We’ve known about global climate change for a long time now.

I can remember learning about the potential impact of global climate change back when I was a kid. This video talks about what we knew some 30 years ago in 1982 and how a lot of what was predicted has come to pass. A lot of folks seem to think that warnings about global climate change are something relatively recent, but we’ve known about the potential of this problem for a very long time. Unfortunately, by the time the evidence is clear enough for the deniers to accept it’ll be too late to do much about it other than try and cope with it as best we can. It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better and a lot of people are going to suffer unnecessarily because we haven’t addressed the problem.

29 thoughts on “We’ve known about global climate change for a long time now.

  1. Science has known about climate change for years, its been happening for the last few billion years. We have gone from a ball of liquid rock to a ball of ice and its fluctuated between desert and ice ages many times. All of it WITHOUT ANY HUMAN INVOLVEMENT.

    If you feel like blaming something for actually causing the climate to change, point your finger at plants. Before they came along, the pollutant oxygen was very low. But because of the Chlorophyll Revolution, oxygen pollution rose dramatically which caused massive plant murdering “animals” to evolve after a few hundred million years. Although those “animals” murder thousands of tons of plants per day they also naturally release CO2 when they breathe and their feces is an effective fertilizer, so plants also benefit in the end.

    The rise in oxygen also aided a dramatic reduction in global temperature known as Ice Ages. Its a period of dramatically reduced life abundance and diversity.

    So the lesson here: Increase CO2 production!
    It is not a pollutant
    It aids plant growth
    It warms the climate, which causes life to flourish
    Plants and animals more easily adapt to a warm weather shift than to cold.

    Serious Moloch
    The climate has been fluctuating naturally for billions of years. To think that humans can affect the climate beyond a temporary change in local areas is pure arrogance. The “Global Warming” farce was disproved years ago thanks to science. Because of that, public opinion, masquerading as “science”, has shifted to the use of “Climate Change” to satisfy their trolling desire to always be right no matter how frequently real scientists prove the man-caused climate change Believers wrong.

  2. 120 years ago there were fewer than a billion people. There were pretty much no cars. Little electronics. Now we have 7 billion people. 100s of millions of petrol burning cars, boats, snowmobiles, RVs, etc. 7 billion using fuel for cooking, millions of coal plants. Tons of electronics. Only dumb people could claim we are not having any effects. And we in the west can do little. 3 billion Chinese and Indians are driving the bus now.

  3. To think that humans can affect the climate beyond a temporary change in local areas is pure arrogance.

    Maybe you’re right, Moloch. After all, to affect planetary climate would require a truly gigantic system. Something that could burn ten thousand barrels of oil every second, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. But maybe that wouldn’t be enough – for good measure the machine should also burn 214 tons of coal every second, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And while we’re at it, we’d have to start making major reductions in rain forest area. Then maybe it would be enough to affect climate.

    The result of that experiment would be warmer average temperatures (and the weather extremes fueled by that energy differential), and possibly more plant growth. Including toxic, sulfur-processing oceanic microorganisms. Of course, the coral could clean those organisms out of the water, if it hadn’t been bleached out by acidic water.

    Run an experiment like that and life would go on; nobody disputes that. The question is what would happen to coastal cities, to agriculture, and to national security (hungry people don’t reason well). Fortunately NO ONE would be stupid enough to run an experiment like that on the only planet we’ve got. Would they?

  4. I love how Moloch, when presented with actual science, tries to claim science has disproved it years ago. Moloch, you’re part of the problem. But then given your long-standing displays of ignorance and bigotry that comes as no surprise. When the shit really hits the fan I’m sure you’ll come up with some other excuse as to why it’s nothing to do with human activity. Assuming you’re still around to be affected by it.

  5. Oh good lord

    Science can’t disprove things. Science can look at evidence. The evidence does not support your “points” Moloch.

    You are commiting the very thing you accuse others of doing, which is evidence-selection, I guess it’s “cool” to be in denial of the obvious? What a rebel.

    I like you Moloch, but your post above borders on trolling it is so ridiculous.

  6. I should say instead.. Science can’t “prove” a “negative”. So to say scientists have “disproved” climate change is on its face nonsense. But, I would like to know what scientists you refer to. There is no real debate anymore in ACTUAL academic circles about this. Finding ONE guy who says something is not the same weight-of-opinion as finding 15,000. Especially because “opinion” has nothing to do with it.

    EVIDENCE my man. Evidence, and lots of data. We can’t say anything with 100% certainty, BUT, we can tell when we have come very close to the mark, when study after study, theory after theory, observations, and historic geological data all point to the same thing.

    We may not like the implications, but this is serious business man. You cannot ignore the weight of evidence. If you do, you are not helping find the truth, you are mining opinion and reinforcing prejudice. And that just ain’t science.

  7. Here’s a University textbook on Physical Geology, written by a couple of PhD’s one of whom I had the privilege to learn from.

    No need to thank me.

    Smith, Gary A.; Aurora Pun (2006). How Does the Earth Work?. Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458: Pearson Prentice Hall. pp. 5. ISBN 0-13-034129-0.

  8. Facts, facts, facts. When will you people learn that facts do not have much influence on those like Moloch, or the Pope, or Reverend Phelps. Emotion, backed by some evidence mining, are much more influential and convincing. Sigh!



  9. One of the first scientists known to have studied global climate change was some guy back in the 18th century who wrote about the effects of Icelandic volcanic ash on American climate. You might have heard of him. His picture is on the $100 bill, and there’s a rumor that he was one of the Founding Fathers…

  10. All the people on earth can fit in 1sq foot each in the state of rhode island. 6 billion is a big number to people, but the fact is that we occupy and use a very small percent of the earth and its resources.
    George, 264 tons of coal isnt even a drop in the bucket of what is available and the simple fact is one volcano eruption puts out more pollution in one event than all of humanity has released, ever.

    Unfortunately, nothing will change Climate Change Belivers’ minds.
    Now where is that iceage and peak oil everyone predicted in the 70s?

  11. Moloch, whether or not we can fit the entire Earth’s population into one state is irrelevant and proves nothing other than you can squeeze a lot of people into one spot. It’s also not about how much of the percentage of the earth’s resources we use as much as it is how much of particular earth resources (fossil fuels) that we use, and we use a lot of those fuels releasing way more carbon dioxide than any natural process as a result. Your claim that one volcano eruption is worse than anything humans have ever done is patently false and not supported by science.

    According to the U.S. Geological Survey, an organization I’ll trust over your word any day of the week, ALL of the world’s volcanoes (land and sea) generate around 200 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. Comparatively, all of the CO2 from our cars and industrial processes amounts to 24 billion tons annually which, if I remember my math correctly, is a much bigger amount than 200 million tons. Also if your claim had any merit to it at all then the carbon dioxide records would be full of spikes from the various volcanic eruptions — one for each eruption — but it’s not. The levels of CO2 in the atmosphere has gone up consistently every year regardless of whether there was any major volcanic eruptions during that time. The claim is total bullshit and you’ve swallowed it whole.

    The science isn’t on your side and your insistence that we’re not causing our own problems borders on the Fundamentalist in it’s zeal. Sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling la la la isn’t going to change reality.

  12. It’s seven billion now, Moloch… and you apparently missed the words; “every second”.

    As Les pointed out, you are straight-up wrong about the volcanoes thing. And you don’t seem too clear about how ecosystems work either. Also you have humans confused with canned sardines. Which do not use resources because, you know, they’re dead.

    Occasionally I forget why it’s not worth responding to you, but you remind me every time.

  13. @ saskplanner:

    Great, let the new drivers of the bus eat tofu and build fruity wind turbines. Leave the rest of us alone with our bar-b-Q’s and beautiful SUV’s.


  14. @ Moloch:


    I don’t think a single volcano produces even one ton of pollution. Since when is ash, Co2, sulpheric acid, water vapour etc been considered pollution? Nothing is considered polution until it is emitted by humans.

  15. Um, aren’t you partaking of the experiment as well?

    We all are. But while our individual efforts are important, the point is there will need to be large-scale infrastructure, culture and policy changes to head off catastrophe. For some reason “we’re all in this together” has become anathema to Conservatives. One wonders what, exactly, they are conserving.

  16. @george.w,

    “Kum Bya my Lord” is no longer touted by Evangelicals? One is reminded of the cartoonish depiction of some idiot sawing off the limb he is sitting on.




  17. @ leguru: “Kum Bya my Lord” isn’t just no longer sung, it’s become an object of ridicule among evangelicals. Along with any part of the Bible that is not violent and sociopathic.

  18. From here, I’d say very little will be done, other than the progress that happens anyway as people upgrade older cars and appliances, because climate alarmists spend too much time heretic-stomping, and are entirely too disdainful of small, non-controversial actions, for example, homeowners associations still forbid clotheslines. Building codes could specify higher insulation standards and more reflective roofs in areas where they’re appropriate.

  19. @Tim H, did you mean deniers? Because it’s mostly the climate deniers who oppose the non-controversial (and incredibly sensible) actions you mention. They’ve actually made a virtue of waste.

    Sometimes I think we may have made a marketing mistake talking about future generations, poor people in low-lying, 3’d-world areas, etc. Communicating with Conservatives reminds me of that Heinlein quote “Never appeal to a man’s better nature; he may not have one.” Instead we should have couched it in terms of saving money and manufacturing opportunity.

  20. No, I get more flak from alarmists. Your marketing angle is spot-on, in light of “http://www.nsf.gov/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=103108&org=OLPA” climate change, however bad it turns out to be is not short turn reversible, but making life “Less worse” for future generations is, and that might be best accomplished by things that have other, immediate benefits salable to non-believers. Highlighting “Things we ought to do anyway” has the added benefit of side-stepping the flame war that climate discussion has become.

  21. I guess there are a lot of flavors; I certainly qualify as an “alarmist” in that I think there’s a real catastrophe in the offing if we don’t make some changes and quick. So I advocate the common-sense, energy saving things for immediate change (low-hanging fruit) while governments and industry work on the big technology and infrastructure things like solar farms and fusion power. I like approaches that save ten watts, and I like harder stuff like New Urbanism, forest-planting, etc. We’re at a place where we pretty much need to do everything we can.

  22. Agreed. Have hopes for polywell fusion, if it works, they could build one next to a coal-fired plant and use existing infrastructure.

  23. Les. I am begging you .

    Please, please put the “POST COMMENT” button BELOW the security question. It is not even on the screen.

    It is incredibly, tear-jerkingly frustrating to spend 15 minutes on a post, hit post comment, and then have it wiped forever for forgetting to SCROLL DOWN where you can see and be reminded of the secutity question.

    I dont want to have to log in everytime to avoid it. Guess I will though.

    But, even still, at the least, does the software really have to delte the post from memory? Can’t it say, “Oops you forgot the security question” and then go back to the previous page, where the form data is still stting there in the box?

    I dont think I have ever been on a website where forgetting to answer the security question bombs your whole post.

    I usually don’t like to take time to post here, I just read.. But when I construct a response like I just did, and have it destroyed for a simple oversight, again, one exacerbated by bad software design, it makes me very very sad and angry.

    Please just put the post comment button below the security question. Please.

  24. Just to be clear, I am not criticizing -you- at all when I say ‘bad software design’, not in the least.. Just maybe wordpress and AJAX.

    So maybe it’s just my configuration, but on my screen I never see the spam question because it is off the frame, below the post box, so it is easy to forget..

    I never take the time to actually construct a decent post, and when I do, it is heartbreaking to have it vanish. What’s worse, is I typed it all again, and then, clicked post, and realized with horror I had done it -again-.

    So that’s twice in one session, and yeah, maybe I’m stupid, maybe I should be more careful, but it seems to me that moving the post comment button could go a long way to solving what must be a common occurrence for people.

    I love your blog man, and I’m a huge fan, so, please take this as constructive criticism, OK?

    😥 😉

  25. You have to keep in mind that I’m always logged in so I don’t see things like the form and the security question. The positioning of the security question is automatic unless I edit the theme manually, which is more of a pain than it should be so I’ll just disable it for now. It’ll mean a bit more work trashing spam comments, but it’ll be less annoying for visitors. I’ll just leave it enabled for new user registrations where it’s really useful.

    And I’m not upset at the criticism. It’s a fair complaint and it’s my job to try and balance ease of use with not having to clean up after the spammers every half an hour.

    *Update* The security question should only appear during new user registration now. It’s no longer part of the commenting or login forms. Should make life a tad easier.

  26. Really?? Les, you are so cool! Wow, I was just upset when I wrote that, and I really appreciate your considering my critique!

    Thanks! 😀

  27. Of course I considered it. It was a fair complaint. It’s all too easy to assume everyone does things the same way I do. Lots of folks have lots of different reasons for not making or not using an account here and if I make it too difficult to participate without logging in then fewer people will bother. If I want folks to contribute then it is in my interest to listen to any criticisms they have. Being an SEB regular makes your complaint that much more worth listening to. 😉

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