Scientists Gain New Insight Into Climate Change … And What To Do About It

Frack That

“Clean natural gas” from fracking has been touted for years as a cure for global warming.

But scientists say that fracking pumps out a lot of methane … into both our drinking water and the environment.

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas: 72 times more potent as a warming source than CO2.

As such, fracking actually increases – rather than decreases – global warming.

(The fracking boom is also causing other harmful effects.)

Nuclear Dud

Numerous scientists have also pushed nuclear power as a must to stop global warming.

But it turns out that nuclear is .

Scam and Trade

One of the main solutions to global warming which has long been pushed by the powers that be – cap and trade – is a scam. Specifically:

  • The economists who invented cap-and-trade say that it won’t work for global warming
  • Many environmentalists say that carbon trading won’t effectively reduce carbon emissions
  • Our bailout buddies over at Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and the other Wall Street behemoths are buying heavily into carbon trading (see this, this, this, this, this and this).

As University of Maryland professor economics professor and former Chief Economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission Peter Morici writes:

Obama must ensure that the banks use the trillions of dollars in federal bailout assistance to renegotiate mortgages and make new loans to worthy homebuyers and businesses. Obama must make certain that banks do not continue to squander federal largess by padding executive bonuses, acquiring other banks and pursuing new high-return, high-risk lines of businesses in merger activity, carbon trading and complex derivatives. Industry leaders like Citigroup have announced plans to move in those directions. Many of these bankers enjoyed influence in and contributed generously to the Obama campaign. Now it remains to be seen if a President Obama can stand up to these same bankers and persuade or compel them to act responsibly.

In other words, the same companies that made billions off of derivatives and other scams and are now getting bailed out on your dime are going to make billions from carbon trading.

War: The Number One Source of Carbon

The U.S. military is the biggest producer of carbon on the planet.

Harvey Wasserman notes that fighting wars more than wipes out any reduction in carbon from the government’s proposed climate measures.

Writing in 2009 about the then-proposed escalation in the Afghanistan war, Wasserman said:

The war would also come with a carbon burst. How will the massive emissions created by 100,000-plus soldiers in wartime be counted in the 17% reduction rubric? Will the HumVees be converted to hybrids? What is the carbon impact of Predator bombs that destroy Afghan families and villages?

The continuance of fighting all over the Middle East and North Africa  completely and thoroughly undermines the government’s claims that there is a global warming emergency and that reducing carbon output through cap and trade is needed to save the planet.

I can’t take anything the government says about carbon footprints seriously until the government ends the unnecessary warsall over the globe.

So whatever you think of climate change, all people can agree that ending the wars is important.

(War also destroys the economy.)

Fascism: Not a Great Idea

In 2010, James Lovelock – environmentalist and  creator of the “Gaia hypothesis” – told the Guardian that we might need fascism to curb global warming:

We need a more authoritative world. We’ve become a sort of cheeky, egalitarian world where everyone can have their say. It’s all very well, but there are certain circumstances – a war is a typical example – where you can’t do that. You’ve got to have a few people with authority who you trust who are running it. And they should be very accountable too, of course.

But it can’t happen in a modern democracy. This is one of the problems. What’s the alternative to democracy? There isn’t one. But even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.

Lovelock subsequently apologized for being too alarmist and going too far.

Dumb as a Mongoose In Hawaii

In addition, “government scientists are studying the feasibility of sending nearly microscopic particles of specially made glass into the Earth’s upper atmosphere to try to dampen the effects of ‘global warming.’ ” Others are currently suggesting cutting down trees and burying them. Other ways to geoengineer the planet are being studied and tested (and see this and this), involving such things as dumping barium, aluminum and other toxic metals into the atmosphere.

Remember, the mongoose was introduced to Hawaii in order to control the rats (which were eating the sugar cane used to make rum). It didn’t work out very well … mongeese are daylight-loving creatures while rats are nocturnal. So the mongeese trashed the native species in Hawaii, and never took care of the rats.

Similarly, the harm caused by many of these methods have not been thought through … and they could cause serious damage to our health and our ecosystems.

So – whatever you think about climate – you can obviously agree that we should approach climate change from the age-old axiom of “first, do no harm”, making sure that our “solutions” do not cause more damage than the problems.

So What’s the Answer?

If nuclear, fracking and cap and trade aren’t the answer, what is?

Decentralization of power generation and storage.

That would empower people and communities, produce less carbon, prevent nuclear disasters like Fukushima, reduce the dangers of peak oil (and thus prevent future oil spills like we had in the Gulf), and have many other positive effects.

In addition, top climate scientists say that soot plays a huge role in the melting of snow and ice.  The director of Stanford’s Atmosphere and Energy Program and professor of civil and environmental engineering (Mark Jacobson) believes that soot is the primary cause of melting arctic ice, and says:

Controlling soot may be the only way to significantly slow Arctic warming over the next two decades …

Reducing soot will be cheaper than the “decarbonation” which many policy-makers have proposed. And it would increase the health of millions of people worldwide.

We don’t need fascism to make this happen.  A modest amount of money could replace quite a few of these with these … drastically reducing the amount of soot in the atmosphere.

Our Changing Scientific Understanding of Climate Change

When I studied environmental science at UCLA decades ago, we were taught that increased CO2 leads to global warming and melting ice … and that no other factors were involved.

Scientists have since discovered that climate change is a little more complicated.

For example, scientists announced last week that heat from the Earth’s upper crust and mantle contribute to melting the ice sheets … and that more melting occurs where the Earth’s crust is thinner.

A scientific experiment by one of the world’s top scientific laboratory showed that cosmic rays affect cloud formation … which in turn affects climate.

How could climate scientists be wrong about the factors which go into climate change?

Science is not a one-time, all-or-nothing endeavor.  It is the process of refining our understanding of the universe and – if our model doesn’t fit reality – adding details or changing the model altogether.

And even well-known, well-intentioned scientists sometimes push incomplete or counter-productive ideas.

For example, top scientists, government agencies and publications have – for over 100 years – been terrified of a new ice age. (And – in the “for what it’s worth department”,  NASA said 7 months ago that we could be on the verge of another solar minimum.)

Well-known scientists considered pouring soot over the Arctic in the 1970s to help melt the ice – in order to prevent another ice age.  That would have been stupid.

Even Obama’s top science adviser – John Holdren – warned in the 1970′s of a new ice age … and is open to shooting soot into the upper atmosphere. That might be equally stupid.

We have to think like true scientists … and learn from our mistakes.

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  • Tonto

    Three passages from this article typify common shortcomings of understanding in our scientific culture.

    “When I studied environmental science at UCLA decades ago, we were taught that increased CO2 leads to global warming and melting ice … and that no other factors were involved.”

    Were the author given an adequate education, the focus would have been on this trend, the consistent idiocy that is notable throughout the history of college science textbooks. The shortcomings of the author’s scientific education, are exactly the same sort of shortcomings in every scientific education. The instructors are liars when they present current material as trustworthy, and with a belief in some truthfulness to the content. The current material is no more trustworthy than the material used at any time in the past because the premise of science is wrong. Reality is infinitely complex. And that infinite complexity is not shunted by textbooks that offer solutions that do not take into account this infinite complexity. Blackboard equations do not reflect reality. Blackboard equations reflect the deficit in training being given to every scientist.

    “Science is not a one-time, all-or-nothing endeavor. It is the process of refining our understanding of the universe and – if our model doesn’t fit reality – adding details or changing the model altogether.”

    Well, unfortunately, this statement is not only false, it is a death wish. Science is indeed an all-or-nothing endeavor. If we let scientists define truth for us, the world is going to come to an end in the very near future. The magnitude of the gambles scientists are taking are insuring the end of the world is getting ever closer, ever faster. Think about it. Einstein’s major work was prior to the First World War, in an age kids today look at as the Stone Age.

    “We have to think like true scientists … and learn from our mistakes.”

    What the author here is saying is, humanity has to continue to allow scientists to use our habitable planet as the crucible for their ever more death defying, trial-and-error experiments. Damn it, NO, we do not. We have to stop these rotten, self-gratifying, self-deifying, intellectual bastards right now.

    If humanity is going to learn from the mistakes being made, we have to recognize that all these problems, global warming to nuclear, chemical, and genetic pollution, have been created by the unfettered constructs of science. These scientists are little more than modern day witchdoctors who are rapidly destroying the world on a thousand different fronts in their mad rush for fame and fortune.

    Science is not making the world better. Science is the scourge of humanity. And if enough people don’t come to realize this right now, then there isn’t going to be a human world left where we can argue about what is true or not.

    Science is not truth. These scientists are all career criminals. All of science is little more than a shaman’s lie. The infinite complexity of reality is the truth. Our moral responsibility not to fuck the world up is the truth.

    Fuck these scientists and all these scientific types that think the next great scientific breakthrough is right around the corner. That’s pure sci-fi fantasy bullshit. We have one planet, and it’s not going to be given over to the scientists who have done such a bang-up job destroying it.

    • WrenchMonkey

      What exactly is it that you’re advocating Tonto? Should we eliminate all existing technology, ban “science” and “progress” and return to nomadic gathering and hunting?

      Sometimes I find myself thinking that our species was doomed the moment our earliest ancestors began making “tools”. But surely there is a middle ground where technology can be developed and used in balance with the natural world.

      Personally I don’t think that scientists are the evil monsters you make them out to be. It’s the psychopathic, profit-seeking “capitalists”, who stand upon the shoulders of great thinkers and pervert their discoveries in the name of “profit”. They are parasitic takers.

      Thinkers, makers and parasitic takers.

      Takers are parasites that stand upon the shoulders of great Thinkers, holding them under heel with the false “wealth” of commodified “money” and stealing their ideas that they may “profit” of them.

      This they accomplish by riding upon the backs of productive Makers, who are begrudgingly given the minimum possible reward for their labour, which actually produces the goods and services conceived by the Thinkers.

      Takers are those who, even as their machinations utterly destroy the biosphere that allows them to exist, seek further means to “profit” from that very destruction.

      Unlimited growth for its own sake is the modus operandi of a cancer, not a rational being.

      It is the lust for “profit” by psychopaths, who seek total dominance and “ownership” of the world, that is leading us rapidly and inevitably to extinction.

      Just my opinion.

      • wunsacon

        Was going to write something similar.

        It’s not the “scientists” who cut corners on design safety but those people who manage the budget and who implicitly threaten to fire anyone who too vocally opposes cutting costs. And those managers, in turn, always answer to someone else.

        • WrenchMonkey

          And it all goes up the food chain to, wait for it, the International Banking Cartel.

          • wunsacon

            From your lips to the BIS’s ears. 😉

          • WrenchMonkey

            Ah yes, the central bank of planet Earth.

      • Tonto

        “Should we eliminate all existing technology, ban “science” and “progress” and return to nomadic gathering and hunting?”

        Those who equate science with progress suffer the common delusion that science has made life better.

        How much better will life be when science kills everyone? That’s progress? That’s not even logical in any rudimentary sense.

        Science kills. And what you are saying is, as long as it hasn’t killed you yet, it’s okay for these scientists to continue ingratiating themselves while the graves keep getting dug.

        What I am saying is, of course scientists are responsible for the deaths science is making possible, exactly the same way a person who leaves a loaded gun where kids can get to it is responsible.

        What you are saying is, scientists are not responsible for the deaths they are making possible, as long as you and your loved ones are not dying.

        However, consider, the shield you wrongly assume exists for scientists, is allowing scientists to weaponize biological warfare agents, and worse.

        Read the article. These scientists are well known to dream up and even recommend ideas that put everyone on the planet at risk. Scientists, when they design and operate something like the Fukushima power plants have gone a step further than can possibly excuse them from culpability.

        Reality being infinitely complex, no one really can know when a scientist or group of scientists, is going to do something really stupid and kill a great many people or even everyone on the planet.

        Preventing scientists from killing people can only be accomplished if we start holding scientists responsible for their creations and their research work. These are usually kept secret, so they must he held strictly accountable after the fact when their human disasters and casualties arise.

        And what about the scientists that are invading our privacy with fantastic guile under the assumption that they are scientists that work for the government?

        You are placing guilt in the wrong place. Everyone knows those who work for government are corrupt and see themselves as above the laws that constrain the rest of us. Giving the corrupt swine that work for government ever more dangerous weapons of science is not an excusable crime.

        • WrenchMonkey

          OK Tonto, I get that you hate sciece and scientists! You didn’t bother to anwer my question. What is the alternative that you are advocating?

          • Tonto

            I have explained the alternative before. There is a new knowledge set that comes complete with new rules for logic and reason. This new knowledge set is the basis for the colloquial ideas of sustainability and a holistic approach.

            This new knowledge set is called, Categorical Knowledge. Categorical Knowledge is that knowledge that is true in every instance, without exception. No science meets this criteria.

            Exploring Categorical Knowledge, one quickly realizes logic (as it is expressed by scientists) is illogical. For logic to be logical, it must begin in one place, and proceed forward one step at a time, repeatedly returning to the start to make sure previous logical statements that have been discovered, are not violated by any future step in any logical process. Categorical Knowledge logic includes within it the possibility of logical progress.

            Here’s an example of Categorical Knowledge logic.

            1) Reality is infinitely complex. (This is the only logical place to start any logical discussion.)

            2) Life, generally, is good. (This is the only reason to seek to be logical.)

            3) All men will die. (Get over it. That’s the truth.)

            4) Men are not gods. (Ditto.)

            5) Life existed before I existed, and hopefully, it will continue to exist after my existence is through. (This is the temporal reference for all Categorical Logic.)

            6) The moral imperative I am faced with is preserving the goodness of life for future generations with logical restraint. (Contrarily, I need not preserve what sucks about life for future generations, again within my ability using logical restraint.)

            7) If I am going to consider making life better for future generations, I must first consider my inability to fathom the infinite complexity of reality. (Contrarily, if I make a mistake in my efforts to make life better for future generations, I will have become immoral, by causing, or even risking, harm to future generations.

            8) Therefore, if I am to accept my limitations as a mortal human being, my moral focus should be on maintaining those things in life I find enjoyable, rewarding, and sustainable in a holistic sense. Contrarily, my moral focus should be discouraging those things others might attempt that have the possibility to detract from the life experience of others in the future.

            One can spend a lifetime considering the great wealth of Categorical Knowledge that can be discovered. This is a new knowledge set with a new focus upon knowledge that transcends all science more forcefully than science at one time was thought to transcend superstition.

            If you have studied philosophy, Immanuel Kant wrote about something called the Categorical Imperative. Kant thought this was something quite abstract, and having to do with one’s ability to endorse ideas. Kant realized, any categorically true knowledge would upend everything humanity believed was true, because, it would pin down the frailty in the assumptions of all knowledge.

            Kant never discovered the Categorical Imperative. It turns out, as he suspected, that the Categorical Imperative would be a moral statement. The Categorical Imperative Kant sought is the moral imperative of life.

            The moral imperative of life is to live a life that detracts not at all from the lives available to those who will follow us into this world.

            Don’t fuck the world up. It’s simple, until you start thinking about all the things going on that are fucking the world up. And as far as I can tell, these are all (inclusive) things being done by scientists.

            So, get on board. Spend the time, make the effort, and pay your Categorical Knowledge dues. Start thinking through the logical process concerning what will maintain the beauty and wonder that is the world of humanity, before it is too late.

            I am not advocating going back to the Stone Age. Above all, I am advocating preserving the future.

          • WrenchMonkey

            OK. I’ll look into “categorical knowledge”.

            I just acquired a PDF document:

            Categorical Knowledge and Commonsense Reasoning
            Takashi Yamauchi (
            Department of Psychology, Mail Stop 4235
            Texas A&M University College Station, TX 77843 USA

            Mostly what I’m finding while searching is works and documents that are the result of scientific research. How ironic.

            2. categorical knowledge: that by which a mind distinguishes categories. Primitive categorical knowledge is arbitrary. It cannot be shown correct or incorrect until reasoning is applied. The first distinction recognized by an embryonic mind is generated by the first recognized sensory experience. It could be called a pre-verbal “What was that?” experience, when a sleeping mind is bumped into consciousness. The second sensory experience generates the first categorical distinction. The mind thinks:
            “This experience is like the previous one”
            “This experience is unlike the previous one.”
            Categorical distinctions develop gradually by comparing new experiences to remembered experiences. e.g. A mind may need many experiences to put auditory sensations and tactile sensations into different categories.

            What “future” is it you wish to see preserved, the future of the human species or the future without qualification?

            The future in the second, broad sense, doesn’t need us to preserve it. In fact it seems ever more likely that the best chance of preserving a living future, at least here on planet Earth, is for this failed evolutionary experiment called the human race to come to its inevitable end sooner rather than later.

            Just my opinion.

            I’m not crazy about absolutes Tonto but neither is my mind closed, so I’ll spend some time looking into this.

            “Absolute certainty is a privilege of uneducated minds and fanatics”
            C.J. Keyser, an American mathematician of pronounced philosophical inclinations.

          • Tonto

            The PDF document you’ve stumbled across is academic drivel. Categories are Aristotle’s idea. Categories are no more real than the man in the moon.

            As for C.J Keyser, the American mathematician, he’s absolutely right, if what he is saying is that in mathematics there is no absolute certainly. And, unless he’s proclaiming omniscience, then he’s not qualified to speak concerning any philosophical endeavor. There are an infinite number of mathematics that can be devised, and not one of them directly describes reality.

            Keep looking. I’ve given you some good guidelines in my post. Most of what is written is given to us in hackneyed parochial conceptions about a holistic approach and sustainability. Some people have a natural inclination. Others are so immersed in a scientific approach, they are hopelessly lost antiques.

            Avoid the academics. Search -The New Epistemology of Morality and Truth- on Amazon.

          • WrenchMonkey

            Fine. I’ll get the book and see if it has any substance.

          • wunsacon


          • WrenchMonkey

            Oh, I don’t know. I’ll read the book he mentions below and incorporate anything useful, if there is anything useful, into my knowledge base.

            Sometimes little nuggets can be found in the most unlikely of places.

      • gozounlimited

        Scientists become evil monsters when they are paid and controlled by the government….

    • gozounlimited

      Really……? When I was in seventh grade science……I learned CO2 cooled the planet. Then again in high school, then again as an undergrad, then again as a post grad. Our corporate controlled ed system failed in Cali…..maybe why others perceive us to be different.

  • gozounlimited

    You might recall my recent open letter on WB describing the letter I sent to Sen. Boxer regarding chemtrails. Two years ago, I attempted to get her attention on the same topic by phone. In both cases my concerns were ignored with theater and stupidity. I have clearly explained to Ms.Boxer and her staff that the Sulfur Dioxide, Silver Iodide, Barium, Carbon black and other particulates sprayed from aircraft (chemtrails) is making me….and my community sick. Ms.Boxer’s response to my need for emergency intervention is to inform me of all of the good things she is doing about everything but chemtrails. Her narcissistic selfishness is so replete, she has been unable to respond to my concerns even though she holds herself out as a champion for women’s health….(When abortion is discussed)
    They’ve Sold Us Down a Toxic River ….Regarding the issue of geoengineering, the doors to all government representatives, and all government agencies, have been locked and shackled shut…
    Mr. Moors sent 12 letters to Ms. Boxer regarding chemtrails and got 0 responses from her.
    Boxer letters from Rick Moors……

    Dear Senator Boxer,

    You must be as sick of me as I am of you (no, actually that’s not possible). Its me, you know, the crackpot who is convinced that the government is engaged in a massive and illegal campaign to spray an unknown substance on it’s own citizens. Here’s a couple of photos from today (Santa Monica, 11:00 A.M. – Just normal jet traffic right?).

    Not that you will check it out, but here are links to several of the over 100 websites investigating this crime independently of our elected officials. Sure are a lot of us uninformed nut cases – and thousands more every week, many of them California voters who want to know why you are silent on this issue. I’ll make it my business to report your inactivity on as many websites as possible, especially the California ones.

    And I’m a former supporter – others won’t be as kind as I am.
    When a free people no longer have a say in the air that they breathe, they are no longer free. Think about it, someone or some group of persons, non-elected, now have the power over the air we that we breathe in on a daily basis. They are now deciding what to put in the air and therefore are affecting our overall health and wellness. This means that we are potentially “one spray” away from a potential disaster that could kill/contaminate everyone in the U. S. and all NATO countries…..

  • Greg Burton

    Saint Al of the Gore: you WILL pay a carbon (icicle) tax for global warming (cooling), based on phoney-baloney climate data, to my off-shore, completely tax-free multinational corporation, or else!

  • gozounlimited

    The “X article” — The US was Overthrown….

  • Marauderson

    This Categorical Knowledge is better known as eternal generalized principles set down by R Buckminster Fuller in Synergetics and his many other works.That is something you should read Tonto. I think you would appreciate it.Synergetics is available to read online. Critical Path and GRUNCH of Giants, his last 2 books are also very interesting.

  • colinjames71

    If you want to know what’s wrong with science these days, it’s the fact that it’s become as dogmatic s religion. Research into theories that contradict well-established paradigms, like the Standard Model in Astronomy, is strictly off-limits in major institutions. And anything that might challenge business models, like zero point energy, is suppressed. So we spend billions looking for non-existent dark matter and trying to recreate a fictitious version of the sun, because it certainly isn’t a nuclear furnace. Science and academia have become wastelands of establishment group think, we’ll be such with 20th century ideas until we blow ourselves up or the sea swallows the land, whichever comes first.