This will certainly make the global warming debate more interesting:
As ice caps shrink around them, Inuit activists are making an international case out of Washington’s alleged indifference to global warming. But the Bush administration is standing by its refusal to negotiate long-term limits on “greenhouse gases.”
A two-week U.N. climate conference, attended by more than 180 nations, enters its final two days Thursday with little prospect for consensus on a key item – mandatory cutbacks beyond 2012 in carbon dioxide and other emissions whose buildup in the atmosphere is expected to disrupt the global climate.
The climate is already changing in the Arctic, where an international study last year found average winter temperatures have increased as much as 7 degrees over 50 years. Permafrost is thawing, and the extent of Arctic Sea ice is shrinking, imperiling polar bears and other animals.
The warming threatens “the destruction of the hunting and food-gathering culture of the Inuit in this century,” said Paul Crowley of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, representing 155,000 Inuit of Canada, Greenland, Russia and the United States, where they are known as Eskimos.
On Wednesday, the Inuit group submitted a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an investigative arm of the Organization of American States in Washington, “seeking relief from violations resulting from global warming caused by acts and omissions of the United States” – the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases.
The northern natives – 63 petitioners are named from all Inuit regions – seek a declaration that their human rights are being violated, putting political pressure on the U.S. government to reduce emissions.
Looks like the global warming debate might be heating up, although these Inuits will probably get the cold shoulder***.
*** Nope. Not apologizing for that, or for the title.
This is why any wingnut arguing about the merits of the science behind global warming is a completely full of shit wingnut. The Bush position has nothign to do with science. It has to do with them recieving massive amounts of campign donations frm the groups that would lose money if forced to comply with new greenhouse gas standards. They falsify reports and put out garbage talking points so the Darrells of the blogoshere will have some numbers to argue with but the whole time all they care about is doing he bidding of their monetary contributors.
BTW I liked the title.
Perhaps they can use their baby seal clubbing skills more effectively in Washington.
I’d be pretty unhappy if were Inuit, too. All their women are frigid.
The 800 pound gorilla in the room is the Sun. There is evidence that the Sun has increased radiation, which would increase the Earth’s temperature. The increased radiation may explain global warming all by itself.(Note that Mars appears to also be undergoing global warming).
The question is, how much does man’s activity contribute the warming? How much will it cost to reduce the warming trend? The original Kyoto accord reductions would have reduced mean temperature about 0.6 degree Celsius — at tremendous cost.
The Titanic changed everything. Anyone that questions the war on icebergs must look at their patriotism and ask themselves if they are content with the damage icebergs could bring to this country.
The frozenwater-facist element of the ocean must be confronted in the tundra’s of the north so we don’t have to defrost them here.
You moonbats would even blame Bush for global climate change. Sheesh.
If Bush chooses not to believe something, then it’s not true.
So what’s the problem?
Is he part of the problem, or part of the solution?
Thought I recalled reading that the U.S., despite not signing Kyoto, released less CO2 last year than the year prior–this despite a decent level of economic growth.
Contrast this with the European countries, which have signed Kyoto, copped attitude against us because we’re so unhelpful, then gone ahead and busted their limits.
And, jg, I know it’s satisfying to imagine your opponents as bought-and-paid-for, and so amoral/immoral that they’ll sell THE VERY EARTH for campaign donations, but there is a reasonable opposition that says we could sign Kyoto, hamstring our economy, choke the wealth-creation that might actually lead to significant environmental improvement–and not ameliorate global warming to the point where, say, a single polar bear would notice the difference.
I think honorable people can hold that position, though I guess that would take some of your fun away. For the record, I do think we have a problem, I work on CO2 fixation for a living, and I’d be pretty damn upset if Arctic warming trends continue.
As I live in Minnesota. We welcome our new Global Warming Overlords!
Global Warming. Such a touchy topic. My personal take on it is:
Does it concern me that we seem to be seeing mean temperature increases? Yes.
Does it concern me that polar ice caps seem to be retreating? Yes.
Are we responsible for it? I have no idea, but anecdotally, it could be argued that mankind is more responsible than, say, pine trees.
Should we do anything about it? I’d rather be on the safe side, and do whatever we can about the situation, than just sit around and pretend like it’s junk science.
I think that, the tendency of some to disregard the possibility of global warming, as if all environmentalists want to do is destroy the economy vis a vis some faked global problem, is the most disturbing thing. We’re not all tree-huggers, nor do we want the US economy in the tank at the expense of our environment.
However, to state things like, it’s junk science, it doesn’t exist, it’s too expensive to fix…well, you’re not going to win me over to your side with those “arguments” either. To me, we’re better off taking what steps we can, now, because if global warming is a real problem, it sure isn’t going to get solved by 5, 10, 15, even 20 years of remedial work. We’ve (humanity, that is) been mass-polluters since the industrial revolution. I just don’t think that’s something that can be reversed in the span of a decade or two.
Besides, what’s wrong with just wanting a cleaner environment, regardless of whether global warming is a real problem or not? Is asking industrial-sized producers of air contaminants to clean up a bit really so bad? Is that really going to send our economy spiralling? If their profit model rests on their ability to cheaply pollute the environment, maybe that’s a problem that needs to be fixed. Not for the sake of global warming, but just for our own sakes.
Well, the problem is, doing ‘whatever we can about the situation’ might not put one on ‘the safe side’. For example, we can ban the burning of fossil fuels altogether, starting next Tuesday. This would undoubtedly cause a decrease in CO2 emissions, but the mass devastation caused by the destruction of the world economic system might not be worth it.
Now, I don’t think that’s what JWeidner is suggesting, I’m just saying one should be careful when using a phrase like ‘we should do whatever we can’.
Considering Canada’s significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions, I’d hope that the Inuit from Canada would take their own government to task as well. In fact, with many of the major signatories to Kyoto nowhere near their treaty obligations, they should all be taken to task.
US policy on climate change is a disaster and deserves criticism, but I’m tired of watching Kyoto signatories who are making minimal efforts to live up to their treaty obligations get a free pass. I have little doubt about the reality of climate change, but all kinds of doubt about the political processes trying to address it. It seems to me that for many governments, signing Kyoto was little more than a shameful attempt to pander to the environmental crowd for political points.
Why do you hate freedom?
Take the long view. In another 100,000 years, what will be, will be.
Republican science vs. Science. That’s some good unitin’ Mr. Bush.
Even if there is a debate about global warming, isn’t it a good idea to not dump shit into our air?
What do we do? Ban cars? Shut down the several hundred coal & petrocarbon fired power plants? Who gets to freeze to death this winter? Sure, we can all wear sweaters. Or we can bump up the mileage on cars a bit, a maneuver highly correlated with increased accident fatalities. But we all know these are drop-in-the-bucket measures. And please, don’t even talk to me about the loony stuff like windmills and solar panel fields – every time that gets tried, our good friends in the environmentalist lobby file suit to prevent bird deaths, or to protect the habitat of the critters living on the proposed site of the “sun farm.” The one solution the U.S. could readily avail itself of, nuclear-generated electric, is also pretty much politically impossible.
And still, nobody says anything about the Asian Brown Cloud…
This must be that conservative optimism Bush always talks about.
“please, don’t even talk to me about the loony stuff like…solar panel fields”
I don’t know–I think when burning carbon gets to be worrisome enough, we’ll go over more to nuclear as a way to buy us some time, but ultimately solar is the most desirable way to go. (Energy that’s hitting us anyway; let’s by all means get better at collecting it.)
Re your point about “sun farms” destroying habitats: it’s not a solution, but why not put solar panels on the roofs of buildings all over the urban Southwest? That habitat’s pretty well destroyed, and they get rather a lot of sun. Hell, global warming skeptics for awhile were talking about the cities being “heat islands” because of all that sun hitting blacktop (reasonable concept), and throwing off the temperature averages. I realize photovoltaics aren’t very practical yet (biiiig sunk costs) but I expect and hope they will be.
I don’t mean to suggest it’s just that simple, and that we’d be using solar wholesale if it weren’t for Big Oil and bad ole Bush, but I do see this as part of a solution, someday.
Geez, Jaime. You say we should “not dump shit into our atmosphere.” I’d like that, but would be interested to hear your plan to stop. Al asks you how we should do as you ask, and your response is a dismissive sneer?
Sorry for the slight misquote. But it isn’t pessimism to point out that a practical solution isn’t readily available.
There is no global warming its just the usial amount of malarkey and just thinking what about all those who arived at the montreal meeting in the private jets and chufer driven limos and i,ll bet that had good heating in that building the HOT AIR from the politicians and GREENPEACE wussies
How about just charging people a reasonable fee to be dumping their polution into the air we all breath. The money could go to the UN.
Um, JPS, let me see if I understand this.
The generation of “X” amount of power using carbon-based fuels is creating a primary warming effect, along with a secondary greenhouse effect.
So how is generating a similar amount of power by absorbing the sun’s warming rays, going to avoid causing a more or less equal and opposite global cooling effect?
Seems to me the root cause of the problem is not the inevitably by products of power production but power production itself.
Two reasons. The major difference is that the release of a stable greenhouse gas has a broader impact on the climate than a localized change in albedo. The second, much less important difference, is that most of the sunlight which is absorbed by the ground is reflected back out into space in relatively short order.
“most of the sunlight which is absorbed by the ground is reflected back out into space in relatively short order.”
Is that right? I didn’t realize that–would have naively thought that it’s mostly the energy that isn’t absorbed by the ground that gets quickly reflected. Interesting.
Al Maviva: if I were to answer off the top of my head (always a bad idea), I’d speculate that all the sunlight we collect and turn into useful energy is going to wind up as heat (the ultimate unavoidable waste product) when we’re done using it anyway. It seems to me that to produce a net global cooling by collecting solar energy you’d have to store it, never using it or leaking it, which would be not only self-defeating but impossible. This argument may well be fallacious–I claim no expertise outside my field, which this sure isn’t–but I don’t see how.
From The New Yorker, Dec 12 issue, pp. 39-40:
Exxentially, the Earth is in steady state wrt Solar influs — that’s why the temperature is so stable. (0.8 degress Celcius sounds like a lot, until you realize that the relevant baseline is 0 Kelvin. Then it’s a 0.4% change.) Even ignoring the heat that radiates out of the Earth itself, that means that Solar energy must radiate back out in short order.
I don’t know about junk science, but it’s certainly disputed science. Literally thousands of scientists have signed on to the position:
Thanks for the correction, and sorry to necessitate it. Talking off the top of my head, again; Google wants to be my friend, if only I’d let it.
Interestingly, though, we have gotten more efficient in this sense: CO2 emissions per unit of economic output did drop from 2003 to 2004. So our emissions grew, but our economy grew faster:
US Carbon dioxide emissions
Which isn’t to say that I was right earlier (I wasn’t; my bad), or that market mechanisms alone will cure our problems. But this is an encouraging trend, and it isn’t “entirely the result of an economic downturn.”
Can you direct us to this substantial evidence?
As I understand it, part of the problem here is at the same time we increased CO2 levels, we’ve destroyed plant life. Specifically forested areas. I’m not talking the Rainforest… I’m talking the forests of Europe, North America, Asia as well over several centuries.
I provided links. Can you read?