Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Reader Poll on Global Warming

Just curious. If you wouldn't mind, please assign what chance (0% - 100%) you think that each of the following is true:

1) The Earth warmed, on average, around .75 degrees C during the 20th century.

2) The main influence of this warming was man-made greenhouse emissions.

3) Variations in solar output have had a significant influence on global warming.

4) If global warming is happening, it will have serious detrimental effects on humanity.

5) If global warming is happening, humanity is capable of halting or reversing it.

6) There was a scientific consensus on "global cooling" in the 70s.

9 comments:

Mordechai said...

I can only answer a few because I actually do not know enough on the topic to reply to some:

(1) Do not know.
(2) 90%.
(3)Do not know.
(4) 100%.
(5) 50%.
(6) Do not know.

Skcorefil said...

Guesses without looking anything up.

1.) 80%
2.) 60%
3.) 28%- I would say 90% if I thought you meant statistically significant. But I don't think you mean the word 'significant' in that manner.
4.) 30%
5.) 95% if this global warming is human produced. 0% if it is natural.
6.) 8%

matt said...

1)75%
2)45%
3)It depends on the time scale, 0% for the current trend, but probably had an effect in the past.
4)100% Any climate change even to an overall better climate will have huge transition costs.
5)50% Global warming is probably stopping the next ice age which is over due from starting, stopping it might be worse
6)1% This was never a consensus but was a concern

wil said...

1) 95%
2) 95%
3) 5%
4) 80%
5) 50% [I think it is technologically possible, but I don't know that we have the political will]
6) 0%

Orthoprax said...

1) 95%+ - assuming our measurements are accurate.
2) 90%
3) Significant? Meaning what exactly? 100% for geologic time periods, minor for the last century.
4) 60% - short time would be a difficult adjustment period, but the long term could find it being beneficial. It's way worse for natural ecosystems and biodiversity than human habitation.
5) Again, on what time period? 0% in our lifetimes. 100% over the course of millennia.
6) 0%

In all likelihood, however, based on the patterns of the last 100,000 years, there's gonna be another ice age sometime in the next few thousand years which will effectively make all these warming trends moot. Humanity is messing with the climate a little, but there are way bigger forces in play over the long term.

BTA said...

No doubt you have a point to make, but I have side point to make which might be of service. The reason Global Warming has become the "hot" topic it has is the convergence of several psychologically important trends (tipping points):

1. pollution is getting to a point of such magnitude that it affects the quality of life of most people on earth. The measures involved in cutting greenhouse gases also cut pollution (thereby improving air quality, lowering poison water and fish).

2. Energy is becoming scarce and only conservation will help. There is a synergy in lowering petroleum consumption and preseving future economic sustainability as well as sustainablility of the massive current population of earth, which is inextricably intertwined with petroleum products from oil to fertilizers and pesticides.

j_ben_e said...

Just curious. If you wouldn't mind, please assign what chance (0% - 100%) you think that each of the following is true:

1) The Earth warmed, on average, around .75 degrees C during the 20th century. 100% - that's a single .75 deg over the 100 years (normally I object to the term 20th century but in this 'global warming religion' context, I'll let it pass)

2) The main influence of this warming was man-made greenhouse emissions. 0%, none, nil, naught (I will concede that if I weighed as much as Al Gore, I'd think the earth was warming too)

3) Variations in solar output have had a significant influence on global warming. 100% (very significant and combined with geothermal activity within the earth accounts for all temperature variation (unless earth's orbit is changing))

4) If global warming is happening, it will have serious detrimental effects on humanity. 50% (short term detrimental, long term positive (like a flood that cleanses the earth, global warming could be like earth having a fever to kill some of the life forms that make it sick, with an ultimate positive effect for hashem's chosen survivors)

5) If global warming is happening, humanity is capable of halting or reversing it. 0% (maybe if the 'global warming religionists' all hold hands and sing kumbaya and then beat drums it will go away - if not, Jim Jones kool-aid might solve 'their' problem)

6) There was a scientific consensus on "global cooling" in the 70s. 5% (Paul Ehrlich - the L.Ron Hubbard wannabe of the 5730s rounded up a few of the 'usual suspects' for his consensus)

Mark said...

JA,
1. Yes.
2. don't know.
3. possible, but don't know.
4. No.
5. No.
6. Sort of, but really don't know.

A exorbitantly detailed response can be found here. .

Stephen (aka Q) said...

1) The Earth warmed, on average, around .75 degrees C during the 20th century.

• 90%

2) The main influence of this warming was man-made greenhouse emissions.

• 80%

3) Variations in solar output have had a significant influence on global warming.

• 10%

4) If global warming is happening, it will have serious detrimental effects on humanity.

• 80%

5) If global warming is happening, humanity is capable of halting or reversing it.

• 50%

6) There was a scientific consensus on "global cooling" in the 70s.

• 60%

I haven't paid rigorous attention to the science, which means I'm likely out to lunch on some significant elements of the debate. But I am genuinely worried, largely because I don't trust government, industry, or even science to support tough measures now to stave off serious problems in a future generation.