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Global Warming Model Essay Funny

Two of the essays from the winners of the Rename Global Warming Contest are in! A big hand from all, please. More are to come—when the winners send them in!

Alan Cooper: “The Anthropaclysm”

The most important thing I have learned from Global Warming (so far) is that I have probably been right in giving significant credence to predictions based on general scientific principles. More specifically, I have learned to take seriously the predictions of basic physics when made in the context of the simplest model that fits the known facts without introducing additional variables whose values and effects are less well understood. But since I am not dead yet (and hope not to stop learning before I am), I could find no way of addressing the topic without including that extra word in the title.

When the simplest scientific models predict something, it really should be considered as quite likely to happen—even if deniers and naysayers are able to point out various more complicated models in which the predicted effect may be reduced or counteracted by various other secondary effects. In the case of CO2 induced global warming, it was of course conceivable (before measurements proved otherwise) that the predicted absorption of outgoing radiation might be limited by saturation of CO2 energy levels (after all, if equipartition could not be at least temporarily defeated then lasers would be impossible); and if bicarbonate can buffer the addition of acids or bases to a solution then perhaps something could similarly damp the effects of atmospheric CO2; or maybe the global surface temperature is automatically stabilized by an increase in reflective cloud cover whenever the temperature goes up a bit, etc. etc.

All of these scenarios could of course have prevented global warming, but each is dependent on very special circumstances that we had no reason to expect were actually the case—and for each anti-warming scenario it was equally easy to come up with some hypothetical mechanism for amplifying rather than damping. So now that the trend is becoming clear, perhaps more and more people will see that banking on complicated second order effects as an excuse to postpone mitigating action against something predicted by a simple and clear first order argument was foolish. In this case it might well turn out to have been the most foolhardy and irresponsible and ultimately harmful act in the history of humanity.

Let’s hope that others learn quickly enough so that as a species we can keep my extra word in the title—at least until the phenomenon really is history, because if it becomes “What We Learned” within the century or more that it will take to reliably stabilize our impact on the climate, then that will only be in our epitaph.

Tom Scharf, “Ecopocalatastrophe”

Thank for you this glorious honor.

I have learned that only through new euphemisms can we hope to raise public awareness that anything undesirable in people’s lives has been caused by global warming, and is destined to get much worse. Additionally people must understand that life’s joys will come only rarely, if at all, if we continue our present destructive course. My hope is that through an improved and well-informed communication strategy we will be able to reach the masses in an emotional manner.

This will encourage many more people to join the courageous alliance of those who wish to further mankind’s future through a new and innovative social order that will foster the proper reverence for our one and only fragile ecosystem. We are at a fork in the road, we can choose a path that our grandchildren will recognize the sacrifices we make for their benefit, or we can continue down a path of darkness that jeopardizes their very existence. The choice is ours, and I appeal to the better nature in us all that we choose wisely.

Related

Positives and negatives of global warming

What the science says...

Select a level... Basic Intermediate Advanced

The negative impacts of global warming on agriculture, health, economy and environment far outweigh any positives.

The best way to put this in perspective is to compare the positives of global warming to the negatives (note - this list is by no means comprehensive - please feel free to suggest additional papers in the comments below):

Positives

Negatives

Agriculture

Agriculture

  • Decreasing human water supplies, increased fire frequency, ecosystem change and expanded deserts (Solomon 2009)
  • Decline in rice yields due to warmer nighttime minimum temperatures (Peng 2004, Tao 2008)
  • Increase of Western United States wildfire activity, associated with higher temperatures and earlier spring snowmelt (Westerling 2006)
  • Encroachment of shrubs into grasslands, rendering rangeland unsuitable for domestic livestock grazing (Morgan 2007)
  • Decreased water supply in the Colorado River Basin (McCabe 2007)
  • Decreasing water supply to the Murray-Darling Basin (Cai 2008)

 

Health

  • Winter deaths will decline as temperatures warm (HPA 2007)

Health

  • Increased deaths to heatwaves - 5.74% increase to heatwaves compared to 1.59% to cold snaps (Medina-Ramon 2007)
  • Increased heat stress in humans and other mammals (Sherwood 2010)
  • Spread in mosquite-borne diseases such as Malaria and Dengue Fever (Epstein 1998)
  • Increase in occurrence of allergic symptoms due to rise in allergenic pollen (Rogers 2006)

Arctic Melt

  • An ice-free Northwest Passage, providing a shipping shortcut between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans (Kerr 2002, Stroeve 2008)

Arctic Melt

  • Loss of 2/3 of the world's polar bear population within 50 years (Amstrup 2007)
  • Less compacted ice, hazardous floes and more mobile icebergs posing increased risk to shipping (IICWG 2009)
  • Drying of arctic ponds with subsequent damage to ecosystem (Smol 2007)
Warming causes methane to escape from Arctic regions, contributing additional greenhouse warming. The following have been observed:
  • Melting of Arctic lakes leading methane bubbling (Walter 2007)
  • Leakage of methane from the East Siberian Shelf seabed sediments (Shakhova 2008)
  • Escape of methane gas from the seabed along the West Spitsbergen continental margin (Westbrook 2009)

Environment

  • Increased vegetation activity in high northern latitudes (Zhou 2001)
  • Increase in chinstrap and gentoo penguins (Ducklow 2006)
  • Increased plankton biomass in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (arguably ENSO/PDO might be dominant influence) (Corno 2006)
  • Recent increase in forest growth (McMahon 2010)
  • Bigger marmots (Ozgul 2010)
  • Increased Arctic tundra plant reproduction (Klady 2010)

Environment

Ocean Acidification

Note: this is not caused by warming temperatures but by the oceans absorbing more carbon dioxide (Dore 2009).

  • Oceans uptake of carbon dioxide, moderates future global warming (Orr 2005)

Ocean Acidification

Glacier Melt

Glacier Melt

Economical

  • Increased cod fishing leading to improved Greenland economy (Nyegaard 2007)

Economical

Sea Level Rise

Sea Level Rise

Intermediate rebuttal written by Rob Painting


Update July 2015:

Here is a related lecture-video from Denial101x - Making Sense of Climate Science Denial

 


Additional video from the MOOC

Interviews with  various experts

 

Last updated on 5 July 2015 by pattimer. View Archives

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