For my regular visitors, if you find that this blog hasn't been updating much lately, chances are pretty good I've been spending my writing energy on my companion blog. Feel free to pop over to Home is Where the Central Cardio-pulmonary Organ Is, and see what else has been going on.

Friday, August 31, 2007


Obligatory disclaimer...

It's articles like this one that really irritate me.

Nations scramble to agree on emissions target

VIENNA, Austria (AP) - Five industrialized countries including Canada came under fire on Friday for blocking a draft agreement to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and counter the most catastrophic effects of global warming.

(Right from the start, it mentioned the "catastrophic" effects of global warming. First, there's the assumption that the globe is warming (which is hasn't been doing since 1998, even if a global average temperature statistic were actually meaningful). Second, there's the assumption that any warming will have catastrophic effects. Not "might," will. Truth is, any predictions of the effects of global warming are nothing more than guesses, and contradict the actual effects warming has had in the past, which have mostly been beneficial.)

But environmental groups accused the five countries of backtracking on previous pledges to take measures that would help keep Earth's temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius - a limit scientists contend is critical to prevent catastrophic flooding and other deadly weather patterns.

(I'm going to be posting on the misconception of an "Earth" temperature later. For now, there's a few things wrong with this paragraph. First, there's the bizarre belief that we can actually control global temperatures in the first place. Second, there's the 2C number. Even that prediction is for at least a hundred years in the future. Lots can happen between now and then that have nothing to do with us humans. Third, we're talking about a global average here - how do these "scientists" agree that 2C is the dreaded tipping point? Why not 1C? Why not 3C? Again, it turns out to be pure guesswork - albeit guesswork based on mathematical equations.)

The Climate Action Network, an umbrella group, accused Switzerland of being willing to let its alpine glaciers melt away;

(except they're not actually melting - they're receding, but not melting. The local temperatures are too cold for actual melting, which is true of most of the glaciers that are receding.)

Japan of being content to allow rising ocean levels to threaten its vulnerable coastline;

(wow. Japan is "allowing" the oceans to rise. Like they've given the ocean permission. Never mind that while some areas have receding coastlines, and many others are staying the same - which tells me that ocean levels have as much, if not more, to do with what the land is doing than the ocean.)

and Russia of opening itself up to more economically devastating droughts.

(because, you know, droughts are something a country can choose to have...)

Anderson said the Vienna talks, which began Monday as a prelude to a major international climate conference set for December in Bali, Indonesia, became bogged down when some countries were pressed on what range of emissions reductions targets they would be willing to take on.

"They need to be guided by the potential calamity," she said.

(No, they need to be guided by the actual science, not the rhetoric of calamity, and the actual science cannot accurately predict what will or won't happen in the next 5 or 10 years, never mind in the next 100 or more. All they can do is make educated guesses, which our leaders can then use to *guide* their decisions, not *make* their decisions for them.)

Failing to cut emissions by at least 30 per cent of 1990 levels by 2020 "would condemn millions to disease, water shortages and misery in the developing world," he said.

(Really? Just how do they know? Guess what - they don't! More guessing games. We don't actually *know* any of this, any more than we "knew" the world would be in an ice age right now, according to the predictions of 30 years ago. Also, these predictions seem to assume that we humans will just sit there and "let" these things happen. Is that what we're doing now? No, we have aid groups around the world, battling disease, drilling wells, and generally trying to help those in need. Do these people believe that we'll just stop doing things like this? Well, I suppose that's a legitimate concern. If they get what they want, the wealthier countries that are doing all these things to try and help poor countries will probably end up just as poor themselves. Then no one will be able to afford to help anyone else.)

The EU already has pledged to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases by 20 per cent by that year, and by another 10 per cent if other industrialized countries join in.

(Well, at least there was a token mention on "other harmful gases" ... except that CO2 is NOT a harmful gas. You'd have to be in an sealed room with nothing but CO2 for it to be harmful. It can happen, but the circumstances are very unusual, and it's the lack of oxygen, not the CO2 that'll kill you. Certainly not a concern on a worldwide basis. CO2 is a *necessary* gas, and one that has limited greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect of CO2 reduces exponentially as the amount increases. Meanwhile, what are these other "harmful" gases?)

You can read the full article here.

Anyhow, I just get frustrated when I see so many articles like this. There are so many false assumptions, misleading statements, and emotional rhetoric, it's ridiculous.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Drop me a line...