Friday, July 13, 2007

Global Cooling: A case study in Liberal Debate

A few weeks ago I posted a blog entry on a study by Canadian Geologist Dr. R. Timothy Patterson. In his study, Dr. Patterson used cores from Western Canadian fjords to argue that the sun is a primary driver behind Global Climate change on Earth. Dr. Patterson stated, "[o]ur finding of a direct correlation between variations in the brightness of the sun and earthly climate indicators (called "proxies") is not unique. Hundreds of other studies, using proxies from tree rings in Russia's Kola Peninsula to water levels of the Nile, show exactly the same thing: The sun appears to drive climate change." The purpose of my reviewing Dr. Patterson's work was not to convince my readers that "global cooling" was imminent. My intent was to highlight the work of a respected scientist who disagrees with the theory of "man-made global warming".



I believe man doesn't know enough about how the planet works, or how we affect the planet, to know if we are causing global warming. I have stated I believe there needs to be more research in the field. If individuals wish to change their lifestyle based on a belief in global warming, then good for them. Legislating how we are to live based on a knee jerk reaction to unproven science is dangerous and can have far reaching and unintended consequences.



My call for more study and debate has been met with the typical liberal hysterics. The first negative response to my article was to attack the character and reputation of Dr. Patterson. That was quickly followed by the always nefarious insinuation that he got, "…money from the oil and gas industry." While the critic (who was unwilling to identify himself) quickly stated that this money didn't mean he is on the take, it was, "…interesting."



Finally, a critic posted a response saying that Dr. Patterson had been, "definitively proven wrong". This very high sounding claim was made from a Reuters review of an opposing scientific study. This new study argued that the sun could not alone account for the temperature changes from the last two decades. Since my critic had posted a link to this article, I read it for myself to see what they had to say about Dr. Patterson. I found that there were a few conditions put into the study that I didn't understand. For example, the study has apparently taken out sunspot data. Dr. Patterson's study seemed to include sunspot data. The study also stated that there was, "…little doubt that solar variability has influenced the Earth's climate in the past and may well have been a factor in the first half of the century, but… researchers said it could not explain recent warming." This seemed contradictory to me. How can the sun not be a cause in global warming, and still have been a factor in the first half of the century? This new study seemed to focus in on temperature changes since 1980. Instead of a 1 degree over 100 year change, we are now focusing in on a 0.4 degree change over 20 years. The researchers seem to argue that a portion of that 0.4 degree is accounted for by the sun, but the remainder is due to man. The article does not state what percent that may or may not be. I posed these questions to my readers.



The response from my anonymous critic was not any sort of response to the science, but a quick post attacking me and my statements. While I wouldn't expect to change an opinion based on one study, my critics have insulted me for not doing that. Would someone who believes in man-made global warming change their minds after reading one argument against the position?



My criticism on the "man-made global warming" debate is that many who support this view don't like to discuss the facts. They wish to present a study or two, or even fall back on the bastion of truth that is the United Nations, then insult anyone who disagrees with them. They will attack a dissenter's character, ideals, and even question their funding before they will begin to discuss the facts. I invite everyone to read my original post and the subsequent comments. Look at who presents facts, and debates the issues, and who simply attacks and calls everyone else names.

28 comments:

JC said...

Andy, I've been following the whole sun/global warming debate in some detail over the past months and there is a lot of confusion as you say. Dr Patterson is on the right track - the sun *is* the primary driver of our climate. That people see fit to attack him is unfortunate and counter-productive. However, that study that says the sun isn't responsible for recent global warming is also true. How could they both be right?

The study that brought it all together for me was a 2005 paper by Sami Solanki at the Max Planck Insitute who compared solar activity & temperatures over the past 1150 years and found temperatures closely correlate to solar activity. When sunspot activity was low during the Maunder Minimum in the 1600's or the Dalton Minimum in the 1800's, the earth went through 'little ice ages'. The sun has been unusually hot in the last century - solar output rose dramatically in the early 20th century accompanied by a sharp rise in global temperatures.

However, Solanki also found the correlation between solar activity and global temperatures ended around 1975. At that point, temperatures started rising while solar activity stayed level. This led him to conclude "during these last 30 years the solar total irradiance, solar UV irradiance and cosmic ray flux has not shown any significant secular trend, so that at least this most recent warming episode must have another source."

So ironically, it's the sun's close correlation with Earth's temperature that shows it has little to do with the last 30 years of global warming.

Anonymous said...

Andy: if you can show that the sun is responsible for this then you win the argument.

But of course you can't. The heat we're seeing now *only* correlates to human-caused CO2 emissions.

There are plenty of good things conservatives can fight against, but arguing against scientists about global warming is a lost cause. It's time to get real and work for some business-friendly solutions to the climate emergency. Every day we wait means the problem gets more expensive to solve.

Anonymous said...

Broken link above fixed here.

It shows that 2007 is the first or second hottest year yet on record, depending on how you measure it. Any correlation to the sun, Andy? Of course not--and I'm guessing you're not surprised.

Global warming correlates with CO2, not with weird solar activity. Andy should just admit he's wrong and move on.

Saint said...

Recent article I found had this to say:

"However, our understanding of the indirect effects of changes in solar output and feedbacks in the climate system is minimal. There is much need to refine our understanding of key natural forcing mechanisms of the climate, including solar irradiance changes, in order to reduce uncertainty in our projections of future climate change.

In addition to changes in energy from the sun itself, the Earth's position and orientation relative to the sun (our orbit) also varies slightly, thereby bringing us closer and further away from the sun in predictable cycles (called Milankovitch cycles). Variations in these cycles are believed to be the cause of Earth's ice-ages (glacials)."

Anonymous said...

Andy thinks The Business Roundtable is stupid here:

Leaders of 160 leading businesses issued a statment which "'marks the first time that a broad cross-section of business leaders from every sector of the U.S. economy have reached consensus on the risks posed by climate change and the need for action,' said Business Roundtable President John Castellani."

Die-hard reality-deniers have already broke the bank with Iraq. They're trying to do the same with climate change. But the business community is catching on. It's time to solve global warming before it destroys our way of life and our economy.

The business community gets it. Will Andy ever get it?

Andy D said...

Anonymous,

It looks like there is a “consensus” from the data here that we are talking about CO2 and temperature change since about 1980. Most of the articles people are quoting with this say that the sun was the leading cause of temperature change before that time period. Dr. Patterson’s work, and others like him, argue that it is still primarily the Sun driving our climate. Let’s put aside that argument for a minute and look at simply the 1980 to 2000 time then.

From most of the graph’s I have seen, it looks like there is a global temperature change of less than ½ a degree. No one knows for sure what percent of that change may be due to CO2 and what percent may be due to the Sun.

So, if we are talking about man made changes of less than 0.4 degrees over twenty years, is this change something we should worry about? If it is, is there anything we can do to change it?

Anonymous said...

Andy,

The numbers you've seen are apparently in Centigrade, not Fahrenheit. The earth's *average* temperature has warmed by about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit (and getting warmer nearly every month). That doesn't sound like a lot, but here's the rub: 1) five degrees of *cooling* variation is the difference between our mild weather and an ice age (so a little difference in degrees means a huge difference in climate) and 2) the poles (which function to cool the planet and store much of our fresh water) are warming much more rapidly than any other place on the planet, making catastrophic sea level rise and runaway warming much more likely much more soon. The arctic is warming three times as fast as the rest of the planet.

We can stop the worst case scenarios--if we act now. For example, if every American household replaced three incandescent light bulbs with new compact flourescents today, we could close 11 coal burning power plants tonight. That's not a complete solution, but it's crazy-easy, and we could do it in one day. We could do a lot more than that on day two.

If we don't act now, though, we're going to be in for one hell of a ride. If the arctic permafrost melts (and it's already begun), the methane that's now frozen there will dramatically increase global warming (methane is twenty times more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2).

So you can see that action now is *much cheaper* and much less unpleasant than action later on. It's like the choice between treating cancer in the early stages, or trying to cure it once its in your bone marrow, your lungs, and your brain. Right now we are leaving the early stages of global warming and getting into the more serious stuff.

We could really use some more smart conservative voices on this issue. Florida Republican Gov. Crist has done some good work recently.

Anonymous said...

How's global cooling going in Atlanta, Andy?

To say nothing of record small arctic ice cap, drought, flooding and hurricanes.

Thanks, global warming deniers! Let's keep studying until we completely cook the planet!

Andy D said...

Does that mean I get to count the colder than normal days this past winter as evidence against global warming? How can you site Hurricanes as evidence of global warming? We are on our fourth named storm of the year. The projected number of hurricanes has already been revised down once. And don't forget, last year was a lighter than normal hurricane year as well. If those are products of global warming, then global warming might not be such a bad thing after all.

Anonymous said...

Andy wrote: "Does that mean I get to count the colder than normal days this past winter as evidence against global warming?"

That's right, you do get to count those cold days. The problem is that (if you're actually counting) the hot days are winning--big time.

Of course, if you can string together a global trend of cooling or stable temperatures, then global warming doesn't exist and you're right, but the problem is that the trend is getting hotter all the time, including this past winter, i.e. you're wrong. Your crazy hot Atlanta summer of drought is part of a global trend (even with your recent rain). A few cold or rainy days are an exception to a clear trend. If they become a global trend, then you're right.

Do you still wanna talk temperature records, or were you just talkin trash?

And, since you're wondering about hurricanes: the scientific consensus on hurricanes is that global warming makes them stronger and last longer. Though some studies show that warming causes *more* hurricanes, the jury is still out on that. Scientific records show: hurricanes in the Atlantic are about 50% stronger and longer in duration than they were just a few decades ago.

Still wanna talk hurricane patterns, or were you just blowing more hot air? Let me guess that you'll change the subject.

BTW, I heard on the news that some Atlanta schools have been keeping kids off the playground b/c of polluted air and the high temps. Nice world y'all conservatives are giving our kids. From all the kids: "thanks."

Andy D said...

Temperatures: The increased hot temperatures you talk about come from ground monitoring stations. Those are sporadic at best. Many of the stations in underdeveloped nations aren’t monitored routinely. Many of the stations closed down during the 1990’s. What you are left with is a monitoring system that gives average temperatures for the most developed parts of the world. Shouldn’t we expect those areas to increase in temperature as our use of them increases?

And staying with temperatures, if “man-made global warming” is occurring, shouldn’t the satellite temperature measurements of our atmosphere indicate an increase in temperature? They don’t.

Hurricanes: You state:

“…the scientific consensus on hurricanes is that global warming makes them stronger and last longer. Though some studies show that warming causes *more* hurricanes, the jury is still out. Scientific records show: hurricanes in the Atlantic are about 50% stronger and longer in duration than they were a few decades ago.”

First, if you have to use the word “consensus” you are talking about politics and not science. Second, if the “consensus” can predict the strength of hurricanes, why can’t it predict the number of hurricanes? Third, NOAA’s Accumulated Cyclone Energy Index (ACE) does at first glance appear to indicate an increase in strength of hurricanes from about 1995 through 2005. This increase is compared to the ACE numbers from about 1970 to 1995. However, the numbers for 1950 through 1969 appear very consistent with today’s numbers. The worst single in the NOAA data year being 1950. In addition, NOAA states that:

“…reliable records began around the middle of the 20th century (1944) with routine reconnaissance aircraft missions, no season has exceeded 19 named storms until 2005. However, it is known that at least one other season exceeded 20 named storms before 1944 and that was 1933 (21).”

NOAA also points out that because of the limits of technology prior to around 1944, many storms that may have occurred in the Atlantic, but never made land fall, could have passed unnoticed. Sounds to me like hurricane data is a very weak area if you are looking for support for man-made global warming.

And you are correct; many schools in the Atlanta area won’t let kids out because of the unhealthy air and hot temperatures. Take some time and look up our pollen index. The scale the rest of the nation uses simply doesn’t apply to Atlanta. There are many schools that won’t let kids out simply because of that. And surely you would agree that heat waves have happened before.

Anonymous said...

Why does Andy hate science?

When temperature data indicate warming, Andy says the new technology is too bad to get it right.

When hurricane data indicate increases, Andy says the new technology is so good that it overstates the data.

When the primary pollutant in his own city is without debate fossil fuel-based particulates and ground level ozone, he blames pollen.

But of course, Andy isn't even thinking for himself. He gets this from the right wing blowhards.

Andy D said...

Anon, you're not even making sense.

I like technology as much as anyone else. The temperature data that indicates warming is wrong and incomplete, the newest data argues against global warming.

Go check out the NOAA hurricane data, you simply have your facts wrong.

Anonymous said...

Andy, don't you even fact-check your right wing pamphlets?

First, look up "argument from ignorance" in a logic textbook--that's what you're doing both with temperature data and hurricanes.

Second, here's NOAA on hurricanes and global warming:

"The strongest hurricanes in the present climate may be upstaged by even more intense hurricanes over the next century as the earth's climate is warmed by increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.... the hurricanes that do occur near the end of the 21st century are expected to be stronger and have significantly more intense rainfall than under present day climate conditions... due to higher tropical sea surface temperatures."

There is also, NOAA reports, no question that more higher intensity storms are being recorded over the last 30 years. There is no question about the oceans being warmer.

But why should science convince you? You think Atlanta's air is polluted because of... trees.

Andy D said...

Tell me where this is wrong. If we want to know what the global temperature is, we need to have temperature monitoring stations throughout the world. We need data in developed and undeveloped areas. We need data over land masses, and over bodies of water. We need data in the southern and northern hemispheres. All of that information should contribute to an accurate global temperature average. Where am I wrong so far?

Your quote from NOAA assumes temperatures towards the end of this century will be much higher than they are now. We don’t know that with scientific certainty yet. NOAA hurricane data goes back reliably to 1944. Looking at their hurricane data, there has been changes in strengths of hurricanes over that time period. The 1990’s and 2000’s look more intense than the 70’s and 80’s. The 50’s look more intense than the 1970’s and 1980’s. That information doesn’t come from any right wing pamphlet. It comes from NOAA. NOAA states that there could have been stronger hurricanes prior to 1944 that they don’t have data for. NOAA knows there was at least one major hurricane it doesn’t have data for in the 1930’s. My argument is that we don’t have enough hurricane data to reliably predict what hurricanes will do in 2099. The predictions for this season have already been downgraded once. If hurricane forecasters have trouble predicting this year, shouldn’t I be suspicious of their predictions for 2099?

As far as pollution in Atlanta: Our air quality is terrible because of an entire wealth of contributing factors. One of which is pollen. There are also other man made pollutants in the air. You argued that global warming is causing day cares and schools to keep their kids inside. I will tell you from experience that kids aren’t allowed to play outside during the summers due to 1) the current heat wave we are having and 2) the thick, nasty pollen that gets on everything around here. Before you see the words heat wave and yell “Ah-HA!”, remember, the planet, and the south, have seen heat waves before.

Remember, science is based on experiments and proven facts, not consensus. I am trying to show you the other side of the argument from a scientific point of view. I have maintained for a long time now, and have discussed it time and time again on this site: We simply don’t know enough about our planet to be able scientifically prove man-made global warming as a catastrophic disaster.

Andy D said...

This article on Hurricanes and Global Warming appeared on the American Spectator today. I thought you might enjoy it with as much attention as you and I have both given to hurricanes in this debate.

Anonymous said...

Andy, this guy is just as happy to live with stronger hurricanes as you are living with Atlanta's thickening air pollution. I love y'all's vision of the future.

And I'm confused. Why would the author of that article about hurricanes be on the payroll of a bunch of coal companies? Or, why would coal companies pay somebody to write about hurricanes...?

Here's Harvard Prof. John Holdren on your author Pat Michaels:

"Michaels is another of the handful of US climate-change contrarians... He has published little if anything of distinction in the professional literature, being noted rather for his shrill op-ed pieces and indiscriminate denunciations of virtually every finding of mainstream climate science."

Anonymous said...

Andy wrote: "Before you see the words heat wave and yell “Ah-HA!”, remember, the planet, and the south, have seen heat waves before."

Sure, but climatologists only expect one this severe every 100 years. And I think even you expect more of these in the coming years...

Andy D said...

Since all you can do is attack the character of Pat Michaels, does that mean you don't have any response to his argument? And before you say too much about him, check is bio out a little better, he is perfectly qualified to weigh in on this debate.

As far as heat waves, I saw a few in the 1980's. This is the first I have seen in some time. I will be totally honest and say I have no idea if we are going to have a heat wave next year or not.

Anonymous said...

O.K.

Michaels' argument is that, yeah, hurricanes may get stronger with global warming, but not too much stronger, and we can build better defenses. So don't worry about solving global warming.

My response: 1) most scientists at our best schools think hurricanes are going to continue to get much stronger. Of course, they could be wrong, but I'm sticking with the top scientists.

2) If you think better defenses against hurricanes will save you, talk to some people from New Orleans.

3) There are like 10,000 reasons why we should avoid all the anthropogenic global warming that we can. Hurricanes are one of the reasons. But even if you agreed with Michaels that we can handle the stronger hurricanes, you'd still have to solve the other 9,999 problems associated with global warming. My thought (learned from the top scientists in the world): just stop the damn warming.

And, btw, I think its a fair question (not an "attack" on his "character") to ask why the coal industry would want to pay a guy who writes about hurricanes.... If another scientist was praising wind power but was making 100s of thousands of $$ from windmill companies, I'd write the guy off....

Andy D said...

Good comment Anonymous. Here are my responses:

1) There are many scientists at some of the best schools who think hurricanes may get stronger. There are also many professional climatologists and professors who think that they may not or we simply don’t know what they will do. MIT Professor Kerry Emanuel said in October of 2006, “The high-impact hurricanes that have hit the United States over the past couple of years are, at least for now, more a function of bad luck than of climate change.” He went on to say ,”On a fifty-year time scale from a U.S. point of view, it probably doesn’t mean anything at all..the last two years have been more or less bad luck.” {taken from the P.I.G. to Global Warming and Environmentalism}. As I pointed out from NOAA, we only have reliable hurricane data from 1944. Many believe that hurricanes operate on a 40 to 50 year cycle. Looking at the activity NOAA has tracked, it is easy to come to that conclusion. Is that correct? No one knows for sure, and we need to continue to study hurricanes to see.

2) New Orleans was built in a hurricane prone area and in an area that would be devastating for a direct hit by a hurricane. Global warming or not, hurricanes still happen. New Orleans has been in this boat before, and if we rebuild New Orleans in the same place, it will be in this boat again at some point in the future. Global warming isn’t at fault, it is people who choose to live and build in an area that is particularly susceptible to hurricanes.

3) The problem with this is that you have skipped the science and jumped straight into policy. Science cannot prove today how much of a contributing factor man is to the current temperatures throughout the world. Most projections are based on models that make tremendous assumptions. Scientist don’t understand how clouds form or work. Scientist do believe that clouds play a very significant role in our global climate. If they don’t understand clouds, how can they make any accurate predictions about the future of our climate?

Your last point is a particularly troubling one. You don’t like this article because you believe the author is on the take from the coal industry. However, most of the studies you would site to defend global warming are done by scientist and professors who are trying to get more money from the government to research global warming. If they say global warming isn’t occurring, that money goes away.

If we are going to use the scientific method, do the science and then put the data out for others to review and comment on and try to tear apart. If the science is legitimate, it shouldn’t matter the source, bright people from both sides of the discussion should be able to examine it and comment on it.

As far as fixing the warming, no one knows how to. No one knows if we can. And, we should also consider if we even should fix it. The Kyoto Protocol is often cited as a solution, but it doesn’t make a serious attempt to fix global warming. Its temperature reductions are minimal. The nations that have signed it haven’t made any significant progress towards meeting it. The United States is doing a better job of reducing emissions and we aren’t a signatory.

Anonymous said...

Let me summarize your arguments:

1) We do not know enough about hurricanes to justify reducing greenhouse gases.

2) People should not live in areas prone to flooding and hurricanes.

3) We do not know enough about global warming to justify reducing greenhouse gases.

4) Who is funding what research is an irrelevant question in evaluating scientific studies.

5) We do not know enough about global warming to justify reducing greenhouse gases.

OK, now each in turn:

1, 3, & 5) Three of your five points are the same point ("we do not know enough to act"), and your reasoning is a logical fallacy: argument from ignorance. Even if we accept your claim that the basic science is unsettled, that does not necessarily mean that we should ignore possible problems with global warming, nor that we should just keep increasing CO2 in the atmosphere--which is apparently your position (i.e. keep studying until there is no uncertainty). Even if the science is somewhat uncertain (e.g. we don’t know exactly when or if this bridge might collapse), that does not mean that we ought not be proactive (e.g. let’s divert traffic for a while and fix this bridge). In other words, scientific doubt doesn't mean you shouldn't prepare for stuff. And fact: most climate scientists are saying global warming is the biggest long term threat we face.

2) Your claim: people should get out of the way of hurricanes and floods. My point: we agree (!) that people shouldn't build in flood zones, but we're expanding that zone with global warming. Around 50 percent of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of the coastline (hurricane danger), and in China alone, 70 million people live in the flood zone that would be created by a 1 meter rise in sea level. Are you suggesting that, if mainstream scientific research turns out to be right, all those people should just become refugees?

4) Your claim: who cares who funds what? My point: universities would be surprised to hear that claim. Why do you think scholarly researchers have to report where they get their money? If somebody was doing research on whether or not Iran was interfering in Iraq—but they were secretly getting funded by Iran, wouldn’t that be important to know?

And, per your slam on climate change treaties: any reduction in CO2 helps. Many of the proposed solutions to global warming will actually save us all money—they just happen to hurt the oil and coal industries. Which explains why I think it’s interesting that just about every climate change denier is funded by precisely those industries. And point of fact: the U.S. is the largest per capita contributor of CO2—and the rate is going up.

Right now there are people (from Rupert Murdoch to Al Gore to Bill Crist) working to solve this problem in a variety of ways. The question is how much damage you deniers are going to do…

Andy D said...

Anonymous, check out my newest post which summarizes my position on global warming. But to answer some of your arguments here:

I don’t think we should sit around and do nothing. I try to conserve in my own household, and I think everyone should. I don’t think we should legislate based on very unsettled science. There is a world of difference between trying to determine the stresses present in a bridge structure and trying to forecast the Earth’s climate 100 years from now.

The meter rise in sea level is debatable. If you wish to build a house in a hurricane, tornado, flood, or earthquake prone area, then go build your house there. However, if a natural disaster that you knew could hit when you moved there destroys your house, why should everyone else pay for it?

My claim about funding is that it cuts both ways. You point to a paper you don’t like and say it is funded by evil oil money. I can point to academic papers and say they are funded by people who want a slice of the $5 billion a year spent studying global warming. If the paper contains good science, it shouldn’t matter who funds it. Why you may ask? Because good science can withstand the scientific method. If Chevron pays me to study ice cores, and I put out a conclusion, the rest of the scientific community should be able to evaluate my data and either come up with the same findings (thus proving my conclusion) or come up with different findings (thus potentially disproving my conclusion). Good science doesn’t care where the money comes from because it has to go through the scientific method.

Your “Iran study” is a little different because it is more of a policy study than a scientific study. But if we could somehow quantify Iran’s involvement in Iraq, and present that data to a group familiar with the region who could review the data, the funding may not matter. Again, it is a bad correlation because you’re not really talking science with Iran / Iraq.

You need to do your homework on Kyoto. Kyoto will cost Americans huge amounts of money, will hurt all industry in the United Sates (not just coal and oil) and may not have any real reduction in CO2 emissions. If it had a negligible impact on our emissions, but cost American business $500 billion, it’s not worth doing. As an aside, Europe isn’t meeting Kyoto right now. The United States is reducing emissions. China would be exempt from Kyoto. And if Kyoto is so good, why didn’t it get signed under Clinton / Gore?

Anonymous said...

Whoops. Once again, Andy's the one who needs to fact-check. Andy wrote: "The United States is reducing emissions."

Actually, U.S. CO2 emissions have increased by 20% since 1990. (And that doesn't count the CO2 increases that have resulted from moving our factories and trade to China and Mexico.)

Europe's carbon emissions have increased by 3% since 1990.

Andy D said...

I will admit that our raw CO2 emissions have increased. According to the Energy Information Administration, in 1990, the United States released 5,013.45 Million Metric Tons of CO2. In 2004 (the last date I could find) the U.S. released 5,912.21 Million Metric Tons of CO2. Looking at the raw numbers, this is an increase of emissions, and I do not intend to dispute that.

However, if you dig deeper into the numbers, you see a trend for both the United States and for Europe. As you compare each period on the chart, the United States annual increase is decreasing. So while we are currently releasing more CO2 than we did in 1990, as time goes by, we are cutting the difference down. The net change from year to year is showing a slowing trend. This means the United State is reaching a stable number. When I say we are decreasing our emissions, I mean from a rate point of view. If I caused any misunderstanding, I truly apologize for that. The point I want to drive home is that the United States is stabilizing the amount of CO2 that is added from the U.S.

The EU is a different story. Looking at the same chart, the EU is increasing the rate of release of CO2. As you compare each subsequent time period, the EU is releasing CO2 at a higher rate each year. If both trends keep up, the U.S. may reach a stable point where as the EU may continue to release a larger and larger percentage into the atmosphere.

The link I am using for this data is here.

As long as our country continues to develop with the current technology, we will continue to release CO2. I personally, would love to see a growth of nuclear power in the United States. It is more efficient now, it doesn’t release any atmospheric pollutants that I am aware of, and it could get us 100% energy independent.

Anonymous said...

Andy, I think I may see a breakthrough here. I think you're saying that you're in favor of reducing CO2 (as a general idea, holding off on the question of endorsing any particular strategy). Do I get you right?

Andy D said...

Yes, I am in favor of reducing pollutants in general CO2 or otherwise. And I will take your que and hold off any particular strategy for now.

Anonymous said...

Great. It seems that there might be some room for "across-the-aisle" work on this--finding solutions that are palatable for both sides that cut CO2 emissions.