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Climate Change & Global Warming Where are we now? What can we do? Talk, Fordham
Climate Change & Global Warming
Where are we now?
What can we do?
Talk, Fordham University 1/28/10
Jan W. Dash, PhD
Director Climate Initiative, Board, UU-United Nations Office
Exec. Comm., UN Committee Sustainable Development NY (CoNGO)
Member Green Team, Middletown NJ
Visiting Research Scholar, Fordham University
1/29/10
Copyright Jan W. Dash
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Talk Outline • Science – Impacts – Mitigation and Adaptation • Carbon Politics – US,
Talk Outline
• Science
– Impacts
– Mitigation and Adaptation
• Carbon Politics
– US, International
– Copenhagen Climate Conference Dec 2009
• Carbon Finance
– CDM, REDD, Carbon Trading, Investments
• Appendix (if asked)
– What about the Contrarians?
1/29/10
Copyright Jan W. Dash
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Science, Impacts, Mitigation 1/29/10 Copyright Jan W. Dash 3
Science, Impacts, Mitigation
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Copyright Jan W. Dash
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Climate Change AND Global Warming • Climate change: general term – Natural effects (Solar etc)
Climate Change AND Global Warming
• Climate change: general term
– Natural effects (Solar etc)
– Anthropogenic effects (human)
• Trends => Climate
• Fluctuations => Weather
• CLIMATE NOT SAME AS WEATHER
• Global Warming: Specific Meaning =>
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What is Global Warming GW? • GW = Average GLOBAL temperature • GW = TREND
What is Global Warming GW?
• GW = Average GLOBAL temperature
• GW = TREND of temperature going up
• Weather Fluctuations DON’T COUNT
– 1998 hottest year (El Niño): Don’t cherry pick
– “It’s cold in January”: Irrelevant red herring
– “It’s cold in Chicago”: Irrelevant red herring
• Long term since 1975: Earth is warming on
average, this is Global Warming
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Global Temperature Data since 1880 There IS Global Warming since 1975 • Data GISS/NASA. Just
Global Temperature Data since 1880
There IS Global Warming since 1975
• Data GISS/NASA. Just in: 2009 was 2nd hottest year
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Yes, Global Warming Exists, and the Models get it Right Temp 100 yrs Model output:
Yes, Global Warming Exists,
and the Models get it Right
Temp 100 yrs
Model output:
Red: All
Blue: Natural
Black: Data
Shows GW
Physics-based
Supercomputer
models
IPCC Science I
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There IS Scientific Consensus on the existence / cause of GW • Poll of Active
There IS Scientific Consensus
on the existence / cause of GW
• Poll of Active Climate Researchers with
Climate Science Expertise:
– These are the REAL experts
– Over 96% of these experts agree that recent
Global Warming exists and that human
activity is a significant contributing factor
– M. Zimmerman: “The Consensus on the Consensus, An opinion survey
of Earth Scientists on global climate change”, thesis
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Recent GW is due to Human Generated Greenhouse Gases 20,000 yrs of data. CO 2
Recent GW is due to Human
Generated Greenhouse Gases
20,000 yrs
of data.
CO 2 spike
is recent,
unprecedented
Due to humans
IPCC Science I
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ALL forcings are put into models, natural and human • IPCC Science I 1/29/10 Copyright
ALL forcings are put into
models, natural and human
• IPCC Science I
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What About Uncertainty? • ALL models => increasing global temp by 2100 – Most model
What About Uncertainty?
• ALL models => increasing global temp by 2100
– Most model uncertainty is due to future human
behavior uncertainty, NOT the physics of the models
• Don’t confuse weather and climate
– Climate / Global Warming = Average TREND
– Weather = Local Fluctuations in space, time
• Although Global Warming => more extreme weather
• “Navy does not wait for perfect certainty”
– Admiral, PhD, Head of Navy Climate Task Force
• 100% “Certainty” never possible
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Sources - science information • Generally: Consider the Source – Climatology Credentials Count – Any
Sources - science information
• Generally: Consider the Source
– Climatology Credentials Count
– Any published PEER-REVIEWED articles?
– Go to the quoted original source to avoid misquotes
• IPCC Reports
– Available for download free
• RealClimate.org
– Professional climatologist website – readable!
• UU-UNO climate portal
– http://www.digitaluniverse.net/uuuno/
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IPCC Reports – Comprehensive • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change` – http://www.ipcc.ch/ • Three AR4
IPCC Reports – Comprehensive
• Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change`
– http://www.ipcc.ch/
• Three AR4 2007 Volumes (1,000 pages each)
– Summarize published literature - peer reviewed
– Over 3,500 scientific reviewers, authors
– Science (1), Impacts (2), Mitigation (3)
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Digitaluniverse.net/uuuno/ Great UU-UNO climate site: links, information 1/29/10 Copyright Jan W. Dash 14
Digitaluniverse.net/uuuno/
Great UU-UNO climate site: links, information
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World-Wide Impacts of GW • We are starting to see bad impacts NOW • Impacts
World-Wide Impacts of GW
• We are starting to see bad impacts NOW
• Impacts will get FAR WORSE if we do not act
• Developing countries will be hit hardest, but
• NOT just Africa: U.S. will be hit very hard!
• Severe water shortages, crop failures, fires,
droughts, disease increase, flooding, species
extermination, extreme weather, sea level rise,
heat waves, acidified oceans, mass migrations,
increased conflict (wars), economic disruption …
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Ex: Climate Change and Health • " Climate change is the biggest global health threat
Ex: Climate Change and Health
• " Climate change is the biggest global
health threat of the 21st century . ”
• “Effects of climate change on health will
affect most populations in the next decades
and put the lives and wellbeing of billions
of people at increased risk.“
– Lancet : "Managing the health effects of climate change", A. Costello…
1/29/10
Copyright Jan W. Dash
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What will happen depends on Human Behavior (Scenarios) IPCC 2007 Science I 2 o C
What will happen depends on
Human Behavior (Scenarios)
IPCC 2007
Science I
2 o C increase =>
Earth warmer
than in millions
of years
Realclimate.org
1/29/10
Copyright Jan W. Dash
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MIT Roulette Wheel for Temperature increases by 2100 • Warming could be double previous estimates
MIT Roulette Wheel for
Temperature increases by 2100
• Warming could be double previous estimates
1/29/10
Copyright Jan W. Dash
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What is 350? • Analysis from data (Hansen et al): – “If CO 2 level
What is 350?
• Analysis from data (Hansen et al):
– “If CO 2 level continues above 350 ppm, can't
sustain a planet similar to the one we know
and to which life on Earth is adapted”
• Cenozoic data 65MM years ago, planet developed
ice at poles, CO 2 level was 425 ± 75 ppm
• Result NOT dependent on climate models
• Currently, CO 2 level is 385 ppm, going up
1/29/10
Copyright Jan W. Dash
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Impacts WILL hit U.S. hard if business as usual US Global Change Research Program 1/29/10
Impacts WILL hit U.S. hard if
business as usual
US Global Change Research Program
1/29/10
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Climate Change, US National Security • "Projected climate change poses a serious threat to America’s
Climate Change, US National
Security
• "Projected climate change poses a
serious threat to America’s national
security…”
• This threat was emphasized by Pentagon at
session, US Center, Copenhagen Climate
Conference, Dec 2009
• Above quote: CNA report by senior U.S. military personnel
1/29/10
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Warming Climate May Devastate Major U.S. Crops • Three of the most important crops produced
Warming Climate May
Devastate Major U.S. Crops
• Three of the most important crops produced in the United
States—corn, soybeans and cotton—are predicted to
suffer declines of as much as 80 percent if temperatures
continue to rise with manmade climate change
• Warming can be above threshold to damage/kill plants
• Schlenker and Roberts, Columbia & NC State U, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sciences
1/29/10
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Regional US impacts from Global Warming – Examples: • FIRE: Warming and Earlier Spring Increase
Regional US impacts from
Global Warming – Examples:
• FIRE: Warming and Earlier Spring Increase
Western U.S. Forest Wildfire Activity
• WATER SUPPLY: Declining Mountain
Snowpack in Western North America
• DROUGHT: Imminent Transition to More
Arid Climate in Southwestern North America
1/29/10
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Why Mitigate Global Warming? • Mitigation is not free, but “do nothing” is worse –
Why Mitigate Global Warming?
• Mitigation is not free, but “do nothing” is worse
– Human suffering due to increasingly severe impacts
– $Do Nothing Business As Usual >> $Mitigation
– Delayed mitigation will cost much more
– Ref: Stern Report
• Framework = RISK MANAGEMENT
– Low Hanging Fruit first
– “No regret” actions = good, regardless of climate
• $ Opportunities
– Green Energy investment is taking off
– Save $ incentive (energy efficiency…)
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Moral, Ethical Aspects to ACT • We have a moral and ethical imperative to learn
Moral, Ethical Aspects to ACT
• We have a moral and ethical imperative to
learn about climate change / global
warming, and to act appropriately and
decisively. This imperative derives from
all people living today on the planet and
those who will follow us. We cannot have
succeeding generations say: "They refused
to learn" or "they knew but did not act."
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Levels for Mitigation • Individuals • Corporations • NGOs (faith, environmental) • Governments (local,
Levels for Mitigation
• Individuals
• Corporations
• NGOs (faith, environmental)
• Governments (local, regional, national)
• Intergovernmental
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Personal Solutions to Global Warming • The car you drive – compare fuel efficiencies. •
Personal Solutions to Global Warming
• The car you drive – compare fuel efficiencies.
• Choose clean power
• Look for Energy Star.
• Unplug that extra refrigerator or freezer if not in use.
• Get a home energy audit.
• Light bulbs matter.
• Think before you drive.
• Let policymakers know you are concerned about
global warming.
• See Union of Concerned Scientists
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Green Energy (1) • Solar electricity generation (photovoltaic) – Currently expensive at $0.30/kwh • But
Green Energy (1)
• Solar electricity generation (photovoltaic)
– Currently expensive at $0.30/kwh
• But average income many developing countries = $2./day
– State subsidies needed in US
• Ex: NJ SREC given for 1,000 kwh generated = $700 spot
– N.b. Solar water heating easy, cheap, less ambitious
• Wind electricity generation
– Most promising short term renewable
– Complaints: “ugly” , “birds” => put wind offshore
– Needs GRID to transport power
• Infrastructure grid development in US required
– Denmark: 20% of electricity is wind generated
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Green Energy (2) • Geothermal - Stable temperature underground – Ex: Home - install $25K,
Green Energy (2)
• Geothermal - Stable temperature underground
– Ex: Home - install $25K, breakeven 10 years
• Biofuels
– Corn ethanol popular in US farm belt: $$
• Displaced food + commodity vol. controversy
– 2nd generation biofuels: R&D stage (enzymes)
• Cellulose: switch grass, poplar trees
• Algae
• New Fission nuclear Integral Fast Breeder reactor
– Eats nuclear waste from existing old fission reactors
– Proliferation problem is largely removed
– In R&D, not ready
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Green Energy (3) • Fusion: “Generate energy like the sun does” – ITER facility France
Green Energy (3)
• Fusion: “Generate energy like the sun does”
– ITER facility France => 20 years to commercial?
• Lawson criterion ALREADY met
– DT now, DD later: enough for millions of years
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Adaptation? • We will need to adapt as well as mitigate • Adaptation studies underway
Adaptation?
• We will need to adapt as well as mitigate
• Adaptation studies underway
– Ex: Netherlands
• But how much CAN humans adapt?
– We are no longer hunter-gatherers
– Six billion people cannot move much
• However will see mass migrations (hundreds of MM)
• Poor people will get hit hardest, equity demands
funding from developed nations
– Copenhagen Accord has some funding
1/29/10
Copyright Jan W. Dash
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What about Geo-engineering? • Attempts to modify earth’s climate – CDR = Carbon Dioxide Removal:
What about Geo-engineering?
• Attempts to modify earth’s climate
– CDR = Carbon Dioxide Removal: OK idea
• Sequestration of CO 2 in ground, trees, biochar…
• Long term addition to portfolio of actions
– SRM = Solar Radiation Management: Bad idea
• Ex: Shoot sulfur into stratosphere, partially blocks sun
• Like a “Drug”: treats symptoms, not cause
– Short term “fix”
– If stop, quickly go right back to global warming
• Subject to manipulation, abuse, instability
• Unknown consequences on large scale, may backfire
• Moral hazard if used as replacement to mitigation
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Carbon Politics Introduction 1/29/10 Copyright Jan W. Dash 33
Carbon Politics
Introduction
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US Politics and Climate • US Congress energy/climate bill – House: Waxman-Markey bill passed –
US Politics and Climate
• US Congress energy/climate bill
– House: Waxman-Markey bill passed
– Senate: Bill TBD in 2010
• US State initiatives
– States out in front with ambitious emission cutting
• Ex: Sustainable New Jersey
– Interstate: East Coast RGGI, Western Climate Initiative
• US Local initiatives
– Cool Cities, US Conference of Mayors, Municipal Green Teams
– ICLEI: network of local governments (US, worldwide)
1/29/10
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Environmental Protection Agency • EPA will/must regulate CO 2 if no US legislation – Lisa
Environmental Protection Agency
• EPA will/must regulate CO 2 if no US legislation
– Lisa Jackson: Even if legislation, EPA will regulate some
– Transparent; public comments (May 2009)
1/29/10
Copyright Jan W. Dash
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Corporate Level: Businesses are waking up to GW • LONDON, Sept 22 (Reuters) - A
Corporate Level:
Businesses are waking up to GW
• LONDON, Sept 22 (Reuters) - A coalition
of more than 500 international companies
on Tuesday urged rich countries to commit
to "immediate and deep" cuts in
greenhouse gas emissions at U.N. climate
talks to help combat global warming…
• Ref: CNA report
1/29/10
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Investors are waking up to GW • 181 leading investors and financial institutions responsible for
Investors are waking up to GW
• 181 leading investors and financial
institutions responsible for the fiduciary
management of USD $13 trillion – the
backbone of the global economic system -
have today unveiled a Statement on the
Urgent Need for a Global Agreement on
Climate Change
• Ref: UNEPFI report
1/29/10
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International: UN • UNFCCC – 1992 “Rio”, treaty, US is signatory – Conference Of Parties
International: UN
• UNFCCC
– 1992 “Rio”, treaty, US is signatory
– Conference Of Parties (COP) meets yearly
– Kyoto Protocol 1997, all signed except US
• COP15 Copenhagen Dec 2009
– Long Term Cooperative Action track “LCA”
– Kyoto Protocol track “KP”
• Next is COP16 in Mexico Dec 2010
1/29/10
Copyright Jan W. Dash
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UN Climate Change “Conferences of Parties” COP • All countries, NGOs, thousands attend 1/29/10 Copyright
UN Climate Change
“Conferences of Parties” COP
• All countries, NGOs, thousands attend
1/29/10
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Main negotiation issue: Cumulative vs. Current Emissions • Developed Countries (US, EU …) – Responsible
Main negotiation issue:
Cumulative vs. Current Emissions
• Developed Countries (US, EU …)
– Responsible for most of cumulative CO 2 now in atmosphere
• Developing Countries
– China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, OASIS, Africa, G77…
– Emissions increasing, will dominate in future
– China now #1 for current CO 2 emissions, per year
– Per-capita emissions still lower than in developed countries
• “Common but Differentiated Responsibilities”
– For emissions reductions, taking all the above into account
– Kyoto Protocol language
• Science => Globally, already near CO 2 limit ~ 400 ppm
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Total Cumulative CO 2 emissions (150 years) • US, EU responsible for 57% and China
Total Cumulative CO 2
emissions (150 years)
• US, EU responsible for 57% and China 7%
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Other Major Issues • Economic growth for developing countries – Who pays for what and
Other Major Issues
• Economic growth for developing countries
– Who pays for what and when (ST/LT financing)
• “Climate Justice”
– Some island states will probably disappear (Maldives)
– Africa will be hit very hard, didn’t contribute to GW
• COAL COAL COAL
– China, US… cheap coal-based, huge GW problem
• Cap & Trade vs. Carbon Tax; Carbon Markets
• Potential Disaster vs. Vested Interest Politics
– How much will we Stick Our Heads In The Sand?
1/29/10
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Other Copenhagen Activities • Klimaforum • Business Forum • Carbon Finance • Exhibits • Side
Other Copenhagen Activities
• Klimaforum
• Business Forum
• Carbon Finance
• Exhibits
• Side Events
Presentation: NGO CSD
paper at Klimaforum =>
1/29/10
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Copenhagen Accord • Negotiations became chaotic, stalled, acrimonious • Obama late visit => “Copenhagen
Copenhagen Accord
• Negotiations became chaotic, stalled, acrimonious
• Obama late visit => “Copenhagen Accord”
– Best that could be accomplished (alternative = “nothing”)
– 2 degree target on temperature change is explicit (progress)
– Emission reduction programs by country will be listed
• China promises some mitigation with some verification (progress)
– Measure, Report, Verify “MRV” provisions
– Long Term Funding for developing countries $100B/yr by 2020
– NOT legally binding
• Viewed as a “First step” toward treaty (COP16 Mexico 2010)
• Third world: not “fair, ambitious, binding” (not “FAB”)
• Proposed reductions: way too small for 2 degree C target
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Carbon Finance Introduction 1/29/10 Copyright Jan W. Dash 45
Carbon Finance
Introduction
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Clean Development Mechanism CDM • Market mechanism set up by Kyoto Protocol – Projects for
Clean Development Mechanism CDM
• Market mechanism set up by Kyoto Protocol
– Projects for emissions reductions in developing
countries, financed by developed countries that
receive Carbon credits
• So far 2,000 projects, but
– Not too significant for CO 2 globally yet
– Need to prove “additionality”, difficult
– Bureaucratic delays for project approval…
• Expansion of CDM: forests, C sequestration?
1/29/10
Copyright Jan W. Dash
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REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation, Forest Degradation) • Don’t Add atmospheric CO 2 – Sequestration
REDD (Reduced Emissions from
Deforestation, Forest Degradation)
• Don’t Add atmospheric CO 2
– Sequestration of Carbon in trees
• Problem of permanence (disease, fire)
– Ex: Huge Canadian forests decimated by pine
beetles (moving north due to warmer climate)
• REDD+
– Includes C stock enhancement, management…
1/29/10
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Allowances, Offsets • Allowances: European Union – Each country has certain # allowances (Kyoto targets)
Allowances, Offsets
• Allowances: European Union
– Each country has certain # allowances (Kyoto targets)
– Country then determines # allowances for businesses ABC
– ABC surrenders one allowance for each ton of CO 2 emitted
– ABC can sell unused allowances as carbon credits
– ABC can buy needed allowances privately or open market.
• Offsets: Compliance Market
– Govts. buy offsets to comply with national CO 2 caps
– Financial support of projects that reduce CO 2 emissions
– CDM-approved Certified Emissions Reductions CER given
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Carbon Trading • Trading in Carbon assets (allowances, offsets) • European Emission Trading Scheme ETS
Carbon Trading
• Trading in Carbon assets (allowances, offsets)
• European Emission Trading Scheme ETS
– Goal: Minimize cost of meeting emissions targets
• Cap and Trade for CO 2 in US
– Basis for climate negotiations, US energy bill
– Voluntary Chicago Climate Exchange - small
• Hansen’s Fee and Dividend idea is different
– Tax C at source, $ straight back to all US taxpayers
1/29/10
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Investment • Green Energy – Siemens solar in N. Africa => Europe with HVDC –
Investment
• Green Energy
– Siemens solar in N. Africa
=> Europe with HVDC
– Bloomberg Forum 2009
• US govt. impetus needed
– Ex: Recovery Act:
Obama Administration
Delivers over $106 Million
for Energy Efficiency
and Conservation Projects
in Nine States
1/29/10
Copyright Jan W. Dash
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What Scares ME? • Methane from permafrost melting => uncontrollable global warming • Complacency, inertia,
What Scares ME?
• Methane from permafrost melting =>
uncontrollable global warming
• Complacency, inertia, expediency,
disinformation may prevent effective
timely action to counter global warming
• My grandson looking back and saying
“Grampa didn’t do enough”
1/29/10
Copyright Jan W. Dash
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Bottom Line • Global warming exists, humans are causing it, impacts will be increasingly severe
Bottom Line
• Global warming exists, humans are causing
it, impacts will be increasingly severe
• If we act decisively, we CAN mitigate GW
• Mitigation is not free, but is cheaper than
Do Nothing Business As Usual
– Mitigation will ameliorate human suffering
• $Opportunities will abound
1/29/10
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Appendix: The Contrarians Who are they? What do they say? Why are they wrong? 1/29/10
Appendix: The Contrarians
Who are they?
What do they say?
Why are they wrong?
1/29/10
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Who are the contrarians and what are their goals? • Contrarians are mostly not climate
Who are the contrarians and
what are their goals?
• Contrarians are mostly not climate scientists
– Ex: news weathermen are not climate scientists
• Contrarians are mostly U.S. phenomenon
– Dominate US right-wing climate agenda
– Support from fossil fuel, libertarian think tanks
• Exxonsecrets.org has details
• Contrarian goals: stop climate legislation and
regulation, stop mitigation of global warming
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The Nature of Science • Science is “knowledge”, a web of facts and theory, together
The Nature of Science
• Science is “knowledge”, a web of facts and
theory, together very strong
– But, science is not mathematics
– Mathematics: one chink or a missing fact or minor
error invalidates a proof
– Science: never “proves”, only degrees of certainty
• Scientists are already “skeptics”, need persuasion
– BUT once persuaded, need good reasons to change
• Scientists in the field publish in journals
– Peer review acts as a good (not perfect) filter
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Contrarian Distortion of Science • Contrarian conjectures are not science – Wrong, misinformed, irrelevant,
Contrarian Distortion of Science
• Contrarian conjectures are not science
– Wrong, misinformed, irrelevant, distorted, cherry-picking, flimsy
• Ex: “Sun responsible for recent global warming” = wrong
– Good description = “Cargo-Cult” pseudoscience (Feynman)
• Common contrarian tactics are not scientific
– Use mass media (not peer-reviewed journals)
– Ignore critiques of their arguments / conjectures
– Copy Big Tobacco “doubt on smoking danger” tactic
– Try to put “science in the courtroom”, use lawyer obfuscation
– Try to discredit climate science and scientists
• Nitpick, turn molehills into mountains, falsely generalize
– Contrarian op-eds => destructive “Swift-Boat attacks” on science
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Solar Fluctuations did NOT cause global warming since 1980 • Sun just Oscillating: NO increasing
Solar Fluctuations did NOT cause
global warming since 1980
• Sun just Oscillating: NO increasing trend
– Contrarian conjecture of recent solar influence = False
• Data: GISS/NASA
1/29/10
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Contrarian Attacks Wrong, Irrelevant, Unwarranted • Contrarian “Global Cooling” Conjecture => Wrong –
Contrarian Attacks
Wrong, Irrelevant, Unwarranted
• Contrarian “Global Cooling” Conjecture => Wrong
– Cherry-picks the starting date 1998, indefensible scientifically
• 1998 had high temperature due to huge El Niño weather effect
• “Hacked emails” => Irrelevant to science results
– Investigation underway, BUT contrarian generalization is false:
– Climate science results, existence of global warming, climate
data, models, projected impacts are NOT affected
• “Himalayan glaciers” => Unwarranted attack on IPCC
– 2007 IPCC reports, summarize published work, 3000 pages
– One paragraph was wrong (p. 493, Vol. II)
– Glitch in IPCC review process, not general
• Ref: Realclimate.org, also exhaustive AP email review
1/29/10
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Bottom Line on Contrarians • Main tactic: Sow doubt • Main goal: Stop action on
Bottom Line on Contrarians
• Main tactic: Sow doubt
• Main goal: Stop action on global warming
• More information on Realclimate.org
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