficult) the focus of the segment wasn't global warming. It was a finance segment and the comment was more off-hand-- it wasn't a focal point of the piece. And for broadcast flow, it would have been strange had someone popped in and said "Saaay what?!!". Remember, journalism: it's still entertainment.

  • R C Dean||

    Unless somebody can point me to the language in the NOAA report that settles the issue of causation?

    Anyone?

  • ||

    "OK, OK, man-made global warming is real..."

    RTFD, not the "executive summary". "Global warming" (defined as "we're warmer now than 15 years ago") is real.

    The "man-made" part is still in dispute.

  • Thomas Paine's Goiter||

    Sam:

    Your answer is then "No, the seas won't flood costal areas in one month leading to mass unorganized migration." Thank you.

    with a probable range of 2-7 meters by then

    Do you honestly believe this? Really?

  • ||

    You know, speaking of NPR, I had a weird insight this morning. Yeah, they lean leftwards (even my leftish friends admit that much), but almost everything they report on has some political or federal government twist to it. Lots on foreign policy, lots on politically "hot" issues (like New Orleans and Katrina), lots on political games being played by both parties--in other words, everything ties into Washington. I suppose that's not surprising given the nature of NPR, but I never really saw the network in that light before.

    Carry on with the previous thread already in progress.

  • ||

    lots on political games being played by both parties--in other words, everything ties into Washington.

    I'm surprised you only recently realized this... or maybe you don't listen to NPR that much.

    But... yes. NPR heavily uses what I call the 'three ring circuis of journalism' approach: race/environment/government - and then always ties the three subjects into what the feds are going about it.

    If one were to listen to NPR without a critical ear, one would begin to think that every waking moment of our day is caught up in a whirlwind of government control, regulation, and mandate. Oh, wait... never mind.

  • ||

    The "man-made" part is still in dispute.

    Regardless, calculating what PERCENTAGE of warming is attributed to man-made co2 emissions is, at best, guesswork. Especially because there are all kinds of wildly fluctuating things in nature which occasionally release huge amounts of co2 into the atmosphere in singular events.

    In fact, note the subtle language change from Global Warming to Climate Change. That's because we were told that humans were causing global cooling. When the evidence failed to come in, the logical opposite (knowing we don't have a static climate) is that we must be getting warmer. Then, fearing that directly proving a 'warming' was difficult to do, especially if you're an honest scientist, a more generic term was adopted to cover all possible future climate scenarios to which we can easily tack on man's handiwork: climate 'change'. I gotta hand it to the activists: now we're all set for life. Any change in climate is now man made.

    By the way, I keep hearing that we're 'past the tipping point', so doesn't that mean that we can all relax because we're all doomed?

  • R C Dean||

    RTFD, not the "executive summary".

    Sorry, I have neither the time nor the expertise.

    "Global warming" (defined as "we're warmer now than 15 years ago") is real.

    I'm not arguing that.

    The "man-made" part is still in dispute.

    My point exactly. However, people, including Mr. Bailey, are citing the NOAA report as if it resolves the dispute. I don't think it does, and am asking someone to point me to the part of the report that addresses causation. No one has.

  • Al Fin||

    If we can only convince everyone that global warming is the greatest threat to mankind, we can control the world, my friends. We have old media on our side, and most political activists. But still a lot of ordinary people resist us. What should we do?

  • ||

    If my choices are being ruled by the Eco-Facist Overlords or putting up with higher sea levels, I'll start building my House 'o Stilts now.

    Either that or an ark.

    Now I have Bill Cosby's old "Noah" routine running in my head...

  • ||

    Riiiight... it's Big Greenpeace up to its usual global domination conspiracy, oppressing the poor disenfranchised oil and coal companies...

    I suppose one could legitimately doubt global warming and the 150% increase in atmospheric CO2 levels since the industrial revolution, and the possible impending catastrophe if we don't follow the EU's lead and start trading Carbon credits like we did for CFC's (over the tremendous protests of Dupont etc, but with no long-term detrimental effect on the economy), and switch to nuclear and renewables... But then, if you jump off a cliff, you can doubt that you will hit the ground right up until you actually do...

    Seriously, there won't be much of a glorious free market economy left for us if we have to contend with if the CO2 level reaches 1000 ppm- Think immigration is bad now?

    JB

    PS here's a tip, Canadian real estate-

  • joelbct||

    Sorry, thats 31% carbon dioxide increase, 150% CH4 increase, since since 1750...

    Perhaps there is not absolute consensus in teh scientific community on what PRECISELY will happen, but there is a consensus on the range... and its from very bad.... to very very bad... unless we adopt changes now...

    As for the free market economy issue, there exist what we call market failures, where the free market produces a shortage of a public good or an excess of a public liability, and even conservative economists agree that in these areas there exists the need for some regulation... Patents are a good example, they are a regulation to encourage the production of research and development, a public good that would be underproduced were it not for the legislated protection of patent law...

    JB

  • ||

    Dengue Fever--This mosquito-borne viral disease apparently began in Africa and was spread by the slave trade. The first outbreak was recorded in Indonesia in 1779 and an outbreak occurred in Philadelphia a year later. The disease remained endemic in a swath across U.S. southern states until this century. Mosquito control finally eliminated it.

    Ron, are you sure about this? I had Dengue Fever. Picked it up in Belize.

    But when I returned to Ohio, recovered from the nasty thing, and did research, Ohio State was claiming it still shows up in southern states, and has in fact been known to reach even as far north as Ohio. This was in 1995, granted, but..."eliminated"? I never heard such a thing.

  • ||

    Here's a link from UNC re: dengue on the rise

    http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/jun03/dengue062603.html

  • ||

    Not exactly correct about Lyme disease being an effect of reforestation, specifically, it is only one stage of reforestation, the "early successional stage" or 'forest edge' that favors ticks, deer, aqnd the rodent reservoir, Peromyscus leucopus. Climax forest has little of the understory that wildlife use as food and ticks use for harborage. Most of the problem comes from human activity in and around these habitats, and features common to New England like old fieldstone fences, which harbor large numbers of Peromyscus mice. Deer are mostly responsible for the movement of the tick vector and the expansion of the Ixodes tick into areas where it was previously unknown, like the great lakes region. Personally, I doubt the utility of a vaccine. better to manage deer herds, control the ticks and mice where possible, and simply get used to the idea that one has to take personal protective measures when in "tick country". Be glad you rarely have to deal with a really nasty tick-borne disease like Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, fairly common in the South and Midwest. It is often underreported because aggressvie antibiotic therapy results in an inconclusive serologic test. However, onset is rapid, symptoms severe, and it is often fatal if not diagnosed and treated very rapidly. I have investigated dozens of cases, and find it truly scary. By the way, a paper that came out several years ago(USGS? I can't remember) predicted that global warming should result in conditons that would reduce tick-borne disease.

  • ||

    http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/dengue/index.htm#history
    Here is the link to CDC's Dengue and Dengue Haemorrhagic fever(DHF) site. It contains numerous links to case numbers, maps and other data. Dengue is caused by a flavivirus, related to yellow fever, West Nile, and St. Louis virus, all of which have caused disease outbreaks in CONUS. In the days of Yellow Fever, there were many deadly outbreaks of that disease, most noatably the 1797 outbreak in Philadelphia, and the 1878 outbreak in Memphis which killed 25% of that towns' population. It was not until the War with Spain that the Walter Reeed commission determined that it was mosquito-borne, and tokk steps to control the vector. Dengue probably occurred alongside YF, but as YF was so catastrophic, I think it was mostly "under the radar" in those days. The failed plan to eradicate Aedes aegypti under Soper did much to lower the incidence of both these diseases, but Aedes aegypti has now recolonized some parts of the AMericas where it was successfully eliminated. (actually, it was probably not actually elimanated from these areas at all, but control measures reduced numbers to where detection was not possible or practical. Anyone who has worked with aegypti or other container-breeding peridomestic mosquito will understand what I mean)

  • ||

    NONE of the "the Earth is getting warmer....must cripple world economies now" comments address the simple (and quite real) fact that the climate in the Northern Hemisphere was much warmer a thousand years ago than it is today. Don't believe me? Did you ever wonder why the Vikings gave Greenland the name it has today? It's not because "Greenland" translates to "40 feet of ice." And Europe in the 16th century went through the "Little Ice Age," with winters that were brutally cold, year after year. Did we generate so much CO2 in the 1600s that we brought Europe out of it? I don't think so. The problem with all of the current climate models is that they do a truly rotten job of modelling climate changes over the last couple of centuries. Why should they be believed for predictions a hundred years from now? And BTW, for all their noise, the European countries haven't even come close to meeting their targets under Kyoto.

  • ||

    To sum up: Is the Earth's climate getting warmer? Definitely maybe, at least in places. Maybe not. Do human-generated "greenhouse gas" emissions have anything to do with it? We don't have a clue.

  • uncle sam||

    re Greenland
    It's not so much that Greenland became barren of ice, but that the glaciers receded enough to permit the growth of vegetation and some limited colonization. Eventually climate cooled and the glaciers expanded their reach.

    The most significant greenhouse gas H2O operates in two forms transparent vapor (heat trapping) and clouds (energy reflecting).
    What happens when the oceans warm? Increased evaporation. Will there be more clouds or just more humidity?

    Personally, I suspect what goes on in the oceans may be more important than what goes on in the atmosphere. For one thing, the oceans introduce hysteresis in the cycle.

  • ||

    "Do you honestly believe this? Really?"
    T. P. Goiter,
    I am holding out for better nuumbers. As I mentioned before, the old 2001 IPCC report only listed a range of 0.2-0.8 meters by 2100. Glaciologists complained recently that the old climate models treated glaciers as mere melting ice cubes, and not the complex structures that they are. Some tentative revised numbers are in the 2-7 meter range.

    Histporically speaking, 10,000 years ago, sea level was some 27 meters lower, about 0.27 meters per century, but not all at once nor gradually either. The most dramatic rises were beleived to be from large coastal lakes with a coast ice shelf acting as a dam; the ice shelves melt/floated away, and the lakes added toio the sea level. Increasing sea levels forced coastal grounded Ice shelves to melt/float more, cascading the effect in one fell swoop. We don't have quite so many coastal lake/ice shelf combos anymore...for now. More such lakes may form.

    The last time Co2 levels were this high, 130,000 years ago, it took a few thousand years for the seas to rise 7 meters (according to James Hansen). Reading between the lines, Co2 Levels by 2100 will rise well above that of 130,000 years ago; and so sea levels can be expected to rise faster.

    So basically: it needs more research, but it would be foolish to expect little or no rise in sea levels

  • ||

    and its from very bad.... to very very bad... unless we adopt changes now...

    No it's not. The range goes from a number of positive effects (more people die from cold related effects than heat related ones) to hardly noticable, to 'whoopee, we're all gonna die'. So now which do we believe?

  • Thomas Paine's Goiter||

    So basically: it needs more research, but it would be foolish to expect little or no rise in sea levels

    When did I say "little or no"? You're talking 7 meters in the next 94 years? Come on man. Just stop it.

  • ||

    Paul,
    No it's not. The range goes from most people are barely harmed if at all from environmental conditions for which they are already adapted; to some people are harmed from some changes to the environment for which they are somewhat not adapted; to many people are harmed from larger/faster environment changes for which they are unable to adapt.

    There are no positive or negative effects in our environment, these things just are; what is positive or negative are our responses to natural conditions. Risk management is not something to begin *after* the fact.

  • ||

    "When did I say "little or no"? You're talking 7 meters in the next 94 years? Come on man. Just stop it."

    You diidn't. I didn't say you did. I apologize if it seemed that I had so implied. Not my intention.

    And No *I* am not seriously talking '7 meters'. I am seriously talking at least 0.2 meters (given 2001 IPCC report 0.2m-0.8m). Some Climatologists are seriously now talking (heard this on radio) at least 1 meter if all anthropogentic Co2 stopped now, and a probable *range* of 2-7 meters given likely human activity. I am going to wait and see before I totally commit to the 2 meter thing. But due to the seriousness of the risk management problem, I *must* consider the 2-7 meter possibilities. Being human, I know I am susceptible to alarmism, and some climatologists are alarmists (not most), and so I am trying to watch my thinking.

  • ||

    Here:
    http://tinyurl.com/egqsm
    are some highly qualified (climatologists unfiltered by editors) and much qualified (maybe, possibly, kinda, sorta, etc.) thoughts on the certainties and uncertainties of what we might, maybe, possibly, kinda, sorta see in 2100 ocean levels.

  • Mark Bahner||

    Hi Ron,

    I can't seem to find a post on this subject elsewhere on Hit and Run (maybe I'm not patient enough), but I understand you're going to be in a debate with Chris Mooney at a Skeptics Society conference in June.

    My understanding is that the (highly dissapointing) topic is whether the "left" or the "right" abuse science more.

    I have a suggested alternative debate topic...and one that I think is perfect for the Skeptics Society: "Resolved: The IPCC Third Assessment Report 'projections' for methane atmospheric concentrations, CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentrations, and resulting temperature increases, constitute pseudoscientific rubbish."

    You could take the Affirmative and absolutely destroy Chris Mooney. It would be a "Scopes Trial" moment.

    You could point out that:

    1) Without an assessment of probabilities, the "projections" are not scientifically valid, as Jesse Ausubel (11 year Fellow of the National Academies of Science, 5 year Program Director of the National Academy of Engineering) has pointed out.

    2) That because they have no assessment of probabilities, they are as scientifically invalid as the "Limits to Growth" series of books (30 years and counting of pseudoscientific alarmism).

    3) Even James Hansen has admitted that the "scenarios" with the most alarming results were presented to "get the attention of the public", e.g., when he wrote in Scientific American in March 2004:

    He wrote this in Scientific American in March of 2004:

    "Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue, and energy sources such as �synfuels,� shale oil and tar sands were receiving strong consideration. Now, however, the need is for demonstrably objective climate forcing scenarios consistent with what is realistic under current conditions."

    4) That the IPCC TAR comments on how the "scenarios" represent "alternative futures":

    �Scenarios are images of the future or alternative futures. They are neither predictions nor forecasts.�

    ...which is so close to dialog from the Terminator movies, it's hilarious.

    5) The methane atmospheric concentration projections were known to be false, even ***at the time of publication*** of the IPCC TAR.

    I could go on and on (as you probably know). But I hope you'll push very hard for a change in the topic of the debate. As I wrote, I think the new topic would be absolutely perfect for the Skeptics Society's mission (as I understand it) to debunk pseudoscience, and to substitute reason for mysticism.

    Best wishes,
    Mark Bahner

    P.S. I'm posting this same comment on Roger Pielke Jr.'s website...and even Chris Mooney's blog. Of course, if Chris Mooney is smart (which he seems to be, based on what I've read), he won't touch this topic with a ten-foot pole. He'd be crushed.

  • Mark Bahner||

    P.P.S.

    I goofed by putting quotes around, "get the attention of the public." As I noted, James Hansen's words were:

    "Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue, and energy sources such as �synfuels,� shale oil and tar sands were receiving strong consideration. Now, however, the need is for demonstrably objective climate forcing scenarios consistent with what is realistic under current conditions."

  • ||

    Tailpipe solutions are expensive and ineffective.

    Notice how Bailey happily lists all the expenses "we" should pick up to clean up the mess global warming has created, while continuing to bemoan the costs to the hydrocarbon lobby of cleaning up their acts themselves.

  • ||

    Just read through the whole thread.

    I bet this is what the offices Ministry of Economics in Moscow must have sounded like circa 1992.

    Denial.

    Anger.

    Bargaining.

    Acceptance.

  • ||

    "Notice how Bailey happily lists all the expenses "we" should pick up to clean up the mess global warming has created, while continuing to bemoan the costs to the hydrocarbon lobby of cleaning up their acts themselves."

    actually no, I don't notice where he says that.

    Incidentiallly, a 'Zero Carbon' account via www.carbonefund.org, designned for my Co2 expendature (this is a 'tailpipe solution'), costs no more than $125 per year for me (a 'Direct' account is $50).Possibly less if I check my numbers better. I'd hardly call this 'expensive' for a nicely developed nation as the U.S.; not sure how 'effective' it is, but it is better than doing nothing, though generally speaking it is not as good as being more efficient to begin with. These numbers may change as the carbon market plays out too.

  • ||

    cchekcing my power bill, and recalculating, I now get a figure of about $100 per year for the 'Zero-Carbon' offering. Oh yeah, they claim it's tax deductible.

  • ||

    Sam,

    You didn't notice that every disease paragraph contains Bailey's suggested responses - mosquito control, drug treatment, vaccines? Or that each of these responses would cost money?

    Also, there are two words in the term "tailpipe solution." If writing a check to Zero Carbon isn't effective, than it's not a solution.

  • ||

    They don't really describe costs numerically or in other measurements, so no I didn't notice.

    And you don't define 'effecctive'. The old Montreal Treaty has been effecctive in making CFCs go away to stabilize the ozone layer; the Kyoto treaty borrows from that with the carbon trading mechanism. There is no reason to think it won't be effective if fully adopted.

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