Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News Climate Change Poll

  1. Yes AGW is proven and is based on unimpeachable science

    17 vote(s)
  2. No AGW is unproven and is based on flaky science

    22 vote(s)
  3. Dunno but leaning towards Yes

    25 vote(s)
  4. Dunno but leaning towards No

    4 vote(s)
  1. Apr 3, 2007 #1


    User Avatar

    Where do folk here currently stand on the issue of climate change?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 3, 2007 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I think there really should be two more choices in there saying something like

    "AGW is a reasonable theory, not yet well proven, but likely will be"
    "AGW is a reasonable theory, but will likely be disproven"

    Anyway, my personal opinion is the first of those, which matches closest to your third choice.
  4. Apr 3, 2007 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I would go with ""AGW is a reasonable theory, but too broad to say what parts might have some truth and what parts are just plain wrong"
  5. Apr 3, 2007 #4
    I would say that AGW is the most likely cause of the current warming.

    But then I am not familiar enough with the complete theory behind what we call AGW to offer a learned opinion.

    (If I was I would be tuning climate models. :smile: )

    Therefore this poll is a complete waste of time.
  6. Apr 3, 2007 #5
    The purpose of the poll is to see where we stand on the issue. Why is that a complete waste of time?
  7. Apr 3, 2007 #6


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Mankind may be responsible for some of the GW.

    I am reserving judgement pending more evidence and an independent review of various studies.
  8. Apr 3, 2007 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Part of mankind is certainly responsible for some of the GW's in the world, of the shrubbery kind at least.
  9. Apr 3, 2007 #8
    Although I believe we are responsible for climate change, and I believe it is based on good science. I dont believe we will do anything about it. The only way out will be via some technological breakthrough, or a cataclysmic event, which will absolutely force us to do something.
  10. Apr 3, 2007 #9
    What use is it to know where we stand on the issue?
  11. Apr 3, 2007 #10
    Theories cannot be proven to be correct but they can be falsified. There are strong clues for at least four cases of flaky science, the CO2 data mining from chemical measurements during the last two centuries (Keeling, Callendar), the hockeystick (Mann et al), the attempted assassination on the medieval warm period (Overpeck) and the unfounded twisting of the tropical storm expectation (Trenberth). Not hard what the most correct answer would have to be.

    Better questions would be:

    Is the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere causing no / little / significant /warming?

    Will a continued trend of the use of fossil fuel lead to a climate catstrophe?

    Could a fair reduction of emision of CO2 prevent such a catastrophe?

    What would it take to falsify anthropogenic global warming?

    Perhaps showing with a physical radiation model that the increase of greenhouse effect is logartihmic and that signifant increases of Greenhouse gas have a continued decreasing effect?

    Has been done

    http://home.wanadoo.nl/bijkerk/CO2ghg-effect.GIF [Broken]

    As this faint effect is well known, a strong positive feedback mechanisms are required to boost up the effect, perhaps falsifying positive feedback would falsify the alleged warming powers of CO2?

    Has been done,

    So what else would be needed?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  12. Apr 3, 2007 #11
    You are answering a question with a question.

    We are here in the Politics and World Affairs forum to hear each others stand on issues. Might as well ask yourself why you bother to post at all if it is of no use.
  13. Apr 3, 2007 #12
    Hey that poll leaves out the obvious.

    Since the industrial revolution Man has added billions of tons of CO2 to the atmosphere. To deny that human activity has any effect on the earths temperature is to deny that CO2 itself has any effect on the earths temperature.

    Mans contribution to atmospheric CO2 has to be in the equation. We can't just deny or ignor it. I feel that there is ample proof that whatever CO2 man adds to the atmosphere will at the minimum cause tempertures to run over and above what has occured historically.

    Edit to add link:
    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/tre_glob.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  14. Apr 3, 2007 #13

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I don't know, but too much is at stake to wait for everyone - esp amateurs - to agree. The consensus opinion among experts is that AGCC is real, so we need to act accordingly. It is the logical thing to do. Except for the experts, what we each believe about the science really doesn't matter.

    We don't expect the average person to understand GR, and we can't take the time to prove it [that the model is accurate] as fact to each and every person, but we do expect them to accept it based on the expertise of those who do understand it.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2007
  15. Apr 3, 2007 #14
    I agree Ivan. But we do have a problem with special interests with an obvious agenda.

  16. Apr 3, 2007 #15
  17. Apr 3, 2007 #16
    I admit I am here to discuss politics and world affairs. I like PF because the mod's here keep the discussions from descending into flame fests.

    I disagree with every choice offered in the poll.

    My opinion is global warming is probably caused by human activity generally; by CO2 and other GHGs specifically. The overwhelming majority of climate scientists, qualified to have a respected opinion about GW agree with me.

    Even if CO2 does not contribute to warming, it still causes acidification of the oceans, independent of temperature.


    If you find this poll to be valuable to your understanding of climate science as it applies to AGW then it is not a waste of your time.

    I however see no point in knowing how people on this forum vote in what I consider to be a poorly constructed poll.

    Reading others comments however is enlightening. :smile:
  18. Apr 3, 2007 #17


    User Avatar

    This poll is posted in the P&WA section as opposed to the Earth Science section for a reason. I am not asking what people know from an expert viewpoint, I am asking what people think based on what they have seen, heard or read.

    AGW has become a major political issue and certainly here in Europe it affects people financially already with the imposition of carbon taxes etc. and listening to politicians it will affect them a great deal more in the not too distant future. The Labor party in Britain for example is talking of limiting people to 1 short haul flight a year (not sure how you are supposed to get back home again :biggrin: )

    To this end the burden of taxation is moving away from direct taxation such as income taxes to indirect taxation such as environmental levies. Now as there are elections in democracies and taxation policy is always a major factor in determining the people's choice ordinary people are going to have to form opinions on AGW as they are going to have to decide if it is something they are prepared to pay for and so for that reason all opinions no matter how uniformed are relevant.

    The above straw poll is intended to give some indication of how the AGW argument is perceived in general and by implication just how prepared people here would be at this time to pay to address AGW and by their strength of committment a rough indication of how much they would be prepared to pay.
  19. Apr 3, 2007 #18
    I thought the spectrum of choices was black/white or wishy washy, I would likely have expressed my opinion in a series of statements. first the white.

    Burning fossil fuels has added CO2 to the atmosphere and the proponderance of measurements support such. This is unimpeachable.
    (In my own lifetime the constant for Henry's law has been changed(mole fraction of CO2))

    That CO2 has the potential, exclusive of other variables, to trap heat. Indisputable. relatively simple physics.

    That planetary science provides glimpses of what excessive amounts of heat trapping gasses can do the temperature of the planet when other factors are accounted for, ie Venus vs Mars. I'd say indisputeable here as well.

    That for whatever reason the planet is in a warming phase with massive losses to the cryosphere. Indisputeable.

    That there are powerful political and economic forces that impinge on what otherwise would be a scientific argument, with various agendae. Also indisputeable.

    What is obvious that companys that produce, distribute or otherwise reap economic benefit from the burning of fossil fuels ahve a vested interest. I would also say that the pro AGW forces are not without bias, though I would differ with some as to the primary motive. Sometimes just getting funding to stay alive scientifically is not easy, especially when no short term breakthrus or technology can be promised. The surge in interest and funding has likely added a lot of yes men to the number of scientists researching the phenomenon. Fraud is also a possibility. But you either believe in the self-correcting methodology of science, or you don't. So far it has been spectularly successful on many fronts, so to this, I would add that the methodology over the long haul is unassailable. That politicians will exploit whatever data that supports their bigger plan, also beyond doubt. (curious that even GWB has come round--either the evidence has him convinced or he sees it as a political liability)

    Now into the gray zone:

    The evidence for higher CO2 levels leading to GW, circumstantial. You have a smoking gun, knowledge that bullets can kill, and a corpse, but did the suspect in custody pick up the gun after the victim was dead, or fire it into her heart. Forensic science has ways of addressing this, but with AGW, not so clear cut.

    Are there accomplices? Is there some odd propitious combination of factors, which may be indepent of one another, yet add synergistically to account for the shrinkage of the cryosphere. Possibly. Sort of like disputing the existence of god. Yes the sun may be in a bit of a fury.

    this may be good news, even in AGW is the problem, who can for sure be that the net effect will be negative? The planet has survived many such tulmultuous periods as has man and all of the species alive today.

    Black: Why gamble? Even if the science is misinformed, shaky, or in flux, why not act in the interests of what might be helpful. Maybe others with different backgrounds have strikingly divergent views from mine, but in medicine we often provide remedies in the hopes that they may help. There are compelling arguments from a variety of sources who suggest, including Bush, that we are addicted to oil, and as a consequence, the world is subect to many destabilizing forces. And even if thru some magical alchemical process we could turn complex hydrocarbons into heat, water and CO2, is this the route we want to take? Gambling on the notion that if we see no obvious and immediate harm with the present course, that we should go full tilt ahead. In other words if the earth is heating up, shouldn't we be concerned with measures that might slow the cooling, even if not a proven cause. Most docs see a fever and prescribe aspirin.
  20. Apr 3, 2007 #19

    Thanks Denverdoc, for another enlightening comment. :smile:
  21. Apr 3, 2007 #20
    This is not about the White House it is about the world. GW was an issue with scientists long before Gore even knew about it. Warmers, as you call them, have little to gain compared to what big oil has to lose.

    If you choose to believe Exxon's smoke and mirrors that is fine. Personally I want nothing to do with the opinions purchased by Exxon's "tobacco lobbyists."

    http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science/exxonmobil-smoke-mirrors-hot.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  22. Apr 3, 2007 #21
  23. Apr 3, 2007 #22
    Not even sure what you mean, i thought it was a good post, fairly well reasoned without vitriol or sarcasm, and a rudimentary attempt to capture the various viewpoints into a coherent essay. Did I miss something?
  24. Apr 3, 2007 #23
    I thought it was a great post.

    I agree with your summary.

    I found your perspetive to be enlightening.
  25. Apr 3, 2007 #24

    Are you familiar with evolutionary biology? The moth change in coloration happened in a span of less than 50 generations. Whether we can do what corals have done and add appendages capable of symbiosis with a photosynthetic ally in the next 1000 years, doubtful. Whethar we need to eat algea, and turn green as a result, much more likely.:biggrin:
  26. Apr 3, 2007 #25
    "cool" as they say, sorry if I misread anything.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook