Earth: The Climate Wars

Earth: The Climate Wars

Ratings: 7.38/10 from 52 users.

Earth - The Climate WarsThe iconography of climate disaster has now acquired an almost religious inflexibility. Just as the image of the Crucifixion is inseparable from Christian devotions, the contemplation of planetary ruin is invariably attended by a set of familiar visual clichés. You'll get glaciers slumping into the sea, polar bears looking glum, chimney stacks belching smoke, and a passenger jet shimmying into the sky through a quiver of exhaust fumes. All were present, at one time or another, in Earth: the Climate Wars, which you might take as a marker of its confessional orthodoxy. But it began with a dummy punch that seemed to suggest quite the opposite.

Episode 1 - The Battle Begins. In the 1970s the world seemed to be falling apart. From acid rain to overpopulation, ecological concerns were at the fore. And it was at this time that climate change first became a hot political issue. But it wasn't global warming that frightened scientists, it was the complete opposite; a new ice age.Dr Iain Stewart traces the history of climate change from its very beginning and examines just how the scientific community managed to get it so very wrong back in the Seventies.

Episode 2 - Fightback. Dr Iain Stewart investigates the counter attack that was launched by the global warming sceptics in the 1990s. At the start of the 1990s it seemed the world was united. At the Rio Earth summit the world signed up to a programme of action to start tackling climate change. Even George Bush was there. But the consensus didn't last.Iain examines the scientific arguments that developed as the global warming sceptics took on the climate change consensus.

Episode 3 - New Challenges. Having explained the science behind global warming, and addressed the arguments of the climate change sceptics earlier in the series, in this third and final part Dr Iain Stewart looks at the biggest challenge now facing climate scientists. Just how can they predict exactly what changes global warming will bring? It's a journey that takes him from early attempts to model the climate system with dishpans, to supercomputers, and to the frontline of climate research today: Greenland.

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79 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Chris

    Love how some comment on how this is biased and how global warming is still up for debate..
    You should research the topic a little more! Carbon storage in the atmosphere is reaching the same levels as the Earth had during the end Permian period, which is where oceans warn to the point of releasing stores of methane, only difference is, our emissions of Co2 is almost double currently, than what the Earth was relasing during the Permian.

    It's INSANE how uninformed some people are, just eating up every piece of dog**** thrown into the media, by people who don't even have anything resembling a scientific degree (IN ANY FIELD).
    Even if we went Co2 neutral today, the effect wont be felt for another century, and even then it would probably be to late given the rapid warming of oceans currently.

  2. Dylan

    @Achems Razor
    Big Business and Government?? You forget that for the longest time and still even today much of big business and government refuses to accept that global warming is a fact. You are a fool, plain and simple. Do research and listen to reason. Do not focus on trivial nagging and simple-minded, weak argumentation that is futile.

  3. DrAndy

    As a Scientist with a PhD I won't even enter into conversations with climate change deniers anymore, the evidence is overwhelming. This series was made for the layman, if you still aren't convinced you either have a vested interest or need to get an education (no offence meant)

  4. Andrew

    Hi Dude,
    I think you need a bit of maths.
    A mile has 5280 feet, so a square mile is equal to 27,878,400 square feet. Hence Texas has an area of 7494271488000 square feet. This equals around 1090 square feet per person.

  5. bil

    carbon taxes are just a way to slide more money into the coffers of big business and put more of money on the walls of big business offices.

  6. John Techwriter

    The BBC put a lot of resources behind this comprehensive exploration of so-called climate change. Initially I was put off by the narrator and the gimmicks required to keep a TV audience tuned in. But over the three hours of sometimes laborious detail my reservations about climate change were largely dispelled.

    Though he at first seems a lightweight, the narrator gains credibility through confrontations with people on both sides of the issue. The conclusion? There's no doubt among all but oil industry apologists that climate change is real.

    The question of the day is whether "rapid climate change" is taking place. If it is, and it probably is, then places like Las Vegas will run out of water in our lifetime -- and so will the cities on the Pacific coast of the American Southwest. It's a tough three hours for those of us who think the lifestyle of the developed world is sustainable.

    1. rpm3145

      We can add the shoreline from southern NH all the way down to coastal areas of Virginia, a region which a recent NOAA and University of Arizona sea level rise study revealed an average 3 inch sea rise for 2010 to 2011 alone. I too was impressed with this report and how both sides of the story where explored.

    2. John Techwriter

      Here in the San Francisco Bay Area I don't think there are seal level issues, but I know we're in a historic drought. The climatologists aren't yet ready to attribute it to climate change. The problem is a big high-pressure system that sits off the coast and diverts the rainy weather north to the Pacific Northwest where the last thing they need is more rain.

      Could that pressure system be affected by changes to the Pacific (temperature or CO2 levels)? I'm sure many people are working on this question. After the driest January and the warmest February on record, the California government is putting water rationing programs in place to begin this coming summer.

    3. Eric Meyer

      "It's a tough three hours for those of us who think the lifestyle of the developed world is sustainable."

      That was a hard realization for me to come to a few years back--then I watched a TED talk from NASA Scientist Kirk Sorenson about a proven but nearly forgotten reactor design from the '60s called a Molten Salt Reactor. The main difference is that it uses a liquid fuel instead of a solid-- this makes it meltdown proof, able to consume existing nuclear waste, and much cheaper to build and operate than standard plants.

      The developed world is indeed sustainable, and I'd say it's borderline racist to sacrifice clean food, water, and higher standards of living for billions of people around the world--merely for a dogmatic rejection of nuclear energy that we see from mainstream environmentalists.

      When you start to see the incredible possibilities of reliable, inexpensive, and green energy (such as vast desalination and the manufacture of carbon neutral liquid fuels) you come to realize that we can use Molten Salt Reactors not only to slow climate change, but mitigate the damages we've already done. So let's do it.

    4. John Techwriter

      I don't know about the molten salt variety, but it's pretty much a sure thing we're going to have to go back to nuclear.

  7. Erin Edlow

    Earth has gone through ice ages so why wouldn't the Earth go through warming periods as well? I think global climate change is a natural process, but that human activity is contributing to the issue.

  8. Rocky Racoon

    General Strike! Remember these words when you seem to have an intractable problem with the state and those they represent.

  9. RexUrsus

    I have read your comments. I think most of them are plants. schills if you will. This is a shchill film by shcills . The test.? let us see if this comment makes it up.

  10. Mehmet_babaaa

    ?n my op?n?on th?s documentary is so helpful that humank?nd should take any adv?se from th?s but nobody want th?s to do someth?ng protect from mater?als wh?ch may be brung about some problems that will send any malfunct?ons aga?nst human self :(

  11. Darren_Dittberner

    I wonder how people can debate over climate change and how humans could even have the power to change the world. Of course we can change the world our population has tripled in one life time. How many times do you think our technology has tripled? I'd say a lot more than that. We have changed landscapes the size of small countries to even entire continents. The more our technology has developed the more change it has brought. I work in construction and i know what would take me a week with 10 people can be accomplished in minutes with heavy equipment. Our nature is our Destruction.

  12. Alex Estabrook

    In all reality, we probably all contribute to these factors-- as does the natural planetary heating cycle. The combination and timing of warming periods and peak fossil fuel usage may just happen to be compounding multiplying factors... We don't have an incredible amount of data on that sort of exponential climate change (fossil fuel usage x natural warming)--however--Its not too difficult to make sense of. In the first half of the 20th century, a large part of now-industrialized nations rode bicycles, walked, and used rudimentary transportation. In the second half of the 20th century--as was well put in this documentary--the heat bubble just exploded, and its completely off the charts of the regular spectrum over the last thousand years. Unless someone can compile reasonable average temperature data over the last 10,000 years... this may become a rather difficult argument. I personally happen to believe that no matter whether or not we're affecting more than 15 percent of the natural cycle, that we should drastically move to create an equilibrium between us and Earth, because honestly, i'm all for industrialization and economy, but If we fail to act before we realize the true consequences of our actions, it may be too late.

    I guess to sum it all up:

    I'd rather like my grandchildren to be able to go to Glacier National Park, and to actually be able to throw a snowball from a glacier.
    I'm not a hippie. Just a realist.
    Planet Earth is my home.

    1. batvette

      I'd like for my grandchildren to throw your grandchildren off that glacier. So we share some common ground.

  13. Richard MacKay

    Here is what I have to say. Even the most hardened climate scientist who completely believes in man made GW figures man may be the cause of 5-15% of the warming with the rest being a natural cycle. (Remember Greenland used to be green long before cars and big industry). So lets use the high end of 15%. If we tax the crap out of everyone, bankrupting countries like Canada and crushing the economy of the US while India, Brazil and China get away with doing nothing let us assume we slow warming by 20%. Unless we go back to the stone age or cull half the population we are not going to do better than 20%. Now if we cut that 15% man-made warming by 20% thats a 3% savings. A temperature increase of 1 degree will be limited to an increase of .97 degrees. Wow that is really worth ruining the economies of several nations.
    So for all you GW lovers and true believers, even if you are right, you cant halt nature, you wont stop industry and you have no clue on how to stop what you fear without going back to the stone age. The arguements are moot.

    1. Viewer4991

      @Richard MacKay
      Seriously! where did you pull that figure from, that 5-15% of the global warming is man made? Most of the scientists do NOT even say that! Most scientists say that humans have a MUCH greater effect on climate change than that. Global Warming is not some liberal conspiracy for world domination or something crazy like that!

    2. Richard MK

      That is the truth Champ. There is no possible way to prove we are anymore than that. Despite what a bunch of people whose funding depends on their results say.
      Prove it ... I am waiting.

    3. eddiedere

      In regards to bankrupting countries over a taxation policy, that is completely false. I have worked in the energy sector my whole life. Small adjustments both to energy consumption and the efficient use of the energy can make a drastic impact on overall emission as well as value added to the economy. Japan in the 80's with energy efficient appliances and cars (look at shift in market share bc of this over past few decades). If you look at areas such as Germany who have subsidies and heavy regulations for renewable energy, they still operate at a trade surplus, and embracing things like solar energy has created a huge potential in regards to jobs and expertise for a future market. As for one, working for a middle-east energy company, we have contracted tens of millions alone for patent use and consulting within the past few years to these companies. This number will grow exponentially in the future. You could also look at Brazils experiment with ethanol which is not as strong of a case, but a valid attempt at that.
      It is also ironic to see the gulf with such a heavy initiative of finding alternate sources of energy when currently water is more expensive than use extracting oil here. I by no means like to see increased taxes, hence i work tax free in the middle-east, but to have the view you do is one-sided. You should do comparative policy studies by looking outside the US to see how the energy sector works. I could go on for days about this but I just hope the U.S. does not miss the boat. Especially since (in my person belief) we have the best trained engineers who with the proper initiative and foresight could embrace the opportunity that lie before us. Global warming or not this is the direction US business should be moving.

    4. redbearwolverine

      Thank you for your scientific and concise explanation. I stopped trying to talk about this some time ago, and you can't talk sense to ANYONE who gets their scientific chops from politicians.

  14. hsaive

    Climatologists who say global warming is a consequence of CO2 and GHG's without explaining the atmospheric heating due to the past 20 years of geoengineering using aerosols sprayed from jet aircraft is not a scientist who can be trusted.

  15. james line

    I must apologise for my mistake in my statement about the experiment with the candle and the carbon that was released in the tube. if the carbon adsorbed the heat from the candle in front of the infrared camera there should have been a heat signature in the tube filled with the carbon but, there was not a heat signature at all. in fact the opposite was true the carbon actually cooled the temperature around the flame and hid it from the infrared camera. so in conclusion I will say this again carbon cools the atmosphere and does not increase the temperature. they proved this with a heat sensing camera logic prevails over DR. Ian Stewarts' claim he should have known this.where was the heat signature? and why did not the carbon glow if it was absorbing the heat from the candle? infrared cameras detect heat signatures, and the result shown was the air surrounding the flame was cooled until the flame was invisible. no heat signature.

  16. james line

    there is no doubt that climate change is real there are many factors involved. right now if you check NASA's pole reversal currently the south pole has a north signature along with areas around the equator, and while the poles have not totally reversed yet the process is well under way.NASA was having problems with a satellite they put in orbit ans they discovered what I am telling you now. the NASA scientist say though that even though the changes in the magnetic north have occurred that it maybe thousands of years before they switch totally. I say they are wrong. and complete reversal will happen much sooner . and there is another factor about man made global warming and that is H.A.R.R.P. they are causing (the government) harmonic tremors around the world with this instrument and they are also creating the whole on the ozone with it now. they create a plasma mirror in the stratosphere with this and can control cloud and create storms and warm the surface temperature of the earth, the biggest harp system is in Alaska and they are melting the polar cap with this device so they can cause alarm and lead us to believe that carbon is causing this trend in warming but it is not true. carbon while absorbing heat and the effect is cooling in the surrounding area. I was just watching this program and when DR. Ian Stewart held the candle in front of the tube filled with carbon the heat from the candle was adsorbed by the carbon and the infrared camera which detectes heat in objects could no longer see the flame of the candle. Now the infrared camera can not see things that are cooler than the camera itself. so you all seen it with your own eyes carbon absorbs heat then the change is cooling not increased ground temperatures. in another experiment a guy bought two thermomatures and clear plastic bags then put the themomaturse on post and filled one with with car exhaust and one with compressed air and put them both in sunlight while the temperature outside was at 32 degrees Fahrenheit and left them there for an hour and recorded the change in temperature every fifteen minutes at the end of the hour the bag with carbon was 6 degrees cooler than the one with air but, was four degrees warmer (the bag with carbon) at the start of the test.climate is going to change nothing can be done about that but if our governments around the world do not stop using harp we are in for some serious trouble.

    1. Richard MK

      Tinfoil hat alert

    2. Michael Jay Burns

      I know it is late in the game to make this observation, but the "cooling" in that tube was carbon absorbing the heat of the combustion. In the atmosphere it would be absorbing the heat from the sun adding to the net heat absorbed by the planet.

  17. Rolands Jaunzems

    98% of environmental scientists see climate change due to green house gas emissions. !

  18. Muddy2

    Planet earth has moved through many weather cycles and catastrophes over many millennia and, according to some scientific scholars, has hosted some advanced civilizations over this time.
    Today our science has developed where our elite military and corporations are now in a position to dominate over nature and mankind.
    We witness this in the HAARP program, the Chemtrails, the GE science, the nuclear and scalar energy and zero gravity science, the mind control science, the horrendous uranium warheads and chemical/biological warfare just to offer a few of the many sciences that are not used for the benefit of mankind but, it seems, the domination of.
    If HAARP can control our earths weather and has the capability of creating earthquakes and other catastrophic cycles then surely this can be used for positive effects but the question is…. "is it?"
    The pollution of our food, water and air via the massive corporate factories that spew their toxins constantly and include any pathetic fines in their budget as operating costs. Let's not forget the oil cartels who have curtailed any new energy science that has dared to compete.
    One could go on and on but how can any carbon tax nor any of the other crap they are advocating make any difference if the corporations, military and governments are to continue as mentioned above?… GJ

  19. Dave

    NASA has been quoted as saying "strangely" that ALL of the planets in our solar system have showed signs of heating up... relegated to a tiny article which no one seems to care about. So there MUST be other planets in our solar system emitting greenhouse gases from THEIR vehicle and industrial production emissions. Cool. Funny thing is, we thought we were alone...

    My only question is how many of these people have it in their best interests (ie: they're on the payroll) for saying what they're saying. Surely we can get THOSE statistics if only they could scare us into paying taxes on having the sun rise and set each day... THAT would be an even better SCAM.

    1. Viewer4991

      Please, show me that article from NASA.

  20. Magali

    Hey hey,

    I am no scientist and I believe it is just a question of common sense. Just look around or spend some time in a garden and observe.
    We need bio-diversity, we need to respect what surround us and I of course include humans. We need to eat what make our body and brain feel good and be strong.
    By taking care of the nature with respect you just respect yourself. And the same goes with humans.

    Diversity is the essence of enjoyable and long life. Why can we not realize how lucky we are to be on this planet?
    If you travel a bit you will meet fantastic people whatever their origins and social class, you will see amazing landscape. You will also see that luckily lot of people are doing great job on a human level, on a nature level, on an artistic level etc...
    Unfortunately all those positive actions are never shown on tv. Open your newspaper and what do you see? Switch on the tv and what do you see?
    Only negative information and of course stupid programs to make sure you do not use your brain. Fear is the best way to manipulate people and make sure you designate an enemy to keep people busy so governments can just take actions while we are just transforming ourselves in ships.

    The big difference now is internet, if you want to have information you can, no excuses anymore. Of course as you all said you need to check out your sources.
    We are all different and have different opinions, thanks god this is democracy!

    So my advises are, switch off your tv, meet your neighbors, socialize, follow your path, your dreams, take care of you and others, check what you eat, what you buy, be conscious, develop yourself, keep on asking questions, have opinions and develop them, improve yourself, do not take things as granted, make sure the freedom of speech is respected and be happy. Enjoy life and be responsible and smart.

    Please smile!!! and never forgot that at the end of the day the most important is what you do and not what you say.

    My apologies if there are any typo error, I am not a native English speaker so please be indulgent. Thanks!

    1. GoughLewis

      I agree with you whole heartedly...

      But, if they use this climate issue to push Global Carbon Tax, and sequester the worlds natural resources under the Guise of "management" by a one world governmental body... This will be a scam of VAST proportions. Make Barry Madoff look like a purse snatcher in comparison. We all need to be cognizant of propaganda and general public views and opinion manipulation.

    2. Hugh jarpendage

      I believe this is the most positive comment I have ever read on any post anywhere on the internet. As a guy who rid himself of TV 8 years ago, I can now see the information in far greater clarity than ever before, and living in 3rd world SE asia I am well aware that the images we are fed from TV and media regarding these so called 'backward' countries are completely manufactured and edited for desired effect, and anything worth having an opinion on is either not shown or twisted so the story "fits the bill"
      Also sense of community and family is what is being slowly extracted from western and other 1st world societies slowly, but noticeably, provided you are not in them it is much easier to see the decline in social activity and general communication.
      Not to mention the HATE, online - in the was extremely refreshing to read a wise, informed and realist comment that has no direction of blame or hate in it, and carries a beautifully put message that will truly enlighten people if they can read beyond the one-uppers at the top.
      Also, I totally agree on the internet being the only difference between now and 2000 years ago, the resource that is endless, a golden goose of knowledge. Pity so many see it as a slander tool.
      I am going to try and follow your lead from now on and be more positive in my comments, and generally try to carry that attitude into the lives of others online who sound like they need a dose of positive energy in text format.
      Thank you and may the world bestow upon you that and more which you have graciously given without thought for the self.
      H M Cambodia.

  21. Atrophy

    Oh no problem. I enjoyed the read :P
    I think the major concern is some folks tend source their info from one or very few places and assume it will always be correct.

  22. WTC7

    Atrophy, sorry about that... :(. I wouldn't have talked like that to someone like you

  23. Atrophy

    My sarcasm meter pinned and broke....

  24. Sailrick

    Relevent industries have opposed all sorts of environmental protection. Whether its pollutants that cause acid rain, lead in gasoline that caused brain and neurological damage to children, CFCs that were damaging the protective ozone layer, cancer causing asbestos or formaldahyde, deforestation, health dangers of tobacco or CO2 that causes global warming, big industry has spend millions of dollars in attempts stop legislation designed to protect the public's health and that of the environment, and muddying the scientific discussion of these issues. Why do people think it is any different in the case of global warming?

    Just last year (2009-2010) the oil industry spent over $175 million lobbying against climate change legislation. Compare that with the $24 million that environmental groups could afford to lobby for climate legislation.

    The tobacco industry set the precedent and the method for raising doubts about the scientific evidence, in order to delay or stop effective legislation to protect peoples health. What they all learned from big Tobacco, was that you don't have to disprove the science. All that is necessary is to make claims that the science isn't 100% certain. (never mind that nothing in science is ever 100% certain)
    They have been imitated by all those other industries, including today's fossil fuel industry and their climate change denial PR.

  25. Sailrick

    By the way, if you peruse the book shelves at your local Barnes and Noble, you will notice at least as many, if not more, books by climate change skeptics, as mainstream climate science books. There is a reason for this. The same "think tanks" who are spreading the disinformation for the fossil fuel industry, are funding most of these books. They promote 78% of skeptical books on climate change. This has resulted in at least 64 climate change skeptic books.

    There would be no denialist movement or literature if not for these groups. Books are another part of how they have manufactured the impression of a controversy about climate science, where there really isn't one. The tobacco companies taught them well. They perceived that the American public had a sliver of doubt about climate science, and they endeavored to drive a wedge into that sliver of doubt and widen it. They know they can't disprove the science, but that they can maintain an aura of uncertainty about the science. And that is all they need, to delay or prevent climate action. Unfortunately, the media has been perfectly willing to accomadate them. The media loves controversy. And some of the mass media is in sympathy with these interests, intentionally printing distorted and misrepresented versions of the science and pseudo scientific articles, as actual science.

    One newspaper in England printed three times as many articles featuring Christopher Monckton, a non scientist skeptic, as articles featuring Phil Jones, IPCC scientist and head of CRU (Climate Research Center) in England.
    Which one would you interview to get the facts? More on Monckton below.

  26. Sailrick

    The climate change denier urban legends are propagated intentionally. Here's who does much of the spreading of psuedo scientific disinformtation. They spread it and the gullible turn it into a littany of ready arguments that are all nonsense. Most have been disproven for over 10 years.

    These 32 organizations have all been involved in the tobacco industry's campaign to deny the science showing the dangers of tobacco.
    They are all now involved in the campaign to deny the science of climate change.

    1. Acton Institute
    2. American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
    3. Alexis de Tocquerville Institute
    4. American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
    5. Americans for Prosperity
    6. Atlas Economic Research Foundation
    7. Burson-Marsteller (PR firm)
    8. Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW)
    9. Cato Institute
    10. Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI)
    11. Consumer Alert
    12. DCI Group (PR firm)
    13. European Science and Environment Forum
    14. Fraser Institute
    15. Frontiers of Freedom
    16. George C. Marshall Institute
    17. Harvard Center for Risk Analysis
    18. Heartland Institute
    19. Heritage Foundation
    20. Independent Institute
    21. International Center for a Scientific Ecology
    22. International Policy Network
    23. John Locke Foundation
    24. Junk Science
    25. National Center for Public Policy Research
    26. National Journalism Center
    27. National Legal Center for the Public Interest (NLCPI)
    28. Pacific Research Institute
    29. Reason Foundation
    30. Small Business Survival Committee
    31. The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC)
    32. Washington Legal Foundation

    #24 is run by Steve Millone, an non-scientist, PR man, and paid lobbyist for fossil fuel interests, who Fox News likes to feature as a climate "expert".

    #5 and #9 are babies of the Koch brothers, although they have their hands in several others.

  27. Sailrick

    I highly recommend spending lots of time at Skeptical Science website.

    "don’t even have an idea if that would actually change the trend of warming. Do they"

    Again, I recommend lots of time at Skeptical Science blog.

    You haven't a clue what you are talking about, yet presume to be debunking 97% of climate scientists who agree on the most thoroughly peer reviewed scientific theory in the history of science.

    You are jsut repeating denier urban legends about climate change. Ever consider going to a real climate science website and seeing what they say? WUWT is not a real climate science website, nor is CAudit. They just spread a bunch of truthiness that sounds reasonable and is hogwash.

  28. Sailrick

    Regarding a carbon tax. What is it that you don't get?

    So far the atmosphere has been treated as a public dump, at no charge.

    The best idea for a carbon tax is one where the revenue is mostly returned to the people directly, with some going toward supporting renewable clean energy. The Clear Act is such a plan. That way it doesn't cost the citizens, the poluters pay.

    Oil has been subsidized in the U.S. since 1918 nonstop.
    Coal has been subsidizd in the U.S. since 1932 nonstop.

    Not only is the fossil fuel industry more generously subsidized than renewables, the externalized or hidden costs are staggering. Health costs from the burning of fossil fuels in the U.S. are estimated at about $160 billion a year.
    Environmental costs, military costs, damage to infrastructure from acid rain, threats to national security from our addiction to oil. Most of our trade imbalance deficit is from oil. $700 billion in one recent year.
    And then there are the wars fought for control of oil with many thousands of deaths, and destablizatoin of nations.

  29. Sailrick

    @ WTC7
    China is doing more to develop clean energy than any country in the world. They are investing way more than the U.S. in renewables. They have bullet trains. They have one city with over 800,000 people employed in solar energy. They will spend $454 billion over the next 5 years supporting renewable energy. They have set a national renewable energy standard for 2020. They will build 100 gigawatts of wind energy by 2020. They supply about 1/3 the worlds photovoltaic panels. They have been dismantling old dirty coal plants and building the state of the art plants. The coal is still a problem, but they are much more commited to a clean energy future than the U.S. is. If the GOP deniers have their way, we will be left behind in the clean energy revolution that will sweep the world. We are already behind.

  30. Sailrick


    "In the 1970s, the scientists were talking about an ‘imminent’ new ice age. As much as some here would like to bring that fact to the level of ‘it was just a few nut cases’, there was actually a serious scientific debate about it at that time."

    Sure there was a serious debate about it. But there were 44 papers at the time concerned with global warming, compared with just 7 papers on global cooling. The media played up the cooling angle. Cutting back on aerosols like sulpher oxide since the 70s has resulted in the warm forcing from CO2 not being masked so much by the cooling effect from aerosols. We reduced them to stop acid rain and smog.

    "we have the IPCC, created with the intention to embrace and analyze the best scientific knowledge on the topic. But it has proved to be nothing but a puppet playing in the hands of politics."

    Not true. If anything, the politics tends to water down the reports to make them pallatable to politicians. During the entire 8 years of the Bush administration the federal govt was the enemy of climate science. They censored climate scientists at NASA, had a Petroleum Institute lawyer, of all people, edit the federal climate report to water it down. They did whatever the oil industry wanted. They were the oil industry, to a man.

  31. Atrophy

    @ WTC7
    We can only fill the voids of knowledge with our reasonable interpretations of the data collected over time. I don't know how much of this warming we can attribute to our activity or how much our planet can sustain but anyone who denies our impact, as I have seen above, is bordering on lunacy.

    As for making changes. Lead by example is all I can say. You cant shake your finger at someone and say 'do as I say, not as I do' in such matters.

  32. WTC7

    @ Atrophy, ref. your post 27 above,

    You are absolutely right that we are one of the factors that contribute to the global warming. We have to be, our activities on the planet (quite reckless I must say), directed primarily toward our comfort, well-being and 'progress' in general, simply cannot not have any effect on the planet and its natural equilibrium. We are the part of that equilibrium and should be paying more respect to it...

    My problem with this whole issue is twofold, well, threefold:

    First, there is no scientific consensus on how great our impact on the global warming / climate change actually is. Science is a useful tool, but, at this stage, it is far from being infallible. In the 1970s, the scientists were talking about an 'imminent' new ice age. As much as some here would like to bring that fact to the level of 'it was just a few nut cases', there was actually a serious scientific debate about it at that time. At this point in time, we have the IPCC, created with the intention to embrace and analyze the best scientific knowledge on the topic. But it has proved to be nothing but a puppet playing in the hands of politics. Their, now ridiculed, 'scientific' predictions of various impending doomsdays speak for itself...

    Second, think about the fact that China is basically just entering into an industrial stage that most developed Western countries have been through long ago. Are they to say to China that she can't use the same reckless industrial path and reach the same level of development they have? And why? China looks at the US in this respect, and the US doesn't even budge about it's own impact on global warming - the second largest contributor (as of recently, the first for long). And the most developed and powerful country in the world. So why would China? Al Gore is eager to introduce a global carbon tax but he doesn't seem to be making much impact in his own backyard in the first place...

    Another point of my concern, and related to the second, is that those who are fervently advocating for lowering the level of carbon emissions don't even have an idea if that would actually change the trend of warming. Do they? And how significantly would it change it? Which is the level of greenhouse gasses that the planet can sustain? What does "cut the carbon emissions" practically mean? What is the scientific estimate of the highest sustainable level of those gasses on the planet? Do we have to go back to the lever of pre-industrial society? Is our science not up to the task of determining that? Or is it that the science is being used only up to a point needed for political goals?

  33. Achems Razor

    @Occams Razor:

    I fully understand what it is you are trying to say, Of course I realize that I am a political pawn, and if you have a birth certificate, so are you, a straw-man signed sealed and delivered to the corporation that is the government. You are owned, as is everyone else, get used to it, unless you desire to be a "free-man on the land" that is something that I can not aspire to.

    Everything else I have included on this post and other various posts concerning this issue. Have nothing new to add.

  34. riley

    my feeling is that if the general scientific consensus, based upon a variety of cross-checked measures, indicates that the heating trend of the last 40 years is not accounted for by:

    heat-island effect
    sun spots
    geological activity
    some other yet-to-be-proffered non-human causal agent

    that leaves the copious amounts of co2 we are pumping into the atmosphere as the likely cause. we've already seen that CFCs can have a measurable effect on the atmosphere. why not co2?

    someone said that co2 is not a pollutant simply because it is a gas integrated into the cycle of life on earth. that's simple-minded. ANYTHING is a pollutant if too much of it is produced. pure oxygen is a poison for humans, just as an example.

    when the climate gets bad enough, the debate about the climate will move onto solution. not before.
    its not the first time a denial of reality has or will dampen sustainable human development. there's plenty of others that might be thought of.

    the EPA was opposed as unnecessary by many back in 1970. no great change requiring effort or sacrifice or restraint of human consumption/prerogative will go un-opposed.

    too many people let their interest (financial or ideological) dictate their judgements, or the sources upon which they rely to form the judgments they then take for themselves uncritically.

    the sceptics have performed a useful service, and always do, in the general sense of forcing assertions to be proven. that effort is a very good and necessary one. but a scepticism born of implacable, unreasonable oppositionism, either for its own sake or in a fixed set of ideas to be defended or opposed, or in service to interests unfavorably disposed to changes which become manifest due to increases in human insight into the destructive effects our activities may have upon the planet, is just heat/friction/drag.

    we need to know what we are doing.

  35. Atrophy

    @Achems Razor
    Archeological evidence shows that there has been climate shifts in the past however they were linked to external factors like methane release, and volcanic activity. How can anyone deny the fact that we produce metric tons of carbon and other pollution yearly ?, it is definitely not a product of nature. We may not be the cause of a grand global climate change but we are certainly not completely innocent of contribution, fudged statistics or not.

    All things explained, the simplest answer is YES, we are a contributing factor to global warming.

  36. Achems Razor


    Right, from "Wikileaks"...More than 1,000 emails sent over 10 years by the staff at the University of"East Anglia's Climate Research Unit" were posted on Wikileaks after being accused by a hacker. They appeared to show that scientists engaged in "tricks" to help bolster arguments that global warming is real and man-made.

    One said "I've just completed Mikes Nature (the science journal) trick of adding in the temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie, from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the deadline"

  37. Atrophy

    @Achems Razor
    There is one major difference between then and now.
    Geological activity.
    In our modern era the earth is relatively stable. We have few major earthquakes, volcanic activity is quite low and we haven't been nailed by any big meteors in some time.
    All of these factors contribute to rapid climate change without us wasteful humans on the scene.

    If recent events can tell us anything about climate its that we have a greater effect locally than we would like to admit and our global effects are just now becoming apparent.
    This is an excerpt from CNN

    The thin wisps of condensation that trail jet airliners have a significant influence on the climate, according to scientists who studied U.S. skies during a rare interruption in national air traffic after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
    During the three-day commercial flight hiatus, when the artificial clouds known as contrails all but disappeared, the variations in high and low temperatures increased by 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) each day, said meteorological researchers.
    While the temperature range is significant, whether the jet clouds have a net effect on global warming remains unknown.

  38. Achems Razor

    @Occams Razor:

    What scientific data? All scientific data you present by scientists, I will refute by scientific data presented by other scientists. Re: global warming when no humans were even around, etc: etc:

    Nice handle by the way, you must be a kid.

  39. Charles B.

    I think I agree with Mr. Razor. Climate change is happening, but I think the human contribution is not the main force for it. You guys should know that the climate of the earth has been vastly different in the past and you can't blame that on CO2 emmisions from people.

    Creationists should worrry about mass extinctions as we believe that once it's gone, it's gone, but you evolutionists shouldn't sweat it as you would logically believe that new forms of life would just come along and replace the old ones that die off from natural climate change.

    But, in fact, that doesn't seem to be the case. The biodiversity for the past 150 years has plummeted world-wide and had not renewed itself with new forms. It's depleting, not regenerating in a different form.

    Until the time God makes all things new, this planet will continue a slow dying process. But, I for one want to do all I can to delay it as I do love animals and plants and natural things very much.

  40. Occams Razor

    @Achems Razor

    "My conclusion is, that it is a money making scam."

    Anthropogenic climate change is real.
    Unethical human beings will cash in on this.
    That doesn't discredit the scientific data.

  41. Atrophy

    #1. Carbon Dioxide, CO2, is not explicitly a pollutant, Its what we breathe out, a byproduct of complete combustion. Plants cycle CO2 in photosynthesis and produce oxygen.

    #2. Carbon Monoxide IS a pollutant, a result of incomplete combustion as well as NOx (nitrous oxide) and unburned hydrocarbons. That cocktail is the culprit for smog, acid rain, low visibility and higher temperatures in cities and a host of breathing ailments.

    Talking some theory.
    Some simple technologies can be implemented to reduce these pollutants. Catalytic Converters in your car for example, operating at around 600 degrees C, they complete the combustion process in engine exhaust and output CO2 and water vapor. Put into a scaled application to filter massive quantities of air in one place or a distributed network of smaller air processing units on building roofs could significantly reduce the impact of these pollutants.
    The next step... Plant a tree, or several, to reduce CO2 levels from the now cleaned air.

    A possible solution (That is completely theoretical) to ozone depletion is with Plasma clusters, generating ozone with high voltage across ceramic discs. Ill admit though I don't know very much about this technology, Ill need to do some homework. Putting high altitude blimps up with solar panels and plasma clusters could help. google 'Stratellite', this would be the perfect platform.

    As for over population 'TheDude' is correct, the implication is sustainability, While you can pack so many people into a small place by stacking and packing. We invariably expand our living into optimal food production zones which reduces our ability to sustain population growth.

  42. TheDude

    Whoever said that you can fit everyone in the world in Texas with 1100sf for each person, should check their math.

    Texas has an are of 268,820 sq miles. That's 1,419,369,600 sq feet.

    World population is 6,870,500,000.

    1,419,369,600/6,870,500,000 = 0.2066

    that means if you put every person in the world in Texas, each person would have 1/5th of a square foot to themselves.

    1. filmbo

      Help me understand here, a linear mile is 5,280 feet long. So, if I am getting this right a square mile would 5,280 x 5,280 which equals 27,878,400 square feet, right?

      You mentioned that there are 268,820 square miles in Texas. When I multiply: 268,820 x 27,878,400 I get 7,494,271,488,000.

      That's seven trillion four hundred and ninety four billion two hundred and seventy one million four hundred and eighty eight thousand square feet in texas.

      Dividing that number by the world population that you mentioned of 6,870,500,000, I get 1,090.79 square feet for each person.

      It looks to me that whoever said you can fit the world's population into Texas with 1,100 square feet per person was pretty accurate.

      Am I missing something here?

  43. Mojo

    Overpopulation is not whether you can fit all people in a certain area, it is whether these people can survive on our planet or not. Fact shows the more people we are, the more recourses are consumed, and since we are already not only stealing recourses from other continents (which helped give rise to poverty and starvation in Africa), but also stealing from future generations (i.e using more than we have), it is pretty easy to calculate that with the current growth of the population, we will either die out and leave the planet to recover, or die out and bring the planet with us, or at the very least see our societies collapse with the coming decline of capitalism, and return to smaller and more primal ways of life, that are sustainable.

  44. Zyro Tekna

    Global Warming is a misnomer.The correct term is "Climate Change".Which is most definitely man-made.Not only that,it has happened before.Granted, on a smaller scale.Just take a look at Easter Island.

    1. Simon Jacobs

      easter island was deforested, its climate did not change

  45. Achems Razor

    WTF Mate:

    Correct about methane gas, check out mine and other people's comments
    on, "The Great Global Warming Swindle" here on TDF.

  46. WTF Mate

    I was just ensuring you knew about the misinformation the web supplies us with. I'm glad to know you're knowledgeable about that. Anyways... As for methane gas, the #1 source of it comes from livestock's gas, and #2 is from decay in landfills. I would argue that each of these are definitely human caused. Our addiction to consumption of meat and consumption in general is to a completely unnecessary extent. If those few rich powerful capitalist bastards didn't value profit over human and environmental welfare, they wouldn't fuel--no pun intended-- a society centered around unnecessary high consumption.

  47. Achems Razor

    @ WTF Mate:

    You are making assumptions about where my info. comes from. I assure you it is from scientific sources. not from Wikipedia, which I agree, could be made up by anybody.

    There are a great number of scientists that speak against, "human-caused". Global warming.

    I am not a climate skeptic, I do believe it is real enough, except the human footprint is negligible.

    Also look into methane gas, that is far worse than co2. As a cause for global warming.

  48. WTF Mate

    Achems Razor,

    Please don't draw your conclusions from Google. The media is controlled by a powerful biased few, who have personal interests in mind.

    Look to scientific articles. They have to be peer reviewed many times before released to you. Information on wikipedia, on the other hand, could be written up by biased, unintellectual mother******. And this is from where misinformation comes.

    But perhaps, as your name alludes, you'd like to keep this issue simple instead of delving deep into scientific and historical fact.

    Overpopulation isn't necessarily an issue of SPACE. It's about allocation of resources. Hey dude, has Thomas Malthus posted to Google yet? Anyways, read about the Malthusian hypothesis.

    Sorry to be rash, but I'm quite frankly surprised climate skeptics still exist.

    1. Bruce Wayne

      Overpopulation is also about the amount of pollution being created. Look at China. In some cities there you can hardly even see anymore. It looks like you are inside a smoke filled kitchen after you burnt a couple slices of toast. Look at the killer fog of 52. Also back in the 1800's they would have days in London where the coal smoke was so thick that men would have to lead their horses with a lit torch to light the way, to see where they were going and to warn others of their approach.

  49. Paul

    Achems Razor:

    I think we'll just agree to disagree on the anthropogenic contribution to climate change then. I do believe though that even if you are sceptical about this suggested link, a precautionary approach requires that you do not dismiss it entirely.

  50. Achems Razor


    I agree about promoting alternate energy sources.

    Then of course instead of carbon tax, transportation will be taxed and charged per mile.

    The human anthropogenic co2 carbon footprint is negligible, water-vapor causes global warming, which then makes more co2.

    It depends on which scientists and which computer read-out's you want to believe.

    Google, Global Warming, and come to your own conclusions.

    My conclusion is, that it is a money making scam.

  51. Paul


    Perhaps I inferred something that I should not have. My point however is that many commercial organisations are recognising the possibility of climate change being anthropogenic and are factoring this into forward planning as a future risk.

    Let’s assume however that that your belief is correct and that instead of climate change we should be simply concerned with the peak-oil scenario. Do you not think that carbon taxes are justified on the grounds that we do not pay for the real value of oil (i.e. all costs are not internalised) and that we need to start promoting alternative energy sources simply as a matter of survival?

  52. Achems Razor

    @ Paul:

    Read my post properly.

  53. Paul

    Reb, your little calculation demonstrates nothing except your lack of understanding of the issues. Look back at poulation figures for pre-industrial revolution and you will see an approximation of carrying capacity post oil age (I suppose you believe that oil is never going to run out either?). The 'elite' looking down on you 'underlings' - I've got news for you buddy - in global terms you are the elite!

    Achem - please explain to us how business is going to benefit from climate change and depleting oil reserves?

  54. Reb

    Achem, every person on this planet could stand in Texas with 1100sf per person. The lies people believe about over population. The over population is the elite looking down on us underlings who are breathing up their air and taking up space. Have people forgotten how to do math?

  55. Achems Razor

    Over population?

    If you could build a half mile square box, you can fit every man, woman
    and child on the Planet into it, and still have room to spare!

    And, Human, "that means us carbon based units" Global warming, is a scam! Its big money, big business.
    More jobs, for more government bureaucrats etc: means everybody pays more taxes, carbon taxes, etc:

  56. Kevin

    Not well covered at all. Clearly biased by stating things like "there are still several scientists against global warming" (human carbon theory)... Several? Currently there are thousands a few more then several.... Pushes his agenda the entire time....


    1. Bruce Wayne

      Several thousand scientists against global warming? Yes and almost every single one of them has a reason to say what they do, like they are being paid to think and talk this way.

  57. Reb

    Over population is a lie. Every person on this planet could stand in the state of Texas with 1100sf all their own.

    We they say over population they mean too many undesirables like all of us common people.

  58. Joseph

    again thamk you very much. please put the high quality liks of documentary torrents. Thanks a lot.

  59. KMan

    He went tough all that and then disproved himself in the last film. What a dickhole!

    A sudden and great change in temperature 11 tousand years ago, and being only one of a dusin rapid changes, is proof that climate change is not manmade. Jeesus!

  60. Charlie

    He ignores carbon dating and ice drilling which both prove the medieval warm period was warmer than today. He has ignored an awful lot of the debate, and tried to rubbish the sceptics on select examples.