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But What If Global Warming is All a Hoax?

Written By: John Poole on December 8, 2009 510 Comments

scan0001This was probably the best global warming cartoon I’ve seen.  I caught it in yesterday’s USA today which I only read while I’m in the airport for some reason.  There should be another guy asking, “But what if it’s true and we don’t do anything.”  And then they’ll have a guy on the stage with a list of catastrophic events like ramped disease, hightened natural disasters, and cities under water.  That would be funny.

But seriously, forget about all the benefits of climate change mitigation and think about the potential effects of global warming, they could totally ruin us.  So basically, the risk of not doing anything is huge and the risk of doing something is, well, nothing.  I really have a lot of difficultly listening to flat Earthers cry about some hoax or conspiracy.  If we don’t curb climate change and the potential effects that come with it, we’re going to have more problems than Tiger Woods’ marriage.

In fact, a few extramarital transgressions will be the least of our problems because the greatest transgression of all will be too great to reverse – the pollution of the planet.  The bottom line is that the Earth is warming.  And while you could claim that this is some natural cycle of global temperature, you should first consider that the Earth’s average temperature is 14 degrees Celsius and it has gone up 1 degree Celsius over the past 150 years.  That’s a 7% increase – and this is in only 150 years!  Geologically speaking, 10,000 years is a nano second and 150 is a negligible amount of time.

The following excerpt was taken from the website of the COP15 conference:

At present the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is about 385 ppm (parts per million). Before industrialization it was about 280 ppm. Analyses of air contained in ice from the Antarctic ice cap show that there is far more CO2 in the air today than at any time in the last 650,000 years.

Yesterday marked the beginning of the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference which is being held in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Many are hoping for the conference to result in an ambitious agreement to reduce carbon emissions involving all countries of the World.  In the very least it is a refreshing opportunity for leaders of the World to discuss a threat for which a unified effort is necessary.

I’m personally not going to listen to any nay-sayers of the green movement or efforts to curb climate change because there is very little detrimental results that could come for any approach at reversing climate change – the risk of doing nothing is just far too great.

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510 Responses to “But What If Global Warming is All a Hoax?”

  1. CD says on: 9 December 2009 at 8:04 am

    “So basically, the risk of not doing anything is huge and the risk of doing something is, well, nothing.”

    Actually, the “risk of not doing anything” pales in comparison to the risk of economic devastation that has been predicted if aggressive state-controlled restrictions are placed on CO2 emissions.

    “I’m personally not going to listen to any nay-sayers of the green movement or efforts to curb climate change….”

    What? Not even “listen?” Whether you care to admit it or not, there is considerable disagreement in the scientific community over the effect of human activities on “climate change.” The very essence of scientific inquiry is to “listen” to and evaluate the conclusions of other scientists. As the Climategate scandal has revealed, the proponents of anthropogenic causes of what was formerly called global warming (before the earth started cooling again)have betrayed the scientific process by consciously squelching contrary views and pushing their agenda as if it were a religious mission. Can there be any surprise that most of the public has not embraced the religious fervor of global warming alarmists who appear to be driven more by the desire for increased government domination over our lives than they are by a desire to seek the truth? They have squandered whatever credibility they once had. And I say this as someone who once believed them until I started digging deeper.

  2. John Poole says on: 9 December 2009 at 9:16 am

    Ok fine, I’ll listen, but I’m not going to believe them.

    Can’t we ride a bike to work or how about this? Live closer to work? We can also develop communitites where working, shopping, and recreation is close to where we live. This just doesn’t seem to devestating to me.

  3. Jon says on: 9 December 2009 at 9:22 am

    Ignorance is bliss.

  4. John Poole says on: 9 December 2009 at 9:47 am

    I guess I don’t understand Jon, what do you mean?

    And BTW, CD, I can’t think of anything that pales in comparison to disease and death.

  5. Bruce Hanawalt says on: 9 December 2009 at 10:54 am

    John,

    It makes little difference if the global warming is a hoax or not. There are issues which coincide with this which will impact future generations, regardless. Namely, pollution,(air, land and water) sustainable energy, food shortages, continued reduction of resources etc. Should these subjects be mitigated climate will no longer be seen as the cause but, rather, man’s encroachment into the natural order of things. Climate is the whipping boy. Man is the culprit.

  6. Alison Snow says on: 9 December 2009 at 11:14 am

    Sorry, John, but I don’t think you get the gist of the ‘humor’ in the cartoon. What the guy is really saying is that he doesn’t want to pay a dime, lift a finger, or change any behaviour that would help improve our environmental health. The question no one seems to be asking is “Even if it can’t be proved to within a shaddow of a doubt that humans are causing global warming, don’t we feel we should clean up the environmental mess we have made?” Our earth is in one heck of a disastrous state and those with the money/power are the only ones that can really do something about it… unless the rest of the human population fight them.

  7. David says on: 9 December 2009 at 11:40 am

    Although I certainly want to have a healthy planet, I have been frustrated at the debate which clearly demonstrates that the public at large does not understand the global warming / green house gases issue.

    The contention that global temperatures have increased 7% is an example of the many misunderstandings. Even if we accept the given measurement of a 1 degree Celsius increase in temperature, the correct measurement would be relative to the absolute scale or Kelvins. That would equate to an increase of 1 degree over 287 degrees (14 degrees Celsius = 287 Kelvins) or a 0.3% increase – not 7% increase.

    Given the fact that we are being asked to accept that two of the chemicals that are vital to the existance of life on our planet should now be considered pollution and the fact that recent events indicate that some scientists may have conspired to manipulate research results to “prove” global warming, I think that people are right to be skeptical.

  8. Isabelle says on: 9 December 2009 at 12:36 pm

    It’s not about government domination or denial of truth or whatever other conspiracy theory you wish to think up. If there is such a thing as global warming, then we don’t have a choice but to do something. But if there’s not, it doesn’t mean we need to continue to ruin this planet the way we have for the past century. At the risk of sounding very cliché, our kids, and their kids, deserve to live in a healthy world, not between piles of garbage.
    If companies would start making efforts on there own, there would be no need for government imposed regulations.

  9. Michael Mills says on: 9 December 2009 at 3:35 pm

    I have 2 issues with the way Global Warming and the whole green thing is being implemented.

    1. If we want to clean up the environment, fine lets do it – I’m just fine with that. As a stormwater engineer, I tend to be more conscientious about the quality of water than most people I know. I can drive some people crazy when I talk conversation of water. But to say that Global Warming is solely because of people and give no consideration to change as a natural occurence of this world is just being ignorant. 1 degree celcius increase in 150 years and no global temperature change in the past 7 to 8 years, but many still act like the sky is falling and the judging public scold SUV drivers for it. FYI…back in 1975, we were supposedly experiencing Global Cooling (see front page of Newsweek). Are you telling me that emisions without emission standards in the 70’s were NOT worse than emission standards in the 21st century and, as a result, we’ve reversed the whole worlds environment in 30 years? i find it hard to believe. Nevertheless, “chicken little” continues to be the authority and judge others while they are consuming its water from PLASTIC bottles imported from other states because they’ve already ruined their own resources. And now they have a garbage problem too. Get the picture?

    2. Being green has consequences that must be thought through before they are put out there for discussion and definitely before programs are implemented. If more people thought things through, there would be less accusatory talk, less judging and more action. Being green is often about trading one sin for another. We now have longer lasting light bulbs, but, we’ve re-introduced mercury into them that makes the waste a threat to the environment. We want bio fuels but it will deplete our food source. We have hand sanitizer but now we are not allowing our bodies to develop resistance to some germs thus reducing our ability to remain healthy. We want to eat vegetarian, but, they want to make it look like meat so they irradiate it, process it with preservatives/chemicals and add artificial colors and flavors. We don’t want coal-fired power plants but the alternative is Three Mile Island. We want to use windpower to generate electricity but they have a tendency of filet-ing birds as they fly by AND, in the land of the Kennedy’s, it was voted down because it was an “eye-sore” and reduced their property values…get the picture?

    Bottom line, we need to offer solutions, get off our thrones/bar stools and do something about it. Quit judging everyone who doesn’t think the same, quit labeling and putting people in categories for subsequent verbal abuse. Instead, lead by example. i don’t know anyone who would not want cleaner air and water. Please, show us how!

    And, when we talk about doing something about global warming, we also need to understand that the consequence will be loss of jobs for those who are older because they are either not up to speed with new technologies or they cannot easily convert over.

    Less oil money going into the pockets of those in the Middle East would be just fine with me, too. That money is being used against us in more ways than you and i can conceive. The key is efficiency and reduction in our insatiable appetite for fuel. We can all help by quit giving our kids cars. We pay for school buses and they run whether we use them or not. So, make them use it. My son does and he’s a sophomore in high school.

    I can’t believe i wrote all this…probably strayed off the path a couple of times…gotta go…thanks for reading!

  10. Wilgur says on: 9 December 2009 at 3:38 pm

    There is a huge impact if the climate issues are a big hoax. Those foisting the hoax upon us are going to rake in billions of dollars while driving the rest of us to the poor house. We won’t be able to afford to eat, drink, or live. Yea, that’s just hilarious.

  11. Russell King says on: 9 December 2009 at 4:40 pm

    So, as an engineeer, what scale are we talking about here, Celsius or Kelvins? I know what both of them are, but which one is being used by the community to prove the earth is warming? David is right because it makes a huge difference as a percentage.

  12. John Poole says on: 9 December 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Good God Michael, that is one long comment. I think the Earth’s temperature inceased .1 degrees Kelvin while I was reading it. Just kidding, you actually bring up a good point about the old people who don’t want to change to all this green crap because their skills will be outdated. I don’t really blame them, but they kind of need to retire in my opinion.

    Anyway, regarding the Celsius and Kelvin thing, I think David is correct to some extent. We should look at it in Kelvin which is basically a temperature scale where zero is the temperature at which all matter stops moving. I don’t think it exists even on Pluto. 273 Kelvin is the freezing point of water and 373 Kelvin is the boiling point of water. So the increment is the same as Celsius. Now, since the temperatures on this planet doesn’t get anywhere near zero degrees Kelvin I don’t think you can look at the percentage on the full 373 degree scale. However, I was incorrect with the 7% line. It’s less than that, probably like 3% or something.

  13. Jeff says on: 9 December 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Seems to me that global climate change is a phenomenon that can be measured and proven by science. However, I do have a number of objections to the politics of it:

    1. There is no conclusive scientific evidence that the actions of mankind are responsible for it. Majority consensus of the scientific community is insufficient. Biogenesis was believed to be a scientific “fact” for hundreds of years due to such a consensus.
    2. As an engineer, I am highly skeptical of models that predict the global temperature to withing a few degrees C 50 years in the future when the best meteorological scientists today cannot predict the local weather that accurately 7 days in advance.
    3. When the “scientific community” destroys data and shuns alternative hypotheses, they stop being scientists and become Shamen (or perhaps the Inquisition. Take your pick).
    4. How can you take the “experts” seriously when they hypocritically descend on Copenhagen for a summit, traveling in more private jets than the airport can accommodate?

  14. Nimia Acebes says on: 10 December 2009 at 2:33 am

    Let’s do somethng to address global warming or else we will all suffer due to the negative effects of it.

  15. William says on: 10 December 2009 at 4:02 am

    To all of you who still believe there is no climate change going on caused by human activity I strongly recommend to read one or more of the articles on the WWF website: http://www.panda.org/about_our_earth/aboutcc/cause/climate_sceptics/

    Every possible denial is well argumented with facts and figures. If after reading all or only the part about which you have your doubts, you still claim “Global warming is a hoax” or “Global warming stopped in 1998” or “There is no conscensus” or any other opinion against the fact there is a problem with our climate well then…

  16. Bruce says on: 10 December 2009 at 8:54 am

    Debate is one of the fine approaches to discussion of a problem that helped found this country. Closing one’s mind to a dissenting opinion just because they disagree indicates a limited capacity to learn as well as a potential fear of being swayed by a better argument. If you totally close your mind to any approach you risk throwing away the potential solution to whatever problem is being discussed.
    In response to the bike riding statement, I’ve been a cyclist for over 30 years. I’ve even ridden my bike when I live 34 miles from my work. I didn’t do it because of some scare tactics about global warming, I did it because I didn’t want to make the oil refineries richer and because I enjoy it. I certainly don’t like the idea of anyone telling me I have to ride a bike or live closer to my work just because they feel a need to be the nanny to the population.
    Any time someone takes the right to choose from any American, they cause the Republic to die a little more. We don’t need legislation to get people involved, we need people to get off their collective asses and get involved. If you believe in global warming, don’t prattle about it on a blog or at a cocktail party, start finding ways to help your neighbors reduce their polluting ways that are fun or at least easy. Once a person gets started, they will be inclined to continue. Most just need to break their bad habits.

  17. William McCloskey says on: 10 December 2009 at 9:20 am

    Carbon emission has nothing to do with pollution. This is about people like Al Gore getting rich and have Western European Socialism rammed down our throats.

    http://www.saynocapandtrade.com/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrtG6xz0nqo

    http://www.taxfoundation.org/blog/show/25075.html

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704342404574576073505546070.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

  18. Greg Osterloh says on: 10 December 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Interesting discussion by some very intelligent people. I love to see the civil discourse. As a renewable energy developer and engineer, I would like to re-frame the discussion a little. I think that the cartoon is a pretty good depiction of reality. My point is this, regardless of whether you believe global warming is real, man induced, or otherwise, I would like to pose a few tidbits for review.

    1) It makes sense to produce power and liquid fuels more cleanly. I hope we can all agree on that.

    2)There is no ONE solution, it takes a mix.

    3) on a whole, our energy, transportation and infrastructure is very inefficient with lots of room for improvement

    4) until recently, there is very little economic cost associated to pollution… we are a capitalist society and people tend to find the most economically efficient path. Cradle to grave responsibility for all products and services would balance the playing field.

    5) Clean air and water is a requirement, not an option.

    6) The science behind medicine has much room for dispute as well, but if you look at overall survivability and life expectancy, we have improved. Why are we arguing about how much the earth has increased in temperature, etc. rather than focusing on what really matters? Do it better than we did yesterday and constantly improve as we get more data.

    7) Whether co2 increases are man made or natural, it has a very large impact on some pretty major issues. Ocean acidification is a big one. If you don’t believe it, go diving sometime and have a look.

    8) Burning fossil fuels to make power is really old school and hasn’t changed dramatically in 200 years. C’mon people, we can send a probe to mars, but cant figure out how to heat water more efficiently than incineration?

    I guess my point is that the core technologies to make power, move people from one place to another, clean the water and generally not be so wasteful already exist. They may cost a little more for the first few years until the scale and efficiency are increased. just like what occurred in the coal, oil and natural gas industries. If we assessed a real dollar value to doing it more cleanly (how much is “acceptable” levels) these new technologies would be cheaper than older dirtier technologies. It’s a very simple concept.

    The thing that gets me, is that older technologies are grandfathered in, while new technologies must meet current emissions standards. With that imbalance, coal and gasoline will always be cheaper.

    The scope and scale of the overall impact on air, water and solid contamination of the earth from the co2, nox, sox, methane, ash, heavy metals, particulate matter (pm), and everything that is emitted from burning things is under discussion. to me, that is relevant, but the real question should be this…

    If we can accomplish the task without all the adverse by products, why wouldn’t we? It is certainly not going to hurt us.

    I think that was the point.

    I would love to hear your comments. Have a great day and keep thinking!

    Greg

  19. Derrick says on: 15 December 2009 at 1:56 am

    After looking at the subject brings me to think about a blog I wrote concerning one of our most greatest inventors his name was Stanley Meyers, he invented a car that ran on water this is an invention to create the ending of the fake wars we are having because 80% of America is blind and we can use the name sheep because they are getting slaughtered, financially and mentally all the time. It takes education and dedication to advance in this world. Well back to Mr Meyers this invention he made would create a safe to use fuel this machine makes water into a fuel that can run a car properly his big mistake was getting a patent in Washington DC, he pushed the issue and the patent was delayed he went to a few other countries and they gave him the patent after time went by he was exposed on the news about his invention and I am sure most people would think this is a plus to all of us as Americans but it was the cause of his death.

    Stanley Meyers was contacted by someone from a Arab nation they offered him a large amount of money he did not accept this offer. Now I am explain this story briefly but after he turned that offer down and dealing with the patent issue with Washington DC he was in involved with NASA and dealing with some engineers and scientist things started to become a big advancement for Stan he never saw it coming someone gave him food poisoning this was the cause of his death. I am not sure which project or division he was working with but when you make something to better our nation we have people who control all of the markets.

    Meaning that you have to play ball sometimes, an old saying goes I turned from traveling to country to country is that you take your head out of the lions mouth slowly and you can keep it this way, Stan Meyers under estimated the ability of the higher ups who are involved with political issues. If your interested in my blog please feel free to visit me!

    Thanks for reading!

    Derrick Lewis
    http://polishyt.blogspot.com

  20. Richard Rosene says on: 15 December 2009 at 6:53 am

    Cars, and all forms of transportation get the most attention from what I see and really buildings use lots more energy. We have huge deposits of coal reserves in this country and from what I read the technology to generate electricity with it cleanly, most homes are heated with natural gas which is a somewhat limited fuel that should be reserved for use in homes and not squandered to generate electricity just because it supposedly is less poluting. We need to use all types of fuel for the right purposes and we need to make the fuels and their producers clean them up to the greatest economical degree possible. The people pushing this seem intent on driving us back to living like “modern” cavemen.

    Let’s face it; we can only do so much to “change” the earth’s climate; we cannot possibly change it enough to really notice even if we stopped burning fossil fuels completely. We should, however, be doing everything possible to make every fuel as energy efficient and clean as possible.

  21. Leigh says on: 18 December 2009 at 3:47 pm

    All of you proponents bringing up other environmental issues need to understand one vital point – CO2 IS NOT POLLUTION! You people always bring up clean living, healthy planet, save the children from pollution – yes those are goals we ALL share. CO2 is being used for money and power, it is not pollution, it is not driving climate change. So quit bringing the two subjects up like they are related.

    CO2 IS NOT POLLUTION
    CO2 IS NOT POLLUTION…

  22. Sherri Gibson says on: 18 December 2009 at 6:56 pm

    That is a brilliant comic strip and I will be showing it to my AP Environmental Science class after the winter break. =)

    But…

    What about the fact that the climate DOES change? Climate cannot stay the same, even if we “humans” stop the horrible things we’re doing to Mother Earth. Personally, I think we should “Go Green” because it’s the more natural thing to do. As for climate change, it’s going to happen with or without burning fossil fuels and we should just do what all of the other organisms do: Adapt, Move, or Die. It makes no sense to throw a fit because the land can no longer support the large money crops that we think it should.

    Why not just grow local, native crops and adapt ourselves to our environment instead of trying to adapt the environment to our preferred way of life?

  23. bwarden says on: 18 December 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Any chemical in excessive quantities is poison.
    CO2 in excess IS pollution. Believing otherwise is burying your head in the sand.

    I can’t claim to argue on an even footing with climate researchers, but evidently a lot of other Engineers feel qualified to. I am qualified to look at who benefits from stopping efforts to fix global warming: big companies, in business to make money. If you think a lot of PHDs got into it to make money or “force European style socialism down” anyone’s throat, I strongly suspect your knowledge of anything relating to academia (hint — it’s no way to get rich).

    For God’s sake, follow the money! It ain’t Al, it’s the corporations that are pulling the scam.

  24. Kevin Rice says on: 20 December 2009 at 2:12 pm

    I tend to agree with Micheal Mills comments (i.e. cause and effect of various new tech being used to “go green”). I support the move to a more sustainable living arrangement, just feel we need not close our eyes to the realities of what that move might bring to our lives.

  25. S. Kazemi says on: 1 January 2010 at 10:16 am

    Debate is great for moral issues, but when we get sick, we normally don’t debate with the doctors about their diagnosis, we might get several second opinions but at the end we always trust the doctors opinion because they represent the scientific consensus of the time, doctors could be wrong, but we still choose to trust the judgement of the science of the time. I’m always surprised why it is different with global warming, scientific consensus seems to be clear, yet we chose to enter into a scientific debate with our bits of knowledge here and there creating a lot of talking points and a lot of noise while real scientists have already had this debate and already reached a consensus..

  26. vince Puleo says on: 1 January 2010 at 8:25 pm

    “Conspiracy Theory.” Good title for a book or a movie. It kind of grabs your attention. I still go back to the question, Where have the glaciers gone? The earth is cooling? Has anyone said that either naturally occurring warming or cooling does not have blips? Bottom line, the earth has been, is being trashed and we need to do something about it. If our activities coincide with mitigating global warming all the better. Economic activities will have to adjust. Just think, what if we had tried to save all those horse and buggy jobs at the start of the twentieth century?

  27. Stacy Carpenter says on: 2 January 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Greetings,

    Could those posting comments please provide citations to back up the presented data (preferably peer reviewed and not wikipedia/youtube/special interest group fare)?

    It is important identify how a conclusion was reached and understand the utilized methodology.

    Thank you.

  28. Beautiful Girls Gallery says on: 3 January 2010 at 5:45 am

    Global warming is becoming such an obvious problem that someone somewhere other than the US President needs to step up to help drive a massive campaign which aims to reduce Global Warming.

  29. Otto Burden says on: 3 January 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Interesting discussion. If we accept the increase in temperatures of our earth and that it is due to mankind, then I have two questions about policies to address this;
    1. What impact will the policies have on the temp increase? I have not seen anything that indicates how much impact we could have on global warming by changing our human habits. It would be very foolish to adopt policies that have no impact while having significant impacts on our economy.
    2. Any good policy about changes in global changes in climate due to mankind would need to include policies to deal with global warming and cooling. And when would we need to implement to address warming or cooling. As we know our good earth has been cooling the last few years. Does this mean we need to implement policies to warm us up.

    I am all for practices that keep our world as clean as we can, but am not for meaningless policies that have no known impacts, but have significant impacts on our economy.

  30. C Ross says on: 7 January 2010 at 2:15 pm

    We have a finite amount of natural resources thus they need to be conserved which justifies any movement which initiates increasing efficiency and the use of resources.

    Businesses cut cost to increase profits and to increase a company’s produtivity, profit and use of resources in the attempt to avoid waste. They are economically linked.

    It is irresponsible and not in the capitalistic interest to promote wasteful behaviour.

  31. Carl Green says on: 5 March 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Regardless if the climate change is a Hoax or not. There is currently technology available that can increase the energy efficiency in existing buildings by a tremendous percentage at the same time saving untold millions of dollars
    in fuel costs as well as thousands of tons of greenhouse emissions at the same time. Can anyone argue the fact that cleaning the air and water of this much pollution in addition to saving a huge percentage of fuel cost is a win-win solution
    to an ongoing problem. This is only one area that can greatly
    improve our current rate of pollution and cost savings. Hundreds of other new technologies can also be tapped to make use of renewable energy and a more sustainable environment for
    our children and future generation.

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