# Is Global Warming hot?

#### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Is "Global Warming" hot?

What is your sense of public awareness of and the attitudes towards this subject? It seems to me that in the US we have finally reached critical mass. Since to a large extent TV merely feeds people what they want to watch and what they already believe, and since TV execs spend a great deal of money to know what people want, I keep an eye on television programming as a measure of the public pulse. Based on this and other events in the news, I suspect that we have gone over the edge: Whereas previously, in the public mind [on the average] nothing was caused by global warming, now everything will be blamed on global warming. More and more I see direct references to events like Katrina, the droughts and fires in the SW US this winter, melting bergs, the current temperatures in the Western US, rising sea levels etc, all within the context of GW. They never say it directly yet, but always the strong implication is that this is anthropogenic global warming knocking at your door.

Have you seen the commercial that flashes from one child to another, with each saying "tick", and with each "tick" a little louder than the last, until finally they are yelling at you? TICK! TICK!! TICK!!!

I thought that was a very effective commercial.

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#### rcgldr

Homework Helper
Well if global warming becomes a big issue, they could set off a few hydrogen bombs in the oceans to create a mini nuclear winter.

#### Pengwuino

Gold Member
Jeff Reid said:
Well if global warming becomes a big issue, they could set off a few hydrogen bombs in the oceans to create a mini nuclear winter.
Yah thats...a... solution....

I saw Al Gore on Conan a few days ago. His views on global warming were a bit hysterical though. I love his enthusiasm... but i think its a bit misdirected. Of course, its far less misdirected then your average american. Your average american seems ot htink we're doomed and its all over but he had a very "humans have conquered seemingly impossible odds before" attitude which i really liked. I'm interested to find out his views on nuclear energy. I took exception to him being somewhat negative towards a lot of preventive measures proposed by scientists that, while seemingly insane and impossible to your average person, have real scientific merit. He seems a lot better then your average environmentalist on the issue but still doesn't seem to be up to the level of having a truely scientific approach to things.

Kudos for a politician.

#### russ_watters

Mentor
Ivan Seeking said:
Have you seen the commercial that flashes from one child to another, with each saying "tick", and with each "tick" a little louder than the last, until finally they are yelling at you? TICK! TICK!! TICK!!!

I thought that was a very effective commercial.
I agree with your overall point about awareness, but to me "effective" means it causes people to act. That's the goal of that particular commercial, anyway. But people are not acting. They sit on their couch watching that commercial and think 'how terrible, we need to do something,' but don't consider where the power to run their tv comes from (except 'gawd, I hope it isn't nuclear').

Maybe that's outside the scope of what you were saying, though...

#### Pythagorean

Gold Member
Ivan Seeking said:
What is your sense of public awareness of and the attitudes towards this subject? It seems to me that in the US we have finally reached critical mass. Since to a large extent TV merely feeds people what they want to watch and what they already believe, and since TV execs spend a great deal of money to know what people want, I keep an eye on television programming as a measure of the public pulse. Based on this and other events in the news, I suspect that we have gone over the edge: Whereas previously, in the public mind [on the average] nothing was caused by global warming, now everything will be blamed on global warming. More and more I see direct references to events like Katrina, the droughts and fires in the SW US this winter, melting bergs, the current temperatures in the Western US, rising sea levels etc, all within the context of GW. They never say it directly yet, but always the strong implication is that this is anthropomorphic global warming knocking at your door.

Have you seen the commercial that flashes from one child to another, with each saying "tick", and with each "tick" a little louder than the last, until finally they are yelling at you? TICK! TICK!! TICK!!!

I thought that was a very effective commercial.
I work in between IARC (international arctic research center) and the GI (Geophysical Institute) in Alaska, and global warming is more of an academic/research term here, than a pop culture fad. I don't want to start claiming that everything you listed is directly a result of global warming, but there's international teams working on it, and I'm in the heart of one of the centers related to that. I think there's some merit, but it's hard to believe it spells doom, DOOM, DOOOOMMM for us. Awareness is the most important thing about it to me.

I don't watch much TV though (I can always hear it in the background when my girlfriend is watching it) and I definately try to take the news lightly when I do catch something.

I had a friend in Bosnia. He claimed news crews would tip off U.S. enemies when the U.S. Soldiers were mobile so that they could get the gunfight on camera. If it's true, it's sick, but I'm not a big fan of news anyway. I like conan o brian and Jay Leno, they do good news clips

#### Pengwuino

Gold Member
Pythagorean said:
I like conan o brian and Jay Leno, they do good news clips
I'm a bit afraid that a lot of people actually get their news from shows like that :yuck:.

Its ignorance that annoys me the most about people. If i hear one more person claim a solar powered car that runs on water is being stopped by a GM conspiracy, im going to explode. Then theres the people who demand you turn off fans saying they're causing global warming while standing under a ceiling fan with 4 60W bulbs turned on. It's paranoia with your average person and like russ said, to them its easy to go "man theres a real problem out there, someone (else) needs to fix it!" but far harder to actually study anything even remotely related to energy needs.

#### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
russ_watters said:
I agree with your overall point about awareness, but to me "effective" means it causes people to act.
People have to believe it before they will act. The problem has always been that GW was barely more than background noise politically. All politics are local.

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#### Pythagorean

Gold Member
Ivan Seeking said:
It's great to have you here! Welcome.
Thank you! I place a high value on these forums. I wish scientific journals were as open source!

Well, for many of those in New Orleans, for example, Katrina did spell doom.
Yes, I understand the significance of the affects of Katrina, both long term and short term. Whether or not it was a result of global warming I cannot say, I've heard lots of opinions but I also know hurricanes were around before global warming, and I've actually never heard a direct opinion from any of the scientists here connecting the two.

To opine, I think it's a bit arrogant to think we could destroy the planet. I'm somewhat comfortable with the Gaia theory, and would assume any damage we're doing would be to us in the end, not so much Earth. I would expect it to adapt, even if it means shaking the parasites (us) off of its back.

In the end though, I think any extremely devistating results (on a global level) are unlikely.

#### chroot

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I don't own an air conditioner. I typically only use a couple of lamps to light my apartment at night. I ride my bicycle to work three days a week, a round trip of 34 miles. I buy local food from farmers' markets. I have an ultra-low-emissions car, which I try to avoid driving. I turn off the water when brushing my teeth, and take five minute showers. I recycle all the normal goodies -- cans, bottles, etc.

By most standards, I'm a "conservationist." At the same time, I do not believe in athropogenic global warming. At all. Not even in the slightest. Even if global warming is happening -- and I remain unconvinced, even by the anecdotes of people like Al Gore -- I don't believe that it's anthropogenic.

- Warren

#### russ_watters

Mentor
Following warren, just an fyi on my position: I'm a little unsure about global warming, with three basic questiosn (we need not actually discuss them here):

-Is it caused by people or isn't it?
-How much will the temperature rise in the next century?
-How bad will it be for us if it rises, say 3F?

I'm not at all convinced of the doom-and-gloom standard answers to those questions.

However, when the citizens of Bejing have to wear masks to be outside and LA is a brown smudge, we definitely have a pollution problem that needs to be addressed. In addition, addressing some of these problems (ie, the energy cost savings of compat fluorescent lights and high efficiency hvac) also makes economic sense.
Penguino said:
A lot of "alternative energy" companies are making bookoo bucks off of environmental hysteria because they pull claims from 2 feet up their ass.
Be that as it may, in my job I have literally offered to pay building owners to make upgrades to their HVAC systems in order to save them money and a great many simply will not do it. There are a lot of opportunities out there that people are squandering.

Also, I don't need to point out the political implications of oil usage and how much it would help if we reduced it.

So though I don't necessarily buy the hype, I support the movement (for lack of a better term) because it may motivate people toward achieving coincidental goals.

#### ShawnD

chroot said:
I don't own an air conditioner.
Speaking of air conditioners, everybody stop being a lazy bastard and use water to cool yourself. For the past week Edmonton's electricity company has been doing rolling black-outs to cope with the demand of idiots who run AC all day. The result was city-wide traffic jams because certain traffic lights had no electricity.

Maybe jack the price of electricity up 10 fold so anybody running AC files for bankruptcy.

#### scorpa

ShawnD said:
Speaking of air conditioners, everybody stop being a lazy bastard and use water to cool yourself. For the past week Edmonton's electricity company has been doing rolling black-outs to cope with the demand of idiots who run AC all day. The result was city-wide traffic jams because certain traffic lights had no electricity.

Maybe jack the price of electricity up 10 fold so anybody running AC files for bankruptcy.
Haha yes hasn't that ever been fun. I've been lucky and avoided any traffic jams but I've heard about a lot of traffic lights being out.

#### JasonRox

Homework Helper
Gold Member

People around here can barely cope with being overweight and now you want to lower energy use. Yeah, right. Everyone around here thinks they have the right to pollute and they should take that right every darn second of the day. People expect politicians and companies to take action. For they themselves to take action is just out of the question. I've never heard of the population as a whole changing. The problem with CFC's was just to force companies to change. It didn't affect anyone on a daily basis. The way everyone looked was just give me hairspray and I don't care what's in it. So, now we are just waiting for something to replace oil/gas, but also something that won't force to change. More like, just give me that Hummer and I don't care if it's gas or hydrogen.

Honestly, I wish I can conserve more energy, but that's hard in a household that doesn't want to. They leave the TV and lights on all day. They set the AC at 24 degree Celsius when 25 degrees is fine and on top of that they leave the windows open for the sun to beam right in. It's me that shuts those damn windows everyday, like how stupid can you be.

As for myself, I don't drive. I own a car, but I don't drive. I save money like crazy too. I drive a scooter like you all know. Everytime I ride around with my scooter I laugh at all the big trucks and stuff because they think they are cool and stuff, but I know it's hurting their wallet. Jobs aren't high paying here, so essentially they are shooting themselves driving a V6/V8 truck/van for "looks". HAHA! Suckers.

I pay $2 a week in gas compared to people who spend on average$35-80 a week!!! (Canadian dollars.)

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#### Gelsamel Epsilon

Ivan Seeking said:
Have you seen the commercial that flashes from one child to another, with each saying "tick", and with each "tick" a little louder than the last, until finally they are yelling at you? TICK! TICK!! TICK!!!

I thought that was a very effective commercial.
Speaking of good commercials there is currently a commercial running in Australia where black balloons slowly pop out of TVs and Fans and a voice over said that every balloon reprisents 50grams of Green house gas, and it advises us to cut down on usage of electricity to prevet green house gas emission. Despite the fact that we don't directly produce the gas, and by using less electricity we aren't going to produce less gas it was still a cool ad.

#### Pengwuino

Gold Member
ShawnD said:
Speaking of air conditioners, everybody stop being a lazy bastard and use water to cool yourself. For the past week Edmonton's electricity company has been doing rolling black-outs to cope with the demand of idiots who run AC all day. The result was city-wide traffic jams because certain traffic lights had no electricity.

Maybe jack the price of electricity up 10 fold so anybody running AC files for bankruptcy.
Not everyone has a swimming pool or can take a 6 hour long shower.I tried... oh boy did i try to take hte biggest shower last night but it didnt work too well.

And trust me, around here, the people who do have swimming pools are getting good use out of them. If we had one, i'd be the biggest prune you'd ever see at the end of the day.

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#### Mickey

I grew up in the "save the planet" generation. The idea is no hotter today than it was back then.

Ivan, I respect your reasons for watching television to take the public pulse, since those reasons are primarily economic. However, if you want to take the real public pulse, look at the economy. The minute people choose to lower their consumption of environmentally destructive behavior is when you know the idea is "hot."

Right now, though, the only things that are hot are iPods and porn.

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#### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Pythagorean said:
Yes, I understand the significance of the affects of Katrina, both long term and short term. Whether or not it was a result of global warming I cannot say, I've heard lots of opinions but I also know hurricanes were around before global warming, and I've actually never heard a direct opinion from any of the scientists here connecting the two.
We'll never be able to attribute any particular storm to GW. That goes without saying. The questions is: Are we likely seeing increased activity due to GW - are we beginning to see the patterns for global warming as predicted by weather models, such as speices migration? And, do the variations seen exceed those expected due to natural cycles? I see more and more scientists who say the argument is over: GCC is here and it is at least to some degree, anthropogenic. I recall one scientist from NOAA or similar, who stated that there is no way to get the climate variations seen without the addition of carbon from human activity.

To opine, I think it's a bit arrogant to think we could destroy the planet. I'm somewhat comfortable with the Gaia theory, and would assume any damage we're doing would be to us in the end, not so much Earth. I would expect it to adapt, even if it means shaking the parasites (us) off of its back.

In the end though, I think any extremely devistating results (on a global level) are unlikely.
]

What do you consider to be devestating? Also, according to the Gaia theory, how long should it take earth to adjust? It is adjusting now?

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#### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
chroot said:
I don't own an air conditioner. I typically only use a couple of lamps to light my apartment at night. I ride my bicycle to work three days a week, a round trip of 34 miles. I buy local food from farmers' markets. I have an ultra-low-emissions car, which I try to avoid driving. I turn off the water when brushing my teeth, and take five minute showers. I recycle all the normal goodies -- cans, bottles, etc.

By most standards, I'm a "conservationist." At the same time, I do not believe in athropogenic global warming. At all. Not even in the slightest. Even if global warming is happening -- and I remain unconvinced, even by the anecdotes of people like Al Gore -- I don't believe that it's anthropogenic.

- Warren
What would it take to convince you?

#### Andre

I hope my post will not get deleted silently as several post did in which I hinted that the story of global warming may be slightly different. Also curious that this thread is not in one of the scientific forums. Would that mean that it’s generally accepted that global warming is no longer science (but politics)?

Or could we treat it objectivily and skip the biased fallacies like oil companies, general consensus, global warming deniers, smoking also causes cancer, etc, etc. Would it really be possible to subject global warming to the scutinized Popperian scientific method and see the overwhelming greenhouse could be can be falsified? Because that’s how it works, doesn’t it? Not because I don’t want to be true of because I want it to be false. A theory should survive attempts to falsify it or it isn’t a theory.

Shaviv, N. J. (2005), On climate response to changes in the cosmic ray flux and radiative budget, J. Geophys. Res., 110, A08105, doi:10.1029/2004JA010866

..... Subject to the above caveats and those described in the text, the CRF (Cosmic Ray Flux)/climate link therefore implies that the increased solar luminosity and reduced CRF over the previous century should have contributed a warming of 0.47 ± 0.19K, while the rest should be mainly attributed to anthropogenic causes. ....
(that rest would be around a mere 0,13 K)

So what is he saying; is it mainly the sun? Is this logical and can we test that?

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#### chroot

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Ivan Seeking said:
What would it take to convince you?
Oh, I don't know... perhaps some empirical evidence.

- Warren

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