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back to article Businessweek: 'It's Global Warming, Stupid'

Bloomberg Businessweek threw a few litres of petrol on the blazing climate-change debate with this week's cover story, less-than-subtly entitled: "It's Global Warming, Stupid." "Yes, yes, it's unsophisticated to blame any given storm on climate change," the article begins, quite correctly. "Men and women in white lab coats tell …

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Mushroom

Climate Change is History

The Ash Die-back, Mediteranian fish in North sea, changes in global ecology, arctic ice extend, glacier retreat, crazy weather,....

What I don;t get is the use of future tense in reporting. We're living it!

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Go

Can't disagree, so more nuclear and solar collectors in orbit then?

An no green moaning!

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Why the Arrogance?

The climate on earth is always changing. It is created by the interactions of the entire biosphere, plate tectonics, ocean currents, solar radiation, maybe even cosmic radiation and who knows what else.

And you say we understand this?

The climate on earth has always been in flux, it was long before humanity arrived and it will stay in flux until it is swallowed by the sun. Well okay, once the expanding sphere of gas blows away the atmosphere climate change will stop.

In other words wouldn't our energy be better spent not trying to control the climate but developing technologies to allow us to better deal with disaster and harsh conditions? And bonus, these technologies might be useful on other planets.

Should we invest in renewable energy and better and cheaper forms of energy? Hell yeah. Pollution in all it's forms should be limited as best we can. But we can't control the planet, it is far bigger than we are, and far older.

In other words stop talking shit and do something useful.

Or don't.

Yeah I really just felt like ranting.

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Re: Why the Denial?

They don't dispute that climate always changes. The problem is that one of the drivers of change is CO2 and other greenhouse gases, which we're adding to the atmosphere in sufficient quantities that it makes a difference. It's less arrogant to ask that we don't screw up this planet than to assume we can just move to a different one.

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Re: Why the Denial?

Who's "denying"?

Not once was the word "Anthropogenic" used in the original (El Reg) article. It only ever mentions "Climate Change". Are you implying that all climate change is anthropogenic?

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FAIL

Re: Why the Denial?

I sit corrected: it appears BusinessWeek does indeed consider "Climate Change" to be inherently anthropogenic given the tone of their article.

Perhaps they could explain how they know this kind of event is unprecedented given that accurate weather records go back a couple of hundred years or so at most. For all anyone knows, there might have been three such storms in quick succession during the 1300s.

There is insufficient data to make such claims.

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Re: Why the Denial?

@ Sean Timarco Baggaley

He meant denial in general- the whole denial THING.

And to you:

"Our cover story this week may generate controversy," he tweeted, "but only among the stupid."

We draw our own conclusions.

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Re: Why the Denial? @ Sean Timarco Baggaley

"weather records go back a couple of hundred years or so at most"

No that's completely false - ever heard of ice cores, ever heard of dendrochronology? You can also tell a lot from layers of sediment on the ocean floor and lake beds. No single source is that reliable but when they all give the same results the historical climate can be modelled with reasonable accuracy.

Deniers say the climate changes naturally and therefore there is no proof that the current changes are anything other than what happens normally over time. True except for one thing they seem to ignore, the amount of change we have experienced in the last 30 to 40 years if occurring naturally would take at least 1000 years. While similar changes have occurred in the past they have never occurred at the speed they are happening now which suggests a new factor influencing the climate, I wonder what that might be?

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Re: Why the Denial?

Maybe it tends to be a generational thing. I guess there are still some dinosaurs alive who deny that smoking increases the risk of cancer.

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Re: Why the Denial? @ Sean Timarco Baggaley

I'm not really much of a skeptic about the fact of global warming or the fact that human activity doubtless is a contributor. I do doubt that we are likely to have will to take the actions that would reverse it or even slow it a lot in the next generation or two. Politically, it seems likely to be a very difficult thing to sell. However, I wonder whether sedimentation rates and ice cores tell the story in enough detail or have been obtained from enough different places to finger long-past global changes with a precision better than a few hundred years, and so question whether the observed change in the last 30 or 40 needs discounting.

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Re: Why the Denial? @ Sean Timarco Baggaley

Why yes, I have heard of ice cores and indeed dendrochronology (the study of tree rings to determine things).

Ice cores are great at telling you the gas absorption for a certain era, which gives you a fairly accurate plot of atmospheric conditions at that time. But they don't tell you if it was a super-storm once a month, once a year or once a decade, not least because they cant be used to accurately predict down to that level of detail, but mostly because they can only tell you information about the climate of the time in general and not about the weather in particular.

As for dendrochronology, using this to accurately predict anything is fraught with problems. You have the fact that there are many atmospheric gasses that influence how the rings form, you have the issues related to how long/short summer and winter is in any year.

These are the obvious failings with both types of data. This would be why, if you look at any graph relating to temperatures, it gives accurate figures back to 1850 (when accurate recordings appear to have started on a wide-spread basis) and then the time period they cover gets wider and wider, as the further back we go the harder it is to determine what was happening in a smaller time-frame.

The climate itself, if you look at the various graphs going back millenia, repeats on around a 125,000 year scale. Is it changing faster now than at any other time? I don't know, we don't have annual records for 125,000 years or 250,000 years ago.

Always remember that science deals in probability, not absolutes. Anyone telling you something is a certainty is selling you something.

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Re: Why the Denial? @ Sean Timarco Baggaley

you mean like vineyards in GreenLand 600 years ago?

Or do you mean like the Hudson River frozen solid enough to drive horses over it a hundred years ago.

Give it up. Go BS someone else.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why the Denial?

They don't dispute that climate always changes. The problem is that one of the drivers of change is CO2 and other greenhouse gases, which we're adding to the atmosphere in sufficient quantities that it makes a difference. It's less arrogant to ask that we don't screw up this planet than to assume we can just move to a different one.

This post in my opinion is in fact the CRUST OF THE BISCUIT. You know the good part.

Here in my mind we have the half ass thought through argument.

Does the argument mean by "we're adding to the atmosphere in sufficient quantities" by way of Geo-engineering in conjunction with haarp technologies and haarp tech stations all around, yes that's plural?

or

Does the argument mean by "we're adding to the atmosphere in sufficient quantities" cars, bus, factory, clean (sic) coal, fart, dog, cat, hampster, property, garden, etc?

Cause what I am seeing is a CRACKDOWN on. cars, bus, factory, clean (sic) coal, fart, dog, cat, hampster, property, garden, etc? and not a motherfucking peep on the technologies I mentioned or their capabilities.

I say again proudly and loudly, GO FUCK YOURSELVES

when the people figure it out your DEAD

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Call me stupid

I think your percetion of ice cores is over rated. Unless ice flows linearly, which it can't do on a slope as it is standing in water...

Or do they allow for that by drilling in a curve?

Wait...

Jump form one sample to the next. That would explain why they need so many.

Is that it?

Did you know that the art of dendocodology is based on 12 logs from a marsh in a region where weather is somewhat unclimatic?

Not only do marsh and semidesrt exist side by side but the weather changes dramatically in a day. Sometimes by a matter of several degrees. Like 50 of them for example.

Then you have the problem engendered by fogs and frosts all without knowing which is what.

As for podsoils:

If a fire has removed it, the fertility may increase in the region due to access to minerals or not as the case may be. So they can stick all twelve logs in in a fire and smoke them for all the use they are. Counting smoke rings might prove more accurate.

But I am not against the idea of doing something about the environment. But it isn't cutting out fires. It is in allowing the land and the sea to recover from big business and monocultural/agrichemical farming.

And that is never going to happen.

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Re: Why the Denial?

"....which we're adding to the atmosphere in sufficient quantities that it makes a difference."

So you've concluded that the quantities ARE sufficient to make a difference BECAUSE you believe there IS a difference...

Were you president of your debate team?

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"virtually no explanation other than climate change"

Not that I disagree with the basic conclusion, but you don't make science by saying "no other explanation". This is not a Sherlock Holmes novel, where you can eliminate all possibilities but one. Otherwise, you could take any unexplained phenomenon, and say there is for it "virtually no explanation other than it was aliens".

Grumble grumble.

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Re: "virtually no explanation other than climate change"

You can make policy that way.

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Alien

Re: "virtually no explanation other than climate change"

The really moronic thing is that I don't think anyone is really arguing against the fact that the climate is changing. What people are arguing over is if the climate change is man made.

IMHO it isn't.

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Re: "virtually no explanation other than climate change"

>> "IMHO it isn't."

Great, that's that cleared up then. I'll let science know you have the answers already.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "virtually no explanation other than climate change"

Re: "virtually no explanation other than climate change"

You can make policy that way.

You can also make WAR that way

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Alien

@ H HowardRe: "virtually no explanation other than climate change"

"Great, that's that cleared up then. I'll let science know you have the answers already."

That's funny.

I mean if we forget about all of the facts on natural events which spew forth more carbon, and other organic compounds in to the air we breathe. Or that the magnetic poles of the earth are shifting.

Or the history of the earth and the cycles of climate change...

All of that information, pushed aside because of a political agenda? C'mon, really?

Note that I'm not saying that we should do more to clean up the air. Cleaner energy? Try Nuclear and spend more on fusion research. I'm all for that. Cleaner diesel and better filtration on exhaust particles. Sure.

Kill the 'burbs and move back towards urban environments w more farmland. Absolutely.

But please don't try and say that the environmental change we are experiencing is all man made.

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Mushroom

Re: "virtually no explanation other than climate change"

Only idiots argue about that these days. That is no doubt anymore that climate change is primarily man made, and this is clearly demonstrated by overwhelming observable evidence.

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Meh

People still read that rag?

Just because it's called BusinessWeek (BW) doesn't mean it has anything to do with business or anything but opinion for that matter. Granted it used to be a fair source of news and started the decline a while ago but today it has nothing of real importance and it has fully collapsed into just another Bloomberg blog. Yes, it is as bad as Fox News and is just the fiscally liberal version of an authoritarian point of view.

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Re: People still read that rag?

Spot on... I subscribed to BusinessWeak for many years, ending my subscription when it became Anti-Business-Weekly.

Bloomberg, as a Mayor, loves controlling people "for their own good," and to me, that's about as un-free-market and un-capitalistic as you can get. The last few years have shown that Bloomberg as an organization and a publication has not been at all even-handed in its reporting on business trends and events. More anti-business than one might expect.

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Mushroom

"virtually no explanation other than climate change" - The standard term is 'Overwhelming observable evidence' that climate change is happening and that humans are the primary cause.

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Anonymous Coward

'Overwhelming observable evidence' that climate change is happening and that humans are the primary cause.

Humans in control of the NATO jets who are geo-engineering, and the haarp tech stations. (plural everywhere)

FUCK MAN MADE, IT'S ELITE MADE

otherwise SCIENCE is bullshit (FUCK SCIENCE) when compared to classified missions

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Alert

A quick look at duckduckgo

Fact: From the 1850s to 2005, Earth's average temperature rose 0.76 degree Celsius. The rate of increase has been, on the whole, accelerating. (Even the skeptics agree on this.)

The argument is; "Are Humans responsible?

Fun facts:

Total area of Earth's surface, including oceans: 51 billion hectares

Total Earth population as of 2011: about 7 billion and rising

Equals about 7.29 hectares per person. about 5 to 6 city blocks

Earth suddenly looks a bit smaller, doesn't it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A quick look at duckduckgo

Not try this alteration. Try the same calculations using just surface land area, which IIRC makes up less than 30% of the original 51 billion hectares you mentioned. So for a ballpark estimate let's say 15 billion hectares. That reduces your original figure to just about 1.09 hectares per person. Now, this may still sound like much, but also consider that at least some portion of this land area is uninhabitable due to hostile flora/fauna or rugged terrain like mountains. Also consider that various estimates of land usage give that anywhere from 0.1 to 0.5 hectares is required, per person, to keep a person fed. Keep piling on the conditions and the amount of "legroom" keep shrinking.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A quick look at duckduckgo

Now let's Get rid of ICLEI in the local city council

Let's get rid of TSA and DHS

Let's get rid of CIA, and NSA

:Let's audit CAFR

Let's restore the US Constitution

Toss out the OATH BREAKERS

ARREST THE BANKSTERS

END ALL NON DECLARED WAR

Redact the busllshit laws

Wow we really still are the richest people on earth.

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Mushroom

Really?

Financial analysts should stick to what they do best (pretending they understand the world economy) and leave science to those with better brains, less ego and less appetite for sensationalism.

While global warming may indeed be happening, this period of increased severe weather is part of a cycle that's at best poorly understood. Even records of a dozen generations' weather is a drop in the bucket of geologic time. Recent theories link solar output to weather patterns. (which makes a lot of sense since the sun drives most processes in nature)

Right now, we're like the blind men discovering the elephant, and stories like this only stir up the unwashed masses.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Really?

"... stories like this only stir up the unwashed masses".

And you, sir, one assumes, honor yourself as being among the recently bathed elite minority, eh?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Really?

COmeon, all the dude mentioned was the muthafscking sun.

Attack me instead.

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Anonymous Coward

The fundy xstians don't care

Once they/we have trashed this place their lord-high supa-fella will appear and rapture them.

Us godless atheists will inherit the mess.

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http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/01/helping-bloomberg-understand-stupid/

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Anonymous Coward

It's just denial

STUPID!

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Anonymous Coward

Its the election stupid.

The USA gets hit by a big storm about the time Obama and Mitt the Twit get down to heavy electioneering, one is campaigning about climate change the other isn't.

Just like we were told during the snowy winter last time Weather != Climate, yet its being wheeled out again because of a little wind and rain.

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Re: Its the election stupid.

Though, to be fair the only way to get the americans (for they seem to be the only major cause country that is unconvinced) on board about something is for it to affect them: directly, seriously and politically. In that respect something like Sandy is the only "evidence" they will accept. Every other manifestation of climate change - whether man-made or natural - merely falls into the category of "and now some foreign news <CLICK>"

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Schrödinger's weather

It is climate when it being so supports the case for anthropogenic climate change, and it isn't when it doesn't. See how simple that is?

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Anonymous Coward

It's the Norse gods I tell you

It's not climate change it's the Norse gods reawakening and with them the ice giants.

More seriously, given the mythology of the Norse (which is pretty well documented), can we not draw some parallels with what was supposed to happen in their histories? What about the other local religions that we may have information about? Can a forensic historian piece together the stories and written histories into a time line that gives us a pattern?

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Re: It's the Norse gods I tell you

Well, some of them, Loki in particular, had a great sense of humor. E.g. the time when they dressed up Thor, the God of thunderstorms, as a bride (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%9Erymskvi%C3%B0a).

Clearly someone recently pulled another prank on Thor, hence the recent spat of bad weather.

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Anonymous Coward

Confused

So El Reg's official stance on global warming has changed now, and they believe its actually real?

Colour me surprised.

Shame the head-in-sand yank commenters are still here.

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Re: Confused

So El Reg's official stance on global warming has changed now

I wasn't aware it had an official stance.

Shame the head-in-sand yank commenters are still here.

Such as the author of the article, you mean? Or perhaps you're thinking of Mr Page, who is British, I believe.

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Re: Confused

It may not be an 'official' Reg position, but climate change denial articles must outnumber the non-'stupid' by about 10 to 1. Surprising, given it's generally pro-science, pro-rational approach to most other things ..

Anyway, you have to congratulate Josh Tyrangiel: sayin' it like is, bro

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Don't let science get in the way of a good story

Let's not let data or science get in the way of denier bashing. The pundits proclaim frankenstorm Sandy (like Katrina) as being caused by "global warming" (which hasn't been evident in the temperature record for over a decade). Chris Landsea of NOAA resigned from the IPCC because of repeated unsubstantiated claims of a causal relationship between global warming and extreme weather. The science underlying the recent SREX report from the IPCC shows no correlation.

Roger Pielke addresses the Bloomberg article here:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/01/helping-bloomberg-understand-stupid/#more-73587

If you're more interested in science than sensation, there's some good material from another IPCC climate scientist:

http://judithcurry.com/2012/10/30/frankenstorm/

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Anonymous Coward

when the climate is 4000 - 7000 degrees and blowing from 1000=800 MPH you motherfuckers who say man caused it will be 100% correct.

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Mushroom

Was that from the Israeli weather forecast?

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Anonymous Coward

how many news agencies reported on the radiation leak?

hmm?

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