A Climate Plea From the Liberal Camp

By Keith Kloor | June 14, 2011 4:56 pm

Stop saying everything is because of climate change. Just stop it.

The “weatherdude” implores the Daily Kos community.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: climate bloggers, climate change
  • sharper00

    Please stop mentioning recession when discussing the economy! Being in a recession causes many bad things but not every single job loss and business closure!
    ¬
    Reality has a very annoying feature. It doesn’t stop because you get bored of it.

  • Jack Hughes

    Maybe Climate Change is the new Racism. This worked so well in the old days to end any debate on any subject.

  • http://collide-a-scape.com Keith Kloor

    You mean the way calling someone a liberal today works the same way?

  • allen mcmahon

    @1 The difference of course is the effect of the recession is supported by evidence,  job losses economic slowdown etc. but with AGW the link to any weather event is tenuous at best.

  • kdk33

    “Maybe Climate Change is the new Racism”

    But which side:  the republican-deniers or the alarmo-socialists (ie liberals).  BTW Keith, I think only the party OUT of power gets to play the victim.

  • http://rankexploits.com/musings lucia

    @4–
    Isn’t the recession just defined as the economic slowdown?

  • http://collide-a-scape.com Keith Kloor

    @5

    Demagoguery is demagoguery, unless it’s from one’s own side, of course.

  • grypo

    Well, weatherdude doesn’t really capture the reason that tornadoes are brought up in relation to warming well and he overstates his case, but the point is taken. ¬†He also doesn’t understand trends, if he thinks one more year will give him the freedom to call trend. ¬†But liberals are all over the map anyway. ¬†Some want to preserve the social democracy, other want to replace it completely. ¬†He’s not going to herd cats with that rant.

  • allen mcmahon

    @4 or by labeling someone a ‘denier’. The terminology used typify s that¬† extremists at either end of the spectrum have highjacked¬† the debate.

  • http://rabett.blogspot.com Eli Rabett

    OK, rejectionist.
    ¬
    But there are weather events that ARE related to human driven climate change in surprising ways,
    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2011/06/eli-is-evil-bunny.html
    And, of course there are others who think that nothing is related to climate change in any way whatsoever.

  • Stu

    Linking any kind of bad weather to climate change is really like a kind of marketing. Unusually hot day in the neighbourhood? ¬†Think climate change. Tornadoes on the news? Climate change. Cold elsewhere? Isn’t it time you thought about climate change?
    ¬
    The CC activists may just have beaten the tobacco companies at their own game.

  • allen mcmahon

    @6 true but I don’t think semantics cut it with the people who suffer as a result of a recession.

  • Jeff Norris

    @Tom
    What is the Danish Model?¬† Can it be replicated here or elsewhere?¬† I Cherry picked some numbers and without seeing some older history I don’t see any dramatic improvements by the Danes.¬† It does seem the US is making some¬† improvements despite a 40% population growth.
    ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 1980¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 1985¬†¬† 1990¬†¬†¬†¬† 1995¬†¬† 2003¬†¬†¬†¬†¬
    BTU      168          160     150      168     165         Denmark
    Pop.      5.12       5.1      5.14     5.23    5.36
                 345           321    339       347    339          U S
                226 .9     237.5   249 .4   262.7  279.8
    http://gsociology.icaap.org/data/eia_gdp.xls

    Here is some other interesting comparisons
    ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Denmark¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† U.S.¬†¬†¬
    motor vehicles per 100 p                     408                            765
    aircraft departures¬†¬†¬† per captia¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 20.35¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†28.85¬†¬†¬
    Air transport, freight      190.23 million tons/km  37,357.64 million
    TV receivers per captia¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 574¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 740¬
    Cinema attendance per 1000             2,009.39                  4,804.99

  • Jeff Norris

    @12 Wrong Thread

  • EdG

    Weather dude’s message was about the limits to crying wolf.¬†Credibility is already crumbling and this AGW causes everything story has become¬†laughable and¬†counterproductive. So for AGW proponents it is good advice… which will almost certainly be ignored.

  • Barry Woods

    Any body seen the mess greenpeace and the ipcc have just gottent into, with respect to 80% renewables….
    ¬
    Mark lynas and Steve Mcintyre are in agreement
    ¬
    &reenpeace grey literature, reviewed by greenpeace lead author and direct renewable commercial veste interests thrown in!
    ¬
    Even the &uardian’s Leo Hickman sees the problem,see Bishop Hill for his twittering.
    ¬
    The IPCC seem to have learnmt nothing……

  • Pascvaks

    ‘Oh, the sound of one small voice crying in the wilderness’, a true plea for reason, restraint, knows no side.¬† Has anyone else noticed that young people are really angry about just about everything today?¬† Something’s going to happen soon, no ’bout a’dout it.¬† Forget the climate of the¬†Earth’s weather, the climate of man is changing¬†far faster.¬† People are getting a little antsy.. OK real antsy.¬†

  • http://collide-a-scape.com Keith Kloor

    Barry, I was putting up a new post as you were commenting…

  • JohnB

    The silliest part about the rukus is that there must be a connection.

    Nobody AFAIK is denying that the climate is changing, that is expected. Personnally I would be far more worried if it stopped changing as that would indicate a severe interruption in the climate system.

    Similarly few sceptics would deny that man has had some effect on the climate, either on a local or global scale.

    The main point of disagreement is in the size of the “A” in AGW.

    However if a sceptic is be honest,¬†(and so long as they don’t think the value of the A is zero) we must logically conclude two things;

    1. Since global climate is the average of local climates, then man must have some effect on global climate. The effect may be believed to be small, but it must exist.

    2. Since climate is the average of weather, then a change in climate must mean a change in average weather. You simply cannot have the average change without the inputs changing.

    From these points it must be concluded that a “human effect” is present in any change in occurrence of extreme events. At the moment the value of that human effect cannot be quantified, but any logical sceptic must agree that it exists.

    I believe Gavin Schmidt made a similar comment recently about tornadoes and I totally agree with his take on it. The effect must be there, but putting a number on it is another kettle of fish.

    While weatherdude is correct in asking people not to blame everything on climate change he is also wrong. Climate change is the cause of changes in local weather, either from local human changes or from other changes in the global system. Nothing in climate is in isolation, it is all interconnected.

    The difference lies in what to do about the problem. Those who believe the “A” is large, specifically CO2, will want to do something about CO2. ie Concentrate on mitigation policies.. Those of us who think the “A” is small will want to concentrate on adaptation.

    My personal view is that adaptation is in fact the only sensible policy. Even if we magically change all civilisation to carbon neutral or whatever, the climate will still change and we will still have to adapt. If the climate naturally warmed to levels last seen at the Holocene Optimum, then the seas would rise by 2 metres or so and massive changes to rainfall and temps would occur. We would have to adapt.

    We are the first segment of civilisation in the history of our world that actually understands that the climate changes. Previously people thought that “what is always was” and stories to the contrary were just “Old Mans Tales”. Previous segments didn’t think further ahead than the next generation or two and climate change wasn’t something that entered into their thoughts.

    But we understand that the climate changes and we understand that we must factor this into our considerations for the welfare of future generations. We don’t expect our civilisation to fall, we expect that it will adapt and overcome and thrive.¬†¬†¬†

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About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, a senior editor at Cosmos magazine, and adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.

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