If we do nothing, the neighborhoods of South Park and Georgetown—including Boeing Field—will be flooding daily by 2104, according to scientific projections. Malcolm Smith


It seems that climate change will be inevitable, the earth is warming. That train has left the station and we all have to deal with it. But it it begins to get so warm up here how warm will it get in the southwest area of North America? Will we be diverting the excess expected rains there as some are beginning to suggest now? Will the people there begin to migrate north? The idea of containing fossil fuel emissions is all fine and good but the real problem is over population on the planet. If population cannot be brought in check everything else will be a losing proposition. Over population seems to be the elephant in the room nobody wants to face up to.
I hope Malcolm Smith is around to take pictures of those daily floods. I love his work.
Love how the title states how Seattle will be but then half of the impacts mentioned were outside Seattle. Whatever....I personally believe this is way too dramatic. We humans think we're so important but the reality is the earth and its geologic/ecologic transformations have little to do with us. It's just how the world works, and has been doing for several million years. We're just fortunate to be living during a period conducive to humans. It hasn't always been that way and someday won't, AGAIN. Rinse and repeat.
Tell that to the morons, I forget their name that have 18 kids and more on the way? What a stupid publicity stunt that is! Multiply that by how many other little morons they will produce. Even if they can afford to care for them it's totally irresponsible to have that many children.
Who's we? The world? Attention people of the planet, stop breeding and burning coal.
Yep, we'll build dikes just like other threatened oceanside environments, and we'll need to enlarge, and ideally, re-think our drinking water reservoirs. Wrong audience if you're going for alarmist reaction. If you want to change the world, move to Denver.
Earth will be just fine: so will many of the lifeforms on the planet. Seriously, the planet will survive: I mean it survived when a smaller planet rammed into it (the debris from that impact is what probably created the moon) so don't worry about Earth. She's pretty resilient for a class M planet. :) Humans on the other hand? Oh well, we chose our extinction, so deal with it. We could stop every single carbon emission today and have half the population killed off: preventing the rest to only reproduce enough to replace those who are left and the climate disasters will still happen for a couple of generations at least.

The last chance we had to make an impact to prevent this was decades ago. But please: let's bitch about plastic bags!
It is unfortunate that you failed to note the influx of climate refugee's, but that seems to be a commonly assumed away issue by other writers and researchers assessing the impact on our region.
@8 Research doesn't support the "influx" you describe. Businesses from California may migrate north, sure. People, though, primarily migrate for economic reasons, and if we do see more people in Seattle, they'd probably come from places we already have strong migration ties with: California, Oregon, etc. Not necessarily a huge new number of people from, say, Bangladesh. The scarier, and maybe more likely scenario: People who can't afford to move from the places most devastated by climate change get stuck where they are.
I demand that our legislators build a large fence along the Columbia to keep out the California refugees.
Washington Water for Washingtonians!!!
It's depressing how quickly the climate change deniers will flock to these threads. And the response is always "that'll never happen, you're being alarmist", "it's not humans", and general hyperbolic sarcasm. We get it already, you hate the world and all things in it. Soon enough, that may not be a problem.
My last bicycling tour of Seattle it seemed on every corner there was a Shell station busy pumping gas. Never before noticed so many Shell stations. Seattle sets in spectacular waterways its people pollute like a sewer. Big Oil Boeing won't worry about 'business-vacation' flights continuing. Those who can afford higher price airline tickets will pay for any temporary getaway and watch the world burn in aerial views.

The only choice seems to be climate denier or climate hysteric. Both totally wrong, of course.

@9 You are quite right that people migrate for economic reasons, but as the planet warms up the southern regions will become unlivable. The southwest area of the US simply has too many people. The populations are sustained by artificial means; the drought there is now critical and will only get worse. Most of the people will have no choice but to move. The rich agricultural lands of central California will go fallow due to lack of water. A few people will remain but not at the numbers there are today. If you are going to write about the dangers of climate change seriously there must be a rational discussion of over population.
At least one Puget Sound oyster farmer has already moved production to Hawaii, to escape water acidification here. And last winter provided an example of rain with sparse mountain snow in the mountains. Let's face it folks, climate change is well under way
The difference between those of use who were educated in the science of climate change(The same science that gives you your indoor heating and your can of Coke, so no, this isn't special science) and those who put their heads in the ground is quite evident on this thread.
I always assumed I'd move to Mexico in my old age. Looks like Mexico will move to me.
I wonder why people insist on still having children since the planet they will grow up on is going to be more and more hostile to comfortable living for humans
Much too late to prevent climate change now. Time to adapt or hope for a big volcano to erupt (somewhere other than here, of course) to block some sunlight and reverse the trend.
I think we're going to begin to see an acceleration of these processes. It is impossible to accurately predict the effects of small inputs into complex systems, but they are often much greater than we anticipate. At a certain point, critical mass will be reached and all of these changes will begin to occur at a frightening pace. My personal (speculative) guess is that these major issues will manifest themselves as early as the 2030s.
If you live in the city and work near to your home, most of your impact is from travel, especially flying. Take fuel sipping turboprops, use the abundant High Speed Rail we built (oh wait), and use 787 fuel sipping jets to cross oceans.

If you live in the suburbs buy a Tiny Home.
@19: If society doesn't maintain a 2.5% fertility rate, you'll get your wish.

This article reminds me of the inconvenient truths about Al Gore's Henny Penny excursion.
I'm 600 feet above sea level on Kent East Hill.

I look forward to my long drive to Saltwater State Park beach being a short bike ride down Canyon.

Well, One, I do think a warming trend is coming our way but I don't think it will be so bad as Sydney suggests as early as 2050. Even if Boeing Field is somewhat muddy it will make no difference as they will be pretty much gone and will no longer need it. The population concern though is very real and has to be dealt with. I like warmer weather too.

My other comment aside, I appreciate that you put together a piece with perspective and research. I asked for this at one point, and have received! I especially appreciate that you did not try and call this year's snowpack the new normal thanks to global warming, but instead noted that 2050 is when crappy snow is reality, as the scientists do.
Despite a highly leading push poll, intended to get a lopsided result from voters on the Shell lease, enviros don't get the result they want, even in Seattle. They get killed in King County outside of Seattle.


The enviros should have locked their own poll in a vault and denied it ever existed.

People just aren't willing to pay the price to avoid some of the possible consequences that may be produced in Seattle in the future by global warming.

I figure you’re already aware of these studies but I’m throwing them out there in just in case. We have the potential to run the U.S. on wind alone, or on solar alone.

“Global potential for wind-generated electricity”

“U.S. Renewable Energy Technical Potentials: A GIS-Based Analysis “

If we gave the trillions in subsidies that now go to the fossil fuel companies, to clean energy, this could be a reality. Global post-tax subsidies are just under five trillion dollars. (http://blog-imfdirect.imf.org/2015/05/18…)
The problem is that the world is addicted to a lifestyle and nothing is going to stop it. We are going to drive this planet into the ground and it will take a 1,000,000 years to recover> But we'll all be dead so that something that people I'll never know will have to deal with so screw them.
THE EARTH IS HOW OLD? How many climate changes in those years? The world is dependent on oil, and will burn it till the last drop is gone. I'm more concerned about the next ice age I live to far north hate to end up in Mexico!
We just recently came out of an ice age and are going into another one soon. Not much we can do about it.
It's bizarre that the public "debates" around climate have turned into another culture war issue (i.e. abortion). There are now mountains of scientific research documenting the current effects of climate change, and frankly, although you don't hear about it too much, climate scientists are pretty scared about what's in store for us. A 2 degree rise in global temperatures is the goal that policy makers are now shooting for, but our recorded emissions are directly lining up with the worst case climate scenarios, potentially leading to a 4 degree rise.

For some really great, insightful reporting on climate issues, read David Roberts (now over at Vox).
Self-driving cars are a non-solution that isn't technically possible. They're just eye-candy to dazzle those who'd rather believe in a technofix. We won't solve the international traffic epidemic by spending a fortune on a new type of car. Corporate interests profit from car-addiction, clueless commuting, oil wars.
@28 Emissions from cars and natural gas aren't the main culprit for greenhouse gas emissions, it's coal-burning power plants. Driverless cars may help cut some emissions, but most likely not in a significant way at a global level.
@35 Culture and climate change are directly related; how we live as a people, or as a culture, affects the changes. The earth is getting getting warmer and at an accelerating pace. It seems that all that's left is to slow it down; we can not turn it around and start cooling it off again. I think that some form of population control will be the answer along with conservation etc. I have never suggested anything regarding abortion, euthanasia, nor anything else.
Just to be clear, we've abandoned the term 'global warming' in favor of the more desirable term, 'climate change.' Since 'global warming' proved to be a complete hoax, its only a matter of time before 'climate change' will be similarly viewed. I'm confident the liberals of the world will come up with a doozy term in the near future.
What rocks do all these climate deniers hide in?
Why has Slog returned to the disingenuous habit of reposting and changing the time stamps on old stories? Do they think we're not noticing? Has the professionalism slipped so much that recycling old stories is considered acceptable behavior? Haven't more established papers been excoriated for similar behavior? Why does The Stranger thinks it gets a free pass on this kind of crap?

Bad form. Bad form.
Good Morning Sydney,
I believe there is climate change and it isn't for the better. However, like a few posts here on SLOG and elsewhere, I'm not an alarmist. Science has been mistaken before:


Sure like many disciplines, climate science needs scrutiny. I'm a fan of Bjorn Lomborg of Copenhagen Consensus regarding climate science. I just don't think it is as bad as the doomsayers declare. However, we humans should at least keep our consumption in check. I don't possess a car for example. It may be we need less of virtually everything to give the planet a rest. But, I'm not a fan of "the end is nigh!" science. I think there still is room for debate on the cataclysmic predictions of climate change or global warming.
@42 “ I just don’t think it is as bad as the doomsayers declare"

The Doomsayers are the scientists who have published alarming studies in peer reviewed journals, Idiot..

The only room for debate is what are the global efforts to combat AGW.. The Earth is the experiment, and we have to do something to reduce Co2 Admissions...
I'm just shocked that someone writing for the Stranger bothered to speak with an actual scientist for once.

Self-driving cars are a non-solution that isn't technically possible [with hydrogen and fuel cells to provide clean electricity]. They're just eye-candy to dazzle those who'd rather believe in a technofix. We won't solve the international traffic epidemic [with FCEVs] by spending a fortune on a new type of car. Corporate interests profit from car-addiction, clueless commuting, oil wars.

Fueled by Oil Creek :

@43 ferret,
"Co2 Admissions"? Um, I wonder who the idiot here is?

It's CO2 as in carbon dioxide emissions. And if one wants to disagree in a discussion, the first thing one doesn't do is insult your opponent. Read the NYT article I posted and read more about Bjorn Lomborg, a Danish scientist of the Copenhagen Consensus. You'll learn alot. All science needs intense scrutiny. I stand by what I wrote.


I don't see that we've even defined "good" and "bad".

For example, an ice free Greenland and Siberia opens up millions of acres of land for humans to spread out into and farm. That is a good thing.

Sea level rise...probably all bad, but how much we get of it is completely unclear. For example, we keep hearing that the Poles are melting faster than expected. But is the sea rising faster than expected? At some point if the ice does all melt, and the sea doesn't rise, much, then what? Is Global Warming then good? I say yes.

What about energy. Much of our energy is spend heating homes in the temperate zones. What if that didn't have to happen very much at all? What if there were very mild or no winters, and slightly warmer, and wetter summers? What if the whole world ends up with the climate of California once it all balances out?

Economically, I has mentioned that industry is based on large part on a cold world. We heat our homes, We wear a lot of clothing to protect ourselves from winter (unlike tropics dwellers). We build all sorts of insulation from cold in our buildings. We take vacations in winter and summer to tropical places.

But again, what happens when we all live in California? And life is good exactly where we are and it doesn't take as much energy to live? The only people then who will lose out are the centrists who sell us homes, fuel, clothes and transportation. So, no wonder those guys are worried about Global Warming!!
@3. Absolutely nailed it.
@43 You are still an idiot. You are an idiot for downplaying AGW, using AGW denialists like Bjorn Lomborg, who is just a crank..


Once again, the science is in about AGW. The Earth is part of the experiment, we need immediate action to lower Co2/CO2 whatever you want to label Carbon Dioxide emissions from carbon based energy sources..

Stop spewing Denial crap. Read anything from AAAS or NAS about AGW, besides websites like Grist.org and http://www.realclimate.org.. I have seen enough of AGW denialists, to know they are idiots, and refuse to argue any empirical evidence...

@49 ferret,
Keep up the "attitude. You'll go far in life.
@50 I am not spewing AGW denial crap. You mentioned that Climate Science needs to be scrutinized, but then you spout an energy schill like Bjorn Lomborg, who is not even a scientist.

I had enough of the PR crap spew by people who tend to hump any climate change article, with bullshit.

The Science is out there, you can read any IPCC report, the statements by NAS and AAAS, any peer reviewed articles by glaciologists, about what climate change are doing to glaciers. You are an idiot if you spew the same denial crap, without using critical thinking or denying empirical evidence..
Well, you've got to admit that acknowledging being a fan of Lomborg the crank to argue that presentations of climate change scenario are overblown doesn't present you in a good light to anyone who knows a little about natural sciences.
Mighty preemptive and egotistical to think we play such a huge role in the earth's climate. We just came out if an ice age and soon will be going into another one.
@54 “Mighty preemptive and egotistical to think we play such a huge role in the earth’s climate"

So 2014 as the hottest year on record, has nothing to do with AGW..


It is funny how so many bozos that state the science is not in on AGW, are so anti science, and basically use denial as a their reasoning..

@55 I see, the REAL scientific process. Keep on the idiot bandwagon..

All of those on the denial and idiot bandwagon.. The debate on climate change is long over, like 1997 Kyoto Procotol over.. The time is about the steps needed to reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions. Should OECD nations follow the Stern Report recommendations on steps to reduce emissions?

My guess is that most of you denialist bozos, cry “We can’t leave our future generations with all this US gov’t debt, please think of the children”.. Well, you are leaving them something much, much worse, if OECD and other major industrial nations, (i.e. India and China) don’t cut Carbon Dioxide emissions, a reduced food supply, massive species extinction, the collapse of the commercial fishing industry, serious changes to climate and sea levels..

The denial is not going to make the problem go away. The idiocy of denying the science, or thinking “PEER REVIEW” is some sort of conspiracy with a hidden agenda shows stupidity..

AGW is happening. We continue to pump more and more Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere every year than the previous year. We have to cut Carbon Dioxide Emissions..

If you don’t want to go to websites like realclimate.org and the start page like

At least learn some basic science, before demanding some fantasy that science needs to be scrutinize, when you don’t understand basic 101 science..
@57: It's hard to take seriously anyone who subscribes to the notion that the scientific community ever predicted an imminent ice age. Lurk more, post less.
@58 "How many people do you know of that are called "denier!" because they postulated a challenge to the Special Theory of Relativity?"

.... Say what? This statement doesn't make a lot of sense.

You're paranoia about the peer-review process is odd, although it most likely comes from ignorance. Of course the peer-review process is not perfect, but it's given us modern medicine, engineering, technology, etc. But I'm sure you know that... you've been through a peer-review process to publish scientific research I assume?
That was directed @57. Sorry ferret.


@62 I am insulting and mean to those who constantly state idiotic AGW denial tripe like Bjorn Lomborg, who you labelled as a “scientist”.. Idiots who don’t believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming, or try to minimize it, so they can avoid implementing some energy sector reforms, like the banning of lignite coal for power plants, are idiots. They are only interested in spinning PR and obstructing programs to combat the rising Carbon Dioxide emissions..

Stop quoting Bjorn Lomborg, read an IPCC report, read any NAS statement about immediate action to be taken on AGW.

If you want to be taken seriously, and not be insulted, use critical thinking, and put up a coherent argument back by empirical evidence..
So, what is the optimum climate? What climate is best for 7 billion people, and in the future 8 to 9 billion people? Do you want the one you experienced in your short lifetime? Sorry, Nature doesn't work that way.
So many dumb as comments.
great research, Sydney!
Should read 'dumb ass', but the stupid is strong in this thread.
Man-made climate change is real and it’s going to destroy the earth.

Fine, I believe you. You’ve convinced me. You’re evil.

What do you want me to do to you?

See, I don’t own a car. I walk everywhere. I don’t take plane flights. My carbon footprint is among the lowest in the USA.

Yet, not a week goes by where I don’t read about people criss-crossing the globe in jets to talk about global warming.

Or clogging the freeways to get to Earth Day rallies.

Every week, I see the polluters wagging their fingers and preaching about the evils of the things they do. Hypocrites each and every one of them, delusional to the core, self-validating in their own little amen-corner. You use snark to cover your guilt like a cat covers it's turds.

Every week, you tell me about the evils of climate change.

And, like I said. I believe you. You’re ruining the planet. I always thought you were. You’re a bunch of selfish, earth-ruining assholes. Got it. Loud and clear.

Loud and clear.

Kill yourselves already and solve the problem. Or pass laws advocating your mass incarceration.

I’ll vote for them. I promise. You’ve convinced me. You’re evil.

Hey Shara, I think you've said it all and are spot on. The earth is warming and at an accelerating pace. So the scientists have got right, where are the solutions? Are there viable solutions? If tomorrow all CO2 emissions ceased would the trend stop? What do the scientists say. All over the world people are migrating north to North America and Europe; they are fleeing poverty. They want the same standard of living we have; I do not blame them for this. China is charging on to totally modernize their society and they will do it. This all means more energy use and more warming. Everybody has just been throwing stones; they figure they've done their part by calling everyone's attention to the problem then sit back and do nothing else. Sure they blockade the barge and hold rallies and shout slogans but the third world still wants the Western lifestyle.

Did you get her number yet, White Knight?
@67: ...except that there is a heap of evidence that the Earth is warming. And also you fundamentally misunderstand scientists. They'll readily stab their colleagues in the back in the pursuit of fame and prestige. When there's a "fad" as you put it, there are always people checking up on it in the hopes that they'll be the one to publish a paper thoroughly disproving it. This essentially means that unless it's correct, one of those scheming researchers will scoop all the other guys, publish something groundbreaking that settles the controversy, and get the science equivalent of All The Pussy.

@68: "We still can't figure out what the weather will be tomorrow much less predict that the average temperature of THE EARTH is going to increase 1.7 degrees over the next 75 years."
If I balance a pencil on top of a fencepost, I can't tell you where it will be in five minutes, but I can tell you with certainty that it will be on the ground at nightfall. Weather is heavily dependent on small perturbations and is so complex as a system that it is very hard to accurately predict. Climate is larger and slower and can be tracked better, and therefore models for it tend to be pretty good. You are an imbecile.

@69: Hey, that 1971 paper by Rasool and Schneider that your link references? It predicted cooling IF AND ONLY IF aerosol emissions outpaced greenhouse gas emissions. And then Schneider had it retracted in 1974 when he revised his work and found that he'd underestimated the warming effect of CO2, with the corrected numbers making it near-impossible for aerosol cooling to dominate. But oops, that's inconvenient to your fact-free narrative against scientists.


What are foaming at the mouth about? your post doesn’t make any sense...

“AGW theory is pure, unadulterated BULLSHIT.”

You realize that Svante Arrhenius, i.e. who work out the theory on Greenhouse gases in 1896, was a Nobel Prize Laureate?

“On the contrary, YOU are the one demonstrating you are incapable of critical thinking.”

Oh there are plenty of people who would agree with you, and frankly I don’t care..

However, why don’t you read this, go climb a couple mountains, seeing how maritime and temperate climate glaciers are receding at a rapid rate, besides they hold the record on the incredible accumulation of Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere..


If you want to be persuasive, I wouldn’t add links to a PR spin website, actually showed some scientific studies prove your point.. Read the Stern Report by the UK government published over a decade ago, Probably one of the best road maps to how OECD nations can combat AGW..
Stern Review: economics of climate change...

Thank you to all the commenters fighting the good fight against climate change. Your references and rhetoric have no doubt beaten the deniers into the ground, and I assume Boehner and McConnell are appropriately humbled. We can assume that if you spar with a random troll on Slog, it actually goes STRAIGHT TO THE TOP. I assume that tomorrow I'll read about their proposed carbon tax, drilling moratorium, and electric car subsidies. Again, thank you!
The people I know who are the most well-informed and publicly vocal about climate change fly more than almost everyone I know (because, you know, can't miss Jazz Fest or New Year's Eve in Rio). We're fucked. Add up every energy cost of you smart phone and annually it emits as much carbon as a refrigerator, and a billion people in the developing world will get one in the next 5 years. We're fucked. Oil is a commodity market in which supply doesn't tweak to demand, only price and more and less profitable markets. You start biking to work in Seattle and that gas you would have burned in your pvez Subaru is now nudged down the pecking order and burned in Caracas in a truck with no emission system. We're fucked and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it except make the right noises so it doesn't seem like it's your fault. The entire environmental movement is nothing more than the biggest inhale in the history of humanity for I told you so.

Put yourself in the shoes of the average millennial reading Slog. You need to feel like you have power over your own future, right? Kayaks feel strong, apparently.
@78 “We’re fucked and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it except make the right noises so it doesn't seem like it's your fault"

No, we are not “fucked”. There are things that the US, Canada besides every major industrial and economic power can do to lower Greenhouse Gas emissions, to slow down the AGW and its effects. Every year, Industrialized nations are pumping more CO2 in the atmosphere, not less with some exceptions like the UK and Spain..

Even moderate to common sense solutions, like better light bulb efficiency, better use of heat and air conditioning, gets the hyperbole crowd all waving their arms in impotent fury..

More radical measures would be the ban of mining and burning lignite (brown) coal for power stations, which places like West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Kentucky wouldn’t like, but it would help much. Building of more nuclear power plants, more uses of solar and wind energy to off set the huge use of fossil fuels..

The whole point of the Kyoto Accords of 1997, was to cut CO2 emissions to 1989-1990 levels. Which is going to be impossible, given the countries that abide by them, like Japan and Canada could not do it, but even we can not achieve the ideal goal, we are better to do steps to cut CO2 levels..
@81: We've had quite a large network of weather stations for a century and a half. Tree ring data, ice core stable isotope signatures (usually 18O), and other environmental proxies provide an extensive if somewhat patchy record from even before that, going back literally hundreds of thousands of years. And even before that, there are clues related to sedimentation patterns and (again) stable isotope geochemistry that allow us to get a decent picture of how the climate looked pretty much throughout the Earth's history! This is how we know of Snowball Earth episodes, and how the Permo-Triassic mass extinction was caused in part by widespread drought conditions and the disruption of ecosystems stemming from changes in weather patterns related to the formation of Pangaea.

Do you think geoscientists don't have a way to measure this stuff? NEWS FLASH, GENIUS: WE DO. There is a mind-boggling amount of data that (paleo)climatologists have collected, and all you've got in response is to say it's all fabricated and that the models are ridiculous. Well, m8, if you can't understand it, the problem may be with you rather than with the science.

Seattleblues, is that you? You can go back to using your main account now; they unb& you after a bunch of us complained that we liked having you around as a punching bag.
@82 I'll give you that it's not impossible that some set of miraculous scientific solutions will halt or reverse warming, but outside of that, nah, we're screwed. I think most of the scientific and environmental community in their hearts of hearts know this, but saying so doesn't get you that next grant or Ted Talk.

Any solution that requires people to make meaningful sacrifices is doomed to fail. I say this because I see the people around me -- good Seattle greens form who this issue is raison d'etre -- sporting carbon footprints as large or larger than the average American. Some don't even have cars, but they buy single family homes, won't sacrifice air travel (even the "fuel sipping" plane emit a fuck load of carbon), and make multiple first world children who'll live the same lifestyle. They cry "fallacy of the purity test" if called out on their out-sized consumption. That fallacy applies to dumbfucks clucking about kayaks made of petrol, but not to year in year out never-changed, never gonna change carbon crimes by the most interested parties, who really really want warming to stop, but really, really, really want to take their kids to Disney World. If they can do it, no one can. And they can't do it. So no one can.

So asking first world individuals to voluntarily control their behavior is out. So is any hope whatsoever of better from the marginal billion or so people on this planet who are very likely rising economically in the next ten years. The won't be getting ahead per se, but they will be buying smart phones, refrigerators, and cars. You gonna tell these people that even though they'll still have relatively small carbon footprints there's literally at least a billion of them and that adds up to out of control? Sorry, you don't deserve 1/8 of the carbon Seattle Green Party guy makes? That's not gonna happen and if it did they'd not listen. So any expectation that we won't be copiously adding to the roles of the carbon spewing is naive.

So we won't control ourselves, and there are going to be more and more of us not controlling ourselves. Can we be controlled? That takes political will, and not just everyday political will but political will that can control the entire industrialized planet. Again, let's say we severely restrict solo driving in the United States, or mandate all electric cars, or enact any other number of local political actions. The entirety of the oil we save, every stinking greasy last drop of it, would slide down the preferred markets ladder to the least preferred markets and be burned in cars that essentially don't have emissions systems - our quitting oil altogether would increase net carbon. The same goes for our getting off coal. No net effect because of the shift in resources to dirtier technology. That is unless we global good guys could emerge from our massive and hypocritical carbon-fart clouds to asset global political force that would control institutional and individual behavior in Nigeria et al. I don't see anything remotely like that happening any time soon cooperatively, and of course we're never going to enact a benevolent green fascism, even of the soft-machine carrots and sticks type. Not gonna happen. At best this type of policy work is a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle with a couple hundred pieces missing. We've managed to agree on the left-hand border in theory and part of the assemble about half of the pug in the party hat. Good luck getting the other necessary 95% together in time.

Anyway I'm generally not a fatalist, but to me it seems that proceeding as if the reality is that we can more than minutely slow down the trend is wishful thinking, and as such a denial of scientific and social truths, and as such in its way as much a part of the problem of dealing with climate issues as denying them. There should be more focus on how we'll cope and less useless post-Protestant tongue-clucking at windmills. We're fucked.

But @82 I'm happy you disagree, if not in substance as a confirmation of the spirit of youth and optimism. I know you're wrong but really hope you're right.
@86: "All you are doing is echoing the standard dogma of the Church of AGW."
You mean, giving a brief explanation of the geological and meteorological methods used to measure climatological factors? Then yeah, sure.
Now, this may come as a surprise to you, but we actually have ways of accounting for things like urban heat islands and changes in measuring procedure and stuff like that. That is, we can actually measure the effect of temperature being measured near a city versus near an airport versus in a rural area, or being measured at dawn versus at noon, or whatever the case may be. (Also, what about tree ring and 18O data? Care to explain those?) Just because you're ignorant of it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Also: "trillions of tons of thermal mass"
Confirmed for not even knowing the most rudimentary principles of physics.

The debate as to whether time dilation occurs IS over. It's been predicted by the models, it's been observed in practice, it's been validated over and over. There are open questions related to relativity, but time dilation really isn't one of them.
Similarly, the debate as to whether human activity is causing the Earth to warm IS over. It's been predicted by the models, it's been observed in practice, it's been validated over and over. There are open questions, such as the exact magnitude of the warming over the next century, and what the effects will be on thermohaline circulation, but the presence of anthropogenic global warming is not one of them.
People raising questions about relativity aren't labeled deniers because they don't deny science. They either speculate in an open-ended fashion, or they bring evidence to support any factual assertions they make. The sort of deniers found in discussions of AGW typically present nothing more than unsupported claims that the evidence can't be trusted, or that the scientific community can't be trusted.

Please leave the science to the people who have some idea of what they're talking about.
@88: Ha ha ha, cute. FOX News writes "Climate scientists criticize government paper that erases ‘pause’ in warming". What's actually in the article? Scientists raising issues about the rather large confidence intervals (read as: error bars) in the study's adjusted numbers, and saying that we should see if other teams of researchers can replicate the results before we take them too seriously.
Scientists say that the study isn't as rigorous as it should be and should be taken with a grain of salt. Deniers like you and the jerks at FOX say that the study is faking the numbers. Go figure.

@89: But the debate IS over. Scientists have established the theory and compiled loads and loads of data on the issue, and the data support the theory. Now, if a bunch of new evidence contradicting the theory shows up, then we can reopen the debate. But as it stands, the debate is over. But flat-Earthers and Creationists and climate deniers want to have a debate without bringing that crucial question-raising evidence, and instead basing their arguments on "we can never really know for sure, teach the controversy, man!"

@90: Nice try, but I've seen that one before. Dr. Tol sets an impossibly high bar by demanding that papers "explicitly state that humans are the primary cause of recent global warming" for them to be counted in the "support" rather than "deny" camp. Many papers on the issue implicitly support an anthropogenic basis for climate change but don't spend much time on that because they're more interested in the effects and the measurement than assigning cause. This is because it's well-known among climatologists that humans are causing the Earth to warm; for similar reasons, they don't need to explicitly state that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that scatters infrared terrestrial radiation but is transparent to visible solar radiation.
You could make a similar argument against evolution by natural selection by studying 10,000 published peer-reviewed papers on ecology and seeing which ones explicitly state that taxa undergo very slow change as the result of certain traits being more likely to be perpetuated due to differential survival and reproduction rates based on those traits. You'd find that very few papers explicitly state the principles of Darwinian evolution, but essentially all of them implicitly support the evolutionary model. Dr. Tol, with his background in economics, certainly knows enough statistics to know that you can get any answer by asking the right question.

Making hilariously shitty arguments, demonstrating a near-total ignorance of science, citing FOX News as your source attempting to disprove climate change...you're like some kind of Poe's Law caricature of deniers. Sadly, I've tangled with enough of your lot to know that you guys all seem to fit the stereotype.
@90: Also, you say that climatologists are faking evidence to support their views? Dr. Tol (an ECONOMIST, not a hard scientist of any sort) once published a paper claiming that global warming would be a net benefit to the economy...only to admit, five years later, that he'd dropped some minus signs (allegedly by accident), turning negative effects into positive effects in his write-up. He's got no leg to stand on when it comes to questioning the reliability of other people's numbers.
@92 I already seen AGW deniers are using more and more this argument, that AGW will have “benefits” rather than negative drawbacks. You know, arable land in Greenland, mining in the Arctic, etc. etc. I just see deniers using this because the effects of AGW already taking place.

Nothing about mass species eradication, massive problems with feeding humans on the planet, the risk of extinction of commercial fishing. Hence why some of the biggest deniers are conservative economist, or where the Anthony Watts are trying to rally around to help with their Energy Sector masters..

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