Just how urgent is climate change, Mr. President?

In his opening remarks at the U.N., Obama said “there’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.”

But at the end of the speech, he concluded that “you and I may not live to see all the fruits of our labor …”

Well, is it urgent or not?

The AP for once did a bit of fact checking on the Obama screed that warned of dire consequences if the world doesn’t act right now to curb carbon emissions.

Obama addresses the Climate Summit, at United Nations headquarters, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

“Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution by more than any other nation on Earth,” Obama boasted, neglecting to note that about half of the U.S. emission reduction is due to the lingering recession and not bothering to mention that while we don’t burn as much coal as we did, we still dig it out of the ground and ship it overseas, where it is burned.

Nor is the science settled as Obama would have us believe when he says “our understanding of climate change has advanced — both in the deepening science that says this once-distant threat has moved ‘firmly into the present’ …”

In fact, Dr. Steven Koonin, undersecretary for science in the Energy Department during President Barack Obama’s first term, writing in The Wall Street Journal recently, points out:

“Even though human influences could have serious consequences for the climate, they are physically small in relation to the climate system as a whole. For example, human additions to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the middle of the 21st century are expected to directly shift the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect by only 1% to 2%. Since the climate system is highly variable on its own, that smallness sets a very high bar for confidently projecting the consequences of human influences.”

Koonin then relates the problem with the models used to forecast dire consequences:

“Although the Earth’s average surface temperature rose sharply by 0.9 degree Fahrenheit during the last quarter of the 20th century, it has increased much more slowly for the past 16 years, even as the human contribution to atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen by some 25%. This surprising fact demonstrates directly that natural influences and variability are powerful enough to counteract the present warming influence exerted by human activity.

“Yet the models famously fail to capture this slowing in the temperature rise. Several dozen different explanations for this failure have been offered, with ocean variability most likely playing a major role. But the whole episode continues to highlight the limits of our modeling.”

Yet Obama insists, “We have to cut carbon pollution in our own countries to prevent the worst effects of climate change. We have to adapt to the impacts that, unfortunately, we can no longer avoid. And we have to work together as a global community to tackle this global threat before it is too late. ”

Even though we will not live to see the fruits of our labor in our lifetimes, though we will get the bill for higher costs in the mail.





26 comments on “Just how urgent is climate change, Mr. President?

  1. Rincon says:

    Your shill, Steven Koonin, is doing the exact same thing you accuse the Liberal shills of doing – claiming to have a crystal ball. You have said repeatedly that our models are hopelessly inaccurate, yet when he claims to have an accurate model, you’re prepared to buy it hook, line, and sinker. Why don’t you check and determine how he, among all of us lesser mortals, knows that our emissions will only affect the natural greenhouse effect by only 1 or 2%. I know the answer, but I need you to say it.

  2. He did not say he had an accurate model. He says he doesn’t know.

  3. nyp says:

    Does your reliance on Professor Koonin mean that you now finally agree with his other contentions that global warming is definitely taking place and that carbon-generated greenhouse gases are contributing to that warming?

  4. Climate change is taking place. Always has. Mankind plays and insignificant role.

  5. Winston Smith says:

    Besides, where in the Constitution is the federal government delegated the power to control carbon dioxide output? If Blood and Gore can get the Constitution amended first, then Congress can decide whether to give them their billions they’ve been pining after or not.

    Sieg Heil, Baby!

  6. Rincon says:

    If Koonin says he doesn’t know, then why does he say, “…human additions to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the middle of the 21st century are expected to directly shift the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect by only 1% to 2%”.

    So mankind plays an insignificant role in climate change. Funny, I didn’t think any of us were smart enough to actually be sure one way or another. Tell me Thomas, who is the genius that has outfoxed 97% of all climatologists?

  7. 97 percent figure is nonsense.

  8. Steve says:

    “97% of all climatologists” Should read “97% of all ACCEPTED climatologists”. There are plenty of people wgho used to be accepted but have since been EJECTED for speaking their minds…one of the first to go was Bjorn Lomborg.

  9. Rincon says:

    Try doing what I did. I went to my local college library, did a search among scientific publications on climate change and global warming. A few didn’t say anything committal. Of those that did, nearly 100% used language indicating that it was an accepted phenomenon and that it was at least partially manmade. I found for myself that the 97% figure was at least in the ballpark. It would probably work on Google Scholar. It doesn’t matter though. Ideology always trumps science if you’re a Conservative. Interesting that many of the same people that disclaim global warming also do so for evolution. Some even insist the Earth is 6000 years old. You won’t find nary a Liberal in that camp.

  10. Winston Smith says:

    “Ideology always trumps science if you’re a Conservative.”

    Come now, Rincon, don’t insult our collective intelligence. I won’t get in a pissing contest over that statement, but it’s patently absurd, in spite of the left’s recent propagandizing.

    The fix has been in on AGW for years, and since there is so much money at stake, the Bloods and Gores of the world can’t possibly leave it along. They just hope we all have short memories and don’t remember ClimateGate.

    Here it is again 🙂

  11. Steve says:

    “A few didn’t say anything committal. Of those that did, nearly 100%”….

    Fancy way of saying what is said.

  12. Steve says:

    Fancy way of saying what I said.

    (Is not Is it Is I)

  13. Scienceis facts not concensus.

  14. Rincon says:

    Like the fact that mankind’s emissions cannot possibly cause the Earth to warm? Not a fact, despite your evangelical assertions. So far, I’ve only seen the opinions of conservative think tanks and the like, with the occasional quote from one of perhaps 5 or 10 renegade scientists. Show me one other fact in our lives where a large majority of experts says it’s not a fact. It’s one thing to doubt that manmade global warming will be catastrophic or that it even exists; it’s quite another to say without reservation that it cannot possibly exist.

  15. Steve says:

    “Like the fact that mankind’s emissions cannot possibly cause the Earth to warm? ”

    Never said humans don’t have any impact, have always taken issue with the percentage claimed by the those within the faith as opposed to those who have been excommunicated for heresy. And I meant to write it that way as the climate science “consensus” is very much a religion today. If a scientist disagrees then they face serious challenges up to and including being thrown out and vilified for even the slightest mention that things may not be what the political messages are saying.

    Gotta keep that government money flowing in the “AGW” research! For at least the next century or so…

  16. Rincon says:

    Your view of the scientific community dismays me. As a former and present member (I’ve only been active in the medical area for the last 30 years or so, but I’ve closely followed via the scientific and lay media) , I find them to be among the most conscientious groups I know. I’ve never observed any of the lying and obfuscation that are routine in politics, although there’s always some controversy and stubborness.

  17. Rincon says:

    Rossiter calls climate science “unproven”. He’s right and wrong. The degree to which man is changing or not changing the climate is unproven, although Conservatives disagree with that. On the other hand, the fact that manmade emissions are responsible for essentially all of the excess CO2 is well proven. The fact that the Earth’s temperature has risen dramatically in the past 100 years and has stayed high for the last 17 years is essentially proven as well.

  18. Winston Smith says:

    While I know that most scientists probably do their best to follow the scientific method, there are exceptions, whether that is because of money or politics or both. To me, it looks like the aggregators of the data, whether at the IPCC or NOAA or wherever, were screwing with the numbers to get the results they wanted, besides just the “hide the decline” stuff. There is so much money at stake with the carbon credit exchanges, it is silly to not believe that it is at least possible that there have been manipulations in the system.

    The general public, both here and around the globe, have lost confidence in the AGW gang, because of the bullshit the warmists have pulled over the years.

    Here is Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace:


  19. Steve says:

    Tell it to Lomborg, Rincon.

  20. Steve says:

    OH, lets not forget Michael Faraday…another old example of a scientist being pushed aside for political gain by the scientist who was his boss.

    Rincon, please! Scientists are human beings with all the failings that come with being a human.

    The leaders of the AGW religion are most certainly sucking the teat of government cash flow and nothing is going to remove them from their suckle.
    LEAST of all some upstart, mouthy, well meaning rank and file scientist. Those loudmouths must be pushed away, far away. Back in the (very) old days they would be sent to fall off the edge of the earth. Because (back then) the consensus of the scientific community absolutely believed the earth was flat. AND any who had the audacity to question the “authority” was to be vilified and excommunicated for heresy.

    This problem has existed since the dawn of science and will exist until the end of the race.

    The trick is to see it for what it is and act accordingly.

    In fact, I was raised as a liberal, taught to “ALWAYS QUESTION AUTHORITY”.

    Toady’s “Modern” Liberal, being THE authority, wants you to forget that basic tenant of liberalism.

    Those of us who hold it near and dear are today’s conservatives.

  21. Rincon says:

    Winston, can you specify some of the “screwing with the numbers” to which you refer? For what it’s worth, I agree that any and all attempts to predict the severity of the warming are suspect, no matter who it is.

    “The general public, both here and around the globe, have lost confidence in the AGW gang, because of the bullshit the warmists have pulled over the years”. Interesting that you trust the Conservative think tanks and the like, despite the many times I’ve shown them on this site to be misleading or inaccurate. For example Koonin claiming to know that the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect will be shifted by 1 or 2 %. NO one has any way of knowing with any certainty.

    I read Lomborg’s book years ago. He’s a statistician who has only a dim understanding of science. If I recall correctly, he also opined that DDT should never have been banned. The book would be good fertilizer for the garden.

    Somehow, I swear I’ve heard similar diatribes before. You know, mainstream scientists are all wrong, the mainstream conspires against the heretics, always question authority, and the like. Ah yes, the creationist bunch. You guys have a lot in common. You should check them out.

  22. Steve says:

    Look up Michael Faraday…He pretty much failed at glass blowing.

  23. Rincon says:

    I looked up Faraday. He sounds like a very successful card carrying member of the scientific establishment. “Faraday had a long association with the Royal Institution of Great Britain. He was appointed Assistant Superintendent of the House of the Royal Institution in 1821.[48] He was elected a member of the Royal Society in 1824.[6] In 1825, he became Director of the Laboratory of the Royal Institution.[48] Six years later, in 1833, Faraday became the first Fullerian Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, a position to which he was appointed for life without the obligation to deliver lectures. His sponsor and mentor was John ‘Mad Jack’ Fuller, who created the position at the Royal Institution for Faraday”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Faraday

    What are you trying to say about him?

  24. Steve says:

    Look deeper. Earlier in his life.

  25. Athos says:

    Hey!! The debate is over!! Get out your wallets and pay!

    Have I got that right, rinny?

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