What if Global Warming is a Red Herring?

Remember way back 10-15 years ago, everyone was saying “Save the Rainforest!”

Has anyone heard that lately?

NURB: I still say save the rain forest…of course, most of the time I’m talking to myself. Actually, Greenpeace is in the midst of a big media push in Canada to limit forestry. It’s not a rain forest, but a forest none-the-less.

I think the rain forest has gone the way of the starving Africans or the blown up Iraqis. Ordinary folk got too depressed seeing it, so media has moved on to the next thing (forest fires in California anyone?). The sad thing is that these more distant disasters and tragedies can be put out of sight and out of mind very easily by the people (westerners) who are in the best situation to stop it.

Yeah, I still here these pleas. I believe in doing as much as one can to help protect the environment. The rainforests will always go back, unless they are paved over.

that’s why i don’t buy anything w/ palm oil. i can’t track what they use in restaurants, but when i am buying groceries i read the labels to make sure my snacks and lotions have no palm oil.


i also try to do other things…like don’t own a car…like being a veggie…like…a ton of other things that determine my lifestyle and align with the “save the rainforest”.

people who care are still concerned, rainforests are a part of “the whole”.
the issue, we can’t address just a part of it and hope that everything works itself out. rainforests are affected by the global warming.

Of course you are going to pull the emotional card on me and thus belittling what I have to say as if it is of lesser importance. Emotional like a woman, right? As if it were an insult. Human objectivity is a myth, an oxymoron. It just doesn’t exist. A computer or a tool can be objective, but not humans. You may think you are but your brain is not hardwired that way. I would like to point out that you were changing your question as the thread progressed. You first mused that global warming is a theory but since we established that that theory is not theory when there is plenty of facts that didn’t hold up. You would have known that if you had been paying attention a little bit more to what is going on. I reacted to that because it seems not only uneducated but as if you were trying to provoke a reaction. Since your first statement was refuted you went on to question the degree to which mankind has contributed to the warming. Well that is really not going to change fact that it is happening so asking the questions is pointless. Of course there is always a what if. What if our consciousness is an illusion, what if we didn’t land on the moon etc. Of course I also assumed you had an agenda with posing the question (assuming is part of not being objective, remember) because you couldn’t possibly think that a large community of highly specialized scientist and researchers all over world knows less than you do. You know something they don’t? If so I’d love to hear it.

IP, I never called you, nor think you are, an idiot. Your question seemed uniformed, thats all. Of course there is always a chance… of anything being not what it seems. There’s a chance we did not descend from monkey’s although we share 98% of the identical genetic material as them. The global warming issue in the US is highly political which I am sure you are aware of. Although scientist agree on the matter, the media doesn’t. There is plenty of people out there, who are for political reasons trying to convince the public to question the fact that we are facing a problem. Scientific data is manipulated on a daily basis in this country for political and economical reasons. You’ve probably heard of the Hacker Virgil Griffith’s “Wikiscanner” that was able to trace nearly 300 edits on Wikipedia by the CIA to subjects including Iran’s president, the Argentine navy, and China’s nuclear arsenal. Some alterations involve removing unflattering information, adding facts or inserting insults. A Vatican computer was used to remove references to evidence linking Ireland’s Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams to a decades-old double murder. “Someone at the US Democratic Party’s Congressional campaign committee changed a description of conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh to replace “comedian” with “bigot” and dub his listeners “legally retarded.” A Republican Party computer purportedly was used after the US invasion of Iraq to change “occupying forces” to “liberating forces” in a Baath Party entry. A United Nations computer is identified as the source of an edit that calls a respected Italian journalist a promiscuous racist. Someone using a US Senate computer altered a profile of veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas to complain she “interrupts” and is annoying. An edit traced by Wikiscanner to the BBC changes causes of former prime minister Tony Blair’s heart palpitations from strong coffee and vigorous gym workouts to vodka and exertion in a bedroom. Wikiscanner also identified a BBC computer as being used to change US president George W. Bush’s middle name from “Walker” to “Wanker” at Wikipedia. A computer belonging to Reuters news service is listed as adding “mass murderer” to a Wikipedia description of Bush. Griffith said it appears common for political figures to “whitewash” entries by replacing negative adjectives with flattering ones and that corporations seem inclined to insert criticism of competitors. Politicians and corporations show similar tendencies to remove critical information, according to Griffith.”

Rainforest. Since you guys brought it up here are some unemotional fun facts: Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth’s land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be completely consumed in less than 40 years. One and one-half acres of rainforest are lost every second with tragic consequences for both developing and industrial countries. Rainforests are being destroyed because the value of rainforest land is perceived as only the value of its timber by short-sighted governments, multi-national logging companies, and land owners. Nearly half of the world’s species of plants, animals and microorganisms will be destroyed or severely threatened over the next quarter century due to rainforest deforestation. Experts estimates that we are losing 137 plant, animal and insect species every single day due to rainforest deforestation. That equates to 50,000 species a year. As the rainforest species disappear, so do many possible cures for life-threatening diseases. Currently, 121 prescription drugs sold worldwide come from plant-derived sources. While 25% of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from rainforest ingredients, less that 1% of these tropical trees and plants have been tested by scientists.

To answer your original question: In the event that global warming is a false alarm, a Y2K, a red herring, really doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t change anything because either way we have to learn to be more efficient with our resources. Either way we have to innovate and utilize new technologies that allow us to create more resource and more energy efficient products. A car that uses only 1% of its energy to move the driver forward is a dinosaur about to go extinct as far as I am concerned. Either way we have to change and adapt to the situation and the environment that we are in. That is if our goal is to sustain as a species.

I’m gonna go pull the Catalytic converters off my 8.2 Liter Cadillac and drive around spraying Aerosol cans into the air.

I hate the cold anyways, and world flooding will mean GREAT things for the soon to be waterfront property I own in Denver.

This planet has too many stupid people on it anyways. A little flooding could go a long way to cleaning up the population. :smiling_imp:

I’m a bad person… :laughing:

This is an interesting thread and even more interesting to see how the conversation and topic has changed since the original post.

From my perspective, I think the original topic was closer to “is the marketing of climate change just marketing/politics?” than “is climate change happening”. at least thats how i read it.

in response to that questions (“is the marketing of climate change just marketing/politics?”), i’d answer firmly a yes/maybe. I’m with Yo, and likewise look at everything through the eyes a Devil’s Advocate/cynic.

Im by no means the greenest guy on the planet, nor the the ungreenest.

I’m happy to accept most of the scientific facts/theories/data on the issue that show what may have happened over the last 50 years of measurable data points, and even some of the conclusions with respect to human causes and effects.

Where i tend to veer from the herd of green thinking however is on the conclusions, speculations and solutions.

Do rising sea levels and a temperatures (even if just relatively a small blip in the life of the earth) make a huge impact in our way of life? maybe? can we adapt to them? probably? should they be a cause for concern? who knows? is cutting down trees to make medicine a bad thing? not sure.

I believe that we humans and our machines, factories, pollution and waste are all a part of a the natural system. any effects we have on the environment are also part of the system, consequences and all. just as a beaver’s dam may run streams dry, killing off parts of an ecosystem, only to have another balance elsewhere, i think looking at the human effect in any other terms is highly self-important.

does reducing plastic bag use save bags? maybe (or not, as i already said in the 1HDC). are alternative fuel sources a good idea? sure, why not, but everything has some effect- just look at the promise of clean, cheap nuclear power and how public opinion on it has shifted since the 50’s.

there is no doubt in my mind that there are causes and effects to everything we do. i just think that everything has at least 2 sides and indeed politics and marketing bandwagons unfortunately often trump real thinking, and that sucks.

i applaud IP for thinking outside the conventional wisdom, and sorry to see here that so many stand up on their birkenstocks to force a point about being green or being stupid, when there is a lot more discussion on both sides to be had.


There are many ways to measure CO2 levels and temperature levels since before we had instruments to measure with or before we even existed. Scientist usually quite accurately can acquire data by; ice cores that contain air bubbles from up to 700 000 years ago. This provides a very solid record going back a very long time. Beyond that they use proxy climate indicators such as tree rings (dead or alive… the oldest one alive is around 5000 years and fossilized trees have been found that are over 380 million years old).

See above. In fact it is suggested we cannot rely on instruments alone: “The measured record from thermometers, rain gauges, and barometers does not provide an adequate sample of the ways in which climate could vary under recent or present conditions, even if there were no human influence on climate. Planning that ignores this will be inadequate, whether its focus is resource use (e.g., energy or water) or mitigating the consequences of natural disturbances such as drought, floods, and wildfires. This is because the instrumental record is often too short to represent the different ways climate can behave, and because this record was hardly started by the time human action had made measurable changes in the composition of our atmosphere. One therefore, cannot rely solely on the 20th century instrumental record to assess the character of climate change.”

I’m not sure what to make of that. Doesn’t sound like science to me.

I completely agree. Contrary to some of your assumptions I ONLY care about the facts. Some of you assume I am trying to convert you to a birkenstock shuffling hippie. I am not. I really don’t care if you recycle. I care about the facts. It is important to be a skeptic and it is equally important to know the facts related to the subject of your scepticism. It appears to me that when someone doubts the existence of something that can be measured and readily proven, they have either not bothered to find out the facts or they have a faulty logic. In that event, they are the one being selective in what facts to believe in and what facts not to believe it. If the facts are reliable and they paints an ugly picture that makes me uncomfortable I am not conveniently going to disregard them for that reason. I am not sure what “I’m not just a believer” actually means but if it means being a believer in highly reliable data, evidence, records, photographs and facts, then, yes I am a believer in those things. It appears to me (from reading your words) that you say global warming is obvious and acceptable but you don’t believe in it. If that isn’t being selective in logic and reason, I don’t know what is. The reason I have become agitated on this threat is not because I am trying to force you to recycle or even tell you how to live your life, I don’t care and it is none of my business. The reason I become agitated is when people make assumptions without doing their homework or when they are selective about what facts to believe in. Go ahead and be a sceptic, Go ahead and question things but please do your homework before you decide to open your mouth. If I haven’t completely turned off everyone on this forum yet and you would like to find out more facts I highly suggest checking out The 2007 Climate Change Assessment Report from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). The PDF can be downloaded here: http://www.ipcc.ch/SPM2feb07.pdf

Also check out these climate models. This one is of what the Arctic Sea ice would look like if there were NO CO2 changes in the atmosphere (also known as a control run). It looks pretty cool. Like a beating heart. check it: Home | Computational and Information Systems Lab

This one show what it would look like with one percent (1%) of CO2 increase in the atmosphere: Home | Computational and Information Systems Lab

Now back to your regular programming…

Yikes. Yes, you obviously don’t know what you’re talking about and I say that in the kindest way it is possible to tell someone that they don’t know what they’re talking about. I do however enjoy the manner in which you are asking and answering questions to yourself. Again, kindest way. I could easily find plenty of data for you that shows exactly how even minute changes could have (and does have) drastic consequences to the ecological system (it is after all, as you many know, an interconnected, holistic system, where every little change has effect on something else). I’ve done enough of that I think and I am sure most of you would agree. Look it up for yourself, Richard, and see if you are correct in your assumption. Since when were trees cut down to make medicine, by the way? I’m not sure about that either.

Let me enlighten you. The world natural means: not made, or caused by, human kind. existing in or formed by nature, based on the state of things in nature, of or pertaining to nature or the universe. In essence, it is anything that hasn’t been touched by the human hand. The opposite of natural is artificial: made by human skill, produced by humans, imitation, simulated, sham, artificial, lacking naturalness or spontaneity, forced, contrived, feigned. Your logic is faulty and invalid because it does not adhere to the definitions of the word. If all of us were to use different definitions of words we might as well not use language to communicate. You just can’t make up new and arbitrary definitions or the use of language would become pointless. Let’s try to use these definitions. One could say genetic mutations are natural because they appear in nature, without the help of a human hand. One could argue that Zoophilia or factories or pollution are not natural (unnatural, or artificial). Having sex with an animal is unnatural because it involves a human, a factory is unnatural and artificial because it is created by humans. Same thing goes for pollution. Although, if one were to get picky one could argue that there is natural pollution (such as methane, produced by animals) and artificial pollution (such as chlorofluorocarbons, CFCs). Unfortunatly Richard, your “anything goes” strategy just doesn’t hold up. It may be a convenient way for you to feel better about the landfill that you produce (that is after all our jobs) but by the definitions of the words, you are wrong.

Yes, lot’s more discussions to be had, data to be processed, measurements to be made and samples to be taken. I appreciate the snide remark although I do not own a pair of birkenstocks. I am only forcing a point about NOT being selective in which fact to believe in and which fact not to believe in. Keep the believing in church where it belongs and keep it out of science (and government for that matter). Thank you, take care and have a great day.

Think you maybe misread my post. I’m never said the minute changes dont have consequences to the ecological system. i fully accept that. what im questioning is what consequences those consequences have. this is where i think science and fact goes into the realm of science fiction in trying to predict the social changes, or what (morally or ethically) those changes mean. the earth in its millions of years of history has already gone through many changes. changes of temperature, climate, atmosphere and life of animals and organisms that live on it.

im just offering an alternate opinion/view here saying that if indeed all the science holds up, the earth will get warmer, the icecaps will melt, the atmosphere will change, the animals and ecosystem on the planet will be affect…AND? i’m sure we can adapt. more boats, less cars. better air conditioning :slight_smile: i just dont see the unquestionable correlation between change and negativity. im asking questions here as a cynic. im not saying “who cares”, or “stuff it, im off to pollute”, just that i think more discussion needs to take place about what these scientific findings mean. im pretty much on board in terms of the science, and think i likely agree with you on most if not all of the fact, but think there remains a gap in the conclusions, thats all.

see, this is where i think your logic and reliance on the facts strays. how are humans not part of the natural world? at what point would you consider things made by humans different from things say, made by apes. if animals of all sorts use some sort of tools, create some sort of waste/products (ie. my example of a beavers’ dam, or a dead carcasses leftover of a predator), why are the tools/waste/products of a human so different?

everything we make and touch IS part of the natural world. it uses the materials, elements, and basic building blocks of this world, just recombined, processed, or manipulated in some way.

my point here is really more of a devil’s advocate position that i think identifies some issues that need to be further addresses in some of the theories and causes for concerns that are currently prevalent.

im not saying that throwing your junk on the street or in the middle of the rainforest is a good thing. like IP, i just think its fair to question the conventional wisdom (and your comment) that says that anything man-made or touched by humans is so far out of the natural world and is a cause for concern. its like saying the oxygen byproduct of trees is dangerous and puts the previously C02 rich (pre-life) atmosphere of the planet in jeoporady.


Interesting that you say this. Its a huge part of why I am a cynic. We’re a blip.

Say we do melt the caps and cause mass extinction. Even human extinction. The earth is going to heal and rebuild something again in the future. We’re a blip.

This has nothing to do with lack of caring nor lack of fear of this happening. I have 2 small kids and it scares the piss out of me that they may not have a safe world to grow up in.

We have a forum here of well educated, socially conscious people that are skeptical of the belief that it is going to change…or at least change enough to make a difference. Skeptical of a world that has been manipulated by media and charts and gloom and doom. Good grief…if a forum of Designers have a jaundiced eye to all this what is going on in the minds of the masses of those who don’t have nearly as much of a social conscience as this group has?

This guy makes a pretty good point!

Absolutely brilliant.

Thank you for that, Mofex. Great video. I think this may be an appropriate way of ending this discussion… at least for me… for now. Here’s the responses to that first video. Apparently the guy got a lot criticism for his theory. Disclaimer: the following videos are a very lighthearted and entertaining delivery of some sound reasoning so even some of you easily frightened people ought to enjoy it.

patching holes # 1: - YouTube

patching holes # 2: Patching Holes #2 - YouTube

patching holes # 3: Patching Holes #3: The Manpollo Project (With Explosions) - YouTube

I gotta go to work and create some more landfill now.


This is exactly the fear-mongering tactics that turn me off. The same argument can be made for spending billions on defence of a huge asteroid that will wipe out the earth. the risk of not acting is global destruction, and at worst, if it doesnt happen, just costs a lot of money.

This is not a logical argument by any means. For one, the basic assumptions of global catasptrophe vs. just economic depression are far and away a long shot guess, hardly based on any science. Its simple scare tactics.

My point moreover, is that the issue is not about if global climate change is real, but what are our responsibilities for it?

Hedging your bets, and playing the odds, as this guys says just leads people to doomsday predictions, and living in a bomb shelter in your basement, “just in case”.


just checking out some of his additional videos. seems like he’s onto some of the things i mentioned. smart guy :slight_smile:

This video, frankly, is at the crux of why I asked this question. I didn’t have the logic sorted out in my head. The logic of column thinking vs. Row thinking is a story that SHOULD be able to resonate with masses. Al Gore, Inconvenient Truth, charts and Silentstar, your rants about the same facts tune people out. Its too much. Its too complex. Its far too much to process.

Last and most importantly…it doesn’t give anyone a choice. This guys message empowers the viewer with something to do and to believe in. Far more effective now that we have gotten past “acceptance” of the idea that climate change is occurring.

In this guy’s version there are 3 outcomes that are liveable if not simply survivable. The lower right quadrant isn’t acceptable. So Column A is where I land (in his oversimplified version). It is where I landed before this discussion but I didn’t have a story that did anything but cram gloom and doom down my throat. I do think that a better chart is needed. Probably one with about 100 columns. But that’s for people with bigger brains than mine to sort out.

The difference for me, RK, between this and the asteroid theory is that in this case I believe an asteroid actually IS heading toward earth in the form of climate change. Is it Mother Nature culling the herds? Is it humans pumping too much CO2 into the atmosphere? Is it both? I don’t know. But I do believe SOMETHING is going on here.

I don’t have much time so I will keep my answer short. First off, the Devils advocate is just a convenient excuse to poke hole in anything without having to back it up. Be careful of that. My logic and reliance on facts isn’t straying anywhere. Mostly because it isn’t mine. I was just telling you the universally agreed definitions of the very worlds you used. Grab any dictionary and look it up. That’s where I got the definitions from. You can’t just make up new definitions in the english language. You can’t just say that a green light suddenly means red and vice versa. Your claim that everything that exists is “natural”, is pointless, meaningless. It isn’t. I can see where you are getting confused though since humans spawned from nature (at least as believed by a minority of this country) that they should also be natural. Perhaps so. But according to the dictionary, anything that we create or manipulate or touch isn’t. That’s what unnatural or artificial means. There is nothing natural about a computer, or plutonium or the endocrine disrupting man-made chemicals that is currently circulating in your system. Gotta go.

nat·u·ral [nach-er-uhl, nach-ruhl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation

  1. existing in or formed by nature (opposed to artificial): a natural bridge.
  2. based on the state of things in nature; constituted by nature: Growth is a natural process.
  3. of or pertaining to nature or the universe: natural beauty.
  4. of, pertaining to, or occupied with the study of natural science: conducting natural experiments.
  5. in a state of nature; uncultivated, as land.
  6. growing spontaneously, without being planted or tended by human hand, as vegetation.
  7. having undergone little or no processing and containing no chemical additives: natural food; natural ingredients. Compare organic (def. 11).
  8. having a real or physical existence, as opposed to one that is spiritual, intellectual, fictitious, etc.
  9. of, pertaining to, or proper to the nature or essential constitution: natural ability.
  10. proper to the circumstances of the case: a natural result of his greed.
  11. free from affectation or constraint: a natural manner.
  12. arising easily or spontaneously: a natural courtesy to strangers.
  13. consonant with the nature or character of.
  14. in accordance with the nature of things: It was natural that he should hit back.
  15. based upon the innate moral feeling of humankind: natural justice.
  16. in conformity with the ordinary course of nature; not unusual or exceptional.
  17. happening in the ordinary or usual course of things, without the intervention of accident, violence, etc.
  18. related only by birth; of no legal relationship; illegitimate: a natural son.
  19. related by blood rather than by adoption.
  20. based on what is learned from nature rather than on revelation.
  21. true to or closely imitating nature: a natural representation.
  22. unenlightened or unregenerate: the natural man.
  23. being such by nature; born such: a natural fool.
  24. Music.
    a. neither sharp nor flat.
    b. changed in pitch by the sign â™®.
  25. not treated, tanned, refined, etc.; in its original or raw state: natural wood; natural cowhide.
  26. (of a horn or trumpet) having neither side holes nor valves.
  27. not tinted or colored; undyed.
  28. having a pale tannish or grayish-yellow color, as many woods and untreated animal skins.
  29. Cards.
    a. being a card other than a wild card or joker.
    b. (of a set or sequence of cards) containing no wild cards.
  30. having or showing feelings, as affection, gratitude, or kindness, considered part of basic human nature.
  31. Afro (def. 1).
  32. any person or thing that is or is likely or certain to be very suitable to and successful in an endeavor without much training or difficulty.
  33. Music.
    a. a white key on a piano, organ, or the like.
    b. the sign â™®, placed before a note, canceling the effect of a previous sharp or flat.
    c. a note affected by a â™®, or a tone thus represented.
  34. an idiot.
  35. Cards. blackjack (def. 2b).
  36. Afro (def. 2).
  37. (in craps) a winning combination of seven or eleven made on the first cast.
  38. a natural substance or a product made with such a substance: an ointment containing mink oil and other naturals.

ar·ti·fi·cial [ahr-tuh-fish-uhl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation

  1. made by human skill; produced by humans (opposed to natural): artificial flowers.
  2. imitation; simulated; sham: artificial vanilla flavoring.
  3. lacking naturalness or spontaneity; forced; contrived; feigned: an artificial smile.
  4. full of affectation; affected; stilted: artificial manners; artificial speech.
  5. made without regard to the particular needs of a situation, person, etc.; imposed arbitrarily; unnatural: artificial rules for dormitory residents.
  6. Biology. based on arbitrary, superficial characteristics rather than natural, organic relationships: an artificial system of classification.
  7. Jewelry. manufactured to resemble a natural gem, in chemical composition or appearance. Compare assembled, imitation (def. 11), synthetic (def. 6).

un·nat·u·ral [uhn-nach-er-uhl, -nach-ruhl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation

  1. contrary to the laws or course of nature.
  2. at variance with the character or nature of a person, animal, or plant.
  3. at variance with what is normal or to be expected: the unnatural atmosphere of the place.
  4. lacking human qualities or sympathies; monstrous; inhuman: an obsessive and unnatural hatred.
  5. not genuine or spontaneous; artificial or contrived: a stiff, unnatural manner.
  6. Obsolete. lacking a valid or natural claim; illegitimate.
    [Origin: 1375–1425; late ME; see un-1, natural][/b]