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Koch Bros Study Finds Global Warming Is Real And Man-Made 769

Posted by samzenpus
from the sorry-about-that dept.
bledri writes "The results of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature are in and Richard Muller, the study's director (formerly an AGW skeptic) declares, 'Call me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I'm now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.' The study was funded by the Folger Fund, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research (created by Bill Gates), the Bowes Foundation, the Koch Foundation, and the Getty Foundation."
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Koch Bros Study Finds Global Warming Is Real And Man-Made

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  • by pubwvj (1045960) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @09:28AM (#40807337)

    ...is global warming good or bad.

    For some it will be good. For some bad. The diversity of life has historically increased with warming. Coastal cities won't like a sea level rise though.

  • by MarkWegman (2553338) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @09:47AM (#40807437)
    Global warming is not just, it will be hotter in some cold place and a bit too hot for comfort in some hot place. It's perhaps better called Global Weirding. With more energy in the atmosphere more weird things will happen. Hurricanes, droughts, sea levels rising and the end of the Gulf Stream that warms much of Europe are most likely consequences. Some places that aren't used to it will get much more water and some that have gotten used to a lot of water will get less. If global warming happened over hundreds of years, our species and perhaps others could adapt or move to different locations. It's expensive to move population centers, e.g. Florida if low lying areas get flooded. The expected cost of accommodating changes on this scale dwarf the costs to the economy of drastically reducing our consumption of carbon. The US consumes a huge amount more carbon per person than the average country, but California has some very mild laws that have caused Californians to consume much less than the average American without making California a poorer state than the others.
  • by pla (258480) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @09:48AM (#40807447) Journal
    The Koch Brothers were among several funders, some of whom actually had decent motives.

    Absolutely true - But in the interest of trying to save the planet from ourselves, we should focus on near-legendary conservative sponsors such as the Koch Brothers.

    The average climate change denier doesn't give a damn about the NSF or hippies from Lawrence Berkeley. But Bush-the-Elder's friends? Now that carries some weight!
  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @10:23AM (#40807607)

    I don't think you're exactly right about Lomborg. Yes, his first book did try to debunk some of the old evidence that was used to support global warming, but he never defended the positive thesis that global warming isn't happening. OK, maybe that's just the difference between skepticism and denialism. At his worst, Lomborg was a skeptic, and he quit that pretty fast.

    The reason why he's so controversial is that even after he declared that the science is in and we are causing real global warming, which will have significant consequences, Lomborg argued that preventing these consequences is economically unfeasible, and the best bang for our buck in planning the future is to concentrate on education, health, sanitation, disease eradication and climate change mitigation. Sadly, critics of Lomborg never seem to engage directly with his arguments. They never present a study that a $Million spent on forest restoration or sewage treatment or micronutrient supplementation will have fewer good consequences than a $Million spent on CO2 emissions reduction. For that reason I remain on the fence, though I do think that Lomborg deserves a more serious hearing.

  • by Jerry Atrick (2461566) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @10:28AM (#40807643)

    Brittle infrastructure is a problem for the developed world and our comfort but pretty minor.

    The big issue is migration, the normal response to climate change. Migration causes conflict. That worked OKish before we filled the planet, today mass migration will be a catastrophe that could push half the planet to war.

    Sure, the species will survive. The well armed ones.

  • Please, people didn't switch to SUVs because their cars were too small, they switched because their dicks were too small. Even the Japanese compacts of the late 80s/early 90s were quite spacious, more so than some early-2000s cars like certain model Corollas that were build for hobbits and the 1st-gen Focus where the floor area of the back sear was shorter than a human foot.

  • by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @10:59AM (#40807851)

    Now that carries some weight!

    I hate to disappoint you, but no, it won't. There is some (shaky) evidence that conservatives tend to be much less strongly influenced by facts when dealing with political topics, and that education level does not change the outcome. Chris Mooney [alternet.org] wrote a book about it, I haven't read it, but it seems that there isn't a silver bullet so much as a lot of studies suggesting, but not proving, the same thing.

    Whatever the reason, the point is that it doesn't matter who funded it, the conservatives won't accept climate change, no matter how many facts or studies you perform. If you confront a conservative with a climate change argument, and show them this study, I guarantee that they will shift the argument to saying that Muller now says, yes there is climate change, but it isn't what caused Katrina, nor what caused the drought in the U.S., nor is what is killing polar bears. If you were to fund a massive to study to prove those things, they would shift the argument to something else.

    It's utterly depressing, because it suggests that a lot of the political divide in this country is insurmountable (although it explains a lot about why we had to fight a devastating civil war in order to free slaves).

  • by haruchai (17472) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @11:10AM (#40807947)

    The Martian atmosphere is thin compared to Earth's but it's 95% CO2 vs only 1/2 a percent here on Terra. So there's significant heat-trapping potential complicated by the significant amount of dust in the Martian sky.

    Comparing Mars, Earth and the Moon is problematic as only 1 has extensive and deep oceans, which store a huge amount of heat.

    Mars also get cold enough that as much as a quarter of it's CO2 freezes out of the air at the poles during the winter.

    I hear a lot of talk about warming in the solar system, mostly from denialist sycophants enamored of that bug-eyed Englishman. But they also claim that we've been in a solar lull for several years and this is one of the weakest cycles in a long while.

    So what's warming the solar system?

  • by khallow (566160) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @02:04PM (#40809357)
    Exactly my thinking on the matter. They built an awful lot of wind power, which on paper should offset a lot of coal burning. In practice, they don't seem to be betting that much on wind power.
  • by rrohbeck (944847) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @03:17PM (#40809903)

    Exactly.Just look at Anthony Watts, who said - officially - that he'd accept any outcome of the BEST study because he trusts Muller.
    Now see how Watts is squirming, but of course he won't change his mind. WUWT as the echo chamber for deniers makes way too much money from ad impressions. Those are obviously on gullible people so they must be worth more per click that the average.

  • by Fjandr (66656) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @06:23PM (#40811807) Homepage Journal

    The question is, which god to buy? There are so many choices...

"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell

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