The Copenhagen Diagnosis: Sobering Update on the Science

Discussion in 'News from around the damp planet' started by Michaelangelica, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

    May 2, 2006
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  2. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

    Nov 9, 2005
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    Re: The Copenhagen Diagnosis: Sobering Update on the Science

    In an e-mail message from Antarctica, where he is doing fieldwork, Robert Bindschadler, of NASA, said the group had been prompted to write the report by “the rapidity and serious consequences of climate change.”

    Georg Kaser, a glaciologist at the University of Innsbruck, said he hoped policymakers would respond to the report by deciding to “totally phase out fossil-fuel burning within the next two decades.”

    “Dreaming is allowed,” he added. “Frankly speaking, I would not like to be a policymaker that has just two options: one, phasing out fossil fuel burning immediately, or two, committing our society to major and long-lasting changes in the climate system.”

    To me, it seems like such a simple decision to make, but then I do tend to appreciate the simpler things in/of life.

    At times like this I'm reminded of John Lennon's Imagine...

    Here's a recent one for all you Copenhagen groupies:

    TNR Q&A: Dr. Stephen Schneider

    One of the world's leading climatologists discusses the line between science and activism.

    By Marilyn Berlin Snell, 9 Nov 2009

    Not many Ph.D. students expect their research to generate outrage among Washington pundits decades later, but, as it turns out, that's exactly what happened to Stephen Schneider. Back in 1971, Schneider was studying plasma physics at Columbia and moonlighting as a research assistant at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.There, he co-authored an article for Science arguing that the warming effect caused by rising amounts of carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere would be swamped by the cooling effect caused by aerosol pollution like dust and smoke. As it turned out, Schneider and his colleagues had made a calculation error - they neglected to account for the fact that aerosols were regional while CO2 was global - and their prediction of global cooling was later shown to be mistaken. Normally, that mistake would be unremarkable - a textbook example of how science advances and corrects its errors. Yet the paper is still, to this day, fodder for conservatives like George Will, who often bring up Schneider's earlier predictions as a reason why we shouldn't believe today's scientific consensus that the Earth is warming... ... neider.pdf

    Happy reading, Markus.

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