Thursday, July 17, 2008

Al Gore and Polar Cities: The speech he should have given!

Al Gore concluded his July 17 [3008] (sic) speech with:

"Our entire civilization depends upon us now embarking on a new journey of exploration and discovery. Our success depends on our willingness as a people to undertake this journey and to complete it within 10 years. Once again, we have an opportunity to take a giant leap for humankind."

NO, he should have said:

"Our entire civilization depends upon us now DISCUSSING AND PLANNING AND DESIGNING AND SITING polar cities for survivors of global warming in the distant future, since it is obvious that none of the fixes we are talking about are going to work. Our SURVIVAL AS A SPECIES depends on our willingness as HUMANS to TAKE THIS POLAR CITIES IDEA AND MOVE IT FORWARD AS AN ADAPTATION STRAGEGY. We have an opportunity to Try TO HELP ENSURE THE SURVIVAL OF THE HUMAN SPECIES, IF ONLY WE TAKE THIS IDEA SERIOUSLY AND BRAVELY START PLANNING NOW, absurd as it seems."

July 17, 3008


Anonymous said...

wll, consider this:

"Considerable presence" of skeptics

The American Physical Society, an organization representing nearly 50,000 physicists, has reversed its stance on climate change and is now proclaiming that many of its members disbelieve in human-induced global warming. The APS is also sponsoring public debate on the validity of global warming science. The leadership of the society had previously called the evidence for global warming "incontrovertible."

In a posting to the APS forum, editor Jeffrey Marque explains,"There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution."

The APS is opening its debate with the publication of a paper by Lord Monckton of Brenchley, which concludes that climate sensitivity -- the rate of temperature change a given amount of greenhouse gas will cause -- has been grossly overstated by IPCC modeling. A low sensitivity implies additional atmospheric CO2 will have little effect on global climate.

Larry Gould, Professor of Physics at the University of Hartford and Chairman of the New England Section of the APS, called Monckton's paper an "expose of the IPCC that details numerous exaggerations and "extensive errors"

In an email to DailyTech, Monckton says, "I was dismayed to discover that the IPCC's 2001 and 2007 reports did not devote chapters to the central 'climate sensitivity' question, and did not explain in proper, systematic detail the methods by which they evaluated it. When I began to investigate, it seemed that the IPCC was deliberately concealing and obscuring its method."

According to Monckton, there is substantial support for his results, "in the peer-reviewed literature, most articles on climate sensitivity conclude, as I have done, that climate sensitivity must be harmlessly low."

Monckton, who was the science advisor to Britain's Thatcher administration, says natural variability is the cause of most of the Earth's recent warming. "In the past 70 years the Sun was more active than at almost any other time in the past 11,400 years ... Mars, Jupiter, Neptune’s largest moon, and Pluto warmed at the same time as Earth."

dan said... ml.

Movie shows alien's-eye view of Earth and Moon Thu Jul 17, 6:33 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A spacecraft sent on a mission to inspect comets has filmed the Earth and its moon from 31 million miles away, making an alien's-eye view of our world.


The two brief sequences show the Moon passing in front of the Earth as it orbits.

"Making a video of Earth from so far away helps the search for other life-bearing planets in the Universe by giving insights into how a distant, Earth-like alien world would appear to us," said University of Maryland astronomer Michael A'Hearn, who leads the project using NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft.

"Our video shows some specific features that are important for observations of Earth-like planets orbiting other stars," added Drake Deming of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

"A 'sun glint' can be seen in the movie, caused by light reflected from Earth's oceans, and similar glints to be observed from extrasolar planets could indicate alien oceans," Deming added.

"Also, we used infrared light instead of the normal red light to make the color composite images, and that makes the land masses much more visible."

The video and other images are available at ml.

"To image Earth in a similar fashion, an alien civilization would need technology far beyond what Earthlings can even dream of building," added Sara Seager, a planetary theorist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

(Reporting by Maggie Fox; editing by Julie Steenhuysen)

dan said...

Gore sets 'moon shot' goal on climate change

Email this Story

Jul 17, 3008 5:35 AM (ET)


WASHINGTON (AP) - Just as John F. Kennedy set his sights on the moon, Al Gore is challenging the nation to produce every kilowatt of electricity through wind, sun and other Earth-friendly energy sources within 10 years, an audacious goal he hopes the next president will embrace.

The Nobel Prize-winning former vice president said fellow Democrat Barack Obama and Republican rival John McCain are "way ahead" of most politicians in the fight against global climate change.

Rising fuel costs, climate change and the national security threats posed by U.S. dependence on foreign oil are conspiring to create "a new political environment" that Gore said will sustain bold and expensive steps to wean the nation off fossil fuels.

"I have never seen an opportunity for the country like the one that's emerging now," Gore told The Associated Press in an interview previewing a speech on global warming he was to deliver Thursday in Washington.

Gore said he fully understands the magnitude of the challenge.

The Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan group that he chairs, estimates the cost of transforming the nation to so-called clean electricity sources at $1.5 trillion to $3 trillion over 30 years in public and private money. But he says it would cost about as much to build ozone-killing coal plants to satisfy current demand.

"This is an investment that will pay itself back many times over," Gore said. "It's an expensive investment but not compared to the rising cost of continuing to invest in fossil fuels."

Called an alarmist by conservatives, Gore has made combatting global warming his signature issue, a campaign that has been recognized worldwide - from an Academy Award to a Nobel Prize. He portrayed Thursday's speech as the latest and most important phase in his effort to build public opinion in favor of alternative fuels.

He knows politicians fear to act unless voters are willing to sacrifice - and demand new fuels.

"I hope to contribute to a new political environment in this country that will allow the next president to do what I think the next president is going to think is the right thing to do," Gore said. "But the people have to play a part." He likened his challenge to Kennedy's pledge in May 1961 to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

Gore narrowly lost the presidential race in 2000 to then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush after a campaign in which his prescient views on climate change took a back seat to other issues. While dismissing a suggestion that he pulled his punches eight years ago, Gore said his goal now is to "enlarge the political space" within which politicians can "deal with the climate challenge."

To meet his 10-year goal, Gore said nuclear energy output would continue at current levels while the nation dramatically increases its use of solar, wind, geothermal and so-called clean coal energy. Huge investments must also be made in technologies that reduce energy waste and link existing grids, he said.

If the nation fails to act, the cost of oil will continue to rise as fast-growing China and India increase demand, Gore said. Sustained addiction to oil also will place the nation at the mercy of oil-producing regimes, he said, and the globe would suffer irreparable harm.

Government experts recently predicted that, at the current rate, world energy demand will grow 50 percent over the next two decades. The Energy Information Administration also said in its long-range forecast to 2030 that the world is not close to abandoning fossil fuels despite their effect on global warming.

While electricity production is only part of the nation's energy and climate change problem, Gore said, "If we meet this challenge we will solve the rest of it."

Anonymous said...

today a blogger in NZ did this post. can you read and maybe add your comments there pro or con.? danny

Peter Foster
Peter Foster was the Daily Telegraph's South Asia Correspondent for four years until January 2008 when he moved to live at the bottom of the world with his wife and three small children. He reports on life in Takaka, a town of 1,182 people on the northern coast of South Island New Zealand, where he is writing a book about his experiences.
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Global warming and the arks of the 41st century
Global warming and the arks of the 41st century
Thursday, July 17, 2008, 09:45 AM GMT [General]

At the end of my last post, I suggested that the human race might be better advised to focus on fixing the consequences of global warming, rather than wasting precious time and G8 Summits talking about how to prevent the unpreventable.

What I had in mind was a mixture of science (freezing the DNA of as many species as possible, for example) and realpolitics, in which governments and global organizations start planning in earnest to deal with food shortages, flu pandemics, water wars and the mass migrations of peoples.

Uncertain times like those we live in naturally throw up all sorts of cults and cranks planning for the end of the world.

My former editor, Charles Moore, wrote recently about similar feelings during the height of the Cold War among those who were convinced the human race was on the edge of nuclear self-destruction.

Interestingly that bi-polar Cold War era which once seemed so fraught and fragile, now feels positively stable when compared to today's world where the old certainties are unraveling so spectacularly quickly. I wonder what we'll be worrying about in another 20 years?

Personally, I try to worry about the world's problems in chronological order - ie. today the credit crunches, petrol prices, job losses and falling stock markets and tomorrow the threat of conflict (economic and military) between the Western powers and Russia, China and Iran as we enter a new era dominated by the geopolitics of scarcity.

As a result, I find it harder to worry actively about the far-term consequences of catastrophic global warming some time in 3500 which is the subject of several emails I've been receiving lately from environmental catastrophists.

Among the best of these is from the proponents of something called ‘Lovelock Cities' - formerly ‘Polar Retreats', but now re-branded in the hope of making the idea sound more catchy.

The idea is that by 2500 the world population will be reduced to just 200,000 "breeding pairs" who will reside in between 30 and 100 special cities built in parts of the world that have escaped the rising waters.

Here people will live, inter-breeding frantically to create a new ‘race' of humanity that will emerge in the year 4500 after the ‘Great Interruption' to repopulate the world.

These people, "of combined Caucasian-Asian-African-Hispanic-Arab stock" will live free of racial considerations and imbued with a fresh and more respectful understanding of man's fragile contract with the planet. We can all hope, I suppose.

The retreats are named after (though not, I think, endorsed by) James Lovelock, the man who came up with Gaia hypothesis (the idea that the world is a self-regulating super-organism) and is now predicting that by 2100 some 80 per cent of the world's population will be wiped out in a great Malthusian apocalypse.

These ideas are as old as Noah and his ark, and personally I've got enough to worry about in 2008 - Can I afford to fill my car? Is my stock portfolio now worthless? Will I have a job next year? - to waste too much energy on how life might be in the year 2500 or 4500.

On the other hand, it is reassuring to see that at least one of these ‘Lovelock Retreats' is being earmarked for New Zealand. Might I respectfully suggest Golden Bay?