Continental To Let Passengers Purchase Carbon Credits To Offset The Environmental Impact Of Air Travel

Starting this summer, Continental will offer passengers the ability to buy carbon credits to offset the environmental cost of their travel. Though airlines contribute to global warming, air travel is one of the most carbon-efficient ways to cross long distances.

[Continental’s] program, being carried out with Sustainable Travel International and announced Wednesday, will let fliers calculate the so-called carbon footprint of their trips’ greenhouse gas emissions and buy carbon offsets online from Sustainable Travel.

The nonprofit business then invests the proceeds in projects such as reforestation, renewable energy and energy conservation. For domestic flights, the cost of offsetting ranges from $10 to $30 or more per flight, according to Brian Mullis, president of Sustainable Travel.

Would you buy credits to offset your carbon footprint? Tell us in the comments. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

Carrier to let fliers be kind to Earth [Houston Chronicle via Peter Greenberg]
(Photo: R@punseLL)

Comments

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  1. ljcabrera says:

    Carbon credits have to the one of the greatest con jobs I’ve ever seen.

  2. Exek says:

    I agree after administrative cost and blah blah fees probably like .50 cents goes into actually planting a tree.

  3. dbeahn says:

    Given that scientists all over the world that haven’t been flat bought by the “Global Warming” cult members continue to publish study after study and present paper after paper proving that man has no measurable impact on global climate, I’d say that carbon offsets are the greatest con in recorded history. Al Gore is making a huge profit telling people to buy them without disclosing that he is a major owner of the company selling them.

  4. Hawk07 says:

    Not unless Al Gore, Sheryl Crow and Laurie David are willing to let me borrow the same private plans they have access to whenever I need to fly somewhere.

    Truthfully, I don’t think Continental could care less about global warming. It’s just a marketing ploy. If they mandated the fee on every ticket sold, passenger loads would drop, there would be cutbacks, and it would further stagnate an already super competitive and price sensitive industry.

  5. Hawk07 says:

    Another thing, if we listened to all the “scientists” and “experts” in the 70’s, we *SHOULD* be knee deep in another ice age as we speak. Obviously ain’t happening and won’t happen any time soon so they found a new drum to beat.

  6. Jasmo says:

    You’d think that there would be an alternative way to lose the guilt … like, i dunno … fly less?

  7. Trick says:

    There should be no guilt at all over flying. I won’t fly because the airlines suck, but that is a different story…

    When all the Hollywood celebs and the other attention whores give up their private jets and large mansions and do as they say instead, only then will I actually consider thinking about the possibility that they have a point…

  8. yahonza says:

    Pretty Soon this won’t be voluntary. Expect a special tax fog Global Warming Offsets….I think it is rapidly being adopted in the EU.

  9. Christovir says:

    @Hawk07: Very few scientists of the 70s actually believed we were entering a new ice age. A few studies suggested it, and the media sensationalized it. Today we have a consensus amongst scientists that climate change is real and manmade, supported by thousands of studies. Very big difference.

    @dbeahn: Name some legitimate climate scientists who have published in peer reviewed journals refuting climate change. According to recent meta-analyses, over 99% of peer-reviewd articles suggest humans are altering the climate.

    Carbon Credits have potential but currently they have serious problems. See: http://environment.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,,2…

    The best thing you can do is reduce your present wastage. Most home energy used can be considered waste energy. Turn the lights off when not needed, don’t use standby on the TV, and insulate your home. You’ll save money too.

  10. scoobydoo says:

    People will do anything to help the poor environment.

    Except spend money on it.

  11. Crazytree says:

    Global Warming… another sinister scam perpetrated by the Bush Administration…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/01/washington/01prexy.html?…

  12. Sudonum says:

    Wow, thought I tuned into Fox for a minute there.

  13. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    It’s a nice gesture, and it will make the environmentally minded traveler happy.

    Unfortunately, curbing the amount of C02 that one airline in one country emits compared to the scope of the whole problem isn’t going to amount to much. But hey, if it’ll make people happy..what the heck. Besides, being “green” is in, and the cynical side of me tells me that it’s just a big PR ploy to make Continental seems like it sucks less.

  14. brodog2525 says:

    @Hawk07: Al Gore doesn’t use a private airplane. He flys commercial, just like everyone else.

    note: I read this in Time magazine or some other reputable news source last month, but i dont have the link for it.

  15. Lordstrom says:

    @Christovir: Peer review *is* the cult he was speaking of. All of these people are paid obscene amounts of money in grants to “negotiate” a consensus, like what happened with the UN report. Science should never have negotiation.

  16. fizzer fits says:

    US Airways does the same I think, or at least the travel thingie I purchased my last tickets through asked if I wanted to pay for Carbon Credits.

    Hell no. I just started a non-profit business. I’ve seen enough to want to know intricate details of where every cent is going to when I make a donation, and anything less than 80 to 90 cents on the dollar for something like carbon credits better be for whatever-the-hell-it-is-they-promise-to-spend-it-on (what is it anyway? Trees? Research? Mr. Fusion machines?). My guess is 90% of each dollar in something like this is going to get a bunch of people more money.

  17. FMulder says:

    I’ll do my own carbon offsetting, thank you.

    My work includes sustainable development projects, so through this and the work of reputable environmental organizations, I figure I can do more with that money than Continental and its cohorts would.

    That said, this hostility to the Global Warming issues in America is the same kind of thinking that has people banning science books that don’t simply say “God created everything in less than a week.” Granted, for many Americans who rarely, if ever, step (mentally and physically) out of their community circles, and even then rarely notice the environment, sure it is hard to understand all the ‘science talk.’ Those of us who do pay attention to more than just the glare of SUVs, notice environmental impacts AND that the much of the world is ahead of us in the awareness that perhaps the condition of our natural environment is important to our lives. It is a selfishness, a lack of awareness about the world as a whole, a complete detachment from the natural environment that breeds this disregard. People who don’t think about the trash they create, their impact on their environment, because their world is maintaining to sweep realities away from them and because they don’t learn about it while watching American Idol or the View.

    The same ‘brilliant’ folks who reject the ‘fake’ science behind Global Warming, are the ones who will believe any other science that fits what they want — any science so long as it doesn’t mean they have to change their unnecessary wasteful, shallow, conspicuously consumptive lifestyles. God forbid they should have to consider a fish, if not on their plate, a tree if not in their yard, and a beach if they don’t want to vacation on it for a few days. Water from their kitchen faucet comes from God, not a source that needs to be protected; the earth’s resources are to use, discard, tear down, dig up, throw away, pollute, until there is nothing left, but that doesn’t matter because when it is all gone, they’ll be dead and in the meantime they’ll have their housing development with Home Depot bought grass, central air in the house, and they are building a nice stock portfolio so their grandchildren can afford to live in a plastic bubble covered city, so what do they care?

    Forget the polar ice caps focusing on themis a liberal mind game, but if their ipods lose battery power too quickly, then we must enact laws to punish Apple!

    That’s what happens when we create a plastic and metal culture.

  18. jwissick says:

    Carbon credits make on carbon neutral??

    Bull. If I rape a woman and then donate money to a rape crisis center, does that make me rape neutral? NO!

    Carbon credits are a scam. Nothing more.

  19. Brad2723 says:

    I wonder if the people selling these carbon credits have any bridges for sale. I’ve been looking to buy one.

  20. JohnAsimov says:

    @dbeahn: hahaha

  21. Hawk07 says:

    @brodog2525:

    Technically, his official stance is, “I fly commercial whenever I can.” Of course in politics and the court of law that can mean anything. Also, for the record, I could care less what mode of transportation he uses. AFAIK, all his wealth is legit so how he spends his money is his own business.

    No doubt you’ve heard the reports of Gore’s own “Inconvenient Truth” that his mansion uses more electricity in one month than the average American household uses in a year. Have you heard of our Commander in Chief’s “Texas White House”?
    http://wizbangblog.com/2007/02/26/al-gores-own-inconvenien

  22. Hawk07 says:

    @Christovir:

    And the media isn’t sensationalizing global warming as well?

    If you go by the news, you’d think more children than ever are being abducted and kidnapped when in reality, the average has remained roughly the same for quite some time.

    This is a free country. If you want to buy carbon credits and make yourself feel good when you tuck yourself in at night, that’s fine by me.

  23. iron_chef says:

    the denial of the global warming problem is staggering.

    Where’s your sense of personal responsibility?


    As for the outdated Gore link…hell the story’s been debunked. He purchases all his power from green sources.

    TIME stated that the Tennessee Center for Policy Research claimed to have gotten “its figures from Nashville Electric Service. But company spokeswoman Laurie Parker said the utility never got a request from the policy center and never gave it any information.” [24] TIME further quoted Kalee Kreider, a spokesperson for Gore, as saying that the source of the energy is green energy.[24] WKRN-TV reported that the Gore family obtains their power from the Nashville Electric Service’s “renewable energy initiative”, The Green Power Switch program [25] which depends upon “wind, solar, and methane gas.” [26] The Detroit Free Press further noted that “Gore purchased 108 blocks of ‘green power’ for each of the past three months, according to a summary of the bills. That’s a total of $432 a month Gore paid extra for solar or other renewable energy sources.The green power Gore purchased is equivalent to recycling 2.48 million aluminum cans or 286,092 pounds of newspaper, according to comparison figures on NES’s Web site.” [23] The figure of 108 blocks of green power per month corresponds[25] to 16,200 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month, Al Gore’s average monthly use for 2005.
    Keith Olbermann at MSNBC reported that the Gore home includes offices for both Gore and his wife and ‘special security measures’ making it unrepresentative of what the average US home consumes. Additionally, the green power purchased by the Gores increased the cost of their electricity by “$5,893, more than 50 percent, in order to minimize carbon pollution.”[27]
    Kreider suggested in TIME that the attacks on Gore’s energy use were political in nature and stated:
    ” Sometimes when people don’t like the message, in this case that global warming is real, it’s convenient to attack the messenger. [24]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Gore_controversies

  24. EtherealStrife says:

    This is a completely pointless “gesture.” Gee, you’ll ALLOW me to donate to a charity when purchasing my ticket? *eyeroll* Even if I were in the buy-it-off environmental penance crowd I wouldn’t go for this.

    Consumerist should start a carbon credit program to offset the electricity used in viewing and hosting. . . .

    @noasalira: Well put.

    @jwissick: I don’t know about a scam, but the money is better spent elsewhere. Heck, go carbon neutral and save the money to buy a hybrid. Or go off the grid, with the more efficient solar cells that are just a few years off. Nice comparison btw.

  25. TPIRman says:

    @Hawk07: Re: the predictions of a new ice age:

    http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/climate-

    Re: the Al Gore house, this talking point doesn’t do anything for me. It’s become all about this one person. I mean, what are we supposed to conclude? “Yes, the consensus about humanity’s role in climate change was arrived at by thousands of scientists from various fields working over the course of decades. But you shouldn’t believe it because Al Gore has a big house.” Really?

    Al Gore has become a prominent face of climate change in this country, but the theory wasn’t his idea. It’s not like we’re talking about the Internet here. (Sorry, bad joke.) The science behind climate change is solid even if Al Gore decides to purchase a fleet of Hummers.

    This is not to condemn skeptics. Skepticism pushes science forward and has actually driven climate scientists to strengthen their case greatly in recent years. Without the history of healthy skepticism, climate science would not nearly as much credibility as it does. But there is a difference between a skeptic who seeks to educate himself in search of truth and a cynic who cherry-picks knowledge to flatter some notion of iconoclasm. In that sense, this debate needs fewer cynics and more skeptics.

    As for carbon credits, as Christovir noted, they are currently problematic. It does seem that, right now, there is more marketing than science at work here. I don’t blame anybody for finding crassness in the opportunistic marketing or celebrit-izing of global warming, but such sensationalism has little to do with the scientific reality of climate change.

    BTW, Christovir and noasalira: +1

  26. sixsnowflakes says:

    @Christovir: Richard S. Linzen, MIT professor, you can even read his publications online, or in newsweek for the lay person

    Let’s call “carbon offsets” what they are: hypocrisy. If you want to reduce CO2, take your bike to work, or stop exhaling.

    Why doesn’t anyone mention methane (CH4) releases? It traps 4x as much heat as CO2? Or that planting trees in the northern hemisphere contributes to global warming? The real world is much more complicated than the models. Scientists like to make lots of models. No one relies on them, and I always know I finally got my model right when it matches what I already knew it should look like. So if I assume global warming, of course I see the trend. (That 99% of articles citation is bs, do you have any source however biased?)

    The wikipedia article is becoming more biased with every edit, but there is definately no consensus among the scientists–especially if you review conference proceedings. Consensus is only claimed by certain groups (environmental, political) who have underlying interest in the results of the debate.

    The climate changes, and it has warmed over the last 100 years. The effect humans have had and could possible have is debateable. You should probably go get a phd in atmospheric science before you make up your mind, mine is still open and I am almost there.

    Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. That’s still good advice.

  27. Trai_Dep says:

    Whoa, freepers unite!!

    Guys, it’s not an all/none choice. If you can bike to work, great. Mass transit, great. Efficient car, great. Have to fly, great.

    No one (outside your pathetic, echo-chamber, straw-man, frothing-at-the-mouth demogogues) is suggesting we dress in animal skins and walk to work.

    Try to take the big picture into account. If you think there are ways to offset your carbon footprint, go for it. If not, then you can “buy” offsets, which aren’t as ideal as say, scrapheaping your SUV, help offset the damage.

    Allowing someone to conveniently by carbon offsets is one of many options. Options, in a free market, are a good thing. Got it, commies?

    Just because we’ll never get crime rates down to 0% doesn’t mean, “Throw open the front door when you leave the house since crime’s still going to happen.”

    Jeez – grow up. Or at least, begin to think like an adult. We’re not five year olds, right?

  28. julian says:

    Probably the only person here, but if I did fly (haven’t stepped on a plane in my life so far) I would likely offset the CO2, though I’d probably use someone like Terrapass who I have a bit more faith in (partly as they don’t use trees).

    While I think CO2 offsets can be somewhat hypocritical and reducing your environmental impact in the first place is far better, sometimes people simply cannot get somewhere in a reasonable amount of time without flying. Offsetting when done well, not only internalises the externality that CO represents somewhat (albeit voluntarily), but can also act as a big wedge of cash that encourages the development of better renewable technologies and lowers their price in the long run.

    noasalira: Well said.

    sixsnowflakes: I think that’s likely because a lot of things that people actively do which constitutes their environmental impact don’t produce much methane, although I might be wrong. TerraPass do mention methane releases, and have so far eliminated more than 2,850 tons of CO2 by capturing methane and burning it to produce energy.

  29. TinaT says:

    The argument isn’t ‘Al Gore has a huge mansion so climate change is bunk’. It’s ‘Al Gore has a huge mansion so how dare he try to lecture us on our lifestyle choices.

    And to answer the original question, no, I will not be buying carbon offsets when I fly commercial (which I do maybe once a year at most.)

  30. Jon Parker says:

    @trai_dep: Exactly. I’m not sure where all this opposition comes from, or what the point is. Cutting carbon emissions not only makes environmental sense, it usually makes financial sense. Companies that emit less pollution do so because they are using energy more efficiently, thereby reducing their bill. The same goes for homes, cars, and flights. Being wasteful with energy benefits no one.

    I think the opposition comes more from the football mentality that has overtaken our national dialogue — the other team is for it, so I’m against it.

  31. Michael says:

    @Hawk07:

    “This is a free country. If you want to buy carbon credits and make yourself feel good when you tuck yourself in at night, that’s fine by me.”

    This is the hypocrisy of “American democracy” that made me leave the country. You claim you have no problem with others doing something by being condescending. Obviously you DO have a problem with what their doing, so why resort to the platitude that you “live in a free country”.

    About carbon emissions: Being an American living in Europe, I had to fly a lot to visit family. I also fly a lot for my job. I don’t worry about my carbon footprint, though, because there is no way in hell it could possibly be bigger than it would be if I still lived in America. I have no car (I do own a scooter that gets 100mpg), I try to buy local produce (not possible in Las Vegas, where I am from), I have no a/c, rarely use my heater, and I generally buy very little stuff. So before I go about making further changes I want the SUV banned, I want all plastic shopping bags in the world to cost and be made of a better quality plastic (so one uses less), and I want recycling bins available in every city (I would recycle, but the closest drop-off point is 500 miles away!).

  32. @sixsnowflakes: “Why doesn’t anyone mention methane (CH4) releases?”

    They do. To the point that my local farm group (I don’t know what it’s called, it’s when all the farmers get together to increase their political clout on something) is having a knock-down, drag-out over methane vs. carbon and cow farts have become a major topic of conversation.

  33. dbeahn says:

    @Christovir: Oh look! We have a member of the Church of Global Warming among us!

    Let’s see, there was the EU study that found that the warming we’re experiencing fits into an overall cycle millions of years long, the Russian study that found that Venus and Mars are seeing the same percentage of warming we are, and the UK study showing that the impact man has on overall climate change is not even measurable. There was even a documentary done in the UK about it.

    Me thinks you should start reading, and stop believing everything Al Gore tells you. Oh, and you can stop using just ONE sheet of toilet paper – it’s OK, the toilet paper is made from FARMED trees.

  34. dbeahn says:

    @Michael: “This is the hypocrisy of “American democracy” that made me leave the country. You claim you have no problem with others doing something by being condescending. Obviously you DO have a problem with what their doing, so why resort to the platitude that you “live in a free country”.”

    It IS a free country. No one said that other people wouldn’t express their own opinion about how stupid or smart you were being. If you can’t handle allowing others to have the freedom to think what they want and comment about what you do, then yes, by all means, get the hell out :)

  35. BK88 says:

    A list of 167 articles that say global warming is not man made.

    http://schnittshow.newsradio610.com/globalwarming.html

    Since when is “consensus” a part of the scientific method? I’m just going on my high school science class, but I don’t see it as a step in the scientific method.

    Here’s what Wiki people say about it:

    “All hypotheses and theories are in principle subject to disproof. Thus, there is a point at which there might be a consensus about a particular hypothesis or theory, yet it must in principle remain tentative.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_process

    Earth will take herself, unless everyone nuke’s everyone else at the same time.

    Glad to see thinkers here on this board instead of kool-aid drinkers from both sides. (except Christovir :)

  36. badgeman46 says:

    Remember when we were supposed to run out of oil by 2000? Thats what they said in the 70’s. Remember when the rainforests were dissapearing and we weren’t going to have oxygen (which is silly, because o2 comes from the ocean)? I’ve been there many times, its all still there. Remember when AIDS was supposed to claim one out of three people? How about acid rain destroying the water? The coming ice age? These are all flash in the pan environmental fads. Much like global warming.
    Much like scientology, which requires its followers to give large sums of money to be “saved” or whatever; the church of global warming is intent in draining your wallets. Its amazing how all these granola crunchers are giving away all their hard earned cash to fight off the boogeyman.

  37. sixsnowflakes says:

    @Michael: Charging for plastic bags (and deposits on shopping carts) are useful in modifying European comsumers behavior. Some European chains in the US maintain this practice, such as Ikea and Aldi. My hometown grocery store actually gives me a $0.25 rebate when I bring my own bag. If you are in LV, there is Silver State Disposal in North Las Vegas (333 W. Gowan Rd., NLV 89030), which recycles almost everything. You could also go to Abbie’s (6351 E. Vegas Valley Dr., LV 89122), but they don’t take plastics there. There is also a bit of a mentality difference in considering the European vs. American sides of this debate. Most Europeans believe actions need to be taken against climate change, but they think companies and the US should take the actions. Many Americans are rightfully skeptical, but I believe Americans are more likely to act themselves when they are convinced. Thus, my totally alarmed German friend does nothing except think the US needs to change its ways, and I, not convinced of impending disaster, take my own grocery bags and bike to work. (Does anyone think the US has taken or will take a blame China approach? Note the parallels of CO2 emissions to the discussions and legislation on Hg emissions.)

    The hypocrisy of “carbon offsets” is that the companies selling credits typically find projects that are already underway and would occur without their donations. So when a landfill decides to capture their emissions or a dairy farmer decides to collect his cow poop instead of letting it decompose on the field, they have already taken credit for reducing these emissions. When offset credits are sold to multiple entities, multiple groups are claiming to achieved “carbon neutral lifestyles” or CO2 emission reduction, but this is an ineffective political game since the claimed reduction is multiple times greater than the actual reduction. The “carbon neutral” claim is where the hypocrisy lies. A genuine international cap and trade system would produce more interesting results.

    A similar problem arrises for wind power. Some power companies do buy available wind power. On the consumer side, many power suppliers allow you to pay the increased price of wind power (and you assume they will buy a proportional amount of wind power) but in fact your additional money won’t go to purchasing wind power unless it is convenient, or it might go to development projects. Carbon offsets might be a charitable donation for you, but Terrapass and electric companies do not happen to be nonprofits.@julian: burning methane to produce CO2 increases CO2 emissions, this being overall better in terms of the discussion. Do you know how TerraPass converts a methane reduction to a CO2 reduction?

  38. lihtox says:

    @Hawk07: The “Al Gore mansion” business has been explained:
    http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2007/2/28/155124/075

    Summary:
    * Al Gore’s house’s energy usage per square foot is average for his region of the country (Tennesee has hot summers AND cold winters)
    * The house is large, but he and his wife have offices there, and they accommodate secret service as well.
    * They buy the maximum allowable green electricity from his supplier, and most electricity in that region is from hydroelectric and nuclear anyway, leaving a small carbon footprint.

    My own thoughts about global warming: either there’s a vast conspiracy of scientists trying to prove it’s real and man-made, or there’s a vast conspiracy of oil companies trying to prove it isn’t. Which has more to gain? Ah yes, the oil companies.

    Plus, if there’s even a chance we can do something to prevent the Earth from warming, I suggest we try it. We’re not talking about sacrificing virgins here, we’re talking about making some different investments, put up with some mild inconveniences, spend a little more money. If the US can throw billions of dollars into a missile defense shield on the off chance that someone will fire a nuclear missile at us (instead of, I don’t know, flying a plane into a building), then it can spend the same amount of money on the real chance that Florida and Manhattan are going to be underwater by the end of the century. If “conservative” meant “cautious” rather than “go back to the good old days”, then this would be a no-brainer.

  39. Secularsage says:

    Call me a cynic, but isn’t “carbon credits” just another way of saying “remove your guilt through spending money”?

    It’s interesting that American culture is so rooted in giving money to fix problems instead of taking personal responsibility. I’ve heard we’re the most generous nation in the world. But I’d suggest it’s because we’re one of the laziest and least proactive when it comes to supporting a cause. We’d far rather spend the money supporting causes so we can feel like we’re “doing our part” than getting out and working those causes ourselves.

    Sad thing is, a lot of that money we kick in gets wasted anyhow. True charity is not buying a carbon credit so someone else can do it for us; true charity is changing our lives so that the rest of the world can benefit.

  40. asherchang says:

    @dbeahn: Oh, shut up, you goddamn conspiracy theorist. Are you saying that all of the following…

    * NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS)
    * National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
    * National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
    * State of the Canadian Cryosphere (SOCC)
    * Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    * Royal Society of the United Kingdom (RS)
    * American Geophysical Union (AGU)
    * American Institute of Physics (AIP)
    * National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
    * American Meteorological Society (AMS)
    * Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS)
    * Academia Brasiliera de Ciências (Bazil)
    * Royal Society of Canada
    * Chinese Academy of Sciences
    * Academié des Sciences (France)
    * Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (Germany)
    * Indian National Science Academy
    * Accademia dei Lincei (Italy)
    * Science Council of Japan
    * Russian Academy of Sciences
    * Royal Society (United Kingdom)
    * National Academy of Sciences (United States of America)
    * Australian Academy of Sciences
    * Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts
    * Caribbean Academy of Sciences
    * Indonesian Academy of Sciences
    * Royal Irish Academy
    * Academy of Sciences Malaysia
    * Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand
    * Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

    have been “bought out” by some evil group of fearmongering exploiter of our gullability?

    Next you’re gonna say that Fluoridation is an evil plot by the aluminum industry, or that information about UFOs is being supressed.

  41. asherchang says:

    @Hawk07: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=94

    Oh, so just because a single book, a few articles in popular magazines, and a little bit of scientific speculation suggested “global cooling” back then was obviously wrong, we are to ignore the global consensus now- by the majority of the scientific community, and not some fringe individuals- that global warming is both happening now and is anthropogenic?

  42. asherchang says:

    @lorddave: OMG THE VERY BASIS OF OUR SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY AM BROKEN!!!!!!!!!!!1111111111111

  43. asherchang says:

    @dbeahn: First of all, it is true that there are natural cycles of cooling and warming, but we were supposed to be cooling at this time. Yet we’re warming at a rate 10 times faster than normal.

    And secondly, (from gristmill): “As for the alleged extraterrestrial warming, there is extremely little evidence of a global climate change on Mars. The only piece I’m aware of is a series of photographs of a single icy region in the southern hemisphere that shows melting over a six year period (about three Martian years).

    Here on earth we have direct measurements from all over the globe, widespread glacial retreat, reduction of sea ice, and satellite measurements of the lower troposphere up to the stratosphere. To compare this mountain of data to a few photographs of a single region on another planet strains credulity. And in fact, the relevant scientists believe the observation described above is the result of a regional change caused by Mars’ own orbital cycles, like what happened during the earth’s glacial cycles. “

  44. asherchang says:

    @BK88: I don’t see how articles reporting on TV specials and Ad Hominem attacks count as evidence against global warming.

  45. castlecraver says:

    Marketing ploy. Not too clever, but it’ll take care of their corporate “look like we give a crap about the Earth” quota for a little while.

    Its sad how much people’s views on this issue are clouded by their opinion of guys like Al Gore. It makes it look like some sort of left-wing conspiracy, when the science pretty much speaks for itself. Not the cherry-picked “thus-and-such doesn’t fit an outdated model, so the whole thing is bunk” science, or the “pop scientists said this in the 70’s and they were wrong so they must be wrong now science”, or even the downright asinine “there’s no consensus” examples (not only are you wrong that there’s no consensus, but active debate is the backbone of science — you could find papers from the 50’s refuting DNA as the genetic code, for example), but the overwhelming amount of observed upshift in surface, borehole and sattelite-measured temperature, as well as glacial, permafrost and sea ice melting that is most certainly not part of a natural cycle. Say what you will about the models or interpretation, but the data is there in black and white, and the skeptics present no valid alternative hypotheses. I’m shocked how many people, seemingly completely unawares, are willing to side with the fringe minority on this.

  46. myls says:

    @BK88: “A list of 167 articles that say global warming is not man made.” Um, I checked out some of those articles and some of them don’t even relate to global warming (i.e. #62, “Al Gore full of hot air”), and the first three are all mirrors of the same movie. #155 actually claims that global warming is partially caused by rice paddies, and has nothing to do with disproving global warming at all…it offers a potential answer for some global warming. That makes the list just a few articles shorter. I also wonder why a reader of the Consumerist would trust an article from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (#9), which state “We believe that individuals are best helped not by government intervention, but by making their own choices in a free marketplace.” A little intervention goes a long way, but total free-market economy? Another 5 focus on the debate about Al Gore’s house, one more decries celebs who don’t live up to their eco-potential (#30), #40 refers to Mars, #31 discusses economic impact of green power, #36 claims global warming is a problem and offers some strange solutions. #38 advises caution but seems to accept the idea that global warming is a possibility…So we’re down to 152 articles, and I’ve just gotten started. (On the rest of the list, there are many editorials, which don’t cite any sources, as well.) And I just got started. I don’t really feel like spending my whole day sorting through this list. Of course, I’m personally skeptical of all morning radio hosts, liberal and conservative, and their random lists…So perhaps I am biased. Watch out for your own “kool-aid”, BK88!

    As for “I don’t see [consensus] as a step in the scientific method”–As the wiki says, “The scientific process is iterative”–this doesn’t just mean that one person repeats his or her experiments–it’s something that is repeated all over the scientific community, until there is a working theory of what’s causing a particular phenomena.

    Anyway, I think we’re going to be surprised about global warming. The world is an amazingly complex system, and complex, chaotic systems are very hard to predict the outcome of. This doesn’t mean that I don’t believe that we as humans are making some kind of impact, and that we should attempt to minimize that impact, (thanks, Lihtox!) but I don’t think we can reliably predict the global response to human impact. I’m not sure about those carbon offsets, though. Seems kind of sketchy.

  47. asherchang says:

    @badgeman46: Actually, estimates varied on the date, and we ARE going to run out of easilly extractable, readilly available oil, and are gonna have to consisitantly pay alot for gas.

    And rainforests ARE dissapearing can’t be easilly replaced, and they DO provide alot of the world’s oxygen. The biosphere is the main driving force behind the oxygen cycle, after all. The ocean is actually a resevoir of CO2, it doesn’t emit oxygen.

    And if the proper response wasn’t taken by health authorities worldwide, AIDS would have been a much more catastrophic epidemic. And just because you yourself haven’t seen areas hit hard by AIDS doesn’t mean that they don’t exist- AIDS is a huge problem in some parts of Africa, and it claims many lives each year.

    And if you looked in some of the above comments, you would see how Global Cooling wasn’t even supported by the scientific community to begin with.

    And I don’t see how any of these things show how environmentalists are demagogues trying to cheat us out of our money.

  48. Trick says:

    It is amazing how the eco-nuts continue to blame those who drive SUV’s or don’t buy Al Gore’s latest movie as the reason for global warming.

    The earth has been around how long? And how long have we been around?

    You eco-nuts are as arrogant as you are gullible. You actually think you have a major impact on Earth. This is not giving carte blanch to go and leave nuclear waste on every corner. But there is no way humans are as responsible, especially Republicans, SUV owners and those who didn’t vote for Kerry in 2004.

    All your shrill whining will not change the fact that tomorrow a massive super-volcano or earthquake will do far more damage to the human race than Buffy going down to Starbucks in her Range Rover.

    The same eggheads who predicted we would all be living in igloos without a drop of oil freezing our butts off are now screaming “buy stock in Hawaiian Tropics, because it is going to be a scorcher.”

    And it is no coincidence at all that every time these eggheads scream the sky is falling, they get yet another big wad of sweaty palm cash to further their cause…

  49. castlecraver says:

    @Trick: Right. Its the SUV-owning Republicans. It couldn’t actually be the industrial and factory emissions or anything.

    You pretty much proved my point — you’re letting your stance on this issue get clouded by the “arrogance” of fringe “environuts” who may not understand the relative impact that a Hummer has verses, say, a power plant.

    http://www.brighton73.freeserve.co.uk/gw/paleo/20000yrfig….
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Carbon_History_and_Flux

    See the upswing around the mid-1800’s? If you harken back to your jr. high school history days, you’ll recall a little thing called the “industrial revolution” that occurred about that time too.

  50. badgeman46 says:

    @asherchang:

    NINETY Percent of the world’s 02 is produced from phytoplankton in the ocean. Not trees.

    I’ve been all over the amazon rainforest. I’ve yet to see condos. Or the rumored mcdonald’s beef farms.

    Also if we were really running out of oil, why is water still more expensive per unit? Most small 12 oz bottles of water cost somewhere around a dollar! OJ and Milk, also pricey stuff.

    Its just scare tactics in order to gain power through mass hysteria.

  51. lihtox says:

    @Trick: Oh, global warming won’t destroy the Earth by any means. The Earth will still be orbiting the Sun in a million years, and heaven knows the cockroaches will probably still be here. An increase of several degrees won’t even wipe out the human race; nuclear war would do more damage than global warming would. We’re not talking about the end of the human race, we’re talking about the end of the world as we know it. Major farm regions turned to desert. More violent storms. Major cities and coastal areas underwater, and millions of refugees from those cities. Yeah, this is the worst case scenario, but nuclear war is a worst case scenario too and we still had those duck-and-cover drills.

    You do use a lot of name-calling for someone who thinks his opponents whine too much. As for cash, any scientist who is willing to deny global warming is bound to get a lot of moolah from Exxon-Mobil and its ilk, who probably have more money than the NSF. The right likes to talk about “liberal elites” (one of their great PR victories), but the richest entities in the world are far-and-away conservative.

  52. dbeahn says:

    @asherchang:

    Oh wait! Let’s see:

    most of these agencies get their budgets from where? So let’s not pretend that they don’t have a vested interest in saying what the people that pay them want to hear.

    I notice you also haven’t managed to provide any actual proof that these agencies have said that global warming is man-made. You’ve just posted a list of names.

    I supposed you’ll next tell me that the satellites that measure an increase in solar radiation which explains the temperature increases on all 3 planets that are being watched must have been “tampered with” by “people like me” that “don’t want to believe”.

    Widespread glacial retreat? Yup, in some areas. In other areas, ice flows are thickening and growing. In places where glaciers are retreating, archaeologists keep finding evidence of human habitation. In other words, there was no ice there at one time, then there was ice, now there isn’t again. But of course that’s probably more “evidence” that man caused the global warming by having lived there 3000 years ago in the first place.

    The ONLY thing that “the debate is over” on is that we ARE, in fact, in a warming cycle. Man’s part (none) in it is only being preached by people that, based on their own private jet use and huge energy consumption, don’t believe it themselves, but are using it to fund their start-up companies selling “carbon offsets”.

    So tell me about the “hole in the ozone layer” now. Never mind that we still haven’t figured out if it’s been there for millions of years, or only since the 1920’s. All we know for sure at this point is there was HUGE hysteria over it, and then over the next 20 years it turned out that it wasn’t really getting any bigger. It was just shifting around. No evidence found that there’s any reason to think man had anything to do with it, that man has any power to fix it, or that man has any influence on it at all.

    Same thing with the ice age scare of the late 70’s and early 80’s. Science makes an observation, politicians spin it for their own benefit, and gullible jackasses fall for it and start preaching like a cult members (no offense to real cult members intended) at a recruiting drive.

    No, I think I’ll wait for evidence that isn’t based on 10 out of 1000 results from a computer model.

    OMG TEH COMPUTER SAID THAT IF ALL THE DATA THAT I ENTEREDED INTO IT DAT I THOUGHT WOULD BE BAD WOULD BE BAD IF IT WAS TO TEH HAPPIN!!11!11!!!

  53. julian says:

    @sixsnowflakes: I’m not entirely sure, though my guess is that they’re either simply comparing it in terms of the methane not being released (it being around 22x as potent as CO2 in terms of global warming potential), or via comparing it to burning another hydrocarbon, in that (at least according to wikipedia) it produces less CO2 per unit of heat released, along with it’s high heat per unit mass.

    http://www.terrapass.com/projects/tour.biomass.html
    info@terrapass.com or (877) 210-9581 if you want to ask them

    @Trick: Yes, you caught us, global warming is just a conspiracy created by a hugely diverse range of scientists, experts, and politicians across party lines intended to deprive you of your SUV and ensure you get an Al Gore DVD for unspecified reasons. And to think, we would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for you meddling commenters…

  54. Trai_Dep says:

    After slogging though this thread, I firmly believe that mandatory logic classes are taught in primary, intermediate and high schools. Then tested before graduation. At the point of a rifle if need be. Granted, it won’t help us, since it’ll take 20 years before it impacts the level of debate here, but it’s a start.

  55. Hawk07 says:

    @Trick:

    Amen. Preach on and don’t let the haters sway you.

    Once all you global warming terrorists get your way and we’re driving clean burning cars that run on corn, do you know what your next “cause” will be? Let me tell you. You will literally show photos of corn being taken out of the hands of hungry African children so us Americans can use it to feed our huge SUV’s to carry our 400 lb. butts to Wal-Mart and the like.

    I know I’m being overly sarcastic in that comment, but on a more serious note, once you get your way with fossil fuels, the propaganda machine will say we’re stealing food from the hungry.

  56. LAGirl says:

    from the Financial Times (www.ft.com):

    “Companies and individuals rushing to go green have been spending millions on “carbon credit” projects that yield few if any environmental benefits.

    A Financial Times investigation has uncovered widespread failings in the new markets for greenhouse gases, suggesting some organisations are paying for emissions reductions that do not take place.

    Others are meanwhile making big profits from carbon trading for very small expenditure and in some cases for clean-ups that they would have made anyway.

    The growing political salience of environmental politics has sparked a “green gold rush”, which has seen a dramatic expansion in the number of businesses offering both companies and individuals the chance to go “carbon neutral”, offsetting their own energy use by buying carbon credits that cancel out their contribution to global warming.

    The burgeoning regulated market for carbon credits is expected to more than double in size to about $68.2bn by 2010, with the unregulated voluntary sector rising to $4bn in the same period.”

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/48e334ce-f355-11db-9845-000b5df106

    series of articles on carbon trading:
    http://www.ft.com/indepth/carbontrading

  57. TedSez says:

    Global warming is partly caused by flatulence, right? And since Continental recirculates its air during flights, causing passengers to rebreathe everyone’s gas emissions, they’re already helping us save the planet. Thanks, Continental!

  58. mac-phisto says:

    wow. is it really that much to ask to conserve a little bit? this isn’t even mandatory, it’s freakin voluntary. you know, like the jimmy fund or public television – if you don’t want to participate, don’t.

    i am not a scientist, but i think it is pretty basic environmental science that as a species grows in density within its environment, pollution increases, eventually destroying the balance of the ecosystem. this is true of virtually any species.

    what i don’t understand is our reluctance to change even the slightest bit, despite the economic advantages that await us. the development of green technology & industry has the potential to make & save people & companies billions of dollars every year. it could potentially create a few million new jobs in research, development, manufacturing, construction, sales & service – i don’t think a single sector of the economy would escape its impact.

    if not for the trees, do it for the money.

  59. dbeahn says:

    @LAGirl: Yup, exactly. Unfortunately when someone accuses a cult leader of wrongdoing, the cult followers all defend their leader’s innocence in spite of the facts. I’m sure, as a result, asherchang will be calling you names shortly.

  60. dbeahn says:

    @asherchang: Please explain to me how oceans, which are composed by far and away H2O are actually releasing CO2. The molecular math doesn’t add up.

    Incidentally, we haven’t always had this much oxygen. It was a toxic waste product released by plants when they took in life-giving carbon dioxide. See? Cycle of life.

    Next thing you know you’ll be screaming about the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide, how it causes sweating and frequent urination, how it’s being released as a waste product by industry into our environment, how once you’ve had it introduced into your system withdraw from it results in death every single time….

  61. Michael says:

    @sixsnowflakes:

    Silver State stopped picking up recycling bins in southeast Las Vegas.

    However, I’m done. You’re all fucking scary. I’m never reading the comments on this blog again.

  62. WV.Hillbilly says:

    Papal indulgences anyone?

    I’ve been buying carbon defecits:
    http://www.carboncreditkillers.com/default.asp

  63. asherchang says:

    All the rain forests that you have seen have not affected by development, logging, or slash and burn- so what are you implying, that those things are not a problem?

    Might as well say that since you’ve never seen a black swan, all swans are white.

    And like I said before, we’re running out of cheap-to-obtain oil. And you don’t guzzle bottled water every day of your life, do you? After all, water is essentially free- what you pay for in a bottle of water is the plastic, manufacuring costs and bottling costs, shipping (which includes gas usage), advertizing and other aspects of branding, overhead costs of the grocery store where you buy the water, and so on.

    Just because we pay more per gallon for non-essential and overpriced convieniences and ideas, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t cut back on gas.

  64. asherchang says:

    @dbeahn: If our oceans and rocks weren’t here to store our CO2, our planet would be like Venus right now.

    I’m not saying that CO2 comes from water, I’m saying that large bodies of water store and emit it as a natural part of its cycle. You learn this in biology, geology, and astronomy. In fact, once a lake erupted in so much stored CO2 that it smothered and killed hundreds of surrounding people http://www.snopes.com/horrors/freakish/smother.asp

    And also, one of the arguments by you conspiracy theorists is that the ocean emits far more CO2 than humans do.

  65. asherchang says:

    Everyone here should learn the basics of skepticism and logic.

    Which means no usage of logical fallacies such as ad hominem or folk appeal.

    And also, not believe a single word of what biased media offer until you verify it yourself with trustworthy facts and proof (and don’t let the pundits and demagogues try to skew or misinterpret the truth for you either)

    This is what happens when news stations use the “balanced coverage”
    clause of journalism ethics to give just as much weight to fringe groups and screaming nutjobs. Next thing you know, half the nation will believe in young earth creationism.

  66. dbeahn says:

    @asherchang: “Everyone here should learn the basics of skepticism and logic.

    Which means no usage of logical fallacies such as ad hominem or folk appeal.”

    And yet those are the 2 main ways that global warming cultists…oops, I mean “activists” use to “prove” that their religion…sorry…I mean “scientific condition” exists.

    If it’s such a slam dunk, then why is it that every time a global warming cult leader is challenged to a debate, they reply “The debate is over!”. Of course it is. When you can’t supply anything other than computer models (folk appeal) and circumstantial observation (probability). As an example:

    It has feathers.
    It has webbed feet.
    It waddles when it walks.

    Therefore man must be causing the earth to warm! Oh, wait. In this case, I mean “it must be a duck!”

    But it isn’t. In this case, it’s a swan, or a goose. Or a loon. We have no proof of what is claimed, just some morons going “THE DEBATE IS OVER, IT IS A DUCK AND WE MUST TEACH IT TO QUACK!!!”

    Guess using your logic we should have ignored the civil rights fringe group, and the women’s suffrage fringe group, and the anti-slavery fringe group, etc. etc. et al.

    What happens when mainstream media gives too much airtime to morons and mentally unbalanced people is we have a global warming hysteria that meets all the criteria of a religion. Certain things MUST be taken on faith, and anyone that questions these items of faith is attacked.

  67. dbeahn says:

    @asherchang: Oh, and if you READ the snoops article you linked, you’ll find that the CO2 in the lake was the result of volcanic venting, not because bodies of water naturally absorb CO2.

    To put it another way, for you to post that link as proof that large bodies of water act as store houses for CO2 is a logical fallacy. The CO2 in this case was being pumped into the water by volcanic activity. A volcano, incidentally, vents more greenhouse gases and CO2 in a single eruption than man has produced since fire was discovered.

  68. FMulder says:

    The Chinese Government is also skeptical about the ‘fake science’ that says melamine isn’t good for dogs and cats, and that diethylene glycol in their toothpaste is a bad thing.

    They firmly reject the liberal cult, the ‘environmental fad’ and the obviously paid off and alarmist scientists who claim there is a problem.

    Where are all the Consumerist commenters questioning the science about poisons in Chinese products? Questions about why the Chinese manufacturers and Government should change any of their behaviors relevant to these issues? Obviously you’ll begin using Chinese toothpaste as a protest against this ‘junk science’ which claims that environmental concerns are important? It is after all an economic priority at stake here, the market must THRIVE, right?

    Maybe sending a few tubes of Chinese Toothpaste and related products to such people would count as my carbon offset?

  69. Christovir says:

    The sheer weight of logical fallacies in this thread is overwhelming. Nearly every anti-environmental comment has been A) Personal ad hominem attacks against environmentalists B) Anecdotal evidence C) Emotional appeals or d) A long list of pseudoscientific articles.

    According to some of you, the IPCC, a collection of 4000 leading scientists from around the world, must know less about the climate than the commenters at The Consumerist. Why? Because you don’t like Al Gore? Because a few scientists in the 70s were wrong? Because little old humans are so tiny we couldn’t possibly change the world? Great logic, guys.

    And classy, too.

  70. dbeahn says:

    @Christovir: It’s certainly no worse logic than yours, which runs something like this: “Hey, we’ve just discovered scientific evidence that the earth goes through cycles where it heats and cools, and we’re in a warming cycle. Since we’ve just discovered this, it must be our fault as humans!”

    This was the same logic, incidentally, that was used when the hole in the ozone layer was discovered – and you’ll notice no one is worried about that anymore. Seems that as more data was gathered, there turned out to be no reason to believe it wasn’t a natural part of the planet’s cycle.

    But hey, feel free to believe what you like – you have freedom of religion here :)

  71. Christovir says:

    @dbeahn: The ozone layer was depleted by CFCs. CFCs were banned and the ozone layer started getting better once they were banned. There is no scientific controversy about that; it’s pretty simple.

    It looks like I forgot to add Straw Man to my list of fallacies. Empirical evidence suggests this is not a natural cycle. These cycles certainly happen, but ice core data (and others) suggests the levels of CO2 are twice as high as they have been in 100,000s of years – and this is very well correlated with the industrial revolution.

    Please see http://www.ipcc.ch/pub/online.htm for the real logic, instead of Straw Man attacks.

    @noasalira: Great point. It’s very interesting to see how inconsistent people get on the environment- extreme precaution when it affects me individually and extreme brashness when it affects unknown others.

    @asherchang: All of your comments have been spot on.

  72. virgilstar says:

    One thing I haven’t seen discussed yet in this article….. POPULATION!!!

    Yes folks, the 900lb gorilla in the corner of the room when it comes to any environmental issue, is the sheer numbers of us. It really doesn’t matter if we’re all driving 100mpg cars in 20 years’ time, if there’s twice as many cars on the road! It doesn’t matter if you offset your carbon, because there’s another 3 people waiting to be born who will emit it for you!

    One of the dirty secrets about China’s “population control” measures (i.e. limit the # of children per couple) is that while the number of people really shows signs of stabilizing, the number of HOUSEHOLDS is still growing at a massive rate. This is because China’s push towards a more werstern lifestyle is accompanied by people’s desire to have a place of their own. Thus, even if population growth is zero, families are becoming smaller and households more numerous… a family of 10 living in one house uses less energy than the same people living in 3 separate houses. 3 dishwashers, 3 heating bills, 3 cars etc. If we all continue to become urbanized as a species, then our energy needs will increase regardless of the number of us. Add in the increasing numbers of people and it rapidly becomes a nightmare scenario.

    Until something is done about population, I am really very cynical that anything can be done at the individual level to stem human greenhouse emissions. The global political system has utterly failed to deliver any decent proposals on what should be done about the population explosion. The UN has been virtually silent on the issue. The warning signs have been in place for several centuries.

    Add in the fact that lifespan has increased dramatically, and not only are you looking at more people, but each of them contributing a larger environmental footprint over the course of their 70+ year lives.

    So, regarding carbon offsets – yeah, if it helps people sleep at night then fine, but the only real way to cut carbon is to not have children.

  73. MeOhMy says:

    Someone comes up to you in a parking lot in a white van. They say “Hey man…your activities generate a lot of carbon dioxide. If you give me $50, I’ll go plant a tree to make up for it. Honest. No really….I promise.”

    Do you give them $50?

    Sorry, but I’m not going for that. And I’m certainly not going to let an AIRLINE broker the deal for me.

  74. Brutuslebee says:

    Carbon Offsets! One of the greatest scams ever! Think about it. The only commodity changing hands is your money to some enviroterrorist group so you feel better. Manufactures of prozac will be up in arms. God save the Queen.

  75. re: gas & water costs, esp: “Also if we were really running out of oil, why is water still more expensive per unit? Most small 12 oz bottles of water cost somewhere around a dollar! OJ and Milk, also pricey stuff.”

    Partly because we are also “running out” of fresh water. Overdevelopment in desert areas, such as the American Southwest, Southern California, parts of Australia, etc., has led to serious water shortages there. Draining of major aquifiers, such as the Ogallala in the US, is beginning to impact agriculture.

    This is why the Great Lakes states and provinces have taken independent cooperate action to protect the Lakes from water export, because the US and Canada weren’t getting around to it fast enough and those supergigantic freshwater reservoirs are going to start looking REALLY TASTY to water starved regions very soon. That’s why many counties on major aquifiers (I’m on the Sankoty) now have agreements or state restrictions on export of water from the aquifier. We’re sincerely hoping that when everybody else runs out of water and is starving, we’ll a) still be able to drink and shower and b) be selling you all food at ridiculous prices because our agricultural water will still be protected.

    Read about the impact of the lowered levels in the Ogallala on wheat farming in the Great Plains. Or read about the central agricultural parts of California vs. Los Angeles and the nasty political squabbles over scarce water that result.

  76. ELC says:

    @Christovir: Regarding this…”Name some legitimate climate scientists who have published in peer reviewed journals refuting climate change. According to recent meta-analyses, over 99% of peer-reviewd articles suggest humans are altering the climate.”

    To use “peer reviewed journals” is the battle cry of any scientific “group” today to feign off opposing science. If you are in the opposing group, you can’t get in the peer reviewed journals – that’s bull crap! So, it’s a circular argument – if you are in the journal, you agree with everybody and you must be right. If you aren’t in the journal, then you don’t agree and you must be wrong. If you are going to pull out the “peer reviewed journal” argument, you might as well say “everybody’s doing it.” My response to that, just as it has been of old – if everyone jumps off a bridge are you going to jump off too?

    I get so sick of hearing that defense of this indefensible scientific area.

  77. ELC says:

    @castlecraver – you are right that there is data that the earth is cooling. But this isn’t A=B, B=C, so A=C. Just because there is a warming trend on the earth does NOT mean that we are the cause of it. That’s the big crux of the issue. Saying that people who “don’t believe in global warming” are just nuts isn’t really the answer to the question. The actual question is, are we the cause? That’s where the real scientific debate is, and if you read or hear anyone that supports the global warming position without acknowledging that, you can be sure they aren’t “shootin’ straight.” The reason that’s the real question is b/c I (and many others) don’t want to pay new taxes, or extra fees based on junk, political science connections. I have always lived a very minimalistic lifestyle in terms of energy, but I use it when I have to because of the way our society is designed. I don’t want our govt (EU can do what the heck it wants) to penalize all the citizens for something that isn’t our fault – and how many countries would never do this anyway (China, etc?). As we add more and more costs to our citizens and companies, it makes us less economically viable in the world market when compared to those countries that don’t. Take for example the articles on this site with the food and human-use products coming in from China – they have almost none of the oversights or protections on things like we do. So they keep shipping their cheap crap all over the world, endangering people, and undermining countries like ours in those economic arenas. But for those kinds of things, govt protections are needed. There is no proof that we need environmental protections related to global warming. We’d just be hurting ourselves if we go that route and there isn’t a real reason too.

  78. asherchang says:

    @dbeahn: And you sir conspiracy theorist sheep follower of rightwing nutjobs’ demagoguery, please SHOW where this made up incidence of a scientist saying “The debate is over!” took place. That is an extraordinary claim you make. Can you verify it with an accurate source?

    And it’s not just computer models (which I have never even heard of), and “circumstantial evidence” (which is more relevant to the “other planets are warming too” counter-argument against global warming).

    Multiple empirical studies show that the earth is warming at an alarmingly rapid rate (and remember, we’re supposed to be on a cooling cycle right now). Here are some of them:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/info/warming/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_temperature_measure
    http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/trends/temp/angell/angell.html
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/pollack.html
    http://nsidc.org/sotc/glacier_balance.html
    http://nsidc.org/news/press/20050928_trendscontinue.html
    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/paleolast.htm
    http://environment.newscientist.com/article/mg18725124.500

  79. asherchang says:

    @ericole: And I’m assuming that you’re a scientist and you know this for a fact. Cuz, you know, it’s not at all possible that you’re just a layman talking out of his ass about stuff he doesn’t know, calling every scientific institution an evil suppresor of dissenting voices and calling the whole majority of scientists who know that global warming is real and anthropogenic and real a huge global group of cospirators.

  80. asherchang says:

    @ericole: For all that talking, you haven’t done much convincing or proving. Sure, correlation does not mean causation. But there is enough proof that global warming is anthropogenic.

    And you say that anyone who’s trying to get us to stop global warming is ignoring the “are we causing it in the first place” question.

    That’s a pretty extraordinary claim- and highly incredulous, and it begs many questions, which you don’t seek to answer.

    And then you say that we shouldn’t have to pay new taxes and buy new things for something that isn’t our fault. But that is assuming that it isn’t our fault. Sure, China is pretty environmentally irresponsible, but that doesn’t say anything about whether we should stop messing with the natural processes of the earth.

  81. asherchang says:

    @dbeahn: I only posted that link to show that
    a. Carbon dioxide IS stored naturally in oceans, and
    b. Carbon dioxide isn’t a “good” thing. It’s something that sustains plants, but it can do destructive things too.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_sink

    in this article it shows how oceans are natural carbon dioxide sinks that emit some of the gases that they absorb. (and now the oceans are losing some of their ability to absorb CO2)

    but you following comment:

    “A volcano, incidentally, vents more greenhouse gases and CO2 in a single eruption than man has produced since fire was discovered.”

    is incomprehensibly ignorant, as I can’t see how that Snopes article can possibly imply your statement at all. The article never even mentioned a single thing about human-made CO2.

  82. Tristan Smith says:

    Honestly this whole debate has just become stupid. Does it really matter if humans are contributing to global warming? No. Regardless of what the causes are, it doesn’t hurt to be eco friendly. The article is about carbon credits. I think both sides of the argument can agree that these are mostly worthless. People and companies need to take responsibility for their actions. Throwing money at a problem doesnt necessarily fix the problem. Money helps in situations where not everyone can do their part, like Cancer research and world hunger, but not with fixing the environment.

    My demotivational poster says it best :”if your not part of the solution then there is good money to be made in prolonging the problem”

  83. ELC says:

    Correction…
    I wrote: @castlecraver – you are right that there is data that the earth is cooling.”

    Duh, I meant “warming” – sorry to confuse the issue!

  84. ELC says:

    @asherchang: You wrote, “I’m assuming that you’re a scientist and you know this for a fact. Cuz, you know, it’s not at all possible that you’re just a layman talking out of his ass about stuff he doesn’t know,” Once again, the assumption on online commentors is dead wrong. Actually, I am a scientist/engineer. When I read scientific studies and reports, it isn’t as a laymen. And yes, there is MUCH empirical proof that the holy grail of “peer reviewed journals” is a way to lock out dissenting voices. This is documented daily in all types of ways. A very easy way to get examples of this is to follow the creation/evolution debate – it is VERY similar to this “global warming/did we cause it” debate. Here’s a recent example someone sent me:
    http://www.breakpoint.org/listingarticle.asp?ID=3210

    The sarcastic wrap up to this article is, “Isn’t it nice to know that we have so much scientific freedom of inquiry in this country, and that so many of our scientists keep such open minds?”

    To respond to:
    @ericole: “For all that talking, you haven’t done much convincing or proving. Sure, correlation does not mean causation. But there is enough proof that global warming is anthropogenic.”

    I like the big word, those are always impressive. :)

    This is ONLY a single example to prove my point – that “peer reviewed journal” publication is not the final answer to a scientific question. People who come back and say “that’s only one case!” are being ridiculous. This is an online comment area for an article, not a research paper where I am going to spend hours of my life culling through all the data I have amassed. I have no desire to spend time posting it on a website to try to make the 20% die-hard believers of human-caused global warming to change their minds.

  85. ELC says:

    @asherchang. I found this and just had to share. It’s not a science article, but is related to the “peer reviewed journal” type of mentality. That mentality might as well be called the “majority rule, ” and is in play in the Microsoft/Apple debates and articles that regularly appear online and in print. The end of the article gets to the point I’m making:

    “The world has very different expectations from Microsoft and Apple. If Microsoft can scrape something together and call it a product vision, we applaud and hand them a silver star, knowing that it probably won’t ever get released, and that even if it does, nobody will buy it apart from the minority of fans who adore the company’s ability to entertain them with mediocrity.

    When Apple releases an actual product, the critics come out of the woodwork to explain why it won’t sell, why it won’t matter, and why everyone should just move along because there’s really nothing to see here. Inevitably, Apple’s introductions are welcomed in the market place by actual consumers, who can’t get enough of products that work well without a struggle and actually solve real problems.”

    http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/RDM.Tech.Q2.07/5E7E2BAB-C